One of the strongest incitements to excel in such arts and accomplishments as are in the highest esteem among men, is the natural passion which the mind of man has for glory; which though it may be faulty in the excess of it, ought by no means to be discouraged. Perhaps some moralists are too severe in beating down this principle, which seems to be a spring implanted by nature to give motion to all the latent powers of the soul, and is always observed to exert itself with the greatest force in the most generous dispositions. The men whose characters have shone the brightest among the ancient Romans appear to have been strongly animated by this passion.
There is but one thing necessary to keep the possession of true glory, which is to hear the opposers of it with patience, and preserve the virtue by which it was acquired. When a man is thoroughly persuaded that he ought neither to admire, wish for, or pursue anything but what is exactly his duty, it is not in the power of seasons, persons, or accidents to diminish his value. He only is a great man who can neglect the applause of the multitude, and enjoy himself independent of its favour. This is indeed an arduous task; but it should comfort a glorious spirit that it is the highest step to which human nature can arrive. Triumph, applause, acclamation, are dear to the mind of man; but it is a still more exquisite delight to say to yourself, you have done well, than to hear the whole human race pronounce you glorious, except you yourself can join with them in your own reflections. A mind thus equal and uniform may be deserted by little fashionable admirers and followers, but will ever be had in reverence by souls like itself. The branches of the oak endure all the seasons of the year, though its leaves fall off in autumn; and these too will be restored with the returning spring.