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Therefore everything that can be remembered is capable of giving pleasure; not only things that were pleasant at the time they happened, but some that were not, provided the after consequence of them was something right or good (right, morally; good, as tending to profit or advantage)1; whence the saying, ‘nay truly, pleasant it is to remember past troubles after deliverance (escape) from them’. Fragm. Eur. Andromed. XV (Dind. XXXVI), Wagner, Fragm. Poet. Trag. Gr. Vol. II p. 75, cited by Plut. Symp. II 1, p. 630 E, and translated by Cicero, de Fin. II 32. 105, suavis laborum est praeteritorum memoria. Cic. Ep. ad Fam. V 12. 2 habet enim praeteriti doloris secura recordatio delectationem. Wagner adds, ‘ex hoc loco et altero Archippi Comici apud Stobaeum LIX 7, profecisse Epictetum ap. Schweig. T. III, p. 104, scribentem, ὡς ἡδὺ τὴν θάλατταν ἀπὸ γῆς ὁρᾷν, οὕτως ἡδὺ τῷ σωθέντι μεμνῆσθαι πόνων, monuit Meinek. ad Menandrum p. 86.’ Stobaeus quotes a second verse of Archippus, ὡς—ὁρᾷν, ὦ μῆτέρ ἐστι, μὴ πλέοντα μηδαμοῦ, which supplies the link of association from which the pleasure is derived. It is from a contrast of past trouble with present immunity, and the feeling of security which it engenders; and it has for its foundation the same feeling as is suggested by the celebrated lines of the opening of the second book of Lucretius' poem, the famous suave mari magno. The same association, the sense of comfort and security derived from an uncomfortable contrast, is the foundation of the pleasure expressed in the exquisite lines of Sophocles, Fragm. Tymp. 563 (Dind.) apud Stobaeum LIX 12, φεῦ φεῦ, τί τούτου χάρμα μεῖζον ἂν λάβοις τοῦ γῆς ἐπιψαύσαντα κᾆθ᾽ ὑπὸ στέγῃ πυκνῆς ἀκοῦσαι ψεκάδος εὑδούσῃ φρενί;—to make the land, and then, the fatigues and perils past, to sit safe and snug under shelter, listening in dreamy and drowsy mood to the fastfalling drops of rain overhead—sign of the storm still raging, reminiscence of the past, and contrast with the comfort within. Comp. Cic. ad Atticum II 7, cupio istorum naufragia ex terra intueri; cupio, ut ait tuus amicus Sophocles, κἂν ὑπὸ στέγῃ et cet. Another illustration of this source of pleasure is taken from Homer Odys. o' (XV) 399, which Aristotle, as usual, has misquoted. With this compare Virg. Aen. I 202, revocate animos maestumque timorem mittite. Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. Comp. again Cic. ad Fam. l. c. Nihil est aptius ad delectationem lectoris quam temporum varietates fortunaeque vicissitudines: quae etsi nobis optabiles in experiendo non fuerunt, in legendo tamen erunt iucundae. τούτου δ᾽ αἴτιον κ.τ.λ.] ‘and the reason of this is that there is pleasure even in the absence of evil’; that is, in the way of contrast with our former condition, from which we are now relieved; all relief, the removal of oppression and constraint, is pleasurable.
1 When there has been no compensation of this kind, the remembrance of past suffering is painful. Ovid, Metam. IX 290, quin nunc quoque frigidus artus, dum loquor, horror habet; pars est meminisse doloris. XIII 283, (Ulysses) me miserum, quanto cogor meminisse dolore temporis illius, quo Graium murus Achilles procubuit. Virg. Aen. II 10, sed si tantus amor casus cognoscere nostros...quamquam animus meminisse horret luctuque refugit, incipiam. Dante, Inferno, c. V 121, Nessun maggior dolore, che ricordarsi del tempo felice nella miseria. Shaksp. Richard II. Act. I Sc. 3. 300, Oh no! the apprehension of the good gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
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