Chilon


Aristotle and his followers think that it, "Give a pledge and you're ruined," comes from Chilon. - Clement, Stromateis I xiv 61.2

Do not speak evil of the dead.

Honor old age.

foresight of future events, such as could be arrived at by consideration was the virtue of a man.

He also said once to his brother, who was indignant at not being an ephor, while he himself was one, "The reason is because I know how to bear injustice: but you do not."

Being asked in what educated men differed from those who were illiterate, he said, "In good hopes."

Having had the question put to him, What was difficult, he said, "To be silent about secrets; to make good use of one's leisure, and to be able to submit to injustice."

And besides these three things he added further, "To rule one's tongue, especially at a banquet, and not to speak ill of one's neighbours; for if one does so one is sure to hear what one will not like."

To threaten no one; for that is a womanly trick. To be more prompt to go to one's friends in adversity than in prosperity. To make but a moderate display at one's marriage. Not to speak evil of the dead. To honour old age.

To keep a watch upon one's self.

To prefer punishment to disgraceful gain; for the one is painful but once, but the other for one's whole life.

Not to laugh at a person in misfortune.

If one is strong to be also merciful, so that one's neighbours may respect one rather than fear one.

To learn how to regulate one's own house well.

Not to let one's tongue outrun one's sense.

To restrain anger.

Not to desire what is impossible.

Not to make too much haste on one's road.

When speaking not to gesticulate with the hand; for that is like a madman.

To obey the laws.

To love quiet.

Suretyship, and then destruction

Gold is best tested by a whetstone hard, Which gives a certain proof of purity; And gold itself acts as the test of men, By which we know the temper of their minds.

once when judging in a friend's cause he had voted himself in accordance with the law, but had persuaded a friend to vote for his acquittal, in order that so he might maintain the law, and yet save his friend.

He was very brief in his speech

CHILON TO PERIANDER You desire me to abandon the expedition against the emigrants, as you yourself will go forth. But I think that a sole governor is in a slippery position at home; and I consider that tyrant a fortunate man who dies a natural death in his own house.

The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laertius, Literally translated by C.D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853

Pliny, 7, c. 33.

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