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tion and Dissimulation,” and “Of - Innovations." This of course is a mere conjecture, but it seems a rea. sonable one. Vho translated the others it is impossible to say. Among the Maloniana in Prior's Life of Ma. lone (P. 424, ed. 1860), we find the following. “It is not commonly known that the translation of Bacon's Essays into Latin, which was published in 1619, was done by the famous John Selden; but this is proved decisively by a letter from N. N. (John Selden N.) to Camden (See Camden. Epistol., 4to. 1691, p. 278). In the General Dict. and several other books, this transla. tion is ascribed to Bishop Hacket and Ben Jonson.” The letter to which Malone alludes is anonymous, and the writer says that he had translated Bacon's Essays into Latin, after the correctest copy published in Italian. The original is among the Cotton MSS. Julius C. 5, and is evidently a transcript in some hand not Selden's. In the heading as it stands in the printed volume, “N. N. Clarissimo Viro Gulielmo Camdeno suo,” N. N. (i.e. non nominato) is added by the editor, who was certainly not aware that Selden was the writer. What authority Malone had for speaking so positively upon the point I have been unable to discover. There is nothing contrary to probability in the supposition that Selden may have translated the Essays in 1619, but there is nothing to shew that his translation was ever published, as Malone asserts. It certainly is not indicated in the letter itself, of which the following is the passage in question. “Joannes Sarisburiensis e nostris pene solus est, qui rimatus arcana Ethices et Philologia puriora, monimentum reliquit mentis Philosophicæ in libris de nugis Curia. lium; nuperrime vero magnus ille Franciscus Ba. conus in tentamentis suis Ethico-politicis, quæ ex Anglico sermone ad correctissimum, Italice editum, exemplar, in Latinum transtuli.” The date of the letter is “ Londini xiv Julii Anglorum Cl”.DC.XIX.” There is one allusion in it which favours the supposition that it may have been Selden's. “Propterea si sapientiæ et scientiarum in Britannia nondum cælitus edocta lineamenta enucleatius exposuero in Historiis meis, qualia apud priscos cum Druydes, tum Saxones (parentes nostros) ea extitisse comperero, haud perperam ego aut inutiliter bonas horas trivisse judicer, utpote quæ ad bonam menteni suo more fecerint,” This may refer to his Analecta Anglo-Britannica, and the Notes to Drayton's Polyolbion; but upon such evidence it is impossible to decide.
There are strong indications of Bacon's supervision in the translation of the Essays “Of Plantations,” “Of Building,” and “Of Gardens,” in which there are alterations and additions which none but the author himself would have ventured to make. In the other Essays the deviations from the English are not so remarkable, though even in these there are variations which are worthy of notice. The most important are given in the notes to the present Volume.
That the preparation of a Latin translation had been in Bacon's mind for two or three years before his death is clear, from a letter to Mr Tobie Matthew, written apparently about the end of June, 1623. “It is true, my labours are now most set to have those works, which I had formerly published, as that of Advancement of Learning, that of Henry VII. that of the Essays, being retractate, and made more perfect, well translated into Latin by the help of some good pens, which forsake me not. For these modern languages will, at one time or other, play the bankrupts with books: and since I have lost much time with this age, I would be glad, as God shall give me leave, to recover it with posterity” (Bacon's Works, xii. p. 448, ed. Montagu). But there is nothing to shew that any part of the translation was done by Bacon himself; it is probable that he exercised only a general supervision over it.
The Colours of Good and Evil were first published in 1597, in the volume already described as containing the first edition of the Essays. They were reprinted in the edition of 1598, and in the various pirated impres. sions of which account has been given, but never again in English with Bacon's sanction. They were incorporated in the De Augmentis, where they appear in Latin in B.6.c. 3, with some additions and alterations.
A few words remain to be said with regard to the present volume. I have endeavoured to give an accurate reprint of the edition of 1625, from a comparison of ten copies of that edition which, though bearing the same date, are all different from each other in points of no great importance. The variations of these copies are given in the Appendix to the Notes. The only alteration I have made has been the adoption of the modern usage with regard to the letters u and v. The Colours of Good and Evil are reprinted from the edition of 1597; the deviations from it are given in the Notes, and are merely corrections of obvious errors. My chief object in the Notes themselves has been to shetu
how the Essays have grown into their present shape, and for this purpose I have marked all the variations from the previous editions of 1597, and 1612, and have given indication of the manner in which in each successive edition the Essays were expanded and modified. In addition to this I have quoted, where possible, any parallel passages which I had met with in other works of Bacon, and which appeared either to contain the germ of an Essay, or to exhibit the same thought in another form. Throughout I have collated the Latin translation, and have given the results of the col. lation wherever it seemed to throw any light upon, or to contain anything which was not in the English Edi. tion. The Glossary is intended, not so much to assist the English reader, who will find few difficulties in Bacon's language or style, as to record all the archaisms both of diction and construction which seemed worthy of note. With regard to the names of the plants contained in the Essay “Of Gardens” I have endeavoured as far as possible, by consulting the old herbals of Lyte, Gerarde, and Parkinson, to identify them with the more modern appellations, but I cannot hope, in all cases, to have been successful.
In conclusion, I have to express my thanks to the Stationers' Company for permission to search their books for the entries of the three editions of the Essays published in Bacon's life time, and to Mr Spedding for the ready assistance he has always given me in all cases of doubt and difficulty upon which I have consulted him.
W. A. WRIGHT. CAMBRIDGE,
4 Sept., 1862.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
In the present edition the text and notes have under. gone a complete revision, and some slight errors have been corrected.
The insertion of a few notes, and the addition of some words to the Glossarial Index are all the material changes that have been made.
W. A. W.
12 May, 1865.