So when I point out that Francis Bacon's essay Of Judicature strikes me as basically an Op-Ed from a guy who knows a lot of Latin, I'm not trying to talk it up. I'm saying it's obvious:
Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverend than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.And I argue the opposite! Integrity is the worst quality a judge could have! The whole thing, which is short, is like that -- judges shouldn't talk too much! Courthouses shouldn't have corrupt dealings in them! Etc.
There are two things to say in its favor: 1. Of course, the Op-Ed hadn't been invented yet, so there was much less of a history of pieces where judges are urged not to be corrupt. At least pieces written in English, anyway. Op-Ed writers of today have less of an excuse. And 2., the piece is wicked organized. Bacon gives four areas of concern for the office of judge. Each gets a paragraph. One paragraph (the administration of the courts), has four sub-areas. Each area gets a sentence.
I think they tried to teach this to me in high school, but as you see it didn't take. It couldn't be less like Montaigne. Whom I prefer -- but then I am not a practical person.