In The New Atlantis: Or, Voyage to the Land of the Rosicrucians, Francis Bacon tells us that Atlantis was “that you call America.” (Background: Esoteric Shakespeare (Part 17), Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of March 7, 2014.)
Plato tells us that “the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.”
I had always taken this sea in those parts which is “impassable and impenetrable” to mean the Sargasso Sea.
Plato also tells us that “a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth” alternately brings about either destruction by fire, or destruction by water. A great conflagration of things upon the earth recurs after long intervals; “at such times those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore.” But when, “on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water,” the survivors are herdsmen and shepherds who dwell on the mountains, but those who live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea.”
When Plato says that Atlantis “sank”, that could be just a manner of speaking. In The New Atlantis, Bacon writes that Atlantis was destroyed “by a particular deluge, or inundation.” This inundation “was not deep, nor past forty foot, in most places, from the ground, so that although it destroyed man and beast generally, yet some few wild inhabitants of the wood escaped.”
[T]hat inundation, though it were shallow, had a long continuance, whereby they of the vale that were not drowned perished for want of food, and other things necessary. So as marvel you not at the thin population of America, nor at the rudeness and ignorance of the people; for you must account your inhabitants of America as a young people, younger a thousand years at the least than the rest of the world, for that there was so much time between the universal flood and their particular inundation.
Those survivors of the “sinking” (inundation) of “Atlantis” (America) emerged as the noble Red Men, a.k.a. “Indians”. Over time they began to grow crops, including tobacco. To these Red Men, tobacco was and still is a sacred plant. In 1586, Ralph Lane, the first governor of Virginia, gave an American Indian medicine pipe to Sir Walter Raleigh and showed him how to use it. Raleigh in turn introduced his friends to pipe smoking.
However King James hated tobacco and wrote a paper against smoking it. The State Calendar of his time calls it the “contemptible weed.” This would make tobacco a “noted weed” – noted in writing by the King as contemptible.
The original word was tabaco, but Raleigh and his friends, members of a “philosophical fraternity”, altered the word to create a pun: “To Bacco”. Bacco meant Bacchus, the god of wine, drama, and the Orphic Mysteries. This “To Bacco” was used as a salutation when smoking the noted weed at meetings of the “philosophical fraternity”.
But “To Bacco” also meant a toast to Francis Bacon: “To Baco(n).”
A “weed” can also mean the “motley” or “fool’s weeds” worn by a court jester, or in general a disguise. Francis Bacon, in his History of Henry VII, says for example: “This fellow… clad himself like an Hermite and in that weede wandered about the countrie.”
All of which “noted weed” information may help explain part of the Shake-Spear Sonnet 76:
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
(Acknowledgement to The Shakespeare Enigma, by Peter Dawkins, for the tobacco background and how it relates to Francis Bacon and the Spear Shaker.)