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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953)
QUOTATION: For no one, in our long decline,
So dusty, spiteful and divided,
Had quite such pleasant friends as mine,
Or loved them half as much as I did.[stanza 3]

The library was most inviting:
The books upon the crowded shelves
Were mainly of our private writing:
We kept a school and taught ourselves.[stanza 15]

From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.[stanza 22]

You do retain the song we set,
And how it rises, trips and scans?
You keep the sacred memory yet,
Republicans? Republicans?[stanza 36]
ATTRIBUTION: HILAIRE BELLOC, “Dedicatory Ode,” Sonnets and Verse, pp. 70, 73, 74, 76 (1923).

Republicans was the name of the friends’ club
SUBJECTS: Friendship