WHAT virtue or what mental grace
But men unqualified and base
Will boaft it their poffeffion?
Profufion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,

And dulnefs of discretion.

If every polished gem we find
Illuminating heart or mind,

Provoke to imitation ;

No wonder friendship does the fame,
That jewel of the purest flame,

Or rather conftellation.

No knave but boldly will pretend
The requifities that form a friend,
A real and a found one,
Nor any fool he would deceive,
But prove as ready to believe,

And dream that he had found one.

Candid and generous and juft,

Boys care but little whom they trust,

An error foon corrected

For who but learns in riper years,

That man, when smootheft he appears,

Is most to be fufpected?

But here again a danger lies,

Left, having misapplied our eyes
And taken trash for treasure,
We fhould unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,
A mere Utopian pleasure.

An acquifition rather rare
Is yet no fubject of despair;
Nor is it wife complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,
We fought without attaining.

No friendship will abide the test,
That ftands on fordid intereft,

Or mean felf-love erected;
Nor fuch as may awhile subfift,
Between the fot and fenfualift,
For vicious ends connected.

Who feek a friend, fhould come difpofed

To exhibit in full bloom disclosed

The graces and the beauties,

That form the character he feeks,
For 'tis an union, that befpeaks
Reciprocated duties.

Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either fide,
And conftantly supported;
'Tis fenfelefs arrogance to accufe
Another of finifter views,

Our own as much diftorted.

But will fincerity fuffice?

It is indeed above all price,

And muft be made the bafis;

But every virtue of the foul

Muft conftitute the charming whole,

All shining in their places.

A fretful temper will divide

The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceafclefs fharp corrofion;

A temper paffionate and fierce
May fuddenly your joys difperfe
At one immenfe explosion.

In vain the talkative unite

In hopes of permanent delight-
The fecret juft committed
Forgetting its important weight,

They drop through mere defire to prate,
And by themselves outwitted.

How bright foe'er the profpe&t seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams
If envy chance to creep in;

An envious man, if you fucceed,
May prove a dangerous foe indeed,
But not a friend worth keeping,

As envy pines at good poffeffed,
So jealoufy looks forth diftreffed

On good, that feems approaching,
And if fuccefs his fteps attend,
Difcerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching,

Hence authors of illuftrious name,
Unlefs belied by common fame,
Are fadly prone to quarrel,
To deem the wit a friend difplays
A tax upon their own juft praise,
And pluck each others laurel,

A man renowned for repartee
Will feldom fcruple to make free
With friendship's finest feeling,
Will thruft a dagger at your breaft,
And fay he wounded you in jeft,
By way of balm for healing.

Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers, will be sure to hear
The trumpet of contention ;
Afperfion is the babbler's trade,
To liften is to lend him aid,
And rush into diffention.

A friendship, that in frequent fits
Of controverfial rage emits

The fparks of difputation,
Like hand in hand insurance plates,

Moft unavoidably creates

The thought of conflagration.

Some fickle creatures boaft a foul

True as a needle to the pole,

Their humour yet fo various

They manifeft their whole life through

The needle's deviations too,

Their love is fo precarious.

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