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(a) See Epp. 25. 93. The antients called them d'EU Tepos d'equoves, Gods of an inferior class; nay, they even supposed them mortal. But the general opinion was, that the beings they called Genii or Demons were certain spirits that administered, under the Supreme Being, the affairs of men, taking care of the virtuous, and punishing the bad, and sometimes communicating with the best; as particularly, the genius of Socrates always warned him of approaching dangers, and taught him to avoid them. Plutarch.
Scit Genius, natale comes qui temperat aftrum
Makes This e Gentleman, and That a Clown.
Perque tuos oculos, per Geniumque rogo.
Hæc per fancta tuæ Junonis numina jaro.
Junonem meam iratam habeam.
“ Shrinks at a Genius greater than his own." Shakespear.
There is none but he
Antony's was by Cefar. Id.
(6) This reminds me of an epitaph which I wrote many years ago upon a young gentleman; but it was thought too true for an epitaph, and therefore not accepted.
Here lies friend whose death this truth confefsid,
To be his own: drank, fell fick, and died.
(c) The end of all things is at hand, be ye sober therefore, and watch unto prayer. i. Pet. 4. 7.
to preserve to us. And according to their advice, pack up our hopes and fears into as narrow a room as we can poffibly, by which we shall render the last more portable, and the firА less tedious.
Osborne. Advice to his Son. (e) Omnia nobis tenebras fecimus.] Nothing is more frequent than the use of this metaphor in Scripture, but full to our purpose is, re were some time darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.
All things that are reproved are made manifes by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifeft, is light. Wherefore be faith (1J. 60. 1.) Awake thou that Deepeth, and arise from the dead, and Chrift fall give thee light. Ephef. v. 8. 14.: I send thee, (Paul) to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light. Ac. 26. 18. Rom. 13. 12. i. Tim. 5.5. i. John, 2. 8.
(f) Nec-circumspectius pedem ponimus) See then that ye walk more circumspratly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time. Ephef.v. 15. Walk in wiplom toward them that are without, r. deeming the time. Col. iv. 5,
(8) See Fitzosborne, Letter 48.
(5) So Mofes, in the name of the Lord, I have fet before thee this day life and good. It is not bidden from thee; neither is it far of. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldft say, who shall go up for us into heaven, and bring it us? Neither is it beyond the fea, that thou pouldpt say, wbofball go over the fea, and bring it unto us? But the word is very nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thes mayesl do it. Deut. 30. 11---15. See also Rom. x. 6---8.
(i) See Ep. 18.
(6) Linguas phænicopterorum] Whatever bird it was, Muret. obferves, that Apicius (that master of gluttony and diffoluteness) recommended the tongue of it as a most dainty morsel. Suctor, in Vitell. c. 13.
Dat mihi penna rubens nomen : fed lingua gulosis
My tongue a dainty bit! ob, could I speak! (O) It is observable that litters were not used by way of state, before the time of Julius Cæfar, but only for travelling. Suetonius mentions it as a particular privilege granted to one Harpocras, the being carried about the city in a litter, in the time of Claudius Cæfar: he also observes that they were not allowed to ladies of an easy fame, in the time of Domitian. See Lips. Fleet. i 19.
(m) This, with Attalus' leave, feems a very hard leffon, and somewhat like what the old nurse faid to her child : lie fill, child, you will die presently. But his argument is, that we should not be over-anxious even for neceffaries; and much less purchase them at the expence of liberty.
() See Ep. xxv. (N. d. e.) Elian Var. Hift. iv. 13.
E PISTLE CXI,
On idle Cavils.
OU desire to know, Lucilius, by what word we express in Latin, what the Greeks called soporuer , Sophisms. I know of none who have expressed it properly, though some have attempted it; and the reason of this is, being averse to, and not using the thing itself, we made no account of the name. Yet that seems to me the most expressive which is made by Cicero (a). He calls them cavillationes, cavils; which whoever applies himself to, he forgeth indeed subtle questions; but makes no advance in the better conduct of life: nor is made thereby more strong, more temperate, or more elate. Whereas he, who hath fought his remedy against the evils of life in philosophy, becomes magnanimous, full of confidence, insuperable; and seems the greater, the nearer you approach him : like a mountain, the height whereof is not very apparent when viewed at a distance, but when you come near it seems to reach the skies,
Such, my Lucilius, is a philosopher, when a philosopher indeed ; according to the truth of things, and not a counterfeit by art. He stands on an eminence, is admirable, upright and truly great. He does not Itrut, and walk on tiptoe, like those who help their height by some shift, and would fain seem taller than they are; but is contented with his natural stature. And why should he not be content; since he is too tall for Fortune to lay her hand upon him; and is therefore above all worldly affairs ? In
every state or condition he is consistent with himself, and the same man ; whether his life runs smoothly on with a profperous gale, or whether it be tossed by the boisterous waves of adversity.
Now such constancy can never be procured by the cavils beforementioned. The mind plays with these things, without receiving any 3
benefit from them. It is to dethrone philosophy, and reduce her to the common level. However you may sometimes amuse yourself with them, but it must be, when you intend to trifle and do nothing. But let me give you this caution; they have one bad quality attending them; they are too apt to allure the mind with a certain delight, and induce it, by a specious appearance of subtlety, to fix itself upon them; when we have so much business of the greatest importance upon our hands; when scarce our whole life is sufficient to learn this one thing, a contempt of life. But what of governing it, you say? This, Lucilius, is the second work we have to do; for no one can manage, or govern it well, who hath not first despised it.
(a) Cavillationes, the word indeed is used by Cicero, but not in this sense, rather fignifying quirps, witricisms, and the like.
INDEED, Lucilius, I desire, as much as you, to instruct our old friend. But he is too tough and stubborn for me, or rather, I should say, what is more troublesome, he is too tender and delicate, his constitution having been broke by a constant and evil habit. I will give you an example from my own experience. Every vine is not fit for grafting: if it be old and worm-eaten; or if it be weak and Nender, it will not receive the scyon, or not nourish it; it will not take with it, and communicate its nature and quality. We are used therefore to cut it off just above ground, in order that if it fails, a second experiment
may be made by setting it again in the earth. The person you write about, and are concerned for, hath not strength; he hath so long indulged himself in vice, that at the same time he both withers away, and hardens. He cannot close with reason, nor indeed give it entertain
But he is desirous, you say. Do not think so. I will not say that he tells you a lie; he only thinks he is desirous. He is at present sick of luxury; but he will soon return to it again. He says indeed he is offended at his own life. I do not deny it; for who is not offended at it? There are men, who have both hated and loved their life at the same time (a). We will therefore then give you our opinion, when he hath given us full assurance, that he really detests luxury and all manner of excess; at present we are not clear in this point.
A trifling Question, Whether Virtues and Vices are Animals *.
You desire me, Lucilius, to give you my opinion of that question,