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It is no very good symptom, either of nations or individuals, that they deal much in vaticination. Happy men are full of the present, for its bounty suffices them; and wise men also, for its duties engage them. Our grand business undoubtedly is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.
Perfect ignorance is quiet, perfect knowledge is quiet; not so the transition from the former to the latter.
Poverty, we may say, surrounds a man with ready-made barriers, which if they do mournfully gall and hamper, do at least prescribe for him, and force on him, a sort of course and goal; a safe and beaten, though a circuitous, course. A great part of his guidance is secure against fatal error, is withdrawn from his control. The rich, again, has his whole life to guide, without goal or barrier, save of his own choosing, and, tempted, is too likely to guide it ill.
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