Francis Bacon.

Obiter dicta of Bacon and Shakespeare on manners, mind, morals online

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graces, and so hath a fineness in turning utility upon
point of honour." Of Service in Ireland.

" He that hath so singular a gift in lying of the
present time, and times past, had nevertheless an extra-
ordinary grace in telling truth of the time to .come."
Observations on a Libel.

"She having the truth of honour in her, hath made him the
gracious denial which he is most glad to receive." M. J/. iii. 1.
" Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts,
And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak."

3 Hen. VI. iii. 3.

" I did take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think of him ... or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words." Cymb. i. 4.

" His honour,

Clock to itself, knew the true minute, when
Exception bid him speak, and at this time
His tongue obeyed his hand ... his plausive words
He scattered not in ears, but grafted them
To grow there, and to bear." All's Well i. 3.

Sttf. : " Farewell, sweet madam ! But hark you, Margaret:
No princely commendations to my king ? "

Mar. : " Such commendations as become a maid,
A virgin, and his servant, say to him."

Suf. : " Words sweetly placed, and modestly directed."

-1 Hen. VI. v. 3.

(See the gracious words of Percy to Bolingbroke
(Rich. II. ii. 3, 4050), of Warwick (3 Hen. VI. iii. 3,
199), of the effects of Isabella's graceful and modest
appeal to Angelo (M. M. ii. 2).

Greatness. MANNERS, MIND, MORALS. 138

GRAVITY a Pretext for Dullness.

" When we find any defect in ourselves, we endeavour
to borrow the figure and pretext of the neighbouring
virtue for a shelter ; thus, the pretext of dulness is
gravity" De Aug. viii. 2.

" There are a sort of men whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond.
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit . . .
. . . I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing* &c. Mer. Ven. i. 1.

GREATNESS Its Servitude. (See Ceremony.)

" Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of
the Sovereign or State, servants of fame, and servants of
business; so as they have no freedom, neither in their
persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times."
Ess. of Great Place.

Bates : " We know enough if we know we are the king's subjects:
if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of
it out of us."

Will. : " But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a
heavy reckoning to make; ... if these (soldiers) do not die well
it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it. . . ."

K. Hen. : " . . . So if a servant, under his master's com-
mand, transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers, and die
in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the
master the author of the servant's damnation, but this is not so,"&c.

Will. : " 'Tis certain . . . the king is not to answer for it . . ."

K. Hen. : " Upon the king ! Let our lives, our souls, our debts,
our careful wives, our children, lay on the king ! We must bear all.
hard condition, twin-born with greatness, subject to the breath of

134 MANNEKS, MIND, MORALS. Greatness.

every fool. . . . What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect,
that private men enjoy ! And what have kings that privates have
not, too ? be sick, great greatness . . . not all these (cere-
monies) laid in bed majestical can sleep so soundly as the wretched
slave . . . the slave a member of the country's peace enjoys it;
but . . . little wots what watch the king keeps to maintain the
peace," &c. See Hen. V. iv. 1, 122283.

GREATNESS Its Dangers and Discomforts.

"Retire men cannot when they would, neither will
they when it were reason ; but are impatient of private-
ness, even in age and sickness, which require the
shadow." Ess. of Great Place.

Cft. : " What mean you, Caesar, think you to walk forth ?

You shall not stir out of your house to-day."
O*. : " Csesar shall forth ....

Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Czesar."
CaL : " When beggars die there are no comets seen:

The heavens themselves do blaze forth the death of

princes . . ."

Ores. : " The gods do this in shame of cowardice;
Ceesar would be a beast without a heart
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Cassar shall not; danger knows too well
That Ca?sar is more dangerous than he," &c.

Jul. Cces. ii. 2.

Messenger : " These letters come from your father."

Hotspur : " Letters from him I Why comes he not himself ? "
Messenger : " He cannot come, my lord; he's grievous sick .. . ."
Hotspur: "Zounds! how has he leisure to be sick

In such ajustling time ? Who leads his power ?
Under whose government come they along ? . . ."
Worcester : "I would the state of time had first been whole
Ere he by sickness had been visited . . .
Your father's sickness is a maim to us . . ."


Douglas: " A comfort of retirement lives in this (hope)."

See 1 Hen. IV. iv. 1.

P. Hen. : " I beseech your majesty, make up,

Lest your retirement amaze your friends"

See 1 Hen. IV. v. 4.

" What infinite heart's ease must kings neglect that private men
enjoy!" &c.Hen. V. iv. 1. And see 2 Hen. IV. iii. 1, 431,

GREATNESS, or High Place, is Dangerous.

" The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men
come to greater pains . . . the standing is slippery,
and the regress is either a downfall or at least an eclipse/'
Ess. of Great Place.

" The rising to honours is laborious, the standing
slippery, the descent headlong." De Aug. vi. 3 (Anti-
theta, 7).

" The art o' the Court,

As hard to leave as keep : whose top to climb
Is certain falling, or, so slippery, that
The fear's as bad as falling."

Cymb. iii. 3; and comp. 2 Hen. VI. ii. 1, 5 15.

" Northumberland, thou ladder, wherewithal
The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne . . .
Wilt pluck him headlong from the usurped throne."

See the whole passage Rich. II. v. 1, 55 68, and
b. i. 1, 205216, and Hen. VIII. 110115.

HASTE Speed. (See Despatch.)

" I knew a wise man that had it for a bye-word, when
he saw men hasten to a conclusion, ' Stay a little, that
we make an end the sooner.' " Ess. of Despatch.

" His tongue all-impatient to speak and r.ot to see
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be."

L. L. L. ii. 1.


Rom. : " let us hence; I stand on sudden haste."
Fri. : " Wisely and slot':: they stumble that run fast"

Rom. Jul. ii 3.

" Therefore love moderately: long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow."

Rout. Jul. ii. 0.

HEALTH of Mind as well as Body. (See Mind Diseased.)

"(It was) an abuse of philosophy which grew general
in the time of Epictetus, in converting it to an occupation
or profession . . . introducing such an health of mind as
was that health of body of which Aristotle speaks of
Herodicns, who did nothing all his life long but intend
his health: whereas if men refer themselves to duties of
society, as that body is best which is ablest to endure all
alterations and extremities, so li/tewise that health of mind
is most proper which can go through the greatest tempta-
tions and perturbations." Advt. L. ii. 1.

" (We) wear our health but sickly in his life
That, in his death, were perfect."

Macb. iii. 1.

P. Hen. : " My heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so

sick. . . ."

Poins. : " And how dost . . . your master ? "
Bard. : " In bodily health, sir."

Poins. : " Marry, the immortal part needs a physician, but that

moves not him; though that be sick, it dies not."

P. Hen. : " I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my

dog." 2 Hen. IV. ii. 2.

Lew. : " There's nothing in this world can make me joy . . .
And bitter shame hath spoilt the sweet world's taste,
That it yields nought but shame and bitterness."
Pand. : " Before the curing of a strong disease,

Even in the instant of repair and health,


The fit is strongest: evils that take leave
On their departure most of all show evil."

John iii. 4.

" Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou ly'st, in reputation sick:
And thou, too-careless patient as thou art,
Committ'st thy 'nointed body to the cure
Of those piiysicians that first wounded thee."

Rich. II. ii. 1.

" Can'st thou not minister a mind diseased ? " &c.

Macb. v. H.

Cam. : " Prosperity's the very bond of love

Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
Affliction alters."
Per. : " One of these is true :

I think affliction may subdue the cheek.
But not take in the mind."

Winter's Tale iv. 3.

" Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,
Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so;
For let our finger ache, and it indues
Our other healthful members even to that sense
Of pain." Oth. iii. 4.

(Compare with this the Promus Note 496: " When the
liead akes, all the body is the woorse.")

" The labour we delight in physics pain."

Mad. ii. 3.

" Thou hast made . . . wit with musing weak,
Heart sick with thought."

Two. Gent. Ver. i. 1.

King : " And wherefore should these good news make me
sick? . . .

And now my sight fails, and my mind is giddy.

me ! come near me, I am much ill . . ."
Clar. : " The incessant care and labour of his mind

Hath wrought the mure which should confine it in,


So thin that life looks through, and will break out . . .

His eye is hollow, and he changes much . . ."
P. Hen. : " Heard he the good news yet ? "
P. Hum. : " He altered much upon the hearing it."
P. Hen. : " If he be sick with joy, he will recover without physic . . .

polished perturbation I golden care !

That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide

To many a watchful night ! . . . Majesty ! " &c.

2 Hen. IV. iv. 4.

(The effect of the working of the mind upon the
general health of the body will be illustrated at some
length in a future part on Bacon's Doctrine of the Union
of Mind and Body. Also see forward (Medicine to the)
" Mind.")

HEART of a Man a Continent. (See Microcosm World.)

" The heart of man is a continent of that concave and
capacity, wherein the contents of the world (that is, all
forms of creatures, and whatsoever is not God) may be
placed and received." Filum Labyrintki*

" An absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences . . .
you shall see in him the continent of what part a gentleman would
see." Ham. v. 2.

Ros. : " Shall I teach you to know ? "
Boyet : " Aye, my continent of beauty"

L. L. L. iv. 2.

Bass.: " Here is the continent and summary of my fortune . . .""
For. ".... Though for myself alone

I would not (wish myself better); yet for you

I would be trebled twenty times myself,

A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more

rich ;

That, only to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,


Exceed account; but the full sum of me
Is sum of nothing." Mer. Ven. iii. 2.

HEARTS or Spirits of Men Differ as do Metals. (See Soul.)

" I do not like the confused and promiscuous manner
in which philosophers have handled the functions of the
soul; as if the human soul differed from the spirit of
brutes, in degree only, rather than in kind, as the sun
differs from the stars, or gold from metals." De Aug.
iv. 3.

" Gallants, boys, lads, hearts of gold."

I Hen. IV. ii. 4.

"The king's . . . a heart of gold."

Hen. V. iv. 1.

" A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross."

Mer. Ven. ii. 7.

(See throughout this scene and ii. 9, iii. 2, how the
metals gold, silver, and lead are introduced to show
the different dispositions of Portia's suitors. For com-
parison between the spirit of man and that of the brutes,
see "Beast-Man;" but this subject will be treated at
length in the section on Natural History, where it will
be seen that Bacon studies the lower creatures chiefly
with a view to their affinities with man.)

HEROES are Born in Happy Times.

" Great-hearted heroes, born in happier years. 1 '
Promus, 649; from ^En. vi. 649.

Gassius : " This is my birthday, as this very day was Cassiu&
born." Jul. Cas. v. 1.

Cleopatra : " It is my birthday;

I had thought to have held it poor: but since my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra."

Ant. CL iii. 11.


K. Hen. : " Is the queen delivered ?

Say, ay, and of a boy."
Old L, : " Ay, ay, my liege,

And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven
But now and ever bless her ! 'tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter ..."
Cran. : " This royal infant . . . now promises

Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings.
Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be ...
A pattern to all princes living with her . . .

. Never before
This happy child did I get anything," &c.

See lien. VIII. v. 1, 163169; v. 4, 1 G8.

HEROES' Sons are Banes.

" Heroes' sons are banes or plagues, being- usually
degenerate." Promus, 518. Latin from Erasmus'
Adagia, 204.

" King Harry ... is bred of that bloody strain,
That haunted us in our familiar paths :
Witness our two much memorable shame,
When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
And all our princes captiv'd by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales :
Whiles that his mountain sire on mountain standing
Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him
Mangle the work of nature," &c. Hen. V. ii. 4.

(This is the converse to the text; the closer application
is to be seen in the behaviour of Prince Hal before his
father's wise admonitions, and his own good sense in
accepting them, had made him also a worthy and heroic-
king. See 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4, 5480).

" See, sons, what things you are !
How quickly nature falls into revolt," &c.

2 Hen. IV. iv. 4, 195-210, 223268.


HONOUR and Reputation.

" The winning of honour is but the revealing of a
man's virtue and worth without disadvantage ; for some
in their actions do woo and affect honour and reputation,
which sort of men are commonly much talked oj\ and
little admired; and some contrariwise darken their virtue
in the show of it, so as they be undervalued in opinion. ""
Ess. of Honour.

" Farewell, young lords, . . . see that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it : When
The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
That fame may cry you loud." All's Well ii. 1.

" Had I so lavish of my presence been,
So common hackneyed in the eyes of men,
So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
Opinion-that did help me to the crown
Had still kept loyal to possession," &c.

See 1 Hen. IV. iii. 2, 2991.
Cces. : " A man, who is the abstract of all faults

That all men follow."
Lep. : " 1 must not think there are

Evils enow to darken all his goodness," &c.

See Ant. Cl, i. 5, 133.

HONOUR The Highest Degrees of

" The true marshalling of the degrees of sovereign
honour are these : (1) Founders of States, or perpetual
Rulers *. . . (2) Legislators, or Law-givers, which
govern by their ordinances after they are gone. . . .

c Here Bacon gives as examples Romulus and Cjesar, names
which we find occultly applied to himself. There seems in this
Essay to be a hint of the Secret Society which he founded, and
whose borders and provinces were to be enlarged, on his own
principles or method, after his death.


(3) Liberators, or Saviours, such as compound the
miseries of civil wars, or deliver their countries from
servitude of strangers or tyrants. ... (4) Propo-
gators, such as in honourable war enlarge their territories.
. . . Lastly (5) Fathers of the country, which reign
justly, and make the times good wherein they live."-
Ess. of Honour.

" King did I call thee ? No, thou art not king ;
Not fit to govern, and rule multitudes. . . .
That head of thine doth not become a crown ;
Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff,
And not to grace an awful princely sceptre. . . .
Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up,
And with the same to act controlling laws.
Give place : by Heaven thou shalt rule no more
O'er him whom Heaven created for thy ruler."

2 Hen. VI. v. 1.
Cces. :

". . . These couchings, and these lowly courtesies . . .
Might turn pre-ordinance and first decree
Into the law of children," &c. Jul. Cces. iii. 1.

[Ceesar is murdered. The Senators and people retire in confusion.]

Cinna : " Liberty ! Freedom ! Tyranny is dead !

Run hence, proclaim and cry it about the streets . . .
Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement ! "

Brutus: "Hear me for my cause, . . . believe me for my
honour, and have respect to mine honour," &c.

All: " Live, Brutus ! live! live! . . . Let him be Csesar," &c.

Jul. Cces. iii. 2.

Grif.: " This Cardinal,

Though from a humble stock, undoubtedly

Was fashioned to much honour from his cradle.

. . . . In bestowing, madam,

He was most princely. Ever witness for him

Those twins of learning that he raised in you,


Ipswich and Oxford ! one of which fell with him . . .

The other, though unfinished, yet so famous,

So excellent in art, and still so rising,

That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue . . .

And to add greater honours to his age

Than man could give him, he died fearing God."

Hen. VIII. iv. 2.

HONOURS are truly Given, not by Man, but by God.

" Honours are the suffrages not of tyrants . . . but of
divine providence."- De Aug. vi. 3 (Antitheta).

Henry the Seventh . . . restor'd me to mine honours, now his son,
Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name, and all
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken . . .
Heaven has an end in all." Hen. VIII. ii. 1.
Nor. : " This is the Cardinal's doing, the King-Cardinal,
That blind priest, the eldest son of fortune,
Turns what he list. The king will know him some day."
Suf. : " Pray God he do. . . . Heaven will one day open
The king's eyes, that have long slept upon
This bold bad man."
Nor. : " And free us from his slavery.

We had need pray, and heartily, for our deliverance," &c.

Hen. VIII. ii. 2.

HOPE Our Happiness Rests in

" As Aristotle says, 4 That young men may be happy,
but only by hope,' so we, instructed by the Christian
faith, must . . . content ourselves with that felicity
which rests in hope/' De Aug. vii. 1.

'' Their travel is sweeten'd with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess ;
And hope to joy, is little less in joy than hope enjoyed."

Rich. II. ii. 3.


"But shall I live in hope ?
All men, I hope, live so."

Rich. HI. i. 2.

" I shall do well ;

The people love me, and the sea is mine ;
My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope,
Says it will come to the full." Ant. CL ii. 1.

" But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope," &c.

See 2 Hen. IV. i. 3.

" God shall be my hope,
My stay and guide, and lantern to my feet."

2 Hen. VI. ii. 2.

" God, our hope, will succour us."

2 Hen. VI. iv. 4.

" The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope." M. M. iii. 1.

HOPE, like Sleepy Drinks, which bring Dreams.

" The effect of hope on the mind of man is very like
the working of some soporific drugs, which not only
induce sleep, but fill it with joyous and pleasing dreams."

" Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dressed yourself ? hath it slept since,
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely ? "Macb. i. 7.

fj.Knth.: ". . . They ^ro/m'sed me eternal happiness t . .
(ir>f. : " I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
Possess your fancy." Hen. VIII. iv. 2.

" momentary grace of mortal men !
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God,
Who builds his hope in air of your good looks
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready with every nod to tumble down."

Rich. III. iii. 4.

Humanity. MANNERS, MIND, MORALS. 145

" Why then I do but dream on sovereignty,
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye . . .
So I do wish the crown.
Flattering me with impossibilities.

3 Hen. VI. iii. 3.

Mai. : " 'Tis but fortune ; all is fortune. . . . What should I
think on't. . . . M, 0, A, I, doth sway my life . . ."

Fab. : " What a dish of poison has she dressed him ! . . ."

Mai. : " . . . I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade
me, for every reason excites to this . . ."

*SYr To. : "' Why thou hast put him in such a dream, that when the
image of it leaves him, he must run mad."

Mar. : " Xay, but say true ; does it work upon him ? "
Sir To. : u Like aqua-rite* with a midwife."

Twelfth Night ii. 5.

HUMANITY Excellencies, or Tops of

" (The excellencies of man) seem to me to deserve a
place amongst the desiderata. Pindar, in praising Hiero,
says . . . that he culled the tops of all virtues; and 1
think it would contribute much to magnanimity and the
honour of humanity if a collection were made of ...
the tops or summits of human nature, especially from true
history, showing what is the ultimate and highest point
which nature has of itself attained, in the several gifts of
body and mind." T)Q Aug. iv. 1.

" How would you be

If He,, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are ? " M. J/. ii. 2.

" You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my


. . . They fool me to the top of my bent ! " Ham. iii. 2.


146 MANNERS, MIND, MORALS. Humanity.

" 'Twere a concealment

Worse than theft, no less than a traducement
To hide your doings : and to silence that
Which, to the spire and top of praises vouched,
Would seem but modest." Cor. i. 9.

" Admired Miranda !
Indeed the top of admiration : worth
What's dearest to the world. . . . You, you !
So perfect and so peerless are created
Of every creature's best." Temp. iii. 1.

(Compare Macb. iv. 1, 89 ; 2 Hen. VI. i. 2, 4349 :
Ant. Cl. v. i. 43).

HUMANITY Miseries of

"For the Miseries of Humanity the lamentation of
them has been copiously set forth by many . . . it is an
argument at once sweet and wholesome." De Aug. iv. 1 .

" Alas, poor York ! but that I hate thee deadly
/ would lament thy miserable state"

3 Hen. VI. i. 4.

Duke S. : " What said Jacques ?

Did he not moralise this spectacle ?
1 Lord : " yes, into a thousand similes.

First, for his weeping into the needless stream.

' Poor deer,' quoth he, ' thou mak'st a testament

As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more

To that which hath too much.' Then, being there

Left and abandoned of his velvet friends ;

' 'Tis right,' quoth he ; ' thus misery doth part

The flux of company,' " &c.

" See As You Like It ii. 1, 160.

Serv. : " I pray, sir, can you read ? "

Rom. : "Ay, mine own fortune in my misery."

Serv. : " Perhaps you have learned it without book."

Rom. Jul. i. 2.


" the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us ! ...
Since riches point to misery and contempt . . .
Rich only to be wretched, thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions." Tim. Ath. iv. 1.

Apem. : " Willing misery

Outlives uncertain pomp, is crown'd before ;

The one is rilling still, never complete ;

The other, at high wish : best state contentless,

Hath a distracted and most wretched being

Worse than the worst, content.

Thou should'st desire to die, being miserable/'

Tim. : " Not by his breath there is more miserable," &c. II.

"The middle of humanity thou never knewest. . . . When
thou wast in thy guilt and thy perfume they mocked thee ... in
thy rags . . . thou art despised." Tim. Ath. iv. 3.

HUMANITY Philosophy of

" The doctrine concerning the Philosophy of Humanity
consists of knowledges which respect the body, and ot
knowledges which respect the mind!' Adct. Learning
iv. 1.

Cor. : " How like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone ?

Touch. : " Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life, but
in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is naught. In respzct that it
is solitary, I like it very well, but in respect that it is private, it is a
very vile life (&c.). Hast any philosophy ui thee, shepherd ? "

Cor. : " No more, but that I know, the more one sickens, the worse
at ease he is ; and that he that wants money, means, and content, is
without three good friends ; that the property of rain is to wet, and
fire to burn ; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a great
cause of the night is lack of the sun ; that he that hath learned no
wit by Nature nor Art may complain of good breeding, or comes of

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