"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."
"We say that every man is entitled to be valued by his best moment. We measure our friends so. We know, they have intervals of folly, whereof we take no heed, but wait the reappearings of the genius, which are sure and beautiful."
"For, when men shall meet as they ought, each a benefactor, a shower of stars, clothed with thoughts, with deeds, with accomplishments, it should be the festival of nature which all things announce. Of such friendship, love in the sexes is the first symbol, as all other things are symbols of love. Those relations to the best men, which, at one time, we reckoned the romances of youth, become, in the progress of character, the most solid enjoyment."
"I know nothing which life has to offer so satisfying as the profound good understanding, which can subsist, after much exchange ofgood offices, between two virtuous men, each of whom is sure of himself, and sure of his friend. It is a happiness which postpones all other gratifications, and makes politics, and commerce, and churches, cheap."
"If your friend has displeased you, you shall not sit down to consider it, for he has already lost all memory of the passage, and has doubled his power to serve you, and, ere you can rise up again, will burden you with blessings."
"If we are related, we shall meet. It was a tradition of the ancient world, that no metamorphosis could hide a god from a god; andthere is a Greek verse which runs, "The Gods are to each other not unknown." Friends also follow the laws of divine necessity; they gravitate to each other, and cannot otherwise."
"The only sin is limitation. As soon as you once come up with a man's limitations, it is all over with him. Has he talents? has heenterprise? has he knowledge? It boots not. Infinitely alluring and attractive was he to you yesterday, a great hope, a sea to swim in; now, you have found his shores, found it a pond, and you care not if you never see it again."
"The secret of culture is to learn, that a few great points steadily reappear, alike in the poverty of the obscurest farm, and in the miscellany of metropolitan life, and that these few are alone to be regarded,--the escape from all false ties; courage to be what we are; and love what is simple and beautiful; independence and cheerful relation, these are the essentials,--these, and the wish to serve,--to add somewhat to the well-being of men."
"Hume's doctrine was that the circumstances vary, the amount of happiness does not; that the beggar cracking fleas in the sunshineunder a hedge, and the duke rolling by in his chariot; the girl equipped for her first ball, and the orator returning triumphant from the debate, had different means, but the same quantity of pleasant excitement."