OK, the fifth and final part of a series, on quotes of the guy that went from Publius to Publilius Syrus in a century, after having been forgotten [Oh! How unduly! How unfortunate! Hence this series] for a century or fifteen. As they’re handily numbered already and in fitting English (not too modern i.e. simplified, dumbed down), but quite a few may be enhanced by some frills of mine, I’ll take mine from an 1856 translation:
800. It is the height of folly to blame without knowledge.
So… Any blame on me can be retorted with this. Remember also the earlier quote about the virtuous man not being touched the slightest by false accusations. Yup, combine these two re me.
806. It matters not with what purpose you do it, if the act itself be bad.
So, utilitarians are wrong. They are. Now go back and reread (over and over again) John Rawls until you finally get that.
813. A man has as many enemies in his own house as he has slaves.
Yes Celebrity CEO, your number might be up any moment.
821. A frog would leap from a throne of gold into a puddle.
So, you’re free to return to where you liked life. … yes, go ahead and make room so I can return to my destined place.
852. The eyes and ears of the mob are often false witnesses.
So don’t trust statistics, polls, or popular opinion.
867. The sons of the blacksmith are not frightened at sparks.
So, learn a bit how to code! Otherwise, you’ll have to be aloof all your life about e.g., app building, to overshout your fear for it.
881. It is late to devise expedients when the danger is at hand.
Basically, the foundation of and need for risk management. Of the sane sort, not what the other 98% preach.
903. It is folly to censure him whom all the world adores.
Even in a friendly way ..? A word to the wise, will be understood by those, only. The adored by the mob, is suspect enough already ..?
910. It is folly to punish your neighbour by fire when you live next door.
Uh-huh. But what if you want to disrupt in order to build a business …?
919. A lax government can not maintain its authority.
Beware to slack when you lead …
920. A boastful prosperity will prepare its own fall.
So, don’t boast about your sheer utter luck..!
955. One will agree with you sooner than many.
There’s no pleasing everyone. Aim high, but be content with lower achievements.
960. Either be silent, or say something better than silence.
So, silence may be golden but if (big if, in your case, when, in mine) you have sparkling diamonds to offer, do speak.
974. It is better to trust virtue than fortune.
Ah, this against the introductory musings of this (in Dutch); where consultants and advisors of all sorts are better believed/trusted because they show off with bigger cars, unfunctionally smart suits, etc. – which is posing of course, fake it till (if?) you make it. But will disappoint. Then hire me and you finally get the stellar actual performance you wanted.
983. Conceal your opulence if you want to avoid envy.
And, in many other Syrus lines, you read: Envy will in the end get the better of your fortune…
985. Flattery was once a vice, now it is a virtue.
And still is (considered such), wrongly.
1047. You are not happy if the rabble do not make sport of you.
This goes within trade groups as well. If the rabble ‘colleagues’ or ‘peers’, the meek able-only-to-follow’ers blame your creative ideas, you can be happy to know you are right and not they.
1057. Money is a servant if you know how to use it; if not, it is a master.
Notice ‘use’: Not invest to merely make more of it, but to achieve something for the betterment of society…
1058. When we speak evil of others, we generally condemn ourselves.
Speak no evil…
1074. If you obey against your will, you are a slave, if of your will, you are an assistant.
Which goes for (having to) obeying to totalitarian bureacracy, and possibly being an accomplice (of a grave evil) ..!