Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the masts themselves." History of the Winds (1622).

. . . . . . Down with the topmast! yarel

lower, lower ! Bring her to try with main course.

Lay her a-hold, a-hold ! set her two

courses; Off to sea again ; lay her off.”

Tempest, i. 1 (1623).

Bacon tells us, that when a ship is on a lee shore, and, to avoid disaster, must put to sea again, she can lie within six points of the wind, provided she set her courses. Those were the exact orders given in the play, lest “we run ourselves aground,” says the master.

159

ANGER
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “He's truly valiant that can “Seneca saith well, that anger wisely suffer

is like rain, which breaks itself The worst that men can breathe, upon that it falls.' The Scripture and make his wrongs

exhorteth us, “to possess our souls His outsides, to wear them like his in patience.' Whosever is out of raiment, carelessly,

patience is out of possession of his And ne'er prefer his injuries to his soul. Men must not turn bees, heart,

animasque in vulnere ponunt (and To bring it into danger."

leave their lives in the wound].” Timon of Athens, iii. 5 (1623). Essay of Anger (1623).

The injunction not to permit anger to strike to the heart and thus endanger life appeared in one of the latest of Bacon's essays, first published in 1625; and also in a Shakespeare drama not heard of till seven years after the reputed author's death, and first published in 1623.

160

SUSPICIOUS PERSONS " Cæsar. Let me have men about “Princes, being full of thought me that are fat;

and prone to suspicions, do not Sleek-headed men and such as

sleep o'nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hun.

gry look ; He thinks too much ; such men are dangerous.”

Julius Cæsar, i. 2 (1623).

easily admit to familiar intercourse men that are perspicacious and curious, whose minds are always on the watch and never sleep.” – Wisdom of the Ancients (1609).

Another parallelism suggested by Mr. James, who seems to be justified in pronouncing it “absolute and perfect.”

161

TEREBRATION OF TREES
From Shake-speare

From Bacon “O, what pity is it “The terebration of trees not That he had not so trimm'd and only makes them prosper better, dress'd his land

but it maketh also the fruit sweeter As we this garden. We at time of and better. The cause is, for that, year

notwithstanding the terebration, Do wound the bark, the skin of they may receive aliment sufficient, our fruit-trees,

and yet no more than they can Lest, being over-proud in sap and well turn and digest.” — Sylva blood,

Sylvarum, 463 (1622–25). With too much riches it confound itself.”

Richard II., iii. 4 (1597).

Still another parallelism due to Mr. James. Bacon says again on the same subject:

“It hath been practised in trees that show fair and bear not, to bore a hole through the heart of the tree, and thereupon it will bear. Which may be, for that the tree before hath too much repletion, and was oppressed with its own sap.” Ibid., 428.

162

A PROPHECY King Henry of Richmond. Come “One day when Henry the hither, pretty lad ;

Sixth (whose innocency gave him If heavenly powers do aim aright holiness) was washing his hands

[ocr errors]

To my divining thoughts, thou,

pretty boy, Shalt prove this country's bliss. Thy head is made to wear a princely

crown, Thy looks are all replete with

majesty; Make much of him, my lords, For this is he shall help you more Than you are hurt by me.” 3 Henry VI., iv. 6 (1595, 1600,

1619).

at a great feast, and cast his eye upon King Henry (the Seventh), then a young youth, he said, • This is the lad that shall possess quietly that that we now strive for.'” History of Henry VII. (1621).

The passage, cited above, from the Third Part of King Henry VI.' appeared in the first edition of the play in 1595; also, without change in the second, 1600; also again without change in the third, in 1619, or three years after the death of the reputed poet at Stratford in 1616. For the folio of 1623, however, it was revised, undoubtedly (as our readers can judge) by the author himself, and then made to read as follows: King Henry. Come hither, England's hope ; if secret powers

Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
His head by nature fran’d to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre ; and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.” (1623.)

It is noteworthy that on the titlepage of the 1619 quarto the play, as then published, was said to have been “newly corrected.” The inference, therefore, is almost irresistible that the author was living, not only immediately before 1619, when certain changes were elsewhere made in the play, but also during the interval between 1619 and 1623, when very great changes, involving thousands of lines, were made in it.1

1 See ‘Francis Bacon Our Shake-speare,' p. 116.

To pursue the subject a little farther, — the anecdote was taken from Holinshed, where we find it given thus :

“ The Earl of Pembroke took this child, being his nephew, out of the custody of the Lady Herbert, and at his return brought the child with him to London, to King Henry VI. ; whom when the king had a good while beheld, he said to such princes as were with him : 'Lo, surely this is he, to whom both we and our adversaries, leaving the possession of all things, shall hereafter give room and

place.' "

The historical plays of Shake-speare contain many paraphrases from Holinshed and Halle. To show how closely the dramatist sometimes follows these old chroniclers, we give one more instance, this time from ‘Henry V':

163

SALIC LAW

From Shake-speare “ There is no bar to stay your high

ness' claim to France
But one, which they produced from

Faramount ;
No female shall succeed in Salicke

land,
Which Salicke land the French

unjustly gloze To be the realm of France, And Faramount the founder of this

law and female bar. Yet their own writers faithfully

affirm That the land Salicke lies in Ger

many Between the floods of Sabeck and of Elm."

Henry V., i. 2 (1600).

From Bacon “ There was a French gentleman speaking with an English, of the law Salique, that women were excluded to inherit the crown of France. The English said, “Yes, but that was meant of the women themselves, not of such males as claimed by women.' The French gentleman said, “Where do you find that gloss ?' The Englishman answered, “I'll tell you, sir; look on the back side of the record of the law Salique, and there you shall find it endorsed ; ' meaning there was no such thing at all as the law Salique, but that it was a fiction." — Apothegms (1624).

Both of these statements regarding the Salic law were taken, almost word for word, from Holinshed's history. This is a significant fact, for it shows that Holinshed was a common and prolific source of information for the two authors in their respective works. We give an example of each, additional to the above : From Shake-speare

From Bacon “ Sent the Lord Treasurer with “And thereupon he took a fit Master Reginald Bray and others occasion to send the Lord Treasunto the Lord Mayor of London, urer and Master Bray, whom he requiring a present of six thousand used as counsellor, to the Lord marks. Whereupon the said Lord Mayor of London, requiring of the Mayor and bis brethren, with the city a present of six thousand commons of the city, granted a marks; but after parleys, he could present of two thousand pounds." obtain but two thousand pounds." Holinshed, p. 764.

Bacon's History of Henry VI. Canterbury. In the book of Num. “ The Archbishop further alleged bers is it writ;

out of the book of Numbers this When the man dies, let the in- saying: 'when a man dieth withheritance

out a son, let the inheritance de Descend unto the daughter.'” scend to his daughter.'” Holins

Henry V. i. 2 (1600). hed, p. 546. “ King Henry. If we may pass, we “And yet wish I not any of you

will ; if we be hinder'd, to be so unadvised as to be the We shall your tawny ground with occasion that I dye your tawny your red blood

ground with your red blood." Discolor.”

Ibid., iii. 6.

Ibid.

164

FLEAS “ Second Carrier. I think this “Fleas breed principally in straw be the most villanous house in all or mats where there had been a London road for fleas. . . . Your little moisture, or the chamber and chamber-lie breeds fleas like a bedstraw been kept close and not loach.” -1 Henry IV., ii. 1 well aired.” – Sylva Sylvarum (1598).

(1622–25).

165 CONJUNCTION OF PLANETS

“When the planets “Greater winds are observed to In evil mixture to disorder wander, blow about the time of the conWhat plagues, and what portents, junctions of planets.” History of what mutiny,

the Winds (1622).

« ZurückWeiter »