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LORD BACON'S WORKS

ESSAYS

OR COUNSEL S,

CIVIL AND MORAL.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE MY VERY GOOD LO. THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM 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,

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The first edition of the Essays was published in the year 1597. It is entitled1

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THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE.

"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 helde it best 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 retyring and withdrawing mens conceits (except they be of some nature) from the 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.

It consists of ten Essays.

1. Of Studie.

2. Of Discourse.

3. Of Ceremonies and Respects.

4. Of Followers and Friends.

5. Of Sutors.

"Your entire louing brother, FRAN. Bacon."

6. Of Expence.

7. Of Regiment of Health.

8. Of Honor and Reputation.

9. Of Faction.

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."

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

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This edition, which is in 12mo, and not paged, is, except a few literal variations, a transcript of the edition of 1597.5

The Essay (for instance) in the table of contents is "Of Suters," in the body of the book it is " Of Sutes:"
2 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 Found 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 mutilated."

It is probable that this (although groundless) relates to the edition of 1730, published by Blackburn. It may, perhaps, be doubtful whether this is a MS. of the edition of 1597 or of 1606; but the first Essay in the edition of 1587 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,) contains the dedication 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 Bacon: and the signature in 1507 is Fran. Baeon; in 1506 is Francis Bacon.

The next edition was in 1612. It is entitled,

"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.

66

"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

1612.

It was dedicated as follows:

Your Highness's most humble servant,

"To my loving Brother Sr IOHN CONSTABLE Knight.1

66

FR. BACON."

"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 acknow ledge 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."

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

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It is an octavo of 241 pages; and the two last Essays "Of the Publique," and "Of War and Peace," although mentioned in the table of contents, are not contained in the body of the work.1 This edition contains all the Essays which are in the preceding editions, except the Essay "Of Honor and Reputation:" and the title in the former editions of the Essay "Of Followers and Friends," is in this edition "Of Followers," and there is a separate Essay "Of Friendship." The Essays in Italics are in the former editions.

These Essays are more extensive than the Essays in the preceding editions, according to the manner of the author, who says, "I always alter when I add; so that nothing is finished till all is finished."2 As a specimen, the Essay "Of Study," in the first edition ends with the words "able to contend." The edition of 1612 is the same as the former edition, but it thus continues "Abeunt studia in mores;" "nay, there is no stond or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies: like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises; bowling is good for the stone and reins, shooting for the lungs and breast, gentle walking for the stomach, riding for the head, and the like; so, if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen, for they are Cymini sectores;' if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call upon one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers cases; so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt."

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The next edition was in 1613.3 It is entitled,

"The Essaies

Of Sr Francis Bacon Knight,
The Kings Aturney Generall.
His Religious Meditations.

Places of Perswasion and Disswasion.
Seene and allowed.

Printed at London for Iohn Iaggard,*
dwelling at the Hand and Starre,
betweene the two Temple
Gates 1613."

It is a transcript of the edition of 1612, with the erroneous entries in the table of contents of the two Essays "Of the Publique" and "Of Warre and Peace," which are omitted in the body of the work; but it contains a transcript from the editions of 1597 and 1606, of the Essay "Of Honor and Reputation," which is omitted in the edition of 1612.

In the year 1622, in his letter to the Bishop of Winchester, concerning his published and intended writings, he says, "As for my Essays, and some other particulars of that nature, I count them but as the recreations of my other studies, and in that manner purpose to continue them; though I am not ignorant that those kind of writings would, with less pains and assiduity, perhaps yield more lustre and reputation to my name than the others I have in hand; but I judge the use a man should seek in publishing his writings before his death to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow, and not to go along with him."

The next edition, which is a small quarto of 340 pages, was in 1625,5 and, on the 9th of April, 1626, Lord Verulam died.

There is a copy in the British Museum, and in the Bodleian; and I have a copy.

"To Mr. Matthews: along with the Book De Sapientia Veterum. I Heartily thank you for your Letter, of the 24th of August, from Salamanca; and, in recompence, send you a little Work of mine, that has begun to pass the World. They tell me my Latin is turned into Silver, and become current. Had you been here, you shou'd have been my Inquisitor, before it came forth: but I think the greatest Inquisitor in Spain will allow it. One thing you must pardon me, if I make no haste to believe, that the World should be grown to such an Ecstasy, as to reject Truth in Philosophy, because the Author dissents in Religion; no more than they do by Aristotle or Averroes. My great Work goes forward; and after my manner, I always alter when I add: So that nothing is finish'd 'till all is finish'd. This I have wrote in the midst of a Term and Parliament; thinking no time so possess'd, but that I should talk of these Matters with so good and dear a Friend. Gray's-Inn, Feb. 27, 1610."

There is a copy in the Bodleian, and I have a copy.

This is the same bookseller who published the edition of 1606.

There is a copy in the British Museum and at Cambridge, and the copies are not uncommon.

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