Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hiding Troubles

Pindar, fragment 42 (tr. William H. Race):
...do not display to strangers what toil
we are bearing; this at least I shall tell you:
one must show one's portion
of noble and pleasant things openly
to all the people; but if any heaven-sent,
unbearable trouble befalls men,
it is fitting to hide it in darkness.

...ἀλλοτρίοισιν μὴ προφαίνειν, τίς φέρεται
μόχθος ἄμμιν· τοῦτό γέ τοι ἐρέω·
καλῶν μὲν ὦν μοῖράν τε τερπνῶν
ἐς μέσον χρὴ παντὶ λαῷ
δεικνύναι· εἰ δέ τις ἀνθρώ-
ποισι θεόσδοτος ἀτλάτα κακότας
προστύχῃ, ταύταν σκότει κρύπτειν ἔοικεν.
Why hide troubles? To avoid the laughter of enemies. See, e.g., Euripides, fragment 460 Nauck:
It is a painful thing for someone to fall into shameful ruin; but if this should happen, one should conceal and cover it up well, and not announce these things to the whole world; for such things become a source of laughter to enemies.

λύπη μὲν ἄτῃ περιπεσεῖν αἰσχρᾷ τινι·
εἰ δ᾽ οὖν γένοιτο, χρὴ περιστεῖλαι καλῶς
κρύπτοντα καὶ μὴ πᾶσι κηρύσσειν τάδε·
γέλως γὰρ ἐχθροῖς γίγνεται τὰ τοιάδε.
Related posts: Nietzsche on Emotional Incontinence; Buckled Lips; The Contagion of Misery; Emotional Incontinence; Euripidea; Hostile Laughter; Hostile Laughter in Euripides' Medea; Icy Laughter; Notes to Myself; On Concealing One's Misfortunes; Quotations about Complaints.

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