The talent for friendship. Among men who have a particular gift for friendship, two types stand out. The one man is in a continual state of ascent, and finds an exactly appropriate friend for each phase of his development. The series of friends that he acquires in this way is only rarely interconnected, and sometimes discordant and contradictory, quite in accordance with the fact that the later phases in his development invalidate or compromise the earlier phases. Such a man may jokingly be called a ladder.
The other type is represented by the man who exercises his powers of attraction on very different characters and talents, thereby winning a whole circle of friends; and these come into friendly contact with one another through him, despite all their diversity. Such a man can be called a circle; for in him, that intimate connection of so many different temperaments and natures must somehow be prefigured.
In many people, incidentally, the gift of having good friends is much greater than the gift of being a good friend.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Human, All Too Human
Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism # 368

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