Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral "Virtue Is Like A Rich Stone, Best Plain Set"
by Francis Bacon

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"Virtue Is Like A Rich Stone, Best Plain Set"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In this essay, Bacon maintains that dignity and "gracious motion" and "great spirit" are more important than "delicate features," accomplishment or studied behavior. He also claims that since youth does not usually have these qualities, "no youth can be comely but by pardon." He begins his essay and sets his theme with this statement:

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set: and surely virtue is best in a body that is comely, though not of delicate features; and that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect.