CHAPTER 18

That we ought not to be disturbed by any news
When anything shall be reported to you which is of a nature to disturb, have this principle in readiness, that the news is about nothing which is within the power of your will. Can any man report to you that you have formed a bad opinion, or had a bad desire? By no means. But perhaps he will report that some person is dead. What then is that to you? He may report that some person speaks ill of you. What then is that to you? Or that your father is planning something or other. Against whom? Against your will? How can he? But is it against your poor body, against your little property? You are quite safe: it is not against you. But the judge declares that you have committed an act of impiety. And did not the judges make the same declaration against Socrates ? Does it concern you that the judge has made this declaration? No. Why then do you trouble yourself any longer about it? Your father has a certain duty, and if he shall not fulfill it, he loses the character of a father, of a man of natural affection, of gentleness. Do not wish him to lose anything else on this account. For never does a man do wrong, in one thing, and suffer in another. On the other side it is your duty to make your defense firmly, modestly, without anger: but if you do not, you also lose the character of a son, of a man of modest behavior, of generous character. Well then, is the judge free from danger? No; but he also is in equal danger. Why then are you still afraid of his decision? What have you to do with that which is another man's evil? It is your own evil to make a bad defense: be on your guard against this only. But to be condemned or not to be condemned, as that is the act of another person, so it is the evil of another person. "A certain person threatens you." Me? No. "He blames you." Let him see how he manages his own affairs. "He is going to condemn you unjustly." He is a wretched man.