First, who think you the most desertless man to be constable? for, for the watch to babble and to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any honesty in him. Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as, God help, wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.
Be vigitant, I beseech you.
A foot of honour better than I was; But many a many foot of land the worse. Well, now can I make any Joan a lady. ‘Good den, sir Richard!'—'God-a-mercy, fellow!'— And if his name be George, I’ll call him Peter; For new-made honour doth forget men’s names; 'Tis too respective and too sociable For your conversion. Now your traveller, He and his toothpick at my worship’s mess, And when my knightly stomach is sufficed, Why then I suck my teeth and catechise My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,’ Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin, 'I shall beseech you'—that is question now; And then comes answer like an Absey book: 'O sir,’ says answer, 'at your best command; At your employment; at your service, sir;’ 'No, sir,’ says question, 'I, sweet sir, at yours:’ And so, ere answer knows what question would, Saving in dialogue of compliment, And talking of the Alps and Apennines, The Pyrenean and the river Po, It draws toward supper in conclusion so. But this is worshipful society And fits the mounting spirit like myself, For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smack of observation; And so am I, whether I smack or no; And not alone in habit and device, Exterior form, outward accoutrement, But from the inward motion to deliver Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age’s tooth: Which, though I will not practise to deceive, Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn; For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
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 robb’d, 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 in 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 after-times 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?
I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was,—and methought I had,—but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had.
The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.
I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream:
it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
No more, you petty spirits of region low,
Offend our hearing; hush! How dare you ghosts
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt, you know,
Sky-planted batters all rebelling coasts?
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence, and rest
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers:
Be not with mortal accidents opprest;
No care of yours it is; you know 'tis ours.
Whom best I love I cross; to make my gift,
The more delay'd, delighted. Be content;
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift:
His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent.
Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth,
and in Our temple was he married. Rise, and fade.
The Laws of Ecclesiastical Politie by Richard Hooker
The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation by Richard Hakluyt
The Theatre of The Empire of Great Britaine by John Speed
Britannia by William Camden
The Institutes of the Laws of England by Edward Coke
The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione
Songes and Sonnetts by Richard Tottle
Herbal, or generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard
The Geneva Bible
Name: The Wheel of Fortune - The Printing Press
Dramatis Personae: Dogberry, Constable of the Watch; Philip Faulconbridge, the Bastard; Ben Jonson's Poet-Ape; Nick Bottom, a weaver; Robin Goodfellow, a Puck; Jupiter; The Printing Press, a.k.a. the screw press, the Gutenberg press.
Astrology:: Jupiter, Sagittarius, Pisces
Hebrew Letter: YOD
Text & Context: Yod is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the one which occurs most in the Scriptures. It is the atom from which language is built and revolves. In the mystic tradition, yod is a dot, the primal imprint which is the building block of the written word, symbolic of God's omnipresence - In the beginning was the word... and the word was God. It is the Word which upholds the world, and yod - being present in every letter and therefor every word - is the will, the wheel, the weal. Its representation is a hand, both the unseen hand of God and of man's industry. As the number 10, it signifies completion of a cycle, the 10 fingers of a hand, 10 things created on the first day, the Ten Commandments, 10 men required for a minyan or quorum, 10 forces to the Tree of Life, and in Pythagorean terms, the very "nature of number" [1+2+3+4=10]. In our day and age, 1 and 0 are the rudiments of computer based language. As the first double-digit, 10 also represents the beginning of a cycle.
At the center of The Printing Press is the empty white piece of paper of the self - the empty wight, the peace, the page on which will be written that which the wheel will impress. The god-heads and dog-heads which surround the Press are the physical phantoms dreamed up by the unconscious and made manifest in the world through word. Dogberry is an artist of the malaprop with delusions of grandeur; Philip Faulconbridge is the bastard of Richard the Lionheart and John Bull himself; Bottom the weaver is an actor who cannot articulate his dreams; the mischievous spirit Puck is an emissary between the fantastic and mundane; Jupiter descends by apparatus onto Shakespeare's theatrum mundi, tosses a thunderbolt at the blathering ghosts, and leaves posthumus Britain with a tablet of writing.
Shakespeare's plays were saved from oblivion by the printing press. These include the quartos and folios, as well as works ascribed to Shakespeare but not by him. Jonson alludes to these in his poem Poet-Ape. Written as a Shakespearean sonnet, it references a broker who buys up old plays not his own and flogs them as something they are not. A direct reference then to Shaksper the erstwhile wool merchant, who attempts to fleece the public with apocryphal Shakespeare dramas such as The Yorkshire Tragedy, The London Prodigal, and The Life of Sir John Old-Castle. Ratsey's Ghost, an obscure play written about the time of the Earl of Oxford's death, sees a similar swipe at a would-be Poet-ape. In it, the highway robber Ratsey encounters a country youth on his way to be an actor in London and advises him: "there thou shalt learn to be frugal and feed upon all men; to let none feed upon thee; to make thy hand a stranger to thy pocket, thy heart slow to perform thy tongue's promise; and when thou feelest thy purse well lined, buy thee some place of lordship in the country, that, growing weary of playing, thy money may there bring thee to dignity and reputation: then, thou needest care for no man; no, not for them that before made thee proud with speaking their words on the stage."
The perfection of movable type by Johannes Gutenburg, a goldsmith of the Holy Roman Empire, is intrinsically linked with both the creative rebirth which was the Renaissance and the ideological schism which was the Reformation & Counter-Reformation. In Britain, begun by her father but finding full flower in Queen Elizabeth I, was set in motion an intense enterprise of Empire and commonwealth. Under the aegis of Tudor absolutism, the printed word and its tributaries such as atlases and chronicle plays were diversiform and constituent to this project of nationalism. As the French had La Pléiade, Spain the Salmantine and Sevillian schools of the Culteranismo, the Scots the Castalian Band, so Britain desired to construct a Golden Age in and of their own language, to exorcise a sovereignty over English and thereby the sovereignty of English over Europe and the New World analogous to the supreme dominion of England and her queen. In the words of Spenser in a letter to Gabrielle Harvey, "Why in God's name may not we, as else the Greeks, have the kingdom of our own language?" He would go on to form the Areopagus with Sidney, Greville, Harvey, Dyer, and Mary Herbert, while Shakespeare aligned himself with the rival Euphuist movement of Lyly, Greene, Lodge, Munday, Watson, and Rich. Aside from these can be included the works of Daniel, Warner, Peele, Bacon, Cowell, Finch, Gossen, Nashe, Jewel, Foxe, Hayward, Norden, Raleigh, Chapman, Marlowe, Sandys, Andrewes, Ascham, Speed, Camden, Coke, Hooker, Hakluyt, Gerard, Tottle, and numerous translations, most notably that of The Holy Bible, undertaken by Tyndale, mass produced as the Geneva, and finding full fruition in the King James Version.
Subtext: While the great dissemination of books and print material has lead to untold enrichment of the human experience, including the inherited availability of Shakespeare's works, it can also be argued the proliferation initiated by the printing press has brought humanity to its current state of information overload. The noble notion the cumulative knowledge of mankind could through mere lapidary accretion be added to and increased can be seen as a Tower of Babel, an asphyxiation by data as witnessed today with 1500 years of literature behind us and the internet in our midst.
As this issue pertains to Shakespeare, possibly no other single person has been so extensively written about in the last 500 years. A whole industry has been created, and with it, an overwhelming morass of waste. Questionable as many of the answers proffered regarding the work may be, lives have literally been spent in fruitless investigation and almost nothing has been made known about the man. There's the rubbish.
As advanced in the Socratic Method and Christ's instruction through parable, knowledge - let alone wisdom - is not something directly transferable from teacher to student, book to reader. As testified by the Tarot, which is itself a wheel, a rota, the transmission of knowledge and its transubstantiation to wisdom must in part at least be gone about obliquely and gotten by the querent through a certain degree of personal labour. As with the concept of Free Choice implicit in the Knowledge Trees of Genesis, the proliferation of words and the ever increasing velocity of the wheel are as much hindrances as they are accessories to the progress of man. The wheel corresponds to time and frequency, or quantity, contrasted and sustained in concert with quality, garnered and ascended as up the Neo-Platonic Ladder of Love. As metaphor of true learning, side by side the concordant subtext of theft and counterfeit fortune, can be viewed this brief interlude between the author's proxy Touchstone and the country rube William [Shaksper]:
Touchstone: Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying: 'The
fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
a fool.'... Art thou learned?
William: No, sir.
Touchstone: Then learn this of me: to have is to have; for it is a
figure in rhetoric that drink, being pour'd out of cup into a
glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your
writers do consent that ipse is he; now, you are not ipse, for I
The Wheel Of Fortune X The Printing Press