The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1789  Friday, 22 September 2000.

From:           Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Sep 2000 10:12:16 -0500
Subject:        Carters

For what it's worth, carters figure frequently in Puttenham's Art of
English Poesy as alliterative elements marking a social gap. For

Now by the chaunge of a vizard one man might play the king and the
carter, the old nurse & the yong damsell, the marchant & the souldier or
any other part he lifted very conueniently. (1-14)

For continence in a king is of greater merit, than in a carter, th'one
hauing all opportunities to allure him to lusts, and abilitie to serue
his appetites, th'other partly, for the basenesse of his estate wanting
such meanes and occasions, partly by dread of lawes more inhibited, and
not so vehemently caried away with vnbridled affections, and therefore
deserue not in th'one and th'other like praise nor equall reward, by the
very ordinaries course of distributiue iustice. (1-20)

[and, most famously]

And now (most excellent Queene) hauing largely said of Poets & Poesie,
and about what matters they be employed: then of all the commended
fourmes of Poemes, thirdly of metricall proportions, such as do
appertaine to our vulgar arte: and last of all set forth the poeticall
ornament consisting chiefly in the beautie and gallantnesse of his
language and stile, and so haue apparelled him to our seeming, in all
his gorgious habilliments, and pulling him first from the carte to the
schoole, and from thence to the Court, and preferred him to your
Maiesties seruice, in that place of great honour and magnificence to
geue enterteinment to Princes, ladies of honour, Gentlewomen and
Gentlemen, and by his many moodes of skill, to serue the many humors of
men thither haunting and resorting, some by way of solace, some of
serious aduise, and in matters aswell profitable as pleasant and honest.

Frank Whigham

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