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Table of the Heads, or Sections, on the Appearances
of Good and Evil, with their Degrees, as Places of Persuasion and Dissuasion, &c. &c.
1. SINCE all parties, or sects, challenge the pre-eminence of the first place to themselves; that to which all the rest with one consent give the second place, seems to be better than the others. For every one seems to take the first place out of zeal to himself; but to give the second where it is really due.
255 2. That kind is altogether best, whose excellence, or pre-eminence is best.
256 3. That which hath a relation to Truth, is greater than that which refers to Opinion. But the measure, and trial of that which belongs to Opinion, is this:- It is that which a man would not do, if he thought it would not be known. 257
4. That which keeps a matter safe and entire, is good; but what is destitute and unprovided of retreat, is bad. For whereas all ability of acting is good; not to be able to withdraw oneself, is a kind of impotency.
259 5. That which consists of more parts, and those divisible, is greater, and more One, than what is made up of fewer; for all things when they are looked upon piece-meal, seem greater: also when a plurality of parts Wakes a show of
a bulk considerable. Which a plurality of parts
266 7. What is near to Good, is Good; what is at distance from Good, is Evil.
267 8. That which a man hath procured by his own default, is a greater mischief (or Evil): that whịch is laid on him by others, is a lesser Evil.
270 9. That which is gotten by our own pains and industry, is a greater Good : that which comes by another man's courtesy, or the indul. gence of Fortune, is a lesser Good.
273 10. The degree of privation seems greater than the degree of diminution: and again, the degree of inception (or beginning) seems greater than the degree of increase,
276 11. That which men commend and celebrate, is Good; that which they dispraise and reprehend, is Evil.
279 12. That which draws commendation even from enemies, is a great Good; but that which is reprehended even by friends, is a great Evil. 280
“ Since all parties, or sects, challenge the pre
eminence of the first place to themselves; that, to which all the rest with one consent give the second place, seems to be better than the others. For every one seems to take the first place out of zeal to himself, but to give the second where
it is really due.” So Cicero went about to prove the sect of Academics, which suspended all asseveration, 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 ; 80 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 chiefly commend; it were like the ablest man should have the most second voices.
The fallacy of this appearance happeneth often in respect of Envy ; for men are accustomed, after themselves, and their own fashion, to incline unto them which are softest, and are least in their way, in despite and derogation of them that hold them hardest to it. So that this appearance of meliority and pre-eminence is a sign of enervation and weak
SECTION 2. “ That kind is altogether best, whose excellence
or pre-eminence is best.” 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 often a fallacy.
Sometimes, because some things are in kind very dangerous; 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, bien 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
* The buds of March are like Paris children--if one escapes it is worth ten others.
have very distant degrees : as hath been noted in the warmer climates, the people are generally more wise; but in the northern climate, particular wits are greater. So in many armies, if the matter should be tried by duel between two champions, the victory should go on the one side; and yet, if it were tried by the gross, it would go on the other side. For excellencies go as it were by chance ; but kinds go by a more certain nature, as by discipline
Lastly, many kinds have much refuse, which countervail that which they have excellent ; and therefore generally metal is more precious than stone: and yet a diamond is more precious than gold.
“That which hath relation to Truth, is greater
than that which refers to Opinion. But the measure and trial of that which belongs to Opinion, is this: It is that which a man would not do, if
he thought it would not be known.” So the Epicures say to the Stoics' Felicity placed in Virtue, that it is like the felicity of a player, who, if he were left by his auditors, and their applause, would straight be out of heart and countenance; and therefore they call Virtue, bonum thea