A Little Honey

Xerxes led forth his huge fleets and armies of horse and foot, bridged the Hellepont, cut through Athos, marched over sea and sailed over land – suppose on his reaching Greece with his great armada some one asked him the reason for all this enormous apparatus of warfare, and he were to reply that he had wanted to procure some honey from Hymettus! surely he would be thought to have had no adequate motive for so vast an undertaking. So with our Wise Man, equipped and adorned with all the noblest accomplishments and virtues, not like Xerxes traversing the seas on foot and the mountains on shipboard, but mentally embracing sky and earth and sea in their entirety – to say that this man’s aim is pleasure is to say that all his high endeavour is for the sake of a little honey. – Cicero, De Finibus (H. Rackham).

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