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Note: ADDITION 39 IS ON THE SUBJECT: FRANCIS BACON 1561 - 1626. Very important in the history of Freethought, the "scientific method" (see 2139 (Jefferson)), etc.

from: The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans, and Lord High Chancellor of England, Reprinted from the Texts and Translations, with the Notes and Prefaces, of Ellis and Spedding, edited with an Introduction by John M. Robertson, London, George Routledge and Sons Limited, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1905.

[Note: Pioneer Humanists, John M. Robertson, 1907, has an essay on "Bacon" (42-114); important, but much less attractive, than the Introduction in this book (by John M. Robertson, 1905)].

"Editor's [John M. Robertson] Preface

An adequate collection of the chief works of Francis Bacon, at a price within the reach of the mass of readers, has long been wanting, and the present reprint, from the magistral edition of Ellis and Spedding (7 vols., 1857), is an attempt to meet the need...." [v].

'Editor's Introduction


The manifold debate which has circled round the name of Bacon for over two hundred years, but especially in the past century, may be divided under two heads—that of his character, and that of his intellectual merit. For many students, happily, the first issue is settled, and the second is perhaps near settlement. But for the general reading public each problem is still somewhat confused by the influence of Macaulay's famous Essay, which seriously mishandled both.

          Logically considered, the two questions are quite independent: that is to say, a decision on either leaves the other still open. But for any one in doubt on the first, it must be nearly impossible [very possible! watch what they do] to read a page of Bacon (who so constantly passes moral judgments) without having the critical faculty either primed or puzzled by the reflection that this moralist [Francis Bacon (again: watch what they do)] is charged by a series of eminent writers with being as base in conduct as he was brilliant in thought and speech. Pope's line

"The brightest, wisest, meanest of mankind"—

[i]s still, it is to be feared, the common estimate, as it was in effect Macaulay's; and the real paradox [? (the "paradox" is in the observer)] of great powers in combination


with low instincts is common enough in life to permit of Pope's extravagance—which asserts something quite different [this clause?]—passing as a statement of possible psychological fact.

          It is best, then, to come straight to the historical facts. The main charges against Bacon as a man are two: treachery to his patron and benefactor, Essex; and corruptness as a judge; and Macaulay presses both with all his force....' [vii].

"....But his [Bacon] fault was laxity, never iniquity [?]; and he could truly claim, while admitting the justice of the sentence passed on him by the House of Lords, that he had been the justest judge of his day. Not one of his thirty-six thousand decrees as Lord Chancellor appears to have been overturned on the score of corruption...." [viii].

          'If, finally, Bacon be judged in the only fair way, by comparison with his leading contemporaries, he is found to be in essentials a much better man than most of them. His successor in the Chancellorship, Bishop Williams, was convicted of real corruption, and disgraced accordingly. Another of his impeachers, Cranfield, was found guilty of gross and manifold embezzlement as Lord Treasurer, and disgraced likewise; and of most of those active against him it may be said that they were as much morally as intellectually his inferiors. No public man of that age of whose career we have any full knowledge makes after a close examination so strong an impression of general worthiness and fairness. "All that were great and good," says the unromantic Aubrey, "loved and honoured him". Spedding, generally held to be one of the most sagacious men of his age in England, has deliberately said of him, on the strength of a quite unrivalled knowledge of his whole career: "I doubt whether there was ever any man whose evidence upon matters of fact may be more absolutely trusted".

          The only ground on which that judgment is now likely to be disputed is the occasional semblance of servility in Bacon's relations to King James and his favourites. But in truth it is only a semblance [?]....' [viii].

"And when his [Francis Bacon] entire political career is read in the light of Spedding's consummate knowledge and intimate appreciation, it stands out no less fully redeemed than his personal character from the charges so zealously pressed by Macaulay. The accusation of cherishing monopolies and judicial torture [Bacon was allied with King James I (see #24, 528-530)], and the lawless use of the King's prerogative, all [?] fall to the ground on full confrontation with the facts. It is safe to say that had Bacon's life ended in undimmed official lustre, and not in technical disgrace, he would pass without challenge as one of the most sagacious and most upright public men of his day." [ix].

"....And on the side of the advances in mechanics and the useful arts he [Francis Bacon] was equally ill-formed...." [xi].

"down to our own day Bacon's fame is relatively undiminished, having survived even the attempt of some of his worshippers to prove that he [Bacon] wrote the plays of Shakspere [sic], and a whole library besides." [xvi].

[See: 2122 (re: Bacon 1561 - 1626 and Shakespeare 1564 - 1616)].


"of all those who in or before his time warred by precept against the tyranny of tradition, he [Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626] alone retains his spell....Only Descartes [1596 - 1650] with his masterly Discours de la Méthode, written in his mother tongue for the next generation, compares with Bacon in his sustained hold upon posterity. And when we are making so many comparisons, it is meet ["appropriate", etc.] to remember that Descartes in his turn, with all his scientific faculty, showed constant disrespect to the great Galileo [Galilei 1564 - 1642], perhaps for a worse reason than that of Bacon's attitude to Copernicus [Kopernik 1473 - 1543], namely, a mere concern to propitiate the Catholic Church. However that may be, the spectacle of the strength and weakness, the successes and failures, of two such men [Bacon; Descartes] recalls us to the true and final attitude of retrospective criticism, a recognisant [also, recognizant] compassion before the mysterious self-frustration [?] of men."

[xvi] [End of Introduction, by John M. Robertson].

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from: Passion and Criminality in France, by Louis Proal, One of the Presiding Judges at the Court of Appeal of Riom (Puy-De-Dôme), Laureate of the "Institut", Translated from the French by A.R. Allinson M.A. (Oxon.), Paris, Charles Carrington, 13 Faubourg Montmartre, 1901 (French 1892).



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"The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

          LIFE. Francis Bacon was born in London on January 22, 1561, at York House off the Strand. He was the younger of two sons of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Queen Elizabeth I. Bacon had a virtual dualistic upbringing. His mother was a zealous Puritan. Bacon's father hoped Francis would become a diplomat and taught him the ways of a courtier." [page 1 (of 3)].

          "With the death of Elizabeth and the succession of James I, Bacon was established as solicitor general. He later achieved attorney general, and eventually took over his father's old position of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal...." [1 (of 3)].

          "In March 1626, Bacon bought a chicken in order to see how long its flesh could be preserved by stuffing it with snow. He caught cold and went to stay at the Earl of Arundel's house nearby. Bacon preferred the nobleman's best room, where there was a damp bed, to a more modest room in which there was a dry bed. On April 9, 1626, due to complications arising from bronchitis, Francis Bacon died at Highgate, in the Earl of Arundel's house." [1 (of 3)].

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'Francis Bacon: "The Secretary of Nature" (1561-1626)1'

[[footnote] '1From a 1593 quote of Izaak Walton's, "The great secretary of Nature and all learning, Sir Francis Bacon."' [page 6 (of 7)]]

"Bacon could see that the only knowledge of importance to man was empirically rooted in the natural world; and that a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure man's mastery over the world.5"

[footnote '5That is not to say that Bacon did not believe that there was a God, for, as he said in "Of Atheism": "I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran [Koran], than that this universal frame is without a mind."'

[page 7 (of 7)]].

"Quotes:-" [page 4 (of 7)]

'Ought v. Is:-


               "We are much beholden to Machiavel [Machiavelli] and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do."' [page 5 (of 7)]. [See: Addition 34, 1590 (Montaigne, on Seneca)].


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from: [now,?] [re: Bacon 1561 - 1626 and Shakespeare 1564 - 1616]

"Shakespeare's Good Book"

"In 1927 Sigmund Freud wrote, "I no longer believe that William Shakespeare the actor from Stratford was the author of the works that have been ascribed to him. Since reading Shakespeare Identified by J. T. Looney, I am almost convinced that the assumed name conceals the personality of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford."

Almost 70 years later, Freud's quote probably provokes more nervous laughter than it does curious inquiry. But a University of Massachusetts scholar has discovered astonishing new evidence that may allow Freud to have the last laugh after all...."

[1 (of 4)]. [see following: a website which rebuts this website].

_____ _____ _____

from: [now,?] [re: Bacon and Shakespeare]

"Oxford's Bible"

'"Critically Examining Oxfordian Claims"'

'Now, a few words about the so-called "Oxford Bible." This is a Geneva Bible belonging to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. which apparently belonged to Edward de Vere at one point. It contains handwritten annotations which, according to Oxfordians, correspond closely to Biblical allusions in Shakespeare's works, and which they take as evidence for Oxford's ["Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford"] authorship of Shakespeare. Having examined this particular Bible at the Folger, and having prepared a complete list of the annotations, I can report that Oxfordian propaganda has wildly exaggerated its value for their cause. There is no correlation between the annotations and the pattern of Biblical use in Shakespeare's work, and any overlap between the marked verses and those used by Shakespeare appears to be random. Calling this "Shakespeare's Bible," as some Oxfordians have done, is nothing more than wishful thinking; I seriously doubt that anyone examining this Bible without knowing its provenance would ever think to associate it with Shakespeare....' [1 (of 3)].

[from: Who Wrote Shakespeare, John Michell, Thames and Hudson, 1996.

page 37: "Sole or principal authors": 24 persons are listed (Bacon is one of 24). page 38: "Contributors to a group authorship". 39 persons are listed. "The Rosicrucians, the Jesuits and the Freemasons have also been claimed as group-authors of Shakespeare." [See: Addition 36, 1735-1991, "Thirty Centuries of Forgeries"]].

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from: English Prose Classics. Lord Bacon's Essays [apparently, the 1625 edition], with a Sketch of His Life and Character, Reviews of His Philosophical Writings, Critical Estimates of His Essays, Analysis, Notes, and Queries for Students, and Select Portions of the 'Annotations' of Archbishop Whately. By James R. Boyd, Editor of English Poets with Notes, Author of Works on Rhetoric, English Compositions, Etc. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 111 & 113 William Street, (Corner of John Street.) Sold by Booksellers, generally, throughout the United States. 1867.

[Found 12/23/2000, thanks to the bookstore of Chuck Valverde (see #4, 129)].

[James R. Boyd] 'Master of scoffing: Rabelais (1483–1553), one of the most remarkable persons that took part in the revival of ancient learning—an accomplished scholar, physician, and philosopher—for a time a Franciscan monk, but known to posterity chiefly as a profane humorist. His fame rests principally on a single work—"Lives of Gargantua and Pantagruel," abounding in waggeries, practical jokes, blasphemies, and obscenities, mingled with dissertations, sophistries, and allegorical satires. It is said to be a merciless attack upon monks, princes, kings, and all religious and political authorities. He has been called by Bacon "the great jester of France," and by others the "comic Homer." The work has passed through more than sixty editions, yet, it is said that no literary work can be compared with it for indecency, profanity, and disgusting coarseness.—Botta's Hand Book.' [91].

"Unity in Religion."

[Annotation] "The Apostle Paul is frequent and earnest in his exhortations to his converts to confine themselves to such studies as tend to the edification of the church, the conversion of infidels, and the propagation of the essential doctrines of the Gospel. And these doctrines are all of a practical tendency. While all the systems framed by human superstition, enthusiasm and imposture, whether Pagan, Romish, or Mahometan, abound in mythological fables, and marvellous legends, it is one of the most remarkable characteristics of the true religion [Christianism ("Christianity")] that it reveals nothing that is not practically important. Our religion reveals to us, not the philosophy of the human mind in itself, nor yet the philosophy of the divine nature in itself, but (that which is properly religion) the relation and connection of the two Beings—what God is to us, what he has done, and will do for us,—and what we are to be and to do, in regard to him.—Whately." [96].


[Annotation] "The master of superstition is the people: Mankind have an innate propensity, as to other errors, so to that of endeavoring to serve God by proxy; to commit to some distinct Order of men the care of their religious concerns, in the same manner as they confide the care of their bodily health to the physician and of their legal transactions to the lawyer; deeming it sufficient to follow implicitly their directions, without attempting themselves to become acquainted with the mysteries of medicine or of law. For Man, except when unusually depraved, retains enough of the image of his Maker, to have a natural reverence for religion, and a desire that God


should be worshipped; but, through the corruption of his nature, his heart is (except when divinely purified) too much alienated from God to take delight in serving him. Hence the disposition men have shown, to substitute the devotion of the priest for their own; to leave the duties of piety in his hands, and let him serve God in their stead. This disposition is not so much the consequence as itself the origin of priestcraft.—Whately." [144].

[See: Addition 11, 907 (complicity)]. [In defense of "Mankind": simply specialization? Tasks delegated? Time saving?].

[Bibliophile's note: while studying this book (without opening it wide), it split into 2 parts—here!—144∣145].


[Bacon, Essay XVII.] 'The Italian says, "Sospetto licentia [licenza] fede;" as if suspicion did give a passport to faith; but it ["suspicion"] ought rather to kindle it ["faith"] to discharge itself.' [238].

[James R. Boyd] "Sospetto [licenza fede], &c.: 'Suspicion releases faith.' Did give, &c.: did set faith, or fidelity at liberty—or permit it to depart. As Bacon says in his Antitheta:—Suspicio fidem absolvit: 'Suspicion breaks the bonds of trust (or fidelity).' On the other hand he also says:—Merito ejus fides suspecta est, quam suspicio labefacit: 'The fidelity (or sincerity) which suspicion weakens is justly suspected.' Sospetto, &c.: 'Suspicion is the passport to faith.' But it ought, &c.: a clause rendered obscure chiefly from the vague use of the pronoun it; the meaning perhaps is: 'But it ought rather to excite fidelity in order to discharge itself.' Bacon, though a profound and original, is too frequently a very obscure and a very careless writer, when compared with the best, or even the common-place writers of the present day. The Latin is more plain than the English:—'Quasi suspicio fidei missionem daret; cum potius fidem accendere deberet, ut se ipsam liberaret;' i.e. 'as if suspicion should give a dismission to fidelity; when, rather, it ought to inflame fidelity, that it (fidelity) might free itself (from suspicion) [my guess: the Italian ("Sospetto licenza fede"), is correct].'" [238].

[James R. Boyd] 'Else, &c.: In other cases, distilled books (so to speak), like distilled waters, which are commonly sold, will be entirely insipid (flashy things). [Alias enim (ut sic dicam) distillati, instar aquarum distillatarum, quas vulgo mercantur, erunt penitus insipidi.] They are deprived of their spirit and vitality. There are certain works which must be read in their totality, in their precise language, to give us a full idea of their excellence. To change the form and phraseology, is to destroy their piquancy and force. What just idea should we have of Paradise Lost, or of some of the finest passages of Shakespeare, in an abridged form?


          Mr. Henry Rogers, in one of his articles for the Edinburgh Review [1849], has written a valuable paragraph, which fairly illustrates what seems to be the idea of our author [Bacon] in regard to distilled books, though no reference is made to Bacon:—

"Considering the vastness of the accumulations of literature, and the impossibility of mastering them, it is not wonderful [now, it might be: it is no surprise] that the idea should sometimes have suggested itself, that it might be possible in a series of brief publications to distill, as it were, the quintessence of books, and condense folios into pamphlets. 'Were all books thus reduced,' says Addison, 'many a bulky author would make his appearance in a penny paper. There would scarce be such a thing in nature as a folio; the works of an age would be contained on a few shelves—not to mention millions of volumes that would be utterly annihilated.' One such attempt to remember being made with considerable pretensions; but it was as futile as every such attempt must be. Without going the length of Montaigne, who says that 'every abridgment of a book is a foolish abridgment,' it may be truly said, not only that the human mind cannot profitably digest intellectual food in such a condensed shape, but that every work really worth reading bears upon it the impress of the mind that give it birth, and ceases to attract and to impress when reduced to a syllabus; its faults and its excellencies alike vanish in the process. It is of much importance, however, if authors who cannot be thus mutilated desire to live, that they should study brevity. Our voluminous forefathers of the seventeenth century seem never to have attempted condensation [this is not true of Bacon's Essays [brackets, and contents, apparently by the author (Boyd)]]; but to have committed all that they thought to writing, and for the most part in all the redundance of the forms first suggested. They acted as though we, their posterity, should have nothing to do but to sit down and read what they had written. They were much mistaken; and the consequence is, that their folios, for the most part, remain unread."' [286-287].

[Note: for years, I have suggested to friends, that libraries install "Bullshit Detectors and Deleters". All the books should be put through the machines. Afterwards, libraries could be stored in small houses ("mini storage"?)].

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from: Francis Bacon, Essays, Edited by Michael J. Hawkins, University of Sussex, Everyman, J.M. Dent ⋅ London, Charles E. Tuttle, Vermont, Pb. 1994 (editions, from 1915 (editors?)).

"Note on the Author and Editor

Francis Bacon was born in 1561, the most gifted son of Sir Nicholas Bacon (died 1579), Lord Keeper of the Great Seal....

In March 1626 he died from bronchitis contracted after a scientific experiment to test the antiseptic properties of snow on a chicken. He died leaving debts of £22,000." ["viii"-ix].


          'The evidence Bacon uses is partly his own and his contemporaries' experiences: this is the nearest he comes to direct observation. He showed psychological and physiological insights which sometimes take him beyond Machiavelli's [1469 - 1527] utilitarianism: he was aware of the pleasures of lying, of the mentally corrosive effects of desire for revenge and the delayed effects of wounds received in 'hot blood'. He occasionally used his observations and insights to attack the contemporary social assumptions of his class, as can be seen in his claim that younger brothers were commonly fortunate, and his strictures on marriage and having children (young men should not marry yet, old men not at all). Mostly, however, he relies on material from classical and renaissance sources, especially history and biography.


[Bacon] Lives, if they be well written, propounding to themselves a person to represent in whom actions both greater and smaller, public and private, have a commixture, must of necessity contain a more true, native and lively representation.20



[Bacon] Historians make men wise.21


The work of Machiavelli [1469 - 1527], Commines (1445–1509), Holinshed (died 1580?) and Sarpi (1552–1623) may be traced in the Essays, though perhaps Guicciardini (1483–1540) [see Addition 1, 848-853] was the modern historian whose influence on Bacon was most potent.22 But Bacon had a marked interest in classical history and thought as a repository of useful examples. Among the ancient authors on whom he relied, the Stoics of the Latin Silver Age (circa AD 17–130), notably Seneca and Tacitus, were particularly important. In some of the Essays there is a marked concern with Stoic and renaissance themes such as the mutability of human affairs, the 'Vicissitude of Things', and 'Adversity'. This last essay is based on Seneca's 'The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished; but the good things which belong to adversity are to be admired'. Such concerns may modify some of the bland assertions which have been made of Bacon's optimism.

          Bacon was also indebted to the Silver Age [see above] for the prose style of the Essays.' [xxix].

"Index of Quotations and Foreign


With Translation

The figures in brackets refer to the pages [an excellent feature of this book]." [156].

"Glossary" ["162"].

[another excellent feature of this book: page numbers accompany Glossary entries].

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from: Francis Bacon, The Essays, Edited with an Introduction, by John Pitcher, Penguin Books, Pb. "First published 1985".


The fact is that "the writing in the Essays took Bacon almost thirty years to perfect, and that by the time he had finished with it (in 1625) it was one of the major achievements in prose to have come out of the Elizabethan academies and courts of law." [14].

"Bacon's education in words and things, and how to put them together, began early. In the long gallery of his family home at Gorhambury, in Hertfordshire, were tall windows in which were set stained-glass figures of beasts, trees, plants and flowers from the four known continents. On the walls and wooden panelling between each window there would have been, as in most Elizabethan great houses, a set of portraits, and perhaps mythological paintings, and just possibly a continental landscape. At Gorhambury, though, there was something else, for above each panel, painted on to a wooden frieze, were Latin inscriptions, the maxims and sententiae which Bacon's father had culled from Seneca and Cicero [note: not "culled" from "Jesus"]. Sometimes single, sometimes paired, on fortune, law, ambition, injustice, benefits, and poverty and riches...." [28-29].

"A Note on the Text and Annotation

The Text

          1. The first edition of the Essays was published in 1597, with the title Essayes. Religious Meditations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. This contained ten essays, the Meditationes Sacrae and the Colours of Good and Evil. [1597].

          2. Some time between 1607 and 1612 a manuscript collection of the Essays was prepared with the title The Writings of S'ffrancis Bacon Kn': the Kinges Sollicitor Generall in Moralitie Policie, and Historie. In this manuscript (Harleian MS 5106 in the British Library) there were twenty-four new essays, as well as the original ten. [MS]

          3. The second edition appeared in 1612 as The Essaies of S'Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Solliciter Generall. This contained thirty-eight essays: nine from the original ten, twenty-three of the additional ones in the Harleian MS, and six new ones. Many of the 1597 and MS texts were altered and enlarged for this edition. [1612].

          4. The third edition, and the final one in Bacon's life-time, was published in 1625, entitled The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, of Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban. This edition added twenty new essays, making a total of fifty-eight, and revised and expanded most of the existing ones. [1625]. ["46"].


"Facsimile of the title-page of the third edition (1625)











Newly Enlarged.


[obscure emblem]



Printed by John Haviland for

Hanna Barret, and Richard

Whitaker, and are to be fold

at the figne of the Kings head in

Pauls Church-yard. 1625.

" ["54", "55"].

[compare: King James I, Daemonologie, 1597 (see (King James I): #24, 528-530; Appendix II, 698)].


'Appendix 5:

A Poetical Essay

Source: The poem is transcribed in a good many seventeenth-century manuscripts. Thomas Farnaby printed a version of it in 1629, and ascribed it to Bacon. It is printed here from Works, VII.271–2. The poem, based on a Greek epigram, is Bacon's [?] most notable piece of verse: an essay in strange metres and rhythms on the frustrations and inanity of life.

                     The world's a bubble, and the life of man

                                                     less than a span;

                     In his conception wretched, from the womb

                                                     so to the tomb:

                     Crust from the cradle, and brought up to years

                                                     with cares and fears.

                     Who then to frail mortality shall trust,

                     But limns the water, or but writes in dust.

                     Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,

                                                     or pains his head.

                     Those that live single take it for a curse,

                                                     or do things worse.

                     Some would have children; those that have them moan,

                                                     or wish them gone.

                     What is it then to have or have no wife,

                     But single thraldom, or a double strife?

                     Yet since with sorrow here we live opprest,

                                                     what life is best?

                     Courts are but only superficial schools

                                                     to dandle fools.

                     The rural parts are turned into a den

                                                     of savage men.

                     And where's the city from all vice so free,

                     But may be term'd the worst of all the three?

                     Our own affections still at home to please

                                                     is a disease:

                     To cross the seas to any foreign soil

                                                     perils and toil.

                     Wars with their noise affright us: when they cease,

                                                     we are worse in peace.

                     What then remains, but that we still should cry

                     Not to be born, or being born to die.' ["286"-287] [End of book].

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from: Oxford World's Classics, Francis Bacon, The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral, Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Brian Vickers, Oxford University Press, Pb. 1999.

"The Essays or Counsels

Civil and Moral (1625)3

   1. Of Truth                                                                                                                   3

   2. Of Death                                                                                                                   5

   3. Of Unity in Religion                                                                                                6

   4. Of Revenge                                                                                                           10

   5. Of Adversity                                                                                                          11

   6. Of Simulation and Dissimulation                                                                        12

   7. Of Parents and Children                                                                                      15

   8. Of Marriage and Single Life                                                                                 16

   9. Of Envy                                                                                                                  18

10. Of Love                                                                                                                  22

11. Of Great Place                                                                                                       23

12. Of Boldness                                                                                                          26

13. Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature                                                              28

14. Of Nobility                                                                                                             30

15. Of Seditions and Troubles                                                                                   31

16. Of Atheism                                                                                                            37

17. Of Superstition                                                                                                      39

18. Of Travel                                                                                                                41

19. Of Empire                                                                                                              42

20. Of Counsel                                                                                                            46

21. Of Delays                                                                                                               50

22. Of Cunning                                                                                                            51

23. Of Wisdom for a Man's Self                                                                                 54

24. Of Innovations                                                                                                      55

25. Of Dispatch                                                                                                           56

26. Of Seeming Wise                                                                                                  58

27. Of Friendship                                                                                                        59

28. Of Expense                                                                                                            65

29. Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates                                              66

30. Of Regiment of Health                                                                                          74

31. Of Suspicion                                                                                                         75

32. Of Discourse                                                                                                         76

33. Of Plantations                                                                                                       78

34. Of Riches                                                                                                               80

35. Of Prophecies                                                                                                       83

36. Of Ambition                                                                                                           86

37. Of Masques and Triumphs                                                                                   88

38. Of Nature in Men                                                                                                   89


39. Of Custom and Education                                                                                    90

40. Of Fortune                                                                                                             92

41. Of Usury                                                                                                                93

42. Of Youth and Age                                                                                                 96

43. Of Beauty                                                                                                               98

44. Of Deformity                                                                                                          99

45. Of Building                                                                                                          100

46. Of Gardens                                                                                                          104

47. Of Negotiating                                                                                                     109

48. Of Followers and Friends                                                                                  110

49. Of Suitors                                                                                                            112

50. Of Studies                                                                                                           114

51. Of Faction                                                                                                            115

52. Of Ceremonies and Respects                                                                           116

53. Of Praise                                                                                                              118

54. Of Vain-Glory                                                                                                      119

55. Of Honour and Reputation                                                                                121

56. Of Judicature                                                                                                      122

57. Of Anger                                                                                                              126

58. Of Vicissitude of Things                                                                                    127

59. A Fragment of Things                                                                                        132

" ["v"-vi].


          "Bacon had obviously enlarged them ["Essays"] 'in number', for while the 1597 volume had contained 10 essays that of 1612 contained 38, of which 29 were new, and the rest corrected or enlarged in varying degrees. The 1625 volume, finally, contains 58 essays, of which 20 are new, the remainder being further enlarged and corrected.27 The Essays of 1597, being essentially aphoristic, resisted expansion: their average length in 1597 is 325 words; as revised in 1612, 400 words; as further revised in 1625, 550 words. Those of 1612, by contrast, being already more discursive, and making more use of the opening division of topics (the rhetorical technique of partitio), averaged 490 words originally, rising to 980 in 1625. The new essays in 1625, by contrast, average 950 words: like other writers, Bacon found the alteration of an already extant text a greater invitation to expansiveness."

[xxiii]. [compare: relative brevity of the Gospel of Mark, as one argument, that Mark was the first Gospel].


          "Traditionally speeches (and, by extension, other literary compositions) were divided into three genres: [1] deliberative, for political assemblies; [2] forensic, for the courts of law; and [3] epideictic ["display", etc.], the related techniques of praise and blame, used to celebrate virtue and attack vice.

AS BACON WELL KNEW, EVERY HUMAN BEING REVEALS HIS OR HER MORAL VALUES BY THE ATTITUDES OR BEHAVIOUR THEY CHERISH OR DISLIKE. We value his Essays for many reasons, not least for their combination of a dispassionate observation of human life with powerfully expressed moral judgements. This combination was recognized by a kindred spirit, Samuel Johnson [1709 - 1784 ("Dr. Johnson")], who said that 'their [Essays] excellence and their value consisted in being the observations of a strong mind operating upon life; and in consequence you find what you seldom find in other books'.42" [xxxvii] [End of Introduction].


"16. Of Atheism"

"It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." [37]. [A known quotation].

"17. Of Superstition"

"Atheism leaves9 a man to sense,10 to philosophy, to natural piety,* to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts1 all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men." [39-40].

"Explanatory Notes"

"17. Of Superstition

In a letter to Tobie Matthew (c. 1608) Bacon wrote that 'superstition is far worse than atheism; by how much it is less evil to have no opinion of God at all, than such as is impious towards his divine majesty and goodness' (Works, xi. 10)." [172].

"Explanatory Notes"

"2. Of Death"

[in this essay ("2. Of Death"): references are from classical authors (principally, Seneca), and, the New Testament (2 references)]. [See: Addition 34 (Seneca)].

          "fear...dark: Seneca, Epistles, 87.15.

          wages of sin: Rom. 6:23."


"Pompa...ipsa: 'it is the trappings of death that scare us more than death itself': freely quoted from Seneca, Epistles, 24.14."


"pre-occupateth: anticipates death (by committing suicide): cf. Seneca, Epistles, 24.23 and 70.5–8."


"Cogita...potest: 'reflect how long you have been doing the same thing. The desire to die may be felt, not only by the sensible man or the brave or unhappy man, but even by the man who is merely surfeited': [Seneca] Epistles, 77.6, adapted."



"bestowed....cost: made too much fuss about. This is the burden of Montaigne's complaint about Seneca in Essais, 3.12, 'De la phisionomie' (Pléiade edn., pp. 1027–9)."


"Nunc dimittis: Luke 2:29: '[Lord,] now lettest thou [thy servant] depart [in peace]'." [157-158].


[other authors referenced: Montaigne; Tacitus; Suetonius; Plutarch; Dio Cassius; Juvenal; Horace].

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from: Machiavelli, Giuseppe Prezzolini, 1967 ("translation of" (from?) Machiavelli anticristo, Rome, 1954) (Prezzolini is pro Machiavelli, and, contra the critics of Machiavelli). [See: Addition 34, 1635].

'Machiavelli and the


I. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

All the philosophers of the 17th century evolved from Galileo, but in two separate currents: the rationalists, like Descartes, made use only of the mathematical method, and this continued up to Spinoza; the empiricists utilized only the experimental method, beginning with Bacon and ending with Hume. The inheritance of Galileo was thus split in two. It is felt that there is something missing in both heirs, although in their fields each advanced with logic and an admirable and productive courage.

          For a long time it was believed that Bacon had paid a single but very important tribute to Machiavelli, when he touched upon one of the most fundamental aspects of his thought. Bacon says approximately this:


We must be grateful to Machiavelli and to authors like him, who write about what men do and not about what they should do. It is not possible to join the wisdom of the serpent to the innocence of the dove, if we do not know all the characteristics of the serpent—his meanness, his dragging his belly, his slipperiness, his inconstancy, his malice, his poison: and all the rest—that is, all the forms and aspects of evil. Because without this knowledge, virtue is vulnerable and defenceless. On the contrary, honest people could not even redeem evil ones without the help of the knowledge of evil. Men of corrupt minds believe that honesty is characteristic of a simple soul.287

Bacon here cleverly defends Machiavelli [1469 - 1527] in the same way as did his first publisher, Giunta, who said: "The doctor must also know about poisons."

          In the Latin version of the text, Bacon adds another eulogy of Machiavelli when he says that, in order to attain this necessary knowledge of evil, it must be aperte et indissimulanter." Here he is acknowledging one of the characteristics of the spirit of Machiavelli, "open and without dissimulation."

          To Professor Orsini goes the credit of having brought to light, by comparing the English text and the Latin one, many points in which Bacon made use of Machiavelli's thought. Orsini maintains also that Bacon was responsible for the progress of Machiavellianism, in his application of the science of the state to the personal fortunes of men, thus making Bacon a precursor of Gracian.

          Bacon then was drenched in Machiavellianism and it must be added that in this he is an exception among Englishmen of his time. He was also unusual in openly quoting him and praising his opinions, and for having a broad knowledge not only of The Prince, but also of the Discourses, probably of the Florentine Histories and even of the Picture of Things in France.' [227-228] [End of entry].


"3. Hobbes (1588-1679)" [229]

'....To put it briefly, Hobbes is English and Machiavelli Italian. Perhaps when Hobbes wrote homo homoini lupus (man is wolf to man) he remembered a phrase Machiavelli put in the lips of Ciompi of Florence:


From this we see that men eat each other up and the weakest are always the losers.291

Unless he had in mind Bacon's homo homini draco (man is a dragon to man), Hobbes may have remembered Plautus: "A man is not a man but a wolf, to those who do not know him." Or perhaps his own observation of life made him draw the same conclusions.' [230] [End of entry].

"4. Spinoza (1632-1677)" [231]

'For Lord Macaulay, Machiavelli is a tissue of contradictions and can be understood only by a study of the Italians of that period:


The whole man seems to be an enigma, a grotesque assemblage of incongruous qualities, selfishness and generosity, cruelty and benevolence, craft and simplicity, abject villainy and romantic heroism.313' [254].

"Except in Bacon, there is no English development of Machiavellian thought, as there was in Italy with Cuoco or with Pareto and Mosca, or in Germany with Hegel, Treitschke and Meinecke." [254].

          'Byron is filled with rhetoric when viewing the tomb of Machiavelli


[thanks to a tip from my friend Fred R., Philosophy major, U.C.S.D., 1995 [see #6, 166], I asked (motivated) a nearby visitor, to take my picture alongside the tomb of Machiavelli (more, basic barbarism!)]

in the Church of the Holy Cross in Florence; it suggested to him only this line: "Here Machiavelli's earth returned to whence it rose." And his friend Hobhouse, commenting on this passage, finds nothing better to say than that Machiavelli was an adversary of the Jesuits, and a libertine.

          Naturally Shelley too admired Machiavelli and places his books among the best in the world, alongside the Bible!' [255].

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from: The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Gordon Stein, editor, Volume One, A-K, Prometheus, 1984.

          [[entry] "DEISM"] "The term deism is used only in countries with a Christian culture and has no relevance to other religious traditions such as Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism." [135].

"Sir Francis Bacon in England has sometimes been considered a forerunner of deism, by Voltaire among others, but the true pioneer deist was EDWARD HERBERT, Lord Cherbury [1583 - 1648], in the early 17th century, who in De veritate (published in Paris, 1624)...." [135]. [A. Owen Aldridge].


Excursus: from: Deism: An Anthology, Peter Gay, Professor of History Columbia University, Van Nostrand, Pb. c1968.

'Reading No. 1

De veritate*

Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury


Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583–1648), has long been called "the father of deism." The title is as just as such titles can ever be: his general view of religion had been anticipated by such classical philosophers as Cicero, but in his own time, Herbert was the first to move away from Christian Stoicism or liberal Protestantism to develop a religious philosophy that needs no special revelation. Herbert had a versatile career: he was a soldier as much as he was a philosopher, a diplomat as much as he was a poet, but it is for his deist work, De veritate, published in Paris in 1624, and for his Autobiography (first published in 1886), which is marked by some revealing passages, that he is best known....


FOR ALL HIS RADICALISM, HERBERT WAS A CHARACTERISTIC SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY MAN IN HIS MIXTURE OF RATIONALISM AND SUPERSTITION, HIS LONGING FOR LOGICAL CLARITY AND PROFOUND MYSTERY [this "mixture" appears to be innate behavior (see: The Religious Ape in Crisis, Edmund Law, Paragon, 1999; etc.)]. In his Autobiography, he reports that he had severe doubts about publishing his De veritate, and, in his perplexity, he said a prayer: "I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud though yet gentle noise came from the heavens, for it was like nothing on earth,"2 and Herbert took the noise as a divine encouragement. It is important to remember the incident, if only to remember that the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century minds, even of skeptics and scoffers, were far apart [apparently, "far apart" from our (20-21st century) minds].' [29, 30].


End of Excursus.


[entry] "ENCYCLOPÉDIE, L', ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, a large reference work, published in Paris in 17 folio volumes between 1751 and 1765." [157].

          "In a number of articles a strong plea was made for religious toleration, something which was anathema to the French clergy, while a fierce attack was made on religious intolerance, especially on the treatment of the Huguenots by Louis XIV. The case of freedom of the press and freedom of thought was put in several outspoken articles. Scholastic philosophy was frequently ridiculed, and the founders of the Enlightenment—Francis Bacon [1561 - 1626], RENE DESCARTES [1596 - 1650] and JOHN LOCKE [1632 - 1705]—were eulogized." [157]. [John Lough].

[[entry] "JEFFERSON, THOMAS" [1743 - 1826]] 'After rejecting the dogma of the Trinity as a logical absurdity that was irreconcilable with human reason, Jefferson then subjected the rest of Christianity to the test of rational analysis and decided that its basic doctrines were unacceptable to one like himself who was steeped in the scientific method of FRANCIS BACON [1561 - 1626], the cosmology of ISAAC NEWTON [1642 - 1727], and the epistemology of JOHN LOCKE [1632 - 1704], whom he described in a Jan. 16, 1811, letter to Benjamin Rush as "my [Jefferson] trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced."'

[360]. [Eugene R. Sheridan]. [See (Maréchal): #21, 419-420].