On the other hand, those are regarded with admiration who are thought to excel others in ability
and to be free from all dishonour and also from
those vices which others do not easily resist. For
sensual pleasure, a most seductive mistress, turns the
hearts of the greater part of humanity away from
virtue; and when the fiery trial of affliction draws
near, most people are terrified beyond measure.
Life and death, wealth and want affect all men most
powerfully. But when men, with a spirit great and
exalted, can look down upon such outward circumstances, whether prosperous or adverse, and when
some noble and virtuous purpose, presented to their
minds, converts them wholly to itself and carries
them away in its pursuit, who then could fail to
admire in them the splendour and beauty of virtue?