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'FOR MY NAME AND MEMORY, I LEAVE IT TO MEN'S
CHARITABLE SPEECHES, TO FOREIGN NATIONS, AND
THE NEXT AGES.'
IT may, perhaps, be expected, that some reason should be assigned for the appearance of the present volume so soon after the publication of a Life of Bacon by the learned editor of the last collection of his writings. Without presuming to offer any remarks upon a work already submitted to public criticism, I venture to express a hope that the following pages will be found not altogether destitute of interest, nor even of novelty.
To those who are conversant with lord Bacon's works, it is well known that
his valuable Letters contain many most interesting personal notices, strongly illustrative of his character:-these I have assiduously collected; and weaving them into the narrative of his life, have thus endeavoured to give it something of the nature and interest of autobiography. Such letters as are written from wise men,' (lord Bacon himself observes,) are of all the words of man, in my judgment, the best; for they are more natural than orations and public speeches, and more advised than conferences or present speeches. They are the best instructions for history, and, to a diligent reader, the best histories in themselves.'
Another object steadily kept in view, has been to give a popular, yet brief, ac