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did not trust to any of them, but tied from one to another, helping himself only with that: "Et quae non prosunt singula, multa juvant." Indeed in a set speech in an assembly, it is expected a man should use all his reasons in the case he handleth.but in private persuasions it is always a great error. A fourth case wherein this colour may be reprehended, is in respect of that same "vis unita fortior," according to the tale of the French king, that when the emperor's ambassador had recited his master's style at large, which consisteth of many countries and dominions; the French king willed his chancellor, or other minister, to repeat over France as many times as the other had recited the several dominions; intending it was equivalent with them all, and more compacted and united. There is also appertaining to this colour another point, why breaking of a thing doth help it, not by way of adding a show of magnitude unto it, but a note of excellency and rarity; whereof the forms are, Where shall you find such a concurrence? Great but not complete; for it seems a less work of nature or fortune, to make any thing in his kind greater than ordinary, than to make a strange composition. Yet if it be narrowly considered, this colour will be reprehended or encountered, by imputing to all excellencies in compositions a kind of poverty, or at least a casualty or jeopardy; for from that which is excellent in greatness, somewhat may be taken, or there may be a decay, and yet sufficient left; but from that which hath his price in composition if you take away any thing, or any part do fail, all is disgrace.


Cujut privatio bona, malum; cujus privatio mala, bonum.

The forms to make it conceived, that that was evil which is changed for the better, are, He that is in hell thinks there is no other heaven. "Satis 'luercus," Acorns were good till bread was found, &c. And of the other side, the forms to make it conceived, that that was good which was changed fcr the worse, are, " Bona magis carendo quam frufndo sentimus: Bona a tergo formosissima:" Good things never appear in their full beauty, till they turn their back and be going away, &c.

The reprehension of this colour is, that the good w evil which is removed, may be esteemed good or evil comparatively, and not positively or simply. So that if the privation be good, it follows not the former condition was evil, but less good: for the flower or blossom is a positive good, although the remove of it to give place to the fruit, be a comparative good. So in the tale of jEsop, when the old fainting man in the heat of the day cast down his burden, and called for Death; and when Death came to know his will with him, said, it was for nothing but to help him up with his burden again: it doth not follow, that because death which was the privation of the burden, wae ill, therefore the burden was good. And in this part, the ordinary form of malum necessarium aptly reprehendeth this colour; for "privatio mali necessarii est mala," and yet that

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doth not convert the nature of the necessary evil, but it is evil.

Again, it cometh sometimes to pass, that there is an equality in the change of privation, and as it were a dilemma boni, or a dilemma mali: so that the corruption of the one good, is a generation of the other. Sorti pater equus utrique est: and contrary, the remedy of the one evil is the occasion and commencement of another, as in Scylla and Chary bdis.


Quod bono vicinum, bonum; quod a bono remotum, malum.

Such is the nature of things, that things contrary, and distant in nature and quality, are also severed and disjoined in place: and things like and consenting in quality, are placed, and as it were quartered together; for, partly in regard of the nature to spread, multiply, and affect in similitude; and partly in regard of the nature to break, expel, and alter that which is disagreeable and contrary, most things do either associate, and draw near to themselves the like, or at least assimilate to themselves that which approacheth near them, and do also drive away, chase and exterminate, their contraries. And that is the reason commonly yielded, why the middle region of the air should be coldest, because the sun and stars are either hot by direct beams, or by reflexion. The direct beams heat the upper region, the reflected beams from the earth and seas heat the lower region. That which is in the midst, being farthest distant in place from these two regions of heat, are most distant in nature, that is, coldest; which is that they term cold or hot per antiperistasin, that is, environing by contraries: which was pleasantly taken hold of by him that said, that an honest man, in these days, must needs be more honest than in ages heretofore, propter antiperistasin, because the shutting of him in the midst of contraries, must needs make the honesty stronger and more compact in itself.

The reprehension of this colour is: first, many things of amplitude in their kind do as it were engross to themselves all, and leave that which is next them most destitute: as the shoots or underwood that grow near a great and spread tree, is the most pined and shrubby wood of the field, because the great tree doth deprive and deceive them of sap and nourishment; so he saith well, " divitis servi maxime servi:" and the comparison was pleasant of him, that compared courtiers attendant in the courts of princes without great place or office, to fastingdays, which were next the holy-days, but otherwise were the leanest days in all the week.

Another reprehension is, that things of greatness and predominancy, though they do not extenuate the things adjoining in substance, yet they drown them and obscure them in show and appearance; and therefore the astronomers say, That whereas in all other planets conjunction is the perfectest amity; the sun contrariwise is good by aspect, but evil by conjunction.

A third reprehension is, because evil approacheth to good sometimes for concealment, sometimes for protection; and good to evil for conversion and reformation. So hypocrisy draweth near to religion for covert, and' hiding itself; "ssepe latet vitium proximitate boni:" and sanctuary-men, which were commonly inordinate men and malefactors, were wont to be nearest to priests and prelates, and holy men: for the majesty of good things is such as the confines of them are reverend. On the other side, our Saviour, charged with nearness of publicans and rioters, 6aid, "the physician approacheth the sick, rather than the whole."


Quod quis culpd sud conlraxit, majus malum; quod ab externis imponilur, minus malum.

The reason is, because the sting and remorse of the mind accusing itself doubleth all adversity: contrariwise, the considering and recording inwardly, that a man is clear and free from fault and just imputation, doth attemper outward calamities. For if the evil be in the sense, and in the conscience both, there is a gemination of it; but if evil be in the one, and comfort in the other, it is a kind of compensation: so the poets in tragedies do make the most passionate lamentations, and those that forerun final despair, to be accusing, questioning, and torturing of a man's life.

"Scque unum clamat causamquc caputquo malorum."

And contrariwise, the extremities of worthy persons have been annihilated in the consideration of their own good deserving. Besides, when the evil cometh from without, there is left a kind of evaporation of grief, if it come by human injury, either by indignation, and meditatingof revenge from ourselves, or by expecting or fore-conceiving that Nemesis and retribution will take hold of the authors of our hurt: or if it be by fortune or accident, yet there is left a kind of expostulation against the divine powers;

"Atquc deos atquc astra vocat crudelia inater."

But where the evil is derived from a man's own fault, there all strikes deadly inwards, and suffocateth.

The reprehension of this colour is, first in respect of hope, for reformation of our faults is in nostril potestate; but amendment of our fortune simply is not. Therefore, Demosthenes, in many of his orations, saith thus to the people of Athens: "That which having regard to the time past is the worst point and circumstance of all the rest; that as to the rime to come is the best: what is that? Even this, that by your sloth, irresolution, and misgovernment, your affairs are grown to this declination and decay. For had you used and ordered your means and forces to the best, and done your parts every way to the full, and, notwithstanding, your matters should have gone backward in this manner as they do, there had been no hope left of recovery or reparation; but since it hath been only by your own errors," &c. So Epictetus in his degrees saith, The worst state of man is to accuse external things, better than

that to accuse a man's self, and best of all to accuse neither.

Another reprehension of this colour is, in respect of the well bearing of evils wherewith a man can charge nobody but himself, which maketh them the less.

"Leve fit quod bene fertur onus."

And therefore many natures that are either extremely proud, and will take no fault to themselves, or else very true and cleaving to themselves, when they see the blame of any thing that falls out ill must light upon themselves, have no other shift but to bear it out well, and to make the least of it; for as we see when sometimes a fault is committed, and before it be known who is to blame, much ado is made of it; but after, if it appear to be done by a son, or by a wife, or by a near friend, then it is light made of: so much more when a man must take it upon himself. And therefore it is commonly seen, that women that marry husbands of their own choosing against their friends' consents, if they be never so ill used, yet you seldom see them complain, but set a good face on it.


Quod operd et virlute noslrd par/um est, majus bonum; quod ab alieno beneficio vet ab indulgentii fortunae delatum est, minus bonum.

The reasons are, first, the future hope, because in the favours of others, or the good winds of fortune, we have no state or certainty; in our endeavours or abilities we have. So as when they have purchased us one good fortune, we have them as ready, and better edged, and inured to procure another.

The forms be: You have won this by play, You have not only the water, but you have the receipt, you can make it again if it be lost, &c.

Next, because these properties which we enjoy by the benefit of others, carry with them an obligation, which seemeth a kind of burden; whereas the others, which derive from themselves, are like the freest patents, "absque aliquo inde reddendo;" and if they proceed from fortune or providence, yet they seem to touch us secretly with the reverence of the divine powers, whose favours we taste, and therefore work a kind of religious fear and restraint: whereas in the other kind, that comes to pass which the prophet speaketh, " la:tantur et exultant, immolant plagis suis, et sacrificant retisuo."

Thirdly, because that which cometh unto us without our own virtue, yieldeth not that commendation and reputation; for actions of great felicity may draw wonder, but praise less; as Cicero said to Cirsar, "Qua; miremur, habemus; qua; laudemus. expectamus."

Fourthly, because the purchases of our own industry are joined commonly with labour and strife, which gives an edge and appetite, and makes the fruition of our desires more pleasant. Suavis cibus a venatu.

On the other side, there be four counter colours to this colour, rather than reprehensions, because they be ns large as the colour itself. First, because felicity seemeth to be a character of the favour and love of the divine powers, and accordingly worketh both confidence in ourselves, and respect and authority from others. And this felicity extendeth to many casual things, whereunto the care or virtue of man cannot extend, and therefore seemeth to be a larger good; as when Csesar said to the sailor, "Ctesarem portas et fortunam ejus," if he had said, "et virtutem ejus," it had been small comfort against a tempest, otherwise than if it might seem upon merit to induce fortune.

Next, whatsoever is done by virtue and industry, seems to be done by a kind of habit and art, and therefore open to be imitated and followed; whereas felicity is inimitable: so we generally see, that things of nature seem more excellent than things of art, because they be inimitable: for "quod imitabile est, potentia quadam vulgatum est."

Thirdly, felicity commendeth those things which come without our own labour; for they seem gifts, and the other seem pennyworths: whereupon Plutarch saith elegantly of the acts of Timoleon, who was so fortunate, compared with the acts of Agesilausand Epaminondas; that they were like Homer's verses, they ran so easily and so well. And therefore it is the word we give unto poesy, terming it a happy vein, because facility seemeth ever to come from happiness.

Fourthly, this same prapter spent, vel prseter expectatnm, doth increase the price and pleasure of many things: and this cannot be incident to those things that proceed from our own care and compass.


Gradusprivationis major videtur, quam gradus diminutionis; el rursus gradus inceptionis major videtur, quam gradus incrementi.

It is a position in the mathematics, that there is no proportion between somewhat and nothing, therefore the degree of nullity and quiddity or act, seemeth larger than the degrees of increase and decrease; as to a monoculus it is more to lose one eye than to a man that hath two eyes. So if one have lost divers children, it is more grief to him to lose the last, than all the rest; because he is spes gregis. And therefore Sibylla, when she brought her three books, and had burned two, did double the whole price of both the other, because the burning of that had been gradus privationis, and not diminutionis.

This colour is reprehended first in those things, the use and service whereof resteth in sufficiency, competency, or determinate quantity: as if a man be to pay one hundred pounds upon a penalty, it is more to him to want twelve pence, than after that twelve pence supposed to be wanting to want ten shillings more; so the decay of a man's estate seems to be most touched in the degree, when he first grows behind, more than afterwards, when he proves nothing worth. And hereof the common forms are, "Sera in fundo parsimonia," and, As good never a

whit, as never the better, &c. It is reprehended also in respect of that notion, " Corruptio unius, generatio alterius:" so that gradus privationis is many times less matter, because it gives the cause and motive to some new course. As when Demosthenes reprehended the people for hearkening to the conditions offered by king Philip, being not honourable nor equal, he saith they were but aliments of their sloth and weakness, which if they were taken away, necessity, would teach them stronger resolutions. So Doctor Hector was wont to say to the dames of London, when they complained they were they could not tell how, but yet they could not endure to take any medicine; he would tell them, their way was only to be sick, for then they would be glad to take any medicine.

Thirdly, this colour may be reprehended, in respect that the degree of decrease is more sensitive than the degree of privation; for in the mind of man gradus diminutionis may work a wavering between hope and fear, and so keep the mind in suspense, from settling and accommodating in patience and resolution. Hereof the common forms are, Better eye out than always ache; Make or mar, &c.

For the second branch of this colour, it depends upon the same general reason: hence grew the common place of extolling the beginning of every thing: "dimidium facti qui bene ccepit habet" This made the astrologers so idle as to judge of a man's nature and destiny, by the constellation of the moment of his nativity or conception. This colour is reprehended, because many inceptions are but, as Epicurus termeth them, tentamenta, that is, imperfect offers and essays, which vanish and come to no substance without an iteration; so as in such cases the second degree seems the worthiest, as the bodyhorse in the cart, that draweth more than the forehorse. Hereof the common forms are, The second blow makes the fray, the second word makes the bargain; "Alter malo principium dedit, alter modum abstulit," etc. Another reprehension of this colour is in respect of defutigation, which makes perseverance of greater dignity than inception: for chance or instinct of nature may cause inception; but settled affection, or judgment, maketh the continuance.

Thirdly, This colour is reprehended in such things, which have a natural course and inclination contrary to an inception. So that the inception is continually evacuated and gets no start; but there behoveth "perpetua inceptio;" as in the common form, "Nonprogredi estregredi, Qui non proficit deficit:"' running against the hill; rowing against the stream, &c. For if it be with the stream or with the hill, then the degree of inception is more than all the rest.

Fourthly, This colour is to be understood of " gradus inceptionis a potentiil ad actum, comparatus cum gradu ab actu ad incrementum." For otherwise " major videtur gradus ab impotentiu ad potentiam, quam a potentia ad actum."




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 j 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 mi/ chamber at Grai/'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,




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,



What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth; nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men's thoughts; that doth bring lies in favour: but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later schools of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets; nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open day-light, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps '•ome to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like; but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things; full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy, vinum daemonum; because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge it


self, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason; and his sabbath work ever since is the illumination of his Spirit. First he breathed light upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light into the face of man; and still he brealhcth and inspireth light into the face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: "It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth, a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene; and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below:" so always, that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

To pass from theological and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honour of man's nature; and that mixture of falsehood is like allay in coin of gold and silver; which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montagne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such

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