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