Seneca, Moral Epistles 120.4-5
“Observation seems to us imply information, along with a comparison of things that happen often. So, our discipline judges what is good and honorable by analogy. Now, Latin grammarians have granted citizenship to this word “analogy, so I don’t think it should be condemned, while I do believe that it should be properly framed in its own state of origin. So, I will use this word not as it has been adapted, but as it was customarily applied.
Let me explain what this analogy is. We have comprehended a the health of a body and from this have imagined that there is also health of mind. Just as we recognized physical strength, so too did we suggest mental vigor. Acts of kindness, humane deeds, feats of bravery, all these have dumfounded us. So we began to wonder at them as if they are perfect.
They all have many faults under the surface, but the appearance of a certain kind of glorious deed and the shine distract us. We pretend we don’t see these things. Nature commands us to amplify acts that we should praise; and everyone takes their glory beyond the truth. So, from these kinds of acts, we have crafted some appearance of the great good.”
Nobis videtur observatio collegisse et rerum saepe factarum inter se conlatio, per analogian nostri intellectum et honestum et bonum iudicant. Hoc verbum cum Latini grammatici civitate donaverint, ego damnandum non puto, puto in civitatem suam redigendum. Utar ergo illo non tantum tamquam recepto, sed tamquam usitato.
Quae sit haec analogia, dicam. Noveramus corporis sanitatem; ex hac cogitavimus esse aliquam et animi. Noveramus vires corporis; ex his collegimus esse et animi robur. Aliqua benigna facta, aliqua humana, aliqua fortia nos obstupefecerant; haec coepimus tamquam perfecta mirari. Suberant illis multa vitia, quae species conspicui alicuius facti fulgorque celabat; haec dissimulavimus. Natura iubet augere laudanda, nemo non gloriam ultra verum tulit; ex his ergo speciem ingentis boni traximus.