"We over-estimate the conscience of our friend. His goodness seems better than our goodness, his nature finer, his temptations less. Everything that is his,--his name, his form, his dress, books, and instruments,--fancy enhances. Our own thought sounds new and larger from his mouth."
"What a perpetual disappointment is actual society, even of the virtuous and gifted! After interviews have been compassed with longforesight, we must be tormented presently by baffled blows, by sudden, unseasonable apathies, by epilepsies of wit and of animal spirits, in the heyday of friendship and thought. Our faculties do not play us true, and both parties are relieved by solitude."
"Only be admonished by what you already see, not to strike leagues of friendship with cheap persons, where no friendship can be. Our impatience betrays us into rash and foolish alliances which no God attends."
"My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me. By oldest right, by the divine affinity of virtue with itself,I find them, or rather not I, but the Deity in me and in them derides and cancels the thick walls of the individual character, relation, age, sex, circumstance, at which he usually connives, and now makes many one."
"I wish that friendship should have feet, as well as eyes and eloquence. It must plant itself on the ground, before it vaults overthe moon. I wish it to be a little of a citizen, before it is quite a cherub."
"I do then with my friends as I do with my books. I would have them where I can find them, but I seldom use them. We must have society on our own terms, and admit or exclude it on the slightest cause."
"Almost every man we meet requires some civility,--requires to be humored; he has some fame, some talent, some whim of religion orphilanthropy in his head that is not to be questioned, and which spoils all conversation with him. But a friend is a sane man who exercises not my ingenuity, but me."