On Francis Bacon's Sixtieth birthday, Ben Jonson toasted his friend:
"Hail happy genius of this ancient pile
How comes it all things so about thee smile?
The fire, the wine, the men! and in the midst
Thou stand'st as if some mystery thou didst".
On this, the 443rd anniversary of his birth, that smile of mystery still lingers.
So too does the laughter from his plays: tonight I watched a brilliant performance of Midsummer Night's Dream that was surely as fresh and hilarious, as touching and as magical as the night it was first played.
Who was he? Shakespeare, certainly, but if we are to accept the evidence of eminent Baconians, then Spenser also, and Cervantes, and Marlowe, and Sidney, and Nashe. And this is by no means the end of the list. This is the great difficulty in coming to grips with Bacon: the span of his hidden literary activities alone simply beggars belief. Perhaps on this basis one can begin to understand why four centuries of time have not been sufficient to dislodge the cover identities of the masks which he used.
What does he mean to me? Somewhere he said that he didn't intend to start a cult; which is all very well but frankly it's hard to get to know the man and his achievements and not begin to love him. It's equally as hard not to feel the injustice at the treatment his name has endured at the hands of history; but at least one can read and applaud the many fine efforts of those writers and researchers who have laboured to set the record straight, many of whom can now be found on the sirbacon.org site. In his will, he famously left his name to foreign nations and the next ages. What better day than his birthday to reflect for a moment that sirbacon.org and many of it's readers are indeed in "foreign nations", and that this internet era is truly the "next ages": with the conditions now seemingly in place, may it now be time that the provisions in his will be fulfilled, and the world come to embrace openly under his own name, the true life and complete works of the genius of the Ages, Francis Bacon.
messages for Simon Miles
Francis Bacon's name may be found as a hidden signature throughout the Shakespeare works. Here is a list of examples