The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


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Seite 192 - Like leaves on trees the race of man is found, Now green in youth, now withering on the ground ; Another race the following spring supplies; They fall successive, and successive rise : So generations in their course decay; So flourish these, when those are pass'd away.
Seite 237 - Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome, (The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!) No single parts unequally surprise, All comes united to th' admiring eyes; No monstrous height, or breadth or length appear; The whole at once is bold and regular.
Seite 48 - ... those elements, in a perpetual circle of successive generation and corruption. You have a fixed period assigned you, which if you do not improve to calm your passage and procure the tranquillity of your mind, it will be past, never to return, and you yourself will be no more. Take care always to perform strenuously the business in hand, as becomes a man and a Roman, with attention and unaffected gravity, with humanity, liberality, and justice ; and call off your thoughts, for the time, from every...
Seite 218 - Do nothing at random, or without some good end in view ; and, in the second place, let your actions have nothing in view but the good of mankind. Reflect, that after a short time you yourself will be no more; neither will any of those things which you now behold, nor those persons who are now alive, long survive you : for all things were intended by Nature to change, to be converted into other forms and to perish ; that other things may be produced in perpetual succession.
Seite 234 - DISTRUST, and darkness of a future state, Make poor mankind so fearful of their fate. Death, in itself, is nothing ; but we fear, To be we know not what, we know not where.
Seite 215 - ... with the divinity, when they have once died should never exist again, but should be completely extinguished ? But if this is so, be assured that if it ought to have been otherwise, the gods would have done it. For if it were just, it would also be possible; and if it were according to nature, nature would have had it so. But because it is not so, if in fact it is not so, be thou convinced that it ought not to have been so...
Seite 110 - As long as the hands and feet do the 'work they were made for, they move naturally, and with ease. Thus while a man performs the functions of a man, and keeps true to his condition, he feels no more weight than what nature lays upon him. Now that which is not beside the intentions of nature can never be a real misfortune.
Seite 124 - It is the peculiar excellence of man to love even those who have offended him. This you will be disposed to do, if you reflect that the offender is allied to you ; that he did it through ignorance, and, perhaps, involuntarily ; and, moreover, that you will both soon go peaceably to your graves. But above all, consider, that he has not really injured you, as he could not render your mind, or governing part, the worse for his offence.
Seite 130 - A man may be more expert than you in the gymnastic exercises ; be it so ; yet he is not superior to you in the social virtues, in generosity, in modesty, in patience under the accidents of life, or lenity towards the foibles of mankind." Moral principles are the same in all countries, and at all times. Neither time nor place can change them. Although sects were formed under the names of some of...
Seite 139 - ... then ? By acting up to the height of human nature. And how shall a man do this ? Why, by getting a right set of principles for impulses and actions. And what principles are those ? Such as state and distinguish good and evil. Such as give us to understand that there is nothing properly good for a man but what promotes the virtues of justice, temperance, fortitude, and independence, nor anything bad for him, but that which carries him off to the contrary vices. 2. At every action ask yourself...

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