if all men knew what each said of the
other, there would not be four friends in the world. This is apparent from
the quarrels which arise from the indiscreet tales told from time to time. I
say, further, all men would be...
102. Some vices only lay hold of us by means of others, and these, like
branches, fall on removal of the trunk.
103. The example of Alexander's chastity has not made so many continent as
that of his drunkenness has made intemperate. It is not shameful not to be
as virtuous as he, and it seems excusable to be no more vicious. We do not
believe ourselves to be exactly sharing in the vices of the vulgar when we
see that we are sharing in those of great men; and yet we do not observe
that in these matters they are ordinary men. We hold on to them by the same
end by which they hold on to the rabble; for, however exalted they are, they
are still united at some point to the lowest of men. They are not suspended
in the air, quite removed from our society. No, no; if they are greater than
we, it is because their heads are higher; but their feet are as low as ours.
They are all on the same level, and rest on the same earth; and by that
extremity they are as low as we are, as the meanest folk, as infants, and as
104. When our passion leads us to do something, we forget our duty; for
example, we like a book and read it, when we ought to be doing something
else. Now, to remind ourselves of our duty, we must set ourselves a task we
dislike; we then plead that we have something else to do and by this means
remember our duty.
105. How difficult it is to submit anything to the judgement of another,