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likelihood. It is much more likely, that he borrowed his nautical knowledge from Italian writers on naval architecture, more especially as he was familiar with their language, than that in four trips across the Channel he learnt so much as to make nautical experts wonder, and landsmen astonished. But is this so-called salient fact ad rem? Is it unlikely that any Englishman, in the time of Elizabeth, when the Spanish Armada must have set people thinking about naval matters, was unacquainted with the nautical terms used by the “putative poet”! or where he was deficient, that there was not abundant material on all sides, especially for one who lived in London, from which he might borrow ad libitum ? Would this not apply to William Shakespeare as well as, if not more than, to any other man? We will now deal with the last salient fact which Mr. Thomson has brought forward under the head of * Early Life.”

He says “that between 1609, when he (Bacon) was first installed into active official life, and 1621, after conspiracy betrayed and overthrew him, and ingratitude left him.

in the depth of penury to want and ignominy

no new plays are known to have been written.” “In that long interval none were printed or known to be in the hand of player or printer." Let us first begin to examine the statements beginning “after conspiracy,” and ending with “ignominy.” If we refute beyond question these statements, it must considerably modify, if it does not entirely annihilate, all the reliance and confidence which we might otherwise feel in reading over the rest of the quotation, especially that which refers to dates. On the 30th April, 1621, Bacon delivered a paper to the House of Lords, written by his own hand, in which he says, “Upon advised consideration of the charges descending into my own conscience and calling my memory to account, so far as I am able, I do plainly and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do renounce all defence.” Need we comment on this, in relation to Mr. Thomson's assertion “after conspiracy betrayed and overthrew him,” except to say, if Bacon was betrayed by any conspiracy, it was by that which was hatched by his own grasping mind; and which naturally and properly resulted in his overthrow. Now let us deal with the gratuitous assertion that “ingratitude left him

in the depth of penury to want and ignominy." The fine imposed on Bacon was released by the Crown, the Government allowed him a pension of £1200 a year, and Mr. Basil Montague estimates his whole income at £2500, a sum above the average income of a nobleman in the reign of James I.; at any rate, an income

with which he could live in comfort or even luxury. Bacon's own carelessness and inordinate love of ostentation reduced him to frequent distress. Compare these facts with Mr. Thomson's unwarranted assertion. Having disposed of these, Mr. Thomson's, inventions, and relegated them to the land of fable, we will now deal with the rest of the statement quoted. When does Mr. Thomson consider that Bacon was first installed into active official life? He was made Queen's Counsel extraordinary in 1590. He sat as member for the county of Middlesex in 1593. He was made Solicitor-General in 1607 and Attorney-General in 1612. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1616, and was appointed Keeper of the Great Seal in the following year. He certainly received no appointment in 1609. At that date his instalment into official life extended over at least two years, or nineteen years if we date it from his appointment as Queen’s Counsel extraordinary. Having relegated another of Mr. Thomson's contributions to the shades of fable, we will pursue our inquiry. In doing so, we will have recourse to a “table of Shakespare's plays, showing the positive facts which determine the dates previous to which they were produced,” taken froin the source we mentioned. We will charitably adopt Mr. Thomson's date 1609, rather than the date of Bacon's actual instalment into active official life, between which and 1621 he says, “no new plays are known to have been written, and none were printed or known to be in the hand of player or printer.” * Troilus and Cressida” was printed in 1609, and earlier in the same year was acted at court. · Pericles' was printed in 1609. The “ Tempest” was acted at Whitehall in 1611. The “ Winter's Tale” was also acted at Whitehall in 1611.

Henry VIII.” was acted as a new play when the Globe was burned in 1613. If we do not include the year 1609, three plays, having been acted, must have been in the hands of the actor between 1609 and 1621. If we include the year 1609, two plays were printed, of which one was acted, between those dates. There are only six plays, viz., “ Macbeth,” “ Cymbeline,” “Timon of Athens,” “ Julius Cæsar," “ Antony and Cleopatra,” and “Coriolanus,” “whose dates are not limited by publication, by the notice of contemporaries, or by the record of their performance; and these certainly belong to the poet's latter period.” Shakespeare died in 1616, so that if he were the author, we have between 1609 inclusive, and 1616, not so far forward as 1621, eleven plays, viz., one printed, one acted and printed, three played, and certainly six written. With every temptation to comment we refrain. We are quite willing to leave the issue in the

hands of our readers. Under the chapter

Under the chapter “Concealed Motive,” we have to ask if Mr. Thomson refers to that Autolycus, who was the son of Mercury, and famous for thefts in the country about Parnassus, and referred to in Ov. Met. ii. 313, and spoken of in Mart. 8, 59.4, as “Autolyci piceata manus,” or does he refer to Autolycus, the rogue in "The Tempest.” In either case the illustration is unhappy, and, if it be true, which we have no reason to think, Mr. Thomson, from this chapter forward, ought to have thrown his divinity overboard, and kept him under water. With regard to this chapter, it may generally be answered by the question-Why did Bacon's motive for concealment, if he ever had any, stop at poetry, except a sonnet of which he was ashamed, and why did the same motive not extend to his prose ? We answer, because he was master of prose, and because, we know from his own written words, he was convinced he could never be a poet. In connection with this chapter, we would like to ask Mr. Thomson, what he means by the word sib ” occurring in page 70. This word is only one amongst very many others, which seems to belong to a language invented by Mr. Thomson, or it is just possible that the words may be taken from some tribal language of the Australian aboriginals; if So, we think, with all due deference to Mr. Thomson, he was inconsiderate in not accompanying them with a translation. When Mr. Thomson speaks of the “archaic form of his peculiar syntax," he evidently means the archaic form of his peculiar orthography; for we can assure Mr. Thomson that from long before Elizabeth, up to the present date of the Victorian Review, the syntax of the English language has undergone little, if any alteration. His remark, if it be meant to apply literally, is as appropriate to Macaulay as to Bacon. However, with reference to this, we may say that at a time when men's minds were under the influence of a religious volcano, that few, if any, were likely to leave unread the very book, having been translated into English, which gave to the volcano all its fire. Hence the argument about Scriptural knowledge, and language and quotations, might apply to any literary man who lived during the reigns of Elizabeth and James. Under the next heading, viz., “Plays Politically Grouped,” we shall refer to what Mr. Thomson calls Bacon's “clear account of the law of gravitation, which was until then unheard of.” The last part of the sentence is a gratuitous assumption simply asserted, not proved. We shall deal with the first alone. If Bacon and the dramatist are one, Voltaire is right in saying—"What

sagacity in Bacon to have imagined, what no one else had thought of.” If they are two, Mr. Thomson is wrong when he says—“But Voltaire forgot that the dramatist had also thought of the same law, and announced it at the same time in nearly identical terms." Mr. Thomson in his book is striving to make Bacon and Shakspeare one and the same person, while here he makes them totally distinct and different persons, with two identities.

with two identities. Before we discuss this question of gravitation, we may be permitted to ask-Did Bacon borrow the idea from Shakespeare, or did Shakespeare borrow the idea from Bacon? However this question may be answered, it will dispose of either Bacon or Shakespeare, and will leave us only to account for the means by which the idea was originated by him who is left, be it Bacon or be it Shakspeare. Ideas are, as a rule, generally floating in men's minds before they are distinctly enunciated or formulated. They may be hinted at; and such a hint we know is often seized by sagacious, practical men, and if not always materialised, certainly, as a rule, formally and distinctly enunciated by him, who has caught the idea, and who thus gets the credit for originating it. Let us practically illustrate our meaning In 1600, Tycho Brahe was inculcating at Prague the geocentric theory of the universe, and bad been inculcating it some years previously. Is it not more than likely, that be who gave such a prominent position to the earth, as to place it in the centre of the universe, should not have thought or even said something about the earth's centre itself as a natural sequence, a conjecture, or suggestion; and if he did, might his idea not have travelled to England and been arrested in its progress by Bacon or Shakespeare? We prefer to think the former, because Bacon was at that time discoursing upon the sun as a subordinate planet This will dispose of the words a little further on spoken through the mouth of Ulysses, ending with "this centre.” We must further note, that Bacon does not hazard the theory of gravitation as a mere idea, but as an absolute fact; and yet he certainly had not established it. Is this not further reason to conjecture, that he got the idea from another source, seized it, formulated it, and distinctly enunciated it? We of course_know that it was Newton who proved the theory and who adopted it, and we hazard the conjecture that it was Tycho Brahe who originated it. It may not be useless to state that the heliocentric theory was adopted ex professo by John Field in 1557, i.e., before Bacon or Shakespeare was born; and the geocentric theory long before the passages quoted by Mr. Vol. III.--No. 13.


Thomson were written. We ask our readers to compare for themselves the words quoted from “ King John” and the words quoted from Bacon, which Mr. Thomson says are exactly alike; and yet on examination it will be found that there are only two words alike, and these are different in number, viz., humours in Bacon's words, humour in Shakespeare's. We cannot but wonder how Mr. Thomson ventures to hazard such statements; they certainly enfeeble and cast grave suspicion upon the truth of his general arguments. The rest of the assumed likenesses is equally ingenious, strained and farfetched. We will now proceed to the chapter entitled “The Sonnets.” Let us first dispose of the authorship of the “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece." Both these poems were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton by William Shakespeare, the former in 1593, the latter in 1594. There is a poem written in 1611 by John Davis, inscribed, “To our English Terence, Mr. William Shakespeare.”

Some say, good Will, which I in sport do sing,

Hadst thou not played some kingly parts in sport. Here is conclusive evidence that the English Terence, William Shakespeare, is identical with the actor of the same name. Bacon did not appear before the public as a writer until 1597, when he published a small volume of Essays. According to Mr. Thomson, Meres, in the “ Wits' Treasury,” says, “ witness his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred sonnets among his private friends.” The italics are ours. From this it is evident that the word his, used three times, refers to one and the same person, and to one and the same author; and we have conclusively shown that, that author could be no other man, than William Shakespeare, the actor and the English Terence. We do not wish to strengthen this fact by referring to the only sonnet Bacon ever wrote, which was not effected by his motive for concealment; but which, when published, convinced the philosophic, logical Bacon, that he could never be a poet. He tells us this himself; and thus, where there is real motive for concealment, he does not conceal. The only existence which his motive for concealment, has, is in the isolated remarkable brain of the author of the book under review. The futility of the chapter entitled “ Manuscript Mystery,” is naïvely disposed of by Mr. Thomson himself. He says, “ Whether any of them were original MSS. of plays or no, it would be idle to inquire, for nobody could tell.” Our attention is arrested for a moment by Mr. Thomson, saying, that the “Tempest” was founded by Bacon on Prince Charles' “ romantic wooing cruise.” This wooing cruise was made in 1623, or seven

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