Epictetus (55-135 C.E.

), The Enchiridion [Manual]
For information about Epictetus, see the entry on him at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Enchiridion 1. Some things are in our control and others are not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, public office, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, in the power of others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose those things to be your own which are your own, and what belongs to others to be theirs, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you will not be harmed. Aiming therefore at such great things, remember that you must not allow yourself to be carried, even with a slight tendency, towards the attainment of lesser things. Instead, you must entirely quit some things and for the present postpone the rest. But if you would both have these great things, along with power and riches, then you will not gain even the latter, because you aim at the former too: but you will absolutely fail of the former, by which alone happiness and freedom are achieved. Work, therefore, to be able to say to every harsh appearance, “You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.” And then examine it by those rules which you have, and first and chiefly by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our own control, or those which are not; and if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you. 2. Remember that following desire promises the attainment of that of which you are desirous; and aversion promises the avoiding that to which you are averse. However, he who fails to obtain the object of his desire is disappointed, and he who incurs the object of his aversion is wretched. If, then, you confine your aversion to those objects only which are contrary to the natural use of your faculties, which you have in your own control, you will never incur anything to which you are averse. But if you are averse to sickness, or death, or poverty, you will be wretched. Remove aversion, then, from all things that are not in your control, and transfer it to things contrary to the nature of what is in your control. But, for the present, totally suppress desire: for, if you desire any of the things that are not in your control, you definitely will be disappointed; and of those which are, and which it would be laudable to desire, nothing is yet in your possession. Use only the appro-


leaving them. you will not be disturbed. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. When therefore we are hindered. are useful. some use abusive language. 6. but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. But if the captain calls. But when you are prideful. So it is with life. but wish that they happen as they do happen. “It was not only to bathe that I desired. but to keep my mind in a state conformable to nature. you must run to the ship. or your wife. if you go on shore to get water you may along the way amuse yourself with picking up a shellfish. 7. then you will see such obstacles as hindrances to something else. or an onion. for you will take pride in some good of your own. but not to yourself. beginning from the most insignificant things.” it would be supportable.” 5. but to ourselves. else it would have appeared so to Socrates. but not to your ability to choose. not by things. and say. is not terrible. When you are going about any action. for example. Don’t demand that things happen as you wish. remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are. you are fond of a specific ceramic cup. bound neck and feet like a sheep. and regarding none of them.” know that you are proud of what is. when you behave conformably to nature in reaction to how things appear. and others steal. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. For thus. If. you are given a wife or child. only the good of the horse. If a horse should be prideful and say. to our own principles. that is. then. However. If you are going to bathe. “I am handsome. remind yourself what nature the action is. Say this to yourself with regard to everything that happens. and even these lightly. and keep my own mind in a state conformable to nature. otherwise you will be thrown into the ship. . Men are disturbed. that is fine. or disturbed. is your own? Only your reaction to the appearances of things. say that you only kiss things which are human. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. picture to yourself the things which usually happen in the bath: some people splash the water. in fact. never go far from the ship: lest. unless that is your choice. you should be unable to come in time. when you are called. Lameness is a hindrance to the leg. or grieved. Thus. “I will now go bathe. for instance. if it breaks. 9. and you will go on well. you will be proud with reason. and I will not keep it if I am bothered at things that happen. 8. you will have it ready to say. “I have a handsome horse. With regard to whatever objects give you delight. 3. instead of an onion or a shellfish. your thoughts and continual attention ought to be bent towards the ship.priate actions of pursuit and avoidance. 4. But if you are old.” And in the same manner with regard to every other action. What. on a voyage. and thus you will not be disturbed if either of them dies. if any hindrance arises in bathing. If. waiting for the captain to call on board. you must then immediately leave all these things. If you kiss your child. let us never attribute it to others. or are deeply loved. and with gentleness and reservation. Some who is 2 perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself. but not to your ability to choose. Death. Then. remind yourself that it is only ceramic cups in general of which you are fond. Consider when. Sickness is a hindrance to the body. Thus you will more safely go about this action if you say to yourself. some push. Don’t be prideful with any excellence that is not your own. your ship is anchored.

divine. Heraclitus and others like them. if you wish to have your desires undisappointed.” When you call your servant. If you hear unpleasant language. but also of their empire. and your wife. just as travelers view a hotel. if he does. Never say of anything. and it is better your servant should be bad. and is not that likewise returned? “But he who took it away is a bad man. therefore. would be free. For. ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it. but are able even to reject them. exempt from grief and fear. Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. “This is the price paid for apathy.” Is your child dead? It is returned. by doing this. than to live in affluence with perturbation. he may not do what you want. and even if you appear to be somebody important to others. you will find patience. than you unhappy. 16. 14. Exercise. be careful that the appearance may not misdirect you. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Instead. and be prepared to . for you wish vice not to be vice. and your friends to live for ever. With every accident. which depends on others else he must necessarily be a slave. He is the master of every other person who is able to confer or remove whatever that person wishes either to have or to avoid.” What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess. to a wife. be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things. And thus habituated. for tranquility. distinguish within your own mind. Don’t wish to be thought to know anything. it is possible that he may not come. to riches. this is in your own control. If you are in pain. 13. But. it is difficult 3 to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature. Is a little oil spilt? A little wine stolen? Say to yourself. and at the same time acquire external things. what is in your control.” For it is better to die with hunger. reject such reasonings as these: “If I neglect my affairs. and nothing is to be had for nothing. Whoever. or is dead. if I don’t correct my servant. you will find that self-restraint is the ability you have against your desire.10. 11. you will find fortitude. and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods. the appearances of things will not hurry you away along with them. let him wish nothing. If you wish your children. to public posts. or. Is your wife dead? She is returned. let him decline nothing. I’ll have no income. if you wish your servant to be without fault. and were called. But while you are careful about the one. but something else. When you see anyone weeping in grief because his son has gone abroad. deservedly became. but “I have returned it. then. you must of necessity neglect the other. distrust yourself. If you want to improve. But he is by no means of such importance that it should be in his power to give you any disturbance. or because he has suffered in his affairs. take care of it. he will be bad. Is it not yet come? Don’t stretch your desire towards it. 15. but wait till it reaches you. 12. but don’t view it as your own. then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods. Does it pass by you? Don’t stop it. So likewise. Is your estate taken away? Well. you are a fool. for you wish to be in control of things which you cannot. If you want to improve. you are stupid. Do this with regard to children. you wish for things that belong to others to be your own. Begin therefore from little things. And if you don’t even take the things which are set before you. If you see an attractive person. “I have lost it”. For. Diogenes.

it is the judgment which he makes about it. For remember that. nor too eagerly covet anything. then. don’t reduce yourself to his level. for your part. Remember that you are an actor in a drama. there will be no room for envy or emulation. 17. and say. because it doesn’t distress another person. for your part. to get power. and you will never entertain any abject thought. a governor. “I will live in dishonor. if I will. or children. or reputation. 23. therefore. and be nobody anywhere. or property.say. If you ever happen to turn your attention to externals. but immediately make the distinction to yourself. and certainly do not moan with him. so as to wish to please anyone. You may be unconquerable. But if you are conquered by them. it is in my control to derive advantage from it. But. see that you act it naturally. you see anyone eminent in honors. you will incur a double ridicule. and all other things which appear terrible be daily before your eyes. take heed not to be hurried away with the appearance. but either to my paltry body. appear so to yourself. is this a dishonor? And how is it true that you will be nobody anywhere. 18. or in high esteem on any other account. or a private person. How. but to be free. in the first place. Be contented. to act well the character assigned you. 22. or a senator. than be engaged in anything base.” As far as words go. don’t wish to be a general. if dishonor is an evil. But to me all omens are lucky. for. not to be hurried away with the appearance. For whichever of these things happens.” For. of a long one. For this is your business.” 19. Let death and exile. When. For if you once gain time and respite. but the principle which represents these things as insulting. and it will suffice you. “It’s not the accident that distresses this person. if you enter into no combat in which it is not in your own control to conquer. If short. to choose it is another’s. you can no more be involved in any evil by the means of another. therefore. when you ought to be somebody in those things only . don’t have a supercilious look indeed. however. Try. to hear them say. then. If you have an earnest desire of attaining to philosophy. you will more easily command yourself. 21. be assured 4 that it is your own opinion which provokes you. a cripple. then. If it is his pleasure you should act a poor man. and to pronounce him happy. Do not moan inwardly either. if you adhere to the same point. 24. but chiefly death. 20. therefore. anyone provokes you. in everything with being a philosopher. of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. or power. those very persons who at first ridiculed will afterwards admire you. to be sneered by the multitude. and. if the essence of good consists in things in our own control. “He is returned to us a philosopher all at once. Is it any business of yours. or to be admitted to an entertainment? By no means. or wife. When a raven happens to croak unluckily. or a consul. that not he who gives ill language or a blow insults. but keep steadily to those things which appear best to you as one appointed by God to this station. Remember. be assured that you have ruined your scheme of life. prepare yourself from the very first to be laughed at. after all. When. don’t allow the appearance hurry you away with it. Don’t allow such considerations as these distress you. if long. “None of these things are foretold to me.” and “Whence this supercilious look?” Now. if you wish to be thought so likewise by anyone. of a short one. and the only way to this is a contempt of things not in our own control.

without using the same means [which others do] to acquire things not in our own con5 trol. say you. it is presently. in which you may be of the greatest consequence? “But my friends will be unassisted. does not praise him. So. you ought to be affected just as when another’s cup was broken. then. for instance. For how can he who does not frequent the door of any [great] man. Therefore neither are you yourself useless to it. Besides. then. Is anyone preferred before you at an entertainment. 25.” And what signifies that? Why. 26. takes the lettuce. show me the way and I will get them. or the like. and you. expect to be thought worthy of an equal share of them. that we too may have a share. Here again. But if you would. to gain this character than require me to do those things by which I may lose it. It is sold for praise. and if they are evil. and a blockhead. then. Apply this in like manner to greater things. “These things will happen. you ought to be glad that he has gotten them. whom you don’t like to praise. then. what assistance is this you mean? “It will not have porticoes nor baths of your providing. it is sold for attendance. or a friend of fidelity and honor? Rather assist me. when our neighbor’s boy breaks a cup. so you have the fifty cents which you did not give. but my country. For example. then. you lose these. we are presently ready to say. by desiring to be useful to that.which are in your own control. don’t imagine that he has gained any advantage over you. then. that when your own cup likewise is broken. Who told you. don’t be grieved that you have not gotten them. And were you to supply it with another citizen of honor and fidelity. if you are unwilling to pay the price for which these things are sold.” Be assured. would not he be of use to it? Yes. For how much is lettuce sold? Fifty cents. in the present case. not paying it. of what use can you be to your country when you are become faithless and void of shame. and would have them for nothing.”— What do you mean by unassisted? They will not have money from you. But if. If another. that these are among the things in our own control. or in being admitted to a consultation? If these things are good. does not attend him. “Alas I how wretched am I!” But it should be remembered how we are affected in hearing the same thing concerning others. For as he has the lettuce. paying fifty cents. The will of nature may be learned from those things in which we don’t distinguish from each other.” If I can get them with the preservation of my own honor and fidelity and greatness of mind. have an equal share with him who does? You are unjust. will I hold in the state?” Whatever you can hold with the preservation of your fidelity and honor. at the same time. say you. Have you nothing. which would you rather have. will be unassisted. “This is a human accident. or a shoemaker with arms. because you have not paid him the price for which a supper is sold. and not the affair of others? And who can give to another the things which he has not himself? “Well. not pay the one and yet receive the other. the not bearing with his behavior at coming in. Is the child or wife of another dead? There is no one who would not say. consider how inequitable and foolish you are. a sum of money. Well. you have: the not praising him. or in a compliment. then. go without them. but get them. neither does a smith provide it with shoes. and insatiable. It is enough if everyone fully performs his own proper business. then. you have not been invited to such a person’s entertainment. indeed. as far as depends on me. . instead of the supper? Yes. Give him then the value. And remember that you cannot. but if you require me to lose my own proper good that you may gain what is not good. you are insatiable. if it is for your advantage. nor will you make them Roman citizens. “What place.” but if anyone’s own child happens to die.

engage in the affair. in heat and cold. then go to war. you will find. from the idea of a neighbor. If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way. freedom. and one thing after another is sure to please you. and be angry and discontented as you are now? You must watch. if it is for your advantage. your back. after all. patiently listen to his reproaches. then an orator. When you have evaluated all this. For another will not hurt you unless you please. nothing at all. as to a physician. either good or bad. a general. you mimic all you see. be laughed at by those you meet. if your inclination still holds. or made any scrutiny into it. 30. what the matter is. Consider first. turn your ankle. when they have seen a philosopher and heard a man speaking like Euphrates (though. be one while a philosopher. In this manner. don’t come here. keep your own situation towards him. therefore. and what your own nature is able to bear.” But consider what precedes and follows. 28. and then one of Caesar’s officers. a citizen. but what you are to do to keep your own faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature. Otherwise you will begin with spirit. only to a father. and be a philosopher? That you can eat and drink. be either a philosopher. in the combat. If you would be a wrestler. then a publican. you may be thrown into a ditch. approach. swallow dust.27. As a mark is not set up for the sake of missing the aim. you must labor. lose the victory. Is anyone a father? If so. come off worse than others in everything. and apply yourself either to things within or without you. in magistracies. Do you think that you can act as you do. But he is a bad father. and then undertake it. and tranquillity. You must be one man. exercise your body. but with your whole soul. and then. you will behave like children who sometimes play like wrestlers. consider your shoulders. whether you choose it or not. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you? 29. you must get the better of certain appetites. have a mind to be philosophers too. nor sometimes even wine. . who can speak like him?). but is out of favor as soon as it becomes familiar. take notice. sometimes blow a trumpet. In a word. when some of them appear you will shamefully desist. sometimes gladiators. Is a brother unjust? Well. so neither does the nature of evil exist in the world. be despised by your servant. and sometimes act a tragedy when they have seen and admired these shows. Duties are universally measured by relations. or one of the vulgar. don’t. by parting with them. in honors. for different persons are made for different things. For you have never entered upon anything considerately. Thus some. if. his correction. Thus you too will be at one time a wrestler. When you have considered all these things round. nor after having viewed the whole matter on all sides. You must cultivate either your own ruling faculty or externals. If not. must quit your acquaintance. that is. refrain from dainties. 6 indeed. be whipped. now a philosopher. and. then. but rashly. and with a cold inclination. These things are not consistent. if you please. you would certainly be angry. Consider not what he does. you must give yourself up to your master. dislocate your arm. You will then be hurt when you think you are hurt. you must drink no cold water. Then. but not having thought of the consequences. man. submit to him in everything. “I would conquer at the Olympic games. You must conform to rules. In every affair consider what precedes and follows. then an orator. the corresponding duties if you accustom yourself to contemplate the several relations. submit to a diet. it is implied that the children should take care of him. like children. Otherwise. at a stated hour. your thighs. in courts of judicature. Like an ape. to a good father? No. you have a mind to purchase apathy. Is you naturally entitled. at another a gladiator.

remember what counselors you have assumed. or horse races. We may. with purity. revile the gods. For if you suppose any of the things not in our own control to be either good or evil. Hence. or incur what you would avoid. which you may keep both alone and in company. though sparingly. a father is reviled by a son. even with these hazards. we ought not to consult the oracle whether we will share it with them or not. on this account those who lose wives and children. For where interest is. remember that you know not what the event will be. But we have reason within us. 32. or athletic champions. or any other art. then. the vulgar topics of conversation. to discover the thing proposed to be learned. therefore. for it will be in your power to make a right use of it. Be assured that the essential property of piety towards the gods is to form right opinions concerning them. so as either to blame. when you are disappointed of what you wish. hurts him. Come to divination. and the causes of them. And it is not possible for this to be effected any other way than by withdrawing yourself from things not in our own control. For. So that. On this account the husbandman. as produced by the most perfect understanding. But it is also incumbent on everyone to offer libations and sacrifices and first fruits. enter. nor beyond his ability. nor sparingly. and it directs.. 33. and whose advice you will neglect if you disobey. though the diviner should forewarn you that the victims are unfavorable. bring either desire or aversion with you to the diviner (else you will approach him trembling). you must necessarily find fault with and blame the authors. For every animal is naturally formed to fly and abhor things that appear hurtful. nor negligently. when any counsel is given you. or feasts. and in which no opportunities are afforded by reason. to the greater diviner. just as it is impossible to be happy about the hurt itself. as Socrates prescribed. but principally not of men. into discourse sometimes when occasion calls for it. conformably to the customs of his country. whoever is careful to regulate his desires and aversions as he ought. also. For thus you will never find fault with the gods. of whatever sort it may be. And fix yourself in this resolution. and willingly follow them in all events. and the causes of them.31. When you have recourse to divination. it is our duty to share the danger of a friend or of our country. and this no one can hinder. but not on any of the common subjects. Immediately prescribe some character and form of conduce to yourself. and placing good or evil in those only which are. it can by no means be either good or evil. is. in cases of which the whole consideration relates to the event. and yield to them. when he does not impart to him the things which he takes to be good. therefore. as existing “I and as governing the universe with goodness and justice. then come with confidence to the gods. or speak merely what is necessary. there too is piety placed. and to pursue and admire those which appear beneficial. Don’t. and the supposing empire to be a good made Polynices and Eteocles mutually enemies. who cast out of the temple the person who gave no assistance to his friend while another was murdering him. this means no more than that either death or mutilation or exile is portended. and in few words. For if it is among the things not in our own control. or . the sailor. to obey them. It is impractical. however. at least if you are a philosopher. and afterwards. as your counselors. Be for the most part silent. When. the merchant. and not in a slovenly manner. the Pythian god. that one who supposes himself to be hurt should be happy about the person who. careful of piety likewise. of gladiators. but first acquire a distinct knowledge that every event is indifferent and nothing to you. he thinks. nor accuse them as neglecting you. by the very same means. but of what nature it is you know before you come. and you come to learn it of 7 the diviner.

When you are going to confer with anyone. for thus you will meet with no hindrance. if possible.” It is not necessary for you to appear often at public spectacles. if his companion be infected. nor on many occasions. avoid a frequent and excessive mention of your own actions and dangers. then. If. or make comparisons. don’t 8 appear more solicitous for anyone than for yourself. altogether. an endeavor to excite laughter. if ever an occasion calls you to them. For be assured that if a person be ever so sound himself. as far as you are able. house. When you are going to any of the people in power. don’t discourse a great deal on what has passed. “It was not worth so much. he who converses with him will be infected likewise. As far as possible. by your own conversation bring over that of your company to proper subjects. family. Don’t allow your laughter be much. and. drink. Go not [of your own accord] to the rehearsals of any (authors). but answer: “He does not know my other faults. and what does not contribute to your own amendment. If anyone tells you that such a person speaks ill of you. if not. it is not equally agreeable to others to hear your adventures. yet.” But don’t therefore be troublesome and full of reproofs to those who use these liberties. as meat. clothing. nor appear [at them] readily. and at the same time avoid being morose.” For this is vulgar. keep your attention upon the stretch. wish things to be only just as they are. Avoid. For. if you happen to be taken among strangers. that the doors will not be opened to you. and never say [to yourself]. that you will not be admitted. be silent. before marriage. but if ever there is a proper occasion for you to be there. and you will not be at a loss to make a proper use of whatever may occur. keep yourself pure from familiarities with women. represent to yourself how Socrates or Zeno would behave in such a case. but. But. that he will take no notice of you. But strike off and reject everything relating to show and delicacy.praise. nor frequently boast that you yourself don’t. let it be lawfully. don’t make excuses about what is said of you. it is your duty to go. that is. and like a man dazed by external things. Provide things relating to the body no further than mere use. likewise. represent to yourself that you will not find him at home. But abstain entirely from declamations and derision and violent emotions. nor profuse. else he would not have mentioned only these. For this is a slippery point. however agreeable it may be to yourself to mention the risks you have run. but. if you indulge them. bear what happens. and particularly of those in a superior station. if you do appear. besides. and him only to conquer who is the conqueror. If you are able. For it would appear by such discourse that you were immoderately struck with the show. may be apt to lessen you in the esteem of your . and. that you may not imperceptibly slide into vulgar manners. And when you come away. with all this. In parties of conversation. keep your gravity and sedateness. Avoid swearing. which may throw you into vulgar manners. Avoid public and vulgar entertainments.

38. as in the case of a shoe. It is a mark of want of genius to spend much time in things relating to the body. if you don’t act right. anything of this sort happens. and then studded with jewels. so likewise be careful not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. If you are struck by the appearance of any promised pleasure. then. you must necessarily be carried forward. and in the discharge of other animal functions. we should undertake the action with the greater safety. When you eat with another. you have both made an ill figure in that and quitted one which you might have supported.acquaintance. rebuke him who makes advances that way. show yourself to be displeased by such talk. as to be long in our exercises. Then bring to your mind both points of time: that in which you will enjoy the pleasure. but set in opposition to this how much better it is to be conscious of having gained so great a victory. if we were to guard against this in every action. if there be a proper opportunity. why are you afraid of those who censure you wrongly? 36. but quite improper in a conjunctive one. to choose the largest share is very suitable to the bodily appetite. The body is to everyone the measure of the possessions proper for it. If you have assumed any character above your strength. but let the affair wait your leisure. If. 41. and procure yourself some delay. or. When you do anything from a clear judgment that it ought to be done. 35. so. As the proposition. and agreeable and attractive force may not subdue you. but the value of that behavior which ought to be observed towards the person who gives the entertainment. just as the foot is of the shoe. Approaches to indecent discourse are likewise dangerous. Whenever. never shun the being seen to do it. These should be done incidentally and slightly. Therefore. Women from fourteen years old are flattered with the title of “mistresses” by the men. but if you move beyond it. fix our attention on making them sensible that they are valued for the appearance of decent. if you go beyond its fitness to the foot. it comes first to be gilded. therefore. therefore. We should. 39. shun the action itself. perceiving that they are regarded only as qualified to give the men pleasure. 42. it is not possible that he should follow what 9 . 40. and set before you. you will keep the measure. and in that to place ill their hopes. When any person harms you. When walking. modest and discreet behavior. 37. 34. guard yourself against being hurried away by it. but utterly inconsistent with the social spirit of an entertainment.” is extremely proper for a disjunctive argument. as down a cliff. you are careful not to step on a nail or turn your foot. take heed that its enticing. And even though it should appear to you a seasonable gratification. they begin to adorn themselves. in eating and drinking. how you will be glad and applaud yourself if you abstain. you stop at this. at a feast. then purple. Now. at least. and our whole attention be engaged in the care of the understanding. or speaks badly of you. even though the world should make a wrong supposition about it. if you do. therefore. remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. remember not only the value of those things which are set before you to the body. in opposition to these. for. For to that which once exceeds a due measure. and that in which you will repent and reproach yourself after you have enjoyed it. there is no bound. “Either it is day or it is night. And. by silence and blushing and a forbidding look. but.

but. blames no one. Does anyone bathe in a mighty little time? Don’t say that he does it ill. since he too is the person deceived. And. therefore my property is greater than yours. accuses no one. Never call yourself a philosopher. The marks of a proficient are. the other by which it cannot. If your brother acts unjustly. at an entertainment. but act conformably to them. that he never expects either benefit or hurt from himself. be you. “I am more eloquent than you. he accuses himself. is. therefore I am better”. but what appears so to himself. When you have brought yourself to supply the necessities of your body at a small price. be saying upon every occasion. These reasonings are unconnected: “I am richer than you. and. and spurt it out and tell nobody. but from externals. then you may be sure that you have begun your business.” But first consider how much more sparing and patient of hardship the poor are than we. . but. after all. hindered or restrained. therefore my style is better than yours. Does anyone drink a great quantity of wine? Don’t say that he does ill. do it for your own sake. 46. and not for the world. from these principles. they outwardly produce wool and milk.” But you. For remember that in this manner 10 Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. 44.” 43. as it is to be carried. but in a mighty little time. but he who is deceived about it. unless you perfectly understand the principle from which anyone acts. nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems. 45. if he judges from a wrong appearance. The condition and characteristic of a vulgar person. 48. but that he drinks a great quantity. he is the person hurt. for by that it cannot be carried. that he was brought up with you. but the actions produced by them after they have been digested. Thus. that he is your brother. Thus. how should you know if he acts ill? Thus you will not run the hazard of assenting to any appearances but such as you fully comprehend. don’t pique yourself upon it. you will meekly bear a person who reviles you. don’t lay hold on the action by the handle of his injustice. inwardly digesting their food. if you drink water. and thus you will lay hold on it. he took and. do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned. says nothing concerning himself as being anybody. therefore. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false. “It seemed so to him. And when persons came to him and desired to be recommended by him to philosophers.” The connection is rather this: “I am richer than you. therefore I am better. “I drink water.recommended them. silent. or knowing anything: when he is. for you will say upon every occasion. for the most part. so well did he bear being overlooked. are neither property nor style. The condition and characteristic of a philosopher is. but by the opposite. that he censures no one. 47. if anyone tells you that you know nothing. then. praises no one. For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten. and bearing hard trials. don’t grasp statues. nor. don’t talk how persons ought to eat. Everything has two handles. Setting out. in any instance. For there is great danger in immediately throwing out what you have not digested.appears right to you. Therefore. take a little cold water in your mouth. but eat as you ought. when you are violently thirsty.” “I am more eloquent than you. and you are not nettled at it. that he expects all hurt and benefit from himself. But if at any time you would inure yourself by exercise to labor. For. So that if ever any talk should happen among the unlearned concerning philosophic theorems. the one by which it may be carried. the proposition is not hurt.

think yourself worthy of living as a man grown up. at the same time that we lie. But what do I desire? To understand nature and follow her. therefore. proficiency is lost. 49. and one in ambush. And if any instance of pain or pleasure. finding Chrysippus does. he watches himself as an enemy. and. that instead of Homer I interpret Chrysippus. this person would have had no subject for his vanity. if I admire nothing but merely the interpretation. who interprets her. then. desires me to read Chrysippus to him. and you have been familiar with them. but a grown man. therefore. and entirely neglect the first. How long. and the second on the account of the first.” the second is that of demonstrations. and a proficient. What other master. one to interpret them. This instant. Whatever moral rules you have deliberately proposed to yourself. and as if you would be guilty of impiety by violating any of them. By once being defeated and giving way. is set before you. then. say to yourself. if he appears stupid or ignorant. And when I find an interpreter. he does not care.if he is praised. and. remember that now is the combat. you will be negligent and slothful. he makes no defense. is the first. what do I become more than a grammarian instead of a philosopher? Except. do you wait for. he transfers his aversion to those things only which thwart the proper use of our own faculty of choice. Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law. “What is the origin of this is a demonstration. I ask. the exertion of his active powers towards anything is very gentle. therefore. Don’t regard what anyone says of you. For we spend all our time on the third topic. in a word. But. Thus Socrates became perfect. you will insensibly continue without proficiency. such as. But we act just on the contrary. I rather blush when I cannot show my actions agreeable and consonant to his discourse. you ought. such as. and. “Unless Chrysippus had written obscurely. This alone is the valuable thing. will you put off thinking yourself worthy of the highest improvements and follow the distinctions of reason? You have received the philosophical theo11 rems. dreading to move anything that is set right. 51. to live as one desirous of becoming a Socrates. or glory or disgrace. before it is perfectly fixed. I have recourse to him. living and dying.” the third gives strength and articulation to the other two. with which you ought to be familiar. I don’t understand his writings. He suppresses all desire in himself. if he is censured. we are immediately prepared to show how it is demonstrated that lying is not right. and fix day after day in which you will attend to yourself. is necessary on the account of the second. Therefore. When anyone shows himself overly confident in ability to understand and interpret the works of Chrysippus. persevere in being one of the vulgar. now the Olympiad comes on. When anyone.” So far there is nothing to value myself upon. If. such as. to throw upon that the delay of reforming yourself? You are no longer a boy. indeed. and employ all our diligence about that. nor can it be put off. “We ought not to lie. improving himself by everything. after all. however. or by the contrary preserved. “What is the origin of our obligation not to lie. . and that whereon we ought to rest.” For what is demonstration? What is consequence? What contradiction? What truth? What falsehood? The third topic. is no concern of yours. then. attending to nothing but reason. he secretly laughs at the person who praises him. then. But he goes about with the caution of sick or injured people. The first and most necessary topic in philosophy is that of the use of moral theorems. what remains is to make use of his instructions. abide by them as they were laws. I seek. purpose to purpose. for this. And though you are not yet a Socrates. and always add procrastination to procrastination. 50. then. and. But the most necessary.

Wherever your decrees have fixed my station. 12 .” (Cleanthes) “I follow cheerfully. and knows the laws of heaven. O Destiny. Frag. and.” (Plato’s Crito and Apology) . thus let it be. 965) And this third: “O Crito. is deemed Wise among men. Wicked and wretched.52. if it thus pleases the gods. and you.” (Euripides. Anytus and Melitus may kill me indeed. Upon all occasions we ought to have these maxims ready at hand: “Conduct me. I must follow still Whoever yields properly to Fate. but hurt me they cannot. did I not. Jove.

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