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I

[1arg] That the philosopher Musonius criticized and rebuked those who expressed approval of a philosopher's discourse by loud shouts and extravagant demonstrations of praise.


I have heard that the philosopher Musonius 1 was accustomed. . . 2 “When a philosopher,” he says, “is uttering words of encouragement, of warning, of persuasion, or of rebuke, or is discussing any other philosophical theme, then if his hearers utter trite and commonplace expressions of praise without reflection or restraint, if they shout too, if they gesticulate, if they are stirred and swayed and impassioned by the charm of his utterance, by the rhythm of his words, and by certain musical notes, 3 as it were, then you may know that speaker and hearers are wasting their time, and that they are not hearing a philosopher's lecture, but a flute-player's recital. The mind,” said he, “of one who is listening to a philosopher, so long as what is said is helpful and salutary, and furnishes a cure for faults and vices, has no time or leisure for continued and extravagant applause. Whoever the hearer may be, unless he is wholly lost, during the course of the philosopher's address he must necessarily shudder and feel secret shame and [p. 383] repentance, or rejoice or wonder, and even show changes of countenance and betray varying emotions, according as the philosopher's discourse has affected him and his consciousness of the different tendencies of his mind, whether noble or base.”

He added that great applause is not inconsistent with admiration, but that the greatest admiration gives rise, not to words, but to silence. “Therefore,” said he, "the wisest of all poets does not represent those who heard Ulysses' splendid account of his hardships as leaping up, when he ceased speaking, with shouts and noisy demonstrations, but he says they were one and all silent, as if amazed and confounded, since the gratification of their ears even affected their power of utterance.

Thus he; but they in silence all were hushed
And held in rapture through the shadowy hall. 4

1 p. 130, Hense.

2 There seems to be a lacuna in the text; see crit. note.

3 Heracus suggests fritamenta in i. 11, 12.

4 Odyss. xiii. 1. Odysseus (Ulysses) had just finished telling his story to Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, and his court.

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