Moral essays in praise of virtue

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Strana 130 - Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of day-light in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.
Strana 64 - When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a great sum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn, ' Content is natural wealth,' says Socrates; to which I shall add, luxury is artificial poverty.
Strana 48 - He cannot but regard every thing that has being, especially such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion : for, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident...
Strana 49 - If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more from man to his Maker ? The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefits which are conveyed to us by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever it may be deVOL. TL — 18* rived upon us, is the gift of him who is the great author of good, and father of mercies.
Strana 150 - They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, "Depart from us ; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. "What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
Strana 67 - They may show him that his discontent is unreasonable, but are by no means sufficient to relieve it. They rather give despair than consolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as Augustus did to his friend who advised him not to grieve for the death of a person whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch him again : ' It is for that very reason,' said the emperor,
Strana 65 - In the second place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means to make themselves easy ; this regards such as actually lie under some pressure or misfortune. These may receive great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortune which he suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen him.
Strana 43 - I was yesterday about sunset walking in the open fields, till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours which appeared in the western parts of heaven. In proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, till the whole firmament was in a glow.
Strana 44 - In the same manner, when I considered that infinite host of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above this which we discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants...
Strana 129 - A person who believes he has his succour at hand, and that he acts in the sight of his friend, often exerts himself beyond his abilities ; and does wonders that are not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a confidence of success.

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