Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"The Passionate Shepheard": A Matter of Changing Letters, "o" and "e"

© E. Le Roy Miller

I.E., [NICHOLAS] BRETON, see our Memorial-Introduction-G

The above quote after “NOTE.” Is the last sentence on the short page of notes, immediately facing the title page, “The Passionate Shepheard” (which is not the original title page— apparently missing?).

Below is a description of the publication, The Passionate Shepheard 1604, a group of poems by “Bonerto” as it shows on the printed, only surviving copy of the book; it is what is called a “unique expemplar.” Though, the author’s name is certainly mentioned in the book, as Bonerto, the scholars all agree (apparently) that it was written by “Breton” (Nicholas or “Nicolao” in Latin; Breton or “Bretono” in Latin—as shall soon be discussed). The Passionate Shepherd, is thought to be, by Payne Collins, if not Grosart himself, for the poet’s final farewell to the world. 

Manipulation of letters to create  more
“New Names”: Scholarly Fraud To Conceal It

Now, what needs be clearly revealed is the fact that someone (it is presumed by the author himself, by Payne Collier, the original owner of the rare changed the printed text, with it’s given “Bonerto” and—we are informed by Collier,  with a “slight change” in the lettering of his name, he made it appear as “Nicolao Bretono—in other words, the poet changed the typeset, printed text spelling of his printed name--from “Bonerto” into “Bretano” [with ‘o’ “above,”as claimed by Grosart, but, contrarily, according to Payne, it was simply added to the end of the word].

What’s There To Hide? [Nicolas]

How is that done? Simply, how are we to take the printed word “Bonerto” and with a “slight change” convert those letters into letters which read, not “Bonerto” but “Bretano”” How are we to do this. Here is Collier’s description of the book in Collier’s own book. [Reader recall, we are deal with a “unique” copy there is one surviving copy, of 1602].

Collier is speaking of the visual appearance of the text opening The Passionate Shepheard, he is speaking of the appearance of the name of the author. When he speaks of “against which is written” the reader needs visualize he is speaking of ink writing—applied to a typeset printed page, exactly at the place of the printed name on that page:

"Against which name is written, in a hand of about the time, "Nicolao Bretono," the letters forming Bonerto, with a slight change, making Bretono, i.e., Nicholas Breton. In 1604 the name of Nicholas Breton was so well known on title-pages, either at length, or as N.B. and B. N., that in this instance, perhaps for novelty's sake, he preferred to vary it, and came before the world as Bonerto. "

 Authoritiesa Can't Keep the Story Straighttraight

These are serious charges so we must be clear. We are speaking of the same document, first—that must be clear. There are not different versions of the book, “The Passionate Shephearde,”—it is a “unique” copy (only one). Grosart’s work was published in 1879, Payne Collier re-published the original, that was in 1865, I believe. Grosart discusses Collier and credit his “carefull work” in describing it. Mendacity. The first immediate evidence of Rev. Grosart’s mendacity is that in his printed work, as cited above, he gives in brackets, as the reader can see, the word in brackets is [Nicholao] not as Grosart would have his reader’s believe, “Nicholas.”

Why does it matter? Let us return to Collier’s “very careful description” as Grosart deemed it, and recall his remark about “slight change” in letters, and voila!—whoever wrote it,(and that, neither of them opined on—only Collier dared the foolish idea that the poet wanted a new “coming-out” so-to-speak, and so he came out with a “new” name. Neither Collier nor Grosart opine much on the matter. But, let us not be fools. The matter must be considered.

& Bonerto and Breton

Obviously, someone wrote “Nicholao” Latin for Nicholas, in ink, in front of the author’s printed name on the text, and added an “o” on the end of the text printed, i.e., Bonerto, i.e., “Bonertoo.” If the extra, inked in “o” was really “above” as claimed by Grosart, there would be one “o” stacked on another “o”—at the very end of the “mixed” signature (that already printed, and that inked onto the page).

Now, it is worthwhile to also note, before continuing, that I have no background in Latin, I did not study it, though, of course, I’ve often consulted and dealt with copious issues of etymological roots, etc. The point is these scholars, whom we deal with here, never mention that “Nicholas Bretono” is merely Latinizing “Nicholas Breton”! So, whoever, was physically modifying, with ink, the printed text name, knew that, and that’s what it’s partly about.   

Methinks the Rev Grosart entered into an unholy alliance with his closing his eyes to the truth of what was on the page he was looking at. He did not see, what the “careful” Collier saw and reported on—such that, this writing would certainly never known the truth about the problems with the letters of the name of the poet—but that does not mean it was the poet himself who made those changes to the names of the author, not at all.


There is nothing said about "Bonerto" by Grosart. Collier, as said, speaks of a "slight change" making "Breton," "Bretono. But, the first three letters of B R E T O N, the first three letters are B O N E R T O hardly seem conducive to that interpretation, without creating a strange amphibious linquistic “creature”—neither this nor that.   

Moreover, Collier tells us that the 'o' spoken of by Grosart, came at the END of the word, not “OVER” the word “Breton” or “Bonerto.” Simply, the experts conflict. Collier’s report makes more sense, because to put an “o” over the name, which has already an “o” at the end of “Bonerto”—so, two “o”s, one atop the other would be lOOing at us, the reader. If, since a lower case “o” was indicated by Grosart, not a capital “O”, putting it over the spellout out name B o n e r t o might interpreted to mean “over the whole word,” for if he saw that the “o” was over one of the letters he would have indicated that—as the eye can see, see!

If a photo of the cover of the book, The Passionate Shepheard had been shown, all would know. And, by the way, Grosart, FAILED to inform the reader that, according to Collier, what Grosart was speaking of was in handwriting, not printed:

"Against which name is written, in a hand of about the time, "Nicolao Bretono," so the writer, "N.B."  

"Nicolas", as  "Nicolao" is merely the Latin of “Nicolas.” 
Yet it appears, elsewhere in the book. At A 3, it also  shows: "Pastorall Verses, written by the Shepheard Bonerto. . ." pg. 78

And at page 80, the author, makes this very interesting remark, about the poetic work as a whole:

“The piece is more in Breton's didactic style than any of the preceding pastorals, and in succession he bides farewell to youth, beauty, friendship, love, power, hope, fortune, art and time. Still, he  reverts to Aglaia  [Godddess of Beauty]. . . "Breton's "passionated poem," [is one] which may be termed his "Farewell."

** It is, moreover, to be noted that "Bonerto" appears in the poetry text itself

Bretono’s Final Farewell/Lord Oxford’s Final Farewell

But that is not all. We learn from Grosart, more particulars about this "odd" spelling of the author's name, by the author, for--if one believes it--just to give some variety to the spelling and sounding of his name, which was, we are told, by Collins (above) was quite famous. No one shows us the actual photo of the cover--but Grosart dares reveal more about this "odd" spelling of his name.

In "Notes And Illustrations" section, immediately following the poem, Grosart informs us of the following:

'Bonerto' = Breton, with an 'o' over. . .'

What!? How does one do that, how does one put an 'o' over the name of Breton. . .lets see:

B r e t o n 

B r e t o n 
B r e t o n 

It can't be done! Why are we being deceived about this matter, why is there no photo of the only copy known to exist, which has an odd use of an 'o' above "Breton"? But, this can't be.  As said, in the poem, for this very section, "The description and praise of his fairest, Loue" Sonet 2. it states:
In italic his name:  "Bonerto's  fairest . . ."

Let us simply assume, the o' was placed in the middle, not right above the B, not above the 'o' but in the middle, over the 'e' --giving O/E.

One thing is clear, no one thinks it was a printer's accident, but that it was intentionally the case that a 'o' was "over" the name, "Breton," but the name is never "Breton" anywhere in the entire publication! It is, for this poem, "Pastorall Verses, written by the Shepheard Bonerto. . ."

A Bibliographical and Critical Account of the Rarest Books in the English ...
By John Payne Collier


Anonymous said...

It looks to me that you have misconstrued 'Bonerto' = Breton, with an 'o' over. . .'
I think "with an 'o' over" can more plausibly be read as "with an 'o' left over".
Just a thought.

Captain Nemo said...

Hi Eric,

it's been a while... I'm not sure if you remember but we had a common interest in Freud and exchange a number of emails about 6 years ago...
Things happened as they always do and we lost touch but it's not too late.
I hope you are well and thriving.