The Famous Speech of Sir Thomas More


W. S. Melsome, M.A., M. D.

This essay appeared in Baconiana 1943




Lately the papers and magazines have been filled with articles and comments on the so-called "new" Shakespeare find. As a matter of fact this MSS. was first discovered in 1871 - over 50 years ago and now brought out again to counteract the wave of Baconianism which is sweeping over the world of letters.

The LITERARY DIGEST, as we go to press, brings out an article entitled, "The Baconian Theory in Danger", and the process of reasoning in this article is most interesting.

The DIGEST takes the position that if Shakespeare wrote the few lines in question, it shows that he was not an illiterate, and therefore wrote the plays. In other words, the inference is plain that in the opinion of the Digest the test of literacy is all that is required to determine the authorship of Shakespeare! Verily this process of reasoning is past finding out! The question of the Actor's illiteracy represents but a small fraction of one percent of the Baconian case.

In our opinion the More MSS. could not have been written by the same hand that signed the Shakspere Will, for the simple reason that the More MSS. is legible and the Will signature is not.
In the Digest Article Mr. Sothern and Miss Marlowe are quoted as stating that the large letter S is formed in the More MSS. similarly to the form in the Signature. If these distinguished artists would but examine the Northumberland MSS. reproduced in this issue they would find many of the same S's, that form being very common in the Elizabethan script.
Why does not the DIGEST write up the Northumberland MSS., by far the most interesting Shakespearean document ever unearthed? We will cheerfully furnish the needed plates and information. WILLARD PARKER, American Baconiana 1924


The play of Sir Thomas More is the last of the Shakespeare Apocrypha, edited by C. F. Tucker Brooke, which may be found in almost any library. In Act II, Scene IV, there is a famous speech written by a man who believed in the divine right of kings. He believed that Religion was the chief support of a king, and that the most effective way of holding the attention of a mob was by question and answer.
In the time of of Henry VIII Thomas More quelled a rebellion in London, for which he was raised to the title of Sir Thomas More. Taking for his text the Latin version of Psalm LXXXII, 6 and 7, he preached religion to the rebels, and told them that because they resisted the king's government they were in arms against God himself.

More Let me set up before your thoughts, good friends,
On supposition; which if you will mark,
You shall perceive how horrible a shape
Your innovation bears: first, 'tis a sin
Which oft th'apostle did forewarn us of,
Urging obedience to authority
And 'twere no error if I told you all,
You were in arms 'gainst your God himself.
Rebels Marry, God forbid that!
More Nay, certainly you are;
For to the King God hath his office LENT,
Of dread, of justice, power and command.
Hath bid him rule and will'd you to obey;
And to add ampler majesty to this,
He hath not only LENT the King his FIGURE,
His throne and sword, but GIVEN him his own name,
Calls him a god on earth.
(II, 4, 121).
Bacon "A King is a mortal God on earth unto whom the living God hath LENT his own name as a great honour; but withal told him he should die like a man, lest he should be proud and flatter himself that God hath with his name IMPARTED unto him his nature also." (Essay of a King).

* Obey then that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls (Hebrews, XIII, 17). See also Romans, XIII, I.

In the lat three lines of More's speech we have 'lent,' 'given,' and 'a God on earth'; and in Bacon we have 'a God on earth,' 'lent' and 'imparted unto'; and 'given' and 'imparted unto' are all one.

Bacon "Kings are stiled Gods upon earth, not absolute, but Dixi Dii estis, and the next words are, sed moriemini sicut homines; they shall die like men." (Life, VI,p. 15)

Latin Bible "Ergo dixi Dii estis.....vos autem sicut homines moriemini et sicut unus de principibus cadetis."(Psalm LXXXII, 6 and 7,)*
(I have said, ye are gods....... But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes).
Shakespeare As regards "those mysteries which heaven will not have earth to know." (Coriolanus, IV, 2 ,35).
Bacon "We ought not to attempt to draw down or to submit the mysteries of God to our reason." (Advancement of Learning, II, 6, I)
"The Secrets of God must not be searched into." (Vol. II p. 218)
More And if God "hath lent the King his figure" (More's speech), then the King must be "the figure of God's majesty."
And if "the secrets of God must not be searched into," neither must the secrets of "the figure of God's majesty"(the King) nor of "him that God himself installs"(The King).
Nashe For "Kings are Gods on earth their actions must not be sounded by their subjects." (Vol. II, p. 218)

* In the 1669 Latin Bible, the quotation is in Psalm LXXXI

And Shakespeare must have thought the same when he wrote,

And shall the figure of God's majesty (Richard II)
Be judged by subject? (Richard II, IV, I, 125)

In a letter to King James, Bacon calls him "God's lieutenant on earth"(Life, V, p.249), and in another place he says,

Bacon "All precepts concerning Kings are in effect comprehended in those two remembrances, 'Memento quod es homo' and 'Memento quod es Deus,' or 'Vice Dei.'"(Essay XIX).
(Remember that thou art a man; and remember that thou are a God, or vice-God).
Bacon And "To resist (or rise against) God's vice-Gods (Dei vices) like making war on God himself" (Theomachia quaedam ,Works, I, p. 692)
More What do you then,
Rising 'gainst him that God himself installs
But rise 'gainst God?
* (II, 4, 128)


More 'Twere no error if I told you all,
You were in arms 'gainst your God himself. (Ib, II, 4, 118)

* "The powers that be are ordained by God." (Romans, XIII, I)

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Come now for a moment to Measure for Measure.

When Moore quelled the London rebellion Henry VIII was the man of absolute power and place here in England; and, in Measure for Measure, the duke was the man of "absolute power and place here in Vienna," and when he delivered over to Lord Angelo "my absolute power and place" he asked Escalus,

What FIGURE of us think you he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply,
LENT him our terror, dress'd him in our love,
And GIVEN his deputation all the organs
Of our own power, what think you of it?
Escalus If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is Lord Angelo.

The question "what figure of us think you he will bear?" implies that the duke had lent Angelo his figure, asin More's speech :

And, to add ampler majesty to this,
He hath not only lent the King his figure.

And in place of "Lent him our terror," More says, "To the King God hath his office lent, of dread," etc. And "dread" and "terror" are all one. And in place of More's "given him his own name, calls him a God on earth," the Duke says, "Given his deputation all the organs of our own power," such as "his throne and sword" (of justice)and made him equal to a King who is " a mortal God on earth" ; for as Henry VIII was the supreme equity judge in his time, so was Angelo in his. And of those words "ample grace and honour" used by Escalus in his reply; "ample" brings us back to More's "ampler majesty to this"; and "honour" brings us back to Bacon's

"Lent him his own name as a great honour." (Essay of a King);

ample to ampler, and honour to honour.

"Dress'd him in our love":-

Addressing the judges in the Star Chamber, 1617, Bacon dressed them in his love, where he says, "Do good to the people, love them and give them justice."(Life, VI, p. 211)
The duke (a judge) addressing Angelo (another judge), says,

Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart.
(Measure for Measure, I. 1. 45)

And although

We have strict statutes and most biting laws
The needful bits and curbs to HEADSTRONG steeds.
(Measure for Measure I, 3, 20)

Bacon "Nevertheless I would not have you HEAD-STRONG but heart strong."

(Life, VI, p. 201)

For the rest see Baconiana (April 1941, p. 175)

Bacon " He (the King) must make Religion the rule of government.....And the King that holds not Religion the best reason of State, is void of all piety and justice the supporters of a King." (Essay of a King)

More's speech is based upon the supposition that Religion is the chief support of a King. He uses Religion to quell the rebels, and puts his own interpretation on the Scripture where he says, "Calls him a god on earth," so that he can put this further question to them, and tell them how to make amends :

Moore What do you to your souls
In doing this ? O, desperate as you are,
Wash your foul minds with tears, and those same hands
That you like rebels lift against the peace,
Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,
Make them your feet to kneel to be forgiven!
(II, 4, 131)
Where do we find something like this in Shakespeare? Surely in the Jack Cade rebellion, where Lord Say, like Sir Thomas More, puts a question to the rebels, makes use of religion and shows a similar regard for their souls :

If when you make your prayers,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
How would it fare with your departed souls?
And therefore yet relent. (2HenryVI, IV, 7, 121).

Similarly in Measure for Measure :

How would you be
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made. (II 2, 75)

Why, all the souls that were forfeit once. (Ibid, II, 2, 73).

And where do we find a woman making her knees her feet?
Surely in Richard II, where the Dutchess of York, pleading for Rutland's life, says to
King Henry IV

For ever will I walk upon my knees. (Richard II, V, 3, 93)

Bacon " He (the King) must always resemble him whose great name he beareth, and that in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy." (Essay of a King)


Shakespeare "Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge." (Titus, I, 1, 119)

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthy power (the King's) doth then show likest
When mercy seasons justice. (Merchant of Venice, IV, 1. 194)

Bacon "And justice and mercy are the true supporters of his royal throne." (Life, VI, p. 37)

More Say now the King,
As he is clement, if the offender mourn. ( II, 4, 144)

Did not Rutland, the traitor, kneel down before King Henry IV and mourn for his misdeeds? And did not the King use his earthy power when it shows likest God's, by saying, 'I pardon him as God shall pardon me'? (Richard II, V, 3, 131) And was this not the reason why the Dutchess of York said to the King,

"A God on earth thou art"? (Richard II, V, 3, 137)

But More is not thinking of Henry IV, but of Henry VIII, so we must give another example.

Bacon " If the heads of the tribes can be taken off, and the misled multitude will see the errors they wandered in, and return to their obedience, an extent of mercy is both honourable and profitable." (Life, VI, p. 46)
In the London rebellion was not Lincoln, the head of the rebel tribe, taken off? And did not the "misled multitude" see the errors they wandered in, and return to their obedience? And did not the King (Henry VIII) show clemency to the offenders because they mourned for their misdeeds?



Who by repentance is not satisfied
Is nor of heaven nor earth, for these are pleased.
By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased. (Two Gentlemen of Verona, V, 4, 79)

On the other hand
Bacon "No virtue is so often delinquent as clemency." (Exempla Antitorum).
Shakespeare because, "Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy." (Timon of Athens, III, 5, 3).

For we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass
And not the punishment. ( Measure for Measure I, 3, 37)

Bacon Therefore, although the King "must always resemble him whose great name he beareth, and that in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy," yet 'so in this not to suffer a man of death to live." ( Essay of a King)
Bacon "Mercy in such a case in a king is true cruelty." (Life, VI, p. 46)

Bacon "Solomon saith " That the mercies of the wicked are cruel; such is the sparing to use the sword of justice upon wicked and guilty men." (De Augmentis , VIII, II, parabola 14)
For sparing justice feeds iniquity. (Lucrece, 1687)


Bacon "Mercy of this kind is more cruel than cruelty itself; for cruelty affects but particular persons (such as the murderer or traitor) whereas impunity to crime arms and lets loose the whole army of evil doers and drives them upon the innocent." (De Augmentis VIII, II, parabola 14)
In Measure for Measure the penalty for Claudio's offence was death, therefore he was what Bacon calls "a man of death" and when Isabel asked the supreme equity judge to show some pity, which is the mother of mercy, his reply was exactly Bacon's, and the same argument is used again and again in Measure for Measure and Richard II (See Baconiana , July 1941, p. 233)

More Imagine sit as KINGS in your DESIRES. (II, 4, 93 and 97).
Bacon First, let me tell you, "It is a miserable state of minds to have few things to DESIRE and many to fear, which is commonly the case with KINGS." ( Essay XIX, and Ex. Antithetorum)
More What had you got? I'll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail. (II, 4, 99).


Shakespeare Strength should be lord of imbecility. (Troilus, I, 3, 114).


Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong....
Should lose their names, and so should justice too
Then everything includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite,
And appetite an universal wolf. (Ibid, I, 3 115)

Bacon "It is owing to justice that man to man is a God and not a wolf (Exempla Antitorum, De Augmentis VI III)

Bacon "when once the court goes on the side of injustice the law becomes a public robber and one man simply a wolf to another." (De Augmentis , VIII, II, parabola XXV)

Thieves for their robbery have authority
When judges steal themselves. (Measure for Measure II, 2, 176)

Bacon "To depart from the letter of the law makes a judge a legislator, and to have all things dependent on his will." ( Ex. Antitetorum)

Bidding the law make court 'sy to his will;
Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite (Measure for Measure II, 4, 175)

Bacon "Princes, like celestial bodies, have much veneration, but NO REST" (Ex. Antitetorum 1623)

Bacon "as he (the King) is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest CARES." (Essay of a King, 1642)
They often feel a world of RESTLESS CARES (Richard III I, 4, 80)
So it will be with you when "you sit as Kings in your desires," for as was said :


You had taught

How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quell'd; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.
*( II, 4, 99)

*Compare with Pericles (II, 1) , "Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. Why, as men do a land, the great ones eat up the little ones."

The last line in More's speech occurs again in Coriolanus :

You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another. (I, 1, 190)

Bacon " One man simply a wolf to another." (De Augmentis, VIII, parabola 25).

These sayings : "Appetite an universal wolf," " Feed on one another" and " One man simply a wolf to another,"probably come from Erasmus (Adag. I, 1, 70); and they all come in the plays, and in Bacon, in cases of injustice following upon insubordination.

You'll put down STRANGERS
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in liam (leash),
To slip him like a hound. (II, 4, 141)

Let me remind you of your catechism and your duty towards your neighbor. If you put yourselves in the position of the strangers,

Why, you must needs be STRANGERS : would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owned not nor made not you, nor that the elements
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But charter'd unto them, What would you think
To be used? This is the STRANGERS case,
And this your mountainish inhumanity. (II, 4, 152)

Rebels Faith, a says true : let's do as w may be done by (II, 4, 163)
For my duty towards my neighbor is "to do unto all men as I should they do unto me." (Catechism).


"Never any state was, in this point, so open to receive STRANGERS into their body as were the Romans; therefore it sorted with them accordingly, for they grew to the greatest monarchy. Their manner was to grant naturalisation (which they called "jus civitatis") the right of citizenship), and to grant it in the highest degree." (Essay XXIX 1625)

The London rebels knew little and cared less about "jus civitatis." They were bent upon revenge and getting rid of the STRANGERS, whom they thought were cause of their "GRIEFS and DISCONTENTS," which Bacon, in his MS. "Essay of Seditions" (2pages), and which was not published in his lifetime, says are the cause of seditions. In the play we are dealing with we see

1. This flux of DISCONTENT. (II, 3, 40).
2. I do not like this frowning vulgar brow :


My searching eye did never entertain
A more distracted countenance of GRIEF. (I, 3,4).


Dissemble all your GRIEFS and DISCONTENTS. (Titus Andronicus, I, 1, 443)

But you must


Know that our GRIEFS are risen to the top,
And now at length they overflow their banks.
(Pericles, II, 4, 24)

And when griefs begin to overflow their banks we may look for quarrelling with obedience.
(Bacon and Tacitus; see Baconiana, Oct. 1940, p. 66).


Our discontented countries do revolt,
Our people quarrel with obedience. (King John, V. 1,7).



Whiles they are o'er the bank of their obedience,
Thus will they bear down all things. (II, 4, 54)


For although "revenge is a kind of wild justice," yet "the fear of private revenge is useful, for laws are often asleep." (Ex Antithetorum)


Since justice keeps not them in greater awe,
We'll be ourselves rough ministers at law. (II, 2, 33)

"The fear of private revenge" had great effect in the Play of Sir Thomas More; for when the rebels came to "drag the STRANGERS into Moorfields and there bombast them" (II, 2, 48), they were "all fled." (II, 2, 78)
"Frowning vulgar brow" and "countenance of grief" may be compared with "Brow of woe" in Hamlet and "Looked he frowningly?" "A countenance more in sorrow than in anger." (Ibid)


"Light displeasure causes.....frowning and knitting of the brows." (Sylva Sylvarum 717-1627)

And "my searching eye" (More) may be compared with "mine own searching eyes" (Troilus, IV, 5, 161) and "The searching eye of heaven." (Richard II, III, 2, 37).
The author of More's speech knew well enough that the STRANGERS were the true cause of the rebels' "GRIEFS and DISCONTENTS," and had nothing whatever to do with INNOVATION in religion; so that bringing Psalm LXXXII and St. Paul's Epistles to the Hebrews and to the Romans was but a subtle piece of craftiness; and therefore, in the following quotation, I would substitute "craftiest" for "worthiest."


Now shall you view.....
The worthiest counsellor that tends our state.
That study is the general WATCH of England;
In it the prince's safety, and the peace......are forged. (III, 2, 156)


" You are as a continual sentinel, always to stand upon your WATCH and give him (the King) true intelliegence." (Life, VI, p. 15)

"If you conceal the truth of those things from him, which concern his justice or his are as dangerous a traitor to his state as he that riseth in arms against him." (Ibid)

More Men of your place and greatness are to blame,

in that his majesty

Is not informed of this abuse.

Shakespeare O place and greatness! (Measure., IV,1, 60).
Bacon "The King himself is above the reach of his people, but cannot be above their censures." (Life, VI, p.14)


No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure 'scape.
What King so strong
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue? (Measure, III, 2, 196)


This is strange,
You, being a man so settled in assurance,
Will fall in that which you condemn in other. (I, 2, 102)

Angelo was a man settled in assurance, yet he fell in that which he condemned in Claudio (Measure)

"Order and decent ceremonies in the church are not only comely but commendable, but there must be great care taken not to introduce INNOVATIONS. They will QUICKLY prove SCANDALOUS." (Life, VI, p. 32)


Will breed a SCANDAL in your royal state,
And set your kingdom QUICKLY in an uproar.
(Oldcastle, I, 2, 84)

What was the cause of the uproar in France (1572)? and again in England at the time of the powder plot(1605)? Surely it was caused by INNOVATION in religion.
Bacon and the author of More's speech lived in these times, and must have been deeply affected by the horror of them. What wonder then that More should say to the rebels :


If you will MARK,
You shall perceive how horrible a shape
Your INNOVATION bears?


But "besides the Roman Catholics, there are a generation of sectaries, the Anabaptists, Brownists, Familists, Scripturists, and many other of that kind." (Life, VI,p.32)


"The true Protestant religion is settled in the golden mean; the enemies unto her are the extremes on either hand." (Ibid)


"Lucretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agammon, that could endure the sacrificing of his own daughter, exclaimed:
"Tantum religio potuit suadare malorum." (Lucrece, I, 102)

(To such horrible deeds could religion incite).

"What would he have said, if he had known of the massacre in France, or the powder treason of England? He would have been seven times more epicure and atheist than he was; for as the temporal sword is to be drawn with great circumspection in cases of religion, so it is a thing monstrous to put it into the hands of the common people; let that be left to the Anabaptists, and other FURIES." (Essay III)



What inconveniences may proceed hereof,
Both to the King and to the commonwealth,
May easily be discerned, when like a FRENZY
This INNOVATION shall possess their minds.(Oldcastle, I,2, 11)

It is probable that no man in England in the time of Elizabeth and James had a greater horror of innovation in religion that Bacon :

" If any attempt be made to alter the discipline of our church...... I desire you before any attempt be made of an INNOVATION......that you will first read over that wise and weighty PROCLAMATION, which himself penned, and caused to be published in the first year of his reign, and is prefixed in print before the Book of Common which you will find so prudent, so weighty reasons not to hearken to INNOVATIONS, as will fully satisfy you that it is dangerous to give the least ear to such INNOVATORS, but it is desperate to be misled by them." (Life, VI, p. 18)


O, desperate as you are,
Wash your foul minds with tears! (II, 4, 131)

Why desperate? Because they had been "misled" by the two chief "INNOVATORS" (John Lincoln and George Betts) and were in a desperate position with the government.

"But to settle your judgment, MARK but the admonition of the wisest of men, King Solomon, Proverb 24, 21.
My son fear God and the King and meddle not with those who are going to change."
(Life, VI,p. 18)

and what is change but INNOVATION?
And as religion is " the rule of government" (Essay of a King)"it is most dangerous in a state to give ear to the least ALTERATION of Government." (Life, VI. p. 31)

In Bacon's MS. Essay of Sedition, which was not printed before 1638, he names the four pillars of government, and religion comes first, : Religion, Justice, Councell, and Treasure; and in the first printed edition in England, 1625, he says, "The causes and motives of seditions are, INNOVATION in religion (as in More's speech), Taxes, alteration of laws and customs....STRANGERS (as in More's speech), dearths, disbanded soldiers,ect." (Essay XV).

"To authorise conspiracies and rebellions; to put the sword into the people's hand, and the like, tending to the subversion of all government, which is the ordinance of God." (Essay III).

Bible For "the powers that be are ordained of God."(Romans, XIII, 1)

For to the King hath his office lent
Of dread, of justice, power and command,
Hath bid him rule, and will'd you to obey.

Bible "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls." (Hebrews, XIII, 17)

"What do you to your souls
In doing this?"
i.e.,"rising 'gainst him that God himself installs," which is the higher power.

Bible "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God."(Romans, XIII, 1)
Bible " Whatsoever, therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God." (Romans,XIII, 2)

And "To resist God's representative" (whom "God himself installs") like making war on God himself." (Antitheta).

More Therefore

"'Twere no error if I told you all,
You were in arms against your God himself."
The PROCLAMTION, mentioned by Bacon, was penned by a King; but


"As mutinies are incident;
Who will obey a traitor?"
(or a " traitorous INNOVATOR" Corialanus,III, 1. 175)?
Or how can well that PROCLAMATION sound,
When there is no addition but a rebel

To Qualify it rebel? (II, 4, 137)
"Sound" did you say? Then it must have been read aloud, and so it was. (More, I,1. 136)

Shakespeare Did you hear the PROCLAMATION? I do, confess much of the hearing of it, but little of the MARKING (Loves Labours Lost, I, 1, 286)

Bacon MARK but the admonition of....King Solomon
MARK what Jacob did. (Merchant of Venice, I,3, 78)

If you will MARK
You shall perceive, etc.

As to the word "qualify" (More) :

Is your blood
So madly hot that no discourse of reason,
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,
Can qualify the same. (Troilus, II, 2, 115)


" I have drunk but one cup to night, and that was craftily qualified too, and behold what INNOVATION it makes here." (Othello, II, 3, 40)

Iago probably filled this "cup of ALTERATION with divers liquors."( 2 Henry IV, III, 1, 52).
As we have seen above, "innovation," "mark" and "proclamation" occur in a single paragraph in Bacon, and they occur again in More's famous speech, and both men are dealing with the same subject.
Some may think it strange that More should use the word "innovation" to these "simple men" (II,3, 43); these "silly men" (II,3, 46), who would not understand it. It means "change" or "alternation," as it does in Bacon and Shakespeare.
Advice in case of foreign invasion, or home rebellion:

"He (the King) must make choice of the ablest and most expert Commanders to conduct and manage the war, either against a foreign invasion, or home rebellion; they must not be persons young and giddy, which dare not only to fight, but also to swear, and drink, and do worse.* Such men are neither fit to govern others, nor able to govern themselves." (Life, VI, pp. 46,7)

*Cassio. "Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear?" Cassio being drunk, and therefore giddy, and not "fit to govern" others or himself is dismissed from office.(Othello, II,3, 281)


You that have voice and credit with the number,
Command them to a stillness. (II, 4, 69)

Lincoln A plague on them, they will not hold their peace; the devil cannot rule them.

Then what a rough and riotous charge have you
To lead those that the devil cannot rule?

Bacon " Such men are neither fit to govern others, nor able to govern themselves."

Lincoln's mutineers were "young and giddy" apprentices, and "it is very expedient that they have some light toys to busy their heads withal." (Nashe, p.88) " Therefore may Harry be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarells." (2HenryIV, IV, 5,213); "Nam si foras hostem non habent, domi inventient. If they have no service abroad, they will make mutinees at home." (Nashe, II,p.87.

To return once more to Bacon's Essay of a King, first published in 1642:

"As he (the King) is of the greatest power, so he is subject, to the greatest cares, made a servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all." (Essay of a King).

Bacon "Men in great place are thrice servants." (EssayXI)

"Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans, XIII, 6).


"He then that honoureth him (the King) not, is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God, in his heart."(Essay of a King).

Now, what is this but a repetition of More? And it can only be true provided we believe that a King is "the figure of God's Majesty"
Shakespeare whom "God himself installs" (More's speech);
then, if

Bacon "To resist God's like making war on God himself,"
so likewise, to dishonour God's representative is like dishonouring God himself, which, I imagine, is what an atheist does.
As to "fear to whom fear" :
Bacon " My son fear God and the King."(Life, VI, p.18, and Proverb, XXIV, 21.

It is my habit, in comparing the minds of Bacon and the reputed authors of the plays, to select passages from Bacon which never saw the light before the plays of the First Folio were in the hands of the printers, and in these pages there are only three quotations from Bacon which were printed before the 13th of October 1623, and the reader may draw his own conclusions as to the authorship of More's speech. Certainly there is much of Shakespeare in it, but far more of Bacon; but the most important thing to bear in mind is that Bacon and the author of More's speech drew upon exactly the same verses in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New. Bacon's use of Psalm (LXXXII was not printed before 1661, and none of his Exempla Antithetorum was printed before the 13th of October 1623. His Essay of a King, was first printed in 1642. My own edition is dated 1648.
















 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning