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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: April ::
New Birthday Evidence; Authorship and Malvolio
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0361.  Monday, 25 April 1994.
(1)     From:   Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 24 Apr 1994 14:27:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   New Birthday Evidence
(2)     From:   Matthew Vail Smith <MASMITH@HWS.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 24 Apr 1994 22:04:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   AUTHORSHIP (and malvolio)
From:           Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
Date:           Sunday, 24 Apr 1994 14:27:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        New Birthday Evidence
In THE NEW DOMINION MONTHLY of April 1852 there was a tiny fuss made about a
dreadful little poem recently "discovered" with a refrain that excited the
editors with its cleverness,
                        Anne hath a way.
The headline of the unattributed article housing the work was "Is It By
In Christopher Fry's unpublished correspondence with T.S.Eliot's accountant,
Jonathan Sieve-Wrights (who later was to bring an end to his own life with a
Glenlivet enema -- an event unrevealed until now), there is a small piece of
paper with a blank verse dialogue written in impeccable hand in red ink. I take
CHR to be Marlowe and WI to be Shakespeare-- an understandable assumption, I
should think.
        CHR Thys words may be as jewels, Will, but I,
        Not made to court sweet pearlets of repute
        But labour part time at the wordwright's art,
        Find solace in that bower of beauty's best
        Where rhythm ties its ribbon on the sense
        And measure springs untrammeld from its womb
        Between the legs of blessed Saint Cecelia,
        Who sings "Thou must needs end this sentence now
        Before the verb is lost and with its thrust
        The bloody puport of the speech."
                            WI          Not end?
        I'd scarce begun, when thou
                         CHR        No pause allowed!
        I'll finish up thy line, what tho it blast me.
        WI Blast thee fine it will.
                          CHR      You think Ill pun now?
        That's it, right? Use thy will to make a joke
        Upon thy name to foster it in fashion cutesie-pie
        To have the cognoscenti give those awful chuckles
        And sophomoric smugging smiles as well?
        WI You used "thou" twice within two awful lines,
        You know. I'd not do that. Not on my birthday,
        Anyway, unless for emphasis or mockery.
        CHR We part on couplets then? We've got the rhyme.
        WI Okay. You've got my birthdate right, but not the time.
        CHR That line's too long, as is your fame. What WAS the time?
        WI The same as Oxford's, which explains
        CHR A lot. Well, Happy Birthtime, Will
        WI Thanks. And thank you, Baby Bill.
I guess Fry, or Eliot, or Jonatghan Sieve-Wrights was just feeling silly today,
and am sure they would each like to apologise for wasting e-time. If someone
would promise to grade my pile of papers here, I'd not do this kind'of thing.
From:           Matthew Vail Smith <MASMITH@HWS.BITNET>
Date:           Sunday, 24 Apr 1994 22:04:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        AUTHORSHIP (and malvolio)
Perhaps someone involved in the authorship argument would be kind enough to
inform the National Trust that they should set up shop in Oxford as well as
Stratford-upon-Avon to stay on the cutting edge of quasi-scholorship *cum*
tourism.  (As if Oxford doesn't have enough tourism!)  The National Trust could
renovate a barn somewhere in Oxfordshire, claim that Roger Bacon and a sullen
band of secret underground Knights Templars (headquartered at the Church of the
Temple in London!) enacted plays in front of Willie who wrote them down.
(These plays, by the way, contain many of the secrets of the universe, so be
careful when performing them near any Druidic epicenters.  Just a kindly
warning.) This barn could be surrounded by some naf information boards
describing the lurid history of Willie's Earldom and his connection with Queen
Elizabeth in sentences no longer than twelve words.  They should also arrange
some posh shrubbery and inside the National Trust could sell chocolate bars
that have copies of the folios for wrappers.  If the National Trust were really
clever they might even sell small linen doilies; each bearing the likeness of
only the most popular heros so that they sell like hotcakes to American
tourists given half an hour to look around while their coach driver gets
himself a nip of tea.  Someone should get on this right away so that as soon as
this Oxfordian Shakespeare trend blows over, the National Trust will already
have generated enough income to cover its costs and to build the next
Shakespearean museum project--perhaps in Norwich this time?
Matthew Vail Smith
Hobart College
p.s.  For those of you concerned with my Malvolio plight:  I have been
experimenting with Malvolio as performed by Kramer and George from the
popular sit-com "Seinfeld."  So far so good.---mvs

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