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Pannonis haud aliter post ictum sævior ursa,
Cum jaculum parva Lybis amentavit habena,
Se rotat in vulnus, telumque irata receptum
Impetit, et secum fugientem circuit hastam.[1]

(a) What causes do we not invent for the misfortunes that befall us! What do we not take offence at, rightly or wrongly, in order to have something to spar with! It was not those fair locks that you are tearing, or the whiteness of that breast which in anger you beat so cruelly, that killed your beloved brother with a miserable bit of lead; turn your wrath elsewhere.

(c) Livy, speaking of the Roman army in Spain after the loss of the two brothers, its great captains, says: Flere omnes repente et offensare capita.[2] That is a common custom. And the philosopher Bion — did he not remark facetiously of that king who in his grief tore out his hair, “Does he think that baldness is a cure for grief?”[3] (a) Who has not seen men chew and swallow cards and gulp down dice, by way of revenge for the loss of their money? Xerxes (c) whipped the Hellespont, and branded it, and caused numberless insults to be heaped upon it, and (a) sent a challenge to Mount Athos;[4] and Cyrus delayed a whole army for several days, that he might avenge himself on the river Gyndus for the alarm he had had in crossing it;[5] and Caligula destroyed a very beautiful house because of the suffering[6] his mother had endured in it. (c) In my youth it was said by the common people that one of our neighbouring kings, having received a scourging at God’s hands, swore to be revenged upon him, and decreed that for ten years no one should pray to or speak of him, and that, so long as he himself had au-

  1. So the Pannonian bear, the fiercer after being wounded by the Libyan lance hurled at her by its slender thong, turns upon the wound and furiously assaults the shaft lodged in her, and circles about the dart that flees with her. — Lucan, VI, 220.
  2. All burst into tears and beat their heads. — Livy, XXV, 37. The two brothers were Publius and Cneius Scipio.
  3. See Cicero, Tusc. Disp., III, 26.
  4. See Herodotus, VII, 35; Plutarch, Of the Cure of Anger.
  5. See Herodotus, I, 189.
  6. The text reads pour le plaisir, but this is thought to be an unquestionable misprint. See Seneca, De Ira, III, 22.