The Roman Catholics have elected a new pope, who has decided that he will be known as Francis.
Francis was the name of the reluctant cannibal in the Flanders and Swann song who declared, “I won’t eat people! Eating people is wrong”.
I wonder if this is who the new pope has named himself after?
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Far more likely to be that other Papish icon, Francis Bacon…
Ah! You mean the painter! I thought for a moment you might mean the lawyer, scientist and philosopher, who not only did not eat people, but failed also to eat the chicken that he was trying to refrigerate in 1626 by stuffing it with the snow. Instead, the chicken killed him, inasmuch as he caught a chill and died of pneumonia.
He was somewhat down on the Catholic Chruch, but a bit warmer towards the Jesuits? This from Bacon’s The Adavncement of Learning:
(15) And we see before our eyes, that in the age of ourselves and our fathers, when it pleased God to call the Church of Rome to account for their degenerate manners and ceremonies, and sundry doctrines obnoxious and framed to uphold the same abuses; at one and the same time it was ordained by the Divine Providence that there should attend withal a renovation and new spring of all other knowledges. And on the other side we see the Jesuits, who partly in themselves, and partly by the emulation and provocation of their example, have much quickened and strengthened the state of learning; we see (I say) what notable service and reparation they have done to the Roman see.
Francis Bacon (the more recent) being of course best known for his series of deconstructed popes. I had forgotten about his namesake.
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