Saturday, April 30, 2011

Parallel - Telepathy in Prayer

First Shake-Speare:

Imogen: "I did not take my leave of him but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours,
                  or have charg'd him,
At the 6th hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
T'encounter me with orisons [prayers], for then
I am in heaven for him.
 Cymbeline 1.4.25-33

Now, Bacon:  [writing of telepathy] "Some trial should be made whether pact or agreement do anything: as if two friends should agree that on such a day in every week, they, being in far different places, should pray one for another, or should put on a ring or tablet, one for another's sake". [Reference missed]

Comment: The Arden editor notes on the Shake-Speare lines: "The times mentioned are three of the seven canonical hours of the Divine Office. The obvious interpretation is that Imogen sees herself as a goddess whom Posthumus is to worship at certain hours, but I doubt whether it is the correct one. I take 'encounter me' to mean 'join me'...and would interpret: 'I would have charged him to join with me in prayer at these times because I shall then be praying for him'".  Yes. but the editor might have had no doubt about it if he had known the Bacon passage. Even the "ring or tablet" is echoed by Shake-Speare. Imogen, one the eve of her husband Posthumus's departure for Italy, gives him a ring ("This diamond was my mother's; take it, heart" - 1.1.43); and Posthumus gives her a bracelet - 1.1.52-4

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