Dear Allied Lyons: News that one of the world's largest purveyors of cakes and ale, and a sponsor of the Royal Shakespeare Company to the tune of pounds 3.3m, will offer discounted tickets is enough to make a bard bite his thumb

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I do not bite my thumb at you sir, but I bite my thumb. If this were played upon the stage now, I would condemn it as improbable fiction. Be thy intents wicked or charitable, thou com'st to me in such a questionable shape that I will speak to thee. I am giddy. Expectation whirls me round. Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.

My friends, (the RSC) were poor but honest. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together. They say miracles are past. Mine eyes smell onions. I shall weep anon. (Les Miserables was) a hit. A very palpable hit. It did me yeoman service - as good luck would have it. What a falling-off was there. But what's gone and what's past help should be past grief.

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there should be more cakes and ale? Shall the many-headed multitude not take their ease at thine inns? Nature's above art in that respect. A quart of ale is a dish for a king. Make it a felony to drink small beer. They'll take suggestion as a cat laps milk.

But 'tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers. No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar. It was always the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing to make it too common.

I must have liberty. Withal as large a charter as the wind. To blow on whom I please. Suit the action to the word. The word to the action with this special observance: that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. In brief, sir, study what you most effect. Mine and most of our fortunes tonight shall be drunk to bed. Come and take choice of all my library.

My poverty but not my will consents. A morsel for a monarch? This is saint-seducing gold. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like the lightning which does cease to be ere one can say it lightens. My mind is troubled like a fountain stirred and I myself see not the bottom of it. The hind that would be mated by the lion must die for love. I do begin to have bloody thoughts. An ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own. There is some ill brewing towards my rest for I did dream money-bags tonight.

I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse. Borrowing lingers it out but the disease is incurable. Misery acquaints men with strange bedfellows. Well, here's my comfort. He that dies pays all debts.

(Photograph omitted)

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