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“I may not evermore acknowledge thee, -
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Northou with public kindness honor me,
Unless thou take that honor from thy name;
But do not so; I love thee in such sort
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.

“As a decrepit father takes delight To see his active child do deeds of youth, o So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite, Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth. For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, Or any of these all, or all, or more, Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit, I make my love engrafted to this store. So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give That I in thy abundance am sufficed, And by a part of all thy glory live.” In 1590 Shakspere was part owner of a theater. In 1590 Bacon obtained his first show of favor from the court; he became Queen's counsel extraordinary, but the office was without emolument. At this time plays for the theater were written and rewritten again and again to meet the demand. Young lawyers and poets produced them rapidly. Each theatrical company kept from one to four poets in its pay (Amer. Cyc.) Shakspere appeared to be ready to father anything that promised success, and there are at least six plays published under his name or initials which most critics say are not his, nor have they ever appeared in the genuine canon. In 1591 a poem by Spenser was published containing these lines: “And he, the man whom Nature's self has made To mock herself and truth to imitate, With kindly counter under mimic shade, Our pleasant Willy, ah, is dead of late:

With whom all joy and jolly merriment Is also deaded and in dolor drent.” From 1590 until Shakspere retired from the stage, how could it be said that he was “poor,” bewailing his “outcast state” and “cursing his fate?” But it is certain that Bacon's condition answered precisely to that description up to November, 1594, when Essex gave him an estate worth £1,800; aye, even until 1604, when King James granted him a pension of #60; if not even up to 1607. Mark now the modesty of the poet in 1590: “If thou survive my well contented day, e When that churl Death with bones my dust shall cover, And shalt by fortune once more resurvey These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, Compare them with the bettering of the time, And though they be outstripp'd by every pen, Reserve them for thy love, not for their rhyme, Exceeded by the height of happier men.”

“My name be buried where my body is, And live no more to shame nor me nor you, For I am shamed by that which I bring forth, And so should you, to love things nothing worth.” We have already quoted a verse from Spenser in praise of “Willy,” first published in 1591; we now adduce a passage from one of “Willy” Bacon's poems first published in 1599 in praise of Spenser: “Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch Upon the lute doth ravish human sense; Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such As, passing all conceit, needs no defense.” This verse is in “The Passionate Pilgrim,” the first two numbers of which are Sonnets 138 and 144 with slight variations. John Dowland, a musician, was born

in 1562 and died 1625. Spenser was eight years older than Bacon. But coupled with this modesty of the author of the “Sonnets,” note how he praises his friend and how famous that friend appears at the time:

“Oh, how I faint when I of you do write, Knowing a better spirit doth use your name, And in the praise thereof spends all his might, To make me tongue-tied, speaking of your fame. But since your worth, wide as the ocean is, The humble as the proudest sail doth bear, My saucy bark, inferior far to his, On your broad main doth wilfully appear; Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat, Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride; Or being wrecked, I am a worthless boat, He of tall building and of goodly pride; Then if he thrive and I be cast away, The worst was this: my love was my decay.” The other superior (?) poet referred to is undoubtedly Spenser, among whose “Sonnets, addressed by the author to his friends and patrons,” in January, 1590, is one “To the most honorable and excellent Lord the Earl of Essex, great master of the horse to her highness, and knight of the noble order of the garter, etc.” Essex became master of the horse in 1587, and knight of the garter in 1588. We proceed with the quotations from the Shaksperian Sonnets: “Or I shall live your epitaph to make, Or you survive when I in earth am rotten, From hence your memory death cannot take, Although in me each part will be forgotten. Your name from hence immortal life shall have, Though, I once gone, to all the world must die;

The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.

Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read,
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse
When all the breathers of this world are dead :
You shall still live—such virtue hath my pen—
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.”

From Sonnet 42 it appears that the young Earl had won the heart of the widow Sidney:

“That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly :
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders thus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love her, because thou know'st I love her,
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay me on this cross :
But here's the joy: my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery then she loves but me alone.”

The second part of the “Sonnets,” after 126, is addressed to the Earl's bethrothed; we quote Sonnet 134:

“So now I have confessed that he is thine,
And I myself am mortgaged to thy will,
Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still;
But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free,
For thou art covetous and he is kind ;
He learned but surety-like to write for me,
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind,
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer that put'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend came debtor for my sake :
So him I lose through my unkind abuse.
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me.
He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.”

Incidentally it may be noted how familiar the writer of the above lines must have been with the practice of law. Shakspere's legal knowledge has amazed the lawyers. The next Sonnet introduces the name of “Will,” and puns upon it profusely: “Whoever hath her wish thou hast thy Will, And Will to boot, and Will in overplus; More than enough am I that vex thee still, To thy sweet will making addition thus, Wilt thou whose will is large and spacious, Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine? Shall will in others seem right gracious, And in my will no fair acceptance shine 2 The sea, all water, yet receives rain still, And in abundance addeth to his store : So thou being rich in Will add to thy Will One will of mine, to make thy large Will more. Let no unkind, no fair beseechers kill ; Think all but one, and me in that one Will.” How preposterous to believe that a common-place play actor, with a wife and children, addressed such sentiments to the bride of his dearest friend At no time do the sentiments or circumstances of the poem fit the person of the actor, of whom the dying and dissipated playwright, Greene, wrote in 1592: “There is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers that with his Tygers heart, wrapt in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blank verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is, in his owne conceyt, the onely Shake-scene in a countrie.” But, on the other hand, frequent evidence appears that Bacon, up to the time he was made AttorneyGeneral in 1613, was constantly engaged in secret literary work. But not so secret as to be unknown

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