Page:Moralreflection00stangoog.djvu/45

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5
MORAL SENTENCES.

umphing in its own defeat. This is the picture of self-love, the whole existence of which is nothing but one long and mighty agitation. The sea is a sensible image of it, and self-love finds in the ebb and flow of the waves a faithful representation of the turbulent succession of its thoughts, and of its ceaseless movements.


2.

What we take for virtues is often nothing but an assemblage of different actions, and of different interests, that fortune or our industry know how to arrange; and it is not always from valor and from chastity that men are valiant, and that women are chaste.[1]

  1. "Not always actions show the man: we find
    Who does a kindness is not therefore kind;
    Perhaps prosperity becalmed his breast;
    Perhaps the wind just shifted from the East:
    Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
    Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great.
    Who combats bravely, is not therefore brave,
    He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave.
    Who reasons wisely, is not therefore wise;
    His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies."
    Pope, Moral Essays, Epistle 1. 109.