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FRIENDSHIP.

WHAT virtue, or what mental grace, But men unqualified and base

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

Aud duluess of discretion.

If every polish'd gem we find,
Illuminating heart or mind,
· Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest Hame,

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.

and just,

Candid, and generous,
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 ?

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

And constantly supported;
'Tis senseless arrogance to 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 every virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,

All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest koot 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
Io 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 possess'd,
So jealousy looks forth distress'd

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 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 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.

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

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

Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene
(As Irish bogs are always green)

They sleep secure from waking ; And 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 which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge!

No combatants are stiffer.

To prove at last my main intent
Needs uo expeose of argument,

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

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

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

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 constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savour much of common-place,

And all the world adinits 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.
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.

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