Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor are the alpha virtues of men all over the world. They are the fundamental virtues of men because without them, no 'higher' virtues can be entertained. You need to be alive to philosophize. You can add to these virtues and you can create rules and moral codes to govern them, but if you remove them from the equation altogether you aren't just leaving behind the virtues that are specific to men, you are abandoning the virtues that make civilization possible.
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...just as the edifice of all the virtues strives upward toward perfect prayer so will all these virtues be neither sturdy nor enduring unless they are drawn firmly together by the crown of prayer. This endless, unstirring calm of prayer... can neither be achieved nor consummated without these virtues. And likewise virtues are the prerequisite foundation of prayer and cannot be effected without it.
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The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest", but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.
Sydney J. Harris
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The pagan, or rational, virtues are such things as justice and temperance, and Christianity has adopted them. The three mystical virtues which Christianity has not adopted, but invented, are faith, hope and charity. Now... the first evident fact, I say, is that the pagan virtues, such as justice and temperance, are the sad virtues, and that the mystical virtues of faith, hope, and charity are the gay and exuberant virtues. And the second evident fact, which is even more evident, is the fact that the pagan virtues are the reasonable virtues, and that the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity are in their essence as unreasonable as they can be... charity means pardoning what is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all. Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all. And faith means believing the incredible, or it is no virtue at all.
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The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered... it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.
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Maybe it's not, in the end, the virtues of others that so wrenches our hearts as it is the sense of almost unbearably poignant recognition when we see them at their most base, in their sorrow and gluttony and foolishness. You need the virtues, too""some sort of virtues""but we don't care about Emma Bovary or Anna Karenina or Raskolnikov because they're good. We care about them because they're not admirable, because they're us, and because great writers have forgiven them for it.
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[Benjamin Franklin]identified thirteen virtues he wanted to cultivate--temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility--and made a chart with those virtues plotted against the days of the week. Each day, Franklin would score himself on whether he practiced those thirteen virtues.
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I'm working on my own life story. I don't mean I'm putting it together; no, I'm taking it apart. If you'd wanted the narrative line you should have asked earlier, when I still knew everything and was more than willing to tell. That was before I discovered the virtues of scissors, the virtues of matches.
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Well the thing is, once you have a snow leopard it's difficult to go back. Everything is going to be slightly disappointing. It's very telling what your choice would be. Because that's probably how you see yourself. We used to play that game as kids and you'd say if you were animal what would you be and it'd usually be the opposite of what it should be. But all animals have got their virtues. You know, cockroaches got virtues.
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Righteousness, or justice, is, undoubtedly of all the virtues, the surest foundation on which to create and establish a new state. But there are two nobler virtues, industry and frugality, which tend more to increase the wealth, power and grandeur of the community, than all the others without them.
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Man is naturally more disposed to beneficent than selfish actions. This we learn even from the history of savages. The domestic virtues have something in them so inviting and genial, and the public virtues of the citizen something so grand and inspiring, that even he who is barely uncorrupted, is seldom able to resist their charm.
Wilhelm von Humboldt
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I say the same of humility and of all the virtues; the wiles of the devil are terrible, he will run a thousand times round hell if by so doing he can make us believe that we have a single virtue which we have not. And he is right, for such ideas are very harmful, and such imaginary virtues, when they come from this source, are never unaccompanied by vainglory; just as those which God gives are free both from this and from pride.
Teresa of Avila
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We put pride into everything like salt. We like to see that our good works are known. If our virtues are seen, we are pleased; if our faults are perceived, we are sad. I remark that in a great many people; if one says anything to them, it disturbs them, it annoys them. The saints were not like that - they were vexed if their virtues were known, and pleased that their imperfections should be seen.
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War both needs and generates certain virtues; not the highest, but what may be called the preliminary virtues, as valor, veracity, the spirit of obedience, the habit of discipline. Any of these, and of others like them, when possessed by a nation, and no matter how generated, will give them a military advantage, and make them more likely to stay in the race of nations.
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Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted, not with forests, but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities, and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero or a saint.
Henry Ward Beecher
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Our virtues are voluntary (and in fact we are in a sense ourselves partly the cause of our moral dispositions, and it is our having a certain character that makes us set up an end of a certain kind), it follows that our vices are voluntary also; they are voluntary in the same manner as our virtues.
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The virtues about marriage were mostly negative virtues. Being unmarried in a man's world was such a hassle that anything had to be better. Marriage was better. But not much. Damned clever, I thought, how men had made life so intolerable for single women that most would gladly embrace even bad marriages instead.
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Our virtues themselves are not free and floating qualities over which we retain a permanent control and power of disposal; they come to be so closely linked in our minds with the actions in conjunction with which we have made it our duty to exercise them that if we come to engage in an activity of a different kind, it catches us off guard and without the slightest awareness that it might involve the application of those same virtues.
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The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral - whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love? I want to foster eulogy virtues when I'm in a yoga class or meditation session or any spiritual gathering. Especially if I'm lying in corpse pose. It just makes sense.
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The superstitious know how to reproach people for their vices better than they know how to teach them virtues, and they strive, not to guide men by reason, but to restrain them by fear, so that they flee the evil rather than love virtues. Such people aim only to make others as wretched as they themselves are, so it is no wonder that they are generally burdensome and hateful to men.
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It was inevitable under a monarchy, however benevolent the monarch. The old virtues disappear. Independence and frankness are at a discount. Complacent anticipation of the monarch's wishes is then the greatest of all virtues. One must either be a good monarch like yourself, or a good courtier like myself-either an Emperor or an idiot.
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Could we forbear dispute, and practice love,We should agree as angels do above.Where love presides, not vice alone does findNo entrance there, hut virtues stay behind:Both faith, and hope, and all the meaner trainOf mortal virtues, at the door remain.Love only enters as a native there,For born in heav'n, it does but sojourn here.
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The Holy Spirit is the immediate source of all holiness. He is entirely sincere, and perfect in love. He is generous. He is pure in heart, free from selfishness, and never swerves from the path of duty. He is deep like a fountain. He sends forth his virtues in due season. He speaks, and men believe him; he acts, and men are gladdened by him. He possesses all heavenly virtues. He is one with Heaven.
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Obstinacy, sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues--constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness--are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so just an abhorrence; and in their excess all these virtues very easily fall into it.
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Humility is the mother of all virtues: the humble in spirit progress and are blessed because they willingly submit to higher powers and try to live in harmony with natural laws and universal principles. Courage is the father of all virtues; we need great courage to lead our lives by correct principles and to have integrity in the moment of choice.
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All are agreed that the various moral qualities are in a sense bestowed by nature: we are just, and capable of temperance, and brave, and possessed of the other virtues from the moment of our birth. But nevertheless we expect to find that true goodness is something different, and that the virtues in the true sense come to belong to us in another way. For even children and wild animals possess the natural dispositions, yet without Intelligence these may manifestly be harmful.
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Thyself and thy belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us 't were all alike As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd But to fine issues; nor Nature never lends The smallest scruple of her excellence, But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Herself the glory of a creditor - Both thanks and use.
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There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained. Having a family guarantees that you have a built in support system, and although that support system may not always be what you want it to be, when it comes down to the wire, your family will love you and stand behind you, no matter what.
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The citizens of the land, the peoples of the nation must be made strong in their convictions of these values. These values and virtues must become the wealth of the people, they must become their pride. They must be reflected in their lifestyle, in their film and movie industries. This value system must be ingrained in their educational system. They must be proclaimed in their pulpits. Homes and families must be built on the wealth of these virtues.
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Chastity is the lily of virtues, and makes men almost equal to Angels. Everything is beautiful in accordance with its purity. Now the purity of man is chastity, which is called honesty, and the observance of it, honor and also integrity; and its contrary is called corruption; in short, it has this peculiar excellence above the other virtues, that it preserves both soul and body fair and unspotted.
Saint Francis de Sales
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The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Manners or etiquette ('accessibility, affability, politeness, refinement, propriety, courtesy, and ingratiating and captivating behavior') call for no large measure of moral determination and cannot, therefore, be reckoned as virtues. Even though manners are no virtues, they are a means of developing virtue.... The more we refine the crude elements in our nature, the more we improve our humanity and the more capable it grows of feeling the driving force of virtuous principles.
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This sutra enjoins a rule of morality. It says nobody should be disrespected. A man can impress evdrybnody by his virtues. Disrespecting others means downfall of our own virtues. A person who disrespects others, in a way disrespect himself. A virtuous man does not disrespect his friend or vevn his enemy. Disrespect to enemy can investigate him toreact. The best thing is to destroy him completely. For a ruler this is very important.
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Magic is a faculty of wonderful virtue, full of most high mysteries, containing the most profound contemplation of most secret things, together with the nature, power, quality, substance and virtues thereof, as also the knowledge of whole Nature, and it doth instruct us concerning the differing and agreement of things amongst themselves, whence it produceth its wonderful effects, by uniting the virtues of things through the application of them one to the other.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
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[The World Trade Center and the Pentagon] have drawn, like gathered lightning, the anger of the enemies of civilization. Those enemies are always out there.... Americans are slow to anger but mighty when angry, and their proper anger now should be alloyed with pride. They are targets because of their virtues-principally democracy, and loyalty to those nations which, like Israel, are embattled salients of our virtues in a still-dangerous world.
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There was about all the Romans a heroic tone peculiar to ancient life. Their virtues were great and noble, and these virtues madethem great and noble. They possessed a natural majesty that was not put on and taken off at pleasure, as was that of certain eastern monarchs when they put on or took off their garments of Tyrian dye. It is hoped that this is not wholly lost from the world, although the sense of earthly vanity inculcated by Christianity may have swallowed it up in humility.
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... we can see both that love for God is begotten from the virtues and that virtues are born of love. For this reason the Lord said at one point in the Gospels, 'He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me' (Jn. 14:21), and at another point, 'He who loves Me will keep My commandments' (cf. Jn. 14:23).
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To both the racist and the puritan, childhood is not a time of life that we grow out of, as the life of the child grows out of the life of the parent or as a plant grows out of the soil, but a time and state of consciousness to be left behind, to cut oneself off from... The child may be joyous, the man must be sober and self-denying; the child may be free, the man is to be "responsible"; the child may be candid in his feelings, the man must be polite, restrained, mindful of the demands of convention; the child may be playful, the man must be industrious. I am not necessarily objecting to the manly virtues, but I am objecting that they should be so exclusively assigned to grownups, and that grownups should be so exclusively restricted to them. A man may have all the prescribed adult virtues and, if he lacks the childhood virtues, still be a dunce and a bore and a liar.
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The definitions of humanism are many, but let us here take it to be the attitude of those men who think it an advantage to live in society, and, at that, in a complex and highly developed society, and who believe that man fulfills his nature and reaches his proper stature in this circumstance. The personal virtues which humanism cherishes are intelligence, amenity, and tolerance; the particular courage it asks for is that which is exercised in the support of these virtues. The qualities of intelligence which it chiefly prizes are modulation and flexibility.
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The genius of American culture and its integrity comes from fidelity to the light. Plain as day, we say. Happy as the day is long. Early to bed, early to rise. American virtues are daylight virtues: honesty, integrity, plain speech. We say yes when we mean yes and no when we mean no, and all else comes from the evil one. America presumes innocence and even the right to happiness.
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Faith is the surrender of the mind, it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It's our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me... Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated
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Faith is the surrender of the mind, it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It's our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. ... Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated
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This is a major, wide-ranging, and comprehensive book. A philosophical investigation that is also a literary and historical study, Truth and Truthfulness asks how and why we have come to think of accuracy, sincerity, and authenticity as virtues. Bernard Williams' account of their emergence is as detailed and imaginative as his defense of their importance is spirited and provocative. Williams asks hard questions, and gives them straightforward and controversial answers. His book does not simply describe and advocate these virtues of truthfulness; it manifests them.
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Virtues are in the middle, the royal way about which the saintly elder (Saint Basil the Great) said, "Travel on the royal way and count the miles." As I said, the virtues are at the midpoint between excess and laxness. That is why it is written, "Do not turn to the right or the left" (Prov 4:27) but travel on the "royal way" (Num. 20:17). Saint Basil also says, "The person who does not allow his thoughts to incline towards excess or deprivation but directs it to the midpoint, that of virtue, is upright in heart."
Dorotheus of Gaza
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We have then, in the first part of The Faerie Queene, four of the seven deadly sins depicted in the more important passages of the four several books; those sins being much more elaborately and powerfully represented than the virtues, which are opposed to them, and which are personified in the titular heroes of the respective books. The alteration which made these personified virtues the centre each of a book was probably part of the reconstruction on the basis of Aristotle Ethics. The nature of the debt to Aristotle suggests that Spenser did not borrow directly from the Greek, but by way of modern translations.
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He shook his head in exasperation. 'Are you sure you're not a Succubus? You seem really obsessed with the sin of lust.' 'It's a good sin. I like gluttony an awful lot, too. Sloth has its moments, but I just don't understand acedia at all. I mean, what the fk is that anyway? Oh, and greed is good, to quote Gordon Gekko. Anger, envy and pride, ' I ticked them off on my fingers. 'I don't often have much use for them. It's a shortcoming that I'm hoping to correct in the next millennium or two. I'm not very old; I can't be expected to have mastered them all yet.' 'I think you've worked too hard on some of those, ' he said dryly. 'Maybe you should switch over to virtues instead. Give yourself a much needed break.' Virtues? Yeah, right. 'Virtues are too difficult, ' I told him, shaking my head. 'Look how old you are and you've hardly made a dent in them. I'll admit, you seem to have zeal nailed, as well as faith and temperance. Self control? I've got my doubts based on your recent actions. I'm not seeing the kindness, love or generosity, either. That humility thing seems to be pretty far beyond your reach, too. Really, really far. I'm sorry to tell you this, but from what I can see, the sin of pride is a major component of your character. Dude, you're fking old. You should have these things pretty well ticked off your shopping list by now. I'm seriously disappointed. Seriously.
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To be good Christians you have to contemplate the suffering humanity of Jesus. "How can we bear witness? Contemplate Jesus. How can we forgive? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we not hate our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we avoid gossiping about our neighbor? Contemplate Jesus suffering. There is no other way". These virtues are the those of the Father, who forgives us always, and Our Lady, Our Mother, shares in these virtues too.
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While a common reaction to seeing a thing of beauty is to want to buy it, our real desire may be not so much to own what we find beautiful as to lay permanent claim to the inner qualities it embodies. Owning such an object may help us realise our ambition of absorbing the virtues to which it alludes, but we ought not to presume that those virtues will automatically or effortlessly begin to rub off on us through tenure. Endeavouring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.
Alain de Botton
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Inasmuch as every family is a part of a state, and these relationships are the parts of a family, and the virtue of the part must have regard to the virtue of the whole, women and children must be trained by education with an eye to the constitution, if the virtues of either of them are supposed to make any difference in the virtues of the state. And they must make a difference: for the children grow up to be citizens, and half the free persons in a state are women.
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As a basic step of self-esteem, learn to treat as the mark of a cannibal any man's demand for your help. To demand it is to claim that your life is his property - and loathsome as such claim might be, there's something still more loathsome: your agreement. Do you ask if it's ever proper to help another man? No- if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty that you owe him. Yes- if such is your own desire based on your own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle. Suffering as such is not a value, only man's fight against suffering is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the ground of his virtues, of his fight to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need, as a claim - is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will miss or a kindly smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made.
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There must be only three supreme values which govern a person's life: Reason, Purpose, and Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge--Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve--Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.
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The Renaissance did not break completely with mediaeval history and values. Sir Philip Sidney is often considered the model of the perfect Renaissance gentleman. He embodied the mediaeval virtues of the knight (the noble warrior), the lover (the man of passion), and the scholar (the man of learning). His death in 1586, after the Battle of Zutphen, sacrificing the last of his water supply to a wounded soldier, made him a hero. His great sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella is one of the key texts of the time, distilling the author's virtues and beliefs into the first of the Renaissance love masterpieces. His other great work, Arcadia, is a prose romance interspersed with many poems and songs.
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