With a master ever ready to venture on the most audacious enterprises, Frycollin's cowardice had brought him many arduous trials. But he had some compensation. Very little had been said about his gluttony, and still less about his laziness. Ah, Valet Frycollin, if you could only have read the future!
And remember, that the person who hoaxes you is always in the wrong, and it depends only upon yourself to heap that ridicule upon him that was intended for your own head; to say nothing of the odium that must attach to him for the cruelty, the cowardice, and the meanness of fighting with a lad weaker than himself. This I will enforce by a plain fact that happened to myself.
He knew not then that the example before him would nerve him in moments of severest trial, then fast approaching, that the one accusation urged against the Christians, which he had felt most keenly, that of cowardice, was answered in the weak yet valiant boy, who found strength in the name of Christ to endure all for His sake; neither did his fierce countrymen know that they were preparing a disappointment for the pagan Anlaf, and for all those of his house and lineage.
Some men, however, who cannot make opportunities for themselves, can do nobly enough if the chance comes to them; and this chance came to the Rector in his sixty-ninth year, on the wings of the black fever. To quicken spiritual life in the soul of a Master Salter he had not the courage even to attempt; but a panic of physical cowardice had not a temptation for him.
Not through any cowardice, however, did the men hesitate, for all this fiction written about men's eagerness for battle, their ungovernable desire to throw themselves upon the enemy, their great love of hearing the bursting of shells over their heads, the whizzing of minnie balls through their ranks is all very well for romance and on paper, but a soldier left free to himself, unless he seeks notoriety or honors, will not often rush voluntarily into battle, and if he can escape it honorably, he will do it nine times out of ten.
In another moment the bear was within three yards of him, and, being taken by surprise, it immediately rose on its hind legs, which is the custom of bears when about to make or receive an attack. It stared for a moment at the horrified artist. Let not my reader think that Heywood's feelings were due to cowardice. The bravest of men have been panic-stricken when taken by surprise.
"Faith has its limits as well as temper, and there are points beyond which neither can be stretched without sinking into cowardice or plunging into credulity. This, my friends, I conceive to be your situation; hurried to the verge of both, another step would ruin you forever.
If policy demand the sacrifice, it does not require that the victims should be rendered odious; and if it be necessary to dispossess them of their habitations, they ought not, at the moment they are thrown upon the world, to be painted as monsters unworthy of its pity or protection. It is the cowardice of the assassin, who murders before he dares to rob.
I said how we were in our measure emperors and kings, men undriven, free to do as we pleased with life; we classed among the happy ones, our bread and common necessities were given us for nothing, we had abilities, it wasn't modesty but cowardice to behave as if we hadn't and Fortune watched us to see what we might do with opportunity and the world.
Only those people, in whose souls dwells a slavish cowardice before life, in whose bosoms there are enormous ulcers of the most abominable self-adoration, taking the places of their dead hearts only those people are superfluous; but even they are necessary, if only for the sake of enabling me to pour my hatred upon them."