Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

LCL 58: 274-275

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Marcus Aurelius

γένηται1 τὰ δίκαια καὶ καλῶς ἔχοντα;” οὐ διοίσει. μήτι ἐπιλέλησαι, ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ ἐν τοῖς περὶ ἄλλων ἐπαίνοις καὶ ψόγοις φρυαττόμενοι, τοιοῦτοι μὲν ἐπὶ τῆς κλίνης εἰσί, τοιοῦτοι δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς τραπέζης, οἷα δὲ ποιοῦσιν, οἷα δὲ φεύγουσιν, οἷα δὲ διώκουσιν, οἷα δὲ κλέπτουσιν, οἷα δὲ ἁρπάζουσιν, οὐ χερσὶ καὶ ποσὶν ἀλλὰ τῷ τιμιωτάτῳ ἑαυτῶν μέρει, ᾧ γίνεται, ὅταν θέλῃ <τις>, πίστις, αἰδώς, ἀλήθεια, νόμος, ἀγαθὸς δαίμων;

ιδ΄. Τῇ πάντα διδούσῃ καὶ ἀπολαμβανούσῃ φύσει ὁ πεπαιδευμένος καὶ αἰδήμων λέγει· “Δὸς ὃ θέλεις, ἀπόλαβε ὃ θέλεις.” λέγει δὲ τοῦτο οὐ καταθρασυνόμενος, ἀλλὰ πειθαρχῶν μόνον καὶ εὐνοῶν αὐτῇ.

ιε΄. Ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ὑπολειπόμενον τοῦτο. ζῆσον ὡς ἐν ὄρει. οὐδὲν γὰρ διαφέρει, ἐκεῖ ἢ ὧδε, ἐάν τις πανταχοῦ ὡς ἐν πόλει τῷ κόσμῳ. ἰδέτωσαν, ἱστορησάτωσαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἄνθρωπον ἀληθινὸν κατὰ φύσιν ζῶντα. εἰ μὴ φέρουσιν, ἀποκτεινάτωσαν. κρεῖττον γὰρ ἢ οὕτω ζῆν.2

ιϛʹ. Μηκέθ᾿ ὅλως περὶ τοῦ, οἷόν τινα εἶναι τὸν ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα <δεῖ>, διαλέγεσθαι, ἀλλὰ εἶναι τοιοῦτον.

ιζ΄. Τοῦ ὅλου αἰῶνος, καὶ τῆς ὅλης οὐσίας συνεχῶς φαντασία,3 καὶ ὅτι πάντα τὰ κατὰ μέρος


Book X

what is just and right? It will make none. Hast thou forgotten that those who play the wanton1 in their praise and blame of others, are such as they are2 in their beds, at their board; and what are the things that they do, the things that they avoid or pursue, and how they pilfer and plunder, not with hands and feet but with the most precious part of them, whereby a man calls into being at will faith, modesty, truth, law, and a good ‘genius’?3

14. Says the well-schooled and humble heart to Nature that gives and takes back all we have; Give what thou wilt, take back what thou wilt.4 But he says it without any bravado of fortitude, in simple obedience and good will to her.

15. Thou has but a short time left to live. Live as on a mountain5; for whether it be here or there, matters not provided that, wherever a man live, he live as a citizen of the World-City.6 Let men look upon thee, cite thee, as a man in very deed that lives according to Nature. If they cannot bear with thee, let them slay thee. For it were better so than to live their life.

16. Put an end once for all to this discussion of what a good man should be, and be one.7

17. Continually picture to thyself Time as a whole, and Substance as a whole, and every individual

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_aurelius-meditations.1916