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UNDER the date 5 Feb. 1596 the following entry oc. curs in the books of the Stationers' Company. “Hüfrey Hooper. Entred for his copie under thandes of Mr Fri Bacon Mr D Stanhope Mr Barlowe, and Mr War. den Dawson, a booke intituled Essaies Religious medi. tations, places of perswasion and diswasion by Mr Fr. Bacon.” This was the first edition of Bacon's Essays. They were published in a small 8vo. volume, of which the full title is as follows: “Essayes. Religious Medi. tations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. Seene and allowed. At London, Printed for Humfrey Hooper, and are to be sold at the blacke Beare in Chauncery Lane. 1597.” The dedication to Antony Bacon occupies three pages. Then follow the table of Contents and the Essays, ten in number; 1. Of studie. 2. Of discourse. 3. Of Ceremonies and respects. 4. Of followers and friends. 5. Sutors. 6. Of expence. 7. Of Regiment of health. 8. Of Honour and reputation. 9. Of Faction. 10. Of Negociating. The Essays occupy thirteen folios, and are followed by the “Medi. tationes Sacra," or Religious Meditations, in Latin,
Louing and belmud Anthur, I do nome iiec somi. that hui an mhande ili neighbumi, thai gatán that fruit bitar: it is nipi, to prrunt stealing. These fra mel, of count it going to print: To Labour th. stat. of thoni hud bin Irmelerome, and subiett te inirrpretation; thai thom pars had berne tc adniturz th: wra, the morni minu untrue Cortit, or o sami mai ampuh uhuh it mouki please an this: Ihnult set them forth to being upon them. Therefore ind. it mesi durmatim publish them m melte a the puisse images from my pen, without am pum iner dispraci, ihm tha muatnaise of the Author. A 03 ) alu curi noi tapt murht be a: pra: a tante in Tetrin, and writeraar mn: conuite: izx62*: tan bet af sauti satur form the zuoris, 4 e ottura tamu. S n. the Ar
I thou povri mi sente te. inquisitor, an And not ont my endrrstander 12. Eum. Caurrare o mnitiu: de the stat. * Rrizzata
un arts, tai patery : ) matase medirinchi Dan white. race t rack LED, buci because they are
bee like the late new halfe-pence', which though the Siluer were good, yet the peeces were small. But since they would not stay with their Master, but would needles trauaile abroade, I haue preferred them to you that are next my selfe, Dedicating them, such as they are, to our loue, in the depth whereof (1 assure you) I sometimes wish your infirmities translated vppon my selfe, that her Maiestie mought haue the seruice of so acliue and able a mind, & I mought be with excuse confined to these contemplations & Studies for which I am fittest, 50 commend I you to the preseruation of the diuine Maiestie. From my Chamber at Graies Inne this 30. of Ianuarie. 1597.
Your entire Louing brother.
The date of this letter, if not a printer's error, is evidently intended to be 1596–7, according to the then reckoning of the civil year, which began on the 25th of March. We have the entry at Stationers' Hall on Feb. 5; a memorandum on the title page of the copy in the British Museum that it was sold on the 7th of Feb., 39 Eliz. (i.e. 1596–7); and a letter of Anthony Bacon's to the Earl of Essex, written on the 8th of Feb. 1596, which appears to have accompanied a presentation copy of the Essays. There are MSS. of this edition in the British Museum (Lansd. MSS. 775), and the Cam. bridge Univ. Lib. (Nn. 4. 5). The latter I have
1 Coined for the first time in 1582-3, and used without in. terruption till 1601. See Folkes, Table of English Silver Coins, p. 57, ed. 1745.
printed in the Appendix. A fragment containing the essays “Of Faction' and 'Of Negotiatinge' is in the Harleian collection (no. 6797). In 1598 a second edi. tion was published by Humfrey Hooper, also in small Svo, differing from the first in having the Meditations in English, and the table of Contents of the Essays al the back of the title page. A pirated edition was printed for Yohn Faggard in 1606, and in 1612 he was pre. paring another reprint, when the second author's edition appeared. In consequence of this, Jaggard cancelled the last two leaves of quire G, and in their place sub. stituted " the second part of Essaies," which contains all the additional Essays not printed in the edition of 1597. On the authority of a MS. list by Malone Mr Singer mentions an edition in 1604, but I have found no other trace of it.
During the summer of the year 1612 Bacon himself had prepared and printed, in a small 8vo, volume of 241 pages, a second edition of the Essays by themselves, in which the original ten, with the exception of that “Of Honour and reputation,” were altered and enlarged, and twenty.nine new Essays added. The title of this second edition is ; “ The Essaies of S. Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Solliciter Generall. Imprinted at London by John Beale, 1612." It was entered at Stationers' Hall on the 12th of Osober, as follows. “ W“ Hall, John Beale. Entred for their copy under the handes of my Lo: Bysshopp of London & the Wardens A booke called The Essayes of 5" Fyo Bacon knight the k's Sollicitor gen'all.” It was Bacon's in. tention to have dedicated it to Prince Henry, and the dedication was actually written, but in consequence of the Prince's death on the 6th of November, it was addressed instead to his brother in law Sir John Constable. A copy of the dedication to Prince Henry exists in the British Museum (Birch MSS. 4259, fol, 155), and is written on a single leaf which appears on examination to have belonged to an imperfect MS. of the Essays, preserved among the Harleian MSS. (no. 5106), which Mr Spedding describes as “a volume undoubtedly authentic; for it contains interlineations in Bacon's own hand; and transcribed some time between 1607, when Bacon became Solicitor-general, and 1612, when he brought out a new edition of the Essays with further additions and alterations. It is unluckily not quite perfect; one leaf at least, if not more, having been lost at the beginning; though otherwise in excellent preservation.
“The title page, which remains, bears the following inscription, very handsomely written in the old English character, with flourished capitals : The writings of Sr Francis Bacon Knt. the Kinge's Sollicitor Generall : in Moralitie, Policie, and Historie." (Bacon's Works, VI. p. 535).
The Essays in this MS. are thirty-four in number, and include two, “ Of Honour and Reputation" and “ Of Seditions and Troubles,” which are not contained in the edition of 1612, while in the printed edition sir new Essays were added, “Of Religion," “ Of Cun. ning,” “Of Loue,” “Of Iudicature," " Of vaine glory," and " Of greatnes of Kingdomes.” It is to this MS. I have referred in the notes, when quoting the
? Sir John Constable married Dorothy Barnham the sister of Lady Bacon.