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But many there are who blame all things; and whatsoever unexpectedly happens to them, they think is procured them by the malignity of Fortune and the spite of some evil genius. Wherefore they are querulous and cry out upon every occasion, inveighing against the bitterness of their mishaps. Their complaints we may not unfitly obviate with this expression,—
The Gods do hurt thee not, but thou thyself,—
even thou thyself through perverseness and want of good instruction. And by reason of this false and deceiving opinion they accuse any kind of death; for if one die upon his travel, they exclaim after this manner:—
The wretch, his father being absent, dies;
Nor did his aged mother close his eyes.
1
If he die in his own country, with his parents about him, they lament that he is ravished out of their hands, and hath left them nothing but regret for his loss. If he [p. 330] die silent, giving them no instructions at parting, they complain thus:— His tender dying words I (lid not hear, Which I in my remembrance still should bear.2 If he spoke any thing before he breathed out his soul, they keep those last accents as fuel to maintain their sorrow still kindled. If he die a sudden death, they cry out that he is snatched away; if chronical pains waste him, they will tell you that the slow distemper hath emaciated him to death. Thus every appearance, take it which way you will, is sufficient to stir up your complaints. These thingsthe poets have introduced, and the chiefest among them, Homer, who sung after this manner:—
As a poor father, helpless and undone,
Mourns o'er the ashes of an only son,
Takes a sad pleasure the last bones to burn,
And pours in tears ere yet they close the urn.
3
And whether these things are justly lamented doth not yet appear. But see what he elsewhere sings:—
Born in his elder years, his only boy,
Who was designed his riches to enjoy.
4

1 Il. XI. 452.

2 Il. XXIV. 744.

3 Il. XXIII. 222; XVII. 37.

4 Il. IX. 482.

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