WHEN I hear anyone congratulated on the favour of Caesar, I say, What hath he got? "A province." — Hath he, then, got such principles, too, as he ought to have? — "A public charge." — Hath he, then, got with it the knowledge how to use it too? If not, why should I be thrust about any longer to get in? Someone scatters nuts and figs. Children scramble and quarrel for them, but not men, for they think them trifles. — Provinces are distributing. Let children look to it. — Money. Let children look to it. Military command, a consulship. Let children scramble for them. Let these be shut out, be beat, kiss the hands of the giver, of his slaves. But to me they are but mere figs and nuts. — "What, then, is to be done?" If you miss them, while he is throwing them, do not trouble yourself about it; but if a fig should fall into your lap, take it and eat it, for one may pay so much regard even to a fig. But if I am to stoop and throw down one, or be thrown down by another, and flatter those who are got in, a fig is not worth this, nor any other of the things which are not really good, and which the philosophers have persuaded me not to esteem as good.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §7. ¶4.
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