Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why I will not be signing the "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt"

The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition recently announced that two US Supreme Court judges have added their names to the list of signatories to the "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt". This brings to 1,664 the number of people who have signed the on-line petition since its inception in 2007. The aims of the Coalition and its Declaration seem modest and reasonable enough; they simply seek to have the question of the authorship of the plays opened up to legitimate discussion.
"Our goal is to legitimize the issue in academia so students, teachers and professors can feel free to pursue it."
- from the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition website
The SAC claims to be agnostic in regards to who the real author might be. They just want, they seem t be saying, to open the door to the possibility of doubting that William Shaxper of Stratford was the author.

On the surface, this all seems inoffensive enough, but I have not and will not be signing the Declaration. I regard it as a step in the direction away from the truth. The Declaration seeks as a first step in the process of legitimate discussion to dethrone William Shaxper from his position as the pre-eminent writer in the english language. But is this justified?

"Oliver Lector" was the pseudonymous author of "Letters from the Dead to the Dead"(1909). Although his words were first published exactly 100 years ago, he has something remarkably apt to say on the topic:
"William Shakespeare is the possessor of the proudest lit-
erary title in history. Whosoever shall oust him from that
possession must do so by the strength of his own para-
mount rights, and not by the weakness of the title of the
" Bard of Avon," so called. It may be argued that the pro-
duction of a book with William Shakespeare's name printed
thereon as the author is not legal evidence of his author-
ship, because there exists no writing, letter, or manuscript
to support that title, and because his name was printed on
other books to the authorship of which no claim on his be-
half is now made ; nevertheless, I should suppose his title
to all his works is prima facie good."
Precisely, I say.

William Shakespeare has his name on the title page and it did not get there by accident. The true author of the works clearly consented to this situation. He therefore has pre-eminent claim to the authorship until such time as it is definitely proven that another man was the author. In no way therefore should William Shaxper be obliged to surrender his claim to an agnostic mob.

This is the simple reason why I cannot support the aims of the Declaration, or the SAC. If William is to cede his right it can only be to one man, the true author. Now who could that be? And can we know for certain?

The crux of the position taken by the SAC is summarised in bold type at the end of the Declaration. Here it is:
"Reasonable people may differ about whether a preponderance of the evidence supports Mr. Shakspere, but it is simply not credible for anyone to claim, in 2007, that there is no room for doubt about the author."
This statement is simply and hilariously false. While it may be true enough that reasonable people might differ about Mr Shakspere's role, there was no room for doubt in 2007 and there is no room for doubt in 2009 as to the real identity of the true author of the "Shakespeare" works. That man is Francis Bacon and the case is proven. The evidence is overwhelming.

And so the true motives of the SAC stand revealed. This is not an organisation with any interest in the true author. It is interested in the claims of the false candidates, primarily Oxford. It is part of the game. Having failed to find their "smoking gun", to prove that Oxford wrote Shakespeare, attention has now turned to the only part of their argument with any merit, the observation that, indeed, William Shaxper did not write the plays. But you can't stop there. How did it come about that his name appears on the title page? The answer is because he had entered into an agreement with Francis Bacon for his name to be so used.

So the notion that William Shakespeare should cede his title to the authorship for it to be argued back and forth in the marketplace, as if it is an open question, as if any claim other than Bacon's has even remotely comparable merit, is just another delaying tactic in the inevitable rendering of just due to the true author.

As a Baconian, I do not subscribe to the suggestion that there ought to be a kind of rapprochement between the different candidates' supporters, that the "anti-Stratfordian" forces ought to band together to overthrow the false notion that William Shaxper was part of the greatest literary production of all time. He was part of it. He was an integral part of it, and he played his part to perfection. So well, in fact, that the coverstory so carefully put in place by Bacon has survived and thrived to this day.

There is no reason to dethrone William. He has kept his side of the bargain admirably. He cedes his right to no man, except the true author, with whom he made the original arrangement. That man is Francis Bacon, and to him alone is due the honour that goes with the authorship of the works which the world knows under the name of Shakespeare.

So I won't be signing, and I urge you not to either.

Monday, April 06, 2009

So the deal at the Marlowe-Shakespeare blog apparently (see following entry) is that pro-Marlovian comments get posted without fuss, but comments correcting errors of fact, or providing other useful information which does not support the Marlowe position, don't get past the moderator. My first two comments only appeared there after the moderator was prodded. My third comment hasn't shown up, which is my cue to give up. 

It's been instructive though. I was contacted by several of the contributors to the blog privately, eager that I should help them with information. Which I did. Which they then promptly turned inside out and upside down to see how it could be used to bolster the Marlowe theory.  It's all so predictable. Here's how it works. First you decide that Marlowe, or Oxford, or whoever, was Shakespeare. Before anything else, you commit to that position, as if you are supporting your local football team. Then, you trawl the material to find things that back up the position you've already decided is the correct one.

Recipe for disaster.

What they never do is check to see whether the other candidates, like, ahem, Francis Bacon, might have a plausible case. No one does due diligence. When I say no one, I mean no one. I've made it a point over the years, when corresponding with Oxfordians, Stratfordians and Marlovians, to ask them: have you ever read, for example, Francis Bacon's Personal LifeStory by Alfred Dodd? Or The Bacon-Shakespeare Anatomy by W.S. Melsome? Or Tudor Problems by Parker Woodward? Or The Mystery of Francis Bacon by Smedley. Or, indeed, ANY BOOK WHATSOEVER laying out the Bacon case competently. I have yet to receive a single positive reply, ever, to this generic enquiry.

Not one person interested in the authorship debate, who is not a Baconian, has ever read a single Baconian book. Haha. Hilarious isn't it. Tragic is another word. If you are reading this, and you're a non-Baconian, and you have read even one Baconian book, please, get in touch with me. I am fascinated by how and why the Bacon position fails to convince sane humans, but so far, the answer is simple: because everyone refuses to read the material.

By the way, the John Michell book doesn't count, as the chapter on Bacon contains a number of errors which render it useless as an accurate summary of the Bacon case. 

Here is the problem with the Marlovian theory: it starts well enough, with the observation, after Medenhall, that the works of Shakespeare and Marlowe were written by the same person. Fair enough. But in order to proceed competently to conclude that this person was Christopher Marlowe/Marley, the Cambridge graduate, spy and coin-forger, it is first necessary to prove that he himself was the author of the works posthumously attributed to him. Otherwise, and unless this is done, the possibility remains that SOME THIRD PARTY was responsible for the works of both Shakespeare and Marlowe. I mean, if the name of Shakespeare could have been a mask, the possibility exists that other names, including Marlowe, were also masks. This possibility needs to be positively eliminated to render the case for Marlowe water-tight. Why is this so hard for Marlovians to understand? Well, read their blog and you will see. It's the football team syndrome.  This is not an attempt to get at the truth; it's an attempt to get our team to the top of the table. 

So ignore, overlook, don't acknowledge the difficulties; just keep banging away at the goal hoping, one day, someone manages to get a ball in the back of the net. And give the opposition hell. 

Reality check. There's not a shred of evidence that Marlowe survived the events of May 30 1593. Not a shred. His body was laid out at the coroner's inquest in front of the jury and witnesses, with the bloody hole in his eye.  A substitute? Riiiiiiiiiight, as the kids say. Not so much as the merest shred of evidence, even after 50 years of assiduous searching, has turned up which would prove that he survived the events of Deptford. You might think it was time to rethink the basic premise. But apparently not. All it needs is some fancy new graphics and a whole new generation is ready to go down the wrong path.

There's also not a shred of evidence during Marlowe's life that links his name to writing for the theatre or poetry in any format whatsoever. But what happens when you bring this up? Attitude, that's what happens. Instead of standing back and seriously considering the possible consequences of this, the Marlovians just get all bent out of shape. Like you've dissed their football team. 

Sometimes I think it must all be a joke, that these people know exactly what they are doing. How else to explain an article which calls Bacon a misogynist, and cites this as the reason why he could not be Shakespeare, which is then followed by another article by the same author waxing lyrical about The Taming of the Shrew as the key to understanding Marlowe's authorship of this and the other Shakespeare Plays.  I mean, if "New Atlantis" is a misogynist tract, then one would expect that Shrew ought to give a feminist kittens.  Ah, but that would be expecting consistency, and perspicacity, and insight, and that's something in short supply over in the House of the Marlovians. 

My name, said Bacon, I leave to foreign nations, and my own countrymen, after some time be passed. Clearly, "some time" is yet to fully elapse. Hasten the day.

Monday, March 09, 2009

A new blog on the Marlovian theory is now on-line here. A recent post there attempts to prove that Francis Bacon could not be Shakespeare. It's a mess, but it's intructive. Please do visit their site, scroll down, read the post, and then read the comments. I'll be making some more comments about that post on this blog here over the next few days. For now, let me just note the small picture that has been posted in the margin of the blog, labelled "Marlowe, Our Guy". Nothing could summarise the Marlovian theory more aptly. It is pure fantasy that this can be identified as a painting of Marlowe, just as it is pure fantasy that Marlowe survived his death in 1593, (which is the essence of their hypothesis). Pure fantasy. By which I mean: completely unsupported by the merest shred of evidence. The painting is from Corpus Christi college, and dates to the years when Marlowe was in attendance there. However, there is not the slightest indication on the painting, or associated with it in any format whatsoever that tells us it is of Christopher Marlowe, or Christoper Marley as he was actually known, the scholar, spy and coin-forger (a man. let it be noted, who was never identified even once during his lifetime as a writer for the theatre). Let me repeat: there is no reason whatsoever to suggest that the painting is of Marlowe. And let me repeat that other remarkable fact: not once during his lifetime was this Marley, or Marlowe, identified as a writer connected with the theatre in any format whatsoever. But back to that painting: at least A.D.Wraight's book, which uses the image on it's cover, has the honesty to label it a "putative" portrait, but this new Marlowe blog has no such compunction. Let's not confuse the newbies. There's enough to wrap one's head around without making it too complicated, or worrying about subtleties, or fantasies. It's "our guy". Er, no it's not. It could be anyone. Maybe Marlowe, maybe just some punter. There's no way of telling. Still, whoever it is, it's a handsome portrait. The surmise that it is a portrait of Marlowe is nothing but a wish, a guess, a hope: just like the idea that Marlowe somehow faked his death. On the other hand, the Marlovians have one part of the equation correct: the same man wrote the works of both Marlowe and Shakespeare.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've recently found this book review in the Spectator magazine from last year, of a recent book on the works of Shakespeare. The review is entitled "The Divine Pork Butcher". Keen students of divine synchronicity will be sniffing the bacon already. Comments on the review to follow...

Friday, February 08, 2008

My daughter started Grade Six this year. Each week they have a new quotation. This week it is from Francis Bacon! The quote is:

All rising to a high place is by a winding stair.

What a wonderful thought to inculcate in the young minds!

The teacher explained that this Bacon fellow lived at the same time as the great William Shakespeare. Try as I might I cannot get my daughter to put up her hand and explain to the class what she already knows even at her tender age: "please, Miss: according to my crazy father: Bacon actually IS Shakespeare!!!". I forgive her. I told her I would help work it all out at parent-teacher night. Great, she said, she can hardly wait. :-)
I heard on the radio the other day that Britain has recently voted January 22 as the "most miserable day of the year". Presumably they were referring to the weather at that time of the year, rather than the fact that it is the birthday of the great man himself, Francis Bacon. But I cannot help thinking that there is an underlying subconscious reason at play here for the result of this vote: Britain secretly knows in it's heart that it has denied recognition to FB for his achievements, and that this is a miserable thing to do to the man who has probably given more pleasure to Britons over the years than any other. One day, let us hope, January 22 will be celebrated as the most wonderful day of the year for Britain, and everyone will stay indoors ignoring the lousy weather and recite the works of the Bard.
Parallels. Baconians have them in spades, folks. Take Nigel Cockburn's exemplary "The Bacon-Shakespeare Question: The Baconian Case Made Sane". The chapter on parallels takes up 140 pages. Even then he restricts himself to the "best" 100 parallels which come from Bacon's writings outside his "Promus" notebook, and then there are another 40-odd pages on parallels purely from the "Promus". The chapter is a revelation, a delight, a wonderful thing. Sigh: but no one reads it or will read it, because, well, if you're a Stratfordian or Oxfordian you already KNOW that your man is the man, and the rest, well, everyone is too busy with iPod or whatever. But just to give a taste, here is one example, a single parallel from Cockburn's book. The reason I like this one is because only by knowing that Bacon is Shakespeare can one explain the textual riddle here, in this case a word in the First Folio which is rendered by - - - -. None of the orthodox editors can explain what might be meant; Cockburn nails it. Read on: first comes the Shakespeare verse in question, then a series of quotes from Bacon, then Cockburn's comment.

1 Henry VI 1.1. 55-8

Bedford: A far more glorious star thy soul will make
Than Julius Caesar or bright ____

Enter a messenger

Messenger: My honourable lords, health fo you all
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France


Both in persons and in times there hath been a meeting and concurrence in Learning and Arms, flourishing and excelling in the same men and the same ages. For, as for men, there cannot be a better nor the like instance, as that of the pair, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar the Dictator, whereof the one was Aristotle's scholar in philosophy and the other was Cicero's rival in eloquence.
The Advancement of Learning (Spedding 3.269)

Alexander was bred and taught under Aristotle, the great philosopher, who dedicated divers of his books of philosophy to unto him...(Alexander) gave him(Aristotle) to understand that himself esteemed it more to excel other men in learning and knowledge than in power and empire. And what use he (Alexander) had of learning doth appear, or rather shine, in all his speeches and answers, being full of science, and use of science, and that in all variety...I am as willing to flatter, if they will so call it, an Alexander or a Caesar or an Antonimus that are dead many hundred years since, as any that now liveth; for it is the displaying of the glory of learning in sovereignty that I propound to myself, and not an humour of declaiming in any man's praises...there are prints and footsteps of learning in those few speeches which are reported of this prince: the admiration of whom, when I consider him not as Alexander the Great but as Aristotle's scholar, hath carried me too far. As for Julius Caesar, the excellency of his learning needeth not to be argued.
The Advancement of Learning (Spedding 3.307-11)

It is not possible to have the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar....but the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time.
The Advancement of Learning (Spedding 3.318)

In which point I promise to myself a like future to that of Alexander the Great. (For it was said of Alexander that he) had done no more that to take courage to despise vain apprehensions. And a like judgement I suppose may be passed on myself in future ages.
Novum Organon (Spedding 4.93)

Alexander did not think his fame so engraven in his conquests but that he thought it further shined in the buildings of Alexandria.
Speech at Gray's Inn Revels (Spedding 8.336)

Cockburn comments:

The reader sees that in the Shake-Speare text the second line ends with a blank. The editors of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion opine that "despite numerous conjectures about the intended completion of this sentence, a dramatic interruption is almost certainly intended". But Shake-Speare would hardly have broken a sentence off between an adjective and its noun. The Arden editor and most other scholars make the far more plausible suggestion that Shake-Speare wrote a second name which the compositor could not decipher; a long name with many minims may have baffled him. Names suggested havs included Sir Francis Drake, Berenice and Cassiopey. But the Bacon texts almost certainly provide the answer. They show that he greatly admired both Caesar and Alexander. Alexander fits the metre and would have to be prefaced by an adjective to fill the gap before his name since, unlike Julius Caesar, he was not known by any prenomen. Above all, he would be a natural partner for Caesar, and comparison for Henry V. "Bright" rather than "great" is an unexpected adjective for Alexander and has put editors off the scent, but Bacon's shine, used twice (my italics) explains it - he thought Alexander bright by reason of his intellectual qualities. As for flattering Caesar and Alexander, that is exactly what Shake-Speare does in line 56, if Alexander is the missing name. (Footnote: In addition to the texts noted, Bacon mentions Alexander another 32 times according to Spedding.)
Arguing with Oxfordians is a silly thing to do, a waste of time and a guaranteed way to ruin your day. But here I go again. I can't resist. But that's it, I swear, no more comebacks. That's why I made this blog, so I could talk to myself about it. It's not that I haven't tried: I'm proud to say I've done my time and been thoroughly beaten up on the Oxfordian boards. Been there, done that. It is totally unproductive and a waste of everybody's time. Fun though! Still, we will have the last laugh! Labeo is deVere?: getthefuckouttahere.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've had a chance over summer to look through "The Truth Will Out", the recent book by Brenda James and Prof. William Rubinstein putting forward Sir Henry Neville as the real Shakespeare. Puh-lease, as they say. I was tempted to consider that the book is intended as a clever literary joke, a send-up of the authorship genre, but after listening to Prof Rubinstein on a recent podcast interview, it was dismayingly clear that they are serious. Oh dear. Things have come to this. All it takes apparently now is a few biographical points of identity between a life and the plays, and presto, a new candidate steps forward out of the pack to even further muddy the waters.

The book is, frankly, a disgrace, to have come from the pen of academically competent scholars in English Literature. The entire work can be despatched on their treatment of Bacon alone, which casually displays not only their ignorance, but an appalling disregard for due diligence.

It's as simple as this: James and Rubinstein are content to repeat the claim made by John Michell in Who Wrote Shakespeare? that Francis Bacon never travelled to Italy. This is a critical point; as they rightly point out, any candidate who can be proved never to have set foot in Italy can be considered a non-starter. The problem is that Bacon most definitely travelled to Italy, on at least two separate occasions. The proofs of this are exact, and detailed, and contained in several Baconian books, most notably in William Smedley's The Mystery of Francis Bacon, where an entire chapter is devoted to demonstrating conclusively this very point from contemporary documentation.

John Michell is quite wrong to make this claim in Who Wrote Shakespeare, and on it's own this error is sufficient to ruin the book. It indicates that Michell has failed to read even the basic Baconian texts, because these facts are discussed widely within this literature. OK, well, Michell made a mistake and thereby revealed his lack of background reading on the Baconian case. He's human, and he's not a professor of English. I might add that he has conceded the error in private communication.

But it is inexcusable for James and Rubinstein to simply repeat this bald mis-statement of fact. Not only does it show that they are content to use amateur paperbacks as primary sources, and not only does it show that they also have failed to spend the time reading even a basic Baconian book like Alfred Dodd FB's Personal Life Story, but they hinge their dismissal of the Bacon case on this point. From a problem-solving perspective, this is sloppy work of the worst kind. It gets worse.

James and Rubinstein are content to claim that no substantial brief of evidence for Bacon has been put forward in recent years. Astonishingly though, they actually mention Nigel Cockburn's near-unobtainable work ("The Bacon Shakespeare Question: The Baconian Theory Made Sane"; review here) in passing. It cannot be that they have actually read this book though, because if they had, they certainly would not be able to claim that there is no evidence to be found for the Bacon case. Cockburn's book is encyclopedic, erudite, even-handed and turns over every stone. It is far and away the best book ever written on the authorship question by a country mile. It settles the question beyond any shadow of doubt. It's a pity that it is almost impossible to obtain a copy and that no one has read it, but that does not excuse James and Rubinstein. They got close enough to a copy to know it exists, yet could not muster the curiousity or the time, it seems, to open the covers and learn about the case for Bacon.

If they had, this book The Truth Will Out would never have been written. By rejecting the case for Bacon on erroneous grounds without even reviwing the evidence, they render the case for Nevil dead in the water before it has begun.

What of the case they present? It is laughably weak. I reread six or seven times the extracts from the so-called Tower Notebook and for the life of me could not spot the parallels to Henry VIII which seem so convincing to the authors. Clearly, they do not know what a convincing parallel might look like. Cockburn's chapter on parallels is over 100 pages long, and even then, represents only a slice of the available evidence. Many of the parallels on their own are sufficient to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt. I will present one such in a subsequent post here to demonstrate.

Nevil does come close to the Shakespeare mystery in one significant place, and that is on the cover of the Northumberland Manuscript. Again, the authors' treatment of this evidence is pitiful. They entirely ignore all the known writings on the cover which explicitly attribute the referenced Shakespeare works to Bacon. Naturally, they are not even aware of the discovery announced on sirbacon recently of the words "in heling" on the cover. In these two words the matter is settled: here is a contemporary, manuscript, eye-witness testimony of the precise nature of the relationship between William Shakespeare and Francis Bacon: Shakespeare's name is being used "in heling" or as a "cover" for Bacon's true authorship. No other conclusion is possible, but you won't read about this in The Truth Will Out.

I suppose we can't blame Rubinstein and James for failing to read up on the Bacon case, or for uncritically rehashing John Michell's howler, or for failing to inspect carefully the Northumberland Manuscript cover page with a bright light and high resolution pdf. They are victims of the Baconians poor handling of the material. While we fail, they can get away with this kind of pure rubbish. Meanwhile, The Truth Will Out will convince a whole new crop of readers who themselves have never been exposed to the Bacon case properly put. Meanwhile the authorship puddle gets muddier and muddier. Nevil did not write Shakespeare and not a scrap of evidence can be brought to show that he did. Francis Bacon is the true author. Give me a break.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

After a short hiatus, while my obsession took other forms, I return to take up yet again the cudgels for Bacon is Shakespeare. The break has been worthwhile, and given some much needed space and perspective from which to re-think the entire topic. It has become clear to me that the Baconian enterprise has essentially ground to a halt. The well-worn arguments have become encrusted with the dead weight of time. Absent an entirely fresh set of narrative facts, the movement threatens to fade away. Nothing could illustrate this better than the most recent edition of the venerable publication Baconiana, which put its recent issue on-line for the first time. It is a depressing read, full of tired, overblown, underwhelming pieces which do little to inspire newcomers or old-hands. Pomposity jostles for space with ridiculousity, if they be words. It's time to shut down Baconiana, disband the societies, throw out the jaded old arguments and start again. Let's face it: the Baconians have botched it. We have never really recovered from the blow dealt by Friedman to the writings on codes and ciphers which muddied the stream of early twentieth century Baconian writings. Meanwhile, despite the best book ever on the authorship crisis being written and published (Cockburn), it remains unknown and virtually unobtainable. The intellectual argument has been won, but the public relations battle has been comprehensively lost. We have the keys to the riddle, but have rendered ourselves mute and unable to give coherent voice to it anymore.

There is only one answer. It is pointless rehashing the same tired old narratives. It is time for an entirely fresh injection of material into the debate, and a complete recasting of the terms on which it has been fought. The Bacon enterprise 2.0 begins here, now, today.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

In the latest issue of academic journal Notes and Queries, March 2006,
is a short article called:

An Unnoticed Early Reference to Shakespeare

"In a recent article in the Dictionary of Literary
Biography Douglas Bruster noted that in the
second edition of Thomas Vicars's manual of
rhetoric, Cheiragogia, Manuductio ad artem
rhetoricam (1624, first edition 1621), the
author introduced a list of outstanding English


What Bruster fails to mention, and what
seems to have escaped the attention of scholars
of English literature so far, is that in the
third edition of the manual, published in 1628,
Vicars added a short passage in which he
punningly alludes to Shakespeare's name.
The reference is included directly after his
mention of the other English poets, and runs as
follows: `To these I believe should be added
that famous poet who takes his name from
``shaking'' and ``spear'', John Davies, and
my namesake, the pious and learned poet
John Vicars.'5

Fred Schurink
University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Now: check it out: "the famous poet who TAKES HIS NAME"

If someone is going under the name they were born and baptised with,
it cannot be said of that person that they TAKE A NAME. They are given
a name. Only if one adopts a nom-de-plume can one be said to take a name.

Thus, here, #247, is further proof that Bacon is Shakespeare.

(Actually, ok, this only proves that Shakespeare was a pseudonym, strictly
speaking....but then its 1621/24 and the text speaks of the famous
poet in the present tense...which narrows the field down to Our Man.)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

"Bacon is Shakespeare" is a litmus test of sanity, a narrow gate through which the world cannot yet pass. A child can grasp it, while a professor stumbles on it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The following first hand account of Bacon was written by Francis Osborne, and was published in Part II p67 of his Advice to a Son (1658). The book is likely to have been composed some time before the date of its publication. Osborne was born in 1593, and died in 1659.

" 21. It is recorded of Solomon, that God had given him a large heart, through which he became universally knowing from the most despicable herb, to the highest cedar, and deepest secret in nature (then) under knowledge. Which may serve to answer their curiousity, who think they have done something towards the confutation of this assertion of his wisdom, when they find his sayings paralleled in other authors: since it is a sufficient manifestation of God's extraordinary grace upon him, that we are assured from his own writings, no less than from the testimony of the Sacred Scriptures, that part of the whole mass of human learning lay included in his person; and so, if equalled in one endowment, he was not exceeded by any single individual in the general knowledge of all. And as this appears by the Donor, to be none of the smallest gifts, no less than in the estimation of Solomon that did ask it, so may we strongly presume that an universal inspection is the most becoming quality a gentleman (unfixed in a settled calling) can bestow his endeavors upon. And my memory neither doth nor (I believe possible ever can) direct me towards an example more splendid in this kind, than the Lord Bacon, Earl of St Albans, who in all companies did appear a proficient, if not a master in those arts entertained for the subject of every one's discourse. So as I dare maintain, without the least affectation of flattery or hyperbole, that his most casual talk deserved to be written. As I have been told, his first our foulest copies required no great labour to render them compentent for the nicest judgements. A high perfection, attainable only by use, and treating with every man in his respective profession, and what he was most versed in. So as I have heard him entertain a Country Lord in the proper terms relating to Hawks and Dogs, and at another time out-cant a London Chirurgeon. Thus he did not only learn himself, but gratify such as taught him, who looked upon their callings as honored through his notice. Nor did any easy falling into arguments (but unjustly taken for a blemish in the most) appear less than an ornament to him: the ears of the hearer receiving omre gratification, than trouble: and (so) no less sorry when he came to conclude, than displeased with any did interrupt him. Now this general knowledge that he had in all things, husbanded by his wit, and diginifed by so majestical a carriage he was known to own, strook such an awful reverence in those h e questioned, that they durst not conceal the most intrinsic part of their Mysteries from him, for fear of appearing ignorant, or saucy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Thomas Nashe: The Anatomie of Absurdity (1589)
One requiring Diogenes judgement when it was best time to take a wife answered: for the young man not yet and for the old man, never.

Bacon, Essay On Marriage (1624):
But yet he was reputed one of the wise man that made answer to the question when a man should marry: A young man not yet and an elder man not at all.

Nashe: The Anatomie of Absurdity (1589)
A small ship in a shallow river seems a huge thing, but in the sea a very little vessel even so each trifling pamphlet, to the simpler sort, a most substantial subject, whereof the wise lightly account and the learned laughing contempt.

Bacon Apothegms (1625)
King James was wont to be very earnest with the country gentleman to go from London to their country houses. And sometimes he would say thus to them: "Gentlemen, at London you are like ships at sea, which show like nothing, but in your country villages, you are like ships in a river, which look like great things.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Ecclesiastes 10:1, in the KJV:
"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.

Polixenes in The Winter's Tale makes a remark which obviously has this biblical verse in mind. Camillo has come to tell him that the king wants him murdered because he mistakenly believes Polixenes to have been unfaithful with his queen. Moreover, the use of the words savor and reputation, which do not occur in earlier translations, indicates that it is the KJV translation which the author was using. Wisdom and honour occur close by, giving four exact parallels of words to go with the exact parallel of meaning:

CAMILLO Sir, I will tell you;
Since I am charged in honour and by him
That I think honourable: therefore mark my counsel
POLIXENES O, then my best blood turn
To an infected jelly and my name
Be yoked with his that did betray the Best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to
A savour that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive, and my approach be shunn'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infection
That e'er was heard or read!

CAMILLO Swear his thought over
By each particular star in heaven and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon
As or by oath remove or counsel shake
The fabric of his folly, whose foundation
Is piled upon his faith and will continue

The KJV was published in 1611. Winter's Tale was performed in 1610. The parallel is undeniable; therefore the author of Winter's Tale had pre-publication access to the KJV Bible in translation. This is certainly true of Francis Bacon, as evidenced by orthodox Bacon bibliographers, but rather more difficult to explain in the case of William Shaxper, and downright impossible for DeVere. This parallel alone therefore eliminates both the Oxfordian and the orthodox case.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"We have also rare compositions of minds amongst us which look so many fair ways at once that I doubt it will go near to pose any other nation of Europe to muster out in any age four men who, in so many respects, should excel four such as we are able to show - Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Francis Bacon; for they were all a kind of monsters in their several ways.

The fourth was a creature of incomparable abilities of mind, of a sharp and catching apprehension, large and faithful memory, plentiful and sprouting invention, deep and solid judgement for as much as might concern the understanding part: - a man so rare in knowledge and of so many several kinds, indued with the faculty and felicity of expressing it all, in so elegant, significant so abundant and yet so choice and ravishing a way of words, of metaphors and allusions, as perhaps the world has not seen since it was a world.

I know this may seem a great hyperbole and strange kind of riotous excess of speech, but the best means of putting me to shame will be for you to place any man of yours by this man of mine. And in the meantime, even this little makes a shift to show that the Genius of England is still not only eminent, but predominant, for the assembling great variety of those rare parts in some single man, which used to be incompatible anywhere else."

- Sir Tobie Matthew

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Uwe came from Berlin for the seminar, which was to be held in the Padua lecture theatre, at M____ University. Of course, I thought of Merchant of Venice as soon as I heard the location announced. At dinner the night before, Uwe told me about this professor in Milan who had an apartment in Padua and let him stay with his girfriend for the weekend. When we got to the workshop, there was a framed photo on the wall, so I went over to take a look. It was of an elaborate old lecture theatre with multiple circular levels rising around a central table. The caption read: "The Anatomy Theatre at Padua University. Built at his own expense by Fabricius of Acquapendente 1537-1619, a teacher of William Harvey who studied at Padua between 1599-1603". William Harvey was the English physician who discovered the circulation of the blood. After Padua he moved to London, where he became a friend of Francis Bacon. We have this description from Bacon on observing an anatomical demonstration by Harvey:

"I have oft seene Dr. William Harvey, the new doctor from Padua, at Bartholomew Hospital, in the presence of the learned doctors, force a purple, distilling liquor through the veines of a dead body, and, after it had descended to the heart, liver, and lungs, the blood-coloured liquor returneth againe to the face which blacke and full of blood, or pale, meagre, and bloodless before, doth blush and beautifie, as if with life; you would think the body breathed; the very lippe is warme to look upon; but we are mock’d with art as there is no pulse gainst the finger and though the arteries seem full, yet no life is present. The legs, waist, arms, hands, brow, and limbs seem alive, but we can never ransome nature. The doctor was enrolled at Caius College."

The idea of the circulation of the blood turns up in many Shakespeare plays, but Harvey did not make his discovery until 1617, after William of Stratford was dead. More here.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

From Bacon's Wisdom of the Ancients: VIII Endymion:

"This fable seems to describe the tempers and dispositions of princes, who, being thoughtful and suspicious, do not easily admit to their privacies such men as are prying, curious, and vigilant, or as it were sleepless, but rather such as are of an easy obliging nature and indulge them in their pleasures, without seeking anything farther, but seeming ignorant, insensible or as it were, lulled asleep before them."

From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

"Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

In Archbishop Tenison's Baconiana or Certain Genuine Remains of Sr. Francis Bacon (1679), on p. 79, we read: "And those who have true skill in the Works of the Lord Verulam, like great Masters in Painting, can tell by the Design, the Strength, the way of Colouring, whether he was the Author of this or the other Piece, though his Name be not to it."

This is proof that Bacon wrote under other names, or masks, and is of the utmost significance. When Professor Nelson, for example, offers his opinion that it is "inherently ridiculous" to imagine Bacon could have written under a mask, it's clear that he must be unaware of the plain testimony of Archbishop Tenison's remark. Time and again, one finds, as here, that the orthodox and the oxfordian alike have simply failed to perform due diligence on the Baconian position. Even orthodox Bacon scholars, who shrink from the suggestion that he was Shakespeare, have nowhere to file the Archbishop's quote. That there is a great mystery assocated with the life and work of Francis Bacon, as Ben Johnson proclaimed in his tribute poem on Bacon's 60th birthday, is proven by Archbishop Tenison's remark and the question left hanging which it implies: what exactly are the works which Bacon wrote "though his Name be not on it"?

A clue might be given by this short quote included in the tribute to Bacon, the Manes Verulamiuni, published in Latin on his death (and ignored by scholars): "You have filled the world with your writings".
It is noteworthy that Bacon had a quaint conceit of the Divine Being which he was never tired of repeating. In the preface to the "Advancement of Learning" (1640), the following passage occurs:--"For of the knowledge which contemplates the works of Nature, the holy Philosopher hath said expressly; that the glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the King is to find it out: as if the Divine Nature, according to the innocent and sweet play of children, which hide themselves to the end they may be found; took delight to hide his works, to the end they might be found out; and of his indulgence and goodness to mankind, had chosen the Soule of man to be his Play-fellow in this game." Again on page 45 of the work itself he says:--"For so he (King Solomon) saith expressly, The Glory of God is to conceale a thing, but the Glory of a King is to find it out. As if according to that innocent and affectionate play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out, and as if Kings could not obtain a greater Honour, then to be God's play-fellowes in that game, especially considering the great command they have of wits and means, whereby the investigation of all things may be perfected." Another phase of the same idea is to be found on page 136. In the author's preface to the "Novum Organum" the following passage occurs:--"Whereas of the sciences which regard nature the Holy Philosopher declares that 'it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but it is the glory of the King to find it out.' Even as though the Divine Nature took pleasure in the innocent and kindly sport of children playing at hide and seek, and vouchedsafe of his kindness and goodness to admit the human spirit for his play fellow in that game." In almost identical words Bacon suggests the same conception in "In Valerius Terminus" and in "Filum Labyrinthi". In the Epistle Dedicatorie of "The French Academie" and elsewhere the author is insisting on the same idea that "He (God) cannot be seene of any mortal creature but is notwithstanding known by his works."

from The Mystery of Francis Bacon By William T. Smedley
Chapter XIV

Friday, August 27, 2004

Last week's issue of The Spectator magazine tacitly confirmed that Bacon is Shakespeare. Judith Flander's review of Rodney Bolt's new book "History Play: The Lives and Afterlives of Kit Marlowe" opened with the following paragraph, from Nabakov's 1947 novel Bend Sinister:

"‘His name is protean. He begets doubles at every corner … On the wet morning of 27 November 1582, he is Shaxpere and [his prospective wife] is a Wately of Temple Grafton. A couple of days later he is Shagsper and she is a Hathaway of Stratford-on-Avon. Who is he? William X, cunningly composed of two left arms and a mask. Who else? The person who said (not for the first time) that the glory of God is to hide a thing, and the glory of man is to find it.’ Thus Nabokov on the mystery of Shakespeare. "

The person who originally said that the "glory of God is to hide a thing, etc" was, of course, Solomon, in Proverbs 25:2, but it was Francis Bacon who made the quotation his own. It appears so frequently in his works, for example here, that one might almost say it was his favourite quotation. Beyond question then, Nabakov was identifying that it was Bacon, in his opinion, who had written the works of Shakespeare. Thus, via Bolt via Flanders the Spectator has confirmed what we know and the world will one day embrace: Bacon is Shakespeare.

Monday, August 23, 2004

OFFICER: You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos, and from thence have brought
The seal'd-up oracle, by the hand deliver'd
Of great Apollo's priest; and that, since then,
You have not dared to break the holy seal
Nor read the secrets in't.

CLEOMENES/DION: All this we swear.
LEONTES: Break up the seals and read.

- from The Winters Tale, page 287 of the Comedies in the First Folio

Friday, August 13, 2004

"The spirit in Hamlet bears two names: Ghost and Spirit. Ghost is the personal name, whereas it is almost invariable referred to by the speakers as Spirit, and its statement begins with: I am thy Father's Spirit.

The word Spirit (in Latin Spiritus) also plays a great part in Bacon's scientific writings. The Spirit-theory, as will soon be briefly shown, is one of the principal points in Bacon's natural-philosophy. This spirit-doctrine is based on the views held by the natural-philosophers, Paracelsus, Telesius and Severinus Danus.

Theophrastus Paracelsus, the great Swiss thinker (he lived from 1493 to 1541) set up the theory; Bernadinus Telesius Consentinus, the Italian natural-philosopher (1508 - 1588) enlarged upon it and Petrus Severinus Danus, the Danish physician (died in 1602) reduced it to a distinct system. Bacon understood no German, or, at most, very little thereof. He can scarcely have studied the intellectually-rich and almost countless writings and pamphlets of Paracelsus as they were written in a style of German that was still clumsy and indistinct. But Bacon knew his theory from the principal work of Bernadinus Telesius of Cosenza, De Rerum Natura (Concerning the Nature of Things), of which the first two books appeared in 1565 and the whole was completed in 1586; he, furthermore, knew this theory thanks to the work of the Dane Petrus Severinus: Idea Medicinae Philosophicae (The Idea of a Philosophical Medical System), which work was written in clear and lucid Latin and serbed him (Bacon) as instructor in the science of healing, the work being based on natural science. When Bacon, in quite early youth, began to sketch out the plan of his Great Instauration - and we find traces of this aim as far back even as before his fourteenth year - the works of Telesius and Severinus were the newest in the field of natural-philosophy. Even Bacon himself, who very rarely mentions the names of other investigators, mentions the works above-named at short intervals in the 4th Chapter of the 3rd Book of his Encyclopedy: ("the Theory of Theophrastus Paracelsus, eloquently reduced into a body and harmony by Severinus the Dane; or that of Telesius of Consentium"), and he mentions two of them again (Bernadinus Telesius and Paracelsus) in the 3rd Chapter of the 4th ook, wherein he discusses the question of the human soul in detail.

But, as we shall soon see, the Spirit in Hamlet is not a being created at will by poetical imagination but clearly that personification of the natural-philosophical ideas of the spirit according to Bacon's views. And thus the views of Paracelsus accord with thos of Marcellus, while those of Bernadinus Telesius harmonise with those of Barnardo in the first act of Hamlet. And Hamlet himself represents the ideas of the third in the trio, namely, of the physician Severinus Danus (in English: the melancholy Dane). The time is out of joynt and Hamlet is born to set it right! He, like Severinus Danus, deals with comparative anatomy. Like Severinus Danus he is enamoured of that healing-art which is based on examination into natural laws."

- from The Shakespeare Secret by Edwin Bormann, 1895

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I emailed Prof Nelson out of courtesy to inform him that I had broadcast his privately expressed views on the Northumberland Manuscript to the world on this blog (see entry below). He wrote back promptly telling me to do what I like, that he had more important things to work on and not to contact him anymore! Here we have a perfect microscosm of the orthodox authorship position. Confronted with the undeniable evidence of Bacon's authorship, the Stratfordian can only refuse to face it. The Northumberland Manucript is a forbidden uncomfortable provocative document which at a stroke solves and determines this entire supposedly indeterminable puzzle. There can be no possible alternative interpretation of it's implication. It belonged to Bacon. It has his name and Shakespeare's all over it it. It was the cover to a bundle of manuscripts which included both works by Bacon and plays of Shakespeare. And it explicity identifies Bacon as the author of these Shakespeare plays. Think about it: here were the only known existing Shakespeare manuscripts, nestled beneath the cover which attests to their origin. This is what everyone has been searching for, the Holy Grail of Shakespeare studies. And yet, here now, in 2004, is a Professor of English Literature who has devoted his careeer to defending the proposition that William Shaxper of Stratford was the author, who simply can't handle admitting that this evidence exists. This is emotional armouring of the worst kind; the rigidified reaction of denial in the face of a physical fact which flatly and completely undermines belief. If it wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious. Oxfordians: don't you laugh too loudly either. The Northumberland Manuscript is just as threatening to your doomed cause. If this document had belonged to the Earl, and had his name on it everywhere that Bacon's appears, of course it would be loudly trumpeted and triumphantly brandished as the long-sought-for "smoking gun". But as it proves the Baconian case, it is, like the rest of the evidence, simply ignored. I am beginning to understand that the so-called authorship question is not a matter of lack of evidence or communication or logic. It is an emotional and psychological phenomenon. The Stratfordian and Oxfordian positions support and maintain careers and other deep emotional investments, and thereby, like all false cults or worn-out paradigms, cannot be overcome by mere accumulation of undeniable evidence and clear thinking. Thank you Professor Nelson for your exemplary demonstration of the head-in-the-sand attitude of the orthodox. I guess you won't be posting the Northumberland Manuscript to your witness page, as you said you would. Instead your page (here) seen in the light of Northumberland stands as a simple testament to how wrong the professional expert can be, no matter how seemingly watertight the presentation might seem. It simply ignores evidence to the contrary. Admit Northumberland, and the entire orthodox position falls apart.
The Northumberland Manuscript is in fact the one and only document from the entire Elizabethan era on which the names of Bacon and Shakespeare both appear. It is a remarkable fact that nowhere, for example, in Bacon's voluminous writings or correspondence does he ever mention Shakespeare's name. James Spedding, Bacon's indefatigable nineteenth century biographer concludes from this that Bacon never met, or was even aware of, Shakespeare's existence. However, Spedding himself was unaware of the existence of the Northumberland Manuscript, which casts the problem in an entirely different light. It is impossible to conceive that Bacon could not have been aware of Shakespeare's existence. Here were the two outstanding geniuses of the day, both living and working in a city of 250,000 people during the same period of time. The plays of Shakespeare were the talk of the town, and performed frequently at court, where Bacon was a constant presence. Moreover, Ben Johnson was a concrete link between the two. Johnson was a close friend of Bacon's, even living in his house for five years. He was also intimately involved with the production of the First Folio, as his poems in tribute included in the prefatory material attest. Therefore, given the mutual connection of Ben Johnson, and given the existence of the Northumberland Manuscript which puts the two names together, it is obvious that there must be another reason for Bacon's silence in regard to Shakespeare's name, and that Spedding's contention that they were mutually unaware of each other is impossible to sustain. The only possible conclusion which takes into account these facts is that it was an intentional silence. And here now we step across the threshold of the solution to the mystery.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

"Henry Paul, who informs the reader that Buchanan's Historia Scotica, and Hector Boece's Historia Scotorum were used as source material for Shakespeare's Macbeth, may not be aware that copies of both these books containing Bacon's inked annotations exist, and that these annotations show Bacon's special interest in the Macbeth theme. On a page of Buchanan containing the story of Macbeth, Bacon has written "Macbethi, Macbetho, and Macbethus Tyrannus, and Bancho rigiae caedis." Many of the words in the text are underlined. And in a copy of Boece dated 1575, Bacon has written the genealogy of the Scottish Kings descended from Banquo "to, and including James V, comprising seven kings." And in his Natural History, Bacon shows the same interest in strange parts of animals that Shakespeare must have had to write the witches' scenes."
- from this review of The Royal Play of Macbeth by Henry N Paul

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Using a simple alphabet cipher based on the 24 letter Elizabethan alphabet, (as shown here), "Francis" adds to 67, "Bacon" to 33, and therefore "Francis Bacon" equates to 100. This cipher is found throughout the Shakespeare, Bacon and related works, as detailed extensively for example in the remarkable book "Secret Shakespearean Seals", on-line at the link in the sidebar.
It is remarkable that the word "Sonnets" also equates to 100. Given that "Shakespeare's" may be read as "Shakespeare is", this means that the title "Shakespeare's Sonnets" is equivalent by cipher substitution to "Shakespeare is Francis Bacon"!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Prof Alan H. Nelson of UC Berkeley has a website defending the orthodox authorship position here. On this page, he cites 8 contemporary Elizabethan documents as "witnesses" in order to demonstrate that William Shaxper the Stratford actor was known in his lifetime as the author of the Plays. He asserts that as at least some of the owners of these documents must have been in a position to know the truth, this proves that Shaxper wrote the works. I wrote to him to point out that he had overlooked a relevant contemporary document: the Northumberland Manuscript. On refreshing his memory by looking at it (here) he expressed the opinion in private email to me that this also proved his point, as above the names of the plays Richard II and III appear the words "William Shakespeare". Amazed by his myopia, I pointed out that, apart from the fact that the document belonged to Bacon and included both works by him and "Shakespeare", right next to these words are Francis Bacon's name, so that what it actually says of Richard II and III is that they are "By Mr Francis Bacon William Shakespeare". I asked him how he could explain the presence of Bacon's name in this provocative location if Bacon had nothing to do with the authorship of Shakespeare, as he claims. He replied that he had "no idea" why it should be there, but that he "didn't need to explain everything", even while he continues to assert on his website that Bacon had nothing to do with the Shakespeare works.

I invited him, if he truly believed that the Northumberland Manuscript could be cited as evidence for Shaxper's authorship, to post this as the ninth example to his witness page and be prepared to put on record publicly his privately expressed opininion that Northumberland supports the orthodox position. He wrote to me that he would do this as soon as he had some time. But as of this writing, months later, and despite a couple of friendly reminders, he has not yet done so. Why not write to him and ask why not?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

"My labour as Editor of these Letters has now been brought to an end. What men may say about this book or write about it concerns them and not me. To those who are engaged in the business of erecting a national memorial to Bacon's Idol of the Theatre, William Shakespeare, I tender this unwelcome advice: - They had better lose no time. The ground beneath that Idol is heavily mined."

- Concluding paragraph of "Letters from the Dead to the Dead" by Oliver Lector, 1905

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Oxford theory is a control/chaos narrative designed to provide an additional layer of "blown cover as cover" on the Shakespeare project. Bacon, perceiving that three centuries would inevitably wear away the Stratford story, incorporated false clues to point to Edward DeVere's involvement, including some minor biographical details in plays like All's Well that Ends Well. This was in order to prolong to the appointed time the revelation of his authorship of the works. Thus the twentieth century saw the rise of the movement of those enthusiasts sufficiently informed to conclude that William Shaxper could not be the writer of the greatest poetry the world has seen, but unable to grasp the enormity of implication inherent in the true origin of the plays in the mind of the greatest genius of history, Francis Bacon. Already however, the Oxford movement begins to become weary, exhausted in it's never-ending search for a non-existent smoking gun and increasingly frustrated in it's failed attempts to devise a coherent narrative which can shoehorn the undeniable historical record into the Earl's inconveniently premature death. Thus the twenty-first century sees the rise of a new Baconianism, which will reach it's full flowering on the very day that the carefully hidden manuscripts and new plays are revealed to the world, ending all speculation, and bringing forth the incontrovertible evidence of Francis Bacon's authorship of the works of Shakespeare. Hasten that day.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Adam Weishaupt, dismissed from the Jesuit college at Ingolstadt, attracted the fiercer elements of European Rosicrucian Freemasonry ino a new secret cult in Bavaria. His "Illuminati", whose cover was eventually blown in order to convince public opinion that evil secret societies wre being diligently unmasked when in fact they were not, was another instance of "blown cover as cover".

- from Rulers of Evil, by F. Tupper Saussy
The beginning of all creatures is veiled, the middle is manifested, and the end again is imperceptible, O Bharata (Arjuna). Why, then, lament this truth?

The source of the dancing stream of lives is secretly hidden behind the mists of delusive ignorance; the end of the same silvery stream is also shrouded in mystery. Only the middle part is visible to humanity's myopic vision. Why, then, grieve over a matter no mortal can solve? ...

The stage of the earth is well set with food, air, water and fire;man has to study Nature to his best advantage and to act out his part according to the innate guidance of his intuition. The great Dramatist-Director of this mystery play of lives on the stage of the earth remains hidden somewhere! everywhere! directing the play of His children-actors through the suggesions of conscience and innate understanding. ...

I remember occasions in the past when, finding great joy in contacting God by meditation, my mind would suddenly be very curious. "Why not ask God for further information about Jesus, Krishna, Shakespeare?"

- from II:28 Commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda

Thursday, July 01, 2004

At the bottom of his title-page to his 1620 'Great Instauration'
he included the Latin words from that quote:

Multi pertransibrant & augebitur scientia

'Many shall go forth and knowledge shall be increased'

But this has meanings on several different levels. The
ship is going forth in the paradigm of his intellectual globe
from the old world around the mediterranean to the New
World of the future.

In one sense he is sending his knowledge by the ship of
letters to future ages:

"If, therefore the invention of a ship was thought so noble,
which carries commodities from place to place and consociateth
the remotest regions in participation of their fruits, how much
more are letters to be valued, which, like ships, pass through
the vast ocean of time, and convey knowledge and inventions
to the remotest ages?"

In another sense this is the ship of the travellers go forth to the New Atlantis:

"Whether or not discoveries now made had been known to the ancients and the knowledge had been extinguished and rekindled with the changes of human fortune, is a matter of no great moment, just as it matters not all all whether the New World is the old Atlantis, or is now discovered for the first time."

In another sense the ship going forth tells us that it is the ship of discovery proceeding forth on his intellectual globe, and this ship is guided by his discovery device, The Intellectual Compass.

And it goes on. There are other levels and other meanings there.

- from a correspondent