If self deprecation plays no signi fi cant role in Molyneuxs risk mitigating

If self deprecation plays no signi fi cant role in

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If self-deprecation plays no signi fi cant role in Molyneux’s risk- mitigating politeness, nonetheless a related strategy that is self-re ecting in its expression deserves notice. Molyneux writes: ‘‘yf I showld soe forgett my selfe (yf it were only in Respect that you esteeme Mr. Gryvell as your deere and entier Frend), I showld justlie condemne my selfe of vnadvised and twoe great inconsiderat Dealinge.’’ Strikingly modern as the ideas of self-forgetting and self-condemnation may sound, to ‘‘for- gett’’ himself, for Molyneux, would not likely mean to forget his own individual inner principles; it would mean to forget his station relative to Sidney, to step out of his social place. Here we are in the territory Anne Ferry explored in part when she explained that the ‘‘inward selves’’ represented in Elizabethan sonnets are not the ‘‘inward selves’’ of our present-day experience. ⁴⁶ Nonetheless, however di ff erent from the mod- ern-day ‘‘self’’ the ‘‘selfe’’ constructed within the social rhetoric in which Molyneux negotiates his di ff erences with Sidney, this self bears striking resemblances to the ‘‘self’’ mentioned in some of Shakespeare’s sonnets.  Language and service
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If, Molyneux claims, Sidney indeed had just cause to blame or speak against him, Molyneux would himself speak against himself – would ‘‘condemne my selfe.’’ This pro ff ered self-condemnation, while not a politeness strategy explicitly described by Brown and Levinson, works like the other procedures of Molyneux’s socially positioned rhetoric to repair the risk Molyneux takes in answering Sidney back. Nonetheless, its congruity with negative-politeness forms is not the only warrant for identifying the gesture at self-condemnation as a speci fi c e ff ect of the social relation being enacted. In The English Secretary , Angel Day provides his readers with interaction scripts for negotiating typical situations and relations: his script for a social inferior seeking reconciliation with a superior also pro ff ers self-blame in response to the displeasure of the superior: . . . For mine owne parte (so much doe I stande on the reuerent regarde and account I beare vnto your L.) as were it not I rest perswaded that vpon the equall deliuerance conceiued of my willing mind vnto your seruice, you would againe bee reconciled in fauourable and good opinion towards me, I should so farre foorth bee discontented in my selfe, as neuer could I bee at attonement with mine actions, wherein by the least sparke of negligence whatsoeuer, I might thinke to haue ouerslipped anie thing that shoulde become displeasing, or otherwise o ff ensiue vnto your honourable liking. ⁴⁷ It should by now be clear that some compelling strategies of complex self-presentation displayed in such Shakespeare sonnets as  ,  ,  , or  resemble very closely the socially conditioned strategies we have found in Molyneux’s letter. Just as Molyneux proposes self-condemn-
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