Tenderness in Friendship
We are holden to men by every sort of tie, by blood, by pride, by fear, by hope, by lucre, by lust, by hate, by admiration, by every circumstance and badge and trifle, but we can scarce believe that so much character can subsist in another as to draw us by love. Can another be so blessed, and we so pure, that we can offer him tenderness? When a man becomes dear to me, I have touched the goal of fortune. I find very little written directly to the heart of this matter in books. And yet I have one text which I cannot choose but remember. My author (Cicero) says,«I offer myself faintly and bluntly to those whose I effectually am, and tender myself least to him to whom I am the most devoted».
Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Essays - Friendship"