Page:Discourses of Epictetus volume 1 Oldfather 1925.djvu/35

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


fifty thousand copies had, at a recent date, been sold, it may safely be asserted that more copies of portions of his work have been printed in the last two decades than ever existed all told from his own day down to that time.

In concluding one can hardly refrain from translating a portion of the sincere and stirring passage in which Justus Lipsius, a great man and a distinguished scholar, paid Epictetus the tribute of his homage:

"So much for Seneca; another brilliant star arises, Epictetus, his second in time, but not in merit; comparable with him in the weight, if not in the bulk, of his writings; superior in his life. He was a man who relied wholly upon himself and God, but not on Fortune. In origin low and servile, in body lame and feeble, in mind most exalted, and brilliant among the lights of every age. . . .

"But few of his works remain: the Encheiridion, assuredly a noble piece, and as it were the soul of Stoic moral philosophy; besides that, the Discourses, which he delivered on the streets, in his house, and in the school, collected and arranged by Arrian. Nor are these all extant. . . . But, so help me God, what a keen and lofty spirit in them! a soul aflame, and burning with love of the honourable! There is nothing in Greek their like, unless I am mistaken; I mean with such notable vigour and fire. A novice or one unacquainted with true philosophy he will hardly stir or affect, but when a man has made some progress or is already far advanced, it is amazing how Epictetus stirs him up, and though he is always touching some tender