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one that hath been transported to the mad degree of love which shews that great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion. You must except nevertheless Marcus Antonius,1 the half partner of the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius,2 the decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man, and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely) that love can find entrance not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epicurus, Satis magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus:3 as if man, made for the contemplation of heaven and all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and make himself a subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are), yet of the eye; which was given him for higher purposes. It is a strange thing to note the excess of this passion, and how it braves the nature and value of things, by this; that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it hath been well said that the arch-flatterer, with whom

1 Marcus Antonius, 83-30 B.C., Roman triumvir and general. Antony's love story is best told by Shakspere in The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra.

2 Appius Crassus Claudius was one of the decemvirs, 451-449 B.C. The tragical story of Appius and Virginia, first told by Livy, reappears, in English, in The Doctor's Tale of Chaucer, in Gower's Confessio Amantis, and in three different tragedies, one written by John Webster in Bacon's time.

8 We are to one another a spectacle great enough. Epicurus, 342-270 B.C., was the founder of the Epicurean philosophy which took pleasure to be the highest good. Bacon quotes the saying of Epicurus from L. Annaei Senecae ad Lucilium Epistularum Moralium Liber I. Epistula VII. 11. The quotation occurs again in the Advancement of Learning. I. iii. 7.

all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's self;1 certainly the lover is more. For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love and to be wise.2 Neither doth this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party loved; but to the loved most of all, except the love be reciproque.3 For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the reciproque or with an inward and secret contempt. By how much the more men ought to beware of this passion, which loseth not only other things, but itself. As for the other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure them; That he that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of Juno and Pallas. For whosoever esteemeth too much of amorous affection quitteth both riches and wisdom. This passion hath his floods in the very times of weakness; which are great prosperity and great adversity; though this latter hath been less observed; both which times kindle love, and make it more fervent, and therefore shew it to be the child of folly. They do best, who if they cannot but admit love, yet make it keep quarter; and sever it wholly from their serious affairs and actions of life; for if it check once with business, it troubleth men's fortunes, and maketh men that they can no ways be


í Plutarch. De adulatore et amico. 1.

2 Amare et sapere vix Deo conceditur. It is hardly granted by God to love and to be wise. Publilii Syri Mimi Sententiae.


3 Reciproque. Reciprocal.




Proper or appointed place; now used in the plural,

Check with. Interfere with.

Way. Wise; no ways means in no wise.

true to their own ends. I know not how, but martial men are given to love: I think it is but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable; as it is seen sometime in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.

1 Indignity.

MEN in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. So as 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 indignities1 men come to

Conduct involving shame or disgrace; a disgraceful

"Fie on the pelfe for which good name is sold,
And honour with indignity debased."

Spenser. The Faery Queene. Book V. Canto xi. Stanza 63.



"Whoever is apt to hope good from others is diligent to please them; but he that believes his powers strong enough to force their own way, commonly tries only to please himself." Dr. Samuel Johnson. Lives of the English Poets. John Gay.


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.1 Nay, retire men cannot when they would, neither will they when it were reason; 2 but are impatient of privateness,3 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. Certainly men in great fortunes are strangers to themselves, and while they are in the puzzle of business they have no time to tend their health either of body or mind. Illi mors gravis incubat, qui notus nimis

1 Since you are not what you were, there is no reason why you should wish to live. M. Tullii Ciceronis Epistolarum ad Familiares Liber VII. iii. (Ad Marium).

2 Reason. Reasonable; the idiom is French, and was frequent in English from about 1400 to 1650, though now rare. "And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables." Acts vi. 2.

3 Privateness. Privacy, retirement. Shadow. Shade, retirement.

"Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business to the last."
Pope. Epistle I. 11. 228-229.

"He who looks for applause from without has all his happiness in another's keeping." Oliver Goldsmith. The Good-natured Man. v.

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omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi.1 In place there is license to do good and evil; whereof the latter is a curse for in evil the best condition is not to will ; the second not to can.2 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. For if a man can be partaker of God's theatre, he shall likewise be partaker of God's rest. Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera quæ fecerunt manus suæ, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis; and then the sabbath. In the discharge of thy place set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe5 of precepts. And after a time set before thee thine own example; and examine thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first.

1 Death presses heavily upon him who dies known too well by all, but unknown to himself. Seneca. Thyestes. XI. 401-403. "Can. To know; the verb is independent and bears its original meaning.

"She could the Bible in the holy tongue."
Ben Jonson. The Magnetic Lady. i. 5.

3 Conscience. Consciousness.

"Her virtue and the conscience of her worth."
Milton. Paradise Lost. VIII. 502.

And God, turning, looked upon the works which his hands had made and saw that all were very good. Bacon has here put into his own Latin Genesis i. 31: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Viditque Deus cuncta quae fecerat: et erant valde bona, the Vulgate reads.

5 Globe.


"him round
A globe of fiery seraphim enclos'd
With bright imblazonry."

Milton. Paradise Lost. II. 511-518.

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