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For if you consider the truth of things, setting aside vain fancy and opinion, he that has got an agreeable city to dwell in is a stranger and foreigner to all the rest, for it seems not reasonable and just, that leaving his own he should go to dwell in another city. As the proverb is, ‘Sparta is the province fallen to your lot, adorn it,’ though it should be in no credit or prove unhealthful, though disturbed with seditions, and its affairs in distemper and out of order. But as for him whom Fortune has deprived of his own habitation, it gives him leave to go and dwell where he pleases. That goad precept of the Pythagoreans, ‘Make choice of the best life you can, and custom will make it pleasant,’ is here also wise and useful. Choose the best and pleasantest place to live in, and time will make it thy country, and such a country as will not encumber and distract thee, not laying on thee such commands as these,—Bring in so much money; Go on such an embassy to Rome; Entertain such a governor; Bear such a public office. If a prudent person and no way conceited, calls these things to mind, he will choose to live in exile in such a sorry island as Gyarus, or in Cynarus that is ‘so hard and barren and unfit for plantation,’ and do this without reluctancy, not making such sorrowful complaints as the women do in the poet Simonides:
The troubled sea's dark waves surround me,
And with their horrid noise confound me;

but will rather remind himself of that saying of King Philip, who receiving a fall in a place of wrestling, when he turned himself in rising and saw the print of his body in the dust, exclaimed, Good God! what a small portion of earth has Nature assigned us, and yet we covet the whole world.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1891)
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