Thursday

April 4

DO not you know what sort of a thing a warfare is? One must keep guard, another go out for a spy, another to battle too. It is neither possible that all should be in the same place, nor, indeed, better: but you, neglecting to perform the orders of your general, complain whenever anything a little hard is commanded, and do not consider what you make the army become as far as lies in your power. For, if all should imitate you, nobody will dig a trench, or throw up a rampart, or watch, or expose himself to danger; but everyone will appear useless to the expedition. Again, if you were a sailor in a voyage, fix upon one place, and there remain. If it should be necessary to climb the mast, refuse to do it; if to run to the head of the ship, refuse to do it. And what captain will bear you? Would not he throw you overboard as a useless piece of goods and mere luggage, and a bad example to the other sailors? Thus, also, in the present case, every one's life is a warfare, and that long and various. You must observe the duty of a soldier, and perform everything at the nod of your general; and even, if possible, divine what he would have done.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §24. ¶2.

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