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light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid,
104. Seneca saith well, that anger is like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls on.
105. Excusations, cessions, modesty itself, well governed, are but arts of ostentation.
106. High treason is not in ice; that when the body melteth, the impression should go away.
107. The best governments are always subject to be like the fairest crystals, wherein every icicle or grain is seen, which in a foulerstone is never perceived.
108. Hollow church papists are like the roots of nettles, which themselves sting not; but yet they bear all the stinging leaves.
Of the Choice of Good and Evil.
A Fragment. - Search for, and practice Truth. In deliberating, the point to be considered is, what is Good, and what is Evil; and of Good what is greater; and of Evil what is less.
So that the persuader's labour, is to make things appear Good or Evil, and that in a higher or lower degree ; which as it may be performed by true and solid reasons, so it may be represented also by appearances, generalities, and circumstances, which are of such force, as to sway the ordinary judgment either of a weak man, or of a wise man, not fully and considerately attending and pondering the matter. Besides their power to alter the nature of the subject in appearance, and so to lead to error, they are of no less use to quicken and strengthen the opinions and persuasions which are true: for reasons plainly delivered, and always after one manner, especially with fine and fastidious minds, enter but heavily and dully; whereas if they be varied, and have more life and vigour put into them by these forms and insinuations, they cause a stronger apprehension, and many times suddenly win the mind to a resolution. Lastly, to make a true and safe judgment, nothing can be of greater use and defence to the mind, than the discovering and confuting of these appearances, showing in what cases they hold, and in what they deceive; which as it cannot be done, but out of a very universal knowledge of the nature of things ; yet being performed, it so cleareth man's judgment and election, that he is the less apt to slide into any error.
Table of the Heads, or Sections, on the Appearances
of Good and Evil, with their Degrees, as Places of Persuasion and Dissuasion, &c. &c.
Page 1. SINCE all parties, or sects, challenge the pre-eminence of the first place to themselves ; that to which all the rest with one consent give the second place, seems to be better than the others. For every one seems to take the first place out of zeal to himself; but to give the second where it is really due.
255 2. That kind is altogether best, whose excellence, or pre-eminence is best.
.: 256 3. That which hath a relation to Truth, is greater than that which refers to Opinion. But the measure, and trial of that which belongs to Opinion, is this:- It is that which a man would not do, if he thought it would not be known. 257
4. That which keeps a matter safe and entire, is good; but what is destitute and unprovided of retreat, is bad. For whereas all ability of acting is good; not to be able to withdraw oneself, is a kind of impotency.
259 5. That which consists of more parts, and those divisible, is greater, and more One, than what is made up of fewer; for all things when they are looked upon piece-meal, seem greater: also when a plurality of parts makes a show of
a bulk considerable. Which a plurality of parts effects more strongly, if they be in no certain order; for it then resembles an infinity, and hinders the comprehending of them. 261
6. That, whose privation (or the want of which) is Good, is in itself Evil: that, whose privation (or the want whereof) is an Evil, is in itself Good.
266 7. What is near to Good, is Good; what is at distance from Good, is Evil. .
267 8. That which a man hath procured by his own default, is a greater mischief (or Evil): that which is laid on him by others, is a lesser Evil
270 9. That which is gotten by our own pains and industry, is a greater Good : that which comes by another man's courtesy, or the indulgence of Fortune, is a lesser Good.
273 10. The degree of privation seems greater than the degree of diminution: and again, the degree of inception (or beginning) seems greater than the degree of increase, 276
11. That which men commend and celebrate, is Good ; that which they dispraise and reprehend, is Evil.
279 12. That which draws commendation even from enemics, is a great Good; but that which is reprehended even by friends, is a great Evil. 280 SECTION 1.
“ Since all parties, or sects, challenge the pre
eminence of the first place to themselves; that, to which all the rest with one consent give the second place, seems to be better than the others. For every one seems to take the first place out
of zeal to himself, but to give the second where 1 it is really due.” So Cicero went about to prove the sect of Academics, which suspended all asseveration, to be the best. “ For (saith he) ask a Stoic, which Philosophy is true, he will prefer his own: then ask him, which approacheth (next) the truth, he will confess, the Academics. So deal with the Epicure, that will scarce endure the Stoic to be in sight of him ; so soon as he hath placed himself, he will place the Academics next him.”
So, if a prince took divers competitors to a place, and examined them severally, whom next themselves they would chiefly commend; it were like the ablest man should have the most second voices.
The fallacy of this appearance happeneth often in respect of Envy; for men are accustomed, after themselves, and their own fashion, to incline unto them which are, softest, and are least in their way, in despite and derogation of them that hold them