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Dulcem elaborabunt saporem,

Non aviura citharaeque cantus
Somnum reducent."

288 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

have declared that there can be no happiness for
him over whom some terror is always impend-
ing ? Yet it was no longer possible for him to
return to justice, and to restore to the citizens their
liberty and their rights. In his youth, at an im-
provident age, he had so ensnared himself by
wrong-doings, and had committed them to such an
extent, that he could not be safe if he began to
behave reasonably.

22. What need he felt of friends, while he
dreaded their unfaithfulness, he showed in the case
of those two Pythagoreans, one of whom he ac-
cepted as surety for the other when under sentence
of death. When the doomed man appeared promptly
at the hour appointed for his execution, Dionysius
said, "0 that you would take me as a third friend!"
How miserable it was for him to lack entirely the
intercourse of friends, companionship at table, famil-
iar conversation ! especially for a man from his boy-
hood well educated and versed in liberal arts, also
very fond of music, a tragic poet too, how good
it matters not, I know not why, but in poetry
more than in anything else every one admires his
own. I have never known a poet and Aquinius
was my friend * who was not convinced of his

1 The only thing that we know about Aquinius is that he was
famed for the utter worthlessness of his poetry. He is among
those whom Catullus thus apostrophizes :

" Vos hinc interea valete, abite
Illuc, unde malum pedem tulistis,
Secli incommoda, pessimi poetae."

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 289

own transcendent merit The case is, " You are
charmed with what you write ; I, with what I
write." But to return to Dionysius: he dwelt
apart from all refinement of culture and manners.
He lived with fugitives, criminals," barbarians.
He thought that no one could he his friend who
was either worthy of freedom or had any desire to
he free.

23. Now I will not compare the life of Plato or
Archytas, so well known as learned and wise men,
with the life of this man than which I can imagine
nothing more foul, wretched, detestable. I will call
up from the dust and wand 1 a humble and obscure
man 2 of that same city, Archimedes, who lived
many years 3 after Dionysius. When I was quaes-
tor in Sicily, I found, hedged in and overgrown
with briers and brambles, his tomb, unknown by
the Syracusans, who did not believe in its exist-
ence. I retained in my memory certain verses

1 Latin, a pulverc et radio. The ancient mathematicians used
tablets covered with sand (pulvere), on which they drew their
diagrams with a staff or wand (radio).

2 Latin, humilem homunculum. By our modern standard Ar-
chimedes belongs among the greatest men of antiquity. But he
was not called and did not profess to be a philosopher, and no
other title to eminence in the intellectual hierarchy approached
that of a philosopher. Here it must be remembered that, though
the early philosophers speculated largely and profoundly in the
realm of physics, their speculations in this realm unless Aris-
totle be a partial exception were rather metaphysical, than
mathematical or scientific.

8 About two hundred years.


290 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

which I had heard were inscribed on his monument,
in which it was said that a sphere with a cylinder
was placed on the top of his tomb. After making
thorough search (for there are a great many tombs
close together near the gate Achradina), I noticed
a column very little higher than the surrounding
shrubbery, with the figures of a sphere and a cylin-
der on it. I at once said to the Syracusans, some
of their chief men being with me, that I thought
that this column was what I had been looking for.
Many laborers with scythes were sent in to clear
and open the place. When the entrance was ac-
cessible, I stood over against the base of the column,
on which was an inscription with the latter parts of
the several verses almost half obliterated. Thus a
Grecian city of the highest renown, formerly also
pre-eminent for learning, would not have known
the monument of the keenest intellect that ever
lived in it, had it not ascertained the spot through a
native of Arpinum. But to return from this digres-
sion : who is there that has any intercourse with the
Muses, that is, with polite literature and with learn-
ing, who would not rather be this mathematician
than that tyrant ? If we look into their mode of
life and course of conduct, the mind of the one was
fed by scientific contemplation and research, with the
enjoyment of his own skill, the soul's sweetest food ;
that of the other was occupied with murders and
wrongs, with fear both by day and by night. Still
further, compare Democritus, Pythagoras, Anaxag-

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 291

oras, with the tyrant. What sceptres, what riches
will you prefer to their study and their joy ? For
in that which is the chief part of man must neces-
sarily be situated the supreme good which you seek.
But what in man is better than a sagacious and
good mind ? We must enjoy the good that is in the
mind, if we mean to be happy. But virtue is the
good of the mind; therefore a happy life must
necessarily be contained in it. Hence come all
things that are beautiful, right, excellent (as I have
already said, yet it seems fitting to say it a little
more at length), and they are full of joy. But since
it is clear that a happy life exists with full and un-
ceasing joy, it follows that it derives its existence
from the right.

24. But, not to confine myself to an abstract
statement, I would present certain principles in
action, in such a way as to increase our desire for
knowledge and understanding. Let us take then
some man who excels in the best arts, and let him
assume shape for a little while in mind and thought.
In the first place, he must needs be of surpassing
ability; for virtue does not easily associate itself
with slow minds. Then too, he must have an active
zeal in the investigation of truth, whence will
spring a threefold product of the mind, first, in the
knowledge of things and the explanation of Nature ;
secondly, in the definition of the things to be sought
or shunned ; thirdly, in drawing positive or negative
conclusions from given premises, embracing at once

292 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

skilful reasoning and unerring judgment. What joy
must fill the mind of the wise man who dwells day
and night in these pursuits, when he has in clear view
the courses and revolutions of the whole universe,
and sees in harmonious movement with it the num-
berless stars studding the sky in unchanging order,

the seven others, keeping each its own orbit,
widely differing in altitude, whose motions, though
wandering, yet mark out their determined and un-
varying paths in space ! No wonder that the sight
of these celestial bodies stirred up and urged on
those men of old to research in other directions.
Hence sprang the investigation of the beginnings
and, so to speak, the seeds whence all things came
into being, were generated, were compounded, of
the origin of every kind of being, inanimate or liv-
ing, voiceless or capable of utterance, the inquiry
whence came the earth and by what weights bal-
anced, in what caverns it holds in the seas, 1 by
what gravitation all things borne down tend to the
centre of the universe, or what is the same thing

to the lowest attainable point in our globe. 2

25. For the soul conversant with these things
and pondering upon them night and day there
emerges the knowledge prescribed by the god at

1 To prevent inundations.

2 Or, "tends to the centre of the world, which is also the low-
est (or inmost) sphere in the whole round universe." For the
seven concentric spheres of which this earth is both the innermost
(intimus) and the lowest (infimus), see Scipio's Dream, 4.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 293

Delphi, so that the mind knows itself, is conscious
of intimate union with the divine mind, and is thus
filled with insatiable 1 joy. For thought upon the
power and nature of the gods of itself kindles a
longing to be eternal as they are ; nor can the soul
conceive of itself as confined within the shortness
of this earthly life, when it sees the causes of things
dependent on other causes, and bound in an inevi-
table series, which, flowing forever from a past eter-
nity, is nevertheless governed by reason and by
mind. As for him who looks into these things and
looks up to them, or rather looks around all their
divisions and boundaries, with what tranquillity of
soul does he contemplate all human and nearer con-
cerns ! Hence springs the knowledge of virtue ; the
kinds and divisions of the virtues flower out from
the parent stock ; it is ascertained what Nature re-
gards as the supreme good and the extreme of evil,
to what standard duties are to be referred, what
mode of conduct in life is to be chosen. Of these
and similar inquiries the most important result is
that which is the theme of our present discussion,
the sufficiency of virtue in itself for a happy life.
A third 2 result follows, flowing and diffusing itself
through every part of wisdom, the method and
science of reasoning, which defines things, distrib-
utes their kinds, connects consequences with their
antecedents, draws conclusions that are infallibly

1 Insatiable because eternal.

3 See the "threefold product of the mind," in 24.

294 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

true. Hence comes the surest practical sagacity for
determining the value of things, and therewith a
pleasure in the highest degree ingenuous and of
which wisdom need not be ashamed. But these
things belong to a restful life. Let this same wise
man pass to the charge of the public interests.
What can excel him, when by his discretion he sees
that the well-being of the citizens remains unim-
paired, in his justice turns aside nothing from the
public service to his own behoof, and makes active
use of virtues so many and so various ? Add to
this the fruit of his friendships, in which, as learned
men say, those thus united not only feel, but almost
breathe together as to their plans of life, while at
the same time they find the utmost delight in their
daily conversation and intercourse. What is there
lacking that could make this life happier ? Fortune
herself must yield to a life full of so many and so
great joys. But if to rejoice in so many goods of
the soul, that is, in virtues, is happiness, and if all
wise men have thorough experience of these joys,
then it must of necessity be acknowledged that they
are all happy.

26. A. Even in torture and torment ?

M. Did you think that I meant to say, " On a
bed of violets or of roses " ? Shall Epicurus, who
only acted the philosopher, and assumed rather than
received that name, be suffered to say and as the
case stands, I praise him for saying so that there
is no time when the wise man, though burned, tor-

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 295

tured, mutilated, cannot exclaim, " Oh, how utterly
I disregard it ! " while he admits no evil but pain,
no good but pleasure, derides our distinction of right
and wrong, and says that, busy with mere words, we
are uttering sounds without meaning, and that the
only thing that concerns us is what is smooth or
rough to the bodily sense ? Shall he, whose judg-
ment in such matters differs little from that of the
brutes, be suffered to forget himself, and not only to
despise fortune when all his good and evil are in
the power of fortune, but to call himself happy in
the extremity of torture and torment, when he has
made pain not only the greatest, but the only evil ?
Nor did he provide himself with the remedies that
enable one to bear pain, such as firmness of mind,
shame of anything mean, the exercise and habit of
endurance, precepts of fortitude, manly hardihood ;
but he says that he acquiesces in pain solely from
the recollection of past pleasures, as if one in heat
greater that he can easily sustain should call to
mind that he was once in my native Arpinum sur-
rounded by ice-cold streams. I do not see how past
pleasures can allay present evils ; but when he who
in self-consistency has no right to say it, says that
the wise man is always happy, what should they do
who think that nothing ought to be sought, nothing
to be regarded as among goods, that is not right ?
In my opinion, 1 indeed, even the Peripatetics and

1 Latin, me auctore, which might be rendered, " under my

296 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

the old Academicians ought to cease stammering,
and to say openly and in a clear voice that a happy
life might pass down the maw of the bull of

27. To leave the intricacies of the Stoics which
I am aware of having employed more than is my
wont, let it be admitted that there are three
kinds of goods, let them all be recognized as such,
while the bodily and external kinds have their in-
ferior place and are called " good " because they are
comparatively preferable; 1 but let those divine
goods spread themselves far and wide and reach
to the sky. Why should we call him who has
attained them merely happy, and not the very hap-
piest of men ? Shall a wise man fear pain ? This
is in indeed the chief obstacle to my opinion ; for
by the discussions of previous days we seem to be
sufficiently armed and prepared against our own
death and that of our friends, and against grief and
other perturbations of mind. Pain seems to be the
most strenuous enemy to virtue. It menaces us
with burning torches. It threatens to impair cour-
age, magnanimity, patience. Shall virtue then suc-
cumb to it ? Shall the happy life of a wise and
self-consistent man yield to it? ye good gods,

1 Latin, sumenda, "to be taken [in preference]." Sumenda
is evidently a translation of the Greek irpo-rjyijAva., by which the
later Stoics denoted what they admitted to be a secondary order
of goods. As some bodily condition and some external posses-
sions and surroundings are inevitable, they admitted the right of
preference, and thus admitted things preferable as a class.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 297

how base ! Spartan boys do not groan when their
bodies are torn by the agony of stripes. I myself
have seen at Lacedaemon flocks of youth contend-
ing with incredible earnestness, with fists, heels,
nails, and at length with teeth, and utterly ex-
hausted before they would admit that they were
conquered. What barbarous country is more rude
and savage than India ? Yet among the people that
dwell there, in the first place, those who are es-
teemed wise live without clothing, bear without pain
the snows of Caucasus 1 and the severity of winter,
and when they come into contact with fire, they
suffer themselves to be burned without a groan.
The women in India, too, when the husband of any
of them dies, have a contest, and that before the
judges, to determine which of them he loved most
(for one man usually has several wives) ; and the
one that wins, followed by her kindred, joyfully
ascends the funeral pile with her husband, while
those who fail go away sad. Custom could never
conquer Nature, for she is always unconquered;
but we infect our souls with darkness, luxury,
idleness, languor, sloth, and soften them by false
opinions and bad habits. Who does not know the
customs of the Aegyptians, who, imbued with errors
of the most debasing kind, will rather bear any
torture than hurt an ibis, or a cat, or a dog, or a

1 A name by which a chain of mountains near the western
boundary of India was frequently called, its more usual name
being Paropamisus.

298 Cicero's Tuseulan Disputations.

crocodile ; while if they do such a thing unwit-
tingly, they shrink from no punishment ? I am
speaking of men. What of beasts ? Do not they
endure cold, hunger, running when chased, or in
quest of food, over mountains and through forests ?
Do they not fight for their offspring till they are
wounded, fearing no assaults or blows ? I say noth-
ing of what the ambitious suffer to obtain office,
those greedy of applause for the sake of fame, those
inflamed by love to gratify their desire. Life is full
of examples.

28. But our discussion must have its limits, and
it is time to return from my digression. I repeat it,
a happy life will submit to torture, nor, having fol-
lowed justice, temperance, and especially fortitude,
magnanimity, patience, can it cease to follow them J
when it sees the face of the torturer, and remain
to resume a figure already used outside of the
doors and threshold of the prison, while all the
virtues pass on undismayed to the place of torment.
For what could be more disgraceful, more unsightly
than a happy life left alone outside, separated from
its incomparably beautiful associates ? This cannot

1 Latin, constet, i. e. "stand still." This sentence, as a series
of mutually consistent and singularly appropriate metaphors, has
very great beauty. A happy life personified is represented as fol-
lowing (prosecuta) the virtues, as unable to stop short or stand
still (constet), oil seeing the torturer's face, and to remain standing
(resistet) outside of the prison gates ; for what can look worse
than for her to be left alone (sola relicta), parted from the flock
(segregata) of her fair companions ?

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 299

possibly be. Nor can the virtues hold together
without a happy life, nor can a happy life retain its
entireness without the virtues. Therefore they will
not suffer it to turn its back. They will force it
along with them, to whatever pain and torment they
shall be dragged. For it is the property of the wise
man to do nothing of which he can repent, nothing
against his own will, but to do everything firmly,
soberly, rightly, thus to regard no event as certain
to take place, to wonder at nothing that may have
happened as if it seemed to him unexpected and
new, to refer everything to his own judgment, to
abide by his own decisions. I certainly cannot
imagine any condition happier than this. The con-
clusion of the Stoics is indeed obvious. Eegarding
it as the supreme good to live agreeably to nature
and in accordance with it, and considering the wise
man as not only bound in duty, but also able to live
thus, they necessarily infer that the life of him who
has the supreme good within his power must be hap-
py. Therefore the wise man's life is always happy.
You thus have what I think may be said concern-
ing a happy life with the strongest emphasis, and
as the question now stands, with absolute certainty,
unless you can bring forward something better.

29. A. I can indeed bring forward nothing bet-
ter ; but one thing I would gladly beg of you, unless
it will give you too much trouble, since no bonds of
any particular school hinder you, and you extract l

1 Latin, libas, "sip," as a bee sips nectar, fluttering from
flower to flower.

300 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

from each whatever strikes you as most probable.
As you a little while ago were disposed to advise
the Peripatetics and the disciples of the Old Acad-
emy to say freely without reserve that the wise are
always perfectly happy, I should like to hear how
you think that they can consistently say so ; for
you have alleged a great deal against their opinion
on this subject, and have refuted it by the reason-
ing of the Stoics.

M. I will use then the liberty which we 1 alone
have the right to use in philosophy, as we determine
nothing, but discuss questions in all their bearings,
so that what we say may be judged by others on its
own merits, unsupported by any one's authority.
Since you seem to desire that, whatever may be the
opinion of mutually dissenting philosophers con-
cerning the supreme good and the extreme of evil,
it should yet be maintained that virtue affords a
sufficient guaranty for a happy life, which we learn
that Carneades used to dispute, but he as against
the Stoics, whom he always opposed most zealously,
and against whose doctrines he was inflamed with
hostility, I will treat the subject dispassionately.
If the Stoics were right in their view of the supreme
good, the question is settled, the wise man must
of necessity be always happy. But let us examine
each of the remaining opinions, that this admirable
decree, if I may so term it, as to a happy life may
be found in harmony with the opinions and systems
of all.

1 We of the Kew Academy.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 301

30. The following, I think, are all the opinions
held and defended concerning the supreme good and
the corresponding extreme of evil. In the first place,
there are four simple opinions, that there is no
good but the right, as the Stoics say ; that there is
no good but pleasure, according to Epicurus ; that
there is no good except freedom from pain, as is
the opinion of Hieronymus ; 1 that there is no good
except the enjoyment of the chief, or all, or the
greatest goods of nature, as Carneades maintained
against the Stoics. These are simple. The others
mingle different elements in the good. Thus the
Peripatetics, from whom those of the Old Academy
differ very little, recognize three classes of goods,
the greatest, those of mind ; the second, those of the
body ; in the third rank, external goods. Dinoma-
chus and Calliphon 2 coupled pleasure with the right,
and Diodorus, the Peripatetic, annexed painlessness
to the right, as constituting the good. These are
opinions that may have some permanence; those
of Ariston, Pyrrho, Herillus 3 and some others, have
disappeared. Let us see what inferences can be
drawn from each of these opinions, omitting the
Stoics, whose ground I think that I have sufficiently
defended. I have also explained the position of the
Peripatetics. Except Theophrastus and any who
may have followed him in a too imbecile fear of

1 A disciple of Aristotle, yet not in full sympathy with the

2 See De Officiis, iii. 33. 8 See De Offidis, i. 2.

302 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

pain, the rest are at liberty to do what they almost
always do, to express in superlative terms the
weight and worth of virtue, which when they have
extolled to the skies, it is easy in comparison to
vilify and despise everything else. Those who say
that worthy praise l is to be sought, though won
with pain, cannot deny that they who have won it
are happy ; for though they may encounter some
evils, yet this word "happy" has a very wide

31. For as commerce is called " profitable," and
agriculture " fruitful," not merely when the former
is altogether free from loss, and the latter from dam-
age by bad weather, but when they are in far the
greater part prosperous, so life may be fitly called
" happy," not only when it is entirely filled with
good things, but when goods very greatly prepon-
derate both in quantity and in importance. By the
reasoning of the Peripatetics then a happy life will
follow virtue to punishment, and will go down with
it into the bull of Phalaris, according to Aristotle,
Xenocrates, Speusippus and Polemon, nor will hap-
piness be induced by threats or by blandishments
to desert virtue. The same will be the opinion of
Calliphon and Diodorus, botn of whom take such
strong hold upon the right as to think that what-
ever lacks it should be placed in the distance and

1 Latin, laudem. I have inserted "worthy," because laus sel-
dom denotes unmerited praise, and here can mean nothing else
than praise which is won by deserving it.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 303

the background. The others seem to be in a nar-
rower strait, yet they swim clear, I mean Epicu-
rus, Hieronymus, and those if there are any who
care to defend the deserted Carneades; for there
is not one of them who does not regard the mind
as the judge of things good, and does not so train
the mind that it can despise seeming good and evil.
Now what seems to you the case of Epicurus will
be also that of Hieronymus and Carneades, and, by
Hercules, of all the rest ; for who of them is insuffi-
ciently prepared against death or pain ? I will
begin, if you please, with him whom we term effem-
inate, even a voluptuary. What ? Does he seem
to you to fear death or pain, who calls the day of
his death happy, and when visited by the severest
pains, neutralizes them by the memory and recol-
lection of his own discoveries ? And he treats these
subjects in such a way, that it does not seem like
idle talk from the impulse of the moment. For as
to death, he thinks that on the dissolution of the
animal life consciousness is extinguished, and main-

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