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No Place in History for Abusive Language

Relying therefore on the testimony of his own countrymen, as safer ground than the virulence of Timaeus, I feel no hesitation in declaring that the life of Demochares is not chargeable with such enormities. But even supposing that Demochares had ever so disgraced himself, what need was there for Timaeus to insert this passage in his History? Men of sense, when resolved to retaliate upon a personal enemy, think first, not of what he deserves, but of what it is becoming in them to do. So in the case of abusive language: the first consideration should be, not what our enemies deserve to be called, but what our self respect will allow us to call them. But if men measure everything by their own ill temper and jealousy, we are forced to be always suspicious of them, and to be ever on our guard against their exaggeration. Wherefore, in the present instance, we may fairly reject the stories to the discredit of Philochares told by Timaeus; for he has put himself out of the pale of indulgence or belief, by so obviously allowing his native virulence to carry him beyond all bounds of propriety in his invectives.

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