2003

Marry, you dost wrong

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1110  Friday, 6 June 2003

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 05 Jun 2003 14:50:41 +0000
Subject:        Marry, you dost wrong

(14.1059)  "especially at a time when more marriages were arranged than
entered into willingly:"

This requires some clarification not the least because it creates two
conditions that are obscure and it cannot be verified. Arranged
marriages (a term which needs defining) need not necessarily be entered
into unwillingly as is implied. Relevant and valid information to
support the contention is extremely sparse or not available. (Nor is it,
as far as England goes, about similar, but not identical, circumstances
today - even with all the vastly collected and collated available
governmental statistics - as the Registrar General admitted to
Parliament only a few months ago.) Anecdote, fiction and subjective
writing mainly by females -my wife has allowed me to write this sentence
- is heavily quoted as fact and frequently plugged in out of context, as
padding to reach a word count target, and as secondary and even tertiary
sources with little if any discriminatory examination but with much
contentious conjecture. These things hath a way of becoming "fact".

Claudio Hall

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Re: This might not be fit for the list...

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1109  Friday, 6 June 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 07:33:39 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: This might not be fit for the list...[Existentialism and
Hamlet]

[2]     From:   Rafael Acuna <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 23:58:28 +0800
        Subj:   RE: This might not be fit for the list...

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 6 Jun 2003 11:25:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 07:33:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1102 Re: This might not be fit for the
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1102 Re: This might not be fit for the
list...[Existentialism and Hamlet]

Brian Willis responds to L. Swilley's definition of existentialism as
"The belief that life is essentially absurd, and the choice to continue
to live or to die is absolutely arbitrary" and writes, "With this
definition, the 'to be' speech a declaration of existentialism?  Isn't
the speech then - in Hamlet's honesty with the speech and not the
argument that it is said for the benefit of Claudius, et al. - Hamlet's
own declaration of the absurdity of life, his choice finally (for the
moment) that he chooses to live but that the freedom of choice regarding
that life is unfortunately balanced against him?"

Well, existentialism, as I understand it, has the basic principle that
the "actual EXISTENCE of the individual" is supreme, rather than
theories and abstractions.  Satre, et al., argued that man, i.e.,
Hamlet, is "what he makes of himself" and fate plays no part in it.
This sounds more like Grebanier's take on Hamlet.  In other words,
Hamlet has free will and studies all the theories and abstractions
around him, and finally takes personal responsibility for his own
actions, and classically an existentialist, he acts, rashly at time,
never insanely, but yes, he is a "man of action."  As in Aristotle and
the views expressed of Jesus, a man is judged by his actions: you know a
tree by its fruits, and you know a man/woman by their actions.

That is why in the final analysis, in my opinion, Hamlet contextually is
a man of action, not insane, who delays to see a clear course of action,
and finally acts to right the wrong done to his father and prove the
ghost of his departed father was on the side of the angels and not the
side of the devils.  Hamlet's early dichotomy on good and bad spirits
pointed out the action he would take.  Indeed, the character of Hamlet
is PERCEIVED existentially by his actions, another tenet of Aristotle
and Grebanier and Shakespeare's brilliant portrayal of Hamlet, the
character, in the play.  Grebanier stresses the ACTION of the play
reveals the character, and I have to say I agree with him.

Existentialism, the Satre school argues, from my understanding, that
life is not abstraction but a series of events which defines our
character as others perceive it.  Surely, the other characters in the
play Hamlet attempt to define the character of Prince Hamlet.  But when
ALL is said and done, and the play reaches its final ACT, then we the
audience and readers must decide: who WAS Hamlet, and was he as DEFINED
by others in the play, or not?  As Grebanier, I conclude that Hamlet's
ACTIONS show him to have been sane, a man of action who finally figured
out who was who in the zoo.  Indeed, that world inside Shakespeare's
play Hamlet might be best described as a zoo.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rafael Acuna <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 23:58:28 +0800
Subject:        RE: This might not be fit for the list...

May I suggest *The Oxford Companion to Philosophy*?

Rafael Acuna

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 6 Jun 2003 11:25:47 +0100
Subject: 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...

Michael Luskin asked, in all apparent honesty:

>What is deconstruction?

It is most unfair to reply to such things as L. Swilley did:

>The belief that words have so many different meanings for each and
>everyone that communication is virtually impossible. (Logically, then,
>the deconstructionist's statement of this belief is itself
>incomprehensible, as is this, my judgement of it.) With the Knight in
>"Alice in Wonderland," the deconstructionist says, "Words mean what I
>want them to mean..."

The misrepresentation of Carroll has already be noted on this list
(wrong book, wrong character) but I am more concerned with the willful
misrepresentation of deconstruction. If a first-year English
undergraduate wrote the above nonsense in an examination it would score
no points at all for it betrays utter ignorance. I waited to see if
anyone else would jump in and point out this fact and am dismayed that
no-one did.

One does not have to be an advocate of deconstruction to want it to be
described fairly so that its merits and weaknesses may be properly
judged. If Swilley understood deconstruction he or she could doubtless
offer a proper critique of it--it has well-known problems--so one must
conclude that he/she doesn't understand it.  Such ignorance is not
shameful (Luskin doesn't understand it either) but one shouldn't then
leap in and offer a summary dismissal of the topic to another who simply
asked for help understanding it.  We can only assume that this "L.
Swilley" is not the same person as the teacher who regularly posts under
that title on "teachers.net", for no professional educator could be so
crass.

Michael Luskin could get a much better view of deconstruction from any
number of university-hosted websites. A search on www.google.com for
'deconstruction' throws up a few worth looking at, including:

http://www.sou.edu/English/Hedges/Sodashop/RCenter/Theory/Howto/decon.htm

Many sites begin with too much detail or peripheral matters, whereas the
above actually gives a sense of what a deconstructionist reading of a
text might do. The next one gives an idea of where deconstruction came
from

http://prelectur.stanford.edu/lecturers/derrida/deconstruction.html

and it also has a link to an excerpt from Richard Rorty's entry on
deconstruction in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.  If
Michael Luskin is looking for a small book on the subject, my personal
recommendation would be Christopher Norris's _Deconstruction: Theory and
Practice_ in the New Accents series.

Finally, shame on the philistinism of L. Swilley.

Gabriel Egan

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Funerall Elegye

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1107  Friday, 6 June 2003

From:           Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 19:58:41 EDT
Subject: 14.1072 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1072 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Since Brian Vickers's critique of Foster's attribution of "Funerall
Elegye" has arisen in the context of methodology, this may be a good
time to examine another of the Elegye arguments.
Foster noted in his book:

'It is nevertheless true that Shakespeare's vocabulary contains an
unusually high percentage of un- words, even at 2.5 percent.  The same
is true of W.S. In the Elegy . . . there are 4,445 words.  Of 1,420
"different" words (Spevack's definition), 28 are (different) un- words,
or 2.0%. W.S. thus comes closer to Shakespeare's mean than does
Shakespeare himself in Venus and Adonis (0.9%), The Rape of Lucrece
(1.4%), the Sonnets (1.2%), and "A Lover's Complaint" (0.7%).' (96)

Vickers, in his book " 'Counterfeiting' Shakespeare" writes of the
above:

"Foster climaxed his discussion with that entirely fortuitous
statistical correlation between the Elegye and the global figures for
Shakespeare's usage." (112)

Foster reported Shakespeare's usage (according to Spevack) at 29,066
different words, of which 724 are 'un-'words, 2.5% of the total. He
referred to this figure as "Shakespeare's mean".  Vickers referred to a
"statistical correlation between the Elegye and the global figures for
Shakespeare's usage."

The 2.5% figure is not a mean. There is not a statistical correlation
between Elegye and Shakespeare's works, except to show they differ.

Ford uses far more 'un-' words than Shakespeare, who never approaches
the Elegye figures. Vickers could have gone to the heart of the matter.
If "global" refers to total usage in all Shakespeare's works (recently
reduced by an elegy), then canonical percentages are higher than the
average for individual works -- for any canon.

Foster reported Shakespeare's poems as having 1.4% or less 'un-'words.
He reported no play figures, but implied that they would reflect a usage
of 2.5% or greater to bring the works up to a "mean" determined from
canonical totals.

It doesn't work that way. Total 'un-' words grow at a faster rate than
canonical words. The more works, the higher percentage of 'un-' words.
This fact is not reflected in totals or percentages for individual
works.

Othello has 25,982 words, 3,917 different words, and 50 'un-' words, or
1.3%.

The Winter's Tale has 24,680 words, 4,023 different, and 48 'un-' words:
1.2%

Merry Wives, 3,327 unique words and 23 'un-' words: 0.69%.
All's Well, 22,585 words, 3,604 different, 37 'un-' words: 1.0%.
Henry IV, Pt. 1, 40 'un-' words at 1.0%.
Mutant HIV, 27 'un-' words of 4,229: 0.64%.
A&C, 1.1%.
Two Gents 34 of 2,818 unique words, or 1.2%.
Love's Labor's Lost, 26 'un-' words: 0.67%.
Errors, 29, or 1.1%. Speaking of errors, these figures have some, no
doubt.

The Tempest has only 21 'un-' words out of 3,288, or 0.64%.  That's less
than 10 per 1,000 lines. Ford's The Lady's Trial has 58 'un-' words in
2,000 lines.

King John, 47 separate 'un-' words in 2,575 lines.
That's 1.3% of the 3,651 types.

Julius Caesar, 23 'un-' words: 0.78%.
As You Like It, 31 'un-' words: 0.92% of 3,365. That's three more than
Elegye in more than twice as many unique words.

Henry V, 33 'un-' words of 4,674: 0.7%. MV, 0.98%.

Much Ado is a play of 2600 lines, 20,800 tokens, and 3,049 types, of
which 20 are 'un-' words, or 0.65%.

Ford's Witch of Edmonton has 20 'un-' words in 829 lines.

Troilus, 4,400 types, 43 'un-' words, 0.98%, Twelfth Night, 3,233, 34,
1.05%, Macbeth, 3,448, 41, 1.2%, Cymbeline, 4,467, 41, 0.92%.

Midsummer Night's Dream, 18 'un-' words, 0.59%.
Ford's Fames Memorial has 26 in less than 1200 lines.

Pericles, 0.83% of 3,394 words. Henry Sixth Pt. 1 has 29 'un-' words:
0.73%, Pt. 3, 37 at 1.0%, and Pt. 2, with more words total , has only 34
'un-' words.

Timon, 34, or 1.0%. Taming, 30, or 0.89%. Titus, 30, 0.86%. The Two
Noble Kinsmen has 33 'un-' words in 3,430 lines.

Some of Shakespeare's plays do have higher numbers of 'un-' words. King
Lear has 55, or 1.3% of the types. That's about 17 per 1,000 lines.
Ford's Perkin Warbeck has 57 in a thousand lines less, or 24/1,000.

Richard II also registers 1.3% (50 of 3,743 types, in 2,750 lines).
Ford's Laws of Candy has 50 in 1,989 lines.

Romeo and Juliet, 46 in 3,838 types: 1.2%.
Coriolanus, 49 in 4,216, also 1.2%, in 3,800 lines.
Ford's Love's Sacrifice has 49 in 1,700 lines. Same number, less than
half the lines.

Richard III, 57 for about 1.36%
Measure for Measure has 50 'un-' words in 3,403 types, or 1.47%. In
2,940 lines that's 17 per 1,000. Ford's Lover's Melancholy, with 46 in
1,824, rates at over 25 per 1,000 lines. Shakespeare never comes close
in his plays to Ford's figures.

Hamlet has the most 'un-'words of Shakespeare's plays, 69, in 4,894
types from 29,673 total words, or 1.4%. That's from about 3,800 lines,
or 18 per 1,000.

The number of lines is a direct function of the tokens (almost 30,000
total words in Hamlet) but reflects a logarithmic relationship to the
types, which are six times less in number.  Ford's The Broken Heart has
63 'un-' words in only 2,328 lines. That would reflect about 3,000
different words, or 2% 'un-' words, a figure never approached by
Shakespeare.

No matter how they're sliced, Shakespeare's plays never use 'un-' words
with Ford's higher frequencies. The plays do correspond to Shakespeare's
poems, and the works as a whole show consistency. Shakespeare habitually
hovered around the one percent mark. The highs and lows probably reflect
subject matter more than anything else.

Each succeeding work comprises repeats and new uses, some of which are
nonce-words. But for each work itself, the repeats from earlier works
are counted anew to find its percentage of 'un-' words. These
recurrences make the individual percentages irreconcilable with the
"global."

Shakespeare used 724 different 'un-' words. Starting with Hamlet, we get
68 of them. Much Ado adds 20, but those are reduced by repeating
Hamlet's 'unjust,' 'unknown,' 'unworthy,' and 'undo.' To those 86 the
next work will also add less than its own total.

After those two, the remaining works need average only 16 new
Shakespearean usages to get to 724, and those will be supplied mostly by
the first works counted. The individual figures (type-to-type
percentage) have no direct correlation to the canonical figures.

Venus and Adonis is reported by Foster as having 'un-' words at a rate
of 0.9% of the total "different" words.  There are 23 'un-' words in
V&A, which gives about 2,555 different words (23 / .009). The poem has
1,180 lines, twice as many as Elegye, or about 9,000 total words.
Expressed as 'un-' words per 1,000 lines, V&A has 19.5, two and one-half
times less than Elegye.

Lucrece is reported to have 1.4% 'un-' words, which number 49 of about
3,500 different words in a poem of 1,846 lines. That works out to 26.5
per 1,000 lines.  This is Shakespeare's largest usage per 1,000 lines,
but MM has 1.47% and only 17 per 1,000. That's how the total number of
lines changes the figure. That's also why Elegye at 48/1,000 sounds so
high. Per thousand figures are meaningful only in groups of equal line
length.

The Sonnets 'un-' words are 1.2% of 3,167 words, 38 in all. In about
2,140 lines, that's less than 18 per 1,000 lines.

Christ's Bloody Sweat has (by my count) 61 separate 'un-' words. In 1908
lines, that's 32 / 1,000, considerably more than the shorter Lucrece.
The first 1,000 lines of Ford's poem has 38 'un-' words, as many as the
Sonnets in half the lines.

Comparing poems, Shakespeare's are far outside the figures for Elegye.
The plays are within the same range.

I believe most works of the era would hover around the Shakespeare canon
in frequency of 'un-' words, and such figures would not usually be
useful for attribution studies.  If 'un-' words tell us anything, it's
that Shakespeare didn't write Elegye.

Gerald E. Downs

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Re: Santayana Quoted Correctly

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1108  Friday, 6 June 2003

From:           Bob Rosen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 09:51:35 EDT
Subject: 14.1093 Re: Santayana Quoted Correctly
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1093 Re: Santayana Quoted Correctly

>Just to clarify (I hope) the way I look at it. I would wager that WS
>experienced something like the same soul-destroying grief when his
>little boy died. I know I would.

At the core of any powerful presentation of emotion must be the writer's
personal experience. It cannot be found secondhand. The source cannot be
faked.  For the sorrow to find words and form it must first penetrate
the being of the poet. WS paid his dues, and then some.

Bob Rosen

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A Lover's Complaint

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1106  Friday, 6 June 2003

From:           Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Jun 2003 13:45:01 EDT
Subject:        A Lover's Complaint

I've been thinking about A Lover's Complaint since it's been mentioned
several times in the Titus-Peele rhubarb and some other recent posts,
and it's led me to reflect on the place of [for lack of a better term]
"stylometry" in attribution studies. But first, why Attribution Studies
at all? Schoenbaum, in _Internal Evidence_, says "Those who study plays
want to know who wrote them."  This is not necessarily so anymore,
depending on which theoretical approach one is taking, but it is still
often true. When we watch a play on stage, it either works or doesn't
and it shouldn't matter who wrote what. But if we want to study, say,
Shakespeare's romances/late tragicomedies as a group it would seem to
matter a lot which parts of Pericles and Two Noble Kinsmen might have
been composed by a writer other than Shakespeare. It would muddy the
waters to quote Pericles 1.2 or TNK 2.2 as representing Shakespeare's
thought, etc.  The Admiral's play Patient Grissel [1600] is often
written about as if it were Thomas Dekker's play and used to examine his
use of folk motifs, his attitudes towards women, etc etc.  However, as
Hoy & Halstead agree [and my own study bears out] Dekker probably
composed a little less than a third of this play, and William Haughton
seems to have written more of it than either Dekker or Chettle [about
2/5]. This is why attribution studies are important-- not so we can add
to or detract from Shakespeare's reputation, or chop up plays into
little bits as a mock-scientific exercise, but rather to gain more
insight into how scripts were generated in early modern theatre and have
a better idea just what it is we are studying. The recent study by Gary
Taylor showing that Middleton & Rowley's co-author on The Old Law was
not Philip Massinger but Thomas Heywood is not without implications for
study. To oversimplify, the presence of Massinger [King's co-dramatist,
friend to Fletcher] would raise the assumed social level of the play,
whereas the presence of Heywood [generator of Red Bull pot-boilers]
would tend to lower it.

If these plays were written now there would be some kind of paper trail
and we could talk to agents, studio people, etc in order to find out
which scenes were play-doctored by Abe Burrows, or which film dialogue
was written by Chandler or Faulkner. But as is well known this kind of
information for the 15th-17th centuries has often perished, and wasn't
that carefully recorded to begin with. What if Henslowe's Diary had not
survived? We would probably have no doubt that the anonymously published
1st and 2nd parts of Robert Earl of Huntington were written by Thomas
Heywood, for the mid-17th century play catalogs tell us so. The
conservatives [what shall we call them? Bentleyites? Condellists?] would
insist that the external evidence for Heywood could not be ignored and
would dismiss those whose close study of these plays seemed to show that
they were written by Anthony Munday and the anonymous [as he would be
without Henslowe] author of Hoffman. And while the external evidence
[bless its heart] can certainly not be dismissed, it is often incomplete
or contradictory, as we know from the examples of 1 Honest Whore, Late
Murther, Cure for a Cuckold, Noble Spanish Soldier, Fedelio & Fortunio
and many others.

What's this got to do with A Lover's Complaint? The external evidence
for its Shakespearean authorship is pretty strong. It was published at
the end of _Shakespeares Sonnets_. The Sonnets themselves have been
widely regarded as an unauthorized publication, but more recent studies
have suggested that the manuscript was supplied by Shakespeare and the
order of the Sonnets is his own. This, and the example of 'complaints'
being a part of other sonnet sequences, tends to strengthen the
once-questioned bona fides of the Sonnets title page with regard to A
Lover's Complaint. "But," you say, "Elliott & Valenza's stylometric
analysis puts A Lover's Complaint outside the range of Shakespeare's
attested usage-- 5 rejections, etc etc. What's up, Lloyd, we thought you
were an apologist for the attributionists and the statistical analysis
of style?" Well, as I like to say, yes and no.

I think the statistical analyses of Elliott & Valenza, Donald Foster,
and others provides valuable information. Information, not proof. This
information must then be used as PART of an argument for or against a
hypothesis.  I am more comfortable with the kind of
statistico-linguistic analyses of several decades ago, before computer
technology made possible the massive analysis of function words,
relative position, phrase length, etc. [Good examples would be David J.
Lake's The Canon of Thomas Middleton's Plays and Macd. P. Jackson's
Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare, both from the
1970s.]  The pages and pages of tables and charts and tests and odds now
offered us makes it too easy to think that the results we have come up
with are Proof, when they are really just evidence. [This is not to say
that I don't love the potential for testing that Chadwyck-Healey and
other tools make available to us-- just that we need to keep our faith
in the results in proportion.]

What do A Lover's Complaint's five rejections out of fifteen tests
[Elliott & Valenza] tell us?  That in significant ways it is not very
much like the other works of Shakespeare. But we already knew that.
Although it SEEMS Shakespearean enough not to be completely incredible
as one of his works, it also SEEMS [even to its defenders I would think]
different enough from his other works that it is an ill fit. The E&V
stylometic analyses confirms that, quantifies what we were perceiving.
Now come the questions-- why?  how? who? Why would Shakespeare write
like that? Or if not Shakespeare, who? Or why would Thorpe have affixed
someone else's poem to Shakespeare's sonnet sequence? Or if it was part
of the manuscript and Thorpe was ignorant/innocent, how did it get
there?

I have several comments and suggestions. I suspect that Thorpe's copy
for the Sonnets already included A Lover's Complaint and that they are
connected works. Is it possible that it was written by William Herbert
in imitation of Shakespeare or under his influence?  Is there any extant
verse or other extensive writing by Herbert available for analysis?
[Substitute your Mr WH candidate of choice.]  Or, what would be the
effect of Shakespeare taking a piece of juvenilia he had written c1585
and revising it c1605? How might that haywire the linguistic analysis?
Or, what if Shakespeare deliberately set about to write in a style
radically different from his usual one? Stylometrics are supposed to be
able to detect the unconscious sub-style of a writer and to a useful
extent this is true. But when we analyse the substyle of Shakespeare or
Middleton, we are almost always analysing works where the writer was
certainly conscious of his characters, the plot, the genre, the highness
or lowness of his style, in other words whatever he wanted to accomplish
with the play or poem he was writing, but not I think very conscious of
his style as a STYLE.  But he could be if he wanted to be. John Fletcher
consciously or unconsciously made feminine endings and certain
colloquialisms [ye, 'em] characteristic of his style when writing plays.
But not all plays-- his The Faithful Shepherdess, written in a different
genre and with a different aim than his other plays, does not display
these 'Fletcherian' traits. He must have done it on purpose. {I wonder
what function word and relative position and other such tests would show
about Faithful Shepherdess.]  The Priam & Hecuba speech in Hamlet is an
example of Shakespeare deliberately writing in another style. Of course
being only a few dozen lines the speech is too short to really supply a
good sample for testing. But what if those lines didn't appear in
Hamlet, but we found them written out on a single sheet in some archive
would we be able to make a substylistic connection with the usual works
of Shakespeare? Or would he have been able to disguise his style by
purposely trying to write like Marlowe or Peele [!] or Watson?  What if
A Lover's Complaint is Shakespeare purposely trying to write like
Chapman or Breton or Rankins? Would that produce five E&V rejections?
but not fifteen?

Of course people didn't usually try to write in a foreign style. I
suppose I might be opening a can of worms. Did Cyril Tourneur decide, as
an experiment, to write a play in the style of his friend Middleton? Did
Shakespeare think, "Hmmm...I'll write my new Henry VI play in the style
of that satirical Tom Nashe fellow," and then change his mind after the
first act was done? The speculative scenarios are endless,
unfortunately. Most such speculations will not stand up on examination.
But what about A Lover's Compaint?

Trepidatiously,
Bill Lloyd

_______________________________________________________________
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