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of these points. What are false fames ; and what are true fames ; and how they may be best discerned ; how fames may be sown and raised; how they may be spread and multiplied; and how they may be checked and laid dead. And other things concerning the nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely any great action wherein it hath not a great part ; especially in
Mucianus undid Vitellius, by a fame that he scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to remove the legions of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into Syria ; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed. Julius Casar took Pompey unprovided, and laid asleep his industry and preparations, by a fame that he cunningly gave out, how Cæsar's own soldiers loved him not; and being wearied with wars, and laden with the spoils of Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came into Italy. Livia settled all things for the succession of her son Tiberius, by continual giving out that her husband Augustus was upon recovery and amendment. And it is an usual thing with the Bashaws, to conceal the death of the great Turk from the Janizaries and men of war, to save the sacking of Constantinople and other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made Xerxes King of Persia post apace out of Græcia, by giving out that the Grecians had a purpose to break his bridge of ships which he had made athwart Hellespont. There be a thousand such like examples, and the more they are, the less they need to be repeated; because a man meeteth with them every where. Therefore let all wise governors have as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the actions and designs themselves.
The rest was not finished.
EARLY EDITIONS OF THE ESSAYS.
BACON'S Essays in their earliest shape formed part of a very small octavo volume, published in 1597, with the following title : Essayes. Religious Meditations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. Seene and allowed. At London, Printed for Humfrey Hooper, and are to be sold at the blacke Beure in Chauncery Lane. 1597.
The Religious meditations and the Places of perswasion and disswasion refer to two other works; one in Latin, entitled Meditationes sacræ : the other in English, entitled Of the Coulers of Good and Evill; a fragment. These will be printed elsewhere.
The “Epistle Dedicatory” prefixed to the volume is dated the 30th of January, 1597; which in the case of an ordinary letter would be understood to mean 1597-8. But I suppose that publishers, who like to have fresh dates on their titlepages, followed the “historical
year, which was reckoned from the 1st of January, and not the “civil,” which was reckoned from the 25th of March. For I find in the Lambeth library, the following rough draft of a letter from Anthony Bacon to the Earl of Essex, docqueted “le gme de février, 1596.”
“My singular good Lord. “I am bold, and yet out of a most entire and dutiful love wherein my german brother and myself stand infinitely bound unto your Lordship, to present unto you the first sight and taste of such fruit as my brother was constrained to gather, as he professeth himself, before they were ripe, to prevent stealing; and withal most humbly to beseech your Lordship, that as my brother in token of a mutual firm brotherly affection hath bestowed by dedication the property of them upon myself, so your Lordship, to whose disposition and commandment I have entirely and inviolably vowed my poor self, and
whatever appertaineth unto me, either in possession or right, that your Lordship, I say, in your noble and singular kindness towards us both, will vouchsafe first to give me leave to transfer my interest unto your Lordship, then humbly to crave your honourable acceptance and most worthy protection. And so I must humbly take
I shall now give a correct reprint of the Essays, as they appeared in this first edition; preserving, by way of specimen, the original orthography and punctuation. I take it from the copy in the British Museum; a copy which appears by a memorandum on the titlepage to have been sold on the 7th of February, 39 Eliz. (i. e. 1596-7), for the sum of twenty pence.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORIE.
To M. ANTHONY BACON
his deare Brother.
LOUING and beloued Brother, I doe nowe like some that haue an Orcharde il 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 advēture the wrong they mought receiue by vntrue Coppies, or by some garnishment, which it mought please any that should set them forth to bestow upon them. Therefore I helde it best discreation to publish them my selfe 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 my selfe 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) medicinable. Only I disliked now to put them out because they will be like the late new halfe-pence, 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 myself, Dedicating them, such as they are, to our loue, in the depth whereof (I assure you) I
sometimes wish your infirmities translated uppon my selfe, that her Maiestie mought haue the seruice of so actiue and able a mind, & I mought be with excuse confined to these contemplations & studies for which I am fittest, so commende I you to the preseruation of the diuine Maiestie. From my Chamber at Graies Inne, this 30. of Ianuarie. 1597.
Your entire Louing brother.
1. Of studie.