Complete Works of Plutarch - Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies
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like a wise physician, who treats a complicated disease of long standing occasionally with harmless indulgences to please his patient, and occasionally, too, with caustics and bitter drugs which work salvation. 4 For whereas all sorts of distempers, as was to be expected, were rife in a rabble which possessed such a vast empire, he alone was so endowed by nature that he could manage each one of these cases suitably, and more than anything else he used the people’s hopes and fears, like rudders,
praise.” 5 And he exhorted them, in case it was through virtue and temperance that they had become great, to make no change for the worse; but if it was through intemperance and vice, to change for the better; these had already made them great enough. Of those who were eager to hold high office frequently, he said that like men who did not know the road, they sought to be ever attended on their way by lictors, lest they go astray. 6 He censured his fellow citizens for choosing the same men over
beautiful youths. This officer was enamoured of one of the young men who served under him, by name Trebonius, and had on made unsuccessful attempts to seduce him. 4 But finally, at night, he sent a servant with a summons for Trebonius. The young man came, since he could not refuse to obey a summons, but when he had been introduced into the tent and Caius attempted violence upon him, he drew his sword and slew him. Marius was not with the army when this happened; but on his return he brought
unbecoming. 5 Pompey himself approved of those physicians who never gratify the morbid desires of their patients, and yet he yielded to the diseased passion of his followers, for fear of offending if he tried to heal and save them. For how can one say that those men were sound and well, some of whom were already going about among the soldiers and canvassing for consulships and praetorships, while Spinther, Domitius, and Scipio were quarrelling, scheming, and conspiring over the pontificate of
mysteries of Samothrace at the same time with Olympias, he himself being still a youth and she an orphan child, fell in love with her and betrothed himself to her at once with the consent of her brother, Arymbas. 3 Well, then, the night before that on which the marriage was consummated, the bride dreamed that there was a peal of thunder and that a thunder-bolt fell upon her womb, and that thereby much fire was kindled, which broke into flames that travelled all about, and then was extinguished. 4