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internal evidence, and which I reprint (most of it) only because it has been heretofore printed. The original of this part of the collection, so far as it is genuine, was, I suppose, to be found in the common-place books of various kinds which Bacon kept and has catalogued in the Commentarius Solutus; some of them, it is to be observed, containing notes of his own, and some, extracte from other writers. Some pages, it will be seen, have been thus taken and adapted, whether by Bacon or another, from a treatise by Sir John Doderidge, and I think the case must be the same with other fragments.

Besides the works here printed there are some others extant. Mr. Spedding found in the British Museum, Harl. MSS. 7017. No. 43., a MS. in Bacon's hand on the Prerogative. It appeared to me to be merely a common-place book after the fashion of the Cases of Treason, &c., setting down the ordinary Common Law Prerogatives, and not to contain anything interesting as regards Bacon's opinions on the Constitution. Mr. Spedding tells me there is in the Cambridge University Library an argument in Law French on the Sutton Hospital Case. The questions in controversy appearing to be of no permanent interest, and Bacon having argued on the losing side with (if Coke is to be trusted) a very weak case, it was not thought worth while to include it in the collection. I have not myself seen it.

There is also in the Stowe Collection, now the property of Lord Ashburnham, a Reading on Stat. West. 2nd C. 5. On Advowsons. Bacon's first reading at Gray's Inn was in 1587, not apparently in his regular term, but in the place of a defaulter. If this be the Reading of that period it would be the earliest extant of his legal works. I should have been glad to have been able to see and, if of sufficient importance, to publish it; and I tried, through several channels of communication and by personal application, to obtain access to the collection; but his Lordship’s rule requiring an introduction by a personal acquaintance of his own and of the applicant, being strictly enforced, has proved a bar.

In the same collection is a MS. of the Reading on the Statute of Uses, the character and completeness of which I have, for the same reason, had no opportunity of ascertaining. There is also


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a MS. of the Argument in Brownlow and Mitchell. It was from the printed catalogue of the Stowe MSS. that Mr. Spedding first learnt that this Argument was extant, and it was only after our failure to obtain access to it that we discovered it was already in print, -whether from this source or not we have no means of judging.




I HAVE already observed that it is difficult to account for the shape in which this treatise comes to us, or to fix its date.

The difficulty arises from the Preface, which dwells at length on the reasons which have influenced Bacon to retain Law French as the language of his expositions ; whereas what we have is in English, and I think in good Baconian style. It is certain the Preface and Text, as they stand, were never intended to be published together; and the question is, as to the relation between them.

The first edition was in 1630, with the second edition of the Use of the Law: a common title, The Elements of the Common Law, being prefixed, as well as a separate one to each part. The Text agrees pretty closely with that of Harl. MSS. 1783. and with a MS. at Lincoln's Inn, and is reprinted in Mr. Montagu's edition. There are two other MSS. in the Harleian Collection, Nos. 856. and 6688., generally representing the text of the common edition.

The Lincoln's Inn MS. contains only the first paragraph of the Preface, and the 25th Rule is inserted before the 23rd, as it is also in the first edition. The last three Rules are added after a “finis," and in a different hand, in Harl. MSS. 1783.; and though they are all in the index of Harl. MSS. 6688. the text ends with the heading of No. 23. In other respects the differences in these texts are merely verbal and throw no light on the subject I am discussing.'

But besides these, there is a MS. in the University Library at Cambridge, bearing the name and date “ Thos. Corie, Hosp. Graii, 1630,” which differs so widely from the others that I

"In Harl, MSS. 6688. there are one or two additional examples given in very slip-slop Anglo-French, which I have not noticed as they may as well be a transcriber'a addition as Bacon's own,

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