1. Macrobius, Sat. 2.7.10-19


10Publii autem sententiae feruntur lepidae et ad communem usum adcommodatissimae, ex quibus has fere memini singulis versibus circumscriptas:

11Beneficium dando accepit qui digno dedit.
Feras, non culpes, quod mutari non potest.
Cui plus licet quam par est plus vult quam licet.
Comes facundus in via pro vehiculo est.
Frugalitas miseria est rumoris boni.
Heredis fletus sub persona risus est.
Furor fit laesa saepius patientia.
Inprobe Neptunum accusat qui iterum naufragium facit.
Nimium altercando veritas amittitur.
Pars beneficii est, quod petitur si cito neges.
Ita amicum habeas, posse ut fieri hunc inimicum putes.
Veterem ferendo iniuriam invites novam.
Numquam periclum sine periclo vincitur.

12Sed quia semel ingressus sum scenam loquendo, non Pylades histrio nobis omittendus est, qui clarus in opere suo fuit temporibus Augusti et Hylam discipulum usque ad aequalitatis contentionem eruditione provexit. 13Populus deinde inter utriusque suffragia divisus est, et cum canticum quoddam saltaret Hylas cuius clausula erat: Τὸν μέγαν Ἀγαμέμνονα, sublimem ingentemque Hylas velut metiebatur. Non tulit Pylades, et exclamavit e cavea: Σὺ μακρὸν οὐ μέγαν ποιεῖς. 14Tunc eum populus coegit idem saltare canticum: cumque ad locum venisset quem reprehenderat, expressit cogitantem, nihil magis ratus magno duci convenire quam pro omnibus cogitare. 15Saltabat Hylas Oedipodem, et Pylades hac voce securitatem saltantis castigavit: Σὺ βλέπεις. 16Cum in Herculem furentem prodisset et nonnullis incessum histrioni convenientem non servare videretur, deposita persona ridentes increpuit: Μωροὶ, μαινόμενον ὀρχοῦμαι. 17Hac fabula et sagittas iecit in populum. Eandem personam cum iussu Augusti in triclinio ageret, et intendit arcum et spicula inmisit. Nec indignatus est Caesar eodem se loco Pyladi quo populum Romanum fuisse. 18Hic, quia ferebatur mutasse rudis illius saltationis ritum, quae apud maiores viguit, et venustam induxisse novitatem, interrogatus ab Augusto, quae saltationi contulisset, respondit:

Αὐλῶν συρίγγων τ᾽ ἑνοπὴν, ὁμαδόν τ᾽ ἀνθρώπων.

19Idem cum propter populi seditionem pro contentione inter se Hylamque habita concitatam indignationem excepisset Augusti, respondit: Καὶ ἀχαριστεῖς βασιλεῦ· ἔασον αὐτοὺς περὶ ἡμᾶς ἀσχολεῖσθαι.

10A number of neat maxims of Publilius are current, all of them very well suited to the general circumstances o flife. Here are just a few which occur to me; they are in the form of single lines:

11A gift worthily bestowed is a gift to the giver.
What can’t be changed must be borne, not blamed
One who is allowed more than is fair wants more than he is allowed.
On a journey the merry talk of a companion is as good as a lift.
Thrift is unpleasant, but is well spoken of.
The tears of an heir are a mask to hide a grin.
Patience too often abused turns to anger.
You cannot fairly blame Neptune if you suffer shipwreck twice.
Too much wrangling and the truth is lost sight of.
A quick refusal of a request is half a kindness done.
Treat a man as a friend, but remember that he may one day be a foe.
To put up with an old wrong may be to invite a new one.
You never defeat danger by refusing to face danger.

12Having once begun to talk about the stage, I must not omit to mention Pylades, a famous actor in the time of Augustus, and his pupil Hylas, who proceeded under his instruction to become his equal and his rival. 13On the question of the respective merits of these two actors popular opinion was divided. Hylas one day was performing a dramatic dance the closing theme of which was The Great Agamemnon, and by his gestures he represented his subject as a man of mighty stature. This was more than Pylades could stand, and from his seat in the pit he shouted: “You are making him merely tall, not great.” 14The populace then made Pylades perform the same dance himself, and, when he came to the point at which he had founf fault with the other’s performance, he gave the representation of a man deep in thought, on the ground that nothing became a great commander better than to take ehought for all.
15On another occasion, when Hylas was dancing Oedipus, Pylades criticized him for moving with more assurance than a blind man could have shown, by calling out: “You are using your eyes.”
16Once, when Pylades had come on to dance Hercules the Madman, some of the spectators thought that he was not keeping to action suited to the stage. Whereupon he took off his mask and turned on his critics with the words: “Fools, my dancing is intended to represent a madman.” 17It was in this play too, the Hercules Furens, that he shot arrows at the spectators. And when, in the course of playing the same part in a command performance at a banquet given by Augustus, he bent his bow and discharged arrows, the Emperor showed no annoyance at receiving the same treatment from the actor as had the populace of Rome.
18He was said to have introduced a new and elegant style of dancing in place of the clumsy fashion popular in the time of our ancestor, and, when asked by Augustus what contribution he had made to the art of dancing, he replied, in the words of Homer:

The sound of flutes and pipes, and the voices of men. (Iliad 10.13)

19Moreover, when the popular disturbances caused by the rivalry between him and Hylas brought on him the displeasure of Augustus, he retorted: “And you, Sire, are ungrateful, for you would do well to let the populace busy themselves with our affairs.”

(trans. P. Vaughan Davies, Columbia Univ. Pr. 1969)