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[25] The great-souled are thought to have a good memory for any benefit they have conferred, but a bad memory for those which they have received (since the recipient of a benefit is the inferior of his benefactor, whereas they desire to be superior); and to enjoy being reminded of the former but to dislike being reminded of the latter: this is why the poet makes Thetis1 not specify her services to Zeus; nor did the Spartans treating with the Athenians2 recall the occasions when Sparta had aided Athens, but those on which Athens had aided Sparta.

1 An incorrect recollection of Hom. Il. 1.393 ff., Hom. Il. 1.503 f.; there Achilles says that his mother has often reminded Zeus how she rescued him when the other gods wished to put him in chains; and Thetis goes to Zeus and reminds him of her services in general terms.

2 The reference is uncertain.

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