Bacon Bribe

An honored memory from college visited me this morning: for the first time I can recall in decades. Francis Bacon was a smart guy, some people, not entirely fools, thought he may have written “Shakespeare.” What he did write was very good, and he wasn’t the first smart Brit with that name! (or the last!)

Francis Bacon

The Elizabethan Bacon

Bacon was a writer, philosopher, genius … but he was a lawyer, became a judge … got arrested, was jailed, for taking bribes …!

OK. Lots of smart people get arrested, go to jail, it’s the individuals who are smart, not their society. Take me, for instance.
But here’s the thing: what I heard, what I can say for sure, I’m not an historian, but intend to look up, confirm or modify:
Bacon was a judge, Bacon was offered bribes, Bacon took the bribes …

But the reason he was arrested, jailed … was: he did not let the bribe affect his judgment! He gave honest verdicts, never mind the money!

… men are bribeable,
so sometimes justice can be done.
Mother Courage

Francis Bacon

another smart Bacon
not to be confused

I remember a earlier English Bacon, medieval proto-scientist, playwright … I’ve read at least one of his plays: about a brass windup wizard who gives prophecies, too late: “Watch out for the bridge!” after the bridge has hit you on the head. I’ll try to report back when I refresh my facts.



About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in history, pk Teaching, scholarship and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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