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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Old Friends Better than New
By Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.)
 
From the ‘Dialogue on Friendship

BUT there arises on this subject a somewhat difficult question: Whether ever new friends, if deserving friendship, are to be preferred to old ones, just as we are wont to prefer young colts to old horses?—a perplexity unworthy of a man; for there ought to be no satiety of friendship as of other things: everything which is oldest (as those wines which bear age well) ought to be sweetest; and that is true which is sometimes said, “Many bushels of salt must be eaten together,” before the duty of friendship can be fulfilled. But new friendships, if they afford a hope that, as in the case of plants which never disappoint, fruits shall appear, such are not to be rejected; yet the old one must be preserved in its proper place, for the power of age and custom is exceedingly great; besides, in the very case of the horse, which I just mentioned, if there is no impediment, there is no one who does not more pleasurably use that to which he is accustomed than one unbroken and strange to him; and habit asserts its power, and habit prevails, not only in the case of this, which is animate, but also in the cases of those things which are inanimate; since we take delight in the very mountainous or woody scenery among which we have long dwelt.  1
 
 
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