The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character

By William Edward Hartpole Lecky | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

THE illustrations given in the last chapter will be sufficient to show the danger of permitting the unselfish side of human nature to run wild without serious control by the reason and by the will. To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life, and in no fields is it more needed than in those we have been reviewing. At the same time every age has its own ideal moral type towards which the strongest and best influences of the time converge. The history of morals is essentially a history of the changes that take place not so much in our conception of what is right and wrong as in the proportionate place and prominence we assign to different virtues and vices. There are large groups of moral qualities which in some ages of the world's history have been regarded as of supreme importance, while in other ages they are thrown into the background, and there are corresponding groups of vices which are treated in some periods as very serious and in others as very trivial. The heroic type of Paganism and the saintly type of Christianity in its purest form, consist largely of the same elements, but the proportions in which they are mixed are altogether different. There are ages when the military and civic virtues--the qualities that make good soldiers and patriotic citizens--dominate over all others. The self-

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The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 7
  • Chapter III 19
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 44
  • Chapter VI 62
  • Chapter VII 76
  • Chapter VIII 88
  • Chapter IX 108
  • Chapter X 136
  • Chapter XI 198
  • Chapter XIII Money 268
  • Chapter XIV Marriage 300
  • Chapter XV Success 316
  • Chapter XVI 328
  • Chapter XVII `The End' 343
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