Your notions of friendship are new to me; I believe every man is born with his quantum, and he cannot give to one without robbing another. I very well know to whom I would give the first place in my friendship, but they are not in the way, I am condemned to another scene, and therefore I distribute it in pennyworths to those about me, and who displease me least, and should do the same to my fellow prisoners if I were condemned to a jail.
To say that a man is your Friend, means commonly no more than this, that he is not your enemy. Most contemplate only what would be the accidental and trifling advantages of Friendship, as that the Friend can assist in time of need by his substance, or his influence, or his counsel. Even the utmost goodwill and harmony and practical kindness are not sufficient for Friendship, for Friends do not live in harmony merely, as some say, but in melody.
No man can expect to find a friend without faults; nor can he propose himself to be so to another. Without reciprocal mildness and temperance there can be no continuance of friendship. Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him. The sober man only can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite. It is better for a man to depend on himself, than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool.
You take this cold, remarkable, difficult, dangerous, borderline psychopath man, and you wonder what might have happened to him had he not met his best friend, a friend that no one would have put him with "" this solid, dependable, brave, big-hearted war hero. I think people fall in love, not with Sherlock Holmes or with Dr. Watson, but with their friendship. I think it is the most famous friendship in fiction, without a doubt.
The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question "Do you see the same truth?" would be "I see nothing and I don't care about the truth; I only want a Friend," no Friendship can arise - though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers.
People never understand what a friendship is. I'll tell you what a friendship is to me. Friendship to me is, if my friends need my little finger to live, I'm going to have it cut off. I'm going to the hospital, they cut off my finger, and maybe I have a gold finger instead, and I become famous. But I still give it to my friend.
... the friendship of worthless people has a bad effect (because they take part, unstable as they are, in worthless pursuits, and actually become bad through each other's influence). But the friendship of the good is good, and increases in goodness because of their association. They seem even to become better men by exercising their friendship and improving each other; for the traits that they admire in each other get transferred to themselves.
We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature, adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth.
A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for; but it must first be revealed to the man of God, lest we should run too far.
You obviously don't know what an Old Man of the Sea great wealth is. It is not a fat purse and time to spend it. Its owner finds himself beset on every side, at every hour, wherever he goes, by persistent pleaders, like beggars in Bombay, each demanding that he invest or give away part of his wealth. He becomes suspicious of honest friendship--indeed honest friendship is rarely offered him; those who could have been his friends are too fastidious to be jostled by beggars, too proud to risk being mistaken for one.
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