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The second remedy is to take into serious consideration the practice of the opposite virtue, by always hearing, remembering, and having ready at hand the due praises [p. 243] and encomiums of reservedness and taciturnity, together with the majesty, sanctimony, and mysterious profoundness of silence. Let them consider how much more beloved, how much more admired, how far they are reputed to excel in prudence, who deliver their minds in few words, roundly and sententiously, and contract a great deal of sense within a small compass of speech, than such as fly out into voluminous language, and suffer their tongues to run before their wit. The former are those whom Plato so much praises, and likens unto skilful archers, darting forth their sentences thick and close, as it were crisped and curled one within another. To this same shrewdness of expression Lycurgus accustomed his fellow-citizens from their childhood by the exercise of silence, contracting and thickening their discourse into a compendious delivery. For as the Celtiberians make steel of iron by burying it in the ground, thereby to refine it from the gross and earthy part, so the Laconic way of speech has nothing of bark upon it, but by cutting off all superfluity of words, it becomes steeled and sharpened to pierce the understanding of the hearers. So their consciousness of language, so ready to turn the edge to all manner of questions, became natural by their extraordinary practice of silence. And therefore it would be very expedient for persons so much given to talk, always to have before their eyes the short and pithy sayings of those people, were it only to let them see the force and gravity which they contain. For example: The Lacedaemonians to Philip; Dionysius in Corinth. And when Philip wrote thus to the Spartans: If once I enter into your territories, I will destroy ye all, never to rise again; they answered him with the single word, If. To King Demetrius exclaiming in a great rage, What! have the Spartans sent me but one ambassador? the ambassador nothing terrified replied, Yes; one to one. Certainly they that spoke short and concisely were much admired by the [p. 244] ancients. Therefore the Amphictyons gave order, not that the Iliad or the Odyssey or Pindar's paeans should be written upon Pythian Apollo's temple; but Know thyself; Nothing too much; Give sureties, and mischief is at hand. So much did they admire conciseness of speech, comprehending full sense in so much brevity, made solid as it were by the force of a hammer. Does not the Deity himself study compendious utterance in the delivery of his oracles? Is he not therefore called Loxias,1 because he avoids rather loquacity than obscurity? Are not they that signify their meaning by certain signs, without words, in great admiration and highly applauded Thus Heraclitus, being desired by his fellow-citizens to give them his opinion concerning Concord, ascended the public pulpit, and taking a cup of cold water into his hand, first sprinkled it with a little flour, then stirring it with a sprig of pennyroyal, drank it off, and so came don again; intimating thereby, that if men would but be contented with what was next at hand, without longing after dainties and superfluities, it would be an easy thing for cities to live in peace and concord one with another.

Scilurus, king of the Scythians, left fourscore sons behind him ; who, when he found the hour of death approaching, ordered them to bring him a bundle of small javelins, and then commanded every one singly to try whether lie could break the bundle, as it was, tied up altogether; which when they told him it was impossible for them to do, he drew out the javelins one by one, and brake them all himself with case ; thereby declaring that, so long as they kept together united and in concord, their force would be invincible, but that by disunion and discord they would enfeeble each other, and render their dominion of small continuance.

1 The name Loxias is usually derived from λοξός, indirect. (G.)

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