It is no great wonder if in long process of time, while fortune takes her course hither and thither, numerous coincidences should spontaneously occur. If the number and variety of subjects to be wrought upon be infinite, it is all the more easy for fortune, with such an abundance of material, to effect this similarity of results.1
Pompey bade Sylla recollect that more worshipped the rising than the setting sun.4
Life of Pompey.
Note 1. T is one and the same Nature that rolls on her course, and whoever has sufficiently considered the present state of things might certainly conclude as to both the future and the past.Montaigne: Essays, book ii. chap. xii. Apology for Raimond Sebond.
I shall be content if those shall pronounce my History useful who desire to give a view of events as they did really happen, and as they are very likely, in accordance with human nature, to repeat themselves at some future time,if not exactly the same, yet very similar.Thucydides: Historia, i. 2, 2.
What is this day supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent.Ibid., Annals. xi. 24. [back]
Note 2. Agesilaus being exhorted to hear one that imitated the voice of a nightingale, I have often, said he, heard nightingales themselves.Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Agesilaus.) [back]