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Sir Francis Bacon


Essay 47

Of Negociating.
1 IT is generally better to deale by Speech, then by Letter; And by the Meditation of a Third, then by a Mans Selfe. Letters are good, when a Man would draw an Answer by Letter backe againe; Or when it may serue, for a Mans Iustification, afterwards to produce his owne Letter; Or where it may be Danger to be interrupted, or heard by Peeces. To deale in Person is good, when a Mans Face breedeth Regard, as Commonly with Inferiours; Or in Tender Cases, where a Mans Eye, vpon the Countenance of him with whom he speaketh, may giue him a Direction, how farre to goe: And generally, where a Man will reserue to himselfe Libertie, either to Disavow, or to Expound. In Choice of Instruments, it is better, to choose Men of a Plainer Sort, that are like to doe that, that is committed to them, and to report back again faithfully the Successe; Then those, that are Cunning to Contriue out of other Mens Businesse, somewhat to grace themselues; And will helpe the Matter, in Report, for Satisfaction sake. Vse also, such Persons, as affect the Businesse, wherin they are Employed; For that quickneth much; And such, as are Fit for the Matter; As Bold Men for Expostulation, Faire spoken Men for Perswasion, Craftie Men for Enquiry and Obseruation, Froward and Absurd Men for Businesse that doth not well beare out it Selfe. Vse also such, as haue beene Luckie, and Preuailed before in Things wherein you haue Emploied them; For that breeds Confidence, and they will striue to maintaine their Prescription. It is better, to sound a Person, with whom one Deales, a farre off, then to fall vpon the Point at first; Except you meane to surprize him by some Short Question. It is better Dealing with Men in Appetite, then with those that are where they would be. If a man Deale with another vpon Conditions, the Start or First Performance is all; Which a Man cannot reasonably Demaund, except either the Nature of the Thing be such, which must goe before; Or Else a Man can perswade the other Partie, that hee shall still need him, in some other Thing; Or else that he be counted the Honester Man. All Practise, is to Discouer, or to Worke. Men Discouer themselues, in Trust; In Passion; At vnawares; And of Necessitie, when they would haue somewhat done, and cannot finde an apt Pretext. If you would Worke any Man, you must either know his Nature, and Fashions, and so Lead him; Or his Ends, and so Perswade him; Or his Weaknesse, and Disaduantages, and so Awe him; or those that haue Interest in him, and so Gouerne him. In Dealing with Cunning Persons, we must euer Consider their Ends, to interpret their Speeches; And it is good, to say little to them, and that which they least looke for. In all Negociations of Difficultie, a Man may not looke, to Sowe and Reape at once; But must Prepare Businesse, and so Ripen it by Degrees.

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Edited by Ian Lancashire (Dept. of English, University of Toronto) Assisted by Allison Hay.
As published in I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge. Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996. CD-ROM.
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