On Anger, Book III, XXXIV

Come now, let us enumerate the other causes of anger: they are food, drink, and the showy apparatus connected with them, words, insults, disrespectful movements of the body, suspicions, obstinate cattle, lazy slaves, and spiteful construction put upon other men’s words, so that even the gift of language to mankind becomes reckoned among the wrongs of nature.

Believe me, the things which cause us such great heat are trifles, the sort of things that children fight and squabble over: there is nothing serious, nothing important in all that we do with such gloomy faces.

It is, I repeat, the setting a great value on trifles that is the cause of your anger and madness.

This man wanted to rob me of my inheritance, that one has brought a charge against me before persons [52] whom I had long courted with great expectations, that one has coveted my mistress.

A wish for the same things, which ought to have been a bond of friendship, becomes a source of quarrels and hatred.

A narrow path causes quarrels among those who pass up and down it; a wide and broadly spread road may be used by whole tribes without jostling.

Those objects of desire of yours cause strife and disputes among those who covet the same things, because they are petty, and cannot be given to one man without being taken away from another.