Friday, December 14, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Wilmot

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But a meek humble Man of modest Sense,
Who, Preaching Peace, does practice Continence;
Whose pious life’s a proof he does believe,
Mysterious Truths, which no Man can conceive.
If upon Earth there dwell such God-like Men,
I'll here Recant my Paradox to them;
Adore those Shrines of Virtue, homage pay,
And, with the rabble world, their Laws obey.
If such there are, yet grant me This at least,
Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast.
--
ll. 212-221

 
John Wilmot

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We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern sceptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance.

 
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I will not be modest. Humble, as much as you like, but not modest. Modesty is the virtue of the lukewarm.

 
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