Seneca the Younger, Epistles

LCL 76: 240-241

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The Epistles Of Seneca

non repeto, non exigo. Profuisse tutum sit. Nullum est odium perniciosius quam e beneficii violati pudore. Vale.

LXXXII. Seneca Lvcilio svo salvtem

1Desii iam de te esse sollicitus. “Quem,” inquis, “deorum sponsorem accepisti?” Eum scilicet, qui neminem fallit, animum recti ac boni amatorem. In tuto pars tui melior est. Potest fortuna tibi iniuriam facere; quod ad rem magis pertinet, non timeo, ne tu facias tibi. I, qua ire coepisti et in isto te vitae 2habitu conpone placide, non molliter. Male mihi esse malo quam molliter; male1 nunc sic excipe, quemadmodum a populo solet dici: dure, aspere, laboriose. Audire solemus sic quorundam vitam laudari, quibus invidetur: “molliter vivit”; hoc dicunt: “mollis est.” Paulatim enim effeminatur animus atque in similitudinem otii sui et pigritiae, in qua iacet, solvitur. Quid ergo? Viro non vel obrigescere satius est? Deinde idem delicati timent,2 cui vitam suam fecere similem. Multum interest


Epistle LXXXII.

have received; I do not ask it back; I do not demand it. Let it be safe to have conferred a favour.”a There is no worse hatred than that which springs from shame at the desecration of a benefit.b Farewell.

LXXXII. On the Natural Fear of Death

I have already ceased to be anxious about you. “Whom then of the gods,” you ask, “have you found as your voucher?”c A god, let me tell you, who deceives no one,—a soul in love with that which is upright and good. The better part of yourself is on safe ground. Fortune can inflict injury upon you; what is more pertinent is that I have no fears lest you do injury to yourself. Proceed as you have begun, and settle yourself in this way of living, not luxuriously, but calmly. I prefer to be in trouble rather than in luxury; and you had better interpret the term “in trouble” as popular usage is wont to interpret it: living a “hard,” “rough,” “toilsome” life. We are wont to hear the lives of certain men praised as follows, when they are objects of unpopularity: “So-and-So lives luxuriously”; but by this they mean: “He is softened by luxury.” For the soul is made womanish by degrees, and is weakened until it matches the ease and laziness in which it lies. Lo, is it not better for one who is really a man even to become hardenedd? Next, these same dandies fear that which they have made their own lives resemble. Much difference is there between

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-epistles.1917