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Pliny the Elder, The Natural History (ed. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A.) 6 0 Browse Search
Plato, Republic 2 0 Browse Search
Epictetus, Works (ed. George Long) 2 0 Browse Search
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Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
skilful to distinguish the good and the bad; but if he is without experience, he will never know, if I write to him ten thousand times.Mrs. Carter says 'This is one of the many extravagant refinements of the philosophers; and might lead persons into very dangerous mistakes, if it was laid down as a maxim in ordinary life.' I think that Mrs. Carter has not seen the meaning of Epictetus. The philosopher will discover the man's character by trying him, as the assayer tries the silver by a test. Cicero (De legibus, i. 9) says that the face expresses the hidden character. Euripides (Medea, 518) says better, that no mark is impressed on the body by which we can distinguish the good man from the bad. Shakspere says There's no art To find the mind's destruction in the face. Macbeth, act i. sc. 4. For it is just the same as if a drachma (a piece of silver money) asked to be recommended to a person to be tested. If he is skilful in testing silver, he will know what you are, for you (the drachma