SONNET NO. 37
As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth or wit
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in their parts, do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, or despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
And-by a part of all thy glory live.
Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee:
This wish I have; then ten times happy me.
Here Bacon tells us that he, a father, takes delight in his active child (the first folio of the plays). He says that he has been made lame (disabled), by fortunes dearest spite, also that he was poor and despised. None of these descriptions apply to Will Shakspere. But they do to Bacon. Bacon writes that he gets great comfort out of the worth and truth of his work in which his love is engrafted. Note the words " This shadow doth such substance give " that he is sufficed. What is this shadow? We see what he is referring to if we look at the first page of the edition of the sonnets dated 1640, where we see a picture of Shakspere very similar to the dummy mask on the second page of the first folio of 1623 and underneath this picture are the words " This shadow is renowned Shakspere! "
Why is the picture of Shakspere called a shadow. A shadow is a ghost, a spirit or an unreal thing--feigned--an extraordinary description of someone which is supposed to represent the author of the sonnets and Shakespeare plays. Why in Sonnet No.37 do we again see a reference to this shadow? The shadow referred to is " William Shakespeare "-Francis Bacon's dramatic personality---the author of the Shakespeare plays.