As fire when thrown into water is cooled down and put out, so also a false accusation when brought against a man of the purest and holiest character, boils over and is at once dissipated, and vanishes and threats of heaven and sea, himself standing unmoved.
We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.
Just as the soul fills the body, so God fills the world. Just as the soul bears the body, so God endures the world. Just as the soul sees but is not seen, so God sees but is not seen. Just as the soul feeds the body, so God gives food to the world.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the highest god. [Lat., Fortis vero, dolorem summum malum judicans; aut temperans, voluptatem summum bonum statuens, esse certe nullo modo potest.]
Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century: Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
Lucius Cassius ille quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat identidem in causis quaerere solebat 'cui bono' fuisset. The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, 'To whose benefit?
When confronted by a hungry wolf, it is unwise to goad the beast, as Cato would have us do. But it is equally unwise to imagine the snarling animal a friend and offer your hand, as Pompey does." "Perhaps you would have us climb a tree!
Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.
These studies are a spur to the young, a delight to the old: an ornament in prosperity, a consoling refuge in adversity; they are pleasure for us at home, and no burden abroad; they stay up with us at night, they accompany us when we travel, they are with us in our country visits.
It is a crime to put a Roman citizen in chains, it is an enormity to flog one, sheer murder to slay one: what, then, shall I say of crucifixion? It is impossible to find the word for such an abomination.
For out of such an ungoverned populace one is usually chosen as a leader, someone bold and unscrupulous who curries favor with the people by giving them other men's property. To such a man the protection of public office is given, and continually renewed. He emerges as a tyrant over the very people who raised him to power.
As I approve of a youth that has something of the old man in him, so I am no less pleased with an old man that has something of the youth. He that follows this rule may be old in body, but can never be so in mind.
There is no treasure the which may be compared unto a faithful friend; Gold some decayeth, and worldly wealth consumeth, and wasteth in the winde; But love once planted in a perfect and pure minde indureth weale and woe; The frownes of fortune, come they never so unkinde, cannot the same overthrowe.
The Jews belong to a dark and repulsive force. One knows how numerous this clique is, how they stick together and what power they exercise through their unions. They are a nation of rascals and deceivers.
No sensible man (among the many things that have been written on this kind) ever imputed inconsistency to another for changing his mind. [Lat., Nemo doctus unquam (multa autem de hoc genere scripta sunt) mutationem consili inconstantiam dixit esse.]
The first law for the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice.
For no phase of life, whether public or private, whether in business or in the home, whether one is working on what concerns oneself alone or dealing with another, can be without its moral duty; on the discharge of such duties depends all that is morally right, and on their neglect all that is morally wrong in life.
Whatever is done without ostentation, and without the people being witnesses of it, is, in my opinion, most praiseworthy: not that the public eye should be entirely avoided, for good actions desire to be placed in the light; but notwithstanding this, the greatest theater for virtue is conscience.
It is graceful in a man to think and to speak with propriety, to act with deliberation, and in every occurrence of life to find out and persevere in the truth. On the other hand, to be imposed upon, to mistake, to falter, and to be deceived, is as ungraceful as to rave or to be insane.
Friendship, on the other hand, serves a great host of different purposes all at the same time. In whatever direction you turn, it still remains yours. No barrier can shut it out. It can never be untimely; it can never be in the way. We need friendship all the time, just as much as we need the proverbial prime necessities of life, fire and water.
Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him.
For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.
When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's [children's] minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.
My dear Scipio and Laelius. Men, of course, who have no resources in themselves for securing a good and happy life find every age burdensome. But those who look for all happiness from within can never think anything bad which Nature makes inevitable.
Any man may make a mistake; none but a fool will stick to it. Second thoughts are best as the proverb says. [Lat., Cujusvis hominis est errare; nullius, nisi insipientis, in errore perseverae. Posteriores enim cogitationes (ut aiunt) sapientiores solent esse.]
The name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself is beneficial, but there is a great difference between peace and servitude. Peace is freedom in tranquillity, servitude is the worst of all evils, to be resisted not only by war, but even by death.
These (literary) studies are the food of youth, and consolation of age; they adorn prosperity, and are the comfort and refuge of adversity; they are pleasant at home, and are no incumbrance abroad; they accompany us at night, in our travels, and in our rural retreats.
This, therefore, is a law not found in books, but written on the fleshly tablets of the heart, which we have not learned from man, received or read, but which we have caught up from Nature herself, sucked in and imbibed; the knowledge of which we were not taught, but for which we were made; we received it not by education, but by intuition.
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all the other virtues. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.
A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within....for the traitor appears not to be a traitor...he rots the soul of a nation...he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
I am of the opinion which you have always held, that "viva voce" voting at elections is the best method. [Lat., Nam ego in ista sum sententia, qua te fuisse semper scio, nihil ut feurit in suffragiis voce melius.]