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Signs and Effects of Temperance.

We shall best know that we have the grace of temperance by the following signs, which are as so many arguments to engage us also upon its study and practice.

1. A temperate man is modest: greediness is unmannerly and rude. And this is intimated in the advice of the son of Sirach. When thou sittest amongst many, reach not thy hand out first of all. Leave off first for manner’s sake, and be not insatiable lest thou offend. 2. Temperance is accompanied with gravity of deportment: greediness is garish, and rejoices loosely at the sight of dainties.7373Cicero vocat Temperantiam ornatum vitae, in quo decorum illud et honestum situm est. 3. Sound but moderate sleep is its sign and its effect. Sound sleep cometh of moderate eating; he riseth early, and his wits are with him. 4. A spiritual joy and a devout prayer. 5. A suppressed and seldom anger. 6. A seldom-returning and a never-prevailing temptation. 8. To which add, that a temperate person is not curious of fancies and deliciousness. He thinks not much, and speaks not often of meat and drink; hath a healthful body and long life, unless it be hindered by some other accident: whereas to gluttony, the pain of watching and cholera, the pangs of the belly are continual company. And therefore Stratonicus said handsomely concerning the luxury of the Rhodians, “They built houses as if they were immortal; but they feasted as if they meant to live but a little while.” And Antipater, by his reproach of the old glutton Demades, well expressed the baseness of this sin, saying, that Demades, now old,7474Plutarch. de Cupid. Divit. and always a glutton, was like a spent sacrifice, nothing left of him but his belly and his tongue; all the man besides is gone.

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