« PreviousContinue »
67 23. Alexander the Great Plutarch, Ages. 15. 6: · Alexander made a jest of the information he received, that Agis had fought a battle with Antipater. He said: “It seems, my friends, that while we were conquering Darius here, there was a combat of mice in Arcadia.”
67 26. Services. Engagements.
68 3. An ant-hill. The thought is from Seneca, Nat. Quest. 1. Prol. 10. Cf. Essay 13 : «Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature the inclination. This, of all virtues and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being the character of the Deity; and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than a kind of vermin. Goodness answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess, but error.'
68 5. Fro. From.
68 11. Epictetus. Cf. Epictetus, Enchiridion 8 and 33 ; Simplicius, Comm. on Epict., Chaps. 8 and 33; and Plutarch, Consol. to Apoll. The dramatic form of the story is apparently Bacon's own (Wright). Epictetus was a Stoic philosopher, born in Phrygia about 60 A.D. His Enchiridion has been rendered into English by T. W. Higginson.
68 19–22. Virgil, Georg. 2. 490–2. 68 23. Particular remedies. Cf. Essay 1. 68 28. Exulcerations. Ulcers. 68 29. The sum of the whole matter. Cf. Eccl. 12. 13. 69 6. To feel oneself, etc. In the Promus Bacon has this form : Suavissima vita indies meliorem fieri. It appears to be derived from Xenophon, Memor. 1. 6. 8, or perhaps rather Aristotle, Ethics 2. 3. 1 (1104 b. 4 ff.). Cf. Dante, Par. 18. 58 ff.
69 16. Certain it is. Selby remarks : ‘Bacon means to say that just as knowledge produces goodness, so error or ignorance produces vice. What Bacon says here is partly, though not altogether, true. In virtue there is both an intellectual and a moral element the perception of what is right, and the will to do it. Men do sometimes deliberately what they know to be wrong, but vicious actions may, perhaps, more often be attributed either to ignorance of what is right, or to a want of self-control. Ce Essay 38.
69 21. Commandment. Authority.
69 26. Herdsmen. Wright has herdmen. Commandment over children. Cf. 20 13 ff. 69 31. Generosity. Nobleness. 70 8–10. Georg. 4. 561-2. 70 16. Estate. State. 70 26. Revelation. Rev. 2. 24.
71 2. Well noted. “A saying of Hiero's, recorded by Plutarch (Reg. et Imp. Apoph.) is perhaps what Bacon was thinking of. Xenophanes complained that his poverty did not allow him to keep two servants. “How is that?” said Hiero; “Homer, whom you worry with abuse, dead as he is, supports more than ten thousand ”' (Wright).
71 9. Carried away. Obtained.
71 14. Exceed the pleasures of the senses. Wright reads sense for senses, and says : 'So in the Errata to ed. 1605. The original editions have “exceed the senses.” The Lat. is oblectamenta sensuum excedent. The true reading is probably “exceed the pleasures of the senses.”'
71 20. Verdure. Freshness.
71 21. Deceits of pleasure. Unreal pleasures, shadows of pleasure.
71 23, Ambitious princes turn melancholy. Selby says: 'Alexander sighed for new worlds to conquer, and Charles V. resigned the crown of Spain to his son and retired into a monastery. Cf. Essay 19: “ We see also that kings that have been fortunate conquerors in their first years, it being not possible for them to go forward infinitely, but that they must have some check or arrest in their fortunes, turn in their latter years to be superstitious and melancholy, as did Alexander the Great, Dioclesian, and, in our memory, Charles the Fifth, and others. For he that is used to go forward, and findeth a stop, falleth out of his own favor, and is not the thing he was.”
71 27. Fallacy. Deception.
71 29. Lucretius. 97(?)-53 B.C. His great object was to free mankind from the fear of death, arising, as he thought, from superstition inherent in the popular religion. He has remained the favorite poet of rationalism to this day. Bacon again employs the quotation in Essay 1.
71 31 ff. Lucr. 2. 1-10. Selby quotes a parallel from the Indian Mahabharata :
As men who climb a hill behold
Can good and ill discern aright.
72 31. They generate. Cf. Milton's Areopagitica: "Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.' Still. Ever.
73 6. Some of the philosophers. •Bacon is referring here to the doctrine of Aristotle and his followers. Plato had taught the immortality of the individual soul. This Aristotle denied. All the lower functions of the soul, he said, are destroyed by death; but the highest function of the soul, viz., the creative intellect, is indestructible. Therefore though after death the individual ceases to exist, yet the creative intellect is not destroyed, but is resumed into the universal mind' (Selby).
73 12. Affection. Wright thinks the true reading is probably affections ; cf. 1. 15.
73 17. Disclaim in. Abjure.
73 26. Æsop's cock. Phædrus 3. 12. Bacon adduces it again in Essay 13, and in The True Greatness of Britain. Wright compares Commines, Bk. 5, chap. 2.
73 27. Midas. Ovid, Met. 11. 153 ff.
73 30. Paris. Cf. Euripides, Trojan Women 924 ff., and see Tennyson's Oenone.
73 31. Agrippina. The mother of Nero, Agrippina II, is meant. Tacitus, Annals 14. 9: Occidat dum imperet. On this awful sentence De Quincey remarks (Cæsars, Chap. 5): • There is a remarkable story told of Agrippina, that, upon some occasions, when a wizard announced to her, as truths which he had read in the heavens, the two fatal necessities impending over her son, -one that he should ascend to empire, the other that he should murder herself, she replied in these stern and memorable words — Occidat dum imperet. Upon which a continental writer comments thus: “Never before or since have three such words issued from the lips of woman"; and in truth, one knows not which most to abominate or admire — the aspiring princess or the loving mother. Meantime, in these few words lies naked to the day, in its whole hideous deformity, the very essence of Romanism and the imperatorial power, and one might here consider the mother of Nero as the impersonation of that monstrous condition.'
73 33. Ulysses. Homer, Od. 5. 218; Plutarch, Gryll. 1 ; Cicero, De Oratore 1. 44. Cf. Essay 8.
74 6. Wisdom is justified of her children. Matt. 11. 19.
INDEX OF PROPER NAMES.
| Aurelius, M., see Marcus Aurelius
Bacchus 52 7.
Brutus 20 10.
Cæsar, see Augustus Cæsar, Julius
Cain 46 6.
Callisthenes 59 10, 61 7 ff.
59 1 ff., 60 10 ff., 61 2 ff., 62 8 ff., Caracalla 57 18.
Carneades 10 22.
Cassius 20 9.
Castor 18 1.
Cato the Censor 10 21, 16 33.
Cato the Younger 14 32, 21 24,
22 11 ff.
Ceres 52 7.
Cicero 11 20, 14 26, 17 16, 21 24,
22 10 ff., 29 19 ff., 30 14, 41 5, 63 31.
40 31, 41 8, 59 8 ff., 60 20, 61 3, Columbus 39 3.
Commodus 53 29, 57 18.
Constantine the Great 56 2.
Craterus 62 7.
Cyrus the Younger 66 2 ff., 72 25.
Democritus 371, 60 20.