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that one who looks upon any evil of considera-
ble magnitude, believing that it has happened to
himself, must fall at once into grief. The Cyre-
naic philosophers think that grief is caused, not
by every evil, but by that which is unexpected
and unthought of; for whatever is sudden is the
harder to bear. Hence these verses are rightly
praised :

158 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

" At my son's birth I knew that he was mortal,
And when I sent him to the gates of Troy,
To deadly war, and not to feasts I sent him." *

14 Therefore this premeditation on future events
which long beforehand you have seen coming makes
their advent less grievous. For this reason the
words that Euripides -puts into the mouth of The-
seus are held in high esteem. I beg leave, in ac-
cordance with my frequent habit, to translate them.

" I bore in mind the lessons of a sage,

And thought of ills the future had in store,
Of bitter death, or of an exile's doom,
Or some vast weight of evil hanging o'er me,
That so, if dire calamity should come,
It could not creep upon me unawares." 2

But what Theseus says that he had heard from a
sage, Euripides virtually says of himself; for he
had been a disciple of Anaxagoras, who is reported
to have said, on hearing of the death of his son, " I
knew that I had begotten a mortal," indicating that
such things are bitter to those who have not antici-
pated them. There is then no doubt that all reputed
evils are more severe when they are sudden. There-
fore, though this suddenness is not the sole factor of
extreme grief, yet since foresight and preparation
of mind can do much toward diminishing pain, a

1 From the Telamon of Ennius, and referring to the death of
Ajax, Telamon's son.

2 These verses are not in any extant tragedy of Euripides.
They are quoted by Plutarch in the Consolation to Apollonius, in
the original, of which Cicero's is a nearly literal translation.

On Grief. 159

man ought to meditate on all things that can hap-
pen to man. Indeed, the wisdom which is pre-
eminently excellent and divine consists in having
human fortunes inwardly perceived and thoroughly
considered, in being surprised by no event when it
comes, in thinking that there is no event that has
not happened which may not happen.

" In prosperous times we best can train our souls
For pain and sorrow, while in thought we dwell
On peril, loss, a son's disgraceful crime,
A daughter's illness, or a wife's decease.
These are the common lot ; expect them all.
What comes beyond your hope account as gain." *

15. Now when Terence has expressed so aptly
what he borrowed from philosophy, shall not we
from whose fountains it was drawn both say the
same things better and feel them more uniformly ?
This corresponds to the countenance always the
same, which, as it is reported, Xantippe used to
speak of in her husband Socrates, always the
same, she said, when he went from home and when
he returned. Yet it was not like the face of that old
Marcus Crassus, 2 who, according to Lucilius, laughed
only once in all his life, but a countenance calm
and serene ; for so we learn. And there was rightly
the same countenance, when there was no change
made in the mind which moulds the face. I ac-
cept then from the Cyrenaic philosophers these

1 From Terence's Phormio, Act ii. Scene 1.

2 Surnamed Agdasius, i. e. "Non-laughing." Pliny says that
he never laughed.

160 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

arms against accidents and events, by which pro-
longed premeditation breaks their force when they
come; and at the same time I think that evil
is so in our opinion, not in its own nature. If it
were in the thing itself, why should it be less
grievous when foreseen ? But this is among the
subjects which I can discuss more elaborately, when
we have first considered the opinion of Epicurus,
who thinks that all who suppose themselves to be
enduring evils must of necessity suffer grief even if
these evils were foreseen and expected, and equally
if they are of long standing. For he says that
evils are neither diminished by time nor lightened
by being premeditated ; that meditation on evil
to come, or, it may be, on that which will never
come, is foolish ; that every evil is sufficiently an-
noying when it comes ; that to him who has always
thought that something adverse may happen to
him that very thought is a perpetual evil ; that if
the expected evil should not happen, he would have
incurred voluntary misery in vain; that thus one
would be always in distress, either in suffering evil
or in thinking of it. He depends for the lighten-
ing of grief on two things, on calling the mind
away from thinking of trouble, and on recalling it
to the contemplation of pleasures. He thinks that
the mind can obey reason, and follow where it
leads. Eeason, he says, forbids us to inspect trouble
closely; it draws us away from bitter thoughts; it
dulls the vision for contemplating misery, from

On Grief. 161

which when it has sounded a retreat, it again im-
pels and urges us to behold and to consider with
all our mind the various pleasures of which, with
the memory of those past, and the hope of those to
come, he thinks that the wise man's life is full.
These things I have said in my way ; the Epi-
cureans say them in their way. But let us con-
sider what they say; how, we need not concern

16. In the first place, they are wrong in blaming
the premeditation of things to come ; for there is
nothing which so blunts and lightens grief, as the
lifelong habit of thinking that there is no event
which may not happen, as meditation on the con-
dition of man, as the law of life, and reflection on
the necessity of obeying it, the effect of which is not
that we are always, but that we are never, sorrow-
ful. Indeed, he who thinks of the nature of things,
of the varying fortune of life, of the weakness of
the human race, does not sorrow when these things
are on his mind, but he then most truly performs
the office of wisdom ; for from such thought there
are two consequences, the one, that he discharges
the peculiar function of philosophy ; the other,
that in adversity he has the curative aid of a
threefold consolation : first, because, as he has long
thought what may happen, this sole thought is
of the greatest power in attenuating and diluting
every trouble; next, because he understands that
human fortunes are to be borne in a way befitting

162 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

human nature ; l lastly, because he sees that there
is no evil but guilt, while there is no guilt in the
happening of what man could not have prevented.
In point of fact, the recalling of the thought which
Epicurus prescribes, when he calls us away from
looking at evils, is out of the question ; for neither
dissembling nor forgetfulness is in our power when
those things which we regard as evil press hard upon
us. They lacerate, vex, sting, inflame, take away the
breath. And do you tell us to forget them, which
is contrary to nature, and at the same time wrest
from us the help which nature gives, that of becom-
ing used to pain ? That is indeed a slow remedy,
yet of great efficacy, which comes from long endur-
ance and the lapse of time. You tell me to think
of goods, to forget evils. You would say something,
and indeed what would do credit to a great philos-
opher, if you thought those things good which are
most worthy of man.

17. Suppose that 2 Pythagoras, or Socrates, or
Plato were to say to me, " Why are you cast down ?
Or why are you mournful ? Or why do you suc-
cumb and yield to fortune, which might perhaps
have had power to torment and sting you, but cer-
tainly was unable to break down your strength ?

1 Latin, humana humane ferenda. Possibly humane may be
used here in the sense of virilUer, "in a manly way," though I
can recall no instance iu which it is so employed. It seems
always to cost Cicero regret to omit an assonance.

2 Or, literally, "If Pythagoras," etc.

On Grief. 163

There is great power in the virtues. Rouse them,
if perchance they are asleep. Chief of all, Courage
will come to your aid, which will force you to be
of such a mind that you will despise and hold as
of no account whatever can happen to man. Tem-
perance will come, which is moderation, I called
it ' frugality ' a little while ago, which can suffer
you to do nothing basely or meanly ; and what is
there more mean or base than an effeminate man ?
Not even Justice will permit you to behave thus,
though in this matter there might seem to be very
little room for the exercise of justice, which yet
will tell you that you are doubly unjust when you
both seek what belongs to another, you of mortal
birth demanding the condition of the immortals,
and at the same time take it hard that you have
had to give back what was only lent for your use.
Then what answer will you give to Prudence,
which teaches that Virtue herself is sufficient, as
for a good life, so too for a happy life ? If she
depends on conditions from without, and does
not spring from and return to herself, embrac-
ing all that belongs to her, and seeking nothing
from any other source, I do not understand why
she is to be either in words so adorned with the
most earnest eloquence, or in deed so sedulously
sought." If it is to these goods 1 that you recall

1 The reference is to the close of 16, "those things which are
most worthy of man." The imagined speech of one of the old
philosophers closes with the words "so sedulously sought."

164 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

me, Epicurus, I obey ; I follow ; I take you for a
leader ; I forget evils, as you bid me, and the more
easily as I do not believe that they are to be
classed among evils. But you transfer my thoughts
to pleasures. To what pleasures ? To those of the
body, I believe, or to those which are thought of
in memory or hope for the body's sake. Is there
anything else ? Do I not rightly interpret your
opinion? For the disciples of Epicurus are wont
to deny that we know what he says. This, how-
ever, he does say, and this old Zeno, 1 that sharp
little man, the most acute of Epicureans, in my
hearing at Athens used to argue and proclaim with
a loud voice, namely, that he is happy who enjoys
present pleasures, and expects to enjoy the like
during most or all of his life, without the interven-
tion of pain, or who, if pain intervenes, bears it in
mind that if very severe, it must be brief, if pro-
longed, attended by more of enjoyment than of evil
He who is thus disposed in mind, say they, will be
happy, especially if he is content with the goods
that he has already obtained, and fears neither
death nor the gods.

18. You have the outline that Epicurus gives of
a happy life, expressed in the words of Zeno, so
that it cannot be pronounced spurious. What
then? Will the proposal and thought of such a

1 He was regarded as second in ability to no Epicurean phi-
losopher of his time, and is repeatedly spoken of as such by
Cicero in other writings.

On Grief. 165

life avail for the relief of Thyestes, or of Aeetes
of whom I have just spoken, or of Telamon driven
from his country, living in exile and poverty, of
whom it was said in wonder,

" Is this the Telamon, extolled to heaven,
Admired by all and praised by every tongue ? " l

Now if, to use the phrase of this same poet, one's
" soul collapses with his fortune," the remedy must
be sought from those grave philosophers of ancient
time, not from these partisans of pleasure. For
what is the supply of goods that they announce ?
Suppose that painlessness is indeed the supreme
good (although this is not called pleasure ; but
there is no need now of dwelling on details), is that
the point to which we must be brought in order to
assuage sorrow ? Be it so, that pain is the greatest
of evils : is he who is not in pain, being freed from
evil, therefore immediately in the enjoyment of the
supreme good ? Why do we hesitate, Epicurus, to
acknowledge that we give the name of pleasure to
that which you are not ashamed so to call ? Are
these your words, or are they not? In the book
which contains all your doctrine (for I will merely
translate your language literally, lest I may be
thought to falsify your meaning), you say, "Nor
is there anything which I can understand to be
good, if we omit from our estimate those pleasures
which are perceived by the taste, those which are

1 From the Telamon of Ennius.

166 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

perceived by the hearing and in music, those agree-
able movements which the eye perceives in exter-
nal forms, and such other pleasures as are produced
in the entire man by any sense whatsoever. Nor
indeed can it be said that the mind rejoices only in
present goods ; for I have known the mind to re-
joice equally in the hope of the various things that
I have named above, with the expectation that the
possession of them would be free from pain." This
is in his own words, so that one can understand
what pleasure it is that Epicurus would have recog-
nized as such. A little farther down he says : " I
have often asked those who were called wise what
there was for them to leave among goods, if they
took away those that I have named, unless they
meant to pour forth mere empty words. I could
learn nothing from them ; for except as they talk
boastfully of virtue and wisdom, they teach noth-
ing except the way by which the pleasures that I
have named may be obtained." What follows is
in the same strain, and the whole book, which has
the supreme good for its subject, is full of such
words and opinions. Will you then recall Telamon
to a life of this kind to lighten his grief ? or if you
see any one of your friends broken down by sorrow,
will you give him a sturgeon rather than some
treatise of Socrates ? Will you exhort him to hear
the notes of the organ 1 rather than the words of
Plato ? Will you take him to a flower-show ? or

1 Latin, hydrauli, i. e. a water-organ.

On Grief. 167

put a nosegay to his nostrils ? or burn perfumes ?
or will you tell him to have his brow crowned with
garlands and roses ? If to these things you were
to add yet one pleasure more, 1 you would then have
entirely wiped away every sorrow.

19. Epicurus must admit all this, or else what I
have given in literal translation from his book must
be expunged, or rather the whole book must be
thrown away ; for it is full of pleasures. We must
ask then how to remove the grief of him 2 who says,

" My fortune fails me ; not my race. From kings
I sprang. Behold from what a height,
"What wealth, what regal splendor I have fallen."

What ? Is a cup of honied wine, or something
else of that kind, to be thrust upon him, that he
may cease to mourn ? The same poet 3 introduces
another character, saying,

" Thrown, Hector, 4 from on high, I claim thine aid."

We ought certainly to help her ; for she asks

" What succor shall I seek ? Whom shall I trust
For aid in flight, in exile for a refuge ?
Palace and city are no longer mine.

1 There can be no doubt that Cicero here refers to a coarser
pleasure than he is willing to name.

2 Probably Telamon, though some commentators say that
Thyestes is referred to.

8 Ennius : from his tragedy of Andromache ; and all the pas-
sages that follow belong to the part of Andromache.
* She invokes his shade as a living presence.

168 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

My country's altar-stones are overthrown ;
Her ancient temples rear their blackened walls ;
Their pavements smoke with unextinguished fires."

You know what follows, and this especially :

" father, country, Priam's royal house,

temple with thy lofty-sounding gates,

1 saw thee standing in barbaric * splendor,
With fretted ceiling and rich -sculptured walls,
With gold and ivory royally bedecked."

admirable poet ! though despised by those who
sing Euphorion's 2 songs. He feels that everything
sudden and unexpected is the more grievous to be
borne. What does he then add to the picture of
accumulated royal splendor which seemed destined
to perpetuity ?

" All this I saw swept by consuming flames,
And Priam slain within the temple gates,
Jove's altar foully reeking with his blood."

Admirable poetry ! for it is profoundly sad, alike in
subject, in words and in rhythm. Let us take her
grief from her. How ? Let us lay her on a bed of
down. Let us bring a singing- woman to her. Let
us give her sweet ointment. Let us load a salver

1 Everything Oriental was termed "barbaric," and the East
was more lavish of gold and of costly ornament of every kind
than Greece ever was, still more so than Rome was in the time
of Ennius.

2 A very licentious poet, whose songs, not without a certain
sweetness of diction, but of the vilest type as to their moral char-
acter, had great popularity among convivialists of the baser sort.
Happily but three verses of his, and they from as many different
songs, have been preserved.

On Grief. 169

with delicious drinks, and provide something for
her to eat. These are the goods by which the
severest griefs may be removed; for you just now
said that you knew nothing of any other goods. I
would indeed agree with Epicurus that one ought
to be recalled from grief to the contemplation of
the things that are good, if we were only of one
mind as to what is good.

20. Some one will say, " What ? Do you think
that Epicurus meant thus, and that his opinions
were in favor of sensuality ? " Not by any means.
I see many things said by him in accordance with
the severest moral principle, many things admirably
said. So, as I have often said, I am treating of his
subtile logic, not of his morals. Although he spurn
the pleasures which he praised, yet I cannot forget
what seems to him the supreme good. Not only
did he use the word " pleasure," but he also de-
fined what he meant by it, specifying " taste, and
embraces, and games, and songs, and those objects
of sight which affect the eyes pleasantly." Am I
making this up ? Do I lie ? If so, I ask to be set
right. For what is my endeavor save to have the
truth made plain as to every part of our inquiry ?
Moreover, he says too that pleasure does not grow
when pain is taken away, and that to be free from
pain is the highest pleasure. In these few words he
makes three great mistakes. First, he contradicts
himself; for in the passage that I quoted a little
while ago he says that he has no idea of any good

170 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

unless such as will, so to speak, titillate the senses
with pleasure, and now he says that to be without
pain is the supreme good. Can one be more incon-
sistent with himself ? The second mistake is that,
while there are three states, one that of gladness,
then that of pain, thirdly, that in which there is
neither gladness nor pain, he here identifies the first
and the third, and makes no discrimination between
pleasure and the absence of pain. The third mistake
he makes in common with some others, namely, that
while virtue is the prime object of pursuit, and re-
sort is had to philosophy for the purpose of attaining
it, he regards the supreme good as something apart
from virtue. Yet he often praises virtue. In like
manner, Caius Gracchus, when he had made the most
profuse largesses so as to exhaust the public treas-
ury, made speeches in the interest of the treasury.
Why should I listen to words when I see deeds ?
Piso surnamed Frugi had always spoken against
the law for distributing corn to the people; but
when the law was passed, he, though an ex-consul,
came to receive the corn. Gracchus saw him stand-
ing in the crowd, and asked him in the hearing of
the Eoman people how he could consistently apply
for corn under the law which he had opposed. He
replied, " I may not be willing that you should
distribute my property to the people man by man ;
yet if you do so, I may ask for my part." Did not
this grave and wise man thus declare with no little
emphasis that the public property was wasted by

On Grief. 171

the Sempronian law? Yet read the speeches of
Gracchus, and you will say that he had the treas-
ury under his special charge. Epicurus denies that
one can live pleasantly unless he live virtuously.
He denies that fortune has any power against the
wise man. He prefers meagre to luxurious living.
He says that there is no time when the wise man
is not happy. All these things are worthy of a
philosopher; but they are repugnant to pleasure.
It is said that he does not mean that pleasure to
which objection is made. But whatever pleasure
he may name, he names that which contains no
part of virtue. Suppose, however, that we do not
understand what he means by pleasure, do we not
understand what he means by pain ? I deny then
that it belongs to him who measures the extremity
of evil by pain 1 to make any mention of virtue.

21. Indeed the Epicureans, excellent men (for
there is no class of people that bear less malice),
complain that I talk zealously against Epicurus, as
if it were a contest for honor and dignity. Yet the
case is simply this, that to me the supreme good
seems to be in the soul, to him in the body ; to me,
in virtue, to him in pleasure. On this issue they
give battle, and implore the defence of their neigh-
bors ; and many there are who fly at once to their
call. I, on the other hand, do not profess to be
anxious in the matter, regarding as I do the ques-

1 Or better, though less literally, "who makes pain the sole
measure of evil," and thus the sole constituent of evil.

172 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

tion which they would keep open as already settled.
For what ? Is our controversy about the Punic
war, 1 as to which when Marcus Cato had one opin-
ion and Lucius Lentulus another, there yet was
never any quarrel between them ? These Epicure-
ans are too angry, especially as they are defending
a not very spirited opinion, for which they dare not
plead in the senate, nor in the assembly of the
people, nor with the army, nor before the censors.
But with them I will argue at some other time and
place, and with the purpose, not of starting a con-
flict, but of yielding easily to them if they speak
the truth. Only I will give them my advice. If
it be absolutely true that the wise man refers every-
thing to the body, or, to speak with more propriety,
does nothing that is not expedient, that is, makes
utility to himself his sole standard, since these
opinions are not deserving of praise, let them re-
joice in them in their own bosoms, and cease to
speak boastfully about them.

22. It remains for us to consider the opinion of
the Cyrenaics, who think that there is grief only
when anything happens unexpectedly. This is in-
deed an important circumstance, as I have already
said. I know that it seemed even to Chrysippus 2

1 A controversy in itself not unlikely to be waged with warmth
of feeling, while Cicero represents the question at issue between
him and the Epicureans as in its nature less likely to rouse strong
feeling than a discussion involving conflicting opinions about
well-known men and measures.

2 One of the most rigid of Stoics.

On Grief. 173

that what is not foreseen strikes a heavier blow;
but this does not account for its entire weight,
although the unwarned approach of an enemy occa-
sions somewhat more disturbance than an expected
attack, and a sudden storm at sea strikes the sailor
with more terror than a storm foreseen, and the
case is similar in almost every event. But when
you look closely into the nature of things unfore-
seen, you will find the only difference to be that
anything sudden seems greater than if it had been
expected, and this for two reasons, one, that we
have not time to consider the actual magnitude of
what happens ; the other, that when it seems that
the event, if foreseen, might have been guarded
against, a feeling of blame connected with the evil
enhances the grief. That this is so 1 the lapse of
time shows ; for it is so far availing in the case of
lasting evils as not only to assuage grief, but often
to remove it entirely. Many Carthaginians were
in servitude in Rome, as many Macedonians were
after the capture of King Perseus. I, when I was a
young man, saw some Corinthians 2 in the Pelopon-
nesus. These could have made Andromache's lam-
entation, "All this I saw;" 3 but they had perchance
ceased so to sing ; for in countenance, in speech,
in their entire appearance and behavior, you might

1 That suddenness makes grief the greater.

2 After the destruction of Corinth by Memmius. These Corin-
thians may have been in slavery ; if not, they were in enforced

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