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[50] And what if I also add, as I may fairly do, that nothing so allures and attracts anything to itself as likeness does to friendship? Then it surely will be granted as a fact that good men love and join to themselves other good men, in a union which is almost that of relationship and nature. For there is nothing more eager or more greedy than nature for what is like itself. Wherefore, because of this very fact, I think it should be evident, Fannius and Scaevola, that the good have for the good, as if from necessity, a kindly feeling which nature has made the fountain of friendship. But this same goodness belongs also to the generality of men. For virtue is not unfeeling, unwilling to serve, or proudly exclusive, but it is her wont to protect even whole nations and to plan the best measures for their welfare, which she [p. 163] certainly would not do if she disdained the affection of the common mass.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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