The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2191  Wednesday, 29 November 2000

From:           David Schalkwyk<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 29 Nov 2000 09:49:46 +0200
Subject:        "Invention in a noted weed"

For anyone still interested in the story about Shakespeare the marijuana
addict that came from South Africa a while ago, I now hear that the
scientific findings on the residual contents of the clay pipes are
shortly to appear in _Nature_.  It appears that they contain traces of
nutmeg and cocaine, amongst other things!

I have also discovered the source of the notion that Shakespeare refers
to his own smoking habits in lines such as "and keep invention in a
noted weed" in sonnet 76--a retired colleague, who is a friend of one of
the scientists!  Peter has told me that he suggested facetiously over an
idle conversation that this line proves that Shakespeare smoked the
weed, and was taken seriously by his earnest scientist friend!  So there
you have it.  Take care about what you say, even in jest, about
Shakespeare.  Peter suggests, however, that despite the crazy
attribution of the habit to Shakespeare, the actual findings from the
analysis of the pipes are totally legitimate, and fascinating.

Greetings for Cape Town,
David Schalkwyk

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