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Rosalind thinks all such must be “abominable fellows,” but Jaques, that it is good to be sad and say nothing":

"Ros. Why then it is good to be a post." Act IV. Sc. 1. This may remind the critical reader of Bacon's discussion of individual good or happiness, which might consist in a certain “equality” of things, or in a variety and vicissitude," or in both; and he alludes to the controversy between Socrates and the Sophist, in which Socrates maintained that happiness consisted in a constant peace of mind and tranquillity ; but the Sophist, that it consisted in having an appetite for much and in enjoying much. The Sophist said, that Socrates' happiness was that of " a post or a stone” (“ stipitis vel lapidis ") ?; and Socrates, that the Sophist's happiness was that of a man that had the itch (" scabiosi ”), who was perpetually itching and scratching; and this last breaks out, again, in another place, thus :

"Marcius. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs? ..... Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate; and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that

Which would increase his evil.” – Cor., Act I, Sc. 1.
Jaques answers :

“I have neither the Scholar's melancholy, which is emulation; nor the Musician's, which is fantastical; nor the Courtier's, which is proud; nor the Soldier's, which is ambitious; nor the Lawyer's, which is politic; nor the Lady's, which is nice; nor the Lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humourous sadness.

Ros. A traveller! ....

Jaq. Yes; I have gained my experience." Act IV. Sc. 1. Very like the philosopher, who had found the different characters of natures” omitted in “ Morality and Policy," but thought there might be something of truth in the traditions of astrology and the predominances of the planets : for, as we remember, “ some are naturally formed for con

1 De Aug., Lib. VII. ; (Boston), III. 24.

templation, 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”; as had been represented among the poets, heroic, satiric, tragic, and comic.

And a traveller he was, no doubt, this “ Monsieur Traveller," through the universal variety, to whom, in his elevated station on the mountain top, the common affairs and most ordinary compliments of mankind below, were so sadly amusing, that, on the whole, they might even be compared to “ the encounter of two dog-apes.” Nevertheless, he had a fellow-feeling for the

-"poor sequester'd stag, That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt," and came to languish by

" the brook that brawls along this wood;

— and, indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool,
Much mark'd of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
Duke S.

But what said Jaques ?
Did he not moralize this spectacle?

1 Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similes.
First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
. Poor deer,' quoth he, thou mak'st a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much.' Then, being there alone,
Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends;
T is right,' quoth he; 'this misery doth part
The flux of company. Anon, a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him,
And never stays to greet him. Ay,' quoth Jaques,
Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens ;
'Tis just the fashion: Wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life.” — Act II. Sc. 1.

But the road, in this model, is to come out “even and level” at the end, being the one of “the two moral ways” of the old parable, beginning with incertainty and difficulty and ending in plainness and certainty” (Valer. Term. ch. 19); and so, all terminates in perfect smoothness by the skill of the great magician :

Ros. I have promised to make all this matter even.
Keep you your word, 0 Duke, to give your daughter;-
You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter: –
Keep you your word, Phebe, that you 'll marry me,
Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd: -
Keep your word, Silvius, that ycu 'll marry her,
If she refuse me: and from hence I go,
To make these doubts all even. .....

Hymen. Then is there mirth in Heaven,
When earthly things made even

Atone together.” Act V. Sc. 4.
At last, the usurping Duke

“hath put on a religious life, And thrown into neglect the pompous Court.

Jaq. To him will I: out of these convertites There is much matter to be heard and learned.” – Act V. Sc. 4. This final disposition of the melancholy Jaques, whose prospect had become so sadly humorous and so serenely delightful, is in fair keeping with Bacon's vision of the highest state of things in the island of Bensalem, in the New Atlantis, on beholding which the Strangers, who had arrived there, imagined they saw before their eyes “a picture of their own salvation in heaven”; and his betaking himself, at last, to these convertites," and devoting himself to a religious life, may recall to mind what has been reported of one of the rarest and most humorously sad men of learning of our time, that now, in his later days, he finds his chiefest solace in the “ Acta Sanctorum."


Of the “ Timon of Athens," nothing appears to be known, until it was printed in the Folio of 1623. The story of

Timon was one of the traditional popular tales of ancient times. It is briefly alluded to, in Plutarch's Life of Antony; but scarcely anything more than the circumstance of the inscription upon the tomb of Timon and the bare names of Alcibiades and Apemantus, which are not found in Lucian, appear to have been taken from Plutarch ; while the character of Apemantus was evidently founded upon the Thrasycles of Lucian's dialogue. Shakespeare could have derived but little help from North's Plutarch, and Bacon was undoubtedly well acquainted with both Plutarch and Lucian in the original Greek. In the Essay of Goodness, he alludes to the anecdote of the tree as told in Plutarch, and speaks of “misanthropi, that make it their practice to bring men to the bough, and yet have never a tree for the purpose in their gardens, as Timon had.” Plutarch refers to the comedies of Aristophanes and to Plato for the story of Timon; but the larger part of the borrowed materials for this play was certainly drawn from Lucian. In Aristophanes," as in Plato, there is no more than a bare allusion to the story. Bacon is known to have been familiar with these authors, neither of which had been translated (so far as known at this day) until after the time of Shakespeare. The similitudes with his writings are most apparent in those parts of the story which vary from the account of Plutarch, or were not derived from him. The circumstance of Timon's finding great sums of gold, while digging with a spade, must have been taken from Lucian. It is pretty certain that the play never made any figure upon the stage, in the lifetime of Shakespeare, if indeed it had ever appeared at all before it was printed; for there is no certain mention of it on record prior to that date. Yet it is one of the most masterly works of the great poet, not so much for display upon the stage, but as implying the largest wisdom, a matured experience, and a most profound philosophy of human life. Even on the supposition that the old play of

| Avonotpat, 805–828.

that name was an early sketch of this author, it would necessarily follow, that it had been taken up again at a later period of his life, and had been carefully re-written in the maturity of his powers. This play, more strongly than almost any other in the series, bears upon its face the impress and character of Bacon's mind. It is even probable that, in respect of the sentiments and feeling exhibited in some parts of it, something may have been derived from the later experience and fortunes of his own life; when he was himself a fallen lord, abandoned by troops of trencherfriends, yet attended by faithful stewards even in his worst misfortunes ; when he had gone to a cell, and become a cloistered friar in Gray's Inn, and was gathering up the wrecks and remnants of his ruined estates, but when he appeared in public, still showing a handsome equipage and a numerous retinue, “scorning to go out in a snuff,” said Prince Charles, when he met him in full trim on the road ; when he had been fleeced (according to Mr. Meautys), first, of York House, and then of one valuable estate after another ; but to a proposal for the sale of his forest at Gorhambury, indignantly answering, “ I will not be stript of my feathers," — like another Lear, insisting upon his full hundred,

"O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous;
Allow not nature more than nature needs;

Man's life is cheap as beast's;” when he had himself become an experienced witness of the vanities of great place, the iniquities of " the yellow slave,” gold, the hollowness of all outward show of worldly greatness, and the essential worthlessness of all these to a great soul, as Lucian says :-“ Nothing of all this being at all necessary to a good man and one able to see the wealth of philosophy” —; and when he had become still more profoundly sensible of the dark clouds of error and superstition and all manner of false opinion and belief, which like that

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