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reputation. There are no worse instruments than these general contrivers of suits; for they are but a kind of poison and infection to public proceedings.


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. 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 make1 judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience for natural abilities are like natural. plants, that need proyning2 by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them, for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to

1 Make. Of a court, a judge. To render, give (a decision, judgment). The New English Dictionary, on the authority of Sir Frederick Pollock, says, "Now unusual in England; still common in America."

2 Proyning, old spelling of pruning.


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. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy 3 things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores. Nay there is no stond or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies:

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Sive abeunt studia in mores, artesque magistrae.

P. Ovidii Nasonis Heroides. Epistola XV. 83. Sappho Phaoni. Note this thought and Bacon's own translation of it: "Abeunt studia in mores, studies have an influence and operation upon the manners of those conversant in them." Advancement of Learning, I. iii. 4.

6 Stond. Hindrance.

7 Wrought. Worked. "What hath God wrought," the first telegram, was sent by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, inventor of the telegraph, from the rooms of the United States Supreme Court, in Washington, to Baltimore, May 24, 1844.


like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for head; and the like. So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathemathics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores.2 If he be not apt to beat 3 over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases. So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt. X



MANY have an opinion not wise, that for a prince to govern his estate, or for a great person to govern his proceedings, according to the respect of factions, is a principal part of policy; whereas contrari

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2 Splitters of cumin, that is, hair-splitters. plant with small, aromatic seed.

Cumin is an oriental "Antoninus Pius, who succeeded him, was a prince excellently learned, and had the patient and subtle wit of a schoolman; in so much as in common speech (which leaves no virtue untaxed) he was called Cymini Sector, a carver or divider of cummin seed, which is one of the least seeds; such a patience he had and settled spirit, to enter into the least and the most exact differences of causes; a fruit no doubt of the exceeding tranquillity and serenity of his mind; which being no ways charged or incumbered, either with fears, remorses, or scruples, but having been noted for a man of the purest goodness, without all fiction or affectation, that hath reigned or lived, made his mind continually present and entire." Advancement of Learning, I. vii. 7.

3 To beat over. To beat out, to get to the bottom of. 4 Estate. State.

wise,1 the chiefest wisdom is either in ordering those things which are general, and wherein men of several factions do nevertheless agree; or in dealing with correspondence to particular persons, one by one. But I say not that the consideration of factions is to be neglected. Mean men, in their rising, must adhere, but great men, that have strength in themselves, were better to maintain themselves indifferent and neutral. Yet even in beginners, to adhere so moderately, as he be a man of the one faction which is most passable2 with the other, commonly giveth best way. The lower and weaker faction is the firmer in conjunction; and it is often seen that a few that are stiff do tire out a greater number that are more moderate. When one of the factions is extinguished, the remaining subdivideth; as the faction between Lucullus and the rest of the nobles of the senate (which they called Optimates)3 held out awhile against the faction of Pompey and Cæsar; but when the senate's authority was pulled down, Cæsar and Pompey soon after brake. The faction or party of Antonius and Octavianus Cæsar against Brutus and Cassius, held out likewise for a time; but when Brutus and Cassius were overthrown, then soon after Antonius and Octavianus brake and subdivided. These examples are of wars,

· Contrariwise. 2 Passable.

On the contrary.


That may be passed; receivable; acceptable.

3 Optimates. The adherents of 'the best' men, that is, in the Roman political sense, the aristocratic party, the aristocrats, in opposition to populares, the popular party.

Caius Cassius Longinus, died near Philippi, Macedonia, 42 B.C., Roman general and politician. He was the leading conspirator against Caesar in 44 B.C., and was defeated, with Brutus, by Pompey at Philippi.

but the same holdeth in private factions. And therefore those that are seconds in factions do many times, when the faction subdivideth, prove principals; but many times also they prove cyphers and cashiered; for many a man's strength is in opposition; and when that faileth he groweth out of use. It is commonly seen that men once placed take in with the contrary faction to that by which they enter: thinking belike 2 that they have the first sure, and now are ready for a new purchase. The traitor in faction lightly goeth away with it; for when matters have stuck long in balancing, the winning of some one man casteth them, and he getteth all the thanks. The even carriage between two factions proceedeth not always of moderation, but of a trueness to a man's self, with end to make use of both. Certainly in Italy they hold it a little suspect 3 in popes, when they have often in their mouth Padre commune and take it to be a sign of one that meaneth to refer all to the greatness of his own house. Kings had need beware how they side 5 themselves, and make themselves as of a faction or party; for leagues within the state are ever pernicious to monarchies: for they raise an obligation

1 Cashiered. To be 'cashiered,' discarded, deposed, that is, of no account, "cyphers."

2 Belike. By what is likely,' that is, not unlikely; possibly. "Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear." Wordsworth. The Pet Lamb.

3 Suspect. Suspicious.

"Suspecious was the diffame of this man,
Suspect his face, suspect his word also."

4 Common Father.


Line 51.

Chaucer. The Clerk's Tale. ul. 540-541.

To take or choose a side.

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