COMMENTARY NOTES

Dedication Solomon (i. e. Ecclesiastes) 7:2 actually said melius est nomen bonum quam unguenta pretiosa.
I.1 John 18:38.
I.1 The allusionis to Lucian’s Philopseudes.
I.2 The poet is Lucretius. What follows is Bacon’s paraphras of Lucretius II.1 - 10:

Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis
e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem;
non quia vexari quemquamst iucunda voluptas,
sed quibus ipse malis careas quia cernere suavest.
suave etiam belli certamina magna tueri
per campos instructa tua sine parte pericli;
sed nihil dulcius est, bene quam munita tenere
edita doctrina sapientum templa serena,
despicere unde queas alios passimque videre
errare atque viam palantis quaerere vitae.

I.3 Essais II.18.
II.1 Romans 6:23, stipendia enim peccati mors.
II.1 Seneca, Epistulae Morales xxiv.14. What follows is colored by that passage: Tolle istam pompam sub qua lates et stultos territas: mors es, quam nuper servus meus, quam ancilla contempsit. Quid tu rursus mihi flagella et eculeos magno apparatu explicas? quid singulis articulis singula machinamenta quibus extorqueantur aptata et mille alia instrumenta excarnificandi particulatim hominis? Pone ista quae nos obstupefaciunt; iube conticiscere gemitus et exclamationes et vocum inter lacerationem elisarum acerbitatem: nempe dolor es, quem podagricus ille contemnit, quem stomachicus ille in ipsis delicis perfert, quem in puerperio puella perpetitur. Levis es si ferre possum; brevis es si ferre non possum.
II.1 An imperfect quotation of ib. lxxvii.6, Cogita quamdiu iam idem facias: cibus, somnus, libido — per hunc circulum curritur; mori velle non tantum prudens aut fortis aut miser, etiam fastidiosus potest.
II.1 Suetonius, Otho xii.
II.1 From Suetonus, Augustis xcix.1.
II.1 An exact quote of Annales VI.l, Iam Tiberium corpus, iam vires, nondum dissimulatio deserebat.
II.1 Suetonius, Vespasian xxiii.4.
II.1 A prettified version of Galba’s actual death. Cf. Suetonius, Galba xx.1, plures autem prodiderunt optulisse ultro iugulum et ut hoc agerent ac ferirent, quando ita videretur, hortatum.
II.1 Dio Cassius LXVII.xvii.
II.1 Juvenal x.358.
II.1 The prayer made out of Luke 2:29ff.
II.1 Horace, Epistulae II.i.14.
III.1 Matthew 24:26.
III.1 Bacon’s paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 14:23.
III.1 An allusion to Psalm 1:1 in cathedra derisorum non sedit .
III.1 Rabelais, Pantagruel II.vii.
III.2 2 Kings 9:18.
III.2 Cf. Revelations 3:14 - 16.
III.2 Matthew 12:30, Mark 9:40.
III.2 1 Timothy 6:20.
III.2 Cf. Daniel 2:41 - 43.
III.3 Isaiah 14:14.
III.3 Bacon appears to have in mind the issues that arose when it was debated whether England should support the rebels in the Netherlands in their fight against Philip II of Spain, in which precisely these issues arose. See Camden’s Annales for the year 1585.
III.3 Lucretius I.101.
III.3 The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the Gunpowder Plot.
III.3 James 1.20, ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur.
IV.1 Proverbs 20:3, honor est homini qui separat se a contentionibus.
IV.1 Cosimo de Medici.
IV.1 Job 2:10, si bona suscepimus de manu Domini quare mala non suscipiamus (?)
IV.1 English: for the death of Henry the Third of France (Spedding observed “the observation is true to certain extent with regard to both [kings]”). Octavian and Antony took revenge on the conspirators who assassinated Caesar, Severus Sulpicius took revenge on the praetorians for killing Pertinax, and both Henri III and Henri IV were assassinated (by Jacques Clement and Ravillac), both of whom were executed.
V.1 Bacon must be paraphrasizing some statement by Seneca that I fail to identify.
V.1 Again, this is not a quote from Seneca but some kind of paraphrase, possibly of Epistulae Morales lviii.28, Miremur in sublimi volitantes rerum omnium formas deumque inter illa versantem et hoc providentem, quemadmodum quae inmortalia facere non potuit, quia materia prohibebat, defendat a morte ac ratione vitium corporis vincat. Manent enim cuncta, non quia aeterna sunt, sed quia defenduntur cura regentis: inmortalia tutore non egerent. Haec conservat artifex fragilitatem materiae vi sua vincens.
V.1 English: needle-works.
VI.2 Tacitus Annales V.i.
VI.2 Tacitus, Historiae II.lxxvi (abridged quotation).
VI.2 Agricola xxxix.3.
VII.1 Proverbs 10:1.
VIII.1 This anecdote is told about Thales by Plutarch, Sympiosiaca iii.6.
IX.1 Mark 7:22.
IX.3 Plautus, Stichus 208
IX.5 Narses was a Byzantine emperor who inflicted a defeat on the Goths in the sixth century, Agesilaus a Spartan king of the fourth century B. C., and Timur, a fourtheenth-century Tatar conqueror.
IX.17 Matthew 13:25.
X.1 Epicurus quoted at Seneca, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium viii.12.
X.1 Publilius Syrus, Sententiae A 22.
XI.1 Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares VII.iii.4.
XI.1 Seneca, Thyestes 401 - 3.
XI.2 Bacon’s version of Genesis 1:31 (the Vulgate is viditque Deus cuncta quae fecit et erant valde bona).
XI.3 Proverbs 28:21: qui cognoscit in iudicio faciem non facit bene iste et pro buccella panis deserit veritatem .
XI.4 Tacitus, Historiae I.xlix.
XI.4 Ib. I.l.
XII.1 The anecdote comes from Cicero, de Oratore III.ccxiii.
XII.1 Horace, Ars Poetrica 343.
XIII.1 English: a Christian boy in Constantinople had like to have been stoned for gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl. According to Spedding, “The bird was a goat-sucker, which the goldsmith (homo alioqui ridiculus) fastened over his door with wings spread and jaws distended. The story will be found in Busbequius’s letter from Constantinople, p. 19 of ed. 1633.” The reference is to the sixteenth-century Flemish diplomat Augier Ghislen de Busbec.
XIII.1 Matthew 5:5.
XIII.1 Mark 10:11.
XIII.1 Cf. Luke 16.21.
XIII.1 English: they are the fittest timber to make great politiques of.
XIII.1 Possibly an echo of Donne’s No man is an island.
XIII.1 Romans 9:3.
XV.1 Vergil, Georgics I.464f. (with inflare for instare).
XV.1 Vergil, Aeneid IV.178 - 80.
XV.2 Tacitus, Annales I.lxxii (the word conflata is not Tacitus’).
XV.3 Tacitus, Historiae II.xxxix (the correct quote is miles alacer, qui tamen iussa ducum interpretari quam exequi mallet).
XV.4 William Camden tells the story of the French Sacred League in his Annales for the year 1589.
XV.5 This presumes a Ptolemaic, not a Copernican cosmology.
XV.5 Tacitus, Annales III.iv, proptius apertiusque quam ut meminisse imperantium crederes.
XV.5 Was Bacon half-remembering Isaiah 5:27, solvetur cingulum renum? Haight thought that this refers to God’s promise to subject other kings to Cyrus at beginning Isaiah 45:1, in which the phrase solvam cingula regum does not appear.
XV.7 Lucan I.181f. (with rapidumque for avidumque ).
XV.8 A misquotation of Pliny the Younger, Epistulae VIII.vii.6, nisi quod tamen dolendi modus, non est timendi.
XV.12 Ovid, Metamorphoses II.5 (with superabit for superabat).
XV.12 The Lowlands.
XV.19 Suetonius, Julius Caesar lxxvii.1, Sullam nescisse litteras, qui dictaturam deposuerit.
XV.19 Tacitus, Historiae I.v
XV.19 Flavius Vopiscus, Probus xx.
XV.19 Tacitus, Historiae I.xxviii.
XVI.1 Psalm 13:1.
XVI.1 Epicurus quoted by Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers X.cxxiii.
XVI.1 Diagoras and Bion were two Greek philosophers who preached atheism. The satirist Lucian took delight in poking fun at the tradional Olympian gods but scarcely deserves to be classified as such.
XVI.1 Cicero, De Haruspicum Responso xix.
XVII.1 A very free paraphrase of Plutarch, De Superstitione p. 170A (which scarcely mentions the possibility of the philosopher being accused of cannibalism!).
XVII.1 Again, Bacon adheres to the old Ptolemaic cosmology, which is curious in view of the quote immediately below about scholastics doggedly clinging to the rigamarole of epicycles in order to “preserve appearences,” i. e., to fend of the challenge of the Copernican heliocentric model.
XVII.1 English: conceits and novelties.
XIX.1 Proverbs. 25:33 (et cor regum inscrutabile).
XIX.1 The Roman emperor Diocletian and Carlos V of Spain both abdicated and lived out their lives in retirement.
XIX.3 Spedding pointed out that this quotation is from Sallust, Bellum Iugurthinam cxiii.
XIX.5 The historian Franceso Guicciardini [483-1540], author of the Storie Fiorentine.
XIX.6 Roxalana, consodrt of Suleiman the Magnificent, murdered his heir, Mustapha, so her son might ascend the throne.
XIX.6 Isabella of Anjou.
XIX.7 His brother Perseus accused him of treason against Philip, who unjustly executed him.
XIX.8 Archbishop of Canterbury under William Rufus and Henry I.
XIX.11 In contemporary anatomy it was through that the chyle was taken up by the veins that converge at the vena porta. See Spedding’s long note on the English text.
XX.1 Isaiah 9:6.
XX.1 These words do not appear in Proverbs, which, however, has a number of statements in praise of consilium, such as 13:10, qui autem agunt cuncta consilio reguntur sapientia (cf. also 20:18).
XX.1 Cf. 1 Kings 12. Israel revolted from Rehoboam and elected Jeroboam in his place.
XX.2 A famous Tacitean phrase: Annales II.xxxvi, Historiae I.iv.
XX.4 Terence, Eunuchus 105.
XX.4 John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester.
XX.6 This Biblical-sounding phrase does not exist in the Vulgate. Perhaps Bacon was thinking of 4 Esdras 16:40, sic non morabuntur mala ad prodiendum super terram (Haight thought the allusion is to Luke 18:8, but in the Vulgate the odd grammatical construction super terram is limited to 4 Esdras).
XX.6 Martial VIII.xv.8.
XX.8 Cf. Psalm 114:9 Placebo Domino in regione vivorum.
XXI.1 The Sibyl offered to sell all nine of the Sibylline Books to the king of Rome. When he refused, she burned three and asked the same price for the remaining six. When she repeated the process, he paid her for the last three.
XXI.1 Bacon’s elaboration on the proverbial expression that one must “take time by the forelock.”
XXI.1 English: the bottle.
XXI.1 The invisibility-conferring helmet of Hades worn by Hermes when he stole Io from Argos.
XXII.1 English: the cards.
XXII.7 The allusion is to Nehemiah’s interview with Artaxerxes (2. Esdras 2:1), but the italicized words are not in the Vulgate.
XXII.13 When Lord Burghley died in 1598, the two serious contenders for the office of Secretary was his son, Sir Robert Cecil (who got the job), and Essex’ candidate Sir Thomas Bodley.
XXII.15 Tacitus, Annales XIV.lvii.
XXII.20 Evidently a poorly recollected version of Proverbs 15:21, Stultitia gaudium stulto et vir prudens dirigit gradus.
XXIII.1 Bacon was thinking of the maxim (Dionysius Cato, Distychia ii) cum fueris foelix semper tibi proximus esto.
XXIII.1 See the note on XV.5.
XXIII.2 Cicero, Ad Quintum Fratrem III.vi.5, se ipse amans sine rivali.
XXVI.1 Bacon’s paraphrase of Jeremiah 6:16.
XXVI.1 2 Timothy 3:5, habentes speciem quidem pietatis virtutem autem eius abnegantes.
XXVI.1 Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 621.
XXVI.1 Cicero, in Pisonem vi.
XXVI.1 This is not a quotation from Aulus Gellius. Haight suggested that it comes from Quintilian’s Institutiones X.i, but this too is wrong.
XXVII.1 Aristotle, Politics I.2.
XXVII.1 Four mystics of the ancient world who claimed divinity for themselves, or at least came close to doing so: the Cretan poet Epimenides, the Roman king Numa, the philosopher Empedocles, and the ititinerant sage Apollonius of Tyana.
XXVII.2 English: sarza (i. e., sarsaparilla).
XXVII.3 English: favourites.
XXVII.4 Plutarch, Life of Caesar lxiv.4.
XXVII.4 Tacitus, Annales IV.lx.
XXVII.4 Dio Cassius LXXV.vi.
XXVII.5 The French historian Philippe de Comines, who first served as a diplomat under Charles the Bald, Duke of Burgundy.
XXVII.6 Plutarch, Life of Themistocles xxix.4.
XXVII.7 Heraclitus in fact said “A dry soul is wisest and best” (Fr. 118 D. - K.).
XXVII.7 Bacon’s paraphrase of James 1:23, hic conparabitur viro consideranti vultum nativitatis suae in speculo consideravit enim se et abiit et statim oblitus est qualis fuerit.
XXVII.7 English: a musket.
XXVII.8 At De Amicitia lxxxi.1, Cicero defined a friend: est enim is, qui est tamquam alter idem.
XXIXSidenote: Sermo hic, exempli vice, libro 8 De Augmentis Sententiarum capite 3 invenitur.
XXIX.1 Plutarch, Life of Themistocles ii.4.
XXIX.3 Cf. Matthew 13:31.
XXIX.4 Vergil, Eclogues, iv.52.
XXIX.4 Plutarch, Life of Alexander xxxi.12.
XXIX.4 Plutarch, Life of Lucullus xxvii.4.
XXIX.4 Cicero, Philippics V.v.10.
XXIX.5 Cf. Genesis 49:9 - 15.
XXIX.5 See the note on XV.12.
XXIX.6 English: in coppice woods.
XXIX.6 Vergil, Aeneid I.531
XXIX.8 Cf. Daniel 4:10.
XXIX.8 A law designed to increase the population of Spain by extending certain privileges and immunities to married men and those having more than six children.
XXIX.13 Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum X.viii.
XXIX.13 English: The battle of Lepanto arrested the greatness of the Turk.
XXIX.15 Matthew 6:2, Luke 12:25.
XXXI.1 See the note on XXIII.1.
XXXII.1 Ovid, Metamorphoses II.127.
XXXIII.2 English: the greyhound.
XXXIII.1 English: wallnuts, pine-apples.
XXXIII.1 English: parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions (the English has no equivalent of melones, pepones, cucumeres).
XXXIII.1 English: turkeys.
XXXIII.1 English bay-salt.
XXXIII.1 These acerb concluding remarks invite reading as a criticism of the lengthy neglect of the Roanoke colony, a major factor in its obliteration.
XXXIV.1 Ecclesiastes 5:10.
XXXIV.1 Proverbs 18:11, et exaltabitur substantia divitis urbs roboris eius et quasi murus validus circumdans eum.
XXXIV.1 Cicero, Pro Rabiro Posthumo iv.1, nisi in eodem benignitas incredibilis fuisset, ut in augenda re non avaritiae praedam, sed instrumentum bonitati quaerere videretur.
XXXIV.1 Proverbs 28:20.
XXXIV.2 Tacitus, Annales XIII.xlii.
XXXIV.2 Cf. Genesis 3:19, in sudore vultus tui comedes panem tuum.
XXXV There is no Latin equivalent of the thirty-fifth English essay, Of Prophesies.
XXXV.2 Cf. Dio Cassius LVIII.ix.
XXXV.3 See the note on XXVII.3.
XXXVI There is no Latin equivalent of the thirty-seventh English essay, Of Masques and Triumphs.
XXXIV.1 Ovid, Remedia Amoris 293f.
XXXIV.3 Matthew 23:27.
XXXVI.2 Psalm 199:6.
XXXVII.1 Various assassins or would-be assassins motivated by Catholic religious fanaticism: Friar Clement killed Henri III of France, Ravillac killed Henri IV, Jaureguy tried to murder William, Prince of Orange, and Baltazar Gerard succeeded in soing so. Guido Faulxius is of course Guy Fawkes.
XXXVII.1 Brian O’Rourke [d. 1597].
XXXVIII.1 The comic poet Appius, quoted by Sallust, Ad Caesarem de Re Publica I.i.
XXXVIII.2 Livy XXXIX.40.
XXXVIII.3 Plutarch, Life of Sulla xxxiv.2.
XXXVIII.3 Plutarch, Life of Caesar xxxviii.6.
XXXVIII.4 Plutarch, Life of Sulla vi.3.
XXXVIII.4 Plutarch, Life of Timoleon 36.3
XXXIX.1 Vergil, Georgics IV.168.
XXXIX.1 See the note on XXXIV.1.
XXXIX.2 See the note on XIX.11.
XXXIX.2 English: in the box.
XXXIX.3 English: As for mortaging or pawning.
XL.1 Aelius Spartianus, Septimius Severus ii.
XL.1 Gaston de Foix, nephew of Louis XII and Marshal of France.
XL.1 Isaac Abrabanel on Joel 2:23.
XL.1 An orator of the second century A. D. who lost his wits while still young.
XL.1 Cicero, Brutus xcv.
XL.1 Livy XXXVIII.liii.
XLI.2 A famous Greek painter.
XLI.2 A line from a lost play by Euripides, paraphrased by Plutarch, Life of Alcibiades i.5.
XLII.1 Romans 1:31, Timothy 3:3.
XLIII.1 Momus, the god of captious criticism, disliked the house Athena built because it lacked wheels, so it could not be moved away from unpleasant neighbors.
XLIII.1 Plutarch, Life of Lucullus xxxix.5.
XLIII.3 Esther 1:5.
XLIV.2 English: if they be stoved.
XLVII.2 Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria IV.v.16.
XLVIII.1 Ovid, Heroides xv.83.
XLVIII.1 “Cutters of cumin seeds,” i. e., hair-splitters.
XLIX.1 See the note on XXIII.1.
XLIX.1 See the note on XV.4.
XLIX.1 See the note on XV.5.
L.1 Ecclesiastes 11:4.
LI.1 Tacitus, Annales XV.lxviii.
LI.1 See the note on the dedicatory epistle.
LI.1 Tacitus, Agricola xli, pessumorum inimicorum genus, laudantes.
LI.1 Proverbs 27:14.
LI.1 2 Corinthians 11:23, minus sapiens dico plus ego.
LI.1 Romans 11:13, ministerium meum honorificabo .
LI.1 Cicero, Tusculan Disputations I.xxxiv, Nostri philosophi nonne in is libris ipsis, quos scribunt de contemnenda gloria, sua nomina inscribunt?
LII.1 English: varnish.
LII.1 Tacitus, Historiae II.lxxx.
LII.1 Epistulae VI.xvii.
LIII.1 Bacon misquotes from the Commentaria Petitionis attributed to Quintus Cicero, xvii, nam fere omnis sermo ad forensem famam a domesticis emanat auctoribus.
LIII.2 The laws known as the Seite Partidas promulgated by Alphonso X in the thirteenth century.
LIII.2 Captured by the Carthaginians, Regulus was sent to Rome bearing an offer of peace. When the Romans rejected it, he returned to Carthage and death. The Decii, father and son, died fighting bravely in the same battle.
LIV.1 Deuteronomy 27:17, maledictus qui transfert terminos proximi sui.
LIV.1 Proverbs 25:26 (fons pede turbatus et vena).
LIV.2 Amos 5:7, qui convertitis in absinthium iudicium.
LIV.2 Isaiah 40:4, omnis vallis exaltabitur et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur.
LIV.2 Proverbs 30:33 (with fortiter for vehementer).
LIV.2 English: the wine-press.
LIV.2 Psalm 10:7, pluet super peccatores laqueos.
LIV.2 Ovid, Tristia I.i.37.
LIV.3 Perhaps Bacon was remembering 1 Corinthians 12:1, factus sum velut aes sonans aut cymbalum tinniens.
LIV.3 Possibly reminiscence of Proverbs 3:34, inlusores ipse deludet et mansuetis dabit gratiam.
LIV.4 Cf. Matthew 7:16, numquid colligunt de spinis uvas aut de tribulis ficus .
LIV.5 Cf. 1 Kings 10:18 - 20.
LIV.5 1 Timothy 1:8, scimus autem quia bona est lex si quis ea legitime utatur.
LV.1 Ephesians 4:26.
LV.1 There is no such quote in Seneca. Evidently Bacon’s paraphrase of Seneca, De Ira I.i, Ceteris enim aliquid quieti placidique inest, hic totus concitatus et in impetu est, doloris armorum, sanguinis suppliciorum minime humana furens cupiditate, dum alteri noceat sui neglegens, in ipsa inruens tela et ultionis secum ultorem tracturae avidus.
LV.1 Luke 21:19, in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras.
LV.1 Vergil, Georgics IV.238.
LV.1 The Spanish general Gonsalvo Hernandez de Cordova.
LVI.1 Ecclesiastices 1:10, nihil sub sole novum.
LVI.1 A doctrine set forth by Plato in such dialogues as the Meno and Phaedo.
LVI.1 Ecclesiastes 1:11, non est priorum memoria.
LVI.1 Cf. 1 Kings 17:1 and 18:1.
LVI.1 Recounted by Plato in his dialogues the Critias and the Timaeus.
LVI.1 Discourses II.5.
LVI.2 Plato’s Great Year of 10,000 years is described in the Timaeus.
LVI.5 The followers of the ancient heresiarch Arius and the contemporary one Arminius (Jacob Harmensen).
LVI.8 See the note on XVII.7.