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taining the tract so called, being the same that is called Places of Perswasion and Disswasion in the general title. The Meditationes Sacrae are printed in the Italie letter; the Essays and Colours in the Roman. On the back of the last leaf are the words“ Printed at London by John Windet for Humfrey Hooper. 1597."*
We may observe, that, notwithstanding the date 1597, it is most probable that the volume really appeared in the early part of what we should now call
the year 1598. The Essays are inscribed by the author " To M. Anthony Bacon, his deare Brother;" the Dedication being dated “ From my chamber at Graies Inne this 30 of Januarie. 1597.” This would mean January, 1598, according to the then usual mode of computation.
There is another edition of the same collection with exactly the same title-page, except only that the date is 1598. It may have appeared, therefore, either in the same year with the former or in the beginning of the year 1599. It is in 12mo., and the page is of a smaller size than in the former. Only the leaves, of which there are 50, are numbered. It is not so neatly, printed as the edition marked 1597; but the chief difference is, that the Religious Meditations are now in English. They in particular are full of the grossest misprints—all of which have been carefully preserved in Mr. Montagu's edition.
The only other known impression of the same collection (having also the Meditations in English) is a small 8vo.,“ printed at London for John Jaggard, dwelling in Fleete Streete, at the hande and Starre, near Temple Barre. 1606.” The date of the Dedication is also altered
* Mr. Montagu says that the Religious Meditations are not printed, as the Essays' are, for Hooper. But in the next sentence but one he says, “Although the name of Hooper does not appear in the title prefixed to the Meditationes Sacrae,' it is evident that Windet was the printer for Hooper." The first or general title-page shows clearly enough that the entire volume was printed for Hooper. Mr. Montagu also expresses himself as if the Places of Perswasion and Disswasion' were a second title of the 'Religious Meditations.'
to 1606; and Mr. Montagu considers this to be a pirated edition.
The Essays, as they stand in these three first editions, are only ten in number; but several of the twelve Meditations are the rudimentary forms of compositions afterwards inserted among the Essays.
The next edition that has been discovered is dated 1612, and contains 38 Essays ; namely, nine of those formerly published (the 8th, entitled Of Honour and Reputation,' being omitted), and 29 new ones. Of the nine that are reprinted, also, several are considerably enlarged. The Table of Contents enumerates 40 Essays; but the two last, entitled 'Of the Public,' and 'Of War and Peace,' are not given.
The Fifth edition, also dated 1612, appears to be another piracy of Jaggard's. It contains 39 Essays; namely, the lo formerly printed (but without the enlargements), and the 29 new ones. It has likewise the Religious Meditations, and the Places of Persuasion and Dissuasion.
The Sixth edition is also by Jaggard, and is dated 1613. It is a transcript of the Fourth edition, with the addition of the Essay Of Honour and Reputation,' there omitted. It contains, therefore, the same 39 Essays as the Fifth edition, but differently arranged, and with several of them extended and altered.
The Seventh is an Edinburgh edition, printed for Andro Hart, and dated 1614. It is a copy of the last mentioned.
The Eighth edition, dated 1624, is printed for Elizabeth Jaggard (probably Jaggard's widow), and is also copied from the edition of 1613. These three last-mentioned editions all contain the Meditations and the Places of Persuasion and Dissuasion, as well as the Essays.
The Ninth edition, the last published in Bacon's lifetime, is a small quarto of 340 pages, entitled : The Essayes or Counsels, Civell and Moralí, of Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban. Newly enlarged. London, Printed by John Haviland for Hanna Barret and Richard Whitaker, and are to be sold at the signe of the King's head in Paul's Churchyard. 1625.' It contains 58 Essays; namely, the 38 published in the Fourth edition, and 20 additional ones. Several of those formerly published have also new titles, and are otherwise altered.*
In the original Dedication of the Essays to “Mr. Anthony Bacon, his dear Brother," Bacon says, “ Loving and Beloved Brother, I do now like some that have an orchard ill neighboured; that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to prevent stealing. These fragments of my conceits were going to print; to labour the stay of them had been troublesome, and subject to interpretation ;t to let them pass
had been to adventure, the wrong they might receive by untrue copies, or by some garnishment which it might please any that should set them forth to bestow upon them.” From this it may be inferred that, as was then common, they had already been for some time circulating in manuscript. He goes on to speak of them as having passed long ago from his pen, and intimates that they are now published as they were originally written. And in this statement, it should be observed, he seems to refer to all the contents of the little volume—to the Meditations and the Colours of Good and Evil, as well as to the Essays.
The short address concludes with an expression of strong affection, which is further interesting for a disclosure, at this early date, "of what appears to have been Bacon's conviction in regard to his own true sphere at the close as well as at the outset of his public life. In the depth of their reciprocal love, he says to his brother,
* We have abstracted the notices of the last six of these editions, as well as we could, from Mr. Montagu's detailed account, 'Life,' note 3 1. But in his tabular comparison of the edition of 1625 with the regular edition of 1612, he makes the 1st Essay of the former to be the same with the 1st of the latter, whereas it is quite different and new; the 3rd of the former to be new, whereas it corresponds in great part to the 1st of the latter; and the 29th of the former to be new, whereas it is an extension of the 38th of the latter.
† That is, as we should now say, to misconstruction. * To risk.
" I assure you, I sometimes wish your infirmities translated upon myself, that her Majesty might have the service of so active and able a mind; and I might be, with excuse, confined to these contemplations and studies, for which I am the fittest.” Mr. Anthony Bacon, who was a person of great ability and accomplishment, was most of his life so afflicted with gout as to incapacitate him for walking, and died in 1601 or 1602. When the Essays were republished in 1612, increased to four times their original number and extent, but without the Meditations and the Colours of Good and Evil, the former of which had been now mostly turned into Essays, while the latter tract was reserved to be incorporated in the De Augmentis Scientiarum, Bacon dedicated them to Sir John Constable, who was married to a sister of Lady Bacon's. He says, My last
Essays I dedicated to my dear brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Looking amongst my papers this vacation, I found others of the same nature ; which if I myself shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the world will not, by the often printing of the former.” These last words may lead us to suspect that Jaggard's edition of 1606 (supposed to be pirated) had not been the only re-impression of the former Essays after their first appearance in 1597 or 1598, although no other intermediate edition is now known.
It appears from a letter first published in Stephens's Second Collection ('Letters and Remains,' 4to., Lond. 1734), that Bacon had originally designed to dedicate this 1612 edition to Henry Prince of Wales, who died on the 6th of November in that year. The book, therefore, we may infer did not come out till towards the end of the year, or perhaps not till after the beginning of 1613. The letter is in fact the intended Dedication to the Prince.“ Having," Bacon begins, " 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." The Essays he goes on to describe as only “brief notes, set down rather significantly than anxiously.” “ The word,” he continues, " is late, but the thing is ancient ; for Seneca's Epistles to Lucilius, if you mark them well, are but Essays, that is, dispersed meditations, though conveyed in the form of Epistles.” As for the present compositions, he adds, he has “ 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.”
It was Bacon's practice to improve and make additions to the Essays throughout his life. In the letter to Bishop. Andrews prefixed to his tract entitled • An Advertisement touching an Holy War,' which was written in 1622, he says, after speaking of his other writings :“ As for my Essays, and some other particulars of that nature, I count them but as the recreations of my other studies, and in that sort purpose to continue them ; though I am not ignorant that those kind of writings would, with less pains and embracement, perhaps, yield more lustre and reputation to my name than those other which I have in hand." From what has been stated it will be seen that the successive forms which the work assumed as published by the author are to be found in the three editions of 1597 (or 1598), of 1612 (the regular edition of that date), and of 1625. The last-mentioned edition is dedicated to the potent royal favourite, Villiers Duke of Buckingham, between whom and Bacon the most intimate alliance had subsisted from the first appearance of the former at court. Having dedicated his Instauration to the King, and his History of Henry the Seventh, as also his portions of Natural History (meaning certain tracts in what is called the Third Part of the Instauratio Magna) to the Prince (that is Prince Charles, afterwards Charles I.), Bacon informs his grace that he now dedicates the Essays to him; “ being,” he says,
6 of the best fruits that, by the good increase which God gives to my pen and labours, I could yield.” Of all his other works, he observes, they have been the most current; “ for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms." And he has enlarged them, he states, “ both in number and weight; so that they are indeed a new work.” " I thought it there