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The firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.


We often choose a friend as we do a mistress, for no particular excellence in themselves, but merely from some circumstance that flatters our self-love.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

A true friend may be forgiven, if in time of prosperity he seems to forget you; but he is not worth having that neglects you in distress.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

Whatever dissolves friendship should, at least, be equal in importance to that which formed it.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

A hungry cat will not acknowledge the friendship of a rat.


Friendship is a sweet attraction of the heart, towards the merit we esteem, or the perfections we admire; and produces a mutual inclination between two persons, to promote each others interest, knowledge, virtue, and happiness.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.


Some friendships are formed by a commonality of interests and ideas: you both love judo or camping or making your own sausage. Other friendships are forged in alliance against a common enemy.

DAVID SEDARIS, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

There are no rules for friendship. It must be left to itself: we cannot force it any more than love.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

Friendship is the correspondence of reciprocal regard.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Choose a friend as thou dost a wife, 'till Death separate you.

WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude

Friendship should be more than biting Time can sever.

T. S. ELIOT, Murder in the Cathedral

The soil of friendship is worn out with constant use.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

It is never easier to forget friends than when we imagine they have forgotten us--friendship, like love, requires reciprocal assurance of continuity.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.

WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

MACKEY MILLER, Mouse Attack 5!!!

There seems to be two kinds of friendship in the world, the false friendship and the true friendship. The first is generally a friendship resting on profit, and the second a friendship resting on merit. The first are your friends because they think it pays them to be friendly, the second are friends because they deem you worthy of their friendship. The first friendship is like a rope of sand which may vanish at any time, the second is like a mighty cable that never can be broken. Give to some men ninety-nine times and they are your dear friends, but refuse them the hundredth and they will hate you for it.


Secrecy is the cement of friendship.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

A friend is one who does not laugh when you are in a ridiculous position.

ARTHUR HELPS, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd

Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why enter then as volunteers into those of another? Is there so little gall poured into our cup, that we must need help to drink that of our neighbor?

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Mrs. Cosway, Oct. 12, 1786

The Friendship which is to be recommended, is union of affections, springing from a generous respect to virtue, and is maintained by harmony of manners. It's a great mistake to call every trifling commerce by this serious name; or to suppose that empty compliments and visits of ceremony, where no more's intended than to pass the time, and show the equipage, should pass for a real and well established Friendship. The frequency of the practice won't wipe off the absurdity; there is as wide a difference as between a bully and a man of honour.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

In a quarrel between two friends, if one of them, even the injured one, were in the retirement of his chamber, to consider himself as the hired advocate of the other at the court of wronged friendship; and were to omit all the facts which told in his own favour, to exaggerate all that could possibly be said against himself, and to conjure up from his imagination a few circumstances of the same tendency; he might with little effort make a good case for his former friend. Let him be assured, that whatever the most skilful advocate could say, his poor friend really believes and feels; and then, instead of wondering at the insolence of such a traitor walking about in open day, he will pity his friend's delusion, have some gentle misgivings as to the exact propriety of his own conduct, and perhaps sue for an immediate reconciliation.

ARTHUR HELPS, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd

More and more do I feel, as I advance in life, how little we really know of each other. Friendship seems to me like the touch of musical-glasses--it is only contact; but the glasses themselves, and their contents, remain quite distinct and unmingled.


Friendship can be really tested only in bad times.

DONALD TRUMP, Playboy, Mar. 1990

Those who would have Friendship confined to the narrowest compass, have notions of it the most sublime: Tho' number, if practicable, may be highly useful.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

The friendships of the world are often confederacies in vice.

ELIZA COOK, Diamond Dust

What men call friendship is only social intercourse, an exchange of favours and good offices; it comes down to a commercial dealing in which self-esteem always expects to profit.

ANDRÉ MAUROIS, An Art of Living

What is Friendship? Something deep
That the heart can spend and keep:
Wealth that greatens while we give,
Praise that heartens us to live.

HENRY VAN DYKE, "The Talisman"

There is no more precious experience in life than friendship. And I am not forgetting love and marriage as I write this; the lovers, or the man and wife, who are not friends are but weakly joined together. One enlarges his circle of friends through contact with many people. One who limits those contacts narrows the circle and frequently his own point of view as well.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Book of Common Sense Etiquette

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.

ELIE WIESEL, From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences

The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure.


Only friendship which can stand occasional plain speaking is worth having.

LIN YUTANG, Between Tears and Laughter

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.

CHARLES LAMB, letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Feb. 13, 1797

A real friendship ought to introduce each person to unexpected weirdness in the other.

JARON LANIER, You Are Not a Gadget

Though most of the friendships of the world ill deserve the name of friendships; yet a man may make use of them on occasion, as of a traffic whose returns are uncertain, and in which 'tis usual to be cheated.


Lonesome creates diseases that friendship cures.

KEN ALSTAD, Savvy Sayin's


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