Poetry is a form of lying that the author writes for pleasure. The merchant uses lying to take advantage of others. Our vain opinions, flattering hopes, false values and imagining what we want are also lies that will leave our personalities empty without them. We desire truth, experience it and, believing it, we enjoy it. Truth is like standing on a hill watching the turmoil of falsehood below in the valley. Falsehood is like the wanderings of a snake, on its belly, not standing on foot. Mixing falsehood with truth is like a base coin. Men’s propensity for lying will leave men at Christ’s Second Coming without faith. 1625.
Comment: Bacon uses analogies and metaphors to explain abstract terms. He deepens our understanding of them. We are more aware of the presence of the abstract quality in our personalities. RayS.
The Oxford Book of Essays. Ed. John Gross. Oxford and new York: Oxford University Press. 1991.