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  1. As soldiers need not only courage but tactics also, so does a philosopher need not only courage and philosophy but discernment also, to tell what his right time of dying is — so that he neither seek it nor flee it.
  2. It is at the time of dawn that we must commune with the gods.
  3. The gods, as they are beneficent, if they find anyone who is healthy and whole and unscarred by vice, will send him away, surely, after crowning him, not with golden crowns, but with all sorts of blessings.
  4. Every argument is incapable of helping unless it is singular and addressed to a single person. Therefore, one who discourses in any other way presumably does so from love of reputation.
  5. Nero may have understood how to tune his cithern, but he disgraced his imperial office both by slackening and by tightening the strings.
  6. In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs.
  7. In my judgment, excellence and wealth are direct opposites, since when the one shrinks, the other grows, and when one grows, the other shrinks.
  8. I delight to lodge in such temples as are not regularly kept closed. None of the gods reject me; they make me partner of their roof.
  9. Just as an individual of pre-eminent worth transforms democracy into a monarchy of the best man, even so the rule of one man, if in all things it has an eye to the common welfare, is democracy.
  10. It is the duty of the law-giver to deliver to the many the instructions of whose truth he has persuaded himself.
  11. All the earth is mine, and I have a right to go all over it and through it.
  12. Do not consider that to be wealth which is hoarded away, for how is it better than sand gathered from the nearest heap? Nor that which comes in from men who groan at their taxes: for the gold that is wrung from tears is of base alloy and black.
  13. The gods do not need sacrifices, so what might one do to please them? Acquire wisdom, it seems to me, and do all the good in one’s power to those humans who deserve it.
  14. O thou Sun, send me as far over the earth as is my pleasure and thine, and may I make the acquaintance of good men, but never hear anything of bad ones, nor they of me.
  15. When I review Xerxes’ achievements, I praise him, not for having yoked the Hellespont, but for having crossed it. But I can see that Nero will neither sail through the Isthmus nor complete his digging.
  16. I feel friendship towards philosophers, but towards sophists, teachers of literature, or any other such kind of godforsaken people, I neither feel friendship now, nor may I ever do so in the future.
  17. A man must fortify himself and understand that a wise man who yields to laziness or anger or passion or love of drink, or who commits any other action prompted by impulse and inopportune, will probably find his fault condoned; but if he stoops to greed, he will not be pardoned, but render himself odious as a combination of all vices at once.
  18. I have not yet learned to keep still.
  19. If you have problems of conduct that are difficult and hard to settle, I will furnish you with solutions, for I not only know matters of practice and duty, but I even know them beforehand.
  20. Plato said that virtue has no master. If a person does not honor this principle and rejoice in it, but is purchasable for money, he creates many masters for himself.

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