G. DELAMOTHE

While in Bordeaux, Bacon had become a good friend of Montaigne, who died only a few months after Bacon's return to England, the last letter he received in fact being one from Bacon. This news was sent to Bacon by their mutual friend, Pierre Debrach, Sieur de la Motte - that is, Lord of La Motte Montessan, near Bordeaux. It seems possible that Bacon, and Guilliaum too, lived at La Motte for at least some of their time in Bordeaux, as Debrach wrote of his grief at the loss of Bacon's company, and having left his home because of his 'solitude' since Bacon's departure. (1)

Appendix II shows that Le Doux had a copy of Montaigne's Essais in his collection. Another of the books may be of even more interest, however. The French Alphabet is a delightful little volume, "teaching in a very short tyme, by a most easie way, to pronounce French naturally, to reade it perfectly, to write it truely, and to speake it accordingly". Hardly what a 'French gentleman' would need! It was, however, printed in 1592, the year of Bacon's (and therefore Guilliaum's?) return to England, by Richard Field, printer of works by several of Bacon's friends: Montaigne, Henri de Navarre and Antonio Perez, for example (also of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece of course). It is by someone calling himself G.(Guilliaum?) De la Mothe (= de la Motte). Who better than an English word-smith, who had just spent up to three or four years in France, to write such a book?

The third part of The French Alphabet is a collection of over six hundred "sentences, similes, apothegmes and golden sayings of the most excellent French Authors, as well poets as orators", all translated into English (translators, of course, usually work into their native language, rather than from it). This would be a priceless collection for any playwright, whether interested in French or not, and appears closely to resemble the Promus and similar items among the Le Doux papers.

In his introduction, De la Mothe says:

"Gentle Readers, if there be any of you, that for your better furtherance in the French toung, shall be desirous to be acquainted with the Authour of this booke, you shall hear of him, in Fleet street beneath the conduit, at the signe of S. Iohn th'Evangelist, where this booke is to be sold: or els in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the helmet."
A letter from Thomas Kyd (2) at this very time mentions "some stationers in Paules churchyard" particularly well known to Marlowe and "such as he conversed withal".


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NOTES AND REFERENCES (G. DELAMOTHE)

1 LPL Bacon Papers MS.648 f.281

2 BL Harley MS.6849 f.218r,v. (See F.S. Boas, Christopher Marlowe (1940) for a facsimile and transcript).


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