The very flexibility and ease which make men’s friendships so agreeable while they endure, make them the easier to destroy and forget. And a man who has a few friends, or one who has a dozen (if there be any one so wealthy on this earth), cannot forget on how precarious a base his happiness reposes; and how by a stroke or two of fate –a death, a few light words, a piece of stamped paper, a woman’s bright eyes –he may be left, in a month, destitute of all.

The very flexibility and ease which make men’s friendships so agreeable while they endure, make them the easier to destroy and forget. And a man who has a few friends, or one who has a dozen (if there be any one so wealthy on this earth), cannot forget on how precarious a base his happiness reposes; and how by a stroke or two of fate –a death, a few light words, a piece of stamped paper, a woman’s bright eyes –he may be left, in a month, destitute of all.