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As therefore one said of Philip, when he razed the city of Olynthus, But he is not able to build such another [p. 46] city; so may it be said to anger, Thou canst overthrow, and destroy, and cut down; but to restore, to save, to spare, and to bear with, is the work of gentleness and moderation, of a Camillus, a Metellus, an Aristides, and a Socrates; but to strike the sting into one and to bite is the part of pismires and horse-flies. And truly, while I well consider revenge, I find that the way which anger takes for it proves for the most part ineffectual, being spent in biting the lips, gnashing the teeth, vain assaults, and railings full of silly threats; and then it acts like children in a race, who, for want of governing themselves, tumble down ridiculously before they come to the goal towards which they are hastening. Hence that Rhodian said not amiss to the servant of the Roman general, who spake loudly and fiercely to him, It matters not much what thou sayest, but what this your master in silence thinks. And Sophocles, having introduced Neoptolemus and Eurypylus in full armor, gave a high commendation of them when he said,—
Into the hosts of brazen-armed men
Each boldly charged, but ne'er reviled his foe.
Some indeed of the barbarians poison their swords; but true valor has no need of choler, as being dipped in reason; but anger and fury are weak and easily broken. Wherefore the Lacedaemonians are wont by the sounding of pipes to take off the edge of anger from their soldiers, when they fight; and before they go to battle, to sacrifice to the Muses, that they may have the steady use of their reason; and when they have put their enemies to flight, they pursue them not, but sound a retreat (as it were) to their wrath, which, like a short dagger, can easily be handled and drawn back. But anger makes slaughter of thousands before it can avenge itself, as it did of Cyrus and Pelopidas the Theban. Agathocles, being reviled by some whom he besieged, bore it with mildness; and when one [p. 47] said to him, O Potter, whence wilt thou have pay for thy mercenary soldiers? he answered with laughter, From your city, if I can take it. And when some onefrom the wall derided Antigonus for his deformity, he answered, I thought surely I had a handsome face: and when he had taken the city, he sold those for slaves who had scoffed at him, protesting that, if they reviled him so again, he would call them to account before their masters.

Furthermore, I observe that hunters and orators are wont to be much foiled by anger. Aristotle reports that the friends of Satyrus once stopped his ears with wax, when he was to plead a cause, that so he might not confound the matter through anger at the revilings of his enemies. Do we not ourselves oftentimes miss of punishing an offending servant, because he runs away from us in fright when he hears our threatening words? That therefore which nurses say to little children—Do not cry, and thou shalt have it—may not unfitly be applied to our mind when angry. Be not hasty, neither speak too loud, nor be too urgent, and so what you desire will be sooner and better accomplished. For as a father, when he sees his son about to cleave or cut something with an hatchet, takes the hatchet himself and doth it for him; so one taking the work of revenge out of the hand of anger doth himself, without danger or hurt, yea, with profit also, inflict punishment on him that deserves it, and not on himself instead of him, as anger oft-times doth.

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