Culture and Imperialism – Some Notes

Edward Said – Introduction
Edward W. Said was born in Jerusalem, Palestine and attended schools there and in Cairo. He was a Christian Arab. He received his B.A. from Princeton and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. He is University Professor at Columbia. He is the author of Orientalism, The Question of Palestine, Covering Islam, After the Last Sky, and Culture and Imperialism.

He delivered his speech Culture and Imperialism at York University, Toronto, February 10, 1993. He was an influential writer, speaker and teacher. 1950’s he went to the USA and studied at Princeton and Howard. His writings have been translated into 26 languages. Orientalism is his most influential book which presents the Western view of the Islamic World. It is limited to the Middle East only but it covers the whole landscape occupied by 19th and 20th century. He had been a teacher of Literature (Comparative) and made critical and literary analysis of most writers literary allusions are frequently found in his political works. He died on 25th September, 2003.
Said’s views on Culture and Imperialism
Culture and Imperialism is a lecture by ES. It briefly surveys the formation of Western Culture to show that the process itself was a result of imperialism. In defining the two terms he says that
Culture
The learned, accumulated experience of  communities and it consists of socially    transmitted patterns of behavior.  According to  the anthropologist Cliff Greety, Culture is: An ordered system of meanings and symbols in terms of which social interaction take place.
Imperialism:  (According to OED may be  defined as): aggressive expansion of peoples at          the expense of the neighbors. This has been  going on for years.
Imperialism implies some sort of collective premeditation which means a policy formed at home by the imperialistic force before launching an offensive against another nation.
The Historian Solomon Modell, “Imperialism is a policy extending a country’s power beyond its own borders for the purpose of exploiting other lands and other peoples by establishing economic, social and political control over them.”
Introduction to the Book
Culture and Imperialism is an important document. ES explains his own concepts of Culture and Imperialism. ES explains Imperialism as “the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center that rules a distant territory.” Imperialism originated with the industrial revolution in 19th century. The British and the French held sway over a large part of the globe. 
For the industrial revolution, cheap raw material and labor was needed so for the development of the backward countries, loud claims imperialism were made out to be need of the nations. The slave nations were taught to regard it as a blessing. 1st world war ended the European Imperialism to some extent, but the 2nd world war brought about it. The two hot wars initiated a major cold war between USSR and the USA. Thus, Imperialism took a new shape. The USA reduced USSR and came to be the sole super power. It the USA-based Imperialism that ES targets in his works.
The book also has its literary merits like Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India and many others.
Important Textual areas of his Speech
The 19th century is rise of the west for its for its dominating posture.
It grabbed lands so largely and abundantly as never before.
The industrial revolution caused imperialism.
Colonialism, almost always a consequence of imperialism, is the implanting of settlements on distant territories. Imperialism is simply the process or policy of establishing or maintaining an empire.
Direct colonialism of the British in India, the French in Algeria and Morocco has largely ended but Imperialism exists. Russia acquired bordering lands and the British and the French jumped thousands of miles for occupation.
The Soviet Union’s and America’s super power status which was enjoyed a little less than half a century derives from very different histories than those of Britain and France in the 19th century. In the expansion of western empires, profit and the hope of further profit was important – spices, sugar, slaves, cotton etc. gold.   There was very little domestic resistance to foreign dominations in Britain & France because the superior thought it a metaphysical obligation to rule the inferior. According to them, their imperialism was different from that of the Romans who were for the loot but they went there with an idea of civilizing and improving their life.
We see in the empire nothing but a mitigated disaster for the native people. It was their native, cultural design and need that matured imperialism and they regret it now. Imperialism has caused dislocations, homelessness for the Muslims, Africans and the West Indians. They have created the troubles for Britain and France and also caused the emergence of Soviet and later today America.
According to Arno Mayer’s telling phrase, “of the old regime” The Willy Brandt Report, entitled North-South: A program for the survival published in 1980. It says that the needs of the poorest nations must be addressed. Hunger must be abolished and other problems solved. The main purpose is power-sharing in decision making within the monetary and financial institutions.
It is different to disagree with it. But how will the changes occur? The post-war classification of all nations into 3 worlds, Ist, Second and the third.
The solution is the revised attitude to education, to urge students on insistence of their identity, culture and democracy, thus nationalism is the solution.
The relationship between culture and empire is one that enables disquieting forms of domination. Imperialism considered the mixture of cultures and identities on a large scale, but its worst and the most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that there only white, black, western or oriental.
Imperialistic allusions from literature
He believes that novel has been important in formation of imperialistic attitudes, references, and experiences. He calls Robinson Crusoe “the prototype of modern realistic novel”.  He draws his arguments particularly from the novel because he believes that “Narrative is crucial to my argument here, my basic point being that story are at the heart of what explorers and novelists say about strange regions of the world, they also become the method colonized people use to assert there an identity and the existence of their own history.” Said further argues that narratives of emancipation and enlightenment mobilized the people to rise against the yoke of imperialism. The stories of Sir Walter Scott charged the Scottish nation against the British rule. Said cites Mathew Arnold who says that culture is each society’s reservoir of the best that has been known and thought. Literature is, no doubt, the mirror that faithfully captures and reflects the picture of culture.
He says that his entire life was devoted to teaching culture. He developed the habit of looking for the imperialistic implications in the stories. He says that in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens “What Dickens envisions for Pip, being Magwitch’s London gentlemen is roughly equivalent to what was envisioned by English benevolence for Australia.” Said believes that nearly all Dickens’ businessmen, wayward relatives and frightening outsides have a fairly normal and secure connection with Empire.
Said highly admired Joseph Conrad – a star novelist of the late Victorian period for his superb criticism of Imperialism, especially in the Heart of Darkness which is still highly relevant to the situation across the world.
Said’s message is that Imperialism is not about a moment in history, it is about a continuing interdependent discourse between subject peoples and the dominant empire. Said’s view of the empire and colonialism is best expressed through Fanny and Sir Thomas from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park which is the story of Fanny’s being taken into Sir Thomas’s life at Mansfield Park where she eventually adjusts into the role of mistress of “estate”. Fanny was poor. Her parents are not capable managers of wealth.  These skills she acquires when she goes to Mansfield Park to live at 10.  Said’s comment on Jane Austen’s writings highlight the extent to which he sees in her the reflection of empire.

Aphoristic style of Bacon

Introduction: Bacon’s fame as a writer depends most of all on the fact that he is the father of modern English prose. He evolved a prose style that proved for the first time that English could also be used to express the subtleties of thought, in clear and uninvolved sentences.
The critics have noticed that there is a marked difference between Bacon’s earlier and later essays. Macaulay, contrasting extracts from of Studies (1597) and Of Adversity (1625) illustrates what he calls the two styles of Bacon.

It is true that there is a vast difference between the styles of Bacon. But it is rather questionable whether this difference could be attributed to the fact that Bacon had gained a maturity of mind and intellect.  Bacon wrote in more than one style. The stately movement of The Advancement of Learning and Of Adversity has been achieved in 1605 itself.  Does that mean that Bacon had achieved maturity of mind and imagination in eight years? This is not convincing. The explanation lies in the fact that Bacon’s very conception of the essay underwent a change. Bacon described his essays as “Dispersed Meditations”. The first collection of essays is fully illustrative of Bacon’s definition of the essay as dispersed meditations set down significantly rather than curiously. The original idea was to make the essays into a sort of diary in which significant observations on various topics of practical importance. His essays were jotted down in a terse and pithy and concise language. His first essays were a mere skeleton of thought, grouped around central themes with suitable titles. There was no attempt polishing the style or clothing the statements with literary beauty or imaginative grace. When, however, Bacon saw that his essays had gained an unexpected popularity, he thought that it was worth while polishing them and making them richer. These essays are very brief in length. The ideas have not been developed. The sentences are all crisp, short and sententious. Each sentence stands by itself. There is so much of condensation that each sentence can easily be expanded into a paragraph. That is to say that one single sentence does the job of a paragraph.

Essays not quite dispersed meditations:  It would, however, be a mistake to call all the essays of Bacon “Dispersed Meditations”. There are some which have received at his hand, a rather detailed treatment and which cannot be termed as “Sketchy”. In these essays, Bacon finds room for conjunctions and connective clauses. Ideas are not left underdeveloped and transitions from one thought to another are not so abrupt.  In Of Friendship, there is a logical approach in the enumeration of the principle fruits of friendship. Each advantage is properly handled and ideas are developed smoothly. There is not that abrupt transition of thought that characterized some of Bacon’s other essays. Of Empire can be said to contain almost exhaustive treatment of the dangers that beset a king in those days. In Of Seditions and Troubles, there is a quite closely reasoned and connected account of the causes and remedies of discontentment and agitation that may fester and burst out into trouble for the country. Aphoristic sentences are found in these essays too, but attention has been given to other factors as well. 
Aphoristic style of Bacon: An aphoristic style means a compact, condensed and epigrammatic style of writing. Bacon’s writing has been admired for various reasons. Some have admired them for dazzling rhetoric, others his grace. In Bacon we find a style which is distinct and at the same time characteristic of his age.  His style includes various qualities. Firstly, he remains the best aphoristic, so he stands the most quotable writer. There is terseness of expression and epigrammatic brevity, in the essays of Bacon. His sentences are brief and rapid, but they are also forceful. As Dean Church says, “They come down like the strokes of a hammer.” The force of aphoristic style depends on other stylistic qualities which supplement it. He weighs the pros and cons of a statement and immediately counter-balances it. (Give examples from the above the extracts).
A Rhetorician:  Bacon’s style is definitely rhetorical. In this connection, Saintsbury has remarked that no one, “knows better than —- (Bacon) how to leave a single word to produce all its effects by using it in some slightly uncommon sense. He has great powers of attracting and persuading his readers even though he may not convince them. In prose rhetoric, in the use, that is to say, of language to dazzle and persuade, not to convince. He has few rivals and no superiors in English.”  There is a constant use of imagery and analogy in Bacon’s essays.  The apt and extensive use of metaphors,  images, similitudes and analogies is in keeping with the view of the rhetoricians of the ancient as well as of the Renaissance. Bacon draws his imagery from the familiar objects o nature, or from the facts of every day life. 
His Allusions and Quotations: The essay bear witness to Bacon’s learned mind in the extensive use of quotations and allusions drawn from various sources, classical fables, the Bible, History, the ancient Greek and the Roman writers. Of Truth includes Pilate, Lucian and Montaigne, In Of Great Place; we have Tacitus, Galba and Vespacian, and Of Friendship includes reference to Aristotle. Thus Bacon employs allusions to and quotations in order to explain his point. They serve to make his style more scholarly and enrich it while lending to his ideas. Though, his style is heavy with learning, yet it is more flexible than any of his predecessors and contemporaries. His sentences are short and with this shortness comes lucidity of expression. Thus he shows mastery of the principles of prose. There almost no humor in Bacon’s essays, but his essays are packed with astounding wit.
Conclusion: The style of Bacon is not the personal and chatty style of the subjective essayist like Montaigne and Lamb. It is dignified and aphoristic style. He was indeed a consummate artist who polished and chiseled his expressions and who could change his style to suit to his subject.

Bacon’s Essays – a blend of philosophizing, moralizing and worldly wisdom

Introduction: “I have taken all knowledge for my province” says Bacon and “Beyond any other book of the same size in any literature they are loaded with ripest wisdom of experience.” Says Hudson regarding Bacon’s essays. No body can deny the wisdom of Bacon of his understanding of the affairs of the world.
He shows an extraordinary insight regarding the problems that men face in life. But his wisdom is only practical and not moral. Alexander Pope has given the following remarks about Bacon in his epic:

If parts allure these think how Bacon shin’d
The wisest, brightest and meanest of mankind

There is some basic truth in this contention.  One cannot deny his wisdom, his observation,   intellect and genius. Bacon was a very complex  and enigmatic character. The dichotomy of moral   values what one finds in his essays was to be    found in his character, too.  Compton-Rickett  says, “He had a great brain, not a great soul.” He     wanted to serve humanity with through the  expansion of usable knowledge. He was aware  that no headway could be made in this world without adopting certain mean ways. He was a product of the Renaissance with composite    qualities such as wisdom, meanness and         brightness. Bacon was a man of the Renaissance           and that was an age which tried to explore to the      full, the opportunities of mind and body afforded            to man. The term, Renaissance means Re-birth or         more generally the Revival of Learning. It was a             series of events by which Europe passed from     Medieval to a Modern Civilization. In this age,   there was a new spirit of inquiry, of criticism and            of passionate scientific inventions. Literature of      that age was chiefly marked by this spirit and     Bacon’s essays have several features that show         the spirit of Renaissance. A very important writer           of the Italian Renaissance was Machiavelli whose opportunistic philosophy sacrificed high ethical   ideals in the interest of achieving material           progress. Man is an individual and an end in             himself and this sense of individualism gave rise to the feeling that he must know how to get on in     this world.  The revival of classical learning and the study of ancient Greek and Roman Literature           and history was a hallmark of the Renaissance.        The spirit of learning is very much in the essays of Bacon. There are many allusions to ancient          history and the references to classical mythology            are all evidence of the typical Renaissance    culture. Latin writers such as Seneca and Virgil           and Lucian have frequently been drawn. His love           of learning is portrayed in his essay Of Studies           and he substantiates his arguments in his essay, Of Friendship with instances from history. Blake   on reading the essays of Bacon is supposed to   have remarked that they were good advice for   Satan’s Kingdom. Now, a Satan’s Kingdom     naturally implies a state of affairs in which          morality has no place or in which actions are        governed by a complete lack of principles.  To some extent, it is indeed undeniable that Bacon’s    advice incorporates a certain cool disregard for          high moral ideals. The actual fact is that in          Bacon’s essays, one find dichotomy of values, the     essays present a strange complexity and            contradiction of wisdom and values.  In order to            understand the real meaning of his essays, it is    imperative to understand the underlying purpose            of his writing. Man            was the subject of most             literature and man is the             subject of Bacon’s        essays too.  Thus the wisdom           that Bacon        shows in his essays is regulated by the   practical consideration.  It is frankly utilitarian.          This does not mean that the essays don’t contain           ethical or philosophical values, they do, but the    overall hallmark of his essays is practical use. 
Wisdom, Meanness and Brightness: To a religious-minded man like Blake, advice such as what Bacon offers in his essays must indeed have been shocking. Blake would regard any utilitarian advice as opposite to God’s ways, but Bacon was not so particular, for he a man of the Renaissance.  It is easy to assume that Bacon’s wisdom was cynical because many of his advice calmly ignores ethical standards and seems to imply that nothing succeeds like success.  Bacon is utilitarian, but he is so because he realized that the vast majority of the people in the world are guided by this attitude and success for them has only one meaning – the material success.  His essays reflect the profound wisdom of his mind, his brightness is ascertained by his vast knowledge and literary and classical allusions made in his works, his meanness does not deal with his money. He was reputed to be a very generous man. He was mean because he showed a surprising lack of principle in promoting his selfish interests.
Philosopher – cum – moralist: At least two of his essays present him as entertaining deep regard for high sentiments and the sanctity of truth. Of Truth speaks of truth, love and fair dealings in high terms. Here he is a philosopher who advocates the pursuit of truth. He is also a moralist when he says that “man’s mind should turn upon the “poles of truth.” Falsehood debases man despite his material gains and success. Bacon advocates man to follow a path of truth and truthfulness. Similarly, his essay Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature is on a purely moral plane. He counsels goodness, charity and benevolence and there is a clear condemnation of evil. There are some essays in which he puts a number of moral precepts, not ignoring prudential aspects. When we come to Bacon’s essays dealing with subjects such as love, marriage, family life and parents and children, we are struck by the cold and unemotional treatment of topics what could easily admit an emotional approach.  Prudence governs marriage, love and friendship. Love is an emotion, not fit for life according to Bacon. As a philosopher, he takes a balanced view of every thing, weighs the pros and cons of every issue, presents different aspects of the picture and counsels moderation. This is a rationalist’s approach and it preludes emotion and feeling. The essays are a handbook of practical wisdom. Each essay is a collection of suggestion and guideline for a man of action. His essays lack coherence and logical sequence, otherwise a quality in a standard essay. But his essays are unity of ideas.
Conclusion: But it has to be pointed out that Bacon is not a moral idealist. He does not preach morality, but not ideal morality. The kind of morality he teaches is tinged with what is called worldliness. We might even say that the guiding principle is expediency. Yet one cannot say that Bacon is amoral or immoral in his advice.  In every issue, he balances the advantage and disadvantage. Even within the utilitarian code, there is a code of conduct – a morality that is perhaps as high as is easily practicable in the world as we know it.  His essays embody the wisdom and philosophy and morality of a clear-eyed realist who knows quite well that men should be and but also knew what they actually were.  Bacon is undoubtedly a man whose morality is greater than the average man’s, but it is not of the highest order. The pursuit of good and right are important but not if it proves too costly in worldly terms. His advice is neither for Satan’s Kingdom nor for God’s, but for the Kingdom of man. 

Introduction to Bacon Essays

About Bacon and his Essays
1.      Bacon (afterwards Viscount St. Albans), the son of Nicholas Bacon was born in 1561 and died in 1626.
2.      The first edition of the Essays (ten included); the second edition (forty included) appeared in 1625. Tennyson said, “ There is more wisdom compressed into small volume than into any other book of the same size that I know”  Many of the essays are made up of extracts, complied from commonplace books and his other published works, and woven together into a new whole.
3.      There are three divisions of Bacon’s works: Philosophical as The Advancement of Learning, Literary as The Essays and Professionals as Maxims of Law.
4.      Bacon made no scientific discovery as Newton and Harvey made, but he laid the solid foundation of Science because he was the first man to point out the importance of experiment in the study of knowledge.
5.      The great influence on Bacon is Bacon himself, his own keen observation of life and manners. He set forth to propound a doctrine of human conduct  – a theoretical scheme in which the man of active virtue should not be baffled by the vices of others, but use their vices for his own advantage and the advantage of the state. In opposition of Aristotle who proffered the life of contemplation, Bacon cries up the life of action.  Dr. Johnson defined an Essay as “a loose sally of the mind, an irregular undigested piece, not a regular and orderly composition.” The essay as a distinct literary form was born in 16th century with the publication of Frenchman, Montaigne’s Essays. Bacon borrowed the form from him, but suited it to his own purpose.
A brief introduction to Bacon’s Essays
1.      Of Great Place:
      — The rising onto place is laborious and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is           sometimes base and by indignities men come to dignities.
      — Death falls heavy upon him who dies too well known to others, but unknown to                 himself.
      — It is a strange desire to seek power and lose liberty; or to seek power over others and to              lose power over a man’s self.
      — Men in great place are thrive servants:  servants of the sovereign or state; servants               of fame and servants of business.
Summary: Men are servants of the state, their desires for fame and time restriction. Man should follow the good examples set in the past. There are faults of men in great place such as delays, corruption etc. We should refuse bribes. One may while rising to a position use crooked methods and join sides but after reaching a position, one should become neutral.
2.      Of Friendship:
      — Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a      wild beast or a god.
      — For a crowd is not company; and faces are    but a gallery of pictures.
      — A great city is a great solitude.
Summary: Aristotle’s remarks that who so likes solitude is either is a best or an angle is according to Bacon half true. Friendship helps disburden heart. If frustration is kept in heart, it causes depression and tension for man. Friendship brings better understanding. A man with a friend has two lives. He can do many things for him and when he dies, he can fulfill his desires etc. A friend can advise and even praise and flatter us. Friendship increases joys and lessens the intensity of grief. Man may feel lonely in a crowd in the absence of love.
3.      Of Studies:
      — Studies serve delight, for ornament and for  ability.
      — To spend too much time in studies is sloth, to use it too much for ornament is affectation.
      — Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them and wise men use them.
      — Read not to contradict and confute, nor to  —   believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.  Some   books are to be tasted, others to be          swallowed             and some few to be chewed  and digested.
      — Reading makes a full man, conference a  ready man and writing an exact man.
      — Distilled books are like common distilled water flashy things.
  
Summary: Studies are a source of delight in one’s leisure and solitude. Studies help people develop abilities. It is a sign of laziness to spend too much time on studies. We should study important books and find mere summary of unimportant ones. Books are good companions. Deferent genres and subjects enlighten our mind differently.
4.      Of Parents and Children:
      — The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears.
      — Children increase the cares of life; but they mitigate the remembrance of death.
      — Children sweeten labor, but they make misfortune more bitter.
Summary: Children get benefit because of their parents. Parents usually have unequal favoritism towards their children. They should give enough pocket money. They should choose a suitable profession for their child.
5.      Of Ambition:
      — Ambition is like Choler which is a humor  that makes men active and earnest.
Summary: Ambition makes man active but if it is checked it can also be dangerous. Ambitious people are highly required fro the war. If ambition is allowed without control, it can be harmful for the king and the government. Ambitious people can also be used by the king as instruments.
6.      Of Truth:
      — What is Truth? said jesting Pilate and   would not stay for an answer.
      — But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked  and open day-light, that doth not shew the          masks and mummeries and triumphs of the  world, half so stately and daintily as candle-       lights.
      — A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
      —  It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tost upon the sea, a pleasure to         stand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below. But no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of the Truth.
      — A lie faces God; but shrinks from man.
      — But it is not the lie that passes through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it  that doth the hurt.
Summary: Pilate the Roman emperor was very casual about the truth at Christ’s trial and did not bother to find it out. Certain people have great delight in changing their opinions. Human mind is basically attracted to lies, so it dislikes truth. The value of truth is realized only by those who have experienced and understood it. Truth is important in not only in philosophical and theological fields, but also in day to day life. Montaign has rightly said that a man who tells lies is afraid of his fellow men but is unafraid of defying God who is all perceiving.
7.      Of Revenge:
      — Revenge is a kind of wild justice.
      — It is the glory of man to pass by an offense.  That which is past is gone and irrevocable:  wise men have enough to do with things present and to come: therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labor in past matters.
      — A man that studies revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal.
Summary: Revenge is uncivilized and can only be found among the brutes. Forgiving an enemy is supreme moral superiority. Man should be forwarding looking and forget the past to brood over the present and the future. Man does wrong to others out of his selfish love for himself. In taking revenge, it is generous to reveal his identity to the victim, because the pleasure of revenge lies not so much in causing pain than in making the enemy realize and repent of his mistake.
8.      Of Simulation and Dissimulation:
      — Tell a lie and find a troth.
     
Summary: The practice of dissimulation is followed by the weak man, for the strong minds and hearts have the power to tell the truth. The man of secret nature never gives a hint of what is in his heart. The advantage of simulation and dissimulation is that they keep the opposition guessing and unprepared and so to be easily surprised at the proper moment. They also help us discover the intentions of the other. The disadvantage is that they indicate a weakness of the disposition and one who uses these methods is considered unreliable.
9.      Of  Death:
      — Revenge triumphs over death.
      — It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant perhaps, the one is as painful as  the other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is wounded in hot blood.
     
Summary: Death is a natural phenomenon. Violent passions enable a man to overcome death. Revenge, love, honor, grief and fear make him bold enough to meet death. A noble cause makes a man insensible to pain and torture.
10.  Of  Adversity:
      — It is true greatness to have in one the frailty  of man and the security of a God. 
     
Summary: One may wish prosperity and all the good things it brings with it; but one should admire adversity and all the good things that belong to it. It is true greatness to be weak and yet to be careless and indifferent like a God. The pleasure of the heart is better than the pleasure of the eye. Prosperity can discover vice; adversity discovers virtue.
11.  Of  Nobility:
      — Nobility attempts sovereignty.
Summary: In a democracy, there is no need of nobility and people are commonly quieter and do not like rebellion, when there is no nobility. Numerous nobility causes poverty and inconvenience in a state. 
12.  Of  Superstition:
      — It were better to have no opinion of God at  all than such an opinion as is unworthy of  him.
      — The master of superstition is the people and   in all superstition wise men follow the fools.
Summary: Superstition or a false notion of God is highly insulting and irreligious. Atheism is better than superstition because an atheist uses his sense and reason, has respect for natural piety and laws and cares for reputation. Atheism doesn’t cause disturbances in the states, but superstition disregards our moral values and desires men to follow its dictates blindly. The causes of superstition are certain festivals and rituals which appear charming and to the senses.
Examples from Other Essays:
a.               Money is like muck, not good if not spread (of Seditions and troubles)
b.               The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul (of Riches)
c.                Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle-age and old men’s nurses. (Of marriage and single life)
d.               He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune (Of Marriage and Single Life)
e.                Travel in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. (Of Travel)
f.  Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
g.               Unmarried men are the best friends, best masters, best servants, but not always the best subjects. (advantages and disadvantages of unmarried men)
h.               Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining. (Of Suitors)

Bacon as an ssayist

What is an essay? The literary essay is indefinable as a spring day in the wood, but it does suggest some qualities of an essay like the day itself. The root meaning of the term, essay is an attempt or trial. Dr. Johnson defined an essay as “a loose sally of the mind, an irregular undigested piece, not a regular and orderly composition.” The emphasis is on the informality of tone and the fact that an essay in not an exhaustive, argumentative disquisition on a theme. The essay could be objective as well as subjective. In subjective essays, the object is not important, any subject will do.

It is the writer’s personality which lends charm to this type of essay. J.J. Lobbans’s definition of the essay as, “a short discursive article on any literary, philosophical or social subject, viewed from a personal or historical standpoint” includes all types of essays.

Montaigne and Bacon: The essay as a distinct form was born in the 16th century with French writer, Montaigne’s Essays. He frankly confessed that his essays were about himself, in the sense that they portray him in a number of moods and habits. Bacon borrowed this form from Montaigne but suited it to his own purpose. Bacon lived in a time and country where life was both serious and vigorous and he is occupied with serious matters. One can say that these essays show his egotism in the sense that they show his ideas and thoughts based on his own experience. But in Bacon’s essays we don’t find the chatty quality found in Montaigne’s or Charles Lamb’s essays.  Emerson is the one modern writer with whom Bacon may be fairly compared, for their method is much the same. But Hugh Walter rightly says, “With Bacon we enter the world of stark realities, rational and grave, having no place for lively humor or conversational ease. But this doesn’t detract us from his greatness as an essayist.  To him goes the credit of being the first of English essayists, as he remains, for sheer mass and weight of genius, the greatest
The form and subject of Bacon’s purpose: Bacon’s essays come home to men’s business and bosoms. Bacon’s essays group themselves round three great principles: (a) Man in relation to the world and society (b) Man in relation to himself and (c) Man in relation to his Maker. In all of these categories of his essays he has given variety. Man is the subject of Bacon’s essays.  This human interest is one reason why his essays are popular and have universal appeal because human beings are most interested in themselves. For Bacon’s purpose, only this form was the most suitable. He developed this genre with his essayistic qualities. The subject of his essays is varied and bears a wide range. He writes on a variety of themes such as family life, politics, marriage, friendship, studies, ambition and many others. Bacon thus proved the capacity of the essay form to be all-inclusive. Later essayists too proved it so we have political, historical and biographical essays. Bacon’s intent in writing essays was a serious one. He intended them to be “Counsels Civil and Moral”. They were not written for amusements or leisure time.  They do not have the personal element that make Lamb’s essays too charming. In this differs from Montaigne too. Bacon gives opinions and never speaks of himself. He speaks like a statesman or a moralist, not like a street boy. Bacon is concerned in most of his essays with ethical qualities of men and with political matters and thought it clear that he admires moral and intellectual truth, he is practical and rather opportunistic in the advice he offers. He doesn’t expect his reader to aspire to a high standard of morality; he simply approaches to him with practical and worldly didacticism. His essays have historical significance, too, for they were written for a particular group of men to offer them guidance that they must rise in the world and do good to the state. His essays are brief as any essay should be. He is not lightly dealing with important topics. He deals with all essay topics seriously even if they are unimportant. As he writes about gardens, but authoritatively and in a dignified manner, not humorously and subjectively like Lamb or Montaigne. A man who wants to achieve worldly and material success and popularity could easily find very useful principle here in Bacon’s essays. The reader’s interest is held by the historical and literary allusions tinged with Greek and Latin references.
Style: His essays are also important from stylistic point of view, too. To Bacon must go the credit, not only of introducing a new literary form into England but also that he developed a style which is marked for its pitch and pregnancy in the communication of thought. It was the first style set in England which later traveled to the age of Addison, Steele and Swift. He discovered the value of brief, crisp and firmly-knitted sentences of a type hitherto unfamiliar in English. He also rejected the elaborate euphuistic style overcrowded with imagery and conceits. The most important characteristic of his style, that which gives the essays the position of a classic in English Language is the terseness of expression and epigrammatic force. He has an unraveled ability of packing his thoughts into the smallest possible space. The essays may be described as one critic says, “Infinite riches in a little room.”  (Give sentential examples from his essays). Bacon was a man of the renaissance and in his essays; we find a characteristic of his age: the use of figurative language.  Similes and Metaphors and striking comparisons are found in his essays. The scholar’s love of learning is evidenced by the frequent use of quotations and allusions in the essays.  What is most important regarding his contribution is the terseness and epigrammatic quality of his essays.
Conclusion: Bacon’s essays are a proof of his strength of mind, intellect and knowledge. They are packed with remarkable sagacity and insight, shrewd and profound observation. He showed for the first time with (along with Hooker) that English was as capable as Greek or Latin of serving the highest purposes of language. Sercombe and Allen say, “Trite as the subjects are familiar as the treatment of those who know the Essays, the reader is seldom unrewarded by a sensation of novelty, so multitudinous are the face of Bacon’s thoughts.” John Freeman says, “The intellectual spend-thrift is the true essayist.” As one of the world’s epoch-making books, Bacon’s essays have done much to mould and direct the character of many individuals.  The brevity of these essays has been recommendation to readers with limited leisure. They have become a classic of the English Language and they owe this position, not to their subject-matter, but to their style.

Donne as a love poet

Introduction: The variety and scope of Donne’s love poetry is really remarkable. He hinges between physical and holy love, between cynicism and faith in love and above all the sanctity of married life. He was born at the time when writing love-poems was both a fashionable and literary exercise. Donne showed his talent in this genre. His poems are entirely different from the Elizabethan love-lyrics. They are singular for their fascination and charm and depth of feeling.

When by thy scorn, o murderess,
I am dead
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitations from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed

Donne does not lay stress on beauty or rather the aesthetic element in passion. His poems are sensuous and fantastic. He goes through the whole gamut of passion. Dryden writes: Donne affects the metaphysics not only in his satires but in his amorous verses where nature only should reign. He perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts and entertain them with the softness of love
Tenderness and sentiment are not the qualities to be found in Donne’s poetry. Donne in Lover’s Infinitenesse, pleads with his beloved that she should give him a part of her heart. After she has given him the part, he demands the whole heart. This is the goal and consummation of love. He then startles and outrages the expectations of his readers.

I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost;
Who died before that God of love was born,
Twice or thrive had I loved thee,
Before I knew they face or name.

Donne’s love poems can be divided under three heads.
Poems of moods of lovers, seduction and free love or fanciful relationship
Poems addressed to his wife Anne More (his wife) before and after his marriage.
Poems addressed to other noble ladies.
Three Strands of his poetry. Firstly, there is the cynical which anti-woman and hostile to the fair-sex. The theme is the frailty of man – a matter of advantage for lovers who liked casual and extra-marital relations with ladies. Secondly, there is the strand of happy married life, the joy of conjugal love in poems like A Valediction: forbidding mourning. Thirdly, there is the Platonic strand, as in The Canonization where love is regarded as a holy emotion like the worship of a devotee to God. Donne’s treatment of love-poems is realistic and not idealistic because he knows the weakness of the flesh, pleasures of sex, the joy of secret meetings. However, he tries to establish the relationship between body and soul. True love doesn’t pertain to the body; it is the relationship of body and soul to the other soul. Physical union may not be necessary as in A Valediction: a forbidding mourning. However, in the Relic, the poet regarded physical union as the necessary complement. Despite the realistic touches, Donne nowhere seems to draw the physical beauty or contours of the female body. Rather, he describes its reaction on the lover’s heart. It is highly surprising that a poet so fond of sex, be restrained from describing the physical patterns of the female body.
True Sex is holy: That sex is holy whether inside or outside marriage is declared by Donne in his love-poems. If love is mutual, physical union even outside marriage cannot be condemned. As a Christian, he may not justify extra-marital relationships, but as a lover and poet, he does accept and enjoy this reality. Donne feels that love-bond is necessary for sexual union otherwise mere sex without any spiritual love for the partner is degrading and mean. However, true love can exist outside marriage, though moralists may sneer at this idea of Donne. He doesn’t feel that woman is a sex-doll or a goddess. She is essentially a bundle of contradictions. He believes in ‘Frailty, thy name is woman’. His contempt for woman is compensated by his respect for conjugal love. At times, he regards woman as the angel who can give him ultimate bliss. This two-fold attitude is Donne’s typical quality as the poet. The poems referring to his wife, Anne More reflect true serenity and consummation of love.
Donne’s uniqueness: While the Elizabethan lyrics are, by large limitations of Petrarchan traditions, Donne’s poems stand in a class by themselves. He broke away from the traditional concept of poetry as was Petrarchan in nature. The concept of woman in Petrarchan and in that of Donne is totally different. Another quality is his passion and though, he doesn’t allow his passion to run away with him. Grierson writes: Donne’s poetry is a very complex phenomenon, but the two dominant strains in it are just these: the strains of dialectic, subtle play of argument and wit and fantastic; and the strain of vivid realism and a record of passion. Donne shows the supremacy of love.
Love, all like, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time, in fact true love is the merger of two souls. Donne has certainly been an innovator of a new kind of love-poetry. What surprises the reader is the variety of different moods and situations of the theme of love – sensual, violent, and full of vivacity of life. There is scorn, cynicism, bitterness and sarcasm but the force of love is genuine and unquestionable. Donne is one of the greatest English love-poets. In fact, among all the English love-poets, he is the complete amongst them.

Donne as a metaphysical poet

Introduction: Dryden expressed the view that “Donne affects the metaphysics” taking his cue from this statement, Dr. Johnson described Donne and his followers as the metaphysical poets. Ben Johnson followed classical rules and being a classicist, was a champion of decorum, discipline, symmetry and regularity, so he was not in favor of the bold liberty taken up by Donne.

But he appreciated Donne as well for revolting against Petrarchan Conventions. According to Dr. Johnson, the metaphysical poets were men of learning; the displayed an abundance of wit, if will be defined as a combination of dissimilar ideas. They ransacked nature and art for illustrations, comparisons and allusions. Johnson used the word, Metaphysical for Donne’s poetry in a rather contemptuous sense, even though much of what is said applies to Donne’s work. The wit of a metaphysical poet is more intellectual than that of the Elizabethan poets in general. his conceits are psychological, his lyrics are argumentative but the greatest achievement of a metaphysical poet is a blend of passion and thought. Intense emotional intellectuality is a leading quality of a metaphysical verse. In brief, the term, “Metaphysical Poetry” implies the qualities of complexity, fusion of emotions, outburst of passions and emotional intellectuality and an embodiment of reflective elements.

Qualities of Donne (‘s poetry) as a poet:  Intellect and wit are the two prime qualities of a metaphysical poet. The poet interweaves these two elements with its emotional effects. Donne was a classical representative of this kind of poetry. He was a man whose instinct compelled him to bring the whole of experience into his verse. When we speak of Donne as a metaphysical poet, we generally have in mind the combination of passion and thought which characterize his work. His conceits are witty, his hyperboles are outrageous and his paradoxes astonishing. His mixes fact and fancy in an astounding manner. All these qualities need to be illustrated from his poems. The Good-Marrow is a poem of passion, but its intellectual quality is less obvious. The poem proves that the poet and the beloved are passionately in love. Each one is a world to the other. These lovers can never die because they love each other with equal intensity. Donne was the first poet who included thought and idea in poetry side by side as opposed to the Elizabethans. Originality in diction marks Donne’s poetry. He used scientific, technical as well as colloquial vocabulary. He rejected the conventional Petrarchan conceits and coined new images. His vocabulary is rich and diversified. He is the first poet who has delineated ecstatic joy of fulfilled love in the Sun Rising. We see originality, novelty and complexity so abundant no where but in Donne’s poetry.
The main aspects of the Metaphysical poetry are: Passionate thinking, Philosophical concept of the universe and ordinary experiences, obscurity and learning, unified sensibility, conceits and images, Affectation and Hyperbole, Diction and versification and excessive intellectualism. All these features of metaphysical poetry are abundant in Donne’s poetry for which he is labeled as a metaphysical poet.
Donne is a metaphysical poet in a literal sense too. He speaks of the soul and of spiritual love. Air and Angles is a metaphysical poem in this sense. In A Valediction and Forbidding Mourning, the poet speaks of the spiritual love. The love is so refined that the lovers do not much miss each other’s eyes, lips and hands which lovers normally seek. In the Relic, they do not even know the difference of sex. Donne deserves the title, Metaphysical also because of his obscurity which is sometimes terrible. His concentration, expanded epigrams, fondness for conceits and striking and subtle wit, combination of passion and thought, the use of common language and the profundity of thought and intensity are the qualities that make Donne a metaphysical poet.
Selected Love Poems for Analysis
The Good-morrow:
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears
Where can we finde two better hemispheres
If our two loves be one, or thou or I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die
Synopsis: One of the finest poems of Donne explaining the complex nature of love. Initially, it has an element of fun and sex but later it provides a complete world to the lovers and this pure love is neither subject to time nor death.
Song:
Goe, and catche a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake roote,
Synopsis: the poet, through a series of images, proves to show that it is impossible to find a true and faithful woman in the world as it is equally impossible to produce a child from a mandrake root. Petrarchan and Elizabethan poets honored woman as the heroine and goddess, but the metaphysical poets mocked at them. Frailty, thy name is woman was quite popular in Donne’s time.   
The Sun Rising:
I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke,
But that I would not lose her sight so long:
She is all States, and all Princes, I,
Nothing else is.
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor houres, dayes, monthes, which are the rages of time.
Synopsis: This shows a lover’s vexation against sun-rising. The dawn is regarded as impertinence between the two lovers. The supremacy of love surpasses both time and space. I can blow out the sun with a wink but I don’t want to avert my attention from my lover even for this short duration. My sweetheart is all the states of the world rolled into one and I am all the princes of the world rolled into one. There are no states and princes except those described by me.
Aire and Angels:
Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shaplesse flame
Angells affect us oft, and worship’d bee
Synopsis: This is a poem of love and has little to do with air and angles. The poet is fed up with the Platonic idea of love – love as something holy and spiritual. The poem is an address of the poet to his beloved. I had loved you twice or thrive in spirit before I saw your face or knew your name. Just as angels are recognized through their voice or through a ball of fire and then worshipped in the same way.
The Extasie
But as all severall soules containe ,
Love, these mix souls, doth mixe againe,
Synopsis:  It is love that brings two souls together and mixes them into one while in reality they are two separate human existences. It is a complex and metaphysical poem dealing with the twin aspects of love physical and spiritual. What is Extasie? It is a state in which the soul comes out of the body and has communication with God.
The Relicque 
First we lov’d well and faithfully,
Yet knew not what wee lov’d, nor why
Difference of sex no more we knew
Synopsis:  We loved totally and faithfully without knowing why we liked each other. We didn’t regard sex as the object of our love. Our love was pure and clean like those of angels.