|14. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.1, 1.1.7, 1.1.10-1.1.13, 1.1.23, 1.2.5, 1.2.8-1.2.11, 1.2.14, 1.2.18, 1.2.23-1.2.24, 1.2.26, 1.2.28, 1.4.3, 1.4.18, 1.6, 1.6.12-1.6.22, 1.9, 1.9.7-1.9.8, 1.9.11, 1.10.10, 1.11-1.12, 1.12.5, 1.12.13-1.12.14, 1.13.3, 1.14, 1.14.11-1.14.12, 1.14.14, 1.16, 1.16.9-1.16.21, 1.17.13-1.17.18, 1.17.21-1.17.28, 1.19.7, 1.27.10, 1.27.19, 1.28.19-1.28.21, 1.28.28-1.28.30, 1.28.33, 1.29.3-1.29.4, 1.29.7-1.29.8, 1.30.3, 2.1, 2.1.6, 2.2.3, 2.6.9-2.6.10, 2.8.11-2.8.14, 2.8.23, 2.9.1, 2.9.19-2.9.21, 2.10.1, 2.10.3-2.10.4, 2.11.20, 2.11.22, 2.18.19, 2.22.19-2.22.20, 3.1.40, 3.3.14-3.3.16, 3.3.19, 3.5.7, 3.22.1-3.22.2, 3.22.42, 3.22.54-3.22.55, 3.22.81-3.22.82, 3.22.93, 3.22.95-3.22.97, 3.23.5, 3.23.37, 3.24.17-3.24.19, 3.24.85, 4.1, 4.1.40, 4.1.56, 4.1.62, 4.1.68, 4.1.72-4.1.73, 4.1.82, 4.1.87, 4.1.89-4.1.90, 4.1.99-4.1.100, 4.1.111, 4.4.24-4.4.26, 4.4.33, 4.4.47, 4.5.28, 4.7, 4.7.2-4.7.8, 4.12.7, 4.12.12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Anticipation of misfortune, Epictetus • Aristotle, Epictetus and • Arrian, and Epictetus’ teachings • Consolation writings, Not Epictetus • Diogenes, the Cynic in Epictetus • Epictetus • Epictetus, • Epictetus, Discourses • Epictetus, Ethical paradigm • Epictetus, Greek Philosopher • Epictetus, Self as example • Epictetus, Stoic • Epictetus, Stoic, Certain emotions useful in training • Epictetus, Stoic, Confession • Epictetus, Stoic, Do not project your desire to approaching food • Epictetus, Stoic, Employ a critic • Epictetus, Stoic, Ensures freedom • Epictetus, Stoic, God within us • Epictetus, Stoic, Handbook used in Christian monasteries, with only rejection of pity suppressed • Epictetus, Stoic, Making your true self your will (proairesis) • Epictetus, Stoic, Not your body • Epictetus, Stoic, Only what is upto us matters • Epictetus, Stoic, Only will (proairesis), desire, judgement is upto us, not anything bodily • Epictetus, Stoic, Or falls under our will (proairesis) • Epictetus, Stoic, Other exercises, Relabelling • Epictetus, Stoic, Personae • Epictetus, Stoic, Proairesis • Epictetus, Stoic, Questioning appearances, assessing for indifference and training for this • Epictetus, Stoic, Remember wife and children are mortal • Epictetus, Stoic, Rules to hand for training • Epictetus, Stoic, True love requires detachment • Epictetus, an orthodox Stoic? • Epictetus, and Aristotle • Epictetus, and corporealism • Epictetus, and persona • Epictetus, and the New Testament • Epictetus, compared with Paul • Epictetus, on Christians • Epictetus, on caution and confidence • Epictetus, on development of character traits • Epictetus, on divine providence and human vocation • Epictetus, on emotions (πάθη) • Epictetus, on exemplary performance • Epictetus, on freedom (ἐλευθερία) • Epictetus, on god • Epictetus, on grief as primary passion • Epictetus, on insanity • Epictetus, on moral shame • Epictetus, on preference, will (προαίρεσις) • Epictetus, on providence (πρόνοια) • Epictetus, on self-review • Epictetus, on uncompromising evaluation • Epictetus, on up to us/in our power (ἐφ’ ἡμῖν) • Epictetus, on will (βούλησις) • Epictetus, students of • Epictetus, thought experiments of • Epictetus, use of dialogue • God, in Epictetus • Handbook (Epictetus) • Love, Epictetus, true love requires detachment • Oikeiōsis, unity of mankind, In Zeno and Epictetus, unity only of the virtuous • Proairesis, Epictetus • Socrates, in Epictetus • Stoicism, in Epictetus • boldness, Epictetus on • divine providence, and human vocation in Epictetus • emotions/passions (πάθη), Epictetus on • free/freedom (ἐλεύθερος/ἐλευθερία, liber/libertas), Epictetus on • genuine humanness, defined by Epictetus • gift of cognition, in Epictetus and Paul • gods, Epictetus on • human being, and God in Epictetus • human beings, defined by Epictetus • human vocation, defined by Epictetus • necessity ἀνάγκη, Epictetus on • personal terms, of God in Epictetus • predestination (προόρισις), Epictetus on • prohairesis (choice) in Epictetus • prohairesis (choice) in Epictetus, as faculty • prohairesis (choice) in Epictetus, as individual use of faculty • prohairesis (choice) in Epictetus, translation • protreptic function of language, in Epictetus • sarx (flesh), in Epictetus • scala naturae, and in Epictetus • self-sufficiency, in Epictetus • structure of human vocation, in Epictetus • teta´sthai (being directed towards), in Epictetus • up to us/depending on us/in our power (ἐφ’ ἡμῖν), Epictetus on • will (βούλησις, voluntas), Epictetus on • θεωρία, in Epictetus • λογικός, and human vocation in Epictetus • παρακαλεῖν, in Epictetus • τάξις, used by Epictetus • ὑμνεῖν, ὕμνος, in Epictetus • ὑμνεῖν, ὕμνος, in Epictetus and Romans
Found in books: Bett (2019) 64; Brouwer and Vimercati (2020) 18, 23, 40, 42, 50, 53, 54, 56, 59, 60, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 213; Dignas Parker and Stroumsa (2013) 173; Dürr (2022) 58, 139, 140, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 195, 248; Engberg-Pedersen (2010) 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 117, 118, 119, 132, 133, 237, 238, 239, 244; Fertik (2019) 198; Frede and Laks (2001) 171; Frey and Levison (2014) 51; Graver (2007) 219, 230, 240, 249, 254; Harte (2017) 250, 251; Hirsch-Luipold (2022) 133, 144, 154; Inwood and Warren (2020) 125, 160, 169; Jedan (2009) 136, 204; Linjamaa (2019) 117, 136; Long (2006) 15, 33, 36, 37, 244, 337, 344, 345, 358, 364, 367, 369, 372, 382, 387, 388, 390, 392, 393; Malherbe et al (2014) 114, 152, 220, 471; Neusner Green and Avery-Peck (2022) 120, 121; Osborne (2001) 144; Potter Suh and Holladay (2021) 298; Rizzi (2010) 75; Sorabji (2000) 51, 52, 161, 163, 184, 187, 215, 216, 218, 219, 222, 225, 245, 250, 252, 331, 332, 390; Talbert (1984) 93; Tite (2009) 78, 92; Vazques and Ross (2022) 199; Wilson (2018) 17, 37; Wilson (2022) 57, 90, 194; Xenophontos and Marmodoro (2021) 60, 122, 128; Zanker (1996) 260; de Ste. Croix et al. (2006) 192, 354
|1.1. of the things which are in our power, and not in our power. OF all the faculties (except that which I shall soon mention), you will find not one which is capable of contemplating itself, and, consequently, not capable either of approving or disapproving. How far does the grammatic art possess the contemplating power? As far as forming a judgment about what is written and spoken. And how far music? As far as judging about melody. Does either of them then contemplate itself? By no means. But when you must write something to your friend, grammar will tell you what words you should write; but whether you should write or not, grammar will not tell you. And so it is with music as to musical sounds; but whether you should sing at the present time and play on the lute, or do neither, music will not tell you. What faculty then will tell you? That which contemplates both itself and all other things. And what is this faculty? The rational faculty; for this is the only faculty that we have received which examines itself, what it is, and what power it has, and what is the value of this gift, and examines all other faculties: for what else is there which tells us that golden things are beautiful, for they do not say so themselves? Evidently it is the faculty which is capable of judging of appearances. What else judges of music, grammar, and the other faculties, proves their uses, and points out the occasions for using them? Nothing else. As then it was fit to be so, that which is best of all and supreme over all is the only thing which the gods have placed in our power, the right use of appearances; but all other things they have not placed in our power. Was it because they did not choose? I indeed think that, if they had been able, they would have put these other things also in our power, but they certainly could not. For as we exist on the earth, and are bound to such a body and to such companions, how was it possible for us not to be hindered as to these things by externals? But what says Zeus? Epictetus, if it were possible, I would have made both your little body and your little property free and not exposed to hindrance. But now be not ignorant of this: this body is not yours, but it is clay finely tempered. And since I was not able to do for you what I have mentioned, I have given you a small portion of us, this faculty of pursuing an object and avoiding it, and the faculty of desire and aversion, and, in a word, the faculty of using the appearances of things; and if you will take care of this faculty and consider it your only possession, you will never be hindered, never meet with impediments; you will not lament, you will not blame, you will not flatter any person. Well, do these seem to you small matters? I hope not. Be content with them then and pray to the gods. But now when it is in our power to look after one thing, and to attach ourselves to it, we prefer to look after many things, and to be bound to many things, to the body and to property, and to brother and to friend, and to child and to slave. Since then we are bound to many things, we are depressed by them and dragged down. For this reason, when the weather is not fit for sailing, we sit down and torment ourselves, and continually look out to see what wind is blowing. It is north. What is that to us? When will the west wind blow? When it shall choose, my good man, or when it shall please Aeolus; for God has not made you the manager of the winds, but Aeolus. What then? We must make the best use that we can of the things which are in our power, and use the rest according to their nature. What is their nature then? As God may please. Must I then alone have my head cut off? What, would you have all men lose their heads that you may be consoled? Will you not stretch out your neck as Lateranus did at Rome when Nero ordered him to be beheaded? For when he had stretched out his neck, and received a feeble blow, which made him draw it in for a moment, he stretched it out again. And a little before, when he was visited by Epaphroditus, Nero’s freedman, who asked him about the cause of offence which he had given, he said, If I choose to tell anything, I will tell your master. What then should a man have in readiness in such circumstances? What else than this? What is mine, and what is not mine; and what is permitted to me, and what is not permitted to me. I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment? Tell me the secret which you possess. I will not, for this is in my power. But I will put you in chains. Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg, but my will not even Zeus himself can overpower. I will throw you into prison. My poor body, you mean. I will cut your head off. When then have I told you that my head alone cannot be cut off? These are the things which philosophers should meditate on, which they should write daily, in which they should exercise themselves. Thrasea used to say, I would rather be killed to-day than banished to-morrow. What then did Rufus say to him? If you choose death as the heavier misfortune, how great is the folly of your choice? But if, as the lighter, who has given you the choice? Will you not study to be content with that which has been given to you? What then did Agrippinus say? He said, I am not a hindrance to myself. When it was reported to him that his trial was going on in the Senate, he said, I hope it may turn out well; but it is the fifth hour of the day —this was the time when he was used to exercise himself and then take the cold bath— let us go and take our exercise. After he had taken his exercise, one comes and tells him, You have been condemned. To banishment, he replies, or to death? To banishment. What about my property? It is not taken from you. Let us go to Aricia then, he said, and dine. This it is to have studied what a man ought to study; to have made desire, aversion, free from hindrance, and free from all that a man would avoid. I must die. If now, I am ready to die. If, after a short time, I now dine because it is the dinner-hour; after this I will then die. How? Like a man who gives up what belongs to another. |
1.2.5. To the rational animal only is the irrational intolerable; but that which is rational is tolerable. Blows are not naturally intolerable. How is that? See how the Lacedaemonians endure whipping when they have learned that whipping is consistent with reason. To hang yourself is not intolerable. When then you have the opinion that it is rational, you go and hang yourself. In short, if we observe, we shall find that the animal man is pained by nothing so much as by that which is irrational; and, on the contrary, attracted to nothing so much as to that which is rational. But the rational and the irrational appear such in a different way to different persons, just as the good and the bad, the profitable and the unprofitable. For this reason, particularly, we need discipline, in order to learn how to adapt the preconception of the rational and the irrational to the several things conformably to nature. But in order to determine the rational and the irrational, we use not only the estimates of external things, but we consider also what is appropriate to each person. For to one man it is consistent with reason to hold a chamber pot for another, and to look to this only, that if he does not hold it, he will receive stripes, and he will not receive his food: but if he shall hold the pot, he will not suffer anything hard or disagreeable. But to another man not only does the holding of a chamber pot appear intolerable for himself, but intolerable also for him to allow another to do this office for him. If then you ask me whether you should hold the chamber pot or not, I shall say to you that the receiving of food is worth more than the not receiving of it, and the being scourged is a greater indignity than not being scourged; so that if you measure your interests by these things, go and hold the chamber pot. But this, you say, would not be worthy of me. Well then, it is you who must introduce this consideration into the inquiry, not I; for it is you who know yourself, how much you are worth to yourself, and at what price you sell yourself; for men sell themselves at various prices. For this reason, when Florus was deliberating whether he should go down to Nero’s spectacles, and also perform in them himself, Agrippinus said to him, Go down: and when Florus asked Agrippinus, Why do not you go down? Agrippinus replied, Because I do not even deliberate about the matter. For he who has once brought himself to deliberate about such matters, and to calculate the value of external things, comes very near to those who have forgotten their own character. For why do you ask me the question, whether death is preferable or life? I say life. Pain or pleasure? I say pleasure. But if I do not take a part in the tragic acting, I shall have my head struck off. Go then and take a part, but I will not. Why? Because you consider yourself to be only one thread of those which are in the tunic. Well then it was fitting for you to take care how you should be like the rest of men, just as the thread has no design to be anything superior to the other threads. But I wish to be purple, that small part which is bright, and makes all the rest appear graceful and beautiful. Why then do you tell me to make myself like the many? and if I do, how shall I still be purple? Priscus Helvidius also saw this, and acted conformably. For when Vespasian sent and commanded him not to go into the senate, he replied, It is in your power not to allow me to be a member of the senate, but so long as I am, I must go in. Well, go in then, says the emperor, but say nothing. Do not ask my opinion, and I will be silent. But I must ask your opinion. And I must say what I think right. But if you do, I shall put you to death. When then did I tell you that I am immortal? You will do your part, and I will do mine: it is your part to kill; it is mine to die, but not in fear: yours to banish me; mine to depart without sorrow. What good then did Priscus do, who was only a single person? And what good does the purple do for the toga? Why, what else than this, that it is conspicuous in the toga as purple, and is displayed also as a fine example to all other things? But in such circumstances another would have replied to Caesar who forbade him to enter the senate, I thank you for sparing me. But such a man Vespasian would not even have forbidden to enter the senate, for he knew that he would either sit there like an earthen vessel, or, if he spoke, he would say what Caesar wished, and add even more. In this way an athlete also acted who was in danger of dying unless his private parts were amputated. His brother came to the athlete, who was a philosopher, and said, Come, brother, what are you going to do? Shall we amputate this member and return to the gymnasium? But the athlete persisted in his resolution and died. When some one asked Epictetus, How he did this, as an athlete or a philosopher? As a man, Epictetus replied, and a man who had been proclaimed among the athletes at the Olympic games and had contended in them, a man who had been familiar with such a place, and not merely anointed in Baton’s school. Another would have allowed even his head to be cut off, if he could have lived without it. Such is that regard to character which is so strong in those who have been accustomed to introduce it of themselves and conjoined with other things into their deliberations. Come then, Epictetus, shave yourself. If I am a philosopher, I answer, I will not shave myself. But I will take off your head? If that will do you any good, take it off. Some person asked, how then shall every man among us perceive what is suitable to his character? How, he replied, does the bull alone, when the lion has attacked, discover his own powers and put himself forward in defence of the whole herd? It is plain that with the powers the perception of having them is immediately conjoined: and, therefore, whoever of us has such powers will not be ignorant of them. Now a bull is not made suddenly, nor a brave man; but we must discipline ourselves in the winter for the summer campaign, and not rashly run upon that which does not concern us. Only consider at what price you sell your own will: if for no other reason, at least for this, that you sell it not for a small sum. But that which is great and superior perhaps belongs to Socrates and such as are like him. Why then, if we are naturally such, are not a very great number of us like him? Is it true then that all horses become swift, that all dogs are skilled in tracking footprints? What then, since I am naturally dull, shall I, for this reason, take no pains? I hope not. Epictetus is not superior to Socrates; but if he is not inferior, this is enough for me; for I shall never be a Milo, and yet I do not neglect my body; nor shall I be a Croesus, and yet I do not neglect my property; nor, in a word, do we neglect looking after anything because we despair of reaching the highest degree.
1.4.3. HE who is making progress, having learned from philosophers that desire means the desire of good things, and aversion means aversion from bad things; having learned too that happiness and tranquillity are not attainable by man otherwise than by not failing to obtain what he desires, and not falling into that which he would avoid; such a man takes from himself desire altogether and defers it, but he employs his aversion only on things which are dependent on his will. For if he attempts to avoid anything independent of his will, he knows that sometimes he will fall in with something which he wishes to avoid, and he will be unhappy. Now if virtue promises good fortune and tranquillity and happiness, certainly also the progress towards virtue is progress towards each of these things. For it is always true that to whatever point the perfecting of anything leads us, progress is an approach towards this point. How then do we admit that virtue is such as I have said, and yet seek progress in other things and make a display of it? What is the product of virtue? Tranquillity. Who then makes improvement? Is it he who has read many books of Chrysippus? But does virtue consist in having understood Chrysippus? If this is so, progress is clearly nothing else than knowing a great deal of Chrysippus. But now we admit that virtue produces one thing, and we declare that approaching near to it is another thing, namely, progress or improvement. Such a person, says one, is already able to read Chrysippus by himself. Indeed, sir, you are making great progress. What kind of progress? But why do you mock the man? Why do you draw him away from the perception of his own misfortunes? Will you not show him the effect of virtue that he may learn where to look for improvement? Seek it there, wretch, where your work lies. And where is your work? In desire and in aversion, that you may not be disappointed in your desire, and that you may not fall into that which you would avoid; in your pursuit and avoiding, that you commit no error; in assent and suspension of assent, that you be not deceived. The first things, and the most necessary, are those which I have named. But if with trembling and lamentation you seek not to fall into that which you avoid, tell me how you are improving. Do you then show me your improvement in these things? If I were talking to an athlete, I should say, Show me your shoulders; and then he might say, Here are my Halteres. You and your Halteres look to that. I should reply, I wish to see the effect of the Halteres. So, when you say: Take the treatise on the active powers ( ὁρμή ), and see how I have studied it. I reply, Slave, I am not inquiring about this, but how you exercise pursuit and avoidance, desire and aversion, how you design and purpose and prepare yourself, whether conformably to nature or not. If conformably, give me evidence of it, and I will say that you are making progress: but if not conformably, be gone, and not only expound your books, but write such books yourself; and what will you gain by it? Do you not know that the whole book costs only five denarii? Does then the expounder seem to be worth more than five denarii? Never then look for the matter itself in one place, and progress towards it in another. Where then is progress? If any of you, withdrawing himself from externals, turns to his own will ( προαίρεσις ) to exercise it and to improve it by labour, so as to make it conformable to nature, elevated, free, unrestrained, unimpeded, faithful, modest; and if he has learned that he who desires or avoids the things which are not in his power can neither be faithful nor free, but of necessity he must change with them and be tossed abort with them as in a tempest, and of necessity must subject himself to others who have the power to procure or prevent what he desires or would avoid; finally, when he rises in the morning, if he observes and keeps these rules, bathes as a man of fidelity, eats as a modest man; in like manner, if in every matter that occurs he works out his chief principles τὰ προηγούμενα ) as the runner does with reference to running, and the trainer of the voice with reference to the voice—this is the man who truly makes progress, and this is the man who has not travelled in vain. But if he has strained his efforts to the practice of reading books, and labours only at this, and has travelled for this, I tell him to return home immediately, and not to neglect his affairs there; for this for which he has travelled is nothing. But the other thing is something, to study how a man can rid his life of lamentation and groaning, and saying, Woe to me, and wretched that I am, and to rid it also of misfortune and disappointment, and to learn what death is, and exile, and prison, and poison, that he may be able to say when he is in fetters, Dear Crito, if it is the will of the gods that it be so, let it be so; and not to say, Wretched am I, an old man; have I kept my grey hairs for this? Who is it that speaks thus? Do you think that I shall name some man of no repute and of low condition? Does not Priam say this? Does not Oedipus say this? Nay, all kings say it! For what else is tragedy than the perturbations ( πάθη ) of men who value externals exhibited in this kind of poetry? But if a man must learn by fiction that no external things which are independent of the will concern us, for my part I should like this fiction, by the aid of which I should live happily and undisturbed. But you must consider for yourselves what you wish. What then does Chrysippus teach us? The reply is, to know that these things are not false, from which happiness comes and tranquillity arises. Take my books, and you will learn how true and conformable to nature are the things which make me free from perturbations. O great good fortune! 0 the great benefactor who points out the way! To Triptolemus all men have erectedtemples and altars, because he gave us food by cultivation; but to him who discovered truth and brought it to light and communicated it to all, not the truth which shows us how to live, but how to live well, who of you for this reason has built an altar, or a temple, or has dedicated a statue, or who worships God for this? Because the gods have given the vine, or wheat, we sacrifice to them: but because they have produced in the human mind that fruit by which they designed to show us the truth which relates to happiness, shall we not thank God for this?
1.6. FROM everything which is or happens in the world, it is easy to praise Providence, if a man possesses these two qualities, the faculty of seeing what belongs and happens to all persons and things, and a grateful disposition. If he does not possess these two qualities, one man will not see the use of things which are and which happen; another will not be thankful for them, even if he does know them. If God had made colours, but had not made the faculty of seeing them, what would have been their use? None at all. On the other hand, if He had made the faculty of vision, but had not made objects such as to fall under the faculty, what in that case also would have been the use of it? None at all. Well, suppose that He had made both, but had not made light? In that case, also, they would have been of no use. Who is it then who has fitted this to that and that to this? And who is it that has fitted the knife to the case and the case to the knife? Is it no one? And, indeed, from the very structure of things which have attained their completion, we are accustomed to show that the work is certainly the act of some artificer, and that it has not been constructed without a purpose. Does then each of these things demonstrate the workman, and do not visible things and the faculty of seeing and light demonstrate Him? And the existence of male and female, and the desire of each for conjunction, and the power of using the parts which are constructed, do not even these declare the workman? If they do not, let us consider the constitution of our understanding according to which, when we meet with sensible objects, we do not simply receive impressions from them, but we also select something from them, and subtract something, and add, and compound by means of them these things or those, and, in fact, pass from some to other things which, in a manner, resemble them: is not even this sufficient to move some men, and to induce them not to forget the workman? If not so, let them explain to us what it is that makes each several thing, or how it is possible that things so wonderful and like the contrivances of art should exist by chance and from their own proper motion? What, then, are these things done in us only? Many, indeed, in us only, of which the rational animal had peculiarly need; but you will find many common to us with irrational animals. Do they then understand what is done? By no means. For use is one thing, and understanding is another: God had need of irrational animals to make use of appearances, but of us to understand the use of appearances. It is therefore enough for them to eat and to drink, and to sleep and to copulate, and to do all the other things which they severally do. But for us, to whom He has given also the intellectual faculty, these things are not sufficient; for unless we act in a proper and orderly manner, and conformably to the nature and constitution of each thing, we shall never attain our true end. For where the constitutions of living beings are different, there also the acts and the ends are different. In those animals then whose constitution is adapted only to use, use alone is enough: but in an animal (man), which has also the power of understanding the use, unless there be the due exercise of the understanding, he will never attain his proper end. Well then God constitutes every animal, one to be eaten, another to serve for agriculture, another to supply cheese, and another for some like use; for which purposes what need is there to understand appearances and to be able to distinguish them? But God has introduced man to be a spectator of God and of His works; and not only a spectator of them, but an interpreter. For this reason it is shameful for man to begin and to end where irrational animals do; but rather he ought to begin where they begin, and to end where nature ends in us; and nature ends in contemplation and understanding, and in a way of life conformable to nature. Take care then not to die without having been spectators of these things. But you take a journey to Olympia to see the work of Phidias, and all of you think it a misfortune to die without having seen such things. But when there is no need to take a journey, and where a man is, there he has the works (of God) before him, will you not desire to see and understand them? Will you not perceive either what you are, or what you were born for, or what this is for which you have received the faculty of sight? But you may say, there are some things disagreeable and troublesome in life. And are there none at Olympia? Are you not scorched? Are you not pressed by a crowd? Are you not without comfortable means of bathing? Are you not wet when it rains? Have you not abundance of noise, clamour, and other disagreeable things? But I suppose that setting all these things off against the magnificence of the spectacle, you bear and endure. Well then and have you not received faculties by which you will be able to bear all that happens? Have you not received greatness of soul? Have you not received manliness? Have you not received endurance? And why do I trouble myself about anything that can happen if I possess greatness of soul? What shall distract my mind or disturb me, or appear painful? Shall I not use the power for the purposes for which I received it, and shall I grieve and lament over what happens? Yes, but my nose runs. For what purpose then, slave, have you hands? Is it not that you may wipe your nose?— Is it then consistent with reason that there should be running of noses in the world?—Nay, how much better it is to wipe your nose than to find fault. What do you think that Hercules would have been if there had not been such a lion, and hydra, and stag, and boar, and certain unjust and bestial men, whom Hercules used to drive away and clear out? And what would he have been doing if there had been nothing of the kind? Is it not plain that he would have wrapped himself up and have slept? In the first place then he would not have been a Hercules, when he was dreaming away all his life in such luxury and ease; and even if he had been one, what would have been the use of him? and what the use of his arms, and of the strength of the other parts of his body, and his endurance and noble spirit, if such circumstances and occasions had not roused and exercised him? Well then must a man provide for himself such means of exercise, and seek to introduce a lion from some place into his country, and a boar, and a hydra? This would be folly and madness: but as they did exist, and were found, they were useful for showing what Hercules was and for exercising him. Come then do you also having observed these things look to the faculties which you have, and when you have looked at them, say: Bring now, O Zeus, any difficulty that thou pleasest, for I have means given to me by thee and powers for honouring myself through the things which happen. You do not so: but you sit still, trembling for fear that some things will happen, and weeping, and lamenting, and groaning for what does happen: and then you blame the gods. For what is the consequence of such meanness of spirit but impiety? And yet God has not only given us these faculties; by which we shall be able to bear everything thing happens without being depressed or broken by it; but, like a good king and a true father, He has given us these faculties free from hindrance, subject to no compulsion, unimpeded, and has put them entirely in our own power, without even having reserved to Himself any power of hindering or impeding. You, who have received these powers free and as your own, use them not: you do not even see what you have received, and from whom; some of you being blinded to the giver, and not even acknowledging your benefactor, and others, through meanness of spirit, betaking yourselves to fault-finding and making charges against God. Yet I will show to you that you have powers and means for greatness of soul and manliness: but what powers you have for finding fault and making accusations, do you show me.
1.9. IF the things are true which are said by the philosophers about the kinship between God and man, what else remains for men to do than what Socrates did? Never in reply to the question, to what country you belong, say that you are an Athenian or a Corinthian, but that you are a citizen of the world ( κόσμιος ). For why do you say that you are an Athenian, and why do you not say that you belong to the small nook only into which your poor body was cast at birth? Is it not plain that you call yourself an Athenian or Corinthian from the place which has a greater authority and comprises not only that small nook itself and all your family, but even the whole country from which the stock of your progenitors is derived down to you? He then who has observed with intelligence the administration of the world, and has learned that the greatest and supreme and the most comprehensive community is that which is composed of men and God, and that from God have descended the seeds not only to my father and grandfather, but to all beings which are generated on the earth and are produced, and particularly to rational beings—for these only are by their nature formed to have communion with God, being by means of reason conjoined with him—why should not such a man call himself a citizen of the world, why not a son of God, and why should he be afraid of anything which happens among men? Is kinship with Caesar (the emperor) or with any other of the powerful in Rome sufficient to enable us to live in safety, and above ( contempt and without any fear at all? and to have God for your maker ( ποιητήν ), and father and guardian, shall not this release us from sorrows and fears? But a man may say, Whence shall I get bread to eat when I have nothing? And how do slaves, and runaways, on what do they rely when they leave their masters? Do they rely on their lands or slaves, or their vessels of silver? They rely on nothing but themselves; and food does not fail them. In our present society there are thousands who rise in the morning and know not how they shall find something to eat. Some find their food by fraud and theft, some receive it as a gift from others, and some look out for any work that they can find and get their pittance by honest labour. You may see such men everywhere, if you will keep your eyes open. Such men, who live by daily labour, live an heroic life, which puts to shame the well-fed philosopher and the wealthy Christian. Epictetus has made a great misstatement about irrational animals. Millions die annually for want of sufficient food; and many human beings perish in the same way. We can hardly suppose that he did not know these facts. Compare the passage in Matthew (vi. 25–34). It is said, v. 26: Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? The expositors of this passage may be consulted. And shall it be necessary for one among us who is a philosopher to travel into foreign parts, and trust to and rely on others, and not to take care of himself, and shall he be inferior to irrational animals and more cowardly, each of which being self-sufficient, neither fails to get its proper food, nor to find a suitable way of living, and one conformable to nature? I indeed think that the old man ought to be sitting here, not to contrive how you may have no mean thoughts nor mean and ignoble talk about yourselves, but to take care that there be not among us any young men of such a mind, that when they have recognised their kinship to God, and that we are fettered by these bonds, the body, I mean, and its possessions, and whatever else on account of them is necessary to us for the economy and commerce of life, they should intend to throw off these things as if they were burdens painful and intolerable, and to depart to their kinsmen. But this is the labour that your teacher and instructor ought to be employed upon, if he really were what he should be. You should come to him and say, Epictetus, we can no longer endure being bound to this poor body, and feeding it and giving it drink, and rest, and cleaning it, and for the sake of the body complying with the wishes of these and of those. Are not these things indifferent and nothing to us; and is not death no evil? And are we not in a manner kinsmen of God, and did we not come from him? Allow us to depart to the place from which we came; allow us to be released at last from these bonds by which we are bound and weighed down. Here there are robbers and thieves and courts of justice, and those who are named tyrants, and think that they have some power over us by means of the body and its possessions. Permit us to show them that they have no power over any man. And I on my part would say, Friends, wait for God: when He shall give the signal and release you from this service, then go to Him; but for the present endure to dwell in this place where He has put you: short indeed is this time of your dwelling here, and easy to bear for those who are so disposed: for what tyrant or what thief, or what courts of justice, are formidable to those who have thus considered as things of no value the body and the possessions of the body? Wait then, do not depart without a reason. Something like this ought to be said by the teacher to ingenuous youths. But now what happens? The teacher is a lifeless body, and you are lifeless bodies. When you have been well filled to-day, you sit down and lament about the morrow, how you shall get something to eat. Wretch, if you have it, you will have it; if you have it not, you will depart from life. The door is open. Upton has referred to the passages of Epictetus in which this expression is used, i. 24, 20; i. 25, 18; ii. 1, 19, and others; to Seneca, De Provid. c. 6, Ep. 91; to Cicero, De Fin. iii. 18, where there is this conclusion: e quo apparet et sapientis esse aliquando officium excedere e vita, quum beatus sit; et stulti manere in vita quum sit miser. Compare Matthew vi. 31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things, etc. Why do you grieve? where does there remain any room for tears? and where is there occasion for flattery? why shall one man envy another? why should a man admire the rich or the powerful, even if they be both very strong and of violent temper? for what will they do to us? We shall not care for that which they can do; and what we do care for, that they cannot do. How did Socrates behave with respect to these matters? Why, in what other way than a man ought to do who was convinced that he was a kinsman of the gods? If you say to me now, said Socrates to his judges, we will acquit you on the condition that you no longer discourse in the way in which you have hitherto discoursed, nor trouble either our young or our old men, I shall answer, you make yourselves ridiculous by thinking that, if one of our commanders has appointed me to a certain post, it is my duty to keep and maintain it, and to resolve to die a thousand times rather than desert it; but if God has put us in any place and way of life, we ought to desert it. Socrates speaks like a mar who is really a kinsman of the gods. But we think about ourselves, as if we were only stomachs, and intestines, and shameful parts; we fear, we desire; we flatter those who are able to help us in these matters, and we fear them also. A man asked me to write to Rome about him, a man who, as most people thought, had been unfortunate, for formerly he was a man of rank and rich, but had been stripped of all, and was living here. I wrote on his behalf in a submissive manner; but when he had read the letter, he gave it back to me and said, I wished for your help, not your pity: no evil has happened to me. Thus also Musonius Rufus, in order to try me, used to say: This and this will befall you from your master; and when I replied that these were things which happen in the ordinary course of human affairs. Why then, said he, should I ask him for anything when I can obtain it from you? For, in fact, what a man has from himself, it is superfluous and foolish to receive from another?s Shall I then, who am able to receive from myself greatness of soul and a generous spirit, receive from you land and money or a magisterial office? I hope not: I will not be so ignorant about my own possessions. But when a man is cowardly and mean, what else must be done for him than to write letters as you would about a corpse. Please to grant us the body of a certain person and a sextarius of poor blood. For such a person is, in fact, a carcase and a sextarius (a certain quantity) of blood, and nothing more. But if he were anything more, lie would know that one man is not miserable through the means of another.
1.10.10. IF we applied ourselves as busily to our own work as the old men at Rome do to those matters about which they are employed, perhaps we also might accomplish something. I am acquainted with a man older than myself, who is now superintendent of corn at Rome, and I remember the time when he came here on his way back from exile, and what he said as he related the events of his former life, and how he declared that with respect to the future after his return he would look after nothing else than passing the rest of his life in quiet and tranquillity. For how little of life, he said, remains for me. I replied, you will not do it, but as soon as you smell Rome, you will forget all that you have said; and if admission is allowed even into the imperial palace, he will gladly thrust himself in and thank God. If you find me, Epictetus, he answered, setting even one foot within the palace, think what you please. Well, what then did he do? Before he entered the city, he was met by letters from Caesar, and as soon as he received them, he forgot all, and ever after has added one piece of business to another. I wish that I were now by his side to remind him of what he said when he was passing this way, and to tell him how much better a seer I am than he is. Well then do I say that man is an animal made for doing nothing? Certainly not. But why are we not active?(We are active.) For example, as to myself, as soon as day comes, in a few words I remind myself of what I must read over to my pupils; then forthwith I say to myself, But what is it to me how a certain person shall read? the first thing for me is to sleep. And indeed what resemblance is there between what other persons do and what we do? If you observe what they do, you will understand. And what else do they do all day long than make up accounts, enquire among themselves, give and take advice about some small quantity of grain, a bit of land, and such kind of profits? Is it then the same thing to receive a petition and to read in it: I intreat you to permit me to export a small quantity of cor; and one to this effect: I intreat you to learn from Chrysippus what is the administration of the world, and what place in it the rational animal holds; consider also who you are, and what is the nature of your good and bad. Are these things like the other, do they require equal care, and is it equally base to neglect these and those? Well then are we the only persons who are lazy and love sleep? No; but much rather you young men are. For we old men when we see young men amusing themselves are eager to play with them; and if I saw you active and zealous, much more should I be eager myself to join you in your serious pursuits.
1.11. WHEN he was visited by one of the magistrates, Epictetus inquired of him about several particulars, and asked if he had children and a wife. The man replied that he had; and Epictetus inquired further, how he felt under the circumstances. Miserable, the man said. Then Epictetus asked, In what respect, for men do not marry and beget children in order to be wretched, but rather to be happy. But I, the man replied, am so wretched about my children that lately, when my little daughter was sick and was supposed to be in danger, I could not endure to stay with her, but I left home till a person sent me news that she had recovered. Well then, said Epictetus, do you think that you acted right? I acted naturally, the man replied. But convince me of this that you acted naturally, and I will convince you that everything which takes place according to nature takes place rightly. This is the case, said the man, with all or at least most fathers. I do not deny that: but the matter about which we are inquiring is whether such behaviour is right; for in respect to this matter we must say that tumours also come for the good of the body, because they do come; and generally we must say that to do wrong is natural, because nearly all or at least most of us do wrong. Do you show me then how your behaviour is natural. I cannot, he said; but do you rather show me how it is not according to nature, and is not rightly done. Well, said Epictetus, if we were inquiring about white and black, what criterion should we employ for distinguishing between them? The sight, he said. And if about hot and cold, and hard and soft, what criterion? The touch. Well then, since we are inquiring about things which are according to nature, and those which are done rightly or not rightly, what kind of criterion do you think that we should employ? I do not know, he said. And yet not to know the criterion of colours and smells, and also of tastes, is perhaps no great harm; but if a man do not know the criterion of good and bad, and of things according to nature and contrary to nature, does this seem to you a small harm? The greatest harm (I think). Come tell me, do all things which seem to some persons to be good and becoming, rightly appear such; and at present as to Jews and Syrians and Egyptians and Romans, is it possible that the opinions of all of them in respect to food are right? How is it possible? he said. Well, I suppose, it is absolutely necessary that, if the opinions of the Egyptians are right, the opinions of the rest must be wrong: if the opinions of the Jews are right, those of the rest cannot be right. Certainly. But where there is ignorance, there also there is want of learning and training in things which are necessary. He assented to this. You then, said Epictetus, since you know this, for the future will employ yourself seriously about nothing else, and will apply your mind to nothing else than to learn the criterion of things which are according to nature, and by using it also to determine each several thing. But in the present matter I have so muck as this to aid you towards what you wish. Does affection to those of your family appear to you to be according to nature and to be good? Certainly. Well, is such affection natural and good, and is a thing consistent with reason not good? By no means. Is then that which is consistent with reason in contradiction with affection? I think not. You are right, for if it is otherwise, it is necessary that one of the contradictions being according to nature, the other must be contrary to nature. Is it not so? It is, he said. Whatever then we shall discover to be at the same time affectionate and also consistent with reason, this we confidently declare to be right and good. Agreed. Well then to leave your sick child and to go away is not reasonable, and I suppose that you will not say that it is; but it remains for us to inquire if it is consistent with affection. Yes, let us consider. Did you then, since you had an affectionate disposition to your child, do right when you ran off and left her; and has the mother no affection for the child? Certainly, she has. Ought then the mother also to have left her, or ought she not? She ought not. And the nurse, does she love her? She does. Ought then she also to have left her? By no means. And the paedagogue, does he not love her? He does love her. Ought then he also to have deserted her? and so should the child have been left alone and without help on account of the great affection of you the parents and of those about her, or should she have died in the hands of those who neither loved her nor cared for her? Certainly not. Now this is unfair and unreasonable, not to allow those who have equal affection with yourself to do what you think to be proper for yourself to do because you have affection. It is absurd. Come then, if you were sick, would you wish your relations to be so affectionate, and all the rest, children and wife, as to leave you alone and deserted? By no means. And would you wish to be so loved by your own that through their excessive affection you would always be left alone in sickness? or for this reason would you rather pray, if it were possible, to be loved by your enemies and deserted by them? But if this is so, it results that your behaviour was not at all an affectionate act. Well then, was it nothing which moved you and induced you to desert your child? and how is that possible? But it might be something of the kind which moved a man at Rome to wrap up his head while a horse was running which he favoured; and when contrary to expectation the horse won, he required sponges to recover from his fainting fit. What then is the thing which moved? The exact discussion of this does not belong to the present occasion perhaps; but it is enough to be convinced of this, if what the philosophers say is true, that we must not look for it anywhere without, but in all cases it is one and the same thing which is the cause of our doing or not doing something, of saying or not saying something, of being elated or depressed, of avoiding any thing or pursuing: the very thing which is now the cause to me and to you, to you of coming to me and sitting and hearing, and to me of saying what I do say. And what is this? Is it any other than our will to do sc? No other. But if we had willed otherwise, what else should we have been doing than that which we willed to do? This then was the cause of Achilles’ lamentation, not the death of Patroclus; for another man does not behave thus on the death of his companion; but it was because he chose to do so. And to you this was the very cause of your then running away, that you chose to do so; and on the other side, if you should (hereafter) stay with her, the reason will be the same. And now you are going to Rome because you choose; and if you should change your mind, you will not go thither. And in a word, neither death nor exile nor pain nor anything of the kind is the cause of our doing anything or not doing; but our own opinions and our wills ( δόγματα ). Do I convince you of this or not? You do convince me. Such then as the causes are in each case, such also are the effects. When then we are doing anything not rightly, from this day we shall impute it to nothing else than to the will ( δόγμα or opinion) from which we have done it: and it is that which we shall endeavour to take away and to extirpate more than the tumours and abscesses out of the body. And in like manner we shall give the same account of the cause of the things which we do right; and we shall no longer allege as causes of any evil to us, either slave or neighbour, or wife or children, being persuaded, that if we do not think things to be what we do think them to be, we do not the acts which follow from such opinions; and as to thinking or not thinking, that is in our power and not in externals. It is so, he said. From this day then we shall inquire into and examine nothing else, what its quality is, or its state, neither land nor slaves nor horses nor dogs, nothing else than opinions. I hope so. You see then that you must become a Scholasticus, an animal whom all ridicule, if you really intend to make an examination of your own opinions: and that this is not the work of one hour or day, you know yourself.
1.12. WITH respect to gods, there are some who say that a divine being does not exist: others say that it exists, but is inactive and careless, and takes no forethought about any thing; a third class say that such a being exists and exercises forethought, but only about great things and heavenly things, and about nothing on the earth; a fourth class say that a divine being exercises forethought both about things on the earth and heavenly things, but in a general way only, and not about things severally. There is a fifth class to whom Ulysses and Socrates belong, who say: I move not without thy knowledge (Iliad, x. 278). Before all other things then it is necessary to inquire about each of these opinions, whether it is affirmed truly or not truly. For if there are no gods, how is it our proper end to follow them? And if they exist, but take no care of anything, in this case also how will it be right to follow them? But if indeed they do exist and look after things, still if there is nothing communicated from them to men, nor in fact to myself, how even so is it right (to follow them)? The wise and good man then after considering all these things, submits his own mind to him who administers the whole, as good citizens do to the law of the state. He who is receiving instruction ought to come to be instructed with this intention, How shall I follow the gods in all things, how shall I be contented with the divine administration, and how can I become free? For he is free to whom every thing happens according to his will, and whom no man can hinder. What then is freedom madness? Certainly not: for madness; in freedom do not consist. But, you say, I would have every thing result just as I like, and in whatever way I like. You are mad, you are beside yourself. Do you not know that freedom is a noble and valuable thing? But for me inconsiderately to wish for things to happen as I inconsiderately like, this appears to be not only not noble, but even most base. For how do we proceed in the matter of writing? Do I wish to write the name of Dion as I choose? No, but I am taught to choose to write it as it ought to be written. And how with respect to music? In the same manner. And what universally in every art or science? Just the same. If it were not so, it would be of no value to know anything, if knowledge were adapted to every man’s whim. Is it then in this alone, in this which is the greatest and the chief thing, I mean freedom, that I am permitted to will inconsiderately? By no means; but to be instructed is this, to learn to wish that every thing may happen as it does. And how do things happen? As the disposer has disposed them? And he has appointed summer and winter, and abundance and scarcity, and virtue and vice, and all such opposites for the harmony of the whole; and to each of us he has given a body, and parts of the body, and possessions, and companions. Remembering then this disposition of things, we ought to go to be instructed, not that we may change the constitution of things,—for we have not the power to do it, nor is it better that we should have the power,—but in order that, as the things around us are what they are and by nature exist, we may maintain our minds in harmony with the things which happen. For can we escape from men? and how is it possible? And if we associate with them, can we change them? Who gives us the power? What then remains, or what method is discovered of holding commerce with them? Is there such a method by which they shall do what seems fit to them, and we not the less shall be in a mood which is conformable to nature? But you are unwilling to endure and are discontented: and if you are alone, you call it solitude; and if you are with men, you call them knaves and robbers; and you find fault with your own parents and children, and brothers and neighbours. But you ought when you are alone to call this condition by the name of tranquillity and freedom, and to think yourself like to the gods; and when you are with many, you ought not to call it crowd, nor trouble, nor uneasiness, but festival and assembly, and so accept all contentedly. What then is the punishment of those who do not accept? It is to be what they are. Is any person dissatisfied with being alone? let him be alone. Is a man dissatisfied with his parents? let him be a bad son, and lament. Is he dissatisfied with his children? let him be a bad father. Cast him into prison. What prison? Where he is already, for he is there against his will; and where a man is against his will, there he is in prison. So Socrates was not in prison, for he was there willingly— Must my leg then be lamed? Wretch, do you then on account of one poor leg find fault with the world? Will you not willingly surrender it for the whole? Will you not withdraw from it? Will you not gladly part with it to him who gave it? And will you be vexed and discontented with the things established by Zeus, which he with the Moirae (fates) who were present and spinning the thread of your generation, defined and put in order? Know you not how small apart you are compared with the whole. I mean with respect to the body, for as to intelligence you are not inferior to the gods nor less; for the magnitude of intelligence is not measured by length nor yet by height, but by thoughts. Will you not then choose to place your good in that in which you are equal to the gods?—Wretch that I am to have such a father and mother.—What then, was it permitted to you to come forth and to select and to say: Let such a man at this moment unite with such a woman that I may be produced? It was not permitted, but it was a necessity for your parents to exist first, and then for you to be begotten. of what kind of parents? of such as they were. Well then, since they are such as they are, is there no remedy given to you? Now if you did not know for what purpose you possess the faculty of vision, you would be unfortunate and wretched if you closed your eyes when colours were brought before them; but in that you possess greatness of soul and nobility of spirit for every event that may happen, and you know not that you possess them, are you not more unfortunate and wretched? Things are brought close to you which are proportionate to the power which you possess, but you turn away this power most particularly at the very time when you ought to maintain it open and discerning. Do you not rather thank the gods that they have allowed you to be above these things which they have not placed in your power, and have made you accountable only for those which are in your power? As to your parents, the gods have left you free from responsibility; and so with respect to your brothers, and your body, and possessions, and death and life. For what then have they made you responsible? For that which alone is in your power, the proper use of appearances. Why then do you draw on yourself the things for which you are not responsible? It is, indeed, a giving of trouble to yourself.
1.13.3. WHEN some one asked, how may a man eat acceptably to the gods, he answered: If he can eat justly and contentedly, and with equanimity, and temperately and orderly, will it not be also acceptably to the gods? But when you have asked for warm water and the slave has not heard, or if he did hear has brought only tepid water, or he is not even found to be in the house, then not to be vexed or to burst with passion, is not this acceptable to the gods?—How then shall a man endure such persons as this slave? Slave yourself, will you not bear with your own brother, who has Zeus for his progenitor, and is like a son from the same seeds and of the same descent from above? But if you have been put in any such higher place, will you immediately make yourself a tyrant? Will you not remember who you are, and whom you rule? that they are kinsmen, that they are brethren by nature, that they are the offspring of Zeus?—But I have purchased them, and they have not purchased me. Do you see in what direction you are looking, that it is towards the earth, towards the pit, that it is towards these wretched laws of dead men? but towards the laws of the gods you are not looking.
1.14. WHEN a person asked him how a man could be convinced that all his actions are under the inspection of God, he answered, Do you not think that all things are united in one? do, the person replied. Well, do you not think that earthly things have a natural agreement and union with heavenly things? I do. And how else so regularly as if by God’s command, when He bids the plants to flower, do they flower? when He bids them to send forth shoots, do they shoot? when He bids them to produce fruit, how else do they produce fruit? when He bids the fruit to ripen, does it ripen? when again He bids them to cast down the fruits, how else do they cast them down? and when to shed the leaves, do they shed the leaves? and when He bids them to fold themselves up and to remain quiet and rest, how else do they remain quiet and rest? And how else at the growth and the wane of the moon, and at the approach and recession of the sun, are so great an alteration and change to the contrary seen in earthly things? But are plants and our bodies so bound up and united with the whole, and are not our souls much more? and our souls so bound up and in contact with God as parts of Him and portions of Him; and does not God perceive every motion of these parts as being his own motion connate with himself? Now are you able to think of the divine administration, and about all things divine, and at the same time also about human affairs, and to be moved by ten thousand things at the same time in your senses and in your understanding, and to assent to some, and to dissent from others, and again as to some things to suspend your judgment; and do you retain in your soul so many impressions from so many and various things, and being moved by them, do you fall upon notions similar to those first impressed, and do you retain numerous arts and the memories of ten thousand things; and is not God able to oversee all things, and to be present with all, and to receive from all a certain communication? And is the sun able to illuminate so large a part of the All, and to leave so little not illuminated, that part only which is occupied by the earth’s shadow; and He who made the sun itself and makes it go round, being a small part of himself compared with the whole, cannot He perceive all things? But I cannot, the man may reply, comprehend all these things at once. But who tells you that you have equal power with Zeus? Nevertheless he has placed by every man a guardian, every man’s Daemon, to whom he has committed the care of the man, a guardian who never sleeps, is never deceived. For to what better and more careful guardian could He have intrusted each of us? When then you have shut the doors and made darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not; but God is within, and your Daemon is within, and what need have they of light to see what you are doing? To this God you ought to swear an oath just as the soldiers do to Caesar. But they who are hired for pay swear to regard the safety of Caesar before all things; and you who have received so many and such great favors, will you not swear, or when you have sworn, will you not abide by your oath? And what shall you swear? Never to be disobedient, never to make any charges, never to find fault with any thing that he has given, and never unwillingly to do or to suffer any thing that is necessary. Is this oath like the soldier’s oath? The soldiers swear not to prefer any man to Cæsar: in this oath men swear to honour themselves before all.
1.16. Do not wonder if for other animals than man all things are provided for the body, not only food and drink, but beds also, and they have no need of shoes nor bed materials, nor clothing; but we require all these additional things. For animals not being made for themselves, but for service, it was not fit for them to be made so as to need other things. For consider what it would be for us to take care not only of ourselves, but also about cattle and asses, how they should be clothed, and how shod, and how they should eat and drink. Now as soldiers are ready for their commander, shod, clothed, and armed: but it would be a hard thing for the chiliarch (tribune) to go round and shoe or clothe his thousand men: so also nature has formed the animals which are made for service, all ready, prepared, and requiring no further care. So one little boy with only a stick drives the cattle. But now we, instead of being thankful that we need not take the same care of animals as of ourselves, complain of God on our own account; and yet, in the name of Zeus and the gods, any one thing of those which exist would be enough to make a man perceive the providence of God, at least a man who is modest and grateful. And speak not to me now of the great things, but only of this, that milk is produced from grass, and cheese from milk, and wool form skins. Who made these things or devised them? No one, you say. O amazing shamelessness and stupidity! Well, let us omit the works of nature, and contemplate her smaller (subordinate, πάρεργα ) acts. Is there anything less useful than the hair on the chin? What then, has not nature used this hair also in the most suitable manner possible? Has she not by it distinguished the male and the female? does not the nature of every man forthwith proclaim from a distance, I am a man: as such approach me, as such speak to me; look for nothing else; see the signs? Again, in the case of women, as she has mingled something softer in the voice, so she has also deprived them of hair (on the chin). You say, not so: the human animal ought to have been left without marks of distinction, and each of us should have been obliged to proclaim, I am a man. But how is not the sign beautiful and becoming and venerable? how much more beautiful than the cock’s comb, how much more becoming than the lion’s mane? For this reason we ought to preserve the signs which God has given, we ought not to throw them away, nor to confound, as much as we can, the distinctions of the sexes. Are these the only works of providence in us? And what words are sufficient to praise them and set them forth according to their worth? For if we had understanding, ought we to do any thing else both jointly and severally than to sing hymns and bless the deity, and to tell of his benefits? Ought we not when we are digging and ploughing and eating to sing this hymn to God? Great is God, who has given us such implements with which we shall cultivate the earth: great is God who has given us hands, the power of swallowing, a stomach, imperceptible growth, and the power of breathing while we sleep. This is what we ought to sing on every occasion, and to sing the greatest and most divine hymn for giving us the faculty of comprehending these things and using a proper way. Well then, since most of you have become blind, ought there not to be some man to fill this office, and on behalf of all to sing the hymn to God? For what else can I do, a lame old man, than sing hymns to God? If then I was a nightingale, I would do the part of a nightingale. if I were a swan, I would do like a swan. But now I am a rational creature, and I ought to praise God: this is my work; I do it, nor will I desert this post, so long as I am allowed to keep it; and I exhort you to join in this same song.
1.17.13. SINCE reason is the faculty which analyses and perfects the rest, and it ought itself not to be ualysed, by what should it be analysed? for it is plain that this should be done either by itself or by another thing. Either then this other thing also is reason, or something else superior to reason; which is impossible. But if it is reason, again who shall analyse that reason? For if that reason does this for itself, our reason also can do it. But if we shall require something else, the thing will go on to infinity and have no end. Reason therefore is analysed by itself. Yes: but it is more urgent to cure (our opinions) and the like. Will you then hear about those things? Hear. But if you should say, I know not whether you are arguing truly or falsely, and if I should express myself in any way ambiguously, and you should say to me, Distinguish, I will bear with you no longer, and I shall say to you, It is more urgent. This is the reason, I suppose, why they (the Stoic teachers) place the logical art first, as in the measuring of corn we place first the examination of the measure. But if we do not determine first what is a modius, and what is a balance, how shall we be able to measure or weigh anything? In this case then if we have not fully learned and accurately examined the criterion of all other things, by which the other things are learned, shall we be able to examine accurately and to learn fully any thing else? How is this possible? Yes; but the modius is only wood, and a thing which produces no fruit.—But it is a thing which can measure corn.—Logic also produces no fruit.—As to this indeed we shall see: but then even if a man should grant this, it is enough that logic has the power of distinguishing and examining other things, and, as we may say, of measuring and weighing them. Who says this? Is it only Chrysippus, and Zeno, and Cleanthes? And does not Antisthenes say so? And who is it that has written that the examination of names is the beginning of education? And does not Socrates say so? And of whom does Xenophon write, that he began with the examination of names, what each name signified? Is this then the great and wondrous thing to understand or interpret Chrysippus? Who says this?—What then is the wondrous thing?—To understand the will of nature. Well then do you apprehend it yourself by your own power? and what more have you need of? For if it is true that all men err involuntarily, and you have learned the truth, of necessity you must act right.—But in truth I do not apprehend the will of nature. Who then tells us what it is?—They say that it is Chrysippus.—I proceed, and I inquire what this interpreter of nature says. I begin not to understand what he says: I seek an interpreter of Chrysippus.—Well, consider how this is said, just as if it were said in the Roman tongue.—What then is this superciliousness of the interpreter? There is no superciliousness which can justly be charged even to Chrysippus, if he only interprets the will of nature, but does not follow it himself; and much more is this so with his interpreter. For we have no need of Chrysippus for his own sake, but in order that we may understand nature. Nor do we need a diviner (sacrificer) on his own account, but because we think that through him we shall know the future and understand the signs given by the gods; nor do we need the viscera of animals for their own sake, but because through them signs are given; nor do we look with wonder on the crow or raven, but on God, who through them gives signs? I go then to the interpreter of these things and the sacrificer, and I say, Inspect the viscera for me, and tell me what signs they give. The man takes the viscera, opens them, and interprets: Man, he says, you have a will free by nature from hindrance and compulsion; this is written here in the viscera. I will show you this first in the matter of assent. Can any man hinder you from assenting to the truth? No man can. Can any man compel you to receive what is false? No man can. You see that in this matter you have the faculty of the will free from hindrance, free from compulsion, unimpeded. Well then, in the matter of desire and pursuit of an object, is it otherwise? And what can overcome pursuit except another pursuit? And what can overcome desire and aversion ( ἔκκλισιν ) except another desire and aversion? But, you object: If you place before me the fear of death, you do compel me. No, it is not what is placed before you that compels, but your opinion that it is better to do so and so than to die. In this matter then it is your opinion that compelled you: that is, will compelled will. For if God had made that part of himself, which he took from himself and gave to us, of such a nature as to be hindered or compelled either by himself or by another, he would not then be God nor would he be taking care of us as he ought. This, says the diviner, I find in the victims: these are the things which are signified to you. If you choose, you are free; if you choose, you will blame no one: you will charge no one. All will be at the same time according to your mind and the mind of God. For the sake of this divination I go to this diviner and to the philosopher, not admiring him for this interpretation, but admiring the things which he interprets.
1.19.7. IF a man possesses any superiority, or thinks that he does, when he does not, such a man, if he is uninstructed, will of necessity be puffed up through it. For instance, the tyrant says, I am master of all? And what can you do for me? Can you give me desire which shall have no hindrance? How can you? Have you the infallible power of avoiding what you would avoid? Have you the power of moving towards an object without error? And how do you possess this power? Come, when you are in a ship, do you trust to yourself or to the helmsman? And when you are in a chariot, to whom do you trust but to the driver? And how is it in all other arts? Just the same. In what then lies your power? All men pay respect to me. Well, I also pay respect to my platter, and I wash it and wipe it; and for the sake of my oil flask, I drive a peg into the wall. Well then, are these things superior to me? No, but they supply some of my wants, and for this reason I take care of them. Well, do I not attend to my ass? Do I not wash his feet? Do I not clean him? Do you not know that every man has regard to himself, and to you just the same as he has regard to his ass? For who has regard to you as a man? Show me. Who wishes to become like you? Who imitates you, as he imitates Socrates?—But I can cut off your head.—You say right. I had forgotten that I must have regard to you, as I would to a fever and the bile, and raise an altar to you, as there is at Rome an altar to fever. What is it then that disturbs and terrifies the multitude? is it the tyrant and his guards? By no means. I hope that it is not so. It is not possible that what is by nature free can be disturbed by anything else, or hindered by any other thing than by itself. But it is a man’s own opinions which disturb him: for when the tyrant says to a man, I will chain your leg, he who values his leg says, Do not; have pity: but he who values his own will says, If it appears more advantageous to you, chain it. Do you not care? I do not care. I will show you that I am master. You cannot do that. Zeus has set me free: do you think that he intended to allow his own son to be enslaved? But you are master of my carcase: take it.—So when you approach me, you have no regard to me? No, but I have regard to myself; and if you wish me to say that I have regard to you also, I tell you that I have the same regard to you that I have to my pipkin. This is not a perverse self-regard, for the animal is constituted so as to do all things for itself. For even the sun does all things for itself; nay, even Zeus himself. But when he chooses to be the Giver of rain and the Giver of fruits, and the Father of Gods and men, you see that he cannot obtain these functions and these names, if he is not useful to man; and, universally, he has made the nature of the rational animal such that it cannot obtain any one of its own proper interests, if it does not contribute something to the common interest. In this manner and sense it is not unsociable for a man to do every thing for the sake of himself. For what do you expect? that a man should neglect himself and his own interest? And how in that case can there be one and the same principle in all animals, the principle of attachment (regard) to themselves? What then? when absurd notions about things independent of our will, as if they were good and (or) bad, lie at the bottom of our opinions, we must of necessity pay regard to tyrants; for I wish that men would pay regard to tyrants only, and not also to the bedchamber men. How is it that the man becomes all at once wise, when Caesar has made him superintendent of the close stool? How is it that we say immediately, Felicion spoke sensibly to me. I wish he were ejected from the bedchamber, that he might again appear to you to be a fool. Epaphroditus had a shoemaker whom he sold because he was good for nothing. This fellow by some good luck was bought by one of Caesar’s men, and became Caesar’s shoemaker. You should have seen what respect Epaphroditus paid to him: How does the good Felicion do, I pray? Then if any of us asked, What is master (Epaphroditus) doing? the answer was, He is consulting about something with Felicion. Had he not sold the man as good for nothing? Who then made him wise all at once? This is an instance of valuing something else than the things which depend on the will. Has a man been exalted to the tribuneship? All who meet him offer their congratulations: one kisses his eyes, another the neck, and the slaves kiss his hands. He goes to his house, he finds torches lighted. He ascends the Capitol: he offers a sacrifice on the occasion. Now who ever sacrificed for having had good desires? for having acted conformably to nature? For in fact we thank the gods for those things in which we place our good. A person was talking to me to-day about the priesthood of Augustus. I say to him: Man, let the thing alone: you will spend much for no purpose. But he replies, Those who draw up agreements will write my name. Do you then stand by those who read them, and say to such persons It is I whose name is written there ? And if you can now be present on all such occasions, what will you do when you are dead? My name will remain.— Write it on a stone, and it will remain. But come, what remembrance of you will there be beyond Nicopolis?—But I shall wear a crown of gold.—If you desire a crown at all, take a crown of roses and put it on, for it will be more elegant in appearance.
1.27.10. APPEARANCES are to us in four ways: for either things appear as they are; or they are not, and do not even appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Further, in all these cases to form a right judgment (to hit the mark) is the office of an educated man. But whatever it is that annoys (troubles) us, to that we ought to apply a remedy. If the sophisms of Pyrrho Pyrrho was a native of Elis, in the PeloponnesusIliad. He is said to have accompanied Alexander the Great in his Asiatic expedition (Diogenes Laertius, ix. 61). The time of his birth is not stated, but it is said that he lived to the age of ninety. See Levin’s Six Lectures, 1871 . Lecture II., On the Pyrrhonian Ethic; Lecture III., On the grounds of Scepticism. and of the Academics are what annoys (troubles), we must apply the remedy to them. If it is the persuasion of appearances, by which some things appear to be good, when they are not good, let us seek a remedy for this. If it is habit which annoys us, we must try to seek aid against habit. What aid then can we find against habit? The contrary habit. You hear the ignorant say: That unfortunate person is dead: his father and mother are overpowered with sorrow; he was cut off by an untimely death and in a foreign land. Hear the contrary way of speaking: Tear yourself from these expressions: oppose to one habit the contrary habit; to sophistry oppose reason, and the exercise and discipline of reason; against persuasive (deceitful) appearances we ought to have manifest praecognitions ( προλήψεις ) cleared of all impurities and ready to hand. When death appears an evil, we ought to have this rule in readiness, that it is fit to avoid evil things, and that death is a necessary thing. For what shall I do, and where shall I escape it? Suppose that I am not Sarpedon, the son of Zeus, nor able to speak in this noble way: I will go and I am resolved either to behave bravely myself or to give to another the opportunity of doing so; if I cannot succeed in doing any thing myself, I will not grudge another the doing of something noble.—Suppose that it is above our power to act thus; is it not in our power to reason thus? Tell me where I can escape death: discover for me the country, show me the men to whom I must go, whom death does not visit. Discover to me a charm against death. If I have not one, what do you wish me to do? I cannot escape from death. Shall I not escape from the fear of death, but shall I die lamenting and trembling? For the origin of perturbation is this, to wish for something, and that this should not happen. Therefore if I am able to change externals according to my wish, I change them; but if I can not, I am ready to tear out the eyes of him who hinders me. For the nature of man is not to endure to be deprived of the good, and not to endure the falling into the evil. Then at last, when I am neither able to change circumstances nor to tear out the eyes of him who hinders me, I sit down and groan, and abuse whom I can, Zeus and the rest of the gods. For if they do not care for me, what are they to me?—Yes, but you will be an impious man.—In what respect then will it be worse for me than it is now?—To sum up, remember this that unless piety and your interest be in the same thing, piety cannot be maintained in any man. Do not these things seem necessary (true)? Let the followers of Pyrrho and the Academics come and make their objections. For I, as to my part, have no leisure for these disputes, nor am I able to undertake the defence of common consent (opinion). If I had a suit even about a bit of land, I would call in another to defend my interests. With what evidence then am I satisfied? With that which belongs to the matter in hand. The chief question which was debated between the Pyrrhonists and the Academics on one side, and the Stoics on the other, was this, whether there is a criterion of truth; and in the first place, the question is about the evidence of the senses, or the certainty of truth in those things which are perceived by the senses. —Schweighaeuser. The strength of the Stoic system was that it furnishes a groundwork of common sense, and the universal belief of mankind, on which to found sufficient certitude for the requirements of life: on the other hand, the real question of knowledge, in the philosophical sense of the word, was abandoned. Levin’s Six Lectures, p. 70. How indeed perception is effected, whether through the whole body or any part, perhaps I cannot explain: for both opinions perplex me. But that you and I are not the same, I know with perfect certainty. How do you know it? When I intend to swallow any thing, I never carry it to your mouth, but to my own. When I intend to take bread, I never lay hold of a broom, but I always go to the bread as to a mark. And you yourselves (the Pyrrhonists), who take away the evidence of the senses, do you act otherwise? Who among you, when he intended to enter a bath, ever went into a mill? What then? Ought we not with all our power to hold to this also, the maintaining of general opinion, and fortifying ourselves against the arguments which are directed against it? Who denies that we ought to do this? Well, he should do it who is able, who has leisure for it; but as to him who trembles and is perturbed and is inwardly broken in heart (spirit), he must employ his time better on something else.
1.28.19. WHAT is the cause of assenting to any thing? The fact that it appears to be true. It is not possible then to assent to that which appears not to be true. Why? Because this is the nature of the understanding, to incline to the true, to be dissatisfied with the false, and in matters uncertain to withhold assent. What is the proof of this? Imagine (persuade yourself), if you can, that it is now night. It is not possible. Take away your persuasion that it is day. It is not possible. Persuade yourself or take away your persuasion that the stars are even in number. It is impossible. When then any man assents to that which is false, be assured that he did not intend to assent to it as false, for every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, as Plato says; but the falsity seemed to him to be true. Well, in acts what have we of the like kind as we have here truth or falsehood? We have the fit and the not fit (duty and not duty), the profitable and the unprofitable, that which is suitable to a person and that which is not, and whatever is like these. Can then a man think that a thing is useful to him and not choose it? He cannot. How says Medea?— Tis true I know what evil I shall do, But passion overpowers the better counsel. She thought that to indulge her passion and take vengeance on her husband was more profitable than to spare her children. It was so; but she was deceived. Show her plainly that she is deceived, and she will not do it; but so long as you do not show it, what can she follow except that which appears to herself (her opinion)? Nothing else. Why then are you angry with the unhappy woman that she has been bewildered about the most important things, and is become a viper instead of human creature? And why not, if it is possible, rather pity, as we pity the blind and the lame, so those who are blinded and maimed in the faculties which are supreme? Whoever then clearly remembers this, that to man the measure of every act is the appearance (the opinion),— whether the thing appears good or bad: if good, he is free from blame; if bad, himself suffers the penalty, for it is impossible that he who is deceived can be one person, and he who suffers another person—whoever remembers this will not be angry with any man, will not be vexed at any man, will not revile or blame any man, nor hate nor quarrel with any man. So then all these great and dreadful deeds have this origin, in the appearance (opinion)? Yes, this origin and no other. The Iliad is nothing else than appearance and the use of appearances. It appeared to Alexander to carry off the wife of Menelaus: it appeared to Helene to follow him. If then it had appeared to Menelaus to feel that it was a gain to be deprived of such a wife, what would have happened? Not only would the Iliad have been lost, but the Odyssey also. On so small a matter then did such great things depend? But what do you mean by such great things? Wars and civil commotions, and the destruction of many men and cities. And what great matter is this? Is it nothing?—But what great matter is the death of many oxen, and many sheep, and many nests of swallows or storks being burnt or destroyed? Are these things then like those? Very like. Bodies of men are destroyed, and the bodies of oxen and sheep; the dwellings of men are burnt, and the nests of storks. What is there in this great or dreadful? Or show me what is the difference between a man’s house and a stork’s nest, as far as each is a dwelling; except that man builds his little houses of beams and tiles and bricks, and the stork builds them of sticks and mud. Are a stork and a man then like things? What say you?—In body they are very much alike. Does a man then differ in no respect from a stork? Don’t suppose that I say so; but there is no difference in these matters (which I have mentioned). In what then is the difference? Seek and you will find that there is a difference in another matter. See whether it is not in a man the understanding of what he does, see if it is not in social community, in fidelity, in modesty, in steadfastness, in intelligence. Where then is the great good and evil in men? It is where the difference is. If the difference is preserved and remains fenced round, and neither modesty is destroyed, nor fidelity, nor intelligence, then the man also is preserved; but if any of these things is destroyed and stormed like a city, then the man too perishes; and in this consist the great things. Alexander, you say, sustained great damage then when the Hellenes invaded and when they ravaged Troy, and when his brothers perished. By no means; for no man is damaged by an action which is not his own; but what happened at that time was only the destruction of storks’ nests: now the ruin of Alexander was when he lost the character of modesty, fidelity, regard to hospitality, and to decency. When was Achilles ruined? Was it when Patroclus died? Not so. But it happened when he began to be angry, when he wept for a girl, when he forgot that he was at Troy not to get mistresses, but to fight. These things are the ruin of men, this is being besieged, this is the destruction of cities, when right opinions are destroyed, when they are corrupted. When then women are carried off, when children are made captives, and when the men are killed, are these not evils? How is it then that you add to the facts these opinions? Explain this to me also.—I shall not do that; but how is it that you say that these are not evils?—Let us come to the rules: produce the praecognitions ( προλήψεις ): for it is because this is neglected that we can not sufficiently wonder at what men do. When we intend to judge of weights, we do not judge by guess: where we intend to judge of straight and crooked, we do not judge by guess. In all cases where it is our interest to know what is true in any matter, never will any man among us do anything by guess. But in things which depend on the first and on the only cause of doing right or wrong, of happiness or unhappiness, of being unfortunate or fortunate, there only we are inconsiderate and rash. There is then nothing like scales (balance), nothing like a rule: but some appearance is presented, and straightway I act according to it. Must I then suppose that I am superior to Achilles or Agamemnon, so that they by following appearances do and suffer so many evils: and shall not the appearance be sufficient for me?—And what tragedy has any other beginning? The Atreus of Euripides, what is it? An appearance. The Oedipus of Sophocles, what is it? An appearance. The Phoenix? An appearance. The Hippolytus? An appearance. What kind of a man then do you suppose him to be who pays no regard to this matter? And what is the name of those who follow every appearance? They are called madmen. Do we then act at all differently?
1.29.3. THE being (nature) of the Good is a certain Will; the being of the Bad is a certain kind of Will. What then are externals? Materials for the Will, about which the will being conversant shall obtain its own good or evil. How shall it obtain the good. If it does not admire (overvalue) the materials; for the opinions about the materials, if the opinions are right, make the will good: but perverse and distorted opinions make the will bad. God has fixed this law, and says, If you would have any thing good, receive it from yourself. You say, No, but I will have it from another.—Do not so: but receive it from yourself. Therefore when the tyrant threatens and calls me, I say, Whom do you threaten? If he says, I will put you in chains, I say, You threaten my hands and my feet. If he says, I will cut off your head, I reply, You threaten my head. If he says, I will throw you into prison, I say, You threaten the whole of this poor body. If he threatens me with banishment, I say the same. Does he then not threaten you at all? If I feel that all these things do not concern me, he does not threaten me at all; but if I fear any of them, it is I whom he threatens. Whom then do I fear? the master of what? The master of things which are in my own power? There is no such master. Do I fear the master of things which are not in my power? And what are these things to me? Do you philosophers then teach us to despise kings? I hope not. Who among us teaches to claim against them the power over things which they possess? Take my poor body, take my property, take my reputation, take those who are about me. If I advise any persons to claim these things, they may truly accuse me.—Yes, but I intend to command your opinions also.—And who has given you this power? How can you conquer the opinion of another man? By applying terror to it, he replies, I will conquer it. Do you not know that opinion conquers itself, and is not conquered by another? But nothing else can conquer Will except the Will itself. For this reason too the law of God is most powerful and most just, which is this: Let the stronger always be superior to the weaker. Ten are stronger than one. For what? For putting in chains, for killing, for dragging whither they choose, for taking away what a man has. The ten therefore conquer the one in this in which they are stronger. In what then are the ten weaker? If the one possesses right opinions and the others do not. Well then, can the ten conquer in this matter? How is it possible? If we were placed in the scales, must not the heavier draw down the scale in which it is. How strange then that Socrates should have been so treated by the Athenians. Slave, why do you say Socrates? Speak of the thing as it is: how strange that the poor body of Socrates should have been carried off and dragged to prison by stronger men, and that any one should have given hemlock to the poor body of Socrates, and that it should breathe out the life. Do these things seem strange, do they seem unjust, do you on account of these things blame God? Had Socrates then no equivalent for these things? Where then for him was the nature of good? Whom shall we listen to, you or him? And what does Socrates say? Anytus and Melitus can kill me, but they cannot hurt me: and further, he says, If it so pleases God, so let it be. But show me that he who has the inferior principles overpowers him who is superior in principles. You will never show this, nor come near showing it; for this is the law of nature and of God that the superior shall always overpower the inferior. In what? In that in which it is superior. One body is stronger than another: many are stronger than one: the thief is stronger than he who is not a thief. This is the reason why I also lost my lamp, because in wakefulness the thief was superior to me. But the man bought the lamp at this price: for a lamp he became a thief, a faithless fellow, and like a wild beast. This seemed to him a good bargain. Be it so. But a man has seized me by the cloak, and is drawing me to the public place: then others bawl out, Philosopher, what has been the use of your opinions? see you are dragged to prison, you are going to be beheaded. And what system of philosophy ( εἰσαγωγήν ) could I have made so that, if a stronger man should have laid hold of my cloak, I should not be dragged off; that if ten men should have laid hold of me and cast me into prison, I should not be cast in? Have I learned nothing else then? I have learned to see that every thing which happens, if it be independent of my will, is nothing to me. I may ask, if you have not gained by this. Why then do you seek advantage in any thing else than in that in which you have learned that advantage is? Then sitting in prison I say: The man who cries out in this way neither hears what words mean, nor understands what is said, nor does he care at all to know what philosophers say or what they do. Let him alone. But now he says to the prisoner, Come out from your prison.—If you have no further need of me in prison, I come out: if you should have need of me again, I will enter the prison.—How long will you act thus?—So long as reason requires me to be with the body: but when reason does not require this, take away the body, and fare you well. Only we must not do it inconsiderately, nor weakly, nor for any slight reason; for, on the other hand, God does not wish it to be done, and he has need of such a world and such inhabitants in it. But if he sounds the signal for retreat, as he did to Socrates, we must obey him who gives the signal, as if he were a general. Well then, ought we to say such things to the many? Why should we? Is it not enough for a man to be persuaded himself? When children come clapping their hands and crying out, To-day is the good Saturnalia, do we say, The Saturnalia are not good ? By no means, but we clap our hands also. Do you also then, when you are not able to make a man change his mind, be assured that he is a child, and clap your hands with him; and if you do not choose to do this, keep silent. A man must keep this in mind; and when he is called to any such difficulty, he should know that the time is come for showing if he has been instructed. For he who is come into a difficulty is like a young man from a school who has practised the resolution of syllogisms; and if any person proposes to him an easy syllogism, he says, rather propose to me a syllogism which is skilfully complicated that I may exercise myself on it. Even athletes are dissatisfied with slight young men, and say, He cannot lift me. — This is a youth of noble disposition. You do not so; but when the time of trial is come, one of you must weep and say, I wish that I had learned more. A little more of what? If you did not learn these things in order to show them in practice, why did you learn them I think that there is some one among you who are sitting here, who is suffering like a woman in labour, and saying, Oh, that such a difficulty does not present itself to me as that which has come to this man; oh, that I should be wasting my life in a corner, when I might be crowned at Olympia. When will any one announce to me such a contest? Such ought to be the disposition of all of you. Even among the gladiators of Caesar (the Emperor) there are some who complain grievously that they are not brought forward and matched, and they offer up prayers to God and address themselves to their superintendents intreating that they may fight. And will no one among you show himself such? I would willingly take a voyage to Rome for this purpose and see what my athlete is doing, how he is studying his subject.—I do not choose such a subject, he says. Why, is it in your power to take what subject you choose? There has been given to you such a body as you have, such parents, such brethren, such a country, such a place in your country: —then you come to me and say, Change my subject. Have you not abilities which enable you to manage the subject which has been given to you? You ought to say: It is your business to propose; it is mine to exercise myself well. However, you do not say so, but you say, Do not propose to me such a tropic, Tropic ( τροπικόν ), a logical term used by Stoics, which Schweighaeuser translates propositio connexa in syllogismo hypothetico. The meaning of the whole is this. You do not like the work which is set before you: as we say, you are not content to do your duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call you. Now this is as foolish, says Wolf, as for a man in any discussion to require that his adversary should raise no objection except such as may serve the man’s own case. but such as I would choose: do not urge against me such an objection, but such as I would choose. There will be a time perhaps when tragic actors will suppose that they are only masks and buskins and the long cloak. I say, these things, man, are your material and subject. Utter something that we may know whether you are a tragic actor or a buffoon; for both of you have all the rest in common. If any one then should take away the tragic actor’s buskins and his mask, and introduce him on the stage as a phantom, is the tragic actor lost, or does he still remain? If he has voice, he still remains. An example of another kind. Assume the governorship of a province. I assume it, and when I have assumed it, I show how an instructed man behaves. Lay aside the laticlave (the mark of senatorial rank), and clothing yourself in rags, come forward in this character. What then have I not the power of displaying a good voice (that is, of doing something that I ought to do)? How then do you now appear (on the stage of life)? As a witness summoned by God. Come forward, you, and bear testimony for me, for you are worthy to be brought forward as a witness by me: is any thing external to the will good or bad? do I hurt any man? have I made every man’s interest dependent on any man except himself? What testimony do you give for God? —I am in a wretched condition, Master The word is Κύριος , the name by which a slave in Epictetus addresses his master (dominus), a physician is addressed by his patient, and in other cases also it is used. It is also used by the Evangelists. They speak of the angel of the Lord (Matt. i. 24); and Jesus is addressed by the same term (Matt. viii. 2), Lord or master. Mrs. Carter has the following note: It hath been observed that this manner of expression is not to be met with in the Heathen authors before Christianity, and therefore it is one instance of Scripture language coming early into common use. But the word ( κύριος ) is used by early Greek writers to indicate one who has power or authority, and in a sense like the Roman dominus, as by Sophocles for instance. The use of the word then by Epictetus was not new, and it may have been used by the Stoic writers long before his time. The language of the Stoics was formed at least two centuries before the Christian aera, and the New Testament writers would use the Greek which was current in their age. The notion of Scripture language coming early into common use is entirely unfounded, and is even absurd. Mrs. Carter’s remark implies that Epictetus used the Scripture language, whereas he used the particular language of the Stoics, and the general language of his age, and the New Testament writers would do the same. There are resemblances between the language of Epictetus and the New Testament writers, such as the expression μὴ γένοιτο of Paul, which Epictetus often uses; but this is a slight matter. The words of Peter (Ep. ii. 1, 4), that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, are a Stoic expression, and the writer of this Epistle, I think, took them from the language of the Stoics. (Lord), and I am unfortunate; no man cares for me, no man gives me anything; all blame me, all steak ill of me.—Is this the evidence that you are going to give, and disgrace his summons, who has conferred so much honour on you, and thought you worthy of being called to bear such testimony? But suppose that he who has the power has declared, I judge you to be impious and profane. What has happened to you? I have been judged to be impious and profane? Nothing else? Nothing else. But if the same person had, passed judgment on an hypothetical syllogism ( συνημμένου ), and had made a declaration, the conclusion that, if it is day, it is light, I declare to be false, what has happened to the hypothetical syllogism? who is judged in this case? who has been condemned? the hypothetical syllogism, or the man who has been deceived by it? Does he then who has the power of making any declaration about you know what is pious or impious? Has he studied it, and has he learned it? Where? From whom? Then is it the fact that a musician pays no regard to him who declares that the lowest chord in the lyre is the highest; nor yet a geometrician, if he declares that the lines from the centre of a circle to the circumference are not equal; and shall he who is really instructed pay any regard to the uninstructed man when he pronounces judgment on what is pious and what is impious, on what is just and unjust? Oh, the signal wrong done by the instructed. Did they learn this here? Will you not leave the small arguments ( λογάρια ) about these matters to others, to lazy fellows, that they may sit in a corner and receive their sorry pay, or grumble that no one gives them any thing; and will you not come forward and make use of what you have learned? For it is not these small arguments that are wanted now: the writings of the Stoics are full of them. What then is the thing which is wanted? A man who shall apply them, one who by his acts shall bear testimony to his words. Assume, I intreat you, this character, that we may no longer use in the schools the examples of the antients, but may have some example of our own. To whom then does the contemplation of these matters (philosophical inquiries) belong? To him who has leisure, for man is an animal that loves contemplation. But it is shameful to contemplate these things as runaway slaves do: we should sit, as in a theatre, free from distraction, and listen at one time to the tragic actor, at another time to the lute-player; and not do as slaves do. As soon as the slave has taken his station he praises the actor and at the same time looks round: then if any one calls out his master’s name, the slave is immediately frightened and disturbed. It is shameful for philosophers thus to contemplate the works of nature. For what is a master? Man is not the master of man; but death is, and life and pleasure and pain; for if he comes without these things, bring Caesar to me and you will see how firm I am. But when he shall come with these things, thundering and lightning, and when I am afraid of them, what do I do then except to recognize my master like the runaway slave? But so long as I have any respite from these terrors, as a runaway slave stands in the theatre, so do I: I bathe, I drink, I sing; but all this I do with terror and uneasiness. But if I shall release myself from my masters, that is from those things by means of which masters are formidable, what further trouble have I, what master have I still? What then, ought we to publish these things to all men? No, but we ought to accommodate ourselves to the ignorant ( τοῖς ἰδιώταις ) and to say: This man recommends to me that which he thinks good for himself: I excuse him. For Socrates also excused the jailor, who had the charge of him in prison and was weeping when Socrates was going to drink the poison, and said, How generously he laments over us. Does he then say to the jailor that for this reason we have sent away the women? No, but he says it to his friends who were able to hear (understand) it; and he treats the jailor as a child.
1.30.3. WHEN you are going in to any great personage, remember that another also from above sees what is going on, and that you ought to please him rather than the other. He then who sees from above asks you: In the schools what used you to say about exile and bonds and death and disgrace? I used to say that they are things indifferent (neither good nor bad). What then do you say of them now? Are they changed at all? No. Are you changed then? No. Tell me then what things are indifferent? The things which are independent of the will. Tell me, also, what follows from this. The things which are independent of the will are nothing to me. Tell me also about the Good, what was your opinion? A will such as we ought to have and also such a use of appearances. And the end (purpose), what is it? To follow thee. Do you say this now also? I say the same now also. Then go in to the great personage boldly and remember these things; and you will see what a youth is who has studied these things when he is among men who have not studied them. I indeed imagine that you will have such thoughts as these: Why do we make so great and so many preparations for nothing? Is this the thing which men name power? Is this the antechamber? this the men of the bedchamber? this the armed guards? Is it for this that I listened to so many discourses? All this is nothing: but I have been preparing myself as for something great.
2.1. THE opinion of the philosophers perhaps seems to some to be a paradox; but still let us examine as well as we can, if it is true that it is possible to do every thing both with caution and with confidence. For caution seems to be in a manner contrary to confidence, and contraries are in no way consistent. That which seems to many to be a paradox in the matter under consideration in my opinion is of this kind: if we asserted that we ought to employ caution and confidence in the same things, men might justly accuse us of bringing together things which cannot be united. But now where is the difficulty in what is said? for if these things are true, which have been often said and often proved, that the nature of good is in the use of appearances, and the nature of evil likewise, and that things independent of our will do not admit either the nature of evil nor of good, what paradox do the philosophers assert if they say that where things are not dependent on the will, there you should employ confidence, but where they are dependent on the will, there you should employ caution? For if the bad consists in a bad exercise of the will, caution ought only to be used where things are dependent on the will. But if things independent of the will and not in our power are nothing to us, with respect to these we must employ confidence; and thus we shall both be cautious and confident, and indeed confident because of our caution. For by employing caution towards things which are really bad, it will result that we shall have confidence with respect to things which are not so. We are then in the condition of deer; when they flee from the huntsmen’s feathers in fright, whither do they turn and in what do they seek refuge as safe? They turn to the nets, and thus they perish by confounding things which are objects of fear with things that they ought not to fear. Thus we also act: in what cases do we fear? In things which are independent of the will. In what cases on the contrary do we behave with confidence, as if there were no danger? In things dependent on the will. To be deceived then, or to act rashly, or shamelessly or with base desire to seek something, does not concern us at all, if we only hit the mark in things which are independent of our will. But where there is death, or exile or pain or infamy, there we attempt to run away, there we are struck with terror. Therefore as we may expect it to happen with those who err in the greatest matters, we convert natural confidence (that is, according to nature) into audacity, desperation, rashness, shamelessness; and we convert natural caution and modesty into cowardice and meanness, which are full of fear and confusion. For if a man should transfer caution to those things in which the will may be exercised and the acts of the will, he will immediately by willing to be cautious have also the power of avoiding what he chooses: but if he transfer it to the things which are not in his power and will, and attempt to avoid the things which are in the power of others, he will of necessity fear, he will be unstable, he will be disturbed. For death or pain is not formidable, but the fear of pain or death. For this reason we commend the poet who said Not death is evil, but a shameful death. Confidence (courage) then ought to be employed against death, and caution against the fear of death. But now we do the contrary, and employ against death the attempt to escape; and to our opinion about it we employ carelessness, rashness and indifference. These things Socrates properly used to call tragic masks; for as to children masks appear terrible and fearful from inexperience, we also are affected in like manner by events (the things which happen in life) for no other reason than children are by masks. For what is a child? Ignorance. What is a child? Want of knowledge. For when a child knows these things, he is in no way inferior to us. What is death? A tragic mask. Turn it and examine it. See, it does not bite. The poor body must be separated from the spirit either now or later as it was separated from it before. Why then are you troubled, if it be separated now? for if it is not separated now, it will he separated afterwards. Why? That the period of the universe may be completed, for it has need of the present, and of the future, and of the past. What is pain? A mask. Turn it and examine it. The poor flesh is moved roughly, then on the contrary smoothly. If this does not satisfy (please) you, the door is open: if it does, bear (with things). For the door ought to be open for all occasions; and so we have no trouble. What then is the fruit of these opinions? It is that which ought to be the most noble and the most becoming to those who are really educated, release from perturbation, release from fear, freedom. For in these matters we must not believe the many, who say that free persons only ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that the educated only are free. How is this? In this manner. Is freedom any thing else than the power of living as we choose? Nothing else. Tell me then, ye men, do you wish to live in error? We do not. No one then who lives in error is free. Do you wish to live in fear? Do you wish to live in sorrow? Do you wish to live in perturbation? By no means. No one then who is in a state of fear or sorrow or perturbation is free; but whoever is delivered from sorrows and fears and perturbations, he is at the same time also delivered from servitude. How then can we continue to believe you, most dear legislators, when you say, We only allow free persons to be educated? For philosophers say we allow none to be free except the educated; that is, God does not allow it. When then a man has turned round before the praetor his own slave, has he done nothing? He has done something. What? He has turned round his own slave before the praetor. Has he done nothing more? Yes: he is also bound to pay for him the tax called the twentieth. Well then, is not the man who has gone through this ceremony become free? No more than he is become free from perturbations. Have you who are able to turn round (free) others no master? is not money your master, or a girl or a boy, or some tyrant, or some friend of the tyrant? why do you tremble then when you are going off to any trial (danger) of this kind? It is for this reason that I often say, study and hold in readiness these principles by which you may determine what those things are with reference to which you ought to have confidence (courage), and those things with reference to which you ought to be cautious: courageous in that which does not depend on your will; cautious in that which does depend on it. Well have I not read to you, and do you not know what I was doing? In what? In my little dissertations. —Show me how you are with respect to desire and aversion ( ἔκκλισιν ); and show me if you do not fail in getting what you wish, and if you do not fall into the things which you would avoid: but as to these long and labored sentences you will take them and blot them out. What then did not Socrates write? And who wrote so much?—But how? As he could not always have at hand one to argue against his principles or to be argued against in turn, he used to argue with and examine himself, and he was always treating at least some one subject in a practical way. These are the things which a philosopher writes. But little dissertations and that method, which I speak of, he leaves to others, to the stupid, or to those happy men who being free from perturbations have leisure, or to such as are too foolish to reckon con. sequences. And will you now, when the opportunity invites, go and display those things which you possess, and recite them, and make an idle show, and say, See how I make dialogues? Do not so, my man; but rather say; See how I am not disappointed of that which I desire: See how I do not fall into that which I would avoid. Set death before me, and you will see. Set before me pain, prison, disgrace and condemnation. This is the proper display of a young man who is come out of the schools. But leave the rest to others, and let no one ever hear you say a word about these things; and if any man commends you for them, do not allow it; but think that you are nobody and know nothing. Only show that you know this, how never to be disappointed in your desire and how never to fall into that which you would avoid. Let others labour at forensic causes, problems and syllogisms: do you labour at thinking about death, chains, the rack, exile; and do all this with confidence and reliance on him who has called you to these sufferings, who has judged you worthy of the place in which being stationed you will show what things the rational governing power can do when it takes its stand against the forces which are not within the power of our will. And thus this paradox will no longer appear either impossible or a paradox, that a man ought to be at the same time cautious and courageous: courageous towards the things which do not depend on the will, and cautious in things which are within the power of the will.
2.2.3. CONSIDER, you who are going into court, what you wish to maintain and what you wish to succeed in. For if you wish to maintain a will conformable to nature, you have every security, every facility, you have no troubles. For if you wish to maintain what is in your own power and is naturally free, and if you are content with these, what else do you care for? For who is the master of such things? Who can take them away? If you choose to be modest and faithful, who shall not allow you to be so? If you choose not to be restrained or compelled, who shall compel you to desire what you think that you ought not to desire? who shall compel you to avoid what you do not think fit to avoid? But what do you say? The judge will determine against you something that appears formidable; but that you should also suffer in trying to avoid it, how can he do that? When then the pursuit of objects and the avoiding of them are in your power, what else do you care for? Let this be your preface, this your narrative, this your confirmation, this your victory, this your peroration, this your applause (or the approbation which you will receive). Therefore Socrates said to one who was reminding him to prepare for his trial, Do you not think then that I have been preparing for it all my life? By what kind of preparation? I have maintained that which was in my own power. How then? I have never done anything unjust either in my private or in my public life. But if you wish to maintain externals also, your poor body, your little property and your little estimation, I advise you to make from this moment all possible preparation, and then consider both the nature of your judge and your adversary. If it is necessary to embrace his knees, embrace his knees; if to weep, weep; if to groan, groan. For when you have subjected to externals what is your own, then be a slave and do not resist, and do not sometimes choose to be a slave, and sometimes not choose, but with all your mind be one or the other, either free or a slave, either instructed or uninstructed, either a well bred cock or a mean one, either endure to be beaten until you die or yield at once; and let it not happen to you to receive many stripes and then to yield. But if these things are base, determine immediately. Where is the nature of evil and good? It is where truth is: where truth is and where nature is, there is caution: where truth is, there is courage where nature is. For what do you think? do you think that, if Socrates had wished to preserve externals, he would have come forward and said: Anytus and Melitus can certainly kill me, but to harm me they are not able? Was he so foolish as not to see that this way leads not to the preservation of life and fortune, but to another end? What is the reason then that he takes no account of his adversaries, and even irritates them? Just in the same way my friend Heraclitus, who had a little suit in Rhodes about a bit of land, and had proved to the judges ( δικασταῖς ) that his case was just, said when he had come to the peroration of his speech, I will neither intreat you nor do I care what judgment you will give, and it is you father than I who are on your trial. And thus he ended the business. What need was there of this? Only do not intreat; but do not also say, I do not intreat. unless there is a fit occasion to irritate purposely the judges, as was the case with Socrates. And you, if you are preparing such a peroration, why do you wait, why do you obey the order to submit to trial? For if you wish to be crucified, wait and the cross will come: but if you choose to submit and to plead your cause as well as you can, you must do what is consistent with this object, provided you maintain what is your own (your proper character). For this reason also it is ridiculous to say, Suggest something to me (tell me what to do). What should I suggest to you? Well, form my mind so as to accommodate itself to any event. Why that is just the same as if a man who is ignorant of letters should say, Tell me what to write when any name is proposed to me. For if I should tell him to write Dion, and then another should come and propose to him not the name of Dion but that of Theon, what will be done? what will he write? But if you have practised writing, you are also prepared to write (or to do) any thing that is required. If you are not, what can I now suggest? For if circumstances require something else, what will you say, or what will you do? Remember then this general precept and you will need no suggestion. But if you gape after externals, you must of necessity ramble up and down in obedience to the will of your master. And who is the master? He who has the power over the things which you seek to gain or try to avoid.
2.6.9. The title of Indifference means of the indifference of things. of the things which are neither good nor bad. THE hypothetical proposition is indifferent: the judgment about it is not indifferent, but it is either knowledge or opinion or error. Thus life is indifferent: the use is not indifferent. When any man then tells you that these things also are indifferent, do not become negligent; and when a man invites you to be careful (about such things), do not become abject and struck with admiration of material things. And it is good for you to know your own preparation and power, that in those matters where you have not been prepared, you may keep quiet, and not be vexed, if others have the advantage over you. For you too in syllogisms will claim to have the advantage over them; and if others should be vexed at this, you will console them by saying, I have learned them, and you have not. Thus also where there is need of any practice, seek not that which is acquired from the need (of such practice), but yield in that matter to those who have had practice, and be yourself content with firmness of mind. Go and salute a certain person. How? Not meanly.— But I have been shut out, for I have not learned to make my way through the window; and when I have found the door shut, I must either come back or enter through the window.—But still speak to him.—In what way? Not meanly. But suppose that you have not got what you wanted. Was this your business, and not his? Why then do you claim that which belongs to another? Always remember what is your own, and what belongs to another; and you will not be disturbed. Chrysippus therefore said well, So long as future things are uncertain, I always cling to those which are more adapted to the conservation of that which is according to nature; for God himself has given me the faculty of such choice. But if I knew that it was fated (in the order of things) for me to be sick, I would even move towards it; for the foot also, if it had intelligence, would move to go into the mud. For why are ears of corn produced? Is it not that they may become dry? And do they not become dry that they may be reaped? for they are not separated from communion with other things. If then they had perception, ought they to wish never to be reaped? But this is a curse upon ears of corn, to be never reaped. So we must know that in the case of men too it is a curse not to die, just the same as not to be ripened and not to be reaped. But since we must be reaped, and we also know that we are reaped, we are vexed at it; for we neither know what we are nor have we studied what belongs to man, as those who have studied horses know what belongs to horses. But Chrysantas when he was going to strike the enemy checked himself when he heard the trumpet sounding a retreat: so it seemed better to him to obey the general’s command than to follow his own inclination. But not one of us chooses, even when necessity summons, readily to obey it, but weeping and groaning we suffer what we do suffer, and we call them circumstances. What kind of circumstances, man? If you give the name of circumstances to the things which are around you, all things are circumstances; but if you call hardships by this name, what hardship is there in the dying of that which has been produced? But that which destroys is either a sword, or a wheel, or the sea, or a tile, or a tyrant. Why do you care about the way of going down to Hades? All ways are equal. But if you will listen to the truth, the way which the tyrant sends you is shorter. A tyrant never killed a man in six months: but a fever is often a year about it. All these things are only sound and the noise of empty names. I am in danger of my life from Caesar. And am not I in danger who dwell in Nicopolis, where there are so many earthquakes: and when you are crossing the Hadriatic, what hazard do you run? Is it not the hazard of your life? But I am in danger also as to opinion. Do you mean your own? how? For who can compel you to have any opinion which you do not choose? But is it as to another man’s opinion? and what kind of danger is yours, if others have false opinions? But I am in danger of being banished. What is it to be banished? To be somewhere else than at Rome? Yes: what then if I should be sent to Gyara? If that suits you, you will go there; but if it does not, you can go to another place instead of Gyara, whither he also will go, who sends you to Gyara, whether he choose or not. Why then do you go up to Rome as if it were something great? It is not worth all this preparation, that an ingenuous youth should say, It was not worth while to have heard so much and to have written so much and to have sat so long by the side of an old man who is not worth much. Only remember that division by which your own and not your own are distinguished: never claim any thing which belongs to others. A tribunal and a prison are each a place, one high and the other low; but the will can be maintained equal, if you choose to maintain it equal in each. And we shall then be imitators of Socrates, when we are able to write paeans in prison. But in our present disposition, consider if we could endure in prison another person saying to us, Would you like me to read Paeans to you?—Why do you trouble me? do you not know the evils which hold me? Can I in such circumstances (listen to paeans)?—What circumstances?—I am going to die.— And will other men be immortal?
2.8.11. GOD is beneficial. But the Good also is beneficial. It is consistent then that where the nature of God is, there also the nature of the good should be. What then is the nature of God? Flesh? Certainly not. An estate in land? By no means. Fame? No. Is it intelligence, knowledge, right reason? Yes. Herein then simply seek the nature of the good; for I suppose that you do not seek it in a plant. No. Do you seek it in an irrational animal? No. If then you seek it in a rational animal, why do you still seek it any where except in the superiority of rational over irrational animals? Now plants have not even the power of using appearances, and for this reason you do not apply the term good to them. The good then requires the use of appearances. Does it require this use only? For if you say that it requires this use only, say that the good, and that happiness and unhappiness are in irrational animals also. But you do not say this, and you do right; for if they possess even in the highest degree the use of appearances, yet they have not the faculty of understanding the use of appearances; and there is good reason for this, for they exist for the purpose of serving others, and they exercise no superiority. For the ass, I suppose, does not exist for any superiority over others. No; but because we had need of a back which is able to bear something; and in truth we had need also of his being able to walk, and for this reason he received also the faculty of making use of appearances, for other wise he would not have been able to walk. And here then the matter stopped. For if he had also received the faculty of comprehending the use of appearances, it is plain that consistently with reason he would not then have beer subjected to us, nor would he have done us these services, but he would have been equal to us and like to us. Will you not then seek the nature of good in the rational animal? for if it is not there, you will not choose to say that it exists in any other thing (plant or animal). What then? are not plants and animals also the works of God? They are; but they are not superior things, nor yet parts of the Gods. But you are a superior thing; you are a portion separated from the deity; you have in yourself a certain portion of him. Why then are you ignorant of your own noble descent? Why do you not know whence you came? will you not remember when you are eating, who you are who eat and whom you feed? When you are in conjunction with a woman, will you not remember who you are who do this thing? When you are in social intercourse, when you are exercising yourself, when you are engaged in discussion, know you not that you are nourishing a god, that you are exercising a god? Wretch, you are carrying about a god with you, and you know it not. Mrs. Carter has a note here. See 1 Cor. vi. 19, 2 Cor. vi. 16, 2 Tim. i. 14, 1 John iii. 24, iv. 12, 13. But though the simple expression of carrying God about with us may seem to have some nearly parallel to it in the New Testament, yet those represent the Almighty in a more venerable manner, as taking the hearts of good men for a temple to dwell in. But the other expressions here of feeding and exercising God, and the whole of the paragraph, and indeed of the Stoic system, show the real sense of even its more decent phrases to be vastly different from that of Scripture. The passage in 1 Cor. vi. 19 is, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own ? This follows v. 18, which is an exhortation to flee fornication . The passage in 2 Cor. vi. 16 is And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, etc. Mrs. Carter has not correctly stated the sense of these two passages. It is certain that Epictetus knew nothing of the writers of the Epistles in the New Testament; but whence did these writers learn such forms of expression as we find in the passages cited by Mrs. Carter? I believe that they drew them from the Stoic philosophers who wrote before Epictetus and that they applied them to the new religion which they were teaching. The teaching of Paul and of Epictetus does not differ: the spirit of God is in man. Swedenborg says, In these two faculties (rationality and liberty) the Lord resides with every man, whether he be good or evil, they being the Lord’s mansions in the human race. But the mansion of the Lord is nearer with a man, in proportion as the man opens the superior degrees by these faculties; for by the opening thereof he comes into superior degrees of love and wisdom, and consequently nearer to the Lord. Hence it may appear that as these degrees are opened, so a man is in the Lord and the Lord in him. Swedeuborg, Angelic Wisdom, 240. Again, the faculty of thinking rationally, viewed in itself, is not man’s, but God’s in man. I am not quite sure in what sense the administration of the Eucharist ought to be understood in the church of England service. Some English divines formerly understood, and perhaps some now understand, the ceremony as a commemoration of the blood of Christ shed for us and of his body which was broken; as we see in T. Burnet’s Posthumous work (de Fide et officiis Christianorum, p. 80). It was a commemoration of the last supper of Jesus and the Apostles. But this does not appear to be the sense in which the ceremony is now understood by some priests and by some members of the church of England, whose notions approach near to the doctrine of the Catholic mass. Nor does it appear to be the sense of the prayer made before delivering the bread and wine to the Communicants, for the prayer is Grant us, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear son Jesus Christ and to drink his blood that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body and our souls washed through his most precious blood and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. This is a different thing from Epictetus’ notion of God being in man, and also different, as I understand it, from the notion contained in the two passages of Paul; for it is there said generally that the Holy Ghost is in man or God in man, not that God is in man by virtue of a particular ceremony. It should not be omitted that there is after the end of the Communion service an admonition that the sacramental bread and wine remain what they were, and that the natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven and not here; it being against the truth of Christ’s natural body to be at one time in more places than one. It was affirmed by the Reformers and the best writers of the English church that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a spiritual presence, and in this opinion they followed Calvin and the Swiss divines: and yet in the Prayer book we have the language that I have quoted; and even Calvin, who only maintained a spiritual presence, said, that the verity is nevertheless joined to the signs, and that in the sacrament we have true Communion in Christ’s body and blood (Contemporary Review, p. 464, August 1874 ). What would Epictetus have thought of the subtleties of our days? Do you think that I mean some God of silver or of gold, and external? You carry him within yourself, and you perceive not that you are polluting him by impure thoughts and dirty deeds. And if an image of God were present, you would not dare to do any of the things which you are doing: but when God himself is present within and sees all and hears all, you are not ashamed of thinking such things and doing such things, ignorant as you are of your own nature and subject to the anger of God. Then why do we fear when we are sending a young man from the school into active life, lest he should do anything improperly, eat improperly, have improper intercourse with women; and lest the rags in which he is wrapped should debase him, lest fine garments should make him proud? This youth (if he acts thus) does not know his own God: he knows not with whom he sets out (into the world). But can we endure when he says I wish I had you (God) with me. Have you not God with you? and do you seek for any other, when you have him? or will God tell you any thing else than this? If you were a statue of Phidias, either Athena or Zeus, you would think both of yourself and of the artist, an if you had any understanding (power of perception) you would try to do nothing unworthy of him who made you or of yourself, and try not to appear in an unbecoming dress (attitude) to those who look on you. But now because Zeus has made you, for this reason do you care not how you shall appear? And yet is the artist (in the one case) like the artist in the other? or the work in the one case like the other? And what work of an artist, for instance, has in itself the faculties, which the artist shows in making it? Is it not marble or bronze, or gold or ivory? and the Athena of Phidias when she has once extended the hand and received in it the figure of Victory stands in that attitude for ever. But the works of God have power of motion, they breathe, they have the faculty of using the appearances of things, and the power of examining them. Being the work of such an artist do you dishonour him? And what shall I say, not only that he made you, but also entrusted you to yourself and made you a deposit to yourself? Will you not think of this too, but do you also dishonour your guardianship? But if God had entrusted an orphan to you, would you thus neglect him? He has delivered yourself to your own care, and says, I had no one fitter to intrust him to than yourself: keep him for me such as he is by nature, modest, faithful, erect, unterrifled, free from passion and perturbation. And then you do not keep him such. But some will say, whence has this fellow got the arrogance which he displays and these supercilious looks?—I have not yet so much gravity as befits a philosopher; for I do not yet feel confidence in what I have learned and in what I have assented to: I still fear my own weakness. Let me get confidence and then you shall see a countece such as I ought to have and an attitude such as I ought to have: then I will show to you the statue, when it is perfected, when it is polished. What do you expect? a supercilious countece? Does the Zeus at Olympia lift up his brow? No, his look is fixed as becomes him who is ready to say Irrevocable is my word and shall not fail. —Iliad, i. 526. Such will I show myself to you, faithful, modest, noble, free from perturbation—What, and immortal too, exempt from old age, and from sickness? No, but dying as becomes a god, sickening as becomes a god. This power I possess; this I can do. But the rest I do not possess, nor can I do. I will show the nerves (strength) of a philosopher. What Lerves are these? A desire never disappointed, an aversion which never falls on that which it would avoid, a proper pursuit ( ὁρμήν ), a diligent purpose, an assent which is not rash. These you shall see.
2.9.1. It is no common (easy) thing to do this only, to fulfil the promise of a man’s nature. For what is a man? The answer is, a rational and mortal being. Then by the rational faculty from whom are we separated? From wild beasts. And from what others? From sheep and like animals. Take care then to do nothing like a wild beast; but if you do, you have lost the character of a man; you have not fulfilled your promise. See that you do nothing like a sheep; but if you do, in this case also the man is lost. What then do we do as sheep? When we act gluttonously, when we act lewdly, when we act rashly, filthily, inconsiderately, to what have we declined? To sheep. What have we lost? The rational faculty. When we act contentiously and harmfully and passionately, and violently, to what have we declined? To wild beasts. Consequently some of us are great wild beasts, and others little beasts, of a bad disposition and small, whence we may say, Let me be eaten by a lion. But in all these ways the promise of a man acting as a man is destroyed. For when is a conjunctive (complex) proposition maintained? When it fulfils what its nature promises; so that the preservation of a complex proposition is when it is a conjunction of truths. When is a disjunctive maintained? When it fulfils what it promises. When are flutes, a lyre, a horse, a dog, preserved? (when they severally keep their promise). What is the wonder then if man also in like manner is preserved, and in like manner is lost? Each man is improved and preserved by corresponding acts, the carpenter by acts of carpentry, the grammarian by acts of grammar. But if a man accustoms himself to write ungrammatically, of necessity his art will be corrupted and destroyed. Thus modest actions preserve the modest man, and immodest actions destroy him: and actions of fidelity preserve the faithful man, and the contrary actions destroy him. And on the other hand contrary actions strengthen contrary characters: shamelessness strengthens the shameless man, faithlessness the faithless man, abusive words the abusive man, anger the man of an angry temper, and unequal receiving and giving make the avaricious man more avaricious. For this reason philosophers admonish us not to be satisfied with learning only, but also to add study, and then practice. For we have long been accustomed to do contrary things, and we put in practice opinions which are contrary to true opinions. If then we shall not also put in practice right opinions, we shall be nothing more than the expositors of the opinions of others. For now who among us is not able to discourse according to the rules of art about good and evil things (in this fashion)? That of things some are good, and some are bad, and some are indifferent: the good then are virtues, and the things which participate in virtues; and the bad are the contrary; and the indifferent are wealth, health, reputation.— Then, if in the midst of our talk there should happen some greater noise than usual, or some of those who are present should laugh at us, we are disturbed. Philosopher, where are the things which you were talking about? Whence did you produce and utter them. From the lips, and thence only. Why then do you corrupt the aids provided by others? Why do you treat the weightiest matters as if you were playing a game of dice? For it is one thing to lay up bread and wine as in a storehouse, and another thing to eat. That which has been eaten, is digested, distributed, and is become sinews, flesh, bones, blood, healthy colour, healthy breath. Whatever is stored up, when you choose you can readily take and show it; but you have no other advantage from it except so far as to appear to possess it. For what is the difference between explaining these doctrines and those of men who have different opinions? Sit down now and explain according to the rules of art the opinions of Epicurus, and perhaps you will explain his opinions in a more useful manner than Epicurus himself. Why then do you call yourself a Stoic? Why do you deceive the many? Why do you act the part of a Jew, when you are a Greek? Do you not see how (why) each is called a Jew, or a Syrian or an Egyptian? and when we see a man inclining to two sides, we are accustomed to say, This man is not a Jew, but he acts as one. But when he has assumed the affects of one who has been imbued with Jewish doctrine and has adopted that sect, then he is in fact and he is named a Jew. Thus we too being falsely imbued (baptized), are in name Jews, but in fact we are something else. Our affects (feelings) are inconsistent with our words; we are far from practising what we say, and that of which we are proud, as if we knew it. Thus being unable to fulfil even what the character of a man promises, we even add to it the profession of a philosopher, which is as heavy a burden, as if a man who is unable to bear ten pounds should attempt to raise the stone which Ajax lifted.
2.10.1. CONSIDER who you are. In the first place, you are a man and this is one who has nothing superior to the faculty of the will, but all other things subjected to it; and the faculty itself he possesses unenslaved and free from subjection. Consider then from what things you have been separated by reason. You have been separated from wild beasts: you have been separated from domestic animals ( προβάτων ). Further, you are a citizen of the world, See i. 9. M. Antoninus, vi. 44: But my nature is rational and social; and my city and country, so far as I am Antoninus, is Rome, but so far as I am a man, it is the world. I have here translated προβάτων by domestic animals. I suppose that the bovine species, and sheep and goats are meant. and a part of it, not one of the subservient (serving), but one of the principal (ruling) parts, for you are capable of comprehending the divine administration and of considering the connexion of things. What then does the character of a citizen promise (profess)? To hold nothing as profitable to himself; to deliberate about nothing as if he were detached from the community, but to act as the hand or foot would do, if they had reason and understood the constitution of nature, for they would never put themselves in motion nor desire any thing otherwise than with reference to the whole. Therefore the philosophers say well, that if the good man had foreknowledge of what would happen, he would co-operate towards his own sickness and death and mutilation, since he knows that these things are assigned to him according to the universal arrangement, and that the whole is superior to the part, and the state to the citizen. But now because we do not know the future, it is our duty to stick to the things which are in their nature more suitable for our choice, for we were made among other things for this. After this remember that you are a son. What does this character promise? To consider that every thing which is the son’s belongs to the father, to obey him in all things, never to blame him to another, nor to say or do any thing which does him injury, to yield to him in all things and give way, co-operating with him as far as you can. After this know that you are a brother also, and that to this character it is due to make concessions; to be easily persuaded, to speak good of your brother, never to claim in opposition to him any of the things which are independent of the will, but readily to give them up, that you may have the larger share in what is dependent on the will. For see what a thing it is, in place of a lettuce, if it should so happen, or a seat, to gain for yourself goodness of disposition. How great is the advantage. Next to this, if you are a senator of any state, remember that you are a senator: if a youth, that you are a youth: if an old man, that you are an old man; for each of such names, if it comes to be examined, marks out the proper duties. But if you go and blame your brother, I say to you, You have forgotten who you are and what is your name. In the next place, if you were a smith and made a wrong use of the hammer, you would have forgotten the smith; and if you have forgotten the brother and instead of a brother have become an enemy, would you appear not to have changed one thing for another in that case? And if instead of a man, who is a tame animal and social, you are become a mischievous wild beast, treacherous, and biting, have you lost nothing? But, (I suppose) you must lose a bit of money that you may suffer damage? And does the loss of nothing else do a man damage? If you had lost the art of grammar or music, would you think the loss of it a damage? and if you shall lose modesty, moderation ( καταστολήν ) and gentleness, do you think the loss nothing? And yet the things first mentioned are lost by some cause external and independent of the will, and the second by our own fault; and as to the first neither to have them nor to lose them is shameful; but as to the second, not to have them and to lose them is shameful and matter of reproach and a misfortune. What does the pathic lose? He loses the (character of) man. What does he lose who makes the pathic what he is? Many other things; and he also loses the man no less than the other. What does he lose who commits adultery? He loses the (character of the) modest, the temperate, the decent, the citizen, the neighbour. What does he lose who is angry? Something else. What does the coward lose? Something else. No man is bad without suffering some loss and damage. If then you look for the damage in the loss of money only, all these men receive no harm or damage; it may be, they have even profit and gain, when they acquire a bit of money by any of these deeds. But consider that if you refer every thing to a small coin, not even he who loses his nose is in your opinion damaged. Yes, you say, for he is mutilated in his body. Well; but does he who has lost his smell only lose nothing? Is there then no energy of the soul which is an advantage to him who possesses it, and a damage to him who has lost it?— Tell me what sort (of energy) you mean.—Have we not a natural modesty?—We have.—Does he who loses this sustain no damage? is he deprived of nothing, does he part with nothing of the things which belong to him? Have we not naturally fidelity? natural affection, a natural disposition to help others, a natural disposition to forbearance? The man then who allows himself to be damaged in these matters, can he be free from harm and uninjured What then? shall I not hurt him, who has hurt me? In the first place consider what hurt ( βλάβη ) is, and remember what you have heard from the philosophers. For if the good consists in the will (purpose, intention, προαιρέσει ), and the evil also in the will, see if what you say is not this: What then, since that man has hurt himself by doing an unjust act to me, shall I not hurt myself by doing some unjust act to him? Why do we not imagine to ourselves (mentally think of) something of this kind? But where there is any detriment to the body or to our possession, there is harm there; and where the same thing happens to the faculty of the will, there is (you suppose) no harm; for he who has been deceived or he who has done an unjust act neither suffers in the head nor in the eye nor in the hip, nor does he lose his estate; and we wish for nothing else than (security to) these things. But whether we shall have the will modest and faithful or shameless and faithless, we care not the least, except only in the school so far as a few words are concerned. Therefore our proficiency is limited to these few words; but beyond them it does not exist even in the slightest degree.
2.11.20. THE beginning of philosophy to him at least who enters on it in the right way and by the door, is a consciousness of his own weakness and inability about necessary things. For we come into the world with no natural notion of a right angled triangle, or of a diesis (a quarter tone), or of a half tone; but we learn each of these things by a certain transmission according to art; and for this reason those who do not know them, do not think that they know them. But as to good and evil, and beautiful and ugly, and becoming and unbecoming, and happiness and misfortune, and proper and improper, and what we ought to do and what we ought not to do, who ever came into the world without having an innate idea of them? Wherefore we all use these names, and we endeavour to fit the preconceptions to the several cases (things) thus: he has done well, he has not done well; he has done as he ought, not as he ought; he has been unfortunate, he has been fortunate; he is unjust, he is just: who does not use these names? who among us defers the use of them till he has learned them, as he defers the use of the words about lines (geometrical figures) or sounds? And the cause of this is that we come into the world already taught as it were by nature some things on this matter ( τόπον ), and proceeding from these we have added to them self—conceit ( οἴησιν ). For why, a man says, do I not know the beautiful and the ugly? Have I not the notion of it? You have. Do I not adapt it to particulars? You do. Do I not then adapt it properly? In that lies the whole question; and conceit is added here. For beginning from these things which are admitted men proceed to that which is matter of dispute by means of unsuitable adaptation; for if they possessed this power of adaptation in addition to those things, what would hinder them from being perfect? But now since you think that you properly adapt the preconceptions to the particulars, tell me whence you derive this (assume that you do so). Because I think so. But it does not seem so to another, and he thinks that he also makes a proper adaptation; or does he not think so? He does think so. Is it possible then that both of you can properly apply the preconceptions to things about which you have contrary opinions? It is not possible. Can you then show us anything better towards adapting the preconceptions beyond your thinking that you do? Does the madman do any other things than the things which seem to him right? Is then this criterion sufficient for him also? It is not sufficient. Come then to something which is superior to seeming ( τοῦ δοκεῖν ). What is this? Observe, this is the beginning of philosophy, a perception of the disagreement of men with one another, and an inquiry into the cause of the disagreement, and a condemnation and distrust of that which only seems , and a certain investigation of that which seems whether it seems rightly, and a discovery of some rule ( κανόνος ), as we have discovered a balance in the determination of weights, and a carpenter’s rule (or square) in the case of straight and crooked things.—This is the beginning of philosophy. Must we say that all things are right which seem so to all? And how is it possible that contradictions can be right?—Not all then, but all which seem to us to be right.—How more to you than those which seem right to the Syrians? why more than what seem right to the Egyptians? why more than what seems right to me or to any other man? Not at all more. What then seems to every man is not sufficient for determining what is. for neither in the case of weights or measures are we satisfied with the bare appearance, but in each case we have discovered a certain rule. In this matter then is there no rule superior to what ’seems’? And how is it possible that the most necessary things among men should have no sign (mark), and be incapable of being discovered? There is then some rule. And why then do we not seek the rule and discover it, and afterwards use it without varying from it, not even stretching out the finger without it? For this, I think, is that which when it is discovered cures of their madness those who use mere seeming as a measure, and misuse it; so that for the future proceeding from certain things (principles) known and made clear we may use in the case of particular things the preconceptions which are distinctly fixed. What is the matter presented to us about which we are inquiring? Pleasure (for example). Subject it to the rule, throw it into the balance. Ought the good to be such a thing that it is fit that we have confidence in it? Yes. And in which we ought to confide? It ought to be. Is it fit to trust to any thing which is insecure? No. Is then pleasure any thing secure? No. Take it Then and throw it out of the scale, and drive it far away from the place of good things. But if you are not sharp-sighted, and one balance is not enough for you, bring another. Is it fit to be elated over what is good? Yes. Is it proper then to be elated over present pleasure? See that you do not say that it is proper; but if you do, I shall then not think you worthy even of the balance. Thus things are tested and weighed when the rules are ready. And to philosophize is this, to examine and confirm the rules; and then to use them when they are known is the act of a wise and good man.
2.18.19. EVERY habit and faculty is maintained and increased by the corresponding actions: the habit of walking by walking, the habit of running by running. If you would be a good reader, read; if a writer, write. But when you shall not have read for thirty days in succession, but have done something else, you will know the consequence. In the same way, if you shall have lain down ten days, get up and attempt to make a long walk, and you will see how your legs are weakened. Generally then if you would make any thing a habit, do it; if you would not make it a habit, do not do it, but accustom yourself to do something else in place of it. So it is with respect to the affections of the soul: when you have been angry, you must know that not only has this evil befallen you, but that you have also increased the habit, and in a manner thrown fuel upon fire. When you have been overcome in sexual intercourse with a person, do not reckon this single defeat only, but reckon that you have also nurtured, increased your incontinence. For it is impossible for habits and faculties, some of them not to be produced, when they did not exist before, and others not be increased and strengthened by corresponding acts. In this manner certainly, as philosophers say, also diseases of the mind grow up. For when you have once desired money, if reason be applied to lead to a perception of the evil, the desire is stopped, and the ruling faculty of our mind is restored to the original authority. But if you apply no means of cure, it no longer returns to the same state, but being again excited by the corresponding appearance, it is inflamed to desire quicker than before: and when this takes place continually, it is henceforth hardened (made callous), and the disease of the mind confirms the love of money. For he who has had a fever, and has been relieved from it, is not in the same state that he was before, unless he has been completely cured. Something of the kind happens also in diseases of the soul. Certain traces and blisters are left in it, and unless a man shall completely efface them, when he is again lashed on the same places, the lash will produce not blisters (weals) but sores. If then you wish not to be of an angry temper, do not feed the habit: throw nothing on it which will increase it: at first keep quiet, and count the days on which you have not been angry. I used to be in passion every day; now every second day; then every third, then every fourth. But if you have intermitted thirty days, make a sacrifice to God. For the habit at first begins to be weakened, and then is completely destroyed. I have not been vexed to—day, nor the day after, nor yet on any succeeding day during two or three months; but I took care when some exciting things happened. Be assured that you are in a good way. To-day when I saw a handsome person, I did not say to myself, I wish I could lie with her, and Happy is her husband; for he who says this says, Happy is her adulterer also. Nor do I picture the rest to my mind; the woman present, and stripping herself and lying down by my side. I stroke my head and say, Well done, Epictetus, you have solved a fine little sophism, much finer than that which is called the master sophism. And if even the woman is willing, and gives signs, and sends messages, and if she also fondle me and come close to me, and I should abstain and be victorious, that would be a sophism beyond that which is named the Liar, and the Quiescent. Over such a victory as this a man may justly be proud; not for proposing the master sophism. How then shall this be done? Be willing at length to be approved by yourself, be willing to appear beautiful to God, desire to be in purity with your own pure self and with God. Then when any such appearance visits you, Plato says, Have recourse to expiations, go a suppliant to the temples of the averting deities. It is even sufficient if you resort to the society of noble and just men, and compare yourself with them, whether you find one who is living or dead. Go to Socrates and see him lying down with Alcibiades, and mocking his beauty: consider what a victory he at last found that he had gained over himself; what an Olympian victory; in what number he stood from Hercules; so that, by the Gods, one may justly salute him, Hail, wondrous man, you who have conquered not these sorry boxers and pancratiasts, nor yet those who are like them, the gladiators. By placing these objects on the other side you will conquer the appearance: you will not be drawn away by it. But in the first place be not hurried away by the rapidity of the appearance, but say, Appearances, wait for me a little: let me see who you are, and what you are about: let me put you to the test. And then do not allow the appearance to lead you on and draw lively pictures of the things which will follow; for if you do, it will carry you off wherever it pleases. But rather bring in to oppose it some other beautiful and noble appearance and cast out this base appearance. And if you are accustomed to be exercised in this way, you will see what shoulders, what sinews, what strength you have. But now it is only trifling words, and nothing more. This is the true athlete, the man who exercises himself against such appearances. Stay, wretch, do not be carried way. Great is the combat, divine is the work; it is for kingship, for freedom, for happiness, for freedom from perturbation. Remember God: call on him as a helper and protector, as men at sea call on the Dioscur in a storm. For what is a greater storm than that which comes from appearances which are violent and drive away the reason? For the storm itself, what else is it but an appearance? For take away the fear of death, and suppose as many thunders and lightnings as you please, and you will know what calm and serenity there is in the ruling faculty. But if you have once been defeated and say that you will conquer hereafter, and then say the same again, be assured that you will at last be in so wretched a condition and so weak that you will not even know afterwards that you are doing wrong, but you will even begin to make apologies (defences) for your wrong doing, and then you will confirm the saying of Hesiod to be true, With constant ills the dilatory strives. 2.2
2.19. Cicero (de Amicit. c. 5) says nisi in bonis amicitiam ease non posse, and c. 18. WHAT a man applies himself to earnestly, that he naturally loves. Do men then apply themselves earnestly to the things which are bad? By no means. Well, do they apply themselves to things which in no way concern themselves? not to these either. It remains then that they employ themselves earnestly only about things which are good; and if they are earnestly employed about things, they love such things also. Whoever then understands what is good, can also know how to love: but he who cannot distinguish good from bad, and things which are neither good nor bad from both, how can he possess the power of loving? To love then is only in the power of the wise. How is this? a man may say; I am foolish, and yet I love my child.—I am surprised indeed that you have begun by making the admission that you are foolish. For what are you deficient in? Can you not make use of your senses? do you not distinguish appearances? do you not use food which is suitable for your body, and clothing and habitation? Why then do you admit that you are foolish? It is in truth because you are often disturbed by appearances and perplexed, and their power of persuasion often conquers you; and sometimes you think these things to be good, and then the same things to be bad, and lastly neither good nor bad; and in short you grieve, fear, envy, are disturbed, you are changed. This is the reason why you confess that you are foolish. And are you not changeable in love? But wealth, and pleasure and in a word things themselves, do you sometimes think them to be good, and sometimes bad? and do you not think the same men at one time to be good, at another time bad? and have you not at one time a friendly feeling towards them, and at another time the feeling of an enemy? and do you not at one time praise them, and at another time blame them? Yes; I have these feelings also. Well then, do you think that he who has been deceived about a man is his friend? Certainly not. And he who has selected a man as his friend and is of a changeable disposition, has he good will towards him? He has not. And he who now abuses a man, and afterwards admires him? This man also has no good will to the other. Well then, did you never see little dogs caressing and playing with one another, so that you might say, there is nothing more friendly? but that you may know what friendship is, throw a bit of flesh among them, and you will learn. Throw between yourself and your son a little estate, and you will know how soon he will wish to bury you and how soon you wish your son to die. Then you will change your tone and say, what a son I have brought up! He has long been wishing to bury me. Throw a smart girl between you; and do you the old man love her, and the young one will love her too. If a little fame intervene or dangers, it will be just the same. You will utter the words of the father of Admetus! Life gives you pleasure: and why not your father? Do you think that Admetus did not love his own child when he was little? that he was not in agony when the child had a fever? that he did not often say, I wish I had the fever instead of the child? then when the test (the thing) came and was near, see what words they utter. Were not Eteocles and Polynices from the same mother and from the same father? Were they not brought up together, had they not lived together, drunk together, slept together, and often kissed one another? So that, if any man, I think, had seen them, he would have ridiculed the philosophers for the paradoxes which they utter about friendship. But when a quarrel rose between them about the royal power, as between dogs about a bit of meat, see what they say Polynices. Where will you take your station before the towers? Eteocles. Why do you ask me this? Pol. I will place myself opposite and try to kill you. Et. I also wish to do the same. Such are the wishes that they utter. For universally, be not deceived, every animal is attached to nothing so much as to its own interest. Whatever then appears to it an impediment to this interest, whether this be a brother, or a father, or a child, or beloved, or lover, it hates, spurns, curses: for its nature is to love nothing so much as its own interest; this is father, and brother and kinsman, and country, and God. When then the gods appear to us to be an impediment to this, we abuse them and throw down their statues and burn their temples, as Alexander ordered the temples of Aesculapius to be burned when his dear friend died. For this reason if a man put in the same place his interest, sanctity, goodness, and country, and parents, and friends, all these are secured: but if he puts in one place his interest, in another his friends, and his country and his kinsmen and justice itself, all these give way being borne down by the weight of interest. For where the I and the Mine are placed, to that place of necessity the animal inclines: if in the flesh, there is the ruling power: if in the will, it is there: and if it is in externals, it is there. If then I am there where my will is, then only shall I be a friend such as I ought to be, and son, and father; for this will be my interest, to maintain the character of fidelity, of modesty, of patience, of abstinence, of active co—operation, of observing my relations (towards all). But if I put myself in one place, and honesty in another, then the doctrine of Epicurus becomes strong, which asserts either that there is no honesty or it is that which opinion holds to be honest (virtuous). It was through this ignorance that the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians quarrelled, and the Thebans with both; and the great king quarrelled with Hellas, and the Macedonians with both; and the Romans with the Getae. And still earlier the Trojan war happened for these reasons. Alexander was the guest of Menelaus; and if any man had seen their friendly disposition, he would not have believed any one who said that they were not friends. But there was cast between them (as between dogs) a bit of meat, a handsome woman, and about her war arose. And now when you see brothers to be friends appearing to have one mind, do not conclude from this any thing about their friendship, not even if they swear it and say that it is impossible for them to be separated from one another. For the ruling principle of a bad man cannot be trusted, it is insecure, has no certain rule by which it is directed, and is overpowered at different times by different appearances. But examine, not what other men examine, if they are born of the same parents and brought up together, and under the same paedagogue; but examine this only, wherein they place their interest, whether in externals or in the will. If in externals, do not name them friends, no more than name them trustworthy or constant, or brave or free: do not name them even men, if you have any judgment. For that is not a principle of human nature which makes them bite one another, and abuse one another, and occupy deserted places or public places, as if they were mountains, and in the courts of justice display the acts of robbers; nor yet that which makes them intemperate and adulterers and corrupters, nor that which makes them do whatever else men do against one another through this one opinion only, that of placing themselves and their interests in the things which are not within the power of their will. But if you hear that in truth these men think the good to be only there, where will is, and where there is a right use of appearances, no longer trouble yourself whether they are father or son, or brothers, or have associated a long time and are companions, but when you have ascertained this only, confidently declare that they are friends, as you declare that they are faithful, that they are just. For where else is friendship than where there is fidelity, and modesty, where there is a communion of honest things and of nothing else? But you may say, such a one treated me with regard so lung; and did he not love me? How do you know, slave, if he did not regard you in the same way as he wipes his shoes with a sponge, or as he takes care of his beast? How do you know, when you have ceased to be useful as a vessel, he will not throw you away like a broken platter? But this woman is my wife, and we have lived together so long. And how long did Eriphyle live with Amphiaraus, and was the mother of children and of many? But a necklace came between them: and what is a necklace? It is the opinion about such things. That was the bestial principle, that was the thing which broke asunder the friendship between husband and wife, that which did not allow the woman to be a wife nor the mother to be a mother. And let every man among you who has seriously resolved either to be a friend himself or to have another for his friend, cut out these opinions, hate them, drive them from his soul. And thus first of all he will not reproach himself, he will not be at variance with himself, he will not change his mind, he will not torture himself. In the next place, to another also, who is like himself, he will be altogether and completely a friend. But he will bear with the man who is unlike himself, he will be kind to him, gentle, ready to pardon on account of his ignorance, on account of his being mistaken in things of the greatest importance; but he will be harsh to no man, being well convinced of Plato’s doctrine that every mind is deprived of truth unwillingly. If you cannot do this, yet you can do in all other respects as friends do, drink together, and lodge together, and sail together, and you may be born of the same parents; for snakes also are: but neither will they be friends nor you, so long as you retain these bestial and cursed opinions.
3.1.40. A CERTAIN young man a rhetorician came to see Epictetus, with his hair dressed more carefully than was usual and his attire in an ornamental style; whereupon Epictetus said, Tell me if you do not think that some dogs are beautiful and some horses, and so of all other animals. I do think so, the youth replied. Are not then some men also beautiful and others ugly? Certainly. Do we then for the same reason call each of them in the same kind beautiful, or each beautiful for something peculiar? And you will judge of this matter thus. Since we see a dog naturally formed for one thing, and a horse for another, and for another still, as an example, a nightingale, we may generally and not improperly declare each of them to bebeautiful then when it is most excellent according to its nature; but since the nature of each is different, each of them seems to me to be beautiful in a different way. Is it not so? He admitted that it was. That then which makes a dog beautiful, makes a horse ugly; and that which makes a horse beautiful, makes a dog ugly, if it is true that their natures are different. It seems to be so. For I think that what makes a Pancratiast beautiful, makes a. wrestler to be not good, and a runner to be most ridiculous; and he who is beautiful for the Pentathlon, is very ugly for wrestling. It is so said he. What then makes a man beautiful? Is it that which in its kind makes both a dog and a horse beautiful? It is, he said. What then makes a dog beautiful? The possession of the excellence of a dog. And what makes a horse beautiful? The possession of the excellence of a horse. What then makes a man beautiful? Is it not the possession of the excellence of a man? And do you then, if you wish to be beautiful, young man, labour at this, the acquisition of human excellence. But what is this? Observe whom you yourself praise, when you praise many persons without partiality: do you praise the just or the unjust? The just. Whether do you praise the moderate or the immoderate? The moderate. And the temperate or the intemperate? The temperate. If then you make yourself such a person, you will know that you will make yourself beautiful: but so long as you neglect these things, you must be ugly ( αἰσχρόν ) even though you contrive all you can to appear beautiful. Further I do not know what to say to you: for if I say to you what I think, I shall offend you, and you will perhaps leave the school and not return to it: and if I do not say what I think, see how I shall be acting, if you come to me to be improved, and I shall not improve you at all, and if you come to me as to a philosopher, and I shall say nothing to you as a philosopher. And how cruel it is to you to leave you uncorrected. If at any time afterwards you shall acquire sense, you will with good reason blame me and say, What did Epictetus observe in me that when he saw me in such a plight coming to him in such a scandalous condition, he neglected me and never said a word? did he so much despair of me? was I not young? was I not able to listen to reason? and how many other young men at this age commit many like errors? I hear that a certain Polemon from being a most dissolute youth underwent such a great change. Well, suppose that he did not think that I should be a Polemon; yet he might have set my hair right, he might have stripped off my decorations, he might have stopped me from plucking the hair out of my body; but when he saw me dressed like—what shall I say?—he kept silent. I do not say like what; but you will say when you come to your senses, and shall know what it is, and what persons use such a dress. If you bring this charge against me hereafter, what defence shall I make? Why, shall I say that the man will not be persuaded by me? Was Laius persuaded by Apollo? Did he not go away and get drunk and show no care for the oracle? Well then for this reason did Apollo refuse to tell him the truth? I indeed do not know, whether you will be persuaded by me or not; but Apollo knew most certainly that Laius would not be persuaded and yet he spoke. But why did he speak? I say in reply, But why is he Apollo, and why does he deliver oracles, and why has he fixed himself in this place as a prophet and source of truth and for the inhabitants of the world to resort to him? and why are the words Know yourself written in front of the temple, though no person takes any notice of them? Did Socrates persuade all his hearers to take care of themselves? Not the thousandth part. But however, after he had been placed in this position by the deity, as he himself says, he never left it. But what does he say even to his judges? If you acquit me on these conditions that I no longer do that which I do now, I will not consent and I will not desist; but I will go up both to young and to old, and, to speak plainly, to every man whom I meet, and I will ask the questions which I ask now; and most particularly will I do this to you my fellow citizens, because you are more nearly related to me. —Are you so curious, Socrates, and such a busy—body? and how does it concern you how we act? and what is it that you say? Being of the same community and of the same kin, you neglect yourself, and show yourself a bad citizen to the state, and a bad kinsman to your kinsmen, and a bad neighbour to your neighbours. Who then are you?— Here it is a great thing to say, I am be whose duty it is to take care of men; for it is not every little heifer which dares to resist a lion; but if the bull comes up and resists him, say to the bull, if you choose, and who are you, and what business have you here? Man, in every kind there is produced something which excels; in oxen, in dogs, in bees, in horses. Do not then say to that which excels, Who then are you? If you do, it will find a voice in some way and say, I am such a thing as the purple in a garment: do not expect me to be like the others, or blame my nature that it has made me different from the rest of men. What then? am I such a man? Certainly not. And are you such a man as can listen to the truth? I wish you were. But however since in a manner I have been condemned to wear a white beard and a cloak, and you come to me as to a philosopher, I will not treat you in a cruel way nor yet as if I despaired of you, but I will say, Young man, whom do you wish to make beautiful? In the first place, know who you are and then adorn yourself appropriately. You are a human being; and this is a mortal animal which has the power of using appearances rationally. But what is meant by rationally ? Conformably to nature and completely. What then do you possess which is peculiar? Is it the animal part? No. Is it the condition of mortality? No. Is it the power of using appearances? No. You possess the rational faculty as a peculiar thing: adorn and beautify this; but leave your hair to him who made it as he chose. Come, what other appellations have you? Are you man or woman? Man. Adorn yourself then as man, not as woman. Woman is naturally smooth and delicate; and if she has much hair (on her body), she is a monster and is exhibited at Rome among monsters. And in a man it is monstrous not to have hair; and if he has no hair, he is a monster: but if he cuts off his hairs and plucks them out, what shall we do with him? where shall we exhibit him? and under what name shall we show him? I will exhibit to you a man who chooses to be a woman rather than a man. What a terrible sight! There is no man who will not wonder at such a notice. Indeed I think that the men who pluck out their hairs do what they do without knowing what they do. Man what fault have you to find with your nature? That it made you a man? What then was it fit that nature should make all human creatures women? and what advantage in that case would you have had in being adorned? for whom would you have adorned yourself, if all human creatures were women? But you are not pleased with the matter: set to work then upon the whole business. Take away—what is its name?— that which is the cause of the hairs: make yourself a woman in all respects, that we may not be mistaken: do not make one half man, and the other half woman. Whom do you wish to please? The women? Please them as a man. Well; but they like smooth men. Will you not hang yourself? and if women took delight in catamites, would you become one? Is this your business? were you born for this purpose, that dissolute women should delight in you? Shall we make such a one as you a citizen of Corinth and perchance a praefect of the city, or chief of the youth, or general or superintendent of the games? Well, and when you have taken a wife, do you intend to have your hairs plucked out? To please whom and for what purpose? And when you have begotten children, will you introduce them also into the state with the habit of plucking their hairs? A beautiful citizen, and senator and rhetorician. We ought to pray that such young men be born among us and brought up. Do not so, I intreat you by the Gods, young man: but when you have once heard these words, go away and say to yourself, Epictetus has not said this to me; for how could he? but some propitious God through him: for it Would never have come into his thoughts to say this, since he is not accustomed to talk thus with any person. Come then let us obey God, that we may not be subject to his anger. You say, No. But (I say), if a crow by his croaking signifies any thing to you, it is not the crow which signifies, but God through the crow; and if he signifies any thing through a human voice, will he not cause the man to say this to you, that you may know the power of the divinity, that he signifies to some in this way, and to others in that way, and concerning the greatest things and the chief he signifies through the noblest messenger? What else is it which the poet says: For we ourselves have warned him, and have sent Hermes the careful watcher, Argus’ slayer, The husband not to kill nor wed the wife. Was Hermes going to descend from heaven to say this to him (Aegisthus)? And now the Gods say this to you and send the messenger, the slayer of Argus, to warn you not to pervert that which is well arranged, nor to busy yourself about it, but to allow a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman, a beautiful man to be as a beautiful man, and an ugly man as an ugly man, for you are not flesh and hair, but you are will ( προαίρεσις ); and if your will is beautiful, then you will be beautiful. But up to the present time I dare not tell you that you are ugly, for I think that you are readier to hear anything than this. But see what Socrates says to the most beautiful and blooming of men Alcibiades: Try then to be beautiful. What does he say to him? Dress your hair and pluck the hairs from your legs? Nothing of that kind. But adorn your will, take away bad opinions. How with the body? Leave it as it is by nature. Another has looked after these things: intrust them to him. What then, must a man be uncleaned? Certainly not; but what you are and are made by nature, cleanse this. A man should be cleanly as a man, a woman as a woman, a child as a child. You say no: but let us also pluck out the lion’s mane, that he may not be uncleaned, and the cock’s comb for he also ought to be cleaned. Granted, but as a cock, and the lion as a lion, and the hunting dog as a hunting dog.
3.3.14. THE material for the wise and good man is his own ruling faculty: and the body is the material for the physician and the aliptes (the man who oils persons); the land is the matter for the husbandman. The business of the wise and good man is to use appearances conformably to nature: and as it is the nature of every soul to assent to the truth, to dissent from the false, and to remain in suspense as to that which is uncertain; so it is its nature to be moved towards the desire of the good, and to aversion from the evil; and with respect to that which is neither good nor bad it feels indifferent. For as the money-changer (banker) is not allowed to reject Caesar’s coin, nor the seller of herbs, but if you show the coin, whether he chooses or not, he must give up what is sold for the coin; so it is also in the matter of the soul. When the good appears, it immediately attracts to itself; the evil repels from itself. But the soul will never reject the manifest appearance of the good, any more than persons will reject Caesar’s coin. On this principle depends every movement both of man and God. For this reason the good is preferred to every intimate relationship (obligation). There is no intimate relationship between me and my father, but there is between me and the good. Are you so hard-hearted? Yes, for such is my nature; and this is the coin which God has given me. For this reason if the good is something different from the beautiful and the just, both father is gone (neglected), and brother and country, and every thing. But shall I overlook my own good, in order that you may have it, and shall I give it up to you? Why? I am your father. But you are not my good. I am your brother. But you are not my good. But if we place the good in a right determination of the will, the very observance of the relations of life is good, and accordingly he who gives up any external things, obtains that which is good. Your father takes away your property. But he does not injure you. Your brother will have the greater part of the estate in land. Let him have as much as he chooses. Will he then have a greater share of modesty, of fidelity, of brotherly affection? For who will eject you from this possession? Not even Zeus, for neither has he chosen to do so; but he has made this in my own power, and he has given it to me just as he possessed it himself, free from hindrance, compulsion, and impediment. When then the coin which another uses is a different coin, if a man presents this coin, be receives that which is sold for it. Suppose that there comes into the province a thievish proconsul, what coin does he use? Silver coin. Show it to him, and carry off what you please. Suppose one comes who is an adulterer: what coin does he use? Little girls. Take, a man says, the coin, and sell me the small thing. Give, says the seller, and buy what you want. Another is eager to possess boys. Give him the coin, and receive what you wish. Another is fond of hunting: give him a fine nag or a dog. Though he groans and laments, be will sell for it that which you want. For another compels him from within, he who has fixed determined) this coin. Mrs. Carter compares the Epistle to the Romans, vii. 21–23. Schweighaeuser says, the man either sees that the thing which he is doing is bad or unjust, or for any other reason he does not do the thing willingly; but he is compelled, and allows himself to be carried away by the passion which rules him. The another who compels is God, Schweig. says, who has made the nature of man such, that he must postpone every thing else to that thing in which he places his Good: and he adds, that it is man’s fault if he places his good in that thing, in which God has not placed it. Some persons will not consider this to be satisfactory. The man is compelled and allows himself to be carried away, etc. The notion of compulsion is inconsistent with the exercise of the will. The man is unlucky. He is like him who sees, as the Latin poet says, the better things and approves of them, but follows the worse. Against (or with respect to) this kind of thing chiefly a man should exercise himself. As soon as you go out in the morning, examine every man whom you see, every man whom you hear; answer as to a question, What have you seen? A handsome man or woman? Apply the rule. Is this independent of the will, or dependent? Independent. Take it away. What have you seen? A man lamenting over the death of a child. Apply the rule. Death is a thing independent of the will. Take it away. Has the proconsul met you? Apply the rule. What kind of thing is a proconsul’s office? Independent of the will, or dependent on it? Independent. Take this away also: it does not stand examination: cast it away: it is nothing to you. If we practised this and exercised ourselves in it daily from morning to night, something indeed would be done. But now we are forthwith caught half asleep by every appearance, and it is only, if ever, that in the school we are roused a little. Then when we go out, if we see a man lamenting, we say, He is undone. If we see a consul, we say, He is happy. If we see an exiled man, we say, He is miserable. If we see a poor man, we say, He is wretched: he has nothing to eat. We ought then to eradicate these bad opinions, and to this end we should direct all our efforts. For what is weeping and lamenting? Opinion. What is bad fortune? Opinion. What is civil sedition, what is divided opinion, what is blame, what is accusation, what is impiety, what is trifling?. All these things are opinions, and nothing more, and opinions about things independent of the will, as if they were good and bad. Let a man transfer these opinions to things dependent on the will, and I engage for him that he will be firm and constant, whatever may be the state of things around him. Such as is a dish of water, such is the soul. Such as is the ray of light which falls on the water, such are the appearances. When the water is moved, the ray also seems to be moved, yet it is not moved. And when then a man is seized with giddiness, it is not the arts and the virtues which are confounded, but the spirit (the nervous power) on which they are impressed; but if the spirit be restored to its settled state, those things also are restored.
3.5.7. I AM sick here, said one of the pupils, and I wish to return home.—At home, I suppose, you were free from sickness. Do you not consider whether you are doing any thing here which may be useful to the exercise of your will, that it may be corrected? For if you are doing nothing towards this end, it was to no purpose that you came. Go away. Look after your affairs at home. For if your ruling power cannot be maintained in a state conformable to nature, it is possible that your land can, that you will be able to increase your money, you will take care of your father in his old age, frequent the public place, hold magisterial office: being bad you will do badly any thing else that you have to do. But if you understand yourself, and know that you are casting away certain bad opinions and adopting others in their place, and if you have changed your state of life from things which are not within your will to things which are within your will, and if you ever say, Alas! you are not saying what you say on account of your father, or your brother, but on account of yourself, do you still allege your sickness? Do you not know that both disease and death must surprise us while we are doing something? the husbandman while he is tilling the ground, the sailor while he is on his voyage? what would you be doing when death surprises you, for you must be surprised when you are doing something? If you can be doing anything better than this when you are surprised, do it. For I wish to be surprised by disease or death when I am looking after nothing else than my own will, that I may be free from perturbation, that I may be free from hindrance, free from compulsion, and in a state of liberty. I wish to be found practising these things that I may be able to say to God, Have I in any respect transgressed thy commands? have I in any respect wrongly used the powers which thou gavest me? have I misused my perceptions or my preconceptions ( προλήψεσι )? have I ever blamed thee? have I ever found fault with thy administration? I have been sick, because it was thy will, and so have others, but I was content to be sick. I have been poor because it was thy will, but I was content also. I have not filled a magisterial office, because it was not thy pleasure that I should: I have never desired it Hast thou ever seen me for this reason discontented? have I not always approached thee with a cheerful countece, ready to do thy commands and to obey thy signals? Is it now thy will that I should depart from the assemblage of men? I depart. I give thee all thanks that thou hast allowed me to join in this thy assemblage of men and to see thy works, and to comprehend this thy administration. May death surprise me while I am thinking of these things, while I am thus writing and reading. But my mother will not hold my head when I am sick. Go to your mother then; for you are a fit person to have your head held when you are sick.—But at home I used to lie down on a delicious bed.—Go away to your bed: indeed you are fit to lie on such a bed even when you are in health: do not then lose what you can do there (at home). But what does Socrates say? As one man, he says, is pleased with improving his land, another with improving his horse, so I am daily pleased in observing that I am growing better. Better in what? in using nice little words? Man, do not say that. In little matters of speculation ( θεωρήματα )? what are you saying?—And indeed I do not see what else there is on which philosophers employ their time.—Does it seem nothing to you to have never found fault with any person, neither with God nor man? to have blamed nobody? to carry the same face always in going out and coming in? This is what Socrates knew, and yet he never said that he knew any thing or taught any thing. But if any man asked for nice little words or little speculations, he would carry him to Protagoras or to Hippias; and if any man came to ask for potherbs, he would carry him to the gardener. Who then among you has this purpose (motive to action)? for if indeed you had it, you would both be content in sickness, and in hunger, and in death. If any among you has been in love with a charming girl, he knows that I say what is true. 3.2
2.1. WHEN one of his pupils inquired of Epictetus, and he was a person who appeared to be inclined to Cynism, what kind of person a Cynic ought to be and what was the notion ( πρόληψις ) of the thing, we will inquire, said Epictetus, at leisure: but I have so much to say to you that he who without God attempts so great a matter, is hateful to God, and has no other purpose than to act indecently in public. For in any well-managed house no man comes forward, and says to himself, I ought to be manager of the house. If he does so, the master turns round, and seeing him insolently giving orders, drags him forth and flogs him. So it is also in this great city (the world); for here also there is a master of the house who orders every thing. (He says) You are the sun; you can by going round make the year and seasons, and make the fruits grow and nourish them, and stir the winds and make them remit, and warm the bodies of men properly: go, travel round, and so administer things from the greatest to the least. You are a calf; when a lion shall appear, do your proper business ( i. e. run away): if you do not, you will suffer. You are a bull: advance and fight, for this is your business, and becomes you, and you can do it. You can lead the army against Ilium; be Agamemnon. You can fight in single combat against Hector: be Achilles. But if Thersites came forward and claimed the command, he would either not have obtained it; or if he did obtain it, he would have disgraced himself before many witnesses. Do you also think about the matter carefully: it is not what it seems to you. (You say) I wear a cloak now and I shall wear it then: I sleep hard now, and I shall sleep hard then: I will take in addition a little bag now and a staff, and I will go about and begin to beg and to abuse those whom I meet; and if I see any man plucking the hair out of his body, I will rebuke him, or if he has dressed his hair, or if he walks about in purple—If you imagine the thing to be such as this, keep far away from it: do not approach it: it is not at all for you. But if you imagine it to be what it is, and do not think yourself to be unfit for it, consider what a great thing you undertake. In the first place in the things which relate to yourself, you must not be in any respect like what you do now: you must not blame God or man: you must take away desire altogether, you must transfer avoidance ( ἔκκλισις ) only to the things which are within the power of the will: you must not feel anger nor resentment nor envy nor pity; a girl must not appear handsome to you, nor must you love a little reputation, nor be pleased with a boy or a cake. For you ought to know that the rest of men throw walls around them and houses and darkness when they do any such things, and they have many means of concealment. A man shuts the door, he sets somebody before the chamber: if a person comes, say that he is out, he is not at leisure. But the Cynic instead of all these things must use modesty as his protection: if he does not, he will be indecent in his nakedness and under the open sky. This is his house, his door: this is the slave before his bedchamber: this is his darkness. For he ought not to wish to hide any thing that he does: and if he does, he is gone, he has lost the character of a Cynic, of a man who lives under the open sky, of a free man: he has begun to fear some external thing, he has begun to have need of concealment, nor can he get concealment when he chooses. For where shall he hide himself and how? And if by chance this public instructor shall be detected, this paedagogue, what kind of things will he be compelled to suffer? when then a man fears these things, is it possible for him to be bold with his whole soul to superintend men? It cannot be: it is impossible. In the first place then you must make your ruling faculty pure, and this mode of life also. Now (you should say), to me the matter to work on is my understanding, as wood is to the carpenter, as hides to the shoemaker; and my business is the right use of appearances. But the body is nothing to me: the parts of it are nothing to me. Death? Let it come when it chooses, either death of the whole or of a part. Fly, you say. And whither; can any man eject me out of the world? He cannot. But wherever I go, there is the sun, there is the moon, there are the stars, dreams, omens, and the conversation ( ὁμιλία ) with Gods. Then, if he is thus prepared, the true Cynic cannot be satisfied with this; but he must know that he is sent a messenger from Zeus to men about good and bad things, to show them that they have wandered and are seeking the substance of good and evil where it is not, but where it is, they never think; and that he is a spy, as Diogenes was carried off to Philip after the battle of Chaeroneia as a spy. For in fact a Cynic is a spy of the things which are good for men and which are evil, and it is his duty to examine carefully and to come and report truly, and not to be struck with terror so as to point out as enemies those who are not enemies, nor in any other way to be perturbed by appearances nor confounded. It is his duty then to be able with a loud voice, if the occasion should arise, and appearing on the tragic stage to say like Socrates: Men, whither are you hurrying, what are you doing, wretches? like blind people you are wandering up and down: you are going by another road, and have left the true road: you seek for prosperity and happiness where they are not, and if another shows you where they are, you do not believe him. Why do you seek it without? In the body? It is not there. If you doubt, look at Myro, look at Ophellius. In possessions? It is not there. But if you do not believe me, look at Croesus: look at those who are now rich, with what lamentations their life is filled. In power? It is not there. If it is, those must be happy who have been twice and thrice consuls; but they are not. Whom shall we believe in these matters? You who from without see their affairs and are dazzled by an appearance, or the men themselves? What do they say? Hear them when they groan, when they grieve, when on account of these very consulships and glory and splendour they think that they are more wretched and in greater danger. Is it in royal power? It is not: if it were, Nero would have been happy, and Sardanapalus. But neither was Agamemnon happy, though he was a better man than Sardanapalus and Nero; but while others are snoring, what is he doing? Much from his head he tore his rooted hair: Iliad, x. 15. and what does he say himself? I am perplexed, he says, and Disturb’d I am, and my heart out of my bosom Is leaping. Iliad x. 91. Wretch, which of your affairs goes badly? Your possessions? No. Your body? No. But you are rich in gold and copper. What then is the matter with you? That part of you, whatever it is, has been neglected by you and is corrupted, the part with which we desire, with which we avoid, with which we move towards and move from things. How neglected? He knows not the nature of good for which he is made by nature and the nature of evil; and what is his own, and what belongs to another; and when any thing that belongs to others goes badly, he says, Wo to me, for the Hellenes are in danger. Wretched is his ruling faculty, and alone neglected and uncared for. The Hellenes are going to die destroyed by the Trojans. And if the Trojans do not kill them, will they not die? Yes; but not all at once. What difference then does it make? For if death is an evil, whether men die altogether, or if they die singly, it is equally an evil. Is any thing else then going to happen than the separation of the soul and the body? Nothing. And if the Hellenes perish, is the door closed, and is it not in your power to die? It is. Why then do you lament (and say) Oh, you who are a king and have the sceptre of Zeus? An unhappy king does not exist more than an unhappy god. What then art thou? In truth a shepherd: for you weep as shepherds do, when a wolf has carried off one of their sheep: and these who are governed by you are sheep. And why did you come hither? Was your desire in any danger? was your aversion ( ἔκκλισις )? was your movement (pursuits)? was your avoidance of things? He replies, No; but the wife of my brother was carried off. Was it not then a great gain to be deprived of an adulterous wife?—Shall we be despised then by the Trojans?—What kind of people are the Trojans, wise or foolish? If they are wise, why do you fight with them? If they are fools, why do you care about them? In what then is the good, since it is not in these things? Tell us, you who are lord, messenger and spy. Where you do not think that it is, nor choose to seek it: for if you chose to seek it, you would have found it to be in yourselves; nor would you be wandering out of the way, nor seeking what belongs to others as if it were your own. Turn your thoughts into yourselves: observe the preconceptions which you have. What kind of a thing do you imagine the good to be? That which flows easily, that which is happy, that which is not impeded. Come, and do you not naturally imagine it to be great, do you not imagine it to be valuable? do you not imagine it to be free from harm? In what material then ought you to seek for that which flows easily, for that which is not impeded? in that which serves or in that which is free? In that which is free. Do you possess the body then free or is it in servile condition? We do not know. Do you not know that it is the slave of fever, of gout, ophthalmia, dysentery, of a tyrant, of fire, of iron, of every thing which is stronger? Yes, it is a slave. How then is it possible that any thing which belongs to the body can be free from hindrance? and how is a thing great or valuable which is naturally dead, or earth, or mud? Well then, do you possess nothing which is free? Perhaps nothing. And who is able to compel you to assent to that which appears false? No man. And who can compel you not to assent to that which appears true? No man. By this then you see that there is something in you naturally free. But to desire or to be averse from, or to move towards an object or to move from it, or to prepare yourself, or to propose to do any thing, which of you can do this, unless he has received an impression of the appearance of that which is profitable or a duty? No man. You have then in these things also something which is not hindered and is free. Wretched men, work out this, take care of this, seek for good here. And how is it possible that a man who has nothing, who is naked, houseless, without a hearth, squalid, without a slave, without a city, can pass a life that flows easily? See, God has sent you a man to show you that it is possible. Look at me, who am without a city, without a house, without possessions, without a slave; I sleep on the ground; I have no wife, no children, no praetorium, but only the earth and heavens, and one poor cloak. And what do I want? Am I not without sorrow? am I not without fear? Am I not free? When did any of you see me failing in the object of my desire? or ever falling into that which I would avoid? did I ever blame God or man? did I ever accuse any man? did any of you ever see me with sorrowful countece? And how do I meet with those whom you are afraid of and admire? Do not I treat them like slaves? Who, when he sees me, does not think that he sees his king and master? This is the language of the Cynics, this their character, this is their purpose. You say No: but their characteristic is the little wallet, and staff, and great jaws: the devouring of all that you give them, or storing it up, or the abusing unseasonably all whom they meet, or displaying their shoulder as a fine thing.—Do you see how you are going to undertake so great a business? First take a mirror: look at your shoulders; observe your loins, your thighs. You are going, my man, to be enrolled as a combatant in the Olympic games, no frigid and miserable contest. In the Olympic games a man is not permitted to be conquered only and to take his departure; but first he must be disgraced in the sight of all the world, not in the sight of Athenians only, or of Lacedaemonians or of Nicopolitans; next he must be whipped also if he has entered into the contests rashly: and before being whipped, he must suffer thirst and heat, and swallow much dust. Reflect more carefully, know thyself, consult the divinity, without God attempt nothing; for if he shall advise you (to do this or anything), be assured that he intends you to become great or to receive many blows. For this very amusing quality is conjoined to a Cynic: he must be flogged like an ass, and when he is flogged, he must love those who flog him, as if he were the father of all, and the brother of all.—You say No; but if a man flogs you, stand in the public place and call out, Caesar, what do I suffer in this state of peace under thy protection. Let us bring the offender before the proconsul.—But what is Caesar to a Cynic, or what is a proconsul or what is any other except him who sent the Cynic down hither, and whom he serves, namely Zeus? Does he call upon any other than Zeus? Is he not convinced that whatever he suffers, it is Zeus who is exercising him? Hercules when he was exercised by Eurystheus did not think that he was wretched, but without hesitation he attempted to execute all that he had in hand. And is he who is trained to the contest and exercised by Zeus going to call out and to be vexed, he who is worthy to bear the sceptre of Diogenes? Hear what Diogenes says to the passers by when he is in a fever, Miserable wretches, will you not stay? but are you going so long a journey to Olympia to see the destruction or the fight of athletes; and will you not choose to see the combat between a fever and a man? Would such a man accuse God who sent him down as if God were treating him unworthily, a man who gloried in his circumstances, and claimed to be an example to those who were passing by? For what shall he accuse him of? because he maintains a decency of behaviour, because he displays his virtue more conspicuously? Well, and what does he say of poverty, about death, about pain? How did he compare his own happiness with that of the great king (the king of Persia)? or rather he thought that there was no comparison between them. For where there are perturbations, and griefs, and fears, and desires not satisfied, and aversions of things which you cannot avoid, and envies and jealousies, how is there a road to happiness there? But where there are corrupt principles, there these things must of necessity be. When the young man asked, if when a Cynic has fallen sick, and a friend asks him to come to his house and to be take care of in his sickness, shall the Cynic accept the invitation, he replied, And where shall you find, I ask, a Cynic’s friend? For the man who invites ought to be such another as the Cynic that he may be worthy of being reckoned the Cynic’s friend. He ought to be a partner in the Cynic’s sceptre and his royalty, and a worthy minister, if he intends to be considered worthy of a Cynic’s friendship, as Diogenes was a friend of Antisthenes, as Crates was a friend of Diogenes. Do you think that if a man comes to a Cynic and salutes him, that he is the Cynic’s friend, and that the Cynic will think him worthy of receiving a Cynio into his house? So that if you please, reflect on this also: rather look round for some convenient dunghill on which you shall bear your fever and which will shelter you from the north wind that you may not be chilled. But you seem to me to wish to go into some man’s house and to be well fed there for a time. Why then do you think of attempting so great a thing (as the life of a Cynic)? But, said the young man, shall marriage and the procreation of children as a chief duty be undertaken by the Cynic? If you grant me a community of wise men, Epictetus replies, perhaps no man will readily apply himself to the Cynic practice. For on whose account should he undertake this manner of life? However if we suppose that he does, nothing will prevent him from marrying and begetting children; for his wife will be another like himself, and his father in law another like himself, and his children will be brought up like himself. But in the present state of things which is like that of an army placed in battle order, is it not fit that the Cynic should without any distraction be employed only on the ministration of God, It is remarkable that Epictetus here uses the same word ( ἀπερισπάστως ) with St. Paul, 1 Cor. vii. 35, and urges the same consideration, of applying wholly to the service of God, to dissuade from marriage. His observation too that the state of things was then ( ὡς ἐν παρατάξει ) like that of an army prepared for battle, nearly resembles the Apostle’s ( ἐνεστῶσα ἀνάγκη ) present necessity. St. Paul says 2 Tim. ii. 4 ( οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται etc.) no man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of life. So Epictetus says here that a Cynic must not be ( ἐμπεπλεγμένον ) in relations etc. From these and many other passages of Epictetus one would be inclined to think that he was not unacquainted with St. Paul’s Epistles or that he had heard something of the Christian doctrine. Mrs. Carter. I do not find any evidence of Epictetus being acquainted with the Epistles of Paul. It is possible that he had heard something of the Christian doctrine, but I have not observed any evidence of the fact. Epictetus and Paul have not the same opinion about marriage, for Paul says that if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. Accordingly his doctrine is to avoid fornication let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. He does not directly say what a man should do when he is not able to maintain a wife; but the inference is plain what he will do (I Cor. vii. 2). Paul’s view of marriage differs from that of Epictetus, who recommends marriage. Paul does not: he writes, I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. He does not acknowledge marriage and the begetting of children as a duty; which Epictetus did. In the present condition of the world Epictetus says that the minister of God should not marry, because the cares of a family would distract him and make him unable to discharge his duties. There is sound sense in this. A minister of God should not be distracted by the cares of a family, especially if he is poor. able to go about among men, not tied down to the common duties of mankind, nor entangled in the ordinary relations of life, which if he neglects, he will not maintain the character of an honourable and good man? and if he observes them he will lose the character of the messenger, and spy and herald of God. For consider that it is his duty to do something towards his father in law, something to the other kinsfolks of his wife, something to his wife also (if he has one). He is also excluded by being a Cynic from looking after the sickness of his own family, and from providing for their support. And to say nothing of the rest, he must have a vessel for heating water for the child that he may wash it in the bath; wool for his wife when she is delivered of a child, oil, a bed, a cup: so the furniture of the house is increased. I say nothing of his other occupations, and of his distraction. Where then now is that king, he who devotes himself to the public interests, The people’s guardian and so full of cares. Homer, Iliad ii. 25 whose duty it is to look after others, the married and those who have children; to see who uses his wife well, who uses her badly; who quarrels; what family is well administered, what is not; going about as a physician does and feels pulses? He says to one, you have a fever, to another you have a head-ache, or the gout: he says to one, abstain from food; to another he says, eat; or do not use the bath; to another, you require the knife, or the cautery. How can he have time for this who is tied to the duties of common life? is it not his duty to supply clothing to his children, and to send them to the school-master with writing tablets, and styles (for writing). Besides must he not supply them with beds? for they cannot be genuine Cynics as soon as they are born. If he does not do this, it would be better to expose the children as soon as they are born than to kill them in this way. Consider what we are bringing the Cynic down to, how we are taking his royalty from him.—Yes, but Crates took a wife.—You are speaking of a circumstance which arose from love and of a woman who was another Crates. But we are inquiring about ordinary marriages and those which are free from distractions, and making this inquiry we do not find the affair of marriage in this state of the world a thing which is especially suited to the Cynic. How then shall a man maintain the existence of society? In the name of God, are those men greater benefactors to society who introduce into the world to occupy their own places two or three grunting children, or those who superintend as far as they can all mankind, and see what they do, how they live, what they attend to, what they neglect contrary to their duty? Did they who left little children to the Thebans do them more good than Epaminondas who died childless? And did Priamus who begat fifty worthless sons or Danaus or Aeolus contribute more to the community than Homer? then shall the duty of a general or the business of a writer exclude a man from marriage or the begetting of children, and such a man shall not be judged to have accepted the condition of childlessness for nothing; and shall not the royalty of a Cynic be considered an equivalent for the want of children? Do we not perceive his grandeur and do we not justly contemplate the character of Diogenes; and do we instead of this turn our eyes to the present Cynics who are dogs that wait at tables, and in no respect imitate the Cynics of old except perchance in breaking wind, but in nothing else? For such matters would not have moved us at all nor should we have wondered if a Cynic should not marry or beget children. Man, the Cynic is the father of all men; the men are his sons, the women are his daughters: he so carefully visits all, so well does he care for all. Do you think that it is from idle impertinence that he rebukes those whom he meets? He does it as a father, as a brother, and as the minister of the father of all, the minister of Zeus. If you please, ask me also if a Cynic shall engage in the administration of the state. Fool, do you seek a greater form of administration than that in which he is engaged? Do you ask if he shall appear among the Athenians and say something about the revenues and the supplies, he who must talk with all men, alike with Athenians, alike with Corinthians, alike with Romans, not about supplies, nor yet about revenues, nor about peace or war, but about happiness and unhappiness, about good fortune and bad fortune, about slavery and freedom? When a man has undertaken the administration of such a state, do you ask me if he shall engage in the administration of a state? ask me also if he shall govern (hold a magisterial office): again I will say to you, Fool, what greater government shall he exercise than that which he exercises now? It is necessary also for such a man (the Cynic) to have a certain habit of body: for if he appears to be consumptive, thin and pale, his testimony has not then the same weight. For he must not only by showing the qualities of the soul prove to the vulgar that it is in his power independent of the things which they admire to be a good man, but he must also show by his body that his simple and frugal way of living in the open air does not injure even the body. See, he says, I am a proof of this, and my own body also is. So Diogenes used to do, for he used to go about fresh looking, and he attracted the notice of the many by his personal appearance. But if a Cynic is an object of compassion, he seems to be a beggar: all persons turn away from him, all are offended with him; for neither ought he to appear dirty so that he shall not also in this respect drive away men; but his very roughness ought to be clean and attractive. There ought also to belong to the Cynic much natural grace and sharpness; and if this is not so, he is a stupid fellow, and nothing else; and he must have these qualities that he may be able readily and fitly to be a match for all circumstances that may happen. So Diogenes replied to one who said, Are you the Diogenes who does not believe that there are gods? And, how, replied Diogenes, can this be when I think that you are odious to the gods? On another occasion in reply to Alexander, who stood by him when he was sleeping, and quoted Homer’s line (Iliad, ii. 24) A man a councillor should not sleep all night, he answered, when he was half asleep, The people’s guardian and so full of cares. But before all the Cynic’s ruling faculty must be purer than the sun; and if it is not, he must necessarily be a cunning knave and a fellow of no principle, since while he himself is entangled in some vice he will reprove others. For see how the matter stands: to these kings and tyrants their guards and arms give the power of reproving some persons, and of being able even to punish those who do wrong though they are themselves bad; but to a Cynic instead of arms and guards it is conscience ( τὸ συνειδός ) which gives this power. When he knows that he has watched and laboured for mankind, and has slept pure, and sleep has left him still purer, and that he thought whatever he has thought as a friend of the gods, as a minister, as a participator of the power of Zeus, and that on all occasions he is ready to say Lead me, O Zeus, and thou, O Destiny; and also, If so it pleases the gods, so let it be; why should he not have confidence to speak freely to his own brothers, to his children, in a word to his kinsmen? For this reason he is neither over curious nor a busybody when he is in this state of mind; for he is not a meddler with the affairs of others when he is superintending human affairs, but he is looking after his own affairs. If that is not so, you may also say that the general is a busybody, when he inspects his soldiers, and examines them and watches them and punishes the disorderly. But if while you have a cake under your arm, you rebuke others, I will say to you, Will you not rather go away into a corner and eat that which you have stolen; what have you to do with the affairs of others? For who are you? are you the bull of the herd, or the queen of the bees? Show me the tokens of your supremacy, such as they have from nature. But if you are a drone claiming the sovereignty over the bees, do you not suppose that your fellow citizens will put you down as the bees do the drones? The Cynic also ought to have such power of endurance as to seem insensible to the common sort and a stone: no man reviles him, no man strikes him, no man insults him, but he gives his body that any man who chooses may do with it what he likes. For he bears in mind that the inferior must be overpowered by the superior in that in which it is inferior; and the body is inferior to the many, the weaker to the stronger. He never then descends into such a contest in which he can be overpowered; but he immediately withdraws from things which belong to others, he claims not the things which are servile. But where there is will and the use of appearances, there you will see how many eyes he has so that you may say, Argus was blind compared with him. Is his assent ever hasty, his movement (towards an object) rash, does his desire ever fail in its object, does that which he would avoid befal him, is his purpose unaccomplished, does he ever find fault, is he ever humiliated, is he ever envious? To these he directs all his attention and energy; but as to every thing else he snores supine. All is peace; there is no robber who takes away his will, no tyrant. But what say you as to his body? I say there is. And his possessions? I say there is. And as to magistracies and honours?— What does he care for them?—When then any person would frighten him through them, he says to him, Begone, look for children: masks are formidable to them; but I know that they are made of shell, and they have nothing inside. About such a matter as this you are deliberating. Therefore, if you please, I urge you in God’s name, defer the matter, and first consider your preparation for it. For see what Hector says to Andromache, Retire rather, he says, into the house and weave: War is the work of men of all indeed, but specially ’tis mine. II. vi. 490. So he was conscious of his own qualification, and knew her weakness.
3.23.5. FIRST say to yourself Who you wish to be: then do accordingly what you are doing; for in nearly all other things we see this to be so. Those who follow athletic exercises first determine what they wish to be, then they do accordingly what follows. If a man is a runner in the long course, there is a certain kind of diet, of walking, rubbing, and exercise: if a man is a runner in the stadium, all these things are different; if he is a Pentathlete, they are still more different. So you will find it also in the arts. If you are a carpenter, you will have such and such things: if a worker in metal, such things. For every thing that we do, if we refer it to no end, we shall do it to no purpose; and if we refer it to the wrong end, we shall miss the mark. Further, there is a general end or purpose, and a particular purpose. First of all, we must act as a man. What is comprehended in this? We must not be like a sheep, though gentle; nor mischievous, like a wild beast. But the particular end has reference to each person’s mode of life and his will. The lute-player acts as a lute-player, the carpenter as a carpenter, the philosopher as a philosopher, the rhetorician as a rhetorician. When then you say, Come and hear me read to you: take care first of all that you are not doing this without a purpose; then if you have discovered that you are doing this with reference to a purpose, consider if it is the right purpose. Do you wish to do good or to be praised? Immediately you hear him saying, To me what is the value of praise from the many? and he says well, for it is of no value to a musician, so far as he is a musician, nor to a geometrician. Do you then wish to be useful? in what? tell us that we may run to your audience room. Now can a man do anything useful to others, who has not received something useful himself? No, for neither can a man do any thing useful in the carpenter’s art, unless he is a carpenter; nor in the shoemaker’s art, unless he is a shoemaker. Do you wish to know then if you have received any advantage? Produce your opinions, philosopher. What is the thing which desire promises? Not to fail in the object. What does aversion promise? Not to fall into that which you would avoid. Well; do we fulfill their promise? Tell me the truth; but if you lie, I will tell you. Lately when your hearers came together rather coldly, and did not give you applause, you went away humbled. Lately again when you had been praised, you went about and said to all, What did you think of me? Wonderful, master, I swear by all that is dear to me. But how did I treat of that particular matter? Which? The passage in which I described Pan and the nymphs? Excellently. Then do you tell me that in desire and in aversion you are acting according to nature? Be gone; try to persuade somebody else. Did you not praise a certain person contrary to your opinion? and did you not flatter a certain person who was the son of a senator? Would you wish your own children to be such persons?—I hope not—Why then did you praise and flatter him? He is an ingenuous youth and listens well to discourses— How is this?—He admires me. You have stated your proof. Then what do you think? do not these very people secretly despise you? When then a man who is conscious that he has neither done any good nor ever thinks of it, finds a philosopher who says, You have a great natural talent, and you have a candid and good disposition, what else do you think that he says except this, This man has some need of me? Or tell me what act that indicates a great mind has he shown? Observe; he has been in your company a long time; he has listened to your discourses, he has heard you reading; has he become more modest? has he been turned to reflect on himself? has he perceived in what a bad state he is? has he cast away self-conceit? does he look for a person to teach him? He does. A man who will teach him to live? No, fool, but how to talk; for it is for this that he admires you also. Listen and hear what he says: This man writes with perfect art, much better than Dion. This is altogether another thing. Does he say, This man is modest, faithful, free from perturbations? and even if he did say it, I should say to him, Since this man is faithful, tell me what this faithful man is. And if he could not tell me, I should add this, First understand what you say, and then speak. You then, who are in a wretched plight and gaping after applause and counting your auditors, do you intend to be useful to others?—To-day many more attended my discourse. Yes, many; we suppose five hundred. That is nothing; suppose that there were a thousand—Dion never had so many hearers—How could he?—And they understand what is said beautifully. What is fine, master, can move even a stone—See, these are the words of a philosopher. This is the disposition of a man who will do good to others; here is a man who has listened to discourses, who has read what is written about Socrates as Socratic, not as the compositions of Lysias and Isocrates. I have often wondered by what arguments. Not so, but by what argument : this is more exact than that— What, have you read the words at all in a different way from that in which you read little odes? For if you read them as you ought, you would not have been attending to such matters, but you would rather have been looking to these words: Anytus and Melitus are able to kill me, but they cannot harm me: and I am always of such a disposition as to pay regard to nothing of my own except to the reason which on inquiry seems to me the best. Hence who ever heard Socrates say, I know something and I teach; but he used to send different people to different teachers. Therefore they used to come to him and ask to be introduced to philosophers by him; and he would take them and recommend them.—Not so; but as he accompanied them he would say, Hear me to-day discoursing in the house of Quadratus. Why should I hear you? Do you wish to show me that you put words together cleverly? You put them together, man; and what good will it do you?—But only praise me.—What do you mean by praising?—Say to me, admirable, wonderful.—Well, I say so. But if that is praise whatever it is which philosophers mean by the name ( κατηγορία ) of good, what have I to praise in you? If it is good to speak well, teach me, and I will praise you.—What then? ought a man to listen to such things without pleasure?— I hope not. For my part I do not listen even to a luteplayer without pleasure. Must I then for this reason stand and play the lute? Hear what Socrates says, Nor would it be seemly for a man of my age, like a young man composing addresses, to appear before you. Like a young man, he says. For in truth this small art is an elegant thing, to select words, and to put them together, and to come forward and gracefully to read them or to speak, and while he is reading to say, There are not many who can do these things, I swear by all that you value. Does a philosopher invite people to hear him? As the sun himself draws men to him, or as food does, does not the philosopher also draw to him those who will receive benefit? What physician invites a man to be treated by him? Indeed I now hear that even the physicians in Rome do invite patients, but when I lived there, the physicians were invited. I invite you to come and hear that things are in a bad way for you, and that you are taking care of every thing except that of which you ought to take care, and that you are ignorant of the good and the bad and are unfortunate and unhappy. A fine kind of invitation: and yet if the words of the philosopher do not produce this effect on you, he is dead, and so is the speaker. Rufus was used to say: If you have leisure to praise me, I am speaking to no purpose. Accordingly he used to speak in such a way that every one of us who were sitting there supposed that some one had accused him before Rufus: he so touched on what was doing, he so placed before the eyes every man’s faults. The philosopher’s school, ye men, is a surgery: you ought not to go out of it with pleasure, but with pain. For you are not in sound health when you enter: one has dislocated his shoulder, another has an abscess, a third a fistula, and a fourth a head ache. Then do I sit and utter to you little thoughts and exclamations that you may praise me and go away, one with his shoulder in the same condition in which he entered, another with his head still aching, and a third with his fistula or his abscess just as they were? Is it for this then that young men shall quit home, and leave their parents and their friends and kinsmen and property, that they may say to you, Wonderful! when you are uttering your exclamations. Did Socrates do this, or Zeno, or Cleanthes? What then? is there not the hortatory style? Who denies it? as there is the style of refutation, and the didactic style. Who then ever reckoned a fourth style with these, the style of display? What is the hortatory style? To be able to show both to one person and to many the struggle in which they are engaged, and that they think more about any thing than about what they really wish. For they wish the things which lead to happiness, but they look for them in the wrong place. In order that this may be done, a thousand seats must be placed and men must be invited to listen, and you must ascend the pulpit in a fine robe or cloak and describe the death of Achilles. Cease, I intreat you by the gods, to spoil good words and good acts as much as you can. Nothing can have more power in exhortation that when the speaker shows to the hearers that he has need of them. But tell me who when he hears you reaching or discoursing is anxious about himself or turns to reflect on himself? or when he has gone out says, The philosopher hit me well: I must no longer do these things. But does he not, even if you have a great reputation, say to some person? He spoke finely about Xerxes; and another says, No, but about the battle of Thermopylae. Is this listening to a philosopher? 3.2
4.17. LET not that which in another is contrary to nature be an evil to you: for you are not formed by nature to be depressed with others nor to be unhappy with others, but to be happy with them. If a man is unhappy, remember that his unhappiness is his own fault: for God has made all men to be happy, to be free from perturbations. For this purpose he has given means to them, some things to each person as his own, and other things not as his own: some things subject to hindrance and compulsion and deprivation; and these things are not a man’s own: but the things which are not subject to hindrances, are his own; and the nature of good and evil, as it was fit to be done by him who takes care of us and protects us like a father, he has made our own.—But you say, I have parted from a certain person, and he is grieved.—Why did he consider as his own that which belongs to another? why, when he looked on you and was rejoiced, did he not also reckon that you are mortal, that it is natural for you to part from him for a foreign country? Therefore he suffers the consequences of his own folly. But why do you or for what purpose bewail yourself? Is it that you also have not thought of these things? but like poor women who are good for nothing, you have enjoyed all things in which you took pleasure, as if you would always enjoy them, both places and men and conversation; and now you sit and weep because you do not see the same persons and do not live in the same places.—Indeed you deserve this, to be more wretched than crows and ravens who have the power of flying where they please and changing their nests for others, and crossing the seas without lamenting or regretting their former condition.— Yes, but this happens to them because they are irrational creatures.—Was reason then given to us by the gods for the purpose of unhappiness and misery, that we may pass our lives in wretchedness and lamentation? Must all persons be immortal and must no man go abroad, and must we ourselves not go abroad, but remain rooted like plants; and if any of our familiar friends goes abroad, must we sit and weep; and on the contrary, when he returns, must we dance and clap our hands like children? Shall we not now wean ourselves and remember what we have heard from the philosophers? if we did not listen to them as if they were jugglers: they tell us that this world is one city, and the substance out of which it has been formed is one, and that there must be a certain period, and that some things must give way to others, that some must be dissolved, and others come in their place; some to remain in the same place, and others to be moved; and that all things are full of friendship, first of the gods, and then of men who by nature are made to be of one family; and some must be with one another, and others must be separated, rejoicing in those who are with them, and not grieving for those who are removed from them; and man in addition to being by nature of a noble temper and having a contempt of all things which are not in the power of his will, also possesses this property not to be rooted nor to be naturally fixed to the earth, but to go at different times to different places, sometimes from the urgency of certain occasions, and at others merely for the sake of seeing. So it was with Ulysses, who saw of many men the states, and learned their ways. And still earlier it was the fortune of Hercules to visit all the inhabited world Seeing men’s lawless deeds and their good rules of law casting out and clearing away their lawlessness and introducing in their place good rules of law. And yet how many friends do you think that he had in Thebes, bow many in Argos, how many in Athens? and how many do you think that he gained by going about? And he married also, when it seemed to him a proper occasion, and begot children, and left them without lamenting or regretting or leaving them as orphans; for he knew that no man is an orphan; but it is the father who takes care of all men always and continuously. For it was not as mere report that he had heard that Zeus is the father of men, for he thought that Zeus was his own father, and he called him so, and to him he looked when he was doing what he did. Therefore he was enabled to live happily in all places. And it is never possible for happiness and desire of what is not present to come together. For that which is happy must have all that it desires, must resemble a person who is filled with food, and must have neither thirst nor hunger.—But Ulysses felt a desire for his wife and wept as he sat on a rock.—Do you attend to Homer and his stories in every thing? Or if Ulysses really wept, what was he else than an unhappy man? and what good man is unhappy? In truth the whole is badly administered, if Zeus does not take care of his own citizens that they may be happy like himself. But these things are not lawful nor right to think of: and if Ulysses did weep and lament, he was not a good man. For who is good if he knows not who he is? and who knows what he is, if he forgets that things which have been made are perishable, and that it is not possible for one human being to be with another always? To desire then things which are impossible is to have a slavish character, and is foolish: it is the part of a stranger, of a man who fights against God in the only way that he can, by his opinions. But my mother laments when she does not see me.— Why has she not learned these principles? and I do not say this, that we should not take care that she may not lament, but I say that we ought not to desire in every way what is not our own. And the sorrow of another is another’s sorrow: but my sorrow is my own. I then will stop my own sorrow by every means, for it is in my power: and the sorrow of another I will endeavour to stop as far as I can; but I will not attempt to do it by every means; for if I do, I shall be fighting against God, I shall be opposing Zeus and shall be placing myself against him in the administration of the universe; and the reward (the punishment) of this fighting against God and of this disobedience not only will the children of my children pay, but I also shall myself, both by day and by night, startled by dreams, perturbed, trembling at every piece of news, and having my tranquillity depending on the letters of others.—Some person has arrived from Rome. I only hope that there is no harm. But what harm can happen to you, where you are not?—From Hellas (Greece) some one is come: I hope that there is no harm.—In this way every place may be the cause of misfortune to you. Is it not enough for you to be unfortunate there where you are, and must you be so even beyond sea, and by the report of letters? Is this the way in which your affairs are in a state of security?—Well then suppose that my friends have died in the places which are far from me.—What else have they suffered than that which is the condition of mortals? Or how are you desirous at the same time to live to old age, and at the same time not to see the death of any person whom you love? Know you not that in the course of a long time many and various kinds of things must happen; that a fever shall overpower one, a robber another, and a third a tyrant? Such is the condition of things around us, such are those who live with us in the world: cold and heat, and unsuitable ways of living, and journeys by land, and voyages by sea, and winds, and various circumstances which surround us, destroy one man, and banish another, and throw one upon an embassy and another into an army. Sit down then in a flutter at all these things, lamenting, unhappy, unfortunate, dependent on another, and dependent not on one or two, but on ten thousands upon ten thousands. Did you hear this when you were with the philosophers? did you learn this? do you not know that human life is a warfare? that one mail must keep watch, another must go out as a spy, and a third must fight? and it is not possible that all should be in one place, nor is it better that it should be so. But you neglecting to do the commands of the general complain when any thing more hard than usual is imposed on you, and you do not observe what you make the army become as far as it is in your power; that if all imitate you, no man will dig a trench, no man will put a rampart round, nor keep watch, nor expose himself to danger, but will appear to be useless for the purposes of an army. Again, in a vessel if you go as a sailor, keep to one place and stick to it. And if you are ordered to climb the mast, refuse; if to run to the head of the ship, refuse; and what master of a ship will endure you? and will he not pitch you overboard as a useless thing, an impediment only and bad example to the other sailors? And so it is here also: every man’s life is a kind of warfare, and it is long and diversified. You must observe the duty of a soldier and do every thing at the nod of the general; if it is possible, divining what his wishes are: for there is no resemblance between that general and this, neither in strength nor in superiority of character. You are placed in a great office of command and not in any mean place; but you are always a senator. Do you not know that such a man must give little time to the affairs of his household, but be often away from home, either as a governor or one who is governed, or discharging some office, or serving in war or acting as a judge? Then do you tell me that you wish, as a plant, to be fixed to the same places and to be rooted?—Yes, for it is pleasant.—Who says that it is not? but a soup is pleasant, and a handsome woman is pleasant. What else do those say who make pleasure their end? Do you not see of what men you have uttered the language? that it is the language of Epicureans and catamites? Next while you are doing what they do and holding their opinions, do you speak to us the words of Zeno and of Socrates? Will you not throw away as far as you can the things belonging to others with which you decorate yourself, though they do not fit you at all? For what else do they desire than to sleep without hindrance and free from compulsion, and when they have risen to yawn at their leisure, and to wash the face, then write and read what they choose, and then talk about some trifling matter being praised by their friends whatever they may say, then to go forth for a walk, and having walked about a little to bathe, and then eat and sleep, such sleep as is the fashion of such men? why need we say how? for one can easily conjecture. Come, do you also tell your own way of passing the time which you desire, you who are an admirer of truth and of Socrates and Diogenes. What do you wish to do in Athens? the same (that others do), or something else? Why then do you call yourself a Stoic? Well, but they who falsely call themselves Roman citizens, are severely punished; and should those, who falsely claim so great and reverend a thing and name, get off unpunished? or is this not possible, but the law divine and strong and inevitable is this, which exacts the severest punishments from those who commit the greatest crimes? For what does this law say? Let him who pretends to things which do not belong to him be a boaster, a vain-glorious man: let him who disobeys the divine administration be base, and a slave; let him suffer grief, let him be envious, let him pity; and in a word let him be unhappy and lament. Well then; do you wish me to pay court to a certain person? to go to his doors?—If reason requires this to be done for the sake of country, for the sake of kinsmen, for the sake of mankind, why should you not go? You are not ashamed to go to the doors of a shoemaker, when you are in want of shoes, nor to the door of a gardener, when you want lettuces; and are you ashamed to go to the doors of the rich when you want any thing?—Yes, for I have no awe of a shoemaker—Don’t feel any awe of the rich—Nor will I flatter the gardener—And do not flatter the rich— How then shall I get what I want?—Do I say to you, go as if you were certain to get what you want? And do not I only tell you, that you may do what is becoming to yourself? Why then should I still go? That you may have gone, that you may have discharged the duty of a citizen, of a brother, of a friend. And further remember that you have gone to the shoemaker, to the seller of vegetables, who have no power in any thing great or noble, though he may sell dear. You go to buy lettuces: they cost an obolus (penny), but not a talent. So it is here also. The matter is worth going for to the rich man’s door—Well, I will go —It is worth talking about—Let it be so; I will talk with him—But you must also kiss his hand and flatter him with praise—Away with that, it is a talent’s worth: it is not profitable to me, nor to the state nor to my friends, to have done that which spoils a good citizen and a friend.—But you will seem not to have been eager about the matter, if you do not succeed. Have you again forgotten why you went? Know you not that a good man does nothing for the sake of appearance, but for the sake of doing right?— What advantage is it then to him to have done right?—And what advantage is it to a man who writes the name of Dion to write it as he ought?—The advantage is to have written it.—Is there no reward then?—Do you seek a reward for a good man greater than doing what is good and just? At Olympia you wish for nothing more, but it seems to you enough to be crowned at the games. Does it seem to you so small and worthless a thing to be good and happy? For these purposes being introduced by the gods into this city (the world), and it being now your duty to undertake the work of a man, do you still want nurses also and a mamma, and do foolish women by their weeping move you and make you effeminate? Will you thus never cease to be a foolish child? know you not that he who does the acts of a child, the older he is, the more ridiculous he is? In Athens did you see no one by going to his house?— I visited any man that I pleased—Here also be ready to see, and you will see whom you please: only let it be without meanness, neither with desire nor with aversion, and your affairs will be well managed. But this result does not depend on going nor on standing at the doors, but it depends on what is within, on your opinions. When you have learned not to value things which are external and not dependent on the will, and to consider that not one of them is your own, but that these things only are your own, to exercise the judgment well, to form opinions, to move towards an object, to desire, to turn from a thing, where is there any longer room for flattery, where for meanness? why do you still long for the quiet there (at Athens), and for the places to which you are accustomed? Wait a little and you will again find these places familiar: then, if you are of so ignoble a nature, again if you leave these also, weep and lament. How then shall I become of an affectionate temper? By being of a noble disposition, and happy. For it is not reasonable to be mean-spirited nor to lament yourself, nor to depend on another, nor ever to blame God or man. I entreat you, become an affectionate person in this way, by observing these rules. But if through this affection, as you name it, you are going to be a slave and wretched, there is no profit in being affectionate. And what prevents you from loving another as a person subject to mortality, as one who may go away from you. Did not Socrates love his own children? He did; but it was as a free man, as one who remembered that he must first be a friend to the gods. For this reason he violated nothing which was becoming to a good man, neither in making his defence nor by fixing a penalty on himself, nor even in the former part of his life when he was a senator or when he was a soldier. But we are fully supplied with every pretext for being of ignoble temper, some for the sake of a child, some for a mother, and others for brethren’s sake. But it is not fit for us to be unhappy on account of any person, but to be happy on account of all, but chiefly on account of God who has made us for this end. Well, did Diogenes love nobody, who was so kind and so much a lover of all that for mankind in general he willingly undertook so much labour and bodily sufferings? He did love mankind, but how? As became a minister of God, at the same time caring for men, and being also subject to God. For this reason all the earth was his country, and no particular place; and when he was taken prisoner he did not regret Athens nor his associates and friends there, but even he became familiar with the pirates and tried to improve them; and being sold afterwards he lived in Corinth as before at Athens; and he would have behaved the same, if he had gone to the country of the Perrhaebi. Thus is freedom acquired. For this reason he used to say, Ever since Antisthenes made me free, I have not been a slave. How did Antisthenes make him free? Hear what he says: Antisthenes taught me what is my own, and what is not my own; possessions are not my own, nor kinsmen, domestics, friends, nor reputation, nor places familiar, nor mode of life; all these belong to others. What then is your own? The use of appearances. This he showed to me, that I possess it free from hindrance, and from compulsion, no person can put an obstacle in my way, no person can force me to use appearances otherwise than I wish. Who then has any power over me? Philip or Alexander, or Perdiccas or the great king? How have they this power? For if a man is going to be overpowered by a man, he must long before be overpowered by things. If then pleasure is not able to subdue a man, nor pain, nor fame, nor wealth, but he is able, when he chooses, to spit out all his poor body in a man’s face and depart from life, whose slave can he still be? But if he dwelt with pleasure in Athens, and was overpowered by this manner of life, his affairs would have been at every man’s command; the stronger would have had the power of grieving him. How do you think that Diogenes would have flattered the pirates that they might sell him to some Athenian, that some time he might see that beautiful Piraeus, and the Long Walls and the Acropolis? In what condition would you see them? As a captive, a slave and mean: and what would be the use of it for you?—Not so: but I should see them as a free man—Show me, how you would be free. Observe, some person has caught you, who leads you away from your accustomed place of abode and says, You are my slave, for it is in my power to hinder you from living as you please, it is in my power to treat you gently, and to humble you: when I choose, on the contrary you are cheerful and go elated to Athens. What do you say to him who treats you as a slave? What means have you of finding one who will rescue you from slavery? Or cannot you even look him in the face, but without saying more do you intreat to be set free? Man, you ought to go gladly to prison, hastening, going before those who lead you there. Then, I ask you, are you unwilling to live in Rome and desire to live in Hellas (Greece)? And when you must die, will you then also fill us with your lamentations, because you will not see Athens nor walk about in the Lyceion? Have you gone abroad for this? was it for this reason you have sought to find some person from whom you might receive benefit? What benefit? That you may solve syllogisms more readily, or handle hypothotical arguments? and for this reason did you leave brother, country, friends, your family, that you might return when you had learned these things? So you did not go abroad to obtain constancy of mind, nor freedom from perturbation, nor in order that being secure from harm you may never complain of any person, accuse no person, and no man may wrong you, and thus you may maintain your relative position without impediment? This is a fine traffic that you have gone abroad for in syllogisms and sophistical arguments and hypothetical: if you like, take your place in the agora (market or public place) and proclaim them for sale like dealers in physic. Will you not deny even all that you have learned that you may not bring a bad name on your theorems as useless? What harm has philosophy done you? Wherein has Chrysippus injured you that you should prove by your acts that his labours are useless? Were the evils that you had there (at home) not enough, those which were the cause of your pain and lamentation, even if you had not gone abroad? Have you added more to the list? And if you again have other acquaintances and friends, you will have more causes for lamentation; and the same also if you take an affection for another country. Why then do you live to surround yourself with other sorrows upon sorrows through which you are unhappy? Then, I ask you, do you call this affection? What affection, man! If it is a good thing, it is the cause of no evil: if it is bad, I have nothing to do with it. I am formed by nature for my own good: I am. not formed for my own evil. What then is the discipline for this purpose? First of all the highest and the principal, and that which stands as it were at the entrance, is this; when you are delighted with anything, be delighted as with a thing which is not one of those which cannot be taken away, but as with something of such a kind, as an earthen pot is, or a glass cup, that when it has been broken, you may remember what it was, and may not be troubled. So in this matter also: if you kiss your own child, or your brother or friend, never give full license to the appearance ( φαντασίαν ), and allow not your pleasure to go as far as it chooses; but check it, and curb it as those who stand behind men in their triumphs and remind them that they are mortal. Do you also remind yourself in like manner, that he whom you love is mortal, and that what you love is nothing of your own: it has been given to you for the present, not that it should not be taken from you, nor has it been given to you for all time, but as a fig is given to you or a bunch of grapes at the appointed season of the year. But if you wish for these things in winter, you are a fool. So if you wish for your son or friend when it is not allowed to you, you must know that you are wishing for a fig in winter. For such as winter is to a fig, such is every event which happens from the universe to the things which are taken away according to its nature. And further, at the times when you are delighted with a thing, place before yourself the contrary appearances. What harm is it while you are kissing your child to say with a lisping voice, To-morrow you will die; and to a friend also, To-morrow you will go away or I shall, and never shall we see one another again?—But these are words of bad omen—And some incantations also are of bad omen; but because they are useful, I don’t care for this; only let them be useful. But do you call things to be of bad omen except those which are significant of some evil? Cowardice is a word of bad omen, and meanness of spirit, and sorrow, and grief and shamelessness. These words are of bad omen: and yet we ought not to hesitate to utter them in order to protect ourselves against the things. Do you tell me that a name which is significant of any natural thing is of evil omen? say that even for the ears of corn to be reaped is of bad omen, for it signifies the destruction of the ears, but not of the world. Say that the falling of the leaves also is of bad omen, and for the dried fig to take the place of the green fig, and for raisins to be made from the grapes. For all these things are changes from a former state into other states; not a destruction, but a certain fixed economy and administration. Such is going away from home and a small change: such is death, a greater change, not from the state which now is to that which is not, but to that which is not now.—Shall I then no longer exist?—You will not exist, but you will be something else, of which the world now has need: for you also came into existence not when you chose, but when the world had need of you. I am not sure if Epictetus ever uses κόσμος in the sense of Universe, the universum of philosophers. I think he sometimes uses it in the common sense of the world, the earth and all that is on it. Epictetus appears to teach that when a man dies, his existence is terminated. The body is resolved into the elements of which it is formed, and these elements are employed for other purposes. Consistently with this doctrine he may have supposed that the powers, which we call rational and intellectual, exist in man by virtue only of the organisation of his brain which is superior to that of all other animals; and that what we name the soul has no existence independent of the body. It was an old Greek hypothesis that at death the body returned to earth from which it came, and the soul ( πνεῦμα ) returned to the regions above, from which it came. I cannot discover any passage in Epictetus in which the doctrine is taught that the soul has an existence independent of the body. The opinions of Marcus Antoninus on this matter are contained in his book, iv. 14, 21, and perhaps elsewhere: but they are rather obscure. A recent writer has attempted to settle the question of the existence of departed souls by affirming that we can find no place for them either in heaven or in hell; for the modern scientific notion, as I suppose that it must be named, does not admit the conception of a place heaven or a place hell (Strauss, Der Alte und der Neue Glaube, p. 129). We may name Paul a contemporary of Epictetus, for though Epictetus may have been the younger, he was living at Rome during Nero’s reign (A. D. 54–68); and it is affirmed, whether correctly or not, I do not undertake to say, that Paul wrote from Ephesus his first epistle to the Corinthians (Cor. i. 16, 8) in the beginning of A. D. 56 . Epictetus, it is said, lived in Rome till the time of the expulsion of the philosophers by Domitian, when he retired to Nicopolis an old man, and taught there. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (c. 15) contains his doctrine of the resurrection, which is accepted, I believe, by all, or nearly all, if there are any exceptions, who profess the Christian faith: but it is not understood by all in the same way. Paul teaches that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried and rose again on the third day; and that after his resurrection he was seen by many persons. Then he asks, if Christ rose from the dead, how can some say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen (v. 13); and (v. 19), if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But he affirms again (v. 20) that Christ is risen and become the first fruits of them that slept. In v. 32, he asks what advantages he has from his struggles in Ephesus, if the dead rise not: let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. He seems not to admit the value of life, if there is no resurrection of the dead; and he seems to say that we shall seek or ought to seek only the pleasures of sense, because life is short, if we do not believe in a resurrection of the dead. It may be added that there is not any direct assertion in this chapter that Christ ascended to heaven in a bodily form, or that he ascended to heaven in any way. He then says (v. 35), But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come. He answers this question (v. 36), Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die : and he adds that God giveth it (the seed) a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. We all know that the body, which is produced from the seed, is not the body that shall be. and we also know that the seed which is sown does not die, and that if the seed died, no body would be produced from such seed. His conclusion is that the dead is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body ( σῶμα πνευματικόν ). I believe that the commentators do not agree about this spiritual body : but it seems plain that Paul did not teach that the body which will rise will be the same as the body which is buried. He says (v. 50) that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Yet in the Apostles’ Creed we pronounce our belief in the resurrection of the body : but in the Nicene Creed it is said we look for the resurrection of the dead, which is a different thing or may have a different meaning from the resurrection of the body. In the ministration of baptism to such as are of riper years, the person to be baptized is asked Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, etc. in the terms of the Church Creeds, but in place of the resurrection of the body or of the dead, he is asked if he believes in the resurrection of the flesh. The various opinions of divines of the English church on the resurrection of the body are stated by A. Clissold in the Practical Nature of the Theological Writings of E. Swedenborg in a letter to Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, 1859 , 2nd ed. Wherefore the wise and good man, remembering who he is and whence he came, and by whom he was produced, is attentive only to this, how he may fill his place with due regularity, and obediently to God. Dost thou still wish me to exist (live)? I will continue to exist as free, as noble in nature, as thou hast wished me to exist: for thou hast made me free from hindrance in that which is my own. But hast thou no further need of me? I thank thee; and so far I have remained for thy sake, and for the sake of no other person, and now in obedience to thee I depart. How dost thou depart? Again, I say, as thou hast pleased, as free, as thy servant, as one who has known thy commands and thy prohibitions. And so long as I shall stay in thy service, whom dost thou will me to be? A prince or a private man, a senator or a common person, a soldier or a general, a teacher or a master of a family? whatever place and position thou mayest assign to me, as Socrates says, I will die ten thousand times rather than desert them. And where dost thou will me to be? in Rome or Athens, or Thebes or Gyara. Only remember me there where I am. If thou sendest me to a place where there are no means for men living according to nature, I shall not depart (from life) in disobedience to thee, but as if thou wast giving me the signal to retreat: I do not leave thee, let this be far from my intention, but I perceive that thou hast no need of me. If means of living according to nature be allowed to me, I will seek no other place than that in which I am, or other men than those among whom I am. Let these thoughts be ready to hand by night and by day: these you should write, these you should read: about these you should talk to yourself, and to others. Ask a man, Can you help me at all for this purpose? and further, go to another and to another. Then if any thing that is said be contrary to your wish, this reflection first will immediately relieve you, that it is not unexpected. For it is a great thing in all cases to say, I knew that I begot a son who is mortal. For so you also will say, I knew that I am mortal, I knew that I may leave my home, I knew that I may be ejected from it, I knew that I may be led to prison. Then if you turn round and look to yourself, and seek the place from which comes that which has happened, you will forthwith recollect that it comes from the place of things which are out of the power of the will, and of things which are not my own. What then is it to me? Then, you will ask, and this is the chief thing: And who is it that sent it? The leader, or the general, the state, the law of the state. Give it me then, for I must always obey the law in every thing. Then, when the appearance (of things) pains you, for it is not in your power to prevent this, contend against it by the aid of reason, conquer it: do not allow it to gain strength nor to lead you to the consequences by raising images such as it pleases and as it pleases. If you be in Gyara, do not imagine the mode of living at Rome, and how many pleasures there were for him who lived there and how many there would be for him who returned to Rome: but fix your mind on this matter, how a man who lives in Gyara ought to live in Gyara like a man of courage. And if you be in Rome, do not imagine what the life in Athens is, but think only of the life in Rome. Then in the place of all other delights substitute this, that of being conscious that you are obeying God, that not in word, but in deed you are performing the acts of a wise and good man. For what a thing it is for a man to be able to say to himself, Now whatever the rest may say in solemn manner in the schools and may be judged to be saying in a way contrary to common opinion (or in a strange way), this I am doing; and they are sitting and are discoursing of my virtues and inquiring about me and praising me; and of this Zeus has willed that I shall receive from myself a demonstration, and shall myself know if he has a soldier such as he ought to have, a citizen such as he ought to have, and if he has chosen to produce me to the rest of mankind as a witness of the things which are independent of the will: See that you fear without reason, that you foolishly desire what you do desire: seek not the good in things external; seek it in yourselves: if you do not, you will not find it. For this purpose he leads me at one time hither, at another time sends me thither, shows me to men as poor, without authority, and sick; sends me to Gyara, leads me into prison, not because he hates me, far from him be such a meaning, for who hates the best of his servants? nor yet because he cares not for me, for he does not neglect any even of the smallest things; but he does this for the purpose of exercising me and making use of me as a witness to others. Being appointed to such a service, do I still care about the place in which I am, or with whom I am, or what men say about me? and do 1 not entirely direct my thoughts to God and to his instructions and commands? Having these things (or thoughts) always in hand, and exercising them by yourself, and keeping them in readiness, you will never be in want of one to comfort you and strengthen you. For it is not shameful to be without something to eat, but not to have reason sufficient for keeping away fear and sorrow. But if once you have gained exemption from sorrow and fear, will there any longer be a tyrant for you, or a tyrant’s guard, or attendants on Caesar? Or shall any appointment to offices at court cause you pain, or shall those who sacrifice in the Capitol on the occasion of being named to certain functions, cause pain to you who have received so great authority from Zeus? Only do not make a proud display of it, nor boast of it; but shew it by your acts; and if no man perceives it, be satisfied that you are yourself in a healthy state and happy.
4.1. HE is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is neither subject to compulsion nor to hindrance, nor to force; whose movements to action ( ὁρμαί ) are not impeded, whose desires attain their purpose, and who does not fall into that which he would avoid ( ἐκκλίσεις ἀπερίπτωτοι ). Who then chooses to live in error? No man. Who chooses to live deceived, liable to mistake, unjust, unrestrained, discontented, mean? No man. Not one then of the bad lives as he wishes; nor is he then free. And who chooses to live in sorrow, fear, envy, pity, desiring and failing in his desires, attempting to avoid something and falling into it? Not one. Do we then find any of the bad free from sorrow, free from fear, who does not fall into that which he would avoid, and does not obtain that which he wishes? Not one; nor then do we find any bad man free. If then a man who has been twice consul should hear this, if you add, But you are a wise man; this is nothing to you: he will pardon you. But if you tell him the truth, and say, You differ not at all from those who have been thrice sold as to being yourself not a slave, what else ought you to expect than blows? For he says, What, I a slave, I whose father was free, whose mother was free I whom no man can purchase: I am also of senatorial rank, and a friend of Caesar, and I have been a consul, and I own many slaves.—In the first place, most excellent senatorial man, perhaps your father also was a slave in the same kind of servitude, and your mother, and your grandfather and all your ancestors in an ascending series. But even if they were as free as it is possible, what is this to you? What if they were of a noble nature, and you of a mean nature; if they were fearless, and you a coward; if they had the power of self-restraint, and you are not able to exercise it. And what, you may say, has this to do with being a slave? Does it seem to you to be nothing to do a thing unwillingly, with compulsion, with groans, has this nothing to do with being a slave? It is something, you say: but who is able to compel me, except the lord of all, Caesar? Then even you yourself have admitted that you have one master. But that he is the common master of all, as you say, let not this console you at all: but know that you are a slave in a great family. So also the people of Nicopolis are used to exclaim, By the fortune of Caesar, we are free. However, if you please, let us not speak of Caesar at present. But tell me this: did you never love any person, a young girl, or slave, or free? What then is this with respect to being a slave or free? Were you never commanded by the person beloved to do something which you did not wish to do? have you never flattered your little slave? have you never kissed her feet? And yet if any man compelled you to kiss Caesar’s feet, you would think it an insult and excessive tyranny. What else then is slavery? Did you never go oat by night to some place whither you did not wish to go, did you not expend that you did not wish to expend, did you not utter words with sighs and groans, did you not submit to abuse and to be excluded? But if you are ashamed to confess your own acts, see what Thrasonides says and does, who having seen so much military service as perhaps not even you have, first of all went out by night, when Geta (a slave) does not venture out, but if he were compelled by his master, would have cried out much and would have gone out lamenting his bitter slavery. Next, what does Thrasonides say? A worthless girl has enslaved me, me whom no enemy ever did. Unhappy man, who are the slave even of a girl, and a worthless girl. Why then do you still call yourself free? and why do you talk of your service in the army? Then he calls for a sword and is angry with him who out of kindness refuses it; and he sends presents to her who hates him, and intreats and weeps, and on the other hand having had a little success he is elated. But even then how? was he free enough neither to desire nor to fear? Now consider in the case of animals, how we employ the notion of liberty. Men keep tame lions shut up, and feed them, and some take them about; and who will say that this lion is free? Is it not the fact that the more he lives at his ease, so much the more he is in a slavish condition? and who if he had perception and reason would wish to be one of these lions? Well, these birds when they are caught and are kept shut up, how much do they suffer in their attempts to escape? and some of them die of hunger rather than submit to such a kind of life. And as many of them as live, hardly live and with suffering pine away; and if they ever find any opening, they make their escape. So much do they desire their natural liberty, and to be independent and free from hindrance. And what harm is there to you in this? What do you say? I am formed by nature to fly where I choose, to live in the open air, to sing when I choose: you deprive me of all this, and say, what harm is it to you? For this reason we shall say that those animals only are free, which cannot endure capture, but as soon as they are caught. escape from captivity by death. So Diogenes also somewhere says that there is only one way to freedom, and that is to die content: and he writes to the Persian king. You cannot enslave the Athenian state any more than you can enslave fishes. How is that? cannot I catch them? If you catch them, says Diogenes, they will immediately leave you, as fishes do; for if you catch a fish, it dies; and if these men that are caught shall die, of what use to you is the preparation for war? These are the words of a free man who had carefully examined the thing, and, as was natural, had discovered it. But if you look for it in a different place from where it is, what wonder if you never find it? The slave wishes to be set free immediately. Why? Do you think that he wishes to pay money to the collectors of twentieths? No; but because he imagines that hitherto through not having obtained this, he is hindered and unfortunate. If I shall be set free, immediately it is all happiness, I care for no man, I speak to all as an equal and like to them, I go where I choose, I come from any place I choose, and go where I choose. Then he is set free; and forthwith having no place where he can eat, he looks for some man to flatter, some one with whom he shall sup: then he either works with his body and endures the most dreadful things; and if he can obtain a manger, he falls into a slavery much worse than his former slavery; or even if he is become rich, being a man without any knowledge of what is good, he loves some little girl, and in his unhappiness laments and desires to be a slave again. He says, what evil did I suffer in my state of slavery? Another clothed me, another supplied me with shoes, another fed me, another looked after me in sickness; and I did only a few services for him. But now a wretched man, what things I suffer, being a slave to many instead of to one. But however, he says, if I shall acquire rings then I shall live most prosperously and happily. First, in order to acquire these rings, he submits to that which he is worthy of; then when he has acquired them, it is again all the same. Then he says, If I shall be engaged in military service, I am free from all evils. He obtains military service. He suffers as much as a flogged slave, and nevertheless he asks for a second service and a third. After this, when he has put the finishing stroke (the colophon) to his career, and is become a senator, then he becomes a slave by entering into the assembly, then he serves the finer and most splendid slavery—not to be a fool, but to learn what Socrates taught, what is the nature of each thing that exists, and that a man should not rashly adapt preconceptions ( προλήψεις ) to the several things which are. For this is the cause to men of all their evils, the not being able to adapt the general preconceptions to the several things. But we have different opinions (about the cause of our evils). One man thinks that he is sick: not so however, but the fact is that he does not adapt his preconceptions right. Another thinks that he is poor; another that he has a severe father or mother; and another again that Caesar is not favourable to him. But all this is one and only one thing, the not knowing how to adapt the preconceptions. For who has not a preconception of that which is bad, that it is hurtful, that it ought to be avoided, that it ought in every way to be guarded against? One preconception is not repugt to another, only where it comes to the matter of adaptation. What then is this evil, which is both hurtful, and a thing to be avoided? He answers not to be Caesar’s friend.—He is gone far from the mark, he has missed the adaptation, he is embarrassed, he seeks the things which are not at all pertinent to the matter; for when he has succeeded in being Caesar’s friend, never the less he has failed in finding what he sought. For what is that which every man seeks? To live secure, to be happy, to do every thing as he wishes, not to be hindered, nor compelled. When then he is become the friend of Caesar, is he free from hindrance? free from compulsion, is he tranquil, is he happy? of whom shall we inquire? What more trustworthy witness have we than this very man who is become Caesar’s friend? Come forward and tell us when did you sleep more quietly, now or before you became Caesar’s friend? Immediately you hear the answer, Stop, I intreat you, and do not mock me: you know not what miseries I suffer, and sleep does not come to me; but one comes and says, Caesar is already awake, he is now going forth: then come troubles and cares—Well, when did you sup with more pleasure, now or before? Hear what he says about this also. He says that if he is not invited, he is pained: and if he is invited, he sups like a slave with his master, all the while being anxious that he does not say or do any thing foolish. And what do you suppose that he is afraid of; lest he should be lashed like a slave? How can he expect any thing so good? No, but as befits so great a man, Caesar’s friend, he is afraid that he may lose his head. And when did you bathe more free from trouble, and take your gymnastic exercise more quietly? In fine, which kind of life did you prefer? your present or your former life? I can swear that no man is so stupid or so ignorant of truth as not to bewail his own misfortunes the nearer he is in friendship to Caesar. Since then neither those who are called kings live as they choose, nor the friends of kings, who finally are those who are free? Seek, and you will find; for you have aids from nature for the discovery of truth. But if you are not able yourself by going along these ways only to discover that which follows, listen to those who have made the inquiry. What do they say? Does freedom seem to you a good thing? The greatest good. Is it possible then that he who obtains the greatest good can be unhappy or fare badly? No. Whomsoever then you shall see unhappy, unfortunate, lamenting, confidently declare that they are not free. I do declare it. We have now then got away from buying and selling and from such arrangements about matters of property: for if you have rightly assented to these matters, if the great king (the Persian king) is unhappy, he cannot be free, nor can a little king, nor a man of consular rank, nor one who has been twice consul.—Be it so. Further then answer me this question also, does freedom seem to you to be something great and noble and valuable?—How should it not seem so? Is it possible then when a man obtains anything so great and valuable and noble to be mean?—It is not possible—When then you see any man subject to another or flattering him contrary to his own opinion, confidently affirm that this man also is not free; and not only if he do this for a bit of supper, but also if he does it for a government (province) or a consulship: and call these men little slaves who for the sake of little matters do these things, and those who do so for the sake of great things call great slaves, as they deserve to be.—This is admitted also—Do you think that freedom is a thing independent and self governing?— Certainly—Whomsoever then it is in the power of another to hinder and compel, declare that he is not free. And do not look, I intreat you, after his grandfathers and great grandfathers, or inquire about his being bought or sold; but if you hear him saying from his heart and with feeling, Master, even if the twelve fasces precede him (as consul), call him a slave. And if you hear him say, Wretch that I am, how much I suffer, call him a slave. If finally you see him lamenting, complaining, unhappy, call him a slave though he wears a praetexta. If then he is doing nothing of this kind, do not yet say that he is free, but learn his opinions, whether they are subject to compulsion, or may produce hindrance, or to bad fortune; and if you find him such, call him a slave who has a holiday in the Saturnalia: say that his master is from home: he will return soon, and you will know what he suffers. Who will return? Whoever has in himself the power over anything which is desired by the man, either to give it to him or to take it away? Thus then have we many masters? We have: for we have circumstances as masters prior to our present masters; and these circumstances are many. Therefore it must of necessity be that those who have the power over any of these circumstances must be our masters. For no man fears Caesar himself, but he fears death, banishment, deprivation of his property, prison, and disgrace. Nor does any man love Caesar, unless Caesar is a person of great merit, but he loves wealth, the office of tribune, praetor or consul. When we love, and hate and fear these things, it must be that those who have the power over them must be our masters. Therefore we adore them even as gods; for we think that what possesses the power of conferring the greatest advantage on us is divine. Then we wrongly assume ( ὑποτάσσομεν ) that a certain person has the power of conferring the greatest advantages; therefore he is something divine. For if we wrongly assume that a certain person has the power of conferring the greatest advantages, it is a necessary consequence that the conclusion from these premises must be false. What then is that which makes a man free from hindrance and makes him his own master? For wealth does not do it, nor consulship, nor provincial government, nor royal power; but something else must be discovered. What then is that which when we write makes us free from hindrance and unimpeded? The knowledge of the art of writing. What then is it in playing the lute? The science of playing the lute. Therefore in life also it is the science of life. You have then heard in a general way: but examine the thing also in the several parts. Is it possible that he who desires any of the things which depend on others can be free from hindrance? No—Is it possible for him to be unimpeded? No—Therefore he cannot be free. Consider then: whether we have nothing which is in our own power only, or whether we have all things, or whether some things are in our own power, and others in the power of others.—What do you mean?— When you wish the body to be entire (sound), is it in your power or not?—It is not in my power—When you wish it to be healthy?—Neither is this in my power.— When you wish it to be handsome?—Nor is this—Life or death?—Neither is this in my power.—Your body then is another’s, subject to every man who is stronger than yourself—It is—But your estate, is it in your power to have it when you please, and as long as you please, and such as you please?—No—And your slaves?—No—And your clothes?—No—And your house?—No—And your horses?—Not one of these things—And if you wish by all means your children to live, or your wife, or your brother, or your friends, is it in your power?—This also is not in my power. Whether then have you nothing which is in your own power, which depends on yourself only and cannot be taken from you, or have you any thing of the kind?—I know not—Look at the thing then thus, and examine it. Is any man able to make you assent to that which is false He means that which seems to you to be false. See iii. 22, 42. In the matter of assent then : this is the third τόρος or locus or division in philosophy (iii. 2, 1–5). As to the Will, compare i. 17, note 10. Epictetus affirms that a man cannot be compelled to assent, that is to admit, to allow, or, to use another word, to believe in that which seems to him to be false, or, to use the same word again, to believe in that in which he does not believe. When the Christian uses the two creeds, which begin with the words, I believe etc., he knows or he ought to know, that he cannot compel an unbeliever to accept the same belief. He may by pains and penalties of various kinds compel some persons to profess or to express the same belief: but as no pains or penalties could compel some Christians to deny their belief, so I suppose that perhaps there are men who could not be compelled to express this belief when they have it not. The case of the believer and the unbeliever however are not the same. The believer may be strengthened in his belief by the belief that he will in some way be punished by God, if he denies that which he believes. The unbeliever will not have the same motive or reason for not expressing his assent to that which he does not believe. He believes that it is and will be all the same to him with respect to God, whether he gives his assent to that which he does not believe or refuses his assent. There remains nothing then to trouble him if he expresses his assent to that which he does not believe, except the opinion of those who know that he does not believe, or his own reflections on expressing his assent to that which he does not believe; or in other words his publication of a lie, which may probably do no harm to any man or in any way. I believe that some men are strong enough, under some circumstances at least, to refuse their assent to any thing which they do not believe; but I do not affirm that they would do this under all circumstances. To return to the matter under consideration, a man cannot be compelled by any power to accept voluntarily a thing as true, when lie believes that it is not true; and this act of his is quite independent of the matter whether his unbelief is well founded or not. He does not believe because he cannot believe. Yet it is said (Mark xvi. 11,) in the received text, as it now stands, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned (condemned). The cause, as it is called, of this unbelief is explained by some theologians; but all men do not admit the explanation to be sufficient: and it does not concern the present subject. —No man—In the matter of assent then you are free from hindrance and obstruction.—Granted—Well; and can a man force you to desire to move towards that to which you do not choose?—He can, for when he threatens me with death or bonds, he compels me to desire to move towards it. If then, you despise death and bonds, do you still pay any regard to him?—No—Is then the despising of death an act of your own or is it not yours?—It is my act—It is your own act then also to desire to move towards a thing: or is it not so?—It is my own act—But to desire to move away from a thing, whose act is that? This also is your act—What then if I have attempted to walk, suppose another should hinder me—What part of you does he hinder? does he hinder the faculty of assent?—No: but my poor body—Yes, as he would do with a stone— Granted; but I no longer walk—And who told you that walking is your own act free from hindrance? for I said that this only was free from hindrance, to desire to move: but where there is need of body and its co-operation, you have heard long ago that nothing is your own.—Granted this also—And who can compel you to desire what you do not wish?—No man—And to propose or intend, or in short to make use of the appearances which present themselves, can any man compel you?—He cannot do this: but he will hinder me when I desire from obtaining what I desire.—If you desire any thing which is your own, and one of the things which cannot be hindered, how will he hinder you?—He cannot in any way—Who then tells you that he who desires the things that belong to another is free from hindrance? Must I then not desire health? By no means, nor any thing else that belongs to another: for what is not in your power to acquire or to keep when you please, this belongs to another. Keep then far from it not only your hands, but more than that, even your desires. If you do not, you have surrendered yourself as a slave; you have subjected your neck, if you admire any thing not your own, to every thing that is dependent on the power of others and perishable, to which you have conceived a liking.—Is not my hand my own?—It is a part of your own body; but it is by nature earth, subject to hindrance, compulsion, and the slave of every thing which is stronger. And why do I say your hand? You ought to possess your whole body as a poor ass loaded, as long as it is possible, as long as you are allowed. But if there be a press, and a soldier should lay hold of it, let it go, do not resist, nor murmur; if you do, you will receive blows, and never the less you will also lose the ass. But when you ought to feel thus with respect to the body, consider what remains to be done about all the rest, which is provided for the sake of the body. When the body is an ass, all the other things are bits belonging to the ass, pack-saddles, shoes, barley, fodder. Let these also go: get rid of them quicker and more readily than of the ass. When you have made this preparation, and have practised this discipline, to distinguish that which belongs to another from that which is your own, the things which are subject to hindrance from those which are not, to consider the things free from hindrance to concern yourself, and those which are not free not to concern yourself, to keep your desire steadily fixed to the things which do concern yourself, and turned from the things which do not concern yourself; do you still fear any man? No one. For about what will you be afraid? about the things which are your own, in which consists the nature of good and evil? and who has power over these things? who can take them away? who can impede them? No man can, no more than he can impede God. But will you be afraid about your body and your possessions, about things which are not yours, about things which in no way concern you? and what else have you been studying from the beginning than to distinguish between your own and not your own, the things which are in your power and not in your power, the things subject to hindrance and not subject? and why have you come to the philosophers? was it that you may never the less be unfortunate and unhappy? You will then in this way, as I have supposed you to have done, be without fear and disturbance. And what is grief to you? for fear comes from what you expect, but grief from that which is present. But what further will you desire? For of the things which are within the power of the will, as being good and present, you have a proper and regulated desire: but of the things which are not in the power of the will you do not desire any one, and so you do not allow any place to that which is irrational, and impatient, and above measure hasty. When then you are thus affected towards things, what man can any longer be formidable to you? For what has a man which is formidable to another, either when you see him or speak to him or finally are conversant with him? Not more than one horse has with respect to another, or one dog to another, or one bee to another bee. Things indeed are formidable to every man; and when any man is able to confer these things on another or to take them away, then he too becomes formidable. How then is an acropolis (a stronghold or fortress, the seat of tyranny) demolished? Not by the sword, not by fire, but by opinion. For if we abolish the acropolis which is in the city, can we abolish also that of fever, and that of beautiful women? Can we in a word abolish the acropolis which is in us and cast out the tyrants within us, whom we have daily over us, sometimes the same tyrants, at other times different tyrants? But with this we must begin, and with this we must demolish the acropolis and eject the tyrants, by giving up the body, the parts of it, the faculties of it, the possessions, the reputation, magisterial offices, honours, children, brothers, friends, by considering all these things as belonging to others. And if tyrants have been ejected from us, why do I still shut in the acropolis by a wall of circumvallation, at least on my account; for if it still stands, what does it do to me? why do I still eject (the tyrant’s) guards? For where do I perceive them? against others they have their fasces, and their spears and their swords. But I have never been hindered in my will, nor compelled when I did not will. And how is this possible? I have placed my movements towards action ( ὁρμήν ) in obedience to God. Is it his will that I shall have fever? It is my will also. Is it his will that I should move towards any thing? It is my will also. Is it his will that I should obtain any thing? It is my wish also. Does he not will? I do not wish. Is it his will that I die, is it his will that I be put to the rack? It is my will then to die: it is my will then to be put to the rack. Who then is still able to hinder me contrary to my own judgment, or to compel me? No more than he can hinder or compel Zeus. Thus the more cautious of travellers also act. A traveller has heard that the road is infested by robbers; he does not venture to enter on it alone, but he waits for the companionship on the road either of an ambassador, or of a quaestor, or of a proconsul, and when he has attached himself to such persons he goes along the road safely. So in the world the wise man acts. There are many companies of robbers, tyrants, storms, difficulties, losses of that which is dearest. Where is there any place of refuge? how shall he pass along without being attacked by robbers? what company shall he wait for that he may pass along in safety? to whom shall he attach himself? To what person generally? to the rich man, to the man of consular rank? and what is the use of that to me? Such a man is stripped himself, groans and laments. But what if the fellow companion himself turns against me and becomes my robber, what shall I do? I will be a friend of Caesar: when I am Caesar’s companion no man will wrong me. In the first place, that I may become illustrious, what things must I endure and suffer? how often and by how many must I be robbed? Then, if I become Caesar’s friend, he also is mortal. And if Caesar from any circumstance becomes my enemy, where is it best for me to retire? Into a desert? Well, does fever not come there? What shall be done then? Is it not possible to find a safe fellow traveller, a faithful one, strong, secure against all surprises? Thus he considers and perceives that if he attaches himself to God, he will make his journey in safety. How do you understand attaching yourself to God? In this sense, that whatever God wills, a man also shall will; and what God does not will, a man also shall not will. How then shall this be done? In what other way than by examining the movements ( ὁρμάς , the acts) of God Schweig. expresses his surprise that Epictetus has applied this word ( ὁρμάς ) to God. He says that Wolf has translated it Dei appetitionem, and Upton impetum. He says that he has translated it consilium. It is not unusual for men to speak of God in the same words in which they speak of man. and his administration? What has he given to me as my own and in my own power? what has he reserved to himself? He has given to me the things which are in the power of the will ( τὰ προαιρετικὰ ): he has put them in my power free from impediment and hindrance. How was he able to make the earthy body free from hindrance? He could not, and accordingly he has subjected to the revolution of the whole ( τῇ τῶν ὅλων περιόδῳ ) possessions, household things, house, children, wife. Why then do I fight against God? why do I will what does not depend on the will? why do I will to have absolutely what is not granted to me? But how ought I to will to have things? In the way in which they are given and as long as they are given. But he who has given takes away. Why then do I resist? I do not say that I shall be a fool if I use force to one who is stronger, but I shall first be unjust. For whence had I things when I came into the world?— My father gave them to me—And who gave them to him? and who made the sun? and who made the fruits of the earth? and who the seasons? and who made the connection of men with one another and their fellowship? Then after receiving everything from another and even yourself, are you angry and do you blame the giver if he takes any thing from you? Who are you, and for what purpose did you come into the world? Did not he (God) introduce you here, did he not show you the light, did he not give you fellow workers, and perceptions and reason? and as whom did he introduce you here? did he not introduce you as subject to death, and as one to live on the earth with a little flesh, and to observe his administration, and to join with him in the spectacle and the festival for a short time? Will you not then, as long as you have been permitted, after seeing the spectacle and the solemnity, when he leads you out, go with adoration of him and thanks for what you have heard and seen?—No; but I would still enjoy the feast.—The initiated too would wish to be longer in the initiation: and perhaps also those at Olympia to see other athletes; but the solemnity is ended: go away like a grateful and modest man; make room for others: others also must be born, as you were, and being born they must have a place, and houses and necessary things. And if the first do not retire, what remains? Why are you insatiable? Why are you not content? why do you contract the world?—Yes, but I would have my little children with me and my wife—What, are they yours? do they not belong to the giver, and to him who made you? then will you not give up what belongs to others? will you not give way to him who is superior?—Why then did he introduce me into the world on these conditions?—And if the conditions do not suit you, depart. And is this all the comfort, every serious reader will be apt to say, which one of the best philosophers, in one of his noblest discourses, can give to the good man under severe distress? Either tell yourself that present suffering void of future hope, is no evil, or give up your existence and mingle with the elements of the Universe ! Unspeakably more rational and more worthy of infinite goodness is our blessed Master’s exhortation to the persecuted Christian: Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. Mrs. Carter. I do not think that Mrs. Carter has represented correctly the teaching of Epictetus. He is addressing men who were not Christians, but were, as he assumes, believers in God or in the Gods, and his argument is that a man ought to be contented with things as they are, because they are from God. If he cannot be contented with things as they are, and make the best of them, the philosopher can say no more to the man. He tells him to depart. What else could he say to a grumbler, who is also a believer in God? If he is not a believer, Epictetus might say the same to him also. The case is past help or advice. The Christian doctrine, of which probably Epictetus knew nothing, is very different. It promises future happiness on certain conditions to Christians, but to Christians only, if I understand it right. He has no need of a spectator who is not satisfied. He wants those who join in the festival, those who take part in the chorus, that they may rather applaud, admire, and celebrate with hymns the solemnity. But those who can bear no trouble, and the cowardly he will not unwillingly see absent from the great assembly ( πανήγυρις ); for they did not when they were present behave as they ought to do at a festival nor fill up their place properly, but they lamented, found fault with the deity, fortune, their companions; not seeing both what they had, and their own powers, which they received for contrary purposes, the powers of magimity, of a generous mind, manly spirit, and what we are now inquiring about, freedom.—For what purpose then have I received these things? —To use them—How long?—So long as he who has lent them chooses.—What if they are necessary to me?—Do not attach yourself to them and they will not be necessary: do not say to yourself that they are necessary, and then they are not necessary. This study you ought to practise from morning to evening, beginning with the smallest things and those most liable to damage, with an earthen pot, with a cup. Then proceed in this way to a tunic, to a little dog, to a horse, to a small estate in land: then to yourself, to your body, to the parts of your body, to your children, to your wife, to your brothers. Look all round and throw these things from you (which are not yours). Purge your opinions, so that nothing cleave to you of the things which are not your own, that nothing grow to you, that nothing give you pain when it is torn from you; and say, while you are daily exercising yourself as you do there (in the school), not that you are philosophizing, for this is an arrogant (offensive) expression, but that you are presenting an asserter of freedom: for this is really freedom. To this freedom Diogenes was called by Antisthenes, and he said that he could no longer be enslaved by any man. For this reason when he was taken prisoner, how did he behave to the pirates? Did he call any of them master? and I do not speak of the name, for I am not afraid of the word, but of the state of mind, by which the word is produced. How did he reprove them for feeding badly their captives? How was he sold? Did he seek a master? no; but a slave. And when he was sold how did he behave to his master? Immediately he disputed with him and said to his master that he ought not to be dressed as he was, nor shaved in such a manner; and about the children he told them how he ought to bring them up. And what was strange in this? for if his master had bought an exercise master, would he have employed him in the exercises of the palaestra as a servant or as a master? and sc if he had bought a physician or an architect. And so in every matter, it is absolutely necessary that he who has skill must be the superior of him who has not. Whoever then generally possesses the science of life, what else must he be than master? For who is master in a ship? The man who governs the helm? Why? Because he who will not obey him suffers for it. But a master can give me stripes. Can he do it then without suffering for it? So I also used to think. But because he cannot do it without suffering for it, for this reason it is not in his power: and no man can do what is unjust without suffering for it. And what is the penalty for him who puts his own slave in chains? what do you think that is? The fact of putting the slave in chains:—and you also will admit this, if you choose to maintain the truth, that man is not a wild beast, but a tame animal. For when is a vine doing badly? When it is in a condition contrary to its nature. When is a cock? Just the same. Therefore a man also is so. What then is a man’s nature? To bite, to kick, and to throw into prison and to behead? No; but to do good, to co-operate with others, to wish them well. At that time then he is in a bad condition, whether you chose to admit it or not, when he is acting foolishly. Socrates then did not fare badly?—No; but his judges and his accusers did.—Nor did Helvidius at Rome fare badly?—No; but his murderer did. How do you mean?— The same as you do when you say that a cock has not fared badly when he has gained the victory and been severely wounded; but that the cock has fared badly when he has been defeated and is unhurt: nor do you call a dog fortunate, who neither pursues game nor labours, but when you see him sweating, when you see him in pain and panting violently after running. What paradox (unusual thing) do we utter if we say that the evil in every thing is that which is contrary to the nature of the thing? Is this a paradox? for do you not say this in the case of all other things? Why then in the case of man only do you think differently? But because we say that the nature of man is tame (gentle) and social and faithful, you will not say that this is a paradox? It is not—What then is it a paradox to say that a man is not hurt when he is whipped, or put in chains, or beheaded? does he not, if he suffers nobly, come off even with increased advantage and profit? But is he not hurt, who suffers in a most pitiful and disgraceful way, who in place of a man becomes a wolf, or viper or wasp? Well then let us recapitulate the things which have been agreed on. The man who is not under restraint is free, to whom things are exactly in that state in which he wishes them to be; but he who can be restrained or compelled or hindered, or thrown into any circumstances against his will, is a slave. But who is free from restraint? He who desires nothing that belongs to (is in the power of) others. And what are the things which belong to others? Those which are not in our power either to have or not to have, or to have of a certain kind or in a certain manner. Therefore the body belongs to another, the parts of the body belong to another, possession (property) belongs to another. If then you are attached to any of these things as your own, you will pay the penalty which it is proper for him to pay who desires what belongs to another. This road leads to freedom, this is the only way of escaping from slavery, to be able to say at last with all your soul Lead me, O Zeus, and thou 0 destiny, The way that I am bid by you to go. But what do you say, philosopher? The tyrant summons you to say something which does not become you. Do you say it or do you not? Answer me—Let me consider—Will you consider now? But when you were in the school, what was it which you used to consider? Did you not study what are the things that are good and what are bad, and what things are neither one nor the other?—I did.—What then was our opinion?—That just and honourable acts were good; and that unjust and disgraceful (foul) acts were bad.—Is life a good thing?—No.—Is death a bad thing?—No.—Is prison?—No.—But what did we think about mean and faithless words and betrayal of a friend and flattery of a tyrant?—That they are bad.—Well then, you are not considering, nor have you considered nor deliberated. For what is the matter for consideration, is it whether it is becoming for me, when I have it in my power, to secure for myself the greatest of good things, and not to secure for myself (that is, not to avoid) the greatest evils? A fine inquiry indeed, and necessary, and one that demands much deliberation. Man, why do you mock us? Such an inquiry is never made. If you really imagined that base things were bad and honourable things were good, and that all other things were neither good nor bad, you would not even have approached this enquiry, nor have come near it; but immediately you would have been able to distinguish them by the understanding as you would do (in other cases) by the vision. For when do you inquire if black things are white, if heavy things are light, and do not comprehend the manifest evidence of the senses? How then do you now say that you are considering whether things which are neither good nor bad ought to be avoided more than things which are bad? But you do not possess these opinions; and neither do these things seem to you to be neither good nor bad, but you think that they are the greatest evils; nor do you think those other things (mean and faithless words, etc.) to be evils, but matters which do not concern us at all. For thus from the beginning you have accustomed yourself. Where am I? In the schools: and are any listening to me? I am discoursing among philosophers. But I have gone out of the school. Away with this talk of scholars and fools. Thus a friend is overpowered by the testimony of a philosopher: thus a philosopher becomes a parasite; thus he lets himself for hire for money: thus in the senate a man does not say what he thinks; in private (in the school) he proclaims his opinions. You are a cold and miserable little opinion, suspended from idle words as from a hair. But keep yourself strong and fit for the uses of life and initiated by being exercised in action. How do you hear (the report)?—I do not say, that your child is dead—for how could you bear that?—but that your oil is spilled, your wine drunk up. Do you act in such a way that one standing by you while you are making a great noise, may say this only, Philosopher, you say something different in the school. Why do you deceive us? Why, when you are only a worm, do you say that you are a man? I should like to be present when some of the philosophers is lying with a woman, that I might see how he is exerting himself, and what words he is uttering, and whether he remembers his title of philosopher, and the words which he hears or says or reads. And what is this to liberty? Nothing else than this, whether you who are rich choose or not.—And who is your evidence for this?—who else than yourselves? who have a powerful master (Caesar), and who live in obedience to his nod and motion, and who faint if he only looks at you with a scowling countece; you who court old women and old men, and say, I cannot do this: it is not in my power. Why is it not in your power? Did you not lately contend with me and say that you are free? But Aprulla has hindered me? Tell the truth then, slave, and do not run away from your masters, nor deny, nor venture to produce any one to assert your freedom ( καρπιοτήν ), when you have so many evidences of your slavery. And indeed when a man is compelled by love to do something contrary to his opinion (judgment), and at the same time sees the better, but has not the strength to follow it, one might consider him still more worthy of excuse as being held by a certain violent and in a manner a divine power. But who could endure you who are in love with old women and old men, and wipe the old women’s noses, and wash them and give them presents, and also wait on them like a slave when they are sick, and at the same time wish them dead, and question the physicians whether they are sick unto death? And again, when in order to obtain these great and much admired magistracies and honours, you kiss the hands of these slaves of others, and so you are not the slave even of free men. Then you walk about before me in stately fashion a praetor or a consul. Do I not know how you became a praetor, by what means you got your consulship, who gave it to you? I would not even choose to live, if I must live by help of Felicion and endure his arrogance and servile insolence: for I know what a slave is, who is fortunate, as he thinks, and puffed up by pride. You then, a man may say, are you free? I wish, by the Gods, and pray to be free; but I am not yet able to face my masters, I still value my poor body, I value greatly the preservation of it entire, though I do not possess it entire. But I can point out to you a free man, that you may no longer seek an example. Diogenes was free. How was he free?—not because he was born of free parents, but because he was himself free, because he had cast off all the handles of slavery, and it was not possible for any man to approach him, nor had any man the means of laying hold of him to enslave him. He had everything easily loosed, everything only hanging to him. If you laid hold of his property, he would have rather let it go and be yours, than he would have followed you for it: if you had laid hold of his leg, he would have let go his leg; if of all his body, all his poor body; his intimates, friends, country, just the same. For he knew from whence he had them, and from whom, and on what conditions. His true parents indeed, the Gods, and his real country he would never have deserted, nor would he have yielded to any man in obedience to them and to their orders, nor would any man have died for his country more readily. For he was not used to inquire when he should be considered to have done anything on behalf of the whole of things (the universe, or all the world), but he remembered that every thing which is done comes from thence and is done on behalf of that country and is commanded by him who administers it. Therefore see what Diogenes himself says and writes:— For this reason, he says, Diogenes, it is in your power to speak both with the King of the Persians and with Archidamus the king of the Lacedaemonians, as you please. Was it because he was born of free parents? I suppose all the Athenians and all the Lacedaemonians because they were born of slaves, could not talk with them (these kings) as they wished, but feared and paid court to them. Why then does he say that it is in his power? Because I do not consider the poor body to be my own, because I want nothing, because law is every thing to me, and nothing else is. These were the things which permitted him to be free. And that you may not think that I show you the example of a man who is a solitary person, who has neither wife nor children, nor country, nor friends nor kinsmen, by whom he could be bent and drawn in various directions, take Socrates and observe that he had a wife and children, but he did not consider them as his own; that he had a country, so long as it was fit to have one, and in such a manner as was fit; friends and kinsmen also, but he held all in subjection to law and to the obedience due to it. For this reason he was the first to go out as a soldier, when it was necessary, and in war he exposed himself to danger most unsparingly; and when he was sent by the tyrants to seize Leon, he did not even deliberate about the matter, because he thought that it was a base action, and he knew that he must die (for his refusal), if it so happened. And what difference did that make to him? for he intended to preserve something else, not his poor flesh, but his fidelity, his honourable character. These are things which could not be assailed nor brought into subjection. Then when he was obliged to speak in defence of his life, did he behave like a man who had children, who had a wife? No, but he behaved like a man who has neither. And what did he do when he was (ordered) to drink the poison, and when he had the power of escaping from prison, and when Crito said to him, Escape for the sake of your children, what did Socrates say? did he consider the power of escape as an unexpected gain? By no means: he considered what was fit and proper; but the rest he did not even look at or take into the reckoning. For he did not choose, he said, to save his poor body, but to save that which is increased and saved by doing what is just, and is impaired and destroyed by doing what is unjust. Socrates will not save his life by a base act; he who would not put the Athenians to the vote when they clamoured that he should do so, he who refused to obey the tyrants, he who discoursed in such a manner about virtue and right behaviour. It is not possible to save such a man’s life by base acts, but he is saved by dying, not by running away. For the good actor also preserves his character by stopping when he ought to stop, better than when he goes on acting beyond the proper time. What then shall the children of Socrates do? If, said Socrates, I had gone off to Thessaly, would you have taken care of them; and if I depart to the world below, will there be no man to take care of them? See how he gives to death a gentle name and mocks it. But if you and I had been in his place, we should have immediately answered as philosophers that those who act unjustly must be repaid in the same way, and we should have added, I shall be useful to many, if my life is saved, and if I die, I shall be useful to no man. For, if it had been necessary, we should have made our escape by slipping through a small hole. And how in that case should we have been useful to any man? for where would they have been then staying? or if we were useful to men while we were alive, should we not have been much more useful to them by dying when we ought to die, and as we ought? And now Socrates being dead, no less useful to men, and even more useful, is the remembrance of that which he did or said when he was alive. This is the conclusion about Socrates, whom Epictetus highly valued: the remembrance of what Socrates did and said is even more useful than his life. The life of the dead, says Cicero of Servius Sulpicius, the great Roman jurist and Cicero’s friend, rests in the remembrance of the living. Epictetus has told us of some of the acts of Socrates, which prove him to have been a brave and honest man. He does not tell us here what Socrates said, which means what he taught; but he knew what it was. Modern writers have expounded the matter at length, and in a form which Epictetus would not or could not have used.—Socrates left to others the questions which relate to the material world, and he first taught, as we are told, the things which concern man’s daily life and his intercourse with other men: in other words he taught Ethic (the principles of morality). Fields and trees, he said, will teach me nothing, but man in his social state will; and man then is the proper subject of the philosophy of Socrates. The beginning of this knowledge was as he said, to know himself according to the precept of the Delphic oracle, Know thyself ( γνῶθι σεαυτόν ): and the object of his philosophy was to comprehend the nature of man as a moral being in all relations; and among these the relation of man to God as the father of all, creator and ruler of all, as Plato expresses it. Socrates taught that what we call death is not the end of man; death is only the road to another life. The death of Socrates was conformable to his life and teaching. Socrates died not only with the noblest courage and tranquillity, but he also refused, as we are told, to escape from death, which the laws of the state permitted, by going into exile or paying a fine, because as he said, if he had himself consented to a fine or allowed others to propose it, (Xenophon, Apol. § 22 ), such an act would have been an admission of his guilt. Both (Socrates and Jesus) offered themselves with the firmest resolution for a holy cause, which was so far from being lost through their death that it only served rather to make it the general cause of mankind. (Das Christliche des Platonismus oder Socrates und Christus, by F. C. Baur.) This essay by Baur is very ingenious. Perhaps there are some readers who will disagree with him on many points in the comparison of Socrates and Christus. However the essay is well worth the trouble of reading. The opinion of Rousseau in his comparison of Jesus and Socrates is in some respects more just than that of Baur, though the learning of the Frenchman is very small when compared with that of the German. What prejudices, what blindness must a man have, says Rousseau, when he dares to compare the son of Sophroniscus with the son of Mary!—The death of Socrates philosophising tranquilly with his friends is the most gentle that a man could desire; that of Jesus expiring in torments, insulted, jeered, cursed by a whole people, is the most horrible that: man could dread. Socrates taking the poisoned cup blesses him who presents it and weeps; Jesus in his horrible punishment prays for his savage executioners. Yes, if the life and the death of Socrates are those of a sage, the life and the death of Jesus are those of a God. (Rousseau, Emile, vol. iii. p. 166. Amsterdam, 1765 .) Think of these things, these opinions, these words: look to these examples, if you would be free, if you desire the thing according to its worth. And what is the wonder if you buy so great a thing at the price of things so many and so great? For the sake of this which is called liberty, some hang themselves, others throw themselves down precipices, and sometimes even whole cities have perished: and will you not for the sake of the true and unassailable and secure liberty give back to God when he demands them the things which he has given? Will you not, as Plato says, study not to die only, but also to endure torture, and exile, and scourging and in a word to give up all which is not your own? If you will not, you will be a slave among slaves, even if you be ten thousand times a consul; and if you make your way up to the Palace (Caesar’s residence), you will no less be a slave; and you will feel, that perhaps philosophers utter words which are contrary to common opinion (paradoxes), as Cleanthes also said, but not words contrary to reason. For you will know by experience that the words are true, and that there is no profit from the things which are valued and eagerly sought to those who have obtained them; and to those who have not yet obtained them there is an imagination ( φαντασία ), that when these things are come, all that is good will come with them; then, when they are come, the feverish feeling is the same, the tossing to and fro is the same, the satiety, the desire of things which are not present; for freedom is acquired not by the full possession of the things which are desired, but by removing the desire. And that you may know that this is true, as you have laboured for those things, so transfer your labour to these; be vigilant for the purpose of acquiring an opinion which will make you free; pay court to a philosopher instead of to a rich old man: be seen about a philosopher’s doors: you will not disgrace yourself by being seen; you will not go away empty nor without profit, if you go to the philosopher as you ought, and if not (if you do not succeed), try at least: the trial (attempt) is not disgraceful.
4.4.24. REMEMBER that not only the desire of power and of riches makes us mean and subject to others, but even the desire of tranquillity, and of leisure, and of travelling abroad, and of learning. For to speak plainly, whatever the external thing may be, the value which we set upon it places us in subjection to others. What then is the difference between desiring to be a senator or not desiring to be one; what is the difference between desiring power or being content with a private station; what is the difference between saying, I am unhappy, I have nothing to do, but I am bound to my books as a corpse; or saying, I am unhappy, I have no leisure for reading? For as salutations and power are things external and independent of the will, so is a book. For what purpose do you choose to read? Tell me. For if you only direct your purpose to being amused or learning something, you are a silly fellow and incapable of enduring labour. But if you refer reading to the proper end, what else is this than a tranquil and happy life ( εὔσοια )? But if reading does not secure for you a happy and tranquil life, what is the use of it? But it does secure this, the man replies, and for this reason I am vexed that I am deprived of it.—And what is this tranquil and happy life, which any man can impede, I do not say Caesar or Caesar’s friend, but a crow, a piper, a fever, and thirty thousand other things? But a tranquil and happy life contains nothing so sure as continuity and freedom from obstacle. Now I am called to do something: I will go then with the purpose of observing the measures (rules) which I must keep, of acting with modesty, steadiness, without desire and aversion to things external; and then that I may attend to men, what they say, how they are moved; and this not with any bad disposition, or that I may have something to blame or to ridicule; but I turn to myself, and ask if I also commit the same faults. How then shall I cease to commit them? Formerly I also acted wrong, but now I do not: thanks to God. Come, when you have done these things and have attended to them, have you done a worse act than when you have read a thousand verses or written as many? For when you eat, are you grieved because you are not reading? are you not satisfied with eating according to what you have learned by reading, and so with bathing and with exercise? Why then do you not act consistently in all things, both when you approach Caesar, and when you approach any person? If you maintain yourself free from perturbation, free from alarm, and steady; if you look rather at the things which are done and happen than are looked at yourself; if you do not envy those who are I referred before you; if surrounding circumstances ( ὕλαι ) do not strike you with fear or admiration, what do you want? Books? How or for what purpose? for is not this (the reading of books) a preparation for life? and is not life itself (living) made up of certain other things than this? This is just as if an athlete should weep when he enters the stadium, because he is not being exercised outside of it. It was for this purpose that you used to practise exercise; for this purpose were used the halteres (weights), the dust, the young men as antagonists; and do you seek for those things now when it is the time of action? This is just as if in the topic (matter) of assent when appearances present themselves, some of which can be comprehended, and some cannot be comprehended, we should not choose to distinguish them but should choose to read what has been written about comprehension ( κατάληψις ). What then is the reason of this? The reason is that we have never read for this purpose, we have never written for this purpose, so that we may in our actions use in away conformable to nature the appearances presented to us; but we terminate in this, in learning what is said, and in being able to expound it to another, in resolving a syllogism, and in handling the hypothetical syllogism. For this reason where our study (purpose) is, there alone is the impediment. Would you have by all means the things which are not in your power? Be prevented then, be hindered, fail in your purpose. But if we read what is written about action (efforts, ὁρμή ), not that we may see what is said about action, but that we may act well: if we read what is said about desire and aversion (avoiding things), in order that we may neither fail in our desires, nor fall into that which we try to avoid; if we read what is said about duty (officium), in order that remembering the relations (of things to one another) we may do nothing irrationally nor contrary to these relations; we should not be vexed in being hindered as to our readings, but we should be satisfied with doing the acts which are conformable (to the relations), and we should be reckoning not what so far we have been accustomed to reckon: To-day I have read so many verses, I have written so many; but (we should say), To-day I have employed my action as it is taught by the philosophers; I have not employed my desire; I have used avoidance ( ἐκκλίσει ) only with respect to things which are within the power of my will; I have not been afraid of such a person, I have not been prevailed upon by the entreaties of another; I have exercised my patience, my abstinence, my co-operation with others; and so we should thank God for what we ought to thank him. But now we do not know that we also in another way are like the many. Another man is afraid that he shall not have power: you are afraid that you will. Do not do so, my man; but as you ridicule him who is afraid that he shall not have power, so ridicule yourself also. For it makes no difference whether you are thirsty like a man who has a fever, or have a dread of water like a man who is mad. Or how will you still be able to say as Socrates did, If so it pleases God, so let it be? Do you think that Socrates if he had been eager to pass his leisure in the Lyceum or in the Academy and to discourse daily with the young men, would have readily served in military expeditions so often as he did; and would he not have lamented and groaned, Wretch that I am; I must now be miserable here, when I might be sunning myself in the Lyceum? Why, was this your business, to sun yourself? And is it not your business to be happy, to be free from hindrance, free from impediment? And could he still have been Socrates, if he had lamented in this way: how would he still have been able to write Paeans in his prison? In short remember this, that what you shall prize which is beyond your will, so far you have destroyed your will. But these things are out of the power of the will, not only power (authority), but also a private condition: not only occupation (business), but also leisure.—Now then must I live in this tumult?—Why do you say tumult?—I mean among many men.—Well what is the hardship? Suppose that you are at Olympia: imagine it to be a panegyris (public assembly), where one is calling out one thing, another is doing another thing, and a third is pushing another person: in the baths there is a crowd: and who of us is not pleased with this assembly, and leaves it unwillingly? Be not difficult to please nor fastidious about what happens.—Vinegar is disagreeable, for it is sharp; honey is disagreeable, for it disturbs my habit of body. I do not like vegetables. So also I do not like leisure it is a desert: I do not like a crowd; it is confusion.— But if circumstances make it necessary for you to live alone or with a few, call it quiet, and use the thing as you ought: talk with yourself, exercise the appearances (presented to you), work up your preconceptions. If you fall into a crowd, call it a celebration of games, a panegyris, a festival: try to enjoy the festival with other men. For what is a more pleasant sight to him who loves mankind than a number of men? We see with pleasure herds of horses or oxen: we are delighted when we see many ships: who is pained when he sees many men?—But they deafen me with their cries.—Then your hearing is impeded. What then is this to you? Is then the power of making use of appearances hindered? And who prevents you from using according to nature inclination to a thing and aversion from it; and movement towards a thing and movement from it? What tumult (confusion) is able to do this? Do you only bear in mind the general rules: what is mine, what is not mine; what is given (permitted) to me; what does God will that I should do now? what does he not will? A little before he willed you to be at leisure, to talk with yourself, to write about these things, to read, to hear, to prepare yourself. You had sufficient time for this. Now he says to you: Come now to the contest, show us what you have learned, how you have practised the athletic art. How long will you be exercised alone? Now is the opportunity for you to learn whether you are an athlete worthy of victory, or one of those who go about the world and are defeated. Why then are you vexed? No contest is without confusion. There must be many who exercise themselves for the contest, many who call out to those who exercise themselves, many masters, many spectators.—But my wish is to live quietly.—Lament then and groan as you deserve to do. For what other is a greater punishment than this to the untaught man and to him who disobeys the divine commands, to be grieved, to lament, to envy, in a word to be disappointed and to be unhappy? Would you not release yourself from these things?—And how shall I release myself?—Have you not often heard, that you ought to remove entirely desire, apply aversion (turning away) to those things only which are within your power, that you ought to give up every thing, body, property, fame, books, tumult, power, private station? for whatever way you turn, you are a slave, you are subjected, you are hindered, you are compelled, you are entirely in the power of others. But keep the words of Cleanthes in readiness. Lead me, O Zeus, and thou necessity. Is it your will that I should go to Rome? I will go to Rome. To Gyara? I will go to Gyara. To Athens? I will go to Athens. To prison? I will go to prison. If you should once say, When shall a man go to Athens? you are undone. It is a necessary consequence that this desire, if it is not accomplished, must make you unhappy; and if it is accomplished, it must make you vain, since you are elated at things at which you ought not to be elated; and on the other hand, if you are impeded, it must make you wretched because you fall into that which you would not fall into. Give up then all these things.— Athens is a good place.—But happiness is much better; and to be free from passions, free from disturbance, for your affairs not to depend on any man. There is tumult at Rome and visits of salutation. But happiness is an equivalent for all troublesome things. If then the time comes for these things, why do you not take away the wish to avoid them? what necessity is there to carry a burden like an ass, and to be beaten with a stick? But if you do not so, consider that you must always be a slave to him who has it in his power to effect your release, and also to impede you, and you must serve him as an evil genius. There is only one way to happiness, and let this rule be ready both in the morning and during the day and by night: the rule is not to look towards things which are out of the power of our will, to think that nothing is our own, to give up all things to the Divinity, to Fortune; to make them the superintendents of these things, whom Zeus also has made so; for a man to observe that only which is his own, that which cannot be hindered; and when we read, to refer our reading to this only, and our writing and our listening. For this reason I cannot call the man industrious, if I hear this only, that he reads and writes; and even if a man adds that he reads all night, I cannot say so, if he knows not to what he should refer his reading. For neither do you say that a man is industrious if he keeps awake for a girl; nor do I. But if he does it (reads and writes) for reputation, I say that he is a lover of reputation. And if he does it for money, I say that he is a lover of money, not a lover of labour; and if he does it through love of learning, I say that he is a lover of learning, But if he refers his labour to his own ruling power ( ἡγεμονικόν ), that he may keep it in a state conformable to nature and pass his life in that state, then only do I say that he is industrious. For never commend a man on account of these things which are common to all, but on account of his opinions (principles); fur these are the things which belong to each man, which make his actions bad or good. Remembering these rules, rejoice in that which is present, and be content with the things which come in season. If you see any thing which you have learned and inquired about occurring to you in your course of life (or opportunely applied by you to the acts of life), be delighted at it. If you have laid aside or have lessened bad disposition and a habit of reviling; if you have done so with rash temper, obscene words, hastiness, sluggishness; if you are not moved by what you formerly were, and not in the same way as you once were, you can celebrate a festival daily, to-day because you have behaved well in one act, and to-morrow because you have behaved well in another. How much greater is this a reason for making sacrifices than a consulship or the government of a province? These things come to you from yourself and from the gods. Remember this, who gives these things and to whom, and for what purpose. If you cherish yourself in these thoughts, do you still think that it makes any difference where you shall be happy, where you shall please God? Are not the gods equally distant from all places? Do they not see from all places alike that which is going on?
4.5.28. THE wise and good man neither himself fights with any person, nor does he allow another, so far as he can prevent it. And an example of this as well as of all other things is proposed to us in the life of Socrates, who not only himself on all occasions avoided fights (quarrels), but would not allow even others to quarrel. See in Xenophon’s Symposium how many quarrels he settled, how further he endured Thrasymachus and Polus and Callicles; how he tolerated his wife, and how he tolerated his son who attempted to confute him and to cavil with him. For he remembered well that no man has in his power another man’s ruling principle. He wished therefore for nothing else than that which was his own. And what is this? Not that this or that man may act according to nature; for that is a thing which belongs to another; but that while others are doing their own acts, as they choose, he may never the less be in a condition conformable to nature and live in it, only doing what is his own to the end that others also may be in a state conformable to nature. For this is the object always set before him by the wise and good man. Is it to be commander (a praetor) of an army? No: but if it is permitted him, his object is in this matter to maintain his own ruling principle. Is it to marry? No; but if marriage is allowed to him, in this matter his object is to maintain himself in a condition conformable to nature. But if he would have his son not to do wrong or his wife, he would have what belongs to another not to belong to another: and to be instructed is this, to learn what things are a man’s own and what belongs to another. How then is there left any place for fighting (quarrelling) to a man who has this opinion (which he ought to have)? Is he surprised at any thing which happens, and does it appear new to him? Does he not expect that which comes from the bad to be worse and more grievous than what actually befals him? And does he not reckon as pure gain whatever they (the bad) may do which falls short of extreme wickedness? Such a person has reviled you. Great thanks to him for not having struck you. But he has struck me also. Great thanks that he did not wound you. But he wounded me also. Great thanks that he did not kill you. For when did he learn or in what school that man is a tame animal, that men love one another, that an act of injustice is a great harm to him who does it. Since then he has not learned this and is not convinced of it, why shall he not follow that which seems to be for his own interest? Your neighbour has thrown stones. Have you then done any thing wrong? But the things in the house have been broken. Are you then a utensil? No; but a free power of will. What then is given to you (to do) in answer to this? If you are like a wolf, you must bite in return, and throw more stones. But if you consider what is proper for a man, examine your storehouse, see with what faculties you came into the world. Have you the disposition of a wild beast, have you the disposition of revenge for an injury? When is a horse wretched? When he is deprived of his natural faculties, not when he cannot crow like a cock, but when he cannot run. When is a dog wretched? Not when he cannot fly, but when he cannot track his game. Is then a man also unhappy in this way, not because he cannot strangle lions or embrace statues, for he did not come into the world in the possession of certain powers from nature for this purpose, but because he has lost his probity and his fidelity? People ought to meet and lament such a man for the misfortunes into which he has fallen; not indeed to lament because a man has been born or has died, but because it has happened to him in his life time to have lost the things which are his own, not that which he received from his father, not his land and house, and his inn, and his slaves; for not one of these things is a man’s own, but all belong to others, are servile, and subject to account ( ὑπεύθυνα ), at different times given to different persons by those who have them in their power: but I mean the things which belong to him as a man, the marks (stamps) in his mind with which he came into the world, such as we seek also on coins, and if we find them, we approve of the coins, and if we do not find the marks, we reject them. What is the stamp on this Sestertius? The stamp of Trajan. Present it. It is the stamp of Nero. Throw it away: it cannot be accepted, it is counterfeit. This does not mean, it is said, that Nero issued counterfeit coins, for there are extant many coins of Nero which both in form and in the purity of the metal are complete. A learned numismatist, Francis Wise, fellow of Trinity College Oxford, in a letter to Upton, says that he can discover no reason for Nero’s coins being rejected in commercial dealings after his death except the fact of the tyrant having been declared by the Senate to be an enemy to the Commonwealth. (Suetonius, Nero, c. 49 .) When Domitian was murdered, the Senate ordered his busts to be taken down, as the French now do after a revolution, and all memorials of him to be destroyed (Suetonius, Domitian, c. 23 ). Dion also reports (LX.) that when Caligula was murdered, it was ordered that all the brass coin which bore his image should be melted, and, I suppose, coined again. There is more on this subject in Wise’s letter. I do not believe that genuine coins would be refused in commercial dealings for the reasons which Wise gives, at least not refused in parts distant from Rome. Perhaps Epictetus means that some people would not touch the coins of the detestable Nero. So also in this case: What is the stamp of his opinions? It is gentleness, a sociable disposition, a tolerant temper, a disposition to mutual affection. Produce these qualities. I accept them: I consider this man a citizen, I accept him as a neighbour, a companion in my voyages. Only see that he has not Nero’s stamp. Is he passionate, is he full of resentment, is he fault-finding? If the whim seizes him, does he break the heads of those who come in his way? (If so), why then did you say that he is a man? Is every thing judged (determined) by the bare form? If that is so, say that the form in wax is an apple and has the smell and the taste of an apple. But the external figure is not enough: neither then is the nose enough and the eyes to make the man, but he must have the opinions of a man. Here is a man who does not listen to reason, who does not know when he is refuted: he is an ass: in another man the sense of shame is become dead: he is good for nothing, he is any thing rather than a man. This man seeks whom he may meet and kick or bite, so that he is not even a sheep or an ass, but a kind of wild beast. What then? would you have me to be despised?—By whom? by those who know you? and how shall those who know you despise a man who is gentle and modest? Perhaps you mean by those who do not know you? What is that to you? For no other artisan cares for the opinion of those who know not his art.—But they will be more hostile to me for this reason.—Why do you say me ? Can any man injure your will, or prevent you from using in a natural way the appearances which are presented to you? In no way can he. Why then are you still disturbed and why do you choose to show yourself afraid? And why do you not come forth and proclaim that you are at peace with all men whatever they may do, and laugh at those chiefly who think that they can harm you? These slaves, you can say, know not either who I am, nor where lies my good or my evil, because they have no access to the things which are mine. In this way also those who occupy a strong city mock the besiegers, (and say): What trouble these men are now taking for nothing: our wall is secure, we have food for a very long time, and all other resources. These are the things which make a city strong and impregnable: but nothing else than his opinions makes a man’s soul impregnable. For what wall is so strong, or what body is so hard, or what possession is so safe, or what honour (rank, character) so free from assault (as a man’s opinions)? All (other) things every where are perishable, easily taken by assault, and if any man in any way is attached to them, he must be disturbed, expect what is bad, he must fear, lament, find his desires disappointed, and fall into things which he would avoid. Then do we not choose to make secure the only means of safety which are offered to us, and do we not choose to withdraw ourselves from that which is perishable and servile and to labour at the things which are imperishable and by nature free; and do we not remember that no man either hurts another or does good to another, but that a man’s opinion about each thing, is that which hurts him, is that which overturns him; this is fighting, this is civil discord, this is war? That which made Eteocles and Polynices enemies was nothing else than this opinion which they had about royal power, their opinion about exile, that the one is the extreme of evils, the other the greatest good. Now this is the nature of every man to seek the good, to avoid the bad; to consider him who deprives us of the one and involves us in the other an enemy and treacherous, even if he be a brother, or a son or a father. For nothing is more akin to us than the good: therefore if these things (externals) are good and evil, neither is a father a friend to sons, nor a brother to a brother, but all the world is every where full of enemies, treacherous men, and sycophants. But if the will ( προαίρεσις , the purpose, the intention) being what it ought to be, is the only good; and if the will being such as it ought not to be, is the only evil, where is there any strife, where is there reviling? about what? about the things which do not concern us? and strife with whom? with the ignorant, the unhappy, with those who are deceived about the chief things? Remembering this Socrates managed his own house and endured a very ill tempered wife and a foolish (ungrateful?) son. For in what did she show her bad temper? In pouring water on his head as much as she liked, and in trampling on the cake (sent to Socrates). And what is this to me, if I think that these things are nothing to me? But this is my business; and neither tyrant shall check my will nor a master; nor shall the many check me who am only one, nor shall the stronger check me who am the weaker; for this power of being free from check (hindrance) is given by God to every man. For these opinions make love in a house (family), concord in a state, among nations peace, and gratitude to God; they make a man in all things cheerful (confident) in externals as about things which belong to others, as about things which are of no value. We indeed are able to write and to read these things, and to praise them when they are read, but we do not even come near to being convinced of them. Therefore what is said of the Lacedaemonians, Lions at home, but in Ephesus foxes, will fit in our case also, Lions in the school, but out of it foxes.
4.7. WHAT makes the tyrant formidable? The guards, you say, and their swords, and the men of the bedchamber and those who exclude them who would enter. Why then if you bring a boy (child) to the tyrant when he is with his guards, is he not afraid; or is it because the child does not understand these things? If then any man does understand what guards are and that they have swords, and comes to the tyrant for this very purpose because he wishes to die on account of some circumstance and seeks to die easily by the hand of another, is he afraid of the guards? No, for he wishes for the thing which makes the guards formidable. If then any man neither wishing to die nor to live by all means, but only as it may be permitted, approaches the tyrant, what hinders him from approaching the tyrant without fear? Nothing. If then a man has the same opinion about his property as the man whom I have instanced has about his body; and also about his children and his wife: and in a word is so affected by some madness or despair that he cares not whether he possesses them or not, but like children who are playing with shells care (quarrel) about the play, but do not trouble themselves about the shells, so he too has set no value on the materials (things), but values the pleasure that he has with them and the occupation, what tyrant is then formidable to him or what guards or what swords? Then through madness is it possible for a man to be so disposed towards these things, and the Galilaeans through habit, and is it possible that no man can learn from reason and from demonstration that God has made all the things in the universe and the universe itself completely free from hindrance and perfect, and the parts of it for the use of the whole? All other animals indeed are incapable of comprehending the administration of it; but the rational animal man has faculties for the consideration of all these things, and for understanding that it is a part, and what kind of a part it is, and that it is right for the parts to be subordinate to the whole. And besides this being naturally noble, magimous and free, man sees that of the things which surround him some are free from hindrance and in his power, and the other things are subject to hindrance and in the power of others; that the things which are free from hindrance are in the power of the will; and those which are subject to hindrance are the things which are not in the power of the will. And for this reason if he thinks that his good and his interest be in these things only which are free from hindrance and in his own power, he will be free, prosperous, happy, free from harm, magimous, pious, thankful to God for all things; in no matter finding fault with any of the things which have not been put in his power, nor blaming any of them. But if he thinks that his good and his interest are in externals and in things which are not in the power of his will, he must of necessity be hindered, be impeded, be a slave to those who have the power over the things which he admires (desires) and fears; and he must of necessity be impious because he thinks that he is harmed by God, and he must be unjust because he always claims more than belongs to him; and he must of necessity be abject and mean. What hinders a man, who has clearly separated (comprehended) these things, from living with a light heart and bearing easily the reins, quietly expecting every thing which can happen, and enduring that which has already happened? Would you have me to bear poverty? Come and you will know what poverty is when it has found one who can act well the part of a poor man. Would you have me to possess power? Let me have power, and also the trouble of it. Well, banishment? Wherever I shall go, there it will be well with me; for here also where I am, it was not because of the place that it was well with me, but because of my opinions which I shall carry off with me: for neither can any man deprive me of them; but my opinions alone are mine and they cannot be taken from me, and I am satisfied while I have them, wherever I may be and whatever I am doing. But now it is time to die. Why do you say to die? Make no tragedy show of the thing, but speak of it as it is: it is now time for the matter (of the body) to be resolved into the things out of which it was composed. And what is the formidable thing here? what is going to perish of the things which are in the universe? what new thing or wondrous is going to happen? Is it for this reason that a tyrant is formidable? Is it for this reason that the guards appear to have swords which are large and sharp? Say this to others; but I have considered about all these things; no man has power over me. I have been made free; I know his commands, no man can now lead me as a slave. I have a proper person to assert my freedom; I have proper judges. (I say) are you not the master of my body? What then is that to me? Are you not the master of my property? What then is that to me? Are you not the master of my exile or of my chains? Well, from all these things and all the poor body itself I depart at your bidding, when you please. Make trial of your power, and you will know how far it reaches. Whom then can I still fear? Those who are over the bedchamber? Lest they should do, what? Shut me out? If they find that I wish to enter, let them shut me out. Why then do you go to the doors? Because I think it befits me, while the play (sport) lasts, to join in it. How then are you not shut out? Because unless some one allows me to go in, I do not choose to go in, but am always content with that which happens; for I think that what God chooses is better than what I choose. I will attach myself as a minister and follower to him; I have the same movements (pursuits) as he has, I have the same desires; in a word, I have the same will ( συνφέλω ). There is no shutting out for me, but for those who would force their way in. Why then do not I force my way in? Because I know that nothing good is distributed within to those who enter. But when I hear any man called fortunate because he is honoured by Caesar, I say, what does he happen to get? A province (the government of a province). Does he also obtain an opinion such as he ought? The office of a Prefect. Does he also obtain the power of using his office well? Why do I still strive to enter (Caesar’s chamber)? A man scatters dried figs and nuts: the children seize them, and fight with one another; men do not, for they think them to be a small matter. But if a man should throw about shells, even the children do not seize them. Provinces are distributed: let children look to that. Money is distributed: let children look to that. Praetorships, consulships are distributed: let children scramble for them, let them be shut out, beaten, kiss the hands of the giver, of the slaves: but to me these are only dried figs and nuts. What then? If you fail to get them, while Caesar is scattering them about, do not be troubled: if a dried fig come into your lap, take it and eat it; for so far you may value even a fig. But if I shall stoop down and turn another over, or be turned over by another, and shall flatter those who have got into (Caesar’s) chamber, neither is a dried fig worth the trouble, nor any thing else of the things which are not good, which the philosophers have persuaded me not to think good. Show me the swords of the guards. See how big they are, and how sharp. What then do these big and sharp swords do? They kill. And what does a fever do? Nothing else. And what else a (falling) tile? Nothing else. Would you then have me to wonder at these things and worship them, and go about as the slave of all of them? I hope that this will not happen: but when I have once learned that every thing which has come into existence must also go out of it, that the universe may not stand still nor be impeded, I no longer consider it any difference whether a fever shall do it or a tile, or a soldier. But if a man must make a comparison between these things, I know that the soldier will do it with less trouble (to me), and quicker. When then I neither fear any thing which a tyrant can do to me, nor desire any thing which he can give, why do I still look on with wonder (admiration)? Why am I still confounded? Why do I fear the guards? Why am I pleased if he speaks to me in a friendly way, and receives me, and why do I tell others how he spoke to me? Is he a Socrates, is he a Diogenes that his praise should be a proof of what I am? Have I been eager to imitate his morals? But I keep up the play and go to him, and serve him so long as he does not bid me to do any thing foolish or unreasonable. But if he says to me, Go and bring Leon of Salamis, I say to him, Seek another, for I am no longer playing. (The tyrant says): Lead him away (to prison). I follow; that is part of the play. But your head will be taken off—Does the tyrant’s head always remain where it is, and the heads of you who obey him?—But you will be cast out unburied?—If the corpse is I, I shall be cast out; but if I am different from the corpse, speak more properly according as the fact is, and do not think of frightening me. These things are formidable to children and fools. But if any man has once entered a philosopher’s school and knows not what he is, he deserves to be full of fear and to flatter those whom afterwards he used to flatter; (and) if he has not yet learned that he is not flesh nor bones nor sinews ( νεῦρα ), but he is that which makes use of these parts of the body and governs there and follows (understands) the appearances of things. Yes, but this talk makes us despise the laws—And what kind of talk makes men more obedient to the laws who employ such talk? And the things which are in the power of a fool are not law. And yet see how this talk makes us disposed as we ought to be even to these men (fools); since it teaches us to claim in opposition to them none of the things in which they are able to surpass us. This talk teaches us as to the body to give it up, as to property to give that up also, as to children, parents, brothers, to retire from these, to give up all; it only makes an exception of the opinions, which even Zeus has willed to be the select property of every man. What transgression of the laws is there here, what folly? Where you are superior and stronger, there I gave way to you: on the other hand, where I am superior, do you yield to me; for I have studied (cared for) this, and you have not. It is your study to live in houses with floors formed of various stones, how your slaves and dependents shall serve you, how you shall wear fine clothing, have many hunting men, lute players, and tragic actors. Do I claim any of these? have you made any study of opinions, and of your own rational faculty? Do you know of what parts it is composed, how they are brought together, how they are connected, what powers it has, and of what kind? Why then are you vexed, if another who has made it his study, has the advantage over you in these things? But these things are the greatest. And who hinders you from being employed about these things and looking after them? And who has a better stock of books, of leisure, of persons to aid you? Only turn your mind at last to these things, attend, if it be only a short time, to your own ruling faculty ( ἡγεμονικόν ): consider what this is that you possess, and whence it came, this which uses all other (faculties), and tries them, and selects and rejects. But so long as you employ yourself about externals you will possess them (externals) as no man else does; but you will have this (the ruling faculty) such as you choose to have it, sordid and neglected.
4.12.7. WHEN you have remitted your attention for a short time, do not imagine this, that you will recover it when you choose; but let this thought be present to you, that in consequence of the fault committed to-day your affairs must be in a worse condition for all that follows. For first, and what causes most trouble, a habit of not attending is formed in you; then a habit of deferring your attention. And continually from time to time you drive away by deferring it the happiness of life, proper behaviour, the being and living conformably to nature. If then the procrastination of attention is profitable, the complete omission of attention is more profitable; but if it is not profitable, why do you not maintain your attention constant?—To-day I choose to play—Well then, ought you not to play with attention?—I choose to sing—What then hinders you from doing so with attention? Is there any part of life excepted, to which attention does not extend? For will you do it (any thing in life) worse by using attention, and better by not attending at all? And what else of the things in life is done better by those who do not use attention? Does he who works in wood work better by not attending to it? Does the captain of a ship manage it better by not attending? and is any of the smaller acts done better by inattention? Do you not see that when you have let your mind loose, it is no longer in your power to recall it, either to propriety, or to modesty, or to moderation: but you do every thing that comes into your mind in obedience to your inclinations. To what things then ought I to attend? First to those general (principles) and to have them in readiness, and without them not to sleep, not to rise, not to drink, not to eat, not to converse (associate) with men; that no man is master of another man’s will, but that in the will alone is the good and the bad. No man then has the power either to procure for me any good or to involve me in any evil, but I alone myself over myself have power in these things. When then these things are secured to me, why need I be disturbed about external things? What tyrant is formidable, what disease, what poverty, what offence (from any man)? Well, I have not pleased a certain person. Is he then (the pleasing of him) my work, my judgment? No. Why then should I trouble myself about him?—But he is supposed to be some one (of importance)—He will look to that himself; and those who think so will also. But I have one whom I ought to please, to whom I ought to subject myself, whom I ought to obey, God and those who are next to him. He has placed me with myself, and has put my will in obedience to myself alone, and has given me rules for the right use of it; and when I follow these rules in syllogisms, I do not care for any man who says any thing else (different): in sophistical argument, I care for no man. Why then in greater matters do those annoy me who blame me? What is the cause of this perturbation? Nothing else than because in this matter (topic) I am not disciplined. For all knowledge (science) despises ignorance and the ignorant; and not only the sciences, but even the arts. Produce any shoemaker that you please, and he ridicules the many in respect to his own work (business). Produce any carpenter. First then we ought to have these (rules) in readiness, and to do nothing without them, and we ought to keep the soul directed to this mark, to pursue nothing external, and nothing which belongs to others (or is in the power of others), but to do as he has appointed who has the power; we ought to pursue altogether the things which are in the power of the will, and all other things as it is permitted. Next to this we ought to remember who we are, and what is our name, and to endeavour to direct our duties towards the character (nature) of our several relations (in life) in this manner: what is the season for singing, what is the season for play, and in whose presence; what will be the consequence of the act; whether our associates will despise us, whether we shall despise them; when to jeer ( σκῶψαι ), and whom to ridicule; and on what occasion to comply and with whom; and finally, in complying how to maintain our own character. But wherever you have deviated from any of these rules, there is damage immediately, not from any thing external, but from the action itself. What then? is it possible to be free from faults, (if you do all this)? It is not possible; but this is possible, to direct your efforts incessantly to being faultless. For we must be content if by never remitting this attention we shall escape at least a few errors. But now when you have said, To-morrow I will begin to attend, you must be told that you are saying this, To-day I will be shameless, disregardful of time and place, mean; it will be in the power of others to give me pain; to-day I will be passionate, and envious. See how many evil things you are permitting yourself to do. If it is good to use attention to-morrow, how much better is it to do so to-day? if to-morrow it is in your interest to attend, much more is it to-day, that you may be able to do so to-morrow also, and may not defer it again to the third day.
2.12. WHEN you have remitted your attention for a short time, do not imagine this, that you will recover it when you choose; but let this thought be present to you, that in consequence of the fault committed to-day your affairs must be in a worse condition for all that follows. For first, and what causes most trouble, a habit of not attending is formed in you; then a habit of deferring your attention. And continually from time to time you drive away by deferring it the happiness of life, proper behaviour, the being and living conformably to nature. If then the procrastination of attention is profitable, the complete omission of attention is more profitable; but if it is not profitable, why do you not maintain your attention constant?—To-day I choose to play—Well then, ought you not to play with attention?—I choose to sing—What then hinders you from doing so with attention? Is there any part of life excepted, to which attention does not extend? For will you do it (any thing in life) worse by using attention, and better by not attending at all? And what else of the things in life is done better by those who do not use attention? Does he who works in wood work better by not attending to it? Does the captain of a ship manage it better by not attending? and is any of the smaller acts done better by inattention? Do you not see that when you have let your mind loose, it is no longer in your power to recall it, either to propriety, or to modesty, or to moderation: but you do every thing that comes into your mind in obedience to your inclinations. To what things then ought I to attend? First to those general (principles) and to have them in readiness, and without them not to sleep, not to rise, not to drink, not to eat, not to converse (associate) with men; that no man is master of another man’s will, but that in the will alone is the good and the bad. No man then has the power either to procure for me any good or to involve me in any evil, but I alone myself over myself have power in these things. When then these things are secured to me, why need I be disturbed about external things? What tyrant is formidable, what disease, what poverty, what offence (from any man)? Well, I have not pleased a certain person. Is he then (the pleasing of him) my work, my judgment? No. Why then should I trouble myself about him?—But he is supposed to be some one (of importance)—He will look to that himself; and those who think so will also. But I have one whom I ought to please, to whom I ought to subject myself, whom I ought to obey, God and those who are next to him. He has placed me with myself, and has put my will in obedience to myself alone, and has given me rules for the right use of it; and when I follow these rules in syllogisms, I do not care for any man who says any thing else (different): in sophistical argument, I care for no man. Why then in greater matters do those annoy me who blame me? What is the cause of this perturbation? Nothing else than because in this matter (topic) I am not disciplined. For all knowledge (science) despises ignorance and the ignorant; and not only the sciences, but even the arts. Produce any shoemaker that you please, and he ridicules the many in respect to his own work (business). Produce any carpenter. First then we ought to have these (rules) in readiness, and to do nothing without them, and we ought to keep the soul directed to this mark, to pursue nothing external, and nothing which belongs to others (or is in the power of others), but to do as he has appointed who has the power; we ought to pursue altogether the things which are in the power of the will, and all other things as it is permitted. Next to this we ought to remember who we are, and what is our name, and to endeavour to direct our duties towards the character (nature) of our several relations (in life) in this manner: what is the season for singing, what is the season for play, and in whose presence; what will be the consequence of the act; whether our associates will despise us, whether we shall despise them; when to jeer ( σκῶψαι ), and whom to ridicule; and on what occasion to comply and with whom; and finally, in complying how to maintain our own character. But wherever you have deviated from any of these rules, there is damage immediately, not from any thing external, but from the action itself. What then? is it possible to be free from faults, (if you do all this)? It is not possible; but this is possible, to direct your efforts incessantly to being faultless. For we must be content if by never remitting this attention we shall escape at least a few errors. But now when you have said, To-morrow I will begin to attend, you must be told that you are saying this, To-day I will be shameless, disregardful of time and place, mean; it will be in the power of others to give me pain; to-day I will be passionate, and envious. See how many evil things you are permitting yourself to do. If it is good to use attention to-morrow, how much better is it to do so to-day? if to-morrow it is in your interest to attend, much more is it to-day, that you may be able to do so to-morrow also, and may not defer it again to the third day.''. None