Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/50

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OF VIRTUE AND VICE


THE SUMMARY

[In this little treatise adjoined aptly unto the former, the author proveth that outward and corruptible things be not they that set the soul in repose, but reason well ruled and governed: And after that he hath depainted the miserable estate of wicked and sinful persons, troubled and tormented with their passions both night and day, he proveth by proper and apt similitudes that philosophy, together with the love of virtue, bringeth true contentment and happiness indeed unto a man.]


It seemeth, and commonly it is thought, that they be the garments which do heat a man; and yet of themselves they neither do heat nor bring any heat with them: for take any of them apart by itself, you shall find it cold; which is the reason that men, being very hot and in a fit of fever, love often to change their clothes, for to cool and refresh their bodies. But the truth is this, Look what heat a man doth yield from himself, the clothes or garments that cover the body do keep in the same, and unite close together: and being thus included and held in, suffer it not to evaporate, breathe out, and vanish away.

The same error in the state of this life hath deceived many men, who imagine that if they may dwell in stately and gorgeous great houses, be attended upon with a number of servants, retain a sort of slaves, and can gather together huge sums of gold and silver, then they shall live in joy and pleasure: whereas in very sooth, the sweet and joyful life proceedeth not from anything without. But contrariwise, when a man hath those goodly things about him, it is himself that addeth a pleasure and grace unto them, even from his own nature and civil behaviour, composed by moral virtue within him, which is the very fountain and lively spring of all good contentment.

For if the fire do always burn out light,
More stately is the house, and faire in sight.

Semblably, riches are more acceptable, glory hath the better and more shining lustre, yea, and authority carrieth the greater grace, if the inward joy of the soul be joined therewith: For

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