Monday, April 13, 2020


They Are Never At a Loss

Arrian, Discourses of Epictetus 3.13.18-19 (tr. W.A. Oldfather):
What kind of forlornness is left, then, to talk about? What kind of helplessness? Why make ourselves worse than little children? When they are left alone, what do they do? They gather up sherds and dust and build something or other, then tear it down and build something else again; and so they are never at a loss as to how to spend their time. Am I, then, if you set sail, to sit down and cry because I am left alone and forlorn in that fashion? Shan't I have sherds, shan't I have dust?

ποία οὖν ἔτι ἐρημία, ποία ἀπορία; τί χείρονας ἑαυτοὺς ποιῶμεν τῶν παιδαρίων; ἅ τινα ὅταν ἀπολειφθῇ μόνα, τί ποιεῖ; ἄραντα ὀστράκια καὶ σποδὸν οἰκοδομεῖ τί ποτε, εἶτα καταστρέφει καὶ πάλιν ἄλλο οἰκοδομεῖ· καὶ οὕτως οὐδέποτε ἀπορεῖ διαγωγῆς. ἐγὼ οὖν, ἂν πλεύσητε ὑμεῖς, μέλλω καθήμενος κλαίειν ὅτι μόνος ἀπελείφθην καὶ ἔρημος οὕτως; οὐκ ὀστράκια ἕξω, οὐ σποδόν;

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