"Cicero, like a true Roman, had little taste for abstract speculations, except so far as they bore upon work-day life and served some useful end; it was the practical side only of philosophy that enlisted his sympathy. He had originally looked upon it as a constituent element of general culture, especially indispensable to the youthful aspirant to the honours of the forum and the senate. His earlier works, the 'de re publica' (B.C. 54) and the 'de legibus' (B.C. 52) , are to be classed among his political rather than his philosophical writings. He occasionally indulges in a description of the sublime enjoyment arising from the pursuit of liberal knowledge, but he is constantly under the apprehension lest in his exclusive devotion to philosophy he should be considered by some 'viri boni' to be serving merely personal and not social ends. Hence his frequent and elaborate apologies for this method of spending the leisure which exclusion from the political arena had forced upon him. To drown his care in the pursuit of pleasure and abandon himself to careless indolence, like so many eminent men of his party, would have been altogether repugnant to his taste and unworthy of a man of his cultivation. He turned then to Philosophy - which had been a favourite study of his youth and to which, in the midst of active life, he had given up all the time that he could spare from professional and political duties - as a grateful relief from distracting recollections and a consolation in a period of deepest gloom. But he did not turn to it merely on personal grounds or for his own amusement and satisfaction: he was still influenced by motives of patriotism, and an earnest desire for the elevation of his fellow citizens. The interpretation of writers on Greek philosophy, and the general diffusion and reduction to popular language of their great thoughts so as to give them general currency, was the one service he could now render his country, when there was no other sphere open to his ambition."
Book pages and text are in very good condition, but with some pencil markings. Inside back cover has pencilled notes.
There is some dirt on page edges.
Book cover is in good condition but slightly dirty.