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employeth, and change them often; for new are more timorous and less subtle. He that can look into his estate but seldom, it behoveth him to turn all to certainties.
A man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as saving again in some other; as if he be plentiful in diet, to be saving in apparel; if he be plentiful in the hall, to be saving in the stable: and the like. For he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be preserved from decay.
In clearing of a man's estate,' he may as well hurt himself in being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long; for hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable10 as interest. Besides, he that clears at once will relapse; for finding himself out of straits, he will revert to his customs: but he that cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, who hath a state to repair, may not despise small things; and, commonly, it is less dishonorable to abridge petty charges than to stoop to petty gettings. A man ought warily to begin charges," which once begun will continue: but in matters that return not, he may be more magnificent.
Having read the essay carefully we notice that each sentence is fraught with meaning, that there are few if any redundant words and that the sentences practically mark the paragraphs, as we understand the word. Analyzed, the main thought appears to be: Ordinary expenses should be regulated by the income and be carefully guarded. This is brought out by a chain of statements or series of maxims that might be put in this form:
9. Freeing it from debts. 10. Disadvantageous. 11. Expenses.
I. Ordinary expenses should be limited by the importance of the occasion.
II. Expenses must not exceed one-half the receipts if you would keep even, nor exceed one-third if you would accumulate wealth.
III. Give personal attention to your own property.
IV. If you spend freely in one direction, economize in some other.
V. Free your estate from debts slowly.
Running parallel with this main course of thought is a series of secondary statements in which Bacon gives us corollaries of the chief truths and the reasons upon which the truths are based. It is a difficult matter to make the essay more compact than it is, but the following outline may serve to make it clearer :
OF EXPENSE I. Limit Expense.
Purpose-country and God.
Purpose-comfort and show.
For common prudence, one-half receipts.
For wealth, one-third receipts. II. Manage Estate.
Personal-fearing no discovery.
Choose servants carefully.
Change them frequently.
Deal with no speculations.
Hasty selling is disadvantageous.
It fixes habits of economy.
Attend to small matters.
Determine whether the above outline is just and fair in its proportions, whether the chief ideas have been selected and put forth and the secondary ideas properly subordinated. When you have thoroughly accomplished this begin the study of the next essay.
By Sir Francis Bacon
ment, and for ability. Their chief use
can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one: but the general counsels, and the plots and marshaling of affairs come best from those that are learned.
To spend too much time in studies is sloth: to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar; they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
NOTE.—Several words in this essay have changed their meaning since the time of Bacon or are used in a different sense from that to which we are accustomed. Look up the words "humor," "crasty," "simple," "admire,” curiously,” “present," and "witty."
Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom, without them and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse: but to weigh and consider.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic, and rhetoric, able to contend: Abeunt studia in mores;' nay, there is no stond or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies: like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the reins; shooting, for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the like. So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics: for in demonstrations, his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. If this wit be not apt to distinguish, or find differences, let him study the schoolmen;" for they are cymini sectores. If he be not apt to beat over matters and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyer's cases: so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.
1. Studies make themselves manifest in the manners.