Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 2 Prosa 8
P. concedes that 'Fortune' has its uses.
- section 1
est aliquando: "There is a time when"; use of the adverb virtually as a noun is not classical.
nihil: accusative of respect with fallax: "not at all false"; adverbial in effect.
mereatur: here, "behaves," with de hominibus, "towards men"; subjunctive in circumstantial cum-clause.
tum scilicet cum: "namely then, when"; the cum-clauses to follow are temporal (specifying a time) hence the verbs are indicative.
- section 3
3: Fortuna is now distinguished as prospera and aduersa. Good fortune falsely seems desirable, but bad is always sincerely hostile. The vivid personification with which this book began can now be dispensed with.
- section 4
Illa: = prospera fortuna.
haec: = aduersa fortuna.
mendacium: genitive plural < mendax, "false, untruthful"; with bonorum.
fruentium: sc. se (ablative object).
absoluit: "frees," sc. mentes fruentium se.
fluentem: fluentem . . . succinctam: "ungirdled . . . belted."
suique: suique . . . ignaram: "and ignorant of herself."
ignaram: suique . . . ignaram: "and ignorant of herself."
succinctam: fluentem . . . succinctam: "ungirdled . . . belted."
exercitatione: "training , testing."
- section 5
deuios: "off the path"; predicative.
reduces: accusative plural < redux, "led back."
- section 6
tibi: with detexit.
secreuit: "set apart, distinguished."
- section 7
7: Cf. Cicero, De amicitia 6.20: Est enim amicitia nihil aliud nisi omnium diuinarum humanarumque rerum cum beneuolentia et caritate consensio; qua quidem haud scio an excepta sapientia nihil melius homini sit a dis immortalibus datum. Diuitias alii praeponunt, bonam alii ualetudinem, alii potentiam, alii honores, multi etiam uoluptates. "For friendship is nothing less than the harmony of divine and human affairs through generosity and esteem. I know no better gift granted to men by the immortal gods than friendship, except wisdom. Some prefer riches, some good health, some power, some high office -- many even prefer pleasure."
Quanti: genitive of price.
hoc: i.e., this separation of faithful and faithless friends.
integer: "unimpaired, intact," i.e., before his fall from power.
querere: imperative, ironic (cf. similar expression at 2M3.15-16).
quod: quod . . . genus est: see on 2P3.5.
genus est: quod . . . genus est: see on 2P3.5.