« AnteriorContinuar »
PREFACE BY LORD BACON.
JULIUS CÆSAR did write a collection of apophthegms, as appear in an epistle of Cicero; so did Macrobius a consular man. I need say no more for the worth of a writing of that nature. It is pity Cæsar's book is lost: for I imagine they were collected with 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. “ The words of the wise are as goads,” saith Solomon. Cicero prettily calleth them salinas, salt-pits, that you may extract saltout 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
take out the kernel of them, and make them your own. I have for my recreation among more serious studies, collected some few of them:* therein fanning 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 adding many new, that otherwise would have died.
* This collection his lordship made out of his memory, without turning to any book.
The last Will of Francis Bacon Viscount St. Alban 249