The Shakespeare Story

The Shakespeare Story : An Outlline

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An excerpt from the beginning of 'AN OUTLINE.' The facts which will thus be established by the "Evidence" about to be thus "Opened" have been gathered from a detailed examination of each of the Plays by itself, and by a careful search into the period of Bacon's private life corresponding to the time when it was written. No investigation has ever been previously made into the first ten years or thereabouts of the career of the great Philosopher. It will be sought to trace Bacon's hitherto undiscovered employment and mysterious source of income from soon after his profitless Call to the Bar of his Inn of Court until he procured Political Preferment in the days of James I. In the interval, Bacon obtained little professional occupation, and consequently little income from the Law. At the end of his life, after his fall from the High Office of Lord Chancellor in 1621, a similar inquiry as to whence he derived an income must also be made. As a preliminary to the first of these investigations the position of the English Stage during the early part of the time dealt with will be shown. Moreover, the "Evidence" will give cause to believe that Bacon not only held, but actually carried into effect, peculiar views as to the proper province of the Stage. The facts revealed by due inquiry will be placed in a form in which, according to all principles governing the law of evidence (which the writer has for years made the subject of special study) they would be regarded in a Court of Law as evidence. But before summing up the proofs of Bacon's authorship, afforded by the internal evidence of the "Shakespeare" Plays themselves, the "Evidence" will sketch, in a few words, a short outline of the conclusions, on other and incidental matters, which are shown by surrounding facts. An understanding of these subjects will enable the argument to be more easily followed. Even before an explanation of these is entered upon, attention will be directed by the "Evidence" to some other preliminary facts having a special connection with the "Shakespeare" Plays. It will point out that Bacon, according to his Biographer and Chaplain, Rowley, had an inveterate habit of writing and rewriting any com- positions of his over and over again, and that this was exactly what the author of the "Shakespeare" Plays continually did. Quarto editions of a Play successively claimed it in many cases "As it hath been lately acted"; while many subsequent ones each say that the Play in question has been "Newly augmented and revised," or "Newly corrected and enlarged," or "Newly corrected." As, on the occasion of each revision, the Play was "written up to date," as it were, it is made extremely hard to say when any particular "Shakespeare" Play was really first written. The best way to ascertain this is to refer back to the earliest incident to which the Play, as revised, still refers; and to conclude it to have been written at least not later than the earliest event so alluded to. Even then, it is obviously impossible to be at all sure that the Play may not be of still earlier origin.... The next matter which the "Evidence" will point out is that the young Stratford Actor "Shakspere," of whom we shall hereafter hear much, is clearly shown by facts to certainly have not been an educated man when he left his native town, and clearly not to have done this before 1587. Exactly how long it must be supposed to have been needed for even the "great genius," with which he is credited, to acquire that education, which every Play obviously required its writer to possess, is a matter which must rest with each Juryman to determine for himself. There is no ex- ample to guide him. For never, before or since, was so much learning attributed to so comparatively ignorant a man as "Shakspere" was when he left Stratford, and supposed to have been acquired, in some unknown way, in some undefined time.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 130 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 7.37mm | 249.47g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507799225
  • 9781507799222