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[3]

To all these matters, therefore, a man should give heed. And it is fitting that he should approach his wife in honorable wise, full of self-restraint and awe; and in his conversation with her, should use only the words of a right-minded man, suggesting only such acts as are themselves lawful and honorable; treating her with much self-restraint and trust,1 and passing over any trivial or unintentional errors she has committed. And if through ignorance she has done wrong, he should advise her of it without threatening, in a courteous and modest manner. Indifference <to her faults> and harsh reproof <of them>, he must alike avoid. Between a courtesan and her lover, such tempers are allowed their course; [120] between a free woman and her lawful spouse there should be a reverent and modest mingling of love and fear. For of fear there are two kinds. The fear which virtuous and honorable sons feel towards their fathers, and loyal citizens towards right-minded rulers, has for its companions reverence and modesty; but the other kind, felt by slaves for masters and by subjects for despots who treat them with injustice and wrong, is associated with hostility and hatred.

By choosing the better of all these alternatives a husband should secure the agreement, loyalty, and devotion of his wife, so that whether he himself is present or not, there may be no difference in her attitude towards him, since she realizes that they are alike guardians of the common interests; and so when he is away she may feel that to her no man is kinder [130] or more virtuous or more truly hers than her own husband.And <a good wife> will make this manifest from the beginning by her unfailing regard for the common welfare, novice though she be in such matters. And if the husband learns first to master himself, he will thereby become his wife's best guide in all the affairs of life, and will teach her to follow his example. For Homer pays no honor either to affection or to fear apart from the shame or modesty that shrinks from evil. Everywhere he bids affection be coupled with self-control and shame; whilst the fear he commends is such as Helen owns when she thus addresses Priam: "Beloved sire of my lord, it is fitting that I fear thee and dread thee and revere"2; meaning that her love for him is mingled with fear and modest shame. And again, Ulysses speaks to Nausicaa in this manner: [140] "Thou, lady, dost fill me with wonder and with fear."3 For Homer believes that this is the feeling of a <good> husband and wife for one another, and that if they so feel, it will be well with them both. For none ever loves or admires or fears in this shamefaced way one of baser character; but such are the feelings towards one another of nobler souls and those by nature good; or of the inferior toward those they know to be their betters. Feeling thus toward Penelope, Ulysses remained faithful to her in his wanderings; whereas Agamemnon did wrong to his wife for the sake of Chryseis, declaring in open assembly that a base captive woman, and of alien race besides, was in no wise inferior to Clytemnestra in womanly excellence.4 [150] This was ill spoken of the mother of his children; nor was his connection with the other a righteous one. How could it be, when he had but recently compelled her to be his concubine, and before he had any experience of her behavior to him? Ulysses on the other hand, when the daughter of Atlas5 besought him to share her bed and board, and promised him immortality and everlasting happiness, could not bring himself even for the sake of immortality to betray the kindness and love and loyalty of his wife, deeming immortality purchased by unrighteousness to be the worst of all punishments.6 For it was only to save his comrades that he yielded his person to Circe; and in answer to her he even declared that in his eyes nothing could be more lovely than his native isle, rugged though it were; [160] and prayed that he might die, if only he might look upon his mortal wife and son.7 So firmly did he keep troth with his wife; and received in return from her the like loyalty.8

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