[233a] after their passion has ceased. But in the case of those who are not in love, who were your friends before entering into the closer relation, the favors received are not likely to make the friendship less, but will remain as pledges of future joys. And then, too, it will be better for your character to yield to me than to a lover. For lovers praise your words and acts beyond due measure, partly through fear of incurring your displeasure, [233b] and partly because their own judgment is obscured by their passion. For such are the exhibitions of the power of Love: he makes the unsuccessful lovers think that things are grievous which cause no pain to others, and he compels the successful to praise what ought not to give pleasure; therefore those whom they love are more to be pitied than envied. But if you yield to me, I shall consort with you, not with a view to present pleasure only, but to [233c] future advantage also, not being overcome by passion but in full control of myself, and not taking up violent enmity because of small matters, but slowly gathering little anger when the transgressions are great, forgiving involuntary wrongs and trying to prevent intentional ones; for these are the proofs of a friendship that will endure for a long time. But if you have a notion that friendship cannot be firm, [233d] unless one is in love, you should bear in mind that in that case we should not have great affection for sons or for fathers and mothers, nor should we possess faithful friends who have been gained not through passion but through associations of a different kind. Besides, if you ought to grant favors to those who ask for them most eagerly, you ought in other matters also to confer benefits, not on the best, but on the most needy; for they will be most grateful, since they are relieved of the greatest ills. And then, too, [233e] at private entertainments you ought not to invite your friends, but beggars and those who need a meal; for they will love you and attend you and come to your doors and be most pleased and grateful, and will call down many blessings upon your head. Perhaps, however, you ought not to grant favors to those who beg for them, but to those who are most able to repay you; and not to those who ask merely, but to the most deserving; and not to those
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.