The Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero to Several of His Friends, Volume 4

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Page 76 - I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes; I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind.
Page 76 - ... when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of" some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.
Page 75 - When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me ; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tomb-stone, my heart melts with compassion ; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow.
Page 81 - ... exalted spirits ! When I shall go not only to those great persons I have named, but to my Cato, my son, than whom a better man was never born, and whose funeral rites I myself performed, whereas he ought rather to have attended mine. Yet has not his soul deserted me, but, seeming to cast back a look on me, is gone before to those habitations to which it was sensible I should follow him. And though I might appear to have borne my loss with courage, I was not unaffected with it; but I comforted...
Page 83 - I could have recourse, and in the sweetness of whose conversation I could discharge all the cares and anxiety of my heart. But this last fatal stab to my peace has torn open those wounds which seemed in some measure to have been tolerably healed. For I can now no longer lose my private sorrows in the prosperity of the commonwealth ; as I was wont to dispel the uneasiness I suffered upon the public account, in the happiness I received at home. Accordingly, I have equally banished myself from my house,*...
Page 74 - ... them to her descendants? Yet, after all, you may still allege, perhaps, that the loss of our children is a severe affliction ; and unquestionably it would be so, if it were not a much greater to see them live to endure those indignities which their parents suffer. I lately fell into a reflection, which, as it afforded great relief to the disquietude of my own heart, it may possibly contribute, likewise, to assuage the anguish of yours. In my return out of Asia, as I was sailing from /Egina towards...
Page 83 - This person [Caesar], it is true, is a man of great abilities and generosity, and one, if I mistake not, who is by no means my enemy, — as I am sure he is extremely your friend. Nevertheless, it requires much consideration, I do not say in what manner we shall act with respect to public affairs, but by what methods we may best obtain his permission to retire from them. Farewell.
Page 79 - I join with you, my dear Sulpicius, in wishing that you had been in Rome when this most severe calamity befel me. I am sensible of the advantage I should have received from your presence, and I had almost said your equal participation of my grief, by having found myself somewhat more composed after I had read your letter. It furnished me, indeed, with arguments extremely proper to soothe the anguish of affliction ; and evidently flowed from a heart that sympathized with the sorrows it endeavoured...
Page 82 - Cato, had both of them the nnhappiness to survive their respective sons, who were endowed with the highest ahilities and virtues. Yet these unfortunate parents lived in times when the honours they derived from the republic might, in some measure, alleviate the weight of their domestic misfortunes. But as for myself, after having been stripped of those dignities you mention, and which I had acquired by the most laborious exertion of my ahilities, I had one only consolation remaining ; and of that...
Page 74 - O cities, once so flourishing and magnificent, now presented nothing to my view but a sad spectacle of desolation. Alas, I said to myself, shall such a short-lived creature as man complain, when one of his...

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