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In this connexion might be adduced the utterance of Socrates 1 which suggests that if we were all to bring our misfortunes into a common store, so that each person should receive an equal share in the distribution, the majority would be glad to take up their own and depart. The poet Antimachus, also, employed a similar method. For after the death of his wife, Lyde, whom he loved very dearly, he composed, as a consolation for his grief, the elegy called Lyde, in which he enumerated the misfortunes of the heroes, and thus made his own grief less by means of others' ills. So it is clear that he who tries to console a person in grief, and demonstrates that the calamity is one which is common to many, and less than the calamities which have befallen others, changes the opinion of the one in grief and gives him a similar conviction— that his calamity is really less than he supposed it to be.
1 Not original with Socrates, cf. Herodotus, vii. 152; attributed to Solon by Valerius Maximus, vii. 2, ext. 2.