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Sir Francis Bacon


Essay 44

Of Deformity.
1 DEformed Persons are commonly euen with Nature: For as Nature hath done ill by them; So doe they by Nature: Being for the most part, ( as the Scripture saith ) void of Naturall Affection; And so they haue their Reuenge of Nature. Certainly there is a Consent between the Body and the Minde; And where Nature erreth in the One, she ventureth in the Other. Vbi peccat in vno, periclitatur in altero. But because, there is in Man, an Election touching the Frame of his Minde, and a Necessity in the Frame of his Body, the Starres of Naturall Inclination, are sometimes obscured, by the Sun of Discipline, and Vertue. Therefore, it is good to consider of Deformity, not as a Signe, which is more Deceiuable; But as a Cause, which seldome faileth of the Effect. Whosoeuer hath any Thing fixed in his Person, that doth enduce Contempt, hath also a perpetuall Spurre in himselfe, to rescue and deliuer himselfe from Scorne: Therefore all Deformed Persons are extreme Bold. First, as in their own Defence, as being exposed to Scorn; But in Processe of Time, by a Generall Habit. Also it stirreth in them Industry, and especially of this kinde, to watch and obserue the Weaknesse of Others, that they may haue somewhat to repay. Againe, in their Superiours, it quencheth Iealousie towards them, as Persons that they think they may at pleasure despise: And it layeth their Competitours and Emulatours asleepe; As neuer beleeuing, they should be in possibility of aduancement, till they see them in Possession. So that, vpon the matter, in a great Wit, Deformity is an Aduantage to Rising. Kings in Ancient Times, ( And at this present in some Countries, ) were wont to put Great Trust in Eunuchs; Because they, that are Enuious towards All, are more Obnoxious and Officious towards One. But yet their Trust towards them, hath rather beene as to good Spialls, and good Whisperers; then good Magistrates, and Officers. And much like is the Reason of Deformed Persons. Still the Ground is, they will, if they be of Spirit, seeke to free themselues from Scorne; Which must be, either by Vertue, or Malice: And therefore, let it not be Maruelled, if sometimes they proue Excellent Persons; As was Agesiaus, Zanger the Sonne of Solyman, AEsope, Gasca President of Peru; And Socrates may goe likewise amongst them; with Others.

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Edited by Ian Lancashire (Dept. of English, University of Toronto) Assisted by Allison Hay.
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