1To this one may reply: "Why do you artfully divide things which, if taken separately, can be endured; if combined, cannot? Change of place is tolerable if you change merely your place; poverty is tolerable if it be without disgrace, which even alone is wont to crush the spirit." 2In reply to this man, the one who tries to frighten me with an aggregation of ills, I shall have to use such words as these: "If you have enough strength to cope with any one phase of fortune, you will have enough to cope with all, When virtue has once steeled your mind, it guarantees to make it invulnerable from every quarter. If greed, the mightiest curse of the human race, has relaxed its hold, ambition will not detain you; if you regard the end of your days, not as a punishment, but as an ordinance of nature, when once you have cast from your breast the fear of death, the fear of no other thing will dare to enter in; 3if you consider sexual desire to have been given to man, not for the gratification of pleasure, but for the continuance of the human race, when once you have escaped the violence of this secret destruction implanted in your very vitals, every other desire will pass you by unharmed. Reason lays low the vices not one by one, but all together; the victory is gained once for all." 4Think you that any wise man can be moved by disgrace - a man who relies wholly upon himself, who draws aloof from the opinions of the common herd? Worse even than disgrace is a disgraceful death. And yet Socrates, wearing the same aspect wherewith he had once all alone put the Thirty Tyrants in their place, entered prison, and so was to rob even prison of all disgrace; for no place that held Socrates could possibly seem a prison. 5Who has become so blind to the perception of truth as to think that the twofold defeat of Marcus Cato in his candidacy for the praetorship and the consulship was to him a disgrace. It was the praetorship and the consulship, on which Cato was conferring honour, that suffered the disgrace. 6No one is despised by another unless he is first despised by himself. An abject and grovelling mind may be liable to such insult; but a man who rises up to face the most cruel of misfortunes and overthrows the evils by which others are crushed this man's very sorrows crown him, as it were, with a halo, since we are so constituted that nothing stirs our admiration so much as a man who is brave in adversity. 7At Athens, when Aristides was being led to death, everyone who met him would cast down his eyes and groan, feeling that it was not merely a just man, but Justice herself who was being doomed to die; yet one man was found who spat into his face. He might have resented this for the simple reason that he knew well that no clean-mouthed man would have dared to do it. But he wiped his face and smiled, saying to the officer that attended him: "Remind that fellow not to open his mouth so offensively another time." This was to put insult upon insult itself. 8I know that there are some who say that nothing is harder to bear than scorn, that death itself seems more desirable to them. To these I will reply that even exile is often free from any mark of scorn. If a great man falls, though prostrate, he is still great - men no more scorn him, I say, than they tread upon the fallen walls of a temple, which the devout still revere as deeply as when they were standing.

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