The art of governing the passions is more useful, and more important, than many things in the search and pursuit of which we spend our days. Without this art, riches and health, and skill and knowledge, will give us little satisfaction; and whatsoever else we be, we can be neither happy, nor wise, nor good.
He who does the most good is the greatest man. Power, authority, dignity, honors, wealth and station--these are so far valuable as they put it into the hands of men to be more exemplary and more useful than they could be in an obscure and private life. But then these are means conducting to an end, and that end is goodness.
A man hath riches. Whence came they, and whither go they? for this is the way to form a judgment of the esteem which they and their possessor deserve. If they have been acquired by fraud or violence, if they make him proud and vain, if they minister to luxury and intemperance, if they are avariciously hoarded up and applied to no proper use, the possessor becomes odious and contemptible.
Happy is he who is engaged in controversy with his own passions, and comes off superior; who makes it his endeavor that his follies and weakenesses may die before himself, and who daily meditates on mortality and immortality.