Francis Bacon

Poet, Prophet, Philosopher,

Versus

Phantom Captain Shakespeare

The Rosicrucian Mask

by

W.F.C. Wigston

 

"Orpheus himself was torn to pieces by the women in their fury, and his limbs scattered about the fields: at whose death HELICON(river sacred to the Muses), in grief and indignation, buried his waters under the earth to reappear elsewhere." ( Bacon's "Wisdom of the Ancients," Orpheus.)

 

London

KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH,TRUBNER & CO., LTD.

1891


 

CONTENTS

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Preliminary Remarks--Lithograph Facsimile Copy of pages 52-3, "Confessio Fraternitatis, or Confession of the Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross," published at Frankfort, 1617, showing how a Stage Player is held up to contempt as an imposter---Michael Maier publishes three works immediately after his return from a visit to England in 1616-- In his "Examination and Exposure of Drones and False Alchymists," he re-echoes the "Confessio," and identifies Poetry with Alchymy, giving hints for the Rosicrucians themselves--HIs Serio Comic Dialogue, "Lusus Serius," written also with regard to his stay in England--Contains the story of the"Walking Man's Dream," repeated in the Induction of the "Taming of the Shrew," by the incident of the substition of Christoher Sly in the place of Lord--Bacon's Fragment upon Fame--Paraphrase from Virgil--His Fable of Perseus twice repeated--The Perseus myth a Rosicrucian myth centre.

XV

Chapter I.

History of King Henry The Seventh

Bacon's History of"King Henry the Seventh"--Missing Link in the orderly sucession of Chronicle Plays--Bacon writes this sole History--Parallels--Cipher connection between Bacon's "Henry the Seventh" and the 1623 Folio Plays.

1.

Chapter II.

Bacon's Essays Applied To The Plays

Ambition, Envy, and Deformity--Richard III. --Thersites--Edmund--Don John--Phillip the Bastard--Cassius and Caesar--Cicero

25

Chapter III.

Bacon's Essays Applied To The Plays-continued

Suspicion--Malice--Cunning--Othello and Iago.--Vain-Glory--Achilles and Ajax.--Boldness--Bardolf, Nym, Pistol.-- Parasites and Trencher Friends--Timon and Apemantus-- Usury--Revenge--Shylock.-- Riches--The Three Caskets.--Friendship--Parents and Children.--Followers and Friends.

42

Chapter IV.

Divination and Prediction

Augury--Perspective- Reflection-- Glass Mirror--Rosicrucian Ideas--The World as Theatre--The Theatre as Nature--The Music of the Spheres--Another Rosicrucian Doctrine

70

Chapter V.

Bacon's "Georgics of the Mind"

Quotations showing Shakespeare employs the word weed for vice--Our Bodies compared to a Garden--Abandoned since the Fall--King Lear a neglected piece of ground, crowned with furrow weeds and darnel--The Microcosm the reflection of the Macrocosm--Diseases of the Mind--The Parable of the Talents illustrated by "Measure for Measure."

99

Chapter VI.

Bacon and Seneca

Poem by Powell, comparing Bacon to Seneca the Dramatist-- Evidently written by one who knew Bacon's poetic side--Resemblance of Bacon to Seneca--His self comparison with him--Both sacrifices of Faction.

113

Chapter VII.

"Antitheta" in Bacon's Writings

Find their reflection in the antithetical style of Shakespeare--Evidence of an impersonal philosophical mind trained in the schools--Bacon's Collection of Antitheta simply Texts for his Essays--Antitheta found in the "De Augmentis," under the "Wisdom of Private Speech," and as part of the Delivery of Secret Knowledge or Tradition--Colours of Good and Evil--The Anthitheta really the Colours of the Dramatic Artist--Strange introduction of Bacon's Works in the "De Augmentis" as deficients.

139

Chapter VIII.

History, Poetry, Philosophy

Bacon's suspicious definition of History and Poetry--Their close relationship as past history made present or visible--The number of Chronicle Histories in the 1623 Folio--Bacon's tripartite foundations of Learning, or Faculties of the Soul--Memory--Imagination--Reason--Makes Poetry one of the emanatons of the Soul, on which Science is based--Nevertheless confesses, "Poetry is not a knowledge, but a play of wit"--Enigmatic character of "The Advancement of Learning"--Bacon identifies History with Custody or Memory--His art of Tradition or Delivery or transferring those things laid up in the memory to others.

153

Chapter IX.

Verulam and Cymbeline

Old Verulam seat of Cassibulan,uncle to Cymbeline--Imogen and her two brothers parallels for Helen, Castor, and Pollux--The Lion's Whelp--Curious MSS. written by Sir Tobie Mathews.

172

Chapter X.

Temple and Verulam House

Aubrey's descriptive details--Paintings from classical subjects--Ceres--Jupiter and Apollo represented on the walls of Verulam House--The Fish Ponds.

186

Chapter XI.

Parallels

Hamlet--Bacon's "Wisdom of the Ancients" refound in the Plays--Horticultural Parallels--Custom, Habit, Use--Love--Falconry--Swans--Duke Humphrey--Music

192

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