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‘And for the same reason neither their love nor their hatred is ever deep, but according to the precept of Bias, their love is such as may hereafter become hatred, and their hatred love’. This famous and often quoted saying of Bias of Priene, the last of the seven sages (585—540 B. C.) —on whom see Diog. Laert. 15, 82 seq. and Mure, Gk. Lit. III 393,—is again referred to, without the author's name, II 21. 13. I will give two or three of the most important references. Soph. Aj. 678 (Lobeck's Ed.), a well-known passage of six lines, concluding with the reason or explanation of the precept, τοῖς πολλοῖσι γὰρ βροτῶν ἄπιστός ἐσθ᾽ ἑταιρείας λιμήν. Comp. Lobeck ad loc., and to the same effect Oed. Col. 614, τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ἤδη, τοῖς δ᾽ ἐν ὑστέρῳ χρόνῳ, τὰ τερπνὰ πικρὰ γίγνεται καὖθις φίλα. Diogenes, u. s., § 87 (in the same chapter several more of his apophthegms are quoted), ἔλεγέ τε τὸν βιόν οὕτω μετρεῖν ὡς καὶ πολὺν καὶ ὀλίγον χρόνον βιωσομένους, καὶ φιλεῖν ὡς μισήσοντας: τοὺς γὰρ πλείστους εἶναι κακούς, and again § 88, ἀπεφθέγξατο: οἱ πλεῖστοι κακοί, which gives his reason for the rule. A similar sentiment is found in Eurip. Hippol. 253, χρῆν γὰρ μετρίας εἰς ἀλλήλους φιλίας θνητοὺς ἀνακίρνασθαι κ.τ.λ. Cic. de Amic. XVI. 59, Negabat (Scipio) ullam vocem inimiciorem amicitiae potuisse reperiri, quam eius, qui dixisset ita amare oportere ut si aliquando esset osurus: nec vero se adduci posse ut hoc, quemadmodum putaretur, a Biante esse dictum crederet, qui sapiens habitus est unus e septem, sed impuri cuiusdam aut ambitiosi, aut omnia ad suam potentiam revocantis, esse sententiam. Publius Syrus apud Gell. Noct. Att. XVII 14 (ap. Schneidewin ad loc. Aj.), Ita amicum habeas, posse ut fieri hunc inimicum putes. Bacon de Augm. Scient. VIII c. 2, Works, Ellis and Sped. ed., Vol. I. p. 788, “Septimum praeceptum est antiquum illud Biantis; modo non ad perfidiam, sed ad cautionem et moderationem, adhibeatur: et ames tanquam inimicus futurus, et oderis tanquam amaturus. Nam utilitates quasque mirum in modum prodit et corrumpit si quis nimium se immerserit amicitiis infelicibus, molestis et turbidis odiis, aut puerilibus et futilibus aemulationibus.” Comp. Adv. of Learning, II xxiii. 42. La Bruyère, Caract. c. 4 (in Ellis' note). “Vivre avec nos ennemis comme s'ils devoient un jour être nos amis, et vivre avec nos amis comme s'ils pouvoient devenir nos ennemis, n'est ni selon la nature de la haine, ni selon les règles de l'amitié: ce n'est point une maxime morale mais politique. On ne doit pas se faire des ennemis de ceux qui mieux connus pourroient avoir rang entre nos amis. On doit faire choix d'amis si surs et d'une si exacte probité que venant à cesser de l'être ils ne veuillent pas abuser de notre confiance, ni se faire craindre comme nos ennemis,” (on which Mr Spedding has another commentary, too long to quote). Finally, Demosthenes, c. Aristocr. § 122, p. 660 (quoted by Gaisford), expresses his approbation of the maxim as a rule of action. He refers to it as a current precept, without naming the author, and sums up in conclusion, ἀλλ᾽ ἀχρὶ τούτου καὶ φιλεῖν, οἶμαι, χρὴ καὶ μισεῖν, μηδετέρου τὸν καιρὸν ὑπερβάλλοντας, that is, neither friendship nor enmity should be carried too far, and so interpreted, as to exclude the possibility of a subsequent change of feeling.

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