Monday, January 23, 2012

Shakespeare, The Academ Roial and the Suppression of Deformitie

Suppressing 'Degenerous' Oxford:

[Bolton's] 'earliest version of this proposal was directed to King James through the mediation of the Duke of Buckingham, to whom Bolton was distantly related; the pages reproduced in Plate 21 capture the spirit of the entire venture. The primary function of the new Academy - the proposal grandly, if somewhat vaguely promised - was to be the promotion of ORDER, DECORUM, and DECENCIE (words emphatically described in large upper-cased letters) and the suppression of Confusion and Deformitie. As Bolton's thoughts developed, he proposed more specific functions to the Academy: that it should control the licensing of all non-theological books in England, for example, keep a constant register of 'public facts', monitor the translation of all learned works, hold meetings every quarter and annually on St. George's Day. (Donaldson, Ben Jonson, a Life, p.366)

Shakespeare -  born and died on St. George's Day.

Degenerous \De*gen"er*ous\, a. [L. degener. See Degenerate.]

Degenerate; base. [Obs.] ``Degenerous passions.'' --Dryden.


The tessera of Antilia: utopian brotherhoods; secret societies in the earlyseventeenth century ... By Donald R. Dickson

...About a decade later Edmund Bolton (1575-1633), an ardent antiquary himself, proposed that royal patronage be granted to an Academ Roial to be housed at Windson Castle and "encorporated under the tytle of a brotherhood or fraternitie, associated for matters of Honour and Antiquity." Matters of honor would be superintended by the upper circle of the academy, drawn from the Order of the Garter under the marshallship of George Villiers, then Marquis of Buckingham and Bolton's distand kinsman. Concentric to these would be a working group of scholars, termed the Essentials, who would have "the superintendencies of the review, or the review itself of all English translations of secular learning" and the power to authorize all non-theological literature. First broached in 1617, the design was advocated to parliament in 1621 by Buckingham and approved in 1624, but the death of James meant Bolton would have to win over Charles who did not share his father's scholarly interests.

Plans for this academy fell through - but I think it is possible that they were functioning/co-operating in an informal way. Certainly 'the suppression of Confusion and Deformitie' could have included the suppression of a 'barbarous' Oxford/Shakespeare. Small Latin, less Greeke and barbarous rhyming exclude Shakespeare from the Academy, and there is a new Prescriptivism on the horizon.

Having spent much time tracing the contemptuous 'bones' of Jonson's hyperbolic and over-dressed praise of Shakespeare - I have wondered who could have authorized the publication of the plays with such scornful front-matter. Jonson was skillful enough to cast a cloud or veil over Oxford with his figure-fraught encomium, but why publish at all, then? If Shakespeare's works were so disproportionate and barbarous, if he was disobeying classical laws of composition and mis-representing/deforming nature with his fanciful and unnatural  'monsters' - then why the Folio?

Jonson scornfully alludes to another Academy in his 'Speech According to Horace' - a spurious Academy (an Academy of Ignorance?)  where the 'tempestuous grandlings' meet:

..........................There is up of late

The ACADEMY, where the Gallants meet ——
What to make Legs? yes, and to smell most sweet,
All that they do at Plays. O, but first here
They learn and study; and then practise there.

Shakespeare's admirers, no doubt. So in a conflict between (ignorant) admirers and (learned) scoffers both parties made concessions? The plays were published for posterity but under a veil/pseudonym (separated from the house of Vere by an angry Henry de Vere?); and learned Jonson manages to brand Shakespeare with his scorn for all time, 'feeding' Shakespeare's foolish admirers with the ridiculously bloated outward show of praise in the encomium while educating discerning 'understanders'.

Francis Beaumont.

To my dear Friend,
Upon his FOX.

IF it might stand with Justice, to allow
the swift conversion of all follies; now,
Such is my Mercy, that I could admit
All sorts should equally approve the wit
Of this thy even work: whose growing fame
Shall raise thee high, and thou it, with thy name.
And did not manners, and my love command
Me to forbear to make those understand,
Whom thou, perhaps, hast in thy wiser doom
Long since, firmly resolv'd, shall never come
To know more than they do; I would have shown
To all the World, the Art, which thou alone
Hast taught our Tongue, the rules of time, of place,
And other rites, deliver'd, with the grace
Of Comick stile, which only, is far more,
than any English Stage hath known before.
But, since our subtile Gallants think it good
To like of nought, that may be understood,
Lest they should be disprov'd; or have, at best,
Stomachs so raw, that nothing can digest
But what's obscene, or barks: Let us desire
They may continue, simply, to admire
Fine Cloths, and strange Words; and may live, in Age,
To see themselves ill brought upon the Stage,
And like it. Whilst thy bold, and knowing Muse
Contemns all praise, but such as thou wouldst chuse.

At the front of his adaptation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, Dryden offers some dedicatory praise to the Earl of Sunderland - discussing excessive praise:

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROBERT EARL OF Sunderland, Principall Secretary of State, One of His Majesties most Honourable Privy Council, &c.

My Lord,
SInce I cannot promise you much of Poetry in my Play, 'tis but reasonable that I shou'd secure you from any part of it in my Dedication. And indeed I cannot better distinguish the exactness of your taste from that of other men, than by the plainness and sincerity of my Address. I must keep my Hyperboles in reserve for men of other understandings: An hungry Appetite after praise: and a strong digestion of it, will bear the grossnesse of that diet: But one of so criticall a judgement as your Lordship, who can set the bounds of just and proper in every subject, would give me small encouragement for so bold an undertaking.

Was Charles' lack of interest in Bolton's Academy because 'did not share his father's scholarly interests' or because he was not interested in formalizing an Academy that could decide against a Shakespeare?

Without the bounds and limits of decorum and Venting Monsters (aka Shakespearean abuses):

From The Cabanet Royal, Bolton, 1627

... The main pickt quarrel of htese imperfectlie, or counterfetly learned, is their pretended uncertaintie of historicall narrations, and because errours are sometime found in famous authors, they doe therefore neglect the whole studie. The same men notwithstanding, in manifest contradiction of themselves, are not afraide to averr, that it skills not whither historical narrations bee true of false. For lessons, & rules (say they) are as well to bee gather'd out of fabulous tales as true. Therefore truthe, and falshood in Historie being to them indifferent, it is neither the one not the other which is to them any reason either of their rejection or acceptance. Hence it follows (according to the doctrine of these base schooles) that AMADIS OF GALL is of equal profit & authoritie for the use of their dull speculations, as wither POLIBIUS, or any other of the antients. And assertion soe void of witt, and judgement, as is not to bee maintain'd with any patrons name whatsoever. For it is absolutlie contrarie to the common nature of man, which every way drawes to truthe as to a setling center. Therefore all sorts of tropes, and parabolical formes of speach, as all other fictions wither of persons, or of things, are for nothing else esteemed, nor are to bee esteemed by the wise, but as they aptlie resemble certaine well-wrought vails, and FIGUR'D COVERS of some profitable veritie, or other. The antient ETHNICKS had not any fairer defense for the poetical theologie, niether could they have.



This FIGURE that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle SHAKSPEARE cut,
Wherein the graver had a STRIFE
WITH NATURE, to out-doo the [deformed] life :

Jonson, Bartholomew Fair

...He is loth to make Na-

ture afraid in his Plays, like those that beget Tales, Tem-
pests, and such like Drolleries, to MIX HIS HEAD WITH OTHER
MENS HEELS; let the concupiscence of Jigs and Dances,
reign as strong as it will amongst you: yet if the Pup-
pets will please any body, they shall be entreated to
come in.

Cynthia’s Revels, Jonson (Act I, Sc. IV)

What! the well-dieted Amorphus become a Water-
drinker? I see he means not to write Verses
Aso. No, Crites? why?
Cri. Because —— Nec placere diu, nec vivere carmina
possunt, quæ scribuntur aquæ potoribus.
Amo. What say you to your Helicon?
Cri. O, the Muses well! that's ever excepted.
Amorphus. Sir, your Muses have no such Water, I assure
you; your NECTER, or the juyce of your Nepenthe is no-
thing to it; 'tis above your METHEGLIN, believe it.
Aso. Metheglin! what's that, Sir? may I be so audaci-
ous to demand?
Amo. A kind of Greek Wine I have met with, Sir, in
my Travels; it is the same that Demosthenes usually
drunk, in the composure of all his exquisite and MELLIFLUOUS Orations.
Cri. That's to be argued (Amorphus) if we may cre-
dit Lucian, who in his Encomio Demosthenis affirms, he
never drunk but Water in any of his compositions.
Amo. Lucian is absurd, he knew nothing: I will be-
lieve mine own Travels, before all the Lucians of Eu-
rope. He doth feed you with fittons, figments, and
Cri. Indeed (I think) next a Traveller, he do's pret-
tily well.
Amo. I assure you it was Wine, I have tasted it, and
from the hand of an Italian Antiquary, who derives it
authentically from the Duke of Ferrara's Bottles.

Bolton, The Cabanet Royal, con't.

True it is notwithstanding, that ARISTOTLE gives the poet place above the Historian, and upon ye same grounds soe doe I. ARISTOTLE preferrs the image which a great and a happie poet creates unto us of a noble work, or worthie, before the picture which a like great, or happie historian affordeth of the same, as it is conceived and understood to bee an act of witt. For the poet makes his representations according to their possible excellencie, whereas the Historian may not utter his, but according to their proper existencie. Therefore the Historians perogatives, faculties, & latitudes of exercise being for the thruthes sake much narrower then those of the poets, hee cannot but appeare ye lesse prince of the twoe. But so farr is this from a disparagement, that as those things which God cannot doe, because thay are contrarie to his divine nature, are not accompted impotencies in him, but perfections, soe that leave which the poet may take to faine, or falsifie what hee will, for the more beautie and grace of his poem, within the bounds and limits of decorum, being a high poinct of honor, and freedome as to him, and which the Historian my in now case dare to doe, is not rightlie called a defect of power in Historians, but the glorie of rule and order. This notwithstanding can not bee denyed, that a fabulous stories may bee so conceaved and written in imitation of a true one, &with that judgment and intention of the author, as it may greatly profit the reader, and not delight him only. Such is the most neat, chaste, and intricate AETHIOPIAN storie, written by HELIODORUS in Greek, when hee was a young man, which hee soe dearly esteemed in his age, that being afterwards made Bishop of TRICAE in THESSALIA, on NICEPHORUS reports hee rather made choice to renounce his pastoral staff, then to suppress that dramatical prose-work. Such also is that excellent piece of BARCLAYES Latin ARGENIS, and the immortal ARCADIA of English Sidney. Nevertheless none of them, nor ye like, can enter soe deepoly as if their arguments had the opinion of realitie. Add hereunto, that they enter not with any ripe reader at all, but as they resemble verities, and carry apparent shew of possibilities. For if they once come to fetch things out of ye clowds, or offer to vent monsters, away wee goe.

Nay much more safe and secure is the reading of ancient histories then of the moderne, because they are more remote from present sence, and interesses, which though perhaps they might oversway in the authors at the writing, yet come they to us as if impartial. Add herunto that antient histories doe much rather breed manhood, and martial spirit then the moderne commonly can, as in which for a great proportion the foxes degenerous part doth farr surmount the generous lions.


Horace, of the Art of Poetrie

transl. Ben Jonson

Rich men are said with many cups to plie,
And rack, with Wine, the man whome they would try,
If of their friendship he be worthy, or no:
When you write Verses, with your judge do so:
Looke through him, and be sure, *you take not mocks
For praises, where the mind conceales a foxe*.


Away wee [discerning readers] goe.

Bolton to Buckingham (accompanying picture St. George with a leashed/trashed dragon):

To my Lord.

Thus saith the picture. Wise and powrfull Peer,
Things worthiest to bee (...) vouchsafe to hear.
The knight who rides return'd, and mounted high,
His each hand fill'd with charge of victorie,
Sainct GEORGE'S there, &; hear his glorious own,
Arm'd at all poincts, and by his arms well known,
Figures heroick worth, heroick fame.
The conquer'd dragon, which hee leadeth tame,
Of barbarousnesse no barbarous symbol is;
Which thou, brave Lord, shalt cu(..) as hee doth this,
If thou shalt tread the fresh triumphal path,
Which to thine hand the Muse here beaten hath.
In th'azure circle of the Garters Skye.
Thou GEORG dooest shine, starr of prime quantitie:
And thou, and hee the self same arms do bear,
Saving this more, thou gowlden? shells doost rear.
Pilgrims of (warr?) that noble note implies,
Such as of old against heavens enimies,
Drew English blades in sacred Palestine.
Thy bloud then leads thee into acts divine:
And such is this. For what can rather bee
Then honors arts from spoil, and clowds to free?
Fair is the way, most fruictfull is the end,
And heaven concurreth with the king thy freind.
But if the times no such high wonder brook,
Thou in this glass upon my (vowes?) mayst look;
And this rich emblem shall a witness bee,
For what rare ends my sowl doth honor thee.

The RACE of Shakespeare's Mind and Manners:


Barbarian Errors – Performing Race in Early Modern England

Ian Smith

In the early modern period the concept of rhetorical barbarism –
the demonizing of the speech of the racial and cultural outsider –can
be understood as an attempt to control and protect the production and
circulation of specific images through the racializing function of
language. In an Erasmian theater of the mind, language has the power
to create vivid and persuasive images that can determine the chosen
identities of both an audience and a culture. Hence the need to
control this power and the proliferation of images places the
surveillance of language at the center of early modern concerns.
Othello’s speech acts constitute a performance of cultural whiteness,
adding his perspective on what it means to be a black man in this
culture and, in effect, contesting the dominant negative images of
blackness. Iago, the other agent in this cultural dialogue, counters
Othello’s narratives and attempts to contain Othello’s language by
rendering it barbarous. When, at the end of 4.1, Othello’s “sentences
become preposterous” and his “utterance breaks itself into fragments
and uncertainties,” in the language of Hoskins' _Directions_, the
question is no longer purely one of his mental instability’ rather
Othello’s linguistic collapse, engineered by Iago, is indicative of a
culturally pejorative barbarism. If the barbarian is deemed uneloquent
– if he cannot speak or speak well – then his narrative enargeia, his
ability to produce images within a cultural dialogue, is seriously
impaired and rendered rhetorically non-persuasive. The value of the
label “barbarian” or “barbarism” is to exclude the potentially
oppositional images of the outsider and the disruptive logic of his
PREPOSTEROUS sentence from legitimate circulation, preserving the
language of the host culture and its ability to produce its own images
of itself and others as authoritative and civilized. Shakespeare's own
use of racial reversals, a preposterous dramaturgy whose “barbaric”
force questions the supposed discreteness of racial categories,
stands as a neat metadramatic commentary on the urgency with which *Iago
deploys the notion of the Barbarian as a STRATEGY OF SUPPRESSION*.

Honest Ben/Honest Iago


Samuel Daniel: The Poet as Literary Historian

S. Clark Hulse SEL 19 (1979)

In Cleopatra (1594), his last new work dedicated to the Countess of
Pembroke, Daniel continues to balance a cyclical view of the
historical process against Continental literary models (Garnier and
Jodelle) and a progressive view of English letters. IN his preface he echoes the
Proem to the Faerie Queene to assert his place in a cultural movement,
based on a moral society, which seeks to rival the sweet style of Italy.

The Countess

Call'd up my spirits from out their low repose,

To sing of state, and tragick notes to frame...

And I ...May (peradventure) better please thy minde,

And higher notes in sweeter musique straine...

Now when so many pennes (like SPEARES) are charg's,

To chace away this TYRANT of the North:

GROSS BARBARISM, whose power growne far inlarg'd.,

*Was lately by thy valiant Brothers worth,

First found, encountred, and PROVOKED FORTH*...

Wherby great Sydney & our Spencer might,

With those Po-fingers being equaled,

Enchaunt the world with such a sweet delight,

That theyr eternall songs (for ever read,)

May shew what great ELIZAS raigne hath bred.

What musique in the kingdome of her peace.


Every Man Out of his Humour, Ben Jonson


'Tis strange! of all the creatures I have seen,
I envy not this BUFFONE, for indeed
Neither his fortunes nor his parts deserve it:
But I do hate him, as I hate the devil,


This figure that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle SHAKSPEARE cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With nature, to out-do the life :
O could he but have drawn his wit
As well in BRASS, as he has hit
His FACE ; the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in BRASS :
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture, but his book.


Bolton, Hypercritica
Among the greatest wants in our ancient Authours, are the wants of Art and Style, which as they add to the lustre of the Works and Delights of the Reader; yet add they nothing to the Truth; which they so esteemed, as they seem to have regarded nothing else. For without Truth, Art and Style come into the Nature of Crimes by Imposture. It is an act of high Wisdom, and not of Eloquence only, to write the History of so great, and noble a People as the Englsih. for the Causes of things are not only wonderfully wrapt one within the other, but place oftentimes far above the ordinary Reach's of human Wit; and he who relates Events, without their Premisses and Circumstances, deserves not the name of an Historian; as being like to him who numbers the Bones of a Man anatomized, or presenteth unto us the Bare Skeleton, without declaring the Nature of the Fabrick or teaching the Use of Parts. (Bolton, Hypercritica)



v 1: to put down by force or authority; "suppress a nascent
uprising", "stamp down on littering" "conquer one's
desires" [syn: stamp down, inhibit, subdue, conquer,

2: come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority;
"The government oppresses political activists" [syn: oppress,

3: control and refrain from showing; of emotions [syn: bottleup]

4: keep under control; keep in check; "suppress a smile"; "Keep

your temper"; "keep your cool" [syn: restrain, keep, keep
back, hold back]

5: put out of one's consciousness; in psychiatry [syn: repress]

From To the Deceased Author of these Poems (William Cartwright)

Jasper Mayne

...And as thy Wit was like a Spring, so all
The soft streams of it we may Chrystall call:
No cloud of Fancie, no mysterious stroke,
No Verse like those which antient Sybils spoke;
No Oracle of Language, to amaze
The Reader with a dark, or Midnight Phrase,
Stands in thy Writings, which are all pure Day,
A cleer, bright Sunchine, and the mist away.
That which Thou wrot'st was sense, and that sense good,
Things not first written, and then understood:

Or if sometimes thy Fancy soar'd so high
As to seem lost to the unlearned Eye,
'Twas but like generous Falcons, when high flown,
Which mount to make the Quarrey more their own.

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
In Thee Ben Johnson still HELD SHAKESPEARE'S QUILL:
A QUILL, RUL'D by sharp Judgement, and such Laws,
As a well studied Mind, and Reason draws.
Thy Lamp was cherish'd with suppolied of Oyle,
Fetch'd from the Romane and the Graecian soyle. (snip)


...Never did so much strength, or such a spell
Of Art, and eloquence of papers dwell.
For whil'st he in colours, full and true,
Mens natures, fancies, and their humours drew
In method, order, matter, sence and grace,
Fitting each person to his time and place;
Knowing to move, to slacke, or to make haste,
Binding the middle with the first and last:
He fram'd all minds, and did all passions stirre,
And with a BRIDLE guide the Theater.

Shackerley Marmion, Jonsonus Virbius

Jonson, on Shakespeare

He was (indeed) honest, and of
an open, and free nature: had an excellent
fancy; brave notions, and gentle expressions:
wherein he flowed with that facility, that
sometime it was necessary he should be
STOP'D: sufflaminandus erat; as Augustus said
of Haterius. His wit was in his own power;
would the rule of it had been so too."


Antoine Berman

A.W. Schlegel and Tieck, for example, translate Shakespeare faithfully but, as Rudolf Pannwitz has said, without going far enough 'to render the majestic barbarism of Shaekspearean verse' [Pannwitz 1947:192]. This barbarism in Shakespeare that refers to things obscene, scatalogical, bloody, short, to a series of verbal abuses...are aspects that the classical romantic German translation attempts to attenuate. It backs down, so to speak, before the Gorgon's face that is hidden in every great work. (Berman 1985: 93)

Perseus - figures heroic virtue - eg. Double Cube Room Wilton/ Jonson - Masque of Queenes


Trash \Trash\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Trashed; p. pr. &; vb. n.


1. To free from trash, or worthless matter; hence, to lop; to
crop, as to trash the rattoons of sugar cane. --B.Edwards.

2. To treat as trash, or worthless matter; hence, to spurn,
humiliate, or crush. [Obs.]

3. To hold back by a trash or leash, as a dog in pursuing
game; hence, to retard, encumber, or restrain; to clog; to
hinder vexatiously. [R.] --Beau. & Fl.


A Speech according to Horace. --Jonson


And could (if our great Men would let their Sons
Come to their Schools,) show 'em the use of Guns.
And there instruct the noble English Heirs
In Politick, and Militar Affairs;
But he that should perswade, to have this done
For Education of our Lordings; Soon
Should he hear of Billow, Wind, and Storm,
From the Tempestuous Grandlings, who'll inform
Us, in our bearing, that are thus, and thus,
Born, bred, allied? what's he dare tutor us?
Are we by Book-worms to be aw'd? must we
Live by their Scale, that dare do nothing free?
Why are we Rich, or Great, except to show
All licence in our Lives? What need we know?
More then to praise a Dog? or Horse? or speak
The Hawking Language? or our Day to break
With Citizens? let Clowns, and Tradesmen breed
Their Sons to study Arts, the Laws, the Creed:
We will believe like Men of our own Rank,
In so much Land a year, or such a Bank,
That turns us so much Monies, at which rate
Our Ancestors impos'd on Prince and State.
Let poor Nobility be vertuous: We,
Descended in a Rope of Titles, be
From Guy, or Bevis, Arthur, or from whom
The Herald will. Our Blood is now become,
Past any need of Vertue. Let them care,
That in the Cradle of their Gentry are;
To serve the State by Councels, and by Arms:
We neither love the Troubles, nor the harms.
What love you then? your Whore? what study? Gate,
Carriage, and Dressing. There is up of late
The ACADEMY, where the Gallants meet ——
What to make Legs? yes, and to smell most sweet,
All that they do at Plays. O, but first here
They learn and study; and then practise there.
But why are all these Irons i' the Fire
Of several makings? helps, helps, t' attire
His Lordship. That is for his Band, his Hair
This, and that Box his Beauty to repair;
This other for his Eye-brows; hence, away,
I may no longer on these PICTURES stay,
These Carkasses of Honour; Taylors blocks,
Cover'd with Tissue, whose prosperity mocks
The fate of things: whilst totter'd Vertue holds
Her broken Arms up, to their EMPTY MOULDS.

The New Inn - Jonson

Act I. Scene III.

Ferret, Host, Lovel.

HE'll make you a Bird of Night, Sir. Host. Bless you Child,
You'll make your selves such.
Lov. That your Son, mine Host? { En. Fra. (the Host speaks
to his Child o' the by.

Host. He's all the Sons I have, Sir. Lov. Pretty Boy!
Goes he to School? Fer. O Lord, Sir, he prates Latin
And 'twere a Parrot, or a Play-boy. Lov. Thou ——
Commend'st him fitly. Fer. To the pitch, he flies, Sir,
He'll tell you what is Latin for a Looking-glass,
A Beard-brush, Rubber, or Quick-warming Pan.
Lov. What's that? Fer. a Wench, i' the Inn-phrase, is all these;
{ A Looking-Glass in her Eye,
A Beard-brush with her Lips,
A Rubber with her Hand,
And a Warming-pan with her Hips.

Host. This, in your scurril Dialect. But my Inn
Knows no such Language. F. That's because, mine Host,
You do profess the teaching him your self.
Host. Sir, I do teach him somewhat. By degrees,
And with a Funnel, I make shift to fill
The narrow Vessel, he is but yet a Bottle.

Lov. O let him lose no time though. Hos. Sir, he do's not.

Lov. And less his manners. Hos. I provide for those, too.
Come hither Frank, speak to the Gentleman
In Latin: He is melancholy; say,
I long to see him merry, and so would treat him.
Fra. Subtristis visu' es esse aliquantulùm patri,
Qui te lautè excipere, etiam ac tractare gestit. Lov. Pulchrè.

Host. Tell him, I fear it bodes us some ill luck,
His too reservedness. Fra. Veretur pater,
Ne quid nobis mali ominis apportet iste
Nimis præclusus vultus. Lov. Bellè. A fine Child!
You wo' not part with him, mine Host? H. Who told you
I would not? Lov. I but ask you. Hos. And I answer,
To whom? for what? Lov. To me, to be my Page.
Host. I know no mischief yet the Child hath done,
To deserve such a destiny. Lov. Why? Ho. Go down Boy,
And get your Breakfast. Trust me, I had rather
Take a fair Halter, wash my Hands, and hang him
My self, make a clean riddance of him, than — Lo. What?
Host. Than damn him to that desperate course of Life.
Lov. Call you that desperate, which by a Line
Of Institution, from our Ancestors,
Hath been deriv'd down to us, and receiv'd
In a Succession, for the Noblest way
Of breeding up our Youth, in Letters, Arms,
Fair Mein, Discourses, civil Exercise,
And all the Blazon of a Gentleman?
Where can he learn to vault, to ride, to fence,
To move his Body gracefuller? to speak
His Language purer? or to tune his Mind,
Or Manners, more to the harmony of Nature,
Than in these Nurseries of Nobility? —

Host. I that was, when the Nurseries self was Noble,
And only Vertue made it, not the Market,
That Titles were not vented at the Drum,
Or common out-cry; Goodness gave the Greatness,
And Greatness Worship: Every House became
An Academy of Honour, and those Parts —
We see departed, in the Practice, now,
Quite from the Institution. Lov. Why do you say so?
Or think so enviously? do they not still
Learn there the Centaures Skill, the Art of Thrace,
To ride? or Pollux Mystery, to Fence?
The Pyrrhick Gestures, both to Dance and Spring
In Armour, to be active for the Wars?
To study Figures, Numbers, and Proportions,
May yield 'em great in Counsels, and the Arts
Grave Nestor, and the wise Ulysses practis'd?
To make their English sweet upon their Tongue!
As Rev'rend Chaucer says? Host. Sir you mistake,
To play Sir Pandarus my Copy hath it,
And carry Messages to Madam Cresside.
Instead of backing the brave Steed, o' Mornings,
To mount the Chambermaid; and for a leap
O' the vaulting Horse, to ply the vaulting House:
For exercise of Arms, a Bale of Dice,
Or two or three Packs of Cards to shew the Cheat,
And nimbleness of Hand: mistake a Cloak
From my Lords back, and pawn it. Ease his Pockets
Of a superfluous Watch. Or geld a Jewel
Of an odd Stone or so. Twinge three or four Buttons
From off my Ladies Gown. These are the Arts,
Or Seven liberal deadly Sciences
Of Pagery, or rather Paganism,
As the Tides run. To which, if he apply him,
He may, perhaps, take a degree at Tyburn,
A year the earlier: come to read a Lecture
Upon Aquinas at S. Thomas a Waterings,
And so go forth a Laureat in Hemp circle!
Lov. You're tart, mine Host, and talk above your seasoning,
O're what you seem: it should not come, methinks,
Under your Cap, this Vein of salt and sharpness!
These strikings upon Learning, now and then?
How long have you, (if your dull Guest may ask it,)
Drove this quick Trade, of keeping the Light-heart,
Your Mansion, Palace here, or Hostelry?

A fine new book by John Pemble of the University of Bristol discusses
the entire history of the French and their struggles to comprehend—
Shakespeare goes to Paris: how the Bard Conquered France—and provides
the following excerpt about Voltaire:

...Voltaire learnt with incredulity, and with growing rancour, of the

advance of the barbarian into France. In 1746 the first, selective,
translation of Shakespeare’s works appeared. Thirty years later the
whole dramatic canon was published in French — under royal patronage,
what is more. When he read the preface by Pierre Le Tourneur, the
chief translator, Voltaire was outraged. Le Tourneur claimed that
Aristotle would have rewritten his Poetics if he had lived to know of
Shakespeare’s work, which was greater than that of Sophocles or

‘If our water-carriers wrote for the theatre,’ retorted Voltaire,
‘they’d make a better job of it.’ The English demeaned themselves by
remaining attached to this clod-hopping primitive. ‘I still can’t
understand’, he wrote to d’Alembert, ‘how a nation which has produced
geniuses of taste and even delicacy, as well as philosophes worthy of
you, can carry on priding itself on that abominable Shakespeare, who,
if the truth were told, is nothing but a provincial clown.’

The growing infatuation with Shakespeare in France was an insult to
Corneille and Racine, the monarchs of the French theatre, and it was
an insult to himself, their acknowledged successor. Chafed vanity fed
the bile of old age, and he gnashed his toothless gums. ‘I’ve seen the
end of the reign of reason and taste’, he cried; ‘I shall die leaving
France barbaric!’ When he remembered that he was himself responsible
for this deplorable state of affairs, he beat his breast and tore his

What makes the whole thing even more calamitous and horrible is the
fact that I am the one who first mentioned this Shakespeare; It was I
who first revealed to the French the few pearls that I had discovered
in his enormous dungheap. Never did I expect that one day I’d be
helping to trample underfoot the crowns of Racine and Corneille so
that they could be set on the head of a barbaric barnstormer!


The Date and Evolution of Edmund Bolton's "Hypercritica"

Thomas H. Blackburn

...Bodleian MS Rawlinson D.1: this MS, in a hand unlike any of the others, consists of twenty small folio sheets bound in the center of a hard-covered MS book of blank pages. the MS of Hypercritica begins after the nineteenth blank folio and ends before the twentieth. The material included in the MS corresponds roughly to Addresses III and IV in MS wood F.9; this version, however, is labelled the 'Second and final Addresse," includes a lengthy table of contents, and has a final section entitled "The Mapp, or Table of Right Historie in her voyage to the Port of Glory from the Island of Acts"

Though Haslewood examined this MS when he included Hypercritica in his anthology of critical essays, he chose to print only a small part of it, the outline list of authors oto be followed for style. For the most part this list parallels that in the fourth Addresse of MS Wood F.9, but there is one notable addition: Shakespeare and Francis Beaumont are included, though Bolton suggests that the historian should be wary of imitating them: "Shakespeare, Mr. Francis Beaumont and innumerable other writers for the stage, and presse tenderly to be used in this argument.


English translation of Bolton's salute to Jonson in Volpone

To Each University, Concerning Benjamin Jonson.

This man is the first, who studying Greek antiquities and the monuments of Latin theatre as an explorer, by his happy boldness will provide the Britons with a learned drama: O twin stars favour his great undertakings. The ancients were content with praise of either [genre]; this Sun of the Stage handles the cothurnus [i.e. tragedy] and the sock [i.e. comedy] with equal skill: Volpone, thou givest us jokes; thou, Sejanus, gavest us tears. But is any lament that Jonson's muses have been cramped within a narrow limit, say, you [universities], on the contrary: 'O most miserable [people], who, though English, know the english language inadequately or know it not at all (as if [you were] born across the sea), the poet will grow with time, he will transform his native land, and himself become the English Apollo.' E. Bolton