Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/36

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Plutarch's Morals

the other is not offended nor displeased with foul and dishonest actions. And therefore incontinency resembleth properly a mind (as I may so say) sophistical, which hath some use of reason, but the same so weak that it is not able to persevere and continue firm in that which it hath once known and judged to be right.

Thus you may see the differences between intemperance and incontinency: As for continency and temperance, they differ also in certain respects correspondent in some proportion unto those on the contrary side. For remorse, sorrow, displeasure, and indignation do not as yet abandon and quit continence: whereas in the mind of a temperate person all lieth plain and even on every side; nothing there but quietness and integrity; in such sort, as whosoever seeth the great obeisance and the marvellous tranquillity whereby the reasonless part is united and incorporate together with the reasonable, might well say:

And then anon the winds were down,
A calm ensued straightway:
No waves were seen, some power divine
The sea asleep did lay;

namely, when reason had once extinguished the excessive, furious, and raging motions of the lusts and desires. And yet these affections and passions which of necessity nature hath need of, the same hath reason made so agreeable, so obeisant, so friendly and co-operative, yea, and ready to second all good intentions and purposes ready to be executed, that they neither run before it nor come dragging behind; nor yet behave themselves disorderly, no, nor shew the least disobedience: so as each appetite is ruled by reason, and willingly accompanieth it,

 Like as the sucking foal doth go
And run with dam, both to and fro.

The which confirmeth the saying of Xenocrates, touching those who earnestly study philosophy, and practise it: For they only (quoth he) do that willingly which others do perforce and for dread of the law, who forbear indeed to satisfy their pleasures, and turn back, as if they were scared from them for fear of being bitten of some curst mastiff or shrewd cat, regarding nothing else but danger that may ensue thereupon.

Now, that there is in the soul a sense and perceivance of that strength, firmity, and resolution to encounter sinful lusts and desires, as if it had a power to strive and make head again, it is very plain and evident: howbeit, some there be who hold and maintain that passion is nothing different from reason: neither