Were I a nightingale, I would sing like a nightingale; were I a swan, like a swan. But as it is, I am a rational being, therefore I must sing hymns of praise to God.

τί γὰρ ἄλλο δύναμαι γέρων χωλὸς εἰ μὴ ὑμνεῖν τὸν θεόν; εἰ γοῦν ἀηδὼν ἤμην, ἐποίουν τὰ τῆς ἀηδόνος, εἰ κύκνος, τὰ τοῦ κύκνου. νῦν δὲ λογικός εἰμι: ὑμνεῖν με δεῖ τὸν θεόν.

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Original Citation

Epictetus. Ἐπικτήτου διατριβαί, Epiktētou diatribai [The Discourses of Epictetus]. c. 108, bk. 1, ch. 16.

Current Citation

Epictetus. "The Discourses." Discourses and Other Writings, edited and translated by Robert Dobbin. Penguin Classics, 2008, bk. 1, ch. 16.