« הקודםהמשך »
All the world's a stage,
Modern play acting is but a toy, except when it is too biting and satirical.—Bacon.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no 1 it is an ever fixed mark
You may observe that amongst all the great and worthy persons (whereof memory
COPYRIGHT SECURED IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA,
HE following pages are not written with the expectation of affecting the attitude of those who from some unexplained animus desire to dethrone Shakespeare and to enthrone Bacon; neither are they expected to interest (although it is hoped they may) those who think this subject undeserving of serious thought. There is, however, a very large number whose doubts have been awakened, and who are honestly interested, to whom much that directly concerns this inquiry may not be easily accessible ; to those the matter here presented, and the conclusions drawn, may be acceptable.
The endeavour has been to present such points as appeal to reason and common sense, though they have not been elaborated to the breadth that might be given them ; the facts in themselves are convincing to unpartisan judgment, and need very little in the shape of argument to emphasize their force.
Bacon and his biographers are freely quoted in order to show that in every quality he was the opposite of Shakespeare, that he never did anything except for profit, or for fame and personal aggrandisement, and that he would not have devoted his time to bestow any of its productions upon the world without recognition or reward.
It is shown that Bacon had neither the fancy to create the sentiment, the poetic fervour to inspire the language, the heart to feel the truth and beauty, nor the generosity to deny himself the authorship of such plays; and that absolutely no grounds existed for concealment of poetic genius that would have promoted the object of his ambition; that he distrusted the permanency of the English language, disparaged the stage, condemned as wasted the time spent on fiction and works of the imagination, spoke contemptuously of love, and sneered at lovers: subjects that are the idols of Shakespeare's constant muse.
Examples are cited of verses that Bacon did write and publish, which his historians speak of as “flat effects,” “bad lines,” “ridiculous failures,” and “low order,” but which his present champions studiously ignore.
In the lifetime of these two men, one by the “sweetness of his nature” and his “uprightness of dealing” won the love of his friends and fellows, while the other by his “coldness of heart and meanness of spirit” drew upon himself general contempt and hatred. Now, after three centuries, a number of people appear who seem to delight in defaming the better and lauding the worse. They invent situations, invest historical characters with prejudices contrary to the facts, endeavour to discover imaginary hidden meanings, and aimless, mysterious motives; and one has quite outstripped all others by constructing an arithmetical vagary, crazy enough to set bedlam in ecstacy, in order to prove Bacon's genius and inclination to have been what every fact in his life, naturally, and logically, disproves.