How to Deal with the Different Classes of Mankind
A man must consider the relationship of his own state to the states of all the classes of mankind, his relationship to each class necessarily falling into one of three categories: in rank he is either superior to that class, or comparable2287 to it, or beneath it. If he be above it in rank, such consideration prompts7M him to preserve that degree so that it should not incline to deficiency; if he be comparable, he is prompted to rise above that degree on the ascending stairway of perfection; if he be beneath, he strives to attain the degree of that class. The state of association varies, likewise, as the states of the ranks vary: association with the higher class is (to be conducted according to principles) apparent from what we have recorded in the Fifth Section (of the present Discourse). Association with the comparable2287 class is of three kinds: association with friends, with enemies, and with persons who are neither friends nor enemies. Friends are of two classes, true and not true. 2288 Association with true friends has already been spoken of.