Seneca, Moral Epistle 17. 11-12
“I could end my letter at this place, except that I have put you in a bad place. It is impossible to hail Parthian nobility without a gift and it is not allowed for me to say goodbye to you without thanks. What then? I’ll take something from Epicurus: “getting rich is not an end of troubles for most people, but a change in them.”
I am not surprised by this. The problem isn’t in the money but in the mind. The very thing that makes poverty weigh heavy on us also makes wealth a burden. It doesn’t matter whether you put a sick person on a wooden bed or one of gold: wherever you move them, they take their sickness too!
So, it makes no difference at all whether a sick spirit rests in riches or poverty. The disease follows the person. Goodbye!”
Poteram hoc loco epistulam claudere, nisi te male instituissem. Reges Parthorum2 non potest quisquam salutare sine munere; tibi valedicere non licet gratis. Quid istic? Ab Epicuro mutuum sumam: “Multis parasse divitias non finis miseriarum fuit, sed mutatio.” Nec hoc miror. Non est enim in rebus vitium, sed in ipso animo. Illud, quod paupertatem nobis gravem fecerat, et divitias graves fecit. Quemadmodum nihil refert, utrum aegrum in ligneo lecto an in aureo conloces,—quocumque illum transtuleris, morbum secum suum transferet,—sic nihil refert, utrum aeger animus in divitiis an in paupertate ponatur. Malum illum suum sequitur. Vale.