No man, perhaps, is so wicked as to commit evil for its own sake. Evil is generally committed under the hope of some advantage the pursuit of virtue seldom obtains. Yet the most successful result of the most virtuous heroism is never without its alloy.
Never let your love for your profession overshadow your religious feeling. Depend on it that religion will strengthen, not weaken, your energies, and will not only make you a better sailor, but a superior man. Professional studies are not to be neglected; but, on the other hand, take care how you fall into the common error of believing they are the remedy for all the ills of life.
This is an age of intellectual sauces, of essence, of distillation. We have conclusions without deductions, abridgments of history and abridgments of science without leading facts. We have animals for literature, Cabinet Encyclopaedias, Family Libraries, Diffusion Societies, and heaven knows what else! What is all this for? Not to add knowledge to the learned, but to tell points to the ignorant, without giving them the trouble to acquire the links. Oh! it is sad work. And the result will be injurious to all classes.
Never disregard what your enemies say. They may be severe, they may be prejudiced, they may be determined to see only in one direction, but still in that direction see clearly. They do not speak all the truth, but they generally speak the truth from one point of view; so far as that goes, attend to them.
The great difficulty is first to win a reputation; the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name. Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence.