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Adventurer 107 [Different opinions equally plausible]
by [?]

It may likewise contribute to soften that resentment which pride naturally raises against opposition, if we consider, that he who differs from us, does not always contradict us; he has one view of an object, and we have another; each describes what he sees with equal fidelity, and each regulates his steps by his own eyes: one man with Posidippus, looks on celibacy as a state of gloomy solitude, without a partner in joy, or a comforter in sorrow; the other considers it, with Metrodorus, as a state free from incumbrances, in which a man is at liberty to choose his own gratifications, to remove from place to place in quest of pleasure, and to think of nothing but merriment and diversion: full of these notions one hastens to choose a wife, and the other laughs at his rashness, or pities his ignorance; yet it is possible that each is right, but that each is right only for himself.

Life is not the object of science: we see a little, very little; and what is beyond we only can conjecture. If we inquire of those who have gone before us, we receive small satisfaction; some have travelled life without observation, and some willingly mislead us. The only thought, therefore, on which we can repose with comfort, is that which presents to us the care of Providence, whose eye takes in the whole of things, and under whose direction all involuntary errours will terminate in happiness.

[1] Livy has described the Achaean leader, Philopaemen, as actually so exercising his thoughts whilst he wandered among the rocky passes of the Morea, xxxv. 28. In the graphic page of the Roman historian, as in the stanzas of the “Ariosto of the North:”

“From shingles grey the lances start,
The bracken bush sends forth the dart,
The rushes and the willow wand
Are bristling into axe and brand.”
Lady of the Lake, Canto v. 9.

“Count o’er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o’er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
‘Tis something better not to be.”
Lord Byron’s Euthanasia.

Compare also the plaintive chorus in the Oedipus at Colonos, 1211. Among the tragedies of Sophocles this stands forth a mass of feeling. See Schlegel’s remarks upon it in his Dramatic Literature.