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AMONG the Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum, there is a volume bearing the following title :— “ The Writings of Sir Francis Bacon, Knt., the King's Solicitor General, in Morality, Policy, and History.” It is only half filled, and contains nothing
We may infer however from the titlepage that it was at that time Bacon's intention to gather his writings of that class into a separate collection; and I suppose that if it had been continued and completed according to that intention, it would have contained all such pieces as are here collected under the title of Literary Works; by which I mean works which were intended to take their place among books ; as distinguished from writings of business, which though they may be collected into books afterwards, were composed without reference to anything beyond the particular occasion to which they relate. The Philosophical Works contained in the first three volumes of this edition belong of course to this class ; and next to them in order of importance come the Historical, Moral, and Political Works, of which this volume contains the most considerable.
For the particular history of each piece, and the manner in which I have dealt with it, I refer to the several prefaces. Those which are written in Latin, are followed by English translations; for which, as indeed for everything in this volume, I am alone and entirely responsible.
The engraving which stands as frontispiece is a very correct representation of a bust belonging to the Earl of Verulam, to whose kindness I am indebted for permission to have a drawing made of it for this purpose, as well as for the facilities given to the artist. It is a colored bust in terra-cotta, and is one of a set of three, done in the same style and material, and apparently by the same hand; said to be portraits of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Anne, his second wife, and their son Francis, when twelve years old. I regret that I could not learn anything more about them. They must have been done about the year 1572, by an artist of no ordinary skill, and have probably been at Gorhambury ever since. They show, among other things, that Bacon's likeness was to his mother; a fact, I believe, not otherwise known.
THE ELEVENTH VOLUME.