These, my dearest Martialis, are the things that bring a happy life: wealth left to you, not laboured for; rich land, an ever-glowing hearth; no law, light business, and a quiet mind; a healthy body, gentlemanly powers; a wise simplicity, friends not unlike; good company, a table without art; nights carefree, yet no drunkenness; a bed that’s modest, true, and yet not cold; sleep that makes the hours of darkness brief: the need to be yourself, and nothing more; not fearing your last day, not wishing it.

Marcus Valerius Martialis (38 – 104 AD), Epigram Book X:47

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