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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
Quondam
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0860  Tuesday, 3 May 2005

[1]     From:   Norman Hinton <
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        Date:   Sunday, 01 May 2005 16:29:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'

[2]     From:   William Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 01 May 2005 20:20:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'

[3]     From:   Gerald E. Downs <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 May 2005 01:04:00 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman Hinton <
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Date:           Sunday, 01 May 2005 16:29:41 -0500
Subject: 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'

Actually, the first dictionary of vulgarity was Grose's Dictionary of
the Vulgar Tongue, London, 1785.  Grose died in 1791, but an anonymous
contributor produced an expanded version: Buckish Slang, University Wit,
and Pickpocket Eloquence, Compiled Originally by Captain Grose, London 1811.

This book was reissued by Digest Books, Northfield,Illinois (USA) in 1971.

It contains a definition of 'cundum' --

"The dried gut of a sheep, worn by men in the act of coition, to prevent
venereal infection; said to have been invented by one colonel (sic)
Cundum. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of the
name of Philips, at the Green Canister, in Half-moon-street, in the
Strand .... Also a false scabbard over a sword, and the oil-skin case
for holding the colours of a regiment."

This is the earliest appearance of the supposed Col. Cundum, whose
existence cannot be demonstrated, and who could not have invented a
"machine" that dates to classical times at the least.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 01 May 2005 20:20:09 -0400
Subject: 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'

Gordon Williams does not include an entry for "condom" in A Glossary of
Shakespeare's Sexual Language, but he does have a solid entry for
"condom" in his Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in
Shakespearean and Stuart Literature. He suggests that "condom" was not
in common use before 1660, but was generally known by 1706.

If we could only find the evasive Colonel Cundum!

Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerald E. Downs <
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Date:           Monday, 2 May 2005 01:04:00 EDT
Subject: 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0844 Martin Green on 'Quondam'

Tony Burton referred to Partridge:

 >In 1667 those three aristocratic courtiers, wits and poets,
 >Rochester, Roscommon and Dorset, issued *A Panegyric
 >upon Cundum.*"

Again my source is Kruck's _Looking for Dr. Condom_(1981); The poem is
available on the Internet, where one may choose a terminus a quo:

    Because the Panegyric deems Cundum a greater national hero
    than Isaac Newton . . . we know that the poem was not written
    . . . in 1667--the year in which Newton was only 25 . . . . He did
    not become a national figure until the 1690s . . .

    The Panegyric contains . . . these four lines:

          Happy the Man, who in his Pocket keeps,
          Whether with Green or Scarlet Ribband bound,
          A well-made Cundum--He, nor dreads the Ills
          Of Shankers, or Cordee, or Buboes dire!

    These lines are an obvious burlesque of the first four lines
    of "The Splendid Shilling", by John Philips (1676-1709):

          Happy the Man, who void of Cares and Strife,
          In Silken or in Leathern Purse retains
          A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
          New Oysters cry'd, nor sighs for cheerful Ale.

    Because Philips' poem was first published in 1701, we
    now have the earliest possible date for the Panegyric.

    The earliest known copy was printed in 1728 . . . the last
    poem . . . of the collected poetry of William Pattison
    (d. 1727) Pattison, however, was not the author . . . . Finally,
    the poem does not appear under the title [Panegyric], but as
    Allusion to the Splendid Shilling. (28-31)

The author was apparently the Reverend White Kennett [,Jr.] (d. 1740)
Farmer and Henley gave a 1767 date, attributing the poem to Rochester,
etc., and Partridge seems to have moved the date back a century to when
the "authors" were alive. The poems of Rochester and Roscommon were first
published in 1702. Over the years Dorset and others were added, as were
new poems. Panegyric became part of the group in the 1730s, and the
authorship was assumed.

Kruck has done a very thorough job and one must wonder at the stupendous
number of corrections he applies to earlier scholarship.

Gerald E. Downs

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