To be without Passions.

’Tis a privilege of the highest order of mind. Their very eminence redeems them from being affected by transient and low impulses. There is no higher rule than that over oneself, over one’s impulses: there is the triumph of free will. While passion rules the character, no aiming at high office; the less the higher. It is the only refined way of avoiding scandals; nay, ’tis the shortest way back to good repute.

ix Avoid the Faults of your Nation.

Water shares the good or bad qualities of the strata through which it flows, and man those of the climate in which he is born. Some owe more than others to their native land, because there is a more favourable sky in the zenith. There is not a nation even among the most civilised that has not some fault peculiar to itself which other nations blame by way of boast or as a warning. ’Tis a triumph of cleverness to correct in oneself such national failings, or even to hide them: you get great credit for being unique among your fellows, and as it is less expected of you it is esteemed the more. There are also family failings as well as faults of position, of office or of age. If these all meet in one person and are not carefully guarded against, they make an intolerable monster.

 

From The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Balthasar Gracian

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~ by Joshing on July 6, 2008.

One Response to “To be without Passions.”

  1. Dear Joe,

    I hope you do not mind me contacting you here.

    I also hope we can be friends, and that the way things turned out over the school thing over a year ago can be considered water under the bridge and bygones by now.

    I found your blog by accident, searching You Tube for things Korean. Nice song. you are a talented guy, but then, no surprises there; you are Italian.

    I love your blog, and see that you are a talented, well-spoken, and eridite journalist. I might have guessed, but I hadn’t–perhaps due to the finer points of my misadventures and our interactions at the time (I think you know of what I speak; sorry if it was strressful.)

    I think I am going to switch to wordpress too.

    If you want, have a look at my website. A lot of material has to be transferred, so it may seem lacking. Here is the address: http://carlatteniese.net.

    Congratulations on your wonderful life, and the coming baby.

    I wish you health, happiness, and success, but it seems you are having all that already, so cheers to ya!

    Carl

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