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[61] 17. Therefore, these are the limits which I think ought to be observed, namely: when the characters of friends are blameless, then there should be between them complete harmony of opinions and inclinations in everything without any exception; and, even if by some chance the wishes of a friend are not altogether honourable and require to be forwarded in matters which involve his life or reputation, we should turn aside from the straight path, provided, however, utter disgrace does not follow;1 for there are limits to the indulgence which can be allowed to friendship. Nor indeed ought a man either to disregard his reputation, or to consider the goodwill of his countrymen a poor weapon in the battle of life, though to hunt after it with fawning and flattery is disgraceful; as to virtue we must by no means abjure it, for it is attended by regard.

[p. 173]

1 This is apparently at variance with ยง 40 turpis enim excusatio est, etc.

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