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Fame Contemned

ALL men are fond of glory, and even those philosophers who write against that noble passion prefix their names to their own works. It is worthy of observation that the authors of two religious books, universally received, have concealed their names from the world. The “Imitation of Christ” is attributed, without any authority, to Thomas A’Kempis; and the author of the “Whole Duty of Man” still remains undiscovered. Millions of their books have been dispersed in the Christian world.

To have revealed their names, would have given them as much worldly fame as any moralist has obtained—but they contemned it! Their religion was the purest, and raised above all worldly passions! Some profane writers indeed have also concealed their names to great works, but their motives were of a very different cast.

Editor’s Notes

 ¶ This article first appeared in the 1807 fifth edition of the Curiosities.