Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 14 Romeo and Juliet - god night; well to forget

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

Part 2h

R&J  Act 2.2.170-5 & 186-7

      (The lovers say goodnight, but Juliet immediately calls Romeo back):

Juliet:       I have forgot why I did call thee back.
Romeo:    Let me stand here till thou remember it.
Juliet:       I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
                 Remembering how I love thy company.
Romeo:    And I'll still stay to have thee still forget,
               Forgetting any other home but this.
               (Juliet says goodnight again, and Romeo replies):
               Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast.
               Would I were sleep and peace so sweet to rest.

Bacon's Promus entry 1226 (Folio 112):

"god night"

Promus entry 1227 (Folio 112):

"Well to forgett"

Promus entry 1228 (Folio 112):

"I wish you may so well sleepe as you may  not fynd yor yll lodging.

Comment: One is faced with the remarkable fact that Bacon's Promus entries 1226, 1227, and 1228 broadly foreshadow the Shake-Speare scene -- and in the right order.

"god night" is presumably an abbreviated or carelessly scrawled "good night". Why did Bacon jot it down at that point? He could have included "good night" among the salutations at the head of the Folio if he wanted to record it for general purposes.

Promus entry 1227 is "Well to forget". He had already entered these same words much earlier in his Promus, in entry 114 of Folio 85. And Promus entry 403 (of Folio 90B) is: "The Art of forgetting". And Promus entry 1168 (of Folio 110) is: "Art of forgetting". So why add "Well to forget" here? The reason could be that they fit Lines 170-175 where Juliet thinks it well to forget her reason for calling Romeo back, in order to prolong their meeting.

Promus entry 1228 is: "I wish you may so well sleep as you may not find your ill lodging". In so far as this wishes good sleep, it resembles Lines 186-7 where Romeo wishes Juliet good sleep, and that he himself were sleep and peace so that he could rest (i.e. lodge) on her eyes and in her breast. As Promus entry 1204 (Folio 112), repeated as Promus 1479 (Folio 130) - "Qui a bon voisin a bon matin" - Bacon had already probably associated sleep with lodging. Cotgrave in his Dictionary translates this French proverb as "He that hath a good neighbour gets good words". But the literal translation is "He that has a good neighbour has a good morning", which surely implies "because he has had a good night's sleep". This meaning is suggested by Henry V, 4.1.6-7 where King Henry says of the French: "For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers / Which is both healthful and good husbandry" (thus combining Promus 1204 with Promus 1200, which the reader will also see on Folio 112: Diluculo surgere saluberrimum est” – “To rise early is very healthy”).

The Baconians have previously missed the strange triple parallel involving Promus 1226, 1227, and 1228. I suggest the following explanation of it: Across the right hand column on Folio 112 is a line (not shown in the transcript previously posted) about 2 inches below the previous entry. There is no similar line or gap on any other Folio. So it looks as though Bacon drew the line at some stage to separate off the entries he had already made, and then used the space below it as a pad on which to jot down thoughts as he worked over the proposed scene in his head. He was thinking of making Romeo or Juliet say goodnight, and then speak some remark about the expediency of forgetting and then some remark about sleeping well. This is what the finished script does, and in the right order, though the remark about sleep differs in its terms from what Bacon originally had in mind. I believe that we here see Shake-Speare in the throes of creation.

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