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features in the character of these plays ; for in their general nature and scope they more especially concern the regimen, discipline, culture, and cure of the mind in respect of individual, social, moral, and civil or public good; and truth to human nature and human character has always been noted as a peculiar excellence in them. Upon “the different characters of natures and dispositions,” this work proceeds thus :

“ And we are not here speaking of the common inclinations either to virtues or vices, but of those which are more profound and radical. And in truth I cannot sometimes but wonder that this part of knowledge should for the most part be omitted both in Morality and Polity, considering it might shed such a ray of light on both sciences. In the traditions of astrology men's natures and dispositions are not unaptly distinguished according to the predominances of the planets ; —

[a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences
That dost this habitation where thou keep'st
Hourly inflict.' – Meas. for M., Act III. Sc. 1.]

For some are naturally formed for contemplation, others for business, others for war, others for advancement of fortune, others for love, others for the arts, others for a varied kind of life; so among the poets (heroic, satiric, tragic, comic) are everywhere interspersed representations of characters, though generally exaggerated and surpassing the truth.

“ Not however that I would have these characters presented in ethics (as we find them in history or poetry or even in common discourse), in the shape of complete individual portraits, but rather the several features and simple lineaments of which they are composed, and by the various combinations and arrangements of which all characters whatever are made up, showing how many, and of what nature these are, and how connected and subordinate one

to another ; that so we may have a scientific and accurate dissection of minds and characters, and the secret dispositions of particular men may be revealed ; and that from the knowledge thereof better rules may be framed for the treatment of the mind.

“And not only should the characters of dispositions which are impressed by nature be received into this treatise, but those also which are imposed on the mind by sex, by age, by region, by health and sickness, by beauty and deformity, and the like; and again, those which are caused by fortune, as sovereignty, nobility, obscure birth, riches, want, magistracy, privacy, prosperity, adversity, and the like. For we see that Plautus makest it a wonder to see an old man beneficent: His beneficence is that of a young man.”

And so, in the “ Measure for Measure,” in which these ideas and doctrines are in part and very admirably exemplified, the Duke says :

“ Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay of her virtue, to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo." Act 111. Sc. 1.

He next proceeds to those "affections and perturbations of the mind, which are, as I have said, the diseases of the mind”:

" Claud. Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the law by th' nose,

When he would force it?” – Act 111. Sc. 1. “ But to speak the real truth,” he continues, “the poets and writers of history are the best doctors of this knowledge, where we may find painted forth with great life and dissected, how affections are kindled and excited, and how pacified and restrained, and how again contained from act and further degree :

[“ Isıb. Ay! just: perpetual durance: a restraint -
Though all the world's vastidity you had
To a determin’d scope." — 16. Act 111. Sc. 1.]

hor they disclose themselves though repressed and concealed; how they work; how they vary; how they are enwrapped one within another ; how they fight and encounter one with another; and many other particularities of this kind; amongst which this last is of special use in moral and civil matters ; how I say, to set affection against affection, and to use the aid of one to master another; like hunters and fowlers who use to hunt beast with beast, and catch bird with bird :"1- as we may find it illustrated in this same play, and, indeed, in many others of this author, in such style, manner, and diction as to leave no room for doubt of his identity.

It is not the purpose of this work to undertake by any complete analysis, or anything like a thorough exposition of the nature, scope, and drift of the several plays, to show in what manner and to what extent the object and intent of these illustrative examples, or models, have been accomplished in them ; nor to consider of their merits as works of art. In the two sections following, some demonstration will be given out of the “As You Like It,” and the “ Timon of Athens," as models and instances, first, that these plays were in fact written by Francis Bacon; and second, that they do really answer the purpose supposed, in a very admirable manner. More than this might require another book.


The comedy of “As You Like It” appears to have been written about the year 1600, and before any of the works of Bacon with which it will be compared were published, viz. : the Advancement, the Intellectual Globe, the Natural History, the History of Life and Death, and the De Augmentis. Shakespeare could have drawn nothing for this play from these works of Bacon : nor would Bacon have

1 Trans. of De Aug., by Spedding, Works (Boston), IX. 219-221.

need to learn anything from William Shakespeare, touching the parts of philosophy therein illustrated.

In the main, this play is a story of love and friendship, with some slight exhibition of the accidents of fortune, into which the more important matters and topics are, as it were, collaterally and incidentally interwoven. The plot is taken from Dr. Lodge's novel of " Rosalynd, or Euphues' Golden Legacy,” but nothing of the more distinguishing features, or more notable instruction, is drawn from that source ; and the characters of Jaques, Audrey, and the Clown, are wholly new. The author himself speaks more especially in the melancholy Jaques, in Touchstone, the motley-minded gentleman, and in Rosalind, instructed of the “ great magician"; and the old man Adam furnishes occasion for the discourse of Jaques on the Seven Ages, with a distinct touch of the History of Life and Death. In the garb of the motley fool, Touchstone, who is but another specimen of a "Jove in a thatch'd house,” that

"hath strange places cramın'd With observation, the which he vents

In mangled forms," lies concealed and (as it were in ambush) the “natural philosopher" himself, with his instances; and with the help of Audrey, a mere “country wench,” he will get pretty deep into the philosophy of imagination and the true nature of poetry as "imaginations feigned.” Rosalind, in the disguise of a boy, has conversed with a magician, since he was three

years old :

Orl. But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,
And hath been tutor'd in the rudiments
Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
Whom he reports to be a great magician,

Obscured in the circle of this forest." - Act V. Sc. 4. And in Jaques, we have a man, who has got well out of “the woodlands of nature," and not only reached the foot of the mountain, but actually ascended nearly to the uppermost elevations, where his station is serene, and his prospect

delightful; and though his often rumination” has gained him, among others, the title of the melancholy Jaques," it only wraps himself in “a most humourous sadness.” The matter lies, for the most part, upon a more disengaged but a more arduous station,” and in that part of “the double road of active life,” which, though “ steep and rough” at the entrance, becomes “even and level” at the end, terminating in “perfect smoothness"; but the scene, though not actually in the woods,” now, is still “partly in the Forest of Arden." Rosalind is banished by the envious Duke ; Celia, his daughter, her loving friend, determines to escape with her cousin, and they persuade the fool Touchstone to go with them; and so, disguised, Rosalind in boy's clothes, Celia in the dress of a shepherdess, and Touchstone as servant, they become travellers

in the woods :

Ros. Well, this is the Forest of Arden.

Touch. Ay, now am I in Arden: the more fool I! When I was at home, I was in a better place: but travellers must be content." — Act II. Sc. 4.

Remembering that the road traversing "the woodlands” was overshadowed as by foliage, and perplexed and entangled with thorns and briers, and that one branch of the double road conducted the traveller to places precipitous and impassable, we may just notice, that the dialogue between Celia and Rosalind, in the beginning, turns upon the condition of their estates ; but, says Rosalind, “ Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of nature;” and they soon discover that these “paths of contemplation” are beset with thorns and briers, thus:

Ros. O, how full of briars is this working-day world!

Cel. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.” Act 1. Sc. 3.

So Bacon says : “ Diligence and careful preparation remove the obstacles against which the foot would otherwise stumble, and smooth the path before it is entered;

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