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Of providence.

Whenever you lay anything to the charge of Providence, do but reflect, and you will find that it has happened agreeably to Reason.

"Well; but a dishonest man has the advantage." In what?

"In money."

Here he ought to surpass you; because he flatters, he is shameless, he keeps awake. Where is the wonder? But look whether he has the advantage of you in fidelity or in honor. You will find he has not, but that wherever it is best for you to have the advantage of him, there you have it. I once said to one who was full of indignation at the good fortune of Philostorgus, "Why, would you be willing to sleep with Sura?" 1 Heaven forbid, said he, that day should ever come ! Why then are you angry that he is paid for what he sells; or how can you call him happy in possessions acquired by means which you detest? Or what harm does Providence do in giving the best things to the best men? Is it not better to have a sense of honor than to be rich? " Granted." Why then are you angry, man, if you have what is [p. 2054] best? Always remember, then, and have it in mind that a better man has the advantage of a worse in that direction in which he is better; and you will never have any indignation.

" But my wife treats me ill."

Well; if you are asked what is the matter, answer,

"My wife treats me ill."

"Nothing more?"


"My father gives me nothing." But to call this an evil, some external and false addition must be made. We are not therefore to get rid of poverty, but of our impressions concerning it; and we shall do well.

When Galba was killed, somebody said to Rufus, "Now, indeed, the world is governed by Providence." I had never thought, answered Rufus, of extracting through Galba the slightest proof that the world was governed by Providence.

1 This person is not known. One of his name is mentioned in the Acts of Ignatius, as being consul at the time when he suffered martyrdom.-C.

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