Loyalty and Friendship

“Now the support and stay of that unswerving constancy, which we look for in friendship, is loyalty; for nothing is constant that is disloyal.  Moreover, the right course is to choose for a friend one who is frank, sociable, and sympathetic–that is, one who is likely to be influenced by the same motives as yourself–since all these qualities conduce to loyalty; for it is impossible for a man to be loyal whose nature is full of twists and twinings; and, indeed, one who is untouched by the same influences as yourself is naturally unsympathetic cannot be either loyal or steadfast.  To this observation should be added a requirement tending to produce that steadfastness, which I have been discussing for some time: a friend must neither take pleasure in bringing charges against you nor believe them when made by others.  As so, the truth of what I said in the beginning is established: ‘Friendship cannot exist except among good men.’ ” Cicero, On Friendship XVIII. 65. Loeb Classical Library, trans. William A. Falconer (Cambridge, MA  1923), 174-78.

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