Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Comedy of Errors - Authorship

Who wrote The Comedy of Errors? 

A lot of historical sleuthing has shown that William Shakspere is very unlikely to have been able to write The Comedy of Errors (or Love's Labor Lost and other Shakespeare works), and that Bacon was perfectly situated to have written them. The evidence is freely available to examine and too lengthy to post here but I can summarize it.

This I'm borrowing mostly from N.B.Cockburn's, The Bacon Shakespeare Question (1998).

The Comedy of Errors was first performed during the Gray's Inn Revels of Christmas 1594-5. Gray's Inn was one of the law schools in London. At times they held Revels for entertainment and as a kind of rehearsal in the arts of government for later careers for the students. The Revels over Christmas 1594-5 were on an unusually lavish scale. A fairly full account was published in 1688 called "Gesta Grayorum".

One of the entertainments of these Revels was A Comedy of Errors which is generally agreed to be the same as in the Shakespeare First Folio. There are several speeches in the Revels which people are in agreement that they were by Bacon. For instance, Stratfordian A.L.Rowse says "These were written by Bacon with whom such subjects were a characteristic concern."  So,
1) Already we know that both Bacon and "Shake-Speare" contributed to writing of these same Revels.
2) Then there are several parallels in plot between the play and the rest of the revels. For instance, both of them have a common theme of 'Errors and confusion due to sorcery'.
3) the 'Sorcerer' was probably Bacon, as he was the person most likely responsible for arranging for, planning, and managing the Revels, being also a Treasurer of Gray's Inn at the time. In addition, his name 'Bacon' links him to the philosopher/scientist Roger Bacon who Catholic Church had labeled a 'sorcerer'.
4) Cockburn cites language in Gesta Grayorum that suggests Bacon both hired players to put on the play but also wrote it for them.
5) Besides plot theme similarities, there are many idea and language similarities between the play and the rest of the revels that suggest the play's author knew the content and speeches in the rest of the Revels so that the play could be closely integrated with them.
6) There are a number of legal terms and references in this early play which are much more likely to have been written by a lawyer (Bacon) for other lawyers and law students, than by a non-lawyer (Will Shakspere).
7) The play is Shake-Speare's shortest and this also suggests it was written specifically for the Revels to fit in with them timewise. This implies that it wasn't meant for the theater in general as its length was too short for normal theater productions. And this adds to the reasons why a playwright is not likely to have written it, as it would have been uneconomical to spend the time on it. Playwrights did not seem to want to write plays for a single performance before a private audience. Most plays before Queen Elizabeth or King James had been performed elsewhere first.
8) There is also no record in Gray's Inn's accounts of having paid any playwright for the play, and since they were under tight finances at the time, it's also unlikely that they would have paid an outside playwright for it.
9) Perhaps most importantly, the historical evidence suggests that Gray's Inn had a tradition of writing it's own plays and masques. It's members "excelled in dramatics". In the Elizabethan time period there is only one play performed at one of the Inns of Court that wasn't written by a member there. This was George Chapman in 1613 and even he was said to have lived for a time at Gray's Inn and so even he could be regarded as being one of their members in an informal sense.
10) Finally, Will Shakspere's theater group the Lord Chamberlain's Men were scheduled to play before the Queen on the same night that The Comedy of Errors was played at Gray's Inn, and so it's very unlikely he could have been there for the play. Gesta Grayorum does say that "a Comedy of Errors ...was played by the Players" and that the sorcerer had "foisted a Company of base and common Fellows" to make up our disorders with a Play of Errors and Confusions." But, Cockburn argues, "this seems so offensive a description of the players, even by Elizabethan standards of class consciousness, that one wonders if the company was a mock one, part of the prevailing make-believe, consisting in truth of Inn members who could indulge in such jocular rudeness against themselves." Shakespeare scholars have tried to get around the problem of the Lord's men being at two places at once by inventing the possibility of an error in the dating of the records. But no other errors in such dating has been found and there's no other reason to argue for such an error.

Again, this is just a summary of some of the main evidential points that show there are "low odds" for Will Shakspere's authorship of The Comedy of Errors, and that Bacon is their most likely author.

See also Barry Clark's The Bacon Shakespeare Puzzle, chapter 6, pages 124-141 where he has additional evidence and analysis on this play.

Here's a paragraph from Clark's chapter:

"Curiously, there is no mention in the Gesta Grayorum of the author of The Comedy of Errors even though it lists the names of some 80 Grays Inn members who played the Officers and Attendants of the Prince. Neither is there a record in the Pension Book of Gray’s Inn of anyone (actor or dramatist) being paid for it while an entry on 11 February 1595 informs us that the sum of 100 marks was to be paid to “the gentlemen [of Gray’s Inn] for their sports and shewes this Shrovetyde at the court before the Queens Majestie” (see §6.11). So Gray’s Inn had a company of actors in existence at the time of the Gray’s Inn revels, payments to them were recorded in the Pension Book, and if the dramatist received no fee then he was most probably an Inns of Court member. Whoever he was, he would have required a sound command of Latin for neither of these two Plautine plays had been printed in English by the end of 1594."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Tempest authorship - part 1

Note: The following set of posts on the authorship of The Tempest come from chapter 3 of Barry Clarke's book The Shakespeare Puzzle: A Non-esoteric Baconian Theory which can be found here:   http://stores.lulu.com/puzzledbarry

Chapter 3. The Tempest (1)

3.1 Preliminary

We examine the evidence supporting the current scholarly view that the main source for Shake-speare's The Tempest was a letter known as the True Reportory (TR) sent back from the newly established Virginia colony in 1610, about a year before the play's first known performance. It appears that this letter was restricted (Section 3.3) and that the actor William Shakespeare could not have had access to it, a thesis that scholars have not hitherto examined. Section 3.4 is dedicated to dating The Tempest and we find a new topical allusion that assists in dating the play to after 1610. This argues against the Earl of Oxford being the play's author since he died six years earlier. A propagandist version of the TR, known as the True Declaration (TD), was registered by the Virginia Company in November 1610. In support of its author being Sir Francis Bacon, we present a table of metaphorical parallels (Section 3.5) between the TD and Bacon's work, and show where these also correspond to the Shake-speare work.

3.2 New Virginia Colony
In 1606, the newly inaugurated Virginia Company published a Charter with the design of financing and promoting the inhabitation of the new Virginia colony in America. Eight names appear on the document who bought shares at 12 10s (12.50) each. The Virginia Company's three ships set sail in December 1606, with 144 men and boys, and on 13 May 1607, the first settlers built a three-sided fort on the banks of the James at Jamestown Island. The early settlers attempted to make the venture profitable by producing glass, pitch, potash and tar, on the promise of land ownership after seven year service. Unfortunately, it was cheaper to buy them elsewhere.

On 23 May 1609, the Second Virginia Charter was issued signed by King James with the attached names of 52 Council members charged with governing the colony from London. Sir Francis Bacon, whom King James had promoted to Solicitor-General only two years earlier, was one of them but William Shakespeare was not.

An expedition of nine ships carrying some 600 passengers set sail from Plymouth to reinforce the colony on Friday evening 10 May 1609. On 23 July, while off Bermuda, one of the ships, the Sea Venture, carrying both the intended Deputy Governor, Sir Thomas Gates, and the Secretary, William Strachey, hit a severe storm which damaged their vessel. After furiously bailing out water for three days and four nights, the ship became wedged between two rocks off Bermuda and all 150 passengers astonishingly reached dry land. The rest of the fleet made it to Virginia only to encounter disease, starvation, and the inhospitable natives. Meanwhile, at Bermuda, despite several attempts at mutiny, the survivors built two small vessels from the remains of the Sea Venture, and on 10 May 1610 they continued to Jamestown. On reaching the colony on 23 May, they found that most of the emigrants had died of starvation the previous winter. The native Indians had prevented the settlers from hunting, fishing or gathering wood, and had eliminated those who ventured outside the fort to do so. So on 7 June, with food in short supply, the colonists abandoned the post for Newfoundland with the intention of returning home on the English fishing fleet but, after fortuitously rendezvousing with Sir Thomas West's (Lord De La Warre) approaching supply ships, they elected to re-inhabit the colony. Nevertheless, many were discouraged and later returned to England.

In the Shake-speare play The Tempest, which received its first known performance on 1 November 1611 at Whitehall, a fleet bound for Naples hits a storm and the ship carrying Alonso, King of Naples, becomes separated from the rest of the fleet who assume that Alonso has succumbed:

Ariel: …and for the rest o' th' Fleet
(Which I dispers'd), they all have met again,
And are upon the Mediterranean Flote
Bound sadly home for Naples,
Supposing that they saw the King's ship wrackt,
And his great person perish.
(1610-11 The Tempest, 1.2.232-6)

The Tempest authorship - part 2

The Tempest,  (2)

3.3 True Reportory Secrecy

On 15 July 1610, having being relieved by Lord De La Warre, Gates left the colony and in September 1610 arrived back in England. In his possession was a 20,000-word report written by William Strachey, addressed to a noble lady connected with the Virginia Council, revealing the murders and insurrections in the new colony.

It was Henry Howard Furness (1892) who first noticed descriptive correspondences between this letter (TR) and passages in The Tempest suggesting that the letter had been used by Shake-speare as a source for the play. However, the letter was not published by the Virginia Council and was only discovered when Richard Hakluyt, one of the eight names on the First Virginia Charter (1606), died in 1616 and a copy was found among his papers. It was subsequently acquired by Samuel Purchas who published it in 1625 under the title A true reportory of the wracke, and redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight; vpon, and from the Ilands of the Bermudas: his comming to Virginia, and the estate of that Colonie then, and after, vnder the gouernment of the Lord La Warre, Iuly 15. 1610. written by William Strachey, Esquire. Appended to it was a selection of extracts from A True Declaration of the state of the Colony in Virginia with a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise, a shorter and more sanitized version of events on the colony prior to July 1610, which had been entered in the Stationers Register by the Virginia Company on 8 November 1610.

Silvester Jourdain, who had been aboard the Sea Venture when it ran aground off Bermuda, also published his own account of the storm in A Discovery of the Bermudas, Otherwise Called the Isle of Devils which appeared on 3 October 1610 and ran to about 12 pages. There is also a short letter which also sourced the TD, signed by Lord De La Warre and dated 7 July 1610 which was sent from Jamestown to the Virginia Council in London.

We now consider the evidence that the TR travelled back to England with Sir Thomas Gates on 15 July 1610.

Our first observation is that Strachey appears to have been writing the letter as events unfolded:

“Here (worthy Lady) let mee haue a little your pardon, for hauing now a better heart, then when I first landed, I will briefely describe vnto you, the situation and forme of our Fort.”  

The last event that it discusses is Sir Thomas Gates' departure for England accompanied by the native chief's son Kainta:

“And the fifteenth day of Iuly, in the Blessing, Captaine Adams brought them to Point Comfort, where at that time (as well to take his leaue of the Lieutenant Generall Sir Thomas Gates, now bound for England, as to dispatch the ships) the Lord Gouernour and Captaine Generall [both Lord De La Warre's titles] had pitched his Tent in Algernoone Fort. The Kings Sonne Kainta the Lord Gouernour and Captaine Generall, hath sent now into England, vntil the ships arriue here againe the next Spring.”

In other words, following instructions from England to kidnap native children, Lord De La Warre had sent the native chief's son Kainta to England. If the TR had missed this voyage, then the next opportunity for it to travel to England was in eight months time. When Gates left Jamestown, Strachey stayed behind and if the letter had stayed with him one might expect events after Gates' farewell to receive attention in the TR but they do not.

The Tempest authorship - part 3

The Tempest,  (3)

3.3 True Reportory Secrecy cont.

Gates had evidently been informed by De La Warre that he was required to report to the Virginia Council back in England.

According to Jourdain: “They [the Council] resolued to send for Sir Thomas Gates, who being come, they adiured him to deale plainely with them, and to make a true relation of those things which were presently to be had, or hereafter to be hoped for in Virginia”.

The TR, as its full title suggests, was a report about “Sir Thomas Gates Knight”, so the probability lies with William Strachey having prepared the report specifically for Gates' presentation to the Council.

The TD (registered 8 November 1610) states that it was intended to confutesuch scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise” and was intended to “wash away those spots, which foul mouths (to justify their own disloyalty) have cast upon so fruitful, so fertile, and so excellent a country”. In order to reassure potential settlers and investors who might have met with the unfavourable accounts of those accompanying Sir Thomas Gates back to England, it appears to re-frame certain events given in the TR. It opens by declaring its material to have been borrowed from the “secrets of the judicial council of Virginia, from the letters of the Lord La Ware, [and] from the mouth of Sir Thomas Gates”. Either the TR provided material for the TD or vice versa. For example, regarding the secret trading between certain mariners and the natives, the TR informs us:

“And I may truely say beside, so had our men abased, and to such a contempt, had they brought the value of our Copper, that a peece which would haue bought a bushell of their Corne in former time, would not now buy a little Cade or Basket of a Pottle”.

whereas the TD gives:

“whereby the Virginians [natives] were glutted with our trifles and enhanced the prices for their corn and victual. That Copper which before would have prouided a bushel, would not now obtaine so much as a Pottle”.

There is a passage that appears in both the TR and TD without mention in either De La Warre's letter or Jourdain's publication. Discussing the detriment to health of being situated on low marsh ground by a river rather than on a hill, the TR states:

“and some experience we haue to perswade our selues that it may be so; for of foure hundred and odde men, which were seated at the Fals the last yeere when the Fleete came in with fresh and yong able spirits, vnder the gouernment of Captain Francis West, and of one hundred to the Seawards (on the South side of our Riuer), in the Country of the Nansamundes, vnder the charge of Captaine Iohn Martin, there did not so much as one man miscarry, and but very few or none fall sicke, whereas at Iames Towne, the same time, and the same moneths, one hundred sickened, & halfe the number died”.

This story is repeated in the TD:

“we have an infallible proof of the temper of the country, for of an hundred and odd which were seated at the Falls under the government of Captain Francis West, and of an hundred to the seaward on the south side of the river, (in the country of Nansemonds) under the charge of Captain John Martin, of all these two hundred there did not so much as one man miscarry. When in Jamestown at the same time and in the same months, one hundred sickened, and half the number died”.

The Tempest authorship - part 4

The Tempest,  (4)

3.3 True Reportory Secrecy cont.

The causal evidence that the TD followed the TR as a reinterpretation is as follows. The TD claims:

“Our mutinous loiterers would not sow with providence … An incredible example of their idleness is the report of Sir Thomas Gates, who affirmeth that after coming thither he hath seen some of them eat their fish raw rather than they would go a stone’s cast to fetch wood and dress it”.

If the author of the TD had relied on the TR then he would have been aware that:

“Viewing the Fort, we found the Pallisadoes torne downe, the Ports open, the Gates from off the hinges, and emptie houses (which Owners death had taken from them) rent vp and burnt, rather then the dwellers would step into the Woods a stones cast off from them, to fetch other fire-wood: and it is true, the Indian killed as fast without, if our men stirred but beyond the bounds of their Blockhouse, as Famine and Pestilence did within”.

The common use of “stone's cast”, which appears neither in De La Warre nor Jourdain, suggests that he had. He would also have been aware from the TR that when the men gathered strawberries or fetched fresh water, the Indians:

“would assault and charge with their bows and arrows, in which manner they killed many of our men”.

Nevertheless, the author of the TD blames the settlers:

“They created the Indians our implacable enemies by some violence they had offered”.

The TD reports the slaughter of some 30 settlers and although admitting that “they were cruelly murdered and massacred” it is framed as the response of a provoked tribe of Indians who were “boiling with desire of revenge”. To account for why the settlers caught no fish before Gates' arrival from Bermuda the TR reports (without judgment) the absence of nets:

“nor was there at the Fort, as they whom we found related vnto vs, any meanes to take fish, neither sufficient Seine, nor other conuenient Net, and yet if there had, there was not one eye of Sturgeon yet come into the Riuer”.

This passage is almost identical to one sent in the De La Warre letter to the Virginia Council in England, dated 7 July 1610. The TR also informs us:

“Besides that the Indian thus euill intreated vs, the Riuer (which were wont before this time of the yeare to be plentifull of Sturgeon) had not now a Fish to be seene in it, and albeit we laboured, and hold our Net twenty times day and night, yet we tooke not so much as would content halfe the Fishermen”.

It is unclear whether or not the first eight words are introducing the next evil that the Indians had performed or are referring to the previous one, but if it is the former then the TR is suggesting that the Indians had taken all the fish from the river. Being loathe to dissuade potential investors by portraying the natives as a threat, the TD again blames the settlers:

there is great store of Fish in the Riuer, especially of Sturgeon; but our men prouided no more of them then for present necessitie, not barreling vp any store against that season the Sturgeon returned to the Sea. And not to dissemble their folly, they suffered fourteene nets (which was all they had) to rot and spoyle, which by orderly drying and mending might haue beene preserued: but being lost, all helpe of fishing perished”.

These “fourteene nets” are mentioned neither in Strachey's letter nor in De La Warre's.

The TD now ventures into fantasy by implying that the sturgeon are in such good supply as to be a profitable commodity:

“The merchant knows that ... sturgeon, which is brought from the east countries, can come but twice a year, and that not before the end of April or the beginning of May, which many times, in regard of the heat of those months, is tainted in the transportation, when from Virginia they may be brought to us in four and twenty days, and in all the cold seasons of the Year”.

The Tempest authorship - part 5

The Tempest,  (5)

3.3 True Reportory Secrecy - cont.

The TR reports Gates finally reaching Jamestown from Bermuda:

“it pleased our governor to make a speech unto the company … if he should not find it possible and easy to supply them with something from the country by the endeavours of his able men, he would make ready and transport them all into their native country … at which there was a …shout of joy”.

As we have learned, on 7 June 1610 the men actually abandoned the colony, and it was only Lord La Warre's approaching supply ships that encouraged them to turn back. Word of this PR disaster almost certainly got back to England and the TD cheerfully asks “Why those that were (eye witnesses) of the former supposed miseries do voluntarily return with joy and comfort?” One wonders if they did.

In The Cultural Life of the American Colonies, Louis Booker Wright states that the TR:

gives a discouraging picture of Jamestown, but it is significant that it had to wait fifteen years to see print, for the Virginia Company just at that time was subsidizing preachers and others to give glowing descriptions of Virginia and its prospects”.

Suffice it to say that if, in publishing the TD, the Virginia Council were so keen to attribute blame to the settlers, exaggerate the available resources, and reward preachers for spreading their propaganda, then they would have almost certainly kept the TR restricted. Item 27 of the governing Council’s instructions to Sir Thomas Gates before he set out for the colony supports this view:

You must take especial care what relacions [accounts] come into England and what lettres are written and that all thinges of that nature may be boxed up and sealed and sent to first of [sic] the Council here, …and that at the arrivall and retourne of every shippinge you endeavour to knowe all the particular passages and informacions given on both sides and to advise us accordingly”.

However, aware that the TR sourced The Tempest and being keen to uphold the candidacy of the actor William Shakespeare, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare maintains that the TR was “circulated in manuscript” without mention of any restriction. Even though there is no evidence that Shakspere of Stratford ever met William Strachey, in the Arden Shakespeare edition of The Tempest, Kermode ventures to speculate that:

“there seems to have been an opportunity for Shakespeare to see the unpublished report, or even to have met Strachey”.

One is left with the impression that some benevolent Council member who had already risked his own investment in the colony, was happy to present a copy of the TR to his non-Council member friend William Shakespeare of the King's Men whose business was unashamedly public. If this had occurred it would have been the Virginia Company's worst nightmare, yet the absurdity of the proposition does not prevent it from being repeatedly and uncritically propagated in “scholarly” books.

The Tempest authorship - part 6

The Tempest,  (6)

3.4 Dating The Tempest

The Oxfordian researchers Kositsky and Stritmatter, seeing the problem that a 1610 dating of The Tempest would pose for the Earl of Oxford's authorship candidacy (he died in 1604), have objected to the view that Strachey's letter reached England with Sir Thomas Gates in September 1610 in time to source the play. Their argument is partly based on a letter dated 14 December 1610 from the Virginia Company secretary and prominent Council member Richard Martin to William Strachey in Virginia. Martin requests that:

“you would be pleased by the return of this ship [Hercules] to let me understand from you the nature & quality of the soil, & how it is like to serve you without help from hence, the manners of the people, how the Barbarians are content with your being there, but especially how our own people do brook their obedience how they endure labor, whether willingly or upon constraint, how they live in the exercise of religion, whether out of conscience or for fashion, and generally what ease you have in the government there”.

These points are covered in Strachey's letter and Martin would surely have seen it if it had arrived before December. The argument runs that the fact he is asking these questions means that it had not arrived by this date. The counter to this is that, as we have seen, the TD (registered 8 November 1610 by the Virginia Council) reports that Sir Thomas Gates was sent for by the Council, and Richard Martin would almost certainly have been privy to his report (which I suggest was the TR), would have had an opportunity to interrogate Gates, and had ample opportunity to have all his questions answered, not only by Gates by also by others who had returned. The implication is that Martin's questions to Strachey do not relate to information about the colony during Gates' tenure because he had already acquired this information and, given the uncertainty in Jamestown prior to 15 July 1610, he was instead requesting an update on the state of government there after Gates left Virginia and William Strachey behind.

Kermode [The Tempest, Arden Shakespeare (London, Methuen: 1958), pp.xxxii-xxxiii] and Bullough [Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, Vol. 8, (1975), pp.334-9] have suggested that the TR is not necessarily a source for The Tempest since almost any account of a shipwreck prior to 1610 contains similar material. For example, at the start of The Tempest we have the following:

Boteswaine. Downe with the top-Maste…
(1610-11 The Tempest, 1.1.31)

The TR gives:
“we … had now purposed to have cut down the Maine Mast the more to lighten her”.

However, this could just as well have come from Erasmus’s Naufragium/The Shipwreck (1523):

“When he so said, he commanded al the ropes to be cut, and the Mainemaste to be sawen down close by the boxe”.

The Tempest authorship - part 7

The Tempest,  (7)

3.4 Dating The Tempest  cont.

When the spirit Ariel reports to his master Prospero:

Ariel. I boorded the King’s ship: now on the Beake, Now in the Waste,
the Decke, in euery Cabyn, I flam’d amazement, sometime I’d diuide and
burne in many places; on the Top-mast, The Yardes and Bore-Spritt,
would I flame distinctly, Then meete and ioyne …
(1610-11 The Tempest, 1.2.196-201)

we are reminded of the following section in the TR:

“Sir George Somers … had an apparition of a little round light, like a faint star, trembling, and streaming along with a sparkling blaze, half the height upon the Maine Mast, and shooting sometimes from shroud to shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the four Shrouds … The superstitious seamen make many constructions of this sea fire”.

We note that Eden’s The Decades of the New Worlde Or West India (1555) might also have been its inspiration:

“For there appeared in theyr shyppes certeyne flames of fyre burnynge very cleare, which they caul Saynt Helen and Saynt Nicholas. These appeared as thoughe they had byn uppon the masts of the shyppes, in such clearnesse that they tooke away theyr sight … I have here thought good to saye sumewhat of these straunge fyers which sum ignorant folks thynke to bee spirites or such other phantasies wheras they are but natural thunges proceadynge of naturall causes … Of the kynde of trewe fyer, is the fyer baul or starre commonly called Saynt Helen which is sumetyme seene abowte the mastes of shyppes … and is a token of drowning”.

While there might be alternative shipwreck sources to the TR, there are also non-shipwreck parallels between the TR and The Tempest connected with events on Bermuda and at Jamestown. Some of these are listed below.

Strachey Letter
“Berries, whereof our men seething, straining, and letting stand some three or four days, made a kind of pleasant drink” (p.18)

The Tempest
Caliban is reminiscing about how kind Prospero had been to him.
Caliban: ” … would’st giue me water
with berries in’t …” (1.2.333-4)
Strachey Letter
Animals mentioned are “Toade” (p.23), “black beetle” (p.23), “owls, and bats in great store” (p.30)

The Tempest
Caliban: “Toades, Beetles, Battes light on you …” (1.2.340)
Ariel (singing): “ … There I cowch when Owles do crie, On the battes back I doe fly…” (5.1.90-1)

The Tempest authorship - part 8

The Tempest,  (8)

3.4 Dating The Tempest  cont.

Strachey Letter
Some rebels “by a mutual consent forsook their labour . . . and like outlawes betook them to the wild woods” after which they demanded “two suits of apparel” each from the Governor (pp.49, 50).

The Tempest
Ariel leads Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban to Prospero to trick them into stealing clothes
Ariel: “ … they my lowing follow’d, through Tooth’d briars, sharp furzes, prickin gosse, & thorns
Prospero “The trumpery in my house goe bring it hither …”
Enter Ariel laden with glistering Apparell  (4.1.179-80,186,193)

Strachey Letter
The Governor uncovered an insurrection “before the time was ripe for the execution thereof” following which “every man thenceforth commanded to wear his weapon . . . and every man advised to stand upon his guard” (p.47).

The Tempest
Sebastian and Antonio’s plot against the King is discovered.
Gonzalo: “ I saw their weapons drawne: there was a noyse, That’s verily: ‘tis best we stand upon our guard; Or that we quit this place; let’s draw our weapons”. (2.1.318-20)

Strachey Letter
One of the plotters “was brought forth in manacles” (p.45)

The Tempest
Prospero (to Ferdinand): “ …I’ll manacle thy neck and feet together” (1.2.461)

Strachey Letter
The Spaniard “Gonzalus Ferdinandus Oviedus,” who first described the Bermudas is mentioned (p.18).

The Tempest
Two of the characters in The Tempest are Gonzalo and Ferdinand.

Strachey Letter
At first Gates, refusing to respond in like manner to the barbarous native Indians, “…would not by any meanes be wrought to a violent proceeding against them, for all the practices of villainy, with which they daily endangered our men, thinking it possible, by a more tractable course, to win them to a better condition: but nowhe well perceived, how little a faire and noble intreaty workes upon a barbarous disposition, and therefore in some measure purposed to be revenged” (p.88)

The Tempest
Prospero’s hardening of attitude towards Caliban, after Caliban has attempted to rape Miranda, mirrors the Governor’s change towards the natives.
Miranda: “ … I pitied thee, Took paines to make thee speake, taught thee each hour, One thing or another: when thou didst not (Savage) Know thine own meaning … But thy wild race (Tho thou didst learn) had that in’t, Which good natures Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou Deservedly confin’d into this Rocke …(1.2.353-61)

The Tempest authorship - part 9

The Tempest,  (9)

3.4 Dating The Tempest  cont.

Another point that must not be neglected is that the first known performance of The Tempest was before King James. Since the King had a strong commitment to the Virginia Colony any allusions to it in the play would have ensured his attention when he attended the 1611 performance at Whitehall. To illustrate this point about topical allusions, there was a rumour circulating King James’s court in December 1609, that Arabella Stuart, a first cousin of the King’s and a member of the Queen’s household, was secretly planning to wed Stephano Janiculo, a man of dubious character who was posing as the Prince of Moldavia. Two years later, The Tempest  was performed before King James with two characters Stephano and Trinculo who form a double-act as servants to Alonso, the King of Naples. Joined together, these two names exhibit a remarkable similarity to Stephano Janiculo. One dramatist who certainly made use of the incident was Ben Jonson:

“... the Prince of Moldovia, and of his mistris, mistris Epicoene”.
(1610 Epicoene, 5.1)

There are several circumstances that conspire to make this a reasonable Shake-speare allusion. Stephano evidently sees himself as an aristocrat:

Stephano: “Monster, I will kill this man [Prospero]: his daughter and I will be king and queen ...” (3.2.102-3)

Caliban addresses Stephano as such with “Prithee, my King, be quiet” (4.1.214), and Prospero engages Stephano with:

Prospero: “You'ld be King o' the isle, sirrah”?
Stephano: “I should have been a sore one, then”. (5.1.287-8)

It is clear that Trinculo believes that Stephano does not deserve such a title:

Trinculo: “... They say there's but five upon this island: we are three of them; if th'other two be brained like us, the state totters”. (3.2.5-6)

Like Stephano Janiculo, Stephano has awarded himself an aristocratic title above his rank. The connection between Stephano Janiculo and Stephano and Trinculo might only register with an audience if the two names were mentioned in dialogue together and this actually occurs:

Trinculo:Stephano! If thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo ...” (2.2.93-5)

The Tempest authorship -part 10

The Tempest,  (10)

3.4 Dating The Tempest  cont.

This apparent topical allusion in The Tempest has not, to my knowledge, been pointed out hitherto. Within the space of two years we have this possible allusion (Stephano Janiculo), Strachey's TR letter, and the first known performance of The Tempest, so this weighs in favour of a 1610-11 dating.

With the letter arriving in England in September 1610, there was ample time to write a play. The first known performance was at Court on Hallowmas night, 1 November 1611, by the King’s Men, although it is unlikely that William Shakespeare was still acting with them at this time — he appeared with the King’s Men in neither The Foxe (1605), The Alchemist (1610), nor Cataline (1611). After The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest is the shortest of the Shake-speare plays, and since theatre plays were usually two hours long, it was an unsuitable length for these outdoor arenas.

The Goddess Ceres' promise of a life untouched by winter appears both in the masque in Act 4 of The Tempest and the St Valentine’s Day (14 February 1613) wedding of Princess Elizabeth and it has been suggested that on this basis The Tempest was performed there. Sir William Dugdale reports that Inns of Court actors were present at these festivities:

“In the 10th [year] of king James, the gentlemen of this house [Gray’s Inn] were (together with those of the other innes of court) actors in that great mask at Whitehall at the marriage of the king’s eldest daughter unto Frederick count palatine of the Rhene …

This “great mask” involved horses, chariots, and an impressive light show all set on Thames barges, and Sir Francis Bacon produced it. We shall now examine the thesis that the TD was written by Sir Francis Bacon and we list some metaphorical parallels between the TD, Bacon's work, and the Shake-speare work.

The Tempest authorship -part 11

The Tempest,  (11)

3.5 Dating The True Declaration (TD)

William Strachey went on to write The History of Travel into Virginia Britannica, a book that avoided duplicating the details of the TR. First published in 1849 and edited by R.H. Major, three manuscript copies survive dedicated to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland; Sir William Apsley, Purveyor of his Majesty’s Navy Royal; and Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor. In the dedication to Bacon, which must have been composed after 1618, Strachey writes:

“Your Lordship ever approving himself a most noble fautor [supporter] of the Virginia Plantation, being from the beginning (with other lords and earls) of the principal counsel applied to propagate and guide it;”

This gives Bacon a prominent position on the Council. Hotson in his I, William Shakespeare Do Appoint Thomas Russell,Esquire (1937) has conjectured that Sir Dudley Digges, brother of Leonard Digges (who penned a eulogy for Shakespeare's First Folio), wrote the TD. However, we shall claim here that there is far more evidence for Sir Francis Bacon's hand. He certainly had an interest in the New World. In 1610, he was a founder member of the Newfoundland Fisheries Company and in 1618 was admitted a brother of the East India Company.

It is clear from the use of “I” that the TD has a single author:

     “Now, I demand whether Sicilia, or Sardinia (sometimes the Barnes of Rome) could hope for increase without manuring”?

It also reveals that its author was privy to Sir Thomas Gates' report to the Council:

    “An incredible example of their idlenesse, is the report of Sir Thomas Gates, who affirmeth, that after his first comming thither, he hath seene some of them eat their fish raw, rather then they would goe a stones cast to fetch wood and dresse it”.

The Tempest authorship -part 12

The Tempest,  (12)

3.5 Dating The True Declaration (TD)

We now compare an extract from the TD with one from Sir Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning where we find a succession of quoted classical sources, a statement as to what each source observed, concluding with a Latin dictum. First, we examine an extract from the TD:

“The emulation of Caesar and Pompey watered the plains of Pharsaly with blood and distracted the sinews of the Roman monarchy. The dissensions of the three besieged captains betrayed the city of Jerusalem to Vespasian. How much more easily might ambitious discord tear in pieces an infant colony, where no eminent and respected magistrates had authority to punish presumptuous disobedience? Tacitus has observed that when Nero sent his old trained soldiers to Tarantum and Autium, (but without their old captains and centurians) that they rather made a number than a Colony: every soldier secretly glided into some neighbor province and forsook their appointed places, which hatched this consequent mischief. The cities were uninhabited, and the emperor was frustrated. When therefore license, sedition, and fury are the fruits of a heady, daring, and unruly multitude, it is no wonder that so many in our colony perished; it is a wonder that all were not devoured. Omnis inordinatus animus sibi ipsi fit pana; every inordinate soul becomes his own punishment.”

Now compare this with a piece from Bacon's Advancement of Learning:

“So we may see in a letter of Cicero to Atticus, that Augustus Caesar, in his very entrance into affairs, when he was a darling of the senate, yet in his harangues to the people would swear, Ita parentis honores consequi liceat [in the hope of attaining his father's honours] (which was no less than the tyranny), save that, to help it, he would stretch forth his hand towards a statue of Caesar's that was erected in the place: and men laughed and wondered, and said, "Is it possible?" or, "Did you ever hear the like?" and yet thought he meant no hurt; he did it so handsomely and ingenuously. And all these were prosperous: whereas Pompey, who tended to the same ends, but in a more dark and dissembling manner as Tacitus saith of him, Occultior non melior [a more reserved but not a better character] wherein Sallust concurreth, Ore probo, animo inverecundo [of honest tongue and shameless mind] made it his design, by infinite secret engines, to cast the state into an absolute anarchy and confusion, that the state might cast itself into his arms for necessity and protection, and so the sovereign power be put upon him, and he never seen in it: and when he had brought it (as he thought) to that point when he was chosen consul alone, as never any was, yet he could make no great matter of it, because men understood him not; but was fain in the end to go the beaten track of getting arms into his hands, by colour of the doubt of Caesar's designs: so tedious, casual, and unfortunate are these deep dissimulations: whereof it seemeth Tacitus made this judgment, that they were a cunning of an inferior form in regard of true policy; attributing the one to Augustus, the other to Tiberius; where, speaking of Livia, he saith, Et cum artibus mariti simulatione filii bene compostia: [she was a match for the diplomacy of her husband and the dissimulation of her son] for surely the continual habit of dissimulation is but a weak and sluggish cunning, and not greatly politic.”

Aside from a common recourse to Tacitus, one of Bacon's favourite authors, there is the use of unlikely single, double, and triple collocations. We have the unusual “presumptuous disobedience” against “sluggish cunning”; “eminent and respected magistrates” against “dark and dissembling manner”; and “a heady, daring, and unruly multitude” against “so tedious, casual, and unfortunate are these deep dissimulations”.

The Tempest authorship -part 13

The Tempest,  (13)

3.5 Dating The True Declaration (TD) cont.

Our second method of comparison takes the form of a table of various combinations of metaphorical parallels between (1) the TD,  (2) Bacon's work and  (3) the Shake-speare work.

— Fountain of thought
(1) The next Fountaine of woes was secure negligence
(2) but to drink indeed of the true fountains of learning (Advancement of Learning, p.121)
(3) Thersites: Would the fountain of your mind were clear again,
that I might water an ass at it!
(1602-3 Troilus and Cressida, 3.3.305-6)

Stream and strive
(1) For if the country be barren or the situation contagious as famine and sickness destroy our nation, we strive against the stream of reason and make ourselves the subjects of scorn and derision.
(2) whereby divinity hath been reduced into an art, as into a cistern, and the streams of doctrine or positions fetched and derived from thence. (Advancement of Learning, p.293)
(3) Timon: ... Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth,
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot!
(1604-7 Timon of Athens, 4.1.26-8)
Lysander: ... scorn and derision never come in tears.
(1594-5 A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3.2.123)

Sinews of power
(1) The emulation of Caesar and Pompey watered the plains of Pharsaly with blood and distracted the sinews of the Roman monarchy.
(2) We will begin, therefore, with this precept, according to the ancient opinion, that the sinews of wisdom are slowness of belief and distrust.
(Advancement of Learning, p.273)
(3) Henry V. ... Now are we well resolved; and, by God's help,
And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe,
Or break it all to pieces:
(1599 Henry V, 1.2.222-5)

Distance between views
(1) There is a great distance betwixt the vulgar opinion of men and the judicious apprehension of wise men.
(2) And if it come so to pass, in that distance of judgment, which is between man and man ... (Of Unity in Religion, p.346)

The Tempest authorship -part 14

The Tempest,  (14)

3.5 Dating The True Declaration (TD) cont.

More metaphorical parallels between (1) the TD,  (2) Bacon's work and  (3) the Shake-speare work.

Black envy and pale fear
(1) Black envy and pale fear, being not able to produce any arguments why that should be lawful for France, which is in us unlawful
(3a) Buckingham: ... There cannot be those numberless offences
'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
no black envy Shall mark my grave.
(1613 Henry VIII, 2.1.84-5)
(3b) And then in key-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream
He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face,
(1594 The Rape of Lucrece, Stanza 254, 1774-5)

— Tempest of emotion —
(1) by the tempest of Dissention: euery man ouervaluing his owne worth, would be a Commander: euery man vnderprizing anothers value, denied to be commanded.
(2) But men, if they be in their own power, and do bear and sustain themselves, and be not carried away with a whirlwind or tempest of ambition (Advancement of  Learning, p.285)
(3) Tamora: Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus;
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
(1590-1 Titus Andronicus, 1.1.456-8)

Scum of men
(1) that scumme of men that fayling in their Piracie
(2) It is a shameful and unblessed thing to take the scum of people ...
to be the people with whom you plant (Of Plantations, p.407)
(3) Sir Humphrey Stafford: Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of
Kent, Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
(1590-1 King Henry VI, Pt 2, 4.2.117-8)

Golden sleep and sauce
(1) It is but a golden slumber that dreams of any human felicity which is not sauced with some contingent misery.
(2) golden sleepe (Promus f.112r, see Fig 20)
(3a) First Gentleman: ... But I much marvel that your lordship, having
Rich tire about you, should at these early hours
Shake off the golden slumber of repose.
(1608-9 Pericles, 3.2.21-3)
(3b) Marcius: ... You shout me forth
In acclamations hyperbolical;
As if I loved my little should be dieted
In praises sauced with lies.
(1608 Coriolanus, 1.9.50-3)