They might be physical, emotional or spiritual things.

273. § ----&c.] The words must be taken as a genitive of the quality, cum vir esset &c. But they are, as they stand, by no meanssatisfactory:something seems to be wanting in the text. Schottus, however, thinks them an intruded gloss.

Jimmy Cross in Tim O'Brien's Story The Things They Carried

This they could easily do because everyone felt doomed and had abandoned his
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Atleast this is the account which they wish to be believed.

These were generallyfounded by such enthusiasts - the rulers indeed of the church this to the utmost, as the best levy for the spiritualpower - but they could not such foundations.

What must they think of this Order?

The magistrates of Antioch, the most voluptuous and corrupted cityof the East, wrote to the Emperor, telling him that this book had reformedthe ladies of their city, where Jutian the Emperor and his Sophists had formerlypreached in vain, and they therefore prayed that the good Bishop might notbe deprived of his mitre: It is true, we read of Hypatia, daughter of Theon,the mathematician at Alexandria, who was a prodigy of excellence, and taughtphilosophy,

And with all this bestial behaviour, they avoided the sick as much as possible.
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Free The Things They Carried Essays and Papers

VIII. Yet he could not give up his affection for his country; for when Philocles, the commander of the Athenians, had stationed his fleet at Aegospotamos, and Lysander, the captain of the Lacedaemonians (who was intent upon protracting the war as long as possible, because money was supplied to the Lacedaemonians by the king, while to the exhausted Athenians, on the other hand, nothing was left but their arms and their ships) was not far distant, Alcibiades came to the army of the Athenians, and there, in the presence of the common soldiers, began toassert, that "if they pleased, he would force Lysander either to fight or beg peace; that the Lacedaemonians were unwilling to engage by sea, because they were stronger in land-forces than in ships; but that it would be easy for him to bring down Seuthes, king of the Thracians, to drive them from the land, and that, when this was done, they would of necessity either come to an engagement with their fleet, or put an end to the war." Philocles, though he saw that this statement was true, would not yet do what was desired, for he knew that he himself, if Alcibiades were restored to the command, would be of no account with the army; and that, if any success resulted, his share in the matter would amount to nothing, while, on the other hand, if any ill-fortune occurred, he alone would be called to account for the miscarriage. Alcibiades, on taking leave of him, said, "As you hinder your country's success, I advise you to keep your sailors' camp near the enemy; for there is danger that, through the insubordination of our men, an opportunity may be afforded to Lysander of cutting off our army." Nor did his apprehension deceive him; for Lysander, having learned from his scouts that the body of the Athenian force was gone on shore to seek for plunder, and that the ships were left almost empty, did not neglect the opportunity of making an attack, and by that single effort put an end to the whole war.

The Things They Carried - Kansas State University

3) “They carried their reputations. They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory and dishonor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor.”

The Black Death, 1348 - Eyewitness to History - the Plague

What opinion will be formed of this Association by the modest, the lowly-minded,the candid, who acknowledge that they too often feel the superior force ofpresent and sensible pleasures, by which their minds are drawn off from thecontemplation of what their consciences tell them to be right - to be theirdutiful and filial sentiments and emotions respecting their great and goodParent - to be their dutiful and neighbourly affections, and their properconduct to all around them - and which diminish their veneration for thatpurity of thought and moderation of appetite which becomes their noble natures.