John Donne (15721631). The Poems of John Donne. 1896.
Notes to Volume II.
ALL these letters are from the edition of 1633, with the exception of those to Sir Thomas Rowe, Lady Huntingdon, Dr. Andrews, and Ben Jonson, which were added in 1635. As to the date of them, the Storm and Calm were written as early as 1597; most of the rest seem to belong to the period of Donnes absence from town at Pyrford, Peckham and Mitcham, and then in France and Belgium, during 16011612. Many of them are to London friends or to members of Lady Bedfords Twickenham circle. More exact dates can be given to a few; viz. those to Sir T. Rowe and to Ben Jonson in 1603, that to Sir Henry Wotton in 1604, that to Sir Henry Goodyere in 160610, that to Lady Bedford in 160910, that to Sir Edward Herbert in 161012, those to Lady Bedford and to Lady Carey and Mistress Essex Rich in 161112, and that to Lady Salisbury in 1614.
The full dedication is given in 1635. In 1633 it is simply To Mr Christopher Brooke. Mr. Christopher Brooke. In the Stephens MS. the heading is To Sir Basil Brooke. Christopher Brooke was a son of Robert Brooke, of York, and brother of Dr. Samuel Brooke. He married Maria Jacobs in 1619, and died Feb. 7, 1628. Together with his brother he was imprisoned for his share in abetting Donnes marriage, of which he was a witness. In his will, where he is described as of Lincolns Inn, he bequeathed to Donne his picture of the Lady Elizabeth, her grace the Countess of Southampton, my lady Anne Wallop, and my Lady Isabella Smith. His few surviving Poems have been edited by the Rev. A. B. Grosart in the Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies Library (vol. iv. 1872). The Island Voyage. Donne accompanied Essex on his two expeditions of 1596 and 1597. In the first the English fleet under Essex and Lord Admiral Howard took Cadiz. The second, that known as the Island Voyage, was to the Azores, with the intent of capturing the Spanish Plate fleet, on its return from the West Indies. It was unsuccessful, chiefly owing to dissensions between Essex and Raleigh. l. 4. Hilyard. Nicholas Hilyard or Hilliard, born at Exeter in 1547, was a disciple of Holbein, and famous as a miniature painter. He was a favourite at court, both under Elizabeth and James I. There is a miniature of Elizabeth by him in the National Portrait Gallery. He engraved the Great Seal of England in 1587, and also wrote a treatise on miniature painting. He died in 1619. This passage is quoted in the Printers preface to the Poems of 1633 (vol. i, p. xlvi). l. 24. Cf. Richard II., Act 1. Scenes iii., iv., where Gaunt, Surrey, and Aumerle accompany the banished Bolingbroke a short distance on his journey. l. 66. the Bermudas calm. In May 1609, a fleet of nine ships bound, under Sir George Somers, for Virginia was wrecked, and one of the ships driven on to the Bermudas, known from this event as the Somers or Summer Islands. An account of the misfortune was published by Sylvester Jourdan in 1610, and impressed the English literary imagination. Cf. the still-vexed Bermoothes of the Tempest, and Marvells poem on the Bermudas exiles. But this allusion of Donnes shows that the unenviable reputation of these islands was of earlier date. l. 72. another fiat. Cf. Genesis i. 3, And God said, Let there be light (in the Vulgate, Fiat lux), and there was light.
l. 17. Cf. Jonsons Conversations with William Drummond (ed. Laing, p. 3), He esteemeth John Donne the first poet in the world in some things; his verses of the lost Chaine he hath by heart, and that passage of the Calme, That dust and feathers doe not stirr, all was so quiet. l. 23. the calenture. A delirious fever, often accompanied by visions, and due to exposure to great heat. l. 33. Bajazet encaged, the shepherds scoff. In Act IV. Sc. ii. of Marlowes Tamburlaine the Great, Part I., Bajazeth, the conquered Emperor of the Turks, is brought on to the scene in a cage, and exulted over by Tamburlaine, the Scythian shepherd, and his followers. l. 36. ants th emperors loved snake. An allusion to Suetonius, Vita Tiberii, ch. 72: Erat ei in oblectamentis serpens draco, quem ex consuetudine manu sua cibaturus, cum consumptum a formicis invenisset, monitus est ut vim multitudinis caveret.
Sir Henry Wotton was a younger son of Thomas Wotton of Bocton Malherbe, and was born in 1568. He was educated at Winchester and at New College and Queens College, Oxford, where he wrote his tragedy, now lost, of Tancred. Most of his life was spent in foreign travel and diplomacy, and the close of it as Provost of Eton College, where he died in 1639. Some poems by him were published with other writings in the Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651), and are printed in Dr. Hannahs Courtly Poets. Walton wrote his Life, and speaks thus (1651) of his friendship with Donne I must not omit the mention of a love that was there begun betwixt him and Dr. Donne, sometime Dean of St. Pauls; a man of whose abilities I shall forbear to say anything, because he who is of this nation, and pretends to learning or ingenuity, and is ignorant of Dr. Donne, deserves not to know him. The friendship of these two I must not omit to mention, being such a friendship as was generously elemented; and as it was begun in their youth, and in a university, and there maintained by correspondent inclinations and studies, so it lasted till age and death forced a separation. l. 8. remoras. Cf. Bartholomew Anglicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum (transl. Trevisa), Book xiii., Of the Remora, Enchirius is a little fish unneth half a foot long: for though he be full little of body, nathless he is most of virtue. For he cleaveth to the ship, and holdeth it still stedfastly in the sea, as though the ship were on ground therein. Though winds blow, and waves arise strongly, and wood storms, that ship may not move nother pass. And that fish holdeth not still the ship by no craft, but only cleaving to the ship. l. 46. Utopian youth grown old Italian. Cf. the proverb Inglesa italianato è un diavolo incarnato, and note the only use of Utopian exactly in its modern sense of idealist. l. 59. Galenist. Claudius Galenus was a famous Greek physician and writer of the second century A.D. In the medical polemics of the seventeenth century, the Galenists were the old-fashioned doctors who adhered to the traditional formulae for prescribing drugs, as against the Chemists, who gave them in an extract or quintessence. l. 70. you have DONNE. This seems to fix the proper pronunciation of the poets name. Similar puns are frequent See e.g., Epigram 97 in John Davies of Herefords Scourge of Folly (1611), To the no less ingenious than ingenuous Mr. John Dun: also the lines quoted in the note to the Goodyere-Donne poem.
The date of this poem is fixed by the reference to Mitcham. Donne was living there from 1606 to 1610. Sir Henry Goodyere, of Polesworth, in the Forest of Arden, was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to James the First. He was the son of William Goodyere, of Monks Kirby, and married Frances, daughter and co-heiress of his uncle, also a Sir Henry Goodyere, thus succeeding to the Polesworth estate. The elder Sir Henry Goodyere, who had suffered for the support he gave to Mary, Queen of Scots, died March 4th, 1594/5. The younger was knighted in 1599, and spent his life in an endeavour to restore the failing fortunes of his house. He died March 18th, 1627/8. The following epitaph is found in various MSS., and is printed in Camdens Remains.
An ill year of a Goodyere us bereft,
Who gone to God much lack of him here left;
Full of good gifts of body and of mind,
Wise, comely, learned, eloquent and kind.
Walton speaks of Goodyere as an intimate friend of Donnes, and several letters from the poet to him were printed in the same volume as the Poems, and in the Letters to Several Persons of Honour. See Appendix B. for a verse-letter which appears to have been written by the two friends in common. There is another poem by Goodyere in Addl. MS. 25,707, and others in the Record Office (Cal. of State Papers, Dom. James I., vols, cxv., cxlv., cliii., clxxx.). I am indebted for much of this information to a note by Mr. G. F. Warner, in Mr. Brights Roxburghe Club edition of Digbys Poems, and to F. C. Cass, The Parish of Monken Hadley, pp. 145152. Mr. Warner ascribes to Goodyere, on the strength of a copy in his handwriting, the lines, Shall I like a hermit dwell, which were printed as Raleighs in the London Magazine for August, 1734 (cf. Hannah, Courtly Poets, p. 82). Goodyere has also verses in Coryats Crudities (1611), and in the Third Edition of Sylvesters Lachrymae Lachrymarum (1613). In a curious paper, catalogued in State Papers, Dom. James I., vol. lxvi. p. 2, he appears as a guest with Donne at a Convivium Philosophicum. There is another copy of this in the Bodleian. Goodyere may be the H. G. who has verses in Michael Draytons Matilda (1594), and to whom his Odes (1606) were dedicated. Drayton was brought up at Polesworth, and his Idea was Anne Goodyere, Sir Henrys cousin and sister-in-law, who married Sir Henry Rainsford, of Clifford Chambers, in Gloucestershire. l. 34. your hawks praise. In an undated letter to Goodyere (Alford, vi. 433), Donne says, God send you hawks and fortunes of a high pitch. Ben Jonson also has an Epigram (No. lxxxv) to him, in which he alludes to a hawking party at Polesworth.
Very little appears to be known of Rowland Woodward: see page 38, note. Dr. Grosart suggests that the T. W. of two later letters (pp. 33, 34), and possibly the A. W. of the Poetical Rhapsody, may belong to this same family.
Lucy Harrington, elder daughter of the first Lord Harrington of Exton, married, in 1595, Edward Russell, third Earl of Bedford. Her house at Twickenham appears to have been the centre of a witty and poetic circle, including Donne, Drayton, Ben Jonson, Samuel Daniel, Mrs. Bulstrode, and Sir Henry Goodyere. Verses upon her will be found in the works of the poets named. She was herself a woman of considerable and varied learning. In a letter from Donne to her, he speaks of some verses which she did him the honour to see in Twickenham garden (Alford, vi. 303). Apparently, therefore, she was an authoress also. l. 27. A mithridate. An antidote, so called from Mithridates VI., King of Pontus, who took elaborate precautions against poison.
The full heading is given in 1635. In 1633 it is only To Sir Edward Herbert, at Juliers. The siege of Juliers began in 1610. Sir Edward Herbert claimed to have been the first man to enter the town. He was, like his mother (vol. i. pp. 117, 156, notes) and brother (vol. i. p. 214, note), a friend of Donnes (cf. notes to Good Friday, vol i. p. 172, and to the Elegy on Prince Henry, vol. ii. p. 72). Born 1583, he became a soldier and writer of some distinction. He was created Baron Herbert of Cherbury in 1629, and died in 1648. His chief works are the De Veritate (1624), the Occasional Verses (1665, ed. Churton Collins, 1881), the Life of Henry VIII. (1647), and the Autobiography (first printed by Horace Walpole in 1764, and edited by Mr. Sidney Lee in 1886).
l. 13. Peter, Joves Paul Dians. St. Peters at Rome is said to have been built on the site of a temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and St. Pauls in London on that of a temple and grove of Diana. l. 67.
Weve added to the world Virginia, and sent
Two new stars lately to the firmament.
Expeditions were sent to effect the re-colonization of Virginia in 1607 and 1609 (cf. vol. i. p. 133, note); the two stars may be Lady Markham (ob. May 4, 1609) and Mrs. Boulstred (ob. Aug. 4, 1609). This would give 160910 as the date of the letter.
Lady Huntingdon was by birth Elizabeth Stanley, daughter of Ferdinando, fifth Earl of Derby, and wife of Henry Hastings, fifth Earl of Huntingdon. She was married in 1603, and died in 1633. There is an epitaph upon her by Henry Carey, Viscount Falkland. In 1600 her mother married as her second husband the Lord Keeper, Sir Thomas Egerton. Lady Derby was a daughter of Sir John Spenser of Althorpe, and a kinswoman of the poet Spenser. She is celebrated as a girl in his Colin Clouts come home again, and in her old age, Miltons Arcades was performed for her amusement. It seems to me probable that Lady Huntingdon is the subject of the following passage of a letter from Donne to Sir H. Goodyere (Alford, vi. 407). The other countess is obviously Lady Bedford. The letter was written during Donnes residence at Peckham in 16056. For the other part of your letter, spent in the praise of the countess, I am always very apt to believe it of her, and can never believe it so well, and so reasonably, as now, when it is averred by you; but for the expressing it to her, in that sort as you seem to counsel, I have these two reasons to decline it. That that knowledge which she hath of me was in the beginning of a graver course, than of a poet, into which (that I may also keep my dignity) I would not seem to relapse. The Spanish proverb informs me, that he is a fool which cannot make one sonnet, and he is mad which makes two. The other stronger reason, is my integrity to the other countess, of whose worthiness though I swallowed your opinion at first upon your words, yet I have had since an explicit faith, and now a knowledge: and for her delight (since she descends to them) I had reserved not only all the verses, which I should make, but all the thoughts of womens worthiness. But because I hope she will not disdain, that I should write well of her picture, I have obeyed you thus so far, as to write: but entreat you by your friendship, that by this occasion of versifying, I be not traduced, nor esteemed light in that tribe, and that house where I have lived. If those reasons which moved you to bid me write be not constant in you still, or if you meant not that I should write verses: or if these verses be too bad, or too good, over or under her understanding, and not fit; I pray receive them, as a companion and supplement of this letter to you.
It is tempting to think this written to Izaak Walton, but could he be spoken of as Donnes master in poetry? His poetical remains, which are but slight, have been printed by R. H. Shepherd in Waltoniana (1878). Singers conjecture that he was really the author of Thealma and Clearchus (1683), which he professed to edit from the papers of a deceased friend, has been discredited, since the John Chalkhill of the title-page has been proved to have actually lived. But it is worth noting that Walton is spoken of in very similar terms to those of this poem by S[amuel] P[ageJ, who dedicates to him his Amos and Laura (1619):
To my approved and much respected Iz. Wa.
If they were pleasing, I would call them thine,
And disavow my title to the verse;
But being bad, I needs must call them mine,
No ill thing can be clothed in thy verse.
l. 20. Surquedry, arrogance. l. 30. zany. An imitator, generally an ineffective or burlesque imitator.
So headed in the 1635 Poems. In those of 1633 and in Addl. MS. 18,647, it forms part of the preceding poem, To M[r]. T. W. In T. C. Dublin MS. G. 2. 21, f. 102, it is a separate poem, and is headed To Mr. T. W. In Harl. MS. 4955 it is headed An Old Letter.
Samuel Brooke was a son of Robert Brooke of York and a brother of Christopher Brooke. He was imprisoned for officiating at Donnes marriage in 1601. Subsequently he became a D.D., and President of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a disciple of Abp. Laud, and wrote several theological works. Two Latin plays of his, Adelphe and Sciros, were acted before Prince Charles at Trinity, on March 3, 1613, and exist in MS.; a third, Melanthe, acted before the King on March 10, 1615, was printed. A poem by him On Tears is in Hannahs Courtly Poets (p. 112).
Dr. Grosart identifies these initials with those of Mr., afterwards Sir, Basil Brooke. He was not a brother of Christopher and Samuel, but a son of John Brooke of Madeley, Shropshire, and grandson of Sir Robert Brook, Chief Justice of England. He was born 1576, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, knighted in 1604, and sent to the Tower by the House of Commons in 1644. If Dr. Grosart is right, the date of the letter will be before 1604, when Brooke became Sir Basil.
l. 3. Morpheus his brother. Icelus or Phobetor, the giver of the dream-shapes of other animals, as Morpheus was of those of men. l. 23. these Spanish businesses. Dr. Grosart quotes a letter of Rowland Woodwards to Mr. Secretary Windebank, concerning the proposed marriage of Prince Charles to the Infanta of Spain, from Gutchs Collectanea Curiosa (1781). Intrigues for an alliance between England and Spain began after the death of Cecil in 1612, and therefore 16131614 may be about the date of this letter.
In Addl. MS. 18,647, and in T. C. Dublin MS. G. 2. 21, f. 107, the initials are J. L., as in the preceding poem. There are some verses signed I. P. before Sir John Beaumonts Metamorphosis of Tobacco. I am not sure, however, that I. L. is not right. In any case both these poems were written to some friend or friends in the north of England.
This was in 1604. Walton prints these verses, not in the 1651, but in the 1670 edition of his Life of Sir Henry Wotton, with the following introduction And though his dear friend Dr. Donne, then a private gentleman, was not one of the number that did personally accompany him in this voyage, yet the reading of this following letter, sent by him to Sir Henry Wotton the morning before he left England, may testify he wanted not his friends best wishes to attend him.
Probably written in 161112. The two ladies addressed were daughters of Robert, third Lord Rich, by Penelope Devereux, daughter of Walter, Earl of Essex, the Stella of Sidneys Astrophel and Stella. Lettice Rich married, firstly, Sir George Carey, of Cockington, Devon; secondly, Sir Arthur Lake. Essex Rich married Sir Thomas Cheeke, of Pirgo, Essex.
Lady Salisbury, wife of William Cecil, second Earl of Salisbury, was by birth Catharine Howard, daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Suffolk. She was married Dec. 1, 1608. l. 72. In a dark cave. An allusion to the myth of the cave in Platos Republic, Book vii.
So headed in 1635. The heading in 1633 is simply Elegy. In 1669, it is To the Countess of Bedford. This letter appears to me to refer to the death of Mrs. Boulstred, and therefore to belong to the date 160910. l. 7. Twins, though their birth Cusco and Musco take, i.e., twins by nature and friendship, though one were born at Moscow, the other at Cuzco, in Peru. In Lodges romance A Margarite of America (1596), Arsadachus, son and heir to the Emperor of Cusco, woos Margarita, daughter to the King of Musco.
First published in 1635. There are three poems on or to Donne in Ben Jonsons Epigrams, and several critical remarks on him in the Conversations with William Drummond (ed. Laing, Shakespeare Society). It has been thought that there was some jealousy between the two poets, and that the allusion to the Countess of Bedfords better verser in Jonsons Epistle to the Countess of Rutland, is a hit at Donne. Probably, however, Daniel is the verser referred to.
First published in 1635. Rowe was not Sir Thomas when this poem was written. He was a man of considerable distinction, the son of Robert Rowe, or Roe, a London merchant, and grandson of Sir Thomas Roe, Lord Mayor of London, born 1581, matriculated at Magdalen College 1593, knighted 1605, sent as an ambassador to the Great Mogul in 1614, made Chancellor of the Garter in 1621, and died in 1644. Epigram 98 in Jonsons volume of 1616 is to him, and there are others in the same collection to his uncles, Sir John Roe and William Roe. His collections of coins and Greek and Oriental MSS. are in the Bodleian. A volume of Negotiations by him was published in 1740.
First published in 1635. The letters v. D. D. may perhaps be interpreted as v[iro] D D[edicavit]; or v[iro] D D[onne]. The friend, who borrowed a book of Donne, took it to Frankfort, let his children destroy it, and then replaced it by a manuscript copy, appears from line 11 to have been a doctor of medicine. Dr. Grosart thinks he was the author of some unpublished verses to which the name Dr. Andrews is affixed in Harl. MS. 4955. This Andrewes appears to have been one Francis Andrewes, and intimate with the Cavendishes, Ogles, and other great houses. One of his poems is dated Aug. 14, 1629. l. 3. Sequana, the Seine; Moenus, the Maine.
First added to the Poems at the end of the Funeral Elegies, in 1650. Thomas Coryate, son of the Rev. George Coryate of Odcombe in Somerset, born circ. 1577, was a sort of buffoon at James the Firsts court. In 1608 he started on a tour through France, Italy, and Germany, and covered 1975 miles, mostly on foot. He determined to publish his diary, and applied to wits and poets for commendatory verses. Most of these proved to be burlesque. They were edited to the number of about 60 by Ben Jonson, and published with the Diary as Coryats Crudities in 1611. The commendatory verses were reprinted by themselves, in the same year as The Odcombian Banquet. For other probable contributions by Donne to this collection, see Appendix B. l. 22. Münster. Sebastian Münster (14891552), a German Reformer, author of the Cosmographia (1544), a standard treatise on geography. Gesner. Konrad von Gesner, of Zurich (15161565), author of the Historia Animalium (15511558). l. 26. Prester Jack, or Prester John, the mythical king of a Christian country believed from the twelfth to the fourteenth century to exist in Central Asia, and afterwards in Abyssinia. l. 50. Pandect. The Pandectae or Digesta is the elaborate code of Roman common law, compiled from the decisions and opinions of jurisconsulti, under the superintendence of the Emperor Justinian, in the sixth century A.D. l. 56. Portescues. One would expect to find this the name of some keeper of a gambling-house. Dr. Grosart, however, says, The Portescue, Portague, or Portuguese was the great crusado of that country, worth £3 12s, and quotes from Harrington, On Playe Where lords and great men have been disposed to play deep play, and not having money about them, have cut cards instead of counters, with asseverance (on their honours) to pay for every piece of card so lost a portegue. But if this is the explanation, should not the text be for Portescues?
In Volponem. Ben Jonsons play of Volpone, or the Fox, was published in 1607. It had been acted by the Kings men in 1605. Donnes verses appeared in the 1607 quarto. They were not included in his Poems until the edition of 1650.
ALL these Funeral Elegies were published in 1633 except the second one on Mrs. Boulstred (p. 92), the Elegy (p. 101), and the lines On Himself (p. 100), which were added in 1635. The following death-dates fix approximately those of the Elegies referring to them
Lady Markham died May 4, 1609.
Mrs. Boulstred died August 4, 1609.
Prince Henry died Nov. 6, 1612.
Lord Harrington died Feb. 27, 1614.
Sir Thomas Egerton died March 23, 1617.
Marquis Hamilton died March 22, 1625.
All are therefore of comparatively late date, and have much in common with the Divine Poems.
So the title is given in 1613; in 1669 it is An Elegy etc., in 16331650 simply Elegy on Prince Henry. Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of James the First, was born in 1594, and died November 6, 1612, of typhoid fever. He was immensely popular in England, and Donnes is only one of a large number of elegies which were poured forth at his death. A list of them is given in Nichols Progresses of James I., pp. 504512. See also Hazlitts Handbook and Collections. Donnes elegy was printed in Lachrymae Lachrymarum, or The Spirit of Tears distilled from the untimely Death of the Incomparable Prince Panaretus. By Joshua Sylvester. The Third Edition, with Additions of His Owne and Elegies. 1613. Printed by Humphrey Lownes. Sylvesters poem is followed by a separate title-page, Sundry Funeral Elegies Composed by several Authors; and this by an address, signed H[umphrey] L[ownes], R.S.; To the Several Authors of these surrepted Elegies, which serves as an apology for the unauthorized publication. The authors of the elegies are G[eorge] G[arrard], Sir P. O., Mr. Holland, Mr. Donne, Sir William Cornwallis, Sir Edward Herbert, Sir Henry Goodyere, and Henry Burton. The volume also contains verses by Joseph Hall. Most of these writers belonged to Donnes immediate circle of friends. Ben Jonson said to Drummond (Conversations, ed. Laing, p. 8), That Done said to him that he wrote that epitaph on Prince Henry, Look to me, Faith to match Sir Ed. Herbert in obscureness. Herberts Elegy was reprinted in his Occasional Verses (1665).
John, second Lord Harrington of Exton, and brother of Lucy, Countess of Bedford, was born in 1592. He was educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and became an intimate friend of Henry, Prince of Wales. He appears to have been a young man of high character and promise. While travelling in France and Italy with his tutor Mr. Tovey, he was poisoned, either through accident or design, and died at Kew on Feb. 27, 1614, a few months after the death of his father. Two funeral sermons upon him exist, one by Richard Stock, The Churchs Lamentation for the loss of the Godly (1614); another by T. P. of Sidney Sussex College, with an epitaph, and with two Elegies by Sir Thomas Roe and Francis Hering, M.D. There is also a volume called Sorrows Lenitive, by Abraham Jackson. A character of Lord Harrington may be found in Henry Harringtons Nugae Antiquae, vol. ii. (ed. Park, 1804). l. 250. French soldarii. Cf. Caes. De Bello Gallico, iii. 22. The word is properly saldurii, Siloduri, or Siloduni. l. 252. Plutarch (Vita Alex., ch. 72) tells how, as a sacrifice at his friend Hephaestions death, Alexander made an expedition against the Cossaeans, and destroyed them root and branch. l. 256. I do inter my Muse. Cf. the letter from Donne to Sir Henry Goodyere, quoted in the Bibliographical Note. As a matter of fact, Donne wrote many Divine poems after he took orders in 1614. I cannot, however, identify any secular poem, except the letter to Lady Salisbury, as being possibly later in date than this on Lord Harrington. A Hymn to the Saints and to Marquis Hamilton appeared in the seventeenth-century editions as a Divine poem.
Bridget, wife of Sir Anthony Markham, of Sedgebrook, Notts, was the daughter of Sir James Harrington, younger brother of the first Lord Harrington of Exton: she was therefore first cousin to Lucy, Countess of Bedford. She died at Lady Bedfords house at Twickenham on May 4, 1609 (Parish Registers). Her monument is in Twickenham Church. There is another Elegy upon her by Francis Beaumont (Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, ed. Dyce, xi. 503). l. 12. Gods No: cf. Genesis viii. 20 to ix. 17. l. 21. Cf. Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, ii. v. § 7, where this belief is discussed and disproved.
Cecil Bulstrode, daughter of Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley Bulstrode, Bucks, was baptized at Beaconsfield, Feb. 12, 15834. She died at the house of her kinswoman, Lady Bedford, at Twickenham on August 4, 1609. This we learn from the Liber Famelicus of Sir James Whitelocke, who married her sister Elizabeth (ed. Camden Society), and it is confirmed by the following entry in the Twickenham Registers: Mris Boulstred, out of the parke, was buried ye 6th of August, 1609. Whitelocke also states that she was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Anne. Further information about her is due to Ben Jonson, who read to Drummond (Conversations, ed. Laing, p. 7) Verses on the Pucelle of the Court, Mistress Boulstred, whose Epitaph Donne made. Of these verses he said (p. 38): That piece of the Pucelle of the Court was stolen out of his pocket by a gentleman who drank him drowsy, and given Mistress Boulstraid; which brought him great displeasure. The verses in question are among Ben Jonsons Underwoods (No. lxviii. ed. Cunningham); they are certainly not complimentary, and differ markedly in tone from these Elegies of Donnes. There are, however, some verses signed B. J. in the Farmer-Chetham MS. (ed. Grosart, p. 190), which read like a palinode. They are also found, unsigned, in Addl. MS. 33,998, f. 33, and in Harl. MSS. 6057, f. 33; 4064, f. 261, from the latter of which I quote them.
Stay, view this stone, and if thou best not such,
Read here a little that thou mayst know much.
It covers first a virgin, and then one
Who durst be so in court; a virtue alone
To fill an epitaph. But she had more:
She might have claimed to have made the Graces four,
Taught Pallas language, Cynthia modesty;
As fit to have increased the harmony
Of spheres as light of stars: she was earths eye,
The sole religious house and votary,
Not bound by rites but conscience; wouldst thou all,
She was still Boulstrod, in which name I call
Up so much truth, as could I but pursue
Might make the fable of good women true.
One is tempted to solve the contradiction by supposing that the heroine of this Epitaph and of Donnes Elegies was Cecil Bulstrode, and the Court Pucelle her sister Dorothy Bulstrode, also a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Anne, who afterwards married Sir George Eyre; but Ben Jonsons express identification of the Pucelle with Mistress Boulstred, whose Epitaph Donne made, is almost fatal to this. I hardly like to venture a further theory that Donne is the author of the manuscript Epitaph in spite of the initials in the Farmer-Chetham MS. It is much in his style, and none of the Elegies in his Poems is strictly an Epitaph. And if Jonson had written a laudatory epitaph, why did he not mention it to Drummond? On the other hand, Jonson equally gives the name Epitaph to Donnes Elegy on Prince Henry. It is worth noting that in Harl. MS. 4064, the Epitaph follows Donnes Elegy Death, I recant, and is itself followed by Another, also anonymous, which begins Methinks, Death like one laughing lies. This is by Sir Edward Herbert, and is found in his Occasional Verses (1665), with the heading Epitaph Caecil Boulser quae post languescenten morbum non sine inquietudine spiritus et conscientiae obiit. It is dated July 1609. Mr. Churton Collins, in his edition of Herberts Poems, misprints the name as Caecil-Boulfer. The following account of Mrs. Bulstrodes illness is from an undated letter of Donnes to Sir Henry Goodyere (Alford, vi. p. 434) So these two have escaped this great danger; but (by my troth) I fear earnestly that Mistress Bolstrod will not escape that sickness in which she labours at this time. I sent this morning to ask of her passage of this night; and the return is, that she is as I left her yesternight, and then by the strength of her understanding, and voice (proportionally to her fashion which was ever remiss), by the evenness and life of her pulse, and by her temper, I could allow her long life, and impute all her sickness to her mind. But the History of her sickness makes me justly fear, that she will scarce last so long, as that you when you receive this letter, may do her any good office, in praying for her; for she hath not for many days received so much as a preserved barbery, but it returns, and all accompanied with a fever, the mother, and an extreme ill spleen.
This additional Elegy, also dating doubtless from 1609, was first published in 1635. It has been suggested that Mrs. Boulstred may have been the object of some of Donnes early love-verse. This is unlikely, as there is no proof of his acquaintance with her except as a member of Lady Bedfords circle, some years after his marriage. She was probably a kinswoman of his benefactor, Sir Robert Drury, as a branch of the Drurys who lived at Hedgerley were allied to the Bulstrodes.
This is printed among the Elegies in the seventeenth-century editions, but it seems to belong more properly to the present section. In the Stephens MS., the Harvey MS., and T. C. Dublin MS. G. 2. 21, f. 62, it has some such heading as Upon Mrs. Boulstred; if this is right, the date will be that of the two preceding poems, 160910. l. 10. the fifth and greatest monarchy: cf. Daniel ii. 3145. l. 52. that order, whence most fell. The Seraphim, highest and nearest to God of the nine orders (vol. i. p. 120, note). l. 58. a Lemnia. Probably the reference is to the terra Lemnia, or red earth of Lemnos, used as an antidote and antiseptic.
The initials L. C. may not improbably stand for L[ord] C[hancellor]. If so, the date of the poem will be as late as 1617, for on March 23 of that year died Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Ellesmere, Viscount Brackley, Lord Chancellor, and, until a month before his death, Lord High Keeper. Donne had been his secretary from 1596 to 1601, and had married his wifes niece, Anne More. But the initials may also represent other names, e.g. L[ord] C[handos]. William Bridges, fourth Lord Chandos, died November 18, 1602. l. 19. if he could have foes. If Egerton is intended, he had a bitter foe in Sir James Whitelocke. See his Liber Famelicus (Camden Society).
This appears among the Divine Poems in all the seventeenth-century editions. The Marquis Hamilton died March 26, 1625. He was born in 1589, and succeeded his father as second marquis in 1604. He filled various high offices under James I., and was spoken of as a husband for the Princess Elizabeth. In 1619 he was made Earl of Cambridge in the English peerage. To Sir Robert Carr. Many of Donnes prose letters are addressed to this gentleman, who must be distinguished from the Earl of Somerset. Like his namesake he was a Scotchman and a courtier; he was created Earl of Ancrum in 1633. A version of some Psalms in English verse, by his hand, is among the Hawthornden MSS. This letter to Carr is printed in Rebecca Warners Epistolary Curiosities, from a copy endorsed by Sir Henry Herbert, Miserum est ab iis laedi de quibus non possis quaeri. The editor suggests that this points to Hamilton as the malicious whisperer who told King James, soon after Donne was appointed to St. Pauls in 1621, that the Dean was preaching against his ecclesiastical tendencies. Some of Donnes letters contain allusions to his being in disfavour at court, but this identification is rather far-fetched. l. 14. The household the garter. Hamilton was made Lord Steward of the Household on Feb. 28, 1624, and created a Knight of the Garter on April 15, 1623.
This poem and the next appear to be only two versions of the same Elegy. Both are given in all the seventeenth-century editions except that of 1633. In 16351654, however, the shorter version appears among the Divine Poems, the longer among the Funeral Elegies.
THE Anatomy of the World was Donnes first, almost his only, published poem. No entry of it is to be found in the Stationers Registers, but in 1611 the first edition, containing the First Anniversary only, together with the Funeral Elegy, was printed for Samuel Macham. Only two copies of this edition are known to exist. The Second Anniversary was added, with a separate title-page, to the second edition, printed by M. Bradwood for S. Macham of 1612. All three poems were again reprinted in 1621 by A. Mathewes for Tho. Dewe, and in 1625 by W. Stansby for Tho. Dewe, as well as in the 1633 and later editions of the Poems. I regret that I have only been able to consult the editions of 1621 and 1625 in preparing this volume. That of 1625 has a curiously decorated border to the title-pages; it consists of a series of vignettes, representing feminine virtues and graces. I gather from a communication, signed T. R. OFl., in Notes and Queries, 8th S. i. 440, that a similar border appears in the 1611 edition. Elizabeth Drury was the only surviving daughter of Sir Robert Drury of Hawsted in Suffolk, and of his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon, and sister of Francis Bacon. She is said to have been the intended bride of Prince Henry, but in 1610, at the age of 15, she died. On her monument in Hawsted Church and in a portrait she is represented as dressed in white, her head leaning upon her hand. This has given rise to a legend that her death was due to a box on the ear from her father. Local tradition has it that the inscriptions upon her monument and that of her father, who died in 1615, are from Donnes pen. The latter contains the following lines to the memory of Elizabeths sister Dorothy, who died in childhood
She little promised much,
Too soon untied.
She only dreamt she lived,
And then she died.
Cf. Cullum, History and Antiquities of Hawsted. I suppose that the Funeral Elegy is really the first part of the poem. It was presumably written in 1610, and the two Anniversaries in 1611 and 1612, respectively. It appears from the passages from Donnes letters quoted below that he never saw Elizabeth Drury. Perhaps Sir Robert Drurys attention was called to Donne by the Elegies on his kinswoman Mrs. Boulstred (cf. p. 92, note). In any case he became his chief patron, took him abroad in Nov. 1611 (vol. i. p. 51, note), and gave him the use of a house near Drury Lane until his own death in 1615. Dr. Grosart notices an allusion to Donnes Anatomy in John Davies of Herefords Funeral Elegy on Mrs. Dutton, printed in his The Muses Sacrifice (1612). Elizabeth Dutton, who died in 1611, was the eldest daughter of Donnes former chief, Sir Thomas Egerton. The lines are perhaps worth quoting
I must confess a priest of Phbus late
Upon like text so well did meditate,
That with a sinless envy I do run
In his Souls Progress, till it all be DONNE.
But he hath got the start in setting forth
Before me, in the travel of that worth:
And me out-gone in knowledge every way
Of the Souls Progress to her final stay.
But his sweet Saint did usher mine therein,
Most blest in thatso, he must needs begin,
And read upon the rude Anatomy
Of this dead World, that now doth putrify.
Yet greater will to this great enterprise
Which in great matters nobly doth suffice
He cannot bring than I; nor canmuch less
Renown more worth than is a Worthiness!
Such were they both; for such a worthy Pair
Of lovely virtuous maids, as good as fair,
Self-Worthiness can scarce produce, sith they
Lived like celestial spirits, immured in clay.
And if all-powerful Love can all perform,
That in it hath rare matter, or like form,
Then should my lines have both so accomplishèd,
As from the grave to Heaven should draw the dead;
Or with her taper-pointed-beaming name
Nail her to Heaven, and in Heaven clench the same.
There are also interesting references to the poem in Donnes own correspondence. The first is in a letter to Mr. G[eorge] G[arrard], which is dated Paris, April 14, 1612 (Alford, vi. 353). Of my Anniversaries, the fault that I acknowledge in myself, is to have descended to print anything in verse, which though it have excuse even in our times, by men who profess and practise much gravity; yet I confess I wonder how I declined to it, and do not pardon myself. But for the other part of the imputation of having said too much, my defence is, that my purpose was to say as well as I could; for, since I never saw the gentlewoman, I cannot be understood to have bound myself to have spoken just truths; but I would not be thought to have gone about to praise her or any other in rhyme, except I took such a person as might be capable of all that I could say. If any of those ladies think that Mistress Drewry was not so, let that lady make herself fit for all those praises in the book, and they shall be hers. Donne writes in almost precisely similar terms to an unnamed correspondent (Alford, vi. p. 338), while to Sir G. F. (Alford, vi. p. 333) he says I hear from England of many censures of my book, of Mris Drury; if any of those censures do but pardon me my descent in printing any thing in verse, (which if they do, they are more charitable than myself; for I do not pardon myself, but confess that I did it against my conscience, that is, against my own opinion, that I should not have done so), I doubt not but they will soon give over that other part of that indictment which is that I have said so much; for nobody can imagine, that I who never saw her, could have any other purpose in that, than that when I had received so very good testimony of her worthiness, and was gone down to print verses, it became me to say, not what I was sure was just truth, but the best that I could conceive; for that had been a new weakness in me, to have praised anybody in printed verses, that had not been capable of the best praise that I could give. There is also an allusion in Ben Jonsons Conversations with William Drummond (161819, ed. Laing, p. 3), That Dones Anniversarie was profane and full of blasphemies: that he told Mr. Done, if it had been written of the Virgin Marie it had been something; to which he answered, that he described the Idea of a Woman, and not as she was. That Done, for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging. The marginal analysis disappears after 1633. It is given in the text as it stands in 1621.
This poem is evidently written, not by Donne, but to Donne. I suppose that Jonsons remark on the Harbinger (see note to The Harbinger to the Progress, p. 125) refers to this also, and that the writer is Joseph Hall.
l. 115. Stag raven. Cf. Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, iii. 9. l. 180. The poisonous tincture, the stain of original sin. For the use of tincture, cf. vol. i. p. 169, note. l. 260. New stars. In 1604 a bright new star appeared in Ophiuchus, and remained visible for a few months before it disappeared. l. 311. that ancient, i.e., Pythagoras. l. 343. a compassionate turquoise. The turquoise was supposed to vary in hue according to the health of its owner. Cf. Ben Jonson, Sejanus, Act I. Sc. i.
l. 41. the Afric Niger. A peculiarity generally given to the Nile; and here perhaps not spoken of our Niger, but of the Nile before it is so called, when, according to Pliny (Nat. Hist. v. 9), after having twice been underground, and the second time for twenty days journey, it issues at the spring Nigris.
This title serves to connect the poem with Donnes earlier satire Progress of the Soul of 1601 (see p. 148). This is unfinished, and possibly Donne meant to conclude it with some such sketch of an ideal woman as he is here attempting.
Ben Jonson said to Drummond in 1619 (Conversations, ed. Laing), Joseph Hall the harbinger to Dones Anniversarie. This was the famous Bishop of Exeter and Norwich, the sermon-writer and the antagonist of Milton. His only other poetical work is the Virgidemiarum or Toothless Satires (15978).
l. 120. a Saint Lucys night; cf. vol. i. p. 45, note. l. 127. mithridate; cf. p. 15, l. 27, note. l. 162. Donne has the Aristotelian conception of a series of grades or stages of spiritual development, the [Greek], or life of sense, absorbed by the [Greek], or life of motion, and this in its turn by the still higher life of reason. l. 242. electrum: not, of course, amber, but a compound of gold and silver.
THE DATE of this satiric poem, which appeared in the 1633 edition, is given in the heading to the Epistle as Aug. 16, 1601. Ben Jonson made the following remark about it to Drummond (Conversations, ed. Laing) The conceit of Dones Transformation, or [Greek], was, that he sought the soul of that apple which Eve pulled, and thereafter made it the soul of a bitch, then of a she-wolf, and so of a woman: his general purposes was to have brought in all the bodies of the Heretics from the soul of Cain, and at last left it in the body of Calvin. Of this he never wrote but one sheet, and now, since he was made Doctor, repenteth highly, and seeketh to destroy all his poems.
I my picture: The Progress is printed at the beginning of the quarto of 1633, which may possibly have been issued with some copies of Marshalls portrait of 1591 (cf. vol. i. p. 110, note). Donnes Epistle must, however, have been written in view of some intended earlier publication; but the poem was never finished. In 1635 the Progress was removed to another part of the book, but the Epistle was allowed in error to remain at the beginning. This was noted by the publisher in an Erratum, and corrected in 1639. a Macaron. A Maceron, Makeron, or Macaroon was a term in common use in the seventeenth and still more in the eighteenth century, for a fop, and especially one whose manners and speech were marked by foreign influences. In the same way macaronic verse is a medley of various languages. (See the specimen from Coryats Crudities in Appendix B.) The derivation appears to be either from the Italian food macaroni, as we might speak of a frog-eater, or from maccarone or maccherone, a fool. when she is he. So 1633, but the later editions have when she is she. Addl. MS. 18,647, f. 93, supports the 1633 version. It is not clear from Ben Jonsons statement whether the final state of the soul was to be Calvin or a woman. Probably it was to transcend the woman in the later books. Stanza vii. looks as if Donne meant a compliment to Elizabeth.
l. 21. holy Janus, here identified with Noah. l. 439. Moaba. I do not know where Donne got or whether he invented this name, together with the Siphatecia of l. 457, the Thelemite of l. 487, and the Themech of l. 509. l. 465. The vaulters somersaults. Dr. Grosart quotes Ben Jonsons description of Hedon from Cynthias Revels, Act II. Sc. i.He courts ladies with how many great horse he hath rid that morning, or how oft he hath done the whole or half the pommado [vaulting the great horse] in a seven-night before. l. 466. hoiting, rioting; expressing noisy mirth. l. 520. Cf. Elegy xviii.
Satires i. to v. appeared in 1633, Satire vi. in 1635, and Satire vii. in 1669. They are all amongst Donnes earliest work, and amongst the earliest Satires written in the English language. The first three are fixed by the dated Harl. MS. 5110 of them in the British Museum as not later than 1593; the fourth is dated in the Hawthornden MS., 1594, but appears from internal evidence to belong to 1597: similar evidence makes it probable that the fifth belongs to 16023, and that the sixth is subsequent to Elizabeths death on March 24, 1603. The exceptional roughness of rhythmeven for Donnein these Satires, is perhaps due to the influence of the style of Persius. Freeman compares Donne to Persius in the lines already quoted in the Bibliographical Note.
This, with Satire iv., is in the Hawthornden MS. It is headed after C. B. [? Christopher Brookes] coppie. l. 1. humourist, according to Ben Jonsons favourite sense of humour for type of character, and here especially in the deprecating sense of coxcomb, fribble. l. 80. the wise politic horse. This is the performing horse, Morocco, exhibited by the Scotchman, or Shropshire man, Banks, to which there are countless allusions in the literature of the period. A large collection of them will be found in Mr. Halliwell-Philipps Memoranda on Loves Labour Lost. Only one of these allusions is, however, earlier than 1593. It is in 1591, and refers not to an exhibition in London, but in the provinces, and not to Morocco, which was a bay, but to a white horse. It is probable therefore that by 1591 Banks had not yet come to London, and if so the date, 1593, on the Harl. MS. 5110 of Donnes Satires, cannot be far from that of their composition,
l. 40. Coscus. Dr. Grosart thinks that Donne is satirising Sir John Davies, who is apparently the author of some mock-serious Gulling Sonnets, printed in the Farmer-Chetham MS. (vol. i. p. 76). These sonnets are couched in legal terminology, and Dr. Grosart says that Donne must have taken themreally a parody of Zepheriaas serious.
In the Hawthornden MS. this Satire is dated 1594. This is, however, probably an error of the copyist. In Ashm. MS. 38, f. 40, it is headed A Satire against the Court, written by Doct. Dun in Queen Elizabeths reign. The true date appears to be 1597; cf. l. 114, note. l. 10. the hundred marks, which is the statutes curse. A statute passed in 1580 prescribed a penalty of an hundred marks for being present at mass, two hundred for officiating. l. 18. Cf. vol. i. p. 151, note. l. 48. Jovius Surius. Paolo Giovio, an Italian historian, published amongst other writings, Historiarum sui temporis Libri XLV. in 15502. Ses oeuvres, says the Nouvelle Biographie Générale, sont pleines des memsonges dont profita sa cupidité. Laurent Surius (15221578) was a German ecclesiastical historian. His chief work was a Vitae Sanctorum (1570). He was accused, it would appear unfairly, by Protestant writers, of inventing legends. l. 54. Calepine. Ambroise Calepine (14551511), author of a Polyglot Dictionary (1502), which was subsequently enlarged by himself and others. The fullest edition (Basle, 1590) is in eleven tongues. l. 55. Beza. Theodore Beza (15191605), a learned Calvinist theologian. He translated the New Testament into Latin, and wrote an Histoire Ecclesiastique des Eglises Reformées de France (1580). l. 59. Panurge. A character in Rabelais History of Gargantua and Pantagruel. l. 70. Aretine. Pietro Aretino (14921557), a witty and licentious Italian poet. The pictures referred to are sixteen obscene designs by Giulio Romano, engraved by Raimondi, for which Aretino wrote sixteen Sonnetti lussuriosi. l. 75. the man that keeps the Abbey tombs. Cf. Sir John Davies, Epigram 30, On Dacus
He first taught him that keeps the monuments
At Westminster his formal tale to say.
l. 106. span-counter blow-point. Two childish games, described by Strutt. l. 112. Gallo-Belgicus. Cf. p. 212, note. l. 114. since the Spaniards came, in the Armada (1588). the loss of Amiens. Amiens was captured by the Spaniards in March 1597, and recovered by Henry IV. in September 1597. Probably this Satire falls between the two dates. l. 117. Macaron. Cf. p. 144, note. l. 126. the pirates and Dunkirkers. Dunkirk was a resort of Buccaneers (Grosart). l. 197. Heraclitus, known as the weeping philosopher, from his habitual gravity. l. 204. Dürers rules. Albrecht Dürers Treatise on Proportion was published posthumously in 1528. l. 233. Ascaparts. Ascapart is a giant thirty feet high, who figures in the legend of Sir Bevis of Southampton. See Michael Drayton, Polyolbion, Bk. ii. l. 242. Machabees modesty. Cf. 2 Maccabees xv. 38: And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I have desired; but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto.
The date may be 16023; cf. note to l. 85. l. 2. An allusion to Il Corteggiano of Count Baldassar Castiglione (Grosart). l. 42. Angelica. In the first book of Ariostos Orlando Furioso, the heroine, Angelica, makes her escape while Rinaldo and Ferrau are fighting for her. l. 54. golden bridges. An euphemism for money paid to an adversary, to secure an advantage, by giving him an excuse to retreat. l. 85. the great Carrick. A Carrick is a merchant-ship. The allusion appears to fix the date of the Satire to 16023. From 1596, the price of pepper had been high. In 1601 the East India Company sent out Captain James Lancaster, who presently sent back two ships laden with pepper and spices taken from a Portuguese carrick. The allusion to Elizabeth in l. 28 shows that the date is before her death. l. 87. Hammon. See note to Epigram on Antiquary.
First printed as Satire vi. in 1669. The dedication is taken from the Stephens MS., and explains the dear Nick of l. 134. In the Hazlewood-Kingsborough MS. the heading is Satire 9th to Sir Nicho. Smith, 1602: but l. 131 fixes the date as later than the death of Elizabeth on March 24, 1603. The Satire is ascribed in T. C. Dublin MS. G. 2. 21, f. 18, to J[ohn] R[oe]. A Nicholas Smith has a set of verses in Coryats Crudities (1611). l. 26. Epps. A brave soldier, who died twice shot and twice run through the body at the siege of Ostend, which began in 1601. Cf. Dekker, Knights Conjuring, ch. viii. (Grosart). l. 88. Abraham Fraunce, was born in Shropshire, went in 1575 to St. Johns College, Cambridge, and lived until at least 1633. He was a member of the poetical circle of Sydney and Spenser, and wrote a number of English poems in pseudo-classical metres. They are all tedious. The best known are The Countess of Pembrokes Ivy Church (1591), and The Countess of Pembrokes Emmanuel (1591). l. 115. what did Essex kill. The date of Essexs execution was Feb. 25, 1601. l. 128. Cuffes putting on a sword. Henry Cuff was born 1563. He became Professor of Greek at Oxford in 1590, and in 1594 came to London as secretary to Essex. He gained considerable influence over him, and urged him on to the abortive conspiracy of 1601. For his share therein he was executed March 23, 1601. l. 131. that Scot. A bitter hit at James I. and his train of needy Scotch followers. Yet with many of these, Hamilton, Hay, Somerset, Ancrum, as well as with the King himself, Donne had friendly relations in later life. l. 134. worth thy tenth reading: apparently an allusion to the nonumque prematur in annum of Horace, De Arte Poetica, 388.