Although my books have aroused in not a few men1
the desire not only to read but to write, yet I sometimes fear that what we term philosophy is distasteful
to certain worthy gentlemen, and that they wonder
that I devote so much time and attention to it.
Now, as long as the state was administered by the
men to whose care she had voluntarily entrusted
herself, I devoted all my effort and thought to her.
But when everything passed under the absolute
control of a despot and there was no longer any
room for statesmanship or authority of mine; and
finally when I had lost the friends2
who had been
associated with me in the task of serving the interests
of the state, and who were men of the highest
standing, I did not resign myself to grief, by which
I should have been overwhelmed, had I not struggled
against it; neither, on the other hand, did I surrender myself to a life of sensual pleasure unbecoming to a philosopher.