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quotations about friends

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

ALI IBN-ABI-TALIB, A Hundred Sayings

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

ANAIS NIN, diary entry, March 1937

It is easy to make acquaintances, but very difficult to shake them off, however irksome and unprofitable they are found, after we have once committed ourselves to them.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Bushrod Washington, Jan. 15, 1783

It is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to George Washington Parke Custis, Nov. 28, 1796

Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.


"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary.

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, Friendship: A Book of Quotations

To ensure that the self doesn't shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends.


However bad a man, he will have some friends: however good, he will have some enemies.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness!

GEORGE ELIOT, The Spanish Gypsy: Book III

Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, The Municipal Gallery Re-Visited

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

RICHARD BACH, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

I distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends who would hold my hands while my enemies stab me.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Reverdy Johnson, Jul. 26, 1862

You can go through life and make new friends every year--every month practically--but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.

ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Break not an ancient friendship; keep it hale;
Stir round its roots, that it be green of heart;
Let not the spirit of its growth depart:
It is a power to brave the strongest gale.


Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

STEPHEN KING, The Last Gunslinger

Who hath one friend, of straight and loyal mind,
But one, of all the million swarms of men,
Is strong, beyond the energy of ten,
Is rich, beyond the level of mankind.


I'm so happy 'cause today
I found my friends.
They're in my head.


Tell me, why are the old friends kind,
And ever the tenderest, too?
Youth has no art, but an open mind,
And its love is sincere and true.


My friends' happiness forms part of my own.

PEDRO ALEXIS TABENSKY, Happiness: Personhood, Community, Purpose

The reason we have few friends in adversity, is, because we have no true ones in prosperity.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

He makes no friends who never made a foe.

ALFRED TENNYSON, Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Memoir

Be a friend, and thou shalt have friends.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

Friends such as we desire are dreams and fables, yet we never quite give up the hope of finding them.


If your heart is filled with human sympathy you are sure to have friends.

LEWIS F. KORNS, Thoughts

When an intimate friend turns from us, we often find him the most inveterate enemy.


Friends made fast seldom remain fast.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Adversity shows whether we have friends, or only the shadows of friends.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS, The Moral Sayings of Publilius Syrus

Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Whoever neglects old friends for the sake of new deserves what he gets if he loses both.

AESOP, Fables

One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.

ALDOUS HUXLEY, Brave New World

When we forget old friends, it is a sign we have forgotten ourselves.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

Wherever you are it is your own friends who make your world.

WILLIAM JAMES, attributed, The Thought and Character of William James

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.

MAYA ANGELOU, Letter to My Daughter

I have no friends, there are only people I love.

LOUIS ARAGON, response to Proust Questionaire, Livres de France, Jan. 1961

The going away of friends does not make the remainder more precious. It takes so much from them as there was a common link. A. B. and C. make a party. A. dies. B. not only loses A. but all A.'s part in C. C. loses A.'s part in B., and so the alphabet sickens by subtraction of interchangeables.

CHARLES LAMB, letter to William Wordsworth, Mar. 20, 1822

If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere.

ZIG ZIGLAR, attributed, The Power of Respect: Benefit from the Most Forgotten Element of Success


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