« ZurückWeiter »
So in the world ; 't is furnish'd well
with men, And men are flesh and blood, and
apprehensive; But in the number I do know but
one That, unassailable, holds on his
rank, Unshak'd of motion."
Julius Cæsar, iii. 1 (1623). As to the cause of Cæsar's downfall we have also an exact parallelism between the two authors, thus :
CÆSAR'S DOWNFALL DUE TO ENVY
From Bacon “This was the noblest Roman of “How to extinguish envy he them all ;
knew excellently well, and thought All the conspirators, save only he, it an object worth purchasing Did what they did in envy of great even by the sacrifice of dignity; Cæsar.” – Ibid., v. 5.
and being in quest of real power, he was content during the whole course of his life to decline and put by all the empty show and pomp and circumstance of it, thus throwing the envy upon others ; until at last, whether satiated with power or corrupted by flattery, he aspired likewise to the Eternal emblems thereof, the name of King and the Crown, — which turned to his destruction.” — Ibid.
In one of Bacon's letters to Sir Toby Matthew, written in 1609, he refers to this tract on the Character of Julius Cæsar' as having been in existence, at least in an early draft, for several years. It seems probable, therefore, that the prose study and the Play (circa 1601) were substantially of the same date.
From Bacon “Ere my tongue “What a proof of patience is disShall wound mine honor with such played in the story of Anaxarchus, feeble wrong,
who, under torture, bit out his own Or sound so base a parle, my teeth tongue (the only hope of inforshall tear
mation) and spat it into the face The slavish motive of recanting of the tyrant.” - De Augmentis, fear,
(1622). And spit it bleeding, in his high
disgrace, Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray's face.”
Richard II., i. 1 (1597).
This story was told by Valerius Maximus and the elderPliny, Latin authors of the first century A. D.; and also partially by Diogenes Laertius, a Greek writer of the second century; but no one of these works, Greek or Latin, had been translated into English at the date when the play of Richard II.' was produced.
CORN-FLOWERS “ Idle weeds that grow “There be certain corn-flowers In our sustaining corn."
which come seldom or never in King Lear, iv. 4 (1608). other places unless they be set,
but only amongst corn." — Natural History (1622–25).
The play antedated the history; but the explanation which Bacon gives of the alleged phenomenon and his list of the flowers that grow amongst corn, indicate the common paternity of the two quoted passages, as follows:
“There be certain corn-flowers which come seldom or never in other places, unless they be set, but only amongst corn; as the blue-bottle, a kind of yellow marygold, wild poppy and fumitory. Neither can this be by reason of the culture of the ground, by ploughing or furrowing, as some herbs and flowers will grow but in ditches new cast; for if the ground lie fallow and unsown, they will not come ; so as it should seem to be the corn that qualifieth the earth, and prepareth it for their growth.”
From Bacon “Beast with many heads." “ Beast with many heads." Coriolanus, iv. 1 (1623). Charge against Talbot (1614).
“Monster with many heads."
Conference of Pleasure (1592).
This is a characterization of the people, as distinguished from the nobility. Shakspere, one of the people; Bacon, one of the nobility.
“Nay, worse than this, worse than his servility to royalty and rank, we never find him speaking of the poor with respect, or alluding to the working classes without detestation or contempt. We can understand these tendencies as existing in Lord Bacon, born as he was to privilego, and holding office from a queen; but they seem utterly at variance with the natural instincts of a man who had sprung from the body of the people, and who, through the very pursuits of his father and likewise from his own beginning, may be regarded as one of the working classes himself.” — GEORGE WILKES' Shakespeare from an American Point of View.
PHYSIOGNOMY “ There's no art “ Neither let that be feared To find the mind's construction in which is said, fronti nulla fides the face."
[There's no trusting to the face], Macbeth, i. 4 (1623). which is meant of a general out
ward behavior.” – Advancement of
Learning (1603-5). 1 Coriolanus' was written in 1612-19.
CÆSAR AND ANTHONY
From Shakespeare “ Anthony. Now, sirrah ; you do
wish yourself in Egypt. Soothsayer. Would I had never come from thence. ...
Hie you again to Egypt. Ant. Say to me, whose fortunes
shall rise higher, Cæsar's or
mine ? Sooth.
Cæsar's. Therefore, 0 Anthony, stay not at
his side; Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit
which keeps thee, is Noble, courageous, high, unmatch
able, Where Cæsar is not ; but near him,
thy angel Becomes a fear, as being o'er
power'd; therefore Make space enough between you."
Anthony and Cleopatra, ii. 3
From Bacon “There was an Egyptian soothsayer that made Antonius believe that his genius (which otherwise was brave and confident) was, in the presence of Octavius Cæsar, poor and cowardly; and therefore he advised him to absent himself as much as he could and remove far from him. This soothsayer was thought to be suborned by Cleopatra." -- Natural History (1622–25).
Bacon had previously stated the principle underlying the soothsayer's speech as follows:
“Others, that draw nearer to probability, calling to their view the secrets of things and especially the contagion that passeth from body to body, do conceive that there should be some transmissions and operations from spirit to spirit without the mediation of the senses ; whence the conceit has grown of the mastering spirit.” – Advancement of Learning (1603–5).
On the details of this extraordinary parallelism we quote from Judge Nathaniel Holmes:
“A similar story is to be found in North's translation of Platarch's life of Anthony, which Shakespeare may have seen as well
as Bacon; and it is true that some parts of it are very closely followed in the play. There is little doubt that the writer had read Plutarch. But Plutarch makes the soothsayer a member of the household of Anthony at Rome: 'with Antonius there was a Soothsayer or Astronomer of Egypt that could cast a figure and judge of men's nativities, to tell them what should happen to them.' But the play, like Bacon's story, makes him not only an Egyptian, but one of the household of Cleopatra ; and in the play, he is sent by Cleopatra as one of her numerous messengers from Egypt to Rome to induce Anthony to return to Egypt; and in this he is successful; all which is in exact keeping with Bacon's statement that he was thought to be suborned by Cleopatra to make Anthony live in Egypt; but of this there is not the least hint in Plutarch. All this goes strongly to show that this story, together with the doctrine of a predominant or mastering spirit of one man over another, went into the play through the Baconian strainer; for it is next to incredible that both Bacon and Shakespeare should make the same variations upon the common original." — Authorship of Shakespeare, i. 292.
LOCATION OF THE SOUL
“ The opinion of Plato, who (Which some suppose the soul's placed the understanding in the frail dwelling house).” brain ... deserveth not to be deKing John, v. 7 (1623). spised, but much less to be al
lowed.” – Advancement of Learning (1603-5).
Every man, says Bacon, has two souls: one, in common with the brute creation; the other, especially inspired by God. The former, which he calls the sensible soul, he locates (to use his own language) “chiefly in the head;" the latter, or rational one, in no particular part of the body. The doubt he evidently felt on this point is reflected in • King John.