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appetites to control, imaginations to restrain, tempers to regulate, passions to subdue, and how can this internal work be effected, how can our thoughts be kept within due bounds, how can a proper bias be given to the affections, how can the little state of man" be preserved from continual insurrection, how can this restraining power be maintained, if this capacity of discerning, if this faculty of inspecting be not kept in regular exercise?
We should examine not only our conduct but our opinions; not only our faults but our prejudices; not only our propensities but our judgments. Our actions themselves will be obvious enough; it is our intentions which require the scrutiny. These we should follow up to their remotest springs, scrutinize to their deepest recesses, trace through their most perplexing windings.
Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
But we know ourselves least; mere outward shows
Our minds so store,
That our souls, no more than our eyes, disclose
Himself, knows more.
Could we ourselves as clearly scan
How humbly might we walk!
And never in the maddest hour
When vile self-worship wields its power,
That man must daily wiser grow,
Whose search is bent himself to know.
We shall have read the deepest secret of nature, when we have read our own hearts.
Beware of no man than yourself. We carry our worst enemies with us.
Your looking-glass will tell you what none of your friends will.
-OLD SPANISH PROVERB.
Every one is least known to himself, and the most difficult task is to get acquainted with one's own character.
Men lay out all their understanding in studying to know one another, and so no man knows himself.
--OLD SPANISH PROVERB.
He is the best accountant, who can count up correctly the sum of his own errors.
It is great folly not to part with your own faults, which is possible, but to try instead to escape from other people's faults, which is impossible.
Reform those things in yourself that you blame in
Pardon others often, thyself seldom.
Happy is he that chastens himself.
Our enemies, in their judgment of us, come nearer to truth than we do to ourselves.
By all means, use sometimes to be alone;
Read not books alone, but men, and amongst them chiefly thyself if thou find anything questionable there, use the commentary of a severe friend, rather than the phrase of a sweet lip-flatterer; there is more profit in a distasteful truth, than deceitful sweetness.
Nor let soft slumber close thine eyes,
Impartially thou dost survey.
Where have my feet chose out their way?
Sum up at night what thou hast done by day,
I daily examine myself in a threefold manner; in my transactions with men, whether I am upright; in my intercourse with friends, whether I am faithful; and whether I exemplify the instructions of my master. -CHUNG CHEE.
Vespasian, a Roman Emperor, had one remarkable habit, and that was that at night he rendered an account to himself of what he had done during the day. When he found that a day had been spent without doing any good act, he used to note down in his diary that he had lost one day.
* A disciple of Confucius From Marshman's Works of Confucius.
134. THE SHEPHERD.
His certain life, that never can deceive him,
His life is neither tossed in boisterous seas
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease;
When he his God can please.
His bed of wool yields safe and quiet sleep,
The lively picture of his father's face;
Never his humble house or state torment him;
Less he could like, if less his God had sent him, And when he dies, green turf
With grassy tomb content him.
THE SHEPHERD AND THE PHILOSOPHER.
Remote from cities liv'd a swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain;