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UNDER the date 5 Feb. 1596 the following entry oc. curs in the books of the Stationers' Company. “Hüfrey Hooper. Entred for his copie under thandes of Mr Fri Bacon Mr D Stanhope Mr Barlowe, and Mr War. den Dawson,a booke intituled Essaies Religious medi. tations, places of perswasion and diswasion by Mr Fr. Bacon.” This was the first edition of Bacon's Essays. They were published in a small 8vo. volume, of which the full title is as follows: “Essayes. Religious Medi. tations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. Seene and allowed. At London, Printed
for Humfrey Hooper, and are to be sold at the blacke Beare in Chauncery Lane. 1597.” The dedication to Antony Bacon occupies three pages. Then follow the table of Contents and the Essays, ten in number; 1. Of studie.
2. Of dis. 3. Of Ceremonies and respects.
4. Of fol. lowers and friends. 5. Sutors. 6. Of expence. 7. Of Regiment of health. 8. Of Honour and reputation. 9. Of Faction. 10. Of Negociating. The Essays occupy thirteen folios, and are followed by the “Medi. tationes Sacra," or Religious Meditations, in Latin,
consisting of 15 folios besides the title, and these by “The Coulers of Good and euill," which are the
places of perswasion and dissuasion” already men. tioned. The numbering of the folios in the last two is consecutive, 32 in all. This volume was dedicated by Bacon to his brother Anthony in the following Epistle.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE
To M. Anthony Bacon
his deare Brother.
Louing and beloued Brother, I doe nowe like some that haue 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 aduēture 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 discreation to publish them my selfe as, they passed long agoe from my pen, without any fur. ther 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 bee of some nature) from the world, as in obtruding them: So in these particulars I haue played my selfe 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) medicinable. Only I disliked now to put them out because they will
bee 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 needles 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 (1 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, & I mought be with excuse confined to these contemplations & Studies for which I am fittest, 50 commend I you to the preseruation of the diuine Maiestie. From my Chamber at Graies Inne this 30. of Ianuarie. 1597.
Your entire Louing brother.
The date of this letter, if not a printer's error, is evidently intended to be 1596–7, according to the then reckoning of the civil year, which began on the 25th of March. We have the entry at Stationers' Hall on Feb. 5; a memorandum on the title page of the copy in the British Museum that it was sold on the 7th of Feb., 39 Eliz. (i.e. 1596–7); and a letter of Anthony Bacon's to the Earl of Essex, written on the 8th of Feb. 1596, which appears to have accompanied a presentation copy of the Essays. There are MSS. of this edition in the British Museum (Lansd. MSS. 775), and the Cam. bridge Univ. Lib. (Nn. 4. 5). The latter I have
i Coined for the first time in 1582-3, and used without in. terruption till 1601. See Folkes, Table of English Silver Coins, p. 57, ed. 1745.
the i dress stabe
printed in the Appendix. A fragment containing the essays ‘Of Faction' and 'Of Negotiatinge' is in the Harleian collection (no. 6797). In 1598 a second edi. tion was published by Humfrey Hooper, also in small 8vo, differing from the first in having the Meditations in English, and the table of Contents of the Essays at the back of the title page. A pirated edition was printed for John Jaggard in 1606, and in 1612 he was pre. paring another reprint, when the second author's edition appeared. In consequence of this, Jaggard cancelled the last two leaves of quire G, and in their place sub. stituted “the second part of Essaies," which contains all the additional Essays not printed in the edition of 1597. On the authority of a MS. list by Malone Mr Singer mentions an edition in 1604, but I have found no other trace of it.
During the summer of the year 1612 Bacon himself had prepared and printed, in a small 8vo. volume of 241 pages, a second edition of the Essays by themselves, in which the original ten, with the exception of that
Of Honour and reputation,” were altered and enlarged, and twenty.nine new Essays added. The title of this second edition is; “ The Essaies of S. Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Solliciter Generall. Imprinted at London by John Beale, 1612." It was entered at Stationers' Hall on the 12th of October, as follows. “ W“ Hall, John Beale. Entred for their copy under the handes of my Lo: Bysshopp of London & the Wardens A booke called The Essayes of 5' Fr• Bacon knight the Ks Sollicitor gen'all." It was Bacon's in. tention to have dedicated it to Prince Henry, and the dedication was actually written, but in consequence of
the Prince's death on the 6th of November, it was addressed instead to his brother in law Sir John Constable. A copy of the dedication to Prince Henry exists in the British Museum (Birch MSS. 4259, fol, 155), and is written on a single leaf which appears on examination to have belonged to an imperfect MS. of the Essays, preserved among the Harleian MSS. (no. 5106), which Mr Spedding describes as “a volume undoubtedly authentic; for it contains interlineations in Bacon's own hand; and transcribed some time between 1607, when Bacon became Solicitor-general, and 1612, when he brought out a new edition of the Essays with further additions and alterations. It is unluckily not quite perfect; one leaf at least, if not more, having been lost at the beginning; though otherwise in excellent preservation.
“ The title page, which remains, bears the following inscription, very handsomely written in the old English character, with flourished capitals: The writings of Sr Francis Bacon Knt. the Kinge's Sollicitor Generall : in Moralitie, Policie, and Historie.” (Bacon's Works, VI. p. 535).
The Essays in this MS. are thirty-four in number, and include two, Of Honour and Reputation" and “Of Seditions and Troubles,” which are not contained in the edition of 1612, while in the printed edition six new Essays were added, “Of Religion,” “ Of Cun. ning,” * Of Loue,” “Of Iudicature,” Of vaine glory," and "
Of greatnes of Kingdomes." It is to this MS. I have referred in the notes, when quoting the
? Sir John Constable married Dorothy Barnham the sister of Lady Bacon.