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And because scholars do not only fancy to themselves difficulties big enough to divert their weak resolutions, but also often meet with serious persuasions from their friends to leave their studies, and because sometimes such smart jests and drolls are put upon them as have often discouraged, frequently quite converted, the endeavors of some; it may seem to you a very good argument of a proficient, if you find yourself indifferent and unconcerned in that point. As, for example, not to be cut to the heart and repine, when you are told that such and such persons by name, your equals once, live splendidly at court, have married great fortunes, or have appeared publicly at the head of a great many freeholders, that are ready to vote for them for some great office or representative's place. He that is neither discomposed nor very much affected by such news as this is manifestly in the right, and has philosophy by the surer handle. For it is impossible we should leave admiring things which most men esteem, if the habit of virtue were not deeply rooted in us. To avoid passionately what every one cries down may be in some persons the effect of anger and ignorance; but utterly to despise what is admired abroad is a certain sign of true and solid wisdom and resolution. With what satisfaction and complacency many persons advanced to such a height of virtue compare themselves with others, and break out in these verses of Solon!
We will not change Virtue's immortal crown
For a whole mine of gold.
Gold is uncertain; but what we possess
Is still our own, and never can be less.

[p. 455] None can deny but that it was very great in Diogenes to compare his shifting from the city of Corinth to Athens, and from Thebes to Corinth, to the king of Persia's taking his progress in the spring to Susa, in winter to Babylon, and to Media in summer. Nor was it an argument of a much less spirit in Agesilaus, who, hearing this same king of Persia styled the Great, presently asked, In what is he greater than I, if he be not juster than I am? Aristotle himself had exactly such notions in the like case; for, writing to Antipater about his scholar Alexander, he says of him, that he ought not to value himself in this respect, that he was advanced above others; for whoever had a true notion of God was really as great as he. And Zeno too deserves to be mentioned, who, hearing Theophrastus commended above any of the philosophers for his number of scholars, put it off thus: His choir is indeed larger than mine, but mine has the sweeter voices.

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