The Memorabilia

The Memorabilia

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The Memorabilia by Xenophon

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The Memorabilia

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Translated by H.G. Dakyns

Book Excerpt

eral foresee whether it will profit him to conduct a campaign, nor a politician be certain whether his leadership will turn to evil or good. Nor can the man who weds a fair wife, looking forward to joy, know whether through her he shall not reap sorrow. Neither can he who has built up a powerful connection in the state know whether he shall not by means of it be cast out of his city. To suppose that all these matters lay within the scope of human judgment, to the exclusion of the preternatural, was preternatural folly. Nor was it less extravagant to go and consult the will of Heaven on any questions which it is given to us to decide by dint of learning. As though a man should inquire, "Am I to choose an expert driver as my coachman, or one who has never handled the reins?" "Shall I appoint a mariner to be skipper of my vessel, or a landsman?" And so with respect to all we may know by numbering, weighing, and measuring. To seek advice from Heaven on such points was a sort of profanity. "Our duty is plain," he

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