"And so, in one way or
another, the debts of the just and unjust alike are brought to
light. For in what relates to his own actions, a man may be without
fault; but in what concerns others, he is found guilty. For, if in
his presence, someone should belittle the truth or attack some just
man with unjust accusations, and he keeps silent, shall not his very
silence be imputed to him as a crime?" For, listening to such a
man, and not rebuking him, will he not appear to confirm as true the
evil words of the speaker?
The same can be said with regard to
the authority of princes and rulers. For should someone and even
with good reason attack a king who is doing wrong, those who are
present will refuse to listen to what is said against the king. But
should anyone continue to remain and give ear to what is being said,
he is liable to a twofold punishment: because of the offensive words
spoken against the king, and also for listening to them. If you
offer your ears, the taste of their words will slay you. It would be
better to avoid both the taste and the smell of their poison. Why do
you turn away from smoke, from steam, yet listen to a liar with
eagerness and delight? You turn with aversion from an evil odour,
yet you will sit in company with one speaking evil of others!
Rightly should you guard each member of your body from what is
harmful to it."