Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph, Speech on “The Virtue of Prosperity is Temperance; The Virtue of Adversity is Fortitude” Long, Short Essay for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams

Essay, Paragraph, Speech on “The Virtue of Prosperity is Temperance; The Virtue of Adversity is Fortitude” Long, Short Essay for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams

“The Virtue of Prosperity is Temperance; The Virtue of Adversity is Fortitude” 

“Temperance” is moderation, or self-restraint in conduct and speech. It is the opposite to any kind of excess. When Bacon says that temperance is the virtue of prosperity he means that temperance is the virtue which a prosperous man should cultivate. It is the virtue most needed in prosperity ; not the virtue which prosperity produces. For in prosperity one is tempted to excess, especially if one’s prosperity comes after a life of hardship and struggle.

A man suddenly comes into an unexpected fortune. He need no longer scrimp and save and deny himself. He now has enough money to indulge every whim and gratify every desire. So he is tempted to spend lavishly and live in luxury. Unless he restrains himself, he will run after every pleasure, and become extravagant, selfish and self-indulgent. Or, after long years of struggle, a man at last achieves success, and becomes famous or powerful. Unless he restrains himself, he will be lifted up with pride, or will use his power selfishly or tyrannically. Such people have to learn that the virtue of prosperity is temperance — moderation and self-control.

The ancient Greeks believed in “Nemesis”, the goddess of retribution. She hated excess in any form—excess of joy as well as of sorrow, of prosperity as well as of adversity. Her motto was “moderation in all things”. Nemesis will come on those who do not school themselves to “temperance” in their prosperity ; the nemesis of a deterioration of character. “Fortitude” means courage and brave endurance. So fortitude is the virtue we need most in adversity. Fortitude will help us to bear loss patiently, and suffering without murmuring ; to hope when skies are dark, and to keep on trying however often we fail ; to “run and not be weary, to walk and not faint”. Whether adversity will harm us, or make us better men, depends on how we take it. If we rebel and murmur and give up in despair, it will damage us ; but if we bravely endure and take it with submissive patience, it will make men of us. “Great are the uses of adversity”; for it can try, brace and strengthen the will, teach us sympathy with others, soften our natures with humility, and lead us to seek Divine help to live aright. “As gold is tried in the fire, so the heart is tried by pain.”

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