Live by old Ethicks and the classical Rules of Honesty. Put no new names or notions upon Authentick Virtues & Vices. Think not that Morality is Ambulatory; that Vices in one age are not Vices in another; or that Virtues, which are under the everlasting Seal of right Reason, may be Stamped by Opinion. And therefore though vicious times invert the opinions of things, and set up a new Ethicks against Virtue, yet hold thou unto old Morality; & rather than follow a multitude to do evil, stand like Pompey's Pillar conspicuous by thy self, and single in Integrity. And since the worst of times afford imitable Examples of Virtue; since no Deluge of Vice is like to be so general, but more than eight will escape; Eye well those Heroes who have held their Heads above Water, who have touched Pitch, and not been defiled, and in the common Contagion have remained uncorrupted.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
"Live by old Ethicks..."
From Sir Thomas Browne's Christian Morals (google books):