Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IX.: CONCERNING A PERSON WHO HAD GROWN IMMODEST. - The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments
CHAPTER IX.: CONCERNING A PERSON WHO HAD GROWN IMMODEST. - Epictetus, The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments [100 AD]
The Works of Epictetus. Consisting of His Discourses, in Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments. A Translation from the Greek based on that of Elizabeth Carter, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1865).
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- The Discourses of Epictetus.
- Arrian to Lucius Gellius Wisheth All Happiness.
- Book I.
- Chapter I.: Of the Things Which Are, and the Things Which Are Not In Our Own Power.
- Chapter II.: In What Manner, Upon Every Occasion, to Preserve Our Character.
- Chapter III.: How, From the Doctrine That God Is the Father of Mankind, We May Proceed to Its Consequences.
- Chapter IV: Of Progress.
- Chapter V.: Concerning the Academics. †
- Chapter VI.: Of Providence.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Use of the Forms of Right Reasoning.
- Chapter VIII.: That Logical Subtleties Are Not Safe to the Uninstructed.
- Chapter IX.: How From the Doctrine of Our Relationship to God, We Are to Deduce Its Consequences.
- Chapter X.: Concerning Those Who Seek Preferment At Rome.
- Chapter XI.: Of Natural Affection.
- Chapter XII.: Of Contentment.
- Chapter XIII.: How Everything May Be Performed to the Divine Acceptance.
- Chapter XIV.: That All Things Are Under the Divine Supervision.
- Chapter XV.: What Philosophy Promises.
- Chapter XVI.: Of Providence.
- Chapter XVII.: That the Art of Reasoning Is Necessary.
- Chapter XVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Angry With the Erring.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Right Treatment of Tyrants.
- Chapter XX.: In What Manner Reason Contemplates Itself.
- Chapter XXI.: Of the Desire of Admiration.
- Chapter XXII.: Of General Principles.
- Chapter XXIII.: Against Epicurus.
- Chapter XXIV.: How We Ought to Struggle With Difficulties.
- Chapter XXV.: On the Same Subject.
- Chapter XXVI.: What the Rule of Life Is.
- Chapter XXVII.: Of the Varied Appearances of Things to the Mind, and What Means Are At Hand By Which to Regulate Them.
- Chapter XXVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Angry With Mankind. What Things Are Little, What Great, Among Men.
- Chapter XXIX.: Of Courage.
- Chapter XXX.: Weapons Ready For Difficult Occasions.
- Book II.
- Chapter I.: That Courage Is Not Inconsistent With Caution.
- Chapter II.: Of Tranquillity.
- Chapter III.: Concerning Such As Recommend Persons to the Philosophers
- Chapter IV.: Concerning a Man Who Had Been Guilty of Adultery.
- Chapter V.: How Nobleness of Mind May Be Consistent With Prudence.
- Chapter VI.: Of Circumstances. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Divination.
- Chapter VIII.: Wherein Consists the Essence of Good.
- Chapter IX.: That Some Persons, Failing to Fulfil What the Character of a Man Implies, Assume That of a Philosopher.
- Chapter X.: How We May Infer the Duties of Life From Its Nominal Functions.
- Chapter XI.: The Beginning of Philosophy.
- Chapter XII.: Of Disputation.
- Chapter XIII.: Of Anxiety.
- Chapter XIV.: Concerning Naso.
- Chapter XV.: Concerning Those Who Obstinately Persist In Whatever They Have Determined.
- Chapter XVI.: That We Do Not Study to Make Use of the Established Principles Concerning Good and Evil.
- Chapter XVII.: How to Apply General Principles to Particular Cases.
- Chapter XVIII.: How the Semblances of Things Are to Be Combated.
- Chapter XIX.: Concerning Those Who Embrace Philosophy Only In Words.
- Chapter XX.: Concerning the Epicureans and Academics.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Inconsistency.
- Chapter XXII.: Of Friendship.
- Chapter XXIII.: Of Eloquence.
- Chapter XXIV.: Concerning a Person Whom He Treated With Disregard.
- Chapter XXV.: That Logic Is Necessary.
- Chapter XXVI.: What Is the Test of Error.
- Book III.
- Chapter I.: Of Personal Adornment.
- Chapter II.: In What a Well-trained Man Should Exercise Himself; and That We Neglect the Principal Things.
- Chapter III.: What Is the Chief Concern of a Good Man; and In What We Chiefly Ought to Train Ourselves.
- Chapter IV.: Concerning One Who Made Himself Improperly Conspicuous In the Theatre.
- Chapter V.: Concerning Those Who Plead Sickness.
- Chapter VI.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter VII.: Concerning a Certain Governor Who Was an Epicurean.
- Chapter VIII.: How We Are to Exercise Ourselves Against the Semblances of Things.
- Chapter IX.: Concerning a Certain Orator, Who Was Going to Rome On a Lawsuit.
- Chapter X.: In What Manner We Ought to Bear Sickness.
- Chapter XI.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter XII.: Of Training.
- Chapter XIII.: What Solitude Is; and What a Solitary Person.
- Chapter XIV.: Miscellaneous.
- Chapter XV. *: That Everything Is to Be Undertaken With Circumspection.
- Chapter XVI.: That Caution Should Be Used, As to Personal Familiarity.
- Chapter XVII.: Of Providence.
- Chapter XVIII.: That We Ought Not to Be Alarmed, By Any News That Is Brought Us.
- Chapter XIX.: What Is the Comparative Condition of the Philosopher, and of the Crowd.
- Chapter XX.: That Some Advantage May Be Gained From Every Outward Circumstance.
- Chapter XXI.: Concerning Those Who Readily Set Up For Sophists.
- Chapter XXII.: Of the Cynic Philosophy.
- Chapter XXIII.: Concerning Such As Read and Dispute Ostentatiously.
- Chapter XXIV.: That We Ought Not to Be Affected By Things Not In Our Own Power.
- Chapter XXV.: Concerning Those Who Waver In Their Purpose.
- Chapter XXVI.: Concerning Those Who Are In Dread of Want.
- Book IV.
- Chapter I.: Of Freedom.
- Chapter II.: Of Complaisance.
- Chapter III.: What Things Are to Be Exchanged For Others.
- Chapter IV.: Concerning Those Who Earnestly Desire a Life of Repose.
- Chapter V.: Concerning the Quarrelsome and Ferocious.
- Chapter VI.: Concerning Those Who Are Annoyed At Being Pitied.
- Chapter VII.: Of Fearlessness.
- Chapter VIII.: Concerning Such As Hastily Assume the Philosophic Dress.
- Chapter IX.: Concerning a Person Who Had Grown Immodest.
- Chapter X.: What Things We Are to Despise, and What Chiefly to Value.
- Chapter XI.: Of Purity.
- Chapter XII.: Of Taking Pains.
- Chapter XIII.: Concerning Such As Are Too Communicative.
- The Enchiridion, Or Manual.
- Part I
- From StobÆus, Antonius, and Maximus. *
- The Following Fragments Are Ascribed Jointly to Epictetus and Other Authors.
- The Following Fragments Are Omitted By Mr. Upton; But As They Stand Under the Name of Arrian, and Seem to Be In the Spirit of Epictetus, They Are Added Here.
CONCERNING A PERSON WHO HAD GROWN IMMODEST.
WHEN you see another in power, set this against it, that you have the advantage of not needing power. When you see another rich, see what you have instead of riches; for if you have nothing in their stead, you are miserable. But if you have the advantage of not needing riches, know that you have something more than he has, and of far greater value. Another possesses a handsome woman; you the happiness of not desiring a handsome woman. Do you think these are little matters? And what would not those very persons give, who are rich and powerful, and possess handsome women, if they were only able to despise riches and power, and those very women whom they love and whom they possess! Do not you know of what nature the thirst of one in a fever is? It has no resemblance to that of a person in health. The latter drinks and is satisfied. But the other, after being delighted a very little while, is nauseated, the water becomes bile, he is sick at his stomach, and becomes more thirsty than ever. It is the same with avarice, ambition, lust. Presently comes jealousy, fear of loss, unbecoming words, designs, and actions.
“And what,” say you, “do I lose?” You were modest, man, and are so no longer. Have you lost nothing? Instead of Chrysippus and Zeno, you read Aristides and Euenus. Have you lost nothing, then? Instead of Socrates and Diogenes, you admire him who can corrupt and seduce most women. You would be handsome, by decking your person, when you are not really so. You love to appear in fine clothes, to attract female eyes; and, if you anywhere meet with a good perfumer, you esteem yourself a happy man. But formerly you did not so much as think of any of these things; but only where you might find a decent discourse, a worthy person, a noble design. For this reason, you used to appear like a man both at home and abroad; to wear a manly dress; to hold discourses worthy of a man. And after this, do you tell me you have lost nothing? What then, do men lose nothing but money? Is not modesty to be lost? Is not decency to be lost? Or can he who loses these suffer no injury? You indeed perhaps no longer think anything of this sort to be an injury. But there was once a time when you accounted this to be the only injury and hurt; when you were anxiously afraid lest any one should shake your regard from such discourses and actions. See, it is not shaken by another, but by yourself. Fight against yourself, recover yourself to decency, to modesty, to freedom. If you had formerly been told any of these things of me, that one prevailed on me to commit adultery, to wear such a dress as yours, or to be perfumed, would you not have gone and laid violent hands on the man who thus abused me? And will you not now help yourself? For how much easier is that sort of assistance? You need not kill, or fetter, or affront, or go to law with any one; but merely talk with yourself, the person who will most readily be persuaded by you, and with whom no one has greater weight than you. And, in the first place, condemn your actions; but when you have condemned them, do not despair of yourself, nor be like those poor-spirited people who, when they have once given way, abandon themselves entirely, and are carried along as by a torrent. Take example from the wrestling-masters. Has the boy fallen down? Get up again, they say; wrestle again, till you have acquired strength. Be you affected in the same manner. For be assured that there is nothing more tractable than the human mind. You need but will, and it is done, it is set right; as, on the contrary, you need but nod over the work, and it is ruined. For both ruin and recovery are from within.
“And, after all, what good will this do me?” What greater good do you seek? From being impudent, you will become modest; from indecent, decent; from dissolute, sober. But if you seek any greater things than these, do as you are doing. It is no longer in the power of any God to save you.