Withdraw yourself, we have dissipated enough of our time;
For when we leave the job behind, we are left with Peace in mind; Hence, be slated.
A trifling debt, makes a person your debtor, a large one makes them an enemy.
Choose not what you eat, but with whom do you eat with; fill not the belly, & nourish the heart.
On Worldliness and Retirement
If possible, withdraw yourself from all the business of which you speak; & if you cannot do this, tear yourself away; We have dissipated enough of our time already; let us in old age begin to pack up our baggage.
You cannot keep, lurking in the dark;
Peace, you can claim for yourself without being disliked by anyone, without any sense of loss, & without any pangs of spirit.
For what, will you leave behind you that you can imagine yourself reluctant to leave? Your clients? But none of these people court you for yourself; they merely court something from you.
You have been, thrust into an existence which will never of itself put an end to your wretchedness & your slavery; Withdraw your chafed neck from the yoke; it is better that it should be cut off once for all, than galled for ever.
If you retreat to privacy, everything will be on a smaller scale, but you will be satisfied abundantly; in your present condition, however, there is no satisfaction in the plenty which is heaped upon you on all sides.
Prosperity is not only greedy, but it also lies exposed to the greed of others & as long as nothing satisfies you, you yourself cannot satisfy others.
Even so, you say “how can I take my leave?” Any way you please; Remember & Reflect how many hazards you have ventured for the sake of money & how much toil you have undertaken for a title!
At this point, I should like to quote a saying of Maecenas, who spoke the truth when standing on the very summit:
However that may be, I shall draw on the account of Epicurus:
“You must reflect carefully beforehand with whom you are to eat & drink, rather than what you are to eat & drink; For a dinner of meats without the company of a friend is like the life of a lion or a wolf.”
It is however, a mistake to select your friend in the reception-hall or to test them at the dinner-table;
The most serious misfortune for a busy person who is overwhelmed by their possessions is, that one believes others to be their friends when they themselves is not a friend to them, & that one deems their favours to be effective in winning friends, although, in the case of certain people, the more they owe, the more they hate.
What, you say “do not kindnesses establish friendships?” They do, if one has had the privilege of choosing those who are to receive them & if they are placed judiciously, instead of being scattered broadcast.
Therefore, while you are beginning to call your mind your own, meantime apply this maxim of the wise: