페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

the production, as a recreation in sickness, of a morning's dictation, and a translation of a few of the Psalms of

new tha

judgment and choice, whereas that of Plutarch and Stobæus, and much more the modern ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly they are of excellent use: they are Mucrones Verborum, pointed speeches. Cicero prettily calls them salinas, salt pits, that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle it where you will. They serve to be interlaced in continued speech : they serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves : they serve, if you

take out the kernel of them, and make them your own. I have for my recreation in my sickness fanned the old; not omitting any because they are vulgar (for many vulgar ones are excellent good), nor for the meanness of the person, but because they are dull and flat, and added many

ise would have died.” In his tract on history in the Advancement of Learning, Bacon says, “ There are appendices of history conversant about the words of men, as history itself about the deeds: the partitions thereof into Orations, Letters, and Apophthegms."

Archbishop Tennison, in his Baconiana, page 47, says, “The Apophthegms (of which the first is the best edition) were (what he saith also of his Essays) but as the recreations of his other studies. They were dictated one morning out of his memory; and if they seem to any a birth too inconsiderable for the brain of so great a man, they may think with themselves how little a time he went with it, and from thence make some allowance.” He occasionally made great use of these Apothegms, as may be seen by comparing Apophthegms 251, page 403, with the same anecdote as incorporated in the Advancement of Learning, vol. ii. page 224.

The different editions are:-1st edition. The title page“ Apophthegmes, New and Old, collated by the Right Honorable Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban. London, printed for Hanna Barret and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the King's Head in Paul's Church, 1625.” 12mo. 307 pages, and 280 Apothegms. This Tennison, in the Baconiana, p. 47, says is the best edition.

2nd. In 1658 an edition was published. Here are 184 Apothegms of Bacon: it is a 12mo. This seems to have been reprinted in 1669.

I have never seen a copy; but the following is from the Baconiana, · where Tennison says, “ His lordship hath received much injury by late

editions, of which some have much enlarged, but not at all enriched the collection; stuffing it with tales and sayings, too infacetious for a ploughman's chimney corner. And particularly, in the collection not long since published, and called the Apothegms of King James, King Charles, the Marquess of Worcester, the Lord Bacon, and Sir Thomas Moor; his lordship is dealt with very rudely. For besides the addition of insipid

David into English verse, (a) which he dedicated to a Psalms. divine and poet, his friend, the learned and religious George Herbert. (6) This was the last exercise, in the

tales, there are some put in which are beastly and immoral; such as were fitter to have been joined to Aretine, or Aloysia, than to havé polluted the chaste labours of the Baron of Verulam."

3rd. In 1661 an edition of the Apothegms was published in the 2nd edition of the Resuscitatio. It consists only of 249 Apothegms, the edition published by Lord Bacon in 1625' consisting of 280. As this edition of the Rescuscitation was published during the life of Dr. Rawley, and as Lord Bacon says in his preface, “I have collated some few of them, therein fanning the old,” it seems that Dr. Rawley may have seen the MSS. and that these additions are genuine. It will be observed that they are fewer in number; and, although some are the same, there are many which are not contained in the fisst edition.See Stephens's preface to the Memoirs, published in 1734.

4th. In the 3rd edition of the Resuscitatio, published in 1671, there is another edition of the Apothegms, being 308 in number. Dr. Rawley died in 1667.

The 5th edition is a 12mo. It contains, as in the 4th edition, 308 Apothegms.

In this edition of the works of Bacon I separated the Apothegms which were in the edition of 1625, being 280 in number, from the additional Apothegms in the Resuscitatio, such additional Apothegms being 28 in number.

(a) Published in 8vo. 1628, and in the Resuscitation, and in vol. vii. of this edition,

(b) TO HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND,

MR. GEORGE HERBERT. The pains that it pleased you to take about some of my writings I cannot forget, which did put me in mind to dedicate to you this poor exercise of my sickness. Besides, it being my manner for dedications, to choose those that I hold most fit for the argument, I thought, that in respect of divinity and poesy met, whereof the one is the matter, the other the style of this little writing, I could not make better choice: so, with signification of my love and acknowledgment, I ever rest your affectionate friend,

FR. ST. ALBAN.

p. 98.

[ocr errors]

time of his illness, of his pious mind; and a more pious

mind never existed.(a) Confession There is scarcely a line of his works in which a deep, of Faith.

awful, religious feeling is not manifested. It is, perhaps, most conspicuous in his Confession of Faith,(6) of which

title page

Of these, the 107th seems to be the best. Vol. vii. p. 100. But Q. Has there ever been a version approaching to the excellence of the original prose translation ?

(a) Preface to vol. vii. Archbishop Tennison says, “ His writings upon pious subjects were only these : his Confession of Faith, written by himself in English, and turned into Latin by Dr. Rawley, the questions about an Holy War, and the Prayers, in these remains, and a translation of certain of David's Psalms into English verse. With this last pious exercise he diverted himself in the time of his sickness, in the year twenty-five. When he sent it abroad into the world, he made a dedication of it to his good friend, Mr. George Herbert, for he judged the argument to be suitable to him, in his double quality of a divine and a poet.”

(6) See vol. vii. p. 10. Of the authenticity of this essay no doubt can be entertained : it was published in a separate tract in 1641. The following is an exact transcript of the title page: “ The Confession of Faith,” written by Sir Francis Bacon, printed in the year 1641. In the

there is a wood engraving of Sir Francis Bacon, it is a thin 4to. of twelve pages, without any printer's name. Mr. D’Israeli kindly lent me a copy. It is similar, but not the same as the present copy. It was also published by Dr. Rawley, in the Resuscitatio, 1657, by whom it was translated into Latin, and published in the Opuscula varia posthuma. Londini, ex officina, R. Danielis, 1658. In his life he says, “Supererat tandem scriptum illud Confessionis Fidei; quod auctor ipse, plurimis ante obitum annis, idiomate Anglicano concepit: operæ pretium mihi visum est Romana civitate donare; quo non minus exteris, quam popularibus suis, palam fiat, qua fide imbutus, et quibus mediis fretus, illustrissimus heros, animam Deo reddiderit; et quod theologicis studiis, æque ac philosophicis et civilibus, cum commodum esset, vacaverit. Fruere his operibus, et scientiarum antistitis olim Verulamii ne obliviscaris. Vale."

Of the Confession of Faith there are various MSS. in the British Museum; Sloane's 23, 2 copies; Harleian, vol. 2, 314; vol. 3, 61; Hargraves, p. 62; the MSS. Burch, 4263, is, I suspect, in Lord Bacon's own writing, with his signature. It is stated in one of the MSS. to have been written before or when Sir Francis Bacon was Solicitor General, and in the Remains is entitled, “ Confession of Faith, written by Sir

Dr. Rawley says, “ For that treatise of his lordship’s, inscribed, A Confession of the Faith, I have ranked that in the close of this whole volume; thereby to demonstrate to the world that he was a master in divinity, as well as in philosophy or politics, and that he was versed no less in the saving knowledge than in the universal and adorning knowledges; for though he composed the same many years before his death, yet I thought that to be the fittest place, as the most acceptable incense unto God of the faith wherein he resigned his breath; the crowning of all his other perfections and abilities; and the best perfume of his name to the world after his death. This confession of his faith doth abundantly testify that he was able to render a reason of the hope which was in him.” (a)

It might be said of him, as one of the most deep thinking of men said of himself, “ For my religion, though there be several circumstances that might persuade the world I have none at all, yet, in despight thereof, I dare, without usurpation, assume the honourable style of a christian : not that I merely owe this title to the font, my education,

Francis Bacon, Knight, Viscount St. Albans, about the time he was Solicitor General to our late sovereign lord King James.”

This tract was republished in 1757. A Confession of Faith, written by the Right Honourable Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, republished with a preface on the subject of authority in religious matters, and adapted to the exigency of the present times. London, printed for W. Owen, at Temple Bar, 1757. 8vo. pp. 26

(a) This tract is thus noticed by Archbishop Tennison in the Baconiana. His Confession of Faith, written by him in English, and turned into Latin by Dr. Rawley, upon which there was some correspondence between Dr. Maynwaring and Dr. Rawley. See vol. xii. of this edit. p. 209. -It is stated in one of the MSS. to have been written before or when Sir Francis Bacon was Solicitor General, and in the Remains it is entitled, “ Confession of Faith, written by Sir Francis Bacon, knight, Viscount St. Albans, about the time he was Solicitor General to our late sovereign lord King James."

or clime wherein I was born, but having, in my riper years and confirmed judgment, seen and examined all, I find myself bound by the principles of grace and the law of mine own reason to embrace no other religion than this.(a)

From his Prayers, found after his death, his piety cannot be mistaken. (6) They have the same glory around

Prayers.

(u) See Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici, of which my excellent friend, Charles Lamb has, with his usual sweet and deep feeling, thus spoken : “ I wonder and admire his entireness in every subject that is before him. He follows it, he never wanders from it, and he has no occasion to wander; for whatever happens to be the subject, he metamorphoses all nature into it. In that treatise on some urns dug up in Norfolk, how earthy, how redolent of graves and sepulchres is every line! You have now dark mould, now a thigh-bone, now a skull, then a bit of a mouldered coffin, a fragment of an old tomb-stone with moss in its “ Hic jacet," a ghost or a winding-sheet, or the echo of a funeral psalm wafted on a November wind; and the gayest thing you shall meet with shall be a silver nail or a gilt “ Anno Domini,” from a perished coffin top.”

The whole of the passage is as follows: "For my religion, though there be several circumstances that might persuade the world I have none at all, as the general scandal of my profession, the natural course of my studies, the indifferency of my discourse, and behaviour in matters of religion, neither violently defending one nor with common ardour or contention opposing another, yet in despight hereof I dare without usurpation assume the honourable style of a christian : not that I merely owe this title to the font, my education, or clime wherein I was born, as being bred up either to confirm those principles my parents instilled into my unwary understanding, or by a general consent proceed in the religion of my country; but having in my riper years and confirmed judgment seen and examined all, I find myself obliged, by the principles of grace and the law of mine own reason, to embrace no other name than this. Neither doth herein my zeal so far make me forget the general charity I owe unto humanity, as rather to hate than pity Turks, Infidels, and Jews, rather contenting myself to enjoy that happy style than maligning those who refuse so glorious a title. But because the name of christian is become too general to express our faith, to be particular, I am of that reformed new-cast religion, wherein I dislike nothing but the name: of the same belief our Saviour taught, the apostles disseminated, the fathers authorized, and the martyrs confirmed.”

(6) Vol. vii. p. 3. Of the prayers the first, entitled, “A Prayer, or Psalm, made by the Lord Chancellor of England,” is in the Resuscitatio;

« 이전계속 »