Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Parallels in Hamlet - Polonius 2 of 3

Shakes-Speare's Hamlet - Polonius / Bacon part 2

In the letters drafted by Bacon borrowing is not mentioned. But Bacon kept a notebook called the Promus, in which he wrote in French "Qui prete a l'ami perd au double" which translates to "Loan to a friend loseth double". This means the same as the Shake-Speare lines for Polonius:

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loseth both itself and friend

Also, in an Essay on Usury Bacon sets out the advantages and disadvantage of lending. On the one hand, "as a farmer cannot husband his ground so well if he sit at a great rent, so the merchant cannot drive his trade so well if he sit at great usury". Usury "doth dull and damp all industries". On the other hand, "the greatest part of trade is driven by young merchants upon borrowing at interest". And if interest is limited to 5%, it "will encourage and edge industrious and profitable improvements".

Remember that Polonius's said in line 77:

"And borrowing (usury) dulls the edge of husbandry".

So, the collocation of "dull" / "dulls", "edge" / "edge", and "husbandry" / "husband" in the Shake-Speare and Bacon texts is striking.

How many authors of an Essay on Usury would use all three of "dulls" (or "dull"), "edge" and "husband" (or "husbandry")?

No comments:

Post a Comment