Francis Bacon Selected Essays

Francis Bacon Selected Essays-47
Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

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 humor of a scholar.

If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, 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 197 the lawyers’ cases.

Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting.

And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients.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.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.This series is composed of such works as are conspicuous in the province of literature for their enduring influence.Every volume is recognized as essential to a liberal education and will tend to infuse a love for true literature and an appreciation of the qualities which cause it to endure.But it is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself.One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake.One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum doemonum, because it filleth the imagination; and yet, it is but with the shadow of a lie.But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt; such as we spake of before.

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