There is a well known and most profound saying of people wishing to induce sympathy in each other. 'Put yourself in his place,' they say. But it is easy only to put yourself in the place of your equals. At a certain point of inferiority, real or imaginary, this substitution is no longer possible....Young Vittorio Mussolini has published a book on his Ethiopian campaign, of which I quote this extract: It was thrilling. A huge zariba, surrounded by tall trees, was very difficult to hit. I had to aim very carefully, and I only succeeded the third time. The poor devils inside jumped out when they saw their roof was on fire, and fled madly...surrounded by a ring of flames, four to five thousand Abyssinians died of suffocation. It was like hell itself. Smoke rising up to unbelievable heights, and flames turning the black sky red. Obviously Signor Vittorio Mussolini never dreamt of putting himself in the place of the Ethiopians!
He is interested in the feelings of the squash ball, and of the champagne bottle that launches the ship. In a football match his sympathy is not with either of the teams but with the ball, or, in a match ending nil-nil, with the hunger of the goalmouth.
One has never known a good man to whom dogs were not dear; but many of the best women have no such fondness. You will find that the woman who is really kind to dogs is always one who has failed to inspire sympathy in men. For the attractive woman, dogs are mere dumb and restless brutes possibly dangerous, certainly soulless. Yet will coquetry teach her to caress any dog in the presence of a man enslaved by her.
Hit the Poles so hard that they despair of their life; I have full sympathy with their condition, but if we want to survive, we can only exterminate them; the wolf, too, cannot help having been created by God as he is, but people shoot him for it if they can.
The defenselessness of philosophy in the city is what Aristophanes points out and ridicules. He, the poet, has much sympathy with the philosophers wisdom but prides himself on not being so foolish. He can take care of himself, win prizes from and be paid by the people. His stance is that of the wise guy in the face of the wise man; he is city smart.
I see with sympathy
The swollen veins on his brow, showing
How exhausting it is to be evil.