« VorigeDoorgaan »
" from the same Shepherd [of the Flock of Israel.”] And of this tranlation, Bacon speaks in the following letter.
“ To Mr. TOBIE MATTHEW." “ It is true, my labours are now most set to have " those works, which I had formerly published, as " that of Advancement of Learning, that of Hen. VII. " that of the Essays, being retractate, and made more perfect, well translated into Latin by the
help of some good pens, which forsake me not. “ For these modern languages will, at one time or “other, play the bankrupt with books: and since I “ have lost much time with this age, I would be
glad, as God shall give me leave, to recover it with " posterity.
“ For the Essay of Friendship, while I took your speech of it for a cursory request, I took my pro“ mise for a compliment. But since you call for it, “ I shall perform it.
In his letter* to Father Fulgentio giving some account of his writings, he says, “ The Novum Or
ganum should immediately follow, but my Moral “ and Political writings step in between as being
more finished. These are the History of King Henry the Seventh, and the small Book, which in “ your language you have called Saggi Morali, but “I give it a graver title, that of Sermones Fideles, “ or Interiora Rerum, and these Essays will not "only be enlarged in number but still more in “ substance.”
Baconiana, page 196.
I have annexed an Appendix* containing “ A
“ " fragment of an Essay of Fame,” which was published by Dr. Rawley in his Resuscitatio: and “Of a
King,"+ which was published in 1618, in a volume entitled “ Remains," which also contains an Essay “ On Death." This Essay I have inserted in page 432 of this volume. I
During the life of Bacon, various editions of the Essays were published and in different languages, in 1618, in Italian:8 in 1619, in French :|| in 1621, in Italian, and in French.**
Since Lord Bacon's death, the press has abounded with editions. In some of these editions the editors have substituted their own translations of the Latin for the beautiful English by Lord Bacon.
+ There is a manuscript of this Essay in the Lansdown Collection, B. Museum 135, 6. In Blackburn's edition of Bacon's Works, published in 1640, he says, “ I have inserted " from the Remains, an Essay of a King: and my reason is, it " is so collater and corrected by Archbishop Sancroft's well “ known hand, that it appears to be a new work; and though " it consists of short propositions mostly, yet I will be so pre“sumptuous as to say, that I think it now breathes the true
spirit of our author; and there seems to be an obvious reason " why it was omitted before."
There is a MS, of this in the Harleiam MS. Vol. II. p. 196. $ Essays, Italice, 8vo. B. Museum and Oxford. || Essays Moraux, par Gorges. B. Museum and Oxford.
Saggi Morali, opera nuova de F. Bacon corretta a data en luce dal Sig. Andr: Croli et un tributo, 24mo. B. Museum.
** Essais trad. en Francois, par Bandouin, 16mo. Paris. B. Museum.
How well they have succeeded the reader may judge by the following specimens. In a translation published by William H. Willymott, L. L. D. A. D. 1720, he says, “ Wanting an English Book for my Scholars “ to Translate, which might improve them in Sense " and Latin at once, (Two Things which should
never be divided in Teaching) I thought nothing “ more proper for that purpose than Bacon's Essays,
provided the English, which is in some Places “ grown obsolete, were a little reformed, and made “ more fashionable. Accordingly having by me his “ Lordship's Latin Volume of the Essays, (which as “ it was a later, so seems to be a perfecter Book) I “ fell to Translating it, not tying myself strictly to “ the Latin, but comparing both Languages toge" ther, and setting down that Sense (where there
was any Difference) that seem'd the fullest and « plainest.” The following is a specimen : Dr. Ilillymott.
Lord Bacon. “ The principal Virtue “ But to speak in a “ of Prosperity, is Tem- “ mean, the virtue of
perance; of Adversity, “ prosperity is temper“ Fortitude; which in “ ance, the virtue of ad“ Morals is reputed the versity is fortitude, “ most heroical Virtue. “ which in morals is the
Again, Prosperity be- more heroical virtue. “ longs to the Blessings Prosperi'y is the bless“ of the Old Testament; ing of the Old Testa
Adversity to the Bea- ment, adversity is the " titudes of the Sew, blessing of the New,
“ which carrieth the Reality greater, and greater benediction,
carry a clearer Reve- “ and the clearer revela“ lation of the Divine “ tion of God's favour. “ Favour. Yet, even in
“ Yet even in the Old “ the Old Testament, if « Testament, if
listen to David's “ listen to David's harp, Harp, you'll find more you shall hear as many “ lamentable Airs, than “ herse-like airs as caTriumphant ones."
" rols." So too Shaw has made a similar attempt, of which the following is a specimen from the Essay “ Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature.” Lord Bacon.
Dr. Shaw. “ The parts and signs
« There are several “ of goodness are many."parts and signs of good“ If a man be gracious and ness. If a man be civil “ courteous to strangers,
“ and courteous to stran« it shews he is a citizen
gers, it shews him a “ of the world, and that citizen of the world, « his heart is no island cut “ whose heart is no island “ off from other lands, but “ cut off from other lands, “ a continent that joins to “ but a continent that “ them; if he be compas
joins them. If he be “ sionate towards the af- compassionate to the “ flictions of others, it afflicted, it shews a « shews that his heart is “ noble soul, like the “ like the noble tree that “ tree which is wounded “ is wounded itself when “ when it gives the balm. “ it gives the balm : if he “ If he easily pardons
easily pardons and re- “ and forgives offences, it
“ mits offences, it shews “shews a mind perched " that his mind is planted “ above the reach of inju" above injuries, so that
“ ries. If he be thankful “ he cannot be shot; if he “ for small benefits, it “ be thankful for small “ shews he values men's “ benefits, it shews that “minds before their trea“ he weighs men's minds,
sure.” " and not their trash."
$ 2. MEDITATIONES SACRÆ. The first and, I believe, the only edition of this tract which was published in Latin by Lord Bacon, appeared in 1597. During his life, and since his death, it has been frequently reprinted. If the reader will compare the Meditation upon Atheism, in page 215, with the Essay on Atheism, page 53, and his observation upon Atheism, in page 13 of vol. 2, he will see that these Meditations are but the seeds of his opinions upon this important subject. The sentiments and the very words are similar. In the Meditations, he says, “ This I dare affirm in knowledge “ of nature, that a little natural philosophy, and " the first entrance into it, doth dispose the opinion “ to atheism ; but on the other side, much natural
philosophy and wading deep into it will bring about “ men's minds to religion ; wherefore atheism every
way seems to be joined and combined with folly “ and ignorance, seeing nothing can be more justly “ allotted to be the saying of fools, than this, • There " is no God.'”
In the Advancement of Learning, he says, “ It