Monday, January 23, 2012

Shakespeare, The Academ Roial and the Suppression of Deformitie

Suppressing 'Degenerous' Oxford:

[Bolton's] 'earliest version of this proposal was directed to King James through the mediation of the Duke of Buckingham, to whom Bolton was distantly related; the pages reproduced in Plate 21 capture the spirit of the entire venture. The primary function of the new Academy - the proposal grandly, if somewhat vaguely promised - was to be the promotion of ORDER, DECORUM, and DECENCIE (words emphatically described in large upper-cased letters) and the suppression of Confusion and Deformitie. As Bolton's thoughts developed, he proposed more specific functions to the Academy: that it should control the licensing of all non-theological books in England, for example, keep a constant register of 'public facts', monitor the translation of all learned works, hold meetings every quarter and annually on St. George's Day. (Donaldson, Ben Jonson, a Life, p.366)

Shakespeare -  born and died on St. George's Day.

Degenerous \De*gen"er*ous\, a. [L. degener. See Degenerate.]

Degenerate; base. [Obs.] ``Degenerous passions.'' --Dryden.


The tessera of Antilia: utopian brotherhoods; secret societies in the earlyseventeenth century ... By Donald R. Dickson

...About a decade later Edmund Bolton (1575-1633), an ardent antiquary himself, proposed that royal patronage be granted to an Academ Roial to be housed at Windson Castle and "encorporated under the tytle of a brotherhood or fraternitie, associated for matters of Honour and Antiquity." Matters of honor would be superintended by the upper circle of the academy, drawn from the Order of the Garter under the marshallship of George Villiers, then Marquis of Buckingham and Bolton's distand kinsman. Concentric to these would be a working group of scholars, termed the Essentials, who would have "the superintendencies of the review, or the review itself of all English translations of secular learning" and the power to authorize all non-theological literature. First broached in 1617, the design was advocated to parliament in 1621 by Buckingham and approved in 1624, but the death of James meant Bolton would have to win over Charles who did not share his father's scholarly interests.

Plans for this academy fell through - but I think it is possible that they were functioning/co-operating in an informal way. Certainly 'the suppression of Confusion and Deformitie' could have included the suppression of a 'barbarous' Oxford/Shakespeare. Small Latin, less Greeke and barbarous rhyming exclude Shakespeare from the Academy, and there is a new Prescriptivism on the horizon.

Having spent much time tracing the contemptuous 'bones' of Jonson's hyperbolic and over-dressed praise of Shakespeare - I have wondered who could have authorized the publication of the plays with such scornful front-matter. Jonson was skillful enough to cast a cloud or veil over Oxford with his figure-fraught encomium, but why publish at all, then? If Shakespeare's works were so disproportionate and barbarous, if he was disobeying classical laws of composition and mis-representing/deforming nature with his fanciful and unnatural  'monsters' - then why the Folio?

Jonson scornfully alludes to another Academy in his 'Speech According to Horace' - a spurious Academy (an Academy of Ignorance?)  where the 'tempestuous grandlings' meet:

..........................There is up of late

The ACADEMY, where the Gallants meet ——
What to make Legs? yes, and to smell most sweet,
All that they do at Plays. O, but first here
They learn and study; and then practise there.

Shakespeare's admirers, no doubt. So in a conflict between (ignorant) admirers and (learned) scoffers both parties made concessions? The plays were published for posterity but under a veil/pseudonym (separated from the house of Vere by an angry Henry de Vere?); and learned Jonson manages to brand Shakespeare with his scorn for all time, 'feeding' Shakespeare's foolish admirers with the ridiculously bloated outward show of praise in the encomium while educating discerning 'understanders'.

Francis Beaumont.

To my dear Friend,
Upon his FOX.

IF it might stand with Justice, to allow
the swift conversion of all follies; now,
Such is my Mercy, that I could admit
All sorts should equally approve the wit
Of this thy even work: whose growing fame
Shall raise thee high, and thou it, with thy name.
And did not manners, and my love command
Me to forbear to make those understand,
Whom thou, perhaps, hast in thy wiser doom
Long since, firmly resolv'd, shall never come
To know more than they do; I would have shown
To all the World, the Art, which thou alone
Hast taught our Tongue, the rules of time, of place,
And other rites, deliver'd, with the grace
Of Comick stile, which only, is far more,
than any English Stage hath known before.
But, since our subtile Gallants think it good
To like of nought, that may be understood,
Lest they should be disprov'd; or have, at best,
Stomachs so raw, that nothing can digest
But what's obscene, or barks: Let us desire
They may continue, simply, to admire
Fine Cloths, and strange Words; and may live, in Age,
To see themselves ill brought upon the Stage,
And like it. Whilst thy bold, and knowing Muse
Contemns all praise, but such as thou wouldst chuse.

At the front of his adaptation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, Dryden offers some dedicatory praise to the Earl of Sunderland - discussing excessive praise:

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROBERT EARL OF Sunderland, Principall Secretary of State, One of His Majesties most Honourable Privy Council, &c.

My Lord,
SInce I cannot promise you much of Poetry in my Play, 'tis but reasonable that I shou'd secure you from any part of it in my Dedication. And indeed I cannot better distinguish the exactness of your taste from that of other men, than by the plainness and sincerity of my Address. I must keep my Hyperboles in reserve for men of other understandings: An hungry Appetite after praise: and a strong digestion of it, will bear the grossnesse of that diet: But one of so criticall a judgement as your Lordship, who can set the bounds of just and proper in every subject, would give me small encouragement for so bold an undertaking.

Was Charles' lack of interest in Bolton's Academy because 'did not share his father's scholarly interests' or because he was not interested in formalizing an Academy that could decide against a Shakespeare?

Without the bounds and limits of decorum and Venting Monsters (aka Shakespearean abuses):

From The Cabanet Royal, Bolton, 1627

... The main pickt quarrel of htese imperfectlie, or counterfetly learned, is their pretended uncertaintie of historicall narrations, and because errours are sometime found in famous authors, they doe therefore neglect the whole studie. The same men notwithstanding, in manifest contradiction of themselves, are not afraide to averr, that it skills not whither historical narrations bee true of false. For lessons, & rules (say they) are as well to bee gather'd out of fabulous tales as true. Therefore truthe, and falshood in Historie being to them indifferent, it is neither the one not the other which is to them any reason either of their rejection or acceptance. Hence it follows (according to the doctrine of these base schooles) that AMADIS OF GALL is of equal profit & authoritie for the use of their dull speculations, as wither POLIBIUS, or any other of the antients. And assertion soe void of witt, and judgement, as is not to bee maintain'd with any patrons name whatsoever. For it is absolutlie contrarie to the common nature of man, which every way drawes to truthe as to a setling center. Therefore all sorts of tropes, and parabolical formes of speach, as all other fictions wither of persons, or of things, are for nothing else esteemed, nor are to bee esteemed by the wise, but as they aptlie resemble certaine well-wrought vails, and FIGUR'D COVERS of some profitable veritie, or other. The antient ETHNICKS had not any fairer defense for the poetical theologie, niether could they have.



This FIGURE that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle SHAKSPEARE cut,
Wherein the graver had a STRIFE
WITH NATURE, to out-doo the [deformed] life :

Jonson, Bartholomew Fair

...He is loth to make Na-

ture afraid in his Plays, like those that beget Tales, Tem-
pests, and such like Drolleries, to MIX HIS HEAD WITH OTHER
MENS HEELS; let the concupiscence of Jigs and Dances,
reign as strong as it will amongst you: yet if the Pup-
pets will please any body, they shall be entreated to
come in.

Cynthia’s Revels, Jonson (Act I, Sc. IV)

What! the well-dieted Amorphus become a Water-
drinker? I see he means not to write Verses
Aso. No, Crites? why?
Cri. Because —— Nec placere diu, nec vivere carmina
possunt, quæ scribuntur aquæ potoribus.
Amo. What say you to your Helicon?
Cri. O, the Muses well! that's ever excepted.
Amorphus. Sir, your Muses have no such Water, I assure
you; your NECTER, or the juyce of your Nepenthe is no-
thing to it; 'tis above your METHEGLIN, believe it.
Aso. Metheglin! what's that, Sir? may I be so audaci-
ous to demand?
Amo. A kind of Greek Wine I have met with, Sir, in
my Travels; it is the same that Demosthenes usually
drunk, in the composure of all his exquisite and MELLIFLUOUS Orations.
Cri. That's to be argued (Amorphus) if we may cre-
dit Lucian, who in his Encomio Demosthenis affirms, he
never drunk but Water in any of his compositions.
Amo. Lucian is absurd, he knew nothing: I will be-
lieve mine own Travels, before all the Lucians of Eu-
rope. He doth feed you with fittons, figments, and
Cri. Indeed (I think) next a Traveller, he do's pret-
tily well.
Amo. I assure you it was Wine, I have tasted it, and
from the hand of an Italian Antiquary, who derives it
authentically from the Duke of Ferrara's Bottles.

Bolton, The Cabanet Royal, con't.

True it is notwithstanding, that ARISTOTLE gives the poet place above the Historian, and upon ye same grounds soe doe I. ARISTOTLE preferrs the image which a great and a happie poet creates unto us of a noble work, or worthie, before the picture which a like great, or happie historian affordeth of the same, as it is conceived and understood to bee an act of witt. For the poet makes his representations according to their possible excellencie, whereas the Historian may not utter his, but according to their proper existencie. Therefore the Historians perogatives, faculties, & latitudes of exercise being for the thruthes sake much narrower then those of the poets, hee cannot but appeare ye lesse prince of the twoe. But so farr is this from a disparagement, that as those things which God cannot doe, because thay are contrarie to his divine nature, are not accompted impotencies in him, but perfections, soe that leave which the poet may take to faine, or falsifie what hee will, for the more beautie and grace of his poem, within the bounds and limits of decorum, being a high poinct of honor, and freedome as to him, and which the Historian my in now case dare to doe, is not rightlie called a defect of power in Historians, but the glorie of rule and order. This notwithstanding can not bee denyed, that a fabulous stories may bee so conceaved and written in imitation of a true one, &with that judgment and intention of the author, as it may greatly profit the reader, and not delight him only. Such is the most neat, chaste, and intricate AETHIOPIAN storie, written by HELIODORUS in Greek, when hee was a young man, which hee soe dearly esteemed in his age, that being afterwards made Bishop of TRICAE in THESSALIA, on NICEPHORUS reports hee rather made choice to renounce his pastoral staff, then to suppress that dramatical prose-work. Such also is that excellent piece of BARCLAYES Latin ARGENIS, and the immortal ARCADIA of English Sidney. Nevertheless none of them, nor ye like, can enter soe deepoly as if their arguments had the opinion of realitie. Add hereunto, that they enter not with any ripe reader at all, but as they resemble verities, and carry apparent shew of possibilities. For if they once come to fetch things out of ye clowds, or offer to vent monsters, away wee goe.

Nay much more safe and secure is the reading of ancient histories then of the moderne, because they are more remote from present sence, and interesses, which though perhaps they might oversway in the authors at the writing, yet come they to us as if impartial. Add herunto that antient histories doe much rather breed manhood, and martial spirit then the moderne commonly can, as in which for a great proportion the foxes degenerous part doth farr surmount the generous lions.


Horace, of the Art of Poetrie

transl. Ben Jonson

Rich men are said with many cups to plie,
And rack, with Wine, the man whome they would try,
If of their friendship he be worthy, or no:
When you write Verses, with your judge do so:
Looke through him, and be sure, *you take not mocks
For praises, where the mind conceales a foxe*.


Away wee [discerning readers] goe.

Bolton to Buckingham (accompanying picture St. George with a leashed/trashed dragon):

To my Lord.

Thus saith the picture. Wise and powrfull Peer,
Things worthiest to bee (...) vouchsafe to hear.
The knight who rides return'd, and mounted high,
His each hand fill'd with charge of victorie,
Sainct GEORGE'S there, &; hear his glorious own,
Arm'd at all poincts, and by his arms well known,
Figures heroick worth, heroick fame.
The conquer'd dragon, which hee leadeth tame,
Of barbarousnesse no barbarous symbol is;
Which thou, brave Lord, shalt cu(..) as hee doth this,
If thou shalt tread the fresh triumphal path,
Which to thine hand the Muse here beaten hath.
In th'azure circle of the Garters Skye.
Thou GEORG dooest shine, starr of prime quantitie:
And thou, and hee the self same arms do bear,
Saving this more, thou gowlden? shells doost rear.
Pilgrims of (warr?) that noble note implies,
Such as of old against heavens enimies,
Drew English blades in sacred Palestine.
Thy bloud then leads thee into acts divine:
And such is this. For what can rather bee
Then honors arts from spoil, and clowds to free?
Fair is the way, most fruictfull is the end,
And heaven concurreth with the king thy freind.
But if the times no such high wonder brook,
Thou in this glass upon my (vowes?) mayst look;
And this rich emblem shall a witness bee,
For what rare ends my sowl doth honor thee.

The RACE of Shakespeare's Mind and Manners:


Barbarian Errors – Performing Race in Early Modern England

Ian Smith

In the early modern period the concept of rhetorical barbarism –
the demonizing of the speech of the racial and cultural outsider –can
be understood as an attempt to control and protect the production and
circulation of specific images through the racializing function of
language. In an Erasmian theater of the mind, language has the power
to create vivid and persuasive images that can determine the chosen
identities of both an audience and a culture. Hence the need to
control this power and the proliferation of images places the
surveillance of language at the center of early modern concerns.
Othello’s speech acts constitute a performance of cultural whiteness,
adding his perspective on what it means to be a black man in this
culture and, in effect, contesting the dominant negative images of
blackness. Iago, the other agent in this cultural dialogue, counters
Othello’s narratives and attempts to contain Othello’s language by
rendering it barbarous. When, at the end of 4.1, Othello’s “sentences
become preposterous” and his “utterance breaks itself into fragments
and uncertainties,” in the language of Hoskins' _Directions_, the
question is no longer purely one of his mental instability’ rather
Othello’s linguistic collapse, engineered by Iago, is indicative of a
culturally pejorative barbarism. If the barbarian is deemed uneloquent
– if he cannot speak or speak well – then his narrative enargeia, his
ability to produce images within a cultural dialogue, is seriously
impaired and rendered rhetorically non-persuasive. The value of the
label “barbarian” or “barbarism” is to exclude the potentially
oppositional images of the outsider and the disruptive logic of his
PREPOSTEROUS sentence from legitimate circulation, preserving the
language of the host culture and its ability to produce its own images
of itself and others as authoritative and civilized. Shakespeare's own
use of racial reversals, a preposterous dramaturgy whose “barbaric”
force questions the supposed discreteness of racial categories,
stands as a neat metadramatic commentary on the urgency with which *Iago
deploys the notion of the Barbarian as a STRATEGY OF SUPPRESSION*.

Honest Ben/Honest Iago


Samuel Daniel: The Poet as Literary Historian

S. Clark Hulse SEL 19 (1979)

In Cleopatra (1594), his last new work dedicated to the Countess of
Pembroke, Daniel continues to balance a cyclical view of the
historical process against Continental literary models (Garnier and
Jodelle) and a progressive view of English letters. IN his preface he echoes the
Proem to the Faerie Queene to assert his place in a cultural movement,
based on a moral society, which seeks to rival the sweet style of Italy.

The Countess

Call'd up my spirits from out their low repose,

To sing of state, and tragick notes to frame...

And I ...May (peradventure) better please thy minde,

And higher notes in sweeter musique straine...

Now when so many pennes (like SPEARES) are charg's,

To chace away this TYRANT of the North:

GROSS BARBARISM, whose power growne far inlarg'd.,

*Was lately by thy valiant Brothers worth,

First found, encountred, and PROVOKED FORTH*...

Wherby great Sydney & our Spencer might,

With those Po-fingers being equaled,

Enchaunt the world with such a sweet delight,

That theyr eternall songs (for ever read,)

May shew what great ELIZAS raigne hath bred.

What musique in the kingdome of her peace.


Every Man Out of his Humour, Ben Jonson


'Tis strange! of all the creatures I have seen,
I envy not this BUFFONE, for indeed
Neither his fortunes nor his parts deserve it:
But I do hate him, as I hate the devil,


This figure that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle SHAKSPEARE cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With nature, to out-do the life :
O could he but have drawn his wit
As well in BRASS, as he has hit
His FACE ; the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in BRASS :
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture, but his book.


Bolton, Hypercritica
Among the greatest wants in our ancient Authours, are the wants of Art and Style, which as they add to the lustre of the Works and Delights of the Reader; yet add they nothing to the Truth; which they so esteemed, as they seem to have regarded nothing else. For without Truth, Art and Style come into the Nature of Crimes by Imposture. It is an act of high Wisdom, and not of Eloquence only, to write the History of so great, and noble a People as the Englsih. for the Causes of things are not only wonderfully wrapt one within the other, but place oftentimes far above the ordinary Reach's of human Wit; and he who relates Events, without their Premisses and Circumstances, deserves not the name of an Historian; as being like to him who numbers the Bones of a Man anatomized, or presenteth unto us the Bare Skeleton, without declaring the Nature of the Fabrick or teaching the Use of Parts. (Bolton, Hypercritica)



v 1: to put down by force or authority; "suppress a nascent
uprising", "stamp down on littering" "conquer one's
desires" [syn: stamp down, inhibit, subdue, conquer,

2: come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority;
"The government oppresses political activists" [syn: oppress,

3: control and refrain from showing; of emotions [syn: bottleup]

4: keep under control; keep in check; "suppress a smile"; "Keep

your temper"; "keep your cool" [syn: restrain, keep, keep
back, hold back]

5: put out of one's consciousness; in psychiatry [syn: repress]

From To the Deceased Author of these Poems (William Cartwright)

Jasper Mayne

...And as thy Wit was like a Spring, so all
The soft streams of it we may Chrystall call:
No cloud of Fancie, no mysterious stroke,
No Verse like those which antient Sybils spoke;
No Oracle of Language, to amaze
The Reader with a dark, or Midnight Phrase,
Stands in thy Writings, which are all pure Day,
A cleer, bright Sunchine, and the mist away.
That which Thou wrot'st was sense, and that sense good,
Things not first written, and then understood:

Or if sometimes thy Fancy soar'd so high
As to seem lost to the unlearned Eye,
'Twas but like generous Falcons, when high flown,
Which mount to make the Quarrey more their own.

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
In Thee Ben Johnson still HELD SHAKESPEARE'S QUILL:
A QUILL, RUL'D by sharp Judgement, and such Laws,
As a well studied Mind, and Reason draws.
Thy Lamp was cherish'd with suppolied of Oyle,
Fetch'd from the Romane and the Graecian soyle. (snip)


...Never did so much strength, or such a spell
Of Art, and eloquence of papers dwell.
For whil'st he in colours, full and true,
Mens natures, fancies, and their humours drew
In method, order, matter, sence and grace,
Fitting each person to his time and place;
Knowing to move, to slacke, or to make haste,
Binding the middle with the first and last:
He fram'd all minds, and did all passions stirre,
And with a BRIDLE guide the Theater.

Shackerley Marmion, Jonsonus Virbius

Jonson, on Shakespeare

He was (indeed) honest, and of
an open, and free nature: had an excellent
fancy; brave notions, and gentle expressions:
wherein he flowed with that facility, that
sometime it was necessary he should be
STOP'D: sufflaminandus erat; as Augustus said
of Haterius. His wit was in his own power;
would the rule of it had been so too."


Antoine Berman

A.W. Schlegel and Tieck, for example, translate Shakespeare faithfully but, as Rudolf Pannwitz has said, without going far enough 'to render the majestic barbarism of Shaekspearean verse' [Pannwitz 1947:192]. This barbarism in Shakespeare that refers to things obscene, scatalogical, bloody, short, to a series of verbal abuses...are aspects that the classical romantic German translation attempts to attenuate. It backs down, so to speak, before the Gorgon's face that is hidden in every great work. (Berman 1985: 93)

Perseus - figures heroic virtue - eg. Double Cube Room Wilton/ Jonson - Masque of Queenes


Trash \Trash\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Trashed; p. pr. &; vb. n.


1. To free from trash, or worthless matter; hence, to lop; to
crop, as to trash the rattoons of sugar cane. --B.Edwards.

2. To treat as trash, or worthless matter; hence, to spurn,
humiliate, or crush. [Obs.]

3. To hold back by a trash or leash, as a dog in pursuing
game; hence, to retard, encumber, or restrain; to clog; to
hinder vexatiously. [R.] --Beau. & Fl.


A Speech according to Horace. --Jonson


And could (if our great Men would let their Sons
Come to their Schools,) show 'em the use of Guns.
And there instruct the noble English Heirs
In Politick, and Militar Affairs;
But he that should perswade, to have this done
For Education of our Lordings; Soon
Should he hear of Billow, Wind, and Storm,
From the Tempestuous Grandlings, who'll inform
Us, in our bearing, that are thus, and thus,
Born, bred, allied? what's he dare tutor us?
Are we by Book-worms to be aw'd? must we
Live by their Scale, that dare do nothing free?
Why are we Rich, or Great, except to show
All licence in our Lives? What need we know?
More then to praise a Dog? or Horse? or speak
The Hawking Language? or our Day to break
With Citizens? let Clowns, and Tradesmen breed
Their Sons to study Arts, the Laws, the Creed:
We will believe like Men of our own Rank,
In so much Land a year, or such a Bank,
That turns us so much Monies, at which rate
Our Ancestors impos'd on Prince and State.
Let poor Nobility be vertuous: We,
Descended in a Rope of Titles, be
From Guy, or Bevis, Arthur, or from whom
The Herald will. Our Blood is now become,
Past any need of Vertue. Let them care,
That in the Cradle of their Gentry are;
To serve the State by Councels, and by Arms:
We neither love the Troubles, nor the harms.
What love you then? your Whore? what study? Gate,
Carriage, and Dressing. There is up of late
The ACADEMY, where the Gallants meet ——
What to make Legs? yes, and to smell most sweet,
All that they do at Plays. O, but first here
They learn and study; and then practise there.
But why are all these Irons i' the Fire
Of several makings? helps, helps, t' attire
His Lordship. That is for his Band, his Hair
This, and that Box his Beauty to repair;
This other for his Eye-brows; hence, away,
I may no longer on these PICTURES stay,
These Carkasses of Honour; Taylors blocks,
Cover'd with Tissue, whose prosperity mocks
The fate of things: whilst totter'd Vertue holds
Her broken Arms up, to their EMPTY MOULDS.

The New Inn - Jonson

Act I. Scene III.

Ferret, Host, Lovel.

HE'll make you a Bird of Night, Sir. Host. Bless you Child,
You'll make your selves such.
Lov. That your Son, mine Host? { En. Fra. (the Host speaks
to his Child o' the by.

Host. He's all the Sons I have, Sir. Lov. Pretty Boy!
Goes he to School? Fer. O Lord, Sir, he prates Latin
And 'twere a Parrot, or a Play-boy. Lov. Thou ——
Commend'st him fitly. Fer. To the pitch, he flies, Sir,
He'll tell you what is Latin for a Looking-glass,
A Beard-brush, Rubber, or Quick-warming Pan.
Lov. What's that? Fer. a Wench, i' the Inn-phrase, is all these;
{ A Looking-Glass in her Eye,
A Beard-brush with her Lips,
A Rubber with her Hand,
And a Warming-pan with her Hips.

Host. This, in your scurril Dialect. But my Inn
Knows no such Language. F. That's because, mine Host,
You do profess the teaching him your self.
Host. Sir, I do teach him somewhat. By degrees,
And with a Funnel, I make shift to fill
The narrow Vessel, he is but yet a Bottle.

Lov. O let him lose no time though. Hos. Sir, he do's not.

Lov. And less his manners. Hos. I provide for those, too.
Come hither Frank, speak to the Gentleman
In Latin: He is melancholy; say,
I long to see him merry, and so would treat him.
Fra. Subtristis visu' es esse aliquantulùm patri,
Qui te lautè excipere, etiam ac tractare gestit. Lov. Pulchrè.

Host. Tell him, I fear it bodes us some ill luck,
His too reservedness. Fra. Veretur pater,
Ne quid nobis mali ominis apportet iste
Nimis præclusus vultus. Lov. Bellè. A fine Child!
You wo' not part with him, mine Host? H. Who told you
I would not? Lov. I but ask you. Hos. And I answer,
To whom? for what? Lov. To me, to be my Page.
Host. I know no mischief yet the Child hath done,
To deserve such a destiny. Lov. Why? Ho. Go down Boy,
And get your Breakfast. Trust me, I had rather
Take a fair Halter, wash my Hands, and hang him
My self, make a clean riddance of him, than — Lo. What?
Host. Than damn him to that desperate course of Life.
Lov. Call you that desperate, which by a Line
Of Institution, from our Ancestors,
Hath been deriv'd down to us, and receiv'd
In a Succession, for the Noblest way
Of breeding up our Youth, in Letters, Arms,
Fair Mein, Discourses, civil Exercise,
And all the Blazon of a Gentleman?
Where can he learn to vault, to ride, to fence,
To move his Body gracefuller? to speak
His Language purer? or to tune his Mind,
Or Manners, more to the harmony of Nature,
Than in these Nurseries of Nobility? —

Host. I that was, when the Nurseries self was Noble,
And only Vertue made it, not the Market,
That Titles were not vented at the Drum,
Or common out-cry; Goodness gave the Greatness,
And Greatness Worship: Every House became
An Academy of Honour, and those Parts —
We see departed, in the Practice, now,
Quite from the Institution. Lov. Why do you say so?
Or think so enviously? do they not still
Learn there the Centaures Skill, the Art of Thrace,
To ride? or Pollux Mystery, to Fence?
The Pyrrhick Gestures, both to Dance and Spring
In Armour, to be active for the Wars?
To study Figures, Numbers, and Proportions,
May yield 'em great in Counsels, and the Arts
Grave Nestor, and the wise Ulysses practis'd?
To make their English sweet upon their Tongue!
As Rev'rend Chaucer says? Host. Sir you mistake,
To play Sir Pandarus my Copy hath it,
And carry Messages to Madam Cresside.
Instead of backing the brave Steed, o' Mornings,
To mount the Chambermaid; and for a leap
O' the vaulting Horse, to ply the vaulting House:
For exercise of Arms, a Bale of Dice,
Or two or three Packs of Cards to shew the Cheat,
And nimbleness of Hand: mistake a Cloak
From my Lords back, and pawn it. Ease his Pockets
Of a superfluous Watch. Or geld a Jewel
Of an odd Stone or so. Twinge three or four Buttons
From off my Ladies Gown. These are the Arts,
Or Seven liberal deadly Sciences
Of Pagery, or rather Paganism,
As the Tides run. To which, if he apply him,
He may, perhaps, take a degree at Tyburn,
A year the earlier: come to read a Lecture
Upon Aquinas at S. Thomas a Waterings,
And so go forth a Laureat in Hemp circle!
Lov. You're tart, mine Host, and talk above your seasoning,
O're what you seem: it should not come, methinks,
Under your Cap, this Vein of salt and sharpness!
These strikings upon Learning, now and then?
How long have you, (if your dull Guest may ask it,)
Drove this quick Trade, of keeping the Light-heart,
Your Mansion, Palace here, or Hostelry?

A fine new book by John Pemble of the University of Bristol discusses
the entire history of the French and their struggles to comprehend—
Shakespeare goes to Paris: how the Bard Conquered France—and provides
the following excerpt about Voltaire:

...Voltaire learnt with incredulity, and with growing rancour, of the

advance of the barbarian into France. In 1746 the first, selective,
translation of Shakespeare’s works appeared. Thirty years later the
whole dramatic canon was published in French — under royal patronage,
what is more. When he read the preface by Pierre Le Tourneur, the
chief translator, Voltaire was outraged. Le Tourneur claimed that
Aristotle would have rewritten his Poetics if he had lived to know of
Shakespeare’s work, which was greater than that of Sophocles or

‘If our water-carriers wrote for the theatre,’ retorted Voltaire,
‘they’d make a better job of it.’ The English demeaned themselves by
remaining attached to this clod-hopping primitive. ‘I still can’t
understand’, he wrote to d’Alembert, ‘how a nation which has produced
geniuses of taste and even delicacy, as well as philosophes worthy of
you, can carry on priding itself on that abominable Shakespeare, who,
if the truth were told, is nothing but a provincial clown.’

The growing infatuation with Shakespeare in France was an insult to
Corneille and Racine, the monarchs of the French theatre, and it was
an insult to himself, their acknowledged successor. Chafed vanity fed
the bile of old age, and he gnashed his toothless gums. ‘I’ve seen the
end of the reign of reason and taste’, he cried; ‘I shall die leaving
France barbaric!’ When he remembered that he was himself responsible
for this deplorable state of affairs, he beat his breast and tore his

What makes the whole thing even more calamitous and horrible is the
fact that I am the one who first mentioned this Shakespeare; It was I
who first revealed to the French the few pearls that I had discovered
in his enormous dungheap. Never did I expect that one day I’d be
helping to trample underfoot the crowns of Racine and Corneille so
that they could be set on the head of a barbaric barnstormer!


The Date and Evolution of Edmund Bolton's "Hypercritica"

Thomas H. Blackburn

...Bodleian MS Rawlinson D.1: this MS, in a hand unlike any of the others, consists of twenty small folio sheets bound in the center of a hard-covered MS book of blank pages. the MS of Hypercritica begins after the nineteenth blank folio and ends before the twentieth. The material included in the MS corresponds roughly to Addresses III and IV in MS wood F.9; this version, however, is labelled the 'Second and final Addresse," includes a lengthy table of contents, and has a final section entitled "The Mapp, or Table of Right Historie in her voyage to the Port of Glory from the Island of Acts"

Though Haslewood examined this MS when he included Hypercritica in his anthology of critical essays, he chose to print only a small part of it, the outline list of authors oto be followed for style. For the most part this list parallels that in the fourth Addresse of MS Wood F.9, but there is one notable addition: Shakespeare and Francis Beaumont are included, though Bolton suggests that the historian should be wary of imitating them: "Shakespeare, Mr. Francis Beaumont and innumerable other writers for the stage, and presse tenderly to be used in this argument.


English translation of Bolton's salute to Jonson in Volpone

To Each University, Concerning Benjamin Jonson.

This man is the first, who studying Greek antiquities and the monuments of Latin theatre as an explorer, by his happy boldness will provide the Britons with a learned drama: O twin stars favour his great undertakings. The ancients were content with praise of either [genre]; this Sun of the Stage handles the cothurnus [i.e. tragedy] and the sock [i.e. comedy] with equal skill: Volpone, thou givest us jokes; thou, Sejanus, gavest us tears. But is any lament that Jonson's muses have been cramped within a narrow limit, say, you [universities], on the contrary: 'O most miserable [people], who, though English, know the english language inadequately or know it not at all (as if [you were] born across the sea), the poet will grow with time, he will transform his native land, and himself become the English Apollo.' E. Bolton

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Civil War and Essex the New Model Earl

Essex’s ‘Letter to the Earl of Southampton’ was published in 1642 and 1643 – the first publication did not contain an address to the Reader, nor did it mention Essex’s son. The 1642 publication preceeded the Battle of Edgehill (October 23 1642) in which the third Earl of Essex led the Parliamentarian forces against the King.


THE Earle of ESSEX HJS LETTER to the Earle of SOVTHAMPTON in the time of his Troubles.

Containing many Pious Expressions, and very comfortable for such as are in any Troubles:

Septemb. 29. 1642.

LONDON, Printed by LVKE NORTON, for T. T.


A PRECIOUS And most Divine LETTER FROM THAT FAMOUS, AND Ever to be renowned Earl of ESSEX, (Father to the now Lord Generall his Excellence) to the Earl of SOUTH-HAMPTON, in the latter time of Queen ELIZABETHS Reigne.

Printed according to Order.

London Aug: 14. 1643

To the READER.

THis Letter, many Yeares since received from the hands of a most Honourable Person, eminent in the Court in those Elizean dayes, (when Honour crowned Uirtue, and Uirtue was the glory of the Times) I have long stored up for my owne private, as a Gem and Treasure inestimable.

Earthly Treasures waste, but Heavenly increase by Communication! Besides, I feare (with the Lepers of Old) I doe not well long to conceale, what all that read will judge to be a Common Treasure. What the Author was for Heigth and Greatnesse all know; What for Grace and Goodnesse (though Envy or Ignorance, have as it were Conspired to Vaile over his Orient Lustre) thou mayest take some scantling of by this.

His Magnanimity and Ualour the World knew, as farre as Hercules his Pillars, and the utmost Extent of the Hesperian Pride. His Humility and Plaine-heartednes (which heightned Him above all his Honours) those that knew him were not ignorant of.

That Noble Heroe yet lives in the true Successor of Honour and Uirtue, our Noble GENERALL.

(Neque degeneres pariunt Aquilae Columbas.)

His incorrupted Fidelity, Valour, and Wisedonme, are above the reach of Ignorant or Envious Malignants.

His immovable Resolution (ever, and of late exprest) to deny his Honour, his owne Wisedome, yea his life for the Common Safety, shines so bright in the Eyes of all Judicious, that neither the malicious fomentings of Malignant Spirits, nor the weake Clamors of impatient Ignorance, nor the Necessity of Gods most holy Providence, (exercising his Excellency and the Kingdome, I hope for good) I say that none, nor all of these, can justly cloud and Eclipse his Shine and Lustre.

There is nothing within the Circumference of Politicall and prudentiall Arts, that hath more uncertaine and various Events then that of Warre: Eventus Belli incertus.

The protracting lengthning, shortning, lies in the hand of a higher Excellency, even onely his, in whose hand is our Way and Breath, as Daniel told Belshazzar.

The Greatest and best Commanders that ever the World yet saw, must remember, in whose hand is their VVay and Breath, and both they and all Men must with Patience see (for oft it comes to passe) both Moneths, and Summers spend beyond their Thoughts, Desires, Endeavours, and yet no Blemish to their VVisdome, Valour, Fidelity, or Vigilancy.

He that is the God of Peace mercifully shew us the Paths of it, even of that Peace, which no Man can give nor take from us.

A LETTER FROM That famous, and ever to be renowned Earle of ESSEX, to the Earl of South-hampton, in the latter time of Queen ELIZABETHS Reigne.

My Lord,

AS neither nature nor custome ever made me a man of complement, so now I shall have lesse will than ever for to use such Ceremonies, when I have left with Martha to be solicitus circa multa, and believe with Mary, unum sufficit: but it is no complement or Ceremony, but a reall and necessary duty that one friend oweth to another in absence & especially at their seave taking, when in mans reason many accidents may keep them long divided, or perhaps barre them ever meeting till they meet in another world; for then shall I thinke that my friend, whose honour, whose Person, and whose fortune is deare unto me, shall prosper and be happy where ever he goes, and what ever he takes in hand when he is in the favour of that God, under whose protection there is onely safety, and in whose service there is onely true happinesse to be found. What I thinke of your naturall gifts or abilities in this age, or in this State, to give glory to God, and to winne honour to your selfe, if you imploy the Talents you have received to their best use, I will not now tell you, it sufficeth, that when I was farthest of all times from dissembling, I spake truly, and have witnes enough: but these things only I will put your Lordships in mind of.

First, that you have nothing that you have not received.

Secondly, that you possesse them not as Lord over them, but as an accomptant for them.

Thirdly, If you imploy them to serve this world, or your own worldly delights, (which the Prince of this world will seek to entertain you with) it is ingratitude, it is injustice, yea it is perfidious treacherie. For what would you thinke of such a servant of yours, that should convert your goods committed to his charge, to the advantage or service of your greatest enemy; & what do you lesse than this with God, since you have all from him, and know that the world, and Prince thereof, are at a continuall enmity with him? and therefore if ever the admonition of your truest friend shall be heard by you or if your Countrey which you may serve in so great and many things, be deare unto you; If your God, whom you must (if you deale truly with your selfe) acknowledge to be powerfull over all, and just in all be feared by you; yea if you be dear unto your selfe and preferre an everlasting happines before a pleasant dreame, which you must shortly awake out of, and then repent in the bitternes of your soul; if any of these things be regarded by you, then I say, call your selfe to account for what is past, cancell all the leagues you have made without the warrant of a religious conscience, make a resolute Covenant with your God, to serve him with all your natural and spirituall, inward and outward gifts and abilities, and then he that is faithfull (and cannot lie) hath promised to honour them that honour him; He will give you that inward peace of Soul, and true joy of heart, which till you have you shall never rest, and which when you have, you shall never be shaken, and which you can never attaine to any other way than this that I have shewed you.

I know your Lordship may say to your selfe, and object to me, this is but a vapor of melancholie and the stile of a Prisoner, and that I was far enough from it, when I lived in the world as you doe now, and may be so again when my fetters be taken from me. I answer, though your Lordship should thinke so, yet cannot I distrust the goodnesse of my God that his mercy will fail me or his grace forsake me; I have so deeply ingaged my selfe, that I should be one of the most miserable Apostates that ever was, I have so avowed my profession and called so many from time to time to witnes it, and to be watchmen over me, that I should be the hollowest hypocrite that ever was borne: But though I should perish in my owne sin, and draw upon my selfe my own damnation, should not you take hold of the grace and mercy in God which is offer
ed unto you; and make your profit of my fearful and wretched example?

I was longer a slave and servant to the world and the corruptions of it. then you have bin, and therefore could hardlyer be drawn from it. I had many calls, and answered some of them slowly; thinking a soft pace fast enough to come to Christ and my selfe forward enough when I saw the end of my journy, though I arrived not at it, and therefore I have been by Gods providence violently pul'd, hal'd, and drag'd to the Marriage Feast as the world hath seen. It was just with God to afflict me in this world that he might give me joy in another. I had too much knowledge when I performed too little obedience, and was therefore to be beaten with double stripes: God grant your Lordship may feel the comfort I now enjoy in my unfaigned conversion, but that you never feele the torments I have suffered for my too long delaying it; I had none but Divines to call upon me, to whom I said, if my ambition could have entred into their narrow hearts, they would not have bin so humble; or if my delights had bin tasted by them, they could not have been so precise: but your Lordship hath one to call upon you, that knowes what it is you now injoy, & what the greatest fruit and end is of all the contentments that this world can afford. Thinke therefore deare Earl, that I have staked & bounded all the waies of pleasure to you, & left them as Sea markes for you to keep the Channell of religious virtue; for, shut your eyes never so long they must be open at last, and then you must say with me, there is no peace to the wicked. I will make a Covenant with my Soul, not to suffer my eyes to sleep in the night, nor my thoughts to attend the first busines of the day, till I have prayed to my God, that your Lordship may believe and make profit of this plaine, but faithfull admonition; and then I know your Countrey and friends shall be happy in you, and Your self successefull in all you take in hand; which shall be an unspeakeable comfort to

Your Lordships Cousin and true friend, whom no world
ly cause can divide from you ESSEX.


Eikon Basilike - Charles I

 27. To the Prince of Wales.

...In this I charge you to persevere, as comming nearest to Gods Word for Doctrine, and to the primitive examples for Government, with some little amendment, which I have otherwhere expressed, and often offered, though in vain. Your fixation in matters of Religion will not be not more necessary for your soules then your Kingdomes peace, when God shall bring you to them.
For I have observed, that the Devill of Rebellion, doth commonly turn himself into an Angell of Reformation; and the old Serpent can pretend new Lights: When some mens Consciences accuse them for Sedition and Faction, they stop its mouth with the name and noise of Religion; when Piety pleads for peace and patience, they cry out Zeale.
So that, unlesse in this point You be well setled, you shall never want temptations to destroy you and yours, under pretensions of reforming matters of Religion; for that seemes, even to worst men, as the best and most auspicious beginning of their worst designes.
Where, besides the Novelty which is taking enough with the Vulgar, every one hath an affectation, by seeming forward to an outward Reformation of Religion, to be thought zealous; hoping to cover those irreligious deformities, whereto they are conscious by a severity of censuring other mens opinions or actions.
Take heed of abetting any Factions, or applying to any publick Discriminations in matters of Religion, contrary to what is in your Judgement, and the Church well setled; your partiall adhering, as head, to any one side, gaines you not so great advantages in some mens hearts (who are prone to be of their Kings Religion) as it loseth you in others; who think themselves, and their profession first despised, then persecuted by you: Take such a course as may either wth calmnes & charity quite remove the seeming differences and offences by impartiality, or so order affaires in point of Power that you shal not need to fear or flatter any Faction. For if ever you stand in need of them, or must stand to their courtesie, you are undone: The Serpent will devour the Dove: you may never expect lesse of loyalty, justice, or humanity, than from those, who engage into religious Rebellion; Their interest is alwaies made Gods; under the colours of Piety, ambitious policies march, not onely with greatest security, but applause, as to the populacy; you may heare from them Jacob's voice, but you shall feele they have Esau's hands. Nothing seemed lesse considerable than the Presbyterian Faction in England, for many yeares; so compliant they were to publique order: nor indeed was their Party great either in Church, or State, as to mens judgments: But as soone as discontents drave men into Sidings (as ill humours fall to the disaffected mart, which causes inflamations) so did all, at first, who affected any novelties, adhere to that Side, as the most remarkable and specious note of difference (then) in point of Religion.


Author: Jones, William, b. 1581 or 2.

Title: A treatise of patience in tribulation first, preached before the Right Honourable the Countesse of Southampton in her great heauines for the death of her most worthy husband and sonne: afterward inlarged for the helpe of all that are any way afflicted crossed or troubled. By William Iones B. of D. and P. of Arraton in the Isle of Wight. Herevnto are ioyned the teares of the Isle of Wight, shed on the tombe of their most noble Captaine Henrie Earle of Southampton and the Lord Wriothesly his sonne.

Date: 1625


Vpon the Death of the right Noble and Honourable Lord, HENRY, Earle of Southampton, Baron of Tichfield, Knight of the most Honorable Order of the Garter: Captaine of the Isle of Wight.

Mors vltima, linea rerum.

Quis est homo qui viuet & non videbit mortem? Ps.

YEe famous Poets of this Southerne Islle,
Straine forth the raptures of your Tragick Muse;
And with your Laurea't Pens come and compile,
The praises due to this Great Lord: peruse
His Globe of Worth, and cke his Vertues braue,
Like learned Maroes at Mecenas graue.

Valour and Wisdome were in thee confin'd;
The Gemini of thy perfection,
And all the Graces were in thee combin'd,
The rich mans ioy and poores refection.
Therefore the King of Kings doth thee imbrace,
For aye to dwell in iust Astraeas place.

Nought is Immortall vnderneath the Sun,
Wee all are subiect to Deaths restlesse date,
Wee end our liues before they are begun,
And mark't in the Eternall Booke of Fate.
But for thy Selfe, and Heire one thred was spun
And cut: like Talbots and his valiant Sonne.

Planet of Honour rest, Diuinely sleepe
Secure from iealousie and worldly feares,
Thy Soule IEHOVAH will it safely keepe:
I, at thy Vrne will drop sad Funerall Teares.
Thou A'leluiahs vnto God alone,
And to the Lambe that sits amidst his Throne.

I can no more in this lugubrious Verse:
Reader depart, and looke on Sidneys Herse.



AN ELEGIE VPON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT NOBLE and Magnanimous Heroë, HENRY Earle of Oxford, Viscount Bulbec, Lord Samford, and Lord great Chamberlaine of England.

WHO SICKENED IN SERVICE OF HIS KING and Countrie, in defence of the States. And died at the Hagh in Holland. Aprill 1625.
Abraham Holland

...He [Oxford] sought no new-made Honours in the Tide

Of favour, but was borne the same he di'de.
Nor came he to the Elysium with shame
That the old VERES did blush to heare his Name
Brighter than theirs: where his deserts to grace
His Grand-fathers rose up and gave him place,
And set him with the Heroës, where the Quire
Of ayrie Worthies rise up, and admire
The stately Shade: those Brittish Ghosts which long
Agoe were number'd in th'Elysian throng
Ioy to behold him; SYDNEY threw his Bayes
On OXFORDS head, and daign'd to sing his praise;
While Fame with silver Trumpet did keepe time
With his high Voice, and answered his rime.

The soft inticements of the Court, the smiles
Of Glorious Princes the bewitching wiles
Of softer Ladies, and the Golden State
That in such places doth on Greatnesse waite
And all the shadie happinesse which seemes
To attend Kings and follow Diadems
Were Boy-games to his minde: to see a Maske
And sit it out, he held a greater taske
Than to endure a Siege: to wake all Night
In his cold armour, still expecting fight
And the drad On-set, the sad face of feare,
And the pale silence of an Army, were
His best Delights; among the common rout
Of his rough Souldiers to sit hardnesse out
Were his most pleasing Delicates: to him
A Batter'd Helmet was a Diadem:
And wounds, his Brauerie: Knowing that Fame
And faire Eternitie could neuer claime
Their Meeds without such Hazards:

Letter from Count Gondomar to King Philip (while Henry de Vere was incarcerated in the Tower).

"In the letter of April 1, I said to your Majesty how the King removed the Earl Oxford as commander in chief of the armada in the Strait [Ed. note: the fleet in the Channel] because I told him to, because he [Oxford] was partial to the Dutch, and also because of the way Oxford was bad mouthing the King and me. He spoke even to the point of saying that it was a miserable situation that had reduced England's stature because the people had to tolerate a King who had given the Pope everything spiritual; and everything temporal to the King of Spain. I told King James to arrest this man and put him in the Tower in a narrow cell so that no one can speak to him. I have a strong desire to cut off his head because he is an extremely malicious person and has followers. And he is the second ranking Earl in England, and he and his followers are committed to the Puritan Faction with great passion and to the faction of the Count of the Palatinate against the service of the Emperor and your Majesty." (May 16, 1622)


Author: Markham, Gervase, 1568?-1637.

Title: Honour in his perfection or, A treatise in commendations of the vertues and renowned vertuous vndertakings of the illustrious and heroycall princes Henry Earle of Oxenford. Henry Earle of Southampton, Robert Earle of Essex, and the euer praise-worthy and much honoured Lord, Robert Bartue, Lord Willoughby, of Eresby: with a briefe cronology of theirs, and their auncestours actions. And to the eternall memory of all that follow them now, or will imitate them hereafter, especially those three noble instances, the Lord Wriouthesley, the Lord Delaware, and the Lord Montioy.

Date: 1624


 Essex's Epitaph:


 Author: Essex, Robert Devereux, Earl of, 1566-1601. 

Title: The arraignment, tryal and condemnation of Robert Earl of Essex and Henry Earl of Southampton, at Westminster the 19th of February, 1600 and in the 43 year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth for rebelliously conspiring and endeavouring the subversion of the government, by confederacy with Tyr-Owen, that popish traytor and his complices ... were the 5th of March ... arraigned, condemned, and executed ...
Date: 1679


His Epitaph. 

There sleeps great Essex, Darling of Mankind,
Fair Honours Lamp, foule Envies prey, Arts fame,
Natures pride, Vertues Bulwark, lure of Mind.
Wisdoms Flower, Valours Tower, Fortunes shame,
England's Sun, Belgia's light, France's Star, Spain's thunder,
Lisbon's lightning, Ireland's cloud, the whole Worlds Wonder.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oxford's Heir Crowned in Elysium by Philip Sidney

(Thanks to Peter Dickson for bringing this poem to the attention of elizaforum.)

AN ELEGIE VPON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT NOBLE and Magnanimous Heroë, HENRY Earle of Oxford, Viscount Bulbec, Lord Samford, and Lord great Chamberlaine of England.

WHO SICKENED IN SERVICE OF HIS KING and Countrie, in defence of the States. And died at the Hagh in Holland. Aprill 1625.


Printed 1626.

RABLE AND NOBLE LADY, DIANA, Countesse of OXFORD, Dowager of the Deceased HENRY Earle of OXFORD, Viscount BVLBEC, Lord SAMFORD, and Lord great Chamberlaine of ENGLAND. AND, TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE AND APPROVED Souldier, ROBERT VERE, the succeeding Earle of OXFORD, Heire apparant to the same Noble Titles and Honours.

To both their Honours, This Elegie is Consecrated.

By H. H. (Note - Henry Holland)

An Elegie upon the Death of the right Noble and Magnanimous HENRIE Earle of Oxford, Viscount Bulbec, &c.

WHat Starre was wanting in the Skie? what place
To be supplied anew? what empty space
That requir'd OXFORD? was some Light growne dim,
Some Starre Decrepit that suborned Him
To darke the Earth by his Departure? Sure
The Thracian God to make his Orbe more pure
Hath borrow'd him; where in his fiery Carre
He shines a better MARS, a brighter Starre?
Or like a new Orion doth he stand
In Christall Maile, and a bright blade in's hand
An armed Constellation, while the Quire
Of Pyrrhick dancers, with reflecting fire
Glitter on him? or like a Comets rage
Strikes he amazement on the trembling age?
Alas! these glorious fancies but expresse
His worth and our love to him, not make lesse
The rape of Fate, while we poore Mortalls farre
More want such men than heaven could want a Star.
Let Griefe then speake, and for this wofull time
Let me nor studie Number, Verse, or rime,
But write in fragments, so't shall be my due
Though not a Poet good, a Mourner true.
Though I should say no more but, OXFORD's dead,
That would be made an Elegie, to spread
It selfe as farre as sorrow, the Contents
Enlarg'd to Volumes, by the teares, laments,
And griefe in-generall, when the world affords
So vast a comment unto so few words.
Yee Powers above that looke on men with eyes
Iust and impartiall, if in Fate there lies
Still more revenge, ô let us wretches know
Our lot before, that we may weepe below
A timely expiation, and prevent
The torrent of thy wrath which now is bent
To make a Deluge or'e us, who have found,
Though after all Great IAMES was laid in ground,
A Plague, and OXFORDS Death: 'tis hard to say
Which of the two doth more our losse display
The ruines both being Generall: and can
Heaven be so angrie with poore feeble man
To persecute him further? No, the rage
Of Pestilence which spreadeth through the age
Can scarce surpasse his losse: cast feare away
Fate cannot teeme more mischiefe; and must stay
Now at the height of Vengeance: OXFORDS death
Hath ingag'd heaven to spare the rest beneath.
Who, what he living was those men can tell
Who past the North and Southerne Poles doe dwell
I need not write it: that were but to show
What we now want, and what we once did owe
To such a man, whose like ensuing dayes
Shall scarce produce: Antiquitie may praise
Their HECTORS, and ACHILLES, with a dim
And fain'd applause, while we doe but right him
In their Encomiums. Who like a New-borne Starre
Bred us amazement onely, and from farre
Made us admire what he in time would bee,
And so shut up his Early light, while wee
Wonder that Fate could be so prodigall
So soone to show, so quickly to let fall
So great a glorie; which we well may say
Had but an houre, a Minute, a short day
That did deserve an age: yea, some will say
As the best things, he made the shorter stay
T'expresse an Excellence: Yet alas, herein
We doe but flatter sorrow and our sin
Which tooke him hence; for had he stay'd till then
When there should be no memorie left of men
H'had bin a Choice of heaven, and surpass't
The Annalls and the Chronicles, which vast
Vncertaine times have made: doe not surmize
That I herein am set t'Hyperbolize,
A strict Historian of the time that say's
Lesse, shall be held Detractour of his Praise.
Yea, future judgements when they shall compare
Him with the rest shall call those writers spare,
Who made him not a Patterne, as the blinde
Old HOMER, did ACHILLES, of his Kinde.
Alas 'twas nothing in the ancient time
For Noble men to raise their names, and clime
By hauty acts unto the top of Fame,
When as obeysance to their Prince did claime,
And their owne Interests, that they should show
Not more what they adventur'd, than did owe:
When each day almost new invasions, when
Civill disturbance did compell the men
To a forc'd valour: In those times to have
A TALBOT, ESSEX, or a DRAKE did save
The Countrie but from damage: but that now
When the now-Sainted IAMES had made a VOW
To blesse himselfe, and us by making Peace:
That not all Spirit, and all MARS should cease
But such a flame from those still ashes rise,
Did saue the Land from guilt of Cowardize.
Since OXFORD was a Youth, BELLONA ne're
Breath'd her allarmes in this our Hemisphere,
But he pursu'd them, with a Noble fire
To fame his Countrie, and his owne desire
Grounded on that: Great Venice and the Fates
Though lucklesse of Bohemia, with the States
Now fatall to him, and th'attempted Seas
Shall be his true, though Posthumes witnesses.
He sought no new-made Honours in the Tide
Of favour, but was borne the same he di'de.
Nor came he to the Elysium with shame
That the old VERES did blush to heare his Name
Brighter than theirs: where his deserts to grace
His Grand-fathers rose up and gave him place,
And set him with the Heroës, where the Quire
Of ayrie Worthies rise up, and admire
The stately Shade: those Brittish Ghosts which long
Agoe were number'd in th'Elysian throng
Ioy to behold him; SYDNEY threw his Bayes
On OXFORDS head, and daign'd to sing his praise;
While Fame with silver Trumpet did keepe time
With his high Voice, and answered his rime.

The soft inticements of the Court, the smiles
Of Glorious Princes the bewitching wiles
Of softer Ladies, and the Golden State
That in such places doth on Greatnesse waite
And all the shadie happinesse which seemes
To attend Kings and follow Diadems
Were Boy-games to his minde: to see a Maske
And sit it out, he held a greater taske
Than to endure a Siege: to wake all Night
In his cold armour, still expecting fight
And the drad On-set, the sad face of feare,
And the pale silence of an Army, were
His best Delights; among the common rout
Of his rough Souldiers to sit hardnesse out
Were his most pleasing Delicates: to him
A Batter'd Helmet was a Diadem:
And wounds, his Brauerie: Knowing that Fame
And faire Eternitie could neuer claime
Their Meeds without such Hazards: but alas
That wee must say, such a Man OXFORD was,
A Hatefull Syllable which doth implie
Valour can be extinct and Vertue die.
O wer't not Profanation, I now
Could turne a stiffe Pythagorist and allow
A reall Metempsychosis, if so
The Soule of OXFORD might divided flow
On much Nobilitie: and yet my sect
Should honour finde from hence, they no Defect.
This was the yeare of Iubile in Rome
No meruaile, 'twas of griefe with us at home,
England hath bin Romes Sacrifice, the whiles
Our Teares and Funerals haue bred their Smiles
A company of sacred Soules before
Him left Mortalitie, as if the skore
Of Fate were quickly to be payd: but when
He left us wretches to continue men,
While hee himselfe did to a Crowne attaine
The whole Quire seem'd in him to die againe:
As if h' had bin th' Epitome, and Briefe
Of all their Vertues, and of all our griefe:
But Fate did act this last and greatest theft
To see if wee had any Sorrow left,
As if those loued Soules which went before
Had spent our teares, and left our Eyes no more,
Alas, now pities us and bids us sleepe
Seeing when Eyes are done our hearts can weepe.

Two Epitaphs vpon the same Noble Earle.


PAssenger that needs wilt know

Who lyeth here

First let mee craue,

That thou, thy Pietie to show

Let fall a teare

Upon the Graue:

'Tis Oxford: whom when thou shalt finde

Entoomb'd below

Who late did liue,

Thou thy selfe shalt call vnkinde,

To haue bin so



TO say that OXFORD here or there

Doth lye, confines a place

To his vnbounded Fame,

That Body which, you balme and seare

That Image you doe grace,

Js but his Shade, his Name.

What place of Heauen hath his Soule

And his diviner parts,

To mortals is vnknowne;

This wee may say without controll,

Jn all true English hearts

His Toombe is made, though they bee made of Stone.



magnanimous/great-minded vs. charges of low-mindedness:
Shakespeare - Sonnet 72
O! lest the world should task you to recite

What merit lived in me, that you should love
After my death,--dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove.
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
O! lest your true love may seem false in this
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
And so should you, to love things nothing worth.


O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
Pity me then and wish I were renew'd;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.


Your love and pity doth the impression fill,

Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?
You are my all-the-world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides methinks y'are dead.


 Author: Brooke, Christopher, d. 1628.
Title: Tvvo elegies consecrated to the neuer-dying memorie of the most worthily admyred; most hartily loued; and generally bewayled prince; Henry Prince of Wales.
Date: 1613

... HEE knew that Armes was th'exercise of KINGS;
The spurre to Fame, roote of NOBILITIES
Hee knew his BIRTH and SPIRIT had lent him wings
To mount the pitch of all his AVNCESTRIE:
Hee likewise knew Fames Trumpet neuer rings
Of delicate Courtship, but with Infamy;
Hee knew that Souldiers vs'd n'affected words,
Whose Tongues are speares, their Oratory swords.

By Warres fayre shadow, his discoursiue Thought
Discernd the substance, and admyr'd the Face;
Bellona was his GODDESSE, whom he sought
With Knightly valour, more then courtly grace:
Th'Impression of whose Figure so much wrought,
That he would front her manly, and enchace
Vpon her sternest Brow, his temper'd steele;
ARMES had his Hart; when LOVE had scarse his Heele.

Not Canopies, but Tents tooke his DESIRE,
Not Courts, but Camps; nor could the courtliest dames
(Though they shot Eye-bals wrapt in CVPIDS fire)
Pierce his steel'd Brest: but Bullets roll'd in Flames,
From thundring Cannons, had more powre t'inspire;
Where Townes for markes; & Crownes do stand for games;
Where Foes subdu'd, for right of Kingdomes wrongs,
HONOVR might blaze with shield of golden Tongues.

These were the Subiects of our PRINCES Aime;
A plumed Caske, a Speare, a Sword, a Shield;
Kingdomes his hope; Olympicke wreaths his Chaine;
Barriers his practise, and the course of Field;
VVe look't HEE should haue impt the wings of FAME;
Charm'd Death, ruld FATE, and made proud Fortune yeeld,
And Lion-like haue forrag'do're the EARTH
To hunt his prey, and Crowne his NAME and BIRTH.

 Author: Adams, Thomas, fl. 1612-1653.
Title: The souldiers honour Wherein by diuers inferences and gradations it is euinced, that the profession is iust, necessarie, and honourable: to be practised of some men, praised of all men. Together with a short admonition concerning munition, to this honour'd citie. Preached to the worthy companie of gentlemen, that exercise in the artillerie garden: and now on thier second request, published to further vse. By Tho. Adams.
Date:  1617
LONDON, Printed by Adam Islip and Edward Blount, and are to be sold in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the blacke Beare. 1617

...Be you but ready for warre, and I durst warrant your peace. Whilst you are dissolute, they grow reso|lute. Ludouicus Viues reports, that the yong nobles and gallants in a citie of Spaine were falne to such le|uitie of carriage; that in stead of marching to the sound of a Drum, they were dancing leuolto's to the Lute in a Ladies chamber: their Beauers were tur|ned to Beuer hats. Euery one had his mistresse, and spent his time in courting Venus; but Mars was shut out at the backe gate. The ancient Magistrates obseruing this, consulted what should become of that country, which these men must gouerne after they were dead. Hereupon they conferred with the wo|men, their daughters, the Ladies: whom they instru|cted to forbeare their wonted fauours, to despise the fantasticall amorists, and to afford no grace to them that had no grace in themselues. This they obeyed di|ligently, and wrought so effectually, that the Gentle|men soone began to spie some difference betwixt Ef|feminatenes and Noblenes. And at last in honourable and seruiceable designes excelled all their Ancestors. If we had in England such Ladies, (though I doe not wish them from Spaine) wee should haue such Lords. Honour should goe by the Banner, not by the Barue: and Reputation be valued by valour, not
measured by the acre: there would be no ambition to be carpet-Knights. How necessarie the readinesse of Armes, and of men practised to those Armes, hath beene to the com|mon good; what Nation hath not found, either in the habite to their safetie, or in the priuation to their ruine? Onely we blesse our selues in our peace; and say to them that aduise vs to militarie preparations, as the Deuils said to Christ, that we come to torment them before their time. But let them rest, that thus will rust: and for your selues, worthy Gentlemen, keepe your Armes bright; and thereby your names, your vertues, your soules: you shall be honoured in good mens hearts, whilst wanton and effeminate Gulls shall weaue and weare their owne disgraces. Spernite vos sperni: there are none that think base|ly of you, whose bosomes are acquainted with other then ignoble thoughts. But I haue held you too long in the gates, vnlesse I could promise you the sight of a better Citie. Yet enter in, and view it with your eyes: it hath alreadie entred your eares; God grant it may enter all our hearts. So your selues shall be renowned, our Peace secured, and the Lords great Name glorified, through Iesus Christ.
Yours to be commanded in all Christian seruices, THO. ADAMS.


...Thinke with a reuerend courage of your noble Ancestors, how their prowesse renowned them|selues and this whole nation. Shew your selues the legitimate and true borne children of such fathers.
The fame of Alexander gaue heart to Iulius Caesar, to be the more noble a warriour. Let the conside|ration of their valour teach you to shake off cowar|dize. They fought the battells, that you might en|ioy the peace. You holde it an honour to beare Armes in your Scutchions; and is it a dishonour to beare Armes in the Field? The time hath beene, when all honour in England came a Marte or Mer|curio; from Learning or Chiualrie, from the Pen or the Pike, from Priesthood or Knighthood. It would bee an vnknowne encouragement to goodnesse, if honour still might not bee dealed but vpon those termes. Then should manie worthie spirits get vp the High-gate of preferment: and idle Drones should not come neerer then the Dunstable high-way of obscuritie. It was a monstrous storie, that Nicippus his Sheepe did bring forth a Lyon: but it is too true, that manie of our English Lyons haue brought forth Sheepe. Among birds you shall neuer see a Pigeon hatch'd in an Eagles neast: a|mong men you shall often see noble progenitors bring forth ignoble cowards.
But let vertue be renowned, rewarded, wheresoe|uer shee dwells. Though Bion was the sonne of a Courtesan, I hope no man will censure him with Partus sequitur ventrem. Non genus sed genius: non gens sed mens. Neuer speake of thy bloud, but of thy good: not of thy Nobilitie, thou art beholding to thy friends for it, but of thy vertue. ..

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Earl of Essex on Virtuous Travel and Travel that Corrupts


 Author: Essex, Robert Devereux, Earl of, 1566-1601. 

Title: Profitable instructions describing what speciall obseruations are to be taken by trauellers in all nations, states and countries; pleasant and profitable. By the three much admired, Robert, late Earle of Essex. Sir Philip Sidney. And, Secretary Davison.
Date: 1633 

To the Reader.

IT hath bin lately maintained in an Academicall Di|spute, That the best travailing is in maps and good Authours: because thereby a man may take a view of the state and manners of the whole world, and neuer mix with the corruptions of it. A pleasing opinion for solitary prisoners, who may thus travell ouer the world, though confined to a dungeon. And, indeed, it is a good way to keepe a man innocent; but withall as Ignorant. Our sedentary Traueller may passe for a wise man, as long as hee converseth either with dead men by reading; or by writing, with men absent. But let him once enter on the stage of publike imployment, and hee will soone find, if he can bee but sensible of contempt, that he is vnfit for Action. For ability to treat with men of seueral humours, factions, and Countries; duly to comply with them, or stand off, as occasion shall require, is not gotten onely by reading of books, but rather by studying of men. Yet this euer holds true; The best scholler is fittest for a Traueller, as being able to make the most vseful obseruation: Experience added to learning, makes a perfect Man.
It must, therfore, be confessed, That to fit men for Negotiation, the visiting of forraine Countries is most necessary: This kingdom iustly glories in many noble Instruments, whose Abilities haue been perfitted by that meanes. But with|all it cannot bee denied, that many men while they ayme at this fitnesse make themselus vnfit for any thing· Some goe ouer full of good qualitie, and better hopes; who, hauing as it were emptied themselues in other places, return laden with nothing but the vices, if not the diseases of the Countries which they haue seene. And, which is most to bee pittied, they are commonly the best wits, and purest receptacles of sound knowledge, that are thus corrupted. Whether it be, that they are more eagerly assaulted with vice then others; or whether they doe more easily admit any obuious impression: howeuer it be fit it is, That all young Trauellers should receive an Antidot against the infectious Ayre of other Countries.
For this purpose, diuers learned men haue prescribed rules and precepts: which haue done much good, howeuer in many things defectiue. For as hee that read a Lecture to Hannibal of the Art of war, shewed that himself was no souldier, and therefore vnfit to teach a great Commander: so He, that neuer trauelled but in his Books, can hardly shew his learning, without manifestation of his want of experience.
It hath therefore been much desired, that some men who had themselues bin Trauellers, & had made lest vse of their trauels, would giue some vnfailing directions to others. Such are here pre|sented to thee; & in such a volume, as they may be an help|ful, though vnchar|geable companion of thy trauell. Pitty it is that such monu|ments of wisedome shold haue perished for the Authours sakes: men famous in their times for learning, experience nobility, & greatnesse of place; but the losse would haue beene thine, which maist now reap the benefit. Thy fauorable acceptance may occasion others to publish larger peeces of this kind, to the increase of their own honor, because for the good of the noble youth of this florishing kingdome.
B. F.

Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were

To see thee in our waters yet appear,


To the Right Noble, and Honorable Lady Susan Vera Mongomriana.

V Aliant whilome the Prince that bare this Mot,
E Ngraued round about his golden Ring:
R Oaming in VENICE ere thou wast begot,
A Mong the Gallants of th'Italian spring.

N Euer omitting what might pastime bring,
I Talian sports, and Syrens Melodie:
H Opping Helena with her warbling sting,
I Nfested th'Albanian dignitie,
L Ike as they poysoned all Italie.

V Igilant then th'eternall majestie
E Nthraled soules to free from infamie:
R Emembring thy sacred virginitie,
I Nduced vs to make speedie repaire,
V Nto thy mother euerlasting faire,
S O did this Prince begette thee debonaire.

'divers injuries and wrongs' - Essex and Oxford

Paul Hammer, _Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics_

"Elizabeth de Vere ... married William, 6th Earl of Derby, at Greenwich Palace on 26 January 1595...Although the couple soon had a daughter, also named Elizabeth, the marriage initially proved to be a disaster. A passing reference by Anthony Standen to rumours about Essex and 'the newe coyned countes' suggest that Lady Derby may have been involved with Essex as early as May 1595. This may have been one of the 'divers injuries and wrongs' which her father, the earl of Oxford, complained he had received from Essex by October 1595."

"Derby himself was frustrated that she did not behave as a dutiful wife, but he could do little to change her behaviour: 'it is said he lovethe her greatlie as withe greefe laborethe to winne her.'

The affair seems to have continued through '96 and '97, and it was rumoured that Essex 'laye with my lady of Darbe' before he went to the Azores.


Postscript October 20 1595 - Oxford to Sir Robert Cecil concerning Forest of Waltham:

Your assured friend,
Edward Oxenford

As I was folding up this letter I received a very honourable answer from my Lord Treasurer. My whole trust in this cause is in you two, my Lord for that he is privy to the whole cause and handling thereof from time to time, and in you, for that I assure myself in so just a matter you will not abandon me.

He seemeth to doubt yet of his death, & wisheth me to make means to the Earl of Essex that he would forbear to deal for it, a thing I cannot do in honour sith I have already received divers injuries and wrongs from him which bar me of all such base courses. If her Majesty's affections be forfeits of men's estates, we must endure it.

*To the right honourable & his very good friend & brother Sir Robert Cecil, one of her Majesty's Privy Council.


The Late E. of E. his aduice to the E. of R. in his trauels.

My Lord,
I Hold it for a principle in the course of Intelli|gence of State, not to discourage men of meane capacity from writing vnto mee; though I had at that same time very able aduertisements: for either they sent mee matter which the other omitted, or made it clearer by describing the circumstances, or, if added nothing, yet they confirmed that which comming single I might haue doubted. This rule I haue, therefore, prescribed to others, and now giue it to my selfe. Your Lordship hath many friends who haue more lei|sure to thinke, and more sufficiencie to counsel than my selfe; yet doth my loue direct these few lines to the study of you. If you find out nothing but that which you haue from others; yet, perhaps, by the opinion of others, I con|firme the opinion of wiser than my selfe Your Lordships purpose is to trauell; and your study must bee what vse to make thereof. The question is ordinary, and there is to it an ordinary answer; that is, your Lordship shall see the beauty of many Cities, know the manners of the people of many Countries, and learne the language of many Nations. Some of these may serue for ornaments, al of them for delight: But your Lordship must looke further than these things; for the greatest ornament is the beauty of the minde, and when you haue as great delight as the world can afford you, you will confesse that the greatest delight is Sentire teindies fieri m|liorum. Therfore your Lordships end and scope should be, that which is morall Phi|losophy, we call Cul|tum Animi, the gifts and excellencies of the mind. And they are the same as those are of the body, Beau|ty, Health, & strength. The beauty of the minde is shewed in gratefull and acceptable forms and sweetnesse of behauiour; and they that haue that gift, cause those to whom they deny any thing, to goe bet|ter contented away, than men of contrary disposition doe those to whom they grant. Health of mind consisteth in an vnmoueable constancy and freedome from passions, which are indeed the sicknesse of the mind; strength of mind is that actiue power which maketh vs perform good and great things, as well as health, and euen temper of mind keepeth vs from euil and base things. First, these three are to bee sought for, although the greatest part of men haue none of them. Some haue one and lacke the other two; some few at|taine to haue two of them, and lacke the third; and almost none of them haue all.
The first way to at|taine to experience of formes or behauiour, is to make the minde it selfe expert; for behauiour is but a garment, and it is easie to make a comely garment for a body that is well proportioned; whereas a deformed body can neuer bee helped by Taylors art, but the Counterfetting will appeare. And in the forme of the minde it is a true rule, that a man may mend his faults with as little labor as couer them.


Character mentis - Mark of the Mind. Figurative abuse.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 59

If there be nothing new, but that which is

Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd,
Which labouring for invention bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child.
Oh that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done,
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or where better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
Oh sure I am the wits of former days,
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.


Entering Western culture with classical writers, the ethic of moderation and proportion was a touchstone of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century thinking. The definition of physical beauty, proportion was also the rule of virtuous living; and in a period in which there was held to be a sympathy between physical and moral qualities, the one reinforced the other. For, ‘The Affections of the Mind are made known by nothing so well, as by the Body.” Conversely the same held true for the body and soul deformed. ‘Well did Aristotle…

call sinnes Monsters of nature, for as there is no Monster ordinarily reputed, but is a SWELLING or excesse of forme, so is there no sinne but is a swelling or rebelling against God.’ (Susan Vincent)

Surpassing Nature:

Dedication in Latin to Bartholomew Clerke's Translation of The Courtier (1571/1572)

For what more difficult, more noble, or more magnificent task has anyone ever undertaken than our author Castiglione, who has drawn for us the figure and model of a courtier, a work to which nothing can be added, in which there is no redundant word, a portrait which we shall recognize as that of a highest and most perfect type of man. And so, although nature herself has made nothing perfect in every detail, YET THE MANNERS OF MEN exceed in dignity that with which nature has endowed them; and he who surpasses others has here surpassed himself and has even OUT-DONE NATURE, which by no one has ever been surpassed.


For he [Homer] doth not meane by Mores, how to looke, or put off ones Cap with a new found grace, although true behavior is not to be despised: marry my Heresie is, that the English behaviour is best in England, and the Italians in Italie. But mores hee takes for that from whence Morall Philosophy is so called; the certainnesse of true discerning of mens mindes both in vertue, passion, and vices. --Philip Sidney, Letter


Gabriel Harvey, Latin Address at Audley End – to the Earl of Oxford

...For long time past Phoebus Apollo has cultivated thy mind in the arts.
English poetical measures have been sung by thee long enough.
Let that Courtly Epistle, more polished even than the writings of Castiglione himself
witness how greatly thou dost excel in letters.
I have seen many Latin verses of thine, yea,
even more English verses are extant;
Thou hast drunk deep draughts not only of the Muses of France and Italy,
But hast learned the MANNERS of many men, and the arts of foreign countries.
It was not for nothing that Sturmius, himself was visited by thee,
Neither in France, Italy, nor Germany are any such cultivated and polished men.


Effeminate Oxford/Shakespeare

…all the art of rhetorick, besides order and clearness, all the artifical and figurative application of words eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions. And thereby mislead the judgement…eloquence, like the fair sex, has too prevailing beauties in it to suffer itself ever to be spoken against. And it is vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving wherein men find pleasure to be deceived. (John Locke, The Abuse of Words)

Jonson, Discoveries

Affected Language:

DE VERE argutis. - I do hear them say often some men are not witty, because they are not everywhere witty; than which nothing is more foolish. If an eye or a nose be an excellent part in the face, therefore be all eye or nose! I think the eyebrow, the forehead, the cheek, chin, lip, or any part else are as necessary and natural in the place. But now nothing is good that is natural; right and natural language seems to have least of the wit in it; that which is writhed and tortured is counted the more exquisite. Cloth of bodkin or tissue must be embroidered; as if no face were fair that were not powdered or painted! no beauty to be had but in wresting and writhing our own tongue! Nothing is fashionable till it be <>; and this is to write like a gentleman. All must be affected and preposterous as our gallants' clothes, sweet-bags, and night-dressings, in which you would think our men lay in, like ladies, it is so curious.


Philip Sidney

A Letter to the same purpose.

MY good Bro|ther; you haue thought vn|kindnesse in me, that I haue not written oftner vnto you, and haue desired I should
write vnto you some|thing of my opinion touching your tra|uell; you being per|swaded my experi|ence therin to be som|thing, which I must needs confesse; but not as you take it. For you thinke my expe|rience growes from the good things which I haue learned: but I know the only experience which I haue gotten, is, to find how much I might haue learned, & how much indeed I haue missed, for want of directing my course to the right end, and by the right meanes. I thinke you haue read Aristotles Ethiques; If you haue, you know it is the beginning & foundation of all his worke, the end to which euery man doth and ought to bend his greatest and smallest Actions, I am sure you haue im|printed in your mind the scope and marke you meane, by your paines, to shoot at. For if you should tra|uell but to trauell, or to say you had trauel|led, certainely you should proue a pil|grim, no more. But I presume so well of you (that though a great number of vs never thought in our selves why we went, but a certain tickling humour to doe as o|ther men had done,) you prupose, being a Gentleman borne, to furnish your selfe with the knowledge of such things as may bee serviceable for your Country & cal|ling. Which certainly stands not in the change of Ayre, (for the warmest Sunne makes not a wise man) no, nor in learning Languages (although they be of serviceable vse) for words are but words in what Lan|guage soever they be; and much lesse in that all of vs come home full of disguisements not onely of apparel, but of our countenances, as though the credit of a Traueller stood all vpon his outside: but in the right informing your minde with those things which are most notable in those places which you come vnto. Of which as the one kinde is so vaine, as I thinke, ere it bee long, like the Mountebanks in Italy, wee Travellers shall bee made sport of in Comedies; so may I inst+ly say, who rightly trauels with the eye of Vlysses, doth take one of the most excellent ways of world|ly wisdome. For hard sure it is to know England, without you know it by compa|ring it with some o|ther Countrey; no more than a man can know the swiftnesse of his horse without seeing him well matched. For you that are a Logician know, that as greatnesse of it selfe is a quantity, so yet the iudgement of it, as of mighty riches & all other strengths stands in the predicament of Relation: so that you cannot tell what the Queene of England is able to do defensively or offen|sively, but by through knowing what they are able to doe with whom shee is to bee matched. This therefore is one notable vse of Travellers; which stands in the mixed & correlatiue knowledge of things, in which kinde comes in the knowledge of all legues betwixt Prince and Prince; the Topographicall descrip|tion of each Country, how the one lyes by scituation to hurt or helpe the other, how they are to Sea, well harbored or not, how stored with shippes, how with Reuenue, how with fortification & Garrisons, how the people, warlike trained or kept vnder, with many other such warlike conside|rations; which as they confusedly come into my mind, so I, for want of leisure, hasti|ly set them downe: But these things, as I haue said, are of the first kinde which stands in the ballan|cing one thing with the other. The other kinde of knowledge is of the~ which stand in the things which are in themselus either sim|ply good or simply evill, and so serve for a right instruction, or a shunning example. Of these Homer meant in this verse, Qui mu|tos hominum mores cognouit et vrbes. For he doth not meane by Mores, how to looke, or put off ones Cap with a new found grace, although true behavior is not to be despised: marry my Heresie is, that the English behaviour is best in England, and the Italians in Italie. But mores hee takes for that from whence Morall Philosophy is so called; the certain|nesse of true discerning of mens mindes both in vertue, passion, and vices. And when he saith, Cognouit vrbes, hee meanes not (if I be not deceiued) to have seene Townes, and marke their buildings; for surely houses are but houses in every place, they doe but differ se|cundum magis et minus; but hee intends to their Religion, Policies, [...]awes, bringing vp of children, disci|pline both for warre and peace, and such like. These I take to be of the second kind which are euer wor|thy to be knowne for their owne sakes. As surely in the great Turke, though wee have nothing to doe with them, yet his Discipline in warre matters is, propter se, worthy to be learned. Nay, even in the kingdome of China, which is almost as far as the Antippodes from vs, their good Lawes and Customes are to be learned: but to know their riches and power is of little purpose for Vs; since that can neither ad|vance vs, nor hinder vs. But in our neigh|bour Countries, both these things are to be marked, as well the latter, which containe things for themselues as the former which seeke to know both those, and how their riches and power may be to vs auaileable, or otherwise. The Countries fittest for both these, are those you are going into. France a|bove all other most needfull for vs to marke, especially in the former kind. Next is Spaine & the Low-Countries, then Ger|many; which in my opinion excels all o|thers as much in the latter Consideration, as the other doth in former, yet nei|ther are voyd of nei|ther· For as Germany me [...]inks doth excell in good lawes and well administring of Iustice; so are wee likewise to consider in it the many Princes with whom we may have league; the pla|ces of Frade, and meanes to draw both Souldiers and furni|ture there in time of need. So on the other side, as in France and Spaine we are princi|pally to marke how they stand towards vs both in power and inclination; so are they, not without good and fitting vse, even in the generality of wisdome to bee knowne; As in France the Courts of Parlia|ment, their subulter Iurisdiction, and the it continual keeping of payed Souldiers: In Spaine, their good & grave proceedings, their keeping so ma|ny Prouinces vnder them, and by what manner; with the true points of honor. Wherein since they haue the most open conceit wherein they seeme ouer curious, it is an easie matter to cut off when a man sees the bottom Flanders likewise, besides the neighbour-hood with vs, and the annexed considerations therunto, hath diuers things to be learn'd, especially their gouerning their Merchants & other trades. Also for Italy, wee know not what wee haue, or can haue to doe with them, but to buy their Silkes and Wines: And as for the other point, except Venice, whose good Lawes and customes wee can hardly proportion to our selues, because they are quite of a contrary gouern|ment; there is little there but tyrannous oppression, and seruil yeelding to them that haue little or no right ouer them. And for the men you shall haue there, although indeed some be excellently learned, yet are they all giuen to counterfeit learning: as a man shall learne among them more false grounds of things then in any place else I know. For from a Tapster vpwards, they are all discoursers in certain matters and qualities; as Horsmanship, weapons, wayting; and such are better there then in other Coun|tries: But for other matters, as well (if not better) you shall haue them in nearer places.
Now resteth in my memory but this point, which indeed is the chiefe to you of all others; which is, the chiefe of what men you are to direct your selfe to, for it is certaine no vessell can leave a worse taste in the liquor it contains than a wrong teacher infects an vnskilfull hearer with that which hardly will euer out: I will not tel you some absurdities I haue heard some Trauellers tell; taste him well before you drinke much of his Doctrine And when you haue heard it, try well what you haue heard before you hold it for a principall; for one error is the mother of a thousand. But you may say, how shall I get excellent men to take paines to speake with me? Truly in few words; either much expence or much humblenesse.

Harvey, _Speculum Tuscanismi_

Since Galatea came in, and Tuscanism gan usurp,
Vanity above all: villainy next her, stateliness Empress.
No man but a minion, stout, lout, plain, swain, quoth a Lording:
No words but valorous, no works but womanish only.
For life Magnificoes, not a beck but glorious in show,
Indeed most frivolous, not a look but Tuscanish always.
His cringing side neck, eyes glancing, fisnamie smirking,
With forefinger kiss, and brave embrace to the footward.
Large-bellied Kodpeased doublet, unkodpeased half hose,
Straight to the dock like a shirt, and close to the britch like a
A little Apish flat couched fast to the pate like an oyster,
French Camarick ruffs, deep with a whiteness starched to the purpose.
Every one A per se A, his terms and braveries in print,
Delicate in speech, quaint in array: conceited in all points.
In Courtly guiles a passing singular odd man,
For gallants a brave Mirror, a Primrose of Honour,
A Diamond for nonce, a fellow peerless in England.
Not the like discourser for Tongue, and head to be found out,
Not the like resolute man for great and serious affairs,
Not the like Lynx to spy out secrets and privities of States,
Eyed like to Argus, eared like to Midas, nos'd like to Naso,
Winged like to Mercury, fittest of a thousand for to be employed:
This, nay more than this, doth practise of Italy in one year.
None do I name, yet some do I know, that a piece of a twelve month
Hath so perfited outly and inly, both body, both soul,
That none for sense and senses half matchable with them.
A vulture's smelling, Ape's tasting, sight of an Eagle,
A Spider's touching, Hart's hearing, might of a Lion.
Compounds of wisdom, wit, prowess, bounty, behaviour,
All gallant virtues, all qualities of body and soul:
O thrice ten hundred thousand times blessed and happy,
Blessed and happy travail, TRAVAILER most blessed and happy.

'Tell me in good sooth, doth it not too evidently appeare, that this English Poet wanted but a good PATTERNE before his eyes, as it might be some delicate, and choyce elegant Poesie of good M. Sidneys, or M. Dyers (ouer very Castor, & Pollux for such and many greater matters) when this trimme geere was in hatching: Much like some Gentlewooman, I coulde name in England, who by all Phisick and Physiognomie too, might as well have brought forth all goodly faire children, as they have now some ylfavoured and DEFORMED, had they at the tyme of their Conception, had in sight, the amiable and gallant beautifull Pictures of ADONIS, Cupido, Ganymedes, or the like, which no doubt would have wrought such deepe impression in their fantasies, and imaginations, as their children, and perhappes their Childrens children to, myght have thanked them for, as long as they shall have Tongues in their heades."

V&A dedication, Shakespeare

Right Honorable, I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden; only, if your honor seem but pleased, I shall account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honored you with some graver labor. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it will yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honorable survey, and your honor to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.


For he [Homer] doth not meane by Mores, how to looke, or put off ones Cap with a new found grace, although true behavior is not to be despised: marry my Heresie is, that the English behaviour is best in England, and the Italians in Italie. But mores hee takes for that from whence Morall Philosophy is so called; the certainnesse of true discerning of mens mindes both in vertue, passion, and vices. --Philip Sidney, Letter


<> C Y N T H I A 'S

_The Alchemist_, Jonson

P R O L O G U E.

FOrtune, that favours Fools, these two short Hours
We wish away, both for your sakes, and ours,
Judging Spectators; and desire in place,
To th' Author Justice, to our selves but Grace.
Our Scene is London, 'cause we would make known,
No Countries Mirth is better than our own:
No Clime breeds better Matter for your Whore,
Bawd, Squire, Impostor, many Persons more,
Whose MANNERS, NOW CALL'D HUMOURS, feed the Stage;
And which have still been Subject for the Rage
Or Spleen of Comick Writers. Though this Pen
Did never aim to grieve, but better Men;
Howe'er the AGE he lives in doth endure
The Vices that she breeds, above their Cure.
But when the wholesom Remedies are sweet,
And in their working Gain and Profit meet,
He hopes to find no Spirit so much diseas'd,
But will with such fair Correctives be pleas'd:
For here he doth not fear who can apply.
If there be any that will sit so nigh
Unto the Stream, to look what it doth run,
They shall find things, they'ld think, or wish, were done;
They are so natural Follies, but so shown,
As even the Doers may see, and yet now own.


And which have still been Subject for the RAGE
Or Spleen of Comick Writers. Though this Pen
Did never aim to grieve, but better Men;
Howe'er the AGE he lives in doth endure
The Vices that she breeds, above their Cure.

Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with RAGE

Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage,
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned like night,
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.


Entering Western culture with classical writers, the ethic of moderation and proportion was a touchstone of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century thinking. The definition of physical beauty, proportion was also the rule of virtuous living; and in a period in which there was held to be a sympathy between physical and moral qualities, the one reinforced the other. For, ‘The Affections of the Mind are made known by nothing so well, as by the Body.” Conversely the same held true for the body and soul deformed. ‘Well did Aristotle… call sinnes Monsters of nature, for as there is no Monster ordinarily reputed, but is a SWELLING or excesse of forme, so is there no sinne but is a swelling or rebelling against God.’ (Susan Vincent)


Jonson. Verse Prologue, _Every Man in His Humor _


Though need make many poets, and some such
As art and nature have not better'd much;
Yet ours for want hath not so loved the stage,
As he dare serve the *ill customs of the AGE*,
Or purchase your delight at such a rate,
As, for it, he himself must justly hate:
To make a child now swaddled, to proceed
Man, and then shoot up, in one beard and weed,
Past threescore years; or, with three *rusty swords*,
And help of some few foot and half-foot words,
Fight over York and Lancaster's king jars,
And in the tyring-house bring wounds to scars.
He rather prays you will be pleas'd to see
One such to-day, as other plays should be;
Where neither chorus wafts you o'er the seas,
Nor creaking throne comes down the boys to please;
Nor nimble squib is seen to make afeard
The gentlewomen; nor roll'd bullet heard
To say, it thunders; nor tempestuous drum
Rumbles, to tell you when the storm doth come;
But deeds, and language, such as men do use,
And persons, such as comedy would choose,
When she would shew an image of the times,
And sport with human follies, not with crimes.
Except we make them such, by loving still
Our popular errors, when we know they're ill.
I mean such errors as you'll all confess,
By laughing at them, they deserve no less:
Which when you heartily do, there's hope left then,
*You, that have so grac'd MONSTERS, may like men*.

Jonson -

R E V E L S,
O R,
The Fountain of Self-Love.
The Court.

Thou art a Bountiful and Brave Spring, and waterest all the Noble Plants of this Island. In thee the whole Kingdom dresseth it self, and is ambitious to use thee as her Glass. BEWARE THEN THOU RENDER MENS FIGURES TRULY, and teach them no less to hate their DEFORMITIES, than to love their Forms: For, to Grace, there should come Reverence; and no Man can call that Lovely, which is not also Venerable. It is not Powd'ring, Perfuming, and every day smelling of the Taylor, that converteth to a Beautiful Object: but a Mind shining through any Sute, which needs no False Light, either of Riches or Honours, to help it. Such shalt thou find some here, even in the Reign of C Y N T H I A, (a C R I T E S and an A R E T E.) Now, under thy P H oe B U S, it will be thy Province to make more: Except thou desirest to have thy Source mix with the Spring of Self-love, and so wilt draw upon thee as welcom a Discovery of thy Days, as was then made of her Nights.
Thy Servant, but not Slave,

Cynthia's Revels
Act V.    Scene XI.
Cynthia, Arete, Crites, Masquers.
Arete. Nay, forward, for I delegate my Power,
And will that at thy Mercy they do stand,
Whom they so oft, so plainly scorn'd before.
"'Tis Vertue which they want, and wanting it,

_Cynthia's Revels_, Jonson
Cup. What's he, Mercury?
   Mer. A notable Smelt. One, that hath newly enter-
tain'd the Begger to follow him, but cannot get him to
wait near enough. 'Tis Asotus, the Heir of Philargyrus;
but first I'll give ye the others Character, which may
make his the clearer. He that is with him is Amorphus
a TRAVELLER, one so made out of the mixture and shreds
of forms, that himself is truly DEFORM'D. He walks
most commonly with a Clove or Pick-tooth in his
Mouth, he is the very mint of Complement, all his Be-
haviours are printed, his Face is another Volume of
Essayes; and his Beard an Aristrachus. He speaks all
Cream skim'd, and more affected than a dozen of wait-
ing Women. He is his own Promoter in every place.
The Wife of the Ordinary gives him his Diet to main-
tain her Table in discourse, which (indeed) is a meer
Tyranny over the other Guests, for he will usurp all
the talk: Ten Constables are not so tedious. He is no
great shifter, once a year his Apparel is ready to revolt.
He doth use much to arbitrate Quarrels, and fights him-
self, exceeding well (out at a Window.) He will lye
cheaper than any Begger, and lowder than most Clocks;
for which he is right properly accommodated to the
Whetstone his Page. The other Gallant is his Zani, and
doth most of these Tricks after him; sweats to imitate
him in every thing (to a Hair) except a Beard, which is
not yet extant. He doth learn to make strange Sauces,
to eat Anchovies, Maccaroni, Bovoli, Fagioli, and Ca-
viare, because he loves 'em; speaks as he speaks, looks,
walks, goes so in Cloaths and Fashion: is in all as if he
were moulded of him. Marry (before they met) he
had other very pretty sufficiencies, which yet he re-
tains some light impression of; as frequenting a dan-
cing School, and grievously torturing strangers with In-
quisition after his grace in his Galliard. He buys a
asecond 'a' an error fresh acquaintance at any rate. His Eyes and his
Raiment confer much together as he goes in the Street.
He treads nicely like the Fellow that walks upon Ropes;
especially the first Sunday of his Silk-stockings; and
when he is most neat and new, you shall strip him
with Commendations.

Jonson, _Cynthia's Revels_. Acted 1600, printed 1601.

AMORPHUS. And there's her minion, Crites: why his advice more than
Amorphus? Have I not invention afore him? Learning to better


Southern, Pandora (1584)
To the right honourable the Earl of Oxenford etc.
Ode I Strophe 1
This earth is the nourishing teat,
As well that delivers to eat
As else throws out all that we can
Devise that should be needful for
The health of or disease or sore,
The household companions of man.
And this earth hath herbs sovereign
To impeach sicknesses sudden
If they be well aptly applied.
And this yearth spews up many a brevage
Of which, if we knew well the usage,
Would force the force Acherontide.
Brief, it lends us all that we have
With to live, and it is our grave,
But with all this, yet cannot give
Us fair renowns when we be dead,
And indeed they are only made
By our own virtues whiles we live.
No, no, the high singer is he
Alone that in the end must be
Made proud with a garland like this,
And not every riming novice
That writes with small wit and much pain,
And the (God’s know) idiot in vain,
For it’s not the way to Parnasse,
Nor it will neither come to pass
If it be not in some wise fiction
And of an ingenious INVENTION,
For it alone must win the laurel,
And only the poet WELL BORN
Must be he that goes to Parnassus,
And not these companies of asses
That have brought verse almost to scorn.
Conflicting cultural practices essex and oxford


Essex to Rutland, con't

The vse of Obser|uation is in noting the coherence of cau|ses, effects, counsels, and succcesses, with the proportion and likenesse betweene Nature and Nature, Fortune and Fortune, Action and Action, State and State, Time past and Time pre|sent. Your Lordship now seeth, you must know also that the true end of knowledge is cleare|nesse and strength of Iudgement, and not ostentation, or abili|ty to discourse; which I doe the rather put your Lordship in mind of, because the most part of Noble|men and Gentlemen of our time haue no other vse nor end of their learning but their Table-talke. But God knoweth they haue gotten little that haue onely this dis|coursing gift; for though like empty vessels they sound loud when a man knockes vpon their out sides; yet if you peere into them, you shall finde that they are full of nothing
but winde. This rule holdeth not onely in know|ledge, or in the vertue of knowledge, or in the vertue of Pru|dence, but in all o|ther vertues.


Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie:

Some vices in speaches and writing are alwayes intollerable, some others now and then borne withall by licence of approued authors and custome.
Others there be that fall into the contrary vice by vsing such BOMBASTED wordes, as seeme altogether FARCED full of WINDE, being a great deale to high and loftie for the matter, whereof ye may finde too many in all popular rymers.

The stuff of farce:

John Aubrey Upon the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford: - John Aubrey (1626-1697)

This Earle of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart.

Sidney, Defense of Poesy

...These be subdivided into sundry more special denominations. The most notable be the heroic, lyric, tragic, comic, satiric, iambic, elegiac, pastoral, and certain others, some of these being termed according to the matter they deal with, some by the sort of verse they liked best to write in,—for indeed the greatest part of poets have apparelled their poetical inventions in that numberous kind of writing which is called verse. Indeed but apparelled, verse being but an ornament and no cause to poetry, since there have been many most excellent poets that never versified, and now swarm many versifiers that need never answer to the name of poets. For Xenophon, who did imitate so excellently as to give us effigiem justi imperii—the portraiture of a just empire under the name of Cyrus (as Cicero saith of him)—made therein an absolute heroical poem; so did Heliodorus in his sugared invention of that picture of love in Theagenes and Chariclea; and yet both these wrote in prose. Which I speak to show that it is not riming and versing that maketh a poet—no more than a long gown maketh an advocate, who, though he pleaded in armor, should be an advocate and no soldier—but it is that feigning notable images of virtues, vices, or what else, with that delightful teaching, which must be the right describing note to know a poet by. Although indeed the senate of poets hath chosen verse as their fittest raiment, meaning, as in matter they passed all in all, so in manner to go beyond them; not speaking, table-talk fashion, or like men in a dream, words as they chanceably fall from the mouth, but peizing each syllable of each word by just proportion, according to the dignity of the subject. 

Now, therefore, it shall not be amiss, first to weigh this latter sort of poetry by his works, and then by his parts; and if in neither of these anatomies he be condemnable, I hope we shall obtain a more favorable sentence. This purifying of wit, this enriching of memory, enabling of judgment, and enlarging of conceit, which commonly we call learning, under what name soever it come forth or to what immediate end soever it be directed, the final end is to lead and draw us to as high a perfection as our degenerate souls, made worse by their clay lodgings, can be capable of.