HOMER, having contemplated the various kinds of mortal animals, and compared them one with another in respect to their lives and habits, cried out:
What wretched creature of what wretched kind,
Than man more weak, calamitous, and blind!

attributing to man that unhappy primacy of having the superiority in miseries. But we, considering man as having already gained the victory for infelicity, and being publicly declared the most miserable of all animals, will compare him with himself in a contention about his own calamities, not unprofitably but even altogether necessarily dividing his soul from his body; that we may thence learn, whether we live more miserably on account of Fortune or of ourselves. For sickness is indeed, engendered in the body by Nature; but vice and malice in the soul are first its own work, afterward its passion. Now it is of no small advantage towards content of mind, if that which is the worse is curable, and lighter and less violent in its attacks than we feared.

1 Il. XVII. 446.

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