This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
”,3 and also the result may be opposite, as in the saying  'This is sport to you but death to me.' Hence recriminations, as has been said4; for one party claims recompense as having rendered a great service, because he did it for his friend in need, or saying something else of the sort as to how much it was worth in relation to the benefit given to the recipient and not what it was to himself, while the other party on the contrary speaks of how much it was to the donor and not bow much it was to himself. And at other times the position is reversed: the one says how little he got out of it, the other how much the service was worth to him—for instance, if by taking a risk he did the other a shilling's worth of benefit, the one talks about the amount of the risk and the other about the amount of the cash; just as in the repayment of a money loan, for there too the dispute turns on this—one claims to be repaid the value that the money had when lent,the other claims to repay it at the present value, unless they have put a proviso in the contract.Civic friendship, then, looks at the agreement and to the thing, but moral friendship at the intention; hence the latter is more just—it is friendly justice. The cause of conflict is that moral friendship is nobler but friendship of utility more necessary; and men begin as being moral friends and friends on grounds of goodness, but when some private interest comes into collision it becomes clear that really they were different. For most men pursue what is fine only when they have a good margin in hand, and so with the finer sort of friendship too.
1 Or, adopting another conjectural emendation, 'since it is natural for good men to be just of their own accord.'
2 Solomon renders 'It is uncertain how either will recriminate on the other, seeing that they trust each other, not in a limited legal way but on the basis of their characters.' But the Greek text may be questioned.
3 Theog. 14. This quotation illustrates that the amount of a service is 'subjective,' the next quotation shows that its quality is.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.