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did not trust to any of them, but fled from one to an doth not convert the nature of the necessary evil, other, helping himself only with that: "Et quæ non but it is evil. prosunt singula, multa juvant.” Indeed in a set Again, it cometh sometimes to pass, that there is speech in an assembly, it is expected a man should an equality in the change of privation, and as it use all his reasons in the case he handleth, but in pri- were a dilemma boni, or a dilemma mali : so that vate persuasions it is always a great error. A fourth the corruption of the one good, is a generation of case wherein this colour may be reprehended, is in re the other. Sorti pater equus utrique est: and conspect of that same “ vis unita fortior,” according to trary, the remedy of the one evil is the occasion the tale of the French king, that when the emperor's and commencement of another, as in Scylla and ambassador had recited his master's style at large, Charybdis. which consisteth of many countries and dominions; the French king willed his chancellor, or other

VII. minister, to repeat over France as many times as the other had recited the several dominions ; intending Quod bono vicinum, bonum ; quod à bono remotum,

malum. it was equivalent with them all, and more compacted and united. There is also appertaining to this Such is the nature of things, that things contrary, colour another point, why breaking of a thing doth and distant in nature and quality, are also severed help it, not by way of adding a show of magnitude and disjoined in place : and things like and conunto it, but a note of excellency and rarity ; where senting in quality, are placed, and as it were quarof the forms are, Where shall you find such a con tered together; for, partly in regard of the nature currence ? Great but not complete ; for it seems a to spread, multiply, and affect in similitude; and less work of nature or fortune, to make any thing partly in regard of the nature to break, expel, and in his kind greater than ordinary, than to make a alter that which is disagreeable and contrary, most strange composition. Yet if it be narrowly con- things do either associate, and draw near to them. sidered, this colour will be reprehended or encoun-selves the like, or at least assimilate to themselves tered, by imputing to all excellencies in compositions that which approacheth near them, and do also a kind of poverty, or at least a casualty or jeo drive away, chase and exterminate, their contraries. pardy; for from that which is excellent in great. And that is the reason commonly yielded, why the ness, somewhat may be taken, or there may be a middle region of the air should be coldest, because decay, and yet sufficient left; but from that which the sun and stars are either hot by direct beams, or hath his price in composition if you take away any by reflexion. The direct beams heat the upper rething, or any part do fail, all is disgrace.

gion, the reflected beams from the earth and seas

heat the lower region. That which is in the midst, VI.

being farthest distant in place from these two re

gions of heat, are most distant in nature, that is, Cujus privatio bona, malum ; cujus privatio mala, / coldest; which is that they term cold or hot per bonum.

antiperistasin, that is, environing by contraries : The forms to make it conceived, that that was which was pleasantly taken hold of by him that evil which is changed for the better, are, He that is said, that an honest man, in these days, must needs in hell thinks there is no other heaven. " Satis be more honest than in ages heretofore, propter anquercus,” Acorns were good till bread was found, tiperistasin, because the shutting of him in the midst &c. And of the other side, the forms to make it of contraries, must needs make the honesty stronger conceived, that that was good which was changed and more compact'in itself. for the worse, are, “ Bona magis carendo quam fru The reprehension of this colour is: first, many endo sentimus : Bona à tergo formosissima :" Good things of amplitude in their kind do as it were enthings never appear in their full beauty, till they gross to themselves all, and leave that which is turn their back and be going away, &c.

next them most destitute : as the shoots or underThe reprehension of this colour is, that the good wood that grow near a great and spread tree, is the or evil which is remo

moved, may be esteemed good or most pined and shrubby wood of the field, because evil comparatively, and not positively or simply. the great tree doth deprive and deceive them of sap So that if the privation be good, it follows not the and nourishment; so he saith well, “ divitis servi former condition was evil, but less good : for the maxime servi :” and the comparison was pleasant of flower or blossom is a positive good, although the him, that compared courtiers attendant in the courts remove of it to give place to the fruit, be a compara- of princes without great place or office, to fastingtive good. So in the tale of Æsop, when the old days, which were next the holy-days, but otherwise fainting man in the heat of the day cast down his were the leanest days in all the week. burden, and called for Death ; and when Death came Another reprehension is, that things of greatness to know his will with him, said, it was for nothing and predominancy, though they do not extenuate the but to help him up with his burden again : it doth things adjoining in substance, yet they drown them not follow, that because death which was the pri- and obscure them in show and appearance; and vation of the burden, was ill, therefore the burden therefore the astronomers say, That whereas in all was good. And in this part, the ordinary form of other planets conjunction is the perfectest amity ; malum necessarium aptly reprehendeth this colour; the sun contrariwise is good by aspect, but evil by for “privatio mali necessarii est mala," and yet that conjunction.


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A third reprehension is, because evil approacheth that to accuse a man's self, and best of all to accuse to good sometimes for concealment, sometiines for neither. protection ; and good to evil for conversion and re Another reprehension of this colour is, in respect of formation. So hypocrisy draweth near to religion the well bearing of evils wherewith a man can charge for covert, and hiding itself; “ sæpe latet vitium nobody but himself, which maketh them the less. proximitate boni:" and sanctuary-men, which were

“Leve fit quod bene fertur onus." commonly inordinate men and malefactors, were wont to be nearest to priests and prelates, and holy And therefore many natures that are either exmen ; for the majesty of good things is such as the tremely proud, and will take no fault to themselves, confines of them are reverend. On the other side, or else very true and cleaving to themselves, when our Saviour, charged with nearness of publicans they see the blame of any thing that falls out ill and rioters, said, “the physician approacheth the must light upon themselves, have no other shift but sick, rather than the whole."

to bear it out well, and to make the least of it; for

as we see when sometimes a fault is committed, and VIII.

before it be known who is to blame, much ado is

made of it; but after, if it appear to be done by a Quod quis culpâ suâ contraxit, majus malum : quod son, or by a wife, or by a near friend, then it is light ab externis imponitur, minus malum.

made of: so much more when a man must take it The reason is, because the sting and remorse of upon himself. And therefore it is commonly seen, the mind accusing itself doubleth all adversity: con- that women that marry husbands of their own choostrariwise, the considering and recording inwardly, ing against their friends' consents, if they be never that a man is clear and free from fault and just im- so ill used, yet you seldom see them complain, but set putation, doth attemper outward calamities. For if a good face on it. the evil be in the sense, and in the conscience both, there is a gemination of it; but if evil be in the one,

IX. and comfort in the other, it is a kind of compensation : Quod operâ et virtute nostrá partum est, majus so the poets in tr dies do make the most passionate lamentations, and those that forerun final despair,

bonum ; quod ab alieno beneficio vel ab indulgentia to be accusing, questioning, and torturing of a man's

fortune delatum est, minus bonum. life.

The reasons are, first, the future hope, because

in the favours of others, or the good winds of fortune, “Seque unum clamat causamque caputque malorum.”

we have no state or certainty ; in our endeavours or And contrariwise, the extremities of worthy per. abilities we have. So as when they have purchased sons have been annihilated in the consideration of us one good fortune, we have them as ready, and their own good deserving. Besides, when the evil better edged, and inured to procure another. cometh from without, there is left a kind of evapo

po-l. The forms be : You have won this by play, You ration of grief, if it come by human injury, either by have not only the water, but you have the receipt, indignation, and meditating of revenge from ourselves, you can make it again if it be lost, &c. or by expecting or fore-conceiving that Nemesis and Next, because these properties which we enjoy retribution will take hold of the authors of our hurt: by the benefit of others, carry with them an obligaor if it be by fortune or accident, yet there is left a tion, which seemeth a kind of burden; whereas kind of expostulation against the divine powers ; the others, which derive from themselves, are like

the freest patents, “absque aliquo inde reddendo;" "Atque deos atque astra vocat crudelia mater.”

and if they proceed from fortune or providence, yet But where the evil is derived from a man's own they seem to touch us secretly with the reverence of fault, there all strikes deadly inwards, and suffocateth. the divine powers, whose favours we taste, and there

The reprehension of this colour is, first in respect fore work a kind of religious fear and restraint : of hope, for reformation of our faults is in nostrâ po whereas in the other kind, that comes to pass

which testate ; but amendment of our fortune simply is not. the prophet speaketh, “ lætantur et exultant, immoTherefore, Demosthenes, in many of his orations, lant plagis suis, et sacrificant reti suo.” saith thus to the people of Athens: “That which Thirdly, because that which cometh unto us withhaving regard to the time past is the worst point out our own virtue, yieldeth not that commendation and circumstance of all the rest; that as to the and reputation; for actions of great felicity may time to come is the best: what is that ? Even this, draw wonder, but praise less; as Cicero said to that by your sloth, irresolution, and misgovernment, Cæsar, Quæ miremur, habemus; quæ landemus, your affairs are grown to this declination and decay. expectamus." For had you used and ordered your means and Fourthly, because the purchases of our own inforces to the best, and done your parts every way to dustry are joined commonly with labour and strife, the full, and, notwithstanding, your matters should which gives an edge and appetite, and makes the have gone backward in this manner as they do, there fruition of our desires more pleasant. Suavis cibus had been no hope left of recovery or reparation ; à venatu. but since it hath been only by your own errors,” &c. On the other side, there be four counter colours So Epictetus in his degrees saith, The worst state to this colour, rather than reprehensions, because of man is to accuse external things, better than they be as large as the colour itself. First, because

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felicity seemeth to be a character of the favour and I whit, as never the better, &c. It is reprehended love of the divine powers, and accordingly worketh also in respect of that notion, “ Corruptio unius, both confidence in ourselves, and respect and autho-generatio alterius :" so that gradus privationis is rity from others. And this felicity extendeth to many times less matter, because it gives the cause many casual things, whereunto the care or virtue of and motive to some new course. As when Demosman cannot extend, and therefore seemeth to be a thenes reprehended the people for hearkening to larger good ; as when Cæsar said to the sailor, the conditions offered by king Philip, being not “Cæsarem portas et fortunam ejus,” if he had said, honourable nor equal, he saith they were but ali"et virtutem ejus,” it had been small comfortments of their sloth and weakness, which if they against a tempest, otherwise than if it might seem were taken away, necessity would teach them upon merit to induce fortune.

stronger resolutions. So Doctor Hector was wont Next, whatsoever is done by virtue and industry, to say to the dames of London, when they comseems to be done by a kind of habit and art, and plained they were they could not tell how, but yet therefore open to be imitated and followed; whereas they could not endure to take any medicine ; felicity is inimitable: so we generally see, that things would tell them, their way was only to be sick, for of nature seem more excellent than things of art, then they would be glad to take any medicine. because they be inimitable: for “ quod imitabile est, Thirdly, this colour may be reprehended, in respect potentiâ quâdam vulgatum est.”

that the degree of decrease is more sensitive than Thirdly, felicity commendeth those things which the degree of privation ; for in the mind of man come without our own labour ; for they seem gifts, gradus diminutionis may work a wavering between and the other seem pennyworths : whereupon Plu- hope and fear, and so keep the mind in suspense, tarch saith elegantly of the acts of Timoleon, who from settling and accommodating in patience and was so fortunate, compared with the acts of Agesi- resolution. Hereof the common forms are, Better laus and Epaminondas; that they were like Homer's eye out than always ache ; Make or mar, &c. verses, they ran so easily and so well. And there For the second branch of this colour, it depends fore it is the word we give unto poesy, terming it a upon the same general reason : hence grew the happy vein, because facility seemeth ever to come common place of extolling the beginning of every from happiness.

thing : “ dimidium facti qui bene cæpit habet." Fourthly, this same præter spem, vel præter ex This made the astrologers so idle as to judge of a pectatum, doth increase the price and pleasure of man's nature and destiny, by the constellation of the many things : and this cannot be incident to those moment of his nativity or conception. This colour things that proceed from our own care and compass. is reprehended, because many inceptions are but, as

Epicurus termeth them, tentamenta, that is, imperX.

fect offers and essays, which vanish and come to no

substance without an iteration ; so as in such cases Gradus privationis major videtur, quam gradus dimi- the second degree seems the worthiest, as the body

nutionis ; et rursus gradus inceptionis major vide- horse in the cart, that draweth more than the foretur, quam gradus incrementi.

horse. Hereof the common forms are, The second It is a position in the mathematics, that there is blow makes the fray, the second word makes the no proportion between somewhat and nothing, there- bargain ; “ Alter malo principium dedit, alter mofore the degree of nullity and quiddity or act, seem dum abstulit,” etc. Another reprehension of this eth larger than the degrees of increase and decrease; colour is in respect of defatigation, which makes as to a monoculus it is more to lose one eye than to perseverance of greater dignity than inception : for a man that hath two eyes. So if one have lost chance or instinct of nature may cause inception ; divers children, it is more grief to him to lose the but settled affection, or judgment, maketh the conlast, than all the rest ; because he is spes gregis. tinuance. And therefore Sibylla, when she brought her three Thirdly, This colour is reprehended in such things, books, and had burned two, did double the whole which have a natural course and inclination contrary price of both the other, because the burning of that to an inception. So that the inception is continually had been gradus privationis, and not diminutionis. evacuated and gets no start; but there behoveth

This colour is reprehended first in those things, perpetua inceptio ;” as in the common form, the use and service whereof resteth in sufficiency, “ Non progredi est regredi, Qui non proficit deficit:" competency, or determinate quantity: as if a man running against the hill; rowing against the stream, be to pay one hundred pounds upon a penalty, it is &c. For if it be with the stream or with the hill, more to him to want twelve pence, than after that then the degree of inception is more than all the twelve pence supposed to be wanting to want ten rest. shillings more; so the decay of a man's estate seems Fourthly, This colour is to be understood of “grato be most touched in the degree, when he first dus inceptionis a potentiâ ad actum, comparatus grows behind, more than afterwards, when he proves cum gradu ab actu ad incrementum.” For othernothing worth. And hereof the common forms are, wise “ major videtur gradus ab impotentiâ ad po“ Sera in fundo parsimonia,” and, As good never a tentiam, quam à potentiâ ad actum.”




LOVING AND BELOVED BROTHER, I do now like some that have an orchard ill neighboured, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to prevent stealing. These fragments of my conceits were going to print; to labour the stay of them had been troublesome, and subject to interpretation; to let them pass had been to adventure the wrong they might receive by untrue copies, or by some garnishment which it might please any that should set them forth to bestow upon them. Therefore I held it best discretion to publish them myself, as they passed long ago from my pen, without any farther disgrace than the weakness of the author. And as I did ever hold, there might be as great a vanity in retiring and withdrawing men's conceits, except they be of some nature, from the world, as in obtruding them ; so in these particulars I have played myself the inquisitor, and find nothing to my understanding in them contrary or infectious to the state of religion or manners, but rather, as I suppose, medicinable. Only I disliked now to put them out, because they will be like the late new half-pence, which though the silver were good, yet the pieces were small. But since they would not stay with their master, but would needs travel abroad, I have preferred them to you that are next myself; dedicating them, such as they are, to our love, in the depth whereof, I assure you, I sometimes wish your infirmities translated upon myself, that her majesty might have the service of so active and able a mind; and I might be with excuse confined to these contemplations and studies, for which I am fittest: so commend I you to the preservation of the divine Majesty.

Your entire loving Brother, From my chamber at Gray's-Inn,

FRAN. BACON. this 30th of January, 1597.



My last Essays I dedicated to my dear brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Looking amongst my papers this vacation, I found others of the same nature: which if I myself shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the world will not, by the often printing of the former. Missing my brother, I found you next; in respect of bond both of near alliance, and of strait friendship and society, and particularly of communication in studies : wherein I must acknowledge myself beholden to you. For as my business found rest in my contemplations, so my contemplations ever found rest in your loving conference and judgment. So wishing you all good, I remain 1612.

Your loving brother and friend,




EXCELLENT LORD, Solomon says, “A good name is as a precious ointment;" and I assure myself such will your Grace's name be with posterity. For your fortune and merit both have been eminent: and you have planted things that are like to last. I do now publish my Essays; which of all my other works have been most current: for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms. I have enlarged them both in number and weight; so that they are indeed a new work. I thought it therefore agreeable to my affection and obligation to your Grace, to prefix your name before them both in English and in Latin : for I do conceive, that the Latin volume of them, being in the universal language, may last as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated to the king : my History of Henry the Seventh, which I have now also translated into Latin, and my portions of Natural History, to the prince: and these I dedicate to your Grace; being of the best fruits, that by the good increase which God gives to my pen and labours I could yield. God lead your Grace by the hand. 1625.

Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant,


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What is truth ? said jesting Pilate ; and would self, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that love-making, or wooing of it; the knowledge of delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovein acting. And though the sects of philosophers of reign good of human nature. The first creature of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discours- God, in the works of the days, was the light of the ing wits, which are of the same veins, though there sense; the last was the light of reason ; and his be not so much blood in them as was in those of sabbath work ever since is the illumination of his the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and Spirit. First he breathed light upon the face of labour which men take in finding out of truth; nor the matter or chaos; then he breathed light into the again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men's face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth thoughts ; that doth bring lies in favour: but a na- light into the face of his chosen. The poet that tural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the later schools of the Grecians examineth the mat- the rest, saith yet excellently well : “ It is a pleater, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, sure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed that men should love lies; where neither they make upon the sea : a pleasure to stand in the window of for pleasure, as with poets; nor for advantage, as a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures with the merchant; but for the lie's sake. But I thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the cannot tell : this same truth is a naked and open standing upon the vantage ground of truth, a hill day-light, that doth not show the masks, and mum not to be commanded, and where the air is always meries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately clear and serene; and to see the errors, and wanand daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps derings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below:" come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by so always, that this prospect be with pity, and not day ; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond with swelling or pride. Certainly it is heaven upor carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. on earth, to have a man's mind move in charity, A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of any man doubt, that if there were taken out of truth. men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false To pass from theological and philosophical truth, valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like; to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowbut it would leave the minds of a number of men ledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear poor shrunken things; full of melancholy and in- and round dealing is the honour of man's nature; disposition, and unpleasing to themselves ? One of and that mixture of falsehood is like allay in coin the fathers, in great severity, called poesy, vinum of gold and silver; which may make the metal work dæmonum ; because it filleth the imagination, and the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the There is no vice that doth so cover a man with hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever shame, as to be found false and perfidious. And these things are thus in men's depraved judgments therefore Montagne saith prettily, when he inquired and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge it- the reason, why the word of the lie should be such

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