19 Jan If anyone has any doubt about the happiness of Diogenes… (Seneca)
SENECA, De tranquillitate animi 8, 3 – 7
Tolerabilius autem est, ut dixi, faciliusque non adquirere quam amittere, ideoque laetiores videbis, quos numquam fortuna respexit, quam quos deseruit. Vidit hoc Diogenes, vir ingentis animi, et efficit, ne quid sibi eripi possit (5) si quis de felicitate Diogenis dubitat, potest idem dubitare et de deorum immortalium statu, an parum beate degant, quod illis nec praedia nec horti sint nec alieno colono rura pretiosa nec grande in foro faenus (7) at Diogeni servus unicus fugit nec eum reducere, cum monstraretur, tanti putavit. “Turpe est” inquit “Manen sine Diogene posse vivere, Diogenen sine Mane non posse”. Videtur mihi dixisse age tuum negotium, fortuna, nihil apud Diogenen iam tui est: Fuqit mihi servus, immo liber abii.
But, as he has said, it is more endurable and easier not to acquire it than to lose it, and therefore you will see that those whom Fortune has never regarded are more cheerful than those whom she has forsaken. Diogenes, that high-souled man, saw this, and made it impossible for anything to be snatched from him. If anyone has any doubt about the happiness of Diogenes, he may likewise have doubt about the condition of the immortal gods is well – whether they are living quite unhappily because they have neither manors nor gardens nor costly estates farmed by a foreign tenant,\a nor a huge yield of interest in the forum. But the only slave Diogenes had ran away from him once, and, when he was pointed out to him, he did not think it worth while to fetch him back. “It would be a shame,” he said, “if Diogenes is not able to live without Manes, when Manes is able to live without Diogenes.” But he seems to me to have cried: “Fortune, mind your own business; Diogenes has now nothing of yours. My slave has run away – nay, it is I that have got away free!