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[48] Wherefore, if distress of mind befalls a wise man (as it certainly does unless we assume that human sympathy has been rooted out of his heart), why should we remove friendship entirely from our lives in order that we may suffer no worries on its account? For when the soul is deprived of emotion, what difference is thereā€”I do not say between man and the beasts of the field, but between man and a stock or a stone, or any such thing? Nor are we to listen to those men1 who maintain that virtue is hard and unyielding and is, as it were, something made of iron; whereas, in many relations of life, and especially in friendship, it is so pliable and elastic that it expands, so to speak, with a friend's [p. 161] prosperity and contracts with his adversity. Wherefore, that mental anguish of which I spoke and which often must be felt on a friend's account, has no more power to banish friendship from life than it has to cause us to reject virtue because virtue entails certain cares and annoyances.

14. But, since, as I said before, virtue knits friendship together, if there should be some exhibition of shining virtue to which a kindred spirit may attach and adjust itself, then, when that happens, love must needs spring forth.

1 i.e. the Stoics.

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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, PRONOUNS
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