“Of Followers and Friends” by Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

“Of Followers and Friends” by Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

  • Costly followers are not good
    • The more you take on, the less free you are
    • They’re not so much costly as they are wearing & annoying
  • Followers should only expect acceptance, recommendation & protection from wrongs
  • Followers in factions are even worse because they don’t even particularly like you so much as they hate someone else
    • These men have been a great waste of time, money & energy through the course of history
    • They screw up your affairs, ruin your reputation & drain your resources
    • They are spies in the making, ready to hear & repeat it to others
      • Yet so often they’re in demand mostly because they’re extremely eager & like to tell others’ business
  • It better to find passable, virtuous & deserving men than able men
    • To accept some men extraordinarily makes them insolent & all others discontent you’ve chosen someone else
    • Choosing men with discernment & discretion makes them more grateful & less annoyingly eager
  • Good discretion means not to make too much of the man at first because you can’t keep that up
    • To have just one is not safe
      • Might show softness, which leads to scandal & bad reputation
    • If men are afraid to speak ill of a man in public, it necessarily means they will do so behind his back
    • Don’t have too many men in your retinue
  • True friends are better than on-lookers who are just looking to climb a ladder
  • Equals always try to get ahead of each other
    • Men of different stations understand & accept one another’s position

Leave a Reply