Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?c.A.D. 113). Letters. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
LXXXIV. To Septitius
YOU tell me certain persons have blamed me in your company, as being upon all occasions too lavish in the praise I give my friends. I not only acknowledge the charge, but glory in it; for can there be a nobler error than an overflowing benevolence? But still, who are these, let me ask, that are better acquainted with my friends than I am myself? Yet grant there are any such, why will they deny me the satisfaction of so pleasing a mistake? For supposing my friends not to deserve the highest encomiums I give them, yet I am happy in believing they do. Let them recommend then this malignant zeal to those (and their number is not inconsiderable) who imagine they shew their judgment when they indulge their censure upon their friends. As for myself, they will never be able to persuade me I can be guilty of an excess1 in friendship. Farewell.