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[LORD BACON. 1561-1626.] game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY. together, listening unto the airs and
accords of the harp ; the sound whereof THE virtue of prosperity is temperance;
no sooner ceased, or was drowned by the virtue of adversity is fortitude. Pros- some louder noise, but every beast reperity is the blessing of the Old Testa- turned to his own nature. Wherein is ment; adversity is the blessing of the aptly described the nature and condition New, which carrieth the greater benedic- of men, who are full of savage and unretion and the clearer revelation of God's claimed desires of profit, of lust, of favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, revenge : which, as long as they give ear if you listen to David's harp, you shalí to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly hear as many hearselike airs as carols;
touched with eloquence and persuasion
It had been hard for him that spake pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of it, to have put more truth and untruth the eye. Certainly, virtue is like precious together few words, than in that odours, most fragrant where they are
“Whosoever is delighted in incensed or crushed : for prosperity doth solitude, is either a wild beast or a best discover vice, but adversity doth god;" for it is most true, that a natural best discover virtue.
and secret hatred and aversion towards society, in any man, hath somewhat of
the savage beast; but it is most untrue, GOVERNMENT.
that it should have any character at all
of the divine nature, except it proceed, IN Orpheus's theatre, all beasts and not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out birds assembled ; and, forgetting their of a love and desire to sequester a man's several appetites, some of prey, some of self for a higher conversation : such as is
found to have been falsely and feignedly faithful counsel, which a man receiveth in some of the heathens--as Epimenides, from his friend; but before you come to the Candian ; Numa, the Roman; Em- that, certain it is, that whosoever hath pedocles, the Sicilian ; and Apollonius, his mind fraught with many thoughts, his of Tyana ; and truly, and really, in wits and understanding do clarify and divers of the ancient hermits and holy break up, in the communicating and disfathers of the church. But little do men coursing with another: he tosseth his perceive what solitude is, and how far it thoughts more easily—he marshalleth extendeth ; for a crowd is not company, them more orderly-he seeth how they and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and look when they are turned into words talk but a tinkling cymbal where there is finally, he waxeth wiser than himself ; no love. The Latin adage meeteth with and that more by an hour's discourse it a little: 'Magna civitas, magna soli- than by a day's meditation. It was well tudo;' because in a great town friends said by Themistocles to the king of are scattered, so that there is not that Persia, “That speech was like cloth of fellowship, for the most part, which is Arras, opened and put abroad”- whereby in less neighbourhoods; but we may go the imagery doth appear in figure, whereas farther, and affirm most truly, that it in thoughts they lie but as in packs. is a mere and miserable solitude to want Neither is this second fruit of friendship, true friends, without which the world is in opening the understanding, restrained but a wilderness; and, even in this scene only to such friends as are able to give a also of solitude, whosoever, in the frame man counsel (they indeed are best), but of his nature and affections, is unfit for even without that a man learneth of him. friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and self, and bringeth his own thoughts to not from humanity.
light, and whetteth his wits as against a This communicating of a man's self stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, to his friend, works two contrary effects, a man were better relate himself to for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs a statue or picture, than to suffer his in halves ; for there is no man that im- thoughts to pass in smother. parteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth Add now, to make this second fruit of the more, and no man that imparteth his friendship complete, that other point griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the which lieth more open, and falleth within less. So that it is, in truth, of operation vulgar observation – which is faithful upon a man's mind of like virtue as the counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith alchymists use to attribute to their stone well, in one of his enigmas, “ Dry light for man's body, that it worketh all con- is ever the best ;” and certain it is, that trary effects, but still to the good and the light that a man receiveth by counsel benefit of nature ; but yet, without pray- from another, is drier and purer than ing in aid of alchymists, there is a mani. that which cometh from his own underfest image of this in the ordinary course standing and judgment, which is ever of nature ; for, in bodies, union strength-infused and drenched in his affections and eneth and cherisheth any natural action, customs. So as there is as much differand, on the other side, weakeneth and ence between the counsel that a friend dulleth any violent impression and even giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as so is it of minds.
there is between the counsel of a friend The second fruit of friendship is health- and of a flatterer; for there is no such ful and sovereign for the understanding, flatterer as is a man's self, and there is no as the first is for the affections; for friend such remedy against flattery of a man's ship maketh indeed a fair day in the self as the liberty of a friend. Counsel affections from storm and tempests, but it is of two sorts ; the one concerning manmaketh daylight in the understanding, ners, the other concerning business : for out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. the first, the best preservative to keep the Neither is this to be understood only of mind in health is the faithful admonition
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of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a strict account, is a medicine sometimes too piercing and corrosive; reading good books of morality is a little flat and dead; observing our faults in others is sometimes improper for our case; but the best receipt (best, I say, to work, and best to take) is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit, for want of a friend to tell them of them, to the great damage both of their fame and fortune: for, as St. James saith, they are as men "that look sometimes into a glass, and presently forget their own shape and favour:" as for business, a man may think, if he will, that two eyes see no more than one; or, that a gamester seeth always more than a looker-on; or, that a man in anger is as wise as he that hath said over the four-and-twenty letters; or, that a musket may be shot off as well upon the arm as upon a rest; and such other fond and high imaginations, to think himself all in all: but when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which setteth business straight; and if any man think that he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one business of one man, and in another business of another man; it is as well (that is to say, better, perhaps, than if he asked none at all), but he runneth two dangers; one, that he shall not be faithfully counselled-for it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed and crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth it; the other, that he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe (though with good meaning), and mixed partly of mischief and partly of remedy-even as if you would call a physician, that is thought good for the cure of the disease you complain of, but is unacquainted with your body-and therefore, may put you in a way for present cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind, and so cure the disease, and kill the patient: but a friend, that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate, will beware, by furthering any
present business, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience-and, therefore, rest not upon scattered counsels, for they will rather distract and mislead, than settle and direct.
After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in the affections, and support of the judgment), followeth the last fruit, which is, like the pomegranate, full of many kernels-I mean, aid and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. Here, the best way to represent to life the manifold use of friendship, is to cast and see how many things there are which a man cannot do himself; and then it will appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients, to say "that a friend is another himself; for that a friend is far more than himself." Men have their time, and die many times in desire of some things which they principally take to heart; the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. If a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure that the care of those things will continue after him; so that a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, and that body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him and his deputy; for he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there which a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them; a man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg; and a number of the like: but all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So, again, a man's person hath many proper relations which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enumerate these things were endless: I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
“ Abeunt studia in mores ;” nay, STUDIES.
there is no stond or impediment in the STUDIES serve for delight, for orna- wit, but may be wrought out by fit ment, and for ability. Their chief use studies: like as diseases of the body may for delight is in privateness and retiring; have appropriate exercises; bowling is for ornament, is in discourse; and for good for the stone and reins, shooting for ability, is in the judgment and disposition the lungs and breast, gentle walking for of business; for expert men can execute, the stomach, riding for the head and the and perhaps judge of particulars, one by like; so if a man's wit be wandering, let one; but the general counsels, and the him study the mathematics; for in demon. plots and marshalling of affairs, come strations, if his wit be called away never best from those that are learned. To so little, he must begin again; if his wit spend too much time in studies, is sloth; be not apt to distinguish or find differ. to use them too much for ornament, is ences, let him study the schoolmen, for affectation; to make judgment wholly by they are “Cymini sectores;” if he be their rules, is the humour of a scholar'; not apt to beat over matters, and to call they perfect nature, and are perfected by up one thing to prove and illustrate experience-for natural abilities are like another, let him study the lawyers' cases: natural plants, that need pruning by so every defect of the mind may have a study; and studies themselves do give special receipt. forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire
OF GREAT PLACE. them, and wise men use them ; for they teach not their own use; but that is a Men in great place are thrice servants: wisdom without them, and above them, servants of the sovereign or state ; ser. won by observation. Read not to con- vants of fame; and servants of business. tradict and confute, nor to believe and So they have no freedom, neither in take for granted, nor to find talk and dis- their persons; nor in their actions; nor course, but to weigh and consider. Some in their times. It is a strange desire to books are to be tasted, others to be swal- seek power, and to lose liberty ; or to lowed, and some few to be chewed and seek power over others, and to lose power digested: that is, some books are to be over a man's self. The rising unto place read only in parts; others to be read, but is laborious; and by pains men come to not curiously; and some few to be read greater pains; and it is sometimes base: wholly, and with diligence and attention. and by indignities, men come to dignities. Some books also may be read by, deputy, The standing is slippery, and the regress and extracts made of them by others; is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, but that would be only in the less im- which is a melancholy thing : Cum non portant arguments, and the meaner sort sis, qui fueris, non esse, cur velis vivere ? of books: else distilled books are, like [“ Since you are no longer what you were, common distilled waters, flashy things. here is no reason why you should desire Reading maketh a full man, conference a to live as a nonentity.”] Nay, retire men ready man, and writing an exact man; cannot when they would ; neither will and, therefore, if a man write little, he they when it were reason : but are impahad need have a great memory; if he tient of privateness, even in age and sick. confer little, he had need have a present ness, which require the shadow : like old wit; and if he read little, he had need townsmen that will be still sitting at their have much cunning, to seem to know street door, though thereby they offer age that he doth not. Histories make men
Certainly, great persons had wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, need to borrow other men's opinions to subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, think themselves happy; for if they judge grave; logic and rhetoric, able to con- | by their own feeling, they cannot find it ;
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but if they think with themselves what other men think of them, and that other men would fain be as they are, then they are happy, as it were by report, when perhaps they find the contrary within. For they are the first that find their own griefs; though they be the last that find their own faults. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring. For good thoughts (though God accept them), yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act, and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and good works is the end of man's motion'; and conscience of the same is the accomplishment of man's rest. Neglect not also the examples of those that have carried themselves ill in the same place; not to set off thyself by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform therefore, without bravery, or scandal of former times and persons; but yet, set it down to thyself as well to create good precedents, as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerate, but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancient time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may know beforehand what they may expect; but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction. And rather assume thy right in silence, and de facto, than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places, and think it more honour to direct in chief, than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advises touching the execution of thy place, and do not drive away such as bring thee information, as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four : delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays, give easy access, keep times appointed, go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption, do not only bind thine own hands, as thy servants'
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hands, from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering. For integrity used doth the one, but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other. And avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. Therefore, always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery. For bribes come but now and then, but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without. As Solomon saith, "To respect persons is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread." It is most true that was anciently spoken; a place showeth the man, and it showeth some to the better, and some to the worse; "Omnium consensu capax Imperii, nisi imperasset:" ["He would have been universally deemed fit for empire, if he had never reigned:"] saith Tacitus of Galba; but of Vespasian he saith "Solus Imperantium Vespatianus mutatus in melius." ["Vespasian was the only emperor who was changed for the better by his accession."] Though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit whom honour amends. For honour is, or should be, the place of virtue. And as in nature things move violently to their places, and calmly in their place; so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self, whilst he is in the rising; and to balance himself, when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost