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The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded by Delia Bacon

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of these manifold dedications. _Ladonnier_, the artist, publishes his
Sketches of the New World through his aid. Hooker dedicates his
History of Ireland to him; Hakluyt, his Voyages to Florida. A work 'On
_Friendship_' is dedicated to him; another 'On Music,' in which art he
had found leisure, it seems, to make himself a proficient; and as to
the poetic tributes to him,--some of them at least are familiar to us
already. In that gay court, where Raleigh and his haughty rivals were
then playing their deep games,--where there was no room for Spenser's
muse, and the worth of his 'Old Song' was grudgingly reckoned,--the
'rustling in silks' is long since over, but the courtier's place in
the pageant of the 'Faery Queene' remains, and grows clearer with the
lapse of ages. That time, against which he built so perseveringly, and
fortified himself on so many sides, will not be able to diminish there
'one dowle that's in his plume.' [He was also a patron of Plays and
Players in this stage of his career, and entertained private parties
at his house with very _recherche_ performances of that kind

In the Lord Timon of the Shakspere piece, which was rewritten from an
_Academic_ original after Raleigh's consignment to the Tower,--in that
fierce satire into which so much Elizabethan bitterness is condensed,
under the difference of the reckless prodigality which is stereotyped
in the fable, we get, in the earlier scenes, some glimpses of this
'Athenian' also, in this stage of his career.

But it was not as a _Patron_ only, or chiefly, that he aided the new
literary development. A scholar, a scholar so earnest, so
indefatigable, it followed of course that he must be, in one form or
another, an Instructor also; for that is still, under all conditions,
the scholar's destiny--it is still, in one form or another, his
business on the earth. But with that temperament which was included
among the particular conditions of his genius, and with those special
and particular endowments of his for another kind of intellectual
mastery, he could not be content with the pen--with the Poet's, or the
Historian's, or the Philosopher's pen--as the instrument of his mental
dictation. A Teacher thus furnished and ordained, seeks, indeed,
naturally and instinctively, a more direct and living and effective
medium of communication with the audience which his time is able to
furnish him, whether 'few' or many, whether 'fit' or unfit, than the
book can give him. He must have another means of 'delivery and
tradition,' when the delivery or tradition is addressed to those whom
he would associate with him in his age, to work with him as one man,
or those to whom he would transmit it in other ages, to carry it on to
its perfection--those to whom he would communicate his own highest
view, those whom he would inform with his patiently-gathered lore,
those whom he would _instruct_ and move with his new inspirations. For
the truth has become a personality with him--it is his nobler self. He
will live on with it. He will live or die with it.

For such a one there is, perhaps, no institution ready in his time to
accept his ministry. No chair at Oxford or Cambridge is waiting for
him. For they are, of course, and must needs be, the strong-holds of
the past--those ancient and venerable seats of learning, 'the
fountains and nurseries of all the humanities,' as a Cambridge
Professor calls them, in a letter addressed to Raleigh. The principle
of these larger wholes is, of course, instinctively conservative.
Their business is to know nothing of the new. The new intellectual
movement must fight its battles through without, and come off
conqueror there, or ever those old Gothic doors will creak on their
reluctant hinges to give it ever so pinched an entrance. When it has
once fought its way, and forced itself within--when it has got at last
some marks of age and custom on its brow--then, indeed, it will stand
as the last outwork of that fortuitous conglomeration, to be defended
in its turn against all comers. Already the revived classics had been
able to push from their chairs, and drive into corners, and shut up
finally and put to silence, the old Aristotelian Doctors--the Seraphic
and Cherubic Doctors of their day--in their own ancient halls. It
would be sometime yet, perhaps, however, before that study of the dead
languages, which was of course one prominent incident of the first
revival of a dead learning, would come to take precisely the same
place in those institutions, with their one instinct of conservation
and 'abhorrence of change,' which the old monastic philosophy had
taken in its day; but that change once accomplished, the old monastic
philosophy itself, religious as it was, was never held more sacred
than this profane innovation would come to be. It would be some time
before those new observations and experiments, which Raleigh and his
school were then beginning to institute, experiments and inquiries
which the universities would have laughed to scorn in their day, would
come to be promoted to the Professor's chair; but when they did, it
would perhaps be difficult to convince a young gentleman liberally
educated, at least, under the wings of one of those 'ancient and
venerable' seats of learning, now gray in Raleigh's youthful
West--ambitious, perhaps, to lead off in this popular innovation,
where Saurians, and Icthyosaurians, and Entomologists, and
Chonchologists are already hustling the poor Greek and Latin Teachers
into corners, and putting them to silence with their growing
terminologies--it would perhaps be difficult to convince one who had
gone through the prescribed course of treatment in one of these
'nurseries of humanity,' that the knowledge of the domestic habits and
social and political organisations of insects and shell-fish, or even
the experiments of the laboratory, though never so useful and proper
in their place, are not, after all, the beginning and end of a human
learning. It was no such place as that that this department of the
science of nature took in the systems or notions of its Elizabethan
Founders. They were 'Naturalists,' indeed; but that did not imply,
with _their_ use of the term, the absence of the natural common human
sense in the selection of the objects of their pursuits. 'It is a part
of science to make _judicious_ inquiries and wishes,' says the speaker
in chief for this new doctrine of nature; speaking of the particular
and special applications of it which he is forbidden to make openly,
but which he instructs, and prepares, and charges his followers to
make for themselves.

One of those innovations, one of those movements in which the new
ground of ages of future culture is first chalked out--a movement
whose end is not yet, whose beginning we have scarce yet seen--was
made in England, not very far from the time in which Sir Walter
Raleigh, began first to convert the eclat of his rising fortunes at
home, and the splendour of his heroic achievements abroad, and all
those new means of influence which his great position gave him, to the
advancement of those deeper, dearer ambitions, which the predominance
of the nobler elements in his constitution made inevitable with him.
Even then he was ready to endanger those golden opinions, waiting to
be worn in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon, and new-won
rank, and liberty and life itself, for the sake of putting himself
into his true intellectual relations with his time, as a philosopher
and a beginner of a new age in the human advancement. For 'spirits are
not finely touched but to fine issues.'

If there was no Professor's Chair, if there was no Pulpit or Bishop's
Stall waiting for him, and begging his acceptance of its perquisites,
he must needs institute a chair of his own, and pay for leave to
occupy it. If there was no university with its appliances within his
reach, he must make a university of his own. The germ of a new
'universality' would not be wanting in it. His library, or his
drawing-room, or his 'banquet,' will be Oxford enough for him. He will
begin it as the old monks began theirs, with their readings. Where the
teacher is, there must the school be gathered together. And a school
in the end there will be: a school in the end the true teacher will
have, though he begin it, as the barefoot Athenian began his, in the
stall of the artisan, or in the chat of the Gymnasium, amid the
compliments of the morning levee, or in the woodland stroll, or in the
midnight revel of the banquet.

When the hour and the man are indeed met, when the time is ripe, and
one _truly sent_, ordained of that Power which _chooses_, not one
only--what uncloaked atheism is that, to promulgate in an age like
this!--_not_ the Teachers and Rabbis of _one race_ only, but _all the
successful_ agents of human advancement, the initiators of new eras of
man's progress, the inaugurators of new ages of the relief of the
human estate and the Creator's glory--when such an one indeed appears,
there will be no lack of instrumentalities. With some verdant
hill-side, it may be, some blossoming knoll or 'mount' for his
'chair,' with a daisy or a lily in his hand, or in a fisherman's boat,
it may be, pushed a little way from the strand, he will begin new

The influence of Raleigh upon his time cannot yet be fully estimated;
because, in the first place, it was primarily of that kind which
escapes, from its subtlety, the ordinary historical record; and, in
the second place, it was an influence at the time _necessarily
covert_, studiously disguised. His relation to the new intellectual
development of his age might, perhaps, be characterised as _Socratic_;
though certainly not because he lacked the use, and the most masterly
use, of that same weapon with which his younger contemporary brought
out at last, in the face of his time, the plan of the Great
Instauration. In the heart of the new establishment which the
magnificent courtier, who was a 'Queen's delight,' must now maintain,
there soon came to be a little 'Academe.' The choicest youth of the
time, 'the Spirits of the Morning Sort,' gathered about him. It was
the new philosophic and poetic genius of the age that he attracted to
him; it was on that philosophic and poetic genius that he left his
mark for ever.

He taught them, as the masters taught of old, in dialogues--in words
that could not then be written, in words that needed the master's
modulation to give them their significance. For the new doctrine had
need to be clothed in a language of its own, whose inner meaning only
those who had found their way to its inmost shrine were able to

We find some contemporary and traditional references to this school,
which are not without their interest and historical value, as tending
to show the amount of influence which it was supposed to have exerted
on the time, as well as the acknowledged necessity for concealment in
the studies pursued in it. The fact that such an Association
_existed_, that it _began with Raleigh_, that young men of distinction
were attracted to it, and that in such numbers, and under such
conditions, that it came to be considered ultimately as a '_School_,'
of which he was the head-master--the fact that the new experimental
science was supposed to have had its origin in this association,--that
opinions, differing from the received ones, were also secretly
discussed in it,--that _anagrams_ and other devices were made use of
for the purpose of infolding the _esoteric_ doctrines of the school in
popular language, so that it was possible to write in this language
acceptably to the vulgar, and without violating preconceived opinions,
and at the same time instructively to the initiated,--all this
remains, even on the surface of statements already accessible to any
scholar,--all this remains, either in the form of contemporary
documents, or in the recollections of persons who have apparently had
it from the most authentic sources, from persons who profess to know,
and who were at least in a position to know, that such was the
impression at the time.

But when the instinctive dread of innovation was already so keenly on
the alert, when Elizabeth was surrounded with courtiers still in their
first wrath at the promotion of the new 'favourite,' indignant at
finding themselves so suddenly overshadowed with the growing honours
of one who had risen from a rank beneath their own, and eagerly
watching for an occasion against him, it was not likely that such an
affair as this was going to escape notice altogether. And though the
secrecy with which it was conducted, might have sufficed to elude a
scrutiny such as theirs, there was _another_, and more eager and
subtle enemy,--an enemy which the founder of this school had always to
contend with, that had already, day and night, at home and abroad, its
Argus watch upon him. That vast and secret foe, which he had arrayed
against him on foreign battle fields, knew already what kind of
embodiment of power this was that was rising into such sudden favour
here at home, and would have crushed him in the germ--that foe which
would never rest till it had pursued him to the block, which was ready
to join hands with his personal enemies in its machinations, in the
court of Elizabeth, as well as in the court of her successor, that
vast, malignant, indefatigable foe, in which the spirit of the old
ages lurked, was already at his threshold, and penetrating to the most
secret chamber of his councils. It was on the showing of _a Jesuit_
that these friendly gatherings of young men at Raleigh's table came to
be branded as 'a school of Atheism.' And it was through such agencies,
that his enemies at court were able to sow suspicions in Elizabeth's
mind in regard to the entire orthodoxy of his mode of explaining
certain radical points in human belief, and in regard to the absolute
'conformity' of his views on these points with those which she had
herself divinely authorised, suspicions which he himself confesses he
was never afterwards able to eradicate. The matter was represented to
her, we are told, 'as if he had set up for a doctor in the faculty and
invited young gentlemen into his school, where the Bible was jeered
at,' and the use of profane anagrams was inculcated. The fact that he
associated with him in his chemical and mathematical studies, and
entertained in his house, a scholar labouring at that time under the
heavy charge of getting up 'a philosophical theology,' was also made
use of greatly to his discredit.

And from another uncontradicted statement, which dates from a later
period, but which comes to us worded in terms as cautious as if it had
issued directly from the school itself, we obtain another glimpse of
these new social agencies, with which the bold, creative, social
genius that was then seeking to penetrate on all sides the
custom-bound time, would have roused and organised a new social life
in it. It is still the second-hand hearsay testimony which is quoted
here. '_He is said_ to have set up an Office of Address, and it is
_supposed_ that the office _might_ respect a _more liberal
intercourse_--_a nobler mutuality of advertisement_, than would
perhaps admit of _all sorts of persons_.' 'Raleigh set up a kind of
Office of Address,' says another, 'in the capacity of an agency for
all sorts of persons.' John Evelyn, refers also to that long dried
fountain of communication which _Montaigne_ first proposed, Sir Walter
Raleigh put in practice, and Mr. Hartlib endeavoured to renew.

'This is the scheme described by Sir W. Pellis, which is referred
traditionally to Raleigh and Montaigne (see Book I. chap. xxxiv.) An
Office of _Address_ whereby the wants of _all_ may be made known to
ALL (that painful and great instrument of this design), _where men may
know what is already done in the business of learning, what is at
present in doing, and what is intended to be done_, to the end that,
by such a _general communication of design and mutual assistance, the
wits and endeavours of the world_ may no longer be _as so many
scattered coals_, which, for want of _union_, are soon quenched,
whereas being laid together they would have yielded _a comfortable_
light and heat. [This is evidently _traditional_ language] ... such as
advanced rather to the _improvement_ of _men_ themselves than their

_This_ then is the association of which Raleigh was the chief; _this_
was the state, within the state which he was founding. ('See the reach
of this man,' says Lord Coke on his Trial.) It is true that the honour
is also ascribed to Montaigne; but we shall find, as we proceed with
this inquiry, that _all_ the works and inventions of this new English
school, of which Raleigh was chief, all its new and vast designs for
man's relief, are also claimed by that same aspiring gentleman, as
they were, too, by another of these Egotists, who came out in his own
name with this identical project.

It was only within the walls of a school that the great principle of
the new philosophy of fact and practice, which had to pretend to be
profoundly absorbed in chemical experiments, or in physical
observations, and inductions of some kind--though not without an
occasional hint of a broader intention,--it was only in _esoteric_
language that the great principles of this philosophy could begin to
be set forth _in their true comprehension_. The very trunk of it, the
primal science itself, must needs be mystified and hidden in a shower
of metaphysical dust, and piled and heaped about with the old dead
branches of scholasticism, lest men should see for themselves _how_
broad and comprehensive _must_ be the ultimate sweep of its
determinations; lest men should see for themselves, how a science
which begins in fact, and returns to it again, which begins in
observation and experiment, and returns in scientific practice, in
scientific arts, in scientific re-formation, might have to do, ere all
was done, with facts not then inviting scientific investigation--with
arts not then inviting scientific reform.

In consequence of a sudden and common advancement of intelligence
among the leading men of that age, which left the standard of
intelligence represented in more than one of its existing
institutions, very considerably in the rear of its advancement, there
followed, as the inevitable result, a tendency to the formation of
some medium of expression,--whether that tendency was artistically
developed or not, in which the new and nobler thoughts of men, in
which their dearest beliefs, could find some vent and limited
interchange and circulation, without startling the _ear_. Eventually
there came to be a number of men in England at this time,--and who
shall say that there were none on the continent of this
school,--occupying prominent positions in the state, heading, it might
be, or ranged in opposite factions at Court, who could speak and write
in such a manner, upon topics of common interest, as to make
themselves entirely intelligible to each other, without exposing
themselves to any of the risks, which confidential communications
under such circumstances involved.

For there existed a certain mode of expression, originating in some of
its more special forms with this particular school, yet not altogether
conventional, which enabled those who made use of it to steer clear of
the Star Chamber and its sister institution; inasmuch as the terms
employed in this mode of communication were not in the more obvious
interpretation of them actionable, and to a vulgar, unlearned, or
stupid conceit, could hardly be made to appear so. There must be a
High Court of Wit, and a Bench of Peers in that estate of the realm,
or ever these treasons could be brought to trial. For it was a mode of
communication which involved in its more obvious construction the
necessary submission to power. It was the instructed ear,--the ear of
a school,--which was required to lend to it its more recondite
meanings;--it was the ear of that new school in philosophy which had
made History the basis of its learning,--which, dealing with
_principles_ instead of _words_, had glanced, not without some nice
observation in passing, at their more '_conspicuous_' historical
'INSTANCES';--it was the ear of a school which had everywhere the
great historical representations and diagrams at its control, and
could substitute, without much hindrance, particulars for generals, or
generals for particulars, as the case might be; it was the ear of a
school intrusted with discretionary power, but trained and practised
in the art of using it.

Originally an art of necessity, with practice, in the skilful hands of
those who employed it, it came at length to have a charm of its own.
In such hands, it became an instrument of literary power, which had
not before been conceived of; a medium too of densest ornament, of
thick crowding conceits, and nestling beauties, which no style before
had ever had depth enough to harbour. It established a new, and more
intimate and living relation between the author and his
reader,--between the speaker and his audience. There was ever the
charm of that secret understanding lending itself to all the effects.
It made the reader, or the hearer, participator in the artist's skill,
and joint proprietor in the result. The author's own glow must be on
his cheek, the author's own flash in his eye, ere that result was
possible. The nice point of the skilful pen, the depth of the lurking
tone was lost, unless an eye as skilful, or an ear as fine, tracked or
waited on it. It gave to the work of the artist, nature's own
style;--it gave to works which had the earnest of life and death in
them the sport of the 'enigma.'

It is not too much to say, that the works of Raleigh and Bacon, and
others whose connection with it is not necessary to specify just here,
are written throughout in the language of this school. 'Our glorious
Willy'--(it is the gentleman who wrote the 'Faery Queene' who claims
him, and his glories, as 'ours'),--'our glorious Willy' was born in
it, and knew no other speech. It was that 'Round Table' at which Sir
Philip Sydney presided then, that his lurking meanings, his
unspeakable audacities first 'set in a roar.' It was there, in the
keen encounters of those flashing 'wit combats,' that the weapons of
great genius grew so fine. It was there, where the young wits and
scholars, fresh from their continental tours, full of the gallant
young England of their day,--the Mercutios, the Benedicts, the Birons,
the Longuevilles, came together fresh from the Court of Navarre, and
smelling of the lore of their foreign 'Academe,' or hot from the
battles of continental freedom,--it was _there_, in those _reunions_,
that our Poet caught those gracious airs of his--those delicate,
thick-flowering refinements--those fine impalpable points of courtly
breeding--those aristocratic notions that haunt him everywhere. It was
there that he picked up his various knowledge of men and manners, his
acquaintance with foreign life, his bits of travelled wit, that flash
through all. It was there that he heard the clash of arms, and the
ocean-storm. And it was there that he learned 'his old ward.' It was
there, in the social collisions of that gay young time, with its bold
over-flowing humours, that would not be shut in, that he first armed
himself with those quips and puns, and lurking conceits, that crowd
his earlier style so thickly,--those double, and triple, and quadruple
meanings, that stud so closely the lines of his dialogue in the plays
which are clearly dated from that era,--the natural artifices of a
time like that, when all those new volumes of utterance which the lips
were ready to issue, were forbidden on pain of death to be 'extended,'
must needs 'be crushed together, infolded within themselves.'

Of course it would be absurd, or it would involve the most profound
ignorance of the history of literature in general, to claim that the
principle of this invention had its origin here. It had already been
in use, in recent and systematic use, in the intercourse of the
scholars of the Middle Ages; and its origin is coeval with the origin
of letters. The free-masonry of learning is old indeed. It runs its
mountain chain of signals through all the ages, and men whom times and
kindreds have separated ascend from their week-day toil, and hold
their Sabbaths and synods on those heights. They whisper, and listen,
and smile, and shake the head at one another; they laugh, and weep,
and complain together; they sing their songs of victory in one key.
That machinery is so fine, that the scholar can catch across the ages,
the smile, or the whisper, which the contemporary tyranny had no
instrument firm enough to suppress, or fine enough to detect.

'But for her father sitting still on hie,
Did warily still watch the way she went,
And eke from far observed with jealous eye,
Which way his course the wanton Bregog bent.

Him to deceive, for all his watchful ward,
The wily lover did devise this slight.
First, into many parts, his stream he shared,
That whilst the one was watch'd, the other might

Pass unespide, to meet her by the way.
And then besides, those little streams, so broken,
He under ground so closely did convey,
That of their passage doth appear no token.'

It was the author of the 'Faery Queene,' indeed, his fine, elaborate,
fertile genius burthened with its rich treasure, and stimulated to new
activity by his poetical alliance with Raleigh, whose splendid
invention first made apparent the latent facilities which certain
departments of popular literature then offered, for a new and hitherto
unparalleled application of this principle. In that prose description
of his great Poem which he addresses to Raleigh, the distinct avowal
of a double intention in it, the distinction between a particular and
general one, the emphasis with which the elements of the ideal name,
are discriminated and blended, furnish to the careful reader already
some superficial hints, as to the capabilities of such a plan to one
at all predisposed to avail himself of them. And, indeed, this Poet's
manifest philosophical and historical tendencies, and his avowed view
of the comprehension of the Poet's business would have seemed
beforehand to require some elbow-room,--some chance for poetic curves
and sweeps,--some space for the line of beauty to take its course in,
which the sharp angularities, the crooked lines, the blunt bringing up
everywhere, of the new philosophic tendency to history would scarcely
admit of. There was no breathing space for him, unless he could
contrive to fix his poetic platform so high, as to be able to override
these restrictions without hindrance.

'For the Poet thrusteth into the midst, even where it most concerneth
him, and then recoursing to the things fore-past, and _divining of
things to come_, he maketh a pleasing _analysis_ of ALL.'

And it so happened that his Prince Arthur had dreamed the poet's
dream, the hero's dream, the philosopher's dream, the dream that was
dreamed of old under the Olive shades, the dream that all our Poets
and inspired anticipators of man's perfection and felicity have always
been dreaming; but this one '_awakening_,' determined that it should
be a dream no longer. It was the hour in which the genius of antiquity
was reviving; it was the hour in which the poetic inspiration of all
the ages was reviving, and _arming_ itself with the knowledge of
'things not dreamt of' by old reformers--that knowledge of nature
which is _power_, which is the true _magic_. For this new Poet had
seen in a vision that same 'excellent beauty' which 'the divine' ones
saw of old, and 'the New Atlantis,' the celestial vision of _her_
kingdom; and being also 'ravished with that excellence, and
_awakening_, he determined to _seek her out_. And so being by _Merlin
armed_, and by _Timon thoroughly instructed_, he went forth to seek
her in _Fairy Land_.' There was a little band of heroes in that age, a
little band of philosophers and poets, secretly bent on that same
adventure, sworn to the service of that same Gloriana, though they
were fain to wear then the scarf and the device of another Queen on
_their_ armour. It is to the prince of this little band--'the prince
and mirror of all chivalry'--that this Poet dedicates his poem. But it
is Raleigh's device which he adopts in the names he uses, and it is
Raleigh who thus shares with Sydney the honour of his dedication.

'In that Faery Queene, I mean,' he says, in his prose description of
the Poem addressed to Raleigh, 'in that Faery Queene, I mean Glory in
my general intention; but, in my particular, I conceive the most
glorious person of our sovereign the Queen, and _her_ kingdom--in
_Fairy Land_.

'And yet, in some places, I do otherwise shadow her. For considering
she beareth _two persons, one_ of a most Royal _Queen_ or _Empress_,
the other of a most VIRTUOUS and BEAUTIFUL lady--the _latter part_ I
do express in BEL-PHEBE, fashioning her name according to your own
_most excellent conceit_ of "_Cynthia_," Phebe and Cynthia being both
names of _Diana_.' And thus he sings his poetic dedication:--

'To thee, that art the Summer's Nightingale,
Thy sovereign goddess's most dear delight,
Why do I send this rustic madrigal,
That may thy tuneful ear unseason quite?
_Thou, only fit this argument to write_,
In whose high thoughts _pleasure hath built her bower_,
And dainty love learn'd sweetly to indite.
My rhymes, I know, unsavoury are and soure
To taste the streams, which _like a golden showre_,
Flow from thy fruitful head of thy love's praise.
Fitter, perhaps, _to thunder martial stowre_,[Footnote]
When thee so list thy _tuneful_ thoughts to raise,
Yet _till that thou thy poem wilt make known_,
Let thy fair Cynthia's praises be thus rudely shown.'

'Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with _rage_
_Or influence chide_, or _cheer_ the drooping stage.'


'Of me,' says Raleigh, in a response to this obscure partner of his
works and arts,--a response not less mysterious, till we have found
the solution of it, for it is an enigma.

'Of me _no lines_ are loved, _no letters_ are of price,
Of all that speak the English tongue, but those of _thy device_.'

[It was a '_device_' that symbolised _all_. It was a _circle_
containing the alphabet, or the _A B C_, and the esoteric meaning of
it was '_all_ in _each_,' or _all_ in _all_, the new doctrine of the
_unity_ of science (the '_Ideas_' of the New '_Academe_'). That was
the token-name under which a great Book of this Academy was issued.]

It is to Sidney, Raleigh, and the Poet of the 'Faery-Queene,' and the
rest of that courtly company of Poets, that the contemporary author in
the Art of Poetry alludes, with a special commendation of Raleigh's
vein, as the 'most lofty, insolent, and passionate,' when he says,'
they have _writ_ excellently well, if their _doings_ could be found
out and made public with the rest.'




_Oliver_. Where will the old Duke live?

_Charles_. They say _he is already_ in the forest of _Arden_, and a
many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and
fleet the time carelessly as they did in the golden world.

As You Like It.

_Stephano_ [sings].
Flout 'em and skout'em; and skout'em and flout 'em,
_Thought_ is free.

_Cal_. That's not the tune.

[Ariel _plays the tune on a tabor and pipe_.]

_Ste_. What is this _same?_

_Trin_. This is the tune of our catch, played by--the picture

But all was not over with him in the old England yet--the present had
still its chief tasks for him.

The man who had 'achieved' his greatness, the chief who had made his
way through such angry hosts of rivals, and through such formidable
social barriers, from his little seat in the Devonshire corner to a
place in the state, so commanding, that even the jester, who was the
'Mr. Punch' of that day, conceived it to be within the limits of his
prerogative to call attention to it, and that too in 'the presence'
itself [See 'the knave' _commands_ 'the queen.'--_Tarleton_]--a place
of command so acknowledged, that even the poet could call him in the
ear of England 'her _most_ dear delight'--such a one was not going to
give up so easily the game he had been playing here so long. He was
not to be foiled with this great flaw in his fortunes even here; and
though all his work appeared for the time to be undone, and though the
eye that he had fastened on him was 'the eye' that had in it 'twenty
thousand deaths.'

It is this patient piecing and renewing of his broken webs, it is this
second building up of his position rather than the first, that shows
us what he is. One must see what he contrived to make of those
'apartments' in the Tower while he occupied them; what before
unimagined conveniencies, and elegancies, and facilities of
communication, and means of operation, they began to develop under the
searching of his genius: what means of reaching and moving the public
mind; what wires that reached to the most secret councils of state
appeared to be inlaid in those old walls while he was within them;
what springs that commanded even there movements not less striking and
anomalous than those which had arrested the critical and admiring
attention of Tarleton under the Tudor administration,--movements on
that same royal board which Ferdinand and Miranda were seen to be
playing on in Prospero's cell when all was done,--one must see what
this logician, who was the magician also, contrived to make of the
lodging which was at first only 'the cell' of a condemned criminal;
what power there was there to foil his antagonists, and crush them
too,--if nothing but throwing themselves under the wheels of his
advancement would serve their purpose; one must look at all this to
see 'what manner of man' this was, what stuff this genius was made of,
in whose hearts ideas that had been parted from all antiquities were
getting welded here then--welded so firmly that all futurities would
not disjoin them, so firmly that thrones, and dominions, and
principalities, and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this
world might combine in vain to disjoin them--the ideas whose union was
the new 'birth of time.' It is this life in 'the cell'--this game,
these masques, this tempest, that the magician will command
there--which show us, when all is done, what new stuff of Nature's own
this was, in which the new idea of combining 'the part operative' and
the part speculative of human life--this new thought of making 'the
art and practic part of life _the mistress_ to its theoric' was
understood in this scholar's own time (as we learn from the secret
traditions of the school) to have had its first germination: this idea
which is the idea of the modern learning--the idea of connecting
knowledge generally and in a systematic manner with the human
conduct--knowledge as distinguished from pre-supposition--the idea
which came out afterwards so systematically and comprehensively
developed in the works of his great contemporary and partner in arts
and learning.

We must look at this, as well as at some other demonstrations of which
this time was the witness, to see what new mastership this is that was
coming out here so signally in this age in various forms, and in more
minds than one; what soul of a new era it was that had laughed, even
in the boyhood of its heroes, at old Aristotle on his throne; that had
made its youthful games with dramatic impersonations, and caricatures,
and travesties of that old book-learning; that in the glory of those
youthful spirits--'the spirits of youths, that meant to be of note and
began betimes'--it thought itself already competent to laugh down and
dethrone with its 'jests'; that had laughed all its days in secret;
that had never once lost a chance for a jibe at the philosophy it
found in possession of the philosophic chairs--a philosophy which had
left so many things in heaven and earth uncompassed in its old futile
dreamy abstractions.

Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom,
Hang up philosophy,

was the word of the poet of this new school in one of his 'lofty and
passionate' moods, at a much earlier stage of this philosophic
development. 'See what learning is!' exclaims the Nurse, speaking at
that same date from the same dictation, for there is a Friar 'abroad'
there already in the action of that play, who is undertaking to bring
his learning to bear upon practice, and opening his cell for
scientific consultation and ghostly advice on the questions of the
play as they happen to arise; and it is his apparent capacity for
smoothing, and reconciling, and versifying, not words only, but facts,
which commands the Nurse's admiration.

This doctrine of a practical learning, this part operative of the new
learning for which the founders of it beg leave to reintegrate the
abused term of Natural Magic, referring to the Persians in particular,
to indicate the extent of the field which their magical operations are
intended ultimately to occupy; this idea, which the master of this
school was illustrating now in the Tower so happily, did not originate
in the Tower, as we shall see.

The first heirs of this new invention, were full of it. The babbling
infancy of this great union of art and learning, whose speech flows in
its later works so clear, babbled of nothing else: its Elizabethan
savageness, with its first taste of learning on its lips, with its new
classic lore yet stumbling in its speech, already, knew nothing else.
The very rudest play in all this collection of the school,--left to
show us the march of that 'time-bettering age,' the play which offends
us most--belongs properly to this collection; contains _this_ secret,
which is the Elizabethan secret, and the secret of that art of
delivery and tradition which this from the first inevitably
created,--yet rude and undeveloped, but _there_.

We need not go so far, however, as that, in this not pleasant
retrospect; for these early plays are not the ones to which the
interpreter of this school would choose to refer the reader, for the
proof of its claims at present;--these which the faults of youth and
the faults of the time conspire to mar: in which the overdoing of the
first attempt to hide under a cover suited to the tastes of the Court,
or to the yet more faulty tastes of the rabble of an Elizabethan
play-house,--the boldest scientific treatment of 'the forbidden
questions,' still leaves so much upon the surface of the play that
repels the ordinary criticism;--these that were first sent out to
bring in the rabble of that age to the scholar's cell, these in which
the new science was first brought in, in its slave's costume, with all
its native glories shorn, and its eyes put out 'to make sport' for the
Tudor--perilous sport!--these first rude essays of a learning not yet
master of its unwonted tools, not yet taught how to wear its fetters
gracefully, and wreathe them over and make immortal glories of
them--still clanking its irons. There is nothing here to detain any
criticism not yet instructed in the secret of this Art Union. But the
faults are faults of execution merely; _the design_ of the Novura
Organum is not more noble, not more clear.

For these works are the works of that same 'school' which the Jesuit
thought so dangerous, and calculated to affect unfavourably the
morality of the English nation--the school which the Jesuit contrived
to bring under suspicion as a school in which doctrines that differed
from opinions received on essential points were secretly
taught,--contriving to infect with his views on that point the lady
who was understood, at that time, to be the only person qualified to
reflect on questions of this nature; the school in which Raleigh was
asserted to be perverting the minds of young men by teaching them the
use of profane anagrams; and it cannot be denied, that anagrams, as
well as other 'devices in letters,' _were_ made use of, in involving
'the bolder meanings' contained in writings issued from this school,
especially when the scorn with which science regarded the things it
found set up for its worship had to be conveyed sometimes in a point
or a word. It is a school, whose language might often seem obnoxious
to the charge of profanity and other charges of that nature to those
who do not understand its aims, to those who do not know that it is
from the first a school of Natural Science, whose chief department was
that history which makes the basis of the '_living_ art,' the art of
_man's_ living, the _essential_ art of it,--a school in which the use
of words was, in fact, more rigorous and scrupulous than it had ever
been in any other, in which the use of words is for the first time
scientific, and yet, in some respects, more bold and free than in
those in which mere words, as words, are supposed to have some
inherent virtue and efficacy, some mystic worth and sanctity in them.

This was the learning in which the art of a new age and race first
spoke, and many an old foolish, childish, borrowed notion went off
like vapour in it at its first word, without any one's ever so much as
stopping to observe it, any one whose place was within. It is the
school of a criticism much more severe than the criticism which calls
its freedom in question. It is a school in which the taking of names
in vain in general is strictly forbidden. That is the first
commandment of it, and it is a commandment with promise.

The man who sits there in the Tower, now, driving that same
'goose-pen' which he speaks of as such a safe instrument for unfolding
practical doctrines, with such patient energy, is not now occupied
with the statistics of Noah's Ark, grave as he looks; though that,
too, is a subject which his nautical experience and the indomitable
bias of his genius as a western man towards calculation in general,
together with his notion that the affairs of the world generally, past
as well as future, belong properly to his _sphere_ as a _man_, will
require him to take up and examine and report upon, before he will
think that his work is done. It is not a chapter in the History of the
World which he is composing at present, though that work is there at
this moment on the table, and forms the ostensible state-prison work
of this convict.

This is the man who made one so long ago in those brilliant 'Round
Table' reunions, in which the idea of converting the new _belles
lettres_ of that new time, to such grave and politic uses was first
suggested; he is the genius of that company, that even in such frolic
mad-cap games as Love's Labour's Lost, and the Taming of the Shrew,
and Midsummer Night's Dream, could contrive to insert, not the broad
farce and burlesque on the old pretentious wordy philosophy and
pompous rhetoric it was meant to dethrone only, and not the most
perilous secret of the new philosophy, only, but the secret of its
organ of delivery and tradition, the secret of its use of letters, the
secret of its '_cipher in letters_,' and not its 'cipher in words'
only, the cipher in which the secret of the authorship of these works
was infolded, and in which it was _found_, but not found in these
earlier plays,--plays in which these so perilous secrets are still
conveyed in so many involutions, in passages so intricate with quips
and puns and worthless trivialities, so uninviting or so marred with
their superficial meanings, that no one would think of looking in them
for anything of any value. For it is always when some necessary, but
not superficial, question of the play is to be considered, that the
Clown and the Fool are most in request, for 'there be of them that
will themselves laugh to set on some _barren spectators_ to laugh
too'; and under cover of that mirth it is, that the grave or witty
undertone reaches the ear of the judicious.

It is in the later and more finished works of this school that the key
to the secret doctrines of it, which it is the object of this work to
furnish, is best found. But the fact, that in the very rudest and most
faulty plays in this collection of plays, which form so important a
department of the works of this school, which make indeed the noblest
tradition, the only adequate tradition, the 'illustrated tradition' of
its noblest doctrine--the fact that in the very earliest germ of this
new union of 'practic and theoric,' of art and learning, from which we
pluck at last Advancements of Learning, and Hamlets, and Lears, and
Tempests, and the Novum Organum, already the perilous secret of this
union is infolded, already the entire organism that these great fruits
and flowers will unfold in such perfection is contained, and clearly
traceable,--this is a fact which appeared to require insertion in this
history, and not, perhaps, without some illustration.

'It is not amiss to observe,' says the Author of the Advancement of
Learning, when at last his great exordium to the science of nature in
man, and the art of culture and cure that is based on that science is
finished--pausing to observe it, pausing ere he will produce his index
to that science, to observe it: 'It is _not_ amiss to observe', he
says--(speaking of the operation of culture in general on young minds,
so forcible, though unseen, as hardly any length of time, or
contention of labour, can countervail it afterwards)--'how small and
mean faculties gotten by education, yet when they fall into _great
men, or great matters_, do work _great and important effects_; whereof
we see a notable example in _Tacitus_, of _two stage-players_,
Percennius and Vibulenus, who, _by their faculty of playing_, put the
_Pannonian_ armies _into an extreme tumult and combustion_; for,
_there arising a mutiny_ among them, upon the death of _Augustus_
Caesar, _Blaesus_ the lieutenant had committed some of the mutineers,
_which were suddenly rescued_; whereupon Vibulenus _got to be heard
speak_ [being a stage-player], which he did _in this manner_.

'"These poor _innocent_ wretches _appointed to cruel death_, you have
restored to behold the light: but who shall restore _my brother_ to
me, or life to my brother, _that was sent hither in message from the
legions of Germany_ to treat of--THE COMMON CAUSE? And he hath
murdered him this last night by _some of his fencers and ruffians,
that he hath about him for his executioners_ upon soldiers. The
mortalest enemies do not deny burial; _when I have performed my last
duties to the corpse with kisses, with tears, command me to be slain
besides him_, so that these, my fellows, _for our good meaning_ and
our _true hearts_ to THE LEGION, _may have leave to bury us_."

'With which speech he put the army into an infinite fury and uproar;
whereas, truth was, he had no brother, neither was there any _such_
matter [in that case], but he played it merely _as if_ he had been
upon the stage.'

This is the philosopher and stage critic who expresses a decided
opinion elsewhere, that 'the play's the thing,' though he finds this
kind of writing, too, useful in its way, and for certain purposes; but
he is the one who, in speaking of the original differences in the
natures and gifts of men, suggests that 'there _are_ a kind of men who
can, as it were, divide themselves;' and he does not hesitate to
propound it as his deliberate opinion, that a man of wit should have
at command a number of styles adapted to different auditors and
exigencies; that is, if he expects to accomplish anything with his
rhetoric. That is what he makes himself responsible for from his
professional chair of learning; but it is the Prince of Denmark, with
his remarkable natural faculty of speaking to the point, who says,
'_Seneca_ can not be _too heavy_, nor _Plautus_ too light,
for--[what?]--the _law of writ_--and--the _liberty_.' '_These_ are the
only _men_,' he adds, referring apparently to that tinselled gauded
group of servants that stand there awaiting his orders.

'My lord--you played once _in the university_, you say,' he observes
afterwards, addressing himself to that so politic statesmen whose
overreaching court plots and performances end for himself so
disastrously. 'That did I, my lord,' replies Polonius, '_and was
accounted a good actor_.' 'And what did you enact?' 'I did enact
_Julius Caesar_. I--was killed i' the Capitol [I]. Brutus killed me.'
'It was a _brute_ part of him [collateral sounds--Elizabethan
phonography] to kill so _capitol a calf_ there.--Be the players
ready?'(?). [That is the question.]

'While watching the progress of the action at Sadlers' Wells,' says
the dramatic critic of the 'Times,' in the criticism of the Comedy of
Errors before referred to, directing attention to the juvenile air of
the piece, to 'the classic severity in the form of the play,' and
'that _baldness_ of treatment which is a peculiarity of antique
comedy'--'while watching the progress of the action at Sadlers' Wells,
_we may almost fancy we are at St. Peter's College_, witnessing the
annual performance of _the Queen's scholars_.' That is not surprising
to one acquainted with the history of these plays, though the
criticism which involves this kind of observation is not exactly the
criticism to which we have been accustomed here. But any one who
wishes to see, as a matter of antiquarian curiosity, or for any other
purpose, how far from being hampered in the first efforts of his
genius with _this_ class of educational associations, that particular
individual would naturally have been, in whose unconscious brains this
department of the modern learning is supposed to have had its
accidental origin,--any one who wishes to see in what direction the
antecedents of a person in that station in life would naturally have
biased, _at that time_, his first literary efforts, if, indeed, he had
ever so far escaped from the control of circumstances as to master the
art of the collocation of letters--any person who has any curiosity
whatever on this point is recommended to read in this connection a
letter from a professional contemporary of this individual--one who
comes to us with unquestionable claims to our respect, inasmuch as he
appears to have had some care for _the future_, and some object in
living beyond that of promoting his own immediate private interests
and sensuous gratification.

It is a letter of Mr. Edward Alleyn (the founder of Dulwich College),
published by the Shakspere Society, to which we are compelled to have
recourse for information on this interesting question; inasmuch as
that distinguished contemporary and professional rival of his referred
to, who occupies at present so large a space in the public eye, as it
is believed for the best of reasons, has failed to leave us any
specimens of his method of reducing his own personal history to
writing, or indeed any demonstration of his appreciation of the art of
chirography, in general. He is a person who appears to have given a
decided preference to the method of oral communication as a means of
effecting his objects. But in reading this truly interesting document
from the pen of an Elizabethan player, who _has_ left us a specimen of
his use of that instrument usually so much in esteem with men of
letters, we must take into account the fact, that _this_ is an
exceptional case of culture. It is the case of a player who aspired to
distinction, and who had raised himself by the force of his genius
above his original social level; it is the case of a player who has
been referred to recently as a proof of the position which it was
possible for 'a stage player' to attain to under those particular
social conditions.

But as this letter is of a specially private and confidential nature,
and as this poor player who _did_ care for the future, and who founded
with his talents, such as they were, a noble charity, instead of
living and dying to himself, is not to blame for his defects of
education,--since his _acts_ command our respect, however faulty his
attempts at literary expression,--this letter will not be produced
here. But whoever has read it, or whoever may chance to read it, in
the course of an antiquarian research, will be apt to infer, that
whatever educational bias the first efforts of genius subjected to
influences of the same kind would naturally betray, the faults charged
upon the Comedy of Errors, the leaning to the classics, the taint of
St. Peter's College, the tone of the Queen's scholars, are hardly the
faults that the instructed critic would look for.

But to ascertain the fact, that the controlling idea of that new
learning which the Man in the Tower is illustrating now in so grand
and mature a manner, not with his pen only, but with his 'living art,'
and with such an entire independence of classic models, is already
organically contained in those earlier works on which the classic
shell is still visible, it is not necessary to go back to the
Westminster play of these new classics, or to the performances of the
Queen's Scholars. Plays having a considerable air of maturity, in
which the internal freedom of judgment and taste is already absolute,
still exhibit on the surface of them this remarkable submission to the
ancient forms which are afterwards rejected on principle, and by a
rule in the new rhetoric--a rule which the author of the Advancement
of Learning is at pains to state very clearly. The _wildness_ of which
we hear so much, works itself out upon the surface, and determines the
form at length, as these players proceed and grow bolder with their
work. A play, second to none in historical interest, invaluable when
regarded simply in its relation to the history of this school, one
which may be considered, in fact, the Introductory Play of the New
School of Learning, is one which exhibits very vividly these striking
characteristics of the earlier period. It is one in which the
vulgarities of the Play-house are still the cloak of the philosophic
subtleties, and incorporated, too, into the philosophic design; and it
is one in which the unity of design, that one design which makes the
works of this school, from first to last, as the work of one man, is
still cramped with those other unities which the doctrines of Dionysus
and the mysteries of Eleusis prescribed of old to _their_
interpreters. 'What is the _end_ of _study_? What is the _end_ of it?'
was the word of the New School of Learning. _That_ was its first
speech. It was a speech produced with dramatic illustrations, for the
purpose of bringing out its significance more fully, for the purpose
of pointing the inquiry unmistakeably to those ends of learning which
the study of the learned then had not yet comprehended. It is a speech
on behalf of a new learning, in which the extant learning is produced
on the stage, in its actual historical relation to those '_ends_'
which the new school conceived to be the true ends of it, which are
brought on to the stage in palpable, visible representation, not in
allegorical forms, but in instances, 'conspicuous instances,' living
specimens, after the manner of this school.

'What is the end of study?' cried the setter forth of this new
doctrine, as long before as when lore and love were debating it
together in that 'little Academe' that was yet, indeed, to be 'the
wonder of the world, still and contemplative in _living_ art.' 'What
is the end of study?' cries already the voice of one pacing under
these new olives. _That_ was the word of the new school; that was the
word of new ages, and these new minds taught of nature--her priests
and prophets knew it then, already, 'Let fame that all hunt after _in
their lives_,' _they_ cry--

_Live_ registered upon our brazen _tombs_,
And then _grace us in the disgrace of death_;
When spite of cormorant devouring time,
The endeavour of _this present breath_ may buy
_That honour_ which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us HEIRS of _all eternity_--[of ALL].
* * * * *
_Navarre_ shall be the wonder of the world,
Our Court shall be _a little Academe_,
_Still and contemplative in_--LIVING _art_.

This is the Poet of the Woods who is beginning his 'recreations' for
us here--the poet who loves so well to take his court gallants in
their silks and velvets, and perfumes, and fine court ladies with all
their courtly airs and graces, and all the stale conventionalitites
that he is sick of, out from under the low roofs of princes into that
great palace in which the Queen, whose service he is sworn to, keeps
the State. This is the school-master who takes his school all out on
holiday excursions into green fields, and woods, and treats them to
country merry-makings, and not in sport merely. This is the one that
breaks open the cloister, and the close walls that learning had dwelt
in till then, and shuts up the musty books, and bids that old droning
cease. This is the one that stretches the long drawn aisle and lifts
the fretted vault into a grander temple. The Court with all its pomp
and retinue, the school with all its pedantries and brazen ignorance,
'High Art' with its new graces, divinity, Mar-texts and all, must
'come hither, come hither,' and 'under the green-wood tree lie with
me,' the ding-dong of this philosopher's new learning says, calling
his new school together. This is the linguist that will find
'_tongues_ in trees,' and crowd out from the halls of learning the
lore of ancient parchments with their verdant classics, their 'truth
in beauty dyed.' This is the teacher with whose new alphabet you can
find 'sermons in stones, _books_ in the running brooks,' and
good,--good--his '_good_' the good of the New School, that broader
'_good_' in every _thing_. 'The roof of _this_ court is too high to be
_yours_,' says the princess of this out-door scene to the sovereignty
that claimed it then.

This is 'great Nature's' Poet and Interpreter, and he takes us always
into 'the continent of nature'; but man is his chief end, and that
island which his life makes in the universal being is the point to
which that Naturalist brings home all his new collections. This is the
Poet of the Woods, but man,--man at the summit of his arts, in the
perfection of his refinements, is always the creature that he is
'collecting' in them. In his wildest glades, this is still the species
that he is busied with. He has brought him there to experiment on him,
and that we may see the better what he is. He has brought him there to
improve his arts, to reduce his conventional savageness, to re-refine
his coarse refinements, not to make a wild-man of him. This is the
Poet of the Woods; but he is a woodman, he carries an axe on his
shoulder. He will wake a continental forest with it and subdue it, and
fill it with his music.

For this is the Poet who cries 'Westward Ho!' But he has not got into
the woods yet in this play. He is only on the edge of them as yet. It
is under the blue roof of that same dome which is 'too high,' the
princess here says, to belong to the pygmy that this Philosopher likes
so well to bring out and to measure under that canopy--it is 'out of
doors' that this new speech on behalf of a new learning is spoken. But
there is a close rim of conventionalities about us still. It is _a
Park_ that this audacious proposal is uttered in. But nothing can be
more orderly, for it is 'a Park with a Palace in it.' There it is, in
the background. If it were the Attic proscenium itself hollowed into
the south-east corner of the Acropolis, what more could one ask. But
it is the palace of the King of--_Navarre_, who is the prince of good
fellows and the prince of good learning at one and the same time,
which makes, in this case, the novelty. 'A Park with a Palace in it'
makes the first scene. 'Another part of the same' with the pavilion of
a princess and the tents of _her_ Court seen in the distance, makes
the second; and the change from one part of this park to another,
though we get into the heart of it sometimes, is the utmost license
that the rigours of the Greek Drama permit the Poet to think of at
present. This criticism on the old learning, this audacious proposal
for the new, with all the bold dramatic illustration with which it is
enforced, must be managed here under these restrictions. Whatever
'persons' the plot of this drama may require for its evolutions,
whatever witnesses and reporters the trial and conviction of the old
learning, and the definition of the ground of the new, may require,
will have to be induced to cross this park at this particular time,
because the form of the new art is not yet emancipated, and the Muse
of the Inductive Science cannot stir from the spot to search them out.

However, that does not impair the representation as it is managed.
There is a very bold artist here already, with all his deference for
the antique. We shall be sure to have _all_ when he is the plotter.
The action of this drama is not complicated. The persons of it are
few; the characterization is feeble, compared with that of some of the
later plays; but that does not hinder or limit the design, and it is
all the more apparent for this artistic poverty, anatomically clear;
while as yet that perfection of art in which all trace of the
structure came so soon to be lost in the beauty of the illustration,
is yet wanting; while as yet that art which made of its living
instance an intenser life, or which made with its _living_ art a life
more living than life itself, was only germinating.

The illustration here, indeed, approaches the allegorical form, in the
obtrusive, untempered predominance of the qualities represented, so
overdone as to wear the air of a caricature, though the historical
combination is still here. These diagrams are alive evidently; they
are men, and not allegorical spectres, or toys, though they are
'painted in character.'

The entire representation of the extant learning is dramatically
produced on this stage; the germ of the 'new' is here also; and the
unoccupied ground of it is marked out here as, in the Advancement of
Learning, by the criticism on the deficiences of that which has the
field. Here, too, the line of the extant culture,--the narrow indented
boundary of the _culture_ that professed to take all is always
defining the new,--cutting out the wild not yet visited by the art of
man;--only here the criticism is much more lively, because here 'we
come _to particulars_,' a thing which the new philosophy--much insists
on; and though this want in learning, and the wildness it leaves, is
that which makes tragedies in this method of exhibition; it has its
comical aspect also; and this is the laughing and weeping philosopher
in one who manages these representations; and in this case it is the
comical aspect of the subject that is seized on.

Our diagrams are still coarse here, but they have already the good
scientific quality of exhausting the subject. It is the New School
that occupies the centre of the piece. Their quarters are in that
palace, but the _king_ of it is the _Royalty_ (Raleigh) that founded
and endowed this School--that was one of his secret titles,--and under
that name he may sometimes be recognized in descriptions and
dedications that persons who were not in the secret of the School
naturally applied in another quarter, or appropriated to themselves.
'_Rex_ was a surname among the Romans,' says the Interpreter of this
School, in a very explanatory passage, 'as well as _King_ is _with
us_.' It is the New School that is under these boughs here, but hardly
that as yet.

It is rather the representation of the new classical learning,--the
old learning newly revived,--in which the new is germinating. It is
that learning in its _first_ effect on the young, enthusiastic, but
earnest practical English mind. It is that revival of the old
learning, arrested, _daguerreotyped_ at the moment in which the new
begins to stir in it, in minds which are going to be the master-minds
of ages.

'Common sense' is the word here already. 'Common sense' is the word
that this new Academe is convulsed with when the curtain rises. And
though it is laughter that you hear there now, sending its merry
English peals through those musty, antique walls, as the first ray of
that new beam enters them; the muse of the new mysteries has also
another mask, and if you will wait a little, you shall hear that tone
too. Cries that the old mysteries never caught, lamentations for
Adonis not heard before, griefs that Dionysus never knew, shall yet
ring out from those walls.

Under that classic dome which still calls itself Platonic, the
questions and experiments of the new learning are beginning. These
youths are here to represent the new philosophy, which is science, in
the act of taking its first step. The subject is presented here in
large masses. But this central group, at least, is composed of living
men, and not dramatic shadows merely. There are good historical
features peering through those masks a little. These youths are full
of youthful enthusiasm, and aspiring to the ideal heights of learning
in their enthusiasm. But already the practical bias of their genius
betrays itself. They are making a practical experiment with the
classics, and to their surprise do not find them 'good for life.'

Here is the School, then,--with the classics on trial in the persons
of these new school-men. That is the central group. What more do we
want? Here is the new and the old already. But this is the old
_revived_--newly revived;--this is the revival of learning in whose
stimulus the _new_ is beginning. There is something in the field
besides that. There is a 'school-master abroad' yet, that has not been
examined. These young men who have resolved themselves in their secret
sittings into a committee of the whole, are going to have him up. He
will be obliged to come into this park here, and speak his speech in
the ear of that English 'common sense,' which is meddling here, for
the first time, in a comprehensive manner with things in general; he
will have to 'speak out loud and plain,' that these English parents
who are sitting here in the theatre, some of 'the wiser sort' of them,
at least, may get some hint of what it is that this pedagogue is
beating into their children's brains, taking so much of their glorious
youth from them--that priceless wealth of nature which none can
restore to them,--as the purchase. But this is not all. There is a man
who teaches the grown-up children of the parish in which this Park is
situated, who happens to live hard by,--a man who professes the care
and cure of minds. He, too, has had a summons sent him; there will be
no excuse taken; and his examination will proceed at the same time.
These two will come into the Park together; and perhaps we shall not
be able to detect any very marked difference in their modes of
expressing themselves. They are two ordinary, quiet-looking personages
enough. There is nothing remarkable in their appearance; their coming
here is not forced. There are deer in this Park; and 'book-men' as
they are, they have a taste for sport also it seems. Unless you should
get a glimpse of the type,--of the unit in their faces--and that
shadowy train that _the cipher_ points to,--unless you should observe
that their speech is somewhat strongly pronounced for an individual
representation--merely glancing at them in passing--you would not,
perhaps, suspect who they are. And yet the hints are not wanting; they
are very thickly strewn,--the hints which tell you that in these two
men all the extant learning, which is in places of trust and
authority, is represented; all that is not included in that elegant
learning which those students are making sport of in those 'golden
books' of theirs, under the trees here now.

But there is another department of art and literature which is put
down as a department of '_learning_,' and a most grave and momentous
department of it too, in that new scheme of learning which this play
is illustrating,--one which will also have to be impersonated in this
representation,--one which plays a most important part in the history
of this School. It is that which gives it the _power_ it lacks and
wants, and in one way or another will have. It is that which makes _an
arm_ for it, and a _long_ one. It is that which supplies its hidden
_arms_ and _armour_. But neither is this department of learning as it
is extant,--as this School finds it prepared to its hands, going to be
permitted to escape the searching of this comprehensive satire. There
is a 'refined traveller of Spain' haunting the purlieus of this Court,
who is just the bombastic kind of person that is wanted to act this
part. For this impersonation, too, is historical. There are just such
creatures in nature as this. We see them now and then; or, at least,
he is not much overdone,--'this child of Fancy,--Don Armado hight.' It
is the Old Romance, with his ballads and allegories,--with his old
'lies' and his new arts,--that this company are going to use for their
new minstrelsy; but first they will laugh him out of his bombast and
nonsense, and instruct him in the knowledge of 'common things,' and
teach him how to make poetry out of them. They have him here now, to
make sport of him with the rest. It is the fashionable literature,--
the literature that entertains _a court_,--the literature of _a
tyranny_, with his gross servility, with his courtly affectations,
with his arts of amusement, his 'vain delights,' with his euphuisms,
his 'fire-new words,' it is the polite learning, the Elizabethan
_Belles Lettres_, that is brought in here, along with that old
Dryasdust Scholasticism, which the other two represent, to make up
this company. These critics, who turn the laugh upon themselves, who
caricature their own follies for the benefit of learning, who make
themselves and their own failures the centre of the comedy of _Love's_
Labour's Lost, are not going to let this thing escape; with the
heights of its ideal, and the grossness of its real, it is the very
fuel for the mirth that is blazing and crackling here. For these are
the woodmen that are at work here, making sport as they work; hewing
down the old decaying trunks, gathering all the nonsense into heaps,
and burning it up and and clearing the ground for the new.

'What is the end of study,' is the word of this Play. To get the old
books shut, but _not_ till they have been examined, _not_ till all the
good in them has been taken out, not till we have made a _stand_ on
them; to get the old books in their places, under our feet, and
'_then_ to make progression' after we see where we are, is the
proposal here--_here_ also. It is the shutting up of the old books,
and the opening of the new ones, which is the business here. But
_that_--that is not the proposal of an ignorant man (as this Poet
himself takes pains to observe); it is not the proposition of a man
who does not know what there is in books--who does not know but there
is every thing in them that they claim to have in them, every thing
that is good for life, _magic_ and all. An ignorant man is in awe of
books, on account of his ignorance. He thinks there are all sorts of
things in them. He is very diffident when it comes to any question in
regard to them. He tells you that he is not '_high learned_,' and
defers to his betters. Neither is this the proposition of a man who
has read _a little_, who has only a smattering in books, as the Poet
himself observes. It is the proposition of _a scholar_, who has read
them _all_, or had them read for him and examined, who knows what is
in them _all_, and what they are good for, and what they are not good
for. This is the man who laughs at learning, and borrows her own
speech to laugh her down with. _This_, and _not the ignorant man_, it
is who opens at last 'great nature's' gate to us, and tells us to come
out and learn of her, _because_ that which old books did _not_ 'clasp
in,' that which old philosophies have 'not _dreamt_ of,'--the lore of
laws not written yet in books of man's devising, the lore of _that_ of
which man's ordinary life consisteth is _here_, uncollected, waiting
to be spelt out.

_King_. _How well he's read_ to reason _against reading_.

is the inference _here_.

_Dumain_. _Proceeded_ well to _stop_ all good _proceeding._

It is _progress_ that is proposed here also. After the survey of
learning 'has been well taken, _then_ to make _progession_' is the
word. It is not the doctrine of unlearning that is taught here in this
satire. It is a learning that includes all the extant wisdom, and
finds it insufficient. It is one that requires a new and nobler study
for its god-like _ends_. But, at the same time, the hindrances that a
practical learning has to encounter are pointed at from the first. The
fact, that the true ends of learning take us at once into the ground
of the forbidden questions, is as plainly stated in the opening speech
of the New Academy as the nature of the statement will permit. The
fact, that the intellect is trained to _vain delights_ under such
conditions, because there is no earnest legitimate occupation of it
permitted, is a fact that is glanced at here, as it is in other
places, though not in such a manner, of course, as to lead to a
'question' from the government in regard to the meaning of the
passages in which these grievances are referred to. Under these
embarrassments it is, we are given to understand, however, that the
criticism on the old learning and the plot for the new is about to

Here it takes the form of comedy and broad farce. There is a touch of
'tart Aristophanes' in the representation here. This is the
introductory performance of the school in which the student hopes for
_high words howsoever low the matter_, emphasizing that hope with an
allusion to the heights of learning, as he finds it, and the highest
word of it, which seems irreverent, until we find from the whole
purport of the play how far _he_ at least is from taking it _in vain_,
whatever implication of that sort his criticism may be intended to
leave on others, who use good words with so much iteration and to so
little purpose. 'That is a _high hope_ for a low having' is the
rejoinder of that associate of his, whose views on this point agree
with his own so entirely. It is the height of the _hope_ and the
lowness of the _having_--it is the height of the _words_ and the
lowness of the _matter_, that makes the incongruity here. That is the
soul of all the mirth that is stirring here. It is the height of '_the
style_' that '_gives us cause to climb in the merriment_' that makes
the subject of this essay. It is literature in general that is laughed
at here, and the branches of it in particular. It is the old books
that are walking about under these trees, with their follies all
ravelled out, making sport for us.

But this is not all. It is the _defect_ in learning which is
represented here--that same 'defect' which a graver work of this
Academy reports, in connection with a proposition for the Advancement
of Learning--for its advancement into the fields not yet taken up, and
which turn out, upon inquiry, to be the fields of human life and
practice;--it is that main defect which is represented here. 'I find a
kind of science of "_words_" but none of "_things_,"' says the
reporter. 'What do you read, my lord?' 'Words, words, words,' echoes
the Prince of Denmark. 'I find in these antique books, in these
Philosophies and Poems, a certain resplendent or lustrous mass of
matter chosen to give glory either to the subtilty of disputations, or
to the eloquence of discourses,' says the other and graver reporter;
'but as to the ordinary and common matter of which life consisteth, I
do _not_ find it erected into an art or science, or reduced to written
inquiry.' 'How _low_ soever the matter, I hope in God for _high
words_,' says a speaker, who comes out of that same palace of learning
on to this stage with the secret badge of the new lore on him, which
is the lore of practice--a speaker not less grave, though he comes in
now in the garb of this pantomime, to make sport for us with his news
of learning. For 'Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light
for the law of writ and the liberty.'

It is the high _words_ and the low _having_ that make the incongruity.
But we cannot see the vanity of those heights of words, till the
lowness of the matter which they profess to abstract has been brought
into contrast with them, till the particulars which they do _not_
grasp, which they can _not_ compel, have been brought into studious
contrast with them. The delicate graces of those flowery summits of
speech which the ideal nature, when it energises in speech, creates,
must overhang in this design the rude actuality which the untrained
nature in man, forgotten of art, is always producing. And it is the
might of nature in this opposition, it is the force of 'matter,' it is
the unconquerable cause contrasted with the vanity of the words that
have not comprehended the _cause_, it is the futility of these heights
of words that are not '_forms_' that do not correspond to things which
must be exhibited here also. It is the force of the _law_ in nature,
that must be brought into opposition here with the height of the
_word_, the _ideal_ word, the _higher_, but not yet scientifically
abstracted word, that seeks in vain because it has no 'grappling-hook'
on the actuality, to bind it. There already are the _heights of
learning_ as it is, as this school finds it, dramatically exhibited on
the one hand; but this, too,--_life_ as it is,--as this school finds
it, man's life as it is, unreduced to order by his philosophy,
unreduced to melody by his verse, must also be dramatically exhibited
on the other hand, must also be impersonated. It is life that we have
here, the 'theoric' on the one side, the 'practic' on the other. The
height of the books on the one side, the lowness, the unvisited,
'unlettered' lowness of the life on the other. That which exhibits the
_defect_ in learning that the new learning is to remedy, the new
uncultured, unbroken ground of science must be exhibited here also.
But _that_ is man's life. That is the world. And what if it be? There
are diagrams in this theatre large enough for that. It is the theatre
of the New Academy which deals also in IDEAS, but prefers the
solidarities. The wardrobe and other properties of this theatre are
specially adapted to exigencies of this kind. The art that put the
extant learning with those few strokes into the grotesque forms you
see there, will not be stopped on this side either, for any law of
writ or want of space and artistic comprehension. This is the learning
that can be bounded in the nut-shell of an aphorism and include all in
its bounds.

There are not many persons here, and they are ordinary looking persons
enough. _But_ if you _lift_ those dominos a little, which that
'refined traveller of Spain' has brought in fashion, you will find
that this rustic garb and these homely country features hide more than
they promised; and the princess, with her train, who is keeping state
in the tents yonder, though there is an historical portrait there too,
is greater than she seems. This Antony _Dull_ is a poor rude fellow;
but he is a great man in this play. This is the play in which one asks
'Which is the princess?' and the answer is, 'The tallest and the
thickest.' Antony is the thickest, he is the acknowledged sovereign
here in this school; for he is of that greater part that carries it,
and though he hath never fed of the dainties bred in a book, these
spectacles which the new 'book men' are getting up here are intended
chiefly for him. And that unlettered small knowing soul 'Me'--'still
_me_'--insignificant as you think him when you see him in the form of
a country swain, is a person of most extensive domains and
occupations, and of the very highest dignity, as this philosophy will
demonstrate in various ways, under various symbols. You will have that
same _me_ in the form of a _Mountain_, before you have read all the
books of this school, and mastered all its '_tokens_' and '_symbols_.'

The dramatic representation here is meagre; but we shall find upon
inquiry it is already the Globe Theatre, with all its new
solidarities, new in philosophy, new in poetry, that the leaves of
this park hide--this park that the doors and windows of the New
Academe open into--these new grounds that it lets out its students to
play and study in, and collect their specimens from--'still and
contemplative in living art.' It was all the world that was going
through that park that day haply, we shall find. It is all the world
that we get in this narrow representation here, as we get it in a more
limited representation still, in another place. 'All the world knows
_me_ in my book and my book in _me_,' cries the Egotist of the
Mountain. It is the first Canto of that great Epic, whose argument
runs through so many books, that is chanted here. It is the war, the
unsuccessful war of lore and nature, whose lost fields have made man's
life, that is getting reviewed at last and reduced to speech and
writing. It is the school itself that makes the centre of the plot in
this case; these gay young philosophers with 'the ribands' yet
floating in their 'cap of youth,' who oppose lore to love, who 'war
against _their own affections_ and THE HUGE ARMY OF THE WORLD'S
DESIRES,' ere they know what they are; who think to conquer nature's
potencies, her universal powers and causes, with wordy ignorance, with
resolutions that ignore them simply, and make a virtue of ignoring
them, these are the chief actors here, who come out of that classic
tiring house where they have been shut up with the ancients so long,
to celebrate on this green plot, which is life, their own defeat, and
propose a better wisdom, the wisdom of the moderns. And Holofernes,
the schoolmaster, who cultivates minds, and Sir Nathaniel, the curate,
who cures them, and Don Armado or Don A_drama_dio, from the flowery
heights of the new Belles Lettres, with the last refinement of
Euphuism on his lips, and Antony Dull, and the country damsel and her
swain, and the princess and her attendants, are all there to eke out
and complete the philosophic design,--to exhibit the extant learning
in its airy flights and gross descents, in its ludicrous attempt to
escape from those particulars or to grapple, without loss of grandeur,
those particulars of which man's life consisteth. It is the vain
pretension and assumption of those faulty wordy abstractions, whose
falseness and failure in practice this school is going to expose
elsewhere; it is the defect of those abstractions and idealisms that
the Novum Organum was invented to remedy, which is exhibited so
grossly and palpably here. It is the height of those great swelling
words of rhetoric and logic, in rude contrast with those actualities
which the history of man is always exhibiting, which the universal
nature in man is always imposing on the learned and unlearned, the
profane and the reverend, the courtier and the clown, the 'king and
the beggar,' the actualities which the natural history of man
continues perseveringly to exhibit, in the face of those logical
abstractions and those ideal schemes of man as he should be, which had
been till this time the fruit of learning;--those actualities, those
particulars, whose lowness the new philosophy would begin with, which
the new philosophy would erect into an art or science.

The foundation of this ascent is natural history. There must be
nothing omitted here, or the stairs would be unsafe. The rule in this
School, as stated by the Interpreter in Chief, is, 'that there be
_nothing in the globe of matter_, which should not be likewise in the
globe of _crystal_ or _form_;' that is, he explains, 'that there
should not be anything in _being_ and _action_, which should not be
_drawn_ and _collected_ into _contemplation_ and _doctrine_.' The
lowness of matter, all the capabilities and actualities of speech and
action, not of the refined only, but of the vulgar and profane, are
included in the science which contemplates an historical result, and
which proposes the _reform_ of these actualities, the cure of these
maladies,--which comprehends man as man in its intention,--which makes
the _Common Weal_ its end.

Science is the word that unlocks the books of this School, its gravest
and its lightest, its books of loquacious prose and stately allegory,
and its Book of Sports and Riddles. Science is the clue that still
threads them, that never breaks, in all their departures from the
decorums of literature, in their lowest descents from the refinements
of society. The vulgarity is not _the_ vulgarity of the vulgar--the
inelegancy is not the spontaneous rudeness of the ill-bred--any more
than its doctrine of nature is the doctrine of the unlearned. The
loftiest refinements of letters, the courtliest breeding, the most
exquisite conventionalities, the most regal dignities of nature, are
always present in _these_ works, to measure these abysses, flowering
to their brink. Man as he is, booked, surveyed,--surveyed from the
continent of nature, put down as he is in her book of kinds, not as he
is from his own interior isolated conceptions only,--the universal
powers and causes as they are developed in him, in his untaught
affections, in his utmost sensuous darkness,--the universal principle
instanced whereit is most buried, the cause in nature found;--man as
he is, in his heights and in his depths, 'from his lowest note to the
top of his key,'--man in his possibilities, in his actualities, in his
thought, in his speech, in his book language, and in his every-day
words, in his loftiest lyric tongue, in his lowest pit of play-house
degradation, searched out, explained, interpreted. That is the key to
the books of this Academe, who carry always on their armour, visible
to those who have learned their secret, but hid under the symbol of
their double worship, the device of the Hunters,--the symbol of the
twin-gods,--the silver bow, or the bow that finds all. 'Seeing that
she beareth two persons ... I do also otherwise _shadow_ her.'

It is man's life, and the culture of it, erected into an art or
science, that these books contain. In the lowness of the lowest, and
in the aspiration of the noblest, the powers whose entire history must
make the basis of a successful morality and policy are found. It is
all abstracted or drawn into contemplation, 'that the precepts of cure
and culture may be more rightly concluded.' 'For that which in
speculative philosophy corresponds to the cause, in practical
philosophy becomes the rule.'

It is not necessary to illustrate this criticism in this case, because
in this case the design looks through the execution everywhere. The
criticism of the Novum Organum, the criticism of the Advancement of
Learning, and the criticism of Raleigh's History of the World, than
which there is none finer, when once you penetrate its crust of
profound erudition, is here on the surface. And the scholasticism is
not more obtrusive here, the learned sock is not more ostentatiously
paraded, than in some critical places in those performances; while the
humour that underlies the erudition issues from a depth of learning
not less profound.

As, for instance, in this burlesque of the descent of _Euphuism_ to
the prosaic detail of the human conditions, not then accommodated with
a style in literature, a defect in learning which this Academy
proposed to remedy. A new department in literature which began with a
series of papers issued from this establishment, has since undertaken
to cover the ground here indicated, the _every-day_ human life, and
reduce it to written inquiry, notwithstanding 'the lowness of the


_King_ [_reads_], 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole
dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god, and body's fostering
patron.... So it is,--besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did
commend the black, oppressing humour to the most wholesome physick of
thy health-giving air, and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to
walk. The time when? About the sixth hour: when beasts most graze,
birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called

[No one who is much acquainted with the style of the author of this
letter ought to have any difficulty in identifying him here. There was
a method of dramatic composition in use then, and not in _this_
dramatic company only, which produced an amalgamation of styles. 'On a
forgotten matter,' these associated authors themselves, perhaps, could
not always 'make distinction of their hands.' But there are places
where Raleigh's share in this 'cry of players' shows through very

'So much for the time _when_. Now for the ground _which_; which I mean
I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where
I mean I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that
draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou
beholdest, surveyest, or seest, etc....

'Thine in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty.


And in another letter from the same source, the dramatic criticism on
that style of literature which it was the intention of this School 'to
reform altogether' is thus continued.

... 'The magnanimous and most illustrate King _Cophetua_, set eye upon
the pernicious and indubitate beggar _Zenelophon_. And it was he that
might rightly say, _Veni, vidi, vici_; which to _anatomise_ in the
vulgar, (_O base and obscure vulgar_!) _Videlicet_, he came, saw, and
overcame... Who came? the king. Why did he come? to see. Why did he
see? to overcome. To whom came he? to the beggar. What saw he? the
beggar. Who overcame he? the beggar. The conclusion is victory. On
whose side? etc.

'Thine in the dearest design of industry.'

[_Dramatic comment_.]

_Boyet. I am much deceived but I remember the style.

_Princess_. Else your memory is bad going o'er it erewhile._

_Jaquenetta_. Good Master Parson, be so good as to read me this
letter--it was sent me from Don _Armatho_: I beseech you to read it.

_Holofernes_. [Speaking here, however, not in character but for 'the
_Academe_.'] _Fauste precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra
Ruminat_, and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as
the traveller doth of Venice

--Vinegia, Vinegia,
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.

Old Mantuan! Old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not, _loves thee
not.--Ut re sol la mi fa.--Under pardon_, Sir, what are THE CONTENTS?
or, rather, as Horace says in his--What, my soul, _verses_?

_Nath_. Ay, Sir, and _very learned_ [one would say so _upon

_Hol_. Let me have a _staff_, a stanza, a verse; _Lege Domine_.

_Nath_. [Reads the 'verses.']--'If love make me forsworn,' etc.

_Hol_. You _find not the apostrophe_, and _so--miss_ the
_accent_--[criticising the reading. It is necessary to find the
_apostrophe_ in the verses of this Academy, before you can give the
accent correctly; there are other points which require to be noted
also, in this refined courtier's writings, as this criticism will
inform us]. Let me _supervise_ the canzonet. Here _are only numbers_
ratified, but for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadency of poesy,
_caret_. _Ovidius Naso_ was the man. And _why_, indeed, Naso; but for
_smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy_, the _jerks of
invention_. _Imitari_ is nothing; so doth the hound his master, the
ape his keeper, the tired horse his rider. [It was no such reading and
writing as _that_ which this Academy was going to countenance, or
teach.] But, Damosella, was this directed to you?

_Jaq_. Ay, Sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of the strange queen's

_Hol_. I will _over-glance_ the _super-script_. 'To the snow white
hand of the most beauteous lady _Rosaline_.' I will look again _on the
intellect_ of the letter for the _nomination_ of the party writing,
_to the person written unto_ (_Rosaline_).--[_Look again_.--That is
the rule for the reading of letters issued from this Academy, whether
they come in Don Armado's name or another's, when the point is _not_
to 'miss the _accent_.'] 'Your ladyship's, in all desired employment,
BIRON.' Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with the
king, and here he hath framed a _letter_ to a _sequent_ of the
stranger queen's, which, _accidentally or by way of progression_, hath
miscarried. Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the _royal
hand of the king. It may concern much_. Stay not thy compliment, I
forgive thy duty. _Adieu_.

_Nath_. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously;
and as a certain father saith--

_Hol_. Sir, tell me not of _the father_, I do fear colorable colors.
But to return to _the verses_. Did they please you, Sir Nathaniel?

_Nath_. Marvellous well _for the pen_.

_Hol_. I _dine_ to-day at the _father's _of a certain pupil of _mine_,
where, if before repast, it shall please you to gratify the table with
a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the parent of the
foresaid child, or pupil, undertake your _ben venuto, where I will
prove_ those _verses to be very unlearned_, neither savouring of
poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech _your society_.

_Nath_. And thank you, too; for _society_ (saith the text) is _the
happiness of_ LIFE.

_Hol_. And, _certes_, the text _most infallibly concludes it_.--Sir,
[to Dull] I do _invite you too_, [to hear the verses ex-criticised]
you _shall not_ say me _nay: pauca verba. Away_; the _gentles are at
their games_, and we will _to our recreation_.

Another part of the _same_. After dinner.

_Re-enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, and Dull_.

_Hol. Satis quod sufficit_.

_Nath_. I praise God for you, Sir: your _reasons_ at dinner have been
_sharp and sententious_; pleasant without scurrility, witty without
affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and
strange without heresy. I did converse this _quondam_ day with a
companion of the king's, who is intituled, nominated, or called Don
Adriano de Armado.

_Hol_. _Novi hominem tanquam te_. His manner is lofty, his discourse
peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, and his general
behaviour, vain, ridiculous and thrasonical. He is too picked, too
spruce, too affected, too odd, and, as it were, too peregrinate, as I
may call it.

_Nath_. A most singular and choice epithet! [Takes out his

_Hol_. _He draweth out the thread of his verbosity_ finer than the
_staple of his argument_, ['More matter with less art,' says the queen
in Hamlet], I abhor such _fantastical phantasms_, such insociable and
_point device_ companions, such rackers of orthography, as to speak
doubt _fine_ when _he should say doubt_, etc. This is abhominable
which he would call abominable; it insinuateth me of insanie; _Ne
intelligis, domine_? to make frantic, lunatic.

_Nath_. _Lans deo bone intelligo_.

_Hol_. _Bone--bone for bene_: _Priscian, a little scratched 'twill
serve_. [This was never meant to be printed of course; all this is
understood to have been prepared only for a performance in 'a booth.']

_Enter_ Armado, etc.

_Nath. Videsne quis venit?_

_Ho. Video et gaudeo._

_Arm._ Chirra!

_Hol. Quare_ Chirra not Sirrah!

But the first appearance of these two _book-men_, as _Dull_ takes
leave them to call them in this scene, is not less to the purpose.
They come in with Antony Dull, who serves as a foil to their learning;
from the moment that they open their lips they speak 'in character,'
and they do not proceed far before they give us some hints of the
author's purpose.

_Nath_. Very _reverent sport_ truly, and done _in the testimony of a
good conscience_.

_Hol_. The deer was, as you know, in _sanguis_, ripe as a pomewater,
who _now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of Coelo_, the sky, the
welkin, the heaven, and _anon falleth like a crab on the face of
terra_--the soil, the land, the earth. [A-side glance at the heights
and depths of the incongruities which are the subject here.]

_Nath_. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied,
like a scholar at the least, but, etc.....

_Hol_. Most _barbarous_ intimation! [referring to Antony Dull, who has
been trying to understand this learned language, and apply it to the
subject of conversation, but who fails in the attempt, very much to
the amusement and self-congratulation of these scholars]. Yet a _kind_
of _insinuation_, as it were, _in via, in way of explication_ [a style
much in use in this school], _facere_, as it were, replication, or
rather _ostentare_, to show, as it were, _his inclination_, after his
undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather
unlettered, or ratherest unconfirmed fashion,--to insert again my
_haud credo_ for a deer.... Twice sod simplicity, _bis coctus!_ Oh
_thou monster ignorance_, how deformed dost thou look!

_Nath._ [explaining] Sir, _he hath never fed of the dainties bred in a
book_; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink; _his
intellect_ is not replenished; he is only an animal--only sensible in
the duller parts;

And such _barren_ plants are set before us that we thankful should be,
(Which we of taste and feeling are) for those parts that do fructify
in us more than he.

For _as it would ill become me_ to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool, So
were there _a patch set on learning_ to see HIM in a _school_. [That
would be a new 'school,' a new 'learning,' patching the 'defect' (as
it would be called elsewhere) in the old.]

_Dull_. You two are book-men. Can you tell me by your wit, etc.

_Nath_. A rare talent.

_Dull_. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent.

_Hol_. This is a gift that I have; simple, simple; a foolish
extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects, ideas,
apprehensions, motions, revolutions: But the gift is good in those in
whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.

_Nath_. Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may my parishioners;
for their sons are well tutored by you, and their daughters profit
very greatly under you; you are a good member of the COMMON-WEALTH.

He is in earnest of course. Is the Poet so too?
'What is the end of study?'--let me know.

'O they have lived long in the alms-basket of WORDS,' is the criticism
on this learning with which this showman, whoever he may he, explains
his exhibition of it. And surely he must be, indeed, of the school of
Antony Dull, and never fed with the dainties bred in a book, who does
not see what it is that is criticised here;--that it is the learning
of an unlearned time, of a barbarous time, of a vain, frivolous
debased, wretched time, that has been fed long--always from "the
alms-basket of words." And one who is acquainted already with the
style of this school, who knows already its secret signs and stamp,
would not need to be told to look again on the intellect of the letter
for the nomination of the party writing, to the person written to, in
order to see what source this pastime comes from,--what player it is
that is behind the scene here. 'Whoe'er he be, he bears a mounting
mind,' and beginning in the lowness of the actual, and collecting the
principles that are in all actualities, the true forms that are forms
in nature, and not in man's speech only, the new IDEAS of the New
Academy, the ideas that are powers, with these 'simples' that are
causes, he will reconstruct fortuitous conjunctions, he will make his
poems in facts; he will find his Fairy Land in her kingdom whose iron
chain he wears.

'The gentles were at their games,' and the soul of new ages was
beginning its re-creations.

For this is but the beginning of that 'Armada' that this Don
Armado--who fights with sword and pen, in ambush and in the open
field--will sweep his old enemy from the seas with yet.

O like a book of sports thou'lt read me o'er,
But there's more in me than thou'lt understand.

Look how the father's face
Lives in his issue; even so the race
Of Shake-spear's mind and _manners_ brightly _shines_
In his _well turn'd_ and _true filed lines_,
In each of which he seems to _shake_ a _lance_,
As _brandished_ in the eyes of--[what?--]_Ignorance!_


_Ignorance!_--yes, that was the word.

It is the Prince of that little Academe that sits in the Tower here
now. It is in the Tower that that little Academe holds its
'conferences' now. There is a little knot of men of science who
contrive to meet there. The associate of Raleigh's studies, the
partner of his plans and toils for so many years, _Hariot_, too
scientific for his age, is one of these. It is in the Tower that
Raleigh's school is kept now. The English youth, the hope of England,
follow this teacher still. 'Many young gentlemen still resort to him.'
Gilbert Harvey is one of this school. 'None but _my father_ would keep
such a bird in such a cage,' cries _one_ of them--that Prince of Wales
through whom the bloodless revolution was to have been accomplished;
and a Queen seeks his aid and counsel there still.

It is in the Tower now that we must look for the sequel of that
holiday performance of the school. It is the genius that had made its
game of that old _love's_ labour's lost that is at work here still,
still bent on making a lore of life and love, still ready to spend its
rhetoric on things, and composing its metres with them.

Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to _time_ thou growest.

He is building and manning new ships in his triumphant fleet. But they
are more warlike than they were. The papers that this Academe issues
now have the stamp of the Tower on them. 'The golden shower,' that
'flowed from his fruitful head of his love's praise' flows no more.
Fierce bitter things are flung forth from that retreat of learning,
while the kingly nature has not yet fully mastered its great wrongs.
The 'martial hand' is much used in the compositions of this school
indeed for a long time afterwards.

Fitter perhaps to thunder martial stower
When thee so list thy tuneful thoughts to raise,

said the partner of his verse long before.

With _rage_
Or _influence chide_ or _cheer_ the drooping stage,

says _his_ protege.

It was while this arrested soldier of the human emancipation sat amid
his books and papers, in old Julius Caesar's Tower, or in the Tower of
that Conqueror, 'commonly so called,' that the 'readers of the wiser
sort' found, 'thrown in at their _study windows_,' writings, _as if_
they came 'from _several citizens_, wherein _Caesar's ambition was
obscurely glanced at_' and thus the whisper of the Roman Brutus
'pieced them out.'

Brutus _thou sleep'st_; awake, and _see thyself_.
Shall _Rome_ [soft--'_thus must I piece it out_.']
Shall _Rome_ stand under _one man's awe_? _What_ Rome?
* * * * *
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves that we are underlings.
* * * * *
Age, _thou_ art shamed.

It was while he sat there, that the audiences of that player who was
bringing forth, on 'the banks of Thames,' such wondrous things out of
his treasury then, first heard the Roman foot upon their stage, and
the long-stifled, and pent-up speech of English freedom, bursting from
the old Roman patriot's lips.

_Cassius_. And let us swear our resolution.

_Brutus_. _No_, not an oath: If not the face of men,
The sufferance of our soul's, the time's abuse,
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
_So_ let high-sighted tyranny range on,
Till _each man drop by lottery_.

It was while he sat there, that the player who did not _write_ his
speeches, said--

_Nor stony tower_, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
If I know this, know _all the world beside_,
That part of tyranny that _I_ do bear,
_I_ can shake off at pleasure.

And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?
_Poor Man_! I know he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the _Romans_ are but sheep:
_He_ were no lion, were not _Romans_ hinds.

But I, perhaps, speak _this_
Before a willing bondman.

_Hamlet_. My lord,--you played once in the university, you say?

_Polonius_. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.

_Hamlet_. And what did you enact?

_Polonius_. I did enact _Julius Caesar_. I was killed i'the Capitol;
Brutus killed me.

_Hamlet_. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
there.--Be the players ready?

Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of
writ, and the liberty. _These_ are the only _men_.

_Hamlet_. Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you
would drive me into a toil?

_Guild_. O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too

_Hamlet_. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this

_Guild_. My lord, I cannot.

_Hamlet_. I pray you.

_Guild_. Believe me, I cannot.

_Hamlet_. I do beseech you.

_Guild_. I know no touch of it, my lord.

_Hamlet_. 'Tis as _easy as lying. Govern_ these ventages with your
fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, _and it will
discourse most eloquent music_. Look you, _these are the stops_.

_Guild_. But _these_ cannot _I_ command to any _utterance of
harmony: I have not the_ SKILL.

_Hamlet. Why, look you now_, how _unworthy a thing_ you make of ME?
You would _play upon_ ME; _you would seem_ to know _my stops_; you
would pluck out the heart of MY MYSTERY; you would sound me from
my lowest note to the top of my key; and there is much _music_,
excellent voice in _this little organ, yet_ cannot you make it
speak. 'Sblood! do you think I AM EASIER TO BE PLAYED ON THAN A
PIPE? Call me what _instrument_ you will, though you can _fret_
me, you cannot PLAY upon me.

_Hamlet_. Why did you laugh when I said, _Man_ delights not me?

_Guild_. To think, my lord, if you delight not in _man_, what
lenten entertainment THE PLAYERS shall receive from you. We
coted them on the way, and thither are they coming to offer





And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlaces and with _assays_ of _bias_,
By _indirections_, find _directions out_;
So by my former lecture and advice,
Shall you, my son.--_Hamlet_.



Single, _I'll_ resolve you.--_Tempest_.

Observe his inclination in yourself.--_Hamlet_.

For ciphers, they are commonly in letters, but may be in words.
_Advancement of Learning_.

The fact that a Science of Practice, not limited to Physics and the
Arts based on the knowledge of physical laws, but covering the whole
ground of the human activity, and limited only by the want and faculty
of man, required, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First, some
special and profoundly artistic methods of 'delivery and tradition,'
would not appear to need much demonstration to one acquainted with the
peculiar features of that particular crisis in the history of the
English nation.

And certainly any one at all informed in regard to the condition of
the world at the time in which this science,--which is the new
practical science of the modern ages,--makes its first appearance in
history,--any one who knows what kind of a public opinion, what amount
of intelligence in the common mind the very fact of the first
appearance of such a science on the stage of the human affairs
presupposes,--any one who will stop to consider what kind of a public
it was to which such a science had need as yet to address itself, when
that engine for the diffusion of knowledge, which has been battering
the ignorance and stupidity of the masses of men ever since, was as
yet a novel invention, when all the learning of the world was still
the learning of the cell and the cloister, when the practice of the
world was still in all departments, unscientific,--any one at least
who will stop to consider the nature of the 'preconceptions' which a
science that is none other than the universal science of practice,
must needs encounter in its principal and nobler fields, will hardly
need to be told that if produced at all under such conditions, it must
needs be produced covertly. Who does not know, beforehand, that such a
science would have to concede virtually, for a time, the whole ground
of its nobler fields to the preoccupations it found on them, as the
inevitable condition of its entrance upon the stage of the human
affairs in any capacity, as the basis of any toleration of its claim
to dictate to the men of practice in any department of their

That that little 'courtly company' of Elizabethan scholars, in which
this great enterprise for the relief of man's estate was supposed in
their own time to have had its origin, was composed of wits and men of
learning who were known, in their own time, to have concealed their
connection with the works on which their literary fame chiefly
depended--that that 'glorious Willy,' who finds these forbidden fields
of science all open to his pastime, was secretly claimed by this
company--that a style of 'delivery' elaborately enigmatical, borrowed
in part from the invention of the ancients, and the more recent use of
the middle ages, but largely modified and expressly adapted to this
exigency, was employed in the compositions of this school, both in
prose and verse, a style capable of conveying not merely a double, but
a triple significance; a style so capacious in its concealments, so
large in its '_cryptic_,' as to admit without limitation the whole
scope of this argument, and so involved as to conceal in its
involutions, all that was then forbidden to appear,--this has been
proved in that part of the work which contains the historical key to
this delivery.

We have also incontestable historical evidence of the fact, that the
man who was at the head of this new conjunction in speculation and
practice in its more immediate historical developments,--the scholar
who was most openly concerned in his own time in the introduction of
those great changes in the condition of the world, which date their
beginning from this time, was himself primarily concerned in the
invention of this art. That this great political chief, this founder
of new polities and inventor of new social arts, who was at the same
time the founder of a new school in philosophy, was understood in his
own time to have found occasion for the use of such an art, in his
oral as well as in his written communications with his school;--that
he was connected with a scientific association, which was known to
have concealed under the profession of a curious antiquarian research,
an inquiry into the higher parts of sciences which the government of
that time was not disposed to countenance;--that in the opinion of
persons who had the best opportunity of becoming acquainted with the
facts at the time, this inventor of the art was himself beheaded,
chiefly on account of the discovery of his use of it in one of his
gravest literary works;--all this has been produced already, as matter
of historic record merely. All this remains in the form of detailed
contemporary statement, which suffices to convey, if not the fact that
the forbidden parts of sciences were freely handled in the discussions
of this school, and not in their secret oral discussions only, but in
their great published works,--if not that, at least the fact that such
was the impression and belief of persons living at the time, whether
any ground existed for it or not.

But the arts by which these new men of science contrived to evade the
ignorance and the despotic limitations of their time, the inventions
with which they worked to such good purpose upon their own time, in
spite of its restrictions and oppositions, and which enable them to
'outstretch their span,' and prolong and perpetuate their plan for the
advancement of their kind, and compel the future ages to work with
them to the fulfilment of its ends;--the arts by which these great
original naturalists undertook to transfer in all their unimpaired
splendour and worth, the collections they had made in the nobler
fields of their science to the ages that would be able to make use of

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