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Old 10-07-2017, 08:56 AM   #1
gxnn
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Help me understand older English

The following is from Francis Bacon's "Of Truth":

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.

Perhaps the writer used the older version of grammar and punctuation marks? It makes my understanding very difficult because there are so many parts that are missing. I now try to translate it into modern English that I use so that you can see my understanding is right or not.

"Mr. Pilate, half-jokingly asked, "what is truth?", which seemed to be no answer available. But yes, there is an answer, when you are drunk and do not know what you are talking about. And to make others believe you, you need to remember what you have said. But that (the lie or the thing you say) will have some influence on your free thinking and acting."

P.S. I think the title of the essay should be "On Truth" rather than "Of Truth".
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gxnn View Post
The following is from Francis Bacon's "Of Truth":
...
I don't follow 1600-ish English, w\especially when liberally sprinkled with Latin phrases very well either.

However, there is the internet and Google and I turned up two sites that should help you decipher Francis Bacon"

Line by Line Meaning

and

Francis Bacons essay Of Truth is one of the more famous of his works of prose. The essay begins by mocking those who refuse to admit that there is any certain, objective truth. Bacon argues that people have a natural love of lying, even when lying brings no obvious advantage. Truth, Bacon says, resembles light, but he suggests that many people prefer to flirt with darkness because they take some pleasure in lies and lying....
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The second site requires registration for a free trial and a fee thereafter.

Good luck in your studies.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gxnn View Post
The following is from Francis Bacon's "Of Truth":

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.
Yes, that's not easy to understand for a modern reader.

"What is truth?" - this could be a simple question, but it can also imply a challenge to the idea: "is there really any such thing as truth?"

"Said jesting Pilate" - jesting = joking. Pilate is a figure from the Bible who is famous for denying his responsibilities - he was the governor who had the power to spare the life of a criminal who'd been sentenced to death, but he let the crowd choose for him.

"and would not stay for an answer" - i.e. Pilate didn't wait to hear the answer to his question, implying that he doesn't actually care about the answer.

"Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage, to fix a belief" - "certainly there are people who enjoy being frivolous and superficial. For these people, being consistent in their beliefs would feel like being imprisoned."

"affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting" - "being free to think whatever they like, in the same way that they are free to do whatever they like".

In modern English, "affecting" usually means to make a difference to something. But in psychology and in older English it can also mean showing a particular mind-set; if I am "affecting distress", it means that I look distressed (whether or not I actually am).

So, putting those all together, Bacon is saying that some people don't take the idea of "truth" seriously.

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P.S. I think the title of the essay should be "On Truth" rather than "Of Truth".
Either would be correct here, and would mean the same thing. "Of" can mean "about".
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:38 PM   #4
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Completely not its purpose, but this thread is all kinds of sexy.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:28 AM   #5
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Completely not its purpose, but this thread is all kinds of sexy.

You getting a bit of that RAWR tan-tweed-jacket-with-leather-elbows-and-smells-like-Hai-Karate vibe, and sense that...certain je ne sais quoi too, or is it the numerous times 'bacon' is used in the preceding posts that is getting it done for you?


It is getting hawt up in here!
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:35 AM   #6
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You getting a bit of that RAWR tan-tweed-jacket-with-leather-elbows-and-smells-like-Hai-Karate vibe, and sense that...certain je ne sais quoi too, or is it the numerous times 'bacon' is used in the preceding posts that is getting it done for you?


It is getting hawt up in here!
Id have been a much more ....engaged student if Id been schooled by Bramblethorn.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:46 AM   #7
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Id have been a much more ....engaged student if Id been schooled by Bramblethorn.
If only I'd known "sexy English teacher" was a career option.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:56 AM   #8
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:14 AM   #9
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If only I'd known "sexy English teacher" was a career option.
If only I'd known a sexy English teacher.

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There is no other kind of English teacher.
I disagree. Miss Todesko was anything but sexy.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:23 AM   #10
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:31 AM   #11
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She threw a chalkboard duster at me once in fit of rage. So no, definitely not English, there was far too much unrestrained emotion in her for that.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:27 AM   #12
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I had some good looking ones.

My ninth grade student English teacher...

Talk about "Hot for teacher!"

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Old 10-08-2017, 11:44 AM   #13
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She threw a chalkboard duster at me once in fit of rage. So no, definitely not English, there was far too much unrestrained emotion in her for that.

Brutal.

She probably didn't let you have pudding either, even when you ate yer meat.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
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She threw a chalkboard duster at me once in fit of rage. So no, definitely not English, there was far too much unrestrained emotion in her for that.
What % of your teachers threw classroom items at you over the years?
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #15
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What % of your teachers threw classroom items at you over the years?
Just the two, I believe. Well...Mr Oakley flipped my table in a fit of rage. Does that count?
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:51 PM   #16
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Just the two, I believe. Well...Mr Oakley flipped my table in a fit of rage. Does that count?
It counts.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:32 PM   #17
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It counts.
Im not going to say I was a bit of an arsehole for a while there, but I was a bit of an arsehole for a while there.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:37 PM   #18
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I never had an English teacher that made Mr Happy stand at attention, but my Algebra teacher always had my undivided attention in every way. Later I had a German professor that was equally motivational (shall we say).
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:36 PM   #19
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:23 PM   #20
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I never had an English teacher that made Mr Happy stand at attention, but my Algebra teacher always had my undivided attention in every way. Later I had a German professor that was equally motivational (shall we say).
I hated science but it was infinitely more tolerable when, mid-term, a new teacher was introduced to the class. He was fresh out of university, tall, dark haired, young enough to be cool and just old enough to be of interest to a hormonal group of teenagers.

I couldnt tell you a thing he taught me, but I could definitely tell you in great great detail the arc of his smile, or how his pants clung just a little more than they should to the curve of his arse, or how when he rolled his shirt sleeves up his forearms were covered in the finest dark hair that I never ever imagined under my hands. No not even once... I swear.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:29 PM   #21
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Im not going to say I was a bit of an arsehole for a while there, but I was a bit of an arsehole for a while there.
Interesting choice using past tense there.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:10 PM   #22
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Interesting choice using past tense there.
I tend to reserve the arsehole for those who are truly deserving.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:24 PM   #23
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I tend to reserve the arsehole for those who are truly deserving.
And for special occasions? Birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs...
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:42 PM   #24
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:13 PM   #25
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Is the list of criteria widely available? A friend wants to know.
Its not a published work but you can give your friend my number and have him call me.
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