Plutarch, Moralia 471. E.F

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טקסט

יוונית

D

οὐχ ἥκιστα τοίνυν εὐθυμίαν κολούει τὸ μὴ συμμέτροις χρῆσθαι πρὸς τὴν ὑποκειμένην δύναμιν ὁρμαῖς ὥσπερ ἱστίοις, ἀλλὰ μειζόνων ἐφιεμένους ταῖς ἐλπίσιν εἶτ᾽ ἀποτυγχάνοντας αἰτιᾶσθαι δαίμονα καὶ τύχην ἀλλὰ μὴ τὴν αὑτῶν ἀβελτερίαν. οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ τοξεύειν τῷ ἀρότρῳ βουλόμενος καὶ τῷ βοῒ τὸν λαγωὸν κυνηγετεῖν δυστυχής ἐστιν οὐδ᾽ ὁ γρίφοις καὶ σαγήναις ἐλάφους μὴ λαμβάνων οὐδ᾽ οἷς δαίμων οὐκ ἐναντιοῦται μοχθηρός, ἀλλ᾽ ἀβελτερίᾳ

E

καὶ μωρίᾳ τοῖς ἀδυνάτοις ἐπιχειροῦσα. αἴτιον δ᾽ ἡ φιλαυτία μάλιστα, φιλοπρώτους ποιοῦσα καὶ φιλονίκους; ἐν πᾶσι καὶ πάντων ἐπιδραττομένους ἀπλήστως οὐ γὰρ πλούσιοι μόνον ὁμοῦ καὶ λόγιοι καὶ ἰσχυροὶ καὶ συμποτικοὶ καὶ ἡδεῖς εἶναι καὶ φίλοι βασιλέων καὶ πόλεων ἄρχοντες ἀξιοῦσιν, ἀλλ᾽ εἰ μὴ καὶ κύνας ἕξουσι πρωτεύοντας ἀρετῇ καὶ ἵππους καὶ ὄρτυγας καὶ ἀλεκτρυόνας ἀθυμοῦσι. Διονύσιος; ὁ πρεσβύτερος οὐκ ἠγάπα μέγιστος ὢν τῶν τότε τυράννων, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι: Φιλοξένου τοῦ ποιητοῦ μὴ βέλτιον ᾖδε

F

μηδὲ περιῆν ἐν τῷ διαλέγεσθαι Πλάτωνος, ὀργισθεὶς καὶ παροξυνθεὶς τὸν μὲν εἰς τὰς λατομίας ἐνέβαλε τὸν δ᾽ ἀπέδοτο πέμψας εἰς Αἴγιναν. οὐ τοιοῦτος δ᾽ ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπεὶ Κρίσων ὁ σταδιοδρόμος ἁμιλλώμενος αὐτῷ περὶ τάχους ἔδοξεν ἑκὼν παρεῖναι, σφόδρα διηγανάκτησεν, εὖ δὲ καὶ ὁ ποιητικὸς Ἀχιλλεὺς ὑπειπὼν τοῖος ἐὼν οἷος οὔ τις Ἀχαιῶν χαλκοχιτώνων 1 ἐπήνεγκεν ἐν πολέμῳ: ἀγορῇ δὲ τ᾽ ἀμείνονές εἰσι καὶ ἄλλοι Μεγάβυζον δὲ τὸν Πέρσην εἰς τὸ ζωγραφεῖον ἀναβάντα

אנגלית

D Further, another matter which greatly interferes with tranquillity of mind is that we do not manage our impulses, as sailors do their sails, to correspond to our capacity; in our expectations we aim at things too great; then, when we fail, we blame our destiny and our fortune instead of our own folly. For he is not unfortunate who wishes to shoot with his plough and hunt the hare with his ox, nor does a malicious destiny oppose him who cannot capture deer or boar with fishing creels or drag-nets; it is through folly and stupidity that such men attempt the impossible. And self-love is chiefly to blame, which makes men eager to be first and to be victorious in everything and insatiably desirous of engaging in everything. E For not only do men demand to be at the same time rich and learned and strong and convivial spirits and good company, and friends of kings and magistrates of cities, but unless they shall also have dogs and horses and quails and cocks that can win prizes, they are disconsolate.

The elder Dionysius was not content with being the greatest tyrant of his age, but because he could not sing verses better than the poet Philoxenus or get the better of Plato in dialectic, enraged and embittered, he cast Philoxenus into the stone-quarries, and, sending Plato to Aegina, sold him into slavery. Alexander was not of this temper, but when Crison, the famous sprinter, ran a race with him and appeared to slacken his pace deliberately, Alexander was very indignant. F And when the Homeric Achilles had first said,

Of the bronze-clad Achaeans none is a match for me,

he did well to add,

In war; but in speaking others are better than I.

But when Megabyzus the Persian came up to the studio of Apelles and attempted to chatter about art, Apelles shut his mouth by saying, "As long as you kept still, you seemed to be somebody because of your gold and purple; but now even these lads who grind the pigments are laughing at your nonsense."

הערות

  • פלוטרכוס מדבר על הרצון האנושי להצטיין בכל תחום ותחום, ועל התגובה האנושית כאשר מתברר שלא ניתן להשיג הצטיינות שכזו. אחד המקרים המובאים לדוגמא הוא תחרות ריצה בין אלכסנדר לקריסון, אצן מפורסם. ככל הנראה קריסון האט את קצב הריצה בכוונה וזאת כדי לאפשר לאלכסנדר לנצח, ואלכסנדר לא אהב זאת.

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