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Those therefore who are the masters of their reason ought not to be transported by the death of friends beyond the limits of nature and a just moderation unto unprofitable and barbarous complaints, and so wait till that comes upon them which hath happened to many, to have their vital moisture exhausted before their tears, and to be carried to their own graves in those mourning weeds they put on for others, where their sorrow must lie buried with those evils they provoked upon themselves by their own imprudence. To whom that of Homer may be appositely applied:—
Whilst others they lament with weeping eyes,
The darkness of the night doth them surprise.

Wherefore in this case we should often thus reason with ourselves: Shall we put an end to our sorrow, or shall we grieve all the days of our life? To make it infinite is the last degree of infatuation; for we have seen those who have been in the deepest circumstances of dejection to be so mitigated by time, that they have banqueted upon those tombs which before they could not endure the sight of without screeching out and beating their breasts, but which they can now dance round with music and all the postures of jollity. Therefore to be obstinate in our grief is the resolution of madness. If then thou hast purposed within thyself that it shall have an end, join this consideration with it, that time will assuage it too; for what is once done even the Deity himself cannot unravel; therefore that which hath happened to us beyond our hope and contrary to our opinion hath palpably shown us what is wont from the same causes to befall others. What's the result then? Cannot any discipline teach us, nor cannot we reason with ourselves, that—

The earth with evils doth abound;
As many in the sea are found?
[p. 326] And thus likewise:—
The Fates have so encompassed men with ills,
That even the wind can find no entrance?

1 See Il. XXIII. 109; Odyss. I. 423.

2 Hesiod, Works and Days, 94.

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