"The service a man renders his friend is trivial and selfish, compared with the service he knows his friend stood in readiness to yield him, alike before he had begun to serve his friend, and now also. Compared with that good-will I bear my friend, the benefit it is in my power to render him seems small."
"When much intercourse with a friend has supplied us with a standard of excellence, and has increased our respect for the resourcesof God who thus sends a real person to outgo our ideal; when he has, moreover, become an object of thought, and, whilst his character retains all its unconscious effect, is converted in the mind into solid and sweet wisdom,--it is a sign to us that his office is closing, and he is commonly withdrawn from our sight in a short time."
"We begin with friendships, and all our youth is a reconnoitering and recruiting of the holy fraternity they shall combine for thesalvation of men. But so the remoter stars seem a nebula of united light, yet there is no group which a telescope will not resolve; and the dearest friends are separated by impassable gulfs."
"But only that soul can be my friend which I encounter on the line of my own march, that soul to which I do not decline, and whichdoes not decline me, but, native of the same celestial latitude, repeats in its own all my experience."
"[H]ow do I pity those who (assuming the name of friends) surround themselves with maxims importing the wisdom of doubt and suspicion, 'til they impose on themselves that very hard task of laboring through life without ever knowing a human creature to whom they can make the proper use of language and freely speak the dictates of their hearts!"
"But I choose to think he is escaped from the possibility of falling into any future afflictions, and that neither the malice of his pretended friends nor the sufferings of his real ones can ever again rend and torment his honest heart."
"I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances. I much prefer the company of ploughboysand tin-peddlers, to the silken and perfumed amity which celebrates its days of encounter by a frivolous display, by rides in a curricle, and dinners at the best taverns."