Defoe Period Unmasked
painting by Colin McMillan
To all exercising that royalty of mind that
suspends the judgement until the proofs are in, do we dedicate this
work. Even those who would look into it, not to believe, but for its
novelty, romance, pretty chain of relations, and bits of good
literature, will upon like condition, be included in our dedication.
The relational facts and circumstances connected with the life of Lord Bacon will be here found collated and marshalled beyond the cloud, and so that the reader shall himself say, Bacon stands in new light. Here he may likewise find short steps to the heart of the Baconian philosophy.
The several masks under which Lord Bacon performed his great hitherto undisclosed work will be brought into relation with his generally attributed writings, and be found to be, not merely in harmony with, but to be their principles expanded in detail; and thus, after a suspension of upward of two hundred and fifty years, their restored relations.
Having reached our conclusions with care, we hesitate not in making a claim which we feel that time and close investigation must ripen into belief. We indeed here open a door to methods which must erelong suprise the world. And the matter, coming through the highest mortal reaches, and, according to design, largely upon the wings of romance, must make it ever permanent with the race. As to the setting of ants, the race, anew at work Bacon himself says:
"And certainly I have raised up here a little heap of dust, and stored under it a great many grains of sciences and arts, into which the ants may creep and rest awhile and then prepare themselves for fresh labors. Now the wisest kings refers sluggards to the ants; and for my part, I hold all men for sluggards who care only to use what they have got, without preparing for new seed-times and new harvests of knowledge."
Reasons for the first part our title will in due time appear.
The interpretation of the play of Hamlet and of The Tempest,and which only we have attempted to handle, will be found new, as will our interpretation of the sonnets, and in which alone we shall endeavor to reward the reader for any labor he may bestow upon this work. Indeed, its Shake-speare features will be found to have an interest for the general which they have not hitherto possessed, in that, instead of giving a multitude of merely grouped together parallelisms, we give a history, wherein these, as far as space and circumstances will permit, are made to fall into relation. We have, in fact, so far as may be, made Lord Bacon his own Robinson Crusoe; and thus to tell the story of his life, and concerning whose doings will be found greater romance than was ever yet spread in an Arabian tale.--J.E.R.
May 30, 1891
Descriptions of the Masks 9 Grounds of Belief 12 Works of Reference 15 Introduction 17 Relational Facts 117 Life of Bacon 178 The Tempest 319 The Story of My Life 347 Baconian Framework in Crusoe 388 Harley and Defoe 402 The Thread of the Labyrinth 447
Descriptions of the Masks
Grounds of Belief
Works of Reference
Life of Bacon
The Story of My Life
Baconian Framework in Crusoe
Harley and Defoe
The Thread of the Labyrinth
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