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How we are to exercise ourselves in regard to the semblances of things.

In the same manner as we exercise ourselves against sophistical questions, we should exercise ourselves likewise in relation to such semblances as every day occur; for these, too, offer questions to us. Such a one's son is dead. What think you of it? Answer: It is a thing inevitable, and therefore not an evil. Such a one is disinherited by his father. What think you of it? It is inevitable; and so not an evil. [p. 2030] Caesar has condemned him. This is inevitable, and so not an evil. He has been afflicted by it. This is controllable by Will; it is an evil. He has supported it bravely. This is within the control of Will; it is a good.

If we train ourselves in this manner we shall make improvement; for we shall never assent to anything but what the semblance itself includes. A son is dead. What then? A son is dead. Nothing more? Nothing. A ship is lost. What then? A ship is lost. He is carried to prison. What then? He is carried to prison. That he is unhappy is an addition which every one must make for himself. " But Zeus does not order these things rightly." Why so? Because he has made you to be patient? Because he has made you to be brave? Because he has made them to be no evils? Because it is permitted you, while you suffer them, to be happy? Because he has opened you the door whenever they do not suit you? Go out, man, and do not complain !

If you would know how the Romans treat philosophers, hear. Italicus, esteemed one of the greatest philosophers among them, being in a passion with his own people when I was by, said, as if he had suffered some intolerable evil, " I cannot bear it; you are the ruin of me; you will make me just like him," pointing to me. [p. 2031]


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