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As this list must have an end, let it be closed with a comparison of Bacon's - Office of Constables” (published in 1608) with the scenes of the Watch in the “ Much Ado About Nothing", (written in 1599) thus :

" 4 Ques. Of what rank or order of men are they? Ans. They be men as is now used, of inferior, yea, of base condition; and that they be not aged or sickly, in respect of keeping watch and toil of their place: nor that they be in any man's livery. . . . . . intended and executed for conservation of peace, and repression of all manner of disturbance and hurt of the people, and that as well by way of prevention as punishment. To take the ancient oath of allegiance of all males above twelve years. The election of the petty constable is by the people.”

Dogberry. Are you good men and true ?

Verges. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul.

Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them; if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the Prince's Watch. . First, who think you is the most desartless man to be Constable ?

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal, for they can read and write.

Dogb. Why you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman."

-"and that the statutes made for the punishment of sturdy beggars, vagabonds, rogues, and other idle persons coming within your office be truly executed and the offenders punished. . . . . . Likewise the additional power which is given by divers statutes, it is hard to comprehend in any brevity." "Dogb.

You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the Constable of the Watch; therefore, bear you the lantern. This is your charge. You shall comprehend all vagrom men; and you are to bid any man stand in the Prince's name."

“6 Ques. What if they refuse to do their office? ..... Command them in the king's name to keep peace, and depart, and forbear." #2 Watch. How if he will not stand?

How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?

Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the child awake her with crying. .

1 Watch. We charge you in the Prince's name, stand."

"5 Ques. What allowance have the constables ? Ans. They bave no allowance, but are bound by duty to perform their office gratis; which may be endured, because it is but annual."

"Dogb. .... for, for the watch to babble and talk is most tolerable 'and not to be endured."

_" and to inquire of all default of officers, as constables, aletosters, and the like. ..... And so much for the peace."

Dogb. ..... Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed. ..... This is the end of the charge.”

“The use of his office is rather for preventing or staying of mischief than for punishment of offences. . . . . . Likewise the power which is given by divers statutes – ..... or when sudden matter ariseth upon his view, or notorious circumstances, to apprehend offenders, and to carry them before the justices of peace, and generally to imprison in like cases of necessity, when the case will not endure the present carrying of the party before the justices.

the jury being to present offenders, and offences are chiefly to take light from the constable and to resist and punish all turbulent persons, whose misdemeanors may tend to the disquiet of the people. .. That two sufficient gentlemen or yeomen shall be appointed constables of every hundred; the sheriff thereof shall nominate sufficient persons to be bailiffs."

Dogb. You, Constable, are to present the Prince's own person: if you meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him. ... Five shillings to one on 't, with any man that knows the statues, he may stay him: marry, not without the Prince be willing; for, indeed, the watch ought to offend no man, and it is an offence to stay a man against his will.", - Act III. Sc. 3.

"Sex. But which are the offenders, that are to be examined ? let them come before Master Constable." — Act IV. Sc. 2.

"Dogb. If there be any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your fellows' counsels and your own and good night.Act III. Sc. 3.

Dogb. One word, sir, our watch, sir, have, indeed, comprehended two auspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me.
Dogb. It shall be suffigance." — Act III. Sc. 5.

“And the constable ought to seize his goods, and inventory them in presence of honest neighbours."

Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter: an old man, sir, but in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious. .
Dogb. Well, one word more, honest neighbours." — Act III. Sc. 5.

—“or do suspecl him of murder or felony, he may declare it to the constable, and the constable ought, upon such declaration or complaint, to carry him before a justice of peace: and if by common voice or fame any man be suspected

If any house be suspected—. Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office to be no true man. · .

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?


Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but, I think, they that touch pitch will be defiled." - Act III. Sc. 3.

Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place ? Dost thou not suspect my years?"

"— Act IV. Sc. 2. “ You shall swear that you shall well and truly serve the king." "Dogb. Masters, do you serve God? Bor. Yes, sir, we hope – Dogb. Write down — that they hope they serve God.” — Act IV. Sc. 2.

“ There is a clerk of the peace for the entering and engrossing all proceedings before the said justices. ..... Others there are of that number called justices of peace and quorum.

The chief of them is called custos rotulorum."

Dogb. We will spare for no wit I warrant you; here's that (touching his forehead) shall drive some of them to a non. com. : only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the goal.”

Act III. Sc. 5. Slen. In the County of Gloster, justice of peace and coram. Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-a-lorum. Slen. Ay, and rotolorum too.” — Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. Sc. 1.

The list of these similitudes might be greatly extended, without loss to the force of evidence which they exhibit : indeed, the comparison would be almost without limit, if it could be carried, in this form, to all those individual peculiarities, minute resemblances, more delicate touches, and finer shades of meaning, which impress the mind of the critical reader no less palpably, but which must lose their force when wrenched from the context in this manner. Like the character of a handwriting, the identity can be distinctly seen and felt, while the particulars wherein it consists can scarcely be pointed out, or described. But surely, here is enough to establish such a correspondence, nay, absolute identity, in the thought, style, manner, and diction, and in the distinguishing peculiarities of these writings, as was never known to exist in the compositions of any two different authors that ever lived.

It is safe to say no such list can be produced from the writings of any two authors of that or any other age: no similarity of life, genius, or studies ever produced an identity like this. And

here, the vast difference which is known to have existed between these men, in respect of their education, studies, and whole personal history, would seem to preclude all possibility of mistake. The coincidences are not merely such as might be attributed to the style and usage of that age : they extend to the scope of thought, the particular ideas, the modes of thinking and feeling, the choice of metaphor, the illustrative imagery, and those singular peculiarities, oddities, and quaintnesses of expression and use of words, which everywhere and in all times mark and distinguish the individual writer.



" For true art is always capable of advancing."l - Bacon.


It has already been observed, that Bacon had a purpose, though he broke the order of time, to attempt to draw down to the senses things which flew too high over men's heads in general, in other forms of delivery, by means of patterns of natural stories, and feigned histories or speaking pictures ; and it would seem to be very clear, that he had a similar object in view in those “illustrative examples," which were to constitute the Fourth Part of the Great Instauration, which was never published, nor indeed written, otherwise than as we may have some part of it, or at least some exemplification of what it was in part to be, in these very plays. First, premising that after the Second Philosophy, in the previous parts, had succeeded in furnishing the understanding with "the most surest helps and precautions," and had “completed, by a rigorous levy, a host of divine works,” nothing would remain to be done but “to attack Philosophy herself,” and that, in a matter so arduous and doubtful,” a few reflections must necess

essarily be inserted, "partly for instruction and partly for present use,” he proceeds :

“ The first of these is, that we should offer some ex

1 “Quin contra, artem veram adolescere statuimus.". Scala Intellectus, Works (Boston), V. 181; Trans. of Bacon, (Mont.), XIV. 426-7; (Phil.), III. 519.

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