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[99] Wherefore, although that sort of hollow flattery influences those who court and make a bid for it, yet even stronger and steadier men should be warned to be on their guard lest they be taken in by flattery of the crafty kind.

No one, to be sure, unless he is an utter fool, fails to detect the open flatterer, but we must exercise a watchful care against the deep and crafty one lest he steal upon us unawares. For he is very hard to recognize, since he often fawns even by opposing, and flatters and cajoles by pretending to quarrel, until at last he gives in, allowing himself to be overcome so that his dupe may appear to have seen further into the matter than himself. And yet, is there anything more discreditable than to be made a dupe? If not, then we should be all the more on our guard that it does not happen to us to have to confess: [p. 207]

To-day, of all old fools that play the comic parts,
You've wheedled me the most and made your greatest dupe.

Lines from the Epiclerus by Caecilius Statius.1

1 Cf. Cic. Cato Maior ยง 36 nam quos ait Caecilius . . . comicos stultos senes.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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