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were not prepared for it, to find that Shakespeare had the same unusual knowledge. He not only "knows the ropes," but he knows exactly what to do on shipboard in a storm. Even the dialect of

the forecastle is familiar to him.

Bacon's studies, it is evident, furnished the warp and woof of the Plays. Unravel any of these great compositions, and you will find the same threads that are woven into his prose.

VI.

Here, then, is our Shakespeare. A man born into the highest culture of his time, the consummate flower of a long line of illustrious ancestry; of transcendent abilities, dominated by a genius for hard work; of aims in life, at once the boldest and the most inspiring which the heart of man ever conceived; in originality and power of thought, in learning, in eloquence, in wit, and in marvelous insight into character, the acknowledged peer of the greatest of the human race. "Surely," says Holmes, "we may exclaim with Coleridge, not without amazement still: 'Merciful, wonder-making Heaven! what a man was this Shakespeare! Myriad-minded, indeed, he was.'

Ours is an age of disillusion. Heroes whose names have kindled the flame of devotion to duty in the hearts

The majestic form of

of millions are fading into myths. William Tell is found to be but a lengthened shadow thrown across the page of history. Even the faithful dog Gelert, over whose fate so many children have shed tears, has become as purely symbolic as the one that fol

lowed Yudhishthira to the holy mount, and was thence for his virtues translated into heaven. Why should the world longer worship at the shrine of a man of whose life it knows, almost literally, in a mass of disgusting fiction, but one significant fact, viz.: that in his will, disposing of a large property, he left to the wife of his youth and the mother of his children nothing but his "second-best bed!"

The conclusion of the whole matter may be stated thus: The Sonnets will lose none of their sweetness, and the Plays none of their magnificence, by a change in the ascription of authorship. The world, however, will gain much. It will learn that effects are always commensurate with their causes, and that industry is the path to great

ness.

COMMENDATIONS OF "BRIEF FOR PLAIN

66

TIFF."

You have put all your points with remarkable skill and force, and I have, in spite of myself, been charmed with the

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"I thank you sincerely for sending me an Essay which it was so delightful to read, even though I label it 'extra-hazardous,' and put it out of the reach of the unsophisticated."

D. C. GILMAN [Pres. Johns Hopkins Univ.]

"I have read with great interest your book on 'Bacon vs. Shakespeare.' That side of the case you seem to have presented very thoroughly, and with much skill and force. Can you not now give us the other side? I would like greatly to see the whole subject treated broadly by you."

* * *

ANDREW D. WHITE.

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Mr. Reed's pamphlet is well put together, and gives in a nut-shell what most of those who agree with him have required volumes to set forth."

HENRY LABOUCHERE, Truth, London.

"It is ingenious and interesting."

GROVER CLEVELAND.

"I have read your argument with keen interest, and am greatly impressed by its force and cogency."

H. C. POTTER (Bishop).

"I think you have succeeded in putting together the arguments, pro and con, so that any one may possess himself of the merits of the case in the briefest possible time. I see by your aid, better than before, the strength of Bacon's claim."

W. T. HARRIS.

"Entitled perhaps to take its place beside Walpole's historic doubts concerning Richard III., and Whately's skepticism as to the existence of the great. Napoleon."

JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN, Birmingham, Eng.

"You put it briefly, succinctly; it seems to me, incontrovertibly." A. M. DODGE (Gail Hamilton).

"Mr. Edwin Reed has put the arguments in very scientific and telling form." JULIAN HAWTHORNE.

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The arguments in favor of your hypothesis are set forth with the utmost ingenuity, and with all the force of which they are susceptible."

"It is very delightful reading."

GOLDWIN SMITH.

HARRIET PRESCOTT SPofford.

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