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[76] In brief, it is your duty on every occasion to consider carefully both what you will demand from a friend and what you will permit him to obtain when he makes a demand on you.

21. Furthermore, there is a sort of disaster in connexion with breaking off friendships—for now our discussion descends from the intimacies of the wise to friendships of the ordinary kind1 —which is sometimes unavoidable. There are often in friends outbursts of vice which affect sometimes their actual friends, sometimes strangers, yet so that the infamy of the evil flows over on to the friends. Therefore the ties of such friendships should be sundered by a gradual relaxation of intimacy, and, as I have heard that Cato used to say, “They should be unravelled rather than rent apart,” unless there has been some outbreak of utterly unbearable wrongdoing, so that the only course consistent with rectitude and honour, and indeed the only one possible, is to effect an immediate withdrawal of affection and association.

1 Cf. § 32 verae amicitiae sempiternae sunt.

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