Thomas of Woodstock

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0286  Thursday, 27 October 2011

[1] From:         Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         October 14, 2011 3:51:22 AM EDT

     Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock


[2] From:         Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         October 7, 2011 5:31:26 PM EDT

     Subject:      The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0286  Thursday, 27 October 2011


[3] From:         Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         October 8, 2011 2:12:05 AM EDT

     Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock


[4] From:         Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         October 8, 2011 7:51:22 AM EDT

     Subject:      Re: Woodstock 


[5] From:         Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         October 14, 2011 11:37:32 PM EDT

     Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock v. John of Bordeaux 




From:         Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 14, 2011 3:51:22 AM EDT

Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock


Michael Egan has mentioned my name repeatedly in his posts on Woodstock. But he keeps misrepresenting what I have written, even after I have attempted to correct him. He says “Mac Jackson tries to turn 1 Richard II into a manuscript written by Sam Rowley in his own handwriting ca. 1608.” This is not so. I specifically state that the handwriting of the Woodstock manuscript is not Rowley’s. What I do claim is that since this is the case, the various orthographical features that link the manuscript to Rowley cannot be explained as the result of his merely acting as a “creative copyist,” as David Lake (who first noted several of these features), originally suggested, but must be the result of the unknown scribe’s having transcribed a manuscript by Rowley. Lake later came to realize that his evidence pointed to Rowley’s authorship of the play.


I haven’t contradicted myself on this matter. Nor is it true that I fail to take account of A. C. Partridge’s chapter on Woodstock. While I agree with Partridge and the Malone Society editor Wilhelmina Frijlinck that not everything in the extant manuscript was penned at the same time, none of Partridge’s evidence for “stratification” demonstrates that the play was in existence in the early 1590s. Some contractions and linguistic forms were already in use in English drama in the early 1590s and some did not come into use till much later, but all those that were available in the early 1590s remained in use well into the seventeenth century. 


Anybody who wants to know what I have said about Woodstock should read my articles, not rely on Michael Egan’s accounts of them. They are in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 14 (2002), Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama 46 (2007), and The Oxfordian 12 (2010). And I have the electronic texts that I submitted to the editors of these journals, should any interested scholar have difficulty getting hold of the journals themselves.


I’m sure Michael will have something to say in reply, but, whatever it turns out to be, I predict that my answer will already be somewhere in my three articles and am happy to let readers assess for themselves the evidence for Woodstock’s authorship and date of composition. They may reach different conclusions from mine. But, to summarize, I think the evidence I adduce (a) tells strongly against Shakespeare’s authorship of Woodstock at any stage of his career, (b) tells scarcely less strongly against a date of composition preceding that of Shakespeare’s Richard II (1595), and (c) indicates, though not decisively, Samuel Rowley’s authorship of the play in the seventeenth century. Originally my main interest was in demonstrating point “b” and so overturning a consensus based, I thought, on inadequate evidence. Michael, on the other hand, knows that Woodstock was written by Shakespeare in the early 1590s. I have found reading Kathryn Schulz’s excellent Being Wrong an antidote to this kind of certainty. 



Mac Jackson



From:         Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 7, 2011 5:31:26 PM EDT

Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock


To Michael Egan, who said, “You seem to be saying that I belittle the opinions of people who argue with me without having actually read my book. What would you have me do?”: I would have you admit that you were wrong to imply that a person has to have read a book in order to make intelligent comments about it. 


To Donald Bloom, who thinks a moratorium might be in order concerning Woodstock, I have to say, “Aw, don’t be a spoilsport.”  (Unfortunately, I‘m the sort who loves exchanges as beastly as this one, or worse.)


To Joe Egert, Gabriel Egan’s offer is generous since it requires time to make a copy of a book available.  It’s also sensible since Michael Egan seems unable to get people to spend the large amount required to get a copy of his book (which he seems very eager to have in people’s hands).  Expecting Gabriel Egan to do the same thing with his books is foolish since they are no doubt much less expensive, and with more than enough appeal not to need special actions to get them read.


To Gabriel Egan, a little late: I’d love to have a copy of the article you said you’d send to anyone requesting it, if the offer still holds.  My address is 1708 Hayworth Road, Port Charlotte FL 33952.


--Bob Grumman



From:         Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 8, 2011 2:12:05 AM EDT

Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock


The problem with having no ear for verse is that the sufferer cannot understand the helpful corrections that may be offered him or her.  M. Egan persists in the claim that “apparrel [sic] elided sounds like apple because of the initial vowel AP followed by [slur] and ending with L.”  Clearly he cannot hear that the two words are stressed differently, and that APple is in consequence never going to be confused with apPAr’l.  Similarly he cannot hear that “Exc’llent Tresillian!  Noble Lord Chief Justice” is a perfectly normal iambic pentameter with initial reversal and ‘feminine ending’ (c.p. Lear’s “Gentle, and low -- an exc’llent thing in woman”; for trisyllabic Tresillian, compare disyllabic million in “That millions of strange shadows on you tend?” (Sonnet 53).


Peter Groves

Monash University



From:         Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 8, 2011 7:51:22 AM EDT

Subject:      Re: Woodstock


Michael Egan explains why he wants me to apologize for lying about him:


> The lie, Sir, as you well know, is not

> in . . . but the way you ignore that

> format of the whole exchange . . .


That’s not lying. You could accuse me of misleading people by omitting a pertinent detail, but just what counts as pertinent is a judgement call. We disagree, that’s all.


I suggested Michael Egan try publishing his ideas in academic journals. He replies that he has published articles in “The Oxfordian”, of which he is the editor. That doesn’t count, Michael, since readers will rightly judge that you have a conflict of interest. The trick in publishing articles is to convince other people to disseminate your ideas, not to convince yourself.


Michael Egan asks how I came to possess a digital copy of his book. The answer is that when I received my review copy I tore the covers off, cut away the spine, and put the resulting sheets into a sheet-feeding high-speed scanner. I do that to all my books.


I’m delighted to hear that Michael Egan is not against my distributing this digital file, subject to his checking that it doesn’t misrepresent the book’s contents and that Edwin Mellen Press don’t mind. Splendid!  I have sent him a link to download the digital file and await his verdict.


Regarding digitization, Joe Egert asks a pertinent question:


> Are any of Gabriel Egan's books available

> online free of charge? Perhaps he can take

> the Open Access route and arrange such with

> his publishers.


One of my books is available this way, and I’m seeking to achieve the same for the rest. Except where the publishers have prohibited it, all my publications and talks are available for anyone to download from www.gabrielegan.com/publications.


It’s hard work to get publishers to change their business models to reflect the inevitability of Open Access dissemination of academic research. But progress is being made. The UK government is spending half a million pounds on a pilot project involving Humanities and Social Science monographs published by Palgrave Macmillan, Taylor & Francis, Berg, Liverpool University Press and University Wales Press. Google ‘OAPEN-UK’ for details.


Gabriel Egan



From:         Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 14, 2011 11:37:32 PM EDT

Subject:      Thomas of Woodstock v. John of Bordeaux


Though interest in Thomas of Woodstock may tail off, the manuscript is important. But the attribution case is premature without study of the artifact's derivation, which begins outside Michael Egan's edition (and its critics). Many features of Woodstock may be explained by comparison with a more informative manuscript; namely, John of Bordeaux.


I wouldn't care to impede inquiry into Woodstock's authorship; but a hypothesis may be too rigidly defended even if it can't be eliminated. I'm not opposed to the idea that Shakespeare might have written a play which is now corruptly represented in manuscript; the question may be decided one day. But the originating author is probably far removed from what is left us. Whether Shakespeare wrote the earliest version matters, but that version is lost forever; what matters more is whether the text can help us learn the history of others. Perhaps it can, and we may even learn from such investigations just how theater was done; I think Woodstock is a recording because I'm pretty sure Bordox is a theatrical report.


I discuss that case in "Memorial Transmission, Shorthand, and John of Bordeaux," Studies in Bibliography 58, 109 - 132. My early (late) reading in Shakespeare gravitated toward some old scholarship before I learned that later scholarship had made some turns. Though forgotten, the shorthand alternative has always seemed viable to me: nevertheless I expected not to encounter a playtext comprising the strong evidence necessary to establish theatrical reporting as reality. That's what Bordox did for me. But for Harry R Hoppe, the Robert Greene play was an example of memorial reconstruction, which should have been a no-veil-of-print big deal. However, since MR ruled the waves, Bordox became merely another "bad quarto that never reached print."


But bad quartos come, hypothetically, with differences. One is that a memorial reconstruction stands alone; it doesn't really predict another. And too, a memorial reconstruction only suggests the ways of performance; its text may be ignored, more or less, by modern theatrical-historical-comical imaginations. A stenographic report is much more meaningful. First, for a competent practitioner it would be more like swimming laps than swimming the English Channel; done once, done a hundred times. Second, the recording would be of actors in action; not memorex, but not bad, as gold and opportunities go (Hendiadys Alert !!).


Further, a competent phonetic report raises an important, perhaps a disturbing question. Bad quartos are so-called for their badness, but defined by memorial transmission. Where do we draw the lines? Bordox, for all its goofiness, is easy to edit and credibly captures the complete dialogue. What if had been better played, recopied, revised and printed? Who would suspect a memorial past? How many plays fall into this category?


The question can never be answered, but there are quite a number of plays that will be seen as transitional if Bordox is taken as well-reported. The mysterious supply has explanation. My interest is in the identifiable features of suspect texts that can be explained or accommodated by shorthand reporting and by comparisons to Bordox. I will try to apply the idea to Woodstock (as I go along, though some matters seem clear to me). May as well start with the oddest bibliographic feature of the manuscript (that is, the oddity most in need of explanation before other guesses can take root). Other commentators give it a pass.


The speech headings (prefixes, ascriptions) were added subsequent to the transcription of dialogue; though sometimes in the same ink, and sometimes in other hands and inks. Sometimes ascriptions are omitted; sometimes altered; at times wrong (how wrong, we can't know). Michael Egan suggests that Shakespeare himself supervised this strange process. Is it credible that any playwright wrote without assigning speeches? Or that he would allow another to transcribe a play only to pester everyone with such confusion? It is not a matter of keeping prefixes for last; they were determined by the dialogue, and they often waited on later and (hopefully) better judgment. Why was this necessary?


One answer (a good one) is supplied by John of Bordeaux. G I Duthie assumed that a "stenographer . . . had to pause to identify and note down the name of the character speaking." But if we pause to think like the guy who got it done, the significant pause was the actor's. When it happened, the artisan marked a change of speaker and he didn't give a hoot who was speaking. He might even be wrong about the change; that would all come out in the wash. Here is a typical transcription from Bordox (believe me, the first I come to; I really like the scribe (the stenographer, no doubt, whose debt will never be repaid):


[Bold added by a later theatrical reviser (one of the receivers of stolen property)].


>ux < e> Cristian Cheftaynes let not Curradg fayle

         all though o[r superscript] foos [if the foo shits . . .] be numberles in vew o[r etc.] quariels Iust and

         god will straunthen ous) souldier) ha lord Ienerall o[r] men ar

         wasted sore) bordiox and what of that can we not Levie mor [I was Levied once myself]

         let ous that live contem ther heugie [I was heugie once myself] ost and hould or one vntell

         more sucker [ . . . you guessed it] cam mene whiell I will inform his maiestie


The right-hand parentheses set off the 'souldier' 'prefix,' though one parenthesis serves for 'bordiux'. In other instances the mark serves for nought, prefixly; but for later transcribers it can be recognized as punctuating an actual pause in performance, which anticipated a change of speaker that may not have happened. Consider Woodstock 1957ff:


        K                                                                 . . . 1950

                       cornewall, those parte are thyne /          1957

                    __as Ample Baggot as the crowne is myne /

Bag: [Scro:]  __all thanks, loue duety to my princly soueraigne

        K:            Bushy; from thee shall



Different hands, different inks, different headings. The slashes seem analogous to the Bordox parentheses; They are not likely a playwright's punctuation meant to tell the player when to pause, but the player's pause turned into punctuation. What an actor needs is punctuation for meaning; he will supply the action, thanks. Here the punctuation is not as scarce as in Bordox but it is worth little, though the manuscript improves on the Bordox quality; much of the corruption seems vestigial, as would occur in the transcription indicated by the speech ascription process. (That is, a transcription of shorthand notes that looked like Bordox would, if it were the copy-text for another transcription, come to look like Woodstock: improved, but still faulty). It's only a few copies down the road to modern editions, from which the clues are diligently expunged.


Repairs to (or creation of) speech headings can generally be made without error, but care must be taken. Dramatists usually named major characters in dialogue (initially, and later on) to guide the auditor; so the reconstructors are guided. Some characters need no names; some get more than one designation. But the process is geared to the next performance and the transcribing of roles; authors (and author-hunters) need not apply.


The same may be said of the set directions. A good indicator in Woodstock is at MSR 117. The entries for Woodstock himself and "The Lord Mayre & Exton . . ." precedes Woodstock's turn from his brothers:


            Ile speake wth you anan: / hye thee good Exton

            good lord mayre I doe beseech ye prossecute

            wth yor best care . . .         124

            . . . pray be carefull            132

Mayre:  yor ffreends are Greate in London. good my lord   ___________

            Ile front all Dangers, trust it on my word             {Exitt L: May<


Editors have recognized Holinshed's report that the Mayor of London was Richard Exton; the dialogue had led the scribe to think two persons were represented. For all we know, it was played that way subsequently; but it is quite unlikely that the author would have written or overseen the entries.


For this reason (apparently), Michael Egan remarks (ad voleam) that there were two characters after all: "However, the original (sic) MS. seems unequivocally to indicate two men . . . . "It's not clear to what passage(s) in Holinshed [Rossiter] refers" (Egan, v. 3, 59). Egan repeats this opinion so much that I was drawn to my copy of Holinshed (same as yours, Googlers), where the 1807/1586 reprint has this narration:


"But the duke comming by some meanes to vnderstand of this wicked practise, had no desire to take part of that supper, where such sharpe sauce was prouided, and withall gaue warning to the residue, that they likewise should not come there, but to content themselues with their owne suppers at their lodgings. It was said, that sir Nicholas Brember, who had beene maior the yeare before, had promised his assistance in the execution of this horrible fact: but thorough the commendable constancie of Richard Exton that was maior this yeare being mooued by the king for his furtherance therein, and denieng flatlie to consent to the death of such innocent persons, that heinous practise was omitted (774).


(A marginal notation in Holinshed reads, "Richard Exton justlie commended," for dramatists to note. If one opts for the "plain text" the margins are melded into the rest, for plain confusion. "Image" will get closer to the primary evidence).


Holinshed is even less unequivocal than the dialogue, though equally unique. The set direction is a mistaken bit of workmanship, for which there was probably no guidance other than the manuscript. Not the original, to be sure, sort of. I will say something about that next time.


Gerald E. Downs

H5 Finding

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0285  Thursday, 27 October 2011

From:         Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 8, 2011 2:49:04 AM EDT

Subject:      H5


I was taught, at Queens College, CUNY, that Henry V is extremely anti-war.  Open it anywhere and it will bite your face:


Henry V. How yet resolves the governor of the town? 

This is the latest parle we will admit; 

Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves; 

Or like to men proud of destruction 

Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier, 

A name that in my thoughts becomes me best, 

If I begin the battery once again, 

I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur 

Till in her ashes she lie buried. 

The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, 

And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart, 

In liberty of bloody hand shall range 

With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass 

Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants. 

What is it then to me, if impious war, 

Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends, 

Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats 

Enlink'd to waste and desolation? 

What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause, 

If your pure maidens fall into the hand 

Of hot and forcing violation? 

What rein can hold licentious wickedness 

When down the hill he holds his fierce career? 

We may as bootless spend our vain command 

Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil 

As send precepts to the leviathan 

To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur, 

Take pity of your town and of your people, 

Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command; 

Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace 

O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds 

Of heady murder, spoil and villany. 

If not, why, in a moment look to see 

The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand 

Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters; 

Your fathers taken by the silver beards, 

And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls, 

Your naked infants spitted upon pikes, 

Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused 

Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry 

At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen. 

What say you? will you yield, and this avoid, 

Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?




Chorus. Now entertain conjecture of a time

When creeping murmur and the poring dark

Fills the wide vessel of the universe. 

From camp to camp through the foul womb of night

The hum of either army stilly sounds,

That the fixed sentinels almost receive

The secret whispers of each other's watch:

Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames 

Each battle sees the other's umber'd face;

Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs

Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the tents

The armourers, accomplishing the knights,

With busy hammers closing rivets up, 

Give dreadful note of preparation:

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,

And the third hour of drowsy morning name. 

Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,

The confident and over-lusty French 

Do the low-rated English play at dice;

And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night 

Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp

So tediously away. The poor condemned English, 

Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires 

Sit patiently and inly ruminate

The morning's danger, and their gesture sad 

Investing lank-lean; cheeks and war-worn coats

Presenteth them unto the gazing moon

So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will behold 

The royal captain of this ruin'd band 

Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,

Let him cry 'Praise and glory on his head!'

For forth he goes and visits all his host.

Bids them good morrow with a modest smile 

And calls them brothers, friends and countrymen.

Upon his royal face there is no note 

How dread an army hath enrounded him;

Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour

Unto the weary and all-watched night, 

But freshly looks and over-bears attaint 

With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;

That every wretch, pining and pale before,

Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks: 

A largess universal like the sun 

His liberal eye doth give to every one,

Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, 

Behold, as may unworthiness define,

A little touch of Harry in the night.

And so our scene must to the battle fly; 

Where—O for pity!—we shall much disgrace

With four or five most vile and ragged foils,

Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous,

The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, 

Minding true things by what their mockeries be. 




Or this...again, randomly opening the script, it falls on the speech that says it was all for nothing:



[Enter Chorus]

Chorus. Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen, 

Our bending author hath pursued the story,

In little room confining mighty men,

Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.

Small time, but in that small most greatly lived

This star of England: Fortune made his sword; 

By which the world's best garden be achieved,

And of it left his son imperial lord.

Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crown'd King

Of France and England, did this king succeed; 

Whose state so many had the managing, 

That they lost France and made his England bleed:

Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake,

In your fair minds let this acceptance take.


Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0283  Thursday, 27 October 2011

From:         Tom Reedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 17, 2011 10:30:31 AM EDT

Subject:      Re: SHK 21.0419  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous


Those academics who have been concerned about how to respond in the classroom to the questions raised in the upcoming anti-Stratfordian film Anonymous can calm themselves. Sony Pictures has thoughtfully provided lesson plans to “teach the controversy” in college classes with the scholastic admonition to “Uncover the true genius of William Shakespeare. See Anonymous—in theaters October 28, 2011” on every page.

The stated objectives are “To encourage critical thinking by challenging students to examine the theories about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works and to formulate their own opinions; To strengthen students’ communication skills through classroom discussion and debate," and "To engage   students in creative writing exercises." Who could argue with those? Especially the creative writing part.

Conveniently enough, classroom exercises have been provided for use both before and after viewing the film. See http://www.ymiclassroom.com/pdf/AnonymousCollege.pdf. And high school teachers needn’t feel left out; Sony has put together a version for them also: http://www.ymiclassroom.com/pdf/AnonymousHS.pdf.


Tom Reedy


Undaunted Queen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0284  Thursday, 27 October 2011

From:         Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 20, 2011 12:04:56 PM EDT

Subject:      Undaunted Queen


Hugh Grady and Paul Barry are quite right; Bardolph appears in four plays.  

There’s also a Lord Bardolph in 2H4—maybe a rich cousin, maybe our guy pretending to be a swell?  Two of Henry V’s brothers also make it into four plays. Prince John, the gallant maiden warrior of 1H4, returns as the nasty piece of work who tricks the rebels in 2H4, fights at Agincourt in H5, and as Bedford, has the opening lines of 1H6 and dies at the non-historical recapture of Rouen.  Brother Humphrey has a brief appearance just before his father’s death in 2H4, fights with his brothers at Agincourt in H5, quarrels with Winchester in 1H6, and as the last champion of the common weal, is murdered in 2H6.  Oddly, there is no mention of Humphrey or Bedford being brothers (or brothers to Henry V) in 1H6.


Warwick actually has a claim to appearance in five plays: he comforts the dying king in 2H4, partakes in the military campaign in H5, picks a white rose as an early supporter of Richard of York in 1H6, and becomes the Kingmaker Warwick in 2H6 and 3H6. He dies at the battle of Barnet in the last play, the “bug that feared us all.”  Historically, the first three appearances should belong to Richard de Beauchamp, the father-in-law of Richard Neville the Kingmaker, who was not born until 1428.  But in 2H4, the King calls him “cousin Nevil” (3.1.66).  Perhaps Shakespeare thought there was just one Warwick; perhaps he didn’t care there were two.


There’s also the resident coward of 1H6 whom the Folio invariably calls “Sir John Falstaffe,” but that’s better left for another day.


Tom Pendleton


New Drug: Quietus!

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0282  Thursday, 27 October 2011

From:         Michael Zito <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 25, 2011 9:28:12 PM EDT

Subject:      New Drug: Quietus!


In every episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, someone is bound to wrap his car around a tree or telephone pole.  Well, that almost happened to me today upon listening to an ad for a drug called Quietus, which is supposed to help people who suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) sleep better.  I thought that’s what I’d heard, “Quietus.”  I paid further attention till the word was said again, and sure enough it was “Quietus.”


This, of course, is a word that Hamlet uses in his famous "To be or not to be" speech in Act III.1.  The line goes:


For who would bear the whips and scorns of time...

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin?


The word quietus means "clearing of accounts," but Hamlet basically uses the word as a euphemism for "death blow" by bare bodkin, or unbloodied dagger, that will no longer be bare, but rather well bloodied, after the, eh hem, "clearing of accounts" with Uncle King Claudius.


I wonder if the pharmaceutical company had any idea.  This nearly made me wreck my car . . .





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