"There is no disgust with life, no despair, no sense of the nothingness of things, of the worthlessness of remedies, of the loneliness of man; no hatred of the world and of oneself; that can last so long: although these attitudes of mind are completely reasonable, and their opposites unreasonable. But despite all this, after a little while; with a gentle change in the temper of the body; little by little; and often in a flash, for minuscule reasons scarcely possible to notice; the taste of life revives, and this or that fresh hope springs up, and human things take on their former visage, and show they are not unworthy of some care; not so much to the intellect, as indeed, so to speak, to the sense of the spirit. And that is enough to make a person, aware and convinced as he may be of the truth, as well as in spite of reason, both persevere in life, and go along with it as others do: for those very senses (one might say), and not the intellect, are what rules over us...And life is a thing of such small consequence, that man, as regards himself, ought not to be very anxious either to keep it or to discard it. Therefore, without pondering the matter too deeply; with each trivial reason that presents itself, for grasping the former alternative rather than the latter, he ought not to refuse to do so."
"For the excellence of souls brings greater urgency to their lives; which in turn brings a greater feeling of their own unhappiness; which is as much as to say greater unhappiness. In the same way, the larger degree of life in these souls implies more active self-love, wherever this may lead or whatever form it may take: and this surplus of self-love induces a more intense longing for beautitude, and therefore more vexation and suffering at being deprived of it, and deeper sorrow at the adversities that come along. All this is contained in the primeval and perpetual order of created things, which I cannnot alter."
"Ancients lived more fully than we do, partly because, on account of the grave continuous dangers they were accustomed to undergoing, they commonly died earlier than we do? And you will bestow the greatest blessing on men: whose life was always, I will not say happy, but less unhappy insofar as it was the more powerfully excited, and the more fully occupied."