New Atlantis ; and, the Great Instauration Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why did Francis Bacon apologize to King James I in his dedication to "The Great Instauration?" What did Bacon say?

Francis Bacon felt it was important to share his philosophies with King James I; however, reading such a lengthy missive would be a time-consuming issue and Bacon was concerned about angering the King who he needed as a supporter. Bacon said: "Your Majesty may perhaps accuse me of larceny, having stolen from your affairs so much time as was required for this work."

2. What is Francis Bacon's main complaint about people realizing their strengths and weaknesses?

Bacon believed that men did not fully understand their strengths or weaknesses. Bacon says, "It seems to me that men do not rightly understand either their store or their strength, but overrate the one and underrate the other." Bacon goes on to say that men either spend too much time admiring their art or celebrate their power to such a degree that they tend to use it on small matters while ignoring the larger issues at hand.

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