The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1688  Thursday, 9 September 2004

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Sep 2004 11:44:26 -0400
        Subj:   Question on Measure for Measure

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Sep 2004 15:56:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

[3]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Sep 2004 21:14:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

[4]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 01:04:20 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

[5]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 03:06:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

[6]     From:   Sarah Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Sep 2004 03:11:16 -0700
        Subj:   Re: Question on Measure for Measure

[7]     From:   Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 0:14:04 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Sep 2004 11:44:26 -0400
Subject:        Question on Measure for Measure

Thomas Larque has spewed forth a lot of words and a lot of abuse, most
of it uncalled for, a lot of it simply proof of the venom with which he
reads the essays of his betters (and Tom Krause is a much better,
clearer writer than Larque - and more to the point as well.) I will
limit my response (and thus control my temper) to two points:

1. Read chapter 4 of Eric Mallin's _Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and
the End of Elizabethan England_, in which Mallin demonstrates over and
over again the similarities between the Anjou affair and the main plot
of Twelfth Night.  I'm afraid that the problem with Larque is that,
while he rails at great length against modern criticism, he hasn't
actually read much of it. That is telling, from my point of view.

2. Mariana was well known long before 1604-1605 as one of the leading
intellectuals of his day. His interests were varied and deep, and those
who knew of him knew that he had special interests in politics, the
nation-state, Catholic theology, and money matters, especially how
currency affects a country's economic welfare. All of this was clear to
intellectuals and other smart people as early as 1592, when his
collected volumes on Spain came out.  So the real truth is that Thomas
Larque is full of hot air; he doesn't really know what he's talking about.

Thomas Larque owes Tom Krause an apology; in fact, he owes all SHAKSPER
readers an apology for going on at such great length about something he
knows nothing about.

Ed Taft

From:           John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Sep 2004 15:56:51 -0400
Subject: 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >Actually, we don't know that Shakespeare intentionally named Angelo
 >after the coin.  There is only the familiar mettle/metal gag and
 >similar, but not clearly directed at Angelo's name.

"Double Falshood" at one point uses "mettal" [sic] in a way that cannot
be certainly interpreted as either word, and I seem to recall learning
in my investigation of it that Elizabethan language did not clearly
distinguish the two as separate words.

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Sep 2004 21:14:40 +0100
Subject: 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

 >For Thomas Larque:  I realize that when you wrote the post that I
 >respond to below you did not have the benefit of my most recent post, in
 >which I anticipated and addressed (well, refuted)

I'm sorry, but do you really believe that?  Didn't you notice, for
example, that in claiming that your work was nothing like
anti-Stratfordian work, you ended up using the classic anti-Stratfordian
defence, "The relatively small and self-contained universe of Measure
for Measure simply should not give rise to the number of "coincidences"
that YOU have to argue it contains (for me, they are not coincidences;
most if not all of them are intentional references)".  You might realise
that actually the Oxfordians, or any other anti-Stratfordian group you
care to mention, can get *more* coincidences out of any single play than
you get out of "Measure for Measure" and "Hamlet" combined (you have
written an essay, they have written a library of books).  You claim,
quite correctly, that anti-Stratfordian "coincidences" are obviously
false since they are both mutually contradictory (if the Oxfordians are
right the Baconians are wrong, and vice versa, and since they can both
produce identical "proofs" of their beliefs using identical methods,
then clearly the methods they are using are worthless and they are
fairly obviously both wrong) and because the main claim on which they
are based is simply so much historical bunkum, but you apparently do not
ask yourself why your own claims, based on an identical method, are any

Let me try to illustrate this point.  I would assume that you are
rational enough to know that the "Bible Code" is false.  Despite the
fact that, using the "Bible Code", people can find groups of words that
relate to real events along the lines of "Rabin" "murdered" "gun" and
the like, hidden in the Bible text, the code itself is bunkum.  You can
find identical groups of words that relate to real events in Moby Dick,
so the claim that this is something special about the Bible is clearly
untrue.  You can find groups of words that are obviously untrue along
the lines of "Reagan" "murdered" "knife" in the Bible, so the claim that
it only shows actual events is clearly untrue.  In short, the whole
theory is a load of rubbish because given enough time and a willingness
to look for enough events, you are *always* going to find *something*
confirmed in the Bible code.  The problem is that this method is so open
and flexible that there is no chance at all that you will not find real
events in the Bible, or in any other Hebrew text that you examine using
this method.

Now the problem with the Bible Code is the method.  The method is
corrupt.  It is not that the answers that were being turned up were
wrong.  So it makes no difference whether the person who is searching
the Bible Code is turning up codes that say possible or true things
(such as a list of assassinated presidents, who really were
assassinated) or whether the person who is searching the Bible Code is
an obvious lunatic nut following his own obviously false agenda (turning
up codes saying that presidents who died naturally were actually
assassinated by Adolf Hitler's secret cell of Marxist revolutionaries).
  The method is worthless, so the results are worthless, whatever the
results say, however they say it.  I shall pause until a later stage in
this post before trying to demonstrate (yet again) that your method is
worthless and produces results every bit as mutually contradictory and
valueless as those produced by anti-Stratfordians who seek to use the
same methods for their own purposes.

You also promptly offer an ideal refutation to the small number of your
own arguments that are not based on infantile wordgames that can be
played with equal efficiency on any and all English texts, by stating
"Another difference between the anti-Stratfordian arguments and mine is
that in the case of authorship, there is already a perfectly suitable
and well-supported answer".  Of course, there is also a "perfectly
suitable and well-supported answer" as to why the players in Hamlet are
travelling (the child actors have become more popular than them), and to
what Claudius's "picture in little" is (it is a miniature portrait), and
to why Claudius is "like a mildew'd ear blasting his brother" (this is
known as metaphor, anybody who actually reads Shakespeare's plays will
know that he uses metaphors like this every few lines), but because you
do not like what Shakespeare wrote, you wish to push aside all these
obvious meanings and replace them with your own meanings, and you might
notice that your own meanings routinely turn the lines from clear easy
to understand statements into convoluted, improbable nonsense.  If I
have the patience to go on debating nutcase theories, then I'll probably
eventually get around to showing in detail why your theories are
nonsense, but your arguments are so full of holes, false statements, and
self-contradictory double-think (whereby you change your argument to say
the opposite of what you said sentences before whenever you think it
would suit your current argument to do so), that taking them to pieces
is extremely easy, and only requires the time to be able to do it.

 >most if not all of
 >your arguments.  On the theory that you might have already changed your
 >views based on that post

I haven't.  Your arguments are garbage.  Your refutations are also garbage.

 >I am going to limit my replies in this post to
 >just a few points.  If your next post shows that you still haven't seen
 >the error of your ways, I'll try to come up with another way of
 >explaining it all to you.

Please don't expect me to go on discussing your nonsensical theories
with you forever, as you spin in ever-decreasing circles trying to prove
that black is white.  I simply don't have that much time to waste.

 >Thomas Larque writes:
 >"I do believe that new things can be argued about Shakespeare, I simply
 >hold all such arguments to the same standard of evidence to which I hold
 >all other arguments."
 >You need to give us examples of what kinds of arguments you accept.

I'm not going to waste my time.  Do a Google search for "Thomas Larque"
and "SHAKSPER".  You will probably be able to spend most of the next
year reading about the kind of arguments that I believe on the basis of
my SHAKSPER postings alone (I think they started in 1996).

 > At
 >this point, you do not appear to have any intuitive grasp on the
 >difference between cases where the "coincidence" explanation is
 >satisfactory (e.g. the authorship question and your St. George example)
 >and where it isn't.  Nor do you seem to be able to distinguish between
 >an argument that yields a conclusion that requires rejection of much
 >more probable theories (e.g. the authorship question and your St. George
 >example) and one that doesn't.

I understand the difference, although I also understand that a worthless
method is a worthless method whether you use it to try to support claims
that are likely or whether you use it to support claims that are
obviously untrue (if your method will say that Chaucer wrote Shakespeare
OR that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, then its "evidence" is just as
worthless in the latter case as it is in the former).  You apparently do
not understand either of these things, since you think that as long as
your arguments are not instantly disproved by something else they must
have value even if the method is worthless, and you simultaneously
reject many obvious explanations of passages in "Hamlet" and "Measure
for Measure" (i.e. - "Saint Luke's" means a religious building called
"Saint Luke's" named after the real Saint Luke after whom many real
churches were named) and replace them with your own nonsensical garbage
(i.e. "Saint Luke's" refers to a building named after Luke Kirby, who -
in Shakespeare's time - was not a Saint and would never have had
religious buildings named after him, and who also happens to have had
nothing to do with this play, nor directly with William Shakespeare who
wrote it).

You do this sort of thing again and again, often rolling out blatantly
false justifications for doing so, such as "Nevertheless, there is no
good reason for Shakespeare to import this particular Elizabethan
artefact (miniature portraits) into medieval Denmark".  Now I know, and
you must know, that this is a false argument.  So you're either lying to
yourself or deliberately lying to us.  I prefer to think of you as an
amiable idiot rather than a cheat, so I'm guessing that you're deluding
yourself.  There are two reasons why this statement is a falsehood, and
the first is that everybody knows Shakespeare *routinely* imports
Elizabethan artefacts into "medieval Denmark" (and every other time and
place that he portrays).  Shakespeare puts guns and chiming clocks and
books with pages in ancient Rome.  In "Hamlet" there are a whole raft of
them, including the University at Wittenberg (opened in the sixteenth
century), the travelling players with boy actors playing women (English
Renaissance habits, not Medieval Danish), the theatre company made up
entirely of boy actors that has displaced them, the rapier and dagger
with which Laertes and Hamlet fight their duel, Hamlet's black mourning
clothes (the wrong colour for Medieval Denmark, as 19th century actors
keenly discovered), and I somehow doubt that Medieval Denmark would have
used ducats as their main currency (although I may be wrong about that
as they were using them by the Renaissance).  In fact there are so many
Elizabethan objects present in this play (for "no good reason" by
Krause's standards) that I would challenge Krause to find a single
object mentioned anywhere in the entire play which would really have
been found in Medieval Denmark, but not in Shakespeare's England.  I
don't think he will be able to name a single one.

But the second reason for dismissing Krause's argument is that Krause
himself clearly does not believe in it.  Oh, he states it when it suits
him, but seconds later when it suddenly suits him to say something else,
he quite happily shifts to saying the exact opposite.  Now as far as I'm
concerned this is either a major blunder or blatant intellectual
dishonesty, and it illustrates Krause's hypocritically opportunist
methods wonderfully.  It is, in fact, still part of the very same
argument (about coins in Hamlet), and suddenly Krause is not at all
concerned about things being "import[ed] ...  into medieval Denmark" for
no good reason, since he wants Hamlet to be talking about an obscure
ancient British coin (minted only in 25 AD), with an ear of corn on the
back, when he talks about Claudius as "a mildew'd ear blasting his
wholesome brother".  Of course everybody in Shakespeare's audience would
have known what a miniature portrait was (a good number of them might
well have been wearing one as they watched the play), but I doubt
whether any of them was likely to know what Cunobelinus had printed on
the back of a particular denomination of coin in 25 AD, and any who did
would most certainly not be thinking about that coin at that moment in
that play (just as I today do not think of coins every time I hear
somebody say the word "crown" in a play, although many more people know
that there was a British coin with a crown on the back than could ever
have known that there was an obscure Ancient British coin with a ear of
corn on).

 >There is a spectrum from "impossible" to "highly plausible":  I rate
 >your St. George argument "impossible," the anti-Stratfordian theories
 >"highly implausible,"  the Shakeshaftian theories "somewhat plausible,"
 >the identification of the "Dark Lady" as Emilia Lanier "plausible," and
 >the theory that MFM's Mariana is named for Juan de Mariana "highly
 >plausible."  For you, are they all simply "impossible"?

Well, in the first place I would not flatter your arguments by placing
them where you do.  Rather obviously to anybody not riding your
particular hobbyhorse, your claims have much less to recommend them than
any vaguely rational biographical theory about Shakespeare.  For a
start, your theory requires time-travel (so that Mariana becomes a
famous opponent of debasement *before* he ever writes anything
significant about the subject). On that basis, yes.  I consider your
"Mariana" theory to be so near impossible as to make no difference.
After discovering another "Mariana" in a play that has nothing whatever
to do with coinage or debasement, and which Shakespeare must have known
about, which just happens to have an extremely similar bed-trick (in
which both Marianas are involved), I would say that your time-travelling
argument becomes almost valueless.

The anti-Stratfordians are also wrong.  Because, like you, all of their
claims are based on worthless methods which could be used to prove just
about anything in just about any work of literature, including the exact
opposite of whatever they happen to be trying to argue at the time.  Add
to that the firm evidence for William Shakespeare of Stratford's
authorship, and the fact that no two anti-Stratfordians can "decode" the
plays closely enough to even come up with the same story (unless they
are deliberately copying each other not even two Oxfordians can agree
with each other about what their "codes" reveal) and
anti-Stratfordianism is also so near impossible as makes no difference.

As for Shakeshafte and Emilia Lanier.  I'm deeply sceptical.  They might
be right, but it seems much much more likely that they are not.
Although the Lanier and Shakeshafte theories are not based on quite such
worthless methods as anti-Stratfordianism or Krausism (you can't turn
similar things up in every literary text in existence), they are not
based on very reliable methods, and similar methods prove too many
contradictory things for us to rely on any one set of results.  My guess
is that if there is some truth in either of these theories, then we will
never know unless some major new document appears, and until that time
it is nice to have the theories, but anybody who tries to treat them as
firmly established facts is deluding themselves.

 > Give us an
 >example of Shakespearean scholarship or interpretation based on
 >circumstantial evidence that you find plausible.

As I say, if you want to know what I think is plausible, search
SHAKSPER's archives.

 >Thomas Larque writes:
 >"The argument about Horatio is identical in form to Krause's method of
 >working at many points in the essay that Taft acclaims so"
 >Reread and try to understand my last post if you still believe this.

Sorry, Krause, but you really are deluding yourself.  Your arguments are
exactly like the anti-Stratfordian ones, only there are many more of
them (the anti-Strats) and they have spent much more time on the
subject, and frankly they can knock spots off your essay.  They're all
talking rubbish, of course, but collectively they are much better at
doing it than you are.

 >Thomas Larque goes on to argue that anyone who believes that St. Luke
 >might be a reference to Luke Kirby is intellectually obligated to
 >believe "that any reference to a Saint in a Renaissance play is actually
 >likely to refer to any martyr of the same name . . ."
 >Read closely Thomas:  Neither Ed Taft nor I are saying that "St. Luke's"
 >definitely refers to Luke Kirby.

Actually, you come pretty close.  In your essay you say that it is "most
likely" that "Shakespeare ... renamed the local church ... in honor of
catholic missionary and martyr Luke Kirby", if we happen to believe your
explanation of the moated grange.  Now it seems to me that it is "most
likely" that Shakespeare named "St. Luke's" after Saint Luke, who really
was a Saint, who really did have churches and other religious buildings
named after him, rather than any randomly selected Luke, even if
Shakespeare had a particular Catholic moated grange in mind.  Simply
put, Luke Kirby was not a Saint, therefore it is most unlikely that any
reference to "Saint Luke" (before his canonisation centuries later) was
to Luke Kirby. Of course you much prefer your own fantasies and
wordgames to the overt meaning of a text, but that's up to you.

Of course you aren't nearly so careful with some of your other equally
ridiculous arguments.  I gave a particularly hearty chuckle when I came
across your claim that "Understanding 'picture in little' as a reference
to coinage bearing Claudius's image solves these problems, and makes for
a better line.  Even without props, this is likely the first meaning
that would have occurred to Shakespeare's audience.  'Picture' was slang
for coin - as in 'whose purse was best in picture' (WT 4.4.603) - and
'picture in *little*' helps to drive the point home".

Oh, how I chuckled.  There are a couple of reasons for chortling merrily
at your self-satisfied delusions here.  Firstly, because it should be
rather obvious to everybody - including yourself - that when Renaissance
writers or readers saw reference to a "picture in little" they were most
likely to assume that it referred to a miniature portrait.  Do you want
some evidence for that statement?  You seem to accept this earlier in
your essay where you describe the extensive popularity of the miniature
portraits themselves in Shakespeare's time, but let's give you some
additional evidence.

Here's a clear reference to a "picture in little" from the Renaissance
in a context where it cannot possibly mean coin.  From Philip
Massinger's "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" (which came after Shakespeare's
"Hamlet" and may have borrowed the phrase from it).

"[Alworth knocks and enters]

Order: Our late young master.
Amble: Welcome, Sir.
Furnace: Your hand, If you have a stomake, a cold bake-meate's ready.
Order: His father's picture in little.
Furnace: We are all your servants.
Amble: In you he lives".

So here a young man who looks like his dead father is described
metaphorically as his "picture in little".  By substituting Krause's and
the more sensible interpretation of this phrase, we can see clearly that
only one works.

"Order: His father's image on a coin
... Amble: In you he lives"

"Order: His father's portrait in miniature
... Amble: In you he lives".

In one instance the young man is his father's portrait in miniature
because he looks exactly like his father, but has yet to grow to his
full size.  In the other, we have arrant nonsense.  Since this play was
written and performed only a decade or two after "Hamlet", it seems
fairly obvious that it is either using a phrase that was being used
widely in conversation, or was based on Shakespeare's use of the phrase,
in either case it makes it clear that Massinger and therefore the
ordinary audience member would have thought of miniature portraits not
coins on hearing the phrase.

There are numerous 17th century examples of this phrase (in the decades
following Shakespeare's play), and all of them clearly refer to
miniature portraits or other small pictures.  Again, this either proves
that this phrase was in general conversational use, or shows that they
were imitating Shakespeare, and that when they read or saw his play they
assumed that he was referring to miniature portraits not coins.

"To govern well a family, and a kingdome, are not different degrees of
Prudence; but different sorts of businesse; no more then to draw a
picture in little, or as great, or greater then the life, are different
degrees of Art." - "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes, 1651.

"After dinner he and I to look upon the instructions of my Lord
Northumberland's, but we were interrupted by Mr. Salisbury's coming in,
who came to see me and to show me my Lord's picture in little, of his
doing." - Samuel Pepys, from his diary, 25 January 1661.

"I have written to our Royal Mistress, upon a touch in your last, (which
found me at Bocton) that I had now sent her my Niece Stanhop's Picture
in little, if an express Messenger sent for it, the very night before I
cam away, by my Lord of Chesterfield (to whom it was promised) had not
ravished it out of my Pocket." - "Reliquiae Wottonianae" by Sir Henry
Wotton, 1672.

"The Queen-Dauphin ask'd Monsieur de Cleve for a Picture in little he
had of his Wife, to compare it with that which was newly drawn of her" -
"The Princess of Cleves" by Madame La Fayette, 1679.

"What Faculty is it which takes the Model of the largest Objects, and
draws the Picture in Little?" - "Miscellanies upon moral subjects" by
Jeremy Collier, 1695.

So it is clear that "picture in little", during the lifetime of
Shakespeare's audience members and in the lifetimes of their children,
was considered to be a reference to miniature portraits, but what about
Krause's theory?  Krause tells us:

"Even without props, this is likely the first meaning that would have
occurred to Shakespeare's audience.  'Picture' was slang for coin - as
in 'whose purse was best in picture' (WT 4.4.603) - and 'picture in
*little*' helps to drive the point home".

The problem with this, of course, is that Krause is quite simply wrong.
  Picture was never slang for coin, and if he thinks it was I would ask
him to find us a clear example of this word used in this way.  The
example that he thinks he has found in "Winter's Tale" simply won't do,
and here's why.

In the Arden 2 "Winter's Tale", the editor - J.H.P. Pafford - wonders
about the meaning of Autolycus's phrase.  He writes "No parallel usage
has been traced but the phrase apparently means 'fittest for picking',
i.e. best stocked and positioned for the thief".  You will note that in
Pafford's reading of the phrase the word "coins" does not appear.  For
Pafford "picture" is not a clear synonym for "coins" in this phrase, as
it must be for Krause to project this reading at "Hamlet", but instead
"best in picture" means "best stocked and positioned for the thief".

Having the massive advantage of EEBO (Early English Books Online), and
therefore having the ability to search a large proportion of the English
books in print pre-1900, I think I can confirm Pafford's reasonable
hypothesis, and what's more I can give a "parallel usage" to show
exactly what "best in picture" means.

 >From the "New Epistles of Mounsieur de Balzac", translated by Sir Richard
 >Baker, 1638:

"I speake Madam, of this exteriour dutie, and this affection in picture,
which is oftentimes but a false representation of the soule".

It is obvious, yet again, that there is no reference to coins here.
Balzac is talking about "affection in picture" as opposed to affection
in fact. Here "in picture" is clearly a synonym for "in show" or "in
appearance": note especially the fact of the contrast drawn between the
"exterior" (that which is outside, and shown to all, but can be "a false
representation") and the interior "soul" (that which is privately kept
inside a man's body, unseen and invisible, but containing the truth).

By this reading "whose purse was best in picture" means "whose purse was
best in [appearance / show]" meaning "whose purse looked the best [for

So again, we can compare my reading of this phrase with Krause's in the
two instances where it appears.

First, the Krause versions:

"... by which means I saw whose purse was best in coin; and what I saw,
to my good use I remembered".

"I speake Madam, of this exteriour dutie, and this affection in coin,
which is oftentimes but a false representation of the soule".

Now, the versions supported by my reading, which fits in with that of
J.H.P. Pafford:

"... by which means I saw whose purse was best in show; and what I saw,
to my good use I remembered".

"I speake Madam, of this exteriour dutie, and this affection in show,
which is oftentimes but a false representation of the soule".

And another possible version of mine and J.H.P.Pafford's reading (with
the same meaning, but a different synonym):

"... by which means I saw whose purse was best in appearance; and what I
saw, to my good use I remembered".

"I speake Madam, of this exteriour dutie, and this affection in
appearance, which is oftentimes but a false representation of the soule".

Again, we can ask Tom Krause, which sounds more likely?

1)  "Picture" in both "Hamlet"s "picture in little" and "Winter's Tale"s
"best in picture" means "coin" even though there is apparently no
example of anybody ever using that word to mean that thing anywhere in
the whole of English Literature.

2)  "Picture in little" in "Hamlet" means "a miniature painting", as it
does in many seventeenth century sources, starting with a Renaissance
play by one of Shakespeare's contemporaries, and continuing -
occasionally - to the present day.  Similarly, the word "picture" in the
phrase "best in picture" means "in appearance" or "in show", as it does
identically in a seventeenth century book which uses the phrase "in
picture" in exactly the same way.

It seems fairly obvious to me that interpretations based on real
examples of usage elsewhere in English Literature are far superior to
examples that we just dream up for ourselves on the basis of no evidence
whatsoever in order to support a theory for which there is no other
evidence.  Krause, however, seems to prefer his dreams to reality, so
will probably continue to hold to his own reading, even though his only
example for this reading turns out not to support him in the way that he

 >In fact, I added the Luke Kirby point
 >long after Ed first read and accepted the essay - it is hardly the
 >essential point that you make it out to be.

It demonstrates your major method, and the faults within it, nicely.

 > As I have said throughout
 >this thread, there are other plausible explanations, including that St.
 >Luke's was randomly selected.
 >On the other hand, Luke Kirby does fit fairly well with everything else
 >that I have proposed about the play.  If I am right that Mariana is Juan
 >de Mariana - as indicated both by the role Mariana plays in the
 >debasement allegory and the fact that Mariana's brother can only
 >correspond to Federigo Spinola - then the moated grange probably points
 >to Juan de Mariana as well.  And a notorious moated grange that points
 >to the Jesuit Mariana is Lyford Grange, where the Jesuit Edmund Campion
 >was captured.  Was this an intentional reference to Campion?  I don't
 >know for sure.

OK, so let's cut this down to what it really represents.  Krause's
wildly skipping mind follows the following path.

1) There are references to coins containing base metal in "Measure for

2) These references must be to deliberate inflationary debasement by

3) Since "Measure for Measure" contains references to what I claim is
inflationary debasement by governments, the name "Mariana" *must* have
been chosen because of Juan de Mariana who wrote a book on this subject
(*AFTER* Shakespeare wrote his play).  THIS CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE!

4) Since Mariana's name comes from a real person, then I must be allowed
to look for a real person behind every name.  This means that Mariana's
brother, the great soldier Frederick who drowned in a shipwreck, must be
a real person, the only famous soldier with a name something like
Frederick who I can find in a doubtless fairly arbitrary search through
the historical record is Federico de Spinola, who has nothing to do with
Mariana whatsoever.

5)  Hang on a second, I've thought up an explanation that ties Federico
de Spinola up with Mariana in a rather loose and random sort of way.
Mariana was Spanish, and Federico wasn't!  No, I mean Mariana was
Spanish and Federico worked for the Spanish.  And somewhere else I'm
suggesting that Queen Elizabeth (who also has nothing to do with
Mariana) is represented by Isabella, which is Elizabeth in Spanish!  So
Federico is a way of showing that you should read Isabella's name from
Spanish into English!

[Doesn't seem much of a logical trail there!]

6) I can't find any more links by nationality, so let's do one by
profession!  Since all the people in the play are real people, then all
the buildings must be real buildings!  I've heard of a "moated grange"
that was used by Jesuits, and Mariana was a Jesuit, so obviously that
must be the moated grange that Shakespeare was talking about!

Once again, this is a blatantly worthless way of proceeding.  There are
so many characteristics about any person, or type of building, or place,
that we can - using the Krause method - very easily create a chain
between just about any of them and just about any that we first thought
of, especially if we don't have any rules about which people or places
that we use, or what the connections might be between them.  Using
Krause's rules it doesn't matter if two people have brown hair, or work
as teachers, or both appear in a biography of the author of the play
(however vaguely and without any direct connection to the subject of
that biography), let's just link them up!  The possibility that
Shakespeare might actually have been making up all of these names and
people or borrowing them from other fiction apparently does not even
occur to him.  Neither does the possibility that - since it is so easy
to make these connections and build this sort of chain of worthless
assumption upon worthless assumption - he might simply be wasting his
own time, and that of everybody who reads his work.

 >Maybe Shakespeare had Baddesley Clinton in mind
 >(assuming Peter Bridgman is correct that Baddesley Clinton was a
 >"grange," and that Shakespeare's audience would have recognized it as
 >such), and was pointing to the Jesuit Mariana through the Jesuit Henry

Or maybe Shakespeare had no particular place in mind.  Do you think that
every castle in every Arthurian story is based on a real castle?  I
think not.  Notice, by the way, that Krause's methodology is *SO*
meaningless and flexible, that it doesn't even matter whether we decide
that the building is a moated grange at one end of the country or a
moated grange at entirely the other end of the country, because we can
tie Jesuits to both they both count in exactly the same way in the
Krause game.  This is exactly the problem with the anti-Stratfordians
(if you follow their methods, they will lead you triumphantly to Oxford!
... but they will also lead you triumphantly to Bacon! ... and to
Marlowe!  ... and to just about everybody and his [or her] kid
brother!), but again Krause has no understanding of the faults in his
method, and so thinks it is actually a good thing that you can slot a
wide range of moated granges into his theory and it still works
perfectly well.  All this really tells you is that Krause's theory -
even if we believe every word of it - is not very good at reaching a
firm or fixed conclusion.

 >Or maybe - although I think this is less likely - he felt that
 >he had sufficiently identified Mariana and just thought that a "moated
 >grange" was a romantic setting for the abandoned Mariana.

Since the entire point is that she is cutting herself off from
everybody, and is a non-noble person who was wealthy but is now in
poverty, a moated grange seems to fit all of the demands of the story.
It has a moat (so she is cut off) and it is not so extravagant as to
suggest that she is a noble or should have important family to rescue
her (let's face it, if she was living in an abandoned castle or palace
it would have been overkill).  Of course, neither Taft nor Krause is
likely to accept that Shakespeare made his decisions on the basis of
boring things like the storyline of his play!  That would be awful!  I
mean that's the sort of thing that everybody understands, you know, all
those dirty ordinary people who go to the theatre, that isn't a great
big secret that can make us look really clever for working it out!

 >But let me add that IF the Shakeshaftians are right - i.e. that
 >Shakespeare had a connection to both Thomas Cottam and Edmund Campion -
 >then Shakespeare most certainly knew of Luke Kirby (who stood trial with
 >Campion and was executed along with Cottam) and quite possibly was
 >sympathetic to him.

But then the Shakeshafte theory is on pretty dubious ground itself.  You
certainly can't assume that it is factually accurate.  Therefore to add
yet another set of conjectures (albeit more sensible ones) to your long
string of random association is only to make your argument even more
weak and unconvincing.

 >For me, that makes it all the more likely that the
 >moated grange is Lyford Grange and St. Luke's refers to Luke Kirby.

Of course it's a whole lot easier if we think that when somebody writes
"Saint Luke's" they're talking about a religious building which was
dedicated to a Saint called Luke, but of course the easy options don't
get us publication credits!

 >Given that there are some prominent scholars who believe the
 >Shakeshaftian theory, and who continue to come up with new evidence and
 >arguments to support their claim, I think it makes sense to keep Luke
 >Kirby in the essay, don't you?

Does it occur to you that almost all of these people would think that
you are barking, and that your argument is ridiculous?  How does that
help you?

 >Or are they all wrong too?  If so, will
 >they still be wrong if they come up with more evidence in the future?

They certainly will if the evidence is anything like the sort of thing
that you produce above.

 >Speaking of his "demonstration" that a reference to St. George could be
 >a reference to George Blaurock, Thomas Larque writes:
 >"OK.  It's all garbage, of course, and produced with much less time and
 >effort than Krause is likely to have put into his own similarly
 >nonsensical claims (and I'm sure I could do much better if I used all of
 >my reference books and spent days or weeks rather than minutes working
 >on my deliberately false "theories"), but it is Krause-style garbage,
 >and this is effectively all that most of Krause's arguments consist of."
 >Why do you say "most" of my arguments are garbage?  Which ones do you
 >think have merit?

No.  All your arguments seem to be garbage, except for those you steal
from other people.  Just most of them are based on your trivia
wordgames.  The others are equally poor for different reasons (see some
of them treated elsewhere in this E-Mail).

 >Seriously, you have not come close to duplicating my methods, which
 >makes it clear that when you wrote that, you did not understand them.

Aha!  So here we come to yet another anti-Stratfordian argument.  What's
it doing in Krause's mouth?  Oh, yes, that's right.  They both use the
same methods, so of course they come up with the same arguments, but
Krause keeps claiming that he is so completely different so why does he
keep stealing the anti-Stratfordians clothes?  Who knows.

The best answer to this is another question.  How much of your life did
you spend creating your theory?  I'm guessing that even if you did this
on and off, a flick here and a flick there, you actually spent tens if
not hundreds of hours poring over books and the internet constructing
your theory.  The methods that you used were worthless, unfortunately,
so all you came up with was garbage, but here's the funny thing.  As far
as *you* are concerned, what you were doing was serious academic
research!  *You* think that what you have done has opened a window to
the mind of the great artist Shakespeare that has never been opened
before (or at least, if it has, all records of that event have been lost
to history).  As a result *you* thought that spending hundreds of hours
writing garbage was a great way to spend your time.

Then there's me.  I know your method is garbage.  I've seen it before.
I've seen it used by a whole lot of people to "prove" a whole lot of
obviously untrue things, and - this is the best bit - I've even seen a
good number of these people using exactly the same method to prove
exactly opposite and contradictory things to each other.  As far as I'm
concerned, people who use these methods and think they've proved
something are not very talented. Anybody who reads their work is wasting
their time.

As it happens, I have a little time to waste, so I've read your work,
and I've spent a few evenings showing exactly where and why you are
incorrect and incorrect and incorrect again.  But now you say "That's
not good enough. You've given me a better source for Mariana than the
one that I suggested (since yours does not involve time-travel or ideas
crossing continents on the wings of a dove, and you can actually connect
Shakespeare directly to the source that you found and show - just short
of certainty - that he must have sat in the audience or turned the pages
of the book, or even acted on the stage, when it was printed and
performed).  You've given me a better martyr disguised as a Saint than
mine (because yours actually has something to do with the Shakespearean
quote, while mine has nothing much to do with anything unless you follow
a long string of random association on my part). But while you say that
my coincidences are worthless - and have proved it by showing equally
good individual coincidences - you have not got so many coincidences as
I have!  Look, I've found lots of them!  Until you find exactly as many
coincidences as I have found, in exactly the same way, then you haven't
disproved anything!"

Of the course the problem here is that 0 times 0 times 0 times 0 = 0.
It doesn't matter how many coincidences you've got.  I can show you that
individually they're not worth a tuppenny damn, and if they're not worth
a thing individually, then it doesn't matter how many of them you put
together, they're still completely worthless.

Despite this, I probably would spend some time just to rub your nose in
it (despite the fact that you and Ed Taft - just like those old
anti-Stratfordians - would just keep sobbing "I'm right ... I'm right
.... I'm right ... I don't care what you say, I'm still right!"), but
here's the rub.  I don't have that amount of time to waste on something
quite so inherently pointless.  If I could be bothered to spend as long
as you spent writing your essay writing a fantasy counter, then I'm sure
I could knock spots off it.  I've knocked spots off two of your examples
already, and that didn't take me very long - but there are two problems.
  1)  I can't be bothered, your arguments are not worth it and 2) you
would then fall back to the final refuge of the anti-Stratfordian, the
one that they use when their theories have been pummelled to pieces and
haven't got a bone left to stand on.  Here it comes (I'll have to bring
it forward through all your lecturing):

 >If you can do all that (and that's somewhat less than I have done for
 >debasement in MFM), I'll acknowledge that you have essentially
 >duplicated my methods.  In fact, if you can do that, I'll probably say
 >that you have identified a possible "Anabaptist theme" in Henry VI.

Yep, that's right.  If - after all that - I prove beyond all doubt to be
able to exactly reproduce your essay you will respond in one of two ways.

1)  "But your claims are false.  Therefore they aren't nearly as good as
my claims.  My claims are based on real things.  That's why I'm right
and you're wrong."  Or to quote Krause trying to use this argument
against the anti-Stratfordians who use Krause's methods much better than
Krause and much more extensively, and have come up with thousands more
coincidences than Krause ever could, but who Krause happens to know (in
an uncharacteristic moment of rationality) are completely wrong:

 > At
 >this point, you do not appear to have any intuitive grasp on the
 >difference between cases where the "coincidence" explanation is
 >satisfactory (e.g. the authorship question and your St. George example)
 >and where it isn't.  Nor do you seem to be able to distinguish between
 >an argument that yields a conclusion that requires rejection of much
 >more probable theories (e.g. the authorship question and your St. George
 >example) and one that doesn't.

And if Krause doesn't dismiss us for being too unconvincing to matter,
then he'll dismiss us for another reason.  And this one's worse.  Here
it comes again, in case you missed it:

2)  "Hah!  You're right.  That's exactly the same as my argument if not
better.  All the same coincidences, and the same thematic pattern, yes,
that fulfils all of my criteria!  But my theories are right and if your
deliberately false theories are wrong, then that would mean that my
theories too were almost certainly wrong!  So the only possible
conclusion is that ... ha, ha ... we're both
right!  Entirely by accident while trying to construct a false theory
you have accidentally stumbled across THE TRUTH!  If you write it up,
I'll get Ed Taft to publish it, he likes essays like this!".  Or to
quote Krause: "In fact, if you can do that, I'll probably say that you
have identified a possible "Anabaptist theme" in Henry VI".

So what Krause has managed to do, by still more of his opportunistic
philosophical flip-flopping (believing whatever suits him at any one
time, even if it is the opposite of the argument he was holding just
moments ago), is make his own argument completely watertight and
undefeatable.  You can't prove him wrong, because any attempt that you
make to do so, he will simply squirm away from you in one direction or
the other.

Of course this is the point at which Krause's arguments stop being
pseudo-scholarly and show their true colours.  Krause has faith!  He has
the sort of faith that has Moonies and Scientologists ignoring the
gaping holes in their beliefs despite all evidence to the contrary.  He
has the faith of the anti-Stratfordians.  Real evidence doesn't matter
when faith of this kind is around.  All that matters is belief.  It's
rather amusing and a bit sad, but that's the truth.

 >If you want to duplicate my methods, here is what you need to do:
 >(1) show me where Anabaptist references - metaphorical or otherwise -
 >appear in several of Shakespeare's plays, as recognized by scholars
 >other than yourself.
 >(2) show me ten or more express references in Henry VI  that scholars
 >other than you recognize are to an Anabaptist theme.
 >(3) show me an allegory in which the characters of Henry VI interact in
 >some fashion that would convey a message about Anabaptists.
 >(4) show me how the Anabaptist explanation in fact explains some of the
 >behavior of the characters that other scholars have found difficult to
 >(5) show me independent evidence that Shakespeare had Anabaptist leanings.
 >(6) show me how the Anabaptist theory explains a number of other
 >references for which no satisfactory explanation has been proposed.
 >you can't, because there isn't.  And that's the difference.  The bottom
 >line is that the George-George coincidences you have identified have no
 >probative value absent some support along the lines of steps (1)-(6).
 >As of course you know, they are the sort of trivial coincidences that
 >one can expect to find in a large body of data.

And, of course, the problem with the "Bible Code" and sprit-mediums who
talk to the dead, and all the rest of the pseudo-scholarly and
pseudo-scientific nonsense that gets spouted in this unhappy world is
that "trivial coincidences that one can expect to find in a large body
of data" can look awfully impressive to the gullible and credulous.  And
there are an awful lot of gullible and credulous people out there.
You'd be surprised, Tom, you really would!

I'm not going to waste weeks or months of my life on this caper, but I
will spend a little more time constructing a Krause-alike combined
theory of several elements linked together that will pass several (if
not all) of your criteria.  I have the stirrings of one for "Measure for
Measure" in which "Mariana" is a representation of the Virgin Mary
(better than 'o' = Nero, I'm sure you'll admit), but I'll see how that
works out.

Of course, I already know in advance exactly how you'll react.  It will
be one of two ways:

1)  "No.  That's not quite as convincing as my argument.  After all,
look, my argument has convinced the great Tom Krause and yours hasn't
because obviously I disagree with you, therefore your coincidences are
obviously just coincidences and mine are obviously deeply seated
references that only Shakespeare could possibly have put into the play."

*** OR ***

2)  "No.  You're right.  That's so convincing, it must be true (or at
least it very well could be).  Therefore my argument is still true, and
you're wrong to think that your argument was a lot of garbage that you
made up to win a bet.  I'll just get Ed Taft on the phone."

Of course you could try option 3) "Oh, damn.  You're right!  My methods
are worthless, that means that I haven't proved anything.  I'll get Ed
Taft to cancel that publication".

But what are the chances of that?

Thomas Larque.

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 01:04:20 +0100
Subject: 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

Looking more closely at Krause's list of demands, I'm quite amused to
see quite how much he has biased the list in his attempt to make it
impossible to show that Krause's method is at fault (even - or perhaps
especially - if it is).  This makes this a bad experiment in the
scholarly sense, since arguments that are not disprovable are
immediately worthless, as they are in science.  Krause has tried to make
his claims unfalsifiable (a word that he should look up in a scientific
handbook if he has not heard it before), and that is automatically
evidence of a bad argument.

Krause has deliberately set up these tests in such a way that at least
half of them are impassable (Krause will simply say "not good enough" to
anything that would prove his own argument to be rubbish).

Unfortunately for Krause, his own essay fails all of these tests,
including the ones that should be relatively easy to pass.

 >(1) show me where Anabaptist references - metaphorical or otherwise -
 >appear in several of Shakespeare's plays, as recognized by scholars
 >other than yourself.

Fair enough.  This one's easy for me.  I might point out, however, that
Krause doesn't actually fulfill it himself.  He doesn't actually find
images related to deliberate inflationary debasement by governments, he
simply finds a lot of images related to coins, and some to coins
containing false metal or being tested for their metal content.  The
vast majority of these references depend on the idea that a "true" coin
is one that has a suitable level of gold.  Of course this makes it
absolutely clear that in every one of the images in which this is true,
Shakespeare is not referring to deliberate inflationary debasement by
governments, because if your Henry VIII official shilling contains 80%
of silver and your Henry VII official shilling contains 90% of silver,
then however much testing you do of that Henry VIII coin, it won't make
it a false coin.  On the other hand if your Henry VIII official shilling
contains 80% of silver, and you test a coin and find that it contains
60% of silver and 40% of base metals, then you have a false coin.

This means that references like "truepenny" and Angelo's:

"Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure
Be stamp'd upon it" (1.1.47-50)."

... are clearly not references to deliberate inflationary debasement by
governments.  The debased Henry VIII penny *was* a true-penny, it just
wasn't a very valuable one.  And if somebody tested a coin to make sure
that it contained the right amount of metal before stamping the King's
head on it, then he would still have stamped the King's head on it if it
was a debased coin (all those debased Henry VIII pennies had the King's
head on), he would only have not done so if - to his surprise - the
tested metal turned out to be less pure than he was expecting, that is
less pure than the official coin was supposed to be.

On this level, every reference that Krause gives to "debasement" of
coins, in "Measure for Measure" and in other plays are nothing to do
with deliberate inflationary debasement by governments at all, and
therefore do not have anything to do with the "theme" and "allegory"
that Krause tries to force into the play.

In fact, let's run through every single supposed "debasement" reference
first suggested by other scholars that Krause mentions in his essay.
Unless I'm very much mistaken (and if I am, I may have missed one or two
references), Krause gathers all of these references on his pages 2 to 4.

Here we go:

"In the First Act, Polonius chastises Ophelia for having taken Hamlet's
'tenders for true pay / Which are not sterling".

Debasement?  NO.  Henry VIII's pound coins, on the other hand, *were*
sterling, however debased they were, because they remained the official
coin of the realm.  Arden footnote: "sterling] genuine money Cf.
Mamillia 'It is ... hard to descry the true sterling from the
counterfeit coin'".  This is an allusion to forgery, not to inflationary

"unmix'd with baser matter"

Debasement?  NO.  Pure gold, unmixed with baser matter, was considered
the perfect metal.  Ideal for alchemy and other such experiments, and
very nice if you owned it, but standard English coins were never *EVER*
cast in pure gold during Shakespeare's lifetime, or even during the
lifetime of his father.  There was always some base matter in a coin, it
was just a question as to how much in order to decide the value of the
coin on the open market. This is therefore not a reference to coins at
all, but to precious metals outside the coinage system.

"calls the ghost 'truepenny' "

Debasement?  NO.  Henry VIII's debased pennies *were* true pennies -
they were the official coin of the realm.  They just weren't as valuable
as older pennies had been.  A 'false penny' on the other hand, is rather
obviously a forgery.  This is another reference to forgery, not debasement.

"hopes that the boy actor's voice 'like a piece of uncurrent gold, be
not crack'd within the ring' ".

Debasement?  NO.  All of Henry VIII's debased coins were "current" gold,
that is legal tender.  As the Arden notes, however, this was not true of
coins that had been illegally clipped and had precious metal removed.
"cracked within the ring] Before milled coins became general in 1662
coins were liable to be clipped (cracked) for the metal thus obtained;
and if the clipping invaded the ring around the sovereign's head, the
coin was no longer legal tender (hence 'uncurrent').  This is again not
about legal debasement of coinage by the government, but about illegal
misuse of coinage by thieves and forgers.  Not about debasement at all.

"dull and muddy-mettled rascal".

Debasement?  NO.  There is nothing to suggest that this is about coins
at all.  More likely it is about things like swords which became dull
(unable to cut: see "the murderous knife was dull and blunt / Till it
was whetted on they stone-hard heart" - Richard III, 4.4.226; and the
rather obvious sword-reference, since the weapons have also grown dull
and rusty in this truce from lack of use "We have, great Agamemnon, here
in Troy / A prince call'd Hector, Priam is his father, / Who in this
dull and long-continued truce / Is rusty grown", since Hamlet is talking
about his inability to take revenge it is fairly clear that he is also
making a sword reference here) and muddy-metalled when they had not been
kept clean.  The Arden agrees that muddy-metalled carries "the
suggestion of metal which has lost its brightness", but makes no mention
of coins.  We have every reason to believe that this has nothing to do
with debasement.

"metal more attractive"

Debasement?  NO.  See "Merchant of Venice", for example, where gold is
considered more attractive than silver which is considered more
attractive than lead.  The entire problem with forged coins was that
they looked exactly like the unforged coins, and debased coins were not
usually obviously different in appearance either.  If you wanted to spot
a coin's metal content you either had it tested (note all the references
coming up) or - if it was really heavily debased - you could hit it on
the table and it made a different sound.  Sight was not a good way of
distinguishing a forged or debased coin.  On the other hand, you can
tell gold from lead with a glance.  This is a reference to metals not coins.

"comparing Hamlet's madness to a pure 'ore among a mineral of metals base' "

Debasement?  NO.  "Ore" is, of course, a mining term and "minerals" are
the rocks in which the ore would be found, and from which it would be
extracted. This is a mining reference.  It does not mention coins at
all.  See the Oxford English Dictionary: "ORE.  1. a. A native mineral
containing a precious or useful metal in such quantity and in such
chemical combination as to make its extraction profitable. Also applied
to minerals mined for their content of non-metals".

So we can safely say, having just worked through every reference from
other scholars that Krause cites, that Krause has not found one single
reference to the deliberate inflationary debasement of coinage by
governments in "Hamlet" (as previously suggested by other scholars).
This leaves his major argument looking particularly stupid.  But let's
go on to "Measure for Measure".

"punning 'peace' with 'piece' in referring to impure Hungarian coinage"

Debasement?  VERY UNLIKELY.  It doesn't look like Krause got this from
another scholar.  He seems to have invented it himself on the basis of a
reference in a book called "Coins in history" which comments "in the
days when most gold coins had been of pure metal, the Hungarian florin
exceptionally had been alloyed".  This would have been Ancient History
and exotic Foreign Ancient History at that, to Shakespeare.  See the
definition of "Crown Gold" on
http://www.tclayton.demon.co.uk/metal.html#CG .  " Gold with 2 carats of
alloy and 22 carats of gold so called from the gold crown of 1526 which
used this alloy. Previously gold coins were made from almost pure gold.
Crown gold is the standard used in the British sovereign which is still
minted. The alloying metal is usually copper, although silver has been
used".  Since John Shakespeare was born in 1529, only Shakespeare's
grandfather would have known a time when English coins were made without
alloy, and he (in a parochial, non-Globe-trotting society, and in a
small rural village in the middle of England) is unlikely to have seen,
or probably even heard of, a Hungarian Florin in his entire life.
Actually this line is part of the play, in which the characters are
seeking a peace treaty with the King of Hungary, and the Arden offers a
completely different pun which was connected with Shakespeare's own time
and not with Ancient History.  "'The King of Hungary's peace' quibbles
on 'hungry peace', a topical pun when English volunteers in Hungary were
serving against the Turks.  Down-at-heels ex-soldiers were sometimes
nicknamed 'Hungarians' " [a term used by Shakespeare in "Merry Wives"].
  In any case, since this fails to have been suggested by another
scholar and seems to be Krause's invention, and since it also seems
almost certain to be wrong, this is not a debasement reference.

"the 'sweat' that has caused Mistress Overdone to become 'custom-shrunk' "

Debasement?  NO.  Not only does Krause make it clear in his footnote
that no other scholar has ever suggested this reading (he has to refer
to a book about John Donne to find a reference about sweating coins),
but he's rather obviously wrong.  As the Arden explains "Overdone's
complaint links a number of factors operative in the winter of
1603-1604: the continuance of the war with Spain; the plague in London;
the treason trials and executions at Winchester in connection with the
plots of Raleigh and others; the slackness of trade in the deserted
capital".  Not only is sweating coins (stealing gold from them by
rubbing or shaking them) not topical in any way whatsoever, some people
were always doing it somewhere, but for your average user of coins, like
Mistress Overdone, it would have offered no particular threat.  Only the
people who eventually melted down the coins to use the metal would find
the quantity surprisingly short.  I might add that Mistress Overdone
refers to "the sweat", and while this was never used of the process of
sweating coins as far as I know (since this would have been called "the
sweating", being a process not a noun) it is the standard name for
various diseases.  See for example John Caius (any relative of
Shakespeare's Doctor Caius? and no, I'm not suggesting that Krause start
another daft allegory hunt) who wrote a book called "A boke, or
counseill against the disease commonly called the sweate, or sweatyng
sicknesse. Made by Ihon Caius doctour in phisicke. Very necessary for
euerye personne, and muche requisite to be had in the handes of al
sortes, for their better instruction, preparacion and defence, against
the soubdein comyng, and fearful assaultying of the-same [sic] disease,
[Imprinted at London : By Richard Grafton printer to the kynges
maiestie],  1552".  Once again, therefore, Krause is denying the obvious
and replacing it with his own daft random one-word coincidences.
Anyway, this wouldn't count in any case as Krause suggested it, not any
other scholar.

"Isabella's assertion that she would bribe Angelo not with 'tested gold' "

Debasement?  NO.  Isabella actually says "Not with fond sickles of the
tested gold", which Arden defines as "Hebrew 'shekel' through the late
Latin form 'siclus' ", but points out that the name of the coin was
being used in Athens in the 1590s.  "tested gold", the Arden defines as
"pure gold, tested by the touchstone".  In Shakespeare's day *NO*
English coins were pure gold, and they had never been since his
grandfather's time.  A pure gold shekel was therefore a particularly
expensive coin in English eyes, not as a result of debasement, but
purely as a result of foreign currency exchange.  It is rather like
saying to an American "I'll pay you fifteen hundred" and when he asks
"pounds or dollars" replying "pounds!".  Nothing to suggest that this
comment has anything to do with debasement at all.

"my false o'erweighs your true"

Debasement?  NO.  False coins were fakes, not debased ones.  Debased
coins were real and official true coinage.  Arden says: "the phrase as
paradox also suggests the lightness of false coin".  No debasement here.

"pay down for our offence by weight"

Debasement?  NO.  This seems to be another Krause-only theory.  Do you
think Krause doesn't realise that paying by weight meant that you paid
more for three kilos of potatoes than you did for two?  I pay by weight
often enough in shops, whenever I buy loose goods.  What Claudius means
is that the more he sins, the more he is now having to pay in his
punishment: big sins, big price; smaller sins, smaller price.  Nothing
to do with coins or debasement at all.  And just in case Krause doesn't
believe me, here's a religious text using  exactly the same image and
citing the sort of Bible texts that it comes from "God threatens Israel,
that for the multitude of their rebellions, he will septuple their
punishments. Leuit. 26: And if ye will not yet for all this hearken vnto
me, I will punish  you seauen times more for your sinnes ...  I will not
turne away your punishment, saith the Lord. According to their sinnes,
by weight and measure, proportion and number, shall be their sorrowes".
  (from Thomas Adams's "The blacke devil or the apostate Together with
the wolfe worrying th lambs", 1615.  Which completely squashes Krause's
false claims for the meaning of this phrase, I would say. No debasement.

"the Duke-Friar's assurance that the 'corrupt deputy' would be 'scaled' "

Debasement?  NO.  Honestly, Krause, this is getting stupid.  The entire
point of coins was that you didn't have to weigh them because the
government officials had weighed them when they made them.  The stamp of
the King's head on the coin was a guarantee that the coin was the
correct weight and proportion of metal.  When coins were debased, the
debasement was known by everybody - it wasn't a secret.  You could weigh
the coins all you liked, you'd just find out that they were exactly the
right weight for the coins made at the time that they were made (and
they had a date on to tell you that, so weighing them was pointless).
Unless the coin had been tampered with, of course, in which case you
could tell it was a forgery or a clipped coin by the weight, but that
brings us back to forgery and stealing, which have nothing to do with
official debasement at all.  No debasement here.

"if he had so offended, He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself /
And not have cut him off"

Debasement?  NO.  Honestly, weighing debased coins would have done you
no good at all.  If you wanted to tell a debased coin from a non-debased
one you only had to look at the date and the type of coin.  Again, no

"Claudio's plea for Isabella to 'assay' Angelo"

Debasement?  NO.  Assaying was testing a metal for purity.  In coins
that had already been done officially by the government officials.  The
entire point of coins was that you did not have to assay them, unless
you thought you had a forgery.  No debasement here.

"coin[ing] heaven's image / In stamps that are forbid"

Debasement?  NO.  Do you think debased coins were forbidden?  By who,
exactly?  They were made by official governments deliberately and were
legal tender.  This, once again, is a reference to "coining" that is
forgery of money.  Nothing to do with debasement.  Arden translates
"Unlawful procreation of a man, who bears God's image, is analogous to
misusing the King's stamp on a coin" and shows us what this means by
pointing us to Edward III "He that doth clip or counterfeit your stamp /
Shall die, my Lord; and will your sacred selfe / Commit high treason
against the King of heaven / To stamp his image in forbidden metal".
This is once again a reference to forgery or clipping of coins.  As Lear
points out the one person who cannot misuse the King's stamp on coinage
is the King "They cannot arrest me for coining, I am the King himself".
  The stamp is his own, and he can use whatever metal and stampt that he
likes.  No debasement.

" 'Tis all as easy / Falsely to take away a life true made / As to put
mettle in restrained means / To make a false one"

Debasement?  NO.  Even if this is a reference to coins, it is referring
once again to 'true' (official) coins and 'false' (forged) ones.
Debased coins were still true coins.  No debasement.

"credulous to false prints"

Debasement?  NO.  The Arden suggests "'Prints' for any impress,
especially the stamp on a coin.  False prints, again, are forgeries.
Debased coins were not forgeries, they were true coins.  No debasement here.

"filth within being cast"

Debasement?  NO.  Oooohh!  This one is just dishonest.  Talk about
coin-clippers, Krause is clipping lines hard here.  The full quotation
is "His filth within being cast, he would appear a pond as deep as
hell". Rather obviously this is a reference to throwing something into a
liquid, or to throwing a liquid.  Money looks nothing like a pond.  On
the other hand if you throw muck into a really deep pond, it will be
absorbed and you will see no remnant of it.  From the surface appearance
it would be as if the pond were perfectly clean and the muck had never
existed, but down there underneath it all would be a big pile of muck
(Angelo's concealed sins). "This outward sainted deputy ... is yet a
devil".  Despite looking like a pond full of clean water on the surface,
Angelo's depths are full of the muck that has been cast within, and of
course the depths of a man is his soul or real self, his external parts
mere wrappings, as Shakespeare repeatedly tells us.  This uses the
single most common definition of "cast" as a verb, from the Oxford
English Dictionary "CAST.  1. a. trans. To project (anything) with a
force of the nature of a jerk, from the hand, the arms, a vessel, or the
like; to THROW (which is now the ordinary equivalent); to fling, hurl,
pitch, toss".  The OED gives examples which include Shakespeare's own
"King John", "They found him dead, and cast into the streets", the King
James Bible "Hee that is without sinne  among you, let him first cast a
stone at her", and "Dictes" by Earl Rivers (1477) "Certayn men beyng at
a wyndow keste water vpon him".  This has nothing to do with adding base
metals to coins while casting them, as the whole quotation makes
absolutely clear.   Good grief, Krause.  Have you no intellectual
standards at all?  No debasement here.

"Like doth quit like, and Measure still for Measure"

Debasement?  NO.  If Krause had bothered to read just about anything
about this play, he would know that it was a Biblical quotation that has
nothing to do with money, and nothing whatever to do with debased money.
  "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again", from
Matthew 7.2.  That is, bad actions will be repaid with bad consequences.
  There is, once again, no debasement here.


So having gone through every one of the examples that Krause gives in
his essay which are supposed to be debasement references spotted by
previous scholars, there is no single example of a real reference to
deliberate inflationary debasement by a government in any one of them.
In other words, there is no connection of any kind between "Hamlet" or
"Measure for Measure" and Juan de Mariana, who wrote about the
deliberate inflationary debasement of coins by governments, and not
about forgery, not about stealing gold by clipping coins, and certainly
not about throwing muck in ponds.  In other words, by Krause's own
standards, Krause's theory is worthless bunk.  He fails his own test.

 >(2) show me ten or more express references in Henry VI  that scholars
 >other than you recognize are to an Anabaptist theme.

Again, I say Krause fails this one himself.  He may list a good number
of references to coins, but not one of these refers to deliberate
inflationary debasement by governments.  Since  this is the only theme
of Krause's essay, the whole thing is a colossal waste of time and
energy.  And Ed Taft is publishing this thing?

 >(3) show me an allegory in which the characters of Henry VI interact in
 >some fashion that would convey a message about Anabaptists.

Now this one starts to get funny.  While I can almost certainly copy
Krause's level of "allegory", Krause will - of course - insist that I
haven't, because Krause is convinced that there is a finely formed
network of significant connections between each of the "coincidences"
that he has dug up, when actually they are only connected by a stream of
random association, and most have nothing to do with Krause's main theme
(deliberate inflationary debasement by governments) at all.  What has
Luke Kirby to do with inflationary debasement?  What has Federico di
Spinola to do with inflationary debasement?  What has Lyford Grange and
Father Campion to do with inflationary debasement?  The answer is
nothing at all.  The fact that all these things are part of Krause's
"allegory" (because they are the names he happens to have turned up in
his dredging for coincidences) is a good point against Krause's belief
that he has discovered an underlying "allegory" at all.  Most of his
claims have nothing to do with what he tells us is his main theme.

 >(4) show me how the Anabaptist explanation in fact explains some of the
 >behavior of the characters that other scholars have found difficult to

And this one is particularly funny.  Read Krause's essay, and you will
find him dishonestly creating things that (according to Krause) are
difficult to understand, purely so that he can solve them.  Nobody's
ever had any problem understanding why the players in Hamlet have to
travel, for instance, it says in the two reliable texts of the play that
it is because child actors have replaced them in the public's esteem.
Instead of solving this problem (when there is no problem) Krause tries
to create a problem, by claiming that - because the child actors are not
explicitly mentioned in one out of the three "Hamlet" texts - that
therefore this cannot be the right explanation, and then he invents an
explanation, which anybody in their right mind would realise was nowhere
near as good as the one that he has just deleted, not least because
Krause's explanation only exists in Krause's mind (there is no explicit
reference to coinage of any kind in this section of the script), while
Shakespeare's explanation - the child actors - is clearly written into
two out of the three surviving scripts, and there is no obvious reason
to believe that it being absent in the third one was deliberate rather
than the act of somebody cutting the play or missing a few lines in the

Most of the other questions that Krause "solves" are similarly things
that nobody much ever had a problem with, and with Krausian solutions
that nobody much would ever accept.  They satisfy Krause, doubtless, but
they sure as heck wouldn't satisfy many other people.

So challenge 4) should really read.  "Try and throw out sensible lines
and statements in Shakespeare's plays that do not boost your theory.
Instead claim that the original material doesn't make sense and find
some weak excuse for getting rid of it (don't worry about being
convincing - you can even completely contradict your new rules a few
lines later if it suits you to do so), instead invent some rubbish, it
doesn't have to make any sort of sense, to explain why the REAL meaning
of the play at that point is something vaguely to do with your 'theme'.
  Don't bother trying to produce convincing arguments".

Of course Krause can't see this, but I've shown several examples of it
in my previous posting.  There are many more examples in Krause's essay.

 >(5) show me independent evidence that Shakespeare had Anabaptist leanings.

Now this is just hilarious.  Please, now, Mr. Krause, show me
independent evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford was concerned
with deliberate inflationary debasement of the coinage by the
government.  Hang on!  That doesn't seem to appear anywhere in your
essay!  So what are you talking about?  You're talking about the
Shakeshafte and related theories that argue that Shakespeare was
Catholic, but your "allegory" wasn't about Catholicism, according to
your essay, it was  about "debasement".  So where did the debasement go?
  Oh, that was right, you got sidetracked because you found that one of
your "coincidences" was a Jesuit, and then in your random association
display, you came up with a few other Catholics.  Where is your evidence
that Shakespeare was pro-Spanish (otherwise how did a flattering
reference to Federigo di Spinola get in there)?  You haven't got any of
that either.  Frankly, your theory is a mess.

So this should read "5) Let your allegory wonder wherever it will, make
random associations based on minor coincidences that take you away from
your major theme into any area that you like.  At the end claim that
your 'allegory' is supported by Shakespeare's biography, even if most of
your essay is about a theme that Shakespeare never had any documented
connection to in his entire life".

 >(6) show me how the Anabaptist theory explains a number of other
 >references for which no satisfactory explanation has been proposed.

And of course this is just a restatement of number 4).  Krause's theory
does not in fact give a "satisfactory explanation" for anything, unless
- like Ed Taft - you have thrown your critical abilities out with the
bathwater. Instead Krause simply pretends that there are problems where
there are none, and then pretends to solve them while making majorly
flawed and unconvincing arguments.

I am afraid that I am not as credulous as Tom Krause, and could not
pretend to be as credulous as Tom Krause, and am therefore unlikely to
attempt the bare-faced dishonesty or stupidity of many of his claims.
Even if I did do so, Tom Krause would then claim that I had not passed
his test, because he would say that his claims were entirely convincing
and sensible, while mine were obvious rubbish (when of course, mine are
*supposed* to be obvious rubbish, in order to prove that Krause's duff
theorising is rubbish).

All in all, Krause's points are just part of his attempt to make his
argument watertight.  You cannot prove that anything Krause has said is
wrong, because he has faith.  No real evidence, but buckets of faith,
and for Krause that's all that matters.

With all that faith, Krause hasn't even noticed that he fails all six of
his tests himself.  Especially the two that are not really matters of
opinion. Not one of the quotations that Krause lists could even vaguely
be considered to be to deliberate governmental debasement of coinage,
let alone the two-dozen or more that he demands from me (all of which
claims, Krause demands, must be supported by other scholars -
unfortunately Krause himself can't tell the difference between forgery,
theft, and debasement).

I think I can almost certainly produce a false "allegory" that passes
Krause's standards much better than Krause's essay, which fails them
all. Watch this space.

Thomas Larque.

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 03:06:40 +0100
Subject: 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

Just one final comment tonight.

Krause argues:

"Shakespeare tied Mariana to Spain by reference to her brother
'Frederick the great soldier who miscarried at sea' (3.1.210).  This
would have called to mind in Shakespeare's December 1604 audience the
May 1603 death in a naval action against the Dutch in the English
Channel of Federigo de Spinola, a wealthy Genoan who had participated in
Spain's war efforts against the English and Dutch".

Of course, Shakespeare doesn't just tell us that this Frederick
"miscarried at sea", he tells us that he "was wracked at sea".

At this point it may be useful to point out that not only did Federigo
de Spinola have no connection of any kind with the inflationary
debasement of currency (which is what Krause's essay is supposed to be
about), nor was he Spanish (which wrecks Krause's attempted explanation
of his significance - not that there was much to that explanation in the
first place), and finally he was not "wracked at sea".  The word
"wrecked" specifically means an accidental disaster, and when used
correctly does not include vessels sunk by enemy action.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

"WRECK.   II. 9.    a. The disabling or destruction of a vessel by any
disaster or accident of navigation; loss of a ship by striking on a
rock, stranding, or foundering; an instance of this; = SHIPWRECK"

So this isn't much of a coincidence either.

Thomas Larque.

From:           Sarah Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Sep 2004 03:11:16 -0700
Subject:        Re: Question on Measure for Measure

Since my local library lacks EEBO, I searched the English Drama
collection in the Chardwyck-Healy literature database (LION).

A major character named Mariana appears in Grim the Collier of Croyden
[c. 1600, according to the editors of the Oxford edition of Dream]. Here
is the listing from LION:

  Haughton, William, d. 1605: Grim the collier of Croyden (1662)
  GRIM The Collier of Crowden; OR, The Devil and his Dame: WITH The
Devil and Saint Dunston

This Mariana, too, participates in a bed trick:

  Morg. Now the peevish Doctor
           Swears, that his int'rest he will ne're resign;
           Therefore we must by Policy deceive him,
           He shall suppose he lyeth this night with thee,
           But Mariana shall supply the room
           And thou with Musgrave in another Chamber,
           Shall secretly be lodg'd; when this is done,
           Twill be too late to call that back again,
           So shalt thou have thy mind, and he a wife.

The actual bed-trick is quite elaborate, involving 4 people, 3 of whom
are pretending to be somebody else, several of whom are double-crossing
each other, and 1 of whom is really the devil in disguise (the man
Mariana snags, thus becoming "his Dame").

To be sure, I find Thomas Larque's idea of "Faire Em" as a source for
Shakespeare's Mariana most attractive, because of the early probable
date (1591 is an estimate, as is the LION database's figure of 1593, but
both comfortably before Measure; "Grim" was written before 1605,
certainly, but how long before?), the association with Lord Strange's
Men, and the fact that - unlike Haughton's Mariana - neither
Shakespeare's Mariana nor the Mariana of "Faire Em" is an ungovernable
shrew who poisons people. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that
"Grim" presents yet another bed-trickster character named Mariana,
appearing on the London stage within a few years of Measure for Measure.

The behavior seems to travel with the name - are there any chaste
Marianas out there? [Besides the Mariana from Pericles, who is really a

Sarah Cohen

I love this list. This is my first post and I am an actor, not a
scholar. Please be kind.

From:           Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 0:14:04 -0400
Subject: Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        SHK 15.1679 Question on Measure for Measure

John Briggs writes:

"Actually, we don't know that Shakespeare intentionally named Angelo
after the coin."

See Thomas Larque's last post, with the Lever discussion.

Peter Bridgman writes:

"Tom Krause asks ...

  >I'm still curious as to where you get 1603, instead of 1604 (I asked
you once before).

MISTRESS OVERDONE:  Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what
with the gallows and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk".

In 1604, England signed a peace treaty with Spain.  If there was a war
on, the play must have been written before the peace treaty.  Also 1603
was a plague year ("the sweat"), while 1604 was not.

"POMPEY: You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?

MISTRESS OVERDONE: What proclamation, man?

POMPEY: All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down".

On 16 September 1603 there was a proclamation calling for the pulling
down of brothels and gaming houses in London's suburbs.  This included
the area around the Globe."

Ok, I can see that if we make the assumptions (1) that Shakespeare is
deliberately exporting contemporary London events to MFM's Vienna, and
(2) that he would not have referred to a "war" unless England was
actually at war, we can assume that the play was written between 16
September 1603 and whenever in 1604 we want to say the war ended.

Given that the three lines you point out above contain contemporary
references, whom do you think the "great soldier Frederick" refers to?  Why?

I'll just mention here without trying to be argumentative that there
were two common meanings for "sweat" in Shakespeare's day - the plague,
and the practice of "sweating coins" by putting large numbers of them in
a bag, shaking the bag, and keeping the precious metal residue.
Although I don't object to the plague meaning, Shakespeare certainly
knew of the practice of "sweating" coins, and might have had that
meaning in mind as well (as reinforced by "custom shrunk").

Thomas Larque writes:

". . .even as Krause is driven to make more and more extreme and
ridiculous claims about his "research" (his latest is to claim that a
particular character name "might" be partially based on that of Nero
because it ends with an 'o'. More sensible commentators might ask
themselves how many letters there are in the English alphabet, and in
particular how many Italianate names - particularly those in
Shakespeare's plays - end with the letter 'o', before making such a
ludicrous assumption, even in passing)."

Thomas Larque continues the same theme in a separate post:

"Now I wouldn't put it past Tom Krause in his more idiotic moments to
claim that just such a "coincidence" occurs (after all Andrew,
Aguecheek, Allencon and Anjou all start with 'A' - just as Nero and
Claudio both end with 'o': Krause seeing mystical significance in the
latter event), but for any sensible person it is fairly obvious that no
such "coincidences" occur."

I see you continue to misapprehend the nature of my argument, and now
you have managed to persuade yourself that the fact that Claudio and
Nero combine to form "Claudio" is its linchpin.  Hopefully other readers
are not similarly deceived.

To be clear (was I not before?):  In the post to which you were
responding I was explaining to you why it makes sense, where three out
of three characters in Shakespeare's plays whose names share the
"Claud-" root can be considered debased, to look to the historical
record to see if there is a connection between the Roman Claudian
emperors and debasement.  I shared with you the result of that inquiry,
and noted - "in passing", as you acknowledge when you are not acting as
though your brilliant advocacy had "driven" me to make the connection -
that Claudius + Nero = Claudio.  As is typical of your argument style,
you don't even deign to address the overall argument (in this case, a
relatively minor sub-argument in the big scheme of things), but nit-pick
at a sub-sub "argument," and act as though you have made some major
point - so much that you return to it twice, and act as though I have
given it "mystical" significance.

Trying to be helpful, this is the same error you fell into when you went
on about the improbability of St. Luke being Luke Kirby.  Again, you
attacked a non-essential argument (that wasn't even in the original
paper), and had to mischaracterize it (saying that the "only" connection
was Thomas Cottam) to make your point.

Thomas Larque goes on:

". . . in fact the essay that you did write is based almost entirely on
trying to claim that "debasement" is the major theme of both "Hamlet"
and "Measure for Measure" on the basis of "trivia" and supposed wordplay
that you like to imagine that Shakespeare inserted into the play and you
are merely 'rediscovering'.  Discussion of this "trivia" takes up at
least 95% of your essay, so you can hardly pretend that the main theme
of the essay is anything other than the "trivia" which you like to think
that you have dug up."

I'm sure I never claimed that "debasement" is "the" major theme in
Hamlet.  That would be crazy.  Your repeated mischaracterizations and
exaggerations concerning my argument make it very hard for anyone out
there still reading (who hasn't read the essay) to understand what the
essay is about.  You are wasting everybody's time - including your own -
  when you do this.

Again, the Hamlet argument is based on a totally different kind of
analysis (which you have not yet seen fit to address), but it does
conclude that there are more references to debasement in Hamlet than
have been previously recognized.

As for Measure for Measure, the essay describes a possible debasement
allegory, and then goes on to demonstrate how much of the play the
allegory can explain.  Trying to break it down for you (in yet a
different way from that of previous posts, in the hope that it will
eventually sink in), the support for the claim that there is a
debasement allegory in MFM falls into about nine different categories:
(1) evidence that Shakespeare was concerned about economic issues (from
other scholars); (2) evidence that Shakespeare used coinage imagery in
MFM (from other scholars); (3) recognition that a character named
Mariana saves a character named Angelo from debasement in MFM; (4)
pointers that directly support the hypothesis that Mariana is named for
Juan de Mariana; (5) a slight broadening of the debasement allegory to
include monarch figures Isabella and the Duke; (6) pointers that support
the hypothesis that Isabella represents Queen Elizabeth and the Duke
represents King James; (7) a recognition that some scholars have
considered Measure for Measure a "problem"play, in that (among other
things) the actions of some of the characters are difficult to
understand; (8) a recognition that the actions of the four different
players in the debasement allegory - Mariana, Isabella, the Duke, and
Angelo - all are consistent with the debasement allegory, and the
debasement allegory thus explains some of these "difficult to
understand" actions; (9) observations that the debasement allegory
explains some of the puzzling lines in the play.  Given that all of the
"evidence" that I have assembled falls into one of these nine or so
categories, and that each piece of evidence supports the debasement
allegory theory to some extent, I'm not sure how you can characterize
any of them as "trivia," or why you are trying to say my argument is
about "trivia" as opposed to about a broad debasement theme.

PS:  You should remove the quote marks around "trivia" in the future.
That's your word.

Thomas Larque asks:

"What, other than the "trivia", do you have to offer to suggest that
Shakespeare's metaphorical references to coinage, debasement, and
forgery (or at least those references which are generally recognised by
other critics, and are not entirely personal to you) were not precisely
that, artistic metaphors, . . ."

For the proposition that Shakespeare's use of economic metaphors was not
purely "artistic" I rely on other scholars, such as those cited in
Footnote 19, several of whom believe that Shakespeare's references to
economic issues reflected a broader concern about economic issues,
including debasement.  Are you familiar with those works?  Are they all
"fantasy concoctions" dreamed up by "nutcases" in their more "idiotic

For your benefit, and that of anyone reading, I reproduce FN 19 directly
below (with full citations):

19   Lever, ed. p. xxxi. A growing literature on the subject attests
that Shakespeare's views on economics worked themselves into his plays.
See, e.g., Sandra Fischer, Econolingua: A Glossary of Coins and Economic
Language in Renaissance Drama (Newark:  U.Del. P. 1985); Jesse M.
Lander, "Crack'd Crowns and Counterfeit Sovereigns: The Crisis of Value
in 1 Henry IV," Shakespeare Studies (Annual 2002), 156; Jonathan Gil
Harris, Sick Economies:  Drama, Mercantilism, and Disease in
Shakespeare's England (U. of Pennsylvania P. 2004); Frederick Turner,
Shakespeare's Twenty-First-Century Economics: The Morality of Love and
Money (Oxford U.P. 1999); Douglas Bruster, Drama and the Market in the
Age of Shakespeare (Cambridge U.P. 1992); Nina Levine, "Extending Credit
in the Henry IV Plays," Shakespeare Quarterly, 51: 4 (Winter 2000), 403;
Sandra K. Fischer, "'He Means To Pay': Value and Metaphor in the
Lancastrian Tetralogy," Shakespeare Quarterly, 40:2 (Summer 1989), 163;
Stephen X. Mead, "'Thou Art Changed':  Public Value and Personal
Identity in Troilus and Cressida"; Journal of Medieval and Renaissance
Studies 22:2 (Spring 1992), 237; R.J. Kaufmann, "Bond Slaves and
Counterfeits: Shakespeare's Measure for Measure," in Shakespeare Studies
III (U. Cinn. 1967), 85.

Thomas Larque continues . . .

". . . rather than the single major 'allegorical' theme of the play?
Precious little, it seems, or you would have spent more time producing
real evidence (if you had any) and less playing pointless wordgames of
the kind that anybody can play with just about any piece of English

Reread my last post if you still believe that you can duplicate my
methods with any piece of writing.

I'm guessing that you would consider a signed, authenticated 1603 letter
from Juan de Mariana to William Shakespeare urging Shakespeare to use
Mariana's name in a play containing an allegory about debasement as
"real evidence," but short of that, what else would you consider "real

Thomas Larque goes on:

"Now the Angelo / Angel (coin) argument is probably the strongest in
your essay - since Shakespeare's text explicitly, as you say, makes a
metaphorical connection between Angelo and a coin . . . . It is
unsurprising, therefore, that you did not invent this argument, but
simply borrowed it from other sources.  The Arden 2 "Measure for
Measure" (edited by J.W. Lever, 1965), for example, already points out
"the coin imagery" of this section, and also - in regard to 3.2.264-265,
"O, what may man within him hide / Though angel on the outward side!" -
makes explicit the likely link between the name Angelo and the Angel
coin, noting "Angelo is the spurious 'angel' in terms of the coin
imagery and also ..."

"If this were all that your essay consisted of, then it would be merely
an act of quotation or plagiarism, and would have no value whatever as a
new academic essay."

Throughout these posts, I've been begging you to look at the Lever's
notes to MFM to see that I'm not the only one who has seen significant
references to coinage and debasement in the play.  What's astonishing is
that when you finally do it, you turn around and practically accuse me
of plagiarism.

Thomas Larque continues:

"Why am I willing to consider accepting the Angelo / Angel wordplay, but
so ready to reject the Krause attempts to add various new forms of
wordplay on a similar theme?  The answer is very simple.  The Angelo /
Angel theory is based on a detailed reference to Shakespeare's writing.
   The four lines quoted above from the first scene of the play seem
very clearly and obviously to be a reference to coinage.  The Arden even
keeps the Folio spelling ("metal" not "mettle") which would make this an
overt punning metaphor, with the coin imagery as Angelo's primary
meaning.  This is not an obscure hidden code that could easily have been
wrongly invented by a commentator and projected at the play, nor one
which we could easily duplicate with other texts, instead the coin
reference is a deep and integrated part of Shakespeare's original text."

The first sentence of your paragraph promised a lot more than the
paragraph delivered.  Again, the fact that Lever and other scholars have
noted all these economic/coinage references in MFM absolutely refutes
your baseless claim that it's "ridiculous" to think Shakespeare might
have written such an allegory.  Shakespeare was a master of
double-meaning, and concerned about economic issues.  Why is it
ridiculous that he would insert such an allegory into one of his plays?
  At this point, the matter that you have identified as "trivia" is
mostly material that wasn't even in the original paper.  If you go
through previous posts, or better yet, the paper itself, you will find
more than 20 separate pointers, supporting the debasement theory from
several different angles. This may seem to unfair to someone untrained
in logic, but to defeat my argument, you will need to show that a
significant number of the points that I make can be explained by other

"Let's compare this, for a moment, with the many Krause theories, and
note how threadbare they look by comparison.

Again, be careful not to characterize my theory as "many Krause
theories."  There is a common thread to all of the "pointers" that I
have provided that constitutes a single unified theory.

"Note how often the Krause argument depends entirely upon the
coincidence of a single word or just a part of a word, with no detailed
textual reference or support to suggest that Krause's interpretation is
correct, and with almost all of the evidence for the claim being based
not on Shakespeare's text, but on Krause's own theorising about the text."

Same comment.  As I've mentioned before, you are not providing examples
of where my argument breaks down.  You've cherry-picked two of the
sub-sub arguments and not even done a good job of "refuting" them.

"As a result we find ourselves faced by an entirely circular logic.  The
reason that Krause suspects that there is a reference to a particular
person is because it would fit with his theory of the meaning of the
play, but at the same time the only evidence that Krause has for his
theory as to the meaning of the play is that it contains these
references to particular people.  There is nothing holding up Krause's
claims except other claims made by Krause, which themselves are held up
by nothing, but the first set of claims.  And so, ad infinitum."

As you've already demonstrated in this post, you still don't understand
the argument.  You've just admitted that there are other references to
coinage in the play.  That's a start.  Now admit that Shakespeare might
have been concerned about economic issues (as evidenced by work of
scholars cited in footnote 19).  That's already two pieces of evidence
that support my theory.  Now admit that you can't find a "great soldier
Frederick" who died at sea around the time of the play other than
Federigo Spinola.  That's another piece of evidence that supports the
theory.  Now acknowledge that if I am correct about the debasement
metaphor and that Mariana is Juan de Mariana, that helps us understand
why the Duke forced Angelo to marry Mariana in the end (if you need me
to, I can probably dig up various quotes from scholars over the years
wondering why Shakespeare would have ended the play that way), why
Isabella wishes Mariana dead, etc., etc. ("ad infinitum," as you say,
because you really do have to address a substantial number of my
arguments to defeat the unified theory).

Thomas Larque continues . . .

"Krause *assumes* that Shakespeare would have considered Mariana to have
saved Angelo from being tainted by sin (actually, wasn't that the Duke
using Mariana as a tool?) . . ."

So what if the Duke is using Mariana as a tool - doesn't that fit with
the Duke as a monarch figure in the debasement allegory?  And wasn't it
still the substitution of Mariana that "saved" Angelo?

Thomas Larque continues:

". . . he *assumes* that there is a connection between this risk of
moral taint and the deliberate "debasement" of coinage by governments
decreasing the level of base metal (but when Shakespeare talks of coins
full of base metal, he is usually talking about forgery or coin-clipping
or error, as he does explicitly in the example in 1.1, where Angelo
states that the figure of the Duke could only be stamped upon him if he
had been tested and proved to be sufficiently good metal, there is no
reference in the play to the Duke or anybody else deliberately
authorising coins with base metal),"

Debasement, whether by government or not, results in an impure coin,
which makes a good analogy for human sin.  In any event, there is
evidence in other plays for Shakespeare's concern with government-caused
debasement.  See works cited in FN 19.

Thomas Larque goes on:

. . . the reference to deliberate debasement by an inflationary
government therefore exists primarily in Krause's imagination and is not
overtly expressed within the play itself, and finally Krause *assumes*
that this inflationary debasement theme in "Measure for Measure" (which
he just made up) proves that when Shakespeare named his character
Mariana, he must have been doing so as a reference to Juan de Mariana,
who wrote a book condemning inflationary debasement

This does not come primarily from "my imagination" - it comes from (1)
the historical fact that English people at the turn of the 17th century
- including middle-class playwrights like William Shakespeare -  were
concerned about debasement of the coinage, (2) the fact that some of
Shakespeare's other plays show concern with economic issues in general
and government-caused debasement in particular (or is it simply
inexplicable to you that all the scholars who have argued this were
published as well?), and (3) the observation that the debasement
allegory neatly explains a significant number of hitherto-difficult- to
explain references, lines, and actions of the play.

" ... but, oooppss ... we're still not finished. Unfortunately Juan de
Mariana wrote that book *AFTER* Shakespeare wrote this play, and there
seems to be no evidence anywhere in the world (certainly none that Taft
and Krause can find) which proves that Mariana was famously associated,
by his own countrymen let alone by people in England, with the subject
of debasement until he wrote that book, . . ."

I've mentioned in the essay and in a previous post that Alan Soons'
biography of Mariana says that Mariana's views on  debasement were
published in the 1599 edition of De Rege.  As I explained in that
connection, I don't have the resources to confirm or refute this, but
it's plausible.  And if it turns out to be incorrect, then perhaps Mr.
Soons had another basis for thinking that Mariana's views were published
before the turn of the century.  As Ed Taft points out, Mariana's
History of Spain - which was published in part to introduce other
Europeans to the glory of Spain, and which certainly introduced them to
Mariana - dealt with currency issues.  See my earlier post for other

Mr. Larque continues:

". . . so Krause conveniently assumes that Mariana must have been
excessively interested in the subject several years beforehand, and that
Shakespeare *must* have heard about Mariana's interest by some indirect
means or other (not that Krause can explain how, he just must have), and
what's Krause's evidence for all this? ... Why - the fact that
Shakespeare called his character Mariana, of course. So there we have a
perfectly circular argument, with no evidence to support it at either
end of the chain."

You are confusing an argument based on circumstantial evidence with a
circular argument.  For one thing (among many others that break the
"circle"), the reference to Frederick points to Spain and points to Juan
de Mariana.  Mariana's actions in the play fit perfectly the role of
someone wanting to protect a coin from debasement.  Isabella and the
Duke play monarch roles in the debasement metaphor.  See the essay, my
comments above, and all my previous posts for more evidence.

Thomas Larque writes:

">Which alternative is the more far-fetched?

Which do you think?  The one where we have to make up an interpretation
of Shakespeare's play, make up a chain of links between Shakespeare and
Spain for him to hear about Mariana, and make up a fame for Mariana for
which we have no evidence on an opinion that we do not even know that he
discussed in any detail with anybody before that date?  Or the one where
we accept that Shakespeare used a Christian-name which appears in a good
deal of Renaissance literature and happens by pure coincidence to have
been the surname of a man who somewhere virtually on the other side of
the Renaissance world was destined eventually to write about
inflationary debasement (a theme that Shakespeare does not seem to treat
on in this play)?"

I see I was premature in thinking that you would have understood my
previous posts, or made a more serious effort to understand the essay.

You show yourself to be particularly ill-informed by your assertion that
Mariana was "virtually on the other side of the Renaissance world."
There were plenty of Spaniards in London (who do you think wrote the
letters compiled in "A Spaniard in Elizabethan England"?) and
Shakespeare's plays contain plenty of Spanish connections.

Thomas Larque writes on:

"I put the name "Mariana" into the EEBO (Early English Books Online)
database, and found a good variety of hits before and after Shakespeare
wrote "Measure for Measure".  One of these hits was on a play by Robert
Wilson,  published in 1591, shortly before Shakespeare wrote "Measure
for Measure".  The play is called "A pleasant commodie, of faire Em the
Millers daughter of Manchester with the love of William the Conqueror".

"To my great amusement, this play turns out not only to contain a
"Mariana", but by her second scene this Mariana is immediately involved
in the plotting of a bed-trick, by which an unwanted suitor is tricked
into marrying a woman who has fallen in love with him, and to whom he
originally committed himself, instead of the woman he was wrongfully
. . .
"So after all that, I think we can be fairly certain that it is more
than a coincidence that Shakespeare's Mariana carries the same name as
Wilson's Mariana, since both women are involved in very similar
bed-tricks that persuade men to marry the right women."

Given all the time that you have spent on this argument, it's a shame
you were unable to apply your own critical eye to its defects.  You seem
to be completely oblivious to the fact that you have fallen into the
trap that you mistakenly accuse me of having falling into - using modern
search tools to make a forcible connection between two points to support
a theory.  The bed trick was an old device in literature long before
Shakespeare used it and long before Wilson used it.  We could probably
find dozens if not hundreds of female names that had been involved in
bed tricks - some of them multiple times - in stories that Shakespeare
might have been familiar with when he wrote Measure for Measure.  The
fact that he happened to pick one of the dozens or hundreds of names
previously used can safely be ascribed to coincidence, just as surely as
the Oxfordian argument about Horace and Horatio can  (especially given
that in your story, the Mariana character plays the Isabella role).

As in the case with your St. George argument, if you want to build a
publishable paper around this one, you will have to show more than one
connection, and you will have to link them to a common theme.  My advice
to you is to keep trying.

Thomas Larque continues:

"Furthermore, it seems obvious that my theory is on much stronger
footing than Krause's alternative suggestion of Shakespeare's "source"
for the name Mariana, since my suggestion does not hinge on a personal
interpretation of the play (for which there is no direct evidence) as
Krause's does, but is instead based on the main plot of both plays where
numerous scenes are given over to the bed-tricks by which the two men
are persuaded to marry the morally right woman by mistake, when they
would rather have married or slept with the morally wrong woman

Again, there were dozens or hundreds of women's names to pick from.
Your new argument is no better than your previous argument, which is
that it's merely a coincidence that Mariana's name is identical to Juan
de Mariana's.

Thomas Larque continues:

"Furthermore I do not have to invent Krausian fantasies about how the
mere conversations of a Spanish academic should end up in the ears of an
ordinary English playwright, nor do I have to play with time to make the
contents of a source appear in history before the source was written
(there is no evidence that anybody in Spain, let alone anybody in
England, associated Juan de Mariana with the debasement of currency
before he wrote his book), . . . ."

You're repeating yourself again.  Find answers to your "arguments"
above, in the essay or in my previous posts.  And of course, the reason
that you don't have to find any other connections is because your
"solution" is exactly the kind of "one-word" coincidence that you
(incorrectly) say that I am using to support my argument.

Thomas Larque goes on:

". . . by contrast my suggested source is an English play, which would
have been written and performed by Shakespeare's fellow actors in a
theatre in the very city where he lived, and then printed and sold in
the very London bookshops that he frequented."

And of course, you assume that Shakespeare was so unimaginative that he
had to find names for his characters in the works of other playwrights .
. . .

Thomas Larque goes on:

"So, to ask Krause's question back at him, which sounds less likely to
you? -

1) Shakespeare named his "Measure for Measure" character Mariana as part
of an obscure and peculiar allegory about the inflationary debasement of
coinage (a theme that Shakespeare never directly mentions in "Measure
for Measure"), referring to a Spanish academic in another country who
had not yet published anything to do with inflationary debasement of
coinage, but would do so *AFTER* Shakespeare wrote his play (at which
time Mariana's book would begin to circulate in Spain), and despite the
fact that we have no record of anybody in the world at this time
associating the name "Juan de Mariana" with the topic of debasement of
currency, let alone anybody suggesting that he was so famous as an
exponent of the subject that his surname alone would be understood as a
reference to this subject in foreign countries, we must assume that he
was a major advocate of this subject before he wrote his book (and
before Shakespeare wrote his play) and that by some imaginary visible
system Mariana's Spanish views were carried to Shakespeare in London
without leaving any trace, printed or written, in the historical record.

*** OR ***

2)  Shakespeare borrowed the name from "Fair Em", an English play that
was written and performed in London at a time that Shakespeare was quite
probably a member of the very company for which that play was written
and by whom it was performed, and even if he was not directly present in
the company, Shakespeare would certainly have been present in the London
theatres and bookshops where the play was performed and sold.
Shakespeare probably borrowed the name because the two plays shared a
major plot device, in which the character "Mariana" was involved in both

So which theory do you prefer, Tom Krause?"

Definitely 1), albeit without all your gratuitous adjectives.  You
confidence in the "historical record" - or more accurately, that tiny
portion of the historical record available to me - is grossly misplaced.
  Apart from the fact that what I have looked at does support a pre-1604
date for Mariana's publication, there is a vast historical record that
has not been looked at, and even that vast record is miniscule compared
to actual history.  Sometimes, inference can be reasonably used to fill
the gaps.  You still have not addressed any of the arguments from the
essay that make the debasement allegory compelling.  All of the
objections you have raised to the argument were crystal clear to me at
the time the theory first occurred to me, and are addressed in the essay
itself and in these posts.  As explained above, your "alternative
explanation" is worthless.

You have shown great industry on this project and in some ways  I
appreciate it.  The problem is that you suffer from a lack of direction,
having only your own warped compass to guide you, and your comments have
generally not been particularly helpful.  If you want to be truly useful
on this project, you should spend a little time researching the "great
soldier Frederick" issue.  See if you can find one, and if you do find
one, try to apply what I've tried to teach you about distinguishing good
coincidences from bad before using it as an argument - for example, try
to come up with a hypothesis about what the play is referring to that
would embrace that meaning, or just see if you can make it fit with your
"Fair Em" theory. And if you've already looked, why don't you let us
know whether you found one or not?

Thomas Larque also writes:

"If Tom Krause had created the "allegory" that Ed Taft sees in "Twelfth
Night", then we could rest assured that virtually nothing in the play
would have anything to do with the actual people or the events in which
they were involved, instead we would simply see a few one-word long
"coincidences", particularly in names.  So that Olivia would have been
called some variant on the name Elizabeth (Betty?  Isabella?), and
Andrew Aguecheek would have had some variant of Anjou's name or title."

Again, you fail to grasp the significance of the pointers.  They all
point to a common theme.  They are not one-word coincidences; they all
point to a common theme.  Try to understand the argument before
attempting to characterize it.

"Instead, Tom Krause's "allegory" is a peculiar literary critical
invention, designed to allow a literary critic to look clever without
actually requiring any real action on the part of the playwright (you
can play the Krause game with just about any set of names, and any
subject or theme, in just about every work of Literature)."

If you still believe this, please reread my last post.  As I said there,
if you can duplicate my methods, you probably can produce a publishable
paper.  But as you have thus far not come close to showing that you even
understand the methodology of the paper, you are quite far away from
having anything publishable on your hands.

Thomas Larque goes on:

"Of course Krause did not personally invent this method, a variety of
would-be literary critical nutcases have been there before him,
including simply thousands of mutually contradictory anti-Stratfordians."

Still classifying me with the anti-Stratfordians.  Did you read my
explanation of the difference?  Do you understand the difference?  I'm
looking forward to your response on this issue.

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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