John Donne, Sir Henry Goodyer [Goodere]

W. Milgate (ed.), John Donne: The Satires, Epigrams and Verse Letters

Contents
Find Location in text

Main Text

H. W. in Hiber. Belligeranti

Notes Settings

Notes

Critical Apparatus
H. W, in Hiber. Belligeranti. First printed in Gr. Text and title from Bur (as transcribed by L. Pearsall Smith).
Critical Apparatus
2 most,] most Bur
Critical Apparatus
3 frendship,] frendship Bur
Editor’s Note
l. 3. Respective: considerate, courteous (as in King John, I, i. 188, 'too respective and too sociable').
Critical Apparatus
4 share'is] share is Bur
Editor’s Note
ll. 4–5. To win Ireland as an Englishman is not as important as losing Wotton's friendship as a man.
Critical Apparatus
5 lose] loose Bur
Editor’s Note
ll. 5–9. better cheap I pardon death, etc. 'I could forgive your death in battle as a cheaper loss than that of your energy and liveliness of mind.' 'Better cheap' is adverbial (O.E.D., 'cheap', 9).
Critical Apparatus
6 reap,] reap Bur
Editor’s Note
l. 9. shines: Gaelic daggers (Gaelic, sgian, 'knife'). Cf. Soliman and Perseda, 1. iii. 21–22 (The Works of Thomas Kyd, ed. F. S. Boas, p. 169):
  • Against the light foote Irish have I served,
  • And in my skinne bare tokens of their skenes.
Critical Apparatus
10 restreynes;] restreynes Bur
Editor’s Note
l. 10. or. So Pearsall Smith; Grierson reads 'and'.
Critical Apparatus
11 attack,] attack Bur
best;] best Bur
Editor’s Note
l. 11. yong: while young, early. For the thought cf, 'The Progress of the Soul', ll. 49–50.
Editor’s Note
l. 12. Who payes before his death, etc. A difficult line. 'A man who fulfils all his obligations before his death is never arrested for not doing so'; hence, I suppose, a man who dies in full discharge of his powers and talents cannot be 'arrested' by sicknesses of the soul—e.g. (l. 16) neglectfulness and sloth.
Critical Apparatus
13 first] first) Bur
fill'd] filld Bur
Editor’s Note
ll. 13–15. Wotton's soul is likened to the 'soul' of a substance (cf. 'To Mr Rowland Woodward', ll. 25–27, and note, p. 224), which is the highest part of the substance, but can be refined and purified by being distilled ('still'd'). 'Lymbecks' or alembics, which had a curved neck (though Courts and other 'schools' are morally 'crooked') were used for this purpose. In Wotton's life the instruments of purification have been the centres of learning and of state. Cf. 'To Sir Henry Goodyer', ll. 17–18.
Critical Apparatus
14 since,] since Bur
still'd] stild Bur
Critical Apparatus
17 labor'd] labored Bur
Critical Apparatus
19 Art:] Art Bur
Editor’s Note
l. 19. a seers Art: the divining of their contents by powers of 'vision'. There is a pun on 'seer'; the reference is to the common practice of reading some one else's correspondence before re-sealing it and sending on the messenger. Donne is asking, not for secret or dangerous news, but for a letter conveying friendly feelings.
logo-footer Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.
Access is brought to you by Log out