Tuesday

December 25

HOW hast thou carried thyself hitherto towards the Gods? towards thy Parents? towards thy Brethren? towards thy Wife? towards thy Children? towards thy Masters? thy foster Fathers? thy Friends? thy Domestics? thy Servants? Is it so with thee, that hitherto thou hast neither by word nor deed wronged any of them? Remember withal through how many things thou hast already passed, and how many thou hast been able to endure; so that now the Legend of thy life is full, and thy charge is accomplished. Again, how many truly good things have certainly by thee been discerned? how many pleasures, how many pains hast thou passed over with contempt? how many things externally glorious hast thou despised? towards how many perverse unreasonable men, hast thou carried thyself kindly, and discreetly?
MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xii. 27

Monday

December 24

CAN death be terrible to him, to whom that only seems good, which in the ordinary course of nature is seasonable? to him, to whom, whether his actions be many or few, so they be all good, is all one; and who whether he behold the things of the world being always the same either for many years, or for few years only, is altogether indifferent? O man! as a Citizen thou hast lived, and conversed in this great City the World. Whether just for so many years, or no, what is it unto thee? Thou hast lived (thou mayest be sure) as long as the Laws, and Orders of the City required; which may be the common comfort of all. Why then should it be grievous unto thee, if (not a Tyrant, nor an unjust Judge, but) the same nature that brought thee in, doth now send thee out of the world? As if the Praetor should fairly dismiss him from the stage, whom he had taken in to act a while. Oh, but the play is not yet at an end, there are but three Acts yet acted of it? Thou hast well said: for in matter of life, three Acts is the whole Play. Now to set a certain time to every man's acting, belongs unto Him only, who as first He was of thy composition, so is now the cause of thy dissolution. As for thyself, thou hast to do with neither. Go thy ways then well pleased and contented: for so is He that dismisseth thee.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xii. 27

Sunday

December 23

IT were indeed more happy and comfortable, for a man to depart out of this World, having lived all his life long clear from all falsehood, dissimulation, voluptuousness, and pride. But if this cannot be, yet is it some comfort for a man joyfully to depart as weary, and out of love with those; rather than to desire to live, and to continue long in those wicked courses. Hath not yet experience taught thee to fly from the plague? For a far greater plague is the corruption of the mind, than any certain change and distemper of the common air can be. This is a plague of creatures, as they are living creatures; but that of men as they are men or reasonable.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book ix. 2

TOYS and fooleries at home; wars abroad; sometimes terror, sometimes torpor, or stupid sloth: this is thy daily slavery.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book x. 9

Saturday

December 22

SINCE, at all events, one must die, one must necessarily be found doing something, either tilling, or digging, or trading, or serving a consulship, or sick of an indigestion or a flux. At what employment, then, would you have death find you? For my part, I would have it be some humane, beneficent, public-spirited, gallant action. But if I cannot be found doing any such great things, yet, at least, I would be doing what I am incapable of being restrained from, what is given me to do, correcting myself, improving that faculty which makes use of the appearances of things, to procure tranquillity, and render to the several relations of life their due; and, if I am so fortunate, advancing to the third topic, a security of judging right. If death overtakes me in such a situation, it is enough for me if I can stretch out my hands to God and say, "The opportunities which Thou hast given me of comprehending and following the rules of Thy administration I have not neglected. As far as in me lay, I have not dishonoured Thee. See how I have used my perceptions, how my preconceptions. Have I at any time found fault with Thee? Have I been discontented at Thy dispensations, or wished them otherwise? Have I transgressed the relations of life? I thank Thee that Thou hast brought me into being. I am satisfied with the time that I have enjoyed the things whxh Thou hast given me. Receive them back again, and assign them to whatever place Thou wilt; for they were all Thine, and Thou gavest them to me."

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §9. ¶2.

Thursday

November 29

IT is better to admonish than reproach ; for the one is mild and friendly, the other harsh and affronting ; and the one corrects the faulty, the other only convicts them.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 102.

ALL men are made one for another : either then teach them better, or bear with them.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book viii. 56.

IN general every faculty is dangerous to weak and uninstructed persons; as being apt to render them arrogant and elated. For by what method can one persuade a young man who excels in these kinds of study that he ought not to be an appendix to them, but they to him?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §8. ¶1.

Wednesday

November 28

CHOOSE rather to punish your appetites than to be punished by them.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 108.

WHEN you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not; but God is within, and your genius is within; and what need have they of light to see what you are doing? To this God you likewise ought to swear such an oath as the soldiers do unto Caesar. For do they, in order to receive their pay, swear to prefer before all things the safety of Caesar; and will you not swear, who have received so many and so great favours, or if you have sworn, will you not stand to it? And what must you swear? Never to disobey, nor accuse, nor murmur at any of the things appointed by him, nor unwillingly to do or suffer anything necessary. Is this oath like the former? In the first, persons swear not to honour any other beyond Caesar; in the last, beyond all, to honour themselves.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §14. ¶1.

Tuesday

November 27

YOU will confer the greatest benefits on your city, not by raising the roofs, but by exalting the souls of your fellow-citizens. For it is better that great souls should live in small habitations than that abject slaves should burrow in great houses.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 76.

AN unmusical person is a child in music; an illiterate person, a child in learning; and an untaught one, a child in life.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §19. ¶1.

AS it is better to lie straitened for room upon a little couch in health, than to toss upon a wide bed in sickness : so it is better to contract yourself within the compass of a small fortune and be happy, than to have a great one and be wretched.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 21.

IT is not poverty that causes sorrow, but covetous desires; nor do riches deliver from fear, but reasoning. If therefore you acquire a habit of reasoning, you will neither desire riches nor complain of poverty.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS.

Monday

November 26

AS you would not wish to sail in a large and finely decorated and gilded ship, and sink; so neither is it eligible to inhabit a grand and sumptuous house, and be in a storm of passions and cares.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 11.

AS I bear in mind that I am a part of such an Universe, I shall not be displeased with anything that happens. And as I have relation of kindred to those parts that are of the same kind and nature that I am, so I shall be careful to do nothing that is prejudicial to the community, but in all my deliberations shall they that are of my kind ever be ; and the common good, that, which all my intentions and resolutions shall drive unto, as that which is contrary unto it, I shall by all means endeavour to prevent and avoid. These things once so fixed and concluded, as thou wouldst think him an happy citizen, whose constant study and practice were for the good and benefit of his fellow citizens, and the carriage of the city such towards him, that he were well pleased with it; so must it needs be with thee, that thou shalt live a happy life.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book x. 6.

Sunday

November 25

WHEN we see anyone handle an axe awkwardly, we do not say, "Where is the use of this art? See how ill carpenters perform." But we say the very contrary, "This man is no carpenter, for he handles an axe awkwardly." So, if we hear anyone sing badly, we do not say, "Observe how musicians sing," but rather, "This fellow is no musician." It is with regard to philosophy alone that people are thus affected. When they see anyone acting contrary to the profession of a philosopher, they do not take away his title; but laying it down that he is a philosopher, and then assuming from the very fact that he behaves indecently, they infer that philosophy is of no use.

"What, then, is the reason of this?" Because we pay some regard to the preconception which we have of a carpenter and a musician and so of other artists, but not of a philosopher, which being thus vague and confused, we judge of it only from external appearances. And of what other art do we take up our judgment from the dress?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §8. ¶1.

Saturday

November 24

RUFUS used to say, If you are at leisure to praise me, I speak to no purpose. And indeed he used to speak in such a manner that each of us who heard him supposed that some person had accused us to him ; he so hit upon what was done by us, and placed the faults of everyone before his eyes.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §23. ¶1.

DOTH a philosopher apply to people to hear him? Doth he not attract those who are fitted to receive benefit from him, in the same manner as the sun or their necessary food doth ? What physician applies to anybody to be cured by him ?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §23. ¶1.

IT is more necessary for the soul to be cured than the body ; for it is better to die than to live ill.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 87.

Friday

November 23

IT is a thing very possible, that a man should be a very divine man, and yet be altogether unknown. This thou must ever be mindful of, as of this also, that a man's true happiness doth consist in very few things. And that although thou dost despair, that thou shalt ever be a good either Logician, or Naturalist, yet thou art never the further off by it from being either liberal, or modest, or charitable, or obedient unto God.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book vii. 38.

WILL any condemn me? let him look to that, upon what grounds he does it: my care shall be that I may never be found either doing, or speaking anything that doth truly deserve contempt. Will any hate me? let him look to that. I for my part will be kind and loving unto all.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xi. 12.

Thursday

November 22

IT vexes me, say you, to be pitied. Is this your affair, then, or theirs who pity you? And further: How is it in your power to prevent it? — "It is, if I show them that I do not need pity." But are you now in such a condition as not to need pity, or are you not? — "I think I am. But these people do not pity me for what, if anything, would deserve pity — my faults; but for poverty and want of power, and sicknesses, and deaths, and other things of that kind." Are you, then, prepared to convince the world that none of these things is in reality an evil; but that it is possible for a person to be happy, even when he is poor and without honours and power? Or are you prepared to appear to them rich and powerful? The last of these is the part of an arrogant, silly, worthless fellow.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §6. ¶1.

Wednesday

November 21

WHATSOEVER thou dost hereafter aspire unto, thou mayest even now enjoy and possess, if thou dost not envy thyself thine own happiness. And that will be, if thou shalt forget all that is past, and for the future, refer thyself wholly to the divine providence, and shalt bend and apply all thy present thoughts and intentions, to holiness and righteousness. To holiness, in accepting willingly whatsoever is sent by the divine providence, as being that which the nature of the Universe hath appointed unto thee, which also hath appointed thee for that, whatsoever it be. To righteousness, in speaking the Truth freely, and without ambiguity ; and in doing all things justly and discreetly. Now in this good course, let not other men's either wickedness, or opinion, or voice hinder thee: no, nor the sense of this thy pampered mass of flesh: for let that which suffers, look to itself

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xii. 1.

Tuesday

November 20

"BUT how is it possible that a man worth nothing, naked, without house or home, squalid, unattended, who belongs to no country, can lead a prosperous life?" — See, God hath sent us one to show, in fact, that it is possible. "Take notice of me, that I am without a country, without a house, without an estate, without a servant; I lie on the ground; no wife, no children, no coat, but only earth and heaven and one sorry cloak. And what do I want? Am not I without sorrow, without fear? Am not I free? Did any of you ever see me disappointed of my desire, or incurring my aversion? Did I ever blame God or man? Did I ever accuse anyone? Hath any of you seen me look discontented? How do I treat those whom you fear, and of whom you are struck with awe? Is it not like sorry slaves? Who that sees me doth not think that he sees his own king and master?" This is the language, this the character, this the undertaking, of a Cynic.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §22. ¶5.

Monday

November 19

I AM at leisure. My mind is under no distraction. In this freedom from distraction, what shall I do? Have I anything more becoming a man than this? You, when you have nothing to do, are restless ; you go to the theatre, or perhaps to bathe. Why should not the philosopher polish his reasoning? You have fine crystal and myrrhin vases; I have acute forms of reasoning. To you, all you have appears little; to me, all I have great. Your appetite is insatiable; mine is satisfied. When children thrust their hand into a narrow jar of nuts and figs, if they fill it they cannot get it out again; then they fall a-crying. Drop a few of them and you will get out the rest. And do you too drop your desire; do not covet many things, and you will get some.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §9. ¶1, 2.

Sunday

November 18

IF you possess many things, you still want others; so that, whether you will or not, you are poorer than I.
What, then, do I want?
What you have not: constancy, a mind conformable to nature, and a freedom from perturbation. Patron or no patron, what care I? But you do. I am richer than you. I am not anxious what Caesar will think of me. I flatter no one on that account. This I have, instead of silver and gold plate. You have your vessels of gold; but your discourse, your principles, your assents, your pursuits, your desires, of mere earthenware. When I have all these conformable to nature, why should not I bestow some study upon my reasoning too?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §9. ¶1, 2.

Saturday

November 17

SUPPOSE I should prove to you that you are deficient in what is most necessary and important to happiness, and that hitherto you have taken care of everything, rather than your duty ; and, to complete all, that you understand neither what God or man or good or evil means? That you are ignorant of all the rest, perhaps, you may bear to be told; but if I prove to you that you are ignorant even of yourself, how will you bear with me, and how will you have patience to stay and be convinced? Not at all. You will immediately be offended and go away. And yet what injury have I done you? unless a looking-glass injures a person not handsome, when it shows him to himself such as he is. Or unless a physician can be thought to affront his patient when he says to him, "Do you think, sir, that you ail nothing? You have a fever. Eat no meat to-day, and drink water." Nobody cries out here, "What an intolerable affront!" But if you say to anyone, Your desires are in a fermentation; your aversions are low; your intentions contradictory; your pursuits not conformable to nature; your opinions rash and mistaken; he presently goes away, and complains he is affronted.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §14. ¶3.

Friday

November 16

LET them see to it who pity me. But I am neither hungry, nor thirsty, nor cold. But, because they are hungry and thirsty, they suppose me to be so too. What can I do for them, then ? Am I to go about making proclamation, and saying, Do not deceive yourselves, good people, I am very well: I regard neither poverty, nor want of power, nor anything else, but right principles. These I possess unrestrained. I care for nothing further. — But what trifling is this? How have I right principles when I am not contented to be what I am, but am out of my wits how I shall appear? — But others will get more, and be preferred to me. — Why, what is more reasonable than that they who take pains for anything should get most in that particular in which they take pains? They have taken pains for power; you, for right principles.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §6. ¶3.

Thursday

November 15

WHAT says Antisthenes, then? Have you never heard? "It is kingly, O Cyrus, to do well, and to be ill spoken of." My head is well, and all around me think it aches. What is that to me ? I am free from a fever; and they compassionate me as if I had one." Poor soul, what a long while have you had this fever! "I say, too, with a dismal countenance, Ay, indeed, it is now a long time that I have been ill.—" What can be the consequence, then? "What pleases God. And at the same time I secretly laugh at them who pity me. What forbids, then, but that the same may be done in the other case? I am poor, but I have right principles concerning poverty. What is it to me, then, if people pity me for my poverty? I am not in power, and others are; but I have such opinions as I ought to have concerning power, and the want of power.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §6. ¶3.

Wednesday

November 14

THINK thyself fit and worthy to speak, or to do anything, that is according to Nature, and let not the reproach, or report of some that may ensue upon it, ever deter thee. If it be right and honest to be spoken or done, undervalue not thyself so much, as to be discouraged from it. As for them, they have their own rational overruling part, and their own proper inclination : which thou must not stand and look about to take notice of, but go on straight.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book x. 24.

Tuesday

November 13

IF a person had delivered up your body to anyone whom he met in his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in delivering up your own mind to be disconcerted and confronted by anyone who happens to give you ill language?

EPICTETUS. MANUAL. 38.

WHAT pain soever thou art in, let this presently come to thy mind, that it is not a thing whereof thou needest to be ashamed, neither is it a thing whereby thy understanding, that hath the government of all, can be made worse.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book vii. 35.

"THE philosophers talk paradoxes."
And are there not paradoxes in other arts? What is more paradoxical than the pricking anyone's eye to make him see? If a person was to tell this to one ignorant of surgery, would not he laugh at him? Where is the wonder then, if in philosophy too, many truths appear paradoxes to the ignorant!

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §11. ¶1.

Monday

November 12

I HAVE often wondered, how it should come to pass, that every man loving himself best, should more regard other men's opinions concerning himself, than his own.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xii. 3.

WHAT are their minds and understanding; and what the things that they apply themselves unto ; what do they love, and what do they work for? Fancy to thyself the estate of their souls openly to be seen. When they think they hurt them shrewdly, whom they speak ill of; and when they think they do them a very good turn, whom they commend and extol : O how full are they then of conceit and opinion !

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book ix. 32.

Sunday

November 11

YOUR father deprives you of your money, but he doth not hurt you. Your brother will possess as much larger a portion of land than you as he pleases; but will he possess more honour, more fidelity, more fraternal affection? Who can throw you out of this possession? Not even Jupiter, for, indeed, it is not his will; but he hath put this good into my own power, and given it me like his own, uncompelled, unrestrained, and unhindered. But when anyone hath a coin different from this, for his coin whoever shows it to him may have whatever is sold for it in return. A thievish proconsul comes into the province: what coin doth he use? Silver. Show it him, and carry off what you please. An adulterer comes: what coin doth he use? Women. Take the coin, says one, and give me this trifle. "Give it me, and it is yours." Another is fond of hunting: give him a fine nag or a puppy ; and, though with sighs and groans, he will sell you for it what you will, for he is inwardly compelled by another who hath constituted this coin.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §3. ¶2.

Saturday

November 10

HENCE depends every movement both of God and man ; and hence good is preferred to every obligation, however near. My connection is not with my father, but with good. — Are you so hard-hearted? — Such is my nature, and such is the coin which God hath given me. If, therefore, good is made to be anything but fair and just, away go father, and brother, and country, and everything. What! Shall I overlook my own good and give it up to you? For what? "I am your father." But not my good. "I am your brother." But not my good. But, if we place it in a right choice, good will consist in an observance of the several relations of life; and then, he who gives up some externals acquires good.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §3. ¶2.

Friday

November 9

DO you not often see little dogs caressing and playing with each other, that you would say nothing could be more friendly; but, to learn what this friendship is, throw a bit of meat between them, and you will see. Do you too throw a bit of an estate betwixt you and your son, and you will see that he will quickly wish you underground, and you him: and then you, no doubt, on the other hand, will exclaim, What a son have I brought up! He would bury me alive! Throw in a pretty girl, and the old fellow and the young one will both fall in love with her; or let fame or danger intervene, the words of the father of Admetus will be yours:

You hold life dear; doth not your father too? 

Do you suppose that he did not love his own child when he was a little one? That he was not in agonies when he had a fever, and often wished to undergo that fever in his stead ? But, after all, when the trial comes home, you see what expressions he uses. Were not Eteocles and Polynices born of the same mother and of the same father? Were they not brought up, and did they not live and eat and sleep, together? Did not they kiss and fondle each other? So that anyone who saw them would have laughed at all the paradoxes which philosophers utter about love. And yet, when a kingdom, like a bit of meat, was thrown betwixt them, see what they say, and how eagerly they wish to kill each other.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §22. ¶1.

Thursday

November 8

AS when you see a viper, or an asp, or a scorpion, in an ivory or gold box, you do not love or think it happy on account of the magnificence of the materials in which it is enclosed, but shun and detest it because it is of a pernicious nature; so likewise, when you see vice lodged in the midst of wealth and the swelling pride of fortune, be not struck by the splendour of the materials with which it is surrounded, but despise the base alloy of its manners.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 17.

IS this then a thing of that worth, that for it my soul should suffer, and become worse than it was? as either basely dejected, or disordinately affected, or confounded within itself, or terrified? What can there be, that thou shouldst so much esteem?

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book viii. 44.

Wednesday

November 7

RICHES are not among the number of things which are good; prodigality is of the number of those which are evil; Rightness of mind, of those which are good. Now, rightness of mind invites to frugality and the acquisition of things that are good; but riches invite to prodigality, and seduce from rightness of mind. It is dilificult, therefore, for a rich person to be right-minded, or a right-minded person rich.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 18.

FROM the gods I received that I had good Grandfathers, and Parents, a good Sister, good masters, good domestics, loving kinsmen, almost all that I have; and that I never through haste, and rashness transgressed against any of them, notwithstanding that my disposition was such, as that such a thing (if occasion had been) might very well have been committed by me, but that it was the mercy of the gods, to prevent such a concurring of matters and occasions, as might make me to incur this blame.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book 1. 14.

Tuesday

November 6

NO one who is a lover of money, a lover of pleasure, or a lover of glory, is likewise a lover of mankind; but only he who is a lover of virtue.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 10.

THAT which doth not hurt the city, itself, cannot hurt any Citizen. This rule thou must remember to apply and make use of upon every conceit and apprehension of wrong. If the whole City be not hurt by this, neither am I certainly. And if the whole be not, why should I make it my private grievance? Art not thou then a very fool, who for these things, art either puffed up with pride, or distracted with cares, or canst find in thy heart to make such moans as for a thing that would trouble thee for a very long time? Consider the whole Universe, whereof thou art but a very little part, and the whole age of the world together, whereof but a short and very momentary portion is allotted unto thee, and all the Fates and Destinies together, of which how much is it that comes to thy part and share! Again: Another doth trespass against me. Let him look to that. He is master of his own disposition, and of his own operation.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book v. 19.

Monday

November 5

WHEN I hear anyone congratulated on the favour of Caesar, I say, What hath he got? "A province." — Hath he, then, got such principles, too, as he ought to have? — "A public charge." — Hath he, then, got with it the knowledge how to use it too? If not, why should I be thrust about any longer to get in? Someone scatters nuts and figs. Children scramble and quarrel for them, but not men, for they think them trifles. — Provinces are distributing. Let children look to it. — Money. Let children look to it. Military command, a consulship. Let children scramble for them. Let these be shut out, be beat, kiss the hands of the giver, of his slaves. But to me they are but mere figs and nuts. — "What, then, is to be done?" If you miss them, while he is throwing them, do not trouble yourself about it; but if a fig should fall into your lap, take it and eat it, for one may pay so much regard even to a fig. But if I am to stoop and throw down one, or be thrown down by another, and flatter those who are got in, a fig is not worth this, nor any other of the things which are not really good, and which the philosophers have persuaded me not to esteem as good.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §7. ¶4.

Sunday

November 4

A PERSON was talking with me to-day about the priesthood of Augustus. I say to him, Let the thing alone, friend: you will be at great expense for nothing. "But my name," says he, "will be written in the annals." Will you stand by, then, and tell those who read them, "I am the person whose name is written there?" But, if you could tell everyone so now, what will you do when you are dead? — "My name will remain." — Write it upon a stone and it will remain just as well. But, pray, what remembrance will there be of you out of Nicopolis? — "But I shall wear a crown of gold." — If your heart is quite set upon a crown, take and put on one of roses, for it will make the prettier appearance.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §19. ¶5.

Saturday

November 3

IT is impossible but that habits and faculties must either be first produced, or strengthened and increased, by corresponding actions. Hence the philosophers derive the growth of all infirmities. When you once desire money, for example, if a degree of reasoning sufficient to produce a sense of the evil be applied, the desire ceases, and the governing faculty of the mind regains its authority: whereas, if you apply no remedy, it returns no more to its former state; but, being again excited by a corresponding appearance, it kindles at the desire more quickly than before, and, by frequent repetitions, at last becomes callous: and by this infirmity is the love of money fixed.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §13. ¶2.

Friday

November 2

REMEMBER hat it is not only the desire of riches and power that makes us mean and subject to others, but even of quiet and leisure, and learning and travelling

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §4. ¶1.

THOU hast no opportunity to read. What then? Hast thou not time and opportunity to exercise thyself, not to wrong thyself; to strive against all carnal pleasures and pains, and to get the upper hand of them; to contemn honour and vainglory; and not only not to be angry with them, whom towards thee thou dost find insensible and unthankful, but also to have a care of them still, and their welfare?

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book viii. 8.

Tuesday

January 31 - Courage

There is no happiness where there is any fear.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxiv, sec. 5.

True courage will avoid danger, but not fear it.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxxv, sec. 26

Courage is careful to preserve itself, and ready to endure what is evil in appearance only.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxxv, sec. 28

Monday

January 30 - Courage

It is better to grow braver than more learned, but neither can be done without the other.
Seneca's Dialogues, book vi, chap, xxxii, sec. i

Throw away all anxiety about life, and so make it pleasant.
Seneca's Epistles, iv, sec. 6

A brave and wise man should not flee from life.
Seneca's Epistles, xxiv, sec. 25;

Sunday

January 29 - Courage

Calamity is opportunity for courage.
Seneca's Dialogues, book i, chap, iv, sec. 6

That courage is most to be relied on which reflects long, and moves slowly, and carries out what has been settled deliberately.
Seneca's Dialogues, book iii, chap, xi, sec. 8.

What is noble? A soul brave and steadfast under adversity; not only indifferent, but hostile, to dissipation — neither seeking nor flying danger; knowing how to make Fortune, instead of waiting for her; meeting all her changes calmly, and being never overcome either by her tempests or by her splendors.
Naturalium Quastionum, book iii, praef., sec. 13,

Saturday

January 28 - Courage

Courage does not consist in fearing to live, but in resisting great evils, and not giving way; for to die on account of them is to be conquered.
Speech of Antigone in the OEdipidi Fragmento, supposed to be by Seneca, line 190.

She who can be compelled knows not how to die.
Hercules Furens, supposed to be by Seneca, line 426.

It is to make us noble, that God gives us such opportunities of growth in strength and courage as can be found only in adversity.
Seneca's Dialogues, book i, chap, iv, sec. 5.

Friday

January 27 - Equanimity


Man does not value or despise any place as the cause of his happiness or unhappiness, but he makes the whole matter depend upon himself and considers himself a citizen of the city of God which is made up of men and gods.
Musonius Rufus, Lecture ix


Now, since, in general, toil and hardship are a necessity for all men, both for those who seek the better ends and for those who seek the worse, it is preposterous that those who are pursuing the better are not much more eager in their efforts than those for whom there is small hope of reward for all their pains... Shall we not be ready to endure hardship for the sake of complete happiness? For surely there is no other end in becoming good than to become happy and to live happily for the remainder of our lives.
Musonius Rufus, Lecture vii

Thursday

January 26 - Equanimity


To distinguish between good and bad, advantageous and disadvantageous, helpful and harmful is the part of none other than the philosopher, who constantly occupies himself with this very question, how not to be ignorant of any of these things, and has made it his art to understand what conduces to a man's happiness or unhappiness.
Musonius Rufus, Lecture viii

Wednesday

January 25 - Equanimity


Nothing would be said to be living according to nature but what by its actions manifests the excellence peculiar to its own nature. For the nature of each guides it to its own excellence; consequently it is not reasonable to suppose that when man lives a life of pleasure that he lives according to nature, but rather when he lives a life of virtue. Then, indeed, it is that he is justly praised and takes pride in himself and is optimistic and courageous, characteristics upon which cheerfulness and serene joy necessarily follow.
Musonius Rufus, Lecture xvii

Tuesday

January 24 - Equanimity


Of the things that exist, God has put some in our control, others not in our control. In our control he has put the noblest and most excellent part by reason of which He is Himself happy, the power of using our impressions. For when this is correctly used, it means serenity, cheerfulness, constancy; it also means justice and law and self-control and virtue as a whole. But all other things He has not put in our control. Therefore we ought to become of like mind with God and, dividing things in like manner, we ought in every way to lay claim to the things that are in our control, but what is not in our control we ought to entrust to the universe and gladly yield to it whether it asks for our children, our country, our body, or anything whatsoever.
Musonius Rufus, Fragment xxxviii

Monday

January 23 - Equanimity


Always remember that very little is needed for living a happy life.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book vii, sec. 67


Whatever happens is an opportunity for acting reasonably and kindly; in short, becomingly, toward either God or man.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book vii, sec. 68


The soul has power to live most happily, if she will not be anxious about what is unimportant.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book xi, sec. 16

Sunday

January 22 - Equanimity


Nothing that happens injures me, unless I take it as an evil; and it is in my power not to take it so.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book v, sec. 20


The mind turns every obstacle into an aid.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book vii, sec. 14


Man becomes better and nobler by making a right use of all that comes to pass.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book x, sec. 33

Saturday

January 21 - Equanimity


How easy to drive away every thought that is troublesome, or unfriendly, and be at peace at once.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book v, sec. 2


Nothing comes upon any man which he is not formed to bear.
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book v, sec. 18


Is it not better to use what you have, like a free man, than to long, like a slave, for what is not in your power?
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, book ix, sec. 40

Friday

January 20 - Equanimity


Make your daily food, not of expense and trouble, but of frugality and joy.
Epictetus Frag. xxix, in Didot, not in Higginson


He is wise who rejoices in what he has, and does not grieve for what he has not.
Epictetus Frag., cxxix (Didot)


Fortify thyself in contentment, for this is a fortress which cannot be taken easily.
Epictetus Frag. cxxxviii (Didot)

Thursday

January 19 - Equanimity


Ask yourself if you would rather be rich, or happy; for to be rich is neither good in itself nor wholly in your power, but to be happy is both good and possible.

Epictetus' Fragments, xix (Didot)

It is better to be healthy on a narrow bed than sick in a wide one; and so it is better to be contented with few possessions than have many and be discontented.

Epictetus' Fragments, xxiv (Didot)

It is not poverty, but covetousness, that causes sorrow. It is not wealth, but philosophy, that gives security.

Epictetus' Fragments, xxv (Didot)

Wednesday

January 18 - Equanimity


Of what use is your reading, if it does not give you peace.

Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, iv, sec. 4

Not only ambition and avarice, but even desire of ease, of quiet, of travel, or of learning, may make us base, and take away our liberty.

Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, iv, sec. 1

Wherever I go, it will be well with me, as it has been here, and on account not of the place, but of the principles which I shall carry away with me. They are all my property, and they will be all I shall need, wherever I may be.

Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, vii, sec. 14

Tuesday

January 17 - Equanimity

The child who tries to take too many nuts and figs out of a jar with a narrow mouth, so that his hand is caught, must drop some to get out the rest. Have but few wants, and they will be supplied.

Epictetus' Discourses book iii, chap, ix, sec. 22

If you see anybody wail and complain, call him a slave, though he be clad in purple.

Epictetus' Discourses, book iv, chap, i, sec. 57

Freedom is not gained by satisfying, but by restraining, our desires.

Epictetus' Discourses, 3 book iv, chap, i, sec. 175

Monday

January 16 - Equanimity

This is education, to learn to wish that things should happen as they do.

Epictetus' Discourses, book i, chap, xii, sec. 15

The essence of good and evil lies in the direction of the will, for which all outward things are means to help it reach its own evil or good.

Epictetus' Discourses, book i, chap, xxix, sees. 1 and 2

If you choose to keep your will in harmony with nature you are safe and free from care.

Epictetus' Discourses, book ii, chap, ii, sec. 2

Sunday

January 15 - Equanimity


He who has learned that prosperity and peace consist in not missing what we seek, or suffering what we shun, keeps down his desires, and shuns only what he can avoid.

Epictetus' Discourses, book i, chap, iv, sec. 1

Whoever shuns, or desires, what is not in his own power, cannot be either faithful or free.

Epictetus' Discourses, book i, chap, iv, sec. 19.

Saturday

January 14 - Equanimity


Sickness is a hindrance to the body, but not to the will, unless that yields.

Epictetus' Enchiridion, chap, ix

If a little oil be spilt, or a little wine stolen, say to yourself, 'This is the price of tranquility and peace; nothing is to be had without cost.

Epictetus' Enchiridion, chap. xii, sec. 2

Everything has two handles, and can be carried by one of them, but not by the other.

Epictetus' Enchiridion, chap. xliii.

Friday

January 13 - Equanimity


My country is wherever I am happy; and that depends on the man, not the place.

Seneca, De Remediis, chap, viii, sec. 2.

Who has most? He who desires least.

Seneca, De Moribus, sec. 46.

The poor man much, the miser all things, needs;
Unkind to all, but worst for him his deeds.
That mortal needs the least who least desires;
He has his wish who, as he needs, aspires.

Quotations in Seneca's Epistles, cviii, secs. 9 and 11.



Thursday

January 12 - Equanimity


Philosophy will give us the greatest of blessings - freedom from regret.
Seneca's Epistles, cxv, sec. 18

That which satisfies us is never too little, and that which does not is never much.
Seneca's Epistles, cxix, sec. 7

This is grand, to act always like the same man.
Seneca's Epistles, cxx, sec. 22

Wednesday

January 11 - Equanimity


Never is the soul grander than when she rises above all that is foreign to her, so as to find her peace in fearing nothing and her wealth in coveting nothing.
Seneca's Epistles,  lxxxvii, sec. 3

Liberty is not to be had gratis; if she be worth much to us, all things else will have little value.
Seneca's Epistles, civ, sec. 34

The grandest of empires is to rule one's self.
Seneca's Epistles, cxiii, sec. 30


Tuesday

January 10 - Equanimity


Whom am I to conquer? Not the Persians, nor the distant Medes, nor the warlike tribes who dwell beyond Dacia, but avarice, ambition, and fear of death, who subdue the conquerors of the nations.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxi, sec. 37

Take care not to make your pain greater by your complaints. If you will say, 'It is nothing,' or, at least, 'It is slight, and about to cease,' you will make it what you think it.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxii, sec. 4

What is really evil? To yield to what is called so, and give up our liberty, which ought to be kept at every cost. Farewell, freedom, if we do not scorn everything that would enslave us!
Seneca's Epistles, lxxxvi, sec. 28

Monday

January 9 - Equanimity


He has reached the supreme good who is never sad, or excited by hope, but keeps an even and happy frame of mind by day and night.
Seneca's Epistles, lix, sec. 14

The wise man's joy is woven so well as not to be broken by any accident.
Seneca's Epistles, lxxii, sec. 4

Fortune has not such long arms as we think; she seizes on no one who is not clinging to her.
Seneca's Epistles lxxxii, sec. 5

Sunday

January 8 - Equanimity


Where there is contentment there is no poverty. It is not he who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.
Seneca's Epistles, ii, sec. 6

Soldiers have gone without everything, and eaten roots and things we may not name, in order that some one else may reign over them; and can any man hesitate about enduring poverty, that he may set free his soul?
Seneca's Epistles, xvii, sec. 7

Which had you rather give up — yourself, or some of your troubles?
Seneca's Epistles, xix, sec. 4

Saturday

January 7 - Equanimity


Nothing is so honorable as a great soul; but that soul is not great which can be shaken by either fear or grief.
Seneca's De Clementia, book ii, chap, v, sec. 4; 


The wise man will always know how to help the suffering. But sorrow prevents us from making distinctions, finding out what is useful, avoiding what is dangerous, and deciding what is just ; and, therefore, he will not himself yield to sorrow. He will do everything that could be done by the sympathetic, but he will do it calmly and cheerfully.
Seneca's De Clementia, book ii, chap, vi, sec. I.

What is noble? To be able to bear adversity contentedly, taking whatever happens, as if we had wished for it ; as, indeed, we should have done, since all things happen by the will of God. To weep or complain is to rebel.
Seneca's Naturalium Quaestionum, book iii, praef., sec. 12.

Friday

January 6 - Equanimity


He who is not mad with avarice or sensuality, the destroyers of all things, knows that there is no real evil in poverty. She will not harm him who despises superfluities, and she will do good to him who covets them, for she will heal him against his will.
Seneca's Dialogues, book xii, chap, x, secs, 1 and 3

A very little can satisfy our necessities, but nothing our desires.
Seneca's Dialogues, book xii, chap, x, sec. 11

He who longs to wear gold and purple is poor, not by fortune's fault, but by his own.
Seneca's Dialogues, book xii, chap, xi, sec. 2.

Thursday

January 5 - Equanimity

What madness to be dragged along by the divine will, rather than follow it!
Seneca's Dialogues book vii, chap, xv, sec. 6

Fear and penitence for those who can neither rule nor obey their desires.
Seneca's Dialogues 6 book ix, chap, ii, sec. 8

It is better to look at common customs and vices calmly, without either laughing or weeping, since the former is a cruel pleasure, and the latter an endless grief.
Seneca's Dialogues book ix, chap, xv, sec. 5.

Wednesday

January 4 - Equanimity


Wisdom shows her strength by her peace amid trouble, like an army encamped in safety in a hostile land.
Seneca's ??, chap, xxi, sec. 4

In the upper air there is neither cloud nor storm, and so in the lofty soul there is always peace.
Seneca's On Anger, book iii, chap, iv, sec. 3

Peace of mind comes by meditating diligently over wise maxims, by doing our duty, and by setting our hearts on what is noble.
Seneca's On Anger, book iii, chap xli, sec. 2

Tuesday

January 3 - Equanimity


We become happy by not needing happiness.
Seneca's On Providence, chap, vi, sec. 5

Fortune conquers us, unless she is conquered utterly.
Seneca's On Firmness, chap, xv, sec. 3

He is free who arises above all injuries, and finds all his joys within himself.
Seneca's On Firmness, chap, xix, sec. 2

Monday

January 2 - Equanimity


What we bear is not so important as how we bear it.
Seneca's On Providence, chap, ii, sec. 4

The good man bears calmly much that is not evil, except to those that take it ill.
Seneca's On Providence, chap, iv, sec. 16

He yields to destiny, and consoles himself by knowing that he is carried along with the universe.
Seneca's On Providence, chap, v, sec. 8

Sunday

January 1 - Equanimity


The wise man needs much, but wants nothing; the fool needs nothing, but wants everything.
Chrissypus, quoted in Seneca 's Epistles, ix , sec. 14.

Fight fortune with thine own weapons, for she will give thee none which can be used against herself.
Posidonius, quoted in Seneca's Epistles, cxiii, sec. 28

He is king who fears nothing and longs for nothing. Everyone may give himself the kingdom of noble thoughts.
Chorus in Thyestes, probably written by Seneca, line 388