« PreviousContinue »
nor fansies. But howsoever, I shall 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 weh proceed from my self, I shalbe much more ready to doe it, in performance of yo” princely commaundmente; And so wishing yor H: all princely felicitye I rest.
Yo' H: most humble
The dedication to Sir John Constable is more simple and natural.
“ To my loving brother, Si 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 iudgement. 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 Cuming. 5. Of Marriage and single life. 6. Of Parents and Children. 7. Of Nobilitie. 8. Of Great place. 9. Of Empire. 10. Of Counsell. 11. 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 Fortune. 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. 1612 when Chamberlain wrote the letter which is quoted in the note to Essay XLIV.
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 are 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.
In 1614 another edition appeared, printed at Edinburgh for A. Hart.
Malone mentions an edition in 1618, in the dedication 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 Jaggard'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 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 bandes of the lo. B. of London and Mr Lownes 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 Jolin Finch on the 30th of March 1625. It was therefore evidently published 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 apparently having been issued without the author's supervision or sanction. But in 1618 an Italian translation of the second cdition was published by John Beale, which was made with Bacon's knowledge, if not at his request. The author of the translation is not known. Mr. Singer conjectured that it was Father Fulgentio, but Mr. Spedding shews clearly, by an extract from the preface of Andrea Cioli, who brought out a revised reprint at Florence in 1619, that the translation was not the work of an Italian, but of some foreigner, in all probability of an Englislı
The volume in which it is contained is a small 8vo, entitled, “ Saggi Morali del Signore Francesco Bacono, Cavagliero Inglese, Gran Cancelliero d'Inghilterra. Con vn'altro suo Trattato della Sapienza degli Antichi. Tradotti in Italiano. In Londra. Appresso di Giovanni Billio. 1618.” The Saggi Morali occupy 102 pages, and are thirty-eight in mumber; the two Essays · Of Religion’and • Of Superstition' being omitted, and their place supplied by those • Of Honour and Reputation, and of Seditions and Troubles,' the latter of which had not as yet appeared in English. The dedication to Cosmo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was written by Mr Tobie Matthew, Bacon's intimate friend, but throws no light upon the authorship of the translation. He merely says that he found the two works in the possession of Sir William Cavendish, who presented them to him with the Author's permission. That the translation was published with Bacon's sanction is evident from the fact that the Essay “ Of Seditions and Troubles," which then existed only in MS., was included in the volume, and that a portion of the dedicatory letter to Prince Henry was incorporated in Matthew's preface. The passage “ To write iust Treatises . . fansies" is translated nearly word for word, the change of person being of course observed. Of this Italian translation, according to Mr. Singer, there were two editions bearing the same date, but differing in the titles of some of the Essays. As I have seen but one, I suljoin his description. He says, “In one of the copies now before me the Essays contain 102 pages, the Wisdom of the Ancients 105 pages, and a list of Errata is appended to each. In the other copy the Essays comprise 112 pages, the last of which is blank; the Wisdom of the Ancients 126 pages only, and there is no list of Errata. Beside the changes in the titles of the Essays, there are also some in the titles of the chapters in the Wisdom of the Ancients; and it is probable that the text of the version is also revised, but I have not collated it.”
The French translation published in 1619 was by Sir Arthur Gorges.
But the only translation to which any importance can bo attached, as having in a great measure the impress of Bacon's authority, is the Latin. From the dedication of the third edition it is evident that, at the time it was written, Bacon had in course of preparation a Latin translation of the Essays, which it appears to have been his intention to have published immediately, probably as part of the volume of which we find the entry in the books of Stationers' Hall, on the 4th of April, 1625, but which he did not live to bring out. The entry is as follows: “ Mrs Griffin. Jo. Havilond. Entred for their coppie under the hands of Doctr Wilson and Mathewes Lownes warden A booke called Operum Francisci Baronis Verulami Vice Comitis Sancti Albani by Sr Fran: Bacon.” This was probably intended to be the second volume of his works, the De Augmentis being the first, and to have contained what were afterwards published by his chaplain, Dr. Rawley, in 1638, under the title Operum Moralium et Civilium Tomus. Among these were the Essays in their Latin dress : “ Sermones fideles, sive interiora rerum. Per Franciscum Bacomum Baronem de Verulamio, Vice-Comitem Sancti Albani.” The question then arises, by whom was the translation made ? Internal cvidence is sufficient to shew that it was the work of several hands, but it is impossible from this alone to assign to each his work. Archbishop Tenison, in his Baconiana (pp. 60, 61, ed. 1679) says of the Essays: “The Latine Translation of them was a Work performed by divers Hands; by those of Doctor Hacket (late Bishop of Lichfield) Mr. Benjamin Johnson (the learned and judicious Poet) and some others, whose Names I once heard from Dr. Rawley; but I cannot now recal them. To this Latine Edition, he gave the Title of Sermones Fideles, after the manner of the Jews, who call'd the words Adagies, or Observations of the Wise, Faithful Sayings ; that is, credible Propositions worthy of firm Assent, and ready Acceptance. And (as I think) he alluded more particularly, in this Title, to a passage in Ecclesiastes, where the Preacher saith that he sought to find out Verba Delectabilia, (as Tre