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[11]

Having said enough about securing friendships, I must now speak on another department of a candidate's task, which is concerned with the conciliation of the people. This demands a knack of remembering names, insinuating manners, constant attendance, liberality, the power of setting a report afloat and creating a hopeful feeling in the state. First of all, make the faculty you possess of recognizing people conspicuous, and go on increasing and improving it every day. I don't think there is anything so popular or so conciliatory. Next, if nature has denied you some quality, resolve to assume it, so as to appear to be acting naturally. Although nature has great force, yet in a business lasting only a few months it seems probable that the artificial may be the more effective. For though you are not lacking in the courtesy which good and polite men should have, yet there is great need of a flattering manner which, however faulty and discreditable in other transactions of life, is yet necessary during a candidateship. For when it makes a man worse by truckling, it is wrong; but when only more friendly, it does not deserve so harsh a term ; while it is absolutely necessary to a candidate, whose face and expression and style of conversation have to be varied and accommodated to the feelings and tastes of everyone he meets. As for "constant attendance," there is no need of laying down any rule, the phrase speaks for itself. It is, of course, of very great consequence not to go away anywhere; but the real advantage of such constant attendance is not only the being at Rome and in the forum, but the pushing one's Canvass assiduously, the addressing oneself again and again to the same persons, the making it impossible (as far as your power goes) for anyone to say that he has not been asked by you, and earnestly and carefully asked. Liberality is, again, of wide application ; it is shewn in regard to the management of your private property, which, even if it does not actually reach the multitude, yet, if spoken of with praise by friends, earns the favour of the multitude. It may also be displayed in banquets, which you must take care to attend yourself and to cause your friends to attend, whether open ones or those confined to particular tribes. It may, again, be displayed in giving practical assistance, which I would have you render available far and wide : and be careful therein to be accessible to all by day and night, and not only by the doors of your house, but by your face and countenance, which is the door of the mind for, if that shews your feelings to be those of reserve and concealment, it is of little good to have your house doors open. For men desire not only to have promises made them, especially in their applications to a candidate, but to have them made in a liberal and complimentary manner. Accordingly, it is an easy rule to make, that you should indicate that whatever you are going to do you will do with heartiness and pleasure; it is somewhat more difficult, and rather a concession to the necessities of the moment than to your inclination, that when you cannot do a thing you should [either promise] or put your refusal pleasantly : the latter is the conduct of a good man, the former of a good candidate. For when a request is made which we cannot grant with honour or without loss to ourselves, for instance, if a man were to ask us to appear in a suit against a friend, a refusal must be given in a gentlemanly way: you must point out to him that your hands are tied, must shew that you are exceedingly sorry, must convince him that you will make up for it in other ways.


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