Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > Epictetus > The Golden Sayings
Epictetus. (c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 138).  The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Is there smoke in the room? If it be slight, I remain; if grievous, I quit it. For you must remember this and hold it fast, that the door stands open.  1
  “You shall not dwell at Nicopolis!”  2
  Well and good.  3
  “Nor at Athens.”  4
  Then I will not dwell at Athens either.  5
  “Nor at Rome.”  6
  Nor at Rome either.  7
  “You shall dwell in Gyara!” 1  8
  Well: but to dwell in Gyara seems to me like a grievous smoke; I depart to a place where none can forbid me to dwell: that habitation is open unto all! As for the last garment of all, that is the poor body; beyond that, none can do aught unto me. This is why Demetrius 2 said to Nero: “You threaten me with death; it is Nature who threatens you!”  9
Note 1. An island in the Ægean, used as a place of banishment. [back]
Note 2. A well-known Cynic philosopher. [back]


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