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51 Francis Bacon: Essays

Introduction.

by Mary Larivee and Rithvik Saravanan

Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the English philosopher, was instrumental in the development of the Scientific Revolution in the late 18th century even though he had passed away centuries before.  The “Scientific Revolution” was an important movement that emphasized Europe’s shift toward modernized science in fields such as mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry (Grant). It was an extension of the Renaissance period, which then led to the Enlightenment which brought advances across all areas of human endeavor. Francis Bacon, in particular, is remembered today primarily for the “scientific method” as a way of establishing what is true from what is false perception (a method that still lies at the heart of modern science). Bacon’s primary focus in his writings revolved around the practice of inductive reasoning, which he believed to be a complement to practical observation (Grant). Most people before this period followed the Aristotelian methodology for scientific arguments. This idea maintained that “if sufficiently clever men discussed a subject long enough, the truth would eventually be discovered” (“History – Francis Bacon.”). However irrational this sounds, the Scientific Revolution helped replace this outdated system of thinking with Bacon’s scientific method. Bacon argued that any proper argument required “evidence from the real world” (“History – Francis Bacon.”). His revolutionary ideas about empirical information helped propel him toward political and societal importance and fame.

Literary Context

Francis Bacon had a passion for metaphors, analogies, and vivid imagery. He was a rhetorical writer and his essays highlight his wisdom and incisive mind. His first book was released in 1597 followed by later editions with added essays that were released in 1612 and 1625. Each essay that Bacon wrote reveals his knowledge of Latin and draws on ancient Roman wisdom through axioms and proverbs. Additionally, Bacon uses wit as a way of getting his point across to his audience and this indeed causes the reader to reflect on his or her own beliefs and values. A key aspect of Bacon’s literature is its “terseness and epigrammatic force” (De). By managing to pack all of his thoughts and ideas into quick, brief statements, Bacon deepens the reach and impact of his work. His writing deviated from the typical Ciceronian style of the time, which was characterized by “melodious language, clarity, and forcefulness of presentation” (“Ciceronian.”). His statements are meaningful particularly because they are straight and to the point. The brevity of his ideas also facilitates the communication of his arguments, which is significant because, at the time, a solid, meaningful education was hard to come by. As such, Bacon’s work helped spread the notions that would eventually bear fruit with the discoveries of the Scientific Revolution.

Historical Context

Francis Bacon’s Essays cover a wide variety of topics and styles, ranging from individual to societal issues and from commonplace to existential. Another important aspect of the appeal of Bacon’s essays are that they weigh the argument at hand with multiple points of view. Bacon’s essays were received at the time with great praise, adoration, and reverence (Potter). He was noted for borrowing ideas from the works of historical writers such as Aristotle (Harmon), and, as such, he represents a continuation of this philosophical school of thought. Another important impact of the Scientific Revolution and Bacon’s literature is that it allowed common people of the era to question old, traditional beliefs. They began to consider everything with reason, which led to a greater sense of self as well as moral and ethical standards. By having the opportunity to judge for themselves, the people were able to advance society a step closer to a form of democracy.

Francis Bacon Essays is a collection of eight of the famous philosopher’s many essays. Each dissertation contains words of wisdom that have proven to be enlightening for many generations that followed. From “Truth” to “Of Superstition” and “Marriage and Single Life”, Bacon covers a wide range of intriguing topics in order to challenge the human mind to think deeply; as he himself writes: “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider” (Bacon). The philosopher not only provides a framework for the genre of the modern essay but also provides his readers a code to live by.

Works Cited

“Ciceronian.” Dictionary.com , n.d., www.dictionary.com/browse/ciceronian. 23 Oct. 2020.

De, Ardhendu. “Rhetorical Devices as Used by Francis Bacon in His Essays.” A.D.’s English Literature: Notes and Guide , 07 Apr. 2011, ardhendude.blogspot.com/2011/04/rhetorical-devices-used-by-francis.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Grant, Edward. The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts . Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Harmon, William. The Oxford Book of American Light Verse. Oxford University Press, 1979.

“History – Francis Bacon.” History , British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014, www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bacon_francis.shtml. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Potter, Vincent G. Readings in Epistemology: from Aquinas, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. Fordham University Press, 1993.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think Francis Bacon chose to enlighten and inspire his readers as opposed to other writers of his time who focused more on classic folklore tales?
  • Why do you think Francis Bacon choose the topics that he did? Who or what do you think had a major influence on his writings?
  • What are the goals and intentions behind Bacon’s use of rhetorical questioning?
  • What are some common themes and ideas from Francis Bacon’s Essays that can be applied to general situations and contemporary society?
  • From the ideas presented in this reading, how do you think Francis Bacon’s work affected government policies throughout history, including modern day governmental standards?

Further Resources

  • Detailed biography of Franics Bacon’s life
  • Analytical article of Francis Bacon’s impact on the Scientific Revolution
  • List of Francis Bacon’s most significant accomplishments
  • Compilation of Francis Bacon’s literature
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Francis Bacon
  • Discussion video of Francis Bacon’s “Of Studies”

Reading: From Essayes

I. of truth..

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursive wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour, but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later schools of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poet; nor for advantage, as with the mer chant, but for the lie’s sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open daylight, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candlelights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day, but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy “vinum dæmonum,”; because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. 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. First, he breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then he breathed light into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light into the face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: “It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth, (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene,) and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests in the vale below:” so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

To pass from theological and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged even by those that practise it not, that clean and round dealing is the honour of man’s nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious; and therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge, saith he, “If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say, that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.” Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men: it being foretold, that when “Christ cometh,” he shall not “find faith upon the earth.”

VIII. OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE.

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which, both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who, though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences; nay, there are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges; nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer; for, perhaps, they have heard some talk, “Such an one’s a great rich man” and another except to it. “Yea, but he hath a great charge of children;” as if it were an abatement to his riches: but the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think heir girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen, for charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly, in their hortatives, put men in mind of their wives and children; and I think the despising of marriage among the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, (good to make severe inquisitors,) because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, “vetulam suam prætulit immortalitati.” Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obedience, in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses; so as a man may have a quarrel to marry when he will: but yet he was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question when a man should marry:—”A young man not yet, an elder man not at all.” It is often seen, that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husband’s kindness when it comes, or that the wives take a pride in their patience; but this never fails, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends consent, for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.

XI. OF GREAT PLACE.

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 indignities men come to 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.” Nay, retire men cannot when they would, neither will they when it were reason; but are impatient of privateness 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 omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi.” 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. 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, quaæ fecerunt manus suæ, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis;” and then the sabbath. In the discharge of the place set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe of precepts; and after a time set before thine own example; and examine thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect not also the examples of those that have carried themselves ill in the same place; not to set off thyself by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform, therefore, without bravery or scandal of former times and persons; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerated; but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancienter time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may know be forehand what they may expect; but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy lure. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction; and rather assume thy right in silence, and “de facto,” than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places; and think it more honour to direct in chief than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of thy place; and do not drive away such as bring thee information as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four; delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays give easy access: keep times appointed; go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption, do not only bind thine own hands or thy servant’s hands from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering; for integrity used doth the one; but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other; and avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption; therefore, always when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite, if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery; for bribes come but now and then; but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without; as Solomon saith, “To respect persons is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread.” It is most true that was anciently spoken, “A place showeth the man; and it showeth some to the better and some to the worse;” “omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi imperasset,” saith Tacitus of Galba; but of Vespasian he saith, “solus imperantium, Vespasianus mutatus in melius;” though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honour amends; for honour is, or should be, the place of virtue; and as in nature things move violently to their place and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man’s self whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them; and rather call them when they looked not for it, than exclude them when they have reason to look to be called. Be not too sensible or too remembering of thy place in conversation and private answers to suitors; but let it rather be said, “When he sits in place he is another man.”

XVII. OF SUPERSTITION.

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such an opinion as is unworthy of him; for the one is unbelief, the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose: “Surely,” saith he, “I had rather a great deal men should say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than that they should say that there was one Plutarch, that would eat his children as soon as they were born:” as the poets speak of Saturn: and, as the contumely is greater towards God, so the danger is greater towards men. Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men: therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further, and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times: but superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new “primum mobile,” that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order. It was gravely said, by some of the prelates in the council of Trent, where the doctrine of the schoolmen bare great sway, that the schoolmen were like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics and epicycles, and such engines of orbs to save phenomena, though they knew there were no such things; and, in like manner, that the schoolmen had framed a number of subtle and intricate axioms and theorems, to save the practice of the church. The causes of superstition are, pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; over great reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the church; the stratagems of prelates for their own ambition and lucre; the favouring too much of good intentions, which openeth the gate to conceits and novelties; the taking an aim at divine matters by human, which cannot but breed mixture of imaginations; and, lastly, barbarous times, especially joined with calamities and disasters. Superstition, without a veil, is a deformed thing: for as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed: and, as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms and  orders corrupt into a number of petty observances. There is a superstition in avoiding superstition, when men think to do best if they go furthest from the superstition formerly received; therefore care would be had that (as it fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad, which commonly is done when the people is the reformer.

XXXIII. OF PLANTATIONS.

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 lose almost twenty years 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 stand 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 victual 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 esculent things there are which grow speedily and within the year: as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Jerusalem, maize, and the like: for wheat, barley, and oats, they ask too much labour; but with pease 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 biscuit, oatmeal, 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, 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 employed to gardens or corn, be to 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 use. Consider, likewise, what commodities the soil where the plantation is 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 brave commodity where wood aboundeth. Making of bay-salt, if the climate be proper for it, would be put in experience: 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; but 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 in the country that planteth, but upon a temperate number; and let those be rather noblemen and gentle men, than merchants; for they look ever to the present gain: let there be freedoms from custom, till the plantation be of strength; and not only freedom from custom, but freedom to carry their commodities where they may make their best of them, except there be some special cause of caution. Cram not in people, by sending too fast, company after company; but rather hearken how they waste, and send supplies proportionably; but so as the number may live well in the plantation, and not by surcharge be in penury. It hath been a great endangering to the health of some plantations, that they have built along the sea and rivers in marish and unwholesome grounds: therefore, though you begin there, to avoid carriage and other like discommodities, yet build still rather upwards from the stream, than along. It concerneth likewise the health of the plantation that they have good store of salt with them, that they may use it in their victuals when it shall be necessary. If you plant where savages are, do not only entertain them with trifles and gingles, but use them justly and graciously, with sufficient guard nevertheless; and do not win their favour by helping them to invade their enemies, but for their defence it is not amiss: and send oft of them over to the country that plants, that they may see a better condition than their own, and commend it when they return. When the plantation grows to strength, then  it is time to plant with women as well as with men; that the plantation may spread into generations, and not be ever pieced from without. It is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute a plantation once in forwardness; for, besides the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of many commiserable persons.

XLVII. OF NEGOTIATING.

It is generally better to deal by speech than by letter; and by the mediation of a third than by a man’s self. Letters are good when a man would draw an answer by letter back again; or when it may serve for a man’s justification afterwards to produce his own letter; or where it may be danger to be interrupted, or heard by pieces. To deal in person is good, when a man’s face breedeth regard, as commonly with inferiors; or in tender cases, where a man’s eye upon the countenance of him with whom he speaketh, may give him a direction how far to go; and generally, where a man will reserve to himself liberty either to disavow or to expound. In choice of instruments, it is better to choose men of a plainer sort, that are like to do that that is committed to them, and to report back again faithfully the success, than those that are cunning to contrive out of ether men’s business somewhat to grace themselves, and will help the matter in report, for satisfaction sake. Use also such persons as affect the business wherein they are employed, for that quickeneth much; and such as are fit for the matter, as bold men for expostulation, fair-spoken men for persuasion, crafty men for inquiry and observation, froward and absurd men for business that doth not well bear out itself. Use also such as have been lucky and prevailed before in things wherein you have employed them; for that breeds confidence, and they will strive to maintain their prescription. It is better to sound a person with whom one deals afar off, than to fall upon the point at first; except you mean to surprise him by some short question. It is better dealing with men in appetite, than with those that are where they would be. If a man deal with another upon conditions, the start of first performance is all; which a man can reasonably demand, except either the nature of the thing be such, which must go before: or else a man can persuade the other party, that he shall still need him in some other thing; or else that he be counted the honester man. All practice is to discover, or to work. Men discover themselves in trust, in passion, at unawares; and of necessity, when they would have somewhat done, and cannot find an apt pretext, if you would work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him; or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him; or these that have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least look for. In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.

XXXVII. OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS.

These things are but toys to come amongst such serious observations; but yet, since princes will have such things, it is better they should be graced with elegancy, than daubed with cost. Dancing to song, is a thing of great state and pleasure. I understand it that the song be inquire, placed aloft, and accompanied by some broken music; and the ditty fitted to the device. Acting in song, especially in dialogues, hath an extreme good grace; I say acting, not dancing, (for that is a mean and vulgar thing;) and the voices of the dialogue would be strong and manly, (a base and a tenor, no treble,) and the ditty high and tragical, not nice or dainty. Several quires placed one over against another, and taking the voice by catches anthem-wise, give great pleasure. Turning dances into figure is a childish curiosity; and generally let it be noted, that those things which  I here set down are such as do naturally take the sense, and not respect petty wonderments. It is true, the alterations of scenes, so it be quietly and without noise, are things of great beauty and pleasure; for they feed and relieve the eye before it be full of the same object. Let the scenes abound with light, especially coloured and varied; and let the masquers, or any other that are to come down from the scene, have some motions upon the scene it self before their coining down; for it draws the eye strangely, and makes it with great pleasure to desire to see that it cannot perfectly discern. Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not chirpings or pulings: let the music likewise be sharp and loud, and well placed. The colours that show best by candle-light, are white, carnation, and a kind of sea-water green and ouches, or spangs, as they are of no great cost, so they are of most glory. As for rich embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. Let the suits of the masquers be graceful, and such as become the person when the vizards are off; not after examples of known attires; Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like. Let anti-masques not be long; they have been commonly of fools, satyrs, baboons, wild men antics, beasts, spirits, witches, Ethiopes, pigmies turquets, nymphs, rustics, Cupids, statues moving and the like. As for angels, it is not comical enough to put them in anti-masques; and any thing that is hideous, as devils, giants, is, on the other side as unfit; but chiefly, let the music of them be recreative, and with some strange changes. Some sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without any drops falling, are, in such a company as there is steam and heat, things of great pleasure and refreshment. Double masques, one of men another of ladies, addeth state and variety; but all is nothing except the room be kept clean and neat.

For jousts, and tourneys, and barriers, the glories of them are chiefly in the chariots, wherein the challengers make their entry; especially if they be drawn with strange beasts; as lions, bears camels, and the like; or in the devices of their entrance, or in bravery of their liveries, or in the goodly furniture of their horses and armour. But enough of these toys.

L. OF STUDIES.

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 make 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 pruning 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 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 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: 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 the head, and the like; so, if a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be no apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen, for they are “Cymini sectores;” if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call upon one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyer’s cases: so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.

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Bacon, Francis. Bacon’s Essays and Wisdom of the Ancients . Little, Brown, and Company, 1884, is licensed under no known copyright.

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Of Friendship by Francis Bacon | 10 Important Questions and Answers

10 Important Short Questions - Answers from Bacon's Essay, "Of Friendship"

  • Discuss Aristotle’s Views on solitude/man as a social animal as quoted by Bacon.

Bacon begins the essay by invoking the classical authority of Aristotle on basic human nature. First, he refers to Aristotle’s view in Politics: Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  According to Aristotle, a man by nature and behaviour may be degraded to such an extent that he may be called unfit for society. Again, he may be so self-sufficient that he may not need society.  In the first case, he resembles a wild beast and in the second, he resembles gods. Here it should be pointed out that Bacon is not ruling out the value of solitude; in fact, he is reserving solitude for higher kind of life, which is possible for a few great men like Epimenides, Numa, Empedocles, Apollonius and some Christian saints. Here too Bacon is following Aristotelian view on solitude as expressed in Ethics, where Aristotle prefers a contemplative life to an active life:

“It is the highest kind of life, it can be enjoyed uninterruptedly for the greatest length of time…”

Bacon’s logic is that those who live in society should enjoy the bliss of friendship for more than one reason.

  • How does Bacon explain the first fruit of friendship?

Bacon begins the essay by invoking the classical authority of Aristotle on basic human nature as expressed by him in  Politics : Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  Here Bacon also follows Aristotelian view on solitude as expressed in  Ethics , where Aristotle prefers a contemplative life to an active life:

Bacon’s logic is that those who live in society should enjoy the bliss of friendship for more than one reason. First of all, friendship is necessary for maintaining good mental health by controlling and regulating the passions of the mind. In other words, Bacon here speaks of the therapeutic use of friendship through which one can lighten the heart by revealing the pent-up feelings and emotions: sorrows, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, advice and the like.

Then in order to justify the value of friendship, Bacon points out the practice of friendship on the highest social level. He informs us that the kings and princes, in order to make friends, would raise some persons who would be fit for friendship. Then Bacon tries to glorify friendship by translating the Roman term for friendship,  Participes curarum , which means  ‘sharers of their cares’ . He gives instances of raising of men as friends from the Roman history: Sylla and Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar and Antonius, Augustus and Agrippa, Tiberius Caesar and Sejanus, Septimius Severus and Plautianus. Bacon also refers to what Comineus wrote of Duke Charles the Hardy’s deterioration of his mental faculty just because of his reserve and loneliness and extends his judgement to the case of Comineus’ second master, Louis XI. The point which Bacon strongly wants to assert is that friendship functions for a man in a double yet paradoxically contrary manner:  “…it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halfs”.

  • What does Bacon say about the second fruit of friendship?

The second fruit of friendship, according to Bacon, is beneficial for the clarity of understanding. If a man has got a faithful friend, he can be consulted to clarify the confusions of the mind. He calls the counsel of a friend, citing Heraclitus,  “drier and purer”  than that a man gives himself out of self-love, which clouds his judgement. Bacon then counsel of this sort into two kinds:  “the one concerning manners and the other concerning business.”  A friend’s constructive criticism of the other friend’s behaviour helps him more than a book of morality. In the matter of conducting practical business, Bacon thinks, a true friend’s advice can also be helpful in undertaking a venture or averting a danger.

  • What does Bacon say about the third/last fruit of friendship?

Bacon begins the essay by invoking the classical authority of Aristotle on basic human nature as expressed by him in  Politics : Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  Here Bacon also follows Aristotelian view on solitude as expressed in  Ethics , where Aristotle prefers a contemplative life to an active life:  “It is the highest kind of life, it can be enjoyed uninterruptedly for the greatest length of time…”

Bacon concludes the essay commenting on the last fruit of friendship, which is manifold in the sense that there are so many things in life, which can be fulfilled only with the help of a friend. In fact, at a rare moment Bacon gets emotional and quotes classical maxim that “a friend is another self”. His point is that a man may have many a desire, which may not be realised in his life-time, but if he has got a true friend, his unfulfilled desire will be taken care of by his friend. Not only this, a friend, unlike the near and dear ones and enemies, can talk to him on equal terms whenever situation demands. Keeping all these things, Bacon concludes that if a man does not have a friend, he may well leave this world. That is to say, he is not fit for the human society to live in.

  • Explain the expression  “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god”.

Bacon begins the essay by invoking the classical authority of Aristotle on basic human nature. First, he refers to Aristotle’s view in Politics: Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  According to Aristotle, a man by nature and behaviour may be degraded to such an extent that he may be called unfit for society. Again, he may be so self-sufficient that he may not need society.  In the first case, he resembles a wild beast and in the second, he resembles gods. Here too Bacon is following Aristotelian view on solitude as expressed in Ethics, where Aristotle prefers a contemplative life to an active life:

  • Explain the expression,  “Magna civitas, magna solitude”.

In order to justify the value of friendship Bacon brings in the Latin proverb    “Magna civitas, magna solitude” , which means  “A great city is a great solitude” . This proverb was coined by a comic poet, who punned upon the name of Megalopolis (a great city) and applied to the city of Babylon as a great city of great desert. Bacon’s point is that in a great city friends are scattered and therefore city life is not favourable for friendship.

  • Line by Line Explanation from Bacon’s Essay Of Friendship
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  • What is the meaning of the phrase  “participles curarum” ? Why does Bacon refer to this?

In order to justify the value of friendship, Bacon points out the practice of friendship on the highest social level. He informs us that the kings and princes, in order to make friends, would raise some persons who would be fit for friendship. Then Bacon tries to glorify friendship by translating the Roman term for friendship, Participes curarum, which means ‘sharers of their cares’. The title was given by the Roman Emperor Tiberius to his minister Sejanus.

  • “…it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halfs” . How does Bacon prove this?

In order to justify the value of friendship, Bacon points out the practice of friendship on the highest social level. He informs us that the kings and princes, in order to make friends, would raise some persons who would be fit for friendship. Then Bacon tries to glorify friendship by translating the Roman term for friendship, Participes curarum, which means ‘sharers of their cares’. He gives instances of raising of men as friends from the Roman history: Sylla and Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar and Antonius, Augustus and Agrippa, Tiberius Caesar and Sejanus, Septimius Severus and Plautianus. Bacon also refers to what Comineus wrote of Duke Charles the Hardy’s deterioration of his mental faculty just because of his reserve and loneliness and extends his judgement to the case of Comineus’ second master, Louis XI. The point which Bacon strongly wants to assert is that friendship functions for a man in a double yet paradoxically contrary manner:  “…it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halfs”.

  • Who was Heraclitus? Why does Bacon quote his saying:  “Dry light is ever the best”?

Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher, famous for brief enigmatic sayings. One of his sayings is:  “Dry light is ever the best” . Here Bacon calls the counsel of a friend, citing Heraclitus,  “drier and purer ” than that a man gives himself out of self-love, which clouds his judgement. Bacon then counsel of this sort into two kinds:  “the one concerning manners and the other concerning business. ”  A friend’s constructive criticism of the other friend’s behaviour helps him more than a book of morality. In the matter of conducting practical business, Bacon thinks, a true friend’s advice can also be helpful in undertaking a venture or averting a danger.

  • “…if have not a friend, he may quit the stage”. Why does Bacon say this?

Finally, Bacon speaks of the last fruit of friendship, which is manifold in the sense that there are so many things in life, which can be fulfilled only with the help of a friend. In fact, at a rare moment Bacon gets emotional and quotes classical maxim that  “a friend is another self” . His point is that a man may have many a desire, which may not be realised in his life-time, but if he has got a true friend, his unfulfilled desire will be taken care of by his friend. Not only this, a friend, unlike the near and dear ones and enemies, can talk to him on equal terms whenever situation demands. Keeping all these things, Bacon concludes that if a man does not have a friend, he may well leave this world. That is to say, he is not fit for the human society to live in.

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Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works

By francis bacon.

  • Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Summary

Many of Francis Bacon ’s works were based on learning: the mind’s inherent faults hampering it, how we as people make mistakes in learning, and effective ways of gathering knowledge. All his works were linked to the critique, advancement, and improvement of knowledge and learning in some form. This section will cover the major propositions found in Bacon’s works, namely the idols of the mind, the distempers of learning, classification of knowledge, and Baconian induction.

Idols of the Mind

Bacon believed that by virtue of being human, the mind had some inherent faults, which must be corrected if we are to engage in any sort of true and meaningful learning. The word "idol" derives from the classical Greek term “eidolon” which means phantom or image, just as Bacon believed that the idols of the mind would create false or phantom images of the world and of nature. There are four idols of the mind:

1. Idols of the Tribe: The “tribe” referred to here is the tribe encompassing all of humanity. As human beings, we are born with innate faults in the mind. These innate faults are of the tribe, because they come to us at birth, and are common to all humans, not necessarily acquired through exposure to a given set of experiences. These idols include sensory defects, tendencies to make premature decisions, engagement in wishful thinking and overthinking phenomena, and creating more complications than actually exist.

2. Idols of the Cave: This set of idols is not common to the “tribe” but rather specific to each individual and the “cave” they live in, which is their mind. Depending on each person’s unique experiences, relationships to the world and to others and their exposure to particular disciplines, they develop these idols resulting as a sum of their life’s experiences. These idols involve a tendency to view things with regard to the discipline we have been trained in, and use this narrow understanding of the world to reduce all phenomena down to their own perception. For example: a philosopher will see all of nature’s phenomena as questionable and will attempt to find purpose.

3. Idols of the Marketplace: The marketplace refers to the communications between men, or as Bacon puts it, “association of men with each other” (47). The tools that contribute to the existence of these idols are words and language. We either assign abstract terms or give name to things that exist only in our minds. This leads to a faulty and vague understanding. Ironically, words were created so humans could express themselves, but this distemper prevents us from doing so.

4. Idols of the Theatre: This is again a set of idols, which are learned by us through our respective culture, a practice acquired by humans through socialization and cultural exposure. It refers to the theatricality and sophistry in knowledge, but instead of being true knowledge, it is mere imitations. Hence, this phenomena is described using a metaphor of the theatre. Bacon accuses philosophers of engaging in this particular set of idols.

Distempers of Learning

Bacon originally identified the three distempers of learning as “vanities.” The distempers are simply methods and forms of learning that Bacon believed were ineffective and led to no real advancement. There were three main distempers identified:

1. Fantastical learning (or vain imaginations): Fantastical learning is simply beliefs, ideas, and arguments without strong basis in practical and scientific reality. Being a man with a strong belief in the scientific principles of observation and experimentation, Bacon did not believe in what he called “pseudo sciences.” This kind of learning may be found amongst magicians and astrologers in Bacon’s time and amongst religious leaders and fundamentalists today.

2. Contentious learning (or vain altercations): Contentious learning refers to excessive contestation amongst those deeply entrenched in a particular academic discipline, including arduous arguments about the most minute, inconsequential details, which ultimately lead to no fruitful gain. Bacon lashed out at classical philosophers such as Aristotle for engaging in such learning which ultimately benefits no one.

3. Delicate learning (or vain affectations): Bacon named this particular learning as “delicate” because in his opinion, it lacked true academic rigor. The rigor was missing because those engaging in this type of learning merely focused on form and not content, or “style over substance.” Such emphasis leads to beautifully worded prose, which lacks any kind of depth. No new discoveries or recoveries of knowledge are made, and therefore, such learning is delicate and not true and rigorous. Bacon believed that engaging in these three kinds of learning would lead to two main ill effects, namely “prodigal ingenuity” (waste of talent and mental resources) and “sterile results” (no fruitful outcome beneficial to the wider world).

Induction is the inference of the general from specific instances. Classically, philosophers had a method wherein they would jump to general conclusions after examining only a few specific instances, and then work backwards for a thorough verification processes.

Bacon’s approach to induction was rather different. He believed in going from very specific to general, over a rigorous period of research to confirm a hypothesis. Instead of directly drawing a conclusion, a researcher following Bacon’s method would first examine a large number of subjects or variables. Bacon’s approach, according to him, is foolproof. This is because it enables the researcher to build "a stable edifice of knowledge" (135).

However, there were criticisms to this method, with contemporary thinkers questioning just how much research is needed before making a general conclusion. Moreover, such an approach completely ignores the role of imagination and theorizing a hypothesis. Many great discoveries in history were made by those who imagined a particular idea and proceeded to test it, and not vice versa. Either way, Bacon provides a unique picture of rigorous academic research and induction.

Classification of Knowledge

Not only did Bacon have strong ideas about how knowledge should be collected, he also held strong ideas about how existing knowledge must be classified for optimum benefit to human learning. In his expanded version of the Advancement of Learning ( De Dignitate ), he proposed a threefold classification of knowledge: History, Poesy (poetry), and Philosophy. These three disciplines represent memory, imagination, and reason respectively. He believed that these three disciplines would lead to true advancement, and that the importance of philosophy must be greatly elevated in order for academics to truly progress. As a scientific thinker, he denounced and looked down upon the humanist subjects, namely literature and history. To him, history was a mere collection of facts and poesy was an expressive device; it was philosophy that had to take center stage.

"Of Studies"

Bacon's essay "Of Studies" shows his abilities of persuasion. He creates a metaphor between literature and medicine, stating that as medicine can cure the problems of the body, literature can heal the defects of the mind. The essay has a clear structure, and it groups elements in groups of three. Indeed, Bacon exposes his opinion, but its structure and a formal philosophical language make it appear as the truth in order to convince the audience of what he is saying: studying different genres helps to cure different defects of the mind.

Other Works

Bacon did publish a great number of works that were not, at the surface level, of a philosophical nature. Some of his historical and biographical works include the History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh and a subsequent volume about Henry the Eighth. These were a product of Bacon’s prolonged involvement in British political life as a statesman. He also authored A Natural History in Ten Centuries or Sylva Sylvarum . This was a work divided into ten parts (each roughly designed to represent one century) and each part was divided into an impressive one hundred subparts. In this work, Bacon covered anything and everything that caught his attention, from bodily processes to geographical phenomena by chronicling experiments and observations as well as penning down his own personal thoughts on this varied range of subjects. His science fiction novel, The New Atlantis , was published only after his death. It tells the story of a group of researchers in Salomon’s House (a research institution) who conduct experiments and attempt to gather knowledge.

These academic endeavors of Bacon's are both useful and practical for society, providing valuable insight into Bacon’s vision for what true academia must aim to accomplish. Bacon did not end up publishing a Magnum Opus work, but his work Magna Instauratio or the Great Instauration was in progress, and parts of it were published after his death. He decided back in 1592 that he would devote himself to the field of learning, and restructuring and even “rehabilitating” it. The Magna Instauratio was visualized by Bacon to be an all-encompassing work, consisting of his views on learning to logic to science. Bacon’s wide body of work was created in an astonishingly short period of time. His contributions to learning and the classification of knowledge make him one of the pioneering scientists and philosophers of early modernity.

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Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

why baccon used OF before starting his essays

becose it is used to mention the things particular

What is Sir Francis Bacon’s main purpose in the text?

In this essay Bacon states his ideology about education and learning. He argues that, "studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability." Bacon felt that people should delight in knowledge for its own sake rather than a means to an end...

Part A: which statement best summarizes the text

A. Learning is personal and focuses on improving weaknesses and enhancing strengths.

Study Guide for Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works

Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works study guide contains a biography of Francis Bacon, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of select works.

  • About Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works
  • Character List

Essays for Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works

Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Francis Bacon's quotes and writings.

  • An Scholarly Analysis of A Scholar's Analysis

Wikipedia Entries for Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works

  • Introduction
  • Philosophy and works
  • Influence and legacy
  • Historical debates

short questions of bacon essays

Francis Bacon Essays

500 words essay on francis bacon.

Francis Bacon is a major figure in early British literature. Furthermore, this man has proven to be instrumental in the development of the Scientific Revolution in the late 18th century even though his demise took place centuries before. Furthermore, experts of the English language hold Francis Bacon essays in high esteem.

francis bacon essays

Writing Style

Francis Bacon, in writing, made use of metaphors, analogies, and vivid imagery. Furthermore, he was a rhetorical professional writer.  Also, the essays of Francis Bacon highlight his incisive mind and his wisdom.

The release of the first book of Francis Bacon took place in 1597. Afterwards, there was the release of later editions with additional essays whose release took place in 1612 and 1625. Each essay of Bacon was a revelation of his immense knowledge of Latin.

Francis Bacon essays rely heavily on ancient Roman wisdom through the use of axioms and proverbs . Additionally, Bacon uses wit to get his point across to his target audience. Also, the use of wit makes readers reflect on their own values and beliefs.

Terseness and epigrammatic force are the key aspects of Francis Bacon essays. Furthermore, Bacon is a man who is able to pack all of his writings into statements that are brief and quick. Moreover, in this way, Bacon is able to deepen the impact of his work.

Francis Bacon made use of a wide range of styles of writing for his essays. Furthermore, such styles range from the plain and unadorned to the epigrammatic. Also, Francis Bacon essays cover topics from both public and private life.

Experts remember Francis Bacon primarily for the “scientific method” as a way of establishing the truth from the false perception. Furthermore, this method is still very popular. Bacon’s primary focus in his writings involves the practice of inductive reasoning, which according to him was a complement to practical observation.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Significance of Francis Bacon Essays

There was a deviation of Francis Bacon essays writing from the typical Ciceronian style of the time. Furthermore, the characteristics of the Ciceronian style were forceful presentation, clarity, and melodious language. Most noteworthy, the reason why his statements are meaningful is that they go straight to the point without any unnecessary details.

The brevity of his ideas makes possible an efficient communication of his arguments. This was certainly significant at the time because it was difficult to attain meaningful education. Therefore, Francis Bacon essays were useful in spreading the notion of solid and meaningful education, which would eventually prove useful during the Scientific Revolution.

Conclusion of Francis Bacon Essays

Francis Bacon essays still hold a notable place among the English language intelligentsia of the current times. Furthermore, his essays are taught by English language experts and teachers in various academic circles. Francis Bacon will always remain a major figure in the field of English language and grammar.

FAQs For Francis Bacon Essays

Question 1: Explain the writing style of Francis Bacon?

Answer 1: The writing style of Francis Bacon revolves around the usage of metaphors, analogies, and vivid imagery. Furthermore, the man is not restricted to one strict writing style but rather writes in a wide range of styles. Moreover, his writing styles range from the plain and unadorned style to the epigrammatic style.

Question 2: Explain the relevance of wit in Francis Bacon essays?

Answer 2: Francis Bacon essays are characterized by the use of wit. Furthermore, Bacon makes use of wit as a way of clearly explaining his point to his audience. Moreover, the result of this is that the reader tends to reflect on his or her own beliefs and values.

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37 Francis Bacon: Essays

Introduction.

by Mary Larivee and Rithvik Saravanan

Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the English philosopher, was instrumental in the development of the Scientific Revolution in the late 18th century even though he had passed away centuries before.  The “Scientific Revolution” was an important movement that emphasized Europe’s shift toward modernized science in fields such as mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry (Grant). It was an extension of the Renaissance period, which then led to the Enlightenment which brought advances across all areas of human endeavor. Francis Bacon, in particular, is remembered today primarily for the “scientific method” as a way of establishing what is true from what is false perception (a method that still lies at the heart of modern science). Bacon’s primary focus in his writings revolved around the practice of inductive reasoning, which he believed to be a complement to practical observation (Grant). Most people before this period followed the Aristotelian methodology for scientific arguments. This idea maintained that “if sufficiently clever men discussed a subject long enough, the truth would eventually be discovered” (“History – Francis Bacon.”). However irrational this sounds, the Scientific Revolution helped replace this outdated system of thinking with Bacon’s scientific method. Bacon argued that any proper argument required “evidence from the real world” (“History – Francis Bacon.”). His revolutionary ideas about empirical information helped propel him toward political and societal importance and fame.

Literary Context

Francis Bacon had a passion for metaphors, analogies, and vivid imagery. He was a rhetorical writer and his essays highlight his wisdom and incisive mind. His first book was released in 1597 followed by later editions with added essays that were released in 1612 and 1625. Each essay that Bacon wrote reveals his knowledge of Latin and draws on ancient Roman wisdom through axioms and proverbs. Additionally, Bacon uses wit as a way of getting his point across to his audience and this indeed causes the reader to reflect on his or her own beliefs and values. A key aspect of Bacon’s literature is its “terseness and epigrammatic force” (De). By managing to pack all of his thoughts and ideas into quick, brief statements, Bacon deepens the reach and impact of his work. His writing deviated from the typical Ciceronian style of the time, which was characterized by “melodious language, clarity, and forcefulness of presentation” (“Ciceronian.”). His statements are meaningful particularly because they are straight and to the point. The brevity of his ideas also facilitates the communication of his arguments, which is significant because, at the time, a solid, meaningful education was hard to come by. As such, Bacon’s work helped spread the notions that would eventually bear fruit with the discoveries of the Scientific Revolution.

Historical Context

Francis Bacon’s Essays cover a wide variety of topics and styles, ranging from individual to societal issues and from commonplace to existential. Another important aspect of the appeal of Bacon’s essays are that they weigh the argument at hand with multiple points of view. Bacon’s essays were received at the time with great praise, adoration, and reverence (Potter). He was noted for borrowing ideas from the works of historical writers such as Aristotle (Harmon), and, as such, he represents a continuation of this philosophical school of thought. Another important impact of the Scientific Revolution and Bacon’s literature is that it allowed common people of the era to question old, traditional beliefs. They began to consider everything with reason, which led to a greater sense of self as well as moral and ethical standards. By having the opportunity to judge for themselves, the people were able to advance society a step closer to a form of democracy.

Francis Bacon Essays is a collection of eight of the famous philosopher’s many essays. Each dissertation contains words of wisdom that have proven to be enlightening for many generations that followed. From “Truth” to “Of Superstition” and “Marriage and Single Life”, Bacon covers a wide range of intriguing topics in order to challenge the human mind to think deeply; as he himself writes: “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider” (Bacon). The philosopher not only provides a framework for the genre of the modern essay but also provides his readers a code to live by.

Works Cited

“Ciceronian.” Dictionary.com , n.d., www.dictionary.com/browse/ciceronian. 23 Oct. 2020.

De, Ardhendu. “Rhetorical Devices as Used by Francis Bacon in His Essays.” A.D.’s English Literature: Notes and Guide , 07 Apr. 2011, ardhendude.blogspot.com/2011/04/rhetorical-devices-used-by-francis.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Grant, Edward. The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts . Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Harmon, William. The Oxford Book of American Light Verse. Oxford University Press, 1979.

“History – Francis Bacon.” History , British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014, www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bacon_francis.shtml. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Potter, Vincent G. Readings in Epistemology: from Aquinas, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. Fordham University Press, 1993.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think Francis Bacon chose to enlighten and inspire his readers as opposed to other writers of his time who focused more on classic folklore tales?
  • Why do you think Francis Bacon choose the topics that he did? Who or what do you think had a major influence on his writings?
  • What are the goals and intentions behind Bacon’s use of rhetorical questioning?
  • What are some common themes and ideas from Francis Bacon’s Essays that can be applied to general situations and contemporary society?
  • From the ideas presented in this reading, how do you think Francis Bacon’s work affected government policies throughout history, including modern day governmental standards?

Further Resources

  • Detailed biography of Franics Bacon’s life
  • Analytical article of Francis Bacon’s impact on the Scientific Revolution
  • List of Francis Bacon’s most significant accomplishments
  • Compilation of Francis Bacon’s literature
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Francis Bacon
  • Discussion video of Francis Bacon’s “Of Studies”

Reading: From Essayes

I. of truth..

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursive wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour, but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later schools of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poet; nor for advantage, as with the mer chant, but for the lie’s sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open daylight, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candlelights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day, but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy “vinum dæmonum,”; because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. 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. First, he breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then he breathed light into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light into the face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: “It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth, (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene,) and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests in the vale below:” so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

To pass from theological and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged even by those that practise it not, that clean and round dealing is the honour of man’s nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious; and therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge, saith he, “If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say, that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.” Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men: it being foretold, that when “Christ cometh,” he shall not “find faith upon the earth.”

VIII. OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE.

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which, both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who, though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences; nay, there are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges; nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer; for, perhaps, they have heard some talk, “Such an one’s a great rich man” and another except to it. “Yea, but he hath a great charge of children;” as if it were an abatement to his riches: but the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think heir girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen, for charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly, in their hortatives, put men in mind of their wives and children; and I think the despising of marriage among the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, (good to make severe inquisitors,) because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, “vetulam suam prætulit immortalitati.” Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obedience, in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses; so as a man may have a quarrel to marry when he will: but yet he was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question when a man should marry:—”A young man not yet, an elder man not at all.” It is often seen, that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husband’s kindness when it comes, or that the wives take a pride in their patience; but this never fails, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends consent, for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.

XI. OF GREAT PLACE.

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 indignities men come to 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.” Nay, retire men cannot when they would, neither will they when it were reason; but are impatient of privateness 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 omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi.” 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. 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, quaæ fecerunt manus suæ, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis;” and then the sabbath. In the discharge of the place set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe of precepts; and after a time set before thine own example; and examine thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect not also the examples of those that have carried themselves ill in the same place; not to set off thyself by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform, therefore, without bravery or scandal of former times and persons; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerated; but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancienter time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may know be forehand what they may expect; but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy lure. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction; and rather assume thy right in silence, and “de facto,” than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places; and think it more honour to direct in chief than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of thy place; and do not drive away such as bring thee information as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four; delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays give easy access: keep times appointed; go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption, do not only bind thine own hands or thy servant’s hands from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering; for integrity used doth the one; but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other; and avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption; therefore, always when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite, if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery; for bribes come but now and then; but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without; as Solomon saith, “To respect persons is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread.” It is most true that was anciently spoken, “A place showeth the man; and it showeth some to the better and some to the worse;” “omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi imperasset,” saith Tacitus of Galba; but of Vespasian he saith, “solus imperantium, Vespasianus mutatus in melius;” though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honour amends; for honour is, or should be, the place of virtue; and as in nature things move violently to their place and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man’s self whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them; and rather call them when they looked not for it, than exclude them when they have reason to look to be called. Be not too sensible or too remembering of thy place in conversation and private answers to suitors; but let it rather be said, “When he sits in place he is another man.”

XVII. OF SUPERSTITION.

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such an opinion as is unworthy of him; for the one is unbelief, the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose: “Surely,” saith he, “I had rather a great deal men should say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than that they should say that there was one Plutarch, that would eat his children as soon as they were born:” as the poets speak of Saturn: and, as the contumely is greater towards God, so the danger is greater towards men. Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men: therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further, and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times: but superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new “primum mobile,” that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order. It was gravely said, by some of the prelates in the council of Trent, where the doctrine of the schoolmen bare great sway, that the schoolmen were like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics and epicycles, and such engines of orbs to save phenomena, though they knew there were no such things; and, in like manner, that the schoolmen had framed a number of subtle and intricate axioms and theorems, to save the practice of the church. The causes of superstition are, pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; over great reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the church; the stratagems of prelates for their own ambition and lucre; the favouring too much of good intentions, which openeth the gate to conceits and novelties; the taking an aim at divine matters by human, which cannot but breed mixture of imaginations; and, lastly, barbarous times, especially joined with calamities and disasters. Superstition, without a veil, is a deformed thing: for as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed: and, as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms and  orders corrupt into a number of petty observances. There is a superstition in avoiding superstition, when men think to do best if they go furthest from the superstition formerly received; therefore care would be had that (as it fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad, which commonly is done when the people is the reformer.

XXXIII. OF PLANTATIONS.

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 lose almost twenty years 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 stand 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 victual 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 esculent things there are which grow speedily and within the year: as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Jerusalem, maize, and the like: for wheat, barley, and oats, they ask too much labour; but with pease 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 biscuit, oatmeal, 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, 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 employed to gardens or corn, be to 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 use. Consider, likewise, what commodities the soil where the plantation is 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 brave commodity where wood aboundeth. Making of bay-salt, if the climate be proper for it, would be put in experience: 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; but 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 in the country that planteth, but upon a temperate number; and let those be rather noblemen and gentle men, than merchants; for they look ever to the present gain: let there be freedoms from custom, till the plantation be of strength; and not only freedom from custom, but freedom to carry their commodities where they may make their best of them, except there be some special cause of caution. Cram not in people, by sending too fast, company after company; but rather hearken how they waste, and send supplies proportionably; but so as the number may live well in the plantation, and not by surcharge be in penury. It hath been a great endangering to the health of some plantations, that they have built along the sea and rivers in marish and unwholesome grounds: therefore, though you begin there, to avoid carriage and other like discommodities, yet build still rather upwards from the stream, than along. It concerneth likewise the health of the plantation that they have good store of salt with them, that they may use it in their victuals when it shall be necessary. If you plant where savages are, do not only entertain them with trifles and gingles, but use them justly and graciously, with sufficient guard nevertheless; and do not win their favour by helping them to invade their enemies, but for their defence it is not amiss: and send oft of them over to the country that plants, that they may see a better condition than their own, and commend it when they return. When the plantation grows to strength, then  it is time to plant with women as well as with men; that the plantation may spread into generations, and not be ever pieced from without. It is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute a plantation once in forwardness; for, besides the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of many commiserable persons.

XLVII. OF NEGOTIATING.

It is generally better to deal by speech than by letter; and by the mediation of a third than by a man’s self. Letters are good when a man would draw an answer by letter back again; or when it may serve for a man’s justification afterwards to produce his own letter; or where it may be danger to be interrupted, or heard by pieces. To deal in person is good, when a man’s face breedeth regard, as commonly with inferiors; or in tender cases, where a man’s eye upon the countenance of him with whom he speaketh, may give him a direction how far to go; and generally, where a man will reserve to himself liberty either to disavow or to expound. In choice of instruments, it is better to choose men of a plainer sort, that are like to do that that is committed to them, and to report back again faithfully the success, than those that are cunning to contrive out of ether men’s business somewhat to grace themselves, and will help the matter in report, for satisfaction sake. Use also such persons as affect the business wherein they are employed, for that quickeneth much; and such as are fit for the matter, as bold men for expostulation, fair-spoken men for persuasion, crafty men for inquiry and observation, froward and absurd men for business that doth not well bear out itself. Use also such as have been lucky and prevailed before in things wherein you have employed them; for that breeds confidence, and they will strive to maintain their prescription. It is better to sound a person with whom one deals afar off, than to fall upon the point at first; except you mean to surprise him by some short question. It is better dealing with men in appetite, than with those that are where they would be. If a man deal with another upon conditions, the start of first performance is all; which a man can reasonably demand, except either the nature of the thing be such, which must go before: or else a man can persuade the other party, that he shall still need him in some other thing; or else that he be counted the honester man. All practice is to discover, or to work. Men discover themselves in trust, in passion, at unawares; and of necessity, when they would have somewhat done, and cannot find an apt pretext, if you would work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him; or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him; or these that have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least look for. In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.

XXXVII. OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS.

These things are but toys to come amongst such serious observations; but yet, since princes will have such things, it is better they should be graced with elegancy, than daubed with cost. Dancing to song, is a thing of great state and pleasure. I understand it that the song be inquire, placed aloft, and accompanied by some broken music; and the ditty fitted to the device. Acting in song, especially in dialogues, hath an extreme good grace; I say acting, not dancing, (for that is a mean and vulgar thing;) and the voices of the dialogue would be strong and manly, (a base and a tenor, no treble,) and the ditty high and tragical, not nice or dainty. Several quires placed one over against another, and taking the voice by catches anthem-wise, give great pleasure. Turning dances into figure is a childish curiosity; and generally let it be noted, that those things which  I here set down are such as do naturally take the sense, and not respect petty wonderments. It is true, the alterations of scenes, so it be quietly and without noise, are things of great beauty and pleasure; for they feed and relieve the eye before it be full of the same object. Let the scenes abound with light, especially coloured and varied; and let the masquers, or any other that are to come down from the scene, have some motions upon the scene it self before their coining down; for it draws the eye strangely, and makes it with great pleasure to desire to see that it cannot perfectly discern. Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not chirpings or pulings: let the music likewise be sharp and loud, and well placed. The colours that show best by candle-light, are white, carnation, and a kind of sea-water green and ouches, or spangs, as they are of no great cost, so they are of most glory. As for rich embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. Let the suits of the masquers be graceful, and such as become the person when the vizards are off; not after examples of known attires; Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like. Let anti-masques not be long; they have been commonly of fools, satyrs, baboons, wild men antics, beasts, spirits, witches, Ethiopes, pigmies turquets, nymphs, rustics, Cupids, statues moving and the like. As for angels, it is not comical enough to put them in anti-masques; and any thing that is hideous, as devils, giants, is, on the other side as unfit; but chiefly, let the music of them be recreative, and with some strange changes. Some sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without any drops falling, are, in such a company as there is steam and heat, things of great pleasure and refreshment. Double masques, one of men another of ladies, addeth state and variety; but all is nothing except the room be kept clean and neat.

For jousts, and tourneys, and barriers, the glories of them are chiefly in the chariots, wherein the challengers make their entry; especially if they be drawn with strange beasts; as lions, bears camels, and the like; or in the devices of their entrance, or in bravery of their liveries, or in the goodly furniture of their horses and armour. But enough of these toys.

L. OF STUDIES.

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 make 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 pruning 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 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 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: 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 the head, and the like; so, if a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be no apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen, for they are “Cymini sectores;” if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call upon one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyer’s cases: so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.

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Short Questions and Answers of Bacon’s Essays

Introduction: Short questions and Answers of Bacon’s Essays includes mostly asked questions or Important questions in University Examinations .

Table of Contents

According to Bacon, what are the main benefits of study?

According to Bacon the main benefits of study are delight, ornament and ability.

What does Bacon means by ‘writing makes an exact man’ in his essay ‘ Of Studies ‘?

Bacon means by ‘writing makes an exact man’ in his essay ‘Of Studies’ that writing and thinking goes hand in hand. Writing enforces to think about what he believes and what he want to communicate and he is always trying to get right word .

What is Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Friendship’?

Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Friendship’ is the fruits of friendship that we share feelings and emotions with friends, friends provide comfort and stability in hard time and lives as unity and bond like pomegranate .

What are the fruits of friendship as described in ‘Of Friendship’ by Bacon?

The fruits of friendship are, we share feelings and emotions with friends and friends provide comfort and stability in hard time and lives as unity and bond like pomegranate.

What is Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Truth’?

Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Truth’ is on the high value of truth in Christianity and people’s nature to get pleasure in lying and flirting .

Interpret ‘No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth’.

This statement means the pleasure of the truth is like a man standing at the top of the mountain and enjoying the beauty of vale and fresh air .

What is the main focus in ‘Of Revenge’?

Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Revenge’ is the arguments against the private revenge and merit of the public revenge .

Why is Bacon against taking revenge?

Bacon is against taking revenge because revenge is against the moral law and justice, revenge keeps his own wounds green and it leads to more anger and more revenge .

What is the main focus in ‘Of Great Place’?

The main focus in ‘Of Great Place’ is position of a man at great place . He discusses the life, duties and responsibilities of a man who got high place in society who is the servant of fame, government and business but have power .

In what ways does the essay ‘Of Great Place’ reflect Bacon’s idealism?

Bacon himself got high place in society as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor. Bacon like Machiavelli have practical wisdom so, the essay ‘Of Great Place’ reflects Bacon idealism .

Who was Francis Bacon and what did he do?

Bacon was an essayist, philosopher, scientist and jurist and he served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England .

What is Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Ambition’?

Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Ambition’ is on the merits and demerits of an ambitious person and the utilization of an ambitious person .

What is Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Adversity’?

Bacon’s main focus in ‘Of Adversity’ is on the high value of adversity as a Christian belief with respect to prosperity .

Why does Bacon use ‘Of’ before starting his essays?

Here ‘Of’ means about and Bacon uses it before starting his essays to particularize the things as Ancient Roman writers uses the word ‘De’ before titles .

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Study Questions and Answers

Of Studies  by Francis Bacon

Summary and Theme

 1. Theme: Of Studies. OR Summary: Of Studies. OR Serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.

Ans. Francis Bacon encourages studies but at the same time , he wants that (i) too much study leads to laziness (ii) if one uses once knowledge too often in conversation with others, then one is showing off and (iii) to be guided solely ones studies one becomes a scholar rather than a practical man.

Francis Bacon’s argument about the value of studies is that studies are wonderful only if influenced by experience because a person’s natural abilities are enhanced by studies, but studies without experience lead to confusion.

According to Francis Bacon’s tricky man, he condemns education; stupid man admire education; but wise men use education as their real-world experience dictates. He wants the educated man not to use his education to argue unnecessarily with others, not to assume that education always leads to the correct behaviour or understanding, and not to use education merely to force conversation with others. Rather, Francis Bacon argues that in education, some books should be tasted, some books should be read, but their advice is ignored; other books should be swallowed, meaning they are ignored completely; and a few books are to be chewed and digested, which is understood perfectly and used to guide behaviour. In addition, Francis Bacon advises that some books can be read but others, who take notes, can substitute for reading an entire book but these books should be those that cover less important subjects.

short questions of bacon essays

Francis Bacon comes back to addressing the effects of reading conversation and writing. He also says that if a man writes very little then he must have a huge memory to compensate for what he is not writing. If a man cannot converse properly then he must be very quick witted and if he doesn’t read much he needs to be able to fake it to pretend that he knows more than the others.

2 What, according to Bacon, are the uses of study?

Ans. Francis Bacon is one of the greatest writers of English prose. His earliest work of importance was the Essays. The language is simple, brief, and clear. As Bacon says, ―his essays are to be chewed and digested‖. Bacon explains that there are three uses of study. We get three types of benefits from studies. First it gives us delight. In our leisure time and in privacy, we can spend our time reading books, which give us both enjoyment and education. Secondly, reading helps us to speak and communicate with people more efficiently. Thirdly studies help us to deal with our problems of life more effectively. We can make good judgement of matters and issues. Studies help professional experts to deal successfully with particular cases.

This essay deals with different kinds of books and their effect on the reader. The uses of studies are classified by Bacon under three heads – the use of studies for delight; the use of studies for ornament and the use of studies for ability. Bacon also gives us some excellent advice as to why or how one should read. He tells us that different studies have varied effects on the human mind. various mental defects can be remedied by various kinds of studies. The need of experience to supplement and perfect studies has duly been emphasized in the essay. Bacon would not be satisfied with more bookish knowledge. The wisdom won by experience is as necessary as the wisdom gained from books.

According to Bacon, all books are not to be read in the same manner. There are different types of books, and Bacon tells us how we may approach each type of book. There are some books to be read in parts, so we may skip through the pages. Some books are to be read completely. But these books need not be studied well. We can read them out of curiosity. But some other books are to be studied carefully and digested because their form and content are very important and useful for us in our practical lives. Again, some other books are to be read by deputies because the matter is very small.

3. What remedies does Bacon suggest for deficiencies in some of the mental faculties?

Ans. Bacon tells us how studies cure the diseases of our mind. Reading makes a person up-to-date. Every subject has its‘ own value for the reader. History helps us to enhance our wisdom. Poetry makes us imaginative. Mathematics helps to acquire subtlety. Natural philosophy makes us deep. On the other hand, moral philosophy gives us gravity. Logic and rhetoric promote the power of debate and argument. Thus, studies reform our character and make us more civilized. Studies can cure diseases of the mind just as physical exercises cure defects of the body. For example, bowling is good for the kidneys; shooting is good for the lungs; and walking is good for digestion. Similarly mathematics is a strong cure for mind wandering. Scholastic philosophy is good for muddle thinking. The study of law is an effective medicine for bad memory. Bacon prescribes some rules of study. We should not read just to contradict or argue with others. We should not blindly believe whatever we study in the books. We should keep an open mind. Bacon wants lovers of books to use their critical judgement and to evaluate impartially opinions of the authors.

Bacon says that the way a particular physical exercise is appropriate for a distinct disease of the body, similarly, proper studies can improve intelligence. For instance, for a distracted mind, mathematics would be suitable to improve concentration. While doing mathematics, we need to focus. If the mind wanders at the moment, then it would spoil everything. Thus, it is a practice to do a particular task with focus. If the mind finds it hard to differentiate between matters, then studying the philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages would be beneficial, as we consider them for their logical distinctions. Studying lawyers‘ cases would be the right thing to do if one wants to improve their reasoning skills. So, for such flaws of mind, reading has the solution.

Short Question and Answers:

1. What are the main benefits of studying in the essay ‘Of Studies’ by Francis Bacon?

Ans. According to greatest essayist Francis Bacon, the many benefits of study are delight, ornament and ability.

2. What does Bacon mean by ‘Studies serve for delight’ in his essay ‘Of Studies’?

Ans. According to Francis Bacon, ‘delight’ means to get joy or pleasure. So, studies serve to get joy or pleasure. Like, we study books to get pleasure and amusement.

3. What Bacon means studies serve for ornament in his essay Of Studies?

Ans. According to Bacon, ornament means to beautify. So, studies serve to beautify the use of language, either spoken or written. Studies improve our use of language.

4. What does Bacon mean studies serve for ability in his essay of studies?

Ans. According to Bacon, ability here means the ability to work with counsel, to judge, and to decide. So, studies serve to improve trade knowledge, counselling, judgment, and decision-making.

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Francis Bacon

A short biography of francis bacon.

Francis Bacon was born on 22 nd of January, 1561 in London. Bacon worked as attorney general and Lord Chancellor of England resigning after he was found guilty of bribery. This unfortunate twist in his life brought him together with his true passions i.e. Humanism and natural philosophy. Francis Bacon was an English man who was inclined towards the age of Renaissance and arts. He negated the old fashioned traditions of teachings and believed in the newness of the age. His inspirations revolved around the Aristotelian ideas of philosophical quest. Bacon negated the Aristotelianism and idealized the new teachings of renaissance humanism. He observed the world through the lens of empiricism.

He believed that one needs to experience the reality of existence in order to completely understand life. This is known to be Francis Bacon’s method of understanding science and humanity. Francis Bacon was given the title “Father of Scientific method” . In the literary world Bacon is remembered as an all-rounder.  He was a lawyer, statesman and a philosopher. Francis Bacon is remembered as a source of wisdom in the literary world.

Bacon teaches a certain principles of science in order to understand life and the world we live in we have to experience the life by living it. He stated this as the empirical scientific method. According to him this scientific method will shed light upon the important characteristics of the nature that would “eventually disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the universe.”

Francis Bacon’s Writing Style

Francis Bacon being an all-rounder wrote in a way that was suitable for every profession. He understood the multidimensional society very well.

Bacon often wrote for the court during his career as a statesman and counsel. In the ear 1584 Francis Bacon wrote his first political memorandum, a letter of advice to Queen Elizabeth. He even wrote a speech for entertainment purpose in the year 1592 to celebrate the anniversary of queen’s coronation. The year 1597 was the year when Bacon’s first publication, a collection of essays about politics came into the literary world. The collection was later extended and republished in 1612 and 1625.

He wrote in prose style that fitted every profession. Bacon’s take on different aspects of life such as Love, Truth and religion is evident in the literary world. The way Bacon adapted to the society around him is marvelous and a very evident feature of his writing style. Bacon stands out in the literary world due to his unique approach towards thinking.

In England three types of thought triumphed in the late 16th century: the Aristotelian teachings and Scholasticism, intellectual and aesthetic humanism, and occultism. Aristotle is considered as the epitome of knowledge and wisdom. He contributed his genius in different spheres of life and the world. In England Aristotle remained the master of philosophical teachings, despite the criticism of Aristotle’s theory of logics.

Bacon grew up studying Aristotle’s philosophical teachings. The desire of finding answers led him to understand life closely with a different prism. Opposing the Aristotelian teachings Bacon came up with his philosophical approach of trying to understand life closely by experiencing different situations. Bacon simplifies the philosophical approach for a man to understand properly. His writing is direct and to the point. His style of writing prose is easily understandable for example, in “Of Studies,” he writes “Crafty men condemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them.” This phrase by Francis Bacon doesn’t require of any analysis in order to understand the meaning. His writings are self-explanatory and that proves his genius in the literary world. Bacon writes in a systematic way, without wasting his words on unnecessary information. His writings showcase how he moves logically from on subject to another.

He is considered as one of the most important Empiricists in the philosophical as well as literary world. He takes up his ideas after experiencing from life and observing it closely. For example in his essay “Of Love,” he showcases the reality of this emotion that is not just a fantasy but comprises of both good and bad attributes. He puts forth a clear vision regarding different subjects of life. Bacon’s take on life is unique and interesting as his essays are an amalgamation of both Greek and Latin phrases. A person who is decently educated would be able to understand his essays as well as the homey imagery took out from everyday life. He deliberately writes in this manner so that he reaches out to the masses equally. Be it highly educated or moderately educated. Bacon was attracted by the beauty of the nature. He merged the beauty and knowledge of nature in a manner which allows the reader to have a multidimensional vision of his teachings.

Another very important phenomenon of Bacon’s life was the teachings of occultism that is the quest of mystical parallels between man and the cosmos. It allows an individual to understand the magical elements possessed in the world by relating it to the reality. Bacon himself is known to be an occultist. His teachings revolve around the “natural magic” that the nature possesses. He provokes his readers to be vigilant on their surroundings and observe the nature closely. One should open the inner eye to feel the magical attributes of the world. Bacon believed that the human mind is fit enough to possess the worldly knowledge and must strive to decipher the knowledge by keeping an observing eye open. Even though Bacon’s literary works covered quite an extensive range of topics, all of his writings have one thing in common i.e. Bacon’s desire to make an impact through his teachings and research. He wanted to change the system of old fashion education. He believed that tradition can breathe in the air of modernity; a little acceptance is all that is required.

Bacon states “true directions concerning the interpretation of nature,” in other words he is trying to make his reader understand that the method of acquiring true knowledge is by observing and understanding the nature. Bacon researched and gathered knowledge keeping in mind the next generations. He modified the old fashion knowledge into an accessible mode of knowledge.

In the first book of Novum Organum Bacon debates the reasons of human flaw in the quest of knowledge. Earlier Aristotle discussed logical fallacies, usually found in human rationality, but Bacon was unique in observing the methods of reasoning. He invented the metaphor of “idol” to state such causes of human flaw.

Bacon played an important role as a linguist in the literary world. Language is the means of understanding the world around us. Language, like other human accomplishments, partakes of human limitations. This aspect of Bacon’s thought has been almost as persuasive as his account of natural knowledge, inspiring a long tradition of cynical rationalism, from the Enlightenment.

Bacon lived in a time when new worlds were being discovered on Earth. He negated the perception that everything is either revealed by religion or Aristotle. He challenged the grand narrative of religion and researched himself to find answers. Bacon protected the study of nature against those who measured it as either improper or perilous. He argued for a supportive and systematic method against individualism and instinct. Today Bacon is known among great philosophers as an emblem of the notion that is widely held to be misunderstood, that science is inductive.

Works Of Francis Bacon

  • Of Adversity
  • Of Ambition
  • Of Discourse
  • Of Followers and Friends
  • Of Friendship
  • Of Great Place
  • Of Marriage and Single Life
  • Of Nobility
  • Of Parents and Children
  • Of Simulation and Dissimulation
  • Of Superstition
  • Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature

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  1. Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Essay Questions

    1 How does Francis Bacon address the concept of truth and human perception? Bacon spends time examining the idea of human perception as well as truth, two ideas that are often disparate.

  2. Francis Bacon: Essays

    Historical Context Francis Bacon's Essays cover a wide variety of topics and styles, ranging from individual to societal issues and from commonplace to existential. Another important aspect of the appeal of Bacon's essays are that they weigh the argument at hand with multiple points of view.

  3. Of Friendship by Francis Bacon

    June 12, 2017 by Discuss Aristotle's Views on solitude/man as a social animal as quoted by Bacon. Bacon begins the essay by invoking the classical authority of Aristotle on basic human nature. First, he refers to Aristotle's view in Politics: Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

  4. Essays Questions and Answers

    Is there a counterargument? What are the three causes and motives of anger in Francis Bacon's essay "Of Anger"? What is the philosophy in Bacon's essay "Of Studies," particularly his advice...

  5. Francis Bacon Questions and Answers

    Works Francis Bacon Questions and Answers What are the three main benefits of study and their dangers, according to Bacon? What are the three fruits of friendship according to Francis...

  6. Essays (Francis Bacon)

    1696 title page Essayes: Religious Meditations. Places of Perswasion and Disswasion. Seene and Allowed (1597) was the first published book by the philosopher, statesman and jurist Francis Bacon. The Essays are written in a wide range of styles, from the plain and unadorned to the epigrammatic.

  7. What are the key themes and styles in Sir Francis Bacon's Essays

    Quick answer: Thematically, Francis Bacon's essays typically deal with universal themes announced in their titles: "Of Adversity," "Of Beauty," and "Of Death" are a few. Bacon used ...

  8. Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Questions and Answers

    1 2 3 Last Page Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works why baccon used OF before starting his essays Answers: 3 Asked by arshad m #312969 Last updated by Umme A #1314400 6 months ago 7/19/2023 11:43 AM Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works What is Sir Francis Bacon's main purpose in the text? Answers: 3 Asked by Sara B #725194

  9. Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Summary

    1. Fantastical learning (or vain imaginations): Fantastical learning is simply beliefs, ideas, and arguments without strong basis in practical and scientific reality.

  10. Of Studies by Francis Bacon Summary & Analysis

    Francis Bacon gives account of three chief uses of studies. The first use is that they serve for delight. This delight may come in solitude or in leisure after retirement from active life. Secondly, they serve for ornament in communication, conversation and discourse. A person who is well read can talk more attractively than an uneducated person.

  11. Francis Bacon Essays in English for Students

    Furthermore, this method is still very popular. Bacon's primary focus in his writings involves the practice of inductive reasoning, which according to him was a complement to practical observation. Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas Significance of Francis Bacon Essays

  12. Of Love by Francis Bacon Summary and Analysis

    The essay "Of Love" is an argumentative essay written by Sir Francis Bacon. Bacon in this essay argues about the various ills of falling in love. He particularly argues about the carnal pleasures and its consequences. Sir Francis Bacon is a well-known English Essayist and philosopher. He devoted himself to writing along with scientific work ...

  13. Francis Bacon: Essays

    Francis Bacon Essays is a collection of eight of the famous philosopher's many essays. Each dissertation contains words of wisdom that have proven to be enlightening for many generations that followed. ... except you mean to surprise him by some short question. It is better dealing with men in appetite, than with those that are where they ...

  14. Of Adversity by Francis Bacon Summary & Analysis

    Bacon, by arguing about this point, wants us to think about adversity in a positive way; human should master to deal bliss and misery equally. It is often seen that most of the miracle happens in the time of adversity. They happen so to completely neutralize the pain of the calamity. Bacon argues about the "faith" of a man.

  15. Of Revenge by Francis Bacon Questions and Answers

    Of Revenge by Francis Bacon is an essay we will explain in questions and short answers. What is the central theme of Francis Bacon's essay "Of Revenge"? The main idea is to examine revenge, including why people do it, what happens when they do it, and what moral effects it has. How does Bacon describe the initial impulse for revenge?

  16. Of Truth by Francis Bacon Summary & Analysis

    "What is truth? Said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer." Advancing his essay, Bacon explores the reasons why the people do not like truth. First, truth is acquired through hard work and man is ever reluctant to work hard. Secondly, truth curtails man's freedom.

  17. Questions and Answers on English essay 'Of Studies'

    Ans: According to The greatest essayist Fracis Bacon the main benefits of study are delight, ornament and ability. Question: What does Bacon mean "Studies serve for delight" in his essay "Of Studies"? Anns : According to Francis Bacon "delight" means to get joy or pleasure. So, studies serve to get joy or to get pleasure.

  18. Short Questions and Answers of Bacon's Essays

    Introduction: Short questions and Answers of Bacon's Essays includes mostly asked questions or Important questions in University Examinations. Table of Contents According to Bacon, what are the main benefits of study? According to Bacon the main benefits of study are delight, ornament and ability.

  19. Of Studies by Francis Bacon Questions and Answers

    2 What, according to Bacon, are the uses of study? Ans. Francis Bacon is one of the greatest writers of English prose. His earliest work of importance was the Essays. The language is simple, brief, and clear. As Bacon says, ―his essays are to be chewed and digested‖. Bacon explains that there are three uses of study.

  20. What are Francis Bacon's main arguments in "Of Adversity"?

    According to Bacon, who quotes the Roman philosopher Seneca: The good things, that belong to prosperity, are to be wished; but the good things, that belong to adversity, are to be admired. By this ...

  21. Francis Bacon's Writing Style and Short Biography

    A Short Biography of Francis Bacon. ... The year 1597 was the year when Bacon's first publication, a collection of essays about politics came into the literary world. The collection was later extended and republished in 1612 and 1625. He wrote in prose style that fitted every profession. Bacon's take on different aspects of life such as ...