Complaisance gets us friends, plain speaking, hate.1 A troublesome thing is truth, if it is indeed the source of hate, which poisons friendship; but much more troublesome is complaisance, which, by showing indulgence to the sins of a friend, allows him to be carried headlong away; but the greatest fault is in him who both scornfully rejects truth and is driven by complaisance to ruin. Therefore, in this entire matter reason and care must be used, first, that advice be free from harshness, and second, that reproof be free from insult. But in showing complaisance—I am glad to adopt Terence's word, obsequium—let courtesy be at hand, and let flattery, the handmaid of vice, be far removed, as it is unworthy not only of a friend but even of a free man; for we live in one way with a tyrant and in another with a friend.
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1 Terence, Andria, i. 1. 41: obsequium is chiefly used in a good sense, = the desire to oblige, or fall in with another's taste; but often, as here, it is almost “flattery.”
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