Portia’s Estate of Belmont — Part Two of Reason 73 Why Oxford was Shakespeare: It was a Real Place that the Author Saw Firsthand

Background Image: Henry de Vere, eighteenth Earl of Oxford; and Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton – the “Two Henries” circa 1619

“In Belmont is a lady richly left; and she is fair, and, fairer than that word, of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages: her name is Portia” – Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice

BELMONTthe estate of Portia … apparently located on the mainland near Venice a fictitious place” –  Charles Boyce, Shakespeare A to Z, 1990

“Belmont is a real place, though called differently in Italian: its identification has been made possible by the precise geographical information and a specific historical reference given in the play.” – Dr. Noemi Magri, De Vere Society Newsletter, 2003; reprinted in Great Oxford, 2004

Villa Foscari on the River Brenta, built by 1560, is Portia's estate of Belmont

Villa Foscari on the River Brenta, built by 1560, is Portia’s estate of Belmont

Portia’s home in The Merchant of Venice is a grand palace where trumpets sound as each new member of the nobility is received in its richly decorated Great Hall, where musicians serenade and aristocrats dance and players perform.  Shakespeare took the name “Belmont” from his main Italian source, Il Pecorone, a novella composed around 1380 and printed in Italian in 1558, wherein the character Gianetto travels a long distance from Venice to see the Lady of Belmont.

The original Belmont in the story was a port on the Adriatic coast.   To simplify things for his play, Shakespeare indicates that Belmont is much closer to Venice; but no real place by that name actually existed or exists at the location he gives — or at any location anywhere near it.   Given that William Shakspere of Stratford never left England, much less spent time in Italy, it follows that he had no real grand estate in mind to begin with; and so, as Boyce indicates above, scholars have universally viewed Shakespeare’s Belmont as a wondrous “fictitious place” he created as a vivid contrast to the crass commercial world of Venice.

The trouble, however, is that the author takes great pains to precisely locate and identify Portia’s estate of Belmont.  He indicates, for example, that the mansion is on a riverbank — in the scene with Lorenzo and Jessica outside the great house in the evening, gazing at the water, when Lorenzo exclaims: “How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!”

So Portia’s great house is on a river.  And in the third act she plans to go to Venice with Nerissa, both disguised as men (to be at Antonio’s trial, where Portia will appear as a lawyer), and then to return straightaway to Belmont.  She tells Nerissa to “haste away, for we must measure twenty miles today.”   So the roundtrip is twenty miles, or ten miles to Venice and ten miles back to Belmont.

Now the author inserts another clue.  To conceal her true plan, Portia tells Lorenzo and Jessica a fake story about where they’re going:  “There is a monastery two miles off,” she says, and “there we will abide” until the trial in Venice is concluded.

malcon01So now we know Belmont is (1) on the bank of a river, (2) ten miles from Venice and (3) two miles from a monastery.   And it so happens that there was, and still is, a famous grand mansion on the bank of the River Brenta – the Villa Foscari-Malcontenta, the country residence of the illustrious Foscari family in Venice, exactly ten miles from Venice and precisely two miles from the monastery Ca’ delle Monache, the Nun’s House.

These clues from “Shakespeare” serve to identify Belmont as the architectural masterpiece Villa Foscari , designed by Andrea Palladio and constructed by 1560, when Elizabeth I of England was at the outset of her reign.  This grand villa on the River Brenta, with its richly decorated interior rooms and Great Hall, was known for receiving members of the nobility (and royalty, such as Henry III of France, in 1574) with trumpets sounding, and for entertaining the guests with music and dance and plays – an unforgettable place that the author saw firsthand, later changing its name to Belmont.

“Though now the central seat of the University of Venice, the Villa-Foscari-Malcontenta can be visited today,” writes Richard Paul Roe, author of The Shakespeare Guide to Italy (2011), who independently came to the same conclusion as Dr. Noemi Magri.  “It was an easy reach to Venice and a fitting ‘Belmont’ for an heiress, such as Portia, whose hand was sought by princes far and wide” – just as princes came from far and wide for the hand of Queen Elizabeth.

fusina on map

But the man who wrote The Merchant of Venice supplied even more specifics — such as when Portia sends her servant Balthasar to Padua for “notes and garments” that she needs, telling him to then continue in haste “unto the Tranect, to the common ferry which trades to Venice,” where she will be waiting with Nerissa in her coach.   The two women will go from the Tranect by ferry to Venice.

According to Roe, scholars have been wide of the mark trying to identify the Tranect, unaware that it was a narrow strip of land where travelers could transfer from their coach to a ferry, which was pulled across the dry land by machinery to the water and the final lap to Venice.   Their rendezvous at the Tranect “would have to have been in Fusina,” Roe concluded, because it’s five miles alongside the river from Belmont to Fusina, and from there across the water it’s “exactly five miles to the landing place called ‘il Molo,’ which sits in front of the Ducal Palace and Courts of Justice,” where Antonio’s trial was being held.

The ten-mile journey was in two parts of five miles each.  Portia and Nerissa would return from Venice by ferrying the five miles across the water to the Tranect at Fusina, then travel by coach beside the River Brenta for five miles back to the Villa Foscari — or, as it’s called in the play, Belmont.  In total the roundtrip had four legs of five miles apiece, adding up to the “twenty miles” that Portia states so emphatically.  In other words, the great dramatist of The Merchant described not only the various lengths of the journey, but, also, the practical means by which the two women went to the trial in Venice and back.

Now for that “specific historical reference” mentioned by Dr. Magri – an event that is mentioned in The Merchant as having occurred at Belmont and that actually did happen at Villa Foscari.  The reference is made by Nerissa, who asks Portia if she remembers Bassanio’s visit to Belmont:  “Do you not remember, lady, in your father’s time, a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?”

“Yes, yes, it was Bassanio, as I think, so he was called,” Portia says, but totally ignoring Nerissa’s recollection of the Marguis of Montferrat, who is neither one of Portia’s suitors nor one of the play’s characters; in fact, this is the only time he’s mentioned.  Traditional scholars have never found any good reason for the playwright to make such an allusion, but Dr. Magri, viewing The Merchant as written by Edward de Vere, found the reason — in the historical record of the visit to Venice in July 1574 by Henry III of France, who traveled with his party up the River Brenta and stopped at Villa Foscari, where he had been invited for dinner.

It turns out that with the French king on that visit was Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Marquis of Montferrat!

"il Molo," Portia's landing place in front of the Ducal Palace and Courts of Justice

“il Molo,” Portia’s landing place in front of the Ducal Palace and Courts of Justice

Just eight months later in March 1575, the twenty-five-year-old Earl of Oxford arrived at the royal court in Paris and met King Henry III, who was fond of expressing his admiration for Villa Foscari and its charming location.  Oxford continued his journey to Italy and stopped in Mantua — where, Mark Anderson writes in Shakespeare by Another Name, the earl’s “probable host” was Guglielmo Gonzaga, Marquis of Monteferrat, who surely would have told Oxford about his experiences during that historic visit of the French king.

Oxford’s trip from Padua to Venice by traghetto (horse-drawn ferry) along the River Brenta lasted seven hours.  His ferry ride passed “the classically inspired Villa Foscari,” Anderson writes, “as the traghetto slowed down to round a wide curve on the riverbank.”

Noemi Magri concluded that Oxford “intended to describe Villa Foscari and had in mind the Brenta with its villas” and that he “wished to remember the Marquis of Montferrat, Guglielmo Gonzaga Duke of Mantua, the ruler of one of the greatest centers of learning in Renaissance times.”

What does it matter who wrote the Shakespeare plays?  I’d say that Belmont = Villa Foscari is one good reason all by itself.

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111 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Hank, you seem to have a broken link with this one. No matter, I can read it in my email. Just thought you ought to know.

    Jim F

    • Thanks, Jim — fixed it I hope

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hank, that “Szabó Sándor” at facebook – that’s me 🙂

    • Hi Sandy. Yes, well, I think I knew that, but … well, do you use many pen names? 🙂

      • As a programmer, I don’t even use a pen, not to mention a pen-name 🙂
        But I’ve discovered something in sonnet 33. In the ‘region cloud’ which is a clear reference to Elizabeth, Oxford hid the initials of Robert Cecil, either, so
        ‘the region cloud has masked him from me now’
        would tell us that Elizabeth AND Cecil are both responsible for Henry’s woeful state.

  3. Just one addition: in the next sonnet the (base) clouds with the rotten smoke are actually rotten clouds – with the initials of R. C. again – I think no need to say more about Oxford’s feelings.

    “To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
    Hiding thy brav’ry in their rotten smoke?”

  4. Well, to think about the “rotten smoke” a bit more, I’ve found an interesting link, where it’s clearly stated that Robert Cecil was famous for being a smoker.
    “Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, Sir Robert Cecil, would appear
    to have been a smoker. In a letter addressed to him, John Watts, an
    alderman of London, wrote: According to your request, I have sent
    the greatest part of my store of tobaca by the bearer, wishing that
    the same may be to your good liking. But this tobaca I have had this
    six months, which was such as my son brought home, but since that time
    I have had none. At this period there is none that is good to be had
    for money. Wishing you to make store thereof, for I do not know where
    to have the like, I have sent you of two sorts. Mincing Lane, 12 Dec.


  5. Hank, I have an idea, as far as I know it’s rather new. I’ve found more reasons to think, that sonnet 125 is a farewell of Essex – maybe Oxford thought it could be a tribute to the killed warrior, the greatest friend of his son. I hope I’ll find more reasons -it’s too late in the night now-, but I think I should share it.
    1. sonnet 25 is surely -as stated in The Monument- about Essex, the failed hero. Sonnet 125 is exactly 100 sonnets later.

    2. in 1588, the Queen transferred the monopoly on sweet wines to Essex, providing him with revenue from taxes. Look at the lines:
    “Lose all and more by paying too much rent
    For compound sweet.”
    He lost all and more – his life.

    3. he was 2nd Earl of Essex. Look at the line:
    “And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
    Which is not mixed with seconds”
    His oblation – verbatim, as he had been dead by then for about two years. And is not mixed (like compounded with clay) with the Second Earl, in his grave by then.

    4. at the Essex trial he confessed: ‘papists have been hired and suborned to witness against me’. Look at the lines:
    “Hence, thou suborned Informer: a true soul
    When most impeached stands least in thy control”
    As Essex spoke against Robert Cecil, I have no doubt that he (and Oxford as well) was sure, who stood behind this act. In this sense, I think the last two lines gain a new meaning, and are clear.

    5. Essex was there at the festives following the defeat of the Spanish Armada. This is from wikipedia: “The Earl of Essex followed the triumphal car, leading the caparisoned and riderless horse of estate, followed by the ladies of honour.”
    So, he was there, but DIDN’T bear the canopy. So the question in the first line might be painful:
    “Wer’t ought to me I bore the canopy”

    • This is good, Sandy. I still feel he’s marking the funeral of the queen, but that doesn’t preclude your take on it. More and more I’ve been able to see how Oxford wrote on various levels at once — not solely the double-image of the sonnets, but much more than double. And for 125 I also acknowledge references to the coronation of James, in which he will serve as Great Chamberlain. Earlier he had glanced at it — “So that myself bring water for my stain” – 109; also “And to his palate doth prepare the cup” – 114 (ironically it’s probably poison, given that he will be serving at a ceremony signaling the death of the Tudor dynasty.) But yes, those levels, and the pointing to Essex sounds right. Thanks, Sandy.

      • Essex? Curious. I thought Oxford and Essex were enimies …

  6. Hi Francisco! Enemies – for what?

    • I would not say enemies, and I don’t remeber where and when I read it, but once I read they did not get along with each other. The why I don’t know. Maybe because they were both proud men and their pride one day shocked or maybe Oxford was jealous of his bastard Southampton’s affection towards his half brother. I really don’t know why now 😦

      • Well, in 125 he might well be criticizing Essex, not praising him at all. It was Essex who got led into the Cecil trap, and it was because of his being one of the “dwellers on form and favor” who “lose all and more by paying too much rent/ For compound sweet” and so on. So this could be — in addition to all else that 125 may be — his way of telling history that Essex was the one who lost everything — for himself, but for Southampton and the Tudor line also — but, of course, in the Dark Lady series he gets round to shouting at Elizabeth for being the real enemy of her own blood and line. She is the one who is black as hell, as dark as night.

        So if Essex is in 125, which looks very much so, he is being tagged by Oxford as too much hanging on the Queen’s favors, for example, the farm of the sweet wines, etc. Oxford himself seems to have been quite the opposite from Essex in character. He got his revenge in different ways:-)

  7. Hank, I have one more point.

    6. You describe in The Monument the occasion when Essex after a two-days ride broke in the bed-chamber of the Queen. She was still before her morning make-up, without her wig, old and miserable. And Essex’s most severe sin was seeing the Great Queen weak and ugly. And there he was gazing – and (mostly) due to his gazing his life was spent. Look at the line in 125:
    “Pitiful thrivers in their gazing spent.”

  8. Were’t aught to me I bore the canopy,
    With my extern the outward honouring,
    Or laid great bases for eternity,
    Which proves more short than waste or ruining?
    Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
    Lose all and more by paying too much rent
    For compound sweet; forgoing simple savour,
    Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent?
    No; let me be obsequious in thy heart,
    And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
    Which is not mix’d with seconds, knows no art,
    But mutual render, only me for thee.
    Hence, thou suborned informer! a true soul
    When most impeach’d, stands least in thy control.

    Here’s Sonnet 125. Now, let’s just look and try to find something that can connect it to Essex. Maybe there is a connection by the points Sandy presented but I don’t think we can take this sonnet as an elegy or something like that to the late earl of Essex. The second stanza it’s cleary connected to Essex, at least. In the verses 4-8, Oxford it’s telling Southampton about Essex, who has lost everything including his life, and makes reference to when he saw the Queen “weak and ugly”, as Sandy said.

    • Yes, Francisco, the second stanza and that’s all of it for Essex, I’d say. As usual Oxford does more than one thing at the same time. In that stanza he is talking on the one hand about all the “reptilian” courtiers waiting around, kneeling, begging, wasting themselves, and on the other hand, specifically Essex, who paid far too much rent:-)

  9. Gents, thanks for the acceptance 🙂 Yes, this is the most likely explanation, the second stanza having been written with Essex in Oxford’s mind.

    Hank, some time ago at another place of your blog I wrote about my idea of the interesting similarity between ‘a lease’ and Eliza. But it might be quite wrong as well – however you still didn’ t write anything about it. Do you regard it as mere stupidity, not worth your pen? 🙂

    In the meantime I searched the net and found lots of people saying that they pronounce Eliza as ‘a-lee-za’.

    • Hi Sandy. What do you mean by lots of people? In portuguese, Eliza pronounce as “a-lee-za” 😉 are you refering to english people? I never heart “a-lee-za” from an english tongue O.o …

  10. Hi Francisco! Thanks for your reply. Look at this one:


    Virtually all national versions are spelled according it either ‘li’ or ‘lee’.
    Of course this seems to be an older book, but the age we are discussing is even much more ancient.
    So, still I’m not moved from my idea 🙂

  11. One addition: at the french version I find the pronunciation to be about
    the same as ‘a lease’. And previously there were discussions on Oxford’s using his french knowledge for making pun – ‘ere long’.

    • Curious… could you repeat from what sonnet is this “a lease” in question, please?

  12. Sonnet 146:
    “Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
    […] these rebel powers that thee array;
    Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
    Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
    Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
    Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
    Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
    Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end? “

    • Thanks. I think because I read a little in Google Books that The Monument looks to this Sonnet as Oxford confronting Elizabeth and blaming her for the ruin of her kingdom.

      • Yes, that’s true (I own The Monument). And it seems to be quite reasonable that at the height of his exasperation, Oxford calls her with her name – of course hidden between the letters.

  13. Well, maybe I’ve found the other half of the Queen’s name….Can you remember, when I wrote about the initials in this sonnet 146, which results in BATES?
    Now, look at the lines again:
    Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
    These rebel powers that thee array;
    Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
    Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
    Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
    Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
    Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
    Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?
    Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
    And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
    Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
    Within be fed, without be rich no more:

    By pairs of the initials, we get AB from:
    ‘And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
    Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;’

    then ET from (above AB)
    ‘Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?
    Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,’

    ELIZ can be there hidden in ‘a lease’.

    And these together ELIZ AB ET…. it’s thrilling now, to me at least. What do you think?
    As previously I mentioned, in Hamlet it is stated that the truth is hid within the centre, and the word ‘centre’ is just once in the sonnets, here, in this one.

    • Well, that’s curious. But you forgot the H. When you refered to the verses:

      “Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?
      Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,”

      You have ET but the T in Then could be seen as THen. So, just adding to your “discover”, now we can freely conclude the name “Elizabeth” is here in a witty and discret way.

  14. Well, to be more precise: ETH, because of

    • Ups, we wrote the same thing at the same time 😛 sorry repeting ti!

      • Now, we have “Ever”, the anagram for Vere everywhere in the sonnets. And we have too the pun “every ward”, cleary on Edward, in Sonnet 76. EVERy = Vere; Every ward = sounds like Edward. We have “Edward [de] Vere”. And, thanks to Sandy, we find out the name Elizabeth in the Sonnets. It could be any Elizabeth, including Trentham, who have been the Dark Lady of Shakespeare/Oxford to some, but through names like Rose and Beauty, and the perfect timeline of the Sonnets with the Essex Rebellion, only one Elizabeth was relevant by this time: Elizabeth Tudor, the Queen. Now, can we find the name Henry ou Southampton through the Sonnets as we found this one O.o? Let’s try out :D!

      • Yes, thank you for being with me at this 🙂

        Well, still I don’t know what to think.

  15. But before start to look for Henry Wriothesley Southamtpon in the Sonnets, I have a doubt that I think I once asked but I’m not certain now 😛 Sandy and Whittemore, do you think Southampton could have had a twin? I can’t tell nothing know before I have your opinion but something tells me Roger Manners may have been a bastard of the Queen too, and by the date of his birth (1576) and his participation on Essex’s Rebellion, maybe he was the younger son of Oxford and Elizabeth. The affair stopped around 1574-1575, and Manners born by the end of 1576, so I think he maybe have been a non identical twin to Southampton. But can I just have your opinion :P?

  16. Francisco: as to ‘any Elizabeth’: don’t forget, that previously I found in a sonnet TITAN (from the initials), which is a direct reference to the Fairy QUEEN.

    As to your question: alas, this is the first time I see Roger Manners’s name, so I should find information about him. I can’t remember his name being in The Monument – but this might be my fault.

  17. I tried to imagine the way, how TUDOR could be hidden. Well, a part of it, at least is there and exactly just before 146. Look at the closing couplet of the previous sonnet 145:
    ‘I hate’ from hate away she threw,
    And saved my life, saying not you.

    All involved saved Southampton’s life by actually declaring that he’s not Tudor, so could not inherit the Tudor throne.

    Say: not you. How to pronounce? Not ju:
    Say: not Tudor: Not tju: ……..

  18. I should add, that in the original there are NO apostropes – though generally in the modern transcriptions usually you can find them. It’s important, because if we think there are at ‘I hate’ and then at ‘not you’, then it would imply that these to belong to the very same sentence, said by the queen. In this case the meaning is that ‘I hate not you’. But
    without the apostrophes – as is the real case- the have nothing to do with each other. In this case the sequence is something like this (from the mouth of the Queen):

    I hate (you)…. from hate I throw you away… I save your life, declaring that you are not Tu(dor).

    • When to Tudor, I think it should be a little more complicated. Words like Rose as there to substitute it and Elizabeth’s name.

      When to Roger Manners, he was the 5th Earl of Rutland. He was born in 1576 and was poisoned in 1612, dieing then. Some have thought him the author of Shakespeare, but I have found that many of the most likely candidates to Shakespeare’s authorship are all close to Oxford:

      – Marlowe was certainly his pen-name;
      – Francis Bacon was his half-brother, son of Elizabeth and Leicester, and he was, in a theory of mine, the author of Richard Barnfield, so he was in a literary alliance to Oxford-Shakespeare;
      – Mary Sidney may have continued the hate of her late brother towards Oxford, but her son William Herbert, by 1598, was engaged to Bridget de Vere and the poet of who she was Maecenas was Nicholas Breton, the author of the enigmatic Willobie his Avisa to some;
      – William Stanley was his son-in-law, unhappily married to his daughter Elizabeth de Vere, and certainly owas involved with his wife and others who knew the Shakespeare secret in the hidding/secret exile of Oxford;

      Etc…. And finnaly we have Roger Manners. Som have thought him as Shakespeare and he had some connections. For example, he went to Denmark when he was aged 20 (1596) in the time two students, Rosencrantz and Guylderstern, lived (yes I know… it smells to Hamlet, doesn’t it…?). The Castle of Belvoir, where he lived, had a ceiling fresco copying Correggio’s Io and Jupiter, mentioned in “The Taming of the Shrew”, there was perfomed a play somehow similar to Twelfeth Night but written by Rutland and where is an unique and unexpecte record of the Castle’s steward paying to Shakespeare (I’m citing this http://www.shakespeareanauthorshiptrust.org.uk/pages/candidates/manners.htm). So, certainly Rutland was close to Shakespeare or whoever he was.

      Because of this, and because Rutland was close to Southampton too, I have thought that he may have been Oxford’s younger bastard by Elizabeth. He was Bacon’s ward. Did the Queen herself wanted her bastard to be educated by his own half-brother? And the most probable is that Rutland and Oxford made some collaborations, most likely in rewritting Oxford’s Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. In Sonnet 85, “My tongue-tied Muse in MANNERS hold her still”. Could Manners be a pun and a prove Rutland, yet imprisioned in the Tower too for being involved in the Essex Rebellion, was somehow important? Was Oxford fighting for his younger son’s life as well his older, but giving more attetion to Southampton for he was the older and, therefore, the heir of England? Maybe we can find Rutland too in the Sonnets. Let’s keep our eyes wide open 🙂

      • Just adding: if we follow Roger Manners as bastard of Oxford and Elizabeth and twin non identical of Southampton, “The Comedy of Errors” makes sense now.

        Elisabeth Sears said Edward de Vere and Edward Manners, 3th earl of Rutland, Roger Manner’s uncle, were twins too. I think they were Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse, respectively. Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse were, respectively, Southampton and Rutland. Though they are in play a poor woman’s twin and slaves to the two Antipholus, I think this is just a diversion to distance the audiences and give them the idea the story was taken directly from Plautus’ works. The name “Adriana”, the name of the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, ends up in “ana” and if you had another “n” you’ll have “Anna”, italian and in other languages to “Anne”, Oxford’s first wife’s name. And both Anne and Adriana are acused by their husband of infiedelity. Maybe after the Anne’s bed trick, Oxford has thought she slept with his twin and she didn’t even notices, or maybe he was just taking advantage of the fact he had a twin to complicated the story.

        Just a theory… … …

      • I must catch up with the last several emails. You may have mentioned it, but I have always thought the first line of 39 was about Roger Mannrs – “O how thy worth with manners may I sing…” They are both then in the tower, etc.

  19. Whitemmore, thanks! You’re a genius :O! “O how thy worth with manners may I sing” only help me more!! Looks like Oxford is trying to figure out how he can safe his bastards from thy mother’s wrath! Thanks a lot!!

    • *they mother’s wrath 😛

      • And I have more. Baconians believed Bacon said he himself was a royal bastard. He and Essex. I believed there were children of Elizabeth: he, Essex, Mary Sidney and Robert Cecil. To prove this, Baconians (who mostly ignore Henry Hawkins’ afirmation: “My Lord Robert hath had five children by the Queen” and when they cited it, they don’t study it, they just stay by the claims Bacon and Essex were the only Elizabeth’s bastards) cite “In Happy Memorie of Elizabeth Queen of England or a Collection of the Felicities of Queen Elizabeth”, in which we can read:

        “There are Two Fair Issues of her Happiness born to her, since her death […] those she enjoyed alive.”

        The two fair issues are told by baconians to be Bacon and Essex, but they can be Southampton and Rutland! They were the children of the Queen, so, the heirs and they were children of the first born of the Queen too. So they were the true heirs, and due to the importance given to more to Southampton then to Rutland in Shakespeare’s works, we can cleary say Southampton was the elder twin.

    • Thanks Francisco and Sandy for the promptings and inspirations. (I have had few colleagues with whom to discuss such details, but, as they say, God is in the details!) In any case, look here about the first line of 39:

      First, if you look at the 1609 orthography, it begins with a very large “O” followed by a smaller but still-large “H” — which cries out to be Oxford and Henry … OH —

      Second, the next word is “how” – henry – oxford – wriothesley ….

      Third, “thy worth” = your royal blood = also “worth” when using the first and last letters is “w.h.”

      Fourth — he has himself, Wriothesley and Roger Manners all in one line ,,,

      I had thought at one time that Roger Manners may have been the actual child of Mary Browne, for whom Southampton was substituted, but who knows? They were fast friends at Cambridge and/or Oxford, I believe, and there is a letter from Countess Southampton saying her son is spending the summer with Roger.

      But I have no handle on it at this time.

      • Good point, Whittemore. But when to the Countess’ bastard, I think is name may have been William. At least we have a “beggar boy, William” in the 2th Earl of Southampton’s will.

        Know, look at Sonnet 78:

        So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse,
        And found such fair assistance in my verse
        As every alien pen hath got my use
        And under thee their poesy disperse.
        Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing
        And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
        Have added feathers to the learned’s wing
        And given grace a double majesty.
        Yet be most proud of that which I compile,
        Whose influence is thine, and born of thee:
        In others’ works thou dost but mend the style,
        And arts with thy sweet graces graced be;
        But thou art all my art, and dost advance
        As high as learning my rude ignorance.

        This sonnet is importante to understand the circunstance of Oxford’s anonymity (because Southampton is his principal Muse, ie. he talks of Southampton because his royal blood and the story of his birth inspire his pen-name Shake-Speare), his use of many other pen-names (“As every alien pen hath got my use”. He even pun his own last name in “EVERy”) but too because it talks on Southampton’s brother.

        In the second stanza we read “Thine eyes, that taught the dumb on high to sing/And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,/Have added feathers to the learned’s wing/And given grace a double majesty.” The feathers added to the learned’s wing, in my point of view, is a reference to the creation of Shake-Speare (Oxford is the wing of the learned and Shake-Speare is the feathers added to him when he inspired in his older royal bastard). But the creation of Shakespeare, fruit of Southampton’s existence and blood, does not only made a better Oxford but it gives “grace a double majesty”. Try to guess who is this doulbe majesty… Southampton and Rutland. It could be the Queen, but she is already full of grace by all the poets, but Rutland is not.

      • Very good, Francisco. I myself will hold it open for further study.

        Until this Roger Manners track appeared, my answer would have been that both Elizabeth and Southampton have Grace already. The fact of his birth has added to her Majesty by making it double, a double majesty.

        When will even half of Oxfordians come to realize the rival is the pen name?

  20. When will people realize the rival is the pen name, the mistress doesn’t love the poet anymore and the youth is his son? And the brother of the youth is present in the sonnets? Good question…

    When to the double majesty, I don’t give logic to the Queen and Southampton has having grace for being “double majesty”. The Queen have already all the grace for being who she is, and Southampton is not seen by England as the next King. But Oxford created Shake-Speare to change this, and that why the feathers are added to the learned’s wing. And this add gives grace (i.e makes public by praising) to Southampton as king, but Oxford/Shake-Speare isn’t praising one majesty, he is praising two. If the Queen is recognized as the Queen, she have already all the grace, so who could be the one missing who is royal too but it’s not a public fact? Oxford himself? Or Rutland? To me it’s Rutland 🙂

  21. Gents, I don’t know this Manners-story. But I though if it’s true, then Oxford somehow did make him part of the Monument. Well, the word ‘manners’ (of which one is manner) can be found four times in the sonnets, and the difference between the 85th and the 111th are exactly 26. It’s a possible way, I think.

    • Roger Manners as Oxford and Elizabeth’s younger son is just a thought of mine but I think it can become my new theory 😉 I thought it because of the close dates of birth of both Rutland and Southampton (in October, but Southampton’s false born is registed to three years before Rutland’s).

      Sandy, Roger Manners was the 5th Earl of Rutland. He was born in October 1576 and died in 1612. He as been believed by some to be Shakespeare’s true author. He was also involved in the Essex Rebellion and, like Southampton, he was sent free when James took the throne and the punishment to both, like to the other traitors, was to pay a great sum of money.

      Yes, I start to think Rutland must have been a second Fair Youth that no one could see in more than 400 years. But he is not the main character of the Sonnets and his aparence is discret, much more or else soon academics would have seen a second man in the sonnets. Well, some have seen but never in the PT Theoryist context.

      Thank you for the 26 sonnets between 85-111. I will try to see something ;). After all, if he born in 1574 after Southampton, then both had the same age and where around 26-28 years old during the Rebellion and it’s consequences on them.

  22. Francisco, this 26 is a key number in the sonnets, of The Monument. There’s a 100-sonnet center, and two ‘pillars’ of 26-26 sonnets, and on the top of it the last 2 sonnets – altogether 154.
    It’s Hank’s invention, fully detailed in his book. The word ‘monument’ can be found three times, the difference between them being 26-26.
    The first 26 sonnets are about the Fair Youth, then from the 27th comes the Rebellion, and so on..
    So, in a nutshell, that’s why the number 26 is so important in the sonnets. I hope now you can see a bit more clearly 🙂

    • I knew it 🙂 Oxford repetead cleary the same thing he did with the sonnets of 18 verses he wrote and published as Thomas Watson during the 80’s and he dedicated to himself (a little narcisist but he was no saint and he was certainly not a humble man).

      Sonnet 85 is almost at the end of the Rival Poet sonnets, so I think it’s probable Rutland and Southampton be mixed more easily here. Sonnet 107 marks Southampton’s libertation and I don’t know if all the surviving rebels were libertated at the same time, so I can try to find Rutland in this sonnet. I think to get this information I need a little of Whittemore’s help :/

      Meanwhile, the number 6 itself is important through the sonnets, as Whittemore found. Southampton and Rutland were captured at the agr of 26, interrupting Oxford’s “love” sonnets towards his first born written at each birthday of his. So, 85-111 is a peculiar number. Let’s see if Rutland is there in any “Chapter”, as Whittemore called in the Monument to every 10 sonnets from 27-36, 37-46, etc. 😀

      • And well, I read Sonnet 39 again and my suspicions confirmed. Oxford didn’t made Rutland so relevant as Southampton in the Sonnets because Southampton was indeed the older twin. Why I say this? Because only the elder could inherit the throne and thanks to Whittemore, we can conclude Southampton was the rightful heir of England, so he must have been the older twin. Now, look at the first stanza of Sonnet 39:

        “O! how thy worth with manners may I sing,
        When thou art all the better part of me?
        What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
        And what is’t but mine own when I praise thee?”

        The poem start with “O”, one of Oxford’s signature, like his E.O (Earl [of] Oxford), identifying then the author. Southampton’s worth is Southampton’s royal blood and right to inherit England and be it’s King. And “manners” it’s a pun in Rutland’s surname. Oxford is not asking how he can sing on Southampton’s right to be King correctly, but yes how can he sing to both Southampton’s right and Rutland’s royal blood too. Oxford answers to him myself in the second verse: because Oxford is Elizabeth’s first born and her true heir and Southampton is, by being his half-brother but mainly first born, Elizabeth’s heir too. Now I get it when Oxford and Southampton are the same. Not because they are brothers and son and father, but because they are too Elizabeth’s true heirs. In the next too verses, Oxford still thinking how he can praise Rutland’s royalty too, because praising just one son is unfair and somehow worthless. The rest of this sonnet, Oxford takes a bow on praising Rutland and let cristal clear Southampton should be the main character of the Sonnets.

        So, what about Rutland, anyway? I think we can find him through puns, methaphors and double-meaning words. We have to look closer, like in the “double-majesty” and we will find out Rutland 😉

  23. Whittemore, is there any reason for Southampton’s disdain towards Oxford in the late sonnets? I start to think the complicated situation of father and son of Oxford and Southampton isn’t with Southampton… but I need to know by your part why would Southampton be so cruel and false to Oxford between sonnets 87-96?

    • Francisco, it’s a good question but there is a ready answer that has more than one aspect. First, Oxford has now concluded a deal that, in the first place, enabled Southampton to be spared from execution. The deal involves, in part, what Oxford testifies in Sonnet 36 — they can no longer acknowledge each other. So, in one sense, the sonnets you mention are framing the relationship within this new context. You cannot love me, so you must hate me; this is our fate from here on, publicly and (I believe) privately as well. So Oxford is writing about this allegorically, or metaphorically — not sure the accurate word. Second, the deal also involved Southampton giving up his blood right, his possible succession, at any point from here on; and for that, Southampton may well be angry at his father for this. Oxford is trying to make up for it by creating this monument for him, and has said so already in 81, but why should Southampton accept that in place of the real thing? Oxford is literally trying to create “the living record” of Southampton as King; to give him new birth, to crown him, in verse, and to put this verse inside a monument that will outlast tyrants’ crests and the tombs of brass built for kings. But Southampton may well have wanted to fight back.

      Now, during this very time, friends of Southampton called Octavians (after the eighth of Feb) are gathering, in and out of the Tower, talking about the possibility of another rebellion against Cecil, who is now all powerful. This in Oxford’s view will upset everything. (Plus it won’t succeed.) In 94 he warns his son, the flower, against joining with “base infection” or those who would urge him to rebel and commit another crime; “For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds,” etc. And in 95 he warns him, “Take heed (dear heart) of this large privilege;/ The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge” — the knife being the sword of rebellion, that is, ill-used, or used wrongly. Finally in 96 he warns him most strongly of all, first acknowledging that he could lead so many “gazers” or subjects to rebel, “If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state” — a powerful line! Followed by “But do not so!” Don’t do it! And Southampton does not.

      You have identified an interlude within the rest of the year 1601 up to maybe January 1602 when this took place. I think it was mainly in October or so 1601. It’s quite a dramatic episode recorded (in this way) within the sonnets.

      Oxford had put everything on the line in that deal. He got Southampton to beg for mercy, to write to Cecil and the council, even to write that poem to the Queen, and now the young earl has been spared, but probably thinking, well, I had to do all that, in order to save my skin. Now, after breathing a sigh of relief, and taking a deep breath, is he rattling the cage again? Threatening to upset this delicate balance?

      Let me know if this answers you.

      • Yes, it answer 🙂 Thank you. I’m quite conviced now there was another bastard by Oxford and Elizabeth and hints like in The Comedy of Errors, make me think there was a twin. The only one how could fill all this was Rutland, who supposedly born in the same day that Southampton three years before him but only appear cleary and present in documents when he entered to Cambridge in 1587. And Rutland himself was one of Southampton’s bigest friend. Southampton’s (adoptive) mother, like you said, said he and Southampton passed a summer together and there are witness who registed a time when the two earls passed all their time together in the theatre. And possibles puns in the plays and in the sonnets make a connection between the two earls. Only not to mention Rutland’s involvement in Shakespeare’s/Oxford’s plays.

        But Rutland must be somewhere else in the Sonnets beyond the pun “manners” in Sonnets 39 and 85. Sandy mentioned the 26 number of difference between Sonnet 65 and Sonnet 111, where “manners” appear again, and once again it can be a pun (“Than public means which public manners breeds”). I think the “public means” are the plays which Oxford penned with Rutland, plays like Twelfth Night, mentioned by those who think Rutland as Shakespeare that it was performed in the Belvoir Castle. “O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide/The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,/That did not better my life provide/Than public means, which public manners breed” = For me, blame the late Elizabeth, whose secret plan to silence me made me no better like the plays I wrote with your brother for my pen-name.

        I thought Rutland could be the addressee of the sequence of Sonnets 87-96, because while he was arrested, his father apparently didn’t give him the attention he gave to Southampton, his twin. The answer to this, as I said, is in Sonnet 39. It wasn’t Oxford’s will to not put Rutland in his Sonnets but Southampton was the first born, so he was a little more relevant for being the true heir of England and, as you said, the Sonnets were written to celebrate Southampton as king. Yet, I don’t give up on looking for Rutland, for I feel he must be somewhere else in the Sonnets as a discret and secondary character. What about the Sonnets where Southampton is treated by “you”? As I know, in english “you” can be to singular as to plural. Could the “you” be Oxford addressing to both sons at the same time, or was just a sing of Southampton losing his earl and prince title? Because if your answer is this last option, why would “you” appear so randomly in the Sonnets?

  24. Francisco, I can remember that some months ago I asked the very same question, as I also find it interesting.
    Just as I’m curious what Hank thinks of the ELIZ-AB-ETH discovery 🙂

    • You did O.o? I have read all your questions but I can’t remeber reading one like that. Well, I can’t even remeber my breakfast so 😛 …

      When to the presence of Elizabeth in Sonnet 146, at least you have my opinion already 🙂 it can be not so important because I’m not an academic or something like that, but I can become a writer soon (that’s my dream) and try to guess what my first matter 😉 That’s why all my question.

      I think we need to give Whittemore a break 😛

  25. Yes I did, and Hank wrote that somewhere he’d read something about it and that he should search for his notes on it.
    Good luck for becoming a writer 🙂 I’m too old to be anything else than a computer programmer and an amateur detective 🙂

    • You once refered your age, I think O.o let’s say what Southampton passed before he fall into Cecil’s claws with Essex Rebellion is half more of what I have.

      But that’s doesn’t matter now 😛 When to Elizabeth in Sonnet 146, that’s just one sonnet in one cycle. Don’t forget there are more important and relevant poems like Sonnet 144 and sonnet 138, published before 1609. I once talked on them. I dated them back to 1598-9- being 1599 the year they were published. In Sonnet 144 we have a situation similar to Sonnets 40-42 and Sonnets 133-6, but it’s not in this time. I don’t know if you know, but Southampton was arrested in 1598-1599 for marrying in secret Elizabeth Verón, one of the Queen’s Maid in Honour. Sonnet 138 maybe dated to early 1599, if Southampton was arrested in the end of 1598, as it’s believed, and this sonnet may mark Elizabeth’s liar nature by telling Oxford she would release Southampton earlier than 1599. Just a theory. As I am absorved in studiyng the presence of Rutland in the Fair Youth Sonnets and you’re trying to find Eliazbeth concelead beyond words, you can try to look for her in more relevant sonnets.

      • And when I talked if “you” in the Sonnets could be Oxford talking to both his sons as one person (the one who academics would call Fair Youth), just look, for example, to Sonnets 67-76.

        In Sonnet 67 and 68, Oxford talks of Southampton (he uses “he” and “his”, etc.); in Sonnet 69 and 70, Oxford uses “thee” and “thou”, cleary talkin with Southampton; in Sonnet 71 and 72, he uses “you” and this are sonnets about Oxford’s mortality, I think he was talking to his sons as one and the same person (they were non identical twins, after all); in Sonnets 73 and 74, he uses once again “thou” (so, these are to Southampton, just to one person, the one who Oxford vowed to talk about in Sonnet 39 and build a monument in Sonnet 81 and 55); but again, in Sonnet 75 and 76, we have the enigmatic “you” again. Oxford closes this “chapter” buy punnig on Southampton’s motto but refering to him as you… or to him and his secret brother? The singular love refered in this sonnet, to me, it’s Rutland and Southampton as one. I don’t know why Oxford would refer to Elizabeth’s birth when he cited “their birth” in verse 8, but if Southampton had a brother, “their birth”, I think, would make sense.

        Just a theory :/

  26. Dear gents, Francisco: in my very limited time I tried to find something about the twins-theory. What I’ve found maybe has nothing to do with it, but we might think about it, I’m really convinced.
    The interesting word in case is REASON / REASONS.
    – it has SON in it,
    – the pronunciation of it begins about the same as that of the name of Wriothesley: ri:z or riz.
    These two features I think make it ideal for puns. Lets add to it the supposed twin theory, and check it – I will.
    Well, my first question was whether it is part of the Monument-theory: yes, in sonnets 89 and 115 it can be found once: the difference is 26.
    Very interesting that there are three sonnets where it can be found two times – as if to express that there are to sons, about whom Oxford is speaking: 49, 129, 147 are these sonnets.
    Maybe REASON can be a pun on REAL SON. In this case the hidden meaning is obvious – for us at least. Let’s see, if there is a line which gains a new meaning with this?
    In sonnet (with two REASONS in it – in plural form):
    ‘To guard the lawful reasons…’
    It might be read: to guard the lawful real sons, my sons who are mine by birth and law.

    In sonnet 115:
    ‘Crowning the present, doubting of the rest’
    Maybe it refers to the first born son’s crowning, and being uncertain what will happen to the second son.
    But the word itself -as I mentioned- can be a pun on Henry’s name, just as ever/every we accept that a pun on Oxford’s name.
    There must be much more about it, but now I just wanted to pique your interest 🙂

    • Maybe “Reason” may not be “Real Son”. “Love” in the Sonnets have two meanings: Royal/Tudor Blood and Southampton himself. Sometimes, Southampton is portrayed as the Love God for he is a King (e.g.: Sonnet 116, where Love wins Time i.e. Southampton escapes from Cecil after gain his freedom in Sonnet 107). But in Sonnets like 147, we have Love fighting against Reason and the beginner of this “fight”, which thouches deeply the poet, is the Dark Lady (Elizabeth).

      In Sonnet 49, Oxford is using “thou”, so he’s talking to Southampton. He’s fearing the time when his son may lose his royal right to inherit the crown (the image of this sonnet is of Southampton disdaining Oxford, but as we have seen, hate and all kind of rejection that are opost to love, in this Sonnets, are taken as “enimies” of royal blood). We can read:

      “When love, converted from the thing it was,
      Shall reasons find of settled gravity”

      What if REASON be not ROYAL SON but RUTLAND/ROGER EARL SON? The A may be there only to complete the word 😉
      If REASONS and REASON be a reference to Rutland, then what Oxford really what to tell us in this two verses is that when Southampton lose his right to inherit the throne, that right will passe to Rutland (this just help me more thinking of them as twins). But Southampton stills the elder twin and yet Oxford love both sons (he left this clear many times in the Sonnets and in the Plays. E.g “The Comedy of Erros”), he must fight for what is right and fair: the Crown if of Southampton. But if Southampton died during the trials of Execution, then the royal right would passe to Rutland.

      I see Sonnet 129 as part of three sonnets Oxford wrote and showed to Elizabeth, this is, Sonets 128-130. Why do I think this? Because the tune in this sonnets seems nothing like Sonnet 127 or the rest of the sonnets… so, Oxford wrote to show this three sonnets to Elizabeth to convince her to release their sons from the Tower but she rejected the idea (and the result from this disdain was Sonnet 131). Sonnet 128 talks on Elizabeth’s depression and weakness after Essex’s execution in a passionate tune; Sonnet 129 is more “rude” but it was written to remeber Elizabeth of her affair with Oxford and the two sons they had (you can see it by its tune); and Sonnet 130 is just to flatter her by mocking with all love poems and ending up with a lovely couplet.

      In Sonnet 129 we have:

      “Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight;
      Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
      Past reason hated as a swallow’d bait,
      On purpose laid to make the taker mad”

      In the second stanza, Oxford advert that if Elizabeth hold in prison the fruits of their lust, Rutland and Southampton, she will get mad of pain, more than that she won by killing Essex ( “(…) to make the taker mad”). She shouldn’t take the royal right (“hated”) from Rutland, anyway (this can seems confusing, but don’t forget Sonnet 49 was written long after this, I believe) and shouldn’t kill him neither (“hunted”). In the rest of the Sonnet, Oxford gives to Elizabeth the image of a psycopath mother (“Mad in pursuit and in possession so”) who is holding her sons in the Tower (“Had, having”) only to kill them. The twins’ imprisionment could be like “a bliss in proof” because they are so value, but it only proves to be worser (“prov’d, a very woe”). This damned bliss before was once a joy and a dream, but no more (“Before a joy […], behind, a dream”. It’s joy here a reference to Southampton and a dream to Rutland? The dream behind a joy = Rutland to be the younger of two twins?). Oxford ends up this sonnet remebering their affair was motive of gossip in the court during 1573-1575 but none talked on bastards (“All this the world well knows, yet none knows well”), and because of non apparent heirs, know everyone turns back on Elizabeth (“shyn the heaven”) and prefer to have a Scotish king on the throne than nothing (“this hell”).

      With all this logic of REASON = Earl (of) Rutland Son (of Elizabeth), Sonnet 147 seems then to mark the end of the relationship of Oxford and Rutland, and the fault of this is of Elizabeth. This one I need to study better. Thanks anyway Sandy, you really helped me 🙂

  27. Francisco that ‘A’ is right there:
    R – oger
    EA -rl
    Good to know that I could help you.

    • Yes, and R is both Roger and Rutland. See Sonnet 147:

      My love is as a fever, longing still
      For that which longer nurseth the disease,
      Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
      Th’uncertain sickly appetite to please.
      My reason, the physician to my love,
      Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
      Hath left me, and I, desperate, now approve
      Desire is death, which physic did except.
      Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
      And frantic mad with evermore unrest;
      My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
      At random from the truth vainly expressed:
      For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
      Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

      I think Oxford wanted us to think “my love” in the beggining of the sonnet was his affection towards his mistress but it wasn’t. I read some of The Monument in Google Books and I think Whittemore’s logic is right but not complete because of REASON. I don’t think it’s Oxford’s “intelligence” to save his son who is angry, but Rutland. Try to guess why. I listed Sonnets 146-152 as being of the period from 1601, after Elizabeth spared Southampton (and, of course, Rutland) to 1603, when she died. So, this Sonnet must be somewhere between this time:

      My affection for Southampton is like a fever, longing for him (“nurseth the disease”), who still arrested in the Tower (“preserve the ill”) only to make way to James (“Th’uncertain sickly appetite to please”). My other son, Rutland, close to his own brother, angry and feeling that I dind’t help him, have left me and I, with one son and hated by the other, approve now that the vain necessity of making Southampton king is like a death to me. I’m getting insane of such a pain, and Rutland doesn’t binds me anymore. What I say and what I think are like the thoughts and words of madmen and doesn’t even make me look like the de Vere I was. And this is your fault, Elizabeth, because I swore you were a good queen, and know you only prove to be the cruelst woman ever.

      This discussion between Oxford and Rutland, between Truth and Reason ( 😉 ), it seems to resolve in Sonnet 111, where “you” is used and it passes already after Southampton’s freedom.

      • It’s interesting what happens when one allows oneself to follow the trails opened by new hypotheses. The worst that can happen is to find the trails ending up in entirely wrong places; but in my view it’s the only way to make discoveries.

        The major shift for me was the shift of time frame for 27-126. Even then I had no idea it was a century, even though Edgar Fripp, a Stratfordian, had noticed it in the 1930s. The shift of time frame came only after using other hypotheses, a construction of them, to keep following. That led to a discovery of not only the language but how Oxford was doing it, that is, compressing the subject matter (the three persons) while using a variety of words to consistently refer to them and to aspects of them. (i.e., bright and golden both for royal) But that was only a start; that eventually led to the perception of a leap in time frame from the 1590s to post-1601. Only later came the perception of a hundred, and ten chapters, etc.

        Francisco, about 153-154, you may be write about when they were written. I still believe they correspond to the August 1574 visit to Bath, but even my editor Alex McNeil perceived that 154 was probably written much later, i.e. 1603 or 1604. So you are not alone:-)

  28. Just one addition: Francisco, perhaps you know it, but it’s good to emphasize: in sonnet 147 the second reason is capitalized: Reason. Very interesting…

    • Well, that’s not incommun in print in this times. But yes, interesting to think why did no the first “reason” get capitalized too… The same thing happened in print when naming pagan gods. If you look to Sonnets 153 and 154 you will see the names “Dian'” and “Cupid” are italianized.

      And talking about this sonnets, Whittemore dated them back to 1574, but I desagree because Oxford’s shakespearean style was deselvolved in the beginning of the 90’s, very similar to his marlovian style during the 80’s (I told you before I believe that Marlowe is one of Oxford’s pen-names). Something normal, after all, Moarley, the front man, paid with his life for Oxford’s freedom of speech when less expected, and Oxford certainly needed a new pen name before “Venus and Adonis” went to print. But that doesn’t matter know 😛 What I want to say is that Oxford desenvolved various poetic styles during his lifetime. Most of the poems he published with his name were of his youth. They had a good style and they made him a great poet but not of golden verse like Shakespeare’s style. Shakespeare was the last and most mature pen-name that Oxford used. So, Sonnets 153 and 154 couldn’t have been wrote back to 1574, but I believe they were wrote in 1604, maybe after or before Oxford’s secret exile, to celebrate both Southampton’s and Rutland’s thirty birthday.

      After Elizabeth’s death, the only think he could wrote about was Southampton and Rutland and yet he wrote about their three lifes after the Rebellion (given more details of Southampton and Oxford’s relationship than he’s and Rutland). After the last Fair Youth Sonnet, the enigmatic Sonnet 126, Oxford wrote the last two sonnets, Sonnets 153 and 154, to celebrate his sons’ birthday. He gives to this Sonnet the idea Elizabeth and he are still youngs and recently parents, but as I said, this scenario was but recalling his memories, it’s not of a one the Poet was living by the time. I think Southampton is “Cupid” at Sonnet 153 and Rutland is the “little love-god” in Sonent 154. They were treated like the one and the same Love God (Princes Tudor) they were. This is my opinion 😛

  29. Now a bit back to Elizabeth. Just as ‘A LEASE’ is only once, the same way QUEEN is only once in the sonnets. The Queen in 96:
    ‘As on the finger of a throned Queen’

    This is the 5th line in the sonnet. Now, look at ‘a lease’:
    ‘Why so large cost, having so short a lease’

    And yes, as one might suppose, this is the 5th line of the sonnet 146. So, the places of Queen and ‘a lease’ (ELIZ) are the very same.

    For a longer time I have a (still unproved) feeling, that just like 26, the same way 50 has a special meaning – being just the half of the 100 sonnet center. Still I don’t know if it’s true, I should find more proof, but one thing is sure: the difference between sonnet 96 and 146 is exactly 50.

  30. It can be seen, just I didn’t write explicitly: they are in the same line, AND at the same place, the ending words of the lines.

    • More and more I like you Sandy xD you have a very good eye, seriously :O! We should keep our eyes to all the sonnets from dec-dec, having our base are sonnets 27-36 as so go on until 126. The only sonnets I think we can’t figure out the correct order are those of the Dark Lady, for many were written at the same times of those of the Fair Youth in different tune and characters (e.g Sonnets 152 and Sonnet 105, both about Elizabeth’s and Tudor Dinasty’s death).

  31. At the word ‘Queen’
    ‘So are those errors that in thee are seen
    To truths translated, and for true things deem’d.’

    Where is error in the sonnets, which is obviously -and everybody regards it so- an error, but I’m sure that is made on purpose by Oxford – simply because it’s impossible to commit it otherwise?
    ‘my sinful earth’ is repeated in sonnet 146 As the second occurence is written with ‘My’ that is capitalized, I can no imagine that a printer with his sober wit would commit such an error. IT’S NOT A PRINTING ERROR, gents. So, I suppose it was Oxford’s intention to mark this place as an error.
    Now, back to 96:
    ‘How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,
    If like a lamb he could his looks translate!
    How many gazers mightst thou lead away,’

    What does Oxford: leads the gazers away in 146, whilest he hid Elizabeth’s name between the lines.

    • Are you trying to say Oxford was “counting” the Sonnets from 96 to 146? Sorry, I think I never mentioned this, but as an autist, there are certain things I can’t understand 😛 so, Sandy, you won’t to say the “…….” i.e the missing words in Sonnet 146 are there for a reason? Well, maybe. But I don’t think Oxford was connecting Sonnet 146 to Sonnet 96. Is a connection what you sugered O.o?

      • Whittemore, I just read your answer right know to my analysis of Sonnet 147. But as I said in this comment above of mine, I have a little problem that can make me a genius or a tremendous fail if I don’t get anything. Could you repeat your answer but in other words, please :P?

  32. Francisco, sorry, but there are no missing words 🙂 Look at the 146 in the original quarto:


    Can you see any words missing?

    • When I said missing words I was refering to the repetead “My sinful earth”, sorry :P!

  33. So, what I suggested is, that with this ‘error’ Oxford marked this sonnet as a special one, some food for people to think about it, and

    “those errors that in thee are seen
    To truths translated,”


    • Answering to one by one:

      Sandy, I don’t think it’s probable the “errors” refered in Sonnet 96 are errors that readers would see and blame the editor or the poet for ignorance. If you read the sonnet, you find a reference to Elizabeth in the 5th line but in the rest of the stanza and the sonnet, you will see the errors are not errors in the sonnets, but those who hunt Southampton’s personality (youth and lust, according to the first verse). The sonnets talks about those errors in Southampton that, because he is who he is (a king), look like virtues and graces.

      Whittemore, then my twin-theory is wrong, fruit from a wrong reading of the sonnets, right :/?

  34. Hank, just one addition to The Monument. In sonnet 98 you noticed in the following line:
    ‘Nor praise the deep vermillion in the Rose’

    that ‘Ver’ is a reference to Oxford. However, in the original quarto the deep is written in this form: ‘deepe’. So the line looks so:
    ‘Nor praise the deepe vermillion in the Rose’

    That is, actually the reference is ‘Ever’. Maybe even better a little bit 🙂

    • “Nor praise the deep vermillion in the Rose”. It’s this rose the Tudor Rose? I have a doubt and I can’t understand: why in Shakespeare the Rose is a personification of the red coulor and the Lily to the white? As far as I know, there are white roses, they existed all the time. And isn’t the Tudor Rose a mix of the Red Rose and White Rose from Leicester and York Houses? Then from where did Oxford take the Lily O.O? Could the Rose be a reference to Southampton and the Lily to Rutland (if ever the twin-theory be aproved by someone, I still didn’t have any feedback 😛 )? Roses and lilies confound me here …

  35. Hank, in The Monument you rightfully write that in sonnet 83 and 109 with the word ‘Never’ Oxford made references to his name ‘Ever’. However, I think it’s interesting to see -and it’s not mentioned in The Monument- that these two (and ONLY TWO) places where Never is capitalized, are exactly 26 sonnets apart from each other. By this way I’m sure he made himself in a sense part of the monument built for his son.

    • “I Never” and “O Never”. Is that what your refering O.o? These are “signatures” by Oxford, aren’t they? Never = E.Vere/Vere; so, I Never = I, E. Ver(e)/Vere; and O Never = Oxford E.Ver(e)/Vere, right?

      • Yes. The word ‘never’ can be found several at several places, but these are the only places, where they are capitalized – 26 sonnets apart.

  36. Whittemore, I can’t understand (Sandy, maybe you can help me too :/): why Oxford sometimes uses “thou” talking to Southampton and other times, he uses “you”? I think you once said that was because of Southampton’s loss of his titles as King and Earl but if that be true (a thing that happened after the failed Rebellion), then why do you have “you” in the first 26 Sonnets, even before the Rebellion?

    • Francisco, I don’t recall making that explanation. There are some three dozen examples of the following from King John:

      Act 1, Scene 1

      KING JOHN Is that the elder, and art thou the heir? You came not of one mother then, it seems.

      So here in one breath, two sentences in one line, in reference to the same person, first “thou” and then “you.” I don’t know what to make of it, other than to think sometimes it’s simply the way it flows in dialogue, and/or how it flows within lines of poetry and of the sonnets.

      Of course “thou” is more formal, older, as in “Thou shalt not kill.”

      The word “you” floods into Sonnet 13, and seems very personal and familiar, with great overtones of “you” as king, such as “O that you were your self, but love you are/ No longer yours than you your self here live.” A statement to a rightful king, I believe. Such as in 84: “But he that writes of you, if he can tell/ That you are you, so dignifies his story.”

      More later.

      • Thanks for now. Ok, when to the part of “I think you once said that was because of Southampton’s loss of his titles as King and Earl” can be wrong 😛 I think you once said that, at least I remeber to read something like that from a PT Theoryist, and I think it was you…

        Well, almost everything I have read from Elizabethan hand have “thou” when using a subjetc. Rare the document where I read “you”. You said “thou” is more formal and older, unlike “you” (something I already knew, but thanks anyway 🙂 ), but why not to use “you” more times than “thou”? Was he respecting the sonneteer’s tradition in talking to the subject of the sonnet in a formal but at the same time intimate speech? For moments I thought, as “you” can be both to singular and plural, we had Oxford talking to both Rutland and Southampton as one person, Southampton himself. This is starting to look like an English class than a Shakespeare’s Authorship’s blog 😛

  37. Whittemore, maybe I’m being too fast and rushing everything and everyone with too many matters, but if that’s real, then you can not answer me if that’s your will, I won’t mind :).

    You are not a specialist in “Willobie his Avisa”, but one of the motives that made me think Southampton could have a twin was D.H, one of Avisa’s suitors. I have many reasons to believe she was Trentham and you have your reasons to believe she was the other Elizabeth, the Queen. You see “Willobie his Avisa” as a regist of Southampton’s attempt to win the Queen’s favor and be raised as king, right? But what about the others? Who were the other suitors in your opinion? The Rich Man, D.B., etc. I believe D.H, Dydimus Harcos, was Rutland (Dydimus means “Twin”, as far as I know of greek. D.H doesn’t seem to be twin of anyone, so I think he could have been of H.W. = Henry Wriothesley). I have my own idea of who could have been the suitors but certainly is very different from yours and I’m still in time to change my mind, and I really need help about this matter for my book 😛

    • I have to re-study the whole thing and will try to post a link to a presentation made by my colleague Bill Boyle. Basically picking up from De Luna’s book “The Queen Declined” and suggesting (1) Nobleman as Thomas Seymour, (2) Cavelero as Philip II of Spain, (3) Frenchman the Duke of Alencon, Francois, (4) D.H. as Christopher Hatton and (5) I would say Henry Wriothesley. But will get back on this.

      • Well, I am now reading Willobie his Avisa (here you have a complete version of it and an interpretation of it http://archive.org/stream/cu31924013117332#page/n0/mode/2up).

        For what I have read now, I can’t imagine where did De Luna saw Elizabeth I in the poem. The poem even left clear Avisa was “took” by Diana to be her maid, so how could Elizabeth I be Avisa?

        I’m quite convinced that Avisa is Trentham. I am now by the end of Cavaliero’s courtship and I’m convinced that the Nobleman is a representation of Oxford before he married Trentham and the complicated relationship between them even before the marriage; and Cavaliero is Antonio Pérez. By now, I think DB Frenchman is Nicholas Breton, D.H is Rutland and H.W is Southampton, but I will read more until I get to some solid conclusion.

        When to the link about the matter, are you refering to put in on your blog O.o (I think I don’t get it 😛 )?

      • Francisco, as mentioned, I think, I shall consult my colleague Boyle on this. Meanwhile, perhaps I have already mentioned that another colleague, Barb Flues, who does incredibly meticulous work on the texts, is convinced that Oxford wrote Willobie his Avisa. It comes at a crucial time, a turning point, in the crisis of succession, in the very important year of 1594, and — well, I have great respect for your detective work in these matters, so let us do what we can to find the truth. With much appreciation from Hank (and hello, Sandy, to you too.)

  38. Hi Hank!
    If the truth could wait 400 years, some more days doesn’t matter – luckily we have no short a lease 🙂 Good work, my friend.

  39. Gents, I have no question, just I’d like to share with you one warning from Oxford – a little bit hidden, but it’s clearly there:

    ‘Now do wait Queen Elizabeth’s death!’

    • “Now do wait Queen Elizabeth’s death”? Where is that? Sonnet 145, after Southampton and Rutland being spared?

  40. No. it’s more difficult, it needs a longer explanation. I think it’ll be best to wait for Hank, till you both have the time to follow it.
    Just I was so happy for me to be able to see and follow Oxford’s (hidden) intension 🙂

    • Hmm ok 🙂 while then I will try to get more conclusions about Avisa and her suitors 😉

      • Alas, I can be of no help in that.
        As to my ‘sentence’, what really matters is that Queen Elizabeth is clearly there in the sonnets, as we could see it. The more is just an addition, which might or might not be interesting – it will not alter the main point, this is my strong belief.

  41. Sandy, that’s true. But as you have read, I am now making a case around a possible twin of Southampton. I really believe there was one and he was Rutland. And I think “Willobie his Avisa” can help us here, because when I first saw by myself that D.H., one of the suitors, as Rutland, everything started to make sense. But there was something tht was bother me: the “Dydimus”. He was “twin” of who? Then I noted that after this suitor, comes the last. Guess who… H.W., called Harry by Avisa. This suitor is a great friend of W.S., who quotes Ovid many times. There was only one W.S. who could be so fond of Ovid: Oxford as William Shake-Speare; and there was only one H.W called Harry that was so close to Oxford/Shakespeare: Southampton. I believe Avisa was Trentham and the two twins courted her.

    Looks like the suitors don’t know each others or don’t know the woman they persuit iis being persuited by another men (at least, they don’t name her as a persuited woman, they just flatter her and make her promises until they get enough of her stubbornness and mocking). This may not be so important, but I think this libel help us understanding Southampton’s and Rutland’s relationship and the failed (?) seduction they both did to the same woman and probably didn’t knew.

    This can be just an addition but can be helpful, in my opinion.

  42. I agree, in the previous form there was some ambiguity, some ‘missing point’ in the sentence I’d found hidden in a group of sonnets, in a group according to a logic. But I re-examined the sonnets involved, and the following version is now complete in itself – and explains everything:

    ‘H W doth wait Queen Elizabeth’s (death).’

    The last word, although not strictly part of the logic, is there obviously, and follows without doubt from what’s proceeding it.

  43. As a non-english-speaking person, I just feel that it’s more complete with this extension – of course strictly according to the sonnets:

    ‘H W doth now wait Queen Elizabeth’s (death).’

    • Now I’m curious O.o where do you want to get with all that of Southampton waiting for Elizabeth’s death?

  44. My friend: this sentence is about what actually happened: Henry -according to the likely bargain- was imprisoned till the Queen’s death. Do you really think he wished that God may give her long life?
    If I’m right, Oxford hid the core of the story the oxfordians now claim.

    • Sure he hid this story but only in 1955, when Percy Allen came out of the blue with this theory, the truth was really out. Then Whittemore found the true key to decipher the Sonnets: the double meaning of the words. And everything started to make sense. Plays like Anthony and Cleopatra left clear Elizabeth and Oxford had an affairs and plays like The Comedy of Errors left cleary too that the two had bastards from this affair. So, the only way we could find Elizabeth next was in the Sonnets. But if it wasn’t for Whittemroe, people wuold probably still thinking the Dark Lady Sonnets were written probably to Aemilia Bassano or Mary Fitton, women who Oxford certainly knew but only by view (I don’t think they had know each other: Aemilia was just a feminist woman from a jew family; and Fitton was the Queen’s maid of honour), and would invent stories to give sense to the Sonnets, like Oxford was bedding his 23 years younger friend and that both were beding some whore in the Court.

      Yes, Oxford and Southampton (and Rutland 😉 ) wanted Elizabeth to die fast, cleary. She was very weak by 1603, with a great depression growing inside her.

  45. Francisco, Hank did what a Man could do and much more in this case, we all know it. Still, after all that, there are books coming out about William Shakespeare The Bard, mocking the oxfordians, and so on. He has put his life on this case, and created a real Monument. Let’s help him win. What I’ve found perhaps will help – perhaps not. But I’m sure it’s worth a real, thorough consideration.
    Let’s wait on him patiently, please. I need his advice, how to go on with this discovery.
    Good night, my friend 🙂

  46. Francisco, I think I’ve found the solution of the mystery of sonnet 145 with the 8-long lines. I’ve ween smiling for an hour, I can’t sleep.
    Oxford made a fool of us all 🙂 Loveday, my friend.
    Let’s wait for Hank, and then comes more. It’s terrific, I say 🙂

    • Ok Sandy, as you will 🙂

  47. Stylometry and Shakespeare

    Dear Mr. Whittemore,
    Hearing today about Peter Millican and his use of linguistic stylometry and his program Signature to reveal that J.K. Rowling used a pseudonym to author a relatively obscure crime novel brought to mind conversations I had years ago with Michael Brame a professor of linguistics at the University of Washington who wrote a book called “Shakespeare’s Fingerprints” (http://www.artsci.washington.edu/news/summer03/shakespeare.htm). Brame’s book, though fundamentally true – a linguistic analysis has the potential to be the long sought smoking gun for the Shakespeare authorship question – to put it mildly, was a bit over the top. He discovered so many additional pseudonyms that it left one wondering whether there were any other Elizabethan writers besides de Vere and his idea about the use of the “Big O” was sometimes hilarious – though who would not fall for Romeo without his Ro as also Me O! Anyway I have always felt that the proper use of Stylometry would prove with high statistical significance that de Vere wrote Shakespeare. Combining the mathematical certainty with the overwhelming body of circumstantial evidence and the lack of data concerning any other candidates you have a very nice publication in the British journal Nature. This is the most famous of the high profile science journals and seeks to publish paradigm shifting results. Once the authorship question is moved into the realm of applying purely scientific and quantitative methods, bias is removed and the results could be published in an objective journal like Nature. So that was a fantasy of mine 10 years ago. It seems like the software for doing this type of analysis has progressed and I wonder if Millican is working on Shakespeare or if others are. Are you aware of recent work on Shakespeare using such methods? Just off the top of my head it would seem a straightforward experiment. As I understand it examples of de Vere’s known writing (poems and letters, correct?) have been identified and could form the basis for such an analysis. Presumably the writings of other Elizabethan poets and playwrights could serve as the control material for such an experiment. The trick would be to find a body of control writings that have not been influenced or edited by de Vere. Overall, it seems like a collaboration between a mathematical linguist and an Elizabethan historian could really have an impact. Thanks in advance for your thoughtful response.

    Dennis Dacey

    • Thanks for this, Dennis. I need to do a little research on it and get back here, soon as I can make the time. There have been studies of one kind or another, but the controls vary and the samples are often not balanced. Many of Oxford’s verses were songs, for example. Informal studies are easily done, with a major work by William P. Fowler relating phrases etc in Oxford’s letters to those found in Shakespeare. Words originated by Shakespeare turn out to have been used earlier by Oxford, but not recorded as such. But I get what you are suggesting and would think that experts could come up with very fair and meaningful tests. More later, soon as I can, and thanks again. Hank PS – Michael Brame was a good friend and his work was quite ahead of its time. We shared many views in common. I am sad he is no longer with us.

  48. Gents, my humble remark is that the findings, which we friends share here with each other, surely belong the the very person who discovered them.
    Perhaps it’s natural, but I can see situations when they could represent value of any kind. So I thought it better to write – we can’t know who else would read Hank’s deservedly popular blog 🙂

    • And what about your discovery of the reason why Sonnet 145 is na octossylabic poem ;)?

  49. If you write your email-address to varkony ‘at symbol’ gmail.com, then I’ll sum up to you, as you’re my friend 🙂

  50. Francisco, no email?

    • Sorry, Sandy. In this momento I have no time to stay in the computer. Could you just write here, I shall read later?

  51. Alas, it seems that I was mistaken at the proof, so I wouldn’t like to write it publicly, as it’s likely wrong. But privately I’ll share with you the wrong steps, if you want.

  52. Hi guys! Well, Sandy, I don’t know if I might write you something. Let’s say I’m a little like Oxford, so I may or may not have the time to write you a e-mail. In time we’ll see.

    Now, I think you all remeber my idea of Rutland as being Southampton’s younger non-identical twin and Oxford’s and Elizabeth’s younger bastard too, right? Well, I’ve been trying to find Rutland somewhere in the Sonnets beyond the puns on Sonnets 39, 85 and 111. I think Rutland not only needed to be saved but he too coorperate with his father Oxford to save Southampton. Why? Because Rutland was releasead in the early spring of 1603, moths before Elizabeth’s death and Southampton’s release. As you already know, Oxford wrote the Rival Poet Sonnets, about the fight Oxford created inside of his own ego because of Cecil’s demands of eternal anonymaty to save Southampton’s life (and therefore, Rutland’s too). Now I start to think Sonnet 85 marks Rutland’s life being spared in a very short and modest way (“My tongue-tied Muse in manners hold her still”) by saying his silenced wit now is thinking on Rutland and his fate after being spared by Cecil in the backstage of History. At the same time, Sonnet 85 is a sequel of Sonnet 39 in matter (but not chronologically speaking), leading with the theme of Oxford’s praising Southampton like Rutland didn’t even existed.

    And do you know what did Rutland after being freed from the Tower? He ran to his Belvoir Castle and still in spring of 1603, he received James Stuart, not yet King of England, and what they did we don’t know. The future king didn’t stay there for days, of course. He would came back in that summer, still misterious the why. And still have no evidences to support this, but I suspect Rutland was coorperating with his father in saving his brother’s life for though James was about to become king, Southampton still had oportunity and right, and I think Rutland tried and succeed to persuaded James to, when he would become a king, to freed Southampton. While Rutland was negotiating with the Scotish King (I think later James would know Southampton was a royal bastard and the true heir of the crown, but I don’t think he knew Rutland was a bastard too, at least he wasn’t so hostile to him like he was to Southampton in the day Oxford disappeared from map), Oxford was already penning Sonnet 145, i.e Southampton was already spared but would not become king, so the last thing to do was to convice the next clear king to liberate him.

    • Hi Francisco,

      I see you point. Perhaps once we’ll meet, then there’ll be no more need to write mails 🙂 As to your comment, alas I’m so busy at my workplace, that I’ve just read it, but I can make no comment to it. I hope Hank we’ll be able to co-operate with you on it.

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