John Florio


In 1591 the Italian, John Florio, published a book entitled Second Frutes, which contains a very fine sonnet, signed "Phaethon."
Sir Sidney Lee, Professors Baynes and Minto all pronounce this sonnet to be the work of "Shakespeare."
In 1598 Florio published another book entitled A Worlde of Words, and in it refers to the sonnet of 1591 as having been written "by a gentleman, a friend of mine, who loved better to be a poet than to be counted so."

Will Shaksper could not possibly be the friend Florio refers to, because Florio says that his friend was high born, a personal friend of his, and a concealed poet; and Will Shaksper was neither a gentleman, a personal friend of Florio's, nor a concealed poet.

Is it a coincidence that Francis Bacon answers to this description in every particular, for he was a gentleman born, a personal friend of Florio's, and he was also a concealed poet, as witness the letter Bacon wrote to John Davies in 1603 in which he concludes "so desiring you to be good to concealed poets?"


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