The essays; or, Counsels moral, economical, and political, by sir F. Bacon
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Page 3 - It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost 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.
Page 191 - 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.
Page 1 - 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.
Page 64 - 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:
Page 4 - MEN fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark ; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin and passage to another world, is holy and religious ; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read in some of the friars...
Page 174 - GOD ALMIGHTY first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures ; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.
Page 163 - Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.
Page 5 - It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates ' and masters the fear of death; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death ; Love slights it; Honour aspireth to it; Grief flieth to it; Fear pre-occupateth it...
Page 38 - 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.
Page 93 - It is good also not to try experiments in States, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation...