The Mayor of Casterbridge Friendship Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The face of Mr. Henchard beamed forth a satisfaction that was almost fierce in its strength. "Now you are my friend!" he exclaimed. (9.43)
Henchard both loves and hates with fierceness. He's hardly met Farfrae, yet he proclaims that they're friends with "fierce" satisfaction.
"I am the most distant fellow in the world when I don't care for a man," he said. "But when a man takes my fancy he takes it strong." (9.44)
Henchard realizes this about himself – he loves passionately, strongly, and suddenly. He tends to go with his gut about people. It sometimes guides him well (such as when he trusts Farfrae to manage his business when he hardly knows him) and sometimes guides him badly (such as when he suspects that Farfrae is trying to undermine his authority and flies into a jealous rage).
He was plainly under that strange influence which sometimes prompts men to confide to the new-found friend what they will not tell to the old. (12.9)
Henchard trusts Farfrae completely from the very beginning of their friendship – not only with his business, but with his personal secrets. The narrator describes this as a fairly commonplace, if "strange" impulse. It's something that could happen to many people.