Sunday, June 05, 2005


Two Urns

Homer, Iliad 24.524-533 (tr. Samuel Butler):
On the floor of Jove's palace there stand two urns, the one filled with evil gifts, and the other with good ones. He for whom Jove the lord of thunder mixes the gifts he sends, will meet now with good and now with evil fortune; but he to whom Jove sends none but evil gifts will be pointed at by the finger of scorn, the hand of famine will pursue him to the ends of the world, and he will go up and down the face of the earth, respected neither by gods nor men.
Men receive either a mixture of good and evil, or unmixed evil. They never receive pure good without some evil mixed in.

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