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351 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1992
“To have had some idea of the need I had to straighten out my moral condition, and to take care of it.
That I did not let myself be dragged into sophistical ambition, or to compose treatises on philosophical theorems, to declaim fine exhortatory speeches, or, finally, to try to strike my audience's imagination by parading myself ostentatiously as a man who practices philosophical exercises, or is generous to a fault.
To have given up rhetoric, poetry, and refined expressions. Not to walk around in a toga while I'm home, and not to let myself go in such matters.
To write letters simply, just like the letter he himself wrote to my mother from Sinuessa.
To be disposed, with regard to those who are angry with you and offend you, in such a way as to be ready to respond to the first call, and to be reconciled as soon as they themselves wish to return to you.
To study texts with precision, without being content just to skim over them in a general, approximate way; and not to give my assent too quickly to smooth talkers.
To have been able to read the notes taken at the courses of Epictetus, which he lent to me from his own library.”
The best way to get even with them is not to resemble them (VI, 6).
Leave your books alone. Don't let yourself be distracted any longer; you can't allow yourself that any more (II, 2, 2).
Throw away your thirst for reading, so that when you die, you will not be grumbling, but will be in true serenity, thanking the gods from the bottom of your heart (II, 3, 3).