Seneca moral essays translation
But let such matters be kept for their fitting time, - all the more so, indeed, because you do not lack faith in Providence, but complain of it.
All his adversities he counts mere training. It is a hardship to lay hand upon oneself then let him do it.
For if you say that he will bear injury calmly, he has no peculiar advantage; he is fortunate in possessing a common quality, one which is acquired from the very repetition of injuries - namely, endurance. Sound and genuine such good fortune is not; it is a veneer, and that a thin one.
Long ago it was determined what would make you rejoice, what would make you weep, and although the lives of individuals seem to be marked by great dissimilarity, yet is the end one - we receive what is perishable and shall ourselves perish.
Seneca moral essays volume ii
And, on the other hand, he will not be disturbed if the King of the Medes or King Attalus of Asia, ignoring his greeting, passes him by in silence and with a look of disdain. Ball New York, , and J. And that such acts be not done is profitable to thosc who are prone to do them, not to him who cannot be affected by them even if they are done. Those that are most stubborn and unbending she assails, men against whom she may exert all her strength. All crimes, so far as guilt is concerned, are completed even before the accomplishment of the deed. Though all things have flowed to him according to his prayer, though even before his prayer, nevertheless the gods have passed an adverse judgement upon him. Fickert, Leipzig, — Wrestlers, who make strength of body their chief concern, we see pitting themselves against none but the strongest, and they require of those who are preparing them for the arena that they use against them all their strength; they submit to blows and hurts, and if they do not find their match in single opponents, they engage with several at a time. From man only do you think I mean? Would it not be better, summoning virtue's help, to endure everlasting ill fortune than to be bursting with unlimitedand immoderate blessings? For the distance which separates him from contact with his inferiors is so great that no baneful force can extend its power all the way to him. I imagine that I see you flaring up in a temper and about to boil over; you are getting ready to exclaim: "This is the sort of thing that detracts from the weight of the teachings of you Stoics. Let me look around for another with whom to join in combat. I said, too, that in Cato the immortal gods had given to us a truer exemplar of the wise man than earlier ages had in Ulysses and Hercules.
There is no reason for you to suppose me vanquished and yourself the victor; your fortune has vanquished my fortune. What then, is the part of a good man? The good man himself he protects and delivers: does any one require of God that he should also guard the good man's luggage?
Not what you endure, but how you endure, is important.
For this purpose some people buy young slaves because they are pert, and they whet their impudence and keep them under an instructor in order that they may be practised in pouring forth streams of abuse; and yet we call this smartness, not insult.
The former is by its nature more serious; the latter, a slighter matter -serious only to the thin- skinned - for men are not harmed, but angered by it.
Seneca moral and political essays pdf
Now, therefore, you will know the answer to the question with which we are confronted: "Why, if the wise man cannot receive either injury or insult, does he punish those who have offered them? Hermes, Dialogi XII. Where those things are that pass and change their owners, I know not; so far as my possessions are concerned they are with me, and ever will be with me. Nails pierce his skin, and wherever he rests his wearied body he lies upon a wound; his eyes are stark in eternal sleeplessness. The same is true of Fortune. I shall induce you, in fine, never to commiserate a good man. The same is true in this great commonwealth of the world. Moreover, justice can suffer no injustice, because opposites do not meet. This sword, unstained and blameless even in civil war, shall at last do good and noble service: the freedom which it could not give to his country it shall give to Cato!
They have no homes and no resting-places except those which weariness allots for the day; their food is mean and must be got by the hand; terrible harshness of climate, bodies unclothed, - such for countless tribes is the life which seems to you so calamitous! But virtue she does not give; therefore she cannot take it away.
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