Defects

Great actions, the luster of which dazzles us, are represented by politicians as the effects of deep design; whereas they are commonly the effects of caprice and passion. Thus the war between Augustus and Antony, supposed to be owing to their ambition to give a master to the world, arose probably from jealousy.

The defects of the understanding, like those of the face, grow worse as we grow old.

The desire of talking of ourselves, and showing those faults we do not mind having seen, makes up a good part of our sincerity.

There are no accidents so unfortunate from which skillful men will not draw some advantage, nor so fortunate that foolish men will not turn them to their hurt.

On the third day after the birth of a girl the ancients observed three customs: first to place the baby below the bed; second to give her a potsherd [a piece of broken pottery] with which to play; and third to announce her birth to her ancestors by an offering. Now to lay the baby below the bed plainly indicated that she is lowly and weak, and should regard it as her primary duty to humble herself before others. To give her potsherds with which to play indubitably signified that she should practice labor and consider it her primary duty to be industrious. To announce her birth before her ancestors clearly meant that she ought to esteem as her primary duty the continuation of the observance of worship in the home.