Of a Happy Life/Preface
I can say little by way of preface to Seneca’s “Minor Dialogs” which I have not already expressed in my preface to De Benficiis, except that the “Minor Dialogs” seem to me to be composed in a gloomier key than either De Beneficiis or De Clementia and probably were written at a time when the author had already begun to experience the ingratitude of his imperial pupil. Some of the dialogs are dated from Corsica, Seneca’s place of exile, which he seems to have found peculiarly uncomfortable, although he remarks that there are people who live there from choice. Nevertheless, mournful as they are in tone, these Dialogs have a certain value, because they teach us what was meant by Stoic philosophy in the time of the Twelve Caesars.
I have only to add that the value of my work has been materially enhanced by the kindness of the Rev. Professor J.E.B. Mayor, who has been good enough to read and correct almost all the proof sheets of this volume.