matters of state importance. Also: thanks, Jupiter!

as it clearly shows, evidence of a productive night.

In Other Unrelated News, Cymbeline is possibly the most demented soap opera that was never conceived. Maybe I actually will read it again…

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On buying Shakespeare and ooooh, corgis!

I am finally getting around to reading Cymbeline. I’ve had the Arden edition for almost a year now – considering how expensive they can be, I’m glad I was able to pick one up for a fiver in the Bookmart back home in Sligo. (if you’re ever in Sligo, GO THERE. Or Keohane’s, even. Much better than Eason’s.) Still want one of those pretty Oxford World’s Classics editions though. Le sigh…

Heh heh, bewbs.

However, this did not stop me from buying a RSC edition of Henry V today in Charlie Byrne’s. (yes, the book-buying obsession is doing rather well today, thank you very much for your enquiries into the matter!) I’ve never really bought any RSC editions of any of Shakespeare’s plays before, so we’ll have to see if it matches up with the OWC ones we know and love in terms of text, introductions, useful footnotes and so on and forth. I’m torn as to whether the editions most suitable for academics are as suitable as the ones for theatre practitioners. Or is that a question not worth asking?

And now, here’s a corgi who will only respond to you if you talk like the Beatles. If you’re anything like me (i.e., very very easily amused), then you will be, eh, amused. I have to keep the cute quota up, you see.

Robert Browning – “My Last Duchess”

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said
'Frà Pandolf' by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 't was not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say, 'Her mantle laps
Over my lady's wrist too much,' or 'Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:' such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart -- how shall I say? -- too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 't was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace -- all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men, -- good! but thanked
Somehow -- I know not how -- as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech -- (which I have not) -- to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, 'Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark' -- and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
-- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!