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What virtue, or what mental grace But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession? Profusion apes the noble part Of liberality of beart,
And dulness of discretion.
If ev'ry polish'd gem we find
Provoke to imitation;
Or rather constellation.
No knave but boldly will pretend
A real and a sound one;
And dream that he had found one,
Candid, and generous, and just,
An errour soon corrected-
appears, Is most to be suspected?
But here again a danger lies,
And taken trash for treasure,
A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare
Nor is it wise complaining,
We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test,
Or mean self-love erected;
Nor such as may awhile subsist,
For vicious ends connected.
Who seek a friend should come dispos'd, T exhibit in full bloom disclos'd
The graces and the beauties, That form the character he seeks, For 'tis a union, that bespeaks
Mutual attention is implied,
And constantly supported;
Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice!
And must be made the basis;
All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
By ceaseless sharp corrosion;
At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
The secret just committed,
And by themselves outwitted.
How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
If envy chance to creep in;
But not a friend worth keeping,
As envy pines at good possess'd,
On good, that seems approaching;
And, if success his steps attend,
And hates him for encroaching.
Hence authors of illustrious name, Unless belied by common fame,
Are sadly prone to quarrel, To deem the wit a friend displays A tax upon their own just praise,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renown'd for repartee
With friendship's finest feeling, Will thrust a dagger at your breast, And say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
The trumpet of contention;
And rush into dissention.