it is profitable to receive one.
One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services
received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one's friend if one is
unwilling to return his favors. Recognizing therefore that one has made a mistake at the
beginning and accepted a service from a wrong person—that is, a person who was
not a friend, and was not acting disinterestedly1
—one should accordingly end the transaction as if
one had accepted the service on stated terms. Also, one would agree2
to repay a service if able to do so （and if one were not
able, the giver on his side too would not have expected repayment）; hence, if
possible, one ought to make a return. But one ought to consider at the beginning from whom
one is receiving the service, and on what terms, so that one may accept it on those terms
or else decline it.
Dispute may arise however as to the value of the service rendered. Is it to be measured
by the benefit to the recipient, and the return made on that basis, or by the cost to the
doer? The recipient will say that what he received was only a trifle to his benefactor, or
that he could have got it from someone else: he beats down the value. The other on the
contrary will protest that it was the most valuable thing he had to give, or that it could
not have been obtained from anybody else, or that it was bestowed at a time of danger or
in some similar emergency.
Perhaps then we may say that,
when the friendship is one of utility, the measure of the service should be its value to
the recipient, since it is he who wants it, and the other comes to his aid in the
expectation of an equivalent return; therefore the degree of assistance rendered has been
the amount to which the recipient has benefited,
and so he ought to pay back as much as he has got out of it; or even more, for that will
be more noble.
In friendships based on virtue, complaints do not arise, but the measure of the benefit
seems to be the intention3
of the giver; for
intention is the predominant factor in virtue and in character. 14.
Differences also arise in friendships where there is disparity between the parties. Each
claims to get more than the other, and this inevitably leads to a rupture. If one is a
better man than the other, he thinks he has a right to more, for goodness deserves the
larger share. And similarly when one is more useful than the other: if a man is of no use,
they say, he ought not to have an equal share, for it becomes a charity and not a
friendship at all, if what one gets out of it is not enough to repay one's trouble. For
men think that it ought to be in a friendship as it is in a business partnership, where
those who contribute more capital take more of the profits. On the other hand the needy or
inferior person takes the opposite view: he maintains that it is the part of a good friend
to assist those in need; what is the use （he argues） of being friends
with the good and great if one is to get nothing out of it?