Abbildungen der Seite

From Shake-speare

From Bacon “ Nature never lends “It must be remenibered that The smallest scruple of her excel. the least part of knowledge, passed lence;

to man by this so large a charter But, like a thrifty goddess, she de- from God, must be subject to that termines

use for which God hath granted it; Herself the glory of a creditor which is the benefit and relief of Both thanks and use.”

the state and society of man.” — Measure for Measure, i. 1 (1623). Valerius Terminus (c. 1603). “ Nature's bequest gives nothing,

but doth lend; And being frank, she lends to those

are free. Then, beauteous niggard, why dost

thou abuse The bounteous largess given thee to give ?

Sonnet 4 (1609).

469 RULES OF LITERARY ART, PROGRESSIVE “ Impute it not a crime “We would not lay down, after To me, or my swift passage, that I the manner now received (more reslide

cepto) among men, any rigid rules O'er sixteen years, and leave the of our own, as though they were growth untri'd

unique and inviolable for the prepOf that wide gap; since it is in my aration of these works. We would power

not so cramp and confine the inTo overthrow law, in one self-born dustry and felicity of mankind. hour

Indeed, we know of nothing to To plant and o'erwhelm custom. hinder others who have more leiLet me pass

sure than we bave and who are The same I am, ere ancient’st or freed from the special difficulties der was,

that always attend a first experiOr what is now received."

ment, from carrying our method Winter's Tale, iv. Chorus (1623). to higher perfection. True art is

progressive." — Scala Intellectus

(date unknown). As will be shown hereafter, the Scala Intellectus is a preface to the fourth part of Bacon's philosophical system, being the sole fragment of this fourth part that has come down to us among his acknowledged works. It briefly describes the character of the art employed in the missing part, informing us that the rules applied to it were contrary to prevailing usage. The Chorus in the Winter's Tale' explains, as the late Judge Holmes pointed out, what this deviation was; namely, an abandonment of the Greek rules of dramatization, for which this play is noted.


From Shake-speare

From Bacon “This palpable gross play hath “Which moveth me to give the well beguild

reader a taste of their untruths, The heavy gait of night.”

especially such as are wittily conA Midsummer Night's Dream, trived, and are not merely gross v. 1 (1600).

and palpable." — Observations on “ These lies are like the father a Libel (1592-3). that begets them;

“The second is a slander and Gross as a mountain, open, pal- falsification and averting of the law pable.”

of the land, gross and palpable." 1 Henry IV., ii. 4 (1598). Charge against Oliver St. John,


“ This (was] done with an oath or vow of secrecy which is like the Egyptian darkness, a gross and palpable darkness that may be felt.” - Charge against the Countess of Somerset (1616).

The expression, “ gross and palpable,” is, as Dr. Robert M. Theobald informs us, “one of Bacon's inventions."

[ocr errors]

TRUTH, A SOVEREIGN “Thou seem'st a palace “Truth, ... the sovereign For the crown'd truth to dwell in.” good of human nature.” Essay

Pericles, v. 1 (1609). of Truth (1625).

From Shake-speare

From Bacon “Men most are busied when “ His Majesty is never less alone they ’re most alone.”

than when he is alone." - Letter Romeo and Juliet, i. 1 (1597). 10 Villiers (1616).

473 WHOLESOME AND SWEET AIR FOR HOMES “ This castle hath a pleasant seat, “He that builds a fair house upon the air

an ill seat committeth himself to Nimbly and sweetly recommends prison. Neither do I reckon it an itself

ill seat only where the air is unUnto our gentle senses.”

wholesome, but likewise where Macbeth, i. 6 (1623). the air is unequal.” – Essay of

Building (1625).

[ocr errors]

PRINCES SHOULD BE CAREFUL OF SPEECH Exton. Didst thou not mark the “Surely, princes had need in

king, what words he spake, tender matters and ticklish times * Have I no friend will rid me of to beware what they say ; especially this living fear!'

in these short speeches which fly Was it not so ?

abroad like darts and are thought Servant. Those were his very to be shot out of their secret words.

intentions.” – Essay of Seditions Exton. “Have I no friend ?' quoth and Troubles (1625). he; he spake it twice.” Richard II., v. 4 (1597).


“I go to meet “A seditious slander, like to The noble Brutus, thrusting this that the poet speaketh of, a venreport

omous dart that hath both iron and Into his ears; I may say, thrusting poison.” — Charge against St. John

(1615). For piercing steel and darts en

Shall be as welcome to the ears of

As tidings of this sight.”

Julius Cæsar, v. 3 (1623).

[ocr errors]

Both authors describe an evil report, thrust into the ears, as a steel or iron dart, envenomed.

476 INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS From Shake-speare

From Bacon “Small have continual plodders “Alas ! they learn nothing there ever won,

[in the universities of Europe] Save base authority from others' but to believe.” — In Praise of books."

Knowledge (1592). Love's Labor 's Lost, i. 1 (1598). “In the schools men learn to

believe.” Promus (1594–96).

[ocr errors]

WISDOM AND HER CHILDREN “ Every wise man's son doth “Wisdom is justified in all know.”

her children.” – Advancement of Twelfth Night, ii. 3 (1623). Learning (1603–5).

478 TALES DELIGHTING YOUNG AND OLD “Aged ears play truant at his tales, “A tale that holdeth children And younger hearings are quite from play, and old men from the ravish'd."

chimney corner.” Love's Labor's Lost, ü. 1 (1598).


EXCESSIVE GOODNESS “ Undone by goodness; “The Italians have an ungraMan's worst sin is, he does too cious proverb, -80 good that he much good.”

is good for nothing." - Essay of Timon of Athens, iv. 2 (1609). Goodness (1607–12).


ADONIS' GARDENS “ Thy promises are like Adonis “The gardens of love, wherein gardens,

he now playeth himself, are fresh That one day bloom'd and fruitful to-day and fading to-morrow; but were the next.”

the gardens of the Muses keep the 1 Henry VI., i. 6 (1623). privilege of the golden age; they

ever flourish and are in league with time.” Device for Essex (1595).

As elsewhere explained, the gardens of Adonis, known to the ancients, were of two kinds: the one, consisting of plants in earthen pots, that soon faded; these in the popular view were emblematic of things showy and without substance. Bacon describes them in the ‘Essex Device' and in the * Promus. The other is a creation of the poets, in which trees and shrubs hasten, not to decay, but to bloom and fruitage. Thus, in an important sense, the two were complementary, one to the other, knowledge of one implying knowledge of both.


From Shake-speare

From Bacon “ Thou call'dst me up at mid. “The Spaniards dislike thin night to fetch dew

letters and change them imme. From the still-vex'd Bermoothes.” diately into those of a middle tone."

The Tempest, i. 2 (1623). - De Augmentis (1622).

The scene of the Tempest’ was laid on one of the islands of the Bermudas, but Shake-speare gave to the name its Spanish pronunciation, according to the rule laid down by Bacon, the letter d being flattened into the median intervocal 2 (English th), Bermoothes.


METEMPSYCHOSIS “Thou almost mak'st me waver in “This has bred opinions supermy faith,

stitious and corrupt and most inTo hold opinion with Pythagoras, jurious to the dignity of the human That souls of animals infuse them- mind, touching metempsychosis, selves

and the purification of souls in Into the trunks of men; thy cur- periods of years, and indeed too rish spirit

near an affinity in all things beGovern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for tween the human soul and the human slaughter,

soul of brutes." - De Augmentis Even from the gallows did his fell (1622).

soul fleet, And whilst thou lay'st in thy un

hallow'd dam,

« ZurückWeiter »