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trace two earlier stages in its meaning. By Lord Bacon and others, the followers of Epicurus, whom we should call Epicuræans, are often called • Epicures,' after the name of the founder of their sect. From them it was transferred to all who were, like them, deniers of a divine providence; and this is the common use of it by our elder divines. But inasmuch as those who have persuaded themselves that there is nothing above them, will seek their good, since men must seek it somewhere, in the things beneath them, in sensual delights, the name has been transferred, by that true moral instinct which is continually at work in speech from the philosophical speculative atheist to the human swine, for whom the world is but a feeding-trough."
So the Epicures say of the Stoics' felicity placed in virtue; that it is like the felicity of a player, who if he were left of his auditory and their applause, he would straight be out of heart and countenance ; and therefore they call virtue bonum theatrale. —Colours of Good
and Evil, III. p. 24, 1. 14.- Isaiah, xiv. 14. Bacon quotes this passage again in
the “ Adv. of Learning," II. 22, $ 17:
Aspiring to be like God in power, the angels transgressed and fell;
Ascendam, et ero similis Altissimo. p. 24, l. 27. "Surely in councils," etc.
Surely in councils,” etc. Craik, in “ The English of Shakespeare," p. 203, London ed. 1864, has the following note on the line in “ Julius Cæsar," II. 4,
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!:Counsel in this phrase is what has been imparted in consultation. In the phrases To take counsel and To hold counsel it means simply consultation. The two words Counsel and Council have in some of their applications got a little intermingled and confused, although the Latin Consilium and Concilium, from which they are severally derived, have no connection. A rather perplexing instance occurs in a passage towards the conclusion of Bacon's Third Essay, “Of Unity in Religion,” which is commonly thus given in the modern editions: ** Surely in counsels concerning religion, that counsel of the apostle would be prefixed — Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei.” But as published by Bacon himself, if we may trust Mr. Singer's late elegant reprint, p. 14, the words are, “ in Councils concerning Religion, that Counsel of the Apostle – What are we to say, however, to
1 In the copy of the Essays of the edition of 1625, p. 18, which belonged to one of the most accomplished of Shakesperian scholars, Edmond Malone, the reading is, “ in Counsels, Concerning Religion, that Counsel of the Apostle.”
the Latin version executed under Bacon's own superintendence ?
Essay V. p. 60, 1. 13. — Apollodorus, de Deor. Orig. II. c. 5. p. 60, l. 15.
Hercules sailed across the ocean in a cup that was given to him by the Sun, came to Caucasus, shot the eagle with his arrows, and set Prometheus free. De Sap. Vet. XXVI. Works, VI. 746. Bacon gives the same interpretation to this fable at the end of the same chapter:
The voyage of Hercules especially, sailing in a pitcher to set Prometheus free, seems to present an image of God the Word hastening in the frail vessel of the flesh to redeem the human race. But I purposely refrain myself from all licence of speculation in this kind, lest peradventure I bring strange fire to the altar of the Lord. Works, VI. 753.
p. 60, 1. 22. “ Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament,” etc.
This passage, which was added in the edition of 1625, has been cited by Lord Macaulay as evidence that Bacon's fancy had not decayed in his later years, but had even become “ richer and softer.” — Works, VI. 242, ed. Trevelyan, 1866. “Lord Bacon,” says a charming writer of the present day, “considered that invention in young men is livelier than in old, and that imaginations stream into their minds more divinely. He has not defined the boundary of youth. His own thirty-sixth year had come when he committed to the press those golden meditations which he called • Essays. But it is noticeable that his style opened into richer bloom with every added summer of thought. Later editions contain passages of beauty not found in the earlier; and his • Advancement of Learning,' published when he was forty-four, beams with the warmest lights of fancy.” — Wilmor. Pleasures, etc., of Literature.
“One of the most remarkable circumstances in the history of Bacon's mind is the order in which its powers expanded themselves. With him the fruit came first and remained till the last; the blossoms did not appear till late. In general, the development of the fancy is to the development of the judgment what the growth of a girl is to the growth of a boy. The fancy attains at an earlier period to the perfection of its beauty, its power, and its fruitfulness; and, as it is first to ripen, it is also first to fade. It has generally lost something of its bloom and freshness before the sterner faculties have reached maturity; and is commonly withered and barren while those faculties still retain all their energy. It rarely happens that the fancy and the judgment grow together. It happens still more rarely that the judgment grows faster than the fancy. This seems, however, to have been the case with Bacon. His boyhood and youth appear to have been singularly sedate. His gigantic scheme of philosophical reform is said by some writers to have been planned before he was fifteen, and was undoubtedly planned while he was still young. He observed as vigilantly, meditated as deeply, and judged as temperately when he gave his first work to the world as at the close of his long career. But in eloquence, in sweetness and variety of expression, and in richness of illustration, his later writings are far superior to those of his youth.” — LORD MACAULAY. Works, VI. 240, ed. Trevelyan.
p. 61, 1. 10. “ Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant
when they are incensed, or crushed.” In Webster's “ The
White Devil ” is this elegant passage: in Familiai
Perfumes, the more they are chaf'd, the more they render
Their pleasing scents; and so affliction Quotelins
Expresseth virtue fully, whether true
Or else adulterate.
Man, like to cassia, is prov'd best, being bruisd.
Mr. Bettenham said; That virtuous men were like some herbs
Most odours smell best broken or crushed, as hath been said: but flowers pressed or beaten do leese the freshness and sweetness of their odour. The cause is, for that when they are crushed, the grosser and more earthy spirit cometh out with the finer, and troubleth it ; whereas in stronger olours there are no such degrees of the issue of the smell. — Works, II. 471.
ESSAY VI. p. 71, 1. 5. — Tac. Ann. V. 1. Compare “ Adv. of Learning,” II. 23,
So tedious, casual, and unfortunate are these deep dissimulations; whereof it seemeth Tacitus made this judgment, that they were a cunning of an inferior form in regard of true policy; attributing the one to Augustus, the other to Tiberius, where speaking of Livia he saith, Et cum artibus mariti simulatione filii bene composita; for surely the continual habit of dissimulation is but a weak and sluggish cunning, and not greatly politic.
This passage appears to be the germ of the Essay. p. 72, 1. 28.
Compare “ Adv. of Learning,” II. 23, $ 12: We will begin therefore, with this precept, according to the ancient opinion, that the sinews of wisdom are slowness of belief and distrust; that more trust be given to countenances and deeds than to words; and in words rather to sudden passages and surprised words, than to set and purposed words. Neither let that be feared which is said, Fronti nulla fides: which is meant of a general outward behaviour, and not of the private and subtile motions and labours of the countenance and gesture; which as Q. Cicero elegantly saith, is Aniini janua, the gate of the mind. None more close than Tiberius, and yet Tacitus saith of Gallus, Etenim vultu offensionem conjectav
p. 73, 1. 19. “ The advantages of simulation,” etc. The original, and
the ed. of 1639 read, “ The great advantages of simulation,” etc. p. 73, 1. 28. - Compare " Adv. of Learning," II. 23, $ 14:
And experience sheweth, there are few men so true to themselves and so settled, but that, sometimes upon heat, sometimes upon bravery, sometimes upon kindness, sometimes upon trouble of mind and weakness, they open themselves; specially if they be put to it with a counter-dissimulation, according to the proverb of Spain, Di mentira, y sacaras verdad, Tell a lie and find a truth.
Essay VII. p. 81, 1. 8. — Compare the following passage from Jeremy Taylor:
And if you consider, that of the bravest men in the world we find the seldomest stories of their children, and the apostles bad none, and thousands of the worthiest persons that sound most in story, died childlesse: you will find it a rare act of Providence so to impose upon worthy men a necessity of perpetuating their names by worthy actions and discourses, governments and reasonings. — Works, I. lxxv. ed. 1854.
p. 81, 1. 14. “ creature.” In the literal sense of “a thing created,"
applied both to animate and inanimate objects. Thus in the Essay “ Of Truth,” ante, p. 2:
The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense, the last was the light of reason, and his Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of his spirit.
For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh according to the stuff, and is limited thereby. – Adv. of Learning, Bk. I. Works, III. 285.
ESSAY VIII. p. 85, 1. 3. “ Certainly,” etc.: Lat. ut alibi diximus; referring to
Essay VII., ante, p. 81, 1. 8, and to a passage in “ In Felicem
Childless she was indeed, and left no issue of her own; a thing which has happened also to the most fortunate persons, as Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, Trajan, and others; and which has always been a moot-point and argued on both sides; some taking it for a diminution of felicity, for that to be happy both in the individual self and in the propagation of the kind would be a blessing above the condition of humanity; others regarding it as the crown and consummation of felicity, because that happiness can only be accounted perfect over which fortune has no further power; which cannot be
where there is posterity. p. 85, 1. 9. “ Some there are, who, though they lead a single life, yet
their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinencies.” Walker, " Crit. Exam.,” etc. I. 57, quotes, among others, this passage and the following from the last paragraph of Essay XXII. “ Of Cunning,” p. 227, “ therefore you shall see them find out pretty looses in the conclusion, but are