Villain, this pious blow shall cleave thy head;what a bustle she raises in the whole theatre while she raises herself to give the blow, and what a fear they are all in, lest she should prevent the old man that comes to stop her hand, and should wound the youth. Now if another old man should stand by her and say, ‘Strike, it is thy enemy,’ and this, ‘Hold, it is thy son;’ which, think you, would be the greater injustice, to omit the punishing of an enemy for the sake of one's child, or to suffer one's self to be so transported with anger at an enemy as to kill one's child? Since then neither hatred nor wrath nor any revenge nor fear for ourselves carries us to the slaughter of a beast, but the poor sacrifice stands with an inclined neck, only to satisfy thy lust and pleasure, and then one philosopher stands by and tells thee, ‘Cut him down, it is but an unreasonable animal,’ and another cries, ‘Hold, what if there should be the soul of some kinsman or God inclosed in him’—good Gods! is there the like danger if I refuse to eat flesh, as if I for want of faith murder my child or some other friend? [p. 16]
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1 Eurip. Cresphontes, Frag. 457.
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