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No friendship will abide the test
That stands on sordid interest,

Or mean self-love erected;
Nor such as may a while subsist
Between the sot and sensualist,

For vicious ends connected. Who seeks a friend should come disposed To exhibit, in full bloom disclosed,

The graces and the beauties That form the character he seeks; For 'tis a union that bespeaks

Reciprocated duties.

Reciprocation is implied,
And equal truth on either side,

And constantly supported ;
'Tis senseless arrogance to accuse
Another of sinister views,

Your own as much distorted.

But will sincerity suffice ?
It is indeed above all price,

And must be made the basis ;
But every virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,

All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,

With ceaseless sharp corrosion;
A temper passionate and fierce
May suddenly your joys disperse

At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
In hopes of permanent delight;

The secret just committed,
Forgetting its important weight,
They drop through mere desire to prate,

And by themselves outwitted.

How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams,

If envy chance to creep in;
An envious man, if you succeed,
May prove a dangerous foe indeed,

But not a friend worth keeping.

As envy pines at good possessed,
So jealousy looks forth distressed

On good that seems approaching, And, if success his steps attend, Discerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching.
Hence authors of illustrious name,
Unless belied by common fame,

Are sadly prone to quarrel,
To deem the wit a friend displays
A tax upon their own just praise,

And pluck each other's laurel.

A man renowned for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free

With friendship's finest feeling ;
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And say he wounded you in jest,

By way of balm for healing.

Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers will be sure to hear

The trumpet of contention ;
Aspersion is the babbler's trade,
To listen is to lend him aid

And rush into dissension.

A friendship that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits

The sparks of disputation,
Like Hand-in-Hand insurance plates,
Most unavoidably creates

The thought of conflagration. Some fickle creatures boast a soul True as a needle to the pole,

Their humour yet so various They manifest their whole life through The needle's deviations too,

Their love is so precarious.


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The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete ;

Plebeians must surrender,
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,

Obscurity with splendour.

As Irish bogs are always green
Some minds are sleepy and serene

Where heart soe'er is aching;
They are indeed a bog, that bears
Your unparticipated cares

Unmoved and without quaking.

Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Their heterogeneous politics

Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon-juice,
Which does not yet like that produce

A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life;

But friends that chance to differ On points that God has left at large, How fiercely will they meet and charge !

No combatants are stiffer.

To prove, alas! my main intent
Needs no expense of argument,

No cutting and contriving-
Seeking a real friend, we seem
To adopt the chymists' golden dream,

With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish suddenly made known

By trespass or omission : Sometimes occasion brings to light Our friend's defect, long hid from sight,

And even from suspicion. Then judge yourself, and prove your man As circumspectly as you can,

And, having made election, Beware no negligence of yours, Such as a friend but ill endures,

Enfeeble his affection.

That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,

That sympathy befits them,
Are observations on the case
That savour much of commonplace,

And all the world admits them.

But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
An architect requires alone

To finish a fine building-
The palace were but half complete,
If he could possibly forget

The carving and the gilding.
As similarity of mind,
Or something not to be defined,

First fixes our attention;
So manners decent and polite,
The same we practised at first sight,

Must save it from declension.

The man that hails you Tom or Jack, And proves by thumps upon your back

How well he knows your merit, Is such a friend that one had need Be very much his friend indeed,

To pardon or to bear it.

Some act upon this prudent plan,
“ Say little, and hear all you can ;'

Safe policy, but hateful.
So barren sands imbibe the shower,
But render neither fruit nor flower,

Unpleasant and ungrateful.

The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserved as he,

And deaf to all his pleading ;
I will withdraw my trust again;
Determined not to entertain

A spy on my proceeding.
These samples—for alas ! at last
These are but samples, and a taste

Of evils yet unmentioned-
May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if we succeed,

However well-intentioned.

Pursue the search, and you will find
Wisdom and knowledge of mankind

To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast

A principal ingredient.

There is a sober serious grace,
A sanctity, in friendship's face,

That proves it heaven-descended.
The love of woman not so pure,
Nor, even when truest, so secure

To last till life is ended.



Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, “ I can't understand

What the ladies and gentlemen see in your face, That you are in fashion all over the land,

And I am so much fallen into disgrace.

“ Do but see what a pretty contemplative air

I give to the company,-pray do but note 'em, You would think that the wise men of Greece were all there,

Or, at least, would suppose them the wise men of Gotham.

“My breath is as sweet as the breath of blown roses,

While you are a nuisance where'er you appear; There is nothing but snivelling and blowing of noses,

Such a noise as turns any man's stomach to hear.”

Then, lifting his lid in a delicate way,

And opening his mouth with a smile quite engaging, The Box in reply was heard plainly to say,

“What a silly dispute is this we are waging !

“ If you have a little of merit to claim,

You may thank the sweet-smelling Virginian weed; And I, if I seem to deserve any blame,

The before-mentioned drug in apology plead.

“ Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own,

No room for a sneer, much less a cachinnus; We are vehicles, not of tobacco alone,

But of any thing else they may choose to put in us.”

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