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years after Shakespeare's death. Now on authority, equal to that of Mr. Thomson, we find that the “Tempest” was acted at Whitehall in 1611, or twelve years before the cruise was made. Need we comment on this ? yet for almost similar reasons have we passed over the four preceding chapters, and were only arrested by this slightly too outré statement. Mr. Thomson in this chapter says that “Bacon's daily call was Pro Spero, for freedom.” Whether Mr. Thomson by this wishes to account for “Prospero," the rightful name of the Duke of Milan in the “Tempest,” amusingly ridiculous as this would be, and an undesigned coincidence in Mr. Thomson's proofs, that therefore Bacon wrote the “Tempest,” we know not; but we do know, that Bacon was a Latin scholar, and Mr. Thomson has no more right to saddle him with such Latin, than he has to deprive William Shakespeare of his life right. The opening words of the chapter, entitled “Summary of Proofs,” viz., “Having given ample proof of the Baconian authorship of the Renascence drama,” must have been written when Mr. Thomson was in a facetious mood, for we cannot think that even he would write such words in a mood which was serious and sober. With regard to “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” Mr. Thomson says, “ Of its performance in public there is no account extant." " It never became known to student or actor at an earlier period than the date named,"i.e. 1623. Let us see what these statements are worth. In 1828 there was found in the British Museum, a little manuscript diary of a student of the Middle Temple-Bacon was a student of Gray's Inn-extending from 1601 to 1603, which leaves no doubt that “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” was publicly acted at the Candlemas Feast of the Middle Temple in 1602, and it belongs, therefore, to the first year of the seventeenth century, or the last of the sixteenth, for it is not found in the list of Meres in 1598. Wherever Mr. Thomson is rash enough to commit himself to the statement of, what he assumes as, facts, he is easily confuted, even though he hides himself behind the statement, that the real facts are forgeries. His theories are too Utopian to be relegated to any other sphere, than the highly imaginative fairy land, where we deferentially yield to Mr. Thomson the dominion of all he surveys.
On examination of the authority to which we are indebted for our facts in reference to Shakespeare and his plays, we find by comparison that the theories propounded by Mr. Thomson as to the date and authorship of “Hamlet” are equally inaccurate. That Shakespeare had not read Pliny, and most other Latin and Greek authors, would, indeed, be strange in an age when it
was more common for women to know these languages thoroughly, than it is in our day for women to know English fairly. With regard to what is said under the head "Othello," viz., that it was not until late in the year 1621 that the tragedy of “Othello” became known to literature, we have simply to say in reply that it was known to have been acted at Harefield in 1602, and Mr. Thomson's admission, that if the play did exist earlier than 1621, neither court nor people made it very popular, is of itself sufficient to weaken his first assertion. We have now devoted sufficient space to Mr. Thomson's book, more particularly, since the remaining portion runs in the same groove as that with which we have dealt. We will, before we conclude our paper, succinctly point out the differences between Bacon and Shakespeare, which have been so ingenuously overlooked by the author of the book under review.
There is a distinct line of demarcation between Bacon and Shakespeare. This line is the division between talent and genius. Bacon never could, never did, ascend above it; Shakespeare seldom, if ever, descended below it. Bacon had a capacious imagination. The imagination of Shakespeare was boundless. Bacon had vast powers for guiding, what he could not originate. Shakespeare originated, and had the vastest powers for guiding his originations. Bacon caught up the floating ideas of his time, spread them, caused them to sink deep, and made them catholic and consistent. Shakespeare floated ideas himself. His ideas were contemporary with all time, and spread themselves by their own nature. They sank deep by their own force. They did not require to be made, because they were at their birth, catholic and consistent. Bacon was deficient in official training, and possessed no innate savoir faire to make up the deficiency. Shakespeare possessed a natural savoir faire, which had power to conceal this deficiency. Bacon's thoughts were lucid, and his diction splendid. Shakespeare's thoughts developed lucidity, and his diction was splendour itself. Bacon did not possess exact knowledge or scientific experience. Shakespeare possessed the former intuitively, and all the theory of the latter. Bacon drank phraseological draughts from the metaphysical abstractions of the schools. Shakespeare quenched his thirst with the crystal waters of the "pure well of English undefiled.” Bacon liberated the genius of philosophy from the prison of Aristotelian tradition. The philosophy of Shakespeare was his very own, free as heaven's air, and as natural to the human soul-mind and earthmind as life and death. It could neither be made nor marred, only
developed, by external influences. Bacon had a sound understanding, a deep insight, and a large humanity. The understanding of Shakespeare was the acme of intelligence, his insight was boundless, and his humanity was humanity's own mirror. Bacon was incomparable in his practical sagacity. The practical sagacity of Shakespeare stands alone, beyond even the thought of comparison, Bacon succeeded in establishing a method. He did not originate, nor did he even attempt, to found a school, and hence he showed his greater familiarity with men's works than with men's thoughts. Sheakespeare, without seeking, originated many methods, and without attempting, succeeded in founding many schools, and hence his wonderful familiarity with men's works, and the miraculous combination in himself of all human thought. Bacon unduly subordinated his physical precepts to his speculative teachings. This, he did so much, that the latter were suggested to him by the former. Hence the prominence of the natural defects, that must result from such an origin. Shakespeare writes and thinks and acts, and makes others think and act, in natural sequence. No one thought or act is unduly subordinated to another. All groove and harmonise with natural perfection. Whatever Bacon made distinctive in his system, was impracticable. Shakespeare combines distinctiveness with a uniformity and naturalness which reflects perfect practicability. Whatever was practicable in Bacon's system, belonged, before his system existed or was conceived, to all mankind. Shakespeare's practicability belongs to mankind in the past, present, and future. Bacon's method of exclusions was a petitio principii. While it promised to impart, it presupposed universal knowledge. Shakespeare possessed an universal knowledge of men's thoughts, and imparted it untainted with this logical vice. Bacon established, but never originated. Shakespeare both originated and established. Bacon clothed old truths in the week-day garb of Ionic epigrams. Shakespeare discovered new truths, and clothed them in the holiday garb of epigrammatic atticisms. Shakespeare was miraculously skilled in the delineation of character. of investing each ideal character with its own idiosyncratic mode of thought and expression stands unrivalled. Bacon never attempted the delineation of character. He failed in discovering the modes of thought and expression of the real characters with whom he daily lived. Shakespeare created, apparently, impossible constitutions of mind, and made them possible. Bacon never
created the possible, or apparently impossible, either in men's minds or works. Shakespeare could make one man the representative of the whole human race. Bacon could not have done this with the whole population of Melbourne as his material. Shakespeare could convert shadows into living forms of truth and beauty. Bacon left shadows where they were, and often failed to discover the substance from which they were reflected. Shakespeare made his characters speak in that language of truth and nature which belongs to all time. Bacon associates man with works, not with language or thought. Shakespeare turned the microscope of his philosophy inwards, and penetrated every mystery of human nature, Bacon threw the lantern light of his philosophy on external things, and simply drew men's attention to what, on account of their commonness and number, they had passed by. Shakespeare, by a mere touch here and there, carries us into the heart of his living scenery.
Bacon might touch and touch again; but his scenery would still seem painted. Shakespeare blends into intimate union the real and the practical. Bacon keeps them apart. Shakespeare blends the conception and the expression of poetry. Bacon may have had the power of conception; but he has never shown that he had the power of expression. Shakespeare interweaves the loftiest philosophy into the occurrences of every-day life. Bacon is wanting in loftiness of philosophy. He makes his philosophy impossible in practice by impossible conditions. Shakespeare makes passing events develop unannounced characters. Bacon failed to see the development of character from passing events. Shakespeare by a searching anatomy laid bare the human bosom, and with the scalpel of his intellect reveals the moral and intellectual strength and weakness of humanity. Bacon anatomises human works, and clothes them with new materials. His human weaknesses rose above his intellect. Shakespeare had a poetical genius, which must stand alone. Bacon never, except fugitively, penetrated into the regions of poetry. Shakespeare, in his creation of individuals, gives to each a figure and character whereby their actions are seen and their words are heard. He photographs their thoughts, and gives the photograph the colour and shade of their sentiments. He revivifies events, develops and matures them. He breathes a creative breath over all he touches. Finally, Shakespeare never had his like, nor are we likely to look upon his like again.
R. C. C.
THE SUPREME COURT AND THE PRESS IN
NEW SOUTH WALES.
PUBLIC opinion in the mother colony has lately been subjected to a most energetic process of churning, a partially coagulate judgment being the resultant product. Throughout the length and breadth of the land the newspapers have vehemently and persistently proclaimed that the Press—" the Palladium of men's rights and liberties”—was in imminent peril. Yes, of a certainty; and no less a body than the Supreme Court Bench was engaged in the unrighteous business of putting down “our” Pallas Minerva.
And more too; these same judges had even assailed trial by jury. Could not any man with half an imagination fancy himself wellnigh in fetters ! Must not that venerable chopping-block, Magna Charta, be dragged forth from the lumber-closet and paraded in the most attractive habiliments to inspirit the people—the sovereign people, mind!—to do and perform those things which were requisite for the protection of their freedom from the overt attacks of this new-fledged tyranny. “Know you, citizens of New South Wales," exclaimed a chorus of editorial voices; “ know you that a newspaper-a part and parcel of the Fourth Estate, an exponent of public opinion, and all that sort of thing-has been hauled ignominiously before the Court, charged with contempt, and is in danger of being sacrificed to the despotic spirit, which animates the presiding magistrates!” And the changes were rung with uncommon diligence upon such phrases as “ irresponsible oligarchy,"“ usurpers of arbitrary power," star-chamber, and so forth, and so on. Never, indeed, was the power of the Press exerted with more energy
and perseverance, nor, be added, with more success. A by-no-means inconsiderable section of the public really began to think that there was cause for alarm. In Sydney, at all events, those people who incline towards radicalism in politics, saw,