« ForrigeFortsett »
BY WAY OF
BY SIR ROGER L'ESTRANGE, KNT.
By LUCIUS V. BIERCE, A.M.,
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF OHIO; MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MINESOTA; AND HONORARY MEMBER OF THE NATURAL HISTORY AND ATHE
NIAN SOCIETY OF THE OHIO UNIVERSITY.
T. A. L. P. H. P. A.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year "Eighteen Hundred and
Fifty-five, By L. E. BARNARD AND M. R. K. WRIGHT, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Northern District of Ohio.
By chance, as it were, we came in possession of a copy of Sir Roger L'Estrange's translation, in form of an “ Abstract,” of “Seneca’s Morals," printed nearly a century and a half ago; and being so highly pleased with the selection and arrangement of the same, also feeling the importance, yea, the actual necessity, of inculcating true and righteous principles, as a rule of Faith and Discipline with the world of mankind at the present time, we resolved to publish a Revised Edition of the work. Thus we publish “Seneca's Morals” by way of “ Abstract,” for the same reason that the author wrote them.
They are jewels richly set; and whoever reads them cannot fail to be benefited by them. Although published to the world over eighteen hundred years ago, still they are strictly applicable to the present time.
Truth is ever applicable in its place. Truth never dies !
Seneca lived at the beginning of the Christain Era; he lived in an age of philosophy and reform; and, although science was not at that time sufficiently developed, or perfected in its character to demonstrate all of the common-place truths of Nature, yet it must be acknowledged that many of the ancient philosophers came very near, if not too, a perfect knowledge of the great moral truths of Nature. Yea, in many respects, very few at the present day are capacitated to vie, or even compare with them.
This deficiency of our age undoubtedly is very much occasioned by the almost total neglect of the study, diligent study, of the great truths of Nature.
Our youth generally engage in business, in a “wild-goose chase" after the “ Almighty Dollar," at the age of manhood, and the majority of them long before that age; from which time they almost wholly neglect the study of Nature, not excepting their own being; and that too, at an age when they are just ripe for it — just ready to commence, and by perseverance excel in it.
Under such a state of things will “the ancient heathen philosophers," so called, remain our Masters, and, until Man is reckoned from his mind, and not from his purse, will this deficiency follow.
Many of the ancient philosophers spent their fortunes, yea, their whole lives, searching after Truth; their motto was, “never too old to learn."
A philosopher is content with his lot, be he rich, or be he poor. He knows well that knowledge is the best capital he can possess; therefore he is only anxious to increase his kind of stock.
He it is that knows himself, and in knowing himself, is familiar with nature around him.
He readily sees the cause of effect, therefore he disciplines his mind and body, and thus he is able to overcome evil with good.
The absurdities of an ill-spent life, contrasted with the blessings of a well-spent life, wean him from earthly strife and selfish toil ; thus he is exalted above transient things, and thus he is great and good.
“Seneca” was a PHILOSOPHER; he was distinguished by that
To covet the name “ Philosopher," and honestly and truly merit it, should be every one's desire.
We offer this work to the youth and to the aged, to the bond and to the free; desiring that it may lend an impulse to holy aspiration.