Second Takes, and Hidden Allusions in Don Quixote
Like love, Don Quixote may be better the second time around. A second take affords a new
perspective where more than one meaning exists, and lets us go beyond the low-hanging fruit
of obvious meanings for those less obvious. But the flip side is superfluity. Francis Bacon
coined the phrase,"Carrying coal to Newcastle"to describe adding to something for which an excess already exists. If, after the evidence for
Bacon's authorship in my previous article, "The Madness' of Don Quixote Eyed Awry" I seem
to be headed back to Newcastle with a bituminous burden, so be it. Don Quixote is far too huge
to be covered adequately even in a score of articles such as this. However, this article is designed to add to and complement my former article. There are many more hidden allusions to
Francis Bacon in Don Quixote. In addition, I will add some details to the initiate allegory that
I broached in my previous article.The Elizabethan WaldoHave you ever amused yourself trying to find Waldo in one of those drawings where his images
are hidden everywhere? If you have, this Bud is for you. The only difference is Francis Bacon
replaces Waldo. Like the hidden Waldo whose image can be found all over the landscape, the
hidden Francis Bacon can be found all over the landscape in the Elizabethan Literary
Renaissance. In the present article I am concerned with the book: Don Quixote. Therefore, I echo Ben Jonson and say, look not at his picture but at his book. Bacon is hidden in Don Quixote as often as Waldo is hidden in his pictures, and it can be just as amusing trying to find him. Here is an
example. Look at the following passage from the Prefatory Poem at the beginning of
Don Quixote:If thou art not a Peer, no peer hast thou, But amongst a thousand Peers, a peer thou art, When thou art present, thou doest stand apart. Victor invincible, unvanquished up to now. Quixote, I am Orlando. Hast heard how I sailed far seas for her who held my heart?Waldo-like, Francis Bacon is hidden in these lines. Can you find him? All right, here's the
skinny. Despite the problem caused by this being a translation from the Spanish, the
antithetical style of the poem is not only distinctive, but familiar. The style of the above passage i
is obviously modeled after the following passage from Hall's Satires, 1597, Book II, p.25:For shame write better Labeo, or write none Or better write, or Labeo write alone. Nay, call the Cynic but a wittie fool, Thence to obscure his handsome drinking bole; Because the thirstie swaine with hollow hand Conveyed the streame to weet his drie weasand. Write they that can, tho they that cannot do; But who knows that, but they that do not know.Why would Bacon imitate the style of the verse by Hall? Consider what Hall was doing. In his
verse Hall was rebuking someone he called "Labeo" for writing a work that was obviously
"Venus and Adonis". The writer was a lawyer since Labeo was a Roman lawyer, but the
writer was not otherwise identified. However, in 1598 John Marston entered the fray defending
Labeo in his "Pigmalion's Image" and not only gave further evidence that Labeo was the author of "Venus and Adonis" and of Lucrece, but identified him with the line:"What, not medioca firma from thy spite!"Since "medioca firma" was Bacon's family motto, Labeo was Francis Bacon. So in imitating
the style of Hall's work in the prefatory poem Bacon gives a hidden allusion that indicates his
presence, Waldo like, in Don Quixote. Okay. Here's another one. Look at the preface at the beginning of Don Quixote. The author
says that although he expended no little labor upon this "child" of his, he found no task more
difficult than the composition of his preface. Many times he took up his pen, and many times
he laid it back down again, not knowing what to write. On one occasion when he was thus in
suspense, paper before him, pen over his ear, elbow on the table, and chin in hand, a very clever friend of his came in. Seeing him lost in thought, his friend inquired as to the reason,
and he told him that his mind was on the preface he had to write for the story of Don Quixote.
That it was giving him so much trouble that he had about decided not to write any at all, and to
abandon entirely the idea of publishing the exploits of so noble a knight. His friend then cleared up all his problems. Do you see Francis Bacon here? Give up? Compare this with the preface at the beginning of Francis Bacon's "Refutation of the
Philosophies". Bacon said in the latter work he was preparing a refutation of philosophies but
did not know where to begin. While immersed in the business, a friend came to see him who
had just returned from France. When they had exchanged greetings and personal news, the
friend said,"Tell me what are you writing in the intervals of public business, or at least when public business is less pressing."Bacon told him he was planning an Instauration of Philosophy designed to improve the conditions
of human life, but he has come to believe that his "child" would perish in the wilderness. His friend
cleared up all his problems, restoring Bacon to life and giving him heart to proceed with his project,
exactly as the friend did when he was grappling with the problem of writing the preface
to Don Quixote.Actually there were two Waldos in this one. Look again at that phrase, "paper before him,
pen over his ear, elbow on the table, and chin in hand". Thomas Meautys erected a statue of
Bacon after his death,, in St. Michael's Church at St. Albans, Hertforshire. In the statue Bacon is
lost in thought, slumped in a chair. One hand is at his chin, one hangs carelessly over the chair
arm. The inscription in Latin beneath the statue says Francis Bacon used to sit thus showing
the statue was designed to commemorate a characteristic posture of Bacon's. Obviously this
posture is described in the phrase in the preface to Don Quixote.
There now, isn't this fun? Shall I keep going?
Here's one for discerning connoisseurs of Baconiana only. In Part II of Don Quixote when
Quixote arrived at Barcelona a wealthy gentleman, named Don Antonio, appeared and offered
him accommodations at his house. While Quixote was in his house he showed him a curiosity
he kept there. The curiosity was a talking head made of bronze after the model of the famous
brass head of Roger Bacon. The secret of the head was that it was entirely hollow. The foot of the table on which it was fitted formed a continuation of the throat and chest of the head
above, with a tube running down to the room below where a concealed person could speak
through the head. Okay, where's Waldo, I mean Bacon? Don't tell me you don't see this one
either. Antonio was a variation of Anthony, the name of Francis Bacon's brother. Anthony had a house in Bishopgate in the very same area, and at the same time, William Shakespeare did. Were the houses the same? Did Anthony keep William Shakespeare in his house in Bishopgate? In his verse facing the head of Shakespeare at the beginning of the First Folio Ben Jonson describes it as a head made of brass. It was the talking head through which the concealed person Francis Bacon spoke. Was the talking head through which the concealed person spoke in Don Quixote an allusion to the talking head of William Shakespeare through which the concealed Francis Bacon spoke? Didn't like that? How about this one? Perhaps the best evidence for Bacon's authorship of any given work is the light "A", dark "A" emblem, he used to mark the works he produced. In his well known book, "Bacon is Shakespeare" by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin gave a reproduction of the light "A", dark "A" emblem that marked the Shelton, 1612, English version of Don Quixote. But Sir Edwin went beyond this. He said the copy of the 1612 Don Quixote in his possession contained corrections in Bacon's hand (very familiar to him) which led him to conclude that Bacon had written Don Quixote. This statement caused quite a stir at the time, but was over shadowed by the even greater stir of the world war. That, and the early death of Sir Edwin, brought an early death to a controversy that certainly deserved senior citizen status. Okay. All right. That one wasn't a Waldo. It was a slam-dunk. In his preface to the "Wisdom of the Ancients" Bacon discusses the reasons for believing there were concealed meanings in ancient myths. He says,"It may pass for a further indication of a concealed and secret meaning, that some of these fables are so absurd and idle in their narration, as to show and proclaim an allegory, even afar off."In the Prologue to Part II of Don Quixote there are two anecdotes that could have very well been framed with this explanation in mind. The author says one of the greatest of the temptations of the devil is to put into a man's head that he can write a book and get it printed."There was in Seville", he continued, "a certain madman whose madness assumed one of the drollest forms that ever was seen in this world. Taking a hollow reed sharpened at one end, he would catch a dog in the street or somewhere else; and, holding one of the animal's legs with his foot and raising the other with his hand, he would fix his reed at best he could in a certain part, after which he would blow the dog up, round as a ball. When he had it in this condition he would give it a couple of slaps on the belly and let it go, remarking to the bystanders, of whom there were always plenty, `Do your Worships think, then, that it is so easy a thing to inflate a dog?' So you might ask, `Does your Grace think that it is so easy a thing to write a book?"The second story ran as follows:"In Cordova there was another fool who had the habit of carrying on his head a piece of marlbe or some other heavy stone: if now he found any heedless dog whatsoever, he stationed himself close to it and let the heavy load fall vertically upon it. The terrified dog then ran with howl and yelp through the streets without stopping. It befell that among the dogs on which he let his load fall he came upon the dog of a hatter which his master dearly loved. He let the stone fall upon its head; the wounded dog uttered a howl; its master saw it and was badly vexed, grabbed his yardstick, went for the fool and left no part of his body whole; and with every blow which he bestowed upon him, he cried: `Thou rascal, my spaniel?' and as he repreated over and over again the word spaniel, he let the fool be soundly cudgeled. The fool went into retirement and indeed for four weeks did not show himself in public, when finally he appeared with his trick and a still larger stone. He went up to the spot where the dog stood, examined it closely from head to tail, and then said, without presuming to let his load fall: `That is a spaniel, take care!' In short all dogs which he saw, be they now bulldogs or lapdogs, he called `spaniels' and so never again let the stone fall. Perhaps something similar had happened to that story-writer so that he did not attempt to lay down the heaviness of his spirit in books that are bad and so harder than stone."In Latin Canis, dog, and Canna, (reed, or windpipe: canna gutturis) were quite similar. Canis was a term in Latin regularly applied to anyone who lived parasite-like off of another person. The allegory seems to be that through allowing the parasite Cervantes to serve as his voice in the role of authorship of Don Quixote, Bacon is the madman who blows up dogs. The Spanish word used for dog in the anecdote was "podenco', which designated a small greyhound. Phillips erroneously translated the word as "spaniel". However, in a number of instances Phillips showed insider knowledge, and apparently used the term "spaniel" deliberately to indicate that the dog that was blown up was a "Spaniard". An intriguing area of research is presented by Bacon's customary practice, clearly evident in the Shakespeare Plays, of depicting people and events he had contact with. From this perspective, it is informative to follow Bacon's back trail. A good place to look is certain aspects of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth Tudor was born in 1533, came to the throne in 1558, and died early on the morning of March 24, 1603. Oddly enough Elizabeth, known as the Virgin Queen, was born on the eve of the birthday of the Virgin, in the room at Greenwich Palace known as the Chamber of the Virgin, and died on the date of the Annunciation of the Virgin. Odder still, despite a 44-year reign during which her closest advisors studied her every move, they never gained insight into her mind. To emphasize the difficulty of the Basque language a story says the devil himself once spent seven years studying the language, and during that time only learned five words, two of which he pronounced wrong. At that his track record was better than Elizabeth's advisors who were NEVER able to peer into her mind. Adept as Elizabeth was at obfuscation, however, her role as Virgin Queen was her greatest deception. And this "Virgin Queen" role of Elizabeth's may have been the source of Francis Bacon's greatest deception, the literary masterpiece, "Don Quixote de la Mancha" that he wrote under the mask of Cervantes. According to Alfred Weber-Ebenhof, Elizabeth is commemorated as Dulcinea del Toboso in Don Quixote. The following passage from the prefatory poems in the Shelton edition of the book is particularly significant (I quote here from Weber-Ebenhof's Bacon-Shakespeare-Cervantes 1917 Leipzig ) :The Princess Oriana of Great Brittain, to Lady Dulcinea del Toboso Happie those, which for more commoditie And ease, Dulcinea fair! Could bring to pass That Greenwitch where Toboso is, might be, And London chang'd, where thy Knights Village was.In this address Princess Oriana is obviously meant to suggest Gloriana of Great Brittain who was none other than Elizabeth herself. Greenwich where Elizabeth was born is changed to Greenwitch reflecting the common belief that Anne Bolyn (with her six fingers on her left hand) was a witch, and Elizabeth the spawn of a witch. Weber-Ebenhof quotes a passage from the even more revealing dedicatory sonnet in the Phillips edition of Don Quixote in which a certain Betty Buly congratulates Dulcinea. He notes that after Ann Boleyn's execution Parliament declared her marriage invalid, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate thus restoring her last name to that of Boleyn or Bullen (an old way of writing Boleyn). Therefore Betty in the following verse is a variant of Elizabeth, and Buly is a variant of Bullen: Betty Bulys Congratulation to Madam DulcineaMadam, my name is Betty Buly, I pity your condition, truly. Had you but liv'd, where I did dwell, You nere should ha' led Apes in Hell. Better y' had link'd with City Fop, Then Mistress to a Nickapoop, But Madam, pray what smell is this? `Tis neither Musk, nor AmbergreiseThe Nickapoop to whom Dulcinea was mistress was Leicester. According to Ebenhoff Toboso means `dung heap', which expressed the odor of Elizabeth's court, hence the smell that was neither musk nor ambergreise. The "peerless Oriana" did not succeed in preserving her virtue from her lover Amadis. In the first poem the wish is expressed that in addition to having Greenwich changed to Dulcinea's village Toboso; the city of London, where she ruled, might be changed to the village of her Knight. That knight, Weber-Ebenhof says, was Henry Lee, who was the model for Don Quixote.
For the story behind this we have to look back to the early years of the reign of Elizabeth to some details about Henry Lee. A cult of Elizabeth sprang up in which she was Diana, the chaste, virgin moon goddess. In addition to this convention, there was added the custom of holding an annual tilt on her Accession Day, November 17th, at which Queen Elizabeth's loyal knights jousted before her. Apparently Henry Lee was very imaginative and obsessed with reading stories of Chivalry just as was Quixote. Because, according to Neville Williams in, "All the Queen's Men" It was Sir Henry Lee who first devised the annual contest of arms in an allegorical setting to honor the courtiers' sovereign lady in 1580. Lee, because he originated the idea, and because he was an authority on chivalry, was appointed the Queen's Champion of the Tilt, and assigned the task of composing and competing as the "Queen's Champion of the Tilt" in the annual tournaments. In accordance with the logic of the tournament any knight Lee defeated had to present himself before Elizabeth and proclaim that he was hers to do with as she saw fit. This was same idea that we see Don Quixote repeat over and over to those he defeats. They must go to Dulcinea and proclaim that she could do with them as she saw fit. Since Sir Henry Lee lived in the village of Ditchley, and since he was born in 1530 that would have made him around 50 at the time he devised the Accession Day Tournaments. In Don Quixote we are told that when Quixote began his mad adventures as a knight-errant he lived in a village and "was close on to fifty." Quixote is further described as tall, with little flesh on his bones, with a face that was lean and gaunt, a description that fits Sir Henry Lee to a "Tee". It was certainly madness on Henry Lee's part since jousting was an extremely demanding sport physically. It was inevitable that Lee, who, was already fifty when he first began the annual tournaments, came out of each of them bruised and battered. As the years of Elizabeth's reign passed and the annual tradition continued, Lee grew older and older, and the situation went from bad to worse. Lee was almost 60 in 1590 by the time he tried to resign from his post as director and participator in the annual jousting and move on to permanent retirement on his country estate at Ditchley near Woodstock in Oxfordshire. He was by now physically more than ever the very embodiment of Don Quixote, "with little flesh on his bones and a face that was lean and gaunt". His countenance had grown more dour and melancholy year after year as he was forced to subject himself to the shocks and lances of the annual tournaments, and he very much fit the description of `knight of the mournful countenance'. But Elizabeth would have nothing of this. She very much enjoyed these annual events and very little cared what injury they might cause her `Champion of the Tilt'. She ordered him to be present at every annual joust. He even appeared as late as 1597 when he was 67, although in a letter he said he was with `a white head, a hoary beard', and too `lame and halt' to thrust himself among the young Tilters. But `nonetheless, if the Queen would be offended by his absence, he would labour to wait on her'. This indifference of Queen Elizabeth to the pain and suffering of Sir Henry Lee is reflected in the following prefatory poem to Don Quixote:You went about the world in knightly style, Undoing wrongs and suffering the while A myriad drubbings; but be comforted, If the beauteous Dulcinea did prolong Love's agony and pitied not your pain,Alas poor Henry, Elizabeth's courtiers knew him well, they referred to him as Sir Hen, and often snickered at the poor old fellow behind their gauntlets. In the cult of Queen Elizabeth she was not only the chaste moon Goddess, Diana and Jana, (another name for Diana) but was surrounded by her knights. Quixote's real name was quejana or quijana. "Que" in Latin is a connecting word implying "joined" to or "allied" to, the sense of "quejana" or "quijana" apparently being: in the service of Diana. This term described both Henry Lee, and Francis Bacon the alter ego of Don Quixote, who, in the words of Ben Jonson, "shook a lance, as banished at as banished at the eyes of ignorance". This fantasy world provided a great deal of source material for the "Faerie Queen" Bacon wrote under his mask of Edmund Spenser. In the "Faerie Queen" Elizabeth as Gloriana was glorified. It was only after her death Bacon could paint a more realistic picture. With her bawdy humor, and coarse, earthy nature Elizabeth was well reflected in the coarse country lass Dulcinea Del Toboso. And Bacon, who always saw the humorous element, had a scene in a market place in Toledo where a lad came up to sell some old notebooks. They were written in Arabic. When an interpreter was found he began to laugh as soon as he began to read them. When asked the reason for his laughter he replied it was a note that had been written on the margin of the notebook. In this note he said, Dulcinea del Toboso, so often referred to, was:"said to have been the best hand at salting pigs of any woman in all La Mancha."No doubt, after Queen Elizabeth's treatment of him, her son, Bacon (whose name had the pig association) thought she was indeed "the best hand at salting pigs" of any woman in all England. Bet you thought I had forgotten about Waldo. No way. Here's another one. The text in Don Quixote continued as follows:"The Moor and I then betook ourselves to the cathedral cloister, where I requested him to translate for me into the Castilian tongue all the books that had to do with Don Quixote, adding nothing and substracting nothing; and I offered him whatever payment he desired. He was content with two arrobas of raisins and two fanegas of wheat and promised to translate them well and faithfully with all dispatch. However, in order to facilitate matters, and also because I did not wish to let such a find as this out of my hands, I took the fellow home with me, where in a little more than a month and a half he translated the whole of the work just as you will find it set down here."This passage is from Samuel Putnam's translation, and he notes in a footnote that "Two arrobas would be about fifty pounds, two fanegas, a little over three bushels." So Bacon has here one of those hidden allusions that can easily escape the readers observation. For some reason the number 53 was very important to Bacon. In the First Folio on page 53 of the Comedies there is the passage, "Hang-hog, is latten for Bacon, I warrant you" Alluding to the anecdote Bacon told about the incident when Nicholas Bacon was a judge and a man who appealed before him sought clemency on the grounds that his name was Hogg, and Hogg was closely related to the name Bacon. Nicholas replied that Hogg was not Bacon unless it was well hanged.
Bacon is capitalized to show a proper name as is indicated by the allusion. On page 53 of the Histories is the phrase,
"I have a Gammon of Bacon."
In Geffrey Whitney's "A Choice of Emblems" on page 53 there appears the Baconian emblem with the light "A" and dark "A", the pillars with "plus oltre" on them, the sow, and the letter "F" and "B" clearly present in the outlines of the ruins. It has been suggested that the number 53 was significant because the numerical value of lux (light) and also the numerical value of Fr Baco is 53. On the Cervantes crest on the title page of the 1605 edition of Don Quixote that was published in Madrid Spain appears the motto, "post tenebras spero lucum", i.e. "after darkness I hope for light." In addition, the month and a half referred to for the time it took to translate the work is close to the 40 days Shelton says it took him to translate Don Quixote. Okay, while I'm on a roll, here's another one. According to Ebenhof the familiar name of Sir Hen by which Lee was addressed by his acquaintances fueled quite a few allusions in Don Quixote. He alludes to the illustrated folio edition of "Don Quixote" published in London in 1687 by "J.P." (John Phillips) in which the following dialogue between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza is recorded immediately after Quixote has said that the author of Don Quixote was a necromancer:"How should he be a Necromancer, quote Sancho, for young Carrasco tells me, he writes his name Cid Hamet Hen-en-baken? That's an Arabian Name, reply'd Don Quixote. That may well be, Quote Sancho, for they say, your Arabians are great admirers of Hen and Bacon."
This seems to be an obvious allusion to Henry Lee (Sir Hen) and to Francis Bacon. Ebenhof goes on to note that the original Shelton edition, instead of the word `Hen-en-baken' used the word `Berengena', so that the name read "Cid Hamet Berengena". Berengena is Spanish for eggplant. Eggplant is another less obvious way of saying hen, since a hen is a plant for producing eggs. Another very interesting feature of Ebenhof's book is that he has a facsimile in his book of the portrait in the Spanish Academy that is supposed to be the "only true" portrait of Miguel de Cervantes. Although Ebenhof does not note the fact in his book this portrait bears a striking resemblance to a portrait of Sir Henry Lee. (I have used the portrait in "All the Queen's Men" for my comparison). Okay. That's enough Waldos for awhile. I want to leave some for the reader, and I don't want to be a Hogg and stay Hung up on this theme so long that I turn into Bacon. After Elizabeth's death in 1603, poor old Sir Henry Lee "regained his sanity" and retired to a peaceful life at his village in Ditchley. It is significant that he had been involved in his chivalry role for just over 20 years. There is a passage in Part II of Don Quixote where Sancho is discussing the remuneration he should receive from Quixote for his service. He says Quixote promised him he would be given a couple of reales for each month. The following curious dialogue ensures:`Well,' said Don Quixote, `and how long has it been since I made you the promise?' `If I'm not mistaken,' replied Sancho, `it must be more than twenty years and three days, more or less.' At this Don Quixote slapped his forehead with his hand and burst into a hearty laugh. `Why," he said, "with my wanderings in the Sierra and all the rest barely two months have gone by.'
It is interesting also that Don Quixote, was only published in Spain in 1605 after Elizabeth's death in 1603, and was published in Brussels in 1607, and in Italy in 1610, but was only published in England in 1612 after Henry Lee's death in 1610. Elizabeth's death brought two things: the accession of King James to the throne, and an end to the war with Spain. Here at last was peace, after all those long, long years of struggle. As Francis Bacon remarked,"With what wonderful still and calm the wheel is come around."
He expressed the idea somewhat more poetically through his Shakespeare mask: The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured And the sad auturs mock their own presage, Incertainties now crown themselves assured, And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Peace with Spain produced another result. This was Bacon's friendship with the very witty Spanish Ambassador, Gondomar. At a later date we see Bacon's friend Tobie Mathew traveling to Spain to carry messages between Bacon and Gondomar who lived in Madrid where the first part of Don Quixote was published in 1605. No doubt this was facilitated as a result of Bacon's friendship with Gondomar, but the question remains why did Bacon set the location of Don Quixote in Spain? Certainly one reason was that Sir Henry Lee might have recognized his portrait painted in the prose of the book. But there was yet another reason. In my essays on this site I have show that the Phoenix, Francis Bacon, in his quest for ancient knowledge made long flights to the most varied nations. For the Mysteries depicted in The Tempest he chose as his location the Mediterranean basin. For Ancient Cosmology in A Midsummer Night's Dream he chose Athens in Ancient Greece. For the myth of Proserpine in The Winter's Tale he had the Mediterranean basin again. For his treatise on ancient custom in Titus Andronicus he had ancient Rome. For astrology and Natural Magic in Romeo and Juliet he had Italy. For Witchcraft in Macbeth he had Scotland. For the ancient knowledge dealing with the tilting of the earth's axis in Hamlet he resorted to the mythology of ancient Denmark. For Alchemy in King Lear he used the setting of ancient Britain. For Isis in Antony and Cleopatra he used ancient Egypt. For the Saturnalia in Twelth Night he used the setting of Illyria, the ancient region along the east coast of the Adriatic and Greece. And for esoteric knowledge in Don Quixote he used, aptly enough, the setting of Spain. In their book "The Temple and the Lodge" Baigent and Leigh say:"In 1469, Ferdinand of Aragon married his cousin, Isabelle of Castile, from this union, modern Spain was born. In an access of apostolic zeal, Ferdinand and Isabelle embarked on a programme of `purification', whereby their united domains were to be systematically purged of all `alien' - that is, Judaic and Islamic - elements. What ensued was the era of the Spanish Inquisition and the auto-da-fe. As Carlos Fuentes has said, Spain, at this point banished sensuality with the Moors and intelligence with the Jews and proceeded to go sterile. But during the seven and a half centuries between the Battle of Poitiers and the reign of Ferdinand and Isabelle, Spain was a veritable repository for `esoteric' teachings. Indeed, the first major `esotericist' in Western tradition was the Majorcan Raymond Lull, or Lully, whose work was to exert an enormous influence on later European developments. But even apart from Lull, it was accepted that individuals seeking `esoteric' or mystical initiation had to make a statutory pilgrimage to Spain. In Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach claims his story to have derived ultimatedly from Spanish sources. Nicolas Flamel, probably the most celebrated of the early Western alchemists, is said to have learned the secrets of transmutation from a book obtained in Spain. For seven and a half centuries, then, Spain was to remain a source of `esoteric' inspiration. From Spain, material continued to filter into the rest of Europe, sometimes in a trickle, sometimes in a flood."
So Spain was an apt locale for a book dealing with `esoteric' knowledge. Spain with its addiction to tales of Chivalry allowed Bacon to disguise his book as a polemic against tales of Chivalry. In addition, I have shown in my earlier article, "The `Madness' of Don Quixote Eyed Awry" the connection of the Grail stories with the Knights Templar. After the Knight Templars were persecuted and officially dissolved a new Order, Montesa, was created in Spain. It is significant that Don Quixote's grail castle experience took place at Montesinos. Don Quixote is a huge sprawling novel that, in English translations at least, may well give an idea of laxness of expression. This is a false idea. There is an inherent terseness to the Spanish language that is frequently carried to its extreme in Don Quixote.
One of the better known translators (Samuel Putnam) says not infrequently the author is so very terse as to recall the famous, "Veni, vidi, vici" of Julius Caesar. This means that despite whatever may have been lost in the English translation, the reader had better keep a heads up attitude, and be mindful of shades of meaning. There is no better example of this than in the title of the book. In the customary directness of our English language the book is most commonly referred to as Don Quixote. The version of one of the most widely encountered translations, that of J.M. Cohen, displays the title, "The Adventures of Don Quixote" on the title page. When the book first appeared in Madrid Spain in 1605, however, the name on the title page was, "El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote De La Mancha." And a faithful rendition of this is given by Putnam as, " The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote De La Mancha". Scholars have long recognized that there is a problem with this. Don Quixote was a man whose mind had been obsessed by fantasy. "Ingenious" doesn't express this idea. Ingenious is better expressed by words such as resourceful, clever, cunning, or crafty. But none of these seem to apply to Quixote.
So translators from time to time have come up with alternatives, such as "Imaginative", or "Visionary". But if that was what the author meant he surely would have used "Imaginativo", or "Visionario", or even "Quimerico". We could say that the alternate meaning of Don Quixote "the one who hides himself" points to the author, and that the author was certainly ingenious. But this doesn't capture what is in the title. For "Ingenious" in the title applies to the Don Quixote who is the hero of the book, and we still have to determine why Don Quixote was ingenious. In my previous article "The `Madness" of Don Quixote Eyed Awry" I have tried to demonstrate that the adventures of Don Quixote deal with certain scenarios in the trials and ordeals of initiatism in general, and more specifically in the Grail Quest. In order to understand why Don Quixote was "ingenious" it is necessary to explore this concept further. The story of human existence may be one sided. It may be a chronicle of a biological process in the natural world in which we are body alone and dust is our destiny. Or it may have a supernatural contingency in which case there is a possibility for the soul, and for life beyond this life and a world beyond this world. In the first case we live a short life and die like any other animal. In the second the prospect is immortality. But there are also two ways of viewing the second prospect. Immortality may be something that is already ours, albeit we ourselves determine whether the eternity after this brief life is spent in eternal agony or eternal bliss. Opposed to this idea is the idea that immortality is not a given but a possibility, and can only be gained through arduous labor whereby we change the nature of our being and crystallize that portion of our being that has the possibility of immortality. This latter scenario pertains to the world of the initiate.
In "In Search of the Miraculous" P.D. Ouspensky says that, according to Gurdjieff, there are three Ways, or Paths open to the individual who seeks to attain immortality, that are directly related to the aspects of man's being: 1. The Physical Way - The Way of the Fakir 2. The Emotional Way - The Way of the Monk 3. The Mental Way - The Way of the Yogi and The Way of the Fakir is the way of struggle with the physical body. This is a long, difficult and uncertain Way. The individual on this Path seeks to develop physical will, power over the body. Such power can only be obtained by terrible sufferings, by torturing the body, and may end with the body too broken for further advancement. The Way of the Monk is the way of faith. This man spends years struggling with himself. Subjecting all his other emotions to faith, he develops unity in himself. The third Way, the way of the yogi is the way of knowledge, the way of the mind. But there is still another Way. This is sometimes called the Way of the sly man. The sly man knows some secret that the followers of the three Ways do not know. He does not just slavishly follow one of the three ways, he is INGENIOUS. This seems to me to be the source of the idea of "ingenious" as applied to Don Quixote.
Don Quixote: an Allegory of the Great Work
Don Quixote deals with a very special aspect of esoteric knowledge. It is an allegory of what has been termed "The Great Work". This was the science of the regeneration of fallen man. Gurdjieff spoke of an aspect of man that exists in an embryonic state within him. He called this The Essence. The Sufis described something they call the "Organ of Evolution" that exists in an embryonic state in man and that must be developed and working in man in order for the functions of instinct, emotion and intellectual to be transmuted and for man to attain higher stages of being. In her book, "A Suggestive Inquiry Into the Hermetic Mystery" Mary Ann Atwood says man is endowed with the germ of a higher faculty, and when this faculty is developed, or set free, it can transmute the other aspects of man's being to a higher state. She says this was what the alchemists referred by their term, "The Philosopher's Stone".
Although the specific framework of Don Quixote is that of the Grail Knights, in its more general aspect it deals with this very old and universally known science. This was the science of Hermes Trismegistus, who was known as the Thrice Great because he was the complete master of this science. This was the science of the initiates. The science which was taught at the school of the prophets on Mount Carmel in old Palestine, and with which the Holy Bible deals from beginning to end. This was the science that the blind poet Homer concealed in the allegory of his two immortal epics. This was the science that flourished in the hands of the Eumolpidae at proud Eleusis-whence it was known as the Telestic Work. This was the science of which Virgil was an intimate, and the doting Dante with his celestial Beatrice a votary. This was the science of which the troubadours sang in the tales of their Lady. This was the science of the Knights in their Quest for the Holy Grail. This was the science of the Sufis. The science the Alchemists practiced, and termed "The Great Work". The science enshrined in the deathless Shakespeare plays. This was the science for the sake of which, that tireless seeker of knowledge, George Gurdjieff, searched the unexplored regions of Asia for decades, enduring incredible hardships. This is the science the wisest, noblest, and best of men have made their life work. And this was the science of that Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha.
When, at the beginning of his adventures Quixote arrives at the Inn, and the Inn keeper comes out and sees Quixote in his grotesque garb, clad in bits of armor that were quite as oddly matched as were his bridle, lance, buckler, and corselet. We are signaled that he is on the Path. The wearing of patched cloaks was a Sufi custom, the mark of the practicing Sufi on the Path, and has been seen in almost every part of Asia and Europe for nearly fourteen hundred years. When Parzival goes forth on his adventure he is also dressed in patchwork. This patchwork signals an important group of meanings. The first is how the Sufi appears when he is talking or behaving in terms of an extra cognition, imperceptible to ordinary man. This is a sign of the "madness" that is wisdom, the "divine fool". Parzival was a "divine fool". Quixote was a "madman". The patchwork dress also implies heedlessness. The man on the Path is heedless of things that seem most important to ordinary man, but which, objectively, may have another significance. The man who begins the Path faces familiar obstacles symbolized by the people at the Inn. There are the two "ladies" of easy virtue, symbolizing the sexual appetites, and there is the swineherd symbolizing the physical appetites in general. These are the qualities the man who begins the Path must contend with.
The science of the Great Work is at odds with Christianity since Christianity does not realize that faith is not sufficient. There must be a change in one's being in order to have the chance for immortal life. This clash with Christianity is symbolized in the meeting by Don Quixote while he is in the Inn with the lass from Asturia. The lass from Asturia is described as broad-faced, flatheaded, with a snub nose. She is blind in one eye and cannot see very well out of the other. And her other defects were "improved" by her bodily "graces". She was very short, slightly hunchbacked, and she had to keep looking at the ground a good deal more than she liked. In the episode in the dark in the Inn, the muleteer had arranged to meet with this paragon of loveliness to have a little sport with her that night. She had given him her Word that, as soon as the guests were quiet and her master and mistress asleep, she would come to him and let him have his way. And it must be said of the good lass that she never made such a promise without keeping it, for she prided herself greatly upon being a lady and keeping her word. Don Quixote's makeshift bed was the first one encountered upon entering the room. As Quixote lay there, his mind filled with mad visions of knightly exploits the lovely lass from Asturia, clad in her nightgown and barefoot, bumped into his bed in the darkness.
When the Moors conquered Spain, or al-Andalus, as Moorish Spain was always known in the Arabic speaking world, northern Spain in the Asturias remained Christian. So the Sufi knowledge and the Sufi teaching were not assimilated there. Compared with the esoteric teaching of the Sufi knowledge Christianity was blind in one eye, and could not see very well out of the other. Christianity had no concept of the special knowledge and techniques required to attain higher states of consciousness, and, as a consequence, was like the lass from Asturia who had to keep looking at the ground a good deal more than she liked. And the episode is depicted is taking place in the darkness. The lack of light has been a feature of Christianity all down the centuries. The man on the Path develops a special quality of discrimination at odds with the formal intellect. The pattern thinking derived from the familiar world cannot be applied to true reality because true reality moves in another dimension. Because the average person thinks in patterns and cannot accommodate himself to a really different point of view, he loses much of the meaning in life. The man on the Path adds a new dimension to his consciousness, refusing to accept for specific, limited purposes that truth is something that can be measured as can anything else. To someone whose perception is thus sharpened there is more than one dimension to situations in life. The net effect is experiencing different levels of meaning at once and awakens the innate capacity for understanding on a comprehensive, more objective manner than is possible to the ordinary way of thinking. A good example of this is Don Quixote first adventure. Quixote's first adventure after he is dubbed a knight at the inn is his "rescue" of young Andres from a beating at the hands of the boy's master. Andres was bound to an oak naked from the waist up crying, "I won't do it again. I won't do it again" while a lusty farmer lashed his back. When Quixote stopped the farmer, the farmer said,"this lad that I am punishing here is my servant; he tends a flock of sheep which I have in these parts and he is so careless that every day one of them shows up missing. And when I punish him for his carelessness or his roguery, he says it is just because I am a miser and do not want to pay him the wages that I owe him, but I swear to God and upon my soul that he lies."
Quixote forces the farmer to release the lad and makes him promise that he will pay him what he owes. After this Quixote puts the spurs to Rocinante and continues on his way. After he is gone the Farmer ties Andres to the tree again and flogs him within an inch of his life. The surface interpretation of this episode is that the "mad" Quixote was very trusting and na pay Andres his back wages and treat him well thereafter. Further evidence of his naivet, was that he brushed aside the boy's misgivings and left him at the mercy of his cynical employer, riding off well pleased to have begun his knight-errantry in so auspicious a fashion. But there is more to this episode than appears on the surface. The farmer symbolizes the "might" of our physical being. We make a resolution, with an "oath" perhaps that we will change our nature, and continue on our way. But lip service is not enough because the physical nature reasserts its mastery. Another perspective on this episode is the nature of young Andres. If the farmer was telling the truth the nature of Andres went beyond negligence. He was a thief. For sheep to disappear so regularly over nine months, Andres must have been stealing the sheep. Indeed this is what was implied at the beginning when Andres kept say, "I won't do it again! I won't do it again!" This statement by Andres contradicts his own earlier accusation, that his master had fabricated charges specifically in order not to pay his wages. In this light Andres has all the makings of a rogue. And after his later meeting with Quixote and Sancho he departs, fittingly, toward Seville. In many of Cervantes' works Seville is the haven of rogues. The light this perspective throws on the episode is that perhaps Quixote was not acting as the "madman" he is commonly viewed as, but as the "divine fool" who sees the reality of the situation and leaves Andres to a just retribution. There is yet another possible significance to this episode. It is possible that it symbolizes that the "ingenious gentleman Don Quixote" had devised a special technique whereby he utilized the brute force of his physical nature to oppose undesirable traits of his character.
The next adventure of Quixote is the famous "tilting at windmills" adventure. When Quixote engages in the battle with the windmill he believes he is fighting with a giant. The man on the Path IS engaged in a battle with a giant he fights against the physical force of the every day world.
The world in which we are shackled to the necessity of laboring for our "daily bread" to feed that "animal" our physical body, and which keeps us from a higher reality. What are windmills? Windmills grind wheat, from which our daily bread is made. Quixote seeks something beyond his "daily bread", and thus engages in a deadly struggle with the monster-the windmill. The battle with pattern thinking is shown again by Quixote's epic battle with the two flocks of sheep. As Quixote and Sancho were crossing a broad plain they saw two large flocks of sheep coming from opposite directions toward each other along a road. Or at least, this is what Sancho saw. Quixote saw two great armies about to meet and clash in the middle of the broad plain. That the sheep were moving from opposite directions symbolized that all pattern thinking is composed of the great armies of opposites that exist in the world. Sheep are used so often to represent pattern thinking that it has become a cliche. People have no ideas of their own, but follow others like a herd of sheep, and so on. And Quixote, as he views them, has all kind of ideas that follows the notions he gained from reading his books of chivalry, all in accordance with pattern thinking. But Quixote, the man on the Path, gave battle. He charged in and began spearing at the sheep right and left, thus symbolizing his struggle against pattern thinking. The Great Work was called the "spagyric" (separative) art because it required separating the subtle from the gross nature. This required going within to make contact with the pure essence of ones being. The process had to be repeated again and again and the trials and labors were immense.
Mary Ann Atwood says the work should not be considered as a mental recreation since a concentrated attention was necessary, and also that before this inmost nature could be brought to its ultimate perfection, the process must be repeated many times. To express this, Bacon used a variant of the old tale that originated in the orient. He amusingly illustrates it in a tale told by Sancho. The form in which the original tale was fashioned in the orient normally had a man with a fox, a goose, and a bag of corn, who had found a boat only large enough for him and one of the other three. These three symbolized the three aspects of man's being. Since the fox would eat the goose, and the goose would eat the corn he must be both ingenious and industrious by making an extra trip in order to get them across. This is the version of the story Gurdjieff uses. Bacon, however, uses a version that stresses the concentrated attention that is required, and the great number of times the process must be repeated. Apparently, he took the ingenuity that was required as a given since it was already included in the title of his book.
Sancho begins the tale by saying, "Pay attention, I am about to begin." Then he launches into a long rambling tale about a man who tended goats who lived in the village of Estremadura. This man made up his mind to leave the village because the shepherd lass with whom he was in love had given certain grounds for jealousy, and he made up his mind to leave so he would never see her again. When he came to the Guadiana River it was swollen almost out of its banks. In trying to find a way to cross he saw a fisherman alongside a boat so small that it would only hold one person and a goat. Nevertheless, he spoke to the man, who agreed to take the shepherd and his flock of three hundred to the opposite bank. The fisherman would climb into the boat and row one of the animals across and then return for another, and he kept this up, rowing across with a goat and coming back, rowing across and coming back." At this point Sancho tells Quixote that he must keep count of the goats that the fisherman rowed across the stream, for if a single one of them escapes his memory, the story is ended and it will not be possible to tell another word of it."I will go on, then", said Sancho, "and tell you that the landing place on the other side was full of mud and slippery, and it took the fisherman a good while to make the trip each time; but in spite of that, he came back for another goat, and another, and another-" "Just say he rowed them all across," said Don Quixote; "you need not be coming and going in that manner, or it will take you a year to get them all on the other side." "How many have gone across up to now?" Sancho demanded. "How the devil should I know?" replied Don Quixote. "There, what did I tell you? You should have kept better count. Well, then, by God, the story's ended, for there is no going on with it." "How can that be?" said Quixote, "Is it so essential to know the exact number of goat that if I lose count of one of them you cannot tell the rest of the tale?" "No sir, I cannot by any means," said Sancho; "for when I asked your Grace to tell me how many goats had been rowed across and you replied that you did not know, at that very instant everything that I was about to say slipped my memory; and you may take my word for it, it was very good and you would have liked it." "So," said Don Quixote, "the story is ended, is it?" "As much ended as my own mother is," Sancho replied. "Well, then," said Don Quixote, "I can assure you that you have told me one of the most novel fables, stories, or histories that anyone in the world could possibly conceive. And I may add that such a way of telling and ending it has never been nor will be heard of in the course of a lifetime; although I expected nothing else from one with a wit like yours. However, I do not marvel at it, for it is possible that those ceaseless blows we hear have disturbed your understanding." (Notice here that Bacon draws attention to the variation both in the way the story is told and in the way the story is ended). "Anything may be," said Sancho, "but in the matter of my story, I know that there is nothing more to be told, for it ends where you begin to lose count of the number of goats that have crossed."
There are many references in Don Quixote indicating a connection with the Grail legends that could easily be overlooked. For example, in Part II, in the introductory letter of the Count of Lemos we are told that that in regards to a second part of Don Quixote:"The one who has shown himself most eager in this regard is the Emperor of China, who about a month ago dispatched to me by courier a letter written in the Chinese language, in which he requested or, more properly speaking, implored, me to send the Knight to him, since he wished to found a college where the Castilian tongue should be read and he desired that the book to be used should be the story of Don Quixote."
In his booklet, "The Adepts in The Western Esoteric Tradition - Part One: Orders of the Quest" Manly Palmer Hall says:"While at first thought it seems remarkable that a Troubadour like Wolfram von Eschenbach should associate the Grail legend with Inner Asia, the circumstance is not so strange as might appear. Christian missionaries of the Syrian Church are believed to have reached China as early as the 3rd century A.D." And he continues: "In 1338 a delegation of sixteen person sent by the Emperor of China arrived at the court of the Pope, who was then throned in Avignon."
There is another significance to the allusion of China in this context. In his book, "The Sufis" Idries Shah says that, "Seek knowledge, even as far as China" is a traditional Sufi slogan which has a hidden meaning. According to Shah "China" is the code word for mind concentration, one of the Sufi practices that is an essential prerequisite to Sufi development. In Arabic the word "China" is SYN which decodes to form a word: QN. And this word represents, in Arabic, the concept of "scrutinizing, observing", and is therefore taken as a symbol of concentration. In my article, "The `Madness" of Don Quixote Eyed Awry" I have stressed the point that the movement from Part I to Part II of Don Quixote represents the movement from the outer to the inner world. Therefore, it is highly significance that just at the beginning of Part II the reference to China should be made. In my previous article on Don Quixote I showed its close association with the Quest for the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar. When they were suppressed, the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping a head, sometimes called the Baphomet or Bafomet. According to Indries Shah the Baphomet was none other than the symbol of the completed man. He notes that the shield of Hugues de Payen, the founder of the Templars, had three black human head-the heads of knowledge. And he further notes the use of this "wondrous head" theme recurs throughout medieval history. Shah says,"Pope Gerbert (Silvester II) who studied in Moorish Spain, is stated to have made a brazen head, among many other marvelous `magical' things. Albertus Magnus spent thirty years making his marvelous brass head. Thomas Quinas, pupil at the time to Albertus, smashed the head, which `talked' too much."
Shah says that in Arabic, "brass" is spelled SuFR, and is connected with the concept of "yellowness." The "head of brass" is a rhyming homonym for "head of gold," which is spelled in exactly the same way, and this was a Sufi phrase used to refer to a person whose inner consciousness had been "transmuted into gold" by means of Sufi study and activity. So the talking head that Don Antonio showed Don Quixote when he and Sancho arrived at Barcelona had significance in the saga of the man on the Path. This curiosity he kept in his house, the talking head made of bronze after the model of the famous brass head of Roger Bacon symbolized a high stage in the transmutation of consciousness, and thus that Quixote had attained a very high level on the Path. It is significant that this incident takes place near the end of the book. It is significant also that Don Quixote makes three journeys of adventure, returning to his starting place and leaving on his next journey from there, before he is shown as dying at the end of the Part II of the book. The Sufi teaching describes four journeys that the man on the Path must make. But the fourth journey deals with guidance in the transition from what is generally considered to be physical death to a further stage of development that is invisible to the ordinary person. Don Quixote seems to have followed this convention. The fourth journey is the one that takes place after he dies.
Don Quixote's Fourth Journey
In connection with Don Quixote's fourth journey I refer you now to an interesting allusion in Thomas Vaughan's "The Fraternity of the Rosy Cross". Vaughan says:"I am in a humour to affirm the existence of that admirable chimaera, the Fraternity of R.C. And now, Gentlemen, I thank you: I have air and room Enough. Methinks you sneak and steal from me, as if the plague and this Red Cross were inseparable. Take my `Lord have mercy' along with you, For I pity your sickly brains, and certainly as to your present state the Inscription is not unseasonable. But in lieu of this some of you may Advise me to an assertion of the Capreols of del Phaebo OR A REVIEW OF THE LIBRARY OF THAT DISCREET GENTLEMAN OF THE MANCHA; for in your opinion those Knights and these Brothers are Equally invisible."
This allusion seems to indicate a covert link between Don Quixote and the Rosicrucians. It should be noted that Don Quixote is related by another allusion to the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.
In Part II of Don Quixote, Quixote tells Sancho Panza that, "post tenebras spero lucum", i.e. "after darkness I hope for light." And in the illustration of Cervantes' crest in the 1605 first edition of Don Quixote, inside the rectangle which has the "B" at the top, the "A" on the left side, and the "CON" at the bottom spelling out `BACON' there is a border with the same words, "post tenebras spero lucum". Bringing light out of darkness was the great theme of the Rosicrucian order. Also Freemasonry, which has been linked by a number of scholars with the Rosicrucians, had the same theme. In his book, "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" Albert G. Mackey says the great motto of the Masonic order is "lux e tenebris" -Light out of darkness."
Curiously, Sir Walter Raleigh, who I have connected to the Rosicrucian Fraternity in my previous essays, appeared to be addressing the same idea with his last words on the scaffold. . Raleigh said:"I thank God of his infinite goodness that he hath vouchsafed me to die IN THE LIGHT, in the sight of so honourable an assembly, and NOT IN DARKNESS."
He addressed this comment to a small group of men, the Earls of Arundale and Northampton, and Viscount who were in Sir Randal Crew's window which was some distance from the scaffold. It seems Raleigh was quite intent on having his words heard for he went on to say:"I will strain my voice, for I would willingly have your Honours hear me."
The Lords at this address came up upon the scaffold, and Raleigh repeated his words:"As I said, I thank God heartedly that he hath brought me INTO THE LIGHT to die, and hath not suffered me to die IN THE DARK prison of the Tower."
Thomas Vaughan's writings are interesting in a number of ways. They have much in common with those others works Bacon put forth under his various masks. Many passages in Vaughan's writings suggest the prose of Francis Bacon. Moreover, George Herbert the close friend of Francis Bacon in his later years, was also the contemporary and kinsman of Thomas Vaughan. The major problem with connecting Bacon to the Vaughan works is the time frame in which they appeared. The first of these works appeared in 1650, long after the presumed death of Bacon in 1626. In addition, there is a further mystery connected with this. Vaughan wrote under the name of Eugenius Philalethes. In the year 1667, presumably two years after Vaughan died there appeared in Amsterdam a work entitled INTROITUS APERTUS AD OCCLUSUM REGIS PALATIUM (An Open Entrance to the Shut Palace of the King), the author being listed as Eirenaeus Philalethes. This unknown person immediately sprang into fame as a writer of exceptional authority on the "Great Work" of alchemy, and as the premiere hermetic author. Eirenaeus also wrote the even more famous work on alchemy, "Ripley Revived". In the preface to the "Open Entrance" the author says that he wrote the work in 1645 in the twenty-third year of his life. That would have made his birth date the same as Vaughan's in 1622. In addition, in 1705 the works was published at Hamburg under the name of Thomas de Vagan. Arthur Edward Waite, that ultra cautious writer on all things occult was even moved to speculate"whether Vaughan really died in 16665, whether he did not change his local habitation, adopting another pseudonym as he had done once previously."
Waite might have more pertinently turned his attention to the question of whether Francis Bacon actually died at the time his death was thought to have taken place. Putatively Francis Bacon died in 1626. But there are a number of curious features related to his death. The immediate cause of Bacon's "death" was quinsy of the throat resulting from a curious and somewhat unbelievable incident. An interestingly enough, considering Bacon's propensity for the jest, the incident took place on April Fool's day. According to the story the notion had taken Bacon while out riding (on April Fool's day) to procure a chicken in order to test the power of snow to preserve its body. This is curious since Bacon's works demonstrate he was familiar with the principles of refrigeration. The "chicken story" lays an egg because the knowledge was already in Bacon's possession. There was no reason for him to make the experiment.
Another point is worth noting. Bacon was a man who exercised a great deal of care regarding the conservation of his own health. In this connection he remarked that he had been, "puttering with psychic all his life", and he also never seemed to forget anything. Yet his father (or foster father) Nicholas Bacon, had died as a result of contracting a chill in curiously similar circumstances. The story oppresses credulity even more when it is noted that Bacon being placed in a damp bed following his exposure augmented the chill. The story is simply "all wet" as regards someone as careful about safeguarding his own health as Bacon was. It is well documented that Bacon had an irrepressible sense of humor. An April Fool's joke would have appealed to his sense of humor. No doubt, the events that followed his alleged death would have appealed to his sense of humor also. It was as if Bacon's "death" was a trigger, his closest friends began dropping like flies. Certainly the circumstances which took place in regards to four of Bacon's closest friends were highly curious. Two of these (George Herbert and Thomas Bushell) dropped out of sight for a period of exactly three years shortly after Bacon's "death" and two (John Davies and Lancelot Andrewes) were stricken with sudden illnesses and died soon after Bacon "died". George Herbert had used every possible influence to gain the coveted position of orator at Trinity College in Cambridge. The way seemed open for advances at Court. Yet when the alleged death of Bacon took place in April of 1626, Herbert tarried only long enough to take a prominent part in the volume of Cambridge verses commemorating Bacon's "death" and then went into seclusion. From the seventh poem in memory of his mother, written in the summer of 1627 it appears he was living in a country cottage with a luxuriant flower garden. Was it merely a coincidence that Bacon was very fond of flowers and always insisted on having them around him?
One of Bacon's last works was a book called "The History of Life and Death." Bacon believed the human life span could be prolonged indefinitely. In this book he states "he was using the techniques he had evolved for prolongation of human life" on himself. After surveying numerous techniques, he says,"There are other more secret methods of prolonging life (but these I reserve for myself)".
It is very interesting that, in one of the treatises on the ancient myths, in the "Wisdom of the Ancient" Bacon lets slip an apparently careless remark. This remark has to do with prolonging life and is connected with one of the Shakespeare plays that gives in allegory a more secret method of prolonging life. In volume Two of his collected writing in the chapter on "Francis Bacon" Manly Palmer Hall says that in the British Museum there is a small woodblock print, of crude execution. This woodblock print depicts Lord Bacon with his well-known beard, hat, and ruff, but otherwise arrayed in the costume of a fashionable court lady, stepping mincingly in high-heeled slippers from the map of England onto the map of Europe. It is believed by some that Bacon went to Holland after his faked death because Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King James, and her husband, along with their retinue went there after their Rosicrucian connected regime collapsed in the Palatinate. It is significant that the "Open Entrance" was first published in Holland. It is believed that in Holland Bacon lived in seclusion while continuing his writing. There is information about a certain revered figure known as "Father Cats" who was a gentleman farmer, and who was noted as a Dutch poet, humorist, and author of a number of books. In the Sixth Book of the Advancement of Learning, Bacon defines his method as "traditionem Lampadis, the Delivery of the Lampe, or the Method bequeathed to the sonnes of Sapience."
In connection with this idea of the lamp of tradition there is a very interesting book, "Alle de Wercken" by a certain Jacob Cats, published in Amsterdam in 1655. Jacob Cats wrote many emblem books. It is also known that at some earlier period he had spent considerable time in England, and that he lived to a great age. Among Cats' emblems in "Alle de Wercken" is one with the title "Lampado trado" in which an old man hands the lamp of tradition across an open grave to a young man with an extravagantly large rose on his shoe buckle. The old man bears a striking resemblance to John Dee, and the large rose on the shoe buckle of the young man is exactly like that that appears on the statue of Bacon above his supposed tomb in St. Michael's Church at St. Albans. Half a century later a man similar to Bacon, matching his physical description, and possessing his mental traits, sometimes called, "the man who knew everything" appeared under the name of the Count St. Germain in France at the time of the French Revolution.
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