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Can someone explain the meaning of this quotation?

That friendship will not continue to the end which is begun for an end.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 22 down vote accepted

In this case

... for an end

is used to mean "for a purpose". Another example of this use case is "to what end", or "means to an end".

Knowing this, the meaning of the quote is clear:

If you become friends with someone in order to get something (or any purpose other than friendship), that friendship will not last life-long (or as the quote says, "continue to the end").

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That friendship will not continue to the end which is begun for an end.

It might be clearer to you if we rearrange this sentence into a more normal order:

That friendship which is begun for an end, will not continue to the end.

As others have said, "for an end" means "for a purpose (other than friendship)".

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Quote is easier to follow when broken in parts:

That friendship will not continue to the end

Meaning - The friendship will not last.

which is begun for an end.

Meaning - If the friendship was started for other reasons/ulterior motives..

If a friendship that started out for other(not sincere) reasons then that friendship will not last till the end.

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1  
Please use block quoting (>) for English text, not code-style quoting. –  Bradd Szonye Apr 18 at 1:31

A friendship for something(money, power, etc.) will not last long.

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Friendship that is started for purpose will not last.

Meaning that friendship should have no purpose.

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1  
Not all purposes can be described by the term "end". A better explanation, IMO, is that (the purpose of) friendship should be the journey, not the destination. –  Ben Voigt Apr 17 at 22:32

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