Page:Moralreflection00stangoog.djvu/41

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MORAL REFLECTIONS, SENTENCES,

AND MAXIMS.

1.

Self-love is the love of one's self, and of every thing on account of one's self; it makes men idolize themselves, and would make them tyrants over others if fortune were to give them the means. It never reposes out of itself, and only settles on strange objects, as bees do on flowers, to extract what is useful to it. There is nothing so impetuous as its desires, nothing so secret as its plans, nothing so clever as its conduct. Its pliancy cannot be depicted, its transformations surpass those of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," its refinements those of chemistry. We cannot sound the depths, nor penetrate the darkness of its abysses. There it is concealed from the keenest eyes, it goes through a thousand turns and changes. There it is often invisible to itself; it conceives, nourishes, and brings up, without being conscious of it, a