“I agree with you,” replied the stranger, “in believing that friendship is not only a desirable, but a possible acquisition. I once had a friend, the most noble of human creatures, and am entitled, therefore, to judge respecting friendship. You have hope, and the world before you, and have no cause for despair. But I – I have lost every thing, and cannot begin life anew.”

– Mary Shelley

Frankenstein, Robert Walton in “Letter 4”. This is Victor Frankenstein’s reply to Walton, who has laid open his desire for a friend. Victor lets Walton know that he would reciprocate if he could, but he cannot because his life is coming to a close. From 1818 First Edition.