A grain of boldness in everything

 

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We must moderate our opinion of others so that we may not think so high of them as to fear them. The imagination should never yield to the heart. Many appear great till we know them personally, and then dealing with them does more to disillusionise than to raise esteem. No one oversteps the narrow bounds of humanity: all have their weaknesses either in heart or head. Dignity gives apparent authority, which is rarely accompanied by personal power: for Fortune often redresses the height of office by the inferiority of the holder. The imagination always jumps too soon, and paints things in brighter colours than the real: it thinks things not as they are but as it wishes them to be. Attentive experience disillusionised in the past soon corrects all that. Yet if wisdom should not be timorous, neither should folly be rash. And if self-reliance helps the ignorant, how much more the brave and wise?

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