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BACON, Francis.

Considerations touching a Warre with Spaine.

Written by the Right Honourable Francis Lo. Verulam, Vi. St. Alban.

London: Imprinted 1629 Stock Code: 68486
£4,000.00
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First edition, early 20th-century morocco

First edition, uncommon, just a handful of copies at auction in the last 30 years. Written in 1624, this essay is dedicated to Charles I, as prince of Wales ("Your Maiestie hath an Imperiall name; It was a Charles that brought the Empire first into France; A Charles that brought it first into Spaine; Why should not Great Brittaine have his turne?"), and is a plea for Britain to mount a naval challenge to Spain's European hegemony: "For money no doubt is the principall part of the greatnesse of Spaine but in this part of all others is most to be considered, the ticklish and brittle State of the greatnesse of Spain. Their greatnesse consisteth in their treasure, their treasure in their Indies, and their Indies (if it be well weighed) are indeed but an accession to such as are Masters of the Sea, so as this axeltree whereupon their greatnesse turneth is soone cut in two, by any that shall be stronger than they by Sea whereas wars are generally cause of poverty or consumption, on the contrary part the special nature of this warre with Spaine (if it be made by Sea) is like to be a lucrative and a restorative war". To this end it contains accounts of Drake's and Hawkins's various expeditions against the Spanish in the West Indies and Drake's exploits at Cadiz ("I remember Drake in the vaunting stile of a Souldier would call this Enterprise the cingeing of the King of Spaines beard"); a six-page narrative of the Spanish Armada - "that Sea Giant, the invincible Armado"; a commentary on the Spanish invasion of Ireland in 1601 and their ignominious defeat at Kinsale; and a spirited telling of the last fight of Sir Richard Grenville's Revenge: "In the yeere 1591 was that memorable fight of an English ship called the Revenge, under command of Sir Richard Greenfield, memorable I say beyond credit, & to the height of some heroicall fable. And though it was a defeat, yet it exceeded a victory, being like the Act of a Sampson that killed more men at his death than he had done in the time of all his life." In the foreword to his collection of essays by Bacon (Certaine Miscellany Works) published later in the same year, William Rawley, Bacon's chaplain, amanuensis and hagiographer, denigrated this edition as "corrupt and surreptitious", but this was the only separately printed contemporary edition in English of this work.

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Description

Small quarto (183 x 134 mm). Early twentieth-century dark blue morocco for W.H. Smith, title gilt to spine, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments with foliate tools, double gilt fillet panel to the boards, single rule to turn-ins.

Condition

Title page slightly soiled, small snuff-holes to B3 and B4 costing part of a couple of letters, but overall very good.

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