Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sonnet 121

While looking for typos in my proposed second book (I intend to publish digitally before Christmas 2014) explicating the Sonnets, erroneously ascribed to the Stratfordian, William Shakspere, but actually written by Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland (1576-1612), I revisited this sonnet, 121, significant for its historical veracity, attested by some indisputable anagrams. It is generally considered- particularly by captious Stratfordians - that one can prove anything by anagrams; but one cannot, for letters do not behave with the same predictability as numbers. Anagrams are very difficult to solve. The following analysis of sonnet 121 contains two historically significant anagrams, in lines 12 (20 letters) and 14 (12 letters) respectively. As a challenge, try to spot and solve them. The solutions appear in the particular line glosses.
Sonnet 121
TIS better to be vile than vile esteemed,
When not to be, receives reproach of being,
And the iust pleasure lost, which is so deemed,
Not by our feeling, but by others seeing.
For why should others false adulterat eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies;
Which in their wils count bad what I think good?
Noe, I am that I am, and they that levell
At my abuses, reckon up their owne,
I may be straight though they them-selves be bevel
By their rancke thoughtes, my deedes must not be showne.
   Unlesse this generall evill they maintaine,
   All men are bad and in their badnesse raigne.
Necessary to explication of the poem is a memo about The School of Night. The following notes are taken from from various sources… (Judith Cook: Simon Forman, A Most Notorious Physician, Chatto and Windus, London, 2001): “... a loose club or gathering of scientists, mathematicians, astrologers, astronomers and writers, who met under the joint aegis of Sir Walter Ralegh and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, nicknamed ‘the Wizard Earl’. It was known as the School of Night…  Rumours of what might lie behind Marlowe’s death (1593) added to the general climate of fear. Shortly afterwards Cecil announced that he would be setting up a formal inquisition to look into the School of Night, its membership and Ralegh’s involvement with it. Ralegh would always arouse strong feelings; he was described on the one hand as ‘the best hated man in the world in Court, City or country’ and on the other as ‘this beautiful daemon’. Whatever were the real reasons for setting up the inquisition, members of the School felt themselves to be under attack… There is, however, less mention of spirit-raising and meetings of inner circles at this time, possibly because in March 1594 Sir Robert Cecil finally set up his Inquisition into the activities of the School of Night. It was held at Cerne Abbas, close to Ralegh’s country home, the reason being that there had been complaints about the supposedly scandalous goings on at Sherborne Old Castle whenever the members of the School met there for a few days. Its main object was to examine the accusations made against Ralegh and his ‘damnable crew’. The statements of some of the witnesses who gave evidence bear a remarkable resemblance to what was alleged of Marlowe in Baines’s note: that Hariot denied the resurrection; that Thomas Allen, Lieutenant of Portsmouth Castle and a devout Catholic, had been seen to tear pages out of the Bible to dry tobacco on and had made lewd jokes about Moses and concubines; that Ralegh himself had instigated a blasphemous discussion on the nature of the soul and had invited Dr Dee along to perform experiments in alchemy and occultism [paper published by the Hakluyt Society 1848…]. DorothyWraight: (A.D. Wraight: Christopher Marlowe and Edward Alleyn, Adam Hart (Publishers), London, 1993): “… the portrait of Tamburlaine may have been partly inspired by his (Marlowe’s) admiration for Sir Walter Raleigh…Perhaps it was Marlowe’s admiration for Raleigh that gave him the entrée to Raleigh’s ‘little academie’ or School of Night, for he puts into the mouth of Tamburlaine words that reflect the aspiring minds of these ardent seekers after knowledge infinite”. Samuel Schoenbaum (Shakespeare’s Lives, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991 (First published, 1971)): “on ... Frances Yates’s A Study of ‘LLL’ (1936)… She sees Shakespeare as setting out in life as a pedagogue; not, pace Aubrey, in a country grammar school but, rather, in some secret Catholic foundation like the one run by Swithin Wells at Monkton Farleigh. Alternatively, he may have served as a tutor in the house of a Catholic nobleman, Southampton  - Dover Wilson’s suggestion – being a good bet. In any event Shakespeare early came within the Southampton ambience and met Essex and his two brilliant sisters, as well as Sidney’s relations and friends. Thereby hangs a topical tale. In LLL the dramatist sided with the Essex-Southampton faction against their political rival Ralegh, to whose set Chapman was poet-in-chief… So far Yates offers no startling insights. (Nothing so original as, for example, Janet Spens’s suggestion a few years earlier that in the original production Southampton acted the King, and Essex played Berowne [it was probably Rutland himself, the real author of the play]. But Yates goes on to propose that Sh. in this comedy defends Lady Penelope Rich – Essex’s sister and Sidney’s Stella – from indirect attacks, anti-Petrarchan in nature, made by the great Copernican and friend of Florio, Giordano Bruno, in his eroci furari. In LLL Berowne’s name [Beruno and Berowne: what was Sir Philip Sidney’s connection with Bruno?  Elizabeth, his daughter, knew of the connection. Here is proof of Rutland’s authorship as Elizabeth was to become his Countess.] and some of his characteristics, especially his predilection for astronomical metaphors and his combination of anti-feminism with a high-minded philosophy of love, are deliberately intended to recall Bruno to the spectators [a private audience?]. Sh. also comes gallantly to the defence of Essex’s other sister, the unhappily mated Countess of Northumberland, lately defamed by her husband (a member of the School of Night) in an unpublished essay ‘On the Entertainment of a Mistress Being Inconsistent with the Pursuit of Learning’. Yates brought the manuscript to light at the Public Records Office. Both essay and play took their immediate inspiration from the Christmas 1594-5 Grays Inn Revels, which the Essex group planned against the Ralegh group. Sh., who attended the Revels along with the various partisan lords and their ladies, sided with the former [Essex, et al], Northumberland with the latter. Such condensed summary of the argument fails to do justice to Yates’s abstruse and eccentric scholarship. The upshot of it all reinforces her initial persuasion that LLL expresses ‘the spirit of aristocratic faction’. While no doubt congenial to those whose pulses quicken at mention of the haut monde [a cheap hit at the ‘snobbery’ of the heretic], this esoteric reading of the play must spring from a curious notion of the nature of drama [the late Professor Schoenbaum at his most evasive])”.
            The heart of LR’s scorn here in 121 is that those who embrace the doctrine of original sin (Adam and Eve’s eating of the Forbidden Fruit, with loss of Eden) as granting carte blanche to project their own greater sins upon those committing lesser sins, are hypocrites – hence his scorn. But our beloved poet – after his confessions of promiscuous sexual ‘ranging’ of 110, 111, 117 et al – is on dubious ground. It seems that his vehement recriminations in this poem have been occasioned – despite his mitigating generalizations – by the animadversions of members of the School of Night (known antagonists of the Essex Circle – luninaries also Southampton and LR himself ), whom LR alludes to with anagrams which are inescapably cogent. Similarly he refers cryptically to detractors in ‘Wiltshire’, no doubt a reference to Wilton House, near Salisbury, the great stone house that the Earl of Pembroke’s grandfather had built; and it was here at Wilton House on the 2nd of December, 1603, that Shakespeare’s company acted for James Stuart the first play – As You Like It - he is known to have seen in England. The Earl of Pembroke was Rutland’s cousin, and therefore Pembroke’s mother, Mary, Countess of Pembroke, was his aunt, and Sir Philip Sidney his (Rutland’s) dead father-in-law (as Rutland had married his daughter, Elizabeth). William and Philip (Pembroke and Montgomery) were probably honouring a promise made to the Countess of Pembroke (if not to LR himself – more likely, as Mary was a supporter of classical drama and the unities) to supervise the publication of the collected plays of her nephew, Roger Manners, fifth Earl of Rutland. It is very revealing that LR should feel censure in Wilton House – those who ‘count bad what I think good’ – for they were relatives and admirers of his genius. It very likely accentuates the headlong nature of his sexual ranging. The conclusion is that his lifestyle at this period left him open to scorn and detraction; and in this poem he confronts his ‘enemies’. He still was under a cloud apropos the Essex Revolt, for much contumely was unfairly (unpack or the axe the threat) visited upon him when compelled to confess matter relating the plot and complotters – all this, plus a mountain of psychological pain and the very probable threat of early death from syphilis. The darkened mood of his post-1601 plays expresses his titanic struggles with suffering. Mercifully, for posterity, his therapy remained cathartic. There is abundant evidence throughout the Sonnets of our beloved poet’s conflicted condition; its attempted resolution their very raison d’être.
1 LR immediately confronts us with a paradox, depending upon the semantic acceptation of ‘better’, for the line (1) can mean: ‘It is braver to be sinful than to be judgemental of another’s sin’, or, ‘It is better to be actually vile (though innocent) than to be falsely contemned’. There are other variations commenting upon appearance and reality and the universal weakness of projecting our sins/ problems/ moods/ vagaries upon others – the basic theme(s) of  the poem. In line 2-14 LR attempts an explanation.
2  When not to be  when not to be vile/ vilely sinful.  receives reproach of being  actually being accorded the condemnation of vileness (being vilely sinful) whether deserved or not.
3  And the just pleasure lost  and the pleasurable purpose negated. Adjective ‘just’ = upright, with phallic meaning: that, for LR, the (innocent) pleasure of anally receiving upright penis is tainted by stigmatization as deviant, which is so deemed
4  Not by our feeling  ‘our feeling’ suggests the loving addressee (and upright buck), but who is he?   but by others seeing  implying ‘other critical eyes’ of those who would pollute innocent ‘feeling’ with their own contaminate lust.
5  others false adulterat eyes LR imputes hypocrisy to condemning critics who ‘perceive’ sinfulness in others while neglecting their own sin of adultery. Such people and their judgements are ‘false’. Adjective ‘adulterat’, lacking the usual terminal e, is – on OED’s evidence – rare; and it anagrams ‘dual treat’, which is what the bigot enjoys – his perceiving of sin in others while conceiving himself sinless.
6  salutation  greeting; with suggestion of the avidity for schadenfreude (pleasure derived from another’s misfortune).  my sportive blood  (a) my sexual susceptibility; (b) my sexual ranging.
7  my frailties  the temptation to heed my ‘sportive blood’ (6); and, perhaps, it is no coincidence that ‘frailties’ anagrams ‘tail fires’, defining the ardent anal weakness of our poet.  frailer spies  critics whose sexual vulnerabilities are greater (even) than mine.
8  their wils  ‘will’ = sexual desire; libido. The phrase anagrams ‘Wiltshire’, and is a likely covert allusion to detractors there: see Hn. above and line 12n. below. His aunt by marriage, Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, of Wilton House, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, was known to be a sportif afficionado of foreign Spas.  count bad what I think good?  indulge in sexual double-think, approving their own ‘adulterat’ libidos as excusable while condemning my ‘innocent’ ‘sportive blood’ (6). The critical comments upon the denizens of Wilton House rests on the anagram; but, often, it is the folk nearest to us who are the most censorious.
9  I am that I am  (a) I cannot change my nature/ psychology/ the person Fortune has created; (b) I will not dance to a hypocrite’s tune.  they that levell  they that aim (a metaphor from the gunner’s projected aim)
10  At my abuses  at the weaknesses (frailties (7)) of ‘my sportive blood’ (6). Line 9’s terminal ‘levell’ ends with double l, while 11’s ‘bevel’ presents no eye-rhyme,  LR’s preference; and 9-10’s ‘levell/ At my abuses’ anagrams ‘evaluate by smells’ (suggestsing ‘levell’ a factitious flag), describing rottenness, the putridity of hypocrite’s prejudice.  reckon up their owne  by discharging their animadversions they project their sinfulness, their ‘dual-treat adulteries (see 5n.) upon me’.
11  The line probably presents a moral  judgement under an heraldic metaphor, for a bevel is a zigzag upon a straight line: LR asserts that he is guilelessly direct (straight), neither abusing nor aspersing anyone, while his abusive ‘levellers’ are crooked (bevel): he is unabashedly ‘sportive’; his enemies are cheats, abusing themselves (and this self-abuse he wittily develops in a mordant couplet joke).
12-14  Apart from the anagrammatic reference to Wiltshire (from ‘their wils (8)), LR ’s animadversions have been general. In these lines he gives cryptic locus and ‘definite’ identities to his enemies. Line 12’s their rancke thoughtes  anagrams ‘the treacherous knight’ (Sir Walter Ralegh; and 14’s all men are bad yields ‘damnable Earl’ (Northumberland), reprising Sir Robert Cccil’s allusion to Raleigh’s ‘damnable crew’; 12’s must not be shown  anagrams ‘must show one bent’ (with play on 11’s ‘bevel’, the crooked hypocrisy of others false adulterat eyes (5): i.e. because they are crooked, they are programmed to project their warped thinking upon others. Line 13 is wittily sardonic for this generall evill (13) (with four ls) yields ‘all-night reveilles’, or, ‘all-night revellies’; and OED gives for revielle n. a. ‘A morning signal given to soldiers, usually by beat of drum or by bugle, to waken them and notify that it is time to rise’. The ironic joke is that they are kept sexually ‘risen’ all-night; and though the earliest OED quotation is 1644, LR’s usage – among a series of brilliant anagrams – seems very cogent: the wit and joke is very Rutlandian.  [Unlesse this generall evill] they maintaine ‘maintaine’: n. OED Latin phrase manu tenere lit. ‘to hold in one's hand' (manu abl. of manus hand; tenere to hold); 12a To uphold... ‘Unlesse this all-night rising they uphold...’: LR disparages his calumniators not merely as wankers but as all-night afficionados.  all men are bad  anagrams ‘dammable Earl’, reprising Sir Robert Cecil’s aspersion of Raleigh’s ‘damnable crew’ (members of the School of Night).  and in their badnesse raigne  badnesse’: decr. base ends. (‘ends’ = penises, but also purposes, aims).  raigne: an extremely witty conflation of three meanings: ‘to rain’ (precipitation), ‘to reign’ (to predominate), ‘to raigne’, (which OED does not gloss as a verb; but our poet obviously extends the noun in the phrase, ‘running of the raines’: a genito-urinary discharge, as in gonorrhoea); and since the overall meaning of the couplet is that his detractors are contemptible specimens, there is the added irony that, despite their all-night upholding of their manhood risers, they cannot produce a healthy ejaculation, only a diseased discharge, our poet’s climactic answer to their obloquy; with an historico-evidential envoi: “So that all-night revellies they maintaine,/The damnable earl effects their base ends raigne”.

Monday, 18 March 2013

In my Description I refer to my ill-luck in attempting to get my book, Let Shakspere Die!, published by mainstream publishers.  I had to pay to get it published.  It did not surprise me.  “Shakespeare” is a big industry.  Little is known about the Stratfordian, and it is relatively easy to write a book about him because literary criticism accepts any amount assumptive nonsense: it is ‘Shakespeare’, the name, that sells the books.  When I read John Michell’s book, Who Wrote Shakespeare, in 1995, I became strongly convinced – even on the brief evidence the author presents for the candidature of Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland – that the chief evidence against him – his necessary prodigy (1576-1612) – marked him out for me as the likely author, for I had long thought that his early work was that of a gifted teenager amazed at his own poetic facility, positively euphoric amid a cascade of irridescent words and rhymes.  Mid-book (135 I think) Michell alludes to anagrams being a popular pastime, which made me feel as though punched in the belly, for when I had entered the University of Keele as a mature student (26), I was very excited when I found in the back of C.J. Sissons’s The Complete Works tributary verses to Sh.  My excitement was occasioned by my conviction that, because I had found the King James Bible so sonorously beautiful, that all people of the Elijean[1] age would speak and write poetry.  But, how quickly was my enthusiasm dashed.  I found them uniformly eccentric – grotesque even – confusing and bathetic.  And then, reading Michell’s reference to anagrams, the penny dropped: probably all the tributary verses were anagrams, and not praising Sh. at all!  Very quickly I found that Hugh Holland’s sonnet, line 6, read: ‘Turn’d all to teares’, and anagrammed: ‘Relates to Rutland’, with a coincidence of 1 in 11,115,232,128,000 (11 million plus, I think).  Later, I found three very long anagrams in the tributary verses, one of 72 letters, all proving that the real subject of the verses was Rutland, not Sh.  There are a great many anagrams in the Preliminary Matter to the First Folio (the tributary verses a part thereof) yet to be discovered.
         As I progressed in my SAP studies, I would send material to the Folger Library, just to amuse them; and I am sure that they considered me a harmless crank (Samuel Schoenbaum, a late guru of Orthodoxy, averred that all heretics were ‘cranks with theories’).  But I was confident I would solve it for, with that one anagram, I had.  When the time came for me to enlighten the Secretary and the Board of the Folger Library, I posted among a few articles, the article below: ‘But Me No Buts’, an incontrovertible proof of the authorship of Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland.  I got this reply from the Secretary (12 March 08): ‘Our Editorial Board has recommended against publication of your essays, “Aristo Strife” and “Further to Rollins” (I had already had ‘But Me No Buts’ rejected).  It is our belief that the authorship question has long been settled by the weight of solid historical evidence and sound scholarship, and that we are not interested in publishing material that seeks to re-open it.  Thank you for your interest in SQ [Shakespeare Quarterly].  I still believe that the letter was essentially strategic, in that they wished not to have the status quo disturbed. It reminded me of that excellent film, The Insider (with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino), in particular when the Seven Dwarfs swore on oath before Congress: “I do not believe that nicotine is addictive”, when they had in fact added ammonia to the tobacco to make it even more addictive.
        I sent copies of my book, Let Shakspere Die!, to several scholars, and received a reply from only one, Diana Price (author of Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography), who is not really an Orthodox writer at all for, like a great predecessor, Sir George Granville Greenwood, she writes works proving that Sh. could not possibly have been the author of the canon.  From the Orthodox I received but a reverberate silence.  But I was not surprised.  I had criticised them, accusing them of complacency, equivocation and mendacity, likening them to prisoners in a black hole who mistake their anoxia for the divine afflatus.  This is not as extreme as you might think: most of the argument for Sh. is assumptive[2]: read Diana Price and Sir GGG.
        Another reason I was impelled to a Blog is that I shall be 78 in May and I have prostate cancer.  I have been given a good prognosis.  The weight and worry has been – and remains – that I shall die suddenly and the work in progress be lost; and, in effect, I am presenting this material in a Blog to pray in aid all the help I can get (especially consultations of conscience of publishers).  Recently, I have been given great encouragement from an unexpected source – my nephew in Perth, Australia, Mr David Dutton jnr (David, snr is my brother).  He is the first person that I know to have read it and, he has started it again!  I can quite see my getting it published in Oz – ‘A publisher once there in Ozz/ Was noted for raising his schnozz/ At heretical type/ He considered but tripe/ Laying him flat, no pulse and quite frozz’.
        Here are two sonnets, the first entitled ‘Rod in More Titty’, for Rutland is in hilariously obscene form.  It is a species of Puzzle Poem, which I am convinced that our poet read to a coterie of friends for their ‘solution’ and, thereby, their entertainment.  The second is the very first of several ‘King James’ sonnets in which the monarch is burlesqued.  I use a word of (I believe) my own coinage – risotherapy: healing by means of laughter, from Latin risere to laugh.


Rod in More Titty

Sonnet 65

Since brasse, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundlesse sea,
                        But sad mortallity ore-swaies their power,
                        How with this rage shall beautie hold a plea,
                        Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
                        O how shall summers hunny breath hold out,
                        Against the wrackfull seidge of battring dayes,
                        When rocks impregnable are not so stoute,
                        Nor gates of steele so strong but time decayes?
                        O fearefull meditation, where alack,
                        Shall times best Iewell from times chest lie hid?
                        Or what strong hand can hold his swift foote back,
                        Or who his spoile or beautie can forbid?
                           O none, unlesse this miracle have might,
                           That in black inck my love may still shine bright.

 Another Puzzle Poem to be shared with close friends.  Francis Meres alluded[3] to the ‘mellifluous’, ‘hony-tongued’, ‘sugred Sonnets’: they are – covertly - disjunctive, obscene, subversive, et al - – Rutland’s sonnets were read ‘among his private friends’, for there is cogent textual evidence in his collection, 65 but one. It is very likely that the members of the group read from scriveners’ copies.  One can imagine Rutland presiding with ebullient comedic input.  After the Essex Revolt, when he was imprisoned in the Tower, it was reported[4] that our poet was “much missed at Court”.  The tit-ride theme, with anagrammic tit-related wit, may suggest that the addressee is not King James; but the suggested ‘miracle’ of the couplet strongly indicates the putative betterment of what is modest (the King’s cocklet and its performance), with the climactic envoi that the addressee – culo-lodged – ‘may still (ever) shine bright (poke away, cocklet quite resurgam)'. There are sixteen sets of double consonants, but, what their significance?  Eight of the sixteen are double ls – and therefore ironically phallic -  three ss, and one each of e, m, n, o, and t.  What his purpose is defeats me: any ideas?  He might in some way be burlesquing Hasty (King) Jim.  Perhaps their doublings are meant to indicate the desiderated doubling of amorous effort (of the royal love-stick) lacking in the King.  The four quatrains are expressed interrogatively: marks at 4, 8, 10 and 12; the questioning a preparation – and heightening (an apt felicity) – of line 13’s ‘miracle’.  Indeed, the classical Ovidian analogy acts as fantasy does in the best jokes: the more outlandish, the funnier. [A joke using fantasy has perennial surprise: “Tired with all these I betook myself on a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps.  It was August, and even when three miles up, the very air a cooling tonic, like the fragrant farewell of a vintage Reisling with a gentian farewell, the scenery encompassing, its poetry dramatic-dark, tinged with danger. Finding myself on a narrow pass, a three-mile drop beetling down to Darmstadt, I had scarce adjured myself to be specially careful, when an apparition of long-legged beauty slid round the narrow corner ahead, sun-kissed blonde hair adrift like Galatea's redder mop, bronze thighs rippling, blue eyes smiling, corsage provocative, somewhat amused at my wide-eyed rapture, for, truly, I didn’t know whether to toss myself off or to block her passage!”  This joke, unforgettably delivered by Max Miller, one of our bravest bawdy comedians, epitomizes the effect that Rutland chiefly sought – that divine communion wherein all evil and misfortune are forgotten, when the God of laughter enfolds us in blessed nonentity.]
2  mortallity:  a compound conceit: i.e ‘all’ (= penis: see 2.5,6; 15.13, et al) in ‘mort-ity’, a tit-ride.  Its exuberant cogency is qualified by the verb   ore-swaies: i.e. ‘oscillates irregularly over’.  A ‘mortallity’ that ‘ore-swaies’ not only brasse and stone, but also earth and sea, is not easily grasped. Further, Rutland repeats the tit-conceit by encryptions at 10 and 11. 
3  with: against.   rage: the antecedent of ‘this rage’ is the riotous phonetic tit-ride of line 2; and ‘rage’ strongly suggests ‘approaching orgasm’.  The power over brasse, stone, earth, and boundlesse sea, that works slowly over generations by a natural process of decay, is suddenly and dramatically increased to a ‘rage’ which, because inapposite, lends credence to the cryptic content of line 2.   beautie: with irony, the royal cocklet not a whopper.   hold a plea:  since the ‘beautie’, King James’s Wee Bitty, is in midst of an action that cannot, for long, ‘hold out against’ excitation, the covert meaning is cogently upheld.
4  action: instinctive discipline.  Lines 3-4 read, covertly: ‘How against this tit-ride rage shall a wee bitty cock hold out when, against such heavenly excitation, its action is no stronger than a flower?’  Without the ‘all-in -mort ity’ conceit, ‘this rage’ (of Time’s relentlessness) is clearly overstated.
5-6  convey an image of raw sexuality: the innocence of a young girl’s developing sexuality (summers hunny breath (5) is represented as importunate libido enduring the wrackfull seidge of (6) uncontrolled male lust (battring penises (dayes (6)): see 12.2n.: ‘night’, female orifice, anagram of ‘thing’: ‘day’, counterpart of ‘night’, male penis).  The storm of lust further qualifies the ‘rage’ of ‘beautie’s’ susceptibility when its ‘action is no stronger than a flower’ (4), for our joyous poet introduces a late-teen girl with hunny breath who rouses all the combative cocks (dayes) of summer, for O, how shall she hold out what she wants in even rocks impregnable are not so durable nor gates of steele so strong when all her urge is to ope her gate and grant her hot summer pilgrim sanctuary?  After a luscious tit-ride and young limbs scorching the hay – what next?  Answer - Puzzles, to augment pleasure with laughter.
9  O fearefull meditation reprising 64.11’s cryptic ‘rue-my-nate’, Rutland cranks up the questioning:   alack: perhaps ‘a lack’, hinting at the King’s wee bitty.
10  times: decr. ‘emits’, (sexual) effusions.   best Iewell: probably the King’s ‘little gem’, with typical Rutlandian hilarity’.   times chest: anagrams ‘tit schemes’: the question suggesting that the royal cocklet would lie hid, quite disappearing amid the comforting paps (for a tit-ride is best accomplished upon a rod of length); the reading confirmed by implication of the following line. 
11  swift foote: anagrams ‘off-tits woe’, reprising our poet’s  ‘rue-my-nate’ (64.11) similar woe. The Puzzlers would no doubt be required to solve these two last witty anagrams (of s. 65), both confirming the veracity of the ‘rod-in-more-titty’ deception of line 2.  The line implies: ‘Or what instinctual hand shall sublimate his off-tits woe...’.
12  spoile: COD 1n. stolen goods’; DED: n.7 ‘Waste material thrown up by an excavation’, reprising ‘the firme soile’ (64.7).  Further, ‘soile’ anagrams ‘O-piles’ (see 10n.): an obviously successful excavation.   beautie: King James’s little gem (at least as an excavator?).  
13-14  Cf. 63.14: ‘His beautie shall in these blacke lines be seene,/ And they shall live, and he in them still greene’: his wondrous miniature shall at least be ‘seene’ in black ink and, further, he shall remain upright and perform his office.
13  O none: revealing graphic O+O = buttocks, arse.  These puzzle elements can seldom be ignored.   unless this miracle have might a clear, covert, ironical reference to King James’s wee bitty rod that certainly lacks ‘might’; and hence our poet’s wish 
14  That in black inck: anagrams ‘back Clink’ (the Clink a 16c prison in Southwark), referring, of course, to the King’s short stay in our poet’s culo.   my love: the King’s miniature wonder.   may still shine bright: may continue to be tumescent.  For the semantics of ‘shine bright’: see 18.5; 33.9; 55.3: ‘shine’ – often associated with ‘bright’ – has almost everywhere in the Sonnets this sexually-tumescing meaning. The putative miracle – that ‘my love’ may continue to grow and perform with tumescent eagerness and stamina – strongly suggests King James as performing the office, remaining in back Clink, with action durable, not wilting like a flower.  It is also important to remember that Rutland and Southampton became estranged after the Essex Revolt.  The couplet’s  irony suggests that King James’s ‘little wonder’ may provide the wished-for miracle, begetting this rendition: “O none, unlesse this miracle have might,/ That in back Clink my love be ever found – upright!”


Sonnet 87

Farewell thou art too deare for my possessing,
                        And like enough thou knowst thy estimate,
                        The Charter of thy worth gives thee releasing:
                        My bonds in thee are all determinate.
                        For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
                        And for that ritches where is my deserving?
=                      The cause of this faire guift in me is wanting,
                         And so my pattent back againe is swerving.
                         Thy selfe thou gav’st, thy owne worth then not knowing,
                         Or mee to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking,
                         So thy great guift upon misprision growing,
                         Comes home againe, on better judgement making.
                            Thus have I had thee as a dreame doth flatter,
                            In sleepe a King, but waking no such matter.

The opening ‘Farewell’ indicates the spring of 1603 when James Stuart, King James VI, came down from Scotland, hunting all the way - calling at Belvoir Castle, Rutland’s seat – on the way to London there to be later crowned King James the First of England.  It is most probable that Rutland was meeting England’s future king for the first time; and given such a momentous encounter (for our poet), one would expect him to quell the ebullition of his laughing daemon; but one cannot escape the sexual statement of the couplet: he has ‘had’ the Scottish king, and so the import of the poem is more than a discussion of status under an image of legal privilege and granting.  Further, some ten of the King James sonnets – burlesquing the monarch – suggest sexual intimacy over no short period of time, and 148, one of the latest and wittiest (though their chronological order yet to be established) – and the King’s visit to Belvoir in the summer of 1603, and again for Rutland’s funeral on 12 August 1612, and his appointment as ambassador to Denmark, summer 1603 (residing at the Castle of Kronborg Slot, Elsinore), suggests monarchical regard.
        The covert content of 87 is daringly witty and cryptologically seamless.  But for whom was it written?  The Essex Circle had lost some of its luminaries (Essex himself having suffered execution), and Southampton not yet released from the Tower (one of the King’s first executive acts); but Rutland had been accepted by the King-to-be, and so our poet’s audience (of puzzlers) probably met privately with discretion, although it is not impossible – such his reckless desire for laughter – that he convened his audience at the King’s court.  Rutland and Southampton were estranged at this time, evidenced by the Altercatory Sonnets; but given Rutland’s audacious nature and his love of joking, it would appear that he still enjoyed the friendship of close intimates.  After his arrest for his (peripheral) involvement in the Essex Revolt, he was reported to be very much missed at court.
        The poem is noted for its twelve feminine rhymes.  There are two highly significant anagrams and, as usual, the poem’s obscenity is redeemed by its intrepid, hilarious wit.
1  Farewell   indicates a departure; and revealed in the couplet that of no less a person than a king, indicating James Stuart, King of Scots, who had called at Belvoir Castle on way down to London where he would be crowned King James the First of England; thus dating the poem to March, 1603: see Hn. above;  deare  elevated, exalted, possibly high, with ironic aspersion of the King’s ‘wee bitty penis’ (see 148’s anagram (from ‘what they see aright’): ‘thy hag-hit wee tarse (Sc. penis)’.  Implied in possessing is sexual intimacy.  The word is the first of twleve feminine endings. 
2  Already a king, James Stuart would obviously be aware of his supreme human status.  Obliquely, however, Rutland probably infers the King’s knowledge of his own ‘wee bitty’, for estimate can mean (COD2) ‘the assessment of the worth of someone or something’ (‘thing’ = pudend, m. or f.): it also introduces words appertaining to finance, commerce and the law; as well as having a sexual meaning, immediately qualified in
3  The Charter of thy worth  ‘Charter’ = privilege, commercial legality/ freedom; ‘worth’ = standing, penis (see 37.4; 39.1; 60.14; 82.6; 83.8, et al; also corroborated by ‘worth’ (9, below) and ‘it’ (10)).  The line ironically suggests King James’s penile ineffectualness: ‘the privilege of thy (unworthy) penis gives thee (all-too-quick) releasing’, indicating that the monarch’s rod has not sufficient length to satisfy his does.    
4  My bonds in thee are all determinate  ‘bonds’ = bindings, legal controls;  all: penis (phonetic ‘awl’, piercing instrument);  determinate: pronounce ‘dee-terminate’: ‘dee’ a Scottish word for ‘die’ (come/ ejaculate); ‘terminate’ = ‘ended’: our poet covertly asserts that his bindings of the King’s wee rod in his culo are all short-lived (determinate) for His Majesty has climaxed all too soon and cancelled the bond.
5  Although overtly hold and granting have legal meanings, repectively of ‘legal right’ and ‘a deed of possession (conveyance)’, the line vividly expresses Rutland’s problem of maintaining purchase on the King’s elusive cocklet; and ‘granting’ anagrams (the rib-tickling) ‘ring gnat’, quite within our poet’s risotherapeutic remit, asking, in effect, Why should I bother seeking purchase on thy miniscule rod?
6  that ritches  OED gives several examples of singular ‘riches’ but, with determiner ‘that’ only this example.  Not surprisingly, ‘that ritches’ anagrams ‘tarse hitch’ (Scottish ‘tarse’ = penis), linking 5’s metonym thee (= penis) and 7’s ‘faire guift’ (= upright penis; for ‘faire’ = tumescent: see 5.4; 16.11; 18.7,10; 21.4; 26.10; et al).  For ‘hitch’ OED provides ‘1.b. A little lift or push’; exactly what our beloved, teeth-gnashing poet requires of the dimunitive royal tarse.  One can imagine the hilarity enjoyed by Rutland and his ‘solvers’ as he helped them to elucidate the anagram; and for us (and them) to readily ‘witness’ the efficiency of his risotherapy, enabling us to understand (and forgive) his many obscenities.   deserving: R. accentuates the irony: where is the length (of rod and time) I deserve? 
7  cause  another legal allusion – COD3: ‘an individual’s case offered at law’.  Also = ‘reason, grounds, purpose’.  Rutland implies: ‘The purpose of this upright (faire) guift (the King’s cocklet) in me is futile (wanting)’, but with a poignant glance at his own lack of ‘sauce’ (anagram of ‘cause’) through the misfortune of his erectile disorder.
8  pattent  legal privilege, right of possession.   back againe is swerving  OED1b. ‘back againe’: back to the point of starting; ‘is swerving’ = ‘the royal tarse is failing to perform its office’.  Effectually Rutland complains: ‘And so my right of (anal) possession must hope frustratingly afresh’.
9  Thy selfe thou gav’st  thou granted me thy royal person (flashing the Wee Bitty).   thy owne worth then not knowing  presumably the Scottish King could not quite believe he was to become King of the English. But Rutland includes a rather cruel joke, implying that his guest has no knowledge of his own cocklet’s insufficiency (‘worth’ = penis: see line 3n. above).
10  Or mee to whom thou gav’st it  with mock-modesty Rutland compares his rank (of earl) with the Majesty of James Stuart (already a king and soon-to-be King of England).  What King James has ‘given’ is his ‘worth’ (= penis) – ‘it’.   else mistaking  with play on ‘missed a king’, implying: ‘If thou hadst known thine own worth, I should have missed being tupped by a king’.  Orthodoxy usually disdains to comment on the witty phoneticism, ‘missed a king’, for it would then have become necessary to accept ‘a king’ as Shaxper’s lover: the couplet’s King who has been had!  What!  Shaxper up King James? or (better yet) King James up Shaxper?  An assumption much too far!
11  great guift  pure irony, for Rutland alludes to the royal cocklet.   upon misprision growing  for ‘misprision’ OED gives ‘1. Law.  A wrong action or omission’; specially a misdemeanour or failure of duty on the part of a public official’; and 3. ‘The mistaking one thing, word, etc., for another; a misunderstanding; a mistake’.  Overtly suggests that the Scottish king realises that he has demeaned the royal rod, but with ironic implication that “thy great guift”, a derisory cocklet, is yet doomed to tumescence and mingling “misprision”.
12  Comes home againe  ‘thou thrusteth up my tush again’   on better judgement making  ‘preferring to tup (my culo) than consider vainglorious notions of status’.  Ostensibly, the line extends: ‘Realising thy mistaking, with better judgement making, thou puts on the Majesticals (comes home again)’.
13  Thus have I had thee  Thus hast thou been up my culo.   as a dreame doth flatter  but thy performance unsatisfying, like an insubstantial, concupiscent dream.
14  In sleepe a King  Rutland tries to mitigate the ‘treason’ of his back-door copulation with a king, ascribing their intimacy to a dream, even though he has blabbed the truth in ‘thus have I had thee’ (13), with, again, a possible phonetic witticism in a King, but = ‘aching butt’.   but waking no such matter  ostensibly, ‘Back in the real world, my dream was clearly illusory’; but our wicked, laughter-loving poet concludes with intrepid wit, for ‘no such matter’ anagrams ‘no rectum hast’ – ‘hast’ a variable spelling of ‘haste’, as in 123.12 qv.  ‘Thus have I  had thee as in a dream unchaste, In sleepe a King, but waking – no rectum hast!’ (for another such royal encounter with thy unconscionable Weenie!).






[1] Elijean: relating to the times of Queen Elizabeth the First and King James the First of England: a compound of ELIzabethan and JacobEAN.
[2] Because the writer of the canon was obviously very well educated, orthodoxy assumes that Sh. was a  pupil at a grammar school in Stratford, when, in fact, there is more evidence for his being illiterate (he could not produce a signature, no book of his has ever been found, and nobody in Stratford ever referred to him as a poet and dramatist.  His father was also illiterate).
[3] Meres, Francis: Palladis Tamia. Wits Treasury.  Being the Second Part of Wits Commonwealth (1598), fols 282-2]: “As the soule of Euphorbus was thought to live in Pythagoras: so the sweete wittie soule of Ovid lives in ‘mellifluous’ and hony-tongued Shakespeare, witnes his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred Sonnets among his private friends”. 
[4] Sykes, Claud W.: Alias William Shakespeare?, Francis Aldor Publisher, London, 1947.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Love Without End: Dedications Explained

A basic proof of Orthodoxy’s belief that Shakspere of Stratford wrote the literary canon associated with his name is found in the dedications to Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, both of which are signed “William Shakespeare”, apparently qualifying Shakspere as author of these poems, and therefore of the whole canon.  But both texts are shot through with covert scandalous wit which Orthodoxy, I am sure, has sometimes suspected, but has been loth to rock the boat that keeps afloat the Earl of Southampton’s patronage of Shakspere, for the covert content of these dedications irrefragably sinks the vessel and its steadfast crew.  The dedications are covert texts, and the “Shakespeare” signature a declaration by Rutland of his pseudonym, for both are signed by himself.  Before examining them, it is necessary to realise that Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland (1576-1612), discovered at puberty that he was afflicted with erectile disorder; and that it had scarcely registered when he was, almost certainly, seduced by his friend, the (then sportif) Earl of Southampton.  In the Sonnets and here in the dedications he jokes hilariously about his erectile disfunction and his doedom, perhaps a heterosexual’s cathartic expression of shame and bewilderment.  We must also remember that he began writing with ambition in his fourteenth year.  Scholars often maintain that the seventeen first sonnets were written to celebrate the seventeenth birthday of the Earl of Southampton.  They are correct; and since they shared the same birthday, 6th October, Rutland would have been fourteen, obviously having penned them when thirteen.  He was sixteen when Venus and Adonis was published.  Could he have produced such accomplished verse without prior dedication to his Muse?  It cannot be stressed too strongly that Rutland was a prodigy: indeed, it is possible that he had already written Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Loves Labours Lost, and parts of Henry VI before his sixteenth birthday (and possibly even earlier).  Given the lewd covert texts of the dedications, the youth of the participants – particularly the prodigious young writer’s – should immediately win our amnesty, for salacious comic realism would have been piquantly agreeable to them, elicited by an analysis of the dedication to Venus and Adonis:
Wriothesley, Earle of Southampton,
And Baron of Titchfield
1            Right Honourable, I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my
2            unpolished lines to your Lordship, nor how the worlde will censure
3            mee for choosing so strong a proppe so support so weake a burthen,
4            onelye if your Honor seeme but pleased, I account my selfe highly
5            praised, and vowe to take advantage of all idle houres till I have
6            honoured you with some graver labour.  But if the first heire of my
7            invention prove deformed, I shall be sorie it had so noble a god-father: and
8            never after eare so barren a land, for feare it yeeld me still so bad a
9            harvest, I leave it to your Honourable survey, and your Honor to your
10         hearts content, which I wish may alwaies answere your owne wish,
11         and the worlds hopefull expectation.
12         Your Honors in all duetie,
13         William Shakespeare.
3            So strong a proppe: so excellent a penis as yours.  support: hold up;  so weake a burthen: my unworthy anus?  onelye: perhaps cryptic, intending a reference to Southampton’s motto, Ung par tout, tout par ung:  ‘One for all (‘awl’, penis), and all for one’.
4            but pleased:  phonetic ‘butt-pleased’ (the ‘proppe’ well satisfied).  highly praised: well served by your nonpareil rod.
5            all idle houres:  all – awl - penis: ‘and vow to take it (Friend Henry’s rod) on libinal prompt’.
6            some graver labor: with implied ‘thus rendering us both butt-pleased’.
7            the first heire of my invention: variously explained: by orthodox scholars as ‘my first essay at a lyric poem’;  by the heretical scholar as ‘the first use of my pseudonym “William Shakespeare”’;   but the colon (comma only needed) – indicating ‘double-pricked’ (two pricks of the pen) – after ‘god-father’, suggests a third cryptic meaning: ‘my initiation to anal cock’ – the first coming-in – “invention” – into my sexual parts (‘heire’: q.v. heir Partridge, Shakespeares Bawdy, p. 128).  deformed: unacceptable to you?   eare: plough.
8            so barren a land: of ruts.  it yeeld me still: for my title is ‘Rut-land’.
9            your Honourable survey: possibly flags the subscription’s encryption.  your hearts content:  ‘heart’, centre of passion: ‘your prick’s content’.
10         alwaies:  in all – ‘awl’ – ways.  wish: desire.  worlds:  posteriors (globes of the buttocks) with sense, ‘my derrière’s…’.
11         Your Honors in all duetie:  (anagram):  Your Hons eie: I, Lo: Rutland:  ‘eie’, hole: see Partridge, ibid., p.109.  Abbreviations – e.g. ‘Hons’ for ‘Honors’, ‘Lo:’ for ‘Lord’, etc. – were common between intimates in Elijean [Elizabethan and Jacobean] times: two extant letters written by Rutland when a boy of twelve and fourteen to his mother, the dowager Countess of Rutland, he ends with Your Lpps most duetifull sonne, and Your Lps most duetifull sonne, Roger Rutland.
14      William Shakespeare:  that is, aka (also known as) “William Shakespeare”.
A probable decoding is: “Right Honourable, I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your Lordship, nor how the worlde will censure mee for choosing so excellent a penis as yours to hold up my unworthy anus, onelye (one for all and all for one!) if your Honor seeme butt-pleased (proppe well satisfied), I account my selfe well served by your nonpareil rod, which I vowe to take on libidinal prompt, till I have honoured you with some graver labor (rendering us both extremely butt-pleased!).  But if my initiation to anal cock prove unacceptable to you, I shall be sorie it had so noble a sponsor: and never after plough so barren a land (of ruts), for feare it yeeld me still (for my name is ‘Rut-land’) so bad a harvest: I leave it to your Honourable survey below, and your Honor to your pricks content, which I wish may, in all ways, answere to your owne desire, and my derrières hopefull expectation.
Your Hons eie: I, Lo: Rutland,
aka “William Shakespeare”.
Second, the Lucrece dedication:
Wriothesley, Earle of Southampton,
and Baron of Titchfield

1            The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end: whereof this
2            Pamphlet without beginning is but a superfluous Moiety.  The warrant
3            I have of your Honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored
4            Lines makes it assured of acceptance.  What I have done is yours,
5            being part in all I have, devoted yours.  Were my worth greater, my
6            duety would shew greater, meane time, as it is, it is bound to your
7            Lordship; to whom I wish long life still lengthened with all
8            happinesse.
9            Your Lordships in all duetie,
10         William Shakespeare
1            The love:  ‘O’, anus.   The love I:  ‘love’ = ‘anus’, ‘I’ = ‘tumescent penis’ (Earl Henry’s nonpareil, the Titchfield Tickler: his home Titchfield Manor).  end:  penis, double-sized (colon two pricks of the pen): ‘your double-sized beautie’.  this Pamphlet without beginning:  ‘The love I’ (phrase begins the dedication): see gloss for “The love I” above.
2            but:  phonetic ‘butt’ = ‘arse’, ‘anus’.  Moiety:  half, part: ‘a useless half without ‘the love I’’.  warrant:  guarantee, support, basis.
3            your Honourable dispostion:  probably ‘your upstanding cock’.  Untutored Lines:  (anagram) neutor’d utensil (‘utensil’ = ‘tool’).
4            it:  the love I (penis).  assured:  metathesis (transposition of sounds, as in a spoonerism), ‘sure-assed’.  done:  with ironic play on anagram ‘O end’ (without effective cock) and ‘end O’ (rear hole).
5            all I:  double play on ‘penis’, ‘awl’ and ‘I’ (rampant rod).  worth:  uprightness.  my duety would shew greater:  my love would also be upright.
6            it is bound:  ‘it’ = ‘my devoted ass’
7            long life still lengthened with all happinesse:  an enduring stiffy (long life) still lengthened in copulating content (play on ‘awl happinesse’).
8            Your Lordships in all duetie: (anagram)  Your Ldships eie: I, Lo: Rutland (see gloss v. 12, p. 2 above).
9            William Shakespeare: aka (also known as) “William Shakespeare”.
A probable decoding is: ‘The anus I dedicate to your Lordship is without your nonpareil cock: whereof without your beautie there is butt, my receptive ass, a useless half (without Tickler).  The guarantee I have of your upstanding dick, not the worth of my neutor’d utensil, makes it sure-assed of acceptance.  What I do have – butt-end – is yours, dedicated to your rampant nonpareil.  Were my uprightness greater my love would also be upright; meane-time my dedicated rear is bound to your Lordship; to whom I wish an enduring stiffy still lengthened in copulating content.
Your Ldships eie: I, Lo: Rutland,
Aka “William Shakespeare”.
When decoding such difficult covert texts, it is not possible to be correct with every gloss.  Both dedications strongly indicate a hidden text: from V&A “so strong a proppe… butt-pleased… ” with “all idle houres”, “the worlds hopefull expectation”; and from RoL “The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end: whereof this Pamphlet without beginning is but a superfluous Moiety” with “the worlds hopefull expectation” are redolent of cryptic clues in the Times or Guardian crosswords; although to spot their cryptic intent readily one would perhaps need to be au fait with the tragic biography of Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland.  His sexual impotency impelled him into the necessary therapy of laughter, even, bravely, burlesquing his erectile dysfunction, here and in the sonnets.  The dual texts are indecent, but one should not contemn our brilliant chatelain attempting cathartic treatment for a blighted start upon adulthood.  Penned respectively at 16 and 17, they attest superlative wit, ingenious command of language, and an intrepid intent to confront the sufferings of a malign fortune.  And he signs them, “I, Lo: Rutland, aka “William Shakespeare””, thus declaring himself the author of the canon mistakenly attributed to Shakepere of Stratford.
Brian Dutton