|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|Old Friends Better than New|
|By Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)|
|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|