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"If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue.' Shak.” [As You Like It.]
We leave the reader to put this and that together ; argument or comment is superfluous.
And now what shall we say in regard to Marlowe's. ostensible authorship of a popular song, which was attributed to Shakspere in 1599 ? Is it not presumable that “Ignoto,” who wrote the “Nymph's Reply," and followed it with “Another of the same nature made since” in imitation of the song subscribed “Chr. Marlowe"—is it not probable that "Ignoto" ascribed his own original song to Marlowe ?
Marlowe was buried June 1, 1593. In the same year Shakspere's name first appeared in print as an author. And now among the startling revelations hitherto hidden in the Folio of 1623, but made known through Bacon's cipher discovered by the Hon. Ignatius. Donnelly, is this sentence:
“Ever since Marlowe was killed Shakspere has been my mask.”
Another Poem by Bacon in 1590. The 33d anniversary of Elizabeth's coronation was. celebrated November 17, 1590. Sir Henry Lea, the Queen's champion and master of the armory, who had conducted the exercises from the beginning, appeared for the last time, and, after the customary performances, resigned his office to the Earl of Cumberland, whereupon the celebrated vocalist, Mr. Hales, a servant of her Majesty, pronounced and sung the following verses, personating the aged man-at-arms:
“My golden locks hath time to silver turned,
(O Time too swift, and swiftness never ceasing!)
But spurned in vain; youth waneth by increasing.
And lovers' songs shall turn to holy psalms;
And feed on prayers that are old age's alms.
I'll teach my swains this carol for a song :
Curst be the souls that think to do her wrong.'
Parallels are found in Bacon and Shakspere with almost every sentiment and expression in these lines. (See Mrs. Pott's “Promus,” p. 528.)
The verses were published anonymously in Dowland's “ First Book of Songs,” 1600, and again in 1844; both times with the pronouns changed from the first to the third person—c. g.,
" His golden locks,” etc. In the Works of George Peele," 1828, they are credited to that poet, but the only evidence adduced of his authorship is the fact that he, as an eye-witness, wrote a poetic description of the celebration in 1590.. Mrs. Pott is doubtless right in claiming for Bacon the .authorship, and is only mistaken in supposing that the person to whom the verses were intended to apply was Lord Burleigh, who about that time, on account of the loss of his wife, had temporarily withdrawn from court
Bacon and Shakspere.
William Shakspere. Born January 22, 1561 ; Born April 23, 1564 ; died April 9, 1626 ; aged died April 23, 1616 ; aged sixty-five years.
fifty-two years. Son of a Lord Keeper Son of a woolstapler of England, a learned and glover of Stratford, Protestant.
an illiterate Catholic.
Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Taught at a free school in Stratford-perhaps.
Left college at fifteen, not a graduate.
Left school at fourteen -if he ever was at school.
attaché Worked with his father to the Court of Paris, at a trade until eighteen, from fifteen to eighteen. or longer
Learned French, Italian, and Spanish.
Drank beer at pothouses-probably.
Returned on the death of his father, bearing a dispatch to the Queen.
Said to have hunted conies and poached on neighboring deer-parks.
Married at forty-five to Married at eighteen a handsome young maiden name Shagsper) to a girl of rank.
of twenty-six. “ Then let thy love be younger
“ His works are full of pasthan thyself,
sages. which, if he had Or thy affection cannot hold loved and honored her, he the bent."
could not have written." - Twelfth Night, ii, 4.
– White's Shak., p. 51.
Had no child after twenty years' marriage.
" The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men. -Bacon's Essays, 1612.
Child born five months after marriage.
6. The less that is said about the matter the better."
- White's Shak., p. 49.
Admitted to the bar at Absconded from Strattwenty-one; elected to ford to London at twentyParliament at twenty- two or twenty-three. three. *
An ideal tableau of the youthful statesman is gaily depicted by Wm. Hepworth Dixon, in his “ Personal History of Lord Bacon :”
“How he appears in outward guise and aspect among these courtly and martial contemporaries the miniature of Hilyard helps us to conceive. Slight in build, rosy and round in flesh, dight in a sumptuous suit, the head well-set, erect, and framed in a thick starched fence of frill; a bloom of study and travel. on the fat, girlish face, which looks far younger than his years ; the hat and feather tossed aside from the white brow, over which. crisps and curls a mane of dark, soft hair; an English nose, firm, open, straight; a mouth delicate and small--a lady's or jester's mouth-a thousand pranks and humors, quibbles, whims. and laughters lurking in its twinkling, tremulous lines ;-such is Francis Bacon at the age of twenty-four.”
Bearing in mind that Bacon is three years and threemonths older than Shakspere, we will now parallel their lives by successive years.
* If the Parliament met November 23, 1584, as Mr, Spedding: distinctly says, then Bacon was not yet twenty-four.
A. D. 1585. Bacon at 24, in a letter to the Queen's principal secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, urges his some time pending suit, which is to determine his “ course of practice”-supposed to mean a shortening of the five years' probation required to become a pleader.
He writes an essay entitled “Greatest Birth of Time," foreshadowing his scientific works.
His mother in her zeal for the Nonconformists urges their cause in person before Lord Treasurer Burleigh, and follows it by a letter to the same in which she says:
“I confess as one that hath found mercy, that I have profited more in the inward feeling knowledge of God his holy will, though but in small measure, by an ordinary preaching within these seven or eight years, than I did by hearing odd sermons at Paul's well nigh twenty years together."
Shakspere at 21 is still living at Stratford, the father of three children—two of them twins. His father is said to have been a butcher as well as a dealer in wool; and gossiping John Aubrey says he was told by some of the neighbors that when the boy William “kill'd a calfe, he wold doe it in a high style, and make a speeche."
Mr. Richard Grant White guesses that William may have gone to London this year or the next.