describes six different fools--"A flat foole, and A fatt foole, A leane foole, and A cleane foole, A merry foole, and A verry foole"--"Shewing their hues, humours and behauiours, with their want of wit in their shew of wisdome." (6) In his address to the printer and binder, Armin makes the now-familiar distinction between artificial fools and natural fools, and says his focus will be on the natural fools: "many now a dayes play the fooles and want no witte, and therefore tis no wonder for me to set downe fooles naturall, when wise men before theyle be vnprofitable, will seeme fooles artificiall." (7) Three of these natural fools live in the countryside.
Lippincott, A Shakespeare Jestbook
, Robert Armin's Foole Upon Foole (1600) (Salzburg, 1973), 86.
are closely, almost inseparably allied" and that a tragedy might best be constructed as "a living semiotical display, a series of anthropological experiments developed for the purpose of ascertaining some important psychical principle." (8) At his death Beddoes left behind just such an experiment in tragical anatomy--his own (fittingly unfinished) masterpiece, an elaborate pastiche of Jacobean horror, entitled Death's Jestbook
. It might provide the starting point for the sequel to Murder after Death which the last sentence of Richard Sugg's fascinating and beautifully produced (9) study seems to promise.
Bullein's admiration of the jestbook
writer Andrew Borde, too, may be inferred from the jestbook
anecdotes told by Roger.
A 1639 jestbook
compiled by Robert Chamberlain, on the other hand, prints ten jokes from the play without attribution and shorn of contextual detail, suggesting the latter.
(We can look forward to Smith's projected book on the same subject.) Pamela Brown's concluding chapter reveals an astonishing array of bawdy humor spoken, apparently without concern, by gentrified females and recorded in Sir Nicholas Le Strange's jestbook
. Brown's point is that this jestbook
provides an insight into the manners, behaviors, and preferences of the women who would have constituted much of the audience for public dramatic performance.
At intervals, Hitchings also gives us other angles of vision on the Dictionary as a whole, in terms of the different kinds ofbook it embodies: a history of English, a grammar guide, a literary anthology, an encyclopedia, a dictionary of quotations, a commonplace book, and in places, a book of devotions, a scientific reference book, even a jestbook
Smith, "Female Impersonation in Early Modern Ballads" (281-304); and Pamela Allen Brown, "Jesting Rights: Women Players in the Manuscript Jestbook
of Sir Nicholas Le Strange" (305-14).
Lippincott, Introduction to A Shakespeare Jestbook
. Robert Armin's "Foole upon Foole" 1600: A Critical, Old-Spelling Edition (Salzburg, 1973), 35.
The posthumously published renaissance jestbook
, Tarlton's Jests (1611), features several examples of supposedly-spontaneous rhymed poetry, often couplets, as examples of Richard Tarlton's witty improvisational responses to the 'theames' given him by audience members.
In the jestbook
story the qualities Tarlton recognized in Armin were those he might have wished for in Richard Hayward, or in any apprentice to be trained in performance.
Smith, "Female Impersonation in Early Modern Ballads"; Pamela Allen Brown, "Jesting Rights: Women Players in the Manuscript Jestbook
of Sir Nicholas Le Strange"; and Phyllis Rackin, "Afterword."