"He had long before indulged most unfavourable sentiments of our fellow-subjects in America. For, as early as 1769,... he had saidof them, "Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for any thing we allow them short of hanging."
"Talking of our feeling for the distresses of others;MJOHNSON. "Why, Sir, there is much noise made about it, but it is greatly exaggerated.... BOSWELL. "But suppose now, Sir, that one of your intimate friends were apprehended for an offence for which he might be hanged." JOHNSON. "I should do what I could to bail him, and give him any other assistance; but if he were once fairly hanged, I would not suffer.... Sir, that sympathetic feeling goes a very little way in depressing the mind."
"Never, my dear Sir, do you take it into your head that I do not love you; you may settle yourself in full confidence both of my love and my esteem; I love you as a kind man, I value you as a worthy man, and hope in time to reverence you as a man of exemplary piety."
"Our friendships hurry to short and poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the toughfibre of the human heart. The laws of friendship are austere and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals."
"Happy is the house that shelters a friend! It might well be built, like a festal bower or arch, to entertain him a single day. Happier, if he know the solemnity of that relation, and honor its law! He offers himself a candidate for that covenant comes up, like an Olympian, to the great games, where the first- born of the world are the competitors."
"Then, though I prize my friends, I cannot afford to talk with them and study their visions, lest I lose my own. It would indeed give me a certain household joy to quit this lofty seeking, this spiritual astronomy, or search of stars, and come down to warm sympathies with you; but then I know well I shall mourn always the vanishing of my mighty gods."
"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."