Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Enemies
 
  A friend exaggerates a man’s virtues, an enemy inflames his crimes. A wise man should give a just attention to both of them, so far as they may tend to the improvement of the one and diminution of the other. Plutarch has written an essay on the benefits which a man may receive from his enemies, and, among the good fruits of enmity, mentions this in particular, that by the reproaches which it casts upon us we see the worst side of ourselves, and open our eyes to several blemishes and defects in our lives and conversations, which we should not have observed without the help of such ill-natured monitors.
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 399.    
  1
 
  Discover the opinion of your enemies, which is commonly the truest; for they will give you no quarter, and allow nothing to complaisance.
John Dryden.    
  2
 
  I have adopted the Roman sentiment, that it is more honourable to save a citizen than to kill an enemy.
Dr. Samuel Johnson.    
  3
 
  There is more danger in a reserved and silent friend than in a noisy, babbling enemy.
Roger L’Estrange.    
  4
 
  A man should not allow himself to hate even his enemies; because if you indulge this passion on some occasions, it will rise of itself in others; if you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.
Plutarch.    
  5
 
  Speak not ill of a great enemy, but rather give him good words, that he may use you the better if you chance to fall into his hands. The Spaniard did this when he was dying: his confessor told him, to work him to repentance, how the devil tormented the wicked that went to hell; the Spaniard, replying, called the devil “My lord: I hope my lord the devil is not so cruel.” His confessor reproved him. “Excuse me,” said the Don, “for calling him so: I know not into what hands I may fall; and if I happen into his, I hope he will use me the better for giving him good words.”
John Selden: Table Talk.    
  6
 
  It would be a rarity worth the seeing could any one show us such a thing as a perfectly reconciled enemy.
Robert South.    
  7
 
  That which lays a man open to an enemy, and that which strips him of a friend, equally attacks him in all those interests that are capable of being weakened by the one and supported by the other.
Robert South.    
  8
 
  There is no small degree of malicious craft in fixing upon a season to give a mark of enmity and ill will; a word, a look, which at one time would make no impression, at another time wounds the heart, and, like a shaft flying with the wind, pierces deep, which, with its own natural force, would scarce have reached the object aimed at.  9
 
 
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