Ancient Greeks had formula for happiness

Epicurus, who said: ‘If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not give him more money, but diminish his desires.’ 

Sharon Cooke (Letters, 19 April) writes that Gaby Hinsliff’s formula for happiness is not a new one and quotes Salford’s first MP who said “My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants”. He might have been quoting Epicurus, who 2,200 years earlier wrote, “If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not give him more money, but diminish his desires” and also “Nothing satisfies him for whom enough is too little.”
Joe Cocker
Leominster, Herefordshire

• The achievements of Kathrine Switzer are remarkable (Marathon struggle of runner who changed athletics, 19 April). But it should be remembered that the “woman who jumped out of the bushes” in 1967 was Bobbi Gibb, who finished the race 50 minutes quicker than Kathrine Switzer and is the officially credited winner not just that year, but in 1966 and 1968 too; and can equally be described by your headline.
James Caird
Ludlow, Shropshire

• The word assholery that Laurie Penny uses in her article (Opinion, 20 April) is offensive. Not because it’s coarse and vulgar – nothing wrong with that. But in an English newspaper, the appropriate word is arseholery.
John Porter
Fleet, Hampshire

• Re surplus Easter chocolate (Letters, 21 April). I think it was Delia Smith who recommended making ice cubes from that rare commodity, “unfinished wine”.
Michael Cunningham

• Re spoilers (Letters, 21 April), as schoolgirls in the late 1950s we devoured Agatha Christie’s novels. My friend said I must read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as I would not guess that the narrator did it! I have never read it but we are still friends.
Jean Jackson
Seer Green, Buckinghamshire

• Dammit, Akiva Solemani. I’m only on page 187 of War and Peace!
Catherine Rose
Olney, Buckinghamshire


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