A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature

two toddlers playing with water

Entertainment without requiring any stipulation

To stand in true relations with men in a false age is worth a fit of insanity, is it not? We can seldom go erect. Almost every man we meet requires some civility, – requires to be humored; he has some fame, some talent, some whim of religion or philanthropy in his head that is not to be questioned, and which spoils all conversation with him. But a friend is a sane man who exercises not my ingenuity, but me. My friend gives me entertainment without requiring any stipulation on my part. A friend, therefore, is a sort of paradox in nature. I who alone am, I who see nothing in nature whose existence I can affirm with equal evidence to my own, behold now the semblance of my being, in all its height, variety, and curiosity, reiterated in a foreign form; so that a friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882)
from Essays – Friendship (1841)
image – tibchris

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One Response to “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature”

  1. Abimbola Akanwo Says:

    Bravo…that’s a good excerpt…a good analysis of a true friend.

    Thank you Mr Emerson…