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Now seeing this liberty of animadverting on other men's failures is liable to so many exceptions, let us in the first place carefully purge it from all mixture of self-love and interest, lest any private motive, injury, grudge, or dissatisfaction of our own should seem to incite us to the undertaking. For such a chiding as this would not pass for an effect of kindness but of passion, and looks more like complaint than an admonition; for the latter has always something in it that sounds kind and yet awful, whereas the other betrays only a selfish and narrow disposition. And therefore we usually honor and revere our monitor, but contemn and recriminate upon a querulous accuser. As Agamemnon could by no means digest the moderate censures of Achilles, yet bore well enough with the severer reprimand of Ulysses, [p. 140]
O were thy sway the curse of meaner powers,
And thou the shame of any host but ours!

being satisfied of his wisdom and good intentions; for he rated him purely upon the account of the public, the other upon his own. And Achilles himself, though of a rough and untractable disposition and ready enough to find faults where there were none,2 yet heard Patroclus patiently when he ranted him thus:

Unpitying man! no Peleus caused thy birth,
Nor did the tender Thetis bring thee forth;
But rocks, hard as thy heart, and th' angry sea
Clubbed to produce a monstrous man like thee.

For as Hyperides the orator desired the Athenians to consider not only whether his reflections were sharp, but also whether his sharpness was disinterested and incorrupt; so the reproofs of a friend, if they proceed from a sincere and disinterested affection, create veneration, awe, and confusion in the criminal to whom they are addressed. And if he once perceive that his friend, waiving all offences against himself, chides him purely for those committed against others, he can never hold out against the force of so powerful a rebuke; for the sweet and obliging temper of his monitor gives a keener edge to his admonitions. And therefore it has been wisely said, that especially in heats and differences with our friends we ought to have a peculiar regard to their honor and interest. Nor is it a less argument of friendship, for a man who is laid aside and out of favor himself to turn advocate in behalf of another equally despised and neglected; as Plato being in disgrace with Dionysius begged audience of him, which he readily granting in expectation of being entertained with an account of his grievances, Plato addressed himself to him after this manner: Sir, said he, if you were informed there were a certain ruffian come over into your island of Sicily with design to attempt upon your majesty's person, [p. 141] but for want of an opportunity could not execute the villany, would you suffer him to go off unpunished? No, by no means, Plato, replied the king; for we ought to detest and revenge not only the overt acts but the malicious intentions of our enemies. Well then, on the other hand, said Plato, if there should come a person to court out of pure kindness and ambition to serve your majesty, and you would not give him an opportunity of expressing it, were it reasonable to dismiss him with scorn and disrespect ? Whom do you mean, said Dionysius? Why, Aeschines, replied Plato, as honest and excellent a person as any in the school of Socrates, and of a very edifying conversation; who, having exposed himself to the difficulties of a tedious voyage that he might enjoy the happiness of a philosophical converse with your majesty, has met with nothing but contempt in return to the kindness he intended. This friendly and generous temper of mind so strangely affected Dionysius, that he hugged and embraced Plato, and treated Aeschines with a great deal of honor and magnificence.

1 Il. XIV. 84.

2 Il. XI. 654.

3 Il. XVI. 33.

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