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[LORD BACON. 1561-1626.] PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY. THE virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearselike airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks and embroideries, it is


pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground; judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly, virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant where they are incensed or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth

best discover virtue.


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 together, 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 savage 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 sermons, 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.



IT had been hard for him that spake it, to have put more truth and untruth together in few words, than in that speech, "Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god; " for it is most true, that a natural

and secret hatred and aversion towards society, in any man, hath somewhat of the savage beast; but it is most untrue, that it should have any character at all of the divine nature, except proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation: such as is


faithful counsel, which a man receiveth

found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathens--as Epimenides, from his friend; but before you come to

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the Candian; Numa, the Roman; Empedocles, the Sicilian; and Apollonius, of Tyana; and truly, and really, in divers of the ancient hermits and holy fathers of the church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth; 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. The Latin adage meeteth with it a little: Magna civitas, magna solitudo;' because in a great town friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighbourhoods; but we may go farther, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness; and, even in this scene also of solitude, whosoever, in the frame of his nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.

that, certain it is, that whosoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding do clarify and break up, in the communicating and discoursing with another: he tosseth his thoughts more easily-he marshalleth them more orderly-he seeth how they look when they are turned into wordsfinally, he waxeth wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's discourse than by a day's meditation. It was well said by Themistocles to the king of Persia, "That speech was like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad"—whereby the imagery doth appear in figure, whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs. Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in opening the understanding, restrained only to such friends as are able to give a man counsel (they indeed are best), but even without that a man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, a man were better relate himself to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.

Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship complete, that other point which lieth more open, and falleth within vulgar observation -which is faithful counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith well, in one of his enigmas, “Dry light is ever the best ;" and certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment, which is ever

This communicating of a man's self to his friend, works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halves; for there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more, and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less. So that it is, in truth, of operation upon a man's mind of like virtue as the alchymists use to attribute to their stone for man's body, that it worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature; but yet, without praying in aid of alchymists, there is a manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature; for, in bodies, union strength-infused and drenched in his affections and eneth and cherisheth any natural action, and, on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any violent impression-and even so is it of minds.

The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for the affections; for friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections from storm and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. Neither is this to be understood only of

customs. So as there is as much differ-1 ence between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer; for there is no such flatterer as is a man's self, and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's self as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning manners, the other concerning business: for the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition

present business, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience—and, therefore, rest not upon scattered counsels, for they will rather distract and mislead, than settle and direct.


of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a strict account, is a medicine sometimes too piercing and corrosive; reading good books of morality is a little flat and dead; observing our faults in others is sometimes improper for our case; but the After these two noble fruits of friendbest receipt (best, I say, to work, and ship (peace in the affections, and support best to take) is the admonition of a friend. of the judgment), followeth the last fruit, It is a strange thing to behold what gross which is, like the pomegranate, full of errors and extreme absurdities many many kernels-I mean, aid and bearing (especially of the greater sort) do commit, a part in all actions and occasions. Here, for want of a friend to tell them of them, the best way to represent to life the manito the great damage both of their fame fold use of friendship, is to cast and see and fortune: for, as St. James saith, they how many things there are which a man are as men "that look sometimes into a cannot do himself; and then it will apglass, and presently forget their own shape pear that it was a sparing speech of the and favour:" as for business, a man may ancients, to say that a friend is another think, if he will, that two eyes see no himself; for that a friend is far more than more than one; or, that a gamester seeth himself." Men have their time, and die always more than a looker-on; or, that a many times in desire of some things man in anger is as wise as he that hath which they principally take to heart; the said over the four-and-twenty letters; or, bestowing of a child, the finishing of a that a musket may be shot off as well work, or the like. If a man have a true upon the arm as upon a rest; and such friend, he may rest almost secure that the other fond and high imaginations, to care of those things will continue after think himself all in all: but when all is him; so that a man hath, as it were, two done, the help of good counsel is that lives in his desires. A man hath a body, which setteth business straight; and if and that body is confined to a place; but any man think that he will take counsel, where friendship is, all offices of life are, but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel as it were, granted to him and his deputy; in one business of one man, and in for he may exercise them by his friend. another business of another man; it is as How many things are there which a man well (that is to say, better, perhaps, than cannot, with any face or comeliness, say if he asked none at all), but he runneth or do himself? A man can scarce allege two dangers; one, that he shall not be his own merits with modesty, much less faithfully counselled-for it is a rare thing, extol them; a man cannot sometimes except it be from a perfect and entire brook to supplicate or beg; and a numfriend, to have counsel given, but such as ber of the like: but all these things are shall be bowed and crooked to some ends graceful in a friend's mouth, which are which he hath that giveth it; the other, blushing in a man's own. So, again, a that he shall have counsel given, hurtful man's person hath many proper relations and unsafe (though with good meaning), which he cannot put off. A man cannot and mixed partly of mischief and partly speak to his son but as a father; to his of remedy-even as if you would call a wife but as a husband; to his enemy but physician, that is thought good for the upon terms: whereas a friend may speak cure of the disease you complain of, but as the case requires, and not as it sorteth is unacquainted with your body-and with the person. But to enumerate these therefore, may put you in a way for pre- things were endless: I have given the sent cure, but overthroweth your health rule, where a man cannot fitly play his in some other kind, and so cure the dis-own part; if he have not a friend, he ease, and kill the patient: but a friend, may quit the stage. that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate, will beware, by furthering any

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STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business; for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar; they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books: else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to con

tend; "Abeunt studia in mores; 19 nay, there is no stond or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies: like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises; bowling is good for the stone and reins, shooting for the lungs and breast, gentle walking for the stomach, riding for the head and the like; so if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differ ences, let him study the schoolmen, for they are "Cymini sectores;" if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases: so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.


MEN in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. So they have no freedom, neither in their persons; nor in their actions; nor in their times. It is a strange desire to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self. The rising unto place is laborious; and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes base: and by indignities, men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy thing: Cum non sis, qui fueris, non esse, cur velis vivere? ["Since you are no longer what you were, here is no reason why you should desire to live as a nonentity."] Nay, retire men cannot when they would; neither will they when it were reason: but are impatient of privateness, even in age and sickness, which require the shadow : like old townsmen that will be still sitting at their street door, though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly, great persons had need to borrow other men's opinions to think themselves happy; for if they judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it;

but if they think with themselves what other men think of them, and that other men would fain be as they are, then they are happy, as it were by report, when perhaps they find the contrary within. For they are the first that find their own griefs; though they be the last that find their own faults. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring. For good thoughts (though God accept them), yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act, and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and good works is the end of man's motion; and conscience of the same is the accomplishment of man's rest. Neglect not also the examples of those that have carried themselves ill in the same place; not to set off thyself by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform therefore, without bravery, or scandal of former times and persons; but yet, set it down to thyself as well to create good precedents, as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerate, but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancient time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may know beforehand what they may expect; but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction. And rather assume thy right in silence, and de facto, than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places, and think it more honour to direct in chief, than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advises touching the execution of thy place, and do not drive away such as bring thee information, as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays, give easy access, keep times appointed, go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption, do not only bind thine own hands, as thy servants'

hands, from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering. For integrity used doth the one, but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other. And avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. Therefore, always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery. For bribes come but now and then, but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without. As Solomon saith, "To respect persons is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread.” It is most true that was anciently spoken; a place showeth the man, and it showeth some to the better, and some to the worse; "Omnium consensu capax Imperii, nisi imperasset:" ["He would have been universally deemed fit for empire, if he had never reigned:"] saith Tacitus of Galba; but of Vespasian he saith "Solus Imperantium Vespatianus mutatus in melius." ["Vespasian was the only emperor who was changed for the better by his accession."] Though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit whom honour amends. For honour is, or should be, the place of virtue. And as in nature things move violently to their places, and calmly in their place; so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self, whilst he is in the rising; and to balance himself, when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost

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