(Now the entertaining the sentiment is like a feeling, but Friendship itself like a state: because the former may have for its object even things inanimate, but requital of Friendship is attended with moral choice which proceeds from a moral state: and again, men wish good to the objects of their Friendship for their sakes, not in the way of a mere feeling but of moral state.).
And the good, in loving their friend, love their own good (inasmuch as the good man, when brought into that relation, becomes a good to him with whom he is so connected), so that either party loves his own good, and repays his friend equally both in wishing well and in the pleasurable: for equality is said to be a tie of Friendship. Well, these points belong most to the Friendship between good men.
But between morose or elderly men Friendship is less apt to arise, because they are somewhat awkward-tempered, and take less pleasure in intercourse and society; these being thought to be specially friendly and productive of Friendship: and so young men become friends quickly, old men not so (because people do not become friends with any, unless they take pleasure in them); and in like manner neither do the morose.
Yet men of these classes entertain kindly feelings towards one another: they wish good to one another and render mutual assistance in respect of their needs, but they are not quite friends, because they neither spend their time together nor take pleasure in one another, which circumstances are thought specially to belong to Friendship.
To be a friend to many people, in the way of the perfect Friendship, is not possible; just as you cannot be in love with many at once: it is, so to speak, a state of excess which naturally has but one object; and besides, it is not an easy thing for one man to be very much pleased with many people at the same time, nor perhaps to find many really good. Again, a man needs experience, and to be in habits of close intimacy, which is very difficult.
But it is possible to please many on the score of advantage