But it may be urged that, in old men, “pleasure's
if I may so call it, is not so great. True,
but neither is their yearning for pleasures so great,
and, moreover, nothing troubles you for which you
do not yearn. It was an excellent reply that
Sophocles made to a certain man who asked him,
when he was already old, if he still indulged in the
delights of love. “Heaven forbid!” he said.
“Indeed I have fled from them as from a harsh
and cruel master.”2
For to those who eagerly desire
such things the want of them is perhaps an annoyance and a trouble; but to those who are sated
and cloyed with them it is more pleasant to be in
want of them than to possess them; though, indeed.
a man cannot “want” that for which he has no
longing, and therefore I assert that the absence of
longing is more pleasant.