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To the Right Honourable my very good Lo. the DUKE of BUCKINGHAM his Grace, Lo. High Admiral of England.


SALOMON says, A good name is as a precious ointment; and I assure myself, such will your Grace's name be with posterity. For your fortune and merit both have been eminent. And you have planted things that are like to last. I do now publish my Essays; which, of all my other works, have been most current; for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms. I have enlarged them both in number and weight; so that they are indeed a new work. I thought it therefore agreeable to my affection and obligation to your Grace, to prefix your name before them, both in English and in Latin. For I do conceive that the Latin volume of them (being in the universal language) may last as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated to the King; my History of Henry the Seventh (which I have now also translated into Latin), and my portions of Natural History, to the Prince; and these I dedicate to your Grace; being of the best fruits that by the good encrease which God gives to my pen and labours I could yield. God lead your Grace by the hand.

Your Grace's most obliged and

faithful seruant,


1 Tum in editione Anglicâ, quam in Latinâ.


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29. Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates.

30. Of Regiment of Health.
31. Of Suspicion.

32. Of Discourse
33. Of Plantations.
34. Of Riches.
35. Of Prophecies.
36. Of Ambition.

37. Of Masks and Triumphs.

38. Of Nature in Men.

39. Of Custom and Education.

40. Of Fortune.

41. Of Usury.

42. Of Youth and Age. 43. Of Beauty.

44. Of Deformity. 45. Of Building.

46. Of Gardens.

47. Of Negotiating.

48. Of Followers and Friends.

49. Of Suitors.

50. Of Studies.

51. Of Faction.

52. Of Ceremonies and Respects. 53. Of Praise.

54. Of Vain Glory.

55. Of Honour and Reputation. 56. Of Judicature.

57. Of Anger.

58. Of Vicissitude of Things.




WHAT is Truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness', and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits 2 which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth; nor again that when it is found it imposeth upon men's thoughts3; that doth bring lies in favour; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men should love lies, where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open day-light, that doth not shew the masks and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that sheweth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that sheweth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds

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