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Men of a certain education ought to derive pleasure less from physical beauty or good fortune , than from strength of mind and from virtue , which consists not only in having gained experience in many fields but also in committing what they have lived and learned to the eternal memory of the written word, so as to spread their knowledge among future generations. I can think of nothing that is more congenial, more necessary, more praiseworthy or more remarkable than the lessons enshrined in writing . And credit must be given therefore for their expertise to all those who have lived a long time or read many things, because it is difficult or almost impossible to acquire a wide knowledge in a short time or still less by reading little or nothing. Having mastered the teachings of wise and educated men, I maintain therefore that young people who are essentially uncultivated and inexpert in the ways of men do not deserve to be praised for their wisdom . For which reason I often find myself wondering in no small measure at the idleness or rather inertia of those who, setting aside and belittling matters of the spirit, |f. 1’| have consigned and invested all their felicity and wellbeing to changeable Fortune , that purveyor of disappointments. And were these persons to consider all aspects of the matter carefully, above all, were to look within themselves rather than without, and if they are favoured by God with some degree of talent, they would understand extraneous things more clearly, and would not seek them if they lack them, and if they have them, would make the most liberal use of them and benefit thereby. For we human beings are composed of both body and soul , in the former being kin to the beasts, in the latter to God . And the bodies of all of us shall die, and our souls live in eternity.
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