BACON’S ESSAYS AND WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS

BACON’S ESSAYS AND WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS

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In the early part of the year 1597, Lord Bacon’s first publication appeared. It is a small 12mo. volume, entitled “Essayes, Religious Meditations, Places of Perswasion and Disswasion.” It is dedicated“To M. Anthony Bacon, his deare Brother“Louing and beloued Brother, I doe nowe like some that have 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 aduenture 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 as they passed long agoe from my Pen, without any further 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 myself 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) medecinable. Only I disliked now to put them out, because they will be like the late new Halfepence, which, though the Siluer were good, yet the Peeces were small. But since they would not stay with their Master, but would needes 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 (I 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, and I mought be with excuse confined to these Contemplations and Studies for which I am fittest, so commend I you to the Preseruation of the Diuine Maiestie: From my Chamber at Graies Inne, this 30 of Januarie, 1597. Your entire Louing Brother, Fran. Bacon.”
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