And before Epicurus, Sophocles, the tragic poet, in his Antigone, had uttered these sentiments respecting pleasure—
For when a man contemns and ceases thusAnd Philetærus says, in his Huntress,—
To seek for pleasure, I do not esteem
That such an one doth live; I only deem him
A breathing corpse:—he may, indeed, perhaps
Have store of wealth within his joyless house;
He may keep up a kingly pomp and state;
But if these things be not with joy attended,
They are mere smoke and shadow, and contribute,
No, not one jot, to make life enviable.
For what, I pray you, should a mortal do,And the same poet says, in his Œnopion,—
But seek for all appliances and means.
To make his life from day to day pass happily?
This should be all our object and our aim,
Reflecting on the chance of human life.
And never let us think about to-morrow,
Whether it will arrive at all or not.
It is a foolish trouble to lay up
Money which may become stale and useless.
But every man who lives but sparingly,
Having sufficient means, I call and think
Of all men the most truly miserable.
For when you're dead, you cannot then eat eels;
No wedding feasts are cook'd in Pluto's realms.