What is the theme of Bacon’s essay “Of Friendship”?
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Of Friendship is a philosophical essay concerning the nature of friendship and the effects of the absence of friendship. Bacon lists three virtues of friendship: goodness, utility, and delight.
Summing up these virtues, he says that true friendship consists in a man’s finding another with whom he can delight in doing what is good for its own sake. But in his experience, true friendship is not easy to achieve.
He goes on to say that even among friends there is often a great deal of unkindness, or at least indifference; and this is because friends do not always perceive each other’s merits as clearly as they perceive their faults. So, it is important for a man to have some means by which he can recognize and reward the efforts of his friends. That is why he has invented money.
Summary of Of Friendship