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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Irascible Persons: Not to Be Provoked
In the Jardin des Plantes we saw a hooded snake in a most unamiable condition of temper. There was a thick glass and a stout wire between us, and we did nothing but look at him, yet he persisted in darting at us with the utmost vehemence of malice, until the keeper requested us to move away, with the advice that it was not well to irritate such creatures. When one meets with an irascible person, on the look out to pick a quarrel, ill conditioned, and out of elbows with the whole world, it is best to move on, and let him alone. Even if he can do you no harm, and if his irritation be utterly unreasonable, it is best to remove all exciting causes of provocation, for it is never wise to irritate vipers. You do not on purpose walk heavily across the floor to teach a gouty man that you have no respect for his tender feelings since he ought not to be so susceptible; neither should you vex those afflicted with a bad temper, and then plead that they have no right to be so excitable. If our neighbours' tempers are gunpowder, let us not play with fire.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Irascible Persons: Not to Be Provoked'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/i/irascible-persons-not-to-be-provoked.html. 1870.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26