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[2]

Also1 the mere presence of friends is pleasant both in prosperity and adversity. Sorrow is lightened by the sympathy of friends. Hence the question may be raised whether friends actually share the burden of grief, or whether, without this being the case, the pain is nevertheless diminished by the pleasure of their company and by the consciousness of their sympathy. Whether one of these reasons or some other gives the true explanation of the consoling power of friendship need not now be considered, but in any case it appears to have the effect described.

1 This gives a further reason for the second sentence of the chapter, and adds the motive of pleasure to those of utility and virtue.

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