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The Mystery of Francis Bacon   By:

The Mystery of Francis Bacon by William T. Smedley

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The Mystery of Francis Bacon


[Illustration: FRANCIS BACON AT 9 YEARS OF AGE. From the bust at Gorhambury. ]



Ad D.B.

"Si bene qui latuit, bene vixit, tu bene vivis: Ingeniumque tuum grande latendo patet." John Owen's Epigrammatum , 1612.



" But such is the infelicity and unhappy disposition of the human mind in the course of invention that it first distrusts and then despises itself: first will not believe that any such thing can be found out; and when it is found out, cannot understand how the world should have missed it so long. "



PAGE Preface 5 CHAPTER I. Sources of Information 9 II. The Stock from which Bacon Came 14 III. Francis Bacon, 1560 to 1572 19 IV. At Cambridge 25 V. Early Compositions 29 VI. Bacon's "Temporis Partus Maximus" 36 VII. Bacon's First Allegorical Romance 47 VIII. Bacon in France, 1576 1579 52 IX. Bacon's Suit on His Return to England, 1580 62 X. The "Rare and Unaccustomed Suit" 76 XI. Bacon's Second Visit to the Continent and After 82 XII. Is it Probable that Bacon left Manuscripts Hidden Away? 94 XIII. How the Elizabethan Literature was Produced 98 XIV. The Clue to the Mystery of Bacon's Life 103 XV. Burghley and Bacon 114 XVI. The 1623 Folio Edition of Shakespeare's Plays 123 XVII. The Authorised Version of the Bible, 1611 126 XVIII. How Bacon Marked Books with the Publication of Which He Was Connected 132 XIX. Bacon and Emblemata 140 XX. Shakespeare's Sonnets 148 XXI. Bacon's Library 156 XXII. Two German Opinions on Shakespeare and Bacon 161 XXIII. The Testimony of Bacon's Contemporaries 170 XXIV. The Missing Fourth Part of "The Great Instauration" 177 XXV. The Philosophy of Bacon 187 Appendix 193


Is there a mystery connected with the life of Francis Bacon? The average student of history or literature will unhesitatingly reply in the negative, perhaps qualifying his answer by adding: Unless it be a mystery that a man with such magnificent intellectual attainments could have fallen so low as to prove a faithless friend to a generous benefactor in the hour of his trial, and, upon being raised to one of the highest positions of honour and influence in the State, to become a corrupt public servant and a receiver of bribes to pervert justice. It is one of the most remarkable circumstances to be found in the history of any country that a man admittedly pre eminent in his intellectual powers, spoken of by his contemporaries in the highest terms for his virtues and his goodness, should, in subsequent ages, be held up to obloquy and scorn and seldom be referred to except as an example of a corrupt judge, a standing warning to those who must take heed how they stand lest they fall. Truly the treatment which Francis Bacon has received confirms the truth of the aphorism, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones... Continue reading book >>

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