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I HAVE been informed that an American publisher has printed the first edition of this translation of M. Antoninus. I do not grudge him his profit, if he has made any. There may be many men and women in the United States who will be glad to read the thoughts of the Roman emperor. If the American politicians, as they are called, would read them also, I should be much pleased, but I do not think the emperor's morality would suit their taste.
I have also been informed that the American publisher has dedicated this translation to an American. I have no objection to the book being dedicated to an American; but in doing this without my consent the publisher has transgressed the bounds of decency. I have never dedicated a book to any man, and if I dedicated this, I should choose the man whose name seemed to me most worthy to be joined to that of the Roman soldier and philosopher. I might dedicate the book to the successful general who is now the President of the United States, with the hope that his integrity and justice will restore peace and happiness, so far as he can, to those unhappy States which have suffered so much from war and the unrelenting hostility of wicked men.
But, as the Roman poet said,
Victrix causa Deis placuit, sed victa Catoni;
and if I dedicated this little book to any man, I would dedicate it to him who led the Confederate armies against the powerful invader, and retired from an unequal contest defeated, but not dishonoured; to the noble Virginian soldier, whose talents and virtues place him by the side of the best and wisest man who sat on the throne of the Imperial Caesars
EMPEROR M. AURELIUS
TRANSLATED BY GEORGE LONG.
LONDON: GEORGE BELL & SONS, YORK STREET,
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
I HAVE carefully revised the Life and Philosophy of Antoninus, in which I have made a few corrections, and added a few notes.
I have also made a few alterations in the translation where I thought that I could approach nearer to the author's meaning; and I have added a few notes and references.
There still remain difficulties which I cannot remove, because the text is sometimes too corrupt to be understood, and no attempt to restore the true readings could be successful.