Notes On Bacons Essays



                      OF STUDIES

The word ‘essay’ was first used by the French writer Montaigne from whom Bacon adopted it. Bacons essays are in a class apart from those of the other essayists like Lamb, Macaulay and Addison.  He himself called them “pithy jottings, rather apt than curious’.  The description exactly fits his writings, especially earlier essays like “Of Studies”.


In “Of Studies”, the sentences are nearly all short; crisp and sententious.  There are few connectives.  Each sentence stands by itself, expressing briefly and precisely his weighty thought.  The epigrammatic terseness and the sharp antithesis and balance are seen as found in all his writings.  But in, “Of Truth”, Bacon imparts warmth and colour to his style.  Illustrations abound, metaphors and similies crop up.  In “Of Studies” each sentence is a concentrated expression of his idea, and most of them have acquired the universal currency of proverbs.


Bacon speaks at length of the value of study.  According to him, three purposes are served by studies. 

1.  They give delight.

2.  They are an ornament to man.

3.  They add to the ability of man.

In retirement and in aloofness reading gives pleasure.  As an ornament, one’s study adorns one’s conversation.  The ability of a learned man is seen in his judgment and in the way he carries out his business.  Even experienced men turn to learned people for advice and guidance.  Yet to spend too much time in studies is a sort of idleness, and to use one’s knowledge too much in conversation is nothing short of affectedness. To judge wholly by the rules one has studied is the tendency of a scholar.  Studies perfect the inborn talent of man, which is further completed by experience.  In this respect studies are like natural plants which require pruning.  Reading should not tempt one to contradict others.  Neither should one believe all that is stated in books.  What is absorbed from books should be weighed well before introducing them in one’s talk.


Bacon speaks of different types of books in his essay entitled “Of Studies”.

1.     Some books are to be tasted [just enough to go through the book]

2.     Others to be swallowed  [read with great attention]

3.     Few to be chewed and digested [each word must be meditated upon]


Condensed or abridged books are like distilled water, bright but tasteless.  Books on history add to the wisdom of man, for they are authentic account of the plots and plans made by the leaders of men who have gained tremendous success in life or failed miserably.  Reading of poetry makes man intelligent and imaginative, for poets present an imaginary world in their works.  The study of mathematics makes men clever and quick in grasping.  The study of natural science increases the depth of mind.  Morality makes men grave and the study of logic enables men to argue well. 


Reading, according to Bacon, makes a man well-informed while conversation makes him quick-witted, and writing makes him impeccable.  To write well he needs a good memory, for a writer should be careful not to repeat his ideas. 


Bacon concludes his essay “Of Studies” by suggesting remedies for deficiencies in some of the mental faculties.  He believes that there is scarcely any frailty in human mind which cannot be dispelled by the study of a subject fit for such a mind.  Just as physical exercises can cure the diseases of the body, the imperfections of the mind can be expelled by study. 


Bowling is considered good for curing the stones in the kidney; shooting is good exercise for lungs and breast; gentle walking is good for the stomach and riding is prescribed for any illness associated with the head.  Similarly, if a man’s mind lacks concentration he should study mathematics in which if his mind wanders from the subject, he will have to start again from the beginning.  If one is unable to discover the fine distinctions, he should study the works of the medieval philosophers who were skilled in subtle debates, and in the case of men who cannot argue well, Bacon recommend the study of the lawyer’s cases.  Thus every defect of the mind can be cured by the study of the proper subject.

                                                         END



Note A.

Referring to page 11.

See also for similar sentiments by Lord Bacon, an Essay upon Death in the Remains, inserted post. See also in the Advancement of Learning. "For if a man's mind be deeply seasoned with the consideration of the mortality and corruptible nature of things, he will easily concur with Epictetus, who went forth one day and saw a woman weeping for her pitcher of earth that was broken; and went forth the next day and saw a woman weeping for her son that was dead and thereupon said, 'Heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie vidi mortalem mori.' And therefore Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears together, as 'concomitantia.'

See also the True philosophy of death in the Novum Organum under the head of Political Motion, where he says, "The Political Motion—Is that by which part, of the body are restrained fmm their own immediate appetites or tendencies, to unite in such a slate as may preserve the existence of the whole body. Thus the spirit which exists in all living bodies keeps all the parts in due subjection; when it escapes, the body decomposes, or the singular parts unite as metals rust; fluids turn sour; and in animals when the spirit which held the parts together escapes, all things are dissolved, and return to their own natures or principles: the oily parts to themselves; the aqueous also to themselves, &c.; upon which necessarily ensues that odour, that unctuosily, that confusion of parts observable in putrefaction;" So true is it, that in nature all is beauty: that not withstanding our partial views and distressing associations, the forms of death, mis-shapen as we suppose them, are but the tendencies to union in similar natures.—To the astronomer, the setting sun is as worthy of notice as its golden beams of orient light.

See lastly his epitaph upon the monument raised by his affectionate and faithful Secretary, who lies at his feet; and although only a few letters of his name, scarcely legible, can now be traced, he will ever be remembered for his affectionate attachment to his master and friend. Upon the monument which he raised to Lord Bacon, who appears sitting in deep but tranquil thought, he has inscribed this epitaph:

Any person who is desirous to see the confirmation of these opinions upon death will find the subject exhausted in a noble essay, in Tucker's Light of Nature, vol. 7, in his inquiry whether we cannot help ourselves by the use of our reason, so as to brave looking death calmly and steadily in the face to contemplate all his features and examine fairly what there is of terrible and what of harmless in them.

Note B.

Referring to page 12.

See Bacon's Essay on Church Controversies.

Note C.

Referring to page 14.

See Advancement of Learning, as to the Art of Revealing a Man's Self, and the Art of covering Defects. And see the Analysis of this subject in the analysis.

Note D.

Referring to page 16.

On this subject, see Bishop's Taylor's sermon entitled "The Marriage Ring."

Note E.

Referring to page 17.

.

There are some observations upon Envy, in Taylor's Holy Living.

Note F.

Referring to page 18.

See Bishop Taylor's Holy Living, of Charity, or the Love of God.

It begins thus: "Love is the greatest thing that God can give us, for himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God, for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours. The apostle calls it 'the band of perfection;' it is the old, and it is the new, and it is the great commandment, and it is all the commandments, for it is 'the fulfilling of the law.' It does the work of all other graces, without any instrument but its own immediate virtue. For as the love to sin makes a man sin against all his own reason, and all the discourses of wisdom, and all the advices of his friends, and without temptation, and without opportunity: so does the love of God; it makes a man chaste without the laborious acts of fasting and exterior disciplines, temperate in the midst of feasts, and is active enough to choose it without any intermedial appetites, and reaches at glory through the very heart of grace, without any other arms but those of love." Then see his magnificent discourse on Friendship in his polemical discourses. "Christian charity is friendship to all the world; and when friendships were the noblest things in the world, charity was little, like the sun drawn in at a chink, or his beams drawn into the centre of a burning-glass; but Christian charity is friendship expanded, like the face of the sun when it mounts above the eastern hills; and I was strangely pleased when I saw something of this in Cicero; for I have been so push'd at by herds and flocks of people that follow any body that whistles to them, or drives them to pasture, that I am grown afraid of any truth that seems chargeable with singularity: but therefore I say, glad I was when I saw Lætius in Cicero discourse thus: 'Amicitia ex infinitate generis humani am conciliavit ipsa natura, contracta res est, et adducta in angustum; ut omnis charitas, aut inter duos, aut inter paucos jungeretur.' Nature hath made friendships and societies, relations and endearments; and by something or other we relate to all the world; there is enough in every man that is willing to make him become our friend; but when men contract friendships, they inclose the commons: and what nature intended should be every man's, we make proper to two or three. Friendship is like rivers, and the strand of seas, and the air,—common to all the world; but tyrants and evil customs, wars, and want of love have made them proper and peculiar."

"The friendship is equal to all the world, and of itself hath no difference; but is differenced only by accidents, and by the capacity or incapacity of them that receive it. For thus the sun is the eye of the world; and he is indifferent to the Negro, or the cold Russian, to them that dwell under the line, and them that stand near the tropics, the scalded Indian or the poor boy that shakes at the foot of the Riphean hills. But the fluxures of the heaven and the earth, the conveniency of abode, and the approaches to the north or south respectively change the emanations of his beams; not that they do not pass always from him, but that they are not equally received below, but by periods and changes, by little inlets and reflections, they receive what they can. And some have only a dark day and a long night from him, snows and white cattle, a miserable life, and a perpetual harvest of cattarhes and consumptions, apoplexies and dead palsies. But some have splendid fires and aromatic spices, rich wines and well-digested fruits, great wit and great courage, because they dwell in his eye, and look in his face, and are the courtiers of the sun, and wait npon him in his chambers of the east. Just so is it in friendships," &c.

Note G.

Referring to page 21.

"It was both pleasantly and wisely said, though I think very untruly, by a nuncio of the pope, returning from a certain nation where he served as lieger; whose opinion being asked touching the appointment of one to go in his place, he wished that in any case they did not send one that was too wise; because no very wise man would ever imagine what they in that country were like to do. And certainly it is an error frequent for men to shoot over, and to suppose deeper ends, and more compass-reaches than are; the Italian proverb being elegant, and for the most part true:

(There is commonly less money, less wisdom, and less good faith than men do account upon.)

Note H.

Referring to page 23.

See the treatise de Augmentis, book viii. chapter 3, where the subject to which this note is annexed, is investigated.

"Let slates and kingdoms that aim at greatness by all means take heed how the nobility and grandees, and that those which we call gentlemen, multiply too fast; for that makes the common subject grow to be a peasant and base swain driven out of heart, and in effect nothing else but the nobleman's bondslaves and labourers. Even as you may see in coppice-wood, 'if you leave your studdles too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and bushes: as in a country, if the nobility be too many, the commons will be base and heartless, and you will bring it to that, that not the hundredth pole will be fit for an helmet; especially as to the infantry, which is the nerve of an army, and so there will be a great population and little strength. This which I speak of, hath been in no nation more clearly confirmed than in the examples of England and France, whereof England, though far inferior in territory and population, hath been nevertheless always an overmatch in arms, in regard the middle people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants of France do not. And herein the device of Henry the Seventh King of England, whereof I have spoken largely in the history of his life, was profound and admirable, in making farms and houses of husbandry of a standard; that is, maintained with such a proportion of land unto them, as may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and to keep the plough in the hands of the owners, or at least usefructuary, and not hirelings and mercenaries, and thus a country shall merit that character whereby Virgil expresses ancient Italy,

"Terra polens armis, atque ubere gleba."

Neither is that state which is almost peculiar to England, and for any thing I know, hardly to be found anywhere else, except it be perhaps in Poland, to be passed over, I mean the state of free servants and attendants upon noblemen and gentlemen; of which sort even they of inferior condition, do not not ways yield unto the yeomanry, for infantry. And therefore out of all question the magnificence and ihat hospitable splendour, the household servants, and great retinues of noblemen and gentlemen, received into custom in England, doth much conduce unto martial greatness; whereas on the other side, the close, reserved and contracted living of noblemen, causeth a penury of military forces."

He is silent upon this subject in the Advancement of Learning, for a reason thus stated. "Considering that I write to a king that is master of this science, and is so well assisted, I think it decent to pass over this part in silence, as willing to obtain the certificate which one of the ancient philosophers aspired unto; who being silent, when others contended to make demonstration of their abilities by speech, desired it might be certified for his part, that there was one that knew how to hold his peace." But see the Essays upon the "True Greatness of Kingdoms and States."

See Goldsmith's Deserted Village.

Note I.

Referring to page 24.

See, in this volume, page 70.

See also in the preface, ante, p. 6, under observations upon Medilationes Sacræ.

Note K

Referring to the letter prefixed, page 62.

"Sir,—Finding during parliament a willingness in you to conferre with me in this great service concerning the Union, I doe now take hold thereof to excuse my boldness to desire that now which you offred then for both the tyme as to leasure is more liberall and as to the service itself is more urgent whether it will like you to come to me to Graies In or to appoynt me whear to meete with you I am indifferent and leave it to your choise and accordingly desire to hear from you, so I remain yr very loving friend,⁠⁠F Bacon.

"Graies Inne this 8th of Sept. 1604.
"To Sir Robert Cotton."

Note L

Referring to preface, page 2.

of studies.

Studies serve for pastimes, for ornaments, and for abilities. Their chiefe vse for pastime is in priuatenesse and retyring: for ornament is in discourse, and for ability is in iudgememt. For expert men can execute, but learned men are fittest to iudge or censure.

To spend too much time in them is sloth, to vse them too much for ornament is affectation: to make iudgement wholly by their rules, is the humor of a Scholler. They perfect Nature, and are perfected by experience. Crafty men contemne them, simple men admire them, and wise-men vse them; for they teach not their owne vse, but that is a wisedome without them: and aboue them wonne by observation. Read not to contradict, nor to beleeue, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and disgested. That is, some bookes are to be read only in parts: others to be read but cursorily, and some fewe to be read wholy and with dilligence and atention. Reading maketh a fill man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. And therfore if a man write little, he had need haue a great memory: if he confer little, haue a present wit, and if he read little, hee had need haue make men wise, Poets witty, the Mathematiks subtill, natural philosophy deep, Morall graue, Logick and Rhetoricke, able to contend.

Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit in being able to hold all arguments, then of iudgement in discerning what is true, as if it were a praise to know what might be said, and not what shold be thought. Some haue certain common places and Theames wherein they are good, and want variety, which kind of pouerty is for the most part tedious, and now and then ridiculous. The honorablest part of talke is to giue the occasion, and againe to moderate and passe to somewhat else. It is good to vary and mixe speech asking of questions, with telling of opinions, and iest with earnest. But some things are priuiledged from iest, namely religion, matters of state, great persons, any mans present businesse of importance, and any case that deserueth pilty. He that questioneth much shall learne much, and content much, specially if he apply his questions to the skill of the person of whom he asketh, for he shal giue them occasion to please themselues in speaking, and himselfe shall continually gather knowledge. If you dissemble sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall bee thought another time to know that you know not. Speech of a mans selfe is not good often, and there is but one case, wherein a man may commend himselfe with good grace, and that is in commending vertue in another, especially if it be such a vertue, as wherevnto himselfe pretendeth. Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speake agreeably to him, with whom we deale is more than to speake in good words or in good order. A good continued speech without a good speech of interlocution sheweth slownesse: and a good reply or second speech without a good set speech sheweth shallowness and weakness, as we see in beasts, that those that are weakest in the course are yet nimblest in the turne. To vse too many circumstances ere one come to the matter is wearisome, to vse none at al is blunt.

of ceremonies and respects.

He that is onely reall had neede haue exceeding great parts of vertue, as the stone had neede be rich that is set without foyle. But commonly it is in praise as it is in gaine. For as the prouerbe is true, "That light gaines make heauy purses," because they come thick, wheras great come but now and then, so it is as true that smal matters win great commendation: because they are continually in vse and in note, whereas the occasion of anye great vertue commeth but on helie daies. To attaine good formes, it sufficeth not to dispise them, for so shal a man observe them in others, and let him trust himselfe with the rest, for if he care to expresse them hee shall leese their grace, which is to be natural and vnaffected. Some mens behaviour is like a verse vherin euery sillable is measured. How can a man comprehend great matters that breakelh his mind too much to small obseruations? Not to vse Ceremonies at all, is to teach others not to vse them againe, and so diminish his respect, especially they be not to be omitted to strangers and strange natures. Amongst a mans pieres a man shall be sure of familiarity, and therefore it is a good little to keep state: among a mans inferiors one shal be sure of reuerence, and therefore it is good a little to be familiar. He that is too much in any thing, so that he give another occasion of satiety, maketh himselfe cheape. To apply ones selfe to others is good, so it be with demonstration that a man doth it vpon regard, and not upon facility. It is a good precept generally in seconding another: yet to add somewhat of ones own, as if you will graunt his opinion, let it be with some distinction. If you will follow his motion: let it be with condition: if you allow his counsell, let it be with alleadging further reason.

of followers and friends.

Costly followers are not to be liked, least while a man maketh his trayne longer, he make his wings shorter: I reckon to be costly not them alone which charge the purse, but which are wearisome and importune in sutes. Ordinary following ought to challenge no higher conditions then countenance, recommendation and protection from wrong.

Factious followers are worse to be liked, which follow not vpon affection to him with whom they range themselues, but vpon discontentment conceiued against some other, whervpon commonly insueth that ill intelligence that wee many times see between great personages. The following by certain States answerable to that which a great person himself professeth, as of souldiers to him that hath been emploied in the wars, and the like hath euer beene a thing ciuil and wel taken euen in Monarchies, so it bee without too much pompe or popularity. But the most honorable kind of following is to be followed, as one that apprehendeth to aduance vertue and desert in all sorts of persons, and yet wher there is no eminent oddes in sufficiency, it is better to take with the more passable then with the more able. In gouernment it is good to vse men of one rancke equally, for to countenance some extraordinarily, is to make them insolent, and the rest discontent, because they may claime a due. But in fauours to vse men with much difference and election is good, for it maketh the persons preferred more thankful, and the rest more officious, because all is of fauour. It is good not to make too much of any man at first because one cannot hold out that proportion. To be gouerned by one is not good, and to be distracted with many is worse: but to take aduice of friends is ever honorable: "For lookers on many times see more then gamesters, and the vale best discouereth the hill." There is little friendship in the world, and least of al between equals, which was wont to bee magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferiour, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.

Many ill matters are vndertaken, and manye good matters with ill mindes. Some embrace Sutes which neuer meane to deale effectually in them. But if they see there may be life in the matter by some other meane, they will be content to win a thanke, or take a second reward. Some take hold of sutes only for an occasion to crosse some other, or to make an information, whereof they could not otherwise haue an apt pretext, without care what become of the sute, when that turn is serued. Nay some vndertake sutes with a ful purpose to let them fal, to the end to gratifie ihe adverse party or competitor. Surely there is in sort a right in every sute, either a rignt of equity, if it be a sufe of controuersie: or a right of desert, if it be a sute of petition. If affection lead a man to fauour the wrong side in justice, let him rather vse his countenance to compound the matter then to carry it. If affection lead a man to fauour the less worthy in desert, let him do it without deprauing or disabling the better deseruer. In sutes a man doth nut well vnderstand, it is good to refer them to some friend of trust and iudgment, that may report whether he may deale in them with honor. Sutors are so distasted with delaies and abuses, that plaine dealing in denying to deale in sutes at first, and reporting the successe barely, and in challenging no more thanks then one hath deserued, is growen not only honorable, hut also gratious. In sutes of fauor the first coming ought to take little place, so far forth consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the mater could not otherwise haue been had but by him, aduantage be not taken of the note. To be of thevalue of a suit is simplicity, as wel as to be ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. Secrecy in sutes is a great mean of obtaining, for voycing them to bee in forwardnesse may discourage some kind of sutors, but doeth quicken and awake otehrs. But tyming of the sutes is the principal, tyming I say not onely in respect of the person that should graunt it, but in respect of those which are like to crosse it. Nothing is thought so easie a request to a great person as his letter, and yet if it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his reputation.

Riches are for spending, and spending for honour and good actions. Therefore extraordinary expence must bee limited by the worth of the ocasion, for voluntary vndoing may be as well for a mans country as for the kingdome of heauen, but ordinary expence ought to be limited by a man's estate, and gouerned with such regard as it be within his compasse and not subiect to deceite and abuse of seruants, and ordered to the best shew, that the billes may be lesse than the estimation abroad. It is no basenesse for the greatest to discend and looke into their owne estate. Some forbeare it not vpon negligence alone, but doubting to bring themselues into melancholy in respect they shall find it broken. "But wounds cannot bee cured without searching."

He that cannot looke into his own estate, had need both chose wel those whom he employed, yea and change them often. For newe are more timerous and lesse subtle. In clearing of a mans estate he may as well hurt himselfe in being too suddaine, as in letting it run on too long, for hasty selling is commonly as disaduantagable as interest. He that hath a state to repaire may not dispise smal things: and comonly it is lesse dishonorable to abridge petty charges then to sloupe to pettye gettinges. A man ought warily to begin charges, which once begunne must continue. But in matters that returne not, he may bee more magnificent.

There is a wisedome in this beyond the rules of physicke. A mans own obseruation what hee findes good of, and what he findes hurt of, is the best Physicke to preserve health. But it is a safer conclusion to say, This aureeth not well with me, therefore I will not continue it, then this, I finde no offence of this, therefore I may vse it. For strength of nature in youth passeth ouer many excesses, which are owing a man till his age. Discerne of the comming on of years, and thinke not to doe the same things still. Beware of any suddaine change in any great point of diet, and if necessity inforce it, fit the rest to it. To be free minded and chearefully disposed at houres of meate, and of sleepe, and of exercise, is the best precept of long lasting. If you fly physicke in health altogether, it will hee too strange to your body when you shall need it. If you make it too familiar it wil work no extraordinary effect when sicknes commeth. Despise no new accident in the body but aske opinion of it. In sicknesse respect health principally, and in health action. For those that put their bodyes to endure in health, may in most sicknesses which are not very sharpe, be cured onely with diet and tendring. Physitians are some of them so pleasing and comfortable to the humours of the patient, as they presse not the true cure of the disease: and some other are so regular in proceeding according to art, for the disease, as they respect not sufficiently the condition of the patient. Take out of a middle temper, or if it may not be found in one man, compound two of both sortes, and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty.

of honour and reputation.

The winning of honor is but the reuealing of a mans vertue and worth without disadvantage, for some in their actions doe affect honour and reputation, which sorte of men are commonly much talked of, but inwardly litle admired: and some darken their vertue in the shew of it, so as they be under-valued in opinion. If a man performe that which hath not heen attempted before, or attempted and giuen ouer or hath been atchiued, but not with so good circumstance, hee shall purchase more honor, then by effecting a matter of greater difficulty or venue, wherin he is but a follower. If a man so temper his actions as in some one of them he do content euery faction or combination of people, the Mvsicke will he the fuller. A man is an ill hushand of his honor that entrelh into any action the failing wherin may disgrace him more, then the carrying of it through can honor him. Discreet followers help much to reputation. Envy which is the canker of honor is best extinguished by declaring a mans selfe in his endes, rather to seeke merite than fame, and by attributing a mans successes rather to deuine prouidence and felicity, then to his vertue or policy.

The true Marshaling of the degrees of Soueraigne Honour are these. In the first place are "Conditores," founders of states. In the second place are "Legislatores," Law-giuers, which are also called second founders, or "Perpetui principes," because they gouern by their ordinances after they are gone. In the third place are Liberatores, such as compounde the long miseries of ciuil wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of strangers or tyrants. In the fourth place are "propapatores," or "propugnatores imperii," such as in honorable wars inlarge their territories, or make Noble defence against inuaders. And in the last place are "Patres patræ," which raigne justly, and make the times good wherein they liue. Degrees of honour in subiectes are first "Participes curarum," those upon whom princes do discharge the greatest weight of their affaires, their Right hands (as we call them). The next are "Duces belli," great leaders, such as are Princes Lieutenantes, and do them notable services in the warres. The third are "Gratiosi," fauorites, such as exceed not this scantling to be solace to the Soveraigne, and harmles to the people And the fourth "Negotys pares," such as have great place vnder Princes, and execute their places with sufficiency.

Many have a newe wisedome indeed, a fond opinion: That for a prince to gouerne his estate, or for a great person to govern his proceedings according to the respects of Factions, is the principall part of policy. Whereas contrariwise, the chiefest wisedome is eyther in ordering these things which are generall, and wherin men of several factions do neuertheless agree, or in dealing with correspondence to particular persons one by one. But I say not that the consideration of Factions is to he neglected Meane men must adheare, but great men that haue strength in themselues were better to maintaine themselves indifferent and neutral, yet euen in beginners to adheare so moderately, as hee be a man of the one faction, which is passablest with the other, commonly giveth best way. The lower and weaker faction is the firmer in conjunction. When one of the factions is extinguished, the remaining subdiuideth, which is good for a second. It is commonly seene, that men once placed, take in with the contrary faction to that by which they enter. The traitor in factions lightly goeth away with it, for when matters have stuck long in hallancing, the winning of some one man casteth them, and he getteth al the thanks.

It is generally better to deale by speech then by letter, and by the mediation of a third then by a mans selfe. Letters are good when a man would draw an aunswere by Letter backe againe, or when it may serue for a mans justification afterwards to produce his owne Letter. To deale in person is good when a mans face breedes regard, as commonly with inferiors. In choyce of instrumentes it is better to chuse men of a playner sort that are like to doe that that is committed to them, and to report backe againe faithfully the successe, then those that are cunning to contriue out of other men's busines somewhat to grace themselues, and will help the matter in reporte for satisfactions sake.

It is better to sounde a person with whom one deales a far off, then to fall vpon the point at first, except you mean to surprise him by some short question. It is better dealing with men in appetite then with those which are where they would be. If a man deale with another vpon conditions, the start or first performance is al, which a man cannot reason ably demaund, except either the nature of the thing be such which must go before, or else a man can perswade the other party that he shal stil need him in some, other thing, or els that he be counted the honester man. All practise is to discouer or to worke: men discouer themselues in trust, in passion, at vnwares, and of necessity, when they would haue somewhat done, and cannot finde an apt pretext. If you would work any man, you must eyther know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his endes, and so win him; or his weaknesse or disaduantages, and so awe him, or those that haue interest in him, and so gouerne him. In dealing with cunning persons wee must euer consider their ends to interpret their speeches, and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least looke for.

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.'"

FRANCISCVS BACON, BARO DE VERVLĀ S.TI ALB.NI VIC.MS
SEV NOTORIBVS TITVLIS
SCIENTIARVM LVMEN FACVNDIÆ LEX
SIC SEDERAT:
QVI POSTQVAM OMNIA NATVRALIS SAPIENTIÆ
ET CIVILIS ARCANA EVOLVISSET
NATVRÆ DECRETVM EXPLEVIT
COMPOSITA SOLVANVR.
ANo: DNI: MDCXXVI.
ÆTATS LXVI.
MEM:
THOMAS MEAVTYS
SVPERSTITIS CVLTOR
DEFVNCTI ADMIRATOR
H. P.

"Di danari, di senno, e di fede,
Ce ne manco che non credi."

"A bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroyed can never be supplied," &c.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse

 

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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