NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. JAN. 25, 1902.
'THE TEMPEST' ANAGRAM. (9 th S. viii. 442, 512.)
ONE need not slay the slain, and Q. V., MR. MOUNT, and ME. YAEDLEY have suf- ficiently demolished MR. SIBREE'S anagram- matical argument ; but it may be amusing to follow on his lines by way of illustration.
A true anagram must run letter by letter with its original. It is then entertaining, but absolutely useless, reminding me of Dr. Johnson's recipe for dressing a cucumber : " Open your window towards the west. Peel your cucumber, slice it as thin as you can, add salt, oil, and vinegar, quant, suf., and then throw it out of window." That is what one may safely do with the best of anagrams.
A _ second and less legitimate kind, and if possible more worthless, is when you "add an a," as MR. SIBREE does, i.e., when you make a letter or letters do double or triple duty. The anagrams below take this liberty.
A. third kind more illegitimate still, but giving scope for more entertainment is when you settle what dogma you wish to inculcate or what is the particular lie on which you desire to throw a somewhat favour- able light, pick out the letters you want from any sentence, and discard those which you may find unmanageable.
MR. SIBREE does not do full justice to his hero. It is evident, on the lines of his argu- ment (if it is an argument, and not a mere jeu tf esprit), that Bacon wrote the 'Canter- bury rales, commonly attributed to a mythical personage of the name of Chaucer. Take the ' Prologue,' 11. 623-4 :
A Somnour was ther with us in that place, That had a fyr reed Cherubynnes face, words which artfully conceal the fact that Francis of Verulam, Bacon hett that Peer, Ihys verse dyde write whan Chanse/er. ^a italicized the letters lR nt by those which do double duty ; and there are, Lides an a and an h left out-unimportant chips on the floor of the workshop. That the 'Pro logue ' saw the light about two hundred years before Bacon was born will be, I am per suaded, no obstacle to any earnest BaconLn
would be capable of anything Ca '
lo come to my next illustration, he would
commonly attributed to Coyerdall; for t
saw the light only twenty-two years before he was born.
See Psalm vii. 15, "Behold he travaileth with mischief : he hath conceived sorrow, and brought forth ungodliness"; in which we find :
Sir Francis Bacon made this translation ;
With godlie sorowe he brought it fourthe.
There are a few unconsidered trifles left out : five A's, a d, and an e, &c. ; but the passage is there not very good sense, indeed, but that can disagree with nobody who has been able to digest MR. SIBREE'S second line.
MR. SIBREE has not, I think, gone deep enough to discover the hidden meaning of the last two lines of the Epilogue to ' The Tempest.' A more careful study will disclose the following passage contained in it : Bacon y e Tempest ! A mere dreawe ! Go to ! I ! I ! none else ! Sir Ffrawicis couldn't do it ! W.S. An I, an r, a u, and a y have been left out ; but each letter has one or more representa- tives ; and a, e, i, c, d, o, m, n, s, t, are repeated more often than in the original lines.
Enough of anagrams. As to the main question, it has not, I think, been sufficiently observed that the whole Baconian craze sprang from the letter of Sir Tobie Matthews from abroad to Sir Francis Bacon, with whom he was in close intimacy. A passage in it runs thus: "The most prodigious wit that ever I knew of any nation, and of this side of the sea, is of your lordship's name, though he be known -by another." This has been interpreted as if "of your lordship's name" meant "your lordship's self." But there is little doubt that the person referred to was Thomas Bacon, a Jesuit, one of the most learned controversialists of his day on the Roman side under the name of Southwell. Sir Tobie had become a Roman Catholic during his stay in Italy, where Father Southwell was living, and it is highly pro- bable that it was to him that Matthews referred. See the 'D.N.B.' under Southwell (Nathanael and Thomas). ALDENHAM.
In conjunction with this, it should be noted
that the names of Francisco and Antonio
occur in the list of persons represented in
The Tempest.' They seem to suggest those
of Francis and Anthony Bacon.
BRANDON, EXECUTIONER (9 th S. ix. 9). If MR. P. SIDNEY turns to the pamphlet, a mem- u J ^ h - e Thomason Tracts in the Library of the British Museum, which is entitled 4 A Dialogue or, a Dispute betweene the late