Life is to be fortified by many friendships. To love, and to be loved, is the greatest happiness. If I lived under the burning sun of the equator, it would be pleasure for me to think that there were many human beings on the other side of the world who regarded and respected me; I could not live if I were alone upon the earth, and cut off from the remembrance of my fellow-creatures. It is not that a man has occasion often to fall back upon the kindness of his friends; perhaps he may never experience the necessity of doing so; but we are governed by our imaginations, and they stand there as a solid and impregnable bulwark against all the evils of life.
From Lady Holland’s Memoir, published in 1855, by Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, philosopher, and humorist. Margaret Sullivan, a Jane Austen expert, believes that the character Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey is based on Smith.