Full Width CSS

Francis Bacon's Of Truth Explanation and Summary

Of Truth

(1) What is truth? said Jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief, affecting free-will in thinking as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet ther remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same views, though there be net so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth, nor asain that when it is found it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour: but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it that men should love lies, where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets; nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's sake.

Reference to the Context - These lines hve been taken from the essay of Truth' written by Francis Bacon. This essay expresses Bacon's moralistic learning. The Roman Governor Pilate before whom Jesus Christ was tried and condemned to death wanted to know what truth really was while the trial was going on in a non-serious manner. But he did not care for truth, and so did not wait to be told by Christ the meaning and nature of truth The Question "What is truth is supposed by Bacon to have been asked by Pilate during the trial of Christy There are some who have no love for truth. Certain people find great pleasure in changing their opinions frequently because they desire unlimited freedom to act and think would not be possible if they had to behave in a fixed principle.

The sceptics, an ancient set of philosophers, doubted the validity and truth of every belief. Though they are now dead, there are some people who followed their school of thought, but these followers lacked the ancients vigour of thought and and strong arguments to support their ideas, even while having their attitudes.. It is not only because the search for truth involves hard work and because once found, it curtails the freedom of the mind, that people are averse to think. They do not like to find out what is true and right, because if once they know what is right and proper, they would be under an obligation to follow it. Besides there is a deeper cause; the human being is basically attracted to lies even though it is degrading and debasing for him, Even Lucien, the great Greek satirist was puzzled about this attraction of a lie for a man. He failed to understand why it is that common man practices lies. A poet's lies which are to be found in the fictitious stories which he weaves are conducive for pleasure whereas a merchant lies to increase his profits; but why people should tell lies for the sake of lies is not clear.

(2) "To pass from theological and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business: it will he acknowledge, even by those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honour of man nature; and that mixture of falsehood is like allay in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it exbaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent: which goeth basely upon the belly and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace and such and odious charge. Saith he, if it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth is as much to say as that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last last peal to call the judgements of God upon the generations of men: it being foretold that, when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth."

Reference to the Context - These lines have been taken from Francies Becon's essay of Truth' Bacon says that Truth is important not only in theological and philosophical fields, but also in the sphere of ordinary lite. Even those who do not practise, truth know that honest and straightforward dealings show the dignity and honourabketic quality of a I man. Just as in a coin there is a mixture of gold and silver to make the metal stronger, similarly, falsehood is mixed with truth for practical purposes but still the purity of truth is lost A mixture of truth and falsehood helps in succeeding materially but such a mixture is like an alloy: it debases while it strengthens. Men usually resort to a mixture of truth and falsehood because of the exigencies of practical life, but there can be no doubt that falsehood lowers and degrades a man. The ways ofa crooked and crafty man are like tile winding movement of the snake which is a low animal, the basest of all the animals, crawling on its belly. Rightly did Montaigne says that, in telling a lie, a man was brave towards God but a coward towards his fellow men. He has no fear of God and is not afraid of defying him for he cannot be seen but is afraid of his fellowmen for there is no denying the fact that those who uphold truth are misunderstood and persecuted by others. Only a morally brave man call support truth. Falsehood is wicked, and such wickedness will duly receive its punishment on the doomsday when a trumpet will blow to announce the judgements of God upon all human beings.

(3) "The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense ; the last was illumination of his spirit.

Reference - These lines have been taken from "Of Truth" written by Francis Bacon.

Context - According to Bacon, there are three forms of truth. They are the enquiry of truth, the knowledge of truth and the faith in truth.

Explanation - In these lines, the great writer describes the historical background of truth, The first thing which was created by god was light as we can see by means of our eyes. It was completed by him in his first six days of creation. The last thing created by god was the light of reasoning man. He endowed Adam with it. Since then, he has been enlightening his spirit, or human soul.

(3) "For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgements of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold that, when Christ cometh, He shall not find faith upon the earth."

Reference - These lines have been extracted from "Of Truth" written by Francis Bacon.

Context - Montaigne, the great French writer and the source of Bacon's literary inspriration spoke of tying as a serious disgrace and as a crime. A liar is coward towards all men. Explanation: In these lines, the great write describes the nature of a liar, or of an untruthful man. According to the grat writer, a liar possesses courage to face God on the Day of Judgement but he is afraid of man who is a petty person in comparison to god. Reaching to climax, such falschood will bring about the destruction of mankind under God's command. When Christ would descend upon the earth second time he would not find a trace of truthfulness.

Francis Bacon's Of Truth
Explain Of Truth
MA English Of Truth summary
Of Truth summary
English literature Of Truth Summary
Francis Bacon's biography
Francis Bacon's Of Truth Explanation 

Join Our Telegram Channel.