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both upon the seller and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, though one of the worst; as that whereby a man doth eat his bread in sudore vultús alieni;1 and besides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet certain though it be, it hath flaws; for that the scriveners2 and brokers do value3 unsound men to serve their own turn. The fortune in being the first in an invention or in a privilege, doth cause sometimes a wonderful overgrowth in riches; as it was with the first sugar man in the Canaries. Therefore if a man can play the true logician, to have as well judgment as invention, he may do great matters; especially if the times be fit. He that resteth upon gains certain, shall hardly grow to great riches; and he that puts all upon adventures, doth oftentimes break and come to poverty: it is good therefore to guard adventures with certainties, that may uphold losses. Monopolies, and coemption of wares for re-sale, where they are not restrained, are great means to enrich; especially if the party have intelligence what things are like to come into request, and so store himself beforehand. Riches gotten by service, though it be of the best rise,6
1 In the sweat of the brow of another.
2 Scrivener. A money-lender.
To give out or represent as wealthy, or financially
▲ Adventure. A pecuniary risk, a venture, a speculation.
" Coemption. The act of purchasing the whole quantity of anything, 'cornering the market.'
• Rise. Value, worth, price. Bacon means to say that riches got by service, though that service may have been of the highest price, is yet often the worst, as when a man grows rich at the sacrifice of his honor or his conscience.
yet when they are gotten by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile conditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and executorships (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, testamenta et orbos tamquam indagine capi,)1 it is yet worse; by how much men submit themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to despise riches; for they despise them that despair of them; and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise; riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves,2 sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more. Men leave their riches either to their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions prosper best in both. A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of prey round about to seize on him, if he be not the better stablished3 in years and judgment. Likewise glorious gifts and yo foundations are like sacrifices without salt; and butquickly the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly. Therefore measure not thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure and defer not charities till death; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.
1 Wills and childless couples taken as with a net. (Romae testamenta et orbos velut indagine ejus capi.) Cornelii Taciti Annalium Liber XIII. 42.
2 "For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle toward heaven.' Proverbs xxiii. 5.
4 Glorious. Possessing glory; entitled to brilliant and lofty renown.
5 Advancement. In legal language, the promotion of children in life, especially by the application beforehand of property or money to which they are prospectively entitled under a settlement or will; also, the property so applied.
XXXV. OF PROPHECIES.1
I MEAN not to speak of divine prophecies; nor of heathen oracles; nor of natural predictions; but only of prophecies that have been of certain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the Pythonissa2 to Saul, To-morrow thou and thy son shall be with me. Homer hath these verses:
At domus Æneæ cunctis dominabitur oris,
A prophecy, as it seems, of the Roman empire. Seneca the tragedian hath these verses:
Sæcula seris, quibus Oceanus
1 There is no Latin translation of this Essay. S.
2 Pythonissa. Pythoness. Apollo slew the python, the serpent or dragon, whence he was called Pythia. A pythoness was the priestess of Apollo at his temple at Delphi, who gave oracular answers; hence, any woman supposed to have the gift of divination. Saul consulted the witch of En-dor, who said to him: "Moreover, the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." I. Samuel xxviii. 19.
3 The house of Aeneas shall rule over all shores, and his children's children, and those who shall be born of them. Not Homer, but Vergil. Aeneidos Liber III. 97-98.
4 Tiphys was the pilot of the Argo. Thule was an island in the extreme north of Europe, according to some authorities, Iceland, according to others, Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands.
There shall come an age in ripe years when Ocean shall loose his chains, and a vast continent shall be laid open, and Tiphys shall discover new worlds, and Thule shall not be earth's bound. Seneca. Medea, last words of the Chorus at end of Act ii.
A prophecy of the discovery of America. The daughter of Polycrates1 dreamed that Jupiter bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him; and it came to pass that he was crucified in an open place, where the sun made his body run with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon dreamed he sealed up his wife's belly; whereby he did expound it, that his wife should be barren; but Aristander2 the soothsayer told him his wife was with child, because men do not use to seal vessels that are empty.3 A phantasm that appeared to M. Brutus in his tent, said to him, Philippis iterum me videbis.5 Tiberius said to Galba, Tu quoque, Galba, degustabis imperium.6 In Vespasian's time, there went a prophecy in the East, that those that should come forth of Judea should reign over the world: which though it may be was meant of our Saviour, yet Tacitus expounds it of Vespasian. Domitian dreamed, the night before he
1 Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, 536 (or 532) to 522 B.C., when he was put to death. The story of Polycrates is told by Herodotus. III. Thalia. 39 seq. to 124-125, for the daughter's dream and its interpretation.
2 Aristander of Telmessus was a favorite soothsayer of Alexander the Great, who consulted him on all occasions.
3 Plutarch. Life of Alexander.
4 Marcus Junius Brutus, 85 to 42 B.C., Roman politician and scholar.
5 Thou shalt see me again at Philippi. Plutarch twice tells the story of the phantasm that is said to have appeared to Brutus before the battle of Philippi, once, with remarkable details in the Life of Marcus Brutus, and again, more briefly, in the Life of Caesar. It is well told in English, in Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men. Translated from the Greek by John Dryden and Others. Marcus Brutus. Vol. III. pp. 411-412.
The story was also told by Appian, a generation after Plutarch. See, The Roman History of Appian of Alexandria. Translated from the Greek by Horace White. (The Civil Wars. IV. xvii. 134.) Vol. II. p. 382.
Thou too, Galba, shalt taste of empire. Suetonius relates this prophecy as having been said, in Greek, to Augustus. C. Suetoni Tranquilli De XII Caesaribus Liber VII. Serg. Sulpicius Galba. Caput 4. Cornelii Taciti Historiarum Liber V. 13.
was slain, that a golden head was growing out of the nape of his neck: and indeed the succession that followed him, for many years, made golden times.1 Henry the Sixth of England said of Henry the Seventh, when he was a lad, and gave him water, This is the lad that shall enjoy the crown for which we strive. When I was in France3 I heard from one Dr. Pena, that the Queen Mother, who was given to curious arts, caused the King her husband's nativity to be calculated, under a false name; and the astrologer gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a duel; at which the Queen laughed, thinking her husband to be above challenges and duels: but he was slain upon a course of tilt, the splinters of the staff of Montgomery going in at his beaver. The trivial prophecy, which I heard when I was a child, and queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her years, was,
1 C. Suetoni Tranquilli De XII Caesaribus Liber VIII. Titus Flavius Domitianus. Caput 23.
2 Henry VI., 1421-1471, King of England, 1422-1461. The strife he alludes to was the Wars of the Roses, 1455 to 1485, between the house of Lancaster (red rose) and house of York (white rose). At the close of Bacon's History of King Henry VII, he relates this story: "One day when King Henry the Sixth (whose innocency gave him holiness) was washing his hands at a great feast and cast his eye upon King Henry, then a young youth, he said; "This is the lad that shall possess quietly that that we now strive for." Henry VII. united the warring factions by defeating Richard III. at Bosworth Field, Aug. 22, 1485, and marrying, January 18, 1486, Elizabeth of York, thus establishing his right to the crown, as Bacon says, by "three several titles"-by birth, by conquest, and by marriage.
3 When Bacon was in France as a youth Henry III., 1551–1589, was King. The Queen Mother was Catharine de' Medici, 1519-1589. Henry II., 1519-1559, husband of Catharine de' Medici and father of Henry III., was killed at a tournament held in honor of the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with Philip II. of Spain. Montgomery was the captain of his Scottish guard.
▲ Beaver. The movable part of a helmet which covered the face, and was raised or let down to enable the wearer to eat or drink.