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But because, as we have before observed, it is common to them both to please (for a good man is no less taken with the company of his friends than an ill one is with a flatterer's), let us discriminate them here too. And the way will be to have an eye to the end to which they direct the satisfaction they create, which may be thus illustrated. Your perfumed oils have a fine odoriferous scent, and so, it may be, have some medicines too; but with this difference, that the former are prepared barely for the gratification of the sense, whilst the other, besides their odor, purge, heal, and fatten. Again, the colors used by painters are certainly very florid and the mixture agreeable; and yet so it is in some medicinal compositions too. Wherein then lies the difference? Why, in the end or use for which they are designed, the one purely for pleasure the other for profit. In like manner the civilities of one friend to another, besides the main point of their honesty and mutual advantage, are always attended with an overplus of delight and satisfaction. [p. 114] Nay, they can now and then indulge themselves the liberty of an innocent diversion, a collation, or a glass of wine, and, believe me, can be as cheerful and jocund as the best; all which they use only as sauce, to give a relish to the more serious and weighty concernments of life. To which purpose was that of the poet,
With pleasing chat they did delight each other;

as likewise this too,

Nothing could part our pleasure or our love.1

But the whole business and design of a flatterer is continually to entertain the company with some pastime or other, a little jest, a story well told, or a comical action; and, in a word, he thinks he can never overact the diverting part of conversation. Whereas the true friend, proposing no other end to himself than the bare discharge of his duty, is sometimes pleasant, and as often, it may be, disagreeable, neither solicitously coveting the one, nor industriously avoiding the other, if he judge it the more seasonable and expedient. For as a physician, if need require, will throw in a little saffron or spikenard to qualify his patient's dose, and will now and then bathe him and feed him up curiously, and yet again another time will prescribe him castor,

Or poley, which the strongest scent doth yield
Of all the physic plants which clothe the field,

or perhaps will oblige him to drink an infusion of hellebore,—proposing neither the deliciousness of the one nor the nauseousness of the other as his scope and design, but only conducting him by these different methods to one and the same end, the recovery of his health,—in like manner the real friend sometimes leads his man gently on to virtue by kindness, by pleasing and extolling him, as he in Homer, [p. 115]

Dear Teucer, thou who art in high command,
Thus draw the bow with thy unerring hand;

and as another speaking of Ulysses,

How can I doubt, while great Ulysses stands
To lend his counsel and assist our hands?

and again, when he sees correction requisite, he will check him severely, as,

Whither, O Menelaus, wouldst thou run,
And tempt a fate which prudence bids thee shun?

and perhaps he is forced another time to second his words with actions, as Menedemus reclaimed his friend Asclepiades's son, a dissolute and debauched young gentleman, by shutting his doors upon him and not vouchsafing to speak to him. And Arcesilaus forbade Battus his school for having abused Cleanthes in a comedy of his, but after he had made satisfaction and an acknowledgment of his fault, took him into favor again. For we ought to grieve and afflict our friend with design merely of serving him, not of making a rupture betwixt us, and must apply our reprehensions only as pungent and acute medicines, with no other intent than the recovery of the patient. And therefore a friend—like a skilful musician who, to tune his instrument, winds up one string and lets down another—grants some things and refuses others according as their honesty or usefulness prompt him, whereby he often pleases, but is sure always to profit; whereas the parasite, who is continually upon the same humoring string, knows not how to let fall a cross word or commit a disobliging action, but servilely complies with all your desires, and is always in the tune you ask for. And therefore, as Xenophon reports of Agesilaus that he took some delight in being praised by those who would upon occasion dispraise him too, so ought we to judge that only he rejoices and pleases us really as a [p. 116] friend, who will, when need requires, thwart and contradict us; we must suspect their conversation who aim at nothing but our gratification, without the least intermixture of reprehension; and indeed we ought to have ready upon such occasions that repartee of a Lacedaemonian who, hearing King Charillus highly extolled for an excellent person, asked, How he could be so good a man, who was never severe to an ill one?

1 Il. XI. 643; Odyss. IV. 178.

2 Il. VIII. 281; Odyss. I. 65; Il. VII. 109.

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