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One of the first fruits he describes as follows:
A principal fruit of friendship, is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce.
With the understanding of the view of the human body at the time, that it was full of humors that sometimes needed to get out in order to be healthy, one of the main benefits of having friends was that you could get out the "fulness and swellings of the heart" so that the body would remain healthy. Obviously you can talk and share with a friend, and at the time this was seen as connected to bodily health as well as spiritual.
The second he describes thusly:
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.
The idea that a friend can help you to understand the thoughts that rattle around in your head is another that Bacon points out as one of the principal benefits.
The third I will leave to you to find.
1. Francis Bacon believes that the principal fruit of friendship is "the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce." Bacon means that friends share a close emotional bond that allows them to express their emotions and feelings to each other. Speaking about one's problems is therapeutic. Bacon refers to this back-and-forth communication of feelings between friends as a sort of "civil shrift or confession."
2. Francis Bacon writes that the second fruit of friendship is the "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." Bacon feels that friends provide comfort and stability through hard times. Friendship allow a person to express their thoughts and provides them clarity when they are feeling confused. Friends also provide unbiased counsel that allows a person to view their situation from a different perspective. People have a tendency to allow their emotions to influence their decision-making, and speaking to a friend can provide an accurate evaluation of a person's given situation.
3. Bacon compares the third fruit of friendship to a pomegranate. He writes that friendship is like a "pomegranate, full of many kernels; I mean aid, and bearing a part, in all actions and occasions." Bacon essentially means that friends help people in many different areas of life. They provide counsel, help mediate relationships, and aid their friends in any endeavor. Friends are essential to have in times of both need and joy. They provide innumerable benefits and allow individuals to view their actions from another perspective.
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