ESSAYES, OR COUNCILS, CIVILL OR MORALL of Francis Lo. Verulem, Viscount St. Alban. Newly enlarged.

ESSAYES, OR COUNCILS, CIVILL OR MORALL of Francis Lo. Verulem, Viscount St. Alban. Newly enlarged.

(London: Printed for John Haviland for Hanna Barret and Richard Whitaker, 1625).

ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS IN THE LANGUAGE AND THE RARE FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF THE FIRST COMPLETE EDITION OF THE ESSAYES, A BOOK ABOUT WHICH BACON HIMSELF WROTE: 'I doe now publish my Essayes; which of all my other workes have been most Currant: For that, as it seemes, they come home, to Mens Businesse, and Bosomes. I have enlarged them, both in Number, and Weight; so that they are indeed a New Worke.'"
This volume includes some of the most important essays ever penned by Bacon who is especially reknown for his explorations into the relation between science and thoughtful living. He questioned contemporary conceptions of understanding and knowledge and emphasized the development of knowledge based on experimentation rather than purely on theory.
The Essays are written in a wide range of styles, from the plain and unadorned to the epigrammatic. They cover topics drawn from both public and private life, and in each case the essays cover their topics systematically from a number of different angles, weighing one argument against another. While the original edition entitled Essayes: Religious Meditation, Places of Perswasion and Disswadion, Seene and Allowed included 10 essays,and a second edition of 1612, 38, another, under the title Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, was first published in 1625 with 58 essays. Translations into French and Italian appeared during Bacon's lifetime. That book, the first complete edition of the Essayes is offered here.
Though Bacon considered the Essays "but as recreation of my other studies", he was given high praise by his contemporaries, even to the point of crediting him with having invented the essay form. Later researches made clear the extent of Bacon's borrowings from the works of Montaigne, Aristotle and other writers, but the Essays have nevertheless remained in the highest repute. The 19th-century literary historian Henry Hallam wrote that "They are deeper and more discriminating than any earlier, or almost any later, work in the English language".
Bacon's genius as a phrase-maker appears to great advantage in the later essays. In Of Boldness he wrote, "If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill", which is the earliest known appearance of that proverb in print. The phrase "hostages to fortune" appears in the essay Of Marriage and Single Life – again the earliest known usage. Aldous Huxley's book Jesting Pilate took its epigraph, "What is Truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer", from Bacon's essay Of Truth. The 1999 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes no fewer than 91 quotations from the Essays. Item #31510

First Edition, First Issue. First Complete Edition of the Essayes. With the crown watermark. This 1st Issue has the imprint reading Printed by John Haviland for Hanna Barret, and Richard Whitaker and has Newly enlarged on tp. The 2d Issue (Gibson 14) has imprint reading John Haviland for Hanna Barret and has Newly written on tp. Some catalogues call this the 1st Collected or 1st Complete edition. STC indicates that this is a new work different from The Essaies. 4to, full contemporary style calf, the boards framed in blind, with simple blind ruled raised bands and a single red morocco label gilt ruled and lettered. [11], 340 pp. A (a) B-2V 2X. Without the initial blank leaf. A sound and well preserved copy, the paper still quite crisp and unpressed and with strong impression of the type, generally very clean and with pleasing age, one leaf at the front with support to the edge of the verso, another with a small loss of paper latter replaced, the loss just touching the border lines surrounding the text, one leaf at the back with paper loss to the lower corner with some words replaced in facsimile, some antique underlining within the text, the binding very handsome and in quite excellent condition with very little evidence of wear or age.

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Price: $18,500.00