Page:Artabanzanus (Ferrar, 1896).djvu/145
THE STAR OF VICTORY
charms me. Were I like you I'd make a noise in the world; you may do so yet. But if you expect people to be models of perfection—as wise, as true, as prudent, as thoughtful as you are yourself, in your own modest opinion, you will be mistaken.'
'My opinion of myself, my friend, is that I am nothing. To be simple Oliver Ubertus to the end of my life is all my desire. I am weak and foolish now, but the universe is thronged with mighty beings who perhaps had their origin in creatures far lower than I am. We are surrounded by giant suns hundreds of times greater than our own sublime source of light and heat. Who can imagine their vastness, or conceive the wonders they contain? But in our self-satisfied state of existence there are but few who care to think of things like these.'
'Few, indeed,' said my companion; 'but you have your infallible philosophers, who can tell you all about your origin, the cause of your present exaltation and degradation, and your future destiny. Well, we must have faith—not in them, but in God—and patience, and be cheerful, and hope for the best. We shall undoubtedly see some very wonderful things. We shall become acquainted with realities, the knowledge of which all the money in the world could not buy: yet they may be made known to comparative children. Happy would we be if we were more simple and honest; if we did not seek to blind and confound the faculties of others by the display of the blindness and foolishness of our own. But ila lex scripta est, we cannot alter our own nature; we can only make war upon our wicked inclinations. There are many who can say with Troilus:
"Alas! it is my vice, my fault,