Seneca, Moral Epistle 4.8-9
“Remember that a mugger or some nemesis can take a sword to your throat. There’s no slave who doesn’t have the choice of life or death for you when greater power is absent. So I say this: whoever holds his own life in contempt is master of yours. Remember instances of those who have died by plots in their own home, open ones or tricks. You may then see that as many have fallen to the rage of slaves as kings.
What difference does it make how powerful someone you fear is when every person has the strength you fear. You may say, “But if by chance you fall into the hands of your enemy, the victor will order you to be led away.” You are already being led there. Why do you deceive yourself and now just recognize what you have long been suffering. I say this too: you have been heading in that direction since you were born. Keep these thoughts in your mind and others like them. If we want to await that final hour calmly, the fear of which makes all other times restless.”
Cogita posse et latronem et hostem admovere iugulo tuo gladium. Ut potestas maior absit, nemo non servus habet in te vitae necisque arbitrium. Ita dico: quisquis vitam suam contempsit, tuae dominus est. Recognosce exempla eorum, qui domesticis insidiis perierunt, aut aperta vi aut dolo: intelleges non pauciores servorum ira cecidisse quam regum. Quid ad te itaque, quam potens sit quem times, cum id, propter quod times, nemo non possit? At si forte in manus hostium incideris, victor te duci iubebit; eo nempe, quo duceris. Quid te ipse decipis et hoc nunc primum, quod olim patiebaris, intellegis? Ita dico: ex quo natus es, duceris. Haec et eiusmodi versanda in animo sunt, si volumus ultimam illam horam placidi expectare, cuius metus omnes alias inquietas facit.