One will seem to promote virtue better by using encouragement and persuasion of speech than law and necessity. For it is likely that he who is held back from wrongdoing by law will err in secret but that he who is urged to what he should by persuasion will do nothing wrong either in secret or openly. Therefore he who acts rightly from understanding and knowledge proves to be at the same time courageous and right-minded.
Men achieve cheerfulness by moderation in pleasure and by proportion in their life excess and deficiency are apt to fluctuate and cause great changes in the soul. And souls which change over great intervals are neither stable nor cheerful. So one should set one’s mind on what is possible and be content with what one has taking little account of those who are admired and envied and not dwelling on them in thought but one should consider the lives of those who are in distress thinking of their grievous sufferings so that what one has and possesses will seem great and enviable and one will cease to suffer in one’s soul through the desire for more.