« PreviousContinue »
ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
ALBERT S. COOK
PROFESSOR of the English LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
IN YALE UNIVERSITY
BOSTON, U.S.A., AND LONDON
The Athenæum Press
WHEN this book was announced, the admirable edition by Wright (Clarendon Press) was extant, but that by Selby (Macmillan) had not yet appeared. My object was to make the meaning of Bacon somewhat more accessible by translating his Latin quotations in the text, the originals being relegated to the foot of the page, and by furnishing quotations in English for the mere citations of Wright, which to the average student are practically useless, since he lacks the means or the opportunity of consulting the originals.
When Selby's edition appeared, I found that it proceeded upon the general principle that I had conceived, but that the notes were often too extended and elementary for the student I had in mind. Since much excellent illustrative matter had been brought together by my predecessors, I have fully drawn upon their stores; of the assistance thus derived I wish here to make general acknowledgment, in addition to the credit given in particular instances.
In the Introduction I have allowed a variety of authorities upon Bacon to express their views upon some of the important aspects of his achievement. There will always be debate about his character and his work, precisely because of a greatness which confounds all ordinary standards. His utterances are seminal, and we feel too indebted to the author who can cause our barren intellects to quicken with new life, to be capable of criticizing him narrowly. I know of no secular author who so defies all efforts to comprehend him, Shakespeare not excepted.