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Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
considered as things of no value the body and the possessions of the body? Wait then, do not depart without a reason. Something like this ought to be said by the teacher to ingenuous youths. But now what happens? The teacher is a lifeless body, and you are lifeless bodies. When you have been well filled to-day, you sit down and lament about the morrow, how you shall get something to eat. Wretch, if you have it, you will have it; if you have it not, you will depart from life. The door is open.Upton has referred to the passages of Epictetus in which this expression is used, i. 24, 20; i. 25, 18; ii. 1, 19, and others; to Seneca, De Provid. c. 6, Ep. 91; to Cicero, De Fin. iii. 18, where there is this conclusion: e quo apparet et sapientis esse aliquando officium excedere e vita, quum beatus sit; et stulti manere in vita quum sit miser. Compare Matthew vi. 31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after al
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
orgot all, and ever after has added one piece of business to another. I wish that I were now by his side to remind him of what he said when he was passing this way, and to tell him how much better a seer I am than he is. Well then do I say that man is an animal made for doing nothing?The Stoics taught that man is adapted by his nature for action. He ought not therefore to withdraw from human affairs, and indulge in a lazy life, not even a life of contemplation and religious observances only. Upton refers to Antoninus, v. 1, viii. 19, and Cicero, De Fin. V. 20. Certainly not. But why are we not active?Schweighaeuser proposes a small alteration in the Greek text, but I do not think it necessary. When Epictetus says, Why are we not active? He means, Why do some say that we are not active? And he intends to say that We are active, but not in the way in which some people are active. I have therefore added in ( ) what is necessary to make the text intelligible.(We are active.) For example,
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
, v. 33. Ought we not when we are digging and ploughing and eating to sing this hymn to God? Great is God, who has given us such implements with which we shall cultivate the earth: great is God who has given us hands, the power of swallowing, a stomach, imperceptible growth, and the power of breathing while we sleep. This is what we ought to sing on every occasion, and to sing the greatest and most divine hymn for giving us the faculty of comprehending these things and using a proper way.See Upton's note on o(dw=|. Well then, since most of you have become blind, ought there not to be some man to fill this office, and on behalf of all to singa)/|donta is Schweighaeuser's probable emendation. the hymn to God? For what else can I do, a lame old man, than sing hymns to God? If then I was a nightingale, I would do the part of a nightingale. if I were a swan, I would do like a swan. But now I am a rational creature, and I ought to praise God: this is my work; I do it, nor will I desert this
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
n? To-morrow, I said, you will find an earthen lamp: for a man only loses that which he has. I have lost my garment. The reason is that you had a garment. I have pain in my head. Have you any pain in your horns? Why then are you troubled? for we only lose those things, we have only pains about those things which we possess.The conclusion explains what precedes. A man can have no pain in his horns, because he has none. A man cannot be vexed about the loss of a thing if he does not possess it. Upton says that Epictetus alludes to the foolish quibble: If you have not lost a thing, you have it: but you have not lost horns; therefore you have horns (Seneca, Ep. 45). Epictetus says, You do not lose a thing when you have it not. See Schweig.'s note. But the tyrant will chain—what? the leg. He will take away—what? the neck. What then will he not chain and not take away? the will. This is why the antients taught the maxim, Know thyself.Compare what is said in Xenophon, Mem. iv. 2, 24, on the e
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
ou as a man? Show me. Who wishes to become like you? Who imitates you, as he imitates Socrates?—But I can cut off your head.—You say right. I had forgotten that I must have regard to you, as I would to a feverFebris, fever, was a goddess at Rome. Upton refers to an inscrip- tion in Gruter 97, which begins Febri Divae. Compare Lactantius, De falsa religione, c. 20. and the bile, and raise an altar to you, as there is at Rome an altar to fever. What is it then that disturbs and terrifies the mult of the pride of the nomenclator (the announcer of the name), of the arrogance of the bedchamber man. Even the clerk of the close-stool was an important person. Slaves used to carry this useful domestic vessel on a journey. Horat. Sat. i. 6, 109 (Upton). How is it that the man becomes all at once wise, when Caesar has made him superintendent of the close stool? How is it that we say immediately, Felicion spoke sensibly to me. I wish he were ejected from the bedchamber, that he might again appea
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
annot help me; and further, what is he to me if he allows me to be in the condition in which I am? I now begin to hate him. Why then do we build temples, why set up statues to Zeus, as well as to evil daemons, such as to Fever;See i. 19. 6, note 2. and how is Zeus the Saviour, and how the giver of rain, and the giver of fruits? And in truth if we place the nature of Good in any such things, all this follows. What should we do then? This is the inquiry of the true philosopher who is in labour.Upton refers to a passage in the Theaetetus (p. 150, Steph.), where Socrates professes that it is his art to discover whether a young man's mind is giving birth to an idol (an unreality) and a falsity, or to something productive and true; and he says (p. 151) that those who associate with him are like women in child-birth, for they are in labour and full of trouble nights and days much more than women, and his art has the power of stirring up and putting to rest this labour of child-birth. The con
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
s; but the falsity seemed to him to be true. Well, in acts what have we of the like kind as we have here truth or falsehood? We have the fit and the not fit (duty and not duty), the profitable and the unprofitable, that which is suitable to a person and that which is not, and whatever is like these. Can then a man think that a thing is useful to him and not choose it? He cannot. How says Medea?The Medea of Euripides, 1079, where, instead of dra=n me/llw of Epictetus, the reading is tolmh/sw (Upton). tolmh/sw (Kirchoff), with the best MSS., for dra=n me/llw, which, however is the reading sited by several antient authors. Paley's Euripides, note.— 'Tis true I know what evil I shall do, But passion overpowers the better counsel. She thought that to indulge her passion and take vengeance on her husband was more profitable than to spare her children. It was so; but she was deceived. Show her plainly that she is deceived, and she will not do it; but so long as you do not show it, what can
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
ant shall obtain its own good or evil. How shall it obtain the good. If it does not admireThis is the maxim of Horace, Epp. i. 6; and Macleane's note,— Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici, Solaque quae possit facere et servare beatum. on which Upton remarks that this maxim is explained very philosophically and learnedly by Lord Shaftesbury (the author of the Characteristics), vol. iii. p. 202. Compare M. Antoninus, xii. 1, Seneca, De Vita Beata, c. 3, writes, Aliarum rerum quae vitam instruu he comes without these things, bring Caesar to me and you will see how firm I am.The word is eu)staqw=. The corresponding noun is eu)sta/qeia, which is the title of this chapter. But when he shall come with these things, thundering and lightning,Upton supposes that Epictetus is alluding to the verse of Aristo- phanes (Acharn. 531), where it is said of Pericles: He flashed, he thundered, and confounded Hellas. and when I am afraid of them, what do I do then except to recognize my master like t
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
en who being free from perturbationsThe word is u(po\ a)taraci/as. Mrs. Carter thinks that the true reading is u(po\ a)praci/as, 'through idleness' or 'having nothing to do'; and she remarks that 'freedom from perturbations' is the very thing that Epictetus had been recommending through the whole chapter and is the subject of the next chapter, and therefore cannot be well supposed to be the true reading in a place where it is mentioned with contempt. It is probable that Mrs. Carter is right. Upton thinks that Epictetus is alluding to the Sophists, and that we should understand him as speaking ironically: and this may also be right. Schweighaeuser attempts to explain the passage by taking 'free from perturbations' in the ordinary simple sense; but I doubt if he has succeeded. have leisure, or to such as are too foolish to reckon con. sequences. And will you now, when the opportunity invites, go and display those things which you possess, and recite them, and make an idle show,e)mperpe
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
ll a man preserve firmness and tranquillity, and at the same time be careful and neither rash nor negligent? If he imitates those who play at dice. The counters are indifferent; the dice are indifferent. How do I know what the cast will be? But to use carefully and dexterously the cast of the dice, this is my business.Terence says (Adelphi, iv. 7)— Si illud, quod est maxime opus, jactu non cadit, Illud quod cecidit forte, id arte ut corrigas. 'Dexterously' is arte,' texnikw=s in Epictetus.—Upton. Thus then in life also the chief business is this: distinguish and separate things, and say, Externals are not in my power: will is in my power. Where shall I seek the good and the bad? Within, in the things which are my own. But in what does not belong to you call nothing either good or bad, or profit or damage or any thing of the kind. What then? Should we use such things carelessly? In no way: for this on the other hand is bad for the faculty of the will, and consequently against nature;
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