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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: July ::
New on the SHAKSPER Fileserver: FORD ELEGIES
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0513.  Wednesday, 10 July 1996.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Wednesday, July 10, 1996
Subject:        New on the SHAKSPER Fileserver: FORD ELEGIES

As of today, SHAKSPEReans may retrieve Patrick Gillespie's transcriptions of
the following elegies by John Ford: "Fame's Memorial," "John Ford in
commendation of his very good friend the Author," "On the Best of English
Poets, Ben Jonson," and "A memorial offered to that man of virtue, Sir Thomas
Overbury" (FORD ELEGIES) from the SHAKSPER Fileserver.

To retrieve these elegies, send a one-line mail message (without a subject
line) to 
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 , reading "GET FORD ELEGIES".

Should you have difficulty receiving this or any of the files on the SHAKSPER
Fileserver, please contact the editor at <
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<
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 >.

Below is a note from Patrick Gillespie regarding these elegies.

*******************************************************************************

Hello all,

First, none of these elegies submitted to the Shakespeare Listserv are
formatted -- formatting not yet possible via E-Mail. If anyone wants formatted
copies of these (line numbers & page numbers, rich text, as well as formatting)
feel free to send me a note and I will forward an attachment to you. I offer
the same for Dr. Doddypol, which I submitted to the Listserv in May?. The
formatted copy comes with line numbers, italics, page numbers, etc....

I wanted to provide these elegies to all interested in lieu of our discussing
the Funeral Elegy. When it was first brought to my attention that FE might be
Ford's, I naturally wanted to compare Ford's known Elegies with FE. The longest
of the Elegies is Fame's Memorial. It's clearly the work of a young mind trying
to play too many notes. Yet, having become well acquainted with Ford after
typing in Fame's Memorial, I was forcefully struck by the similarities between
Fame's Memorial and FE. There is a similarity of conception, rhetorical design,
imagery (its figurative paucity), and sentiment. Qualities which, unless I am
mistaken, Shaxicon is of yet incapable of analyzing. The striking similarity in
rhetorical construction is inescapable.

For example:


Consider the strikingly similar use of Synathrismos:

FM

        By firm allegiance, courtesy, and kindness,
        Unto his prince, his peers, his friends endear'd;
        By stern constraint, meek scorn, and willing blindness,
        Of all his foes, backbiters, grudgers fear'd,
        He in his lifetime evermore appear'd;
          Peace, pity, love, with mildness, ease, and rest,
          Rul'd, forgave, joy'd his soul, his wrongs, his breast.

FE

        Of true perfection, in a perfect breast;
        So that his mind and body made an inn,
        The one to lodge the other, both like framed
        For fair conditions, guests that soonest win
        Applause, in generality, well famed,
        If trim behavior, gestures mild, discreet
        Endeavors, modest speech, beseeming mirth,
        True friendship, active grace, persuasion sweet.
        Delightful love innated from his birth,
        Acquaintance unfamiliar, carriage just,
        Offenseless resolution, wished sobriety,
        Clean-tempered moderation, steady trust,
        Unburthened conscience, unfeigned piety...

Consider not only the similarity in use but also that what the author chooses
to praise is nearly identical in both. Can a similar parallel be found in
Shakespeare's poetry?

Ford, judging from FM, was especially, far above and beyond Shakespeare (in
poetry especially), susceptible to figures of repetition.

Consider especially such figures as Commutatio (Antimetabole), Anaclasis
(Refractio), Palilogia (Heration).

Anadiplosis (When the last word or phrase of one unit of speech is used at the
beginning of the following unit of speech.)

Anadiplosis is endemic to FM:

        ...She died ere rumor could that ease ralate;
        The news was happy, but for her too late.

        Too late for her, and for our lord too late...

        ...to new-mourn Achilles' loss!
        Our dear Achilles' loss...

A similar *habit of thought* can be found in FE:

16              ...one truly good, by him.
        For he was truly good...

57      Did jointly both, in their peculiar graces,
        Enrich the curious temple of his mind;
        Indeed the temple, in whose precious white...

320     and he was friendhip's rock:
        A rock of friendship figured in his name...

410     In nothing surely propserous, but hope...
        And that same hope...

Can similar examples be found in Shakespeare's poems?


FM

        With pleasure to behold, beholding woo him

        Destruction to the stiff-necked revels stout 

 

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