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Back to Unedited Philosophy Quotes and Ramblings about Intequinism.

Book name: The Essays

Author: Francis Bacon

Editor: Edited with an introduction by John Pitcher

Copyright: Notes and introduction – John Pitcher 1985

Edition: First 1985

Publisher: Penguin

Place: London, England

Reader: Mr. M.D. Pienaar



"1. Of Truth

<p.62> 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."


<self: The above quotation made me think that when lies are told lies have to be remembered and probably the effect of lies on ones' own minds, after telling lies is bigger, because lies have to be remembered. Bacon put emphasis on lies in his essay. Lies related to truth for Bacon. He started the essay by referring to Pilate who asked Jesus what truth is after Jesus told him in John 18:37-38 that he (Jesus) came to Earth to show what truth is. Before Jesus could answer, Pilate asked the population whether they wanted Jesus freed. They chose Barrabas, a thief in stead.>



"3. Of Unity in Religion

But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God,2

2. See Exodus 20:5"


<p.68-69> Bacon argued against means and quoted Paul (1 Timothy 6:20) to support his argument against false knowledge.


<p.69> "For truth and falsehood in such things are like the iron and clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image; they may cleave but they will not incorporate."


19 September 2013



"15. Of Seditions and Troubles



Generally, it is to be foreseen that the population of a kingdom (especially if it be not mown down by wars) do not exceed the stock27 of the kingdom which should maintain them. Neither is the population to be reckoned only by number: for a smaller number, that spend more and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner than a greater number that live lower and gather more. Therefore the multiplying of nobility and other degrees of quality, in an over-proportion to the common people, doth speedily bring a state to necessity; and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy, for they bring nothing to the stock; and in like manner when more are bred scholars than preferments can take off.

            It is likewise to be remembered that, forasmuch as the increase of any estate must be upon28 the foreigner (for whatsoever is somewhere gotten is somewhere lost), there be but three things which <p.105> one nation selleth unto another: the commodity as nature yieldeth it, the manufacture, and the vecture or carriage. So that if these three wheels go, wealth will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many times to pass, that materium superabit opus;29 that the work and carriage is more worth than the material, and enricheth a state more; as is notably seen in the Low-Countrymen, who have the best mines above ground in the world.


27. Resources (produce and capital)

28. At the expense of.

29. The workmanship will surpass the material (Ovid, Metamorphoses, II. 5)."



"16. Of Atheism

I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend,1 and the Talmud,2 and the Alcoran,3 than that this universal frame is without a mind.4


4. In Bacon's day, an atheist was not necessarily someone who denied the existence of God, but someone who identified the creative principles of the universe with God.


<p.110> Never was there such a state for magnanimity as Rome: of this state hear what Cicero saith: Quam .. superavimus.24


24. We may admire ourselves as much as we please, Senators, yet we cannot match the Spaniards in number, nor the Gauls in bodily strength, nor the Carthaginians in cunning, nor the Greeks in art, nor indeed our own Italians and Latins in the homebred and native good sense characteristics of this land and nation. But in our piety, and in our religion, and in our recognition of the one great truth that all things are ruled and ordered by the divine will of the immortal gods - in these things we have surpassed all peoples and nations (A speech Concerning the Response of the Soothsayers, IX. 19)."



"27. Of Friendship



"I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part: if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage."