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But all this while, when I speak of Vain Glory, I mean not of that property that Tacitus doth attribute to Mucianus, ' Omnium, quæ dixerat feceratque, arte quâdam ostentator :'22 for that 23 proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and discretion; and, in some persons, is not only comely, but gracious : for excusations, cessions, 25 modesty itself, well governed, are but arts of ostentation ; and amongst those arts there is none better than that which Plinius Secundus speaketh of, which is to be liberal of praise and commendation to others, in that wherein a man's self hath any perfection : for, saith Pliny very wittily, ' In commending another, you do yourself right; for he that you commend is either superior to you in that you commend, or inferior: if he be inferior, if he be to be commended, you much more; if he be superior, if he be not to be commended, you much less.'
Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
NOTES ON ESSAY LIV.
1. 'of'_by. So also in the expressions of right, of a truth, of
course, of necessity, of (or on) purpose.
'He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all'-Luke iv, 15. Lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him'
-Luke xiv, 8. 'She, dying, Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus'd
Of every hearer'-Much Ado about Nothing, IV, i. 2. • alone '—by its own power; without external force. 3. moveth upon greater means '-is caused by some power
greater than that of the boaster. 4. carry it'-effect it ; bring it to pass. (The emphatic word is
Ofttimes we lose the occasion of carrying our business well, thoroughly, by our too much haste'-Ben Jonson's Discovery.
* These advantages will be of no effect, unless we improve them to words, in the carrying of our main point'-Addison.
* And hardly shall I carry out my side,
5. glorious'-boastful. See note 8, Essay XLVIII. 6. bravery'-boasting, vaunting. See note 20, Essay XI. 7. not effectual.' The repetition of the negative rather obscures the sense.
He means, Since they cannot work secretly, they are unable to work effectually. 8. bruit'-noise.
'The king's rouse the heavens shall bruit again, Respeaking earthly thunder'-Hamlet, I, ii.
9. 'civil'-political ; not military. The use of vain glory in
military affairs is set forth afterwards. 10. opinion'-good opinion. So we say, I have no opinion of
him, meaning no favourable opinion. Antiochus and the Ætolians.'* The reference is to Antiochus
the Great, King of Syria. After the close of the Punic Wars he was visited at Ephesus by Hannibal, B.C. 192, then a fugitive, who did all he could to persuade him to hostilities with Rome. At the same time the Ætolians sent envoys to Antiochus, urging him to interfere in the affairs of Greece ; and the lying words of Thoas, their messenger, caused him, against the earnest advice of Hannibal, to divert the expedition to an invasion of Greece. The result of listening to the false reports of the Ætolians led to the disastrous defeat at Magnesia.
The passage in Livy, which Bacon seems to be referring to, is lib. xxxv, cap. xii.
cross lies '-contradictory lies. Cf. cross clauses—Essay III. 13.
interest'--influence. 14. upon charge and adventure'-involving great expenditure
and risk. 15. composition'-mixture, combination. 16. `Those who write books about the duty of despising glory inscribe
their own names (on the title-page).' The quotation is from
Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, i, 15. 17. "Socrates'—(B.C. 466-399), a famous Athenian philosopher
and teacher. • Aristotle'—(B.C. 384-322), pupil of Plato, and the founder of
the Peripatetic School of Philosophy. Alexander the Great was his pupil
, and aided him in his researches, especially by, supplying him with funds and with specimens for his Natural
physician of ancient times, was born at Pergamum, in Asia,
and entrusted him with the ca of his son Commodus. Many of his works remain, and for more than a thousand years
were regarded as possessing almost infallible authority. He was a truly scientific inquirer, but his great difficulty was, that he had to draw many of his inferences from dissections of the bodies of animals, there being little opportunity for dissecting human bodies.
Bacon speaks disparagingly of these three men, Socrates, Aristotle, and Galen, probably because their methods, though
excellent in many respects, were not sufficiently experimental. 18. Virtue was never so far indebted to men as to be unable to assert
her.own claims, and to be forced to ask them to flatter her. 19. Cicero'-Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest of Roman
orators, B.C. 106-43. Many of his works, consisting of orations and treatises on philosophy and rhetoric, have come down to us, and are written in the purest and most perfect Latin. Seneca.' See note 2, Essay V. * Plinius Secundus,' called also Pliny the Younger, was born
A.D. 62, and was the nephew of Pliny the Elder, the naturalist. While consul of Bithynia, he wrote his famous account to the Emperor Trajan of the Christians and their
worship. 20. her. The pronoun is feminine to agree with its antecedent
Fame (Latin Fama). 21. seelings. The name includes the whole inner surface of a
room, the polished board floor, and the wainscoting or panel. work of the sides and roof. It comes from the verb to seel, meaning to cover or stop up. See note 11, Essay XXXVI.
Our modern word ceiling, denoting only the upper surface or roof of a room, has no connection with this word, but comes from the Latin cælum, through the French ciel. One who set off with a certain skill everything which he had said or done.'
The quotation is from Tacitus, Histories, ii, 80, and refers to Mucianus, an intriguing Roman general and rhetorician,
in the troublous time of Otho and Vitellius. 23. that'--the antecedent is not that property that Tacitus doth
attribute,' but the 'vain glory' of which Bacon himself is
speaking. 24. "excusations'-apologies. 25. cessions '-concessions.
ANALYSIS OF ESSAY LIV.
I. Vain-glorious persons are of necessity
II. Yet vain glory is useful
1. In civil affairs-in creating 'opinion and fame,' even by
charge and adventure.'
who had some vanity.
1. Proceeds not from vanity but magnanimity.
2. Is comely and gracious. IV. Boastful men
1. Are scorned by wise men.
LV.-OF HONOUR AND REPUTATION. (1597,
omitted 1612, republished 1625.) The winning of Honour is but the revealing of a man's Virtue and Worth 1 without disadvantage ;? for some in their actions do woo and affect 3 Honour and reputation ; which sort of men are commonly much talked of, but inwardly little admired : and some, contrariwise, darken their virtue in the show of it, so as they be undervalued in opinion.4
If a man perform that which hath not been attempted before, or attempted and given over, or hath been achieved, but not with so good circumstance," he shall purchase more Honour than by affecting a matter of greater difficulty or virtue, wherein he is but a follower. If a man so temper 6 his actions, as in some one of them he doth content every faction or combination of people, the music 7 will be the fuller. A man is an ill husband 8 of his Honour that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through can honour him. Honour that is gained and broken upon another 9 hath the quickest reflection, like diamonds cut with facets; and therefore let a man content to excel any competitors of his in Honour, in outshooting them, if he can, in their own bow.10 Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation: ' Omnis fama a domesticis emanat.' li Envy, which is the canker of Honour, is best extinguished by declaring a man's self in his ends rather to seek Merit than Fame: 12 and by attributing a man's successes rather to Divine Providence and Felicity, 13 than to his own Virtue or Policy.
The true marshalling 14 of the degrees of sovereign Honour are these : in the first place are 'CONDITORES IMPERIORUM,
, 15 founders of states and commonwealths; such as were Romulus, Cyrus, Cæsar, Ottoman, Ismael : in the second place are 'LEGISLATORES,' 16 lawgivers ; which are also called second founders, or ‘PERPETUI PRINCIPES,' because they govern by their ordinances after they are gone; such were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Eadgar, Alphonsus of Castile, the Wise, that made the Siete Partidas:' in the third place are ‘LIBERATORES,' or • SALVATORES,' 17 such as compound the long miseries of Civil Wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of strangers or tyrants; as Augustus Cæsar, Vespasianus, Aurelianus, Theodoricus, King Henry the Seventh of England, King Henry the Fourth of France: in the fourth place are 'PROPAGATORES,' or 'PROPUGNATORES IMPERII,' 18 such as in honourable wars enlarge their territories, or make noble defence against invaders : and, in the last place, are ‘PATRES PATRIÆ,
19 which reign justly and make the times good wherein they live; both which last kinds need no examples, they are in such number.
Degrees of honour in subjects are, first, ‘PARTICIPES CURARUM,' 20 those upon whom princes do discharge 21 the greatest weight of their affairs; their right hands, as we call them ; the next are 'DUCES BELLI,'22 great leaders ; such as are princes' lieutenants, and do them notable services in the wars : the third are 'GRATIOSI,' favourites,