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Rant #368
(published February 7, 2008)
Over The Transom
by J.M. Munsil and R.F. Long


I KNOW not how I shall offend in submitting my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a god-father, and never after bear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.

Your honour's in all duty,

Dear Mr Shakespeare,

we read your piece UNPOLISHED LINES with interest but regret that it does not meet our requirements at this time.

We wish you luck placing it elsewhere.

Yours, etc.
A. Manservant
pp Right Honorable Henry Wriothsly, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Tichfield.

Dear A. Manservant,

Is it within the realms of possibility in this sinful world that thou [thou most scurrilous knave] hast not delivered mine paultry effort to lay it before the gaze of the RIGHT HONORABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY, EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD? Is it within the bounds of courteous behavior to lay one's poxy eyes upon the shining glory of one's betters? Fie! I say thee, nay! [Dog! Licker of offal!] Carry it henceforth immediately, let not one moment's peace assault thee that thou dost not rightfully lay thy hand upon, until these mere musings lie before the distinguished gaze of the Right Honorable.

Yours, [with knotted rope in hand, varlet!]

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Many thanks for your continued interest in the patronage of the Right Honourable the Earl of Southhampton. We regret that at this time the Right Honourable Henry Wriothesly is only able to personally consider those writers who already have gained representation, or who have a previous history of published work.

Yours (with a large dog in attendance),
A. Manservant
pp Right Honorable Henry Wriothsly, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Tichfield.

Dear Soon-to-be Unmanned Servant,

Varlet! Foul pretender! Thou rank malmsey-nosed hugger-mugger! Thou cullionly half-faced measle!

Dost pretend to an ignorance far vaster than your pitiful skull could e'er contain? Dost aspire to a place in the Globe's stockroom and a line in my newest play-upon-boards? "That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once. " I will give it thee an thou not immediately place my poor scribblings under yon fat baron's snout!!

Thou weedy fen-sucked whey-face! I will dance on your bones and piss upon thy offspring an thee thwart me more.

Most sincerely yours wi' bollocks-cutter in hand,

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

Since there seems to be a problem in communication here, I will try again.

Here at the estate of the Right Honourable Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, and Baron of Tichfield, we are always on the lookout for bright young talents. However, we feel that your work, while undoubtably popular with the general public is somewhat derivative of other popular writers current today for the stage in London. Imitation of the works of Mr Christopher Marlow does not make the proverbial silk purse from a sows ear.

To wit, I fear your protagonist is invariably a whinger. Many of your female characters stand beyond the realms of belief and those which display a modicum of realism are treated as vile and wretched things. It maybe that the populous delight in seeing the great laid low due to their own faults, but those of finer breeding would prefer to see a few more basic criteria - originality of plot, basic spelling, grammar etc...

Perchance I recently caught a performance of your HAMLET in said Globe theatre and found it to be riddled with cliches throughout! Had we but a chance to sample your prose I dread to think what we would see visited on basic Point of View.

I regret that I must be so forthright in my reply. Please be assured that members of our legal team Pyke, Cudgelle and Thugge will be calling on you shortly.

Yours, etc.
A. Manservant
pp Right Honorable Henry Wriothsly, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Tichfield.

Soon-to-be Rot-Meat,

Solicitors! You set solicitors against me? "You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, you bull's-pizzle, you stock-fish—O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!"

I'll write thee into every future history! Where there is a Snavelock, there will you be! Where lurks a snivel-drip, there lurk you! Where poxed-whores look for arse-wipe, there thou art! I'll have thee endlessly cursing that ill-chanced encounter when your father gave tuppence to spend himself. I'll have thee twisting, begging, beseeching me to give thee one last chance, you scurvey dog.

May my lips rot off ere I assume a virtue if you have it not.

I take my leave. Know that thou art so leaky that I must leave thee to thy sinking. I must console me, for thine horrid image doth unfix my hair.

William Shakespeare

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

If that is indeed your real name . . .

I fear I catch the scent of Bacon in the air.

A. Manservant
pp Right Honorable Henry Wriothsly, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Tichfield.

A. Manservant,

'tis time to speak plainly, rogue. I will no more do thee the courtesy of civilized discourse than I would converse with stomach-heavings.

Meet me at Southgate this May-Day coming at dawn. Bring with thee arms and such kinfolk as do not already turn their face from you in shame. Prostitute thyself as necessary to entice day-friends, service as many as will be required to scavenge thy rent flesh from the field ere the quick mongrels come to sup at this thy carrion bed.

Ere we come to blows (and as I ascribe to gentle virtues even when dealing with thy low sort) know that I make use of all materials that come to hand, and that I have dispatched thy thugs into history. I have butchered them and immortalized their perfidy with my words, "The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers".

I will not be so kind to thee, dog.

William Who Shakes His Mighty Speare at Thee

William, William . . .


Still with the spelling mistakes . . .

A. M.

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