Friday, November 13, 2009

Slave morality

Just like every pediatrician's waiting room used to have volume one of The Bible Story, one always sees volume one of the Harvard Classics on folks' bookshelves. I don't think I've ever seen a complete set.

I did finally crack open my sis-in-law's copy, and read some Epictetus for the first time:
For men sell themselves at various prices. This was why, when Florus was deliberating whether he should appear at Nero’s shows, taking part in the performance himself, Agrippinus replied, ‘Appear by all means.’ And when Florus inquired, ‘But why do not you appear?’ he answered, ‘Because I do not even consider the question.’
Very old-school.
When we are invited to a banquet, we take what is set before us; and were one to call upon his host to set fish upon the table or sweet things, he would be deemed absurd. Yet in a word, we ask the Gods for what they do not give; and that, although they have given us so many things!
Jesus would've been proud to add that one to the Sermon on the Mount.

... Volume 2, says the Bartleby link above. Damn if I've ever seen the alleged vol. 1 however: Ben Franklin, William Penn, and "John Woolman"?

Fascinating anyway to see what was considered indispensable at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment