Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Parallel - Harsh and Untunable

First Shake-Speare:

[of bad tidings] They are harsh and untunable and bad
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 3.1.208

It is the lark that sins so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Romeo And Juliet 3.5.27-8

Like sweet bells jangled out of tune and harsh
Hamlet 3.1.160

     then murder's out of tune 
And sweet revenge grows harsh
Othello 5.2.116-7

Now here are quotations from Bacon's works:

"They must needs, in respect of the opinions of the time, seem harsh and out of tune"   [Latin: duras et absonas].
Novum Organum (Spedding 4.52)

"A lute-string, if it be merely unequal in its parts, giveth a harsh and untunable sound."
Natural History 171 (Spedding 2.406)

"The government of the world and the more secret judgment of God sound somewhat harsh and untunable."
De Augmentis (Spedding 4.326)

"Harsh and untunable"
The Wisdom of the Ancients (Spedding 6(2).713)

Cockburn's comment: For the Hamlet text Q2 has "jangled out of time". The Arden editor in a long note says  "Either time or tune must be a minim error, but as both make excellent sense we cannot be certain which".
But the Bacon texts (of which the editor makes no mention) suggest, as do the other Shake-Speare texts, that Shake-Speare wrote "out of tune". The collocation of "harsh" and "untunable" (or "out of tune") seems not to have been found elsewhere, and so looks like a Bacon/Shake-Speare idiosyncrasy.

Note: My own search of Wisdom of the Ancients turned up in the chapter on "Pan, or Nature': "...sound harsh and dissonant to human ears or human judgment;"

Parallel - Thou, Thou, Thou


Sir Toby says: 
"Taunt him with the license of ink: if thou thou'st him thrice, it shall not be amiss."

Twelfth Night, 3.2.42 

Bacon himself doesn't have a parallel to this that we know of, but this could easily be a reference to a speech of Edward Coke that he made at the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, when Coke said: "Thou Viper, for I thou thee, thou Traitor!"

Edward Coke was a long time enemy at court of Francis Bacon, so this could be one of Bacon's many jests at Coke.

Parallel - Rag and Remnant


"Away, thou rag, thou quantity, thou remnant" The Taming of the Shrew 4.3.112

And Bacon:
"He thought it [an outbreak of force] but a rag or remnant of Bosworth field." Bacon in History of Henry VII

Comment: No one  claims to have found the collocation of "rag" and "remnant" anywhere else.

Parallel - Troubler of the World


"Oh thee, the troubler of the world's peace." Richard III, 1.3.1221

Now Bacon:
"Great conquerors and troublers of the world." Bacon in his Natural history

"That gigantic state of mind which possesseth the troublers of the world...
who would have all men happy or unhappy as they were friends or enemies, and 
would give form to the world according to their own humours." Bacon in The Advancement of Learning

"The French King troubles the Christian world." Bacon in History of Henry VII

Comment: J.M. Robertson gives 13 examples of "troublers" of Israel or of this or that, but none of "troublers" of the "world". Such small differences in working may seem insignificant but they can be a fingerprint.

Parallel - Packhorse

First Shake-Speare:

"I was a packhorse in his great affairs" Richard III, 1.3.122

Now Bacon:
"I have laboured like a packhorse in your business" Bacon's Letter to Murray, c. 1614

Comment: The O.E.D. gives the Shake-Speare text as its earliest example of packhorse used to mean "drudge".

Parallel - Gates of Mercy

First Shake-Speare:

"Open thy gates of mercy, gracious God!" 3 Henry VI, 1.4.177
"The gates of mercy shall be all shut up" Henry V, 3.3.10

Now Bacon:
"We wished him not to shut the gate of your Majesty's mercy against himself by being obdurate any longer." Bacon in Letter to King James

Comment: "Gates of mercy" is not in the Bible, and editors make no mention of it being found elsewhere in the Elizabethan period.

Parallels - Malignant Medicine

First Shake-Speare:

"Though parting be a fretful corrosive,
It is applied to a deathful wound."
  2 Henry VI, 3.2.402-3

               "[The poison] whose effect
Holding such enmity with the blood of man"
  Hamlet 1.5.65

"But with a ling'ring dram that should not work
Maliciously like poison"
  The Winter's Tale 1.2.320-1

now Bacon:
  "Medicine...of secret malignity and disagreement towards man's body...it worketh either by corrosion or by secret malignity and enmity to nature,"
   Natural History

Comment: Thus this triple collocation of medicine's or poison's malignity, enmity to nature/man, and corrosion, appears in both writers, though in Shake-Speare in three different texts.

Parallels on War and "Vent" 2 of 2

The Bacon and Shake-Speare parallel views on War - and "Vent"

Part 2 of 2

continuation of "vent" parallel

Note that, like Bacon, (but unlike Plutarch or North) Shake-Speare uses the word "vent" of the foreign war. The same word takes us next to Coriolanus 4.5.227-31 where the word has caused much perplexity:

"Let me have war, say I. It exceeds peace as far as day does night; it's sprightly walking, audible and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible;"

The Arden editor comments on "sprightly walking...vent": "a much disputed passage, but there is little doubt that the metaphor makes war a hunting hound...vent" is "scent" and "audible" refers to the hound's cry upon scent...It is just possible, however, that "audible" is here used in the rare sense "able to hear". The numerous other interpretations of "full of vent" include "full or rumour", "full of deeds deserving to be vaunted", everything whereby one may throw aside all restraint" and "efficacious to clear the country of its surplus population". One can say that, of the Arden editor's thoughts, the passage has nothing to do with hounds. Would Shake-Speare liken war to "sprightly walking" hounds (like poodles parading at a dog show) rather than to hounds in full cry?

The Bacon text from Henry VII helps to point the true meaning which is "full of emission or discharge" (as has been recognised by one scholar independently of the Bacon text). When Henry VII in his speech said that a foreign war would "vent" sedition at home, he meant that it would discharge it, get rid of it. but Shake-Speare's "full of vent" is not confined to a single type of emission or discharge, but embraces any type which may follow from war. War emits liveliness and fury. It also discharges sedition at home. And the sloth of too long peace. And surplus or starving or diseased population.

Bacon also uses "vent" in the analogous situation of a discharge of surplus population by means not of war but of colonization. For instance, in one of the two sources cited for The Tempest and ascribed to Bacon  (The True and Sincere Declaration; and the True Declaration) one of the Virginia Council's aims is stated to be:

"To provide and build up for the public Honour and Safety of our gracious King and his estates...some small Rampier of our own,  in this opportune and general summer of peace, by transplanting the rankness and multitude of increase in our people; of which there is left no vent but age, and evident danger that the number and infiniteness of them will out-grow the matter, wherein to work for their life and sustentation, and shall one infest and become a burthen to another".

Does "the rankness and multitude" remind one of Shake-Speare's "musty superfluity"?  In the second Declaration it says:

"[By the colonisation] the meaner sort have been provided; the matter of plagues, famine and sedition hath been exhausted; the fens of a state politic were drained...he is overblind that doth not see what an inundation of people doth overflow this little island. Shall we vent this deluge by direct and unchristian policies"?

The author also mentions alternative methods of depopulation which are harsher than colonisation. I regard the use of "vent" in both these reports as further evidence that Bacon was their author; and also as helping to show the wide meaning of Shake-Speare's "full of vent".

(f) In his Promus Bacon noted 'Repice res bello varias' [Consider the varying chances of war]. In Cymbeline 5.5.75 a character says: "Consider, sir, the chances of war". This is obviously based on the Latin tag which Bacon noted.

Conclusion on war and "vent":
  The comparison of war to "exercise" is a small point. And the ideas that civil war was a curse, and that a foreign war cured sedition at home (and perhaps also the idea that it cured the sloth of peace) were commonplaces. However, it seems that the collocation of the words "just" and "honourable" as a definition of legitimate war, was not a commonplace. Nor was the use of "vent" in the type of context quoted. Nor probably was "Consider the chances of war" in that exact wording, based on the Latin. So the use by both our authors of "just and honourable", "vent" and the Latin tag make a weighty composite parallel.

end of part 2

Parallels on War and "Vent" 1 of 2

The Bacon and Shake-Speare parallel views on War - and "Vent"

Part 1 of 2

Though Shake-Speare's personal views on war cannot entirely be known for certain (since his characters sometimes say contrasting things about it), there is equally no ground for inferring that they were any different from Bacon's. Following are some detailed resemblances between statements about war by Bacon and Shake-Speare characters.

Bacon's views on war are summarised in his Essay on the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates:

"No body can be healthful without exercise, neither natural body nor politique. And certainly to a kingdom or estate a just and honourable war is the true exercise. A civil war indeed is like the heat of a fever. But a foreign war is like the heat of exercise and serveth to keep the body in health. For in a slothful peace both courages will effeminate and manners corrupt".

This has various ingredients:

(a) A war must be "just and honourable". Bacon repeated this 9 times elsewhere in his works, 5 of those times using the expression "just and honourable", and the other 4 times either "just" or "honourable". Shake-Speare may have imposed the same condition. For in Henry V, 4.1.127-9, the King, visiting his camp incognito, says:

"Methinks i could not die anywhere so contented, as in the King's company, his cause being just and his quarrel honourable".

This is a typical Bacon/Shake-Speare tautology since "his cause being just" and "his quarrel honourable" mean the same thing. Bacon combines "just" with "quarrel" in one of the texts listed above:

"To a war (such as may promise success) there are three things required: a just quarrel [etc. etc]".

(b) Bacon describes war with the metaphor "exercise". So does Shake-Speare in Coriolanus 1.5.14-20:

Lartius:              Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
                 Thy exercise hath been too violent
                 For a second course of fight.
Coriolanus:         Sir, praise me not;
                 My work hath not yet warm'd me

(Compare Bacon's poem Device of an Indian Prince L.9: "No nation breeds a warmer blood of war").

(c) A civil war is a fever. This was the main and persistent theme of Shake-Speare's English history plays, and undoubtedly represented his personal view.

(d) A foreign war cures the evils of a slothful peace. In a letter of advice to the Earl of Rutland (drafted by Bacon for the Earl of Essex) Bacon combined (c) and (d):

"I account no state flourishing but that which hath neither civil war nor too long peace".

Shake-Speare touches on slothful peace in 2 Henry IV, 4.5.209-214, quoted below. See also Hamlet 4.4.27.

(e) Another attribute of war is mentioned by Bacon, not in his Essay but in his History of Henry VII. There Bacon records (one presumes largely in Bacon's own words) a speech by Henry VII to Parliament in which he said:

"I have in this time that I have reigned weeded out my bad subjects and tried my good. My people and I know one another, which breeds confidence. And if there should be any bad blood left in this kingdom, an honourable foreign war will vent it or purefy it".

By "bad blood" Henry meant "sedition". He may have meant also "slothful blood". A foreign war as a means of dispelling sedition at home is mentioned by Shake-Speare in two texts. In 2 Henry IV, 4.5.207-214 the King says:

"...I might well lodge a fear
To be again displac'd; which to avoid,
I cut them off, and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels, that action hence borne out
May waste the memory of the former days".

"Rest and lying still" perhaps suggest slothful peace, one consequence of which is sedition.
In Coriolanus 1.1.223-5 we find:

Messenger:   The news is sir, the Volsces are in arms.
Coriolanus:    I am glad on't; then we shall ha' means to vent
                    Our musty superfluity.

This was suggested by North's translation of Plutarch (Shake-Speare's source) which says: "they levied out of...the city of Rome a great number to go against the Volsces, hoping by the means of foreign war to pacify their sedition at home". "Our musty superfluity" was the seditious persons  (Rome being short of food). Note that, like Bacon, (but unlike Plutarch or North) Shake-Speare uses the word "vent" of the foreign war. The same word takes us next to Coriolanus 4.5.227-31 where the word has caused much perplexity:

end of part 1 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Lover's Complaint

A Lover's Complaint

This poem was published with the Shake-Speare Sonnets in 1609. Line 63 of this poem has the phrase:

"The grounds and motives of his woe"

Now in Bacon:

"Secondly, as a matter of nature and unlike the former, we entered into consideration of such limit any constitutions as served but for to obtain a form of justice between subjects under several monarchs, and did in the very grounds and motives of them presuppose incursions and intermixture of hostility".
  Preface to the Report of the Commissioners for England and Scotland (1604)

"The first to prove the malice which Somerset bare to Overbury, which was the motive and ground of the impoisonment".
   A letter from Bacon to the King in 1616 about the evidence to be used on the trial of the Earl of Somerset

When in Shake-Speare's A Lover's Complaint I [N.B. Cockburn] read the rather odd tautology "grounds and motives", it struck me as having a very Baconian ring, and I guessed it would be found somewhere in his works. Does it appear elsewhere?
It should be said that Bacon and Shake-Speare were both much addicted to little tautologies or near-tautologies of this sort. Another is "large and ample" which Bacon uses in Spedding 8.33, and Shake-Speare in Henry V, 1.2.226. It is also in the True and Sincere Declaration (p. 342 of Brown's edition) which we ascribe to Bacon. However, both our authors hardly ever use the identical tautology twice. Instead they ring the changes on it slightly. For example, in addition to "grounds and motives" and "motive and ground", Bacon has "ground and cause", "grounds and causes" and "cause and ground". Shake-Speare has "base and ground" (Twelfth Night 5.1.78). In addition to "large and ample", Bacon has "ample and large", "ample and spacious", "large and spacious" (Spedding 9.88; 10.112; and 7.665). Bacon has "scope and end" and "scope and desire". Shake-Speare has "line and scope", "gross and scope" and "scope and tenour" (2 Henry IV 4.4.39; Hamlet 1.1.71; and Sonnet 61.8). And he splits Bacon's "scope and desire" into "Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope" (Sonnet 29.7). Bacon has "actions of great peril and motion" (Spedding 9.87), while Shake-Speare has "enterprises of great pith and moment" (Hamlet 3.1.86). Escaping a little from tautology, Shake-Speare has "base and envious" and "base and bloody" (1 Henry VI, 3.1.194; and 2 Henry IV, 4.1.39). Bacon combines them in one text - "base, bloody, and envious" (Spedding 3.274). Thus may little shreds of language whisper common authorship.

Note: See also posts on Asmund and Cornelia

Parallels - Shakespeare's King John and Bacon

Here is shown what parallels exist between a single Shake-Speare play - King John - and a single Bacon work, the History of Henry VII (1622). Bacon seldom philosophizes in that work, so the only parallels we can expect to find, if our two authors are one, between the play and the history, are little snatches of distinctive phraseology. And we do find them. Individually they are slight, but cumulatively significant.

K.J. 1.1.188:  'too respective [respectful] and too sociable'
Bacon:          'towards his Queen respective and companionable'

K.J. 2.1.82:   'For courage mounteth with occasion'
Bacon:         'His wit increased upon the occasion'
note: There was a proverb "Great courage is in greatest dangers tried". But Shake-Speare words it similarly to Bacon's line.

K.J. 2.1.241-2: 'For this down-trodden equity we tread
                       In war-like march these greens before your town,'
Bacon:            'He had  given order that there should be nothing in his journey like unto a warlike march'
note: The usual expression was "to tread a march", without the inclusion of "warlike".

K.J. 2.1.568-9 & 587-8
                'That broker [expediency] that still breaks the pate of faith,
                 That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,'
                'And why rail I on this commodity [expediency]?    (line 587)
                 But for because he hath not woo'd me yet'
Bacon:      'And for the politic and wholesome laws which were enacted in his
                 time they were interpreted to be but the brokage of an usurper
                 thereby to woo and win the hearts of the people.'
note:  Compare Hamlet 1.3.126-31 where Polonius tells Orphelia not to believe Hamlet's vows "for they are brokers...the better to beguile". Thus Bacon and Shake-Speare both describe expediency (supposed expediency in the Bacon passage) as a "broker" designed to "woo" or to "beguile".

K.J. 2.2.40:    'Which harm within itself so heinous'
Bacon:          'This offence, in itself so heinous'

K.J. 3.3.167:   The legate Pandulph tells the Dauphin that the people will "pick
                     strong matter of revolt and wrath / Out of the bloody fingers' ends
                     of John".
Bacon:           'Some [people] prying and picking matter out of Perkin's countenance and gesture to talk of'

K.J. 3.3.176-7   [of amassing soldiers] 'Or as a little snow, tumbled about,
                      Anon becomes a mountain.'
Bacon:           'Their snowball did not gather as it rolled.'
note:  In both these texts the rolling snowball image is used of military forces.

K.J. 2.1.114 & 3.3.181
                 'To look into the blots and stains of right.'    (line 114)
                 'I will whet on [play on] the King.'             (line 181)
Bacon:       '[There] began to be discovered in the King that disposition which
                  afterwards nourished and whet on by bad counsellors and ministers,
                  proved the blot of his time.'

K.J. 4.2.203:    'Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears?'
Bacon:            'And he was possessed with many secret fears.'
note:  This Shake-Speare text is immediately followed by the King John parallel in the previous post.
note 2: Shake-Speare uses similar words in 1 Henry IV 2.2.100 and Henry V, 4.1.296,

K.J. 5.1.69:     'Arms invasive'
Bacon:           'It was not the first blow that made the war invasive.'

K.J. 5.7.53-4:   'The shrouds wherewith my life should sail'
Bacon:            'Indeed it came to pass that divers came away by the thread,
                      Sometimes one and sometimes another.'

K.J. 1.1.92:     'A half face like my father'
Bacon:           'Neither did they observe so much as the half face of justice'

It is legitimate to wonder whether one could find any other single play written at any time by any author other than Shake-Speare which shares with Bacon's Henry VII, 11 or more such turns of speech, most of them, it seems, idiosyncratic to some extent.

Parallel - King's humour as a warrant - King John

Now, from Shake-Speare's King John 4.2.203-15, 237 & 242

KING JOHN. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears?
    Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
    Thy hand hath murd'red him. I had a mighty cause
    To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
  HUBERT. No had, my lord! Why, did you not provoke me?
  KING JOHN. It is the curse of kings to be attended
    By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
    To break within the bloody house of life,
    And on the winking of authority
    To understand a law; to know the meaning
    Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
    More upon humour than advis'd respect.
  HUBERT. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
King John. But thou didst understand me by my signs,
     Out of my sight, and never see me more!

now Bacon:
  "These ministers, being by nature cruel, and knowing well enough what they are wanted for, apply themselves to this kind of work with wonderful diligence; till from want of caution and from over eagerness to ingratiate themselves, they at one time or another (taking a nod or ambiguous word of the prince for a warrant) perpetrate some execution that is odious and unpopular. Upon which the prince, not willing to take envy [blame] of it upon himself, throws them overboard".  Wisdom of the Ancients (Spedding 6(2).704)

Also by Bacon: "Kings hate, when uttered, the very words they have ordered to be uttered: [Latin: Odere reges dicta quae dici jubent]. The Promus 367 (included here because it partners the above passage).

Note: These Bacon and Shake-Speare passages follow each other uncannily, even to the minister being thrown overboard. And their treatment of these matters only partly accords with Holinshed (see Arden edition p. 154).

King John was written by 1598 at the very latest. So Shake-Speare cannot have borrowed from The Wisdom of the Ancients which was not published till 1609; nor Bacon from the published play which did not appear till 1623.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Parallels - Tempest: 2 of 2 Granting/Denying suits; over-topping; ivy; oft-telling; screens

This parallel is the second of two parallels from The Tempest that Cockburn believes, by their remarkableness, reach the status of proof of common authorship by themselves.

They are both from The Tempest. The first parallel of this set was published earlier. It involved the phrase "The print of goodness". 

This is a long post as Cockburn wrote 4 pages on it alone. I'm abridging it down to about three of his pages. The analysis you'll find gets into some challenging detail, but this is necessary to cover all angles of an argument. So some of the extra detail may only be of interest to those with more of a scholarly interest in the subject.
The following is from The Tempest 1.2. 77-110

  PROSPERO.      Thy false uncle-
    Dost thou attend me?
  MIRANDA.    Sir, most heedfully.
  PROSPERO.    Being once perfected how to grant suits,    {ACT1|SC2, line 80}
    How to deny them, who t'advance, and who
    To trash for over-topping, new created
    The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd 'em,
    Or else new form'd 'em; having both the key
    Of officer and office, set all hearts i' th' state
    To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was
    The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,                    {ACT1|SC2, line 87}
    And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st not.
  MIRANDA.    O, good sir, I do!
  PROSPERO.   I pray thee, mark me.
    I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
    To closeness and the bettering of my mind
    With that which, but by being so retir'd,
    O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother
    Awak'd an evil nature; and my trust,
    Like a good parent, did beget of him
    A falsehood, in its contrary as great
    As my trust was; which had indeed no limit,
    A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,
    Not only with what my revenue yielded,
    But what my power might else exact, like one       
    Who having into truth, by telling of it,                    {ACT1|SC2, line 100}
    Made such a sinner of his memory,
    To credit his own lie-he did believe
    He was indeed the Duke; out o' th' substitution,
    And executing th' outward face of royalty
    With all prerogative. Hence his ambition growing--Dost thou hear?
  MIRANDA.     Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
  PROSPERO.     To have no screen between this part he play'd
    And him he play'd it for, he needs will be
    Absolute Milan. Me, poor man, my library
    Was dukedom large enough,

Comments: Let us look first at lines 80-82, and compare them with a letter from Bacon to the King in 1620:

Bacon: "To grant all suits were to undo yourself or your people; to deny all suits were to see never a contented face; as your Majesty hath of late won hearts by depressing, you should in this lose no hearts by advancing".

And in his Essay on Ambition Bacon wrote:  "There is use also of ambitious men in pulling down the greatness of any subject that overtops". As in line 82 above.

These passages share with Shake-Speare's lines the contrast between granting and denying suits, and the collocation of "advance" / "advancing" and "overtopping" / "overtops".
Now look at line 87, and compare it with this from Bacon's History of Henry VII, speaking of Perkin Warbeck's plan to murder the Lieutenant of the Tower:

"It was ordained that this winding ivy of a Plantagenet should kill the tree itself".

Thus in both authors this ivy-round-a-tree metaphor is applied to a usurper.

Next, lines 100-4. The 18th century scholar Edmund Malone wrote of these lines: "There is a very singluar coincidence between this passage and one in Bacon's History of Henry VII". The Bacon passage reads:

"[Perking Warbeck] did in all things notably acquit himself; insomuch as it was generally believed, as well amongst great persons as amongst the vulgar, that he was indeed Duke Richard. Nay, himself with long and continual counterfeiting and oft telling a lie, he was turned by habit almost into the thing he seemed to be; and from a liar to a believer".

Warbeck was a boy who was schooled by Margaret, duchess dowager of Burgandy, to put himself forward as being young Duke Richard, heir to the throne, who was now in fact dead. Like Bacon, Shake-Speare evidently knew of the story that Warbeck had come to believe his own deception, and he decided to apply it to Antonio in the play. The story is related in John Speed's History of Great Britain (1611), as follows:

"Neither was he [Warbeck] in any point wanting to his part...and as it is so observed of some, that by long using to report an untruth, as last forgetting themselves to be the authors thereof, believe it is earnest; so these honours making our Peter [Perkins] to bury in utter oblivion his birth's obscurity, he seemed to be persuaded that he was indeed the self party whom he did so exactly personate".

However, Shake-Speare is unlikely to have taken the story from Speed since The Tempest was probably written in 1610, before Speed's huge work was published (though Bacon might well have seen it in manuscript if it was in preparation over a period of years). And, so far as I know, the story did not appear in any other published source. But it was probably well known among historians by reason of its human and dramatic interest. Bacon is far more likely to have known it than Shakspere - English history was not on the curriculum at Stratford Grammar School. Further, there are two similarities of wording between the Shake-Speare lines and the Bacon passage, which are not the inevitable consequence of both authors writing about the same thing, as is illustrated by their absence from Speed's account. First, "into" in line 100 must be a corruption of "minted", as some scholars have suggested. So Shake-Speare had a coin image in mind. So probably did Bacon in his "counterfeiting". This inference is strengthened by a comment on Warbeck which Bacon attributes only 6 lines later to a speech by Dr. Warham, our Ambassador to Flanders, namely that:

"To counterfeit the dead image of a King in his coin is an high offence by all laws. But to counterfeit the living image of a king in his person exceedeth all falsifications."

And in his The Advancement of Learning Bacon refers to "the mint of knowledge".

Secondly, Shake-Speare's "telling of it" must be a corruption of "telling oft", as again scholars have recognized - 'oft telling' was an essential prerequisite of the deception. So Shake-Speare's "telling oft" matches Bacon's "oft telling".

Shake-Speare cannot have borrowed from Bacon, whose Henry VII was not published till 1622; nor could Bacon from the published play which first appeared in 1623 and in any event does not mention Warbeck.

Then in line 107 Shake-Speare says: "To have no screen between his part..."  There are three places where Bacon describes ministers as "screens" for the rulers they serve.

a) "There is also great use of ambitious men in being screens to Princes in matters of danger and envy. For no man will take that part except he be like a sealed dove, that mounts and mounts, because he cannot see about him. There is also use of ambitious men in pulling down the greatness of any subject that overtops".
    Essay on Ambition

The last sentence, as we have seen, affords the parallel with line 79-81. By the first sentence Bacon meant that ministers are useful screens for Princes since, if anything goes wrong, the ministers, rather than the Princes themselves, will get the blame.

b) "And nothing doth extinguish envy more than for a great person to preserve all other inferior officers in their full rights and pre-eminences of their places. For by that means there be so many screens between him and envy".
    Essay on Envy

c)  "...make a good Lord Treasurer whose proper duty is...to stop suits, put back pensions, check allowances, question merits, translate the suit from the suitor to your Majesty in a proportion; and in short to be a screen to your Majesty in things of this nature".
    Letter to King James of 20 September 1620

This last quote was from the same letter that was quoted earlier in regard to "granting suits". So the same letter deals with both suits and screens, as do the Shake-Speare lines. Shake-Speare, like Bacon, associated ministers with "screens". So, though he does not quite liken Antonio to a screen, he still couches his statement in "screen" terminology. Did any other Elizabethan speak of ministers as "screens", or as having "screens" between themselves and their sovereign? Shake-Speare cannot have borrowed "screens" from Bacon since the play was written before any of the three Bacon texts had appeared; nor Bacon from the published play which first appeared in 1623.

Lastly, in the last two Shake-Speare lines above, where Prospero describes his library as "dukedom large enough". Compare a letter by Bacon to Lord Burleigh about 1592 in which Bacon says: "I have taken  all knowledge to be my province".

So, in the above Shake-Speare Tempest quote there are 4 striking parallels with Bacon passages. The first and fourth arise from three consecutive sentences in Bacon's Essay on Ambition. And the fourth explains Shake-Speare lines which have troubled editors. (I omitted some of that analysis to save space here). It is fair to say that the whole Tempest quote is saturated with Bacon thought and expression.

Parallel - The Tempest: Print of Goodness 1 of 2

This parallel is the first of two parallels from The Tempest that Cockburn believes, by their remarkableness, reach the status of proof of common authorship by themselves. It is also one of 4-5 sets of parallels that he believes can have such status. 

In The Tempest 1.2.353-5 we have:

"Abhorred slave
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill!"

On "any print of goodness" the Arden editor comments: "Tannenbaum would read point, but the metaphor seems to be from printing". They would hardly have had any doubt about it if they had known these Bacon parallels:

"Veritas [truth] and Bonitas [goodness] differ but as the seal and the print; for truth prints goodness."
  Bacon in The Advancement of Learning

"This Janus of imagination hath differing faces: for the face towards Reason hath the print of Truth, but the face towards Action hath the print of Goodness."
Bacon's The Advancement of Learning

"The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in human nature."
Bacon's Essay on Goodness

"Let it be . . . that, living or dying, the print of the goodness of King James may be in my heart."
Bacon's Letter to King James in 1624

Chronologically Shake-Speare could have borrowed from The Advancement texts, but Bacon could not have borrowed from the published play. Did any other Elizabethan speak of the "print" of goodness?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parallel - Forgiving Friends

Again from Shake-Speare:

"What vilder thing upon the earth than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends!
How rarely [splendidly] does it meet with this time's guise
When man was wished to love his enemies!
Grant I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me than those that do"!  
 Timon of Athens 4.3.466-71

Now Bacon: "Cosmus, Duke of Florence had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable: "You shall read (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends".
  Essay on Revenge

"Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends "That we read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends".
  from Bacon's "Apothegms"

Comment:  That friends are worse than enemies was probably a commonplace, but our authors both couple it with the ironic point that the injunction to love (or forgive) our enemies does not require us to love (or forgive) our friends.

Parallel - Friend as 'Another myself'

Again, Shake-Speare's Timon of Athens:

Flaminius says to Lucullus who claims to be a friend of Flaminius's master, Timon:
   "Thou disease of a friend, and not himself"!
 Timon of Athens  3.1.53

Bacon:  "A friend is another himself [i.e. a true friend of someone is so close to that person as to be indistinguishable form him. A dictum of classical origin]".
  Essay on Friendship

"Your King, whom he desires to make another himself, and to be one and the same thing with him".
  Bacon's  History of Henry VII

Comment:  The Arden editor interprets: "Lucullus is said to bear the same relation to a true friend ("himself") as a disease bears to a healthy body". This identifies 'himself' with Lucullus, if he had been a true friend. But on this reading the addition of "and not himself" is superfluous and flat. I have no doubt that Bacon's dictum point the true meaning which is that Lucullus is a disease upon Timon when he ought to be (if he were a true friend) Timon "himself".  Bacon called his friend Tobie Matthew "another myself".

Parallel - Love of dogs

More from Timon of Athens  

Alcibiades:  What art thout? Speak.
Timon:       A beast, as thou art.
             I am Misanthropos and hate mankind.
             For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog
             That I might love thee something.
 Timon of Athens  4.3.49-56

Bacon:  "A natural and secret hatred and aversion towards society in any man hath somewhat of the savage beast.
   Essay on Friendship

  "The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts and give alms to dogs and birds".
  Bacon's  Essay on Goodness and Goodness of Nature

Parallel - Sea of air

First, Shake-Speare:

One of Timon's servants says of the ruin of his house:

"Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery.
That see I by  our faces; we are fellows still
Serving alike in sorrow. Leak'd is our bark,
And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
Hearing the surges threat; we must all part
Into this sea of air".
Timon of Athens 4.2.17-22

and now Bacon:  "Who taught the bee to sail through such a vast sea of air and to find the way from a field in flower a great way off to her hive"?

Comment:  "Sea of air" seems a surprising metaphor in both contexts. A different phrase considered odd by commentators is Hamlet's "Or to take arms against a sea of troubles" (in his "To be or not to be" speech 3.1.59). To "take arms" against a sea has been thought to be an inappropriate metaphor. But in his Apothegms Bacon said of the large army with which Charles VIII invaded Italy: "Caius Marius was general of the Romans against the Cimbers who came with such a sea of multitude upon Italy". So Bacon would presumably have thought it proper to say (if it had been historically true) that the people of Italy "took arms" against the sea. "Sea of multitude" reminds one incidentally of Shake-Speare's "multitudinous seas incarnadine" (Macbeth 2.2.61).

Parallel - Contempt of Self

In his De Augmentis Bacon wrote:

"Let pride go a step higher and from contempt of other rise to contempt of self, and it becomes philosophy".

Compare to Shake-Speare:

Apemantus:  Heavens, that I were a Lord!
Timon:          What woulds't do then, Apemantus?
Apemantus:  E'en as Apemantus does now; hate a Lord with all my heart.
Timon:          What, thyself?
Apemantus:  Aye.
  Timon Of Athens 1.1.226-31

So Apemantus would step from contempt of other lords to contempt of himself - and Apemantus is the philosopher of the play. As to borrowing, the play was first published in 1623 and De Augmentis in the same year.

Parallel - Sustaining Corn

In his Natural History Bacon wrote:

"There be certain cornflowers, which come seldom or never in other places unless they be set, but only amongst corn; as the blue-bottle, a kind of yellow marigold, wild poppy and fumitory...So as it should seem to be the corn that qualifyeth the earth and prepareth it for their growth".

Again, in his Novum Organum:

"If it be said that there is consent and friendship between corn and corncockle or the wild poppy, because these herbs hardly come up except in ploughed fields; it should be said that there is enmity between them, because the poppy and corn-cockle are emitted and generated from the juice of the earth which the corn has left and rejected; so that sowing the ground with corn prepares it for their growth".

Now compare King Lear 4.4.1-6

Cordelia (of her father):
  Alack! 'Tis he: why he was met even now
  As mad as the vex'd sea; singing aloud;
  Crowned with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds,
  With Hardock, hemlocks, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
  Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
  In our sustaining corn

Comment: Editors have read "sustaining" as a platitudinous reference to the fact that  corn sustains human life. But that has no relevance in the context; nor in any of his other 35 references to corn does Shake-speare ever preface "corn" with "sustaining" or any similar adjective. There was no need even to mention that the weeds grew among corn since, if he had decked his hair with any weeds, that would equally have been evidence of madness. So why does Shake-Speare put the weeds among corn? The likely answer is that by "sustaining" he meant, as least primarily, that the corn sustains the furrow weeds, as in the Bacon passages. "Our sustaining corn" need not imply "corn which sustains us"; the corn was ours in any event because it was cultivated, not wild. It is true that this effect of corn upon weeds would seem to have no relevance in the context either. But it is just possible that Shake-Speare saw Lear as corn which sustained idle weeds - that is, his two ungrateful daughters. Even if this was not on his mind, it was his wont to make interesting comments on nature, en passant - and corn's role in sustaining the furrow weeds is far more interesting that its sustenance of human life.

Shake-Speare could not have borrowed from Bacon whose two works in question were not published till years later. And Bacon could not have found in the play (first published in 1608) his theory as to why corn sustains furrow weeds.

Parallel - Ashes of Chance and Fortune

First, Shake-Speare

from Anthony And Cleopatra 5.2.172-3

"Or shall I show the cinders of my spirits
Through the ashes of my chance"?

Now Bacon:

"Beneath the ashes of my fortune the sparks of love shall ever remain alive".
   Letter to Count Gondomar (in Latin)

"The sparks of my affection shall ever rest quick under the ashes of my fortune, to do you service".
   Letter to Lord Falkland

"While I live, my affection to do your Lordship service shall remain quick under the ashes of my fortune."
   Letter to Lord Digby

"I hope I am rather embers than dead ashes, having the heat of good affections under the ashes of my fortune".
   Notes for interview with King James

Note: Fire under ashes was a familiar poetical conceit. But no parallel has been cited for the metaphor of fire etc under "ashes of fortune" or "ashes of chance". Shake-Speare uses "chance" rather than Bacon's "fortune" because the metre required a monosyllable. Some scholars amend "spirits" to "spirit" - they evidently do not know Bacon's theory of "spirits". I.M. Ingleby amended "chance" to "glance". He and the rest evidently did not know the Bacon parallels just quoted. All the Bacon texts were in 1622. Likewise it was chronologically impossible for Bacon to have borrowed from Anthony And Cleopatra which was not published till 1623.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Parallels - Causeless, Galen and Paracelsus

All's Well That Ends Well  2.3.1-18

Lafew:    They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons
              to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless.
              Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
              into seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves to an
              unknown fear.
Parolles: Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath shot out in our
              latter times.
Bertram:  And so 'tis.
Lafew:    To be relinquished of the artists -
Parolles: So I say - both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Lafew:    Of all the learned and authentic Fellows.
Parolles: Right; so I say.
Lafew:    That gave him out incurable -
Parolles: Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
Lafew:    Not to be help'd.
Parolles: Right; as 'twere a man assur'd of a -
Lafew:    Uncertain life and sure death.

Let us take first the first 3 lines. The Arden editor notes that causeless here must mean something like "whose cause is hidden", i.e. inexplicable. Of course. But he might delete "something like" if he knew the Bacon parallels. In his Novum Organum Bacon wrote:

"For we are not to give up the investigation, until the properties and qualities found in such things as may be taken for miracles of nature be reduced and comprehended under some form of fixed law; so that all the irregularity or singularity shall be found to depend on some common form, and the miracle shall turn out to be only in the exact specific differences, and the degree and the rare occurrence; not in the species itself; whereas now the thoughts of men go no further than to pronounce such things the secret and mighty works of nature, things as it were causeless, and exceptions to general rules".

Thus Shake-Speare's "supernatural and causeless" corresponds to Bacon's "secret and mighty works of nature, things as it were causeless". Bacon had expatiated on the same theme 25 years earlier in the Speech of the 2nd Counselor which he wrote for the Gray's Inn Revels of 1594-5:

"When your Excellency shall have added depth of knowledge to the fineness of your spirits and the greatness of your power, then indeed you shall be a Trismegistus; and then when all other miracles and wonders shall cease, by reason that you shall have discovered their natural causes, yourself shall be left the only miracle and wonder of the world".

Now take lines 3-6. They mean (to adopt the Arden editor's paraphrase) that we make trifles of terrors, "seeking refuge in presumed knowledge, when we should be admitting humbly that the world is fearfully unknown". Bacon said much the same thing in his Preface to Novum Organum:

"[It is] absolutely necessary that the excess of honour and admiration with which our existing stock of inventions is regarded be...stripped off, and men be duly warned not to exaggerate or make too much of them".

Lastly let us look at lines 7-18. The ancient physicians Galen and Paracelsus held that some diseases are incurable. Shake-Speare in these lines berates them for this view. Bacon too poured scorn on it.

In his Temporis Partus Masculus he wrote:

"Galen was a man of the narrowest mind, a forsaker of experience and a vain pretender. Like the dogstar he condemned mankind to death, for he assumed that whole classes of disease are incurable ...But I could better endure thee, O Galen, weighing thy elements, than thee, O Paracelsus, adorning thy dreams. With what zeal do both of you take shelter under the authority of Hippocrates, like asses under a tree? And who bursts not into laughter at such a sight"?

Again, in his Filum Labyrinthi he wrote:

"The physician pronounceth many diseases incurable and faileth oft in the rest".

Further, in The Advancement of Learning he uses the same word "relinquished" in connection with Paracelsus as does Shake-Speare in the line by Lafew:

"Though the inhumanity of anatomia vivorum [vivisection] was by Celsus [Paracelsus] justly reproved; yet in regard of the great use of this observation, the inquiry needed not by him so slightly to have been relinquished altogether, or referred to the casual practices of surgery; but mought have been diverted upon the dissection of beasts alive".

Though Galen lived in the 2nd century A.D., his authority was still much respected by Elizabethans. Yet Bacon despised him. And so too, it seems from the above lines from the play, did Shake-Speare.  There is perhaps also a hint of contempt by Shake-Speare in Coriolanus 2.1.111-17:

Virgilia:      Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw't.
Menenius:  A letter for me! It gives me an estate of seven years' health; In
                 which time I will make a lip at the physician. The most sovereign
                 prescription in Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative,
                 of no better report than a horse-drench.

So Menenius receives a letter which he says is as good as giving him a guarantee of 7 years health in which time he will sneer at physicians. He says the most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empiricutic (i.e. the work of a quack) and, compared to the preservative of the letter, of no more use than a draught of horse medicine. When one couples this text with the All's Well text (in both of which Galen is dragged in unnecessarily), it is reasonable to infer that Shake-Speare himself, and not just his characters, felt (like Bacon) an unorthodox contempt of Galen.

The whole of Shake-Speare's lines above from All's Well are unadulterated Bacon. They yield, as we have seen, 4 Bacon parallels - 1) miracles "causeless", 2) over-confidence in presumed knowledge, 3) ridicule of Galen and Paracelsus for holding some diseases incurable, and 4) use of the word "relinquished". And the Coriolanus text adds a 5th parallel - contempt of Galen generally.

On the first and second points in All's Well Shake-Speare, if he was William Shakspere, could not have borrowed from Bacon since Novum Organum was not published till 1620; nor Bacon from the published play which first appeared in 1623. On the third point Shake-Speare could not have borrowed from Bacon since neither Bacon work in question was published in Shake-Speare's lifetime. And Bacon could not have borrowed from the published play since his works in question were written long before it. On the 4th point Shake-Speare could not have borrowed from Bacon since the play was written before the Advancement was published; nor Bacon from the published play which did not come out till 1623. On the Coriolanus point, the Bacon work was not published in Shake-Speare's lifetime but was written before Coriolanus was published in 1623.