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sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall be thought another time to know that you know not. Speech of a man's self ought to be seldom, and well chosen. I knew one was wont to say in scorn, He must needs be a wise man, he speaks so much of himself: and there is but one case wherein a man may commend himself with good grace; and that is in commending virtue in another; especially if it be such a virtue whereunto himself pretendeth.Speech of touch1 towards others should be sparingly used for discourse ought to be as a field, without coming home to any man. I knew two noblemen, of the west part of England, whereof the one was given to scoff, but kept ever royal cheer in his house; the other would ask of those that had been at the other's table, Tell truly, was there never a flout or dry blow given? To which the guest would answer, Such and such a thing passed. The lord would say, I thought he would mar a good dinner. Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal, is more than to speak in good words or in good order. A good continued speech, without a good speech of interlocution, shews slowness; and a good reply or second speech, without a good settled speech, sheweth shallowness and weakness. As we see in beasts, that those that are weakest in the course, are yet nimblest in the turn; as it is betwixt the greyhound
1 Speech of touch.
2 Flout. A mocking speech or action; jeer.
Personalities in conversation.
"And wherefore wail for one Who put your beauty to this flout and scorn By dressing it in rags?"
Tennyson. Geraint and Enid.
and the hare. To use too many circumstances ere one come to the matter, is wearisome; to use none at all, is blunt.
XXXIII. OF PLANTATIONS.1
PLANTATIONS are amongst ancient, primitive, and heroical works. When the world was young it begat more children; but now it is old it begets fewer: for I may justly account new plantations to be the children of former kingdoms. I like a plantation in a pure soil; that is, where people are not displanted to the end to plant in others. For else it is rather an extirpation than a plantation. Planting of countries is like planting of woods; for you must make account to leese almost twenty years
1 This Essay seems to have been carefully translated; and revised in the translation, probably by Bacon himself. S.
Bacon was personally interested in colonization. Sir Walter Ralegh's scheme of planting a colony in Virginia having failed, 1586, the London or South Virginia Company for the Colonization of Virginia was chartered by King James, May 23, 1609, with larger powers and privileges. Among the new adventurers' were Sir Francis Bacon, his cousin, the Earl of Salisbury, with Captain John Smith, and others. At about the same time Bacon warmly advocated the 'Irish plantations,' that is, the policy of King James's government which led to the settlement of English and Scottish Protestants in the County of Ulster.
2 Plantation. An original settlement in a new country; a colony. The official name of Rhode Island is "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.'
3 Displant. To undo the settlement or establishment of a plantation or colony.
"Hang up philosophy!
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom,
profit, and expect your recompense in the end. For the principal thing that hath been the destruction of most plantations, hath been the base and hasty drawing of profit in the first years. It is true, speedy profit is not to be neglected, as far as may stand1 with the good of the plantation, but no further. It is a shameful and unblessed thing to take the scum of people, and wicked condemned men, to be the people with whom you plant; and not only so, but it spoileth the plantation; for they will ever live like rogues, and not fall to work, but be lazy, and do mischief, and spend victuals, and be quickly weary, and then certify over to their country to the discredit of the plantation. The people wherewith you plant ought to be gardeners, ploughmen, labourers, smiths, carpenters, joiners, fishermen, fowlers, with some few apothecaries, surgeons, cooks, and bakers. In a country of plantation, first look about what kind of victual2 the country yields of itself to hand; as chestnuts, walnuts, pineapples, olives, dates, plums, cherries, wild honey, and the like; and make use of them. Then consider what victual or esculent3 things there are, which grow speedily, and within the year; as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Hierusalem,
1 To stand with. To be consistent with; to agree.
2 Victual. Provision of food; articles commonly used as food. Generally used in the plural as on this page elsewhere, and signify. ing (commonly) food for human beings, prepared for eating.
3 Esculent. Good for food; eatable. Specifically, an 'esculent' is an edible vegetable, and especially one that may be used as a condiment or relish without cooking, like lettuce or radishes.
Artichokes of Hierusalem. This vegetable is not an artichoke, and its name has nothing to do with Jerusalem. It is a plant with an edible root resembling the artichoke, which was introduced into Europe from South America about 1617. It is said to have been
maize, and the like. For wheat, barley, and oats, they ask too much labour; but with pease1 and beans you may begin, both because they ask less labour, and because they serve for meat as well as for bread. And of rice likewise cometh a great increase, and it is a kind of meat. Above all there ought to be brought store of biscuit, oat-meal, flour, meal, and the like, in the beginning, till bread may be had. For beasts, or birds, take chiefly such as are least subject to diseases, and multiply fastest; as swine, goats, cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, house-doves,2 and the like. The victual in plantations ought to be expended almost as in a besieged town; that is, with certain allowance. And let the main part of the ground employed3 to gardens or corn, be to 5 a common stock; and to be laid in, and stored up, and then delivered out in proportion; besides some spots of ground that any particular person will manure for his own private. Consider likewise what commodities the soil where the plantation is
distributed from the Farnese garden, in Rome. There it was called girasole articiocco, which means 'sunflower artichoke.' 'Jerusalem' is an English corruption of girasole ('turning with the sun').
1 Pease. Archaic plural from the Middle English singular ‘pesë.' When the final e of 'pese' disappeared, the s of 'pes' (pease) was supposed to be the plural ending, and then the singular 'pe' (pea) was made to suit it. The singular 'pea' is a case of an error in English that has established itself in good usage.
2 House-dove. A dove kept in a dove-house.
Employ. To apply (a thing) to some definite purpose; followed by the prepositions for, in, on, and to. Archaic.
• Corn. Grain.
5 To. For. "His house is not quite a mile from this place; and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility." John Bunyan. The Pilgrim's Progress. III.
• Private. Personal interest or use; particular business. "My lords, this strikes at every Roman's private." Ben Jonson. Sejanus his Fall. iii. 1.
doth naturally yield, that they may some way help to defray the charge of the plantation, (so it be not, as was said, to the untimely prejudice of the main business,) as it hath fared with tobacco in Virginia. Wood commonly aboundeth but too much; and therefore timber is fit to be one. If there be iron ore, and streams whereupon to set the mills, iron is a brave1 commodity where wood aboundeth. Making of bay-salt, if the climate be proper for it, would be put in experience.3 Growing silk likewise, if any be, is a likely commodity. Pitch and tar, where store of firs and pines are, will not fail. So drugs and sweet woods, where they are, cannot but yield great profit. Soap-ashes likewise, and other things that may be thought of. XBut moil not too much under ground for the hope of mines is very uncertain, and useth to make the planters lazy in other things. For government, let it be in the hands of one, assisted with some counsel; and let them have commission to exercise martial laws, with some limitation. And above all, let men make that profit of being in the wilderness, as they have God always, and his service, before their eyes. Let not the government of the plantation depend upon too many counsellors and undertakers 5 in the country that planteth, but upon a temperate number; and
1 Brave. Excellent, fine. "Think not on him till to-morrow: I'll devise thee brave punishments for him,-Strike up, pipers!" Shakspere. Much Ado About Nothing. v. 4.
2 Bay-salt. Salt obtained in large crystals by slow evaporation; originally, from sea-water by the sun's heat.
3 To put in experience. To prove by actual trial, or by practical demonstration.
Moil. To drudge, toil, labor.
Undertaker. One who undertakes' or engages to perform any business; a projector.