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THE "SHAKESPEARE" QUIZ
or 99 QUESTIONS
FOR THE STRATFORDIANS TO ANSWER.
Arranged by EDWARD D. JOHNSON
(from a Francis Bacon Society Pamphlet, 1950)

Edward D. Johnson was the author of:

"The First Folio of Shakespeare"
"Francis Bacon's Cipher Signatures"
"Shakespearean Acrostics"
"Don Adriana's Letter"
"The Fictitious Shakespeare Exposed"
"Bacon Shakespeare Coincidences"
"The Mystery of the First Folio"
"The Bi-Literal Cypher of Francis Bacon"
"The Shaksper Illusion"
"Francis Bacon versus Lord Macaulay"
"Francis Bacon and "Shakespeare"
"Will Shakspere of Stratford"
"Francis Bacon of St. Albans"
"The Stratford Shakespeare Monument"


     (1) Why did Will Shakspere never take the slightest interest in any of the plays imputed to him?


     (2) Why has no manuscript of any play in his handwriting ever come to light?


     (3) Why did Shakspere never in any document acknowledge his authorship or even refer to any plays?


     (4) Why does his will make no reference to any of the plays?


     (5) Why is there nothing in his life, as we know it, to connect him with literature in any shape or form?


     (6) Why do "the Shakespeare Trust" tell visitors to Stratford-on-Avon that the bust of Will Shakspere in the parish church at Stratford was erected prior to 1623, when they know perfectly well that the original bust which depicted a thin faced man with a drooping moustache and a ragged beard with his two hands resting on a bag was taken down in 1748 [or prior to Pope's 1625 illustration] and the present bust showing a stout-faced man with a smirking doll-like face, an upturned moustache and neatly trimmed beard with his right hand holding a pen and his left hand resting on a piece of paper, erected in place of the original bust.


     (7) Why has the bust been faked by providing a pen and a piece of paper which were not on the original monument if it is not for the purpose of trying to connect Will Shakspere the actor and tradesman with literature?


     (8) Why does "the Shakespeare Trust" charge visitors to Stratford the sum of one shilling and sixpence for the privilege of gazing at a room at which they are told was where Shakspere was born when "the Shakespeare Trust" know perfectly well that the sup- posed birthplace is a sham and a fraud for the following reasons:


     (a) There is no evidence that Shakspere's father ever owned or occupied the house formerly on the site of the supposed birthplace until eleven years after Shakspere's birth.


     (b) That the cellar is the only part which remains of the house originally on this site.


     (c) That all the houses in Henley Street that existed 400 years ago have long since been demolished or destroyed by fires which swept Stratford on several occasions. Two years before Shakspere's death there was a fire at Stratford which destroyed 54 dwelling houses and other buildings.


     (d) That the original dwelling would have been thatched with mud walls, whereas the present birthplace has brick walls timbered with a tiled roof.


     (e) That in R. Wheler's "History and Antiquities of Stratford-on-Avon" (1806) there is a description of every public building at Stratford but there is no account whatever of the birthplace.


     (f) That the original local tradition has a pedigree beginning in 1759, 143 years after the death of Shakspere, but in 1760 no birthplace was on view and it was not until David Garrick arranged a Jubilee celebration in 1769 that there was any intimation as to the site of the Birthplace.


     (9) Why are the visitors to Stratford told that the cottage known as Ann Hathaway's Cottage was where Shakspere's wife lived prior to her marriage? There is no evidence anywhere that this cottage ever belonged to Ann Hathaway's father. J.O. Halliwell Phillipps spent 40 years of his life investigating Shakspere's life but he had to admit in 1882 that "unhappily there is no tradition indicating the birthplace of Shakspere's Ann upon which the least reliance can be placed." The first mention of the cottage at Shottery, now shown to visitors as her maiden residence, was made by Samuel Ireland (father of William Henry Ireland the celebrated forger of Shakespearean documents) in 1795 nearly two and a half centuries after Ann Hathaway's Birth.


     (10) In 1902 Joseph Skipsey, who for some time had been the custodian of Shakspere's birthplace, wrote a letter to Mr. J. Cumming Walters in which he said "that the chief reason why he had resigned that position was because he had gradually lost all faith in the so called relics which, as custodian, it was his duty to show, and if possible explain to the visitors at the birthplace." How is it that none of the relics have any definite history, and only serve to perpetuate error and create false impressions?


     (11) What has become of Shakpere's armchair which was sold in 1777 and taken away, reappearing again in 1815?


     (12) All people agree that the author of the "Shakespeare" plays must have had a very good education. How is it that there is no record that Will Shakspere ever went to school, either at Stratford or elsewhere, no record that any fellow townsman was at school at the same time, no record that anyone at Stratford was able to say that his father or grandfather attended at the same school as the celebrated dramatist? The common people were densely ignorant, they had to pick up their mother tongue as best they could. The First English Grammar was not published until 1586, seven years after-Shakspere could have left school, if he ever went to school, which is very doubtful.


     (13) It is interesting to observe that nearly all the English dramatists of the 16th century had received a university education or were the sons of landed gentry, with the exception of Will Shakspere. Lyly, Peele, Chapman, Marston, Ford, and Massinger were educated at Oxford; Francis Beaumont, Greene, Marlow, Nash, Jonson, Heywood, and Fletcher at Cambridge. How is it that Will Shakspere is the only one who cannot be shown to have received any education at all?


     (14) Will Shakspere was a countryman. How is it that he was curiously unobservant of animated nature? His boyhood was passed among the woods and streams and yet apparently he neither saw or heard anything of the birds and animals of his native country. He should have known something about the habits of bees.


     (15) Why therefore do we find in Henry IV, Act IV, scene 4, the following erroneous statement referring to bees "our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey"? He ought to have known that bees do not carry wax on their thighs but in their tails, and honey not in their mouths but in their stomachs.


     (16) Why does "Shakespeare" say that "The old Bees die, the young possess their hive."? Shakspere should have known that there are no generations of bees; they are all the offspring of the same mother. In the play of Henry V is a very elaborate description of a bee hive and its inmates which is absolute nonsense with an error of fact in every line, showing that there could have been no personal observation by the author. For example "Shakespeare" in Henry V, Act I, Sc. 2, referring to bees says, "They have a King." Shakspere, the countryman, should have known that bees have no King but a Queen. This statement is of classical origin and "Shakespeare" found it in Virgil's Georgics IV.


     (17) Why in Henry V, Act, I Sc. 2, does "Shakespeare" say that the weasel steals the eggs of the eagle? Shakespere the countryman should have known that the weasel does not plunder eagle's eyries.


     (18) Why does "Shakespeare" in Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Sc. 5, write of the nightingale, "Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree."? It is only the male nightingale that sings, not the hen bird. Surely the countryman Will Shakspere should have known better than to make such erroneous statements.


     (19) The author of the "Shakespeare" plays described with accuracy the animals of the chase and is familiar with the aristocratic sport of hunting. Shakespere left Stratford before he was 21. It is unlikely that he could ever have seen a boar hunt. How therefore is it possible that he could have given us the superb description of the boar and its chase which we find in Venus and Adonis?


     (20) The play of Love's Labour's Lost dated 1589 is all about the Court Life at Navarre with an accurate description of French manners and customs, and clearly shows that the author, whoever he was, must have been resident at the French Court, also that he was both a scholar and a philosopher. How could Shakspere of Stratford at the age of 24 have obtained the familiar knowledge of French politics and courtly fashions in the French Court displayed in this play, if he had never been to France?


     (21) How was it possible that a young man coming straight from a small provincial market town with only 1,500 inhabitants; a man who was the son of parents neither of whom could write, a man who if he ever went to school (which is very doubtful) left at the age of 13, could within a few years master the language of the French Court and show an intimate acquaintance with aristocrats?


     (22) How is it that this man could have become an intimate friend of the Earl of Southampton, as the author of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece must have been, as is indicated by the dedication of these poems to the Earl of Southampton?


     (23) How is it that no biographer of Southampton has ever been able to trace that any association whatever existed between Will Shakspere and Southampton?


     (24) Venus and Adonis is written throughout in the purest most elegant and scholarly English of that day without a trace of local patois. As we all know, different counties in England each have their own peculiar, well-marked dialect and pronunciation, and it is quite easy to tell from a man's conversation if he comes from say Lancashire or Yorkshire. When Will Shakespere came to London he must have spoken the Warwickshire dialect or patois; why is there not a trace of this in Venus and Adonis?


     (25) How is it that "Venus and Adonis" is evidently written by an aristocrat as it displays a scholarly contempt for the illiterate and vulgar?


     (26) In 1594 there was published a quarto edition of Titus Andronicus, in 1597 a quarto edition of Romeo and Juliet, in 1598 a quarto edition of Henry IV Part I, in 1600 a quarto edition of Henry V. All these plays were published anonymously, which seems very extraordinary if they were written by Will Shakspere who as a coming playwright would naturally want all the publicity he could get and there would be no object in his hiding his light under a bushel. How do the Stratfordians account for these facts?


     (27) In 1597 there were published quarto edition of Richard II and Richard III; in 1604 there was published a third edition of Henry IV Part I; in 1600 there was published a quarto edition of The Merchant of Venice. All these plays are stated on the title pages to have been written by William Shakespeare. If the author desired publicity and wished the public to know that those plays had been written by Will Shakspere--why divide the name by a hyphen, thus showing that the author was the man who shakes the spear?


     (28) In Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Sc. 5, we read, "The county Paris, at St. Peter's church shall happily make thee there a joyous bride." How did Shakspere know that there was a St. Peter's church in Verona unless he had seen it and that this church was quite close to the reputed mansion of the Capulets?


     (29) In the same play Act iv, Sc. I, we read, "or shall I come to you at Evening Mass." The Stratfordians, say that this is a mistake as in Italy, Mass was only celebrated in the morning. On the contrary, at the Cathedral of Verona, Mass was said in the evenings even though it had been expressly forbidden by the Pope. How did Shakspere know this fact if he had never been abroad?


     (30) In The Merchant of Venice "Shakespeare" tells us that Portia went to Padua to seek legal aid for Antonio. Why to Padua? Because Padua had a famous university which granted legal degrees recognised as qualifications for Venetian lawyers. How could Shakspere know this if he had never been abroad?


     (31) Portia in this play obtains the help of a lawyer Bellario. The name Bellario is that of an old Paduan family, whose descendants still live there. Why should Shakspere choose the name Bellario for his character if he had never been to Padua!


     (32) In Othello "Shakespeare" writes of "The Sagittary." It appears that in Venice there was a residence for the commanding officers of the Army and Navy and in front of this building were four statues, one of which was the figure of an archer with a drawn bow. The Venetians called this residence "Il Sagittario" (the archer). How could Shakspeare know this if he had never visited Venice?


     (33) In The Merchant of Venice is a character "Launcelot Gobbo." The name Gobbo is a peculiarly Venetian name not found in other cities. How could Shakspere know this if he had never visited Venice?


     (34) In the Taming of the Shrew, Act iv, Sc. 3, we read, "Like to a censer in a barber's shop". A censer was a kind of brazier used by barbers in Southern Italy to keep the water hot. How did Shakspere knows this if he had never visited Italy?


     (35) In Othello we read, "Forsooth, a great arithmetician one Michael Cassio, a Florentine." If Shakspere had never visited Italy, how did he know that men from Florence were in great demand all over Italy as book-keepers, because the study of mathematics was a speciality of Florence?


     (36) In Othello, Act I, Sc. I, we read, "raise some special officer of the night." How could Shakspere know that in Venice there was a special night police called "Signori di notte" unless he had visited Venice?


     (37) If Shakspere had never visited Italy, how is it that the Merchant of Venice displays an intimate acquaintance not only with the manners and customs of Italy but with the minutest details of domestic life? In Act II of The Taming of the Shrew Gremio gives a complete list of all the goods and gear with which his house is stocked including a number of goods never seen in Englewood but only in the palaces of Italian nobles.


     (38) How did Shakspere if he had never visited Italy know that in that country a betrothal of two people is carried out by the father of the girl joining their hands in the presence of two witnesses, as we find in The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Sc. 2.?


     (39) In The Merchant of Venice we find the following---"This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick. It looks a little paler: 'tis a day such as the day is when the sun is hid." Act. v, Sc. I. In Italy, the light of the moon and stars is almost as yellow as the sunlight in England. How did Shakspere know this if he had never been in Italy?


     (40) In The Winter's Tale we read---"The Princesse hearing of her mother's statue, a peece many yeeres in doing, and now newly perform'd by that rare Italian Master, Julio Romano."---Act v, Sc. 2. Here we find Guilio Romano described as a rare sculptor but in Shakspere's time Romano was known in England as a painter and architect only, not as a sculptor. Vasari, however in 1550 and again in 1565, described him as a sculptor--on both occasion in Italian, not in English. This means that "Shakespeare" must either have studied Vasari in the original Italian or else have actually been to Mantua and seen Romano's sculptured works. No evidence exists that Shakspere could read Italian or had ever travelled abroad.


     (41) In Shaksperes day, there was at Venice a common ferry at two places, Fusina and Mestre, the ferries in Venice being called Tragetti. In The Merchant of Venice we find "Unto the tranect, to the common ferry which trades to Venice." The word "tranect" appears to be a misprint for "traject"; presumably the printers would not understand such an uncommon expression as "traject". If Shakspere had not personally visited Italy, how did he know that there was such a ferry?


     (42) In The Merchant of Venice Portia and Nerissa travel from Belmont Montebello to Padua and we find in this play the line "For we must travel twenty miles to-day" (Act III, Sc. 4). How did Shakspere if he had never visited Italy, know that the exact distance from Montebello to Padua is twenty miles?


     (43) In The Taming of the Shrew Lucentio changes places with his servant Tranio and in doing so calls himself Cambio. Why should Shakspere use the name Cambio unless he had a good knowledge of the Italian language, because the word Cambio means exchange?


     (44) From 1585 to 1600 Correggio's famous picture of Jupiter and Io was in the palace of the sculptor Leoni at Milan and was on view to travellers. In the Introduction to The Taming of the Shrew we read--"We'11 show thee Io as she was a maid, and how she was beguiled and surpris'd as lively painted as the deed was done," which is clearly a reference to Correggio's picture at Milan. How could Shakspere have inserted these words in the play if he had never seen the picture at Milan? With regard to the last eighteen questions it must be remembered that there were no guide books for the use of travellers in those days, so the author of these plays could not have gathered his local knowledge of Italy from such sources and must have visited Italy in person.


     (45) In "As you like it" Rosalind and Celia fled to the Forest of Arden. The Stratfordians say "There you are, Arden was the name of part of Warwickshire --here is a direct reference to the country where Shakspere lived which proves that he wrote the plays." They can produce no evidence that there was any forest or even woodlands in the district known as Arden, where the land was either enclosed pasture or open field arable. They ignore or suppress the fact that the play of "As you like it" is taken direct from Lodge's novel Rosalynde where the forest scenes are laid in the Ardennes in Belgium, altered in the play to the English equivalent Arden.


     (46) The Stratfordians say that the reference in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to the "dozen white luces" on Justice Shallow's coat identifies this character with Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote Park near Stratford-on-Avon, whose coat of arms had three luces on it. If this is so, how do the Stratfordians account for the fact that this reference to the luces first appeared in the First Folio of the Plays published in 1623, seven years after Shakesper's death and is not found in the Quarto of the Play published in 1602 in Shakspere's lifetime?


     (47) Many years ago, Mr. Appleton Morgan, the president of The Shakespeare Society of New York, produced a glossary of 518 words which he claimed as words exclusively used in Warwickshire. The English Dialect Society's Dictionary shows that of those 518 so called pure Warwickshire words only 46 were not current in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. How is it, therefore, that not a single one of the 46 words which can be shown to have been used exclusively in Warwickshire are to found in the "Shakespeare" Plays? If Will Shakspere wrote the plays we should naturally expect that he would use some of the local words. There is only one character in all the plays who speaks a rustic dialect and that character is Edgar in "King Lear". Edgar was son and heir to the Earl of Gloucester so he might reasonably be expected when talking in dialect for the purpose of disguise to use the Gloucestershire dialect, instead of which he uses the Kentish dialect.


     (48) Edward Alleyn, who was not only an eminent actor but also a theatrical proprietor, who founded Dulwich College, left his memoirs which contain the names of all the notable actors and dramatists in Shakspere's time, as well as the name of every person who helped or received money in connection with the production of all the plays at the Blackfriars, Fortune and other theatres. How is it that Alleyn in this list of actors and dramatists does not even once mention Shakspere?


     (49) Phillip Henslowe, the theatrical manager who had erected the Rose Theatre on Bankside, Southwark, in 1592, was the greatest theatrical agent and producer of his day and kept a diary (which has been preserved) in which he sets down the sums that he paid to various authors for their work. How is it that the names of Shakespeare, Shakspere, Shaxspur or Shagsper do not appear anywhere in this diary? In Henslow's diary we find the names of the following men who were all writers for Henslowe's theatres: Chapman, Chettle, Day, Dekker, Drayton, Haughton, Heywood, Jonson, Marston, Middleton, Munday, Porter, Rankins, Rowley, Wadeson, Webster and Wilson. Here we find mentioned practically all the dramatic writers of that day with any claim to distinction, with one exception only, that of Shakspere who is never once mentioned in Henslowe's diary, which completely ignores his existence.


     (50) The Stratfordians refuse to admit that Will Shakspere was educated at Cambridge University. How therefore do they account for the fact that the following expressions appear in the "Shakespeare" plays, such expressions being those which only a man educated at Cambridge University would use? In "King Lear" Act 2, Scene 4, we read "To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes". The expression "scanting of sizes" was used exclusively at Cambridge to denote the punishment of a sizar (a poor student who received sizes or allowances) by cutting his rations or sizes. With the exception of the "Shakespeare" plays the word sizes is not used by any other Elizabethan dramatist except by the author of the "Return from Parnassus" written by an anonymous Cambridge author. The Oxford Dictionary states the use of this word was peculiar to Cambridge.


     (51) In "Hamlet" Act 2, Scene 2, we read--"Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris; and how, and who, what means, and where they keep." The Oxford Dictionary states that the use of the word "Keep" for "reside" is peculiar to Cambridge University, and the use of this peculiar word "Keep" is found thirteen times in the "Shakespeare" plays.


     (52) In "The Merry Wives of Windsor" is the character of a physician Dr. Caius. His character is identical with that of Dr. Caius who founded Caius College Cambridge, both being overbearing, choleric and revengful men. Dr. Caius in the play hated Welshmen as is shown by his quarrel with Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson, and the real Dr. Caius hated Welshmen so much that he excluded Welshmen from the privileges of fellowship of Caius College. How did Will Shakspere who never went to Cambridge know anything about the character of Dr. Caius who had died before Shakspere was 9 years old, and why should he put this character in the play of "The Merry Wives of Windsor. There were no newspapers in those days and it is very doubtful if the peculiarities of Dr. Caius would have been known outside University circles, and there is no evidence that Shakspere had ever been to Cambridge or knew anyone there.


     (53) On 1st March, 1595 a play entitled Laelia was performed by the undergraduates of Oueens' College, Cambridge. The character of Laelia in this play and the character of Viola in the "Shakespeare" play "Twelfth Night" are absolutely identical and "Shakspeare" must have either seen or read this played Laelia before writing Twelfth Night. How could Shakspere who was never at Cambridge, manage to obtain a copy of this play Laelia and develop the character of Viola on exactly similar lines?


     (54) All references to Shakspere direct and indirect in contemporaneous literature during the period 1592-1616 have been carefully collated and published. They number 127 classified as follows: those made to his works, 120; those made to him as a man, 7. The seven references to him as a man are made by Thomas Nashe 1589; Robert Greene, 1592 John Manningham, 1601; two anonymous writers in 1605; Thomas Heywood 1612, and Ben Jonson, 1616. Nashe calls Shakspere an idiot, Greene an upstart crow, Manningham makes him the hero of an amour, the anonymous writers only refer to his wealth, landed proprietorship and aspirations to a title, Heywood because two of Heywood's poems had been published as Shakspere's, and Jonson scoffs at him as a poet ape. Here we find three authors Nashe, Greene and Jonson who knew the man Will well, treating him with contempt and his literary pretensions with ridicule, sneering at him and his poetical claims. Ben Jonson in particular scoffed at Shakspere's pretensions, well knowing that many of the plays were earlier than Shakspere's theatrical career and, moreover that he was incapable of such productions. Why are there only seven references to Will Shakspere's the man, and why is there no word or hint anywhere that he possessed any literary ability whatsoever?


     (55) Ben Jonson in his Discoveries (1637) gives a list of all the great men that he had known. In this list Shakspere's name is not mentioned. Why did Jonson omit his name if he thought that he was the author of the "Shakespeare" plays?


     (56) The Stratfordians say that Shakspere's earliest reputation was made as an actor. If so, why is there no record anywhere of the parts he played with one exception, namely Rowe (in 1709) who wrote that Shakspere played the Ghost in his own Hamlet and that this was the top of his performance?


     (57) Will Shakspere's residence in London extended over a period of more than twenty years. The men of letters, his contemporaries, were Sir Walter Raleigh, Spenser, Bacon, Cecil, Walsingham, Coke, Camden, Hooker, Drake, Hobbes, Inigo Jones, Herbert of Cherbury, Laud, Pym, Hampden, Selden, Walton, Wotton and Donne, How is it that there is no evidence whatever that Will Shakspere was personally known to any of these men or to any others of less note among the statesmen, scholars, soldiers and artists of his day?


     (58) Why is it that of Shakspere's social life during his long residence on London we have not even a tradition?


     (59) The three signatures to Shakspere's Will are so atrocious that the Stratfordians have suggested as a reason for this that he was suffering from paralysis at the time, in spite of the fact that his Will states at the beginning that he was in perfect health. If Shakspere could produce these signatures when suffering from paralysis, how is it that he could not produce a really legible signature when in health as none has yet been discovered!


     (60) Shakspere by his Will bequeathed a number of memorial rings and other mementos to his friends and associates, such as Sadler, Raynolds, Heminge, Burbage, and Condell. How is it that he bequeathed nothing to Ben Jonson who, according to Sir Sidney Lee, was one of his closest friends?


     (61) How is it, that when Shakspere died, Jonson never referred to his death, not mentioning his name for 7 years until the publication of "The First Folio" in 1623?.


     (62) Why did Will Shakspere in his will leave no directions as to the disposition of his plays or the manuscripts thereof? If these passed to his daughter Susanna as residuary legatee, why did she not claim them as a portion of the residuary estate? The plays were valuable, and Susanna, if she was anything like her father, would not be likely to give anything away. If Shakspere had parted with the manuscripts in his lifetime, he must have had in his possession copies of his printed poems "Venus and Adonis" and the "Rape of Lucrece" and of "The Sonnets." What became of them? It is clear that they were never in the possession of his daughter Susanna.


     (63) Susanna Hall and her husband had only one child--a daughter Elizabeth, born in 1608, (Shakspere by his will bequeathed to this granddaughter the greater part of his plate). Elizabeth Hall first married Thomas Nash, and afterwards John Barnard, who was subsequently knighted. On her mother's, Susanna's, death, she became the owner of New Place and other property under Shakspere's will.


     (64) Why is there no record that Lady Barnard ever mentioned her grandfather, the great poet?, or ever possessed any relics of him or any books belonging to him?


     (65) When Will Shakspere died, why did none of his literary friends attend the funeral of the great genius "Shakespeare", or express their grief that the greatest poet that the world had ever seen had passed away?


     (66) Why did not one of the literary fraternity in London realize that when Will Shakspere died a great poet and dramatist had passed away--not one of them came to his funeral or sent their condolences to his family?


     (67) Why did no one take the slightest notice of the death of the retired actor and tradesman of Stratford? The world of letters seems to have been quite unconscious of any loss, for not a single note of regret that a great poet had passed away has reached us from any source whatsoever.


     (68) In the days of Elizabeth, it was customary to write elegies on the deaths of any well known men. Ben Jonson was a very minor poet compared with "Shakespeare": why do we find over fifty allusions to Jonson's death but not a single one to the death of Shakspere? [Jonson does not mention the publication of the Manes Verulamiani shortly after Franis Bacon's death, in which there are thirty-two tributes to his genius.]


     (69) The Historian William Camden published in 1610 a Book entitled "Britannia" in which there are several references to Stratford-on-Avon. Why is it that Camden does not mention Shakspere although the majority of the plays had been written prior to the year 1610? Is it not clear that Camden saw no connection between Stratford-on-Avon and the writer of the plays?


     (70) When James Cooke, who was an Army surgeon attached to troops stationed at Stratford-on-Avon in 1642, called upon Shakspere's daughter Mrs. Susanna Hall, he asked to be shown any manuscripts or books belonging to her husband or father. Why did she say that she had not got any books or manuscripts or anything in her father's handwriting?


     (71) On 28th June, 1613, the Globe Theatre was burnt to the ground. In a published account of the catastrophe, why is reference made to Richard Burbage, Henry Condell and others, but not a word is said about Shakspere?


     (72) George Sandys published his "Journey" a few months before Shakspere died. Sandys wrote "By the Pillar, standing in a vault within the castle, entered by the Nile, they measure his increase." "Shakespeare" wrote "They take the flow of the Nile by certain scales on the Pyramid", which is practically the same thing. Sandys wrote "answerable to the increase of the river, is the plenty or scarcity of the year succeeding." "Shakespeare" wrote "The higher Nilus swells, the more it promises" which is the same thought expressed differently. The above quotations from "Shakespeare" are from Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene 7. Antony and Cleopatra was not published until 7 years. after Shakspere's death. How therefore could Shakspere have quoted from Sandy' work as he had no time to read this work before he died?


     (73) Why did the late Dr. C. W. Ingleby, who. in compiling his Shakespeare's Centurie of Praise spend two years in research through English literature from 1592 to 1693 to find every allusion, however slight it might be, to the poet Shakespeare and his works. state that "no pains of research, scrutiny or study could find the most trivial allusions to the bard or his works by any one of the great men of his day." He adds "It is plain for one thing, that the bard of our admiration was unknown to the men of that age."


     (74) The letters of every great man in literature have been preserved with the sole exception of Shakspere. Is not this due to the fact that Shakspere could not write?


     (75) In the First Folio of the "Shakespeare Plays'" there are over 634,000 words, each of which have been written out by hand in the first instance. How is it that if Will Shakspere wrote the plays, there is not in existence a single one of those 634,000 words in his own handwriting?


     (76) Why does "Shakespeare" always take the aristocratic point of view and pour contempt on the common people. He refers to them as the common herd--sweaty rabble, etc. Shakspere of Stratford came from the common people--why should he foul his own nest?


     (77) How do Stratfordians account for the fact that in the first Folio of the Plays published in 1623 there are nearly 10,000 lines absolutely unknown in any form before 1616, the year Shakspere died?


     (78) Who was it who revised all the Plays for the First Folio and wrote all those additional lines in exactly the same style as the original matter?


     (79) Twenty-two years after the publication of the First Folio of the "Shakespeare" Plays in 1623--namely 1645--the French people apparently had not heard of Will Shakspere of Stratford-on-Avon as a playwright, because in that year Jan Blaeu published his "Theatre du monde" in which, describing Stratfordon-on-Avon, he wrote: "The Avon passes against Stratford, a rather agreeable little trading place, but which owes all its glory to two of its nurslings: to wit, John de Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, who built a temple there, and Hugh de Clopton, who threw across the Avon, at great cost, a bridge of fourteen arches." How is it that there is not a word in this book about the man on whom Stratford-on-Avon now depends for its sole claim to fame?


     (80) In 1576 a play "A Historie of Error" (probably the first form of the "Shakespeare" Play "The Comedy of Errors") was acted before Queen Elizabeth at Hampton Court. At this date Shakspere was 12 years old and still at Stratford. How therefore can you say that Shakspere was the author of this play?


     (81) In 1579 "The Merchant of Venice" in its earlier title of "The Jew showne at the Bull, representing the greediness of wurldly choosers and bloody minds of usurers" was produced. Shakspere at that date was 15 years of age. The plot of this play was taken from two Italian novels. How could he have learnt Italian at Stratford at this early age?


     (82) In 1584, when Shakspere was 20 years old and still at Stratford, the play "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" based on a play called "Felix and Philomena" was acted before the Queen. The plot of this play was taken from the Spanish. If Shakspere wrote this play whilst he was still at Stratford, how was he able to read Spanish?


     (83) "Hamlet" was played by Lord Leicester's men before Queen Elizabeth at Oxford in the Spring of 1585. This was before Shakspere left Stratford for London. If he wrote this play how was he able while still at Stratford to get it produced by Lord Leicester's Company of Actors?


     (84) In 1612, the performance of all stage plays at Stratford was forbidden by the municipality under a penalty of ten pounds. Shakspere was then permanently residing at Stratford. If he was the celebrated dramatist, why did he not protest at this action of his fellow townsmen?


     (85) The Boatswain in "The Tempest" speaks in the true vernacular of the Forecastle. Salanio and Salarino in "The Merchant of Venice" use accurate sailor's expressions. "The Comedy of Errors" is full of nautical allusions and sea words. There is no evidence that Shakspere ever went to sea. How could he realize the life and language of a sailor by force of his imagination?


     (86) Research has traced the life of Shakspere from the cradle to the grave, and by means of tradition, legal documents, records and inscriptions formed quite an accurate biography. How is it that this research does not record a single item to connect Shakspere with "Shakespeare" the author of the Plays?


     (87) If Shakspere wrote the Plays, why did he apparently conceal this fact from his friends instead of being proud of his authorship?


     (88) If he did not conceal it, why did not his friends say something about their friendship with the celebrated author?


     (89) Why did not the other authors and dramatists know of his existence and make some reference to the man Shakspere?


     (90) The Stratfordians say that Shakspere made sufficient money to buy New Place either through acting or writing plays. If he earned this money by acting, how is it that we have no record of the parts he played, which seems to show that he must have been a very inferior actor whose salary would therefore be small?


     (91) If he made money by writing plays, how is it that there is no record that any theatrical producer' or any other person ever paid him a penny piece for writing a play?


     (92) There is nothing whatever in Shakspere's. Will to connect the testator with either plays or actors, except one erasure and one interlineation. The Christian name of Hamnet Sadler has been scratched out and someone has written above it Hamlett instead of Hamnet in order to suggest that the testator was familiar with the name of the play. There is an interlineation of gifts "to my fellowes John Heminge, Richard Burbage and Henry Condell of 26s. each to buy rings". Neither of these alterations was initialled by the testator or the witnesses as was customary. Why should the only indications in the will that Shakspere had anything to do with the plays or actors have been apparently inserted as an after-thought?


     (93) When Shakspere died, he was one of the richest men in Stratford. Yet when his father mother and son died, he never spent a penny in marking their resting places with a stone. Is this the man who in the Play "Cymbeline" is supposed to have written "Sore shaming those rich left heirs that let their fathers lie without a monument"? (Act IV Sc. 2.)


     (94) The author of "Shakespeare" Plays seems to have hated drunkenness because we read. "To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast, O strange." (Othello, Act 2, Scene 3.) "O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies." (The Taming of The Shrew, Act I, Scene 1.) Are not these strange sentiments to be expressed by a man who was himself a heavy drinker?


     (95) The "Shakespeare" Plays denounce in scathing terms ignorance as follows: "O thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!" (Love's Labour's Lost, Act 4, Scene 2.) "Ignorance is the curse of God--Knowledge the wing on which we fly to heaven." (2 Henry VI, Act 4, Scene 7.) "O gross and miserable ignorance". (2 Henry VI Act 4, Scene 2.) How do you account for the fact that Shakspere who is supposed to have expressed those sentiments allowed his two daughters to be brought up in such a state of ignorance that they could not even sign their names?


     (96) Robert Greene in his "Groatsworth of Wit" is believed by Stratfordians to have alluded to Shakspere. Why therefore does he call Shakspere an upstart crow beautified in others feathers?


     (97) How is it that after Shakspere's death plays continued to pour forth as if nothing had happened? Not only a number of new plays which were unheard of before and the greatest of them all, but the old plays were considerably augmented, revised and virtually rewritten. Who was responsible for this?


     (98) In the year 1777 a Mrs. Hornby as a private enterprise opened at Stratford a museum of relics of Shakspere. She exhibited as Shakspere's personal belongings, a carved oak chest, part of a carved bedstead, an iron deed box, a sword, a lantern, pieces of the famous mulberry tree, one of Mrs. Shakspere's shoes and a drinking glass. In 1827 Mr. R. B. Wheler, The Stratfordfordian Historian and author of the Local Guide Book, denounced these relics without exception as being "scandalous impositions," and stated that "It is well known that there does not exist a single article that ever belonged to Shakspere." Where now are these so-called relics?


     (99) It is possible to make a list of 1500 celebrated Englishmen and go to the Histories, Biographies and Encyclopaedias and find out the history of each one of' them, with one exception only, namely Shakspere.


     Is not the reason for this the fact that Shakspere had no history, with nothing whatever in his life worth recording--nothing to show that he was anything but possibly a third rate actor and a tradesman in a small town, nothing to show that any single person regarded him as a person of importance, nothing to show that he had any prominence when he lived, nothing to show that he was anything but utterly obscure and unimportant? not only in London but in his own native town?

Edward D. Johnson

July 2004

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