On Anger, Book III, XXXVII

At the dinner-table some jokes and sayings intended to give you pain have been directed against you: avoid feasting with low people.

Those who are not modest even when sober become much more recklessly impudent after drinking.

You have seen your friend in a rage with the porter of some lawyer or rich man, because he has sent him back when about to enter, and you yourself on behalf of your friend have been in a rage with the meanest of slaves.

Would you then be angry with a chained house-dog?

Why, even he, after a long bout of barking, becomes gentle if you offer him food.

So draw back and smile; for the moment your porter fancies himself to be somebody, because he guards a door which is beset by a crowd of litigants; for the moment he who sits within is prosperous and happy, and thinks that a street-door through which it is hard to gain entrance is the mark of a rich and powerful man; he knows not that the hardest door of all to open is that of the prison.

Be prepared to submit to much.

Is anyone surprised at being cold in winter? at being sick at sea? or at being jostled in the street?

The mind is strong enough to bear those evils for which it is prepared.

When you are not given a sufficiently distinguished place at table you have begun to be angry with your fellow-guests, with your host, and with him who is preferred above you.


What difference can it make what part of the couch you rest upon?

Can a cushion give you honour or take it away?

You have looked askance at somebody, because he has spoken slightingly of your talents; will you apply this rule to yourself?

If so, Ennius, whose poetry you do not care for, would have hated you.

Hortensius, if you had found fault with his speeches, would have quarreled with you, and Cicero, if you had laughed at his poetry, would have been your enemy.

A candidate for office, will you resent men’s votes?