Clothes are supposed to make a man warm, not of course by warming him themselves in the sense of adding their warmth to him, because each garment by itself is cold, and for this reason very often persons who feel hot and feverish keep changing from one set of clothes to another ; but the warmth which a man gives off from his own person the clothing, closely applied to the body, confines and enwraps, and does not allow it, when thus imprisoned in the body, to be dissipated again. Now the same condition existing in human affairs deceives most people, who think that, if they surround themselves with vast houses, and get together a mass of slaves and money, they shall live pleasantly.1 But a pleasant and happy life comes not from external things, but, on the contrary, man draws on his own character as a source 2 from which to add the element of pleasure and joy to the things which surround him. Bright with a blazing fire a house looks far more cheerful,3 and wealth is pleasanter, and repute and power more resplendent, if with them goes the gladness which springs from the heart; and so too men bear poverty, exile, and old age lightly and gently in proportion to the serenity and mildness of their character.

1 Cf. Moralia, 99 E, supra.

2 A dictum of Zeno's; cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 477 A, and Von Arnim, Stoicorum veterum fragmenta, i. p. 50.

3 A verse attributed to Homer; cf. The Contest of Homer and Hesiod, 274. Again quoted Moralia, 762 D.

load focus English (Goodwin, 1874)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: