1. Seneca, Tranq. 11.8


Publilius, tragicis comicisque uehementior ingeniis quotiens mimicas ineptias et uerba ad summam caueam spectantia reliquit, inter multa alia coturno, non tantum sipario, fortiora et hoc ait:

“cuiuis potest accidere quod cuiquam potest”.

Hoc si quis in medullas demiserit et omnia aliena mala, quorum ingens cotidie copia est, sic aspexerit tamquam liberum illis et ad se iter sit, multo ante se armabit quam petatur; sero animus ad periculorum patientiam post pericula instruitur.

Publilius, who, whenever he abandoned the absurdities of farce and language directed to the gallery, had more vigour than the writers of comedy and tragedy, among many other utterances more striking than any that came from the buskined – to say nothing of the comic curtain’s – stage, has also this:

Whatever can one man befall can happen just as well to all.

If a man lets this sink deep into his heart, and, when he looks upon the evils of others, of which there is a huge supply every day, remembers that they are free to come to him also, he will arm himself against them long before they attack him.  It is too late to equip the soul to endure dangers after the dangers have arisen.

(Trans. J.W. Basore 1928)