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.