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have a friend to make it entire; and yet, whichl is more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews, yet all these could not supply the comfort of friendship.
It is not to be forgotten what Comineus observeth of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy—namely, that he would communicate* his secrets with none; and, least of all, those secrets which troubled him roost. Whereupon he goeth on, and saith, that towards his latter time, that closeness did impair and a little perish3 his understanding. Surely Comineus might have made the same judgment also, if it had pleased him, of his second master, Louis XI., whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true;, 'Cor ne edito'—eat not the heart.4 Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that want friends to open themselves unto, are cannibals of their own hearts. But one thing is most admirable (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship), which is, that this communicating of a man's self to his friend, works to contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halfs; for there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more, and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less. So that it is, in truth, of operation upon a man's mind of like virtue as the alchymists use to attribute to their stone for man's body, that it worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature. But yet, without praying in aid5 of alchymists, there is a manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature; for, in bodies, union strengthened and cherisheth any natural action, and, on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any violent impression—and even so is it of6 minds.
1 Which. What.—Chaucer.
• Communicate with. Communicate to; imparl to. 'He communicated those thought* only iritfi the Lord Digby.'—Clarendon.
3 Perish. To cause to decay; to destroy.
'Thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
4 Plutarch, Ve Educat. Puer. 17.
4 Pray in aid. To he an advocate fur. (A term iu law for calling in one to help who has interest in n cause.)
* You shall find A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness, When he for grace is kneeled to.'—Shakespere.
• Of. With regard to.
'This quarrel is not now o/fiime and tribute.
The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for the affections; for friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections from storm and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. Neither is this to be understood only of faithful counsel, which a man receiveth from Ins friend; but before you come to that, certain it is, that whosoever' hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits, and understanding do clarify and break up, in the communicating and discoursing with another; he tosseth his thoughts more easily—he marshalleth them more orderly—he seeth how they look when they are turned into words—finally, he waxeth* wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's discourse than by a day's meditation. It was well said by Themistocles to the king of Persia, 'That speech was like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad'3—whereby the imagery doth appear in figure, whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs. Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in opening the understanding, restrained4 only to such friends as are able to give a man counsel (they indeed are best), but even without that a man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, a man were5 better relate himself to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother."
Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship complete, that other point which lieth more open, and falleth within vulgar1 observation—which is faithful counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith well, in one of his enigmas, 'Dry light is ever the best ;'s and certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment, which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. So as there is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer; for there is no such flatterer as is a man's self, and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's self as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning manners, the other concerning business: for the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a strict account is a medicine sometimes too piercing and corrosive; reading good books of morality is a little flat and dead; observing our faults in others is sometimes improper for our case; but the best receipt (best, I say, to work, and best to take) is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit, for want of a friend to tell them of them, to the great damage both of their fame and fortune; for, as St. James3 saith, they are as men, 'that look sometimes into a glass, and presently forget their own shape and favour.' * As for business, man may think, if he will, that two eyes see no more than one; or, that a gamester seeth always more than a looker-on; or, that a man in auger is as wise as he that hath said over the four-and-twenty letters; or, that a musket may be shot off as well lipon the arm as upon a rest; and such other fond5 and high imaginations, to think himself all in all: but when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which setteth business straight; and if any man think that he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one business of one man, and in another business of another man; it is as well (that is to say, better, perhaps, than if he asked none at all), but he runneth two dangers; one, that he shall not be faithfully counselled—for it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed and crooked1 to some ends which he hath that giveth it; the other, that he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe (though with good meaning), and mixed partly of mischief and partly of remedyeven as if you would call a physician, that is thought good for the cure of the disease you complain of, but is unacquainted with your body,—and therefore, may put you in a way for present cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind, and so cure the disease, and kill the patient: but a friend, that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate,2 will beware, by furthering any present business, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience. And, therefore, rest not upon scattered counsels, for they will rather distract and mislead than settle and direct.
1 Whosoever. Wlioever. 'Wiosoever hath Christ for his friend shall be sure of counsel; and whosoever is his own friond will be sure to obey it.'—South.
* Was, To grow; to become.
'Nature, crescent, does not grow alone
3 Plut. Vit. Themist. 28.
4 Restrained. Limited; confined; restricted. 'Upon what ground can a nun promise himself a future repentance who cannot promise himself a futurity: who** life is so restrained to the present that it cannot secure to itself the revorsion of tlio vory next moment ?'—SouVi.
5 Were. Bad.
'I were best not call.'—Shakespere.
* Smother (not used as a noun.) A state of being stifled.
'Then must I from tho smoke into the smother;
'Vulgar. Common; general; pubUe.
'Most sure, and vulgar; every one hears that.'—Shakespere. 5 Ap. Slob. Serm. v. no. * James i. 23.
4 Favour. Countenance. 'I have surely seen him; his favour is familiar to me.' * Fond. Foolish; silly; veak.
''Tis fond to wail inevitable strokes,
After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in the affections, and support of the judgment), followeth the last fruit, which is, like the pomegranate, full of many kernels—I mean, aid and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. Here, the best way to represent to life the manifold use of friendship, is to cast and see how many things there are which a man cannot do himself; and then it will appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients, to say, 'that a friend is another himself,' for that a friend is far more than himself. Men have their time, and die many times in desire of some things which they principally take to heart; the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the' like. If a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure that the care of those tlrings will continue after him; so that a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, and that body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him and his deputy; for he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there which a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them; a man cannot sometimes stoop to supplicate or beg, and a number of the like: but all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So, again, a man's person hath many proper1 relations which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth2 with the person. But to enumerate these things were endless: I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part, if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
1 Crook. To percert. See page 25 7. 3 Estate. State; condition; circumstances. 'His letter there Will show you hia estate.'—Shukespere.
ANTITHETA ON FRIENDSHIP.
'Pearima solitudo, non venis habere 'Qui amicitias arctae copulat, novas
amicitias. necessitates sibi imponit.
'The wonst solitude is to hare no real 'He who forme close friendships, im
friendships.' poses on himself new duties.'
'Digna malae fidci ultio, amicitiis 'Animi imbecilli est,partiri fortunam.
pnvari. • It is the mark of a feeble mind to
'To be deprived of friends is a fit go shares in one's fortune with another' reward of faiUdesencss.'
'It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and untruth together in few words than in that speech,— 'Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.''
Aristotle had been so unduly and absurdly worshipped before Bacon's time, that it was not inexcusable to be carried away by the ebb-tide, and unduly to disparage him. But, in truth, Aristotle
1 Proper. Feculiar.
'Faults proper to himself.'—Shakeepere, J Sort. To suit; to fit.
'For different styles with different subjects sort. As several garbs with country, town, and court.'—Pop*.