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Epictetus, Works (ed. Thomas Wentworth Higginson) 2 0 Browse Search
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Epictetus, Discourses (ed. Thomas Wentworth Higginson), book 2 (search)
Concerning Naso. When a certain Roman came to him with his son, and had heard one lesson, "This," said Epictetus, "is the method of teaching;" and ceased. When the other desired him to go on, he answered, Every art seems tedious, when it is delivered to a person ignorant and unskilful in it. The things performed by the common arts quickly manifest the use for which they were made; and most of them have something attractive and agreeable. Thus the trade of a shoemaker, as one seeks to learn it, is an unpleasant thing; but the shoe is useful, and not unpleasing to the eye. The trade of a smith is extremely unattractive to an ignorant observer; but the work shows the usefulness of the art. You will see this much more strongly in music; for if you stand by while a person is learning, it will appear to you of all sciences the most unpleasant; but the effects are agreeable and delightful, even to those who do not understand it. So here we take it to be the work of one who studies philosoph