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[74] As a rule decisions about friendships should be formed after strength and stability have been reached in mind and age; nor should men who in boyhood were devoted to hunting and games of ball, keep as their intimates those whom they loved at that period simply because they were fond of the same pursuits. For on that principle nurses and the slaves who attended us to and from school, will, by right of priority of acquaintance, claim the largest share of our goodwill. I admit that they are not to be neglected, but they are to be regarded in an entirely different way; under no other conditions can friendship remain secure.1 For difference of character is attended by difference of taste and it is this diversity of taste that severs friendships; nor is there any other cause why good men cannot be friends to wicked men, or wicked men to good men, except that there is the greatest possible distance between them in character and in taste.

1 i.e. only by forming friendships when we are mature in mind and in age.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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