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phaedrus   



Once more, if you fear the fickleness of friendship, consider that

in any other case a quarrel might be a mutual calamity; but now,

when you have given up what is most precious to you, you will be the

greater loser, and therefore, you will have more reason in being

afraid of the lover, for his vexations are many, and he is always

fancying that every one is leagued against him. Wherefore also he

debars his beloved from society; he will not have you intimate with

the wealthy, lest they should exceed him in wealth, or with men of

education, lest they should be his superiors in understanding; and

he is equally afraid of anybody's influence who has any other

advantage over himself. If he can persuade you to break with them, you

are left without friend in the world; or if, out of a regard to your

own interest, you have more sense than to comply with his desire,

you will have to quarrel with him. But those who are non-lovers, and

whose success in love is the reward of their merit, will not be

jealous of the companions of their beloved, and will rather hate those

who refuse to be his associates, thinking that their favourite is

slighted by the latter and benefited by the former; for more love than

hatred may be expected to come to him out of his friendship with

others. Many lovers too have loved the person of a youth before they

knew his character or his belongings; so that when their passion has

passed away, there is no knowing whether they will continue to be

his friends; whereas, in the case of non-lovers who were always

friends, the friendship is not lessened by the favours granted; but

the recollection of these remains with them, and is an earnest of good

things to come.

Further, I say that you are likely to be improved by me, whereas the

lover will spoil you. For they praise your words and actions in a

wrong way; partly, because they are afraid of offending you, and also,

their judgment is weakened by passion. Such are the feats which love

exhibits; he makes things painful to the disappointed which give no

pain to others; he compels the successful lover to praise what ought

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