Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Friends

"I must confess, as the experience of my own soul, that the expectation of loving my friends in heaven principally kindles my love to them while on earth." - Richard Baxter

"It is better to decide between our enemies than our friends; for one of our friends will most likely become our enemy; but on the other hand, one of your enemies will probably become your friend." - Bias NULL

"A man's best friends are his ten fingers." - Robert Collyer

"All men have their frailties; and whoever looks for a friend without imperfections, will never find what he seeks. We love ourselves notwithstanding our faults, and we ought to love our friends in like manner." - Cyrus the Great, aka Cyrus the Elder, Cyrus II or Cyrus of Persia NULL

"If you make an effort to help everyone you meet, you will feel close to everyone. A stranger is someone you have not yet helped. Doing acts of kindness for everyone you can fills your world with friends and loved ones." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Three men are my friends - he that loves me, he that hates me and he that is indifferent to me. Who loves me, teaches me tenderness; who hates me, teaches me caution; who is indifferent to me, teaches me self-reliance." - J. E. Dinger

"One wide-awake persistent enemy may be worth twenty friends. Friends point out all the good things you do. You know all about that. Your enemies point out your mistakes. Get yourself a first-class enemy, cultivate him, and when you achieve success thank him." -

"Character is so largely affected by associations that we cannot afford to be indifferent as to who and what our friends are. They write their names in our albums, but they do more, they help make us what we are. Be therefore careful in selecting them; and when wisely selected, never sacrifice them." - M. Hulburd

"If you love knowledge, you will be a master of knowledge. What you have come to know, pursue by exercise; what you have not learned, seek to add to your knowledge, for it is as reprehensible to hear a profitable saying and not grasp it as to be offered a good gift by one's friends and not accept it. Believe that many precepts are better than much wealth , for wealth quickly fails us, but precepts abide through all time." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"Good words shall again you honor in the marketplace; but good deeds shall gain you friends among men." -

"Forgive an enemy and you win friends without cost." - Publius Syrus

"We learn our virtues from the friends who love us; our faults from the enemy who hates us. We cannot easily discover our real character from a friend. He is a mirror, on which the warmth of our breath impedes the clearness of the reflection." -

"Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves." -

"Never stop seeking to increase the number of friends you have. Conversely, even one enemy is too many." - Binyamin Yehoshua Silver

"Give us grace and strength to forbear and to preserve. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends and soften to us our enemies. Give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little and spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation - above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself - here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"Let us be very gentle with our neighbors’ failings, and forgive our friends their debts as we hope ourselves to be forgiven." - William Makepeace Thackeray

"Old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, old books to read." - Alonzo of Arragon NULL

"I regret not death. I am going to meet my friends in another world." - Ludovico Ariosto

"Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"So grasping is dishonesty, that it is no respecter of persons; it will cheat friends as well as foes; and were it possible, would cheat even God Himself." - George Bancroft

"When we come to die, we shall be alone. From our worldly possessions we shall be about to part. Worldly friends - the friends drawn to us by our position, our wealth, or our social qualities, will leave us as we enter the dark valley. From those bound to us by stronger ties - our kindred, our loved ones, children, brothers, sister, and from those not less dear to us who have been made our friends because they and we are the friends of the same Savior - from them also we must part. Yet not all will leave us. There is One who “sticketh closer than a brother” - One who having loved His own which are in the world loves them to the end." - Albert Barnes

"Good manners and good morals are sworn friends and fast allies." - Cyrus Augustus Bartol

"Experience has taught me that the only friends we can call our own, who can have no change, are those over whom the grave has closed; the seal of death is the only seal of friendship." -

"Friendship is love without wings... love is only chatter, friends are all that matter." -

"All life is a dream. But whether it be dream or truths to do well is what matters. If it be truth, for truth's sake. If not, then to gain friends for the time when we awaken." -

"To be contented is to be good friends with yourself." - William Bliss Carman

"Free inquiry, if restrained within due bounds, and applied to proper subjects, is a most important privilege of the human mind; and if well conducted, is one of the greatest friends to truth. But when reason knows neither its office nor its limits, and when employed on subjects foreign to its jurisdiction, it then becomes a privilege dangerous to be exercised." - Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné

"As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs to be supplied with good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task." - Diogenes Laërtius, aka "Diogenes the Cynic"

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends and the most patient of teachers." - Charles W. Eliot

"Take it for granted that the greater your achievement the more genuine will be the surprise of your friends and neighbors." - Joseph Farrell, fully Joseph Patrick Farrell

"It is better to be deceived by one's friends than to deceive them." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is great to have friends when one is young, but indeed it is still more so when you are getting old. When we are young, friends are, like everything else, a matter of course. In the old days we know what it means to have them." - Edvard Grieg, fully Edvard Hagerup Grieg

"The making of friends who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man's success in life." - J. B. S. Haldane, fully John Burdon Sanderson Haldane

"The Golden Rule exists in each of the world's major religions... Hinduism: Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain: this is the sum of duty. Buddhism: A clansman [should] minister to his friends and familiars... by treating them as he treats himself. Confucianism: The Master replied: "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others." Taoism: To those who are good to me, I am good; and to those who are not good to me, I am also good. And thus all get to be good. To those who are sincere with me, I am sincere; and to those who are not sincere with me, I am also sincere. And thus all get to be sincere. Zorastrianism: Whatever thou dost not approve for thyself, do not approve for anyone else. When thou hast acted in this manner, thou art righteous. Judaism: Take heed to thyself, my child, in all thy works; and be discreet in all thy behavior. And what thou thyself hatest, do to no man. Christianity: All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them. Greek Philosophy: Do not do to others what you would not wish to suffer yourself. Treat your friends as you would want them to treat you." - Robert Ernest Hume

"Education: To be at home in all lands and ages; to count Nature as a familiar acquaintance and Art an intimate friend; to gain a standard for the appreciation of other men's work and the criticism of one's own; to carry the keys of the world's library in one's pocket, and feel its resources behind one in whatever task he undertakes; to make hosts of friends among the men of one's own age who are the leaders in all walks of life; to lose oneself in general enthusiasms and co-operate with others for common ends." - William De Witt Hyde

"The best way to keep friends is never to owe them anything and never lend them anything." - Paul de Kock, fully Charles Paul de Cock

"By your friends I gauge your wealth; by your enemies, your greatness." - Judah Lazerov, fully Judah Leib Lazerov

"You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"Liberty is a living thing that passes from one generation to the next... The greatest enemy of a living thing is not its enemies but its friends who wish to cling to its antiquated form." - Ludwig Lewisohn

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." -

"My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Death is but crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas." - William Penn

"A man selects his enemies, his friends make themselves, and from these friends he is apt to suffer." - Donn Piatt

"In that fearful loneliness of spirit, when those who should have been his friends and counselors only frown upon his misgivings... and everything seems wrapped in hideous uncertainty, I know but one way in which a man may come forth from his agony scathless: it is by holding fast to those things which are certain still - the grand, simple landmarks of morality. In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever is doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state, yet even then, it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who in the tempestuous darkness of the soul has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks." -

"To be confined by the feet with friends is better than to walk in a garden with strangers." - Sa'di (or Saadi), pen name of Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, born Muslih-uddin NULL

"Good friends are good for your health." - Irwin Sarason

"Prosperity makes some friends and many enemies." -

"We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them." -

"I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." -