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OF BASHFULNESS. - Plutarch, The Morals, vol. 1 
Plutarch’s Morals. Translated from the Greek by Several Hands. Corrected and Revised by William W. Goodwin, with an Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 5 Volumes. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878). Vol. 1.
Part of: Plutarch’s Morals, 5 vols.
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1. Some plants there are, in their own nature wild and barren, and hurtful to seed and garden-sets, which yet among able husbandmen pass for infallible signs of a rich and promising soil. In like manner, some passions of the mind not good in themselves yet serve as first shoots and promises of a disposition which is naturally good, and also capable of much improvement by cultivation. Among these I rank bashfulness, the subject of our present discourse; no ill sign indeed, but the cause and occasion of a great deal of harm. For the bashful oftentimes run into the same enormities as the most hardened and impudent, with this difference only, that the former feel a regret for such miscarriages, but the latter take a pleasure and satisfaction therein. The shameless person is without sense of grief for his baseness, and the bashful is in distress at the very appearance of it. For bashfulness is only modesty in the excess, and is aptly enough named δυσωπία (the being put out of countenance), since the face is in some sense confused and dejected with the mind. For as that grief which casts down the eyes is termed dejection, so that kind of modesty which cannot look another in the face is called bashfulness. The orator, speaking of a shameless fellow, said he carried harlots, not virgins, in his eyes;* on the other hand, the sheepishly bashful betrays no less the effeminacy and softness of his mind in his looks, palliating his weakness, which exposes him to the mercy of impudence, with the specious name of modesty. Cato indeed was wont to say of young persons, he had a greater opinion of such as were subject to color than of those that looked pale; teaching us thereby to look with greater apprehension on the heinousness of an action than on the reprimand which might follow, and to be more afraid of the suspicion of doing an ill thing than of the danger of it. However, too much anxiety and timidity lest we may do wrong is also to be avoided; because many men have become cowards and been deterred from generous undertakings, no less for fear of calumny and detraction than by the danger or difficulty of such attempts.
2. While therefore we must not suffer the weakness in the one case to pass unnoticed, neither must we abet or countenance invincible impudence in the other, such as is reported of Anaxarchus, —
A convenient mien between both is rather to be endeavored after, by repressing the over impudent, and animating the too meek temper. But as this kind of cure is difficult, so is the restraining such excesses not without danger; for as a gardener, in stubbing up some wild or useless bushes, makes at them carelessly with his spade, or burns them off the ground, but in dressing a vine, or grafting an apple, or pruning an olive, carries his hand with the greatest wariness and deliberation, that he may not unluckily injure the tree; so a philosopher, in removing envy, that useless and untractable plant, or covetousness or immoderate love of pleasure from the mind of youth, may cut deep safely, and make a large scar; but if he be to apply his discourse to some more sensible or delicate part, such as the restraining excess of bashfulness, it lies upon him to be very careful not to cut off or eradicate modesty with the contrary vice. For nurses who too often wipe away the dirt from their infants are apt to tear their flesh and put them to pain. And in like manner we must not so far extirpate all bashfulness in youth as to leave them careless or impudent; but as those that pull down private houses adjoining to the temples of the Gods prop up such parts as are contiguous to them, so in undermining bashfulness, due regard is to be had to adjacent modesty, good nature, and humanity. And yet these are the very qualities by which bashfulness insinuates itself and becomes fixed in a man, flattering him that he is goodnatured, courteous, and civil, and has common sense, and that he is not obstinate and inexorable. The Stoics, therefore, in their discourses of modesty, distinguish all along betwixt that and bashfulness, leaving not so much as ambiguity of terms for a pretence to the vice. However, asking their good leave, we shall make bold to use such words indifferently in either sense; or rather we shall follow the example of Homer, whose authority we have for it, that
And it was not done amiss of him to make mention of the hurtfulness of it first, because modesty becomes profitable only through reason, which cuts off what is superfluous and leaves a just mean behind.
3. In the first place, therefore, the bashful man must be persuaded and satisfied that that distemper of the mind is prejudicial to him, and that nothing which is so can be eligible. And withal, he must be cautious how he suffers himself to be cajoled and led by the nose with the titles of courteous or sociable, in exchange for those of grave, great, and just; nor like Pegasus in Euripides, who, when Bellerophon mounted him,
With trembling stooped more than his lord desired,*
must he debase himself and yield to all who make their addresses to him, for fear of appearing hard and ungentle.
It is recorded of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, a man of a very cruel nature, that the goddess Isis sent a kind of a serpent (called aspis), which winding itself about his head cast a shadow over him from above, and was a means to him of determining causes according to equity. But bashfulness, on the contrary, happening upon remiss and spiritless tempers, suffers them not to express their dislike of any thing or to argue against it, but perverts many times the sentence of arbitrators, and stops the mouths of skilful pleaders, forcing them often to act and speak contrary to their conviction. And the most reckless man will always tyrannize and domineer over such a one, forcing his bashfulness by his own strength of impudence. Upon this account it is that bashfulness, like a low piece of soft ground, can make no resistance and decline no encounter, but is exposed to the meanest actions and vilest passions. But, above all, this is the worst guardian of raw and inexperienced youth. For, as Brutus said, he seems to have had but an ill education that has not learned to deny any thing. And no better overseer is it of the marriage-bed or the woman’s apartment; as the repentant lady in Sophocles accuses the spark that had debauched her, —
Thy tongue, thy flattering tongue prevailed.†
So this vice, happening upon a disposition inclinable to debauchery, prepares and opens the way, and leaves all things easy and accessible to such as are ready to prefer their wicked designs. Presents and treats are irresistible baits for common mercenary creatures; but importunity, befriended with bashfulness on their side, has sometimes undone the modestest women. I omit what inconveniences this kind of modesty occasions, when it obliges men to lend their money to such whose credit is blown upon in the world, or to give bail for those they dare not trust; we do this, it is true, with an ill-will, and in our heart reflect upon that old saying, Be bail, and pay for it, yet cannot make use of it in our practice.
4. How many this fault has ruined, it is no easy thing to recount. Creon in the play gave a very good lesson for others to follow, when he told Medea, —
Yet afterwards, being wrought upon through his bashfulness to grant her but one day longer, he ruined himself and family by it. For the same reason, some, suspecting designs against them of murder or poisoning, have neglected to provide for their safety. Thus Dion could not be ignorant of the treachery of Callippus, yet thought it unfit to entertain such thoughts of his pretended friend and guest, and so perished. So again, Antipater, the son of Cassander, having entertained Demetrius at supper, and being engaged by him for the next night, because he was unwilling to distrust one who had trusted him, went, and had his throat cut after supper. Polysperchon had promised Cassander for an hundred talents to murder Hercules, the son of Alexander by Barsine. Upon this he invites him to sup; but the young man, having some suspicion of the thing, pretends himself indisposed. Polysperchon coming to him said: Sir, above all things endeavor after your father’s courteous behavior and obliging way to his friends, unless haply you look on us with suspicion as if we were compassing your health. The young man out of mere modesty was prevailed upon to go, and was strangled as he sat at meat. It is not therefore (as some will have us believe) insignificant or ridiculous, but on the contrary very wise advice, which Hesiod gives, —
Welcome a friend, but never call thy foe.*
Be not bashful and mealy-mouthed in refusing him that you are satisfied has a pique against you; but never reject him that seemeth to put his trust in you. For if you invite, you must expect to be invited again; and some time or other your entertainment will be repaid you, if bashfulness have once softened or turned the edge of that diffidence which ought to be your guard.
5. To the end therefore that we may get the better of this disease, which is the cause of so many evils, we must make our first attempts (as our custom is in other things) upon matters of no great difficulty. As, if one drink to you after you have taken what is sufficient, be not so foolishly modest to do violence to your nature, but rather venture to pass the glass. Another, it may be, would tempt you to play at dice while drinking; be not over-persuaded into a compliance, for fear of being the subject of his drollery, but reply with Xenophanes, when Lasus of Hermione called him coward because he refused to play at dice: Yes, said he, I confess myself the greatest coward in the world, for I dare not do an ill thing. Again, you light upon an impertinent talker, that sticks upon you like a burr; don’t be bashful, but break off the discourse. and pursue your business. These evasions and repulses, whereby our resolution and assurance are exercised in matters of less moment, will accustom us to it by degrees in greater occasions. And here it will be but seasonable to give you a passage, as it is recorded of Demosthenes. The Athenians having one time been moved to send succors to Harpalus, and themselves to engage in a war against Alexander, it happened that Philoxenus, Alexander’s admiral, unexpectedly arrived on their coast; and the people being so astonished as to be speechless for very fear, Demosthenes cried out: How would they endure the sun, who are not able to look against a lamp! Or how would you comport yourself in weightier concerns, while your prince or the people had an awe over you, if you cannot refuse a glass of wine when an acquaintance offers it, or turn off an impertinent babbler, but suffer the eternal trifler to walk over you without telling him, Another time, good sir, at present I am in haste.
6. Besides all this, the exercising such a resolution is of great use in praising others. If one of my friend’s harpers play lewdly, or a comedian he has hired at a great rate murder a piece of Menander in the acting, although the vulgar clap their hands and admire, I think it no moroseness on ill-breeding to sit silently all the while, without servilely joining in the common applauses contrary to my judgment. For if you scruple to deal openly with him in these cases, what will you do, should be repeat to you an insipid composition of his own, or submit to your revisal a ridiculous oration? You will applaud, of course, and enter yourself into the list of common parasites and flatterers! But how then can you direct him impartially in the greatest administrations of his life? how be free with him where he fails in any duties of his trust or marriage, or neglects the offices incumbent on him as a member of the community? I must confess, I cannot by any means approve of the reply Pericles made to a friend who besought him to give false evidence, and that too upon oath, when he thus answered: As far as the altar I am wholly at your service. Methinks he went too far. But he that has long before accustomed himself not to commend any thing against his judgment, or applaud an ill voice, or seem pleased with indecent scurrilities, will never suffer things to come to that issue; nor will any one be so bold as to solicit him in this manner: Swear on my side, give false evidence, or bring in an unjust verdict.
7. After the same manner we may learn to refuse such as come to borrow considerable sums of us, if we have used to deny in little matters where refusal is easy. As Archelaus, king of Macedon, sat at supper, one of his retinue, a fellow who thought there was nothing so honest as to receive, begged of him a golden cup. But the king commanded a waiter to give it immediately to Euripides: For you, sir, said he, are fit indeed to ask any thing, but to receive nothing; and he deserves to receive, though he lacks the confidence to ask. Thus wisely did he make his judgment, and not bashful timidity, his guide in bestowing favors. Yet we oftentimes, when the honesty, nearness, and necessities of our friends and relations are not motives sufficient to prevail with us to their relief, can give profusely to impudence and importunity, not out of any willingness to bestow our money so ill, but merely for want of confidence and resolution to deny. This was the case of Antigonus the elder. Being wearied out with the importunity of Bias, Give, said he to his servants, one talent to Bias and necessity. Yet at other times he was as expert at encountering such addresses as any prince, and dismissed them with as remarkable answers. Thus a certain Cynic one day begging of him a groat, he made answer, That is not for a prince to give. And the poor man replying, Then bestow a talent, he reparteed briskly, Nor that for a Cynic (or, for a dog) to receive. Diogenes went about begging to all the statues in the Ceramicus; and his answer to some that wondered at his fancy in it was, he was practising how to bear a repulse. But indeed it chiefly lies upon us to exercise ourselves in smaller matters to refuse an unreasonable request, that we may not be at loss how to refuse on occasions of greater magnitude. For no one, as Demosthenes says, who has spent all the money that he had in unnecessary expenses, will have plenty of money that he has not for his necessary expenses.* And our disgrace is increased many fold, if we want what is necessary or decent, and abound in trifles and fopperies.
8. Yet bashfulness is not only a bad steward of our estate, but even in weightier concerns it refuses to hearken to the wholesome advice of right reason. Thus, in a dangerous fit of sickness, we send not to the ablest physician, for fear of giving offence to another of our acquaintance. Or, in taking tutors and governors for our children, we make choice of such as obtrude themselves upon us, not such as are better qualified for that service. Or, in our lawsuits, we regard not to obtain counsel learned in the law, because we must gratify the son of some friend or relation, and give him an opportunity to show himself in the world. Nay, lastly, you shall find some that bear the name of philosophers, who call themselves Epicureans or Stoics, not out of choice, or upon the least conviction, but merely to oblige their friends or acquaintance, who have taken advantage of their modesty. Since then the case is so with us, we ought to prepare and exercise ourselves in things that we daily meet with and of course, not so much as indulging that foolish weakness in the choice of a barber or fuller, or in lodging in a paltry inn when better accommodation is to be had, to oblige the landlord who has cringed to us. But if it be merely to break ourselves of such follies, in those cases still we should make use of the best, though the difference be but inconsiderable; as the Pythagoreans were strict in observing not to cross their right knee with the left, or to use an even number with an odd, though all things else were indifferent. We must observe also, when we celebrate a sacrifice or keep a wedding or make a public entertainment, to deny ourselves so far as not to invite any that have been extremely complacent to us or that put themselves upon us, before those who are known for their good-humor or whose conversation is like to prove beneficial. For he that has accustomed himself thus far will hardly be caught and surprised, nay, rather he shall not so much as be tempted, in greater instances.
9. And thus much may suffice concerning exercising ourselves. My first use of what has been said is to observe, that all passions and distempers of the mind are still accompanied with those very evils which by their means we hoped to avoid. Thus disgrace pursues ambition; pain and indisposition, sensuality; softness and effeminacy are fretted with troubles; contentiousness with disappointment and defeats. But this is nowhere more conspicuous than in bashfulness, which, endeavoring to avoid the smoke of reproach, throws itself into the fire. Such men, wanting confidence to withstand those that unreasonably importune them, afterwards feel shame before those who justly accuse them, and for fear of a slight private rebuke incur more public disgrace. For example, not having the heart to deny a friend that comes to borrow, in short time they are reduced to the same extremity themselves, and exposed openly. Some again, after promising to help friends in a lawsuit, are ashamed to face the opposite party, and are forced to hide their heads and run away. Many have been so unreasonably weak in this particular as to accept of disadvantageous proposals of marriage for a daughter or sister, and upon second thoughts have been forced to bring themselves off with an arrant lie.
10. One made this observation of the people of Asia, that they were all slaves to one man, merely because they could not pronounce that syllable No; but he spake only in raillery. But now the bashful man, though he be not able to say one word, has but to raise his brows or nod downward, as if he minded not, and he may decline many ungrateful and unreasonable offices. Euripides was wont to say, Silence is an answer to a wise man;* but we seem to have greater occasion for it in our dealings with fools and unreasonable persons, for men of breeding and sense will be satisfied with reason and fair words. Upon this account we should be always provided with some notable sayings and choice apothegms of famous and excellent men, to repeat to the bashful, — such as that of Phocion to Antipater, You cannot have me for both a friend and a flatterer; and that of his to the Athenians, when they called upon him to come in for his share to defray the expenses of a festival; I am ashamed, said he, pointing to Callicles his creditor, to contribute towards your follies, without paying this man his due. For, as Thucydides says, It is an ill thing to be ashamed of one’s poverty, but much worse not to make use of lawful endeavors to avoid it.† But he that is so foolishly good-natured that he cannot answer one that comes to borrow, —
My friend, no silver white have I in all my caves, —
but gives him a promise to be better provided, —
Persaeus, being about to accommodate a friend with a sum of money, paid it publicly in the market, and made the conditions before a banker, remembering, it may be, that of Hesiod, —
But when his friend marvelled and asked, How now, so formally and according to law? Yea, quoth he, because I would receive my money again as a friend, and not have to trouble the law to recover it. For many out of bashfulness, not taking care to have good security at first, have been forced afterwards to break with their friends, and to have recourse to law for their money.
11. Again, Plato writing to Dionysius, by Helicon of Cyzicus, gives the bearer a good character for honesty and moderation, but withal in the postscript tells him, Yet this I write of a man, who, as such, is by nature an animal subject to change. Xenocrates, though a man of rigid morals, was prevailed upon by this kind of modesty to recommend to Polysperchon a person, as it proved in the end, not so honest as he was reputed. For when the Macedonian in compliment bade him call for whatever he wanted, he presently desired a talent of silver. Polysperchon ordered it accordingly to be paid him, but despatched away letters immediately to Xenocrates, advising him for the future to be better acquainted with those he recommended. Now all this came to pass through Xenocrates’s ignorance of his man; but we oftentimes give testimonials and squander away our money to advance such as we are very well satisfied have no qualification or desert to recommend them, and this too with the forfeiture of our reputation, and without the pleasure that men have who are profuse upon whores and flatterers, but all the while in an agony, and struggling with that impudence which does violence to our reason. Whereas, if at any time, that verse can here be properly used, —
I know the dreadful consequence, and fear,*
when such persons are at a man to forswear himself, or to give a wrong sentence, or to vote for an unjust bill, or lastly to be bound for one that will never be able to pay the debt.
12. All passions of the mind have repentance still pursuing them closely, but it overtakes this of bashfulness in the very act. For we give with regret, and we are in confusion while we bear false witness; our reputation is questioned when we engage for others, and when we fail we are condemned by all men. From this imperfection also it proceeds, that many things are imposed upon us not in our power to perform, as to recommend such a man to court, or to carry up an address to the governor, because we dare not, or at least we will not, confess that we are unknown to the prince or that another has more of his ear. Lysander, on the other hand, when he was in disgrace at court, but yet for his great services was thought to preserve something of his former esteem with Agesilaus, made no scruple to dismiss suitors, directing them to such as were more powerful with the king. For it is no disgrace not to be able to do every thing; but to undertake or pretend to what you are not made for is not only shameful, but extremely troublesome and vexatious.
13. But to proceed to another head, we must perform all reasonable and good offices to those that deserve them, not forced thereto by fear of shame, but cheerfully and readily. But where any thing prejudicial or unhandsome is required of us, we ought to remember the story that is related of Zeno. Meeting a young man of his acquaintance that slunk away under a wall, as if he would not be seen, and having learned from him that he withdrew from a friend that importuned him to perjure himself, What, replied he, you novice! is that fellow not afraid or ashamed to require of thee what is unreasonable and unjust, and darest thou not stand against him in that which is just and honest? For he that first started that doctrine, that knavery is the best defence against a knave, was but an ill teacher, advising us to keep off wickedness by imitating it. But for such as presume upon our modesty, to keep them off with their own weapons, and not gratify their unreasonable impudence with an easy compliance, is but just and good, and the duty of every wise man.
14. Neither is it a hard matter to put off some mean and ordinary people, which will be apt to prove troublesome to you in that nature. Some shift them off with a jest or a smart repartee; as Theocritus, being asked in the bath to lend his flesh-brush by two persons, whereof one was a stranger to him, and the other a notorious thief, made answer: You, sir, I know not well enough, and you I know too well. And Lysimache, the priestess of Minerva Polias in Athens, when the muleteers that brought the provision for the festival desired her to let them drink, replied, No; for I fear it may grow into a custom. So again, when a captain’s son, a young fluttering bully but a great coward, petitioned Antigonus for promotion, the latter answered: Sir, it is my way to reward my soldiers for their valor, not their parentage.
15. But if he that is importunate with us prove a man of great honor or interest (and such persons are not easily answered with excuses, when they come for our vote in the senate or judicial cases), at such a time perhaps it will be neither easy nor necessary to behave ourselves to them as Cato did towards Catulus. Catulus, a person of the highest rank among the Romans, and at that time censor, once waited on Cato, who was then quaestor and still a young man, on behalf of a friend whom Cato had fined; and when he had used a great deal of importunity to no purpose, yet would not be denied, Cato grew out of patience, and told him, It would be an unseemly sight to have the censor dragged hence by my officers. Catulus at this went away, out of countenance and very angry. But consider whether the answers of Agesilaus and Themistocles have not in them much more of candor and equity. Agesilaus, being bidden by his own father to give sentence contrary to law, replied: I have been always taught by you to be observant of the laws, and I shall endeavor to obey you at this time, by doing nothing contrary to them. And Themistocles, when Simonides tempted him to commit a piece of injustice, said: You would be no good poet, should you break the laws of verse; and should I judge against the law, I should make no better magistrate.
16. For it is not because of blunders in metre in lyric songs, as Plato observes, that cities and friends are set at variance to their utter ruin and destruction, but because of their blunders with regard to law and justice. Yet there are a sort of men that can be very curious and critical in their verses and letters and lyric measures, and yet would persuade others to neglect that justice and honesty which all men ought to observe in offices, in passing judgments, and in all actions. But these men are to be dealt with after the following manner. An orator perhaps presses you to show him favor in a cause to be heard before you, or a demagogue importunes you when you are a senator: tell him you are ready to please him, on condition that he make a solecism in the beginning of his oration, or be guilty of some barbarous expression in his narration. These terms, for shame, he will not accept; for some we see so superstitiously accurate as not to allow of two vowels meeting one another. Again, you are moved by a person of quality to something of ill reputation: bid him come over the market-place at full noon dancing, or making buffoon-like grimaces; if he refuse, question him once more, whether he think it a more heinous offence to make a solecism or a grimace, than to break a law or to perjure one’s self, or to show more favor to a rascal than to an honest man. Nicostratus the Argive, when Archidamus promised him a vast sum of money and his choice of the Spartan ladies in marriage, if he would deliver up the town Cromnum into his hands, returned him this answer: He could no longer believe him descended from Hercules, he said, because Hercules traversed the world to destroy wicked men, but Archidamus made it his business to debauch those that were good. In like manner, if one that stands upon his quality or reputation presses us to do any thing dishonorable, we must tell him freely, he acts not as becomes a person of his character in the world.
17. But if it be a man of no quality that shall importune you, you may enquire of the covetous man, whether he would lend you a considerable sum without any other security than your word; desire the proud man to give you the higher seat; or the ambitious, to quit his pretensions to some honor that lies fair for him. For, to deal plainly, it is a shameful thing that these men should continue so stiff, so resolute, and so unmoved in their vicious habits, while we, who profess ourselves lovers of justice and honesty, have too little command of ourselves not to give up and betray basely the cause of virtue. If they that would practise upon our modesty do this out of desire of glory or power, why should we contract disgrace or infamy to ourselves, to advance the authority or set off the reputation of others? — like those who bestow the reward wrongfully in public games, or betray their trust in collecting the poll, who confer indeed garlands and honors upon other men, but at the same time forfeit their own reputation and good word. But suppose it be matter of interest only that puts them upon it; why should it not appear an unreasonable piece of service for us to forego our reputation and conscience to no other purpose than to satisfy another man’s avarice or make his coffers the heavier? After all, these I am afraid are the grand motives with most men in such cases, and they are even conscious that they are guilty; as men that are challenged and compelled to take too large a glass raise an hundred scruples and make as many grimaces before they drink.
18. This weakness of the mind may be compared to a constitution of body that can endure neither heat nor cold. For let them be praised by those that thus impudently set upon them, and they are at once mollified and broken by the flattery; but let them be blamed or so much as suspected by the same men after their suit has been refused, and they are ready to die for woe and fear. We ought therefore to prepare and fortify ourselves against both extremes, so as to be made a prey neither to such as pretend to frighten, nor to such as would cajole us. Thucydides is of opinion, since there is a necessary connection between envy and great undertakings, that he takes the wisest counsel who incurs envy by aiming the highest.* But we who esteem it less difficult to avoid the envy of all men than to escape the censure of those we live among, ought to order things so as rather to grapple with the unjust hatred of evil men, than to deserve their just accusation after we have served their base ends. We ought to go armed against that false and counterfeit praise such men are apt to fling upon us, not suffering ourselves like swine to be scratched and tickled by them, till, having got the advantage of us, they use us after their own pleasure. For they that reach out their ears to flatterers differ very little from such as stand fair and quiet to be tripped up, excepting that the former catch the more disgraceful fall. These put up with the affronts and forbear the correction of wicked men, to get the reputation of good-natured or merciful; or else are drawn into needless and perilous quarrels at the instance of flatterers, who bear them in hand all the while for the only men of judgment, the only men not to be caught with flattery, and call them the only men who have mouths and voices. Bion used to compare these men to pitchers: Take them, said he, by the ears, and you may move them as you please. Thus Alexinus, the sophist, was reporting many scandalous things in the lyceum of Stilpo the Megarian; but when one present informed him that Stilpo always spake very honorably of him, Why truly, says he, he is one of the most obliging and best of men. But now Menedemus, when it was told him that Alexinus often praised him, replied: That may be, but I always talk against him; for he must be bad who either praises a bad man or is blamed by an honest one. So wary was he of being caught by such baits, agreeably to that precept of Hercules in Antisthenes,* who cautioned his sons not to be thankful to such as were used to praise them, — thereby meaning no more than that they should be so far from being wheedled thereby as not even to return their flatteries. That of Pindar was very apposite, and enough to be said in such a case: when one told him, I cry you up among all men, and speak to your advantage on all occasions; and I, replied he, am always very thankful, in that I take care you shall not tell a lie.
19. I shall conclude with one general rule, of sovereign use against all the passions and diseases of the mind, but particularly beneficial to such as labor under the present distemper, bashfulness. And it is this: whenever they have given way to this weakness, let them store up carefully such failings in their memory, and taking therein deep and lively impressions of what remorse and disquiet they occasioned, bestow much time in reflecting upon them and keeping them fresh. For as travellers that have got a dangerous fall against such a stone, or sailors shipwrecked upon a particular promontory, keeping the image of their misfortune continually before them, appear fearful and apprehensive not only of the same but even the like dangers; so they that keep in mind the disgraceful and prejudicial effects of bashfulness will soon be enabled to restrain themselves in like cases, and will not easily slip again on any occasion.
[* ]Οὐ κόρας ἀλλὰ πόρνας. Κόρη means either maiden or the pupil of the eye. (G.)
[* ]Il. XXIV. 44.
[* ]Eurip. Bellerophon, Frag. 811.
[† ]Sophocles, Frag. 772.
[* ]Eurip. Medea, 290.
[* ]Hesiod, Works and Days, 342
[* ]Demosth. Olynth. III. p. 33, 25. § 19.
[* ]Eurip. Frag. 967. The verse is found also in Menander, Monos. 222. (G.)
[† ]Thucyd. II. 40.
[‡ ]Eurip. Pirithous, Frag. 598.
[∥ ]Hesiod, Works and Days, 871.
[* ]Eurip. Medea, 1078.
[* ]Thucyd. II. 64.
[* ]Antisthenes, in his tenth tome, had a book entitled Hercules or De Prudentia or De Robore (Ἡρακλῆς ἢ περὶ ϕρονήσεως ἢ ἰσχύος), mentioned by Diogenes Laertius in his life. See Diogenes Laert. VI. 1, 9.