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mercoledì 24 dicembre 2014

Letteratura inglese - Wordsworth - My heart leaps up (commentary)

Wordsworth wrote this poem when he was 31.
The great importance he attached to these lines is shown by their being prefixed to the section of his poetical works devoted to the period of childhood.
Lines 3-5 also appear as an epigraph to “Intimation of Immortality”, the poem in which Wordsworth expounds the consolatory function of recollections of childhood.
Line 7 contains a paradox “the Child is father of the Man”. This line means that childhood is the foundation of later human experience.
According to Wordsworth’s own statement, it was on the basis of his delight in the scenery of the Lake District when he was a child that his adult life was eventually built.
His adult life is based on the joy he felt during his childhood.
Lines 3 refers to the poet’s childhood , line 4 to his adulthood or maturity line 5 to the poet’s old age.
In line 6 the poet states that death is preferable to the loss of imaginative power, which is itself a death.
Lines 3-6: he used to experience great joy every time he saw a rainbow when he was a child; he experiences the same joy now that he is a man and he hopes he will continue to experience it when he grows old, otherwise he would prefer to die.
By “natural piety” Wordsworth means the loving relationship which exists between himself and nature.
It is this relationship which will bind together into an organic whole the different aspects and stages of his life. Wholeness and unity of self depend on our continuing to respond with strong emotion/ feelingly to the natural world.
In Wordsworth’s view the role of nature in human life is very important because it is the basis of our inner development and the guide to our moral being.
Wordsworth once stated that love of nature led him to love of mankind.
The moral guide of nature begins in our childhood, which is the most important stage of our life because we experience nature more intensely/ with greater intensity and in our maturity we can, through the use of memory, recollect what we experienced as children.
The rainbow offers for Wordsworth an appropriate symbol because links together past, present and future and also the twin ideals of his poetry, the imagination and nature which becomes a source of inspiration.
The rainbow provides an example of a magical transformation of the light of day.
In the Bible the rainbow is a symbol of the covenant between God and man. God says that he will set his bow in the clouds and it will be for a token between him and the Earth.
In Wordsworth’s poems the rainbow becomes the sign of a covenant between himself and nature.
This pattern of the poem is typical of Wordsworth. It begins with an actual experience, the sight of a rainbow in the sky and the poet’s sense of wonder at it.
But then the poet’s wonderment/ sense of wonder gives place to reflection.
He reflects on his sense of wonder, he notices it is the same feeling as he experienced when he was a child and he wishes that when he grows older, he will be able to respond to nature in the same way as he did when he was a child (he will have the same kind of response to nature as he had when he was a child).
“Daffodils” is a poem about the poetic process ( in the final stanza the poet recalls the experience and he feels a sense of intense joy which will inspire him to write his poem); “The Rainbow” is about the importance of nature and childhood in our life.

Letteratura inglese - Wordsworth - Daffodils (commentary + translation into Italian)

Vagavo solitario come una nuvola
che galleggia in alto nel cielo sopra le valli e le colline,
quando tutto di un tratto ho visto una folla,
una schiera di narcisi dorati:
accanto al lago, sotto gli alberi
che volteggiavano e danzavano nella brezza.
Continui come le stelle che brillano
e scintillano nella via lattea,
si estendevano in una linea interminabile 
lungo il margine di una baia:
dieci mila ne vidi in un colpo d’occhio,
che scuotevano il capo in una danza allegra.
Le onde accanto ad essi danzavano, ma loro
superavano le onde spumeggianti di gioia,
un poeta non poteva che essere allegro,
in una simile gioconda compagnia;
io osservavo - e osservavo - ma ben poco capivo
quale ricchezza la vista dei narcisi mi aveva recato:
poiché spesso, quando sono disteso sul mio divano
in uno stato d’animo ozioso e pensoso,
tornano d’un tratto in quell’occhio interiore
che è la felicità della solitudine;
e allora il mio cuore si riempie di piacere,
e danza con i narcisi.

The poem opens with a simile (comparison) in which the poet compares himself to a cloud that floats in the sky.  A cloud is empty, grey, dull and it cannot move by itself but it can only be driven by the wind. Through this simile, Wordsworth suggests that he is in a state of passivity and loneliness. He is disconnected from the world around him and is indifferent to the worries and anxieties of the world. He’s not thinking about anything.
This state of mind is interrupted by the sight of a field of daffodils along the side of a lake.
He first sees the daffodils as a “crowd”, but then he rearranges the pattern the daffodils form in his mind and sees them as a “host”.
A crowd is characterized by a certain shapelessness whereas the word “host” gives the idea of an orderly array as of soldiers or angels.
He sees them as golden flowers and he describes them with expressions of movement such as “fluttering” and “dancing”.
The transition from “crowd” to “host”, the heightening of the colour through the use of the adjective “golden” and the shift from “fluttering” to “dancing” indicate that the mind of the poet has been awakened by the sight of the flowers and his imagination is now at work and is finding order, cohererence and vividness in the objects he sees in the landscape.
The dominant literary device in this poem is personification. The flowers are personified, they are seen in terms of human beings.
The poem begins with a natural scene and then it becomes meditative.
In the 2nd stanza the poet compares the daffodils to the stars on the Milky Way.
Through this comparison Wordsworth highlights the bright colour of the daffodils and their large number.
(The daffodils are described through expressions of quantity and colour and also through expressions that evoke movement.)
By comparing the daffodils to the stars in our galaxy, he relates the local order of the daffodils along the side of the lake to the larger order of the universe.
The daffodils are described as being in joyful harmony with their environment.
In line 11 we find the inversion of the usual subject-verb order. Wordsworth uses this device in order to highlight the large number of the flowers.
In the 3rd stanza the poet compares the daffodils to the waves of the lake, which dance like them.
He says that the waves didn’t dance with the same joy and harmony as the flowers: the reason is that the daffodils are more delicate than the waves, they are a higher order of nature and can therefore respond with greater harmony of movement to the pressure of the wind.
The wind is correlated to a return to a sense of community after isolation, a  return of emotional vigour after apathy, an outburst of creative power after a period of imaginative sterility.
“inward eye” refers to the imagination: Wordsworth defines it as the bliss of solitude.
The imagination can change the poet’s sense of loneliness into a joyful solitude.
In the concluding stanza the poet himself will feel part of the universal order.
Very often, when he lies on his sofa, in his imagination he sees the daffodils again and he feels the same joy as he experienced when he first saw them.
There’s a difference between the first two lines of the poem and the last two.
In the first two lines the poet feels lonely, passive and detached from the world around him.
In the last two lines he has entered into the spirit of nature and participates in its joy.
What gives joy to the poet is a vision of the universal order of which nature and all human beings are part. It is a sense of the unity and harmony of the universe which causes the poet’s heart to fill with joy.
In the last stanza he demonstrates the beginning of a poetic process and it is from the remembrance of the flowers that the poetic process will start.
The rhyming scheme gives a sense of unity to the poem and a sense of completeness to each stanza because of the final couplet.
This highlights the fact that each stanza is complete in itself and has its own focal point, is centered on one specific idea.
The first stanza introduces the contrast between the poet and the daffodils. The poet is wandering aimlessly and without a sense of direction, while the daffodils are in harmony with their environment. The second stanza focuses on the comparison of the daffodils to the stars of our galaxy and  the third extends the comparison to the waves of the lake.

The fourth stanza shows the transformation of the mood of passivity into a sense of joy brought about by the recollection of the flowers. 

Letteratura inglese - Wordsworth - A certain colouring of Imagination (the Preface to Lyrical Ballads)

Il principale oggetto, poi, che mi sono riproposto in queste poesie, è stato quello di scegliere avvenimenti e situazioni della vita di tutti i giorni e di raccontarli o descriverli completamente per quanto possibile con un linguaggio scelto da quello veramente usato dagli uomini; e allo stesso tempo di rivestirli (questi avvenimenti) con una certa sfumatura di immaginazione grazie alla quale le cose comuni sarebbero state presentate alla mente del lettore in modo insolito; e soprattutto (lo scopo è stato quello di) rendere questi avvenimenti e situazioni interessanti rintracciando in essi, fedelmente anche se non in modo ostentato, le leggi fondamentali della nostra natura; specialmente per quanto riguarda il modo in cui noi associamo le idee quando siamo in uno stato di forte emozione. Si è generalmente scelta la vita umile e rurale perché in quella condizione le passioni essenziali del cuore trovano un terreno migliore nel quale possono giungere alla loro maturazione, sono meno soggette a costrizioni e parlano un linguaggio più semplice e più enfatico; poiché in quella condizione di vita i nostri sentimenti elementari esistono in uno stato di maggiore semplicità e possono di conseguenza essere in modo più accurato e comunicati con più forza; perché il comporatamento della vita rurale deriva da quei sentimenti elementari e dato il carattere di necessità delle attività rurali, si possono comprendere (questi sentimenti) più facilmente; e sono più duraturi; e da ultimo perché in quelle condizioni le passioni degli uomini formano un tutt’uno con le forme belle e imperiture della natura. Si è adottata anche la lingua di questi uomini (purificata certo da ciò che sembrano essere le sue reali improprietà, da tutte le cause imperiture, e irragionevoli di avversione o disgusto), poiché questi uomini comunicano costantemente con le cose migliori dalle quali deriva originariamente la parte migliore della lingua; e perché a motivo della loro posizione nella società e dell’uniformità e della ristrettezza della cerchia delle loro relazioni interpersonali, soggiacendo in misura minore all’azione della vanità sociale, essi comunicano i propri sentimenti e le proprie idee con espressioni semplici e non elaborate. Una simile lingua, che scaturisce da ripetute esperienze e da regolari sensazioni è dunque una lingua più stabile e di gran lunga più filosofica di quella che viene frequentemente sostituita a essa dai poeti che pensano di attirare tanto più onore a sé stessi e alla propria arte quanto più si alienano le simpatie degli uomini e indulgono in abitudini linguistiche arbitrarie e capricciose per fornire nutrimento per palati volubili e appetiti volubili che esistono solo nella loro immaginazione. […]
Affrontando quindi l’argomento in termini generali, chiedo che cosa si intenda con il termine “poeta”. Chi è il poeta? A chi si rivolge? E quale lingua ci si deve attendere da lui? E’ un uomo che parla agli altri uomini: un uomo, è vero, dotato di una più profonda sensibilità, un maggior entusiasmo, e una maggiore tenerezza e che ha una più grande conoscenza della natura umana e un’anima più comprensiva di quanto non sia comune tra gli altri uomini; un uomo che si compiace dei propri sentimenti e desideri e gioisce più di altri uomini dello spirito della vita che c’è in lui; felice di contemplare simili sentimenti e desideri quando si manifestano negli avvenimenti del mondo e di solito portato a crearli dove non li trova. Oltre a queste qualità ha la predisposizione di essere toccato più di altri uomini dalle cose assenti, come se fossero presenti; (ha) l’abilità di evocare in sé dei sentimenti che sono certo lontani dall’essere quelli prodotti da eventi reali e tuttavia (e specialmente per quanto riguarda quella parte della solidarietà generale che è gradevole e alquanto piacevole) assomigliano più da vicine ai sentimenti generati dagli eventi reali di quanto si possa dalle cose che a motivo delle dinamiche della propria mente, altri uomini sono abituati a sentire in sé stessi; da qui e dalla pratica ha acquisito maggiore prontezza e potenza nell’esprimere quei pensieri e sensazioni che per propria scelta o per la struttura della sua mente, nascono in lui senza uno stimolo esterno immediato. […]
Ho detto che la poesia è lo spontaneo sgorgare di forti sentimenti: ha origine nelle emozioni ricordate in uno stato di tranquillità: l’emozione viene contemplata fino a che, per una specie di reazione, la tranquillità poco a poco scompare e un’emozione simile a quella che era prima oggetto di contemplazione, viene prodotta gradualmente ed esiste veramente nella mente. In questo stato d’animo generalmente inizia la buona composizione e in uno stato d’animo simile a questo, essa viene portata avanti; ma l’emozione di qualsiasi genere e intensità essa sia, per diversi motivi è accompagnata da vari processi, cosicché nel descrivere qualsiasi passione di qualsiasi genere che sia descritta volutamente, la mente (del poeta) sarà nell’insieme in una condizione di gioia.

In this extract from the Preface to Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth states that the subject-matter of Lyrical Ballads is incidents and situations chosen from the ordinary life of country people. These incidents and situations are related in a selection of the commonly spoken language.
He also says that he will invest them with a certain colouring of imagination in order to make them appear more wonderful and will make them interesting by demonstrating how our mind and feelings work. (Another way of making them interesting is to demonstrate how our mind and feelings work).
Humble people were chosen because in their condition our elemental passions are more genuine; their manners are more lasting because they are connected to the permanent forms of nature; their language is simpler than the language used by 18th century poets.
Humble country people use a simple language because they are not affected by the conventions of society.
Their language is unsophisticated and unelaborated, it is different from the capricious habits of expression used by 18th century poets in order to please sophisticated readers.

Letteratura inglese - The Romantic period (il periodo romantico inglese)

The phrase “Romantic Period” refers to a span of time[1] between the year 1798, when Wordsworth and Coleridge published their Lyrical Ballads, and 1832, when Sir Walter Scott died.
This was a turbulent[2] period during which England experienced the change from a primarily agricultural society to a modern industrial nation.
This was a period characterized by the French revolution and the constant threat to the social structure by imported revolutionary ideologies to which the ruling classes[3] responded by the repression of traditional liberties.
The early period of the French Revolution evoked enthusiastic support from English liberals and also English radicals (the liberals supported gradual moderate changes while the radicals were in favor of rapid complete changes).
Two influential books indicate the radical social thinking stimulated by the French revolution: Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man (1791-92) justified the French revolution and advocated for England a democratic republic to be achieved by popular revolution.
More important as an influence on Wordsworth was William Godwin’s  Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793). It foretold the inevitable but peaceful evolution of society to a stage in which all property would be equally distributed.
Later on the English sympathizers dropped off as the French Revolution followed its increasingly violent course (the accession to power by Jacobin extremists, the September Massacres of the imprisoned nobility in 1792 followed by the execution of the Royal Family, the invasion by the French Republic of the Rhineland and the Netherlands and its offer of armed assistance to all countries desiring to overthrow their governments, the execution of thousands of people in the Reign of Terror under Robespierre and finally the emergence of Napoleon first as a dictator and then as the emperor of France.)
In England this was a period of harsh repressive measures: public meetings were prohibited, habeas corpus[4] was suspended and advocates of even moderate political change were charged with high treason[5].
As far as literature is concerned this period was characterized by a vast range[6] of diversity of achievements and for this reason any attempts at a single definition of its literary features is considered to be inadequate.
The critics of the time treated the various writers as independent individuals not as a movement or grouped them into a number of separate schools: “The Lake School” of Wordsworth and Coleridge, “The Cockney[7] School”, a derogatory term for the Londoners Leigh Hunt and William Hazlitt and other writers including John Keats, “The Satanic School” of Byron, Shelley and their followers.
Many of the leading romantic writers, however, felt there was something distinctive about their time: an intellectual and imaginative climate that some of them called “The Spirit of the Age”.
In his A Defense of Poetry Shelley explained the new literary spirit as an accomplishment of political and social revolution.
One of the most important critics of the time connected the poetry of the school of Wordsworth with the French revolution.
William Hazlitt wrote a book of essays called The Spirit of the Age in which he described how in his early youth the Revolution seemed “the dawn of a new era”. He maintained[8] that Wordsworth’s poetry had its origins in the French revolution, which was a time of promise, of renewal of the world and of literature.
In the early stages of the French Revolution nearly all the great English writers were in sympathy with it and Wordsworth and Coleridge were among its most fervent adherents. The French revolution produced a feeling that that was a great age of new beginnings when everything was possible not only in the political and social realm but also in intellectual and literary enterprises[9].
In 1797 Wordsworth and Coleridge set out[10] to revolutionize the theory and practice of poetry.
The product of their daily discussions was their Lyrical Ballads of 1798.
Wordsworth undertook to justify the new poetry by a critical manifesto or statement of political principles in the form of an extended preface to the second edition of 1800, which he enlarged still further in the third edition of 1802.
In this Preface Wordsworth set himself in opposition to the writers of the preceding century, who, in his view, had imposed on poetry artificial conventions which distorted the free and natural development of poetry.
During the 18th century there had been increasing oppositions to the neo-classical writers of the previous century.
In the 1740s there had emerged many of the critical concepts and a number of the poetic subjects later exploited by Wordsworth and his contemporaries.
Wordsworth’s Preface can be regarded as a turning point in English literature as he gathered up isolated ideas and put them into a coherent theory. Moreover he used them as the fundamental principles for his own poems.

Eighteenth-century theory had regarded poetry as an imitation of human life designed to instruct and give artistic pleasure to the reader.
Wordsworth, on the other hand, described all good poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”.
Reversing earlier theory he located the source of a poem in the individual poet and he specified that the essential materials of a poem were not external people and events but the poet’s own feelings.
In accordance with the view that poetry expresses the poet’s feelings, the lyric poem, once regarded as minor kind, became a major romantic form.
In the great romantic lyrics the “I” is not a conventional lyric speaker but the poet in his own person and circumstances.
In the poems of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats the experiences and states of mind expressed by the lyric speaker often accord closely with the known facts of the poet’s life and his confessions in his letters and journals.
In the long poem entitled The Prelude Wordsworth presents himself as what he calls “a chosen son” or “Bard” modelled on Milton and the prophets of the Bible, and puts himself forward as a spokesman for western civilization at a time of crisis.
Wordsworth revives the Biblical promise of divine redemption and pronounces the coming of a time when a renewed humanity will inhabit a renovated Earth[11].
The Prelude also exemplifies a central literary form of English Romanticism: a long poem about the formation of the self[12], usually centering on a crisis and presented in the metaphor of an inner journey in quest[13] of one’s true identity.
Major examples of this literary form are Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound  and Keats’s Endymion and The fall of Hyperion.
Wordsworth defined good poetry not only as the overflow of powerful feelings but also as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.
In traditional aesthetic theory, poetry was an art that could be practised successfully only by poets who had assimilated the example of the classical poets and were aware of all the rules governing the kind of poem they were writing.
To Wordsworth the composition of a poem originated in “emotions recollected in tranquility”, and may be preceded and followed by reflection, but the immediate act of composition must be spontaneous, that is, arising from impulse and free from all rules.
This emphasis on the free activity of the imagination was related to an insistence on the essential role of intuition and the feelings of the heart to supplement the judgments of the logical faculty.
Coleridge once wrote that deep thinking was attainable only by a man of deep feeling.

The idea of nature in Romantic poetry
The natural scene became a major poetic subject in the Romantic period.
The Romantic poets described the landscape with great accuracy but their description was never done for its own sake[14]. Most of the major lyrics begin with an aspect in the natural scene but this only serves to raise an emotional problem or a personal crisis. The development and resolution of that crisis constitute the organizing principle of the poem itself.
Romantic nature poems are generally meditative poems.
The Romantic poems usually imbue the landscape with human life, passion and expressiveness.
The Romantic descriptions of nature are in part the equivalent of the metaphysical idea of nature which developed in revolt against the world views of the scientific philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries.
These philosophers had posited as the ultimate reality[15] a mechanical world consisting of physical particles in motion.
Coleridge used to say that what was needed was the substitution of life and intelligence for the philosophy of mechanism.
The Romantic poets responded to the outer universe as a living entity which participated in the feelings of the observer.
Wordsworth also revived the concept of God’s creation as a symbol system or a physical revelation similar to Revelation in the Bible.

In two lectures[16] on Wordsworth, Hazlitt declared that the school of poetry founded by Wordsworth was the literary equivalent of the French Revolution because it translated political changes into poetical experiments.
What Hazlitt had in mind was Wordsworth’s statement[17] that the aim of Lyrical Ballads was “to choose incidents[18] and situations from common life and to relate[19] or describe them in a selection of language really spoken by men”.
Wordsworth inverted the traditional hierarchy of genres, subjects and style. He did that by elevating humble and rustic[20] life and the plain style[21] into the principle subject and medium for poetry in general.
Wordsworth’s aim in Lyrical Ballads was not to represent the actual world but to cast[22] over incidents and situations from common life a certain colouring[23] of imagination whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way. His aim, in other words, was to arouse our sense of wonder in the common_ place, the trivial and the lowly[24].

[1] arco di tempo
[2] characterised by sudden changes
[3] classi dirigenti
[4]Habeas corpus was a law which stated that a person couldn’t be detained in prison for a long period unless a judge decided that it was right
[5] erano accusati di alto tradimento
[6] gamma
[7] From London’s East End
[8] sostenne
[9] imprese
[10] iniziarono
[11] una rinnovata umanità abiterà una Terra rinnovata
[12] dell’Io
[13] ricerca
[14] non era mai fine a sé stessa
[15] una realtà ultima
[16] conferenze
[17] affermazione
[18] eventi
[19] raccontare
[20] rurale
[21] lo stile semplice
[22] gettare (=to throw)
[23] sfumatura
[24] umile

Letteratura inglese - William Shakespeare - To be or not to be (translation into Italian / traduzione in italiano)

·         “To be or not to be” means “To exist or not to exist”
·         In LINES 2-5 Hamlet disputes with himself which life’s the more honourable choice[1], patiently to endure earthly misfortunes[2] or boldly oppose them[3]. “In the mind to suffer” means “to endure”.
In line 4 is the metaphor of fighting with human weapons against the superhuman force of the sea[4].

AMLETO: Essere o non essere, questo è il problema:
se sia più nobile d’animo sopportare
i colpi e i dardi della sorte funesta,
o prendere le armi contro un mare di problemi,
e porgli fine lottando contro di essi? Morire, dormire-
nulla di più; e attraverso questa morte dire che poniamo fine
all’affanno del cuore, e a mille sofferenze naturali
che toccano in sorte all’uomo (alla carne). E’ conclusione
da augurarsi con tutto il cuore. Morire, dormire;
dormire, forse sognare. Sì, proprio questo é l’intoppo;
perché in quel sonno di morte il pensiero il pensiero di quali sogni possano esserci,
quando vanno liberati dai problemi della nostra vita,
deve farci esitare e pensare. Quello è il motivo
che dà una vita così lunga ai nostri guai;
poiché chi sopporterebbe le sferzate e le delusioni del tempo,
i torti degli oppressori, l’oltraggio degli uomini prepotenti,
le angosce dell’amore respinto, la lentezza della legge,
l’insolenza di persone che ricoprono una carica pubblica, e il rifiuto
che le persone meritevoli devono subire pazientemente da parte di persone indegne,
quando lui stesso potrebbe trovare la pace
con un semplice pugnale? Chi sopporterebbe questi fardelli,
per sudare una vita faticosa e triste,
se non fosse per il fatto che la paura di qualcosa dopo la morte –
quel paese ignoto dai cui confini
nessun viaggiatore fa ritorno – indebolisce la volontà,
e ci fa piuttosto sopportare quei mali che abbiamo
piuttosto che volare verso altri dei quali non siamo a conoscenza?
E così la coscienza ci rende tutti codardi,
e così il colore naturale del coraggio
è ricoperto dal pallore malsano del pensiero[5],
e imprese di grande ambizione e importanza
per questo motivo sviano il loro percorso
e perdono il loro valore di azione.

[1] la scelta più dignitosa
[2] sopportare pazientemente le disgrazie terrene
[3] opporsi con coraggio ad esse
[4] lottare con armi umane contro la forza sovrumana del mare
[5] diventa malsano a causa del troppo riflettere

Latino - Seneca - L'otium del saggio (traduzione + paradigmi)

Quo animo ad otium sapiens secedit? ut sciat se tum quoque ea acturum per quae posteris prosit. Nos certe sumus qui dicimus et Zenonem et Chrysippum maiora egisse quam si duxissent exercitus, gessissent honores, leges tulissent; quas non uni ciuitati, sed toti humano generi tulerunt. Quid est ergo quare tale otium non conueniat uiro bono, per quod futura saecula ordinet nec apud paucos contionetur sed apud omnis omnium gentium homines, quique sunt quique erunt? 5. Ad summam, quaero an ex praeceptis suis uixerint Cleanthes et Chrysippus et Zenon. <Non> dubie respondebis sic illos uixisse quemadmodum dixerant esse uiuendum: atqui nemo illorum rem publicam administrauit. 'Non fuit' inquis 'illis aut ea fortuna aut ea dignitas quae admitti ad publicarum rerum tractationem solet.' Sed idem nihilominus non segnem egere uitam: inuenerunt quemadmodum plus quies ipsorum hominibus prodesset quam aliorum discursus et sudor. Ergo nihilominus hi multum egisse uisi sunt, quamuis nihil publice agerent.

Con quale animo il saggio si ritira nell’ozio? Affinché allora sappia anche che egli è utile al prossimo attraverso ciò che si accinge a fare. Noi di certo siamo coloro che dicono che sia Zenone che Crisippo fecero cose più grandi che se avessero condotto l’esercito, (se) avessero esercitato cariche pubbliche, (se) avessero emanato leggi; le proposero non solo per le città, ma per tutto il genere umano. Qual è dunque la ragione per cui[1] all’uomo buono non conviene tale tempo libero, attraverso cui si regolerà le generazioni future e non si pronuncia un discorso pubblico presso gli ottimati ma presso tutti gli uomini di tutte le genti, che[2] esistono e che esisteranno? Verso il posto più alto, chiedo se forse Cleante, Crisippo e Zenone avessero vissuto in conformità con i loro precetti. Senza dubbio risponderai che quelli vissero così allo stesso modo di come avevano detto di dover vivere: eppure nessuno di quelli amministrò lo Stato. “Non ebbero – dici – quelli o la sorte o la dignità che è solita essere indirizzata verso l’occuparsi dello Stato”. Ma cionondimeno non condussero una vita fiacca: trovarono allo stesso modo che giovasse di più agli uomini la quiete degli stessi che il discorso e il sudore degli altri. Quindi ciononostante questi sembravano fare molto, nonostante non facessero nulla pubblicamente.
Secedo, is, cessi, cessum, ĕre
Prosum, prodes, profui, prodesse
Convenio, is, veni, ventum, ire
Ordino, as, avi, atum, are
Contior, aris, atus sum, ari
Vivo, is, vixi, victum, ĕre
Respondeo, es, spondi, sponsum, ēre
Soleo, es, solitus sum, ēre

[1] quare
[2] quique