Pleasant it is, when on the great sea the winds The serene sanctuaries of philosophy. trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another’s great tribulation: not because any man’s troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive what ills you are free from yourself is pleasant. Pleasant is it also to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in the peril. But nothing is more delightful than to possess lofty sanctuaries serene, well fortified by the teachings of the wise, whence you may look down upon others and behold them all astray,a wandering abroad and seeking the path of life:—the strife of wits, the fight for precedence, all labouring night and day with surpassing toil to mount upon the pinnacle of richesb and to lay hold on power. O pitiable minds of men, O blind intelligences! In what gloom of life,c in how great perils is passed all your poor span of time! not to see that all nature barks for is this, that pain be removed away out of the body, and that the mind, kept away from care and fear, enjoy a feeling of delight!
- aCf. Cicero, Fin. 1.19.62 (of the wise man as represented by Epicurus): cum stultorum vitam cum sua comparat, magna afficitur voluptate.
- b12-13 (nodes . . . opes) = 3.62-63.
- cFor the darkness of ignorance from which Epicurus rescued mankind, cf. e.g. 3.1-2, 5.11-12.