“No man’s a slave who does not fear to Die,”{3}{this line is from an unknown tragedy by Euripides. Fragmenta Incerta, 348.}

as having had an accurate idea of the consequences of such courage; for he conceived that nothing is so calculated to enslave the mind as a fear of death, arising from an excessive desire of living.

IV. (23) But we must consider that not only is the man who feels no anxiety to avoid death incapable of being made a slave, but the same privilege belongs to those who are indifferent to poverty, and want of reputation, and pain, and all those other things which the generality of men look upon as evils, being themselves but evil judges of things, since they pronounce a man a slave from a computation of what things he has need of, looking at the duties which he is compelled to perform, when they ought to look rather at his free and indomitable disposition; (24) for the man who out of a lowly and slavish spirit submits himself to lowly and slavish actions in spite of his deliberate judgment, is really and truly a slave; but he who adapts his circumstances and actions to the present occasion, and who voluntarily and in an enduring spirit bears up against the events of fortune, not looking at any thing of human affairs as extraordinary, but having by diligent consideration fully assured himself that all divine things are honoured by eternal order and happiness; and that all mortal things are tossed about in an everlasting storm and fluctuation of affairs so as to be subject to the greatest variety of changes and vicissitudes, and who, from those considerations, bears all that can befall him with a noble courage, is at once both a philosopher and a free man. (25) On which account he will neither obey every one who imposes a command upon him, not even if he threatens him with insults, and tortures, and even still more formidable evils; but he will bear a gallant spirit, and will cry out in reply to such menaces–

“Yes, burn and scorch my flesh, and glut your hate,

Drinking my life-warm blood; for heaven’s stars

Shall quit their place, and darken ‘neath the earth,

And earth rise up and take the place of heaven,

Before you wring from me a word of Flattery.”{4}{this is a fragment of Euripides from the Syleus. Fr. 2.}

V. (26) I have before now seen among the competitors in the pancratium, at the public games, one man inflicting all kinds of blows both with his hands and feet, all of them with great accuracy of aim and omitting nothing which could conduce to victory, and yet after at time fainting and desponding, and at last quitting the arena without the crown of victory; and the other who has received all his blows, being thoroughly hardened with great firmness of flesh, and being tough and unyielding, and filled with the true spirit of an athlete, and invigorated throughout his whole body, being like so much iron or stone, not at all yielding to the blows inflicted by the other, at last, by the endurance and resolution of his spirit, defeating the power of his adversary so as to obtain a complete victory. (27) And the condition of the virtuous man appears to me very much to resemble that of this person. For having thoroughly fortified his soul with strong and powerful reasoning, he so compels the man who is offering him violence to desist from weariness, before he himself can be compelled to do any thing contrary to his opinion of propriety. But perhaps this is incredible to those who do not know by experience that virtue is of the character that I have mentioned, just as that other case would be to those who have never seen the combatants in the pancratium; but nevertheless it is strictly true. (28) And it was from a regard to this fact that Antisthenes said that “the virtuous man was a burden hard to be borne.” For as folly is a light thing easily tossed about in every direction, so, on the contrary, wisdom is a well established and immovable thing of a weight which is not easily agitated. (29) Accordingly the lawgiver of the Jews{5}{#ge 16:9.} represents the hands of the wise man as a heavy, intimating by this figurative expression the gravity of his actions, which are supported in no superficial but in a solid manner by his inflexible mind. (30) Therefore, he is not under the compulsion of any thing, as being one who despises pains, and who looks with contempt on death, and who, by the law of nature, has all foolish men for his subjects. For in the same manner as goatherds, and cowherds, and shepherds lead their respective flocks of goats, and cattle, and sheep, but shepherds cannot manage a drove of oxen, so in the same manner the generality of men, being like so many cattle, stand in need of a guide and governor. And their proper governors are virtuous men, being placed in the position of shepherds to the multitude; (31) for Homer is constantly in the habit of calling kings shepherds of their People.{6}{see Iliad 10:3.} But nature has appropriated this appellation as more peculiarly belonging to the good, since the wicked are rather tended by others than occupied in serving them; for they are led captive by strong wine, and by beauty, and by delicate eating, and sweetmeats, and by the arts of cooks and confectioners, to say nothing of the thirst of gold, and silver, and other things of a higher character. But men of the other class are not allured or led astray by any thing, but are rather inclined to admonish those whom they perceive to be caught in the toils of pleasure.