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103. Ath. 'Hope is a good comforter in the hour of danger, and when men have something else to1 depend upon, although hurtful, she is not ruinous. But when her spendthrift nature has induced them to stake their all,2 they see her as she is in the moment of their fall, and not till then. While the knowledge of her might enable them to be ware of her, she never fails3. [2] You are weak and a single turn of the scale might be your ruin. Do not you be thus deluded; avoid the error of which so many are guilty, who, although they might still be saved if they would take the natural means, when visible grounds of confidence forsake them, have recourse to the invisible, to prophecies and oracles and the like, which ruin men by the hopes which they inspire in them.'

1 Hope is a great deceiver; and is only detected when men are already ruined.

2 Or, 'they see her as she is in the moment of their fall; and afterwards, when she is known and they might be ware of her, she leaves them nothing worth saving.'

3 Or, 'they see her as she is in the moment of their fall; and afterwards, when she is known and they might be ware of her, she leaves them nothing worth saving.'

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