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


Texte grec :

[1,30] εἰ δέ τις πρὸς μὲν ταῦτα ἔχοι μετρίως, τοὺς δὲ πλησίον αὑτῷ καὶ φίλους καλουμένους ἀτιμάζοι τε καὶ μὴ σκοποῖ τοῦτο, ὅπως δόξουσι μακάριοι καὶ ζηλωτοὶ πᾶσι, λανθάνει προδότης αὑτοῦ καὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς γιγνόμενος, τοὺς μὲν ὄντας φίλους ἀθύμους ποιῶν, τῶν δὲ ἄλλων μηδένα ἐπιθυμεῖν τῆς αὐτοῦ φιλίας, ἀποστερῶν δ´ ἑαυτὸν τοῦ καλλίστου καὶ ὠφελιμωτάτου κτήματος φιλίας. (31) τίς μὲν γὰρ ἀοκνότερος πονεῖν, ὅταν τούτου καιρὸς ᾖ, φίλου; τίς δὲ συγχαίρειν ἑτοιμότερος ἐν ταῖς εὐτυχίαις; ὁ παρὰ τίνος δὲ ἔπαινος ἡδίων ἢ τῶν φίλων; παρὰ τίνος δὲ τἀληθὲς ἀλυπότερον; τίς δὲ φρουρά, ποῖα δὲ ἐρύματα, ποῖα δὲ ὅπλα βεβαιότερα καὶ κρείττω τῆς ἀπὸ τῶν εὐνοούντων φυλακῆς; (32) ὁπόσους γὰρ ἄν τις ᾖ κεκτημένος ἑταίρους, τοσούτοις μὲν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἃ βούλεται ὁρᾷ, τοσαύταις δὲ ἀκοαῖς ἃ δεῖ ἀκούει, τοσαύταις δὲ διανοίαις διανοεῖται περὶ τῶν συμφερόντων. διαφέρει γὰρ οὐδὲν ἢ εἴ τῳ θεὸς ἓν σῶμα ἔχοντι πολλὰς ψυχὰς ἔδωκεν ἁπάσας ὑπὲρ ἐκείνου προνοουμένας. (33) ἵνα δὲ τὰ πολλὰ ἀφεὶς εἴπω τὸ φανερώτατον σημεῖον, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ χρηστὸς βασιλεύς, ὃν οἱ ἀγαθοὶ ἄνδρες οὐκ αἰσχύνονται ἐπαινοῦντες οὔτε τὸν παρόντα χρόνον οὔτε τὸν ὕστερον. καὶ μέντοι καὶ αὐτὸς οὐ τὸν παρὰ τῶν βαναύσων καὶ ἀγοραίων ἀγαπᾷ ἔπαινον, ἀλλὰ τὸν παρὰ τῶν ἐλευθέρων καὶ γενναίων, οἷς οὐκ ἄξιον ζῆν ψευσαμένοις. (34) τίς οὖν οὐκ ἂν μακαρίσειε τὸν τοιοῦτον ἄνδρα τε καὶ βίον; {πόθεν δὲ οὐκ ἂν ἔλθοιεν ἐπ´ ἐκεῖνον ὀψόμενοί τε αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπολαύσοντες τῆς καλῆς διανοίας καὶ ἀγαθῆς; τί μὲν σεμνότερον θέαμα γενναίου καὶ φιλοπόνου βασιλέως; τί δὲ ἥδιον ἡμέρου καὶ προσφιλοῦς, πάντας μὲν εὖ ποιεῖν ἐπιθυμοῦντος, ἅπαντας δὲ δυναμένου;

Traduction française :

[1,30] And yet if one is above reproach in these two matters, but fails to honour those who are close to him and are called his friends, and does not see to it that they are looked upon by all men as blessed and objects of envy, he becomes a traitor to himself and his kingdom ere he is aware by disheartening those who are his friends and suffering nobody else to covet his friendship and by robbing himself of that noblest and most profitable possession : friendship. For who is more indefatigable in toil, when there is occasion for toil, than a friend? Who is readier to rejoice in one's good fortune? Whose praise is sweeter than that of friends ? From whose lips does one learn the truth with less pain? What fortress, what bulwarks, what arms are more steadfast or better than the protection of loyal hearts? For whatever is the number of comrades one has acquired, so many are the eyes with which he can see what he wishes, so many the ears with which he can hear what he needs to hear, so many the minds with which he can take thought concerning his welfare. Indeed, it is exactly as if a god had given him, along with his one body, a multitude of souls all full of concern in his behalf. (33) But I will pass over most of the details and give the clearest mark of a true king : he is one whom all good men can praise without compunction not only during his life but even afterwards. And yet, even so, he does not himself covet the praise of the vulgar and the loungers about the market-place, but only that of the free-born and noble, men who would prefer to die rather than be guilty of falsehood. (34) Who, therefore, would not account such a man and such a life blessed? From what remote lands would men not come to see him and to profit from his honourable and upright character ? What spectacle is more impressive than that of a noble and diligent king? What can give greater pleasure than a gentle and kindly ruler who desires to serve all and has it in his power so to do?

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Dernière mise à jour : 22/11/2007