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Title: Bacon and Shakspere
Author: Burr, William Henry, 1819-1908
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bacon and Shakspere" ***

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                         *BACON AND SHAKSPERE*


                          *William Henry Burr*









No handwriting of Shakspere has ever been discovered except five
autographs. In March 1613, when he was nearly 49 years old, he signed
his name to a mortgage, and again to a deed relative to the same
transaction. Three years later he subscribed his name to three briefs or
sheets of his will. The five facsimiles are here reproduced:

They are all such signatures as an illiterate person, unaccustomed to
write, would be likely to scrawl; and


they are so different that an acquaintance with one is little help to
the recognition of another.

In the first signature he writes Wm. for William.

The second and third autographs have William written above Shakspere.
Who but an illiterate person would sign his name thus?

In the last two signatures (being told perhaps that his name ought to be
written on one line) he puts William before Shakspere; but the fourth
William reads Willin.

See now how differently each letter is formed in the name Shakspere,
beginning with the initial:

Did anybody ever write the first letter of his name so differently?
After four attempts to form a capital S he succeeds tolerably well the
fifth time. The second S, though of singular shape, appears to have been
a customary one as early as 1598. (See examples of that year below.)
Shakspere’s first attempt to form the crooked letter is a failure, but
the second passably good. So again in 1616, when he has a different form
to copy, his first attempt is futile, the second is passable, and the
third quite successful.

But in attempting the next letter he makes it worse every time:

With the letter a he is more successful, making it legible three times
out of five:


But the attempt to form a k is a signal failure:

With the long s he succeeds best the first time, and worst the second
and third:

The letter p is legible the first time, but grows worse and worse to the

It seems as if in the first attempt to sign his name in 1613 he thought
it was complete when he made it end with sp e; but being reminded that
it lacked a letter or two he undertook to add one by putting an a over
the e thus:

The next time, which was probably the same day,(1) he seems to have
written his name Shaksper, though the terminal letters are uncertain:

The third time he gets it more like Shakspoze:

The deed to Shakspere and two other trustees is dated March 10 and
signed Henry Walker. The mortgage from Shakspere and the other trustees
is dated March 11. But for some unaccountable reason a duplicate
verbatim copy of the deed from Henry Walker is signed by William
Shakspere. This duplicate is in the Library of the city of London; the
mortgage is in the British Museum. The duplicate deed we suspect was
signed after the mortgage. Hence the improvement in the autograph; it
was probably Shakspere’s second attempt to write. Compare it with the


The fourth time he seems to have tried to disguise the termination with
awkward flourishes, making the letters totally illegible:

Finally, he omits the flourishes and comes nearer legibility, but still
it is impossible to tell whether he meant to write _ear, ere, or eare_:

And now let the reader mark, that notwithstanding the orthodox spelling
of the name from 1593 to 1616, and indeed up to the present time, was
and is Shakespeare, there is no e in the first syllable and no a in the
last, although some have imagined the letter a to exist in the last part
of the final autograph.

We have said that these signatures are all that. Shakspere is known to
have written; we ought to add that he prefixed to the last one the
following scrawl:

For a long time we puzzled over this. Could it be an attempt to write
“25th of March,” the day of the execution of the will? At last we read
the following in Hallowell-Phillipps’s Shakspere:

“It may be observed that the words By me, which, the autograph excepted,
are the only ones in the poet’s handwriting known to exist, appear to
have been penned with ordinary firmness.”

Presuming that the signatures were made in a sick bed, the author
concedes that the words “By me” were penned with ordinary firmness. Very
good; but could not almost any five-year-old boy do as well the first


In 1775 certain papers and legal instruments were published, attributed
to Shakspere, Queen Elizabeth, and Southampton. In 1796 Edmund Malone
proved them to be forgeries. Here is one of the forged autographs of

This is superior to any of the genuine ones, which in some degree it
resembles. The letter a is pretty clearly written in the last syllable,
as if the forger meant to establish the proper spelling of that part of
the name. Malone, who at first pronounced the genuine orthography to be
Shakspeare, subsequently declared Shakspere to be the poet’s own mode of
spelling his name beyond all doubt. But others do not accede to this
decision, because they think there is an a in the last of the five
genuine signatures.

The solution of the whole mystery is in the fact that Shakspere was
unable to write or even to spell his own name.

In 1598 Richard Quiney addressed a letter to him asking for a loan of
£30, and the name was written Shackesper:

In the same year among thirteen names of holders of corn in Stratford
the last but one is Shakesper:

The form of the letter a in both these fac-similes


was peculiar to that time. It occurs in Shakspere’s second autograph.
Why did he thus vary the form? Probably because he followed the copy set
for him.

Note now the various spellings of his name:

In 1582, as a bridegroom, Shagsper.

In 1593 and 1594, as a poet, Shakespeare; and the same uniformly as a
playwright from 1598 to 1623. but sometimes with a hyphen—Shake-speare.

In 1596, as an inhabitant of Southwark, Shaksper.

In 1598, as addressed by letter, Shackesper.

In 1598, as owner of corn, Shakesper.

In 1604, as plaintiff in a suit, Shexpere.

In 1604 and 1605, as author of plays performed at Whitehall before King
James, Shaxberd.

In 1609, as plaintiff in a suit, Shackspeare.

In 1612, as plaintiff in a suit, Schackspeare.

In 1614, as written by his cousin, Shakspear.

In 1616, as twice written in his will, Shackspeare; but in signing the
same three times he omits the c in the first syllable, and it is
impossible to tell what the last three or four letters are. And although
in the two Deeds of 1613 the name is written repeatedly Shakespeare, in
signing them he omits the e in the first syllable both times, and varies
the termination of the name, just as an illiterate person would be
likely to do.

But there are more of these various spellings. All the records of
Shakspere’s lifetime have been hunted up and printed. From these
documents, consisting of deeds, bills of complaint, letters, poems,
plays, etc.,— most of which especially concerned either the father or
son or both—we extract the following spellings, giving; the dates:


Shakspere 1558, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’66, ’69, ’71, ’79, 80, ’83,
       ’85, ’90, ’96, 1616, ’17. (John Shakspere and all his offspring
       so registered, except Richard Shaks     peer, baptized 1574.)

Shaxpere 1558, ’79, 1607, ’08.

Shakspeyr 1567, (“Mr.,” meaning John.)

Shakysper 1568, (“Mr. John.”)

Shackespere 1573, ’89, 1602.

Shakespere 1575, ’79, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99,1602, ’04, ’06, ’08,
       ’09, ’10, ’11, ’13.

Shackspere 1579, (Deed. “Joannis Shaxpere -j-.”) 1608.

Shagsper 1582, (Marriage bond—twice so written.)

Shake-scene 1592, (Greene, the playwright, in derision.)

Shakespeare 1593-1594, (Poems,) 1596, ’98, 1603, ’05, ’13, (and all
Plays from 1598 to 1623.)

Shaksper 1596, ’98, 1613, (Signature,) 1616.

Shakesper 1598, (Owner of corn.)

Shackesper 1598, (Letter from Quiney to Shakspere.)

Shakspeare 1601, ’03, ’07, ’12, ’13, ’14, 1623.

Shackespeare 1603, ’14, (Agreement.)

Shexpere 1604, (Suit for mult sold.)

Shaxberd 1604, ’05, (Dramatist, Whitehall.)

Shakespear 1605, (Conveyance.)

Shakesphear 1605, (Same conveyance.)

Shackspeare 1608, ’12, ’14, ’16.

Scliackspeare 1612, ’14, (Complaint and agreement.) Shaksp; 1613,

Shakspear 1614, (Cousin’s letter.)

Shaksp.... 1616, (Signatures to Will.)

Shaxper 1616, (“Bell and pall for Mr. Shaxpers
       dawghter, viii. d.”)

If we divide the name between the s and p we have the following
variations of each part:

Shaks, Shakes, Shakys, Shacks, Shackes, Schacks, Shags, Shax, Shex; per,
pere, peer, pear, peare, peyr, phear, berd, pj, p ....

Shakspere’s daughter Judith in 1611 witnessed two instruments by making
her mark. And his other


daughter Susanna in 1642 disputed the unmistakable handwriting of her
deceased husband in such a manner as to betray her illiteracy.

Mr. C. F. Gunther, of Chicago, claims to have obtained a copy of the
Shakspere Folio of 1632, (i.e., the second Folio,) containing the
author’s autograph pasted on a fly-leaf, underneath which is written:

“The works of William Shakespeare. Born in April, 1564, and died in
April, 1616.     John Ward.”

And on the same fly-leaf is pasted a letter from Charles Godwin, of
Bath, dated February 16, 1839, to Dr. Charles Severn, of London, who was
then editing “The Diary of the Rev. John Ward, A. M.,” Vicar of
Stratford-upon-Avon from 1648 to 1679.

The book is said to have been owned by a Mormon, and is supposed to have
been brought from England by an emigrant to Utah. Aside from the
impossibility of such an autograph escaping from England to the wilds of
America and remaining undiscovered so many years, the fac-simile in the
Chicago _Current_ of May 23, 1885, betrays most certain evidence of
fraud. Compare it with the five genuine scrawls of Shakspere. It is so
exact a copy of the last signature to the will as to indicate that it
was traced therefrom.

Shakspere’s last signature:

Pretended autograph in Chicago:


This close resemblance in so clumsy an autograph would be extraordinary,
if not impossible; but how easy to forge it by first tracing it lightly
with a pencil and then completing it with a pen. Here is a hair-line
tracing of the spurious over the genuine autograph:

Even the most illiterate man who is obliged often to sign his name, will
do it uniformly, so that when you have seen his signature once you will
know it again. For example, take the following autographs:

The undersigned, aged 78 years, wrote the above autographs in presence
of the two subscribing witnesses. And he never wrote and cannot write
anything but his name, though he can read print with ease. And he
further says that he learned to write his name in the course of one
month in the administration of President Polk (1845-’9) while serving as
a Capitol policeman; otherwise he would have been obliged to sign the
pay-roll with his cross.


  A. Watson,            JOHN W. SMITH.

Wm. Henry Burr.

Bacon required a mask, and he found it in the illiterate play-actor

Washington, D. C., May 31, 1885.



The likeness of Shakspere in the Folio of 1623 has frequently been
called “an abominable libel on humanity.” And yet its fidelity is
certified by Ben Jonson in laudatory lines. Jonson was Bacon’s friend
and enthusiastic admirer. If there was an original portrait of that
wooden face it has never been found. If there was a better likeness of
Shakspere in existence why was it not reproduced in that famous Folio?
The same ugly engraving reappeared in all the later editions up tu 1685.

The bust on the monument at Stratford was first noticed in 1623. It was
not taken from life, and is unlike any picture of Shakspere. It presents
him in the act of composition, and “the _vis comica_", says Boaden, “so
broadens his countenance, that it is hardly a stretch of fancy to
suppose him in the actual creation of Falstaff himself.” More likely, we
should say, Falltaff was Shakspere—Fall-staff, Shake-spear.

The most familiar pictures of Shakspere are very different from either
of these, and generally far more intellectual and refined. They are
pretended copies of what is called the Chandos portrait, but are not
much like it. The Chandos picture was painted by an unknown artist, and
has been altered by a later hand. It is said to have been owned by Sir
William Davenant, who died in 1668; and he is said to have obtained it
from an actor named Joseph Taylor, who died about 1653 at the age of 70.
This we gather from Boaden’s “Portraits of Shakspere,” 1824. But now
comes a further statement purporting to be written in Mr. Gunther’s
Folio, by one Charles Lomax,, in 1781, as follows:

“The only original picture now extant of Shakespeare was painted by
Joseph Taylor, one of the actors,” &c.

The rest of the pretended information agrees with what we find in
Boaden’s book, which has a picture taken from the Chandos portrait quite
different from those we generally see, and not much like the Droeshout
engraving in the Shakspere Folio.

Shakspere probably never had a portrait taken.




“The mystery of the Sonnets will never be unfolded.” —Richard Grant
White, 1865.

“All is supposition; the mystery is insoluble.” —Dr. Charles Mackay,

The mystery unfolded by W. H. Burr, July 31, 1883.

The first published poem of Shakspere, so far as known, was “Venus and
Adonis,” in 1593. It was dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, then
about twenty years of age. Five or six editions were called for in nine
years. The “Sonnets” did not appear till 1609. The latter poem has 154
stanzas of 14 lines each; the first 126 are addressed to a beautiful and
ardently beloved youth; the remainder to the young man’s betrothed.

As to the merits of the composition, the American Cyclopedia says:

“These ‘Sonnets,’ though deformed with occasional conceits, far surpass
all other poems of their kind in our own language, or perhaps any

The dedication is in these words:

“To the onlie begetter of | these insuing Sonnets | Mr. W. H. all
happinesse | and that eternitie | promised by | our everliving poet |
wisheth | the well-wishing | adventurer in | setting forth | T. T.”


Some have believed that “Mr. W. H.” was William Herbert; and a German
critic supposes the initials to signify “William Himself.” But the
American Cyclopedia says:

“To whom they were written, and in whose person is among the most
difficult of unsolved literary problems.... Who this ‘onlie begetter’
was no man has yet been able satisfactorily to show.”(1)

    (1) Dr. Charles Mackay attempts to solve the problem in an
    elaborate article in the Nineteenth Century, August, 1884,
    entitled “A Tangled Skein Unravelled.” He claims only to have
    found indications of mixed authorship. But this only makes the
    tangle worse, which began with Shakspere’s ostensible
    authorship; and the last despairing words of the astute
    un-raveller are: “All is supposition, the mystery is insoluble.”

In regard to the hypothesis that “W. H.” was William Herbert, the same
authority says there is almost as much ground for the notion that the
person addressed was Queen Elizabeth in doublet and hose.

In 1872 we first read Nathaniel Holmes’s “Authorship of Shakspere;”
since then we have never entertained a reasonable doubt that Bacon was
the author of the Plays. In 1882 we reread them all in the light of that
discovery; but until July 31, 1883, we had never read a page of the
“Sonnets,” nor when we began to read them on that day did we remember to
have heard who “W. H.” was supposed to be. But coming to the
twenty-fifth sonnet, we suspected that the poem was addressed to the
Earl of Essex, and subsequent research confirmed that suspicion.

Herbert was sixteen years younger than Shakspere, and nineteen years
younger than Bacon. If, therefore, the poem was written in 1590, which
we purpose to show, it is impossible for Herbert to have been the


“onlie begetter of these Sonnets,” for he was then only ten years old.

Of course no one will date their composition as late as 1609, when
Shakspere was forty-five and Bacon forty-eight. At that time the former
had retired from the stage, and Bacon had been for six years King’s
counsel and three years a married man. And certainly two sonnets (138
and 144) were composed as early as 1599, for they are repeated at the
beginning of “The Passionate Pilgrim,” which was first published in that

All the internal and external evidence points to the year 1590 as the
date, Francis Bacon as the writer, and the Earl of Essex as the person

It is said that Bacon made the acquaintance of Essex about 1590, but it
would be remarkable if he did not know him years before. In sonnet 104
the poet says:

    “Three winters cold
       Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
    Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
       In process of the seasons have I seen,
    Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
        Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.”

Let us suppose that Bacon began to cultivate the Earl’s friendship in
1590. He was then twenty-two years old; three years earlier, when Bacon
first saw him, the Earl was “fresh now he is yet green.”(1)

    1. A letter from Bacon to the Earl of Leicester, asking for his
    furtherance in some suit which the Earl of Essex had moved in
    his behalf, has recently been found, written in 1588.
    (Sped-ding’s “Bacon,” 1878, i, 50, note.)

Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex, was born Nov. 10, 1567, and
was beheaded for treason


Feb. 25, 1601. He succeeded to the title at ten years of age. At twenty
he was appointed master of the horse. At twenty-one the Queen created
him captain-general of the cavalry, and conferred on him the honor of
the garter. In the same year an expedition was undertaken against
Portugal, and he secretly followed the armament. This was without the
Queen’s permission, but he was quickly reconciled with her after his
return, and at once assumed a superiority over Sir Walter Raleigh and
Sir Charles Blount, rival competitors for royal favor. He was challenged
by Blount and wounded in the knee, and the Queen is said to have
expressed her gratification that some one had taken him down, as
otherwise there would be no ruling him. He was an accomplished scholar
and patron of literature. He erected a monument to Spenser and gave an
estate to Bacon.

But we have omitted one striking characteristic which has an important
bearing on the question of his identity with “Mr. W. H.” The young Earl
of Essex was a remarkably handsome man. Now the beauty of the person
addressed in the “Sonnets” is a constantly recurring theme, and the
burden of the poem is an appeal to the beloved and beautiful young man
to marry. It begins thus:

        “From fairest creatures we desire increase,
    That thereby beauty’s rose might never die.”

The next Sonnet begins:

           “When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
    And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
       Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
    Will be a tattered weed of small worth held.”

The last line of Sonnet 13 reads:

    “You had a father; let your son say so.”


The father of Essex died in 1576. In 1590 the second Earl married the
widow of Sir Philip Sidney, Essex being twenty-two years old and she a
little younger. The marriage was secret to avoid the opposition of
Elizabeth. By October, concealment was no longer possible, and on the
22d of January, 1591, (not 1592 as some have it,) the first child was
born. (“Earls of Essex,” 1853.)

The mother of Essex was celebrated for her beauty; his father was not
handsome. (See portrait in “Earls of Essex.”) The son’s inheritance of
his mother’s features is told in the third Sonnet:

    “Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
             Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
     So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
             Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.”

For further description of the young Earl’s beauty, take the following:

    “If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
          And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
          The age to come would say, ‘This poet lies;
          Such heavenly touches ne’er touched earthly faces.”

    “Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
          Is poorly imitated after you;
          On Helen’s cheek all art of beauty set,
          And you in Grecian ’tires are painted new.”

Essex having become the special favorite of the Queen, of course became
an object of envy and slander. Mark now what the poet says:

        “Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won;
        Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed.”

        “That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
        For slander’s mark was ever yet the fair;
        The ornament of beauty is suspect,
        A crow that flies in heaven’s sweetest air.


        So be thou good−; slander doth but approve
        Thy worth the greater, being wooed of time.”

In 1590 Bacon had acquired a reputation as an orator in the House of
Commons, but was without available means of livelihood in keeping with
his wants and station. Up to this time his efforts for promotion were
thwarted by the Queen’s minister, Lord Burleigh (Cecil) who regarded him
as a dangerous rival for his son. With the rise of young Essex into
royal favor Bacon turned to him as a friend at court. From 1590 to 1594
the Earl tried in vain to advance Bacon, and at last, when the vacant
office of Attorney General was filled by another, Essex, blaming himself
for the disappointment, insisted on presenting him with an estate worth

With these facts in mind, see how perfectly the following lines fit the
persons and the time, 1590:

        “Let those who are in favor with their stars,
    Of public honor and proud titles boast,
    Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
    Unlooked for joy in that I honor most.”

    “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
           I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope.

    Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
           With what I most enjoy contented least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
           Like to the lark at break of day arising,
           From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
           For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
           it then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

           “I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
    Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
           Nor thou 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,
    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 my 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,
         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

    “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?
    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

But, on the other hand, frequent evidence appears that Bacon, up to the
time he was made Attorney-General in 1613, was constantly engaged in
secret literary work. But not so secret as to be unknown


to a circle of friends and perchance a few enemies; for, in 1599, when
he interceded with the Queen for his dear friend Essex, then under
arrest on account of a treasonable pamphlet being dedicated to him, her
Majesty flung at Bacon “a matter which grew from him, but went after
about in others’ names,” being in fact the play of “Richard II,” which,
in that and the preceding year, had a great run on the stage, and had
gone through two editions, but, for prudential reasons, with the scene
containing the deposition of the king left out.

But even in the “Sonnets” the fact appears that the author has been
writing for the stage:

    “Alas, ’tis true I have gone here and there,
         And made myself a motley to the view,
         Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
         Made old offenses of affections new;
         Most true it is that I have looked on truth
         Askance and strangely; but by all above,
         These blenches gave my heart another youth,
         And worse essays proved thee my best of love.”

    “O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
         The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
         That did not better for my life provide
         Than public means which public manners breeds.
         Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
         And almost thence my nature is subdued
         To what it works in, like the dyer’s hand:
         Pity me then and wish I were renewed.”

Here is not only a private confession of being compelled to produce
plays for subsistence, but a sorrowful acknowledgment that thereby his
“name receives a brand.”

Yet it must not be supposed that Bacon was publicly known at any time as
a play writer. His first


publication, the “Essays,” was in 1597, and Shakspere’s name first
appeared on the title page of a Play in 1598, by which time nearly half
of the Plays had been written or sketched, and six had been printed, all
without the author’s name. And when the first collection was published
in the “Folio” of 1623, (seven years after Shakspere’s death,) it
included some Plays never before heard of, and eighteen never before

Lord Coke, who was Bacon’s most jealous rival and adversary, seems never
to have suspected him of play writing. Nor did the watchful Puritanic
mother of the two bachelors of Gray’s Inn ever dream that her studious
younger son was engaged in such sinful work.

In Sonnet 76 the writer deplores his want of variety of style, and fears
that this fault will almost disclose his secret authorship:

     “Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
       So far from variation or quick change?
    Why with the time do I not glance aside,
      To new−found methods and to compounds strange?
    Why write I still all one, ever the same,
       And keep invention in a noted weed,
    That every word doth almost tell my name,
       Showing their birth and where they did proceed?”

Bacon having begun to produce plays for Shakspere’s theater before 1590,
the authorship of which was afterward assumed by the actor and
proprietor, it became necessary also to avoid being publicly known as a
writer of sonnets. Therefore, in view of the circulation and ultimate
publication of this poem, he facetiously disguised the identity of the
writer by calling himself “Will.” Three years later he dedicated a


published poem to his young friend Southampton under the name of
“William Shakespeare,” and again another in 1594. But the “Sonnets” were
not published until 1609, when Essex had been dead eight years, and his
widow had been married six years to a third husband. It would never do
for the Solicitor-General to be known as the author of such a poem; so
when it came out in print it was dedicated to “Mr. W. H.” by “T. T.,”
and no one until a few years ago ever seems to have suspected that Bacon
wrote the poem, nor, so far as we are aware, has any one ever suspected
until July 31, 1883, that “W. H.” was the accomplished and famous Earl
of Essex.

The young widow Sidney was the only daughter of the Queen’s principal
secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, for whom Bacon drafted an important
state paper in 1588 on the conduct of the government toward Papists and
Dissenters. And that Bacon was intimate with the Secretary’s daughter,
aye, even one of her lovers, appears from many of the Sonnets addressed
to her. He describes her playing on the harpsichord, envies the keys
“that nimbly leap to kiss her hand,” and says:

    “Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
    Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.”

And from other passages it is quite evident that he had often kissed

No fact has been found incompatible with Bacon’s authorship of the
“Sonnets.” The following line might seem to indicate a writer past the
age of 29:

    “Although she knows my days are past the best.”

But in 1599, when Shakspere was only 35, this very verse was published
as his in the “Passionate Pilgrim,” where Sonnet 138 appears as number


But again, we have a letter written in 1592 by Bacon to his uncle, Lord
Treasurer Burleigh, in which he says:

“I wax somewhat ancient; one and thirty years is a great deal of sand in
the hour-glass.”

At the age of 31 he thinks himself “somewhat ancient” two years earlier
he apprehends that forty winters will entirely deface the youthful
Earl’s beauty; and to the lovely young widow he says: “My days are past
the best.”

This misconception therefore, whether pretended or real, becomes a
strong proof of Bacon’s authorship.

It has been boldly alleged by some that Bacon was no poet. Such,
however, was not the judgment of his biographer, the late James
Spedding. Before he could have heard it claimed that Shakspere did not
write the plays he said that Bacon might have taken the highest rank as
a poet. And that judgment was based upon the versification of a few
Psalms by the old man on a sick bed. Since 1867 the substantial proofs
of Bacon’s secret authorship have been adduced. Aside from innumerable
parallels in the works of Bacon and Shakspere there is much external
evidence. For example:

We know that Bacon wrote Sonnets to Queen Elizabeth and excused himself
by saying: “I profess not to be a poet.”

We know that he composed Masques anonymously before Shakspere’s name
appeared as a play writer, and that those Masques were essentially
poetical compositions, in the nature of plays, and sometimes contained
verses in rhyme equal in merit to the average of Shakspere’s.


In one of those Masques a speaker is made to say: “The monuments of wit
survive the monuments of power; the verses of the poet endure without a
syllable lost, while states and empires pass many periods.” Two years
later, in 1596, the composer of that speech, writing to Sir Fulke
Greville on his studies, said: “For poets I can commend none, being
resolved to be ever a stranger to them.” Greville (1554-1628) was a
poet, and wrote the life of Sir Philip Sidney.

In 1603 Bacon wrote a private letter to the poet John Davies, begging
him to speak a good word for the writer to the incoming King James I.,
and closing with these words: “So, desiring you to be good to _concealed
poets_, I continue.”

Bacon’s most intimate friend, Toby Matthew, in a letter with cancelled
date, but as late as 1605, acknowledged the receipt of some work by
Bacon, and added this postscript:

“I will not return you weight for weight, but _Measure for Measure_.”

“Mesur for Mesur,” by “Shaxberd,” was played before King James, at
Whitehall, December 26, 1604.

Again, about the time of the publication of the Shakespere Folio, 1623,
Matthew acknowledged in a letter without date, the receipt of a “great
and noble favor,” and added the following:

“P. S.—The most prodigious wit that ever I knew, of my nation and of
this side of the sea, is of your Lordship’s name, though he be known by


Spenser’s “Faery Queen” was begun in 1582, and published in 1590. The
Dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh is dated 23 January, 1589 (i. e.,
1590.) Raleigh in return praised the poem in two Sonnets. These,
together with five other versified encomiums by “Hobynoll” (Gabriel
Harvey,) “R. S.,” “H. B.,” “W. L.,” and “Ignoto,” are prefixed to
Spenser’s work.

In 1599 “The Passionate Pilgrim,” a collection of twenty-one sonnets,
songs, etc., was published with the name of W. Shakspere on the title
page. The authorship of several of the pieces is disputed.

In regard to No. xviii. “My flocks feed not,” Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps,

“There is a somewhat brief version of this song in the collection of
Madrigals, etc., by Thomas Weelkes 1597, this person being the composer
of the music, but not necessarily the author of the words. A copy of it
as it is seen in the Passionate Pilgrim also occurs in England’s
Helicon, 1600, entitled ‘The Unknowne Sheepheards Complaint,’ and is
there subscribed _Ignoto._”

Again, in regard to No. xx, “Live with me and be my love,” the same
author, says:

“The first of these very pretty songs is incomplete, and the second,
called ‘Love’s answer,’ still more so. In England’s Helicon, 1600, the
former is given to Marlowe, the latter to _Ignoto_; and there is good
reason to believe that Christopher


Marlowe wrote the song, and Sir Walter Raleigh the nymph’s reply; for so
we are positively assured by Isaac Walton, who has inserted them both in
his Complete Angler under the character of ‘that smooth song which was
made by Kit Marlowe, now at least fifty years ago; and an answer to it
which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days:—old fashioned
poetry but choicely good.’ Both these songs were exceedingly popular and
are afterwards found in the street ballads. The first is quoted in the
Merry Wives of Windsor.”

Again, in regard to No. xxi, “As it fell upon a day,” Mr.
Halliwell-Phillipps, says:

“This charming idyl occurs, with the absence of two lines, amongst the
Poems in Divers Humours appended to Bamfield’s Encomion of Lady Pecunia,
in 1598, and the first twenty-six lines with the addition of two new
ones are found in England’s Helicon, 1600. This latter version follows
in that work No. xviii of this list, [“My flocks feed not,”] is also
subscribed _Ignoto_, and is headed: ‘Another of the same Sheepheards.’
The probability is that the copies of these little poems, as given in
the Helicon, were taken from a Common Place book in which the names of
the authors were not recorded; the two supplementary lines just noticed
having the appearance of being an unauthorized couplet improvised for
the sake of giving a neater finish to the abridgment.”

We will now reproduce the aforesaid poems from “England’s Helicon,”
second edition, 1614. A brief version of the first song, No. xviii of
“The Passionate Pilgrim,” says Halliwell-Phillipps, appeared in 1597:

             *The unknown Shepherd's Complaint.*

              My flocks feed not, my ewes breed not,
              My rams speed not, all is amiss;
            Love is denying, Faith is defying;
              Hearts ren[e]ging, causer of this.

            All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
              And my lady’s love is lost, God wot:
            Where her faith was firmly fixed in love,
              There a nay is placed without remove.


           One silly cross wrought all my loss;
           O frowning fortune, cursed fickle Dame,
           For now I see, inconstancy
           More in women than in men remain.

           In black mourn I, all fears scorn I,
               Love hath forlorn me, living in thrall;
           Heart is bleeding, all help needing,
              O cruel speeding, fraughted with gall.

           My shepherd’s pipe can sound no deal,
               My wether’s bell rings doleful knell.
           My curtail dog that wont to have played,
               Plays not at all, but seems afraid.

           With sighs so deep, procure to weep,
           In howling−wise to see my doleful plight,
           How sighs resound, through heartless ground,
           Like a thousand vanquished men in bloody fight.

           Clear wells spring not, sweet birds sing not,
               Green plants bring not forth their dye;
           Herds stand weeping—flocks all sleeping,
              Nymphs back peeping fearfully.

           All our pleasures known to us poor swains,
              All our merry meeting on the plains,
           All our evening sports from us are fled,
               All our love is lost, for love is dead.

           Farewell sweet lass, thy like ne’er was,
           For sweet content, the cause of all my moan:
           Poor Corydon must live alone,
           Other help for him, I see that there is none.

           Finis                         Ignoto

The variations from the version of 1599 are few, the only important one
being “ren[e]ging” for “renying.” The latter has no meaning; _the former
is used twice in the plays._

The only question in regard to the authorship of this poem is, whether
Shakspere or “Ignoto” wrote it.

The next poem printed in the “Helicon” is a part of No.xxi of the
“Passionate Pilgrim.”:


               Another of the Same Shepherds.

                As it fell upon a day
                  In the merry month of May,
                Sitting in a pleasant shade
                  Which a grove of myrtles made;
                Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
               Trees did grow and plants did spring;
               Everything did banish moan,
                Save the nightingale alone.

                She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
                Lean’d her breast against a thorn;
                And there sung the dolefull’st ditty,
                That to hear it was great pity.

                Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
                Teru, teru! by and by;
               That to hear her so complain
                 Scarce I could from tears refrain;
                For her griefs, so lively shown,
              Made me think upon mine own.

                Ah! thought I, thou mourn’st in vain!
                None takes pity on thy pain:
              Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
                Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee:
                King Pandion he is dead;
              All thy friends are lapp’d in lead;
                All thy fellow birds do sing,
                Careless of thy sorrowing!
                Even so, poor bird, like thee,
                None alive will pity me.

                Finis.          Ignoto.

The last two lines, Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps says, are new ones added to
the first twenty-six in “The Passionate Pilgrim.” Our own edition of the
latter has those two lines, and the only variation is in the tenth
line—“up-till” for “against.” There are thirty lines more in our
edition. But we have another version of the whole, omitting the
aforesaid two lines and a subsequent couplet. This version, curiously
enough, is


Leaded “Address to the Nightingale,” and is credited to Richard
Barnfield, “about 1610.” (Encyc. of Poetry No. 121.) In 1598 it is said
that the first twenty-six lines of this idyl appeared in an appendix to
Barnfield’s “Encomium in 1599 it reappeared enlarged to twice the length
and was credited to Shakspere; in 1600 the first twenty-eight lines were
republished in “England’s Helicon” and subscribed “Ignoto.”

We now transcribe from the “Helicon,” No. xx of “The Passionate Pilgrim”
much amended and enlarged:

           The Passionate Shepherd to his love.
             Come live with me, and be my love,
           And we will all the pleasures prove,
            That valleys, groves, [and] hills and fields,
              Woods, or steeple mountains yields.(1)

       (1) The grammar of this verse is shocking both here and in
       the version of 1599. And there are considerable variations
       in the two versions. In that of 1599 the first word “Come”
       is omitted, without which the song could hardly be sung.
       Other slight defects of measure appear in both. But the
       editor of Marlowe’s Works has carefully corrected the
       grammar and the measure.

            And we will sit upon the rocks,
           Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
           By shallow rivers, to whose falls
             Melodious birds sing madrigals.

           And I will make thee beds of roses,
           And a thousand fragrant posies,
            A cap of flowers and a kirtle
              Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

           A gown made of the finest wool,
           Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
            Fair lined slippers for the cold,
           With buckles of the purest gold:
           A belt of straw, and ivy buds
             With coral clasps and amber studs.


          And if these pleasures may thee move,
          Come live with me and be my love.
          The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
            For thy delights each May−morning;
          If these delights thy mind may move,
          Then live with me and be my love.

          Finis.           Chr. Marlowe.

Here we have Marlowe credited with this song in 1600, seven years after
his death. Is there any other evidence that he wrote it? A single line
at the close of a ditty in his “Jew of Malta” parallels with the first
line of this, except the first word:

    “Shall live with me and be my love.”

The song, with many verbal amendments, and omitting the last stanza, is
inserted in his “Works,” 1826.

In the “Merry Wives of Windsor” act iii, scene ly Sir Hugh Evans sings
the following four lines:

     “To shallow rivers, to whose falls
       Melodious birds sing madrigals;
    There we will make our peds of roses,
    And a thousand fragrant posies.”

This play was written in the latter part of 1599. In the earliest form
of it Sir Hugh transposes and varies the lines thus:

    “And then she made him beds of roses,
    And a thousand fragrant posies.”

Then after three lines of incoherent speech:

    “To shallow rivers, and to falls
      Melodious birds sing madrigals.”

It would seem as if the song was familiar to the public in 1599 We now
add from the “Helicon” the rest of No. xx of “The Passionate Pilgrim,”
enlarged from one stanza to six:


          The Nymph's reply to the Shepherd.
          If all the world and love were young,
          And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
          These pretty pleasures might me move,
           To live with thee, and be thy love.

           Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
          When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold;
          And Philomel becometh dumb;
          The rest complain of cares to come.

          The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
            To wayward Winter reckoning yields;
           A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
           Is fancy’s Spring, but sorrow’s fall.

          Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
           Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
          Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
           In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

          Thy belt of straw, and ivy buds,
          Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
          All these in me no means can move,
          To come to thee and be thy love.

           But could youth last, and love still breed,
          Had joys no date, nor age no need,
          Then these delights my mind might move,
           To live with thee and be thy love.

           Finis.                   Ignoto.

The editor of the third edition of the “Helicon” 1812, says in regard to

“This signature appears to have been generally, though not exclusively,
subscribed to the pieces of Sir Walter Raleigh. It is also subscribed to
one piece since appropriated to Shakspere, [No. xviii,] and to one
Which, according to Ellis, belongs to Richard Barnfield [No. xxi.] The
celebrated answer to Marlowe’s, ’Come live with me,’ here subscribed
_Ignoto_, is given expressly to Raleigh by Isaac Walton in his ‘Complete
Angler,’ first published in 1653.”


What could Walton know about it fifty years after the publication of the
song and answer as above? On such worthless testimony the Nymph’s Answer
is credited to Raleigh. And we have in the “Encyclopedia of Poetry,”
1873, first the song by Marlowe, “_about_ 1590,” and then the Nymph’s
Reply by Raleigh “_about_ 1610.” Strange that the Nymph should wait
_about_ twenty years to reply, and should then repeat the lines credited
to Shakspere in 1599 and to “Ignoto” in 1600! The song perhaps existed
before the death of Marlowe in 1593, but was probably composed by
“Ignoto,” who also wrote “The Nymph’s Reply” and numerous other poetical
pieces that were published in the “Helicon” in 1600.

“Ignoto” was undoubtedly a concealed poet. Marlowe, Raleigh and
Barnfield were not. As early as January 1590, if not a little sooner,
“Ignoto” contributed to Spenser’s first publication of the “Faery Queen”
the following lines:

        “To look upon a work of rare devise
           The which a workman setteth out to view,
            And not to yield it the deserved prize
              That unto such a workmanship is due,
           Doth either prove the judgment to be naught,
           Or else doth show a mind with envy fraught.

        “To labor to commend a piece of work
           Which no man goes about to discommend,
            Would raise a jealous doubt that there did lurk
              Some secret doubt whereto the praise did tend:
           For when men know the goodness of the wine
             ’Tis needless for the host to have a sign.

        “Thus then, to show my judgment to be such
          As can discern of colors black and white,
           As als to free my mind from envy’s touch,
            That never gives to any man his right:
       I here pronounce this workmanship is such
         As that no pen can set it forth too much.


       “And thus I hang a garland at the door;
       Not for to show the goodness of the ware;
       But such hath been the custom heretofore,
       And customs very hardly broken are;
        And when your taste shall tell you this is true,
       Then look you give your host his utmost due.”

In No. viii of “The Passionate Pilgrim” the writer says:

    “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.”

Is not this praise of Spenser a substantial repetition of the sentiments
expressed by “Ignoto”?

Again, in Shakspere’s Sonnet lxxx we read:

    “O 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!”

Spenser praises Essex in one of the Sonnets prefixed to his “Faery
Queen,” which antedates the Sonnets of Shakspere.

Once more. In No. xviii of “The Passionate Pilgrim” we read:

    “Poor Corydon must live alone,
    Other help for him I see that there is none.”

Compare this with the following lines from Spenser’s “Colin Clout,”
dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh, December 27, 1591, and published in

    “And there is Corydon, though meanly waged,
        Yet ablest wit of most I know this day.”

Was not Bacon the ablest wit of that time? Was


he not a concealed poet? Was he not “Corydon”? Was he not “Ignoto”?

But what evidence is there that Raleigh used that signature? The “Faery
Queen” was publicly dedicated to him, and in the Sonnet addressed to him
as one of Spenser’s patrons, a forthcoming poem by Raleigh is announced

     “Yet, till that thou thy poem wilt make known,
    Let thy fair Cynthia’s praises be thus rudely shown.”

That poem was known to Spenser, who in the Dedication said he had
fashioned his Queen “according to your [Raleigh’s] own excellent conceit
of Cynthia,” i. e., Queen Elizabeth.

Furthermore, Raleigh contributed two Sonnets in praise of Spenser’s
“Faery Queen;” these he subscribed with his own initials. Did he at the
same time write another encomium and sign it “Ignoto”?

There are sixteen pieces in the “Helicon” subscribed “Ignoto.” One of
these, “The Nymph’s Reply” is ascribed to Raleigh on the testimony of
Walton in 1653; and two others are believed by the editor of the third
edition, 1812, to belong to Raleigh, because in an early copy of the
same “Ignoto” was found pasted over “W. R.” Upon such flimsy evidence
the modern editor infers that the signature “Ignoto” was “generally,
_though not exclusively_, (his own italics,) subscribed to the pieces of
Sir Walter Raleigh.”

The next piece after “The Nymph’s Reply” in the “Helicon” is the
following by “Ignoto”:

             Another of the same nature made since.
             Come live with me and be my dear,
             And we will revel all the year,
             In plains and groves, on hills and dales,
             Where fragrant air breeds sweetest gates.

             There shall you have the beauteous pine,
             The cedar, and the spreading vine;
             And all the woods to be a screen,
             Lest Phoebus kiss my summer queen.

             The seat for your disport shall be
             Over some river in a tree;
             Where silver sands and pebbles sing
             Eternal ditties with the Spring.

             There shall you see the nymphs at play,
             And how the Satyrs spend the day;
             The fishes gliding on the sands,
             Offering their bellies to your hands.

             The birds, with heavenly tuned throats,
             Possess woods’ echoes with sweet notes;
             Which to your senses will impart
             A music to inflame the heart.

             Upon the bare and leafless oak
             The ring−dove’s wooings will provoke
             A colder blood than you possess,
             To play with me and do no less.

             In bowers of laurel trimly dight,
             We will outwear the silent night,
             While Flora busy is to spread
             Her richest treasure on our bed.

             Ten thousand glow−worms shall attend,
             And all their sparkling lights shall spend.
             All to adorn and beautify
             Your lodging with most majesty.

             Then in mine arms will I enclose
             Lily’s fair mixture with the rose;
             Whose nice perfections in love’s play,
             Shall tune to me the highest key.

             Thus as we pass the welcome night
             In sportful pleasures and delight,
             The nimble fairies on the grounds
             Shall dance and sing melodious sounds.


             If these may serve for to entice
             Your presence to Love’s paradise,
             Then come with me and be my dear,
             And we will straight begin the year.

             Finis.                 Ignoto.

Who will say that this is not equal to the first song ascribed to
Marlowe? What couplet in that surpasses this one?:

    “Where silver sands and pebbles sing
      Eternal ditties with the Spring.”

Or this?:

    “Ten thousand glow−worms shall attend.
     And all their sparkling lights shall spend.”

For parallels with the first of these couplets take the following:

    “Silver stream.” Much Ado, iii, 1.

    “Sing no more ditties.” Ibid, ii, 1.

    “Silver currents.” K. John, ii, 1.

    “The murmuring surge
    That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes.”

                                     Ibid, iv, 6.

For a single parallel with the second couplet take this:

    “Twenty glow−worms shall our lanterns be.”

                          M. W. Windsor, v, 5.

Similar parallels may be found with other lines of the song. Now are we
to believe that Marlowe wrote the first song, and Raleigh the other two
signed “Ignoto”? Is it not far more rational and consistent to believe
that all three were written by the same pen?

Again, Barnfield has two pieces in the “Helicon,” and the editor
ascribes to him another signed “Ignoto”—No. xxi, “As it fell upon a
day”—while Allibone, in his Dictionary of Authors, makes him the


author not only of xxi, but of xx—“Come live with me and be my love”—and
says that Raleigh’s authorship of “The Nymph’s Reply” is questioned.

Thus Marlowe is robbed of the only piece ascribed to him in the
“Helicon,” and Raleigh is left out of it entirely, unless he wrote some
other poem signed “Ignoto.”

And by the way, poor neglected Shakspere has but a single specimen
there—“On a day, alack a day”— taken from “Love’s Labor Lost.”

But the confusion about “Ignoto” is still more confounded. On page 112
of the “Helicon” is a song entitled “The Shepherd’s Dump,” subscribed
“S. E. D.,” supposed to mean Sir Edward Dyer, and on page 224 the same
identical song reappears entitled “Thirsis, the Shepherd, to his pipe,”
and signed “Ignoto.” The editor of 1812 supposes it was reprinted to
make a few corrections in the last stanza; but as the verbal variations
in that stanza make it positively worse, it is more likely that the
compiler did not notice the repetition, but inadvertently put both in as
he found them.

But even this is not all. In Ellis’s “Specimens of the early English
Poets,” 5th edition, 1845, among the pieces credited to Fulke Greville
(Lord Brooke) is a “Song,” with these words in brackets:

“To be found in ‘England’s Helicon,’ where it is signed Ignoto.”

On turning to the edition of 1614 we find that song entitled “Another,
of his Cynthia.” It is preceded by two, evidently by the same pen,
entitled, “To his Flocks,” and “To his Love” and is followed by still
“Another to his Cynthia.” But all these are anonymous


in the edition of 1614, and the editor appends to the last one the
following remark:

“These three [or four?] ditties were taken out of Maister John Dowland’s
Book of Tableture for the Lute. The authors’ names not there set down,
and therefore left to their owners.”

But it happens that the four ditties are all credited to “Ignoto” in the
Table of Contents, prepared by the _other editor_, so that in the
edition of 1614 “Ignoto” has twenty pieces, besides the one assigned to

With all this confusion what are we to believe in regard to “Ignoto”?
Was he sometimes Raleigh, sometimes Barnfield, sometimes Dyer, sometimes

and sometimes Shakspere, or some one else? Or was he a single person who
“loved better to be a poet than to be counted so” and who affected to
hoodwink the above-named Greville by writing to him in 1596: “For poets
I can commend none, being resolved to be ever a stranger to them”?

And here let us note a bit of internal evidence that Bacon wrote the
little poem in praise of the “Faery Queen” signed “Ignoto.” One couplet
of it is as follows:

    “For when men know the goodness of the wine,
    ’Tis needless for the host to have a sign.”

No. 517 of Bacon’s “Promus of Formularies and Elegancies” is this:

    “Good wine needs no bush.”

The word “bush” as applied to wine is thus defined by Webster:

“branch of ivy (as sacred to Bacchus) hung out at vintners’ doors, or as
a tavern sign; hence a tavern sign, or the tavern itself.”

“‘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



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!)
    My youth ’gainst age, and age at youth hath spurned,
       But spurned in vain; youth waneth, by increasing.
    Beauty and strength, and youth flowers fading been,
     Duty, faith, love, are roots and ever green.

    “My helmet now shall make a hive for bees,
       And lovers’ songs shall turn to holy psalms;
    A man−at−arms must now stand on his knees,
       And feed on prayers that are old age’s alms.

     And so from court to cottage I depart;
    My saint is sure of my unspotted heart.
     “And when I sadly sit in lonely cell,
       I’ll teach my swains this carol for a song:
      ‘Blest be the hearts that wish my Sovereign well,
       Curst be the souls that think to do her wrong.’

    Goddess! vouchsafe this aged man his right,
    To be your beadsman now that Was your knight.”

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—e. 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.


1. If the Parliament met November 23, 1584, as Mr. Spedding distinctly
says, then Bacon was not yet twenty-four.

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 fleshy 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 three months older than
Shakspere, we will now parallel their lives by successive years.



  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

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.


  A. D. 1586.
Bacon at 25 writes a letter, May 6th, to Lord Treasurer Burleigh, his
uncle, saying:

“I find in my simple observation that they which live as it were _in
umbra_ and not in public or frequent action, how moderately and modestly
soever they behave themselves, yet _laborant inmdia_. I find also that
such persons as are of nature bashful (as myself is,) whereby they want
that plausible familiarity which others have, are often mistaken for
proud. But once I know well, and I most humbly beseech your Lordship to
believe that arrogancy and overweening is so far from my nature, as, if
I think well of myself in anything, it is in this, that I am free from
that vice.”

He is again elected to Parliament. The conspirators who attempted to
liberate Mary of Scotland have been tried, condemned, and sentenced. The
case is brought before the Parliament. Bacon is one of the speakers in
“the Great Cause,” and one of the committees to whom it is referred.

Shakspere at 22 is probably still at Stratford, though Mr. White
presumes he has become connected with the London stage this year, or
perhaps a little later.

    [To be continued to the end of both lives, making a book of 300
    pages or more, including this pamphlet as an appendix, with
    important additions. All the essential facts of Lord Bacon’s
    life will be presented, whereby his secret authorship will be
    more abundantly proved, and his moral character vindicated
    against the aspersions of 260 years.]


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