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"Let it be assumed, as is most certain, that all tangible bodies contain a spirit or pneumatic body concealed or enveloped in the tangible parts; and by this spirit all dissolution or corruption is commenced."

"The spirits are the agents and workmen that produce all the effects of the body."

"There are diffused in the substance of every part of the human body, as the flesh, bones, membranes, organs and the like, during the lifetime, spirits of the same kind as those which exist in the same things, flesh, bones, membranes, and the rest, when separated and dead . . . But the living spirit, though it governs them and has some agreement with them is very different from them, being integral and selfsubsisting."


"But this spirit, whereof I am speaking, is not a virtue, nor an energy [energia], nor an actuality [entelechia], nor any such idle matter, but a body thin and invisible, and yet having place and dimension, and real.”1

"The spirit has two desires; one of multiplying itself the other of going forth and congregating with its connaturals." "This rule is understood of the lifeless spirits. For with regard to the second desire the vital spirit has a special abhorrence of leaving the body . . . But the lifeless spirits, on the other hand, are possessed by both these desires."

"But the fabric of the parts is the organ of the spirit, as the spirit is the organ of the reasonable soul, which is divine."

To come now to the Tempest. This play is clearly, to some extent, an allegory which invites inquiry as to its meaning. On the surface it is, no doubt, a beautiful entertainment, but read, not merely seen as a spectacle, the impression it produces on the mind is very different. My conclusions about it are these2 that under the figures of Prospero and Ariel, Bacon represented what I have described above

1 This is directed against Aristotle.

"I stated these conclusions and the grounds for them at length in Chap. IV. of my book Edmund Spenser and the Impersonations of Francis Bacon, Constable, 1914.

as the cherished dream of his life, namely the power which man is to obtain over the forces of nature through scientific experiment and discovery. In Prospero the author sees an idealised presentment of himself; in Ariel is represented 'spirit,' namely the "spirit in all tangible bodies” which, in Bacon's peculiar theory, has been captured and imprisoned by gross matter and whose desire it is to escape. The witch Sycorax, who has imprisoned Ariel in a cloven pine, represents gross matter. The liberation of this 'spirit' and its temporary arrest and employment by Prospero is a poetical allegory of what we now call the harnessing of the forces of nature. Once used, the force escapes, and, like Ariel, is rendered back in a free state to the elements. "Ariel and all his quality are the 'spirits' in all tangible bodies, described by Bacon, as we have seen, as the most potent things in nature. In this view the purpose of the author was to leave behind him a parable (like the concealed knowledge of antiquity) of his scientific aspirations and of the results to the human race which he expected from them when they had been realised. This, I am inclined to think was the reason why the play was printed in 1623 in the forefront of Shakespeare's works.

The following is the leading passage of the allegory:

Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me


Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd,

Which is not yet perform'd me.

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Remember I have done thee worthy service;

Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, serv'd
Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst promise
To bate me a full year.


Dost thou forget


From what a torment I did free thee?


Pros. Thou dost; and think'st it much to tread the ooze Of the salt deep,

To run upon the sharp wind of the north,

To do me business in the veins o' the earth,
When it is bake'd with frost.


I do not, sir.

Pros. Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou forgot The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy

Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her ?

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Once in a month recount what thou hast been,

Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch Sycorax,
For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible

To enter human hearing, from Argier

Thou know'st, was banish'd: for one thing she did

They would not take her life. Is not this true?

Ari. Ay, sir.

Pros. This blue-ey'd hag was hither brought with child And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave,

As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant;

And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate

To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers,
And in her most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain

A dozen years; within which space she died,

And left thee there; where thou didst vent thy groans
As fast as mill-wheels strike. Then was this island-

Save for the son which she did litter here,

A freckled whelp hag-born-not honour'd with
A human shape.

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Pros. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban—
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st
What torment I did find thee in: thy groans
Did make wolves howl and penetrate the breasts
Of ever-angry bears: it was a torment

1 It is an interesting point to note that "Argiers" appears in a Report of 1617 of Commissioners of whom Bacon was the chiefabout Pirates: "And we found that the only harbour and receptacle of the Pirates is Argiers." Spedding Letters and Life, vi. 177.

To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax

Could not again undo: it was mine art,

When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape

The pine and let thee out.


I thank thee, master.

Pros. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak

And peg thee in his knotty entrails till

Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters.


Pardon, master :

I will be correspondent to command
And do my spriting gently.

Pros. Do so, and after two days

I will discharge thee.


That's my noble master !

What shall I do? say what; what shall I do?

In Caliban there is, in my view, a second allegory, and under it the author is expressing his feelings about the lower and more primitive strata of society in relation to the higher developments of intellect. In Bacon's view the common people, if permitted to interfere in the region of government, were an impediment to progress and liable, through ignorance and prejudice, to wreck civilisation. And there was justification for that view in those days, when a man could not be seen reading a book of mathematics, still more making scientific experiments, without the risk of being charged with dealing in arts of magic and being in league with the devil. Caliban is represented as incurably malignant and ungrate ful; he changes his master and plots against his life; suffers for his folly, and returns, sobered, to his allegiance. At his revolt he gets drunk and sees visions of 'freedom' and life without labour:

Cal. Farewell, master; farewell, farewell!

Trin. A howling monster; a drunken monster !
Cal. No more dams I'll make for fish ;

Nor fetch in firing

At requiring;

Nor scrape trencher, nor wash dish:

'Ban, 'Ban, Cacaliban

Has a new master: get a new man.

Freedom, hey-day hey-day, freedom! freedom!

hey-day, freedom!

In the beautiful lines spoken by Caliban, when Ariel, invisible, plays on the tabor and pipe, is expressed, I think, the idea of the unconcerned enjoyment of the moment, when opportunity offers, which is the prerogative of the illiterate and more primitive man :

Cal. Art thou afeared?

Ste. No monster, not I.

Cal. Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,

Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments

Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices

That, if I then had waked after long sleep,

Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that, when I waked,

I cried to dream again.

Ste. This will prove a brave kingdom to me, where I shall have my music for nothing.

Cal. When Prospero is destroyed.

An example of the contemptuous attitude of Shakespeare towards the common people in this play in the lines spoken by Prospero to Ariel :

Go bring the rabble,

O'er whom I give thee power, here to this place :

Incite them to quick motion; for I must

Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple

Some vanity of my art: it is my promise,
And they expect it from me.

A masque follows and it will be observed that in these lines it is spoken of in the same disparaging way as Bacon speaks of masques in his Essay of "Masques and Triumphs": "These thing are but toys, to come among such serious observations. But yet, since princes will have such things, it is better they should be graced with elegancy than daubed with cost"; and at the end, "But enough of these toys."

This was, no doubt, partly a mannerism, but it is also to be attributed, in my opinion, to a disapproval of the fashion for the masque which set in on James's accession.

In Prospero I conceive that Bacon takes the opportunity to represent not only his philosophic dream but also, to some

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