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When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything. Sunnet xcviii.
Still constant is a wondrous excellence.

Sonnet cv.

And beauty, making beautiful old rhyme. Sonnet cvi.

My nature is subdu'd To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. Sonnet cxi. Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments : love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds.

Sonnet cxri. 'T is better to be vile than vile esteem'd, When not to be receives reproach of being; And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd, Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing. Sonnet cxxi. No, I am that I am, and they that level At my abuses reckon

their own.

Ibid. That full star that ushers in the even.

Sonnet cxxxii. So on the tip of his subduing tongue All kinds of arguments and questions deep, All replication prompt, and reason strong, For his advantage still did wake and sleep. To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep, He had the dialect and different skill, Catching all passion in his craft of will.

A Lover's Complaint. Line 120. O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies In the small orb of one particular tear. Ibid. Line 288. Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.

The Passionate Pilgrim. iii. Crabbed age and youth Cannot live together.

Ibid. viii. Have you not heard it said full oft, A woman's nay doth stand for naught ?

Ibid. rir. Cursed be he that moves my bones. Shakespeare's Epitaph.

FRANCIS BACON. 1561-1626.

(Works : Spedding and Ellis).

I hold every man a debtor to his profession; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavour themselves by way of amends to be a help and ornament thereunto.

Maxims of the Law. Preface.

Come home to men's business and bosoms.

Dedication to the Essays, Edition 1625.

No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.

Of Truth. Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark ; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.

Of Death.

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.

Of Rerenge.

It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that “The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.”

Of Adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, “ It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god."

bid. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.


Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. Ibid.

Virtue is like precious odours, — most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed. 1

Of Adversity. He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune ; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.

Of Marriage and Single Life. Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.

Ibid. Men in great place are thrice servants, servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business.

Of Great Place. Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up


prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled. Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still he was never a whit abashed, but said, “If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill."

Of Boldness. The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.3

Of Goodness. The remedy is worse than the disease. 4

Of Seditions.

1 As aromatic plants bestow

No spicy fragrance while they grow ;
But crushed or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around.

GOLDSMITH: The Captivity, act i.
The good are better made by ill,
As odours crushed are sweeter still.

ROGERS : Jacqueline, stunza 3. 2 BURTON (quoted): Anatomy of Melancholy, part iii. sect. 2, memb. 5, subsect. 5.

3 Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes ;

Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.

POPE : Essay on Man, ep. i. line 125. 4 There are some remedies worse than the disease. — Publius SYRUS : Maxim 301.


I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.

Of Atheism. A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

Ibid. Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education ; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.

Of Travel. Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times, and which have much veneration but no

Of Empire. In things that a man would not be seen in himself, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name of the world; as to say, “The world says," or “ There is a speech abroad."

Of Cunning. There is a cunning which we in England call “the turning of the cat in the pan;" which is, when that which a man says to another, he lays it as if another had said it to him.

Ibid. It is a good point of cunning for a man to shape the answer he would have in his own words and propositions, for it makes the other party stick the less.

Ibid. It hath been an opinion that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are ; but howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between man and man.

Of Seeming Wise.

1 Who are a little wise the best fools be. DONNE : Triple Fool.

A little skill in antiquity inclines a man to Popery ; but depth in that study brings him about again to our religion. – FULLER : The Holy State. The True Church Antiquary.

A little learning is a dangerous thing. – POPE : Essay on Criticism, part ii. line 15.

2 Kings are like stars : they rise and set ; they have
The worship of the world, but no repose.

SHELLEY : Hellas.


There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man's own observation, what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health.

Of Regimen of Health. Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.

Of Discourse. Men's thoughts are much according to their inclination,' their discourse and speeches according to their learning and infused opinions. Of Custom and Education.

Chiefly the mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands.

Of Fortune. If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible.

Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business.

Of Youth and Age. Virtue is like a rich stone, - best plain set. Of Beauty. God Almighty first planted a garden. Of Gardens.

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.



i Of similar meaning, “ Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.” See Shakespeare, page 90.

Every man is the architect of his own fortune. – PSEUDO-SALLUST: Epist. de Rep. Ordin. ü. 1.

His own character is the arbiter of every one's fortune. – PUBLIUS SYRUS: Maxim 283.

8 Fortune is painted blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to signify to you that Fortune is blind. SHAKESPEARE : Henry V. act iii. sc. 6. 4 God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.

COWLEY : The Garden, Essay v. God made the country, and man made the town.

COWPER : The T'ask, book i. line 749. Divina natura dedit agros, ars humana ædificavit urbes (Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities).— Varro: De Re Rustica, ii. 1.

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