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als for discourse.

256 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

the concourse that brought all Greece together with
the greatest array of games. There, some, with
bodies specially trained, contended for the glory and
eminence of the crown ; others were induced to
come by the purpose and expected gain of buying
or selling ; while there was a certain class of those
present, and they of the highest quality, who sought
neither applause nor money, but came to look on,
and who studiously and thoroughly saw what was
done, and how. Thus of us men, as if from some
city into a great public concourse, coming into this
life from another life and nature, 1 some are subser-
vient to fame, some to money, while there are some
few who, holding everything else in no esteem, look
studiously into the nature of things. These call
themselves studious of wisdom, for that is what
"philosopher" means; and as at the games it is most
respectable to look on without getting anything for
one's self, so in life the contemplation and knowl-
edge of things stand far before all other pursuits.

4 Nor was Pythagoras merely the inventor of
the name ; he enlarged the range of subjects em-
braced in philosophy. When after the conversation
at Phlius he came into Italy, he made what was
called Magna Graecia illustrious by the most excel-
lent institutions and arts both in private and in
public. Of his system I may perhaps find some
other opportunity of speaking. But down to the

1 It must be remembered that the transmigration of souls was
a Pythagorean doctrine.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 257

time of Socrates, who had heard the lectures of
Archelaus, a disciple of Anaxagoras, ancient philos-
ophy treated of numbers and motions, and the
beginning and end of everything, and its adepts
inquired into the magnitudes, distances and courses
of the stars and into whatever appertained to the
heavens. Socrates first called philosophy down
from heaven, and gave it a place in cities, and in-
troduced it even into men's homes, and forced it to
make inquiry into life and morals, and things good
and evil. His manifold method of discussion, the
variety of his subjects, and the greatness of his
genius, consecrated by the memory and the writings
of Plato, gave rise to many schools of mutually dis-
senting philosophers, among which I have attached
myself chiefly to the method which I think that
Socrates pursued, concealing my own opinion, 1 re-
lieving others of their errors, and on every question
seeking to ascertain what is most probable. Car-
neades having employed this method with great
acuteness and copiousness of argument and illus-
tration, I have attempted to reason in the same
way, often on other occasions, and of late at Tuscu-
lum. I have sent you full written accounts of our
conversations on the previous days. On the fifth
day, after we had taken our seats together in the

1 Socrates, as reported by Plato, did not conceal his own
opinion, except at the beginning of a dialogue. His art consisted
in drawing out, by skilfully framed questions, his own opinions
from his collocutors.


258 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

same place, the subject of discussion was proposed

5. A. It does not seem to me that virtue can be
sufficient for a happy life.

M. But, by Hercules, it seems sufficient to my
friend Brutus, whose opinion, begging your pardon,
I far prefer to yours.

A. Undoubtedly. However, the question now
before us is not how much you love him, but what
is the worth of the opinion to which I have just
given utterance, which I wish you to discuss.

M. Do you then deny that virtue can be sufficient
for a happy life ?

A. I do utterly.

M. What ? Does not virtue give sufficient help
to enable one to live rightly, honestly, honorably, in
fine, well ?

A. Yes, certainly.

J/. Can you then either fail to call him miserable
who leads a bad life, or deny that he whom you
regard as living well lives happily ?

A. Why not ? For a person even in torture may
live rightly, honestly, honorably, and therefore well,
if you only understand what I mean by " well," that
is, firmly, seriously, wisely, bravely. These quali-
ties are sometimes thrown upon the rack, on which
there is not a breath of happy life.

M. What then ? Is happy life alone left outside
of the gate and threshold of a prison, when firmness,
seriousness, courage, wisdom and the rest of the

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 259

virtues are given over to the tormentor, and shrink
from no form of punishment or pain ?

A. You, if you are going to effect anything, must
strike out in some new direction. Such things as
you now say move me very little, not only because
they have become so exceedingly common, but much
more, because, like certain light wines that will not
bear watering, 1 so these maxims of the Stoics please
more when merely tasted than when drunk. Thus
that choir of virtues put upon the rack places before
the eyes images of such abounding dignity, that
happy life seems to stretch out eagerly to them, and
not to suffer them to be deserted by it ; but when
you transfer your mind from this picture and from
the images of the virtues to fact and truth, there
remains this naked question, whether one can be
happy so long as he is tormented. Let us now con-
fine our inquiry to this point. But do not fear that
the virtues will expostulate, and complain that they
are deserted by happy life ; for if there is no virtue
without prudence, Prudence herself sees that all the
good are not happy, and remembers many things
about Marcus Atilius, 2 Quintus Caepio, 3 Manius

1 For common daily use the Romans mixed their wine with

2 Regulus, whose history semi-fabulous undoubtedly is
well known.

3 He, after having attained the highest offices and honors,
being defeated in a great battle with the Cimbri, and becoming
therefore unpopular, was banished on a malicious and perhaps
groundless charge, or, according to some accounts, died in prison.

260 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

Aquilius. 1 Moreover, Prudence herself if you
prefer figurative to literal diction holds back a
happy life when it attempts to throw itself upon
the rack, and denies that a happy life has anything
in common with pain and torment.

6. M. I easily suffer you to behave in this way,
though it is unfair for you to prescribe for me the
method in which you wish me to discuss the sub-
ject. But let me ask you whether I am to think that
anything or nothing has been settled by our confer-
ences of the last four days.

A. Yes, some little.

M. Then, if so, this question is already almost
despatched, and brought to a conclusion.

A. How so ?

M. Because turbulent movements and agitations
of the mind, excited and enhanced by thoughtless
impulse, and rejecting the control of reason, leave
nothing that belongs to a happy life. For who that
fears grief or pain, of which, though the one be
often absent, 2 the other is always impending, can
fail to be miserable ? What if the same person, as
is very often the case, fears poverty, disgrace, in-
famy, 3 feebleness, blindness, finally, slavery, which

1 He was taken captive in the war with Mithridates, treated
with the foulest ignominy, scourged almost to death, and finally
killed by having molten gold poured into his mouth.

2 Latin, abest. Many editions, on good authority, have adest.
If this reading be admitted, our translation will be, "of which
one is often present, the other always impending."

3 In Rome, as in the other ancient republics, disgrace and

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 261

has been the lot, not only of individual men, 1 but
often of powerful nations ? Can any one who fears
these things be happy ? What of him who not
only fears these things in the future, but also bears
and endures them in the present ? Add to the lot
of the same person exile, bereavement, the death of
near kindred. How can he who, broken down by
these adverse events, is shattered by grief, be other-
wise than utterly wretched ? What, again, of him
whom we see inflamed and maddened by inordinate
desires, craving everything rabidly with insatiable
yearning, and the more abundantly he drinks in
pleasures from every quarter, the more intensely
and ardently thirsting for them ? Would you not
rightly call him utterly miserable ? What ? Is
not he who is elated with trifles, who exults with
an empty joy, and goes into ecstasy without reason,
the more miserable the more happy he is in his
own esteem ? Then, as these are miserable, so, on
the other hand, are those happy whom no fears
alarm, no griefs corrode, no desires excite, no
empty and excessive joy melts with languid de-
lights. Therefore, as the sea is deemed tranquil
when not the least breeze stirs the waves, so is the
condition of mind seen to be quiet and calm, when

infamy might be incurred by the best men, notwithstanding their
virtues, or even on account of them.

1 Military life, even as late as Cicero's time, formed a part of
the experience of almost every man of distinguished birth or sta-
tion, and death or slavery was the only alternative for captives
of war.

262 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

there is no perturbation by which it can be moved.
Now if there is a man who regards the force of for-
tune, all things human, whatever can happen, as
endurable, so that neither fear nor grief can assail
him, and if he at the same time desires nothing,
and has a mind that cannot be elated by any empty
pleasure, what reason is there why he may not be
happy ? And if these results are brought about by
virtue, why may not virtue itself by its own efficacy
make men happy ?

7. A. As regards the former of these questions,
it is undeniable that those who fear nothing, are
grieved by nothing, covet nothing, and are elated
by no weak joy, are happy. I therefore concede so
much as this to you. But the other question does
not remain untouched; for in our former discus-
sions it was proved that the wise man is free from
all disturbances of mind.

M. Evidently then the discussion is finished ; for
the question seems to have come to an end.

A. Nearly so, indeed.

M. Yet this prompt settlement of a question is
the custom of mathematicians rather than of phi-
losophers. Geometricians, when they want to es-
tablish a proposition, if anything that they have
previously demonstrated belongs to the case in hand,
take it for granted and proved, and explain only
that about which they have not previously written.
Philosophers, whatever subject they have in hand,
heap together upon it everything that has reference

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 263

to it, although it has been fully expounded before.
If it were not so, why should the Stoic have much
to say on the question whether virtue would suffice
for a happy life ? It would be enough for him to
answer that he had already shown that nothing is
good except what is right, and that, this proved, it
follows that a happy life is content with virtue. He
might then show how it is reciprocally true that, if
a happy life is content with virtue, nothing is good
except what is right. Yet this is not their way ;
for they have different books about the right and
the supreme good, and while from the former it may
be proved that there is sufficiently great power in
virtue to produce a happy life, they nevertheless
give a separate discussion to this point, maintaining
that every subject, especially one of so great import-
ance as this, is to be dealt with by arguments and
counsels peculiarly its own. Take care then how
you imagine in Philosophy any clearer voice than
she utters in this matter, or any richer or greater
promise within her gift than she tenders. For, ye
immortal gods, what does she profess ? That she
will so perfect him who has obeyed her laws, that
he should be always armed against fortune : that he
should have within himself all resources for a good
and happy life ; finally, that he should be always
happy. But I would fain see what she has accom-
plished, so high an estimate do I put upon her
promise. Xerxes, indeed, replete with all the prizes
and gifts of fortune, not content with his cavalry,

264 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

his foot-soldiers, his vast fleet, his boundless supply
of gold, offered a reward to him who should have
invented a new pleasure, with which he was
not satisfied ; for never will desire find an end. I
could wish that by a reward we could call forth the
man who should have brought to us somewhat to
strengthen our belief in the power of virtue to
create happiness. 1

8. A. I wish so too ; but I want to inquire a
little farther. I agree with you that each of the two
propositions which you have laid down is properly
inferred from the other, that in the same way in
which, if the right alone is good, it follows that
virtue creates a happy life, so if a happy life con-
sists in virtue, it follows that nothing is good except
virtue. But your friend Brutus, under the author-
ity of Ariston and Antiochus, 2 is not precisely of
your opinion ; for he thinks that virtue would still
be essential to a happy life, even if there be some
other good than virtue.

M. What then ? Do you think that I am going
to argue against Brutus ?

A. You will, indeed, do as you please ; for it does
not belong to me to mark out beforehand your course
of reasoning.

1 There crops out in several passages in this section, as at the
close, the belief of the Stoics that their exalted ideal of the effi-
cacy of virtue had never had its full illustration in actual life,
not even in the person of their revered founder.

2 They were brothers. Antiochus was, as we have seen before
(iii. 25), the preceptor of Cicero ; Brutus was Ariston's pupiL

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 265

M. Let the question of consistency be considered
on some other occasion. On this subject I have
often expressed iny dissent in discussing it with
Antiochus, and more recently with Ariston, when
during my service as commander 1 1 lodged with
him at Athens ; for it did not seem to me that any
one could be happy in the experience of evils, and
that such might be the wise man's experience, if
there were any evils of body or of fortune. It was
said, as Antiochus has repeatedly written, that vir-
tue itself can make a happy life, yet not the hap-
piest ; then, that most things derive their names
from their own greater part, even if as to that part
there be some deficiency, like health, riches, honor,
fame, which are ascribed to their possessor by kind
and not by quantity ; and that in like manner a
happy life, even if defective in some part, derives
its name from by far the larger part. These things
it is not now so necessary as it then seemed to de-
velop in full, although they appear to me to have
been said inconsistently ; for I do not now under-
stand what he who is happy requires in order to be
more happy. If there is anything wanting, he is
not happy ; and as to maintaining that everything
is named and reckoned from the greater part of
itself, there are things as to which this is true. But

1 Latin, imperator. Cicero received this title from the Senate,
on account of his success in certain military operations during his
Cilician proconsulate. It was on his return from Cilicia that he
lodged with Ariston.

266 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

when it is said that there are three kinds of evils,
as to him who is under the pressure of all the evils
of two kinds, so that in his fortune everything is
adverse, and his body is weighed down and worn
out by every description of pain, shall we maintain
that he falls but little short of a happy life, to say
nothing of the happiest ?

9. This is what Theophrastus could not main-
tain ; for having come to the conclusion that stripes,
torture, torment, the overthrow of one's country,
exile, bereavement, have great power in producing
an evil and miserable life, he did not dare to speak
loftily and largely while humble and depressed in
feeling. How well it was for him to feel thus is not
the question. He was certainly consistent in what
he said. I am not indeed wont to find fault with
conclusions where the premises are admitted. Yet
he, the most elegant and erudite of all philosophers,
is not much blamed for saying that there are three
kinds of goods ; but he is abused by every one,
especially for what he says in his book on a Happy
Life, in which he shows at great length why one
who is tortured and tormented cannot be happy,
and is reputed to say that a happy life cannot be
broken on the wheel. He does not indeed any-
where say precisely this ; but what he says is equiv-
alent to it. Can I then be displeased with him to
whom I formerly would have granted that pains of
body and the wreck of fortune are among the evils,
for maintaining that not all the good are happy,

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 267

while those things which he reckons as evils may
happen to any one of the good ? Theophrastus is
also abused in the books and schools of all the
philosophers, because in his Callisthenes he com-
mended the sentiment,

" Fortune, not wisdom, has the rule of life."

They allege that no philosopher ever said anything
weaker, and they are right ; but in my opinion noth-
ing could have been said more consistently. For if
there are so many goods in the body, and so many
outside of the body in accident and fortune, is it
not in accordance with this fact that Fortune, the
mistress of outward things and of those pertaining
to the body, has more power than wise counsel ? Or
do we prefer to copy Epicurus ? who says things
many and often exceedingly well, but in \vhat he
says takes no pains about self- consistency and per-
tinency. He commends simple living. Philoso-
phers do the same ; but it would seem natural for
Socrates or Antisthenes to have spoken thus, not
for him who pronounces pleasure the supreme good
of life. He denies that any one can live pleasantly,
unless he at the same time live rightly, wisely
and justly. Nothing is more sound, nothing more
worthy of philosophy, unless that " rightly, wisely
and justly " be referred to pleasure as a standard.
What could have been said better than that fortune
is of small concern to a wise man ? But is not this
said by him who, having pronounced pain not only

268 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

the greatest of evils, but even the only evil, may
himself be overwhelmed by the severest pains at
the moment when he is boasting against fortune ?
This same thing also Metrodorus J expressed in a
better form, saying, " I have laid hands on thee,
Fortune, and taken thee captive, and have blocked
up all thine avenues of approach, so that thou canst
not come near me." This would have been admir-
able, had it been said by Ariston of Chios or by
Zeno the Stoic, who accounted nothing as evil
which was not disgraceful. But as for you, Metro-
dorus, who stow all good in the bowels and marrow,
and define the supreme good as contained in a
strong bodily constitution and a well-grounded hope
that it will last, have you blocked up Fortune's
avenues of approach ? How ? You may at the
present moment be deprived of that good.

10. Yet by such sayings many who are not
versed in philosophy are captivated, and sentiments
of this sort secure for those who give them utterance
a multitude of followers. But it is the part of one
who would reason with proper discrimination to
look not at what a man says, but at what he can
consistently say. Thus in the very opinion which
I have undertaken to maintain in this discussion,
that all the good are always happy, it is plain what
I mean by "good ;" for we call those endowed and
adorned with all the virtues not only wise, but good
men. Let us then see who are to be called "happy."

1 See ii. 3.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 269

I indeed regard those as happy who are in the pos-
session of goods, with no addition of evil. Nor
when we use the word " happy," is there any other
idea underlying it than a cumulated group of goods,
without the presence of any evil. This, virtue can-
not obtain, if there be any good except itself ; l for
there will be present a certain crowd of evils, if
we deem them evils, poverty, want of distinc-
tion, lowly estate, loneliness, loss of kindred, severe
bodily pain, failure of health, feebleness, blindness,
the overthrow of one's country, exile, finally, sla-
very. In these misfortunes so many and so great
(nay, even more may happen), the wise man may be
involved ; for these things occur by accident, from
which a wise man is not exempt. But if these are
evils, who will give pledge that the wise man shall
be happy, when he is liable even to all of these at
one time ? I do not therefore readily concede either
to my friend Brutus, or to the preceptors common
to him and me, or to the ancients, Aristotle, Speusip-
pus, Xenocrates, Polemon, the liberty of reckoning
among evils those things enumerated above, and at
the same time saying that the wise man is always
happy. If they are delighted with the designation
of " happy " as striking and beautiful, as pre-emi-
nently worthy of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, let

1 The " cumulated group of goods " (for so I think that cumu-
lata bonorum complexio should be rendered), consists of the several
parts of virtue, or the single virtues, which are here treated as a

270 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

them bring their minds to despise those things
whose splendor captivates them, strength, beauty,
health, honors, power, and to count their opposites
as of no concern, and then they will be able to make
the clearest profession that they are terrified neither
by the assault of fortune, nor by the opinion of the
multitude, nor by pain, nor by poverty, that they
have within themselves everything that they need,
and that there can be nothing beyond their own
control which they can reckon among goods. For
it is insufferable that one should say these things
which befit a great and high-minded man, and yet
number among evils and goods the same objects
which are so called by common people. Moved by
the fame that attends these lofty professions, Epi-
curus comes forth, maintaining that, if the gods so
please, a wise man is always happy. He is capti-
vated by the elevation of this sentiment; but he
never would have spoken thus, had he listened to
himself. For what can be less fitting than that he
who pronounces pain either the greatest or the only
evil should suppose that the wise man, when tor-
mented by pain, will say, " How sweet this is ! "
Philosophers then are to be judged not by single
utterances, but by their wonted tone of thought and
their self-consistency.

11. A. You compel my assent. But beware lest
you too may be found not entirely consistent with

M. How?

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 271

A. I lately read your fourth book on the Ex-
tremes of Good and Evil. In this, while anmincr

* O O

against Cato, you evidently wished to show, that is,
as I take it, to prove, that there is no difference
between Zeno and the Peripatetics, except as to
certain new terms. If this is so, why, if it accords
with Zeno's reasoning that there is sufficient efficacy
in virtue to create a happy life, may not the Peri-
patetics say the same ? I think that we should
look at the thing itself, not at words.

M. You appeal to my writings, and testify to
what I may at some time have said or written.
You may deal in this way with others, who in their
discussions follow prescribed rules. We, Academi-
cians, 1 live for the passing day ; we say whatever
strikes our minds as probable ; and so we alone are
free. But yet, since we were speaking a little
while ago of consistency, I do not think that the
inquiry here is whether it is true that Zeno and his
pupil Ariston regarded the right as the only good,
but, this being so, whether they thought a happy
life dependent on virtue alone. Therefore we may
certainly suffer Brutus to maintain that the wise
man is always happy. His consistency with him-
self is his own concern. Who indeed is more

1 I have inserted this word without anything corresponding to
it in the Latin text. The last clause of the sentence seems to
show that Cicero is speaking in the name of his school, and not
of himself alone, though he is wont to use the first person plural
in speaking of himself.

272 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

worthy than he of the fame that belongs to this
opinion ? Still let us maintain that, even if others
are happy, the wise man is the happiest of all. 1

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