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[51] And again, it seems to me at any rate, that those who1 falsely assume expediency to be the basis of friendship, take from friendship's chain its loveliest link. For it is not so much the material gain procured through a friend, as it is his love, and his love alone, that gives us delight; and that advantage which we derive from him becomes a pleasure only when his service is inspired by an ardent zeal. And it is far from being true that friendship is cultivated because of need; rather, is it cultivated by those who are most abundantly blessed with wealth and power and especially with virtue, which is man's best defence; by those least in need of another's help; and by those most generous and most given to acts of kindness. Indeed, I should be inclined to think that it is not well for friends never to need anything at all. Wherein, for example, would my zeal have displayed itself if Scipio had never been in need of my advice or assistance either at home or abroad?2 It is not the case, therefore, that friendship attends upon advantage, but, on the contrary, that advantage attends upon friendship.

1 i.e. those referred to in § 46 ad init., the Cyrenaics followers of Aristippus of Cyrene.

2 But cf. § 30: Quid enim? Africanus indigens mei?

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, SYNTAX OF THE VERB
    • Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, ORDER OF WORDS
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