On Benefits Book II, III

Many who bestow immense benefits spoil them by their silence or slowness of speech, which gives them an air of moroseness, as they say “yes” with a face which seems to say “no.”

How much better is it to join kind words to kind actions, and to enhance the value of our gifts by a civil and gracious commendation of them!

To cure your friend of being slow to ask a favour of you, you may join to your gift the familiar rebuke, “I am angry with you for not having long ago let me know what you wanted, for having asked for it so formally, or for having made interest with a third party.”

“I congratulate myself that you have been pleased to make trial of me; hereafter, if you want anything, ask for it as your right; however, for this time I pardon your want of manners.”

By so doing you will cause him to value your friendship more highly than that, whatever it may have been, which he came to ask of you.

The goodness and kindness of a benefactor never appears so great as when on leaving him one says, “I have today gained much; I am more pleased at finding him so kind than if I had obtained many times more of this, of which I was speaking, by some other means; I never can make any adequate return to this man for his goodness.”