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[1arg] A saying of Musonius, the Greek philosopher, which is of practical value and worth hearing and bearing in mind; and a remark of equal value made by Marcus Cato many years before to the knights at Numantia.

WHEN I was still young and a schoolboy, I heard that this Greek sentiment which I have subjoined was uttered by the philosopher Musonius, and since it is a true and brilliant saying, expressed briefly and roundly, I very willingly committed it to memory: 1 If you accomplish anything noble with toil, the toil passes, but the noble deed endures. If you do anything shameful with pleasure, the pleasure passes, but the shame endures."

Later, I read that same sentiment in the speech of Marcus Cato which he delivered At Numantia to the Knights. Although it is expressed somewhat loosely and diffusely compared with the Greek which I have given, yet, since it is prior in time and more ancient, it ought to seem worthy of greater respect. The words in the speech are as follows: 2 “Bear in mind, that if through toil you accomplish a good deed, that toil will quickly pass from you, the good deed will not leave you so long as you live; but if through pleasure you do anything dishonourable, the pleasure will quickly pass away, that dishonourable act will remain with you for ever.”

[p. 133]

1 p. 273, Peerlkamp.

2 p. 38, 11, Jordan.

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