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FRIENDSHIP.

What virtue, or what mental grac« But men unqualified and base

Will boast it their possession? Profusion apes the noble part Of liberality of heart,

And dulness of discretion.

If ev'ry polish'd gem we find
Illuminating heart or mind,

Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,

Or rather constellation.

No knave but boldly will pretend
The requisites that form a friend,

A real and a sound one;
Nor any fool, he would deceive,
But prove as ready to believe,

And dream that he had found one.

Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,

An errour soon corrected—
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears, Is most to be suspected 1

But here again a danger lies,
Lest, having misapplied our eyes,

And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good, A mere Utopian pleasure.

An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair;

Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,

We sought without attaining.

No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid interest,
Or mean self-love erected;
Nor such as may awhile subsist,

Between the sot and sensualist, For vicious ends connected.

Who seek a friend should come dispos'd, T' exhibit in full bloom disclos'd

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

Reciprocated duties.

Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,

And constantly supported;
'Tis senseless arrogance t' accuse
Another of sinister views,

Our own as much distorted.

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

And must be made the basis;
But ev'ry 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,

By 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 it's 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 dang'rous foe indeed, But not a friend worth keeping.

As envy pines at good possess'd,
So jealousy looks forth distress'd
On good, that seems approaching;

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And, if success his s'eps 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 renown'd 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 dissention.

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