the siege of Ravenna, to urge the conclusion of the Gothic

time:2023-11-29 03:07:04 source:Heartbreaker author:software

and 'tis well if by many cross tacks and veerings thou arrivest at the port. Sit not down in the popular seats and common level of virtues, but endeavour to make them heroical. Offer not only peace-offerings but holocausts unto God. To serve him singly to serve our- selves were too partial a piece of piety, not like to place us in the highest mansions of glory.

the siege of Ravenna, to urge the conclusion of the Gothic

He that is chaste and continent not to impair his strength or terrified by contagion will hardly be heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that virtue until those years when Cato could lend out his wife, and impotent satyrs write satires against lust, but be chaste in thy flaming days when Alexander dared not trust his eyes upon the fair sisters of Darius, and when so many think that there is no other way but Origen's.

the siege of Ravenna, to urge the conclusion of the Gothic


Be charitable before wealth make thee covetous, and lose not the glory of the mitre. If riches increase, let thy mind hold pace with them, and think it is not enough to be liberal but munificent. Though a cup of cold water from some hand may not be without its reward, yet stick not thou for wine and oil for the wounds of the distressed, and treat the poor as our Saviour did the multitude to the reliques of some baskets.

the siege of Ravenna, to urge the conclusion of the Gothic

Trust not unto the omnipotency of gold, or say not unto it, thou art my confidence. Kiss not thy hand when thou beholdest that terrestrial sun, nor bore thy ear unto its servitude. A slave unto Mammon makes no servant unto God. Covetousness cracks the sinews of faith, numbs the apprehension of anything above sense; and only affected with the certainty of things present, makes a peradventure of things to come; lives but unto one world, nor hopes but fears another: makes

* Who is said to have castrated himself.

their own death sweet unto others, bitter unto them- selves, brings formal sadness, scenical mourning, and no wet eyes at the grave.

If avarice be thy vice, yet make it not thy punish- ment. Miserable men commiserate not themselves, bowelless unto themselves, and merciless unto their own bowels. Let the fruition of things bless the possession of them, and take no satisfaction in dying but living rich. For since thy good works, not thy goods will follow thee; since riches are an appurtenance of life, and no dead man is rich, to famish in plenty, and live poorly to die rich, were a multiplying im- provement in madness and use upon use in folly.

Persons lightly dipt, not grained, in generous honesty are but pale in goodness and faint-hued in sincerity. But be thou what thou virtuously art, and let not the ocean wash away thy tincture. Stand majestically upon that axis where prudent simplicity hath fixed thee; and at no temptation invert the poles of thy honesty that vice may be uneasy and even monstrous unto thee; let iterated good acts and long confirmed habits make virtue natural or a second nature in thee; and since few or none prove eminently virtuous but from some advantageous foundations in their temper and natural inclinations, study thyself betimes, and early find what nature bids thee to be or tells thee what thou mayest be. They who thus timely descend into themselves, cultivating the good seeds which nature hath set in them, and improving their prevalent inclinations to perfection, become not shrubs but cedars in their generation. And to be in the form of the best of bad, or the worst of the good, will be no satisfaction unto them.


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