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tains that nothing which lacks consciousness can
belong to us. As to pain, he has certain positions
to which he adheres, comforting it when great, by
its brevity, when long continued, by its lightness.
How far then as to these two things that give us
the greatest distress are those who make such loud
professions l in advance of Epicurus ? For other
things which are thought to be evils, do not Epicu-
1 The Stoics.

304 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

rus and the rest of the philosophers seem suffi-
ciently prepared ? How almost universal is the
dread of poverty ! Yet no philosopher fears it.

32. With how little is this same Epicurus satis-
fied ! No one has said more than he about simple
living. Indeed, when one is far removed from all
things that occasion a desire for money to be spent
for love, for ambition, for daily luxuries, why should
he have any great desire for money, or rather, why
should he care for it at all ? Could the Scythian
Anacharsis 1 consider money as of no worth, and
should not our philosophers be able to do the like ?
His letter is as follows : " Anacharsis to Hanno, 2
greeting. My clothing is the usual Scythian gar-
ment ; my shoes, the hardened soles of my feet ;
my condiment, hunger ; my food, milk, cheese, flesh.
You may therefore come to me as to one at perfect
ease. But these presents with which you are so
much pleased I would have you give either to your
own citizens or to the immortal gods." Almost all
philosophers of every school, except those whom a
vicious nature had turned aside from right reason,
would have been of the same mind with him. Soc-

1 A brother of the Scythian king, who travelled in pursuit of
knowledge, and in Athens was regarded with great interest both
for his simplicity of life and manners, and for his rare intelligence
and wisdom. Though he was not a Greek, his name appears on
some lists of the seven wise men of Greece. He was contemporary
with Solon.

2 A Carthaginian name, and Anacharsis very probably visited

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 305

rates, when a great quantity of gold and silver was
carried in a procession, said, "How many things
there are which I do not want ! " Xenocrates, when
ambassadors from Alexander brought him fifty tal-
ents, 1 a very large sum in those times, especially at
Athens, took the ambassadors to sup with him in
the Academy, placing before them sufficient food,
without any parade. The next day, when they
asked him to whom he would have the money
paid, he said, " What ? Did you not understand by
yesterday's supper that I am in no need of money?"
When he saw them somewhat sad, he accepted
thirty minae, 2 lest he might seem to despise the
king's generosity. Diogenes as a Cynic took greater
liberty with Alexander when the king asked him if
he had need of anything, and replied, " I wish that
you would stand a little way out of the sun." He had
forsooth stood in the way of the philosopher as he
was sunning himself. Diogenes used also to tell
how much he excelled the king of the Persians in
his mode of life and in fortune, saying that he
lacked nothing, while the king could never have
enough, that he did not desire the king's pleasures,
which were never sufficient to satisfy him ; while
the king could not possibly obtain his pleasures.

33. You are aware, I think, how Epicurus has di-
vided the desires into classes, not perhaps with much

1 A sum equivalent to about sixty thousand dollars.

2 About one hundredth part of what had been offered to him
the day before.


306 Cicero's Tasculan Disputations.

logical skill, but in a way practically useful. Desires
are, according to him, in part, natural and necessary ;
in part, natural and not necessary ; in part, neither.
Those that are necessary can be satisfied almost
without cost ; for the wealth of Xature is within
easy reach. As to the second class of desires, it is
not difficult either to satisfy them or to dispense
with them. The third class, because they are
essentially frivolous, and unrelated not only to
necessity, but also to nature, he would have entirely
thrown aside. On this entire subject there are
many details that are discussed among the Epicu-
reans, and pleasures of kinds which as a whole they
do not despise, are treated as individually of little
worth ; yet they demand such pleasures as may be
easily supplied. As to the lowest forms of sensual
pleasure, about which they have written a great
deal, they say that they are easy, common, acces-
sible ; that if Nature demands them, they are to be
measured not by race, position or rank, but by man-
ner, age, person ; that abstinence from them is by
no means difficult, if required by either health,
duty or reputation ; that on the whole this kind of
pleasure may be desirable, but can never be of any
use. Concerning pleasure in general, the maxims
of Epicurus show that he regards pleasure in itself,
because it is pleasure, as always to be desired and
sought, and for the same reason pain in itself, be-
cause it is pain, is always to be avoided. The wise
man, therefore, will employ such balances as to

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 307

shun pleasure if it will produce more than its own
amount of pain, and will incur pain if it will pro-
duce more than its own amount of pleasure. All
pleasures, according to him, though judged as such
by the bodily sense, are yet referred to the mind,
since the body enjoys only so long as it feels the
present pleasure, while the mind perceives the
present pleasure equally with the body, and at
the same time looks forward to pleasure in the
future, and does not suffer the past to flow by.
Thus the wise man will always have perpetual
and continuous pleasures, while the expectation of
pleasures hoped for is united to the remembrance of
those that are past. 1

34. These philosophers apply like principles to
food, and accordingly the magnificence and sump-
tuousness of feasts are held in no esteem, because
Nature is satisfied with frugal ways of living. For
who does not see that all kinds of food are seasoned
by the need of them ? Darius in his flight, having
drunk muddy water fouled by carcasses that had been

1 This is sound philosophy, though from Epicurus, and it ap-
plies to pain no less than to pleasure. In suffering of every kind,
memory of what has been borne and anticipation of what must
yet be endured form a very large proportion of the conscious
affliction or burden. From all this young children are exempt ;
so too, in a considerable degree, are those whose minds feel the
benumbing influence of advanced age ; so too, in all probability,
are the inferior animals. Thus pain and sorrow fall with full
force only on those for whom suffering is or ought to be a whole-
some moral discipline.

308 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

thrown into it, said that he had never drunk any-
thing more pleasant to the taste, the fact being that
he had never before drunk to satisfy actual thirst.
Nor had Ptolemy ever eaten to satisfy hunger, till,
when he was travelling over his kingdom in advance
of his attendants, some coarse bread was given him
in a hut, and nothing ever seemed to him of sweeter
taste than that bread. It is said that Socrates, hav-
ing walked at a great pace till evening, when asked
why he was doing so, replied that he was sharpen-
ing his appetite so as to sup the better. Do we not
know what was the food of the Lacedaemonians at
their public table ? When Dionysius the tyrant
supped there, he said that he did not like that black
soup which was the chief dish on the table. Then
he who made the soup said, " No wonder ; for you
took it without seasoning." "What seasoning do
you mean ? " asked the tyrant. The reply was,
" Labor in hunting, perspiration, running from the
Eurotas, hunger, thirst ; for these are the seasonings
of Lacedaemonian banquets." Moreover, this same
lesson may be learned not only from human cus-
toms, but equally from beasts that are satisfied with
whatever is thrown to them, if it be not repugnant
to their nature, and want nothing better. Certain
entire states, taught by custom, rejoice in frugal
habits, as was the case with the Lacedaemonians of
whom I have just spoken. Xenophon gives an
account of the living of the Persians, who, he says,
use for their bread no seasoning but cresses. Yet,

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 309

if Nature demands anything sweeter, how many
things there are that spring from the earth or grow
on trees that are equally abundant and delicious !
Consider also the freedom from gross humors 1 and
the sound health consequent on this abstemiousness
in food. Compare with men of simple diet those
whom you may see perspiring, belching, overloaded
with food like fat oxen, and you will understand
that they who most follow pleasure obtain the least
of it, and that the enjoyment of eating consists in
appetite, not in satiety.

35. It is related, that Timotheus, an eminent
Athenian, indeed the chief man in the city, 2 having
supped with Plato, and having been very much
pleased with the entertainment, when he saw his
host the next day, said, " Your suppers are pleasant
not only while they last, but also on the following
day." What ? Can we use our minds aright when
we are filled with an excess of food and drink ?
There is extant an admirable letter of Plato to
Dion's friends, in which, as nearly as I can trans-
late it, are these words : " When I came thither, 3
the life which was esteemed happy, crowded with
Italian and Syracusan entertainments, was far from
giving me pleasure. To be forced to eat largely

1 Latin, sictitatem.

2 Timotheus, as a naval commander, restored the supremacy
and fame of Athens by sea. He was at the same time a patron of
men of letters, and erected a bronze statue of Isocrates. See De
Officiis, i. 32.

3 To Syracuse, during Dion's exile.

310 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

twice a day, never to have a night to one's self, and
other things attendant on this mode of life, would
be enough to prevent any one from becoming wise,
much more, from being temperate. For what nature
can be so marvellously constituted as to bear this ? "
How then can there be pleasure in a life in which
there is neither prudence nor temperance ? We
may hence ascertain the mistake of Sardanapalus,
the enormously rich king of Syria, in ordering these
verses to be engraved on his funeral urn,

" What I have eaten and enjoyed I have ;
But much that 's excellent I leave behind me."

What else, says Aristotle, could you inscribe on the
tomb of an ox, not to say, of a king ? He says
that, when dead, he has things which, when living,
he had only while he was enjoying them. Why
then are riches desired ? Or wherein does poverty
preclude happiness ? I suppose, in the matter of
statues, pictures, amusements. If one delights in
these, do not men of slender means enjoy them
better than those who have them in abundance ?
For there is in our city a great supply of all these
things for the public benefit. The private citizens
who have works of art do not see so many, and
they see their own seldom, and only when they go
to their country seats ; and there must also be some
prickings of conscience when they remember whence
they obtained them. 1 The day would close upon

1 They were stolen, sometimes and less guiltily in the sacking
of conquered cities, often, I am inclined to think oftener, by the

Virtue sufficient for Happiness, 311

me, were I to undertake to plead the cause of pov-
erty. 1 The case, however, is a plain one, and Na-
ture every day reminds us how few and cheap are
her needs.

36. Now, shall low rank, or humble condition, or
unpopularity prevent a wise man from being happy ?
Consider whether the conciliating of the people's
favor and the fame thus sought do not involve
more trouble than pleasure. Our favorite orator
Demosthenes certainly appears very small when he
professed to be delighted in hearing a woman carry-
ing water (as women are wont to do in Greece)
whispering to another woman, " This is that Demos-
thenes." What could be weaker than this ? Yet
how great he was as an orator ! He had, forsooth,
learned to speak to others, not much with himself.
It must then be understood that popular fame is
not to be sought for its own sake, and that low rank
is not to be dreaded. "I came to Athens," said
Democritus, " and no one knew me," the words
of a firm and brave man, who glories in his remote-
ness from glory. Do players on the flute and on
stringed instruments modulate their notes and num-
bers, not by the judgment of the people, but by

extortion and even undisguised theft of officials in the provinces,
as of Verres in Sicily. Eome was exceedingly rich in works of
art, long before she had a sculptor or painter of her own whose
works possessed any merit.

1 Yet Cicero himself was greatly dependent, not indeed on the
vicious or low pleasures, but on the appliances of art, taste, and
sober luxury, which wealth alone could furnish.

312 Cicero & Tusculan Disputations.

their own ; and shall the wise man, skilled in an
art of much higher order, seek not what is most
nearly conformed to the truth, but what the people
crave ? Is anything more foolish than to make
great account in the mass of those whom individ-
ually you scorn as mere laborers and persons of no
culture ? The wise man will despise our ambitions
and frivolities, and reject honors from the people,
though offered spontaneously ; while we do not know
how to despise them till we begin to find reason for
regretting them. Heraclitus, the physicist, in writ-
ing about Hermodorus, 1 the chief man among the
Ephesians, says that all the Ephesians deserved capi-
tal punishment for expelling Hermodorus from their
city, giving as their reason, " We will not have any
one of us better than the rest ; if there be such a
man, let him be in another place and among other
people." Is not something like this the case with
every people ? Do they not hate all pre-eminence
of virtue ? What ? Was not Aristides (for I would
rather cite examples from among the Greeks than
among our own people) expelled from his country
because he was righteous beyond measure ? From
how many troubles are they free, who have nothing
at all to do with the people ! What, indeed, is more
delightful than learned leisure ? I refer to that

1 He is said to have come to Rome to aid the decemvirs in
framing the laws of the Twelve Tables, a tradition confirmed
by the undoubted fact that there was a statue of him in the

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 313

learning by which we become conversant with the
immensity of the universe and of Nature, and in
this world of ours with sky, lands and seas.

37. Honor despised, money also despised, what
remains to be feared ? Exile, I suppose, which is
regarded as among the greatest evils. If this (so-
called) evil comes from the adverse and hostile dis-
position of the people, I have just said how much
it is to be despised. But if absence from one's
country is misery, the provinces are thronged with
miserable people, very few of whom return to their
country. But exiles have their goods confiscated.
What of that? Is not a great deal said about
bearing poverty ? Then if we look into the thing
itself, and not into the disgrace of the name, what
is the difference between exile and perpetual trav-
elling in foreign countries, in which philosophers
of the highest rank have passed their lives ? This
was the case with Xenocrates, Grantor, Arcesilas,
Lacydes, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Zeno, Cleanthes,
Chrysippus, Antipater, Carneades, Panaetius, Cli-
tomachus, Philo, Antiochus, Posidonius, and others
more than I can number, who, after having once
left home, never returned. If exile, then, be with-
out merited disgrace, should it affect the wise man ?
For all that I have to say is about the wise man, to
whom this cannot rightfully happen. There is no
fitness in offering consolation to one whose exile is
deserved. In the last place, the case of those who
refer the objects which they pursue in life to the

314 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

standard of pleasure presents no difficulty, since
wherever these objects can be supplied, they can
live happily. Thus to every case Teucer's words
are applicable :

' ' Where it is well with me, there is my country." *

"When Socrates was asked to name his city, he said,
" The world ; " for he regarded himself as an inhab-
itant and citizen of the whole world. What shall
we say of Titus Albucius ? 2 Did not he with the
utmost equanimity pursue the study of philosophy
in Athens ? to whom, nevertheless, this would not
have happened, if he had obeyed the precepts of
Epicurus and taken no interest in public affairs.
How much happier was Epicurus for living at home
than Metrodorus 3 who also lived in Athens ? Was

1 A verse from the Teucer of Pacuvius. The story (myth it
may be) of Teucer's banishment by his father from Salamis in Crete
(whence he went to found Salamis in Cyprus), is referred to by
Horace (i. 7), who makes Teucer say :

" Quo nos cumque feret melior Fortuna parente,

Ibimus, o socii comrtesque.
Nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro."

2 He was accused of extortion as praetor in Sardinia, con-
demned, for aught that appears to the contrary, justly, and closed
his days as an adept in the Epicurean philosophy at Athens. He
seems to have been at best a light-headed man, and "Cicero here
probably does not mean to express approval of his character, but
simply to refer to the unconcern with which he was well known
to have borne his exile.

8 They both lived in Athens. Epicurus was born there, and
so was Metrodorus, according to some authorities ; according to

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 315

Plato happier than Xenocrates, 1 or Polemon than Ar-
cesilas ? 2 Then again, in what esteem should a city
be held, from which good and wise men are driven ?
Demaratus indeed, the father of our King Tarquin, 3
because he could not bear the tyrant Cypselus, fled
from Corinth to Tarquinii, established himself there,
and had children born there. Was he foolish in
preferring freedom in exile to slavery at home ?

38. All emotions of the mind, anxieties, griefs,
are allayed by being forgotten, when the thoughts
are drawn over in the direction of pleasure. There-
fore it was not without reason that Epicurus used
to say that the wise man is always in the enjoy-
ment of good things, because he is always in the
enjoyment of pleasure. Hence he thinks that it is
proved, in accordance with the result of our present
inquiry, that the wise man is always happy. Is he
so, you ask, if he lacks the sense of sight or of hear-
ing ? Yes ; for he holds these in mean esteem. In
the first place, what pleasures are wanting to that
blindness which is so much dreaded ? since some
maintain that, while other pleasures have their seat
in the senses themselves, the things that are per-
ceived by the sight are not confined to pleasant
sensations of the eyes, that the things which we

others, followed undoubtedly, by Cicero, he was born at Lampsa-
cus, a Greek colony in Mysia.

1 Who was a native of Chalcedon, and lived many years in

2 Who was born in Aeolis, and lived in Athens.

3 Tarquinius Priscus.

316 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations.

taste, smell, touch, hear, are concerned only with
the part of the body with which we perceive them,
but that with the eyes it is not so, the mind re-
ceiving directly what we see. But the mind may
receive pleasure in many various ways, even if sight
be not employed. I am speaking of the educated
and learned man, to whom to think is to live. Now
the thought of the wise man does not usually em-
ploy the aid of the eyes in investigation. More-
over, if night does not deprive life of happiness,
why should day that is like night have that effect ?
Antipater, the Cyrenaic philosopher, replied some-
what coarsely, yet not without large signification,
to some women who condoled with him on his
blindness, " What are you saying ? Do you think
the night void of pleasure ? " As for that old Ap-
pius Claudius, 1 who was blind for many years, we
learn both from the magistracies that he filled and
from what he accomplished that in this calamity of
his he was deficient in no duty or office private or
public. We have heard that the house of Caius
Drusus used to be filled with clients. When those
whose business was in hand could not see their own
way, they employed a blind guide. v When I was a
boy, blind Gneius Aufidius, who had been praetor,
used to give his opinion in the Senate, and never
failed his friends when they needed his counsel, and
at the same time wrote a history in Greek, 2 and in
literature was a seeing man.

1 See De Senectute, 6, 11. 2 A history of Rome in Greek.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 317

39. Diodotus, the Stoic, lived for many years in
my house. What would seem almost incredible,
while he cultivated philosophy much more assid-
uously than before his blindness, and played on the
lyre as was the custom of the Pythagoreans, and had
books read to him by night and day, in which pur-
suits he did not absolutely need eyes : he also
what seems hardly possible without eyes dis-
charged the office of a teacher of geometry, giving
verbal directions to his pupils where every line in
their diagrams should begin and end. 1 It is said
that Asclepiades, of Eretria, a philosopher of some
celebrity, when he was asked what had befallen to
him in consequence of his blindness, replied, " The
need of the attendance of one more servant." As
extreme poverty, if necessary, may be borne, as not
a few in Greece have to bear it constantly, so blind-
ness can be easily endured, if the support of good
health be not wanting. Democritus, when he lost
the use of his eyes, could not discriminate between
white and black. But he could discriminate be-
tween things good and evil, fair and unfair, right
and wrong, great and small, and without knowing
differences of color he was able to live happily,
though he could not have so lived without the
knowledge of things as they really are. This man,
indeed, thought that the mental vision was made

1 Diodotus, before his blindness, was Cicero's teacher, espe-
cially in logic. He died in Cicero's house, and left Cicero hia

318 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

less clear by eyesight, and when others often did
not see what was before their feet, he travelled
through all infinity so that he never reached a
limit. The tradition is that Homer was blind. But
we see in him not poetry, so much as pictures.
What region, what coast, what place in Greece, what
kind and mode of warfare, what movement of men
or of beasts, is not so painted as to make us see
what he himself could not have seen ? What then ?
Can we think that delight and pleasure of mind were
wanting to Homer, or that they are ever wanting to
any well-instructed man ? If they could be, would
Anaxagoras, or this very Democritus, have left his
native soil and his patrimony, and devoted himself
with his whole soul to the divine delight of learning
and investigation ? Thus also the poets, who rep-
resent the augur Tiresias as a wise man, never in-
troduce him as deploring his blindness. Homer,
too, having made Polyphemus savage and beastly,
introduces him, in talking with his ram, as con-
gratulating himself on his good fortune, because he
could go wberever he pleased and reach whatever
he wanted. 1 He was in the right ; for the Cyclops
had no more sense than that ram had.

40. In the next place, what evil is there in deaf-
ness ? Marcus Crassus was somewhat deaf ; but he
was more annoyed by knowing that he was spoken

1 This conversation with the ram has nothing corresponding to
it in the Odyssey. It was probably in some epic or tragedy now
lost, and was by a lapse of memory credited to Homer.

Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 319

ill of, though, as I thought, unjustly. 1 Our Epicu-
reans are, almost all of them, ignorant of Greek, as
the Greeks of the same school are of Latin ; there-
fore those of each tongue are deaf in the other, and
all of us are certainly deaf in the innumerable lan-
guages which we do not understand. But, it is said,
the deaf cannot hear the voice 2 of the harp-player.
Nor do they hear the grating of the saw when it
is sharpened, or the shrieks of the pig when he is
killed, or the noise of the murmuring sea when they
want repose. Moreover, if it so be that they delight
in songs, they ought to reflect, in the first place,
that many wise men lived happily before rhythmi-

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