Important Questions and Answers from Of Friendship by Francis Bacon

1. What is the meaning of the phrase Magna Civitas, Magna Solitudo?

Ans. It is a Latin phrase that means ‘a great city is a great solitude’. Magna was one of the largest cities built up by the ancient Romans. But in this big city, the most part always remained deserted. Bacon means to say is that in a great city friends are scattered so that there is no fellowship between them. It is true that in solitude if one finds no friend to outlet his spirits, this solitude will surely swallow him up.

2. What is the principal fruit of friendship?

Ans: The principal fruit of friendship is to make the inflected mind easy and comforting by discharging those to the heart of a friend. There are something which torment us the most and those things make us suffer innerly. Until we discharge them they will make mischief within. We will be easy and all those mental anxieties would vanish when we will express those unto a friend. Bodily diseases as go away by the physician, mental hazards
like joys, hopes, suspicious, counsels, etc. are lightened by confessing them to a friend.

3. How do the Kings and monarchs enjoy the fruit of friendship?

Ans. The great kings, monarchs make friendship in spite of their own safety and greatness only to achieve the fruit of friendship. As a result, they come close and easily solve the problems which were difficult before. Even the princes raise some common persons as their companions and thus breaking the distance are seen to be always benefited. Those common people going the friendship of that kings or princes make their best to keep the relation ever tight and the result of which is, as historically proved, enormous.

4. ‘Cor ne edito’ explain.

Ans. This phrase is coined from Pythagoras. It means ‘eat not the heart’. By referring to this Bacon says that if a man never speaks out heart, thinks within, suppresses his emotion, he is like a cannibal, eater of his own heart. There is no difference between him and the cannibals. In this regard, Bacon cites the example of Communes who observed his first master Duke Charles the Hardy who never communicated his secrets to any, especially those
which troubled him the most. It was also true to his second master Lewis the eleventh.

5. Discuss the function of friendship regarding joy and grief.

Ans. If one communicates his heart to his friend he is a double gainer in case of joy and grief. If you convey your joy to a friend your joy should be double and you feel better enjoyment than you feel if not say at all. On the other hand, if you lay down your burden of grief to a true friend your grief will be lessening in no time and you will find a case in your mind.

6. What is the second fruit of friendship?

Ans. The second fruit of friendship is understanding and counseling. One can not look the whole matter at a glance; can not make out the right decision to perform. His mind is generally tossed by different thoughts. He finds difficulty to reach the right point. But when he discourses with a friend it becomes clear to him. He can then find the things in the real perspective and marshal them in the proper line. It is true that the light that a man receives by counseling is drier and purer than that of his own judgment and understanding which always tends to be drenched by his affections and customs.

7. …..a friend is another himself”. Explain.

Ans. A man can not do everything that he likes or desires. If a man finds a true friend he may lay almost secure that the care of those things will continue after him. A man’s body is confined to a certain place but through friendship, he can be deputed in various ways and places. His desires that he can not express himself can be expressed through the friends. Finally, in the words of Bacon, it can be said that a man can not fitly play his own part if he has no friend.

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