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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,1 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.

1 Cf. 8.1.6.

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