What constitutes a happy life?
Enough money to meet your needs
a comfortable fire
a clear distance from law
a minimum of city business
a peaceful mind and a healthy body
simple wisdom and firm friends
enjoyable dinners and plain living
nights free from care
a virtuous wife who’s not a prude
enough sleep to make the darkness short
contentment with the life you have,
avoiding the sneer, the poisoned sigh:
no fear of death
and no desire to die.
Lindsay and Patricia Watson, trans.