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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Moral Courage

Moral Courage.

Learn, from the earliest days, to insure your principles against the perils of ridicule: you can no more exercise your reason if you live in the constant dread of laughter, than you can enjoy life if you are in the constant terror of death. If you think it right to differ from the times, and to make a stand for any valuable point of morals, do it, however rustic, however antiquated, however pedantic it may appear;—do it, not for insolence, but seriously and grandly,—as a man who wore a soul of his own in his bosom, and did not wait till it was breathed into him by the breath of fashion. Let men call you mean, if you know you are just; hypocritical, if you know your are honestly religious; pusillanimous, it you feel that you are firm; resistance soon converts unprincipled wit into sincere respect; and no after time can tear from you those feelings which every man carries within him who has made a noble and successful exertion in a virtuous cause.—Sydney Smith.