— Menander Athenian playwright of New Comedy -342 - -291 a.C.
Context: To say more than what's necessary
I don't think is appropriate for a man. Except know this, child —
for I wish to tell you a little about me and my character —
if everyone were like me there wouldn't be law courts,
and they wouldn't take them away to prisons,
and there wouldn't be wars, but having goods in measure each man would be happy.
But perhaps those things are more pleasing. Act that way.
This difficult and grouchy old man will be out of your way.
Variant translation: I don't hold with people saying more than they need; but there is one thing more, my child, that I'd like you to know. I just want to say a few things to you about life, and the way people behave. You know, if we were all kind to one another, there'd be no need for law courts, there'd be no arresting people and putting them into prison, and there would be no more war. Everyone would have his little bit, and be content. But maybe you like modern ways better? Well, live that way, then! This difficult and bad-tempered old man will soon be out of the way.
As translated by William Geoffrey Arnott http://www.rhapsodes.fll.vt.edu/menander.htm.