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But the temper of a flatterer is discernible from that of a friend not only in the easiness of his promises and the troublesome impertinence that attends his good offices, but more signally in this, that the one is ready to promote any base and unworthy action, the other those only which are fair and honest. The one labors to please, the other to profit you. For a friend must not, as Gorgias would have him, beg another's assistance in a just undertaking, and [p. 135] then think to compensate the civility by contributing to several that are unjust.
In wisdom, not in folly, should they join.

And if, after all, he cannot prevail upon him, he may disengage himself with the reply of Phocion to Antipater; Sir, I cannot be both your friend and your flatterer,—that is, Your friend and not your friend at the same time. For we ought to be assistant to him in his honest endeavors indeed, but not in his knaveries; in his counsels, not in his tricks ; in appearing as evidence for him, but not in a cheat; and must bear a share in his misfortunes, but not in his acts of injustice. For if a man ought not to be as much as conscious of any unworthiness in his friend, how much less will it become him to partake in it? Therefore, as the Lacedaemonians, defeated and treating of articles of peace with Antipater, prayed him to command them any thing, howsoever grievous and burthensome to the subject, provided it were not base and dishonorable; so a friend, if you want his assistance in a chargeable, dangerous, and laborious enterprise, embarks in the design cheerfully and without reserve; but if such as will not stand with his reputation and honor, he fairly desires to be excused. Whereas, on the contrary, if you offer to put a flatterer upon a difficult or hazardous employment, he shuffles you off and begs your pardon. For but sound him, as you rap a vessel to try whether it be whole or cracked, full or empty; and he shams you off with the noise of some paltry, frivolous excuses. But engage him in any mean, sordid, and inglorious service, abuse him, kick him, trample on him, he bears all patiently and knows no affront. For as the ape, who cannot keep the house like a dog or bear a burden like an horse or plough like an ox, serves to be abused, to play the buffoon, and to make sport; so the parasite, who can neither plead your cause nor be your [p. 136] counsel nor espouse your quarrel, as being averse from all painful and good offices, denies you in nothing that may contribute to your pleasure, turns pander to your lust, pimps for a whore, provides you an handsome entertainment, looks that your bill be reasonable, and sneaks to your miss; but he shall treat your relations with disrespect and impudently turn your wife out of doors, if you commission him. So that you may easily discover him in this particular. For put him upon the most base and dirty actions; he will not spare his own pains, provided he can but gratify you.

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