“The measure of prudence and resolution is to know a friend from an enemy; the height of stupidity and weakness is not to know an enemy from a friend.
Do not surrender your enemy to oppression, nor oppress him yourself. In this respect treat enemy and friend alike. But be on your guard against him, and beware lest you befriend and advance him, for this is the act of the fool. He who befriends and advances friend and foe alike will only arouse distaste for his friendship and contempt for his enmity. He will earn the scorn of his enemy, and facilitate his hostile designs; he will lose his friend, who will join the ranks of his enemies.
The height of goodness is that you should neither oppress your enemy nor abandon him to oppression. To treat him as a friend is the mark of a fool whose end is near.
The height of evil is that you should oppress your friend. Even to estrange him is the act of a man with no sense, for whom misfortune is predestined.
Magnanimity is to befriend the enemy, but to spare them, and to remain on your guard against them.”
- Ibn Hazm of Crdova (994-1064) from The Book of Morals and Conduct
(which I found in Bernanrd Lewis’s excellent From Babel to Dragomans)
“Translations are like women: some are beautiful; some are faithful; few are both.”
-a “French wit” (also of From Babel to Dragomans)