FIRST, to act as a man. What is comprehended in this? Not to be, though gentle, like a sheep; nor mischievous like a wild beast. But the particular end relates to the study and choice of each individual. A harper is to act as a harper; a carpenter, as a carpenter; a philosopher, as a philosopher; an orator, as an orator. When therefore you say, "Come and hear me read," observe first, not to do this at random; and, in the next place, after you have found to what end you refer it, consider whether it be a proper one. Would you be useful, or be praised? You presently hear him say, "What, do I value the praise of the multitude?" And he says well, for this is nothing to a musician or a geometrician, as such. You would be useful, then. In what? Tell us, that we too may run to make part of your audience. Now, is it possible for anyone to benefit others who hath received no benefit himself? No; for neither can he who is not a carpenter or a shoemaker benefit any in respect to those arts. Would you know, then, whether you have received benefit? Produce your principles, philosopher; what is the aim and promise of desire? Not to be disappointed. What of aversion? Not to be incurred. Come, do we fulfil this promise? Tell me the truth.
EPICTETUS. MANUAL. 31.