(~simul iustus & peccator~) (lovelies) wrote,
(~simul iustus & peccator~)
lovelies

And as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general, and infallible rules, called science; which very few have, and but in few things; as being not a native faculty, born with us; not attained, as prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a great equality amongst men, than that of strength. For prudence, is but experience; which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto.

That which may perhaps make such equality incredible, is but a vain conceit of one's own wisdom, which almost all men think they have in a greater degree, than the vulgar; that is, than all men but themselves, and a few others, whom by fame, or for concurring with themselves, they approve. For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance.

But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of any thing, than that every man is contented with his share.
--Thomas Hobbes; Leviathan: or the matter, forme and power of a commonwealth ecclesiasticall and civil

I first wondered whether I'd made a mistake, opting to read the book in the original 17th century English. It's not that the words are different, but Jesus Christ, the sentence structure. They won't end! And the odd commas. The first page scared me.

But one you get used to it, it's actually kind of pretty. Like poetry mixed with legalese.
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