Seneca, Moral Epistle 32.2-4
“What is it? I don’t fear that people may change you. I do fear that they will slow you down. Someone who delays you causes a lot of harm, moreover, and especially given how fast life passes and how we make it even briefer by our inconsistency, always starting up something new and then immediately moving on to something else. We separate life into pieces and then squander it.
Hurry up, then, my dearest Lucilius, and think how fast you’d accelerate if an enemy were behind you or if you thought a horseman were overtaking you to run you down as you ran. This is happening! The enemy is at your back. You should step to it and flee, reach a place of safety, considering all along that it is noble to complete your life before death and then spend the rest of your time in peace, taking nothing for yourself because you already have a lucky life, one made no luckier by being longer.
When will you reach the time when you understand that time is nothing to you, when you can be tranquil and calm, heedless of tomorrow, because you have made the most of your life!?”
Quid ergo est? Non timeo, ne mutent te, timeo, ne inpediant. Multum autem nocet etiam qui moratur, utique in tanta brevitate vitae, quam breviorem inconstantia facimus aliud eius subinde atque aliud facientes initium. Diducimus illam in particulas ac lancinamus.
Propera ergo, Lucili carissime, et cogita quantum additurus celeritati fueris, si a tergo hostis instaret, si equitem adventare suspicareris ac fugientium premere vestigia. Fit hoc, premeris; accelera et evade, perduc te in tutum et subinde considera, quam pulchra res sit consummare vitam ante mortem, deinde expectare securum reliquam temporis sui partem, nihil sibi, in possessione beatae vitae positum, quae beatior non fit, si longior. O quando illud videbis tempus, quo scies tempus ad te non pertinere, quo tranquillus placidusque eris et crastini neglegens ut1 in summa tui satietate!