According to Sir Henry Wotton, how does a happy man save himself from bad deeds in this world, in the poem "The character of a happy life"?

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He saves himself from bad deeds by not thinking dishonestly and not lying. (See first stanza)

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

He also must not let his passions rule his life. He must live in a such a way that he is prepared for death, that is, not caring too much what others think of him.(See stanza 2)

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;

He must also resist envying others.He must not have vices. He must not believe too much the praise of others. (See stanza 3)

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are giv'n by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

He must be free from rumors and have a strong conscience. That way he will not be subject to flattery or ruination.(See stanza 4)

Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.

He must pray day and night for God's grace. He must have friends and read the bible.(See stanza 5)

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend.

Then he summizes that this man wil be freed from serving others. He will be in control of himself which is most important.(See stanza 6)

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.