Saturday, June 15, 2013


Odi et Amo

Lucian, The Fisherman 20 (tr. H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler):
Philos[ophy]. But what is your profession? that at least is essential.

Lu[cian]. I profess hatred of pretension and imposture, lying, and pride; the whole loathsome tribe of them I hate; and you know how numerous they are.

Philos. Upon my word, you must have your hands full at this profession!

Lu. I have; you see what general dislike and danger it brings upon me. However, I do not neglect the complementary branch, in which love takes the place of hate; it includes love of truth and beauty and simplicity and all that is akin to love. But the subjects for this branch of the profession are sadly few; those of the other, for whom hatred is the right treatment, are reckoned by the thousand. Indeed there is some danger of the one feeling being atrophied, while the other is over-developed.

Philos. That should not be; they run in couples, you know. Do not separate your two branches; they should have unity in diversity.

Lu. You know better than I, Philosophy. My way is just to hate a villain, and love and praise the good.
The Greek:
ἡ τέχνη δέ σοι τίς; ἄξιον γὰρ ἐπίστασθαι τοῦτό γε.

μισαλαζών εἰμι καὶ μισογόης καὶ μισοψευδὴς καὶ μισότυφος καὶ μισῶ πᾶν τὸ τοιουτῶδες εἶδος τῶν μιαρῶν ἀνθρώπων· πάνυ δὲ πολλοὶ εἰσιν, ὡς οἶσθα.

Ἡράκλεις, πολυμισῆ τινα μέτει τὴν τέχνην.

εὖ λέγεις· ὁρᾷς γοῦν ὁπόσοις ἀπεχθάνομαι καὶ ὡς κινδυνεύω δι᾽ αὐτήν. οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἐναντίαν αὐτῇ πάνυ ἀκριβῶς οἶδα, λέγω δὲ τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ φιλο τὴν ἀρχὴν ἔχουσαν· φιλαλήθης γὰρ καὶ φιλόκαλος καὶ φιλαπλοϊκὸς καὶ ὅσα τῷ φιλεῖσθαι συγγενῆ. πλὴν ἀλλ᾽ ὀλίγοι πάνυ ταύτης ἄξιοι τῆς τέχνης, οἱ δὲ ὑπὸ τῇ ἐναντίᾳ ταττόμενοι καὶ τῷ μίσει οἰκειότεροι πεντακισμύριοι. κινδυνεύω τοιγαροῦν τὴν μὲν ὑπ᾽ ἀργίας ἀπομαθεῖν ἤδη, τὴν δὲ πάνυ ἠκριβωκέναι.

καὶ μὴν οὐκ ἐχρῆν· τοῦ γὰρ αὐτοῦ καὶ τάδε, φασί, καὶ τάδε· ὥστε μὴ διαίρει τὼ τέχνα· μία γὰρ ἐστὸν δύ᾽ εἶναι δοκούσα.

ἄμεινον σὺ ταῦτα οἶσθα, ὦ Φιλοσοφία. τὸ μέντοι ἐμὸν τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν, οἷον τοὺς μὲν πονηροὺς μισεῖν, ἐπαινεῖν δὲ τοὺς χρηστοὺς καὶ φιλεῖν.

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