a review of Friendship – A Book of Quotations

We read this paperback this past weekend and thought to share some of the quotes in it.

Friendship – A Book of Quotations, edited by Herb Galewitz, Dover Publications, Mineola New York, Copyright 1999, 54 pages.

Here is the link to it at the publisher’s website.  (It is available in e-book format.)


The book contains more than 400 quotes on friends and friendship, and even a few on love. To respect and not violate Dover’s copyright, we will only reproduce a small sampling of these quotes for purposes of our review.  These we think are some of the gems.  (Please note: We do not necessarily agree with each of these quotes.)

Dear readers, you have your own opinions and views on friendships.  Consider these:

It is one of the ironies of life that our intimates often provoke us more than our enemies.  –  Edward W. Ziegler  (from page 54)

There is always something about your success that displeases even your best friends.  –  Mark Twain  (from page 51)

In politics . . . shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. Alexis De Tocqueville  (on page 50)

Friendships are discovered rather than made.  –  Harriet Beecher Stowe (from page 47)

Here now is a very insightful quote:

Be careful to make friendship the child and not the father of virtue, for many are rather good friends than good men; so, although they do not like the evil their friend does, yet they like him who does the evil; and though no counselors of the offence, they yet protect the offender.  –  Sir Philip Sidney (page 45)

With most people there will be no harm in occasionally mixing a grain of disdain with your treatment of them; that will make them value your friendship all the more.  –  Schopenhauer  (on page 42)

Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.  –  George Santayana  (from page 42)

The sacrifices of friendship were beautiful in her eyes as long as she was not asked to make them.  –  Saki (H.H. Munro)  from page 41

Ethel Watts Mumford gives us the next 2 quotations (on page 35):

A friend in deeds is a friend indeed.

God gives us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends.

Contrasting love and friendship:

When adversities flow, then love ebbs; but friendship standeth stiffly in storms.  –  John Lyly  (on page 32)

No friendship is so cordial or so delicious as that of girl for girl; no hatred so intense and immovable as that of woman for woman.  William Savage Landor (from page 29)

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  –  Thomas Jefferson  (on page 26)

Yes, let us show appreciation to our friends.  Let us tell them that we value them.

If you have a friend worth loving,

Love him.  Yes, and let him know

That you love him, ere life’s evening

Tinge his brow with sunset glo.

Why should good words ne’er be said

Of a friend till he is dead?

Daniel W. Hoyt  (page 24) 

Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others!  William Hazlitt  (on page 21)

What is a Friend?  I will tell you.  It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.  –  Frank Crane  (page 12)

Next, Here is a real zinger:

Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend.  –  Agatha Christie  (on page 9)

I was angry with my friend

I told my wrath, my wrath did end.

I was angry with my foe

I told it not, my wrath did grow

William Blake (from page 5)

Our friends see the best in us, and by that very fact call forth the best from us. John Black  (on page 5)

Having said, from our respective points of view, the worst thing we can say about each other, having uttered the ultimate insult, there’s no reason we can’t be friends.  –  S.N. Behrman  (from page 3) 

(I read this book from the back to the front and that explains the ordering of the above quotations.)

our thoughts

As to friends and friendships, quality is preferable to quantity.  It is better to have a few good, true friends, who will stick by you during hard, difficult times and in tough situations, than to have many nominal friends.  Adversity does separate your true friends from your “fair weather” friends.  (Many quotes in the book made this point.)

As well, we encourage individuals to do what is right and proper and loving – even when this is not popular with your friends and peers.  Life, as many have said, is not a popularity contest.

Can the spouses be friends in addition to being lovers?  One might think that these became friends before becoming lovers, but such is not always the case.  And, more to the point, can the spouses become good friends, true friends to, and for, each other?  I think the answer is a qualified “yes”.

Just as friendships need to be nurtured and nourished regularly, marriages require ongoing (continuing) efforts and sacrifices by both spouses.  Given the nature of human beings, both women and men, this is the reality.  Marriage is not an easy proposition.  (Any one who has been married for any length of time knows this from experience.)  To obtain and enjoy the goods of marriage, takes effort by both spouses.  The spouses need to think in terms of “we” rather than “him and me”, or “she and me”.  With the proper approach and keeping in mind that friendships, especially so in marriage, require giving of one’s self, the spouses can become better friends to each other over time.  Don’t believe the fairy tales.  No one lives “happily ever after”.  (It appears there are ongoing power struggles in many marriages – and this sometimes leads to the dissolution of the union.  Couples need to have shared values, goals and priorities, or at least be willing to make some compromises.)

Best wishes to all.  And, yes, you can forward a link to this essay to one or more of your friends if you think they might be interested in its contents.  We welcome all interested readers.

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