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The most helpful and sacred work which can at present be done for humanity is to teach people (chiefly by example, as all best teaching must be done) not how “to better themselves,” but how to "satisfy themselves.” It is the curse of every evil nation and evil creature to eat, and not be satisfied. The words of blessing are, that they shall eat and be satisfied. And as there is only one kind of water which quenches all thirst, so there is only one kind of bread which satisfies all hunger, the bread of justice or righteousness; which hungering after, man shall always be filled, that being the bread of Heaven.
And in order to teach men how to be satisfied, it is necessary fully to understand the art and joy of humble life,—this, at present of all arts or sciences being the ono most needing study. Humble life,—that is to say, proposing to itself no future exaltation, but only a sweet continuance ; not excluding the idea of foresight, but wholly of foresorrow, and taking no troblous thought for coming days; so, also, not excluding the idea of providence or provision, but wholly of accumulation ;—the life of domestic affection and domestic peace, full of sensitiveness to all elements of costless and kind pleasure ;-therefore, chiefly to the loveliness of the natural world.
Agathoclos, being from a mean fortune advanced to the royal dignity, would be served at table with earthenware, and being asked the reason, I hope, answered he, that the remembrance of my extraction from a potter will check that pride, which the vain pomp of pride may raiso in me.
THE STORY OF THE FLAG AND THE
CURTAIN. Listen to this story, to the effect that, in Baghdad, A dispute arose between a flag and a curtain. The flag, on account of the hardship of the march,
and the dust of the stirrup, Said to the curtain reproachfully,
I and thou are both servants of a common master ; “ Are the slaves of the Sultân's royal court. "I rest not a moment from duty; “At all hours, in and out of season, I am on the
march. “ Thou experiencest neither fatigue nor war, “ Nor the desert, nor the march, nor the dust; My
foot is foremost in any arduous undertaking ; “ Why then is thy proximity to royalty greater than
mine? « Thou screenest beautiful slaves, “ Art the companion of jasmino-scented girls ; “I am fallen into the hands of servants; “ Foot-bound, on the march and fluttering above." The curtain said, “I place my head on the threshold, “ And do not, like thee, raise my head on high. He who lifts high his head with vain conceit, Hurls himself down headlong. Sâdi is lowly, free from worldly cares ; No one makes war against the lowly.
* Translated by Platte.
157. VIRTUE AND VICE.
Virtue implies opposition or struggle. In man the struggle is between right and wrong. To hold by the former is virtue, to yield to the latter is vice.
Virtue dwells not in the tongue but in the heart.
It is not the business of virtue to extirpate the affections, but to regulate them.
Virtue is the only solid basis of greatness.
The only amaranthine flower on earth
The moral cement of all society is virtue, it unites and preserves, while vice separates and destroys. The good may well be termed the salt of the earth. For where there is no integrity, there can be no confidence; and where there is no confidence, there can be no unanimity.
Virtue is the link of all perfections, the contre of all the felicities. She it is that makes a man prudent, discreet, sagacious, cautious, wise, courageous,
thoughtful, trustworthy, happy, honoured, truthful, and a universal hero, A man's capacity and greatness are to be measured by his virtue and not by his fortune, She alone is allsufficient. She makes men loveable in life, memorable after death.*
Collect a large sum of the virtues ; thence
Kindness of heart, and gentleness of speech,
-“ UTTARA RÂMA CHARITA.”I
Fix it in your mind, engrave it on your heart, that
virtue is not arbitrary,But something true, fixed, essential-not by precept
and command alone,
• From Gracian's Art of Worldly Wisdom, translated from the Spanish by Jacobs.
| From Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan I A drama translated from Sanskrit, by H. H. Wilson.
But by necessity of nature, and, therefore, not to be
infringed without due punishment,Here or hereafter-certain, sure, inevitable, impos
sible to escape ; This be your principle, and ever when the world
with syren smile would tempt, And prodigal in allurement would betray, let it be your beacon-fire and guide.
-CHARLES HENRY HANGER.
Firmly fix your mind in the path of virtue :
For blessings ever wait on virtuous deeds,
The praise of riches and beauty is frail and transitory : virtue alone is clear and eternal.
The path of virtue is the path of peace.
The man of perfect virtue feels no inward disturbance. *
Virtue alone can give true joy;
• From Marshman's Works of Confucius.