Ce que les hommes ont nommé amitié n'est qu'une société, qu'un ménagement réciproque d'intérêts, et qu'un échange de bons offices; ce n'est enfin qu'un commerce où l'amour-propre se propose toujours quelque chose à gagner.
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1678, Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales, Maxim 83)

Friend$hip - a graphic poem by T Newfields

I want to $ay how mu¢h
´our friend$hip mean$ to me
and how our re£ation$hip
ha$ ´eilded annuitie$.

IÕve inve$ted much time
in a¢quiring this re£ation$hip
and now payment is due:

´e$, my intere$t i$ $incere 
´et market rate$ are ¢limbing
and unle$$ I get more dividends from thi$ re£ation
I $hall have to $eek other$
From which more profit a¢¢rue$.

Gus: If friendship is regarded as a calculated exchange or as a commercial commodity, can it actually be called 'friendship'?
Liao: (sipping some tea slowly) My guess is that each person answers that question differently . . .