F.E.C.H. and W.S. M.
From Baconiana September 1969
" Shakespeare's Imagery and what it tells us," by Caroline F. E. Spurgeon, D.Lit., London; Doc. Univ. Paris; Hon. LiK.D. (Michigan, U.S.A.); Emeritus Professor of English in the University of London, is an impressive work. Its publishers (Cambridge University Press) describe it as
" not just another set of essays upon Shakespeare, but a study of the poet from an entirely new angle, based on entirely new evidence which is drawn from the whole of Shakespeare's images now for the first time collected, sorted and examined."
It is not our purpose to criticize this book as a study of the whole of Shakespeare's images, a term which the authoress employs to include every kind of simile and metaphor, connoting any and every imaginative picture, or her method of counting these images, placing them in categories of analogy and deducing therefrom the characteristics of the poet's personality, temperament and thought. We think there are very strong objections indeed both to the validity of the method itself and the conclusions reached as a result of its application, but we shall, for the present, limit what we have to say of this book to consideration of a part of its second chapter, in which Shakespeare's imagery is compared with that of Bacon and join issue with the writer's conclusions (from her premises which we think entirely false that " between these two sets o£ writings we have not one mind only but two highly individual and entirely different minds."
Dr. Spurgeon, for the purposes of her comparison, has analysed only Bacon's Essays, the Advancement of Learning (we are not told whether the Latin or English version was used), Henry Vll and the first part of the New Atlantis. In the comparative anatomy of two brains, she might just as well have ignored a lobe of one of them, or, having carefully dissected Shakespeare's body, removed from Bacon's only the skin, crying " The poor man was without bones! ".
It is difficult indeed to understand how, when writing of nature images and telling us those of Bacon and Shakespeare are of a very different character, Dr. Spurgeon could have dispensed with the light an analysis of those in Bacon's Natural History would have afforded her; she dispenses, however, not only with this light, but with a great many others, and, as we shall see, it is not surprising that thus partially blinding herself she misleads her readers.
Dr. Spurgeon states (1) " With Shakespeare, nature images are the most frequent: with Bacon, nature definitely takes second place." This statement cannot, of course, be supported because, as we have pointed out, Dr. Spurgeon has not counted Bacon's nature images; her analysis has ignored the work in which she might reasonably have expected to find most of them; but let us see how far comparison of a few will take us.
In the first place Bacon thinks of Nature as a Book of God both in his Interpretation of Nature and Parasceve IX . The same image is to be found in As You Like It, Il, 1, and in Antony and Cleopatra, 1, 2. Again, both for Bacon and Shakespeare, the Mind is a Mirror held up to Nature. Dr. Spurgeon is familiar, of course, with Hamlet, II, 2, but, although she has not analysed The Interpretation of Nature, she should have noted in the Advancement of Learning that " the mind of a wise man is a glass wherein images of all kinds in nature are represented ". Again, both Bacon and Shakespeare insisted upon our liability to account to Nature: one in Cogitationes de Natura Rerum and the other in Sonnet 126; both saw Custom as an " ape of Nature "; one in the Advancement of Learning and the other in Winter's Tale, V, 2; to both the laws o£ Nature furnished models for government; Bacon in the Union of England and Scotland, Shakespeare in Richard 111, III, 4. Bacon was greatly attracted by analogies between Nature, animate and inanimate, and human society; he found one such analogy in the harmony of music, another in a bee-hive and a third in a garden. Shakespeare, too, used all three. Again both Bacon and Shakespeare compare the benefits of Nature with a loan; Bacon in Valerius Terminus and Shakespeare in Measure for Measure, and Sonnet 4.
Examples might be multiplied indefinitely: not only did the same images occur in Bacon and Shakespeare again and again, but it is impossible to justify the statement that with the former they definitely take second place. (2) " When thinking of mental activity," Dr. Spurgeon states, " some picture o£ light seems nearly always to come before Bacon. Shakespeare shows no sign or this great interest in light nor of Bacon's association of light with intellect." Well, for Shakespeare " there is no darkness but ignorance " (Twelfth Night) and, if ever there were a fine association of light with intellect, surely it is to be found in Love's Lalbour's Lost, . The passage is familiar and too long for quotation, but the image of light as a window is not as well known . It is common to both Bacon and Shakespeare and is to be found in De Augmentis, VII, and I in All's Well, II, 3 and Love's Labour's Lost, V, 2. The light of reason is referred to in the Two Gentlemen af Verona, II, 4, and the light of truth in Love's Labour's Lost, ; these examples would appear to indicate that Shakespeare as well as Bacon associated light (lumen iccum) with the operation of the intellect and its results. But does not Dr. Spurgeon completely falsify her own statement when she writes that Shakespeare shows no signs of Bacon's great interest in light? On page 213 of her book she writes that in Romeo and Juliet the dominating I image is light; in the first scene of l Henry Vl she writes that we are at once struck by the effect produced upon us by the contrast of a blaze of dazzling light (p. 225) against a background of black and mourning. The conception of the King as the Sun is fairly constant with Shakespeare (page 235) and is not this a " light " image ? Dr. Spurgeon traces it in Richard II , both parts of Henry IV, Henry V and Henry Vlll. Surely Shakespeare shows some signs of Bacon's great interest in light, Dr. Spurgeon herself being the judge. We have counted forty references to light in the Shakespeare plays, besides those I referred to by Dr. Spurgeon.
(3) " Shakespeare visualises human beings as plants and trees choked with weeds or well pruned and trained. Bacon pictures them in terms of light." If Bacon does, he compares Man, just as Shakespeare does, to a tree in the essay Of Death. " Man having derived his being from the earth, first lives the life of a tree, drawing his nourishment as a plant and made ripe for death: he tends downwards and is sowed again in his mother, the earth, where he persisteth not, but expects a quickening." Again Bacon writes " compare men to the Indian fig tree which being ripened to his full height is said to decline his branches down to the earth."
It is worth while to consider this glorious essay, so entirely
Shakespearean in thought and expression. Dr. Spurgeon will have noted
that like the Indian fig tree "Nature as it grows again towards earth
is fashioned for the journey, dull and heavy" (Tit. And.,
II,2) and, just as Bacon writes "Man is made ripe for death," so
Shakespeare tells us "from hour to hour we ripe and ripe. And then
from hour to hour we rot and rot"(As You Like It, II, 7) and
"Men must endure their going hence, even as their coming hither.
Ripeness is all(King Lear, V, 2). Once more, just as
Shakespeare compares our bodies with gardens planted with herbs or
weeds (Othello, I,3) Bacon tells us "A man's nature runs
either to herbs or weeds." Neither does the identity of
visualization, as Dr. Spurgeon calls it, end there. "Man is sowed
again in his mother, the earth," and Shakespeare makes Charles, the
wrestler, ask " Where is this gallant so desirous to lie with his
mother earth?" (As You Like It, I, 2) The entire eighth
paragraph of the essay Of Death, with its seven different
images, all appear in one or other of the Shakespeare days.
(4) Bacon's mind is steeped in Biblical story and phrase in a way in which there is no evidence in Shakespeare, whose comparisons and references are few and familiar.
In stating that Shakespeare's comparisons and references to the Bible are few and familiar, Dr. Spurgeon has not only dispensed with the light of all the authorities, but her own light as well. We should hardly have thought it possible that even a cursory reader of the Bible and of the Shakespearean plays could have failed to have been struck by Shakespeare's exceptional knowledge and the use of the Old and New Testaments. We know that Dr. Spurgeon has analysed Shakespeare and would not dare to suggest that she has neglected the Bible as she has neglected so much of Bacon's works, but what are we to think in view of the following facts ?
Besides references to Cain twenty-five times, to Jephthah seven times, to Samson nine times, to David six times, to Job twenty-five times, in two plays, 2 Henry Vl and Henry V111, the number of allusions to the Psalms runs into double figures, all of which may be familiar but are certainly not few. Shakespeare definitely makes identifiable quotations from, or allusions to, at least forty-two books of the Bible, eighteen each from the Old and New Testaments and six from the Apocrypha. Shakespeare's biblical images and references are not to be analysed only by reference to those in which proper names are actually mentioned. He often used an incident recorded in the Bible without mentioning proper names at all Examples furnished by Mr. Richmond Noble (Shakespeare's Biblical Knowledge, p.21) are the allusions in King John to the sun standing still: Joshua is not mentioned. In Twelfth Night and Cymbeline those who cared to do so could identify the allusion to setting the feet on the necks of five kings. Again, without mentioning her name, the story of Jael and Sisera is referred to in The Tempest. Five times reference is made to the reply by the Shunamite woman to Elisha's enquiry as to her dead child's health and Richard II contrasts the reception by Christ of the children with His attitude to the rich young man who sought the Way of Salvation.
Secondly, we would refer Dr. Spurgeon to the follow~ng authorities, all unimpeachably orthodox in regard to the authorship controversy, that Shakespeare's knowledge of the Bible was altogether exceptional and, as the late Mr. E. E. Fripp wrote, " Probably Francis Bacon alone among contemporary laymen knew his Bible as well. Not the most subtle allusion in Shakespeare to Scripture would be lost on Bacon." (Shakespeare, Man and Artist, Vol. I, p.102).
Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop of St. Andrews; Dr, Thomas Carter; Dr. Christian Ginsburg, one of the most learned Biblical scholars of the 19th century and one of the Revisers of the Old Testament; Canon Todd, among the greatest Biblical authorities in the Irish Church, and Mr. Anders, in Shakespeare's Books mentioned the Bible as one of the books of which Shakespeare had especial knowledge.
It is not, of course, necessary to the purposes of our argument to demonstrate that Shakespeare's knowledge of the Bible was exceptional; we have, as we think we have done, only to show the utter absurdity of Dr. Spurgeon's statement that Shakespeare's comparisons and references to the Bible are few and familiar If she still plead they are familiar, let us remind her of " the base Judean, Othello V, 2; St. Philip's daughters, I Henry Vl, 2; Shylock's reference to " the stock of Barabbas," and Antony's to " the horned herd ". Doubtless these are familiar enough to her, but to how many except to those whose knowledge of the Bible and Shakespeare is as profound as her own are they familiar today ? And to whom among lay-men, except Francis Bacon (to him upon her own admission) would they have been familiar in Shakespeare's time ?
(5) " Astronomical images reveal very definite differences between Bacon and Shakespeare, yet both hold by the old Ptolomaic system." This statement is also entirely unsupported except by one example Shakespeare never mentions the primum mobile. Against this we will record three very striking identities between Bacon and Shakespeare's astronomical images. First, to both the stars are fires; Shakespeare " The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks; They are all fire." (Julius Caesar, III, 1); Bacon " The stars are true fires." (Descriptio Globi Intellectualis.)
Second, both Bacon and Shakespeare think of the stars as like the frets in the roofs o£ houses ;a very unusual comparison and we think a highly individual one.
" This majestical roof, the sky, fretted with golden fire," (Hamlet )
" For if that great Workmaster had been of a human disposition, he would have cast the stars into some pleasant and beautiful works and orders, like the frets in the roofs of houses." (Advancement of Learning).
Third, and a singular conception, is of God arranging the stars as a show and this is common to both Bacon and Shakespeare and seems to have been derived from Cicero's; De Natura Deorum. This identity is very remarkable. " This huge stage presenteth nought but shows Whereon the stars in secret ' influence comment." (Sonnet 15). . .
" Velleius, the Epicurean, needed not to have asked why, God should have adorned the heavens with stars, as if he had been an AEdilis, one that should have set forth some magnificent shows or plays." (Advancement of Learning).
Deep in the consciousness of Bacon and Shakespeare lay the idea which so frequently finds expression in the works of both,, that of the world as a theatre; this image is indeed a dominant one and is identical with both writers even in minor details; to enumerate these would lead us, however, too far from Dr. Spurgeon whom we will pursue on this ground only so far as to remind her that not only did Bacon and Shakespeare adhere to the old, Ptolomaic system to the end after the entire scientific world had rejected it, but they were also agreed in rejecting the Copernican theory long after the entire scientific world had accepted it. We except, of course, the opinions of the churchmen and those astronomers writing under the influence of the church.
The astronomical images, as far as these are lunar, instead of revealing very definite differences, as Dr. Spurgeon states, reveal the most startling similarity in the work of Bacon and Shakespeare. ' For both writers the Moon is cold and fruitless; both record her influence operating upon the earth in exactly the same way (a) By, the drawing forth of heat, (b) By the inducing of putrefaction, (c) By the increase of moisture and (d) By the exciting of the motions of spirits as in lunacies. These are set out by Bacon in ' Sylva Sylvarum; the first two by Shakespeare in exactly the same order in Timon of Athens, IV, 3; the third in A Midsummer Night's Dream, II, 2, and III, 1, and Richard 111, II, 2, and the fourth in Othello, V, 2 .
(6) We think Dr. Spurgeon's next dictum is again entirely; unsupported by evidence of any kind It is that " the nature images, are of a very different character. Bacon's interest is in the practical processes of farming; Shakespeare's of gardening ". Dr. Spurgeon is aware that Bacon wrote an essay Of Gardens and she has analysed its images, metaphors, similes we care not what she calls them comparing them carefuily with those of Shakespeare. She or her assistants have, we presume, read this essay; if she or they under her direction had done so desiring impartially to reach a true conclusion whether these two minds as she thinks them Bacon's and Shakespeare's were twain or one, she and they would have realised must have realised and then honestly recorded Bacon's intense love of gardening which he describes in the second sentence of his essay as the purest of human pleasures. But no Dr. Spurgeon prefers to write that Bacon's interest was in the practical processes of farming. Must we not conclude that prejudice, the desire to make a case, to bolster up a conclusion with which somehow or another at whatever cost of truth and candour her premises must be fashioned to justify, induce her to do so ?
We write plainly about this not because we have any particular quarrel with Dr. Spurgeon, but because her controversial methods are typical o£ modern orthodox scholarship, which, it seems, will sacrifice every ethic of criticism and even intellectual honesty of purpose upon the Stratford Shrine.
In the essay just referred to, twenty-one of the thirty-five flowers mentioned in the Shakespearean plays are enumerated. Of the rest, all but three are noted or studied by Bacon; the excepttions are the columbine, pansy and long purples. All these flowers were but a few of those well known in the time of Bacon and Shakespeare; in all the former's gardening notes there are only five which are not mentioned by Shakespeare, while of Ben Jonson's list of flowers only half are ever alluded to by Bacon.
Again Bacon was the first writer to distinguish flowers by the season of their blossom. Shakespeare follows this order exactly He says daffodils come with Marcb, Bacon that for March there come violets, especially the single blue which are the earliest; Shakespeare writes " spongy April betrims the banks with peonies and lilies " and with May comes the Rose. Bacon studied gardening in every detail with loving care. As an old man he wrote to Lord Cranfield that he proposed to visit him at Chiswick and gather violets in his garden. In the New Atlantis he writes of grafting and inoculating as well of wild trees as fruit trees which
Shakespeare makes Polixenes explain that " we marry a gentle scion to the wildest stock and make conceive a bark of baser kind by bud of nobler race". The trial of seeds by skilful gardeners, the curious idea that the earth was especially prepared for the cornflower, the images of our bodies as gardens and our England as a sea-walled garden are all common to Bacon and Shakespeare. We will add one extraordinary parallel. In Troilus and Cressida, 1, 3, Shakespeare writes
Checks and Disasters
Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd; As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap
Infect the sound pine and divert his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
Bacon studied the effect of sap upon a tree's growth, too, and wrote
" The cause whereof is, for that sap ascendeth unequally, and doth, as it were, tire and stop by the way And it seemeth, they have some closeness and hardness in their stalk which hindereth the sap from going up, until it hath gathered into a knot and so is more urged to put forth".
And so we find that Shakespeare writes the knots are caused by the conflux of the meeting sap; Bacon writes that where it is arrested the sap gathered into a knot and both think the knots produce the new branches. Yet Dr. Spurgeon writes that in Bacon and Shakespeare we have two highly individual and entirely different minds. Bacon's interest is in farming processes. Be it so. And so was Shakespeare's.
Bacon writes of The Pacification of the Church, "And what are mingled but as the chaff and the corn which need but a fan to sift and sever them." Shakespeare's is the same image, "the broad and powerful fan Puffing at all, winnows the light away: And what hath mass or matter by itself Lies rich in virtue and unmingled " (Troilus and Cressida, I, 3).
But Bacon writes " Money is like muck, not good except it be spread ". And this is a farming image and therefore his interests are in the practical interests of farming and not like Shakespeare's in gardening. But, alas! Shakespeare thinks of wealth as " common muck", too (Cor. II, 2), and of money as dire (Cymbeline, In, 6), so that by parity of Dr. Spurgeon's reasoning Shakespeare's interests must be in farming as well, and what becomes of her images and her beautifully coloured chart showing the result of a classification which is an entirely arbitrary one, based as far as we can see upon no principle of selection whatever ? We will not compare them to that " mass of wealth that was in the owner little better than a stack or heap of . . . spread over Your Majesty's Kingdom to useful purposes " (Bacon's Letter to James I re Sutton's Estate, 1611). "Money is like muck, not good except it be spread " is a remark, according to Dr. Spurgeon, peculiarly characteristic of Bacon. It really is no such thing. Bacon appropriated it from Mr. Bettenham, a reader of Gray's Inn, and exactly the same comparison is made by Jonson, Webster and Dekker. Money is described as muck by Nashe, Peele, Marston, Beaumont and Fletcher, Middleton and Rowley, Heywood and Massinger. The " remark " is therefore not peculiarly characteristic of Bacon or of Shakespeare. But here is something which is. Another word for " muck " is " compost' . Writes Bacon " We have also great variety of composts . . . for the making of the earth fruitful" New Atlantis; but composts also make weeds grow, so Shakespeare has it " do not spread the compost on the weeds to make them ranker ". (Hamlet, III, 4).
(7) We will consider Dr. Spurgeon's comparisons of Bacon's and Shakespeare's sea images together. She tells us (a) they differ in that Shakespeare's are general, Bacon's concrete and particular; (b) Shakespeare's most constant images are those of a tide rushing through a breach, a ship being dashed on the rocks and the infinite size, depth and capacity of the Ocean. These three, Dr. Spurgeon says, she never finds in Bacon. We cannot think she can have looked: we know that she has not looked far. She adds that Shakespeare's is the landsman's view of the sea; Bacon's that of a man in a ship or boat and Shakespeare she says never once uses the word " ballast ". She will find, if she looks again, that he does, in the Comedy of Errors, III, 2. An example of Bacon's " general " sea images is furnished by Apothegm, "A sea of multitude". In this image Bacon refers to the large army with which Charles VIII invaded Italy, against which it would be perfectly correct to say, if such were the fact, the Italians, like Hamlet, thought of "taking arms". A very curious identity of metaphor or image is to be found in The Advancement of Learning, Book II, and Timon of Athens, IV, 2. Both Bacon and Shakespeare write of a " Sea o£ air ". Other Baconian images are " Vast seas o£ time "; " a sea of quicksilver "; " a sea of baser metal", while Shakespeare has seas of joys, cares, tears, glory, blood and tears.
If Dr Spurgeon will compare the orders given by the Boatswain in The Tempest, I, 1, with Bacon's History of the Winds, she will find that the latter writes, when a ship is on a sea shore, and, to avoid disaster, must put to sea again, she can lie within six points of the wind, provided she set her courses. Those were the exact orders given by the Boatswain in the play " lest we run ourselves aground "
Both Bacon's and Shakespeare's view was "that of a man in a ship or boat ". Shakespeare refers (Henry VIII, I, 2) to a curious piece of sea lore:
As ravenous fishes do a vessel follow
That is new trimm'd, but benefit no further
Than vainly longing.
How many landsmen knew or know what was meant by "trimming" a ship? Shakespeare's knowledge of seafaring, like l; Bacon's was technicai, but he thought, of course, in terms of the ships of his time. In Richard III, I, 4, we have "the giddy footing of the hatches ". Hatches were then movable planks laid on the ship's beams, taking the place of the modern upper ~ deck: they afforded a very insecure foothold indeed. In Pericles,; III, 1, a sailor cries " Slack the bolins ", and besides this Shake-speare used a great number of clearly nautical expressions, for example, " clapp'd under hatches ", "fetch about " and anchor " coming home "; " bear up and board 'em ", " the wind sits in the shoulder of your sail " and " to hull here ". No landsman ever wrote like that: Shakespeare had been to sea.
So much' then, for Shakespeare as a landsman. Now we will look at three sea images Dr. Spurgeon finds in Shakespeare, but~ never in Bacon. She will find " the great deluge of danger" in The Felicities of Queen Elizabeth; she will find " peremptory tides and currents which, if not taken in due time, are seldom recovered ", in the Advancement of learning, II, as well as in Julius Caesar, IV, 3; she will moreover discover that Bacon and Shakespeare use the word " tide " in exactly the same metaphorical sense&emdash;the tide of opportunity, the tide of affairs, the tide of business, the tide of error, the tide of blood. Again the size, depth and capacity of the ocean is, pace Dr. Spurgeon, as common an image with Bacon as she writes it is with Shakespeare; she will find in the Experimental History, the Ocean of Philosophy and in the Great Instauration the " ocean of history ". In their attempt to express great quantity and extent, both Bacon and Shakespeare refer to the ocean as a symbol; we have already referred to their identical sea-images. They cannot be said to be in one case " general " and in the other " concrete "; they do not differ in quality at all.
(8) On page 24, Dr. Spurgeon writes "Mr. Wilson Knight I has shown recently how constant is the " tempest " idea and symbolism in Shakespeare's thought, and, on page 25, " I never once find this analogy in Bacon ". She wil1 find it in several places; she will find (Works Vll, p. 158), "Solon compared the people unto the sea and orators and counsellors to the winds, for that I the sea would be calm and quiet, if winds did not trouble it"; she will find it in the Advancement of Learning, II, xxii, 6,
"For as the ancient politiques in popular estates were wont to I compare the people to the sea, and the orators to the winds: because as the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, if the winds did not move and trouble it; so the people would be peacable and tractable, if seditious orators did not set them in working and agitation; so it may be fitly said, that the mind in the nature thereof would be temperate and stayed, if the affections, as winds, did not put them in tumult and perturbation,"
and in Works, VI, I p 589,
"Shepherds of people had need know the calendars of tempests in state . . . as there are certain hollow blasts of wind and secret swellings of the seas before a tempest, so there are in states" (Essay XV);
"as by proof, we see the waters swell before a boisterous storm " (R. 3, 2, 3, 43)
, and " when any of the four pillars of government are mainly shakened or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure) men had need to pray for fair weather," just as doubtless she has found the " windy orator " in King John, V, 1, where we have the " tempest " idea and the " fair weather which men have need to pray for " to calm the storm as well as the cause of the tempest which was religion (stubborn usage of the Pope).
In place of Bacon's " hollow blasts of wind . . . before the tempest " we have in Shakespeare, " The Southern wind . . . by his hollow whistling in the leaves foretells the tempest and a blustering day " (I H4, V, 1, 5), and in each case it was " the affections, as winds," that put men's minds " in tumult and perturbation," and caused the blustering Here, then, is the very analogy which Dr. Spurgeon says "I never once find in Bacon ".
(9) On page 28, Dr. Spurgeon writes " Bacon . . . definitely asserts that he strongly approves of war," while " Shakespeare hates war . . . assoicates it with loud and hideous noises " (pp. 28 - 29). Here again Dr. Spurgeon is very misleading. Bacon, too, associates war with noise (Life, I, p. 384); tells us " war is too outwardly glorious to be inwardly grateful " (lb., p. 383); that " the humour of war is raving " (15., p. 381); that " wars with their noise affright us " (Works, V, p. 272). Bacon disliked war as Shakespeare did; but what kind of war? Surely civil war, and here again Bacon and Shakespeare entirely agree. They both approve, too, of an energetic foreign policy calculated to distract people from internal politics&emdash;to " busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels". It is well known that Bacon was averse to civil war, religious or political, and he tells us the Greeks were full of divisions among themselves. Of these divisions Shakespeare, too, must have been aware, for he makes Ulysses say " Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength".
Dr Spurgeon quotes Timon's words: " beastly mad-brain'd war"; but Timon is dealing with civil war, and so is Ulysses. If Shakespeare hated all kinds of wars, why does he rail at peace ? He says it breeds cowards, is a very apoplexy, is a kind of lethargy which expressions are echoes of Bacon's statement that " men's minds are enervated and their manners corrupted by sluggish and inactive peace " (De Aug., VIII, III).
We will leave Dr. Spurgeon's images of the sea and of the tempest and close fittingly enough with those of Time.
(10) On page 29, she writes "On certain abstract subjects (such as the action of time) they (Bacon and Shakespeare) held diametrically opposite views'': and on page 29 she quotes from Lucrece.
" Time's glory is to command contending Kings
To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light".
Dr. Spurgeon compared this passage with one from the Advancement of Learning, which has nothing whatever to do with time and truth; and to demonstrate once more how careless has been her comparison of the minds of Bacon and Shakespeare, on the preceding page of the same book she might have read Bacon's real view of time and truth, which is substantially the same as Shakespeare's "As time, which is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, which is, further and further to discover truth " (Advancement of Learning, I, 4), and on page 220 she could have read that " the inseparable propriety o£ time is ever more and more to disclose truth ." (lb., II, xxiv).
With regard to the action of time, Bacon and Shakespeare both enjoin that its order must be observed, for " men frequently err and hasten to the end when they should have consulted the beginning"; both compare the value of time to a man in sickness or in sorrow; both see that men are as the Time is and finally for them both, as for us, Time is the wisest Judge, the supreme Arbitrator.
Let us for the last time now listen to Bacon-Shakespeare.
"Time is the wisest of all things and the author and I inventor every day of new cases " (Bacon).
" It is an argument of weight as being the judgment of time" (Bacon).
" The counsels to which Time is not called, Time will I not ratify " (Bacon).
" Time trieth troth " (Bacon).
"Time is the old Justice . . . and let Time try" (Shakespeare).
"O Time thou must untangle this" (Shakespeare). i (Shakespeare).
" I entreat your honour to scan this matter no further.Leave it to Time" (Shakespeare). for " Time must friend or end " and " the time will bring it : out ".
We may perhaps return to Dr. Spurgeon's images o£ Shakespeare. We may perhaps try to show on some future occasion that her exhaustive analysis of these discloses not the Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon at all, but in part the real Shakespeare, the : Shakespeare of Gray's Inn and St. Albans, that the Figure of Shakespeare which she writes "emerges", "although his senses, especially those of sight and hearing and taste were abnormally acute" was certainly not " a countryman through and through " nor " most interested in homely indoor occupations and routine." Dr. Spurgeon has attempted to fashion a Shakespeare to fit the Stratford shrine, but he cannot be made to shrink to this little measure. Despite her own efforts, she has found a Shakespeare " the most diversely minded, having an understanding of all varieties of human nature which has never been approached."
In seeking Shakespeare she has discovered Bacon.
SirBacon.org - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning