But because, as it has been before observed, reproofs usually carry something of trouble and vexation along with them, we must imitate skilful physicians, who, when they have made an incision in the flesh, leave it not open to the smart and torment that attends it, but chafe and foment it to assuage the pain. So he who would admonish dexterously must not immediately give a man over to the sting and anguish of his reprehensions, but endeavor to skin over the sore with a more mild and diverting converse; like stone-cutters, who, when they have made a fracture in their statues, polish and brighten them afterwards. But if we leave them in pain with their wounds and resentments, and (as it were) with the scars of our reproofs yet green upon them, they will hardly be brought to admit of any lenitive we shall offer for the future. And therefore they who will take upon them to admonish their friends ought especially to observe this main point, not to leave them immediately upon it, nor abruptly break off the conference with disobliging and bitter expressions.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1927)
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