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In several things about the body too the like caution is to be observed. Thus he that is jested on for a flat or hooked nose usually laughs at the jest. Thus Cassander's friend was not at all displeased when Theophrastus said to him, 'Tis strange, sir, that your eyes don't sing, since your nose is so near to give them the tune; and Cyrus commanded a long hawk-nosed fellow to marry a flat-nosed girl, for then they would very well agree. But a jest on any for his stinking breath or filthy nose is irksome; for baldness it may be borne, but for blindness or infirmity in the eyes it is intolerable. It is true, Antigonus would joke upon himself, and once, receiving a petition written in great letters, he said, This a man may read if he were stark blind. But he killed Theocritus the Chian for saying,—when one told him that as soon as he appeared before the King's eyes he would be pardoned,—Sir, then it is impossible for me to be saved. And the Byzantine to Pasiades saying, Sir, your eyes are weak, replied, You upbraid me with this infirmity, not considering that thy son carries the vengeance of Heaven on his back: now Pasiades's son was hunch-backed. And Archippus the popular Athenian was much displeased with Melanthius for being smart on his crooked back; for Melanthius had said that he did not stand at the head of the state (προεστάναι) but bowed down before it (προκεκυφέναι). It is true, some are not much concerned at such jeers. Thus Antigonus's friend, when he had begged a talent and was denied, desired a guard, lest somebody should rob him [p. 238] of that talent he was now to carry home. Different tempers make men differently affected, and that which troubles one is not regarded by another. Epaminondas feasting with his fellow-magistrates drank vinegar; and some asking if it was good for his health, he replied, I cannot tell that, but I know it makes me remember what I drink at home. Therefore it becomes every man that would rally, to look into the humors of his company, and take heed to converse without offence.
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