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BARON OF VERULAM, VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN,
LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.
COLLECTED AND EDITED BY
JAMES SPEDDING, M.A.
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE;
ROBERT LESLIE ELLIS,
LATE FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE;
LONGMAN AND CO.; SIMPKIN AND CO.; HAMILTON AND CO.; WHITTAKER
WITH regard to the translations which occupy the first half of this volume (as far as p. 271.), I have nothing to add to what I have said (Vol. I. p. xiv.) in my general account of the edition.
With regard to the rest, I then intended merely to submit my suggestions to the translator, leaving it to him to make such alterations as he thought desirable; and about half of the fifth volume (which it was found convenient to print before the fourth) had been carried through on that plan, when an engagement on the Continent made it impossible for him to superintend the printing further upon which he left his manuscript with me, to be dealt with as I thought fit. The consequence is that for the ultimate state of the whole of this volume, and the latter half of the next, I am myself responsible.
It may be well perhaps to add, that the translations are intended especially for the benefit of those who cannot read Latin. Those who can, will find the originals not only richer, stronger, and more impressive, but also (at least after a little practice) easier to follow and pleasanter to read. In Bacon's time Latin was still a living language among scholars. They used it not to show how well they could imitate the manner in which Cicero or Tacitus expressed his thoughts, but to express their own; and in Bacon's hands it became an organ of expression extremely powerful and sensitive, full of felicities and delicate effects, depending upon its own peculiar resources, and not transferable in the same form into a