But why, my dear sir, should you not pay me a visit, that we may talk of these high topics face to face, instead of committing them to lifeless letters—especially when I have determined not to publish my views? And pray do not adopt, to me, the words of Diogenes to Alexander, that “it is as far from you to me as from me to you.” I am almost obliged by ill-health to remain like the plants, in one place; moreover I hold “the living unknown” to be one of the chief goods. You, I am told, are in good health; you have made yourself a citizen of the world, and you might consider in coming to see me that you are coming home. It is quite right for you, a man of action, to have crowds and towns in which to show your good deeds. For me, quiet is the best aid for the contemplation and mental exercise whereby I cling to God. This quiet I cultivate in abundance in my retreat, with the aid of its giver, God. Yet if you cannot but court the great, and despise me who lie low upon the ground, then write, and in this way make my life a happier one.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.)