Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

to him, “ Sir, I would not have you go hence,

, “ while the moon is in the sign of Scorpio.' Cassius answered, I am more afraid of that of Sagittarius.”

122. Alexander, after the battle of Granicum, had very great offers made him by Darius ; consulting with his captains concerning them, Parmenio said, “ Sure I would accept of these offers, if I were as

Alexander.” Alexander answered, “ So would I, « if I were as Parmenio."

123. Alexander was wont to say, he knew himself to be mortal, chiefly by two things; sleep and lust.

124. Augustus Cæsar was invited to supper by one of his old friends that had conversed with him in his less fortunes, and had but ordinary entertainment. Whereupon, at his going, he said ; “ I did not know you and I were so familiar.”

125. Augustus Cæsar would say ; “ That he “ wondered that Alexander feared he should “ “ want work, having no more to conquer ; as if “it were not as hard a matter to keep as to conquer.”

126. Antigonus, when it was told him that the enemy had such volumes of arrows that they did hide the sun, said ; " That falls out well, for

, “it is hot weather, and we shall fight in the u shade.”

127. Augustus Cæsar did write to Livia, who was over-sensible of some ill-words that had been spoken of them both : “ Let it not trouble thee, my

“ Livia, if any man speak ill of us ; for we have “ enough that no man can do ill unto us."

128. Chilon said, that kings, friends, and favourites, were like casting counters; that sometimes stood for one, sometimes for ten, sometimes for an hundred.

129. Theodosius, when he was pressed by a suitor, and denied him; the suitor said, “Why, Sir, you “ promised it.” He answered; “I said it, but I did “ not promise it if it be unjust.”

130. Agathocles, after he had taken Syracuse, the men whereof, during the seige, had in a bravery spoken of him all the villany that might be, sold the Syracusans for slaves, and said, “ Now if you use “ such words of me, I will tell your master of you."

131. Dionysius the elder, when he saw his son in many things very inordinate, said to him, “ Did you “ ever know me do such things ?” His son answered, “

No, but you had not a tyrant to your « father.” The father replied, “ No, nor you, if you “ take these courses, will have a tyrant to your son."

132. Calisthenes, the philosopher, that followed Alexander's court, and hated the king, being asked by one, how one should become the famousest man in the world, answered, “ By taking him away that is."

133. Sir Edward Coke was wont to say, when a great man came to dinner to him, and

gave knowledge of his coming, “Sir, since you sent me “ no word of your coming, you must dine with me;

[ocr errors]

him no

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ but if I had known of it in due time, I would have “dined with you."

134. The Romans, when they spake to the people, were wont to stile them, Ye Romans: when commanders in war spake to their arıny, they stiled them, My soldiers. There was a mutiny in Cæsar's army, and somewhat the soldiers would have had, yet they would not declare themselves in it, but only demanded a mission, or discharge; though with no intention it shoull be granted: but knowing that Cæsar had at that time great need of their service, thought by that means to wrench him to their other desires : whereupon with one cry they asked mission. Cæsar, after silence made, said ; “ I for my part, ye “ Romans." This title did actually speak them to be dismissed : which voice they had no sooner heard, but they mutined again ; and would not suffer him to go on with his speech, until he had called them by the name of his soldiers : and so with that one word he appeased the sedition.

135. Cæsar would say of Sylla, for that he did resign his dictatorship; “ Sylla was ignorant of letters, he could not dictate.”

136. Seneca said of Cæsar, " that he did quickly "shew the sword, but never leave it off.”

137. Diogenes begging, as divers philosophers then used, did beg more of a prodigal man, than of the rest which were present. Whereupon one said to him; “ See your baseness, that when you find a

a “ liberal mind, you will take most of him.”

[ocr errors]

No,"

said Diogenes, “but I mean to beg of the rest “ again."

138. Jason the Thessalian was wont to say, “ that some things must be done unjustly, that many “ things may be done justly."

139. Sir Nicholas Bacon being keeper of the seal, when queen Elizabeth, in progress, came to his

, house at Redgrave, and said to him, “ My lo. what “ a little house have you gotten ?” said, “ Madam,

my house is well, but it is you that have made me “ too great for my

house." 140. Themistocles, when an ambassador from a mean Estate did speak great matters, said to him, Friend, your words would require a city.”

141. Agesilaus, when one told him there was one did excellently counterfeit a nightingale, and would have had him hear him, said, “ Why I have heard “the nightingale herself.”

142. A great nobleman, upon the complaint of a servant of his, laid a citizen by the heels, thinking to bend him to his servant's desire; but the fellow being stubborn, the servant came to his lord, and told him, “ Your lordship, I know, hath gone as far as "s well you may, but it works not; for yonder fellow “ is more perverse than before." Said my lord, “ Let's forget him a while, and then he will remem“ber himself."

143. One came to a cardinal in Rome, and told him, that he had brought his lordship a dainty white

hut he fell lame by the way. Saith the car

[ocr errors]

a

dinal to him, “ I'll tell thee what thou shalt do; go " to such a cardinal, and such a cardinal,” naming him some half a dozen cardinals, “ and tell them as “ much; and so whereas by thy horse, if he had been “ sound, thou couldest have pleased but one, with thy “ lame horse thou mayest please half a dozen.”

144. Iphicrates the Athenian, in a treaty that he had with the Lacedæmonians for peace, in which question was about security for observing the same, said, “ The Athenians would not accept of any se

curity, except the Lacedæmonians did yield up “ unto them those things, whereby it might be manifest, that they could not hurt them if they would.” 145. Euripides would say

of

persons that were beautiful, and yet in some years,

• In fair bodies “not only the spring is pleasant, but also the autumn."

146. After a great fight, there came to the camp of Consalvo, the great captain, a gentleman, proudly horsed and armed. Diego de Mendoza

. asked the great captain, " Who is this?” Who answered, " It is Saint Ermin, who never appears but " after a storm."

147. There was a captain sent to an exploit by his general with forces that were not likely to atchieve the enterprize; the captain said to him, “ Sir," appoint but half so many." Why ?" saith the general. The captain answered, “ Because it is " better fewer die than more."

148. They would say of the duke of Guise, Henry, that had sold and oppignerated all his

« PreviousContinue »