« PreviousContinue »
Prince Henry which Bacon had intended to prefix to the edition of 1612, but was prevented by his death. But there is no reason to suppose that Bacon had anything more to do with it. It is true that Andrea Cioli, who by Cosmo's direction brought out a new and revised edition of this volume at Florence in 1619, seems at first sight to speak of the translation as if it were Bacon's own composition — (ma non ho già, voluto alterare alcuna di quelle parole, che forse nella lingua nostra non appariscono interamente proprie del senso, à che sono state in detta Opera destinate, per non torre ali ' Autore la gloria, che merita di haver e cosi ben saputo esprimere i suoi Concetti in Idioma altretanto diverso dal suo, quanto è lontana da questa nostra la sua Regione ;) — but the supposition is hardly reconcilable with the words of Matthew's dedicatory letter (non può mancar la scusa à chi s' è ingegnato tradur li concetti di questo Autore, &c.); and in the absence of all other evidence is too improbable to be believed. Nor do Cioli's words necessarily imply more than that the translator was an Englishman. That the translation was not the work of an Italian, — and therefore not (according to Mr. Singer's conjecture) by Father Fulgentio,—they afford evidence which may be considered conclusive.
Printed by John Haviland, for Hanka Barress ami Richard Whisaker,
And are to be sold at the sisn of the Kins's Head, in
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY.
To the Right Honourable my very good Lo. the Duke of Buckingham his Grace, Lo. High Admiral of England.
Salomon says, A good name is as a precious ointment; and I assure myself, such will your Grace's name be with posterity. For your fortune and merit both have been eminent. And you have planted things that are like to last. I do now publish my Essays; which, of all my other works have been most current; for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms. I have 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 Latin.1 For I do conceive that the Latin volume of them (being in the universal language) may last as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated to the King; my History of Henry the Seventh (which I have now also translated into Latin), and my portions of Natural 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 yield. God lead your Grace by the hand.
1 Tarn in editione Anglicd, quam in Latind.