But whoever ceases to desire to live there has thereby ceased to deserve to do so

From Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy (Consolatio Philosophiae, 1.5):

When I had done thus baying my unabated grief, she said, with a calm expression, unaffected by my complainings: “When I saw you weeping in your grief I knew at once that you were wretchedly banished; but how remote was that banishment I should not have known if your speech had not told me. But how far from your homeland have you strayed! Strayed, not been driven, I say; or if you prefer to be thought of as driven, then how far have you driven yourself! For in your case it could never have rightly been possible for anyone else to do this. You must remember what your native country is: not one like that of the old Athenians, governed by the rule of the many, but “there is one ruler, one king,”a who delights in associating with his subjects, not in driving them out; to be guided by his hand and obey his justice is true freedom. Surely you know the ancient and fundamental law of your city, by which it is ordained that it is not right to exile one who has chosen to dwell there? No one who is settled within her walls and fortifications need ever fear the punishment of banishment: but whoever ceases to desire to live there has thereby ceased to deserve to do so. So I am moved more by the sight of you than of this place. I seek not so much a library with its walls ornamented with ivory and glass, as the storeroom of your mind, in which I have laid up not books, but what makes them of any value, the opinions set down in my books in times past.

Haec ubi continuato dolore delatravi, illa vultu placido nihilque meis questibus mota: “Cum te,” inquit, “maestum lacrimantemque vidissem, ilico miserum exsulemque cognovi. Sed quam id longinquum esset exilium, nisi tua prodidisset oratio, nesciebam. Sed tu quam procul a patria non quidem pulsus es sed aberrasti; ac si te pulsum existimari mavis, te potius ipse pepulisti. Nam id quidem de te numquam cuiquam fas fuisset. Si enim cuius 10oriundus sis patriae reminiscare, non uti Atheniensium quondam multitudinis imperio regitur, sed

εἷς κoίρανός ἐστιν, εἷς βασιλεύς

qui frequentia civium non depulsione laetetur; cuius agi frenis atque obtemperare iustitiae summa libertas est. An ignoras illam tuae civitatis antiquissimam legem, qua sanctum est ei ius exulare non esse quisquis in ea sedem fundare maluerit? Nam qui vallo eius ac munimine continetur, nullus metus est ne exul esse mereatur. At quisquis eam inhabitare velle desierit, pariter desinit etiam mereri. Itaque non tam me loci huius quam tua facies movet nec bibliothecae potius comptos ebore ac vitro parietes quam tuae mentis sedem requiro, in qua non libros sed id quod libris pretium facit, librorum quondam meorum sententias, collocavi.

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