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‘We are angry also with those that rejoice at our misfortunes or in general maintain a cheerful demeanour in the midst of our distresses: for this is a mark either of downright enmity or of contemptuous indifference’. ὅλως, without any special indications of joy, yet maintain a most provoking air of serenity and indifference whilst they cheerfully contemplate our vexations and annoyances—everyone who has ever had experience of this (and who has not?) knows well how provoking it is. ‘And with those who don't care (who exhibit no solicitude, or sympathy; comp. infra § 21, οἱ γὰρ φίλοι συναλγοῦσιν) when they give us pain; and this is why we are angry with the messengers of evil tidings’ (ingenious solution). Or the explanation might be, that the first surprise and annoyance at the unwelcome intelligence associates the bearer with his news. That messengers of unwelcome news are liable to a rough reception from those to whom they communicate them, is noticed also by Aesch., Pers. 255, ὤμοι κακὸν μὲν πρῶτον ἀγγέλλειν κακά, Soph. Antig. 277, στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν. Shakespeare, Henry IV. Pt. II. Act I, sc. 1. 100, Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news hath but a losing office. Antony and Cleop. II 5, Though it be honest it is never good to bring bad news. Macbeth, V 5, Liar and slave—(to the messenger, who comes to announce the moving of Birnam wood).
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