Euripides, Suppliants 196-204
“Indeed, I did debate other people once, arguing
This: Once someone said that humans have
A greater share of worse things than better.
I hold a belief in opposition to these,
That mortals have more good than evil.
If this were not the case, we would not live in the light.
I praise whoever of the gods balanced our lives
Away from the beasts and the wilds.
First, he put understanding within us, and then
Gave us a tongue as a marshal of words, to understand speeches.”
ἄλλοισι δὴ ’πόνησ’νησ᾿ ἁμιλληθεὶς λόγῳ
τοιῷδ᾿. ἔλεξε γάρ τις ὡς τὰ χείρονα
πλείω βροτοῖσίν ἐστι τῶν ἀμεινόνων.
ἐγὼ δὲ τούτοις ἀντίαν γνώμην ἔχω,
πλείω τὰ χρηστὰ τῶν κακῶν εἶναι βροτοῖς.
εἰ μὴ γὰρ ἦν τόδ᾿, οὐκ ἂν ἦμεν ἐν φάει.
αἰνῶ δ᾿ ὃς ἡμῖν βίοτον ἐκ πεφυρμένου
καὶ θηριώδους θεῶν διεσταθμήσατο,
πρῶτον μὲν ἐνθεὶς σύνεσιν, εἶτα δ᾿ ἄγγελον
γλῶσσαν λόγων δούς, ὥστε γιγνώσκειν ὄπα
“The wise should love their children first,
Then their parents, and then their country
Which they should improve not ruin.
A bold leader makes mistakes like a young sailor.
Wise is the one at peace at the right time: bravery, for me, is forethought.”
φιλεῖν μὲν οὖν χρὴ τοὺς σοφοὺς πρῶτον τέκνα,
ἔπειτα τοκέας πατρίδα θ᾿, ἣν αὔξειν χρεὼν
καὶ μὴ κατᾶξαι. σφαλερὸν ἡγεμὼν θρασὺς
νέος τε ναύτης· ἥσυχος καιρῷ σοφός.
καὶ τοῦτό μοι τἀνδρεῖον, ἡ προμηθία.
If you missed our performance of Euripides’ Suppliants, check it out (along with the rest of the soon to be 40 episodes)