Of this class of men we learn that Lysander, the Lacedaemonian, was unsurpassed in crafty plotting and in his power of endurance, while Callicratidas, who succeeded Lysander in the command of the fleet, was of the opposite character. For we are not so constituted by nature as to seem made for sport and jest, but rather for sobriety and for certain more weighty and important pursuits. But the best inheritance that fathers can give their children, more precious than any patrimony however large, is reputation for virtue and for worthy deeds, which if the child disgraces, his conduct should be branded as infamous and impious. Thus who imitates the virtue of Lucius Lucullus, a man of the highest character? Nor is it only when these men are living and present that they instruct and teach those desirous of learning; but they follow up this same work even after death by the records of their knowledge and wisdom. The entire system of the Cynics also is to be shunned; for it is opposed to modesty, without which there can be neither right nor honor. What a contrast here to the advantage of Quintus Maximus,3 of whom Ennius writes: — Although Chremes, in Terence’s play, thinks nothing human indifferent to him, yet because we perceive and feel the things, prosperous or adverse, which happen to ourselves more keenly than those that happen to others, which we see, as it were, at a great distance, we decide concerning them otherwise than we should concerning ourselves in like case. The rhetoricians give rules for oratory; there are none for conversation. But whatever is right springs from one of four sources. Posidonius1 has brought together a great many of these things, some of them so foul, so indecent, that it would be offensive even to name them. Luxurious living, too, unbecoming at any period of life, is most shameful for old age; and if to this licentiousness be added, the evil is double; for thus old age at once disgraces itself, and makes the excess of youth still more shameless. Pictures and meaning about “For the function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil; whereas, inasmuch as all things morally wrong are evil, trickery prefers the evil to the good.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, “On Duties” (44 BC). To us, however, Nature has assigned a character endowed with great excellence and superiority over other animals. I may take the liberty of boasting to you, my son Marcus, to whom belong both the heritage of this fame and the imitation of my deeds. One should also be free from all disturbing emotions, not only from desire and fear, but equally from solicitude, and sensuality, and anger, that there may be serenity of mind, and that freedom from care which brings with it both evenness of temper and dignity of character. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. The Question and Answer section for On Duties is a great It has a twofold definition; for there is a certain general becomingness which has its place in every kind of virtue; and another, subordinate to this and included within it, which belongs to single departments of virtue. In these traits the Greeks assign the foremost place to Themistocles and Jason of Pherae, and accord pre-eminent praise to the cunning and crafty procedure of Solon, who, for his own safety, and that he might render additional service to the state, feigned insanity.2 There are others of very unlike character, simple and open, who think that nothing should be done covertly or insidiously, votaries of truth, enemies of fraud; others still, who will endure anything whatever, and will be subservient to any one whomsoever, till they attain what they desire, as we saw in the case of Sulla and of Marcus Crassus. And he would do the same thing in the business or in the peril of a father or a friend. From the glance of the eyes, from the expansion or contraction of the brows, from depression, from cheerfulness, from laughter, from the tone of the voice, from silence, from a higher or lower key of utterance, and other similar tokens, we may easily determine which of the greater things that they typify are fittingly done and which of them are at variance with duty and nature. But there are frequent occasions when those things which are generally regarded as worthy of a just man, and one of good report, such as the restoring of a trust or the fulfilment of a promise, are reversed, and become the opposite of right, and what belongs to truth and good faith seems to change its bearing, so that justice demands its violation. Thus Lysis, the Pythagorean, taught Epaminondas of Thebes, and Plato was the preceptor of Dion of Syracuse, and many others have had numerous pupils. 28. But when the youth remained in the army for love of military service, Cato wrote to Popilius that if he permitted his son to stay, he must make him take a second oath of military duty, else, the term of the first oath having expired, he could not lawfully fight with the enemy. 41. One division relates to the supreme good in itself considered; the other, to the rules by which the conduct of life may in all its parts be brought into conformity with the supreme good. But alike in bestowing benefit and in returning kindness, other things being equal, it is in the highest degree incumbent upon us to do the most for those who need the most. “I ask that you should give no gold, no price; Men are sometimes unwilling to incur the enmity, or the labor, or the cost involved in such defence; or by mere carelessness, indolence, sloth, or engrossment in pursuits or employments of their own, they are so retarded in their movements as to leave undefended those whom they ought to protect. 26. For what is done under some degree of excitement cannot be done with self-respect or with the approval of bystanders. In this quest of knowledge, both natural and right, there are two faults to be shunned, — one, the taking of unknown things for known, and giving our assent to them too hastily, which fault he who wishes to escape (and all ought so to wish) will give time and diligence to reflect on the subjects proposed for his consideration. It is, then, the special function of the magistrate to regard himself as representing the person of the state, and bound to maintain its dignity and honor, to enforce the laws, to define conflicting rights, and to bear in mind whatever is committed to his good faith. But if there are obligations on our part, so that kindness is not to begin with us, but to be returned by us, there is all the greater responsibility laid upon us; for there is no more essential duty than that of returning kindness received. 3. The verse was originally referred to Catinline's conspiracy, exposed by Cicero himself, who wishes to put internal discords aside. Yet reference must be had to the persons present; for we are not all interested in the same things, at all times, and in a similar degree. 7. No social bond or covenant is sacred,” And thus his after-glory shines the more.” Least of all can we speak well of the trades that minister to sensual pleasures, — Indeed, it is through this society, so broadly open to men with one another, to all with all, that common possession is to be maintained as to whatever nature has produced for the common use of men; so that while those things that are specially designated by the statutes and the civil law are held as thus decreed, according to these very laws other things may be regarded in the sense of the Greek proverb, “All things are common among friends.” Indeed, all those things seem to be common among men, which are of the kind designated by Ennius in a single example, but comprehending many others: —

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