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As man is composed of mind and body, so, of all our concerns and pursuits, some partake the nature of the body, and some that of the mind. Thus beauty of person, eminent wealth, corporeal strength, and all other things of this kind, speedily pass away; but the illustrious achievements of the mind are, like the mind itself, immortal.

Of the advantages of person and fortune, as there is a beginning, there is also an end; they all rise and fall,1 increase and decay. But the mind, incorruptible and eternal, the ruler of the human race, actuates and has power over all things,2 yet is itself free from control.

The depravity of those, therefore, is the more surprising, who, devoted to corporeal gratifications, spend their lives in luxury and indolence, but suffer the mind, than which nothing is better or greater in man, to languish in neglect and inactivity; especially when there are so many and various mental employments by which the highest renown may be attained.

1 II. They all rise and fall, etc.] “Omnia orta occidunt, et aucta senescunt.” This is true of things in general, but is here spoken only of the qualities of the body, as De Brosses clearly perceived.

2 Has power over all things] “Habet cuncta.” “"All things are in its power."” Dietsch. “"Sub ditione tenet. So Jupiter, Ov. Met. i. 197: Quum mihi qui fulmen, qui vos habeoque rogoque."” Bernouf. So Aristippus said, Habeo Laidem, non habeor à Laide, ἔχω ὀυκ ἔχομαι. Cic, Epist, ad Fam. ix. 26.

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