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  • To injure the young to the sight of death, Lycurgus allowed the citizens to bury their dead within the city, so that their youth might be accustomed to such spectacles, and not be afraid to see a dead body, or fear to touch a corpse or to tread on a grave.

  • There are two ways of resolving disputes, the one by agreement, the other by contest; the first method is proper to mankind, the second to beasts. But because the first has frequently proved insufficient, men have often taken recourse to the second.

  • The wise say of things they have not heard, ‘I have not heard’, and of things they have not seen, ‘I have not seen’.

  • The good is that which lies within reach of our talents for good, which means that there are as many goods as there are such talents. There is not one single kind of good that suits and fits everyone; there are as many good lives as there are people to live them.

  • When you see anyone weeping in grief because his loved one has gone abroad, or is dead, or because he has suffered in his affairs, be careful that the appearance may not misdirect you.

    Instead, distinguish within your own mind, and be prepared to say , ‘It’s not the accident that distresses this person, because it does not distress another person; it is the judgement he makes about it.’

    It is our attitudes to things that give them their value, whether good or bad, or indifferent. Strengthen your mind to right attitudes, and you will live with fortitude and just measure.

  • The honourable man is he who honours others.

  • If there are inequalities in different fields of barley, they are owing to the difference of the soil, to the unequal nourishment of rains and dews, to the different ways in which farmers have gone about their work.

    Thus all things which are the same in kind are like one another. Why should we be in doubt with regard to man, as if he were a solitary exception to this rule? The sage and we are the same in kind, if we allow the possibility of wisdom to flourish within us.

  • This is proof that existence has no value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?

    If life - the craving for which is the very essence of our being - had intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom: Existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing. 

    But as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something.

  • Do not demand that things should happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.

  • Do not allow such a consideration as this to distress you: ‘I will be nobody anywhere.’ Is it the meaning of life to get power, or to be admitted to the first rank? And how is it true that you will be nobody anywhere, when you will be somebody in those things which lie under your own control, where you yourself matter most?

    • It is sometimes wisdom to seem a fool.
    • One's chief wisdom consists in knowing one's weakness.
    • It is easier to be wise for others than for oneself.
    • No one is the only wise one.
  • Study is like husbandry, in which we till the ground and sow with seed to reap thereafter; for I heard myself a good husbandman at his book once say, that to rest from study some time of the day and some time of the year, made as much for the increase of learning as to let the land lie fallow for a season.

  • Let us curiously test new ideas and court new impressions, never acquiescing in a facile orthodoxy. Philosophy may help us gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded, for philosophy is the microscope of thought;

    But theory which requires the sacrifice of any part of this experience, in consideration of some interest we cannot enter, has no claim upon us. It is life itself that has the first and last claim, and it is the fresh light and clear air that wisdom brings to life that answers it,

    For to love and to strive, to seek to know, to attend to the best that has been thought, said and done in the world, and to learn from it, is wisdom: and wisdom is life.

  • To seek the good is the first demand we should make upon ourselves; but next to the good, and to it alone, the greatest of all things is friendship.