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friend Cato,' than whom never was better man born, nor more distinguished for pious affection; whose body was burned by me, whereas, on the contrary, it was fitting that inine should be burned by him. But his soul not deserting me, but oft looking back, no doubt departed to those regions whither it saw that I myself was destined to come. Which, though a distress to me, I seemed patiently to endure : not that I bore it with indifference, but I comforted myself with the recollection that the separation and distance between us would not continue long. For these reasons, O. Scipio (since you said that you with Lælius were accustomed to wonder at this), old age is tolerable to me, and not only not irksome, but even delightful. And if I am wrong in this, that I believe the souls of men to be immortal, I willingly delude myself: nor do I desire that this mistake, in which I take pleasure, should be wrested from me as long as I live; but if I, when dead, shall have no consciousness, as some narrow-minded philosophers imagine, I do not fear lest dead philosophers should ridicule this my delusion. But if we are not destined to be immortal, yet it is a desirable thing for a man to expire at his fit time. For, as nature prescribes a boundary to all other things, so does she also to life. Now old age is the consummation of life, just as of a play; from the fatigue of which we ought to escape, especially when satiety is superadded. This is what I had to say on the subject of old age; to which may you arrive! that, after having experienced the truth of those statements which you have heard from me, you may be cnabled to give them your approbation.
1 This apostrophe has suggested to the greatest of modern pulpit orators one of his most eloquent perorations. “If," says Robert Hall, “the mere conception of the reunion of good men in a future state infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully; if an airy speculation, for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions, could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God! How should we rejoice in the prospect the certainty, rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth; of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb, and the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected. What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils of combat and the labor of the way, and to approach not the house but the throne of God in company, in order to join in the symphony of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amid the splendors and fruitions of the beatific vision."l'uneral Sermon for Dr. Ryland.
ADDRESSED TO MARCUS BRUTUS.
in speaking, The popular andre ort points
I HAVE often observed, 0 Brutus, that your uncle Cato, when he delivered his opinion in the senate, was accustomed to handle important points of philosophy, inconsistent with popular and forensic usage; but that yet, in speaking, he managed them so that even these seemed to the people worthy of approbation ; which was so much the greater excellency in him, than either in you or in me, because we are more conversant in that philosophy which has produced a copiousness of expression, and in which those things are propounded which do not widely differ from the popular opinion. But Cato, in my opinion a complete Stoic, both holds those notions which certainly do not approve themselves to the common people; and belongs to that sect which aims at no embellishments, and does not spin out an argument. He therefore succeeds in what he has purposed, by certain pithy and, as it were, stimulating questions. There is, however, nothing so incredible that it may not be made plausible by eloquence; nothing so rough and uncultivated that it may not, in oratory, become brilliant and polished. · As I have been accustomed to think thus, I have made a bolder attempt than he himself did of whom I am speaking. For Cato is accustomed to treat stoically of magnanimity, of modesty, of death, and of all the glory of virtue, of the immortal gods, and of patriotism, with the addition of the ornaments of eloquence. But I have, for amusement, digested into common-places those topics which the Stoics scarcely prove in their retirement and in their schools. Such topics are termed, even by themselves, paradoxes, because they are remarkable, and contrary to the opinion of all men. I have been desirous of trying whether they might not come into publicity, that is before the forum, and be 80 expressed as to be anproved; or whether learned
expressions were one thing, and a popular mode of address another. I undertook this with the more pleasure, because these very paradoxes, as they are termed, appear to me to be the most Socratic, and by far the most true. Accept therefore this little work, composed during these shorter nights, since that work of my longer watchings appeared in your name. You will have here a specimen of the manner I have been accustomed to adopt when I accommodate those things which in the schools are termed theses to our oratorical manner of speaking. I do not, however, expect that you will look upon yourself as indebted to me for this performance which is not such as to be placed, like the Minerva of Phidias, in a citadel, but still such as may appear to have issued from the same studio.
THAT VIRTUE IS THE ONLY GOOD. I Am apprchensive that this position may seem to some among you to have been derived from the schools of the Stoics,' and not from my own sentiments. Yet I will tell you my real opinion, and that too more briefly than so important a matter requires to be discussed. By Hercules, I never was one who reckoned among good and desirablo
i The ethical doctrines of the Stoics have attracted most attention, as exhibited in the lives of distinguished Greeks and Romans. To live according to nature was the basis of their ethical system; but by this it was not meant that a man should follow his own particular nature; ho must make his life conformable to the nature of the whole of things. This principle is the foundation of all morality; and it follows that morality is connected with philosophy. To know what is our relation to the whole of things, is to know what we ought to be and to do. This fundamental principle of the Stoics is indisputable, but its application is not always easy, nor did they all agree in their exposition of it. Some things were good, some bad, and some indifferent; the only good things were virtue, wisdom, justice, temperance, and the like. The truly wise man possesses all knowledge; he is perfect and sufficient in himself; he despises all that subjects to its power the rest of mankind; he feels pain, but he is not conquered by it. But the morality of the Stoics, at least in the later periods, though it rested on a basis apparently so. sound, permitted the wise man to do nearly every thing that he liked. - Such a system, it has been well observed, might do for the imaginary wise man of the Stoics; but it was not a system whose general adoption was como patible with the existence of any actual society,
things, treasurcs, magnificent mansions, interest, power, ci those pleasures to which mankind are most chiefly addicted. For I have observed that those to whom these things abounded, still desired them most: for the thirst of cupidity is never filled or satiated. They are tormented not only with the lust of increasing, but with the fear of losing what they have. I own that I often look in vain for the good sense of our ancestors, those most continent men, who affixed the appellation of good to those weak, fleeting, circumstances of wealth, when in truth and fact their sentiments were the very reverse.' Can any bad man enjoy a good thing? Or, is it possible for a man not to be good, when he lives in the very abundance of good things ? And yet we see all those things so distributed that wicked men possess them, and that they are inauspicious to the good. Now let any man indulge his raillery, if he please ; but right reason will ever have more weight with ine than the opinion of the multitude. Nor shall I ever account a man, when he has lost his stock of cattle, or furniture, to have lost his good things. Nor shall I seldom speak in praise of Bias, who, if I mistake not, is reckoned among the seven wise men. For when the enemy took possession of Priene, his native country, and when the rest so managed their flight as to carry off with them their effects, on his being recommended by a certain person to do the same, “Why,” answered he, “I do so, for I carry with me all iny possessions." He did not so much as esteem those playthings of fortune, which we even term our blessings, to be his own. But some one will ask, What then is a real good? Whatever is done uprightly, honestly, and virtuously, is truly said to be done well; and whatever is upright, honest, and agreeable to virtue, that alone, as I think, is a good thing.
But these matters, when they are more loosely discussed,
"I can not call riches better than the baggage of virtue; the Roman word is better, “impedimenta ;' for as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue, it can not be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory; of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribu. tion; the rest is but conceit.”—Lord Bacon, Essay 34. 2 Ovid expresses the same idea in the following passage:
"Et genus et proavos et quæ non fecimus ipsi
appear somewhat obscure ; but those things which seemed to be discussed with more subtlety than is necessary in words, may be illustrated by the lives and actions of the greatest of men. I ask then of you, whether the men who left to us this empire, founded upon so noble a system, seem ever to have thought of gratifying avarice by money; delight by delicacy; luxury by magnificence ; or pleasure by feasting?' Set before your eyes any one of our monarchs. Shall I begin with Romulus ? Or, after the state was free, with those who liberated it? By what steps then did Romulus ascend to heaven ? By those which these people term good things ? Or by his exploits and his virtues ? What! are we to imagine, that the wooden or earthen dishes of Numa Pompilius were less acceptable to the immorta) gods, than the embossed plate of others? I pass over our other kings, for all of them, excepting Tarquin the Proud, were equally excellent. Should any one ask, What did Brutus perform when he delivered his country ? Or, as to those who were the participators of that design, what was their aim, and the object of their pursuit ? Lives there the man who can regard as their object, riches, pleasure, or any thing else than acting the part of a great and gallant man? What motive impelled Caius Mucius, without the least hore of preservation, to attempt the death of Porsenna? What impulse kept Cocles to the bridge, singly opposed to the whole force of the enemy? What power devoted the elder and the younger Decius, and impelled them against armed battalions of enemies? What was the object of the continence of Caius Fabricius, or of the frugality of life of Manius Curius ? What were the motives of those two thunderbolts of the Punic war, Publius and Cneius Scipio, when they proposed with their own bodies to intercept the progress of
1 Horace develops the same thought In commending decision of character, he writes:
Hac arte Pollux et vagus Hercules
Purpureo bibit ore nectar.
Martis equis Acheronta fugit.-Carm, lib. iii. carm. 3.