In 1595 a book entitled Polimanteia was printed in Cambridge and signed W.C., which is considered to stand for William Clerke, who was a scholar there. The book contains a letter addressed to the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and the Inns of Court. In the margin of the text of this letter are found the names of many persons who in the author's opinion had done honour to those institutions by their presence as students in one or more of them.
We find the word "Lucrecia" preceding the words
"Sweet Shake-speare." This implies that Sweet Shake-speare, the
author of Lucrece, was a member of one of these universities.
No person of the name of Shakespeare was ever enrolled at any of
these institutions. Sir Sidney Lee's only comment on this fact is:
"In 1595 William Clerke in his Polimanteia gave all praise to
Sweet Shakespeare for his Lucretia." Sir Sidney Lee, who was
entirely unscupulous when dealing with "Shakespere," purposely
suppresses the fact that the author of Polimanteia tells us
that "Shakespeare" was a member of one of those universities,
because, had he done so, he would have been asked for some evidence
that Will Shaksper had attended a university, of which of course
there is no evidence whatsoever. In the same way, in every edition of
Lee's Life of Shakespeare, we find the statement that the
present monument at Stratford was erected shortly after Shaksper's
death, although Lee knew perfectly well that the present statue
was erected in 1748.
It must be remembered that Polimanteia was printed one year after "Shakespeare's " Lucrece was published, and before the publication of any of the "Shakespeare" plays.
Is it a coincidence that "Shakespeare" (the author of Lucrece) and Francis Bacon were both educated at a university?
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