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nothing on earth which gives more pleasure to that Supreme Being, who governs this world, than the meetings and assemblies of men, bound together by social rights, which are called states; the governors and the preservers of these coming from thence return to the same place.
Somn. Scip. 3. Immo vero, inquit, ii vivunt, qui ex corporum vinculis, tamquam e carcere, evolaverunt: vestra vero, quæ dicitur vita, mors est.
No doubt, replied Scipio, those are alive because they have broken loose from the chains of the body as from a prison ; it is yours that is called life that is really death. THE WORLD IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD.
Somn. Scip. 3. Nisi Deus is, cujus hoc templum est omne, quod conspicis, istis te corporis custodiis liberaverit, huc tibi aditus patere non potest.
Unless the God, whose temple the whole of this is which you behold, shall release you from these bonds of the body, you cannot enter here.
Somn. Scip. 3. Quare et tibi, Publi, et piis omnibus retinendus est animus in custodiâ corporis : nec injussu ejus, a quo ille est vobis datus, ex hominum vitâ migrandum est, ne munus humanum assignatum a Deo defugisse videamini.
Wherefore, Publius, you and all the good must keep the soul in the body, nor must men leave this life without the permission of the Being by whom it has been given, lest you should seem to treat contemptuously the gift of life conferred on you by the Supreme Being.
VIRTUE OUGHT TO ATTRACT TO TRUE GLORY.
Somn. Scip. 7. Igitur alte spectare si voles, atque hanc sedem, et æternam domum contueri : neque te sermonibus vulgi dederis, nec in præmiis humanis spem posueris rerum tuarum : suis te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus; quid de te alii loquantur, ipsi videant : sed loquentur tamen.
Therefore, if you will only turn your eyes upwards, and look to that heavenly abode and eternal dwelling-house, you will pay no regard to the gossip of the vulgar, nor place your hopes in the rewards of men; virtue by its allurements must attract you to true honour; what others say of you let them see to it, yet talk they will.
THE MIND IS THE MAN.
Somn. Scip. 8. Tu vero enitere, et sic habeto, non esse te mortalem, sed corpus hoc. Non enim tu is es quem forma ista declarat : sed mens cujusque, is est quisque ; non ea figura, quæ digito demonstrari potest. Deum te igitur scito esse : siquidem Deus est, qui viget, qui sentit, qui meminit, qui providet, qui tam regit, et moderatur, et movet id corpus, cui præpositus est, quam hunc mundum ille princeps Deus : et ut mundum ex quâdam parte mortalem ipse Deus æternus, sic fragile corpus animus sempiternus movet.
Do you exert yourself, and believe that it is not you but your body that is mortal. For you are not the being whom this figure shews, but the mind is the man and not the figure which can be pointed at with the finger. Know therefore that you are a divine being, since it is a deity in you which moves, feels, remembers, foresees, rules, and governs that body, over which it is placed, in the very same way as the Supreme Being governs this world; and as the Eternal God directs this world, which is in a certain degree to perish, so the never-dying spirit directs the frail body.
Offic, i. 2. Fortis vero, dolorem summum malum judicans ; aut temperans, voluptatem summum bonum statuens, esse certe nullo modo potest.
No man can be brave who considers pain to be the greatest evil of life, nor temperate, who considers pleasure to be the highest good.
REASON AND INSTINCT.
Offic. i. 4. Sed inter hominem, et beluam hoc maxime interest, quod hæc tantum, quantum sensu movetur, ad id solum, quod adest, quodque præsens est, se accommodat, paullulum admodum sentiens præteritum, aut futurum. Homo autem, quod rationis est particeps, per quam consequentia cernit, causas rerum videt, earumque progressus, et quasi antecessiones non ignorat, similitudines comparat, et rebus præsentibus adjungit, atque annectit futuras : facile totius vitæ cursum videt, ad eamque degendam præparat res necessarias.
Between man and the lower animals there is this great distinction, that the latter, moved by instinct, look only to the present and what is before them, paying but little attention to the past or the future. Whereas man, from being endued with reason, by means of which he sees before and after him, discovers the causes of events and their progress, is not ignorant of their antecedents, is able to compare analogies, and to join the future to the present; he easily sees before his mind's eye the whole path of life, and prepares things necessary for passing along it.
Offic. i. 6. Omnes enim trahimur et ducimur ad cognitionis, et scientiæ cupiditatem : in quâ excellere pulchrum putamus : labi autem, errare, nescire, decipi, et malum, et turpe ducimus.
We are all drawn and attracted to the desire of knowledge and learning, in which we think it honourable to excel; but to make mistakes and to be ignorant, we regard as base and disgraceful. THE EARTH CREATED FOR THE USE OF MAN.
Offic. i. 7. Sed quoniam, (ut præclare scriptum est a Platone, non nobis solum nati sumus, ortüsque nostri partem patria vindicat, partem amici : atque (ut placet Stoicis) quæ in terris gignuntur, ad usum hominum omnia creari, homines autem hominum causâ esse generatos, ut ipsi inter se, aliis alii prodesse possent: in hoc naturam debemus ducem sequi, communes utilitates in medium afferre, mutatione officiorum, dando, accipiundo: tum artibus, tum operâ, tum facultatibus devincire hominum inter homines societatem.
But seeing (as has been well said by Plato) we have not been born for ourselves alone, but our country claims one part of us, our friends another, and, as the Stoics declare, all the productions of the earth have been created for the use of men, whereas men are born in order that they should assist one another : in this we ought to follow nature as our guide, to bring into the common stock whatever is useful by an interchange of good offices, at one time giving, at another receiving, to bind men in union with each other by arts, by industry, and by all the faculties of our mind.
No PUBLIC FAITH REMAINS INVIOLATE.
Offic. i. 8. Quod enim est apud Ennium,
Nulla sancta societas, nec fides regni est. Ennius remarks—“There is no sacred union nor public faith remaining.'
THE DESIRE OF HONOUR MOST PREVALENT IN THE HIGHEST
Offic. i. 8. Est autem in hoc genere molestum, quod in maximis animis, splendidissimisque ingeniis plerumque existunt honoris, imperii, potentiæ, gloriæ cupiditates.
It is most annoying that, in the greatest and noblest spirits, there generally exists the highest desire for honour, command, power, and glory.
Do NOTHING WHICH IS DOUBTFUL.
Offic, i. 9. Quocirca bene præcipiunt, qui vetant quidquam agere, quod dubites, æquum sit, an iniquum. Æquitas enim lucet ipsa per se : dubitatio cogitationem significat injuriæ.
Wherefore wisely do those admonish us who forbid us to do anything, of which we may be in doubt, whether it is right or wrong. What is right shines with unreflected lustre, whereas hesitation insinuates
a suspicion of injustice.
RIGOUR OF LAW.
Offic. i. 10. Ex quo illud : summum jus, summa injuria ; factum est jam tritum sermone proverbium.
Hence “strictness of law is sometimes extreme injustice,” has passed into a trite proverb.
Offic. i. 13. Autem injustitiæ nulla capitalior est, quam eorum, qui tum cum maxime fallunt, id agunt, ut viri boni esse videantur.
In acts of wickedness there is nothing greater than that of those who, when they deceive, do it principally that they may seem to be virtuous and upright men.
Offic. i. 15. Multi enim faciunt multa temeritate quâdam, sine judicio, vel modo, in omnes, vel repentino quodam, quasi vento, impetu animi incitati : quæ beneficia æque magna non sunt habenda, atque ea, quæ judicio, considerate, constanterque delata sunt. Sed in collocando beneficio, et in referendâ gratiâ, si cetera paria sint, hoc maxime officii est, ut quisque maxime opis indigeat, ita ei potissimum opitulari : quod contra fit a plerisque. A quo enim plurimum sperant, etiamsi ille his non eget, tamen ei potissimum inserviunt.
For many men act recklessly and without judgment, conferring favours upon all, incited to it by a sudden impetuosity of mind : the kindnesses of these men are not to be regarded in the same light or of the same value as those which are conferred with judg. ment and deliberation. But in the conferring and requiting of a favour, if other things be equal, it is the duty of a man to assist where it is most required. The very opposite of this often takes place, for men assist those from whom they hope to receive in return, even though they do not require it.
MARRIAGE THE CLOSEST BOND OF SOCIETY,
Offic. i. 17. Prima societas in ipso conjugio est: proxima in liberis : deinde una domus, communia omnia.
The first bond of society is the marriage tie; the next, our children; then the whole family of our house, and all things in
Offic. i. 17. Sed cum omnia ratione, animoque lustrâris, omnium societatum nulla est gravior, nulla carior, quam ea, quæ cum republicâ est unicuique nostrum : cari sunt parentes, cari liberi, propinqui, familiares: sed omnes omnium caritates patria una complexa est: pro quâ quis bonus dubitet mortem oppetere, si ei sit profuturus?
But, when you consider everything carefully and thoughtfully, of all societies, none is of more importance, none more dear than that