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The same principle is seen to obtain in public life.1 A citizen who contributes nothing of value to the common stock is not held in honor, for the common property is given to those who benefit the community, and honor is a part of the common property. For a man cannot expect to make money out of the community and to receive honor as well. For2 nobody is content to have the smaller share all round, and so we pay honor to the man who suffers money loss by holding office, and give money to the one who takes bribes; since requital in accordance with desert restores equality, and is the preservative of friendship,3 as has been said above.

This principle therefore should also regulate the intercourse of friends who are unequal: the one who is benefited in purse or character must repay what he can, namely honor.

1 Cf. 5.2.12, 5.4.2.

2 This explains why a benefactor of the commonwealth must receive a reward in the shape of honor.

3 i.e., the friendly feeling between the citizens as such, see 9.1. But that this is maintained by τὸ κατ᾽ ἀξίαν has not been said before: indeed the phrase is an odd description of what precedes, and its applicability to private friendship is denied just below. Perhaps ‘since requital . . . above’ is an interpolation.

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