A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

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More from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Essays: First Series (1841), "Friendship"

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

Essays, First Series, "Self-Reliance"

Men achieve a certain greatness unawares, when working to another aim.