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But (he goes
12. As if such favouritism originated merely in the conferring of a
favour, or the desire for friendly intercourse.
with another. 13. “Sharers of anxieties.' 14. Bacon now gives several instances of what he has called the
'inconvenience' of princes raising their inferiors to equality
and intimate friendship. • Lucius Sylla' (B.C. 138-78), the famous dictator of Rome, who
conferred upon Pompey, his friend and colleague, the title of imperator, and was afterwards openly opposed by him. •Julius Cæsar' (B.C. 100-44), who, after having made Brutus his
friend, and his heir next after his nephew (heir in remainder'); was conspired against and murdered by him and his asso
ciates. • Augustus' (B.C. 63 to A. D. 14), first emperor of Rome, and the
nephew' (i.e. grand-nephew) of Julius Cæsar above referred to, who made Agrippa his associate and friend, and gave him his daughter Julia in marriage. • Tiberius' (B.C. 42 to A.D. 37), Roman emperor, who made the
infamous Sejanus his associate and friend and the panderer to his scandalous licentiousness, and who at last conspired against him, and was put to death. To Sejanus he wrote:
These things, by reason of our friendship, I have not hidden from you.' • Septimius Severus’ (A.D. 146-211), Roman emperor, whose
friendship with Plautianus, the prefect of the Prætorian Guard, was cemented by a family marriage, and ultimately resulted in putting his friend to death.
Bacon calls all these wise men,' not in a compliment to their moral qualities or real wisdom, as we understand it, but
because of their cleverness and ability. 15. Comineus.' Philippe de Comines, a great French historian
(A.D. 1447-1511). He served under Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, by whom he was sent as ambassador to the French court. He subsequently entered the service of Louis XI of France. His Memoires are valuable as giving a vivid and authentic account of the principal events and gene
ral character of the age in which he lived. 16. perish '—destroy. The use of this verb thus as transitive is
'Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
—2 Henry VI, III, ii, 100. 17. parable '--figurative saying, metaphor. 18. praying in '-calling in. To pray in aid is the legal term for calling in for help
one who has interest in the cause, The reference is to the ancient practice of alchemy, which had for
its object not only the transmutation of metals into gold, but the discovery of a supposed substance (the philosopher's stone)
which was a universal remedy for all bodily ills. 19.
wiser than himself'-wiser than he could be without the
counsel of his friend. 20. in figure'-i.e. in an open cloth all the figures of the pattern
appear distinctly. That this is the meaning is evident from the equivalent in the Latin text (distincte).
The story is taken from North's translation of Plutarch's Lives, but it is of course an anachronism to make Themistocles refer to 'cloth of Arras,' which was not manufactured
before the fourteenth century. 21. 'statua'-old form of statue.
Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
That all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell’- Julius Cæsar. The meaning is : It would be far better for a man to stand before a statue or picture, and utter his thoughts to it than to
keep them unuttered. 22. 'Heraclitus.' He was a Greek philosopher belonging to the
Ionian school, and flourished at Ephesus about B.C. 500. His fundamental doctrine was that fire was the original ele. ment of all things, and the universal agent. It is uncertain whether this saying of his ('Dry light is the best) has been correctly handed down to us, or if so, what is its exact purport. Perhaps he simply means that light is clearest when not obscured by passing through a damp, vaporous atmosphere. Bacon's application of the figure is, that a man's thoughts are vague and obscure so long as he keeps them to himself (* drenched in his affections and customs '), but be
come clear and dry in passing from him to his friend. 23. James i, 24. 24. A man speaking in anger is sure to speak rashly, and hence the
old advice that an angry man should repeat the letter of the alphabet before speaking in order to give time for his wrath to cool and his discretion to arouse itself. This counsel is pleasantly set forth in Dickens's Little Dorrit by Mr Meagles: 'Not quite in a good temper, Tattycoram? Take a
little time; count five-and-twenty.' 25. In Bacon's time muskets were fired not when held in the hand,
as now, but fixed upon stands called 'rests.' Modern marksmen have made Bacon's ‘fond and high imagination 'come
perfectly true. 26. fond '-foolish.
'He was beaten out of all love of learning by a fond schoolmaster'
--ASCHAM. • 'Tis fond to wail inevitable strokcs'--Coriolanus. "Tamer than sleep, fonder than ignorance'-- SHAKESPEARE.
27. to life'-vividly; in a life-like manner.
• Here is now the smith's note for shoeing and plow-irons. Let it be cast and paid '-SHAKESPEARE.
* You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
Let us make head'-SHAKESPEARE. 29. Men have their appointed time to die, and many men die before
realising things (' in desire ') which they have greatly set their
hearts on, such as the marriage and settlement of children, etc. 30. ‘upon terms -on terms consistent with his honour, and in
recognition of his hostile position. 31. quit the stage'-leave the thing entirely alone; do nothing.
ANALYSIS OF ESSAY XXVII. I. Solitude, except when undertaken for spiritual purposes, is
bestial, whether1. The solitude of the desert (i.e. absence of companions).
2. Or that of friendlessness among many people. II. Fruits of friendship:
1. Disburdening of the heart. Kings and great men need
this most, and often eagerly seek it, though to their own
Severus and Plautianus.
Indeed, friendlessness is a sort of cannibalism.
(a.) By turning vague thoughts into express words.
safeguard against folly.
him, and is thus a prolongation of life.
XXVIII.-OF EXPENSE. (1597, enlarged 1612, and
again in 1625.) Riches are for spending, and spending for honour and good ctions; therefore extraordinary expense must be limited by the worth of the occasion; for voluntary undoing may be as well for a man's country as for the kingdom of Heaven; but ordinary expense ought to be limited by a man's estate, and governed with such regard, as it be within his compass; and not subject to deceit and abuse of servants; and ordered to the best show,4 that the bills may be less than the estimation abroad.
Certainly, if a man will keep but of even hand, his ordinary expenses ought to be but to the half of his receipts; and if he think to wax rich, but to the third part. It is no baseness for the greatest to descend and look into their own estate. Some forbear it, not upon negligence alone, but doubting to bring themselves into melancholy, in respect they shall find it broken: 6 but wounds cannot be cured without searching. He that cannot look into his own estate at all, had need both choose well those whom he employeth, and change them often; for new are more timorous and less subtile.? He that can look into his estate but seldom, it behoveth him to turn all to certainties.8 A man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as saving again 10 in some other : as if he be plentiful in diet, to be saving in apparel : if he be plentiful in the hall, to be saving in the stable : and the like. For he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing ll of a man's estate, he may as well hurt himself in being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long; for hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable as interest. Besides, he that clears at once will relapse ; for finding himself out of straits, 12 he will revert to his customs : but he that cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, who hath a state to repair, may not despise small things; and, commonly, it is less dishonourable to abridge petty charges than to stoop to petty gettings. A man ought warily to begin charges, which once begun will continue : but in matters that return not, 13 he may be more magnificent.
NOTES ON ESSAY XXVIII. 1. • Riches are for spending.' The only use of wealth is to spend
it, just as the only use of food is to consume it. The law of wealth is that increase can be obtained only by expenditure (of strength, food, fuel, etc.), just as in the vegetable world some seed must be sacrificed by being scattered over the ground in order to secure a return of more seed, a hundred
Thus we say also that the only use of seed is for sowing. But a wise man so sows as that he may afterwards reap; and so eats and drinks as to sustain his strength for future useful work ; and so spends as that he may receive increase of wealth.
Hoarded seed and hoarded wealth are wasted, just as physical strength begins to decay it it is not exercised ; miserliness and profligacy are both injurious to society at large. The man who has wealth ought to spend it, but spend it wisely. As Bacon says, riches are intended to be spent, but spent honourably and well (* for honour and good
actions'). 2. lle means that on extraordinary occasions when unusual expense
is entailed upon a man he ought not to grudge it, nor meanly to decrease it below what the dignity or importance of the occasion requires of him. The claims of patriotism, just as the claims of religion, may require of him self-sacrifice ('voluntary undoing '), and then duty must override all considerations of economy and frugality. But, on the other hand, the ordinary expenditure of a man must be regula ed
by economy and frugality alone. 3. "governed,' etc.— looked after with such care as to keep it
within the limits of his means. 4. ordered to the best show'-spent prudently, (i.e. it should be)
regulated so as to get him as much as possible for his money. 5. • keep but of even hand'-pay his way ; live just up to his
income ; spend with one hand only so much as he can com
mand with the other. 6. in respect,' etc.—for fear they should find their means over
spent. 7. As we say, “A new broom sweeps clean,' so Bacon holds that
servants generally begin well, and are ótimorous' of acting dishonestly, but that afterwards they are less timorous and more subtle ; so that a frequent change of servants is often a
security against being wronged. 8. 'to turn all to certainties '—to distribute his income into cer
tain fixed amounts, appropriated to the several heads of expenditure, and to rigidly limit his subordinates to the amount
prescribed under each head. 9. plentiful'--lavish, profuse.
a3 saving again'--twice as frugal.