Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"Let death and exile and everything that is terrible appear before your eyes every day, especially death; and you will never have anything contemptible in your thoughts or crave anything excessively" (Epictetus, Handbook 21, trans. Long).

Avi Solomon has informed me that Samuel Johnson explicated Epictetus' Handbook 21 very well in The Rambler No. 17. Tuesday, May 15, 1750:

"A frequent and attentive prospect of that moment, which must put a period to all our schemes, and deprive us of all our acquisitions, is indeed of the utmost efficacy to the just and rational regulation our lives; nor would ever any thing wicked, or often any thing absurd, be undertaken or prosecuted by him who should begin every day with a serious reflection that he is born to die."

The Rambler, sections 1-54 (1750)


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