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Vain-glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunte.
ANTTTHETA ON VAIN GLOEY.
'Qui suas laudes appetit, aliorum * » * *
aimul appetit utilitates. 'Turpc est prooo solicitare ancLllam;
'lIe who earnestly seeks glory for eat autem virtutis ancilla laus. himself, is seeking, at the same time, 'It ii disgraceful for a wooer to pay
the welfare of others' court to the handmaid; now glory is
the handmaid of virtue'
The following passage from the Lessons ow Morals is somewhat to the purpose of this Essay :—
'It is a mistake to think that any one who does happen to be superior to the generality, intellectually or morally, is bound, as a point of modesty, to be ignorant of this, or to pretend to be so, and to think, or profess to think, himself inferior to what he really is. For, on the one hand, it cannot be a part of Duty to be under any kind of mistake; and, on the other hand, there cannot be any virtue in feigning or affectation of any kind.
'Properly speaking, self-conceit and modesty have reference to a man's estimate of himself as compared with the reality. A conceited man over-rates himself; and a modest man does not. But many people do not at all take this into account. They are apt to reckon a man conceited who has a high opinion (whether rightly or wrongly) of his own powers; and him modest who forms a low one. And yet it may so happen that this latter may be in reality over-rating himself in thinking himself not below the average, or only a little below: and the other may possibly be even under-rating himself in thinking himself only a little above it.
'If you could imagine a mouse imagining itself just equal to such a small animal as a rabbit, and an elephant believing itself only equal to such a large animal as an ox, they would be making opposite mistakes.
'But if your belief is, that you do possess some superior endowments as to any point, take care—as far as regards yourself—to be thankful to the Giver of all such advantages, and to remember that for every Talent entrusted to you, you are accountable to Him. And, as far as regards others, take care to avoid ostentation, and disdainful assumption of superiority. For, this is offensive, even in such matters of fact as admit of no possible mistake or doubt. A person, for instance, who should have gained some great prize in a competition, or discovered a new Planet, or invented a new Telegraph, or performed some other notable exploit, must not boast, nor be always reminding people of what he has done.
'And, on the other hand, even if he should be mistaken in his opinion of his own abilities, and think them greater than they are, a mere error of judgment will not be imputed to him as a sin, provided he keep clear of pride; nor will he be offensive to others, if he is but free from disdainful arrogance, and from ostentation.
'Again, there is no humility in a mere general confession that you are a ' miserable sinner,' if in each particular case you always stoutly justify yourself, and can never be brought to own a fault .
'Lastly, there is no humility in confessing any faults which you do not strive to correct. It would indeed be a shocking presumption to think that you need not aim at improvement, but are quite good enough, being without faults; but it is still greater presumption to think that you are good enough with all your faults. 'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves ;' but if we say that we have sins, and yet do not earnestly seek God's promised help to 'cleanse us from all unrighteousness,' this would be even a more fatal self-deception.
'Kemember then that the virtue of christian Humility is not to be considered as some bitter potion which you can swallow in a large dose, once for all, and so have done with it; but rather as a kind of alterative medicine, to be taken daily, and drop by drop.
* You must study, daily, to be open to conviction—patient of opposition—ready to listen to reproof, even when you are not convinced that it is deserved—ready, when you are convinced, to confess an error—-and glad to receive hints, and suggestions, and corrections, even from your inferiors in ability—and never overbearing or uncharitable towards those who differ from you, or ostentatious of superiority.
'All this will be a more laborious and difficult task than to make fine speeches about your ignorance, and weakness, and sinfulness; but it is thus that true Humility is shown, and is exercised and cultivated.'
ESSAY LV. OF HONOUR AND REPUTATION.
THE winning of honour is but the revealing of a man's virtue and worth without disadvantage; for some in their actions do woo and affect1 honour and reputation—which sort of men are commonly much talked of, but inwardly little admired— and some contrariwise,2 darken their virtue in the show of it, so as. they be undervalued in opinion. If a man perform that which hath not been attempted before, or attempted and given over, or hath been achieved, but not with so good circumstance,3 he shall purchase more honour than by effecting a matter of greater difficulty, or virtue, wherein he is but a follower. If a man so temper his actions, as4 in some one of them he doth content every faction or combination of people, the music will be the fuller. A man is an ill husband* of his honour that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through can honour him. Honour that is gained and broken upon another* hath the quickest reflection, like diamonds cut with fascets; and, therefore, let a man contend to excel any competitors of his honour, in outshooting them if he can, in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation: 'Ononis fama a domesticis emanat.'7 Envy, which is the canker of honour, is best extinguished8 by declaring a man's self, in his ends rather to seek merit than fame: and by attributing a man's successes rather to divine Providence and felicity, than to his own virtue or policy.
1 Affect . To desire earnestly; to aim at. See page i.
'The pomp and circumstance of glorious war.'—Shakespere.
'You have scarce time To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span. To keep your earthly audit: sure, in that I deem you an ill husband.'—Shakespere. 'Gained and broken upon another. (The Latin essay has, 'Honor qui 00mparativus est, et alium pragravat.') Weighs down or depresses others. 1 'All fame emanates from domestics.'—Q. Cic. de Petit. Consul, v. 17. 8 Most editions have 'distinguished' instead of 'extinguished.' But the Latin essay has 'eztinguitur.'
The true marshalling of the degrees of sovereign honour are these: in the first place are 'conditores imperiorum,' founders of States and commonwealths; such as were Komulus, Cyrus, Caesar, Ottoman, Ismael: in the second place are 'legislatores,' lawgivers; which are also called second founders, or 'perpetui principes,' * because they govern by thenordinances after they are gone: such were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Edgar, Alphonsus of Castile, the wise, that made the 'Siete partidas :* in the third place are 'liberatores,' or ' salvatores;'3 such as compound4 the long miseries of civil wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of strangers or tyrants; as Augustus Caesar, Vespasianus, Aurelianus, Theodoricus, King Henry the Seventh of England, King Henry the Fourth of France: in the fourth place are 'propagatores,' or 'propugnatores imperii,'5 such as in honourable wars enlarge their territories, or make noble defence against invaders: and in the last place, are 'patres patriae,'6 which reign justly, and make the times good wherein they live; both which last kinds need no examples, they are in such number. Degrees of honour in subjects, are, first, 'participes curarum,'7 those upon whom princes do discharge the greatest weight of their affairs; their right hands, as we may call them: the next are 'duces belli,'8 great leaders; such as are princes' lieutenants, and do them notable9 services in the wars: the third are 'gratiosi,' favourites; such as exceed not this scantling,10 to be solace to the sovereign, and harmless to the poeple: and the fourth, 'negotiis pares ;*u
I 'Perpetual rulers.'
3 The 'Siete Partidas.' An ancient Spanish code of laws, divided into seven parts; hence its name.'
3 'Liberators' or ' preservers.'
4 Compound. To put an end to by adjustment of differences.
'I would to God all strifes were well compounded.'—Shakespere. 'Who should compound the controversies ?'—Wlatgift. s 'Extenders' or ' defeuders of the empire.' • * Fathers of their country.'
7 'Participators in cares.' 8 'Leaders in wars.'
0 Notable. Remarkable. See page 556.
10 Scantling. A small proportion. 'In this narrow scantling of capacity we enjoy but ono pleasure* at once.'—Locke. 'A scantling of wit lay gasping for life and groaning beneath a heap of rubbish.'—Drydm.
II 'Ecjual to the management of affairs,'