When you make any charge against Providence, consider, and you
will learn that the thing has happened according to reason. "Yes,
but the unjust man has the advantage." In what? "In money." Yes, for
he is superior to you in this, that he flatters, is free from shame,
and is watchful. What is the wonder? But see if he has the advantage
over you in being faithful, in being modest: for you will not find
it to be so; but wherein you are superior, there you will find that
you have the advantage. And I once said to a man who was vexed because
Philostorgus was fortunate: "Would you choose to lie with Sura?"
"May it never happen," he replied, "that this day should come?" "Why
then are you vexed, if he receives something in return for that
which he sells; or how can you consider him happy who acquires those
things by such means as you abominate; or what wrong does
Providence, if he gives the better things to the better men? Is it not
better to be modest than to be rich?" He admitted this. Why are you
vexed then, man, when you possess the better thing? Remember, then,
always, and have in readiness, the truth that this is a law of nature,
that the superior has an advantage over the inferior in that in
which he is superior; and you will never be vexed.
"But my wife treats me badly." Well, if any man asks you what this
is, say, "My wife treats me badly." "Is there, then, nothing more?"
Nothing. "My father gives me nothing." But to say that this is an evil
is something which must be added to it externally, and falsely
added. For this reason we must not get rid of poverty, but of the
opinion about poverty, and then we shall be happy.