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[32] From this view those men who, after the manner of cattle, judge everything by the standard of pleasure, vigorously dissent; nor is it strange; for the raising of the vision to anything lofty, noble and divine is impossible to men who have abased their every thought to a thing so lowly and so mean. Therefore let us dismiss these persons from our conversation and let us for ourselves believe that the sentiments of love and of kindly affection spring from nature, when intimation has been given of moral worth; for when men have conceived a longing for this virtue they bend towards it and move closer to it, so that, by familiar association with him whom they have begun to love, they may enjoy his character, equal him in affection, become readier to deserve than to demand his favours, and vie with [p. 145] him in a rivalry of virtue. Thus the greatest advantages will be realized from friendship, and its origin, being derived from nature rather than from weakness, will be more dignified and more consonant with truth. For on the assumption that advantage is the cement of friendships, if advantage were removed friendships would fall apart; but since nature is unchangeable, therefore real friendships are eternal.

You now have my views on the origin of friendship, unless you have something to say in reply.

FANNIUS. Pray go on, Laelius, and I answer for my friend here, as I have the right to do, since he is my junior.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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    • Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, CONJUNCTIONS
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