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[62] But Scipio—and I often recur to him, my sole authority for a discourse on friendship—Scipio used to complain that men were more painstaking in all other things than in friendship; that everybody could tell how many goats and sheep he had,1 but was unable to tell the number of his friends; and that men took pains in getting the former, but were careless in choosing the latter, and had no certain signs, or marks, so to speak, by which to determine their fitness for friendship. We ought, therefore, to choose men who are firm, steadfast and constant, a class of which there is a great dearth; and at the same time it is very hard to come to a decision without a trial, while such trial can only be made in actual friendship: thus friendship outruns the judgement and takes away the opportunity of a trial.

1 Cf. Xen. Mem. ii. 4. 4; ib. ii. 4. 1.

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