the best of friends must part

Cf. c 1385 CHAUCER Troilus & Criseyde v. 343 Alwey frendes may nat ben yfeere [may not be together].

1611 G. CHAPMAN May-Day IV. 70 Friends must part, we came not all together, and we must not goe all together.

1685 J. DUNTON in Publications of Prince Society (1867) 10 But the dearest friends must part.

1784 J. F. D. SMYTH Tour in USA I. xxxvii. Sooner or later, all, even the dearest of friends, must part.

1821 SCOTT Kenilworth I. xi. ‘You are going to leave me, then?’.. ‘The best of friends must part, Flibbertigibbet.’

1979 W. GOLDING Darkness Visible ii. ‘Aren’t there going to be any more lessons?’.. ‘The best of friends must part.’

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