12/19/2018

“Of Friendship” by Francis Bacon : Summary.



Solitude is Beastial:
Aristotle's remark that a man who loves solitude is either a beast or an angel, is according to Bacon, only half true. Love of being isolated is indeed a synonymous of a person's beastly nature, but it can seldom be a mark of godliness, unless it is part of the renunciation of the world for higher spiritual meditative.

Solitude has a wider implication than what people believe it to have, for a man may feel lonely in a crowd, in the absence of love. To a friendless man the world may be a wilderness.

Advantages of Friendship:
Friendship helps a man firstly to distribute his heart and secondly to clear the understanding.

It helps a man to ventilate those secret feelings, desires and frustrations which would, if suppressed within the heart, cause tension and depression in a man. King and rulers who could not make friends freely because of their high positions have often taken great risks by raising a person to the level of a friend. Roman history gives many examples of even wise and politic kings who raised certain man to a high position and confined in them. They found their lives incomplete without friendship.

Feelings and emotions, if accumulated, ‘eat’ the heart and destroy a man's health. A Friend ensures an outlet for these pent up feelings.

Double Effect of Friendship:
Friendship increase joy even as it lessens the intensity of grief. A man by sharing his joy with a friend feel more happy. His grief is lessened if he has a friend to share it.

Friendship Brings Better Understanding:
When a man talks over things with a friend, his ideas take better shape and everything becomes clearer and arranged in order, whereas before, his thoughts were confused and Vogue.

A friend helps a man to improve his conduct and avoid folly and mistakes. A friendly advice is unbiased an is thus reliable and at the same time it is pleasant.

Advice taken from different people may prove harmful, as they would not be acquainted with the man’s mind or circumstances. A man's interest would be kept in mind by a friend and his advice will be very valuable.

A man with a friend has two lives:
A man cannot be more than one place at the same time, but if he has a friend he can get things done through him instead of doing them himself. If a man dies without fulfilling some desire, a friend can continue to make efforts to achieve that desire.

A friend performs many offices for a man, such as praising him. A friend can suitably act in a situation which proves embarrassing to a man. A man may be hampered in a situation because he has to deal with close relatives. A friend working on his behalf, is free of such personal considerations.

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