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and in the words of Desdemona,
my heart's subdued Even to the very quality of my lord.
To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
(II. 1). Othello, like Ralegh, is represented as in middle life when he married, and like him had a commanding rather than an attractive appearance. Ralegh's appearance indeed is described in some accounts as formidable and forbidding, and in this he presented an analogy with the Moor. The blackness of his colouring, which as I observed in my“Spenser volume, is a point brought out in the Faerie Queene, also favoured the analogy. The blackness of the Moor, though adopted from Cinthio's story, in no degree affects the character as developed in the play. The description of Othello's disposition also perfectly applies to Ralegh. The following passages illustrate these remarks:
Haply for I am black
(III. 3). Iago's speech :
"there should be .... loveliness in favour, sympathy in years, manners and beauties; all of which the Moor is defective in."
(II. I). Spoken by the same
The Moor, howbeit I endure him not,
Lastly, Othello, like Ralegh,' had not contemplated marriage :
Oth. But that I th gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
(I. 2). That Ralegh exercised a strong hold on the author's imagination is shown (in my view of the authorship of the Spenser poems) by the grandeur of description which is bestowed on the knight Scudamore (Scudamour) in the Faerie Queene, a character which I have not the smallest doubt was intended to represent Ralegh. I have fully set out my reasons for this opinion in my book on Spenser, and will not therefore repeat them here, but for the convenience of the reader I have printed in an Appendix (IV). the Scudamore canto, in which Ralegh's bold bid for the Queen's favour after the hardships of his early life is celebrated in gorgeous allegory. I have included also a few other passages from the poem which bear out the Ralegh interpretation.
Since I wrote the above my attention was drawn to a letter in the Literary Supplement of the Times, from Mr. George Moore, dated 28th August, 1921, in which he says that the text of Othello in the folio contains no less than 160 lines which are not to be found in the quarto. He adds that these lines were added between the publication of the quarto and the folio, and that they cannot be attributed to any other hand but the author's, as they are among the best in the play. The quarto appeared in 1622 and the folio in 1623, that is, six and seven years, respectively, after Shakespeare's death.
The constant habit of anonymous self-expression to which, in my belief, Bacon, in his peculiar position, had recourse, is an additional reason why he should have made use
1 Ralegh did not marry until he was forty and then as the result of an intrigue; see letter to Cecil given at p. 424 of Edmund Spenser, etc.
of artistic forms for the expression of his feelings which could not be uttered in any other way. A good illustration of this may be found in certain passages which reveal his real feelings about Cecil, at a time when, after his death in 1612, he thought it safe to express them. Thus he writes to the king :
“ Your Majesty hath lost a great subject and a great servante But if I should praise him in propriety, I should say that he was a fit man to keep things from growing worse, but no very fit man to reduce things to be much better. For he loved to have the eyes of all Israel a little too much upon himself.
Spedding, Letters & Life, iv. 279. " Yet now that he is gone, quo vivente virtutibus exitium, I will be ready, etc.
Ib. 282. Again in a letter to the King touching his estate, dated 18 September, 1612 :
" He is gone from whom those courses did wholly flow. To have your wants and necessities in particular as it were hanged up in two tablets before the eyes of your lords and commons, to be talked of for four months together ; To have all your courses to help yourself in revenue or profit put into printed books, which were wont to be arcana imperii ... To stir a number of projects for your profit, and then to blast them, and leave your Majesty nothing but the scandal of them : To pretend even carriage between your Majesty's rights and the ease of the people, and to satisfy neither : These courses and others the like I hope are gone with the deviser of them; which have turned your Majesty to inestimable prejudice.”
After this these words follow, which are struck through with Bacon's pen :
“ I protest to God, though I be not superstitious, when I saw your M's book against Vorstius and Arminius, and noted your zeal to deliver the majesty of God from the vain and indign comprehensions of Heresy and degenerate philosophy, as you had by your pen formerly endeavoured to deliver kings from the usurpation of Rome, perculist illico animum that God would set shortly upon you some visible favour, and let me not live if I thought not of the taking away of that man."
In a draft of a note of reasons for calling a Parliament the following occurs :
Certainly Salsbury and Dunbarre have drawn much envy in a chariot into the other world.”
The thought was embodied in the full draft for the King, with the very piquant imagery removed :
" The late Lord Treasurer's bent, which was to do little with much formality and protestation."
In the “ Reasons for the remove of Coke" presented to the King. Ibid. 381.
In the same year appeared the second edition of the Essays, and Chamberlain writes, “Sir Francis Bacon hath set out new Essays, where, in a chapter on Deformity, the world takes notice that he paints out his little cousin to the life.”
In my belief, also, the very scurrilous, but amusing anonymous epitaph on Salisbury, beginning "Here lies Hobbinol,” which was attributed to Ralegh, though without any authority, was Bacon's work. Ralegh was removed from politics and the tone of the piece is quite foreign to his mind. James said of it he hoped the man who wrote it would die before him.
THE LATER PLAYS1
MACBETH: KING LEAR: TROILUS AND CRESSIDA : JULIUS CÆSAR: HAMLET : MEASURE FOR MEASURE:
THE WINTER'S TALE; CYMBELINE.
Macbeth, in its title-character, is a study of a man whom an overweening desire for distinction, stimulated by excess of imagination, tempts into the committal of crimes the consequences of which he failed to foresee and had not the nerve to sustain. Being originally a man of honourable ambition, but without principle, he is a prey to superstition, and as the inevitable consequence of the actions into which he has been tempted fall in on him, he grows desperate, laying the blame on the influences by which he has been deluded rather than on his own weakness of character, till at last he reaches the conclusion that all is vanity:
Out, out, brief candle !
Signifying nothing. An account of a performance of this play in an old chateau at Saint-Wandville appeared in the Fortnightly Review of October, 1909, by Mme. Georgette Leblanc Maeterlinck, in which she related the conclusions arrived at by a distinguished actor, M. Séverin Mars, who played the part of Macbeth. In a study of the character he said :
1 The Tempest and Timon of Athens are dealt with in the two following chapters, XI. and XII.