Billeder på siden
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]









HIS GRACE, LO. HIGH ADMIRALL OF ENGLAND. EXCELLENT Lo. Salomon saies; A good name is as a precious oyntment; and I assure myselfe, such wil your Grace's name bee, with posteritie. For your fortune, and merit both, haue beene eminent. And you haue planted things, that are like to last. I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all other workes, have beene most currant: For that, as it seemes, they come home, to mens businesse, and bosomes. I haue enlarged them, both in number, and weight; so that they are indeed a new work. I thought it therefore agreeable, to my affection, and obligation to your Grace, to prefix your name before them, both in English, and in Latine. For I doe conceiue, that the Latine Volume of them (being in the Vniuersal Language) may last, as long as Bookes last. My Instauration, I dedicated to the King: My Historie of Henry the Seventh, (which I haue now translated into Latine) and my Portions of Naturall History, to the Prince: And these I dedicate to your Grace: Being of the best Fruits, that by the good encrease, which God gives to my Pen and Labours, I could yeeld. God leade your Grace by the Hand. Your Graces most Obliged and Faithful Seruant,




1. The Essays.

3. Filum Labyrinthi. 2. Meditationes Sacræ.

4. Sequela Chartarum. 3. The Colours of Good and Evil.

5. Miscellaneous Tracts. 4. Miscellaneous Tracts upon Human Philoso

1. Apophthegmes. phy.

2. Ornamenta Rationalia. 1. In Praise of Knowledge.

3. Sentences. 2. Valerius Terminus, or the Interpreta

4. Notes for Conversation. tion of Nature.

5. An Essay on Death.

The first edition of the Essays was published in the year 1597. It is entitled

“ Essayes.
Religious Meditations.
Places of perswasion and

Seene and allowed.

Printed for Humfrey Hooper, and are
to be sold at the blacke Beare
in Chauncery Lane.

There is a copy of this edition at Cambridge, and in the Bodleian.
POL. I.-1




“ To M. Anthony Bacon his deare Brother. “ Louing and beloued brother I do now like some that haue an Orcharde il neighbored, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to preuent stealing. These fragments of my conceits were going to print: To labour the stay of them had bene troublesome, and subiect to interpretation: to let them passe had bin to aduentur the wrong they mought receiue by vntrue Coppies, or by some garnishment which it mought please any one that shold set them forth to bestow upon them. Therefore I heldo it hest discretion to publish them my selfe as they passed long agoe from my pen without any further disgrace, then the weakenes of the author. And as I did euer hold there mought be as great a.vanitie in returing and withdrawing mens conceits (except they be of some nature) fror. trie world, as in obtruding them: So in these particulars I haue played my selfe the inquisitor, and find nothing to my vnderstanding in them contrary, or infectious to the state of Religion, or manners, but rather (as I suppose) medicinable. Onely I disliked now to put them out, because they will be like the late newe halfepence, which though the siluer were good, yet the pieces were small. But since they would not stay with their master, but wold needs trauel abroad, I haue preferred them to you, that are next myself, dedicating them, such as they are, to our loue, in the depth whereof (I assure you) I somtimes wish your infirmities transslated upon my selfe, that her maiesty mought haue the seruice of so actiue and able a mind, and I mought bee with excuse confined to these contemplations and studies for which I am fittest, so commende I you to the preseruation of the diuine Maiestie. From my Chamber at Grayes Inne, this 30. of Ianuary. 1597.

“ Your entire louing brother, Fran. Bacon.” It consists of ten Essays. 1. Of Studie.

6. Of Expence. 2. Of Discourse.

7. Of Regiment of Health. 3. Of Ceremonies and Respects.

8. Of Honor and Reputation. 4. Of Followers and Friends.

9. Of Faction. 5. Of Sutors.

10. Of Negotiating. These Essays, which are very short, are in octavo, in thirteen double pages, and somewhat incorrectly printed. They are annexed as Notes at the end of the Essays.2

of this edition there is a manuscript in very ancient writing in the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum.3 The next edition was in the year 1606. It is entitled

6 Essaies. Religious Meditations. Places of perswasion

and disswasion.

Seene and allowed.
Printed at London for Iohn Iaggard,
dwelling in Fleete streete at the
hand and Starre neere
Temple barre.

1606." This edition, which is in 12mo,* and not paged, is, except a few literal variations, a transcript of tire edition of 1597.5

1 The Essay (for instance) in the table of contents is “ Of Suters,” in the body of the book it is “ Or Sutes :"
9 See note L.
; The reference to it is in vol. ii. of Catalogue, page 173, as follows:

“Essays by Lord Bacon, viz.on Studies, Discourses, Ceremonies, and Respects, Followers and Friends, Suitors, Expense, Regimen of Health, Honor and Reputation, Faction and Negotiating.” The Catalogue then adds, “ These Essays will be Sound to vary in some degree from the printed copies and especially from an expensive edition of Lord Bacon's works, in which the Essays appear to be greatly inutilated."

It is probable that this (although groundless) relates to the edition of 1730, published by Blackburn. It may, perhaps, he doubtful whether this is a MS. of the edition of 1597 or of 1606; but the first Essay in the edition of 1557 says, "if he conferre little, he had need of a present witt;" but the words "he had need of" are omitted in the edition of 1606. They are however in the MS. in the Museum. There is also in the Harleiam MSS. 6797, a MS. of two Essays, of Faction and of Negotiating, with cross lines drawn through them. • I have a copy in my possession, with a very bad engraving of Lord Bacon prefixed above the following lines:

“ Bacon, his Age's Pride and Britann's Glory

Whose Name will still be famous in her story,
Hauing by's works Oblig'd all future Ages
To pay Him Thanks as many as His Pages,

Having well-weigh'd each Tittle of that Praise,

Found a great part arose from his ESAIES." As this volume, published 1606, (three years after the death of his brother Anthony,) contatos the delication to Anthony and these lines, and as I do not find the edition mentioned in any of his letters : query, was it published by the author or by some bookseller?

For instance; the dedication in 1587 is to M. Anthony Bacon, and in 1606 it is to Maister Anthony Bacan: and the signature in 1507 is Fran. Baron; in 16 is cis Bacoa.

The next edition was in 1612. It is entitled,

66 The Essaies
Of Sr Francis Bacon Knight,
The King's Solliciter Generall.
Imprinted at London by

Iohn Beale,

1612." It was the intention of Sir Francis to have dedicated this edition to Henry Prince of Wales, but he was prevented by the death of the prince on the 6th of November in that year. This appears by the following letter : “ To the most high and excellent prince, Henry, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of

Chester. “ It may please your Highness,

Having divided my life into the contemplative and active part, I am desirous to give his majesty and your highness of the fruits of both, simple though they be.

“ To write just treatises, requireth leisure in the writer, and leisure in the reader, and therefore are not so fit, neither in regard of your highness's princely affairs, nor in regard of my continual service; which is the cause that hath made me choose to write certain brief notes, set down rather significantly than curiously, which I have called Essays. The word is late, but the thing is ancient; for Seneca's epistles to Lucilius, if you mark them well, are but essays, that is, dispersed meditations, though conveyed in the form of epistles. These labours of mine, I know, cannot be worthy of your highness, for what can be worthy of you? But my hope is, they may be as grains of salt, that will rather give you an appetite, than offend you with satiety. And although they handle those things wherein both men's lives and their persons are most conversant; yet what I have attained I know not; but I have endeavoured to make them not vulgar, but of a nature, whereof a man shall find much in experience, and little in books; so as they are neither repetitions nor fancies. But, however, I shall most humbly desire your highness to accept them in gracious part, and to conceive, that if I cannot rest, but must shew my dutiful and devoted affection to your highness in these things which proceed from myself, I shall be much more ready to do it in performance of any of your princely commandments. And so wishing your highness all princely felicity I rest 66 1612.

Your Highness's most humble servant, Fr. Bacon." It was dedicated as follows:

• To my loving Brother Sr Iohn CONSTABLE Knight.1

“My last Essaies I dedicated to my deare brother Master Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Looking amongst my papers this vacation, I found others of the same Nature : which if I myselfe shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the World will not; by the often printing of the former. Missing my Brother, I found you next, in respect of bond both of neare alliance, and of straight friendship and societie, and particularly of communication in studies. Wherein I must acknowledge my selfe beholding to you. For as my businesse found rest in my contemplations; so my contemplations ever found rest in your louing conference and judgment. So wishing you all good, I remaine Your louing brother and friend,

FRA. Bacon." The Table of Essays is, 1. Of Religion.

13. Of Friendshippe. 2. Of Death.

14. Of Atheisme. Of Goodnes and goodnes of nature. 15. Of Superstition. 4. Of Cunning.

16. Of Wisdome for a Mans selfe. 5. Of Marriage and single life.

17. Of Regiment of Health. 6. Of Parents and Children.

18. Of Expences. 7. Of Nobilitie.

19. Of Discourse. 8. Of Great place.

20. Of Seeming wise. 9. Of Empire.

21. Of Riches. 10. Of Counsell.

22. Of Ambition. 11. Of Dispatch.

23. Of Young men and age. 12. Of Loue.

24. Of Beautie.

Francis Bacon married Alice Burnham, and Sir John Constable married her sister Dorothy Burnham. In Lord Bacon's will, he says, Sir John Constable, Knight, my brother-in-law; and he nominates bim as one of his esecutors.

« ForrigeFortsæt »