Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121–180)
The emperor Marcus Aurelius is reproaching himself.

.. MEN 1 seek out retreats for themselves, cottages in the country, lonely seashores and mountains. Thou too art disposed to hanker greatly after such things: and yet all this is the very commonest stupidity; for it is in thy power, whenever thou wilt, to retire into thyself: and nowhere is there any place whereto a man may retire quieter and more free from politics than his own soul; above all if he have within him thoughts such as he need only regard attentively to be at perfect ease: and that ease is nothing else than a well-ordered mind. Constantly then use this retreat, and renew thyself therein: and be thy principles brief and elementary, which, as soon as ever thou recur to them, will suffice to wash thy soul entirely clean, and send thee back without vexation to whatsoe’er awaiteth thee.
Note 1. Marcus Aurelius. Imp. [Greek], iv. 3. [Trans. R. Bridges.] [back]

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