WHAT makes a tyrant formidable? His guards, say you, and their swords; they who belong to the bedchamber, and they who shut out those who would go in. What is the reason, then, that, if you bring a child to him when he is surrounded by his guards, it is not afraid? Is it because the child doth not know what they mean? Suppose, then, that anyone doth know what is meant by guards, and that they are armed with swords, and, for that very reason, comes in the tyrant's way, being desirous, on account of some misfortune, to die, and seeking to die easily by the hand of another : doth such a man fear the guards? No; for he wants the very thing that renders them formidable. Well, then, if anyone without an absolute desire to live or die, but, as it may happen, comes in the way of a tyrant, what restrains his approaching him without fear? Nothing.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §7. ¶1