Home  »  Fruits of Solitude  »  Qualities of a Friend

William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part I

Qualities of a Friend

111. A true Friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a Friend unchangeably.

112. These being the Qualities of a Friend, we are to find them before we chuse one.

113. The Covetous, the Angry, the Proud, the Jealous, the Talkative, cannot but make ill Friends, as well as the False.

114. In short, chuse a Friend as thou dost a Wife, till Death separate you.

115. Yet be not a Friend beyond the Altar: but let Virtue bound thy Friendship: Else it is not Friendship, but an Evil Confederacy.

116. If my Brother or Kinsman will be my Friend, I ought to prefer him before a Stranger, or I shew little Duty or Nature to my Parents.

117. And as we ought to prefer our Kindred in Point of Affection, so too in Point of Charity, if equally needing and deserving.