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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

Book VI,   pp. 353-432

Page 354

THE DEMPNOSOPHISTS.                LB. VI.' 
useful in many respects to human life, says in his Women 
celebrating the Festival of Bacchus- 
My friend, just hear what I'm about to say. 
- Man is an animal by nature miserable; 
And life has many grievous things in it. 
Therefore he has invented these reliefs 
To ease his cares; for oft the mind forgets 
Its own discomforts while it soothes itself 
In contemplation of another's woes, 
And e'en- derives some, pleasure and instruction. 
For first, I'd have you notice the tragedians; 
What good they do to every one. The poor man 
Sees Telephus was poorer still than he, 
And bears his own distress more easily. 
The madman thinks upon Alemcseon's case. 
Has a man weak sore eyes! The sons of Phineus 
Are blind as-bats. Has a man lost his child! 
Let him remember childless Niobe. 
He's hurt his leg; and so had Philoctetes. 
Is he unfortunate in his old age,3 
(Eneus was more so.-, So that every one, 
Seeing that.others have been more unfortunate, 
Learns his own griefs to bear with more content. 
3. And we accordingly, 0 Timocrates, will restore to you 
the relics of the feast of the Deipnosophists, and will not 
give them, as Cothocides the orator said, meaning to ridicule 
Demosthenes, who, when Philip gave Ialonnesus to the Athe- 
nians, advised them ." not to take it if he gave it, but only if 
he restored it."  And this sentence Antiphanes jested upon in 
his ,Neottis, where he ridicules it in this manner- 
My master has received (-a7rxqqEsv) as he took (a'Xambser) 
His patrimonial inheritance. 
How would these words'have pleased Demosthenes! 
And Alexis says, in his Soldier-_ 
A. Receive this thing. 
B. What is it? 
4. Why the child 
Which I had from iyou,. which Inow bring back. 
B. Why 3 will you no more keep him ? 
A. He's not Mine. 
B. Nor mine. 
A. But you it was who gave him me. 
B. I gave him 0oti- 
A, HoWl so? 
B. I but restored him.. 
mA   ou gaveme what I never need have taken.- 

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