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or should not be broken off when the friends do not remain the same. It may be said that where the motive of the friendship is utility or pleasure, it is not unnatural that it should be broken off when our friends no longer possess the attribute of being useful or agreeable. It was those attributes that we loved, and when they have failed it is reasonable that love should cease. But a man might well complain, if, though we really liked him for the profit or pleasure he afforded, we had pretended to love him for his character. As was said at the outset,1 differences between friends most frequently arise when the nature of their friendship is not what they think it is. 3. [2] When therefore a man has made a mistake, and has fancied that he was loved for his character, without there having been anything in his friend's behavior to warrant the assumption, he has only himself to blame. But when he has been deceived by his friend's pretence, there is ground for complaint against the deceiver: in fact he is a worse malefactor than those who counterfeit the coinage,2 inasmuch as his offence touches something more precious than money. 3. [3]

Again, supposing we have admitted a person to our friendship as a good man, and he becomes, or we think he has become, a bad man: are we still bound to love him? Perhaps it is impossible to do so, since only what is good is lovable; and also wrong, for we ought not to be lovers of evil, nor let ourselves become like what is worthless; and, as has been said above,3 like is the friend of like. Should we therefore break off the friendship at once? Perhaps not in every case, but only when our friends have become incurably bad; for so long as they are capable of reform we are even more bound to help them morally than

1 Cf. 8.13.5.

2 At Athens the penalty for coining was death.

3 Cf. 8.1.6.

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