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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: Funeral Elegy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0190.  Sunday, 10 March 1996.

(1)     From:   David Joseph Kathman <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Mar 1996 00:26:20 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0181  Re: Funeral Elegy

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Saturday, 09 Mar 1996 12:00:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0185  Re: Funeral Elegy

(3)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Mar 1996 19:03:03 -0800
        Subj:   Dr. Dodypoll


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Joseph Kathman <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Mar 1996 00:26:20 +0100
Subject: 7.0181  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0181  Re: Funeral Elegy

Just a couple of brief comments.

Bill Godshalk writes:
>Regarding Dave Kathman's comments on criteria and my vague response, let me
>clarify briefly.  It seems to me that the figures used for enjambement in FE
>(by those who would ascribe the play to Shakespeare) are geared to the figures
>for enjambement in the last plays.  Shakespeare enjambed more and more as he
>got older.  So the figures used for feminine endings should be taken from the
>same source -- the last plays.  To take one set of figures from the last plays,
>and another set of figures from the non-dramatic poetry seems bad form -- to
>me.

Yes, it's true that Shakespeare enjambed more often as he got older, and that
Foster compares the enjambment in FE with that in the late plays. But it's a
non sequitur to say that therefore you should also compare the feminine endings
in FE with those in the late plays; they're separate issues which need to be
evaluated separately.  Shakespeare's use of enjambment increased over time in
both his plays and in his non-dramatic poetry, involving similar percentages,
and there is no reason not to compare FE with the late plays.  With feminine
endings, though, the plays and the non-dramatic verse differ, as I've been
arguing:  feminine endings increased steadily in Shakespeare's plays, as they
did in Elizabethan plays in general, but they held steady or arguably decreased
in his nondramatic verse, much as they did in Elizabethan rhymed verse in
general. Given a choice between comparing the feminine endings in FE with the
blank verse of the late plays or with the nondramatic poems, I've been arguing
that the nondramatic poems are a better choice, even though neither choice is
ideal.  The nondramatic poems differ from FE in terms of date, but I've argued
that that doesn't appear to be a very significant factor in rhymed verse; the
late plays differ from FE in being almost entirely blank verse, which I've
argued is a very significant factor since blank verse tends to have more
feminine endings than rhymed verse.

I am still puzzled by many of Gabriel Egan's statements, but I agree that
there's no need to continue the feminine endings discussions here unless
there's a groundswell of support from other quarters.  I've tried to articulate
my positions as clearly as I can, and people are free to judge what's been said
in this discussion as they see fit.

Bill Godshalk writes:

>Today while I was looking for something in the STC microfilms, I found another
>candidate (I think) for W.S.. In Charles Butler's *The Feminine Monarchie*
>(London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, 1623), STC 4193, there is dedicatory poem
>"Ad Carolum Butler" in Latin signed Warnervs Sovth.  This is the only edition
>of this work that I have had a chance to examine so far.
>
>There is a period after "Sovth." so the name may be an abbreviation.  The
>subtitle of Butler's work is *The Historie of Bees,* and Edmund Southerne wrote
>a treatise on bees in 1593 (STC 22942).  Is it possible that the name of the
>poet is Warner Southerne?
>
>I've looked in Don Foster's index and find no reference to Warnervs Sovth or to
>Charles Butler.  So, Don has either rejected Warnervs Sovth as a possible W.S.,
>or he has not considered Sovth's -- admittedly -- minor claim.
>
>Warnervs Sovth was probably an Oxford man (Charles Butler was) -- and thus may
>have met William Peter at Oxford.
>
>Of course, his dedicatory poem comes eleven years after the *Funeral Elegy,*
>and further investigation may prove that Warnervs Sovth was only ten years old
>in 1612!  Or, that his name was Southwell Warner!
>
>But I throw this W.S. into the ring -- cum grano salis.

Actually, Don Foster did cite Warner South in his list of all works by people
with the initials W.S. between 1570 and 1630.  The first edition of Butler's
*The Feminine Monarchie* (STC 4192) was in 1609, so it was closer to FE than
you thought.  South also had a Latin poem in Thomas Vicars' *Cheiragogia*, the
third edition of which was in 1628.  According to the list, Warner South (or
"Warnerus South, Jurista Novi Collegii Socius") was born in 1586 and was Canon
of Wells.  Since both of his known works are in Latin, there's not much basis
for comparison with the Elegy.

Dave Kathman

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Saturday, 09 Mar 1996 12:00:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0185  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0185  Re: Funeral Elegy

(a) Yesterday, in the 1609 edition of *The Feminine Monarchie* (Oxford, Printed
by Ioseph Barnes, 1609), I found the following signature to the commendatory
poem "Ad Authorem" (a4v):  Warnervs Sovth, Iurista Novi Collegij Socius.

So Warnerus Sovth was writing Latin poetry in 1609.

But I must also record that, in Charles Butler's *The English Grammar* (Oxford,
Printed by Willimam Turner, for the Authour: 1633), there is an "Ad Authorem*
signed S.W. The poem is NOT the same as the poem in the 1609 *Feminine
Monarchie.*

My point is NOT that Warnervs Sovth wrote *The Funeral Elegy,* but that there
may have been another W.S. who was a poet, and who needs to be added to the
list of possible authors.

(b)  Notice that *The English Grammar* (above) was printed "for the Authour"
and this is so stated on the title page.  I would suggest that this is good
evidence that *The English Grammar* was privately printed.  Also notice that
*The Funeral Elegy* contains no such designation.

Why is this an important issue? Those who would ascribe FE to Shakespeare can
NOT prove that FE was privately printed.  (Take that assertion as a challenge!)
It may have been, but there's no hard evidence (as far as I know).  And they
need FE to have been privately printed with no, or limited, circulation.
Otherwise, how can they account for its being unknown as Shakespeare's for
almost 400 years?

I would like to see Don Foster's evidence that Ford acknowledged the FE as
Shakespeare's.

Yours,  Bill Godshalk

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Mar 1996 19:03:03 -0800
Subject:        Dr. Dodypoll

If I were to discover a new poem or play by Shakespeare, I'd discover these few
lines and say that Shakespeare wrote them.

          "T'was I that led you through the painted meads,
           Where the light fairies danced upon the flowers,
           Hanging on every leaf an orient pearl,
           Which, struck together with the silken wind
           Of their loose mantles, made a silver chime.
           T'was I that, winding my shrill bugle horn,
           Made a gilt palace break out of the hill,
           Filled suddenly with troops of knights and dames,
           Who danced and revelled; whilst we sweetly slept
           Upon a bed of roses, wrapt all in gold."

But that's not Shakespeare. The author of the above is entirely unknown.  But
we know that in the Merchant of Venice Shakespeare wrote this:

           "Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
           creep in our ears.  Soft stillness and the night
           become the touches of sweet harmony.
           Sit, Jessica.  Look how the floor of heaven
           Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold.
           There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
           But in his motion like an angel sings,
           Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins:
           Such harmony is in immortal souls;
           But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
           Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it."

There seems to be a poetic touch between those two poems much more than any
clutch of lines that would make us think that Shakespeare wrote the Funeral
Elegy.  And that's what wanted, I believe, some certain poetic expression that
approves to our poetic souls that we are reading words written by the man
himself, which recognition seems not to happen between the Funeral Elegy and
any other Shakespeare poem. That's the problem entirely.  W.S. of the Funeral
Elegy gives us no satisfaction at all, if we are looking to read some beautiful
poetry.

The above anonymous quotation that harkens so much to those sweet lines from
the Merchant of Venice was published in 1600.  The play is called "The Wisdom
of Doctor Dodypoll", and I hope to acquaint the unknowers of it (which is
almost everyone I think) with some more of the comedy, "As it hath bene sundrie
times Acted by the Children of Powles."
 

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