In The Arrangement and General Survey of Knowledge (De Augmentis Scientiarum, 1623), Bacon considers an overemphasis on the study of words as a "Distemper of Learning" and proposes the idea that "Words are but the Images of Matter" (Philosophical Works 25), which are significant because ordinary people can understand them, not only certain admirers of the "Luxuriancy
of Style" (Philosophical Works 24).
Yet, given the uncertainty of salvation, he argues that we are also justified in bearing ourselves with gravity, seriousness, and sobriety; if not for this uncertainty, "why should not a Man give himself up to the utmost Gaity and Jollity, and express it in all manner of odd Postures and Gestures up to the height of an Antick Dissoluteness?" "Why not Shandy it," we might paraphrase Norris's rhetorical question, for which he provides an immediate answer: because we are going to die and be judged, a man must "temper and correct the Luxuriancy
of his Spirit, with some Grains of Sadness and Pensiveness, and beware of laughing too much here, lest it should be his Turn to weep and mourn hereafter" (51).