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Dear Rick,

Thank you for the quotation from Eliot's essay on Middleton. This
points out something about TSE as a critic and great quoter; although
he discusses the Roaring Girl (and a good play it is, too) in his
essay, the lines he takes are from The Changeling ; and if you look for
other examples of Middleton in his work, you might compare them too,

        I that was near to your heart (etc)

from Gerontion. We suspect Eliot quoted from the Mermaid editions, as
the editor of that series, Havelock Ellis (rather known for his work on
sex, I believe, incidentally), produced the first line of the passage
(spoken by Beatrice/Johanna) as

        I that am of your blood was taken from you

rather than the accepted,

        I am that of your blood was taken from you

A crucial difference for the play, and for the poet who so wonderfully
alluded to this moment between a father and a daughter no longer his
child.

As for the steak, I guess it rather depends upon the context we haven't
got because the poem doesn't give it: what sort of steak it was.

Yours, Jennifer
On Tuesday, February 3, 2004, at 05:10  PM, Rickard A Parker wrote:

> Will Gray wrote (supplying an Eliot quote:)
>>
>> But it produced one great play--The Roaring Girle--a great play in
>> spite of the tedious long speeches of some of the principal
>> characters, in spite of the clumsy machinery of the plot: for the
>> reason that Middleton was a great observer of human nature, without
>> fear, without sentiment, without prejudice.
>
> Will, I think that the rest of the comment on Middleton is worth
> sending in as it gives a good insight to Eliot and impersonality
> (bracketed material is mine:)
>
> And Middleton in the end--after criticism has subtracted all that
> Rowley, all that Dekker, all that others contributed--is a great
> example of great English drama. He has no message; he is merely a
> great recorder. Incidentally, in flashes and when the dramatic need
> comes, he is a great poet, a great master of versification:
>     I that am of your blood was taken from you
>     For your better health; look no more upon't,
>     But cast it to the ground regardlessly,
>     Let the common sewer take it from distinction:
>     Beneath the stars, upon yon meteor
>     Ever hung my fate, 'mongst things corruptible;
>     I ne'er could pluck it from him; my loathing
>     Was prophet to the rest, but ne'er believed.
> The man who wrote these lines remains inscrutable, solitary,
> unadmired; welcoming collaboration, indifferent to fame; dying no one
> knows when and no one knows how; attracting, in three hundred years,
> no personal admiration. Yet he wrote one tragedy [The Changeling]
> which more than any play except those of Shakespeare has a profound
> and permanent moral value and horror; and one comedy [The Roaring
> Girle] which more than any Elizabethan comedy realizes a free and
> noble womanhood.
>
> Regards,
>     Rick Parker
>