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19 May doubt: Lat. metuendum, "fear."
20 His law: the Koran. Cf. Essay xvi, note 3. 21 Arians: followers of Arius (256-336) who maintained respecting the Trinity that the Son is of a nature similar to but not the same as that of the Father and is subordinate to him; thus tending toward a denial of the divinity of Christ.
22 Arminians: followers of Jakob Harmensen (1560-1609), who, protesting against the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, taught that God had predestined the salvation or condemnation of individuals only after he saw who would accept and who would decline the mercy of Christ. 23 Persians: e. g. the invasion of Greece in 480 B. C. 24 Assyrians: under Sennacherib and Esarhaddon conquered Egypt (705-668 B. C.).
25 Arabians: conquered Spain in 711 and maintained sovereignty over it in general till 1492.
26 Tartars: under Jenghis Khan conquered China and central Asia in 1206-1221.
27 Gallo-Grecia: Galatia, in Asia Minor, conquered by Gauls
in 279 B. C.
28 Rome: invaded by the Gauls in 390 B. C.
29 In respect of the stars: this view was upheld by Roger Bacon in his Opus Majus (c. 1267).
30 Courages warmest: the Lat. adds: "as is seen in the people of Arauco, who, seated the farthest south, far excel all the Peruvians in courage." B. refers to the Araucanians in southern Chile.
31 Almaigne: Germany.
32 Charles: c. 742-814, king of the Franks from 768 on, and emperor of the Romans 800-814.
33 By lot: legend has it that in this way the early Anglian and Saxon emigrants to Britain were chosen.
34 Encourageth a war: Lat. "excites other nations to invade them."
35 Ordnance: Lat. tormenta ænea, "brass ordnance."
36 Known: the Lat. adds "in the time of Alexander the Great."
37 Arietations: use of battering-rams.
38 His infancy: the gen. its had not come into general use. 39 Exhaust: the Lat. adds "the loquaciousness also remaining." 40 Philology: apparently Bacon means "the history."
41 Circle of tales: Lat. "a certain mass of tales and useless observations."
LIX. OF FAME
First printed by Rawley in 1657.
1 They say: a free translation follows of Virgil, Æneid, iv, 173188.
2 Mucianus: Tacitus, History, ii, 80.
3 Julius Cæsar: Plutarch, Lives, v, 31, 32.
18, 1. 6.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE STUDY OF THE ESSAYS
There are three kinds of study which the high-school student may devote to the Essays. To make his study profitable in the highest degree, and to appreciate the Essays most fully, he should give some attention to each of these kinds. I. LINGUISTIC. a. Note the proportion of native English
words to those of Latin origin and to those of French origin. Is B. fond of words of Latin or Greek origin?
b. Does B. often use words now obsolete, or in senses not now common or intelligible, e. g. leese, compound (Essay lv, p. 164, 1. 2 f. b.), Almaigne, graze (Essay xlv, p. 139, 1. 14 f. b.), glorious (Essay xlviii, p. 15, 1. 3 f. b.)? Does he make frequent use of scientific terms?
c. How far does B. differ from modern standard usage in his inflections, especially of verbs? How does his usage compare with that of the King James Bible? Is he careful in using the subjunctive mode?
d. Are B.'s sentences modern in structure? In what respects do they strike us as strange or old-fashioned? Is he fond of balance? Of periodic sentences? How many obsolete constructions do we find, e. g. there be some have (Essay xlii, p. 133, l. 19), so as for so that? How do his sentences compare in structure with those of the Bible, and of Shakespeare's prose?
II. RHETORICAL. a. The structure of the Essays will be much better understood if either an outline or an abstract is made of each one. The outlines or briefs may be made more or less elaborate as time permits, but should invariably be done with care. The abstracts should be as concise as possible.
b. Are the Essays structurally clear? Are the general divisions well marked? Are transitions easily made? At what points does certainly occur, and are there any Essays in which it does not occur? Which Essays seem to have been most carefully planned? Which Essays are formally introduced? In which is there a formal conclusion? Does B. conform to the modern canons of unity, sequence, coherence?
c. How much narrative, description, argument does B. mingle with his exposition? Are any Essays arguments? d. In what respects do the Essays differ from modern essays, e. g. those of Addison, Macaulay, Carlyle, Stevenson? Are these differences to be accounted for by the author's different purpose?
e. What is B.'s attitude toward his reader? Does he address
or ignore the reader? Does he speak as one having authority, or timidly?
f. Is B. too fond of quotations from foreign languages? For what class of people was he writing? Could he depend upon being usually understood? Does he quote the Bible oftener in Latin than in English? Does he introduce quotations in foreign languages for ornament or for clearer statement?
g. What adjectives may most appropriately be applied to B.'s style? Is he ever diffuse? When is he most concise? When, if ever, does he make use of poetic diction? How often does he use figures and what figures does he prefer? When does he use the longest and when the shortest sentences? Does he ever use a transposed order of words, and for what purpose?
III. LITERARY. a. One of the most profitable of studies is that of the Essays as illustrating B.'s life and times. Essays xi and xxxvi are wonderfully interesting in connection with B.'s struggle for preferment. How does Essay Ivi harmonize with B.'s practice as a judge? How does Essay xxxiii illustrate the designs of the colonizers of America? These are questions such as may arise in connection with almost every Essay. Think of the collection as a human document." Classify B.'s subjects.
b. Ethical standards. How do B.'s ideas of conduct compare with those of our day? Does he allow practices, e. g. telling untruths, that we condemn? Judged by present-day standards, are his ideals of life high? Do religious considerations ever influence his conduct or his precepts?
c. The extent of B.'s reading. Not much can be done by the high-school pupil in the study of this topic; but he can note the variety of authors from whom B. got his ideas. Does B. often distort in quoting? Has the Bible much influenced him?
d. Allusions. A fuller study of B.'s allusions, especially to classical myths, than is possible from the Notes, will be worth while. See the classical dictionaries of Smith, Harper, Seyffert, and Gayley's Classic Myths in English Literature, Boston, 1893.
e. B.'s humor. Had he a sense of humor, and how often does it show itself? How does his humor compare with that of Shakespeare?
f. Closely connected with (e) is the general question of B.'s temperament as illustrated in the Essays. What sort of man does he seem to have been, bold or cautious, frank or sly, good-natured or crabbed, an optimist or a pessimist? Could he have written any of Shakespeare's plays with which you are familiar?