Translated by Francis Medhurs.
Such a person does not say to himself: "I will conquer this place by sheer merit." He contents himself with envying those who occupy it, quite neglecting to put forth the efforts which would place him there beside them.
There is nothing worse than yielding to an exaggerated tenderness toward ourselves, which, by magnifying our merits in our own eyes, frequently leads us to make attempts which result in failure and expose us to ridicule.
This is a most frequent cause of making an inveterate coward of one who is subject to occasional attacks of timidity.
To know one's limitations exactly and never to allow oneself to exceed them--this is the part of wisdom, the act of a man who, as the saying goes, knows what he is about.
There is in every effort a necessary limit that it is not wise to exceed.
"Never force your talents," says a very pithy proverb. Never undertake to do a thing that is beyond your powers.
Never allow yourself to be drawn into a discussion on a subject which is beyond