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thou thinkest it of no consequence at present, is | For touching all such things as these they strenuthat thou shouldst have correct notions of the ously maintain that that alone exists, which gods, and thereby be able to direct thy course of affords impact and touch, defining body and existlife in a proper way. If I point out to thee, in the ence to be the same. first place, one thing of the highest importance, I shall not appear to be telling a falsehood. Thou
TO FALL IN BATTLE IS HONORABLE. and thy friends are not the only parties, nor the And truly, Menexenus, it appears, on many first, who have maintained this opinion of the non- accounts, to be an honorable thing to fall on the existence of the gods; for there have always been field of battle. a larger or smaller number who have been laboring under this same disease. This, therefore, I
POWER OF ORATORY. shall tell thee respecting them, as I have had fre-l So strongly does the speech and the tone of the quent intercourse with many of them, that not orator ring in my ears that scarcely, in the third one ever, who has held such an opinion respecting or fourth day, do I recollect myself, and perceive the gods, has continued to old age to maintain it. where on the earth I am; and, for awhile, I am
willing to believe myself living in the Isles of the "HE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED LEADS TO
Milton, in Comus, says:
“Who, as they say, would take the prison'd soul
And lap it in Elysium." not leading a happy life in reality, are yet thought to do so in common opinion, being praised im- TO LIVE WITH DISHONOR RENDERS LIFE TO BE properly in the works of poets, and all kinds of
NO LIFE. books, may lead thee-and I am not surprised at
1 Considering that to him who disgraces his famthy mistake-to a belief that the gods care nothing for the affairs of men. These niatters disturb
1 ily life is no life, and that to such a person there
is no one, of gods or of men, a friend, neither thee. Being led astray by foolish thoughts, and yet not being able to think ill of the gods, thou
while living upon earth, nor when dead under the
earth. hast arrived at thy present state of mind, so as to think that the gods do indeed exist, but that they
THE COWARD AND THE KNAVE. despise and neglect human affairs.
Riches bring no honor to him who possesses it, WHERE YOUR HEART IS, THERE WILL BE YOUR if there is a want of manly character; for such a TREASURE.
one is rich for another, and not for himself. Nor For whatever a man's desire is, and whatsoever do beauty of person and strength of body, if they he may be as to his soul, such every one becomes
be united with cowardice and knavery, appear bein a great measure.
coming, but the very opposite, making the posses
sor to be only more conspicuous, and to show forth THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD.
his want of courage. But never must thou, nor any other, pray, hay
PRIDE OF ANCESTRY. ing become unfortunate, to be superior to this judgment of the gods. For thou wilt never be neg
Being well satisfied that, for a man who thinks lected by it, not even though thou wert so small himself to be somebody, there is nothing more as to sink into the depths of the earth, nor so disgraceful than to hold himself up as honored, lofty as to ascend up into heaven; but thou wilt not on his own account, but for the sake of his suffer from them the proper punishment, whether forefathers, yet hereditary honors are a noble and thou remainest here, or go to Hades, or be car- splendid treasure to descendants. ried to some place still more wild than these.
DEPEND ON THYSELF. LET NO ONE SPEAK EVIL OF HIS NEIGHBOR.
For the man who makes everything that leads Let no one speak evil of another.
to happiness, or near to it, to depend upon him
self, and not upon other men, on whose good or LET THERE BE NO BEGGAR.
evil actions his own doings are compelled to hinge, Let there be no beggar in the state.
-such a one, I say, has adopted the very best plan
for living happily. This is the man of moderation; THE WICKED AND THE GOOD.
this is the man of a manly character, and of wisThe wicked generally take pleasure in false dom. pleasures, but the good in the true: in the souls of men there are false pleasures, mimicking, how
NOT WHAT A MAN WISHES, BUT WHAT HE CAN. ever, in a very laughable way the true.
It is not what a man wishes, as men say, speakSo John (viii. 44)—“The devil is a liar and the father of it.” ing proverbially, but what he can.
ORIGINAL BAD HABITS NOT TO BE GOT RID OF. Some of them draw down to earth all things My good friend, thou must not look to Midias, from heaven and the unseen world, laying hold of the quail-feeder, and others of that kidney, who them foolishly as if they were stones and oaks. affect to manage the affairs of the state, though they still have, as the women-would say, the slave-1 ONLY A FEW BLESSED AND HAPPY. cut of hair in their souls, from want of a gentle-1 It is not possible for men to be perfectly blessed manlike education; not yet having got rid of it, Land
us and happy, except a few. but still acting the part of barbarians, they have
So Matthew (vii. 14)_"Straight is the gate and narrow is the come to cajole and fawn upon the city, and not to way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” rule it.
PIETY TO THE GODS. NOBLE NATURES ARE SPRUNG FROM THE NOBLE.
Let no one ever attempt to persuade us that Whether or not is it probable that the nobler there is any part of virtue belonging to the race natures are sprung from noble races ?
of men greater than piety to the gods.
So Genesis (iv. 7)—"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be KIND OF PRAYER TO BE OFFERED TO GOD.
accepted ! and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door;"
and 1 Timothy (iv. 8)"Godliness is profitable unto all things, He says that we ought to pray thus: 0 Jupiter,
having the promise of the life that now is and of that which our king, grant to us whatever is good, whether
is to come." we pray for it or not; but avert what is evil, even though we offer our prayers to obtain it.
DANGER OF EXCESSIVE LOVE OF FREEDOM. Shakespeare ("Anthony and Cleopatra," act ii., sc. 1) says:-- To those who are pursuing after free institu
"We, ignorant of ourselves tions, and flying from a servile yoke as an evil, I Beg often our own barins, which the wise powers
would take the liberty of giving this advice, that Deny us for our good; so find we profit,
they be on their guard lest, from an immoderate By losing of our prayers."
love of ill-timed liberty, they fall into the disease Merrick (a Hymn No.ccxxv. in the Rev. W. Mercer's Church Psalter) says:
with which their ancestors were afflicted, from ex“The good unasked in mercy grant;
cessive anarchy, abusing their measureless love The ill, though asked, deny.
JACK OF ALL TRADES AND MASTER OF NONE.
SLAVERY AND FREEDOM. Which he expresses, while he is bringing a For slavery and freedom, if immoderate, are charge against some one that,
each of them an evil; if moderate, they are alto"Trades many knew he; but knew badly all."
gether a good. Moderate is the slavery to a god;
but immoderate, to men. God is a law to the men GOD NOT TO BE GAINED OVER BY GIFTS.
of sense; but pleasure is a law to a fool. For the Divine Nature, in my opinion, is not such as can be gained over by gifts, like a knavish
But then you ought to consider that each of us
is born not for himself only, but our country claims GOD FROM ALL ETERNITY.
one part, our parents another, and our friends the A beginning is uncreate: for everything that is remainder.' created must necessarily be created from a begin
PHILOSOPHY. ning, but a beginning itself from nothing what Philosophy is a longing after heavenly wisdom. ever.
So Psalms (xlij. 2)—“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living
God: when shall I come and appear before God!"-and Isaiah WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR.
(lv. 6)—“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye
upon Him while He is near." O beloved Pan, and ye other gods of this place, grant me to become beautiful in the inner man, . WE SHOULD STRIVE AFTER GOD. and that whatever outward things I may have may
By nature God is worthy of every pains to be be at peace with these within. May I think the
acquainted with. wise man to be rich, and may I have as much
So Colossians (iii. 2)—“Set your affections on things above, wealth as a wise man can employ usefully and
not on things on the earth." prudently. Do we need anything else, Phædrus ? For myself I have prayed enough.
So Proverbs (xxx. 7)-"Two things have I required of thee; deny ine them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and
PLUTARCH. say, Who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
BORN ABOUT A.D. 50—DIED ABOUT A.D. 120. DIVINE NATURE OF EDUCATION.
PLUTARCH, one of the most celebrated writers For there is nothing of a more divine nature of antiquity, was born at Chæroneia, in Baotia. about which a man can consult than about the He was studying philosophy under Ammonius, at training of himself, and those who belong to him. Delphi, at the time Nero was travelling through
Greece, A.D. 66. His family was of distinction in THE EDUCATION OF A SON.
his native place; and he was employed by his felFor I know not anything about which a man of low-citizens to transact some public business for sense ought to feel more anxious than how his son them at Rome, though it was late in life before he may become the very best of men.
| busied himself with Roman literature. He was lecturing at Rome in the reign of Domitian; but
OBEDIENCE OF A PEOPLE. he spent the most of his life in his native city,
| For it is certain that people will not continue where he discharged various magisterial offices,
obedient to those who know not how to command; and had a priesthood. The work for which he is
while it is the duty of a good governor to teach most distinguished is his “Parallel Lives of Forty
obedience. He who knows how to show the way six Greeks and Romans.”
well, is sure to be well-followed; and as it is by a
knowledge of the act of horsemanship that a VILLAINS.
horse is rendered gentle and manageable, so it is When men avail themselves of the assistance of by the skill and abilities of him who sits on the villains, they regard them with the same feelings throne that the people become submissive and as they do venomous creatures which they employ obedient. for their poison and gall. · For, while they make use of them, they show affection; but, when their GLORY ATTENDS ON THE NOBLE AFTER DEATH. purpose is accomplished, they detest their ras
Glory attends on the just and noble. It incality.
creases after death; for envy does not long sur
vive them, and sometimes has disappeared before THE PURE AND THE CARNAL-MINDED.
their death. For, in the language of Heracleitus, the virtuous soul is pure and unmixed light, springing WRITTEN LAWS BROKEN LIKE SPIDERS' WEBS. from the body as a flash of lightning darts from When Anacharsis heard what Solon was doing. the cloud. But the soul that is carnal and im- he laughed at the folly of thinking that he could mersed in sense, like a heavy and dank vapor, can
ab restrain the unjust proceedings and avarice of his with difficulty be kindled, and caused to raise its
citizens by written laws, which, he said, resemeyes heavenward.
bled in every way spiders' webs, and would, like So Romans (viii. 7)—"Because the carnal mind is enmity them, catch and hold only the poor and weak. against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither while the rich and powerful would easily break! indeed can be.”
through them. THE DUTY OF A PRINCE.
ABSOLUTE MONARCHY. For it is the highest duty of a prince to main- Absolute monarchy is a fair field, but has no tain the government in its proper form; and this outlet. may be accomplished not less by abstaining from grasping into his hands powers that do not be NO ONE TO BE PRONOUNCED HAPPY BEFORE long to him, than by maintaining the authority |
DEATH. which is his own. Now he who surrenders his
There are many and various events in the life of authority, and he who grasps a greater power,
man that do not allow him to pride himself on does not continue a king or prince; but degenerat
| present prosperity, nor to be fascinated by that ing either into a demagogue or tyrant, causes his
happiness which is so subject to change: for subjects to hate or despise him.
futurity carries in its hidden bosom many vicissi
tudes for man. The man who is blessed by ADVANTAGES OF A HOUSE OF PEERS.
heaven, to the last moment of his life is pro· For the constitution of the state before this nounced by us to be happy; but the happiness of
time had been fluctuating, and inclining some- him who still lives, and is engaged in the conflicts times to despotism and sometimes to a pure de- of life, is uncertain and precarious, like that of mocracy; but the formation of a senate, an inter- the combatant ere the crown of victory is deter mediate body, like ballast, gave it a just balance, mined. and permanence to its institutions. For the
MAN'S DISCOURSE LIKE A PIECE OF TAPESTRY. twenty-eight senators supported the kings when the people made encroachments on their authority, Themistocles replied, “That the conversation of and again sustained the just power of the com- a man resembled a piece of embroidered tapesmons when the kings attempted to make them- try which, when spread out, showed its figures, selves absolute.
but, when it is folded up, they are hidden and
| lost; wherefore he requested time for considera IMPORTANCE OF GOOD PRINCIPLES BEING IN- tion." STILLED INTO A PEOPLE.
WAR HAS ITS LAWS OF HONOR. Lycurgus thought that what tended most to secure the happiness and virtue of a people was War at best is a savage thing, and wades to its the interweaving of right principles with their object through a sea of violence and injustice; habits and training. These remained firm and yet there are certain laws connected with it to steadfast when they were the result of the bent which men of honor will adhere. Nor must we be of the disposition, a tie stronger even than neces- so bent upon victory as to try to gain it by acts of sity; and the habits instilled by education into villany and baseness; for a great general ought youth would answer in each the purpose of a law- to make use of his own skill and bravery, and not giver.
I depend on the knavery of others.
THAT THE WEAK MUST OBEY THE STRONG, IS A (not depend chiefly on gentleness and kindness in LAW OF NATURE.
amending their faults, acting, in fact, in a more Following the most ancient law of nature,
ent law of nature stringent and harsh manner than even gardeners which makes the weak obey the strong, beginning
do to wild fig-trees, wild pears and olives, whose from God and ending with the irrational part of natu
nature they change and soften by cultivation, creation. For these are taught by nature to use thereby obtaining excellent and agreeable fruit. the advantages which their strength gives them
ADVANTAGES OF A LIBERAL EDUCATION. over the weak.
Men derive no greater advantage from a liberal CHARMED WITH THE WORK, WE DESPISE THE education than that it tends to soften and polish WORKMAN.
their nature, by improving their reasoning faculties Often while we are delighted with the work,
and training their habits, thus producing an evenwe regard the workman with contempt. Thus
ness of temper and banishing all extremes. we are pleased with perfumes and purple, while
A PEOPLE RUINED BY INDULGENCE. dyers and perfumers are considered by us as low, vulgar mechanics.
It was a shrewd saying, whoever said it, “ That
the man who first brought ruin on the Roman peoTHE BEAUTY OF GOODNESS.
ple was he who pampered them by largesses and For the beauty of goodness possesses a power
THE ANGRY MAN. of attraction, exciting in us a desire that our latter end may be the same as that of the righteous; it. Hence the angry man is full of activity, in the exercises an influence over us not merely when same way as the man in a fever is hot, the mind the living example is before our eyes, but even the glowing, and being in a high state of excitement. mere description of it is beneficial to our minds.
THE ANGRY MAN INSISTS ON THE GRATIFICASo Numbers (xxiii. 10)" Let me die the death of the right
1 of the right-1 TION OF HIS DESIRES BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIS eous, and let my last end be like his!"
"Stern wrath, how strong thy sway! Though life's the forFor ease and quickness of execution are not
feit, fitted to give those enduring qualities that are
Thy purpose must be gained." necessary in a work for all time; while, on the
MEN NEGLECTFUL OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. other hand, the time that is laid out on labor is
Being aware that man's attention to religious amply repaid in the permanence it gives to the
worship is only to be attained by a kind of vioperformance.
lence and compulsion. THE SPECULATIVE AND PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHER.
THE ASSISTANCE OF GOD TO MAN IS A MORAL In my opinion there is an essential distinction
INFLUENCE, NOT DESTROYING FREE-WILL. between the speculative and practical philosophers;
In surprising and startling actions, where the for while the former gives his thoughts to scien
supernatural and the assistance of the Divinity tific and metaphysical subjects without reference
may be required, Homer does not introduce the to what is material, the latter devotes the noble qualities of his mind to the improvement of man
Supreme Being as taking away the freedom of the
will, but merely as influencing it. The Divine kind, and to attain this object he finds riches not
Power is not represented as causing the resolution, only an excellent assistant, but really necessary.
but only thoughts and ideas which naturally lead TO ERR IS HUMAN.
to the resolution. In this way the act cannot be Fellow-soldiers, to commit no blunders in the
called altogether involuntary, since God is the
moving cause to the voluntary, and thus gives conexecution of mighty transactions, is beyond the power of man; but the wise and good learn from
fidence and good hope. For we must either bantheir errors and indiscretion wisdom
ish entirely the Supreme Being from all causality for the
and influence over our actions, or what other way future.
is there in which He can assist and co-operate GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER.
with men? for it is impossible to suppose that He
fashions our corporeal organs, or directs the moThe worship most acceptable to God comes from
od comes from tions of our hands and feet, to accomplish what a cheerful and thankful heart.
He intends; but it is by suggesting certain mo8o 2 Corinthians (ix. 7)_" For God loveth a cheerful giver." tives, and predisposing the mind, that He excites
the active powers of the will, or restrains them. HOW THE MINDS OF MEN OUGHT TO BE SOFTENED.
For he thought it shameful that, while those | MIRACULOUS APPEARANCES NOT ALTOGETHER TO who breed horses and dogs subdue their stubborn
BE REJECTED. tempers, and bring into subjection their fierce Indeed, we shall not deny that sweating statues spirits, by watchfulness, kind treatment, and and weeping images, and some even emitting drops good feeding, rather than by whipping and con- of blood, may have existed; for wood and stone finement, he who has the command of men should I often contract a mouldiness and mildew that gives out moisture, not only exhibiting many different! THE STRONG OUGHT TO GOVERN THE WEAK, colors themselves, but receiving a variety of tints
The first and supreme law, that of nature herfrom the circumambient air. Yet, with all this,
self, is for those who wish to be protected to asthere is no reason why the Supreme Being should
sume as governor him who is most able to protect. not avail Himself of these signs to predict future events. It is also very possible that a sound re
THE CONSOLATION OF ENVY. sembling a sigh or a groan might come from a
It is the usual consolation of the envious, if statue by the disruption or violent separation of
they cannot maintain their superiority, to represome of the interior parts; but it is quite beyond
sent those by whom they are surpassed as inferior the bounds of possibility to imagine that an inanimate thing can give forth an articulate voice or a
to some one else. clear, full, and perfect expression. As for those
REVERENCE OF GODS BRINGS BLESSING. persons who are possessed with such a strong sense of religion that they cannot reject anything of this By the Romans the success of everything was kind, they found their faith on the wonderful and ascribed to the gods, nor did they permit even in incomprehensible power of God, for there is no their greatest prosperity any neglect of the forms kind of resemblance between Him and a human of divination and other sacred usages, regarding being, either in His nature, His wisdom, His it as of much greater importance for the preservapower, or His operations. If, therefore, He per tion of the state that their generals should show forms something which we cannot effect, or exe- respect to the gods than that they should be viccutes what with us is impossible, there is nothing torious over their enemies. in this contradictory to reason, since, though He So Sirach (i. 13)—" Whoso feareth the Lord, it shall go well far excels us in everything, yet the dissimilitude with him at the last, and he shall find favor in the day of his and distance between Him and us appears most of death.' all in the works that He was wrought.
WHY MEN REVERENCE GOD. INSULT WORSE TO BEAR THAN WRONG.
Men admire the gods, and think them happy, Thus the greater proportion of mankind are because of their freedom from death and corrupmore sensitive to contemptuous language than un- tion. just acts; for they can less easily bear insult than
So Daniel (iv. 34)—“I blessed the Most High, and I praised wrong.
and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an
everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to RELIGION
generation." There are some philosophers, who define religion to be the science of worshipping the gods. WHAT ONE DOES NOT NEED IS DEAR AT A PENNY. NO ONE VERY WICKED AT ONCE.
He regarded nothing to be cheap that was
superfluous, for what one does not need is dear at For no one ever began his attempts to shake a
| a penny; and it was better to possess fields, where government by an enormous crime; but those who th
who the plough goes and cattle feed, than fine gardens wink at small offences are withdrawing their at- that require much watering and sweeping. tention from weightier matters. So Psalms (lxix. 27)—“Add iniquity unto their iniquity."
GOODNESS AND JUSTICE. INCOMPATIBILITY OF TEMPER IN MARRIED LIFE. But goodness has a wider range than justice;
For, in general. women are divorced for glaring for we are bound by nature to observe the dicand notable faults; yet sometimes, also, a peevishtat
tates of law and equity in our dealings with men, disposition, an uncomplying temper, small but while the feelings of kindness and benevolence constant bickerings, though unknown to the
nown to the overflow, as from a gushing fountain, from the world, cause incurable distastes in married life.
breast of the tender-hearted to creatures of every
species. THE MINGLED LOT OF HUMAN LIFE. But perhaps there is some superior Being,
| KINDNESS SHOULD BE SHOWN TO EVERY LIVING
CREATURE. whose business it is to throw a shade over every noble and eminent action, and to make such a For we should certainly not treat living creatmingled yarn of good and ill together in our life, ures as old shoes or household goods, which, if that it may never be entirely free from calamity; they are worn out by long use, we cast away as but those, as Homer says, may consider them- useless; and if it were for no other reason than to selves happy to whom fortune gives an equal cultivate a kind and loving disposition to manshare of good and evil.
kind, we should be merciful to other creatures.
For my own part, I should never think of selling DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUE BRAVERY AND A
an old ox which had labored in my service, much DISREGARD OF LIFE.
less would I be willing to remove an old slave, Cato the elder, when somebody was praising a who had grown gray in my service, from his 20man for his foolhardy bravery, said “that there customed dwelling and diet; for to him, poor was an essential difference between a really brave man! it would be as bad as banishment, being of man and one who had merely a contempt for life." | as little use to the buyer as to the seller.