From the files of Goodwood:
This little verse was transcribed in Sen. Hodges' hand. The earliest known reference is in The Jester's Magazine or The Monthly Merrymaker, published in 1767. With minor changes along the way, it was oft quoted though the 1800's. It was even included in the 1816 volume Elegant Extracts in Poetry: Selected for the Improvement of Young Persons. It is unknown where Sen. Hodges came across this version.
To my best, my friends are free
Free with that and free with me.
Free to pass the harmless joke
And the tube sedately smoke
Free to drink just what they please
As at home and at their ease.
Free to spend a night or so.
When uneasy, free to go.