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And here that opinion of Socrates comes in very pertinently, who thought that if all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. After this manner Antimachus the poet allayed [p. 308] his grief when he lost his wife Lyde, whom he tenderly loved; for he writ an elegy upon her, which he called by her own name, and in it he numbered up all the calamities which have befallen great men; and so by the remembrance of other men's sorrows he assuaged his own. By this it may appear, that he who comforts another who is macerating himself with grief, and demonstrates to him, by reckoning up their several misfortunes, that he suffers nothing but what is common to him with other men, takes the surest way to lessen the opinion he had of his condition, and brings him to believe that it is not altogether so bad as he took it to be.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1928)
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