Seneca, Moral Epistles 101.10-12
So, hurry, my Lucilius, and live–treat each individual day like a whole life. Who ever adapts in this way–whoever’s daily life is complete–feels safe. But the time right in front of them always slides away from those who live for hope and that greed and that miserable fear of death that makes everything else miserable slips in.
It is from there that that foulest prayer of Maecenas comes. In it, he does not swear off weakness, deformity, and then at the end the painful cross as long as he can continue life throughout.
Give me a broken hand, weaken my foot;
grow a hump on my back and shake my teeth loose
as long as life persists, it’s all good.
Keep it going, even if I lie on a sharp cross
He begs for something that would be completely pitiable if it merely happened to him and he pleads for a delay as if he were asking for life!”
Ideo propera, Lucili mi, vivere et singulos dies singulas vitas puta. Qui hoc modo se aptavit, cui vita sua cotidie fuit tota, securus est; in spem viventibus proximum quodque tempus elabitur subitque aviditas et miserrimus ac miserrima omnia efficiens metus mortis. Inde illud Maecenatis turpissimum votum, quo et debilitatem non recusat et deformitatem et novissime acutam crucem, dummodo inter haec mala spiritus prorogetur:
Debilem facito manu, debilem pede coxo,
Tuber adstrue gibberum, lubricos quate dentes;
Vita dum superest, benest; hanc mihi, vel acuta
Si sedeam cruce, sustine.
Quod miserrimum erat, si incidisset, optatur et tamquam vita petitur supplici mora.