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wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are," Of Seeming Wise.
"In sickness, respect health principally; and in health, action," Of Regiment of Health.
"For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love," Of Friendship.
To vary Bacon, I have given the rule, if a man cannot find a bit of wisdom for himself, he may close the book.
What kind of man was the writer of these Essays? Politically, as was natural in a man of family born and bred under the Tudor government, Bacon was an imperialist. His ideal was a strong, centralized government. He believed in rank and dignities, and thought ruling a natural function of the nobility. Though a contemporary of the young Oliver Cromwell, he was no democrat. Neither was Shakspere, born a man of the people. But Bacon would hardly have pushed the doctrine of royal divine right to the breaking point. He would have made concessions to the rising commonalty. Tolerance is a peculiarly attractive virtue and Bacon possessed it in a high degree. His wise prince is a sort of benevolent despot, a classical despot humanized by the ideas of the Renaissance. As to the conduct of life, there is much worldly wisdom inculcated in Bacon's maxims, some of which are frankly Machiavellian. Human nature is complex, and the bigger the man, the greater the complexity. The Essays are as surely the expression of a genuinely religious spirit, as
of a worldly-wise one. Indeed, in spite of Bacon's errors of conduct, and however repellent Bacon's political trimming is to the straightforward man, his Essays bear the strongest possible testimony to the essential soundness of Bacon's moral character. A good man only could have written them. Hear the witness of Ben Jonson, as honest a man as ever lived,-"My conceit of his Person was never in creased towards him, by his place, or honours. But I have, and doe reverence him for the greatnesse, that was only proper to himselfe, in that hee seem'd to mee ever, by his worke one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration, that had beene in many Ages. In his adversity I ever prayed, that God would give him strength: for Greatnesse hee could not want. Neither could I condole in a word, or syllable for him; as knowing no Accident could doe harme to vertue, but rather helpe to make it manifest." (Timber, or Discoveries. De augmentis scientiarum.)
ESSAYES OR COUNSELS,
CIVILL AND MORALL,
FRANCIS LO. VERULAM, VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
Printed by JOHN HAVILAND, for HANNA BARRETT and RICHARD WHITAKER And are to be sold at the sign of the King's Head, in
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY.
To the Right Honourable my very good Lo. the DUKE of BUCKINGHAM his Grace, Lo. High Admiral of England.
SALOMON says, A good name is as a precious ointment; and I assure myself, such will your Grace's name be with posterity. For your fortune and merit both have been eminent. And you have planted things that are like to last. I do now publish my Essays; which, of all my other works have been most current; for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms. I have enlarged them both in number and weight; so that they are indeed a new work. I thought it therefore agreeable to my affection and obligation to your Grace, to prefix your name before them, both in English and in Latin. For I do conceive that the Latin volume of them (being in the universal language) may last as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated to the King; my History of Henry the Seventh (which I have now also translated into Latin), and my portions of Natural History, to the Prince; and these I dedicate to your Grace; being of the