The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.

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More from Ralph Waldo Emerson

I should as soon think of swimming across Charles River when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.

Books

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

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

Essays: Second Series, New England Reformers (1844)

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

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.

Essays, "Character," 1844