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[4]

The friendship between husband and wife again is the same as that which prevails between rulers and subjects in an aristocracy; for it is in proportion to excellence, and the better party receives the larger share [of good],1 whilst each party receives what is appropriate to each; and the same is true of the claims of justice on either side.

1 The word ‘good’ looks like an interpolation. The sense seems to require ‘a larger share of affection’ ( φιλίας, or φιλήσεως, understood); it is clear throughout that in an unequal friendship the superior party receives not more but less benefit (though more affection) than the inferior. In 10.5 the conjugal association is compared to the aristocratic polity in virtue of the fact that the superior party has more power, not more benefit; and from 10.3 it appears that when the ruling class takes all or most of the benefits for itself, the government is no longer an aristocracy but an oligarchy.

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