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TOPIC: Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests

Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4399

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Religion

Shake-Speare:

Inevitably, Protestants and Catholics have each claimed Shake-Speare for their faith. But Shake-Speare himself offers only limited evidence on this question.

Of a number of clues which the Catholics have detected in his work, the three main ones are perhaps: (a) Shake-Speare displays, they argue, more sympathy for his Catholic priests, such as Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet and Abbess Emilia in The Comedy of Errors than for his Protestant clergy such as Sir Oliver Martext in As You Like It and Sir Nathaniel in Love's Labour's Lost. But there is no difficulty in regarding his treatment of clerics as dictated by the demands of his plots; also, the helpful friar was a convention of folktale; (b) Shake-Speare's King John was closely based on an earlier anonymous play, The Troublesome Reign of John King of England. That play was strongly anti-Catholic but Shake-Speare deleted most (though not quite all) of the bias. This however may be evidence of nothing more than religious tolerance; (c) Hamlet is claimed to contain strong expressions of Catholic feeling. I am not qualified to judge of this, but in any event Denmark was a Catholic country.

For the Anglicans, Rowse, op.cit, p. 43, argues that "We learn that to him there were only two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion [not the Catholic 7] ... not a trace of Catholic teaching...nor had he any knowledge of the Vulgate [the Catholic Bible in Latin]". One may add that the porter scene in Macbeth 2.3.8-11, jeers at Jesuit "equivocators". However, these lines which are an obvious reference to the trial of Father Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot, may be an interpolation. Besides, many Catholics even may have abhorred the traitors.

Probably Shake-Speare was Anglican. But the absence of any strong denomination posture in his work argues for religious tolerance in general.

Bacon:
Bacon was an orthodox but tolerant member of the Church of England, Anglican but not puritan. About 1590 he drafted a letter to a Secretary of France on the Queen's religious policy. In it he wrote of her Majesty "not liking to make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts, except the abundance of them did overflow into overt and express acts and affirmations". This was always his own view (see his Essay on Unity in Religion). People should be allowed to worship privately as they pleased, provided they did not engage in open disaffection against the State. He had Catholic friends such as Tobie Mathew and the Earl of Southampton.

Will Shakspere of Stratford:
He was baptised, married and buried in the Anglican Church. So probably he was Anglican.

Since Bacon, Shake-Speare, and Shakspere probably shared the same religion, the point is neutral for purposes of the Authorship question, except that Bacon and Shake-Speare can be shown to have been tolerant. But the next post takes the matter further.

continued on the next post.
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4403

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Shake-Speare's love of the Bible and Prayer Book

A.L. Rowse, op.cit, p. 41 (following R. Noble in his Shakespeare's Biblical Knowledge, 1935, p. 20) notes: "Of all Shakespeare's sources the Bible and Prayer Book come first and are the most constant. Altogether there are definite allusions to 42 Books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha...It has been estimated [by Edgar. I. Fripp in his Shakespeare Man and Artist] that his biblical range is five times that of Peele or Marlowe, far greater than that of any contemporary dramatist". There are also numerous allusions to the Prayer Book, especially to the Psalms. R. Noble, op.cit, p. 47, comments: "From first to last there is not a play in the Folio entirely free from a suggestion of a use of the Psalms. In two plays, 2 King Henry VI and King Henry VIII, the allusions to the Psalms run into the double figures. Even the Sonnets are not devoid of quotations from the Psalms". Noble put the total number of Psalms references in Shake-Speare at 150. Fripp, op.cit, Vol. 1, p. 98, writes: "The Poet's obligation to the Bible is deep. It is not upon the surface - a casual reader may easily overlook it - nor is it a mere inheritance from his school days. In youth and manhood he fed on God's word - on its tragic stories, its wealth of incident and experience, its sense of wickedness and intense self-consciousness, its searching, its veracity and its magnificent English".

This interest in the Bible and Prayer Book fits Bacon perfectly. He was brought up in an intensely religious household, his mother being a religious zealot. At Gray's Inn the students had to "keep their chapels" - there was daily chapel, morning and afternoon (see H.E. Duke in his The Story of Gray's Inn (1950), p. 14). Canon Rawley, Bacon's chaplain, wrote of him in his Resuscitatio (1657): "This lord was religious...He repaired frequently (when his health would permit him) to the services of the Church to hear sermons...and deal in the true faith, established in the Church of England". He also played a leading role in the revision of the Prayer Book. One of his biographers, Spedding, writes: "Since the Hampton Court Conference a new edition of the Book of Common Prayer had been put forth by authority [in 1604], with some alterations and explanations; and a confirmation of it by Act of Parliament was thought expedient...For the Book of Common Prayer a sub-committee (in the list of which Bacon's name stands first) was appointed to 'capitulate the alterations' and lay them before the Committee in writing 'together with their own opinion of the said book". One of Bacon's first works to be published was his Meditationes Sacrae (1597). His other prose works show a fondness for biblical and prayer book analogies. Fripp, op.cit, Vol. 1, p. 424, writes: "Of Elizabethan laymen Shakespeare and Bacon probably quote the Bible most frequently". And again (p. 101), "Only Francis Bacon among contemporary laymen knew the Bible so well [as Shakespeare]. Not the most subtle allusion in Shakespeare to Scripture would be lost on Bacon". At the end of his life Bacon translated 7 of the Psalms into rhyming verse. He had many friends in the Church, from Bishops down.

What of William Shakspere of Stratford? A.L/ Rowse surmises that most of his familiarity with the Bible and the Prayer Book (assuming that he was Shake-Speare the author) must have come from regular attendance at Church from childhood on. But we have seen that when Shakspere was aged about 14, his father ran into financial difficulties. And we know that in 1592 the Stratford authorities included John Shakespeare's name in a list of 9 residents of whom it was said that they "come not to Church for fear of process for debt" (which could be served on them at the Church) - see S. Schoenbaum's William Shakespeare, A Compact Documentary Life (1987), pp. 41-2. This shyness about going to Church had probably started with John's financial problems when William was about 14, so that thereafter there was no encouragement for the rest of the family to attend Church either, at least not more than once a month which was the law's minimum requirement. And after Shakspere joined the Bohemian world of the London Theatre, should one picture him as a regular Church-goer? The Theatre staged plays on Sunday afternoons which clashed with Evensong. Nor can all Shake-Speare's biblical knowledge have come from Church-going. For he was familiar not only with the authorized Bishop's Bible, but also with the Genevan Bible (including the revised 1595 version). There is one piece of evidence that he even knew the de Tournes' Testament printed at Lyons in 1551. In Chapter 7 [of Cockburn's book that this material is coming from], when discussing his knowledge of French, we saw that in Henry V, 3.7.65-6, the Dauphin quotes in French 2 Peter 2.22 as it appears in the de Tournes' testament. Noble, op.cit., p. 43, emphasizes that much of Shake-Speare's biblical knowledge could not have been acquired in Church: "He displays such familiarity with Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastics and in later years with Israel, as can only have been acquired by reading...[at p. 44] It is sufficiently clear that Shake-Speare read the Bible in adult life, and it may be that he did so fairly frequently". As to the Psalms, (p. 48), "Certainly his knowledge of the Psalms is greater than the ordinary layman might be expected to acquire by attendance at Church".

Noble also drew attention to alleged difference between Bacon and Shake-Speare in their treatment of the Scriptures. At p. 87 he wrote: "Unlike Bacon, who quoted the Vulgate frequently, sometimes inaccurately, Shakespeare did not use the Vulgate". The Vulgate was the Catholic Bible in Latin, and it is hardly surprising that Shake-Speare would be chary of quoting Latin in the public Theatre. More generally, at pp. 97-8, Noble wrote: "Canon Todd, generally admitted to be one of the most learned Biblical scholars in the Irish Church today, in commenting on an article by Dr. Caroline Spurgeon, wrote to me: 'Bacon often misinterpreted and misapplied Scripture, Shakespeare rarely". Since one does not know the Canon's evidence, it is difficult to comment on it. But it is grossly improbable that Bacon, who had been brought up on the Bible from his cradle, would have misunderstood it more often than Shakspere. Perhaps Bacon's alleged misinterpretations and misapplications were deliberate adaptation of Biblical texts to his own thoughts and needs. He was wont to do this with quotations of all sorts. He would change, invert, curtail or paraphrase at his pleasure. Noble himself recognized that Bacon was fond of paraphrasing. Most of Shake-Speare's biblical references are mere echoes of snatches of phraseology, so as to make it impossible to know whether or not he understood the full text from which they came. In the light of all the evidence it would be absurd to suppose Will Shakspere's knowledge of the Bible and Prayer Book approached that of Bacon and 'Shake-Speare'.
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4407

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Philosophical Bent

A.L. Rowse, comparing Bacon and Shake-Speare in a newspaper article, wrote that Bacon was "a kindred spirit, though with a more intellectual cast of mind". For my part, I cannot see that Shake-Speare is any less intellectual than Bacon, when due allowance is made for the hugely different media their acknowledged works occupy. Obviously, intellectuality in overtly philosophical works will be far more concentrated than in plays and poetry. But one never ceases to be amazed by the intellectual density of the Shake-Speare works. He was as addicted to philosophizing as Bacon was. In Shake-Speare it mainly took the form of world-wise comments on the human condition. Such comments were fairly common in Elizabethan drama, but according to William Creizenach in his English Drama in the Age of Shakespeare (English translation, 1916), p. 127, "It was certainly the example of Shakespeare which led other dramatists to vie with one another in adorning the lines of their tragic hero with philosophic or would-be philosophic utterances." Even more remarkably, Shake-Speare's philosophizing was not limited to wise saws but extended to technical doctrines of philosophy and natural science, which are quite often dragged in for no dramatic purpose but simply because they were of interest to the author. An example is Hamlet 3.4.71-3. Hamlet is upbraiding his mother for marrying his uncle, and says to her: "Sense sure you have, / Else could you not have motion; but sure that sense / Is apoplex'd." These lines (which are in Quarto 2 but not in the Folio) were only introduced because, as the Arden editor notes: "It was an Aristotelian maxim that the external senses are necessarily present in all creatures which have the power of locomotion." Bacon refers to this doctrine in his The Advancement of Learning and in his Natural History. One is left with the impression that the philosophical and scientific side of Shake-Speare's work meant at least as much to him as the poetic.

Was William Shakspere of Stratford too "all sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought"? With the possible exception mentioned below, none of the stories about him, whether true or apocryphal, present him in his light. Nor can his Stratford upbringing or the hurly-burly of the London Theatre, have conduced to a habit of philosophical reflection.

Here are some quotes from Shakespeare's Philosophy by Colin McGinn (2006). McGinn has taught philosophy at University College of London, Oxford, and Rutgers University, and is currently distinguished professor of philosophy at the university of Miami.

"If I were to award him [Shakespeare] a single label, it would be "naturalist." "
p. 15

"He has the curiosity of a scientist, the judgment of a philosopher, and the soul of a poet. ...He is a beady-eyed naturalist of raging human interiority and social collision. ...In both Montaigne's and Shakespeare's work, there is a kind of appalling, but exhilarating, candor. And some of that ruthlessness is philosophical: the determination to expose reality for what it is, to undermine dogma and complacency. In the end, of course, this is nothing other than a dedication to the truth".
p. 16

"Here we see Shakespeare the empirical naturalist, the proto-scientist."
p. 30

"He [Shakespeare] also approached the mind in the spirit of a scientist--he is interested in how it works, what the components are, and how they interact".
p. 164

"Shakespeare, as a dramatic naturalist, must give us a rendering of this part of nature."
p. 179


Some quotes regarding Bacon:

"He was poet, orator, naturalist, physician, historian, essayist, philosopher, statesman, and judge."
Edwin Reed

"If a man will begin with certainties, he will end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he will end in certainties." Bacon

"There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth."
Bacon

"For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of truth; as having a Mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the Resemblances of Things (which is the chief point) and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their Subtler Differences; as being gifted by Nature with Desire to seek, patience to Doubt, fondness to Meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of Imposture. So I thought my Nature had a kind of familiarity and Relationship with Truth." Bacon, On the Interpretation of Nature

And finally:

“For of all the strange things about this man William Shakespeare one of the most remarkable is the fact that he could contrive no scene so theatrical, no stage effect so comic or dialogue so nonsensical, as to protect himself from the insertion right in the midst of it of touches of nature scientific in their veracity. Such was the grip that truth seems to have had on him.”

The Meaning of Shakespeare, (1951) by Harold C. Goddard, vol. 1, p. 288
Last Edit: 6 years 3 months ago by Unfoldyourself. Reason: To add another quote
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4411

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Moderation

Few would dispute that the Shake-Speare works are pervaded by a spirit of moderation and good sense. Indeed their insistent sanity of outlook is one of their most inspiring features. It is almost epitomized in Nerissa's comment in The Merchant of Venice 1.2.6-8: "It is no mean happiness to be seated in the mean".

That is where Bacon sat himself, in religion, politics, the regimen of health, everything; ever faithful to his family motto: In medio spatio mediocria firma locantur - the firm ground is in the middle. Canon Rawley in his Resuscitatio recorded that the King said of Bacon "That he ever dealt in business suavibus modis (agreeably moderate), which was the way that was most according to his heart". Or as David Lloyd put it in his The Statesmen and Favourites of England (1665), p. 600: "King James said that he [Bacon] knew the way of handling things after a mild and gentle manner". Bacon wrote to the King: "In general...you jump with me in keeping the mid way between the two extremes". In a speech in Parliament he said: "Fair and moderate courses are ever best in causes of estate [state]". Elsewhere he praised the "golden mediocrity".
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4418

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Music

That Shake-Speare loved music is obvious from his work. "He used music more often and more effectively - more variously - than any other dramatic writer", wrote Peter Levi in his The Life and Times of William Shakespeare, p. 48. Bacon too was a music lover. In his Essay on Masques and Triumphs he enthuses about the musical element in Masques. And Aubrey tells us: "His Lordship would many times have music in the next room [to] where he meditated". In a letter to Robert Cecil in 1595 Bacon wrote: "In music I ever loved easy airs, that go full at all the parts together, and not these strange points of accord and discord".

In his Natural History he gives a great variety of experiments touching music. Among his comments on music in that work are: "The sweetest and best harmony is when every part or instrument is not heard by itself, but a conflation of them all, which requireth to stand some distance off, even as it is in the mixture of perfumes, or the taking of the smell of several flowers in the air". A comment in the French version (with a parallel in the English version) is: "I am convinced that music heightens any particular feeling that may possess one for the moment. In my own case, when i am feeling happy, music adds to my happiness of mind; and when I am feeling sorrowful or vexed, it makes me yet more so". he thought a musical note "falling from one tone to another" is "delightful" (Compare Twelfth Night 1.1.4): "That strain again, it had a dying fall"). He suggested that "the division and quavering, which please so much in music, have an agreement with the glittering of light, as the moonbeams playing on a wave" (Remember that the man who wrote these things is alleged by many Stratfordians to have been "prosaic").
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4427

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Sympathetic and Sensitive Disposition Part 1 of 2

This manifests itself in Shake-Speare in a variety of ways. One is that he shows sympathy with the underdog - the poor and oppressed, prisoners, idiots, madmen, gypsies, beggars, peddlers and slaves.

There are signs of the same trait in Bacon. In the prayer which he composed after his impeachment he said: "The state and bread of the poor and oppressed have been precious in mine eyes. I have hated all cruelty and hardness of heart. I have, though in a despised weed, procured [pursued] the good of all men". He often gave money to the poor. His household accounts for July-September 1618 (his only accounts which survive) record several such payments, including:

To Mr. Trowshaw, a poor man & late a prisoner in the
Compter, by your Lp [Lordship's] order 3.-6-0 [a designation of money]
To a poor pilgrim by your Lp. order 2-4-0
To a poor man at St. Albans by your Lp. order 2-6

Also note the parallel to Sonnet 76:

Why write I still alone, ever the same
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name
Shewing their birth and where they did proceed?

In 1620 he wrote to the King: "It is no great ill thing in a judge...that in causes before them the poor have advantage against the rich". In his Essay on Discourse he wrote that topics privileged from jest were "religion, matters of state and any case that deserveth pity". Canon Rawley tells us in his Resuscitatio that when Bacon was prosecuting in the course of his profession, "he looked upon the example with the eye of severity, but upon the person with the eye of pity and compassion". Bacon himself says this in his Essay on Judicature.

Shake-Speare's sympathies extended to animals in distress. This is practically unique among Elizabethan dramatists, and it is not the attitude one would expect from someone of Shakspere's rustic origins. To country people, callousness towards animals, for food, trade or sport, was a traditional and acceptable part of life. And Shakespere's father's trade as a glover required the slaughter of animals, even though the deed was not done on his own premises. Bacon as a Gray's Inn intellectual could afford to be more squeamish. In another post he'll be shown to have objected to the striking of a dog. And in the accounts just mentioned there is a reward of 5 shillings "To the Washwoman, for sending after the crane that flew into the Thames".

Shake-Speare and Bacon both seem to have been sensitive to air. In Macbeth 1.6.1-3, Shake-Speare wrote:

This castle hath a pleasant seat, the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.

In a letter of 1617 to the Duke of Buckingham Bacon wrote: "I have changed from field air to Thames air", meaning that he had moved from his Chambers at Gray's Inn (which adjoined fields) to Dorset house on the river bank. In another letter to Buckingham of 1619 he wrote: "I hope to see him [the King] this summer at Gorhambury. There is sweet air as any is". To Prince Henry he wrote in 1621: "I am much beholding to your Highness's worthy servant Sir John Vaughan, the sweet air and loving usage of whose house hath already much revived my languishing spirits". In a petition to the House of Lords in the same year, begging to be allowed to return from Gorhambury to London, he pleaded: "Here I live upon the sword point of a sharp air". And in 1625 he wrote to a friend: "I thank God by means of the sweet air of the country, I have obtained some degree of health".

Canon Rawley tells us that when the moon was in eclipse, Bacon would faint. As Spedding observes, this indicates "the extreme delicacy of Bacon's temperament".

More on Shake-Speare's and Bacon's sympathetic and sensitive disposition in the next post
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4432

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Sympathetic and Sensitive Disposition Part 2 of 2

One illustration of Shake-Speare's sensibility is his evident dislike of drunkenness. A.L. Rowse rightly commented in his Shakespeare the Man (1973), p. 128: "We can tell from the plays that he had a dislike for drunkenness". Falstaff, for example, is "a great fool" and Sir Toby Belch a "toss-post".

In Othello 2.3.273-5 Cassio exclaims: "O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!" Bacon too, as one would expect, despised drunkenness. In Pierre Ambois's French version of Bacon's A Natural History Bacon writes: "A writer of the present century, when depicting the effects of drunkenness, has well observed that, properly speaking, a man under the power of drink was not a man at all until the following morning". This attitude was unusual in the Bohemian world of the Elizabethan Theatre. Certainly, Ben Jonson, Robert Greene and others relished their cups. One legend has Shakspere himself in a drunken stupor beneath a crab tree after a drinking contest. Another records that he died of a fever contracted at a drinking bout with Jonson and Michael Drayton. Though these stories are very probably apocryphal, they may be right in investing Shakspere with a far from ascetic personality.

Turning to the nasal organ, passages in Shake-Speare suggest that he was acutely sensitive to smell. As Caroline Spurgeon commented in her Shakespeare's Imagery (1935), p. 79, "He expresses the height of disgust and horror through the medium of revolting smells". Bacon too was fastidious about smell. Aubrey tells us in his Brief Lives: "None of his servants durst appear before him without Spanish leather boots, for he would smell the neats [ox] leather which offended him". He particularly abhorred human smells. In his Natural History he wrote: "These empoisonments of air are the more dangerous in meetings of people, because the much breath of people doth further the infection. Therefore, when any such thing is feared, it were good those public places were perfumed before the assemblies" (We'll later see a parallel post on Julius Caesar and the smell of the mob). Bacon was likewise sensitive to pleasant scents, which he often applauds. In his New Atlantis, his fantasy of an ideal world, he envisages "perfume houses". In his Essay on Gardens he writes that the scent of flowers in the air comes and goes like the warbling of music.

A corollary of Shake-Speare's sensitivity is that he is likely to have been thin-skinned. "Shakespeare, we often feel" wrote Trevor-Roper, "had a skin too few". This seems true of Bacon. When he had his row with Sir Edward Coke in the court of Exchequer he was deeply upset. In 1595, following his rejection for the post of Solicitor-General, he had written to Robert Cecil: "I was not an impudent man that could face out a disgrace".
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4435

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Attitude to Love Part 1 of 2

Many Stratfordians see Bacon as a cold fish, incapable of love, who therefore (they argue) could not have written the many love scenes in Shake-Speare. They have attempted to make much of this, and some have proclaimed it as conclusive refutation by itself of the Baconian theory.

Since Bacon was at least predominantly homosexual (Cockburn believes), it is certainly unlikely that he was ever deeply in the throes of heterosexual love, though at the age of 45 he contracted a childless marriage to a girl of about 14, and had earlier contemplated marriage to Lady Hatton. He avouched the body's need for sexual intercourse. In a little known passage in Pierre Amboise's French version of Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum Bacon wrote: "It is certain that the moderate use of love is necessary to maintain the body's health, by soothing and releasing the spirits which otherwise in excess would heat and inflame the whole body. It is for this reason that physicians for certain maladies prescribe sexual intercourse for the patient who then discovers whether he would rather lose his life or his virginity". Canon Rawley omitted this passage from the English version of Sylva Sylvarum but includes a similar passage which begins: "Pleasure in the act of Venus is the greatest of the pleasures of the senses". And there is another similar passage in Bacon's History of Life and Death.

Nor was he blind to the merits of love on a higher plane. In the same work he wrote: "Love, if not unfortunate and too deeply wounding is a kind of joy". But he begins his Essay on Love:

"The Stage is more beholding to Love than the life of man. For as to the Stage, Love is ever matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies. But in life it doth much mischief: sometimes like a siren; sometimes like a fury. You may observe that amongst all the great and worthy persons (whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent) there is not one that hath been transported to the mad degree of love; which shows that great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion".

So Bacon thought Man capable of higher things than "mad degree of love". But this would not preclude him from following the convention he recites and treating of love on the stage. In my view Shake-Speare handles his love scenes in a superficial and purely conventional way. But even if this criticism is unjust, homosexual writers have shown that they can handle heterosexual love scenes convincingly.

As to Shake-Speare's dramatis personae, they express whatever view of love their characters and the context require. Sometimes they enthuse over it; at other times they belittle it, in terms in keeping with Bacon's Essay. For example, in Measure For Measure 1.3.2, we have: "Believe not the dribbling dart of love/Can pierce a complete bosom". Bacon's sole fictional treatment of love in his acknowledged works - the speech in Praise of the Worthiest Affection which he wrote for the Device which the Earl of Essex presented before the Queen on 17 November 1595 - praises love because the context required that. Two of the sentiments in the speech are: "For love doth so fill and possess all the powers of the mind, as it sweetneth the harshness of all deformities"; and "Love is a pure gain and advancement in nature".

end of part 1 of 2
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4440

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Attitude to Love Part 2 of 2

I will now demonstrate that Shake-Speare and Bacon said many of the same things about love,
nearly all of them conventional more or less.

1. Shake-Speare: Love moderately; long love doth so
Bacon: Love me little; love me long
2. Shake-Speare: Why to love I can allege no cause
Bacon: He [Cupid, i.e. Love] is...without a cause
3. Shake-Speare: He's mad that trusts in...a boy's love
Bacon: A boy's love and a dog's health do not endure
4. Shake-Speare: I shall be loved when I am lacked
Bacon: When he is dead he will be loved
5. Shake-Speare: By love the young and tender wit is turned to folly
Bacon: Love is the child of folly
6. Shake-Speare: Love is merely a madness
Bacon: Transported to the mad degree of love
7. Shake-Speare: Love must creep in service where it cannot go
Bacon: Love must creep where it cannot go
8. Shake-Speare: To be wise and love exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above
Bacon: It is not granted to man to love and be wise
9. Shake-Speare: We are soldiers, and may that soldier mere recreant prove that means not, hath not, or is not in love
...
A martial man to be soft fancy's slave!
Bacon: I know not how, but martial men are given to love
10. Shake-Speare: They here stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars
Bacon: Lovers never thought their profession sufficiently graced till they had compared it to a warfare
11. Shake-Speare: It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue in love to the Moor...she must change for youth
Bacon: Love is nourished in young flesh
12. Shake-Speare: Lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit
Bacon: A lover always commits some folly
13. Shake-Speare: O brawling love, O loving hate!
...
My only love sprung from my only hate
Bacon: Love as if you were some day likely to hate. Hate as if you were some day likely to love
14. Shake-Speare: Believe not the dribbling dart of love can pierce a complete bosom
Bacon: Great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion
15. Shake-Speare: Love is blind
Bacon: Blind love
16. Shake-Speare: She burnt with love, as straw with fire flameth; She burnt out love as soon as straw out-burneth
...
Do not give dalliance too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw to the fire in the blood
Bacon: A woman's love is like the fire of? [?=unknown translation of 'essoupe']
17. Shake-Speare: A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon than love that would seem hid. Love's night is noon
Bacon: Love, a cough and an itch cannot be hidden
18. Shake-Speare: When I love thee not Chaos is come again
Bacon: Cupid...united with Chaos begat the gods and all things
[This was not a commonplace]
19. Shake-Speare: Love...with the motion of all elements
Bacon: It is motion therefore that animateth all things....the affections are the motions of the mind
[The working of this parallel with its emphasis on "motions" was not, I think, a commonplace]
20. Shake-Speare: Now for the love of Love and her soft hours....There's not a minute of our lives should stretch without some pleasure now
Bacon: Love is...a true purchase of pleasure
21. Shake-Speare: Prosperity's the very bond of love
...
Where nothing wants [in my beloved] that want itself doth seek
...
This spring of love...love's spring
Bacon: When we be in prosperity, when we want nothing, then is the season the opportunity and the spring of love
22. Shake-Speare: Speed: You never saw her since she was deformed
Valentine: How long hath she been deformed?
Speed: Ever since you loved her
Bacon: Love...sweeteneth the harshness of all deformities
[Speed humorously inverts Bacon's dictum]
23. Shake-Speare: Is not love a Hercules?
Bacon: Let no man fear the yoke of fortune that's in the yoke of love. What fortune can be such a Hercules as shall be able to overcome two? When two souls are joined in one, when one hath another to divide his fortune withal, no force can depress him
24. Shake-Speare: Thy love did read by Rote and could not spell
Bacon: Now therefore will I teach lovers to love that have all this while loved by Rote. I will give them the alphabet of love. I will show them how it is spelled
25. Shake-Speare: O flatter me, for love delights in praises
Bacon: There is no flatterer like to that of a lover
26. Shake-Speare: Love, first learned in a lady's eyes
...
It is engendered in the eyes with gazing fed
Bacon: To leave where love begineth, who discerneth not that the eye is the most affecting sense?...the eye is first contented in love


end of Attitude on Love part 2 of 2
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Some Baconian Evidence - Attitudes and Interests 7 years 5 months ago #4445

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Opinions, attitudes and interests of Shake-Speare and Bacon.

Attitude to Money

When Shake-Speare's plays mention money, they express contempt for it, with lines such as: "How quickly nature falls into revolt / When gold becomes her object...the cankered heaps of strange achieved gold" (2 Henry IV, 4.5.65-6 & 71); and "There is thy gold - worse poison to man's soul" (Romeo and Juliet 5.1.80). And one surely gets the impression that these lines reflect the author's personal sentiments.

But Will Shakspere had a tooth for money. He can perhaps be described not unfairly as a wheeler-dealer, ever eager to make a penny. His biographers record his various property transactions that we know of. Money lending seems to have been one of his activities. In 1608 he sued for £6, being money lent at interest, and when the Defendant failed to pay (and was imprisoned till bailed) Shakspere sought payment from the surety. In 1598 his friend Richard Quinney asked him by letter for a loan of £30, and the letter's working (e.g. "If we bargain farther, you shall be the paymaster yourself") suggests, as Stratfordians agree, that it was a loan at interest. In his Groatsworth of Wit (1592) Robert Greene had accused actors as a class of lending at interest.

The dislike of moneylenders expressed in The Merchant of Venice seems to be authorial, not just adopted for dramatic reasons. So it seems a little odd, if Shakspere was Shake-Speare, that he should have been a money-lender himself. To explain this, H.N. Gibson in his The Shakespeare Claimants p. 39, fell back upon psychology - guilt may lead a man to condemn what he himself practices. But far more often a man justifies what he practices or keeps quiet about it. That Shakspere lent money at interest is not offered as a moral criticism. But it suggests a type of mind which seems difficult to reconcile with Shake-Speare's lofty and majestic spirit.

Bacon's attitude to money seems to have matched Shake-Speare's. Spedding wrote of Bacon that his "fault had always been too much carelessness about money" and that "though always too ready to borrow, to give, to lend and to spend, [he] had never been either a bargainer or a grasper or a hoarder". In a letter to the Queen in 1593 Bacon wrote truly: "My mind turns upon other wheels than profit" (speaking of self-advantage generally). In another letter to the Queen in 1599 he referred to "the contempt of the contemptible that measure a man by his estate". In his History of Henry VII he wrote of Henry: "Of nature assuredly he coveted to accumulate treasure; and was a little poor in admiring riches". In his Of the true Greatness of the Kingdom of Britain he referred to "the idolatry that is generally committed in these degenerate times to money, as it would do all things public and private". In the days of his affluence he was often recklessly extravagant and over-generous. James Howell in a letter to Dr. Prichard of 1626, published in Howell's Epistolae Ho-Elianae (1645), related that once, when the King sent Bacon a stag, the latter sent for the underkeeper and, having drunk the King's health to him in a great silver gilt bowl, gave it to him for his fee.

As to usury, Bacon regarded it as a necessary evil. In his Essay on Riches he wrote: "Usury is the certainest means of gain, though one of the worst". In his History of Henry VII he described it as "the bastard use of money". In his Essay on Seditions and Troubles he opined: "Money is like muck, not good, except it be spread". Will Shakspere, on the other hand, thought it best heaped.
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