Page:The Emperor Marcus Antoninus - His Conversation with Himself.djvu/449

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of Cebes the Theban.

swer like a Man; From hence it follows that Death is no Evil, because ’tis sometimes more Eligible than Living. You are right. The same Reasoning, continues my Instructer, will hold with reference to Health and Diseases, For the former is sometimes a Misfortune to a Man, and as Circumstances may happen, he had much better have been sick in his Bed. I can't deny what you say. Let us go on then, says he, and examine the Case of Riches; And here a very little Reasoning will serve the Turn: For Matter of Fact when ’tis frequent and visible, needs no Proof: Now, nothing is more common than to see Wealthy People live Scandalously and Miserably. Ay, that's but too true. Then Riches does them no service in order to Virtue, and Happiness. It seems so, otherwise they would manage better. Well then, ’tis Precept, and Principles, not an Estate, which makes Men good for something. Indeed I think so. Which way then, says he, can Wealth be a real Advantage, if it can’t improve the Owners, nor contribute to the making them better Men? I can’t tell. By your Concession, an Estate must be a Disadvantage to those who know not how to use it. Yes, without all doubt. How then can that be abso-

lutely