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...of all others, would not a good friend appear far more valuable?"
"As to the value of other things," says Cicero, "most men differ; concerning friendship all have the same opinion. What can be more foolish than, when men are possessed of great influence by their wealth, power, and resources, to procure other things which are bought by money--horses, slaves, rich apparel, costly vases--and not to procure friends, the most valuable and fairest furniture of life?" And yet, he continues,Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends." In the choice, moreover, of a dog or of a horse, we exercise the greatest care: we inquire into its pedigree, its training and character, and yet we too often leave the selection of our friends, which is of infinitely greater importance--by whom our whole life will be more or less influenced either for good or evil--almost to chance.
It is no doubt true, as the _Autocrat of the Breakfast Table_ says, that all men are bores except when we want them. And Sir Thomas Browne... Cicero, Marcus T.
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