Works in the Herald 1934
Bobby J's Pocket Shakespeare

"Dear Uncle - My second bit about Mr Shakespeare's plays is a bit better that the first," wrote Bobby J in the covering letter of another manuscript, "because it has got a gost in it and a pretty fair amount of murders and deths and things that make it very nearly as good as a pretty good film, but not quite.

"Well the name of this story is Hamlit Prince of Demark, but I call it

The Fella That Talked Too Much
By Bobby J. and Mr Shakespeare

"And the real reason why I call it that is just because he is always talking about things in a rather dilly sort of way, but never hardly ever doing them like a real hero and a proper prince. And I don't believe he was a prince at all really because if he was he would go waving his sord and ordering people about which he hardly ever does at all but just moons about saying to be or not to be and about slinging arrows and bodkins and things.

"Well as far as I can make out Hamlit's father, Mr Hamlit, senior, was once the King of Denmark, but he made the mistake one day of going to sleep under an apple tree in his orchard which is a pretty risky things for kings to do.

"Well while he was asleep his brother, Claude who was a bit of a crook seen him there and went and poured some poison stuff into his ear which made his blood catch alight so that he went as dead as mutton.

"And the real reason Claude did this was so that he could marry Mrs Hamlit senior and get on the thrown. So that is what he did.

"Well there were a lot of other people in the story who don't matter very much except Hamlit's sweetie a dilly sort of girl called O. Feelier who was the daughter of an old cove named Polony.

"Well things went on and on till one night Hamlit thought he saw a gost sneaking abut the back yard which just goes to show you how dippy he was really. But he followed the gost in spite of being a fair bit frightened and he said to it speak up and give an account of yourself and clergymen of grace defend us.

"So the gost spins him a yarn about being his father and explains about having the stuff poured in his ear hole by Claude and he puts it up to Hamlit how about bumping off Claude for a bit of revenge and Hamlit says goodo and that what I better do I suppose, though it's going to be an awful lot of bother.

"But instead of doing that Hamlit goes and gets some actors to put on a bit of a theatre show in front of the King which showed one fella pouring stuff on another fella's ear drum and when the King Claude seen that he got the wind up and says switch on the lights I'm going home because this is a pretty punk show. And he does that.

"Well then Hamlit's mother gets hold of him to try and talk him over and Hamlit sees the window curtain move and thinks Claude is hiding there so he jabs at it with his sord and out falls Polony stone dead.

"Well Hamlit gets mooning about and he is amusing himself by having a few words with a skull in a cemetery when a funeral comes along, and it turns out to be the funeral of Miss O. Feelier (if that's how you spell it) who has gone off her dot because Hamlit chucked her and done in her father so she stuck some weeds in her hair and jumped into a water-hole and was drowned dead.

"Well Hamlit gets dippier than ever after that but I didn't pay much attention to the rest except that last bit where they was having dinner one night when Miss O. Feelier's brother picks a row with Hamlit and goes for him with a poisoned sord and the King puts some more strichnin or something in Hamlit's wine and O. Feelier's brother pricks Hamlit and Hamlit grabs the sord and pricks him, so they are both poisoned, and the queen drinks the poisoned wine by mistake and Hamlit with his dying breath stabs Claude and then a pall of Hamlit's called Hurray something wants to get poisoned too. But Hamlit says hold on if you go dead there won't be anybody left to tell Mr Shakespeare what happened so his pall says oh all right I suppose I better go on living so he does that and that's how the yarn got about.

"It might have been a pretty good sort of a yarn if Hamlit hadn't kept interrupting but with everybody dead all over the shop it ended up all right.

Writer and Orther."

Herald, 12 May 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003