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10 Jul 2015

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The Essays

Francis Bacon

Although Bacon considered the Essays "but as recreation of my other studies", he was given high praise by his contemporaries, even to the point of crediting him with having invented the essay form. Bacon's genius as a phrase-maker appears to great advantage in the later essays. In "Of Boldness" he wrote, "If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill", which is the earliest known appearance of that proverb in print. The phrase "hostages to fortune" appears in the essay "Of Marriage and Single Life" - again the earliest known usage. The 1999 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes no fewer than 91 quotations from the Essays.

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Abridgment: miniature

Absurd: stupid, unpolished

Abuse: cheat, deceive

Aculeate: stinging

Adamant: loadstone

Adust: scorched

Advoutress: adultress

Affect: like, desire

Antic: clown

Appose: question

Arietation: battering-ram

Audit: revenue

Avoidance: secret outlet

Battle: battalion

Bestow: settle in life

Blanch: flatter, evade

Brave: boastful

Bravery: boast, ostentation

Broke: deal in brokerage

Broken: shine by comparison

Broken music: part music

Cabinet: secret

Calendar: weather forecast

Card: chart, map

Care not to: are reckless

Cast: plan

Cat: cate, cake

Charge and adventure: cost and risk

Check with: interfere

Chop: bandy words

Civil: peaceful

Close: secret, secretive

Collect: infer

Compound: compromise

Consent: agreement

Curious: elaborate

Custom: import duties

Deceive: rob

Derive: divert

Difficileness: moroseness

Discover: reveal

Donative: money gift

Doubt: fear

Equipollent: equally powerful

Espial: spy

Estate: state

Facility: of easy persuasion

Fair: rather

Fame: rumor

Favor: feature

Flashy: insipid

Foot-pace: lobby

Foreseen: guarded against

Froward: stubborn

Futile: babbling

Globe: complete body

Glorious: showy, boastful

Humorous: capricious

Hundred poll: hundredth head

Impertinent: irrelevant

Implicit: entangled

In a mean: in moderation

Insmoother: suppressed

Indifferent: impartial

Intend: attend to

Knap: knoll

Leese: lose

Let: hinder

Loose: shot

Lot: spell

Lurch: intercept

Make: profit, get

Manage: train

Mate: conquer

Material: business-like

Mere-stone: boundary stone

Muniting: fortifying

Nerve: sinew

Obnoxious: subservient, liable

Oes: round spangles

Pair: impair

Pardon: allowance

Passable: mediocre

Pine-apple-tree: pine

Plantation: colony

Platform: plan

Plausible: praiseworthy

Point device: excessively precise

Politic: politician

Poll: extort

Poser: examiner

Practice: plotting

Preoccupate: anticipate

Prest: prepared

Prick: plant

Proper: personal

Prospective: steroscope

Proyne: prune

Purprise: enclosure

Push: pimple

Quarrel: pretext

Quech: flinch

Reason: principle

Recamera: retiring-room

return: reaction

Return: wing running back

Rise: dignity

Round: straight

Save: account for

Scantling: measure

Seel: blind

shrewd: mischievous

Sort: associate

Spial: spy

Staddle: sapling

Steal: do secretly

Stirp: family

Stond: stop, stand

Stove: hot-housed

Style: title

Success: outcome

Sumptuary law: law against extravagance

Superior globe: the heavens

Temper: proportion

Tendering: nursing

Tract: line, trait

Travel: travail, labor

Treaties: treatises

Trench to: touch

Trivial: common

Turquet: Turkish dwarf

Under foot: below value

Unready: untrained

Usury: interest

Value: certify

Virtuous: able

Votary: vowed

Wanton: spoiled

Wood: maze

Work: manage, utilize

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Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism.

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