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infinity, as in good wishes and prayers, and a readiness to
benefit all mankind, in these our friendships must not be



limited : but in other tilings which pass under our hand and
eye, our voices and our material exchanges ; our hands can
reach no further but to our arms' end, and our voices can but
sound till the next air be quiet, and therefore they can have
intercourse but within the sphere of their own activity ; our
needs and our conversations are served by a few, and they
cannot reach to all ; where they can, they must ; but where
it is impossible, it cannot be necessary. It must therefore
follow, that our friendships to mankind may admit variety
as does our conversation ; and as by nature we are made
sociable to all, so we are friendly ; but as all cannot actually
be of our society, so neither can all be admitted to a special,
actual friendship. Of some intercourses all men are capa-
ble, but not of all ; men can pray for one another, and ab-
stain from doing injuries to all the world, and be desirous to
do all mankind good, and love all men ; now this friendship
we must pay to all, because we can ; but if we can do no
more to all, we must shew our readiness to do more good to
all by actually doing more good to all them to whom we

To some we can, and therefore there are nearer friend-
ships to some than to others, according as there are natural
or civil nearnesses, relations, and societies ; and as I cannot
express my friendships to all in equal measures and signifi-
cations, that is, as I cannot do benefits to all alike ; so nei-
ther am I tied to love all alike : for although there is much
reason to love every man, yet there are more reasons to love
some than others ; and if I must love because there is rea-
son I should, then I must love more, where there is more
reason ; and where there is a special affection and a great
readiness to do good and to delight in certain persons to-
wards each other, these are that special charity and endear-
ment which philosophy calls friendship ; but our religion
calls love or charity. Now if the inquiry be concerning this
special friendship, 1. How it can be appropriate? that is,
who to be chosen to it ; 2. How far it may extend ? that is,
with what expression signified ; 3. How conducted ? the
answers will depend upon such considerations which will be
neither useless nor unpleasant.

1. There may be a special friendship contracted for
any special excellence whatsoever : because friendships are


nothing but love and society mixed together, that is, a con-
versing with them whom we love ; now for whatsoever we
can love any one, for that we can be his friend ; and since
every excellence is a degree of amability, every such wor-
thiness is a just and proper motive of friendship or loving
conversation. But yet in these things there is an order and
proportion. Therefore',

2. A good man is the best friend, and therefore soonest
to be chosen, longer to be retained ; and indeed never to be
parted with, unless he cease to be that for which he was

Tu V a/.>uv agtrri' foiiv ^/Xy 'o'ffns eififrtf,
Jilr.-roT* Toy xxxov 1000. tf'i).oy -rotutrQai trouoev.

Where virtue dwells, there friendships make,
But evil neighbourhoods forsake.

But although virtue alone is the worthiest cause of amabi-
lity, and can weigh down any one consideration ; and there-
fore to a man that is virtuous, every man ought to be a friend ;
yet I do not mean the severe and philosophical excellences of
some morose persons, who are indeed wise unto themselves,
and exemplar to others. By virtue here I do not mean just-
ice and temperance, charity and devotion ; for these I am
to love the man ; but friendship is something more than that :
friendship is the nearest love and the nearest society of which
the persons are capable : now justice is a good intercourse
for merchants, as all men are that buy and sell ; and temper-
ance makes a man good company, and helps to make a wise
man : but a perfect friendship requires something else, these
must be in him that is chosen to be my friend, but for these
I do not make him my privado, that is, my special and pecu-
liar friend : but if he be a good man, then he is properly
fitted to be my correlative in the noblest combination.

And for this we have the best warrant in the world : " for
a just man scarcely will a man die;" the Syriac interpreter
reads it Imo adixov, " for an unjust man scarcely will a man
die," that is, a wicked man is at no hand fit to receive the
expression of the greatest friendship ; but all the Greek
copies that ever 1 saw, or read of, read it as we do; " for a
righteous man" or " a just man ;" that is, justice and righte-
ousness are not the nearest endearment of friendship ; but for
" a good man some will even dare to die," that is, for a man


that is sweetly disposed, ready to do acts of goodness and
to oblige others, to do things useful and profitable ; for a
loving man, a beneficent, bountiful man, one who delights in
doing good to his friend, such a man may have the highest
friendship, he may have a friend that will die for him. And
this is the meaning of Laelius, virtue may be despised, so may
learning and nobility; " At una est amicitia in rebus huma-
nis, de cujus utilitate omnes consentiunt ; Only friendship
is that thing, which because all know to be useful and profit-
able," no man can despise ; that is, %jtfr&Y?jg, or a^/a^oV^,
1 goodness' or * beneficence' makes friendships. For if he be
a good man, he will love where he is beloved ; and that is
the first tie of friendship.

ata uy,

That was the commendation of the bravest friendship in

They lov'd each other with a love
That did in all things equal prove.

i r H fit. TOT riffttv

'Xgvffitot -rtiXa.! ciwg's, OT' a.vTityii.ria'' o fi).r,fu;.

The world was under Saturn's reign
When he that lov'd was lov'd again.

For it is impossible this nearness of friendship can be where
there is not mutual love : but this is secured if I choose a
good man ; for he that is apt enough to begin alone, will
never be behind in the relation and correspondence ; and
therefore I like the Gentiles' litany well :

Z'tv; p.u TUV TI <p!*.uv $tiri Tita;, a" ft,s <f>t>.iurt'
"O).iai 01 (QiXiovTls, iTtiv 1ai avTigcuiivTizi.

Let God give friends to me for my reward,
Who shall my love with equal love regard ;
Happy are they, who when they give their heart,
Find such as in exchange their own impart.

But there is more in it than this felicity amounts to. For
%gr,<tr)>s "^, 'the good man' is a profitable, useful person,
and that is the band of an effective friendship. For I do not
think that friendships are metaphysical nothings, created
for contemplation, or that men or women should stare
upon each other's faces, and make dialogues of news and

r xii. 15. Kiessling, p. 328.


prettinesses, and look babies in one another's eyes. Friend-
ship is the allay of our sorrows, the ease of our passions, the
discharge of our oppressions, the sanctuary to our calamities,
the counsellor of our doubts, the clarity of our minds, the
emission of our thoughts, the exercise and improvement of
what we meditate. And although I love my friend because
he is worthy, yet he is not worthy if he can do no good ; I
do not speak of accidental hmderances and misfortunes, by
which the bravest man may become unable to help his child ;
but of the natural and artificial capacities of the man. He
only is fit to be chosen for a friend, who can do those offices
for which friendship is excellent. For (mistake not) no man
can be loved for himself; our perfections in this world can-
not reach so high ; it is well if we would love God at that
rate ; and I very much fear, that if God did us no good, we
might admire his beauties, but we should have but a small
proportion of love towards him ; and therefore it is, that God,
to endear the obedience, that is, the love of his servants, sig-
nifies what benefits he gives us, what great good things he
does for us. "I am the Lord God that brought thee out of
the land of Egypt :" and, " Does Job serve God for nought ?"
and '* he that comes to God, must believe that he is, and that
he is a rewarder :" all his other greatnesses are objects of fear
and wonder, it is his goodness that makes him lovely : and
so it is in friendships. He only is fit to be chosen for a friend
who can give counsel, or defend my cause, or guide me right,
or relieve my need, or can and will, when I need it, do me
good : only this I add : into the heaps of doing good, I will
reckon ' loving me,' for it is a pleasure to be beloved: but
when his love signifies nothing but kissing my cheek, or
talking kindly, and can go no further, it is a prostitution of
the bravery of friendship to spend it upon impertinent peo-
ple, who are, it may be, loads to their families, but can never
ease my loads : but my friend is a worthy person when he
can become to me instead of God, a guide or a support, an
eye, or a hand, a staff, or a rule.

There must be in friendship something to distinguish it
from a companion and a countryman, from a schoolfellow or
a gossip, from a sweetheart or a fellow-traveller : friendship
may look in at any one of these doors, but it stays not any


where till it come to be the best thing in the world. And
when we consider that one man is not better than another,
neither towards God nor towards man, but by doing better
and braver things ; we shall also see, that that which is most
beneficent, is also most excellent; and therefore those friend-
ships must needs be most perfect, where the friends can be
most useful. For men cannot be useful but by worthinesses
in the several instances : a fool cannot be relied upon for
counsel ; nor a vicious person for the advantages of virtue,
nor a beggar for relief, nor a stranger for conduct, nor a tattler
to keep a secret, nor a pitiless person trusted with my com-
plaint, nor a covetous man with my child's fortune, nor a
false person without a witness, nor a suspicious person with
a private design ; nor him that I fear, with the treasures of
my love : but he that is wise and virtuous, rich and at hand,
close and merciful, free of his money and tenacious of a
secret, open and ingenuous, true and honest, is of himself an
excellent man, and therefore fit to be loved ; and he can do
good to me in all capacities where I can need him, and there-
fore is fit to be a friend. I confess we are forced in our
friendships to abate some of these ingredients ; but full mea-
sures of friendship would have full measures of worthiness ;
and according as any defect is in the foundation, in the re-
lation also there may be imperfection : and indeed I shall not
blame the friendship, so it be worthy, though it be not per-
fect ; not only because friendship is charity, which cannot
be perfect here, but because there is not in the world a per-
fect cause of perfect friendship.

If you can suspect that this discourse can suppose friend-
ship to be mercenary, and to be defective in the greatest
worthiness of it, which is to love our friend for our friend's
sake, I shall easily be able to defend myself; because I speak
of the election and reasons of choosing friends : after he is
chosen, do as nobly as you talk, and love as purely as you
dream, and let your conversation be as metaphysical as your
discourse, and proceed in this method, till you be confuted
by experience ; yet till then, the case is otherwise when we
speak of choosing one to be my friend : he is not my friend
till I have chosen him, or loved him ; and if any man inquires
whom he shall choose or whom he should love, I suppose it


ought not to be answered, that we should love him who hath
least amability, that we should choose him who hath least
reason to be chosen. But if it be answered, he is to be cho-
sen to be my friend who is most worthy in himself, not he
that can do most good to me ; I say, here is a distinction but
no difference ; for he is most worthy in himself who can do
most good ; and if he can love me too, that is, if he will do
me all the good he can, or that I need, then he is my friend
and he deserves it. And it is impossible from a friend to
separate a will to do me good : and therefore I do not
choose well, if I choose one that hath not power : for if it
may consist with the nobleness of friendship, to desire that
my friend be ready to do me benefit or support, it is not
sense to say it is ignoble to desire he should really do it
when I need ; and if it were not for pleasure or profit, we
might as well be without a friend as have him.

Among all the pleasures and profits, the sensual pleasure
and the matter of money are the lowest and the least ; and
therefore although they may sometimes be used in friendship,
and so not wholly excluded from the consideration of him
that is to choose, yet of all things they are to be the least

"Ey ro7s Se Sfrfvo/V, %gnp,druv Kgiirrut Q&os.

When fortune frowns upon a man,
A friend does more than money can.

For there are, besides these, many profits and many pleasures;
and because these only are sordid, all the other are noble
and fair, and the expectations of them no disparagements to
the best friendships. For can any wise or good man be
angry if I say, I choose this man to be my friend, because he
is able to give me counsel, to restrain my wanderings, to
comfort me in my sorrows ; he is pleasant to me in private,
and useful in public ; he will make my joys double, and di-
vide my grief between himself and me ? For what else should
I choose? For being a fool, and useless? for a pretty face
and a smooth chin ? I confess it is possible to be a friend to
one that is ignorant and pitiable, handsome and good for
nothing, that eats well, and drinks deep, but he cannot be a
friend to me ; and I love him with a fondness or a pity, but it
cannot be a noble friendship.


OVK in leoruv xttt rns *nf rifAioaw <rpotp>is
ZriTovftiv tu vriffTivffof&tv T rau fiiov,
Tlcirtg ; ov jrioir-rli olirou f|st/xva/

ov ixarro;, la.i i%y <p/A.y <rxia,v ; said Menander.*

By wine and mirth and every day's delight
We choose our friends, to whom, we think, we might
Our souls intrust ; hut fools are they that lend
Their bosom to the shadow of a friend.

E/'<5wXa xal ^/^jj/iara /X/aj, Plutarch calls such friendships,
" the idols and images of friendship." True and brave friend-
ships are hetween worthy persons ; and there is in mankind
no degree of worthiness, but is also a degree of usefulness,
and by every thing by which a man is excellent, I may be
profited : and because those are the bravest friends which
can best serve the ends of friendships, either we must suppose
that friendships are not the greatest comforts in the world,
or else we must say, he chooses his friend best, that chooses
such a one by whom he can receive the greatest comforts
and assistances.

3. This being the measure of all friendships, they all par-
take of excellence, according as they are fitted to this mea-
sure : a friend may be counselled well enough, though his
friend be not the wisest man in the world ; and he may be
pleased in his society, though he be not the best-natured
man in the world ; but still it must be, that something ex-
cellent is, or is apprehended, or else it can be no worthy
friendship ; because the choice is imprudent and foolish.
Choose for your friend him that is wise and good, and
secret and just, ingenuous and honest; and in those things
which have a latitude, use your own liberty ; but in such
things which consist in an indivisible point, make no abate-
ments ; that is, you must not choose him to be your friend
that is not honest and secret, just and true to a tittle ; but if
he be wise at all, and useful in any degree, and as good as
you can have him, you need not be ashamed to own your
friendships ; though sometimes you may be ashamed of
some imperfections of your friend.

4. But if you yet inquire further, whether fancy may be
an ingredient in your choice ? I answer, that fancy may mi-
nister to this as to all other actions, in which there is a liberty

Clerici, p. 262.


and variety; and we shall find that there may be peculiari-
ties and little partialities, a friendship improperly so called,
entering upon accounts of an innocent passion and a pleased
fancy; even our blessed Saviour himself loved St. John and
Lazarus by a special love, which was signified by special
treatments ; and of the young man that spake well and wisely
to Christ, it is affirmed, "Jesus loved him," that is, he fan-
cied the man, and his soul had a certain cognation and si-
militude of temper and inclination. For in all things where
there is a latitude, every faculty will endeavour to be pleased,
and sometimes the meanest persons in a house have a fes-
tival : even sympathies and natural inclinations to some per-
sons, and a conformity of humours and proportionable loves,
and the beauty of the face, and a witty answer, may first
strike the flint and kindle a spark, which, if it falls upon
tender and compliant natures, may grow into a flame ; but
this will never be maintained at the rate of friendship, un-
less it be fed by pure materials, by worthinesses which are
the food of friendship : where these are not, men and women
may be pleased with one another's company, and lie under
the same roof, and make themselves companions of equal
prosperities, and humour their friend ; but if you call this
friendship, you give a sacred name to humour or fancy ; for
there is a Platonic friendship as well as a Platonic love ; but
they being but the images of more noble bodies, are but like
tinsel dressings, which will shew bravely by candle-light,
and do excellently in a mask, but are not fit for conversa-
tion and the material intercourses of our life. These are
the prettinesses of prosperity and good-natured wit; but
Avhen we speak of friendship, which is the best thing in the
world (for it is love and beneficence, it is charity that is
fitted for society), we cannot suppose a brave pile should be
built up with nothing ; and they that build castles in the air,
and look upon friendship, as upon a fine romance, a thing
that pleases the fancy, but is good for nothing else, will do
well when they are asleep, or when they are come to Ely-
sium ; and for anght I know, in the meantime may be as
much in love with Mandana in the Grand Cyrus, as with
the infanta of Spain, or any of the most perfect beauties
and real excellences of the world : and by dreaming of per-
fect and abstracted friendships, make them so immaterial


that they perish in the handling and become good for

But I know not whither I was going ; I did only mean
to say that because friendship is that by which the world is
most blessed and receives most good, it ought to be chosen
amongst the worthiest persons, that is, amongst those that
can do greatest benefit to each other ; and though in equal
worthiness I may choose by my eye, or ear, that is, into the
consideration of the essential I may take in also the acci-
dental and extrinsic worthinesses ; yet I ought to give every
one their just value ; when the internal beauties are equal,
these shall help to weigh down the scale, and I will love a
worthy friend that can delight me as well as profit me, ra-
ther than him who cannot delight me at all, and profit me no
more ; but yet I will not weigh the gayest flowers, or the
wings of butterflies, against wheat ; but when I am to choose
wheat, I may take that which looks the brightest. I had
rather see thyme and roses, marjoram and July-flowers, that
are fair, sweet, and medicinal, than the prettiest tulips, that
are good for nothing : and my sheep and kine are better
servants than racehorses and greyhounds : and I shall ra-
ther furnish my study with Plutarch and Cicero, with Livy
and Polybius, than with Cassandra and Ibrahim Bassa ; and
if I do give an hour to these for divertisement or pleasure,
yet I will dwell with them that can instruct me, and make
me wise and eloquent, severe and useful to myself and
others. I end this with the saying of Laelius l in Cicero :
" Amicitia non debet consequi utilitatem, sed amicitiam uti-
litas." When I choose my friend, I will not stay till I have
received a kindness ; but I will choose such a one that can
do me many if I need them : but I mean such kindnesses
which make me wiser, and which make me better ; that is,
I will, when I choose my friend, choose him that is the
bravest, the worthiest, and the most excellent person : and
then your first question is soon answered ; To love such a
person and to contract such friendships, is just so authorized
by the principles of Christianity, as it is warranted to love
wisdom and virtue, goodness and beneficence, and all the
impresses of God upon the spirits of brave men.

2. The next inquiry is, How far it may extend ? that is,

* Wetzel, xiv. 11, p. 188.


By what expression it may be signified ? I find that David
and Jonathan loved at a strange rate ; they were both good
men ; though it happened that Jonathan was on the obliging
side ; but here the expressions were, Jonathan watched for
David's good ; told him of his danger, and helped him to
escape ; took part with David's innocence against his father's
malice and injustice; and beyond all this, did it to his own
prejudice; and they two stood like two feet supporting one
body: though Jonathan knew that David would prove like
the foot of a wrestler, and would supplant him, not by any
unworthy or unfriendly action, but it was from God ; and he
gave him his hand to set him upon his own throne.

We find his parallels in the Gentile stories : young Athe-
nodorus having divided the estate with his brother Xenon,
divided it again when Xenon had spent his own share ;
and Lucullus would not take the consulship till his younger
brother had first enjoyed it for a year; but Pollux di-
vided with Castor his immortality ; and you know who
offered himself to death being pledge for his friend, and his
friend by performing his word rescued him as bravely. And
when we find in Scripture that ' for a good man some will
even dare to die;' and that Aquila and Priscilla laid their
necks down for St. Paul ; and the Galatians ' would have
given him their very eyes,' that is, every thing that was most
dear to them, and some others were near unto death for his
sake : and that it is a precept of Christian charity, ' to lay
down our lives for our brethren,' that is, those who were
combined in a cause of religion, who were united with the
same hopes, and imparted to each other ready assistances,
and grew dear by common sufferings, we need inquire no
further for the expressions of friendships. " Greater love
than this hath no man, than that he lay down his life for his
friends ;" and this we are obliged to do in some cases for
all Christians ; and therefore we may do it for those who
are to us, in this present and imperfect state of things, that
which all the good men and women in the world shall be in
heaven, that is, in the state of perfect friendships. This is
the biggest ; but then it includes and can suppose all the rest;
and if this may be done for all, and in some cases must for
any one of the multitude, we need not scruple whether we
may do it for those who are better than a multitude. But


as for the thing itself, it is not easily and lightly to be
done ; and a man must not die for humour, nor expend so
great a jewel for a trifle : Mo'X/s aif!rve-jeafj,ev, sldorsg tv ou-
ftsvi Xi)ff/r>./' crasavaXcu/xa yzvqffofJ.;Yoi, said Philo ; we will
hardly die when it is for nothing, when no good, no worthy
end, is served, and become a sacrifice to redeem a footboy.
But we may not give our life to redeem another, unless,
1. The party for whom we die be a worthy and a useful
person ; better for religion, and more useful to others than
myself. Thus Ribischius the German died bravely, when
he became a sacrifice for his master, Maurice, duke of Sax-
ony ; covering his master's body with his own, that he
might escape the fury of the Turkish soldiers. "Succurram
perituro, sed ut ipse non peream, nisi si futurus ero magni
hominis, aut magnae rei merces," said Seneca : " I will help
a dying person if I can; but I will not die myself for him,

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