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1. Reasons for discussing philosophical subjects in Latin.

2. Poetry and art cultivated in Rome at a comparatively

late period.

3. Oratory cherished at an earlier time. Philosophy


4. Plan of the Tusculan Disputations.

5. " Whether death is an evil," proposed as the subject

for the first day.

6. The stories about the under-world, fictitious.

7. The dead not miserable, if they have ceased to be.

8. Death, on that supposition, is not an evil.

9. Different theories as to the nature of the soul, and as

to its fate when the body dies.

10. Aristotle's fifth element, as constituting the soul.

11. The theories of the soul inconsistent, and those con-

sistent, with its continued life.

12. The belief of the ancients in immortality proved by com-

memorative rites and the honor paid to sepulchres.

13. On this, as on every subject, the common sensejjf

mankind is the law plnature.

14. Instinctive consciousness of immortality.

15. Men crave posthumous praise because they expect to

enjoy it. j^ i ***. \ -v. N^* <^. ^

16. Absurd notions'as to the shades of the dead.

17. Souls must tend upward when they leave the body.

iv Synopsis.

18. Reasons for so believing.

19. The soul's flight traced.

20. Perception a function, not of the organs of sense, but

of the soul.

21. Absurdity of the philosophy which denies the con-

tinued existence of the soul.

22. No greater difficulty in conceiving of the soul's life

when disembodied, than when in the body.

23. Plato's argument for the soul's future from its past


24. Alleged reminiscences of a previous existence.

25. The powers of the soul proofs of its immortality.

26. Poetry, eloquence, and philosophy, God inspired, and

therefore tokens of a divine and immortal life.

27. A quotation from Cicero's Consolatio, on the divine

origin of the soul.

28. The greatness of the soul attested by its capacity_qf

contemplating the universe.

29. We know the soul in the same way in which we

know God. The death of Socrates.

30. What Socrates said in dying about the destiny of


31. Life apart from the body the only true life.

32. Objections to immortality. The soul inherits the

qualities of its parents, and therefore begins to be,
and whatever begins to be must cease to be. It is
also liable to disease, and therefore mortal.

33. Heredity denied. Disease belongs to the body, not

to the soul.

34. If death is the end of life, it yet is no evil.

35. Instances in which death would have been prefera-

ble to continued life.

36. If death is the end of life, it involves no sense of want.

37. Instances in which death has been faced with alacrity.

38. The wise man will plan for eternity, whether he be

immortal or not.

Synopsis. v

39. We have no just claim to continued life beyond

40. The contempt of death shown by Theramenes.

41. Dying words of Socrates, quoted from the Phaedo.

42. Courage of the Spartans in near view of death.

43. Instances of the contempt of death on the part of


44. Superstitions about the suffering of the unburied

body after death.

45. Various modes of disposing of dead bodies.

46. Death in full prosperity to be desired rather than


47. Instances in which death has been conferred by the

gods as a pre-eminent benefit and blessing.

48. Instances in which death has been sought and wel-


49. The disposition in which death should be waited for

and met.


1. Grounds on which philosophy is distrusted or despised.

2. Desirableness of original writings in that department,

instead of depending on the Greeks.

3. Worthlessness of the Epicurean treatises that have

already appeared in the Latin tongue.

4. The true work of philosophy, though not always

wrought for philosophers themselves.

5. The thesis for discussion, " Pain is the greatest of

all evils."

6. Philosophers who have taken that ground.

7. Inconsistency of Epicurus.

8. Lamentation of Hercules on Mount Oeta, from the

Trachiniae of Sophocles.

vi Synopsis.

9. The same, continued.

10. Lamentation of Prometheus on Mount Caucasus, from


11. Wrong notions propagated by the poets, whom Plato

therefore excludes from his ideal republic.

12. On this subject they have been too well seconded by


13. If disgrace is worse than pain, this consideration

alone puts pain in the background.

14. Pain subdued by courage and patience.

15. Resemblance and difference between labor and pain.

16. Power of endurance developed in military service.

17. Examples of endurance in athletes, hunters, gladiators.

18. Pain not so much in endurance as it seems in thought.

19. Epicurus, on pain.

20. Virtue, personified, treats pain as of no account when

compared with moral evil.

21. What self-government means.

22. Signal examples of brave endurance.

23. How far the sense of pain may have expression.

24. The strong manifestation of suffering unworthy of a


25. Contrasted examples of this and its opposite.

26. The power of the sentiment of honor.

27. How the capacity of bearing pain is to be strengthened.


1 . Sources of error in home life and nurture.

2. In the poets and in public opinion.

3. Disorders of the soul more numerous and harmful

than those of the body.

4. Subject for discussion, " The wise man is liable to


Synopsis. vii

5. Distinction between " insanity " and " madness."

6 Grief to be not diminished, but extirpated.

7. The wise man is incapable of grief.

8. The virtues, considered separately and collectively,

are incompatible with grief.

9. The wise man is never angry.

10. Nor yet liable to pity, or to envy.

11. False opinion, the cause of grief and of all other per-

turbations of mind. Perturbations classified.

12. Groundlessness and frequent shamelessness of grief.

13. Grief, the severest and least tolerable of the pertur-


14. Premeditation on possible misfortune, a remedy for


15. Opinion of Epicurus on this point.

16. His remedy, that of calling the thoughts away from

grief, impossible.

17. Imagined protest of one of the old philosophers against

the Epicurean doctrine as to grief.

18. The theory of Epicurus as to pleasure, that it consists

wholly in the gratification of the senses.

19. This theory applied to the relief of sorrow under heavy


20. Epicurus contradicts himself.

21. Cicero's theory of pleasure, diametrically opposed to

that of Epicurus.

22. The opinion of the Cyrenaic school, that grief owes

its intensity to its suddenness.

23. How far this is true. Efficacy of example as giving

relief in sorrow.

24. Examples cited.

25. In some aspects the commonness and inevitableness

of grief enhance, instead of diminishing, its in-

26. Grief enhanced by the belief or feeling that it is under

certain circumstances fitting and right.

viii Synopsis.

27. Grief in many cases voluntarily assumed, in some,
voluntarily postponed.

28. There is then no actual necessity for it.

29. Reasons why the burden of grief is taken up.

30. That grief is removed by time while its cause re-

mains, shows that it is unnecessary.

31. The doctrine of the Peripatetics, that in this, as in

everything else, the right is the mean between two

32. Modes of administering consolation.

33. Different modes are required by different persons.

34. Philosophy proffers an entire and absolute cure for



1. The Pythagorean philosophy in Magna Graecia.

2. Vestiges of it in Roman history, institutions and cus-


3. The study of philosophy in Rome.

4. The subject of discussion, "Whether the wise man

is liable to perturbations of mind."

5. The soul divided by the ancients into the part pos-

sessed of reason and that void of reason.

6. Perturbation denned as " a commotion of mind con-

trary to reason."

7. Perturbations the consequence of false opinions.

8. Various forms of grief and of fear defined.

9. The phases of pleasure and of inordinate desire de-


10. Diseases and sicknesses of soul, produced by pertur-


11. The disgusts which are the opposites of these diseases

and sicknesses.

Synopsis. ix

12. Difference between occasional and habitual pertur-

13. Analogy between imperfections of the mind and

those of the body.

14. Healthy bodies can be, healthy minds cannot be, at-

tacked by sickness or disease.

15. Virtue, the only cure for the diseased mind.

16. All the perturbations, whether painful or joyful, in

their nature and effect pernicious.

17. Freedom from perturbations makes life happy. Ab-

surdity in this respect of the Peripatetic doctrine
of a mean between extremes.

18. Moderation in what is faulty is not only evil, but


19. The grounds on which anger and inordinate desire

are commended as serviceable.

20. The grounds on which grief in moderation is justified.

21. Anger never necessary.

22. Signal instances of courage without anger. .

23. Anger differs little from insanity.

24. Courage defined.

25. Inordinate desire is never serviceable.

26. Nor is emulation, detraction, or pity.

27. Curative treatment of the perturbations.

28. The best cure is the belief that they are vicious in

their very nature.

29. The evil of inordinate desire is not diminished by

the worth of its object.

30. Fear must be prevented or subdued by contempt for

its objects.

31. All perturbations are matters of opinion, voluntary,

under our own control.

32. Love, treated indulgently by the poets.

33. By some philosophers, also.

34. Platonic love unreal and absurd.

35. The cure of love.

x Synopsis.

36. The sons of Atreus cited as instances of implacable

37. Perturbations of mind always the result of error of

belief or of judgment.

38. Therefore curable by philosophy.


1. Virtue, always superior to fortune.

2. Philosophy invoked as the sole safe guide and the

supreme joy of life.

3. Wisdom immeasurably older than its name, "Philos-


4. Origin of this name.

5. Subject of discussion, " Whether virtue is sufficient

for a happy life."

6. Virtue makes man happy by freeing him from pertur-

bations of every kind.

7. Modes of discussion employed by the Stoics.

8. Does the necessary agency of virtue in producing hap-

piness imply that virtue is the only good ?

9. Theophrastus maintains that misfortunes and calami-

ties can make life miserable.

10. Happiness implies the absence of evil, and thus the

non-reality of what are commonly called evils.

11. Cicero explains his own apparent lack of self-con-


12. Socrates cited, and his words, as given by Plato,

quoted, as identifying happiness with virtue.

13. The soul designed and adapted for perfection.

14. Happiness must of necessity be impregnable.

15. What is not right cannot be good.

16. The objects, special or preferable, but not good, rec-

ognized by the Stoics.

Synopsis. xi

17. If vice produces misery, virtue, the opposite of vice,
must of necessity produce happiness, the opposite
of misery.

18. If virtue will not produce the happiest life possible,

the worth of virtue is discredited.

19. Caius Laelius contrasted with Cinna; Catulus, with


20. The wretchedness of Dionysius, of Syracuse.

21. The story of Damocles.

22. The story of Damon and Phintias.

23. Dionysius and Archimedes compared.

24. Happiness of the wise man in the study and contem-

plation of Nature.

25. The fruits of wisdom in character.

26. Epicurus, though illogically, maintains that the wise

man is always happy.

27. Instances in which pain is cheerfully endured and


28. A happy life can stand the severest test of torture

and suffering.

29. Reserve of the Peripatetics on the question at issue.

30. Various opinions as to the supreme good.

31. Yet, if self-consistent, the Peripatetics must admit

that the virtuous man alone is happy.

32. Simple living praised. Examples of contentment

with little.

33. Pleasures as classified by Epicurus. His rule for

estimating pleasures and pains.

34. Temperance the means of the highest enjoyment, as

regards food.

35. Simple fare and gluttony contrasted. Poverty no


36. The lack of popularity is not to be dreaded.

37. Nor is unmerited exile an evil.

38. Blindness does not interfere with a wise man's hap-

piness. Cases in point.

xii Synopsis.

39. The blindness of Diodotus, Asclepiades, Democritus,

40. Deafness not destructive of happiness. Death a

refuge from accumulated physical privations or

41. The Stoics and Peripatetics substantially agreed as

to the relation of virtue to happiness.


IN the sixty-second year of his age (B. c. 46), ]
Cicero was overwhelmed by a series of public and
domestic calamities. Julius Caesar, virtually sove-
reign of the Eoman world, would have purchased \p -,
his adherence at almost any price ; but Cicero was
not a man to be bought. He remained loyal to
the Republic, of whose restoration he despaired, but
whose memory made the usurper's yoke intolerably
galling and oppressive. Of course, there was no
longer a place for a free man and a patriot in the
sycophantic Senate, nor would his services as an
advocate have been propitious to a client's interest,
in courts of law created by, and slavishly subservi-
ent to, the ruling power. His chosen vocation, that
of an orator, was thus suspended, with little hope
of an opportunity for resuming it ; while the Philip-
pics, two years later, showed, in all that made him ,
the most eloquent man of his time, if not of all
time, culmination, not decline.

Meanwhile, his home, which would have been his (
not unwelcome refuge from the toil and care of
public life, was made desolate. He was led, evi-

xiv Introduction.

dently not without reasons that would have seemed
more than sufficient to the most rigid moralist of
that age, to repudiate his wife Terentia, after a
union of thirty-two years. About the same time,
his utterly worthless son-in-law Dolabella repudi-
ated his beloved daughter Tullia, who was dearer
to him than any other human being had ever been.
Tullia, at her father's Tusculan villa, gave birth to
a son, the offspring of that brief and ill-starred
union, and died suddenly at a moment of apparent

Under these accumulated trials Cicero had re-
course to philosophy for support and relief; and,
an eclectic in feeling and habit even more than in
principle, he sought in the writings of the various
schools with which he was conversant such rem-
edies as they proffered. With him reading and
writing seem to have been simultaneous processes.
His philosophical works always have the air of
being composed with his books not only close at
hand, but very fresh in his recollection. In the
stress of sorrow he wrote the Consolatio, in which
he compiled all the suggestions of comfort and hope
that came to him from his favorite authors, in part
as they fell under his eye, in part as, inwardly
digested and assimilated, they took such shape as
his own mind alone could have given them. Of
this treatise we know little except from him, but so
much through his frequent references to it and
quotations from it as to make us deeply regret its



irrecoverable loss. It was manifestly an intensely
subjective treatise, his own strong self-exhortation,
bearing the deep impress of his grief-stricken soul
and of the manly fortitude and courage with which
he girded himself for his remaining life-work. In
this treatise he laid full stress on the night-side of
human experience, on the fickleness of fortune and
the liability of the most prosperous life to bereave-
ment in all that has been its joy, pride and glory ;
but at the same time he half lifted the veil soon
to be rent away by the Lord of life from the
realm beyond the death-shadow, expressed his trem-
bling hope of re-union there with her from whom
it had been worse than death to part, and closed
with what is called her apotheosis, which simply
placed her alongside of the men who had passed
from earthly greatness into immortality, whom he
termed gods only because they had been so named
by the credulity of the earlier ages.

Thenceforward his writings had for the most part
so distinctly an ethical purpose, of which we see
few previous traces, that we can hardly be mistaken
in believing that his disappointments and sorrows
gave a new direction to his aim and endeavor. An
ungrateful country spurns his services; he conse-
crates them now to themes of world-wide and
world-enduring interest. It was after this period
that he produced, in rapid succession, the works
that give him as jijnpral teacher the foremost place
among ante-Christian philosophers.

xvi Introduction.

First in this series, and virtually a continuation
of the Consolatio, we have the Tmculan Disputa-
tions. The five books at first sight seem to have
as man} 7 different subjects, not necessarily related.
Yet no one can read them without feeling, or study
them without perceiving in them, as veritable a
unity as exists in the five acts of a classical drama.
They are in the same key ; though, if we employ
this metaphor, the key is, both and equally, minor
and major. They throb throughout with the keen
sensitiveness of a suffering soul that has survived
not only all that it most prized of earthly goods,
but also the capacity of enjoying them, were the
past restored and the spring-tide of misfortunes
rolled back. But they are full, too, of the vigor of
a soul stronger than ever before, because it has re-
treated within itself, made its own integrity its cit-
adel, from behind whose impregnable walls it can
look on the foes to its peace with defiant scorn.
Yes, scorn, contempt of human fortunes was with
Cicero the summit of virtue ; it remained for Him
who made humanity divine to transfigure its brief
and transient experiences into types, foreshadow-
ings, foreshinings, prophecies of the eternal.

These five books have, too, a clearly defined plan,
a regular sequence of thought and reasoning, which
can be easily outlined and interpreted from the
circumstances under which they were written.

The shadow of deatli still rested darkly on the
Tusculan villa. The question nearest to Cicero's

Introduction. xvii

heart was that which furnishes the subject for the
first book, What is death ? He believed it not
to be the extinction of being. He recognized in
man a supra-sensual element, capable of living in-
dependently of the body. Vestiges of such belief
seemed to have given shape to the rites of domestic
piety, in which the men of an earlier time not so
much commemorated their dead, as offered sacrifice
and homage to their still living ancestors. Yet as
there is no assured evidence of life beyond death,
Cicero deems it necessary to meet the other alter-
native. If the dissolution of the body is the close
of life, he shows that it is not an evil, inasmuch as
it cuts off all possibility of suffering and sorrow ;
while prolonged life may be full of calamity ; nor
are there wanting conspicuous instances in which
many years of prosperity have had so dreary an ap-
pendix of misfortune and grief as to make an earlier
death seem eminently desirable.

But for those who do not die young the question
which has priority even of that of the soul's contin-
ued existence is that of earthly well-being. Cicero
had experienced the utter failure of the wonted
resources for this end, and yet was clearly conscious,
more so than in his prosperous days, of a happiness
neither furnished by them nor impaired by their
removal. He felt within his own soul a double
selfhood, the one bereaved and wrecked ; the
other, not only unimpaired, but enriched and en-
nobled by all that he had suffered. This better


xviii Introduction.

self must, however, wage severe conflicts. Bodily
pain must be encountered by almost every one, and
all need to be armed against it. Epicurus con-
stantly the object of Cicero's ridicule or invective
regarded pain as the greatest of evils, painless-
ness as the supreme good ; yet maintained that pain
'can be borne cheerfully by the thought that if
severe it must be brief, by the continued enjoy-
ment of the pleasures that are not forfeited if
the pain be moderate, and by the memory of past
and the expectation of future pleasures. This en-
tire structure of hedonism Cicero demolishes in his
second book, and shows that pain can be neutral-
ized only when moral evil is regarded as the sole
evil, or as so immeasurably the greatest of evils
that the ills of body and of fortune are held to be
infinitesimally small in comparison with it. The
argument based on this foundation, which pursues
its continuous, though somewhat devious, course
throughout the book, is interspersed with maxims
of patience, fortitude and courage, and with impres-
sive examples of brave endurance.

Next to pain comes grief, which is the subject of
the third book. The argumentative treatment of
this is closely parallel to that of pain. But Cicero
at the same time dwells largely on the selfishness
of grief. He has much to say, also, on the degree
to which it depends on opportunity, it being
postponed or omitted in stress of need or peril ; on
fashion, the outward show which prolongs the



feeling being often put on or continued solely be-
cause the world expects it; and on a false estimate of
the causes of grief, deficiencies in wisdom andvir-i
tue, which ought to be the objects of the profound-
est sorrow, occasioning less regret than is produced!
by comparatively slight disappointments or losses.

Pain and grief (in its simplest form) come to us
without our seeking or responsibility, and may be
so met, borne and overcome as not to interfere
with our happiness and our permanent well-being.
Still more hostile to our peace are the passions,
for which we are responsible, and which are the
subject of the fourth book. These Cicero classes
under four divisions, grief (including its malig-
nant forms, such as envy) and fear, excessive
gladness and immoderate desire. Each of these is
many-headed, and the several morbid affections of
mind and soul included in each are specified and
carefully defined. They all result from false opin-
ions as to evil and good, grief and fear, from the
belief that their objects are real and great evils;
undue gladness and desire, from the belief that
their objects are real and great goods. The only
preventive or remedy is the regarding, with the
Stoics, of virtue as the sole good, and moral deprav-
ity a*s the sole evil, or, at the least, with the Peri-
patetics, considering moral good and evil as so im-
measurably the supreme good and the extreme of
evil that no good or evil of body or of fortune can
be of any comparative value or significance.

xx Introduction.

Pain and grief disarmed, the passions silenced
and stultified, Virtue alone remains, and the fifth
book is devoted to the demonstration of her peer-
less radiance and her queenly power, of her entire
sufficiency for a happy life, under all possible vicis-
situdes, in poverty, in exile, in blindness, in deaf-
ness, nay, in the maw of the bull of Phalaris. The
discussion has a wide range, is rich in illustrations
both of happiness and of misery as contingent on
character and independent of circumstances, and is
unequalled in pre-Christian literature for the exalta-
tion of Virtue as the source of all in this earthly life
that is worth living for.

It will be seen that Cicero throughout the Tus-
culan Disquisitions gives a foremost place to the
philosophy of the Stoic school ; while as a disciple
of the New Academy which adopted the ethical
system of Aristotle, he constantly endeavors to
show that his main positions are not invalidated by
admitting the goods and evils of the body and of
fortune to the inferior and subordinate place which

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