« VorigeDoorgaan »
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 together, and setting down that sense (where there was any difference) that seemed the fullest and plainest.”
The following is a specimen :
"The principal virtue of prosperity is temperance; of adversity, fortitude; which in morals is reputed the most heroical virtue. Again, prosperity belongs to the blessings of the Old Testament; adversity to the beatitudes of the New, which are both in reality greater, and carry a clearer revelation of the divine favour. Yet, even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you will find more lamentable airs than triumphant ones."
"But to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet, even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many herselike airs as carols."
So too Shaw has made a similar attempt, of which the following is a specimen from the Essay" Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature :"
"The parts and signs of goodness are many. If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shews he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them; if he be compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shews that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the balm: if he easily pardons and remits offences, it shews that his mind is planted above injuries, so that he cannot be shot; if he be thankful for small benefits, it shews that he weighs men's minds, and not their trash."
"There are several parts and signs of goodness. If a man be civil and courteous to strangers, it shews him a citizen of the world, whose heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins them. If he be compassionate to the afflicted, it shews a noble soul, like the tree which is wounded when it gives the balm. If he easily pardons and forgives offences, it shews a mind perched above the reach of injuries. If he be thankful for small benefits, it shews he values men's minds before their treasure."
Dr. Shaw, in his preface, says, A modern well-wisher to his works had said that the English edition of the Essays may be as durable as the Latin edition, if some equal hand would, once in a century, repair the decays of their fleeting language.' Dr. Shaw has not contented himself with an alteration of the style, but has altered the arrangement of the essays, by classing them into
Essays Moraux. Tres Honorable Seigneur Francois Bacon Chevalier Baron de Verulam et grand Chancelier d'Angleterre traduites in Francois par le Sieur Arthur Georges, Chevalier Anglois. Scutura invincibile Fides. A Londres, chez Tenor Bell, 1619.
Essays Politques et Moraux de Messire Francois Bacon, Grand Chancelier d'Angleteire mis en notre langue par C. Baudouin. A Paris, chez Francois Tulhot au pied des ponts degres du Palais, au soleil d'or. MDCXXXI. privilege du Roy.
Post Nubila Surget Memoriæ Sacrum. Les Oevvres Morales et Politiques de Messire Francois Bacon, grand Chancelier d'Angleterre de la version de Ï. Baudoin. M.D.C.XXVI. A Paris chez Pierre Bucolet Francois Targa au Palais a lentree de la galerie des Priers.
In the Essay of Unity in Religion, Lord Bacon, in his English edition, says, "What would he have said, if he had known of the massacre in France, or the Powder Treason of England?" In this edition it is thus translated: "Mais qu'eust il dict s'il eust scen les sanglantes executions, et les horribles entreprises advenües de nostre temps pour ce mesme sujet ?" This volume also contains the translation of some of the apothegms: upon examining those which are omitted, it will be seen how cautiously every apothegm has been avoided in which a cardinal or pope is mentioned.
Oeuvres de François Bacon, Chancelier d'Angleterre. Traduites par Ant. Lasalle. Avec des notes critiques, historiques et litteraires. Tome douzieme. · A Dijon, de l'Imprimerie de L. N. Frantin. An. 10 de la Republique Française.
Saggi Morali del Signore Francesco Bacono, Cavagliero Inglese, Gran Canceliero de Inchilterra. Con un altro suo Trattato della Sapienza degli Antichi. Tradotti in Italiano. In Londra appresso di Ciovani Billio. 1618.
Saggi Morali Opera Nuova di Francesco Bacon, Corretta, et data in luce del Sig. Cavalier Andrea Cioli Segretario di Stato del Sereniss. Gran Duca di Toscana, et un Trattato della Sapienza de gli Antichi all illustris et excel. Sig. D. Francesco Colonna Principe de Palestina, &c. Ristampata in Bracciano per Andrea Fei. An licenza de Sup. 1621. Ad custanza di Pompilio Totti Librario in Navona.
Sette Saggi Morali Del Sig. Caualier Francesco Buccone non più veduti, e tradotti nell' Italiano. Con trentaquatro Esplicationi d'attretante Sentenze di Salomone. Con Licenza de' Superiori, & Priuilegio. In Venetia. Appresso Gitolamo Piuti. Al monte Parnaso. 1626.
Lord Bacon's Essays. London, printed by Bensley, 1798. 12mo. Four large paper copies printed exclusively for the Countess Spencer. These four copies were presented by Lady Spencer, one to the late Duke of Devonshire, one to the late Rev. C. M. Cracherode, a third to the late Mr. James, and the fourth to his lordship. Ædes Althorpianæ, vol. i. p. 104. A copy, stated to be that of Mr. James, in the catalogue of Payne and Foss, 1823, Supplement, marked 81.8s.
It is a fact not unworthy of notice. The first book published in Philadelphia consists partly of the volume of Essays. It is entitled The Temple of Wisdom," printed by William Bradford, Philadelphia, 1688.
3 K. Life, p. xxxvii.
All his early tracts, those which seem to have been written by him when a boy, are without imagery. See his treatise on Rhetoric, in the Advancement of Learning, vol. ii. p. 210. See also his praise of writing in Aphorisms, vol. ii. P. 203. It appears, therefore, that in after life he had recourse to method and ornament to insure reception for the truths which he was anxious to communicate. It may, however, be thought that this imagery had not, as in many poets, precedency in his mind, but followed in the train of his reason, and was used merely as a mode of illustrating the truths which he wishes to explain. To illustrate this, take (vol. ii. p. 51) the following passage: "But the greatest error of all the rest, is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge; for men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge,
sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; 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 men: as if 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 contention; or a shop, for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse, for the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's estate." Upon examining this extract, it will appear that the truth is first conveyed, and that the imagery is appended to enforce it by decoration.
Different parts of his works contain his sentiments upon imagination. In the conclusion of his tract on Poesy, he says, "But it is not good to stay too long in the theatre. Let us now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, which we are to approach and view with more reverence and attention." And in the preface to the Sylva Sylvarum, Dr. Rawley says, "I will conclude with an usual speech of his lordship's, that this work of his Natural History is the world as God made it, and not as men have made it; for that it hath nothing of imagination."
That his favourite style for philosophy was in Aphorisms, see his treatise on style in the Advancement of Learning, page 203 of vol. ii. of this edition. See also his Novum Organum, vol. ix. page 191, which is entirely in Aphorisms, and his tract on Justitia Universalis, in the Treatise de Augmentis, vol. ix. page 83.
3 L. Life, p. xli.
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 is an assured truth, and a conclusion of experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheism, but a further proceeding therein doth bring the mind back again to religion; for in the entrance of philosophy, when the second causes, which are next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce some oblivion of the highest cause; but when a man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence of causes, and the works of Providence, then, according to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe that the highest link of nature's chain must needs be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair."
Upon this subject Lord Bacon's sentiments seemed to have been formed at an early period of his life, and to have continued to his death. In the "Meditationes Sacræ," a portion of his Meditation on Atheism is as follows: -Of Atheism. "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." First, it is to be noted that the scripture saith, "The fool hath said in his heart, and not thought in his heart." It is a fool that hath so said in his heart, which is most true; not only in respect that he hath no taste in those things which are supernatural and divine, but in respect of human and civil wisdom; for, first of all, if you mark the wits and dispositions which are inclined to atheism, you shall find them light, scoffing, impudent, and vain; briefly, of such a constitution as is most contrary to wisdom and moral gravity. Secondly, amongst statesmen and politics those which have been of greatest depths and compass, and of largest and most universal underderstanding, have not only in cunning made their profit in seeming religious to the people, but in truth have been touched with an inward sense of the knowledge of
the Deity, as they which you shall evermore note to have attributed much to fortune and providence. Contrariwise, those who ascribed all things to their own cunning and practices, and to the immediate and apparent causes, and as the prophet saith, have sacrificed to their own nets," have been always but petty counterfeit statesmen, and not capable of the greatest actions. Lastly, 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."
The first edition of his Essays, which was published with the Meditationes Sacra, in 1597, does not contain any essay upon Atheism. The next time the subject is mentioned by Lord Bacon is in 1605, in the passage which I have just quoted from the Advancement of Learning.
In 1612, Lord Bacon published an enlarged edition of his Essays, and in this edition there is an essay on Atheism, containing the very same sentiments; and in 1625, the year before his death, he published another edition of his Essays, in which there are additions and alterations, and considerable improvements of the essay on Atheism, but a repetition of the same opinions. He says, in his sixteenth essay, which is "Of Atheism," "I had rather believe all the fables in the legend and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind; and therefore God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true that a little philosophy inclines man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to providence and deity."
My singular good Lord,-Your lordship's so honourable minding my poor fortune, the last year, in the very entrance into that great action, (which is a time of less leisure; and in so liberal an allowance of your care, as to write three letters to stir me up friends in your absence, doth, after a sort, warrant me not to object to myself your present quantity of affairs, whereby to silence myself from petition of the like favour. I brake with your lordship myself at the Tower; and I take it, my brother hath since renewed the same motion, touching a fortune I was in thought to attempt, in genere aconomico. In genere politico, certain cross winds have blown contrary. My suit to your lordship is, for your several letters to be left with me, dormant, to the gentlewoman and either of her parents. Wherein I do not doubt, but as the beams of your favour have often dissolved the coldness of my fortune, so in this argument your lordship will do the like with your pen. My desire is also, that your lordship would vouchsafe unto me, as out of your care, a general letter to my Lord Keeper, for his lordship's holding me from you recommended, both in the course of my practice, and in the course of my employment in her majesty's service; wherein, if your lordship shall, in any antithesis or relation affirm, that his lordship shall have no less fruit of me than of any other whom he may cherish, I hope your lordship shall engage yourself for no impossibility. Lastly, and chiefly, I know not whether I shall attain to see your lordship before your noble journey; for ceremonies are things infinitely inferior to my love and to my zeal. This let me, with your allowance, say unto you by pen. It is true that in my well meaning advices, out of my love to your lordship, and, perhaps, out of the state of mine own minde, I have sometimes persuaded a course differing: Ac tibi pro tutis insignia facta placebunt: Be it so: yet remember, that the signing of your name is nothing, unless it be to some good patent or charter, whereby your country may be endowed with good and benefit. Which I speak
This was a most unhappy marriage, and Bacon's
of Lady Hatton's violence of temper must have made
feat. This lady's name is still connected with a wild legen, ON EN MAY years since she was believed to revel nightly with much pomp. sion in Hatton Garden, which Count Swedenborg afterwards converted me a chapel.
30. Life, p. xlii.
To Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
It may please your Lordship,---I am to make humble complaint to your lordship of some hard dealing offered me by one Sympson, a goldsmith, a man noted much, as I have heard, for extremities and stoutness upon his purse; but yet I could scarcely have imagined he would have dealt either so dishonestly towards myself, or so contemptuously towards her majesty's service. For this Lombard (pardon me, I most humbly pray your lordship, if being admonished by the street he dwells in, I give him that name) having me in bond for three