Quotation by William Blake

O God, protect me from my friends, that they have not power over me.
Thou hast giv'n me power to protect myself from thy bitterest enemies.
William Blake (1757–1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Palamabron, in Milton, bk. 1 (c. 1810), repr. In Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).

The saying has earlier proverbial antecedents in several languages: Queen Elizabeth I, quoted in J.E. Neale, Elizabeth I and Her Parliament ch. 4 (1957), said: "There is an Italian proverb which saith, 'From my enemy let me defend myself; but from a pretensed friend, good Lord deliver me.'..."
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