- He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
c.602–661 Arab ruler, fourth Islamic caliph: A Hundred Sayings
- Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas.
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
bc Greek philosopher: Latin translation of a Greek original ascribed to Aristotle 384–322
- When he was asked ‘What is a friend?’ he said ‘One soul inhabiting two bodies.’
bc Greek philosopher: Diogenes Laertius Lives of Philosophers bk. 5, sect. 20 384–322
- It redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halves.
Essays (1625) ‘Of Friendship’ 1561–1626 English lawyer, courtier, philosopher, and essayist:
- There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Kipling: Proverbs ch. 18, v. 24; see
- We must take our friends as they are. 1740–95 Scottish lawyer; biographer of Samuel Johnson: diary, 25 February 1791
- Mates such as they must stand by one another.
Mates at Billabong (1911) 1878–1958 Australian writer for children:
- Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
1759–96 Scottish poet: ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (1796)
- Friendship is Love without his wings!
1788–1824 English poet: ‘L'Amitié est l'amour sans ailes’ (written 1806, published 1831)
- Give me the avowed, erect and manly foe;
Firm I can meet, perhaps return the blow;
But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Save me, oh, save me, from the candid friend.
1770–1827 British Tory statesman, Prime Minister 1827: ‘New Morality’ (1821) l. 209
- Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 1942 film: spoken by Humphrey Bogart: written by Julius J. Epstein (1909–2001), Philip G. Epstein (1909–52), and Howard Koch (1902–95)
- A woman can become a man's friend only in the following stages—first an acquaintance, next a mistress, and only then a friend.
Uncle Vanya (1897) act 2 1860–1904 Russian dramatist and short-story writer:
- 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.
1731–1800 English poet: ‘Friendship’ (1782)
- Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them—keep what is worth keeping— and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
A Life for a Life (1859) 1826–87 English novelist:
- To find a friend one must close one eye. To keep him—two.
South Wind (1917) ch. 11 1868–1952 Scottish-born novelist and essayist:
- Friendships begin with liking or gratitude—roots that can be pulled up.
Daniel Deronda (1876) bk. 4, ch. 32 1819–80 English novelist:
- The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.
Essays (1841) ‘Friendship’ 1803–82 American philosopher and poet:
- Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship.
bc Greek philosopher: Diogenes Laertius Lives of Eminent Philosophers bk. 10, sect. 148 341–271
- It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confidence of their help.
bc Greek philosopher: Whitney J. Oates The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers: The complete extant writings of Epicurus (1940) Fragments [Vatican Collection] no. 34 341–271
- Friends are the sunshine of life.
Life and Letters of John Hay (1915) 1838–1905 American diplomat and writer: in 1871; William Roscoe Thayer
- My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, you've had a great life.
Iacocca: An Autobiography (1984) 1924– American businessman:
- My life is spent in a perpetual alternation between two rhythms, the rhythm of attracting people for fear I may be lonely, and the rhythm of trying to get rid of them because I know that I am bored.
Observer 12 December 1948 1891–1953 English philosopher: in
- If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 1755 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell
- Sir, I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) November 1784 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell
- God's apology for relations.
The Best of Hugh Kingsmill (1970) 1889–1949 English man of letters: Michael Holroyd
- One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
Bible 1865–1936 English writer and poet: ‘The Thousandth Man’ (1910); see
- However rare true love may be, true friendship is rarer.
Maxims 1613–80 French moralist:
- Oh I get by with a little help from my friends.
1940–80 and 1942– English pop singers and songwriters: ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ (1967 song)
- The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’
The Four Loves (1960) ch. 4 1898–1963 English literary scholar:
- A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.
Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (1909) 1839–1937 American industrialist and philanthropist:
- I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends.
Richard II (1595) act 2, sc. 3, l. 46 (Oxford Standard Authors ed.) 1564–1616 English dramatist:
- Champagne to our real friends, and real pain to our sham friends.
Jorrocks's Jaunts and Jollities (1838) ‘Mr Jorrocks's Dinner Party’ 1805–64 English sporting journalist and novelist:
- I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first.
Dear Me (1977) ch. 5 1921–2004 British actor, director, and writer:
- No man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her…The sex thing is always out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Ephron 1989 film: written by Nora
- Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. 1856–1924 American Democratic statesman, 28th President 1913–21: speech at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 17 May 1918
- I have lost friends, some by death…others through sheer inability to cross the street.
The Waves (1931) 1882–1941 English novelist:
- Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.
1865–1939 Irish poet: ‘The Municipal Gallery Re-visited’ (1939)