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THE SAYING OF SOCRATES. Jean de La Fontaine

A house was built by Socrates,
That failed the public taste to please.
One thought the inside, not to tell a lie,
Unworthy of the wise man′s dignity.
Another blamed the front; and one and all
Agreed the rooms were very much too small.
"What! such a house for our great sage,
The pride and wonder of the age!"
"Would Heaven," said he, quite weary of the Babel,
"Was only able.
Small as it is, to fill it with true friends."
And here the story ends.

Just reason had good Socrates
To find his house too large for these.
Each man you meet as friend, your hand will claim;
Fool, if you trust the proffers that such bring.
There′s nothing commoner than Friendship′s name;
There′s nothing rarer than the thing.

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