Virtue, Reason, the Good Life
Seneca's philosophy is best known from his letters to Lucilius and his dialogues.
In accordance with the philosophy of the Stoics, Virtue (virtus) and Reason are the basis of a good life, and a good life should be lived simply and in accordance with Nature. But whereas the philosophical treatises of an Epictetus might inspire you to lofty goals you know you'll never meet, Seneca's philosophy is more practical. [See Stoic-Based resolutions.] Seneca's philosophy is not strictly Stoic, but contains ideas thrown in from other philosophies. He even coaxes and cajoles, as in the case of his advice to his mother to cease her grieving. "You are beautiful," he says (paraphrased) "with an age-defying appeal that needs no make-up, so stop acting like the worst kind of vain woman."
You never polluted yourself with make-up, and you never wore a dress that covered about as much on as it did off. Your only ornament, the kind of beauty that time does not tarnish, is the great honour of modesty.Another famous example of his pragmatic philosophy comes from a line in Hercules Furens: "Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue."
So you cannot use your sex to justify your sorrow when with your virtue you have transcended it. Keep as far away from women's tears as from their faults.
(www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/wlgr/wlgr-privatelife261.html) 261. Seneca to his mother. Corsica, A.D. 41/9.