Francis Bacon _1561-1626_

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					Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
          Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
          • Francis Bacon, a representative of the English
            renaissance, is a well-known philosopher, scientist
            and essayist.
          • He began his professional life as a lawyer, but he has
            become best known as a philosophical advocate and
            defender of the scientific revolution.
• Bacon’s works establish and popularize an
  inductive methodology for scientific inquiry,
  often called the Baconian method. Induction
  implies drawing knowledge from the natural
  world through experimentation, observation,
  and testing of hypotheses. In the context of
  his time, such methods were connected with
  the occult trends of hermeticism and alchemy
                Bacon's works

• Bacon's works include his Essays, as well as the
  Colours of Good and Evil and the Meditationes Sacrae,
  all published in 1597. His famous aphorism, "knowledge
  is power", is found in the Meditations.

• Bacon also wrote In felicem memoriam Elizabethae, a
  eulogy for the queen written in 1609; and various
  philosophical works which constitute the fragmentary
  and incomplete Instauratio magna, the most important
  part of which is the Novum organum (published 1620).
  Bacon’s Importance to Literature

• 1st, he was the first English writer to pay
  attention to the audience to whom he was writing.
• 2nd, he wrote the greatest tracts on education in
  the English language, Advancement of Learning.
• 3rd, he and Newton represent the advancement
  of science during the 17th century. In fact, Bacon
  devised the inductive method of doing research.
• 4th, he introduced the essay as a literary form
  into the English language.
• Unlike other authors who were writing self-
  analyzing autobiographies and meditations,
  Bacon was writing to inform, generally young
  men of his own station/class how to be more
  efficient, introducing and using the essay into
  the English language.

• His style is very plain, and he tends to start
  his essays with a Latin quotation or classical
          Essay: A Definition
• It is a relatively short literary composition in
  prose, in which a writer discusses a topic,
  usually restricted in scope, or tries to
  persuade the reader to accept a particular
  point of view.
• the term essai was first applied to the form in
  1580 by Montaigne, one of the greatest
  essayists of all time, to his pieces on
  friendship, love, death, and morality. In
  England the term was inaugurated in 1597 by
  Francis Bacon, who wrote shrewd
  meditations on civil and moral wisdom.
            Two Kinds of Essay
• Montaigne and Bacon, in fact, illustrate the two
  distinct kinds of essay— the informal and the formal.
• The informal essay is personal, intimate, relaxed,
  conversational, and frequently humorous. Some of
  the greatest exponents of the informal essay are J.
  Swift, C. Lamb, W. Hazlitt, T. De Quincey, and M.
• The formal essay is dogmatic, impersonal,
  systematic, and expository. Significant writers of this
  type include J. Addison, Dr. Johnson, M. Arnold, J.
  S. Mill, R. W. Emerson, and H. D. Thoreau. In the
  latter half of the 20th cent. the formal essay has
  become more diversified in subject and less stately
  in tone and language, and the sharp division
  between the two forms has tended to disappear.
           Two Kinds of Essay
• Montaigne was particularly concerned to
  discover himself in his writing. As he states in his
  preface, ‘my selfe am the groundworke of my
  booke’. It is Montaigne’s aim then to simply
  follow the trains of his thought wherever they
  may lead him, describing ‘not the essence, but the
  passage’ of himself.
• Bacon’s Essays, in contrast, seem smooth and
  straightforward. There is no rumination on
  personality, given that he studies the world rather
  than the self. The aphorisms that tend to open his
  essays seem to represent a finished idea rather
  than an attempt to find one.
             Bacon’s Essays
• His Essays is the first example of that genre in
  English literature, which has been recognized as
  an important landmark in the development of
  English prose.
• Bacon’s essays are famous for their brevity,
  compactness and powerfulness. And the neatness,
  the preciseness, the gravity, and the weightiness
  are the essential qualities of his writings.
• Balance and opposition are the most common
  strategies he uses to achieve both the appearance
  of balance and the concealment of his own
  opinions under the cloak of the opposing
   Of Marriage and Single Life
• He that hath wife and children hath given hostages
  to fortune, for they are impediments to great
  enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly
  the best works, and of greatest merit for the public,
  have proceeded from the unmarried or childless
  men, which both in affection and means have
  married and endowed the public. Yet it were great
  reason that those that have children should have
  greatest care of future times, unto which they
  know they must transmit their dearest pledges.
• 有妻与子的人已经向命运之神交了抵押品了;
• "He that hath wife and children hath given
  hostages to fortune; for they are
  impediments to great enterprises, either of
  virtue or mischief."

• It means once you have a wife (or husband)
  and children or other people depending on
  you, you can't go off on a reckless, great
   Of Marriage and Single Life
• Some there are who, though they lead a single life,
  yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and
  account future times impertinences. Nay, there are
  some other that account wife and children but as
  bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish
  rich covetous men that take a pride in having no
  children, because they may be thought so much
  the richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk,
  "Such an one is a great rich man", and another
  except to it, "Yea, but he hath a great charge of
  children", as if it were an abatement to his riches.
• 有些人虽然过的是独身生活,他们的思想却
   Of Marriage and Single Life

• But the most ordinary cause of a single life is
  liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and
  humorous minds, which are so sensible of every
  restraint as they will go near to think their girdles
  and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried
  men are best friends, best masters, best servants;
  but not always best subjects, for they are light to
  run away; and almost all fugitives are of that
• 然而独身生活底最普通的原因则是自由,尤
• Sir Francis Bacon here associates the desire
  for freedom with the irresponsible and self-
• Bacon makes a valid point—the desire for
  freedom is not exclusively for righteous
  reasons. After all, Satan desired freedom to
  attain absolute power. When given freedom
  of choice, Adam and Eve chose to go against
  God’s rule. Freedom, though often
  characterized as a liberator of responsibility,
  can become a burden in its own right.
   Of Marriage and Single Life
            Professional Preference
• A single life doth well with churchmen, for
  charity will hardly water the ground where it
  must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges
  and magistrates, for if they be facile and corrupt,
  you shall have a servant five times worse than a
  wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly
  in their hortatives put men in mind of their wives
  and children; and I think the despising of
  marriage amongst the Turks maketh the vulgar
  soldier more base.
• 独身生活适于僧侣之流,因为慈善之举若先
  Of Marriage and Single Life
              Humane Discipline
• Certainly wife and children are a kind of
  discipline on humanity; and single men, though
  they may be many times more charitable,
  because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the
  other side, they are more cruel and hard-hearted
  (good to make severe inquisitors), because their
  tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave
  natures, led by custom, and therefore constant,
  are commonly loving husbands, as was said of
  Ulysses, Vetulam suam praetulit immortalitati
  [he preferred his old wife to immortality].
• 妻子和儿女对于人类确是一种训练;而独身
   Of Marriage and Single Life


• Chaste women are often proud and forward, as
  presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is
  one of the best bonds both of chastity and
  obedience in the wife if she think her husband
  wise, which she will never do if she finds him
• 贞节的妇人往往骄傲不逊,一若她们是自恃
    Of Marriage and Single Life
                • To Marry or Not?
• Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for
  middle age, and old men's nurses. So as a man may
  have a quarrel to marry when he will. But yet he
  was reputed one of the wise men that made answer
  to the question when a man should marry: "A young
  man not yet, an elder man not at all".
• It is often seen that bad husbands have very good
  wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their
  husband's kindness when it comes or that the wives
  take a pride in their patience. But this never fails if
  the bad husbands were of their own choosing,
  against their friends' consent; for then they will be
  sure to make good their own folly.
• 妻子是青年人底情人,中年人底伴侣,老年
• 然而有一个人,人家问他,人应当在什么时
      Of Marriage and Single Life
• This essay considers "wives" and children
  (assuming his readers are male) and balances
  their advantages against their disadvantages in
  such a way that it's difficult to decide whether
  marriage is a good or a bad idea. Bad marriages,
  however, he suggests can be analyzed more
  easily by their effects upon the women in them.

• Bacon first states with apparent confidence that
  ‘He that hath wife and children hath given
  hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to
  great enterprises’, a statement that on the face of
  it is closed and certain.
    Of Marriage and Single Life
• However, Bacon’s essays are also motivated by a
  sense of exploration, and any resolution of idea is
  soon left behind. Following the above sentence he
  departs from the question of whether women and
  children are impediments and continues:
   – Certainly the best works […] have proceeded
     from the unmarried or childless men; which both
     in affection and means have married and endowed
     the public. Yet it were great reason that those that
     have children should have greatest care of future
     times, unto which they know they must transmit
     their dearest treasures. Some there are, who
     though they lead a single life, their thoughts do
     end with themselves, and count future times
   Of Marriage and Single Life

• The word ‘certainly’, with which this passage
  begins is progressively demolished till only
  uncertainty is left. The argument winds back to
  contradict itself: men without children are more
  likely to endow the future, yet men with them
  want the future to be good for their offspring,
  while some single men think anything beyond
  their own lives irrelevant. All that remains is a
  suggestion of various truths, none of which is
    Of Marriage and Single Life
• Bacon views marriage as bondage. First, "they are
  impediments to great enterprises". Second, "the
  best works, and of greatest merit for the public,
  have proceeded from the unmarried or childless
  men ..." Notice what else Bacon says about single
  men: They are "best friends, best masters, best
  servants ..." However, everything Bacon says about
  single men and women is not complimentary.
• He goes on to say how a wife and children as "a
  kind of discipline of humanity". One of Bacon's
  well known quotes is toward the end of his essay:
  "Wives are young men's mistresses, companions
  for middle age, and old men's nurses".
• Notice how straightforward are Bacon's writings.

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