The official title of February’s
Crappy Old Book of the Month is…
The essays or Counsels, civil and moral of Francis Bacon [first published in 1597, and as he left them newly written and published in 1625] including also his Apophthegms, Elegant sentences and Wisdom of the ancients*
with Introduction by Henry Morley originally published in 1883.
We Country Mice just call it Bacon’s Essays.
The physical book I own was published by Burt’s Home Library
a series which includes the standard works of the world’s best literature, bound in uniform cloth binding, gilt tops, embracing chiefly selections from writers of the most notable English, American and Foreign Fiction, together with many important works in the domains of History, Biography, Philosophy, Travel, Poetry and Essays
but I have only a vague idea when it was published because it has no front matter.
I do know that it was discarded by the Altamont, Illinois Public Library where it was checked out in the ’60s and subsequently (by way of Rev. Moehring or his kin?) made it’s way to the Palmer Home Thrift Store in Starkville, Mississippi where I snapped it up for $0.50 even though it had no front matter.
Bacon’s Essays has been in my library for about a year and a half– close at hand and in mind, sometimes quoted, but really just another
crappy old book privileged to have space on a shelf.
Why Bacon’s Essays as February’s featured book?
Simply, because for a year and a half I’ve been wanting to read this
crappy old book.
It cannot be denied but outward accidents conduce much to fortune: favor, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly, the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. –XL. Of Fortune
My fortune is in my hands.
And so, my Friends, we will spend the short month reading Bacon because there’s more to life than bread and circuses.
“Sing it, Sister!”
“Oh for crying out loud, Missy. Go back to bed.”
*title capitalization choices are Morley’s