and her prosperity, used to say that the only reason he was grieved when conflagrations occurred in Rome was his knowledge that better buildings would arise than those which had gone down in the flames. . No, not unless you think that the wise man is so unfair as to believe that as an individual he owes nothing in return for the advantages which be enjoys with all the rest. . The driver is barefoot, and not because it is summer either. . But there are certain goods which reason regards as primary, to which she addresses herself purposely; these are, for example, victory, good children, and the welfare of one's country. That is my habit, Lucilius: I try to extract and render useful some element from every field of thought, no matter how far removed it may be from philosophy. . If, however, his means of existence are meagre and scanty, he will make the best of them, without being anxious or worried about anything more than the bare necessities; he will do justice to his belly and his shoulders; with free and happy spirit.
The wise man is not distressed by the loss of children or of friends. . But this cause, though it inheres in virtue, is not the result of virtue itself, nor is it a mere semblance of the reality; nay, on the contrary, far more like the reality is that vision which is flashed by virtue upon the spirits. Cultivate that good which improves with the years. . It is the mark, however, of a noble spirit not to precipitate oneself into such things a on the ground that they are better, but to practise for them on the ground that they are thus easy to endure. . They are Plato's own furniture, so to speak; he calls them "ideas and from them all visible things are created, and according to their pattern all things are fashioned. From the earliest beginnings of the universe to the present time, we have been led forward out of origins that were alternately illustrious and ignoble. In what language do you encourage them to bar the way with their bodies and take upon themselves the ruin of their whole tribe, and to retreat from life rather than from their post? . And you need not spend a long time in gathering illustrations which will strengthen you; every epoch has produced them. . You do not know what you want. . Perspiration should flow only after toil.
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