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[45] But I am speaking here of ordinary friendships; for among men who are ideally wise and perfect such situations cannot arise.

They say that Damon and Phintias, of the Pythagorean 1 school, enjoyed such ideally perfect friendship, that when the tyrant Dionysius had appointed a day for the execution of one of them, and the one who had been condemned to death requested a few days' respite for the purpose of putting his loved ones in the care of friends, the other became surety for his appearance, with the understanding that if his friend did not return, he himself should be put to death. And when the friend returned on the day appointed, the tyrant in admiration for their faithfulness begged that they would enrol him as a third partner in their friendship.

1 Damon and Phintias.

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