Front Page Titles (by Subject) Against ambition or desire of honour and authority.: Chap. xxxvi. - The Manual of a Christian Knight
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Against ambition or desire of honour and authority.: Chap. xxxvi. - Desiderius Erasmus, The Manual of a Christian Knight 
A Book Called in Latin Enchiridion Militis Christiani and in English The Manual of the Christian Knight, replenished with the most wholesome precepts made by the famous clerk Erasmus of Rotterdam, to which is added a new and marvellous profitable Preface (London: Methuen and Co., 1905).
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Against ambition or desire of honour and authority.
If at any time ambition shall cumber and vex thy mind through her enchantments, with these remedies thou shalt arm thyself beforehand without tarrying (according to the rules which I gave before), take and hold this with tooth and nail Honour springeth of virtue only., that to be honour only which springeth of true virtue, which selfsame nevertheless a man must sometime refuse, even as taught us both with doctrine and example our master Jesus Christ. And this to be the chief honour and only honour which a christian man should desire and wish for, to be praised not of men It is an honest thing to be lauded of God., but of God, for whom he commendeth (as saith the apostle) that man is perfect and worthy of honour indeed. But if honour be given of man for an ungoodly and unhonest thing, and so of ungoodly persons: This is not honour but great dishonesty, shame and rebuke. If for any mean and indifferent thing, as for beauty, strength, riches, kin: yet verily shall it not be called truly honour Honour given of unhonest persons., for no man deserveth honour with that thing whereof he deserveth not to be praised. If for an honest thing indeed it shall be honour: yet he which deserveth it shall not desire it, but verily shall be content with the very virtue and conscience of his good deed. Behold therefore how foolish and how worthy to be laughed at these honours be Honour given of common people., for whose desire the common people so greatly burn and rage. First of all of whom are they given? Truly of them with whom is no difference between honesty and dishonesty. Wherefore are they given? Very oft for mean things, now and then for filthy things. To whom? To him which is unworthy. Whosoever therefore giveth honour, either he doth it for fear, and then is he to be feared again, or because thou wouldest do him a good turn, and then he mocketh thee: or because he is astonished at things of naught and worthy of no honour, and then he is to be pitied: or because he supposed thee to be endued with such things as honour is given of duty, wherein if he be deceived, give diligence that thou mayest be that he supposeth thee to be. But and if he hit aright, refer all the honour that is offered thee unto to whom thou art bound, yea for all those things whereunto the honour is given. As thou oughtest not ascribe to thine own self the virtue, so is it unfitting to take upon thee the honour thereof. Besides this, what is greater madness than to esteem the value of thyself by the opinions of foolish menTo whom honour chanceth most commonly., in whose hands it lieth to take away again whensoever they list the very same honour which they give, and dishonest thee which was even now honested. Therefore nothing can be more foolish than either to rejoice for such honours when they happen, or to be sorry or mourn when they be taken away, which not to be true honours thou shalt perceive at the least way by this probation and argument, for so much as they be common to the worst and lewdest persons of all: yea they chance almost to none more plenteously than to them which of true honours be most unworthy. The quietness of a private life. Remember how blessed is the quietness of a mean life, both private, that is to say, charged with no common business, and separate and removed out of the way from all noise, haunt, or press. On the other side consider how full of pricks, how full of cares, of perils, of sorrows, is the life of great men, and what difficulty it is not to forget thyself in prosperity, how hard it is for a man standing in a slippery place not to fall, how grievous the fall is from an high. And remember that all honour is coupled with great charge, and how strait the judgment of the high judge shall be against them which here in usurping of honours, prefer themselves afore other men. For surely whosoever shall humble and submit himself, him as an innocent or harmless person mercy shall succour: but whosoever exalteth himself as a perfect man Let it not exalt thy mind because thou bearest rule over other men., the same person excludeth from himself the help and succour of grace. Let ever the example of Christ thy head stick fast in thy mind. What thing as touching to the world was more vile, more despised or less honoured than he? How forsook he honours when they were proffered him, which was greater than any honour? How set he no store of honours when he rode upon an ass? How condemned he them when he was clothed in pall and crowned with thorn? How unglorious or vile a death chose he? But whom the world despised him the father glorified. Let thy glory be in the cross of Christ, in whom also is thy health, wealth, saving, defence and protection. What good shall worldly honours do to thee if God cast thee away and depise thee, and the angels loathe, abhor, and defy thee?