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mother's throat? Nay, from the time that Orestes is deemed to have been of a dangerous disposition, he did nothing in fact that you can blame; he did not dare to offer violence with his sword to Pylades, nor to his sister Electra ; he only gave ill language to both of them, by calling her a Fury, and him some other sopprobrious name], which his violent choler suggested.

Opimius, poor amid silver and gold hoarded up within, who used to drink out of Campanian ware Veientinel wine on holidays, and mere dregs on common days, was some time ago taken with a prodigious lethargy; insomuch that his heir was already scouring about his coffers and keys, in joy and triumph. His physician, a man of much dispatch and fidelity, raises him in this manner: he orders a table to be brought, and the bags of money to be poured out, and several persons to approach in order to count it: by this method he sets the man upon his legs again. And at the same time he addresses him to this effect. Unless you guard your money your ravenous heir will even now carry off these (treasures] of yours. What, while I am alive! That you may live, therefore, awake ; do

? this. What would you have me do? Why your blood will fail

you that are so much reduced, unless food and some great restorative be administered to your decaying stomach. Do you hesitate ? come on; take this ptisan" made of rice. How much did it cost ? A trifle. How much then? Eight asses. Alas! what does it matter, whether I die of a disease, or by theft and rapine ?

Who then is sound! He, who is not a fool. What is the covetous man? Both a fool and a madman. What—if a man be not covetous, is he immediately [to be deemed] sound ? By no means. Why so, Stoic? I will tell you.

Such a patient (suppose Craterus [the physician] said this) is not sick at the heart. Is he therefore well, and shall he get up? No, he will forbid that ; because his side or his reins are harassed with an acute disease. [In like manner), such a man is not perjured,


41 This wine was of a very poor kind. See Lamb and Orelli.

42 Ptisanarium. The diminutive from ptsana, unhusked barley or rice, from ittigow, tundo, tundendo decortico. Here it means a decoction, a kind of gruel made of oryza, rice. M'CAUL. Rice was not then cultivated in Italy, but brought from Egypt. The physician purposely uses the diminutive ptisanarium, lest he should terrify the patient. WHEELER.



nor sordid ; let him then sacrifice a hog to his propitious* household gods. But he is ambitious and assuming. Let him make a voyage (then) to Anticyra. For what is the difference, whether you fling whatever you have into a gulf, or make no use of your acquisitions ?

Servius Oppidius, rich in the possession of an ancient estate, is reported when dying to have divided two farms at Canusium between his two sons, and to have addressed the boys, called to his bed-side, [in the following manner] : When I saw you, Aulus, carry your playthings and nuts carelessly in your bosom, [and] to give them and game them away; you, Tiberius, count them, and anxious hide them in holes ; I was afraid lest a madness of a different nature should

possess you:


you [Aulus], should follow the example of Nomentanus, you, [Tiberius], that of Cicuta. Wherefore each of you, entreated by our household gods, do you (Aulus) take care lest you lessen; you (Tiberius) lest you make that greater, which your father thinks and the purposes of nature determine to be sufficient. Further, lest glory should entice you, I will bind each of you by an oath : whichever of you shall be an ædile or a prætor, let him be excommunicated and accursed. Would you destroy your effects in [largesses of] peas, beans, and lupines, that you may stalk in the circus at large, or stand in a statue of brass, 0 madman, stripped of your paternal estate, stripped of your money ? To the end, forsooth, that you may gain those applauses, which Agrippa" gains, like a cunning fox imitating a generous lion ?


43 All the good and bad accidents that happened in families were generally attributed to the domestic gods, and as these gods were the sons of the goddess of madness, they were particularly worshiped by persons disordered in their understanding. Stertinius therefore advises the man, who, by the favor of these gods, is neither perjured nor a miser, gratefully to sacrifice a swine to them, which was their usual sacrifice. “ Fruge Lares, avidâque porcâ.” Od. xxiii. lib. ii. TORR.

44 Distributions of these were frequently made to the people by candidates for offices, or by the ædiles at the celebration of the games, etc. Oppidius asks whether his son would be so mad as to squander his prop. erty in largesses, for the sake of obtaining an office in the state. Comp. Pers. Sat. v. 177 :

Vigila et cicer ingere large
Rixanti populo, nostra ut Floralia possint
Aprici meminisse senes.

MCAUL 45 This compliment to Agrippa is introduced with great art, as if it


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O Agamemnon, why do you prohibit any one from burying“ Ajax ? I am a king. I, a plebeian,"? make no further inquiry. And I command a just thing : but, if I seem unjust to any one, I permit you to speak your sentiments with impunity. Greatest of kings, may the gods grant that, after the taking of Troy, you may conduct your fleet safe home: may I then have the liberty to ask questions, and reply in my turn ? Ask. Why does Ajax, the second hero after Achilles, rot [above ground], so often renowned for having saved the Grecians; that Priam and Priam's people may exult in his being unburied, by whose means so many youths have been deprived of their country's rites of sepulture. In his madness he killed a thousand sheep, crying out that he was destroying the famous Ulysses and Menelaus, together with me. When Aulis substituted your sweet daughter in the place of a heifer before the altar, and, O impious one, sprinkled her head with the salt cake; did you preserve soundness of mind? Why do

you ask? What then did the mad Ajax do, when he slew the flock with his sword ? He abstained from any violence to his wife and child, though he had imprecated many curses on the sons of Atreus: he neither hurt Teucer, nor even Ulysses himself. But I, out of prudence, appeased the gods with blood, that I might loose the ships detained on an adverse shore. Yes, madman! with your own blood. With my own [indeed], but I was not mad. Whoever shall form images foreign from reality, and confused in the tumult of impiety,will always be reckoned disturbed in mind : and it will not matter, whether he go wrong through folly or through rage. Is Ajax delirious, escaped accidentally, and it is enlivened by a comparison, short but noble. Although Agrippa had been consul in 717, yet he condescended to accept the office of ædile in 720, when he entertained the people with a magnificence and expense beyond what they had ever seen. San.

46 Here opens another scene, in which a king and a Stoic are engaged, and in which the philosopher proves in good form, that this greatest of monarchs is a fool and a madman. The debate arises from an incident in a play of Sophocles, in which Agamemnon refuses to let Ajax be buried. SAN.

47 Agamemnon finding his answer, I am a king, a little too tyrannical, adds, our decree was just. Perhaps the humility of the philosopher, either ironical or serious, in seeming to allow his royal manner of deciding the question, extorted this condescension from the monarch. ED. DUBL.

48 i. e. the perturbation of mind leading to the commission of impious deeds. ORELLI.


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while he kills the harmless lambs? Are you right in your head, when you willfully commit a crime for empty titles ? And is


while it is swollen with the vice ?49 any person should take a delight to carry about with him in his sedan a pretty lambkin; and should provide clothes, should provide maids and gold for it, as for a daughter; sbould call it Rufa and Rufilla, and should destine it a wife for some stout husband; the prætor would take power from him being interdicted, and the management of him would devolve to his relations, that were in their senses. What, if a man devote his daughter instead of a dumb lambkin, is he right of mind ? Never say it. Therefore, wherever there is a foolish depravity, there will be the height of madness. He who is wicked, will be frantic too: Bellona, who delights in bloodshed, has thundered about him, whom precarious fame has captivated.

Now, come on, arraign with me luxury and Nomentanus ; for reason will evince that foolish spendthrifts are mad. This fellow, as soon as he received a thousand talents of patrimony, issues an order that the fishmonger, the fruiterer, the poulterer, the perfumer, and the impious gang of the Tuscan alley, sausage-maker, and buffoons, the whole shambles, together with [all] Velabrum, should come to his house in the morning. What was the consequence ? They came in crowds. The pander makes a speech : “Whatever I, or whatever each of these has at home, believe it to be yours : and give your order for it either directly, or to-morrow.” Hear what reply the considerate youth made : “You sleep booted in Lucanian

may feast on a boar : you sweep the wintery seas for fish : I am indolent, and unworthy to possess so much. Away with it: do you take for your share ten hundred thousand sesterces ; you as much ; you thrice the sum, from whose house your spouse runs, when called for, at midnight.” The son of Æsopus, [the actor] (that he might, forsooth, swallow a million of sesterces at a draught), dissolved in vinegar a precious pearl, which he had taken from the ear of Metella: how much wiser was he [in doing this,] than if he had thrown the same into a rapid river, or the common sewer! The progeny of Quintius Arrius, an illustrious pair of brothers, twins in wickedness and trifling and the love

19 i. e. of madness.

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of depravity, used to dine upon nightingales bought at a vast expense : to whom do these belong? Are they in their senses? Are they to be marked with chalk, or with charcoal ?50

If an [aged person with a long beard should take a delight to build baby-houses, to yoke mice to a go-cart, to play at old and even, to ride upon a long cane, madness must be his motive. If reason shall evince, that to be in love is a more childish thing than these; and that there is no difference whether you play the same games in the dust as when three years old, or whine in anxiety for the love of a harlot: I beg to know, if you will act as the reformed Polemon did of old ? Will you lay aside those ensigns of your disease, your rollers, your mantle, your mufflers; as he in his cups is said to have privately torn the chaplet from his neck, after he was corrected by the speech of his fasting master? When you offer apples to an angry boy, he refuses them : here, take them, you little dog; he denies you : if you don't give them, he wants them. In what does an excluded lover differ [from such a boy]; when he argues with himself whether he should go or not to that very place whither he was returning without being sent for, and cleaves to the hated doors ? shall I not go to her now, when she invites me of her own accord ? or shall I rather think of putting an end to my pains ? She has excluded me; she recalls me: shall I return? No, not if she would implore me.” Observe the servant, not a little wiser : “O master, that which has neither moderation nor conduct, can not be guided by reason or method. In love these evils are inherent; war [one while), then peace again. If any one should endeavor to ascertain these things, that are various as the weather, and fluctuating


50 A proverbial expression. Are they to be acquitted or condemned ? Are they wise or foolish ?

51 Polemon was a young Athenian, who, running one day through the streets, inflamed with wine, had the curiosity to go into the school of Xenocrates to hear him. The philosopher dexterously turned his discourse upon sobriety, and spoke with so much force, that Polemon from that moment renounced his intemperance, and pursued his studies with such application, as to succeed Xenocrates in his school. Thus, as Valerius Maximus remarks, being cured by the wholesome medicine of one oration, he became a celebrated philosopher, from an infamous prodigal FRAN.

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