Epictetus. (c.A.D. 50c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.
The Harvard Classics. 190914.
It was the first and most striking characteristic of Socrates never to become heated in discourse, never to utter an injurious or insulting wordon the contrary, he persistently bore insult from others and thus put an end to the fray. If you care to know the extent of his power in this direction, read Xenophons Banquet, and you will see how many quarrels he put an end to. That is why the Poets are right in so highly commending this faculty:
Quickly and wisely withal even bitter feuds would he settle.
Nevertheless the practice is not very safe at present, especially in Rome. One who adopts it, I need not say, ought not to carry it out in an obscure corner, but boldly accost, if occasion serve, some personage of rank or wealth.
You take me rightly; I do mean the soul. By Heaven, I hold that far more precious than all else I possess. Can you show me then what care you bestow on the soul? For it can scarcely be thought that a man of your wisdom and consideration in the city would suffer your most precious possession to go to ruin through carelessness and neglect.
Now here comes in the danger: first, that the great man may answer, Why, what is that to you, my good fellow? are you my master? And then, if you persist in troubling him, may raise his hand to strike you. It is a practice of which I was myself a warm admirer until such experiences as these befell me.