■マルクス・アウレリウス(Marcus Aurelius)の言葉



Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, trans. Maxwell Staniforth (Harmondsworth, Penguin Books: 1964)を使用。日本語訳はこの英訳からの拙訳。 厳密なものでなく一読してわかりよいことをめざした。マルクス・ アウレーリウス『自省録』神谷美恵子訳(岩波文庫)がある。






(Alexander the Platonist cautioned me against frequent use of the words "I am too busy" in speech or correspondence, except in cases of real necessity; saying that no one ought to shirk the obligations due to society on the excuse of urgent affairs. 1,38)



(Nobody was ever made by him to feel inferior, yet none could nave presumed to challenge his pre-eminence. He was also the possessor of an agreeable sense of humour. 1,39)




(It was the gods who set a limit to my proficiency in rhetoric, poetry, and other studies that might well have absorbed my time, had I found it less difficult to make progress. 1,43)




(Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man"s two hands, feet, or eyelids, or like the upper and lower rows of his teeth. 2,45)




(When a loaf of bread, for instance, is in the oven, cracks appear in it here and there; and these flaws, though not intended in the baking, have a rightness of their own, and sharpen the appetite. Figs, again, at their ripest will also crack open. . . . many more such sights, are far from beautiful if looked at by themselves; yet as the consequences of some other process of Nature, they make their own contribution to its charm and attractiveness. 3,54-55)




(Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbours, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming--in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the Ruler within you--means a loss of opportunity for some other task. 3,55)




("How unlucky I am, that this should have happened to me!" By no means; say rather, "How lucky I am, that it has left me with no bitterness; unshaken by the present, and undismayed by the future." The thing could have happened to anyone, but not everyone would have emerged unembittered. 4,75)




(Craftsmen who love their trade will spend themselves to the utmost in labouring at it, even going unwashed and unfed; but you hold your nature in less regard than the engraver does his engraving, the dancer his dancing, the miser his heap of silver, or the vainglorious man his moment of glory. These men, when their heart is in it, are ready to sacrifice food and sleep to the advancement of their chosen pursuit. 5,77)




(There is a type of person who, if he renders you a service, has no hesitation in claiming the credit for it. Another, though not prepared to go so far as that will nevertheless secretly regard you as in his debt and be fully conscious of what he has done. But here is also the man who, one might almost say, has no consciousness at all of what he has done, like the vine which produces a cluster of grapes and then having yielded its rightful fruit, looks for no more thanks than a horse that had run his race, a hound that has tracked his quarry, or a bee that has hived her honey. Like them, the man who has done one good action does not cry it aloud, but passes straight on to a second, as the vine passes on to the bearing of another summer's grapes. 5,79)




(The Athenians pray, "Rain, rain, dear Zues, upon the fields and plains of Athens." Prayers should either not be offered at all, or else be as simple and ingenuous as this. 5,80)




(Return to the attack after each failure. . . .5,81)




([R]everece the highest in yourself: it is of one piece with the Other. . . 5,86)




(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 ill will. 6,95)




(In all things call upon the gods for help--yet without too many scruples about the length of your prayers; three hours so spent will suffice. 6,96)




(Happiness[eudaimonia], by derivation, means "a good god within" 7,108)




(The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in as much as it, too, demands a firm and watchful stance against any unexpected onset. 7,115)


いちどきに自分の人生全体を思い浮かべて自分を混乱させてはならない。つまり、君に起こるかもしれないさまざまの不運なできごと全部に思いをめぐらすのではなく、 不運な出来事に一つ出合うたびにこう自問するのである、「この中にはどんな耐えられないもの、支えきれないものがあるだろうか」と。そうすると自分の敗北を認めるのは恥ずべきことだとわかるだろう。また、君にのしかかっているのは未来の重荷でもなく、過去の重荷でもなくて、今の重荷だけであることがわかるだろう。この重荷でさえ、もし君がその正味の大きさを見とどけ、そのような重荷は自分には耐えることができないという弱音に対して厳しい態度をとるならば、その重荷もまた小さいものになるのではないか。


(Never confuse yourself by visions of an entire lifetime at once. That is, do not let your thoughts range over the whole multitude and variety of the misfortunes that may befall you, but rather, as you encounter each one, ask yourself, "What is there unendurable, so insupportable, in this?" You will find that you are ashamed to admit defeat. Again, remember that it is not the weight of the future or the past that is pressing upon you, but ever that of the present alone. Even this burden, too, can be lessened if you confine it strictly to its own limits, and are severe enough with your mind's inability to bear such a trifle. 8,129)




(Despise not death; smile, rather, at its coming; it is among the things that Nature wills. Like youth and age, like growth and maturity, like the advent of teeth, beard, and grey hairs, like begetting, pregnancy, and childbirth, like every other natural process that life"s seasons bring us, so is our dissolution. Never, then, will a thinking man view death lightly, impatiently, or scornfully; he will wait for it as but one more of Nature"s processes. 9,138)




(When you are outraged by somebody"s impudence, ask yourself at once,, "Can the world exist without impudent people?" It cannot; so do not ask for impossibilities. That man is simply one of the impudent whose existence is necessary to the world. 9,148)


もうあなたの人生は残り少ない。では、自分が山の頂上にいるように生活しなさい。 世の人びとに真実な人間を見、知る機会を与えてやりなさい。


(Now your remaining years are few. Live them, then, as though on a mountain-top. . . . Give men the chance to see and know a true man. . . . 10,157)



(Think of this when you come to die; it will ease your passing to reflect, "I am leaving a world in which the very companions I have so toiled for, prayed for and thought for, themselves wish me gone, and hope to win some relief thereby; then how can any man cling to a lengthening of his days therein?" Yet do not on that account leave with any diminished kindness for them; maintain your own accustomed friendliness, goodwill, and charity; and do not feel the departure to be a wrench, but let your leave-taking be like those painless deaths in which the soul glides easily forth from the body. 10,163)




(It may be that the things you fret and fume to pursue or avoid do not come to you, but rather you go to them. 11,170)




(Practise, even when success looks hopeless. The left hand, inept in other respects for lack of practice, can grasp the reins more firmly than the right, because here it has had practice. 12,181)





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