between Italians and Goths that Belisarius should accept

time:2023-11-29 02:40:52 source:Heartbreaker author:ability

Let age, not envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks; be content to be envied, but envy not. Emulation may be plausible, and indignation allowable, but admit no treaty with that passion which no circumstance can make good. A displacency at the good of others, because they enjoy it although we do not want it, is an absurd depravity sticking fast unto nature, from its primitive corruption, which he that can well subdue were a Christian of the first magnitude, and for ought I know may have one foot already in heaven.

between Italians and Goths that Belisarius should accept

While thou so hotly disclaimest the devil, be not guilty of Diabolism. Fall not into one name with that unclean spirit, nor act his nature whom thou so much abhorrest, that is, to accuse, calumniate, backbite, whisper, detract, or sinistrously interpret others. Degen- erous depravities and narrow-minded vices! not only below St Paul's noble Christian, but Aristotle's true gen- tleman.* Trust not with some that the Epistle of St James is apocryphal, and so read with less fear that stabbing truth that in company with this vice, "thy religion is in vain." Moses broke the tables without breaking the law, but where charity is broke the law itself is shattered, which cannot be whole without love that is "the fulfilling of it." Look humbly upon thy virtues, and though thou art rich in some, yet think thyself poor and naked without that crowning grace which "thinketh no evil, which envieth not, which beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things." With these sure graces while busy tongues are crying out for a drop of cold water, mutes may be in happi- ness, and sing the "Trisagium,"+ in heaven.

between Italians and Goths that Belisarius should accept

* See Aristotle's Ethics, chapter Magnanimity. + Holy, holy, holy.

between Italians and Goths that Belisarius should accept

Let not the sun in Capricorn* go down upon thy wrath, but write thy wrongs in water, draw the curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the tower of oblivion,+ and let them be as though they had not been. Forgive thine enemies totally, without any reserve of hope that however God will revenge thee.

Be substantially great in thyself, and more than thou appearest unto others; and let the world be deceived in thee, as they are in the lights of heaven. Hang early plummets upon the heels of pride, and let ambition have but an epicycle<19> or narrow circuit in thee. Measure not thyself by thy morning shadow, but by the extent of thy grave; and reckon thyself above the earth, by the line thou must be contented with under it. Spread not into boundless expansions either to designs or desires. Think not that mankind liveth but for a few; and that the rest are born but to serve the ambition of those who make but flies of men, and wildernesses of whole nations. Swell not into vehement actions, which embroil and confound the earth, but be one of those violent ones that force the kingdom of heaven.# If thou must needs rule, be Zeno's king, and enjoy that empire which every man gives himself: certainly the iterated injunctions of Christ unto humility, meekness, patience, and that despised train of virtues, cannot but make pathetical impression upon those who have well considered the affairs of all ages; wherein pride, ambition, and vain-glory, have led

* Even when the days are shortest. + Alluding to the tower of oblivion, mentioned by Pro- copius, which was the name of a tower of imprisonment among the Persians; whoever was put therein was as it were buried alive, and it was death for any but to name him. # St Matt. xi.

up to the worst of actions, whereunto confusions, tragedies, and acts, denying all religion, do owe their originals.

Rest not in an ovation,* but a triumph over thy passions. Chain up the unruly legion of thy breast; behold thy trophies within thee, not without thee. Lead thine own captivity captive, and be Caesar unto thyself.


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