Posts Tagged “shakespeare’s blog”

09w21:3 Shakespeare's Blog Part XVIII

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May 20th
Well, there is no way out, for I must obey my lord and ring-giver. She has been leaping and cavorting and high lavoltaing these last days with the knowledge of what she sees as her entrance into the great world now coming in a trumpet-and-banner and livery-glittering barge-feast, Harry and his friends and their ladies (ah, they have learnt; I taught them; LLL was Learn Learn Learn) swan-sailing Greenwichwards with the kits soaring over in the unblemished May heavens. And so it is. Poor Will very sober-suited but she in a sort of flame-satin stepping aboard. Oh, Lord P and Sir Ned T and the Earl of K are much taken, the rose-and-cream ladies envious and shifting their best malice at this russet innocent from the land of four-footed men and women and their things cut at a strange slant. They mock her dis and dat and de udder ting, but she is brownly cool while they sweat. The lords surround her, bringing her slices of goose-breast in sharp sauce, veal-shape, a flawn on a silver dish. To H she flashes black eyes and teeth like serried snow-gums; his eye burns, drawn to, transfixed in, her brown bosom. I see his long fingers, all crusted fire, scratch at their palm. I see the two of them, in my fever, lying together, lordly silver moving in kingly measure upon queenly gold. He has not forgotten Willobie and Avisa, the Islington trick; he knows he is at libert any time to buy something with his thousand pound. Day’s end in torchlight, the rowers’ slower strokes, cob and pen and cygnets a preen or a sleep of silver, the kites no longer disfiguring the empurpled May heavens. The madrigalists sing of a silver swan, each voice married in perfection to a correspondent viol in a consort of viols. It is she has put hand in his.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.155-156)

09w20:3 Shakespeare's Blog Part XVII

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May 14th
This afternoon I must to act. It is but the part of Antonio is The Two Gentlemen. Speaking to Proteus I say:

Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolv’d that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the Emperor’s court.

And Proteus, my son, that is Dick Burbage, stands grinning there. I would shout at him: Tell me, tell me whether it be true. Here is the platform of truth and nakedness, I will have none of thy lying. Wert thou with her or no? And so I forgot the line following and must be prompted by the bookholder. Then my shame near makes me shiver with an ague. I look out on grinning faces among the groundlings – few, very few, they like not this play well – and up at the wooden heavens and back at the curtained study and think perhaps I am dead and already a ghost. Then I think I hear whispering and laughter from a sidebox: it is she, it is she with another. This will not do, it cannot be supported, I must purge her out. But I know I may not.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.155)

09w20:2 Shakespeare's Blog Part XV

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May 11th
To her to rail, to beat, near-kill. She screams, her wrists cracking in my gripe, that she has done naught wrong but she will do wrong an she wishes. I rip at her bodice, tear, wrench, gnash, chew. Her maid, fearful for her mistress’s safety, batters the locked door but I shriek terrible curses and she departs going oh oh, fearful for the safety of herself. The transports I now enter are a burning hell of pleasure. If before we have soared and flown, now we burrow, eyes and noseholes and snoring mouths filled with earth and worms and scurrying atomies, all of which are transformed to a heavy though melting jelly of pounded red flesh mixed with wine. We dig with pioneering wings down towards the fire that is the whole earth’s centre, nub, coyant, meaning. At the seventh approach to dying, my loins scraped raw, she sinking to a howling sweat-gleaming brown-gold phantom, I fancy that the ceiling opens as by some quaint shutter-device to reveal a pearl intaglio heaven, watching, bright-eyed like a pack of foxes, God the Father beard-stroking (party-beard), saints with uncouth names like devils all about – St Anguish, St Cithegrande, St Ishak, St Rosario, St Knipple, St Pogue, plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne. Leaping around the bed is a cherub-demon that is Mr WH, crying do this and that and more, I would learn, I would be shown. I show him. And after, in a cold and rainy May evening, I sit in mine own lodgings feeling truly in a wretched dim hell of mine own making, spent, used, shameless, shameful.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.154-155)

09w20:1 Shakespeare's Blog Part XV

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May 10th
In fair spring weather he comes to say how faithless lovely boys can be. This one (Pip he calls him) that had all his heart has treacherously gone over to my lord T, drawn by some pretty bauble. But, I tell him, loving is all fear: from loving to losing is but he change of a letter.

-Aye, with women too, he says. Merrylegs all. Your own doxy is only a unicorn for her colour.

-Meaning? (A great fear blew in upon me).

-We in Europe cannot govern what a woman shall do, any more than a boy. The Grand Turk locks her up in is seraglio, eunuchs armfolding portily before the portal. We cannot.

-Your particular meaning?

-I thought I saw your Dick Burbage in a carriage with her. She cannot wash off that colour. Veiled, but a brown arm taking a posy from a flowerseller.

-This is a trick to make me jealous and angry. (I have de flowers on me; I cannot see dee today den.)

-Is she your wife? Have you claims on her?

-I give the false bitch money.

-My money that would be, in a manner. Well. But there is no signing of any indenture.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.153-154)

09w18:1 Shakespeare's Blog Part XIV

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May 1st
We were together, she and I, in my bedchamber, she but newly arrived in a sort of hunting costume with feathered hat, than who should enter by H, whom I have but heard of these many weeks and hardly seen for any length of time since my few minutes of slobbering gratitude over the £1000. She drinks him in, I see that, this striding-about-the-chamber lord with his ringflashing hands beating time to his loudly elegant eloquence of t hat and this and what Lady Such-and-such said and what His Grace observeth of the evil times and the approach of HM’s grand climacteric. He is full of French – bon and quelquechose and jenesaisquoi – so that she listens to him in wonder. He then, as she were a Bart Fair show like a pig-headed child, praises her strangeness, her colour, her littleness. Oh bring her over, he says, we must exhibit her, my friends will be much taken. And all the time she quaffs him and, when he is gone, will not do what she is rightly come to do (or have done) but talks of his clothes and his deadgold swordhilt and his quicksilver words, Mercurio. He is gone now for his plump prostitute boy, I roughly tell her. Oh, dat believe I not, she answers, he is much a gentleman for de ladies; dat see I bwery clear.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.153)

09w17:1 Shakespeare's Blog Part XIII

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April 20th
Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy is out at last as a printed book. Well, we have done better than Gorboduc in the years since he penned it. He would have right tragedies and right comedies and delightful teaching &c. Yet if we are to hold a mirror to nature (I thank thee, nasty Chapman, for that phrase) we must see all in one. Thus, gibbering in my nakedness and approaching her with my cock-crowing yard, I see I am a clown, I see I am also a great king that will possess a golden kingdom. Tragedy is a goat and comedy a village Priapus and dying is the word that links both. Cut your great king’s head off and thrust him in the earth that new life may spring.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.152-153)

09w12:1 Shakespeare's Blog XII

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March 15th
I hear news from Court that H plays no longer about amoung the Queen’s flowers, that he, in his great man’s new-found maturity, himself now tweaks the pink peach-cheeks of a lovely boy. Ah, how love, in all herhis manifold guises, doth take hold on us and squeeze us of our pride and lustihead. I am besotted with her, would eat her like a butter lamb. I tell her of my near friend’s pederastia, thinking it may make her mirth, but she says men go only so an they lack a powerful woman to keep them to the proper way God ordained. She tells me Tales of the Wise Parrot, which she writes down in her language Hikayat Bayan Budiman, wherein serpents bite the toes of great princesses and are left as dead till some magical prince cometh to kiss them alive again. And then she asks a piece of gold for telling of the stories.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.152)

09w10:2 Shakspeare's Blog XI

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March 4th
Lying on, in, under her, I pore with squinnying eyes on a mole on that browngold rivercolour riverripple skin with its smell of sun, or else a tiny unsqueezed comedo by the flat and splaying nose. Her breath was sour today, too many squares of powdered marchpane. She did not want but, chewing the honey almond stuff still, all careless of my madness, she careless let me do. That I hate, then I would strike her down to grovel like a bitch on her belly. She poutsays I must take her to fine places, go to feast as others do. But I am jealous; not even to the Theatre am I willing that she come, though masked and curtained from men’s viewing. I question the wisdom of her coming now to my lodgings, though mobled up in her coach, her coach to return for her in two hours. Shall we set up house together, this lodging being small? She will keep her own house, she says, she would be free. I have not talked of my wife and children, nor she ever of marriage.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p.151-152)

09w09:1 Shakespeare's Blog Part X

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February 25th
Money money. My presents are not enough (the bolt of silk, the dress of taffetas, the mask encrusted with brilliants). WS, prospering man of affairs, gives gold. Prices are so high, she says. It is on account of the crops failing last year. What does she like best to eat? Mutton stewed tender in spices, coughing with pepper. Odi et amo. Her smell, rank and sweet, repels my sense and drives me to madness. (And all the time poor Richard jogs on toward his foul death. Roan Barbary I have called her: that horse that thou so often hast bestrid, that horse that I so carefully have dressed. Then I see the twoness. She harps still on Burbage, a proper man. Well, that Bolingbroke shall never ride her).

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 151)

09w07:2 Shakespeare's Blog Part IX

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February 14th

This is St Valentine’s Day, twittering feast of the low-bending blessing bird-bishop. Tawny bird with white bird on couch close-lying. Ah God, what fluttering tweeting tricks she has already taught me, lore and crissum and alula aflame. We fly, I swear we have flown, I swear we have taken wing and soared through a ceiling that has become all jellied air and floated then among puce and auriferous nebulae. It is the glorification of the flesh, the word made flesh. She calls down strange gods with strange names: Heitsi-eibib and Gunputty and Vitzilipuztli and four archangels surrounding the god of the Musulmans. In a fever I take to my play-making and theatre business. I write my few lines of Richard in despair of the power of words. I force myself to a mood of hatred of her and of what we do together, making myself believe that I am brought low and soon must come to ruin. I cleave my brain, writing of England’s past, a cold chronicler that sees how all this will fit the nation’s present temper, and at the same time a silken Turk on a divan. Her servants leer at me, my growing thinness, the black shadows below my eyes. I ask her to come to my lodgings, it is better so. In her bedchamber (I remember that past August) I am too aware of padding feet without, fancy the locked door not truly locked or full of eyes in knotholes. She says she will come.

(Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun, p. 150-51)