HODOI ELEKTRONIKAI
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DION CHRYSOSTOME, Sur la royauté (discours 1; traduction anglaise)

διατριβὴ



Texte grec :

[1,5] ἔτι δὲ μὴ ἕνα τρόπον ἡρμοσμένους, ἀλλὰ τοὺς αὐτοὺς σφοδρούς τε καὶ πρᾴους καὶ πολεμικοὺς ἅμα καὶ εἰρηνικοὺς καὶ νομίμους καὶ τῷ ὄντι βασιλικούς, ἅτε οἶμαι πρὸς ἀνδρεῖον βουλόμενον εἶναι καὶ νόμιμον ἡγεμόνα, πολλοῦ μὲν δεόμενον θάρσους, πολλῆς δὲ καὶ ἐπιεικείας. (6) ὁ γοῦν Τιμόθεος, εἰ καθάπερ πολεμικόν τινα διελθεῖν ᾔδει νόμον, οὕτως ἠπίστατο αὔλημα δικαίαν καὶ φρόνιμον καὶ σώφρονα τὴν ψυχὴν καὶ φιλάνθρωπον δυνάμενον παρασχεῖν, μὴ πρὸς ὅπλα ὁρμῶσαν μόνον, ἀλλὰ ἐπί τε εἰρήνην καὶ ὁμόνοιαν καὶ θεῶν τιμὰς καὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐπιμέλειαν, τοῦ παντὸς ἂν ἦν ἄξιος Ἀλεξάνδρῳ παρεῖναί τε καὶ ἐπαυλεῖν, οὐ θύοντι μόνον, (7) ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλως, ὁπότε ἢ πενθῶν ἀκρίτως τύχοι παρὰ τὴν ἀξίαν καὶ τὸ πρέπον ἢ κολάζων πικρότερον τοῦ νομίμου καὶ ἐπιεικοῦς ἢ χαλεπαίνων τοῖς αὑτοῦ φίλοις τε καὶ ἑταίροις ἢ ὑπερορῶν τοὺς θνητούς τε καὶ ἀληθεῖς γονέας. (8) ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὐ πᾶσαν ἴασιν οὐδὲ ὠφέλειαν ὁλόκληρον ἠθῶν ἱκανὴ παρασχεῖν ἡ μουσικῆς ἐπιστήμη τε καὶ ἕξις· οὐ γὰρ οὖν, ὥς φησιν ὁ ποιητής, οὐδ´ Ἀσκληπιάδαις τοῦτό γ´ ἔδωκε θεός· μόνος δὲ ὁ τῶν φρονίμων τε καὶ σοφῶν λόγος, οἷοι γεγόνασιν {οἱ} πολλοὶ τῶν πρότερον, ἀνενδεὴς καὶ τέλειος ἡγεμὼν καὶ βοηθὸς εὐπειθοῦς καὶ ἀγαθῆς φύσεως, πρὸς πᾶσαν ἀρετὴν παραμυθούμενός τε καὶ ἄγων ἐμμελῶς. (9) τίς ἂν οὖν πρέπουσα καὶ ἀξία φανείη διατριβὴ τῆς σῆς προθυμίας, καὶ πόθεν ἂν εὕροιμεν ἡμεῖς τέλειον οὕτω λόγον, ἄνδρες ἀλῆται καὶ αὐτουργοὶ τῆς σοφίας, πόνοις τε καὶ ἔργοις ὅσον δυνάμεθα χαίροντες τὰ πολλά, τοὺς δ´ αὖ λόγους παρακλήσεως ἕνεκεν φθεγγόμενοι πρὸς αὑτοὺς καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀεὶ τὸν ἐντυγχάνοντα; ὥσπερ οἱ κινοῦντες καὶ μεταφέροντες οὐκ εὔφορον βάρος φθέγγονταί τε καὶ ᾄδουσιν ἡσυχῇ τὸ ἔργον παραμυθούμενοι, ἐργάται ὄντες, οὐκ ᾠδοί τινες οὐδὲ ποιηταὶ μελῶν.

Traduction française :

[1,5] moreover, not set to a single mood but at once vigorous and gentle, challenging to war yet also speaking of peace, obedience to law, and true kingliness, inasmuch as they are addressed to one who is disposed, methinks, to be not only a brave but also a law-abiding ruler, one who needs not only high courage but high sense of right also. If, for instance, the skill which Timotheus possessed in performing a warlike strain had been matched by the knowledge of such a composition as could make the soul just and prudent and temperate and humane, and could arouse a man not merely to take up arms but also to follow peace and concord, to honour the gods and to have consideration for men, it would have been a priceless boon to Alexander to have that man live with him as a companion, and to play for him, not only when he sacrificed but at other times also : when, for example, he would give way to unreasoning grief regardless of propriety and decorum, or would punish more severely than custom or fairness allowed, or would rage fiercely at his own friends and comrades or disdain his mortal and real parents. But unfortunately, skill and proficiency in music cannot provide perfect healing and complete relief for defect of character. No indeed ! To 'quote the poet: " E'en to Asclepius' sons granted not god this boon." Nay, it is only the spoken word of the wise and prudent, such as were most men of earlier times, that can prove a competent and perfect guide and helper of a man endowed with a tractable and virtuous nature, and can lead it toward all excellence by fitting encouragement and direction. (9) What subject, then, will clearly be appropriate and worthy of a man of your earnestness, and where shall I find words so nearly perfect, mere wanderer that I am and self-taught philosopher, who find what happiness I can in toil and labour for the most part and employ eloquence only for the encouragement of myself and such others as I meet from time to time ? My case is like that of men who in moving or shifting a heavy load beguile their labour by softly chanting or singing a tune—mere toilers that they are and not bards or poets of song.





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Dernière mise à jour : 22/11/2007