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Of the original 280 no less than 71 are entirely omitted; 39 new ones are introduced; the order is totally changed; the text considerably altered. The alterations in the text are indeed (though I think not generally for the better) no more than might have been made by Bacon himself in revising the book. A few of the omissions also might be accounted for in the same way; but very many of the omitted ones are among the best in the volume, and such as he could have no motive for suppressing. Still less is it possible to imagine a reason for the change of order, which could hardly have been more complete or more capricious if the leaves of the book had been first separated and then shuffled. Whoever will take a copy of the bound volume and endeavour to write directions in it for any such change in the arrangement, will see that it could not have been done without a great deal of time and trouble. And seeing that it was now more than thirty years since that volume appeared, that it had never been reprinted, nor ever much valued, and (being so small) might easily be lost, the more probable supposition is that Dr. Rawley had no copy of it, and
his collection from loose and imperfect manuscripts. In 1671, three or four years after Dr. Rawley's death, appeared a third edition of the Resuscitatio, in two parts. The first part contains a collection of Apophthegms, which from the publisher's preface one would expect to find a mere reprint from the second edition. But it is in fact a new collection, made up by incorporating the “Witty Apophthegms” of 1658, of which it contains all but 12, with Dr. Rawley's collection of 1661. By this means the number of apophthegms is increased from 248 to 296; the new ones being not added as a supplement, but interspersed among the old. Of the 71 which formed part of Bacon's original collection but not of Dr. Rawley's, 32 are thus supplied. Eight more might have been supplied from the same source, but were left out perhaps by accident. There remained therefore 39 genuine ones still to be recovered; a fact which may be best explained by supposing that the editor of the third edition of the Resuscitatio had not been able, any more than Dr. Rawley when he edited the second, to procure a copy of the original volume.
In 1679, a new volume of remains, under the title of Baconiana, was published by Dr. Tenison from original manuscripts ; with an introduction containing “an account of all the Lord
Bacon's works.” In this introduction he tells us (p. 59.) that the best edition of the Apophthegms was the first (1625); and censures as spurious, or at least as including spurious matter, the additions contained in the two collections last mentioned of 1658 and 1671 ; but of Dr. Rawley's collection in 1661 he strangely enough makes no mention whatever. In the body of the work he gives 27 additional apophthegms, found among Bacon's papers, and never before printed.
Next came Blackbourne, in 1730, with an edition of Bacon's works complete in 4 volumes folio. His plan in dealing with the Apophthegms was to reprint,lst, the whole collection (repetitions omitted) as it stood in the third edition of the Resuscitatio ; 2ndly, the 27 additional ones in Tenison's Baconiana (all but 3; which he omitted, not very judiciously, because they are to be found in the Essays); 3rdly, the remaining 39, contained in the original edition, but omitted in all later copies. Thus we had for the first time a collection which included all the genuine apophthegms. But it was defective in this,
that it included likewise all, or all but one or two, of those which Tenison had alluded to in general terms as spurious; and that no attempt was made in it to distinguish those which had Dr. Rawley's sanction from those which had not.
Succeeding editors followed Blackbourne, without either noticing or trying to remedy this defect; until Mr. Montagu took up the task in his edition of 1825, in which he made an attempt, more laudable than successful, to separate the genuine from the spurious. Taking Tenison's remark as his guide, he reprinted the original collection of 1625 exactly as it stood, (or at least meant to do so; for there are more than 130 places in which his copy differs from the original,) and then added the supplementary collection in the Baconiana. The rest he concluded to be spurious, and gathered them (or meant to gather them and thought he had done so) into an appendix, under that title. But in this he took no account of the second edition of the Resuscitatio, which must certainly be considered as having the sanction of Dr. Rawley; and the principle, whatever it was, upon which he proceeded to eliminate the spurious apophthegms was altogether fallacious. Observing that the last apophthegm in the third edition of the Resuscitatio was numbered 308, whereas in the original collection there
were only 280; and not observing that of those 308, 12 were given twice over; he seems to have concluded that the number of the spurious must be 28, and that they might be found by simply going through the later collection, and marking off all those which were not given in the earlier. And the first 25 in his spurious list were probably selected in that way; for they are the first 25 (one only excepted, which is given in the original collection, and was probably marked off by mistake) which answer the conditions; and they are set down in the order in which to a person so proceeding they would naturally present themselves. Upon what principle he selected the other three which make up the 28, I cannot guess. One of them he has himself printed a few pages before among the genuine ; another he quotes in his preface as one which he can hardly believe not to be genuine; and before he came to the third, he must, if he took them as they stand in the book, have passed by 20 others which have precisely the same title to the distinction. But howsoever he went about it, his result is certainly wrong; for among his 28 spurious apophthegms there are several which were undoubtedly sanctioned by Dr. Rawley, besides the two which had been previously printed among the genuine ones by himself; and when all is done, there remain no less than 30 others, silently omitted and entirely unaccounted for.
Such is the latest shape in which this little work appears.' The common editions contain all the apophthegms; but some that are spurious are printed in them as genuine. Mr. Montagu's edition does not contain all : and some that are genuine are printed in it as spurious.
I have now to explain the plan upon which I have myself proceeded in order to set the matter right.
First. Considering that the edition of 1625 was published during Bacon's life, with his name on the title-page; that there is no reason for supposing that he revised or altered it afterwards; and that there is some reason for suspecting that the collection published by Dr. Rawley in 1661, far from being a revised edition of the former, was made up, when a copy of the original volume was not procurable, from some imperfect manuscript or from old note-books; I regard the 280 apophthegms printed in 1625 as those which we are most certain that Bacon himself thought worth preserving. I begin therefore by reprinting these from the original edition; and so far I follow Mr. Montagu's example.
1 This was written before the appearance of Mr. Bohn's volume of the Moral and Historical Works of Lord Bacon, edited by Joseph Devey, M.A., which professes to contain the “ Apophthegms; omitting those known to be spurious." Of the collection there given however it is not necessary to take any further notice. It is merely a selection from a selection, in which no attempt has really been made to distinguish the spurious from the genuine.
Secondly. Considering nevertheless that Bacon may possibly have revised this collection, and struck out some and altered others; and that Dr. Rawley may possibly have had by him some portions of that revised copy, or some memoranda of those omissions and alterations; I regard the variations as worth preserving. I have therefore compared the two collections, marked with a f all the apophthegms which are not found in the later, and recorded in foot-notes all the more considerable differences of reading that occur in those which are; adding also for convenience of reference the numbers which they bear in the later collection.
Thirdly. Considering that Rawley had access to all Bacon's unpublished papers", and had been in constant personal communication with him during his later years; and that Bacon had been in the habit of setting down such things from time to time in note books, and may very likely have made a supplementary collection with a view to publication; I regard all the additional apophthegms which appear in the collection of 1661 as probably genuine, and as resting on authority second only to that which belongs to the original edition. These therefore I reprint from the second edition of the Resuscitatio, in the order in which they occur; and for more convenient reference, with the original numbers affixed. And at the same time, because in a common-place book of Dr. Rawley's which is preserved in the Lambeth Library and appears to have been begun soon after Bacon's death I find several of these additional apophthegms set down in a form somewhat different; and because I think it probable that Dr. Rawley, in preparing them for publication, occasionally introduced variations of his own in order to correct the language or clear the meaning; I have thought the original form worth preserving, and have therefore compared the versions and set down the variations in footnotes.
I The substitution, in almost every case, of “the House of Commons” for “the Lower House " has a kind of historical significance.
2 In a catalogue of Bacon's extant MSS. (Add. MSS. Brit. Mus. 629. fo. 271.), not dated, but drawn up by Rawley after Bacon's death, I find the three following entries:
“ Apophthegms cast out of my Lord's book, and not printed.
“Some few apophthegms not chosen." There is no allusion to any revision of the printed book. The first of these entries evidently refers to some apophthegms which had been struck out of the MS. before it was published ; the last probably to some which had not been included in it. The " apophthegms of K. James " may have been the seven which stand first among the additions introduced by Rawley in his collection of 1661. If the MS, from which the collection of 1625 was printed remained in Dr. Rawley's hands, it would not be mentioned in this catalogue, which relates only to what had not been printed. We may easily suppose therefore that some of the loose sheets were still preserved ; and that, when the original volume was not procurable, he made up his collection by incorpo. rating these with the unpublished ones mentioned in the catalogue.
Fourthly. Considering that many of Bacon's original papers passed through the hands of Dr. Rawley or his son into those of Dr. Tenison, I regard the supplementary collection in the Baconiana as also probably genuine, and next in authenticity to the collection of 1661. These therefore I print next; also preserving in foot-notes such various readings as I find in Dr. Rawley's common-place book above mentioned.
Fifthly. In this same common-place book I find other apophthegms and anecdotes, not included in any of the three collections, - Bacon's, Rawley's, or Tenison's; a few of which I have thought worth preserving; some for their independent value, and some for a little light they throw on Bacon's personal character, manners, or habits. These I print next. They have probably as good a right to be considered genuine as any that were not published by Bacon himself; for they are set down in Rawley's own hand.
Sixthly. When all this is done, there remain 16 which rest upon no better authority than that of the unknown editor of the “ Witty Apophthegms." These I regard as having no right to appear at all under Bacon's name, and accordingly remit them to a note, as spurious.
In a note to Bacon's preface, as given in the second edition of the Resuscitatio, Dr. Rawley expressly states that the collection was made from memory, “ without turning any book.” If I am right in conjecturing that the only collection made by Bacon himself was that of 1625, we must understand Dr. Rawley's remark as applying to that; and we must beware of attributing to it any great historical authority. It will be