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he did it upon glory and affectation to be subtile, as one that if he had seen his own conceits clearly and perspicuously delivered, perhaps would have been out of love with them himself; or else upon policy, to keep himself close, as one that had been a challenger of all the world, and had raised infinite contradiction. To what cause soever it is to be ascribed, I do not find him to deliver and enwrap himself well of that he seemeth to conceive; nor to be a master of his own knowledge. Neither do I for my part also (though I have brought in a new manner of handling this argument to make it pleasant and lightsome) pretend so to have overcome the nature of the subject; but that the full understanding and use of it will be somewhat dark, and best pleasing the taste of such wits as are patient to stay the digesting and soluting unto themselves of that which is sharp and subtile. Which was the cause, joined with the love and honour which I bare to your Lordship, as the person I know to have many virtues, and an excellent order of them, which moved me to dedicate this writing to your Lordship, after the antient manner: choosing both a friend, and one to whom I conceived the argument was agreeable.

FRANCIS BACON.

A FRAGMENT.

OF THE

COLOURS OF GOOD AND EVIL.

IN deliberatives, the point 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 higher or lower degree, which as it may be performed by true and solid reasons, so it may be represented also by colours, popularities and circumstances, which are of such force, as they 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

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use and defence to the mind, than the discovering and reprehension of these colours, shewing 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, so being performed, it so cleareth man's judgment and election, as it is the less apt to slide into

any error.

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TABLE

OF THE COLOURS, OR APPEARANCES OF GOOD AND

EVIL, AND THEIR DEGREES, AS PLACES OF PER

SUASION AND DISSUASION,

AND

THEIR

SEVERAL FALLACIES, AND THE

ELENCUES OF THEM.

1. Cui cæteræ partes vel sectæ secundas unanimiter defe

runt, cum singulæ principutum sibi vindicent, melior reliquis videtur. Nam primus quæque er zelo videtur sumere, secundas autem ex vero di merito tribuere.

SO Cicero went about to prove the sect of Academics, which suspended all asseveration, for 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 rarest commend, it were like the ablest man should have the most second voices,

The fallax of this colour happeneth oft in respect of envy, for men are accustoined after themselves and their own fashion, to incline unto them which are softest, and are least in their way, in de

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spight and derogation of them thal hold them hardest to it. So that this colour of meliority and preeminence is a sign of enervation and weakness.

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%. Cujus excellentia vel exuperantia melior, id toto genere

melius.

:

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Appertaining to this, are the forms : let us not wander in generalities : let us compare particular with particular, &c. This appearance, though it seem of strength, and rather logical than rhetorical, yet is very oft a fallax.

Sometime because some things are in kind very casual, which if they escape prove excellent; so that the kind is inferior, because it is so subject to peril, but that which is excellent being proved is superior, as the blossom of March, and the blossom of May, whereof the French verse goeth:

Burgeon de Mars enfans de Paris,

Si un eschape, il en vaut dix. So that the blossom of May is generally better than the blossom of March; and yet the best blossom of March is better than the best blossom of May. Sometimes because the nature of some kinds is to be more equal, and more indifferent, and not to have

very distant degrees, as hath been noted in the warmer climates, the people are generally more wise, but in the northern climate, the wits of chief are greater. So in many armies, if the mat

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