Cicero : Tusculan Disputations

-   Book 4 , 1-44

Translated by C.D. Yonge (1877). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section.

Book 3

[1] L   I have often wondered, Brutus, on many occasions, at the ingenuity and virtues of our countrymen; but nothing has surprised me more than their development in those studies, which, though they came somewhat late to us, have been transported into this city from Greece. For the system of auspices, and religious ceremonies, and courts of justice, and appeals to the people, the senate, the establishment of an army of cavalry and infantry, and the whole military discipline, were instituted as early as the foundation of the city by royal authority, partly too by laws, not without the assistance of the Gods. Then with what a surprising and incredible progress did our ancestors advance towards all kind of excellence, when once the republic was freed from the regal power! Not that this is a proper occasion to treat of the manners and customs of our ancestors, or of the discipline and constitution of the city; for I have elsewhere, particularly in the six books I wrote on the Republic, given a sufficiently accurate account of them. [2] But whilst I am on this subject, and considering the study of philosophy, I meet with many reasons to imagine that those studies were brought to us from abroad, and not merely imported, but preserved and improved; for they had Pythagoras, a man of consummate wisdom and nobleness of character, in a manner, before their eyes; who was in Italy at the time that Lucius Brutus, the illustrious founder of your nobility, delivered his country from tyranny. As the doctrine of Pythagoras spread itself on all sides, it seems probable to me, that it reached this city; and this is not only probable of itself, but it does really appear to have been the case from many remains of it. For who can imagine that, when it flourished so much in that part of Italy which was called Magna Graecia, and in some of the largest and most powerful cities, in which, first the name of Pythagoras, and then that of those men who were afterwards his followers, was in so high esteem; who can imagine, I say, that our people could shut their ears to what was said by such learned men? [3] L   Besides, it is even my opinion, that it was the great esteem in which the Pythagoreans were held, that gave rise to that opinion amongst those who came after him, that king Numa was a Pythagorean. For, being acquainted with the doctrine and principles of Pythagoras, and having heard from their ancestors that this king was a very wise and just man, and not being able to distinguish accurately between times and periods that were so remote, they inferred from his being so eminent for his wisdom, that he had been a pupil of Pythagoras.

[2.] So far we proceed on conjecture. As to the vestiges of the Pythagoreans, though I might collect many, I shall use but a few; because they have no connexion, with our present purpose. For, as it is reported to have been a custom with them to deliver certain precepts in a more abstruse manner in verse, and to bring their minds from severe thought to a more composed state by songs and musical instruments; so Cato, a writer of the very highest authority, says in his Origins, that it was customary with our ancestors for the guests at their entertainments, everyone in his turn, to celebrate the praises and virtues of illustrious men in song to the sound of the flute; from whence it is clear that poems and songs were then composed for the voice. [4] And, indeed, it is also clear that poetry was in fashion from the laws of the Twelve Tables, wherein it is provided, that no song should be made to the injury of another. Another argument of the erudition of those times is, that they played on instruments before the shrines of their Gods, and at the entertainments of their magistrates; but that custom was peculiar to the sect I am speaking of. To me, indeed, that poem of Appius Caecus, which Panaetius commends so much in a certain letter of his which is addressed to Quintus Tubero, has all the marks of a Pythagorean author. We have many things derived from the Pythagoreans in our customs; which I pass over, that we may not seem to have learned that elsewhere which we look upon ourselves as the inventors of. [5] L   But to return to our purpose. How many great poets as well as orators have sprung up among us! and in what a short time! so that it is evident that our people could arrive at any learning as soon as they had an inclination for it. But of other studies I shall speak elsewhere if there is occasion, as I have already often done.

[3.] The study of philosophy is certainly of long standing with us; but yet I do not find that I can give you the names of any philosopher before the age of Laelius and Scipio: in whose younger days we find that Diogenes the Stoic, and Carneades the Academic, were sent as ambassadors by the Athenians to our senate. And as these had never been concerned in public affairs, and one of them was a Cyrenean, the other a Babylonian, they certainly would never have been forced from their studies, nor chosen for that employment, unless the study of philosophy had been in vogue with some of the great men at that time; who, though they might employ their pens on other subjects, some on civil law, others on oratory, others on the history of former times, yet promoted this most extensive of all arts, the principle of living well, even more by their life than by their writings. [6] So that of that true and elegant philosophy, (which was derived from Socrates, and is still preserved by the Peripatetics, and by the Stoics, though they express themselves differently in their disputes with the Academics,) there are few or no Latin records; whether this proceeds from the importance of the thing itself, or from men's being otherwise employed, or from their concluding that the capacity of the people was not equal to the apprehension of them. But, during this silence, C. Amafinius arose and took upon himself to speak; on the publishing of whose writings the people were moved, and enlisted themselves chiefly under this sect, either because the doctrine was more easily understood, or because they were invited thereto by the pleasing thoughts of amusement, or that, because there was nothing better, they laid hold of what was offered them. [7] L   And after Amafinius, when many of the same sentiments had written much about them, the Pythagoreans spread over all Italy: but that these doctrines should be so easily understood and approved of by the unlearned, is a great proof that they were not written with any great subtlety, and they think their establishment to be owing to this.

[4.] But let everyone defend his own opinion, for everyone is at liberty to choose what he likes; I shall keep to my old custom; and being under no restraint from the laws of any particular school, which in philosophy everyone must necessarily confine himself to, I shall always inquire what has the most probability in every question, and this system, which I have often practised on other occasions, I have adhered closely to in my Tusculan Disputations. Therefore, as I have acquainted you with the disputations of the three former days, this book shall conclude the discussion of the fourth day. When we had come down into the Academy, as we had done the former days, the business was carried on thus.

M. [8] Let anyone say, who pleases, what he would wish to have discussed.

A. I do not think a wise man can possibly be free from every perturbation of mind.

M. He seemed by yesterday's discourse to be free from grief; unless you agreed with us only to avoid taking up time.

A. Not at all on that account, for I was extremely satisfied with your discourse.

M. You do not think, then, that a wise man is subject to grief?

A. No, by no means.

M. But if that cannot disorder the mind of a wise man, nothing else can. For what? can such a man be disturbed by fear? Fear proceeds from the same things when absent, which occasion grief when present. Take away grief then, and you remove fear.

The two remaining perturbations are, a joy elate above measure, and lust; and, if a wise man is not subject to these, his mind will be always at rest.

[9] L   A. I am entirely of that opinion.

M. Which, then, shall we do? shall I immediately crowd all my sails? or shall I make use of my oars, as if I were just endeavouring to get clear of the harbour?

A. What is it that you mean; for I do not exactly comprehend you?

[5.] M. Because, Chrysippus and the Stoics, when they discuss the perturbations of the mind, make great part of their debate to consist in definitions and distinctions; while they employ but few words on the subject of curing the mind, and preventing it from being disordered. Whereas the Peripatetics bring a great many things to promote the cure of it, but have no regard to their thorny partitions and definitions. - My question, then, was, whether I should instantly unfold the sails of my eloquence, or be content for a while to make less way with the oars of logic?

A. Let it be so; for by the employment of both these means the subject of our inquiry will be more thoroughly discussed.

[10] M. It is certainly the better way; and should anything be too obscure, you may examine that afterwards.

A. I will do so; but those very obscure points, you will, as usual, deliver with more clearness than the Greeks.

M. I will indeed endeavour to do so; but it well requires great attention, lest, by losing one word, the whole should escape you. What the Greeks call πάθη, we choose to name perturbations (or disorders) rather than diseases; in explaining which, I shall follow, first, that very old description of Pythagoras, and afterwards that of Plato ; for they both divide the mind into two parts, and make one of these partake of reason, and the other they represent without it. In that which partakes of reason they place tranquillity, that is to say, a placid and undisturbed constancy; to the other they assign the turbid motions of anger and desire, which are contrary and opposite to reason. [11] L   Let this, then, be our principle, the spring of all our reasonings. But notwithstanding, I shall use the partitions and definitions of the Stoics in describing these perturbations; who seem to me to have shown very great acuteness on this question.

[6.] Zenon's definition, then, is this: "a perturbation" (which he calls a πάθος) "is a commotion of the mind repugnant to reason, and against nature." Some of them define it even more briefly, saying that a perturbation is a somewhat too vehement appetite; but by too vehement they mean an appetite that recedes further from the constancy of nature. But they would have the divisions of perturbations to arise from two imagined goods, and from two imagined evils; and thus they become four: from the good proceed lust and joy - joy having reference to some present good, and lust to some future one. They suppose fear and grief to proceed from evils: fear from something future - grief from something present; for whatever things are dreaded as approaching, always occasion grief when present. [12] But joy and lust depend on the opinion of good; as lust, being inflamed and provoked, is carried on eagerly towards what has the appearance of good; and joy is transported and exults on obtaining what was desired: for we naturally pursue those things that have the appearance of good, and avoid the contrary. Wherefore, as soon as anything that has the appearance of good presents itself, nature incites us to endeavour to obtain it. Now, where this strong desire is consistent and founded on prudence, it is by the Stoics called βούλησις, and the name which we give it is volition; and this they allow to none but their wise man, and define it thus: Volition is a reasonable desire; but whatever is incited too violently in opposition to reason, that is a lust, or an unbridled desire, which is discoverable in all fools. - [13] L   And, therefore, when we are affected so as to be placed in any good condition, we are moved in two ways; for when the mind is moved in a placid and calm motion, consistent with reason, that is called joy; but when it exults with a vain, wanton exultation, or immoderate joy, then that feeling may be called immoderate ecstasy or transport, which they define to be an elation of the mind without reason. - And as we naturally desire good things, so in like manner we naturally seek to avoid what is evil; and this avoidance of which, if conducted in accordance with reason, is called caution; and this the wise man alone is supposed to have: but that caution which is not under the guidance of reason, but is attended with a base and low dejection, is called fear. - Fear is, therefore, caution destitute of reason. [14] But a wise man is not affected by any present evil; while the grief of a fool proceeds from being affected with an imaginary evil, by which his mind is contracted and sunk, since it is not under the dominion of reason. This, then, is the first definition, which makes grief to consist in a shrinking of the mind, contrary to the dictates of reason. Thus, there are four perturbations, and but three calm rational emotions; for grief has no exact opposite.

[7.] But they insist upon it that all perturbations depend on opinion and judgment; therefore they define them more strictly, in order not only the better to show how blameable they are, but to discover how much they are in our power. Grief, then is a recent opinion of some present evil, in which it seems to be right that the mind should shrink and be dejected. Joy is a recent opinion of a present good, in which it seems to be right that the mind should be elated. Fear is an opinion of an impending evil, which we apprehend will be intolerable. Lust is an opinion of a good to come, which would be of advantage were it already come, and present with us. [15] L   But however I have named the judgments and opinions of perturbations, their meaning is, not that merely the perturbations consist in them, but that the effects likewise of these perturbations do so; as grief occasions a kind of painful pricking, and fear engenders a recoil or sudden abandonment of the mind; joy gives rise to a profuse mirth, while lust is the parent of an unbridled habit of coveting. But that imagination, which I have included in all the above definitions, they would have to consist in assenting without warrantable grounds. [16] Now, every perturbation has many subordinate parts annexed to it of the same kind. Grief is attended with enviousness {invidentia} - I use that word for instruction sake, though it is not so common; because envy {invidia} takes in not only the person who envies, but the person too who is envied; - emulation, detraction, pity, vexation, mourning, sadness, tribulation, sorrow, lamentation, solicitude, disquiet of mind, pain, despair, and many other similar feelings, are so too. Under fear are comprehended sloth, shame, terror, cowardice, fainting, confusion, astonishment. - In pleasure they comprehend malevolence, that is pleased at another's misfortune, delight, boastfulness, and the like. To lust they associate anger, fury, hatred, enmity, discord, wants, desire, and other feelings of that kind.

But they define these in this manner:

[8.] [17] L   Enviousness {invidentia}, they say, is a grief arising from the prosperous circumstances of another, which are in no degree injurious to the person who envies: for where anyone grieves at the prosperity of another, by which he is injured, such a one is not properly said to envy - as when Agamemnon grieves at Hector's success; but where anyone, who is in no way hurt by the prosperity of another, is in pain at his success, such an one envies indeed. Now the name "emulation" is taken in a double sense, so that the same word may stand for praise and dispraise: for the imitation of virtue is called emulation -(however, that sense of it I shall have no occasion for here, for that carries praise with it); - but emulation is also a term applied to grief at another's enjoying what I desired to have, and am without. [18] Detraction (and I mean by that, jealousy) is a grief even at another's enjoying what I had a great inclination for. Pity is a grief at the misery of another who suffers wrongfully; for no one is moved by pity at the punishment of a parricide, or of a betrayer of his country. Vexation is a pressing grief. Mourning is a grief at the bitter death of one who was dear to you. Sadness is a grief attended with tears. Tribulation is a painful grief. Sorrow, an excruciating grief. Lamentation, a grief where we loudly bewail ourselves. Solicitude, a pensive grief. Trouble, a continued grief. Affliction, a grief that harasses the body. Despair, a grief that excludes all hope of better things to come. [19] L   But those feelings which are included under fear, they define thus:- There is sloth, which is a dread of some ensuing labour: shame and terror, which affect the body; hence blushing attends shame; a paleness, and tremor, and chattering of the teeth, attend terror: cowardice, which is an apprehension of some approaching evil: dread, a fear that unhinges the mind; whence comes that line of Ennius -

Then dread discharged all wisdom from my mind:

fainting is the associate and constant attendant on dread: confusion, a fear that drives away all thought: alarm, a continued fear.

[9.] [20] The different species into which they divide pleasure come under this description; so that malevolence is a pleasure in the misfortunes of another, without any advantage to yourself: delight, a pleasure that soothes the mind by agreeable impressions on the ear. What is said of the ear, may be applied to the sight, to the touch, smell, and taste. All feelings of this kind are a sort of melting pleasure that dissolves the mind. Boastfulness is a pleasure that consists in making an appearance, and setting off yourself with insolence. - [21] L   The subordinate species of lust they define in this manner. Anger is a lust of punishing anyone who, as we imagine, has injured us without cause. Heat is anger just forming and beginning to exist, which the Greeks call θύμωσις. Hatred is a settled anger. Enmity is anger waiting for an opportunity of revenge. Discord is a sharper anger conceived deeply in the mind and heart. Want, an insatiable lust. Regret is when one eagerly wishes to see a person who is absent. Now here they have a distinction; so that with them regret is a lust conceived on hearing of certain things reported of someone, or of many, which the Greeks call κατηγορήματα, or predicaments; as that they are in possession of riches and honours: but want is a lust for those very honours and riches. - [22] But these definers make intemperance the fountain of all these perturbations; which is an absolute revolt from the mind and right reason: a state so averse to all rules of reason, that the appetites of the mind can by no means be governed and restrained. As, therefore, temperance appeases these desires, making them obey right reason, and maintains the well-weighed judgments of the mind; so intemperance, which is in opposition to this, inflames, confounds, and puts every state of the mind into a violent motion. Thus, grief and fear, and every other perturbation of the mind, have their rise from intemperance.

[10.] [23] L   Just as distempers and sickness are bred in the body from the corruption of the blood, and the too great abundance of phlegm and bile; so the mind is deprived of its health, and disordered with sickness, from a confusion of depraved opinions, that are in opposition to one another. From these perturbations arise, first, diseases, which they call νοσήματα; and also those feelings which are in opposition to these diseases, and which admit certain faulty distastes or loathings; then come sicknesses, which are called ἀρρωστήματα by the Stoics; and these two have their opposite aversions. Here the Stoics, especially Chrysippus, give themselves unnecessary trouble to show the analogy which the diseases of the mind have to those of the body: but, overlooking all that they say as of little consequence, I shall treat only of the thing itself. [24] Let us then understand perturbation to imply a restlessness from the variety and confusion of contradictory opinions; and that when this heat and disturbance of the mind is of any standing, and has taken up its residence, as it were, in the veins and marrow, then commence diseases and sickness, and those aversions which are in opposition to these diseases and sicknesses.

[11.] What I say here may be distinguished in thought, though they are in fact the same; inasmuch as they both have their rise from lust and joy. For should money be the object of our desire, and should we not instantly apply to reason, as if it were a kind of Socratic medicine to heal this desire, the evil glides into our veins, and cleaves to our bowels, and from thence proceeds a distemper or sickness, which, when it is of any continuance, is incurable, and the name of this disease is covetousness. [25] L   It is the same with other diseases; as the desire of glory, a passion for women, to which the Greeks give the name of φιλογυνεία; and thus all other diseases and sicknesses are generated. But those feelings, which are the contrary of these, are supposed to have fear for their foundation, as a hatred of women, such as is displayed in the Woman-hater of Atilius: or the hatred of the whole human species, as Timon is reported to have done, whom they called the Misanthrope. Of the same kind is inhospitality; and all these diseases proceed from a certain dread of such things as they hate and avoid. [26] But they define sickness of mind to be an overweening opinion, and that fixed and deeply implanted in the heart, of something as very desirable, which is by no means so. What proceeds from aversion, they define thus: a vehement idea of something to be avoided, deeply implanted, and inherent in our minds, when there is no reason for avoiding it; and this kind of opinion is a deliberate belief that one understands things of which one is wholly ignorant. Now, sickness of the mind has all these subordinate divisions, avarice, ambition, fondness for women, obstinacy, gluttony, drunkenness, covetousness, and other similar vices. But avarice is a violent opinion about money, as if it were vehemently to be desired and sought after, which opinion is deeply implanted and inherent in our minds; and the definition of all the other similar feelings resembles these. [27] L   But the definitions of aversions are of this sort; inhospitality is a vehement opinion, deeply implanted and inherent in your mind, that you should avoid a stranger. Thus too the hatred of women, like that felt by Hippolytus, is defined, and the hatred of the human species like that displayed by Timon.

[12.] But to come to the analogy of the state of body and mind, which I shall sometimes make use of, though more sparingly than the Stoics: some men are more inclined to particular disorders than others. And, therefore, we say, that some people are rheumatic, others dropsical, not because they are so at present, but because they are often so: some are inclined to fear, others to some other perturbation. Thus in some there is a continual anxiety, owing to which they are anxious; in some a hastiness of temper, which differs from anger, as anxiety differs from anguish: for all are not anxious who are sometimes vexed; nor are they who are anxious always uneasy in that manner: as there is a difference betwixt being drunk, and drunkenness; and it is one thing to be a lover, another to be given to women. And this disposition of particular people to particular disorders is very common: for it relates to all perturbations; [28] it appears in many vices, though it has no name: some are therefore said to be envious, malevolent, spiteful, fearful, pitiful, from a propensity to those perturbations, not from their being always carried away by them. Now this propensity to these particular disorders may be called a sickness, from analogy with the body; meaning, that is to say, nothing more than a propensity towards sickness. But with regard to whatever is good, as some are more inclined to different good qualities than others, we may call this a facility or tendency: this tendency to evil is a proclivity or inclination to falling: but where anything is neither good nor bad, it may have the former name.

[13.] Even as there may be, with respect to the body, a disease, a sickness, and a defect; so it is with the mind. They call that a disease where the whole body is corrupted: they call that sickness, where a disease is attended with a weakness: [29] L   and that a defect, where the parts of the body are not well compacted together; from whence it follows, that the members are mis-shapen, crooked, and deformed. So that these two, a disease and sickness, proceed from a violent concussion and perturbation of the health of the whole body; but a defect discovers itself, even when the body is in perfect health. But a disease of the mind is distinguishable only in thought from a sickness. But a viciousness is a habit or affection discordant and inconsistent with itself through life. Thus it happens, that in the one case a disease and sickness may arise from a corruption of opinions; in the other case the consequence may be inconstancy and inconsistency. For every vice of the mind does not imply a disunion of parts; as is the case with those who are not far from being wise men: with them there is that affection which is inconsistent with itself whilst it is foolish, but it is not distorted, nor depraved. But diseases and sicknesses are parts of viciousness: but it is a question whether perturbations are parts of the same: [30] for vices are permanent affections: perturbations are such as are restless; so that they cannot be parts of permanent ones. As there is some analogy between the nature of the body and mind in evil, so is there in good: for the distinctions of the body are beauty, strength, health, firmness, quickness of motion; the same may be said of the mind. The body is said to be in a good state, when all those things on which health depends are consistent: the same may be said of the mind, when its judgments and opinions are not at variance with one another. And this union is the virtue of the mind: which, according to some people, is temperance itself; others make it consist in an obedience to the precepts of temperance, and a compliance with them, not allowing it to be any distinct species of itself: but be it one or the other, it is to be found only in a wise man. But there is a certain soundness of mind, which even a fool may have, when the perturbation of his mind is removed by the care and management of his physicians. [31] L   And, as what is called beauty arises from an exact proportion of the limbs, together with a certain sweetness of complexion, so the beauty of the mind consists in an equality and constancy of opinions and judgments, joined to a certain firmness and stability, pursuing virtue, or containing within itself the very essence of virtue. Besides, we give the very same names to the faculties of the mind, as we do to the powers of the body, the nerves, and other powers of action. Thus the velocity of the body is called swiftness: a praise which we ascribe to the mind, from its running over in its thoughts so many things in so short a time.

[14.] Herein indeed the mind and body are unlike: that though the mind when in perfect health may be visited by sickness, as the body may, yet the body may be disordered without our fault, the mind cannot. For all the disorders and perturbations of the mind proceed from a neglect of reason; these disorders, therefore, are confined to men; the beasts are not subject to such perturbations, though they act sometimes as if they had reason. [32] There is a difference, too, betwixt ingenious and dull men; the ingenious, like the Corinthian brass, which is long before it receives rust, are longer before they fall into these perturbations, and are recovered sooner: the case is different with the dull. Nor does the mind of an ingenious man fall into every kind of perturbation, for it never yields to any that are brutish and savage: and some of their perturbations have at first even the appearance of humanity, as mercy, grief, and fear. But the sicknesses and diseases of the mind are thought to be harder to eradicate, than those leading vices which are in opposition to virtues: for vices may be removed, though the diseases of the mind should continue, which diseases are not cured with that expedition with which vices are removed. [33] L   I have now acquainted you with the arguments which the Stoics put forth with such exactness: which they call logic, from their close arguing; and since my discourse has got clear of these rocks, I will proceed with the remainder of it, provided I have been sufficiently clear in what I have already said, considering the obscurity of the subject I have treated.

A. Clear enough; but should there be occasion for a more exact inquiry, I shall take another opportunity of asking you: I expect you now to hoist your sails as you just now called them, and proceed on your course.

[15.] [34] M. Since I have spoken before of virtue in other places, and shall often have occasion to speak again (for a great many questions that relate to life and manners arise from the spring of virtue); and since, as I say, virtue consists in a settled and uniform affection of mind, making those persons praiseworthy who are possessed of her; she herself also, independent of anything else, without regard to any advantage, must be praiseworthy; for from her proceed good inclinations, opinions, actions, and the whole of right reason; though virtue may be defined in few words to be right reason itself. The opposite to this is viciousness (for so I choose to translate what the Greeks call φιλογυνεία, rather than by perverseness; for perverseness is the name of a particular vice; but viciousness includes all), from whence arise those perturbations, which, as I just now said, are turbid and violent motions of the mind, repugnant to reason, and enemies in a high degree to the peace of the mind, and a tranquil life: for they introduce piercing and anxious cares, and afflict and debilitate the mind through fear; they violently inflame our hearts with exaggerated appetite; which is in reality an impotence of mind, utterly irreconcilable with temperance and moderation, which we sometimes call desire, and sometimes lust; [35] L   and which, should it even attain the object of its wishes, immediately becomes so elated, that it loses all its resolution, and knows not what to pursue; so that he was in the right who said, "that exaggerated pleasure was the very greatest of mistakes." Virtue then alone can effect the cure of these evils.

[16.] For what is not only more miserable, but more base and sordid, than a man afflicted, weakened, and oppressed with grief? And little short of this misery is one who dreads some approaching evil, and who, through faintheartedness, is under continual suspense. The poets, to express the greatness of this evil, imagine a stone to hang over the head of Tantalus, as a punishment for his wickedness, his pride, and his boasting. And this is the common punishment of folly; for there hangs over the head of everyone whose mind revolts from reason some similar fear. [36] And as these perturbations of the mind, grief and fear, are of a most wasting nature; so those two others, though of a more merry cast, (I mean lust, which is always coveting something with eagerness, and empty mirth, which is an exulting joy,) differ very little from madness. Hence you may understand what sort of person he is whom we call at one time moderate, at another modest or temperate, at another constant and virtuous; while sometimes we include all these names in the word frugality, as the crown of all. For if that word did not include all virtues, it would never have been proverbial to say, that a frugal man does everything rightly; but when the Stoics apply this saying to their wise man, they seem to exalt him too much, and to speak of him with too much admiration.

[17.] [37] L   Whoever, then, through moderation and constancy, is at rest in his mind, and in calm possession of himself, so as neither to pine with care, nor be dejected with fear, nor to be inflamed with desire, coveting something greedily, nor relaxed by extravagant mirth - such a man is that identical wise man whom we are inquiring for, he is the happy man: to whom nothing in this life seems intolerable enough to depress him; nothing exquisite enough to transport him unduly. For what is there in this life that can appear great to him, who has acquainted himself with eternity, and the utmost extent of the universe? For what is there in human knowledge, or the short span of this life, that can appear great to a wise man? whose mind is always so upon its guard, that nothing can befall him which is unforeseen, nothing which is unexpected, nothing, in short, which is new. [38] Such a man takes so exact a survey on all sides of him, that he always knows the proper place and spot to live in free from all the troubles and annoyances of life, and encounters every accident that fortune can bring upon him with a becoming calmness. Whoever conducts himself in this manner, will be free from grief, and from every other perturbation: and a mind free from these feelings renders men completely happy: whereas a mind disordered and drawn off from right and unerring reason, loses at once, not only its resolution, but its health. - Therefore the thoughts and declarations of the Peripatetics are soft and effeminate, for they say that the mind must necessarily be agitated, but at the same time they lay down certain bounds beyond which that agitation is not to proceed. [39] L   And do you set bounds to vice? or is it novice to disobey reason? does not reason sufficiently declare, that there is no real good which you should desire too ardently, or the possession of which you should allow to transport you: and that there is no evil that should be able to overwhelm you, or the suspicion of which should distract you? and that all these things assume too melancholy or too cheerful an appearance through our own error? But if fools find this error lessened by time, so that, though the cause remains the same, they are not affected in the same manner, after some time, as they were at first; why surely a wise man ought not to be influenced at all by it. [40] But what are those degrees by which we are to limit it? Let us fix these degrees in grief, a difficult subject, and one much canvassed. - Fannius writes that P. Rupilius took it much to heart, that his brother was refused the consulship: but he seems to have been too much affected by this disappointment; for it was the occasion of his death: he ought, therefore, to have borne it with more moderation. But let us suppose, that whilst he was bearing this with moderation, the death of his children had intervened; here would have started a fresh grief, which, admitting it to be moderate in itself, yet still must have been a great addition to the other. Now to these let us add some acute pains of body, the loss of his fortune, blindness, banishment; supposing, then, each separate misfortune to occasion a separate additional grief, the whole would be too great to be supportable.

[18.] [41] L   The man who attempts to set bounds to vice, acts like one who should throw himself headlong from Leucas, persuaded that he could stop himself whenever he pleased. Now, as that is impossible, so a perturbed and disordered mind cannot restrain itself, and stop where it pleases. Certainly whatever is bad in its increase, is bad in its birth: now grief, [42] and all other perturbations, are doubtless baneful in their progress, and have therefore no small share of evil at the beginning; for they go on of themselves when once they depart from reason, for every weakness is self-indulgent, and indiscreetly launches out, and does not know where to stop. So that it makes no difference whether you approve of moderate perturbations of mind, or of moderate injustice, moderate cowardice, and moderate intemperance. For whoever prescribes bounds to vice, admits a part of it, which, as it is odious of itself, becomes the more so as it stands on slippery ground, and being once set forward, glides on headlong, and cannot by any means be stopped.

[19.] [43] L   Why should I say more? Why should I add that the Peripatetics say that these perturbations, which we insist upon it should be extirpated, are not only natural, but were given to men by nature for a good purpose? They usually talk in this manner. In the first place, they say much in praise of anger; they call it the whetstone of courage, and they say that angry men exert themselves most against an enemy or against a bad citizen: that those reasons are of little weight which are the motives of men who think thus, as - It is a just war, it becomes us to fight for our laws, our liberties, our country; they will allow no force to these arguments unless our courage is warmed by anger. - Nor do they confine their argument to warriors: but their opinion is, that no one can issue any rigid commands without some bitterness and anger. In short, they have no notion of an orator either accusing or even defending a client, without he is spurred on by anger. And though this anger should not be real, still they think his words and gestures ought to wear the appearance of it, so that the action of the orator may excite the anger of his hearer. And they deny that any man has ever been seen, who does not know what it is to be angry: and they name what we call lenity, by the bad appellation of indolence: [44] nor do they commend only this lust, (for anger is, as I defined it above, the lust of revenge,) but they maintain that kind of lust or desire to be given us by nature for very good purposes: saying that no one can execute anything well but what he is in earnest about. Themistocles used to walk in the public places in the night, because he could not sleep: and when asked the reason, his answer was, that Miltiades' trophies kept him awake. Who has not heard how Demosthenes used to watch; who said that it gave him pain, if any mechanic was up in a morning at his work before him? Lastly, they urge that some of the greatest philosophers would never have made that progress in their studies, without some ardent desire spurring them on. - We are informed that Pythagoras, Democritus, and Plato, visited the remotest parts of the world; for they thought that they ought to go wherever anything was to be learned. Now it is not conceivable that these things could be effected by anything but by the greatest ardour of mind.

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