Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Page 913

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 913

Plutarch. (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120) (continued)
    When some were saying that if Cæsar should march against the city they could not see what forces there were to resist him, Pompey replied with a smile, bidding them be in no concern, “for whenever I stamp my foot in any part of Italy there will rise up forces enough in an instant, both horse and foot.”
          Life of Pompey.
    The most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men.
          Life of Alexander.
    Whenever Alexander heard Philip had taken any town of importance, or won any signal victory, instead of rejoicing at it altogether, he would tell his companions that his father would anticipate everything, and leave him and them no opportunities of performing great and illustrious actions. 1
          Life of Alexander.
    Alexander said, “I assure you I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion.”
          Life of Alexander.
    When Alexander asked Diogenes whether he wanted anything, “Yes,” said he, “I would have you stand from between me and the sun.”
          Life of Alexander.
    When asked why he parted with his wife, Cæsar replied, “I wished my wife to be not so much as suspected.” 2
          Life of Cæsar.
    For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome. 3
          Life of Cæsar.
    Using the proverb frequently in their mouths who enter upon dangerous and bold attempts, “The die is cast,” he took the river. 4
          Life of Cæsar.
Note 1.
While Alexander was a boy, Philip had great success in his affairs, at which he did not rejoice, but told the children that were brought up with him, “My father will leave me nothing to do.”—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Alexander.) [back]
Note 2.
Cæsar’s wife ought to be free from suspicion.—Roman Apophthegms. (Cæsar.) [back]
Note 3.
I had rather be the first in this town than second in Rome.—Ibid. [back]
Note 4.
He passed the river Rubicon, saying, “Let every die be thrown.”—Ibid. [back]