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Bacon must be prepared for a demand on the most frenuous intellettual effort of which he is capable if he would scale the heights, or plumb the depths, or explore the vast reaches of the thinking herein set before bim. Unless there are meditative pauses for reflection and mastery, much will be loft. Another distinctive characteristic is the inestimably perfect literary workmanship. Here is no mere artisan of words, but an artist of cunningest faculty. This is observable in even the bits of historical narrative that will be found in our little book, and may well read a lesson to present-day Natternness and Noven liness of English. These two elements unite to lift a reader up; for there is no Speaking down to him in all the pages of Bacon if he be unwilling to be lifted up.
I have of set purpose chosen a considerable number of the seleétions from the historical and narrative writings of Bacon, e.g., I could not hesitate to give in full his judgment and estimate of Queen Elizabeth.
The judgment and estimate of such a man of such a woman is what ought to be known universally as corrective of jaundiced or pallow mil-estimates that are current. Nor are his judgments and estimates of the
ancients of leser value, e.g., it is instructive to weigh the things that Bacon seleets in proof of the surpasing greatness of Alexander the Great—not mere exploits or victories, but criteria of his intelle Et. Similarly, even minor names grow lustrous in his marvellous phrasing-much as a poor scrap of broken glass under the sun's rays Sparkles on the brown earth as though it were a diamond.
I do not think that a single quotation in this sender book is without distinction of some Baconian kind. Even the briefest has been deliberatively chofen.
I have not drawn very largely on the immortal • Ejays. Whoever has
books at all, or at least anything of Bacon, has these. Esays.' I the more readily, therefore, limited myself to three complete Elays and a few pearls,' not at random strung.' The Confession of Faith I felt must go in unmutilated at all hazards.
Our extracts are mainly from what his ultimate editor, James Spedding, has designated his Literary Works. His PHILOSOPHICAL and LEGAL writings had to be almost wholly put out for the present. Nevertheless Space has been made for a few choice things from them. It is disappointing that in relation to his · legal' treatises and
advices' his plan' and 'platform of service to be rendered by the profession remain unfulfilled. For myself, his legal writings, as much as his philosophical, reveal the wonder of riches of his mind. Ceke was a mere pettifogger beside him, and knew it. So, too, his great. Speeches '--wherein he so won the praise of rare Ben'—and bis abundant Letters' have been relu&tantly all but put aside. The reader of his Nightes Letter who takes time to ponder will be struck and rewarded by pondering the thought and the fineness of workmanship lavished on it. Specially let the charming Epistles-dedicatory be studied.
My text has been throughout Spedding, Ellis and Heath's monumental edition of the Works.
It seems expedient to remind readers that the following book removed finally from Bacon the long mis-aligned and misunderstood and malignantly used Christian Paradoxes '-'Lord Bacon not the Author of “The Christian Paradoxes," being a reprint of “ Memorials of Godliness and Christianity," by Herbert Palmer, B.D., with Introduktion, Memoir and Notes,' 1865 (pp. viii., 126). Finally, I cannot help expressing my sense of the discredit due to our literature by the continuous quotation of Pope's perverse couplet on the great if human Chancellor, as though it were true, whereas it was out and out false. The wrong is the more inexcufable inasmuch as Spence's Anecdotes' revealed that Pope did not believe his own couplet ; only it was too smart and good a thing to be suppressed.