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nothing to my understanding in them contrary or infectious to the state of religion or manners, but rather, as I suppose, medicinable : only I dislike now to put them out, because they will be like the late new halfpence, 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 my relf, 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

; you to the preservation of the Divine Majesty.

Your entire loving brother,

FRAN. BACON.

From my Chamber at Grey's lux,

this 30th of January, 1947.

ESSAYS,

CIVIL AND MORAL.

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OF TRUTH. WAAT is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delighi 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 Sabour wbich 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 daylight, that doth not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs of the

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world, half so stately and daintily as candlelights. 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 dæmonur," because it tilleth 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, yot truth, which only doth judge itself, 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 sabhath work, ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First lie breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then he breatheth light into

PREFATORY EPISTLE

TO MR. ANTHONY BACON,

HIS DEAR BROTHER.

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 further 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 dislike now to put them out, because they will be like the late new halfpence, 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,

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FRAN. BACON.

From my Chamber at Grey's Funny

this 20th of January, 107.

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