Influence! That almost magical word, what things it suggests!
To influence others! What a marvellous gift, and what assured success to him that possesses it!
He will not know the loneliness of self-isolation from the rest of mankind.
The weaknesses of the will, the terrors that cause the rise of the phantom of agonizing doubt, will be strangers to him.
Both the spirit and the body will be under command. The griefs of life never will completely overwhelm him.
He will have the joy of seeing that men's hearts, under the influence of his word and his example, will open to pure and noble sentiments.
The art of succeeding will become familiar to him, for he will know how to attract to himself voluntary collaborators.
In short, his power will set him apart as a being different from others.
The success that has attended the publication of "Timidity Overcome" has encouraged me to print the precepts of Yoritomo-Tashi.
The attention of the public is now turned toward the old Shogun, whose doctrine, ringing with truth, is as applicable to the needs of our own day as in the time when it was first revealed.
Moreover, it is embellished with legends, gentle smooth, grassy slope on which appear, here and there, scattered among rough oak trees, the rarest and most exquisite flowers.
Thus it is with a deep and serious joy that I have again opened the manuscripts of my friend, the deceased Commandant B -, to transcribe in out own beautiful language the precepts and reflections of him who was at once a leader of men and a spiritual guide.
We find them veiled, as it were, under a robe of gray velvet, a dull vestment that the years wove of writings of men, but, without fearing the light cloud that soon will powder my own locks, I reread his vibrating phrases of persuasive clearness and convincing sincerity.
Again, little by little, I feel myself swayed by the charm already experienced; and the influence of these words, which seem to spring from the very beginning of time, and to have been diffused throughout the world, attract me and enthrall me with the doctrines of his philosophy in ever-increasing admiration.
To influence others! What a marvelous gift, and what assured success to him that possesses it!
He will know only by name the torments born of antipathy and of the loneliness of self-isolation from the rest of mankind.
Both the spirit and the body will be under command.
The griefs of life never will completely overwhelm him, for, having foreseen them; he will know how to mitigate them.
In short, his power will set him 'apart as a being different from others, and, to use an ancient Japanese saying, filled with dominating power: "He will build his palace on the bones of the timorous."
Little by little, the radiating action of this expanding will acts on me; why not try, through Yoritomo, to speak of this art, more magnificent than all others, since it renders contagious the cult of proselytism anti shows us how to prevent it from becoming sterile.
To influence others is not to play the part of creator, since it brings to life in the minds of men an idea which without its aid never would have germinated.
Is it not to become a sort of providence, since good influence buries vice, the source of unhappiness and restlessness, to install instead perfect calm, the joy of living, and the security which always precedes happiness, or at least allows us to maintain ourselves in that state which most nearly approaches it.
With fervor, then, I have once more unfolded the writings of the philosopher, to transcribe the maxims and the luminous legends that make the study of his work so special and so attractive.
Although all truth is eternal, I trust that in this book, as in others that have preceded it, the reader will feel the undeniable and peculiarly genial attraction of the doctrine that the ancient Shogun exercises over the minds of those that know how to grasp and comprehend it.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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