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which he himself has given you, and through| which you belong to him.


Communicate your principles only to those who are animated by similar views. Do not assail the prevailing doctrines of religion. You will convince no one who does not convince himself. The reformation of the world advances at a slow pace: let time perform its work. All projects of sudden enlightenment have proved



Never engage in so-called religious disputes: break off such a conversation as soon as an opportunity of doing so is presented.


Let the object of your life be, improvement in what is good. All is good which contributes to the health of your own body and mind, and that of others.


Do not torment yourself with conjectures about a future existence. As soon as you have learned to keep the purposes of the present one always before your eyes, your life is consummated, even though death should remove you in the midst of your hopes and plans.


For the perception of the good, a sincere desire is sufficient. But it is only by reflection and observation of ourselves that we attain to that rapid penetration and that nice power of distinction, which are so necessary in the manifold and complicated events of life.


Never lose sight of that aim of life, not even in little things. Believe that no action is so insignificant that some virtue may not be promoted by it. In bodily suffering and disagreeable oc


man stands so much and so frequently in need, and which is the best safeguard against ill humor.


The idea of a Supreme Being will necessa-cupations, exercise at least patience, of which rily lead you to the belief of the spirit's immortality, without which life would be without meaning. The soul does not leave the body, as is commonly said, but the body, being subject to decay and death by reason of its materiality, for- The good man contributes to the welfare of sakes the soul; and although the latter contin- others not alone by positive act and instruction. ues to exist, its operations must be hidden from But his life resembles a fruit-bearing shade tree, our view as soon as our bodily organism has de- by which each passer-by finds shelter and renied its functions. The stagnation of the life-freshment, which disinterestedly and even involjuices, the contraction of the blood vessels, auntarily scatters happy germs upon the surroundleaden bullet or poisonous plant, which are de ing soil, whereby it produces what is like and structive to the body, staud in too slight a rela- similar itself. tion with the thinking faculty, are too little homogeneous with it, to be able to cause it the smallest injury.


Your reason which is, as it were, an emanation of the spirit of the world, would not be able to in every undertaking.

err were it not, in an incomprehensible manner, united with the body and limited by it. The more, therefore, the reason is influenced by bodily motives and affections, the less you should trust it.


Neglect not the body, from which your whole earthly existence depends. Inform yourself of what is beneficial, and what is pernicious to it. Despise it not; but on the other hand also consider what an inert, useless and mouldering mass it is, as soon as it lacks life, its auimating principle.


Whatever you do, trust in Providence and also in yourself. One of these will seldom benefit you without the other; but both united will extricate you from every dilemma, eucourage you


Should any misfortune threaten to plunge you into the deep gloom of despondency, stimulate your courage by an effort of your god-like nature. What can fell him to the earth, whose will is free, and subject to none?


Shun no toil, as the wise Seneca says, to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other.


Yet do not devote yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no science entirely, for science is but one.


Follow also the counsel of Garve: acquire the art and skill to render the whole man at least tolerable, although you may gain your real repu

tation in the world by a single part only. To a rational man this attainment is obligatory.


Let your watch-words be constant activity and daily contemplation of yourself and the ways of God. These will guard you against every false step.


Allow yourself, moreover, as much recreation as is needful for you, but not more, unless you would reap the reward of disagreeable feelings.


Force yourself in the evil hour to no labor, except it be a positive duty. Yet on the other hand, fly procrastination, which Young justly calls the thief of time. These rules have their exceptions, not likely to be mistaken.


Introduce changes in your reading and studies. Who reads but little at a time, retains that little the better.


Guard against reading too much or too rapidly. Read rather with attention; lay the book often down; impress on your mind what you have read and reflect upon it.


Weigh every step that you are about to take, whenever your passions become involved. How often do things assume a different aspect, when they are fairly considered.


On the other hand be prompt and decided in all that you have ascertained to be clear of doubt, irreproachable and in accordance with duty, and in which you can in no wise fear misconstruction.


Maintain your name blameless and deliver it pure and stainless to posterity. Let no end induce a resort to questionable means.


In all things study moderation, a virtue more difficult than it appears, but more necessary than any other. Think not however that any thing base can be ennobled by moderation.


Upon the sea of destiny surrender not your boat to the waves, but row yourself; yet do not row unskilfully. Once more reflect.


Be prepared for the worst. Never let your sorrows get the mastery over you; conceal them always. Those things, says La Bruyère, which are most wished for, do not happen, or if they happen, it is not at the time and in the circumstauces when they would have given the greatest pleasure.


Be always frank and true, and spurn every sort of affectation and disguise. Have the courage to confess your ignorance and awkwardness. Confide your faults and follies to but few.


Observe, hear, and be silent. Judge little, inquire much.


Be not deterred by unfavorable appearances, provided your intentions are good. Be not too proud to dissipate a prejudice that happens to attach to you, whenever lies in your power. If it does not, entrench yourself within your virtue, as Horace says.


When low-spirited, remain rather alone. In ble to what an extent a gloomy and surly deportcompany be as cheerful as possible. It is incrediment can disfigure-how prepossessing cheerfulness is.


When you are in ill-humour, ask yourself seriously: What is the cause of my vexation? May it not be dispelled? What shall I do? In most cases an earnest effort will be successful. 38.

Be punctual. Admit no disorder in your effects and papers. Look over your papers from time to time, destroying those that are useless.


Appear rather too liberal than too economical, but never lavish. Economize in little things. Learn self-denial.




Diminish your wants as far as may be in order to preserve your freedom as far as possible. Many

In a strait betwixt truth and falsehood, decide a mau, says Horace, would serve to all eternity unhesitatingly for the truth. Candour is always rather than learn to live upon a little.

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Leave every company, every man and every house in such a way that you need not dread meeting or visiting them again.



Preserve cleanliness of mind under all circumstances. Guard against the follies of love. Allow due importance to first impressions, but do not let yourself be carried away by them. Study physiognomy in indifferent persons, but not in those for whom you begin to feel affection, for in that case it will assuredly mislead you. Shun all self-deception. Accustom yourself to esteem only inward and acknowledged worth, and to Observe the same rule with new acquaintances. regard the exterior rather as a snare for your Never be enthusiastic for them. although they freer judgment. Do not delude yourself by fine- may please you. Never give them your confisounding words, by self-created idols. When-dence. Do not talk with them about yourself ever you resist the illusion its power for mischief (as, in general, you should speak of yourself as is past. Only will to forget and you can. Do sparingly as possible) nor monopolize the connot therefore avoid persons that might become versation. If they are really like you, you will dangerous for you; rather seek to know them be sure to become better acquainted.


Receive with politeness and kindness all who address you whether indifferent acquaintances or strangers: but be not forward to make advances. Rather be reserved and distant, until you have good reason for cultivating a closer intimacy.


Do not imagine that every person that lays claim to your sympathy at the first moment, is made for you, for experience contradicts it.



Be the more confiding with your friends. everything for them that lies in your power. For Pope was right in saying that when we deduct what others feel and think, our joys sicken and fame sinks. Let no threats, no fate induce you to forsake your friends.


Trust them, for without confidence never do two persons really get near to each other. On the other hand keep sacred not only every secret confided to you, but also every word not proper for all to hear.


Never read other people's papers, letters or journals that happen to lie in your way.


See your friends neither too often nor too seldom.


Promise little, particularly in small matters, but keep your promises in spite of all hindrances. Do not place reliance in the promises of those that you do not know well.


Better trust too much than mistrust. Believe not with La Rochefoucauld and his followers that all men and all their words and actions, are regulated simply by their interest, if indeed you deem yourself capable of a disinterested action.


Epistolary correspondence is as pleasant as it is profitable, but do not extend it so far as to make it burthensome. Continue no correspondence out of politeness, if you can avoid it.


From vulgar people, persons without breeding or education maintain a cold, yet by no means haughty distance. For, as an oriental proverb has it, cold alone restrains slime so as not to soil the foot.


Be more polite to inferiors than superiors.

most trifling talker. You will gain by it, partly in the esteem of the man, and partly by what he says, always more than by being absent-minded.


It is good to be often alone, yet on the other hand do not shuu society. You live for the purpose of being amongst men.


Seek to make yourself acceptable in every company, but not to shine.


Attend insipid assemblies and play-clubs as seldom as possible. In visits of ceremony be sparing.


Avoid drinking revels; or in case you can not entirely refuse, withdraw at least after the first half hour.


Avoid cards as much as possible. It will never be accounted a shame if you do not play.


In your intercourse with the female sex never rather seek to elevate them to you. Abstain let yourself down to them like a silly coxcomb; from fulsome flattery, yet show them certain unimportant attentions that one may neglect with Never appear to prefer one lady alone.



In ceremonial politeness and conventional courtesy better do too little than too much. Never talk when you do not feel inclined. Express yourself frankly and candidly where you visit. People will become accustomed to your



Discard all loud and boisterous deportment. Never indulge in censure or ridicule of any one in the presence of persons not in your confidence. You are never sure, even when they concur with you, that they will not betray you, especially in moments of excitement.


Spare the foolish and mischievous as long as candor and your own dignity permit.


Be never bashful and embarrassed without cause. All wit whom you can have to do are men like you, and have their follies and weak


Follow the precept of Marcus Aurelius: of nesses. The wiser and better among them you listening attentively to every one, even to the have surely no reason to dread. As soon as you

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