The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1891 Friday, 6 October 2000.
Date: Thursday, 5 Oct 2000 19:01:24 +0100
Subject: 11.1881 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke
Comment: Re: SHK 11.1881 Re: Essex/Bolingbroke
In J. O. Halliwell (ed.), +Poetical Miscellanies from a MS. coll. of
the time of James I+ (London, 1845), there is a poem attacking Sir
Walter Ralegh, ON THE SAME, beginning "Watt, I wot well thy overweening
witt ..." (pp. 15-18), which contains the following stanza where imagery
which in +Richard II+ is applied to Bolingbroke, is applied to Essex:
Renowned Essex, as he past the streets,
Woulde vaile his bonnett to an oyster wife,
And with a kinde of humble congie greete
The vulgar sorte that did admire his life:
And now sith he hath spent his livinge breath,
They will not cease yet to lament his death.
Cf +Richard II+, 1.4:
How he did seem to dive into their hearts
With humble and familiar courtesy ...
What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench ...
This would suggest a specific link in at least one writer's mind between
Essex and Shakespeare's +Richard II+.