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LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE

OF

FRANCIS BACON.

LONDON : PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET. THE

LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE

OF

FRANCIS BACON,

VISCOUNT ST. ALBANS,

LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.

“THE WISEST, BRIGHTEST, MEANEST OF MANKIND.”

" The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us."

LEAR, Act V., Sc. 3.
- Thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty,
and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words,
HIC JACET.”

RALEIGH'S HISTORY OF THE WORLD,' p. 776, ed. 1614, fol.

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LONDON:
SAUNDERS, OTLEY, AND CO.,
66, BROOK STREET, HANOVER SQUARE.

1861.

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PREFACE.

THE “ Ancient Mariner,” who so inconsiderately seized the wistful wedding guest by the button, and detained him in spite of champagne, pretty bonnets, bridesmaids, and bon mots, is not more impatiently listened to than an author in his preface. Moreover, though an author may, by virtue of a staggering gait, and an incoherent manner, vindicate his claim to be an “ Ancient Mariner," he has no such interesting story to tell, and is traditionally supposed to be bound to furnish a highly decorous preface for a serious historical book.

In the commencement of the present year, a work which professed to furnish a new biography of Lord Bacon, from papers never before published, was issued from the press. Being abundantly praised in print by various critics I was induced to read it. Smart and flippant in style, bold in assertion, with all that fluency which practice in a comparatively mechanical art gives, and gives most readily, in the absence of every other

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