Dignity of character ought to be graced by a house; but from a house it is not wholly derived. A master is not to be honored by a house; but a house by its master.

[Ornanda enim est dignitas domo, non ex domo tota quaerenda, nec domo dominus, sed domino domus honestanda est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 39 (1.39) / sec. 139 (44 BC) [tr. McCartney (1798)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It is well if a man can enhance that credit and reputation he has gotten by the splendour of his house; but he must not depend on his house alone for it; for the master ought to bring honour to his fine seat, and not the fine seat bring honour to its master.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

For dignity should be adorned by a palace, but not be wholly sought from it: -- the house ought to be ennobled by the master, and not the master by the house.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

In truth, high standing in the community should be adorned by a house, not sought wholly from a house; nor should the owner be honored by the house, but the house by the owner.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

The house should not constitute, though it may enhance, the dignity of the master; let the master honour the house, not the house the master.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Your house may add lustre to your dignity, but it will not suffice that you should derive all your dignity from your house: the master should ennoble the house, not the house the master.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

The truth is, a man's dignity may be enhanced by the house he lives in, but not wholly secured by it; the owner should bring honour to his house, not the house to its owner.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

A house may enhance a man's dignity, but it should not be the only source of dignity; the house should not glorify its owner, but he should enhance it.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

Added on 21-Apr-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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