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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 944

Diogenes Laërtius. (fl. early 3d cent.) (continued)
    Chilo advised, “not to speak evil of the dead.” 1
          Chilo. ii.
    Pittacus said that half was more than the whole. 2
          Pittacus. ii.
    Heraclitus says that Pittacus, when he had got Alcæus into his power, released him, saying, “Forgiveness is better than revenge.” 3
          Pittacus. iii.
    One of his sayings was, “Even the gods cannot strive against necessity.” 4
          Pittacus. iv.
    Another was, “Watch your opportunity.”
          Pittacus. vii.
    Bias used to say that men ought to calculate life both as if they were fated to live a long and a short time, and that they ought to love one another as if at a future time they would come to hate one another; for that most men were bad.
          Bias. v.
    Ignorance plays the chief part among men, and the multitude of words; 5 but opportunity will prevail.
          Cleobulus. iv.
    The saying, “Practice is everything,” is Periander’s. 6
          Periander. vi.
    Anarcharsis, on learning that the sides of a ship were four fingers thick, said that “the passengers were just that distance from death.” 7
          Anarcharsis. v.
    He used to say that it was better to have one friend of great value than many friends who were good for nothing.
          Anarcharsis. v.
Note 1.
De mortuis nil nisi bonum (Of the dead be nothing said but what is good.)—Of unknown authorship. [back]
Note 2.
See Hesiod, Quotation 6. [back]
Note 3.
Quoted by Epictetus (Fragment lxii.), “Forgiveness is better than punishment; for the one is the proof of a gentle, the other of a savage nature.” [back]
Note 4.
See Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar, Quotation 63. [back]
Note 5.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.—Proverbs x. 19. [back]
Note 6.
See Publius Syrus, Quotation 42. [back]
Note 7.
”How thick do you judge the planks of our ship to be?” “Some two good inches and upward,” returned the pilot. “It seems, then, we are within two fingers’ breadth of damnation.”—Francis Rabelais: book iv. chap. xxiii. [back]