Affairs that depend on many rarely succeed.
I know no man who feels deeper disgust than I do at the ambition, avarice, and profligacy of the priesthood, as well because every one of these vices is odious in itself, as because each of them separately and all of them together are utterly abhorrent in men making profession of a life dedicated to God.
Like other men, I have sought honours and preferment, and often have obtained them beyond my wishes or hopes. Yet never have I found in them that content which I had figured beforehand in my mind. A strong reason, if we well consider it, why we should disencumber ourselves of vain desires.
Ambition is not in itself an evil; nor is he to be condemned whose spirit prompts him to seek fame by worthy and honourable ways.
Conspiracies, since they cannot be engaged in without the fellowship of others, are for that reason most perilous; for as most men are either fools or knaves, we run excessive risk in making such folk our companions.
Pay no heed to those who tell you that they have relinquished place and power of their own accord, and from their love of quiet. For almost always they have been brought to this retirement by their insufficiency and against their will.
The affairs of this world are so shifting and depend on so many accidents, that it is hard to form any judgment concerning the future; nay, we see from experience that the forecasts even of the wise almost always turn out false.