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Diogenes of Sinope | Plutarch, Concerning the Cure of Anger

For supplication is an act of one who is far from contemning; and when he that hath done an injury appears submissive, he thereby removes all suspicion of contempt. But he that is moved to anger must not expect or wait for such a submission, but must rather take to himself the saying of Diogenes, who, when one said to him, They deride thee, O Diogenes, made answer, But I am not derided; and he must not think himself contemned, but rather himself contemn that man that offends him, as one acting out of weakness or error, rashness or carelessness, rudeness or dotage, or childishness. But, above all, we must bear with our servants and friends herein; for surely they do not despise us as being impotent or slothful, but they think less of us by reason of our very moderation or good-will towards them, some because we are gentle, others because we are loving towards them. But now, alas! out of a surmise that we are contemned, we not only become exasperated against our wives, our servants, and friends, but we oftentimes fall out also with drunken innkeepers, and mariners and ostlers, and all out of a suspicion that they despise us. Yea, we quarrel with dogs because they bark at us, and asses if they chance to rush against us; like him who was going to beat a driver of asses, but when the latter cried out, I am an Athenian, fell to beating the ass, saying, Thou surely art not an Athenian too, and so accosted him with many a bastinado.

Source: Plutarch’s Morals. Translated from the Greek by Several Hands. Corrected and Revised by William W. Goodwin, with an Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 5 Volumes. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878).

diogenes_of_sinope/plutarch_concerning_the_cure_of_anger.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:19 (external edit)