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In the year 1735, an English edition of the Philosophical Works was published by Dr. Shaw, a great admirer of the philosophy of Lord Bacon, and intimately acquainted with his writings. This edition
does not contain the whole works of Lord BaconIt does not contain any of the Latin Philosophical Works, although the preface says, "there has been a difference of opinion as to the merits of Lord Bacon, principally owing to this, that in this country we read only the English, and foreigners only the Latin Works of the Author."-It does not even profess to contain correct translations.-The translations are not good of those parts which are attempted to be translated; and the arrangement and titles of various parts are not the works of Lord Bacon, but fancied improvements by the editor (c) Upon the
(c) Dr. Shaw's Preface.
The method observed in thus rendering them into English, is not that of a direct translation; but a kind of open version, &c.
The liberty sometimes taken, not of abridging (for just and perfect writings are incapable of abridgment,) but of dropping or leaving out some part of the author's writings, may require greater excuse. But this was done to shorten the works, &c.
I subjoin the following specimen of translations:
Advancement of Learning. The honest and just bounds of observation, by one person upon another, extend no farther but to understand him sufficiently, whereby not to give him offence, or whereby to be able to give him faithful counsel, or whereby to stand upon reasonable guard and caution in respect of a man's self; but to be speculative into another man, to the end to know how to work him, or wind
him, or govern him, proceedeth from a heart that is double and cloven, and not entire and inge
Dr. Shaw's Translation. The honest and just limits of observation in one person upon another, extend no farther than to understand him sufficiently so as to give him no offence, or to be able to counsel him or to stand upon reasonable guard and caution with respect to a man's self: but to pry deep into another man, to learn to work, wind, or govern him, proceeds from a double heart.
haste in which the octavo edition was printed, it is unnecessary to make any observation.
With the hope to remedy these defects; to rectify the arrangement, and to supply a translation of the whole Instauration, this prospectus is most respectfully submitted to public consideration. " Men,' says Lord Bacon, "have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natu"ral curiosity, and inquisitive appetite: sometimes "to entertain their minds with variety and delight : "sometimes for ornament and reputation: and some"times to enable them to victory of wit and contra"diction; and most times for lucre and profession; " and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason to the benefit and use of man: as if
Specimens of Dr. Shaw's Variation, from Lord Bacon's arrangement and Titles.
The Essays by Dr. Shaw are without any of the dedications; are not the English of Lord Bacon, and are arranged into-1. Moral2. Economical-and 3. Political: which arrangement is not by Lord Bacon, but by Dr. Shaw.
The treatise "De Augmentis," instead of being divided according to Lord Bacon's division into nine books, is divided into twentynine sections, with a title to each section.
Dr. Shaw has divided the Novum Organum into sections. Without enquiring whether the work is or is not susceptible of this division, it is sufficient to say that it is the division of Dr. Shaw, and not of Lord Bacon. It may, perhaps, be worth observing, that in a small 12mo. edition, which was published in 1818, the editor has followed the division of Dr. Shaw, without a continuation of the numbers of Lord Bacon's Aphorisms This will appear by referring to page 13 and 39.
The following are instances of altered titles :
there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a "terras for a wandering and variable mind to walk
up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of "state for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a "fort or commanding ground, for strife and conten❝tion; or a shop for profit or sale; and not a rich "store-house for the glory of the Creator, and the "relief of man's estate. But this is that which will "indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contempla"tion and action may be more nearly and straightly conjoined and united together than they have been: "a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplantion; and Jupiter, the planet of civil society " and action: how beit, I do not mean, when I speak "of use and action, that end before mentioned of the "applying knowledge to lucre and profession: for "I am not ignorant how much that diverteth and "interrupteth the prosecution and advancement of "knowledge, like unto the golden ball thrown before Atalanta, which, while she goeth aside and stoopeth "to take it up, the race is hindered:
"Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit."
These volumes are not published from the hope of pecuniary gain, but, with a certainty of great expense to the editor, from a desire to complete an edition of Lord Bacon's works worthy of the age in which we live, a desire in which the Editor trusts that the friends of literature will participate, and particularly the admirers of him who left "his name and memory to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations and the next ages."
I. This Work will be printed in the best manner upon superfine laid paper, demy 8vo and will be comprised, as nearly as can be ascertained, in twelve volumes, each containing about four hundred and eighty pages.
II. Each volume will be charged to Subscribers 8s. in extra boards. III. The first volume containing the Advancement of Learning, &c. will be published on the 10th of May, 1825; and will be continued on the 10th of every alternate month, until the work be completed.
IV. To the work will be prefixed a Life of Lord Bacon, and an examination of his Writings, Portraits, Fac-similes, &c.
V. One hundred copies will be printed on the finest imperial paper, forming a magnificent library edition, price 11. 1s. each volume: Subscribers to the large paper must engage to take the whole work.
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