Everything old is new again:

Emily Yoffe writes in Slate of the experience of being fiftysomething and joining Facebook. She writes: "I provided a photograph and minimal information for my profile . . . and waited for the 'friending' to begin. (You can try to resist, but friend is now a verb.)"

I did once try to resist, but then, in the early 13th century, the Guide for Anchoresses said: "Make no purses, for to friend yourself therewith." Then, around 1387, Thomas Usk wrote, in the last sentences of his Testament of Love: "Charity is love, and love is charity. God grant us all therein to be friended." Then, around 1425, Wyntoun wrote in his Chronicles: "And after soon friended were the King David of Scotland and Stephen, king then of England." In 1562, John Heywood wrote, in his Proverbs and Epigrams: "Friend they any, that flatter many?" In the late 16th century, Rollock wrote in a sermon: "Thou shall never get regeneration before God be friended with thee: thou is his enemy, thou must be friended with him."

At first I was all "Who's ever heard of these clowns anyway?" But then, in 1599, Shakespeare wrote, in Henry V: "Disorder, that hath spoil'd us, friend us now!"

It just kept coming: In 1600, Philemon Holland wrote, in his translation of Livy: "They had undertaken the warre upon king Philip, because he had friended and aided the Carthaginians." In 1622, Michael Drayton wrote in the Poly-Olbion: "But friended with the flood the barons hold their strength." In 1676, William Row wrote: "Reports came that the King would friend Lauderdale." In 1721, Thomas Southerne wrote in The Spartan Dame: "There the street is narrow, and may friend our purpose well."

Finally, in the Victorian period (1867), I read Matthew Arnold's St. Brandan: "That germ of kindness, in the womb / Of mercy caught, did not expire; / Outlives my guilt, outlives my doom, / And friends me in the pit of fire."

Yes, Emily, you can try to resist, but "friend" is now a verb. I stopped trying a couple hundred years ago.