THE first difference between one of the vulgar and a philosopher is this: the one says, I am undone on the account of my child, my brother, my father; but the other, if ever he be obliged to say, I am undone! reflects, and adds, On account of myself. For choice cannot be restrained or hurt by anything to which choice doth not extend, but only by itself. If, therefore, we always would incline this way, and, whenever we are unsuccessful, would lay the fault on ourselves, and remember that there is no cause of perturbation and inconstancy but principle, I engage we should make some proficiency. But we set out in a very different way, from the very beginning. In infancy, for example, if we happen to stumble, our nurse doth not chide us, but beats the stone. Why, what harm hath the stone done? Was it to move out of its place for the folly of your child? Again, if we do not find something to eat when we come out of the bath, our governor doth not try to moderate our appetite, but beats the cook.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §19.
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