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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Epictetus
 
  A man that is desirous to excel should endeavor it in those things that are in themselves most excellent.  1
  A soul which is conversant with virtue is like an ever flowing source, for it is pure and tranquil and potable and sweet and communicative (social) and rich and harmless and free from mischief.  2
  A vulgar man, in any ill that happens to him, blames others; a novice in philosophy blames himself; and a philosopher blames neither the one nor the other.  3
  Act well your given part; the choice rests not with you.  4
  Against specious appearances we must set clear convictions, bright and ready for use. When death appears as an evil, we ought immediately to remember that evils are things to be avoided, but death is inevitable.  5
  All philosophy in two words,—sustain and abstain.  6
  As in walking it is your great care not to run your foot upon a nail, or to tread awry, and strain your leg; so let it be in all the affairs of human life, not to hurt your mind or offend your judgment. And this rule, if observed carefully in all your deportment, will be a mighty security to you in your undertakings.  7
  Be free from grief not through insensibility like the irrational animals, nor through want of thought like the foolish, but like a man of virtue by having reason as the consolation of grief.  8
  Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power, and consequently should not be any part of your concern.  9
  Common and vulgar people ascribe all ill that they feel to others; people of little wisdom ascribe to themselves; people of much wisdom, to no one.  10
  Contentment, as it is a short road and pleasant, has great delight and little trouble.  11
  Cowardice, the dread of what will happen.  12
  Dare to look up to God and say: “Deal with me in the future as thou wilt. I am of the same mind as thou art; I am thine. I refuse nothing that pleases Thee. Lead me where Thou wilt; clothe me in any dress Thou choosest.”  13
  Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.  14
  Difficulties are things that show what men are. In case of any difficulty remember that God, like a gymnastic trainer, has pitted you against a rough antagonist. For what end? That you may be an Olympic conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.  15
  Does a man reproach thee for being proud or ill-natured, envious or conceited, ignorant or detracting? Consider with thyself whether his reproaches are true. If they are not, consider that thou art not the person whom he reproaches, but that he reviles an imaginary being, and perhaps loves what thou really art, though he hates what thou appearest to be.  16
  Envy is the antagonist of the fortunate.  17
  Every place is safe to him who lives with justice.  18
  Everything has two handles; the one soft and manageable, the other such as will not endure to be touched. If then your brother do you an injury, do not take it by the hot hard handle, by representing to yourself all the aggravating circumstances of the fact; but look rather on the soft side, and extenuate it as much as is possible, by considering the nearness of the relation, and the long friendship and familiarity between you—obligations to kindness which a single provocation ought not to dissolve. And thus you will take the accident by its manageable handle.  19
  Fortify yourself with moderation; for this is an impregnable fortress.  20
 
 
  Freedom and slavery! the one is the name of virtue, and the other of vice, and both are acts of the will.  21
  Happiness is an equivalent for all troublesome things.  22
  He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  23
  He who exercises wisdom exercises the knowledge which is about God.  24
  If any one tells you that such a person speaks ill of you, do not make excuse about what is said of you, but answer: “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”  25
  If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.  26
  In prosperity it is very easy to find a friend; but in adversity it is the most difficult of all things.  27
  It is circumstances (difficulties) which show what men are.  28
  It is wicked to withdraw from being useful to the needy; and cowardly to give way to the worthless.  29
  Let death and exile, and all other things which appear terrible, be daily before your eyes, but death chiefly; and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything.  30
  Liars are the cause of all the sins and crimes in the world.  31
  Nature has given to men one tongue, but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.  32
  Nothing great is produced suddenly, since not even the grape or the fig is. If you say to me now that you want a fig, I will answer to you that it requires time: let it flower first, then put forth fruit, and then ripen.  33
  Nothing really pleasant or unpleasant subsists by nature, but all things become so by habit.  34
  Rely on principles; walk erect and free, not trusting to bulk of body, like a wrestler, for one should not be unconquerable in the sense that an ass is. Who then is unconquerable? He whom the inevitable cannot overcome.  35
  Remember that it is not he who gives abuse or blows who affronts, but the view we take of these things as insulting. When, therefore, any one provokes you, be assured that it is your own opinion which provokes you.  36
  Remember that you are an actor in a drama of such sort as the Author chooses. If short, then in a short one; if long, then in a long one. If it be His pleasure that you should act a poor man, see that you act it well; or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen. For this is your business to act well the given part; but to choose it, belongs to another.  37
  The universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other.  38
  There is but one way to tranquility of mind and happiness; let this, therefore, be always ready at hand with thee, both when thou wakest early in the morning, and all the day long, and when thou goest late to sleep, to account no external things thine own, but to commit all these to God.  39
  There is nothing good or evil save in the will.  40
  These are the signs of a wise man: to reprove nobody, to praise nobody, to blame nobody, nor even to speak of himself or his own merits.  41
  Think of God oftener than you breathe.  42
  Truth is a thing immortal and perpetual, and it gives to us a beauty that fades not away in time, nor does it take away the freedom of speech which proceeds from justice; but it gives to us the knowledge of what is just and lawful, separating from them the unjust and refuting them.  43
  Unless we place our religion and our treasure in the same thing, religion will always be sacrificed.  44
  We all dread a bodily paralysis, and would make use of every contrivance to avoid it; but none of us is troubled about a paralysis of the soul.  45
  We are not to lead events, but to follow them.  46
  We must be afraid of neither poverty nor exile nor imprisonment; of fear itself only should we be afraid.  47
  When men are unhappy, they do not imagine they can ever cease to be so; and when some calamity has fallen on them, they do not see how they can get rid of it. Nevertheless, both arrive; and the gods have ordered it so, in the end men seek it from the gods.  48
  When our friends are present we ought to treat them well; and when they are absent, to speak of them well.  49
  When the idea of any pleasure strikes your imagination, make a just computation between the duration of the pleasure and that of the repentance that is likely to follow it.  50
  Who is not attracted by bright and pleasant children, to prattle, to creep, and to play with them?  51
  You aught to choose both physician and friend, not the most agreeable, but the most useful.  52
 
 
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