The Prince of Poets

and

Most Illustrious of Philosophers

 


Francis Bacon statue at St. Michael's Church, Gorhambury

 

Concerning the Shaker of the Spear

Of Pallas Athene, the classical goddess

Of Wisdom, War, and Invention

"What's In a Name"

"Motley's the only wear: It is my only suit.

 

Invest me in my motley; give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will through and through

Cleanse the foul body of th' infected world

If they will patiently receive my medicine."

As You Like It, Act II., sc.vii.

"I have immortality in my pen, and bestow it on whom I will."

Return from Parnassus

By

S.A. E. Hickson

 

London: Gay & Hancock, LTD.

1926


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Dedication

V

Preface

xi

Introduction

xv

Letter Divae Elizabethae (Roger Ascham)

xxiii

 

Chapter

I. Bacon the Bellringer: Shakespeare the Bell

1

II. Shakespeare's (Bacon)Hereditary Genius

12

III. Shakespeare's Mother and Father

24

IV. Shakespeare's Juvenile Environment

33

V. Shakespeare's Juvenile Environment- Continued

43

VI. Shakespeare's Education

58

VII. Shakespeare in 1572

78

VIII. Shakespeare and The Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth

91

IX. Shakespeare and the Queen at Woodstock

111

X. Shakespeare and Marguerite

130

XI. Shakespeare as Romeo; and in "Love's Labor's Lost"

147

XII. Shakespeare Returns From France

161

XIII. Shakespeare's Haunts: Gray's Inn, Bacon House, The Sheepcote at Islington

178

XIV. Shakespeare's Further Travel--Residence at Gray's Inn--Member of Parliament

194

XV. Shakespeare: Gray's Inn and the Drama 1583-1593

213

XVI. Shakespeare and the Great Year 1593

230

XVII. Shakespeare's Life- Conclusion

246

XVIII.Shakespeare's Art and Invention--A Summary

260

Epilogue

301

XXIX. Index

315

 


 

In Memory of

One of the Greatest of Men Who Had No
Name of His Own But Who May Be Called
By A whole Library of Names:

Gascoigne--Laneham--Immerito--Lyly--Broke--
Gosson--Webbe- Puttenham--Watson--Lodge--
Daniell--Greene--Nashe-- Peele-- Marlowe--
Spenser--Cervantes-- Montaigne--Bacon--And

Shakespeare

From the Age of Ten
His Pen was Never Idle,
His Mind Was Never Weary,
His Industry was Indefatigable,
His Universal Genius was Unparalleled,
His Love of Humanity was Immeasurable

 

All that he wrote under the above names, and others,
will be found not to exceed the published works of Goethe
and many more.He was the first to use the Press
systematically for propaganda and, like the great painters,
he too had a school and trained pupils to assist him.

Here is the Life of a Great Man

" A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man."
(Hamlet, Act III., sc.iv.)

I have no name that is sufficiently mine.
(Montaigne: Essay "Of Glory.")


Dedicated To

The Mother of Shakespeare

To Whose Zeal

 

In the education of her wonderful and singular son,

and the advantages which she gave him, over and above his won Herculean industry, his unrivalled genius, and his divine sweetness and light,

I believe we owe

Not alone the famous plays which continue to contribute
so greatly to the amusement, culture, and education of man,
But also the many scientific inventions which daily
suprise us, and are, above all, due to that method of scientific reasoning which he did more than any to profound and propagate with so much eloquence,

in the name of

Bacon.

"What's in a Name?"

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet":
Shakespeare.

"My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself":

Bacon.

"Le Chancelier Bacon at ete' le pe're du monde moderne."

Arthur Toupine


The Prince of Poets

Chapter 1

Bacon the Bellringer: Shakespeare the Bell

 

The discovery that Shakespeare was very possibly a royal Prince and heir to the throne of England offers a new point of view which is worth examining. It seems startling at first, but is not inconsistent with history. Above all, it is in complete accordance with the character of the famous plays. They take just the form natural to a Prince-poet. As Shakespeare, he sings with evident pride of the history and deeds of his own ancestors, giving them all from Edward I. to Henry VIII., though not all under the same name, and Henry VII. alone in prose, under the name of Bacon. Indeed, the address to the reader of the "Vie Naturelle," published in France in 1631, records that the famous ancestors of Bacon "left so many marks of their greatness in history that honour and dignity seem at all times to have been the spoil of his family.... (and) he saw himself destined one day to hold the helm of the Kingdom in his hand." (Granville C. Cunningham, Bacon's Secret Disclosed ) The contemporary published fact is entirely in accordance with what the cipher, and literature closely examined, clearly reveal.

Now the main issue of this discovery is really collossal. It goes far beyond the mere controversy whether Bacon wrote the plays published under the name of William Shakespeare, which is so completely captivating and more and more powerfully engrossing men's minds. The importance of the discovery lives in the fact that it brings into a fierce light once more the comprehensive unity and vast significance of the scientific methods and aims of this great master. It reveals Shakespeare in Bacon as a man so great, with a mind so well balanced, that he could write both the philosophical and profound "Great Instauration of Science" as well as the famous and witty works of art, the immortal plays showing how men's passions affect their actions in the use of power. Both appeared at the same time. Together they symbolise the "marriage of science and art" which he talks about-- of the scientific instrument of induction, and that art of direction on which Bacon laid so much stress.

For though he who is called Bacon was not himself the inventor of induction, it was he, above all, who perceived this to be the only sure method of endowing human life with new discoveries and powers. He was, as he said, the bellringer, calling others to hear. He hoped as none other that, with aid of time, these inventions might enable man " in some degree to subdue and overcome the necessities and miseries of humanity.....Yet evermore," he said, " it must be remembered that he least part of knowledge passed to man by this so large charter of God must be subject to that use for which God granted it-- that is , for the benefit of the state and society of man," (Bacon, Valerius Terminus.) and so "cleanse the foul body of th' infected world." (Shakespeare, As You Like It ) It was thus to give right direction to men in the use of their powers that he laboured above all.

Such, briefly, were the aims of the wonderful child of fortune and misfortune known during life under the motleys of Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare. It is the all-embracing completeness and unity of his work as a whole which so animate the minds of men to-day.

For this discovery is the result of researches that are being carried out quite independently--not singly-- and not only in England, but in America, Austria, Holland, and our own colonies, and in certain centers throughout the entire globe. They must therefore before long sift through to the wider rank of thinking man, and overcome his natural prejudice against the attack on a long cherished idol. For all men naturally cling to their preconceptions. Such careful research work as that of Madame von Kunow can but excite interest through her book entitled: "Francis Bacon, the Last of the Tudors," more especially seeing that it emanates from the classical German center of Weimar, and has been translated into English by Mr. Williard Parker, the President of the Bacon Society of America. Again, Herr Weber of the Bacon-Shakespeare Society of Vienna has published two published books entitled, "The True Shakespeare" and Bacon- Shakespeare-Cervantes." He proclaims him the greatest genius the world has known, and declares that England is concealing the truth. In France, too, General Cartier, having checked the biliteral cipher story, being a cipher expert, is forming a Bacon Society of France; and in Holland Dr. Speckman is making remarkable discoveries.

This gradual progress of the revelation of Bacon's work is entirely in accordance with Shakespeare- Bacon's conception of the revelation of truth with time, and his deliberate plan. He hoped that little by little the light which he was kindling would spread and embrace all the world. So it is doing. Yet one, question always remained open in his mind: How to persuade men to use his new powers in the right direction--that is, to alleviate, not to inflict misery? His mirror of man, the great plays of Shakepeare; the obstinate wanderings of Don Quixote up and down in search of self-glory, etc., were examples of his endeavour to give direction, by showing how man's passions and preconceptions deceive his senses and mislead his reason unless controlled by habit, creating errors destructive of all well being, in "Natural Histories" and plays.

He thus saw plainly the dangers of scientific invention in wrong hands, through misapplication and misdirection.

The recent war {WWI} has brought nothing home to us more forcibly than the truth of this presentiment. As Sir Oliver Lodge recently pointed out, science and art have increased man's powers of destruction to an extent fearful to contemplate. Terrible are the facilities provided by modern inventions for suddenly dealing death and destruction and untold misery on millions of men.

Thus this new revelation gives us something very tangible indeed to reflect upon. This misapplication of power was the chief danger against which our Shakespeare-Bacon concentrated his main efforts. "This," he cries, " is the very thing I am labouring at and preparing with all my might" : "to find an art of indication and direction" (De Augmentis, Book V, chapter,ii) --to keep man in the right way to subdue human misery. (Plan of Bacon's Great Instauration) It was on the culture of the individual mind that he placed his faith. His mirror has not yet proved fully efficacious. The individual minds of men everywhere have not yet acquired sufficient force of character to abstain from envy and national greed. Men do not see clearly how patiently to resist the temptations and eliminate the terror of war, and to rely on reason and time to accommodate their differences as the more divine and noble solution; nor do they see clearly how to use the new civilising powers to their full advantage, though they seem now to be concentrating on it.

Nevertheless the great bell of the world famed Shakespeare continues to peal, calling louder than ever. His plays are heard today all over the world, even the countries of our recent enemies--more, it is said, than at home. May they be well understood. He is appealing ever to a wider humanity from a wider horizon. His light is spreading, as he hoped, further and further with its cry for unity:

" Evermore, it must be remembered that the least part of knowledge is subject to the use for which God hath granted it, which is the benefit and relief of the state and society of man."

This was the very keynote of the bell by which Bacon in the name of Shakespeare hoped to tune all nations to a common idea: the use of scientific power for the welfare of man, not for national and individual greed. Such was the aim of that new philosophy of which Bacon himself claimed only to be the bellringer, calling upon others to hear and help. The marriage of art and science, on which it was based, has now produced many of those invaluable discoveries which it was foreseen must result from logical induction. The mind of man has in many ways proved thus a match for the nature of things, and many new civilising powers have been conferred upon him. How vast, for example, are our powers of broadcasting propaganda, and educating the young, if only we applied them always religiously in the right direction. Shakespeare-Bacon saw that this is the weak point. Power can be had, but if direction be wanting, as the Great War shows, it is worse than useless.

So, again, we have lived to see the truth of the teaching of both Shakespeare and Bacon verified in another wonderful way. Both maintain that art almost can change nature. (Bacon, De Augmentis, Book II, Chap.ii.) In two cases the very nature and aims of a whole nation have been changed by education and propaganda within a single generation, within living memory. Germany achieved it disastrously under the influence of Prussia, forsaking peaceful philosophy, art, science, and manufacturing skill for Pan-Germanism and resort to force; taking direction to the wrong place in neglect of the teachings of Don Quixote. The motives of Japan seen sounder. Civilization and art will, it is hoped, find a wiser solution in the Pacific Ocean, and avoid the hateful misdirection of power.

Shakespeare-Bacon hoped that, as the mind of man became a match for the nature of things, through science, man would see how to use his knowledge more and more for civilising and humane purposes. Science has at last made all men neighbors. It has, however, not yet taught them, as he hoped, to be always "governed by sound and reason and religion."(Novum Organum)

It remains still for human art to use its new powers consisently "for the benefit of the state and society of man" by study, observation, conference, and above all, by inductive reasoning. For induction is the only competent substitute for war : the threshing out of particulars and, after eliminating errors, arranging them in logical order, each part supporting the other as incontestable fact beneficially instead of each man blindly worshipping his own idols and preconceptions. It is this very principle of induction that gives Parliament, with its committees and reports, its intrinsic power, and Bacon-Shakespeare was a member of it for twenty-five years. It is this that has made those Parliaments spread like Shakespeare himself-- from England all over the world; and what else is it that is now inviting leagues and committees of experts of all nations to come to a unanimous and acceptable opinion on quesions of all kinds in mutual conference?

What greater powers--we ask, suprised--can Bacon have dreamed of when he penned his great prophecy and unfolded it in the pages of his "New Atlantis"; or when sent forth his great plays in the name of Shakespeare; or Don Quixote, in the name of Cervantes, to reflect his observations of human life, and to hold them up to all mankind in his great mirror as a first indication to man of the scientifically right, as compared with the wrong, direction? Time is now revealing to us his work as a whole, as he knew that it would reveal him and his true name. We see and realise it with wonder; and the new powers amaze us.Yet the great problem always remains: How to ensure their right use and get the full advantage from these powers.

Nothing, however, is more patient than Time. Truth clings to obscurity till science and the art of man force it into the light. Such was Shakespeare-Bacon's favorite emblem. Since, however, truth once brought into open daylight never dies but persists, the waves of intelligence which research is now sending out in respect of his work, growing larger, must presently intersect and unite all the world in a common scientific purpose. Reason--such was Shakespeare--Bacon's faith--must eventually lead man to perceive how immeasurably the new powers can, if rightly used, alleviate human misery. The powers are there. The culture of the individual mind in their use and adaptation is still wanting. It is upon this, above all, that concentration is needed.

The bell of the great master of science and art is still ringing--Shakespeare, the myriad-minded and myriad named! It matters not whether we call him also Bacon or by any other of his many pseudonyms. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Time's scythe is satisfied. The honour which he foresaw would be his is at hand, and will "make him heir to all Eternity!" Bacon is the ringer: Shakespeare is the bell, with sonorous measures calling on mankind to listen, and see set before their eyes the hurt which human nature erring can inflict upon itself through unreflecting passions, unrestrained by custom, habit, and good form. The mind of man must inevitably move forward on the lines he indicated. Art and science will endow him ever with new powers in the course of time.

It was thus that Shakespeare hoped to "cleanse the foul body of th' infected world," (As You Like It ) words so closely kin to those of our Communion Service, that our sinful bodies may be made clean.

To sum up. According to the new light, Shakespeare and Bacon are mere motleys woven by the same concealed Prince-Poet, the lawful son of Queen Elizabeth: by nature the great son of a great mother, begotten under strange and almost inexpressible conditions. Neither, it well may be, were faultless to the human eye. Yet to none does mankind owe more, so paradoxical are nature's methods. No man ever had a more concrete and practical aim than this great Shakespeare-Bacon. In a Latin paper found tucked away in his desk after his death he has made known his hopes to posterity, just as in his will he left his true name and memory for future ages to discover. Mr. Spedding has very aptly translated his eloquent words as follows:

 

"Above all, if a man could suceed in kindling a light in nature-- a light which should in its very rising touch and illuminate all the border regions that confine upon the circle of our present knowledge, and so spreading further and further, should presently disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the world, that man (I thought) would be the benefactor indeed of the human race."

If these were the hopes of Shakespeare, what man's hopes have been more gloriously fulfilled? Concealed behind his motleys he relied on secrecy during life, content that time should reveal his true name and memory and bring it into the sun's light in ages to come. He definitely put aside living self-glory in those immortal words:

"Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live registered upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
Th' endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keene edge
And make us heirs of all eternity."
(Love's Labour's Lost, ActI., sc. i.)
"The hour's now come,"(Tempest, Act I, sc.ii) says the same author; " this very minute bids thee open thine ear: obey and be attentive!"

Pro: For thou must now know further.

Miranda: You have often

Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd,
And left me to a bootless inquisition,
CONcluding, "Stay, not yet."

Prospero: The hours now come.

 

The magic art of Prospero aided by science, in Ariel on electric wings, is everywhere at work. Everywhere, too, is heard the voice of Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare. His plays are everywhere, spreading his light further and further, till at last the full meaning and extent of his wondrous work shall be disclosed, and Ben Jonson's riddle be solved--written on Bacon's sixtieth birthday:

"Thou stand'st as if a mystery thou didst."

*******