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BARON VERULAM, VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN, AND LORD HIGH
CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. LIMBIRD, 143, STRAND,
TO MR. ANTHONY BACON,
HIS DEAR BROTHER,
Loving and beloved brother, I do now like some that have an orchard ill neighboured, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to prevent stealing. These fragments of my conceits were going to print: to labour the stay of them had been troublesome, and subject to interpretation; to let them pass had been to adventure the wrong they might receive by untrue copies, or by some garnishment which it might please any that should set them forth to bestow upon them; therefore I held it best discretion to publish them myself, as they passed long ago from my pen, without any further disgrace than the weakness of the author; and as I did ever hold, there might be as great a vanity in retiring and withdrawing men's conceits (except they be of some nature) from the world as in obtruding them; so in these particulars I have played myself the inquisitor, and find nothing to my understanding in them contrary or infectious to the state of religion or manners, but rather, as
medicinable: only I dislike now to put them out, because they will be like the late new halfpence, which, though the silver were good, yet the pieces were small; but since, they would not stay with their master, but would needs travel abroad, I have preferred them to you that are next myself; dedicating them, such as they are, to our love; in the depth whereof, I assure you, I sometimes wish your infirmities translated upon myself, that her majesty might have the service of so active and able a mind; and I might be with excuse confined to these contemplations and studies, for which I am fittest; so commend I yoù to the preservation of the Divine Majesty.
Your entire loving brother,
From my Chamber at Gray's Inn,
this 30th of January, 1597.