Marcus Aurelius © Trustees of the British Museum, produced by Natalia Bauer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic Philosopher who wrote his Meditations. The following is from the third book of a public domain translation of the Meditations. It tells how to live, even if one is an emperor, modestly and virtuously:
Do nothing against thy will, nor contrary to the community, nor without due examination, nor with reluctancy. Affect not to set out thy thoughts with curious neat language. Be neither a great talker, nor a great undertaker. Moreover, let thy God that is in thee to rule over thee, find by thee, that he hath to do with a man; an aged man; a sociable man; a Roman; a prince; one that hath ordered his life, as one that expecteth, as it were, nothing but the sound of the trumpet, sounding a retreat to depart out of this life with all expedition. One who for his word or actions neither needs an oath, nor any man to be a witness.