To refrain from imitation is the best revenge

Look beneath the surface: never let a thing's intrinsic quality or worth escape you

When force of circumstances upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it

If you had a stepmother at the same time as a mother, you would do your duty by the former, but would still turn continually to your mother. Here, you have both: the court and philosophy. Time and again turn back to philosophy for refreshment; then even the court life, and yourself in it, will seem bearable

When meat and other dainties are before you, your reflect: This is dead fish, or fowl, or pig; or: This Falernian is some of the juice from a bunch of grapes; my purple robe is sheep's wool stained with a little gore from a shellfish; copulation is friction of the members and en ejaculatory discharge. Reflections of this kind go to the bottom of things, penetrating into them and exposing their real nature. The same process should be applied to the whole of life. When a thing's credentials look most plausible, lay it bare, observe its triviality, and strip it of the cloak of verbiage that dignifies it. Pretentiousness is the arch deceiver, and never more delusive than when you imagine your work is more meritorious

When an opponent in the gymnasium gashes us with his nails or bruises our head in a collision, we do not protest or take offence, and we do not suspect him ever afterwards of malicious intent. However, we do regard him with a wary eye; not in enmity or suspicion, yet good-temperedly keeping our distance. So let it be, too, at other times in life; let us agree to overlook a great many things in those who are, as it were, our fellow contestants. A simple avoidance, as I have said, is always open to us, without either suspicion or illwill

To see the things of the present moment is to see all that is now, al lthat has been since time began, and all that shall be unto the world's end; for all things are of one kind and one form

Think often of the bond that unites all things in the universe, and their dependence upon one another. All are, as it were, interwoven, and in consequence linked in mutual affection; because their orderly succession is brought about by the operation of the currents of tension, and the unity of all substance

Adapt yourself to the environment in which your lot has been cast, and show true love to the fellow mortals with whom destiny has surrounded you

All is well with a tool, instrument, or utensil when it serves the use for which it was made, though in this case its maker is not present. But with things formed by Nature, the power that fashioned them is still within them, and remains in them. All the more, then, should you have it in reverence, and be assured that if only you live and act according to its will, you have all things to your liking. That is the way in which the universe, too, has all things to its liking

You are not compelled to form any opinion about this matter before you, nor to disturb your peace of mind at all. Things in themselves have no power to extort a verdict from you

Often ponder in your mind the multitudes of the dead of every calling and nation... From these latest, let your thoughts pass to the hosts of others; think how we must follow whither so many great orators are gone before, so many reverend sages, the heroes of early days, the captains and kings of after-ages, and with them many another; keen wits, sublime spirits, men unwearied, resourceful, and resolute; those too who made a merry jest of the transience and brevity of this mortal life... Muse often on these men, all long since laid low in death. How, pray, are they the worse for it now - more especially those whose very names have been forgotten? In this life one thing only is of previous worth: to live out one's days in truthfulness and fair dealing, and in charity even with the false and unjust

How many who came into this world with me have already left it!

No one can stop you living according to the laws of your own personal nature, and nothing can happen to you against the laws of the World-Nature