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To both the matters we have mentioned above many poets have borne witness in verse; to the law on evil association as follows1:“ The man who takes delight in converse with
The base, I never ask his kind, aware
He's just like those with whom he likes to be;
”to the law he proclaimed on a stepmother as follows2:“ Charondas, giver of laws, so men relate,
In legal code says many things, but this
Above all else: Let him who on his offspring
A second mother foists be held without
Esteem nor count among his countrymen
For aught, since it's a bane that he hath brought
From alien source upon his own affairs.
For if, he says to him, you fortunate were
When wedded first, forbear when you're well off,
And if your luck was bad, a madman's act
It surely is to try a second wife.
”For in truth the man who errs twice in the same matter may justly be considered a fool. [2] And Philemon, the writer of comedy, when introducing men who repeatedly sail the seas, after commending the law, says:“ Amazement holds me, no longer if a man
Has gone to sea, but if he's done it twice.
Philemon fr. 183 (Kock)Similarly one may say that one is not amazed if a man has married, but if he has married a second time; for it is better to expose oneself twice to the sea than to a woman. [3] Indeed the greatest and most grievous quarrels in homes between children and fathers are caused by stepmothers, and this fact is the cause of many lawless acts which are portrayed in tragic scenes upon the stage.

1 Eur. Phoenix fr. 812 (Nauck). The passage in fuller form is quoted by Aeschin. 1.152. These lines are also attributed to Menander, who, Kock thinks (Menander fr. 414), may have quoted them from Euripides.

2 From an unknown comic poet (anon. fr. 110 (Kock)).

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aeschines, Against Timarchus, 152
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