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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/149

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9 th S. IX. FEB. 22, 1902.1




CONTENTS. No. 217.

NOTES: The Bacon - Shakspeare Question, 141 Where dwells Truth? 142-Additions to the 'N.E.D.,' 143 Dis- appearing Chart isls, I 1 1 Jack Knave " Hakatist " Coronation Incident Side - Whiskers Ben Jon son's Repetitions, 145 Compound Words Broad Street and Bishopsgate Street in 1677, 146.

QUERIES : Tower : St. IVter in the Chains-Portuguese Naval Supremacy, 146 Lady Carrington's Portrait Arms Bible: Authorized Version Greek Epigram Galley Hall Estate " Weald " in Essex " O saw ye my father" Week J. Clifton Price of Eggs, 147 Somerset thp Protector's Widow at Hanworth" The moss-covered bucket" Irish Names in MS. Book French Novel Gordon as Russian Surname Molyneux " Bristol look" Wind Folk-lore, 148 Jacksons'of Durham Smallness of the Child Jesus U. Barbieri Fountain Family Quota- tion Redemption of Captives, 1659. 149.

REPLIES :' Gambler Detected,' 149 Window Glass Stowe Missal, 150 Gower " Sauiies " " In petto" " Pen-name " Rev. J. Taunton Londres Brandon, Executioner, 151 "Bar sinister " "Bore" and other Slang -Crolly Family Charles V. on European Tongues, 152 " Fi'z " Warburton^=Werburh's Town Tennis : Origin of Name Confessionals Strawberry Leaves. 153 Knocker Family Surnames from French Towns Fleet- wood Miniature Earliest Rules of Sunday Schools, 154- Hour of Sunday Morning Service Clayton Family Cuckland Warlow Family East India Badge, 155 -Por- traits of Female Fighters Denbam of Wishiels Kin- borough as Female Name Ball's Pond Road, 156 ' Les Lauriers de Nassau' Lady Louisa Stuart Compulsory Costume for Jews and Christians " Owl in ivy bush " Stone Pulpit, 157 Pearls a Cure for Corns RPV. A Warton The Youthful Year Old Charm Burial of a Suicide Sir T. Morgan, of Arkstone, 158.

NOTES ON BOOKS : Rose's Life of Napoleon I ' Morris's ' Vowel-Sounds of East Yorkshire Folk- Speech ' " Chiswick Shakespeare."

THE BACON-SHAKSPEARE QUESTION. As considerable attention has been paid of late to the question as to whether or not Francis Bacon wrote the Shakespeare plays and poems, and as no scholar of repute deems it worth his while fully to refute the theory of the Baconians, it has occurred to me that readers of ' N. & Q.' may not be indisposed to listen to what I can say concerning the matter. I gave five or six years' close attention to the subject, and carefully examined the state- ments of those who deny the claims of Shakespeare. I will not waste many words, as to use a Baconian phrase I wish to "come to the matter"; but this I will say, that it seems to me that scholars are making a big mistake in allowing this question to assume such serious proportions. The lie ought to have been caught up years ago, and nailed to the counter ; and it is such an easy thing to show that it is a lie, that I often wonder somebody has not proved it to be such long ere this. I am going to demonstrate that it is easy not only to refute the Baconians, but to show that they are lament- ably wrong in many of their strongest

assertions, which, moreover, prove them to be very badly versed in Elizabethan literature, [ndeed, I shall have to prove that they are not only ill acquainted with contemporary writings, but that they do not even know the work of their own master Bacon. In the course of my argument I shall show that if Bacon wrote anything for the stage at all, in addition to masques, inquirers who are eager to add to his honours are making a great mistake in troubling themselves about the work of Shakespeare they ought to try Ben Jonson. There is a really wonderful field open for Baconian speculation in the work or, for the sake of the argument, the supposed work of Ben Jonson, and if what I have to say concerning it has the effect of absorbing some of the superabundant energy of Bacon's eager followers, I shall consider that the time I have devoted to this matter has not been spent quite in vain.

Ciphers, anagrams, and cryptograms are, I regret to say, things with which I am not competent to deal

Quae supra nos nihil ad nos. Things above us are not for us ; such lofty matter I shall leave severely alone ; but if after what I allege it can be clearly proved that Bacon used his ciphers in Shakespeare's work, then nothing will be proved except that Bacon was a greater rogue than his con- temporaries took him to be. I hope that warning will be taken to heart, for I do not say Bacon was a rogue far from it ; but it would be a pitiful thing if the followers proved the master to be such.

Now to the matter. Bacon, needless to say, was an omnivorous reader who was perpetually taking notes. Like all other men, he took notes for the purpose of lighten- ing his labour and of refreshing his thoughts. He not only did so, but he was extremely methodical in arranging them. We are able to say so much of him, because a portion- perhaps a very small portion of these notes has escaped the ravages of time, and is now safely deposited in the British Museum. These notes play a very considerable part in the discussion of the Bacon-Shakespeare question ; they are, in point of fact, the sheet- anchor of the advocates of the Bacon author- ship of the Shakespeare plays. He used them, say they, in the plays and poems ascribed to Shakespeare, but he did not, they further say, use them in his acknowledged works. Moreover, it is alleged that allusions to these notes cannot be found in any work prior to the appearance of the Shakespeare plays, or but very sparingly ; and in order to prove that this is the case, it is said that