Those therefore who are the masters of their reason
ought not to be transported by the death of friends beyond
the limits of nature and a just moderation unto unprofitable and barbarous complaints, and so wait till that comes
upon them which hath happened to many, to have their
vital moisture exhausted before their tears, and to be carried to their own graves in those mourning weeds they put
on for others, where their sorrow must lie buried with
those evils they provoked upon themselves by their own
imprudence. To whom that of Homer may be appositely
Whilst others they lament with weeping eyes,
The darkness of the night doth them surprise.
Wherefore in this case we should often thus reason with
ourselves: Shall we put an end to our sorrow, or shall we
grieve all the days of our life? To make it infinite is the
last degree of infatuation; for we have seen those who
have been in the deepest circumstances of dejection to be
so mitigated by time, that they have banqueted upon those
tombs which before they could not endure the sight of
without screeching out and beating their breasts, but which
they can now dance round with music and all the postures
of jollity. Therefore to be obstinate in our grief is the
resolution of madness. If then thou hast purposed within
thyself that it shall have an end, join this consideration
with it, that time will assuage it too; for what is once
done even the Deity himself cannot unravel; therefore that
which hath happened to us beyond our hope and contrary
to our opinion hath palpably shown us what is wont from
the same causes to befall others. What's the result then?
Cannot any discipline teach us, nor cannot we reason with
The earth with evils doth abound;
As many in the sea are found?
And thus likewise:—
The Fates have so encompassed men with ills,
That even the wind can find no entrance?