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And now some cannot endure to hear the Stoics, who centre all true riches, generosity, nobility, and royalty itself in the person of a wise man; but with the flatterer it is the man of money that is both orator and poet, and, if he pleases, painter and fiddler too, a good wrestler, an excellent footman, or any thing, for they never stand with [p. 123] him for the victory in those engagements; as Crisson, who had the honor to run with Alexander, let him designedly win the race, which the king being told of afterwards was highly disgusted at him. And therefore I like the observation of Carneades, who used to say that young princes and noblemen never arrived to a tolerable perfection in any thing they learned, except riding; for their preceptors spoil them at school by extolling all their performances, and their wrestling-masters by always taking the foil; whereas the horse, who knows no distinction betwixt a private man and a magistrate, betwixt the rich and the poor, will certainly throw his rider if he knows not how to sit him, let him be of what quality he pleases. And therefore it was but impertinently said of Bion upon this subject, that he who could praise his ground into a good crop were to blame if he bestowed any other tillage upon it. 'Tis granted: nor is it improper to commend a man, if you do him any real kindness thereby. But here is the disparity: that a field cannot be made worse by any commendations bestowed upon it, whereas a man immoderately praised is puffed up, burst, and ruined by it.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1927)
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