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support of the Roman Catholic authorities. The papers, etc., found on Jaureguy showed that he was actuated by what Bacon calls superstition. Besides two bits of hareskin, and two dried toads, intended as charms to secure success, there were tablets covered with vows and pious prayers in reference to the intended murder, and papers which showed that the poor fanatical fool had been persuaded that the deed he was to do was so meritorious in the sight of heaven, that immedi

ately after accomplishing it he would become invisible! II. men of the first blood'

-men who are committing their first murder ; in opposition to such a one as hath had his hands

formerly in blood. 12. 'butchers by occupation '-professed and experienced assassins. 13. “votary resolution'-the determination shown by one who has

taken a vow to do a certain deed. 14. equipollent'-of equal power or force. The word has been

displaced, and superseded by equivalent. 15. •Indians '-Hindoos. He refers to the practice of Suttee or

Satti, by which the widow of a Brahmin immolates herself, and is burned upon the funeral pile of her husband, in order to show wifely devotion and excellence of character. A decree issued in 1829 under Lord William Bentinck prohibited this practice throughout British India, and made it punishable as

murder. 16. queching '-Alinching. The word is sometimes spelt quecking,

and is allied with, quick in the sense of living, moving: Cf. 'queachy fens,'. Godwin's queachy sands' in Drayton's

Polyolbion. 17. 'engaged'-bound, fastened. The word is still used in this

sense, as equivalent to betrothed. 18. take the ply'-be bent in the desired direction. To apply

one's mind is really to bend it towards a certain object; and
we still speak of a man's propensity or disposition as his bent.

With a native bent did good pursue'-DRYDEN.
They fool me to the top 'my bent'-Hamlet, III, ii.

*A full bent of the mind'-LOCKE.
19. 'fix'-become rigid, and incapable of binding.

comforteth'-strengthens. This is the true etymological meaning of the word ; and not unfrequent in Bacon's writings.


'He had no brother, which, though it be comfortable for kings to have, yet draweth the subjects' eyes aside'-Bacon, Henry VII.

Poynings did little good, which he would needs impute unto the comfort that the rebels should receive underhand from the Earl of Kildare'-Ibid.

“The king did appoint commissioners for the fining of all such as were of any value, and had any hand, or partaking in the aid or comfort of Perkin or the Cornishmen Ibid.


21. exaltation'-an astrological term for ascendant. 22. He is, doubtless, referring to the societies' and 'orders' of the

Roman Catholic Church, which possessed immense power, but often used it for very bad ends.


1. That which most influences men's actions is custom. II. Nevertheless, superstition has often helped inexperienced men

to do great deeds, e.g.:

Friar Clement.

Baltazar Gerard.
III. Examples of the reign or tyranny of custom :

Hindoo suttee.
Spartan lads.
An Irish rebel condemned to death.

Russian monks.
IV. Rules for obtaining good custom :

1. Let it begin in youth : this is education.
2. Let it be not only individual, but forming the basis of

societies with definite good objects.

XL.-OF FORTUNE. (1612, slightly enlarged 1625.) It cannot be denied, but1 outward accidents conduce much to Fortune; favour, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue : 2 but chiefly, the mould of a man's Fortune is in his own hands: Faber quisque fortunæ suæ,' 3 saith the poet; and the most frequent of external causes is, that the folly of one man is the Fortune of another; for no man prospers so suddenly as by others' errors. Serpens nisi serpentem comederit non fit draco.4

Overt and apparent virtues bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden virtues that bring forth Fortune; certain deliveries 5 of a man's self, which have no name. The Spanish name, 'disemboltura,'o partly expresseth them, when there be not stonds? nor restiveness in a man's nature, but that the wheels of his mind keep way with the wheels of his Fortune; for so Livy (after he had described Cato Major in these words, 'In illo viro, tantum robur corporis et animi fuit, ut quocunque loco natus esset, fortunam sibi facturus videretur' ), falleth upon that that he had 'versatile ingenium :'9 therefore, if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.

The way of Fortune is like the Milken 10 Way in the sky; which is a meeting, or knot, of a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together : so are there a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate. The Italians note some of them, such as a man would little think. When they speak of one that cannot do amiss, they will throw in into his other conditions, that he hath 'Poco di matto;'ll and certainly, there be not two more fortunate properties, than to have a little of the fool, and not too much of the honest; therefore extreme lovers of their country or masters, were never fortunate; neither can they be; for when a man placeth his thoughts without himself, he goeth not his own way.

A hasty Fortune maketh an enterpriser and remover (the French hath it better, entreprenant,' or ' remuant'); but the exercised Fortune 13 maketh the able man. Fortune is to be honoured and respected, and 14 it be but for her daughters, Confidence and Reputation ; for those two Felicity 15 breedeth; the first within man's self, the latter in others towards him. All wise men, to decline the envy

16 of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune; for so they may the better assume them : and, besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care of the higher powers.

So Cæsar said to the pilot in the tempest, Cæsarem portas, et fortunam ejus.'17 So Sylla chose the name of Felix,' and not of Magnus :'18 and it hath been noted, that those who ascribe openly too much to their own wisdom and policy, end unfortunate. It is written, that Timotheus, 19 the Athenian, after he had, in



the account he gave to the state of his government, often interlaced this speech, 'And in this Fortune had no part,' never prospered in anything he undertook afterwards.

Certainly there be, whose Fortunes are like Homer's verses, that have a slide 20 and easiness more than the verses of other poets; as Plutarch saith 21 of Timoleon's Fortune in respect of that of Agesilaus or Epaminondas: and that this should be, no doubt it is much in a man's self.



1. but'that. This word, very variable in its meaning in different

sentences, is here used simply as connective, not as adversative. 'It must not be denied but I am a plain dealing villain'

-Much Ado about Nothing, I, iii. 'I doubt not but to ride as fast as York '-Richard II, II, v. occasion fitting virtue'-opportunity offering itself which

happens exactly to fit in with one's power of using it. 3. * Every man is the architect of his own fortune.' It is uncertain

whom Bacon means by 'the poet' from whom he makes this quotation. The words occur in Sallust's letters, De Reo publicâ Ordinanda, and are there attributed to Appius Claudius Cæcus, a Roman poet, whose works are now lost. But in the Latin translation of the Essays (Sermones Fideles), which has a quasi authority, and was probably produced in some degree under the superintendence of Bacon himself, the word poet is rendered comicus, which leads us to infer that Bacon had in mind some definite quotation from the works of a known author. Hence it has been conjectured (see Advancement of Learning, ii, 23, 8) that it is a free quotation of a line in the Trinummus of Plautus, a famous Roman comic poet, B.C. 225-184: Nam sapiens quidem pol ipsus fingit fortunam sibi.'

The question is not important. The student who has read so far in the Essays must have found out long ago that Bacon's quotations are generally made freely from memory,

and are rarely verbally accurate. A serpent does not become a dragon unless it has devoured another

serpent.' 5. •deliveries '—modes of expression ; ways of showing one's real

character and power. 6. disemboltura,' or desenvoltura = facility; readiness to adapt



one's self to circumstances. The expression corresponds to

'versatile ingenium' below. 7.

stonds'-hindrances, impediments. 8. 'In that man there was so great strength of body and mind, that

in whatever station he had been born it seemeil as though he

would make his fortune.' 9. 'A versatile genius.' The reference is to Cato the Censor (B.C.

234-149), who became so distinguished as a soldier, and whose great object was to inflame the Romans against the Carthaginians, his speeches in the senate usually concluding with the words 'Delenda est Carthago'--Carthage must be

destroyed. 10. Milken.'

We use the adjective milky; but the adjectival termination en was formerly a common one denoting material, as in wooden, golden, brazen, wheaten, oaten, and the obsolete silvern. In Shakespeare we have threaden fillet,'' twiggen

bottle.' II. A little of the fool.' Our own common way of describing a

certain kind of successful man as more rogue than fool would seem to show it to be also the English belief that some reputation for folly and incapacity is a factor of frequent occurrence in the circumstances that contribute to success. But the true explanation of this, doubtless, is to be found, not in the real folly or stupidity of men who succeed (for that must always be a hindrance and obstacle to fortune), but in the fact that they are regarded as foolish and stupid by others, who therefore are less cautious and careful in dealing with them than with those who have the character of being shrewd and hard bargain-drivers. It is no advantage to any man to be a fool, but it is frequently a very great advantage to a cunning man to be considered a fool. We say truly that Honesty is the best policy : crafty men take advantage of this by affecting honesty; and the reputation for honesty is often, alas! a more lucrative possession than honesty itself. If I have to deal with a man, the recognised basis of whose transactions with me is that he is thoroughly up to his business, and prepared to drive a hard bargain, I am on my guard against imposition, and therefore less liable to be cheated than when dealing with one who professes to care for my interests more than for his own. Hence many men find it advantageous in the long run to have business relations

only with strangers, and not with so-called friends. 12. A man who will not value his fortune when acquired, but will

squander and waste it.
'entrepenant'-venturesome, daring.

remuant'-restless, unsettled. 13.

exercised Fortune'- '-success acquired by tried and laborious effort. Bacon's statement is often illustrated in the history

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