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of noble birth, and a porter, and when Alcibiades
was stricken with grief on hearing this, and with
tears begged Socrates to endue him with virtue
and to drive his baseness out of him ? What shall
we say, Cleanthes ? Was there no evil in what
atfected Alcibiades with grief ? Then again, what
mean those sayings of Lycon, 2 who, making light
of grief, says that it is excited by small matters,
by discomforts of fortune and of the body, not by
evils of the soul ? What then ? Did not what
Alcibiades mourned consist of evils and faults of
the soul ? Enough has been already said about the
consolation which Epicurus proffers.

33. " This does not happen to you alone," is in-
deed not the surest consolation, though frequently

1 Thus making him a wise man, and therefore in no need of

2 An eminent Peripatetic philosopher, who flourished in Athens
in the third century B. c., and wrote a book on the Supreme
Good, to which undoubtedly Cicero here refers.

On Grief. 191

employed and often serviceable. It is serviceable,
as I have said, but not always, or to all ; for there
are those who reject it. But the form in which it
is presented makes a difference ; for it ought to be
shown not how men are generally affected by this
particular trouble, but how it has been borne by
all who have borne it wisely. The consolation
offered by Chrysippus 1 rests on a solid foundation
of truth, but is applied with difficulty to the spe-
cial occasion of sorrow. It is a great undertaking
to prove to one in affliction that he is mourning
of his own accord, because he thinks that he ought
so to do. As in cases before the courts, or in the
several kinds of legal controversy, we do not always
use the same mode of statement, but adapt our
method to the occasion, the subject, the person, so
in the relief of sorrow we must consider, of what
mode of cure each person is susceptible. But I
have wandered, I know not how, from the subject
of discourse that you proposed. Your inquiry was
about the wise man, to whom what is free from
wrong must seem either no evil or so small an evil
that wisdom can bury it out of sight, who makes
no pretence or claim for grief on the score of opin-
ion, and who does not think it right that he should
be put to extreme torture by grief, than which
nothing can be worse. Though the special subject
of inquiry proposed at this time was not whether
there is any evil except what may be termed mor-

1 See 81.

192 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

ally vile, yet reason, as it seems to me, has so
trained us as to see that whatever evil there is in
sorrow is not natural, but created by our free judg-
ment and false opinion. I have now treated of the
kind of grief, which alone so holds the foremost
place that, were it removed, we should have no
great trouble in seeking remedies for the others.

34. There are certain things that are usually
said about poverty, certain things, too, about a
life destitute of distinction and fame. There are
separate dissertations on exile, on the destruction
of one's country, on servitude, on bodily infirmity,
on blindness, on every event to which the name
of calamity is ordinarily given. These the Greeks
distribute into single treatises and single books;
for they seek employment, while their treatises are
full of interesting matter. Indeed, as physicians,
while curing the whole body, apply their remedies
to even the least part of the body if it is in pain, so
philosophy, when it has removed grief in its entire-
ness, continues its work, if there remains any false
notion, whencesoever derived, if poverty groans,
if dishonor stings, if exile sheds aught of gloom,
or if there is any one of the forms of calamity of
which I have spoken, and if there are consolations
peculiarly belonging to special conditions of things,
of which you shall, indeed, hear whenever you
wish. But we must return to the same principle,
that all grief is very far from the wise man, be-
cause it is empty, because it is assumed in vain,

On Grief. 193

because it springs not from nature, but from judg-
ment, from opinion, from a certain self-invitation
to grieve when we have determined that it ought
to be done. Take this away, which is all volun-
tary, and grief in its most sorrowful form will be re-
moved, yet there will be left now and then a pang
or a twinge of uneasiness. This one is at liberty
to call natural, if he will only drop the name of
"grief," which, melancholy, offensive, deathlike, can-
not coexist, can, so to speak, in no wise dwell, with
wisdom. And the roots of grief, how many are
they, and how bitter ! When the trunk is over-
thrown, these are to be torn up, and if need be, by
separate discussions ; for I have leisure, such as it
is, 1 for this work. But all griefs are of one kind,
though of many names. For envy belongs under
the head of grief; so does rivalry, detraction, pity,
distress, mourning, sorrow, hardship, anxiety, pain,
uneasiness, affliction, despair. All these the Stoics
define, and these terms which I have repeated be-
long to specific conditions of mind. They do not
signify, as might seem, the same things, but have
their points of difference, of which I shall perhaps
treat elsewhere. These are those fibres of roots
which, as I said in the beginning, are to be traced
out, and to be all torn up, so that not one shall

1 Latin, cuicuimodi. I think that Cicero in this word refers
to the reason why he has leisure, which he does not want to have,
namely, the enforced suspension of his work in the courts and sen-
ate. " Leisure such as it is," i. e. which I would rather not have.

194 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

remain. It is a great and difficult work. Who
denies that it is so ? But what is there pre-emi-
nently good that demands not arduous effort ? Yet
Philosophy professes that she will accomplish it,
if we only accept her curative treatment. But
enough of this. Other subjects shall be ready for
discussion with you, both here and elsewhere.


1. SINCE, Brutus, it is my frequent habit in my
writings to express my admiration of the genius
and the virtues of our fellow-countrymen, I feel
that sentiment especially with regard to the studies
which at a comparatively recent period they have
imported from Greece into Eome. While from the
origin of the city, by royal ordinances, and in
part, also, by laws, auspices, ceremonies, popular
assemblies, appeals to the people, the senate, the
enrolment of cavalry and foot-soldiers, the entire
military system, were established with divine aid,
an admirable progress, an incredibly rapid advance
was made toward every kind of excellence as soon
as the State was freed from the sway of the kings.
This, however, is not the place to speak of the cus-
toms and institutions of our ancestors, or of the
discipline and government of the State. Elsewhere
I have treated of these things with sufficient detail,
especially in the six books that I have written on
the Eepublic. But here, in thinking of the several
departments of liberal culture, many reasons occur
to me for believing that, though in part brought

196 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

from abroad, they were not wholly thus derived,
but were in part preserved and cherished on our
own soil ; for our ancestors had almost under their
eyes Pythagoras, a man of pre-eminent wisdom and
nobleness of character, who was in Italy at the
time when Lucius Brutus, the renowned founder
of your distinguished family, 1 gave freedom to his
country. Now as the philosophy of Pythagoras
flowed far and wide, I cannot doubt that its cur-
rent reached our city ; and while this is probable
as a conjecture, it is also indicated by certain ves-
tiges. For who can think that when that part of
Italy called Magua Graecia flourished with strong
and great cities, and in these the name, first of
Pythagoras, afterward of the Pythagoreans, was so
highly honored, the ears of our people were closed
to their surpassingly learned instruction ? Indeed,
I think that it was on account of admiration for
the Pythagoreans that King Numa was regarded by
posterity as a Pythagorean ; for while they knew
the system and principles of Pythagoras, and had
heard from their ancestors of the equity and wis-
dom of that king, in their ignorance of ages and
dates belonging to so early a time, they took it for

1 The family was plebeian, and we have no authentic record
of it earlier than the (probably semi-mythical) story of the part
performed by Lucius Junius Brutus in the expulsion of Tarquin.
Some of the ancients denied that he was the founder of the fam-
ily, maintaining that his only two sons died childless, being exe-
cuted by their father's order. A third son seems to hare been
invented to supply the missing link in the chain of heredity.

On the Passions. 197

granted that a man of such transcendent wisdom
was a disciple of Pythagoras.

2. Thus far for conjecture. As for vestiges of the
Pythagoreans, though many may be collected, I yet
will name but few, since this is not the work that
I have now in hand. While it is said that the
Pythagoreans were accustomed both to deliver cer-
tain precepts somewhat obscurely in verse, and to
bring their minds from intense thought to quietness
by song and stringed instruments, Cato, the highest
of all authorities, in his Origines says *liat it was
customary with our ancestors at their feasts for the
guests to sing by turns, to the accompaniment of
the flute, the merits and virtues of illustrious men,
whence it appears that poems and songs were then
written to be sung. Indeed, the Twelve Tables
show that it was customary to write songs ; for it
was legally forbidden to write songs to another per-
son's injury. 1 Moreover, it is a proof that those
times were not without culture, that stringed in-
struments were played at the shrines of the gods
and at the civic feasts, a custom characteristic of
the practice of the Pythagoreans. It seems to me,
too, that the poem of Appius Coecus, 2 which Panae-
tius praises highly in a letter of his to Quintus

1 That this was a capital offence appears from a passage of a
lost work of Cicero quoted by Saint Augustine.

2 He is the earliest Roman author whose name has come down
to us. Besides this poem he wrote a legal treatise of high

198 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

Tubero, is Pythagorean in its tone. There are many
things in our customs from this same source, which
I pass over, lest we may seem to have learned from
abroad what we are supposed to have originated
ourselves. But, to return to our purpose, in how
short a time, how many and how great poets, and
what eminent orators, have risen among us ! so that
it is perfectly evident that everything is within
the reach of our people as soon as they begin to
desire it.

3. But of other pursuits I will speak else\vhere }
if need be, as I have often done. The study of
philosophy is indeed ancient among our people ;
yet before the time of Laelius and Scipio I find
none of its students whom I can specially name.
While they were young men, I see that Diogenes
the Stoic and Carneades of the Academy were sent
as ambassadors from Athens to the Roman senate.
As they had not the slightest connection with pub-
lic affairs at Athens, one of them being from Cy-
rene, the other from Babylon, they certainly would
not have been called out of their schools, or chosen
to this office, unless learned pursuits had at that
time been in favor with certain of the principal
men in Eome, 1 who, while they wrote on other

1 "In Rome " has nothing to correspond to it in the original,
and grammatically "the principal men" in Athens might seem
referred to, while the latter part of the sentence leaves no doubt
that Cicero is speaking of the great men of Eome who lived phi-
losophy without writing it.

On the Passions. 199

subjects some, on civil law ; some, their own
speeches; some, the memorials of earlier days
at the same time cultivated the greatest of all arts,
the method of living well, in practice more than in
written words. Thus of that true and beautiful
philosophy, which, derived from Socrates, still re-
mains with the Peripatetics, and with the Stoics
too, who in their controversies with the disciples
of the Academy say substantially the same things
in a different way, there are hardly any, certainly
very few, remains of Latin authorship, and this,
either because the subjects were too large and the
men too busy, or else because those who might
have written thought that these things could have
no interest for persons not versed in them. Mean-
while, in their silence Caius Amafinius appeared as
a writer, and by his books, when published, the
people at large were excited, and many attached
themselves to his school, either because its doctrine
was easily understood, or because it invited them
by the ensnaring blandishments of pleasure, or be-
cause they laid hold of what was placed before
them for the sole reason that there was nothing

better. After Amafinius many zealous members of
the same school, and copious writers, were spread
through the whole of Italy, and the greatest proof
of the lack of subtilty in their writings is that they
are so easily understood and that they receive the
approval of the uneducated. This they regard as
constituting the strength of their school

200 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

4. Let every man defend his own belief; for
opinions are free. I shall adhere to my usual
method, and, bound by no necessity of conforming
to the dogmas of any one school, I shall always
inquire on every subject what is the most probable
opinion. As often elsewhere, I have carefully taken
this course of late in my Tusculan villa. The dis-
cussions of three days having been given you in
detail, that of the fourth is contained in this book.
When we had come down into the lower apart-
ment, 1 as we had done the preceding day, the dis-
cussion took place as follows.

M. Will some one please to name a subject for
discussion ?

A. It does not seem to me that the wise man is
free from every disturbance of mind.

M. It appeared from yesterday's discussion that
he is free from grief, unless perchance you assented
to me rather than occupy more time.

A. Not by any means ; for I most heartily ap-
prove of all that you said.

M. You do not think, then, that a wise man is
liable to grief.

A. Certainly not.

M. But if grief cannot disturb a wise man's mind,

1 Latin, in inferiorem ambulationem, "the lower walking-
place," i. e. the academia. Cicero represents himself as walk-
ing during these discussions, and walking was a common habit
with philosophers in their familiar lectures, from Aristotle father
of the Peripatetics downward.

On the Passions. 201

no other emotion can. What ? Can fear disturb
him? Fear has for its objects those things not
present, the presence of which occasions grief. If
then grief is removed, fear also is removed. There
remain two perturbations, excessive joy and inor-
dinate desire. If these do not affect the wise man,
the wise man's mind will be always tranquil.

A. So I understand, without doubt.

M. Which will you prefer? Shall I make sail
at once, or shall I row a little while, as if we were
getting clear of the harbor ?

A. What do you mean? I do not understand

5. M. This is my meaning. Chrysippus and the
Stoics, when they treat of disturbances of mind, are,
in great part, occupied in dividing and defining
them. They have very little to say about the
means of curing minds and preventing their dis-
turbance. The Peripatetics, on the other hand,
offer much toward the appeasing of such disturb-
ances, but ornit the thorny work of division and
definition. My question then was whether I should
spread the sail of my discourse at once, or should
give it a start with the oars of logic.

A. The latter, by all means ; for it is the whole
that I want, and the discussion is the more perfect
if both ways be pursued.

M. This is indeed the more proper method, and
you will afterward make suitable inquiries, if any-
thing that I say shall not have been perfectly clear.

202 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

A. I will certainly do so. Yet those very mat-
ters that are obscure you will expound, as you
always do, more clearly than they are stated by the

M. I will try, at any rate. But there is need of
the closest attention, lest, if one point escape you,
the whole may glide away from your mind. Pre-
ferring to call what the Greeks term TrdOrj 1 pertur-
bations rather than diseases, in explaining them I
shall follow the very old description of them which
originated with Pythagoras and was adopted by
Plato. They divide the soul into two parts, one
possessed of reason, the other destitute of it. In
that possessed of reason they place tranquillity, that
is, a placid and quiet firmness ; in the other, the
turbid movements of both anger and desire, con-
trary and hostile to reason. Be this then the
fountain-head 2 of our discussion. Yet in describ-
ing these perturbations let us employ the defini-
tions and divisions of the Stoics, who seem to
me in this part of the subject to show very great

6. Zeno 8 then defines a perturbation, 7ra#o<? 4 as
he calls it, to be a commotion of mind contrary to
reason. Some more briefly say that a perturbation
is a too vehement desire, and by its being too vehe-
ment they mean its departing too far from the even

1 "Affections." See in. 4, note. 2 Latin, fons.

8 The Stoic, not the Epicurean, of that name.
* "Affection."

On the Passions. 203

temperament of nature. But they maintain that
the division of mental disturbances starts from two
imagined goods and two imagined evils, from the
goods, desire and gladness, gladness in goods pres-
ent, desire of those to come; from the evils they
derive fear and grief, fear as to things future, grief
for things present, the same things that are feared
in the future, when present, occasioning grief. Glad-
ness and desire have their scope in an opinion of
the goodness of their objects. While desire, ex-
cited and inflamed, is urged on to what seems good,
gladness becomes excessive and exultant on obtain-
ing what has already been desired. By nature all
pursue those things that seem good, and shun the
contrary. Therefore as soon as the appearance of
anything that seems good is presented, Nature her-
self urges one toward the attainment of it. When
this takes place consistently and prudently, the
Stoics term such a desire flovkrjcriv, 1 we call it
"volition." 2 They think that this exists in the wise
man alone, and they define volition as "reasonable
desire." But will, which, with reason opposed to it,
is excited too vehemently, is lust or unbridled de-
sire, which is found in all who are not wise. 3 In
like manner, when we are in possession of some
1, we are moved in one of two ways. When

1 "Will," or "volition." Voluntas.

3 Latin, omnibus stultis. Stultus is often used, especially by
Cicero, to denote, not actual folly, but the absence of wisdom, and
is sometimes employed to denote all who are not philosophers.

204 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations.

the mind is affected calmly and consistently, we
call that "joy;" but when the mind exults inanely
and immoderately, that may be called " extravagant
or excessive gladness." Moreover, since as we natu-
rally crave good things, so we turn away from evil
things, this turning away, if it be done with rea-
son, may be called " caution," which is understood
to exist in the wise man only ; but when it is
without reason and with grovelling and unmanly
dejection, it may be termed "fear." Fear then is
"caution contrary to reason." In the next place, the
wise man is unaffected by present evil ; while fool-
ish grief is that with which those not under the
control of reason are affected, and by which the
mind is cast down and shrunken. This then is
the first definition, that grief is a" shrinking of the
mind opposed to reason." Thus we have four kinds
of perturbation, and three calm and self-consistent
states, there being no such state that is the express
opposite of grief.

7. But the Stoics regard all disturbances of mind
as created by judgment and opinion. Therefore
they define them with the greater precision, that it
may be understood not only how vicious they are,
but how entirely they are within our own power.
Grief then is a recent opinion of the existence of a
present evil, because of which it seems right that
the soul should be cast down and should shrink
within itself; joy, a recent opinion of the existence
of a present good, by reason of which it seems right

On the Passions. 205

to be transported beyond the wonted bounds ; fear,
an opinion as to an impending evil which seems
beyond endurance ; desire, 1 an opinion with regard
to some good to come, which would be of service
were it now present and at hand. But they say
that these perturbations contain not only the opin-
ions and judgments of which I have spoken, but
also the effects which result from their existence in
the mind, grief occasioning, as it were, a gnaw-
ing of pain ; fear, a sort of retreat and flight of
the soul; joy, an overflowing hilarity; desire, an
unbridled appetency. Meanwhile, the forming of
opinions, which entered into the definitions given
above, they regard as weak assent. Each pertur-
bation contains several divisions which properly
belong to the same class. Thus under the head of
grief are enviousness 2 (I employ the less common
word, that I may not be misunderstood; 3 for envy
is used in speaking not only of him who envies, but
also of him who is envied), emulation, jealousy, 4 pity,

1 Latin, libido. We have no word which corresponds precisely
to it. "Lust" has too narrow a meaning; "desire," too broad.
I have used in translating it the latter term, generally ; the for-
mer, when it was evidently the author's specific meaning ; and
sometimes, "inordinate desire," when the sense demanded that

2 See iii. 9, note.

3 Latin, docendi causa, which I suppose denotes the accuracy
which Cicero sought in a didactic treatise.

* Latin, obtrectatio, which commonly means "detraction," but
not infrequently denotes "begrudging," or "jealousy" in the
broader sense in which it refers to the relations, not between hus-

206 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

distress, mourning, sorrow, hardship, pain, lamenta-
tion, anxiety, trouble, affliction, despair, and other
emotions of the same sort, if others there be. Under
fear are included sloth, bashfulness, terror, timidity,
consternation, sinking of heart, confusion of mind,
dread; under pleasure, the malevolence that rejoices
in another's harm, delight, boastfulness, and like
affections; under desire, anger, irritability, hatred,
enmity, discord, want, longing, and other similar
states of mind.

8. These terms they define as follows. They
say that enviousness is grief for the prosperity of
another, when it does no injury to the envious per-
son. If one is pained by the prosperity of him by
whose success he himself is injured, as in the case
of Agamemnon in relation to Hector, he is not
properly said to be "envious;" but he whom anoth-
er's well-being cannot in anywise injure, who yet is
sorry for it, is certainly chargeable with envy. Em-
ulation is used in two senses, and denotes both a
merit and a fault; for the imitation of virtue is
called " emulation " (with this we have no concern,
it being praiseworthy), and the name is also given
to the grief felt by one who fails to obtain 1 what

band and wife, but between man and man. The definition in the
next section shows that Cicero here uses the word in this latter

1 Latin, careat, which I render "fails to obtain," because oth-
erwise there is no distinction between emulation and jealousy.
Jealousy begrudges another what the jealous man would gladly
have, but has not endeavored to obtain.

On the Passions. 207

he had desired and another possesses. Jealousy
(by which I mean fyXorvrrlav) 1 is also grief which
one feels at another's possessing what he would
have desired for himself. Pity is grief for another
who is suffering undeservedly ; for no one is moved
to pity by the punishment of a parricide or a trai-
tor. Distress is pressing grief. Mourning is grief
for the bitter death of one who has been dear.
Sorrow is grief with tears. Hardship is grief with
toil. Pain is grief with torment. Lamentation is
grief with wailing. Anxiety is grief with deep
thought. Trouble is continuous grief. Affliction

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