Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Smoking Figure - Soraismus and Authorship

When discussing the topsy-turvy fate of the supremely eloquent Shakespeare it is important to remember the vexed reputation of eloquence in the early modern period. Like the famous spear of Achilles that could both kill and cure, eloquence had a sinister face. As a  force for the establishment of civil order, moral rectitude and communal values, eloquence was mythologized as a civilizing and life-giving power. Alternatively, disordered and ungoverned speech was understood to lead to civil confusion, political chaos and death.

Eloquent men had a moral and civic responsibility to use their powers of persuasion wisely and with discretion, and also, as masters of language, it was imperative that they recognize and restrain abuses of language to limit the dangers that such abuses posed to the civil body.


I HAVE often and deeply resolved this question in my mind, whether fluency of language has been beneficial or injurious to men and to cities, with reference to the cultivation of the highest order of eloquence. For when I consider the disasters of our own republic, and when I call to mind also the ancient calamities of the most important states, I see that it is by no means the most insignificant portion of their distresses which has originated from the conduct of the most eloquent men. But, at the same time, when I set myself to trace back, by the aid of written memorials and documents, affairs which, by reason of their antiquity, are removed back out of the reach of any personal recollection, I perceive also that many cities have been established, many wars extinguished, many most enduring alliances and most holy friendships have been cemented by deliberate wisdom much assisted and facilitated by eloquence. And as I have been, as I say, considering all this for some time, reason itself especially induces me to think that wisdom without eloquence is but of little advantage to states, but that eloquence without wisdom is often most mischievous, and is never advantageous to them.
If then any one, neglecting all the most virtuous and honourable considerations of wisdom and duty, devotes his whole attention to the practice of speaking, that man is training himself to become useless to himself, and a citizen mischievous to his country; but a man who arms himself with eloquence in such a manner as not to oppose the advantage of his country, but to be able to contend in behalf of them, he appears to me to be one who both as a man and a citizen will be of the greatest service to his own and the general interests, and most devoted to his country. (De Inventione, Cicero)

That Shakespeare was eloquent is beyond dispute. But were his linguistic displays consistently tempered with wisdom, discretion and self-restraint?

Not according to Ben Jonson. In his Discoveries Jonson commented upon some of the 'faults' of Shakespeare, mainly his inability to self-limit:

‘I remember, the Players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing, (whatsoever he penn’d) hee never blotted out line. My answer hath beene, Would he had blotted a thousand. Which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this, but for their ignorance, who choose that circumstance to commend their friend by, wherein he most faulted. And to justifie mine owne candor, (for I lov’d the man, and doe honour his memory (on this side Idolatry) as much as any.) Hee was (indeed) honest, and of an open, and free nature: had an excellent Phantsie; brave notions, and gentle expressions: wherein hee flow’d 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 owne power; would the rule of it had beene so too. 

Jonson's Discoveries is rife with advice about writing, and themes concerning the importance of self-restraint are presented repeatedly. The inability to self-limit is consistently represented as a vice. And apparently it is a vice that is contagious. Jonson informs us that Shakespeare's admirers ignorantly praised him for his serious 'faults' while wrongly rejecting Jonson's judicious comments as signs of ill-will.

Seneca - On Style as a Mirror of Character
Just as luxurious banquets and elaborate dress are indications of disease in the state, similarly a lax style, if it be popular, shows that the mind (which is the source of the word) has lost its balance. Indeed you ought not to wonder that corrupt speech is welcomed not merely by the more squalid mob but also by our more cultured throng; for it is only in their dress and not in their judgments that they differ. You may rather wonder that not only the effects of vices, but even vices themselves, meet with approval. For it has ever been thus: no man's ability has ever been approved without something being pardoned. Show me any man, however famous; I can tell you what it was that his age forgave in him, and what it was that his age purposely overlooked. I can show you many men whose vices have caused them no harm, and not a few who have been even helped by these vices. Yes, I will show you persons of the highest reputation, set up as models for our admiration; and yet if you seek to correct their errors, you destroy them; for vices are so intertwined with virtues that they drag the virtues along with them. 

Jonson also wrote of Shakespeare:

Many times hee fell into those things, could not escape laughter: As when hee said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him; Caesar, thou dost me wrong. Hee replyed: Caesar did never wrong, but with just cause: and such like; which were ridiculous. But hee redeemed his vices, with his vertues. There was ever more in him to be praysed, then to be pardoned.

(Quintilian censures those who over-affecting some virtue fall into the vice that borders that virtue. This will be resolved in Cynthia's Revels as the courtiers masque in virtuous habit and then are exposed as vicious. Amorphus, or Deformity,  masques as Eucosmos/elegance. James P. Bednarz in Shakespeare and the Poet's War states that 'revel' in early modern English could also signify 'drawing humours from the body'. Jonson represents the virtuous poet (Crites/Criticus) as purging the court of illegitimate humours/manners.

So if, according to Jonson, it was 'necessary' that Shakespeare should sometimes be restrained - how did this great literary critic participate in 'stopping' or restraining Shakespeare, or did he leave this 'sometime necessity' to others? Presumably Shakespeare understood Jonson's objections to his style and refused to mend his ways, since Jonson's Discoveries was published long after Shakespeare had died. So how could Jonson limit Shakespeare's influence on his age without incurring the charge of malevolence and the social and professional ramifications that such activities might entail. If honest criticism is rejected as ill-will, what's a judicious critic to do?

Certainly the extravagant praise of Shakespeare in the First Folio encomium 'To my Beloved Master' has contributed much to the magnification of Shakespeare's reputation; none of the critical shadows that appear in Jonson's prologues that task Shakespeare appear here, nor the serious critique of the Discoveries - a posthumously published book that might be thought to represent Jonson's last word on the state of his relationship with William Shakespeare. Yet what happened in the middle years? Entirely departing from his characteristically plain style Jonson appears to completely lose his mind in a frenzy of OTT admiration of Shakespeare.

Reading the passage from Cicero's De Inventione, I was struck by the word 'mischievous'. What would mischievous rhetoric sound like/look like? And then I recalled Ben Jonson's FirstFfolio encomium - or, more correctly, his mock-encomium. Here is Jonson's best 'Shakespearean' moment. Unrestrained poetry, extravagant, excessive;  high sounds untroubled by sense and fabulously figurative - rhetoric designed to thrill and inflame the hearts of the crowd by praising Shakespeare to the skies. On the face of it, this is praise that echoes that of the most star-struck and injudicious of Shakespeare's 'fans' - but this is also a piece that was crafted by a very judicious and discreet Humanist scholar. So I'll suggest that while reading Jonson's encomium we would do well to imitate Rabelais' Dog:

'in Imitation of the Dog it becomes you to be wise, to smell, feel, and value these goodly Books stuffed with lofty Matters, easy in the Pursuit and tough in the Encounter, and then by careful Reading and frequent Meditation to break the Bone and suck the substantial Marrow…(Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel)

If we read like a Humanist (and not a dense Beoetian!), cracking the exterior of Jonson's monstrous and grotesque flattery we find quite a different sense within. (Much of this I have already covered in this blog. e.g. the prevalence of sight and show over sound in the encomium, the undesirability of worthless popular praise, the suggestion of disease and contagion - 'To see thee in our Waters yet appear' and the suggestion of mountebankery - 'those flight upon the banks... that did so 'take' Eliza and our James.') Jonson might indulge in excessive figuration, but within his figures he does conceal 'matter', unlike extravagant authors whose excesses abuse the common sense of language for the sake of 'show'.

(Thou hast one to SHOW...) - Jonson's encomium

The First Folio encomium is a mischievous piece of writing. Follow its seeming path, attempt to navigate by its metaphors and you will certainly find yourself in a bog. When the First Folio was published, only a very few readers sympathetic to Ben Jonson (those he termed 'understanders') would have understood Jonson's rhetorical strategy. After his death, when the Discoveries were published, Jonson's true sense was laid open - clearly 'opening' the meaning of many passages and figures in the encomium and revealing the extent of the mock.

Long after Jonson's death, and following the death of his client William Cartwright, Jasper Mayne wrote of the dead Cartwright as 'holding' Shakespeare's quill. I believe that this is meant to be read in the sense of restraining or curbing Shakespeare's 'outlaw' pen and not in the bardolatrous sense of held/imitated.

To the Deceased Author of these Poems...William Cartwright 

by Jasper Mayne

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
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)

Presumably Mayne was one of the Jonsonian elect, one of those judicious 'understanders' - and he appears to allude to the fact that Jonson, and subsequently Cartwright, were successful in somehow restraining Shakespeare even though the form of that restraint is completely unrecognizable today.

Or, is it? Here is how William Cartwright eulogized his mentor Ben Jonson:

Cartwright, William, Jonsonus Virbius

...Blest life of Authors, unto whom we owe
Those that we have, and those that we want too:
Th'art all so good, that reading makes thee worse,
And to have writ so well's thine onely curse.
Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate
That servile base dependance upon fate:
Successe thou ne'r thoughtst vertue, nor that fit,
Which chance, and th'ages fashion did make hit;
Excluding those from life in after-time, 
Who into Po'try first brought luck and rime: 
Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: sty'ld name 
What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame 
Gathered the many's suffrages, and thence 
Made commendation a benevolence: 
THY thoughts were their owne Lawrell, and did win
That best applause of being crown'd within..

This lucid description of the Ben Jonson's character doesn't quite square with the breathless admirer of Shakespeare that appears in the First Folio. Not at all. And what about those whom Jonson 'excluded...from life in after time' - those whose fame Jonson blocked? Those authors who sound suspiciously Shakespearean in manner?

EDWARD DE VERE IDENTIFIED AS AMORPHUS - Jonson's Cynthia's Revels and the Cutting-Off of Vice:

In 1600 the Children of the Chapel performed a new play by Ben Jonson before the Royal Court. The play was originally registered as 'Narcissus the Fountain of Self-Love' and was published in 1601 under the title 'The Fountain of Self-Love, or Cynthia's Revels'. One of the plays of the Poetomachia, Cynthia's Revels contained a strong critique of the manners and representational practices of certain courtiers that inhabited Elizabeth/Cynthia's court while simultaneously promoting Jonson's classically informed values under the figure of Crites/Criticus. The play culminated in a royally sanctioned curtailment or 'cutting off' of vicious courtiers:

 Cynthia: Dear Arete, and Crites, to you two
We give the Charge; impose what Pains you please:
Remembring ever what we first decreed,
Since Revels were proclaim'd, let now none bleed.

This play has been discussed extensively as belonging to the group of plays that make up the Poetomachia, or Poets' War, but what has not been noticed (as far as I can tell) is that a line spoken by Amorphus, the ringleader of the 'vicious' courtiers, not only identifies him with the literary earl Edward de Vere but also serves to contextualize Jonson's criticisms of the 'airy forms' of a  fashionable 'knot of spiders' that inhabit Cynthia's Court.

 In the play, Amorphus, described by Jonson as 'the Deformed',  views the passing form of Crites/Criticus, and wonders aloud at Cynthia's apparent preference for the severe Jonson figure:

...And there's her minion, Crites: why his advice more than
Amorphus? Have I not invention afore him? Learning to better

These lines may have been somewhat infamous in contemporary literary circles as they had previously been selected by Puttenham in his Art of English Poesy as an example of the rhetorical vice soraismus, known in English as the mingle-mangle. That this line was spoken by the traveller and 'master of courtship' Ulysses-Politropus-Amorphus as self-description is unsurprising, since Jonson had already characterized Amorphus as the very figure of soraismus:

He that is with him is Amorphus
a Traveller, one so made out of the mixture and shreds
of forms, that himself is truly deform'd. (CR, Act ii, Sc. III)

In the world of the play, Amorphus' inability to perceive the viciousness inherent in his own self-description is a function of his own self-love, which blinds him to the rules of 'virtuous' or worthy composition; virtue in the world of the play being (irritatingly) coextensive with Jonsonian values and neoclassical practice.

The original author, or translator of the line 'And of an ingenious INVENTION, INFANTED WITH PLEASANT TRAVAILE.' was John Southern in his 1584 Pandora; and it was taken from a prefatory poem that had been dedicated to the 'honour' of Edward de Vere.  In 1589 Puttenham had singled out Southern, describing him as a 'minion', selecting this line and others as examples of the 'intollerable' vice of affectation (and plagiarism).

Puttenham, Arte of English Poesy:

...Another of your intollerable vices is that which the Greekes call SORAISMUS, and; we may call the [mingle mangle] as when we make our speach or writinges of sundry languages vsing some Italian word, or French, or Spanish, or Dutch, or Scottish, not for the nonce or for any purpose (which were in part excusable) but ignorantly and affectedly as one that said vsing this French word Roy, to make ryme with another verse, thus.

O mightie Lord or ioue, dame Venus onely ioy,
Whose Princely power exceedes ech other heauenly roy.

The verse is good but the terme peeuishly affected Another of reasonable good facilitie in translation finding certaine of the hymnes of Pyndarus and of Anacreons odes, and other Lirickes among the Greekes very well translated by Rounsard the French Poet, andapplied to the honour of a great Prince in France, comes our minion and translates the same out of French into English, and applieth them to the honour of a GREAT NOBLE MAN in ENGLAND (wherein I commend his reuerent minde and duetie) but doth so impudently robbe the French Poet both of his prayse and also of his French termes, that I cannot so much pitie him as be angry with him for his iniurious dealing (our sayd maker not being ashamed to vse these French wordes freddon, egar, superbous, filanding, celest, calabrois, thebanois and a number of others, for English wordes, which haue no maner of conformitie with our language either by custome or deriuation which may make them tollerable. And in the end (which is worst of all) makes his vaunt that neuer English finger but his hath toucht Pindars string which was neuerthelesse word by word as Rounsard had said before by like braggery. These be his verses.


Whereas the French word is enfante as much to say borne as a child, in another verse he saith.

Southern had employed the line to praise the noble substance and ingenious invention of his patron Edward de Vere, and presumably Amorphus' adoption of the phrase as self-description in the play implies that he is unable to to distinguish true praise from flattery:

From the Ode to Oxford in John Southern’s Pandora, The Music of the Beauty of his Mistress Diana.(1584)


No, no, the high singer is he
Alone that in the end must be
Made proud with a garland like this,
And not every riming novice
That writes with small wit and much pain,
And the (God’s know) idiot in vain,
For it’s not the way to Parnasse,
Nor it will neither come to pass
If it be not in some wise fiction
And of an ingenious INVENTION,
For it alone must win the laurel,
And only the poet well born
Must be he that goes to Parnassus,
And not these companies of asses
That have brought verse almost to scorn.

Curiously, the phrase appears in a recognizable but slightly abbreviated form in the 1601 Quarto (while Oxford was alive) - but does appear in full in the 1616 and 1640 editions of Jonson's 'Works'.

This line not only serves to identify the affected courtier Amorphus (The Deformed) with Edward de Vere (a traveller known for his predilection for foreign styles), but I will suggest that its deployment in Jonson's 'most Ovidian' play echoes Jonson's objections to a monstrous 'Shakespearean' style, linking the figures of Amorphus/Vere and William Shakespeare through a rhetorical figure of linguistic extravagance and disorder.

 The critical allusion to the figure Soraismus (and by extension Cacozelia) in Cynthia's Revels, its relevance to Jonsonian critiques of Shakespearean hybridity and (as I will argue) its embodiment in the figure of the First Folio's Droeshout engraving make it THE governing figure of the authorship problem. It also situates the authorship problem into the middle of a vexed debate over native and alien forms, natural and mixed forms, manly simplicity and honesty and effeminate affectation and deception; in other words, what form a 'virtuous' British national character should take and who deserved to rule. And when 'Shakespeare' becomes one of the foremost nobles of the kingdom and one of the Great Officers of the Queen, Jonson's rhetorical shifts at the front of Shakespeare's folio become not only understandable but also absolutely correct - for in classical rhetoric, one of the few instances that the use of figured language was acceptable is when one wishes to criticize a powerful man. The matter of criticism can then be safely concealed under cover of a Figure (see Quintilian Institutio oratoria 9.2.66/Demetrius _On Style_.)

Jonson, Cynthia's Revels (Act III.  Sc. IV.)

Arete, Crites.


Hat, Crites! where have you drawn forth the day?
 You have not visited your jealous Friends?
   Cri. Where I have seen (most honour'd Arete,)
The strangest pageant, fashion'd like a Court,
(At least I dream't I saw it) so diffus'd,
So painted, pyed, and full of Rainbow strains,
As never yet (either by time, or place)
Was made the Food to my distasted sense:
Nor can my weak imperfect Memory
Now render half the forms unto my Tongue,
That were convolv'd within this thrifty room.

Mos - singular latin - a will, way, habit, manner, fashion, caprice, humor
Mores (plural) -conduct, behaviour, manners, morals, character

Jonson P R O L O G U E. Every Man In His Humour

Thou Need make many Poets, and some such
As Art and Nature have not better'd much;
Yet ours, for want, hath not so lov'd the Stage,
As he dare serve th'ill Customs of the Age,
Or purchase your delight at such a rate,
As, for it, he himself must justly hate:
To make a child now swadled, to proceed
Man, and then shoot up in one beard and weed,
Past threescore years: or, with three rusty swords,
And help of some few foot-and-half-foot words,
Fight over 
York, and Lancasters long jars,
And in the Tyring house bring wounds to scars.
He rather prays, you will be pleas'd to see
One such to day, as other plays should be;
Where neither 
Chorus wafts you o're the seas,
Nor creaking Throne comes down, the boys to please;
Nor nimble Squib is seen, to make afeard
The Gentlewomen; nor roul'd Bullet heard
To say, it Thunders; nor tempestuous Drum
Rumbles, to tell you when the Storm doth come;
But Deeds, and Language, such as men do use:
And Persons, such as 
ComÅ“dy would chuse,
When she would shew an Image of the Times,
And sport with Humane Follies, not with Crimes.
Except, we make 'em such by loving still
Our popular Errors, when we know th' are ill.
I mean such Errors as you'll all confess
By laughing at them, they deserve no less:
Which when you heartily do, there's hope left, then,
You, that have so grac'd Monsters, may like Men.

Jonson, Dedication to Cynthia's Revels:
The Court.

Hou art a Bountiful and Brave Spring, and waterest all the Noble Plants of this Island. In thee thewhole Kingdom dresseth it self, and is ambitious to use thee as her Glass. Beware then thou render Mens Figures truly, and teach them no less to hate their Deformities, than to love their Forms: For, to Grace, there should come Reverence; and no Man can call that Lovely, which is not also Venerable. It is not Powd'ring, Perfuming, and every day smelling of the Taylor, that converteth to a Beautiful Object: but a Mind shining through any Sute, which needs no False Light, either of Riches or Honours, to help it...

Jenny C. Mann in 'Outlaw Rhetoric' discusses soraismus as a form of linguistic abuse, quoting from Quintilian's Institutio oratoria:

There is also what is called Sardismos, a style made up of a mixture of several kinds of language, for example a confusion of Attick with Doric, Aeolic with Ionic. We Romans commit a similar fault, if we combine the sublime with the mean, the ancient with the modern, the poetic with the vulgar, for this produces a monster like the one Horace invents at the beginning of the Ars Poetica:

Suppose a painter chose to put together
a man's head and a horse's neck,
and then added other limbs from different creatures.

She continues...'Only by preserving a pure Roman expression uncontaminated by dialect forms can one avoid producing a monstrous style made up of "limbs from different creatures, " added to a man's head on a horse's neck. Quintilian thus turns the centaur and other monsters into tropes for language unrestrained by proper boundaries. (Jenny C. Mann, Outlaw Rhetoric)

Burghley was famously disappointed in his cisalpine son-in-law, whom he perhaps alludes to in the following:

"Suffer not thy sonnes to pass the Alps, for they shall learn nothing there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism. And if by travel they get a few broken languages, that shall profit them nothing more than to have one meat served on divers dishes."


Straying Beyond Bounds - When the Shakespearean Will to Wander encounters a Jonsonian WILL TO CURTAILMENT:

While preparing this post I encountered an essay by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton for the first time. It almost seems written to order for my purposes but it was published in 2005 (perhaps it has just become available on the web.) In an essay titled ‘Shakespeare’s Extravagancy’ Tudeau-Clayton posits a ‘will to curtailment’ – an idea that I am going to adopt for Jonsonian aggression towards Shakespeare/Oxford and the resulting authorial confusion.

"Exemplifying then the emergent, bourgeois model of the exclusionary private singular self, as well as the linguistic and interpretative practices of a plain man in his plain meaning, the figure of Malvolio has also been taken, more specifically, to caricature Shakespeare’s principal contemporary critic and rival Ben Jonson. Promoting throughout his work the linguistic ideology of a plain man in his plain meaning together with the related ideas of a bounded, proper, private self and of proper authorial origin and ownership, Jonson’s explicit criticism of Shakespeare consists precisely in an expressed will to curtailment. Glancing perhaps at the figure of Malvolio Jonson records how the actors considered ‘malevolent’ his response to their praise of Shakespeare’s never blotting a line : ‘Would he had blotted a thousand’. He then goes on to reiterate and retrospectively justify this will to curtailment : ‘sometimes it was necessary he should be stop’d : … His wit was in his owne power ; would the rule of it had been so too’ (p. 584). Clearly Shakespeare was not sufficiently restrained or disciplined for Jonson who, later in these posthumously published notes, generalises the restraint requisite to good writing in terms of money management. At the close of a passage in which he has advised against excessive play or what he calls, significantly enough, ‘riot’ with figurative language, especially paronomasies, or play upon the letter, he sums up with : ‘There is a difference between a liberal and a prodigal hand’ (p. 623). Sounding rather like Polonius to Laertes Jonson here advocates an economic policy, and policing, of restrained expenditure, which is neatly illustrated by his use of a single metonymy — the hand — for the analogous economies of writing and money management. That Shakespeare’s hand tended towards the prodigal for Jonson is more specifically signalled in his portrait of Ovid in Poetaster, which alludes to Shakespeare as well as to Marlowe, and which may have provoked, or been provoked by, the caricatural representation of Jonson as Malvolio in Twelfth Night (produced, like Poetaster, in 1601). 

Jonson - Timber
{Topic 67}} {{Subject: AFFECTED language}}

DE VERE ARGUTIS. - I do hear them say often some men are not witty, because they are not everywhere witty; than which nothing is more foolish. If an eye or a nose be an excellent part in the face, therefore be all eye or nose! I think the eyebrow, the forehead, the cheek, chin, lip, or any part else are as necessary and natural in the place. But now nothing is good that is natural; right and natural language seems to have least of the wit in it; that which is writhed and tortured is counted the more exquisite. Cloth of bodkin or tissue must be embroidered; as if no face were fair that were not powdered or painted! no beauty to be had but in WRESTING and WRITHING our own tongue! Nothing is fashionable till it be DEFORMED; and this is to write like a gentleman. All must be affected and preposterous as our gallants' clothes, sweet-bags, and night-dressings, in which you would think our men lay in, like LADIES, it is so curious. 

Long after Elizabeth and long after the appearance of Jonson's Workes and Shakespeare's Book - in JONSONVS VIRBIVS, OR, THE MEMORIE OF BEN: JOHNSON Revived by the Friends of the Muses, William Cartwright makes an intriguing comment that suggests a politics of literary suppression - or an ultimately successful enactment of the Jonsonian 'will to curtailment':

Cartwright, William, Jonsonus Virbius

...Blest life of Authors, unto whom we owe
Those that we have, and those that we want too:
Th'art all so good, that reading makes thee worse,
And to have writ so well's thine onely curse.
Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate
That servile base dependance upon fate:
Successe thou ne'r thoughtst vertue, nor that fit,
Which chance, and th'ages fashion did make hit;
Excluding those from life in after-time, 
Who into Po'try first brought luck and rime: 
Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: sty'ld name 
What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame 
Gathered the many's suffrages, and thence 
Made commendation a benevolence: 
THY thoughts were their owne Lawrell, and did win
That best applause of being crown'd within..

In Cartwright's world, the anti-Shakespearean 'judicious theatre of one' reigns supreme, the apparent triumph of the emergent bourgeois model of the exclusionary private singular self described by Tudeau-Clayton. (That Hamlet quotes the intellectually elitist 'theatre of one' identifies him as a Prince that has been educated by a Humanist scholar, this was a favorite theme of Jonson's appearing at the front of his Workes (Horace/Horatio?) and one that is evident in Cynthia's Revels as Cynthia at times defers to the scholar Criticus/Crites. In other places I have suggested that Hamlet's private and secretive use of language (his Jonsonian 'inwardness') proves deadly for the court - most of whom live and die entirely unaware of the fact that Claudius has murdered King Hamlet.)

At his own death, William Cartwright would receive similar praise for enacting some manner of literary suppression, being explicitly figured as continuing to 'hold' or restrain Shakespeare's unruly quill after the manner of Jonson (corripio?):

To the Deceased Author of these Poems...William Cartwright 

by Jasper Mayne

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
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)

Tudeau-Clayton (con't.) -

Wandering across and blurring ‘proper’ boundaries, whether between English and not-English, or between literal and non-literal senses, the linguistic practices of the neologism and equivoque tend to the production of a mobile, impure, strange and extravagant hybrid vernacular, in short, what the purists, in their condemnations of the practice of neologism, call a gallimaufry, hodge-podge or mingle-mangle, three virtually synonymous figures which are used interchangeably to represent the ‘corrupt’ hybrid vernacular produced by the practice. The figure of the gallimaufry is, in addition, used of generically mixed cultural forms, as in ‘a tragy-call comedye or gallymalfreye’ (the first instance of the word recorded in the OED) — a mixing of ‘high’ and ‘low’ generic forms which Philip Sidney famously condemns as ‘mingling Kings and Clownes.’ As I have shown elsewhere, the figure of the gallimaufry is explicitly invoked in that notorious generic hodge-podge The Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff, who might be described as an embodiment of extravagancy in both the more and less modern senses of the word, and who is recurrently associated with the figure of the prodigal son, is said to love the gallimaufry. Still more relevant here, however, is John Lyly’s prologue to Midas (1592), in which he represents the ubiquitous practice of generically mixed cultural forms in terms of the culinary base of the figure of the gallimaufry — ‘what heretofore hath been served in severall dishes for a feaste, is now minced […] for a Gallimaufrey’ — and then proceeds to represent the instance which is to follow as ‘a mingle-mangle’, giving as his excuse that ‘the whole worlde is become a hodge-podge’.


Alas, 'tis true I have gone here and there
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new.
Most true it is that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love.

Jonson, ‘On Poet-Ape,’ Epigrams (1616), No 56.:
Poor Poet Ape, that would be thought our chief,
Whose works are e’en the FRIPPERY of WIT,
From Brokage is become so bold a thief
As we, the robbed, leave rage and pity it.
At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean,
Buy the reversion of old plays, now grown
To a little wealth, and credit on the scene,
He takes up all, makes each man’s wit his own,
And told of this, he slights it. Tut, such crimes
The sluggish, gaping auditor devours;
He marks not whose ‘twas first, and aftertimes
May judge it to be his, as well as ours.
Fool! as if half-eyes will not know a fleece
From locks of wool, or SHREDS from the whole piece.

('Ambisinister' Droeshout - sinister - wrong, perverse, bad, improper)

'Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemed,
When not to be, receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost which is so deemed
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing:
For why should others' false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No; -- I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
   Unless this general evil they maintain,
   All men are bad, and in their badness reign. 

Outlaw Rhetoric, Jenny C. Mann (con't.)

Puttenham's English term for soraismus, the "mingle mangle," aptly expresses the problematic of neologizing: the borrowing of foreign words enriches the English vernacular while also alienating that vernacular from itself. Earlier English rhetorics also describe soraismus as a linguistic "mingling": Richard Sherry defines the figure as "a mynglyng and heapyng together of wordes of diverse languages into one speche," and Henry Peacham likewise describes the figure as "a mingling together of divers Languages." Puttenham's English term further identifies the figure's  "heapyng" and "mingling" as a "mangling," a mixture that is also a mutilation or a disfigurement. The term "mingle mangle" also showcases English's unique ability to make compound words, what Sidney calls "happy...compositions of two or three words together." Peacham's Garden of Eloquence (1577) acknowledges the potential specificity of the figure to the English vernacular, observing that "some think wee speake but little English, and that our speech is for the most parte borrowed of other languages, but chiefely of the Latine, as to the Learned it is well knowne." This reference to how "some" might disparage the English vernacular as a mingled tongue indicated how linguistic mixing registers as a kind of disfigurement perpetuated by the English language in particular. It also suggests that soraismusc ould be construed as a figure for the mixed English vocabulary.

In fact, many sixteenth-century complaints about the growing impurity of the English vernacular draw on the language of the English soraismus. Sir John Cheke advocated the preservation of the vernacular from the "mingle mangle," explaining in a preface to Sir Thomas Hoby's translation of Castiglione's Courtier (1561) that "I am of this opinion that our own tung shold be written cleane and pure, unmixt and unmangled with borrowing of other tunges, wherein if we take not heed bi time, ever borowing and never paying, she shall be fain to keep her house as bankrupt." Ralph Lever's The Art of Reason (1573) criticizes those who "with inckhorne termes doe change and corrupt the [mother tongue] making a mingle-mangle of their native speache," while the preface to Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calendar (1579) similarly complains that writers who patch up "the holes [in our mother tongue] with peces and rags of other languages...have made our English tongue a gallimaufry or hodgepodge of al other speeches." Such comments often analogize a mingled English vocabulary to a mangled English nation, as we can see in the prologue to John Lyly's Midas (1592), which adopts the terms "mingle mangle" to deride the mixture of the native and the foreign in the English nation. The prologue explains that "Trafficke and travell hath woven the nature of all Nations into ours and made this land like a Arras, full of devise, which was Broadecloth...Time hath confounded our mindes, our mindes the matter; but all commeth to this passe, that what heretofore hath been  served in severall dishes for a feast, is not minced in a charger for a Gallimaufrey. If wee present a mingle-mangle, our fault is to be excused, for the whole worlde is become a Hodge-podge." These passages liken the mingled stock of the English vernacular to a bankrupt borrower in debt to foreign tongues, a plain garment patched with foreign fabric, and a mishmash of food served in a single dish. Such formulations identify the English vernacular - and in Lyly's case, the nation and even  the "whole worlde" - as soraismus, or the "mingle mangle."


I just came across this post and thought I would elaborate.  For the most part, the "dunghill fowl" was a mutt, however, in New England the "mutt" seems to have a very distinct look to it (more than likely coming from a mix of a few different breeds of chicken that came over from England) .  I have been researching this for the better part of a year and, from primary source descriptions, archaelology digs, and paintings, I plan to recreate the look of the "New England Dunghill Fowl" to be used by museums and historical presentations that we put on.  We have some 1st generation crosses now that we are working with.
-- Edited by vnsseed - 2/22/12 at 11:49am

(added to blog  12 Sept 2017)
 Modern Language Notes, November 1951
Allan G Chester

John Soowthern's Pandora and Othello

On his arrival at Cyprus, Othello greets Desdemona with, "o, my faire Warriour." In a note which appeared first in 1793, Steevens called attention to Ronsard's frequent application of the term guerrieres to his mistresses, and added, "Southern [sic], his imitator, is not less prodigal of the same appellation." Citing three instances from "Southern" Steevens concluded: " Had I not met with the word thus fantastically applied, I would have concluded that Othello called his wife a warrior, because she had embarked with him on a warlike expedition..."
As poetry Pandora is deplorable. It is difficult to believe that Shakespeare would have read beyond the first page. But the possibility that he had glanced through the book is further supported by the occurrence of the word orgulous, which the editors have found only once(4) in English between Skelton and Troilus and Cressida.
footnote 4 In William Wyrley's The True Use of Armorie (1592). Steevens seems to have missed the word in Pandora.
footnote 5 I have hesitated to add the fact that a passage in Soowthern's first Ode affirms that "Marbles (all be they so strong)' are less durable than poetry to commemorate an immortal name - that of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who is here addressed. The similarity of the idea to that of Shakespeare's 55th Sonnet is perhaps entirely accidental.


Jonson, Timber

Decipimur specie. - There is a greater reverence had of things remote or strange to us than of much better if they be nearer and fall under our sense. Men, and almost all sorts of creatures, have their reputation by distance. Rivers, the farther they run, and more from their spring, the broader they are, and greater. And where our original is known, we are less the confident; among strangers we trust fortune. Yet a man may live as renowned at home, in his own country, or a private village, as in the whole world. For it is VIRTUE that gives glory; that will endenizen a man everywhere. It is only that can naturalise him. A NATIVE, if he be vicious, deserves to be a stranger, and cast out of the commonwealth as an alien.

Davenant - 'This Clouded Text' -

With a host of furious fancies
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end::
Methinks it is no journey. (Tom O'Bedlam)