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Dio's Rome, Vol. 4
An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus: and Now Presented in English Form
you be happy if deprived of them? What could cause you real pleasure? When would you be free from biting grief? It is quite inevitable that the man who holds so great an empire should reflect deeply, be subject to many fears enjoy very little pleasure, but hear and see, perform and suffer, always and everywhere, what is most disagreeable. That is why, I think, both Greeks and some barbarians would not accept government by a king when offered to them.
"Knowing this beforehand, take good counsel before you enter upon such an existence. For it is disgraceful, or rather impossible, after you have once plunged into it to rise to the upper air again. Do not be deceived by the greatness of the authority nor the abundance of possessions, nor the mass of body-guards, nor the throng of courtiers. Men who have great power have great troubles: those who have large possessions are obliged to spend largely: the crowd of body-guards is gathered because of the crowd of conspirators: and the flatterers would be more glad