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And of this sort also are those enigmatical sayings of Pythagoras, as Demetrius of Byzantium says, in the fourth book of his treatise on Poets, where, for instance, he says, “A man should not eat his heart;” meaning, “a man should cultivate cheerfulness.”“One should not stir the fire with a sword;” meaning, “One should not provoke an angry man;” for anger is fire, and quarrelsomeness is a sword. “One should not step over a yoke” meaning, “one should avoid and hate all kinds of covetousness, but seek equality.”“One should not travel along the high road;” meaning, One should not follow the opinions of the multitude, (for the common people approve of whatever they take in their heads without any fixed principle,) but one should rather go on the straight road, using sense as one's guide." “One should not sit down upon a bushel;” meaning, “one should not be content with merely considering what is sufficient for the present day, but one should always have an eye to the future” * * * * * * 1“For death is the boundary and limit of life;” and this saying is meant to forbid us approaching the subject with anxiety and grief.
1 A line or two is lost here, containing probably the enigmatical sentence subsequently referred to.
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