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.
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.
Few revolutions succeed, and when they do, you often discover they did not gain what you hoped for, and you condemn yourself to perpetual fear, as the parties you defeated may always regain power and work for your ruin.
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.
If you attempt certain things at the right time, they are easy to accomplish - in fact, they almost get done by themselves. If you undertake them before the time is right, not only will they fail, but they will often become impossible to accomplish even when the time would have been right.
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.
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.