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It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanisms of friendship.
Friendship, which is of its nature a delicate thing, fastidious, slow of growth, is easily checked, will hesitate, demur, recoil where love, good old blustering love, bowls ahead and blunders through every obstacle.
But just as delicate fare does not stop you from craving for saveloys, so tried and exquisite friendship does not take away your taste for something new and dubious.
In their friendship they were like two of a litter that can never play together without leaving traces of tooth and claw, wounding each other in the most sensitive places.
It is prudent to pour the oil of delicate politeness upon the machinery of friendship.
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Even the distribution of rations leaves much to be desired; the fatigue party, well-intentioned and sympathetic though it be, often finds itself short of provisions.
January 28, 1873
August 3, 1954
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