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There are then, as we said at the outset, three kinds of friendship, and in each kind there are both friends who are on an equal footing and friends on a footing of disparity; for two equally good men may be friends, or one better man and one worse; and similarly with pleasant friends and with those who are friends for the sake of utility, who may be equal or may differ in the amount of the benefits1 which they confer. Those who are equals must make matters equal by loving each other, etc.,2 equally; those who are unequal by making a return3 proportionate to the superiority of whatever kind on the one side.

1 i.e., the pleasure or utility as the case may be.

2 i.e., ‘and by being good or pleasant and useful.’

3 The one who is less good or pleasant or useful must give more affection: see 6.6, note, 7.2.

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