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TOPIC: Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet

Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4514

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Note--This series of posts won't be only about Bacon and the writing of Romeo And Juliet, but it will be primarily so. We just won't get there until about post number 6.
Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

With this post I'm starting a series of what are calledPromus parallels. The Promus was a kind of notebook for Francis Bacon in which he jotted down thoughts and phrases that could be of use to him later in his writings. There are about 1655 entries and they are all or nearly all in his handwriting, and include metaphors, similes, aphorisms, apothegms, turns of speech, proverbs, repartee, forms of compliment and single words. Their principal sources were Latin and Greek classics (Seneca, Horace, Virgil and Ovid), the Vulgate (the Latin Bible), a collection of English proverbs by John Heywood, and by Erasmus' Adagia. It includes many French, Spanish, and Italian proverbs plus some of Bacon's own invention. They are dated from about early December 1594 to late January 1596.

Cockburn estimates that about 600 of the 1655 entries have enough points of contact to a passage in the Shake-Speare plays and poems to count as parallels. That itself is significant especially since the Promus was all or nearly all compiled prior to the performance or publication of any of the Shake-Speare works, half of which were not published until the First Folio in 1623. Most of these parallels were Elizabethan commonplaces in that they were derived from sources which would have been available to many scholars or other playwrights. But one question is why Bacon and Shake-Speare use so many of the same commonplaces when there were many others available? Often only parts of a Promus entry are paralleled. And many parallel passages do not have the same meaning, or they mean the opposite. The relevant question though is whether the Shake-Speare passages look like offshoots from the Promus entries.

The Stratfordians do not question that this bulk of parallels exist. H.N. Gibson in his The Shakespeare Claimants, accepted that the proposition that the Promus entries occur profusely in the Shake-Speare plays "is substantially correct and would not be disputed by anyone". Similarly, E.A. Abbot conceded that the Promus contains "a very considerable similarity of phrase and thought between these two great authors". So the question, as with the non-Promus parallels, is how unique are these Promus Bacon/Shake-Speare parallels likely to be, and could they be the result of mutual borrowing?

As to mutual borrowing this is rejected for the following reasons:

1) Shakspere would not have had access to Bacon's private notebook. 2) Only about a third of the Promus entries are in English. 3) None of the plays had been published until 1597 and probably only about 10 had been written and acted by early 1596. 4) If somehow Bacon had jotted notes either from a published or live play that he viewed one would expect these jottings to be bunched together in the Promus. But they are not grouped play by play. The parallel entries are instead widely scattered in the Promus for each Shake-Speare play they are found in. 5) If Bacon had borrowed something from Shake-Speare, one would have expected him to jot it down it its original form, not in a foreign language, and almost none of the parallel entries found in Shake-Speare are in the same Promus form. Many are in seed form only.

Bacon took nearly all of his English proverbs for his Promus from John Heywood, just as most of Shake-Speare's English proverbs are from Heywood. Other playwrights seem not to have relied so heavily on Heywood's proverbs. Only one Stratfordian seems to have attempted to study Bacon's Promus in detail (Charles Crawford in an article Collectanea Stratford on Avon 2nd Series (1907) and his attempt can best be described as sloppy (my summation of Cockburn's analysis).

The following Promus Bacon/Shake-Speare parallels will delve into more foreign language and grammatical analysis and so will not be as straightforward as many of the non-Promus parallels previously posted. But readers will see how challenging and interesting the authorship question can be.

end of Promus - Part 1
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4518

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

Part 2

This is a parallel which may explain a Shake-Speare text.

From Othello 1.2.21-4

Othello: I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege, and my demerits [merits]
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reached;

and from Bacon's Promus (entry 1538):

"Language de hauts bonnets ["[u]Language of high bonnets[/u]"]

Comments: The Arden Othello editor notes on "unbonneted": "This must mean, in the context, 'without taking the bonnet off', i.e. 'on equal terms'". But it is difficult to make the adjective "unbonneted" mean "bonneted". The editor says "unbonneted" does not appear elsewhere in Shake-Speare, but in fact one finds it in Lear 3.1.13 where it is said of Lear "unbonneted he runs", which of course means "without his hat on". The Promus entry may explain Othello's reference to "unbonneted". Randle Cotgrave in his Dictionary of the French and English Tongues (1611) translates the Promus phrase as: "An old wives tale; or a stale, obsolete or overworn language; a fashion of speaking that's old and quite out of fashion". So probably Othello meant: "My merits speak for themselves, without the need for formal or high-flown language". "Unbonneted" then relates to the type of language, not to whether he doffed his hat. The French phrase may have prompted Shake-Speare to use "unbonneted," a word he may have coined since till 1818 the O.E.D. (Old English Dictionary) gives no instance of it apart from the Lear text. In Coriolanus 2.2.25-8 he used "bonneted" to man "doffed his hat to". There "bonneted" is the verb "bonnet", from the French verb "bonneter", with the meaning just stated. The O.E.D. gives no other instance of the verb "bonnet" till 1824. So Shake-Speare may have coined that verb too, from the French verb.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4522

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

(b) a second explanatory parallel

from Shake-Speare's The Merry Wives of Windsor 2.1.146-8


Ford: I melancholy? I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford: Faith, thou hast some crochets in thy head now.


now from Bacon's Promus, (entry 1644):

"Il a beaucoup de grillons in la teste" (a French proverb)

Comments: The Arden editor translates "crochets" as simply: "absurb ideas. The phrase is proverbial (Tilley C.843)". But M.P. Tilley's A Dictionary of Proverbs gives examples of the English proverb from 1577-1670, none of which mention the element of melancholy. However, the French proverb from Bacon's Promus, as translated by Cotgrave's Dictionary means: "He is in his dumps; his head is much troubled, full of crochets or of Proclamations". So it looks as though Shake-Speare may have had in mind the French proverb and its accepted interpretation.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4526

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

(c) a third explanatory parallel

from Shake-Speare's King Henry VIII, 3.2.295-6

"When the brown wench
Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal [Wolsey],"


and from Bacon's Promus (entry 1522):

"Fille brunette gay et nette"

Comment: The Arden editor notes on "brown wench": "probably a slut or an ill-favoured girl". But Cotgrave's Dictionary of the French and English Tongues (1611) gives the full French proverb as "Fille brunette est de nature gaye & nette" and translates it as "A nut-brown girl is neat and blithe by nature". Such a girl might perhaps be a slut, but not ill-favoured. Nor would Cardinal Wolsey's wench have been ill-favoured - he could take his pick. So Shake-Speare's "brown wench" is probably the "fille brunette" of the French jingle Bacon paraphrases in his Promus.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4529

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

(d) a fourth explanatory parallel

from Shake-Speare's Coriolanus 4.7.27-8
[Coriolanus is leading Volscians against the Romans]

Lieutenant: [to Aufidius] Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?
Aufidius: All places yields to him ere he sits down. [Line 28]


from Bacon's Promus (entry 562):

"Romanus sedendo vincit"
["[u]The Roman conquers by sitting down[/u]"; from Erasmus's Adagia 329].


Comment: The Arden editor comments on line 28: "i.e. they yield before he lays siege to them". But the Promus dictum (of which the editor seems unaware) is not specifically related to laying siege; it has a wider meaning, namely that a Roman conquers, not by rash exploits, but by patience and perseverance. Shake-Speare's source, North's translation of Plutarch's Lives, says that Coriolanus did lay siege to Roman cities (see the Arden edition p. 352 - "Then Martius [Coriolanus] did besiege their cities"). The true meaning of Line 28 is not that all places yielded to him without being besieged, but rather that he swept all before him without the need even to show patience and perseverance.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4532

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112) (A folio is a page in the Promus)

Promus Folio 112 represents the 4th subset of parallels that Cockburn felt was remarkable enough, by itself, to constitute proof of common authorship between Bacon and Shake-Speare. The other three were in the plays The Tempest, Troilus And Cressida, Their Theory of Spirits. I personally would also include the subset in Julius Caesar in this list.

Introduction:

Romeo and Juliet was first published in 1597. But this Quarto was pirated and its text corrupt. It was followed in 1599 by a good Quarto. The play is usually thought to have been written in 1595, though some have given it a wider date bracket. Both Q1 and Q2 recite that the play had often been acted by the Lord Chamberlain's Men with no mention of its having been acted by any other company. The Lord Chamberlain's Men, Will Shakspere's company, was not formed till the Spring of 1594. The Arden editor, p. 29, specifies "certain significant reminiscences of The Comedy Of Errors in Romeo and Juliet" and adds that they "may partly be accounted for by the important performance of The Comedy Of Errors at the Gray's Inn Revels on 28 December 1594, when Shakespeare was writing Romeo And Juliet; Errors was fresh in his mind". It was probably in 1595 or December 1594 that Folio 112 of Bacon's Promus was compiled since the immediate previous Folio pages can be dated to that time. So this was about the time, or just before, that Romeo And Juliet was written.

There is a remarkable weight of parallels between this Folio (112) and the play. In the next posting is a transcription by two British Library officials of it, with added 'entry numbers' to the left of each. (The spelling is kept as it is in the original 400 year old document--so prior to our modern standardized spelling, except that superscripts (as the 'e' in 'ye' won't be superscripted here because they would be difficult to read).

The next post contains Folio 112 with some comments.
Last Edit: 7 years 5 months ago by Unfoldyourself.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 5 months ago #4534

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Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet - continued
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112) (A folio is a page in the Promus)

Part 2a

(Readers may want to print this out to more easily refer to it in later posts)
(To the right I'm citing the play the entry is paralleled with and leaving unparalleled entries intact here just for the sake of context. I can't get the tab function to work here so when there is a second line to an entry I'm entering dashes to get the second line up better).

Bacon's Promus of Formularies.
Folio 112

1189 good morow
(Romeo And Juliet)
1190 Good swear
1191 Good trauaile
(All's Well That Ends Well)
1192 good hast
(Measure For Measure)
1193 good matens
1194 good betymes; bonum mane
(1 Henry IV)
1195 bon iouyr. Bon iour; (bridgrome.)
(Romeo And Juliet)
1196 good day to me & good morow to yow.
(Troilus And Cressida)
1197 i haue not sayd all my prayers till haue bid yow
good morow.
1198 Late rysing fynding a bedde,
(Romeo And Juliet)
1199 early risinge, summons to ryse
(Romeo And Juliet)
1200 Diluculo surgere saluberrimum est.
(Twelfth Night)
1201 Surge puer mane sed noli surgere vane.
1202 Yow will not rise afore yor. betters
(Romeo And Juliet)
(ye. sonne.
1203 Por mucho madrugar no amanece mas ayna.
1204 Qui a bon voisin a bon matin
(Romeo And Juliet)
(lodged next;
1205 Stulte quid est somnus gelidae nisi moris imago
(Romeo And Juliet)
1206 Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1207 Albada; golden sleepe.

(Romeo And Juliet)
1208 early vp & neuer ye neere.
1209 The wings of ye. mornying.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1210 The yowth & spring of ye. day
(2 Henry IV)
1211 The Cock; The Larke
(Romeo And Juliet)
1212 Cowrt howres.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1213 Constant; abedd when yow are bedd; & vp when
yow are vp.
1214 Trew mens howres.
1215 Is this your first fligh x I doe not as byrds doe for
I fly owt of my feathers Is it not a fayre one
1216 Sweet, fresh of ye. mornying.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1217 I pray god your early rysing doe yow no hurt;
(Romeo And Juliet)
Amen when I vse it.
1218 I cannot be ydle vp as yow canne.
1219 Yow could not sleep for your yll lodging; I cannot gett
1220 Yow have an alarum in your head
(Romeo And Juliet)
1221 Block heads & clock heads.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1222 There is Law against lyers a bedde.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1223 Yow haue no warrant to ly a bedde.
(Romeo And Juliet)
1224 Synce yow are not gott vp turn vp.
(2 Henry IV)
1225 Hott cocckles withowt sands
1226 god night
(Romeo And Juliet)
1227 Well to forgett;
(Romeo And Juliet)
1228 I wish yow may so well sleepe as yow may not fynd
yor yll lodging.
(Romeo And Juliet)

Remember, these are 'seed' ideas and language parts and aren't expected to be found in the plays exactly as they are found in the Promus. None of the above entries were used in Bacon's prose works, and a few of them by their nature could only be used in plays or in Bacon's personal life. One doubts whether the bawdy puns (which will be explained later) would have been used even in his personal life. They were better suited to the amusement of a theatre audience.

Some other Promus parallels with Roman And Juliet (besides those in Folio 112) will be included even though they may be slight or commonplace. But they are still relevant and interesting as little shreds of mental fibre which help to show that Bacon and Shake-Speare had the same brain texture.
Last Edit: 7 years 4 months ago by Unfoldyourself.
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 4 months ago #4536

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2b Now we'll begin a walk through the play to see where many Promus entries are paralleled.

Romeo And Juliet Prologue 1-3

Two households both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene)
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Bacon's Promus entry 547 (from Folio 93B):

"Anger of all passions beareth the age best" [from Ira omnium tardissime senescit in Erasmus's Adagia 231]

Comment: This of course was a major theme of the play.


R&J Act. 1.1.85-9

(A public fight breaks out between servants of the Montague and Capulet households as a result of taunts. The Prince intervenes:)

"Throw your distempered weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence from your moved prince.
These civil brawls bred of an airy word
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets"


Bacon's Promus entry 394 (from Folio 90B):

'Propugnat nugis armatus scilicet ut non sit mihi prima fides' [Literally:
"He fights with armour on for trifles, forsooth, that I should not have the first
claim to be believed". I think this means: "He picks a quarrel over some trifle
spoken by me and fights over it
".]

Comment: There is another such fight in Act 3.1, where Mercutio and Tybalt are slain.


R&J Act 1.1.116-8

"Madam, an hour before the worshipped sun
Peer'd forth the golden window of the East,
A troubl'd mind drive me [Benvolio] to walk abroad,"


Bacon's Promus entry 1202 (from Folio 112):

"Yow will not rise afore yor. betters"
(ye. sonne."

Comment: This perhaps means: "Your betters are those who rise earlier than you. Therefore by definition you cannot rise before them". Whatever its meaning, why did Bacon add underneath "ye sonne", meaning presumably "the sun" ("ye" being Elizabethan shorthand for "the", and "sonne" being one spelling of "sun")? Was he musing about making a character in the play rise before the sun - as Benvolio does?
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 4 months ago #4539

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Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2c

R&J Act 1.1.169-70

(Romeo, lamenting the rejection of his love by his first beloved, Rosaline, says:)

"Alas that love whose view is muffled still
Should without eyes see pathways to his will"
[i.e. "alas that Cupid, who is always blind, should yet see ways to strike his victims].


Now from Bacon's Promus entry 779 (in Folio 99B)

"Pedum visa est via" ["[u]A pathway has been perceived[/u]", from Adagia 742]

[note: compare to Richard II, 1.2.31: "Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life". Also Titus Adronicus 2.1.110-111: "A speedier course/ Must we pursue and I have found the path"].
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Bacon's notebook for writing Romeo And Juliet 7 years 4 months ago #4544

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Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2d

R&J Act 1.1.171-7

(This continues Romeo's passage from previous post. Part of this has been posted previously in a different parallel. Romeo says:)

"Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here ?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
O anything of nothing first create [created]!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms"!

Bacon's Promus entry 983 (in Folio 103B)

Ama tanquam osurus oderis tanquam amaturus ["[u]Love as if you were some day likely to hate. Hate as if you were some day likely to love[/u]", from Adagia 379]


Comment: This presumably means: "If you love or hate, do so moderately". Shake-Speare does not use this particular paradox about love and hate (except for "Love moderately" in Act 2, 6.14 of Romeo and Juliet), but he does use two similar ones in this play. One is "O brawling love, O loving hate", just quoted. Love and hate are mixed up in Romeo's mind because he loves Rosaline but, as a Montague himself, hates her family, the Capulets. In Act 1.5.137 Juliet describes Romeo for the same reason as "My only love sprung from my only hate". Line 177 echoes Bacon's "Chaos is without form". (A fully explicated parallel on this has been posted in one of the other topics). The whole passage, with its reference to love, creation and chaos, reflects a mythological doctrine which Bacon states as follows in his Of Principles and Origins: "They say that this love was the most ancient of the gods and therefore of all things else, except Chaos which they hold to be coeval with him. He is without any parent of his own but himself, united with Chaos, begat the gods and all things". A glance at this doctrine is made by another Promus entry:

Promus entry 802 (from Folio 100)

"Older than chaos" [from Antiquior quam chaos, Adagia 573]


R&J Act 1.1.190

[Love] Being vex'd, [is] a sea nourished with lovers' tears;


Bacon Promus entry 178 (from Folio 86B)

"L'aqua va al mar" [Water goes to the sea"]


R&J Act 1.1.191-2

"What is it [Love] else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet".

Bacon's Promus entry 571 (from Folio 94B)

"Beware of the vinegar of sweet wine"

Comment: A commonplace. Likewise, in Act 1.5.90-1 Tybalt, fuming over Romeo's intrusion into the Capulet Ball, says: "This intrusion shall / Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall".

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