« PreviousContinue »
MS. of the edition of 1612. The dedication to Prince Henry was as follows:
“ To the most high and excellent Prince Henry, Prince
of Wales, D: of Cornwall and Earle of Chester Yt may please your H.
Having devided my life into the contemplative and active parte, I am desirous to giue his M, and yo' H. of the fruite of both, simple thoughe they be. To write iust Treatises requireth leasure in the Writer, and leasure in the Reader, and therefore are not so fitt, neither in regard of yo" H: princely affaires, nor in regard of my continuall service, wech is the cause, that hath made me choose to write certaine breif notes, sett downe rather significantlye, then curiously, wek I have called ESSAIES. The word is late, but the thing is auncient. For Senacaes Epistles to Lucilius, yf one marke them well, are but Essaies, – That is dispersed Meditacons, thoughe conveyed in the forme of Epistles. Theis labors of myne I know cannot be worthie of yo" H: for what can be worthie of you. But my hope is, they may be as graynes of salte, that will rather give you an appetite, then offend you will satiety. And althoughe they handle those things wherein both mens Lives and theire pens are most conversant yet (What I have attained, I knowe not) but I have endeavoured to make them not vulgar; but of a nature, whereof a man shall find much in experience, litle in bookes; so as they are neither repeticons nor fansies. But howsoever, I skall most humbly desier yo' H: to accept them in gratious part, and so contrive that if I cannot rest, but must shewe my dutifull, and devoted affection to YO' H: in theis things w* proceed from my self, I shalbe much more ready to doe it, in performance of yo" princely commaundmente; And so wishing yo" H: all princely felicitye I rest.
Yor H: most humble
Servant.” The dedication to Sir John Constable is more simple and natural.
“ To my loving brother, S. Iohn Constable Knight.
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 my selfe 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 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 euer found rest in your louing conference and iudge. ment. So wishing you all good, I remaine Your louing brother and friend,
The Table of Contents gives a list of forty Essays but the last two were not printed. 1. Of Religion. 2. Of Death. 3. Of Goodnes and goodnes of nature. 4. Of
Cunning. 5. Of Marriage and single life. 6. Of Parents and Children. 7. Of Nobilitie. 8. Of Great place. 9. Of Empire. 10. Of Counsell. u. Of Dispatch, 12. Of Loue. 13. Of Friendshippe. 14. Of Atheisme. 15. Of Superstition. 16. Of Wisdome for a Mans selfe. 17. Of Regiment of Health. 18. Of Expences, 19. Of Discourse. 20. Of Seeming wise. 21. Of Riches. 22. Of Ambition. 23. Of Young men and age. 24. Of Beautie. 25. Of Deformitie. 26. Of nature in Men. 27. Of Custome and Education. 28. Of For. tune. 29. Of Studies. 30. Of Ceremonies and respects. 31. Of Sutors. 32. Of Followers. 33. Of Negociating. 34. Of Faction. 35. Of Praise. 36. Of Iudicature. 37. Of vaine glory. 38. Of greatnes of Kingdomes. 39. Of the publike. 40. Of Warre and peace. The second edition must have been published between the 6th of November, the date of Prince Henry's death, and the 17th of Dec. when Chamberlain wrote the leto ter which is quoted in the note to Essay 44.
In 1613 Jaggard published a reprint of this edition, also in small 8vo, containing the omitted Essay “ Of Honour and Reputation,” the Religious Meditations, and the Colours of Good and Evil; and in the same year another reprint was issued by the same publisher with a new title page and the printer's errors of the former corrected. Copies of both these impressions ar in the Cambridge University Library, to which they were presented, with a large collection of Bacon's works, by Basil Montagu. The latter is noted in Montagu's Catalogue as having Bacon's autograph, but the fly leaf containing it has been torn out, apparently since it has been in the Library.
pirat his a
In 1614 another edition appeared, printed at Edin. burgh for A. Hart.
Malone mentions an edition in 1618, in the dedica. tion to which, he says, Bacon “speaks of several editions having been then printed” (Prior's Life of Malone, p. 424). If the date be correct, which there is reason to doubt, this could only have been a reprint of the edition of 1612. In Reed's Catalogue (no. 1683) a copy is mentioned with the date 1619, and another (no. 1772) a quarto with the date 1622. Mr Singer says, but without giving his authority, “there were, it
seems, editions in 1622, 1623, and 1624 in 4to.” I have - been unable to find any of these.
In 1624 was published a reprint of Faggard's pirated edition of 1613, by Elizabeth Jaggard, probably his widow. All the above mentioned are in small 8vo.
The third and last author's edition, of which the present volume is a reprint, was published in small 4to in 1625, the year before Bacon's death. The number of Essays was increased to fifty-eight, of which twenty were new and the rest altered or enlarged. The entry at Stationers' Hall is dated the 13th of March, 1624. “Mr Whiteacre. Hanna Barrett. Entered for their copie under the handes of the lo. B. of London and Mr Lownès Warden. The Essayes & counsell morrall and civill of Francis lo. Verulam Vicount St Albon.” A copy in the Cambridge University Library (xvii. 36. 14) was presented by Bacon to Sir John Finch on the 30th of March 1625. It was therefore evidently pub. lished some time in the latter part of March 1624–5.
The three editions of 1597, 1612, and 1625 are the only ones which possess any authority, the rest appa:
rently having been issued without the author's supervision or sanction. But in 1618 an Italian translation of the second edition was published by John Beale, which was made with Bacon's knowledge, if not at his request. The author of the translatwn is not known. Mr Singer conjecture that it was rainer Fulgentio, but Mr Spedding shewa clearly, by an extract from the preface of Andra (lvin, who brought out a revised reprint at Florence in 1019, that the translation was not the word of the Italian, but of some foreigner, in all produódity v an Englishnun. The volume in which it is continuit is the small 8vo, entitled, “Saggi Mornis et Sz3+07€ Francesco Baiono, Cavagliero In. gless's Gran Canilliers d'Inghilterra. Con un'altro Swo truitav teila Sapienza degli antichi. Tradotti inde Ituazdil's in Londra, Appresso di Giovanni Billio. 1618" The Saggi Morali pecupy ro2 pages, and are thirty-that in number; the two Essays Of Religion' chaud y Superstition' being omitted, and their place supplied by those Of Honour and Reputation,' and
y Scurtwn and Thubles,' the latter of which had Not in het speared in English. The dedication to Cosmety urand Duke of Tuscany, was written by Mr loom Vatthew, Bacon's intimate friend, but throws
14 lopute the authorship of the trinsiation. He **tu y mattis that he found the tww works in the possesSHJH f Sur Itilliam Carendish, who presented them to **** with the Author's permission. That the translafound manis published with Bacon's sanction is evident At the fact that the Essay " Of Seditions and TroutStar," who A then existed only in VS., was included in the kiume, and that is portwn of the iedicatory letter to