Chapter 20

 

From the book, The Bacon-Shakespeare Question by Nigel Cockburn

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The Tempest

 
image courtesy of D.W. Cooper
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thanks to G.C.for text preparation
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The Tempest uses details from a private letter from one William Strachey to which Bacon, but not Shakspere, had access. Bacon almost certainly drafted a report of the Virginia Company which likewise draws on the letter.

BACKGROUND

The Tempest's background story is that Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, was usurped by his brother Antonio.  Prospero and his young daughter Miranda were cast adrift, and eventually finished up in an enchanted uninhabited island.  12 years later Antonio and others were involved in a shipwreck off the island and cast ashore on it.  The play's plot then follows from that.

The first known performance was at Court on 1 November 1611, but the play was not published till the First Folio of 1623.

         In 1606 the Virginia Company was formed to promote the colonisation of Virginia in America.  Its Charter of the same year names the 8 promoters, who did not include Bacon.  There was a second Charter in 1609 which lists a great many shareholders from diverse walks of life and 52 members of the Council (i.e, the Board of Directors).  Bacon is named as both a shareholder and Council member. Shakspere was neither.  A third Charter of 1612 added some further shareholders and members of the Council.

         On 2 June 1609 a fleet of ships set sail from Plymouth to strengthen the colony.  On 24 July in a tempest near Bermuda one of the ships, the Sea Venture, carrying the Deputy-Governor-to-be of the colony, Sir Thomas Gates, and its Secretary-to-be William Strachey, became separated from the rest and ran aground on the islands.  But everyone got ashore.  The rest of the ships made it to Virginia, but their adventurers were appalled by the state of the colony as they found it. Many of the colonists had died there during the winter of starvation or disease and anarchy reigned.

         Some of the new arrivals began to return to England by the end of the year, laden with nothing but bad reports and letters of discouragement.  To allay public concern, the Council, which desperately needed to raise further men and money for the enterprise, published in its own name about the end of 1609 (having entered it in the S.R. on 14 December 1609) a document entitled A True and Sincere Declaration of the purpose and ends of the Plantation begun in Virginia.1  It sought to paint a less gloomy picture.

Meanwhile in Bermuda the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture stayed 10 months while they built two new ships in which in May 1610 they completed their journey to Virginia.

Strachey's Letter

On 15 July 1610 Sir Thomas Gates left Virginia to return to England.  He brought with him an extremely long letter of over 20,000 words (more a long pamphlet or short book) from Strachey to an unnamed and unidentifiable Lady who cannot have been a member of the all male Council. The letter deals with the tempest, the wreck, life in Bermuda and the Virginia colony.  C.M. Gayley in his Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America (1917), p. 50, writes of the letter:  "It was confidential and from June 2 1609 up to the time of its despatch, describes with vivid fidelity and unvarnished detail all the happenings of the intervening period - discouragements, mutinies and murders, factions, misgovernment, wanton sloth and waste, misery and penury, fraud and treason, death by starvation and disease and cruel encounter with the savages".  Some of these evils had raised their heads in Bermuda as well as in Virginia.

         Gates arrived back in England in September 1610, and no doubt passed the letter to the Lady addressee who must have handed it over to the Council. That body will have done its utmost to hush it up, and may have succeeded.  Neither the original letter nor any manuscript copy of it is extant today, and there is no contemporary reference to it till it was published in 1625 by Samuel Purchas in his Purchas His Pilgrims, Vol. 4, p. 1734, under the heading A true Repertory of the wrack and redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight.  The letter or a copy had been found among the papers of Richard Hakluyt, the geographer and collector, on his death in 1616, and then acquired by Purchas.  Hakluyt had been one of the 8 patentees under the royal Letters Patent establishing the Virginia Company's first Charter of 1606.

         The importance the Council attached to secrecy in communications to and from Virginia is emphasised by the following:  Item 36 of the Council's instructions to Sir Thomas Gates before he set out for Virginia in June 1609 states that letters to him and his successors must be kept secret.  Item 13 of the instructions to the Governor Lord de la Warr before he set out in 1610 (to take over from the Deputy-Governor Gates) reads:  "Your Lordship must take especial care what relations [accounts] come into England and what letters are written and that all things of that nature may be boxed up and sealed and sent first to the Council here" (see Three Charters of the Virginia Company edited by E.G. Swen and John M. Jennings, pp.55 and 74).  The. reason for all this secrecy was of course that unfavourable publicity could jeopardise the success of the colony which badly needed more manpower and money.

         At the end of 1610 the Council issued, again in its own name (having entered it in the S.R. on 8 November 1610) a second propaganda report entitled A True Declaration of the state of the Colony in Virginia with a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise.2  It condemns vulgar opinion, upholds the morality and practicality of this  exercise in colonialism, defends Gates against criticisms, describes in 5 pages the tempest and life in Bermuda (calling the whole thing "this tragical comedy"), declares Virginia to be habitable, fruitful and with great opportunities for trade, diagnoses the causes of the trouble as anarchy, idleness and faction, and claims that much had been rectified with the arrival of a new Governor.

BACONIAN POINT 1 - Strachey's Letter

Such is the background.  Now there is almost universal agreement (among scholars that detailed parallels between The Tempest and Strachey's letter establish that Shake-Speare drew on the letter when writing the play.  The consensus absolves me from the need to specify the parallels, but I will give one example.  The letter in describing the tempest, says:

"Here the glut of water (as if throttling the wind erewhile) was no sooner a little emptied and qualified but instantly the winds (as having gotten their mouths now free and at liberty) spake more loud and grew more tumultuous and malignant".

The play at 1.1.57-8 says:

"Though every drop of water . . . gape at widest to glut him". 

The word "glut" as a transitive verb is not used by Shake-Speare elsewhere, and it seems reasonable to infer that he copied it from the letter.3  Indeed it was probably the letter which inspired him to write The Tempest in the first place.  There was another published account of the tempest and Bermuda life, namely Discovery of the Bermudas, dated 3 October 1610, by Sylvester Jourdain who had been on the Sea Venture with Strachey; but it is very short (and avoids discouraging details).

         The problem for Stratfordians is how Shakspere could have had access to Strachey's letter.  True, there were so many shareholders in the Company that Shakspere is likely to have known some of them.  One such was Sir Dudley Digges, who was a member of the Council.  Digges's brother Leonard wrote one of the commendatory poems in the Shakespeare First Folio.  And in 1603 their widowed mother married Thomas Russell who in 1616 was the "overseer" of Shakspere's Will.  Shakspere's colleague John Heminges was at Dudley Digges's own wedding and signed as a witness.  Both Digges brothers were friends of Ben Jonson who knew Shakspere.  Dudley Digges wrote a commendatory poem to Jonson's Volpone and Strachey himself wrote one to Jonson's Sejanus (1605) in which Shakspere had acted.  Shakspere may even have known Strachey who in 1606, though no longer in 1608, had been a shareholder in the company of boy actors known as "The Children of the Queen's Revels" which rented the Blackfriars theatre from Shakspere's colleague Richard Burbage.

         But none of this solves the problem of Shakspere's access to the letter.  As to Strachey, he could not personally have imparted the details to Shakspere. As Gayley wrote, op.cit. p. 75, "Though Strachey returned to England late in October, or early in November 1611, and was lodging the next year in Blackfriars, information derived personally from him could not permeate a play acted on the first of November 1611.  And . . . the close verbal and literary coincidences between the play and the letter are of such a kind as could not be accounted for by any mere conversation that Shakespeare may have had with Strachey".  The Stratfordians suggest that some member of the Council must have shown Shakspere the letter. But that is grossly improbable.  He was not even a shareholder, and had a modest station in life.  Further, the parallels are such as could hardly have been absorbed from a quick glance through this "letter" of at least 20,000 words.  It would have been necessary for it, or a copy, to be left with Shakspere so that he could either make notes from it, before returning it, or else keep it at his elbow while writing the relevant parts of the play.  But the Council would have been loth to let so sensitive a document, or a copy, out of its possession.  As Gayley wrote, op.cit, p.44, "It was a letter jealously guarded from the public and accessible long after 1610, long after 1613 [the date of another known performance of The Tempest] only to the inner circle of the Virginia Company".  This was an inference by Gayley but a reasonable one.  As to copies, it is likely that few, if any, were made; partly to minimise the risk of a leak and partly because of the length of the letter which, as printed in A Voyage to Virginia in 1609 (1965) by Louis. B. Wright, runs to 93 small pages (it is 22 huge pages in Purchas).  Gayley, a Stratfordian, skated over the question of how Shakspere could have known the letter.  He contented himself with the statement (at p. 76, repeating in substance p. 70):  "That Shakespeare was allowed to read it and to use certain of its materials for a play, as with just discrimination and due discretion he did, is illustrative of the closeness of his intimacy with the patriot leaders of the Virginia Company."  But, for the reasons I have given, it is fanciful to suppose that he would have been vouchsafed that indulgence.  The Council would have been horrified by the idea of letting the letter or a copy into the possession of an actor/playwright who might not only blab its secrets to his friends, but even perhaps publicise some of them in a play.

         If Bacon wrote The Tempest there is no problem.  As a member of the Council he was entitled to see the letter, and his intense interest in the New World makes it almost inevitable that he did see it.  In the same year, 1610, he was a founder member of the Newfoundland Fishery Company. In 1618 he was admitted a brother of the East India Company.  Strachey himself knew of Bacon's interest in the Virginia Colony - see the Postscript at the end of this chapter.  The first Bermudan coinage, known as the hog-money, carried Bacon's crest on one side and the picture of a ship under full sail on the other. Three centuries later his head appeared on the Newfoundland tercentenary stamp with the caption "Guiding Spirit of the Colon-isation Scheme".5  Of course as a Council member he would have used Strachey's letter with the "just discrimination and due discretion" that Gayley spoke of.

BACONIAN POINT 2 - the True Declaration

Bacon may even have had a specific need to study Strachey's letter, since I have very little doubt that it was Bacon who drafted the True Declaration which makes use of the letter.  The reader will recall that the True Declaration, issued in late 1610, was the second of two propaganda reports from the Council, the first being the True and Sincere Declaration issued in late 1609.  Alexander Brown in his The Genesis of the United States (1964), p. 821, suggests that Bacon may have been one of the authors of the various Broadsides issued by the Council from time to time.  In fact, on stylistic and parallelism grounds I adjudge him to be the sole or principal draftsman of the True and Sincere Declaration, and the sole draftsman of the True Declaration.  He was a member of the Council of the Virginia Company, and Solicitor-General renowned for his skill in drafting public reports, a task he not infrequently found himself saddled with.  For example, he once asked his friend Tobie Mathew to help him by taking a contemporaneous note of some proceedings (probably parliamentary) which Bacon was involved in because Bacon predicted ruefully from the weight of the matter that he himself would later be called upon to make a report of them. However, he would have been delighted to draft the two Declarations since he was deeply committed to the Virginia enterprise.  In the True and Sincere Declaration his hand is less obvious than in the True Declaration.  But the likely reason for this is that the former Declaration is more in the nature of a formal proclamation on behalf of the Virginia Council, thereby inhibiting to some extent Bacon's natural style.  The report addresses its readers with "we" (i.e, the Council), but twice (pp. 345 & 349 of Alexander Brown's edition) it slips into Bacon's rhetorical mannerism of "I say" (e.g, p. 345, "It is then I say evident that [etc, etc] ").  At pp. 344-5 the report summarises the anarchy which reigned in the new colony as "everything returning from civil propriety to natural and primary community".  This academic formulation is not such as one would expect to find (save from someone like Bacon) in a practical Declaration, but it is in fact a paraphrase of the theme of Montaigne's Essay on Cannibals which, as scholars have long accepted, is adverted to by Shake-Speare in The Tempest 2.1.143 ff.  That play's Arden editor comments, p. xxxiv. "The only undisputed source for any part of The Tempest is Montaigne's essay 'Of Cannibals'; there are unmistakable traces of Florio's translation in the text.  It has been argued, most recently by A. Lovejoy, that Shake-Speare intends a satirical comment on Montaigne's apparent acceptance of the primitivistic view that a natural society, without the civilised accretions of law, custom and other artificial restraints, would be a happy one".  I think Lovejoy's inference is correct, and Shake-Speare's scepticism in the matter was certainly shared by the author of the True and Sincere Declaration.  If I am right in ascribing that report to Bacon, we thus find him formulating Montaigne's theme only a year before Shake-Speare discusses it in The Tempest, likewise in connection with the Virginia colony in the sense that the play was inspired by the fate of the Gates expedition.  The report ends (p. 352) with a prayer to God "so to nourish this grain of seed [i.e, the Virginia colony] that it may spread till all the people of the Earth admire the greatness and seek the shades and fruit thereof".  Bacon used this same metaphor (of biblical origin) in a speech in Parliament in 1621 (Spedding 14.175):  "This kingdom now first in his Majesty's times hath gotten a lot or portion in the New World by the plantation of Virginia and the Summer Islands [Bermuda].  And certainly it is with kingdoms on earth as it is in the kingdom of heaven: Sometimes a grain of mustard seed proves a great tree. Who can tell?"  He had earlier used the metaphor in 1607 in connection with the union of Scotland and England (Spedding 10 .323):  "For certainly the kingdoms here on earth have a resemblance with the kingdom of heaven, which our Saviour compareth not to any great kernel or nut, but to a very small grain, yet such a one as is apt to grow and spread".  He also likened the biblical grain of mustard seed to some States in his Essay on the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates (Spedding 6(2),445).  There are other parallels too which I deal with in the footnote.6

         Turning to the True Declaration, one finds a more personal tone.  It addresses its readers with "I" and was the work of a single draftsman who describes himself (p. 3 of the Peter Force edition) as "the compiler of this relation".

Again he was a member of the Virginia Council since he says (p. 3) that he had had access to the secrets of the Council, to letters from the new Governor Lord de la Warr, and to word of mouth accounts from Sir Thomas Gates.  The report displays unmistakable signs of Bacon's authorship, and it is astonishing that (apart from Brown's comment about the broadsides as a whole) this has never been recognised, not even by Baconians.  Written with much eloquence and passion, it has Bacon's rich mix of lofty intelligence, antithesis, metaphor, aphorism, compression, the apt use of Latin tags or classical analogies and the careful tabulation of arguments.  I will quote 4 passages by way of example:

But when a matter of such consequence is not to be shuffled over with supine negligence, and when no man raiseth a fair building that layeth not a firm foundation, it will not be impertinent to dig a little deeper, that we may build a great deal higher, and from the universal policy of all states (in replenishing the world with colonies of domestical subjects) to derive this wisdom to our populous state and country.

 [On] the 24th of July 1609 there arose such a storm, as if Jonas had been flying unto Tarshish; the heavens were obscured, and made an Egyptian night of three days of perpetual horror; the women lamented; the hearts of the passengers failed; the experience of the sea Captains was amazed; the skill of the mariners was confounded; the Ship most violently leaked; and though 2000 tons of water by pumping from Tuesday noon till Friday noon was discharged, not withstanding the Ship was half filled with water, and those which laboured to keep others from drowning were half drowned themselves in labouring.  But God that heard Jonas crying out of the belly of Hell, he pitied the distresses of his servants; For behold, in the last period of necessity, Sir George Summers descried land, which was by so much the more joyful by how much their dangers were despairful.

(The next passage dealing with the chaos in Virginia is particularly fascinating as reflecting Bacon's and Shake-Speare's horror of anarchy and dissension.)

The ground of all those miseries was the permissive Providence of God who, in the fore-mentioned violent storm, separated the head from the body, all the vital powers of Regiment being exiled with Sir Thomas Gates in those infortunate (yet fortunate) Islands.  The broken remainder of those supplies made a greater shipwrack in the Continent of Virginia, by the tempest of dissension: every man over-valuing his own worth, would be a Commander: every man underprising another's value, denied to be commanded. The emulation of Caesar and Pompey watered the plains of Pharsaly with blood and distracted the sinews of the Roman Monarchy.

It is but a golden slumber that dreameth of any human felicity, which is not sauced with some contingent misery. Dolor et voluptas invicem cedunt.  Grief and pleasure are the cross sails of the world's ever-turning windmill. Let no man therefore be over wise to cast beyond the moon and to multiply needless doubts and questions . . . occasion is precious but when it is occasion. 

There are also parallels between the True Declaration and the works of Bacon or Shake-Speare.  I will mention three at once and deal with the rest in the footnote7: (1) The True Declaration (p. 16) refers to "that scum of men" who deserted the colony to become sea pirates.  Bacon's Essay on Plantations (Spedding 6(2).457) says:  "It is a shameful and unblessed thing to take the scum of people . . . to be the people with whom you plant: (2) The True Declaration (p. 24) says that to quit the colony would be "a dishonour of that nature, that will eternally blemish our nation". Bacon's same Essay (Spedding 6(2).460) says: "It is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute a plantation, once in forwardness".  Both works pitch the dishonour surprisingly high:  (3) The True Declaration (p. 24) mentions but rejects other ways besides colonisation for reducing a country's surplus population.  One of the ways was to ban marriage (thus discouraging the procreation of children), leaving men to satisfy their lusts in stews (i.e, brothels).  Montaigne in his Essay on Cannibals does not specifically mention the absence of marriage as one facet of his ideal natural society, but it crops up in Shake-Speare's discussion of Montaigne's theme in The Tempest 2.1.161-2:

Gonzalo:                  No marrying 'mong his subjects?

Sebastian:                None, man; all idle; whores and knaves.

         If contemporaneously a common author was writing both the play and the True Declaration, perhaps he introduced the replacement of marriage by whores into the discussion of the Montaigne theme in the play because he had it in mind in the True Declaration.

         Despite all the signs of Bacon's authorship, two other members of the Council have been suggested as possible draftsmen of the Declarations - Sir Edwin Sandys (suggested by Gayley op.cit, p. 52) and Sir Dudley Digges (suggested by Leslie Hotson in his I, William Shakespeare (1937), p. 225).  Sandys was an intelligent man and leader of the Parliamentary party which opposed King James.  But he was not a great literateur.  His only published work was A Relation of the State of Religion (1605).  He wrote good plain English, but it lacks most of the stylistic traits of the True Declaration.  For example, he uses very little metaphor.  Digges, who published two or three works, has been suggested for no other reason than Stratfordian eagerness to establish a link between Strachey's letter and Shakspere. He was only 27 years old and, though he does use Latin tags, his style is diffuse and inept. He can scarcely have been the draftsman of the True Declaration.

         The relevance of the draftsman's identity is that (as the Stratfordians accept) the True Declaration had obviously made use of Strachey's letter 8.  As Gayley pointed out, op.cit, pp. 53 and 229-30, there are a number of places where the True Declaration draws on the letter or even comes close to quoting it verbatim.  For example, the letter says:  "rather than the dwellers would step into the woods a stone's cast from them to fetch other fire-wood".  Compare the True Declaration (p. 15): "rather than they would go a stone's cast to fetch wood [for cooking fish]".

         This link between the letter and the True Declaration affords, I believe, one reason why Shake-Speare was so conversant with the letter - he had to study it when drafting the True Declaration.  If so, he cannot have been Shakspere whom no one proposes as the author of that report.  Shake-Speare may even have been writing the True Declaration and The Tempest at the same time.  It would make sense if he wrote the play under the first impact of Strachey's letter and while the shipwreck and subsequent events were still hot news.  We saw earlier that The Comedy Of Errors was performed during the Gray's Inn Christmas Revels of 1594-5, and I suggested that Love's Labour's Lost also was probably written for those Revels, and Troilus And Cressida for the Christmas Revels of 1600-1. Perhaps The Tempest was written for, and first performed during, the Inn's Christmas Revels of 1610.  The chronology would then be that Strachey's letter arrived in England about August 1610 and Bacon (as I suggest) drew on it during the autumn as he wrote the True Declaration 9 and The Tempest, the one being published around Christmas and the other first performed during the Gray's Inn Christmas Revels.  If it was staged at the end of the Revels, Prospero's famous speech near the end of the play (4.1.148):  "Our Revels now are ended" would then have a literal as well as metaphorical relevance.  The play is Shake-Speare's second shortest after The Comedy Of Errors and the explanation of its brevity may be that it was fitted into a crowded evening's programme, as The Comedy Of Errors was. The play's performance at Court on 1 November 1611 is no evidence against a much earlier first performance.  In Chapter 33 I give a string of remarkable parallelisms between The Tempest and Bacon's acknowledged works.

POSTSCRIPT

We have further evidence of Bacon's interest in the Virginia Colony from the mouth of Strachey himself.  In addition to his letter, Strachey wrote a book about Virginia, called The History of Travel into Virginia Britannia (which does not duplicate the events of the letter).  He probably started it either in Virginia or fairly soon after he got back to England in 1611, and finished it in 1612.  It was not published till 1849, but it exists in three manuscripts.  One is dedicated to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland; a second to Sir William Apsley, Purveyor of his Majesty's Navy Royal (a position he held till 1617).  The third copy is dedicated to Bacon and styles him Lord Chancellor.  The dedication therefore cannot be earlier than 1618 when he achieved that position, and reads:

To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, Knight, Baron of Verulam, Lord High Chancellor of England, and of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Counsel:

Most worthily honoured Lord

Your Lordship ever approving yourself a most noble fautor [supporter] of the Virginian Plantation, being from the beginning (with other lords and earls) of the principal counsel applied to propagate and guide it; and my poor self (bound to your observance by being one of the Gray's Inn Society) having been there three years thither, employed in place of secretary so long there present; and setting down with all my well-meaning abilities a true narration or history of the country; to whom should I submit so aptly, and with so much duty, the most humble present thereof, as to your most worthy and best-judging Lordship? who in all virtuous and religious endeavours have ever been, as a supreme encourager, so an inimitable pattern and perfector; nor shall my plain and rude composition any thought discourage my attempt, since howsoever I should fear to appear therein before so matchless a master in that faculty (if any opinionate worth of mine own work presented me) yet as the great Composer of all made all good with his own goodness, and in our only will to his imitation takes us into his act, so be his goodness your good Lordship's.  in this acceptation; for which with all my poor service I shall abide ever

Your best Lordship's most humbly

                      William Strachey

 

In acknowledging Bacon's matchless mastery of the faculty of writing, Strachey may or may not have believed Bacon to be the author of the True Declaration and The Tempest, both of which flatteringly draw upon Strachey's own letter.

Footnotes

  1.     It was entered under the hands of Lord de la Warr, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Walter Cope and Master Waterson.  It is printed in The Genesis of the United States (1964) by Alexander Brown, p. 337.

  2.     It was entered under the hands of Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Maurice Barkley, Sir George Coppin and Master Richard Martin.  It is printed in Tracts and Other Papers; North America (1836-46), Vol. 3, pp. 1-27, edited by Peter Force.

  3.     In his Henry VII (Spedding 6(1).61) Bacon uses "glut" as a transitive verb - "enough to glut the hearers".

  4 & 5.  According to Baconiana, Vol. 5, p. 102.

  6.     (1) The True and Sincere Declaration is much infested with Bacon's penchant for tautologies.  One (p. 342) is "ample and large" which Bacon and Shake-Speare both use - see Chapter 33, Parallel No.28:  (2) The report says (p. 340) that without colonisation there will be "no vent but age" of Britain's surplus population.  In Chapter 33, Parallel No.29, I discuss the use of the word "vent" in this connection and its Bacon/Shake-Speare relevance:  (3) At p.347 is the rare verb "infirm", meaning "make infirm".  Bacon uses this verb once (Spedding 3.393).

  7.     The other parallels are: (4) At p. 3 the True Declaration refers to the "wisdoms" of Lord de la Warr and Sir Thomas Gates.  Bacon sometimes uses abstract nouns in the plural.  (5) At p. 5 it refers to "black envy and pale fear".  Compare Henry VIII, 2.1.85 (a Shake-Speare scene): "black envy"; and Shake-Speare calls fear "pale" three times.  (6) At p. 7 it refers to "a lawful offensive war quod ulcisitur that revengeth bloody injuries".  Bacon too regarded a war of revenge as justified - see his Essay on the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates (Spedding 6(2).450). (7) At p. 16 it refers to the reports of disaster in Virginia as "the scandalous reports of a viperous generation", echoing the biblical phrase "a generation of vipers". Compare Troilus And Cressida 3.1.129: "a generation of vipers".  In one Bacon text and one Shake-Speare text both authors seem to associate vipers with depopulation - see Chapter 33, Parallel No.83.  Possibly the author of the True Declaration makes the same association here since the scandalous reports were mostly from colonists and the colonisation helped to depopulate Britain.  (8) At p. 17 it says: "Qui in mendacio confidit, cito diffidit - A liar's confidence is but a blazing diffidence".  Compare Bacon's paraphrase of Psalm 12, L1.11-12 (presumably based on the same Latin tag):  "seek to counterfeit the confidence of truth by lying loud".  The original Psalm does not contain this comment. (9) We have seen that the True and Sincere Declaration speaks of the "vent" of surplus population through colonisation.  The True Declaration likewise at p. 24 says "vent this deluge", meaning the overflow of population in Britain.  This is another indication that both Declarations were drafted by the same hand.  I have already referred the reader to Chapter 33, Parallel No. 29 for the Bacon/Shake-Speare relevance of "vent" in this connection. (10) At p. 24 the report speaks of "golden slumber".  Shake-Speare and Bacon both describe sleep as golden - see Chapter 33.

  8.     The True and Sincere Declaration did not, and could not, draw on the letter since the Declaration was entered in the S.R. in December 1609 whereas the letter did not arrive in England till about August 1610.

  9.     Spedding makes no mention of the True Declaration.  In fact in the whole of his 14 volumes there is not the slightest mention (with two small exceptions) of Bacon's interest in the New World - a remarkable oversight for a biographer. The two exceptions are that he prints without comment Bacon's Essay on Plantations and also a speech by Bacon on 30 January 1621 in Parliament on the benefit of the King's government (Spedding 14.171) which I have already quoted from above.

 

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