"Can advantage then be derived from these things." From all; and from him who abuses you. Wherein does the man who exercises before the combat profit the athlete? Very greatly. This man becomes my exerciser before the combat: he exercises me in endurance, in keeping my temper, in mildness. You say no: but he, who lays hold of my neck and disciplines my loins and shoulders, does me good; and the exercise master does right when he says: "Raise him up with both hands, and the heavier he is, so much the more is my advantage." But if a man exercises me in keeping my, temper, does he not do good? This is not knowing how to gain an advantage from men. "Is my neighbour bad?" Bad to himself, but good to me: he exercises my good disposition, my moderation. "Is my father bad?" Bad to himself, but to me good. This is the rod of Hermes: "Touch with it what you please," as the saying is. "and it will be of gold." I say not so: but bring what you please, and I will make it good. Bring disease, bring death, bring poverty, bring abuse, bring trial on capital charges: all these things through the rod of Hermes shall be made profitable. "What will you do with death?" Why, what else than that it shall do you honour, or that it shall show you by act through it, what a man is who follows the will of nature? "What will you do with disease?" I will show its nature, I will be conspicuous in, it, I will be firm, I will be happy, I will not flatter the physician, I will not wish to die. What else do you seek? Whatever you shall give me, I will make it happy, fortunate, honoured, a thing which a man shall seek.
You say No: but take care that you do not fall sick: it is a bad thing." This is the same as if you should say, "Take care that you never receive the impression that three are four: that is bad." Man, how is it bad? If I think about it as I ought, how shall it, then, do me any damage? and shall it not even do me good? If, then, I think about poverty as I ought to do, about disease, about not having office, is not that enough for me? will it not be an advantage? How, then, ought I any longer to look to seek evil and good in externals? What happens these doctrines are maintained here, but no man carries them away home; but immediately every one is at war with his slave, with his neighbours, with those who have sneered at him, with those who have ridiculed him. Good luck to Lesbius, who daily proves that I know nothing.