Nonfiction > Francis Bacon > Apophthegms New and Old
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Francis Bacon (1561–1626).  Apophthegms New and Old.  1857.
 
His Lordship’s Preface
 
JULIUS CÆSAR 1 did write a Collection of Apophthegms, as appears in an epistle of Cicero. 2 I need say no more for the worth of a writing of that nature. It is pity his book 3 is lost: for I imagine they were collected with judgment and choice; whereas that of Plutarch and Stobæus, and much more the modern ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly they are of excellent use. They are mucrones verborum, pointed speeches. 4 Cicero prettily calls them salinas, saltpits; that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle it where you will. They serve to be interlaced in continued speech. They serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves. They serve if you take out the kernel of them, and make them your own. I have, for my recreation in my sickness, fanned the old; 5 not omitting any because they are vulgar, (for many vulgar ones are excellent good,) nor for the meanness of the person, but because they are dull and flat; and added 6 many new, that otherwise would have died. 7  1
 
NOTE.
  In this edition, where a note is signed R., it means that such is the reading of the Resuscitatio, ed. 1661. The numbers within brackets are the numbers by which the several apophthegms are distinguished in that collection. The apophthegms are marked † are not contained in it at all.
  2
 
Note 1. So R. There is no heading in the original. [back]
Note 2. So did Macrobius, a Consular man.  R. [back]
Note 3. Cæsar’s book.  R. [back]
Note 4. The words of the wise are as goods, saith Solomon. (Added in R.) [back]
Note 5. I have for my recreation, amongst more serious studies, collected some few of them; therein fanning the old.  R. [back]
Note 6. adding.  R. [back]
Note 7. This collection his Ld. made out of his memory, without turning any book. R. (Note in margin.) [back]
 
 
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