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No one of understanding can abandon a friend who is dear to him. I venture to recall to you the saying of Plato, that lying and duplicity are injurious to both body and soul. Since deceit is the root of all misfortune, how should I desert the friend who is closer to me than a brother? What is the knowledge of the Sages worth to me if I do not act upon it? The purpose of their teaching was to perfect our nature and raise us to the order of the heavenly beings. Have you not read what the Apostles wrote of love, how their praise of it resounds? “Love ennobles us!” Their words ring out like a chime of bells.
–Shota Rustaveli, Vepkhistkaosani (The Knight in Panther’s Skin) ch 26 (ca. 1190)
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