Book 91. In all dissimilar1 friendships, it is proportion, as has been said, that establishes equality and preserves the friendship; just as, in the relations between fellow-citizens, the shoemaker receives payment for his shoes, and the weaver and the other craftsmen for their products, according to value rendered. 1.  In these business relationships then a common measure has been devised, namely money, and this is a standard to which all things are referred and by which they are measured. But in sentimental friendships, the lover sometimes complains that his warmest affection meets with no affection in return, it may be because there is nothing in him to arouse affection; while the person loved frequently complains that the lover who formerly promised everything now fulfils none of his promises. 1.  Such disputes occur when pleasure is the motive of the friendship on the lover's side and profit on the side of the beloved, and when they no longer each possess the desired attribute. For in a friendship based on these motives, a rupture occurs as soon as the parties cease to obtain the things for the sake of which they were friends; seeing that neither loved the other in himself, but some attribute he possessed that was not permanent; so that these friendships are not permanent either. But friendship based on character is disinterested, and therefore lasting, as has been said.2 1.  Differences arise when the friends do not obtain what they desire, but something else; for not to get what you want is almost the same as not to get anything at all. For instance, there is the story of the man who hired a harper, and promised that the better he played the more he would pay him; but next morning, when the harper asked him to fulfil his promise, he said that he had already paid for the pleasure he had received by the pleasure he had given.3 This would have been all right if both had wanted pleasure; but when one wants amusement and the other gain, and one gets what he wants and the other does not, it would not be a fair bargain; for it is the thing that a man happens to need that he sets his heart on, and only to get that is he ready to give what he does. 1.  Which party's business is it to decide the amount of the return due? Should it be assessed by the one who proffers the initial service? Or rather by the one who receives4 it, since the other by proffering it seems to leave the matter to him? This we are told was the practice of Protagoras5; when he gave lessons in any subject, he used to tell his pupil to estimate the value he set upon his knowledge, and accepted a fee of that amount. 1.  In such matters however some people prefer the principle of ‘the wage stated.’6 But people who take the money in advance, and then, having made extravagant professions, fail to perform what they undertook, naturally meet with complaints because they have not fulfilled their bargain. 1.  Perhaps however the sophists are bound to demand their fees in advance, since nobody would pay money for the knowledge which they possess.7 Persons paid in advance then naturally meet with complaints if they do not perform the service for which they have taken the pay. But in cases where no agreement is come to as to the value of the service, if it is proffered for the recipient's own sake, as has been said above,8 no complaint arises, for a friendship based on virtue does not give rise to quarrels; and the return made should be in proportion to the intention of the benefactor, since intention is the measure of a friend, and of virtue. This is the principle on which it would seem that payment ought to be made to those who have imparted instruction in philosophy; for the value of their service is not measurable in money, and no honor paid them could be an equivalent, but no doubt all that can be expected is that to them, as to the gods and to our parents, we should make such return as is in our Power. 1.  When on the other hand the gift is not disinterested but made with a view to a recompense, it is no doubt the best thing that a return should be made such as both parties concur in thinking to be what is due. But failing such concurrence, it would seem to be not only inevitable but just that the amount of the return should be fixed by the party that received the initial service, since the donor will have recovered what the recipient really owes when he has been paid the value of the service to him, or the sum that he would have been willing to pay as the price of the pleasure. 1.  For in buying and selling also this seems to be the practice9; and in some countries the law does not allow actions for the enforcement of voluntary covenants,10 on the ground that when you have trusted a man you ought to conclude the transaction as you began it. For it is thought fairer for the price to be fixed by the person who received credit than by the one who gave credit.11 For as a rule those who have a thing value it differently from those who want to get it. For one's own possessions and gifts always seem to one worth a great deal; but nevertheless the repayment is actually determined by the valuation of the recipient. But he ought no doubt to estimate the gift not at what it seems to him to be worth now that he has received it, but at the value he put on it before he received it. 2. Other questions that may be raised are such as these: Does a man owe his father unlimited respect and obedience, or ought he when ill to take the advice of a physician, and when electing a general to vote for the best soldier? and similarly, ought he to do a service to a friend rather than to a virtuous man, and ought he to repay his obligation to a benefactor rather than make a present to a comrade, when he is not in a position to do both? 2.  Now perhaps with all these matters it is not easy to lay down an exact rule, because the cases vary indefinitely in importance or unimportance, and in nobility or urgency. 2.  But it is quite clear that no one person is entitled to unlimited consideration. As a general rule one ought to return services rendered rather than do favors to one's comrades, just as one ought to pay back a loan to a creditor rather than give the money to a friend. 2.  Yet perhaps even this rule is not without exceptions. For example, （a） suppose one has been ransomed from brigands; ought one to ransom one's ransomer in turn, whoever he may be—or even if he has not been captured himself but asks for his money back, ought one to repay him— or ought one to ransom one's own father? for it might be thought to be a man's duty to ransom his father even before himself. 2.  As a general rule then, as has been said, one ought to pay back a debt, but if the balance of nobility or urgency is on the side of employing the money for a gift, then one ought to decide in favor of the gift. For （b） there are occasions when it would be actually unfair to return the original service; as for instance when A has done B a service knowing him to be a good man, and B is called upon to return the service to A whom he believes to be a bad man. For even when A has lent B a loan, B is not always bound to lend A a loan in turn: A may have lent money to B, who is an honest man, expecting to get his money back, while B would have no hope of recovering from A, who is a rascal. If A is really a rascal, the return he asks for is not a fair one; and even if A is not a rascal, but people think12 he is, it would not be deemed unreasonable for B to refuse. 2.  Hence, as has been frequently remarked already,13 discussions about our emotions and actions only admit of such degree of definiteness as belongs to the matters with which they deal. 2.  It is quite clear therefore that all people have not the same claim upon us, and that even a father's claim is not unlimited, just as Zeus does not have all the sacrifices. Since the claims of parents and brothers, comrades and benefactors, are different, we ought to render to each that which is proper and suitable to each. This is in fact the principle on which men are observed to act. They invite their relatives to a wedding, because they are members of the family, and therefore concerned in the family's affairs; also it is thought to be specially incumbent on relations to attend funerals, for the same reason. 2.  It would be felt that our parents have the first claim on us for maintenance, since we owe it to them as a debt, and to support the authors of our being stands before self-preservation in moral nobility. Honor also is due to parents, as it is to the gods, though not indiscriminate honor: one does not owe to one's father the same honor as to one's mother, nor yet the honor due to a great philosopher or general, but one owes to one's father the honor appropriate to a father, and to one's mother that appropriate to her. 2.  Again, we should pay to all our seniors the honor due to their age, by rising when they enter, offering them a seat, and so on. Towards comrades and brothers on the other hand we should use frankness of speech, and share all our possessions with them. Kinsmen also, fellow-tribesmen, fellow-citizens, and the rest—to all we must always endeavor to render their due, comparing their several claims in respect of relationship and of virtue or utility. 2.  Between persons of the same kind discrimination is comparatively easy; but it is a harder matter when they are differently related to us. Nevertheless we must not shirk the task on that account, but must decide their claims as well as we are able. 3. Another question is, whether a friendship should 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,14 differences between friends most frequently arise when the nature of their friendship is not what they think it is. 3.  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,15 inasmuch as his offence touches something more precious than money. 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,16 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 we should be to assist them financially, since character is a more valuable thing than wealth and has more to do with friendship. However, one could not be held to be doing anything unnatural if one broke off the friendship; for it was not a man of that sort that one loved: he has altered, and if one cannot restore him, one gives him up. 3.  On the other hand, suppose one friend to have remained the same while the other has improved, and become greatly the superior in virtue: ought the latter to keep up the friendship? Perhaps it is out of the question; and this becomes especially clear when the gap between them is a wide one, as may happen with two people who were friends in boyhood. One may have remained a boy in mind, while the other is a man of the highest ability; how can they be friends, when they have different tastes and different likes and dislikes? They will no longer even enjoy each other's society; but without this, intercourse and therefore friendship are, as we saw,17 impossible. But this has been discussed already. 3.  Are we then to behave towards a former friend in exactly the same way as if he had never been our friend at all? Perhaps we ought to remember our past intimacy, and just as we think it right to show more kindness to friends than to strangers, so likewise some attention should be paid, for the sake of old times, to those who were our friends in the past, that is, if the rupture was not caused by extreme wickedness on their part. 4. The forms which friendly feeling for our neighbors takes, and the marks by which the different forms of friendship are defined, seem to be derived from the feelings of regard which we entertain for ourselves. A friend is defined as （a） one who wishes, and promotes by action, the real or apparent good of another for that other's sake; or （b） one who wishes the existence and preservation of his friend for the friend's sake. （This is the feeling of mothers towards their children, and of former friends who have quarrelled.18） Others say that a friend is （c） one who frequents another's society, and （d） who desires the same things as he does, or （e） one who shares his friend's joys and sorrows. （This too is very characteristic of mothers.） Friendship also is defined by one or other of these marks.19  But each of them is also found in a good man's feelings towards himself （and in those of all other men as well, in so far as they believe themselves to be good; but, as has been said, virtue and the virtuous man seem to be the standard in everything）.  For （d） the good man is of one mind with himself, and desires the same things with every part of his nature. Also （a） he wishes his own good, real as well as apparent, and seeks it by action （for it is a mark of a good man to exert himself actively for the good） ; and he does so for his own sake （for he does it on account of the intellectual part of himself, and this appears to be a man's real self）. Also （b） he desires his own life and security, and especially that of his rational part.  For existence is good for the virtuous man; and everyone wishes his own good: no one would choose to possess every good in the world on condition of becoming somebody else （for God possesses the good even as it is）,20 but only while remaining himself, whatever he may be; and it would appear that the thinking part is the real self, or is so more than anything else.  And （c） the good man desires his own company; for he enjoys being by himself, since he has agreeable memories of the past, and good hopes for the future, which are pleasant too; also his mind is stored with subjects for contemplation. And （e） he is keenly conscious of his own joys and sorrows; for the same things give him pleasure or pain at all times, and not different things at different times, since he is not apt to change his mind. It is therefore because the good man has these various feelings towards himself, and because he feels towards his friend in the same way as towards himself （for a friend is another self） , that friendship also is thought to consist in one or other of these feelings, and the possession of them is thought to be the test of a friend.  Whether a man can be said actually to feel friendship for himself is a question that may be dismissed for the present; though it may be held that he can do so in so far21 as he is a dual or composite being, and because very intense friendship resembles self regard.  As a matter of fact, the feelings of self-regard described appear to be found in most people, even though they are of inferior moral worth. Perhaps men share them in so far as they have their own approval and believe in their own virtue; since the utterly worthless and criminal never possess them, or even have the appearance of doing so.  Indeed it may almost be said that no morally inferior persons possess them. For （d） such persons are at variance with themselves, desiring one thing and wishing another: this is the mark of the unrestrained, who choose what is pleasant but harmful instead of what they themselves think to be good. （a） Others again, out of cowardice and idleness, neglect to do what they think best for their own interests. And （b） men who have committed a number of crimes, and are hated for their wickedness, actually flee from life and make away with themselves.  Also （c） bad men constantly seek the society of others and shun their own company, because when they are by themselves they recall much that was unpleasant in the past and anticipate the same in the future, whereas with other people they can forget. Moreover they feel no affection for themselves, because they have no lovable qualities. Hence （e） such men do not enter into their own joys and sorrows, as there is civil war in their souls; one part of their nature, owing to depravity, is pained by abstinence from certain indulgences while another part is pleased by it; one part pulls them one way and another the other, as if dragging them asunder.  Or if it be impossible to feel pain and pleasure at the same time, at all events after indulging in pleasure they regret it a little later, and wish they had never acquired a taste for such indulgences; since the bad are always changing their minds. Thus a bad man appears to be devoid even of affection for himself, because he has nothing lovable in his nature. If then such a state of mind is utterly miserable, we should do our utmost to shun wickedness and try to be virtuous. That is the way both to be friends with ourselves and to win the friendship of others. 5. Goodwill appears to be an element of friendly feeling, but it is not the same thing as friendship; for it can be felt towards strangers, and it can be unknown to its object, whereas friendship cannot. But that has been discussed already.22 Neither is goodwill the same as affection. For it has no intensity, nor does it include desire, but these things are necessarily involved in affection.  Also affection requires intimate acquaintance, where as goodwill may spring up all of a sudden, as happens for instance in regard to the competitors in a contest; the spectators conceive goodwill and sympathy for them, though they would not actively assist them, for as we said, their goodwill is a sudden growth, and the kindly feeling is only superficial.  Goodwill seems therefore to be the beginning of friendship, just as the pleasure of the eye is the beginning of love. No one falls in love without first being charmed by beauty, but one may delight in another's beauty without necessarily being in love: one is in love only if one longs for the beloved when absent, and eagerly desires his presence. Similarly men cannot be friends without having conceived mutual goodwill, though well-wishers are not necessarily friends: they merely desire the good of those whose well-wishers they are, and would not actively assist them to attain it, nor be put to any trouble on their behalf. Hence extending the meaning of the term friendship we may say that goodwill is inoperative friendship, which when it continues and reaches the point of intimacy may become friendship proper—not the sort of friendship whose motive is utility or pleasure, for these do not arouse goodwill. Goodwill is indeed rendered in return for favors received, but this is merely the payment of a due; and that desire for an other's welfare which springs from the anticipation of favors to come does not seem really to show goodwill for one's benefactor, but rather for oneself; just as to court a man for some interested motive is not friendship.  Speaking generally, true goodwill is aroused by some kind of excellence or moral goodness: it springs up when one person thinks another beautiful or brave or the like, as in the case we mentioned of competitors in a contest. 6. Concord also seems to be a friendly feeling. Hence it is not merely agreement of opinion, for this might exist even between strangers. Nor yet is agreement in reasoned judgements about any subject whatever, for instance astronomy, termed concord; to agree about the facts of astronomy is not a bond of friendship. Concord is said to prevail in a state, when the citizens agree as to their interests, adopt the same policy, and carry their common resolves into execution.  Concord then refers to practical ends, and practical ends of importance, and able to be realized by both or all the parties: for instance, there is concord in the state when the citizens unanimously decree that the offices of state shall be elective, or that an alliance shall be made with Sparta, or that Pittacus shall be dictator （when Pittacus was himself willing to be dictator23）. When each of two persons wishes himself to rule, like the rivals24 in the Phoenissae,25 there is discord; since men are not of one mind merely when each thinks the same thing （whatever this may be） , but when each thinks the same thing in relation to the same person: for instance, when both the common people and the upper classes wish that the best people shall rule; for only so can all parties get what they desire. Concord appears therefore to mean friendship between citizens, which indeed is the ordinary use of the term; for it refers to the interests and concerns of life.  Now concord in this sense exists between good men, since these are of one mind both with themselves and with one another, as they always stand more or less on the same ground; for good men's wishes are steadfast, and do not ebb and flow like the tide, and they wish for just and expedient ends, which they strive to attain in common.  The base on the other hand are incapable of concord, except in some small degree, as they are of friendship, since they try to get more than their share of advantages, and take less than their share of labors and public burdens. And while each desires this for himself, he spies on his neighbor to prevent him from doing likewise; for unless they keep watch over one another, the common interests go to ruin. The result is discord, everybody trying to make others do their duty but refusing to do it themselves. 7. Benefactors seem to love those whom they benefit more than those who have received benefits love those who have conferred them; and it is asked why this is so, as it seems to be unreasonable. The view most generally taken is that it is because the one party is in the position of a debtor and the other of a creditor; just as therefore in the case of a loan, whereas the borrower would be glad to have his creditor out of the way, the lender actually watches over his debtor's safety, so it is thought that the conferrer of a benefit wishes the recipient to live in order that he may receive a return, but the recipient is not particularly anxious to make a return. Epicharmus no doubt would say that people who give this explanation are ‘looking at the seamy side’26 of life; but all the same it appears to be not untrue to human nature, for most men have short memories, and are more desirous of receiving benefits than of bestowing them.  But it might be held that the real reason lies deeper,27 and that the case of the creditor is not really a parallel. With him it is not a matter of affection, but only of wishing his debtor's preservation for the sake of recovering his money; whereas a benefactor feels friendship and affection for the recipient of his bounty even though he is not getting anything out of him and is never likely to do so.  The same thing happens with the artist: every artist loves his own handiwork more than that handiwork if it were to come to life would love him. This is perhaps especially true of poets, who have an exaggerated affection for their own poems and love them as parents love their children.  The position of the benefactor then resembles that of the artist; the recipient of his bounty is his handiwork, and he therefore loves him more than his handiwork loves its maker. The reason of this is that all things desire and love existence; but we exist in activity, since we exist by living and doing; and in a sense28 one who has made something exists actively, and so he loves his handiwork because he loves existence. This is in fact a fundamental principle of nature: what a thing is potentially, that its work reveals in actuality.  Moreover for the benefactor there is an element of nobility in the act, and so he feels pleased with the person who is its object; but there is nothing noble for the recipient of the benefit in his relation to his benefactor: at most, it is profitable; and what is profitable is not so pleasant or lovable as what is noble.  The doer's achievement therefore remains, for nobility or beauty is long-lived, but its utility to the recipient passes away.29 But while the actuality of the present, the hope of the future, and the memory of the past are all pleasant, actuality is the most pleasant of the three, and the most loved. Also whereas the memory of noble things is pleasant, that of useful ones is hardly at all so, or at least less so; although with anticipation the reverse seems to be the case. Again, loving seems to be an active experience, being loved a passive one; hence affection and the various forms of friendly feeling are naturally found in the more active party to the relationship.  Again, everybody loves a thing more if it has cost him trouble: for instance those who have made money love money more than those who have inherited it. Now to receive a benefit seems to involve no labor, but to confer one is an effort. （This is why mothers love their children more than fathers, because parenthood costs the mother more trouble [and the mother is more certain that the child is her own].30） This also then would seem to be a characteristic of benefactors. 8. The question is also raised whether one ought to love oneself or someone else most. We censure those who put themselves first, and ‘lover of self’ is used as a term of reproach. And it is thought that a bad man considers himself in all he does, and the more so the worse he is—so it is a complaint against him for instance that ‘he never does a thing unless you make him’ —whereas a good man acts from a sense of what is noble, and the better he is the more he so acts, and he considers his friend's interest, disregarding his own.  But the facts do not accord with these theories; nor is this surprising. For we admit that one should love one's best friend most; but the best friend is he that, when he wishes a person's good, wishes it for that person's own sake, even though nobody will ever know of it. Now this condition is most fully realized in a man's regard for himself, as indeed are all the other attributes that make up the definition of a friend; for it has been said already31 that all the feelings that constitute friendship for others are an extension of regard for self. Moreover, all the proverbs agree with this; for example, ‘Friends have one soul between them,’32 ‘Friends' goods are common property,’ ‘Amity is equality,’ ‘The knee is nearer than the shin.’33 All of these sayings will apply most fully to oneself; for a man is his own best friend. Therefore he ought to love himself most. So it is naturally debated which of these two views we ought to adopt, since each of them has some plausibility.  Now where there is a conflict of opinion the proper course is doubtless to get the two views clearly distinguished, and to define how far and in what way each of them is true. So probably the matter may become clear if we ascertain what meaning each side attaches to the term ‘self-love.’  Those then who make it a term of reproach call men lovers of self when they assign to themselves the larger share of money, honors, or bodily pleasures; since these are the things which most men desire and set their hearts on as being the greatest goods, and which accordingly they compete with each other to obtain. Now those who take more than their share of these things are men who indulge their appetites, and generally their passions and the irrational part of their souls. But most men are of this kind. Accordingly the use of the term ‘lover of self’ as a reproach has arisen from the fact that self-love of the ordinary kind is bad. Hence self-love is rightly censured in those who are lovers of self in this sense.  And that it is those who take too large a share of things of this sort whom most people usually mean when they speak of lovers of self, is clear enough. For if a man were always bent on outdoing everybody else in acting justly or temperately or in displaying any other of the virtues, and in general were always trying to secure for himself moral nobility, no one will charge him with love of self nor find any fault with him.  Yet as a matter of fact such a man might be held to be a lover of self in an exceptional degree. At all events he takes for himself the things that are noblest and most truly good. Also it is the most dominant part of himself that he indulges and obeys in everything. But （a） as in the state it is the sovereign that is held in the fullest sense to be the state, and in any other composite whole it is the dominant part that is deemed especially to be that whole, so it is with man. He therefore who loves and indulges the dominant part of himself is a lover of self in the fullest degree. Again （b） , the terms ‘self-restrained’ and ‘unrestrained’ denote being restrained or not by one's intellect, and thus imply that the intellect is the man himself. Also （c） it is our reasoned acts that are felt to be in the fullest sense our own acts, voluntary acts. It is therefore clear that a man is or is chiefly the dominant part of himself, and that a good man values this part of himself most. Hence the good man will be a lover of self in the fullest degree, though in another sense than the lover of self so-called by way of reproach, from whom he differs as much as living by principle differs from living by passion, and aiming at what is noble from aiming at what seems expedient.  Persons therefore who are exceptionally zealous in noble actions are universally approved and commended; and if all men vied with each other in moral nobility and strove to perform the noblest deeds, the common welfare would be fully realized, while individuals also could enjoy the greatest of goods, inasmuch as virtue is the greatest good. Therefore the good man ought to be a lover of self, since he will then both benefit himself by acting nobly and aid his fellows; but the bad man ought not to be a lover of self, since he will follow his base passions, and so injure both himself and his neighbors.  With the bad man therefore, what he does is not in accord with what he ought to do, but the good man does what he ought, since intelligence always chooses for itself that which is best, and the good man obeys his intelligence.  But it is also true that the virtuous man's conduct is often guided by the interests of his friends and of his country, and that he will if necessary lay down his life in their behalf. For he will surrender wealth and power and all the goods that men struggle to win, if he can secure nobility for himself; since he would prefer an hour of rapture to a long period of mild enjoyment, a year of noble life to many years of ordinary existence, one great and glorious exploit to many small successes. And this is doubtless the case with those who give their lives for others; thus they choose great nobility for themselves. Also the virtuous man is ready to forgo money if by that means his friends may gain more money; for thus, though his friend gets money, he himself achieves nobility, and so he assigns the greater good to his own share.  And he behaves in the same manner as regards honors and offices also: all these things he will relinquish to his friend, for this is noble and praiseworthy for himself. He is naturally therefore thought to be virtuous, as he chooses moral nobility in preference to all other things. It may even happen that he will surrender to his friend the performance of some achievement, and that it may be nobler for him to be the cause of his friend's performing it than to perform it himself.  Therefore in all spheres of praiseworthy conduct it is manifest that the good man takes the larger share of moral nobility for himself. In this sense then, as we said above, it is right to be a lover of self, though self-love of the ordinary sort is wrong. 9. Another debated question is whether friends are necessary or not for happiness. People say that the supremely happy are self-sufficing, and so have no need of friends: for they have the good things of life already, and therefore, being complete in themselves, require nothing further; whereas the function of a friend, who is a second self, is to supply things we cannot procure for ourselves. Hence the saying34 “ When fortune favors us, what need of friends?
”  But it seems strange that if we attribute all good things to the happy man we should not assign him friends, which we consider the greatest of external goods. Also if it be more the mark of a friend to give than to receive benefits, and if beneficence is a function of the good man and of virtue, and it is is nobler to benefit friends than strangers, the good man will need friends as the objects of his beneficence.Hence the further question is asked: Are friends more needed in prosperity or in adversity? It is argued that the unfortunate need people to be kind to them, but also that the prosperous need people to whom they may be kind.  Also perhaps it would be strange to represent the supremely happy man as a recluse. Nobody would choose to have all possible good things on the condition that he must enjoy them alone; for man is a social being,35 and designed by nature to live with others; accordingly the happy man must have society, for he has everything that is naturally good. And it is obviously preferable to associate with friends and with good men than with strangers and chance companions. Therefore the happy man requires friends.  What then do the upholders of the former view mean, and in what sense is it true? Perhaps the explanation of it is that most men think of friends as being people who are useful to us. Now it is true that the supremely happy man will have no need of friends of that kind, inasmuch as he is supplied with good things already. Nor yet will he want friends of the pleasant sort, or only to a very small extent, for his life is intrinsically pleasant and has no need of adventitious pleasure. And as he does not need useful or pleasant friends, it is assumed that he does not require friends at all.  But perhaps this inference is really untrue. For as we said at the beginning,36 happiness is a form of activity, and an activity clearly is something that comes into being, not a thing that we possess all the time, like a piece of property. But if happiness consists in life and activity, and the activity of a good man, as was said at the beginning,37 is good and so pleasant in itself, and if the sense that a thing is our own is also pleasant, yet we are better able to contemplate our neighbors than ourselves, and their actions than our own, and thus good men find pleasure in the actions of other good men who are their friends, since those actions possess both these essentially pleasant qualities,38 it therefore follows that the supremely happy man will require good friends, insomuch as he desires to contemplate actions that are good and that are his own, and the actions of a good man that is his friend are such. Also men think that the life of the happy man ought to be pleasant. Now a solitary man has a hard life, for it is not easy to keep up continuous activity by oneself; it is easier to do so with the aid of and in relation to other people.  The good man's activity therefore, which is pleasant in itself, will be more continuous if practised with friends39; and the life of the supremely happy should be continuously pleasant40 （for a good man, in virtue of his goodness, enjoys actions that conform with virtue and dislikes those that spring from wickedness, just as a skilled musician is pleased by good music and pained by bad）.  Moreover the society of the good may supply a sort of training in goodness, as Theognis41 remarks. Again, if we examine the matter more fundamentally, it appears that a virtuous friend is essentially desirable for a virtuous man. For as has been said above, that which is essentially good is good and pleasing in itself to the virtuous man. And life is defined, in the case of animals, by the capacity for sensation; in the case of man, by the capacity for sensation and thought. But a capacity is referred to its activity, and in this its full reality consists. It appears therefore that life in the full sense is sensation or thought.But life is a thing good and pleasant in itself, for it is definite, and definiteness is a part of the essence of goodness, and what is essentially good is good for the good man, and hence appears to be pleasant to all men.  We must not argue from a vicious and corrupt life, or one that is painful, for such a life is indefinite, like its attributes.42 （The point as to pain will be clearer in the sequel.43）  But if life itself is good and pleasant （as it appears to be, because all men desire it, and virtuous and supremely happy men most of all, since their way of life is most desirable and their existence the most blissful） ; and if one who sees is conscious44 that he sees, one who hears that he hears, one who walks that he walks, and similarly for all the other human activities there is a faculty that is conscious of their exercise, so that whenever we perceive, we are conscious that we perceive, and whenever we think, we are conscious that we think, and to be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious that we exist （for existence, as we saw, is sense-perception or thought）; and if to be conscious one is alive is a pleasant thing in itself （for life is a thing essentially good, and to be conscious that one possesses a good thing is pleasant） ; and if life is desirable, and especially so for good men, because existence is good for them, and so pleasant （because they are pleased by the perception of what is intrinsically good） ;  and if the virtuous man feels towards his friend in the same way as he feels towards himself （for his friend is a second self） —then, just as a man's own existence is desirable for him, so, or nearly so, is his friend's existence also desirable. But, as we saw, it is the consciousness of oneself as good45 that makes existence desirable, and such consciousness is pleasant in itself. Therefore a man ought also to share his friend's consciousness of his existence, and this is attained by their living together and by conversing and communicating their thoughts to each other; for this is the meaning of living together as applied to human beings, it does not mean merely feeding in the same place, as it does when applied to cattle. If then to the supremely happy man existence is desirable in itself, being good and pleasant essentially, and if his friend's existence is almost equally desirable to him, it follows that a friend is one of the things to be desired. But that which is desirable for him he is bound to have, or else his condition will be incomplete in that particular. Therefore to be happy a man needs virtuous friends. 10. Ought we then to make as many friends as possible? or, just as it seems a wise saying about hospitality— “ Neither with troops of guests nor yet with none
”46— so also with friendship perhaps it will be fitting neither to be without friends nor yet to make friends in excessive numbers.  This rule would certainly seem applicable to those friends whom we choose for their utility47; for it is troublesome to have to repay the services of a large number of people, and life is not long enough for one to do it. Any more therefore than are sufficient for the requirements of one's own life will be superfluous, and a hindrance to noble living, so one is better without them. Of friends for pleasure also a few are enough, just as a small amount of sweets is enough in one's diet.  But should one have as many good friends as possible? or is there a limit of size for a circle of friends, as there is for the population of a state? Ten people would not make a city, and with a hundred thousand it is a city no longer; though perhaps the proper size is not one particular number, but any number between certain limits. So also the number of one's friends must be limited, and should perhaps be the largest number with whom one can constantly associate; since, as we saw,48 to live together is the chief mark of friendship,  but it is quite clear that it is not possible to live with and to share oneself among a large number of people. Another essential is that one's friends must also be the friends of one another, if they are all to pass the time in each other's company; but for a large number of people all to be friends is a difficult matter.  Again, it is difficult to share intimately in the joys and sorrows of many people; for one may very likely be called upon to rejoice with one and to mourn with another at the same time. Perhaps therefore it is a good rule not to seek to have as many friends as possible, but only as many as are enough to form a circle of associates. Indeed it would appear to be impossible to be very friendly with many people, for the same reason as it is impossible to be in love with several people. Love means friendship in the superlative degree, and that must be with one person only; so also warm friendship is only possible with a few.  This conclusion seems to be supported by experience. Friendships between comrades49 only include a few people, and the famous examples of poetry50 are pairs of friends. Persons of many friendships, who are hail-fellow-well-met with everybody, are thought to be real friends of nobody （otherwise than as fellow-citizens are friends） : I mean the sort of people we call obsequious. It is true that one may be friendly with many fellow-citizens and not be obsequious, but a model of excellence; but it is not possible to have many friends whom we love for their virtue and for themselves. We may be glad to find even a few friends of this sort. 11. But do we need friends more in prosperity or in adversity? As a matter of fact men seek friends in both. The unfortunate require assistance; the prosperous want companions, and recipients of their bounty, since they wish to practise beneficence. Hence friendship is more necessary in adversity, so then it is useful friends that are wanted; but it is nobler in prosperity, so the prosperous seek also for good men as friends, since these are preferable both as objects of beneficence and as associates.  Also51 the mere presence of friends is pleasant both in prosperity and adversity. Sorrow is lightened by the sympathy of friends. Hence the question may be raised whether friends actually share the burden of grief, or whether, without this being the case, the pain is nevertheless diminished by the pleasure of their company and by the consciousness of their sympathy. Whether one of these reasons or some other gives the true explanation of the consoling power of friendship need not now be considered, but in any case it appears to have the effect described.  Yet the pleasure that the company of friends affords seems to be of a mixed nature. It is true that the very sight of them is pleasant, especially in time of misfortune, and is a considerable help in assuaging sorrow; for a friend, if tactful, can comfort us with look and word, as he knows our characters and what things give us pleasure and pain.  But on the other hand to see another pained by our own misfortunes is painful, as everyone is reluctant to be a cause of pain to his friends. Hence manly natures shrink from making their friends share their pain, and unless a man is excessively insensitive, he cannot bear the pain that his pain gives to them; and he will not suffer others to lament with him, because he is not given to lamentation himself. But weak women and womanish men like those who mourn with them, and love them as true friends and sympathizers. However, it is clear that in everything we ought to copy the example of the man of nobler nature.  In prosperity again the company of friends sweetens our hours of leisure, and also affords the pleasure of being conscious of their pleasure in our welfare. Hence it may be thought that we ought to be eager to invite our friends to share our good fortune （since it is noble to wish to bestow benefits）, but reluctant to ask them to come to us in misfortune （since we should impart to others as little as possible of what is evil: whence the proverb ‘My own misfortune is enough’）. We should summon our friends to our aid chiefly when they will be of great service to us at the cost of little trouble to themselves.  So, conversely, it is perhaps fitting that we should go uninvited and readily to those in misfortune （for it is the part of a friend to render service, and especially to those in need, and without being asked, since assistance so rendered is more noble and more pleasant for both parties）; but to the prosperous, though we should go readily to help them （for even prosperity needs the cooperation of friends）,52 we should be slow in going when it is a question of enjoying their good things （for it is not noble to be eager to receive benefits）. But doubtless we should be careful to avoid seeming churlish in repulsing their advances, a thing that does sometimes occur. It appears therefore that the company of friends is desirable in all circumstances. 12. As then lovers find their greatest delight in seeing those they love, and prefer the gratification of the sense of sight to that of all the other senses, that sense being the chief seat and source of love, so likewise for friends （may we not say?） the society of each other is the most desirable thing there is. For （i） friendship is essentially a partnership. And （ii） a man stands in the same relation to a friend as to himself53; but the consciousness of his own existence is a good; so also therefore is the consciousness of his friend's existence; but this54 consciousness is actualized in intercourse; hence friends naturally desire each other's society.  And （iii） whatever pursuit it is that constitutes existence for a man or that makes his life worth living, he desires to share that pursuit with his friends. Hence some friends drink or dice together, others practise athletic sports and hunt, or study philosophy, in each other's company; each sort spending their time together in the occupation that they love best of everything in life; for wishing to live in their friends’ society, they pursue and take part with them in these occupations as best they can.55  Thus the friendship of inferior people is evil, for they take part together in inferior pursuits [being unstable,]56 and by becoming like each other are made positively evil. But the friendship of the good is good, and grows with their intercourse. And they seem actually to become better by putting their friendship into practice,57 and because they correct each other's faults, for each takes the impress from the other of those traits in him that give him pleasure—whence the saying: "Noble deeds from noble men."58 So much for our treatment of Friendship. Our next business will be to discuss Pleasure.