Nothing is more grievous than friendship formed without first
testing, for once adopted, it cannot be abandoned by the faithful.
Unless it begins with testing and proving,
friendship may end in mortal sorrow.
Before you befriend him, consider a man’s character,
family background, faults and faithful allies.
Pay any price to possess the friendship
of well-born men who cannot bear rebuke and shame.
Seek out and befriend those who, speaking out, move you to repent,
reprove your wrongdoing and teach you the right ways.
There is a benefit even in misfortune, for it is the rod
with which a man may measure the loyalty of friends.
To give up friendship with fools and quit their company–
such loss is said to be a man’s greatest gain.
Don’t dwell on thoughts that dim your spirit.
Don’t befriend those who flee you in affliction.
Even in the hour of death, the thoughts of friends
who left you in your hour of need will hurt the heart.
Hold tight to friendship with pure men;
let go of unfit fellows, even by paying them off.