Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Smoking Figure - Soraismus and Authorship

When discussing the topsy-turvy fate of the supremely eloquent Shakespeare it is important to remember the vexed reputation of eloquence in the early modern period. Like the famous spear of Achilles that could both kill and cure, eloquence had a sinister face. As a  force for the establishment of civil order, moral rectitude and communal values, eloquence was mythologized as a civilizing and life-giving power. Alternatively, disordered and ungoverned speech was understood to lead to civil confusion, political chaos and death.

Eloquent men had a moral and civic responsibility to use their powers of persuasion wisely and with discretion, and also, as masters of language, it was imperative that they recognize and restrain abuses of language to limit the dangers that such abuses posed to the civil body.


I HAVE often and deeply resolved this question in my mind, whether fluency of language has been beneficial or injurious to men and to cities, with reference to the cultivation of the highest order of eloquence. For when I consider the disasters of our own republic, and when I call to mind also the ancient calamities of the most important states, I see that it is by no means the most insignificant portion of their distresses which has originated from the conduct of the most eloquent men. But, at the same time, when I set myself to trace back, by the aid of written memorials and documents, affairs which, by reason of their antiquity, are removed back out of the reach of any personal recollection, I perceive also that many cities have been established, many wars extinguished, many most enduring alliances and most holy friendships have been cemented by deliberate wisdom much assisted and facilitated by eloquence. And as I have been, as I say, considering all this for some time, reason itself especially induces me to think that wisdom without eloquence is but of little advantage to states, but that eloquence without wisdom is often most mischievous, and is never advantageous to them.
If then any one, neglecting all the most virtuous and honourable considerations of wisdom and duty, devotes his whole attention to the practice of speaking, that man is training himself to become useless to himself, and a citizen mischievous to his country; but a man who arms himself with eloquence in such a manner as not to oppose the advantage of his country, but to be able to contend in behalf of them, he appears to me to be one who both as a man and a citizen will be of the greatest service to his own and the general interests, and most devoted to his country. (De Inventione, Cicero)

That Shakespeare was eloquent is beyond dispute. But were his linguistic displays consistently tempered with wisdom, discretion and self-restraint?

Not according to Ben Jonson. In his Discoveries Jonson commented upon some of the 'faults' of Shakespeare, mainly his inability to self-limit:

‘I remember, the Players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing, (whatsoever he penn’d) hee never blotted out line. My answer hath beene, Would he had blotted a thousand. Which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this, but for their ignorance, who choose that circumstance to commend their friend by, wherein he most faulted. And to justifie mine owne candor, (for I lov’d the man, and doe honour his memory (on this side Idolatry) as much as any.) Hee was (indeed) honest, and of an open, and free nature: had an excellent Phantsie; brave notions, and gentle expressions: wherein hee flow’d 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 owne power; would the rule of it had beene so too. 

Jonson's Discoveries is rife with advice about writing, and themes concerning the importance of self-restraint are presented repeatedly. The inability to self-limit is consistently represented as a vice. And apparently it is a vice that is contagious. Jonson informs us that Shakespeare's admirers ignorantly praised him for his serious 'faults' while wrongly rejecting Jonson's judicious comments as signs of ill-will.

Seneca - On Style as a Mirror of Character
Just as luxurious banquets and elaborate dress are indications of disease in the state, similarly a lax style, if it be popular, shows that the mind (which is the source of the word) has lost its balance. Indeed you ought not to wonder that corrupt speech is welcomed not merely by the more squalid mob but also by our more cultured throng; for it is only in their dress and not in their judgments that they differ. You may rather wonder that not only the effects of vices, but even vices themselves, meet with approval. For it has ever been thus: no man's ability has ever been approved without something being pardoned. Show me any man, however famous; I can tell you what it was that his age forgave in him, and what it was that his age purposely overlooked. I can show you many men whose vices have caused them no harm, and not a few who have been even helped by these vices. Yes, I will show you persons of the highest reputation, set up as models for our admiration; and yet if you seek to correct their errors, you destroy them; for vices are so intertwined with virtues that they drag the virtues along with them. 

Jonson also wrote of Shakespeare:

Many times hee fell into those things, could not escape laughter: As when hee said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him; Caesar, thou dost me wrong. Hee replyed: Caesar did never wrong, but with just cause: and such like; which were ridiculous. But hee redeemed his vices, with his vertues. There was ever more in him to be praysed, then to be pardoned.

(Quintilian censures those who over-affecting some virtue fall into the vice that borders that virtue. This will be resolved in Cynthia's Revels as the courtiers masque in virtuous habit and then are exposed as vicious. Amorphus, or Deformity,  masques as Eucosmos/elegance. James P. Bednarz in Shakespeare and the Poet's War states that 'revel' in early modern English could also signify 'drawing humours from the body'. Jonson represents the virtuous poet (Crites/Criticus) as purging the court of illegitimate humours/manners.

So if, according to Jonson, it was 'necessary' that Shakespeare should sometimes be restrained - how did this great literary critic participate in 'stopping' or restraining Shakespeare, or did he leave this 'sometime necessity' to others? Presumably Shakespeare understood Jonson's objections to his style and refused to mend his ways, since Jonson's Discoveries was published long after Shakespeare had died. So how could Jonson limit Shakespeare's influence on his age without incurring the charge of malevolence and the social and professional ramifications that such activities might entail. If honest criticism is rejected as ill-will, what's a judicious critic to do?

Certainly the extravagant praise of Shakespeare in the First Folio encomium 'To my Beloved Master' has contributed much to the magnification of Shakespeare's reputation; none of the critical shadows that appear in Jonson's prologues that task Shakespeare appear here, nor the serious critique of the Discoveries - a posthumously published book that might be thought to represent Jonson's last word on the state of his relationship with William Shakespeare. Yet what happened in the middle years? Entirely departing from his characteristically plain style Jonson appears to completely lose his mind in a frenzy of OTT admiration of Shakespeare.

Reading the passage from Cicero's De Inventione, I was struck by the word 'mischievous'. What would mischievous rhetoric sound like/look like? And then I recalled Ben Jonson's FirstFfolio encomium - or, more correctly, his mock-encomium. Here is Jonson's best 'Shakespearean' moment. Unrestrained poetry, extravagant, excessive;  high sounds untroubled by sense and fabulously figurative - rhetoric designed to thrill and inflame the hearts of the crowd by praising Shakespeare to the skies. On the face of it, this is praise that echoes that of the most star-struck and injudicious of Shakespeare's 'fans' - but this is also a piece that was crafted by a very judicious and discreet Humanist scholar. So I'll suggest that while reading Jonson's encomium we would do well to imitate Rabelais' Dog:

'in Imitation of the Dog it becomes you to be wise, to smell, feel, and value these goodly Books stuffed with lofty Matters, easy in the Pursuit and tough in the Encounter, and then by careful Reading and frequent Meditation to break the Bone and suck the substantial Marrow…(Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel)

If we read like a Humanist (and not a dense Beoetian!), cracking the exterior of Jonson's monstrous and grotesque flattery we find quite a different sense within. (Much of this I have already covered in this blog. e.g. the prevalence of sight and show over sound in the encomium, the undesirability of worthless popular praise, the suggestion of disease and contagion - 'To see thee in our Waters yet appear' and the suggestion of mountebankery - 'those flight upon the banks... that did so 'take' Eliza and our James.') Jonson might indulge in excessive figuration, but within his figures he does conceal 'matter', unlike extravagant authors whose excesses abuse the common sense of language for the sake of 'show'.

(Thou hast one to SHOW...) - Jonson's encomium

The First Folio encomium is a mischievous piece of writing. Follow its seeming path, attempt to navigate by its metaphors and you will certainly find yourself in a bog. When the First Folio was published, only a very few readers sympathetic to Ben Jonson (those he termed 'understanders') would have understood Jonson's rhetorical strategy. After his death, when the Discoveries were published, Jonson's true sense was laid open - clearly 'opening' the meaning of many passages and figures in the encomium and revealing the extent of the mock.

Long after Jonson's death, and following the death of his client William Cartwright, Jasper Mayne wrote of the dead Cartwright as 'holding' Shakespeare's quill. I believe that this is meant to be read in the sense of restraining or curbing Shakespeare's 'outlaw' pen and not in the bardolatrous sense of held/imitated.

To the Deceased Author of these Poems...William Cartwright 

by Jasper Mayne

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
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)

Presumably Mayne was one of the Jonsonian elect, one of those judicious 'understanders' - and he appears to allude to the fact that Jonson, and subsequently Cartwright, were successful in somehow restraining Shakespeare even though the form of that restraint is completely unrecognizable today.

Or, is it? Here is how William Cartwright eulogized his mentor Ben Jonson:

Cartwright, William, Jonsonus Virbius

...Blest life of Authors, unto whom we owe
Those that we have, and those that we want too:
Th'art all so good, that reading makes thee worse,
And to have writ so well's thine onely curse.
Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate
That servile base dependance upon fate:
Successe thou ne'r thoughtst vertue, nor that fit,
Which chance, and th'ages fashion did make hit;
Excluding those from life in after-time, 
Who into Po'try first brought luck and rime: 
Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: sty'ld name 
What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame 
Gathered the many's suffrages, and thence 
Made commendation a benevolence: 
THY thoughts were their owne Lawrell, and did win
That best applause of being crown'd within..

This lucid description of the Ben Jonson's character doesn't quite square with the breathless admirer of Shakespeare that appears in the First Folio. Not at all. And what about those whom Jonson 'excluded...from life in after time' - those whose fame Jonson blocked? Those authors who sound suspiciously Shakespearean in manner?

EDWARD DE VERE IDENTIFIED AS AMORPHUS - Jonson's Cynthia's Revels and the Cutting-Off of Vice:

In 1600 the Children of the Chapel performed a new play by Ben Jonson before the Royal Court. The play was originally registered as 'Narcissus the Fountain of Self-Love' and was published in 1601 under the title 'The Fountain of Self-Love, or Cynthia's Revels'. One of the plays of the Poetomachia, Cynthia's Revels contained a strong critique of the manners and representational practices of certain courtiers that inhabited Elizabeth/Cynthia's court while simultaneously promoting Jonson's classically informed values under the figure of Crites/Criticus. The play culminated in a royally sanctioned curtailment or 'cutting off' of vicious courtiers:

 Cynthia: Dear Arete, and Crites, to you two
We give the Charge; impose what Pains you please:
Remembring ever what we first decreed,
Since Revels were proclaim'd, let now none bleed.

This play has been discussed extensively as belonging to the group of plays that make up the Poetomachia, or Poets' War, but what has not been noticed (as far as I can tell) is that a line spoken by Amorphus, the ringleader of the 'vicious' courtiers, not only identifies him with the literary earl Edward de Vere but also serves to contextualize Jonson's criticisms of the 'airy forms' of a  fashionable 'knot of spiders' that inhabit Cynthia's Court.

 In the play, Amorphus, described by Jonson as 'the Deformed',  views the passing form of Crites/Criticus, and wonders aloud at Cynthia's apparent preference for the severe Jonson figure:

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

These lines may have been somewhat infamous in contemporary literary circles as they had previously been selected by Puttenham in his Art of English Poesy as an example of the rhetorical vice soraismus, known in English as the mingle-mangle. That this line was spoken by the traveller and 'master of courtship' Ulysses-Politropus-Amorphus as self-description is unsurprising, since Jonson had already characterized Amorphus as the very figure of soraismus:

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. (CR, Act ii, Sc. III)

In the world of the play, Amorphus' inability to perceive the viciousness inherent in his own self-description is a function of his own self-love, which blinds him to the rules of 'virtuous' or worthy composition; virtue in the world of the play being (irritatingly) coextensive with Jonsonian values and neoclassical practice.

The original author, or translator of the line 'And of an ingenious INVENTION, INFANTED WITH PLEASANT TRAVAILE.' was John Southern in his 1584 Pandora; and it was taken from a prefatory poem that had been dedicated to the 'honour' of Edward de Vere.  In 1589 Puttenham had singled out Southern, describing him as a 'minion', selecting this line and others as examples of the 'intollerable' vice of affectation (and plagiarism).

Puttenham, Arte of English Poesy:

...Another of your intollerable vices is that which the Greekes call SORAISMUS, and; we may call the [mingle mangle] as when we make our speach or writinges of sundry languages vsing some Italian word, or French, or Spanish, or Dutch, or Scottish, not for the nonce or for any purpose (which were in part excusable) but ignorantly and affectedly as one that said vsing this French word Roy, to make ryme with another verse, thus.

O mightie Lord or ioue, dame Venus onely ioy,
Whose Princely power exceedes ech other heauenly roy.

The verse is good but the terme peeuishly affected Another of reasonable good facilitie in translation finding certaine of the hymnes of Pyndarus and of Anacreons odes, and other Lirickes among the Greekes very well translated by Rounsard the French Poet, andapplied to the honour of a great Prince in France, comes our minion and translates the same out of French into English, and applieth them to the honour of a GREAT NOBLE MAN in ENGLAND (wherein I commend his reuerent minde and duetie) but doth so impudently robbe the French Poet both of his prayse and also of his French termes, that I cannot so much pitie him as be angry with him for his iniurious dealing (our sayd maker not being ashamed to vse these French wordes freddon, egar, superbous, filanding, celest, calabrois, thebanois and a number of others, for English wordes, which haue no maner of conformitie with our language either by custome or deriuation which may make them tollerable. And in the end (which is worst of all) makes his vaunt that neuer English finger but his hath toucht Pindars string which was neuerthelesse word by word as Rounsard had said before by like braggery. These be his verses.


Whereas the French word is enfante as much to say borne as a child, in another verse he saith.

Southern had employed the line to praise the noble substance and ingenious invention of his patron Edward de Vere, and presumably Amorphus' adoption of the phrase as self-description in the play implies that he is unable to to distinguish true praise from flattery:

From the Ode to Oxford in John Southern’s Pandora, The Music of the Beauty of his Mistress Diana.(1584)


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.

Curiously, the phrase appears in a recognizable but slightly abbreviated form in the 1601 Quarto (while Oxford was alive) - but does appear in full in the 1616 and 1640 editions of Jonson's 'Works'.

This line not only serves to identify the affected courtier Amorphus (The Deformed) with Edward de Vere (a traveller known for his predilection for foreign styles), but I will suggest that its deployment in Jonson's 'most Ovidian' play echoes Jonson's objections to a monstrous 'Shakespearean' style, linking the figures of Amorphus/Vere and William Shakespeare through a rhetorical figure of linguistic extravagance and disorder.

 The critical allusion to the figure Soraismus (and by extension Cacozelia) in Cynthia's Revels, its relevance to Jonsonian critiques of Shakespearean hybridity and (as I will argue) its embodiment in the figure of the First Folio's Droeshout engraving make it THE governing figure of the authorship problem. It also situates the authorship problem into the middle of a vexed debate over native and alien forms, natural and mixed forms, manly simplicity and honesty and effeminate affectation and deception; in other words, what form a 'virtuous' British national character should take and who deserved to rule. And when 'Shakespeare' becomes one of the foremost nobles of the kingdom and one of the Great Officers of the Queen, Jonson's rhetorical shifts at the front of Shakespeare's folio become not only understandable but also absolutely correct - for in classical rhetoric, one of the few instances that the use of figured language was acceptable is when one wishes to criticize a powerful man. The matter of criticism can then be safely concealed under cover of a Figure (see Quintilian Institutio oratoria 9.2.66/Demetrius _On Style_.)

Jonson, Cynthia's Revels (Act III.  Sc. IV.)

Arete, Crites.


Hat, Crites! where have you drawn forth the day?
 You have not visited your jealous Friends?
   Cri. Where I have seen (most honour'd Arete,)
The strangest pageant, fashion'd like a Court,
(At least I dream't I saw it) so diffus'd,
So painted, pyed, and full of Rainbow strains,
As never yet (either by time, or place)
Was made the Food to my distasted sense:
Nor can my weak imperfect Memory
Now render half the forms unto my Tongue,
That were convolv'd within this thrifty room.

Mos - singular latin - a will, way, habit, manner, fashion, caprice, humor
Mores (plural) -conduct, behaviour, manners, morals, character

Jonson P R O L O G U E. Every Man In His Humour

Thou Need make many Poets, and some such
As Art and Nature have not better'd much;
Yet ours, for want, hath not so lov'd the Stage,
As he dare serve th'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 swadled, 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 Lancasters long 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're the seas,
Nor creaking Throne comes down, the boys to please;
Nor nimble Squib is seen, to make afeard
The Gentlewomen; nor roul'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 
Comœdy would chuse,
When she would shew an Image of the Times,
And sport with Humane Follies, not with Crimes.
Except, we make 'em such by loving still
Our popular Errors, when we know th' are 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, Dedication to Cynthia's Revels:
The Court.

Hou art a Bountiful and Brave Spring, and waterest all the Noble Plants of this Island. In thee thewhole 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...

Jenny C. Mann in 'Outlaw Rhetoric' discusses soraismus as a form of linguistic abuse, quoting from Quintilian's Institutio oratoria:

There is also what is called Sardismos, a style made up of a mixture of several kinds of language, for example a confusion of Attick with Doric, Aeolic with Ionic. We Romans commit a similar fault, if we combine the sublime with the mean, the ancient with the modern, the poetic with the vulgar, for this produces a monster like the one Horace invents at the beginning of the Ars Poetica:

Suppose a painter chose to put together
a man's head and a horse's neck,
and then added other limbs from different creatures.

She continues...'Only by preserving a pure Roman expression uncontaminated by dialect forms can one avoid producing a monstrous style made up of "limbs from different creatures, " added to a man's head on a horse's neck. Quintilian thus turns the centaur and other monsters into tropes for language unrestrained by proper boundaries. (Jenny C. Mann, Outlaw Rhetoric)

Burghley was famously disappointed in his cisalpine son-in-law, whom he perhaps alludes to in the following:

"Suffer not thy sonnes to pass the Alps, for they shall learn nothing there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism. And if by travel they get a few broken languages, that shall profit them nothing more than to have one meat served on divers dishes."


Straying Beyond Bounds - When the Shakespearean Will to Wander encounters a Jonsonian WILL TO CURTAILMENT:

While preparing this post I encountered an essay by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton for the first time. It almost seems written to order for my purposes but it was published in 2005 (perhaps it has just become available on the web.) In an essay titled ‘Shakespeare’s Extravagancy’ Tudeau-Clayton posits a ‘will to curtailment’ – an idea that I am going to adopt for Jonsonian aggression towards Shakespeare/Oxford and the resulting authorial confusion.

"Exemplifying then the emergent, bourgeois model of the exclusionary private singular self, as well as the linguistic and interpretative practices of a plain man in his plain meaning, the figure of Malvolio has also been taken, more specifically, to caricature Shakespeare’s principal contemporary critic and rival Ben Jonson. Promoting throughout his work the linguistic ideology of a plain man in his plain meaning together with the related ideas of a bounded, proper, private self and of proper authorial origin and ownership, Jonson’s explicit criticism of Shakespeare consists precisely in an expressed will to curtailment. Glancing perhaps at the figure of Malvolio Jonson records how the actors considered ‘malevolent’ his response to their praise of Shakespeare’s never blotting a line : ‘Would he had blotted a thousand’. He then goes on to reiterate and retrospectively justify this will to curtailment : ‘sometimes it was necessary he should be stop’d : … His wit was in his owne power ; would the rule of it had been so too’ (p. 584). Clearly Shakespeare was not sufficiently restrained or disciplined for Jonson who, later in these posthumously published notes, generalises the restraint requisite to good writing in terms of money management. At the close of a passage in which he has advised against excessive play or what he calls, significantly enough, ‘riot’ with figurative language, especially paronomasies, or play upon the letter, he sums up with : ‘There is a difference between a liberal and a prodigal hand’ (p. 623). Sounding rather like Polonius to Laertes Jonson here advocates an economic policy, and policing, of restrained expenditure, which is neatly illustrated by his use of a single metonymy — the hand — for the analogous economies of writing and money management. That Shakespeare’s hand tended towards the prodigal for Jonson is more specifically signalled in his portrait of Ovid in Poetaster, which alludes to Shakespeare as well as to Marlowe, and which may have provoked, or been provoked by, the caricatural representation of Jonson as Malvolio in Twelfth Night (produced, like Poetaster, in 1601). 

Jonson - Timber
{Topic 67}} {{Subject: 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 DEFORMED; 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. 

Long after Elizabeth and long after the appearance of Jonson's Workes and Shakespeare's Book - in JONSONVS VIRBIVS, OR, THE MEMORIE OF BEN: JOHNSON Revived by the Friends of the Muses, William Cartwright makes an intriguing comment that suggests a politics of literary suppression - or an ultimately successful enactment of the Jonsonian 'will to curtailment':

Cartwright, William, Jonsonus Virbius

...Blest life of Authors, unto whom we owe
Those that we have, and those that we want too:
Th'art all so good, that reading makes thee worse,
And to have writ so well's thine onely curse.
Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate
That servile base dependance upon fate:
Successe thou ne'r thoughtst vertue, nor that fit,
Which chance, and th'ages fashion did make hit;
Excluding those from life in after-time, 
Who into Po'try first brought luck and rime: 
Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: sty'ld name 
What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame 
Gathered the many's suffrages, and thence 
Made commendation a benevolence: 
THY thoughts were their owne Lawrell, and did win
That best applause of being crown'd within..

In Cartwright's world, the anti-Shakespearean 'judicious theatre of one' reigns supreme, the apparent triumph of the emergent bourgeois model of the exclusionary private singular self described by Tudeau-Clayton. (That Hamlet quotes the intellectually elitist 'theatre of one' identifies him as a Prince that has been educated by a Humanist scholar, this was a favorite theme of Jonson's appearing at the front of his Workes (Horace/Horatio?) and one that is evident in Cynthia's Revels as Cynthia at times defers to the scholar Criticus/Crites. In other places I have suggested that Hamlet's private and secretive use of language (his Jonsonian 'inwardness') proves deadly for the court - most of whom live and die entirely unaware of the fact that Claudius has murdered King Hamlet.)

At his own death, William Cartwright would receive similar praise for enacting some manner of literary suppression, being explicitly figured as continuing to 'hold' or restrain Shakespeare's unruly quill after the manner of Jonson (corripio?):

To the Deceased Author of these Poems...William Cartwright 

by Jasper Mayne

For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
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)

Tudeau-Clayton (con't.) -

Wandering across and blurring ‘proper’ boundaries, whether between English and not-English, or between literal and non-literal senses, the linguistic practices of the neologism and equivoque tend to the production of a mobile, impure, strange and extravagant hybrid vernacular, in short, what the purists, in their condemnations of the practice of neologism, call a gallimaufry, hodge-podge or mingle-mangle, three virtually synonymous figures which are used interchangeably to represent the ‘corrupt’ hybrid vernacular produced by the practice. The figure of the gallimaufry is, in addition, used of generically mixed cultural forms, as in ‘a tragy-call comedye or gallymalfreye’ (the first instance of the word recorded in the OED) — a mixing of ‘high’ and ‘low’ generic forms which Philip Sidney famously condemns as ‘mingling Kings and Clownes.’ As I have shown elsewhere, the figure of the gallimaufry is explicitly invoked in that notorious generic hodge-podge The Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff, who might be described as an embodiment of extravagancy in both the more and less modern senses of the word, and who is recurrently associated with the figure of the prodigal son, is said to love the gallimaufry. Still more relevant here, however, is John Lyly’s prologue to Midas (1592), in which he represents the ubiquitous practice of generically mixed cultural forms in terms of the culinary base of the figure of the gallimaufry — ‘what heretofore hath been served in severall dishes for a feaste, is now minced […] for a Gallimaufrey’ — and then proceeds to represent the instance which is to follow as ‘a mingle-mangle’, giving as his excuse that ‘the whole worlde is become a hodge-podge’.


Alas, 'tis true I have gone here and there
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new.
Most true it is that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays prov'd thee my best of love.

Jonson, ‘On Poet-Ape,’ Epigrams (1616), No 56.:
Poor Poet Ape, that would be thought our chief,
Whose works are e’en the FRIPPERY of WIT,
From Brokage is become so bold a thief
As we, the robbed, leave rage and pity it.
At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean,
Buy the reversion of old plays, now grown
To a little wealth, and credit on the scene,
He takes up all, makes each man’s wit his own,
And told of this, he slights it. Tut, such crimes
The sluggish, gaping auditor devours;
He marks not whose ‘twas first, and aftertimes
May judge it to be his, as well as ours.
Fool! as if half-eyes will not know a fleece
From locks of wool, or SHREDS from the whole piece.

('Ambisinister' Droeshout - sinister - wrong, perverse, bad, improper)

'Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemed,
When not to be, receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost which is so deemed
Not by our feeling, but by others' seeing:
For why should others' false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No; -- I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
   Unless this general evil they maintain,
   All men are bad, and in their badness reign. 

Outlaw Rhetoric, Jenny C. Mann (con't.)

Puttenham's English term for soraismus, the "mingle mangle," aptly expresses the problematic of neologizing: the borrowing of foreign words enriches the English vernacular while also alienating that vernacular from itself. Earlier English rhetorics also describe soraismus as a linguistic "mingling": Richard Sherry defines the figure as "a mynglyng and heapyng together of wordes of diverse languages into one speche," and Henry Peacham likewise describes the figure as "a mingling together of divers Languages." Puttenham's English term further identifies the figure's  "heapyng" and "mingling" as a "mangling," a mixture that is also a mutilation or a disfigurement. The term "mingle mangle" also showcases English's unique ability to make compound words, what Sidney calls "happy...compositions of two or three words together." Peacham's Garden of Eloquence (1577) acknowledges the potential specificity of the figure to the English vernacular, observing that "some think wee speake but little English, and that our speech is for the most parte borrowed of other languages, but chiefely of the Latine, as to the Learned it is well knowne." This reference to how "some" might disparage the English vernacular as a mingled tongue indicated how linguistic mixing registers as a kind of disfigurement perpetuated by the English language in particular. It also suggests that soraismusc ould be construed as a figure for the mixed English vocabulary.

In fact, many sixteenth-century complaints about the growing impurity of the English vernacular draw on the language of the English soraismus. Sir John Cheke advocated the preservation of the vernacular from the "mingle mangle," explaining in a preface to Sir Thomas Hoby's translation of Castiglione's Courtier (1561) that "I am of this opinion that our own tung shold be written cleane and pure, unmixt and unmangled with borrowing of other tunges, wherein if we take not heed bi time, ever borowing and never paying, she shall be fain to keep her house as bankrupt." Ralph Lever's The Art of Reason (1573) criticizes those who "with inckhorne termes doe change and corrupt the [mother tongue] making a mingle-mangle of their native speache," while the preface to Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calendar (1579) similarly complains that writers who patch up "the holes [in our mother tongue] with peces and rags of other languages...have made our English tongue a gallimaufry or hodgepodge of al other speeches." Such comments often analogize a mingled English vocabulary to a mangled English nation, as we can see in the prologue to John Lyly's Midas (1592), which adopts the terms "mingle mangle" to deride the mixture of the native and the foreign in the English nation. The prologue explains that "Trafficke and travell hath woven the nature of all Nations into ours and made this land like a Arras, full of devise, which was Broadecloth...Time hath confounded our mindes, our mindes the matter; but all commeth to this passe, that what heretofore hath been  served in severall dishes for a feast, is not minced in a charger for a Gallimaufrey. If wee present a mingle-mangle, our fault is to be excused, for the whole worlde is become a Hodge-podge." These passages liken the mingled stock of the English vernacular to a bankrupt borrower in debt to foreign tongues, a plain garment patched with foreign fabric, and a mishmash of food served in a single dish. Such formulations identify the English vernacular - and in Lyly's case, the nation and even  the "whole worlde" - as soraismus, or the "mingle mangle."


I just came across this post and thought I would elaborate.  For the most part, the "dunghill fowl" was a mutt, however, in New England the "mutt" seems to have a very distinct look to it (more than likely coming from a mix of a few different breeds of chicken that came over from England) .  I have been researching this for the better part of a year and, from primary source descriptions, archaelology digs, and paintings, I plan to recreate the look of the "New England Dunghill Fowl" to be used by museums and historical presentations that we put on.  We have some 1st generation crosses now that we are working with.
-- Edited by vnsseed - 2/22/12 at 11:49am

(added to blog  12 Sept 2017)
 Modern Language Notes, November 1951
Allan G Chester

John Soowthern's Pandora and Othello

On his arrival at Cyprus, Othello greets Desdemona with, "o, my faire Warriour." In a note which appeared first in 1793, Steevens called attention to Ronsard's frequent application of the term guerrieres to his mistresses, and added, "Southern [sic], his imitator, is not less prodigal of the same appellation." Citing three instances from "Southern" Steevens concluded: " Had I not met with the word thus fantastically applied, I would have concluded that Othello called his wife a warrior, because she had embarked with him on a warlike expedition..."
As poetry Pandora is deplorable. It is difficult to believe that Shakespeare would have read beyond the first page. But the possibility that he had glanced through the book is further supported by the occurrence of the word orgulous, which the editors have found only once(4) in English between Skelton and Troilus and Cressida.
footnote 4 In William Wyrley's The True Use of Armorie (1592). Steevens seems to have missed the word in Pandora.
footnote 5 I have hesitated to add the fact that a passage in Soowthern's first Ode affirms that "Marbles (all be they so strong)' are less durable than poetry to commemorate an immortal name - that of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who is here addressed. The similarity of the idea to that of Shakespeare's 55th Sonnet is perhaps entirely accidental.


Jonson, Timber

Decipimur specie. - There is a greater reverence had of things remote or strange to us than of much better if they be nearer and fall under our sense. Men, and almost all sorts of creatures, have their reputation by distance. Rivers, the farther they run, and more from their spring, the broader they are, and greater. And where our original is known, we are less the confident; among strangers we trust fortune. Yet a man may live as renowned at home, in his own country, or a private village, as in the whole world. For it is VIRTUE that gives glory; that will endenizen a man everywhere. It is only that can naturalise him. A NATIVE, if he be vicious, deserves to be a stranger, and cast out of the commonwealth as an alien.

Davenant - 'This Clouded Text' -

With a host of furious fancies
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end::
Methinks it is no journey. (Tom O'Bedlam)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Image from
Author: Chute, Anthony, d. 1595? 
Title: [Tabacco] 
Date: 1595 

,,,There is a certaine kinde of people that speak nothing but ridles, they dwell vnder the hot clime of the still yeard, they are somwhat nosie, and very rich in diuers white and red excrements, called Alebuttons, I could wish that some of them had the wit after a certaine kind of merry assembling, called the Drunkards round, to allay that same distemperat vapour of pure Rhenish, with a draught or two of this Tabacco. There is a reason if they could hit on it, that would persuade wise men, that after they haue been in the land of Tanquam, a little of this downeward fetch vp that same that makes them so mad in the brains, and I doubt not but some honest remembrancer or other, will put it into their heads that haunt those prouinces, to vse this receipt when they intend good fellowship, and would hold out.
These be the opinions that be tearmed Receptiores of this plant, i. that be more receiued than the rest; and these I haue deliuered therfore, not of mine owne (other|wise than of mine owne collection) but from the best Phisitions that haue written latest thereof: if therfore the natures of Tabacco, and the diuerse qualities it hath, be more confirmed than before, it is well, if not, it is neuer the worse, I meane it shall neuer the more nor disable nor derogate from it: *this I say, because there be so many heads as there be bodies to beare them, & so many wits, and so many iudgements will follow; some of knowledge, some of experience, some of fancie, some one way, some another, euery man according to his humor*: well, the plant hath growen, the Phisition writ|ten, and the author of this worke hath gathered, who wisheth euery one his due, the planter, the writer, and the reader.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Outlandish Checkered Daffodil

Snake Head Fritillary: Symbolic language of flowers - Persecution

Michael Caines – Times Literary Supplement May 19 2015
…Yet I admit I'm taken with one detail, the presence of a certain flower in "Shakespeare"'s hand: it's a snake-head fritillary, apparently, not seen in the wild in Britain until 1796, but known to Gerard in 1597: "They are greately esteemed for the beautifieng of our gardens and the bosomes of the beautifull", he wrote. To Shakespeare, they mattered, too: in Venus and Adonis, published a few years before The Herball, he has the blood of that "rose-cheek'd" victim of Venus fall to the ground and give rise to a "purple flower . . . chequer'd with white".
That would seem to be a deliberate diversion from Ovidian tradition, in which it is the anemone that springs from Adonis's blood – a slight adjustment, perhaps, since anemones can be purple, too. But variegated, "chequer'd with white"? As Miriam Jackson recently argued in Barbarous Antiquity, here is one way in which Shakespeare perhaps shows he wishes to transform the myth into "something entirely new" – by turning Adonis into an "exotic bulb, whether a fritillary or a variegated tulip", he wishes to "generate literary currency" much as exotic new bulbs did in the same period.

(bulb - self-generating)


Language of Flowers – Snake Head Frittilary - persecution

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O! how shall summer's honey breath hold out,
Against the wrackful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
   O! none, unless this miracle have might,
   That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

verb (transitive)
to oppress, harass, or maltreat, esp because of race, religion, etc
to bother persistently

Word Origin
C15: from Old French persecuter, back formation from persecuteur, from Late Latin persecūtor pursuer, from persequī to take vengeance upon

Miriam Jackson - Barbarous Antiquity

...Only two types of flower were described as “checkered” or speckled in early modern English botanical writing, and both were Turkish bulbs. As Burrow notes, a purple or “snake’s head” fritillary is the most likely candidate for a checkered flower, its drooping petals most closely resembling a checkerboard of dark and pale violet. This peculiarly marked flower has an equally peculiar and unfixed collection of early names. Just as botanists began hybridizing flowers in this period (like Perdita’s “pied…gillyvor”), so did they hybridize the names of newly imported flowers. Early modern botanists create composites out of two names in naming the fritillary. Henry Lyte’s translation of Dodoens calls the fritillary a “lily-narcissus,” and Gerard and John Parkinson both call it a “checquered daffodil” as well as labelling it the “Turkie or Ginny-Hen Floure” because of its speckled appearance. Gerard describes the blossom as if it were a painting itself:

Six small leaves checquered most strangely: wherein Nature, or rather the Creator of all things, hath kept a very wonderful order, surpassing (as in all other things) the curiousest painting that Art can set downe. One square is of a greenish yellow colour, the other purple, keeping the same order as well on the backside of the floure, as on the inside, although they are blackish in one square, and of a Violet colour in an other; insomuch that every leafe seemeth to be the feather of a Ginny hen, whereof it tooke his name.

Like Shakespeare’s Adonis flower, this is a “purple” flower whose petals bear a strange checkerboard pattern…
The purple fritillary is like a work of craftsmanship or a decorative object, “the curiousest painting that Art can set downe,” in other words a curiousity in nature’s cabinet, one that upsets the distinction between art and nature. As late sixteenth-century bulb propagation itself involved playing around with nature – producing more and more vibrant, painterly displays from tulips through “breaking” bulbs (actually introducing a virus into the bulb, a technique first attributed to Clusius) and cross-breeding carnations or gillyflowers – even naturally occurring patterns on bulbs themselves might have seemed like a strange mixture of natural and artificial. The tromp l’oeil Arabian courser’s formal perfection makes it more like an idealized painting than a living horse, and it makes sense that Shakespeare would choose a natural flower that looks like a painting for Adonis’s metamorphosis: the fritillary appears artificial in its natural state, just like Adonis, who is “the curious workmanship of nature”.

Author: Dodoens, Rembert, 1517-1585.
Title: A nievve herball, or historie of plantes wherin is contayned the vvhole discourse and perfect description of all sortes of herbes and plantes: their diuers [and] sundry kindes: their straunge figures, fashions, and shapes: their names, natures, operations, and vertues: and that not onely of those whiche are here growyng in this our countrie of Englande, but of all others also of forrayne realmes, commonly vsed in physicke. First set foorth in the Doutche or Almaigne tongue, by that learned D. Rembert Dodoens, physition to the Emperour: and nowe first translated out of French into English, by Henry Lyte Esquyer.
Date: 1578 

Of Tulpia / or Tulipa / Lilionarcissus sanguineus poene. Chap. lij.
¶ The Kyndes.
There be two sortes of Tulpia, a great and a small.
{flower} The Description.
[ 1] THE great Tulpia, or rather Tulipa, hath two or three leaues, which are long, thicke, and broade, and somewhat redde at their first sprin|ging vp, but after when they waxe elder they are of a whitishe greene colour, with them riseth vp a stalke, whereby the sayde leaues are somewhat aduaunced. It hath at the top a faire large & pleasant flower, of co|lour very diuers and variable, sometimes yellowe, sometimes white, or of a bright purple, sometimes of a light red, and sometimes of a very deepe red: and purised about the edges or brimmes with yellowe, white, or red, but yellow in the middle and bottome of the flower, and oftentimes blacke or speckled with blacke spottes, or mixt with white and red: most commonly without smell or sauour. The Bulbus roote is lyke the roote of Narcissus.
[ 2] The lesse Tulpia is smaller, and hath narrower leaues, and a shorter stem, the flower also is smaller, and more openly disclosed, or spread abroade. The Bulbus roote is also smaller, and may be diuided and parted in twayne or
more: when the stemme groweth vp, that which springeth in the neather part of the stalke is lyke to the stem of the great Tulpia, growing next the roote.
Tulpia maior. Great Tulpia.

Tulpia minor. Smal Tulpia.

[ 3] There is also placed with the Tulpia, a certayne strange flower, whiche is called of some  Fritillaria, whose tender stalkes are of a spanne long, with fiue or sixe litle narrowe leaues growing at the same. There groweth also a flower at the toppe of the stalke with sixe leaues, like to the leaues of Tulpia, but ben|ding or hanging downewardes, of a purple violet colour, garnished and trim|med with certayne whitishe violet markes or SPOTTES on the outside, and with blacke spottes in the inside. It hath also a bulbus or rounde roote.

{flower} The Place.
[ 1] The greater Tulpia is brought from Grece, and the Countrie about Con|stantinople.
[ 2] The lesse is founde about Mounte-pelier in Fraunce.
[ 3] Fritillaria is also founde about Aurelia in Fraunce.

 {flower} The Tyme.
They flower bytimes with the Narcissis, or a litle after.
[leaf motif] The Names.
[ 1] The greater is called both Tulpia, and Tulpian, and of some Tulipa, whiche is a Turkie name or worde, we may call it Lillynarcissus.
[ 2] The smal is called Tulipa, or Tulpia minor, that is the small Tulpian: and it is neither Hermodactylus, nor Pseudohermodactylus.

[ 3] The third is called of the Grekes and Latines, Flos Meleagris, and Meleagris flos, as a difference from a kinde of birde called also Meleagris, whose feathers be speckled lyke vnto these flowers, but not with Violet speckes, but with white & blacke spots, lyke to the feathers of the Turkie or Ginny hen, which is called Meleagris auis: some do also cal this flower  Fritillaria.

{flower} The Nature and Vertues.
The nature and vertues of these flowers, are yet vnknowen, neuerthelesse they are pleasant and beautifull to looke on.
Meleagris Flos, Fritillaria quorundam.


Author: Gerard, John, 1545-1612.
Title: The herball or Generall historie of plantes. Gathered by Iohn Gerarde of London Master in Chirurgerie very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Iohnson citizen and apothecarye of London
Date: 1633 
THE FIRST BOOKE OF THE HISTORIE OF PLANTS: Containing Grasses, Rushes, Reeds, Corne, Flags, and Bulbous, or Onion-rooted Plants. 643Kb

 CHAP. 89. Of Turkie or Ginny-hen Floure.
[...]. Checquered Daffodill.
Frittillaria variegata. Changeable Checquered Daffodil.

¶ The Description.
1 THe Checquered Daffodill, or Ginny-hen Floure, hath small narrow grassie leaues; a|mong which there riseth vp a stalke three hands high, hauing at the top one or two floures, and sometimes three, which consisteth of six small leaues checquered most strangely: wherein Nature, or rather the Creator of all things, hath kept a very wonderfull order, surpassing (as in all other things) the curiousest painting that Art can set downe. One square is of a greenish yellow colour, the other purple, keeping the same order as well on the backside of the floure, as on the inside, although they are blackish in one square, and of a Violet colour in an other; insomuch that euery leafe seemeth to be the feather of a Ginny hen, whereof it tooke his name. The root is small, white, and of the bignesse of halfe a garden beane.
2 The second kinde of Checquered Daffodill is like vnto the former in each respect, sauing that this hath his floure dasht ouer with a light purple, and is somewhat greater than the other, wherein consisteth the difference.
†† 3 Frittillaria Aquitanica minor flore luteo obsoleto. The lesser darke yellow Fritillarie.
] [Figure:

†† 9 Frittillaria alba praecox. The early white Fritillarie.
†† There are sundry differences and varieties of this floure, taken from the colour, largenes, dou|blenesse, earlinesse and latenes of flouring, as also from the many or few branches bearing floures. We will onely specifie their varieties by their names, seeing their forme differs little from those you haue here described.
 Fritillaria maxima ramosapurpurea. The greatest branched purple checquered Daffodill.
 Fritillaria flore purpureo pleno. The double purple floured checquered Daffodill.
 Fritillaria polyanthos flauoviridis. The yellowish greene many floured checquered Daffo|dill.
 Fritillaria lutea Someri. Somers his yellow Checquered Daffodill.
 Fritillaria alba purpureo tessulata. The white Fritillarie checquered with purple.
 Fritillaria albapraecox. The early white Fritillarie or Checquered Daffodill.
10  Fritillaria minor [...] luteo absoleto. The lesser darke yellow Fritillarie.
11  Fritillaria angustifolia lutea variegata paruo flore, & altera flore majore. Narrow leaued yellow [...] Fritillarie with small floures; and another with a larger floure.
12  Fritillaria [...] pluribus floribus. The least Fritillarie with many floure Fritillaria Hispanica vmbellifera. The Spanish Fritillarie with the floures standing as it were in an vmbell.

¶ The Names.
The Ginny hen floure is called of [...], Flos Melcagris: of Lobelius, Lilio-narcissus variegata, for that it hath the floure of a Lilly, and the root of Narcissus: it hath beene called  Fritillaria, of the table or boord vpon which men play at Chesse, which square checkers the floure doth very much resemble; some thinking that it was named Fritillus:whereof there is no [...]; for Marti|alis seemeth to call Fritillus, Abacus, or the Tables whereat men play at Dice, in the fifth Booke of his Epigrams, writing to Galla.

Iam tristis, nucibus puer relictis,
Clamoso reuocatur à magistro:
Et blando malè [...] Fritillo
Arcanamodò raptus è popina
Aedilem rogat vdus aleator. &c.

The sad Boy now his nuts cast by,
Call'd vnto Schole by Masters cry:
And the drunke Dicer now betray'd
By flattring Tables as he play'd,
Is from his secret tipling house drawne out,
Although the Officer he much besought. &c.

In English we may call it Turky-hen or Ginny-hen Floure, and also Checquered Daffodill, and Fritillarie, according to the Latine.

The Temperature and Vertues.
Of the facultie of these pleasant floures there is nothing set downe in the antient or later Wri|ter, but are greatly esteemed for the beautifying of our gardens, and the *bosoms of the beautifull*.

Bosoms of the Beautiful:

Venus and Adonis - Shakespeare

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd,
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white,
Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.
She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath,
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears.
'Poor flower,' quoth she, 'this was thy fathers guise--
Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire--
For every little grief to wet his eyes:
To grow unto himself was his desire,
And so 'tis thine; but know, it is as good
To wither in my breast as in his blood.
'Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right:
Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest,
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:
There shall not be one minute in an hour
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower.'
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid
Their mistress mounted through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd;
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself and not be seen.

Author: Lovell, Robert, 1630?-1690.
Title: Pambotanologia. Sive Enchiridion botanicum. Or A compleat herball containing the summe of what hath hitherto been published either by ancient or moderne authors both Galenicall and chymicall, touching trees, shrubs, plants, fruits, flowers, &c. In an alphabeticall order: wherein all that are not in the physick garden in Oxford are noted with asterisks. Shewing their place, time, names, kindes, temperature, vertues, use, dose, danger and antidotes. Together with an [brace] introduction to herbarisme, &c. appendix of exoticks. Universall index of plants: shewing what grow wild in England. / By Robert Lovell St. C.C. Ox.
Date: 1659 
Fritillarie.  Fritillaria.
  • P. It groweth in gardens and meadowes.
  • T. It flowreth in March and Aprill.
  • N. Lilium variegatum. Flos meleagris Dod.
Fritillarie. Ger. J. K. as the lesser darke yellow, and early white, with the checquered, and CHANGEABLE checquered daffodill. T. V. serve onely to adorne and beautify the garden, and are not yet used in medicine. Bauh. The smell of the black Fritillarie is unpleasant and stinking, and neere unto that of stinking Glad|don. The white is not yet written of, as to any physicall use: so Clusius, and Bauhinus.

Author: Parkinson, John, 1567-1650.
Title: Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris. or A garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed vp with a kitchen garden of all manner of herbes, rootes, & fruites, for meate or sause vsed with vs, and an orchard of all sorte of fruitbearing trees and shrubbes fit for our land together with the right orderinge planting & preseruing of them and their vses & vertues collected by Iohn Parkinson apothecary of London 1629.
Date: 1629 
Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris. or A garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed vp 2181Kb
CHAP. IV. The nature and names of diners Out-landish flowers, that for their pride, beauty, and earlinesse, are to be planted in Gardens of pleasure for delight. 15Kb

CHAP. IV. The nature and names of diners OUT-LANDISH FLOWERS, that for their pride, beauty, and earlinesse, are to be planted in Gardens of pleasure for delight.
HAuing thus formed out a Garden, and diuided it into his fit and due proporti|on, with all the gracefull knots, arbours, walkes, &c. likewise what is fit to keepe it in the same comely order, is appointed vnto it, both for the borders of the squares, and for the knots and beds themselues; let vs now come and furnish the inward parts, and beds with those fine flowers that (being strangers vnto vs, and giuing the beauty and brauery of their colours so early before many of our owne bred flowers, the more to entice vs to their delight) are most beseeming it: and namely, with Daffo|dils, FRITILLARIAS, Iacinthes, Saffron-flowers, Lillies, Flowerdeluces, Tulipas, Anemo|nes, French Cowslips, or Beares eares, and a number of such other flowers, very beau|tifull, delightfull, and pleasant, hereafter described at full, whereof although many haue little sweete sent to commend them, yet their earlinesse and exceeding great beau|tie and varietie doth so farre counteruaile that defect (and yet I must tell you with all, that there is among the many sorts of them some, and that not a few, that doe excell in sweetnesse, being so strong and heady, that they rather offend by too much than by too little sent, and some againe are of so milde and moderate temper, that they scarce come short of your most delicate and dantiest flowers) that they are almost in all places with all persons, especially with the better sort of the Gentry of the Land, as greatly desired and accepted as any other the most choisest, and the rather, for that the most part of these Out-landish flowers, do shew forth their beauty and colours so early in the yeare, that they seeme to make a Garden of delight euen in the Winter time, and doe so giue their flowers one after another, that all their brauery is not fully spent, vntil that Gilliflowers, the pride of our English Gardens, do shew themselues: So that whosoeuer would haue of euery sort of these flowers, may haue for euery moneth seuerall colours and varieties, euen from Christmas vntill Midsommer, or after; and then, after some little respite, vn|till Christmas againe, and that in some plenty, with great content and without forcing; so that euery man may haue them in euery place, if they will take any care of them. And because there bee many Gentlewomen and others, that would gladly haue some fine flowers to furnish their Gardens, but know not what the names of those things are that they desire, nor what are the times of their flowring, nor the skill and knowledge of their right ordering, planting, displanting, transplanting, and replanting; I haue here for their sakes set downe the nature, names, times, and manner of ordering in a briefe manner, referring the more ample declaration of them to the worke following. And first of their names and natures: Of Daffodils there are almost an hundred sorts, as they are seuerally described hereafter, euery one to be distinguished from other, both in their times, formes, and colours, some being eyther white, or yellow, or mixt, or else being small or great, single or double, and some hauing but one flower vpon a stalke, others many, whereof many are so exceeding sweete, that a very few are sufficient to perfume a whole chamber, and besides, many of them be so faire and double, eyther one vpon a stalke, or many vpon a stalke, that one or two stalkes of flowers are in stead of a whole nose-gay, or bundell of flowers tyed together. This I doe affirme vpon good knowledge and certaine experience, and not as a great many others doe, tell of the wonders of an|other world, which themselues neuer saw nor euer heard of, except some superficiall relation, which themselues haue augmented according to their owne fansie and con|ceit. Againe, let me here also by the way tell you, that many idle and ignorant Gardi|ners and others, who get names by stealth, as they doe many other things, doe call some of these Daffodils Narcisses, when as all know that know any Latine, that Nar|cissus is the Latine name, and Daffodill the English of one and the same thing; and therefore alone without any other Epithite cannot properly distinguish seuerall things. I would willingly therefore that all would grow iudicious, and call euery thing by his proper English name in speaking English, or else by such Latine name as euery thing hath that hath not a proper English name, that thereby they may distinguish the seue|rall varieties of things and not confound them, as also to take away all excuses of mista|king; as for example: The single English bastard Daffodill (which groweth wilde in many Woods, Groues, and Orchards in England.) The double English bastard Daffo|dill. The French single white Daffodill many vpon a stalke. The French double yel|low Daffodill. The great, or the little, or the least Spanish yellow bastard Daffodill, or the great or little Spanish white Daffodill. The Turkie single white Daffodill, or, The Turkie single or double white Daffodill many vpon a stalke, &c. Of  Fritillaria, or the checkerd Daffodill, there are halfe a score seuerall sorts, both white and red, both yel|low and blacke, which are a wonderfull grace and ornament to a Garden in regard of the CHECKER LIKE SPOTS are in the flowers.

Author: Ogilby, John, 1600-1676.
Title: Africa being an accurate description of the regions of AEgypt, Barbary, Lybia, and Billedulgerid, the land of Negroes, Guinee, AEthiopia and the Abyssines : with all the adjacent islands, either in the Mediterranean, Atlantick, Southern or Oriental Sea, belonging thereunto : with the several denominations fo their coasts, harbors, creeks, rivers, lakes, cities, towns, castles, and villages, their customs, modes and manners, languages, religions and inexhaustible treasure : with their governments and policy, variety of trade and barter : and also of their wonderful plants, beasts, birds and serpents : collected and translated from most authentick authors and augmented with later observations : illustrated with notes and adorn'd with peculiar maps and proper sculptures / by John Ogilby, Esq. ...
Date: 1670 
Close by the Fort of Good-Hope, on a Mountain call'd, The Vineyard, the Ne|therlanders have Planted forty thousand Vine-stocks, which all at this day send forth lusty Sprouts and Leaves, and bear Grapes in such abundance, that some|times they press Wine of them: They have there also Peaches, Apricocks, Ches|nuts, Olive-Trees, and such like Fruits.
There grow wild upon the Mountains, and in the Valleys, and on the banks of the Rivers, manyother sorts of Plants; as among the rest a peculiar sort of Tulips, Sempervive,  Fritillaria, or Speckled Lillies, Penny-Wort, or Dragon-Wort with sharp pointed Leaves, Sorrel with knotted Roots, and white Blossoms.
The Tulip bears a bole bigger than ones fist, having thick Shells,  but of a faint smell. The Blossom that shoots out before the Leaves in April, of a very high red colour, appearing very gloriously, and hath five broad, long, and thick Leaves; within having whitish red Stripes, and at the end a round Stalk of a span long, streak'd and speckled with purple upon a white ground. It grows upon the Mountains.
The Sempervive or House-Leek, hath Leaves almost a finger thick, whitish green, and as big almost as the Palm of ones Hand. The  Fritillaria, or the SPECKLED NARCISSUS, which some reckon as a sort of Denti|laria, or Eminie; hath in stead of Leaves, Sprouts of a fingers length, thick and juicy, with sharp and round broken edges like Teeth, of a pale purple above, and underneath green: At the Leaves comes a flower that hath five limber Leaves, sharp at the ends, with a high Crown or Tuft in the middle, hollow within, inclosing another flower, which hath also five Leaves, all yellow, but of a dark-brown at the ends, with some very red standards in the middle: this Plant hath no smell, and grows upon barren and Sandy Mountains.

Jonson, Pans Anniversary 

Shepherd: Well done, my pretty ones; rain roses still,
Until the last be dropped. Then hence, and fill
Your fragrant prickles for a second shower;
Bring corn-flag, tulips and Adonis’ flower,
Fair ox-eye, goldilocks and columbine,
Pinks, goulands, king-cups and sweet sops-in-wine,
Blue harebells, paigles, pansies, calaminth,
Flower-gentle, and the fair-haired hyacinth;
Bring rich carnations, flower-de-luces, litlies,
The CHECKED and purple-ringed DAFFODILLIES…


Echo’s Lament of Narcissus:

  • Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears:
    Yet, slower, yet; O faintly, gentle springs:
    List to the heavy part the music bears,
    Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
    Droop herbs, and flowers,
    Fall grief in showers,
    Our beauties are not ours;
    O, I could still,
    Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
    Drop, drop, drop, drop,
    Since nature's pride is now, a WITHERED DAFFODIL.
    • Cynthia's Revels (1600), Act I, scene i.

  • *********************************
 Jonson, Discoveries

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 DEFORMED; 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. 

Speckled/Spotted Narcissus:

Upon Ben: Johnson, the most excellent of Comick Poets.

Mirror of Poets! Mirror of our Age!
Which her whole Face beholding on thy stage,
Pleas'd and displeas'd with her owne faults endures,
A remedy, like Those whom Musicke cures,
Thou not alone those various inclinations,
Which Nature gives to Ages, Sexes, Nations,
Hast traced with thy All-resembling Pen,
But all that custome hath impos'd on Men,
Or ill-got Habits, which distort them so,
That scarce the Brother can the Brother know,
Is represented to the wondring Eyes,
Of all that see or read thy Comedies.
Whoever in those Glasses lookes may finde,
The SPOTS return'd, or graces of his minde;
And by the helpe of so divine an Art,
At leisure view, and dresse his nobler part.
*NARCISSUS conzen'd by that flattering Well,
Which nothing could but of his beauty tell,
Had here discovering the DEFORM'D estate
Of his fond minde, preserv'd himselfe with hate
But Vertue too, as well as Vice is clad,
In flesh and blood so well, that Plato had
Beheld what his high Fancie once embrac'd,
Vertue with colour, speech and motion grac'd.
The sundry Postures of Thy copious Muse,
Who would expresse a thousand tongues must use,
Whose Fates no lesse peculiar then thy Art,
For as thou couldst all characters impart,
So none can render thine, who still escapes,
Like Proteus in variety of shapes,
Who was nor this nor that, but all we finde,
And all we can imagine in mankind.
E. Waller 

‘Male deformities’: Narcissus and the Reformation of Courtly Manners in Cynthia’s Revels
in Ovid & the Renaissance Body
 By Goran V Stanivukovic
Mario Digangi
...N this essay I want to pursue such an analysis by focusing on Ben Jonson’s early comedy Cynthia’s Revels (1600), which offers particular insight into the social and political implications of the Narcissus myth for early modern English culture. Originally entered in the Stationer’s Register as Narcissus, or the fountain of self-love, this quirky satire of courtly manners represents Jonson’s ‘only extended use of Ovidian material.: Jonson’s uncharacteristic recourse to Ovidian subjects in Cynthia’s Revels suggests his recognition of the Narcissus myth’s theatrical viability as a vehicle for satire. While Narcissus never appears as a character in the play, the Narcissus myth provides Jonson with vivid material for exposing the transgressive bodily practices of unauthorized courtiers, especially through the character of Amorphous (“the deformed”), whose affected manners violate orthodox prescriptions for male aristocratic comportment. The play’s ridicule of courtly affectation thus accords with early modern interpretations of the Narcissus myth that primarily associate self-love not with homoerotic desire but with EFFEMINATE MANNERS: a clear sign of social, economic and political transgression. By contrast, the virtuously ‘masculine’ comportment of the true gentleman, according to a particular strain of early modern political ideology, justifies his status and exercise of power. Exposing illegitimate courtiers as effeminate narcissists, Cynthia’s Revels reveals the importance of an ideology of ‘civilized’ masculinity to early-seventeenth-century constructions of *political legitimacy*.



'TIs growne almost a danger to speake true
Of any good minde, now: There are so few.
The bad, by number, are so fortified,
As what th'haue lost t'expect, they dare deride.
So both the prais'd, and praisers suffer: Yet,
For others ill, ought none their good forget.
I, therefore, who professe my selfe in loue
With euery vertue, wheresoere it moue,
And howsoeuer; as I am at fewd
With sinne and vice, though with a throne endew'd;
And, in this name, am giuen out dangerous
By arts, and practise of the vicious,
Such as suspect them-selues, and thinke it fit
For their owne cap'tall crimes, t'indite my wit;
I, that haue suffer'd this; and, though forsooke
Of Fortune, haue not alter'd yet my looke, 
Or so my selfe abandon'd, as because 
Men are not iust, or keepe no holy lawes
Of nature, and societie, I should faint;
Or feare to draw true lines, 'cause others paint·
I, Madame, am become your praiser. Where,
If it may stand with your soft blush to heare,
Your selfe but told vnto your selfe, and see
In my character, what your features bee,
You will not from the paper slightly passe:
No lady, but, at some time, loues her glasse.
And this shall be no false one, but as much
Remou'd, as you from need to haue it such.
Looke then, and see your selfe. I will not say
Your beautie; for you see that euery day:
And so doe many more. All which can call
It perfect, proper, pure, and naturall·
Not taken vp o'th'doctors, but as well
As I, can say, and see it doth excell.
That askes but to be censur'd by the eyes:
And, in those outward formes, all fooles are wise.
Nor that your beautie wanted not a dower,
Doe I reflect. Some alderman has power,
Or cos'ning farmer of the customes so,
T'aduance his doubtfull issue, and ore-flow
A Princes fortune: These are gifts of chance,
And raise not vertue; they may vice enhance.
MY MIRROR is more subtile, cleere, refin'd,
And takes, and giues the BEAUTIES OF THE MIND.
Though it reiect not those of FORTVNE: such
As bloud, and match. Wherein, how more then much
Are you engaged to your happy fate,
For such a lot! that mixt you with a state
Of so great title, birth, but vertue most,
Without which, all the rest were sounds, or lost.
'Tis onely that can time, and chance defeat:
For he, that once is good, is euer great.
Wherewith, then, Madame, can you better pay
This blessing of your starres, then by that way
Of vertue, which you tread? what if alone?
Without companions? 'Tis safe to haue none.
In single paths, dangers with ease are watch'd:
Contagion in the prease is soonest catch'd.
This makes, that wisely you decline your life,
Farre from the maze of custome, error, strife,
And keepe an euen, and vnalter'd gaite;
Not looking by, or backe (like those, that waite
Times, and occasions, to start forth, and seeme)
Which though the turning world may dis-esteeme,
Because that studies spectacles, and showes,
And after varyed, as fresh obiects goes,
Giddie with change, and therefore cannot see
Right, the right way: yet must your comfort bee
Your conscience, and not wonder, if none askes
For truthes complexion, where they all weare maskes.