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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Biondello
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0649  Sunday, 11 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Nick Moschovakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 Apr 1999 08:47:01 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0639 Re: Biondello

[2]     From:   Gavin H Witt <
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        Date:   Saturday, 10 Apr 99 21:11:13 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 7 Apr 1999 to 8 Apr 1999


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Moschovakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 Apr 1999 08:47:01 -0600
Subject: 10.0639 Re: Biondello
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0639 Re: Biondello

So far there have been several attempts to explain the line "I knew a
wench married in an afternoon as she went to the garden for parsley to
stuff a rabbit...," including references to Stubbes' account of country
shenanigans on Mayday and Whitsuntide.

But I wonder if there is perhaps a more direct parallel to this
situation in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle, 1.1. Master
Humphrey, the rich and ridiculous suitor, attempts to charm the fair
Luce by recalling his first encounter with her (cf. Petrarch's first
encounter with Laura):

"HUMPHREY:                      ...how far
Is it now distant from this place we are in,
Unto that blessed place, your father's warren?

LUCE: What makes you think of that, sir?

HUMPHREY:                       Even that face.
For stealing Rabbits whilom in that place,
God Cupid, or the Keeper, I know not whether,
Unto my cost and charges brought you thither,
And there began -

LUCE:           Your game, sir[?]

HUMPHREY:                       Let no game,
Or any thing that tendeth to the same
Be evermore remembered, thou fair killer
For whom I sat me down and broke my tiller[!]"

Maybe the proverbial propensities of rabbits had something to do with
this idea of the rabbit warren as a locus amoris.

Nick Moschovakis

P.S.: Not that Biondello refers to a warren, but rather that the common
allusion to rabbits and adjoining outdoor locales (garden, rabbit hutch)
in conjunction seems suggestive. - Certainly the act of stuffing is
also, as Helen Ostovich has explained, the main thrust of the joke...

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gavin H Witt <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 10 Apr 99 21:11:13 CDT
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 7 Apr 1999 to 8 Apr 1999

Hmm, twice tempted out of lurking silence in the same week....  very
interesting and stimulating threads of late, both on performance and
critical interp.

Re:(3) "Get stuffed" is dated only to 1952 by the online OED, however .
. . (if  I've searched it right).

The OED might want to consider _Much Ado_, no?  Margaret & Hero vs.
Beatrice, as I recall, on the attempted wedding morning: "stuffed, and a
maid?  There's goodly catching of cold" etc.  Seems to support fully
your "bawdy" reading here.  Just a thought.

Gavin Witt
University of Chicago

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