Sunday, November 27, 2011

The three stages of man

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ask Will

My beloved Baird,

My query be simple. Dist thy truly love kind Lady Hathaway?
Curious Cat

Dear Curious,

‘Tis a question for the ages you ask. Will understands that there is much curiosity about beds and babes, and the dark lady, and whether his love can transcend the distance ‘twixt London and Stratford. I am loathe to quash the mystery, my sweet Curious Cat, but I shall let thee muse on these lines:

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…
And mine sonnet 145:

Those lips that Love's own hand did make,
Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate',
To me that languished for her sake:
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom;
And taught it thus anew to greet;
'I hate' she altered with an end,
That followed it as gentle day,
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away.
'I hate', from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying 'not you'.

Eternally Yours,

Dear Young Will,
To be or not to be that is the question.


Dear Wavering,

Let your epitaph show that while life was yet in thee, thou didst “be,” that thou were not scoured to nothing in fleet passing sadness. Let not Death brag that he hath lead thee too soon under his shade. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Eternally Yours,


Dear Young Will,

Wherefore doth Juliet ask "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Be the problem not with his name being Montague?


The Devil is in the Details

Dear Devil,

‘Tis an honest fair question, to be sure, young Devil. The answer is not so difficult since young Romeo was one of twelve Montagues: Filippo, Niccolò, Franco, Marco, Antonio, Matteo, Tomaso, Leonardo, Bartolomeo, Iacopo, and Piero. Had Juliet but cried for a Montague, how quickly would her bright love have fallen to confusion.

Eternally Yours,

See More

Monday, November 21, 2011

A gift for thee

If thou be'est like Will, thou hast precious few enemies, but many flies that swarm about thee and test thy patience. For Will, these are those fustian knaves Ben Jonson and Robert Greene. For such milk-livered men or women, I give thee this glove, crafted by mine own father John, and an insult worthy of a king's fool. Have your Gower or your Caxton to print it for thee, so ye may avoid all violence but swat at the insects that torment thee.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ASK YOUNG WILL: The Untamned Shrew

Dear Young Will,

Whether Padua or Mantua,
Elsinore or Rome,
In England or in Scotland
wherever one calls home.
And even tho Love's Labor's Lost
or Nothing's Much Ado,
just tell now, O youthful Will
what writeth next will you?

~An eager fan

Dear Eager,

As't happens, Will was at the Boar's Head Saturday with Kit and that fusty nut Ben Jonson. The gentle mistress of the house, that noble vessel Eleanor, was with her mallet at the tap. When I tell thee she hath continents on the globe that is her back end, Will does not lie. As she bent over, poor John Brewer, her noble lord, played the jest and pinchéd her somewhere near India. How she did howl with fury! All the shades of hell ne'er sounded so enraged. John leapt out of the tavern and ran, his legs a-flurry, whilst his goodwyfe did scramble right behind with her mallet. How we did howl! Even Ben could not suppress his amusement. 'Twas a merry sight, one that makes Will want to write about how shrewish these damnable dames can be.

Eternally Yours,

Friday, November 11, 2011

The young critic

As I strode towards the theatre this morn, some littel urchen approached me and asked, 'Art thou that Shakeaspearing Jack?' 'Am I a Jack, you Jack of the hewes?' I ask in turn.

Replied he, 'What's the hewes?'

'Household servants,' saith I.

'Who talkes like that?" he askes.

'Chaucer and Gower spoke like that.'

'Who're they?'

I loosed a sighe and straighten'd up. 'What didst thou want?'

'My da' says he lyked that Titus fellow, the one who cook'd up those jacks so their mum could eat 'em,' saith he.

'Ah,' I thynk. 'A fanatike.'

'Well, thy da' has goode taste,' I say, patting him on his pate.

'Ah thought it was a bit grosse,' saith he.

I left the urchen there in the street and headed towardes the Mermaide, fynding myself in need of a good ale after little Jack.