Shakespeare’s Sonnets: The Problems Solved by A. L. Rowse (auth.)

By A. L. Rowse (auth.)

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The Sonnets can now be read for the amusement they give, with their characteristic double-talk, as they provided amusement for Southampton, for whom they were written. ) Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious, Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine ? Shall will in others seem right gracious And in my will no fair acceptance shine ? ' MS. Ashmole 236. e. her husband, in good conscience. Will will fulfil the treasure of thy love, Ay, fill it full with wills, and my will one. Hyder Rollins, in the New Variorum Shakespeare, has an inkling of the meaning and refers, with some embarrassment, to the 'less pleasant supposed meanings of will'.

1 Their name tells us that they came from Bassano in the state of Venice - the documents refer to the first generation of them as 'natives of Venice'. They were a numerous clan and this adds to the difficulty of pinpointing them. But there is no difficulty about Emilia here : we know her parents. They were Baptist Bassano and Margaret Johnson, who lived together as man and wife, evidently not married. Both were buried in the parish of St. Botolph Bishopsgate, just outside the walls of the City, on the way to Shoreditch where the early theatres were, the 'Theatre' and the 'Curtain', and where so many of the theatre-folk lived.

Xliii mother had died in 1607, leaving her household goods and chattels to her third husband, a much younger man, Sir William Harvey. Now it is common Elizabethan usage to refer to a knight as Mr. (short for Master) - Sir Francis Bacon, for example, is frequently Master Bacon ; the old Countess regularly refers in her letters to Sir Thomas Heneage, her second husband, as Master Heneage. People who do not know Elizabethan usages are unaware of this, but everybody should know that one could never refer to a Lord as Mr.

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