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In treating of the orator's use of the pathetic appeal (de Inven- 
tione I 56, 109 fin.) Cicero closes as follows ; 

Commotis autem animis, diutius in conquestione morari non 
oportebit; quem ad modum enim dixit rhetor Apollonius, lacrima 
nihil citius arescit. 

Fr. Marx in his Prolegomena to Incerti auctoris de ratione 
dicendi ad Herennium (Lipsiae, 1894), p. 124, in comparing this 
passage with ad Herenn. II 31, 50: commiserationem brevem 
esse oportet: nihil enim lacrima citius arescit, makes three 
observations ; first, that whereas one might be tempted to admire 
this phrase quasi vere Romani saporis Cicero, in attributing the 
same expression to the rhetor Apollonius multo est diligentior et 
accuratior; second, that in the Cologne edition of 1539 Gybertus 
Longolius reconstructed as the original Greek, 

ovSev Baaaov £t]palvtoOai ISaicpvov, 

which is given under frpaivw in the thesaurus of Stephanus : and 
third, the words are easily made into an iambic trimeter: 

6aooov yap ovSec Saxpvov £r/paiWrai, 

which, so far as he knows, is extant in no Greek writer. 

There is however another passage from Cicero, which Marx does 
not cite, which seems to bear directly upon the question. In the 
Partitiones Oratoriae written perhaps in 54 B. c. (Schanz Rom. 
Litteraturgeschichte I, p. 290; Marx, Proleg., p. 77) in Ch. 17 § 57: 

Nihil est tarn miserabile quam ex beato miser. Et hoc totum 
est quod moveat, si qua ex fortuna quis cadat et a quorum caritate 
divellatur, quae amittat aut amiserit, in quibus malis sit futurusve 
sit, exprimatur breviter, Ciio enim exarescit lacrima praesertim 
in alienis malis. 

The last phrase is misquoted by Otto (Die Sprichworter und 
Sprichwortlichen Redensarten der Romer), p. 184. The correct 
reading is exarescit {arescit is Orelli's suggestion based on the 
two passages quoted above) and malis should be read not rebus. 
As the words stand in the Partitiones Oratoriae, with the omission 
oi praesertim, we have an iambic senarius: 

Cito enim Exarescit Idcrima in alienis malis. 


Hence it is reasonable again to open the question as to whether 
the words attributed to Apollonius were in verse. If so, there 
is a probability that he like other writers on rhetoric was quoting. 
Still the Latin verse may have been accidental, written uncon- 
sciously; for an original prose quotation from the Greek might 
have fallen into rhythm in Cicero's mind, to suit the sententia, 
which we shall see became a favorite among the later Roman 
students of rhetoric. The end of a paragraph or a discussion 
was a natural place for a pithy quotation, and a quotation was 
often the best way to reinforce an argument, as is evident in the 
rhetorical writings of Cicero, the Controversiae of Seneca the 
Rhetor and the Naturales Quaestiones of Seneca the Philosopher. 
Although the phrase may not occur in extant Greek literature, 
there is a monostich of Menander (426) which describes the forced 
tears of the orator (but not the tears of his audience) : 

Sfioia iropvr) SaKpva rat pi]Ta>p ?^fi. 

Furthermore, inasmuch as the quotation occurs in Latin in two 
forms, one longer and affirmative the other shorter, negative and 
in the comparative, we may assume that in the Greek there were 
either two forms, or that one form was differently translated or 
paraphrased, or that there was a longer form, let us say a couplet, 
given more fully in one version than in another (either affirmative 
or comparative). For example we may conjecture : 

1. Short affirmative, 

KaKoh iv aWap ra\a Sdicpv £r)palv(Tai. 

2. Long affirmative, 

to Saupvov yap Tu\a KaTa^rjpalptTai 
to bq Kf\vpivov iv KOKois aWorplou. 

1 So in the Eunuchus of Terence translated from Menander in 1. 67 ff. in 
the opening scene : 

Haec verba una mehercle falsa lacrimula 

Quam oculos terendo misere vix vi expresserit, 

Restinguet, et te ultro accusabit — 
Persius, Sat. V 161, quoting Menander: 

Dave, cito, hoc credas inbeo, finire dofores 

Practiritos meditor. 
The phrasing is imitated from Hor., Sat. II 3, 263; who follows Terence: 

an potius mediter finire dolores ? 
Terence's words are : 

An potius ita me comparem 

Non perpeti meretricum contumelias? 



3. Short negative, 

Batraov yap oidfv daitpvov t-rjpaivnai. 

4. Long negative, 

Baaaov yap ovSev SaKpvov ^paivtrai 
tov drj xy0€VTOs iv Kanois aWorpiois* 

Again it is not necessary to assume that the yvapri is original with 
Apollonius. For in the first place he was the pupil of Menecles 
of whom Cicero says in Brutus § 326 [Hortensius] habebat enim et 
Meneclium illud studium crebrarum venustarumque sententiarum, 
in quibus, ut in illo Graeco sic in hoc, erant quaedam magis venu- 
stae dulcesque sententiae quam aut necessariae aut interdum utiles. 
In the second place it is not likely that he introduced an original 
trimeter, if it was a trimeter, into a lecture on the fWAoyor. Reports 
of the lectures of Apollonius were used by both Cicero and the 
Auctor ad Herennium in compiling their rhetorical treatises 
(Marx Proleg., Schanz, pp. 389-390). In composing at a later 
period a treatise for the benefit of his son, Cicero has given the 
most explicit form of this dictum. At any rate the words : 

' Quick dries the tear that's shed for another's ills ' 

need little commentary, whereas 

' Naught dries more quickly than a tear ' 

unless qualified, seems a pointless exaggeration, as we all know the 
effects of genuine sorrow. This qualification is implicit in the con- 
text, yet is elaborated by Quintilian, when he treats of the epilogus. 1 

Before discussing further the meaning and origin of the phrase, 
it might be well to cite other references to it. Otto (o. c. s. lacrima) 
quotes, besides the three passages given above the following: 

Q. Curt. 5, 5, 11, ignorant quam celeriter lacrimae inarescant. 
Quint. 6, 1, 27, nee sine causa dictum est, nihil facilius quam 
lacrimas inarescere. 

Quint, declam., p. 331, 8 R. et illud verissimum (not veri simil- 
limum) est, lacrimas celerrime inarescere. Iul. Sever, praec. art. 
rhet. 24, p. 370 (Halm), lacrimis comparati sunt, quibus nihil citius 

Otto compares : 

' Hitzige Thranen trocknen bald ' 
(K6rte, n. 746a.) 

1 Of one of the two rhetors named Apollonius of Rhodes, Cicero remarks 
in de Oratore I 17, 75, inrisit ille quidem ut solebat philosophiam atque 
contempsit multaque non tam graviter dixit quam facete. The cynicism of 
the dictum nihil lacrima, etc., would accord well with this characterization. 



Besides these I think the following passages should be noted. 
In Cicero ad Att. X 14 (b. c. 49), where he is writing of the 
grief of Servius Sulpicius, who is in a dilemma between Caesar 
and Pompey and is weeping for himself and his country we read : 

Atque haec ita multis cum lacrimis loquebatur, ut ego mirarer, 
eas tarn diuturna miseria non exaruisse. The allusion here is to 
genuine sorrow for one's own fortunes as well as those of others, 
and Cicero is surprised that Sulpicius could have wept so long. 
The phrase while generally found in rhetorical writings as a 
rhetorical precept may well have found a place in consolationes 
also. For compare the epilogue of Tusc. Disp. Ill" (on consola- 
tiones) 31 § 75. (Artemisia) quam diu vixit, vixit in luctu 
eodemque etiam confecta contabuit. Huic erat ilia opinio cotidie 
recens, quae turn denique non appellatur recens, cum vetustate 

There is another reference in Quint., XI 1, 6, ita . . . neque 
humile atque cotidianum sermonis genus et compositione ipsa 
dissolutum epilogis dabimus nee iocis lacritnas, ubi opus erit 
miseratione, siccabimus. So cf. § 54. Tac, Germania 27, lamenta 
ac lacrimas cito, dolorem et tristitiam tarde ponunt; feminis 
lugere honestum est, viris meminisse. Here a fact is stated in 
a rhetorical antithesis. Cf. Seneca, Ep. 99, 25, meminisse per- 
severet, lugere desinat. 

Again in Juvenal 16, 27, there is a phrase, which suggests a 
modification of a familiar proverb by this most rhetorical of 
Roman satirists, after the manner in which proverbs are changed 
in 4, 89; 7, 48, 202; 12,129-130: 

Quis tarn procul absit ab urbe 
Praeterea, quis tam Pylades, molem aggeris ultra 
Ut veniat? lacrimal siccentur protinus et se 
Excusaturos non sollicitemus amicos. 

The point is here that tears which would be of no avail should 
be quickly dried up, for it would be hard to get a witness to 
appear before a military judge already prejudiced against a 

A number of late writers on rhetoric, even when their treatises 
are most condensed in following Cicero appear to recognize and 
paraphase the dictum : 

Fortunatianus II 31 (H), Quid nadoXov in epilogis servandum 
est? ut breves sint, quoniam commotus iudex statim dimittendus 
ad sententiam ferendam, dum adversario irascitur, et cum in 


nostram misericordiam provocatus est lacrimis, etiam commotus 
statim debet ferre sententiam dum pro nobis movetur. 

Martianus Capella c. 53 : in epilogis generaliter observandum 
ut brevis sit, si quidem commotus iudex statim dimittendus est 
ad sententiam proferendam, dum aut adversary's irascitur aut tuis 
miseretur lacrimis aut rerum afflictatione commotus est. 

Jul. Victor 436 (H.), qua oratione habita graviter et sententiose 
niaxime dimittitur animus hominum et ad misericordiam com- 
paratur cum in alieno malo suam infirmitatem considerabit. 

Victorinus, Explanationum in Rhet. M. T. C. Lib. I (H), 
p. 257. Illud tamen praeceptum tenere debemus, sive in indig- 
natione sive in conquestione nos locis omnibus uti non oportere, 
sed his quos causa suggerat, neque his omnibus sed quoad iudi- 
cantium animi moveantur. Quod si etiam uno aliquo loco factum 
viderimus, orationem continuo finire debemus ; ira enim vel 
lacrimae dum incipiunt ac recentes sunt, plurimum valent. 

Having noted the persistence with which this dictum was 
propagated among the late excerptors, it may be in place to 
analyze several of the earlier passages. Quintilian, 6, 1, 27-29, 
following Cicero says : Numquam tamen debet esse longa miser - 
atio, nee sine causa dictum est, nihil facilius quam lacrimas 
inarescere. Nam cum etiam veros dolores mitigat tempus, citius 
evanescat necesse est ilia quam dicendo effinximus imago : in 
qua si moramur, lacrimis fatigatur auditor el requiescit, et ab 
illo quern ceperat impetu ad rationem redit. Non patiamur 
igitur frigescere hoc opus, et affectum cum ad summum perdux- 
erimus, relinquamus, nee speremus fore ut aliena quisquam diu 
ploret. Here we should note how the writer has given in this par- 
agraph four different versions of the sentiment, while still another 
occurs in the discussion of the epilogue in XI 1, 6, cited above. 

Quintus Curtius V 5, 11 ffg. has overelaborated the idea and 
used it to motivate the highly rhetorical speech of Euctemon of 
Cyme. Four thousand captive Greeks, who had received cruel 
punishment, had effected their escape to Alexander. The sight 
was so pathetic that plures . . . lacrimas commovere quam pro- 
/uderanl ipsi : quippe in tarn multiplici variaque fortuna singu- 
lorum intuentibus similes quidem sed tamen dispares poenas, 
quis maxime miserabilis esset, liquere non poterat. Then the 
King wiping away his tears promised the captives that they 
should see their homes again. Next follows the speech of Eucte- 
mon (5, 5, 11-12) which is nothing but an elaboration of this 


Tojror. Atqui optime miserias ferunt, qui abscondunt, nee ulla 
tam familiaris est infelicibus patria, quam solitudo et status 
prioris oblivio. Nam qui multum in suorum misericordia ponunt, 
ignorant, quam celeriter lacrimae inarescant. Ita suam quisque 
fortunam in consilio habet, cum de aliena deliberat. This is 
nothing but highly colored declamation. 

S. Dosson (Etude sur Quinte Curce, Paris, 1887, pp. 244-6), 
having compared the rhetorical sentiments in IX 2, 8-n; IX 3, 
1-15; IX 4, 16-20, with Seneca's first Suasoria, passes on to 
this episode and Euctemon's speech, adding that although we 
have no contemporary declamation with which to compare it, we 
may believe, that if Curtius devoted so much space to developing 
the sentiment, he must have been moved to do so by the success 
of some one of his contemporaries, perhaps one of those very 
declaimers against whom Petronius inveighs for having elabo- 
rated a similar theme (Sat. 1, 1): nuin alio genere furiarum 
declamatores inquietantur, qui clamant: "haec vulnera pro 
libertate publica excepi ; hunc oculum pro vobis impendi: date 
mihi ducem qui me ducat ad liberos meos, nam succisi poplites 
membra non sustinent ". In fact Euctemon's speech reads like 
a rhetorical exercise, a xp"' a > elaborating the proverb along the 
line satirized in Petronius. The very citation of the rhetorical 
precept introduces us into the atmosphere of the schools. 

The example in Ps.-Quint. declam. 3, 38 is in the sermo de 
prooemio et epilogo, again from a rhetorical discussion. 

The following recapitulation will show how the quotation has 
been used : 

I. Negative form with comparative : 

1. Auct. ad Herenn., nihil lacrima citius arescit. 

2. Cic. de Invent., lacrima nihil citius arescit. 

3. Quint, (a) nihil faciliusquam lacrimas inarescere. 

4. Jul. Severian., lacrimis quibus nihil citius arescit. 

II. Affirmative (or with litotes.) 

1. Cic. part, or., cito exarescit lacrima in alienis malis. 

2. Cic. ep. ad Att., eas (lacrimas) tam diuturna miseria non 

3. Cic. Tusc. Disp. III. 31, 75, opinio (luctus) cum vetustate 

4. Q. Curtius, quam celerrime lacrimae inarescant. 


5. Quint. 

(b) veros dolores mitigat tempus. 

(c) citius evanescat imago. 

(d) lacrimis requiescit. 

(e) non . . . aliena . . . diu ploret. 

(f) XI 1,6, nee . . . lacrimas . . . siccabimus. 

6. Ps.-Quint., lacrimas celerrime inarescere. 

7. Tacitus, lacrimas cito . . . ponunt. 

8. Juvenal, lacrimae siccentur protinus. 

9. Victorinus, lacrimae dum recentes sunt. 

[10. Fortunatianus, lacrimis commotus . . . statim debet 
ferre, etc.] 

[11. Mart. Cap., dum tuis miseretur lacrimis aut rerum afflic- 
tatione commotus est.] 

[12. Jul. Victor, sententiose, etc. ... in alieno malo.] 

A study of the different forms of statement shows that the 
favorite Roman form was affirmative; that in this form the 
compounded verb e xarescere or inarescere was usual ; the dictum, 
where the cases of use are certain, is confined to rhetoricians, or 
writers steeped in the precepts of the schools. The differences 
in phraseology do not necessarily point to differences in the 
rendering of some well-known Greek verse or proverb. So far 
as the Latin is concerned, they all seem to go back to Cicero, 
who may have been exploited here by the Auct. ad Herenn.; 
Cicero and the Auctor may both go back to notes on the lectures 
of Apollonius. The question then arises, is there any evidence 
that the Greek form was a popular proverb, or rhetorical precept, 
or a line from some poet? It seems to have been applied by 
Apollonius as an illustration of restraint in handling the epilogus. 
It does not appear in Aristotle nor in the late Greek writers on 
rhetoric who followed the ancient traditions. If Apollonius 
(whether 6 pa\aic6s v. Pauly-Wissowa Real-Encycl. Apollon. nr. 
84, line 55 ffg, or Molo ibid. nr. 85, cf. Susemihl II 489-494) took 
after Menecles, his master, whose fondness for embellished style 
is noted in Cic. Brutus § 326, we may suspect that he borrowed 
from the Greek poets many of his fine phrases just as did the 
later writers on rhetoric. 

Now let us turn once more to the context of Cic, part, orat, § 17 
(and the result is essentially the same for Cic, de Invent, and 
Auct. ad Herenn.). After detailing the many devices by which 
the hearer's feelings may be aroused Cicero concludes: nihil est 


tarn miserabile quam ex beato miser, with an elaboration of this 
sentiment, ending cito enim exarcscit, etc. It is doubtless going 
too far to suppose that nihil est tarn miserabile quam ex beato 
miser is also from a Greek trimeter like 

OV 8v!TTV\(<TT(p fj 7T€VI)t e£ CVTV)(OVS. 

(Cf. Menand. Meineke 4, 247 (40) 

jreVijTot ov&eV cart tvoTvxiaTtpov 

and monostich 436 ; Diph. 4, 424, 24). The sentiment is common- 
place enough especially in the Greek tragedians (Eurip. Troad. 
509-510, Troad. 639-640; frag. Arch. 232, 234, 264, Auge, 275, 
Beller. 287, Danae 328). 

Now if we examine the treatise of the late Greek rhetorician 
Apsines (3d cent. A. D.), who, however, preserves the old Greek 
tradition (cf. Christ, Gr. Litt.-gesch., p. 755, § 549), we see that 
in discussing the proper use of 'pity', ehtos, in the ini\oyos, he 
quotes three times from Euripides' Troades (472-473; 474-478, 
479-483), where Hecuba recites her former happiness in order to 
enhance her present affliction. Apsines adds: 

r) avrmapaBtois tois dyaBoh rd>i> KtiKtov tbv i\(ov KfKivtjKev. eXeetvoi fiev 
yap ettri Kfll ol oTitarrovv 8v(TTV)(ovvTes, e\ecivoTcpoi 8e eivat SoKovatv ol cV 
"hapirpas ev&aipovias avp<popdls pcyuXais xproftepot. 

This corresponds closely to Cicero's nihil est tarn miserabile 
quam ex beato miser. It should also be noted that Apsines 
closes his whole treatment of the subject (p. 329, Spengel-Hammer) 

with the words: Sec hi to ttuBos iv Tto jroXiriKcS pirpov (\t<-v y 'Iva pf/ els 
rpayahlav fpTrearj, irXrjV tl pi] rj viroBeais TpayiKr) eiij. 

Now the parts of Hecuba's speech which are quoted, while 
they do not contain the idea 'quick dries the tear that's shed for 
another's ills' have in the text of Nauck 481-2 (cited differently 
by Apsines) : 

ovk <iXk<av napa 
kXuoixt' eVXnuo-n, ToTcrSe 8 elhop oppaoiv 

and in 508-510 

ojf rreo-oOo" dirocpBapSi 
daicpvois KaTn^avBcitra. t5>v 8 evhaipuvwv 
prjhiva vopi£(T fuTu^eti' irp\v hv Bdvrj. 

While it is not essential to the argument to discuss the text of 
these last lines, I have a suggestion to make in passing. If 
K<iTa£nv6u<ra be read, hanpimis looks suspicious and Hartung pro- 



posed aKpats Or jreVpoir. But KaragavOfiva (from Knra£aiva, ' tear in 

pieces', figuratively, 'wear or waste away') may be the false 
reading, for Karavavdeia-a (from KaT-avaiva>, dry up, wither up, pine 
away utterly) both aialiw and the compound being used in 
tragedy. The point would then be : Hecuba having pined away, 
from weeping till the fountain of her tears was dried, as a plant, 
that has lost its sap withers and falls, would herself fall and perish. 

But to resume our argument. Let us suppose with Christ that 
Apsines is following the ancient tradition, which must have treated 
of the abuse as well as the proper use of ndBos. If the earlier 
lecturer, Apollonius, had used this speech of Hecuba, the two 
passages might have suggested, as a sort of corrective to the 
emotional tendency of some orators, some current proverb, some 
yv&M from the New Comedy, or possibly a phrase from Euripides 
himself with which to refute that tragic poet out of his own book, 
as it were ; and Apollonius might have warned his pupils, that a 
listener soon falls out of sympathy with a tragic character, a poet 
or an orator, who plays too long on one's feelings, for "naught 
dries more quickly than a tear, when shed for another's ills ! " 

A line of argument, such as we have considered, is in the nature 
of things mostly subjective. At all events we have Seneca's 
evidence (Contr. VII 4, 3) that Apollonius was ' strong on the 
epilogue ' in epilogis vehemens fuit Apollonius Graecus, — if our 
Apollonius is the individual referred to ; as well as Cicero's 
statement (De Or. I 17, 75) as to the scoffing attitude of one of 
the rhetors named Apollonius towards philosophy, and the 
evidence that his teacher Menecles was given to epigrams and 
an embellished style. 

Such poetic snatches often become fixed as rhetorical precepts, 
just like Shakespeare's ' tear a passion to tatters' and 'speak 
it trippingly on the tongue'. The German proverb 'Hitzige 
Thranen trocknen bald' is not coextensive with ciio exarescit 
lacrima in alienis malts, any more than our : 

" Laugh and the world laughs with you 
Weep and you weep alone". 

There is a cynical touch in ' quick dries the tear that's shed for 
another's ills', whereas 'nothing dries more quickly than a tear' 
could be used for comfort in a consolatio. Compare for example 
in Seneca Ep. 99, 16, in a composition of this type, the insincere 
grief of some : sine spectatore cessat dolor, an idea elaborated by 
Martial 1, 33 of Gellia siquis adest missae prosiliunt lacrimae. 


So again Ep. 99, 21, in lacrimis aliquid sat est; § 25, meminisse 
perseveret, lugere desinat. 

Ep. 63, 2. Duram tibi legem videor ponere, cum poetarum 
Graecorum maximus ius flendi dederit in unum dumtaxat diem, 
cum dixerit etiam Niobam de cibo cogitasse. 

§ 3. Brevem illi (sc. amico) apud te memoriam promittis, si cum 
dolore mansura est. 

§ 12. Malo relinquas dolorem quam ab illo relinquaris, et quam 
primum id facere desiste, quod etiam si voles, diu facere non 

§ 13. Quam tamen mihi ex illis mulierculis dabis vix retractis 
a rogo, vix a cadavere revulsis, cui lacrimae in totum mensem 
duraverint? nulla res citius venit in odium quam dolor qui recens 
consolatorem invenit et aliquos ad se adducit, inveteratus vero 
deridetur nee immerito, aut enim simulatus aut stultus est. 

The allusion to Niobe is Homer, Iliad 24, 613: 

Forced or insincere tears (our "crocodile" tears) are often 
mentioned, in Ovid, Martial, and others. The following three 
passages illustrate how quickly a new emotion may banish tears : 

Ovid, Fasti III 509 : 

Occupat amplexu lacrimasque per oscula siccat 

Ovid, Heroides XVIII 25-26 : 

Dumque queror, lacrimae per amantia lumina manant 
Pollice quas treraulo conscia siccat anus, etc. 

Propert. 19, 23 : 

Cogat et invitam lacrimas siccare cadentes 

Another side of the picture is to be seen in such statements as : 

Cic, Ep. ad Fam. V 12, 5, ceteris vero nulla perfunctis pro- 
pria molestia, casus autem alienos sine ullo dolore intuentibus 
etiam ipsa misericordia est iucunda. 

Also Lucret. II 1-4, 19. 

Sen., ad Polyb. de Consol. VI 5, ut periclitantium et ad mise- 
ricordiam mitissimi Caesaris pervenire cupientium lacrimae [sic- 
cari possinf\ tibi tuae [ante] siccandae sunt. 

George Dwight Kellogg. 

Princeton University.