Sunday, December 08, 2019

A Great Tract of Time

Of all men only those who find time for philosophy are at leisure, only they are truly alive; for it is not only their own lifetime they guard well; they add every age to their own; all the years that have passed before them they requisition for their store. Unless we have no gratitude at all, those glorious fashioners of sacred thoughts were born for us, for us they laid the foundations of life. By the efforts of other men we are led to contemplate things most lovely that have been unearthed from darkness and brought into light; no age has been denied to us, we are granted admission to all, and if we wish by greatness of mind to pass beyond the narrow confines of human weakness, there is a great tract of time for us to wander through.

[Seneca, "On the Shortness of Life", from Seneca, Dialogues and Essays, Davie, tr., Oxford UP (New York: 2008), p. 155.]

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