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After this a great many sayings were mentioned as unseasonably spoken, it being fit that we should know such and avoid them;—as that to Pompey the Great, to whom, upon his return from a dangerous war, the schoolmaster brought his little daughter, and, to show him what a proficient she was, called for a book, and bade her begin at this line,
Returned from war; but hadst thou there been slain,
My wish had been complete;

[p. 438] and that to Cassius Longinus, to whom a flying report of his son's dying abroad being brought, and he no ways appearing either to know the certain truth or to clear the doubt, an old senator came and said: Longinus, will you not despise the flying uncertain rumor, as if you neither knew nor had read this line,

For no report is wholly false?2

And he that at Rhodes, to a grammarian demanding a line upon which he might show his skill in the theatre, proposed this,

Fly from the island, worst of all mankind,3

either slyly put a trick upon him, or unwittingly blundered. And this discourse quieted the tumult.

1 Il. III. 428.

2 Hesiod, Works and Days, 763.

3 Odyss. X. 72.

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