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Timon, had followed him after his defeat. Unable to pay the debts he had made, deserted by his supposed friends, he wrote this play to commemorate that period of his life, and to signify his distrust of mankind. He delineated his own character, -generous, confiding, humane, liberal in manly features; profuse, improvident, extravagant, and careless in habits. Of these Flavius reminded him, and became thereby “all the world to him." He strove to know “his shames and praises from his tongue,” and banished all care, as did Timon, concerning others. All the world beside was dead to him. The philosophy thus invoked for Timon made Bacon a stoic. As his subsequent history proves, he gave himself up to the idea that he would henceforth be indifferent to any judgment the world might form of his acts. He would remain in public life. He was yet young, and in order to rise, he must plead his own merits. This course he ever after pursued. All his letters addressed to James, Buckingham, and Salisbury, seeking promotion, based his claims upon his own special qualifications, often even to the disparagement of others. He was no longer the cringing suppliant of Gray's Inn, but the statesman and confidant of the king. Thus posing as Timon, the charge of ingratitude had no care for him, except perhaps as it might have suggested that great creation of filial ingratitude, King Lear, which was his next drama.

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The plays written by Bacon after his defeat took their character from the change which that event liad wrought in his life. They were all illustrative of the dark side of human nature. His great tragedies of Lear, Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth were of this period. His own consciousness of this change, and of its effects upon the dramas, is apparent in the following lines at the close of the one hundred and nineteenth Sonnet:

“O benefit of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.

So I return rebuk'd to My content,

And gain by ill thrice more than I have spent.” Lear, next in composition to Timon, is very dis. tinctly alluded to in the one hundred and fourteenth and one hundred and fifteenth Sonnets. The marks of identification are unmistakable in the flattery of the old king by his daughters; the reference to the daughters as “ monsters” in the resemblance of beauty; the impulsive decrees of Lear, and hastily formed resolution of Gloster, as “things indigest”; the depicture of Goneril, Regan, and Edmund, the perfectly bad as the perfectly best characters of the play, all of which in the next Sonnet are denounced as a lie, in the light of further developments.

The variety and character of Bacon's labors at this time are very astonishing. In public life he was an active member of Parliament, a candidate

for knighthood, one of the counsel for the crown on the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, and an industrious worker for official advancement; while in the closet he was composing tragedies, elaborating his noble treatise on the "Advancement of Learning,” planning a “History of England,” and preparing a tract for publication on “Helps to the Intellectual Powers."

The Tempest was written at this time. It is fully identified in the one hundred and sixteenth Sonnet. Prospero's love for his brother is foreshadowed in the lines:

“Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds.”

The remainder of the stanza is suggestive of the other features of the play. He assumes in the next stanza to have written Lear and the Tempest for the purpose of conciliating Beauty, with whom he has been at outs ever since, tempted by the hope of being solicitor, he bade him farewell in the eighty-sixth and eighty-seventh Sonnets. As an apology to him he says, in the one hundred and seventeenth Sonnet:

“I did strive to prove The constancy and virtue of your love." Constancy was the prominent characteristic of Cordelia, and virtue that of Miranda.

Soon after the appearance of Lear and the Tempest, the author, supposed by the writers of the time to be Shakespeare, as it would seem from the one

hundred and twenty-first stanza, was charged with plagiarism by some of the play-writers of the time. The reply in the stanza does not deny, but avoids, the charge, and retorts with heavier counter-accusations. Bacon's methods of composition are fully revealed in the poem. Such facts and illustrations as were not of his own conception, he gathered from the works of early authors, classified than under their proper heads of Thought and Beauty, and reproduced them in his own language and imagery as he found occasion. His own thoughts and fancies were jotted down in the same manner, without regard to system or use. One of the most philosophical writers of our day, Ralph Waldo Emerson, is said to have pursued the same method. With the exception of the Tempest and possibly Midsummer Night's Dream, all of Bacon's dramas were founded upon stories of former ages. In the twenty-sixth and fifty-ninth Sonnets these methods are clearly defined. We learn from them that not only for his plots, but for very many of the beautiful thoughts which adorn his dramas, Bacon was indebted to others. Ile confesses as much in the cighty-seventh Sonnet, when he tells Thy (Thought) that his great gift is growing upon misprision; and in the eightyeighth, in the words:

“With Mine own weakness being best acquainted,
Upon Thy part I cu set down a story
Oi faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted,
That Thou ia losing me shall win much glory."


The methods so clearly admitted and explained in early life, as the spirit of his reply indicated, disturbed him when they appeared in the form of accusation. Why, he asks, should they, more guilty than he of falsehood and adulteration, “in their wills count bad what he thinks good”? They only expose themselves, and reckon up their own

For aught they know, he may be straight. He knows they are not. His deeds must not suffer from their surmises. IIe was so fearful, however, that they might suffer from this cause, that in the next Sonnet, addressing Thy (Thought), he says that he has committed to memory, for use in Thy's name, where it will remain" above that idle rank,

“Beyond all date, even to eternity,”-the “gifts and tables" containing these thoughts; so that they

Never can be miss'd.
That poor retention coull not so much hold,
Nor need I tallies thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give them from me was I boll,
To trust those tables [memory) that receive thee more:

To keep an adjunct to remember thee

Were to import forgetfulness in me.” This “forgetfulness” might betray him, so he destroyed all visible proofs of his methods and his writings. The Promus, a page of his own disconnected thoughts, and a paper indorsed “Ornamenta Rationalia” (Ornaments of Truth), are the only vestiges found among his papers that bear any relation to his dramas.

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