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BOOK V - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 
The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, trans. Francis Hutcheson and James Moor, edited and with an Introduction by James Moore and Michael Silverthorne (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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1. When you find yourself, in a morning, averse to rise, have this thought at hand: I arise to the proper business of a man: And shall I be averse to set about that work for which I was born, and for which I was brought into the universe? Have I this constitution and furniture of soul granted me by nature, that I may lye among bed-cloaths and keep my self warm? But, say you, This state is the pleasanter. Were you then formed for pleasure, and not at all for action, and exercising your powers? Don’t you behold the vegetables, the little sparrows, the ants, the spiders, the bees, each of them adorning, on their part, this comely world, as far as their powers can go? And will you decline to act your part as a man for this purpose? Won’t you run to that which suits your nature? But, say you, must we not take rest? You must: but nature appoints a measure to it, as it has to eating and drinking. In rest you are going beyond these measures; beyond what is sufficient: but in action, you have not come up to the measure; you are far within the bounds of your power: you don’t then love yourself; otherwise, you would have loved your own nature, and its proper will or purpose. Other artificers, who love their respective arts, can even emaciate themselves by their several labours, without due refreshments of bathing or food: but you honour your nature and its purpose much less than the Turner does his art of turning, or the dancer does his art, the covetous man his wealth, or the vain man his applause. All these when struck with their several objects, don’t more desire to eat or sleep, than to improve in what they are fond of. And do social affectionate actions appear to you meaner, and deserving less diligence and application?
2. How easy is it to thrust away and blot out every disturbing imagination, not suited to nature; and forthwith to enjoy perfect tranquillity?
3. Judge no speech or action unsuitable to you, which is according to nature; and be not dissuaded from it, by any ensuing censure or reproach of others. But if the speaking or acting thus be honourable, don’t under[xnvalue yourself so much as to think you are unworthy to speak or act thus. These censurers have their own governing parts, and their own inclinations, which you are not to regard, or be diverted by. But go on straight in the way pointed out by your own nature, and the common nature of the whole. They both direct you to the same road.
4. I walk on in the path which is according to nature, till I fall down to rest, breathing out my last breath into that air I daily drew in, falling into that earth whence my father derived his seed, my mother her blood, my nurse her milk for my nourishment; that earth which supplied me for so many years with meat and drink, and bears me walking on it, and so many ways abusing it.
5. You cannot readily gain admiration for acuteness: be it so. But there are many other qualities, of which you can’t pretend you are naturally incapable. Approve yourself in those which are in your power, sincerity, gravity, patient diligence, contempt of pleasure, an heart never repining at providence, contentment with a little, good-nature, freedom, a temper unsolicitous about superfluities, shunning even superfluous talk; and in true grandeur of mind. Don’t you observe what a number of virtues you might display; for which you have no pretence of natural incapacity? And yet you voluntarily come short of them. Does any natural defect force you to be querulous at providence? to be tenacious and narrow-hearted? to flatter? to complain of the body, and charge your own faults on it? to fawn on others? to be ostentatious? to be so unsettled in your purposes and projects? No, by the Gods! you might have escaped those vices long ago. One charge, perhaps, of a slow and tardy understanding, you could not well avoid; but in this, diligence and exercise, might have helped the defect; if you had not neglected it,* nor taken a mean pleasure in it.
6. There are some, who, when they have done you a good office, are apt to charge it to your account, as a great obligation. Others are not apt thus to charge it to you, yet secretly look upon you as much indebted to them, and know sufficiently the value of what they have done. A third sort seem not to know what they have done; but are like the vine, which produces its bunches of grapes, and seeks no more when it hath yielded its proper fruit. The horse, when he hath run his course, the hound, when he has followed the track, the bee, when it has made its honey, and the Man, when he hath done good to others, don’t make a noisy boast of it, but go on to repeat the like actions, as the vine in its season produces its new clusters again. We ought to be among those, who, in a manner, seem not to understand what they have done. Well, but ought we not, say you, to understand this point? Is it not the property of the social being, to understand that it acts the social part? nay, by Jove! to desire too, that its partners and fellows should be sensible it acts thus? What you say is true. Yet if you misapprehend what I said above, you shall remain in one of the former classes, who are led aside from the highest perfection, by some probable specious reasons. But if you desire fully to comprehend what I said, don’t be afraid that it will ever retard you in any social action.
7. This is a prayer of the Athenians, “rain, rain, kind Jupiter! upon the tilled grounds and pastures of the Athenians.” We should either not pray at all, or pray with such simplicity, and such kind affections of free citizens toward our fellows.
8. As, when ’tis said, that, Aesculapius1 hath prescribed to one a course of riding, or the cold bath, or walking bare-footed; so it may be said, that the nature presiding in the whole, hath prescribed to one a disease, a maim, a loss of a child, or such like. The word “prescribed,” in the former case, imports that he enjoined it as conducing to health; and in the latter too, whatever befalls any one, is appointed as conducive to the purposes of fate or providence. Our very word for* happening to one, is, to go together appositely, as the squared stones in walls or pyramids, are said by the workmen, to fall or join together, and suit each other in a certain position. Now, there is one grand harmonious composition of all things; and as the regular universe is formed such a complete whole of all the particular bodies, so the universal destiny or fate of the whole, is made a complete cause out of all the particular causes. The very vulgar understand what I say. They tell you, “fate ordered this event for such a one, and this was prescribed or appointed for him.” Let us understand this even as when we say, “the physician has ordered such things for the patient”: for, he prescribes many harsh disagreeable things; which, yet, we embrace willingly, for the sake of health. Conceive, then, the accomplishing and completing the purposes of the universal nature, to be in the universe, what your health is to you, and thus embrace whatever happens, altho’ it should appear harsh and disagreeable: because it tends to the health of the universe, to the prosperity and felicity of Jupiter in his administration. He never had permitted this event, had it not conduced to good. We see not any particular nature aiming at or admitting what does not suit the little private system, in which it presides. Should you not on these two accounts embrace and delight in what ever befalls you; one is, that it was formed, and prescribed, and adapted for you, and destined originally by the most venerable causes; the other, that it is subservient to the prosperity, and complete administration of that mind, which governs the whole; nay, by Jupiter! to the stability and permanence of the whole. For, the whole would be maimed and imperfect, if you broke off any part of this continued connexion, either of parts or causes. Now, you break this off, and destroy it, as far as you can, when you repine at any thing which happens.
9. Don’t fret, despond, or murmur, if you have not always opportunities as you desire, of acting according to the right maxims. If you are beat off from them, return to them again; and content yourself that your actions are generally such as become a man; and rejoice in these good offices to which you return. Don’t return to philosophy with reluctance, as to a severe tutor, but as to your medicine; as one who has tender eyes, flies to the* sponge and the egg; as another flies to plaisters, a third to fomentation. You should require no more than being conscious that you have obeyed reason, and rest yourself in this. Remember that philosophy requires no other things than what your nature requires. But you are often wanting something different. What can be easier and sweeter than these things, which are agreeable to nature? Sensual enjoyments by their pleasure insnare us. But consider, can there be any thing sweeter than magnanimity, liberty, or self-command, simplicity of heart, meekness, purity? What is sweeter than wisdom, when you are conscious of success and security from error in what belongs to the intellectual and scientific powers?
10. The natures of things are so covered up from us, that, to many philosophers, and these no mean ones, all things seem uncertain and incomprehensible. The Stoics themselves own it to be very difficult to comprehend any thing certainly. All our Judgments are fallible. Where is the infallible man, who never changes his opinion? Consider the objects of our knowledge; how transitory are they, and how mean! how often are they in the possession of the most effeminately flagitious, or of a whore, or a robber! Review again the manners of your contemporaries, they are scarce tolerable to the most courteous and meek disposition; not to mention that few can well comport with their own manners, but are often angry with themselves. Amidst such darkness and filth, and this perpetual flux of substance, of time, of motions, and of the things moved, I see nothing worthy of our esteem or solicitude. On the contrary, the hopes of our natural dissolution should be our consolation, and make us bear with patience the time of our sojourning among them: refreshing ourselves with these thoughts; first, that nothing can befall us but what is according to the nature of the whole: and then, that it is always in our power, never to counteract the Deity or Genius within us: to this no force can compell us.
11. To what purposes am I now using my animal powers? This should be matter of frequent self-examination: As also, what are the views and purposes of that governing part, as we call it? What sort of soul have I? of what character? Is it that of a trifling child? of a passionate youth? of a timorous woman? of a tyrant? of a tame beast, or a savage one?
12. Of what value the things are, which many repute as good, you may judge from this; If one previously conceives the true goods, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, he cannot bear any thing attributed to them which does not naturally agree to the true kinds of good. But one thinking of what the vulgar repute as good, can patiently hear, and will with pleasure entertain as proper to the subject, that known raillery of the comic poet.3 And thus even the vulgar conceive the preeminence of the former; otherwise, they would not be offended with the application of that jest to them, and reject it as unworthy of the subject. But we all relish that jest, when ’tis applied to riches, and all the possessions subservient to luxury, as being suitable to the subject, and humourously expressed. Go on, then, and ask yourself, are these things to be honoured and reputed as good, which, when we consider, we can yet deem it proper raillery to apply to the possessor, the jest, “that he has such abundance of finery around him on all sides, he can find no place where he can ease himself.”
13. I consist of an active and a material principle. Neither of these shall return to nothing; as they were not made out of nothing. Shall not, then, every part of me be disposed, upon its dissolution, into the correspondent part of the universe; and that, again, be changed into some other part of the uni-verse; and thus to eternity? By such changes I came into being, and my parents too, and their progenitors, from another eternity. We may assert this,* tho’ the world be governed by certain grand determined periods of dissolution and renovation.4
14. Reason, and the art of the rational agent, are powers which are satisfied with themselves and their own proper action, (without the aid of what is external or foreign to them). They act from their internal principle, and go straight forward to the end set before them. The actions are called right, or straight, from their straight road to their end.†
15. None of these things should be deemed belonging to a man as his perfection, which don’t belong to him as he is a man; which can’t be demanded of him as a man; which the structure of his nature does not undertake for; and which do not perfect his nature. The supreme end or happiness of man, cannot, therefore, consist in such things, nor be completed by them. Did any such things belong to man as his perfection, it would never be a suitable perfection in him to despise and oppose them; nor would he be commendable for making himself independent of them, and not needing them. Were they truly good, it would never be the part of a good man to quit or abate his share of them. But the more one remits of his share of certain things reputed good, the more patiently he bears being deprived of them by others, the better we must esteem the man to be.
16. Such as the imaginations are which you frequently dwell upon, such will be the disposition of your soul. The soul receives a tincture from the imagination. Tincture thy soul deeply by such thoughts as these continually present that, wherever one may live, he may live well: one may live in a court, and, therefore, one may live well in it. Again, whatever one’s natural structure and powers are fitted for, ’tis for this purpose he is designed; and by a natural impulse is carried to it; and his supreme end is placed in that to which he is thus carried. In this end consists his advantage, and his good. The good of a rational creature is in society; for, we have long ago demonstrated, that we were formed for society. Nay, was it not manifest, that the inferior kinds were formed for the superior, and the superior for each other? Now, the inanimate are inferior to the animated; and the merely animated are inferior to the rational.5
17. ’Tis the part of a mad-man to pursue impossibilities. Now, ’tis* im-possible the vicious should act another part than that we see them act.
18. Nothing can befall any man, which he is not capable by nature to bear. The like events have befallen others; and they, either through ignorance that the event hath happened, or through ostentation of magnanimity, stand firm and unhurt by them. Strange! then, that ignorance or ostentation should have more power than wisdom!
19. The things themselves* cannot in the least touch the soul; nor have any access to it; nor can they turn or move it. The soul alone can turn or move itself; and such judgments or opinions, as she condescends to entertain, such she will make all occurrences become to her self.6
20. In one respect, men are the most dearly attached to us, as we are ever obliged to do good to them: but in another respect, as they sometimes obstruct us in our proper offices, they are to be reputed among things indifferent, no less than the sun, the wind, or a savage beast; for, any of these may obstruct us in the discharge of our proper external offices; but, none of them can obstruct our purpose, or our dispositions, because of that† reservation and power of turning our course. For the soul can convert and change every impediment of its first intended action, into a more excellent object of action; and thus ’tis for its advantage to be obstructed in action; and it advances in its road, by being stopped in it.
21. Reverence that which is most excellent in the universe; which employs all parts of it as it pleases, and governs all. In like manner, reverence that which is most excellent in yourself. Now, this is of a like nature with the former, as it is what employs and directs all other powers in your nature; and your whole life is governed by it.
22. What is not hurtful to the‡ state or city, cannot hurt the citizen. Make use of this rule upon every conception of any thing as hurting you. If the city is not hurt by it, I cannot be hurt. If the city should receive hurt by it, yet we should not be angry at him who hurt it, but* shew him what he has neglected, or how he has done wrong.7
23. Consider frequently, how swiftly all things which exist, or arise, are swept away, and carried off. Their substance is as a river in a perpetual course. Their actions are in perpetual changes, and the causes subject to ten thousand alterations. Scarce any thing is stable. And the vast eternities, past and ensuing, are close upon it on both hands; in which all things are swallowed up. Must he not, then, be a fool, who is either puffed up with success in such things; or is distracted, and full of complaints about the contrary; as if it could give disturbance of any duration?
24. Remember how small a part you are of the universal nature; how small a moment of the whole duration is appointed for you; and how † small a part you are of the object of universal fate, or providence.
25. Does any one injure me? Let him look to it. He hath his own disposition, and his own work. I have that disposition, which the common president nature wills me to have, and act that part, which my own nature recommends to me.
26. Keep the governing part of the soul‡ unmoved by the grateful or painfull commotions of the flesh; and let it not blend itself with the body; but circumscribe and seperate itself; and confine these passions to those bodily parts. When they ascend into the soul, by means of that sympathy constituted by its union with the body, there is no withstanding of the sensation which is natural. But let not the governing part add also its opinion concerning them, as if they were good or evil.
27. We should live a divine life with the Gods. He lives with the Gods, who displays before them his soul, pleased with all they appoint for him, and doing whatever is recommended by that divinity within, which Jupiter hath* taken from himself, and given each one as the conductor, and leader of his life. And this is the intellectual principle and reason in each man.
28. Can you be angry at one, whose arm-pits or whose breath are disagreeable? How can the man help it, who has such a mouth or such armpits? They must have a smell. But, says one, man has reason: he could by attention, discern what is injurious in his actions; [these may justly raise anger.] Well, God bless you, you have this reason too. Rouse then his rational dispositions, by your rational dispositions; instruct, suggest to him, what is right. If he listens to you, you have cured him, and then there is no occasion for anger. Let us have no tragical exclamations against the vices and injuries of others; nor a base concurrence with them, like that of harlots.
29. You may live at present in the same way you would chuse to be living, when you knew your death was approaching. If you are hindered to do so, then you may quit life; and yet without conceiving the quiting it as evil. If my house be smoaky, I go out of it; and where is the great matter? While no such thing forces me out, I stay as free; and who can hinder me to act as I please? But my pleasure is, to act as the rational and social nature requires.
30. The soul of the universe is kind and social. It has, therefore, made the inferior orders for the sake of the superior; and has suited the superior beings for each other. You see how it hath subordinated, and co-ordinated, and distributed to each according to its merit, and engaged the nobler beings into a mutual agreement and unanimity.
31. [Examine yourself thus:] how have you behaved toward the Gods, toward your parents, your brothers, your wife, your children, your teachers, those who educated you, your friends, your intimates, your domestics? Have you never said or done any thing unbecoming, toward any of them?11 Recollect through how many affairs of life you have past, and what offices you have been able to sustain and discharge. The history of your life, and of your* publick service to the Gods, is not completed. What beautiful and honourable things are seen in your life? What pleasures and what pains have you despised? What occasions of vain ostentation have you designedly omitted? Toward how many perverse unreasonable creatures, have you † exercised discretion and lenity?
32. Why should the instructed, the intelligent, and skilful soul be disturbed by the rude and illiterate? What soul is truly skilful and intelligent?‡ That which knows the cause and the end of all things, and that reason which pervades all substances in all ages, and governs the whole universe by§ certain determined periods.
33. Presently you shall be only ashes and dry bones, and a name; or, perhaps, not even a name. A name is but a certain noise or sound, or echo. The things most honoured in life are but vain, rotten, mean; little dogs snapping at each other; children squabling and vying with each other; laughing, and presently weeping again. But integrity, modesty, justice, and truth,** “From the wide range of earth have soar’d to heaven.” What, then, should detain thee here? Since all things sensible are in perpetual change, without any stability: The senses themselves but dull, and apt to admit false appearances: The animal life, but an exhalation from blood: To have reputation among such animals, is a poor empty thing. Why, then, should you not wait patiently for either your extinction, or translation into another state? And, till the proper season for it comes, what should suffise thee? To reverence and praise the Gods, and to do good to men, bearing with their weakness, abstaining from injuries,13 and considering external things subservient to thy poor body and life, as what are not thine, nor in thy power.
34. You may always be prosperous, if you go on in the right way, in right opinions and actions. These two advantages are common to Gods, to men, and every rational soul; one, that they can* be hindered by nothing external; the other, that they have their† proper good or happiness in their just disposi-tions, and actions, and can make their desires terminate and cease here, without extending further.
35. If this event be neither any vice of mine, nor any action from any vitious disposition of mine, nor be hurtful to the whole, why am I disturbed by it. Nay, who can hurt the whole?
36. Don’t let your imagination hurry you away incautiously in any seeming distress of your friend. Assist him to the utmost of your power, as far as he deserves in these‡ indifferent sorts of things; but, don’t imagine that he has sustained any evil. There is no evil in such things. But, as in the§ comedy,14 the old foster-father asks from the child, with great earnestness, his top, as a token of his love, tho’ he knew well it was a childish toy; just so, you must act in life about the toys which others value. When you are vehemently declaiming from the rostrum, should one say to you, “What, man, have you forgot the nature of these things you are so keen about.” Nay, say you, “tho’ I have not forgot it, yet I know these are matters of serious concern to others”; and, therefore, you do well to act thus. But take care you don’t in your own sentiments become a fool, because others are fools. You may so manage, that, in whatever place or time one comes upon you, you may be found a man of an happy lot. He has the happy lot, who distributes one to himself. The happy lots are good dispositions of soul, good desires and purposes, and good actions.
[* ] The reading of the text here is uncertain.
[* ] A common medicine for tender eyes.
[* ] The Stoics seem to have believed a series of great periodical conflagrations, from all eternity, by which the material world and the grosser elements, were rarified and absorbed again into the pure aether, which they deemed to be the Deity; and recreated again out of this eternal original substance: and that these alternate creations and conflagrations, were from eternity: and from the one to the other, was the great philosophic year.
[† ] Viz. acting according to our nature, be the external event what it will. See, B. IV. 37.
[* ] That is, during these their present opinions, dispositions, habits, and confused imaginations: all which they have fallen into according to that plan, which infinite wisdom originally concerted for the most excellent purposes; seeing it to be necessary, that there should be very different orders of being, some more, some less perfect; that many particular evils must be connected with the necessary means of incomparably superior good; that these imperfections and evils are prerequisite to the exercise of the most divine virtues, in the more perfect orders of beings; which must be the ground of their eternal joy: and that many evils are even requisite means of reclaiming the less perfect beings from their vices, and setting them upon the pursuit of their truest happiness. Such thoughts must repress ill-will and all anger against the vicious; but don’t hinder our discerning the misery and deformity of vice. And a Stoic allows the vicious could refrain from their vices, if they heartily inclined to do so.
[* ] The Stoics, after Plato, seem to conceive the rational soul, in which, our judgments, opinions, and calm purposes of action subsist, to be a being or substance distinct both from the gross body, and the animal soul, in which are the sensations, lower appetites and passions. The rational soul, say they, is the man; the seat of true perfection and happiness; or, of misery; and of a durable nature, capable of subsisting separated from the other two parts; and of commanding all their motions, during this union with them, or imprisonment in them; capable of performing its proper, natural, lovely, beatific offices, independent of these lower parts; nay, of making the adverse accidents, which befall them, the occasion, or matter, of its most excellent beatific exercises.
[† ] See, B. IV. 1. As also the note upon the preceeding section in this book.
[‡ ] This city is the universe. A mind entirely conformed and resigned to God, the great governour of this city, and persuaded of his wisdom, power, and goodness, cannot imagine any event to be hurtful to the universe; and when it is united in will with God, it must acquiesce in all that happens, and can make all events good to itself, as they are occasions of exerting the noblest virtues, which are its supreme good.
[* ] This is an impossible supposition, but the sentiment just, according to the Stoic opinion; see the note on art. 17. of this book.
[† ] And thence you’ll see how just and merciful it may be, to subject your little transitory interests, to those of the great universe, and to that plan of providence, which is fittest for the whole.
[‡ ] See, art. 19. of this book.
[* ] The Stoics conceived the divine substance, to be an infinitely diffused and all-pervading aether, the seat of all wisdom, power and goodness: and that our souls were small particles of this aether: and that even those of brutes were particles of the same, more immersed and entangled in the grosser elements. Divinae particulam aurae.Horace.8Esse apibus partem divinae mentis, & haustusAetherios, dixere. Deum namque ire per omnesTerrasque tractusque maris, coelumque profundum:Hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum;Quemque sibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas:Scilicet huc reddi, deinde, & resoluta referriOmnia —Virg. Geor. IV. 220.9 See also,Aeneid. VI. 724. to 746.10
[* ] Observe here the same divine sentiment with the Apostle; that whatever we do in word or deed, we should do it as to God.
[ † ] Here he is recommending not only forgiveness, but the returning good for evil.
[‡ ] The knowledge of God and his providence, is the true wisdom.
[§ ] See above, B. V. 13.
[* ] See above, B. V. 19. and B. IV. 1.
[‡ ] The Stoics called all external advantages or disadvantages, respecting the body or fortune, things indifferent, neither good, nor evil; but they allowed this difference among them, that some were according to nature, and preferable; others contrary to nature, and to be rejected.
[§ ] This comedy is not known.
[1.] Aesculapius, the god of healing, also known as Asclepius. A noted recipient of Asclepius’s medical advice, usually given in dreams, was Marcus’s contemporary, the sophist Aelius Aristides. See the endnotes, “Life of the Emperor,” p. 168n40.
[3.] Menander, The Ghost 17: “You’re so well off you don’t / Have anywhere to shit, I’d have you know.” (In Menander, Loeb ed., vol. 3, p. 379).
[4.] See bk. IV, art. 21, p. 51, and bk. V, art. 27, p. 67n, on the divine ether.
[5.] See also bk. IX, art. 9, p. 110, the asterisked note, on “the present degenerate state [of the soul], as it is often counteracting its original destination.”
As Hutcheson explains it, the present degenerate state of the soul has been brought about by confused imaginations, present opinions, dispositions, and habits. But this lapse of the soul into degeneracy has happened in accordance with the divine plan, in which it was foreseen that there must be different orders of beings, some of them less perfect than others. Many evils are necessary to reclaim the less perfect from their vices. And other evils are necessary for the exercise of “the most divine virtues, in the more perfect orders of beings.” When one understands that imperfection is part of the divine plan or system, one also understands why the more imperfect orders behave badly. And one no longer feels anger or ill will toward the vicious, although one can still recognize vice in all its ugliness.
Hutcheson had alluded to a similar theodicy outlined in the comments of Simplicius on the morals of Epictetus in An Essay (1728), sec. II, art. 6, pp. 50–51 (Liberty Fund ed., pp. 43–44), where the relevant passage from Simplicius is reproduced. Hutcheson also refers on the same pages to the theodicy of William King, De origine mali (1702). The unavoidability of imperfection in the divine plan was elaborated most fully by Hutcheson in A System of Moral Philosophy (1755): for discussion, see Moore, “Hutcheson’s Theodicy,” pp. 239–66, in The Scottish Enlightenment: Essays in Reinterpretation. It is also interesting that Hutcheson should conclude this note with the sentence: “And the Stoic allows the vicious could refrain from their vices, if they heartily inclined to do so.” This is consistent with the assertion made in bk. VII, art. 56, p. 91n, that: “the law of God [is] written in the heart.” There is a law of nature but it is known by the immediate promptings of the heart. And even those imperfect degenerate natures who have been misled by confused imaginations or present opinions might behave otherwise “if they heartily wished to do so.”
[6.] See note to bk. II, art. 1, pp. 171–72n2.
[7.] See bk. IV, art. 4, pp. 48–49: “We are all fellow-citizens: and if so, we have a common city. The universe, then, must be that city; for of what other common city are all men citizens?”
[8.] Horace, Satires II.2.79 (Loeb ed., pp. 142–43): “a portion of the divine spirit.”
[9.] Virgil, Georgics IV.220–26, in Virgil (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 234–35): “… some have taught that the bees received a share of the divine intelligence, and a draught of heavenly ether; for God, they saw, pervades all things, earth and sea’s expanse and heaven’s depth; from him the flocks and herds, men and beasts of every sort draw, each at birth, the slender stream of life; to him all beings thereafter return, and when unmade, are restored.”
[10.] Virgil, Aeneid V[hm1u]I.724–46 (Loeb ed., vol. I, pp. 582–85), explains that an “inner spirit” pervades all things, including human beings, but that human beings need to be purged of the sinful elements they have acquired in life before they can rejoin the heavenly spirit after death.
[11.] Marcus is here paraphrasing Homer, Odyssey IV.690.
[12.] The modern reference is Hesiod, Works and Days, 197–200 (Loeb ed., pp. 234–35): “Then indeed will Reverence and Indignation cover their beautiful skin with white mantles, leave human beings behind and go from the broad-pathed earth to the race of the Immortals, to Olympus.”
[13.] Marcus’s language here is an adaptation of the famous phrase of Epictetus, ἀνἑχου καἱ ἀπἑχου, fragment 10.6 (Epictetus, Discourses, Loeb ed., vol. II, p. 455).
[14.] The comedy is not known, if indeed this is a reference to a comedy, which the Greek does not necessarily imply.