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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)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Chances that a Soviet woman’s first pregnancy will end in abortion:
Peaceful fungus-farming ants are sometimes protected against nomadic raider ants by sedentary invader ants.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."