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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Funeral Elegy; Remedies
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0256.  Wednesday, 3 April 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Apr 1996 17:47:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   FE in the TLS

(2)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Apr 1996 18:56:00 -0800
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy

(3)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Apr 1996 18:23:07 -0800
        Subj:   Remedies


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Tuesday, 02 Apr 1996 17:47:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        FE in the TLS

A report for those who do not read the TLS:

Rick Abrams in his recent letter to the TLS (March 22, 1996) takes Vickers to
task for supposing that SHAXICON generally analyzes style.  So we really should
distinguish between SHAXICON's function (i.e., to search for words) and our
search for stylistic parallels between Shakespeare's plays and poems, and FE
(e.g., enjambement, hendiadys, "incongruent who/m," word formation, and
hyphenation). Abrams generally rebuts Vickers's argument -- pointing out
inconsistencies and misinterpretations.

In the March 29 issue (TLS), 17, Don Foster calls Vickers' response "An
entertainment," and goes on to point on Vickers' mistakes (and unacknowledged
borrowings).

But in the same issue, Katherine Duncan-Jones (who provides the scholars who
argue for Shakespeare's authorship of FE with some of their ammunition) makes
three points against the ascription: (1) the prefatory epistle seems to
indicate that the writer of FE is not a practising poet; (2) the writer of FE
is too modest to be Shakespeare; and (3) George Eld possibly attribute FE to
W.S. in hopes that readers would think the poem by Shakespeare, but a "few
minutes' perusal of the volume surely revealed the deception."

Duncan-Jones thinks the poem is a Devonshire poem, and thinks that one of the
Stukeleys or Sir William Strode may be the author.  (Don Foster has considered
his son, also William Strode {1600-1645}.)

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Apr 1996 18:56:00 -0800
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

Here are three conclusions about deceased men done up in verse,  the likeness
of the lines speaking for itself.

1)      "Sleep in peace: thus happy hast thou prov'd
        Thou mightst have died more known, not more belov'd."

2)      "Who herein hast forever happy prov'd:
        In life thou livdst, in death thou died belov'd."

3)      "In this his life and death was countervail'd,
        He justly liv'd belov'd, he died bewail'd."

Number One is by John Ford, a Memorial on Sir Thomas Overbury, 1613.
Number Three is by John Ford, an Elegy for the Earle of Devonshire, 1606.
Number Two is by the unknown W.S., the Funeral Elegy for William Peter, 1612.

If the Funeral Elegy was not written by John Ford, and some strong evidence for
that has been published on this line, then coincidence has got the upper hand
of us and we may quit the human study of comparative literature and roll over
for Shaxicon and happily receive his tickling and harness that would yoke
Shakespeare to the pitiful sonambulistic work of the unknown W.S.

                        An epitaph on Shaxicon:

        "He was belov'd by some, for that he prov'd,
        Shakespeare could write verse, even when he snoozed."

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 2 Apr 1996 18:23:07 -0800
Subject:        Remedies
In 1568 (?) was published "The Seconde parte of the Secrets of Maister Alexis
of Piemont...", translated by William Warde. For what it was worth to
Shakespeare, and to us, here are some of the secrets.

   "Remedie to cure the tooth ache:  Boyle frogges with water
    and vinegar, and wash your mouth with the decoction...."

   "To make hair grow:  Take three quicke frogges, and burne
   them alive in a potte, and mingle the ashes that you make of
   them with honey or with tarre, which is far better, and rubbe
   the place with it where you see there groweth no hair, and
   in short space it will grow abundantly."

   "To take wartes from the hands:  Take earth and knead it
   with dogs pisse, and lay it upon the wartes, and they will
   dry up and consume away."

A lead comb will also make the hair grow.  Frogs and dog's urine may not be too
difficult to come by, except that you might need a lot of frogs if you have
rotting teeth and bad breath:

   "Take a hundred frogs, and dry them all night in an oven,
   so that they may be made into a powder...."

Or perhaps you would wish to look younger, and dye your gray hair black:

   "Take leeches or blood suckers, and let them rot the space
   of three score days in red wine...."

The ladies, of course, would like to lose a little weight, and there is an easy
secret to take the appetite away.

   "Take a little green basil, and when men bring the dishes to
   the table, put it underneath them, that the woman perceive
   it not: for men say that she will eat of none of that which
   is in the dish where under the basil lyeth."

Do you live in a place where you fear violence in the streets? This might be
better than pepper spray:

       "For to make that wilde beastes shall not hurt you

   For to be assured and safe from wild beastes, as Wolves,
   Beares, and such other like, take the grease of a Lion, and
   anoynt your self therewith over and over, and go hardly
   where you will, and no beast shall hurt you, but as soon as
   they smell the savor of the grease, they will run away.  And
   if by chance you meet with a Wolf, or other wilde beast,
   run not away, but with a good courage go even to him, that
   he may smell the grease that you are anoynted withal, and
   he will flee."

Ah if life were so easy -- simply render a lion into grease and smear yourself
with it.  Other dangers are not so easily avoided, the ingrediants not to be
bought at the pharmacy.

   "Take a great foul called a Vultur, and take the skin of
   her right heel...."

   "Take the heart of an Ape, and lay it under your head, when
   you go to bed...."

   "Take the tooth or the left leg of a Badger..."

   "Take a blacke Dogge, and plucke out one of his eyes, and hold
   it in your left hand...."

   "Take the gall of a he Goat, or of a she Goat, but the he Goat
   is better, and doeth it sooner, and rubbe your eyebrows...."

   "Take great green Lizards or sea Frogs, and cut off their
   heads and their tails, and dry the rest in an oven."

I don't think we can use any of the above, the SPCA would be all over us.
However, the first secret in the book is the best, and if Shakespeare plucked
and sharpened his own quills, perhaps he had need to make his own ink, and
here's one way it might be done.

               "To make blacke Inke very good.

   Take a pound and a half of rain water, with three ounces of
   the weightiest Galls you can find, bruise them into small
   pieces, and pour them into the said water, and let it stand
   two days in the sun.  Then put to it two ounces of Romaine
   vitriol well coloured and beaten small, and mire all well
   together with a stick of a fig tree, and leave it again two days
   more in the sun.  Finally put to it an ounce of gum Arabic,
   that is clear and bright, and beaten to powder, and an ounce of
   the pill of Pomgranades, and then boil it a little with a slow
   fire:  that done strain it, and keep it in a vessel of Lead or
   glass, and it will be very blacke and perfect good."

To think of it -- Shakespeare shopping about for weighty gall bladders, needing
a supply of black ink.

   "Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou write with
   a goose-pen, no matter...."   T. Night iii, 2, 52

   "I'll drink the words you send, Though ink be made of gall...."
   Cymbeline i, 1, 101
 

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