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Acts of Modesty as it is opposed to Boldness.126126Αισχυνμ.

1. Let us always bear about us such impressions of reverence and fear of God as to tremble at his voice, to express our apprehensions of his greatness in all great accidents, in popular judgments, loud thunders, tempests, earthquakes; not only for fear of being smitten ourselves, or that we are concerned in the accident, but also that we may humble ourselves before his Almightiness, and express that infinite distance between his infiniteness and our weaknesses, at such times especially when he gives such visible arguments of it. He that is merry and airy at shore when he sees a sad and a loud tempest on the sea, or dances briskly when God thunders from heaven, regards not when God speaks to all the world, but is possessed with a firm immodesty.

2. Be reverent, modest, and reserved, in the presence of thy betters, giving to all, according to their equality, their titles of honour, keeping distance, speaking little, answering pertinently, not interposing without leave or reason, not answering to a question propounded to another; and even present to thy superiors the fairest side of thy discourse, of thy temper, of thy ceremony, as being ashamed to serve excellent persons with unhandsome intercourse.

3. Never lie before a king or a great person, nor stand in a lie when thou art accused, nor offer to justify what is indeed a fault; but modestly be ashamed of it, ask pardon, and make amends.127127Quem Deus tegit vercundiae pallio, hujus maculas hominibus non ostendit.—Maimon. Can. Eth.

4. Never boast of thy sin, but at least lay a veil upon thy nakedness and shame, and python hand before thine eyes, that thou mayest have this beginning of repentance, to believe thy sin to be thy shame. For he that blushes not at his crime, but adds shamelessness to his shame, hath no instrument left to restore him to the hopes of virtue.

5. Be not confident and affirmative i an uncertain matter, but report things modestly and temperately, according to the degree of that persuasion, which is, or ought to be, begotten in thee by the efficacy of the authority, or the reason inducing thee.

6. Pretend not to more knowledge than thou hast, but be content to seem ignorant where thou art so, lest thou beest either brought to shame, or retirest into shamelessness.

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