Page:Moralreflection00stangoog.djvu/43

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MORAL SENTENCES.

effect in the course of several years with all the efforts in its power; whence we may conclude, not unjustly, that its desires are excited by itself, rather than by the beauty and the merit of their objects; that its own taste is the price which gives them value, and the cosmetic which sets them off; that it is only itself which it pursues, and that it follows its own taste when it follows things after its taste. It is a compound of contraries, it is imperious and obedient, sincere and dissembling, compassionate and cruel, timid and daring; it has various inclinations according to the various temperaments which affect it, and devote it, sometimes to glory, sometimes to riches, and sometimes to pleasure; it changes them according to the changes of our age, our fortune, and our experience. It is indifferent to it, whether it has many inclinations, or only one, because it shares itself among many, or collects itself into one as may be necessary or agreeable to it. It is inconstant, and, besides the changes which arise from external causes, there are an infinity which spring from itself, and from its own resources. It is inconstant from inconstancy, from levity, from love, from novelty, from weariness, from disgust. It is capricious, and we sometimes see it laboring with extreme