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the commonwealth of man. Who can endure to skulk away his life in an idle corner, when he has the means of usefulness within him, and finds how fame has blown about deserving names? In weak and base minds, worth begets envy; but in those which are magnanimous, emulation. Roman virtue made Roman virtues lasting. A brave man never dies ; but, like the phønix, others rise out of his preserved ashes. How many valiant soldiers does a generous leader make! Brutus bred many constant patriots. Fame, I confess, I find more eagerly pursued by the heathen race, than by the christian. The immortality (as thay thought) of their name, was to them as the immortality of the soul to us; which often made them sacrifice their lives. to that which they esteemed above their ļives, their fame, Christians know a thing beyond it, and that knowledge causes them to give but a secondary respect to fame; there being no reason why we should neglect that whereon all our future happiness depends, for that which is nothing but a name of empty air, Virtue were a kind of misery, if fame only were all the garland that crowned her. Glory alone were a reward incompetent for the toils of industrious man. This follows him but on earth; but in heaven is laid up a more noble, more essential recompence. Yet, as it is a fruit which springs from good actions, I cannot help thinking, that he who loves that, loves
also that which causes it, worthiness. I will honour fame for the deserving deeds which produced it. In myself I will respect the actions that may merit it; and, though for my own benefit, I will not much seek it; yet I shall be glad if it may
follow incite others, that they may go beyond me. I will, if I can, tread the path which leads to it; if I find it, I shall think it a blessing ; if not, my endeavour will be enough for discharging myself within, though I miss it. God is not bound to reward me any way; if he accepts me, I may count it a mercy. I like him who does things which deserye fane, without either search or caring for it. For a mean man to thirst for a mighty fame, is an absurd ambition. Can we think a mouse can cast a shadow like an elephant ? Can the sparrow look for a train like the eagle? A great farne is for princes; and such as, for their parts, are the glories of humanity: a good fame
niay crown the private man.
Let the world speak well of me, and I will never care, though it does not speak much. Check thyself, vain nian, that pursuest fleeting shadows.--Love substances, and rest thyself content with what Boetius tells thee.
Quicumque solam, mente præcipiti, petit,
Sunnnumque credit, gloriam :
Arctumque terrarum situm.
Brevem replere non valentis ambitum,
He that thirsts for glorious prize,
Thinking that the top of all :
And the earth's contracted ball.
Of being over-valued. Let me have but so much wisdom as that I may orderly manage myself and my means; and I shall never care to be pointed at, with a that is he. I wish not to be esteemed wiser than usual: they that are so do better in concealing it, than in telling the world of it. I hold it a greater injury to be over-valued, thạn
for when brought to the touch, the one shall sise with praise, while the other shall decline with shame. The former has more present honour, but less safety : the latter is humbly secure, and what is wanting in renown is made up in a better blessing, quiet. There is no detraction worse than to overpraise a man; for if his worth prove short of what report doth speak him, his own actions are ever give ing the lie to his honour.
In some dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride, that they cannot endure that
but thenselves should be set forth as excellent: so that when they hear one justly praised, they will either openly detract from his virtues : or, if those virtues be like a clear and shining light, eminent and distinguished, so that he cannot be safely traduced by the tongue, they will then raise a suspicion against him by a mysteris ous silence, as if there were something remaining to be told, which over-clouded even his brightest glory. Surely, if we considered detraction to proceed, as it does, from envy, and to belong only to deficient minds, we should find, that to applaud virtue would procure us far more honour, than underhandedly seeking to disparage her.
The former would shew that we loved what we commended, while the latter tells the world, we grudge that in others which we want in ourselves. It is one of the basest offices of man, to make his tongue the lash of the worthy. Even if we do know of faults in others, I think we can scarcely shew ourselves more nobly virtuous, than in having the charity to conceal them; so that we do not flatter or encourage them in their failings. But to relate any thing we may know against our neighbour, in his absence, is most unbeseeming conduct. And
who will not condemn him as a traitor to reputation and society, who tells the private fault of his friend to the public and ill-natured world? When two friends part, they should lock up one another's secrets, and exchange their keys. The honest man will rather be a grave to his neighbour's errors, than in any way expose them. The counsel in the satire I much approve :
Absentem qui redit amicum ; Qui non defendit, alio culpante; solutos Qui captat risus hominum, famamque dicacis ; Fingere qui non visa potcst ; commissa tacere Qui nequil ; hic niger est ; hunc tu, Romane, careto.
Hor. Sat. i. 46
He who malignant, tears an absent friend,
And for the most part, he is as dangerous in another vice as in this. He that can detract unworthily, when thou can'st not answer him, can flatter thee as unworthily when thou must hear him. It is usual