WHENEVER you see any one subject to another, and flattering him, contrary to his own opinion, confidently say that he too is not free ; and not only if he doth it for a supper, but even if it be for a government, nay, a consulship ; but call those indeed little slaves who act thus for the sake of little things, and the others, as they deserve, great slaves. — "Be this, too, agreed." Well, do you think freedom to be something independent and self-determined? — "How can it be otherwise?" Him, then, whom it is in the power of another to restrain or to compel, affirm confidently to be not free. And do not mind his grandfathers, or great-grandfathers, or inquire whether he hath been bought or sold; but if you hear him say from his heart, and with emotion, My master, though twelve lictors should march before him, call him a slave. And if you should hear him say. Wretch that I am, what do I suffer! call him a slave. In short, if you see him wailing, complaining, unprosperous, call him a slave in purple. “Suppose, then, he doth nothing of all this?” — Do not yet say he is free, but learn whether his principles are liable to compulsion, to restraint, or disappointment, and, if you find this to be the case, call him a slave keeping holiday during the Saturnalia. Say that his master is abroad: he will come presently, and you will know what he suffers. “Who will come?” — Whoever hath the power either of bestowing or taking away any of the things he wishes for.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §1. ¶10