We should consider that, though we are tied to the chains of fate, there are none but rational creatures have the privilege of moving freely, and making necessity a choice; all other things are forced onward, and dragged along to their doom.
All men that have rambled after happiness have failed; neither learning, nor fame, nor wealth, nor pleasure, taken separately or jointly could ever give it, without acting up to the height and dignity of human nature, and getting a right set of principles for thought and practice; amongst which may be reckoned the love of justice, temperance, fortitude and benevolence.
Put it out of the power of truth to give you an ill character; and if anybody reports you not to be an honest man, let your practice give him the lie; and to make all sure, you should resolve to live no longer than you can live honestly; for it is better to be nothing than a knave.
Every artifice and profession endeavours to make the thing fit and to answer the end for which it is intended. Those that till the ground, or that break in horses, or train dogs, their business is to make the most of things, and drive them up to the top of their kind; and what other view has learning and education but to improve the faculties, and to set them the right way to work?
When you have a mind to divert your fancy, consider the various good qualities of your acquaintances. As the enterprising vigour of this man, the modesty of another, the honour and integrity of a third, the liberality of a fourth, the vivacity and cheerfulness of a fifth, and so on; for theres nothing so entertaining as a lively image of the virtues and the advantages of those we converse with.
A great estate is a great disadvantage to those who do not know how to use it, for nothing is more common than to see wealthy persons live scandalously and miserably; riches do them no service in order to virtue and happiness: therefore tis precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something.
Do not be over-fond of anything, or consider that for your interest, which makes you break your word, quit your modesty, or inclines you to any practice which will not bear the light, or look the world in the face.