suck me
andrew@benicetobears.com the man. fuck you. fuck off. fuck that noise. fuck it all. etcetera etcetera etcetera ad nausem. 980819
lisa shit up 980901
jeff fuck this goddamned hole in my head. emptiness, pain, and loneliness are all that i feel. can you blame me? fuck is an expression of total hopelessness - the feeling that the world conspires against you, robs you of any life you may have once had. fuck - is there any other word? 980905
emma my favorite word 980914
francesca it is never tired or weak or black or white 981023
fuck you very much :) a truly fully functional word. that's so fucking funny. man, this is pretty fucked up right here. i'm fucked if i don't get that paper in. wow, you fucked her? i'm so fucking tired. fuck you. stop fucking around. fuck, i forgot my password. fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! 990121
adam she keeps fucking up my life 990211
jen everything is fucked up
fuck fuck fuck
no one gives a flying fuck
katherine everything. especially latin. 990228
jacob is a naughty word. 990301
Chris a duck 990307
Owen Ty Kahle There are two ways to destroy something:
1) Never use it.
2) Use it so much it loses all meaning.
angsty-artist is a very versatile word. 990607
uncle aussie Fuckledy-uppedy 990622
Chas Don't fuck with the finite, either... 990705
Sphinxy Somebody's got some issues. Ok, they're problems. Straight up. Some major therapy, fucked in the head, crazier than a loon problems. They need help. Help them....fucking HELP THEM! Before they get Columbine on our ass. 990817
Ali Such a strong word always seems so powerful. Fuck you. 990903
jessica fuck compounds: dumbfuck. mindfuck. 990922
the Rock know your damn role!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you little jabroni candy ass
mathias overused
sign of stupidity
mature much?
Drennan I hate that word but I use it a lot, (especially during party political broadcasts by the conservative party). 991010
motherfucker Fuck my ass 991104
Kali oh baby! fuck me! Yes! Yes! Yes! 991104
it just makes sense. (also) i enjoyed using it often as a child because it made me feel special.
vincent m artman fuck.
a way to pleasure
a way to pain
a way to make kids
a way to make money
a way to score
a way to score a hit
hstain fuck me over 991112
Fuck a duck!
paul ass 991121
|sCaRReD*disTrOyeD| People don't use the word fuck in front of eachother because it is "vulgar". Well, society is fucked up. Who the fuck said we can't say fuck? Fuck is the best word in the English language, and if it's in the English language, why not use it? 991127
Zero fuck you, fuck me, fuck em, fuck them before they fuck us; oh sweetie, cum here and fuck my brains out, I love to fuck you, baby; you fuck me so good; so what the fuck is your fucking problem, could you shut your fucking mouth for 5 fucking minutes.....what a fucking work, I fucking love it, and oh yeah, I love to fuck too. fuck you very much :-Þ 991202
valis yes ... remember when you were a kid and this word had black magic powers? 991208
Pavlovs Cat is kcuf backwards. 991210
Douglas it all.
fucking bitch
E-Kris www.fuck.co.uk - The world's #1 fucking fuck site!
Fuck you, fuck off, FUCK! It Slipped!
In 10 years we will have Internet fucking and porn sites will become I-whorehouses. You will be able to have cybersex at work, with your spouse or significant other, WITHOUT getting fired! Well, you might get reprimanded...
Any girls wanna fuck?
king kai i want - i wish - she won't - she leaves
i fucked up again!
coolM seems to be a word lots talk about. 000105
meli means sex, means violence. It is anger, pain, awe and pleasure rolled into one. Fuck is an old, old word, but what it says is even older.
Anything can be fucked, or fucked with.
If someone is mumbling incoherently and you can't discern any other word, "fuck" is the one you will be able to pick out.
Fuck sticks out like a sore thumb, like an erection,
like a
Zanth Can be used many time in one sentence and still make sense..example
Shit fuck this stupid fucked up fucking moronic fucker and its fucking loud mouthed fucked pansy arsed fucker of a fuck! FUCK! FUCK! FUCKING FUCK! FUCK!oh well fucked it...
koti just fuck it all 000108
Rob fuck people who hate you
for being yourself
they're all assholes anyway
deb hey, rob, that was highschool
for me

the very reason i graduated
a full year early

i hate people
lotusflower something to do on a sunday. 000212
Fucked a word to describe life, living, death, and everything in between. 000220
briana. why am i so ready to fuck myself over every time i think of you? 000225
dizzy have you been following me? 000302
elimeny No, you know what? Just shut up. Fuck you, fuck everyone, fuck all of you! I don't need this kind of shit, I can't even tell what's wrong anymore, so don't ask me, jsut know that everything feels wrong. This, this, this you and me thing, it's just wrong. You are not within me, and I can never cross that border of no return until you are within me. I don't want to survive, I want to fucking live! Let me live! I want fields, and rivers and trees, and you want rooftops. DOn't you see that? I can't be pissed at you, you've done nothing wrong. I'm pissed at reality for smacking me so hard. Fuck, I need a cigarette. 000303
BoofPixie it always makes me happy to say it to someone in anger while they walk away from me, and they pretend they didn't hear it. 000308
miniver Fuck me. Hard.

And, eh...everything they said, too. That sounds like fun.
Daniel For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge...fuck is perhaps the world's most frequently used acronymn...across the globe. 000322
lufwalnu It's not an acronym, and what it means is not always unlawful. 000322
Daniel is many things to many different people...fuck fuck fuck...fuck you. fuck me. fuck this shit. fuck fuck fuck FUCK FUCK FUCK fuck fuck 000322
rufus sudden, statick, precise a word; a tenderly violent deep-then...-deep-then...it's the only true connection between two people 000330
birdmad ...me running backwards.

...-in A" (is that by Mozart?)

...me gently with a chainsaw

...you if you think that it's all that i was after
marina fuck you if you think that is all that it was 000508
magan cason i like it says i
not as much as i do says me
uping and downing
til screams fill the house
who knows
but it sure is fun

NATURE (the art whereby God
hath made and governs the
world) is by the art of man, as
in many other things, so in this
also imitated, that it can make
an artificial animal. For seeing
life is but a motion of limbs, the
beginning whereof is in some
principal part within, why may
we not say that all automata
(engines that move themselves
by springs and wheels as doth a
watch) have an artificial life?
For what is the heart, but a
spring; and the nerves, but so
many strings; and the joints,
but so many wheels, giving
motion to the whole body, such
as was intended by the
Artificer? Art goes yet further,
imitating that rational and
most excellent work of Nature,
man. For by art is created that
great LEVIATHAN called a
STATE (in Latin, CIVITAS),
which is but an artificial man,
though of greater stature and
strength than the natural, for
whose protection and defence it
was intended; and in which the
sovereignty is an artificial soul,
as giving life and motion to the
whole body; the magistrates
and other officers of judicature
and execution, artificial joints;
reward and punishment (by
which fastened to the seat of
the sovereignty, every joint and
member is moved to perform
his duty) are the nerves, that
do the same in the body
natural; the wealth and riches
of all the particular members
are the strength; salus populi
(the people's safety) its
business; counsellors, by whom
all things needful for it to know
are suggested unto it, are the
memory; equity and laws, an
artificial reason and will;
concord, health; sedition,
sickness; and civil war, death.
Lastly, the pacts and
covenants, by which the parts
of this body politic were at first
made, set together, and united,
resemble that fiat, or the Let us
make man, pronounced by God
in the Creation.

To describe the nature of this
artificial man, I will consider

First, the matter thereof,
and the artificer; both
which is man.
Secondly, how, and by
what covenants it is
made; what are the rights
and just power or
authority of a sovereign;
and what it is that
preserveth and dissolveth
Thirdly, what is a
Christian Commonwealth.
Lastly, what is the
Kingdom of Darkness.

Concerning the first, there is a
saying much usurped of late,
that wisdom is acquired, not by
reading of books, but of men.
Consequently whereunto, those
persons, that for the most part
can give no other proof of being
wise, take great delight to show
what they think they have read
in men, by uncharitable
censures of one another behind
their backs. But there is
another saying not of late
understood, by which they
might learn truly to read one
another, if they would take the
pains; and that is, Nosce
teipsum, Read thyself: which
was not meant, as it is now
used, to countenance either the
barbarous state of men in
power towards their inferiors,
or to encourage men of low
degree to a saucy behaviour
towards their betters; but to
teach us that for the similitude
of the thoughts and passions of
one man, to the thoughts and
passions of another, whosoever
looketh into himself and
considereth what he doth when
he does think, opine, reason,
hope, fear, etc., and upon what
grounds; he shall thereby read
and know what are the
thoughts and passions of all
other men upon the like
occasions. I say the similitude
of passions, which are the same
in all men,- desire, fear, hope,
etc.; not the similitude of the
objects of the passions, which
are the things desired, feared,
hoped, etc.: for these the
constitution individual, and
particular education, do so vary,
and they are so easy to be kept
from our knowledge, that the
characters of man's heart,
blotted and confounded as they
are with dissembling, lying,
counterfeiting, and erroneous
doctrines, are legible only to
him that searcheth hearts. And
though by men's actions we do
discover their design
sometimes; yet to do it without
comparing them with our own,
and distinguishing all
circumstances by which the
case may come to be altered, is
to decipher without a key, and
be for the most part deceived,
by too much trust or by too
much diffidence, as he that
reads is himself a good or evil

But let one man read another
by his actions never so
perfectly, it serves him only
with his acquaintance, which
are but few. He that is to
govern a whole nation must
read in himself, not this, or that
particular man; but mankind:
which though it be hard to do,
harder than to learn any
language or science; yet, when I
shall have set down my own
reading orderly and
perspicuously, the pains left
another will be only to consider
if he also find not the same in
himself. For this kind of
doctrine admitteth no other



CONCERNING the thoughts of
man, I will consider them first
singly, and afterwards in train
or dependence upon one
another. Singly, they are every
one a representation or
appearance of some quality, or
other accident of a body
without us, which is commonly
called an object. Which object
worketh on the eyes, ears, and
other parts of man's body, and
by diversity of working
produceth diversity of

The original of them all is that
which we call sense, (for there
is no conception in a man's
mind which hath not at first,
totally or by parts, been
begotten upon the organs of
sense). The rest are derived
from that original.

To know the natural cause of
sense is not very necessary to
the business now in hand; and I
have elsewhere written of the
same at large. Nevertheless, to
fill each part of my present
method, I will briefly deliver
the same in this place.

The cause of sense is the
external body, or object, which
presseth the organ proper to
each sense, either immediately,
as in the taste and touch; or
mediately, as in seeing,
hearing, and smelling: which
pressure, by the mediation of
nerves and other strings and
membranes of the body,
continued inwards to the brain
and heart, causeth there a
resistance, or counter-pressure,
or endeavour of the heart to
deliver itself: which endeavour,
because outward, seemeth to be
some matter without. And this
seeming, or fancy, is that which
men call sense; and consisteth,
as to the eye, in a light, or
colour figured; to the ear, in a
sound; to the nostril, in an
odour; to the tongue and palate,
in a savour; and to the rest of
the body, in heat, cold,
hardness, softness, and such
other qualities as we discern by
feeling. All which qualities
called sensible are in the object
that causeth them but so many
several motions of the matter,
by which it presseth our organs
diversely. Neither in us that are
pressed are they anything else
but diverse motions (for motion
produceth nothing but motion).
But their appearance to us is
fancy, the same waking that
dreaming. And as pressing,
rubbing, or striking the eye
makes us fancy a light, and
pressing the ear produceth a
din; so do the bodies also we
see, or hear, produce the same
by their strong, though
unobserved action. For if those
colours and sounds were in the
bodies or objects that cause
them, they could not be severed
from them, as by glasses and in
echoes by reflection we see they
are: where we know the thing
we see is in one place; the
appearance, in another. And
though at some certain
distance the real and very
object seem invested with the
fancy it begets in us; yet still
the object is one thing, the
image or fancy is another. So
that sense in all cases is
nothing else but original fancy
caused (as I have said) by the
pressure that is, by the motion
of external things upon our
eyes, ears, and other organs,
thereunto ordained.

But the philosophy schools,
through all the universities of
Christendom, grounded upon
certain texts of Aristotle, teach
another doctrine; and say, for
the cause of vision, that the
thing seen sendeth forth on
every side a visible species, (in
English) a visible show,
apparition, or aspect, or a being
seen; the receiving whereof into
the eye is seeing. And for the
cause of hearing, that the thing
heard sendeth forth an audible
species, that is, an audible
aspect, or audible being seen;
which, entering at the ear,
maketh hearing. Nay, for the
cause of understanding also,
they say the thing understood
sendeth forth an intelligible
species, that is, an intelligible
being seen; which, coming into
the understanding, makes us
understand. I say not this, as
disapproving the use of
universities: but because I am
to speak hereafter of their office
in a Commonwealth, I must let
you see on all occasions by the
way what things would be
amended in them; amongst
which the frequency of
insignificant speech is one.


THAT when a thing lies still,
unless somewhat else stir it, it
will lie still for ever, is a truth
that no man doubts of. But that
when a thing is in motion, it
will eternally be in motion,
unless somewhat else stay it,
though the reason be the same
(namely, that nothing can
change itself), is not so easily
assented to. For men measure,
not only other men, but all
other things, by themselves:
and because they find
themselves subject after
motion to pain and lassitude,
think everything else grows
weary of motion, and seeks
repose of its own accord; little
considering whether it be not
some other motion wherein
that desire of rest they find in
themselves consisteth. From
hence it is that the schools say,
heavy bodies fall downwards
out of an appetite to rest, and to
conserve their nature in that
place which is most proper for
them; ascribing appetite, and
knowledge of what is good for
their conservation (which is
more than man has), to things
inanimate, absurdly.

When a body is once in motion,
it moveth (unless something
else hinder it) eternally; and
whatsoever hindreth it, cannot
in an instant, but in time, and
by degrees, quite extinguish it:
and as we see in the water,
though the wind cease, the
waves give not over rolling for a
long time after; so also it
happeneth in that motion
which is made in the internal
parts of a man, then, when he
sees, dreams, etc. For after the
object is removed, or the eye
shut, we still retain an image of
the thing seen, though more
obscure than when we see it.
And this is it the Latins call
imagination, from the image
made in seeing, and apply the
same, though improperly, to all
the other senses. But the
Greeks call it fancy, which
signifies appearance, and is as
proper to one sense as to
another. Imagination,
therefore, is nothing but
decaying sense; and is found in
men and many other living
creatures, as well sleeping as

The decay of sense in men
waking is not the decay of the
motion made in sense, but an
obscuring of it, in such manner
as the light of the sun
obscureth the light of the stars;
which stars do no less exercise
their virtue by which they are
visible in the day than in the
night. But because amongst
many strokes which our eyes,
ears, and other organs receive
from external bodies, the
predominant only is sensible;
therefore the light of the sun
being predominant, we are not
affected with the action of the
stars. And any object being
removed from our eyes, though
the impression it made in us
remain, yet other objects more
present succeeding, and
working on us, the imagination
of the past is obscured and
made weak, as the voice of a
man is in the noise of the day.
From whence it followeth that
the longer the time is, after the
sight or sense of any object, the
weaker is the imagination. For
the continual change of man's
body destroys in time the parts
which in sense were moved: so
that distance of time, and of
place, hath one and the same
effect in us. For as at a great
distance of place that which we
look at appears dim, and
without distinction of the
smaller parts, and as voices
grow weak and inarticulate: so
also after great distance of time
our imagination of the past is
weak; and we lose, for example,
of cities we have seen, many
particular streets; and of
actions, many particular
circumstances. This decaying
sense, when we would express
the thing itself (I mean fancy
itself), we call imagination, as I
said before. But when we would
express the decay, and signify
that the sense is fading, old,
and past, it is called memory.
So that imagination and
memory are but one thing,
which for diverse
considerations hath diverse

Much memory, or memory of
many things, is called
experience. Again, imagination
being only of those things
which have been formerly
perceived by sense, either all at
once, or by parts at several
times; the former (which is the
imagining the whole object, as
it was presented to the sense)
is simple imagination, as when
one imagineth a man, or horse,
which he hath seen before. The
other is compounded, when
from the sight of a man at one
time, and of a horse at another,
we conceive in our mind a
centaur. So when a man
compoundeth the image of his
own person with the image of
the actions of another man, as
when a man imagines himself a
Hercules or an Alexander
(which happeneth often to them
that are much taken with
reading of romances), it is a
compound imagination, and
properly but a fiction of the
mind. There be also other
imaginations that rise in men,
though waking, from the great
impression made in sense: as
from gazing upon the sun, the
impression leaves an image of
the sun before our eyes a long
time after; and from being long
and vehemently attent upon
geometrical figures, a man shall
in the dark, though awake,
have the images of lines and
angles before his eyes; which
kind of fancy hath no particular
name, as being a thing that
doth not commonly fall into
men's discourse.

The imaginations of them that
sleep are those we call dreams.
And these also (as all other
imaginations) have been before,
either totally or by parcels, in
the sense. And because in
sense, the brain and nerves,
which are the necessary organs
of sense, are so benumbed in
sleep as not easily to be moved
by the action of external
objects, there can happen in
sleep no imagination, and
therefore no dream, but what
proceeds from the agitation of
the inward parts of man's body;
which inward parts, for the
connexion they have with the
brain and other organs, when
they be distempered do keep
the same in motion; whereby
the imaginations there
formerly made, appear as if a
man were waking; saving that
the organs of sense being now
benumbed, so as there is no
new object which can master
and obscure them with a more
vigorous impression, a dream
must needs be more clear, in
this silence of sense, than are
our waking thoughts. And
hence it cometh to pass that it
is a hard matter, and by many
thought impossible, to
distinguish exactly between
sense and dreaming. For my
part, when I consider that in
dreams I do not often nor
constantly think of the same
persons, places, objects, and
actions that I do waking, nor
remember so long a train of
coherent thoughts dreaming as
at other times; and because
waking I often observe the
absurdity of dreams, but never
dream of the absurdities of my
waking thoughts, I am well
satisfied that, being awake, I
know I dream not; though when
I dream, I think myself awake.

And seeing dreams are caused
by the distemper of some of the
inward parts of the body,
diverse distempers must needs
cause different dreams. And
hence it is that lying cold
breedeth dreams of fear, and
raiseth the thought and image
of some fearful object, the
motion from the brain to the
inner parts, and from the inner
parts to the brain being
reciprocal; and that as anger
causeth heat in some parts of
the body when we are awake, so
when we sleep the overheating
of the same parts causeth
anger, and raiseth up in the
brain the imagination of an
enemy. In the same manner, as
natural kindness when we are
awake causeth desire, and
desire makes heat in certain
other parts of the body; so also
too much heat in those parts,
while we sleep, raiseth in the
brain an imagination of some
kindness shown. In sum, our
dreams are the reverse of our
waking imaginations; the
motion when we are awake
beginning at one end, and when
we dream, at another.

The most difficult discerning of
a man's dream from his waking
thoughts is, then, when by
some accident we observe not
that we have slept: which is
easy to happen to a man full of
fearful thoughts; and whose
conscience is much troubled;
and that sleepeth without the
circumstances of going to bed,
or putting off his clothes, as one
that noddeth in a chair. For he
that taketh pains, and
industriously lays himself to
sleep, in case any uncouth and
exorbitant fancy come unto
him, cannot easily think it
other than a dream. We read of
Marcus Brutus (one that had
his life given him by Julius
Caesar, and was also his
favorite, and notwithstanding
murdered him), how at Philippi,
the night before he gave battle
to Augustus Caesar, he saw a
fearful apparition, which is
commonly related by historians
as a vision, but, considering the
circumstances, one may easily
judge to have been but a short
dream. For sitting in his tent,
pensive and troubled with the
horror of his rash act, it was not
hard for him, slumbering in the
cold, to dream of that which
most affrighted him; which
fear, as by degrees it made him
wake, so also it must needs
make the apparition by degrees
to vanish: and having no
assurance that he slept, he
could have no cause to think it
a dream, or anything but a
vision. And this is no very rare
accident: for even they that be
perfectly awake, if they be
timorous and superstitious,
possessed with fearful tales,
and alone in the dark, are
subject to the like fancies, and
believe they see spirits and
dead men's ghosts walking in
churchyards; whereas it is
either their fancy only, or else
the knavery of such persons as
make use of such superstitious
fear to pass disguised in the
night to places they would not
be known to haunt.

From this ignorance of how to
distinguish dreams, and other
strong fancies, from vision and
sense, did arise the greatest
part of the religion of the
Gentiles in time past, that
worshipped satyrs, fauns,
nymphs, and the like; and
nowadays the opinion that rude
people have of fairies, ghosts,
and goblins, and of the power of
witches. For, as for witches, I
think not that their witchcraft
is any real power, but yet that
they are justly punished for the
false belief they have that they
can do such mischief, joined
with their purpose to do it if
they can, their trade being
nearer to a new religion than to
a craft or science. And for
fairies, and walking ghosts, the
opinion of them has, I think,
been on purpose either taught,
or not confuted, to keep in
credit the use of exorcism, of
crosses, of holy water, and other
such inventions of ghostly men.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt
but God can make unnatural
apparitions: but that He does it
so often as men need to fear
such things more than they
fear the stay, or change, of the
course of Nature, which he also
can stay, and change, is no
point of Christian faith. But
evil men, under pretext that
God can do anything, are so
bold as to say anything when it
serves their turn, though they
think it untrue; it is the part of
a wise man to believe them no
further than right reason
makes that which they say
appear credible. If this
superstitious fear of spirits
were taken away, and with it
prognostics from dreams, false
prophecies, and many other
things depending thereon, by
which crafty ambitious persons
abuse the simple people, men
would be would be much more
fitted than they are for civil

And this ought to be the work
of the schools, but they rather
nourish such doctrine. For (not
knowing what imagination, or
the senses are) what they
receive, they teach: some saying
that imaginations rise of
themselves, and have no cause;
others that they rise most
commonly from the will; and
that good thoughts are blown
(inspired) into a man by God,
and evil thoughts, by the Devil;
or that good thoughts are
poured (infused) into a man by
God, and evil ones by the Devil.
Some say the senses receive the
species of things, and deliver
them to the common sense; and
the common sense delivers
them over to the fancy, and the
fancy to the memory, and the
memory to the judgement, like
handing of things from one to
another, with many words
making nothing understood.

The imagination that is raised
in man (or any other creature
endued with the faculty of
imagining) by words, or other
voluntary signs, is that we
generally call understanding,
and is common to man and
beast. For a dog by custom will
understand the call or the
rating of his master; and so will
many other beasts. That
understanding which is
peculiar to man is the
understanding not only his will,
but his conceptions and
thoughts, by the sequel and
contexture of the names of
things into affirmations,
negations, and other forms of
speech: and of this kind of
understanding I shall speak


of thoughts, I understand that
succession of one thought to
another which is called, to
distinguish it from discourse in
words, mental discourse.

When a man thinketh on
anything whatsoever, his next
thought after is not altogether
so casual as it seems to be. Not
every thought to every thought
succeeds indifferently. But as
we have no imagination,
whereof we have not formerly
had sense, in whole or in parts;
so we have no transition from
one imagination to another,
whereof we never had the like
before in our senses. The reason
whereof is this. All fancies are
motions within us, relics of
those made in the sense; and
those motions that
immediately succeeded one
another in the sense continue
also together after sense: in so
much as the former coming
again to take place and be
predominant, the latter
followeth, by coherence of the
matter moved, in such manner
as water upon a plain table is
drawn which way any one part
of it is guided by the finger. But
because in sense, to one and the
same thing perceived,
sometimes one thing,
sometimes another, succeedeth,
it comes to pass in time that in
the imagining of anything,
there is no certainty what we
shall imagine next; only this is
certain, it shall be something
that succeeded the same before,
at one time or another.

This train of thoughts, or
mental discourse, is of two
sorts. The first is unguided,
without design, and inconstant;
wherein there is no passionate
thought to govern and direct
those that follow to itself as the
end and scope of some desire, or
other passion; in which case the
thoughts are said to wander,
and seem impertinent one to
another, as in a dream. Such
are commonly the thoughts of
men that are not only without
company, but also without care
of anything; though even then
their thoughts are as busy as at
other times, but without
harmony; as the sound which a
lute out of tune would yield to
any man; or in tune, to one that
could not play. And yet in this
wild ranging of the mind, a
man may oft-times perceive
the way of it, and the
dependence of one thought
upon another. For in a discourse
of our present civil war, what
could seem more impertinent
than to ask, as one did, what
was the value of a Roman
penny? Yet the coherence to me
was manifest enough. For the
thought of the war introduced
the thought of the delivering up
the King to his enemies; the
thought of that brought in the
thought of the delivering up of
Christ; and that again the
thought of the 30 pence, which
was the price of that treason:
and thence easily followed that
malicious question; and all this
in a moment of time, for
thought is quick.

The second is more constant, as
being regulated by some desire
and design. For the impression
made by such things as we
desire, or fear, is strong and
permanent, or (if it cease for a
time) of quick return: so strong
it is sometimes as to hinder
and break our sleep. From
desire ariseth the thought of
some means we have seen
produce the like of that which
we aim at; and from the
thought of that, the thought of
means to that mean; and so
continually, till we come to
some beginning within our own
power. And because the end, by
the greatness of the impression,
comes often to mind, in case our
thoughts begin to wander they
are quickly again reduced into
the way: which, observed by one
of the seven wise men, made
him give men this precept,
which is now worn out: respice
finem; that is to say, in all your
actions, look often upon what
you would have, as the thing
that directs all your thoughts
in the way to attain it.

The train of regulated thoughts
is of two kinds: one, when of an
effect imagined we seek the
causes or means that produce
it; and this is common to man
and beast. The other is, when
imagining anything
whatsoever, we seek all the
possible effects that can by it be
produced; that is to say, we
imagine what we can do with it
when we have it. Of which I
have not at any time seen any
sign, but in man only; for this is
a curiosity hardly incident to
the nature of any living
creature that has no other
passion but sensual, such as are
hunger, thirst, lust, and anger.
In sum, the discourse of the
mind, when it is governed by
design, is nothing but seeking,
or the faculty of invention,
which the Latins call sagacitas,
and solertia; a hunting out of
the causes of some effect,
present or past; or of the effects
of some present or past cause.
Sometimes a man seeks what
he hath lost; and from that
place, and time, wherein he
misses it, his mind runs back,
from place to place, and time to
time, to find where and when
he had it; that is to say, to find
some certain and limited time
and place in which to begin a
method of seeking. Again, from
thence, his thoughts run over
the same places and times to
find what action or other
occasion might make him lose
it. This we call remembrance, or
calling to mind: the Latins call
it reminiscentia, as it were a
re-conning of our former

Sometimes a man knows a
place determinate, within the
compass whereof he is to seek;
and then his thoughts run over
all the parts thereof in the
same manner as one would
sweep a room to find a jewel; or
as a spaniel ranges the field till
he find a scent; or as a man
should run over the alphabet to
start a rhyme.
Sometimes a man desires to
know the event of an action;
and then he thinketh of some
like action past, and the events
thereof one after another,
supposing like events will
follow like actions. As he that
foresees what will become of a
criminal re-cons what he has
seen follow on the like crime
before, having this order of
thoughts; the crime, the officer,
the prison, the judge, and the
gallows. Which kind of
thoughts is called foresight,
and prudence, or providence,
and sometimes wisdom; though
such conjecture, through the
difficulty of observing all
circumstances, be very
fallacious. But this is certain:
by how much one man has more
experience of things past than
another; by so much also he is
more prudent, and his
expectations the seldomer fail
him. The present only has a
being in nature; things past
have a being in the memory
only; but things to come have
no being at all, the future being
but a fiction of the mind,
applying the sequels of actions
past to the actions that are
present; which with most
certainty is done by him that
has most experience, but not
with certainty enough. And
though it be called prudence
when the event answereth our
expectation; yet in its own
nature it is but presumption.
For the foresight of things to
come, which is providence,
belongs only to him by whose
will they are to come. From him
only, and supernaturally,
proceeds prophecy. The best
prophet naturally is the best
guesser; and the best guesser,
he that is most versed and
studied in the matters he
guesses at, for he hath most
signs to guess by.

A sign is the event antecedent
of the consequent; and
contrarily, the consequent of
the antecedent, when the like
consequences have been
observed before: and the oftener
they have been observed, the
less uncertain is the sign. And
therefore he that has most
experience in any kind of
business has most signs
whereby to guess at the future
time, and consequently is the
most prudent: and so much
more prudent than he that is
new in that kind of business, as
not to be equalled by any
advantage of natural and
extemporary wit, though
perhaps many young men think
the contrary.

Nevertheless, it is not prudence
that distinguisheth man from
beast. There be beasts that at a
year old observe more and
pursue that which is for their
good more prudently than a
child can do at ten.

As prudence is a presumption of
the future, contracted from the
experience of time past: so there
is a presumption of things past
taken from other things, not
future, but past also. For he
that hath seen by what courses
and degrees a flourishing state
hath first come into civil war,
and then to ruin; upon the sight
of the ruins of any other state
will guess the like war and the
like courses have been there
also. But this conjecture has
the same uncertainty almost
with the conjecture of the
future, both being grounded
only upon experience.

There is no other act of man's
mind, that I can remember,
naturally planted in him, so as
to need no other thing to the
exercise of it but to be born a
man, and live with the use of
his five senses. Those other
faculties, of which I shall speak
by and by, and which seem
proper to man only, are
acquired and increased by
study and industry, and of
most men learned by
instruction and discipline, and
proceed all from the invention
of words and speech. For
besides sense, and thoughts,
and the train of thoughts, the
mind of man has no other
motion; though by the help of
speech, and method, the same
faculties may be improved to
such a height as to distinguish
men from all other living

Whatsoever we imagine is
finite. Therefore there is no idea
or conception of anything we
call infinite. No man can have
in his mind an image of infinite
magnitude; nor conceive
infinite swiftness, infinite time,
or infinite force, or infinite
power. When we say anything
is infinite, we signify only that
we are not able to conceive the
ends and bounds of the thing
named, having no conception of
the thing, but of our own
inability. And therefore the
name of God is used, not to
make us conceive Him (for He
is incomprehensible, and His
greatness and power are
unconceivable), but that we
may honour Him. Also because
whatsoever, as I said before, we
conceive has been perceived
first by sense, either all at once,
or by parts, a man can have no
thought representing anything
not subject to sense. No man
therefore can conceive
anything, but he must conceive
it in some place; and endued
with some determinate
magnitude; and which may be
divided into parts; nor that
anything is all in this place, and
all in another place at the same
time; nor that two or more
things can be in one and the
same place at once: for none of
these things ever have or can be
incident to sense, but are
absurd speeches, taken upon
credit, without any
signification at all, from
deceived philosophers and
deceived, or deceiving,


THE INVENTION of printing,
though ingenious, compared
with the invention of letters is
no great matter. But who was
the first that found the use of
letters is not known. He that
first brought them into Greece,
men say, was Cadmus, the son
of Agenor, King of Phoenicia. A
profitable invention for
continuing the memory of time
past, and the conjunction of
mankind dispersed into so
many and distant regions of
the earth; and withal difficult,
as proceeding from a watchful
observation of the diverse
motions of the tongue, palate,
lips, and other organs of speech;
whereby to make as many
differences of characters to
remember them. But the most
noble and profitable invention
of all other was that of speech,
consisting of names or
appellations, and their
connexion; whereby men
register their thoughts, recall
them when they are past, and
also declare them one to
another for mutual utility and
conversation; without which
there had been amongst men
neither Commonwealth, nor
society, nor contract, nor peace,
no more than amongst lions,
bears, and wolves. The first
author of speech was God
himself, that instructed Adam
how to name such creatures as
He presented to his sight; for
the Scripture goeth no further
in this matter. But this was
sufficient to direct him to add
more names, as the experience
and use of the creatures should
give him occasion; and to join
them in such manner by
degrees as to make himself
understood; and so by
succession of time, so much
language might be gotten as he
had found use for, though not
so copious as an orator or
philosopher has need of. For I
do not find anything in the
Scripture out of which, directly
or by consequence, can be
gathered that Adam was
taught the names of all figures,
numbers, measures, colours,
sounds, fancies, relations; much
less the names of words and
speech, as general, special,
affirmative, negative,
interrogative, optative,
infinitive, all which are useful;
and least of all, of entity,
intentionality, quiddity, and
other insignificant words of the

But all this language gotten,
and augmented by Adam and
his posterity, was again lost at
the tower of Babel, when by the
hand of God every man was
stricken for his rebellion with
an oblivion of his former
language. And being hereby
forced to disperse themselves
into several parts of the world,
it must needs be that the
diversity of tongues that now
is, proceeded by degrees from
them in such manner as need,
the mother of all inventions,
taught them, and in tract of
time grew everywhere more

The general use of speech is to
transfer our mental discourse
into verbal, or the train of our
thoughts into a train of words,
and that for two commodities;
whereof one is the registering of
the consequences of our
thoughts, which being apt to
slip out of our memory and put
us to a new labour, may again
be recalled by such words as
they were marked by. So that
the first use of names is to
serve for marks or notes of
remembrance. Another is when
many use the same words to
signify, by their connexion and
order one to another, what they
conceive or think of each
matter; and also what they
desire, fear, or have any other
passion for. And for this use
they are called signs. Special
uses of speech are these: first,
to register what by cogitation
we find to be the cause of
anything, present or past; and
what we find things present or
past may produce, or effect;
which, in sum, is acquiring of
arts. Secondly, to show to
others that knowledge which
we have attained; which is to
counsel and teach one another.
Thirdly, to make known to
others our wills and purposes
that we may have the mutual
help of one another. Fourthly, to
please and delight ourselves,
and others, by playing with our
words, for pleasure or
ornament, innocently.

To these uses, there are also
four correspondent abuses.
First, when men register their
thoughts wrong by the
inconstancy of the signification
of their words; by which they
register for their conceptions
that which they never
conceived, and so deceive
themselves. Secondly, when
they use words metaphorically;
that is, in other sense than that
they are ordained for, and
thereby deceive others. Thirdly,
when by words they declare
that to be their will which is
not. Fourthly, when they use
them to grieve one another: for
seeing nature hath armed
living creatures, some with
teeth, some with horns, and
some with hands, to grieve an
enemy, it is but an abuse of
speech to grieve him with the
tongue, unless it be one whom
we are obliged to govern; and
then it is not to grieve, but to
correct and amend.

The manner how speech
serveth to the remembrance of
the consequence of causes and
effects consisteth in the
imposing of names, and the
connexion of them.

Of names, some are proper, and
singular to one only thing; as
Peter, John, this man, this tree:
and some are common to many
things; as man, horse, tree;
every of which, though but one
name, is nevertheless the name
of diverse particular things; in
respect of all which together, it
is called a universal, there
being nothing in the world
universal but names; for the
things named are every one of
them individual and singular.

One universal name is imposed
on many things for their
similitude in some quality, or
other accident: and whereas a
proper name bringeth to mind
one thing only, universals recall
any one of those many.

And of names universal, some
are of more and some of less
extent, the larger
comprehending the less large;
and some again of equal extent,
comprehending each other
reciprocally. As for example, the
name body is of larger
signification than the word
man, and comprehendeth it;
and the names man and
rational are of equal extent,
comprehending mutually one
another. But here we must take
notice that by a name is not
always understood, as in
grammar, one only word, but
sometimes by circumlocution
many words together. For all
these words, He that in his
actions observeth the laws of
his country, make but one
name, equivalent to this one
word, just.

By this imposition of names,
some of larger, some of stricter
signification, we turn the
reckoning of the consequences
of things imagined in the mind
into a reckoning of the
consequences of appellations.
For example, a man that hath
no use of speech at all, (such as
is born and remains perfectly
deaf and dumb), if he set before
his eyes a triangle, and by it
two right angles (such as are
the corners of a square figure),
he may by meditation compare
and find that the three angles
of that triangle are equal to
those two right angles that
stand by it. But if another
triangle be shown him different
in shape from the former, he
cannot know without a new
labour whether the three angles
of that also be equal to the
same. But he that hath the use
of words, when he observes that
such equality was consequent,
not to the length of the sides,
nor to any other particular
thing in his triangle; but only to
this, that the sides were
straight, and the angles three,
and that that was all, for which
he named it a triangle; will
boldly conclude universally that
such equality of angles is in all
triangles whatsoever, and
register his invention in these
general terms: Every triangle
hath its three angles equal to
two right angles. And thus the
consequence found in one
particular comes to be
registered and remembered as
a universal rule; and discharges
our mental reckoning of time
and place, and delivers us from
all labour of the mind, saving
the first; and makes that which
was found true here, and now,
to be true in all times and

But the use of words in
registering our thoughts is in
nothing so evident as in
numbering. A natural fool that
could never learn by heart the
order of numeral words, as one,
two, and three, may observe
every stroke of the clock, and
nod to it, or say one, one, one,
but can never know what hour
it strikes. And it seems there
was a time when those names
of number were not in use; and
men were fain to apply their
fingers of one or both hands to
those things they desired to
keep account of; and that
thence it proceeded that now
our numeral words are but ten,
in any nation, and in some but
five, and then they begin again.
And he that can tell ten, if he
recite them out of order, will
lose himself, and not know
when he has done: much less
will he be able to add, and
subtract, and perform all other
operations of arithmetic. So
that without words there is no
possibility of reckoning of
numbers; much less of
magnitudes, of swiftness, of
force, and other things, the
reckonings whereof are
necessary to the being or
well-being of mankind.

When two names are joined
together into a consequence, or
affirmation, as thus, A man is a
living creature; or thus, If he be
a man, he is a living creature; if
the latter name living creature
signify all that the former
name man signifieth, then the
affirmation, or consequence, is
true; otherwise false. For true
and false are attributes of
speech, not of things. And
where speech is not, there is
neither truth nor falsehood.
Error there may be, as when we
expect that which shall not be,
or suspect what has not been;
but in neither case can a man
be charged with untruth.

Seeing then that truth
consisteth in the right ordering
of names in our affirmations, a
man that seeketh precise truth
had need to remember what
every name he uses stands for,
and to place it accordingly; or
else he will find himself
entangled in words, as a bird in
lime twigs; the more he
struggles, the more belimed.
And therefore in geometry
(which is the only science that
it hath pleased God hitherto to
bestow on mankind), men begin
at settling the significations of
their words; which settling of
significations, they call
definitions, and place them in
the beginning of their

By this it appears how
necessary it is for any man that
aspires to true knowledge to
examine the definitions of
former authors; and either to
correct them, where they are
negligently set down, or to
make them himself. For the
errors of definitions multiply
themselves, according as the
reckoning proceeds, and lead
men into absurdities, which at
last they see, but cannot avoid,
without reckoning anew from
the beginning; in which lies the
foundation of their errors. From
whence it happens that they
which trust to books do as they
that cast up many little sums
into a greater, without
considering whether those little
sums were rightly cast up or
not; and at last finding the
error visible, and not
mistrusting their first grounds,
know not which way to clear
themselves, spend time in
fluttering over their books; as
birds that entering by the
chimney, and finding
themselves enclosed in a
chamber, flutter at the false
light of a glass window, for
want of wit to consider which
way they came in. So that in
the right definition of names
lies the first use of speech;
which is the acquisition of
science: and in wrong, or no
definitions, lies the first abuse;
from which proceed all false
and senseless tenets; which
make those men that take their
instruction from the authority
of books, and not from their
own meditation, to be as much
below the condition of ignorant
men as men endued with true
science are above it. For
between true science and
erroneous doctrines, ignorance
is in the middle. Natural sense
and imagination are not subject
to absurdity. Nature itself
cannot err: and as men abound
in copiousness of language; so
they become more wise, or more
mad, than ordinary. Nor is it
possible without letters for any
man to become either
excellently wise or (unless his
memory be hurt by disease, or
ill constitution of organs)
excellently foolish. For words
are wise men's counters; they
do but reckon by them: but they
are the money of fools, that
value them by the authority of
an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a
Thomas, or any other doctor
whatsoever, if but a man.

Subject to names is whatsoever
can enter into or be considered
in an account, and be added one
to another to make a sum, or
subtracted one from another
and leave a remainder. The
Latins called accounts of money
rationes, and accounting,
ratiocinatio: and that which we
in bills or books of account call
items, they called nomina; that
is, names: and thence it seems
to proceed that they extended
the word ratio to the faculty of
reckoning in all other things.
The Greeks have but one word,
logos, for both speech and
reason; not that they thought
there was no speech without
reason, but no reasoning
without speech; and the act of
reasoning they called syllogism;
which signifieth summing up of
the consequences of one saying
to another. And because the
same things may enter into
account for diverse accidents,
their names are (to show that
diversity) diversely wrested
and diversified. This diversity
of names may be reduced to
four general heads.

First, a thing may enter into
account for matter, or body; as
living, sensible, rational, hot,
cold, moved, quiet; with all
which names the word matter,
or body, is understood; all such
being names of matter.

Secondly, it may enter into
account, or be considered, for
some accident or quality which
we conceive to be in it; as for
being moved, for being so long,
for being hot, etc.; and then, of
the name of the thing itself, by
a little change or wresting, we
make a name for that accident
which we consider; and for
living put into the account life;
for moved, motion; for hot, heat;
for long, length, and the like:
and all such names are the
names of the accidents and
properties by which one matter
and body is distinguished from
another. These are called
names abstract, because
severed, not from matter, but
from the account of matter.

Thirdly, we bring into account
the properties of our own
bodies, whereby we make such
distinction: as when anything
is seen by us, we reckon not the
thing itself, but the sight, the
colour, the idea of it in the
fancy; and when anything is
heard, we reckon it not, but the
hearing or sound only, which is
our fancy or conception of it by
the ear: and such are names of

Fourthly, we bring into account,
consider, and give names, to
names themselves, and to
speeches: for, general,
universal, special, equivocal, are
names of names. And
affirmation, interrogation,
commandment, narration,
syllogism, sermon, oration, and
many other such are names of
speeches. And this is all the
variety of names positive;
which are put to mark
somewhat which is in nature, or
may be feigned by the mind of
man, as bodies that are, or may
be conceived to be; or of bodies,
the properties that are, or may
be feigned to be; or words and

There be also other names,
called negative; which are notes
to signify that a word is not the
name of the thing in question;
as these words: nothing, no
man, infinite, indocible, three
want four, and the like; which
are nevertheless of use in
reckoning, or in correcting of
reckoning, and call to mind our
past cogitations, though they be
not names of anything; because
they make us refuse to admit of
names not rightly used.

All other names are but
insignificant sounds; and those
of two sorts. One, when they
are new, and yet their meaning
not explained by definition;
whereof there have been
abundance coined by Schoolmen
and puzzled philosophers.

Another, when men make a
name of two names, whose
significations are contradictory
and inconsistent; as this name,
an incorporeal body, or, which is
all one, an incorporeal
substance, and a great number
more. For whensoever any
affirmation is false, the two
names of which it is composed,
put together and made one,
signify nothing at all. For
example, if it be a false
affirmation to say a quadrangle
is round, the word round
quadrangle signifies nothing,
but is a mere sound. So likewise
if it be false to say that virtue
can be poured, or blown up and
down, the words inpoured
virtue, inblown virtue, are as
absurd and insignificant as a
round quadrangle. And
therefore you shall hardly meet
with a senseless and
insignificant word that is not
made up of some Latin or Greek
names. Frenchman seldom
hears our Saviour called by the
name of Parole, but by the
name of Verbe often; yet Verbe
and Parole differ no more but
that one is Latin, the other

When a man, upon the hearing
of any speech, hath those
thoughts which the words of
that speech, and their
connexion, were ordained and
constituted to signify, then he
is said to understand it:
understanding being nothing
else but conception caused by
speech. And therefore if speech
be peculiar to man, as for ought
I know it is, then is
understanding peculiar to him
also. And therefore of absurd
and false affirmations, in case
they be universal, there can be
no understanding; though
many think they understand
then, when they do but repeat
the words softly, or con them in
their mind.

What kinds of speeches signify
the appetites, aversions, and
passions of man's mind, and of
their use and abuse, I shall
speak when I have spoken of
the passions.

The names of such things as
affect us, that is, which please
and displease us, because all
men be not alike affected with
the same thing, nor the same
man at all times, are in the
common discourses of men of
inconstant signification. For
seeing all names are imposed to
signify our conceptions, and all
our affections are but
conceptions; when we conceive
the same things differently, we
can hardly avoid different
naming of them. For though the
nature of that we conceive be
the same; yet the diversity of
our reception of it, in respect of
different constitutions of body
and prejudices of opinion, gives
everything a tincture of our
different passions. And
therefore in reasoning, a man
must take heed of words;
which, besides the signification
of what we imagine of their
nature, have a signification also
of the nature, disposition, and
interest of the speaker; such as
are the names of virtues and
vices: for one man calleth
wisdom what another calleth
fear; and one cruelty what
another justice; one prodigality
what another magnanimity;
and one gravity what another
stupidity, etc. And therefore
such names can never be true
grounds of any ratiocination.
No more can metaphors and
tropes of speech: but these are
less dangerous because they
profess their inconstancy,
which the other do not.


WHEN man reasoneth, he does
nothing else but conceive a sum
total, from addition of parcels;
or conceive a remainder, from
subtraction of one sum from
another: which, if it be done by
words, is conceiving of the
consequence of the names of all
the parts, to the name of the
whole; or from the names of the
whole and one part, to the name
of the other part. And though in
some things, as in numbers,
besides adding and
subtracting, men name other
operations, as multiplying and
dividing; yet they are the same:
for multiplication is but adding
together of things equal; and
division, but subtracting of one
thing, as often as we can. These
operations are not incident to
numbers only, but to all
manner of things that can be
added together, and taken one
out of another. For as
arithmeticians teach to add
and subtract in numbers, so the
geometricians teach the same
in lines, figures (solid and
superficial), angles, proportions,
times, degrees of swiftness,
force, power, and the like; the
logicians teach the same in
consequences of words, adding
together two names to make an
affirmation, and two
affirmations to make a
syllogism, and many syllogisms
to make a demonstration; and
from the sum, or conclusion of a
syllogism, they subtract one
proposition to find the other.
Writers of politics add together
pactions to find men's duties;
and lawyers, laws and facts to
find what is right and wrong in
the actions of private men. In
sum, in what matter soever
there is place for addition and
subtraction, there also is place
for reason; and where these
have no place, there reason has
nothing at all to do.

Out of all which we may define
(that is to say determine) what
that is which is meant by this
word reason when we reckon it
amongst the faculties of the
mind. For reason, in this sense,
is nothing but reckoning (that
is, adding and subtracting) of
the consequences of general
names agreed upon for the
marking and signifying of our
thoughts; I say marking them,
when we reckon by ourselves;
and signifying, when we
demonstrate or approve our
reckonings to other men.

And as in arithmetic
unpractised men must, and
professors themselves may
often, err, and cast up false; so
also in any other subject of
reasoning, the ablest, most
attentive, and most practised
men may deceive themselves,
and infer false conclusions; not
but that reason itself is always
right reason, as well as
arithmetic is a certain and
infallible art: but no one man's
reason, nor the reason of any
one number of men, makes the
certainty; no more than an
account is therefore well cast up
because a great many men have
unanimously approved it. And
therefore, as when there is a
controversy in an account, the
parties must by their own
accord set up for right reason
the reason of some arbitrator,
or judge, to whose sentence
they will both stand, or their
controversy must either come
to blows, or be undecided, for
want of a right reason
constituted by Nature; so is it
also in all debates of what kind
soever: and when men that
think themselves wiser than all
others clamour and demand
right reason for judge, yet seek
no more but that things should
be determined by no other
men's reason but their own, it is
as intolerable in the society of
men, as it is in play after trump
is turned to use for trump on
every occasion that suit
whereof they have most in their
hand. For they do nothing else,
that will have every of their
passions, as it comes to bear
sway in them, to be taken for
right reason, and that in their
own controversies: bewraying
their want of right reason by
the claim they lay to it.

The use and end of reason is
not the finding of the sum and
truth of one, or a few
consequences, remote from the
first definitions and settled
significations of names; but to
begin at these, and proceed
from one consequence to
another. For there can be no
certainty of the last conclusion
without a certainty of all those
affirmations and negations on
which it was grounded and
inferred. As when a master of a
family, in taking an account,
casteth up the sums of all the
bills of expense into one sum;
and not regarding how each bill
is summed up, by those that
give them in account, nor what
it is he pays for, he advantages
himself no more than if he
allowed the account in gross,
trusting to every of the
accountant's skill and honesty:
so also in reasoning of all other
things, he that takes up
conclusions on the trust of
authors, and doth not fetch
them from the first items in
every reckoning (which are the
significations of names settled
by definitions), loses his labour,
and does not know anything,
but only believeth.

When a man reckons without
the use of words, which may be
done in particular things, as
when upon the sight of any one
thing, we conjecture what was
likely to have preceded, or is
likely to follow upon it; if that
which he thought likely to
follow follows not, or that which
he thought likely to have
preceded it hath not preceded
it, this is called error; to which
even the most prudent men are
subject. But when we reason in
words of general signification,
and fall upon a general
inference which is false; though
it be commonly called error, it is
indeed an absurdity, or
senseless speech. For error is
but a deception, in presuming
that somewhat is past, or to
come; of which, though it were
not past, or not to come, yet
there was no impossibility
discoverable. But when we
make a general assertion,
unless it be a true one, the
possibility of it is inconceivable.
And words whereby we conceive
nothing but the sound are those
we call absurd, insignificant,
and nonsense. And therefore if
a man should talk to me of a
round quadrangle; or accidents
of bread in cheese; or
immaterial substances; or of a
free subject; a free will; or any
free but free from being
hindered by opposition; I should
not say he were in an error, but
that his words were without
meaning; that is to say, absurd.

I have said before, in the second
chapter, that a man did excel
all other animals in this
faculty, that when he conceived
anything whatsoever, he was
apt to enquire the consequences
of it, and what effects he could
do with it. And now I add this
other degree of the same
excellence, that he can by words
reduce the consequences he
finds to general rules, called
theorems, or aphorisms; that is,
he can reason, or reckon, not
only in number, but in all other
things whereof one may be
added unto or subtracted from

But this privilege is allayed by
another; and that is by the
privilege of absurdity, to which
no living creature is subject, but
men only. And of men, those are
of all most subject to it that
profess philosophy. For it is
most true that Cicero saith of
them somewhere; that there
can be nothing so absurd but
may be found in the books of
philosophers. And the reason is
manifest. For there is not one of
them that begins his
ratiocination from the
definitions or explications of
the names they are to use;
which is a method that hath
been used only in geometry,
whose conclusions have thereby
been made indisputable.

1.The first cause of absurd
conclusions I ascribe to
the want of method; in
that they begin not their
ratiocination from
definitions; that is, from
settled significations of
their words: as if they
could cast account without
knowing the value of the
numeral words, one, two,
and three.
2.And whereas all bodies
enter into account upon
diverse considerations,
which I have mentioned in
the precedent chapter,
these considerations being
diversely named, diverse
absurdities proceed from
the confusion and unfit
connexion of their names
into assertions. And
3.The second cause of
absurd assertions, I
ascribe to the giving of
names of bodies to
accidents; or of accidents
to bodies; as they do that
say, faith is infused, or
inspired; when nothing
can be poured, or breathed
into anything, but body;
and that extension is
body; that phantasms are
spirits, etc.
4.The third I ascribe to the
giving of the names of the
accidents of bodies
without us to the
accidents of our own
bodies; as they do that
say, the colour is in the
body; the sound is in the
air, etc.
5.The fourth, to the giving
of the names of bodies to
names, or speeches; as
they do that say that
there be things universal;
that a living creature is
genus, or a general thing,
6.The fifth, to the giving of
the names of accidents to
names and speeches; as
they do that say, the
nature of a thing is its
definition; a man's
command is his will; and
the like.
7.The sixth, to the use of
metaphors, tropes, and
other rhetorical figures,
instead of words proper.
For though it be lawful to
say, for example, in
common speech, the way
goeth, or leadeth hither, or
thither; the proverb says
this or that (whereas
ways cannot go, nor
proverbs speak); yet in
reckoning, and seeking of
truth, such speeches are
not to be admitted.
8.The seventh, to names
that signify nothing, but
are taken up and learned
by rote from the Schools,
as hypostatical,
eternal-now, and the like
canting of Schoolmen.

To him that can avoid these
things, it is not easy to fall into
any absurdity, unless it be by
the length of an account;
wherein he may perhaps forget
what went before. For all men
by nature reason alike, and
well, when they have good
principles. For who is so stupid
as both to mistake in geometry,
and also to persist in it, when
another detects his error to

By this it appears that reason
is not, as sense and memory,
born with us; nor gotten by
experience only, as prudence is;
but attained by industry: first
in apt imposing of names; and
secondly by getting a good and
orderly method in proceeding
from the elements, which are
names, to assertions made by
connexion of one of them to
another; and so to syllogisms,
which are the connexions of one
assertion to another, till we
come to a knowledge of all the
consequences of names
appertaining to the subject in
hand; and that is it, men call
science. And whereas sense and
memory are but knowledge of
fact, which is a thing past and
irrevocable, science is the
knowledge of consequences, and
dependence of one fact upon
another; by which, out of that
we can presently do, we know
how to do something else when
we will, or the like, another
time: because when we see how
anything comes about, upon
what causes, and by what
manner; when the like causes
come into our power, we see
how to make it produce the like

Children therefore are not
endued with reason at all, till
they have attained the use of
speech, but are called
reasonable creatures for the
possibility apparent of having
the use of reason in time to
come. And the most part of
men, though they have the use
of reasoning a little way, as in
numbering to some degree; yet
it serves them to little use in
common life, in which they
govern themselves, some
better, some worse, according to
their differences of experience,
quickness of memory, and
inclinations to several ends; but
specially according to good or
evil fortune, and the errors of
one another. For as for science,
or certain rules of their actions,
they are so far from it that they
know not what it is. Geometry
they have thought conjuring:
but for other sciences, they who
have not been taught the
beginnings, and some progress
in them, that they may see how
they be acquired and generated,
are in this point like children
that, having no thought of
generation, are made believe by
the women that their brothers
and sisters are not born, but
found in the garden.

But yet they that have no
science are in better and nobler
condition with their natural
prudence than men that, by
misreasoning, or by trusting
them that reason wrong, fall
upon false and absurd general
rules. For ignorance of causes,
and of rules, does not set men
so far out of their way as
relying on false rules, and
taking for causes of what they
aspire to, those that are not so,
but rather causes of the

To conclude, the light of
humane minds is perspicuous
words, but by exact definitions
first snuffed, and purged from
ambiguity; reason is the pace;
increase of science, the way;
and the benefit of mankind, the
end. And, on the contrary,
metaphors, and senseless and
ambiguous words are like ignes
fatui; and reasoning upon them
is wandering amongst
innumerable absurdities; and
their end, contention and
sedition, or contempt.

As much experience is
prudence, so is much science
sapience. For though we usually
have one name of wisdom for
them both; yet the Latins did
always distinguish between
prudentia and sapientia;
ascribing the former to
experience, the latter to science.
But to make their difference
appear more clearly, let us
suppose one man endued with
an excellent natural use and
dexterity in handling his arms;
and another to have added to
that dexterity an acquired
science of where he can offend,
or be offended by his adversary,
in every possible posture or
guard: the ability of the former
would be to the ability of the
latter, as prudence to sapience;
both useful, but the latter
infallible. But they that,
trusting only to the authority of
books, follow the blind blindly,
are like him that, trusting to
the false rules of a master of
fence, ventures presumptuously
upon an adversary that either
kills or disgraces him.

The signs of science are some
certain and infallible; some,
uncertain. Certain, when he
that pretendeth the science of
anything can teach the same;
that is to say, demonstrate the
truth thereof perspicuously to
another: uncertain, when only
some particular events answer
to his pretence, and upon many
occasions prove so as he says
they must. Signs of prudence
are all uncertain; because to
observe by experience, and
remember all circumstances
that may alter the success, is
impossible. But in any
business, whereof a man has
not infallible science to proceed
by, to forsake his own natural
judgment, and be guided by
general sentences read in
authors, and subject to many
exceptions, is a sign of folly, and
generally scorned by the name
of pedantry. And even of those
men themselves that in
councils of the Commonwealth
love to show their reading of
politics and history, very few do
it in their domestic affairs
where their particular interest
is concerned, having prudence
enough for their private affairs;
but in public they study more
the reputation of their own wit
than the success of another's


THERE be in animals two sorts
of motions peculiar to them:
One called vital, begun in
generation, and continued
without interruption through
their whole life; such as are the
course of the blood, the pulse,
the breathing, the concoction,
nutrition, excretion, etc.; to
which motions there needs no
help of imagination: the other is
animal motion, otherwise called
voluntary motion; as to go, to
speak, to move any of our limbs,
in such manner as is first
fancied in our minds. That
sense is motion in the organs
and interior parts of man's
body, caused by the action of
the things we see, hear, etc.,
and that fancy is but the relics
of the same motion, remaining
after sense, has been already
said in the first and second
chapters. And because going,
speaking, and the like
voluntary motions depend
always upon a precedent
thought of whither, which way,
and what, it is evident that the
imagination is the first internal
beginning of all voluntary
motion. And although
unstudied men do not conceive
any motion at all to be there,
where the thing moved is
invisible, or the space it is
moved in is, for the shortness of
it, insensible; yet that doth not
hinder but that such motions
are. For let a space be never so
little, that which is moved over
a greater space, whereof that
little one is part, must first be
moved over that. These small
beginnings of motion within the
body of man, before they appear
in walking, speaking, striking,
and other visible actions, are
commonly called endeavour.

This endeavour, when it is
toward something which causes
it, is called appetite, or desire,
the latter being the general
name, and the other oftentimes
restrained to signify the desire
of food, namely hunger and
thirst. And when the endeavour
is from ward something, it is
generally called aversion. These
words appetite and aversion we
have from the Latins; and they
both of them signify the
motions, one of approaching,
the other of retiring. So also do
the Greek words for the same,
which are orme and aphorme.
For Nature itself does often
press upon men those truths
which afterwards, when they
look for somewhat beyond
Nature, they stumble at. For
the Schools find in mere
appetite to go, or move, no
actual motion at all; but
because some motion they must
acknowledge, they call it
metaphorical motion, which is
but an absurd speech; for
though words may be called
metaphorical, bodies and
motions cannot.

That which men desire they are
said to love, and to hate those
things for which they have
aversion. So that desire and
love are the same thing; save
that by desire, we signify the
absence of the object; by love,
most commonly the presence of
the same. So also by aversion,
we signify the absence; and by
hate, the presence of the object.

Of appetites and aversions,
some are born with men; as
appetite of food, appetite of
excretion, and exoneration
(which may also and more
properly be called aversions,
from somewhat they feel in
their bodies), and some other
appetites, not many. The rest,
which are appetites of
particular things, proceed from
experience and trial of their
effects upon themselves or
other men. For of things we
know not at all, or believe not to
be, we can have no further
desire than to taste and try.
But aversion we have for
things, not only which we know
have hurt us, but also that we
do not know whether they will
hurt us, or not.

Those things which we neither
desire nor hate, we are said to
contemn: contempt being
nothing else but an immobility
or contumacy of the heart in
resisting the action of certain
things; and proceeding from
that the heart is already moved
otherwise, by other more potent
objects, or from want of
experience of them.

And because the constitution of
a man's body is in continual
mutation, it is impossible that
all the same things should
always cause in him the same
appetites and aversions: much
less can all men consent in the
desire of almost any one and
the same object.

But whatsoever is the object of
any man's appetite or desire,
that is it which he for his part
calleth good; and the object of
his hate and aversion, evil; and
of his contempt, vile and
inconsiderable. For these words
of good, evil, and contemptible
are ever used with relation to
the person that useth them:
there being nothing simply and
absolutely so; nor any common
rule of good and evil to be taken
from the nature of the objects
themselves; but from the
person of the man, where there
is no Commonwealth; or, in a
Commonwealth, from the
person that representeth it; or
from an arbitrator or judge,
whom men disagreeing shall by
consent set up and make his
sentence the rule thereof.

The Latin tongue has two
words whose significations
approach to those of good and
evil, but are not precisely the
same; and those are pulchrum
and turpe. Whereof the former
signifies that which by some
apparent signs promiseth good;
and the latter, that which
promiseth evil. But in our
tongue we have not so general
names to express them by. But
for pulchrum we say in some
things, fair; in others, beautiful,
or handsome, or gallant, or
honourable, or comely, or
amiable: and for turpe; foul,
deformed, ugly, base, nauseous,
and the like, as the subject
shall require; all which words,
in their proper places, signify
nothing else but the mien, or
countenance, that promiseth
good and evil. So that of good
there be three kinds: good in
the promise, that is pulchrum;
good in effect, as the end
desired, which is called
jucundum, delightful; and good
as the means, which is called
utile, profitable; and as many of
evil: for evil in promise is that
they call turpe; evil in effect
and end is molestum,
unpleasant, troublesome; and
evil in the means, inutile,
unprofitable, hurtful.

As in sense that which is really
within us is, as I have said
before, only motion, caused by
the action of external objects
but in appearance; to the sight,
light and colour; to the ear,
sound; to the nostril, odour, etc.:
so, when the action of the same
object is continued from the
eyes, ears, and other organs to
the heart, the real effect there
is nothing but motion, or
endeavour; which consisteth in
appetite or aversion to or from
the object moving. But the
appearance or sense of that
motion is that we either call
delight or trouble of mind.

This motion, which is called
appetite, and for the
appearance of it delight and
pleasure, seemeth to be a
corroboration of vital motion,
and a help thereunto; and
therefore such things as caused
delight were not improperly
called jucunda (a juvando),
from helping or fortifying; and
the contrary, molesta, offensive,
from hindering and troubling
the motion vital.

Pleasure therefore, or delight, is
the appearance or sense of good;
and molestation or displeasure,
the appearance or sense of evil.
And consequently all appetite,
desire, and love is accompanied
with some delight more or less;
and all hatred and aversion
with more or less displeasure
and offence.

Of pleasures, or delights, some
arise from the sense of an object
present; and those may be
called pleasures of sense (the
word sensual, as it is used by
those only that condemn them,
having no place till there be
laws). Of this kind are all
onerations and exonerations of
the body; as also all that is
pleasant, in the sight, hearing,
smell, taste, or touch. Others
arise from the expectation that
proceeds from foresight of the
end or consequence of things,
whether those things in the
sense please or displease: and
these are pleasures of the mind
of him that draweth in those
consequences, and are generally
called joy. In the like manner,
displeasures are some in the
sense, and called pain; others,
in the expectation of
consequences, and are called

These simple passions called
appetite, desire, love, aversion,
hate, joy, and grief have their
names for diverse
considerations diversified. At
first, when they one succeed
another, they are diversely
called from the opinion men
have of the likelihood of
attaining what they desire.
Secondly, from the object loved
or hated. Thirdly, from the
consideration of many of them
together. Fourthly, from the
alteration or succession itself.

For appetite with an opinion of
attaining is called hope.

The same, without such
opinion, despair.

Aversion, with opinion of hurt
from the object, fear.

The same, with hope of
avoiding that hurt by
resistence, courage.

Sudden courage, anger.

Constant hope, confidence of

Constant despair, diffidence of

Anger for great hurt done to
another, when we conceive the
same to be done by injury,

Desire of good to another,
benevolence, good will, charity.
If to man generally, good

Desire of riches, covetousness: a
name used always in
signification of blame, because
men contending for them are
displeased with one another's
attaining them; though the
desire in itself be to be blamed,
or allowed, according to the
means by which those riches
are sought.

Desire of office, or precedence,
ambition: a name used also in
the worse sense, for the reason
before mentioned.

Desire of things that conduce
but a little to our ends, and fear
of things that are but of little
hindrance, pusillanimity.

Contempt of little helps, and
hindrances, magnanimity.

Magnanimity in danger of
death, or wounds, valour,

Magnanimity in the use of
riches, liberality.

Pusillanimity in the same,
wretchedness, miserableness,
or parsimony, as it is liked, or

Love of persons for society,

Love of persons for pleasing the
sense only, natural lust.

Love of the same acquired from
rumination, that is,
imagination of pleasure past,

Love of one singularly, with
desire to be singularly beloved,
the passion of love. The same,
with fear that the love is not
mutual, jealousy.

Desire by doing hurt to another
to make him condemn some
fact of his own, revengefulness.

Desire to know why, and how,
curiosity; such as is in no living
creature but man: so that man
is distinguished, not only by his
reason, but also by this singular
passion from other animals; in
whom the appetite of food, and
other pleasures of sense, by
predominance, take away the
care of knowing causes; which
is a lust of the mind, that by a
perseverance of delight in the
continual and indefatigable
generation of knowledge,
exceedeth the short vehemence
of any carnal pleasure.

Fear of power invisible, feigned
by the mind, or imagined from
tales publicly allowed, religion;
not allowed, superstition. And
when the power imagined is
truly such as we imagine, true

Fear without the apprehension
of why, or what, panic terror;
called so from the fables that
make Pan the author of them;
whereas in truth there is
always in him that so feareth,
first, some apprehension of the
cause, though the rest run
away by example; every one
supposing his fellow to know
why. And therefore this passion
happens to none but in a
throng, or multitude of people.

Joy from apprehension of
novelty, admiration; proper to
man, because it excites the
appetite of knowing the cause.

Joy arising from imagination of
a man's own power and ability
is that exultation of the mind
which is called glorying: which,
if grounded upon the experience
of his own former actions, is the
same with confidence: but if
grounded on the flattery of
others, or only supposed by
himself, for delight in the
consequences of it, is called
vainglory: which name is
properly given; because a
well-grounded confidence
begetteth attempt; whereas the
supposing of power does not,
and is therefore rightly called

Grief, from opinion of want of
power, is called dejection of

The vainglory which consisteth
in the feigning or supposing of
abilities in ourselves, which we
know are not, is most incident
to young men, and nourished by
the histories or fictions of
gallant persons; and is
corrected oftentimes by age and

Sudden glory is the passion
which maketh those grimaces
called laughter; and is caused
either by some sudden act of
their own that pleaseth them;
or by the apprehension of some
deformed thing in another, by
comparison whereof they
suddenly applaud themselves.
And it is incident most to them
that are conscious of the fewest
abilities in themselves; who are
forced to keep themselves in
their own favour by observing
the imperfections of other men.
And therefore much laughter at
the defects of others is a sign of
pusillanimity. For of great
minds one of the proper works
is to help and free others from
scorn, and compare themselves
only with the most able.

On the contrary, sudden
dejection is the passion that
causeth weeping; and is caused
by such accidents as suddenly
take away some vehement
hope, or some prop of their
power: and they are most
subject to it that rely
principally on helps external,
such as are women and
children. Therefore, some weep
for the loss of friends; others for
their unkindness; others for the
sudden stop made to their
thoughts of revenge, by
reconciliation. But in all cases,
both laughter and weeping are
sudden motions, custom taking
them both away. For no man
laughs at old jests, or weeps for
an old calamity.

Grief for the discovery of some
defect of ability is shame, or the
passion that discovereth itself
in blushing, and consisteth in
the apprehension of something
dishonourable; and in young
men is a sign of the love of good
reputation, and commendable:
in old men it is a sign of the
same; but because it comes too
late, not commendable.

The contempt of good
reputation is called impudence.

Grief for the calamity of
another is pity; and ariseth
from the imagination that the
like calamity may befall
himself; and therefore is called
also compassion, and in the
phrase of this present time a
fellow-feeling: and therefore for
calamity arriving from great
wickedness, the best men have
the least pity; and for the same
calamity, those have least pity
that think themselves least
obnoxious to the same.

Contempt, or little sense of the
calamity of others, is that
which men call cruelty;
proceeding from security of
their own fortune. For, that any
man should take pleasure in
other men's great harms,
without other end of his own, I
do not conceive it possible.

Grief for the success of a
competitor in wealth, honour, or
other good, if it be joined with
endeavour to enforce our own
abilities to equal or exceed him,
is called emulation: but joined
with endeavour to supplant or
hinder a competitor, envy.

When in the mind of man
appetites and aversions, hopes
and fears, concerning one and
the same thing, arise
alternately; and diverse good
and evil consequences of the
doing or omitting the thing
propounded come successively
into our thoughts; so that
sometimes we have an appetite
to it, sometimes an aversion
from it; sometimes hope to be
able to do it, sometimes
despair, or fear to attempt it;
the whole sum of desires,
aversions, hopes and fears,
continued till the thing be
either done, or thought
impossible, is that we call

Therefore of things past there
is no deliberation, because
manifestly impossible to be
changed; nor of things known to
be impossible, or thought so;
because men know or think
such deliberation vain. But of
things impossible, which we
think possible, we may
deliberate, not knowing it is in
vain. And it is called
deliberation; because it is a
putting an end to the liberty we
had of doing, or omitting,
according to our own appetite,
or aversion.

This alternate succession of
appetites, aversions, hopes and
fears is no less in other living
creatures than in man; and
therefore beasts also deliberate.

Every deliberation is then said
to end when that whereof they
deliberate is either done or
thought impossible; because till
then we retain the liberty of
doing, or omitting, according to
our appetite, or aversion.

In deliberation, the last
appetite, or aversion,
immediately adhering to the
action, or to the omission
thereof, is that we call the will;
the act, not the faculty, of
willing. And beasts that have
deliberation must necessarily
also have will. The definition of
the will, given commonly by the
Schools, that it is a rational
appetite, is not good. For if it
were, then could there be no
voluntary act against reason.
For a voluntary act is that
which proceedeth from the will,
and no other. But if instead of a
rational appetite, we shall say
an appetite resulting from a
precedent deliberation, then the
definition is the same that I
have given here. Will, therefore,
is the last appetite in
deliberating. And though we
say in common discourse, a
man had a will once to do a
thing, that nevertheless he
forbore to do; yet that is
properly but an inclination,
which makes no action
voluntary; because the action
depends not of it, but of the last
inclination, or appetite. For if
the intervenient appetites
make any action voluntary,
then by the same reason all
intervenient aversions should
make the same action
involuntary; and so one and the
same action should be both
voluntary and involuntary.

By this it is manifest that, not
only actions that have their
beginning from covetousness,
ambition, lust, or other
appetites to the thing
propounded, but also those that
have their beginning from
aversion, or fear of those
consequences that follow the
omission, are voluntary actions.

The forms of speech by which
the passions are expressed are
partly the same and partly
different from those by which
we express our thoughts. And
first generally all passions may
be expressed indicatively; as, I
love, I fear, I joy, I deliberate, I
will, I command: but some of
them have particular
expressions by themselves,
which nevertheless are not
affirmations, unless it be when
they serve to make other

OF ALL discourse governed by
desire of knowledge, there is at
last an end, either by attaining
or by giving over. And in the
chain of discourse, wheresoever
it be interrupted, there is an
end for that time.

If the discourse be merely
mental, it consisteth of
thoughts that the thing will be,
and will not be; or that it has
been, and has not been,
alternately. So that
wheresoever you break off the
chain of a man's discourse, you
leave him in a presumption of it
will be, or, it will not be; or it
has been, or, has not been. All
which is opinion. And that
which is alternate appetite, in
deliberating concerning good
and evil, the same is alternate
opinion in the enquiry of the
truth of past and future. And
as the last appetite in
deliberation is called the will, so
the last opinion in search of the
truth of past and future is
called the judgement, or
resolute and final sentence of
him that discourseth. And as
the whole chain of appetites
alternate in the question of
good or bad is called
deliberation; so the whole chain
of opinions alternate in the
question of true or false is
called doubt.

No discourse whatsoever can
end in absolute knowledge of
fact, past or to come. For, as for
the knowledge of fact, it is
originally sense, and ever after
memory. And for the knowledge
of consequence, which I have
said before is called science, it is
not absolute, but conditional.
No man can know by discourse
that this, or that, is, has been,
or will be; which is to know
absolutely: but only that if this
be, that is; if this has been, that
has been; if this shall be, that
shall be; which is to know
conditionally: and that not the
consequence of one thing to
another, but of one name of a
thing to another name of the
same thing.

And therefore, when the
discourse is put into speech,
and begins with the definitions
of words, and proceeds by
connexion of the same into
general affirmations, and of
these again into syllogisms, the
end or last sum is called the
conclusion; and the thought of
the mind by it signified is that
conditional knowledge, or
knowledge of the consequence
of words, which is commonly
called science. But if the first
ground of such discourse be not
definitions, or if the definitions
be not rightly joined together
into syllogisms, then the end or
conclusion is again opinion,
namely of the truth of
somewhat said, though
sometimes in absurd and
senseless words, without
possibility of being understood.
When two or more men know of
one and the same fact, they are
said to be conscious of it one to
another; which is as much as to
know it together. And because
such are fittest witnesses of the
facts of one another, or of a
third, it was and ever will be
reputed a very evil act for any
man to speak against his
conscience; or to corrupt or force
another so to do: insomuch that
the plea of conscience has been
always hearkened unto very
diligently in all times.
Afterwards, men made use of
the same word metaphorically
for the knowledge of their own
secret facts and secret
thoughts; and therefore it is
rhetorically said that the
conscience is a thousand
witnesses. And last of all, men,
vehemently in love with their
own new opinions, though never
so absurd, and obstinately bent
to maintain them, gave those
their opinions also that
reverenced name of conscience,
as if they would have it seem
unlawful to change or speak
against them; and so pretend to
know they are true, when they
know at most but that they
think so.

When a man's discourse
beginneth not at definitions, it
beginneth either at some other
contemplation of his own, and
then it is still called opinion, or
it beginneth at some saying of
another, of whose ability to
know the truth, and of whose
honesty in not deceiving, he
doubteth not; and then the
discourse is not so much
concerning the thing, as the
person; and the resolution is
called belief, and faith: faith, in
the man; belief, both of the
man, and of the truth of what
he says. So that in belief are
two opinions; one of the saying
of the man, the other of his
virtue. To have faith in, or trust
to, or believe a man, signify the
same thing; namely, an opinion
of the veracity of the man: but
to believe what is said
signifieth only an opinion of the
truth of the saying. But we are
to observe that this phrase, I
believe in; as also the Latin,
credo in; and the Greek, piseno
eis, are never used but in the
writings of divines. Instead of
them, in other writings are put:
I believe him; I trust him; I
have faith in him; I rely on him;
and in Latin, credo illi; fido illi;
and in Greek, piseno anto; and
that this singularity of the
ecclesiastic use of the word
hath raised many disputes
about the right object of the
Christian faith.

But by believing in, as it is in
the Creed, is meant, not trust
in the person, but confession
and acknowledgement of the
doctrine. For not only
Christians, but all manner of
men do so believe in God as to
hold all for truth they hear Him
say, whether they understand
it or not, which is all the faith
and trust can possibly be had in
any person whatsoever; but
they do not all believe the
doctrine of the Creed.

From whence we may infer that
when we believe any saying,
whatsoever it be, to be true,
from arguments taken, not
from the thing itself, or from
the principles of natural reason,
but from the authority and
good opinion we have of him
that hath said it; then is the
speaker, or person we believe in,
or trust in, and whose word we
take, the object of our faith; and
the honour done in believing is
done to him only. And
consequently, when we believe
that the Scriptures are the
word of God, having no
immediate revelation from God
Himself, our belief, faith, and
trust is in the Church; whose
word we take, and acquiesce
therein. And they that believe
that which a prophet relates
unto them in the name of God
take the word of the prophet, do
honour to him, and in him trust
and believe, touching the truth
of what he relateth, whether he
be a true or a false prophet. And
so it is also with all other
history. For if I should not
believe all that is written by
historians of the glorious acts of
Alexander or Caesar, I do not
think the ghost of Alexander or
Caesar had any just cause to be
offended, or anybody else but
the historian. If Livy say the
gods made once a cow speak,
and we believe it not, we
distrust not God therein, but
Livy. So that it is evident that
whatsoever we believe, upon no
other reason than what is
drawn from authority of men
only, and their writings,
whether they be sent from God
or not, is faith in men only.


VIRTUE generally, in all sorts
of subjects, is somewhat that is
valued for eminence; and
consisteth in comparison. For if
all things were equally in all
men, nothing would be prized.
And by virtues intellectual are
always understood such
abilities of the mind as men
praise, value, and desire should
be in themselves; and go
commonly under the name of a
good wit; though the same
word, wit, be used also to
distinguish one certain ability
from the rest.

These virtues are of two sorts;
natural and acquired. By
natural, I mean not that which
a man hath from his birth: for
that is nothing else but sense;
wherein men differ so little one
from another, and from brute
beasts, as it is not to be
reckoned amongst virtues. But
I mean that wit which is gotten
by use only, and experience,
without method, culture, or
instruction. This natural wit
consisteth principally in two
things: celerity of imagining
(that is, swift succession of one
thought to another); and steady
direction to some approved end.
On the contrary, a slow
imagination maketh that
defect or fault of the mind
which is commonly called
dullness, stupidity, and
sometimes by other names that
signify slowness of motion, or
difficulty to be moved.

And this difference of
quickness is caused by the
difference of men's passions;
that love and dislike, some one
thing, some another: and
therefore some men's thoughts
run one way, some another, and
are held to, observe differently
the things that pass through
their imagination. And whereas
in this succession of men's
thoughts there is nothing to
observe in the things they
think on, but either in what
they be like one another, or in
what they be unlike, or what
they serve for, or how they
serve to such a purpose; those
that observe their similitudes,
in case they be such as are but
rarely observed by others, are
said to have a good wit; by
which, in this occasion, is
meant a good fancy. But they
that observe their differences,
and dissimilitudes, which is
called distinguishing, and
discerning, and judging
between thing and thing, in
case such discerning be not
easy, are said to have a good
judgement: and particularly in
matter of conversation and
business, wherein times, places,
and persons are to be discerned,
this virtue is called discretion.
The former, that is, fancy,
without the help of judgement,
is not commended as a virtue;
but the latter which is
judgement, and discretion, is
commended for itself, without
the help of fancy. Besides the
discretion of times, places, and
persons, necessary to a good
fancy, there is required also an
often application of his
thoughts to their end; that is to
say, to some use to be made of
them. This done, he that hath
this virtue will be easily fitted
with similitudes that will
please, not only by illustration
of his discourse, and adorning it
with new and apt metaphors,
but also, by the rarity of their
invention. But without
steadiness, and direction to
some end, great fancy is one
kind of madness; such as they
have that, entering into any
discourse, are snatched from
their purpose by everything
that comes in their thought,
into so many and so long
digressions and parentheses,
that they utterly lose
themselves: which kind of folly
I know no particular name for:
but the cause of it is sometimes
want of experience; whereby
that seemeth to a man new and
rare which doth not so to
others: sometimes
pusillanimity; by which that
seems great to him which other
men think a trifle: and
whatsoever is new, or great,
and therefore thought fit to be
told, withdraws a man by
degrees from the intended way
of his discourse.

In a good poem, whether it be
epic or dramatic, as also in
sonnets, epigrams, and other
pieces, both judgement and
fancy are required: but the
fancy must be more eminent;
because they please for the
extravagancy, but ought not to
displease by indiscretion.

In a good history, the
judgement must be eminent;
because the goodness
consisteth in the choice of the
method, in the truth, and in the
choice of the actions that are
most profitable to be known.
Fancy has no place, but only in
adorning the style.

In orations of praise, and in
invectives, the fancy is
predominant; because the
design is not truth, but to
honour or dishonour; which is
done by noble or by vile
comparisons. The judgement
does but suggest what
circumstances make an action
laudable or culpable.

In hortatives and pleadings, as
truth or disguise serveth best
to the design in hand, so is the
judgement or the fancy most

In demonstration, in council,
and all rigorous search of truth,
sometimes does all; except
sometimes the understanding
have need to be opened by some
apt similitude, and then there
is so much use of fancy. But for
metaphors, they are in this case
utterly excluded. For seeing
they openly profess deceit, to
admit them into council, or
reasoning, were manifest folly.

And in any discourse
whatsoever, if the defect of
discretion be apparent, how
extravagant soever the fancy
be, the whole discourse will be
taken for a sign of want of wit;
and so will it never when the
discretion is manifest, though
the fancy be never so ordinary.

The secret thoughts of a man
run over all things holy,
prophane, clean, obscene, grave,
and light, without shame, or
blame; which verbal discourse
cannot do, farther than the
judgement shall approve of the
time, place, and persons. An
anatomist or physician may
speak or write his judgement of
unclean things; because it is not
to please, but profit: but for
another man to write his
extravagant and pleasant
fancies of the same is as if a
man, from being tumbled into
the dirt, should come and
present himself before good
company. And it is the want of
discretion that makes the
difference. Again, in professed
remissness of mind, and
familiar company, a man may
play with the sounds and
equivocal significations of
words, and that many times
with encounters of
extraordinary fancy; but in a
sermon, or in public, or before
persons unknown, or whom we
ought to reverence, there is no
jingling of words that will not
be accounted folly: and the
difference is only in the want of
discretion. So that where wit is
wanting, it is not fancy that is
wanting, but discretion.
Judgement, therefore, without
fancy is wit, but fancy without
judgement, not.

When the thoughts of a man
that has a design in hand,
running over a multitude of
things, observes how they
conduce to that design, or what
design they may conduce unto;
if his observations be such as
are not easy, or usual, this wit
of his is called prudence, and
dependeth on much experience,
and memory of the like things
and their consequences
heretofore. In which there is not
so much difference of men as
there is in their fancies and
judgements; because the
experience of men equal in age
is not much unequal as to the
quantity, but lies in different
occasions, every one having his
private designs.