At the outset of his Discourse on Universal History, Bossuet cautions the prince against an excessive and unreflective tendency to trust experience as a guide to ruling. Experience is not a bad thing but it is slow and costly. To understand both the value and the drawbacks of experience, this chapter first attempts a definition of “experience” by looking at key comments in the book that made this term an important one for the seventeenth century, Montaigne’s Essays. Then we examine another term that is important in Bossuet’s exposition: “confusion.” We discover that confusion can be both a necessary part of learning (putting things together) and a source of error (not being able to make distinctions). Finally, we show how Bossuet positioned history as a means to overcome confusion in the negative sense and as a necessary supplement to the subjective and temporal limitations of experience.