Quotations about:
    friend


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Only choose in marriage a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.

[Il faut ne choisir pour épouse que la femme qu’on choisirait pour ami, si elle était homme.]

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist, philosopher, essayist, poet
Pensées [Thoughts], ch. 8 “De la Famille et de la Société, etc. [On the Family and Society],” ¶ 9 (1850 ed.) [tr. Collins (1928), ch. 7]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

We should choose for a wife only the woman we should choose for a friend, were were she a man.
[tr. Calvert (1866), ch. 8]

One ought not to choose for a wife a woman whom one would not choose for a friend, were she a man.
[tr. Attwell (1896), ¶ 98]

One should only choose for a wife a woman whom one would choose for a friend, were she a man.
[tr. Lyttelton (1899), ch. 7, ¶ 4]

Do not choose for your wife any woman you would not choose as your friend if she were a man.
[tr. Auster (1983)], 1801]

 
Added on 20-Jun-23 | Last updated 20-Jun-23
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Don’t flatter yourselves that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. On the contrary, the nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
“The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,” Atlantic Monthly (1858-01)
    (Source)

Collected in The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, ch. 3 (1858).
 
Added on 24-Apr-23 | Last updated 4-May-23
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Aper’s teetotal. So what? I commend
Sobriety in a butler, not a friend.

[Siccus, sobrius est Aper; quid ad me?
Servum sic ego laudo, non amicum]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 12, epigram 30 (12.30) (AD 101) [tr. Michie (1972)]
    (Source)

"On Aper." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Tom never drinks: that I should much commend
In Tom my coachman, but not Tom my friend.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

Frugal and sober, I commend
In both, my servant; not my friend.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 12.114]

Ned is a sober fellow, they pretend --
Such would I have my coachman, not my friend.
[tr. Hoadley (fl. 18th C), §245]

Aper is abstemious and sober. What is that to me? For such a quality I praise my slave, not my friend.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

"Now Aper is a sober man;
He never had a jag on."
Well, what of that? I wish my slaves,
Not friends, to hate a flagon.
[tr. Nixon (1911), "No Recommendation"]

Aper is abstemious, sober: what is that to me? A slave I praise so, not a friend.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

He's sober and abstemious? One commends
These qualities in slave, but not in friends.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

You're always sober, never drunk.
Such temperance is fine
In servants and domestics, but
Not in a friend of mine.
[tr. Marcellino (1968)]

Aper is dry and sober. What is that to me? I commend a slave so, not a friend.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

He's a clean and sober fellow?
Well, what's that mean to me?
He doesn't seem potential friend,
More like an employee.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

Aper is dry and sober. What good is that to me? It’s what I praise a slave for, not a friend!
[tr. @aleatorclassicus (2013)]

So what if Aper's sober! I commend
abstinence in a slave, not in a friend.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

 
Added on 19-Aug-22 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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Sometimes, with luck, we find the kind of true friend, male or female, that appears only two or three times in a lucky lifetime, one that will winter us and summer us, grieve, rejoice, and travel with us.

Barbara Holland (1933-2010) American author
One’s Company: Reflections on Living Alone, ch. 3 “Friends” (1992)
    (Source)
 
Added on 8-Aug-22 | Last updated 8-Aug-22
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Wealthy friends, you’re quick to take offene.
It’s not good manners, but it saves expense.

[Irasci tantum felices nostis amici.
Non belle facitis, sed iuvat hoc: facite.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 3, epigram 37 (3.37) (AD 87-88) [tr. McLean (2014)]
    (Source)

The commentary by various authors indicates this is about wealthy patrons pretending to offense or other anger at their poorer clientele as an excuse for not being free with gifts. Closely parallel to 12.13.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Rich friends 'gainst poor to anger still are prone:
It is not well, but profitably done.
[tr. May (1629); also as Hay (1755)]

My rich friends, you know nothing save how to put yourselves into a passion. It is not a nice thing for you to do, but it suits your purpose. Do it.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

To be angry is all you know, you rich friends.
You do not act prettily, but it pays to do this.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Rich friends, 'tis your fashion to get in a passion
With humble dependents, or feign it.
Though not very nice, 'tis a saving device,
Economy bids you retain it.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "A Mean Trick"]

You well-off people are well versed only
in cursing out your inferiors:
Un For Giving bitching is quite enriching.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

You weIl-off friends only know how to take umbrage. It's not a pretty way to behave, but it suits your book.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Not easy, having money, blood so blue,
Lotta gifts expected for all your crew.
Kinda tacky to get angry and just tell 'em all go screw.
But the rich gotta do
What the rich gotta do.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

The rich feign wrath – a profitable plan;
’Tis cheaper far to hate than help a man.
[tr. Pott]

How explain why the conspicuously rich
are so easy to offend? Ask their accountant.
He probably won’t tell you but he’ll know.
[tr. Halsey]

 
Added on 10-Jun-22 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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Friends are like windows through which you see out into the world and back into yourself. If you don’t have friends you see much less than you otherwise might.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
(Attributed)
 
Added on 18-Feb-22 | Last updated 18-Feb-22
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[Friends are] God’s apology for relations.

Hugh Kingsmill
Hugh Kingsmill (1889-1949) English biographer, literary critic, man of letters [pen name of Hugh Kingsmill Lunn]
(Attributed)

Quoted in Michael Holroyd, The Best of Hugh Kingsmill, Introduction (1970).
 
Added on 27-Jan-22 | Last updated 27-Jan-22
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But a man’s best friend is the one who not only wishes him well but wishes it for his own sake (even though nobody will ever know it).

[φίλος δὲ μάλιστα ὁ βουλόμενος ᾧ βούλεται τἀγαθὰ ἐκείνου ἕνεκα, καὶ εἰ μηδεὶς εἴσεται]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 9, ch. 8 (9.8, 1168b.1) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

He is most a friend who wishes good to him to whom he wishes it for that man’s sake even though no one knows.
[tr. Chase (1847)]

A man's best friend is he who wishes him well for his own sake, without caring whether others are aware of his affection.
[tr. Williams (1869)]

The best friend is he who, when he wishes the good of another, wishes it for the other's sake, and wishes it even if nobody will know his wish.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

He is most truly a friend who, in wishing well to another, wishes well to him for his (the other’s) sake, and even though no one should ever know.
[tr. Peters (1893)]

Man's best friend is one who wishes well to the object of his wish for his sake, even if no one is to know of it.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

The best friend is he that, when he wishes a person's good, wishes it for that person's own sake, even though nobody will ever know of it.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

The one who is most a friend is the one who wishes good things to the person he wishes them to for that person's sake, even if no one will know.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

A best friend is one who wishes the good of another for that other's sake, even if no one is to know this.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.

 
Added on 7-Dec-21 | Last updated 14-Dec-21
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She became for me an island of light, fun, wisdom where I could run with my discoveries and torments and hopes at any time of day and find welcome.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
A World of Light, ch. 4 (1976)
    (Source)

Referring to Edith Forbes Kennedy (1890-1942), a long-time mentor and "muse."
 
Added on 7-Dec-21 | Last updated 7-Dec-21
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This communicating of a man’s self to his friend worketh two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys and cutteth griefs in Halves. For there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but that he grieveth the less.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Friendship,” Essays, No. 27 (1625)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Aug-21 | Last updated 25-Mar-22
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When asked to define a friend, he said, “One soul dwelling in two bodies.”

[ἐρωτηθεὶς τί ἐστι φίλος, ἔφη, “μία ψυχὴ δύο σώμασιν ἐνοικοῦσα.”]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Attributed in Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers [Vitae Philosophorum], Book 5, sec. 11 [tr. Mensch (2018)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

He was once asked what a friend is; and his answer was, “One soul abiding in two bodies.”
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

To the query, "What is a friend?" his reply was, "A single soul dwelling in two bodies."
[tr. Hicks (1925), sec. 20]

When he was asked what a friend is, he replied “one soul occupying two bodies.”
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

 
Added on 4-Jun-21 | Last updated 21-Sep-21
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Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
Your birthday as my own to me is dear.
Blest and distinguished days! which we should prize
The first, the kindest bounty of the skies.
But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend.

[Si credis mini, Quinte, quot mereris,
natalis, Ovidi, tuas Aprilis
ut nostras amo Martias Kalendas
felix utraque lux diesque nobis
signandi melioribus lapillis!
hic vitam tribuit set hic amicum
pus dant, Quinte, mini tuae Kalendae.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 52 (9.52) (AD 94) [tr. Hay (1755)]
    (Source)

To the poet Ovid. Original Latin. Alternate translations:

What thou deserv'st, if thou beleeve,
I do to Aprils Calends give
For thy birth, Ovid, what I doe
To March, to which mine own I owe.
Both happy dayes, with whitest stone
Both to bee mark'd by me; by one
A friend: by tother life I have.
The greater gift thy Calends gave.
[tr. May (1629), 9.53]

If you but believe me, Quintus Ovidius, I love, as you deserve, the first of April, your natal day, as much as I love my own first of March. Happy is either morn! and may both days be marked by us with the whitest of stones! The one gave me life, but the other a friend. Yours, Quintus, gave me more than my own.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Ovid, as your deserts are high,
Know that our natal mornings I
Keep with a like fidelity;
How blest the light
Of those twin days we mark with white!
Mine gave me life, but yours a friend,
And that's the gift I more commend.
[tr. Street (1907)]

If you believe me, Quintus Ovidius, the kalends of your natal April I love -- 'tis your desert -- as much as my own of March. Happy is either morn! and days are they to be marked by us with fairer stones. One gave me life, but the other a friend. Your kalends, Quintus, gave me the more.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

If you believe me, Quintus Ovidius, I love your birthday Kalends of April as much as my own of March -- you deserve it. Happy both days, days to be marked by me, with superior pebbles. The one gave me life, but the other a friend. Quintus, your Kalends give me more.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

 
Added on 1-Jun-21 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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A friend is one who rejoices in our good and grieves for our pain, and this purely on our own account.

[τούτων δὲ ὑποκειμένων ἀνάγκη φίλον εἶναι τὸν συνηδόμενον τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς καὶ συναλγοῦντα τοῖς λυπηροῖς μὴ διά τι ἕτερον ἀλλὰ δι᾽ ἐκεῖνον.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Rhetoric [Ῥητορική; Ars Rhetorica], Book 2, ch. 4, sec. 3 (2.4.3) / 1381a (350 BC) [tr. Jebb (1873)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

  • "He who rejoices with one in prosperity, and sympathises with one in pain, not with a view to anything else but for his friend's sake, is a friend." [Source (1847)]

  • "One who participates in another's joy at good fortune, and in his sorry at what aggrieves him, not from any other motive, but simply for his sake, is his friend." [tr. Buckley (1850)]

  • "Your friend is the sort of man who shares your pleasure in what is good and your pain in what is unpleasant, for your sake and for no other reason." [tr. Roberts (1924)]

  • "He is a friend who shares our joy in good fortune and our sorrow in affliction, for our own sake and not for any other reason." [tr. Freese (1926)]

  • "The following people are our friends: those who share our pleasure when good things happen and our distress when bad things happen for no other reason than for our sake." [tr. Waterfield (2018)]

  • "A friend is one who shares in the other fellow's pleasure at the good things and his pain at what is grievous, for no other reason than that fellow's sake." [tr. Bartlett (2019)]

  • "A friend is someone who is a partner in our happiness and a partner in our sorrow not for any other reason but for friendship." [tr. @sentantiq (2019)]

 
Added on 19-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Feb-22
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For friendship adds a brighter radiance to prosperity and lessens the burden of adversity by dividing and sharing it.

[Nam et secundas res splendidiores facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque leviores.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Laelius De Amicitia [Laelius on Friendship], ch. 6 / sec. 22 (44 BC) [tr. Falconer (1923)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

  • "Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief." [tr. Addison (1711), Spectator, #68 (18 May 1711)]
  • "For prosperity, friendship renders more brilliant, and adversity more supportable, by dividing and communicating it." [tr. Edmonds (1871)]
  • "Such friendship at once enhances the lustre of prosperity, and by dividing and sharing adversity lessens its burden." [tr. Peabody (1887)]
  • "For friendship both makes favourable things more splendid and disasters lighter, by splitting and sharing them." [Source]
 
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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I’ve always said that in politics, your enemies can’t hurt you, but your friends will kill you.

Ann Richards (1933-2006) American politician [Dorothy Ann Willis Richards]
“Sadder but Wiser,” interview with Paul Burka, Texas Monthly (Apr 1994)
    (Source)

Referring to appointees whose failures had caused her political problems as governor.
 
Added on 25-Jan-21 | Last updated 25-Jan-21
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We are each the star of our own situation comedy, and, with luck, the screwball friend in someone else’s.

Robert Brault (b. c. 1945) American aphorist, programmer
(Attributed)
 
Added on 29-Sep-20 | Last updated 29-Sep-20
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Thou canst not joke an Enemy into a Friend; but thou may’st a Friend into an Enemy.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Apr 1739)
    (Source)
 
Added on 17-Sep-20 | Last updated 17-Sep-20
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The difficulty is not so much to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for.

Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782) Scottish jurist, agriculturalist, philosopher, writer
Introduction to the Art of Thinking, ch. 1, “Friendship” (1761)
    (Source)

Often misattributed to Homer. See John 15:13.
 
Added on 20-May-20 | Last updated 20-May-20
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What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) American writer [Jerome David Salinger]
The Catcher in the Rye, ch. 3 (1951)
 
Added on 29-Apr-20 | Last updated 29-Apr-20
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A sure friend is known in unsure times.

[Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.]

Quintus Ennius
Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman poet, writer [Quintus Ennius]
Fragment, Scaenica 210 [Vahlen]

As quoted in Cicero, On Friendship [De Amicitia], ch. 17. sec. 64.

Alt. trans.:
  • "In unsure fortune a sure friend is seen." [tr. Peabody (1884)]
  • "When things get iffy, you find out who your true friends are." [tr. Ehrlich (1995)]
  • "A sure friend is tried in doubtful matters." [Source]
  • "A friend is never known until one have need." [Source]
  • "A friend is never known 'till a man have need." [Source]
  • "A true friend is discerned during an uncertain matter." [Source]
  • "A certain friend is discerned in an uncertain time." [Source]
 
Added on 20-Feb-20 | Last updated 20-Feb-20
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We pick our friends not only because they are kind and enjoyable company, but also, perhaps more importantly, because they understand us for who we think we are.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 4 “Consolation for Inadequacy” (2000)
    (Source)
 
Added on 30-Jan-20 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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We don’t exist unless there is someone who can see us existing, what we say has no meaning until someone can understand, while to be surrounded by friends is constantly to have our identity confirmed; their knowledge and care for us have the power to pull us from our numbness. In small comments, many of them teasing, they reveal they know our foibles and accept them and so, in turn, accept that we have a place in the world.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 2 “Consolation For Not having Enough Money” (2000)
    (Source)
 
Added on 19-Oct-17 | Last updated 19-Oct-17
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Ah, Stefan, give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed.

Anne Rice (b. 1941) American author [b. Howard Allen Frances O'Brien]
The Witching Hour, Part 2 (1990)
    (Source)
 
Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
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A friend in power is a friend lost.

Henry Adams (1838-1918) American journalist, historian, academic, novelist
The Education of Henry Adams, ch. 7 (1907)
 
Added on 20-Oct-16 | Last updated 20-Oct-16
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Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.

franklin-slower-in-changing-wist_info-quote

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard’s Almanack
 
Added on 19-Sep-16 | Last updated 19-Sep-16
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Kragar made a sound I won’t attempt to describe. I could sense Loiosh holding back several remarks. It seems I surround myself with people who think I’m an idiot, which probably says something deep and profound about me.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Dragon (1998)
 
Added on 12-Aug-16 | Last updated 12-Aug-16
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We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest;
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) American author and poet.
“Life’s Scars” (1896)
    (Source)

Originally published in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Vol. 42, #4 (Oct 1896)
 
Added on 1-Jul-16 | Last updated 26-Oct-20
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We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.

Joseph Roux
Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, Part 9, #54 (1886)
    (Source)
 
Added on 18-Apr-16 | Last updated 18-Apr-16
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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) Dutch Catholic priest and writer
Out of Solitude (1974)
 
Added on 15-Apr-16 | Last updated 15-Apr-16
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Give me the avow’d, the erect, the manly foe,
Bold I can meet — perhaps may turn his blow;
But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Save, save, oh! save me from the Candid Friend!

George Canning (1770-1827) British stateman, politician, Prime Minister
“New Morality,” Anti-Jacobin (9 Jul 1798)
 
Added on 28-Mar-16 | Last updated 4-Nov-20
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There are no friends at cards or world politics

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) American humorist and journalist
(Attributed)
 
Added on 12-Feb-16 | Last updated 12-Feb-16
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No man is a hero to his valet.

Anne-Marie Bigot de Cornuel (1605-1694) French wit and aphorist
Lettres de Mlle Aïssé, 12.13 (1728)

See Goethe.
 
Added on 18-Sep-15 | Last updated 18-Sep-15
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Trust no friend without faults,
And love a maiden, but no angel.

[Trau keinem Freunde sonder Mängel,
Und leib’ ein Mädchen, kienem Engel.]

Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramaturg, writer
Note in a Family Register (1778)

Alt. trans.: "Trust in no friend, rather forebear; / Love a sweet maid, no angel rare."
 
Added on 2-Apr-15 | Last updated 2-Apr-15
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To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Sonnet 104, ll. 1-3
    (Source)
 
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Good nature will always supply the absence of beauty; but beauty cannot supply the absence of good nature.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Spectator #306 (6 Feb 1712)
 
Added on 10-Dec-14 | Last updated 10-Dec-14
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If you have a friend that will reprove your faults and foibles, consider you enjoy a blessing which the king upon the throne cannot have.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 25-Sep-14 | Last updated 25-Sep-14
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Just because you’re on their side doesn’t mean they’re on your side.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden (b. 1956) American editor, writer, essayist
Making Light, “Commonplaces”
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Added on 15-Aug-14 | Last updated 15-Aug-14
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Agreement in likes and dislikes — this, and this only, is what constitutes true friendship.

[Nam idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est.]

Catiline (108-62 BC) Roman politician [Lucius Sergius Catilina]
Quoted in Sallust, Catiline’s War [Bellum Catilinae], 20.4 (42 BC) [tr. Rolf]

Alt. trans.: "For to like the same things and to dislike the same things, only this is a strong friendship."
 
Added on 29-May-14 | Last updated 29-May-14
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To hear complaints with patience, even when complaints are vain, is one of the duties of friendship.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #59 (9 Oct 1750)
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Added on 28-Mar-14 | Last updated 26-Jun-22
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Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Following the Equator, ch. 48 (Epigraph) (1897)
 
Added on 14-Feb-12 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The Bible (The Old Testament) (14th - 2nd C BC) Judeo-Christian sacred scripture [Tanakh, Hebrew Bible], incl. the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 [NIV (2011 ed.)]
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Alternate translations:

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
[KJV (1611)]

Better two than one by himself, since thus their work is really profitable. If one should fall, the other helps him up; but woe to the man by himself with no one to help him up when he falls down. Again: they keep warm who sleep two together, but how can a man keep warm alone? Where one alone would be overcome, two will put up resistance; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
[JB (1966)]

Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it's just too bad, because there is no one to help him. If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself? Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
[GNT (1976)]

Two are better off than one, in that they have greater benefit from their earnings. For should they fall, one can raise the other; but woe betide him who is alone and falls with no companion to raise him! Further, when two lie together they are warm; but how can he who is alone get warm? Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!
[JPS (1985)]

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other, but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
[NRSV (1989 ed.)]

 
Added on 31-May-11 | Last updated 5-Sep-23
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More quotes by Bible, vol. 1, Old Testament

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)
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Reprinted in The Notebook of Elbert Hubbard (1927).
 
Added on 19-Oct-10 | Last updated 27-Feb-24
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Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone — but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.

Hazlitt - mockery of friendship - wist_info quote

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English writer
“On The Conduct of Life” (1822)
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Added on 9-Feb-10 | Last updated 19-Jan-16
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I cannot forgive my friends for dying; I do not find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) American-English essayist, editor, anthologist
Afterthoughts, ch. 2 “Age and Death” (1931)
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Added on 11-Feb-09 | Last updated 10-Oct-22
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For somehow this is tyranny’s disease, to trust no friends.

Aeschylus (525-456 BC) Greek dramatist (Æschylus)
Prometheus Bound, l. 224

Alternate translation: "In every tyrant's heart there springs in the end this poison, that he cannot trust a friend."
 
Added on 6-Jan-09 | Last updated 9-Mar-21
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A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

[Al varón sabio más le aprovechan sus enemigos que al necio sus amigos.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 84 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
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See also Aristophanes. (Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

The wise man draws more advantage from his Enemies, than the fool does from his Friends.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

To a wise man, his enemies avail him more, than to a fool, his friends.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

The wise person finds enemies more useful than the fool finds friends.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

 
Added on 25-Jul-07 | Last updated 19-Dec-22
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POLONIUS: Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 1, sc. 3, l. 68ff [Polonius] (c. 1600)
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Added on 17-Oct-05 | Last updated 19-Jan-24
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The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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A loyal friend is a powerful defense: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.

The Bible (The Old Testament) (14th - 2nd C BC) Judeo-Christian sacred scripture [Tanakh, Hebrew Bible], incl. the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 6:14 [NJB (1985)]
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Alternate translations:

A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found him, hath found a treasure.
[DRA (1899)]

A faithfull friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure.
[KJV (1611)]

A loyal friend is like a safe shelter; find one, and you have found a treasure.
[GNT (1976)]

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Oct-23
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Do good to thy friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1734)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jun-23
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The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it. There is no event greater in life than the appearance of new persons about our hearth, except it be the progress of the character which draws them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Domestic Life,” Society and Solitude (1870)
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Never judge someone by who he’s in love with; judge him by his friends. People fall in love with the most appalling people. Take a cool, appraising glance at his pals.

Cynthia Heimel
Cynthia Heimel (1947-2018) American feminist, humorist, writer
But Enough about You (1986)
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A "Sister Soignée" quote.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-22
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Our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him we are easily great.

Emerson - chief want in life - wist_info quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life, ch. 7 (1860)
 
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He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

'Ali ibn Abi-Talib (602-661) Fourth Caliph
One Hundred Sayings [Sad Kalimah / Mi’at Kalimah]

Quoted by (and thus frequently attributed to) Ralphg Waldo Emerson.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Mar-20
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A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Friendship,” Essays: First Series (1841)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
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