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Disputations, II.

abates nothing of the pain,1 why do we wish to disgrace ourselves to no purpose? What is more disgraceful for a man than womanish weeping? Moreover this rule which is laid down for pain has a wider scope, for we must resist everything and not merely pain with a similar straining of every nerve of the soul. Anger blazes up, lust is roused: we must hasten for refuge to the same citadel, we must take up the same weapons;—but as pain is our subject, let us leave other illustrations on one side. To enable us to bear pain quietly and calmly it is a very great gain to reflect with all our heart and mind, as the saying is, how honourable 2 it is to do so. Nature has made us, as I have said before—it must often be repeated—enthusiastic seekers after honour, and once we have caught, as it were, some glimpse of its radiance, there is nothing we are not prepared to bear and go through in order to secure it. It is from this rush, this impulse of our souls towards true renown and reputation that the dangers of battle are encountered; brave men do not feel wounds in the line of battle, or feel them, but prefer death rather than move a step from the post that honour has appointed. The Decii3 saw the gleaming swords of the enemy when they charged their line of battle; the fame and glory of death lessened for them all fear of wounds. You cannot think that Epaminondas uttered a groan at the moment he felt life ebbing with the gush of blood?4 for the country he had found enslaved he left mistress of the Lacedaemonians. These are the consolations, these the alleviations, of extreme pain.

XXV. But what, you will say, have we in time of

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-tusculan_disputations.1927