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Epictetus. (c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.


Why art thou thus insatiable? why thus unreasonable? why encumber the world?—“Aye, but I fain would have my wife and children with me too.”—What, are they then thine, and not His that gave them—His that made thee? Give up then that then which is not thine own: yield it to One who is better than thou. “Nay, but why did He bring one into the world on these conditions?”—If it suits thee not, depart! He hath no need of a spectator who finds fault with his lot! Them that will take part in the Feast he needeth— that will lift their voices with the rest, that men may applaud the more, and exalt the Great Assembly in hymns and songs of praise. But the wretched and the fearful He will not be displeased to see absent from it: for when they were present, they did not behave as at a Feast, nor fulfil their proper office; but moaned as though in pain, and found fault with their fate, fortune and their companions; insensible to what had fallen to their lot, insensible to the powers they had received for a very different purpose—the powers of Magnanimity, Nobility of Heart, of Fortitude, of Freedom!