صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


My Lord Chancellor Elsmere, when he had read a petition which he disliked, would say, “What, you would have my hand to this now ?” And the party answering, “Yes ;" he would say farther, “Well, so you shall ; nay, you shall have both my hands to it.” And so would, with both his hands tear it in pieces.

Sir Francis Bacon was wont to say of an angry man who suppressed his passion, that he thought worse than he spoke; and of an angry man that would chide, that he spoke worse than he thought.

When Mr. Attorney Coke, in the Exchequer, gave high words to Sir Francis Bacon, and stood much upon the higher place, Sir Francis said to him, “Mr. Attorney, the less you speak of your own greatness, the more I shall think of it; and the more, the less."

Sir Francis Bacon (who was always for moderate counsels), when one was speaking of such a reformation of the Church of England as would in effect make it no church, said thus to him: “Sir, the subject we talk of is the eye of England, and if there be a speck or two in the eye, we endeavour to take them off ; but he were a strange oculist who would pull out the eye.”

The same Sir Francis Bacon was wont to say, that those who left useful studies for useless scholastic speculations, were like the Olympic gamesters, who abstained from necessary labours, that they might be fit for such as were not so.

The Lord St. Albans, who was not over-hasty to raise theories, but proceeded slowly by experiments, was wont to say to some philosophers

, who would not go his pace, “Gentlemen, nature is a labyrinth, in which the very haste you move with, will make you lose your way.”

The same lord, when a gentleman seemed not much to approve of his liberality to his retinue, said to him, I am all of a piece; if the head be lifted up, the inferior parts of the body must too."

The Lord Bacon was wont to commend the advice of the plain old man at Buxton, that sold besoms ; a proud, lazy young fellow came to him for a besom upon trust; to whom the old man said, “Friend, hast thou no money? Borrow of





[ocr errors]

thy back, and borrow of thy belly, they'll ne'er ask thee again, I shall be dunning thee every day.”

Jack Weeks said of a great man (just then dead); who pretended to some religion, but was none of the best livers, “Well, I hope he is in heaven. Every man thinks as he wishes ; but if he be in heaven, 'twere pity it were known.”

His lordship, when he had finished this collection of apophthegms, concluded thus : "Come, now all is well; they say, he is not a wise man that will lose his friend for his wit; but he is less a wise man that will lose his friend for another man's wit."






ALEATOR, quanto in arte est melior, tanto est nequior-A gamester, the greater master he is in his art, the worse man he is.

Arcum, intensio frangit; animum, remissio—Much bending breaks the bow; much unbending, the mind.

Bis vincit, qui se vincit in victoria-He conquers twice, who restrains himself in victory.

Cum vitia prosint, peccat qui recte facit,If vices were profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner.

Bene dormit, qui non sentit quod male dormiat-He sleeps well, who is not conscious that he sleeps ill.

Deliberare utilia, mora est tutissima-To deliberate about useful things is the safest delay.

Dolor decrescit, ubi quo crescat non habet—The flood of grief decreaseth, when it can swell no higher.

Etiam innocentes cogit mentiri dolor—Pain makes even the innocent man a liar.

Etiam celeritas in desiderio, mora est-In desire, swiftness itself is delay.

Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam-Even a single hair casts a shadow.

Fidem qui perdit, quo se servat in reliquum He that has lost his faith, what staff has he left ?

Formosa facies muta commendatio est A beautiful face is a silent commendation.

Fortuna nimium quem fovet, stultum facit—Fortune makes him fool, whom she makes her darling.

Fortuna obesse nulli contenta est semel-Fortune is not content to do a man one ill turn.

Facit gratum fortuna, quem nemo videt—The fortune which nobody sees makes a man happy and unenvied.

Heu ! quam miserum est ab illo lædi, de quo non possis queri—0! what a miserable thing it is to be injured by those of whom we cannot complain. Homo toties moritur quoties amittit suos“,

-A man dies as often as he loses his friends.

Hæredis fletus sub persona risus est—The tears of an heir are laughter under a mask.

Jucundum nihil est, nisi quod reficit varietas—Nothing is pleasant which is not spiced with variety. Invidiam ferre, aut fortis, aux felix potest-He may be

bo envied, who is either courageous or happy.

In malis sperare bonum, nisi innocens, nemo potest—In adversity, only the virtuous can entertain hope.

In vindicando, criminosa est celeritas-In revenge, haste is criminal.

In calamitoso risus etiam injuria est-In misfortune, even to smile is to offend.

Improbe Neptunum accusat, qui iterum naufragium facit -He accuseth Neptune unjustly, who incurs shipwreck a second time.

Multis minatur, qui uni facit injuriam-He that injures one, threatens many.



[ocr errors]

Mora omnis ingrata est, sed facit sapientiam---All delay is unpleasant, but we are the wiser for it.

Mori est felicis antequam mortem invocet-Happy he who dies ere he calls on death.

Malus ubi bonum se simulat, tunc est pessimus-A bad man is worst when he pretends to be a saint.

Magno cum periculo custoditur, quod multis placet-Lock and key will scarce keep that secure which pleases everybody.

Male vivunt qui se semper victuros putant They live ill, who think to live for ever.

Male secum agit æger, medicum qui hæredem facit—That sick man does ill for himself, who makes his physician his heir.

Multos timere debet, quem multi timent—He of whom many are afraid, ought himself to fear many.

Nulla tam bona est fortuna, de qua nil possis queriThere's no fortune so good, but it has its alloy.

Pars beneficii est quod petitur, si bene neges—That is half granted which is denied graciously.

Timidus vocat se cautum, parcum sordidus—The coward calls himself a cautious man; and the miser says, he is frugal.

O vita ! misero longa, felici brevis— life / an age to the miserable, a moment to the happy.

The following are sentences extracted from the writings of Lord Bacon :

It is a strange desire which men have, to seek power and lose liberty.

Children increase the cares of life : but they mitigate the remembrance of death.

Round dealing is the honour of man's nature ; and a mixture of falsehoo is like alloy in gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it debaseth it.

Death openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy.


Rovenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.

He that studieth revenge, keepoth his own wounds green.

It was a high speech of Soneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that the good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished ; but the good things which belong to adversity are to be admired.

He that cannot see well, let him go softly.

If a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery ; as the more close air sucketh in the more open.

Keep your authority wholly from your children, not so your purse.

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new men when they rise. For the distance is altered ; and it is like a deceit of the eye, that when others come on, they think themselves


back. As in nature things move more violently to their place, and calmly in their place : so virtue in ambition is violent ; in authority, settled and calm.

Boldness in civil business, is like pronunciation in the orator of Demosthenes; the first, second, and third thing.

Boldness is blind : whereof 'tis ill in counsel, but good in execution. For in counsel it is good to see dangers, in execution not to see them, except they be very great.

Without goodnature, man is but a better kind of vermin.

God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.

The great atheists indeed are hypocrites, who are always handling holy things, but without feeling, so as they must needs be cauterized in the end.

The master of superstition is the people. And in all superstition, wise men follow fools.

In removing superstitions, care should be had, that (as it fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad; which commonly is done, when the people is the physician.

He that goeth into a country before he hath some entrance into the langage, goath to school, and not to travel.

« السابقةمتابعة »