Francis Bacon
The Essays

by

Francis Bacon

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The Essays Page 01

Francis Bacon

THE ESSAYS

OR COUNSELS,

CIVIL AND MORAL,

OF FRANCIS Ld. VERULAM

VISCOUNT ST. ALBANS

THE ESSAYS

Of Truth
Of Death
Of Unity in Religion
Of Revenge
Of Adversity
Of Simulation and Dissimulation
Of Parents and Children
Of Marriage and Single Life
Of Envy
Of Love
Of Great Place
Of Boldness
Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature
Of Nobility
Of Seditions and Troubles
Of Atheism
Of Superstition
Of Travel
Of Empire
Of Counsel
Of Delays
Of Cunning
Of Wisdom for a Man's Self
Of Innovations
Of Dispatch
Of Seeming Wise
Of Friendship
Of Expense
Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates
Of Regiment of Health
Of Suspicion
Of Discourse
Of Plantations
Of Riches
Of Prophecies
Of Ambition
Of Masques and Triumphs
Of Nature in Men
Of Custom and Education
Of Fortune
Of Usury
Of Youth and Age
Of Beauty
Of Deformity
Of Building
Of Gardens
Of Negotiating
Of Followers and Friends
Of Suitors
Of Studies
Of Faction
Of Ceremonies and Respects
Of Praise
Of Vain-glory
Of Honor and Reputation
Of Judicature
Of Anger
Of Vicissitude of Things
Of Fame

TO

THE RIGHT HONORABLE

MY VERY GOOD LORD

THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM

HIS GRACE, LORD

HIGH ADMIRAL OF ENGLAND

EXCELLENT LORD:

SALOMON saies; A good Name is as a precious oyntment; And I assure my selfe, such wil your Graces Name bee, with Posteritie. For your Fortune, and Merit both, have been Eminent. And you have planted Things, that are like to last. I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all my other workes, have beene most Currant: For that, as it seemes, they come home, to Mens Businesse, and Bosomes. I have enlarged them, both in Number, and Weight; So that they are indeed a New Worke. I thought it therefore agreeable, to my Affection, and Obligation to your Grace, to prefix your Name before them, both in English, and in Latine. For I doe conceive, that the Latine Volume of them, (being in the Universall Language) may last, as long as Bookes last. My Instauration, I dedicated to the King: My Historie of Henry the Seventh, (which I have now also translated into Latine) and my Portions of Naturall History, to the Prince: And these I dedicate to your Grace; Being of the best Fruits, that by the good Encrease, which God gives to my Pen and Labours, I could yeeld. God leade your Grace by the Hand. Your Graces most Obliged and faithfull Servant,

FR. ST. ALBAN

Of Truth

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 dis- coursing 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 labor, 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 favor; but a natural, though corrupt love, of the lie itself. One of the later school 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 advan- tage, 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 come 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 fireth the imagina- tion; 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.

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Francis Bacon

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