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48. I am not much troubled by the allurement of odors. When
they are absent, I do not seek them; when they are present,
I do not refuse them; and I am always prepared to go without
them. At any rate, I appear thus to myself; it is quite
possible that I am deceived. For there is a lamentable darkness
in which my capabilities are concealed, so that when my
mind inquires into itself concerning its own powers, it
does not readily venture to believe itself, because what
already is in it is largely concealed unless experience
brings it to light. Thus no man ought to feel secure in
this life, the whole of which is called an ordeal, ordered
so that the man who could be made better from having been
worse may not also from having been better become worse.
Our sole hope, our sole confidence, our only assured promise,
is thy mercy.