Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the ‘Familiar Colloquies,' first published in Latin in 1519, but not translated into English until 1671, or sixty-two years after the date of the play. Erasmus wrote:

Velut irrepens in animos adolescentium quos recte scripsit Aristoteles inidoneus ethicce philosophice(young persons whom Aristotle accounted not to be fit auditors of moral philosophy).

Following is a group of parallelisms on the subtle connection between Secrecy and Trust.

SILENCE INDUCING TRUST
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “Your silence, “Secrecy induceth trust and Cunning in dumbness, from my inwardness.” – Advancement of weakness draws

Learning (1603-5).
My very soul of counsel."
Troilus and Cressida, iïi. 2 (1609).

In the second edition of the · Advancement' (De Augmentis), Bacon rewrote the above sentence thus:

“Taciturnity induceth trust, so that men like to deposit their secrets there."

Again:

“The silent man hears everything, for everything can be safely communicated to him."

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small]

From Shake-speare

From Bacon “Sweet, bid me hold my tongue, “Experience showeth that there For in this rapture I shall surely are few men so true to themselves speak

and so settled but that, sometimes The thing I shall repent." upon heat, sometimes upon bra

Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2 very, sometimes upon kindness, (1609).

sometimes upon trouble of mind and weakness, they open themselves.” – Advancement of Learn

ing (1603–5). It will be noticed that this train of thought, abstruse and peculiar, appears in the 'Advancement of Learning' (1605), 'Troilus and Cressida' (1609), De Augmentis (1622), and the Essays (1625).

[ocr errors]

INVITING CONFIDENCES “Perchance, my lord, I show more “Liberty of speech inviteth and craft than love,

provoketh liberty (in others), and And fell so roundly to a large con so bringeth much to a man's knowl. fession

edge.” – Advancement of Learning To angle for your thoughts." (1603–5). Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2 (1609).

This is a variation of the same theme as above (secrecy and trust). Bacon thus reverts to it in the De Augmentis :

“The second [rule] is to keep a discreet temper and mediocrity both in liberty of speech and in secrecy; in most cases using liberty, but secrecy when the occasion requires it."

Even this variation duly appears in both authors.

74

A SPANISH PROVERB “Your bait of falsehood takes this “ It is a good shrewd proverb of carp of truth.”

the Spaniard, • Tell a lie and find Hamlet, ii. 1 (1604). a truth.'” – Essay of Simulation

and Dissimulation (1625).

[ocr errors]

BEHAVIOR, A GARMENT
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “How oddly he is suited! I “Behaviour is but a garment.” think he bought his doublet in - Letter to Rutland (1596). Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour everywhere."

Merchant of Venice, i. 2 (1600).

In the play behavior is regarded as a part of one's apparel or suit, concerning which Bacon wrote at greater length in the ‘Advancement':

“Behaviour seemeth to me as a garment of the mind, and to have the conditions of a garment. For it ought to be made in fashion; it ought not to be too curious ; it ought to be shaped so as to set forth any good making of the mind and hide any deformity; and above all, it ought not to be too straight or restrained for exercise or motion.- Book .

[ocr errors]

ROBIN GOODFELLOW “You are that shrewd and knavish “Sir Fulke Greville would say sprite

merrily of himself, that he was like Callid Robin Goodfellow; are not Robin Goodfellow, for when maids you he

spilt the milk-can, or kept any That frights the maidens of the racket, they would lay it upon villagery,

Robin." — Apothegms (1624). Skim milk, and sometimes labor in

the quern ?Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 1 (1600).

77

FEAR OF DEATH “Of all the wonders that I yet “I do wonder at the Stoics, that have heard,

accounted themselves to hold the It seems to me most strange that masculine virtues, esteeming otber

men should fear (death); sects delicate, tender and effemi.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

EARLY AND LATE
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “It is so very very late “ It is not now late, but early." That we may call it early.”

- Essay of Death (posthumous). Romeo and Juliet, iii. 4 (1597).

Both authors seem to have taken special delight in this curious play upon the words early and late as applied to the hours after midnight. In 'Twelfth Night'Shakespeare says:

“To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early." — ii. 3. Again, in 'Romeo and Juliet': “ Is she not down so late, or up so early?” — iii. 5.

So, also, in the ‘Promus,' written almost simultaneously with ‘Romeo and Juliet,' we find this double entry:

“Late rising,

Early rising."

[ocr errors]

FEAR “ So full of artless jealousy is guilt, “Nothing is fearful but fear itIt spills itself in fearing to be self.” -- Letter to Rutland (1596). spilt.”

“Nothing is to be feared but fear Hamlet, iv. 5 (1604). itself.” – Essex Device (c. 1592). The principle of this grand aphorism in ‘Hamlet' is expressed many times in Bacon's prose writings, that fear is the most terrible foe of mankind.

“Nothing is terrible but fear.” De Augmentis. “ Fears make devils of cherubins.” — Troilus and Cressida. “Of all base passions, fear is most accursed.” 1 Henry VI. In 'Hamlet,' as above, the sentiment is applied to the extreme case of a criminal. The germ of the thought is in Virgil, who tells us that to become exempt from all fear one must know the causes of things, and that such knowledge is happiness.

Our attention was first called to this aphorism by the Rev. William R. Alger of Boston, one of the keenest intellects New England has produced.

[ocr errors]

FEAR OF LOSS
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “I cannot choose “To abstain from the use of a But weep to have that which I thing that you may not feel a want fear to lose.”

of it ; to shun the want that you Sonnet 64 (1609). may not fear the loss of it, are the

precautions of pusillanimity and cowardice.” – Advancement of Learning (1603-5).

“I will not use because I will not desire. I will not desire because I will not fear to want." Essex Device (c. 1592).

The sentiment, which Bacon condemns and which Shakespeare confesses as a weakness, that men cannot properly take pleasure in anything because in the mutability of human affairs they must be in constant anticipation of its loss, is thus re-stated in the second edition of the 'Advancement' (1623):

“Do we not often see minds so constituted as to take great delight in present pleasures and yet endure the loss of those

« ZurückWeiter »