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XXI. Of Delays
XXV. Of Dispatch
Bacon's Essays were first published in 1597, with the following dedication to his brother :
To M. Anthony Bacon, his deare Brother. Louing and beloued Brother, I doe nowe like some that have an orcharde ill neighbored, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to preuent stealing. These fragments of my conceites were going to print, To labour the staie of them had bin troublesome, and subiect to interpretation; to let them passe had beene to aduenture the wrong they mought receiue by vntrue coppies, or by some garnishment, which it mought please any that should set them forth to bestow vpon them. Therefore I helde it best as they passed long agoe from my pen, without any further disgrace, then the weaknesse of the Author. And as I did euer hold, there mought be as great a vanitie in retiring and withdrawing mens conceites (except they be some nature) from the world, as in obtruding them: So in these particulars I haue played myself the Inquisitor, and find nothing to my vnderstanding in them contrarie or infectious to the state of Religion, or manners, but rather (as I suppose) medecinable. Only I disliked now to put them out because they will be 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 needes 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 (I assure you) I sometimes wish your infirmities translated vppon my selfe, that her Maiestie mought haue the seruice of so actiue and able a mind, and I mought be with excuse confined to these contemplations and studies for which I am fittest, so commend I you to the preseruation of the diuine maiestie: From my Chamber at Graies Inne, this 30 of Januarie, 1597. Your entire Louing Brother,
FRAN. BACON. They were considerably enlarged in subsequent editions ; the author regarding them merely as the recreations of his other studies, though he felt that they were extending his fame and reputation. He intended to have dedicated the fourth edition to Henry Prince of Wales, and wrote the following address, but the design was frustrated by the early death of the prince :
To the most high and excellent Prince, Henry Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Earl
of Chester. It may please your Highness,-Having divided my life into the contemplative and active part, I am desirous to give his Majesty and your Highness of the fruits of both, simple though they be. To write just treatises, requireth leisure in the writer and leisure in the reader, and therefore are not so fit, neither in regard of your Highness's princely affairs nor in regard of my continual service; which is the cause that hath made me choose to write certain brief notes, set down rather significantly than curiously, which I have called Essays. The word is late but the thing is ancient; für Seneca's Epistles to Lucilius, if you mark them well, are but essays, that is, dispersed meditations though conveyed in the form of epistles. These labours of mine, I know, cannot be worthy of your Highness, for what can be worthy of you? But my hope is, they may be as grains of salt, that will rather give you an appetite than offend you with satiety. And although they handle those things wherein both men's lives and their persons are most conversant; yet what I have attained I know not; but I have endeavoured to make them not vulgar, but of a nature whereof a man shall find much in experience and little in books; so as they are neither repetitions nor fancies. But, however, I shall most humbly desire your Highness to accept them in gracious part and to conceive, that if I cannot rest but must shew my dutiful and devoted affection to your Highness in these things which proceed from myself, I shall be much more ready to do it in performance of any of your princely commandments. And so wishing your Higliness all princely felicity, I rest your Highness' most humble servant, 1612.
FR. Bacon. The edition finally appeared with the following dedication :
To my loving Brother, Sir John Constable, Knt. 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 myselfe 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 both 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 comtemplations; so my contemplations ever found rest in your loving conference and judgmeut. So wishing you all good, I remaine your louing brother and friend,
FRA. BACON. The ninth edition, published the year before the author's death was dedicated in the following terms to the Duke of Buckingham :
To the Right Honorable my very good Lo. the Duke of Buckingham his Grace, Lo. High Admiral
of England. Excellent Lo.-Salomon saies, A good name is as a precious oyntment; and I assure myselfe, such wil your Grace's name bee, with posteritie. For your fortune and merit both, haue beene eminent. And you haue planted things that are like to last. I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all my other workes, have beene most currant: for that, as it seemes, they come home to mens businesse and bosomes. I haue 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 Latine. For I doe conceiue, that the Latine volume of them (being in the vniuersal language) may last as long as bookes last. My Instauration I dedicated to the king : my Historie of Henry the Seventh (which I haue now also translated into Latine) and my portions of Naturall 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 yeeld. God leade your Grace by the hand. Your Graces most obliged and faithfull seruant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.