Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


No friend’s a friend till [he shall] prove a friend.
Beaumont and Fletcher—The Faithful Friends. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 50.

It is better to avenge a friend than to mourn for him.
Beowulf. VII.

Friend, of my infinite dreams
Little enough endures;
Little howe’er it seems,
It is yours, all yours.
Arthur Benson—The Gift.

I have loved my friends as I do virtue, my soul, my God.
Sir Thomas Browne—Religio Medici. Pt. II. Sec. V.

Now with my friend I desire not to share or participate, but to engross his sorrows, that, by making them mine own, I may more easily discuss them; for in mine own reason, and within myself, I can command that which I cannot entreat without myself, and within the circle of another.
Sir Thomas Browne—Religio Medici. Pt. II. Sec. V.

Let my hand,
This hand, lie in your own—my own true friend;
Aprile! Hand-in-hand with you, Aprile!
Robert Browning—Paracelsus. Sc. 5.

There is no man so friendless but what he can find a friend sincere enough to tell him disagreeable truths.
Bulwer-Lytton—What Will He Do With It? Bk. II. Ch. XIV.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine.
Burns—Auld Lang Syne.

His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony,
Tam lo’ed him like a vera brither—
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
Burns—Tam o’ Shanter.

Ah! were I sever’d from thy side,
Where were thy friend and who my guide?
Years have not seen, Time shall not see
The hour that tears my soul from thee.
Byron—Bride of Abydos. Canto I. St. 11.

’Twas sung, how they were lovely in their lives,
And in their deaths had not divided been.
Campbell—Gertrude of Wyoming. Pt. III. St. 33.

Give me the avowed, 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—New Morality.

Greatly his foes he dreads, but more his friends,
He hurts me most who lavishly commends.
Churchill—The Apology. L. 19.

Friends I have made, whom Envy must commend,
But not one foe whom I would wish a friend.
Churchill—Conference. L. 297.

Amicus est tanquam alter idem.
A friend is, as it were, a second self.
Cicero—De Amicitia. XXI. 80. (Adapted.)

You must therefore love me, myself, and not my circumstances, if we are to be real friends.
Cicero—De Finibus. Yonge’s trans.

Our very best friends have a tincture of jealousy even in their friendship; and when they hear us praised by others, will ascribe it to sinister and interested motives if they can.
C. C. Colton—Lacon. P. 80.

Soyons amis, Cinna, c’est moi qui t’en convie.
Let us be friends, Cinna, it is I who invite you to be so.
Corneille—Cinna. V. 3.

I would not enter on my list of friends
(Though graced with polish’d manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
Cowper—The Task. Bk. VI. L. 560.

She that asks
Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all,
And hates their coming.
Cowper—The Task. Bk. II. L. 642.

The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
And proves by thumps upon your back
How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend, that one had need
Be very much his friend indeed
To pardon or to bear it.
Cowper—On Friendship. 169.

Le sort fait les parents, le choix fait les amis.
Chance makes our parents, but choice makes our friends.

Les amis—ces parents que l’on se fait soi-même.
Friends, those relations that one makes for one’s self.

“Wal’r, my boy,” replied the captain; “in the Proverbs of Solomon you will find the following words: ‘May we never want a friend in need, nor a bottle to give him!’ When found, make a note of.”
Dickens—Dombey and Son. Vol. I. Ch. XV.

Be kind to my remains; and O defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend.
Dryden—Epistle to Congreve. L. 72.

The poor make no new friends;
But oh, they love the better still
The few our Father sends.
Lady Dufferin—Lament of the Irish Emigrant.

Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable unto him. A new friend is as new wine: when it is old thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
Ecclesiasticus. IX. 10.

The fallying out of faithful frends is the reunyng of love.
Richard Edwards—The Paradise of Dainty Devices. No. 42. St. 1.

Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot—Mr. Gilfil’s Love-Story. Ch. VII.

Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness!
George Eliot—The Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III.

Friend more divine than all divinities.
George Eliot—The Spanish Gypsy. Bk. IV.

To act the part of a true friend requires more conscientious feeling than to fill with credit and complacency any other station or capacity in social life.
Mrs. Ellis—Pictures of Private Life. Second Series. The Pains of Pleasing. Ch. IV.

A day for toil, an hour for sport,
But for a friend is life too short.
Emerson—Considerations by the Way.

Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take a single step that would bring them there.
Emerson—Essays. Of Experience.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Emerson—Essays. Of Friendship.

’Tis thus that on the choice of friends
Our good or evil name depends.
Gay—Old Woman and Her Cats. Pt. I.

An open foe may prove a curse,
But a pretended friend is worse.
Gay—Shepherd’s Dog and the Wolf. L. 33.

Wer nicht die Welt in seinen Freunden sieht
Verdient nicht, dass die Welt von ihm erfahre.
He who does not see the whole world in his friends, does not deserve that the world should hear of him.
Goethe—Torquato Tasso. I. 3. 68.

He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack;
For he knew, when he pleas’d, he could whistle them back.
Goldsmith—Retaliation. L. 107.

Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart.
Gray—The Bard. St. 3.

A favourite has no friend.
Gray—On a Favourite Cat Drowned. St. 6.

We never know the true value of friends. While they live, we are too sensitive of their faults; when we have lost them, we only see their virtues.
J. C. and A. W. Hare—Guesses at Truth.

Devout, yet cheerful; pious, not austere;
To others lenient, to himself sincere.
J. M. Harvey—On a Friend.

Before you make a friend eat a bushel of salt with him.
Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.

For my boyhood’s friend hath fallen, the pillar of my trust,
The true, the wise, the beautiful, is sleeping in the dust.
Hillard—On Death of Motley.

Two friends, two bodies with one soul inspir’d.
Homer—Iliad. Bk. XVI. L. 267. Pope’s trans.

Dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis amici;
Expertus metuit.
To have a great man for an intimate friend seems pleasant to those who have never tried it; those who have, fear it.
Horace—Epistles. I. 18. 86.

True friends appear less mov’d than counterfeit.
Horace—Of the Art of Poetry. L. 486. Wentworth Dillon’s trans.

The new is older than the old;
And newest friend is oldest friend in this:
That, waiting him, we longest grieved to miss
One thing we sought.
Helen Hunt Jackson—My New Friend.

True happiness
Consists not in the multitude of friends,
But in the worth and choice. Nor would I have
Virtue a popular regard pursue:
Let them be good that love me, though but few.
Ben Jonson—Cynthia’s Revels. Act III. Sc. 2.

’Tis sweet, as year by year we lose
Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
How grows in Paradise our store.
Keble—Burial of the Dead. St. 11.

One faithful Friend is enough for a man’s self, ’tis much to meet with such an one, yet we can’t have too many for the sake of others.
La Bruyère—The Characters or Manners of the Present Age. Ch. V.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father’s dwelling?
Lamb—The Old Familiar Faces.

I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
Lincoln—Reply to Missouri Committee of Seventy. (1864).

O friend! O best of friends! Thy absence more
Than the impending night darkens the landscape o’er!
Longfellow—Christus. Pt. II. The Golden Legend. I.

Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who offer you friendship
Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and dearest!
Longfellow—Courtship of Miles Standish. Pt. VI. Priscilla. L. 72.

Alas! to-day I would give everything
To see a friend’s face, or hear a voice
That had the slightest tone of comfort in it.
Longfellow—Judas Maccabæus. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 32.

My designs and labors
And aspirations are my only friends.
Longfellow—Masque of Pandora. Tower of Prometheus on Mount Caucasus. Pt. III. L. 74.

Ah, how good it feels!
The hand of an old friend.
Longfellow—New England Tragedies.
John Endicott.
Act IV. Sc. 1.

Quien te conseja encobria de tus amigos.
Engañar te quiere assaz, y sin testigos.
He who advises you to be reserved to your friends wishes to betray you without witnesses.
Manuel Conde Lucanor.

Let the falling out of friends be a renewing of affection.

Women, like princes, find few real friends.
Lord Lyttleton—Advice to a Lady. St. 2.

Friends are like melons. Shall I tell you why?
To find one good, you must a hundred try.
Claude Mermet—Epigram on Friends.

As we sail through life towards death,
Bound unto the same port—heaven,—
Friend, what years could us divide?
D. M. Mulock—Thirty Years. A Christmas Blessing.

We have been friends together
In sunshine and in shade.
Caroline E. S. Norton—We Have Been Friends.

Cætera fortunæ, non mea, turba fuit.
The rest of the crowd were friends of my fortune, not of me.
Ovid—Tristium. I. 5. 34.

Prosperity makes friends and adversity tries them.
Idea found in Plautus—Stich. IV. 1. 16. Ovid—Ep. ex Ponto. II. 3. 23. Ovid—Trist. I. 9. 5. Ennius—Cic. Amicit. Ch. XVII. Metastastio—Olimpiade. III. 3. Herder—Denksprüche. Calderon—Secret in Words. Act III. Sc. 3. Menander—Ex Incest. Comoed. P. 272. Aristotle—Ethics VIII. 4. Euripides—Hecuba. L. 1226.

For all are friends in heaven, all faithful friends;
And many friendships in the days of time
Begun, are lasting here, and growing still.
Pollok—Course of Time. Bk. V. L. 336.

Friends given by God in mercy and in love;
My counsellors, my comforters, and guides;
My joy in grief, my second bliss in joy;
Companions of my young desires; in doubt
My oracles; my wings in high pursuit.
Oh! I remember, and will ne’er forget
Our meeting spots, our chosen sacred hours;
Our burning words, that utter’d all the soul,
Our faces beaming with unearthly love;—
Sorrow with sorrow sighing, hope with hope
Exulting, heart embracing heart entire.
Pollok—Course of Time. Bk. V. L. 315.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear.)
Pope—Epistle to Robert, Earl of Oxford.

Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev’ry friend—and ev’ry foe.
Pope—Essay on Criticism. L. 214.

Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design;
To raise the thought and touch the heart be thine.
Pope—Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 248.

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Proverbs. XVIII. 24.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Proverbs. XXVII. 6.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs. XXVII. 17.

Mine own familiar friend.
Psalms. XLI. 9.

There is no treasure the which may be compared unto a faithful friend;
Gold soone decayeth, and worldly wealth consumeth, and wasteth in the winde;
But love once planted in a perfect and pure minde indureth weale and woe;
The frownes of fortune, come they never so unkinde, cannot the same overthrowe.
Roxburghe Ballads. The Bride’s Good-Morrow. Ed. by John Payne Collier.

Dear is my friend—yet from my foe, as from my friend, comes good:
My friend shows what I can do, and my foe what I should.
Schiller—Votive Tablets. Friend and Foe.

Keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 75.

We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn’d, play’d, eat together;
And wheresoe’er we went, like Juno’s swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.
As You Like It. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 75.

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade.
Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 59.

For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 217.

Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye.
Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 126.

As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
Julius Cæsar. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 290.

A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Julius Cæsar. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 86.

To wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome—profitable,
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 759.

I would be friends with you and have your love.
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 139.

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem:
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart.
Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 211.

Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
Attributed to Shakespeare—Passionate Pilgrim. In Notes and Queries, June, 1918. P. 174, it is suggested that the lines are by Barnfield, being a piracy from Jaggard’s publication (1599), a volume containing little of Shakespeare, the majority being pieces by Marlowe, Raleigh, Barnfield, and others.

I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he must need me.
Timon of Athens. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 100.

For by these
Shall I try friends: you shall perceive how you
Mistake my fortunes; I am wealthy in my friends.
Timon of Athens. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 191.

To hear him speak, and sweetly smile
You were in Paradise the while.
Sir Philip Sidney—Friend’s Passion for his Astrophel. Attributed also to Spenser and Roydon.

For to cast away a virtuous friend, I call as bad as to cast away one’s own life, which one loves best.
Sophocles—Œdipus Tyrannis. Oxford trans. Revised by Buckley.

For whoever knows how to return a kindness he has received must be a friend above all price.
Sophocles—Philoctetes. Oxford trans. Revised by Buckley.

’Tis something to be willing to commend;
But my best praise is, that I am your friend.
Southerne—To Mr. Congreve on the Old Bachelor. Last lines.

It’s an owercome sooth fo’ age an’ youth,
And it brooks wi’ nae denial,
That the dearest friends are the auldest friends,
And the young are just on trial.
Stevenson—Underwoods. It’s an Owercome Sooth.

Amici vitium ni feras, prodis tuum.
Unless you bear with the faults of a friend you betray your own.

Amicum lædere ne joco quidem licet.
A friend must not be injured, even in jest.

Secrete amicos admone, lauda palam.
Reprove your friends in secret, praise them openly.

A good man is the best friend, and therefore soonest to be chosen, longer to be retained; and indeed, never to be parted with, unless he cease to be that for which he was chosen.
Jeremy Taylor—A Discourse of the Nature, Measures, and Offices of Friendship.

Choose for your friend him that is wise and good, and secret and just, ingenious and honest, and in those things which have a latitude, use your own liberty.
Jeremy Taylor—Discourse of the Nature, Measures, and Offices of Friendship.

When I choose my friend, I will not stay till I have received a kindness; but I will choose such a one that can do me many if I need them; but I mean such kindnesses which make me wiser, and which make me better.
Jeremy Taylor—Discourse of the Nature, Measures, and Offices of Friendship.

Then came your new friend: you began to change—
I saw it and grieved.
Tennyson—Princess. IV. L. 279.

Ego meorum solus sum meus.
Of my friends I am the only one I have left.
Terence—Phormio. IV. 1. 21.

Fidus Achates.
Faithful Achates (companion of Æneas).
Vergil—Æneid. VI. 158.

God save me from my friends, I can protect myself from my enemies.
Attributed to Marshal de Villars on taking leave of Louis XIV.

A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man, that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends; and that the most liberal professions of good-will are very far from being the surest marks of it.
George Washington—Social Maxims. Friendship. Actions, not Words.

I have friends in Spirit Land,—
Not shadows in a shadowy band,
Not others but themselves are they,
And still I think of them the same
As when the Master’s summons came.
Whittier—Lucy Hooper.

Poets, like friends to whom you are in debt, you hate.
Wycherley—The Plain Dealer. Prologue.

And friend received with thumps upon the back.
Young—Love of Fame. Satire I.

A friend is worth all hazards we can run.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night II. L. 571.

A foe to God was ne’er true friend to man,
Some sinister intent taints all he does.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night VIII. L. 704.