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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
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 impressions of which account has been given, but never again in English with Ba 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 shew
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 collation wherever it seemed to throw any light upon, or to contain anything which was not in the English Edition. The Glossary is intended, not so much to assist the English reader, who will find few difficulties in Baconi's language or style, as to record all the archaisms both 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 undergone 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.
E S S A Y ES
COVNSELS, CIVILL AND
FRANCIS LO. VERVLAM,
VISCOVNT Sţ ALBAN.
LONDON, Printed by IOHN HAVILAND for HANNA BARRET, and RICHARD WHITAKER, and are to be sold at the signe of the Kings head in
Pauls Church-yard. 1625.