When the state is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied.
Candor and generosity, unless tempered by due moderation, leads to ruin.
One who is allowed to sin, sins less
Neglected calumny soon expires; show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.
A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.
This I hold to be the chief office of history, to rescue virtuous actions from the oblivion to which a want of records would consign them, and that men should feel a dread of being considered infamous in the opinions of posterity, from their depraved expressions and base actions.
As for myself, may the sweet Muses, as Virgil says, bear me away to their holy places where sacred streams do flow, beyond the reach of anxiety and care, and free from the obligation of performing each day some task that goes against the grain. May I no longer have anything to do with the mad racket and the hazards of the forum, or tremble as I try a fall with white-faced Fame. I do not want to be roused from sleep by the clatter of morning callers or by some breathless messenger from the palace; I do not care, in drawing my will, to give a money-pledge for its safe execution through anxiety as to what is to happen afterwards; I wish for no larger estate than I can leave to the heir of my own free choice. Some day or other the last hour will strike also for me, and my prayer is that my effigy may be set up beside my grave, not grim and scowling, but all smiles and garlands, and that no one shall seek to honour my memory either by a motion in the senate or by a petition to the Emperor.
The lust of fame is the last that a wise man shakes off.
All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.
The lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion.
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.
Pliability and liberality, when not restrained within due bounds, must ever turn to the ruin of their possessor.
It is human nature to hate him whom you have injured.
They make a wilderness and call it peace.
Seek to make a person blush for their guilt rather than shed their blood.
All things now held to be old were once new.—What today we hold up by example, will rank hereafter as precedent.
It is of eloquence as of a flame; it requires matter to feed it, and motion to excite it; and it brightens as it burns.
Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth; when perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has any one who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth, any cause to wonder that he does not hear it.
Topics: Opportunity, Truth
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.
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- Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) Roman Stoic Philosopher
- Cicero Roman Philosopher
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- Petronius Roman Courtier
- Pliny the Elder Roman Scholar
- Apuleius Roman Prose Writer
- Pliny the Younger Roman Senator, Writer
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