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II. In wise sentences and maxims of all kinds the collection, as might be expected, is rich. But very many of them are now hacknied, and many others are seen to greater advantage in different parts of Bacon's works, where they are accompanied with his comments or shewn in their application. The general character of them will be sufficiently understood from the following samples, which are taken almost at random :
1. Suavissima vita indies meliorem fieri : 2. Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner. 3. L'astrologia è vera, ma l'astrologico non vi truova. 4. If the bone be not true set, it will never be well till it be
broken. 5. All is not in years, somewhat is in hours well spent. 6. Detractor portat diabolum in linguâ. 7 Velle suum cuique est, nec voto vivitur uno. 8. Black will take no other hue. 9. Qui in parvis non distinguit in magnis labitur. 10. Everything is subtle till it be conceived. 11. That which is forced is not forcible. 12. Quod longe jactum est leviter ferit. 13. Nec nihil neque omnia sunt quæ dicuntur. 14. Super rirari cæperunt philosophari. 15. Prudens celat scientiam, stultus proclamat stultitiam. 16. Non recipit stultus verba prudentiæ nisi ea dixeris quæ sunt
in corde ejus.' 17. Melior claudus in via quam cursor extra viam. 18. The glory of God is to conceal a thing, and the glory of a
man is to find out a thing. 19. Facile est ut quis Augustinum vincat, viderit utrum veritate
an clamore. 20. Hinc errores multiplices, quod de partibus vitæ singuli deli
berant, de summa nemo. " A sentence frequently quoted by Bacon. It is the Vulgate version of Proverbs xviii. 2., which is rendered differently in the English translation, viz.: "A fool hath no delight in understanding but thirt his heart may discover itself ;" the meaning of which I do not understand.
21. Optimi consiliarii mortui. 22. Odere reges dicta quæ dici jubent. . 23. I contemn few men, but most things. 24. Variam dant otia mentem. 25. Non possumus aliquid contra veritatem sed pro veritate. 26. Qui bene nugatur ad mensam sæpe vocatur. 27. A man's customs are the moulds where his fortune is cast. 28. He that resolves in haste repents at leisure. 29. You would be over the stile before you come at it. 30. I never liked proceeding upon articles before books, nor
betrothings before marriages. 31. Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. 32. Better be envied than pitied. 33. Better sit still than rise and fall. 34. Always let losers have their words. 35. He goes far that never turneth. 36. Suum cuique pulchrum. 37. Quæ supra nos nihil ad nos. 38. In magnis et voluisse sat est. 39. Et post malam segetem serendum est. 40. Bonæ leges ex malis moribus. 41. Nil tam bonum est quin male narrando possit depravarier. 42. Totum est majus sua parte (against factions and private
profit). 43. Turpe proco ancillam sollicitare, est autem virtutis ancilla
III. Of the sentences taken from the Bible and from the Adagia of Erasmus, I need not give any specimens; for I can throw no light on the principle which guided Bacon in selecting them, and if I were to attempt to make another selection from his I should only be adding a few more sentences of the same kind as those just given; several of which do in fact come from Erasmus and some from the Bible.
IV. The proverbs may all or nearly all be found in our common collections; and the best of them are of course in everybody's mouth. The following, which are among the least familiar to modern ears, may serve for a sample.
1. De nouveau tout est beau.
De saison tout est bon.
2. A long winter maketh a full ear.
At last it ringeth to evensong.
Shall repent him before he have sold it. 7. A beck is as good as a Dieu vous garde. 8. When bale is heckst boot is next. 9. He that never clomb never fell. 10. Itch and ease can no man please. 11. All this wind shakes no corn. 12. Timely crooks the tree
That will a good camock be. 13. Better is the last smile than the first laughter. 14. The cat knows whose lips she licks. 15. As good never a whit as never the better. 16. The packs may be set right by the way. 17. It is the cat's nature and the wench's fault. 18. Good watch chooseth ill adventure. 19. Early rising hasteneth not the morning. 20. Let them that be a-cold blow at the coal. 21. I have seen as far come as nigh. 22. Tell your cards and tell me what you have won.
23. When thrift is in the field he is in the town.
24. That he wins in the hundred he loses in the shire.
25. To do more than the priest spake of on Sunday.
28. Time trieth troth.
29. Make not two sorrows of one.
30. There is no good accord
Where every one would be a lord. 31. That the eye seeth not, the heart rueth not. 32. Ill putting a sword in a madman's hand. 33. Quien nesciamente pecca nesciamente va al Inferni.
I cannot find anything in the lines selected from Virgil, Horace, or Ovid, that should make it worth while to print them here. Those from Virgil may have been used with excellent effect for rhetorical purposes, but it would depend upon the occasion and manner in which they were introduced. Most of those from Horace are so full of sense in the observation and felicity in the expression that they would be well worth printing as they stand, only that everybody knows them. And the same remark applies, though in a less degree, to those from Ovid : for Ovid was a fine observer and a great master of neat and pointed expression. His Ars amandi sparkles with observations and precepts which the best didactic writers on the worthiest subjects have scarcely surpassed. The following extracts, nicely picked out of that most unworthy poem, stand together in the Promus; and contain the seeds of half a treatise on the art of persuasion, whether in speech or writing :
Sed lateant vires, nec sis in fronte disertus.
præsens ut videare loqui.'
" The omission of the words “Blanda tamen,” which complete the line in the original, indicates the principle of selection. From the precepts given by Ovid for the
Ille referre aliter sæpe solebat idem.
Blæsaque fit jusso lingua coacta sono ?
And these will probably be thought enough by way of specimen.
There is one other class of memoranda in this Promus which I have not yet mentioned, and they are the more notable because they have been transferred with additions and a formal title to a separate sheet (fo. 126.), as if he had intended to proceed with the collection. This fragment I have thought worth printing in extenso; not only as a curious illustration of the attention which Bacon bestowed upon the details and smaller graces of his art, but also because it may possibly throw some light on the history of the English language. It is headed Analogia Cæsaris (a title by the way, of which, comparing it with the supposed character of Cæsar's lost book de Analogia, as explained in the De Augmentis, lib. vi. c. 1. I do not see the fitness) and docqueted by Bacon himself Verba interjectiva ; sive ad grā sparsā. It is fairly written in Bacon's own hand, in three parallel columns. But this I think was only to save paper; for the articles which happen to lie over against each other do not appear to be connected in any way; and therefore I have not thought it necessary to preserve that form in the printing. In other respects I have copied it literatim. Those who are curious as to the periods when particular forms of expression came into use or wore out, may perhaps derive some useful hints from it. But to enter into any speculations of that kind here would be to go beyond my province as editor.
particular art of Love, or rather of Love-making, Bacon takes so much only as relates to art in general.