The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral

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. They cover topics drawn from both public and private life, and in each case the essays cover their topics systematically from a number of different angles, weighing one argument against another. A much-enlarged second edition appeared in 1612 with 38 essays. Another, under the title Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, was published in 1625 with more essays.

Of Truth

WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be, that de...

Of Death

MEN fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children, is incr...

Of Unity In Religion

RELIGION being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing, when itself is well containe...

Of Revenge

REVENGE is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to wee...

Of Adversity

IT WAS an high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that the good things, which bel...

Of Simulation And Dissimulation

DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit, and a strong ...

Of Parents And Children

THE joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one; nor...

Of Marriage And Single Life

HE THAT hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great ...

Of Envy

THERE be none of the affections, which have been noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love and envy...

Of Love

THE stage is more beholding to love, than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matt...

Of Great Place

MEN in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and...

Of Boldness

IT IS a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man's consideration. Question was aske...

Of Goodness and Goodness Of Nature

I TAKE goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of men, which is that the Grecians call ...

Of Nobility

WE WILL speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular per...

Of Seditions And Troubles

SHEPHERDS of people, had need know the calendars of tempests in state; which are commonly greates...

Of Atheism

I HAD rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that thi...

Of Superstition

IT WERE better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion, as is unworthy of him. For...

Of Travel

TRAVEL, in the younger sort, is a part of education, in the elder, a part of experience. He that ...

Of Empire

IT IS a miserable state of mind, to have few things to desire, and many things to fear; and yet t...

Of Counsel

THE greatest trust, between man and man, is the trust of giving counsel. For in other confidences...

Of Delays

FORTUNE is like the market; where many times if you can stay a little, the price will fall. Again...

Of Cunning

WE TAKE cunning for a sinister or crooked wisdom. And certainly there is a great difference, betw...

Of Wisdom For A Man's Self

AN ANT is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd thing, in an orchard or garden. And cert...

Of Innovations

AS THE births of living creatures, at first are ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the...

Of Dispatch

AFFECTED dispatch is one of the most dangerous things to business that can be. It is like that, w...

Of Seeming Wise

IT HATH been an opinion, that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser t...

Of Friendship

IT HAD been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and untruth together in few words, ...

Of Expense

RICHES are for spending, and spending for honor and good actions. Therefore extraordinary expense...

Of the True Greatness Of Kingdoms And Estates

THE speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which was haughty and arrogant, in taking so much to him...

Of Regiment Of Health

THERE is a wisdom in this; beyond the rules of physic: a man's own observation, what he finds goo...

Of Suspicion

SUSPICIONS amongst thoughts, are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly th...

Of Discourse

SOME, in their discourse, desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments,...

Of Plantations

PLANTATIONS are amongst ancient, primitive, and heroical works. When the world was young, it bega...

Of Riches

I CANNOT call riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta. Fo...

Of Prophecies

I MEAN not to speak of divine prophecies; nor of heathen oracles; nor of natural predictions; but...

Of Ambition

AMBITION is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and...

Of Masques And Triumphs

THESE things are but toys, to come amongst such serious observations. But yet, since princes will...

Of Nature In Men

NATURE is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished. Force, maketh nature more violen...

Of Custom And Education

MEN'S thoughts, are much according to their inclination; their discourse and speeches, according ...

Of Fortune

IT CANNOT be denied, but outward accidents conduce much to fortune; favor, opportunity, death of ...

Of Usury

MANY have made witty invectives against usury. They say that it is a pity, the devil should have ...

Of Youth And Age

A MAN that is young in years, may be old in hours, if he have lost no time. But that happeneth ra...

Of Beauty

VIRTUE is like a rich stone, best plain set; and surely virtue is best, in a body that is comely,...

Of Deformity

DEFORMED persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hath done ill by them, so do they b...

Of Building

HOUSES are built to live in, and not to look on; therefore let use be preferred before uniformity...

Of Gardens

GOD Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the gr...

Of Negotiating

IT IS generally better to deal by speech than by letter; and by the mediation of a third than by ...

Of Followers And Friends

COSTLY followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings...

Of Suitors

MANY ill matters and projects are undertaken; and private suits do putrefy the public good. Many ...

Of Studies

STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in priv...

Of Faction

MANY have an opinion not wise, that for a prince to govern his estate, or for a great person to g...

Of Ceremonies, And Respects

HE THAT is only real, had need have exceeding great parts of virtue; as the stone had need to be ...

Of Praise

PRAISE is the reflection of virtue; but it is as the glass or body, which giveth the reflection. ...

Of Vain-glory

IT WAS prettily devised of AEsop, The fly sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and said, ...

Of Honor And Reputation

THE winning of honor, is but the revealing of a man's virtue and worth, without disadvantage. For...

Of Judicature

JUDGES ought to remember, that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law, an...

Of Anger

TO SEEK to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be a...

Of Vicissitude Of Things

SOLOMON saith, There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, That al...

Of Fame

THE poets make Fame a monster. They describe her in part finely and elegantly, and in part gravel...

A Glossary Of Archaic Words And Phrases

Abridgment: miniatureAbsurd: stupid, unpolishedAbuse: cheat, deceiveAculeate: stingingAdamant: lo...

Search Results