4 ) Out of all these days in the seventy years , all twenty-six thousand , two hundred and fifty of them , not one brings anything at all like another . So , Croesus , man is entirely chance .
5 ) To me you seem to be very rich and to be king of many people , but I cannot answer your question before I learn that you ended your life well . The very rich man is not more fortunate than the man who has only his daily needs , unless he chances to end his life with all well . Many very rich men are unfortunate , many of moderate means are lucky .
6 ) The man who is very rich but unfortunate surpasses the lucky man in only two ways , while the lucky surpasses the rich but unfortunate in many . The rich man is more capable of fulfilling his appetites and of bearing a great disaster that falls upon him , and it is in these ways that he surpasses the other . The lucky man is not so able to support disaster or appetite as is the rich man , but his luck keeps these things away from him , and he is free from deformity and disease , has no experience of evils , and has fine children and good looks .
7 ) If besides all this he ends his life well , then he is the one whom you seek , the one worthy to be called fortunate . But refrain from calling him fortunate before he dies ; call him lucky .
8 ) It is impossible for one who is only human to obtain all these things at the same time , just as no land is self-sufficient in what it produces . Each country has one thing but lacks another ; whichever has the most is the best . Just so no human being is self-sufficient ; each person has one thing but lacks another .
9 ) Whoever passes through life with the most and then dies agreeably is the one who , in my opinion , O King , deserves to bear this name . It is necessary to see how the end of every affair turns out , for the god promises fortune to many people and then utterly ruins them . "
1 ) By saying this , Solon did not at all please Croesus , who sent him away without regard for him , but thinking him a great fool , because he ignored the present good and told him to look to the end of every affair .
4 ) τουτέων τῶν ἁπασέων ἡμερέων τῶν ἐς τὰ ἑβδομήκοντα ἔτεα , ἐουσέων πεντήκοντα καὶ διηκοσιέων καὶ ἑξακισχιλιέων καὶ δισμυριέων , ἡ ἑτέρη αὐτέων τῇ ἑτέρῃ ἡμέρῃ τὸ παράπαν οὐδὲν ὅμοιον προσάγει πρῆγμα . οὕτω ὦν Κροῖσε πᾶν ἐστὶ ἄνθρωπος συμφορή .
5 ) ἐμοὶ δὲ σὺ καὶ πλουτέειν μέγα φαίνεαι καὶ βασιλεὺς πολλῶν εἶναι ἀνθρώπων · ἐκεῖνο δὲ τὸ εἴρεό με , οὔκω σε ἐγὼ λέγω , πρὶν τελευτήσαντα καλῶς τὸν αἰῶνα πύθωμαι . οὐ γάρ τι ὁ μέγα πλούσιος μᾶλλον τοῦ ἐπʼ ἡμέρην ἔχοντος ὀλβιώτερος ἐστί , εἰ μή οἱ τύχη ἐπίσποιτο πάντα καλὰ ἔχοντα εὖ τελευτῆσαὶ τὸν βίον . πολλοὶ μὲν γὰρ ζάπλουτοι ἀνθρώπων ἀνόλβιοι εἰσί , πολλοὶ δὲ μετρίως ἔχοντες βίου εὐτυχέες .
6 ) ὁ μὲν δὴ μέγα πλούσιος ἀνόλβιος δὲ δυοῖσι προέχει τοῦ εὐτυχέος μοῦνον , οὗτος δὲ τοῦ πλουσίου καὶ ἀνόλβου πολλοῖσι · ὃ μὲν ἐπιθυμίην ἐκτελέσαι καί ἄτην μεγάλην προσπεσοῦσαν ἐνεῖκαι δυνατώτερος , ὁ δὲ τοῖσιδε προέχει ἐκείνου · ἄτην μὲν καὶ ἐπιθυμίην οὐκ ὁμοίως δυνατὸς ἐκείνῳ ἐνεῖκαι , ταῦτα δὲ ἡ εὐτυχίη οἱ ἀπερύκει , ἄπηρος δὲ ἐστί , ἄνουσος , ἀπαθὴς κακῶν , εὔπαις , εὐειδής .
7 ) εἰ δὲ πρὸς τούτοισι ἔτι τελευτήσῃ τὸν βίον εὖ , οὗτος ἐκεῖνος τὸν σὺ ζητέεις , ὁ ὄλβιος κεκλῆσθαι ἄξιος ἐστί · πρὶν δʼ ἂν τελευτήσῃ , ἐπισχεῖν , μηδὲ καλέειν κω ὄλβιον ἀλλʼ εὐτυχέα .
8 ) τὰ πάντα μέν νυν ταῦτα συλλαβεῖν ἄνθρωπον ἐόντα ἀδύνατον ἐστί , ὥσπερ χωρῇ οὐδεμία καταρκέει πάντα ἑωυτῇ παρέχουσα , ἀλλὰ ἄλλο μὲν ἔχει ἑτέρου δὲ ἐπιδέεται · ἣ δὲ ἂν τὰ πλεῖστα ἔχῃ , αὕτη ἀρίστη . ὣς δὲ καὶ ἀνθρώπου σῶμα ἓν οὐδὲν αὔταρκες ἐστί · τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἔχει , ἄλλου δὲ ἐνδεές ἐστι ·
9 ) ὃς δʼ ἂν αὐτῶν πλεῖστα ἔχων διατελέῃ καὶ ἔπειτα τελευτήσῃ εὐχαρίστως τὸν βίον , οὗτος παρʼ ἐμοὶ τὸ οὔνομα τοῦτο ὦ βασιλεῦ δίκαιος ἐστὶ φέρεσθαι . σκοπέειν δὲ χρὴ παντὸς χρήματος τὴν τελευτήν , κῇ ἀποβήσεται · πολλοῖσι γὰρ δὴ ὑποδέξας ὄλβον ὁ θεὸς προρρίζους ἀνέτρεψε . "
1 ) ταῦτα λέγων τῷ Κροίσῳ οὔ κως οὔτε ἐχαρίζετο , οὔτε λόγου μιν ποιησάμενος οὐδενὸς ἀποπέμπεται , κάρτα δόξας ἀμαθέα εἶναι , ὃς τὰ παρεόντα ἀγαθὰ μετεὶς τὴν τελευτὴν παντὸς χρήματος ὁρᾶν ἐκέλευε .
4 ) All these days in the seventy years add up to 26 , 250 , and any one of these days brings with it something completely unlike any other . And so , Croesus , human life is pure chance .
5 ) You seem to be very wealthy , and you rule over many people , but I cannot yet tell you the answer you asked for until I learn how you have ended your life . You see , the man who is very wealthy is no more happy and prosperous than the man who has only enough to live from day to day , unless good fortune stays with him and he retains his fair and noble possessions right up until he departs this life happily . For many wealthy people are unhappy , while many others who have more modest resources are fortunate .
6 ) The man who has great wealth but is unhappy outdoes the fortunate man in only two ways , while the fortunate man outdoes him in many ways . The former is more capable of gratifying his passions and of sustaining himself in adversity . But the fortunate man , although he does not have the same ability to sustain himself in adversity or passion , avoids these anyway by virtue of his good fortune . Moreover , he has no injury , no sickness , no painful experience ; what he does have is good children and good looks .
7 ) Now if , on addition to all these things , he ends his life well , too , then this is the man you are looking for ; he alone deserves to be called happy and prosperous . But before he dies , refrain from calling him this – one should rather call him lucky .
8 ) " Of course , it is impossible for one human being to receive all these blessings together , just as no one country can produce everything it needs by itself . What one has , the other lacks , and the one that has the most is the best . So , too , no one man can be self-sufficient either ; he surely lacks something .
9 ) But the man who goes through life having the most blessings and then ends his life favorable , he is the man , sire , who rightly wins this title from me . We must look to the end of every matter to see how it will turn out . God shows many people a hint of happiness and prosperity , only to destroy them utterly later . "
1 ) Croesus is displeased .
Solon did not please Croesus at all by telling him this , and Croesus dismissed him , thinking him worthless and extremely ignorant for overlooking the good things right before his eyes and telling him instead to look to the end of the very matter .