How do all fortunes decently becomeThis is certain, if any one addresses himself to virtue with this resolution, not to be dejected at the appearance of difficulty, but heartily admires and prosecutes its divine perfection, none of the evil we have spoken of can divert his good intentions. To what I have said I may add this, that when we go upon any business, undertake any office, or chance upon any affair whatever, we must set before our eyes some excellent person, either alive or dead; and consider with ourselves what Plato for the purpose would have done in this affair, what Epaminondas would have said, how Lycurgus or Agesilaus would have behaved themselves, that, addressing ourselves and adorning our minas at these mirrors, we may correct every disagreeing word and irregular passion. It is commonly said, that those that have got by heart the names of the Idaei Dactyli make use of them as charms to drive away fear, if they can but confidently repeat them one by one; so the con [p. 473] sideration and remembrance of good men, being present and entertained in our minds, do preserve our proficiency in all affections and doubts regular and immovable; wherefore you may judge that this is also a token of a proficient in virtue.
A generous, well-tuned soul!
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