If we remonstrate, it should be without bitterness. If we reprove, thereshould be no word of insult. In the matter of compliance (for I am glad to adoptTerence’s word), though there should be every courtesy, yet that base kindwhich assists a man in vice should be far from us, for it is unworthy of afree-born man, to say nothing of a friend. It is one thing to live with atyrant, another with a friend. But if a man’s ears are so closed to plainspeaking that he cannot bear to hear the truth from a friend, we may give him upin despair.
The American Symphony Orchestra has thought to contribute to the centenary of Johannes Brahms’s death by highlighting two unusual but significant dimensions of Brahms’s work and life. In this concert, we focus on Brahms’s friendship with Antonin Dvorák, a relationship that is quite unparalleled in music history. Next fall, we will explore some of Brahms’s works for chorus and Orchestra which are not often performed and deserve representation in this centenary celebration as a means of deepening our appreciation of the many sides of his complex genius.
I wonder if I have to work next Friday.
The word "supple" that Cicero uses for Virtue has a Latin root of ,which means "submissive." Once in motion Virtue becomes a commandingand domineering danger. But in the return direction, the border is crossed andVirtue as a whole is replaced by its cardinalities. Virtue is no longer acommanding or domineering "danger" (Latin root, :"master"). It is now "sensitive" or "responsive,"the latter word having a Latin root meaning of "to pledge back," whichis to give back to mankind the greatest gift – its own heart of spirit. Thisis both aligned with and opposed to the cardinal Virtue of "Restraint"("to draw tight back"). Virtue submits as a "concession" toFriendship, but really mankind submits to itself.
That is how it is in the friendship of Sandra and Nancy.
In everything false-pretence is bad, for it suspends and vitiates our powerof discerning the truth. But to nothing is it so hostile as to friendship; forit destroys that frankness without which friendship is an empty name. For theessence of friendship being that two minds become as one, how can that ever takeplace if the minds of each of the friends are not attuned to each other, butvariable, changeable, and complex? Can anything be so pliable, so wavering, asthe mind of a man whose attitude depends not only on another’s feeling andwish, but on his very looks and nods? ["Looks and nods" refers to thevain desire to be pleasing to, and to please, everybody.]
Friendship demands a religious treatment.
25. Well, then, if it is true that to give and receive advice – the formerwith freedom and yet without bitterness, the latter with patience and withoutirritation – is peculiarly appropriate to genuine friendship, it is no lesstrue that there can be nothing more utterly subversive of friendship thanflattery, adulation, and base compliance. I use as many terms as possible tobrand this vice of light-minded, untrustworthy men, whose sole object inspeaking is to please without any regard to truth.
We talk of choosing our friends, but friends are self-elected.
Plain speaking is a cause of trouble, if the result of it is resentment,which is poison to friendship; but compliance is really the cause of much moretrouble, because by indulging his faults it lets a friend plunge into headlongruin. But the man who is most to blame is he who resents plain speaking andallows flattery to egg him on to his ruin. On this point, then, from first tolast there is need of deliberation and care.