What You Wish To Avoid, Fortune Compels You To Do

It often happens that we are forced to accept what we wish to avoid.  Avarice, for example, defeats itself; and the miser who in futility clings to every penny finds himself compelled to part with greater sums than he might otherwise have spent.  The health fanatic who obsesses about every morsel of food that goes into his mouth, or cup that is pressed to his lips, finds himself harassed by ailments and bodily infirmity, while the moderate enjoyer of pleasure scarcely has a need to visit the physician.  The athlete fixated on avoiding injury brings it down upon himself.

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The World’s Smallness, And The Permanence Of Noble Actions

The world is a much smaller place than we are aware.  Things we do, actions we take, can have far-reaching effects that come back to us in ways we can never imagine.  While events, places, and the flowing rush of time are shifting and transitory, the power of virtue is such that it transcends time and place.  I was reminded of this recently after reading the Second World War memoirs of Col. Hans von Luck, a German commander who fought in all the major theaters of the European war.

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The Bricklayer Of Granada: A Tale Of The Alhambra

I was lucky enough today to find an old  copy of Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra; the volume is lavishly illustrated and was actually published in Granada in the late 1940s.  The following tale is found in this Andalusian collection; it reminds us of the influence of Fortune in the lives of mortals, a theme that we have  explored frequently in these pages.

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No One Can Be Assured Of Having Tomorrow

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I have finally finished the complete translation of Cicero’s On Duties.  It has been an exhausting, laborious, maddening, and joyous experience.  There still remains a lot of work to do before it is finally ready for publication:  revising, editing, adding more textual notes, indices, explanatory essays, and a few other things.  But the end is finally in sight.

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