Spedding, who rejected to the end of his life the identity of Bacon and Shakespeare, nevertheless on several occasions himself notes parallels between the works, such as here:
"The scene in the 'Winter's Tale;' where Perdita presents the guests with flowers suited to their ages, has some expressions which, if this Essay had been contained in the earlier edition, would have made me suspect that Shakespeare had been reading it. "
He cannot bring himself to consider the reverse possibility: that Bacon heard the lines at a Shakespeare play, and later incorporated them into his Essay, because that would be incompatible with the conclusion he reaches elsewhere, namely that Bacon was not aware of Shakespeare or his writings. He comes to this conclusion from the fact that nowhere in either's work is the other mentioned.
But, how then, if Bacon was unaware of Shakespeare, could he have quoted him? Spedding cannot bring himself to contemplate this small problem.
Clearly, if there are parallels between Winters Tale and the Essays, and Shakespeare couldnt have read the Essays because they hadnt been published yet, and Bacon couldnt have seen the play because he lived his entire life oblivious to Shakespeares existence, then, there is only one possibility left which can explain the situation: Bacon and Shakespeare were the same man.
This would explain how a Shakespeare play came to be performed at Gray's Inn as part of the 1594 Christmas Entertainment which was directed, written and staged by Francis Bacon. It must have put Spedding into a mental pretzel to pen the following passage and not conclude the obvious:
"The Ambassador and his train retired in discontent; and when the tumult partly subsided they were obliged (in default of those "very good inventions and conceipts " which had been intended) to content themselves with ordinary dancing and revelling; and when that was over, with " a Comedy of Errors (like to Plautus his Menechmus)," which "was played by the players." This performance seems to have been regarded as the crowning disgrace of this unfortunate Grand Night; a fact, by the way, indicating (if it were Shakespeare's play, as I suppose it was) either rich times or poor tastes; for the historian proceeds, " so that night was begun, and continued to the end, in nothing but confusion and errors; whereupon it was ever afterwards called the Night of Errors.""