« PreviousContinue »
in some profitable occupation. After in vain soli- Bacon was in some measure led by pecuniary difficiting his uncle, Lord Burleigh, to procure for him culties, into which his improvident and ostentatious such a provision from government as might allow habits, coupled with the relative inadequacy of his him to devote his time to literature and philosophy, revenues, had plunged him. By maintaining himself he spent several years in the study of the law. in the good graces of the court, he hoped to secure While engaged in practice as a barrister, however, I that professional advancement which would not only he did not forget philosophy, as it appears that he fill his empty coffers, but gratify those ambitionis
longings which had arisen in his mind. But temptations of this sort, though they may palliate, can never excuse such immoralities as those which Bacon on this and future occasions showed himself capable of.
After the accession of James, the fortunes of Bacon began to improve. He was knighted in 1603, and, in subsequent years, obtained successively the offices of king's counsel, solicitor-general, judge of the Marshalsea court, and attorney-general. This last appointment he received in 1613. In the execu. tion of his duties, he did not scruple to lend himself to the most arbitrary measures of the court, and even assisted in an attempt to extort from an old clergyman, of the name of Peacham, a confession of treason, by torturing him on the rack.
Although his income had now been greatly enlarged by the emoluments of office and a marriage with the daughter of a wealthy alderman, his extravagance, and that of his servants, which he seems to have been too good-natured to check, continued to keep him in difficulties. He cringed before the king and his favourite Villiers; and at length, in 1619, reached the summit of his ambition, by being created Lord High Chancellor of England, and Baron Verulam. This latter title gave place in the following year to that of Viscount St Albans. As chancellor, it cannot be concealed that, both in his political and judicial capacities, he grossly deserted
his duty. Not only did he suffer Villiers to intersketched at an early period of life his great work fere with his decisions as a judge, but, by accepting called The Instauration of the Sciences. In 1590. he numerous presents or bribes from suitors, gave obtained the post of Counsel Extraordinary to the occasion, in 1621, to a parliamentary inquiry, queen ; and three years afterwards, sat in parliament which ended in his condemnation and disgrace. He for the county of Middlesex. As an orator, he is fully confessed the twenty-three articles of corhighly extolled by Ben Jonson. In one of his ruption which were laid to his charge ; and when speeches, he distinguished himself by taking the waited on by a committee of the House of Lords, popular side in a question respecting some large sub-appointed to inquire whether the confession was sidies demanded by the court ; but finding that he subscribed by himself, he answered, "It is my act, had given great offence to her majesty, he at once my hand, my heart: I beseech your lordships to be altered his tone, and condescended to apologise with merciful to a broken reed.' Banished from public that servility which unhappily appeared in too many life, he had now ample leisure to attend to his philoof his subsequent actions. To Lord Burleigh and sophical and literary pursuits. Yet, even while his son Robert Cecil, Bacon continued to crouch in he was engaged in business, these had not been the hope of advancement, till at length, finding neglected. In 1597, he published the first edition of himself disappointed in that quarter, he attached his Essays, which were afterwards greatly enlarged. himself to Burleigh's rival, Essex, who, with the These, as he himself says of them, 'come home to utmost ardour of a generous friendship, endeavoured men's business and bosoms; and, like the late new to procure for him, in 1594, the vacant office of halfpence, the pieces are small, and the silver is attorney-general. In this attempt he was defeated, good. From the generally interesting nature of the through the influence of the Cecils, who were jealous subjects of the • Essays,' and the excellence of their of both him and his friend; but he in some de
style, this work immediately acquired great popugree soothed Bacon's disappointment by presenting to larity, and to the present day continues the most him an estate at Twickenham, worth two thousand generally read of all the author's productions. It pounds. It is painful to relate in what manner
| is also,' to use the words of Mr Dugald Stewart, Bacon repaid such benefits. When Essex was brought one of those where the superiority of his genius to trial for a conspiracy against the queen, the friend appears to the greatest advantage, the novelty and whom he had so largely obliged and confided in, not depth of his reflections often receiving a strong relief only deserted him in the hour of need, but unneces
from the triteness of his subject. It may be read sarily appeared as counsel against him, and by every
from beginning to end in a few hours, and yet, after art and distorting ingennity of a pleader, endeavoured
the twentieth perusal, one seldom fails to remark in to magnify his crimes. He complied, moreover, it something overlooked before. This, indeed, is a after the earl's execution, with the queen's request characteristic of all Bacon's writings, and is only to that he would write A Declaration of the Practices be accounted for by the inexhaustible aliment they and Treasons Attempted and Committed by Robert, Earl furnish to our own thoughts, and the sympathetic of Esser, which was printed by authority. 'Into activity they impart to our torpid faculties.'* In this conduct, which indicates a lamentable want of First Preliminary Dissertation to · Encyclopædia Britan high moral principle, courage, and self-respect, | nica,' p. 36, seventh edition.
1605, he published another work, which still con- lead the understanding astray in the search after tinues to be extensively perused; it is entitled Of knowledge--the idols, as he figuratively terms them, the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine before which it is apt to bow-Bacon, in the second and Human. This volume, which was afterwards book of the 'Novum Organum,'goes on systematically enlarged and published in the Latin language, with to expound and exemplify his method of philosophisthe title De Augmentis Scientiarum, constitutes the ing, indicated in the foregoing extracts, and to which first part of his great work called Instauratio Scien- the appellation of the inductive method is applied. tiarum, or the Instauration of the Sciences. The second This he does in so masterly a way, that he has carned part, entitled Novum Organum, is that on which, with posterity the title of the father of experimental chiefly, his high reputation as a philosopher is science. The power and compass,' says Professor grounded, and on the composition of which he be- | Playfair, of a mind which could form such a plan stowed most labour. It is written in Latin, and beforehand, and trace not merely the outline, but appeared in 1620. In the first part of the Advance many of the most minute ramifications, of sciences ment of Learning, after considering the excellence which did not yet exist, must be an object of admiof knowledge and the means of disseminating it, ration to all succeeding ages. It is true that the together with w! at had already been done for its inductive method had been both practised and even advancement, and what omitted, he proceeds to cursorily recommended by more than one philodivide it into the three branches of history, poetry, sopher prior to Bacon; but unquestionably he was and philosophy; these having reference to what he the first to unfold it completely, to show its infinite considers the three parts of man's understanding'-- importance, and to induce the great body of scientific memory, imagination, and reason. The concluding inquirers to place themselves under its guidance. In portion of the volume relates to revealed religion. another respect, the benefit conferred by Bacon upon The 'Novum Organum,' which, as already mentioned, mankind was perhaps still greater. He turned the is the second and most important part of the ‘In- attention of philosophers from speculations and disstauration of the Sciences,'consists of aphorisms, the putes upon questions remote from use, and fixed it first of which furnishes a key to the author's leading upon inquiries productive of works for the benefit doctrines : Man, who is the servant and interpreter of the life of man.' The Aristotelian philosophy was of nature, can act and understand no further than barren; the object of Bacon was 'the amplification of he has, either in operation or in contemplation, ob- the power and kingdom of mankind over the world'served of the method and order of nature.' His new | the enlargement of the bounds of human empire to method---novum organum--of employing the un- the effecting all things possible'-the augmentation, derstanding in adding to human knowledge, is fully by means of science, of the sum of human happiness, expounded in this work, the following translated and the alleviation of human suffering. In a word, extracts from which will make manifest what the he was eminently a utilitarian. reformation was which he sought to accomplish. The third part of the ‘Instauration of the Sciences,' • After alluding to the little aid which the useful entitled Sylva Sylvarum, or History of Nature, is arts had derived from science, and the small improve- devoted to the facts and phenomena of natural ment which science had received from practical men, science, including original observations made by he proceeds—But whence can arise such vagueness Bacon himself, which, though sometimes incorrect, and sterility in all the physical systems which have are useful in exemplifying the inductive method of hitherto existed in the world? It is not certainly from searching for truth. The fourth part is called Scala anything in nature itself; for the steadiness and | Intellectus, from its pointing out a succession of steps regularity of the laws by which it is governed, clearly by which the understanding may ascend in such mark them out as objects of certain and precise investigations. Other two parts, which the author knowledge. Neither can it arise from any want of projected, were never executed. ability in those who have pursued such inquiries, Another celebrated publication of Lord Bacon is many of whom have been men of the highest talent his treatise, of the Wisdom of the Ancients, 1610; and genius of the ages in which they lived ; and it wherein he attempts, generally with more ingenuity can therefore arise from nothing else but the per- than success, to discover secret meanings in the verseness and insufficiency of the methods that have mythological fables of antiquity. He wrote also been pursued. Men have sought to make a world Felicities of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, a History of from their own conceptions, and to draw from their King Henry VII., a philosophical romance called own minds all the materials which they employed ; the New Atlantis, and several minor productions but if, instead of doing so, they had consulted expe- which it is needless to specify. His letters, too, have rience and observation, they would have had facts, been published. and not opinions, to reason about, and might have 1 After retiring from public life, Bacon, though ultimately arrived at the knowledge of the laws enjoying an annual income of £2500, continued to which govern the material world. “As things live in so ostentatious and prodigal a style, that, at his are at present conducted, a sudden transition is death, in 1626, his debts amounted to upwards of made from sensible objects and particular facts to £22,000. His devotion to science appears to have general propositions, which are accounted principles, been the immediate occasion of bringing his earthly and round which, as round so many fixed poles, existence to a close. While travelling in his carriage disputation and argument continually revolve. From at a time when there was snow on the ground, he the propositions thus hastily assumed, all things are began to consider whether flesh might not be prederived, by a process compendious and precipitate, served by snow as well as by salt. In order to make ill suited to discovery, but wonderfully accommodated the experiment, he alighted at a cottage near Highto debate. The way that promises success is the gate, bought a hen, and stuffed it with snow. This so reverse of this. It requires that we should generalise chilled him, that he was unable to return home, but slowly, going from particular things to those which went to the Earl of Arunuol's house in the neighl are but one step more general; from those to others hood, where his illness was so much increased by the of still greater extent, and so on to such as are uni- dampness of a bed into which he was put, that he versal. By such means we may hope to arrive at died in a few days.* In a letter to the earl, the last principles, not vague and obscure, but luminous and This account is given by Aubrey, who probably obtained it well-defined, such as nature herself will not refuse from Hobbes, one of Bacon's intimate friends, and afterwards to acknowledge.' After describing the causes which | an acquaintance of Aubrey.-See • Aubrey's Lives of Eminent which he wrote, after comparing himself to the elder which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and Pliny, 'who lost his life by trying an experiment adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and about the burning of Mount Vesuvius,' he does not state, as well as of use and necessity ; so knowledge, forget to mention his own experiment, which, says whether it descend from divine inspiration or spring he, succeeded excellently.' In his will, the follow from human sense, would soon perish and vanish to
oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and places appointed, as universities, colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comforting the saine.
[Libraries.] Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.
[Government.] In Orpheus's theatre, all beasts and birds assembled ; and, forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably to. gether, listening unto the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature ; wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of saraye and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge : which, as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sernions, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or sedition and tumult make them not audible all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion.
[Prosperity and Adversity.]
The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue Monument of Lord Bacon.
of adversity is fortitude. "Prosperity is the blessing of
the Old Testament ; adversity is the blessing of the ing strikingly prophetic passage is found : 'My New, which carrieth the greater benediction and the name and memory I leave to foreign nations, and to clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the mine own country after some time is passed over.' Told Testament, if you listen to David's barn
you Bacon, like Sidney, was a 'warbler of poetic prose.'shall hear as many hearselike airs as carols; and the No English writer has surpassed him in fervour and pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in debrilliancy of style, in force of expression, or in rich-scribing the afflictions of Job than the felicitics of ness and significance of imagery. Keen in dis- Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and covering analogics where no resemblance is apparent distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and to common eyes, he has sometimes indulged to hopes. We see in needle-works and embroideries, it excess in the exercise of his talent. Yet, in general, is inore pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and his comparisons are not less clear and apposite than solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy full of imagination and meaning. He has treated of work upon a lightsome ground ; judge therefore of the philosophy with all the splendour, yet none of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Cervagueness, of poetry, Sometimes his style possesses tainly, virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant A degree of conciseness very rarely to be found in the where they are incensed or crushed : for prosperity compositions of the Elizabethan age. Of this qua- doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best dislity the last of the subjoined extracts is a notable cover virtue. illustration.
It had been hard for him that spake it, to have put
more truth and untruth together in few words, than As water, whether it be the dew of heaven or the
in that speech,“ Whosoever is delighted in solitude, springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the
is either a wild beast or a god ;' for it is most true, ground, except it be collected into some receptacle,
| that a natural and secret hatred and aversion towards where it may by union comfort and sustain itself;
society, in any man, hath somewhat of the savage and, for that cause, the industry of man hath framed
beast; but it is most untrue, that it should have any and made spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, and pools ;
| character at all of the divine nature, except it proceed,
not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love Persons,' ii. 227. At pages 222 and 602 of the same volume, we
and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conlearn that Hobbes was a favourite with Bacon, 'who was wont
versation : such as is found to have been falsely and to have bim walk with him in his delicate groves, when he did
feignedly in some of the heathens-as Epimenides, meditate: and when a notion darted into his lordship's mind, Mr Hobbes was presently to write it down, and his lordship
the Candian ; Numa, the Roman ; Empedocles, the
Sicilian ; and Apollonius, of Tyana ; and truly, and was wont to say that he did it better than any one else about him ; for that many times, when he read their notes, he scarce
really, in divers of the ancient hermits and holy fathers understood what they writ, because they understood it not of the church. But little do men perceive what soli. clearly themselves.' Ile assisted his lordship in translating
tude is, and how far it extendeth ; for a crowd is not several of his essays into Latin.'
company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and
talk but a tinkling cyınbal where there is no love. dulleth any violent impression and eren so is it of The Latin adage meeteth with it a little : Magna minds. civitas, magna solitudo'- [Great city, great soli. The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovetude']; because in a great town friends are scattered, reign for the understanding, as the first is for the 80 that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, l affections; for friendship maketh indeed a fair day which is in less neighbourhoods ; but we may go in the affections from storm and tempests, but it farther, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and inaketh daylight in the understanding, out of darkmiserable solitude to want true friends, without which ness and confusion of thoughts. Neither is this to the world is but a wilderness; and, even in this scene be understood only of faithful counsel, which a man also of solitude, whosoever, in the frame of his nature receiveth from his friend ; but before you come to and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of that, certain it is, that whosoever hath his mind the beast, and not from humanity.
fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understand. A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and dis- / ing do clarify and break up, in the communicating charge of the fulness of the heart, which passions of and discoursing with another : he tosscth his thoughts all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of more casily-he marshalleth them more orderly-he stoppings and suffocations are the most dangerous in seeth how they look when they are turned into words the body, and it is not much otherwise in the mind : 1 - finally, he waxeth wiser than himself; and that you may take sarza to open the liver, steel to open the more by an hour's discourse than by a day's medispleen, 'flour of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for tation. It was well said by Themistocles to the king the brain ; but no receipt openeth the heart but a of Persia, “That speech was like cloth of Arras, opened true friend, to whom you may iinpart griefs, joys, fears, and put abroad' --whereby the imagery doth appear hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon in figure, whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs, the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in opening confession
the understanding, restrained only to such friends as It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great are able to give a man counsel (they indeed are best), kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friend- but even without that a man learueth of himself, and ship whereof we speak-so great, as they purchase it bringeth his own thoughts to l many times at the hazard of their own safety and wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a greatness : for princes, in regard of the distance of word, a man were better relate himself to a statue or their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother. cannot gather this fruit, except, to make themselves Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship capable thereof, they raise some persons to be, as it complete, that other point which lieth more open, and were, companions, and almost equals to themselves, falleth within vulgar observation--which is faithful which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith well, in one modern languages give unto such persons the name of his enigmas, Dry light is ever the best ; and cerof favourites, or privadoes, as if it were matter of grace tain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counor conversation ; but the Roman name attaineth the sel from another, is drier and purer than that which true use and cause thereof, naming them participes cometh from his own understanding and judyment, curarum' [ participators in cares']; for it is that which which is ever infused and drenched in his atlections tieth the knot: and we sec plainly that this hath been and custoins. So as there is as much difference between done, not by weak and passionate princes only, but the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned, who himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their and of a flatterer ; for there is no such flatterer as servants, whom both themselves have called friends, is a man's self, and there is no such remely against and allowed others likewise to call them in the same dattery of a man's self as the liberty of a friend. manner, using the word which is received between Counsel is of two sorts ; the one concerning manners, private men.
the other concerning business : for the first, the best It is not to be forgotten what Comineus observeth preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful of his first master, Duke Charles the Ilardy-namely, admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self that he would communicate his secrets with none; to a strict account, is a medicine sometimes too piercand, least of all, those secrets which troubled himing and corrosive; reading good books of morality is most. Whereupon he goeth on, and saith, that towards a litile flat and dead ; observing our faults in others his latter time, that closeness did impair and a little is sometimes improper for our case ; but the best reperish his understanding. Surely Comineus inight ceipt (hest, I say, to work, and best to take) is the have made the same judgment also, if it had pleased admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold him, of his second master, Louis XI., whose closeness what gross errors and extreme absurdities many (espewas indeed his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras cially of the greater sort) do commit, for want of a is dark, but true, 'Cor ne edito'-['Eat not the heart.'] friend to tell them of them, to the great damage both Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those of their fame and fortune : for, as St James saith, they that want friends to open themselves unto, are canni- are as men that look sometimes into a glass, and bals of their own hearts; but one thing is most ad- presently forget their own shape and favour:' as for mirable (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of business, a man may think, if he will, that two eyes friendship), which is, that this communicating of a see no more than one; or, that a gamester sceth always man's self to his friend, works two contrary eficcts, more than a looker-on; or, that a man in anger is as for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halves ; for wise as he that hath said over the four-and-twenty there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, letters; or, that a musket may be shot off as well but he joyeth the more, and no man that impartcth his upon the arm as upon a rest; and such other fond and griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less. So that high imaginations, to think himself all in all : but it is, in truth, of operation upon a inan's inind of when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which like virtue as the alchymists use to attribute to their setteth business straight; and if any man think that stone for man's body, that it worketh all contrary he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces; asking effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature; but counsel in one business of one man, and in another yet, without praying in aid of alchymists, there is a business of another man ; it is as well (that is to say, manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature; better, perhaps, than if he asked none at all), but he for, in bodies, union strengtheneth and cherisheth any runneth two dangers ; one, that he shall not be faithnatural action, and, on the other side, weakeneth and fully counselled-for it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given, diseases of the mind--sometimes purring the ill but such as shall be bowed and crooked to some ends humours, sometimes opening the obstructions, somewhich he hath that giveth it; the other, that he shall times helping the digestion, sometimes increasing have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe (though with appetite, sometimes healing the wounds and ulceragood meaning), and mixed partly of mischief and tions thereof, and the like ; and I will therefore conpartiy of ren.cdy-even as if you would call a physi-clude with the chief reason of all, which is, that it cian, that is thought good for the cure of the disease disposeth the constitution of the inind not to be fixed you complain of, but is unacquainted with your body or settled in the defects thereof, but still to be capable —and therefore, may put you in a way for present and susceptible of reformation. For the unlearned cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind, man knoweth not what it is to descend into hiinselt, and so cure the disease, and kill the patient : but a and call himself to account ; nor the pleasure of that friend, that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate, most pleasant life, which consists in our daily feeling will beware, by furthering any present business, how ourselves become better.* The good parts he hath, he he dasheth upon other inconvenience-and, therefore, will learn to show to the full, and use them dexterously, rest not upon scattered counsels, for they will rather but not much to increase thein: the faults he hath, he distract and niislead, than settle and direct.
will learn how to hide and colour them, but not much After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in to amend them ; like an ill mower, that mows on still the affections, and support of the judgment), followeth and never whets his scythe. Whereas, with the learned the last fruit, which is, like the poinegranate, full of man it fares otherwise, that he doth over intermix the many kernels I mean, aid and bearing a part in all correction and amendment of his mind with the use actions and occasions. Here, the best way to repre- and employment thercof. sent to life the manifold use of friendship, is to cast and see how many things there are which a man can
[ Books and Ships Compared.) not do himself; and then it will appear that it was a
If the invention of the ship was thought so noble, sparing speech of the ancients, to say that a friend
na | which carrieth riches and commodities from place to is another hinself; for that a friend is far more than
place, and consociateth the most remote regions in himself.' Men hare their time, and die many times
participation of their fruits, how much inore are in desire of some things which they principally take
letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through to heart; the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a
the vast scas of time, and make ages so distant parwork, or the like. If a man have a true friend, he
ticipate of the wisdomn, illuininations, and inventions, may rest alınost secure that the care of those things
the one of the other ! will continue after him; so that a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body,
[ Stulies.) and that body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for and his deputy: for he may exercise them by his ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness friend. How many things are there which a man and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse ; and for cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself? ability, is in the judginent and disposition of business ; A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of par: much less extol them; a man cannot sometimes brook ticulars, one by one ; but the general counsels, and the to supplicate or bey; and a number of the like: but plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which thnt are learned. To spend too much time in studies, are blushing in a man's own. So, again, a man's per- is sloth ; to use them too much for ornament, is son hath many proper relations which he cannot put affectation ; to make judgment wholly by their rules, off. A man cannot speak to his son but as a father ;
of speak to his son but as a father :) is the humour of a scholar; they perfect nature, and to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon are perfected by experience-for natural abilities are terms; whereas a friend may speak as the case re- like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and quires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to studies themselves do give forth directions too much at enumerate these things were endless: I have given large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part; men contemn studies, simple men adinire them, and if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
wise men use them ; for they teach not their own use;
but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, [l'ses of Knowledge.]
won by observation. Read not to contradict and conLearning taketh away the willness, barbarism, and fute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find fierceness of men's mindy; though a little of it doth talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some rather work a contrary effect. It taketh away all books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and levity, temerity, and insolency, by copious suggestion some few to be chewed and digested : that is, some
il doubts and difficulties, and acquainting the books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, mind to balance reasons on both sides, and to turn but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, back the first offers and conceits of the kind, and to and with diligence and attention. Some books also accept of nothing but what is) examined and tried. may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them It taketh away all vain admiration of anything, which by others ; but that would be only in the less imis the root of all weakness: for all things are admired, portant arguments, and the meaner sort of books ; else
ar because they are new, or because they are great distilled books are, like common distilled waters, * If a man meditate upon the universal frame flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference of nature, the earth with men upon it (the divineness a ready man, and writing an exact man; and, thereof souls excepted) will not seem more than an ant-hill, fore, if a man write little, he had need have a great where some ants carry corn, and some carry their young, inemory ; if he confer little, he had need have a and some go empty, and all to and fro a little heap of present wit ; and if he read little, he had need have dust. It taketh away or mitigateth fear of death, or much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. adverse fortune : which is one of the greatest impediments of virtue, and imperfection of manners. het *
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the In the brilliant constellation of great mon which knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears to-ladorned
adorned the reigns of Elizabeth and James, one of gether. It were too long to go over the particular remedies which learning doth minister to all the *This expression is given in the original in Latin.