Lectures (Classic Reprint)
Excerpt from Lectures
It is evident that the peculiarities of their office, and their comparative isolation from the experiences of common human ity, prevent us, in the general, from acknowledging their fitness as examples by which to regulate our own life and conduct. T here is a shrewd impiety in human nature, which has formed its own estimate of what its patterns ought to be, and which demands that certain initial conditions shall be rigidly fulfilled. T here must be identity of nature, and there must be similarity of circumstance. The man must have like passions, and those passions must have been powerfully tried. F ailure in these con ditions would at once neutralize the force of the example, even as a blemish in physical beauty would, to a Greek of the olden time, have ostracised Apollo from the fellowship of the Gods.
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