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ing an accepted law, whatever it may be, as there is harm in disturbing it; inasmuch as a system of government is like a structure of many parts so closely bound together that it is impossible to move one of them without the whole building feeling it. The law-maker of the Thurians[1] decreed that whoever should desire either to repeal an old law, or to introduce a new one, should present himself before the people with a rope about his neck, so that, if the innovation were not approved by every one, he might be instantly hanged. And he of Lacedæmon[2] spent his life in obtaining from his fellow citizens a firm promise not to violate any of his decrees. The ephor who so harshly cut the two strings that Phrynis had added to his lyre was not concerned as to whether it was bettered by them, or whether the chords were the richer; it was enough for their condemnation that they were a change from the old mode.[3] The same was signified by the rusted sword of justice at Marseilles.[4]

(b) I am disgusted with novelty, whatever aspect it bears; and rightly so, for I have seen most harmful consequences of it. That which has been harrying us for so many years[5] has not seized upon every thing; but we can say with plausibility that incidentally it has produced and given birth to every thing, verily, even to the ills and destruction which in the meantime have taken place without it and in opposition to it; there is good reason for it to blame itself therefor.[6]

Heu! patior telis vulnera facta meis.[7]

They who first shake a state are easily the first to be involved in its ruin. (c) The profit of the disturbance seldom falls to the lot of him who has stirred it up: he lashes and muddies the water for other fishers. (b) The joints and

  1. Zaleucus, the legislator of the Locrians. See Diodorus Siculus, XII, 4; Plato, Phædo.
  2. Lycurgus. See Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus.
  3. See Idem, Apothegms of the Lacedæmonians.
  4. See Valerius Maximus, II, 6, ext. 7.
  5. In 1588: depuis vingt-cing ou trente ans.
  6. C’est à elle à s’en prendre au nez.
  7. Alas! I suffer from wounds made by my own weapons. — Ovid, Heroïdes, II, 48 (Epistle of Phyllis to Demophoön).