EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §20. ¶6.
WHAT are you doing, man? You contradict yourself every day, and yet you will not give up these paltry cavils. When you eat, where do you carry your hand? To your mouth, or to your eye? When you bathe, where do you go? Do you ever call a kettle a dish; or a spoon a spit? If I were a servant to one of these gentlemen, were it at the hazard of being flayed every day, I would plague him. "Throw some oil into the bath, boy." I would take pickle and pour upon his head. "What is this?" Really, sir, an appearance struck me so perfectly alike, as not to be distinguished from oil. "Give me the soup." I would carry him a dish full of vinegar. "Did not I ask for the soup?" Yes, sir, this is the soup. "Is not this vinegar?" Why so, more than soup? "Take it and smell to it; take it and taste it." How do you know, then, but our senses deceive us? If I had three or four fellow-servants to join with me, I would make him either choke with passion and burst, or change his opinions. But now they insult us by making use of the gifts of nature, while in words they destroy them. Grateful and modest men, truly!