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Mutual attention is implied,
And constantly supported ;
Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice?
And must be made the basis;
All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
By ceaseless-sharp corrosion;
At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
The secret just committed,
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,
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,
Are sadly prone to quarrel,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renown’d for repartee
With friendship’st finest feeling, Will thrust a dagger at your breast Aud say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
The trumpet of contention;
And rush into dissension.
A friendship, that in frequent fits
The sparks of disputation,
The thought of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
Their humour yet so various
Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
Plebeians must surrender
Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene
They sleep secure from waking;
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon juice,
A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
But friends that chance to differ
No combatants are stiffer.
To prove at last my main intent
No cutting and contriving
With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own,
By tresspass or omission ;
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 constancy befits them,
And all the world admits them.
But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
To finish a fine building
The carving and the gilding.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
How he esteems your merit,
To pardon or to bear it.
As similarity of mind,
First fixes our attention ;
Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this prudent plan,