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Degrees in schools, and brother
hoods in cities, Peaceful commerce from dividable
shores, The primogenitive and due of
birth, Prerogative of age, crowns, scep
tres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic
place ? Take but degree away, untune that
string, And, hark! what discord follows!” Troilus and Cressida, i. 3 (1609).
In the second edition of the 'Advancement,' Bacon, who was a nobleman and who had a contempt for the political abilities of the commonalty, inserted the word “ ranks ” in the sentence quoted above, so as to make his meaning still clearer. It reads there:
“Nothing derogates from the dignity of a state more than confusion of ranks and degrees.”
Mr. E. S. Alderson, an excellent critic, to whom we are indebted for this and the next following parallelisms, says:
“The political wisdom and insight displayed in Troilus and Cressida' have been a standing puzzle to all writers on Shakespeare. How came he so well versed in state mysteries and policies? ... Bacon had been brought up among statesmen. At the age of seventeen he formed one of the suite of Sir Amyas Paulet, the Ambassador to the French Court, and before he was nineteen had begun the study of European politics, so that, by the time the plays were written, the ways and policies of kings and states were quite familiar to him. How they became so to Shakspere we can find no
YOUTH AND OLD AGE
Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare ;
Youth is nimble, age is lame;
Youth is wild, and age is tame.
Shake-speare's Passionate Pilgrim (1599). “A young man's skin is even and smooth, an old man's dry and
wrinkled ; A young man's flesh is soft and tender, an old man's hard ; Youth has strength and activity, old age decay of strength and slow
ness of motion ;
Bacon's History of Life and Death (compressed), 1623.
Besides an elaborate contrast (of which we have given above a part only) between youth and old age in respect of the body, Bacon made another, equally elaborate, between them in respect of the mind. The two occupy several pages in the printed edition of his works.
From Bacon “Look! where they come. “You may observe that amongst [Enter Anthony and Cleopatra. all the great and worthy persons Take but good note, and you shall (whereof the memory remaineth, see in him
ancient or modern) there is not The triple pillar of the world trans- one that hath been transported to form'a
the mad degree of love ; which Into a strumpet's fool.”
shows that great spirits and great Anthony and Cleopatra, i. 1 (1623). business do keep out this weak
passion. You must except, nevertheless, Mark Anthony, the half partner of the Empire of Rome!”
– Essay of Love (1612). “Nothing is more certain,” says Mr. Wigston, “ than that the play of 'Anthony and Cleopatra' was composed with an entirely ethical purpose of portraying the calamities and disasters that accompany inordinate and irregular love."
CÆSAR'S STAR “A far more glorious star thy “ This work, which is for the soul will make
bettering of men's bread and wine, Than Julius Cæsar's.”
I hope by God's holy providence 1 Henry VI., i. 1 (1623). will be ripened by Cæsar's star.”
Letter to the King (1620). A brilliant comet, which is said to have made its appearance at the time of Julius Caesar's death, was in popular belief the soul of Cæsar himself, received up into heaven. Virgil (Eclog. 9. 46) calls this comet “ Cæsar's Star.” Bacon and Shake-speare both refer to it under the same name, the former hoping that its influence on the great work, Novum
Organum, would be favorable, and the latter declaring that at Henry the Fifth's death the English warrior's star would be even more glorious than was Cæsar's. Bacon quoted Virgil's lines.
From Bacon “ In the wind and tempest of her “Your Majesty will discern frown,
what things are intermingled, like Distinction, with a broad and the tares amongst the wheat, as powerful fan,
the one cannot be pulled up withPuffing at all, winnows the light out endangering the other; and away ;
what are mingled but as the chaff And what hath mass or matter, by and the corn, which need but a itself
fan to sift and sever them.” — Lies, rich in virtue and unmingled.” Pacification of the Church (1603). Troilus and Cressida, i. 3 (1609).
See Donnelly's 'The Great Cryptogram,' p. 368.
SUPPRESSED ANGER “ Give sorrow words; the grief “Suppressed anger is likewise that will not speak,
a kind of vexation, and makes the Whispers the o'erfraught heart spirit to prey upon the juices of and bids it break.”
the body. But anger indulged Macbeth, iv. 3 (1623). and let loose is beneficial.” —
History of Life and Death (1623). The Great Cryptogram,' p. 372.
386 MIND, A MIRROR HELD UP TO NATURE “ To hold, as 't were, the mirror “God hath framed the mind of up to nature.”
man as a glass capable of the image Hamlet, üi. 2 (1604). of the universal world.” – Of the
Interpretation of Nature (c. 1603).
“ The mind of a wise man is compared to a glass wherein images of all kinds in nature and custom are represented.” – Advancement of Learning (1603-5).
Bacon explained the existence of error in the world as an imperfection in the mind as a glass, “which” (he says), “receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things” (Novum Organum). On one occasion he even reversed the imagery, calling Nature herself a “mirror (speculum) of art.”
From Bacon “Be check'd for silence, “Silence gives to words both But never tax'd for speech." grace and authority."
All's Well, i. 1 (1623). “Silence is the sleep that nour“ Give every man thine ear, but ishes wisdom.” few thy voice."
“Silence aspires after truth.” Hamlet, i. 3 (1604).
De Augmentis (1622). “ Men of few words are the best
BROKEN MUSIC “ Is there any else longs to see this “All concords and discords of
broken music in his sides ?” music may be aptly called the
As You Like It, i. 2 (1623). sympathies and antipathies of “Come, your answer in broken sounds; so in that music termed music.”
Broken or Consort Music.” Henry V., v. 2 (1623). Natural History (1622–25). “Fair prince, here is good broken
music.” Troilus and Cressida, iii. 1 (1609).
Of all writers on music known to us, Mr. Chappel is the only one who has undertaken to explain what was meant in Bacon's time by “ broken music.” He defined it, in his
Popular Music of the Olden Time,' as the “music of wind instruments,” but subsequently intimated, in a private letter to Mr. Aldis A. Wright, that on further consideration he had discarded that opinion and adopted another, the latter, however (as it appears to us), still less tenable. It is a pity