C.S. Lewis quote #373 from The Four Loves

Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face absorbed in each other Friends side by side absorbed in some common interest. Above all Eros while it lasts is necessarily between two only. But two far from being the necessary number for Friendship is not even the best. And the reason for this is important.... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third and three by a fourth if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say as the blessed souls say in Dante Here comes one who will augment our loves. For in this love to divide is not to take away.

Quote author: 
Share this quote: 

Similar famous quotes