An imaginary dialogue between Liberalis and Stilpo concerning the destruction of the City of Lyons by fire.

Liberalis: It is completely unfathomable! The unthinkable has happened! And so unexpected, so shockingly abysmal.  The whole of that glorious City of Lyons has been burned to smithereens. My home town, my source of comfort and safety, has left me out in  the cold wilderness, and I cannot return whence I came. I am exiled. Fortune has forsaken me.

Stilpo: Well my friend the intensity of your sorrow stems from the misplaced hope and exuberant optimism that has not allowed for all potentialities. If I may, I would like to offer you these words of wisdom: never forget that ill fortune may strike at any time. All things contain the seeds of their own destruction. Nothing  external to you lasts; change is the one constant, and not all change is favourable. This has to be accepted with calm resignation for the undiscriminating hand of fate is firm and unyielding. Prepare yourself, meditate on all the potential outcomes of human existence so that nothing can take you by surprise. For a prepared soul will surmount all eventualities with equanimity and poise.Everything you need to be happy can be found within you, a stable current of virtue, which ultimately means you have lost nothing.

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