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No comment on the above table seems to be needed, except perhaps in regard to the Promus. The Promus bears two dates, namely: December 5, 1594, at which time, or thereabouts, it was begun, and January 27, 1595-96, when (probably after a brief interval) work upon it was resumed. Between these two dates, or within less than one year and two months after the book was started, very nearly threequarters of all the entries made in it, or (to speak more exactly) twelve hundred and twenty-nine out of one thousand six hundred and fifty-three, were written.' That is to say, the memorandum book was nearly completed before the Shake-speare plays, with two exceptions, came from the
1 Ninety-three were entered previously to the first-named date.
press. The exceptions were 'King John' (1591), and the Second Part of King Henry VI. (1594), from neither of which is drawn, however, a single parallelism given by us herein. The earliest printed play in which any of the foregoing passages have been found bears date 1597.
It follows, then, not that Bacon made use of the Plays for his memorandum book, but that the dramatist made use of the memorandum book for his Plays. But the memorandum book, or Promus, was Bacon's private property, not known to his contemporaries, and not printed until 1883, or two hundred and fifty-seven years after his death.1 These parallelisms are, therefore, either the independent product of two minds (which is practically impossible) or the common product of one, and that one, necessarily, Bacon's.
The argument from parallelisms in general may be stated thus: one parallelism has no significance; five parallelisms attract attention; ten suggest inquiry; twenty raise a presumption; fifty establish a probability; one hundred dissolve every doubt.
Respecting the foregoing list, in particular, it is important to remember that the two authors whose sentiments are here compared stood at the opposite ends of the social scale, as unlike in environment and natural views of life as it was possible for them to be. The one, an aristocrat; the other, a plebeian. The one, the first subject of the realm; the other, attached to a profession in which all were by law vagabonds. The one, highly educated at home and abroad; the other, as shown by the record of his life, wholly uneducated. The one, belonging to a family of illustrious statesmen and scholars; the other, to one whose members, so far as our knowledge of them extends, were illiterate and inexpressibly vulgar. The one, the profoundest writer of his age
1 Mrs. Henry Pott's "Bacon's Promus." Boston, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1883.
on innumerable points in philosophy, science, art, law, government, and manners and customs of society, such as we find, here, there, and everywhere, in the Plays; the other, recognized by three of his fellow-townsmen as a business man only; by three, perhaps four, of contemporary playwrights in London as an impostor; but to all others of his generation of whom we have any report, apparently unknown.1 That two diverse personalities of this kind could have been poised on the same intellectual centre, and developed, as our parallelisms show that, on the generally accepted theory of authorship, they must have been developed, along identical lines of thought in almost every conceivable direction, is, to our mind at least, simply incredible.
"The wonderful parallelisms must and will be wrought out and followed out to such fair conclusions as they shall be found to force honest minds to adopt." — OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
1 For facts supporting these statements, see our "Bacon vs. Shakspere," 8th ed., Chapter II.
[The numerals denote number of parallelism in which name occurs.]
ABBOTT, EDWARD A., 116, 777.
Coverdale, Miles, 322, 390.
Eschylus, 119, 490.
Alderson, E. S., 379.
Alger, William R., 69.
Aristotle, 5, 69, 525, 597, 645, 646.
BACON, NICHOLAS, 199, 742.
Bodley, Sir Thomas, 2.
Caldicott, Thomas, 227.
Campbell, Lord Chief Justice, 236,
Chappell, William, 388.
Carew, Sir G., 114.
Cardanus, 1, n., 341.
Castle, Edward J., 310.
Caxton, William, 390, 407.
Cecil, Robert, 114.
Cicero, 115, 175, 196, 626.
Coke, Sir Edward, 121, 236.
DANTE, 8, 110, 193, 885.
Diogenes Laertius, 12, 414.
Dixon, Hepworth, 411.
Dixon, Theron S. E., 68, n., 447, 458.
Douce, Francis, 1.
Dryerre, Henry, 8, n.
ELIZABETH, QUEEN, 37, 114, 308,
Ellacombe, Henry N., 24.
Elze, Carl, 85.
Erasmus, 20, 42, 69, 341, 844.
Essex, Earl of, 7, 114, 274, 411, 483,
Euripides, 540, 780.
Ford, John, 390.
GALEN, 1, 85, 771.