pg 352pg 353COMMENTARY
SATYRS UPON THE JESUITS AND SOME OTHER PIECES
4. Casaubon, and several other Criticks. Isaac Casaubon (1559–1614) published his De satyrica Graecorum poesi et Romanorum satyra at Paris in 1605. The other critics might include Scaliger, Heinsius, and Nicholas Rigault. See Dryden, Essays, i.lxvii, ii.44, ll. 8–11 and n.
10. Oldham, like Marston and Hall, follows Persius in placing a prologue before his satires, but does not imitate him directly.
13. Sylla's Ghost in the great Johnson. The prologue of Ben Jonson's Catiline: See W.M. Williams's article on Catiline's influence on 'Jesuits' in ELH, xi (1944), 38–62. Williams's one-sided view is qualified in C.H. Cable's 'Oldham's Borrowing from Buchanan', MLN, lxvi (1951), 527.
17. the Franciscan of Buchanan: Franciscanas et Fratres (1566), by George Buchanan (1506–82), famous Protestant reformer and Renaissance Latin poet. See 'Jesuits III', headnote.
19. Padders in Wit: plagiarists, compared to footpads, as by Dryden, Prologue to Albumazar (1668), ll. 15–26.
22. Whence he had the hint of the fourth. Horace, Satires, I. 8. Oldham wrote 'Horat. l. 1 Sat. 8' opposite the title in the draft opening of this satire (R 257).
25. Cf. Cowley, 'A Satyre. The Puritan And The Papist' (Essays, p. 154): 'They have made Images to speake, tis said'.
26 f. Of Buffoonery. A Gallicism.
28 ff. Minucius Felix was a Roman advocate of the 2nd century AD; his dialogue Octavius is one of the earliest apologies for Christianity. Arnobius major flourished in the 3rd century, and attacked pagan mythology in his Adversus Gentes; Lactantius Firmianus belongs to the 4th century. See Burton, Anatomy, pp. 666 f., with examples of their 'raillying'.
51. the last Trifle: 'Byblis', which ends, with 'Finis', the first issue of the volume, though the title-page envisages 'other Pieces', not just this one, to follow 'the Satyr against Vertue'. 'Upon a Woman' was added in the second issue. See my account of the three issues, in SB, xxvii (1974), 190–2.
53. the late Translations of Ovid's Epistles. Ovid's Epistles, Translated by Several Hands (1680), which Dryden edited for Jacob Tonson, was advertised in The Protestant (Domestick) Intelligence, 6 Feb. 1679/80; and see Macdonald 11a and b.
56. Mr. Sandys his Translation. Ovids Metamorphoses. English'd by G. S. (i.e. George Sandys, 1578–1644). Dryden refers to it in his Preface to Ovid's Epistles; Oldham evidently read it, partly perhaps on account of this pg 354reference, after beginning his 'Byblis' in 1680, and before writing this Advertisement, published c.Nov. He concurred in the current estimate; Dryden, in 1693, recollected the Ovid of 'the so-much admired Sandys' as not deserving its reputation (Essays, ii.10; but see also 247).
61. the use of Mr. Jordan's Works. On Jordan, see 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 62–6 and n. Allusions to the uses of waste paper were common in the classics and in Oldham's contemporaries; e.g. Persius, I. 43, Horace, Epistles, II. i.269, Catullus, XCV. 7 and Dryden, MacFlecknoe, ll. 100–1.
Satyrs upon the Jesuits: Prologue
According to the title-page of Satyrs Upon The Jesuits, which there is every reason to believe, the whole series was 'Written in 1679'. The success of Garnets Ghost in the pirated edition early that year evidently decided Oldham to embark on more than one sequel, introduced, like the satires of Persius (see Advertisement, ll. 14–17) by a Prologue. Though the evidence is not decisive, it points strongly to this—following 'Garnet's Ghost' (?Jan.; begun Dec. 1678)—as composed prior to 'Jesuits II' (datable after 16 Mar., probably early July), with 'Jesuits III' and 'IV' (after 16 July) reasonably assignable to c.Aug.-Sept. and c.Nov. (see headnotes). Late Mar. is the earliest date for the Prologue, and April the most likely. Some lines of it were scribbled on R187, which already contained a draft letter of 2 Mar.; and it borrows (see ll. 7 f., n.) from Dr Wild's Poem … Upon the … New Parliament that met on the 6th. A discarded passage (R177) describes how every would-be author 'starts … up in pamphlet or lampoon': one topic is what 'Made York and bankrupt Danby run away'. James sailed for Brussels on 4 Mar., arousing many suspicions (cf. e.g. a squib 'On His Royal Highness's Voyage beyond Sea, March 3d, 1678', collected in POAS, 1702, ii.216). Danby, faced with impeachment, went into hiding in Whitehall from 24 Mar. to 14 Apr.: Oldham's line may have been written before he surrendered and was sent to the Tower, or at least while he was emembered as recently a fugitive. If, as Sir Charles Firth encouraged me to believe, the 'cashier'd resenting' statesman of l. 54 is Shaftesbury, that allusion predates his appointment, 21 Apr., as President of the Council (he was not again dismissed till 15 Oct.). Mengel supposes (Yale POAS, ad loc.) that Danby is meant. If he was resentful, however, nothing is heard of it; whereas the King had given his opinion, at least to Sunderland, that Shaftesbury 'was only angry in revenge, because he was not employed' (Burnet, ii.209). If the draft, and ll. 1–9 of the finished Prologue, refer to the flood of pamphleteering released by the lapse of the Licensing Act (ibid. 220 f.), they must be subsequent to 27 May; but there was no dearth earlier. As to the peril (ll. 8 f.) of holding aloof from the pack in full cry, it was on 21 Mar. that Sir Edward Sackville, brother of Dorset the poet, was charged by Oates in the Commons with impugning his evidence; whereupon he was expelled the House and sent to the Tower (Kenyon, pp. 150, 154).
1. In his abrupt openings Oldham follows Juvenal and Cowley (as Cowley followed Donne). Juvenal I opens with:
- Semper ego auditor tantum ? nunquamne reponam
- vexatus totiens rauci Theseide Cordi?
An earlier draft (R183) begins: 'Shall I alone sit tamely by ?'
7 f. Cf. Dr. Wild's Poem: 'Each Protestant' should
- … turn Poet; and who not
- Should be suspected guilty of the Plot….
Oldham is evidently the borrower: his 'Prologue' was not published till 1681. Wild died in 1679; and allusions in Dr. Wild's Poem to 'This Seventy-nine', 'this March-Brood', show that it refers to the Parliament which met 6 Mar. 1678/9.
8. As their initial excitement faded, the Tories began to complain bitterly of the peril of taking a judicious view. Reresby tells us that when he ined at Bishop Gunning's on 26 Nov. 1680, he was forced to undertake the duty of checking Oates in his calumnies against the Queen, nobody else 'darring to contradict him (for fear of being made a party to the Plott)' (Reresby, pp. 208 f.). Cf. Burnet (a Whig but no fanatic), ii.195 f., and 171, 271 f.; Dryden, Pref. to Religio Laici (1682), ll. 167–70, 208 f. See also Introduction, pp. xxix–xxxiii.
12. Mistaken honest Men. A reminiscence of Cowley's '(Mistaken Honest men)' in his ode on Brutus (Poems, p. 195).
15. sham upon. 'Shamming, is telling you an insipid, dull Lye with a dull Face, which the slie Wag the Author only laughs at himself' (Wycherley, The Plain Dealer, 1677). OED, which dates the appearance of this slang term about that year, quotes Oldham's 'Dithyrambique' for its earliest example of 'sham' (hoaxer; see l. 4 n.) and 'Juvenal III' for 'shams' (hoaxing; see ll. 38 f., n.).
16. dull Old Fisher-men. The apostles.
17. Franciscus Suarez (1548–1617), Spanish Jesuit and theologian. From his Defensio catholicae fidei contra anglicanae sectae errores (1613), Foulis (p. 98) quotes the proposition that a heretic king 'after the Decree of Deposition gone out against him … is altogether deprived of his Kingdom. … and so he may be used as a Tyrant or Vsurper, and by consequence, MAY BE SLAIN BY ANY PRIVATE MAN'. Antonio Escobar Y Mendoza (158–9-1669), Spanish Jesuit and greatest of the casuists attacked by Pascal in Les Provinçiales for justifying a relaxed morality. His Theologia Moralis (1643) went through many later editions. (See Ogg, Europe, pp. 343 ff.) An earlier draft (R182) has 'Bawny' for 'Suarez'. Étienne Bauny (1564–1649), Jesuit casuist, published his Somme des péchés in 1630 and his Theologia Moralis in 1640–7. His moral writings were condemned at Rome in 1640.
22. contradiction-bore. born of contradictions.
26 f. 'Prize' signifies a prize-fight with swords, such as were staged at the Bear-garden; cf. 'Art of Poetry', ll. 623 f. and n. In some of these contests the weapons were buttoned or blunted, while in others they were not. Cf. Shadwell, Epsom Wells (1672), I. i, p. 12: 'Since they were so much too hard for us at Blunts, we were fools to go to sharps with them.' f. R182: 'ye blunt Foils of Wit'.
28–31. Imitating Juvenal, I. 79 f.
31. Wild, or Withers. See 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 99 f., n.
35. private daggers. See the accounts of St. Germain forcing Luzancy to recant his Protestantism at the dagger's point in 1675: Marvell, Poems (3rd edn.), ii.171; Reresby, pp. 100 f. The eighth item in the Pope-burning procession of 17 Nov. 1679 was 'Six Jesuits, with bloody daggers'. According to Oates, a Jesuit named Coniers had consecrated a knife a foot in length to stab the king.
35. Saint Omer's dose. Jesuit poison. The Jesuit seminary at St Omer was that from which Oates returned to England with his story of the Plot. There may be an allusion to 'Jesuits' powder' or quinine, about the medicinal or harmful properties of which a fierce controversy still raged: the thirteenth item in the Pope-burning procession was 'The Pope's doctor, i.e. Wakeman, with Jesuits'-powder in one hand.' Wakeman had been accused of undertaking to poison the king. On the Pope-burning processions of the period, see articles by J.R. Jones and Sheila Williams, cited 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 50 f., n.
36. Godfrey. For Godfrey's murder, see 'Jesuits I', 0.1 n.
38 ff. This rhetorical figure of contradictions is a commonplace of satiric tradition. Cf. Juvenal, ii.24–8, and 'Ane vther Ballat of Vnpossibilities' (cit. Walker, English Satire and Satirists, p. 25). See also Oldham, 'Jesuits II', ll. 241–9.
42. Bawds shall turn Nuns. Oldham's draft (R186) has 'Cresswell' in the margin. For Mother Cresswell, see 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 163 and n. Oldham was familiar with Otway's Don Carlos (1676), in which the epilogue concludes 'I'le e'n forsake the Play-House, and turn Nun', though the allusion there is to Dryden's reputed mistress Anne Reeve, who actually did retire to a convent.
42. Salt D[uchesse]s: lustful duchesses. The draft (R186) has 'French salt bitch' in the margin. This refers to Louise de Kéroualle ('Carwell'), uchess of Portsmouth and the King's mistress from 1672 till his death: cf. 'The Downfal of the French Bitch', in POAS (1704), iii.211. It was quite usual to couple with Portsmouth the Duchesses of Cleveland (Charles's mistress until 1671) and of Mazarine, who won his favours on her arrival from France, Nov. 1675. Cf. 'England's Court Strumpets', op. cit., p. 190, and Rochester's 'Dialogue' (Poems, p. 129).
51 f. The rage … of Women's Pride. Cf. Juvenal, X. 326 ff.
54. cashier'd resenting statesmen: a reference, probably, to Shaftesbury; less probably, to Danby (see headnote).
55. Cf. 'Upon a Woman', ll. 36 f.
61 f. Cf. 'Upon a Woman', ll. 42 f., 44.
64 f. The draft (R178) has 'Till I [grow dreaded like ye Bar, & frighten worse.' No doubt 'till I become' of 1681 was derived from this earlier version of the line. The reading of the 1681 errata, 'till it become', evidently embodies Oldham's final intention: it is found a few lines lower down the same MS draft.
66. Popes Anathema's. Cf. The Popes Dreadfull Curse. Being the Form of Excommunication of the Church of Rome (1681), p. 2 n.: 'The Publication of this is to shew what is to be Expected from the Pope, if he come to be Supream Head of the Church in this Nation.'
Satyr I: Garnet's Ghost
'Garnet's Ghost' was begun before Oldham wrote the draft of his letter to Spencer, dated Dec. 1678, announcing 'Novum quiddam jam parturit Musa. In proditores stricturus sum calamum…. Ego Garnetti manes excivi; quid portent novi, propediem scies; spirant (ni fallor) scelus & nequitiam Jesuitâ dignâ' (R179). It was 'printed against the author's consent … 1679' (Wood, iv.120). Luttrell inscribed his copy '2d 1679' (Bibliography, I.2). The heading states that it is 'Written by the Author of the Satyr against Virtue (not yet Printed)'. That poem appeared and was followed by an answer, still in the same year. The MS of 'Garnet's Ghost' which came to the pirate's hands gave it in what was probably the original form; at least one later version also circulated in MS, and was copied by the lady who compiled H.M. Margoliouth's MS m (see Bibliography, I.16, and Marvell, Poems, i.318). The authorized text published in 1681 had been revised still further.
'Garnet's Ghost', 'Loyola's Will', and 'S. Ignatius his Image' are all three cast in a traditional form which may be called the self-incriminatory monologue. It goes back to the Middle Ages; the Pardoner's Prologue in Chaucer is pg 357an example of it. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ballad-writers, and, e.g. Denham ('Mr Hampden's Speech against Peace', 1642/3), Quarles ('Know this my Brethren', 1646), and Corbet ('The Distracted Puritane', 1648) used it too (see my annotated index to Rump Songs, 1662, Oxford Bibliographical Society, Proceedings, v.287 f., and nn. 13, 119, 133). In Pym's Iuncto. a poetical broadsheet (BL Thomason, 669 f. 8, 8 May 1643; repr. in Rump, 1662), Pym, like Garnet, rouses his followers to acts of unprecedented villainy. Striking self-incriminatory orations, though these were not monologues nor the whole of the poem, were familiar to Oldham in Lucifer's address to the assembled devils, and the speeches of Æquivocus, Pope Paul V, and Loiol's eldest son in Fletcher's Locusts, I.xxii ff., II.x ff., IV.vii ff. and xviii. Fletcher published with it the briefer Locustae, in Latin, out of which it grew; his Locusts, or Apollyonists, are those of Revelation, IX.1–11. These anti-Jesuit satires were a major source of Oldham's (see my 'Oldham and Fletcher').
A further genre to which Oldham's poem belongs is the Fictitious Ghost. His adoption of this form was inspired, he tells us in his 'Advertisement' (above, 1. 13), by the speech of Sylla's ghost in Jonson's Catiline, which follows the precedent of Seneca's ghost-prologues to Thyestes and Agamemnon. In another line the genre descends from The Mirror for Magistrates (1559; expanded edns. to 1587). Alternatively, it might be named the 'supposed Ghost', after 'Leyland's supposed Ghost', printed at the end of Ralph Brooke's Discoverie of certaine Errours … in the … Britannia (1595). Without exhaustive research, I have enumerated (Brooks, 'Ghost') sixty-one pieces assignable to the 'ghost' genre dating from the late 16th century to 1701. Of these pieces 24 precede Oldham's; a dozen of its successors manifestly derive from it, including such late examples as Bishop Bonner's Ghost (1798) by Hannah More, and Brissot's Ghost [appearing] … to a Meeting of Those who call themselves Friends of the People (1794). Among the antecedents of 'Garnet's Ghost' a number have particular relevance. The ghost is often a villain, as in 'Mitchell, that designed to Murder Dr. Sharp … his Ghost', 1678 (from Robert Mylnes' MS, Ebsworth, IV.147), or politically obnoxious, as in Colonel Rainsborowes Ghost, 1648 (BL Thomason 669 f. 13 (46)). Some are historical, like Henry VIII and Wolsey, in A Messenger from the Dead, or Conference Full of stupendious horrour … Between the Ghosts of Henry the 8. and Charls the First of England, in Windsore Chappel, 1658 (Bodl. Wood 364 (26), in prose) and Canterburies Dreame: in which The Apparition of Cardinall Wolsey did present himselfe unto him [viz. Laud; 1641] (BL Thomason E 158 (3)). Strafford appears to Laud, as a proponent of the same policy, executed for it, in The Deputies Ghost : Or An Apparition to the Lord of Canterbury in the Tower, 1641 (Bodl. Ashmole H23 XXXI). An assembly of confederates is exhorted in 'A Song by Pym's Ghost to the Parliament' (Bodl. MSS 84 f. 122 and 152 f. 8). Bradshaw's Ghost; a poem: or a dialogue between John Bradshaw, Ferry-man Charon, Oliver Cromwell, Francis Ravilliack, and Ignatius Loyola, 1660, n.d. (P.J. Dobell, Literature of the Restoration, item 1136), links the Jesuits and sectaries as regicides. Oldham was not alone c.Dec. 1678 in choosing the 'Ghost' form for polemic on the plot: Wood dates in that month The Answer of Coleman's Ghost to H. N. 's Poetick Offering.
0.1. Garnet's Ghost. See 'The Life of Father Garnet', Foulis, pp. 696 ff. Henry Garnet (1555–1606), Jesuits' Provincial in England, in a show trial (see Salisbury's letter, Caraman, p. 376, cf. 395) was found guilty of high treason (by a jury whose foreman was Baptist Hickes, ancestor of Oldham's patron Sir William) for supporting the Gunpowder conspirators, and was executed 3 May 1606. From Catesby he had derived a general suspicion of the plot, and a full knowledge from Father Tesimond (alias Greenway) under the seal of confession; but his contemporary apologist, Gerard, acknowledges the seal void in English law. (Ibid., pp. 377–81, 391 f.) His failure effectually to discourage the plotters, or to inform the government, created the pg 358general belief that he had 'committed treason enough for God's sake'.
Though he was not the villain that Oldham depicts, as the principal Jesuit implicated in the last great Catholic conspiracy against an English sovereign he was the appropriate personage to speak Oldham's poem, and to exhort the cabal. See A True and Perfect Relation of the Whole proceedings against … Garnet a Jesuite, and his Confederates … (1606); Taunton, pp. 162, 289–300, 314–20, 326–8, 330; S.R. Gardiner, What Gunpowder Plot Was (1897), pp. 177–8, 192–9.
0.3. the Murder of Godfrey. Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey died a violent death between 12 Oct. 1678, when he disappeared, and the 17th, when his body was found in a ditch at the foot of Primrose Hill, where it had not been the day before. He was J.P. for Middlesex and Westminster. Oates swore his information on the plot before him, 6 Sept., and again, leaving a copy with him, on the 28th. Though Godfrey was a staunch Anglican, 'few men of his zeal lived on better terms with the papists' (Burnet); the same day, he gave a warning to Coleman, the Catholic whose incriminating letters, while James's secretary, were soon to be regarded, with Godfrey's fate, as positive confirmation of the plot. If, as Pollock concluded, he learned from Coleman that the Jesuit consult of 24 Apr. had been held, not (as Oates swore) at the White Horse Tavern, but in James's residence, that would account for his realization that Oates was perjured, and for his foreboding that a dangerous secret (unspecified) would be his own death. The secret's importance to the Catholics has been minimized; but 5 Jesuits went to execution without trying to discredit Oates by revealing it. When Godfrey's body was found, his sword had been driven through it, evidently after death; the neck was dislocated (but see Firth, loc. cit. below), showing marks of strangulation. Murder by a common criminal was ruled out; his valuables were untouched. Green, Berry, and Hill, servants in Somerset House, were convicted, on the evidence of Prance and Bedloe, of having there committed the murder; Bedloe had previously deposed that three Jesuits, Walsh, Prichard, and Lefevre, had directed the crime. Green, Berry, and Hill were executed in Feb. 1678/9. They were undoubtedly innocent, but it seems impossible to determine whether Godfrey was in fact murdered by Catholics, or by Oates and his associates to give colour to their story, or even whether he may not have committed suicide (but see Simpson in Kenyon, p. 265). See Burnet, ii.162–5, 167, 191–5; Pollock, pp. 83–105, 117–66, and authorities there cited; C.H. Firth, EHR, xxi (1906), 169; Kenyon, Append. A; Ogg, ii.579–84.
1. By hell 'twas bravely done! Cf. an impromptu formerly ascribed to Rochester (see Poems, p. 224): 'By heavens! 'twas bravely done'.
2. Cf. Pseudo-Denham, Second Advice to the Painter (1667; Osborne, No. 10), Yale POAS, i.9:
- What lesser Sacrifice than this was meet
- To offer for the Safety of the Fleet ?
See also Introduction, p. xlvii.
8 ff. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.483–7:
- … I'haue kill'd a slaue,
- And of his bloud caus'd to be mixt with wine.
- Fill euery man his bowle. There cannot be
- A fitter drinke, to make this sanction in.
- Here I beginne the sacrament to all.
15 f. A draft (R248) has 'I thought' for 'we think', confining the allusion to Garnet. In May 1605, the Gunpowder plotters did receive communion together to confirm their oaths. The officiating priest was not Garnet; but in a letter to the Privy Council he states that he was accused of having pg 359'given the most holy sacrament to six of the confederates at the very undertaking so bloody an enterprise' (Taunton, p. 303). The revision, 'we think', refers to such receiving of communion as (so it was thought) was a regular practice of Catholic (especially Jesuit) conspirators. Cf. Robert Bolron, The Papists' Bloody Oath of Secrecy … With the Manner of Taking the Oath, upon their Entring into any Grand Conspiracy against the Protestants, 1680 (16 Nov.).
16. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, V.iii: 'this Iesuite … Binds them to hell in sin, & makes heavens Lord the seale.'
23, 27 f. Are you then Jesuits? … And can you fail … Shall …? Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, II.xxxviii: 'And shall wee, (Spirits) shall we … / … shall we, can we faile ?'
27. It was reported that the conspirators more than once bungled their attempts to shoot the king. See Burnet, ii.189, and Pollock, pp. 70, 72–3.
30. See Appendix III (R248).
31. late Sect'ries: the Independents, responsible for Charles I's execution, 1649.
35. eas'd him of both Life and Crown. Echoes Otway, Don Carlos: see (and also for ll. 112–14 n., below) Appendix III (R250, 'Ease …' and n.).
40, 45. See Appendix III (R249), 'usurp …').
43. That the regicide sectaries were puppets of the Jesuits was a belief popularized by William Prynne: see Miller, pp. 85 f. and nn. Cf. Henry Care, The History of the Damnable Popish Plot (1680), pp. 69, 72: 'The disloyal principles on which the fanatic rebels proceeded they wholly learnt from the Jesuits', who were 'the prime authors of those damnable courses which took away [the King's] life' (quoted Yale POAS, ii, ad loc.); Duport's Sermon on Fifth of November, cit. J.N. Figgis, The Divine Right of Kings (2nd edn., 1914), p. 380; and Figgis, op. cit., p. 179 and n.
48. that matchless Assassin. The murderer, in 1312, of the Emperor Henry VII. He 'marcheth for Italy', and there 'dyeth, not without great suspition of being poysoned (and that too at the receiving of the Sacrament) as many of their Historians do confess' (Foulis, p. 302; cf. Fletcher, Locusts, III. xxxix). Sir T. Browne, Pseud. Ep., VII.§19, rejects the story as a vulgar error. Latin lines quoted by Foulis denounce the sacrilegious poisoner as 'Jacobita secundus/Judas'—a Jacobite (Dominican) friar; hence Oldham's draft couplet (R250) calling him
- … that great Assassine (whose envied name
- Another Order must with glorie claim).
51 f. Quoted in Truth and Honesty In Plain English (1679), p. 22. The passage refers also to ll. 271–3 below: 'In a quarter of an hour they will Dissolve a Parliament, and Adjourn King, Lords and Commons into another world, with the help of Gunpowder. They will stab you the greatest Monarch in the twinckling of an Eye, and convey Jesus Christ into the Body of an Emperor to take away his Life, according to that excellent saying of a late admired Poet,
- To give his Poyson stronger Force and Power
- He'l mix a God with it to make it work more sure.'
The tract is later than 12 July, when Parliament was dissolved by proclamation.
55. Clement … Ravillac's name. In 1589, Henry III of France, having been excommunicated by the Pope, was murdered by Jacques Clément, a Dominican friar. The Pope was said to have commended Clément's deed in a speech to pg 360the Consistory (Foulis, pp. 547, 550 ff.). In 1610, François Ravaillac assassinated Henry IV of France in the midst of his preparations for an expedition in support of the German Protestants. Oldham read detailed accounts of both assassinations in Foulis, see pp. 550–60, 640 f.
59 f. The apostrophe echoes Second Advice to the Painter (Yale POAS, i.15): 'Heroick Act! and never heard till now!' See The Terrible and Deserued death of Francis Rauilliack, shewing the manner of his strange torments at his Execution (1610). Clément, however, was dispatched at once on the scene of his crime, 'inadvertently', as Foulis grimly remarks. R247 refers, correctly, to Ravaillac's torture alone.
64–76. Gunpowder Plot, 1605. Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', st. 10, on Fawkes. There, as in ll. 66 f., the plot is compared with the revolt of Satan, whose invention of gunpowder and use of it against the heavenly hosts, in Paradise Lost, VI.571–95, was evidently in Oldham's mind. With ll. 73–6 cf. ll. 237 f. of 'Aude aliquid', and the draft couplet quoted in the note to l. 45 of 'The Vision'.
71. that Pow'r, who, of himself afraid. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, V.xv: 'But hellish Faux laught at blinde heaven's affright.'
71–4. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 246):
- Nay their God too—for fear he did, when We
- Took noble Arms against his Tyrannie…
Lines 73 f. are indebted to Dryden's State of Innocence (1677), I.i, p. 3, where Lucifer aspires
- T'oerleap th' Etherial Fence, or if so high
- We cannot climb, to undermine his Sky,
- And blow him up….
79. Had I bin Man. A phrase from Otway's Don Carlos (1676), p. 56. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.22, 25 (Sylla):
- What now, had I a body againe, I could, …
- Thinke thou, and practice.
81 f. Cf. Lee, The Rival Queens (1677), I.i, p. 9:
- … though the Earth yawn'd …
- I'd leap the burning Ditch to give him death,
- Or sink my self for ever.
95 f. Cf. Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1676), IV, p. 51, and Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 245). See Appendix III, R249 ('Courage …') and n.
97 f. Or is't Religion ? Cf. Jonson, Catiline, iii.515 ff., and Fletcher, Locusts, I.xxx, II.xv.
98. That frivolous pretence. A reminiscence of 'Business! the frivolous pretence', in Cowley, 'The Complaint' (Poems, p. 437).
99–101. These lines, with 73 ff., and 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 60, 159 f., have parallels in 'Britannia and Rawleigh' (see Marvell, Poems (3rd edn.), i.196, 400 f.), ll. 76, 80–4:
- Virtues a faint-green-sickness of the souls,
- with which the Gods infected princes,
- Fearing the mighty Projects of the great
- Should drive them from their proud Celestiall seat,
- If not ore aw'd by new found holy cheat.
- These pious frauds (too slight t'ensnare the brave)
- Are proper arts, the long-eard rout t'enslave….
pg 361The poem is authoritatively dated c.Feb. 1674 by Godfrey Davies (HLQ, ix (1946), 311). Hence, contrary to my contention in N & Q (clxxix (1940), 146), Oldham must have been the borrower (see also Marvell, Poems, 2nd edn., 1952, i.xiv). 'Britannia and Rawleigh', though not printed till 1689, circulated in MS and might have been seen by Oldham among Whigs at Beddington, 1676.
103 ff. See Appendix III (R249, 250, 261, 281). Oldham's nn. and quotations show the inspiration throughout ll. 95–128 (and cf. 'Jesuits II', ll. 239 ff.) of the heroic drama: Otway, Don Carlos (1676), Lee, Sophonisba (1676), Mithridates (1678), Dryden, Tyrannick Love (1670), 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), Aurent-Zebe (1676), and All for Love (1678).
108. On R246 (see Appendix III) Oldham has a note from G. Hall, which refers to Luther's story of the Archbishop of Mainz, who having chanced upon a Bible, 'and for four hours … read in it', when asked 'what he did with that book?' is said to have answered, 'I know not what Book it is; but sure I am, that what I find written in it is against us.'
112 f. Cf. Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), II.i, p. 19: 'Vertue intrudes with her lean holy face'.
114 f. Cf. Satan in Paradise Lost, I.159 ff.
121. In steams of … slaughter drown. To 'drown' in 'steams' is a forced notion; but I believe the awkwardness to be Oldham's, overlooked in echoing from Lee, Mithridates (1678), V.ii, p. 61, 'drunk with Death, and steaming Slaughter', transcribed on R261 (see Appendix III). In the 1679 piracy, 'streams' is probably the 'correction' a copyist would naturally make.
136, 138–9. Then you're true Jesuits … / … worthy a Plot / Like this. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, IV.xxix: 'I have a plot worthy of Rome and us'.
138. undertake. In the 17th century, the word is often used of treacherous enterprises. See OED, 'undertake' II, intr. †8.
142. Apostate Monk: Luther. 'Apostate' is from G. Hall, p. 33, who, like Oldham, so terms Luther with ironical effect. Cf. Fletcher's 'that recreant frier' (Locusts, II.xxiii), 'that uncloister'd Frier' (IV.x). Cf. 'Jesuits III', l.51.
149. a late reigning Witch. Queen Elizabeth I.
154–9. 'Queen Mary whose Piety and Mercy is much commended by Sanders and other Romanists, Reigned about five years; yet in that short time were put to death for Religion above 260.' (Foulis, p. 418); 300 or scarcely fewer is A.F. Pollard's estimate (History of England [1547–1601], p. 155).
165. Juvenal, I.155–6 and Tacitus, Annals, XV.xliv refer to the burning of the Christians. Oldham adopts Tacitus' grim comment on Nero's victims: 'ubi deficisset dies in usum nocturni luminis urerentur'.
179. reverend Bears. Oldham knew the ironic application of the epithet to 'reverend Owls' in MacFlecknoe, which he had transcribed.
182. Sorbon dotards. On the 'continual bickering' between the University and the Jesuits, see Foulis, p. 99.
186. Annalists. One of Oldham's frequent references to Foxe and his Acts and Monuments or 'Book of Martyrs'. See 'Jesuits IV', l. 313 n.
195 f. 'the works of Wickliffe were brought into Bohemia … which hapning into the hands of John Husse, and Hierome of Prague; … wrought in their hearts a desire to reforme the Church…. [B]eing summoned to the Councell of Constance, they were there condemned for Hereticks, and burned anno 1414, yet had their doctrine such deep root in the hearts of the people, pg 362that it could never be destroyed by the Tyrannies of war or persecutions (though both were used).' (Heylyn, ii.89.) But see Ranke, ii.226–8, 270, for the final rooting out of Hussite beliefs, from 1620–8.
197. Waldo (d. 1217) whose disciples were known as the Poor Men of Lyons. His movement became fused with earlier ones in a Waldensian church. As a result of persecution, by the 16th century Piedmont and the Italian valleys of the Cottian Alps, the Vaudois country, were their only stronghold. In 1655 the Vaudois suffered the massacre that Milton's noble anger has made famous; Jean Leger, their historian, enumerates 1,712 martyrs. After a further struggle in 1663–4, the Waldenses were left unmolested until after Oldham's death. See Heylyn, i.193.
198. those of Wickliff. Persecution under the statute De Haeretico Comburendo had all but extinguished Lollardy by the mid-15th century.
202. the Church to heal. In G. Hall, p. 139, the Archbishop of Spalata confesses that, but for 'fire' and 'axe' heretical sects would proliferate among 'the Romanists themselves'.
203 ff. Charles IX of France; the massacre of St Bartholomew's day, 1572. According to the account Oldham had read in Foulis, 'Charles iX, King of France, under the pretence of … the King of Navar's Marriage, invited all the Grandees of the Hugonots of France, with Leicester and Burghley … and the Sons of the Palatine Elector …, intending … to ruine the Protestant Religion. The French … appear'd, [and] were, by order of the King, in one day, [(to the number of] several thousands) slain without respect to Sex, age, or quality…. [B]y the Kings Order was [this Massacre] also acted all France over, to the unthought-of slaughter of many thousand Protestants…. As for the Romanists in France, they celebrated these slaughters as one of the most glorious actions in the world; … But the greatest joy of all, for this slaughter, was at Rome' (p. 416).
210. Cf. Settle, The Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 61:
- Let single Murthers Common Hands suffice
- I Scorn to kill less than whole Families.
211 f. He scorn'd Retail. Cf. Cleveland's 'Smectymnuus', ll. 65–7:
- Caligula, whose pride was Mankinds Baile,
- As who disdain'd to murder by retalle,
- Wishing the world had but one generall Neck….
212. by th' great. En gros—by wholesale. After Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), II.i, p. 14:
- Death did at length so many slain forget;
- And lost the tale, and took 'em by the great.
219. Macguire. The anomalous Macquire or Mac-quire of the substantive editions seems not to have been Oldham's form. Connor, Lord Macguire, Baron of Enniskillen, was executed for his share in the rising of 1641, dubbed by the Protestants the Irish Massacre. For details of Macguire's bloody deeds, see The Whole Triall of Connor Lord Macguire (1645); and The last Speeches and Confession of the Lord Maguire … (Feb. 1644), sig. A3V.
233 ff. Dare you beyond, &c. Cf. Jonson, Catiline:
- These are too light. Fate will haue thee pursue
- Deedes, after which, no mischiefe can be new. (I.43–4)
- … no rage, gone before, or comming after,
- May weigh with yours. (III.649–50)
And cf. 'Jesuits I', l. 332 n.
235–40. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, III.746–9:
- The cruelty, I meane to act, I wish
- Should be call'd mine, and tarry in my name;
- Whil'st after-ages doe toile out themselues
- In thinking for the like, but doe it lesse.
Garnet exhorts the Jesuits to baffle this wish of Catiline's; whose 'madder Poet' is of course Ben Jonson.
240. Joseph Hall, Virgidemiarum, IV.vii.9–12, had imagined Juvenal's ghost making the same comparison.
243 ff. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.121: 'such an action, which the gods will enuy', and Otway, Don Carlos (1676), I.i, p. 3:
- What King, what God would not his pow'r forgo
- T' enjoy so much Divinity below?
245. A Complice. Bell emended to 'Accomplice'. But Oldham had deliberately preferred the present form, altering, on R293, 'Accomplice' into 'A Complice'.
247 f., 256.
- Nor let Delay (the bane of Enterprize)
- Marr yours…. Break out upon your Foes.
Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, II.xxxviii: 'Why sit we here …? Kindle your … rage … breake out upon the light.' Probably the 'breaking' of Otway's grenade (see below, ll. 254 ff. n.) formed a hook-and-eye with Fletcher's 'breake out upon'. In 1682 the storm-imagery, such as Fletcher has in II. xxxix f., takes over the function of the image from Otway. With Oldham's first phrase, cf. Jonson, Catiline, III.ii.495 f.
252 f. Forestall even wishes. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, III.i.184–6:
- Doe, and not wish; something, that wishes take not:
- So sodaine, as the gods should not preuent,
- Nor scarce haue time, to feare.
L. 253 reflects Otway, Don Carlos (1676), p. 58:
- No, I will stay and ev'n thy prayr's prevent
- I would not give thee leisure to repent.
254 ff. Oldham revised l. 257 away from his source in Otway's simile of the 'Granado' which 'breaking deals destruction all around' (Don Carlos (1676)). See Appendix III (R250), and Introduction, p. lxxxii f.
258. In the speech of Sylla's Ghost (Jonson, Catiline, I.65 f.), Rome's blinded walls are not to
- … recouer sight, till their owne flames
- Doe light them to their ruines.
258 f. That the Catholics were responsible for the Great Fire was generally believed: an inscription to that effect was placed on the Monument in 1681 (cf. Luttrell, i.115). Oates declared that they were preparing to repeat their exploit. It was rumoured that Lord Ossory had discovered a hundred thousand fireballs and hand-grenades concealed in Somerset House. See Marvell, Poems (3rd edn.), i.194 (l. 14 and n.); Pollock, pp. 11, 84, 171 f.
262 f. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.i:
- I would haue seene Rome burn't,
- By this time; and her ashes in an vrne.
264. Divan. The probability that this was suggested by 'our dark divan' (the infernal council) in Dryden, State of Innocence (1677), I.i, p. 3, is increased by Oldham's having made a separate memorandum, 'Divan', as a usable idea, on R267.
265. that damn'd Committee. Parliament. On the committees for investigating the Plot, set up by the Commons (21 Oct. 1678), Lords (23 Oct.), and pg 364Council (1st week of Dec.), see Kenyon, pp. 81, 129; but no 'prelates' (l. 269) sat on these.
271 ff. Lop off the Lords / And Commons, &c. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, IV.iii.597 f.:
- Let me kill all the Senate, for my share
- Ile doe it at next sitting.
279 ff. See Jesuits Assassins: All Extracted out of Dr Tong's Papers (1680) for an account of the supposed extent of the massacre planned by the Jesuits.
279–303. Cf. Jonson's Cataline, l.240–4:
- Not infants, in the porch of life were free.
- The sick, the old, that could but hope a day
- Longer, by nature's bountie, not let stay.
- Virgins, and widdowes, matrons, pregnant wiues,
- All dyed.
- When husbands, wiues,
- Grandsires, and nephewes, seruants and their lords,
- Virgins, and priests, the infant, and the nurse
- Goe all to hell, together, in a fleet.
See also below, ll. 281 ff., 292 ff.; 'Jesuits II', ll. 98 ff.; 'Jesuits III', ll. 153, nn. The multiple sources in heroic drama are documented in Appendix III (R265, 'Triumph'd …', 'I'th midst …', and nn.). Cf. also Lucan, Pharsalia, II.99–110, 148–65 (Marius' and Sulla's proscriptions).
281 ff. … spare / No Age, Degree, or Sex. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.239, 244:
[Cethegus] No age was spar'd, no sexe.:
[Catiline] Nay no degree….
'Twas crime inough, that they had liues.
288 ff. Spare not young Infants. Cf. Lee, Mithridates (1678), V.i., p. 56:
- … Lightning edge your Souls
- To mow off hoary Heads, hurl Infants puling
- From the lug'd breast, kill in very Womb:
- To Beauties cries be deaf….
In R265 l. 288 runs: 'Pitty not Infants lugging at ye Brest'.
299. Age, just crawling on the verge of Life. Cf. Dryden, All for Love (1678), II.i, p. 19: an 'old age' that would 'crawl upon the utmost verge of life'. On R265, besides this echo, Oldham has two nn. from the same play, for which and a n. on R162, see Appendix III.
303. Cf. the like hypocrisy in Don Carlos (1676), IV.i, p. 44.
306 f. Cf. Lee, Sophonisba (1676), III.ii, p. 38: 'not one shall dare / … for his Soul whisper a dying Prayer.'
309. witty handsome malice. Cf. Lee's 'witty horrour' (Mithridates (1678), III.ii, p. 31).
312. The thought is from Jonson, Sejanus, II.198 f.
314. Cf. Otway, Don Carlos (1676), IV.i, p. 49: 'And childless Mothers curse your Memory'. See Appendix III (R286).
315–17. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, III.i.189 f.
317–20. Cf. Lee, Mithridates (1678), V.i, p. 66:
- … make all Synope
- But one vast Grave, to hold the infinite bodies
- Which we must shovel in …
and Settle, The Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 24:
- I'le send such throngs to the infernal shade,
- Betray, and kill, and damn to that degree,
- I'le crowd up Hell, till there's no Room for Me.
Cf. also Fletcher, Locusts, II.xx.
321–5. The 'Tyrants wish' is Caligula's in Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum, IV.xxx.2: 'Infensus turbae faventi adversus studium suum, exclamavit: Utinam P. R. unam cervicem haberet', alluded to also by Cleveland (see above, ll. 211 f., n.) and adapted by Fletcher, Locusts, IV. xxx:
- The Flowre of England in one houre I'le mow,
- And head all th'Isle with one unseen, unfenced blow.
Even closer to Fletcher than Oldham's ll. 321 ff. are his drafts on R252. L. 322 echoes from the same stanza 'To kill a King is stale, and I disdaine' —a draft (R261) picks up the word 'disdain'.
326–37. Cf. three passages in Jonson's Catiline:
- … what the Gaule, or Moore could not effect,
- Nor emulous Carthage, with their length of spight … (III.752 f.)
- … what / … HANNIBAL could not haue wish'd to see …
- (Sylla, I.23–4)
- What all the seuerall ills, that visite earth,
- (Brought forth by night, with a sinister birth),
- Plagues, famine, fire could not reach vnto
- The sword, nor surfets; let thy furie doe. (Sylla, I.49–52.)
326 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Discourse … Concerning … Cromwell' (Essays, p. 353):
- Let rather Roman come again,
- Or Saxon, Norman, or the Dane….
328–31. Cf. A Satyrical Poem on the most Horrid and Execrable Jesuitish Plot in 1678 … By … W.M. (1679):
- We ruminate on th' past, and present Age;
- Th' Laments of BELGIA under D'ALVA'S Rage …
- Th' INVINCIBLE-ARMADO, and its Freight
- Of SPANISH VILLAINY in EIGHTY EIGHT.
329. fraight of cruelties. I take 'fraight' in the 1682 text to be Oldham's revision of his original 'fraught' (1681, R261, R293), though it may be a compositor's normalization. As a noun, 'fraught' was a Scotticism (OED). Oldham is likely to have caught the form from his source, Fletcher, Locusts, V.xxxv (where the word is not a noun), on the Armada, 'Full fraught with brands, whips, gyves for English slaves'. It looks as though by 1682 he had realized the correct noun was 'fraight'. For the allusion, see Thomas Deloney's ballad (repr. Ebsworth, vi.387): A new Ballet of the straunge and most cruell Whippes which the Spanyards had prepared to Whippe and torment English men and women: which were found and taken at the ouerthrow of certain of the Spanish Shippes in July last past (1588).
330 f. Medina … bloudier Alva. The Duke of Medina Sidonia, commander of the Armada, and the Duke of Alva, who, whilst governor of the Netherlands (1567–73), erected and presided over the 'Council of Blood'. Alva is said to have boasted that he had executed 18,600 persons; his victims were not quite so numerous.
332 f. See Appendix III (R293) on Oldham's use of lines from Lee, Rival Queens (1677).
338 f. Cf. Envy's speech in Bk I of Cowley's 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 247):
- …—but I lose time, methinks, and should
- Perform new acts whilst I relate the old….
341. waste a pray'r. 'Waste' is authentic: not to be emended to 'waft'. Both Settle (The Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 19) and Rochester (Poems, p. 50) have 'lose a prayer', though with them the phrase does not, like Garnet's, express scorn of prayer itself.
341–50. See Appendix III, R260 and 261 ('The Infernal Prayer').
342. Hell be your aid. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, I.16 (Sylla): 'PLUTO be at thy councells'.
Judging from what evidence there is, this satire was composed a little after the Prologue. It is subsequent to 14 Mar. 1678/9: R194 bears the heading (only) of a letter so dated, which has been scored through, prior, no doubt, to writing out a passage of the satire on the same sheet: some lines on R194 itself. Oldham alludes, in ll. 206–20, to Jesuits' sworn protestations of innocence at the very gallows. The great outburst of pamphlets on their 'dying Vows' came after the execution of 'the Five Jesuits' on 20 June. Ten may be seen in Bodley Ashmole 1684 (VI to XV): cf., e.g. one perhaps by John Williams, 'In which it is proved, that according to their Principles', the Five 'not only might, but also ought, to die … with Solemn Protestations of their Innocency'; and Clarkson(?), The True Speeches of Thomas Whitebread … William Harcourt … John Fenwick … John Gavan … and Anthony Turner, … before their Execution at Tyburn June the 20th MDCLXXIX. With Animadversions … Plainly discovering the fallacy of all their Asseverations of their Innocency (1679). Hence the present satire may most likely have been written after 20 June. But the evidence is not watertight. As early as the epilogue to Troilus and Cressida (produced c.Apr.), Dryden could gibe at Catholics 'sure oth' Churches Blessing / By suffering for the Plot without confessing'. However, this final couplet might have been added before publication, subsequent to 20 June. Of those suffering for the Plot before Whitebread and his companions (see below, l. 277 n.) only Grove (24 Jan.) and Pickering (9 May) were Jesuits. Oldham's reference to Scotch Covenanters would have most point if he were writing in June or shortly after: the Conventiclers' rising (see l. 241 n.) was not defeated till the 22nd, and c. 30 May Rochester told Savile that this war 'takes up all the discourse of politic persons' (Letters, p. 225).
1–4. Cf. Cowley's Discourse … Concerning … Cromwell (Essays, pp. 352–3):
- If by our sins the Divine Justice be
- Call'd to this last extremity …
- Come rather Pestilence and reap us down
- Come Gods sword rather than our own.
Cromwell brings 'worse Plagues than Egypt knew' (cf. ll. 15–19 below). See also Appendix III, R292.
15–18. Cf. Marvell, 'The Loyall Scot', ll. 108 f.:
- Instead of all the Plagues had Bishops come,
- Pharaoh at first would have sent Israell home.
The lines occur in a passage interpolated by Marvell or another; see Poems (3rd edn.), i.385 f.
17. See ll. 262 f., n.
31. Biscain. Aspatheia (Azpeitia) in Biscay (actually Guipúzcoa) was Loyola's birthplace: cf. L[ewis] O[wen], Speculum Jesuiticum (1629), pp. 1 f. See Appendix III (R166).
41 f. See 'Jesuits' IV.33 n. The 'brother Traytor' is Judas.
43 f. For the parallel with Paris in Hecuba's dream, see Appendix III (R178). With special aptness, Fletcher, Locusts, V.ix, had given Faux's mother dreams like that of Hecuba: 'Oft' she 'dream't she bore … A brand of hell sweltring in fire and smoke'. At II.viii, Loyola is said to take 'his ominous name', Ignatius, 'from Strife and Fires'.
45 ff. According to Foulis, History of the Wicked Plots and Conspiracies of Our Pretended Saints (1674), 'The French besieging Pamplona', in 1521, he had 'both his leggs grievously hurt'. Ribadeneyra authoritatively states, however, that he was left merely halting 'a little of one lege'. (Life of Ignatius, p. 133.) His disablement was the occasion of his conversion.
50. Janizaries of the Cause. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 648, where he refers to the Pope's 'Janisary Jesuits'.
51. Life-Guard. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', l. 97: 'They are the Gospels Life-guard'. On the Life-Guards, first regularly constituted in 1661, see Clifford Walton, History of the British Standing Army (1894), p. 6.
57 f. For an account of the Jesuits' trading activity, see Varenius, pp. 189–90. In Protestant eyes, it was the worse for their casuistical defence of it: they maintained (cf. Ranke, ii.430) that it was no different in principle from the agriculture practised by earlier Orders.
58. For Indigo and Cochineal, see Heylyn, III.222, IV.129. The correction of 1682, 'truck't', is confirmed by the MS draft (R245).
59. Factors: mercantile agents.
59 f. Cf. J. Eachard, Some Observations upon the Answer to an Enquiry into the Grounds … of the Contempt of the Clergy (1671), p. 129: 'others … are very much for trafficking with Christ: And in the late times we may remember … what a perfect merchandize they made of Christ; and what abundance of eminent holders forth of Christ and his cause were sent into the Country to sell Christ for spoons, bodkins, and thimbles.' Butler (Hudibras, I.ii.569 f.) had alluded to the contributions so gathered and used to finance anti-Royalist forces:
- A Thimble, Bodkin, and a Spoon
- Did start up living men … [etc.].
The parallel of Puritan and Papist is drawn in The Second Part of the Loyal Subjects Litany (1680), praying deliverance 'From a Preacher with Reliques or Spoons in his hand', and is characteristic of the views of a Church-and-King man. (I owe the quotations from Eachard and the Litany to Miss K.M. Eidmans.) Cf. also Pepys, iv.93 and n.
63. both Indies: the East Indies with India, Japan, and China and the West Indies with Spanish America. In the East, Xavier and his companions were the pioneers, in the West, Nombrega and Anchieta, the evangelists of Brazil. [ewis] O[wen], Speculum Jesuiticum (1629), mentions Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, and Granada as Jesuit provinces in the West, and China, Japan, Malabar, and the Moluccas in the East. Cf. Ranke, i.182.
66. Cf. R. Fletcher, Obsequies On … John Prideaux (1650):
- … perhaps their French or Spanish Wine
- Had fill'd them full of Beads and Bellarmine.
Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), the Italian cardinal, Jesuit, and theologian, was one of the foremost apologists of the temporal authority of the Pope, especially in his Disputationes … adversus hujus temporis haereticos (1587–90). See Foulis, pp. 68 f.
67–73. The Papacy blessed the colonial and missionary enterprize of Spain and Portugal: in 1593 Alexander VI divided the colonizable world between them. To Bartol̄omé de las Casas, the conquests were motivated merely 'out of a … blinde desire of heaping up Gold and riches, which is common to all that have gone into America'. See The Tears of the Indians: being an … Account of the Cruel Massacres … of above Twenty Millions of Innocent People … in … the West Indies … made English by J[ohn] P[hillips] … (1656), p. 103 (original Spanish, 1552); for other translations (1533, 1625) see Cleveland, Poems, ed. Morris and Withington, p. 122.
75 ff. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 31: 'the Spaniard in the West Indies, that killed up in 42 years (if we may believe Bartholomœus à Casa their own bishop) 12 millions of men, with stupend & exquisite torments; neither should I ly (said he) if I said 50 millions'. See previous n.
80–2. For devil-worship, with human sacrifices, in Spanish America, see Burton, Anatomy, pp. 668–9. De las Casas relates 'the cruel and hard usage which the Spaniards afflict those innocent people withall which bred in them such a loathing of the Spanish name, that … the Indians call them Yaes, which in their language signifies Devils' (The Tears of the Indians (1656), p. 73).
86. Cf. The Tears of the Indians (1656), A3V: 'they kill'd up the poor Indians, not as if they had been their Fellow Mortals, but like Death it self; and invaded their Land, not like Men, but like the Pestilence'.
89 f. Cf. Marvell, 'The Loyall Scot', ll. 178 ff., referring to Blood's attempt to steal the crown, 9 May 1671:
- He Chose the Cassock Circingle and Gown,
- The fittest Mask for one that Robs a Crown.
See below, l. 110 n.
98 ff. Your cool and sober murderer. Echoing Dryden, All for Love; see Appendix III (R263 and R265).
101 ff. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III.ii.111, 117–18:
- The Independents …
- Were Free of ev'ry Spiritual Order,
- To Preach, and Fight, and Pray and Murther;
and L'Estrange's story (quoted in Grey's n.) of the chief regicides 'seeking the Lord in Prayer' as cover for hastening the King's execution.
105 ff. See Foulis, cit. below, l. 151 n.
110 f. Probably suggested by Cleveland's 'Had Cain been Scot', ('The Rebell Scot', l. 63), combined with Marvell, 'The Loyall Scot', 184–5: 'had he but put on / A Bishops cruelty, the Crown had gone'.
119. i.e. a deed which Hell cannot find flames enough to punish, and which the Schools can find no term bad enough to describe. (The Schoolmen were known for their refinement of terminology.) Cf. Donne, 'Satyre II', ll. 35–8:
- … for whose sinfull sake
- Schoolemen new tenements in hell must make:
- Whose strange Sinnes, Canonists could hardly tell
- In which Commandments large receit they dwell.
See below, ll. 227 f. and n. R191, which has 'For which Hell flames, ye schools a name must need', confirms the correction of the 1681 errata, 'Title', for 'little' of the 1681 text.
123 f. Cf. 'Death of Kings / In your opinion are but vulgar things'—Second Advice to a Painter ('Now Painter, try if thy skill'd hand can draw': No. 24 in Osborne). Luttrell dated his copy '1679'.
124 f. Indebted to G. Hall; see Appendix III (R188).
127–34. Cf. The Black Box of Roome opened (1641): '… putting the knife into the intended Murtherers hand, they pronounce these words, saying … goe thus I say, thou magnanimous Champion of the chaire of Rome, and be valiant and God strengthen thine arme for the great works now intended by thee…. And thou oh dreadfull and terrible God, … [he] being by us disposed to this meretorious Murther, vouchsafe to fortifie his senses, and encrease his forces.' Cf. also The Jesuits' Manner of Consecrating both the Persons and Weapons imploy'd for the Murdering Kings and Princes by them ccounted Hereticks…. Translated out of Hospinian's History of the Jesuits (1678), p. 3: '… the Parricide is brought to the Altar, over which … hangs a picture containing the story of James Clement, a Dominican Monk, with the figures of several Angels protecting and conducting him to Heaven. This Picture, the Jesuites shew their bullie; and at the same time, presenting him with a celestial Coronet, rehearse these words, Lord, look down, and behold this Arm of thine, the Executioner of thy Justice. Let all thy Saints arise and give place to him.'
135. S. Guy. Guy Fawkes.
139. Both are notorious for their persecutions of the Christians. See R192 (Appendix III).
141. And … Tholouse. Lucilio Vanini, b. 1585, an Italian free-thinker, was arrested in Toulouse and executed on 9 Feb. 1619. See Burton, Anatomy, p. 690, and cf. 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 188 f., and R189 (Appendix III).
141 ff. Imitating Juvenal, I.73–5. Oldham's l. 142 is adopted verbatim in Thomas Wood's Juvenalis Redivivus … (1683).
150. Tyburn onely stocks the Calendar. Veneration accorded to men executed as agents of the Counter-Reformation campaign against the throne and reformed religion of England had long incensed Protestants, to whom it was a glaring proof of the Roman Church's blessing on traitorous conspiracy. For the 'Tyburn martyrs' of Elizabeth's and James's reigns, see, in The Fierie Tryall of Gods Saints … as a Counter-poyze to I. W. Priest his English Martyrologe (1612), 'A Beadroll of all such traiterous Priests, Jesuits, and Popish Recusants, as are [by I.W.] recorded for Martyrs in this Kingdome'. The Catholics who suffered for the Popish Plot were also at once acclaimed as martyrs by their co-religionists abroad. According to The True Domestick Intelligence of 18 Nov. 1679, a Holborn cellar yielded articles kept as relics of the Five Jesuits and Coleman; cf. also The Answer of Coleman's Ghost , and News from Heaven (Bodl. Wood 424(5) and (28)). Executions for the Plot in 1678–9, all at Tyburn, are listed at l. 277 n. below.
151. Unhappy Judas. See Appendix III (R194) for a couplet forming a link with what precedes, and a n. indicating the source: Foulis on the conspirators in Throckmorton's plot (1583): 'And besides … rewards of riches and favour …, they were promised the highest of Spiritual Benefits, because their Treasonable Actions could be no less than meritorious, by which they would be certain to enjoy Heaven … hereafter: For no less rewards did these evil Counsellors impudently promise to these bloudy Traytors. As if these Casuists were related to the old Hereticks the Cainani, who reverenced Cain for killing his brother Abel, and worshiped Judas for betraying our Innocent Saviour. But why might they not promise as much, when they knew that the Pope, who cannot err, had formerly bequeath'd such blessings to the enemies of Queen Elizabeth.' Other possible reminiscences of this passage are at 105 f., 133 f., above, and 'Jesuits III', ll. 570 ff., IV.250.
157–62. Cf. Jonson, Catiline, III, ll. 237–8, 241–2:
- Hath IOVE no thunder? or is IOVE become
- Stupide as thou art? Ô neere wretched Home …
- What will awake thee, heauen? What can excite
- Thine anger, if this practice be too light?
Cf. also Juvenal, XIII.113 f.
165. dispense: exempt from penalty. The dispensing power was the sovereign's prerogative of waiving the application of a law in particular instances.
165 f. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', ll. 117 f.:
- The Indian that heaven did foresweare,
- Because he heard some Spaniards were there,
and the The Tears of the Indians (1656), p. 23, which describes the martyrdom in Cuba of the native prince, Hathvey, who being called upon by a Franciscan monk to turn Christian and secure salvation, asked 'if the door of heaven was open to the Spaniards'. Being answered 'les, to the good Spaniards. Then replyed the other, Let me go to Hell that I may not come where they are.' Another version, cited by Morris and Withington (Cleveland, ad. loc.), from Wm. Lightfoot, The Complaint of England (1587), has the monk say that all Spaniards go to heaven, since they die in the Catholic faith.
167–72. Cf. Juvenal, VI.634–8. In imitating Juvenal's 'sed clamat Pontia, feci' (l. 638), Oldham is led to imply that Garnet died vaunting his part in Gunpowder Treason. This has no basis in fact, and Foulis correctly represents him as penitent. In two letters quoted by Taunton, pp. 317 f., and Caraman, p. 422, Garnet declares that he 'always condemned the intention of the Powder Plot' and that he had sinned in not revealing the general knowledge he had of it from Catesby out of confession.
172–5. Cf. G. Hall's irony, pp. 116, 119: 'What though Luther profess that he believes verily that Rome hath slain an hundred thousand Martyrs … grant that she hath been the death of so many heretiques, yet … the meer killing is not that which deserves either blame or approbation; all is in the cause that merits it' ('Mother Church's sake').
177. For Oldham's use of Lee, Sophonisba, see Appendix III (R180, R261, R263).
181 f. The well-worn Tarquin story comes from Livy, I.liv. Oldham had met, among other allusions to it, Jonson's in Catiline, III.644 f. In R247, opposite a draft of ll. 63, 65, 91–100, he jotted 'The tally of devotion was heads instead of beads Tarquins poppies': originally, then, he meant to equate the decapitation of each poppy (signifying a human victim) with the telling of a bead, as a measure of devotion, in the rosary. See also 'Jesuits IV', ll. 133–5 n.
184–7. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, II.xxxvii:
- Shall they spend, spill their dearest blood, to staine
- Romes calendar, and paint their glorious name
- In hers, and our Saint-Rubrick?
Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 93 f., which derives more closely from Fletcher:
- Tame easy Fops! who could so prodigally bleed,
- To be thought Saints, and dy a Calendar with Red!
and cf. ll. 148–50 above. See also Foulis, pp. 699, 706.
187. painted straws. Alluding to Garnet (Fletcher's 'strawie Saint') and what Foulis (pp. 704 f.) describes as the 'pretty Miracle' of his straw, on which his 'Face miraculously appear[ed] as painted … a Crown on his ead', attesting him a martyr. The straw 'tainted with a little of Garnet's blood' was carried from the scaffold by 'one John Wilkinson … as an holy pg 371Relique'. For its notoriety after the semblance supposedly formed by the blood congealed on the wheaten ear had been discerned, see Robert Pricket, The Jesuits Miracles , with an engraving of the straw (illustrated also in Caraman, p. 445); and H.L. Rogers, 'An English Tailor and Father Garnet's Straw', RES, n.s. xvi (1965), 44–9. According to Foulis, 'though at first there was but one Straw and Face, yet it seemeth that they had afterwards an ambition to multiply them'.
188. Mohatra: a dodge, stigmatized by Pascal, Lettres, no. 8, pp. 115 f. to avoid the guilt of usury. (The Jesuits did not deny that Mohatra was forbidden, but their theologians, Escobar and Lessius, found pretexts for the evasion of the ban.) 'There's nothing strange in it but the name. Escobar shall explain it to you. The Contract Mohatra is that whereby a man buies some commodity … at a very dear rate, and upon trust, for to sell it again immediately to the same person for ready money, and at a verie easy rate'. The man thus 'receives a sum of money in hand, yet is obliged for a far greater'—The Mystery of Jesuitism (1679), p. 100. Instead of the French, this translation of the Lettres may possibly have been Oldham's source. It was no doubt published, postdated (imprimatur, A8v, 13 Nov. 1678), just as he was beginning the SJ; and in the Argument on p. 95, MOHATRA, alone in caps., may have leapt to his eye.
190–6. An imitation of Juvenal, XIII.76–83.
195. For the Virgin's milk, see 'Jesuits IV', l. 187 n.; and for veneration of the Magdalene's tears, cf. Crashaw's 'The Weeper', and Southwell's 'Marie Magdalens Funerall Teares'.
199. Ladie's Psalter: the full rosary of fifteen large beads for the Paternosters, and 150 small ones for the Ave Marias. As the number of Aves corresponded with that of the Psalms, the devotion acquired the name of Our Lady's Psalter.
208 f. Knights of the Post were professional false-witnesses, so nicknamed, it is said, from their habit of waiting outside the sheriffs' doors, by the posts on which proclamations were nailed. Cf. 'Upon a Woman', ll. 91 ff.; 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 221 ff. and n.; and Hudibras, III.iii.725–30. Donne, in 'Satyre II', l. 73, also alluded to the shamelessness of 'carted whores'.
210–20. Cf. Burnet, ii.227 f., on the Five Jesuits, who 'at their execution … did, with … the deepest imprecations possible, deny the whole evidence upon which they were condemned', and sought, by repudiating the doctrine that equivocation was permissible, to prevent their denials being discounted (see their True Speeches, cit. above, headnote). Yet 'several books were writ, to shew that lying for a good end was not only thought lawful among them, but had been often practised'. (A pamphlet to this effect was recommended by Halifax to Henry Savile, 7 Aug. 1679; translated it would help influence French opinion (Foxcroft, i.182).) To his honour, Burnet, when Anglican divines 'went far in this charge, against all regard to their dying speeches', 'looked … on this as … the putting of them to a second death'.
217 f. Cf. A Protestant Letter to the Lords in the Tower, 14 Feb. 1680[/1], by J.B., who had perhaps (see below ll. 270–3 n.) read this satire: 'Do not imitate those who rather chuse to go to Hell with a Plot in their Hearts, than divulge it.'
223 f. Acquiescence in Jesuit claims to religion would discredit religion itself; cf. in Otway, Don Carlos (1676), V.i, p. 56, Heaven's apparent acquiescence in the abuse of religion by oath-breakers as calculated to 'make us Infidels'.
227–30. Cf. Donne, 'Satyre II', l. 35 f.:
- … for whose sinfull sake,
- Schoolemen new tenements in hell must make:
Cf. also Dryden, All for Love (1678), IV.i, p. 59, and below, ll. 278–85 n.
233 f. On R281, 'Can feeble Tests bind you?' shows Oldham thinking of the Test Act, 1673, and that of Nov. 1678 for 'disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament'.
236. the French Harries: see 'Jesuits I', l. 55 nn.
238–40. The heads and quarters of traitors were set up on poles above Westminster Hall, on London Bridge, and at the city gates. These last, too, were in Oldham's mind; cf. R186:
- And those alone ye crowd of Martyrs throng
- Who on our Gates and Bridge are Streamers hung….
Cf. Pepys, 20 Oct. 1660; On the Six new Pinnacles upon Westminster Hall, 1661 (Bodl. Wood 416 (90)); 6 State Trials (1512); Kenyon, p. 99.
241. Tories: Irish outlaws. For the party use, established c.1681, see below, 'An Allusion to Martial', l. 20 n.
241. Scotch Covenanters. Trouble with the Covenanters, recurrent throughout the reign, came to a head with the murder of the persecuting archbishop Sharp (3 May 1679) and a minor insurgent victory at Drumclog (11 June); the rebels were routed (22 June) by Monmouth at Bothwell Brigg. In England, opposition leaders had considerable sympathy with the revolt (see Jones, pp. 79 f., and Pollock, pp. 234–6); Oldham evidently had not.
244 f. i.e. 'Take goats and cloistered marmosites for chaste, and two-edged parasites for plain and open.' On R285, 'chast as … cloyster'd Marmasites & Goats' and 'Take Goats for chast or cloister'd Marmasites' confirm this sense. Donne, 'Elegie II', ll. 39 f., illustrates the reputation of marmosets:
- Here needs no spies, nor eunuches; her commit
- Safe to thy foes; yea, to a Marmosit.
248. in time. So the 2nd edition, a revision no doubt. The 1st has 'in them': viz. 'in these instances of Tories, &c.'.
252. the Swedish Law. Cf. W.M.'s A Satyrical Poem (1679), quoted 'Jesuits I', ll. 328–31 n., p. 6:
- Make th' POPISH Priests and Jesuits, stand in awe
- Of Execution by the SVEDISH Law,
to prevent the engendering of 'PAPIST Brats or BASTARD Protestants'. The Epilogue to Dryden's Spanish Fryar (1681) has an exhortation (ll. 39–41) to 'unman the Friar' by Swedish example, but the alleged law has not been traced.
254. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 348: 'Vt vivat castor, sibi testes amputat ipse; Alciat. Embl.' See Browne, Pseud. Ep., II.§4.
256 f. Oldham implies that in the Jesuits England is afflicted anew with wolves: cf., with anarchists or Scots as the wolves, 2 Henry IV, IV.v.136 f., and Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', l. 40, where Morris and Withington note as originating with William of Malmesbury the legend that they were extirpated under Edgar. He was said, e.g. in Grafton's Chronicle (1809 repr., i.123), to have virtually completed the extermination by an annual tribute of 300 exacted from Wales. Oldham's tax on 'every shire' is presumably a variant version.
260 f. Cf. Prologue ('Gentle reproofs have oft been tried in vain'):
- Hang up his mangled Carcass on the Stage
- To fright away the Vermin of the Age.
pg 373The Prologue is by Edmund Ashton (see Vieth, Attribution, pp. 266–8).
262 f. The Jesuits are compared to the seventh Plague of Egypt: 'And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red Sea' (Exodus 10:19). Oldham recalls the titles of Phineas Fletcher's Latin poem against the Jesuits (written by 1623) and its English expansion: Locustae and The Locusts or Apollyonists (both publ. 1627). A ballad of 1624, The Travels of Time: Loaden with Popish Trumperies (Rollins, p. 184), begins: 'O Happy winde those Locusts hence doth blow'. Dryden concludes the Prologue to The Kind Keeper (produced 1678) with an application of the metaphor to critics who are to be driven away 'with such a wind / That not one Locust may be left behind!'
266. Go foul Impostors: indebted to Cleveland; see Appendix III (R191).
269. slur … top … bubbled: cheat, impose upon, swindled. The dicers' cant terms, 'slur and top', are associated in Shadwell, The Virtuoso (1676), I, p. 8; 'top' and 'bubble' in Etherege, The Comical Revenge (1664), II.iii, p. 26. To 'top' is to retain one die at the top of the dice-box (OED); to 'slur', having placed one on the top of the other, to make the undermost slide without turning (The Compleat Gamester, 1680, quoted Farmer and Henley, Slang and its Analogues).
270–3. Indebted to G. Hall; see Appendix III (R284); cf. 'Jesuits III', ll. 491, 497 f.; 493 f., nn. J.B., the author of A Protestant Letter to the Lords in the Tower, 14 Feb. 1680/1, probably remembered Oldham's lines when he wrote, 'Let not the Priests Hoodwink you, or Blind-fold you, and then lead you to Hell.'
275. Chastel: Jean Chastel, a Jesuit who unsuccessfully attempted the life of Henry IV of France in 1593; see Foulis, pp. 591–2. He was executed, and the Jesuits banished for a time.
276. Robert Catesby (1573–1605), originator of Gunpowder Plot; cornered and shot at Holbeach House resisting arrest, 8 Nov. 1605. For 'Catesby', R197 has 'Campian' (Edmund Campion, SJ, 1540–81: zealous missionary, no conspirator).
277. Those executed for the Plot or related offences in 1678–9 were Staley, 26 Nov., and Coleman, 3 Dec. 1678; Ireland and Grove, 24 Jan., Green and Hill, 21 Feb., and Berry (who died a Protestant) 28 Feb. 1678/9; Pickering, 9 May, Whitebread, Fenwick, Harcourt, Gavan, and Turner—the Five Jesuits —20 June, and Langhorn, 14 July 1679. See Kenyon, pp. 99, 115, 144, 146, 153, 167.
278–85. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, I.xxxviii: 'let / Our Iudge fall short … / Let heaven want vengeance, hell want punishment / To give our dues'.
282–5. Cf. Sylla's speech, Jonson, Catiline, I.70–2:
- … Furies, upon you, for Furies call.
- Whilst, what you doe, may strike them into feares,
- Or make them grieve, and wish your mischiefe theirs.
- … search but my Soul
- There ye Infernal Furies read a scrowl
- Of Deeds which you want Courage to Invent
- Of which Hells Legends want a President [sc. Precedent].
pg 374Satyr III: Loyola's Will
This third satire was probably composed towards the end of the summer, 1679. Notes on Ignatius Loyola, made in preparation for it, fill the margins of the draft letter (R166) dated 'Rygate, June 3, 1679'. It was still no more than half-written at some date after mid-July. A list of 'Heads yet untouch'd' (R196: see Appendix III) contains a virtual quotation from The Excommunicated Prince (1679), an unacted play which bears Bedloe's appointment, 16 July, of four publishers to print it. Some of the 'Heads' are 'touch'd' in ll. 315, 321–4, 345, 428, 596 (see nn.); so these must be subsequent to the list. The satire must have been completed in time for 'Ignatius His Image' to follow before the end of the year.
1–4. For Oldham's n. on Loyola's career, see Appendix III (R166). At Loyola's death the Society of Jesus 'numbered thirteen provinces, exclusive of the Roman' (Ranke, i.182). Seven belonged to Spain, Portugal, and their colonies, and three to Italy; hence l. 4.
2. Fraternitie's. 1682 mistakenly extrudes the 'e'; the drafts (R164, 184) have 'Fraternity's'.
5. Laden with Years, and Sins: almost verbatim from Donne; see Appendix III (R176).
17–19. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis', Lucifer's council (Poems, p. 245):
- A Troop of gastly Fiends compass him round,
- And greedily catch at his lips fear'd sound.
The debt is clearer still on R184, which has 'catch' for 'wait', and 'Lucifer' for 'Monarch'.
21. the Wish'd Assembly. Apparently Oldham once intended to name individual Jesuits; see Appendix III (R164). According to L[ewis] O[wen], Speculum Jesuiticum (1629), p. 37, Loyola saw 'Hosius' ascend to heaven and believed that Codurius had been seen 'in company of many heauenly Angels'. See also 'Jesuits IV', ll. 35 f., n.
24–9. Cf. Lucan, Pharsalia, v.165–96, esp. 190–3. R168 has 'Mithridates p. 3.'
The reference is to p. 2 of Lee's Mithridates (1678), I.i:
- And as at Delphos, when the glorious Fury
- Kindles the Blood of the Prophetick Maid….
Cf. also ibid., p. 8:
- A Prophesying Priest, with start-up Hair,
- With rolling Eyes, and Nostrils wide as Mouths …
and Lucifer's council in Cowley's 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 245):
- Thrice did he knock his Iron teeth, thrice howl …
- His eyes dart forth red flames….
32 f. In Fletcher, Locusts (IV.xviii) also, the cause of the Roman church is declining and the Jesuits are its last support:
- Though Dominick, and Loiola now sustaine
- The Lateran Church, with age it stoopes, and noddes….
Cf. II.xxxiii; and for 'band' and 'I … have chose', II.xxvii and V.iii.
36 f. mad German … Genevah's Rebel … the … Swiss: Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli.
42 f. According to Foulis (p. 36), Bellarmine told 'the Pope that he had no limits or bounds in the whole world, but those which the world it self had'.
51. Th'incestuous Monk: Luther; he married a nun, his sister in Christ.
52 f. On 15 May, 1213, King John made over his kingdom to the Holy See to be held as a fief for a rent of 1,000 marks. Cf. Foulis, p. 278.
54 f. That Catholic rule, restored, would mean resumption of former abbey lands was reiterated in current polemic. Cf. 'Horace I.ix', l. 19; Junius Brutus, pseud. [Charles Blount], An Appeal from the Country to the City (1679), p. 8; Burnet, ii.215; Dryden, Pref. to Religio Laici, ll. 161–4. Possible resumption had aroused great apprehension under Mary Tudor (Ranke, i.201, 203, 211–14).
65. Universal Ghostly Monarchy: world-hegemony, claimed by the speaker to rest on spiritual authority. 'Universal Monarchy', a favourite term with Oldham, was a recognized one. Cf. Jeremy Taylor, XXVIII Sermons (1651), p. 229: 'Suppose a man lord of all this world, an universal Monarchy, as some princes have lately designed'- E.[viz. I.] Tonge, The Northern Star … or the Northern the Fourth Universal Monarchy (1680); and Oldham's Jonson ode, l. 182, 'Dithyrambique', l. 50, 'Upon the Marriage', l. 66, 'Sardanapalus', l. 35, and nn.
76–9. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 260:
- Cur ego vos … amicis
- Non monitis horter? digressum & pauca sub ipsum
- Edoceam? …
- Huc animos juvenes certatim advertite, & acri
- Mente Seraphinae mysteria discite sectae.
83. See l. 130 n., below.
84 ff. Cf. Fletcher's baker's dozen of monstrous Popes, Locusts, III.xxxiv–ix and his nn.
84 f. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, IV.iii:
- … a chayre, farre fetch't from Dodon ground.
- Thence without feare of errour they define …
and G. Hall, p. 76: 'But let them have been Devils incarnate elsewhere, yet if they be once set in the holy Chair no error in judgement of faith dare offer to fasten upon them.' The 'punk' is the legendary Pope Joan, who 'played her part as laudably as the greatest of their learned Doctors; and all because she sat in the same chair of Papal Office … though she left some blurr upon her honesty' (p. 80).
85. a Fiend. Fletcher refers to 'Sylvester II and many others' 'Studied in … black art' as 'incarnate fiends' (Locusts, III.xxxviii). Oldham may further have in mind the belief (Dante, Inferno, XXXIII.121–33) that before death the soul may be in hell, and the body animated by a demon.
88–96. Of these crimes which do not annul a Pope's character as His Holiness, Oldham drew the majority from G. Hall, Foulis, and Fletcher. Hall (p. 80) tells of Pope Marcellinus's idol-worship and (pp. 81 f.) quotes the 'blasphemous slander' repeated by Pico della Mirandola, about a Pope who confessed to a servant 'that even whiles he held the Papal See … he believed there was no God at all', and another Pope who admitted 'that the immortality of the soul was not believed by him'. Cf. further ibid., pp. 75 f.: 'Yea, let [the Pope] be an arrant Conjuror…. Let him be as perjured an impostor and as shamelessly incestuous as Alexander VI'. In Fletcher (Locusts, III. xxxvi, xxxviii f. and nn.) Leo X is an atheist, John XXII and XXIII blasphemers, Sylvester II a black magician, and Alexander VI, Lucrezia Borgia's father, husband, and brother. Foulis (pp. 328 f.) refers to Alexander VI's poisonings, and declares 'all the Roman Historians themselves … confess him to have been a Monster among men'. He discusses (pp. 144 ff.) the pg 376simoniacal elections of Alexander VI and Sixtus V, comments upon the complicity of Sixtus IV in a sacrilegious murder, and quotes Cornelius Agrippa as saying 'That he built at Rome a very famous Bawdy-house'. From these sources Oldham derives 'Heathen', 'Atheist', 'Magician', 'Perjured', 'Blaspheamer', 'Pois'ner', 'Monster', 'Sacrilegious', 'Bawd', and 'Simony'.
99 f. Cf. Buchanan's account (p. 258) of the magical effect of becoming a friar:
- … erit subito doctus, sapiens, & honestus
- Et gravis, & prudens: jam de balatrone modestus
- De lenone pudens, & de latrone severus,
- Et frater superûm, & coeli pene insitus aulae.
103. f. Cf. Foulis, p. 33: 'Bernardus Justinianus, Agent from the Venetians, assured Pope Paul the Second that he could damn and save whom he pleased.'
105 ff. See Foulis (p. 251) for 'that fond Rule in Bellarmine, that … whom he [the Pope] declares a Saint, must of consequence be in Heaven, though he were in Hell before'.
110. 'Rage' is evidently a verb. R197 has 'Whom when Gout or Stone afflicts, shall curse', with 'fit of rage' in the margin.
114. Pantofle. Foulis, p. 162, has this proper term for the Pope's slipper. OED cites Oldham's and Burnet's usage (the 'ceremony of the pantoufle') as 'somewhat alien or historical in tone'.
115 ff. The Pope's commands are 'esteem'd as authentick as the Word of God, or Holy Scriptures themselves' (Foulis, c4V).
116, 123. 'The Holy Scriptures … must … not be credited or trusted to.' (Foulis, c4V.)
118. Cf. G. Hall, p. 45: 'Have they any such … faithful Records as the golden legend, John Capgrave [&c.] which perhaps the Hereticks and some ill-advised friends may slander as lyes, calling them Miraculorum monstra, as Melchior Conus did'. The Italian, Jacobus de Voragine (c.1230–98) compiled the Legenda Aurea (properly, Historia lombardica, seu Legenda Sanctorum). Capgrave (1393–1464), Provincial of the Friars Hermits, was reputed author of the Nova Legenda Angliae, though it was not even extensively revised by him.
119. Amadis de Gaul: a Spanish romance, a favourite with Loyola.
120 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 33: 'the Papal decretal Letters … they say are to be numbered amongst the Canonical Scriptures'.
123 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 37: 'Albizzi … told two Cordeliers, that the Gospel would not be the Gospel, if the Pope had not approved of it'; and G. Hall, p. 90 (citing Bishop Jewel): 'the Pope may dispense (saith one) against Pauls Epistles; against the new Testament, saith another; against both Old and New Testament, saith a third … of wrong he can make right … saith a sixth'. On R195 the echo extends to a line which precedes l. 123: 'Again think Moses fable if he please'.
124. Black White, and Vertue Vice. Cf. Foulis d1r, and pp. 33 f., 36. He cites Loyola's 'Rule of Obedience': 'Iƒ the Church affirm that to be black, which our own eyes judge to be white, we ought also then to declare that it is black'; and Bellarmine: 'If the Pope should err, in commanding Vices or prohibiting Vertues, then is the Church obliged to believe that Vices are good, and Vertues are evil.'
127. Euclid. Cf. Foulis, p. 36: '[The Pope] is the Cause of Causes, and can declare square things to be round.'
128 f. Cf. (in Foulis, d1v) Tindal's hard-pressed antagonist, who 'burst out —We had better be without Gods Laws then the Popes.'
130. Missions. Cf. Heylyn, I, fol. 93r: 'To the three vows of Poverty, Obedience, and Chastitie … Ignatius … added the Vow of Mission: whereby his followers are bound to obey their Generall, or the Pope, without demanding any reason, in all dangerous or hazardous attempts whatsoever, whether it be undertaking some tedious voyage for the propagation of the Romish Religion, or the massacring of any Prince whose life is a hindrance to their proceedings.' See Ranke, i.152: 'They superadded the special obligation "to perform hatsoever the reigning pontiff should command them, to go forth into all lands, wherever he might please to send them, without … delay".'
130–42. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 650: 'What makes them so freely venture their lives, to leave their native countries, to go seek martyrdome in the Indies, but superstition?' Cf. also 'Jesuits II', ll. 53 ff.
133. Bantam. In western Java. It was in Portuguese hands and therefore a field for Jesuit missionaries at the time of Loyola's death. It fell to the Dutch in 1595.
136 f., 141. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, II.xxxvii: 'Venter life, limbe, through earth, and water fly / To winne us Proselytes?'
137. Like great Xavier's. St Francis Xavier (1506–52), one of Loyola's first two disciples, apostle of the East Indies. Oldham read the account of his mission in Varenius: see Appendix III (R166, 196). For Xavier's belief that the Japanese religion was similar in certain respects to the Catholic, see Appendix III (R196, 'Comites Xaverii …' and n.).
140. Burning Line. On Xavier's outward voyage he twice crossed the Equator.
142. See Appendix III (R197, 'Religion do you frown …' and n.) for a link with Dryden, Indian Emperour.
145. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, III.xiv: 'some learne of th' Inquisition / To finde new torments, and unused paines', echoed in 'Jesuits II', l. 282. Cf. also G. Hall: see Appendix III (R196, 'Sanbenito …' and n.).
147 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 416: 'Must Campo Fiori in Rome smoak by the burnt bodies of people by the Authority of the Pope, in this acting onely as a Secular Prince' (not ecclesiastical).
150. Cf. Milton's famous sonnet, and the diplomatic appeals and protests dispatched by Cromwell, which as Latin Secretary Milton composed. See further Appendix III (R169).
153 f. See Appendix III, R265 ('storms borrow …' and 'Ill kill …') for use of Dryden and Lee.
155. Cf. Dryden, cited Appendix III (R197, 'burn, ravish …' and n.).
157. Mufty: the head of the ecclesiastical order among the Muslims. Protestants were fond of coupling Rome with Islam as powers hostile to Christianity, each priest-ridden and under despotic leadership. Cf. 'Jesuits II', ll. 50 f., and n.; and A Second Consultation between the Pope and the Turk concerning the propagation of the Catholick Faith (1679; licensed Jan. 1678/79); the Pope makes overtures (which the Turk rejects) for an alliance against his Protestant heretics: 'If Universal Monarchy / You do receive from me / The Universal Pastor I / May be allow'd to be.'
182 ff. Cf. Buchanan, Franaiscanus, p. 257:
- Adjice praeterea quos praeceps alea nudat,
- Quos Venus enervat, quos & potatio pernox
- Ejecit patriis laribus, quos urget egestas
- pg 378Et quibus haudquaquam res sunt in amore secundae, …
- Quos scelus infamat …
- Huc, velut ad tutum cunctis est cursus asylum.
- Hoc procerum è numero crescit generosa propago
- Funigeri gregis: hi patres …
- Quos metus, ira, furor, mens tarda, ignavia, crimen,
- Ambitio, res adversae, fastidia vitae, …
- Et mendax virtutis amor, collegit in unum.
Cf. G. Hall's quotation of Caesarius Branchidorus (p. 25).
185. Cf. Fletcher, locusts, IV.xxi:
- Trade we with …
- Those who disgrac't by some misgovernence
- (Their owne or others) swell with griefe or spight.
200 f. Alluding to Romulus and Mahomet. Cf. Livy's account of Romulus's ourting of the mob (I.viii), and Heylyn, III.121–2, which describes how after Mahomet had produced 'some parts of his Alcoran … he next proclaimed Liberty to all Slaves and Servants … which drew unto him such a rabble of unruly people, that without fear or opposition, he dispersed his Doctrines'.
202 f. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 257:
- … Francisci in syrmate fune
- Cingimur, & tanquam pariter cum vertice radi
- Mens etiam scelerata queat: de sacrilegis &
- De parricidis, de furibus, atque cinaedis,
- Nos faciat coeli subitos rasura colonos.
204–13. Cf. Buchanan, Franaiscanus, p. 266:
- Primum iter ingressus tenerum de fronte pudorem
- Excute: nec vacuae est unquam pudor utilis alvo,
- Nec decet audacem nisi ficta modestia scurram.
- Quod si naturae vitio male firma ruborem
- Frons trahit, & subitas confundit purpura malas,
- Tum tibi vel frictus, vel Bacchi largior usus,
- Curaque & assiduae meditatio garrula rixae
- Durabit solidum rubicunda per ora cruorem.
220. Cf. Alexander Cooke, Pope Joan (1625), pp. 8–9: 'the chaires of Porphyry, wherein they say the Pope is tried whether he be a man or no man' to prevent a repetition of the imposture of Pope Joan.
223–36. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, pp. 645–7: 'Polititians, … make Religion meer policie, a cloak, a humane invention; nihil aeque valet ad regendos vulgi animos ac superstitio … they invent new religions, ceremonies, as so many stalking horses to their own ends…. Next to Polititians, if I may distinguish them, are some of our priests, (who make Religion Policy).'
231 f. Indebted to Settle; see Appendix III (R193).
242 f. Cf. Lee, Mithridates (1678), III.ii, p. 28:
- … Oh, feeble Virtue! Hence,
- I blow thee from the Palace to the Cottage….
249 ff. Cf. Ranke, i.153, 177: '… the Society of Jesus … was a company of clerks regular … but the members were nevertheless broadly distinguished from those of other congregations…. the Jesuits … dispensed entirely with the monastic habit, exempted themselves from all those devotional exercises in common, by which so much time is occupied in convents. … The members severally were also enjoined to avoid excess in their religious exercises: they were not to weaken themselves by fastings, vigils or castigations, … In labour, also, moderation was commanded.'
251. G. Hall (p. 67) refers to the 'self-afflicting Capuchine'. Heylyn (I, fol. 92v) refers to the Capuchins as being 'bound by their Rule to spend their time in prayer; and … generally thought to be the devoutest of all the Orders Monastical'. The Carthusians 'eat no flesh, live by couples, labour with their hands, watch, pray, and never meet together but on Sundaies'. The Cordeliers (or Franciscans) 'are bound to profess absolute beggery, and are not permitted to carry any money about them, or more victuals than will for the present serve themselves and their Brethren'.
257. Cf. Heylyn, I, fol. 93r: 'the severest kind of Recluse … is the Anachoret, or Anchoret, so called … because they use to live retired from company. They are kept in a close place, where they must dig their graves with their nails; badly clad, and worse dieted.'
261 ff. Ranke (ii.425, 428) describes the decline of the Jesuits' 'severe practices of private devotion' during the 17th century. Oliva, the vicar of the Society 'was a man who loved external tranquillity and the luxuries of life', and whose 'apartments … were arranged with the most refined attention to comfort'. Oldham treats a later abuse as inherent in the first principles of the Society.
268. Aulus Vitellius, emperor, Apr. -Dec. AD 69. See Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum (VII–VIII, ed. G.W. Mooney, p. 107). Notorious glutton and gourmet, in a vast platter he used to mingle flamingoes' tongues, scarfishes' livers, lampreys' guts, and the brains of pheasants and peacocks.
275 f. Cf. Buchanan, Francisaanus, p. 268:
- Frigida tu Christi, & comitum praecepta severis
- Linque scholis.
280 ff. For the Cainani, who worshipped Judas, see 'Jesuits II', l. 151 n.
284. Cf. Rival Queens (1677), IV.i, p. 43 [really 45]: Roxana (says Cassandra) 'scorns to sin / Beneath a God'.
287–92. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 261:
- Nec tamen aetatis, nec te discrimina sexus
- Praetereant. Primae quoniam lanuginis aetas
- In Venerem est praeceps, lucris addicta senectus …
- Vana superstitio mentes exercet aniles….
297. Surius. Cf. Cowley, A Satyre. The Puritan and the Papist (1643), Essays, p. 151:
- Not all the Legends of the Saints of old
- Not vast Baronius, nor sly Surius hold
- Such plenty of apparent Lies….
Laurentius Surius (1522–78) was a German Carthusian and hagiographer, who published in six folio volumes (Cologne, 1570–77) De Probatis Sanctorum Historiis ab A: Lipomano olim conscriptîs nunc primum a Laur. Surio emendatis et auctis.
297 f. Talmud … Alcoran. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 663: 'such gross fictions' as 'the Turkes Alcaron, the Iewes Talmud, and Papists Golden Legend', one would swear 'could never proceed from any other spirit, than that of the divell himself, which is the Author of confusion and lies'. St Francis' Alcoran is L'Alcoran des Cordeliers; Foulis (p. 2, n.g.) cites a version 'tant en Latin qu'en François', 1556. If the English translation, The Alcoran of the Franciscans (1679), appeared before the present lines were written, they may refer to it specifically.
303 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 8 f.: ''Tis no great honour to her, that they tell us, she was so familiar with some men, as to come down from Heaven to be pg 380marryed to them…. But because there is few satisfied with a bare Marriage, they will have her to be much given to kissing too.' St Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was said to have exchanged letters with the Virgin, who promised to visit him, with St John, in order to confirm him in the faith: see The Golden Legend III.16, 19. And cf. The Alcoran of the Franciscans (1679), p. 2: 'Whilst he was in prayer to the Virgin … The Virgin her self in a most beautiful manner appeared to him, and gave up her self to be held and kist in the arms of St. Francis from the beginning of the night till day.'
305 f. Cf. The Golden Legend, IV.242: 'When the Duke of Normandy had assieged the city of Chartres, the bishop of the city took the coat of our Lady and set it on the head of a spear like a banner and went out against the enemy surely, and the people followed him. And anon all the host of the enemies were turned into frenzy.
306. twelve Score: twelve score paces; long range for accurate archery. See 2 Henry IV, III.ii.41–5.
307 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 26: 'a great shoal of Fishes held their heads out of the Water … to hear Fryar Anthonies Sermon', after which 'some of them open'd their mouths, others bow'd down their heads, whilst others hum'd him; and then departed with a great deal of comfort'. Cf. The Alcoran of the Franciscans (1679), p. 52. G. Hall, p. 41, yields a hint for fish caught: 'if St. Tony had wheedled these devout animals into a net, and pickled them up … had [it] not been a breach of trust[?]'.
310, 311 f., 313 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 26: 'a Sheep bleated and kneel'd before the Altar; And the story saith, that the stones answered Amen, to blind Venerable Bedes Sermon'; and p. 27: 'A Womans Bees not thriving, … she steals a consecrated Wafer, and placeth it in one of her Hives, hoping it would drive away the disease, and bless all their undertakings. The devout Bees, in honour of such a sacred Guest, fall to Work, and with their Honeycombs, make a pretty little Church with Windows, a Covering or Roof, with a Door, a Belfrey, I and an Altar too, upon which they had laid the Hoast, about which they continually flew, and by their Humming prais'd the Lord. A pretty company of Catholicks, and a notable Argument for Transubstantiation.'
315 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 38: 'The Abby of Fusniack was horribly infested with flyes; Excommunico eas, said the holy Abbot of Clarevall; on the next morning those noysome guests are found all dead in the floor.' The story appears in full in the Bollandist account of St Bernard (Acta Sanctorum, August, iv.272). Oldham's 'Fly-Flap' comes from Joseph Hall (Virgidemiarum, IV.vii), who gibes at a lazy acolyte defending the chalice from a devout fly 'With a broad fly-flap of a peacock's tail'. For two other legends Oldham thought of introducing here, see Appendix III (R173 and R196, 'St. Nicholas sucking' and n.).
317 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 23: 'But I believe the Turks are not so good at flying, as some of our Saints are; for Antonius got from Padoa in Italy, to Lisborn in Portugal in one night, and the next night home again. And Ignatius Loyola in a moment whisk'd from Rome to Colen.'
318. Lapland witch. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III.i.411 f.:
- … mounted on a Broom, the Nag
- And Hackney of a Lapland Hag.
319 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 23: 'a German Dominican did but lay his Cowl upon the waters, set his feet on it, and so slipt over a broad River very cleverly. … Thus Fransois de Paula using his Coat or Cowl instead of a Ship, … passed gallantly over the Sicilian waves.'
321–4. On Xavier's 'Wonders' (miracles) see Appendix III (R196), and for the crab, ibid., and Joannis Eusebii Nierembergii … Historia Naturae (1635), p. 14: 'S. Xauerio effigiem Christi crucifixi, quam in mare sedandum miserat, cancer restituit.' Fausto Rodriguez testified (see Bouhours, Life of Xavier, tr. Dryden, p. 223) that this miracle took place at Baranura in the Moluccas. Stories abound of storms quelled by Xavier, but in none I have found does he employ the sacred wafer.
327–42. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 270:
- Illa tamen patribus seges olim uberrima nostris
- Fingere nocturnos lemures, manesque vagantes
- Lustrali composcere aqua, magicisque susurris,
- Frigida nunc tota est: postquam nasuta juventus
- Pectora crassorum male credula ridet avorum….
327–30. Cf. The Last Sayings … of Mr. Thomas Hobbes … (1680): 'For Fairies and walking Ghosts, I think that opinion is taught only to keep in credit the use of Exorcisms, Crosses, and Holy-Water, to lay those Spirits which never were raised.'
330. Salenger is Sellinger's, or St Leger's, Round, an old English dance.
333 f. This story from Erasmus' Epistolarum … Libri XXXI is translated by Lewes Lavater, Of Ghostes And Spirites Walking By Night (1572), ed. Dover Wilson and May Yardley, p. 43: '… this Priest vpon Ester eue, put lyue crabs priuely into ye churchyard, hauing wax candles on light cleauing to their sides: which when they crauled amongst the graues, seemed to be suche a terrible sighte, that no man durst approch neere them. Hereof rose a fearfull reporte, wherewith all men being amazed, the priest declareth to ye people in the pulpit, that they were ye soules of dead men which desired to be deliuered out of their torments by Masses and almes deeds.' 'White Sheets' in l. 331 probably alludes to another imposture related by Lavater, loc. cit., from the same source.
340. Hecla … Mongibel: the principal volcano of Iceland, and another name of Etna. Cf. Heylyn, III.133 f.: 'Stranger things are not spoken of Aetna … and here [Iceland] the superstitious people have the same opinion which they have in Sicil: that underneath must needs be hell, and the habitations of the damned. But to judicious men the naturall reason of these flames is plain and obvious.'
340. Patricks hole. For the 'cheat of St Patrick's little hole', Foulis (c3v) refers to Bp. Henry Jones, Saint Patricks Purgatory (1647). According to the legend (first recorded, apparently, by Henry of Saltry, fl. 1140), a deep pit, in which the pains of purgatory were miraculously set forth to view for the edification of the Irish, had opened at the intercession either of the great St Patrick or of an abbot of the same name. It was situated on an island near the source of the Liffey, and was enclosed in a vault 16½ feet long by 2 feet 1 inch wide. In 1497 Rome ordered it, though formerly served by the clergy, to be demolished as superstitious; but it was revived. It was again demolished by Order in Council in 1632.
341 f. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 271:
- Sed tamen hoc aevo temere miracula fingi
- Noluerim, nisi monticolas inter crassosque
Loyola died at Rome: to which l. 342 will thus refer.
343–50. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, pp. 272 f.:
- … Quapropter moneo dehinc fingite parce
- Somnia, nocturnos lemures, miracula, nî fors
- Aut apud extremos fieri dicantur Iberos,
- pg 382Americosve, aut Aethiopias, calidove sub axe,
- Et caput ignotis ubi Nilus condit arenis
- Unde aderit nemo, qui testis dicta refutet.
and see Burton, Anatomy, p. 881: 'Now for visions, revelations, miracles, not only out of the Legend, out of purgatory, but every day comes news from the Indies, and at home, read the Jesuits' Letters.' See further Appendix III (R196, 'Jos. Anchieta' and n.).
345 f. Cf. Life of Ignatius, pp. 327 f.: 'in Brasil … Goa … Malucas … and in the kingdomes of Mogor, and Pegù … our Fathers are resident (to omit, as more known, the firme lad Perù …)'.
351 ff. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 260:
- Sancta quidem certis fulcitur secta columnis,
- E quibus in primis locuples confessio largo
- Proventu est, gnavum non deceptura colonum:
- … unica nunquam
- Artifici imponit Confessio callida docto.
- Hoc telo armatus noster se regibus ordo
- Terribilem ostendit….
358. An allusion to Pope Alexander III who 'set his foot upon the Emperours [Barbarossa's] neck' (Foulis, p. 261). Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, III.xxxiv: 'that monstrous Prelate, who / Trampled great Fredericks necke with his proud durty shooe', and IV.viii, which may have influenced Oldham's phrasing (italics mine): 'findes for's lordly foot no stool, but necks of Kings'.
360. If this is a reflection on James, Duke of York, it would be the only one in the published Satyrs; see Introduction, pp. xxx–xxxii. A rough draft for 'Jesuits I' has 'Let lazy Princes wait, / Till their slow Crowns be given by Fate': see Appendix III (R260). Cf. Henry Savile, 'Advice to a Painter to draw the Duke by' (Marvell, I.217, 421), admonishing Charles:
- Let not thy life and crowne togeather end,
- Destroyd by a false brother, and false friend …
- See in all ages what examples are
- Of Monarchs murthered by th' Impatient heir.
On the other hand, the adage was commonplace; cf., e.g. Jonson, Sejanus, II, ll. 240 f.:
- And princes that will keepe olde dignitie,
- Must not admit too youthfull heires stand by….
367–76. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, pp. 260 f.:
- Ergo …
- … matrona locum ditissima primus
- Vendicet, aut dulci assuetus danista lucello:
- Proxima mercator teneat loca: tertius ordo
- Nobilium est, quos aut ditat quaesita rapinis
- Praeda, vel innocuo manus oblita sanguine civis
- Reddidit insignes …
- Sed neque lenonem, nec tu contemne latronem
- Spes modo sit lucri …
- Det miles praedae partem, furtique latrones….
367. Cf. Excommunicated Prince, p. 32: 'Misers unlock their Darling Coffers now.' See 'Jesuits IV', ll. 124 ff., n.
376. Gabelles: taxes (not, at this date, the French salt tax).
378. Becket's and Loretto's Shrine: St Thomas à Becket's shrine at Canterbury, and Our Lady of Loretto near Ancona in Italy. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 649: 'What a deal of mony by musty reliques, Images, Idolatry have their Mass-Priests engrossed … Lauretum … S. Thomas Shrine, &c. may witness.'
383 f., 390 ff. Buchanan (pp. 264 f.) relates an incident which left a Franciscan and his order discredited, 'Inter inhumani risum & ludibria vulgi', and continues:
- Sed quid opus toties sese objectare periclis,
- Et non parsurae cuiquam committere famae
- Cum liceat tuto, liceat rumore secundo
- Undique securos Veneris decerpere fructus?
399. Cf. the Epilogue to Dryden's Spanish Friar (1681):
- This gains them their whore-converts, and may be
- One reason of the growth of Popery.
Loyola founded an establishment for converted courtesans. See The Life of St. Ignatius (1686), tr. from Bouhours, pp. 182–3.
402–21. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, pp. 261 f.:
- Segnior in Venerem siqua est, accende monendo,
- Pande voluptatisque modos, formasque latentes,
- Quaerendoque doce Veneris quem nesciat usum …
- Interdum tanquam cupias reprehendere luxum
- Vestis, & accensum gemmis quod fulgurat aurum,
- Lacteolas furtim dextra constringe papillas …
- Et pede tange pedem, dextram dextra, oribus ora:
- Sic, dices, rides, sic molliter oscula jungis;
- Oscula commissas inter luctantia linguas.
- Sic te tractandum praebes, tractataque gaudes,
- Sic pede, sic digito, sic tu promittis ocello
- Hoc loqueris nutu, tali noctem abnuis ore….
423. Pietro Aretino (1492–1556). Though he wrote pious works and five reputable comedies, the allusion to his indecent compositions, such as Sonnetti lussuriosi and Ragionamenti del Zoppin, is a commonplace. Cf. 'The Vision', l. 55.
425–7. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 261:
- Talia quaerenti facilem quae commodat aurem,
- Sit licet antiquis magis illa severa Sabinis
- Nosse volet, notum, quod posse juvare putabit.
428. Carnaval. Cf. G. Hall, p. 19: 'They have their Jovial (which some sowre Cynick would call licentious) Carneval … each man striving to outgo other in strange prancks of humorous debauchednesse.' See Appendix III (R196, 'Carnevals').
433. Caius Petronius (d. 66 BC), Nero's courtier, arbiter elegantiae, and the author of the Satyricon.
435–41. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 262 f.:
- O mihi si calido ferveret corpore sanguis
- Integer … !
- Nunc quoniam haec nobis invidit serior aetas
- Commoda, & effoetis membris ignava voluptas,
- Vestrum opus hoc, juvenes, vestra haec vindemia….
435 ff. In his youth, says Fr. Polanco, SJ, who later became his secretary, 'He was free in making love to women.'
443 f. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 266:
- Sed me praeteritae suavissima mentio vitae
- Longius ac volui tenuit.
447 f., 457 f. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 262:
- Grande scelus levibus contentus plectere poenis.
- Nec precibus longis lacrymisve piacula dele
- pg 384Horrida, sed nummis loculos, non pectora fraude
- Exhauri, vel templa jube, vel claustra, vel aras
- Extruat, aut multis redimat jejunia Missis.
453. Compostella. The shrine of St James at Compostella in Galicia, like that of Our Lady at Monserrat, was a famous place of pilgrimage.
457. To expiate her murder of King Edward her stepson (AD 979), Elfrida 'built two Nunneries, Almesbury in Wiltshire and Warwell in Hampshire. An easie way of recompence for rich people, to ease themselves of the most crying sins' (Foulis, p. 207).
459–68. Cf. G. Hall, p. 73: 'I like not these severe & cruel Taskmasters, which make the way to Heaven more strait and difficult then it is … and is not this a more easie and pleasing way to glory, trow we …?' Buchanan's Franciscanus (p. 266) disclaims for the neophytes the route 'per Aristotelis spineta asperrima'; 'commodius patefiet iter', he assures them.
460–2. make the paths … Heavn's joys. Pascal, Lettres (no. 9), pp. 133 f., has his Jesuit spokesman explain that 's;les gens du monde sont … détournés de la dévotion' because 'on lui a associé la douleur et le travail', and therefore 'nous avons cru qu'il étoit d'une extrême importance de détruire ce premier obstacle': hence Fr. Le Moine's La Dévotion aisée and its well-deserved success. Pascal (pp. 134–45) goes on to show how the Jesuits excuse vanity, ambition, avarice, sloth, gluttony, lying, etc. See also Ogg, Europe, p. 344.
466. Purlieus: a deafforested tract, no longer subject to most forest laws; hence 'a place where one has the right to range at large' (OED).
467. In the 1681 version, the syntax was awkward, and though the simplification is not beyond the powers of an unauthorized corrector, it is reasonable, given Oldham's undoubted revisions in 1682, to believe it his.
469–71. Cf. Pascal, Lettres (no. 7), pp. 92–4: his Jesuit spokesman dwells on 'l'importance … dans notre morale' of 'ce principe merveilleux … notre méthode de diriger l'intention [qui] consiste à se proposer pour fin de ses actions un objet permis … nous corrigeons le vice du moyen par le pureté de la fin … et vous avez vu … que ceux qui donnent de l'argent pour des bénéfices seroient de véritables simoniaques sans un pareille diversion'. Cf. also pp. 80 f.
474. Sooth up. Cf. Etherege The Man of Mode (1676), III.ii.144 f.: 'Do not you fall on him, Medley, and snub him. Sooth him up in his extravagance!'
474 f. Cf. A Truth known to very Few: viz . That the Jesuites are down-right compleat Atheists [i.e. Pelagians] … (1680). Cf. also Juvenal, XIII.86–8.
476–85. Cf. Pascal, Lettres (nos. 7 and 8), pp. 94, 113 f.. 119, 121. His Jesuit spokesman complacently reports the means found by the casuists 'nos pères', especially Lessius, Éscobar, and Bauny, to exonerate men and women guilty of theft, homicide, usury, and prostitution. 'L'usage de certaines paroles' renders a loan not usurious; 'une nécessité grave, quoique non pas extrême' excuses robbery; the 'désir de défendre son honneur', homicide, even though 'vengeance' be the unavowed motive (cf. l. 477). The hired murderer and the prostitute may keep their gains, for 'les biens gagnés par des crimes peuvent être légitimement retenus'.
491–502. Cf. Dryden, Religio Laici (1681), ll. 370–97.
491, 497–500. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, I.xxiv: 'that sacred word (Lockt up by Rome) breakes prison … / Speakes every tongue'. G. Hall, p. 70, ironically praises the Catholic Church for not only discouraging 'Lay persons … to read the Sacred Scripture, but absolutely forbidding the use of them in pg 385their native Languages, upon no small penalty … lest they should understand and trouble their heads about it.' Cf. below, ll. 519 f., nn., and 'Jesuits I', l. 108.
493 f. See 'Jesuits II', ll. 270–3, and Appendix III (R284). Introducing the passage there quoted, G. Hall writes: 'it hath always been found dangerous to let the Vulgar know too much; since knowledge is an edge tool, which unskilfull hands … are … apt to wound themselves [with].'
496. Bacon: Roger Bacon (?1214–94), philosopher and mechanician. For his popular reputation as a 'conjurer' (magician), even up to the 17th century, cf. Foulis (p. 109), and besides Robert Greene's famous play, such chapbooks as The History of Frier Bacon (1683), and The three Famous Conjurers, Fryer Bacon, Bongey, and Vandermast (n.d.), and also Frier Bacon His Discovery Of The Miracles of Art, Nature, And Magick … translated out of Dr. Dees own Copy by T. M. (1659).
496. Haly and Albumazar. As with the Bacon of the chapbooks, it is to their popular reputation Oldham alludes. They were household words, because quoted as authorities in astrological almanacs; e.g. John Gadbury's for 1666, and William Lilly's for 1668 and 1669. Oldham has them also in the 'Character of an Ugly Old P—-', where the third member of the trio is 'the Spirit Fircu in the Fortune book'; popular literature—almanacs, chapbooks, fortune-books—is the context in which he thinks of them. Astrology was commonly associated with necromancy, but the association may have been strengthened through an Albumazar who was depicted as a wizard, the 'hero' of Tompkis's Albumazar (1615), revived Feb. 1668 with a prologue by Dryden which mistakenly claimed it as the original of Jonson's Alchemist. Historically, Albumazar is Abou-Maschar Djafar ibn Mohammed (?776–884) the celebrated Arab astronomer: known in Christendom by a treatise attr. to him and translated in the 15th century as Flores astrologiae. Among various Halys, the great astrological authority is Haly Abenragel (early 11th century); Sir Christopher Heydon, for example, in A Defence of Judiciall Astrology (1603), p. 165, quoted as from 'Haly' a passage found on p. 297 of Albohazen Haly Filii Abenragel, Scriptoris Arabici, De Judiciis Astrorum Libri Octo (1571). Chaucer's Haly, says Phyllis Hodgson (General Prologue … (1969), p. 218), is possibly Hali ibn el Abbas (d. 904), Persian physician.
502. Sorbonne. The theological faculty of the University of Paris; pertinently described on the title-page of A Truth Known to very Few (1680) as the Famous Faculty of Sorbonne, well-known to be the best Divines of all the Roman Catholick Party, between whom and the Jesuits there was no love lost.
503. Soveraign Prelate: the Pope is 'Sovereign Priest' where in Dryden's Indian Emperour the Spaniards assert his supremacy over kings: see Appendix III (R183, 197).
504. Cf. Rochester, 'A Satyr against … Mankind', l. 219: 'And, with the rabble world, their laws obey.'
505–8. Cf. Foulis, p. 38, on what is laid down for an Emperor when being crowned by a Pope: 'he is … to kneel and worship him bare-headed; then to approach nearer and kiss his feet'; after coronation, 'to hold the Stirrop till his Holiness mounts … and then like a Lackey' to lead the horse 'some way by the Reins'. But 'if there be two Kings present, then … one of them on his Right-side, the other on his Left, must lead his Palfrey along by the Bridle'. For instances, see ibid., pp. 181, 227, 253, 255, 259, 260, 299.
515. Peter Lombard (d. c.1160), Italian theologian, author of commentaries on the Psalms, sometimes called Magna Glossa, and on the harmony of the four Gospels. G. Hall (p. 55) calls him 'the great Master of Sentences' in allusion to his Sententiarum libri IV.
512 f. Cf. Dryden, Religio Laici (1681), ll. 400 f., 407 f.
519–36. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, pp. 269–70:
- Tarsensis fuge scripta senis, fuge toxica nostri
- Ordinis. O primis utinam periisset in annis!
- Aut mansisset adhuc hostis licet, ante renatus
- Vivisica quam lympha esset! tam multa dedisset
- Funera grassatus ferro, ingentique procella
- Afflixisset adhuc tenerum pietatis ovile:
- Plus tamen adscriptus nobis, plus factus amicus
- Obfuit …
- … vigilare decet, cunctosque monere
- Opportune, importune ne incauta juventus
- Occulta attingat prorsus mysteria Pauli,
- Neve in vulgares vesana audacia linguas
- Transferat, indocto non committenda popello.
- Quae quia non penitus fas est abolere …
- … saltem
- Efficite ut vulgus tenebris velut abdita caecis
- Sorbonae haec senibus lippis tractanda relinquat….
(With the last line, cf. l. 501 f. above.) Cf. also Edwin Sandys, Europae Speculum (1629), p. 116: 'yea some parts of Scripture, as S. PAVLS Epistles, they are so jealous of, and thinke so dangerous, that by report of divers, … some of theyr Iesuites of late in Italy in solemne sermon … haue censured St PAVL for a hoteheaded person, … yea he was dangerous to reade as savouring of haeresie in some places, and better he had not written of those matters at all.'
519 f. The reading of the Bible is compared with the wearing of illegal weapons. Cf. G. Hall, p. 138: 'to be sure to keep their people from fighting, they keep them always blindfold …: Andrew Carolstadius was a doctor of eight years standing ere he read the Bible: and what courses are taken to restrain Layicks from reading of that perilous book, hath been in part intimated already.'
531. Julian the Apostate, Roman emperor (360–3). Libanius, St Cyril, and St Jerome mention a polemical work which he composed in 363 against the Christian Scriptures.
539–42. These lines strongly recall Dryden's MacFlecknoe, especially ll. 18, 134–6, 145 f.
553 f. Cf. Foulis, p. 100: 'This Principle [of King-killing] was by Ledesma first publish'd in Spanish … and … had the priviledge of the King of Spain. 'Tis strange … that Kings should thus be persuaded to sign an Order for their own execution…. The Guisian Faction in France, making a firm League or Covenant pretending to maintain the Roman Religion … at last bandy'd against their King, Henry the Third … and … the King was murdered by one of their Gang.'
555 ff. Cf. Foulis, d1v: 'And if a Governour be not of the Roman Church, and so by their consequence be an Heretick … their Bulla Coenae Domini … will tell you how they are Curs'd and Excommunicated to the purpose. And according to the Canon-law, he that kills an Excommunicated person, in meer Zeal for the Roman Church, doth not incur the crime of Homicide.'
557. Peter-pence. According to Heylyn, I.98, 'their Peter-pence … was an Annual rent upon every chimny in the Realm, first granted to the Pope by Offa King of the Mercians, An° 730, or thereabouts'. It was abolished by Henry VIII in 1534. The Pope's excommunication of Henry (11 July 1533), though it preceded the refusal of Peter-pence, followed directly upon the confirmation of the Act withholding Annates; so that there is point in Oldham's gibe. An abortive n. on R253—'King Henry & his woolpack Fools'—makes it the more likely that here he had Henry in mind. On 'Annats. Advowsons. Peterpence' see R196 (Appendix III).
558. unquestion'd Pow'r. Cf. Foulis, b1v: 'For if you doubt … the truth of this Assertion,—According to the Church of Rome, Kings may justly and lawfully be deposed—…. The true blew Romanists [e.g. Bellarmine] will positively assure you, that it is a truth so certain that not so much as any one do make any doubt of it.' Oldham (Appendix III, R197) refers to Dryden's Indian Emperour (1667), p. 11, in which the Spaniards tell Montezuma that the Pope 'Has this your Empire to our Monarch given', and 'His pow'r must needs unquestion'd be below.'
560, 568–70. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, V.iii (italics mine):
- this Iesuite,
- Who (Loiol's Ensigne) thirsts for English blood.
- He culs choice soules (soules vow'd to th' Prince of night,
- And Priest of Rome) sweares them …
- … close to conceale,
- And execute what he should then reveale …
- Binds them to hell in sin….
567. Cf. Settle, Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 40: 'More Fierce than Lust, more Valiant than Despair.'
571 f. Of the assassins alleged to have been enlisted to kill King Charles, Grove was supposed to have chosen a temporal reward (£1500) and Pickering a spiritual one, thirty thousand masses (Burnet, ii.189).
573 f. Cf. Foulis's account (p. 547) of the promises made by the Jacobin Friars to Jacques Clément: 'he shall be well recompenced for the fact; if he die, he shall surely fly to Heaven as a Saint, and be enrolled amongst the Roman Martyrs on Earth; but if he live, he and his shall be provided for, that he shall have a Bishoprick if not a Cardinalship.'
579. to know the sundry ways to kill. According to Foulis, p. 103, 'Johannes Mariana', the most famous Jesuit apologist of tyrannicide, 'is as particular as any in the way of King-killing, laying down the several Methods and means of that wicked art'. Mariana's doctrine of tyrannicide in his De Rege is discussed by J.N. Figgis in Studies of Political Thought from Gerson to Grotius, 1907 (1916), p. 148. Mariana decides, for example, that a tyrant may legitimately be poisoned 'through clothes or cushions'.
581 f. Cf. Scroggs' remarks at the trial of Green, Berry, and Hill (7 State Trials 218, quoted in Pollock, p. 357): 'Such courses as these we have not known in England till it was brought out of their Catholic countries; what belongs to secret stranglings and poisonings are strange to us, though common in Italy.'
586. Steals … unseen. Indebted to Dryden, All for Love (1678), V.i, p. 77, where the 'best of Thieves' opens 'life, and, unperceiv'd by us, [does] steal us from our selves'.
589. Gloves. Albreta, Queen of Navarre, was said to have been poisoned with a pair of gloves. See The Cabal of Several Notorious Priests and Jesuits, Discovered (1679).
589. Saddle Pomel. Foulis (p. 465) tells of Queen Elizabeth's providential escape when Edward Squire, an underservant in her stables (incited, says Foulis, by one Walpole, SJ), put poison on the pommel of her saddle.
592. Pontick Mountebank. Mithridates VI, King of Pontus (d. c.63 BC), celebrated not only for having immunized himself, by repeated small doses, against all poisons, but for his knowledge of antidotes, whence mithridate, a supposedly universal one, took its name.
595. great Borgia or his Sire. Caesar Borgia (d. 1507) was the second son of Rodriguez Borgia (1431–1503), who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492. Both were suspected of dispatching their enemies by poison. See Ranke, vi.39–41 and nn., and Lee's play, Caesar Borgia (Sept. 1679).
596. Oldham's list of 'Heads yet untouch'd' (R196) includes the note 'Conclav' from G. Hall, p. 8, where the costly magnificence of the conclave of cardinals is described.
599. the slurr'd guilt: the guilt of the Jesuit assassin is slid on to an innocent man. OED gives no exact parallel. For the literal sense of 'slur' in dicing jargon, see 'Jesuits II', l. 269 n.
609. Cog: cheat; literally, controlling the fall of the dice by sleight of hand, or (occasionally) substituting a false die for a true one (OED).
609. equivocate. See Pascal, Lettres, p. 140: his Jesuit spokesman extols 'notre doctrine des équivoques, par laquelle "il est permis d'user de termes ambigus, en les faisant entendre en un autre sens qu'on ne les entend soimême," comme dit Sanchez, Op. mor. p. 2 liv. III. ch. VI, n. 13'.
611 f. 'It was his [Lysander's] policy "to cheat boys with knuckle-bones, but men with oaths".' (Plutarch, Lives, VIII. §4.)
617–24. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, pp. 267–8:
- Haec qui sacrilegis ausit convellere verbis
- Schismaticus sit, & Haereticus, sit torris Avernae
- Ollae, opifex scelerum, Furiarum filius, Orci
- Germen, & in mentem quicquid tibi splendidabilis
617 ff. Pascal heads no. 15 of his Lettres, 'Que les jésuites ôtent la calomnie du nombre des crimes, et qu'ils ne font point de scrupule de s'en servir pour décrier leurs ennemis.' He cites as a Jesuit 'thèse publique' the precept: 'Ce n'est qu'un péché veniel de calomnier et d'imposer de faux crimes pour ruiner de créance ceux qui parlent mal de nous'.
621. Cf. Foulis, e2r, for the like list of names with which Protestants are pelted.
626. A proverb: Tilley, W929 (cf. S522); his examples are predated by Wyatt's application of it to his accusers, in 1541: slanderers 'use for a general rule "Whom thou lovest not accuse; for though he heal the wound, yet the scar shall remain"'.
629 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 33: and Zachary Grey's n. to Hudibras, II.iii.155: 'some Popish writers' (he indicates examples) 'affirm, that Luther was begot by an Incubus, and strangled by the devil…. Mr. Oldham alludes to this aspersion'. Cf. also Foulis, b1r.
640. The three Sibylline books, purchased by Tarquinius Superbus, were consulted only at the express command of the senate, and were entrusted to a small body of custodians and interpreters, who made known to the public not the actual oracle found in the books, but only its interpretation.
647–52. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 273:
- Si quis erit fratrum qui suasu daemonis ausit
- Effere in vulgus mysteria condita …
- … haec prodere si quis
- Audeat, extemplo scelerato sanguine poenas
- Solvat, & aeterna compostus pace quiescat.
653. Cf. Otway, Don Carlos (1676), p. 63: 'But one thing more, and then Vain World adieu!'
657–63, 665. Cf. Dryden, MacFlecknoe, ll. 12, 112–15. On R171 Oldham names Hannibal, as Dryden does.
666 f. In Statius' version of the Theban legend (Thebaid, XII.429 ff.), the hate of Eteocles and Polynices, sons of Oedipus, was not quenched even in death; for when their bodies were placed together on the pyre, the flame parted into two. Cf. Ovid, Ibis, ll. 35 f.
676 f. Cf. Settle, The Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 52:
- A Train of Devils …
- Shall … with loud ecchoes houle;
- As if they watcht to seize her flying Soul.
Satyr IV: S. Ignatius his Image
Before the end of 1679 (see 'Prologue', headnote) this satire completed the series. It is subsequent to the sketch for an Advertisement, R166 (but that may have been drafted either between Satyrs III and IV, or between II and III: see Appendix III and n.). Its composition following on Satyr III scarcely needs confirming: one may note, however, that it contrasts in tone with its predecessors (see Introduction, pp. 23, 29); that its leading topic of Romish 'lies and legends' had a contributory role at III.301–50; and that it continues to draw upon what till III.315 were 'Heads yet untouch't (Appendix III, R197), and upon The Excommunicated Prince, 16 July. Two allusions inconclusively suggest a date c.Nov. Pope-burnings on the 5th (ll. 320–2) would be most recently topical after those (very numerous: Luttrell, i.29) in 1679, though they attracted attention also in 1678 and 1677. Again, Madam Cellier (ll. 295–7) was not altogether unknown earlier: in the spring James employed her in 'obscure negotiations' with Shaftesbury (Jones, pp. 75, 110): moreover, she must already have had some reputation as a Popish midwife (and it is with sex, as a bawd, not politics, that Oldham connects her). But it was from 29 Oct., over the Meal Tub plot, that she became notorious. Previously, I have not traced her, in prologue, epilogue, pamphlet, or lampoon, sufficiently a public figure for Oldham's allusion.
Priapus' image, Horace's mouthpiece (Satire I.viii), gave classical precedent, as Oldham claims, for Ignatius's image as his. But this established genre, though less familiar than the 'Ghost' or 'Legacy', was, like them, not without popular antecedents. Written in popular style for the political-ballad audience, there was Marvell's 'Dialogue between the Two Horses', exchanged by the brass and marble mounts of the equestrian 'Charles I' and 'Charles II', subjects of his 'Statue at Charing-Cross' and 'Statue in Stocks-Market'. Two satires in Rump, 1662 (I.140, 340) are given to inanimate speakers: 'A Vindication of Cheapside-Crosse', where it complains against its demolition, 2–4 May 1643; and (dated 1660 by Firth) 'A Quarrel betwixt Tower-Hill and Tyburn'.
1–6. Cf. Horace, Satires, I.viii.1–3: 'Olim truncus eram' &c.; and Fletcher, Locustae, p. 11:
- Hic truncum, hic saxum (saxo contemptior ipso)
- Propitium implorat supplex.
7 f. A draft (Appendix III, R257) establishes the sources in Fletcher and G. Hall.
9 f. See 'Jesuits II', ll. 45 ff., n. Fletcher too refers to him as 'that lame souldier Saint' (Locusts, II.viii).
11–15. Cf. Life of Ignatius, pp. 13–15: 'He … caused his sword, and dagger … to be hanged vp at our B. Ladies Altar [at Monserrat], seeking other … weapons to serue our Lord with all.' At her altar, throughout the night of 25 Mar. 1522, he watched 'like a new knight of Christ those his new and in appearance … weake weapons'.
16 ff. The 'well-hung God' is Priapus, god of gardens and procreation; his statue was used as a scarecrow. Cf. Horace, Satires, I.viii.6 f. and Jonson, Catiline, III.159–61:
- … were I set vp, for that woodden god,
- That keeps our gardens, could not fright the crowes,
- Or the least bird from muiting on my head.
28. Fox his Lists: the Acts and Monuments, or 'Book of Martyrs'.
33 f. See Life of Ignatius, pp. 41–50. He left Venice 4 July 1523, reaching Jerusalem 4 Sept., but was dissuaded from his project of spending the rest of his life there by the Provincial of the Franciscans. Christ appeared to him on the Mount of Olives. He arrived back at Venice in mid-Jan., 1524.
35 f. L[ewis] O[wen], Speculum Jesuiticum (1629), tells how Loyola, recruiting three new disciples, brought the number of his company to ten, 'vt iam … patrum δεϰὰς fieret: qui numerus olim vocatus Atlas, in quo etiam mystiaum latet. Sic enim fulciunt papatum Jesuitae, vt vertice supposito sydera fulcit Atlas.'The decemvirate were Xavier, Faber, Laynes, Salmeron, Rodricus, Bobadilla, Iaius, Codurius, Braetus, and himself. In 1537 he offered their services to Paul III, who confirmed the Order of Jesuits in 1540.
37 f. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III (1678), ii.605 f.:
- To hang, like Mahomet, in th' Air,
- Or St. Ignatius, at his Prayer;
and with Zachary Grey's n., citing Maffei, Vita Ignatii (1590); and Life of Ignatius, p. 201: 'in Barcelona John Paschall often beheld him in prayer eleuated in the ayre, a foote & more aboue the ground, speaking with God'. Oldham may have linked Butler's 'Mahomet' with what Foulis (p. 156) writes of Pope Gregory: 'I can easily persuade my self, that he had not (as the Turks story of their great Prophet) the Pigeon or Holy Ghost, at the writing of these Letters, directing him at his ear, as they say he sometimes had; and so they always paint him.' [italics mine; Oldham is imagining a picture of Loyola].
39. Galesh: a light carriage, calèche.
40. Cf. Life of Ignatius, p. 10: 'In this his change of life he greatly feared the weakenes of his flesh, but the … Virgin … appeared vnto him one night …, with her most pretious Sonne in her arms' so that 'from that instant to the end of his life, he remayned pure and chast'.
41 ff. See Life of Ignatius, pp. 256 ff., chap. 21, 'Of the miraculous Cures of diseases, done by the intercession of B.F. Ignatius'; and chaps. 22 and 23.
45 f. The College of Physicians was founded by Thomas Linacre in 1518, under letters patent from Henry VIII. The Bills of Mortality, recording deaths in London parishes, seem to have begun in 1592. The deaths were enumerated pg 391according to their causes; in, for example, The Diseases and Casualties this Week … 15–22 April 1690 (preserved in a vol. of broadsides, Bodl. Firth, b. 16), the list is sufficiently long and diverse: they are classified under forty-four heads, ranging from Abortive and Apoplexy, to Grief, Rising of the Lights, Suddenly, Worms, and Plague. See also the Bill reproduced in Pepys, vi, between pp. 234 and 235. The sometimes amateurish designations came from the 'Searchers of the Dead', usually old women (ibid., p. 283, n. 4).
47. Cf. Cleveland, 'To P. Rupert', l. 157: 'S. Peters shadow heal'd'. See Acts 5:15.
48. my all powr'ful Name. Cf. Foulis, p. 5: 'Valderama saith. Though Moses did great wonders with his Rod, that was onely by the vertue of the name of God written on it; and also what the Apostles acted, were onely by the power of the name of God: But as for Loyola … he onely by his own name writ in a piece of Paper, did more Miracles than Moses and all the Apostles; which was admirable.'
54. juggling Feat. A phrase from The Excommunicated Prince, p. 39; this page also furnished a jotting on R196 (Appendix III, 'Holy Medals …' and n.).
55 ff. Joannis Eusebii Nierembergii … Historia Naturae (1635), p. 418, alleges cures from the miraculous sweat of S. Ignatius's image. Oldham echoes Excommunicated Prince:
- We have anointed its Face, and set behind it
- A Chaffin-dish of Coals, to make it seem
- To sweat, and weep, by melting of the Liquor
- Our Springs, our Wheels, and such like Engines
- Are of great Use to make it move, and speak.
57. Spitchaock'd: the image is from eels made into a spitchcock: cut into short pieces, dressed with breadcrumbs and chopped herbs, and broiled or fried. R. Wild, Letters (1672), p. 9 applied it similarly: 'more souls … than all the Popes … have saved from being made Spitchcocks in that Kitchin of Holiness' (OED).
60 ff. Cf. Cleveland, 'Upon Sir Thomas Martin', ll. 4–6: not
- … Bartlemew Fare
- Can match him; Natures whimsey, that out-vyes
- Tredeskin and his ark of Novelties.
See Musaeum Tradescantianum: or, a Collection of Rarities. Preserved at South-Lambeth near London by John Tradescant (1656). The collection, begun by the elder John Tradescant (d. 1637?) and handed down to the younger (1608–62), was assigned by deed of gift to Elias Ashmole. Following his intention (announced 1677) in 1683 it was bestowed on the University of Oxford, and became the nucleus of the Ashmolean Museum.
61. Sands Waterworks. Perhaps the nine-mouthed fountain illustrated in The Loyal Protestant for 9 Mar. 1680/81, with the advertisement: 'Next door to the Popes Head Tavern in Moor-fields is to be seen that … Rarity … the Indian Water-works.' These were certainly exhibited at Bartholomew Fair in 1682: see The Loyal Protestant 15 Aug. onward, and Morley, p. 286. William Sandys's waterworks of 1635–7, suggested by Mengel (Yale POAS, ad loc.) were not a 'rarity', but sluices, locks, &c. to make the Avon navigable (Thomas Habington, Survey of Worcestershire, ed. John Amphlett (1893), i. 24, ii.468 f.).
61. German Clockwork. Cf. Pepys, 4 Sept. 1663: 'to Bartholomew Fayre … and saw some German Clocke works, the Salutation of the Virgin Mary, and several Scriptural stories; but above all there was at last represented the sea, with Neptune, Venus, mermaids, and Ayrid [i.e. Arion] on a dolphin, pg 392the sea rocking, so well done that had it been in a gaudy manner and place, and at a little distance, it had been admirable'. Cf. an advertisement in The Loyal London Mercury for 23–6 Aug. 1682.
63 ff. Cf. Marvell, 'Dialogue between the Two Horses', ll. 15–20:
- All Popish believers think something divine,
- When Images speak, possesses the shrine:
- But they that faith Catholick ne're understood,
- When Shrines give Answers, say a knave's in the Roode;
- Those Idolls ne're speak, but the miracle's done
- By the Devill, a Priest, a Fryar, or Nun.
Evelyn, 13 July 1654, describes a hollow statue contrived by Dr Wilkins, 'which … uttered words by a long concealed pipe … whilst one speaks through it at a good distance'.
67. Hocus Tricks. Hocus Pocus was a meaningless juggler's incantation like Hey Presto! or Hiccius Doccius. The derivation of hocus pocus from 'Hoc est Corpus' is unsupported by early evidence: OED attributes it to Tillotson, ante 1694, but see also Anthony Wood, History and Antiquities Of The University Of Oxford, published from his MS in 1796, ii.94.
74. Cf. (in reverse) G. Hall, p. 10: 'sumptuously … built', 'richly furnisht', 'gorgeously decked' as Catholic edifices are, 'the Chinoese and Indian Temples erected to their hellish Pagodi are yet much fairer and wealthier than they'.
80 f. See Pliny's well-known story of Cleopatra's wager with Mark Antony (Natural History, IX.lviii.§§119–21).
82 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 10: 'Look to their Images, and see how trimly they are dressed with variety of Robes …'; and Fletcher, Locusts, III.xxxvii.2; priests 'trimme their puppet god with costly gauds'.
85. The Lord Mayor's Show was an object of ridicule to those who were not 'cits'. See 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 62–6 n. The ceremony of riding Skimmington, as Marvell explains ('Last Instructions to a Painter', ll. 377 ff.) is designed to shame the husband-beating virago: the next-door couple are mounted 'on lean Jade',
- The Distaff knocks, the grains from Kettle fly
- And Boys and Girls in troops run houting by….
Butler's depiction, Hudibras, II.ii.609–58, 695–712, is more elaborate, and has the husband and wife on separate steeds.
86. See Horace, Epistles, I.vi.41–4. Lucius Licinius Lucullus (c.109–57 BC) was asked for a hundred purple cloaks. Ignorant at first whether he had any, he found himself able to furnish five thousand.
87. Cf. G. Hall, pp. 7 f.: 'the state of his Holiness at the Feast of his Coronation', 'with the glorious Robes of his Pontificality on his back', 'is enough to dazzle your eyes'.
88. Sicily's Tyrant. Cf. Foulis, History of the Wicked Plots … of our Pretended Saints (1662), p. 2 (citing Valerius Maximus): 'Dionysius of Sicily … took away a Golden Cloak from Jupiter, saying, that Cloth was warmer for winter, and Lighter for Summer; And so having cut off Aesculapius his Golden Beard, excused it, by affirming, That it was not fit for him to have a long Beard, since his father Apollo had none.'
100 f. The most notorious universal medicines of the day are described in Dr Christopher Merett's Short View Of The Frauds, and Abuses Committed by Apothecaries (2nd edn., 1670), p. 56: 'The last of any Fame with us, were Dr. Goddard's Drops, a good Medicine, but not so universal … as he would have made the World believe', nor in fact a new one: that it was 'Spirit pg 393of Harts-horn, some relations plainly argue.' The proprietor is wrongly identified by Biographia Britannica and the DNB with Jonathan Goddard (16177–1675) Warden of Merton College, 1651–60, and Fellow of the Royal Society and of the College of Physicians. Merett, in Self-Conviction (1670), p. 10, quoting and answering a calumniator of the physicians, writes: 'One of your selves, Dr. Goddard with his Drops…. Whom you might have distinguished from my learned Colleague, Dr. Jonathan Goddard, had you not a mind to have asperst him, … but the other Goddard was none of our selves.'
102. Morphew: a leprous or scurfy eruption (OED).
106. Wiltshire Drum. See Appendix IV.
107. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, II.iii.155, 161 f. See The Devill of Mascon. Or, a true Relation of the chief things which an Vncleane Spirit did, and said at Mascon in Burgundy, in the House of Mr. Francis Perreaud Minister of the Reformed Church … (2nd, enlarged edn., 1658). The first (trans, from Perreaud's French) was of 1653; another was published in 1679. This demon 'upon the twentieth of September' 1612 'began to whistle … and presently to frame an articulate and intelligible voice, though somewhat hoarse'. He 'continued speaking & provoking us to speak till the 25 of November when he spake these last words Ha ha je ne parieray plus'. On one occasion he 'desired us … that we should send for Mr. Du Chassin the Popish Parson … & that he should not faile to bring holy water along with him, for that (said he) would send me away packing presently'.
108 f. Cf. Heylyn, I. 158; and The Golden legend, ii.311: 'Clodovius the king of France … came to Rheims to S. Remigius and prayed him that he would christen him. And when S. Remigius baptized him he had no chrism ready, then a dove descended from heaven which brought the chrisom in an ampull of which the king was anointed and this ampull is kept in the church of S. Remigius at Rheims, of which the kings of France be anointed when they are crowned.'
116 f. Cf. Butler's couplet, Hudibras, III (1678), i.411 f. (given above, 'Jesuits III', l. 318 n.), and Zachary Grey's n. quoting Reginald Scot, The Discovery of Witchcraft, III.i.40: 'He (the devil) teacheth them to make ointments of the bowels and members of children, whereby they ride in the air.'
118–23. Altar-Fix: the vessel in which the consecrated Host is kept. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 655: '[† Lege Hossman. Mus exenteratus.] Hunc Deum muscae et vermes irrident, quum ipse polluunt & devorant, subditus est igni, aquae, & latrones furantur, pixidem auream humi prosternunt, & se tamen non defendit hic Deus.'
122 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 55: 'If some villainous heretical Mouse shall have unhappily light upon a consecrated host; let Peter Lombard be ask't, Quid sumit Mus? He will answer you Deus novit: … For, if he shall say, A Wafer, it is Heresie; for consecration is past; the bread is substantiate into the body of Christ. If he shall say, The body of Christ, how odious it sounds to seek a Saviour in a Mouses belly?'
124 f. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III (1678), ii.329 f.:
- … with Spels,
- For Hallowing Carriers Packs, and Bells.
124–37. See Appendix III (R196) for items from Excommunicated Prince, some of which appear also in a discarded draft for 'Jesuits III', ll. 285 ff. (R172). For ll. 124–7, 130–2, cf. G. Hall, pp. 53 f.: he banters the 'See Apostolique' for its 'exorcization of Devils', its consecrations in the 'Canonization of Saints, hallowing of Bells', and benediction of the Agnus Dei with holy water; and the Roman Church 'for the blessing of Clouts in the … cure of Diseases', and of 'Beads, Grains'. On p. 57, he ironically pg 394objects to the forbidden practice of hanging the Host on the church door to bless the air against hailstones, as encroaching upon the 'well-allowed use' of the Agnus Dei, whose wax is 'burnt for a suffumigation against Storms and Tempests'. For the hallowing of salt, and of balms ('Bawms'), and for the efficacy of hallowed objects against pestilence, disease, and sin, see Titus Oates, The Witch of Endor … an account of the … Conjurations of the Papists (1679), pp. 1, 17; 5, 21, 24: he also describes the christening of bells, and sanctification of crosses, beads, and holy candles, pp. 6, 20, 40, 43.
127. Waxen Lambs: Agnus Dei's.
133–5. Cf. G. Hall, p. 49, mocking the 'thraves and lasts of private Oraisons' in the Roman Church, 'which without the well-devised help of stringed calculation, could never keep even reckoning?' Cf. ibid., p. 51. See Appendix III, R196 ('thraves …'), R247, and 'Jesuits II', ll. 181 f., n. A thrave is two shocks of corn, generally of twelve sheaves each; a last, twelve (now ten) quarters of grain, twelve sacks of wool, or the like.
138–41. Irish Emma has eluded me. See Brooks, 'Oldham: Some Problems', pp. 572 f. Cf., however, Sir John Temple, The Irish Rebellion (1646), p. 105: 'Elizabeth Champion … saith, that she heard the Rebels say, that they had killed so many English men, that the grease or fat which remained upon their swords and skeines, might serve to make an Irish candle, jurat April 14, 1642'; and on p. 101: 'Elizabeth Baskerville deposeth, that she heard the wife of Florence FitzPatrick find much fault with her husbands souldiers, because they did not bring along with them the grease of Mistresse Nicholson, whom they had slaine, for her to make candles withall, jurat April 26. 1643.' Temple's book was republished in 1679. His second atrocity story had been improved on: according to Popish Politics Unmasked, 1680 (cf. Commons Journals, 15 Jan. 1673), quoted Yale POAS, ii.384–99 n., Colonel Fitzpatrick's mother 'was hanged … for murdering several English, and making candles of their fat'. Another instance of the atrocity being actually committed, the victim a 'young fat Scotsman' in Co. Tyrone, is alleged in Dr Edmund Borlase's History of the Execrable Irish Rebellion (republ. 1680), p. 124.
142 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 53, on the Papal blessing of flags or banners 'with the sure promises of victory, as in 88'.
144 f. See The Jesuit's Manner of Consecrating both the Persons and Weapons imploy'd for the Murdering Kings and Princes … (1678); and The Black Box of Roome opened (1641), p. 4, with another description of the alleged ritual.
145. resty Kings. This irony is from G. Hall, p. 92: 'the great Kings of the earth grow resty, … having got the bit between their teeth'.
148, 156. According well with Varenius's narrative (for the reference, see Appendix III, R196). Three Japanese Kings were brought by the Jesuits to Europe, leaving Japan in 1582: 'Tandum relictâ Italia reversi sunt … ferentes secum literas Papae Sixti, & reliquias quasdam, fragmentúmque sanctæ crucis, tradenda Christianos Regibus Japoniae pro sacro donativo et honorario…. Verum enimvero praecipua causa, quae Jesuitas ad hoc impulit, fuit … ut non parvum thesaurum indé reportarent vel lucrarentur.'
151. by Candles Inch are sold: a method of auction vividly described by Pepys, 8 Nov. 1660 and 3 Sept. 1662. The successful bidder was he who cried last before the inch of candle burnt itself out.
157. Cf. Lee, epilogue to Caesar Borgia (acted c.Sept. 1679, printed 1680):
- Old Emissaries shall their Trade forbear,
- Spread no more Savoy Reliques, Bones and Hair,
- Shall sell no more like Baubles in a Fair.
pg 395The Benedictines' lodgings in the Savoy were searched by Sir William Waller in Jan. 1678/9, and 'many Popish Trinkets and Reliques, and bones of Saints, or such presumed' were found. See An Impartial and Exact Accompt of the divers Popish Books, Beads, Crucifixes, and Images taken at the Savoy, by Sir William Waller … and burnt by order, in the New Palace-yard Westminster: the 11 of February, … 1678; and the town-talk recorded in CSPD, 1679–80, p. 40.
167. For St Catherine's hair, see Foulis, pp. 24 f.
170. See Oldham's n. from Varenius, Appendix III (R166, 'Xavier …') and 'Jesuits III' , l. 137 n.
173 f. The lanthorn borne before Judas at the Betrayal is mentioned as a relic by G. Hall, p. 61; and, as exhibited at St Denys, in Sir Andrew Balfour's Letters … Containing Excellent Directions … For Travelling thro' France and Italy, 1700 (written c.1668). That which Fawkes was carrying when arrested was preserved by his Protestant captors, and passed into the Ashmolean collection, where it may still be seen. It was constantly associated with him, much as their emblems are associated with the saints: cf. for example, Cleveland, 'The King's Disguise', ll. 57 f. and Samuel Ward's print, The Destruction of the Spanish Armada 1588, and the Detection of the Gunpowder Plot 1605 (BL, Catalogue of Prints and Drawings, I.i. no. 41).
175. Garnet's Straws. See 'Jesuits II', l. 187 n.
175. Becket's Bones and Hair. See Foulis, pp. 249–51 on spurious relics of Becket. Becket is coupled with Garnet as a traitor and no martyr.
176–8. 'Kentish long-tails' were proverbial: cf. Marvell, 'The Loyall Scot', l. 95. G. Hall, p. 45, assigns the alleged punishment to 'all the persecutors of St. Thomas Becket' whose descendants 'fools abroad believe … are at this day born with long hairy tales'. William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent (1576) cites the same authorities as Oldham: Polydore Vergil, Anglicana Historia ('British Histories') and 'the new Legend' (Nova Legenda Angliae, which passed under the name of John Capgrave). From Polydore, Lambarde represents the miraculous punishment as inflicted upon the men of Stroud, who in contempt of Becket had cut off the tail of his horse. 'Capgrave' (Nova Legenda, Rolls Series, ii.392) relates a different judgement suffered by the Brocs for the same mutilation. Since Robert de Broc was accessory to the murder, this may help to explain how Oldham came to attach the legendary punishment of the insult to the greater crime. The 1656 edn. of Lambarde (pp. 431–9) gives a critical account of contradictory versions of the story: his own copy of the 1576 edn. (Bodl. 4°. Rawl. 263) has the revision in MS.
179. S. Lawrence Coals: those which heated the gridiron on which he was martyred.
181. Wildefortis wondrous Beard. St Wilgefortis ('Wildefortis' is Oldham's form of the name in R196, Appendix III) was said to have been the Christian daughter of a pagan king of Portugal. Destined for marriage to a pagan prince, to preserve her vow of chastity she prayed God to disfigure her, and a miraculous beard grew upon her face; whereupon her father had her crucified. The legend cannot be traced earlier than the 15th century. Oldham may have known that a chapel had been dedicated to her at the church of S Mary-le-Port, Bristol. See further Catholic Encyclopaedia, xv.622–3; Richard Stanton, A Menology of England and Wales (1887) p. 670.
183 f. Cf. G. Hall, p. 62: 'whereas John Baptist lost but one head, now there are two sensibly to be seen; one at Amiens in France (as our Rhemists) the other in St. Sylvesters Abby in Rome; besides the scattered parcels of it pg 396in several places'; and Foulis, p. 15: 'those of Rome [assure] us that his whole head is in the Cloister of St. Sylvester; those of Malta say, they have the hinder part of it; Amiens and St. John Angelique brag of the forepart'.
185 f. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', ll. 79 f.: 'Tooth-drawers … use to hang their Teeth upon their Belt.' Foulis, p. 15, refers to St Apollonia's teeth as relics; and Titus Oates, in The Pope's Ware-house (1679), p. 39, declared, 'I have seen as many of St. Stephen's Teeth as would fill a Peck.'
187 ff. Cf. Foulis, p. 15: 'What might I say of the Milk of the Blessed Virgin, now so plentifully brag'd of in many places, that the famous Erasmus is of opinion, that it is impossible for one teeming Woman, though the Childe had suck'd nothing, to afford so much.' Cf. Erasmus's 'The Religious Pilgrimage' (in R. L'Estrange, Twenty Select Colloquies out of Erasmus, 1680).
188. (like Ass's): esteemed a remedy for the pox.
190 f. Apparently the Virgin's relief of Poitiers is here assimilated to the relief of Chartres (see 'Jesuits III', l. 305 n.), in which her mantle was decisive. At Poitiers, a mantle played little or no part until it became the centrepiece of the annual thanksgiving ceremony. In 1202 the mayor's clerk promised the English to betray the town, but could not lay hands on the keys: the Virgin's image was found holding them. Meanwhile, the Virgin herself, richly clad, and a heavenly host at her back, appeared to the besiegers, whereupon they fell upon one another. The 'Miracle des Clés' was commemorated each Easter day with an offering of many candles; latterly these were replaced by a sumptuous mantle, carried in the procession; a ritual 'toilette de la bonne Vierge' culminated in her statue being invested in it by the wife of the Mayor. See A.R.H. Thibaudeau, Histoire de Poitou (1839), i.248, and Ch. de Chergé, ie Guide du Voyageur à Poitiers (1851), pp. 172–5.
194–6, 198. For satire on false relies in Fletcher's Locusts, III.xxxi and xxxvii, see Brooks, Oldham and Fletcher', p. 29.
194. Souldiers Spear. For the Invention of the Holy Spear, see Anonymi Gesta Francorum et Aliorum Hierosolymitanorum. The legend is ridiculed by Oates, The Pope's Ware-house (1679), p. 17.
194. Passion Nails. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, III.xxxi: 'Cartloads of Crosse, and straunge-engendring nayles'. S. Baring Gould, Lives of the Saints (1872–89), November, 136, enumerates some 25 churches claiming to possess nails of the true cross. Cf. Oates, The Pope's Ware-house (1679), pp. 10, 16, 18.
195. New St Paul's was begun in 1675 and took 35 years to build.
196. Cf. Foulis, p. 15: Erasmus declared 'that if the pieces of the Cross now brag'd of and shew'd about, were gathered together, they would fill or load a great Ship'. See above, ll. 187 ff., n.
199. Tabor: Sir Richard Tabor, 1642?–1681, as Mengel (Yale POAS, ad loc.) points out. He perfected a method of administering quinine ('Jesuits' bark') to cure fever, and was credited with saving Charles II's life in his illness of Aug. 1678; in consequence, he became court physician.
200 f. See 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 88 and n. Cf. 'Juvenal III', ll. 228 f.
204. Cf. Excommunicated Prince, p. 39: 'These are their Tools and Impliments'; viz. the Catholics' hallowed objects and substances.
205. Trangums: trumpery ornaments; objects of contempt (OED). Cf. Wycherley, The Plain Dealer (1676), III.i, p. 47.
207. Luttrell, i.187 [May 1682] records the trial of John Wilmore, 'The 23d', indicted 'for spiriting or kidnapping away a young boy under the age of 13 years, called Richard Siviter, and sending him to Jamaica.' Witnesses testified that 'there was in generall such a trade as kidnapping or spiriting away children', and that 'there had been above 500 sent away in two years at Christmas last',
210–16. A rhetorical formula exemplified in Juvenal, X.219–26.
212. Jubilee. See Appendix III (R196; and R164 'A Jubilee in 25 Year'). In Room for a Ballad: Or, A Ballad for Rome (1674), the Jubilee is annotated as 'A Time when the POPE useth to grant general Pardons', now held every 25 years (instead of 50); the next being in 1675.
213. The Datary is an officer of the Papal Court: his functions relating to grants and dispensations gave wide scope for venality.
214. In his voluminous Theologia Moralis. See 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 17 n.
215. Cf. G. Hall, p. 27: 'in that City alone in the year 1565 … there were reckoned no fewer than 2800. Curtisans.'
217 ff. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis', I, n. 11 (Poems, p. 268), citing Jesuit authors: if we presume 'Hell to be in the Center of the Earth, it is far from infinitely large …; yet, … where e'er it be, it is not so strait, as that Crowding and sweating should be one of the Torments of it, as is pleasantly fancied by Bellarmin. Lessius in his Book de Morib. Divinis, as if he had been there to survey it, determines the Diameter to be just a Dutch mile. But Ribera, upon (and out of the Apocalypse) allows Pluto a little more elbow-room, and extends it to 1600 furlongs'.
227–35. Cf. Buchanan, Franaiscanus, p. 267:
- Nec minus horrendos purgatrix fiamma vapores
- Evomat …
- Ista relegatos coelesti à limine manes
- Contineat sedes, donec mercede soluta
- Extrahat è calida exactos fornace sacerdos:
- Is musset Missas, veniis venetur, & undis
- Irrorans, magicis findat cava busta susurris:
- Sed tantum dîtes cruciatu liberet umbras.
Cf. also Fletcher, Locusts, II.xxx: 'With gold buy out all Purgatory feares.'
235. The Fleet and King's Bench Prisons were especially used for debtors.
236 ff. Cf. Foulis, c1v, referring to 'Indulgentiæ Ecclesiarum urbis Romane Impressum Romæ 1509', and other works 'publish'd by their Authority, to procure the greater … belief for such like pardons as these…. And their … Prerogative is so great forsooth, that they cannot only pardon past sins, but sins to come…. And … their prices are cheap enough.' He then prints a list for absolutions as 'set down in their Taxa S. Cancellariae Apostolicae' (Oldham's 'holy Chamber') including Sacrilege, 7 grossos; Simony, 7 grossos; Rape, 6 grossos; Incest, 5 grossos; keeping a Concubine, 7 or 8 grossos; 'And if one Kill his Father, Mother, Brother or Wife, he must pay for his Absolution 1 Ducat, and 5 Carlins.' G. Hall (pp. 87 f.) likewise refers to the Taxa, and to the Pope's 'Diplomata confessionalia': a man bent on committing a sin, say of lust or revenge, upon purchasing one of these Bulls may choose his confessor, who is empowered to grant him a plenary indulgence 'in what case soever shall be propounded'. This accords with 'the old Doctrine that Tetzel … taught, … that the Pope's Indulgences could … pardon those sins which a man intended to commit in time to come'.
238–40. Cf. The Second Advice to the Painter (dated by Luttrell '1679'; no. 24 in Osborne): 'the Book of Rates' (viz. the Taxa)
- Will be convenient too, that of every Sin
- The Value may be known….
246. Ingle: catamite.
250 ff. Cf. Excommunicated Prince, p. 39: merely approaching 'our Churches and Altars' 'forgives some Sins', and 'the Sound … of Bells' 'christen'd after our way' has 'much Virtue'.
251 f., 256. Cf. G. Hall, p. 122: 'How favourable is that determination, that as for venial sins, we need not trouble our selves in confession with them.' For 'a venial sin … a little aspersion of holy water is sufficient'. Cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 124 f. and R188.
257 f. Cf. Browne, Pseud. Ep., III.xxviii: 'Some doubt many have of the Tarantula … of Calabria, and that magical cure of the bite thereof by Musick … the learned Kircherius hath positively averred it, and set down the songs and tunes solemnly used for it.'
259–72. Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus, p. 269:
- Tum licet adjicias magnae primordia Missae;
- Quoque sacerdotum gentem decorârit honore
- Coelituum pater: ut soli sibi fingere numen
- Murmure verborum possint, tenuique farinae
- E massa generare Deum, genitumque repente
- Frangere, sacrato fractum mersare falerno,
- Visceraque, & carnes, cumque albis ossa medullis,
- Semianimesque artus avidum demergere in alvum:
- Tanta sacerdoti cum sit permissa potestas …
- De pane ut numen faciant, de numine ϕ ϕ:
- Unde nomini fragili haec projecta audacia, ut ausit
- Christophorum vel Christivorum violare nefando
- Sacrificum verbo, aut sceleratam impingere dextram.
265 ff. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, III.xxxvii.8 f.: some, not
- … using any help, but of the Baker;
- (Oh more then power divine!) make, chew, and voide their Maker.
(See further my 'Oldham and Fletcher', pp. 418 ff.). Scroggs's sneer, 'They eat their God, they kill their King, and saint the murderer' (7 State Trials, 134) was notorious (see Kenyon, p. 128), and the gibe, from the Reformation to Absalom and Achitophel (ll. 118–21) was traditional. Cf. Barnabe Googe, The Popish Kingdome, 1570 (1880 reprint, pp. 31 f.), and Marston, Scourge of Villanie (1599), 'Satyre II', ll. 84–91.
273 f., 281–4. Cf. Buchanan, Franaiscanus, p. 269:
- … citiusque parentis
- Invalidi jugulum ferro, reclude, profana
- Quam violes dextra rasi male sanus honorem
- Verticis; uxorem quamvis manifestus adulter,
- Et natos, natasque tuas compresserit, & te:
- Sed nube, atque tace potius, nullumque recuses
- Flagitium, quam traducas quos unctio sanctos
- Et rasura facit….
276. Cf. G. Hall, p. 38, deriding the 'power which every Priest … dares challenge to exercise, even … to create his maker'.
295. great Cellier. The notorious Catholic midwife, bawd, and political agent; nicknamed by her enemies the 'Lady Errant'. She was deep in the intrigues to discredit Oates by perjuries and sham plot-discoveries. pg 399The most famous of these, the Meal-Tub Plot, takes its name from Sir William Waller's discovery of papers in her meal-tub, 29 Oct. 1679. For the sequel see below, 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 81 and n.
304 f. For the debt to G. Hall, see Appendix III, R196 ('Rochets …'). The rochet is a kind of short surplice; the chimer, the upper robe to which the lawn sleeves of a bishop are attached. Maniples, stoles, albs, and 'ammits' (reate amices) are described in The Popish Mass Display'd: Or, The Superstitions and Fopperies of the Romish Church Discovered, No. 1, 20 Apr. 1681: 'The Maniple is … like a Childs Dading Sleeve, having in one end … an Eye … wherein the Priest, putting his left hand, letteth it hang upon his Arm…. The Stole is a … Robe, Embroidered, the length and breadth thereof, both before and behind, with a large Gold or Silver Cross; its all in one entire Piece, and hath a back part and a fore-part each reaching below the knees, but hath no sides … it is to be … Red upon a Martyrs day, White upon a Virgins day, Black upon those days in which they say Masses for the Dead, and upon all other days Green…. The Alb is the Surplice', somewhat shorter than the Anglican one. The amice represents the cloth with which Jesus was blindfolded: the priest first puts it over his eyes, then 'layeth it strait behind upon his Head, and afterward plucketh it over his Face, letting it fall about his Neck'.
306 f. Cf. G. Hall, pp. 49 f., on the Catholics' 'world of new-multiply'd Rosaries', 'the setled course of their Canonical hours', and their swarm of 'Masses and Dirges and Funeral Obsequies'. See further, Appendix III (R172, and R196, 'Trentals …', 'Offices …').
307. Trentals. Trental, a Roman Catholic office of 30 masses for the dead.
308 f. their Pageants … Their holy Masques. See Appendix III, R196 ('Carnevals | Pageantry Jubilee'). Cf. G. Hall's condemnation (pp. 19 f.) of 'too scenical' Popish representations of the Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection.
313 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Chronicle' (Poems, p. 42):
- I more voluminous should grow …
- Then Holinshead or Stow.
Pierre Crabbe (1470–1553) was author of an unfinished Concilia omnia in 2 folio vols. (1538), extended to 3 (1551). Surius (see 'Jesuits III', l. 297 n.) added a 4th vol. to Crabbe's work. John Stow (1525–1605), wrote, among other works, The Annales (at first The Chronicles) of England (1592), a quarto of more than 1300 pp. John Foxe (1516–87) is the martyrologist, whose famous Actes and Monuments appeared in Mar. 1562/3. It is a great folio of over 1700 pp. In the epithet 'lying', the Image must be speaking (unexpectedly) from the Romanist point of view. It is slanderous: Foxe, says A.F. Pollard (History of England, 1547–1603, p. 153), has few serious errors of fact, though his animus affects his deductions.
322. 'for the Powder-plot' points the allusion to Pope-burnings on 5 Nov., though they were being eclipsed by those on the 17th, Queen Elizabeth's 'birthday' (actually, accession day). They had been revived 5 Nov. 1673: on this and its sequels, 5 Nov. 1677, 1678, 1679, and 17 Nov. 1676, 1677, 1679, see Miller, pp. 183–5; that of 17 Nov. 1679 was the first to be elaborately stage-managed, and financed in part by the Whig Green Ribbon Club. Cf. Luttrell, i.29, 1679: 'The 5th … being gunpowder treason, there were many bonefires and burning of popes as has ever been seen on the like occasion…. On the 17th … were severall bonefires'; 'at Temple gate … was a pope burnt in pontificalibus that cost above 100 l.'
pg 400Aude Aliquid. Ode [alias A Satyr Against Vertue]
This piece is best known by the title under which it was piratically published in 1679: A Satyr Against Vertue. Oldham repudiates the name (above, 'Advertisement', ll. 35–43) and is justified by the autograph fair copy (R2), headed with the quotation from Juvenal (I.73 f.) and 'Pindarique'. The title in the 1682 edn., the only good text of the poem printed in his lifetime, no doubt represents his final choice.
On the likelihood that this was the poem which prompted Rochester to seek his acquaintance, see Introduction, pp. xxviii f. and nn. 17, 18. The autograph revision of the sub-title (R2) reveals Oldham's conception, and is therefore made part of the heading in the present text; the Court-Hector was Rochester himself. A news-letter of 26 June 1675 reported that 'My Lord Rochester in a frolick after a rant did yesterday beat doune the dyill which stood in the middle of the Privie [Gard]ing, which was esteemed the rarest in Europ' (Marvell, Poems (3rd edn.), I.409). Aubrey's notes (ii.34) on Franciscus Linus, maker of the set of chronometrical dials, adds detail: they 'were … broken all to pieces (for they were of glasse spheres) by the earl of Rochester, lord Buckhurst, Fleetwood Shephard, etc., comeing in from their revells. "What!" said the earl of Rochester, "doest thou stand here to [fuck] time?" Dash they fell to worke.' Oldham's 'Ode' purports to be Rochester's rant on the occasion. The fancy is not too extravagant: Rochester told Robert Parsons that 'One day at an Atheistical Meeting, at a person of Qualitie's, I undertook to manage the Cause, and was the principal Disputant against God and Piety, and for my performances received the applause of the whole company' (Parsons, A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of … John Earl of Rochester (1680), p. 23). On Oldham's other poems associated with Rochester, and the drafts terming him 'our witty bawdy peer', see Introduction, pp. xli–xlv, and nn. 58, 62, 69, 70, 73. Cf. also the odes on Morwent, st. xxvii, and Atwood, ll. 161–8.
On the libertinage attacked in those passages, the doctrine assumed in 'Sardanapalus', and preached by the spokesmen of the 'Dithyrambique' and 'Boileau VIII', as well as here by the Court Hector, see Dale Underwood, Etherege and the Seventeenth Century Comedy of Manners (1957), pp. 10–15, and D.H. Griffin, Satires against Man: The Poems of Rochester (1973), ch. 2. Dwelling on man's mortifying characteristics, the libertine is sceptical of all that man prides himself upon, especially his creed of absolute values and his reason; man's true rationality is to test actuality by the senses, and to accept the guidance of pleasure and natural instinct, in rejecting which he is inferior to the animals.
The 'Ode' had something of a succès de scandale. Wood (iv.l21) doubtless reckoned it among 'the mad ranting and debauched specimens of poetry of this author Oldham' which Rochester 'seemed much delighted in'; and in 1679 the pirated edition provoked an anonymous Pindarique Ode, Describing the Excellency of True Virtue.
Yet the ironical mode of the poem ought not to have been a stumbling block. It belongs to an established genre, the Paradoxical Encomium (see H.K. Miller's article, MP, liii, 1956, 145–78) of which it is the inverse form (see Introduction, p. xli).
0.1. Court-Hector. Properly, the Hectors were 'a set of disorderly young men who infested the streets of London' (OED). Cf. Shadwell, The Scowrers (1691), p. 3: 'I knew the Hectors, and before them the Muns and Titire Tus' (see OED). Cf. 'Juvenal III', ll. 405 ff. and n.
1. Imitated from Cowley's 'Now Blessings on you all, ye peaceful Starrs' ('Ode Upon His Majesties Restoration and Return', Poems, p. 420) and 'Now, Blessings on ye all, ye Heroick Race' ('Ode. Upon Liberty', Essays, p. 390).
4. The Stagyrite: Aristotle.
7. Though it 'was the assertion of Procopius, Nazianzen, Justin Martyr, and is generally believed among us', Browne, Pseud. Ep., VII.13, rightly refuses to credit that 'Aristotle drowned himself in Euripus, as despairing to resolve the cause of its reciprocation, or ebb and flow seven times a day, with this determination, Si quidem ego non copio te, tu copies me.'
8–10. In Plus Ultra (1668), Glanvill revived the apocryphal story that Aristotle, 'to procure more Fame for his own Performances', and 'conceal his thefts', destroyed 'the most considerable Remains of the Ancients'. See further, J.I. Cope, Joseph Glanvill (1956), p. 115 and n.
13–19. Cf. Almanzor's rant, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), I.i, p. 7:
- I am as free as Nature first made man,
- 'Ere the base Laws of Servitude began,
- When wild in woods the noble Savage ran.
Hobbes believed that the state of nature was one of anarchic war and was superseded by civil society in which private power is subjected to a sovereign (Leviathan, chs. 13 and 17).
20–5. Cf. Denham, 'Of Prudence', ll. 149 f.:
- Why should we fondly please our Sense, wherein
- Beasts us exceed, nor feel the Stings of Sin …
and Randolph, 'Upon Love fondly refus'd for Conscience sake', ll. 1, 29 f.:
- Nature, Creations law, is judg'd by sense, …
- Man is the Lord of Creatures, yet we see
- That all his Vassals Loves are free.
26 ff. Cf. 'Consideratus, Considerandus', ll. 19, 27–8 (formerly attr. to Rochester, Poems (Pinto), p. 126, but see Vieth's edn., p. 235):
- Vertue's …
- Shun'd by the Great, and worthless thought by most,
- Urg'd to be gone, or wish'd for ever lost….
30. Cf., in Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1676), p. 29, the hero's apostrophe to 'Virtue … / With thy lean Train, the Pious and the Wise'.
38. Excise. The Excise was introduced by Pym in 1643, and after 1660 became the biggest item in the hereditary revenue of the crown.
43 ff. that nice Goddess: Astraea, or Justice, the last immortal to forsake the earth when the wicked iron age succeeded the brazen (Ovid, Metamorphoses, I.149 f. Cf. Atwood ode, ll. 34–7.
53 f. Too difficult for Flesh and Blood. Cf. Burnet, Some Passages, p. 115. To the argument that salvation being so high a reward, it is not unreasonable the terms should be difficult, Rochester replied 'We are sure the terms are difficult, but are not so sure of the Rewards'.
55. Cf. Cowley, 'Answer to the Platonicks' (Poems, p. 80):
- So Angels love; so let them love for me;
- When I'am all soul, such shall my Love too be….
56. Cf. Cowley, 'The Complaint' (Poems, p. 437): 'Business! the grave impertinence'.
60–3. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Antiplatonick', ll. 25 f.:
- Vertue's no more in Woman-kind
- But the green-sicknesse of the mind,
pg 402and 'To P. Rupert', ll. 49 f.:
- But why, my Muse, like a Green-sicknesse-Girle,
- Feed'st thou on coales and dirt?
64. Jilt: harlot. The modern sense (first recorded 1674) does not apply here.
66. Chows'd by a Dowry in Reversion: cheated (see 'Dithyrambique', l. 3 n.) by a dowry conditional on the expiry of the right of the present possessor. Cf. Cleveland's 'Square-Cap', ll. 13–14, in which the heroine has 'a Dowry in Reversion'. The present passage, and ll. 119–21 of the 'Counterpart', are no doubt indebted to Cowley's remarks on fame in the preface to his Works (1668): 'Fame … is an Estate (if it be any, for men are not oftner deceived in their hopes of Widows, …) that hardly ever comes in whilst we are Living to enjoy it, but is a fantastical kind of Reversion to our own selves.'
67 ff. The greatest Votarie: Brutus, as depicted in Cowley's ode upon him (Poems, pp. 195, 197); the best of pre-Christian mankind, who made 'Virtue' his 'Life's Center', till final defeat wrung from him the 'Tragick Word', that Virtue had proved 'An Idol only and a Name'. Brutus's dying exclamation (quoted from a Greek tragedy) is said to have been 'Te colui (Virtus) ut rem; ast tu nomen inane es' (Dio Cassius, XLVII.49). Cf. Bacon, Advancement of Learning, II.xxiii.46.
75 ff. Cf. Waller, 'To the Mutable Fair', ll. 33–6: Juno 'did once escape' the 'bold Ixion's rape':
- She, with her own resemblance, graced
- A shining cloud, which he embraced.
91. obstinately Good: from Lee, Sophonisba (1676), I.i, p. 3.
93 f. Oldham, in 1676, is already taking a hint from Fletcher, Locusts, II. xxxvii, in which the same gibe is directed at the Gunpowder plotters. See my 'Oldham and Fletcher', and 'Jesuits I', ll. 204 f., II.150, II.185–7 nn.
97. Cf. Denham, 'The Progress of Learning', l. 36: 'Socrates whom th'Oracle call'd Wise'.
98. In Christian belief, the real author of the heathen oracles was the devil. See Milton, Paradise Lost, I.517 f., Paradise Regained, I.455 ff. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 63 f.
102 f. Alluding primarily to Aristophanes' ridicule in the Clouds, but also to the attacks of Eupolis, Callias, Ameipsias. (See Diogenes Laërtius's life of Socrates).
108–18. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX.551 ff., and Oldham's version in 'Byblis', ll. 197 ff. Cf. also Rochester's epilogue to Dr Davenant's Circe (1677):
- 'Twas impotence did first this vice begin:
- Fools censure wit as old men rail of sin,
- Who envy pleasure which they cannot taste,
- And, good for nothing, would be wise at last.
and the last stanza of his 'Disabled Debauchee'.
119. Cf. Dryden 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), I.i, p. 8: 'Stand off; I have not leisure yet to dye.'
120–8. Cf. the ode on Morwent, ll. 509–17.
130. the Bill of Maladies. See 'Jesuits IV', l. 45 f. and n.
143–6. Cf. 'Jesuits II', ll. 213–16 and n.; and Randolph, p. 129 'Upon Love fondly refus'd for Conscience sake':
- What's Conscience but a Beldams midnight theme?
- Or nodding nurses idle dreame?
145 f. 'though [Rochester] thought the Soul did not dissolve at death; Yet he doubted much of Rewards or Punishments' (Burnet, Some Passages, pp. 53 f.).
147 ff. Cf. 'Jesuits III', ll. 223 ff. and n.
150. Wheadle! A piece of cajolery. Cf. Etherege, She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), I.i: 'Dos't think to pass these gross wheadles on me too?', and his cheating character Wheadle, in The Comical Revenge (1664).
154–7. That 'those who pretended to believe lived so that they could not be thought to be in earnest when they said it' was, affirmed Rochester, a chief cause of his religious scepticism: making him doubt their full conviction of what they urged upon others. (Burnet, Some Passages, p. 120); cf. 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 259 f., n.
161–9. Cf. Rochester's satire upon the fops in his 'Letter from Artemisia', ll. 152 f., 160 f. (which Oldham at some time transcribed):
- … foppery, without the help of sense,
- Could ne'er have rose to such an excellence….
- We owe that name to industry and arts:
- An eminent fool must be a fool of parts.
Cf. the ode on Morwent, ll. 453 ff.
167 f. Cf. Settle, Prologue to Cambyses King of Persia (1667): 'Poets ought To write with the same spirit Caesar fought.'
170. Debauches: debauchees.
172. Cain and Judas, reverenced by the Cainani; see 'Jesuits II', l. 151 n.
173–84. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX.497 ff., and Oldham's version of the passage, 'Byblis', ll. 89 ff.
173 f. move … to the Seats above. In Burton, Anatomy, p. 665, Saturn and Jupiter are represented as monstrous human kings, subsequently mythologized into gods.
185 ff. that Wretch: cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 140; Herostratus, having set fire to the temple of Diana at Ephesus (356 BC) confessed he had done so to immortalize himself. 'The Ephesians passed a decree condemning his name to oblivion, but Theopompus embalmed him in his history, like a fly in amber.' See Strabo XIV.22; Valerius Maximus, VIII.14.5; Aulus Gellius, II.6; E. Elder, 'Herostratus', in W. Smith's dictionary of classical biography. 'We are his Rivals' declares Shadwell's Don Antonio in The Libertine (1674), V.i, p. 75.
188. the no-great Fault of Sacriledge. Cf. Cowley, 'The Request' (Poems, p. 66): 'the no-great privilege of Captivity'.
193. the vain-glorious Carian: Mausoius, King of Caria 377–333 BC. The monument erected to his memory by his sister and widow Artemisia, and known as the Mausoleum, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
196. a Tomb: a Pyramid. Cf. Cowley, 'The Thraldome' (Poems, p. 68):
- Like an Egyptian Tyrant, some
- Thou weariest out, in building but a Tomb.
205. Boutefeu: an incendiary. From French, but common in English literature of this period.
206. the inglorious Founder: Chersiphron of Cnossus (Strabo, Geography, XIV.i.22). Cf. Browne, Urne-Buriall, ch. 5: 'Herostratus lives that burnt the Temple of Diana, he is almost lost that built it.'
207. that mighty Emperour: Nero; see Suetonius' life, ch. 38.
211 f. Tacitus mentions the story as a rumour only: Annals, XV.39.
213 f., 219. From Cowley's lines on Cain, Discourse … concerning … Cromwell (Essays, pp. 373 f.):
- 'Twas a beginning generous and high …
- So well advanc'd, 'twas pity there he staid;
- One step of Glory more he should have made,
- And to the utmost bounds of Greatness gone;
- Had Adam too been kill'd, he might have Reign'd Alone.
216 f. Cf. Fletcher, Locusts, IV.xxxv: 'lie … fire the shaking towne and quench't with royal blood.'
223 ff. Cf. 'Jesuits I', ll. 64–76 and n.
239 f., 248. Echoing Fletcher, Locusts, I.xx.7 f., on Satan:
- To be in heaven the second he disdaines:
- So now the first in hell, and flames he raignes….
Cf. also I.xviii.9, II.xv.9. So Milton's Satan (Paradise Lost, I.262 f.):
- To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
- Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
245 f. Cf. Cleveland, 'To P. Rupert', ll. 99 f.: 'Such a foe / Can make them victors in their overthrow'.
249 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Motto' (Poems, p. 16):
- Tell me, ye mighty Three, what shall I do
- To be like one of you.
253 f. Cf. [R. Fletcher], 'An Epitaph' (Rump Songs, I.285):
- To puny the records of time,
- By one grand Gygantick crime.
257 f. Cf. Otway, Alcibiades (1675), III.i:
- My fury had begot so vast a Birth,
- Fate wanted strength enough to bring it forth.
260. Cf. an interpolated line in Flatman's 'Translated out of Part of Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon', l. 88: 'And stock the large plantations of the Dead.'
265. Privative of Good. Cf. 'privative of beauty' in John Hall, 'To the Deformed X.R.', l. 31.
272 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Prophet' (Poems, p. 102):
- Tis I who Love's Columbus am; 'tis I
- Who must new Worlds in it descry….
274. the Pillars. Hercules' Pillars marked the limit of possible travel to the West.
281–3. Cf. Cowley's verses in the Discourse … concerning … Cromwell, in which 'the first-born Man', 'the mighty Heir, the noble Cain' is ironically celebrated.
289. The Stoicks dull Equality. 'They also maintain that all sins are equal' since 'he who commits a greater and he who commits a less sin are both equally not in the right path' (Diogenes Laërtius, VII.64, 65, tr. W.L. Davidson).
pg 405An Apology for the foregoing Ode
6. to Flatter Vice. Dryden's phrase, dedication to Aureng-Zebe (1676), A2v.
7 f. Cf. Spencer's verse-letter to Oldham (see Appendix I, l. 168).
9 f. Cf. Dryden, Prologue to Tyrannick Love (1670):
- But when a Tyrant for his Theme he had
- He loos'd the Reins, and bid his Muse run mad….
16. Cf. Dryden, Prologue to Aureng-Zebe (1676): 'But he has now another taste of wit.'
18 f. Rochester, 'A Satyr against … Mankind', ll. 198 f., writes of 'that sensual tribe whose talents lie / In avarice' etc.
27. Licence. The Licensing Act (1662–79) provided a statutory basis for Roger L'Estrange's rigorous censorship of the Press. (See Ogg, ii.514–16.) Political satires were often circulated in MS.
39. our Nobles. Evidently a hit at Rochester. Cf. Appendix II, fragments from R95, 220.
44–6. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode of Wit' (Poems, p. 18): ''tis just / The Author blush, there where the Reader must'.
49. Cf. The Car-man's Poem: Or, Advice to a Nest of Sariblers (Bodl. Wood 417, 10): 'Car-men turn Poets now, why may not I?'
57 f. Dryden stepped up his hero's wildness for the revival of The Wild Gallant (1667), but still apologizes, in the Prologue, for 'his want of wickedness', for which the play was 'damned' when first produced.
69–71. Cf. Joseph Hall, Virgidemiarum, V.iii:
- The satire should be like the porcupine,
- That shoots sharp quills out in each angry line,
- And wounds the blushing cheek….
The Passion of Byblis
This translation of Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX.454–632, was written after the appearance of Ovid's Epistles Translated, ed. Dryden (1680), announced 23–6 Mar. (Macdonald 11a); see Oldham's 'Advertisement' (above, l. 52). It was published in the 1st issue of SJ (1681), really c.Nov. 1680.
John Dennis criticized it, to justify bringing out his own, in the preface and nn. to his quarto, The Passion of Byblis Made English (1692). Along with much carping, he has a censure or two worth noting. The original required in its translator, he observes, not the 'Force' or 'Genius' characteristic of Oldham, but 'Tenderness of Soul' alien to him. Reluctant to admit this limitation as Oldham was, he himself concluded from his 'Byblis' that his 'vein' lay 'another way' (see Advertisement, l. 64). Dennis further objects, with reason, to the imperfect rhymes: ',a thing must be much more tender in perfect Rimes…. For … jarring sounds must render that harsh, which agreeing sounds would render easie.'
26 f. Cf. Dryden, tr. of 'Canace to Macareus', Ovid's Epistles (1680):
- I knew not from my Love these Griefs did grow
- Yet was, alas, the thing I did not know.
30. sooths: indulges, flatters. Cf. Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, l. 850, and 'sooth up', 'Jesuits III', l. 474 and n.
77 f. In l. 78 Oldham invents a reason for the wish he translates in l. 77. Dennis finds it inept, but substitutes another, equally needless. The wish simply expresses the girl's idolizing of her brother: if they were of different lineages, in her fondness she would want him to have the advantage.
186. thought: thought capable of having borne.
212–17. The tone of Ovid's 'tamen ut sit causa timendi' no doubt suggested Oldham's expansion into a characteristic rant.
217. Echoing Dryden, tr. of 'Canace to Macareus', Ovid's Epistles (1680): 'And Guilt that made them [sc. tumultuous Joys] anxious made them great.'
267. Cf. 'To Madam L.E.', l. 44 and n.
276. hung. Hooked: having firmly taken the bait. Oldham's term of art is up-to-date: OED's earliest example is from 1674.
strook. The angler 'strikes' when in order to pierce the fish's mouth with the hook, he gives a jerk to the tackle: 'a patient Angler', as in Dryden, Astraea Redux (ll. 171 f.) 'ere he strooke, Would let' his fish 'play a while upon the hook'.
310 f. Cf. Waller, 'To the Servant of a Fair Lady', ll. 21 f.:
- You the soft season know when best her mind
- May be to pity, or to love, inclined….
319. rebate. Cf. 'Jesuits III', l. 59 and n.
335. efforts of Love: manifestations of its powers and properties (OED, effort † 1); stressed 'effórt'. Cf. Thomas Shipman, Carolina: Or, Loyal Poems (1683), p. 117: 'French Wines work small efforts; as may be known.'
350. Oldham stopped short of Byblis' metamorphosis no doubt for the same reason as Dennis inflicted on her a different fate. In 'the time of Augustus', Dennis writes, 'those Transformations were a part of the Roman Religion'. Now that they are incredible, they are no longer moving.
A Satyr Upon a Woman
Written at Whitsuntide 1678, this was first published in the second issue, Christmas 1680, of SJ (1681). It had evidently been meant to appear in the first issue, of which the title-page announces 'other Pieces' to follow The Satyr against Vertue, whereas only 'Byblis' was then included.
The jilt here attacked was an actual person: on R99 a rough draft of ll. 1–10 is headed 'To L. G.' Neither she nor the 'friend' has been identified. Whether she might be Lady Grey, wife of Forde, Baron Grey of Werk, a target of lampoons c.1679–81, is discussed in my 'John Oldham: Some Problems', pp. 569 f.
0.1. The title is given in what is presumably its revised shape, from the 1682 edn. In the autograph fair copy (R54) it began 'On a Woman …'. This was already changed to 'A Satyr Upon a Woman …' in the edn. of 1681. Then in 1682, 'my Friend' became 'his Friend'. The date is from the MS; none appears in the 2nd edn., and a less precise one, 'Written in the Year 1678', on the internal title-page of the 1st.
4. quit the partial Skies: acquit heaven of being partial; unjustly indulgent. 'The partial Skies' is from Waller's 'The Country to my Lady of Carlisle', l. 15.
23 f. Cf. Jonson, Volpone, I.i:
- … It is true, they [i.e. physicians] kill
- With as much license as a judge.
34 f. If a murderer touched or even sometimes only approached the corpse of his victim, it was supposed to accuse him by bleeding afresh. This belief is fully described in James I's Daemonologie, and, from Holinshed, is put to dramatic use in Shakespeare's Richard III (I.ii.55–9). Scott made it the basis of a great scene in The Fair Maid of Perth.
36 f. Cf. 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 55.
52 f. Cf. Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1676), p. 62: 'Ah Sex, invented first to damn Mankind!' and Otway, Don Carlos (1676), p. 49:
- Th'art Woman, a true Copy of the first,
- In whom the race of all Mankind was curst.
54. Woman! nay worse! Cf. Dryden, Indian Emperour (1667), p. 65: 'Woman! that's too good, / Too mild for thee.'
58 f. In marrying her, one would become a witch by entering into a contract and carnal intercourse with a fiend. This sense of 'compact' is not noted in OED, but is frequent: e.g. Alexander Roberts, A Treatise of Witchcraft (1616), p. 34: 'there passeth betweene the Witch and her Diuell, a compact …'; R. Scot, The Discovery of Witchcraft: Proving, That the Compacts and Contracts of Witches with Devils … are but Erroneous Novelties; Browne, Pseud. Ep., I.X.41.
62 ff. Based on Dryden, Amboyna (1673), IV, p. 50: 'Sure the Devil has lent thee all his stock of falshood, and must be forc'd hereafter to tell truth.'
64–73. Cf. Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1676), p. 62:
- Nature took care to dress you up for sin:
- Adorn'd, without; unfinish'd left, within …
- Heav'n did, by me, the outward model build:
- Its inward work, the Soul, with rubbish fill'd.
And see Paradise Lost, VIII.537–39.
73. The comparison is from G. Hall, p. 28.
76 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Change' (Poems, p. 77):
- So the Earths face … [has] beauties numberless:
- But at the Center, Darkness is, and Hell;
- There wicked Spirits, and there the Damned dwell.
80. Champions of the Pope's temporal authority as Jesuits were, it was believed that some took the oath of allegiance with the aid of mental reservation or of dispensations from Rome.
81. Dryden's The Kind Keeper, which satirized this 'crying sin of keeping', had been performed—and very coldly received—Mar. 1677/8.
91–3. See 'Jesuits II', l. 208 n. Westminster is Westminster Hall, where sat the four courts of justice: Common Pleas, King's Bench, Chancery, and Exchequer (see De-Laune, The Present State of London (1681), pp. 124–32).
114. Cf. Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), V.ii, p. 64:
- Your power, like Heav'n upon the damn'd, you use …
- To … keep me fresh for pain.
Cf. Paradise Lost, II.155–9.
124. Cf. Donne, 'The Curse', l. 6: 'May he be scorn'd by one, whom all else scorne.'
127 f. Cf. Donne, 'The Expostulation', l. 42: 'In plaguing him, let misery be witty.'
135 f. Cf. Rochester, 'Song' (Poems, p. 32):
- Die with the scandal of a whore
- And never know the joy.
141 ff. Cf. 'Jesuits, Prologue', ll. 51 ff.
153–6. She is to continue to sin as it were on credit—beyond the limit of what she pays for in present suffering,—with her soul as security. For 'run o'th'Score' (let a credit account mount up) cf. Pepys, 30 Dec. 1667.
156. Cf. Donne, 'The Expostulation', ll. 45 f.: 'May he … not be trusted more on his Soules price.'
157–9. Cf. Otway, Don Carlos (1676), p. 48: 'She unrepenting dies, and so she's damnd.'
SOME NEW PIECES
3. as I did: in the Advertisement to SJ.
8 f. Johnson … Roscommon: in Q. Horatius Flaccus: his Art of Poetry, Englished by Ben Jonson (1640); Horace's Art of Poetry. Made English By … The Earl of Roscommon (1680), advertized in The London Gazette, 24–7 Nov. 1679 (Wood dated his copy 'Nov').
22–35. Oldham's doctrine of Imitation derives from the theory of Denham and Cowley in their prefaces to The Destruction of Troy and Pindarique Odes in 1656; the practice of Sprat, Boileau, and Rochester; and Dryden's discussion in the preface to Ovid's Epistles Translated (1680). He recalls Dryden's phrases, brings out what Dryden had implied, and frames his own theory and practice to meet Dryden's objections. See Brooks, 'Imitation'.
24 f. Cf. Dryden, op. cit. (Essays, i.239): 'I take the imitation of an author … to be an endeavour of a later poet … to write, as he supposes that author would have done, had he lived in our age, and in our country.'
32–6. Oldham is accepting, for his variety of Imitation, the principle which Dryden (Essays, i.242) had intended to rule out literalism and Imitation alike: 'There is … a liberty to be allowed for the expression'; 'words and lines' need not 'be confined to the measure of the original', but 'the sense of an author, generally speaking, is to be sacred and inviolable'. Oldham's plea differentiates Imitation, as he is practising it, from Cowley's or Rochester's concept of it: except when actually replacing the original allusions with topical ones, he translates faithfully; see Brooks, 'Imitation', pp. 135–7 and nn., but also 'Juvenal XIII', 'Juvenal III', headnotes, for his freer method there.
33. a Rule. Dryden, in the same preface, had quoted this; Horace's ll. 133 f.; Oldham's ll. 227 f.
36. Where I … have Varied from it: notably at l. 403, leaving untranslated a dozen lines scarcely conformable to his modernized version.
42 f. Cowley (Essays, p. 438) speaks of 'Horace's … own familiar stile' in 'his Epistles'.
53. a Scene: Act III, Scene i.
55–7. by Dr Sprat … Horace's Works. This is the anonymous version of Satire I.ix in The Poems of Horace … Rendred in English and Paraphrased pg 409by Several Persons, ed. Alexander Brome (1666; 2nd edn., 1671; 3rd, 1680). Despite Oldham's disclaimer, he had not 'finish'd his Imitation' before becoming acquainted with it. Paul Hammond (pp. 115, 121, 123 f.) adduces many convincing debts in his first 86 lines, and there is another in l. 130. Oldham's attribution helps us to add a new piece, indeed two, to the Sprat canon; in the same vol. the opening of Satire II. vi, leading up to Cowley's paraphrase of the famous fable, is clearly also Sprat's: see Brooks, 'Contributors', and Brooks, 'Imitation', pp. 129 f. Oldham may have owed his information to one of the contributors: either Flatman, whom he probably knew, or Robert Thompson, who handled the affairs of Whitgift Hospital on behalf of Sheldon and Sancroft (see Bodl. MS Tanner 162, passim).
57. The Odes are there done too: by Sir Richard Fanshawe; I.xxxi also by Sir Thomas Hawkins, and II.xiv by 'S. W.', but as Samuel Woodforde tells us in his Paraphrase Upon the Canticles (1679), p. 161, really by his father, Robert. See Brooks, 'Contributors', and E.N. Hooker, 'The Early Poetical Career of Samuel Woodforde' (Essays … Dedicated to Lily B. Campbell, 1950, esp. pp. 91–3).
62. Sternhold and Hopkins: whose metrical version of the Psalms, completed in 1562, was a stock target. Cleveland, Character of a London Diurnal (1647) remarks how 'Sternhold and Hopkins murder the Psalms'; cf. e.g. Rochester's amusing extempore St. (Poems, p. 22), Absalom and Achitophel, Pt. II, l. 403, and Religio Laici, l. 456.
68. other Pieces. The relevant piracies are Garnets Ghost, Father Whitebread's Walking Ghost, and A Satyr Against Vertue (all 1679). Publication of 'Upon the Author of … Sodom' (in Rochester's pirated Poems, 1680) was, and of The Clarret Drinker's Song (1680) may have been, unauthorized: but the texts are sound. Jordan's garbled Claret-Drinkers Song (n.d., ?1685) is after Oldham's death. See Introduction, pp. xc f.
72–5. The pieces afterwards grouped as 'Divine Poems' were scattered throughout in the first, 1633, edn. of Donne's verse. In Cowley's Works (1668) the poems on 'Reason … in Divine Matters' and 'Christs Passion' are printed among secular ones in 'Miscellanies' and 'Verses written on several occasions'.
78–91. For the probability that Oldham is primarily answering Sir William Soame, and the possibility that in An Essay Upon Poetry (1682) Mulgrave retorts to this apologia, see Introduction, pp. xxxiii, liii f., nn. 36, 104, 105; and ibid., pp. xlvi, lv, nn. 76, 108, 109, with R. Selden's article there cited, for the harking-back to what was now very much a minority view of the decorum of satire.
86. tuant: cutting, deadly; see 'Boileau VIII', l. 49 and n.
97. René Rapin (1621–87) was pronounced by Dryden (in 1677) as, among French critics, along with Boileau 'the greatest of this age' (Essays, i.181). Oldham is citing the Eclogae Cum Dissertatione De Carmine Pastorali (1659), p. 171. After enquiring 'Quid enim epitaphio Bionis … [suaviús] fingi potest?' Rapin declares that Bion, 'scriptor tam delicatus támque suavis, … omnésque sermonis delicias congessit in Adonidis epitaphium'. Both authors, however, are censurable, he concludes, for a perpetual elegance which contravenes the simplicity proper to pastoral.
104. Vulcanius: Bonaventura Vulcanius (De Smet) of Bruges (1538–1614), professor of Greek at Leyden. His translation into Latin verse of the Idyllia of Bion and Moschus was published in 1584.
Douza: Janus Dousa (Van der Does) the elder (1545–1604), Dutch classical scholar and Latin poet. His 'Epitaphium Adonidis ex Graeco Bionis totidem numeris redditum' appeared in his first collection of poems, 1569.
105. le Fevre: Tanneguy Lefèvre (Tanaquillus Faber, 1615–72) taught at Saumur, and was father and preceptor of Mme Dacier. His 'Veneris lamentatio ad Adonin e Bione Smyrnaeo', first published in his Terence (1671), pp. 448 ff., was reprinted in his Epistolae. Pars Prima, a corrected edn., 1674. It expands and seeks to embellish the idyll, and omits the passage rendered by Oldham's ll. 166–91.
128. Resveries: fanciful notions. The word, in this spelling, had been recently re-borrowed from French in this new sense (OED).
Horace His Art of Poetry, Imitated
For Oldham's important account of his Imitation, see Advertisement (above) ll. 5–54. It was composed not long before its publication, in Some New Pieces, towards the end of 1681 (Bibliography, II.7), and after that of Roscommon's translation, Nov. 1679 (on which, and Jonson's, see Advertisement, ll. 8 f., and n.). The probability that it was occasioned by Soame's attack 'upon the Author of "Sardanapalus"', is suggested in the Introduction, pp. xxxiii, liv, and nn. 36, 105.
19. Dove. So Jonson and Roscommon; Horace has simply 'avibus'.
37 f. Cf. The Escurial, or A Description of that wonder of the world for … magnificence of structure: built by [Philip II] of Spain and lately consumed by fire, 1671 (see Pepys, ix.353, n. 1). Cowley contrasts Evander's royal cottage with the Escurial in 'Of Agriculture' (Essays, p. 407).
41–3. Cf. Roscommon:
- Most Poets fall into the grossest faults
- Deluded by a seeming Excellence.
80–3. Horace's 'hoc amet, hoc spernat' seems to have suggested these lines, which have no equivalent in the Latin, or in Jonson, Roscommon, or Boileau. The doctrine is from Aristotle, Poetics, IX.1–4. Cf. Sidney, Defence of Poetrie (ed. Feuillerat, iii.15).
113. Tangier came to Charles II as part of his wife's dowry. The mole was begun in 1663; work upon it ceased in 1680. Though unfinished, it had reached a length of 1436 ft. It was demolished preparatory to the evacuation of Tangier in 1684. A full account of it, from the contemporary evidence, is in Routh, Ch. 17.
116 f. In 1663 a corporation was set up to further the work of fen-drainage which Bedford and his fellow-adventurers, with Vermuyden as engineer, had started under Charles I. In Lincolnshire alone, 25,000 acres of arable were reclaimed. Cf. Evelyn, 22 July 1670; see also Ogg, i.55–7.
118. Middleton: Sir Hugh Middleton, goldsmith, 1560?–1631. He constructed the New River at Islington, completing it in 1613. It played an important part in the water-supply of 17th-century London.
121–7. Cf. Jonson:
- … so farre off it is, the state,
- Or grace of speech, should hope a lasting date,
- Much phrase that now is dead, shall be reviv'd …
- If Custome please….
145. Keen Iambicks. Horace has 'proprio iambo'; and in Odes, I.xvi.24, 'celeres iambos'. Oldham echoes Cleveland's 'Come keen Iambicks' ('Rebell Scot', l. 27) and Dryden's MacFlecknoe, l. 204. See R. Merton, N & Q, ccii (1956), 55.
156–9. Volpone and Morose are leading characters in Jonson's comedies of Volpone and Epicoene; Catiline and Sejanus give their names to his Roman tragedies.
162 ff. Cf. Roscommon:
- Yet Comedy sometimes may raise her voice
- Tragedians too, lay by their state to grieve:
194. Jodelet: 'Todelet' (in all edns.) originated from the easy misreading of T for J. The reference is evidently to Davenant's The Man's The Master (seen by Pepys, 26 Mar. 1668, publ. 1669), in which Scarron's masquerading valet, Jodelet (who reappears in so brilliant a guise in Les Précieuses Ridicules) is naturalized in England. You must not, says Oldham, make a pretended aristocrat talk exactly like a true one. This is a sufficiently skilful imitation of Horace's 'intererit multum, divusne loquatur an heros'; a hero (who may be godlike) should not talk like an actual god.
200. Bore. i.e. Boor. See Remarks upon Remarques (1673), p. 99: 'a Country Hero among a company of poor ignorant brutish Boors (that word is Teutonick) …', i.e. the same word as modern Boer. Cf. Thomas Shipman, Carolina (1683), p. 118: 'These Holland Boars are worse than other Swine', which unites the meanings Boar, Boer, and Boor.
236 f. Cf. Roscommon's 'How far is this from the Maeonian Stile?', Boileau's 'O! que j'aime bien mieux cet Auteur plein d'adresse' (L'Art poétique, Chant III, p. 128), and Jonson's 'Who nought assaies unaptly, or amisse'.
290 f. From Boileau, ibid., Chant III, p. 132:
- Inhabile aux plaisirs dont la jeunesse abuse,
- Blâme en eux les douceurs, que l'Age lui refuse.
- There is no direct equivalent in the Latin.
292. Verbatim from Roscommon.
296 f. Cf. Roscommon:
- Thus all the treasure of our flowing Years,
- Our ebb of life for ever takes away.
312. The allusion to Oedipus (added by Oldham) is probably topical: Dryden and Lee's Oedipus had been produced so recently as the beginning of 1679; they kept the blinding of the hero off-stage, as in Sophocles.
319. an handsome Third days share. The profits of the third performance, the dramatist's return from the theatre, were crucial to his emolument, because they were more precarious yet might be much higher than what patron or bookseller contributed. A usual fee for a dedication was 20 guineas, minor authors receiving less; the copy money might be from £10 to £20; but 50 or 60 guineas would be a fair average for the third day's share of plays which were well received. A great popular success might produce more; Shadwell got £130 from the third day of The Squire of Alsatia. On the other hand many plays were damned on the first night. (See Johnson's Lives of the Poets, ed. Cunningham, i.299 and ii.390.)
337. Blackfriars, the Cockpit or Phoenix, and Salisbury Court, were the most important Caroline playhouses. The second Blackfriars dated from 1596 and was pulled down 6 Aug. 1655. The Cockpit in Drury Lane became a theatre about 1617. It was reopened after the Restoration, but very shortly closed again.
336 ff. Cf. Killegrew's well-known boast to Pepys, 12 Feb. 1666/7, that by his pains the theatre was now 'a thousand times … more glorious than ever heretofore'—in fiddlers, candles, and appointments generally.
339. Cf. Roscommon: 'And pleas'd the thin and bashfull Audience'.
340. Bussy d'Ambois: Chapman's play (1607), seen in about 1675 and admired sufficiently by D'Urfey, 'in spight of the obsolete Phrases and intolerable Fustian', for him to revive it in 1691. Oldham may well have been reading Dryden's dedication of his Spanish Friar (1681) in which Bussy is condemned as 'a hideous mingle of false poetry, and true nonsense' (Essays, i.246).
341. Gorboduc, or Ferrex and Porrex, by Sackville and Norton, appeared in 1562: Gorboduc was a legendary king of Britain. Oldham blindly follows Dryden, who alludes to 'the tragedy of Queen Gorboduc' in his dedication to The Rival Ladies (Essays, i.5). Pope wrote to Robert Digby, 2 June 1717, 'Mr. Warton forced me to take Gorboduc, which … has done Dryden and Oldham some diskindness…. It is truly a scandal, that men should write with contempt of a piece which they never once saw, [being] ignorant even of the sex, as well as sense, of Gorboduc.'
342–6. Charles was the first English king who frequently attended the public playhouse: he intervened in the actors' business disputes, had his favourites among them, lent state robes for coronation-scenes, and once or twice suggested subjects to playwrights. (Nicoll, i.8 f.; Hume, pp. 27 f., 300, 329, 371, 487; James Sutherland, 'The Impact of Charles II on Restoration Literature', Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature, ed. Caroll Camden (A.D. McKillop festschrift), 1963.)
346 ff. For the elaboration in this period of stage-scenery, costume, dancing, and music, see Nicoll, i.28–63.
350. Davenant's Siege of Rhodes (1656) is reckoned the first English dramatic opera. The Tempest of 1667 has operatic features, and in Shadwell's version became essentially an opera: Macbeth followed suit in the same year. Then came Shadwell's Psyche and Davenant's Circe in 1675 and 1677.
358. the Poets day. See l. 319 above, and n.
362–8. Cf. Dryden, 'Epilogue to the University of Oxford', 1673:
- Th'Italian Merry-Andrews took their place
- And quite debauch'd the Stage with lewd Grimace; [etc.]
In 1677 Ravenscroft produced his 'Comedy after the Italian Manner', Scaramouch a Philosopher, Harlequin a School-Boy … for which the 'inspiration probably came from Fiorilli's second visit (summer 1675)'. See Hume, p. 302 (cf. p. 283 n. 1) and Sybil Rosenfeld, Foreign Theatrical Companies in Great Britain in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1955).
367 f. A broadside entitled Roger in Amaze; Or, The Countryman's Ramble Through Bartholomew Fair tells how
- … one in blew jacket came in, which some do Andrew call,
- Ad's heart talked woundy wittily to them all.
In Harleian MS 5961 is preserved the title-page only of a pamphlet relating to one of the most celebrated of these performers, A new Fairing for the Merrily Disposed: or the Comical History of the Famous Merry Andrew W. Phill[ips] (Morley, pp. 249, 293 f.). Cf. also A Description of Bartholomew Fair (c.1680; Pepys Ballads, ed. Rollins, iii.78) st. 10; and Pepys, 29 Aug. 1668.
376. The coarse repartee of the famous fish-market was already a proverb (Tilley, B 350), and the watermen of Thames had a like reputation. Tom Brown has a specimen of this ribaldry in 'A Walk round London and Westminster' (Works, 1707–8, iii.58 ff.), but he has clearly given it a literary dress.
378. The 1722 editor supposed an allusion to Charles Saunders's Tamerlane the Great, produced Mar. 1681. But Oldham took his illustration straight from Cowley's 'Ode of Wit' (Poems, p. 18):
- 'Tis not such Lines as almost crack the Stage
- ––When Bajazet begins to rage,
a reference to Thomas Goffe's The Raging Turke, or Baiazet the Second (1631). Saunders's piece may, however, have encouraged the borrowing.
387. invent: to treat in the way of literary composition (OED v.2.b.).
388, 391 f. Cf. Roscommon:
- And if your Stile be natural and smooth …
- So much good Method and Connexion may
- Improve the common and the plainest things.
395. Hyde Park, and the Mall in St. James's Park. In Etherege's Man of Mode (III.iii.41 ff.) Young Bellair remarks to Harriet, as they walk in the Mall, 'Most people prefer High Park to this place', and she replies 'It has the better Reputation I confess: but I abominate the dull diversions there, the formal bows, the Affected smiles, the silly by-Words, and amorous Tweers, in passing; here one meets with a little conversation now and then.'
402. Oldham omits Horace's technical discussion of classical metres, ll. 251–62 of the Latin.
405, 418, 421 f., 424 f. Cf. Dryden's verdict, in Of Dramatick Poesie: 'The sweetness of English verse was never understood or practised by our fathers', and in the dedication of The Rival Ladies: the excellence of rhyme was 'never fully known till Mr. Waller taught it; he first made writing easily an art; first showed us to conclude the sense most commonly in distichs, which, in the verse of those before him, runs on for so many lines together, that the reader is out of breath to overtake it' (Essays, i.7, 35).
417. Cf. Roscommon: 'Read them by day, and think of them by night.'
418 ff. A clench is a pun or play on words. Cf. Dryden, 'Defence of the Epilogue' (1672): Jonson 'was not free from the lowest and most grovelling kind of wit, which we call clenches'. Giving examples, he continues: 'This was then the mode of wit … the vice of the age, and not Ben Johnson's.' In Of Dramatick Poesie he condemns the same addiction in Shakespeare (Essays, i.80, 173).
420. Verbatim from Roscommon.
439 ff. The expansion of Horace's ll. 282 f. was suggested by Boileau, L'Art poétique, Chant III, p. 130:
- Aux accez insolens d'une bouffonne joie,
- La sagesse, l'esprit, l'honneur furent en proye.
- On vid, par le public un Poëte avoué
- S'enrichir aux dépens du mérite joué,
- Et Socrate, par lui, dans un choeur de Nuées,
- D'un vil amas de peuple attirer les huées.
- Enfin de la licence on arresta le cours.
- Le Magistrat, des loix emprunta le secours….
456. The plaint is especially significant as being Oldham's own,
457. to file, and finish. Dryden's phrase, in his epilogue to Etherege's Man of Mode (1676).
459 ff. Oldham's free version follows Roscommon's:
- Remember of what weight your Judgment is,
- And never venture to commend a Book,
- That has not pass'd all Judges and all Tests.
465 ff. The 'furor poeticus', formerly glorified, had fallen under suspicion: see Spingarn, i.x–xi, and G. Williamson, Seventeenth Century Contexts (1960), 'The Restoration Revolt against Enthusiasm'. The reaction went hand in hand in literature and in religious politics: Méric Casaubon's Treatise concerning Enthusiasme (1655), in which inspiration and ecstasy were analysed and shown to be not supernatural, but merely the working of nature and subject to illusion, was directed in part against the claims to private revelation advanced by certain of the sectaries. See 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 54 ff. and n., and 'Praise of Poetry' (R96, R99).
476. Cromwel's Porter: a religious maniac, confined in Bedlam. Cf. D'Urfey, Prologue to Sir Barnaby Whigg (1681):
- Like Lunaticks ye roar and range about …
- Like Oliver's Porter but not so devout.
He is portrayed in Marcellus Laroon's London Cries (?1688). See also Etherege (ed. Brett-Smith, p. 199, l. 337 and n.).
477 f. Cf. Roscommon: 'Lunacy beyond the Cure of art'.
478. Allen: Thomas Allen MD (Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge 1651–60; of the Royal Society 1667; and of the College of Physicians 1671) was physician to Bedlam. He died 1684. See Pepys's Diary, ed. Wheatley, iii.327 n.
512. Some one well humor'd Character. Horace has 'speciosa locis morataque recte'; Oldham follows Roscommon:
- … such a lucky Character
- As being humor'd right and well persu'd….
519. Cf. Roscommon: 'Our Roman youth is bred another way'.
521. Wingate: Of Natural and Artificial Arithmetic (1630) by Edmund Wingate (1596–1656): a standard textbook.
547–50. The Latin is 'neu pransae Lamiae vivum puerum extrahat alvo'. L1.
550 f. follow Roscommon:
- Or venture to bring in a Child alive
- That Canibals have murther'd and devour'd.
Downes (Roscius Anglicanus, 1708, pp. 33, 38) remembered the use of 'machines, as flyings for the Witches' both in Macbeth, revived 18 Feb. 1673, and in Shadwell's Lancashire Witches, produced c.Sept. 1681; and ll. 548 ff. are aimed at one or both of these. Cf.
- MacFleckno, for the Mirth of Mankind fram'd
- For Magic Broomsticks and for Witches fam'd,
in a satire ('Wretch, whosoe're thou art that long'st for praise') among the Welbeck MSS deposited in the University of Nottingham library (it was printed in the apocryphal Posthumous Works … by Samuel Butler, iii.1717); and for the Macbeth, cf. Dryden, 'Epilogue to the University of Oxford' (1673), ll. 22, 29–30.
560. Paul's Church-yard. In his list of booksellers' signs here, F.G. Hilton Price, The Signs of Old London, London Topographical Record, iii.110 ff., gives many of the Restoration period.
564 f. Cf. Roscommon: 'A string may jarr in the best Masters hand'.
572 ff. Cf. Roscommon:
- But he that hath been often told his fault,
- And still persists, is as impertinent,
- As a Musician that will always play,
- And yet is always out at the same Note.
576. bubble: a dupe or gull (OED sb. 5). Cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 269 n.
577. 'To hit a blot', at backgammon, meant to take an exposed piece or man. See OED blot, sb.2.
578–81. The Latin is:
- Sic mihi, qui multum cessat, fit Choerilus ille,
- quem bis terve bonum cum risu miror;
Oldham follows Roscommon:
- When such a positive abandon'd Fopp,
- (Among his numerous Absurdities)
- Stumbles upon some tolerable Lines,
- I fret to see them in such company,
- And wonder by what Magick they came there.
with a final touch from Hudibras, II.iii.563 ff.:
- Quoth Hudibras, you'r in the right,
- But how the Devil you come by't,
- I can't imagine….
579. Lucks: happens. An obsolete usage (OED cites this example and one from Eachard, Contempt of the Clergy, a work Oldham knew).
589. Cf. Roscommon: 'Some love the dark, some chuse the clearest light'.
595. Indifference allow. The 1681 text had 'do difference allow'; 'Indifference' (meaning mediocrity) is the reading of the errata. Originally Oldham formed the line on Boileau's version (L'Art poétique, Chant IV, p. 135): 'Il est dans tout autre Art des degrés differens'. To clarify the sense, and avoid the duplication of 'do', he revised it on a hint from Jonson's (ll. 555 f.):
- … neither, Men, nor Gods, nor Pillars meant,
- Poëts should ever be indifferent. [sc. mediocre].
598. Willis: Dr Thomas Willis (1621–1675), buried in Westminster Abbey. A Pindarique Elegy On the most Famous and Learned Physitian Dr. Willis (Wood 429 (34)) was 'Printed', according to Wood's note, 'at Oxon by L. Lichfeild 22 Nov. 1675'. A portrait is reproduced in Abraham Wolf, A History of Science … in the 16th and 17th Centuries, 1935 (illustn. 225). Willis is remembered for his work on the anatomy of the brain, on nervous disorders, and above all on saccharine diabetes. Oldham's friend, Dr Richard Lower, was Willis's disciple and successor. Cf. An Elegy On The Death of … Dr. Richard Lower (1691):
- When the learn'd WILLIS dy'd, he did impart
- His utmost Skill to thy capacious Heart….
The extent and pre-eminent fame of Willis's practice, as of Lower's, is illustrated in Sir William Petty's references to them in his correspondence with Southwell (ed. Lansdowne, 1928, pp. 214, 222).
600. Sprat: Thomas Sprat, 1635–1713; Bishop of Rochester from 1684. On 23 Nov. 1680 Evelyn 'went to St Paul's, to hear that great wit, Dr Sprat…. His talent was, a great memory, never making use of notes, a readiness of expression in a most pure and plain style of words, full of matter, easily delivered.' Burnet is unfavourable: 'Sprat had studied a polite style much, but there was little strength in it'; upon which Dartmouth comments: 'He was highly valued by men of wit, and little by those of his own profession' (i.261 and n.).
Tillotson: John Tillotson (1630–94), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1691. He was a disciple of the Cambridge Platonists; and according to his friend Burnet (i.335) 'had the brightest thoughts and the most correct style of all our divines, and was esteemed the best preacher of the age'. He abandoned all ostentation of learning, directing his appeal to the reason of a lay audience assumed to be capable of judging for itself without special professional training. See Leslie Stephen, English Literature pg 416and Society in the Eighteenth Century (1904), p. 50; Spingarn, introduction &IV, especially p. xliv; and Mackay's introduction to James Arderne, Directions Concerning the Matter and Stile of Sermons, 1671 (Luttrell Society, 1952). Dryden himself professed to have learnt prose style from Tillotson.
603. Finch: Sir Heneage Finch, created Earl of Nottingham, 1681, and at this time Lord Chancellor. He is characterized under the name of Amri in The Second Part of Absalom And Achitophel (ll. 1019 ff.), where he is praised for his exposition of the laws, 'with such Charms of Eloquence'. Pepys 'seems always to have admired his style' (v.140, n. 2), 3 May 1664, 13 Oct. 1666. Burnet (ii.43) is critical: 'He was long much admired for his eloquence, but it was laboured and affected: and he saw it as much despised before he died.' Thomas Shipman has 'eloquent as Finch' in Carolina, 1683 ('The Pick-Packet', 1665).
604. Selden's Learning. Cf. Jonson's 'Epistle to John Selden'. Clarendon says of Selden (1584–1654): 'He was of so stupendious learninge in all kindes, and in all languages, (as may appeare in his excellent and transcendent writings) that a man would have thought, he had bene intirely conversant amongst bookes, and had never spent an howre, but in readinge and writinge' (Nichol Smith, p. 167).
604. Vauhan: Sir John Vaughan (1603–74), friend of Seiden, MP for Cardiganshire, and from 1668 Chief Justice of Common Pleas. His 'sense' may be assessed from his Reports and Arguments [in] Common Pleas (1677): of constitutional importance were his judgements in Bushell's Case, 1671, which established the immunity of juries from prosecution for their verdicts, and the rules he laid down in Thomas v. Sorrell, 1674, defining the royal dispensing power. Pepys was told by Finch that he was 'of excellent judgement and learning, but most passionate and opiniastre'; refers to him as 'the great speaker', and valued proportionately his high praise of the masterly speech Pepys himself made, 5 Mar. 1668, in defence of the Navy Office (3 July 1666, 28 Mar. 1664, 6 Mar., 6 Apr., 18 May 1668). See also Clarendon, Life (1857), i.30.
607. Fleckno: Richard Flecknoe (d. 1678?), whom Marvell had satirized in 'Fleckno, an English Priest at Rome'. Oldham had already transcribed the lines in which Dryden immortalized him as 'Through all the realms of nonsense, absolute'.
608. second Rate. See l. 672 n.
615. entertain: 'entertainment … a feast or banquet' (OED).
622 f. Cf. Pepys, 12 Apr. 1669: '… thence by water to the Bear-Garden…. Here we saw a prize fought between a soldier and a country fellow, one Warrell…. He did soundly beat the soldier, and cut him over the head.' Cf. ibid., 27 May 1667. Bear-Garden was on the south side of the river, near the present site of Southwark Bridge. Cf. 'Jesuits, Prologue', ll. 26 f.
624–7. The Spectator (V.ii, No. 161) describes a wake; the sport of throwing the bar is mentioned. Sir Thomas Parkyns (The Inn-Play, 2nd edn., 1714) refers to 'country rings for wrestlings at wakes and other festivals'. According to Carew's Survey of Cornwall (1602), p. 75, it was a rule in west-country wrestling that a girdle to take hold by should be worn. See Joseph Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of The People of England (1903), ed. J. Charles Cox, p. 71, etc.
630 f. Cf. Colonel Edmund Ashton's 'Prologue against the Disturbers of the Pit':
- … every one with Insolence enjoys
- His Liberty and Property of Noise.
(text, Rochester, ed. Pinto, p. 54; authorship, Vieth, Attribution, pp. 266–8).
635 f. Cf. R. Fletcher, 'A Survey of the World', Ex Otio Negotium (1656):
- … the Dallying Gallant …
- Thinks there's no Heaven like a Bale of Dice,
- Six Horses and a Coach with a device:
- A cast of Lackeys….
From the technical meanings it bore in certain sports and crafts, 'cast' was occasionally used for a set or suit of other things (OED, sb. III, 13–17).
637. Flanders: Flanders-horses. For the prestige they conferred cf. HMC, Finch, II.81, 19 July 1680: 'My brother … will be to morrow at Tunbridge with his chariott and six Flanders horses … so that he will be the chief spark there.'
638–42. Cf. Roscommon:
- … you are of too quick a sight
- Not to discern which way your Talent lies
- Or vainly struggle with your Genius.
656. The expansion follows Boileau (L'Art poétique, Chant IV, p. 139): 'Les Tygres amollis dépouilloient leur audace'.
659 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Of Wit' (Poems, p. 17):
- Such were the Numbers which could call
- The Stones into the Theban wall.
667. Cf. Boileau, op. cit., p. 138: 'Enferma les Cites de murs et de rempars'. The Latin is 'oppida moliri'.
670. Cf. Boileau, op. cit.: 'Et sous l'appuis des lois mit la foible innocence'.
671 f. See Appendix II, ll. 70 f.
672. The classification of warships from first-rates down to sixth-rates, according to their force, was introduced, apparently, in 1653 (Pepys, iii. 128, n. 1). Oldham's is the OED's earliest instance of the generalized sense of the noun: 'a person or thing of the highest class'.
673, 676 f. Oldham leaves out Tyrtaeus (whom Horace couples with Homer), and, like Boileau (loc. cit., p. 139), inserts Hesiod:
- Hésiode à son tour, par d'utiles leçons,
- Des champs trop paresseux vint haster les moissons.
678 f. Cf. Boileau, op. cit.:
- Depuis le Ciel en vers fit parler les Oracles …
- Apollon par des vers exhala sa fureur.
Horace has merely 'dictae per carmina sortes'.
696 ff. Foot- as well as horse-races were held at Newmarket. 'Letters from New-market inform us', says The True Domestick Intelligence for Mar. 16–19, 1679/80, that 'on the 18 instant are to be Run several Foot-Races, to a considerable value'.
697. Airings. Used of the exercising of horses, 'to bring them to a perfect wind'; see OED, which has no instance of the word as applied to a man in this sense.
701. Of good repute in either Chappel. Cf. Pepys, 8 Sept. 1667: 'to the King's Chapel … and there I hear Cresset sing a Tenor part along with pg 418the Church music…. [M]eeting Creed, I with him … to the Queen's Chapel and hear their music.' Cf. Chamberlayne, Angliae Notitia (1682), i.172: 'There are Nine and Twenty Gentlemen of His Majesties Chappel-Royal, … all of the most eminent of England in their Profession'; and see The King's Musick, ed. H.T.C. De Lafontaine (1909), pp. 297–364 (on 1676–83), passim.
717. hire the House: this appears to mean that they pay the actors to produce their plays. The theatres were known as 'the King's House' (Drury Lane) and 'the Duke's House' (Dorset Gardens).
725 ff. Oldham consulted Boileau (L'Art poétique, Chant I, p. 110) as well as the Latin:
- Chaque vers qu'il entend, le fait extazier.
- Tout est charmant, divin, aucun mot ne le blesse,
- Il trépigne de joye….
735. Cf. Roscommon: 'As men that truly grieve at Funerals'.
742. sound: supported both by the Latin (perspexisse) and by Roscommon's version: 'seen the bottom of his deepest thoughts'; 'found' of the 2nd and subsequent edns. originates in a misreading of the long s.
745. learned Ben: Jonson; cf. Oldham's ode on him, ll. 196 f. and n. Drummond records his characteristic advice to read Quintilian, 'who, he said, would tell me the faults of my Verses as if he lived with me' (Spingarn, i.210).
776. A red cross and the words 'Lord have mercy upon us' were set on the doors of plague-stricken households. A pamphlet, The Shutting Up Infected Houses As it is practised in England Soberly Debated (1665), protests against the inhumanity of the measure and urges its unsoundness.
779. Cf. Roscommon: 'Than Poetasters in their raging fits'.
780 f. Oldham adds the simile of the dog.
785. Like lesser ditches, Fleet-Ditch was not railed off.
791. Empedocles of Agrigentum.
810. Bedlam or Hogsdon: so Marvell, The Rehearsal Transprosed (1672), quoted Wheatley, ii.246, who comments: 'Hoxton was synonymous with Bedlam as a place for lunatics, for whom there were three distinct asylums.' Bedlam or Bethlehem Hospital, which before the Great Fire had stood in Bishopsgate, was rebuilt in 1676 in Moorfields.
812. The Tower menagerie was one of the sights of London: see 'Juvenal III', l. 286 n. There were four lions in 1681, but three of them died that year. See Grimalkin, Or, The Rebel-Cat (1681), The Lions Elegy Or Verses on the Death of the three Lions in the Tower (1681), and A Pleasant Funeral-Oration, at the Interment of the Three (lately Deceased) Tower-Lyons (1681).
813 ff. Cf. Boileau, L'Art poétique, Chant IV, p. 136:
- … ce Rimeur furieux
- Qui …
- Aborde en recitant quiconque le saluë,
- Et poursuit de ses vers les Passans dans la rue.
An Imitation of Horace: Book I, Satyr IX
Donne was inspired by the same original in his 'Satyr IV' (the insufferable courtier) and perhaps in 'Satyr I' (W. Milgate (ed.), The Satires … of John pg 419Donne (1967), pp. 116, 148 f.). Jonson's and Sprat's versions are noted in Oldham's 'Advertisement': on Paul F. Hammond's demonstration of his debts to Sprat, from which I derive the nn. on them, below, see ibid., ll. 55–7 n.
1 f. Cf. Sprat, 'Of late … I musing walkt'. For the Mall, see 'Art of Poetry', l. 396 n.; it is where, notes Hammond, the narrator is 'Seized' (cf. l. 4) by his victimizer in Rochester's 'Timon'.
3 f. Cf. Sprat, 'with familiar freedom' and 'Whom scarce I knew, save onely by his name'. In 'Timon' the victimizer 'just my name had got'. But all three poets are translating 'quidam notus mihi nomine tantum'.
14. Cf. Sprat, 'The more I honour you', for 'pluris … mihi eris'.
16 f. Cf. Sprat, 'And still all ways to shake him off I tri'd, / Sometimes I walk'd apace'.
19. Bagnio: the Turkish bath, 'lately erected in London' was 'as near the Turkish-Fashion as may be'; see A True Account of the Royal Bagnio, with a Discourse of its Vertues (1680: 'March 31', Luttrell, Catalogues No. 2, p. 10, item 69), printed by Oldham's publisher, Hindmarsh.
22. Sprat (as narrator) 'whisper'd' his footboy; Oldham, to himself. He has other small debts at l. 25, where Sprat has 'an impertinent man'; 45, 'trouble'; 79, 'My last hour's come'; 84, 'fatal tongue'; 86, 'Talkers'.
24. Manly: the hero of Wycherley's Plain Dealer (1676): cf. II.i, where, after threatening Novel with kicking, he puts him and Lord Plausible out of the room.
26–35. Oldham expands Horace's half-dozen words, and in ll. 107–24 adds more of the impertinent's talk. Both passages owe something to the impertinent in Donne's 'Satyr IV' (cf. especially his ll. 101–5, 108 f., 111–14, 127), who retails court scandal and trite politics.
27 f. See Luttrell, i.91, May 1681, on two months of widespread drought, not broken in and about London till late June (i.104), when 'seasonable showers for this week past … brought the price of hay, corn and provisions to a moderate rate again'. Cf. Evelyn, 29 Apr., 12 June 1681.
29. On 12 Dec. 1680 Evelyn records how the comet, visible all over Europe, troubled his mind. The bore repeats a rumour of a new one.
31–3. In Etherege's Man of Mode (1676; II.ii.57–8) Belinda pretends she has had to entertain 'Welch acquaintance' at the play with just such conversation: 'that is sparkish Mr. such a one who keeps reverend Mrs. such a one, and there sits fine Mrs. such a one who was lately cast off by my Lord such a one'. It was fit only for the hearing of country cousins, or the mouth of a brisk bore.
34. the Groom-Porters. Pepys went as a spectator to the Groom-Porter's, 1 Jan. 1667/8: see his full description. The gamesters 'began … at about eight at night', though 'their heat of play' he learnt, 'begins not till about eleven or twelve'. He marvels 'how easily here, where they play nothing but guinnies, a £100 is won or lost'; how 'old gamesters', without money, 'come … and look on'; 'how persons of the best quality … play with people of … meaner'; and 'lastly … the formality of the groome-porter, who is their judge of all disputes in play and all quarrels'.
36. Cf. Sprat: 'I minded not a word'.
39. Cf. Sprat: 'fain be rid of me'.
41. in a Course: 'under the doctor'; for 'a course of physick', cf. Pepys, 1 Apr. 1666; 'a course of diet', Wood, Life and Times, iii.13.
52. Lambeth Palace, 'my Lord's', is the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 'his Grace' of l. 126 (see n.). Whitgift School was under his jurisdiction. From Lambeth, on Archbishop Sancroft's behalf, Dr Thompson corresponded with Oldham's former headmaster, Shepheard, who also made business journeys thither (Bodl. MS Tanner 162 ff. 64, 69, 97).
55. wheadle. See 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 150 n., and cf. 'A Letter', ll. 80 f.
59 f. Cf. Sprat: 'If once you knew me, Sir'.
68. Rochester had died 26 July 1680.
70. The Anglicization, 'Andrew', can hardly be Oldham's. Cf. MacFlecknoe, l. 53: 'St. Andrés feet ne'er kept more equal time'. The famous Frenchman arranged the dances in Shadwell's Psyche (1674–5) and was the leading dancer in the court masque, Calisto (1675). See Etherege, Man of Mode (1676) and Brett-Smith's n. (p. 253, l. 311, p. 321).
72. Humphreys. Pelham Humfrey (1647–74) entered the Chapel Royal as a chorister, 1660. He studied composition under Lully in Paris from 1664. Returning in 1667 he became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, and Master of the Children in 1672. Flatman wrote a pastoral song on his death.
Blow. Dr John Blow (1649–1708) succeeded Humfrey as Master of the Children, 1674, and was organist of Westminster Abbey, 1668–79, and again from 1695. Next to his pupil Henry Purcell, he was the greatest English composer of his time. He was to write the music to Oldham's St. Cecilia Ode (see headnote, below), performed the year after the poet's death.
73 f. Cf. Sprat: 'Here it was time to interpose: Have you / No mother, Sir, nor other kindred'.
91–3. Cf. Jonson, Poetaster, III.i.214, 217:
- Now, let me dye, sir, if I know your lawes …
- Besides, you know, sir, where I am to goe.
94. Horace has only 'Dubius sum quid faciat, inquit', without stage-direction. Cf. Sprat, 'Here he perplext stood still' [with an appropriate, though different, gesture].
107–24. Without equivalent in the Latin: see n. to ll. 26–35; and with ll. 123 f., cf. Donne, 'Satyre IV', ll. 1–3; more of Donne's opening is echoed in 'On the Times' (R222 f.).
110. Doway … St. Omers: the colleges at which priests were trained for the English mission. Oates entered St. Omers 10 Dec. 1677; expelled 23 June 1678, he came forward with his story of the Popish Plot on his return to England.
111–13. Edward Fitzharris, an Irish Catholic, was arrested in Mar. 1681 for a treasonable libel. Hoping to save himself, he pretended he could make great discoveries concerning the Plot. Lest the King and his ministers should stifle this evidence, the Commons decided to take the matter out of their hands by impeaching Fitzharris before the Lords; who, however, rejected the impeachment. The Commons then voted that all who concurred in trying Fitzharris in any other court were betrayers of the liberties of their country. He was nevertheless prosecuted for the libel; on 11 May three judges to one pronounced that the impeachment would not bar a trial; and he was finally tried and found guilty 9 June, sentenced 15 June, and executed, after a vain attempt to obtain a pardon, 1 July. See Burnet, ii.283–5; Luttrell, i.68, 82, 96, 98 f., 104 f.; The Examination of Edw. Fitzharris, relating to the Popish Plot, Mar. 10 1680/1; The tryal and condemnation of Edw. Fitz-harris Esq (1681); An Elegie Upon Edward Fitz-Harris, Executed at Tyburn for High-Treason upon Friday July 1, 1681; and Jones, pp. 174–6.
115. Louis XIV's confessor was the Jesuit Père de la Chaise; his mistresses at this time were Mme de Montespan and Mme de Maintenon—probably the latter is meant.
116–18, 120. Cf. E. Settle, The Character of a Popish Successor and What England may Expect from Such a One (1681)—including (p. 13) 'Fire and Faggot'. The pamphlet preceded the Oxford Parliament (21 Mar.); a series of answers and counter-answers denied and reasserted that a Popish successor would be bound to crusade against English Protestantism.
119. Cf. An Appeal from the Country to the City (1679), by Charles Blount (pseudonymously), p. 8 ad fin.: 'More Romish Canons fitting to be considered by all Abby-Landed Men…. So that if any men (who have Estates in Abbey-Lands) desire to beg their Bread, and relinquish their Habitations and Fortunes to some old greasie bald-pated Abbot, Monk, or Friar, then let him Vote for a Popish Successor.' See also 'Jesuits III', l. 54 and n.
126. his Grace: a title reserved for Archbishops and Dukes. Here (see l. 52 n.) it is the Archbishop; in Sprat's 'I pray Sir get his Graces hand to this' it fits himself and the Duke of Buckingham, whose chaplain he was. The title in Sprat may have put the Archbishop and Lambeth (connected with Whitgift School) into Oldham's head.
136–42. Hammond cfs. Jonson, Poetaster, III.i.248–59. Oldham's 'no Family / Throughout the whole three Kingdoms is more free', as an expansion of 'domus hac nec purior ulla est' is evidently indebted to Jonson's 'That place is not in Rome … / More pure or free'. Cf. also ll. 140–2 ('none … Place') with Jonson's
- There's no man greev'd, that this is thought more rich
- Or this more learned; each man hath his place, …
but each is close to the Latin; Oldham the closer.
151–6. Hammond draws attention to Jonson's version of the Horatian passage (ll. 56–9), Poetaster, III.ii.271–7. Oldham owes to it 'Hang on his coach' (cf. 'run by his coach') and the reference to the 'Groom', without equivalent in the Latin.
Paraphrase upon Horace: Book I, Ode XXXI
3. Esham's: Evesham's, pronounced Eezham's; cf. 'Lords of fat E'sham' (Pope, Imitations of Horace, ed. J. Butt, p. 181, Epistle II.ii.240) and 'Worcestershire, and the Vale of Esam' (Duke of Newcastle, A New Method … to Dress Horses, 1667, p. 60). In 1938, Strickland Gibson told me that 'Evesam' still survived as a local pronunciation. For 'Eves' as 'Ease' cf. Shakespeare, Richard III, V.iii.22, Q1, F1: 'Ease-dropper' (subst.).
5. Cf. Randolph, 'A Pastoral Courtship' (Poems, p. 112): 'More white and soft then Cotsall wooll.'
6. Lemster: the Leominster district, Herefordshire: 'The excellencie of Lemster wooll' is celebrated in the seventh song of Drayton's Polyolbion. Cf. CSPD, 1675–1676, p. 374.
11. For Lombard-street and its banker-goldsmiths, Vyner, Backwell (till 1672), Duncombe, and Kent among the chief, see F.G. Hilton Price, A Handbook of London Bankers (1876), and his Signs of Old Lombard Street (1887). Cf. 'Boileau VIII', ll. 311 f. and n.
15–18. An exceptionally 'plenteous vintage' in the Canaries is reported by The True News: Or, Mercurius Anglicus, Mar. 3–6, 1679/80: 'there was a greater scarcity of Casks, than of Wine'; duties on the Spanish wines just arrived were forecast at 'above 80000 l.'.
21. Florence … Mont-Alchine: wines from those places (Montalcino is a town near Siena). Neither is in OED; for the second, see Evelyn, 2 Nov. 1644 (quoted Hammond): 'Mount Alcini famous for the rare Muscatello'. A version of John Philips, Ad Henricum St John, entitled A Modern Latin Ode Attempted in English (1707; repr. Philips, Works, 1714), claiming a taste for the 'finest Tea, and best Virginia', adds 'Hermitage, or Mont'Alcino'.
22. French wines follow the Italian. 'Mant' is not in OED: but is characterized as 'a very good Claret' in W. Hughes, Compleat Vineyard (1665), p. 65 (quoted Hammond). Robert Hooke, 22 Apr. 1678 (Diary, ed. Robinson and Adams) 'told Wild of Mant wine'. Cf. Covent Garden Drollery (1672; ed. G. Thorn Drury, p. 79): 'In Burgundy and Mant the great ones rayle': Mant, notes the editor (p. 141), 'is probably a shortened form of "Vin d'Amant", mentioned in a list of wines by Henry Bold, Poems, 1664, p. 170.' Bold has 'Wines of Nantz' in the same list, distinct from his 'vin … d'Amant'; clearly in the present passage 'Mants' is not an error for 'Nantz'. 'Frontignac' is an erroneous form of Frontignan, and signifies a muscat wine made there. Chablis, a celebrated white wine, was named from a small town in the department of Yonne. For Oldham's spelling, cf. Shadwell, The Sullen Lovers (1668; V.92): 'You must have your cellars full of Champaign, Chablee.' Champagne, like Chablis, was a new luxury in Restoration England: see G. Scott Thomson, Life in a Noble Household (1940 edn.), pp. 191–4, quoting Woburn Abbey accounts.
23. German wines. According to Phillips's dictionary (1696 edn., see OED) an 'Auln or Aum of Renish Wine' contains 40 gallons, 40 pints. Hock, from Hockamore, is properly the wine produced at Hochheim on the Main; Backrag is from Bacharach on the Rhine; Moselle is a dry white wine from near the Moselle river.
27 f. Cf. Cowley, Cutter of Coleman-Street, Prologue (Essays, p. 266), on the 'dreadful Fleets of Tunis and Argier', which make 'The Merchand Ships so much their passage doubt.' The newspapers record many hairsbreadth escapes, like the Leopard's, homeward bound from Zant to Plymouth (The Currant Intelligence, 14 and 24–28 Feb., 1679[/80]. 'In November last', reports The Protestant (Domestick) Intelligence, 24 Feb. 1679[/80]: 'there were in Argiers about 1600 English slaves': the same month Charles granted a brief to collect ransom. Cf. William Okeley, Eben-Ezer (1676), relating 'the Miserable Slavery of Algiers' and his 'Miraculous Deliverance'. See also Routh, ch. 8.
29. Cyprus Birds: unknown to OED; but see The Ornithology of Francis Willughby, tr. John Ray, 1678, p. 227: 'Beccafigo's abound … in the Island of Cyprus'. Salted, 'great numbers' are exported; 'in England they are called … Cyprus birds. [Our merchants, no less than the Italians of classic times and ours, esteem them] for the delicacy of their taste'; 'deservedly', since they feed 'upon two of the choicest fruits, viz. Figs and Grapes…. Beccafigo's are … most in season in the Autumn, … being then fattest.'
Ortolans. Cf. Cowley, 'Of Agriculture' (Essays, p. 413):
- Nor Ortolans nor Godwits nor the rest
- Of costly names that glorify a Feast….
Pepys, 10 July 1668, was shown a treat for the King, 'birds … from Bordeaux … almost all fat. Their name is Ortolans.'
pg 423Paraphrase upon Horace: Book II, Ode XIV
4. Not in the Latin; Clark (p. 122) derives it from Boileau, 'Epistre III': 'Le moment où je parle est déja loin de moi.' Cf. also Horace, Odes, I.xi, 'dum loquimur, fugerit invidia / aetas'.
20. Cf. Thomas Flatman, 'A Dooms-Day Thought. Anno 1659', II. 27 f.:
- Go to the dull church-yard and see
- Those hillocks of mortality.
25 ff. Aimed at Louis XIV. See the discarded variant of this passage, 'A Dithyrambique', l. 21 (Appendix II); and cf. 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 31 ff., and n.
32. Poor prisoners in the gaols depended for their food largely upon the alms-basket; cf. OED, basket, I.e., quoting Trials of White etc. (1679).
38. For disorders of the lungs, Montpellier, says Steele (Tatler, No. 125, 26 Jan. 1710) is as much the place of resort as in classical times Anticyra for distempered brains. Clarendon, partly no doubt for its salubrity, made it his residence in exile from July 1668 to 1679. When Rochester was ill in 1678, Henry Savile (13 July) urged him to winter there (Rochester, Letters, p. 204).
45. Bedrols: bead-rolls, long list of names; originally, of persons especially to be prayed for.
The Praise of Homer. Ode
The title—and topic—were no doubt suggested by Cowley's ode 'The Praise of Pindar' (see 'Dithyrambique', headnote). There is no certain indication of date. But ll. 1–4, 137 (see nn.) have antecedents in a draft for the ode on Jonson, material which may have had a place in the stanzas excised from it in Dec 1678 (see the ode, headnote), and perhaps Oldham is here drawing on what he had discarded. For another possible link with the Jonson ode, see ll. 42–4 n., below.
1–4. Cf. the draft (R224) for the 'Ode on Jonson'; Appendix II, ll. 105–8.
13–15. Metaphors such as this reflect the growth of finance which marked the 17th century. Advocating a national bank in emulation of the great Bank of Amsterdam, Petty wrote in his Quantulumcumque concerning Money (1682): 'We have in England Materials for a Bank which shall furnish Stock enough to drive the Trade of the whole Commercial World' (R.D. Richards, Early History of Banking in England, 1929, p. 103). Oldham echoes Cowley's elegy on Katherine Philips (Poems, p. 442):
- Orinda on the Female coasts of Fame,
- Ingrosses all the Goods of a Poetique Name …
- Does all the business there alone, which we
- Are forc'd to carry on by a whole Company.
17–21. Cf. Denham, 'Progress of Learning', ll. 61 ff.:
- I can no more believe Old Homer blind
- Then those, who say the Sun hath never shin'd;
- The age wherein he liv'd, was dark, but he
- Could not want sight, who taught the world to see.
37. Purliews: suburbs. Cf. Paradise Lost, II.832.
42–4. Cf. Randolph, 'An Eglogue' to Jonson, Poems 1638 (Jonson, xi.395, ll. 145 f.): Aristotle
- Knows all the Heavens, as if he had been there,
- And helpt each Angell turn about her spheare.
Perhaps it was when composing his ode on Jonson that Oldham's attention was directed to this. Cf. the like conceit in Cowley (Poems, p. 417): as physiologist, Harvey
- … so exactly does the work survey,
- As if he hir'd the workers by the day.
62–92. The drafts of this stanza in R88, 92, 258 f. were not written originally for the present ode. Homer is not addressed: he is 'ye Grecian', 'He', 'That Poet'. The five-line fragment on R92 looks as though it belonged to Oldham's projected ode 'In Praise of Poetry' (R100 etc.).
62. Macedonian Youth: Alexander.
65. Budg: stiff, formal, pompous.
Philosophers: Originally the allusion was to Aristotle alone: 'ye awful Stagyrite' (R88), and 'Philosopher' (R258), with corresponding singulars below, in ll. 66, 70, 78, 79. He became Alexander's tutor in 342 BC, remaining so till his pupil's accession in 335, when he retired to Athens. According to Plutarch (Lives, VIII.3, tr. B. Perrin) Alexander 'admired [Aristotle] at the first, and loved him', but cooled off later.
70 f. Rhetoric, logic, and ethics. R88 has: 'He might ye Art of Speaking & of Thinking teach.'
77 f. Cf. Dryden, Epilogue to Marriage a la Mode (1673):
- Not with dull Morals, gravely writ, like those,
- Which men of easie Phlegme, with care compose.
80. Cf. Plutarch, op. cit., VIII.2: since Alexander 'thought … the Iliad a viaticum of the military art, he took with him Aristotle's recension of the poem, called the Iliad of the Casket, and always kept it … under his pillow, as Onesicritus informs us.'
89 f. Cf. Juvenal, X.168 f. Cowley has this commonplace in 'Against Fruition' (Poems, p. 99). Cf. 'Boileau VIII', ll. 142 ff.
93 ff. Cf. Denham, 'Cooper's Hill', l. 70: 'for Homer's Birth seven Cities strove'.
100. The deification of Homer is the subject of a relief now in the British Museum (see Gilbert Norwood, Writers of Greece (1925), frontispiece).
105. fabulous Arthur. So Milton thought him (Works, x.127 f.): '… who Arthur was, and whether ever any such reign'd in Britain, hath bin doubted heretofore, and may again with good reason'.
105. boasted Constantine: his father Constantius having died at York, he was saluted Emperor. Milton (Works, x.92 f.) notes the 'fame … seconded by most of our own Historians, though not … the ancientest' that he was born in Britain, son of a British princess; but rightly rejects it on the testimony of Roman authors, 'neerest to those times'.
110–22. Milton, making choice of the vernacular, was conscious of a sacrifice: 'not caring to be once nam'd abroad, though perhaps I could attaine to that, but content with these British Hands as my world' (Reason of Church Government, Works, iii.i.236).
131. God of Wit: Apollo.
132–72. Indebted to the opening of Cowley's Pindarique 'The Resurrection', which describes how Verse, when Virtue dies,
- … with comely pride
- Embalms it, and erects a Pyramide
- That never will decay
- Till Heaven it self shall melt away,
- And nought behind it stay.
and how then
- … Virgils sacred work shall dy.
- And he himself shall see in one Fire shine
- Rich Natures ancient Troy, though built by Hands Divine.
Cf. the last stanza of the ode on Morwent.
137. Cf. the draft (R225) for the 'Ode on Jonson' (Appendix II, l. 129).
144. proudest Louvres, and Escurials: coupled in Cowley, 'The Garden', (Essays, p. 423), and see 'Art of Poetry', l. 37 and n.
152 ff. Caligula, according to Suetonius (Cal., XXXIV.2), 'Cogitavit etiam de Homeri carminibus abolendis, cur enim sibi non licere, dicens, quod Platoni licuisset, qui eum e civitate quam constituebat eiecerit'. 'His damned Successor' is Nero.
Bion, A Pastoral … bewailing the Death of … Rochester
The Greek original is the third idyll of Moschus of Syracuse, fl., with Bion of Smyrna, late in the third century BC. Nothing suggests that Oldham knew Thomas Stanley's verse translation of their idylls, 1651.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, d. 26 July 1680, aged thirty-three. On Oldham in Rochester's circle, see Introduction, pp. xxviii f., xlii–v and nn. 17, 57–67, 69, 71–5; on the elegy, Advertisement pp. 89 f., especially ll. 111–23: in ll. 1–15, Oldham is revising an anonymous stanza. Other elegies on Rochester were written by Thomas Flatman (Poems and Songs, 1682; Latin versions by himself, edn. of 1686, and by Nathaniel Hanbury, StatePoems, Continued, 1702, p. 253); Anne Wharton (Examen Miscellaneum, ed. Gildon, 1702, with Waller's and Jack Howe's poetical compliments on it); Aphra Behn (Miscellany, 1685); Samuel, Thomas, and Mary Woodforde (Bodl. MS Rawl. Poet. 25, f. 146), Samuel Holland (s. sh. fol., 1680) and anon., 'Alas! what dark benighting Clouds or shade' (BL Lutt., I.124, 'Aug. 5', 1680).
39. Cf. 'S. Cecilia Ode', l. 15.
65. 'Fall' is transitive: cf. 'Shrubs which fall their leaves', Ray, Flora, 1665–76 (OED).
83 f. A variant of the legend of the Memnonides—birds which sprang from Memnon's ashes, flew three times about his pyre with cries of grief, and then slew one another. (Ovid, Metamorphoses, XIII.576 ff.) In mentioning only one bird, Oldham follows his original.
141–7. The Thames suggests Spenser, both because of his referring to it as his birthplace and of the refrain of Prothalamion.
152. Spenser matriculated as sizar of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, 20 May 1569, and studied there till he took his MA in 1576. He speaks of 'my Mother Cambridge' in The Faerie Queene, IV.xi.34.
153. Rochester matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, 18 Jan. 1660, aged twelve; he went down in 1661, the MA being specially conferred upon him, 9 Sept., by Chancellor Hyde. See V. de Sola Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit (1962), pp. 5 ff., 10–12.
156 f. Oldham perhaps recalled Rochester's line 'With war I've nought to do' ('Upon Drinking in a Bowl'; see 'The Cup', introductory n.), and his pg 426Strephon dialogues, from which several of his elegists evidently adopted their pastoral name for him (Poems, ed. Pinto, pp. 9, 12; and n., p. 165).
159. Among Rochester's poems, some forty treat of love. A handful are the finest Restoration love-lyrics we have; but Rochester's value lies quite as much in his poetical metaphysics and satire.
167 f. See below, 'The Vision', l. 42 n. Book VI of Paradise Lost would not now be chosen as a supreme example of Milton's excellence; but Roscommon made it the subject of his unrhymed tribute to Milton in An Essay on Translated Verse, and Addison gave it disproportionate praise. The early estimate is probably an unconscious reflection of the view, combated by Milton in the opening of Book IX and expressed by Dryden in the 'Discourse … concerning … Satire' (Essays, ii.31), that 'an heroic poem requires to its necessary design, and as its last perfection, some great action of war'. See Johnson's unfavourable criticism of Book VI (Lives of the Poets, ed. Birkbeck Hill, i.185).
169 f. Cowley entered Trinity College, Cambridge, as a Westminster scholar, 14 June 1637. He became a minor Fellow in 1640, took his MA in 1643, and was ejected next year by the Parliamentarians. His Naufragium Joculare was produced at Cambridge 2 Feb. 1638 and The Guardian in 1641: 'Davideis' was also chiefly written there. L. 170 seems to refer to The Mistress (1647), the first collection of his love-verses.
171 f. Cooper's Hill, Sir John Denham's most celebrated poem, appeared in 1642. Oldham has the opening passage in mind:
- … where the Muses & their train resort,
- Parnassus stands; if I can be to thee
- A Poet, thou Parnassus art to me.
173 f. Mrs Katherine Philips, the Matchless Orinda (1631/2–1664), whose poems were published in 1664 (surreptitiously) and in 1667. Cowley wrote lines 'On Orinda's Poems' and 'On the death of Mrs. Katherine Philips' (Poems, pp. 404, 441). He declares in the latter that Apollo, if he should crown a woman laureate, would choose Orinda before Sappho or the Muses themselves.
181, 187 f. At least two elegies were printed 1680, and others, e.g. Flatman's, were probably known to Oldham. As Thorn Drury observed, ll. 187 f. refer to Waller's 'Of an Elegy made by Mrs. Wharton on the E. of Rochester'. See headnote.
191–6. On Oldham's debt to Rochester, see Introduction pp. xlv f.
210 f. Echoing Othello, V.ii.12 f.
217 f. Maevius: the type of a bad poet; Virgil Ecl. III.90.
The Lamentation for Adonis
'June 2. 81' is appended to an autograph fair copy of the last twenty-six lines (R217). On Oldham's use of Lefèvre's Latin version, see Advertisement (above), ll. 105–10 and n.
9. and tear thy locks. From Lefèvre, p. 253, 'Scissa genas, & scissa comas'; not in the Greek.
27. Cf. Lefèvre, p. 253:
- … non ille dolores,
- Non tristes aestus animi, non sentit amorem.
35 f. Cf. Lefèvre, p. 253:
- Accendunt luctus & Oreades; & iuga montis,
- Et nemora, &q fontes acri plangere resultant.
37–50. The expansion of the original seems to be mainly Oldham's own.
60 f. Cf. Lefèvre, p. 254:
- Et quà luce perît Veneri formosus Adonis,
- Illâ ipsâ periit Veneri praestantia formae.
77. clips: embraces.
79. Cf. Lefèvre, p. 254: 'Quo fugis, ô miserande puer?'
95–110. Bion's Venus exclaims simply 'but wretched I live and am a goddess, and cannot follow thee'. Oldham copies Lefèvre, pp. 254 f.:
- Moreris, puer, at mihi vita est,
- Vita mihi in luctu, posthac, lacrymisque trahenda,
- Heu dolet, heu! dolet esse Deam: finire labores
- Possem, si Stygias possem descendere ad undas,
- Me potius iuvat esse Nihil, quàm sidera plantis
- Tangere, & ingratam producere Nectare vitam,
- In vacuum qui mersus abit vastumque Profundum,
- Praeteriti non ille memor, non ille futuri
- Sollicitus, vitae & mortis discrimina nescit;
- At quem destituit rerum regina Voluptas,
- Si vivit, miser est, rabido data praeda dolori,
- Cum nequeat memores animo depellere sensus.
111. Cf. Lefèvre, p. 255:
- Clade mea felix, & nostro laeta dolore
- Ac spoliis ditata meis:
124. See 'Bion', l. 138 n.
163–191. From the Greek alone; Lefèvre omits the passage.
193–5. The lamentation was a yearly rite; cf. Paradise Lost, I.446 ff., on Thammuz, the Syrian Adonis.
Paraphrase upon the 137 Psalm
Oldham knew Donne's Poems, 1633 (Advertisement (above), ll. 72–4, and n.), so the paraphrase there, probably by Francis Davison, may have suggested his (see Grierson's Donne, i.424). But he does not echo Davison's version, nor Crashaw's, Sidney Godolphin's, nor those in Bodl. MSS Ashmole 38, p. 98 c, attributed without sufficient grounds to Carew. In this and the next poem, and in 'David's Lamentation', his style of paraphrase is modelled on Cowley's in 'The 34 Chapter of the Prophet Isaiah' and 'The Plagues of Egypt' (Poems, pp. 211 ff., 219 ff.).
35 f. Judges, XXI.19, 21.
57. See Introduction, pp. lxxxvii f.
80 f. Cf. 'Jesuits I', ll. 262 f.
103–7, 114 f. Cf. ibid., ll. 281–92, and Jonson, Catiline, I.i.
Paraphrase upon the Hymn of St. Ambrose
In Wither's Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623), the Te Deum is entitled 'The Song of St. Ambrose'. It was supposed to have been extemporized by pg 428Ambrose and Augustine, reciting alternately, immediately after Augustine's baptism, AD 387. The legend rests on a spurious passage of the Chronicon of Dacius (Bishop of Milan, AD 550).
11. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 251):
- Only he spoke, and every thing that Is
- From out the womb of fertile Nothing ris.
17. Cf. Cowley, loc. cit.: 'They sing loud anthems of his endless praise'.
21 f. Cf. Cowley, loc. cit.:
- Where Heaven, as if it left it self behind,
- Is stretcht out far, nor its own bounds can find …
- Nor can the glory contain it self in th' endless space.
23–5. Cf. Cowley ['In the Drake Chair'] (Poems, p. 413):
- The straights of time too narrow are for thee,
- Lanch forth into an indiscovered Sea,
- And steer the endless course of vast Eternitie….
26–9. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 251):
- Not absent from these meaner Worlds below;
- No, if thou wert, the Elements League would cease, …
- And this vast work all ravel out again
- To its first Nothing; for his spirit contains
- The well-knit Mass, …
34 f. Cf. Cowley, loc. cit.:
- For there no twilight of the Suns dull ray,
- Glimmers upon the pure and native day.
and in his 'Plagues of Egypt' (Poems, p. 227):
- When (Lo!) from the high Countreys of refined Day,
- The Golden Heaven without allay,
- Whose dross in the Creation purg'ed away,
- Made up the Suns adulterate ray.
38 f. Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 260.
45. the rebel World: from Cowley, 'Isaiah 34' (Poems, p. 211).
53. Cf. Cowley, 'The Extasie' (Poems, p. 206): 'And mount herself, like Him, to' Eternitie in Fire', and perhaps linking with this to suggest l. 52,
- All the young Branches of this Royal Line
- Did in their fire without consuming shine,
- … through a rough Red sea they had been led …
in the 'Ode. Upon his Majesties Restoration' (Poems, p. 425).
60. Identical with l. 221 of the ode on Atwood.
68. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 251), has 'Thou Great Three-One'.
76–9. Cf. Donne, 'A Litanie', ll. 28 ff.:
- O Blessed glorious Trinity,
- Bones to Philosophy, but milke to faith,
- … let all mee elemented bee,
- Of power, to love, to know, you'unnumbered three.
80. Cf. Cowley, 'Christs Passion' (Poems, p. 402): 'Mountainous heap of wonders!'
91. Identical with l. 58 of the ode on Atwood.
95. Cf. Cowley, 'The Muse' (Poems, p. 186):
- Nay thy Immortal Rhyme
- Makes this one short Point of Time,
- To fill up half the Orb of Round Eternity.
98. Cf. Rochester's phrase, 'making of his priest a sacrifice' (Poems, p. 3, l. 15), and Donne, 'The Calme', ll. 25 f.:
- … as on Altars lyes
- Each one, his owne Priest, and owne Sacrifice.
100. Cf. the ode on Morwent, ll. 687 f.; Hamlet, V.ii.347 f.; and Rochester's 'everlasting fiery jails' in his translation (l. 14) from Seneca's Troades.
104 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Christs Passion' (Poems, p. 402):
- How Hell was by its Pris'ner Captive led,
- And the great slayer Death slain by the Dead.
117–19. Cf. Cowley, 'Isaiah 34' (Poems, p. 212): 'Nature and Time shall both be Slain'.
131–6. Cf. 'Counterpart', ll. 32–6, 39, a variant of this passage.
153 f. Cf. Paradise Lost, XI.99 ff., where Michael is commanded to set 'Cherubic watch' at the East of deserted Eden, lest the Fiend 'new trouble raise' and 'Paradise a receptacle prove / To Spirits foul'.
A Letter from the Country to a Friend in Town
The friend in town is John Spencer, barrister of the Inner Temple since 28 Nov. 1675 (F.A. Inderwick, ed., Calendar of the Inner Temple Records (1896), iii.105, see also 325, 332). He was half-cousin of Sir Nicholas Carew, Oldham's Beddington patron (Manning and Bray, History … of … Surrey, facing p. 523; R. Clutterbuck, History … of … Hertford (1815–27), iii.97; GEC Baronetage, ii. 200). The Carews and Spencers were and remained on familiar terms: three of John's elder brothers and sisters were christened at Beddington (Parish Register, ed. W. Bruce Bannerman, Publications of the Surrey Parish Register Soc., x (1912), 17 f.) and in 1703 he was to be joint trustee for the Carew heir (Manning and Bray, p. 533). In the draft of a Latin letter (R279) addressed to him as 'mi amicissime!', Dec. 1678, Oldham expects soon to have his company: no doubt as in 1676, when he wrote at Beddington (R21) the paraphrase of the 137th Psalm, the poet will be spending the Christmas season there, and knows that so will his friend. Just possibly their acquaintance may have begun at Oxford: Spencer (aged 17) matriculated at Magdalen Hall, 12 July 1667, where a contemporary was William Hickes of the Wickwar family with whom the Oldhams had links (Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis (1891); see Introduction, pp. xxvii, xxxii–iv and nn. 16, 23, 37). But Spencer took no degree, and may have gone down before, in June 1670, Oldham came up. In later life he succeeded (1699) to the Spencer baronetcy, and became MP for Hertfordshire (1705); he died 16 Nov. 1712 (Clutterbuck, op. cit.; GEC Baronetage, loc. cit.; Victoria County History, Hertfordshire, genealogical vol., p. 291. See also Introduction, p. xxviii, nn. 15, 16).
Spencer's autograph verse-epistle, dated 18 Mar. 1677/8, to which Oldham was replying, is now MS R198–204; the text is printed as Appendix I. The 'Letter', a draft towards which (R87) is headed 'In Answer to Mr. Spencer', was evidently on the anvil from Mar. till Oldham could date the final form of it as 'Written in July 1678'. Drafts (R85, 87–9, 93–6, 103) show something of its evolution; for these, see Appendix II. Oldham meant to make even more than he eventually did of Spencer's wisely prudent choice of profession and of his happy lot in the metropolis contrasted with his own exile in anticultural rusticity; to pursue Spencer's topic of wit; and to answer his attack on satire—witness a heading (R94) 'The Poet addressing himself to Satyr', and passages on R95, 103. Others (R94 f.) were designed for the speech where the poet swears never to write again ('Letter', ll. 84 ff., 113–32), or for one by his dissuading friends; some were utilized in 'Spencer's [sc. Spenser's] Ghost', ll. 74–84, 116 f., 224–6.
1–12. Ovid's exile is described in his Tristia and Ex Ponto. He was relegated to Tomis (modern Constanta in Romania) by Augustus in AD 8. With ll. 9 f. cf. Ex Ponto, II.vii.71 f., IV.ii.25 ff., and Cowley (Poems, p. 7): 'One may see through the stile of Ovid de Trist. the humbled and dejected condition of Spirit with which he wrote it; … The cold of the Countrey had strucken through all his faculties, and benummed the very feet of his Verses.' Ex Ponto, I.iii depicts Ovid's partial revival on receipt of a letter from Rufinus; IV.viii welcomes and answers one from Suillius.
7 f. Cf. Cowley, '[On Verses from Broghill]', (Poems, p. 408), where he calls the praise of such men as Broghill
- A Cordial, that restores our fainting Breath,
- And keeps up Life even after Death.
Cf. also Dryden, 'To the Lady Castlemaine', ll. 51 f.:
- … your Applause and Favour did infuse
- New Life to my condemn'd and dying Muse.
and 'Jesuits III', ll. 271 f.
13. Cf. Cowley, 'Answer to … Verses sent me to Jersey' (Poems, p. 43): 'Such comfort to us here your Letter gives'.
13 f. At Croydon; Oldham is chafing at his life as usher of the Free School.
19 f. A variant of 'To Madam L.E.', ll. 3 f.; cf. Cowley, 'To the Bishop of Lincoln' (Poems, pp. 28 f.):
- Great Joys as well as Sorrows make a Stay;
- They hinder one another in the Crowd
and more remotely, Shakespeare, King John, V.vii.19 f.
23 ff. Cf. Cowley, ['On Verses from Broghill'] st. 4 (Poems, p. 408).
41. Spencer discussed wit in his letter (Appendix I, ll. 64 ff., etc.).
42 f. 'Verse' is plural, as in 'Boileau VIII', ll. 334 f.
53–8. Originally Oldham intended to refer directly to Spencer's livelihood at the bar: see Appendix II.
79 f. Cf. Rochester, 'A Satyr against … Mankind', ll. 31 f.:
- Pride drew him in, as cheats their bubbles catch,
- And made him venture to be made a wretch.
80 f. 'Cully, a Fool or silly Creature that is easily drawn in and Cheated by Whores or Rogues'.—A New Dictionary of the Terms … of the Canting Crew, by B.E. Gent., quoted, to illustrate the name of Sir Nicholas Cully, in Brett-Smith's Etherege, p. 304; q.v. also for R H[ead], Proteus Redivivus; or the Art of Wheadling, or Insinuation (1675); to wheadle someone was to cajole in order to swindle him. A rook is a cheat or sharper (OED).
83. Hit: win the game. At backgammon there are three kinds of wins: the hit, the gammon, and the backgammon. A saving-share is one 'Not turning to loss, though not gainful' (Johnson). Cf. Lee, Sophonisba (1676), IV.i, p. 45.
96 f. That … wretch: Midas.
105. ill-pack'd. Shuffled badly, or disadvantageously to the player who is complaining (OED).
108. Both as critic, in the Poetics, and poet, in the ode on Hermias which Oldham translated.
112. resent: repent, regret (OED v. I 2 b).
119–24. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 15, Satire II:
- Maudit soit le premier, dont la verve insensée
- Dans les bornes d'un vers renferma sa pensée,
- pg 431Et donnant à ses mots une étroite prison,
- Voulut avec la Rime enchaîner la Raison.
127 ff. Cf. Cowley ['On Verses from Broghill'], Poems, p. 407:
- Then in a rage I took
- And out at window threw
- Ovid and Horace, all the chiming Crew,
- Homer himself went with them too,
- Hardly escap'd the sacred Mantuan Book.
131–8. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 13, Satire II:
- De rage quelquefois ne pouvant la trouver,
- Triste, las, & confus, je cesse d'y rêver:
- Et maudissant vingt fois le Demon qui m'inspire,
- Je fais mille sermens de ne jamais écrire:
- Mais quand j'ai bien maudit & Muses & Phebus,
- Je la voi qui paroist quand je n'y pense plus.
- Aussitost, malgré moi, tout mon feu se rallume;
- Je reprens sur le champ le papier & la plume,
- Et de mes vains sermens perdant le souvenir,
- J'attens de vers en vers qu'elle daigne venir.
149. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Hecatomb to his Mistress', l. 73: '(what Divines hunt with so cold a sent)'.
158 f. Cf. Dryden, 'Prologue to The Wild Gallant, revived', 1667:
- (Pleas'd with some Sport, which he alone does find
- And thinks a Secret to all Humane Kind,).
162–81. The high point of the Letter. The thought and some phrases were suggested by the opening of Dryden's dedication of The Rival Ladies, 1664 (Essays, i.1): 'This worthless present was designed you, long before it was a play; when it was only a confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work, moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be distinguished, and then either chosen or rejected by the judgement.' In The Road to Xanadu (1927), J.L. Lowes takes Dryden's account of the creative process for one of his texts; and Oldham's could be illustrated at length from Lowes's book. Oldham's description is not merely derivative; it is a true representation of his own mental habit, as the notes and rough drafts in R bear witness.
169–71, 192–5. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 253):
- As first a various unform'd Hint we find
- Rise in some god-like Poets fertile Mind,
- Till all the parts and words their places take,
- And with just marches verse and musick make.
178 f. Cowley (Poems, p. 5) refers to an imperfect version of his play, The Guardian, as 'only the hasty first-sitting of a Picture'.
199 f. Cf. Cowley, ['In the Drake Chair'] (Poems, p. 412):
- As well upon a staff may Witches ride
- Their fancy'd Journies in the Ayr….
Cf. Cleveland, 'A Letter to a Friend disswading him from his Attempt to marry a Nun', Poems (1653): 'as if their Travel (like Witches in the Air) were nothing but the Waftage of a deluded Phantasie, perswading themselves that they circle the Globe, when the Card they sail by, is nothing else but a slumbring Imposture.'
201. Cf. Denham, 'Natura Naturata'; we are 'led astray / From Nature, both her Guide and way.'
204. Cf. Etherege, The Man of Mode (1676), III.ii.265 ff.: 'Nature has her cheats, stum's a brain, and puts sophisticate dulness often on the tastless multitude for true wit and good humour.' See Brett-Smith's n.: to stum is to raise a new fermentation in wine by adding stum or must to it: this produces a false sparkle.
224–7. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 69, Satire VII (imitating Horace, Satires, II.i.57–60):
- À Rome, ou dans Paris, aux Champs ou dans la Ville,
- Deust ma Muse par là choquer tout l'Univers
- Riche, gueux, ou content, je veux faire des Vers.
229. Peebles. Cf. OED, sb. 3 = Foible 1. [i.e. a weak point; a failing or weakness of character]. Its earliest instance is from Mrs Behn, Sir Patient Fancy, this same year (1678). But cf. the Third Advice to the Painter ('Sandwich in Spain'), 1667 (no. 11 in Osborne): 'We'll find they're feeble, like Achilles Heel', where 'their feeble' is obviously the true reading.
234. Only one of Oldham's poems had yet been printed: Upon the Marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Lady Mary, in the anonymous single-sheet folio edn. of Nov. 1677 (Bibliography II.1).
Upon a Bookseller
The context of this onslaught becomes clear when its date, Christmas 1680 (R61), is correlated with the three issues of Satyrs Upon The Jesuits, 1681 (but first issued c.Nov. 1680). In the 'Advertisement', Oldham justified his including the so-called 'Satyr Against Vertue' by the need to supersede current bad texts, but was furious to find that the new text, with minimal correction, had been printed from the corrupt piracy of 1679, and so published. Holding Hindmarsh, his publisher, responsible, he wrote 'Upon a Bookseller' and had an errata-list added to a third issue (see my article SB, xxvii (1974), 190–2, and Introduction, pp. xxxiii, lxxix, and nn. 34, 198–200). The satire, now entitled 'Upon a Printer', was published, of course by Hindmarsh, in Some New Pieces (1681), but not in the first issue. It is squeezed, unleaded, into two leaves inserted between the original 12 and 13. The first issue, its text ending with 'Finis' on I2v (13 is an advertisement leaf) is so rare as to be known only from a cutting in G. Thorn Drury's interleaved Jacob, The Poetical Register, in the Bodleian (see Bibliography, II.8); I have never seen a copy. Of the alternative titles, which is an editor to adopt? 'Upon a Printer' is a revision presumably approved by the author; it might even reflect acceptance of an assurance from Hindmarsh that responsibility for the outrage lay with Mary Clark and her printing-house. But the belated inclusion of the piece may indicate the bookseller's reluctance to be pilloried in his own publication; a reluctance the change of title was perhaps conceded in order to overcome. Compared with the autographs, in the authorized version of the 'Aude aliquid. Ode', published in 1682, a change of title, and the 'Dithyrambique', when published in 1683, of title and conclusion, was made to veil the application to Rochester, unsuited for the general reader. As there, so here I have chosen, while acknowledging the authenticity of the revision, to keep the autograph title, which matches the poem as written and originally conceived.
5 f. Cf. Dryden, Epilogue to Troilus and Cressida (1679):
- But I want curses for those mighty shoales
- Of scribling Chlorisses, and Phillis fools.
Cf. also the title-poem, by Dorset (see N. Ault (ed.), Seventeenth-Century Lyrics, 1928, pp. 347 f., and n., pp. 487 f.), of Methinks the Poor Town (1673):
- Methinks the poor town has been troubled too long
- With Phyllis and Chloris in every song.
18. Clark, p. 121, compares Boileau, 'Satire IX', l. 283: 'C'est pour elle, en un mot, que j'ai fait voeu d'écrire.'
27 f. The second Exclusion Parliament, summoned for 7 Oct. 1679, was prorogued by stages until 21 Oct. 1680, Whigs meanwhile petitioning that it might meet, and Tories addressing the crown in abhorrence of the petitions (see 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 13 f., n.). Assembled, it resolved that 'abhorring' was a breach of parliamentary privilege; and, almost daily, directed the Serjeant-at-Arms, John Topham, to arrest offenders. Hence, says Roger North, it became 'proverbial on all Discourse of peremptory Commitments, to say, take him Topham…. [T]he Dread was almost universal…. For, being named in the House for an Abhorrer, take him Topham.' Topham died Dec. 1692 (Wood, Life and Times, iii.410). See A List of Abhorrers: or The Names of such Persons as were lately under the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms for Abhorring (1681); North, Examen, pp. 549, 560; Luttrell, i.187, 257, 557; CSPD, 1679–80, pp. 76, 101.
27–35, 42–4. Oldham is imitating Horace, Satires, II.i.47–9, and 39–46 which he transposes into a fiercer key.
28. Messenger: 'an officer, that … waits upon the Sergeant at Arms, to apprehend Prisoners of State' (so defined, in this sense, by Edward Phillips in the augmented 5th edn., 1696, of The New World of Words: Or, Universal English Dictionary).
29. Sir William Scroggs (1623?–1683), Lord Chief Justice since 1678, had presided at principal trials arising out of the Popish Plot. His reputation has suffered from Roger North's portrayal of him (quoted Kenyon, p. 117): whatever the violence of his tirades on popery and the Plot, his treatment of Oates's and Bedloe's evidence (ibid., pp. 121 f., 159, 164, 168, 170 f., 175 f.) show him less unfair and more independent than he has been given credit for. For his part in the acquittal of Wakeman, he was unsuccessfully impeached by the Whigs, 22 Dec. 1680. Now too unpopular to be useful, he was dismissed by the King in Apr. 1681.
the coif: the white cap formerly worn by lawyers, and especially by serjeants-at-law, as a distinctive mark of their profession (OED, sb. 3).
31 f. Cf. 'Art of Poetry', l. 377 and n.
47. The enemy (unidentified by scholars) against whom Ovid, during his Scythian exile, wrote his elaborate maledictory poem, Ibis.
48–51. Cf. Jonson, Poetaster, 'Apologetical Dialogue', ll. 161 f., and A.B. 'On Mr Cleveland' before Cleveland's Works, 1687:
- Cleveland again his sacred Head doth raise …
- Again with Verses arm'd, that once did fright
- Lycambes's Daughters from the hated Light….
The story runs that Archilochus (fl. 700 BC) was promised Lycambes' daughter Neobule in marriage; when the promise was broken he revenged himself by satire so biting that Lycambes and his daughters hanged themselves. See Horace, Epodes, VI.13, Epistles, I.xix.23 ff.
65. Few of the broadsheets of bellmen's verses survive; but see The Poor Gift of John Wood, Bell-Man: Presented To his Worthy Masters in the Parish of St. George's—Southwark (1675), and Thomas Ouldman's for 1684, '5, '6, '8, and '9 (Bodl. Wood 416 (130), G. 15 (CXCIII–CXCVII)). Ouldman's for 1684 concludes with an epilogue preventing censure such as Oldham's:
- When these poor Lines do to some Scholars come
- Perhaps they may be Laughed at …
but trusts that some perhaps will make due allowances. Strickland Gibson told me in 1937 that lamplighter's addresses, an interesting parallel to the bellmen's broadsheets, had survived at Oxford until recent times. Cf. further 'Juvenal III', l. 369; and one of Oldham's drafts for his lines on pg 434the author of Sodom (R82):
- Go write what Belmen may at Midnight whine,
- When they charm Trading Fools in wretched Rhime….
66. The singing of crickets, presumably in cages, was evidently one of the diversions of Bartholomew Fair, held in Smithfield. The modern Japanese still carry them in little cages, to enjoy their chirping.
67. Howard. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', ll. 328 ff., and 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 98. The Hon. Edward Howard, b. 1624, published The Brittish Princes: an Heroick Poem (1669); and four plays, The Usurper (1668), Six Days' Adventure (1671), The Womens Conquest (1671), and The Man of Newmarket (1678). Shadwell satirized him in the person of Ninny, 'a conceited Poet', in The Sullen Lovers (1668); and The United Kingdom, an unpublished play of his, was ridiculed in The Rehearsal. A collection of satirical verses upon him is printed in Dryden's 'Miscellany' (Sylvae, 1693, pp. 68–74); this includes pieces by Buckingham, Lord Vaughan, Mr Mat. Clifford, and Dr Sprat, and two by Dorset. The majority are mock-eulogies upon The Brittish Princes, on which Samuel Butler also wrote two pieces in the same strain (one of which appears in Sylvae erroneously attributed to Waller; see Butler, Satires …, ed. Lamar, pp. 115 ff. and nn.).
68. Jordan. See 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 62–6, 65 f. and nn.
68. Dutch Hudibrass: the anonymous Hogan-Moganides: or the Dutch Hudibras (1674).
73–6. Dryden writes of 'grave penny Chroniclers' in his prologue to Southern's Loyal Brother (1682). These hacks, for whom Grub-street was already famous, wrote the popular ballads and pamphlets describing the execution of malefactors and recounting their careers. One such pamphlet, The Behaviour of the five Prisoners in Newgate … Together with their Last Dying Words at Tyburn, quoted by Rollins (Pepys Ballads, iii.138) gives details of a 'Holborn Cavalcade' (Holborn was the road from Newgate and the Tower to Tyburn gallows): on 19 Dec. 1684, Richard Jones and Jenny Voss, a notorious thief, were carried to Tyburn in one cart, and 'with each of them their Mourning Coffins, Jenny Voss's being cover'd with black Cloath; they both appear'd very sorrowful, crying out and ringing their hands as they went along'; another criminal preceded them on a sledge, and two more followed in a second cart, accompanied by Gilbert Burnet and Samuel Smith the ordinary of Newgate.
81. Reading. Cf. Letters of Algernon Sidney (1742), p. 48: 'Reading was this morning [28 Apr. 1679] in the Pillory, and is condemned to a year's imprisonment and 1000 pounds fine, for having endeavoured to corrupt Bedloe'. According to Burnet (ii.198), 'Reading, a lawyer of some subtilty but no virtue, was employed by the [Catholic] lords in the Tower. He … offered [Bedloe] much money if he would turn his evidence against [them] only into a hearsay.' The proposition, alleged Reading, originated with Bedloe. He, however, had acquainted Rupert and Essex with the negotiation from the first, and drew Reading, in the presence of hidden witnesses, into 'discourses which discovered the whole practice of that corruption'.
81. Christian. Edward Christian, servant to the Earl of Danby, was tried 25 June 1680, along with Thomas Blood, Thomas Curtis, Arthur Obrian, and Jane Bradley, for conspiracy against the Duke of Buckingham. The four men were found guilty, and Christian was sentenced to the pillory. (See Luttrell, i.34, 48; and The Narrative of Col. Tho. Blood, 1680). From The Hypocritical Christian (1682) we learn that 'Poor Mr. Christian's dead'.
81. Cellier. See 'Jesuits IV', ll. 295 ff. and n. Mrs Cellier, 'the Popish midwife', acquitted of high treason 11 June 1680, thereupon published pg 435Malice Defeated; or a Brief Relation of the Accusation and Deliverance of Elizabeth Cellier ('Sept. l. 1680', Luttrell, Catalogues), for which she was found guilty of libel 11 Sept. She was sentenced, among other penalties, 'to stand on the pillory at these three places, the Maypole in the Strand, in Covent Garden, and at Charingcrosse; the libells being at the same time to be burnt in her sight by the common hangman'. 'The 23d, [Oct.] Mrs. Cellier stood the third and last time on the pillory at Charingcrosse … for printing that scandalous narrative of hers.' (Luttrell, i.55, 57.) Cf. The Popes Letter to Madam Cellier, 1680 ('Sept. 22', Luttrell, Catalogues; with verses entitled 'Maddam Celliers Lamentation Standing on the Pillory'); also To the Praise of Mrs Cellier The Popish Midwife: on her incomparable book, and The Devil pursued … A Satyr upon Madam Celliers standing in the Pillory ('Sept. 14. 1680' and 'Oct. 4. 1680', Luttrell, Catalogues). A Weekly Advertisement of Books. Begun Thursday, October 7. 1680, advertises 'Mr. Prance's Answer to Mrs. Cellier's Libel, … To which is added, The Adventure of the Bloody Bladder, a Tragi Comical Farce, acted with much applause at Newgate, by the said Madam Cellier on September 18 instant.' Cf. Luttrell, Catalogues, 'Second Continuation', p. 4, No. 17, 'October 1': and pp. 3–4, Nos. 8–15, 18, 20, 21.
88. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 200 f.; and 'Juvenal III', ll. 228 f. Thorn Drury, in his interleaved Oldham, annotated the present passage: '… people in the Debtors Prisons … let down a shoe by a string from a grate to the street applying pathetically to the passers-by to pity the poor debtors:
- Or else poor D. to the Goal must go
- Angling for money in a shoe.
Poeta de Tristibus: Or, The Poets Complaint, 1682.
4° p. 24. The second line, which should be 'Angling for single money in a shoe' is from Shadwell's Libertine'. The receptacle was not always a shoe: cf. Congreve, The Way of the World, ed. Kathleen M. Lynch, III. 122: 'I hope to see him lodge in Ludgate first, and angle into Blackfriars for brass farthings, with an old mitten'.
93 f. Cf. Horace, Satires, II.ii.98 f.
POEMS, AND TRANSLATIONS
2 f. As the printed dates would show, this could only be meant of certain poems; particularly, perhaps, of 'Nobility', 'To a Friend', and 'Spencer's Ghost', which may belong to 1683 or late 1682. 'Boileau VIII' was the most recent of the dated pieces.
3–5. The Cosmelia poems, clearly, and perhaps 'Dithyrambique'; he had kept them six or seven years, and not published them in either of his earlier volumes. If, like 'Dithyrambique', 'Upon a Lady' was written for the Rochester circle, it is doubtless included.
11–14. Presents in return for dedications formed a considerable part of an author's gains; see 'Art of Poetry', l. 320 n., and Beljame, Le Public et les Hommes de Lettres (1881), pp. 127 ff. The art of dedication was carried to great lengths, as, e.g. by Thomas Fuller (see Strickland Gibson, Oxford Bibliographical Society's Proceedings (1936), iv.81, 93, 134). For Oldham's scorn of the practice, cf. 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 143 ff.
17–21. Butler (Hudibras, I.i.647–50) sneers at
- The praises of the Author, penn'd
- By himself or wit-ensuring friend,
- pg 436The Itch of Picture in the Front,
- With Bays, and wicked Rhyme upon't: …
Cf. 'Spencer's Ghost, ll. 69 f. and n.; and Henry Higden's 'address' before his Modern Essay On the Thirteenth Satyr of Juvenal (1686).
The Eighth Satyr of Monsieur Boileau, Imitated
Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux (1636–1711) wrote his 8th satire in 1667 (published 1668). Rochester imitated, or rather 'alluded to' it in his 'Satyr against … Mankind', written before 23 Mar. 1675/6, and printed June 1679. (HMC 7th Report, Appendix, p. 467; Wood, iii.1229). Oldham's much closer Imitation shows here and there the influence of Rochester's, which he had transcribed (the transcript, up to l. 165, 8 lines from the end of the version without the palinode, is preserved in R110–15). See below, ll. 43, 70, 218, 245, 358, nn.
This Imitation was reprinted, with infelicitous changes by Ozell, in The Works of Monsieur Boileau. Made English … By Several Hands (1712), i.209. (Bibliography, II.40).
For Oldham as a pioneer in Imitation and in the translating of Boileau, see Brooks, 'Imitation', and Clark pp. 117–22, 134–6, 143 f., 186, and Appendix E, where he prints (from R124–35) Oldham's translation (the first in English; Oct. 1678) of Le Lutrin, Chant I.
7. Perspective: a magnifying-glass or microscope; though often a telescope or spy-glass.
11–15. Cf. Rochester, 'Satyr', ll. 60 f., 64. The adversarius apostrophizes
- Blest, glorious man! to whom alone kind heaven
- An everlasting soul has freely given …
- And this fair frame, in shining reason dressed….
31. The yearly ritual dance seems to have been performed for the last time at the Revels in the Inner Temple hall, 2 Feb. 1733; a description from two eyewitnesses is printed in Edward Wynne's Eunomus (1772), iv.87: '[A] large ring was formed round the [empty] fire-place…. Then the master of the revels … took the Lord Chancellor by the right hand; and he, with his left, took Mr. J. Page, who joined to the other Judges, Serjeants, and Benchers present, danced, or rather walked, round about the coal fire …, three times; during which, they were aided in the figure of the dance by Mr George Cooke, the prothonotary, then upwards of 60: and all the time of the dance, the antient song, accompanied with music, was sung by one Toby Aston, dressed in a bar gown.'
43–5. Reason misleading men into doubt is from Rochester's 'Satyr', ll. 12–19, not the French:
- … Reason, an ignis fatuus in the mind …
- Pathless and dangerous wandering ways it takes …
- Whilst the misguided follower …
- Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down
- Into doubts boundless sea….
49. tuant: trenchant (from Fr. tuer, to kill); used also in Some New Pieces, Advertisement, ll. 55 f. The borrowing never caught on: with one exception, OED's instances all belong to 1672–3. when Oldham wrote 'tuant' in the 'Apology' for the 'Satyr Against Vertue', it proved unintelligible to transcribers (the 1679 edn. left a blank; the 1680 Rochester, Portland MS PwV40, and Princeton MS AM. 14401 read 'angry'). Oldham revised it to 'pointed'.
69. The soldiers' buff-coat; the crape gown of the divine.
70. Cf. Rochester, 'Satyr', pp. 16 f.:
- … the misguided follower [of Reason] climbs with pain,
- Mountains of whimseys, heaped in his own brain.
71–5. The added touch of the turnspit angels was suggested by Cowley's 'Davideis', IV, n. 25: 'the old senseless opinion, that the Heavens were divided into several Orbes or Spheres, and that a particular Intelligence or Angel was assigned to each of them, to turn it round (like a Mill-horse, as Scaliger says) to all eternity'.
76 f. Oldham's addition. Cf. the contrast in Absalom and Achitophel, ll. 329–32, of Charles II's moderation with the 'Arbitrary Sway' of Louis.
83–6. The author of the Travels of the Grand Duke Cosmo III in England (1669) declares that in Ireland wolves are common. Cromwell, by Order in Council, had set a price upon their heads; and in 1662 there had been talk of a bill 'to encourage the killing of Wolves … in Ireland'. See J.E. Harting, British Animals Extinct Within Historic Times (1880), pp. 195–7.
97. Th'Exchange. The second Royal Exchange stood in Cornhill, on the site of that founded by Gresham and destroyed in the Great Fire. Chamberlayne (II.191) describes it. Cf. ibid. (1683), IV.33: 'As for Merchandise imported from other Countries, the Royal Exchange is the place most proper for Bargains, where … between the Hours of ll. and l. Merchants of all Nations meet and discourse of their affairs.' Presumably these were the hours of most business, not of opening and closing. Cf. Great Britains Glory, Or A brief Description of the … Royal Exchange … by Theophilus Philalethes, 1672 (in verse).
99. double the Cape: of Good Hope.
101. Bantam. The kingdom and the port of Bantam were in Java, on the Sunda Straits. The East India Company traded thither for spices, especially pepper. A few months before the present poem was written, ambassadors from the king of Bantam had visited Charles II: arriving in London 9 May 1682, and re-embarking 12 July (see Luttrell, i.182, 205; Evelyn, 19 June 1682; and An Heroick Poem to the King upon the Arrival of the Morocco and Bantam Embassadors, 1682). But by 23 Sept. it was known in England that civil war was endangering the Bantam pepper factory. The Dutch espoused the rebel cause, seized the port on 2 Dec. and instituted a monopoly in their own favour. The trade to which Oldham alludes was thus destroyed before his poem appeared in print. See Luttrell, i.253; A True Account Of the Burning and sad Condition of Bantam … in a Letter … which arrived … the 23th of … September 1682, and A short Account Of the Siege Of Bantam (1683).
101. Japan. For the Restoration merchant, trade with Japan was a project, never realized. The East India Company had had a factory at Firando (Hirado) from 1613 to 1623. There was a determined attempt to reopen the trade in 1669 to 1673. The 'Return' actually reached Nagasaki 29 June 1673, but failed to persuade the Japanese to lift their ban on commerce with all Europeans save the Dutch. By 1677, according to John Bruce's Annals of the Honourable East India Company (1810), ii.412, 'an intercourse with Japan' was despaired of.
102. Sugars from Barbadoes. From 1640 to 1650 onward, sugar had superseded tobacco as the principal product of Barbados, which was now 'little more than one large sugar factory'. The sugar export was a declared monopoly of the mother-country. See further, Ogg, ii.665; V.T. Harlow, A History Of Barbados 1625–1685 (1926), pp. 44, 259–65 etc.
102. Wines from Spain. e.g. from Malaga and Alicant. See the account of Spanish trade in The Fourth Part Of The Present State Of England. Relating To its Trade and Commerce … (1683) [by J. S.], pp. 183–94.
109. Buckingham told the king that in 1650 his estate had been worth £30,000 a year (Letter of 1674, printed in Lady Burghclere, George Villiers Second Duke of Buckingham, 1903, p. 301). By 1669 he was being described to Pepys (14 Feb. 1668/9) as one of 'a broken sort of people'; 'the Duke of Buckingham's condition is shortly this: that he hath about 19600 l a year, of which he pays away about 7000 1 a year in interest, about 2000 l in Feefarm rents to the King, about 6000 l in wages and pensions, and the rest to live upon, and pay taxes for the whole'. Characterizing him as Zimri (Absalom and Achitophel, ll. 544 ff.), 'In squandring Wealth', says Dryden, 'was his peculiar Art'. Cf. The Litany of the D. of B.:
- From selling Land, twice ten Thousand a Year
- All spent, no Mortal can tell how or where …
- From being still cheated by the same Undertakers,
- By Levellers, Bawds, Saints, Chymists, and Quakers
- Who make us Gold-finders, and themselves Gold-makers …
- From selling six Palaces for less than they rent for,
- And buying* three Hillocks for the three kings of Brentford
- Libera nos, &c.
*Sion-Hill, College-Hill, and Clifton [i.e. Clifden] Hill.
110. C[layto]n: Sir Robert Clayton (1629–1707), not 'Alderman Cuddon' as the 1722 editor supposed. Clayton had 'got' a good deal of what Buckingham had spent; cf. Evelyn, 18 Nov. 1679: 'some believ'd him gilty of hard-dealing, especially with the Duke of Buckingham, much of whose estate he had swallow'd'. The Litany of the D. of B. ends with a petition against 'making our Heirs to be Morris and Clayton'. His vast wealth was all the more topical in 1682 from having, in Feb., been augmented by the bequest of his partner Morris's estate. As a prominent Whig, he is appropriately pilloried with Buckingham and Bethel. Thomas Cuddon, knighted 1697, but (according to A.B. Bevan's lists) never Alderman, was not in the public eye before 1696, when he became chamberlain of London. (For him, see J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses (1922); W.A. Shaw, Knights of England (1906); A.I. Suckling, History … of Suffolk (1846–8), i.73 ff.; Luttrell, iv.132, v.251; Le Neve, Monumenta Anglicana, 1717, p. 53.) Coming to London a poor boy, Clayton was enabled by a bequest from his uncle to make his fortune as a money-lender. He was Alderman from 1670, Sheriff in 1671, Lord Mayor in 1679–80, and an MP for London in the three Exclusion Parliaments of 1679–81; as Evelyn says (loc. cit.), he was reckoned one of the wealthiest citizens. He is Tate's 'extorting Ishban' in The Second Part of Absalom and Aahitophel (11 Nov. 1682); but Evelyn 'never saw any ill by him, considering the trade he was of'.
110. stingy B[eth]el: Slingsby Bethel, Whig sheriff of London, 1680–1; Dryden's Shimei, whose 'Shrieval Board / The Grossness of a City Feast abhorr'd'. He 'kept no house, but lived upon chops: whence it is proverbial, for not feasting, to Bethel the city' (North, Examen, p. 93; cf. Burnet, ii.254). Cf. News from Guildhall, Or the Combate of the Gyants, n.d., 'To Bethbeing as Signal for Hospitality as Loyalty, I leave a bended Nine-pence to entertain the … Free-Men on the next Election of Whig Sheriffs'; and Iter Boreale: Or Esq; Spare-Penny's Departure to the North, July the Third (1682), which refers to Bethel's flight from royal vengeance to Hamburg, where he remained till the Revolution.
119. to fine for Shrieve. A fine was exacted from a sheriff of London elect if he chose to decline the office. At this time it was £400, the sum Luttrell (i.217) notes as paid by Box, Sept. 1682. Box was a Tory candidate at the disputed election of July: the Tory Lord Mayor declared him chosen, but he fined off (exercised the above option). Cf. 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 165, and 'Juvenal III', l. 215.
121. The news-sheets often refer to the commerce on this route: see, for example, The London Gazette, Oct. 7–11, 1680: 'The Streights Convoy has been long detained in the Downs by contrary Winds.'
128–31. Oldham amplifies the French. The plight of disabled soldiers was topical in 1682: Charles II had laid the first stone of Chelsea Hospital in the spring. Planned by Evelyn and Sir Stephen Fox, the Hospital was badly needed. According to articles of 1673, a wounded soldier's pay ceased when he was pronounced unfit for further service. Compensation ('Blood money'), or else a pension, for disablement by wounds was not made an established allowance until 1685. See Clifford Walton, History of the British Standing Army 1660–1700 (1894), pp. 592, 594–6, 600. Soldiers' pay was continually in arrear (cf. ibid., p. 588); Sir James Turner, in Pallas Armata (1683), p. 198, comes to much the same satirical conclusion as Oldham: 'if you will consider how their wages are paid, I suppose, you will rather think them Voluntaries', than Mercenaries 'for doing the greatest part of their service for nothing'.
130 f. Cf. Dryden, Prologue to Marriage-A-La-Mode, l. 16: 'In Wars abroad, they grinning Honour gain', and 'Counterpart', l. 82. Falstaff's phrase was a Restoration favourite, suiting the reaction against Civil War heroisms; cf. Pepys, 2 Nov. 1667; Dryden, 1678 (Essays, i.198); Merry Drolleries, ed. Ebsworth, p. 36. The official Gazette, published twice a week, had been started at Oxford in 1665: it became The London Gazette with its 24th number, when the court had returned to the capital after the plague.
139. Huff. In John Tatham's The Scots Figgaries (1652), Trapheir is admitted into the fraternity of the Huffs—a set of tityre tus (see OED), hectors, scourers, or Mohocks, as they called themselves at different periods of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Huff, 'an impudent cowardly Hector' is a character in Shadwell's Sullen Lovers (1668).
142 ff. See Juvenal, X.168 f. and cf. 'Homer', ll. 89 ff. and n. The phrasing is indebted to Lee's Rival Queens (1677), IV.i, p. 40: 'My Soul is pent, and has not elbow room.'
151. Bedlam. See 'Art of Poetry', l. 811, n.
155. Rainolds: Edward Reynolds (1599–1676), A Treatise Of The Passions and Faculties of the Soule of Man. With the severall Dignities and Corruptions thereunto belonging (1640), a quarto of 553 pages. Reynolds was Bishop of Norwich from 1661 till his death. The Treatise had been recently reprinted (1679) among his collected works.
159. Unlike Boileau's La Chambre and Coëffeteau, Henry More (1614–87) and Ralph Cudworth (1617–88) had not written specific treatises upon the passions; but they were two of the most distinguished religious and moral philosophers of the day. Cudworth's True Intellectual System of the University had appeared in 1678, and More's Opera Omnia in 1679. See Burnet's famous account of the Cambridge Platonists (i.331 ff.).
171 ff. Boileau is imitating Juvenal, XV.159 ff. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, I.i. 759–70; and Denham, 'Friendship and Single Life'.
171–3. Claude Duval (1643–70), John Nevison (1639–85), William Davis the Golden Farmer (1627–90), and Thomas Simpson, alias Old Mob (executed in 1690), were all on the road in Charles II's reign. The King issued repeated proclamations 'For the Apprehending of Robbers or High-way-men'; thus £10 for a conviction was offered from 20 June 1677 to 1 Feb. 1678, from 5 Mar. 1680 to 2 Mar. 1681, and from 14 May 1681 to 5 May 1682. The proclamation renewing the offer on 31 Jan. 1683 names eleven known offenders, including the notorious Nevison. See also Joan Parkes, Travel In England In The Seventeenth Century (1925), chap. 6.
174 f. Cf. Luttrell (i.124), Sept. 1681: 'Ever since the dissolution of the last parliament [28 Mar. 1681], the presse has abounded with pamphlets … some … branding the two late parliaments, and standing very highly for the church; the other side defending the parliament, and cryeing up … the true protestant religion, and opposing a popish successor: whence the latter party have been called by the former, whigs, fanaticks, covenanteers, bromigham protestants, &c.; and the former are called by the latter, tories, tantivies, Yorkists, high flown church men, Sc; whereby … there is a great … animosity between [the self-styled] church of England men and … dissenters.'
176 f. Exactly translated; but the almost inevitable application to Shaftesbury may not be unintended.
180. Whig and Tory Lions. Disgust at the violence of both factions is expressed in The Condemnation of Whig and Tory (1681):
- Sirs, What's the matter? 's all the World grown mad? …
- To two Extreams we all do madly run;
- And Moderation (which should heal us) shun, etc.
180 f. The function of the two London sheriffs in selecting juries, and the Mayor's influence on the choice of sheriffs, were crucial to the royal counter-attack upon the Whigs. The indictment against Shaftesbury was thrown out by a grand jury the Whigs had packed. In Sept. 1681 a Tory, Sir John Moore, though strongly opposed, was elected Lord Mayor. Conflict became violent from June 1682, when he claimed to nominate one sheriff, naming the Tory, Dudley North. On the 24th, the Whig sheriffs, Pilkington and Shute, conducted the poll for two successors, continuing it when Moore, insisting that North was already chosen, adjourned it. Their attempt at the Common Council, 5 July, to declare the Whig candidates elected was quashed. At a new poll, 14 July, Moore accepted votes for only one vacancy: Box, a Tory, was said to be chosen. When he 'fined off', his place was supplied, Moore refusing a poll, by another Tory, Peter Rich (father, interestingly enough, of Elias, a Whitgift pupil of Oldham's). The sheriffs proceeded with the poll, but on 28 Sept. North and Rich were sworn into office. After a lesser struggle, which turned on a disputed scrutiny of illegal votes cast at the poll of 4 Oct. (when the Whigs had a majority), the Tory Sir William Pritchard was sworn, 28 Oct., as the next Lord Mayor. See R.R. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom (1894) ii.468–94; Luttrell, i.196, 203–10, 217–32 passim; North, Examen, pp. 595 ff., North, Lives, i.219–24, ii. 181–4. Pamphlets flew; twenty-six are extant in the Ashmole collection in Bodley (G.16, and 1674), and five more listed in P.J. Dobell's catalogue, The Popish Plot (1919).
186 f. The statute De scandalis magnatum gave peers a special remedy at law against any who aspersed them. An action of scandalum magnatum had just been brought against Hindmarsh, Oldham's publisher, and the Revd Adam Elliot, by Lord North and Grey; see a news-letter of 7 Oct., in CSPD, 1682, p. 461; cf. p. 453, and Luttrell, i.231. The statute (of Richard II) had been first resuscitated in 1676; Shaftesbury sued Lord Digby under it and obtained £1,000 damages. Actions grew common: seven are chronicled by Luttrell in the first ten months of 1682. The majority were political; many were vindictive. The excessive damages habitually granted by the jury made them an effective method of ruining an opponent or an enemy. A clause to abolish the privilege had been inserted in the Commons' abortive bill of 1680 for regulating the trial of peers; and Aphra Behn alludes to it tartly in an epilogue of 1682 (Wiley, p. 98, ll. 6 f.). See Luttrell, i.150, 170, 171, 183, 186, 188, 190, 192, 197–8, 231, 236, 240; Ogg, ii.463–6, 605; also i.136–7.
190–3. The Court of Arches with its presiding judge, the Dean of the Arches, took the name from the arches of Bow-Church, Cheapside, where it was once held. It is 'the highest Court belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury. … Hither are all Appeals directed in Ecclesiastical Matters within the province of Canterbury.' (Strype's Stow, edn. of 1754, i.171.) From the Arches appeals lay to the highest tribunal for ecclesiastical causes, the Court of Delegates. From the 13th century, impotence was a good cause in ecclesiastical law for declaring a marriage null. On 13 Feb. 1731/2, the Arches tried such a suit, Weld alias Aston V. Weld; I have traced none in Oldham's time. He may not have had a particular one in mind: the stroke is Boileau's, merely turned by Oldham against the Arches, which was worth a gibe in 1682. It was an organ of the matrimonial jurisdiction at Doctors Commons, which the case of Emerton and Mrs Hyde had brought into disrepute. Mr. Emerton's Cause Now Depending before the Delegates … (1682) and Mr. Emmerton's Marriage With Mrs. Bridget Hyde Considered (1682), both raise the question of its curtailment. See also Luttrell, i.52, 191, 199, 205 f., 230, 233, 251, 255.
194 f. In Jan. 1682 the crown had instituted quo warranto proceedings against the body corporate of London, in order that the ancient charter should be either surrendered or declared forfeit, to be replaced by a new one subjecting the choice of City officers to royal approval. Thus there would be no Whig sheriffs in London for the future. Service of the writ was notified to the Common Council of London on 18 Jan.; their plea was put in on 13 June; printed copies of it, and of the Attorney-General's replication, were advertised that month. With their rejoinder, 19 Oct., we reach the month in which Oldham is writing. Pamphlets had argued the case, cited precedents, or pointed a moral; The Forfeitures of London's Charter, advertised in May, for example. Judgement against the charter was finally entered 4 Oct. 1683. See pamphlets in the Bodleian (Ashmole 1674, LX–LXXVI; Ashmole 734, I–III; Gough Lond. l.12, l.15); Term Catalogues, I.487, 495; Luttrell, i.158–283 passim; Evelyn, 18 June 1683; R.R. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom (1894), ii.476–8, 494–504; T.B. Howell's State Trials (1809-), viii.1039–1358.
205 f. For the invention of gunpowder by Satan, cf. Paradise Lost, VI.470–91, Spenser, Faerie Queene, I.vii.13, and Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, IX.91, XI.23.
208. The Pandects were originally the fifty books of Justinian's compendium of the Roman Civil Law: thence, a complete body of the laws of any country or of any system of law.
218 f. Without direct equivalent in the French: suggested by Rochester 'Satyr', l. 85 ('The limits of the boundless universe') and ll. 68 f.:
- [We] soaring pierce
- The flaming limits of the universe,
where the source is Lucretius, I.73.
227 f. By the charter of the Royal College of Physicians, none but Fellows, Candidates, or Licentiates of the College might practise medicine within seven miles of London (elsewhere, authorization extended to Extra Licentiates, and University graduates). 'Licentiates' says Chamberlayne (ii.280) 'judged unfit to be Fellows' yet thought able to 'do good … in some Kind of Diseases … are [therefore] after due Examination, … Licensed to Practice'. The licentiate had a bad name: in The Character of a Quack Astrologer the Quack is said to differ 'from an honest, able Artist, as a Licentiate from a Doctor'. In Lex Talionis (1670), a retort to Dr Christopher Merett's attack, and others, upon the apothecaries, many are claimed to have a better knowledge of the elements of medicine 'than some Licentiate Doctors'. Merett replied that 'licentiate' was a term oftener used than understood. Is Oldham attacking a real abuse, or merely concurring in a pg 442widespread prejudice? The licentiates recorded in The Roll Of The Royal College of Physicians (1861, ed. W. Munk) include none of the known quacks of the period: if the record is complete, Thomas Suffold, who combined medicine with astrology, lied in advertising himself as a 'Licensed Physician'. A good proportion of licentiates had medical degrees, though several had had them conferred 'per Literas Regias' after being licensed without them; some had arts degrees only, and one is described as 'no graduate, at least in medicine'.
229–31. Oldham particularizes the 'argument frivole' of Boileau's doctor: basing his version on Mosaic Law. Cf. The Triall of a Black-Pudding; or, The unlawfulness of Eating Blood proved by Scriptures (1652); and Hudibras, III.ii.321 f.
232 f. Without equivalent in the French. Cf. the New Pneumatical Experiments about Respiration … communicated by … Robert Boyle, in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Nos. 62 and 63, 8 Aug. and 12 Sept. 1670. Title XIX is headed 'Of the Phaenomena suggested by Winged Insects in our Vacuum', and describes the asphyxiation under Boyle's air-pump of half-a-dozen varieties of insect. The Royal Society's experiments with the air were much ridiculed: see Pepys, 1 Feb. 1663/4, and No. 122 of the Transactions, 21 Feb. 1675/6, p. 538.
245 f. Cf. Rochester's phrase in 'A Satyr', l. 82 f.:
- Filling with frantic crowds of thinking fools
- Those reverend bedlams, colleges and schools.
252. Hodder. Hodder's Arithmetick: Or, That necessary Art made most easie, by James Hodder the writing-master; a thirteenth edition had appeared in the preceding year, 1681. Education for commerce and trades, alternative to liberal education in the classics, was a current topic. Hodder includes 'Merchants Accompts', and Kersey's prospectus in the 1650 edn. of Wingate (cf. 'Art of Poetry', l. 521 n.) offers 'Merchants accompts in the Italique methode of debtor and creditor, according to the modern practice'. The statutes (1662) of Woodbridge (Suffolk) Grammar School provide that the ten free boys should learn Latin and Greek, but if parents or guardians 'desire that they be taught only Arithmetic and to write, to be fitted for trades', the schoolmaster is to comply. Private writing-masters sometimes launched out into arithmetic and other commercial subjects, and among the unofficially tolerated schools which arose after the Act of Uniformity (1662), some specialized in commercial education. Merchant Taylors had a Mathematical School from 1673. Sir William Petty, in his Advice of W.P. to Mr. Samuel Hartlib for the Advance of Some Particular Parts of Learning (1648) had advocated turning ordinary schools into trade schools. See Foster Watson, The Beginnings of the Teaching of Modern Subjects in England (1909), pp. xliv–vi, 225, 324, 327 f., 330; William Boyd, History of Western Education (1950: 5th edn., enlarged), pp. 270 f., 273.
255 f. Customs and Excise, with Hearth-money, were at this time the chief items in the hereditary revenue of the crown. They were farmed out to speculators who in return for advancing a lump sum and paying an agreed rent, enjoyed the proceeds of the tax. There was much misappropriation and withholding of revenue by the farmers, and even by sub-commissioners of Excise (l. 256). See Ogg, ii.424–31, 446; G.N. Clark, The Later Stuarts (1934), p. 7; and for Excise, 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 38.
257. Cf. Oldham's other allusions to the notorious 'Irish witnesses': 'Juvenal III', ll. 109 f. and 'On the Times', R222, ll. 7 f. During the Popish Terror, according to Burnet (ii.291), certain Irishmen 'hearing that England was … disposed to hearken to good swearers, … came over to swear that there was a great plot in Ireland…. The witnesses were brutal and profligate men: pg 443yet the earl of Shaftesbury cherished them much.' 'David Fitzgerald', wrote Luttrell, 'has been often heard to say that he could have as many witnesses as he pleased from Ireland to forswear themselves for 2s.6d. each.' By 1681 the 'Irish-evidence' had come 'under another management' and were laying a Presbyterian plot to the charge of their former employers. On 29 Oct. 'severall of the Irish witnesses of the presbyterian plott were together at the Rose tavern' and 'upbraided one another with money they had received' in bribes. They testified against College at his trial in Aug. 1681, and against Shaftesbury at his indictment in Nov. See Burnet, ii.295; Luttrell, i.89; 140; 108, 117; 105, 121, 146; see also 126. Their venality was still topical in 1682: The Irish-Evidence convicted by their own Oaths: Or, Their Swearing and Counter-Swearing Plainly Demonstrated (1682) gives the fullest 'Account Of Their Past and Present Practices'. Dryden alludes to them in the preface to The Medall (Mar. 1682). Cf. e.g. Satyr To His Muse, c.24 July 1682 (Macdonald 212), p. 17.
257. Case-harden'd: OED first records 'case-harden' in 1677. The present passage antedates its earliest instances of the figurative use (1713), and of 'case-hardened' as an adjective, literal (1691) and figurative (1769).
259. Algerine. See 'Horace, I.xxxi', ll. 27 f. and n.
267. When: whereupon.
267–74. Cf. Advertisement to Poems (1683), ll. 11 ff.
271. Oldham echoes MacFlecknoe, l. 170.
275 ff. A commonplace in which Boileau follows Horace's Satire II.iii.96–8; cf. Cowley, 'The Given Love' (Poems, p. 68).
283. Bovey. Oldham takes his allusion from Rochester's 'Letter to Artemisia', ll. 70 ff. (see R118):
- Bovey's a beauty, if some few agree
- To call him so; the rest to that degree
- Affected are, that with their ears they see.
Vieth notes that Rochester's Bovey is identified by marginal glosses in several early texts as Sir Ralph Bovey, baronet (d. 1679). Alternatively, he has been identified with James Bovy (or Boeve) 'a solicitor, and lawyer, and merchant all together' (Pepys, 20 May 1668). Looks might be thought likelier to draw comment in the milieu of a baronet than of a bourgeois: yet the merchant was gentleman enough to boast a coat of arms. It may be significant that Aubrey particularizes his appearance: 'As to his person he is about 5 foot high, slender [cancelling spare body], strait, haire exceeding black and curling at the end, a dark hazell eie [cancelling a very black eie] of a midling size, but the most sprightly that I have beheld. Browes and beard of the colour as his haire' (i.113, 115). He suits Oldham's allusion by his wealth (a point not derived from Rochester). He had been cashier to a banker from c.1641–9, 'his dealing being altogether in money-matters'; he married the daughter of William de Visscher, a merchant reputed to be worth £120,000; and retired from business aged 32. (Aubrey, i.112–15, ii.271). Yet though short, thin, and getting elderly (b. 1622), evidently he was not repulsive. If he is the right Bovey, Rochester might simply mean that his good looks were ordinary enough and now rather passé, yet enjoyed an absurd vogue. If so, Oldham was ignorant of Bovy's appearance, or was forcing the parallel with 'the loathsom'st object'.
295 f. Edward Stillingfleet (1635–99), Dean of St Paul's from 1678 and afterwards Bishop of Worcester, wrote 'against popery … with such an exactness and liveliness, that no books of controversy were so much read and valued as his'. (Burnet, i.336.) These 14 anti-Romanist writings occupy vols. iv–vi of his Works (1710); the most famous was perhaps the Discourse concerning the pg 444Idolatry practised in the Church of Rome (1671). Bellarmine (d. 1621; cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 66 n.) is here mentioned, I believe, simply as outstanding among Catholic controversialists.
298. Father Simon. Richard Simon (1638–1712), author of the celebrated Histoire Critique du Vieux Testament. This was published in 1678 but almost at once suppressed, chiefly because it denied Moses' authorship of the Pentateuch. In 1682 it was a live topic in England. Henry Dickenson's English translation came out early in that year; Evelyn wrote to Dr Fell 19 Mar. 1681/2 begging him to have it answered. An answer—W. L[orimer]'s Excellent Discourse Proving the Divine … Authority of the Five Books Of Moses [translated from Du Bois de la Cour, with] An Examination Of a considerable part of Pere Simon's Critical History of the Old Testament (1682), was advertised in the Term Catalogues in Nov. Dryden's Religio Laici, addressed to Dickenson upon his translation, was published Nov. 30. Like Oldham, Dryden (in ll. 234–8) stresses Simon's industry and Rabbinical learning.
311 f. See 'Horace, I.xxxi', l. 11 and n. Of 44 houses of 'Goldsmiths keeping Running cashes' listed in A Collection Of The Names Of The Merchants Living in and about The City of London (1677), 27 were in Lombard Street. Cf. 'The Creditors Complaint against the Bankers' in Thompson, p. 219:
Bankers now are brittle Ware …
- An Iron Chest is still the best,
- 'Twill keep your Coyn more safe than they;
- For when they've feather'd well their Nest,
- Then the Rooks will flee away.
313. Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, types of the schoolman, coupled in Dryden's Prologue at Oxford, c.1681, l. 19.
316. your self: 'Speak for yourself!'—Boileau's 'parlez de vous, poëte'.
328–37. Edward Howard was lampooned for his heroic poem, The Brittish Princes (1669), and hissed for his plays, of which four appeared in print from 1668 to 1678 while at least three others remained unpublished. See 'Upon a Book-seller', l. 67 and n.; and 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 98 and n.
334 f. 'Put' in l. 335 is correct, 'Verse' being plural.
358–61. This turn of thought is independent of Boileau, and epitomizes a phase of Rochester's philosophy. It was probably suggested by the complaint against false Reason in 'A Satyr', ll. 104–9: 'Your reason hinders, mine helps to enjoy', etc. and cf. Randolph, 'Upon Love Fondly Refus'd for Conscience Sake':
- Nature, Creations law, is judg'd by sense,
- Not by the Tyrant conscience,
- Then our commission gives us leave to doe
- What youth and pleasure prompts us to….
- Alas! I do not ravenously pursue
- What opportunity might prompt us to
—Brome's Horace, 2nd edn. (1671), Odes, I.23, translated R.T.—no doubt Dr Robert Thompson (see Brooks, 'Contributors'). Oldham had seen Brome's Horace in 1681 (Advertisement, Some New Pieces, ll. 55 ff.). Thompson echoes Randolph, and perhaps Charles Cotton, 'Sonnet' (Poems, ed. J. Beresford, p. 160):
- Tis not too late to love, and do
- What Love and Nature prompt thee to….
362–76. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, I.i.771–84.
373–6. The opening of Juvenal XV was the origin of many 17th-century allusions, including Boileau's here, to the bestial gods of Egypt. Of those pg 445Oldham certainly knew, cf. Cowley, 'The Plagues of Egypt', St. 19, n. 2 (Poems, p. 238), and Dryden, 'Epilogue to the University of Oxford', 1673, ll. 26–8.
377. With ll. 380 f., this gibe at the Host carried in procession is of course not from Boileau. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 265 ff., and Thomas Tuke's verses Concerning The Holy Eucharist and the Popish Breaden-God (1625).
393 f. Oldham adds the reference to Balaam's ass.
400. The two-leg'd Herd. Without equivalent in the French. The phrase, like Dryden's 'unfeather'd two-legg'd thing' in Absalom, l. 170, alludes to Plato's definition of man.
401. old: exceedingly strange.
403 f. The phrasing is indebted to Donne, 'Satyre I', ll. 17 f., 21:
- Not though a Captaine do come in thy way
- Bright parcell gilt, with forty dead mens pay …
- Nor come a velvet Justice….
405 f. Cf. the harangue of 'Scoto Mantuanus', and 'Alexander Bendo's' bill; 'Scoto' (Volpone, II.i) being Jonson's protagonist masquerading as a mounte-bank, and 'Bendo', Rochester, in a real-life escapade, following suit (see V. de Sola Pinto, ed., The Famous Pathologist, or The Noble Mountebank, by … Alcock and … Rochester, 1961). Hudibras, III.ii.971 f., has charlatans 'Mounted in a Crowd'; in The Character Of A Quack Doctor (1676), the Quack, as a mountebank, sells drugs fit 'only to treat rats with' (parallels italicized). See 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 78–81, 229–32 and nn.
407 f. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', l. 85, and 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 63 f. and n. Full accounts of the celebrations in this and the previous year are given in London's Joy, Or, The Lord Mayor's Show … Perform'd On … October XXIX. 1681 … Devised … by Tho. Jordan, Gent., and The Lord Mayor's Show … Perform'd on … September XXX. 1682. The corresponding pamphlets for 1671 and 1678 are reprinted in Lord Mayors' Pageants (1842–3) by F.W. Fairholt, ii.109–76 (Percy Society, vol. 10). The Show was commonly mentioned with contempt, as a spectacle suited to the tastes of the gaping Cockney populace. Cf. Pepys, 29 Oct. 1660.
412 f. Westminster is Westminster Hall, where sat the courts of Common Pleas, King's Bench, Chancery and Exchequer; see De-Laune, pp. 124–32. With the complaint of lawyer's din and jargon cf. Milton, 'Ad Patrem', l. 72, and Cowley, 'Claudian's Old Man of Verona' (Essays, p. 447).
414 f. Sir George Jeffreys was currently seconding the Attorney-General in the proceedings against London's charter. He is caricatured under his nickname of 'Mouth' in Tho. Thompson's Midsummer Moon: Or the Livery Man's Complaint (1682): 'Room for the Chap-fain Mouth … he's chiefly Devil about the Mouth';
- Oft with success this Mighty Blast did bawl … [etc.]
- This demy Fiend, this Hurricane of Man
- Must shatter London's Glory (if he can?)
- And him our prudent Praetor wisely chose
- To splutter Law, and the dinn'd Rabble pose;
- They have a thousand Tongues, yet he can roar
- Far louder, tho' they had a thousand more.
Cf. North (Lives, i.288) on his scolding from the bench 'in … Billingsgate language…. He called it "giving a lick with the rough side of his tongue". It was ordinary to hear him say "Go, you are a filthy, lousy, knitty rascal."' Cf. 'Juvenal XIII', l. 179; and for Billingsgate, 'Art of Poetry', l. 377 and n.
419. Cf. Hudibras, III.iii.456:
- Lawyers have more sober sense
- Than to argue at their own expence.
To let oneself be 'treated', or (a fortiori) injured, at one's own expense, was to be the most absurd of dupes. Cf. Rochester, 'A Letter from Artemisia', l. 225, 'Satyr', ll. 35 f., and Dryden, Prologues to The Assignation, ll. 5 f., and The Disappointment, l. 4.
The Thirteenth Satyr of Juvenal, Imitated
Like 'Boileau VIII', this is one of a group of 6 major poems (see Introduction, pp. lx f.) which, it appears from the 'Advertisement' (ll. 2 f.) above, had been recently composed when published in Poems, And Translations, c.mid-July 1683. Among them, 'Juvenal III' was written in May, and 'Boileau VIII' in Oct. 1682. By three of its allusions, 'Juvenal XIII' is placed between late Mar. 1682 and 22 Jan. 1683. On the latter date, Lord Chief Justice Pemberton was demoted from the King's Bench to Common Pleas, and was no longer, as l. 255 implies, at the head of the twelve Judges. Executed 10 Mar. 1682, Boroskie was then hung in chains; 'Thames his double tide' was on the 22nd (cf. ll. 102, 417, and nn.). The present Imitation does not furnish, as Oldham claimed reasonably enough for the 'Art of Poetry', a continuously faithful version of the original. Though Juvenal's sequence of topics is maintained, almost fifty lines, even disregarding expansions, have no equivalent in the Latin; and not all the modern allusions replace Roman ones.
26. i.e. under James I.
36. red Letter: holy day; cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 93 f.; 'Jesuits II', l. 187.
39. Padding: the footpad's vocation; OED, Padder sb1, 1610.
42 f. Cf. Edmund Ashton, 'Prologue against the Disturbers of the Pit':
- Should true Sense, with revengeful Fire, come down,
- Our Sodom wants Ten Men to save the Town.
For authorship, see Vieth, Attribution, pp. 266–8.
50 f. Pope-burnings on Queen Elizabeth's accession-day took place each year from 1676 to 1681, except apparently in 1678, when those on 5. Nov. (see 'Jesuits IV', ll. 320 ff., n.) were expensively elaborate (see J.R. Jones, 'The Green Ribbon Club', DUJ, Dec. 1956; and Miller, pp. 184–7; Sheila Williams, 'The Pope-Burning Processions of 1679, 1680, and 1681', Warburg Institute, Journal, xxi (1958), 104 ff.). In 1679, 1680, and 1681, the effigy was carried in a grand procession organized by the Whig Green Ribbon Club (Miller, p. 185). Engravings and descriptions were published: cf. The Solemn Mock Procession of the Pope … &c. through ye City of London, November ye 17th, 1679, which acclaims 'the prodigious shout' when the effigy was cast into the bonfire; Englands Misery (1680) in which the Pope is called 'Antichrist'; and The Procession: Or, the Burning of the Pope in Effigie, In Smithfield Rounds … 17th of November 1681. Being Queen Elizabeth's Birthday; Luttrell too (i.144), records this occasion: the route; and the spectacle: in effigy, 'Godfrey on horseback and held up by a Jesuite; … the observator' L'Estrange, 'severell fryers, Jesuites, popish bishops and cardinalls, in their proper habits; then … suborned persons; and lastly the pope, whose pageant was fastned on a sledge and drawn by four horses, in all his pontificalibus.' Cf. Dryden, Prologue to The Loyall Brother (1682), ll. 18–47.
57–60. Hobbes's reputation for atheism and irreligion was general; cf. the examinations of his doctrine printed by Clarendon in 1670, Tenison in the pg 447same year, and Eachard in 1673; and such poetical pamphlets as 'Mr. Cowley's Verses in Praise of Mr Hobbes, Oppos'd' (1680), and 'An Elegie Upon Mr. Thomas Hobbes' (1680). It misrepresented his stated doctrines and conscious creed (cf. Aubrey, i.353), but was perhaps not altogether unfair to the tendency of his materialism. The Last Sayings … of Mr. Thomas Hobbes … Who departed this Life … December. 4. 1679 (1680), saddled him with a dictum 'That God is Almighty Matter'. For his rejection of the orthodox belief in hell, a part, in his view, of the 'Spirituall Darknesse' created by ecclesiastics to further their spiritual sovereignty, see Leviathan, chs. 44, 47.
58. shams. See 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 15 n.
61–79. An equivalent for ll. 38–52 of the original, not a version of them. Juvenal contrasts the vices of the Olympians and the torments of Hades with Saturn's age of innocence. In an Imitation, he is to speak 'as if he were living and writing now': it would have been improper to introduce a direct version of a passage which implied real belief in the Roman mythology. For the same reason the story of Glaucus (ll. 329 ff. and n., below) is told as a story merely, and not (as in the original) for a positive fact.
76 f. To enforce trusts and uses belonged especially to Chancery. Its equitable jurisdiction had sprung originally from the special remedies it granted for special hardships of which poverty in the litigant was one. It seems doubtful whether in Oldham's day proceedings in equity were any less costly than at common law.
78 f. i.e. pillories. Cf. 'Upon a Woman', ll. 94 f.
82. Blazing-Star: a comet; regarded as a prodigy in nature, portending calamity. Cf. The Petitioning-Comet … (1681), and its reference to 'the Blazing-Star before the late Civil Wars'.
85 f. It was as grave, almost, as an unclergyable felony. From the 16th century felonies had come to be divided into the clergyable, in which benefit of clergy might be claimed, and the unclergyable, in which it might not. By Oldham's time, benefit of clergy meant simply remission of the sentence to first offenders who could read a verse of a Latin psalm; they were branded in the thumb and released. For its rise and curtailment, see Maitland, pp. 229 f.; Tanner, p. 14.
93 f. John Stow (1525–1605) compiled The Chronicles of England (to 1580) and republished it with continuations, as The Annales of England, in 1592 and 1605. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 313 f. There is a list of prodigies very similar to Oldham's in Jonson's Volpone, II.i.37–49, the items of which are to be found in Stow: a new star, three porpoises above London Bridge, and a whale 'As high as Woolwich'.
96. The Monument was begun in 1671. An early print of it, which gives the height, 202 feet, is reproduced in Firth's edition of Macaulay, i.176. Cf. 'Juvenal III', l. 121 n.
99. Cf. Rochester, 'My Lord All-Pride', ll. 23, 24 f.:
- So have I seen, at Smithfield's wondrous fair …
- A lubbard elephant divert the town
- With making legs, and shooting off a gun.
William Blaythwaite wrote to Sir Robert Southwell, 4 Sept. 1679, of visiting 'the Elephant' at Bartholomew Fair (Morley, p. 248). The City Mercury No. 3, Nov. 11–18, 1675, has an advertisement headed The Elephant: 'That Wonderful Beast lately sent from East-India to … Lord Berkley, And since sold for Two thousand pounds Sterling: Is now to be seen at the White Horse Inn over against Salisbury Court in Fleet-street'.
100 f. A whale had appeared at Gravesend in 1658, but none, that one knows of, so far up the river since. Was not Oldham's 'Whale At Bridge' suggested by the 'three porcpisces seene, aboue the bridge' and the 'whale … As high as Woolwich', in Volpone (above, ll. 93 f., n.)?
101. the last great Comet, or the Hail. Luttrell (i.45) describes the hail: 'On the 18th [of May 1680], between ten and 11 of the clock in the morning, was a most violent storm of hail … the hailstones many of them as big as pidgeons eggs, and did great mischief to the glasse-windowes in London, and killed severall Birds.' See [An] Account Of A Strange and Prodigious Storm of Thunder, Lightning & Hail, … in and about London, on the Eighteenth of … May (1680). (Cf. Luttrell, Catalogues, first catalogue, p. 15, item 60: 'May 21'.) John Hill, in An Allarm To Europe; By a Late Prodigious Comet seen November and December 1680, couples the comet and the hail as a twofold portent of disaster. From the precedent of high mortality following the like hailstorm at Nottingham in 1558, and from 'pretty smart effects' of the recent storm, already observable, Hill concludes that 'this Prodigious Comet … concurring in Nature with that Haile, must of necessity have extream Effects upon the Bodies of Man-Kind'. Cf. The Petitioning-Comet (1681) and Evelyn, 12 Dec. 1680. No further comet is recorded until Sept. 1682.
102. Thames his double Tide. On Wednesday 22 Mar. 1681/2 the tide flowed at London Bridge thrice in twelve hours. The phenomenon is chronicled by Luttrell (i.173); and reported by The True Protestant Mercury of 22–5 Mar. 1682 as 'a thing not known in many years, which occasions various Discourses'.
102 f. Cf. e.g. the Very Strange Relation of the Raining Shower of Blood at Shewall, Hereford (1679), and the 'Blood that rained in the Isle of Wight, attested by Sir Jo: Oglander', among Tradescant's Rarities (Museaum Tradescantianum, reprinted 1925, p. 44). The 'Streams of Milk' are in Juvenal.
118 f. See 'Dithyrambique', l. 54 and n.
120–2. Precisely these oaths were used by Jennison, one of the witnesses of the Popish Plot, in a letter printed in 1679: 'he protested, as he desired the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation of his soul, that he knew no more, and wished he might never see the face of God if he knew any more'; and yet subsequently he did not scruple to publish a long additional narrative (Burnet, ii.197).
129–34. Epicureans: see 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 41–3 and n. 'Epicure' in the 17th century most often signifies not a man of refined pleasures, but an anti-christian ranking next to the atheist, as in Burton, Anatomy, heading of Pt. 3, Sect. 4, Memb. 2, Subsect. 1.
137 f. See l. 78 f., and the passages there cited.
145. both the Spittles: the hospitals of St Thomas in Southwark, and St Bartholomew in West Smithfield. See De-Laune, p. 85.
145–7. Cf. Hudibras, III.i.1237–40:
- What made thee break thy plighted Vows?
- That which makes others break a house,
- And hang, and scorn you all, before
- Endure the plague of being poor.
130. Bedlam. See 'Art of Poetry', l. 811 n.
152. what tho? What then? what if it is so? See OED under What A.4.c.
159 f. Wittily bringing out the implication of replies made by Captain Vrats, condemned for Thynne's murder, Feb. 1681/2 (see l. 249 n.): they are recorded by Evelyn, 10 Mar., as told by 'a friend of mine' who accompanied Vrats to his execution, and by Dr Anthony Horneck, The Last Confession … pg 449of … John Stern (1682), who reports the Captain's confidence that 'God would consider a Gentleman, and deal with him suitably to the condition and profession he had placed him in', and that 'God he believed had a greater favour for Gentlemen, than to require all these punctilioes at their hands'. A God who is sure to treat a gentleman as a gentleman, is evidently one himself: Vrats told Horneck 'he had far other apprehensions of God than I had'; Oldham spells such a presumption out. Vrats' unconcern is confirmed by his bearing at his execution: see A Complete Collection of State Trials (fol.), 1730, iii.500.
176. sham: see 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 15 n. Cf. 'Dithyrambique', l. 4, and 'Juvenal III', l. 145 nn.
179. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', ll. 414 f. and n.
188 f. Vaninus. Lucilio Vanini (b. 1585) wrote a treatise against Providence, Æternae Providentiae Amphitheatrum (1615), and he is ironically called 'Bless'd Saint' as having been burned for atheism, at Toulouse, 1619. Cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 141.
190 f. Cf. Raleigh, The Historie of the World (1614), preface: 'Certainly, these wise worldlings have either found out a new God; or made One: and in all likelihood such a Leaden One, as Lewis the eleventh ware in his Cappe; which, when he had caused any that he feared, or hated, to be killed, hee would take it from his head and kisse it: beseeching it to pardon him this one evill act more, and it should be the last'. Philippe de Commynes, an eyewitness (Mémoires, ed. B. de Mandrot (1901–3), i.142), testifies to the leaden image itself, worn on 'ung maulvais chapeau'. For the monarch's superstitious regard for the collection of images borne on his hat, see Claude de Seyssel, Histoire de Louys XII (1615), p. 93: 'Lesquelles à tous propos … il baisoit, se ruant à genouils … si soubdainement quelques fois, qu'il sembloit plus blessé d'entendement, que saige homme'. In various versions, his behaviour is remarked by Voltaire (Œuvres, 1756, xii.260); Pope, Moral Essays, I.89 and n., and Scott, in Quentin Durward (passim).
197. Scarborough. Sir Charles Scarburgh (1616–94), principal physician to Charles II, friend of Sir Thomas Browne, and an original Fellow of the Royal Society. He was a skilled anatomist, succeeding Harvey as anatomy lecturer at Surgeons' Hall, and publishing in 1676 (in W. Molins's Μυοτομια) a guide to human dissection entitled Syllabus Musculorum. His ability and success as a practitioner had been celebrated by Cowley in a Pindarique ode.
197. Lower: Oldham's friend, Dr Richard Lower (see Introduction, p. xxxiv and n. 38; 'Art of Poetry' l. 599 n.). From Willis's death in 1675, he 'was esteemed', as Wood informs us (iv.297), 'the most noted physician in Westminster and London, and no man's name was more cried up at court than his' until his Whiggism during the Popish Terror cost him the majority of his patients there. Sir William Petty (whom Lower was to attend on his deathbed in 1687) reckoned that his own former practice of £280 per annum, though not bad for hard times, was 'not like' Lower's (Petty-Southwell Correspondence, ed. Lansdowne (1928), p. 223). His genuine greatness in the practice and study of medicine is confirmed by modern authorities: see Introduction, loc. cit.
216. Westminster. See 'Boileau VIII', ll. 412 f. and n.
221. Temple-Walks. Where the professional witnesses hung about for hire. Cf. Hudibras, III.iii.759, and Otway, The Souldiers Fortune (1681), I.i, p. 1: 'the worthy Knight[s] of the … Post: your Peripatetick Philosophers of the Temple walks…. Villains that … will forswear themselves for a Dinner, and hang their Fathers for half a crown.' Cf. also 'Jesuits II', ll. 208; 'Upon a Woman', ll. 91 ff.
221. Smithfield: at the notorious horse-fair. To hinder the sale of stolen horses, a statute of 31 Eliz. provided that every seller of a horse in any fair or market must, unless personally known to the toll-taker, establish his ownership by the oath of a credible witness. In The Second … Part of Conny-catching (1592), ed. G.B. Harrison, pp. 15 ff., Robert Greene describes how the horse-thief evaded the statute by the use of false witnesses, 'commonly old Knights of the post'. In Oldham's time, to enforce the statute was still an important part of the toller's duty (see George Meriton, A Guide for Constables… Toll-takers in Fairs &c., 6th edn., 1681; 1st, 1668); a new generation of perjurers evidently continued the practices of their Elizabethan forebears.
233–5. Pepys relates the trial of Gabriel Holmes and others, 4 July 1667, 'for making it their business to set houses on fire merely to get plunder'. The previous day Sir Richard Ford had told him that by the evidence at the Sessions-house it was plain there was a combination of rogues organizing this type of crime, and that 'a great number' were likely to be convicted. Two boys testified they had been placed by a gang 'to take up what goods were flung into the streets out of the windows, when the houses were on fire'. From l. 235 it appears that Oldham no longer held the Papists responsible for the Great Fire. But because he accepted the 'evidence' (few realized how flimsy it was) that the Fire had been started and spread by design, he now attributed it to fire-raising criminals like Gabriel Holmes. (See A True … Account Of The … Informations Exhibited To The … Committee appointed by the Parliament To Inquire into the … Burning Of … London, 1667.)
240 f. Cf. Camden's Britannia (1586), translated (edn. of 1789, i.338): 'The abbey church' of St Alban's 'has a most beautiful brass font, in which the children of the Kings of Scotland used to be baptised. Sir Richard Lee … placed it here as part of the spoils of Scotland', with a vainglorious inscription, which Camden gives. The font was 'made money of by the Parliament soldiers' (see N. Salmon, History of Hertfordshire (1728), p. 89), to whom, as in the next couplet, Oldham alludes.
242 f. See Bruno Ryves, Mercurius Rusticus: Or, The Countries Complaint of the barbarous Out-rages Committed by the Sectaries of this late flourishing Kingdome (1646), pp. 201–6. '… the Rebells under the Conduct of Sir William Waller, entering the City of Chichester on Innocents day, 1642. the next day their first businesse was to Plunder the Cathedral Church; the Marshall therefore and some other Officers … seize upon the Consecrated Plate … they left not so much as … a Chalice for the Blessed Sacrament … they rush out thence and break open a Parish Church, … called the Subdeanery … and finding no more Plate but the Chalice, they steale that too.' I discuss my failure to trace the authority for l. 243 in 'Some Problems', pp. 571 f.
244 f. See An Elegy on Colonel Blood, Notorious for Stealing the Crown, &c. Who Dyed the Twenty-Sixth of August 1680 (BL Lutt. i.16, dated by Luttrell '30 Aug.'); A Second Elegy to the Memory of … Collonel Thomas Blood (1680); and Remarks On The Life and Death Of The Fam'd Mr. Blood, 2nd edn. (1680) (advertised in The City Mercury, 18 Nov. 1680). John Strype, in his continuation of Stow's Survey (see 1754 edn., i.97), gives a full account of the exploit (but wrongly dated) from the information of the keeper, Edwards, whom Blood and his accomplices assaulted. It took place 9 May 1671; see The London Gazette, No. 572. Marvell's lines upon it had furnished Oldham with hints for 'Jesuits II', ll. 89 f., 110; see also John Freke, 'The History of Insipids' (Rochester, Poems (Pinto), no. LVIII, ll. 43–6; but see Rochester, Poems (Vieth), p. 225, citing Frank H. Ellis, 'John Freke and The History of Insipids', PQ, xliv (1965), 472–83).
246–8. From Oates's sworn information of 5 Sept. 1678 to the evidence at Plunket's trial on 3 May 1681, the Plot was affirmed by an enormous mass of false testimony on the part of Oates, Bedloe, Prance, Dangerfield, Dugdale, Turberville, Bolron, Arnold, the Irish witnesses, and many smaller fry. Dugdale, Turberville, and the Irish changed sides in 1681, and perjured themselves against Shaftesbury and Stephen College. Before this, however, there had been several attempts to tamper with the witnesses or to discredit them by evidence as false as their own. The most famous, the Meal Tub Plot, was discovered in Oct. 1679; and Reading was condemned 24 Apr. 1679, Knox and Lane 25 Nov. 1679, Tasborough and Price in Jan. 1680, and Simpson Tonge committed to Newgate, Sept. 1680, all for intrigues of the same sort. The Several Informations of Mr. Simeon Wright (1681) gives a resumé of the witnesses and counter-witnesses; for the Irish, see 'Boileau VIII', l. 257 n., 'On the Times', ll. 7 f., n. See 'Jesuits II', ll. 210 ff., 'Juvenal III', ll. 38 f.; Jones, pp. 187 f., Kenyon, pp. 60, 91, 100, 132, 138, 152, 189–92, 197–204, 214, 241, 244.
249. Thinne's … Murderers. Thomas Thynne of Longleat, 'Tom of Ten Thousand', the wealthy Whig and friend of Monmouth gibed at by Rochester and Dryden, was shot in his coach, at Charing Cross, on 12 Feb. 1682. Oldham's friend Dr Lower actually had the extracted bullets in his possession for a day or two, borrowing them from Thynne's chirurgeon. (The Tryal … Of George Boroski, 1682, p. 13.) The assassins, Borosky, Stern, and Vrats, were instigated by a Swedish nobleman, Count Köningsmark, who had 'had some pretensions to the lady Ogle, whom Mr. Thin had since married'. The Count, thanks chiefly to the venality of the jury, was acquitted; his bravos were condemned, and executed 10 Mar. See Luttrell, i.164–8, 170, 174; Evelyn, 15 Nov. 1681, 10 Mar. 1682, Reresby, pp. 249–55. Settle (prologue to his Heir of Morocco, 11 Mar. 1682: Wiley, pp. 84 f.) devoted twenty lines to the crime, and it provoked numerous ballads and elegies, e.g. The Matchless Murder, printed for J. Conyers; J.M.'s Murther Unparalel'd (1682), and Capt. Vrats's Ghost to Count Coningsmark, By A Western Gentleman; also two, dated by Luttrell 15 and 28 Feb. 1681/2: A Hew and Cry after Blood & Murther and An Elegy On the Famous Tom Thinn Esq … By Geo. Gittos (BL, Lutt. I.151, 150.)
249. Godfrey's Murderers: Green, Berry, and Hill, as Oldham and very many others still believed. They were certainly innocent. See 'Jesuits I', 0.2 n. and ll. 1–7.
255. Sir Francis Pemberton (1625–97) had succeeded Scroggs as Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench 11 Apr. 1681. He was transferred to the Common Pleas 22 Jan. 1682/3 to make way for Edmund Saunders, and was removed from the bench altogether in the following Sept. See Luttrell, i.74, 76, 247; and DNB.
260. Of the hundreds of Essex, two were particularly designated 'the Hundreds' by local usage. They were Rochford and Dengey, lying on the coast between the Thames and the Blackwater. Their unhealthiness is noted by Philip Morant in his history of the county (1768), i.iii.268. The Essex Ballad (1680, 'Aprill 10', Luttrell, Catalogues) lists 'Agues' among the things for which the county is 'much renowned', and Waller writes of 'the malignant air' of 'those already cursed Essexian plains' ('Upon the Death of My Lady Rich', ll. 7, 1). The similar notoriety of 'Sheppey Island' is illustrated in Shadwell's Sullen Lovers (1668), p. 28: 'this is worse then a Sheerness Ague'.
269. entertain. See 'Art of Poetry', l. 616 n.
285–93. Cf. Dryden, Prologue to All For Love (1678), ll. 21 f.:
- A brave Man scorns to quarrel once a day;
- Like Hectors, in at evr'y petty fray.
pg 452For the 'hectr'ing Blades' see 'Boileau VIII', l. 139 n.; 'Juvenal III', ll. 405 ff., and n.
294 ff. Juvenal's allusion to Socrates is modernized by the addition of ll. 295 f.
300–4. Cf. Charles's speech on the scaffold as rendered by George Bate in Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Anglia; … Paris (1649), p. 205: 'Qua Charitaté saevientes in me Hostes amplector, testem habeo Virum hunc probum (Digito in Episcopum Londinensem intento) veniam hisce omnibus intimis ex praecordiis indulgeo; Deúmque Misericordiarum obnixè veneror, ut seriam iis resipiscentiam largiri dignetur, & remittat hoc facinus'; and also the meditation upon death put into his mouth in Είϰὼν Βασιλιϰὴ (1681), esp. p. 247. In calling Charles 'the great'st of mortal sufferers' Oldham implies a comparison with the Passion; cf. the Bishop of Downe's sermon, The Martyrdom of King Charts I or His Conformity with Christ in his Sufferings (1649, reprinted 1660); see Nichol Smith, p. 48, l. 15 and n.
326. In the 'Book of Martyrs' (viz. Actes and Monuments, 1563); cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 313 f. and n.
327. Bradshaw, and Ravilliac. François Ravaillac, assassin of Henry IV in 1610; and John Bradshaw (1602–59), Lord President of the commission which condemned Charles I. They seem ill-chosen to illustrate the sure punishment of remorse, since both were unrepentant. Ravaillac was executed with torture and when Bradshaw died the royalists lamented (e.g. in The Arraignment Of the Divel, for stealing away President Bradshaw ) that he had escaped the hangman; at the Restoration they suspended his corpse with Cromwell's and Ireton's at Tyburn. For Ravaillac, cf. 'Jesuits I', ll. 55, 59 nn.
329. Juvenal took the story from Herodotus, VI.86, where Leutychides relates it to the Athenians as a warning. The would-be knave was Glaucus son of Epicydes. Oldham added ll. 329 f. for the reason explained in ll. 61–79 n.
330. Hackwel: An Apologie Or Declaration Of The Power And Providence Of God In The Government Of The World, … [a] Censure Of The Common Errour Touching Natures Perpetuall … Decay (1627, 3rd enlarged edn. 1635) by George Hakewill DD (1578–1649). For its vogue, cf. Pepys, 3 Feb. 1666/7, and Johnson, Lives of the Poets, ed. Birkbeck Hill, i.137 and n. 5.
330. Beard's Theatre: The Theatre of Gods Judgements: Or, A Collection Of Histories … concerning the admirable Iudgements of God vpon the transgressours of his commandements. Translated Out Of French, And Augmented by more than three hundred Examples (1597), by Thomas Beard, DD (d. 1632), who was Cromwell's schoolmaster. It was several times reprinted in the 17th century. Chs. XXIX and XXX are devoted to judgements upon perjurers, of the same type as that related here.
340. remotest. Scansion requires 'remot'st'.
354. by Lumly drest: not with his own hands, but as connoisseur, and patron of the feast. He is the Lord Lumley (1589–c.1662) to whom, with three others, 'known for their Admired Hospitalities', Robert May dedicated The Accomplisht Cook, Or The Art and Mystery of Cookery (1660). The foundation of his art he owed, he declares, to their 'inimitable Expences' which they 'never weighed … so that they might arrive to the high esteem they had of their Gustos'. He pays tribute to those 'magnificent Trophies of Cookery that have adorned your Tables', and to Lumley as 'that great lover … of Art, who wanted no knowledg in the discerning this mistery' (3rd edn., 1671, A3r–A4r, A6v). This Lumley's successor, Baron Richard Lumley, was an acquaintance of Rochester's: see J.H. Wilson, ed., The Rochester-Savile Correspondence (1941), p. 58.
356. Oldham introduces the reference to Damocles. Cf. Rochester's 'A Very Heroical Epistle … to Ephelia', ll. 55 f.:
- … here with aching hearts our joys we taste,
- Disturbed by swords, like Damocles his feast.
372. See F.W. Fairholt, Gog and Magog. The Giants in Guildhall (1859). The Gog and Magog of this period replaced the pair burnt in the Great Fire. In London Triumphant, depicting the Lord Mayor's Show of 1672 (see Percy Society publications, x.76) Thomas Jordan describes them as two giants, each 'at least fifteen foot high, that do sit and are drawn by horses in two several chariots, moving, talking, and taking tobacco as they ride along'. At Guildhall, they were to be seen all the year round. According to the Gigantick History of the Two famous Giants of Guildhall (1741), they were 'made only of wicker work and pasteboard put together with great … ingenuity'.
413. The prisoner at the bar had to hold up his hand in answer to his name before the indictment was read; again before the jury delivered their verdict; and yet again if they pronounced him guilty. Cf. Hudibras II.iii.1167 ff.; III.i.1456.
414 f. Under statutes passed since 1660, persons convicted of certain crimes might choose transportation instead of the death penalty. Luttrell (i.157, 13 Jan. 1681/2) refers to 'an order of the [Council] for transporting severall condemned popish preists in Newgate to the isles of Scilly'. The Caribbes are the Lesser Antilles (Barbados and the Leeward Is.): there is some account of transportation thither at this period in V.T. Harlow, A History Of Barbados, 1625–1685 (1926), pp. 295–9, and C.S.S. Higham, The Development Of The Leeward Islands Under The Restoration, 1680–1688 (1921), pp. 166, 170–4.
417. Cf. Luttrell, i.171: 'The body of Boraskie the Polander, who shott Mr. Thinn, is hang'd up in chains at Mile end, being the road from the seaports where most of the northern nations do land.' Cf. also Capt. Vrats' Ghost (1682):
- Poor Ignorant Borisky's angry Ghost,
- See with what Rage it comes thee to accost?
- Must He that Fatal Shot for ever rue,
- His Corps in Chains be hung to all Men's view
- And Spect'cle made to Forreigners for you?
Borosky suffered, with Vratz and Stern, 10 Mar. 1681/2; see further l. 249 n. and The Loyal Protestant, 11 Mar., and The True Protestant Mercury, 8–11 Mar. 1681/2.
David's Lamentation … Paraphras'd
This paraphrase was doubtless inspired by Cowley's unfulfilled intention, recorded in the preface to his 1656 Folio, of concluding 'Davideis' with 'that most Poetical and excellent Elegie of Davids on the death of Saul and Jonathan' (Poems, p. 11). In it Oldham borrows from 'Davideis', which he makes his model for use of the Scripture narratives.
20 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 296):
- Slaughter the wearied Riphaims bosom fills,
- Dead corps imboss the vail with little hills.
32–6 and ff. In founding upon the Scriptural text an extended Pindarique ode, Oldham drew chiefly upon I Samuel. For Ashdod's idol and the vile Fish (both Dagon), see ch. v (also Paradise Lost, I.457 ff.); and for other allusions: Mount Gilboa, the fatal battlefield (l. 47), xiii and II.i.6, 21; Jabesh pg 454and Ammon's proud tyrant, Nahash (ll. 80–2), xi; Amalek and Agag (ll. 84 f.), xv; Micmash (l. 89), xiv.5 ff.; Helah (l. 91), Saul's encampment when at Dammin (l. 90) David slew Goliath, xvii.l f.; Saul's triumphant reception (ll. 91–5), xviii.6–8; Seir (Edom, dwelling about Mt. Seir), Moab, and Zobah (l. 96), xiv.47; Seneh (ll. 108–11), xiv.4, 15; Gibeah (ll. 178–82), Judges xx. For ll. 202, 208, the authority is I Samuel xviii:1–4, 27; xx:31.
80–2. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, pp. 378 ff.).
108. Seneh. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 387).
108 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 387): he calls Jonathan 'an Host'.
110 f. It is Cowley ('Davideis', Poems, p. 387) who adds paralytic terror to the 'very great trembling' of Scripture.
116. Cf. the 'Vision', R271, ll. 9 f.; 'Promising a Visit', ll. 31 f. and n.
118. Cf. Lee, Sophonisba (1676), III.i, p. 25:
- Where'er our General turn'd, death mark'd his look,
- And whom he ey'd with his cold Arrow strook….
125. Cf. Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), II, p. 13:
- His Victories we scarce could keep in view,
- Or polish 'em so fast as he rough drew.
137–42. The epic simile closely resembles Dryden's in sts. 107 f. of Annus Mirabilis (1667) from which poem Oldham undoubtedly borrows in ll. 169–71.
145. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 380):
- His amaz'd Troops strait cast their arms away;
- Scarce fled his Soul from thence more swift then they.
167–71. Borrowing from Dryden and Cowley. Cf. Annus Mirabilis, sts. 3 f. for the anaphora with isocolon; 'the blest Arabia's spices' correspond to the 'Idumean Balm' and 'Ceilon['s] Spicy Forrests'; l. 171 echoes 'The Sun but seem'd the Lab'ror of their Year', and l. 171 links with it 'the Heavn's … kindly heat / In Eastern Quarries ripening precious Dew', and Dryden's n.: 'Precious Stones at first are dew, condens'd, and harden'd by the warmth of the Sun, or subterranean Fires'. With 167 f. cf. in 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 263) 'The Silk-worm's pretious death' and 'Tyrian Dy'—from the shell-fish, the murex.
178–82. At Gibeah in their civil war, Israel lost on the first day 22,000 men, 18,000 on the second; Benjamin 25,000 on the third. This gives three-score thousand on Cowley's principle of taking 'the next whole number' because 'Poetry will not admit of broken ones': ('Davideis', I. n. 23, Poems, p. 272).
210 f. Cf. ode to Morwent, ll. 307–9.
212 f. Cf. Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada (1672), III, p. 102:
- Not new-made Mothers greater love express
- Than he; when with first looks their babes they bless.
Cf. ode to Morwent, ll. 286–90.
The Ode of Aristotle in Athenaeus, Paraphras'd
Aristotle's ode to Hermias, tyrant of Atarneus and Assos, whose guest he had been for many years, is preserved in Athenaeus, Deipnosophistes, XV.696. pg 455Werner Jaeger, Aristotle (tr. Richard Robinson, 1934, p. 118) has an English version and a discussion of it; for Hermias, see pp. 112–19. His honourable, but misplaced confidence in a safe-conduct enabled Mentor, sent against him by the Persians, to decoy him to an interview, seize him, and send him to Artaxerxes, who put him to death.
33 f. He staked his life on the principle of honour: but not in battle.
Upon the Works of Ben. Johnson
In the heading of the autograph fair copy, '1677/8' places the composition between 1 Jan. and 24 Mar. 1678, and 'reprinted' indicates Oldham's hope of getting his ode prefixed to a new edition of Jonson's Works. In Dec. 1678 he tells John Spencer (R279 f.) he has sent it to the bookseller—deducibly Herringman, who had brought out Oldham's first published poem in Nov. 1677, and with Martyn and Marriot had meditated a new Jonson at least since their edition of The Wild Goose Chase (1652). In their one-volume Beaumont and Fletcher (advertised in The London Gazette, 3–6 Feb. 1678/9) they announced that if that were a success, they would follow it with a Jonson. Evidently Oldham had wind of the renewed project two months before, and probably when he began the Ode. Jonson's works were not in fact reprinted till 1692, and the Ode, with 'reprinted' dropped from the title, first appeared in Poems, And Translations (1683). On submitting it to the bookseller, so Oldham told Spencer, he did not make it more polished, but retrenched five stanzas. The fair copy and first edition, in which the stanzas correspond, most likely preserve the full version. Rejected material, however (a few lines of which were used for the 'Homer' q.v. ll. 1–4, 137 nn.) is extant in a draft on R224 f. (see Appendix II); a former and longer version including it cannot be entirely ruled out.
1. Cf. Barten Holyday's ''Tis dangerous to praise' which opens his 'Epode' before Jonson's version (1640) of Ars Poetica, familiar to Oldham (Jonson xi.352, and 'Art of Poetry' headnote).
4. Cf. Jo. Rutter, in Jonsonus Virbius, 1638 (Jonson, xi.459, ll. 1, 3 f.):
- … thy … name …
- Which none can lessen, nor we bring enough
- To raise it higher, through our want of stuffe….
5. Cf. Falkland, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.435, ll. 233 f., 237 f.):
- Let Digby, Carew, Killigrew, and Maine,
- Godolphin, Waller, that inspired Traine …
- Answer thy wish, for none so fit appeares
- To raise his Tombe, as who are left his Heires….
6 ff. Cf. Dryden, Of Dramatick Poesie (Essays, i.81): 'Wit, and language, and humour also in some measure, we had before him; but something of art was wanting to the Drama, till he came.' Jonson himself, in his lines to Richard Brome (Jonson, viii.409, ll. 7 f.) speaks of 'those Comick Lawes / Which I, your Master, first did teach the Age'. See, to the same purpose, Heylyn, I.268; and in Jonsonus Virbius, King, Clayton, and Feltham (Jonson, xi.504, ll. 10–13; 320, ll. 12–16; 441, ll. 25 f.; 450, l. 1; 461, ll. 33–5).
9. Cf. Cartwright, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.458, l. 126): Ben's hasty competitors 'Are not wits, but materialls of wit'.
14–26. Oldham adapts Cowley's extended metaphor from the ode 'To Mr. Hobs' (Poems, p. 189), who is apostrophized as 'Thou great Columbus of the … Lands of new Philosophies'. Cf. with ll. 15, 22, the account of Hobbes's vessel, unlike the 'Fisher-boats of Wit', entering upon 'the vast Ocean' devoid of landmarks (nothing to be seen 'but Seas and Skies') 'Till unknown Regions it descries'. In ll. 22–6 Oldham recollects Cowley's n. (p. 91): pg 456'the Ancients … seldom ventured into the Ocean; and when they did, did only Littus legere, coast about near the shore'.
32. Dryden speaks of 'this Anarchy of Wit' in the Prologue to Albumazar (1668), l. 17.
38–49. Chaos … harmony. Richard West (Jonsonus Virbius, Jonson, xi.470, ll. 79 ff.) writes that, thanks to Ben,
- … our … ENGLISH …
- (I had almost said a Confusion)
- Is now all harmony….
38. 'The Vision' (R270), l. 19, is a variant of this.
41–3. The allusion is a commonplace. Cf., e.g. Dryden, 'Prologue to the University of Oxford', 1673:
- Such build their Poems the Lucretian way,
- So many Huddled Atoms make a Play,
- And if they hit in Order by some Chance,
- They call that Nature which is Ignorance.
See 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 129 ff. and n.
52 f. Cf. Jonson himself, in Discoveries (Jonson, viii.586); and prefacing The Alchemist (v.291): 'But how out of purpose, and place, do I name Art? when the Professors are growne so obstinate contemners of it, and presumers on their own Naturalls, as they are deriders of all diligence that way, and, by simple mocking at the termes, when they vnderstand not the things, thinke to get of[f] wittily with their Ignorance.'
54–8. Cf. Thomas Rymer, The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider'd (1678), published Nov. 1677, p. 8: 'Say others, … Poetry is the Child of Fancy, and is never to be school'd and disciplin'd by Reason; Poetry, say they, is blind inspiration, is pure enthusiasm, is rapture and rage all over…. Those who object against reason are the Fanaticks in Poetry, and are never to be sav'd by their good works.' Cf. Thomas Shipman, 'Belvoir', 1679 (Carolina, 1683, p. 235): 'I must not be / A Schismatick in Poetry'; Dryden, Prologue to Oedipus (1679), ll. 29–31; and Spencer's verse-letter to Oldham (Appendix I, ll. 78 ff.). See 'Art of Poetry', ll. 466 ff. and n.; and contrast 'Praise of Poetry' (R99, 96, 87) where Oldham treats 'furor poeticus' with much more favour. Randolph, pp. 96 f., had three renderings of the crucial text in Aristotle (Poetics: Works (Oxford) 1455.a.32); Dryden, in 1679, following Rapin and Castelvetro, whittles it away (Essays, i.221 f.); but contrast i.152, ll. 3 ff., i.186, ll. 23 ff., after Petronius and Longinus, and especially i.152, ll. 32 ff. Cf. Shadwell, Preface to The Humorists, 1671 (Spingarn, ii.159): 'In fancy mad men equal if not excel all others; and one may as well say that [such a man] is as good … as a temperate wiseman, as that one of the very fancyful Plays … can be so good … as one of Johnson's correct and well-govern'd Comedies.'
66. Cf. Cowley, 'The Constant' (Poems, p. 135): 'Which does not force, but guide our Liberty!' Cf. 'Counterpart', l. 31.
67–75. For the hawking terms, 'haggard', 'at random', 'reclaim'd', 'brought to lure', 'Quarry', 'towring', 'lessen'd' (to fly to lessen), and 'turn'd', see OED and Shakespeare's England, ii.xxvii &2.
67–75. Clarendon's view (MS 'Life' of himself), though not available to Oldham, is representative: Jonson's 'na' aduantages were judgement to order and gouerne fancy, rather then excesse of fancy, his productions beinge slow and upon deliberac͂on, yett then aboundinge with greate witte and fancy' (Jonson, xi.512; cf., e.g. 534, No. xxv, ll. 3 f.).
67–71. Cf. Shadwell, Preface to The Humorists, 1671 (Spingarn, ii.159): '… nature … subjected wit to the government of judgment, which is the noblest faculty of the mind. Fancy rough-draws, but judgement smooths and pg 457finishes; nay, judgment does in deed comprehend wit.' He is rejecting Dryden's endeavour to distinguish Jonson's excellence by a more critical use of the terms.
71–5. In asserting that Jonson possessed wit as well as judgement in perfection, Oldham appears to agree with Shadwell in the controversy between him and Dryden; cf. Dryden (Essays, i.81, 138, 172) and Spingarn (ii.150, 158 ff., 339–41). Dryden withdrew from the argument in his 'Defence of the Epilogue' (1672); but Shadwell could not let it alone: besides the dedication, prologue, and epilogue of his Virtuoso (1676), cf. The Triumphant Widow (by him and Newcastle), 1677, p. 61, where he makes Crambo expostulate: 'Oh, I hate Johnson, oh oh, dull dull oh oh no Wit'. It may be wrong, however, to stress the present passage, for in Pindarique eulogy the more idolatrous was almost of necessity the better opinion.
76 f. Cf. I.C. (loc cit., n. on 140 f., 143 below): 'Art, and Nature strive / Thy banquets to contrive'.
78 f. Oldham adopts Cowley's image (for the conjunction of Scripture and Reason) from 'Reason. The Use of it in Divine Matters' (Poems, p. 47).
81 f. See this commonplace in Cowley, quoted in 'Boileau VIII', ll. 71 ff., n.
91 f. Cf. W. Cartwright, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.456, ll. 41, 43 f.):
- That life, that Venus of all things, …
- Is not found scattred in thee here and there,
- But, like the soule, is wholly every where.
For the diffusion of the soul, see 'Dithyrambique', ll. 14–17 n., ode on Atwood, l. 102.
102 f. In R90 Oldham notes: 'Poetry till Ben like y terms and notions of ye Schools he first refin'd it from pedantry & jargon, animated with Sence.'
104–7. C.14 Mar. 1677/8 (HMC, Le Fleming, p. 143) the Council was 'considering how to discourage the wearing of French stuffs and druggets to the neglect of the English'. Certain imports from France, cloth among them, were prohibited by the Poll Bill debated in Feb. and 'perfected' 4 Mar. 1678. Dryden, satirizing hack dramatists' French borrowing (Prologue, 1 Conquest of Granada, 1670, ll. 34–9) had used the same metaphor as Oldham. On the prevailing view of French imports as effeminate and economically disadvantageous, see further, e.g., J.B., An Account Of The French Usurpation Upon The Trade of England (1679); and Ogg, i.221, 225.
113–16. Cf. John Spencer's verse-letter to Oldham (Appendix I), ll. 159–62.
119–21. Cf. Shadwell, Epilogue to The Humorists (1671):
- 'learned Ben'
- … alone div'd into the Minds of Men …
- And all their vain fantastick Passions drew.
122–9. Cf. Waller in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.447 f., ll. 5–12:
- Thou not alone those various inclinations,
- Which Nature gives to Ages, Sexes, Nations,
- Has 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.
But Oldham's 'Whatere' and 'transform' suggest he used the slightly altered text of Waller's Poems (1645), which has 'That whate'er' for 'But all that' and 'habit … deforms' for 'Habits … distort'.
132 f. Cf. Shadwell, Epilogue to The Humorists (1671):
- A Humor is the Byas of the Mind,
- By which with violence 'tis one way inclin'd
- It makes our Actions lean on one side still
- And in all Changes that way bends the Will.
He is paraphrasing Jonson's induction to Every Man Out. Dryden parodied Shadwell's lines in MacFlecknoe.
134–7. Cf. Waller (Jonson, xi.448, ll. 13 f., 28 f., 31 f.):
- Whoever in those Glasses lookes, may finde
- The spots return'ed, or graces, of his minde …
- For as thou couldst all characters impart,
- So none can render thine …
- Who was nor this nor that, but all we finde,
- And all we can imagine in mankind.
138–53. This is the Restoration ideal of comedy, as expressed in the prologues; cf. especially Dryden's to Sir Martin Mar-All (1667):
- Fools, which each man meets in his Dish each Day
- Are yet the great Regalio's of a Play, etc.
140 f., 143. Oldham had read the lines by I. C. before Jonson's Quintus Horatius Flaccus: His Art of Poetry (1640); the third st. and the n. there on Menander's cook (Jonson, xi.337) helped to suggest the topics of variety and of catering for the best-qualified tastes. Cf. esp.:
- But if thou make thy feasts
- For the high-relish'd guests …
- It were almost a sinne
- To think that thou shouldst equally delight
- Each severall appetite….
154–67. Cf. Richard West, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson xi. 469, ll. 63 f.):
- … their poore Cobweb-stuffe finds as quick Fate
- As Birth, and sells like Almanacks out of date….
157–63. Cf. John Beaumont, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.438, ll. 48–51):
- … 'twas farre more strange
- To see (how ever times, and fashions frame)
- His wit and language still remaine the same
- In al 1 mens mouths….
With the phrasing of ll. 157 f., cf. the prologue to The Doubtful Heir, in Shirley's Poems (1646) ('Narcissus', p. '154', really 54): 'Our Author did not calculate his Play, / For this Meridian'.
168–70. Marston, in Sophonisba, decries Jonson's transcriptions from the classics; Tom May in his lines to John Ford (1629) and Denham in his 'On Mr. Abraham Cowley' (1667) both refer to him as a plunderer. The notorious denigration was Owen Feltham's in 'An Answer to … Come leave the loathed Stage' (Jonson, xi.339, ll. 11 ff.): 'Tis known' he does 'excell'
- As a Translator: But when things require
- A genius and fire,
- Not kindled heretofore by others pains;
he has 'wanted brains / And art' to hit the target, as often as he has succeeded. Mayne and Cartwright reply to the charge (Jonsonus Virbius; Jonson, xi.454, ll. 122–8; 458, ll. 129–42); Edward Howard, in the Preface to The Womens Conquest (1671), wonders at it.
180–7. Cf. Dryden, Of Dramatick Poesie (1668) (Essays, i.82): 'He was deeply conversant in the Ancients, both Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them: there is scarce a poet or historian among the Roman authors of those times whom he has not translated in Sejanus and Catiline…. He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in other poets, is pg 459only victory in him.'; cf. his Prologue to Albumazar, the same year, ll. 11– 14. Carew had justified Jonson by the same figure; see Jonson, xi.336, ll. 39 ff.
182. Universal Monarchy: world-empire, like Alexander's; applied metaphorically to empire in poetry, as by Cowley to empire in love: see below, 'Upon the Marriage', l. 66 and n.
188–91. Jonson replied to gibes at his lack of facility in the apologetical dialogue appended to Poetaster (Jonson, iv.323, ll. 193 ff.):
- … they say you are slow,
- And scarse bring forth a play a yeere. AUT. 'Tis true.
- I would, they could not say that I did that! [etc.]
The attack was continued by Dekker in Satiromastix (Dramatic Works, ed. F. Bowers, 1953, e.g. i.326; cf. also 2 Return from Parnassus (The Three Parnassus Plays, ed. J.B. Leishman, 1949), ll. 296 f. It is rebutted by Carew (in the poem cited above, ll. 180 ff., n.), by John Davies of Hereford, and, in Jonsonus Virbius, by Jasper Mayne, Feltham, West, and Cartwright, who declares
- We do imbrace their slaunder: thou has writ
- Not for dispatch but fame. (99–100)
(Jonson, xi.380, ll. 3–9; 452, ll. 49–66; 461 f., ll. 49–64; 469, ll. 53–66; 457, ll. 97–112.) Fuller, finally, in the celebrated comparison with Shakespeare (ibid. xi.510) pronounces Jonson 'Solid, but Slow in his performances.'
192–4. He remembers with complacency the laborious habits of composition and diligence in revision which (as his drafts testify) were indeed his.
196. Cf. Dryden, Of Dramatick Poesie (Essays, i.81): 'He was a most severe judge of himself, as well as others.' He is depicted as judge at the sessions of wit in Holyday's 'Epode' (see n. to l. 1, and Jonson, xi.353, ll. 43 ff.).
205 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Friendship in Absence' (Poems, p. 28):
- Friendship is less apparent when too nigh,
- Like Objects, if they touch the Eye.
225 f. Cf. Dryden's verses prefixed to Lee's Rival Queens (1677), which we know Oldham read (R293; cf. 264, 289):
- But how shou'd any Sign-post-dawber know
- The worth of Titian or of Angelo? …
- To draw true Beauty shews a Masters Hand.
230 f. Jonson's own dictum: 'Indeed, things, wrote with labour, deserve to be so read, and will last their Age' (Discoveries, Jonson, viii.638).
234–6. Cf. Richard West, in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, xi.469, ll. 58 ff.):
- … 'twas the wisedom of thy Muse to sit
- And weigh each syllable; suffering nought to passe
- But what could be no better then it was.
'Nought … But what … could write exactly best' means 'nothing which could not subscribe itself "exactest and best"'. In 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 205, Oldham has: 'The Boutefeu can now Immortal write'; and cf. Milton's 'he … must subscribe slave' (Works, iii.i.242).
235. had gone full time: were not premature births. Ben's 'fancies … went full time' affirms Nicholas Downey (before Samuel Harding's Sicily and Naples, 1640; Jonson, xi.497, l. 9).
237–9. Cowley calls the new-created world 'Gods Poem', in 'Davideis', Book I (see n., Poems, p. 253). Oldham is indebted to the passage in 'A Letter' and probably here.
253–6. Cf. Paradise Lost, VII.548–57, esp. where God views 'this new created World … how good, how faire / Answering his great Idea'. Cf. his echo of Milton's l. 631 f. in 'Sardanapalus' (ll. 1 f. and n.).
260–9. Jonson was lectured for his scorn of unfavourable audiences by Marston in the Induction to What You Will and by Dekker in Satiromastix, V.ii; and Owen Feltham took him to task for his ode of defiance on the failure of The New Inn. So, more mildly, did Carew; while Clayton and Cartwright in Jonsonus Virbius praised the dramatist's independence and justifiable selfconfidence. Cf. with ll. 266–9 Cartwright on the ephemeral repute of those
- Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: styl'd name
- What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame
- Gathered the many's suffrages …
(Jonson, ix, pp. 408 f., xi, p. 369, ll. 31–3; pp. 339 f.; pp. 335 f., ll. 23 ff.; p. 450, ll. 3–6, p. 458, ll. 149–51, 153–5).
281 f. Cf. on this commonplace, Cowley, 'The Second Olympique Ode of Pindar' (Poems, p. 168): 'Nothing but the Eagle is said to be able to look full right into the Sun, and to make that tryal of her young ones, breeding up none but those that can do so'; and with Oldham's lines, Richard West's reference, in Jonsonus Virbius, p. '55' [i.e. 53] to
- Those shallow Sirs, who want sharpe sight to look
- On the Majestique splendour of thy Booke.
(Jonson, xi.468, ll. 13 f.).
283 f. Oldham no doubt recalled Richard West's
- Give Glo-wormes leave to peepe, who till thy Night
- Could not be seene, we darkened were with Light.
in Jonsonus Virbius (Jonson, ix.468, ll. 3 f.); but perhaps also Paradise Lost, III.380 f.:
- Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer
- Yet dazle Heav'n….
289. Echoing Thomas Sprat, 'Upon the Poems of the English Ovid, Anacreon, Pindar, and Virgil, ABRAHAM COWLEY, in Imitation of his own Pindarick Odes': 'As round, and full as the great circle of eternity'. The ode was circulating in MS by c.1680 (see Bodl. MS Eng. Poet. e. 4, pp. 49–67, with space left for sts. 1 and 2). It appeared in A Supplement to the Works of the Most celebrated Minor Poets (1750), p. 64.
The Ninth Ode Of the Third Book of Horace, Imitated
This ode was a favourite with 17th-century translators; cf., e.g. the versions by Jonson, Herrick, Francis Davison, John Ashmore, and Patrick Hannay (see Jonson, viii.293, xi.109). In Oldham's time there is Thomas Flatman's. Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651) has an imitation, as 'A Dialogue Betwixt God And The Soul', and Bodl. MS Firth, e.6, 150r, a burlesque. Oldham will almost certainly have known Jonson's translation. He paraphrases two other pieces which Jonson picked upon, though his versions are not demonstrably indebted to Jonson's: Catullus, epigram VII (The Forest, VI) and a fragment attributed to Petronius (The Underwood, LXXVIII, next after the Horace).
Upon a Lady, &c. Out of Voiture
The works of Vincent de Voiture (1598–1648) were first collected in 1650. In the more recent edn. of 1665, Oldham's original is in Part II, at p. 32. Thorn Drury noted another translation, in the six-line stanza of the original, beginning 'I yield, I yield, fair Phillis, now' in A New Collection Of Poems and Songs, Written by several Persons … Collected by John Bulteel, 1674 (A.E. Case 157), p. 117.
pg 461Catullus Epigr. VII, Imitated
Burton, Anatomy, p. 506, notes that Ben Jonson's 'Kiss me, Sweet' (Jonson, viii.103) is inspired by Catullus's epigram.
4–10, 17 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Account' (Poems, pp. 53 f.):
- When all the Stars are by thee told
- (The endless Sums of heav'nly Gold) …
- Or when the drops that make the Sea,
- Whilst all her Sands thy Counters be;
- Thou then, and Thou alone maist prove
- Th'Arithmetician of my Love.
9. Cf. Waller, 'Of the Queen', ll. 35 f.:
- Thus, in a starry night, fond children cry
- For the rich spangles that adorn the sky.
10. Cf. Cowley, 'To the New Year' (Poems, p. 206):
- Great Janus, who dost sure my Mistris view
- With all thine eyes, yet thinks't them all too few….
Cf. 'Katharine Kingscote', ll. 3 f.; 'Rant' (R228), ll. 13–16.
20. Characteristically, Oldham alters to a hyperbole Catullus' reckoning of all these as 'enough and more than enough'.
Some Elegies Out Of Ovid's Amours, Imitated
Rochester translated Amores, II.ix (Poems, p. 35); of the three Oldham imitates, Henry Bold (Poems (1664), p. 194) rendered II.iv, and Sedley II.v (printed, with nineteen versions of others among the 'Elegies', by other authors, in Dryden's 'Miscellany', 1684). See Introduction, p. xxxvi.
Book II, Elegy IV
Cowley is indebted to the original in 'The Inconstant': cf. Oldham's ll. 11 f. and 52 with Cowley (Poems, p. 133):
- I never yet could see that face
- Which had no dart for me
and: 'If Low, her Prettiness does please …'.
Book II, Elegy V
54 f. Like 'To Madam L. E.', ll. 130–3, this echoes Waller, 'Of the Misreport of her being painted' (ll. 19 f.)—'heaven'
- Paints her, 'tis true, and does her cheek adorn
- With the same art wherewith she paints the morn.
60. sweet Disorder. Herrick's phrase.
pg 462A Fragment of Petronius, Paraphras'd
The original was attributed to Petronius in Linocerius's edition (1585) where it follows some undoubted fragments: but it is not by him. See Jonson, xi.109: the n. to Ben's translation in The Underwood. He gives the Latin, for which see also Anthologia Latina, ed. F. Buecheler et al. (Teubner, 1964), i.ii.171.
- Fruition adds no new wealth, but destroys,
- And while it pleaseth much, yet still it cloys.
- … this once passed
- What relishes? …
- Urge not 'tis necessary; alas! we know
- The homeliest thing that mankind does is so.
13 f. For this elaboration of the Latin, cf. Rochester, 'A Dialogue Between Strephon And Daphne', ll. 39 f.
An Ode of Anacreon, Paraphras'd
The ode is from the Anacreontea, accepted in the 17th century as the work of Anacreon himself, but now assigned to imitators. This particular ode (No. 4 in J.M. Edwards's Loeb edn.) is cited, and attributed to Anacreon, in the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius. On the inclusion of Oldham's rendering, probably taken from Poems, And Translations (1683), in T. Wood and F. Willis (eds), Anacreon Done into English (Oxford, 1683), see Introduction, p. xxxv and n. 32. There are three (indecisive) variants; at l. 39, Oxford's seems inferior. The derivation from, the Greek, of the poem, 'Vulcan'. En faveur de moy …', and, from that poem, of Rochester's 'imitation', 'Upon His Drinking a Bowl', was traced by Kurt A. Zimansky, who attributed 'Vulcan' to Ronsard (The Critical Works of Thomas Rymer (1956), p. 226): see Vieth's Rochester, p. 52. Oldham seems to have taken a touch or two from Rochester; but his treatment is modelled on Cowley's 'Anacreontiques: Or … Copies of Verses Translated Paraphrastically out of Anacreon' (Poems, pp. 50 ff.).
'Fill me a Boul'—'The Words by Mr. Oldham. Set by Dr. Blow', which appears in Henry Playford's Theater of Music, Book IV (1687), p. 52 (Bibliography, II 36), is taken from these lines.
10 ff., 30. Constellations: Crater, the Cup, between Leo and Hydra; and Canis Major or Minor.
31 f. Cf. Cowley on 'all the radiant Monsters' in the heavens: 'First Nemean Ode of Pindar' (Poems, p. 174).
42–5. Cf. Rochester's version from Ronsard, ll. 17–20:
- But carve thereon a spreading vine,
- Then add two lovely boys;
- Their limbs in amorous folds entwine,
- The type of future joys.
50. toping. 'Tope' was still a new and fashionable word. OED's earliest example is from 1651. See Brett-Smith's Etherege, 24.48, 198.309, and nn.
pg 463An Allusion to Martial. Book I. Epig. 118
The original is numbered I.117 in modern editions, but I.118 in those of Schrevelius (1656, 1661, 1670) and Collesso (1680).
The 'Allusion' cannot be earlier than late 1680, when Hindmarsh published the first issue of Oldham's first volume. Much the most likely time for Oldham to have lived in a London garret (ll. 9–12) is after he left Reigate in 1681 and before he entered the household of Sir William Hickes; though a second residence in London after leaving Sir William is not an absolute impossibility. See Introduction, p. xxxiii and n. 35.
The leaf containing ll. 11–26 is a cancel in every copy of the original edition that I have been able to examine. See n. on ll. 19 f. below.
10. Clerkenwell extended northwards from Holborn and Smithfield to Islington.
12. The 5 flights of stairs are probably factual: they are 3 in the Latin.
15–19. Joseph Hindmarsh was Oldham's authorized publisher from the end of 1680 onward. (See Bibliography and my 'Chief Substantive Editions of Oldham's Poems, 1679–1684', SB xxvii (1974), 188–226). His shop was at the sign of the Black Bull in Cornhill over against the Royal Exchange. The year his patron James became King he either moved, or changed his sign, to the Golden Ball, still opposite the Exchange. (The Golden Ball was burnt down in 1748; a map of that date, reproduced facing p. 124 of E.F. Robinson's Early History of Coffee-Houses in England (1893), shows its exact position at the corner of Three Tuns Lane.) Hindmarsh's first entry in the Term Catalogues was in 1678; from this time until 1695/6 over 120 volumes are put down to him, including some by Dryden, Otway, Crowne, Ravenscroft, Aphra Behn, Nahum Tate, and many of D'Urfey's. In 1696 he was succeeded by Hannah Hindmarsh. This may be the date of his death, which in any event occurred before 1705 when John Dunton refers to him as 'deceased'. If the Thomas Hindmarsh whose sermon he printed was a relative, he himself may also have been originally a Lincolnshire man. See Plomer, Dictionary of Booksellers and Printers 1668–1725 (1922); MS Rawlinson C. 146 f. 77v; Wing, index; for Thomas Hindmarsh, Plomer, i.437, J. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses (1922). See also n. on ll. 19–20.
18. The door-posts etc. were covered with title-pages of poetical volumes, fixed there as advertisements of the stock within. See 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 78 f. and n. The practice was ancient: indeed, Oldham is following the Latin closely here.
19 f. Hindmarsh was 'Bookseller to his Royal Highness' James Duke of York, and published numerous attacks on James's enemies, the Whigs and Trimmers, the most notable perhaps being D'Urfey's Progress of Honesty (1681). He was prosecuted in Oct. 1682 for the Revd Adam Eliot's Modest Vindication of Titus Oates … To Demonstrate Him only Forsworn in several Instances. An earlier prosecution, Feb. 1681, for the Revd Thomas Ashington's Presbyterian Pater Noster, Creed, and Ten Commandments may be said to have made him for a time 'the noted'st Tory in the Town' (Luttrell, i.68, 98; 231, 249; The True Protestant Mercury, Apr. 13–16, 1681). The Pater Noster, according to a satirical advertisement in Mercurius Bifrons, 'May be had … in Cornhil, at the sign of the Popes Bull, bellowing forth his Roman Loyalty, with the Progress of Honesty between his Horns, and furious Parson Thom astride on him … crying out Tantivy, Tantivy, Hey for Rome.' Cf. the onslaughts in The Weekly Discoverer Strip'd Naked, Feb. 23, Mar. 2, 16, and the Whig Heraclitus Ridens, Mar. 8, 1681; a Tory defence, DM's Letter … concerning pg 464a late Prophane Pamphlet; and by Ashington himself, published by Hindmarsh, the more apologetic Some Reflections Upon a Late Pamphlet, In a Letter to J. H. Not improbably Oldham at first referred to this paper war more specifically. In a cancelled leaf, ll. 19 f. were represented by four, beginning Th To Th Th, as may be seen from the stub in Bodl. Antiq. e. E I.5. The cancellation was no doubt to remove or soften a dangerous allusion.
24. half a Crown: denaris quinque in the original. The price was good but not uncommon for a poetical octavo, bound. Pepys paid it for Hudibras (Part I), 26 Dec. 1662. For similar volumes at 2/6 see Term Catalogues, ed. Arber, i.151, 188; ii.73, and at 2/-, 1/6 or 1/-, i.127, 170, 266, 350.
Pastorals of unchartered love are not uncommon in Restoration and Caroline verse. 'The Dream' resembles several which were fathered on Rochester: Randolph's 'A Pastoral Courtship', for example, and Aphra Behn's 'The Disappointment', whose second and third stanzas can be compared with Oldham's ll. 39–68 and 63 f. The similarity between Chloris's 'I cannot—must not give' and Cosmelia's 'I cannot, will not yield' may not be accidental. But if not, one cannot say which poet was the borrower. 'The Disappointment' is in the 1680 Rochester, and so must have circulated in MS, but from how long before is uncertain. Since it was in 1676 and 1677, and as an attendant on Princess Mary, that Cosmelia is known to have been in touch with Oldham, it is likely that she accompanied Mary to Holland that Nov. (if she was Mary Langford, she certainly did), and that 'The Dream' is earlier. See 'Rant', 15 May 1676, 'Some Verses', Sept. 1676, and Introduction, p. xxix and nn. 19, 20.
19 f. Cf. Waller, 'The Fall', ll. 15 f.:
- Thus the first lovers on the clay,
- Of which they were composed, lay….
33. Cf. Otway, Don Carlos (1676), p. 3: 'Oh! the Impetuous sallyes of my Blood! '
66. The emendation in 1684 is clearly right; 1683, the sole authority, reads: 'In sleep we seem, and only sleep to make', but evidently the compositor repeated 'sleep' when he should have repeated 'seem'.
73 f. Settle has 'we'd antidate our Bliss' in The Empress of Morocco (1673) p. 18, a play from which Oldham made notes (including a page-reference) in R193, R197 etc. (Cf. also Marvell, 'Dialogue between Thyrsis and Dorinda' ll. 27 f.). See 'To Madam L. E.', l. 93; 'S. Cecilia Ode', l. 22.
75 f. Cf. Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (1676), p. 12:
- If love be vision, mine has all the fire
- Which, in first dreams, young prophets does inspire.
A Satyr Touching Nobility
Boileau's Satire V, of which (but for the omission of the last fourteen lines) this is a close imitation, was founded on Juvenal VIII, and published in 1666. The Juvenal is also the groundwork of Hall, Virgidemiarum, IV.iii. A date for Oldham's satire cannot be fixed more precisely than by the allusion to Dragon (see l. 43 and n.) which points to 1680–2. But all the similar satires for which he gives dates were written after Some New Pieces came out (late in 1681); it is natural to take it fairly closely with 'Boileau VIII' (Oct. pg 4651682); and it is probably one of the pieces printed as Oldham 'finished them off' (Advertisement, ll. 3–5, n.).
13 f. Holinshed's chronicle appeared in 1578. Cf. Hall, Virgidemiarum, IV. iii.16 f.:
- Or cyte olde Oclands verse, how they did weild
- The wars in Turwin, or in Turney field?
33–54. Cf. Juvenal, VIII.56–70 and Hall, Virgidemiarum, IV.iii, 50 ff.
41 f. Horse-races at Newmarket are recorded in early Stuart times; e.g. in 1619 (19 Mar.) and 1634. Racing recommenced there in 1663, and from 1665, when the King instituted a twelve-stone plate, regular spring and autumn meetings were held. From 1666 Charles and his court seldom missed a meeting, and large sums were staked; 'Sir Robert Carr', on one occasion, 'lost £5000 or £6000 upon several matches at Newmarket'. See J.P. Hore, The History of Newmarket (1885), i.296, ii.118, 239, 246, iii.13; 0. Airy, Charles II (1904), pp. 203–6.
43. Dragon: the most famous of English racehorses from about 1680 to 1682. We first hear of him, owned by Baptist May, running (with others) against 'Red Rose' 'the Topping Horse of Newmarket' in the Plate of 17 Mar. 1680. Matched with 'Red Rose', 22 Mar., he ran again 28 Apr. He was sold to the King, and his beating 'Why not' is reported in the London Mercury 13–17 Oct. 1682. But on 7 Oct. 1682 a letter from Newmarket informs Secretary Jenkins: 'His Majesty's horse Dragon, which carried 7 stone was beaten yesterday by a little horse called Postboy carrying 4 stone and the masters of that art conclude this top horse of England is spoiled for ever.' (CSPD, 1682, p. 456.) A story of Dragon's ruin by brutal castration, told in the Adventurer, no. xxxvii (1753), has implausibilities which discredit it. Indeed, his defeat did not end his career: on 10 Mar. 1684 the news was that 'on Wednesday the two famous horses, Dragon and Why not, are to run'. See J.P. Hore, History of Newmarket, ii.371, 373; iii.11, 44, 46–9; and A List of the Horse Races … to be run … at New-Market. Feb. 1679[/80] ('March 4', Luttrell, Catalogues).
43. cast: defeated in competition (OED, v.II.15).
65 f. Cf. Juvenal, VIII.121 f.:
- Curandum in primis ne magna iniuria fiat
- fortibus et miseris.
Oldham keeps nearer the original than Boileau ('fuiez-vous l'injustice'), but like him ennobles it.
75 f. Cf. Juvenal, VIII.131 ff., and Denham, Cooper's Hill, ll. 67 f.:
- Whether to Caesar, Albanact, or Brute,
- The Brittish Arthur, or the Danish Knute….
As Geoffrey of Monmouth relates, Brutus, grandson of Aeneas, was the founder of London (or Troynovant) and the kingdom of Albion. His sons succeeded him: Albanact in Scotland, Locrine in England, Camber in Wales.
92. selves: 'self' is what Oldham should have written: as the original shows, the poet is still addressing the 'Hero' (l. 33). But with ll. 104, 106, 'you' definitely becomes plural: I therefore retain 'selves' as a mistake of Oldham's.
99. Bedlam. See 'Art of Poetry', l. 811 n.
136. The College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1484; see Mark Noble, A History Of The College Of Arms (1804).
138–41. John Gwillim (1565–1621), Pursuivant-at-arms, published A Display of Heraldrie in 1610. It had reached a 5th edn. (in which the author's name is pg 466spelled Guillim, as Oldham has it) in 1679. The terms quoted are names of 'ordinaries' (the earliest, and commonest, heraldic charges) such as Gwillim describes in his second section.
155 f. By privilege of his rank, 'the person of a peer was [exempt] from arrest for debt or any claim arising out of property' (Tanner, p. 578). By his privilege as a Lord of Parliament he might exempt his servants also by granting them 'protections', often in writing. In the 17th century this last privilege, says Maitland, 'grew to huge dimensions; it became almost impossible to get any justice out of a member of Parliament'. The creditor could attach neither the lord nor his agents. (See Maitland, pp. 243 f., 322, 377; A.S. Turberville, The House of Lords in the Eighteenth Century (1927), pp. 26 f.) Votes of the House of Commons against protections were printed 19 Dec. 1670 (Steele, No. 3542). Cf. Timothy in Shadwell's Miser (1672), II.i, p. 20: 'I have been all this morning dunning for money, at this end of the Town … but (a deus take 'em) they do fob me off with Protections hereabouts.'
164. the Company: one of the great City Companies of London merchants. According to The Grand Concernments of England Ensured (1659), p. 34, intermarriage with the families of rich tradesmen was more and more coming to be considered a good investment: 'the best Gentry of England are very desirous and do daily match their Daughters into the City, and give three times the portions that twenty years ago would have been given to a Citizen.' Such matches were still looked at somewhat askance: cf. Pepys, 20 Oct. 1660: 'my Lady saying that she could get a good merchant for her daughter Jem, [my Lord] answered, that he would rather see her with a pedlar's pack at her back, so she married a gentleman, than she should marry a citizen'. But like city bridegrooms, city brides were sought after by the well-born: cf. Sir William Morrice's letter (cit. Mary Coate, Social Life in Stuart England (1924), p. 90): 'There are so many merchants' daughters that weigh so many thousands, that ours are commodityes lying on our hands.'
174. 'In the Pepysian library are two very ancient sets of cries cut in wood, with inscriptions: among others … small coal a penny a peke' (R. Gough, British Topography (1780), i.689). Addison mentions the hawkers of small coal in his paper on the London cries, No. 251 of the Spectator. Cf. 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 39 ff. and n.
175 f. Cf. 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 43 f.
177 f. Sir William Dugdale (1605–86) was first Norroy and then from 1677 Garter King-of-arms. He published, in two volumes, The Baronage of England (1675, 1676). His Antiquities of Warwickshire (1656) also abounds in genealogies. For the fabrication of pedigrees, cf. Hudibras, II.iii.669–72:
- … a Herauld
- Can make a Gentleman, scarce a year old,
- To be descended of a Race,
- Of ancient Kings in a small space …
and Zachary Grey's n. But Dugdale is maligned in the present allusion; he was scrupulous in eschewing such fabrications.
A Satyr: Address'd to a Friend
Though evidence is lacking to date its composition, this satire belongs in style and merit to Oldham's maturest work. It is not Imitated from any one original. Like 'Spencer's Ghost' it might be regarded as 'alluding', distantly, to Juvenal VII (the later part, as 'Spencer's Ghost' to the earlier). Materials no less important, however, come from the opening of Juvenal V; Hall's Virgidemiarum, II.vi; Cowley's Essay and Ode on Liberty; Eachard's Grounds; pg 467and Burton on the miseries of scholars. The concluding apologue, a device learned from Horace Sat. II.vi (the Town and Country Mouse) and Cowley and Sprat's Imitation of it, is taken primarily, as Hammond has shown (pp. 202–7) from Romulus's 'Canis et Lupus' (see L. Hervieux, ed., Les Fabulistes Latins (1884–99) II.242, f.) whose form of the fable 'Oldham chiefly follows', with supplementation from Phaedrus (id., II.28 f.), La Fontaine, Fables (1668), I.5, a version in the anonymous Æsop Improved (1673), pp. 37 f., and another, apparently by Pierre de Boissat, in Baudoin, Les Fables d'Esope (1631; often reprinted), pp. 238–40. Outside the fable, everything from the sources is stamped with the impress of Oldham's personal experience. Like his 'Friend', he had left college with his way to make; he had endured the life of a schoolmaster (ll. 50 ff.) in Gloucestershire and at Croydon; as tutor at Thurland's and at Rookholt his dependent position would be not unlike that of the private chaplain he describes (ll. 70 ff.). And throughout, the multiple source-material is fused into a poetic whole by the emotion with which personal experience has fired him.
1 ff. Cf. the scholar imagined in Burton, Anatomy, p. 131. He 'is now consummate and ripe, he hath profited in his studies …, he is fit for preferment, where shall he have it? he is as far to seek it as he was … at the first day of his coming to the University. For what course shall he take, being now capable and ready? The most parable and easie … is to teach a School, turn Lecturer or Curate….' Or he may become 'a trencher Chaplain in a Gentlemans house'.
7 f. Cf. Eachard, p. 18: 'most of those University youngsters', he anticipates, 'must fall to the Parish, and become a Town Charge' until they become 23 (the earliest age for ordination, if the canon is not disregarded). 'For Philosophy is a very idle thing, when one is cold: And a small system of Divinity … is sufficient when one is hungry.' Oldham had read Eachard; see ll. 41 ff., 80 ff., nn., below.
9. Cartes: René Descartes (1596–1650), inventor of co-ordinate geometry and founder of the Cartesian philosophy. His Discours sur la Méthode appeared in 1637, and his Meditationes in 1641. His system was studied in the English universities; Pepys is pleased that his brother Edward has acquired a good knowledge of 'Des Cartes' at Cambridge, though vexed to find that it has been at the price of neglecting Aristotle (5 and 8 Aug. 1663, and nn.; cf. J.B. Mullinger, Cambridge Characteristics in the Seventeenth Century (1867), pp. 108–22, there cited).
9. Antoine Le Grand (d. 1699), Franciscan missionary in England, where he was to become Provincial in 1698. His abbreviation of Descartes, Institutio Philosophiae, secundum principia Renati Descartes … ad usum juventutis academicae (1672) was, according to Wood, much read at Cambridge.
23. Echoing Paradise Lost, XII.646.
27–30. This miser and his heir are from Horace, Odes, II.xiv.25 ff.; Satires, II.iii.122 f. Cf. 'Horace, II.xiv', ll. 53 ff.; and 'Boileau VIII', ll. 115 ff.
41–7. Cf. Eachard, p. 115: 'In short, Sir, we are perfectly overstock'd with Professors of Divinity: There being scarce employment for half of those who undertake that Office'; and p. 111: 'I am confident, that in a very little time I could procure hundreds, that should ride both Sun and Moon down, and be everlastingly yours, if you could help them but to a Living of Twenty-five or Thirty pounds a year.'
52 f. Persons committed to Bridewell were flogged and set to beat hemp. Cf. 'Counterpart', ll. 76 f.
54 f. Dr Gill is Alexander Gill the younger, DD (1597–1642), from 1621 to 1630, usher under his father at St Paul's School; High Master 1635–9, when he was dismissed for excessive severity to a boy named Bennett. He took after his father who had 'his whipping fits' (Aubrey, i.262). 'Gill upon Gill', dialogue-wise between father and son, and another lampoon, 'On Dr Gill [the son] master of S. Pauls School' were printed in The Loves of Hero and Leander (1651). Richard Busby, DD (1606–95) was master of Westminster School 1638–91. J.H. Overton in the DNB complains of a lack of contemporary evidence to confirm the tradition of his severity, but certainly it represents his reputation in his own day; cf., e.g. Rochester, 'Allusion to Horace', ll. 39 f.:
- I laugh, and wish the hot-brained fustian fool
- In Busby's hands, to be well lashed at school.
and Shadwell, The Virtuoso (1676), III.ii, p. 46, in which Snarl attributes his taste for flogging to Westminster School.
56 ff. Cf. Juvenal, VII, 215 f., 240 ff., 175 ff.
64 f. Cf. Juvenal, VII.186–8.
70–102. As Shadwell's depiction of Mr Smerk (The Lancashire Witches, 1681, c.Sept.) also bears witness, the status of a private chaplain had improved but little since Hall made it the subject of Virgidemiarum, II.vi. For parallel discommodities see below ll. 72, 80–9, nn. Placing Hall's 16 lines beside the present passage, one can compare him and Oldham at their best, and treating an identical theme.
- … could contented bee,
- To giue fiue markes, and winter liuery.
the point being (notes Davenport) that 'the common serving-man's wage in 1598 … was "foure Markes and a Lyuerie"'.
72. thirty pounds a year. A better salary than the schoolmaster's—Shepheard had £20 per annum at Croydon—but still a meagre one. Cf. Earle's character of 'a young raw preacher' in Microcosmographie (ed. Arber, p. 23): 'His friends and much painefulnesse may preferre him to thirtie pounds a yeere.'
78 f. Suggested by Cowley's 'Of Liberty' (Essays, p. 381), where the hierarchy of subservience, 'Groom' to 'Gentleman', 'Gentleman' to 'Lord', and 'Lord' to 'Prince', is allowed no more substance than 'the difference between a plaine, a rich and gaudy Livery'.
80–9. Cf. three 'conditions' of the Trencher-Chaplaincy in Hall, ibid., ll. 7 ff.:
- Secondly, that he doe, on no default,
- Euer presume to sit aboue the salt.
- Third, that he neuer change his Trencher twise.
- Fourth, that he vse all cumely courtesies:
- Sit bare at meales, and one haulfe rise and waite.
80–108, 128. Cf. Eachard, p. 19: '… shall we trust them [sc. those University Youngsters] in some good Gentlemens Houses, there to perform holy Things? Withal my heart, so that … he may not be sent from Table picking his Teeth, and sighing with his Hat under his Arm, whilst the Knight and my Lady eat up the Tarts and Chickens: It might also be convenient, if he were suffered to speak now and then in the Parlour, besides at Grace and Prayer time: And that my cousin Abigail and he sit not too near one another at Meals. Nor be presented together to the little Vicarage.' Better, Eachard continues, he should embrace poverty '(so that he may have the command of his thoughts and time) than to … obey the unreasonable humours of some pg 469Families'. Cf. Macaulay, History Of England, ed. C.H. Firth (1913), i.315–18, and the contemporary illustrations there collected.
84 f. See the two previous nn. The chaplain is nicknamed 'Sir Crape', a little derisively, from the crape gown of his calling: cf. The Hypocritical Christian (c.1682): 'And every Parson Dr. Crape he'l call'; and John Phillips's pamphlet Speculum Crape-Gownorum (1682).
87. Cistern: a large vessel used at the dinner-table. Cf. Pepys, 7 Sept. 1667 and 14 Mar. 1667/8; according to Dr Mynors Bright's n. the plates were rinsed in it when necessary during the meal. But though the Latham and Matthews edn. repeats this, evidence is wanting.
89. Voider. The name given both to the servant who clears away the remnants of a meal, and to the basket in which he collects them. In l. 147 the receptacle is meant; here probably the servant. Both senses are found in Cleveland: see 'Upon Sir Thomas Martin', ll. 15 f.:
- … thou that art able
- To be a Voider to king Arthurs Table …
and The Character of a Country-Committee-man (1649): 'it is … broken meat … only … as in the Miracle of Loaves, the Voyder exceeds the Bill of Fare'.
90 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon Liberty' (Essays, p. 391):
- Unhappy Slave, and Pupil to a Bell!
- Which his hours work as well as hours does tell!
and in the same essay 'Of Liberty', see, for 'Board-Wages', p. 384.
92 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon Liberty' (Essays, p. 389):
- To thy bent mind some relaxation give
- And steal one day out of thy Life to Live.
Cowley uses the metaphor of a prisoner in the lines immediately preceding; but Oldham gives it a completely different turn.
95. Cf. Hudibras, II.iii.68–70, on the dog who 'breaks loose'
- And quits his Clog; but all in vain,
- He still draws after him his Chain.
96–102. Cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 131. 'If he be a trencher-Chaplain in a Gentleman's house, as it befel Euphormio',—Barclay's Euphormionis Satyricon was a work Oldham knew, as a n. on R87 testifies—'after some seven years service, he may perchance have a Living to the halves (sc. a half-share in one), or some small Rectory with the mo[t]her of the maids at length, a poor Kindswoman, or a crackt Chamber-maid, to have and to hold during … life'. Cf. above, ll. 80 ff. n.; 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 255–8; John Earle, Microcosmographie, loc. cit. in l. 72, n.; and Beaumont and Fletcher, The Women Hater, III.iii.
98–101. Cf. Shadwell, The Lancashire Witches (1682), p. 2:
- … some cast Chamber-Maid shall smile upon you
- Charm'd with a Viccaridge of forty pound
- A year, the greatest you can ever look for.
103–6. Cf. Juvenal, V.1–4. Hall, in Virgidemiarum, I.i.11 ff., trumpets his independence in the same spirit as Oldham:
- Nor can I crouch, and writhe my fauning tayle
- To some great Patron, for my best auaile.
- Such hunger-staruen, trencher Poetry,
- Or let it neuer liue, or timely die….
107 f. Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.vii.35 f.
109 ff. Cf. Juvenal, V.6–11.
111 f. In a ballad entitled The Merry Beggars of Lincolns-Inn-Fields. Or, The Beggars Art to get Money, Shewing all the Pranks and Tricks they use (licensed by R.P. and printed for C. Dennisson within Aldgate), the narrator confesses: 'I've got good store of Silver … by my wooden Leg; … for I tye up my Leg …' and 'Sometimes my arm is wrapped up in a Linnen clout'. He relates the exposure of Harry, who 'tyed up his leg', but 'cut his string' and 'quickly found his feet' when a bystander suspected the trick and made to beat him.
115–22. These lines belong to the tradition studied in M.-S. Røstvig's The Happy Man, 2 vols. (1954). Oldham's wish is Cowley's, as that was Horace's (Satires, II.vi.1–3, 60–2, 65 f.). Cf. Cowley, 'The Wish' (Poems, p. 88):
- Ah, yet, e're I descend to th'Grave
- May I a small House, and large Garden have!
- And a few Friends and many Books, both true….
129 f. Tactful, since Oldham's version is eclectic: see headnote for Hammond's identification of the sources.
131. e're break of day. Cf. Æsop Improved: 'Ere it were day'; Baudoin: 'environ le poinct du jour' (quoted Hammond).
134. cast: discarded, cast off: probably by confusion with cassed, broken or cashiered (OED, ppl. a. 3).
137. With Complements. Cf. La Fontaine: 'et lui fait compliment'; Æsop Improved: 'With usual ceremonies' (quoted Hammond).
139. Towzer. He was a mastiff (l. 199); mastiffs were often called Towzer. Pepys, 17 Feb. 1663/4, was sent 'an excellent mastiffe his name Towser'. In Whig caricatures, Roger L'Estrange appears as Towzer, a mastiff.
140–2. Cf. Phaedrus: Unde sic, quaeso nites?
- Aut quo cibo fecisti tantum corporis?
- Ego, qui sum longe fortior, pereo fame …
- Romulus: Unde, frater, sic nitidus et pinguis es?
and Æsop Improved: 'so sleek' (quoted Hammond).
147–70. Unlike Phaedrus, Romulus (Hammond observes) has the dog begin with the delights he enjoys. Cf. especially with ll. 155, 170, 'amat me tota familia' and 'sic otiosus vitam gero'.
147. Voider. See l. 89 n.
149 f. Cf. Rochester, 'Timon' (c.May 1674), ll. 73 f.:
- As for French kickshaws, sillery and champagne,
- Ragouts and fricassees, in troth w'have none.
151 f. The broken meat of a Lord Mayor's Feast would be the waiters' perquisite. When Pepys dined (29 Oct.) at the Feast of 1663, the Merchant Strangers' table had 'ten good dishes to a messe'.
156. 'The shock or shough was a kind of lap-dog thought to have been brought to England from Iceland' (Geoffrey Tillotson's n., Pope, Rape of the Lock, Twickenham edn., I.115).
171 f. I envy … good Fate. Cf. Romulus: 'Bene … vellem michi ista contingerent' (quoted Hammond).
179. You need not doubt. Cf. Romulus: 'noli timere' (quoted Hammond).
180, 185. Cf. Æsop Improved: 'Lay down thy fierceness, and I shall prevail' (quoted Hammond).
186. to practise Complaisance. Cf. La Fontaine: 'à son Maître complaire' (quoted Hammond).
188. top my part: play it to perfection (theatre-phraseology); the earliest in OED (V1 IV.15) is of 1672.
194. upper hand: place of honour or precedence (OED, II. sv. b).
202–11. Sir … you see. Cf. in Baudoin, 'Tu dois sçavoir … qu'au commencement ie soulois abouer aux Estrangers, & mesme à ceux de cognoissance, sans que ma dent espargnast non plus les uns que les autres. Mais … mon Maistre … joua si bien du bâton sur moy [que je] me suis corrigé … et suis devenu plus doux que de coutûme, à force d'estre battu; neantmoins ceste cicatrice que tu me vois au col m'est toujours restée …' (quoted Hammond).
215. Cf. Romulus (quoted Hammond):
- Non est, ait, opus michi istis frui quae laudasti
- Vivere volo liber, quodcumque venerit michi….
216. Cf. Hammond's quotations from Romulus and, for 'golden' chains, the 'Discours' (p. 244) in Baudoin: 'In eo quod placet nulla cathena / me tenet', and 'aymer ses chaisnes, pourveue quelles soient dorées', as inseparable from servitude.
217. Cf. Phaedrus' 'splendid clinching line' (Hammond): 'Regnare nolo, liber ut non sim mihi'.
Some Verses Written in Septemb. 1676
The date refers to all four pieces which follow. Cosmelia was a tire-woman or 'dresser' to Princess Mary; the fashionable pastoral-sounding name is bestowed on her as having charge, the poet insinuates, of her mistress's cosmetics as well as tresses (see Introduction, p. xxix and n. 19). His other Cosmelia poems are 'A Rant to his Mistress' (May 1676) and 'The Dream' (Mar. 1677).
Presenting a Book to Cosmelia
18–20. Almost identical with the 'Counterpart', ll. 29–31. Cf. Cowley, 'The Constant' (Poems, p. 135):
- Close, narrow Chain, yet soft and kind,
- As that which Spi'rits above to good does bind,
- Gentle and sweet Necessity….
21 f. Cf. Dryden, 'Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings', ll. 33 ff.:
- Heav'ns Gifts, which do, like falling Stars, appear
- Scatter'd in Others, all, as in their Sphear
- Were fix'd and conglobate in's Soul …
- Letting their Glories so on each Limb fall….
25 f. Cf. Donne, 'A Funeral Elegy. To L.C.', ll. 19 f.:
- … in whose practise grew
- All vertues, whose names subtile Schoolmen knew.
27–32. Almost identical with 'Katharine Kingscote', ll. 41–6:
29–32. Cf. Cowley, 'The Innocent Ill' (Poems, p. 145):
- Though from thy Tongue ne're slipt away
- One word which Nuns at th'Altar might not say …
- Though in thy thoughts scarce any Tracks have bin
- So much as of Original Sin….
33–8. A variant of ll. 552–7 of the ode on Morwent. L. 35 is a variant of 'Horace IV.xiii' (R218 f.), l. 10.
39 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Verses lost upon a Wager' (Poems, p. 149):
- If Truth it self (as other Angels do
- When they descend to humane view)
- In a Material Form would daign to shine
- 'Twould imitate or borrow Thine.
41–51. Almost identical with 'Katharine Kingscote', ll. 17–27.
45–7. Cf. Waller, 'Upon the Death of my Lady Rich', ll. 86 f.:
- We should suppose that some propitious spirit
- In that celestial form frequented here,
- And is not dead, but ceases to appear.
50 f. Cf. Waller, The Battle of the Summer Islands, I.46 f.:
- Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncursed
- To show how all things were created first.
7 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Reason … in Divine Matters' (Poems, p. 47):
- Though it, like Moses, by a sad command
- Must not come in to th'Holy Land
- Yet …
- … from afar 'tis all Descry'd.
9 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Looking on … his Mistress' (Poems, p. 123):
- To look on Heav'n with mighty Gulfs between
- Was the great Misers [sc. Dives'] greatest pain….
12–15. Cf. Oldham's draft 'To Mrs Kingscot on the Death of her Daughter' (R238), ll. 7 f.; and Cowley, 'On the Death of Mr. William Hervey' (Poems, p. 33):
- Thy Soul and Body when Deaths Agonie
- Besieg'd around thy noble heart
- Did not with more reluctance part
- Than I, my dearest Friend, do part from Thee.
29. Cf. Dryden, The Rival Ladies (1664), I.i, p. 5:
- … me-thinks she should have left
- A Track so bright I might have follow'd her;
- Like setting Suns that Vanish in a Glory.
Complaining of Absence
19. Cowley has 'the Poets Militant Below!' in 'On the Death of Mr. Crashaw' (Poems, p. 49).
26. Cf. Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada (1672), IV.iii, p. 132: 'This minute should begin my happiness'.
30 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Given Love' (Poems, p. 68):
- I'll on; for what should hinder me
- From Loving, and Enjoying Thee?
pg 473Promising a Visit
5 f. Cf. Waller, 'Upon the Death of my Lady Rich', ll. 41 f.:
- … bold hand as soon might hope to force
- The rolling lights of Heaven as change her course….
9–12. Cf. Cowley, 'My Fate' (Poems, p. 125):
- Go bid the Needle his dear North forsake,
- To which with trembling rev'erence it does bend …
- Go bid th' ambitious Flame no more ascend….
Only when these abandon their 'old Motions' will his love cease.
25 f. Cf. the ode on Atwood, ll. 172 f., and Otway, Don Carlos (1676, lic. 15 June), p. 19: '… Ile … stand / Brandishing all my Thunder in my hand.'
31 f. Cf. Denham, Cooper's Hill, ll. 13 f.:
- My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
- That lies between.
The Careless Good Fellow
Luttrell's copy (formerly apud C.H. Wilkinson) is inscribed '1d 14 July 1680'; his identical note of date and price is in his Catalogues, Second Continuation, p. 13, No. 2, which gives the publisher, R. Harford. The 1680 edition; the garbled version, with five spurious stanzas, published (? c.1685) as a black-letter ballad by J. Jordan; and the inclusion in Tom Browne's Remains (1720), are described and discussed in Bibliography, II.4, 5, and the corrective n., pp. 38 d–f.
The title had plenty of precedents among drinking and anti-drinking ballads: for example, The Good Fellows Frolick, The good Fellowes best Beloved, and The Good-Fellowes Advice, recorded c.1641 (BM Cat. of Prints and Drawings, Div. I, vol. i, Nos. 276, 277, 282; cf. No. 1105); and so had the sentiment: cf. Alexander Brome, Poems (1668), p. 58: 'We that tipple ha' no leisure for plotting or thinking'. The stanza is that of Rochester's 'On the Women about Town' (Poems, p. 46; dated by Vieth 'shortly before 20 March 1672/3') which begins:
- Too long the wise Commons have been in debate
- About money and conscience, those trifles of state….
The tune of Jordan's ballad was 'Let Caesar live long'. It is clear from Ebsworth, iv.388 f., that it is not the tune to D'Urfey's 'Let the Traytors plot on' in The Virtuous Wife (1680: see John Playford, Choice Ayres, 1681, p. 7), but the other so named, to 'The Kings Health' (1680: see Thompson), which fits Oldham's poem.
1. Another drinking-ballad of the period (in MS Douce 357, f. 77) begins: 'A pox of the Troubles men make in the world'. There are further resemblances between a passage near the end of the ballad, and Oldham's concluding stanza: see ll. 37 n.
1–6. The detachment of this allusion to the Popish Terror, though partly dramatic (since it is the essence of the Good Fellow to slight all politics), is nevertheless noteworthy at so early a date. The mad violence of the agitation was disillusioning Oldham even while he continued, as st. 2 implies, to believe unreservedly in the guilt of the executed Catholics. For a full account of the changes in his (and England's) attitude, see Brooks, Life, the final fifth of ch. VI; cf. above, Introduction pp. xxix–xxxiii, l–lii, and nn. 22–32.
Cf. with the present stanza, 'The Pot-Companions, or Drinking and Smoaking pg 474prefer'd before Caballing and Plotting', printed in 'Popish Nat' Thompson, p. 310:
- And here let us sit, like honest brave Fellows
- That neither are Tories nor Whigs in an Ale-house.
- We'll raise no disputes of the Church or the State
- To waken the Plot, which has slept out its date; …
- For better it is to be honestly sotting,
- Than to live to be hang'd for Caballing and Plotting.
But this was written later, and despite the disclaimer, is built quite directly on the partisan contrast of loyal beer-drinking Tory with disaffected (and coffee-drinking) Whig.
5 f. The rhyme is monstrous, prompting the 1722 emendation, 'in state' (which inadmissibly repeats the rhyme-word of l. 2). But cf. the autograph ll. 69 f. of 'The Desk' (R126): 'quiet' rhymed with 'retreat'.
7–10. Up to this time, ten Catholics had suffered at Tyburn for the Plot, two for Godfrey's murder, and Staley for treasonous words; cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 277 n.
13 f. Cf. Ranke, England, iv.98: 'The power of the prerogative now centred in the right to summon Parliament or not.' Hoping to obtain a House of Commons less bent upon Exclusion, Charles had dissolved his third Parliament and summoned another for 7 Oct. 1679. But when the Whigs were again returned in overwhelming strength, he postponed it till the 17th, and prorogued it before it met to the 30th and thence by successive stages to 26 Jan. 1679/80, 11 Nov. 1680 (by an abortive proclamation of 11 Dec. 1679), 15 Apr., 17 May, 1 July, 22 July, 23 Aug., and finally to 21 Oct. 1680, when the session was allowed to begin. Oldham is writing after the fourth prorogation. (Luttrell, i.18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 32, 39, 44, 50, 53, 57; Steele, nos. 3691, 3696, 3702, 3717). The Whigs organized numerous petitions that the Parliament might meet; Charles, on 12 Dec, issued a proclamation against the petitions; and the Tories began to address the crown in abhorrence of them. (Luttrell, i.27 f., 30–4, 36, 41; Steele, no. 3703; Burnet, ii.248 f.) The Whig view of Charles's policy is well expressed in 'The Fancy' (POAS, iii, 1704, p. 199):
- To shake off Parliaments may be too great …
- To baffle therefore, but not cast them off,
- Must be your work.
- When January comes, Cold and ill way
- Will call it Love to put 'em off till May. (etc.).
15. Acts for burying in woollen were passed in 1668 and 1678; Dryden, also, makes topical reference to the second (Prologue to Oedipus, 1678, printed 1679, ll. 35 ff.). See further 'Juvenal III', ll. 270 f. and n.
17. The importation of claret and other French wines had been prohibited by Parliament early in 1678 (see 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 104 ff., n.). Cf. Dryden, Prologue to Lee's Caesar Borgia (1679):
- So big you look, tho' Claret you retrench,
- That arm'd with bottled Ale, you huff the French.
There was widespread smuggling: a proclamation of 19 Jan. 1679/80 complains that the prohibitions were 'daily disregarded' (Steele, no. 3706); and their effect was therefore the same as on a previous occasion, a. 1650: cf. Denham, 'Natura Naturata':
- Forbidden Wares sell twice as dear;
- Even Sack prohibited last year,
- A most abominable rate did bear.
See also 'Juvenal III', ll. 125 f. and n.
19 f. Cf. Rochester, 'On the Women about Town', ll, 1 f., for which see head-note above.
19–22. The exclusion of James from the throne and the recognition of Monmouth as the heir was now the great object of the Shaftesbury Whigs, while Temple, Sidney, and Essex, with the sympathy of Halifax, did their best to safeguard the interests of the alternative Protestant candidate, William of Orange. The struggle, starting in Nov. 1678 in the last session of Charles's second Parliament, had been raging furiously ever since the third assembled in Mar. 1679. For its course, see Ogg, ii.584 ff., and Jones. Landmarks so far had been the Exclusion Bill, read twice in May 1679, then frustrated by the prorogation on the 27th, and subsequent dissolution; the exiles of James (to Brussels, from Mar. to Aug., and Scotland, from Oct.), and Monmouth (from Sept.); Monmouth's contumacious return, 27 Nov.; and James's recall, Feb. 1680. He reached London on the 24th, a fortnight before Oldham's poem was written. Meanwhile the principles of exclusion, limitation, and indefeasible hereditary right were debated on every side: Burnet has a good summary of the controversy (ii.211–19; see also 232 f., 241–3, 247 f., 251). Cf. A Poem Upon the Right of Succession of the Crown of England, dated 1679 in Luttrell's hand, and reprinted by Ebsworth (v.54).
23 f. The loyal outburst ends inevitably with a toast. The 'good fellow' in Poor Robins Character Of an Honest Drunken Cur (1686), is likewise attached 'to Monarchical Government: he would not be without a King, if it were for no other Reason than meerly Drinking his Health'.
25 f. Henry Sidney (1641–1704) was afterwards Secretary of State, Lord Lieut. of Ireland, and Earl of Romney. His diplomatic struggle with D'Avaux is recorded in his Diary (ed. Blencowe, 1843, i.195 ff.). It was public knowledge: see The True Domestick Intelligence, no. 66, Feb. 17–20 (1680), and especially no. 70, Mar. 2–5: 'From Holland we have advice, that Monsieur de Vaux, the French Ambassador pays visits to the particular Members of the States, and is very assiduous in his endeavours to obtain of them to continue Newters for a certain time. On the contrary, Mr. Sidney is continually pressing them to a strict Alliance with his Majesties [sic] of Great Britain. The States onely wait the resolution of Groninghen and Friezland, and then they will give the French Ambassador a Catagorical Answer.' See also The Two Memorials delivered by Mr. Sydney, to the States General (1680), and All the Letters, &c. concerning the offered Alliance of the Kings of England and France, to the States of the United Netherlands (1680); and Luttrell, i.17, 34.
27 f. See The True News: Or, Mercurius Anglicus, no. 20, Feb. 28–Mar. 3, 1679/80: 'Paris, Feb. 26 … many Troops are marching towards Dauphine and Provence, which its presumed are the Forces designed for Cassel [sc. Casale], an important place under the Duke of Mantua and the very Key of Italy; and by all circumstances sold to France, though a force must formally seem to take it'; and ibid. no. 28, Feb. 21–5: 'Rome Feb. 3. We expect other French Gallies … with 500000 crowns, which it is said, the King of France sends hither to be deposited for the purchase of Casall.' Louis's designs on it are repeatedly discussed in the news-sheets of Feb. and Mar. 1679/80—e.g. The True News, Feb. 11–14; The London Gazette, Feb. 12–16; Mar. 29–Apr. 1; The Current Intelligence, Mar. 9–13; Smith's Current Intelligence, Mar. 13–16. They had got abroad through the treachery of his intermediary, Matthioli, who had divulged them to Spain, Savoy, and Venice. He did not actually take possession until Sept. 1681. See Ogg, Europe, p. 249.
29 f. For the Bordeaux fleet, and its dependence on fair winds, cf. The London Gazette, 25–9 Nov. 1680: 'Falmouth … The 20th Instant came in here the Providence of Southampton, bound for Holland from Bordeau', but '40 Sail pg 476more … were by contrary Winds forced back again', and ibid., 6–9 Dec. 1680: 'Falmouth, Decemb. 2. The Bourdeaux Fleet and other Ships in this Port homeward bound put to Sea on Tuesday morning last, the wind at S.W.' In 1631 Marmaduke Rawdon, with a cargo of Bordeaux wine aboard the Elizabeth of Alborow, lay wind-bound about three weeks in the Garonne: the wind then coming fair, they reached the Isle of Wight in a few days. (The Life of Marmaduke Rawdon Of York, ed. Robert Davies, Camden Society, lxxxv, 1863, pp. 10, 11, 15.)
31. The Bully of France: Louis XIV. Rochester, in 'A Satyr on Charles II' (his 'Sceptre' lampoon) had called Louis 'the hector of France', and said of Charles:
- Him no ambition moves to get renown
- Like the French fool, that wanders up and down
- Starving his people, hazarding his crown.
33. See The True News, no. 33, Mar. 10–13, 1679/80, for the Dauphin's marriage to Maria Anna Christiana Vittoria of Bavaria. She and the French court had been journeying to meet one another; the news-sheets of Feb. and Mar. were full of their progress, and it was rumoured that when the marriage was consummated, Louis would again declare war. See The Haerlem Courant. Truly rendred into English, no. 11, Feb. 1679/80.
34. Like Poor Robin's 'Honest Drunken Cur' (see ll. 23 f., n.), your Good Fellow 'hates Coffee, as Mahomatizm, and all the more because
- Especially the sober Party
- And News-mongers do drink't most hearty.
(The Character Of A Coffee-House … By an Eye and Ear witness, 1665.) The coffee-house was 'a mint of intelligence': 'He that comes often, saves twopence a week in Gazettes, and has his news and his coffee for the same charge, as … it is an exchange where haberdashers of political small-wares meet, and mutually abuse each other, and the publick, with bottomless stories, and headless notions' (The Character of a Coffee-House, with the Symptoms of a Town-Wit, 1673). Cf. also, in verse, The Coffee House or Newsmongers Hall (1672), a reprint of News from the Coffee House (1667).
37 ff. Cf. the ballad already cited from MS Douce 357 (above, l. 1 n.): hard-drinking parsons can mockingly tell 'the Stories of ffox', for
- … agt Popish f faggot
- They'r soe sopt in Clarret
- And those that cant reach to't in Strong ale and bragget
- That by a long wetting they hardly will burn
- A cunning contrivance as good as to turn
- ffor Smithfield and Westminster never knew yet
- A Martyr to fflame that was th[o]rough wett….
39 ff. 'Mr. Fox' is the martyrologist, as in the ballad just quoted. Oldham remembers Scroggs's sardonic quip at Staley's trial: 'It is better to be warm here than in Smithfield' (Kenyon, p. 99), and imagines the Marian persecution revived, with the street-porters warming themselves at the fires in which new Smithfield martyrs are perishing. Cf. a n. for 'Jesuits I', ll. 153 ff. (R264): 'And a single blazing Heretick scarce serv'd to warm our hands.' The Good Fellow has no mind to be burnt for the difference between the Protestant and the Catholic Profession; he professes unalterable faith only in his bottle.
pg 477A Satyr: The Person of Spencer is brought in &c.[Spencer's Ghost]
The arguments from maturity of style, and from the analogy of dated poems in the same volume, favouring 1682 or 1683 as the dates of 'Nobility' and 'To a Friend', apply equally to this satire. It cannot be earlier than Samuel Butler's death, 25 Sept. 1680, and echoes the epilogue to Otway, The Souldiers Fortune (1681; but acted Mar. 1679/80), cf. l. 247 and n. Oates is mentioned (l. 74) as though the days when he drew all eyes are over.
Like 'To a Friend', it has no one original, but might be considered a distant 'allusion' to a part (this time, the earlier) of Juvenal VII. As a dissuasion addressed to the poet it has precedent in Propertius, III.iii, where Phoebus and then Calliope warn him from his aspiration to heroic poetry; and a source in Oldham's own design, discarded from 'A '', of a speech in which 'wise friends' were to 'dissuade' him from his profitless addiction (see Appendix II, 1, ll. 62–6). He has also drawn upon Boileau (Satires, I and IX) for the groundwork of nearly sixty lines in all. Spenser is an apt choice for the interlocutor. He complains of his 'long fruitlesse stay in Princes Court', and 'expectation vayne of idle hopes' (Prothalamion, ll. 6–8; cf. 'Mother Hubberds Tale', ll. 881–904). Drummond was told by Jonson that he 'died for lake of bread in King street and refused 20 pieces sent to him by my Lord of Essex & said he was sorrie he had no time to spend them'. Jonson exaggerated no doubt, and the conversations were unpublished, but the tradition current in Oldham's time was in line with his story. Cf. the life prefixed to the third edn. of Spenser's works, published Dec. 1678; and the prologue to Lee's Theodosius (1680):
- Think what penurious Masters you have serv'd,
- Tasso run mad, and noble Spenser starv'd,
where he is made the type of the ill-used poet, a role in which Butler seems to have coupled him, as Oldham does here, with Cowley and himself (see ll. 175–90 and n.).
5–7. Cf. Boileau, Satires, pp. 1, 2, Satire I:
- la mine affamée … plus défait & plus blême
- Que n'est un Penitent sur la fin d'un Caresme.
10. Cf. Cleveland's Character of a Diurnal Maker (1654): [the title of 'scribbler'] hangs about him like an old wife's skin when the flesh hath forsaken her, lank and loose'.
29 f. 'Prosopopoia Or Mother Hubberds Tale', Spenser's satirical fable on contemporary politics and court life, first printed in his Complaints (1591).
36. tumultuous. The first edition has 'tumultous', probably a misprint; this form is not recognized by the OED. In the 'Counterpart', l. 168, the word is normal.
39–42. The 'Brooms, Old Shoes and Boots' of l. 41 is a reminiscence of Hudibras, I.ii.547, among the references to the London cries:
- And some for Brooms, old Boots and Shoes,
- Baul'd out to purge the Common's House.
The Cryes of the City of London, engraved by Tempest after Laroon, 1711, include 'Any Card matches or Save alls', 'Small Coale', 'Old Shooe's for some Broomes', '4 Paire for a Shilling Holland Socks', and 'Londons Gazette here'. Addison, in the 251st Spectator, confirms what Oldham says of the 'dismal Scream and Tone' in which some of the cries were delivered.
44. the Register: the parish register. Cf. 'Nobility', ll. 175 f.
47. Cf. 'all its slighted Immortality' (R288), originally intended for a place in 'Jesuits I', ll. 343 ff.
48–51. Homer, and Pindar in his Olympic and Nemaean odes. This burlesque kind of humour was popular. Pepys (2 Mar. 1661) relished in Thomas Heywood's play, loye's Mistress, 'a good jeere to the old story of the Siege of Troy, making it to be a common country tale'. Scarron, and Charles Cotton's Scarronides, or Virgil Travestie (1664–5) owed their vogue to the same taste. For Newmarket, see 'Nobility', ll. 41 f., n.
57. clapt, and often rhim'd. In the first and only authoritative edition the line runs: 'But who has kill'd, been often clapt, and oft has rhim'd'. Here 'often' is evidently a marginal revision which has been inserted in the line instead of being substituted, as Oldham meant, for 'oft has'. Cf. the like error in the ode on Atwood, l. 161 and n.
58 f. Cf. 'The Author of Sodom', ll. 24 f.
62–6. As city poet, Thomas Jordan (1612?–1685) had described the Lord Mayor's Show each year from 1671 in pamphlets written partly in verse: see F.W. Fairholt, Lord Mayor's Pageants (Percy Society, x, 1843, pt. i, pp. 74–98, pt. ii, pp. 109–76). All, up to 1681 (except 1676, recorded in J.G. Nichols, London Pageants, 1831), may be seen in Bodley (Gough, Lond. 122, 15–24, Malone 126). In 1682 and 1683, owing to the civic broils, no pageant took place, but Jordan published the customary pamphlets, abbreviated to 4 leaves. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', ll. 407 f. and n., and 'Jesuits IV', l. 85.
65 f. Oldham had gibed at the fate of Jordan's works in SJ (1681), Advertisement, l. 61. With the allusion to uses of waste paper (see also ll. 101, 105–8) cf. MacFlecknoe, ll. 100 f.; they were commonplace, and classical (cf. Persius, I.43; Horace, Epistles, II.i.269; Catullus, XCV.7).
69 f. One may instance Loggan's portrait of Alexander Brome, before his poems (1664), and White's of Herbert and of Flatman, before theirs (1674 and 1682). David Loggan (1635–1700?) and his pupil, Robert White (1645– 1703), were the leading portrait-engravers of their day: long lists of their portraits will be found in Horace Walpole's Catalogue Of Engravers, With … Additions By … James Dallaway (1828), pp. 185–90, 208–20. Cf. the couplet, presumably Dryden's, in Soame's Art of Poetry (1683):
- And in the Front of all his Senseless Plays,
- Makes David Loggan Crown his Head with Bays.
74. Oats. From the end of 1678 to the early part of 1681, Titus Oates had made a great figure. He was pensioned, and lodged in Whitehall; guards were assigned for his protection; he consulted with the Whig lords at the Green Ribbon Club, or drove with them in their coaches. They promised him a bishopric; he put on, as Roger North relates (Examen, 1740, p. 205), 'Episcopal Garb (except the Lawn Sleeves)'; and even laid claim to gentle blood by engraving on his plate the arms of the 14th-century Sir Otes Swinford.
74. Bedloe. William Bedloe came forward in Oct. 1678 to earn the £500 reward for the discovery of Godfrey's murderers, and added his false testimony to that of Oates in all the principal trials for the Plot up to Sir George Wakeman's acquittal. The rash of pamphlets on his death, 20 Aug. 1680, gives some notion of his fame; e.g. A Faithfull Account of the Sickness, Death, and Burial of Capt. William Bedlow, from J.S., in Bristol, Aug. 23. 1680 (Luttrell, Catalogues 'Aug. 26'); An Elegy Upon the Unfortunate Death of Captain William Bedloe, and An Elegie Upon the … ever-to-be-remembred …, Captain Will. Bedlow, Englad's [sic] Deliverer, and the Scourge of Rome (BL, Lutt., I.9, 12; dated 25 and 27 Aug. 1680; 'Aug. 25', 'Aug. 27' in Luttrell, Catalogues: cf. Funeral Tears on the Death of Captain William Bedloe, '27 Aug. 1680', The Epitaph of Captain William Bedlow, 'Sept. 30, pg 4791680') and Tears, Tears, Tears … upon notice of the Death of Captain Bedlow, 5 Nov. 1680.
77 f. Criminals passed up Holborn Hill on their way from Newgate to execution at Tyburn: cf. 'Juvenal III', ll. 460 f. and 'Upon a Bookseller', ll. 73 ff. and n. In his Prologue to Circe (1677, earlier form, ll. 13 ff.) Dryden imagines the commiseration of the ladies as 'some young lusty Thief' passes to his death.
78–84. For an early version of these lines see Appendix II.1, ll. 71–6; cf. next n. Behind them lies Horace, Satires, I.iv.71 f.; his allusion, immediately above, to the informers Sulcius and Caprius probably suggested Oldham's, in l. 74, to Oates and Bedloe.
78–81. Title-pages were posted up as advertisements: see 'An Allusion to Martial', l. 18 and n., and the numerous references to the practice cited by R.B. McKerrow, Introduction To Bibliography (1928), p. 90, n. 2. For the bills of quacks, cf. The Character Of A Quack-Doctor (1676): 'his Draw-Net is a Printed Bill, which Catches the Gudgeons in Shoals' [etc.]. Medice Cura Teipsum! Or The Apothecaries Plea (1671) describes the printing and posting up of bills which signify the mountebank's 'name, … his lodging, … when he may be spoke with, and the diseases that he cures'. Three such bills, printed for 'Thomas Suffold, an Approved and Licensed Physician, and Student in Astrology' and 'J. Russell, Professor of Physick, and Oculist', may be seen in the Firth collection (Bodl. Firth b. 16). For 'Sham', see 'Juvenal XIII', l. 176, and n.
83. bilk'd Owner: the bookseller (cf. the 'Bilk't Stationers' in MacFlecknoe), who is left with nothing but an unsaleable book in return for the copy-money. In a despairing attempt to attract customers, he advertises it in the Gazette; cf. Dryden's ironic comment on A Key (with the Whip) 1682 ('13 Jan.', Luttrell): 'I am afraid it is not read so much as the Piece deserves, because the bookseller is every week crying help at the end of his Gazette, to get it off' (Epistle, before The Medall, 15 or 16 Mar. 1682); Macdonald, pp. 27, 225 f.
84. 'Mongst Spaniels lost. Cf. e.g. The London Gazette, no. 1509, 3–6 May, 1680, where beside an advertisement for The Wits Paraphras'd, with the bookseller's address, there appears 'Lost or stolen out of Warwick-Street … a very small Spaniell Bitch, liver coloured and white, … Whosoever shall bring her to Mr. Kunbolt's, a Bookseller near Charing-Cross, shall be very well Rewarded.'
85–111. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 59, Satire IX:
- Vous vous flattez peut-estre en vostre vanité;
- D'aller comme un Horace à l'immortalité …
- Mais combiens d'Écrivains d'abord si bien receus,
- Sont de ce fol espoir honteusement deceus?
- Combiens, pour quelques mois, ont veu fleurir leur livre,
- Dont les vers en paquet se vendent à la livre?
- Vous pourrez voir un temps vos Escrits estimez,
- Courir de main en main par la ville semez;
- Puis delà tout poudreux, ignorez sur la terre,
- Suivre chez l'Epicier Neuf-Germain & la Serre:
- Ou de trente feuillets reduit peut-estre a neuf,
- Parer demi-rongez les rebords du Pont-neuf.
(Cf. particularly Oldham's ll. 85–8, 93 f., 97–101, 103–6). Remembering that Oldham had transcribed MacFlecknoe, the resemblances between the latter part of the passage and ll. 95–106 of that poem are also significant. Heywood, Shirley, and Ogilby are pilloried in both; both allude to the bilked or broken stationers whom the bad poets have ruined, and to the uses pg 480of waste paper. Compare also Oldham's reference to 'Duck-lane Shops' with Dryden's to 'dusty shops' and the neighbourhood of 'Bun-Hill and distant Watling-street'.
85. soothst: flatterest; see OED.
89–92. Marine insurance was described in 1601 (43 Eliz. cap. XII) as 'tyme out of mynde an usage amongste merchantes'. It was a growing one in Oldham's day. Facilities were publicly advertised: The City Mercury of 20 Jan. 1680 informs 'Merchants or Masters of Ships' that at 'the Office at the Royal Exchange' they 'may be supplied with Money upon Bottomare … and have Polities, Charter-parties, or other Writing made'. See F. Martin, The History Of Lloyd's And Of Marine Insurance In Great Britain (1876), and Ogg, i.233, n. 2.
96. News-Books: the small newspapers of the day; the term was in regular use from 1650 to 1700. Wood (iv.381) speaks of 'the common news-book called Mercurius Politicus'.
98. Pordidg. Samuel Pordage (1633–1691?), author of two rhymed heroic plays, Herod and Mariamne (1673), and The Siege of Babylon (1678); and probably (Macdonald, 205, 207) two replies to Dryden, Azaria and Hushai and The Medal Revers'd, both 1682, dated by Luttrell 17 Jan. and 31 Mar. L'Estrange attacked him in the Observator of 5 Apr. 1682 as 'limping Pordage … the author of several libels'; and Dryden satirized him in Nov. in Absalom Pt. II as 'lame Mephibosheth', one of the
- Poor Slaves in metre, dull and addle-pated,
- Who Rhime below ev'n David's Psalms translated.
But as Macdonald remarks (p. 325), his Poems on Several Occasions (1660) 'contain some good verse' and Aubrey, who 'knew [him] very well', calls him 'a civil courteous person, and a handsome man', (ii.160 f.). See also 'Juvenal III', ll. 312–24.
98. Fleckno. See 'Art of Poetry', l. 608, and n.
98. the British Prince?: The Brittish Princes: An Heroick Poem. Written by the Honourable Edward Howard, Esq; (1669). A laudatory epistle from Thomas Hobbes, and commendatory verses by Orrery, Denham, and H. D., were prefixed. These uncritical eulogies provoked a series of mock ones, by Butler, Dorset, Buckingham, and others, which overwhelmed the piece in merited derision: see 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 67 and n. Cf. Rochester, 'An Epistolary Essay from M. G. to O. B.', ll. 10 f., where Oldham's misquotation of the title is paralleled:
- T'obtain one line of your well-worded sense,
- I'd be content t'have writ the British Prince.
99. Quarles: Francis Quarles (1592–1644), author of the celebrated Emblemes (1635). For his early reputation cf. Benlowes' Latin panegyric, Quarleis, in Lusus Poeticus Poetis (1634); and S. Sheppard's Epigrams (1651), p. 161. Oldham would be familiar with Cowley's slighting reference to him and Heywood (preface to Poems, 1656): by versifying Scripture or other godly matter, far from elevating poesy they abased divinity. Quarles's Divine Poems and Argalus and Parthenia were reprinted in the 1670s, but according to Phillips (Theatrum Poetarum) in 1676, 'his verses have been ever, and still are, in wonderful admiration among the vulgar', and Wood (iii.684) later describes him as 'an old puritanical poet … the sometime darling of our plebeian judgement'. Headley's critique in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1786 (lvi.666, 926; cf. 1106 and lxiii.211) foreshadowed his rehabilitation by Lamb and others.
99. Chapman. Contemporary praise of Chapman may be found, e.g. in Jonson's verses prefixed to his Hesiod (Jonson, viii.388), Drayton's 'Epistle to pg 481Henry Reynolds' (Works, ed. J.W. Hebel, B.H. Newdigate and K. Constable, iii.229, ll. 144 ff.), and Meres, Palladis Tamia (Elizabethan Critical Essays, ed. Gregory Smith, ii.315, 318 etc.). Dryden, commenting on Waller's and Mulgrave's admiration (in Restoration times) of Chapman's Homer, credits it to Homer, not the translation, which clothes him in 'harsh numbers, improper English, and a monstrous length of verse' (dedication, Examen Poeticum, 1693, Essays, ii.14). Dryden's condemnation of Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois in the dedication of The Spanish Friar (1681) (Essays, i.246), was very likely in Oldham's thoughts here as well as in the 'Art of Poetry' (see l. 341 and n.), where he himself mentions Bussy with contempt.
99. Heywood: Thomas Heywood (1575?–1648), the Elizabethan dramatist. As early as 1651, 'Heywood's old Iron' was contrasted with 'Shakespeare's Alchemy' in verses by Wil. Bell prefixed to Cartwright's poems. His Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels is censured along with Quarles's sacred narratives in the preface to Cowley's Poems (1656), and Oldham also knew the passage of MacFlecknoe (ll. 100–3) in which he is linked with Shirley and Ogleby as an unsaleable author. See above, nn. on ll. 85–111 and on Quarles (l. 99).
99 f. Withers … And Wild. Cf. 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 31. Robert Wild (1609–79), Puritan divine and Presbyterian Royalist, was the author of Iter Boreale (1660) and other pieces, a number of which appeared as popular broadsheets. Some of his verse was collected in 1668; the Revd John Hunt edited it in 1870. Iter Boreale had considerable success; Pepys, 23 Aug. 1663, liked it 'pretty well, but not so as it was cried up'. In Dryden's essay Of Dramatick Poesie (1668) (Essays, i.31 and nn.) Wild is condemned by Lisideius for his 'clenches' and 'clownish kind of raillery', his Clevelandisms and his satirical malice that spares no man though it can hurt none: and Eugenius calls him 'the very Withers of the city'.
George Wither (1588–1667) was a Puritan pamphleteer, and a lyric and satirical poet of a higher order than Wild. His best-known volume of satires is Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613). Lamb and Coleridge praise his lyrical gifts, displayed in The Shepherds Hunting (1615), Fidelia (1617), and Faire-Virtue (1622), and especially in the famous 'Shall I, wasting in despair?'. But from 1622 he became 'a garrulous preacher in platitudinous verse and prose of the political and religious creeds of the commonplace middle-class Puritan' (DNB). Restoration scorn of him was therefore natural. Butler sets the tone in Hudibras, I.i.645 ff. (quoted below, 'Juvenal III', ll. 142 f., n.); cf. the anecdote in Heraclitus Ridens, no. 42, 15 Nov. 1681, of a 'Gentleman' (viz. Denham, see Aubrey, i.221, quoted Banks, p. 10) 'who pleaded to his Majesty for a pardon for George Withers upon this modest Topick, that if George were hang'd, he the Gentleman should be the worst Poet in Christendom'. Yet Wither was not entirely neglected: a single sheet folio, entitled Mṛ George Wither Revived … and containing a long extract from Britains Remembrancer (1628), appeared in 1680, being advertised in The True News: Or Mercurius Anglicus, 18–21 Feb. 1679/80.
100. Ogilby. John Ogilby (1600–76) attempted heroic poetry in The Ephesian Matron, The Roman Slave, and Caroleis (destroyed in the Great Fire); and published versions of the Æneid (1649), Æsop's Fables (1651), the Iliad (1660), and the Odyssey (1665). The Aesop has congratulatory verses by Davenant and Shirley prefixed; and cf. the praise of his 'sparkling Genius' in 'To Mr. John Ogilbie' (Pecke's Parnassi Puerperium, 1659, p. 81):
- Were Maro now alive, he must you prise:
- And by you, Homer shall regain his Eyes….
With this, contrast Prior's comparison between Ogilby and Creech, c.1685, in 'A Satyr on the Modern Translators', ll. 140–4:
- Both writ so much, so ill, a doubt might rise,
- Which with most Justice might deserve the Prize;
- pg 482Had not the first the Town with Cutts appeas'd,
- And where the Poem fail'd the Picture pleas'd.
Cf. also Dryden (Essays, i.253, ii.271).
105. Duck-lane: the principal centre of the second-hand book trade (between Smithfield and Little Britain). Cf. Howell's Familiar Letters (edn. of 1737, p. 484): 'touching your Poet Laureate Skelton, I found him at last skulking in Duck Lane, pitifully tattered and torn'.
106. Silvester: Joshua Sylvester (1563–1618), whose translation of the Huguenot poet, Du Bartas—Du Bartas His Divine Weekes and Works (1592—1598)—was so popular in late Elizabethan times, and even afterward in homes like the youthful Milton's. In making him a typical victim of progress in taste, Oldham perhaps recalled Dryden's confession that when a boy he thought 'inimitable Spenser a mean poet in comparison of Sylvester's Dubartas', but in his mature judgement finds such a purple passage as he then admired, 'abominable fustian' (The Spanish Friar (1681); see l. 99 n., on Chapman).
106. Shirley: James Shirley (1596–1666), the Caroline dramatist. He appears as one of the unsaleable authors in MacFlecknoe. Though his best social comedies were comparatively neglected, some of his plays were popular in the sixties and early seventies; The Traytor was revived as late as 1692 (Hume, pp. 237, 399; Nicoll, i.184, 427). He was censured in 'The Session of the Poets' (c.1665) (Macdonald, pp. 221 f. No. IV.). Phillips and Langbaine did him justice, however.
107. Stourbridge-Fair: held annually for three weeks from 18 Sept., half a mile east of Barnwell, near Cambridge; see William Addison, English Fairs and Markets (1953), ch. 3. Ned Ward, in A Step to Stir-Bitch-Fair (1700), mentions 'the great Number of Booksellers that are now crept into Possession' of what was 'originally Cooks-Row', where 'the most famous Auctioneer of all Great as well as Little Britain, sells Books by the Hammer'.
109. vile Mundungus: cheap, stinking tobacco.
112–18. Cf. Boileau, Satires, pp. 59 f., Satire IX:
- Mais je veux que le Sort, par un hereux caprice,
- Fasse de vos Escrits prosperer la malice …
- Que vous sert-il qu'un jour l'avenir vous estime,
- Si vos vers aujourd'hui …
- Ne produisent rien, pour fruit de leurs bon mots,
- Que l'effroi du Public & la haine des Sots.
But instead of this last thought, Oldham then (ll. 116–18) introduces one from Juvenal VII, 22–31: if Telesinus expects patronage for his lofty verses, he may as well burn them: he is toiling to win a miserable bust.
121–8. On the Renaissance ideal of the Heroic Poem, see W.L. Renwick, Edmund Spenser (1925), pp. 41–55, and W.P. Ker, Essays Of John Dryden, i.xv–xix. Dryden meditated a heroic poem on the subject (as we know from the 'Discourse … concerning … Satire', 1693; Essays, ii.38; cf. 32, l. 1 n.) either of Arthur or of the Black Prince. In the dedication to Aureng-Zebe (1676)—a play well known to Oldham—he addresses Mulgrave on his projected heroic poem 'the subject of which you know is great, the story English', such that by it he might have 'done honour' to his 'Country'. Mulgrave had enabled him to speak of it to the King and the Duke, who commanded him to proceed. He asked Mulgrave to stir the King's memory; only if freed from material anxieties could he go forward: 'As I am no successor to Homer in his Wit, so neither do I desire to be in his Poverty'. Arthur was Spenser's hero, and was designed at one time to be Milton's. Henry V and the Black Prince inspired two of Roger Boyle's heroic plays, printed in 1667 and 1668.
123. great Edward's greater Son: Edward HI and the Black Prince. Cf. Denham, Cooper's Hill (1642), l. 77: 'But thee (great Edward) and thy greater Son'.
125 f. Cf. Paradise Lost, IX.14 ff.:
- … more Heroic than the wrauth
- Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd
- … about Troy Wall; or rage
- Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd.
Sidney was Spenser's Maecenas, who made him known to the Queen, and as Spenser himself tells us in the sonnet to Sidney's sister, encouraged him in poetry. Spenser's 'great project', The Faerie Queene, the first great attempt to achieve the Heroic Poem in English, was begun about the time that he entered the household of Sidney's uncle, Leicester. Oldham had probably in mind a story, picturesque but unauthoritative, told in the 1679 edition of Spenser's Works. It depicts him visiting Leicester-House 'furnisht only with … the Ninth Canto of the First Book of his Faëry Queen': Sidney, starting with £50 on reading st. 28, of Despair, at st. 29 doubled and at st. 30 redoubled the amount, bidding his expostulating steward to make haste to pay over the money, 'least advancing his Reward proportionably to … his Pleasure in reading, he should hold himself obliged to give him more than he had'.
129. As first printed, the line perhaps lacks a syllable, which the misdated '1683' edition (found in Works 1686 and 1692) supplies by reading 'his Genius'. In view of l. 63 of 'Aude aliquid. Ode', 'Had he a Genius and Poetique Rage' and l. 123 of the ode on Morwent, 'A Genius did thy whole Comportment act', 'a Genius' seems a preferable emendation. The phrase would still signify 'How great a genius he has', not 'How great a genius he is'.
136. Brief: letters patent issued by the sovereign as Head of the Church, licensing a collection in the churches throughout England for a specified object of charity (OED). In Shipton Moyne parish register, and signed by Oldham's grandfather, is an entry of 51s. 5d. collected upon a brief to relieve the distressed inhabitants of Marlborough: it is undated, but the corresponding collection at Wotton-under-Edge was made 9 Aug. 1653. Pepys, 30 June 1661, observes that 'the trade of briefs is come now up to so constant a course every Sunday, that we resolve to give no more to them'; this was the fifteenth collection levied at his parish church in as many weeks.
139–42. Cf. Juvenal, VII.74 f., 77 f.
155. the Company: one of the City Companies. Cf. 'Nobility', ll. 177 f. and n.
157. The blind old Bard: Homer.
163. Creswel's. The notorious establishment, 'in Moor-Fields', of 'Mother Cresswell of Famous Memory' is referred to in The Observator, 2 June 1684. Some twenty earlier allusions to her, the first being in 1660, are quoted in Montague Summers's n. on the prologue to Otway's Venice Preserv'd (1682), l. 33. For the well-worn anecdote of her funeral-sermon, see Wheatley, under Bridewell. Two satirical pamphlets were written in her person: The Poor-Whores Petition to … the Countess of Castlemaine, which is subscribed 'Madam Cresswell and Damaris Page', '25 March 1668'; and A Letter From The Lady Cresswell to Madam C[ellier] the Midwife, on Publishing her late Vindication ('Sept. ll. 1680', Luttrell, Catalogues).
165 f. This couplet appears in an earlier form in a rough draft for 'A Letter' . See Appendix II, ll. 65 f. (R94). Cf. Alexander Brome, 'To the High Sheriff of S.', Songs and other Poems (1668), p. 235:
- pg 484And here's the reason, which our Muses grieves,
- Sheriffs are made Poets, but ne'r Poets Sheriffs.
On fining for Shrieve, see 'Boileau VIII', l. 119 and n., and cf. 'Juvenal III', l. 215.
167. My own hard Usage. See headnote.
170–2. Cowley had been promised the mastership of the Savoy by both Charles I and Charles II; but in 1660 it was given to Sheldon and in 1663 to Henry Killegrew. A statement of his case in CSPD, 1661–2, p. 210 (quoted Nichol Smith, p. 307), represents 'that Cowley … having seen all preferments given away, and his old University companions advanced before him, is put to great shame by missing this place'. In the 'Session of the Poets', c.1665 (Macdonald, pp. 221 f., no. IV) he is called 'Savoy missing Cowley', and charged with a 'notable Folly', in printing 'his pitiful Melancholy'. This, like the present passage, alludes to his poem 'The Complaint', in which he styles himself 'The Melancholy Cowley'
- … to whose share so little bread did fall,
- In the miraculous year, when Manna rain'd on all.
(Poems, p. 438 and see 'Of Myself', Essays, pp. 458 f.). 'The Complaint' is also referred to in Sprat's life of Cowley before his Works, 1668 (Spingarn, ii.141); and in Nahum Tate's Poems (1677), p. 18: 'Th'Ill-treated Cowley did his Muse upbraid'.
173 f. Cf. Thorn Drury in his edn. of Waller (i.xxi): 'The fortune which Waller inherited from his father' (Robert, who had estates in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire), 'which must have been largely increased during his long minority, has been variously estimated at from £2,000 to £3,500 a year; adding to this the amount which he received with [Anne] Bankes', his first wife, 'said to have been about £8,000, and allowing for the difference in the value of money, it appears probable that, with the exception of Rogers, the history of English literature can show no richer poet.'
175–90. Samuel Butler died 25 Sept. 1680, aged 68. He seems to have linked himself with Spenser and Cowley in a couplet,
- To think how Spencer died, how Cowley mourn'd
- How Butler's faith and service were returnd,
which was found in his commonplace book (Hudibras, ed. Nash (1793), I.x. facsimile, p. xxxix), and which may have gone about, since in the prologue to Lee's Constantine the Great (c.Dec 1683) Otway has one virtually identical, with 'Tell 'em … starv'd' for 'To think … died' (see E.S. de Beer, RES, iv (1928), 165). A satire ascribed to 1679, 'Julian in verse to ease thy wants I write' (Macdonald, p. 214 nn.) complains that 'Hudibras does starve among the Throng'. Dryden's lines on 'Unpitty'd Hudibrass' in The Hind and the Panther (1687: iii.247–50) are well known, with his reproach written to Laurence Hyde (?Aug. 1683), ''Tis enough for one age to have neglected Mr. Cowley, and starv'd Mr. Butler'. The conjecture (?Aug. 1683) dates this not many weeks after Oldham's poem was published. Yet Butler had not gone entirely unrewarded. On 30 Nov. 1674 Sir Stephen Fox was ordered to give him £200. Hudibras Part III, published just before 6 Nov. 1677, brought him £100, and a pension of £100 a year (12 and 17 Nov.): quarterly payment, with arrears from 29 Sept. 1677, was directed 25 Sept. 1678 (de Beer, loc. cit., pp. 164 f., citing W.A. Shaw, Calendar of Treasury Books, iv.267, V.478 f., 1116). Finally, between 27 Mar. and 3 May, a few months only before his death, he had £20 from the secret service funds 'as of free guift and royal bounty' (Secret Services of Charles II and James II, ed. J.Y. Akerman, Camd. Soc lii (1851), p. 13; cf. my n. on it, TLS, 6 July, 1940, p. 327, and Norma Bentley's, MLN, lix (1944), 281). There may, however, be truth in the tradition (see Zachary Grey's Hudibras, I.x., n.) that much of what Butler received went to discharge his debts; and his pension, pg 485if paid no more regularly than Dryden's, might not always secure him from want.
177–80. When Hudibras Pt. I came out, it 'was not only taken into his majesty's hands and read by him with great delight, but also by all courtiers, loyal scholars and gentlemen, to the great profit of the author and bookseller' (Wood, iii.875). Charles gave inscribed copies to several people, and Clarendon had the author's portrait painted and hung in his dining-hall (DNB).
179–90. In reality, Butler died of a consumption (Wood, iii.876). Oldham imitates Boileau, Satires, pp. 7 f., Satire I:
- Conduit d'un vain espoir, il parut à la Cour.
- Qu'arrive-t-il enfin de sa Muse abusée ? …
- … la fièvre … / terminant son destin,
- Fit par avance en lui, ce qu'auroit fait la faim.
185. Flannel: a flannel shroud, as enjoined by the Woollen Acts which Shadwell's Justice Clodpate (Epsom Wells (1673), I.i, p. 7) congratulated himself upon enforcing: 'I … make people bury in Flannel, to encourage the Woollen Manufacture'. See 'Juvenal III', ll. 270 f. and n.
188. Butler's friend Longueville bore the charges of his burial at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, after a vain attempt to secure him a grave in the Abbey.
196 f. The playwright's livelihood was speculative because it depended on the 'third day's share'—see l. 205, n. The government, from which the right of promoting lotteries had to be purchased, did its best to popularize them. They were in ill-repute; the Royal Oak lottery, in particular, was alleged to be a swindle. See further Dryden, Epilogue to The Unhappy Favourite (c.1681), l. 5; John Ashton, History of English Lotteries (1893), pp. 32–48; Ogg, i.111 f., 163 f.
199 f. Cf. Sedley's Prologue to Shadwell's Epsom Wells (1673): 'You'll say you pay, and so may be severe', but
- 'Tis not fair Play, that one for his Half Crown
- Shou'd judge, and rail, and damn for half the Town.
Half-a-crown was the price of admission to the pit: see Pepys, 1 Jan. 1667/8.
201–11. Based on Juvenal, VII.59–92. Ll. 201 ff. imitate ll. 79–81 in Juvenal; and ll. 207 f. epitomize his ll. 59–61 and 71–3. The references to Settle's pecuniary dependence on the stage are the counterpart of those made by Juvenal to the similar dependence of Statius.
201 f. The Prologue to Sedley's third play, Bellamira (1687), concludes:
- Our Author try'd his own and cou'd not hit:
- He now presents you with some Forraign Wit.
This, and Oldham's couplet, probably refer to the first production of The Mulberry Garden, 18 May 1668, of which Pepys says 'the whole of the play had nothing extraordinary in it … insomuch that the King I did not see laugh nor pleased …; insomuch that I have not been less pleased at a new play in my life I think'. Yet both The Mulberry Garden and Antony and Cleopatra, 1677, enjoyed a fair measure of success. See V. de Sola Pinto, Sir Charles Sedley (1927), pp. 133, 247 ff., and his edn. of Sedley, i.190.
203. Settle. Elkanah Settle (1648–1724); Dryden's Doeg. He was the author of The Empress of Morocco (from which Oldham had not disdained to borrow) and of eight other plays between 1671 and the spring of 1682, after which he produced nothing more for the theatre until 1691. See also n. on ll. 284 f.
205. The remuneration assigned to the author was the proceeds of the third night's performance: see 'Art of Poetry', l. 320 and n. Cf. Dryden, Epilogue to The Unhappy Favourite (1682): 'The Comet / Foreshews our … thin Third-days'.
212 f., 216. After Juvenal, VII.96 f., which Hall had already imitated in Virgidemiarum, VI.i.205 f.:
- Who had but liued in Augustus' daies
- T' had beene some honour to be crown'd with Bayes.
218. write Hackney: to write as a hireling; a hackney being a horse kept for hire. Probably one more reminiscence of Don Carlos (1676), where Otway remarks in the preface: ''tis almost as poor a Trade with Poets, as it is with those that write Hackney under Attorneys'.
224. George Farquhar, in Love and Business [with] A Discourse … Upon Comedy (1702), p. 147, makes a gallant exclaim: '"I'll e'en write a Play my self; by which means … I shall enjoy the Freedom of the House".' As Farquhar comments, it will secure free admission 'to him and his Friends for ever after'.
229–32. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 5, Satire I:
- Tel aujourd'hui triomphe …
- Qu'on verroit, de couleurs bizarrement orné,
- Conduire le carosse où l'on le voit trainé,
- Si dans les droits du Roi sa funeste science,
- Par deux ou trois avis n'eust ravagé la France.
229. An empyric is a quack doctor; for 'licence' see 'Boileau VIII', ll. 227 f., n.
230. Cf. verses (possibly by Rochester) on the death of the Princess of Orange (1660), where physicians are called
- Arts' basilisks, that kill whome'er they see,
- And truly write bills of mortality,
and Dryden, 'To … John Driden, of Chesterton' (publ. 1700), ll. 71 f. The weekly Bills of Mortality, recording deaths in London parishes, seem to have begun in 1592. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 45 f.n.
231. Wears Velvet, keeps his Coach. On these attributes of a 17th-century physician: cf. Lex Talionis … Or A Short Reply To Dr. Merett's Book; And Others, written against the Apothecaries (1670), p. 3: 'yet there is more in the business than a Velvet Jump, a pair of Silk Stockings, and a Cane with a Silver Head', and p. 17: 'I could tell him a way to … commence Doctor, and easier learned, … I believe some of them have come in that way, and equipage. For now there must be the little Coach, and two Horses, which in these days are very usual appendices to the Doctor in Physick.' The 'Emp'rick' in The Character Of A Quack Doctor (1676) 'grows Famous and Rich, and buyes him the worshipful Jacket … and at last purchases a Title, and arrives at his Coach'.
241. The Levant, East India, and Royal African (originally the Barbary) Companies, founded in 1592, 1603, and 1663. With the Eastland Company and the Merchant Adventurers, they formed the chief channels of English export. Oldham's allusion must not be pressed too far: the Levant Company was suffering from French competition; the Barbary brought to perilous straits by the hostility of the Dutch, had had to be reorganized as the Royal African in 1672; and even the East India Company, despite its flourishing reputation, pg 487its dividends of 50 per cent in 1680 and 25 per cent on the average in succeeding years, and its loans to the king of £324,000 between 1660 and 1684, was less prosperous than it appeared, owing over half a million in 1681. See Pepys, iv.153, n. 1, ix.350, n. 3; Ogg, i.226–30, and authorities there cited; and K.G. Davies, The Royal African Company (1957).
243 f. Virginia represents the colonial trade with America under the Navigation Acts; Greenland the whale fisheries of the Greenland Adventurers, though these were declining; Bantam the easternmost enterprises of the East India Company; Seville, Alicante, Zante, and Smyrna the Straits, Mediterranean, and Levant trades. See 'Boileau VIII', ll. 101, 102, 121 and nn., for Bantam, Alicante, and the Straits; Ogg, i.219 f., 223, 233, for Smyrna and Greenland; and for Zante, The Present State of the Morea, … Described by Bernard Randolph, who resided in those parts from 1671 to 1679, London, 1686, p. 24.
245. The contraband trade with France in luxuries and even less reputable articles; see 'Juvenal III', ll. 125 f.. 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 17 f. and 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 104 ff. and nn.
247 f. Improving on a couplet in the Epilogue to Otway, The Souldiers Fortune, produced March 1679/80, published 1681:
- So whoe'er ventures on the ragged coast
- Of starving poets, certainly is lost.
249–54. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 6, Satire I:
- Faut il donc désormais jouër un nouveau rôle?
- Dois-je, las d'Apollon, recourir à Barthole,
- Et feuillerant Loüet alongé par Brodeau,
- D'une robe à longs plis balayer les Barreau?
- Mais à ce seul penser, je sens que je m'égare,
- Moi, que j'aille crier dans ce païs barbare …
- Où Patru gagne moins qu'Huot et le Mazier …?
250. Cook: the Institutes (and perhaps also the Reports) of Lord Chief Justice Coke (1552–1634), the great common lawyer. Of the Institutes (1628– 44) the 1st part, 'Coke upon Littleton', reached a 7th edn. in 1670, the last three a 6th in 1680 and 1681. Coke's name was pronounced 'Cook' by his contemporaries, and often spelt accordingly.
250. Dalton: Michael Dalton's The Countrey Iustice, Conteyning The practice of the Iustices of the Peace out of their Sessions (1618), which was frequently reprinted. Cleveland, in The Character of a Country-Committee-Man (1647) speaks of 'his Dalton'.
253. Where M[aynar]d thrives. Sir John Maynard (1602–90); 'This great man, as I must call him, since his natural and acquired abilities and the immense gains he had by practice entitle his name to that epithet, was an ante-Restoration lawyer, and king's Serjeant from 1660' (North, Lives, i.149). The large fortune he made enabled him to purchase the manor of Gunnersbury, and to build a palatial mansion there, in 1663, from designs of Inigo Jones or his pupil Webbe.
257 f. See 'To a Friend', ll. 96–102 and n.
259 f. Benjamin Calamy, in his Sermon … before the Lord Mayor … on the 29th of May 1682, insisting 'That Sovereign Princes are accountable to God alone, … and, That in no Case by force we may resist them', declares: 'I know the very naming of this will offend some men … By this test, they tell you, you shall know those amongst us that have a mind to be soonest prefer'd, or who are Friends to Arbitrary Power, or strive to please the pg 488Court, by Preaching up such strict Obedience to the King … This is the common objection and clamour against Clergymen this day.' High Tory zeal for Passive Obedience and Divine Right of Kings, originating in a defensible abhorrence of Calvinistic as well as Catholic theories of lawful resistance, reached a bigoted climax in the Oxford decree of 21 July 1683 (Feiling, p. 201). Even earlier, numerous sermons marked this Tory reaction: e.g. Hickes's 'Discourse of the Sovereign Power', 28 Nov. 1682; Freeman's, 8 Oct., Sprat's, 20 Apr., two by Goulde and Dove, that year; and Sclater's, 24 Apr. 1681.
264. Jack-pudding, Juggler … or Rope-dancer. A Jack-pudding: a low buffoon, the staple of whose performance was to devour some sloppy dish with much grimacing and slobbering. Cf. Shadwell, The Sullen Lovers (1668), II.iii, p. 25, 'I had as live stand among the rabble, to see a Jack-pudding eate a Custard'. Dryden in his prologue to Tate's Loyal General (1679), l. 10, bids the ill-judging members of the audience: 'Go back to your dear Dancing on the Rope'. Pepys conversed with Jacob Hall, the most famous rope-dancer of the day, after watching him at Southwark Fair, 21 Sept. 1668; and on 24 May 1667, when the diarist was entertained by the Lowthers at 'the old house' in Islington, he was delighted with the juggler who came in after dinner.
269 f. Chosen divines preached at Court on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as Sundays, during Lent. See Lent-Preachers Appointed to Preach before His Majesty, For the Year 1684/5, in the Firth collection (Bodl. Firth, b. 17), and cf. The London Gazette, 22–6 Dec. 1681; similar lists appeared each year. Pepys observed, when Morley preached at Court on Christmas day, 1662, 'how far they are from taking the reprehensions of a bishop seriously, that they all laugh in the chapel when he reflected on their ill actions and courses'. Lenten doctrine no doubt met with the same reception.
276. possess'd with Muse. From Donne, 'Satyr II, l. 61: 'sicke with Poëtrie, and possest with muse'.
284 f. Settle may be in Oldham's mind, though he was not the only butt of such shafts; Stapylton, in the 'Session of the Poets', c.1665 (Macdonald, pp. 221 f., no. IV) is commanded
- … once more to write a new Play,
- To be danc'd by the Puppets at Barthol'mew Fair.
Settle's connection with the Fair had evidently begun by the early 1680s. He certainly wrote drolls after the Revolution for Elizabeth Leigh, and her mother, Mrs Mynn, who had booths at Bartholomew and Southwark Fairs; and he was in touch with the daughter as early as 1681, when he agreed to write a play for her. Dryden, Absalom, Pt. II, Nov. 1682, ll. 453 ff., says that
- The height of his ambition is we know
- But to be Master of a Puppet-show;
- On that one Stage his works may yet appear,
- And a months Harvest keeps him all the Year.
Cf. Reflexions upon a Late Pamphlet (1683), a reply to Settle: 'A Dedication to a Pope Joan or a Fairy Queen at a Bartholmew Fair bring in but rare and uncertain profit'. See F.C. Brown, Elkanah Settle (1910), p. 35; J.L. Hotson, Commonwealth and Restoration Stage (1928), pp. 274–7.
286. the very Nursery: the Nursery in Golden Lane, Barbican, 'Where unfledg'd Actors learn to laugh and cry', scene of the action in MacFlecknoe. Theatres in Hatton Gardens and Vere St. were also used as Nurseries. Shadwell, in The Sullen Lovers (May 1668), I, p. 4, has the gibing phrase 'Cast [viz. sacked] Poet of the Nursery'. For a view slightly more favourable, but damagingly qualified, cf. Pepys, 24 Feb. 1668.
287. forc'd to starve, like me. See headnote.
pg 489A Satyr, in Imitation of the Third of Juvenal
Boileau had already imitated Juvenal's grand indictment of Rome, applying it to Paris; he then divided the Imitation into his Satires I and VI. Oldham wrote with the French at hand (see below, ll. 18 ff., 46 f., 54 f., 303 ff., 361 ff., 385 ff., 449 f., 454 and nn.). The Imitation is freer than in the 'Art of Poetry'. Whereas there the method adopted could fairly be said to provide a translation too, that is no truer of 'Juvenal III' than of 'Juvenal XIII', though it is chiefly by interpolations that 'Juvenal XIII' parts company with the original; here it is chiefly by omissions. For his straight translation of Satire III in the 1693 Juvenal, Dryden evidently consulted Oldham's version. Boswell has comments comparing London, Johnson's famous Imitation (1738), with Oldham's, in the Life, i.118–20. For possibilities of comparison also in Swift's poems and Gay's, see Introduction, p. xxvi.
1. Boswell comments (Life, i.119 f.): '… his poem sets out with a strange inadvertent blunder: "Tho' much concern'd to leave my dear old friend"…. It is plain he was not going to leave his friend; his friend was going to leave him. A young lady at once corrected this with good critical sagacity, to "Tho' much concern'd to lose my dear old friend."' Reading 'leave', R226 confirms the text.
5. the Hundreds: the Essex Hundreds: see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 260 f. and n.
14–17. Substituted for Juvenal's 11-line description of the Porta Capena and Valley of Egeria.
16 f. 'The faction' was one of the opprobrious names bestowed upon the Whigs: (see Thomas Papillon's trial, 1689, p. 4). Shaftesbury, declares The Loyal Scot: An Excellent New Song (1682), 'with Treats and Treason daily crams his City-Friends'. The Whigs had planned a great feast at Haberdasher's Hall for 21 Apr. 1682: it was forbidden by proclamation on the 19th; whereupon some of them dined at separate places with part of the provisions. See The London Mercury, 17–20 Apr. 1682, and Luttrell, i.179 f. One of these places was probably Mile-end, where a Whig entertainment had been held in 1681, no doubt because it lay handy for the brisk boys of Wapping. Cf. Otway's prologue to Venice Preserv'd for James's visit, 21 Apr. 1682; bidding the Whigs, 'Renounce … Your Wapping Feasts and your Mile-End High-places', and The Observator, 27 Apr. 1682: 'I hear mine Host of Wapping is like now to be paid the Remnant of the Reckoning that was left at the Gun when the Whigs treated their Friends there last Summer.' Is not this the Gun at Mile-end (cf. Pepys, 2 June 1668)? The 1681 entertainment was scarcely 'fam'd … in Prose, and Verse': the disappointment of 1682 emphatically was: cf. the satirical comments in the Loyal Protestant and Heraclitus Ridens on 25 Apr. 1682; Otway's Prologue to The City Heiress (1682) by Aphra Behn, and her Prologue to Romulus and Hersilia (1682), anon. (Wiley, pp. 78, ll. 35 f., p. 132, l. 25; cf. p. 74, n. 1, quoting The Tory Poets (1682), and p. 130, n. 1); Absalom, Pt. II (Nov. 1682), ll. 913–30; and such ballads as The Loyal Feast … and how it was Defeated (1682); An Answer to Thomson's Ballad call'd The Loyal Feast, ; The Whigg-Feast (1682); Hemp for the Flaxman: Or, A Friday Feast Kid-Napped ; A Congratulatory Poem on the Whiggs Entertainment (1682); An Answer To the Pamphlet called, The Loyal Feast (1682).
18–23. Oldham expands the original, introducing the satiric monologue less abruptly. In ll. 22 f. he follows Boileau, Satires, p. 2, Satire I: the Latin is simply 'Hic tunc Vmbricius'; the French:
- La colère dans l'âme, & le feu dans les yeux,
- Il distila sa rage, en ces tristes adieux.
23. Timon. Rochester had used the name eight years earlier for the spokesman in his satirical sketch from London life, beginning: 'What Timon'. does old age begin t'approach …?'
29 f. Substituted for an allusion to Daedalus, and no doubt suggested by Cowley's fifth Anacreontique (Poems, p. 53) where the aging poet resolves to 'manage wisely the last stake'.
35. nauseous. R227 reads 'plotting'.
36. Morecraft. The usurer in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady (1616), who tries to possess himself of the land to which the younger Loveless is supposed heir. At the end of the play he turns swaggerer 'and is now called Cutting Moorecraft'. Dryden refers to him by this title in the prologue to Marriage A-La-Mode (1673).
38 f. According to the Tories, the Popish Plot was a sham: the Whigs had conspired to fit the Catholics with a forged crime. The Whigs retorted that this supposed conspiracy of theirs was the sham, with which they were being saddled by the Papists. Minor plots were set on foot to plant evidence that the other side was really conspiring (see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 246–8 and n.). These were 'The little Shamms', the issue of 'old Mother-Plot', to which An Elegy On The Death Of The Plot makes reference in 1681. A Tory ballad of 1683, on the Rye House conspiracy, is entitled The Old New True Blew Protestant Plot. Or Five Years Sham Plots Discovered in one True One. Cf. A Just Narrative Of The Hellish New Counter-Plots Of The Papists, To cast the Odium of their Horrid Treasons Upon The Presbyterians (1679); The Discovery Of Captain Bury and Alderman Brooks. Of a new Design of the Papists … to charge the late Plott upon the Protestants (1679); Andrew Yarranton's Full Discovery of the First Presbyterian Sham Plot (1681); E[dmund?] H[ickeringill?]'s Character Of A Sham-Plotter (1681); R. L'Estrange's The Shammer Shammed (1681); Thomas Dangerfield's More Shams Still (1681), and Robert Ferguson's No Protestant Plot (1681), with 2nd and 3rd parts published in 1682.
43. Guard. i.e. in the professional army, which consisted of a few regiments of Guards.
46 f. The Latin precluded close imitation: Oldham follows Boileau, Satires, p. 3, Satire I:
- Que George vive ici …
- Qu'un million comptant par ses fourbes acquis
- De clerc, jadis Laquais, a fait Comte et Marquis.
54 f. The original is: 'Quid Romae faciam? mentiri nescio'; Oldham follows Boileau, Satires, p. 3, Satire I:
- Mais moi, vivre à Paris! eh, qu'y voudrois-je faire?
- Je ne sçai ni tromper, ni feindre, ni mentir….
58–60. Cf. Rochester, 'Upon His Drinking a Bowl', ll. 15 f.:
- For I am no Sir Sidrophel,
- Nor none of his relations.
See 'Ode Of Anacreon', headnote. Sidrophel is the astrologer, drawn from William Lilly, in Hudibras, II.iii. Hudibras says of him and his fellows (ll. 937 f.):
- Some take a measure of the lives
- Of Fathers, Mothers, Husbands, Wives.
60–2. See Observations upon the Strange & Wonderful Prophecies Of Mr. John Gadbury (1680), quoting from Gadbury's almanac on 'an Eclipse of the Sun pg 491in Aries', 20 Mar. 1680, 'these Insolent Words: The Famous Cambden … hath TRULY minded us of the danger attending ENGLAND, from Eclipses in Aries,—Si quando fuerit Eclipsis in γ ant [sic] Ω significat Mortem Regis.' Cf. The Northern Star: The British Monarchy, 1680 ('May 10', Luttrell, Catalogues) A1r: 'Their friend Gadbury hath … let [the Papists] understand that this Blow is to be struck now or never'. Examined at Mrs Cellier's first trial, June 1680, Gadbury admitted that during the King's illness the previous Aug. she had asked him to consult the stars to know whether it would end fatally: but he denied that he had done so. (The Case of Tho. Dangerfield, 1680, ('Octobr 16', Luttrell, Catalogues), pp. 7–9). The accusations were still alive in 1682 (see Animadversions Upon Mr. John Gadbury's Almanack … For … 1682. By Thomas Dangerfield (1682), p. 6); and are referred to in other satires: e.g. 'An Ironical Encomium on … the Incomparable Couple of Whiggish Walloons', POAS, iii, 2nd edn. (1716), p. 151:
- The Ides of March are past, and Gadbury
- Proclaims a downfal of our Monarchy; &c
and 'Staffords Ghost Feb. 1682', POAS, i, 2nd edn. (1716):
- York's most belov'd and boldest Friend is he,
- Who knows he must succeed by Gadbury.
80. th'Exchange: the Royal Exchange: see 'Boileau VIII', 1. 97, n.
80. that Pauls will cost. New St. Paul's had been building since 1675, and was not completed until 1710; the eventual cost was £747,661. 10s.
81. By the wreck, 6 May 1682, of the Gloucester frigate, in which the Duke of York was sailing for Edinburgh; cf. 'On the Times', R223, ll. 7 f.; Burnet, ii.326 f. and nn; and Nat. Lee, To the Duke On His Return, 1682 ('May 29', Luttrell's copy; Wiley, p. 112, p. 113, ll. 4 ff.). There went down with her 'the dukes furniture and plate &c., to the losse of 30,000 l.' (Luttrell, I.185).
90. Those, who were Slaves at home. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', l. 76 and n.
91 f. Sir Fopling Flutter, the Man of Mode in Etherege's play, 'wears nothing but what are Originals of the most Famous hands in Paris'. Medley, in the same piece, satirizes the affected ladies who, like Melantha in Dryden's Marriage-A-La-Mode, use 'all the Foolish French Words' they can acquire (Brett-Smith, ii.231, 221; 209, 153 and n.): and Dryden in the dedication of The Rival Ladies (Essays, i.5) expresses the wish that both in conversation and literature, 'we might at length leave to borrow words from other nations, which is now a wantonness in us, not a necessity'. The leading dancing-master of the day, St. André, was a Frenchman: so was Grabut, the master of the king's music. Pelham Humphrey was sent to complete his musical education under Lully at Paris; Bannister is said to have been dismissed the king's service for asserting that the English violins were better than the French; and Pepys tells, 20 Nov. 1660, of the king putting 'a great affront upon Singleton's musique, he bidding them stop, and made the French musique play, which, my Lord says, do much outdo all ours'. As for French cooking, Pepys dined à la française at Lord Brouncker's house, and at Chatelin's, Monsieur Robins', and the Bear, Drury Lane, 'an excellent ordinary, after the French manner but of Englishmen' (2 Jan. 1665, 12 May, 1667, 18 Feb., 13 Mar. 1668). It is a boorish host in Rochester's 'Timon', ll. 73 f., who declares complacently:
- As for French kickshaws, sillery and champagne,
- Ragouts and fricassees, in troth w'have none.
93 f. Cf. Dryden, The Spanish Fryar (acted Mar. 1679/80, printed 1681), Prologue, ll. 45 ff.:
- When Murther's out, what Vice can we advance?
- Unless the new found Pois'ning Trick of France….
pg 492From 1679 to 1682 the Chambre Ardente was investigating the La Voisin and other poisonings.
95. great Harry: Henry V, victor of Agincourt.
97. Pulvilio: a perfumed powder.
98. Chedreux Perruques. Periwigs by the celebrated Chedreux, of Paris. Sir Fopling Flutter's periwig was a Chedreux. In the preface to All for Love (1678; Essays, i.195), Dryden dubs those who make French poetry their standard of judgement 'Chedreux critics'.
103. Goals: gaols; the spelling is common at this period.
104 f. St. James's Square was planned by the Earl of St. Albans about 1663, and a warrant for its erection was issued to Bab May and Abraham Cowley 24 Sept. 1664. Among the 'great men' residing there about this time were St. Albans himself, Ormond, Essex, Dorset the satirist, and Halifax. See Wheatley, ii.298 ff.; A.J. Dasent, The History of St. James's Square (1895); Ogg, i.94 f.
109 f. Jo. Haynes (d. 1701) had been a popular low comedian since 1668, when Pepys notes that he was lately come from the Nursery. Actors joining the King's or the Duke's company were reckoned royal servants. Haynes's livery was granted 2 Oct. 1669; he was further certified His Majesty's servant, 14 Apr. 1679 and 10 July 1682. Famed for his fluent gags, and impudent assurance, he was suspended 4 Nov. 1675 because he had with 'scandalous language & insolent carriage abused Sir Edmund Windham', and was arrested, 18 June 1677, 'for reciteinge … a Scurrilous and obscoene Epilogue'. See Nicoll, i.298 and n. 8, 313 n. 3, 319 n. 4, 326 n. 1, 328, 367; Wiley, pp. 195–9; and, in the Bodleian, MS Firth e. 6. f. 65v and Thorn Drury's MS collection on Restoration Players.
Bryan Haynes, 'Aged thirty years and upward' in 1681, was one of the Irish witnesses whose brazen venality and brutality have been illustrated above ('Boileau VIII', l. 257, n.). He was king's evidence first against the Papists, and then, turning his coat like his fellows, against College and Shaftesbury, 17 Aug. and 24 Nov. 1681. (See Luttrell, i.108, 117, 121, 137, 146; The Irish-Evidence Convicted by their Own Oaths, 1682, p. 11, and the trials of College and Shaftesbury).
111 f. 'Well-hung' means 'having pendent organs'—e.g. a long tongue; cf. Dryden's 'well hung Balaam' in Absalom, l. 574.
117 f. This figure, a favourite with Oldham, is in the Latin. For 'Jack-pudding', see 'Spencer's Ghost', 1. 264 n. 'Operator' is either, as in 'Jesuits IV', l. 186, a tooth-drawer, or a quack manufacturer of drugs (OED, 3 or 3b). 'Mr. Elmer, Operator' advertizes in The Protestant (Domestick) Intelligence, 17 Feb. 1679/80.
119 f. Oldham attempts no direct version of 'in caelum iusseris ibit' such as Johnson achieved with his famous 'And bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes', itself a happy modification of Dryden's more literal 'And bid him go to Heav'n, to Heav'n he goes'.
120. The 'well-educated ape' in the induction to Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (l. 17) will 'come over the chain for a king of England, and back again for the prince, and sit still … for the pope and the king of Spain'. Similarly with Rupert's dog, 'Boy' (Cleveland, 'To P. Rupert', ll. 125 f.).
121 f. fly … tried. This combines, if my conjectures, fully discussed in 'Oldham: Some Problems', pp. 573–5, are accepted, allusions to the London Monument and to the Royal Society. Extensive search has failed to find in the pre-history of aeronautics a Johnston, or even a metrically possible pg 493J--n (see Apparatus). Nor is an attempt to fly over the Great Pyramid in Egypt, or any other, upon record. The clue to Oldham's equivalent for 'in caelum iusseris ibit' lies, it seems, in his accommodation of Juvenal to Restoration London, where the Monument, commemorating the Great Fire, was sometimes known as the Pyramid: e.g. in 'Hodge's Vision from the Monument', which moreover Algernon Sidney reported to Henry Savile (Marvell, Poems, 3rd edn., i.237) as 'the speech of Hodge … from the top of the Pyramid'. The Monument was closely associated with the Royal Society. Wren was consulted about it; Hooke designed it, supervized its erection, and (to confirm its stability) surveyed it in 1679. Its height suggested the Society's using it for barometry and astronomy, though for the latter it proved unsuitable (see Margaret 'Espinasse, Robert Hooke (1956), pp. 96 f.; James Elmes, Memoirs … of … Wren (1823), p. 289; Thomas Birch, History of the Royal Society, 1660–87 (1856, 1857), iii.463; R.W.T. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford (1923–45), vi.526 f.). A corporate body and someone representative of it would be aptly referred to by Oldham's named individual 'and the rest'. I believe he wrote A—-n. Francis Aston became one of the two Secretaries of the Royal Society on 30 Nov. 1681, and though it was not until Dec. 1682 that he became senior Secretary, from the first he was active in correspondence on its behalf, and seems soon to have taken an increasing share in its business (Birch, op. cit., iii.442, iv.58, 106, 108 f., 112–36 passim, 168, 226).
Aeronautical speculation among the Society's parent group is quipped at in Henry Stubbes's Plus Ultra reduced to a Non Plus (1670), p. 42: 'the contrivance of wings for mankind', he recalls, was 'projecting at Wadham College'. Hooke continued prolific in theories, designs, and models, and discussed the subject with other Fellows of the Society, Wilkins, Crowne, Moore, Henshaw, Walter Pope, Aubrey, Tompion, and especially Wren (whose 'way of kites' he mentions in his Diary, 11 Feb. 1675/6); on 8 May 1679 he initiated a consideration of it at the Royal Society meeting itself (Birch, op. cit., iii.481 f.; Gunther, op. cit., vi.5, 9, 427, vii.517 f., 523; 'Espinasse, op. cit., p. 117; H.W. Robinson and W. Adams (eds.), The Diary of Robert Hooke 1672–80 (1935), pp. xvii, 70, 107, 109, 129, 273, 359 f., 411). No attempt is known, however, to proceed at the Monument from barometric experiment to aeronautics. Oldham's 'oer the Pyramid' seems to be simply an image for soaring into the heavens. The height both of the London and the Egyptian Pyramids was rhetorically exaggerated. In his ode on Morwent (ll. 773 f.) Oldham had written of the 'fond Aegyptian Fabrick, built so high / As if 'twould climb the Sky', recollecting Propertius' 'Pyramidum sumptus ad sidera ducti' (III.ii.19), whose 'ad sidera' would spring back to mind at Juvenal's 'in caelum' here. 'Th' Aegyptian Pyramids', according to London's Index, Or Some Reflexions on the New Built Monument (1676), are now put to shame and 'shrink in their heads', for
- Here's Pelian and Ossa too:
- Typhon had laid a Siege with less a do
- To Heav'n and scal'd the Sky
- Durst he have ventur'd half so high.
125 f. Trade with France was viewed with disfavour, as involving an adverse balance, and introducing effeminate luxuries. It was discouraged, notably by the prohibitions imposed in 1678. These stimulated smuggling. See 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 104 ff., and 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 17 f., and nn. The contraband sometimes included the leather goods mentioned by Oldham; a consignment was seized and burnt by the Customs in 1670. Savile writes to Rochester on 26 Jan., facetiously suggesting that as General of the Ballers he ought to take revenge, (Rochester, Letters, p. 63.)
131. the Statute: the private Act by which (alternatively to letters patent) an alien could become naturalized. There was as yet no general one. See D.C. Agnew, French Protestant Refugees (1886), ii.13, 43, etc.
135 f. The observations of a flea and a louse described and illustrated in Hooke's Micrographia (1665), had already furnished Butler and Marvell with a jest apiece (Hudibras, II.iii.305 ff.; 'Last Instructions to a Painter', ll. 16–18); and cf. Etherege's comparison in The Man of Mode (1676), II.i.100: 'a Flea or a Maggot is not made more monstrous by a magnifying Glass'.
137 f. Cf. the simile in Donne's 4th satire, ll. 225 f.:
- … though his face be as ill
- As theirs which in old hangings whip Christ….
140 f. Sir Martin Mar-all, in Dryden's play of that name (1667, printed 1668), 'sings like a Scritch-Owle', and therefore serenades his mistress in dumb-show, his man Warner supplying the music from concealment. Unfortunately, he continues the dumb-show after Warner has finished the song. Shadwell alludes to this famous scene in the prologue to The Humorists (1671); and Wycherley in The Country Wife (1675), I.i.
143. William Prynne (1600–69) and his fellow-Puritan, John Vicars (1580?–1652) were versifiers as well as controversialists. Cf. Hudibras, I.i.639–42 (and Wilder's n.):
- Thou that with Ale or viler Liquors
- Didst inspire Withers, Pryn, and Vickars,
- And force them, though it were in spight
- Of nature and their stars, to write …
and on Prynne, A. B.'s verses before Cleveland's poems:
- When sage George Withers, and grave William Pryn
- Himself, might for a poet's share put in,
and Cowley's scornful references to him, in 'An Answer' (Poems, p. 44) as 'the Homer of the Isle'.
145. The earliest instance in OED of 'sham' in the generalized sense of trickery, hoaxing.
154. Frize-Campaign: a campaign coat, such as soldiers wore, made of coarse woollen cloth. Sedley, preface to Bellamira (1687), writes of 'our English weather, where in the same day a man shall Sweat in Crape, and wish for a Campagn Coat three hours after'.
155. beyond Eighty: degrees of north latitude. Oldham echoes Cowley's 'The Parting' (Poems, p. 117), in which the first stanza begins 'As Men in Groen-land left' and the third ends ''Tis beyond eighty at least, if you're not here'.
169. Alluding to the 'Italian lock, Custos pudicitiae'. One was preserved among Tradescant's Rarities. See 'Jesuits IV', ll. 60 ff., n.
176 f. Echoing MacFlecknoe, ll. 5 f.
182 f. Cf. Dryden, Epilogue to Aureng-Zebe (1676), ll. 20 f.:
- True English hate your Mounsieur's paltry Arts,
- For you are all Silk-weavers, in your hearts.
This refers to the riots of the previous August. See CSPD, 1675–6, p. 253, 10 Aug. 1675, R. M. to Sir Francis Radcliffe: 'today a great company' of the London weavers 'fell upon the French weavers, broke all their materials, and defaced several of their houses'. The Government should 'encourage our natives more than foreigners'. With intensified persecution in France from 1680, immigration of the Huguenot weavers was increasing rapidly, and the English government had affirmed a liberal policy toward the refugees by a proclamation of 28 June 1681.
200 f. The Bankside, Southwark, once the site of the Stews, was still of evil fame. The fiddler's song in Shadwell's Epsom Wells (1673), III.i, makes reference to 'Suburb debauches': 'Suburbian' was a cant name for a prostitute.
206–10. Noah and Lot.
215. See 'Boileau VIII', l. 119, and n. Cf. also 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 165.
228 f. See 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 88 and n.
231. Point: rich lace.
233. The fashionable cocking of a hat was of moment in the eyes of the town: cf. Etherege, She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), III.iii.145: 'never Hat took the fore-cock and the hind-cock at one motion so naturally', and Brett-Smith's n.
235. grinning scorn: the mockery of the rabble, so described also in a draft of 'Jesuits III', l. 339 (R185).
238–49. The building and appropriation of pews, beginning apparently in the 16th century, went on rapidly in the 17th, so that in 1714 we read: 'there is one great Fault in the Churches here, which we no where meet with abroad, and that is, that a Stranger cannot have a convenient Seat without paying for it'. (A Journey through England in Familiar Letters, i.202, quoted by J. Wickham Legg, English Church Life (1914), p. 35.) See also A.C. Heales, History and Law of Church Seats or Pews (1872), passim. The emphasis thus given to social precedence in church is exemplified in Pepys, 11 Nov. 1660, 30 Mar. and 24 Aug. 1662. The alley (l. 247) is the aisle.
241. on Bulks begot: in the street; bulk (OED, sb2), a stall-like projection from the front of a shop.
242 f. Both prosperity and pride are traditionally ascribed to bastards: the superstition 'that Bastards have an unusual share of prosperity and happiness' is recorded by V.S. Lean (Collectanea (1902–4), ii.609; cf. Shakespeare, King John, I.i.180 f.); and Bailey (Dictionary, s.v. Bastard) quotes the proverb 'Bastard brood is always proud'.
243. Cf. R.W., The English Rechabite (n.d.), p. 15:
- Pharaoh's chief Butler had by th' Neck been ti'd.
- Had he not had a Proverb on his side….
244 f. Conventional names. An Alderman Gripe is a covetous old usurer in Wycherley's Love in a Wood (1672). Traverse's clerk in Shirley's Honoria and Mammon (1659), and Justice Trifle's in Davenant, News from Plymouth (1635), are each called Dash, since the true scrivener, 'for feare of writing false Latin … abbreviates the ending … of his word with a dash, and so leaves it doubtfull' (Wye Saltonstall, 'A Lawyer's Clearke', Picturae Loquentes, ed. C.H. Wilkinson, Luttrell Society, 1946, p. 34); moreover, he makes 'the wordes in his declaration spread', to enhance the price, so that 'a Clarke of a swooping Dash is [especially] commendable' ('A Puny-Clarke', The Overburian Characters, ed. W.J. Paylor (1936), p. 52).
256. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Rebell Scot', ll. 5–7:
- Ring the bells backward; I am all on fire,
- Not all the buckets in a Countrey Quire
- Shall quench my rage.
In the Great Fire, Dryden, in Annus Mirabilis, 229.2, depicts how some ran 'for Buckets to the hallow'd Quire'. After the Fire, the Common Council made provision for extra buckets in each ward. See An Act For Preventing and Suppressing of Fires Within The City of London (1667).
263–5. Davenant, The Witts (1635/6), V, I3v, refers to this tradition concerning 'the dayes of Edgar', when 'they Coyn'd Leather'.
267. Frize: coarse woollen cloth, with a nap, usually on one side only.
268–71. Acts for burying in woollen shrouds were passed in 1666, 1678, and 1680. If Oedipus (produced Sept. 1678) is damned, it will be, Dryden con-pg 496cludes his Prologue, 'The first Play bury'd since the Wollen Act'. The wool trade was so important, declares 'Prince Butler's Tale' (1691), POAS (1707), iv.422:
- That since the Living would not bear it,
- They should, when dead, be forc'd to wear it.
See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 186 and n.
286. The Westminster tombs and the Tower with its menagerie were two of the sights of London. Cf. Pepys, 3 May 1662, and 23 Feb. 1669. For the Tower, see 'Art of Poetry', l. 812 n. Dr Walter Pope, in his Life of Seth Ward (1697), p. 147, describes the 'custom for the Servants at the Church upon all Holidays, Sundays excepted, betwixt the Sermon and Evening Prayers, to shew the Tombs, and Effigies of the Kings and Queens in Wax, to the meaner sort of People, who flock thither … and pay their Twopence to see The Play of the Dead Volks, as I have heard a Devonshire Clown not improperly call it'. The price was the same as early as 1651 (Henry Vaughan, 'Upon a Cloke', ll. 78 ff.). Camden furnished a guide-book: Reges Reginae, Nobiles et alii in ecclesia collegiata B. Petri Westmonasterii sepulti, 1600 (see M. St. Clare Byrne, Elizabethan Life in Town and Country (1925), p. 73 and n. 4). Cf. also Donne, 'Satyre IV', ll. 75–7, Luttrell, i.368, and Brett-Smith's n. in his Etherege, p. 317.
291 f. Cf. Butler, Hudibras, III.ii.215 f.:
- Toss'd in a furious hurricane
- Did Oliver give up his reign,
and Flagellum etc. (1663), p. 206 (n. in Marvell, Poems, i.258): 'He dyed on Fryday the said 3d. of September at 3 of the clock in the afternoon, though divers rumours were spread, that he was carried away in the Tempest the day before.'
293–6. In Davenant, The First Days Entertainment At Rutland House (1657), p. 50, the Parisian critic of London satirically declares that the newer houses 'are enclosed with Pasteboard wals, … so slight, and so pretily gaudy, that if they could move, they would pass for Pageants'. Before the Great Fire, most of the houses were of timber and plaster; after it, those which had been burnt, about a fifth of the whole, were rebuilt of brick with party-walls (P. Cunningham, Handbook for London (1849), i.xxvi). Pepys describes the sudden collapse of a house 'from top to bottom', 14 Mar. 1664, and reports others blown down 18 Feb. 1662 and 24 Jan. 1666; but on the former occasion the wind was 'such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector' (cf. ll. 291 f.).
296. ensur'd from … Fire. Schemes of fire-insurance canvassed from 1660 led up to A. Newbold's of 1 Jan. 1679, published as London's Improvement And The Builder's Security Asserted (1680)—see A Second Letter to his Honoured Friend Mr. M.T. (?Matthew Taubman) [c.1682]. This the Common Council took up, but were forestalled by a private company, whose office, advertized in The True News: Or, Mercurius Anglicus, 5–8 May, 1680, was 'At the House late the Ship Tavern, behind the Royal Exchange', the insurance being '6d in the pound Rent for Brick Houses, and 12d for Timber', less the allowance for ground value. Cf. their Propositions (Bodl. Ashmole 1674, LVIII): see further Mercurius Civicus, Or, The City Mercury, for 12, 20, 28 May, 11 June, 1680. The Common Council adopted their own proposals 16 Nov. 1681, and recriminations kept the subject seething. On the side of the company, see Observations on the Proposals of the City to Insure Houses in Case of Fire (1681), and on the other, To my Honoured Friend Mr. M.T. one of the Committee chosen by the Common Council of London for the Insuring of Houses from Fire (1682). The company published A Table of the Insurance Office in 1682.
301. Cf. D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers: '"… they used to ring the bells backward for alarm". "How?" said Annie. "A bell sounds the same whether it's rung backwards or forwards." "But," he said, "if you start with the deep bell and ring up to thehigh one …".' Among many 17th-century allusions cf. Cleveland's in 'To P. Rupert', l. 18: 'Bels which ring backward in this great Combustion'.
303–5. Cf. Boileau, Satires, pp. 63 f., Satire VI:
- J'entens crier par tout …
- … 'Le feu vient de prendre à la maison voisine.'
- Tremblant & demi mort, je me leve à ce bruit….
307–9. One such incident had been reported in the previous few weeks. See The Loyal Protestant, 28 Mar. 1682: 'Westminster March 26. This morning about Two of the Clock happened a dreadful Fire in Channel-Row…. Three or Four persons are reported to be burnt in their beds, and one Maid leaping out of a window to save her self, dyed soon after.'
312. P[orda]ge. See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 98 and n.
318. his Vatican: his vast library. Cf. Thomas Fuller's reference to a hypothetical library 'exceeding … many Vaticans, for choicenesse, and rarity' (Church History of Britain (1655), VI. §iv).
326. interessed: the old (ME) form of the word, fairly common in the 17th century.
328. The ceremony at which full degrees (those of Master and Doctor) were conferred was called at Oxford the Act, at Cambridge the Commencement.
330. Fast days were proclaimed for the Great Fire itself and other great public calamities and crises: the martyrdom of Charles I, the Plague, the wars with Holland, and the Popish Plot. (Steele, nos. 3410, 3426, 3474, 3558, 3649, 3659, 3683.)
331. Brief. See 'Spencer's Ghost', 1. 135 n.; and the briefs for fires at Newport, Salop, 15 Oct. 1666, and Bicester, 26 Nov. 1667, recorded in Steele, nos. 3478, 3509.
335 f. Cf. what Evelyn told Pepys about Clarendon's collection of portraits: 'when his designe was once made known, every body who either had them of their owne or could purchase them at any price, strove to make their court by these presents; by which meanes he got many excellent pieces of Vandyke … & the best of our modern masters hands'. (Spingarn, ii.322.) Evelyn refers to the Van Dykes at Suffolk House, Beaufort House, Lord Sunderland's, and Sir William Temple's, and to Lord Milford's collection both of Van Dyke and Rubens (Diary, passim); and cf. Dryden, Essays, ii.115.
337. Cf. Cowley's 'a hanging … (The richest work of Mortclake's noble loom)' in his paraphrase upon Horace, Sat. II.vi (Essays, p. 415). According to The Present State Of England. Part III. (1683), p. '86' [really 93]: 'Our Tapistry-work … was brought … by Sir Francis Crane', James I giving £2000 towards a building for it at 'Moreclacke'; 'Francis Clein [?Crane] was the first Designer.'
339. Scritore: scrutoire (escritoire); OEO's first example is 1678.
351–4. A memorandum of Aubrey's (ii.60) gives an idea of the limited water-supply of London at this time: 'now (1681/2) London is growne so populous and so big that the New River of Middleton can serve the pipes to private houses but twice a weeke'.
356. Summer. An authentic idiom: cf. the still current 'to winter'.
358. Far as S. Michaels Mount. So Cowley, Discourse … Concerning … Cromwell (Essays, p. 342): 'as far as from the Mount in Cornwall'.
361–74. Oldham owes two instances to Boileau, Satires, p. 59, Satire VI:
- Tandis que dans les airs mille cloches émuës
- D'un funebre concert font retenir les nuës;
- Et se mélant au bruit de la gresle et des vents
- Pour honnorer les Morts, font mourir les vivants.
and 'J'entens déja … / les boutiques s'ouvrir'. Cf. ll. 367 f., 370.
361. The College of Physicians, and the weekly Bills of Mortality. See 'Spencer's Ghost', l. 230 and n.
365 f. The Middle Region of the air was that in which storms were engendered: Cowley passes through it in st. 3 of his ode 'The Extasie' (Poems, p. 204). The air was theoretically divided into a Lower, a Middle, and an Upper Region: see Appendix D in A.W. Verity's 1910 edn. of Paradise Lost.
369. Bell-mens midnight-Rhimes. The 'bellman's drowsy charm' of 'Il Penseroso' wears a less romantic aspect here. On bellmen's verses, see 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 65, n.
371 f. Cf. Pepys, 27 Nov. 1660: 'To Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield's coachman, and one of his footmen killed'; and 22 Dec. 1663: 'I heard of a great fray lately between Sir H. Finch's coachman, who struck with his whip a coachman of the King's, to the loss of one of his eyes.'
373. 'It is very pleasant' says Pepys of W. Stankes the Brampton bailiff, 29 Apr. 1663, 'to hear how he rails at the rumbling and ado that is in London over it is in the country, that he cannot endure it'.
374. A[rche]r. The identification, by the 1722 editor, with John Archer (1598–1682), justice of Cammon Pleas, is not wholly satisfactory, for Archer died 8 Feb., before this satire was written, and, since 1672, had been banned from exercising his judicial functions. North (Lives, i.63) refers to him, however, as disliking a long cause: and his son had been at St. Edmund Hall at the same time as Oldham.
375 ff. Cf. Pepys, 30 Apr. 1663: 'But Lord! what a stir Stankes makes with his being crowded in the streets and wearied in walking in London.'
385–7. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 60, Satire VI:
- Là d'un Enterrement le funebre ordonnance,
- D'un pas lugubre & lent vers l'Eglise s'avance;
- Et plus loin, des laquais….
391. See l. 80 n. The conveyance of Portland stone for the building of St. Paul's is mentioned by Evelyn, 2 Feb. 1695/6.
398 f. The custom persisted in London well into the 18th century; it figures in Hogarth's picture of a London night. Cf. Boswell on the present passage, Life, i.119, n. 1.
405 ff. The Scourers had succeeded the Hectors (for whom see 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 285 ff. and n.). In Shadwell's comedy, The Scowrers (1691), an assault on the watch is staged, V.i, and Whachum boasts 'I … demolish Bawdyhouses … scower the Streets, and the like, as well as any he that swaggers in the Town', and again, 'this morning I … scower'd like Lightning, and kick'd fellows like Thunder, ha, ha, ha'. Cf. The Character Of A Town Gallant, 1680 ('July 28', Luttrell, Catalogues; 1st edn. 1675). History records the exploits of 'some young gentlemen of the Temple' at the King's Head in Chancery Lane, 13 Jan. 1681/2 (Luttrell, i.158); and of Philip, pg 499Earl of Pembroke, who, having already had one victim in 1678, killed a Mr Smith in a midnight scuffle in 1680; see Great and Bloody News, from Turnham Green, or a Relation of a sharp Encounter between the Earl of Pembrook, and his Company, with the Constable and Watch belonging to the Parish of Chiswick, 1680 ('Aug. 25', Luttrell, Catalogues); Great News from Saxony (';Aug. 30. 1680.', op. cit.).
418. A proclamation by the Lord Mayor, 29 Nov. 1679 (Bodl. Nichols Newspapers, I.b) complains of 'The neglect of the Inhabitants of this City, in hanging and keeping out their Lights at the accustomed hours, according to the good and Antient usage of this City, and Acts of Common Council in that behalf.'
426. P[reston]. Christopher Preston (1628 or 1629–1709), keeper of the Hockley-Hole Bear Garden. I saw in Sir Charles Firth's collection a broadside, undated but belonging to 1709 (see Luttrell, vi.491), entitled The Bear-Garden in Mourning. Or, An Elegy On The Death of Mr. Christopher Preston, Master of Her Majesties Bear-Garden at Hockley in the Hole, who was torn to pieces last Night, being Sunday, the 18th of September, by one of his own Bears, in the 81st Year of his Age.
448. Padders: footpads; see 'Juvenal XIII', l. 39 and n.
449. the Exchanges: the Royal Exchange (see 'Boileau VIII', l. 97 n.) and the New Exchange, with its two long double galleries of shops, frequented by people of fashion. Etherege's She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), III.i, is laid here (see further, Brett-Smith's n., p. 130; cf. 'Counterpart', l. 108).
449–51. An expansion of Juvenal's
- … postquam omnis ubique
- fixa catenatae siluit compago tabernae …
after Boileau, Satires, p. 62, Satire VI:
- Car si-tost que du soir les ombres pacifiques
- D'un double cadenas font fermer les boutiques,
- Que, retiré chez lui, le paisible Marchand
- Va revoir ses billets, & compter son argent,
- Que dans le Marché-neuf tout est calme et tranquille….
452. Shooters Hill had long been famed for robberies (see The Enterlude of Hyck-scorner, in Six Anonymous Plays, First Series, ed. J.S. Farmer, pp. 139, 144, 153), and was so still: on 11 Apr. 1661 Pepys rode under a thief hanging in chains there, in terrorem.
454. Cf. Boileau, Satires, p. 63, Satire VI:
- La bourse: Il faut se rendre: ou bien non, resistez;
- Afin que votre mort, de tragique memoire,
- Des massacres fameux aille grossir l'Histoire.
Juvenal has only ''interdum et ferro subitus grassator agit rem'.
458. Heptarchy. The seven Saxon kingdoms into which Britain, according to 16th- and 17th-century historians, was long divided. Milton, in his History of England, reckons the Heptarchy as lasting from the 6th century until about 800.
460. See 'Upon a Bookseller', ll. 73 ff., and 'Spencer's Ghost', ll. 77 f., and nn.
476 f. Oldham's Latin text evidently read:
- … saturarum ego, ni pudet illas
- adiutor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros.
The better reading is now acknowledged to be 'auditor'.
pg 500A Dithyrambique on Drinking
The change in the published heading as compared with the autograph (see Apparatus) is without doubt an authentic revision, made, however, to conceal the original spokesman, a dramatization of Rochester. As in the parallel case of the 'Aude aliquid. Ode', the autograph title, because it preserves the conception which governed the writing of the poem, has been preferred. In the print, the final stage-direction, 'Tries to go off, but tumbles down, and falls asleep', belongs to the afterthought of 'The Drunkards Speech in a Mask' and must accompany it to the Apparatus. That sub-title is imitated from Waller (i.111) 'The Miser's Speech. In a Masque'. The stage-direction was suggested by a note of Cowley's to his 'Praise of Pindar' (st. 2, n. 1) seminal, evidently, for the 'Dithyrambique' from the start. Oldham's Greek epigraph comes from it (and as witnessing to his Cowleian inspiration, and not clashing with the autograph title, is here retained from the print). Dithyrambic, says Cowley, 'was a bold free enthusiastical kind of Poetry, as of men inspired by Bacchus, that is, Half-Drunk, from whence came the Greek Proverb,
- Δίϑυραμβοποιῶν νουν ἔχεις ἐλαττονα—
- You are as mad as a Dithyrambique Poet.
- ΟὐϞ ἐστὶ Διϑυραμβοϛ ἄν ὕδωρ πίνῃ—
- There are no Dithyrambiques made by drinking water.
Something like this kind (but I believe with less Liberty) is Horace his 19 Ode of the 2 B…. And nearer yet to it comes his 25 Ode of the 4 [i.e. 3] B. Quo me Bacche rapis tui plenum? … For he is presently half-mad, and promises I know not what, … and then he ends like a man ranting in his drink, that falls suddenly asleep.' The first Greek proverb was evidently taken by Cowley from Erasmus' Adagia. Erasmus' comment is close in spirit to Oldham's poem:
- Id est, Haud Dithyrambus est acquam si potitet.
- Non est hilaritas cum deest vinum. Excitat enim
- Vini calor inveniendi vim, quae torpet nonnumquam
- in jejunis: movet phantasias, addit impetus,
- subministrat fiduciam. (Adagia, 1666, p. 466).
Oldham's 'Dithyrambique' combines the concept of the genre as Cowley describes it, and his personal knowledge of Rochester, 'extravagantly pleasant' (so Burnet depicts him) when the 'heat of his fancy' was 'inflamed by Wine'. For this, and the place of the poem among those Oldham devoted to the cults of Rochester's circle, see Introduction, pp. xliii f., and nn. 66, 67, 69.
Three passages of the autograph, absent from the published text, are given in Appendix II.3 (R206–211, 213). It was certainly Oldham's intention (and no doubt on critical grounds) to omit them. He used an altered version of the first in 'Horace II.xiv' written, apparently, later than the 'Dithyrambique', but published before it.
1 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Wisdom' (Poems, p. 86):
- 'Tis mighty Wise that you would now be thought
- With your grave Rules from musty Morals brought.
3. chowse: to cheat; for the derivation, from chāush, a Turkish official messenger, in consequence of an incident of 1607, see Jonson, x.61 (citing Sir William Foster's edn. of The Travels of John Sanderson; Foster's account supersedes that in OED). Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 66.
4. The earliest instance in OED of 'Sham' meaning 'one who tries to delude'.
9. It is resolv'd. Cf. 'Jesuits, Prologue', l. 32.
12. For this drinking custom cf. King William's Welcome To Ireland (1690, pg 501Pepys Ballads, ed. Rollins, v.170): 'Boys, let Healths go round, with Knees to the Ground', and Pepys, 23 Apr. 1661 (Coronation day).
14–17. See the ode on Atwood, ll. 102–4, and n., quoting Cowley and Burton for 'all in all and all in every part'; cf. Tilley A133, and A. Williams, 'A Note on Samson Agonistes, L1. 90–4', MLN, lxiii (1948), 537. The localization or otherwise of the soul was much canvassed: cf. Samson Agonistes, ed. A.W. Verity, ll. 91–3 and n., citing Milton's De Doctrina Christiana and St. Augustine; and cf. Cleveland, 'On P. Rupert', ll. 103 ff., and 'Upon the King's return from Scotland', ll. 3–5. 'All ev'ry where, like Mans, must be the Soul', asserts Cowley ('Ode of Wit', Poems, p. 17).
21. There follow in R207 twelve lines on Louis XIV as 'Th'ambitious busling Monarch of the times', for which see Appendix II. A variant, shorter form of them had appeared in 'Horace II.xiv', included by Oldham in Some New Pieces (1681); no doubt one of his reasons, for dropping them from the final text of the 'Dithyrambique'. Cf. also 'The Careless Good Fellow', ll. 31 ff.
22–8. Epicurean philosophy, from its axiom that the gods dwell in eternal and perfect felicity, concluded that they were free of all care for the world and its sorrows (ll. 34–7), and were beings wholly contemplative (l. 38) since 'beatam vitam in animi securitate et in omnium vacatione munerum ponimus' (Cicero, De Natura Deorum, I.xx). Oldham's proof that they drink (ll. 39 f.) is parallel with Philodemus' argument, from the same axiom, that they must have the power of speech, since otherwise they would lack the highest bliss (of converse with their equals).
32 f. Cf. 'St. Ambrose', ll. 58, 60; 'The Dream', ll. 71 f.; and the ode on Atwood, ll. 220 f.
34 f. Alluding to the Stoic doctrine of the anima mundi: cf. Seneca, Naturales Quaestiones, VI.16, and Cicero De Natura Deorum, II.xii. Cf. the Morwent ode, ll. 392–4.
39. A variation on Cowley's address to Love, in 'The Request' (Poems, p. 65):
- I'le think Thee else no God to be;
- But Poets rather Gods, who first created Thee.
41. runst half share. So the autograph, rightly; in the first edition 'runst' has been misread 'must', an easy error of minims as Oldham writes initial r. In the phrase 'to run … fortunes' (OED), as here, 'run' has somewhat the sense of 'partake'.
46 f. Cf. 'Homer', ll. 89 f., 'Boileau VIII', ll. 142 ff., and nn.
50. A variant of 'Sardanapalus', l. 35. For 'Universal Monarchy', cf. 'Jesuits III', l. 65 and n.; and A Representation of the Present Affairs … of Europe (1676/7), p. 14: Charlemagne's division of his kingdom made 'an Eclyps in the Universal Monarchy, which the French at this day endeavour with so much zeal to retrieve'.
50. For six lines of the fair copy (R208) dropped at this point, see Appendix II.
54. Cf. 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 118 f. India was distant just about half a year's sailing. The Court Minutes Etc. Of The East India Company (1907), calendared by E.B. Sainsbury, show that the East Indiamen of Charles II's reign took over a year for the round voyage; the Mary, for example, dispatched to Surat in Apr. 1674, was back shortly before 12 July 1675. The passage itself used to take six or seven months; William Basse's fleet made the longer voyage to the Coromandel Coast from Dec. 1672 to July 1673. (See Sainsbury, op. cit.; Edward Terry, A Voyage to East India (1655); E. Keble Chatterton, The Old East Indiamen, 1914.)
57–60. Cf. Alexander Radcliffe's burlesque of 'Tell me dearest prythee do' in The Ramble (1682), p. 28:
- Tell me Jack, I pry'thee do
- Why the Glass still sticks with you:
- What does Bus'ness signifie
- If you let your Claret die?…
- If it stand
- In your hand
- It will then disband
- All its Spirits in a trice.
65. Cf. Cowley, 'Anacreontiques: II. Drinking' (Poems, p. 51).
- The busie Sun (and one would guess
- By's drunken fiery face no less)
- Drinks up the Sea….
69. Six in a Hand: a toper's idiom unknown to the OED. Its currency is confirmed by John Dennis (The Impartial Critick (1693), Spingarn, iii.167): 'He who Drinks five Brimmers in a hand' is drinking hard. The meaning has to be conjectured from Oldham's use, and from 'A Letter sent from a gentleman to his friend', in A Collection Of Poems Written upon Several Occasions by several Persons (1673), p. 131:
- Seven Brimmers in a Hand went round
- In which seven worthy Wights were drown'd.
Occurrences in Robert Gould's 'Satyr Upon Man' (Poems, 1689, p. 187) and Ambrose Philips (Poems, ed. M.G. Segar (1937), p. 105, reported by Anthony W. Shipps, N & Q, Dec. 1975, p. 562), palpably derive from Oldham. In the 'Letter', there are seven successive toasts; but in Oldham 'Six' cannot refer to the number of toasts, nor, in view of 'Six more', to the number of drinkers. His lines can be reconciled with the 'Letter' if both the 'Six' and the 'Seven' 'in a hand' refer to the measures of wine ordered for each drinker, ready for filling and re-filling his glass. In the 'Dithyrambique', where all is hyperbole, the glasses would be outsize ones holding three measures, and filled twice for each toast, making twelve measures quaffed in all—the Roman sextarius. Martial often mentions the measures to be mixed or poured out; and potations of eleven (Epigram VI.lxxviii) are frequently and disastrously drunk by Phryx, his arch-tippler. The possibility (it is no more) that Oldham is thinking in these terms is discussed in Brooks, 'Oldham: Some Problems', pp. 570 f.
71–80. Oldham gives a different turn to ideas expressed in the Second Advice To A Painter, 1667 (No. 10 of Osborne's bibliography; cf. Yale POAS, i.42), where the author damns Noah for inventing ships:
- What tho he planted Vines, he Pines cut down;
- He taught us how to drink, and how to drown….
80. For two lines of the fair copy (R210) dropped at this point, see Appendix II.
81–3. Cf. the opening of Cowley's 'Answer to … Verses' (Poems, p. 43): 'to a Northern People' to whom 'the Sun' assigns no wines, 'A rich Canary Fleet welcome arrives'.
103. Schoolmen: definition by distinctions and nomenclature being their special talent; cf. 'Jesuits II', l. 119 (with erratum, 'Title') and n.
104–6. Oldham's note opposite this passage (R211), 'Ebrietas ē voluntaria insania. Senec.', is from Seneca's Epistulae Morales LXXXIII.18. Seneca is thus the 'sober Fool' etc. of ll. 124 f.
105. reas'ning Tool. In Rochester's 'Satyr against … Mankind', which Oldham transcribed, Man is scornfully termed 'the reasoning engine' (l. 29).
108. young Prophets. Cf. 'The Dream', l. 75 f. and n.
110. Like the Apostles at Pentecost: Acts 2:13–18.
115. Thorn Drury, in his copy of Oldham in the Bodleian, illustrates this bravado by a quotation from D'Urfey, The Campaign (1698), p. 11: 'drink 'em alive in Plantain Wine like de Losh', and continues: 'In an interleaved copy of Ray's Proverbs 2d. ed. p. 72 opposite "He hath swallowed a Gudgeon" there is this MS note: "taken from the custom of swallowing Loaches in wine once a fashion amongst Gentlemen afterwards descended to the vulgar—see Memoirs of P.P. in Swifts Works at the latter end: a gudgeon being larger would take a larger gulp".'
116 f. Cowley alludes to the arrival of rich Canary fleets in the passage cited above, ll. 101 ff., n. Oldham's hyperbole stretches the revellers' pockets as extravagantly as their throats: the custom alone, in an exceptionally good year, might be £80,000 or more; see The True News quoted in 'Horace, I.xxxi', ll. 15–18 n.
120–3. Rhenish follows Canary: the Rhineland was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Canaries belonged to Spain. From Aug. 1673 to the peace of Nijmegen in 1678, Charles II of Spain and the Emperor Leopold I, with Holland and the Duke of Lorraine, were confederates in the Grand Alliance of the Hague against Louis XIV. Both Spanish and Imperial forces were operating against Louis in Aug. 1677.
125. Langon: a white wine, named from Langon on the Garonne. The OED's earliest example, under Langoon, is dated 1674.
126–8. Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (1643–90) joined the confederation against Louis XIV primarily to recover the duchy which his father had sold to Louis by the treaty of Montmartre. This poem was written at the moment of his maximum success as generalissimo of the imperial forces. He had taken Philippsburg in 1676; in 1677, to co-ordinate his efforts with those of William of Orange, he moved westward to the Meuse. The London Gazettes of late July and early Aug. report his burning of Mousson; Champagne, it is supposed, lies at his mercy. Hence the rosy estimate of his military (and bibulous?) chances by our rhetorical toper.
'Without treaty' signifies 'by forcing an unconditional surrender'; but there may be a specific allusion to the negotiations for peace at the congress of Nijmegen opened in Mar. 1677.
135 f. Cf. Etherege, Comical Revenge (1664), I.ii.118: in a drunken revel Sir Frederick Frollick, Jenny tells, 'march'd bravely at the rere of an Army of Link-boys'; and Dryden's depiction of Shadwell (not published till c.10 Nov. 1682: Macdonald, p. 31) in Absalom, Pt. II, ll. 458–60.
137 f. From Flatman, 'To the Memory of the Incomparable Orinda' (1667), ll. 25 f.:
- Sooner or later must we come
- To Nature's dark retiring room.
The Cambridge History of English Literature, viii.84, inadvertently deprives Flatman of his due credit by praising Oldham's line without indicating its indebtedness.
Stage direction. See headnote.
Advertisement (anon., in Hindmarsh's edn.)
The Advertisement was written either by or for Hindmarsh. He is entitled to claim that he has deserved well of Oldham and his readers. For the Remains, in an age when many posthumous collections were thoroughly untrustworthy, includes none but genuine pieces; for their authenticity, see Introduction, pg 504pp. lxxv ff. With two exceptions, our texts are from Remains (1684); for 'Upon the Marriage' and the St. Cecilia ode, see headnotes.
10. his first Pieces. Hindmarsh did not yet know of the lines on William and Mary: four years before he brought out SJ (1681) they had been printed by Herringman. They do not appear in the Remains till the second edn. (1687).
18–20, 23–5. In posthumous editions, writers, so Cowley complains (Works, 1656, preface: see Poems, p. 5) commonly suffer either by 'the indiscretion of their Friends, who think a vast heap of Stones or Rubbish a better Monument, than a little Tomb of Marble, or by the unworthy avarice of some Stationers, who are content to diminish the value of the Author, so they may encrease the price of the Book.'
Counterpart to The Satyr against Vertue
It is pretended in the sub-heading that the 'Counterpart' is not by the real author of the original 'Satyr'. Oldham may have meant to circulate it under this fiction. It was no doubt written before (as author of SJ, 1681) he had acknowledged the 'Satyr', and belongs to 1679 or 1680.
29–31. Cf. Cowley, 'The Constant', Poems, p. 135:
- Close, narrow Chain, yet soft and kind,
- As that which Spi'rits above to good does bind, …
- Which does not force, but guide our Liberty!
and 'Presenting a Book to Cosmelia', ll. 18–20.
32–6, 39. Cf. 'St. Ambrose', ll. 131–6.
55. Trepans: snares; see OED, 1671.
56–60. Indebted, with st. 5, to Cowley's discourse 'Of Liberty': the 'true Freeman … [is] Not he who blindly follows all his pleasures … but he who rationally guides them' (Essays, p. 384).
61–3. Cf. Cowley, 'The Plagues of Egypt', Poems, p. 219:
- In black Egyptian Slavery we lie;
- And sweat and toil in the vile Drudgerie
- Of Tyrant Sin….
71. th' Almighty Wand. Moses' rod is so termed three times in st. 3 of Cowley's 'Plagues of Egypt': 'Almighty', he explains in n. 4, 'as it was the Instrument of the Almighty in doing wonders; for which it is called the Rod of the Lord.'
73. Writ of Ease: a certificate of discharge from employment. Cf. Dryden, All for Love (1678), Epilogue, ll. 18 f.
74–86. Cf. Cowley, 'Of Liberty' (Essays, pp. 377 f.): 'The great dealers in this world may be divided into the Ambitious, the Covetous, and the Voluptuous, and … all these men sell themselves to be slaves.'
75. Cf. ibid., p. 384: 'The Covetous Man is … ad Metalla damnatus, a man condemned to work in Mines, which is the lowest and hardest condition of servitude.'
- And they'r in Fortunes Bridewell whipt,
- To the laborious task of Bread;
- These are by various Tyrants Captive lead.
- … Ambition with imperious force [rides them].
See R.S. Mylne, Old Bridewell (1905). It was, as described in Strype's Stow (1755), p. 644, a house of correction for 'idle and loose Livers … taken up' in the 'Liberty of Westminster': besides whipping, they were condemned to 'Beating of Hemp, a Punishment very well suited to Idleness'.
82. 'I like not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath. Give me life', Falstaff's speech (1 Henry IV, V.iii.58 f.), a Restoration favourite. Cf. Pepys, 2 Nov. 1667; Dryden, Prologue to Marriage-A-La-Mode, l. 18, and Preface to All for Love (Essays, i.198); Merry Drolleries, ed. Ebsworth, p. 36. See 'Boileau VIII', ll. 130 f. and n.
95 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Against Hope' (Poems, p. 109):
- Thou bringst us an Estate, yet leav'st us Poor,
- By clogging it with Legacies before!
103–8. Cf. Cowley, 'The Bargain' (Poems, p. 92):
- The foolish Indian that sells
- His precious Gold for Beads and Bells,
- Does a more wise and gainful traffick hold,
though the allusion, from Othello onwards, was a commonplace: Rochester has it ('The Advice'), and Dryden (The Maiden Queen (1667), V.i, p. 56), and the anonymous 'Consideratus, Considerandus' (for which see 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 26 ff., n.).
108. an Exchange's Frippery. Cf. Pepys, 10 Apr. 1663, and Etherege, She wou'd if she cou'd (1668), III.i, laid in the New Exchange, 'a building on the south side of the Strand … with … galleries of shops, one above the other. All fashionable London frequented these shops to buy the newest expensive trifles.' (Brett-Smith's n., p. 310.)
109–13. Cf. Cowley, 'Against Hope' (Poems, p. 110):
- Good fortunes without gain imported be
- Such mighty Custom's paid to Thee.
114–18. Cf. Cowley, 'Of Obscurity' (Essays, p. 309): 'I love … a true good Fame, because it is the shadow of Virtue…. The best kinde of Glory, no doubt, is that which is reflected from Honesty … but it … is seldom beneficial to any man whilst he lives, what it is to him after his death, I cannot say.'
119–22. Cf. Cowley, 'The Complaint'; (Poems, p. 440):
- Thou who rewardest but with popular breath,
- And that too after death,
and the preface to his works (Poems, p. 6), where fame is called 'this posthumous and imaginary happiness' (italics mine).
130 f. Cf. Paradise Lost, I.690–3.
131 f. Cf. Settle, Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 34:
- Oh Prophane Gold, which from infectious Earth,
- From Sulph'rous and Contagious Mines takes Birth….
- Rapes, Murders, Treasons, what has Gold not Don?
138–42. Cf. Settle, ibid., p. 59:
- Guilt onely thus to guilty Minds appeares:
- As Syrens do to drowning Mariners:
- Seen onely by their Eyes whose Deaths are Nigh.
- We rarely see our Crimes before we Die….
and Oldham's 'Sunday Thought in Sickness', ll. 105 ff.
160. Regalio. Properly 'regalo', a choice repast or entertainment; 'regalio' was common in Oldham's time: cf. e.g. Dryden, Prologue to Sir Martin Marall (1667), ll. 1 f.
178. Identical with 'Sardanapalus', l. 9. For explication, see Introduction, pp. lxxiv f., and nn. 176, 177.
187. Alluding to the supposed three regions of the air: cf. Dryden, The Rival Ladies (1664), I.iii, p. 17: 'His Voice is soft as is the upper Air.'
188 f. Cowley speaks of 'my own Pindarick Liberty' in his 'Ode. Mr. Cowley's Book presenting it self to the [Bodleian]'; cf. his description of 'the Pindarique way' in the 'Ode. Upon Liberty' (Poems, p. 410, Essays, p. 391). Cf. Horace, 'Odes', IV.ii.7 f.
193 f. its Horrors. The original edition has 'it', at this date almost certainly an oversight; see Marvell, Poems, 'Eyes and Tears', l. 38 n. Oldham has 'it' for 'its' in MS R, but that also is probably a slip.
196. dare … be good. Cf. 'I dare be good' in Settle, Empress of Morocco (1673), V.i, p. 57; and Donne, 'To the Countesse of Salisbury, August 1614', l. 31: 'now you durst be good'.
Virg[il], Eclogue VIII
See Introduction, p. lxxvi.
7 f. Alluding to the naval battles of the second and third Dutch wars, 1665– 7 and 1672–4.
42. the Nut-scramble: for 'sparge nuces'. As the bride approached, the bridegroom flung nuts among the boys carrying the torches. Cf. Catullus, LXI, ll. 128 ff.
70–4. The allusion is to Medea at Corinth.
82 f. i.e. Let Tityrus be the Orpheus of the woods and the Arion of the waves. As a pentameter l. 83 is highly irregular: .
120. true-love-Knots: felicitously rendering 'Veneris vincula'.
168. our Lightfoot. Marvell had used the name in 'A Dialogue between Thyrsis and Dorinda', ll. 23 f.:
- No need of Dog to fetch our stray,
- Our Lightfoot we may give away….
In The Shepherds Week, Thursday Or, the Spell, which partly imitates Virgil's eighth eclogue, Gay in the corresponding passage has: 'But hold—our Lightfoot barks, and cocks his ears'.
Upon the Marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Lady Mary
Princess Mary's marriage to William of Orange, negotiated mainly by Temple and Danby, 'gave great content to the nation, and abated the fears of popery that she was married to a Protestant prince'. (Reresby, p. 129.) William landed at Harwich 9 Oct. 1677; the match was announced to the council 21 Oct., and the marriage solemnized at 9 p.m. on Nov. 4; (see The Diary of Dr. Edward Lake, ed. G.P. Elliott, Camden Miscellany, i (1847)). Oldham's poem was written next morning, and a copy conveyed to Mary: see his Latin draft letter (Introduction, p. xxix and nn. 19, 20). It was the first of his pieces to be printed: Herringman's s. sh. fol. was licensed by L'Estrange Nov. 8, 1677 (Bibliography, II.1). Our text is from the autograph fair copy; see Introduction, pp. lxxxviii, xciii.
The occasion inspired numerous panegyrics. Herringman printed Waller's Of the Lady Mary in a s. sh. edn., licensed Nov. 2. Cf. also Waller's To the Prince of Orange 1677; Nat Lee's To the Prince and Princess of Orange, Upon their Marriage (Exomen Poeticum (1693), p. 168; POAS (1704), iii, p. 114); A Congratulatory Poem On Occasion of His Highness the Prince of Orange His Marriage (anonymous, s. sh., BL, Luttrell, i.115); and a MS copy of verses addressed on the same subject by A. B. to Secretary Williamson (CSPD, 1677–8, p. 480).
0.1. The date of composition is given from Oldham's fair copy, R27, confirmed by his draft letter (ibid., p. 106).
10 ff. Prior to the marriage, the betrothal had occasioned great rejoicing. William Temple says of its announcement in council, 'it was … received there and every where else in the Kingdom with the most universal joy that I ever saw any thing in the King's reign'. (Memoirs, 1692, p. 296.) Dr Edward Lake, who performed the ceremony, records in his Diary 'Nov. 5. The lord mayor and aldermen came to congratulate the marriage, and there was a generall joy throughout the city, testifyed by ringing of bells, bonfires etc.'
12 f. For the wild rejoicings at the Restoration see Evelyn, 29 May 1660, and Cowley's 'Ode. Upon His Majesties Restoration and Return', st. 16 (Poems, p. 430).
15. A draft of this single line (R103) reads 'That shakes … ye Town'.
19. Alluding to the Great Fire, 1666.
26–9. Cf. in J. Cleaveland Revived (1659), p. 51, 'Upon the Marriage of the young Prince of Orange [William II] with the Lady Marie' [daughter of Charles I], by Richard West (see Cleveland, Poems, ed. Morris and Withington, p. xxx):
- … wedding's a too private stile, for this
- Not a plain … match, but a league is,
- A league that shall incorporate these two
31 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon His Majesties Restoration and Return' (Poems, pp. 420–1):
- … ye peaceful Starrs,
- Which meet at last so kindly, and dispence
- Your universal gentle Influence …
- Plenipotentiary Beams ye sent….
34–6. Cf. Cowley, 'On his Majesties Return out of Scotland' (Poems, p. 23):
- 'Twas only Heav'n could work this wondrous thing,
- And onely work't by such a King.
37–9. Cf. ibid., p. 22:
- Others by War their Conquests gain …
- This happy Concord in no Blood is writ….
41. Ancestor: James VI of Scotland and I of England.
53. Cf. 'Another upon the Same' (as Paynter's poem; see above, ll. 26–9 n.):
- Here Faith and Reason courts, this Match doth prove
- Wisdom in Youth, and Policy in Love.
54, 58 f. Cf. ibid.:
- Nor were their Hearts link'd by the Painters Hand,
- Or Legates Voice, such Bonds are Ropes of Sand;
- They their own Counsel, happier steps have trod,
- Who not salute the Image but the God.
57. The same compliment is in 'To Madam L. E.', l. 65 f.
61. According to Burnet (ii.130), Mary's father James, Duke of York, 'with a seeming heartiness gave his consent in very obliging terms', though when the match was proposed he had 'seemed much concerned; but the king said to him, Brother, I desire it of you for my sake as well as your own: and upon that the duke consented to it'.
64 f. In 1676 Louis had taken Condé and Bouchain; in 1677 he took Valenciennes, 17 Mar., and Cambrai, 5 Apr.; William was obliged to raise the sieges of Maestricht and Charleroi, and on 11 Apr. was defeated at Mont-Cassel while endeavouring to relieve St. Omer which subsequently capitulated. With the exception of Maestricht, however, these towns were not Dutch; they belonged to the Spanish Netherlands.
66 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Leaving me …' (Poems, p. 79): 'The Universal Monarch of her All'. Louis XIV's conquests, which William is to discount, were seen as a bid for Universal Monarchy; cf. 'Dithyrambique', l. 50 and n., and The Petty-Southwell Correspondence (ed. Lansdowne, p. 93), 20 Aug. 1681: anciently 'to conquer the [sparsely populated] World' was easy, but '(whatever the King of France may think) the Universall or Great Monarchy doth … grow every Century … more difficult'.
69. Despite their recent successes in Flanders (ll. 64 f. and n.), the French had failed to subjugate William. Called to the Stadtholderate to repel their invasion of the United Provinces in 1672, by the end of 1673 he had cleared Dutch territory of their troops.
72–6. As Stadtholder, William of Nassau was not a crowned head.
91. The line as Oldham revised it; see Introduction, p. lxxxviii. A draft, R92, reads 'for others you in Pitty'.
92. your bright self. The phrase as finally revised; see Textual Apparatus and Introduction, p. lxxxviii f.
92 f. The compliment is skilful: Queen Henrietta Maria was William's grandmother as well as Mary's. Her children were Charles II, 1630–85; Mary, Princess of Orange, 1631–60; James, Duke of York (James II), 1633–1701; Princess Elizabeth, 1636–50; Henry, Duke of Gloucester, 1640–60; and Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, 1644–70.
94–7. Cf. Cowley, 'On Orinda's Poems' (Poems, p. 405):
- And in their Birth thou no one touch dost find,
- Of th' ancient curse to Woman-kind,
- Thou bringst not forth with pain,
- It neither Travel is, nor labour of the brain.
98 f. It was hoped that the marriage would hasten peace between France and the States General. 'Nephew,' said Charles II to William, 'remember that love and war do not agree well together.' Very shortly after the marriage, fresh terms were offered to Louis (Burnet, ii.130, 132 n.). The Franco-Dutch peace was signed 10 Aug. 1678.
105. Cf. Dryden's State of Innocence (1677), III.i, p. 15: Eve to Adam: 'Heaven … / Can give no more, but still to be the same.' 107, 110 f. Cf. 'To Madam L.E.', L. 155 f.
An Ode For … S. Cecilia's Day
The first edition (Bibliography, II.13) was A Second Musical Entertainment Perform'd on St Cecilia's day. November XXII. 1684. The Words by the late ingenious Mr. John Oldham, set … by Dr John Blow, Master of the Children and Organist of His Majesty's Chappel-Royal (1685). Published by John Playford, it is announced in an advertisement in his Theater of Musick (1685), A2V, as 'now in the Press' and 'to be performed at the Musical Feast on St pg 509Cecilia's day next, Nov. 22. 1684'. The entertainments were inaugurated in 1683 when the ode was set by Purcell to Christopher Fishbourn's words. Oldham's ode is reprinted (p. 143) and discussed (pp. 16–19) in W.H. Husk, An Account of the Musical Celebrations of St. Cecilia's Day (1857). If Husk is right in supposing it commissioned after the success of its predecessor, it must have been written between 22 Nov. and Oldham's death in the first week of Dec. 1683. In Dec. 1949 the first modern revival of the ode was conducted by my old friend Dr H. Watkins Shaw, the authority on Blow, in a Blow tercentenary concert at St Martin's in the Fields. He has an edition, John Blow, Begin the Song (1950), and tells me that the work is of some importance in the evolution of secular choral style in England, and includes an exceedingly fine ground bass to the tenor and alto duet.
1–11, 40–5. A draft of the Chorus and 1st st. (R240) reads: [Chorus, 4 ll … without 42 f.] Let Musick 44; [Stanza 1, whole] Awake ye silent Lute [sparkling margin] 2; Joyn ye Voice & joyn ye Flute 3; let 4; gentle Thoughts yt easy glide [margin] 5; Numbers smoothly slide [margin; slide altered from glide] 6; Hand & 7.
1, 4. Cf. Cowley, 'The Resurrection' (Poems, p. 182): 'Begin the Song, and strike the Living Lyre', to which 'the Years to come' with 'equal measures dance'. 15. Cf. 'Bion', l. 39.
19. See 'To Madam L.E.', l. 63 f., n.
25. pall'd. See 'A Dithyrambique', ll. 57–60 and n.
31 f., 34. Cf. Rochester, 'A Letter from Artemisia', which Oldham had transcribed:
- Love, the most generous passion of the mind,
- The softest refuge innocence can find …
- That cordial drop heaven in our cup has thrown … (ll. 40 f., 44).
To Madam L. E.
Resemblance to the consolatory poem for Joan Kingscote strongly suggests that this too was addressed, in 1675 (the year Oldham spent, after Oxford, at Shipton Moyne), to a local patron. An Estcourt seems likely. I have found none with the initial L; but it might well stand for 'Lady'. If the autograph, Hindmarsh's copy, was headed with a bare 'To L.E.' (cf. 'To L.G.' heading a draft, R99, for 'Upon a Woman') he might be expected to add 'Madam'.
1–4. L1. 3 f. were adapted in ll. 19 f. of 'A Letter'. Cf. Cowley, 'To the Bishop of Lincoln' (Poems, pp. 28 f.):
- Pardon, my Lord, that I am come so late
- T'express my joy for your return of Fate …
- Great Joys as well as Sorrows make a Stay;
- They hinder one another in the Crowd….
10. So in Waller's 'Thyrsis, Galatea' (l. 12), Thyrsis would 'to my aid invoke no muse but you'.
23 f. Cf. 'Katharine Kingscote', ll. 19 f.
31 ff. Cf. Cowley's metaphor in 'To Dr. Scarborough' (Poems, p. 198):
- The subtle Ague, that for sureness sake
- Takes its own times th'assault to make,
- And at each battery the whole Fort does shake….
33 f. Cf. Waller, 'À la Malade', ll. 7–9:
- Hence, to this pining sickness (meant
- To weary thee to a consent
- Of leaving us)….
39 f. Cf. Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada (1672), IV.iii, p. 129: 'My Blood, like Ysicles, hangs in my veins'.
41 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon Dr. Harvey' (Poems, p. 417): the 'Heart began to beat … The tuneful March to vital Heat'.
44. Reversing Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), I.i, p. 2: 'And a short youth runs warm through every Vein'. Cf. 'Byblis', l. 267.
46. Because it would be praying for the dead.
49–52. Cf. Donne, 'Funeral Elegy. To L.C.', ll. 23–6.
57 f. Cf. 'A Letter', l. 7 n.
63 f. Combining Waller, 'Chloris and Hylas', l. 3: 'Wind up the slack'ned strings of thy lute', and Settle, Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 19:
- Tortures weak Engines that can run us down,
- Or skrew us up till we are out of tune.
65 f. Cf. 'Upon the Marriage', ll. 56 f.
68. A post-Angel. From Cowley, 'Hymn. To light' (Poems, p. 444). Cf. Oldham's 'Sunday-Thought in Sickness', Remains (1684), p. 45.
70, 73, 74. it … It … her…. The lapse is probably Oldham's. The same confusion occurs in the ode on Morwent (ll. 475–80; see n.); and there it does not seem possible that it was produced by corruption.
75 f. Cf. Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada (1672), IV.i, p. 118:
- Like tapers new blown out, the fumes remain,
- To catch the light, and bring it back again.
79 f. Cf. Waller, 'To the Queen … After her happy recovery from a dangerous sickness', ll. 17 f.:
- When that which we immortal thought,
- We saw so near destruction brought.
81 ff. I have found no clue to this physician.
93. See 'S. Cecilia Ode', l. 22 and n.; and 'The Dream', l. 74.
97–100. Cf. Waller, 'Upon the death of my Lady Rich', ll. 21 ff.: the fellow-immortals of 'The Paphian queen' were 'Taught by her wound that goddesses may bleed'. The allusion is to Aphrodite wounded by Diomede, Iliad, V.330 ff.
101. Cf. Settle, Empress of Morocco (1673), p. 26:
- … Princess, to whom Heav'n
- Has all its Titles but its Knowledge givn.
103 f. Cf. Denham, 'An Elegie upon … Lord Hastings', Poetical Works, p. 146:
- … He,
- That onely wanted Immortality
- To make him perfect….
106–8. Cf. Waller, 'À la Malade', ll. 22 ff.:
- … as … sickness does invade
- Your frailer part, the breaches made
- In that fair lodging, still more clear
- Make the bright guest, your soul, appear.
109 f. Cf. Cowley, 'My Heart Discovered' (Poems, p. 79):
- … through her flesh, methinks, is seen
- The brighter Soul that dwells within:
and with the same rhyme as Oldham's, Dryden, 'Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings', ll. 63 f.
111–14. Cf. Cowley, 'Clad all in White' (Poems, p. 78):
- Thy soul, which does it self display,
- Like a star plac'd i'th' Milkie way.
- Such robes the Saints departed wear,
- Woven all with Light divine;
- Such their exalted Bodies are….
L. 109 was clearly suggested by the first st. of the same poem.
117–19. Cf. the thought in Cowley's 'To the Bishop of Lincoln' (Poems, p. 29):
- Your very sufferings did so graceful shew,
- That some straight envy'd your Affliction too.
120 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Clad all in White' (Poems, p. 78):
- So clouds themselves like Suns appear,
- When the Sun pierces them with Light …
and the Morwent ode, ll. 428 f.
122–5, 128 f., 134 f. Cf. Waller, 'To the Queen … After her happy recovery from a dangerous sickness', ll. 3 ff.:
- … every day,
- Restoring what was snatched away
- By pining sickness from the fair,
- That matchless beauty does repair
- So fast, that the approaching spring,
- (Which does to flowery meadows bring
- What the rude winter from them tore)
- Shall give her all she had before.
130–3. Cf. Waller, 'Of the Misreport of her being painted', ll. 19 ff.: 'heaven'
- Paints her, tis true, and does her cheek adorn
- With the same art wherewith she paints the morn;
- With the same art wherewith she gildeth so
- Those painted clouds which form Thaumantias' [sc Iris'] bow.
131. instant Day. 'Instant' may mean 'oncoming' (Lat. 'instans'); see OED, and is therefore retained. But it may be a misprint for 'infant': cf. Oldham's favourite image of the blush of infant roses: 'To Cosmelia', ll. 35 f.; ode on Morwent, ll. 554 f.; and 'Horace, IV.13', ll. 9 f.
152. Bottom: the skein from which the thread was drawn (hence the apt name of Bottom the Weaver).
155 f. Cf. 'Upon the Marriage', ll. 107, 110 f.
On the Death of Mrs. Katharine Kingscote
The parish register of Kingscote, near Shipton Moyne, records: 'Katherin Kingscote the daughter of Abraham Kingscot. Gent. and Joane his Wife and borne the 20th day of July and was Baptised the 28th day of July 1664'; and 'Mistris Katherin Kingscote the daughter of Mrs. Joane Kingscote died the second day of December and she was buried the sixt day of December … 1675.' See Introduction, p. xxvii; and for the Kingscotes, T.D. Fosbroke, Berkeley Manuscripts (1821), pedigree facing p. 218; his Abstracts of Records … pg 512respecting the County of Gloucester (1807), i.420 f.; also the Visitation of … Gloucester, 1682 and 1683, ed. Fenwick and Metcalf (1884), p. 103. Oldham had contemplated a poem of consolation directly addressed 'To Mrs Kingscot on the Death of her Daughter': R238 has a draft opening:
- when late your Tenderness resign'd
- The dearest Pledge Fate here had left behind;
—Joan was widowed in 1670—
- When she and all your Joy with her withdrew,
- Gone to make Heaven rich by robbing you:
- Ah! by what Griefe were both your Hearts opprest
- What just Concerns divided either Brest!
- Her Soule with more Regret did not desert
- Its happy Mate, then you from both did part:
- And twas for her much easier to subdue
- The Pow'rs of Death then to relinquish you.
1 f., 5 f. Cf. Robert Wild, 'In Memory of Mrs. E. T., who died April 7, 1659':
- Meantime, methought I saw at Heaven's fair gate
- The glorious virgins meet and kiss their mate …
- The Milky Way too (since she passed it o'er)
- Methinks looks whiter than it was before….
3 f. Cf. Cowley, 'To the New Year' (Poems, p. 206):
- Great Janus, who dost sure my Mistris view
- With all thine eyes, yet think'st them all too few….
Cf. 'Rant', l. 15 f. and 'Catullus VII', l. 10.
5–8. Oldham makes use of these ll. in the ode to Atwood, ll. 207–10.
12. Cf. Waller, 'A la Malade', l. 3: 'Is heaven become our rival too?'
17–27. Used again in 'To Cosmelia', ll. 41–51.
21–3. Cf. Waller, 'Upon the Death of my Lady Rich', ll. 86 ff.:
- We should suppose that some propitious spirit
- In that celestial form frequented here,
- And is not dead, but ceases to appear.
26 f. Imitated from Waller; see 'To Cosmelia', ll. 50 f., n.
28 f. Cf. Cowley, 'On the Death of Mr. William Hervey' (Poems, p. 35):
- Nor did more Learning ever crowded lie
- In such a short Mortalitie.
32. Mary Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.
41–6. Adapted in 'To Cosmelia', ll. 27–32.
43–6. Cf. Cowley, 'The Innocent Ill' (Poems, p. 145):
- Though in thy thoughts scarce any Tracks have bin
- So much as of Original Sin,
- Such charms thy Beauty wears as might
- Desires in dying confest Saints excite.
47 f. Cf. Cowley, 'On the Death of Mr. William Hervey'' (Poems, p. 36):
- With as much Zeal, Devotion, Pietie,
- He always Liv'd, as other Saints do Dye.
pg 513To The Memory of Mr. Charles Morwent
The bosom friend of Oldham's young manhood had his grammar-school education at Wotton-under-Edge, under Thomas Byrton, MA, of Lincoln College, Oxford. At 15 he matriculated at St. Edmund Hall; he was, writes Anthony Wood, a 'handsome, genteel and good-natur'd man, very well belov'd' at the Hall. After taking his BA in 1674, he 'retir'd to Gloucester', where, still only twenty, he died of smallpox, 25 Aug. 1675 (monumental inscription, Gloucester Cathedral). He was b. at Tetbury, where his father Joseph was an attorney. Through his mother, Mary, née Savage, he was nephew (by marriage) to William Shepheard of Horsley (the next village to Kingscote), an active Oliverian lawyer and commissioner, whose last book came out in 1675; Mary's sister Elizabeth m. William's brother John of Tetbury. Elizabeth left a small legacy to 'my Kinsman Charles Morwent' (Will, 27 Dec. 1669, in Gloucestershire Record Office, proved 24 Aug. 1671). For the possible importance in Oldham's career of this Morwent-Shepheard connection, see Introduction, pp. xxvii f. and n. 13. Cf. Wood, iv.121; Tetbury parish register; Visitation of the County of Gloucester … 1682 … 1683 (1884), ed. Fenwick and Metcalf, p. 159 (pedigree of Savage); T.D. Fosbroke, Abstracts … respecting the County of Gloucester (1807), i.374, and An Original History of the City of Gloucester (1819), p. 136; A.T. Lee, History of … Tetbury (1857), pp. 234, 240; Ralph Bigland, Historical … Collections, relative to the County of Gloucester (monumental inscriptions at Tetbury and Hempstead); Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, Memoir, 1722, pp. iv f.
Only a preference for metaphysical over Augustan writing can have led A.W. Ward (DNB, Oldham) to regard this as the author's best performance. A similar overestimate no doubt prompted Previté-Orton's belief (CHEL, viii.84), echoed to me by Oliver Elton, that he must have elaborated it in his maturer years. It no longer seems beyond his early powers when its dependence on antecedent elegies and eulogies is recognized. Even the opening of st. 21, with its genuinely metaphysical overtones, is in a style from which he and the age moved away. Among the numerous borrowings, none is from a work later than 1675. Many of the lines appear almost verbatim in other poems of his; surely because (as in other instances) he cannibalizes freely from a piece which, far from embellishing, he has no intention of bringing out. During 1675, the year he spent chafing at home, he would have the leisure, and not improbably the inclination, to dwell on the death of the friend who might have made Gloucestershire more congenial to him, and to elaborate a long poem upon it.
1 f. Cf. James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, lines on Charles I (Poems, ed. J.L. Weir (1938), p. 33):
- Great, Good and Just, could I but rate
- My Grief and Thy too Rigid Fate….
5–8. The other eight Muses should change their own strains to that of Melpomene, Muse of tragedy. Oldham had probably a hint from the conclusion of Cowley's elegy on Lord Carleton (Essays, p. 40) where Calliope (though Muse of epic poetry) 'would sing a Tragicke Verse', and the tears of the Nine would have been sufficient to create their sacred spring.
12–15. The statue of Memnon in Egyptian Thebes gave a mournful note when struck by the rays of the rising sun.
35. i.e. aimed at the bull's eye; cf. 'Art of Poetry', l. 568, and Cowley, 'Ode. Upon Liberty', st. 6 (Essays, p. 391).
38–40, 55–63. Cf. Waller, 'Epitaph … Upon … the only son of the Lord Andover', ll. 15–20:
- Like buds appearing ere the frosts are passed,
- To become man he made such fatal haste,
- And to perfection laboured so to climb,
- Preventing slow experience and time,
- That 'tis no wonder Death our hopes beguiled;
- He's seldom old that will not be a child.
52–4. Cf. Donne, 'Elegie on the Lady Marckham', l. 60: 'Lest they that heare her vertues, thinke her old.'
64. Cf. Waller, on the death of Lady Hamilton, 'Thyrsis, Galatea', l. 26: 'So well she acted in this span of life'.
73–80. Cf. R. Fletcher, 'An Epitaph on his deceased Friend', printed as Cleveland's in J. Cleaveland Revived (1659):
- Each minute had its Weight of Worth,
- Each pregnant Hour some Star brought forth
- So whiles he travell'd here beneath,
- He liv'd, when others only breath.
- For not a Sand of time slip'd by
- Without its Action sweet as high.
85 f. See 'Upon a Woman', ll. 62 f. and n.
87. run o'th' Score. See 'Upon a Woman', l. 155 n.
90 f. Cf. Cowley, 'The Soul' (Poems, p. 83):
- If all things that in Nature are …
- Be not in Thee so' Epitomiz'd …
and Donne, 'Obsequies to the Lord Harrington', ll. 77 f.
92. Cf. J.M.'s elegy, before J. Cleaveland Revived (2nd edn., 1660), p. 3:
- What in other petty Sparks was found
- In him's contracted as one Diamond.
95–8. Cf. Donne, 'A Valediction: Of Weeping', ll. 10–13:
- On a round ball
- A workeman that hath copies by, can lay
- An Europe, Afrique, and an Asia,
- And quickly make that, which was nothing, All….
Donne's terrestrial becomes in Oldham a celestial globe.
101 f. Cf. Cleveland, 'To P. Rupert', ll. 61 f.:
- … all that were
- The wonders of their Age, constellate here,
and Dryden, 'Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings', ll. 33–5. In the Ptolemaic astronomy, the fixed stars were assigned to a sphere outside those of the seven planets but within the crystalline and primum mobile; cf. Paradise Lost, III.481–3, and Cowley's 'Reason. The use of it in Divine Matters', st. 5.
110 f. Oldham will have in mind Donne's 'Obsequies to the Lord Harrington', ll. 87–92, where with a fine audacity he describes the intuitive power of angels.
114 f. Cf. 'Upon the Marriage', ll. 96 f.
116 f. Athene sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus. Oldham's simile is consonant with the legend as given in Stesichorus and the Homeric Hymns. It is Pindar who relates that Hephaestus assisted the birth by cleaving his father's head with an axe.
127. Aristoxenus 'thought soules made / Of Harmony' (Donne, 'An Anatomy of the World', Poems, p. 240; see Grierson's n. citing Burton, Anatomy). Cf., once more, Donne's 'Obsequies to the Lord Harrington' (ll. 1–3).
134–210. Cf. sts. IV and V of the ode on Atwood.
143–5. On Morwent as both of Oldham's neighbourhood and a general favourite at college, see headnote.
148–50. Cf. Dryden, 1 Conquest of Granada (1672), III.i, p. 24:
- This Godlike pity in you I extoll;
- And more, because, like heav'ns, 'tis general …
and the ode on Atwood, ll. 110 ff.
152. Cf. ibid., III.i, p. 29: 'And I'm corrupted with the pow'r to please', and the ode on Atwood, l. 106.
160–7. For the anecdote of the Emperor Titus (AD 41–81) to which Oldham alludes, see Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum VIII, Titus, viii: 'atque etiam recordatus quondam super cenam, quod nihil cuiquam toto die praestitisset, memorabilem illam meritoque laudatam vocem edidit: "Amici, diem perdidi".'
167. The ancients 'measured the hours … by … water in glasses called Clepsydrae'. (Browne, Pseud. Ep., V.xviii.259.)
176 f. Cf. the ode on Atwood, ll. 108 f.
198. symbolize.Originally a technical term of early physics, used of elements or other substances having qualities in common. Hence to symbolize with something meant to partake of its qualities or nature (OED).
201 ff. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis',
- Thus when two Brethren strings are set alike,
- To move them both, but one of them we strike …
[Poems, p. 254.]
- The common Experiment of Sympathy in two Unisons …
[Poems, p. 276 n. 39.]
213–18. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode (Here's to thee Dick)', Poems, p. 26:
- Neither their Sighs nor Tears are true;
- Those idely blow, these idlely fall….
222–4. Cf. 'David's Lamentation', ll. 221 f., where the debt to Cowley is apparent.
225–32. Balsam. See Pliny, Natural History, XII.54, and cf. Vaughan, 'An Epitaph Upon The Lady Elizabeth', ll. 23–5:
- And yet as Balm-trees gently spend
- Their tears for those, that doe them rend,
- So mild and pious thou wert seen….
On similar passages, see J.B. Leishman, The Art of Marvell'å Poetry (2nd edn., 1968), pp. 159 f.
237. acts of Amnesty. Cf. the fragment on the death of Charles I, ll. 7 f. The Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, pardoning all (save the individuals excepted by name) who had taken part in the Rebellion or the Commonwealth governments, received the royal assent 29 Aug. 1660.
238–41. Cf. Cicero, De Finibus, II.xxxii.104: 'Themistocles quidem, cum ei Simonides an quis alius artem memoriae polliceretur, "Oblivionis", inquit, "mallem; nam memini etiam quae nolo, oblivisci non possum quae volo".'
247. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Antiplatonick', l. 16: 'A Flint will break upon a Feather-bed'.
252. Cf. the ode on Atwood, l. 188 and n.
256 f. Cf. ll. 520 ff. below, and 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 265–7.
265–9. Cf. Cowley, 'To the Duchesse of Buckingham' (Essays, p. 52): if she had lived in primitive times, she would have had her apotheosis, and been idolatrously worshipped. Cf. the ode on Atwood, ll. 138 ff.
289 f., 298 f. Cf. Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada (1672), III.i, p. 102:
- Not new-made Mothers greater love express …
- when with first looks their babes they bless.
- Not Heav'n is more to dying Martyrs Kind;
- Nor guardian Angels to their charge assign'd …
and 'David's Lamentation', ll. 212 f.
304. Cf. Cowley, 'My Fate' (Poems, p. 126):
- The fast-link'd Chain of everlasting Fate
- Does nothing tye more strong than Me to You,
and Donne, 'The Second Anniversary', ll. 143 ff.
307–9. Cf. 'David's Lamentation', ll. 210 f.
313 f. There was no image of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, in her temple in the Forum; an undying fire, tended by the Vestal Virgins, was the symbol of her presence.
317 f. e.g. the legendary Orestes and Pylades, Achilles and Patroclus, Theseus and Pirithous, Aeneas and 'fidus' Achates, Nisus and Euryalus.
327 f. Cf. l. 127 and n.
331–8. Cf. 'Counterpart', ll. 56–60.
341. A line from Settle's Empress of Morocco (1673), I.i, p. 4.
344. Cf. R. Fletcher, 'On the death of … Charles late King of England', printed as Cleveland's in J. Cleaveland Revived (1659):
- But an Eternal Hush, a quiet Peace …
- Shall lull Humanity asleep….
346. Time's … feet. Used in a simile for gentleness by Henry Vaughan, 'To … Mrs. K. Philips', ll. 5 f.
350 ff. Cf. Marvell, 'The Character of Holland', ll. 129 f.:
- As the obsequious Air and Waters rest,
- Till the dear Halcyon hatch out all its nest.
and n. (Poems, 3rd edn., i.313): 'According to the ancients a fortnight's calm was created at about the winter solstice while the halcyon brooded on her floating nest.'
353–6. The Pacific: see OED. Whence did Oldham derive the notion that it was tideless (an epithet, normally, of the Mediterranean)?
357–61. A mind where Waller finds 'No cloud in so serene a mansion', 'holds resemblance', he declares, 'with those spotless skies, / Where flowing Nilus want of rain supplies' ('The Apology of Sleep', ll. 23–6). The simile was a commonplace: cf., e.g. Waller, 'A Panegyric to my Lord Protector', ll. 53 f.; Dryden, 2 Conquest of Granada, III.i, p. 102. On the belief cf. Browne, Pseud. Ep., VI.§8.
385 f. Cf. Cleveland, 'The Hecatomb to his Mistresse', ll. 29 f.:
- Mettals may blazon common beauties, she
- Makes pearls and planets humble herauldry.
389–91. Alexander; cf. 'Homer', ll. 89 f. and n.
392–4. The Stoics supported their doctrine of the anima mundi by an argument from the soul in man. See Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II.xi, vii. Cf. 'A Dithyrambique', ll. 34 f. and n.
398. Cf. Jonson's chorus, Catiline, III.868 f., moralizing not on pride, but ambition: 'the eye / To which things farre seem smaller than they are'.
401, 403. Unrhymed, by oversight.
415 f. Cf. Waller, 'Of the Misreport of her being painted', ll. 9 ff.:
- … unconcerned, she [Sacharissa] seems moved no more,
- With this new malice than our loves before;
- But from the height of her great mind looks down
- On both our passions without smile or frown.
See 'Upon the Marriage', l. 72 and n.
417. Cf. Dryden, The Rival Ladies (1664), I.ii, p. 13:
- I am no more afraid of flying Censures,
- Than Heav'n of being Fir'd with mounting Sparkles.
419 f. Cf. Waller, 'Of the Misreport of her being painted', ll. 1 ff.:
- As when a sort of wolves infest the night
- With their wild howlings at fair Cynthia's light,
- The noise may chase sweet slumber from our eyes,
- But never reach the mistress of the skies….
426. Saint disgrace: sanctify disgrace. For the verb, see OED.
428 f. Imitated from Cowley: see 'To Madam L. E.', 120 f. and n.
430–2. Cf. Cowley, 'To the Bishop of Lincoln' (Poems, p. 29):
- So though less worthy stones are drown'd in night,
- The faithful Diamond keeps his native Light,
- And is oblig'd to Darkness for a ray
- That would be more opprest than helpt by Day,
and Dryden, The Maiden Queen (1667), V.i, p. 56: 'So Stars in Night, and Diamonds shine in Jet.'
433 f. Cf. the last line of the epitaph on Abia Qui.
442. soothing Smiles. Cf. 'Byblis', l. 30 and n.; 'Jesuits III', l. 474 and n. For the bad sense of 'soothe' at this period cf. Otway's The Orphan (1680), II.i, p. 20: 'Trust not a man … / I charge thee let no more Castalio sooth thee'.
443–6. Cf. 'Counterpart', ll. 87–94, 137–42; and pseudo-Denham, Second Advice to a Painter ('Nay Painter, if thou dar'st'), 1667 (Osborne, No. 10):
- Ulysses so, till Syrens he had past
- Would by his Mates be pinion'd to the Mast.
449. Adapted in 'St. Ambrose', l. 154.
450. Capricio: an obsolete form of capriccio; a freak, prank, or caprice, in which sense Oldham employs it in l. 4 of the fragments 'In Praise of Poetry'.
450 ff. See 'Aude aliquid. Ode', headnote; and the ode on Atwood, ll. 161–8. Cf. also The Character Of A Town Gallant, 1680 (first published 1675): 'He defies Heaven, worse than Maximine; … and calls the Devil, the Parsons Bugbear…. He denies there is any Essential Difference betwixt Good and Evil, deems Conscience a thing only fit for Children, and ascribes all Honesty to simplicity, and an unpractisness in the Ways and Methods of the Town.'
462. Cf. 'Jesuits III', l. 283.
472 f. Cf. 'Counterpart', ll. 32 f.
475–80. The confusion of 'its' and 'her' in this stanza cannot be cured by emendation, and is presumably due to the author: the same fault occurs below, l. 700, and in the poem 'To Madam L. E.', ll. 70, 73, 74.
482–5. Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll 142–4 (143 n.), 150, 74; 'Jesuits I', ll. 104 ff. and n., III.242 and n.
509. Debauches. See 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 170 n.
509–17. Cf. ibid., ll. 120–8, and the citations from Rochester, ibid., ll. 108 ff., n.
518. Adapted in 'To Cosmelia', l. 17 f. (see n.).
521. half-strain: deriving only on one side from a good stock. Cf. Dryden, Amboyna (1673), V.i, p. 57: 'Sure you think my Father got me of some Dutch Woman, and that I am but of a half straine courage'.
533. Efforts. See 'Byblis', l. 335 and n.
536. Cf. Browne, Religio Medici, I.xlvii: 'I found upon a naturall inclination, and inbred loyalty unto vertue, that I could serve her without a livery.' Livery meant originally an allowance of food, provisions, or clothing dispensed to retainers or servants.
550. the learned Porch: the Stoic school of philosophers (from the Painted Porch, the public ambulatory at Athens frequented by Zeno and his disciples).
560–2. Combining Waller, 'On the Picture of a Fair Youth taken after he was dead', ll. 15 f.:
- [Her] mutual love advanced the youth so high
- That, but to heaven, he could no higher fly.
and Donne, 'The Second Anniversary', ll. 501–3:
- Shee, who left such a bodie, as even shee
- Only in Heaven could learne, how it can bee
- Made better….
565. the active Sphere: the primum mobile; cf. Cowley, 'On the Death of Mr. William Hervey' (Poems, p. 36):
- … the First and Highest Sphere
- Which wheels about, and turns all Heav'n one way.
568–71. Suggested by Cowley: see 'Promising a Visit', ll. 9–12, and n.
576–80. Bajazet, emperor of the Turks, was enslaved by Tamburlaine, and at last dashed out his brains against the bars of the cage in which he was kept. The usual version of the story makes the cage an iron one, but relates that Bajazet on his first capture was thrown into golden chains. See Marlowe, Tamburlaine, ed. Una M. Ellis-Fermor, pp. 28 f.
594. Aches is a dissyllable, ache being then pronounced as the name of the letter 'h' now is.
597. The Gemonies were steps on the Aventine at Rome, to which the bodies of executed criminals were dragged to be thrown into the river. Here the word is given the figurative sense of 'tortures', a misapplication for which OED quotes, besides the present passage, R. Fletcher's 'A Survey of the World' (1656, printed as Cleveland's in J. Cleaveland Revived, 1659). Fletcher and Oldham were drawing upon what they had been taught. In d'Assigny's Treatise of the Roman Antiquities, for example, appended to P. Gautruche, The Poetical Histories (1671), a textbook used at St. Edmund Hall in Oldham's time (it is listed among John Freind's books, MS Top. Oxon. f. 31), we are told that some describe gemonies thus: 'The Executioner did fasten a Hook in the mouth of the poor wretch, and did dragg him through the streets from his Prison to this infamous place, and then he did cast him down headlong into the River, or did burn him, as some do relate' (p. 131).
613–16. Cf. Waller, 'The Countess of Carlisle in Mourning', ll. 5 ff.:
- A spark of virtue by the deepest shade
- Of sad adversity is fairer made;
- Nor less advantage does thy beauty get …
pg 519and 'The Night Piece; Or, a picture drawn in the dark', ll. 21 f.:
- Like jewels to advantage set
- Her beauty by the shade does get….
Cf. also Dryden, The Maiden Queen (1667), V.i, p. 56: 'Deep shades are thus to heighten colours set'.
621–4. Cf. Waller, 'Instructions to a Painter … 1665', ll. 95 f.: 'Thus flourish they … / As dying tapers give a blazing light'.
634 f. Cf. Thomas Shipman, 'The Old English Gentleman' (written 1665), Carolina: Or, Loyal Poems (1683): 'A well-built-Arch is stronger by its weight'. Cf. Marvell, 'The First Anniversary', ll. 95 f.:
- … the resistance of opposed Minds
- The Fabric, as with Arches stronger binds….
640 ff. Cf. Waller, 'To the King, Upon His Majesty's Happy Return', ll. 95–8:
- Rude Indians, torturing all the royal race,
- Him with the throne and dear-bought sceptre grace
- That suffers best. What region could be found,
- Where your heroic head had not been crowned?
650 f. In Tyrannick Love (1670), I.i, p. 6, Dryden writes of the Christian martyrs:
- Not Mucius made more hast his hand t'expose
- To greedy flames, than their whole bodies those.
651. Cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', l. 7.
653. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, pp. 331, 359): 'Lambent fire is, A thin unctuous exhalation made out of the Spirits of Animals, kindled by Motion, and burning without consuming any thing but it self. Called Lambent, from Licking over, as it were, the place it touches. It was counted a Good Omen.'
654. Empyreum: the fiery sphere, the Heaven of Heavens in which dwells God Himself. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 251): 'Here peaceful Flames swell up the sacred place', and the ode on Atwood, ll. 197 ff.
665. dry Martyrdom. There is no satisfactory parallel to this use of 'dry' in OED. It may be merely intensive, signifying 'actual, or very Martyrdom': perhaps it is allied to sense 19: 'Of money, rent, or fees, paid in hard cash, in actual coin … 1656. J. Harrington Oceana (1700) 36. Worth a matter of four million dry rents', i.e. actual income.
687 f. Cf. 'St. Ambrose', l. 100 and n.
692. Mormo: Bugbear; the word was originally Greek and meant a hideous shemonster. See OED.
700. For the confusion between 'it' and 'her', see above, ll. 475–80 n. Since it is perhaps the author's, I have not removed it.
710, 714. Cf. Cowley, 'The Extasie' (Poems, p. 265):
- I touch at last the spangled Sphære …
- An unexhausted Ocean of delight
- Swallows my senses quite….
715–20. Cf. the ode on Atwood, ll. 213 ff.
717 f. Regalio's … Joys … fills … cloys. A conjectural emendation of the reading of 1684: 'Regalio's … Joy, … fill, … cloy.' Regalio's, one suggests, was taken for a plural (nominative plurals in 's were neither uncommon nor etymologically incorrect); the verbs 'fills' and 'cloys' were made plural to agree with it, and the noun 'Joys' singular to preserve the rhyme. For Regalio, see 'Counterpart', l. 160 and n.
721 ff. For this idea, cf. Donne, 'The Second Anniversarie', ll. 299 ff.: 'In heaven thou straight knowst all, concerning it', etc.
724–6. Cf. 'Rant', ll. 18, 21; Donne, 'Obsequies to the Lord Harrington', ll. 35 f.:
- Though God be our true glasse, through which we see
- All, since the beeing of all things is hee …
and Cowley, 'Ode. Of Wit' (Poems, p. 18):
- … the Primitive Forms of all
- Which without Discord or Confusion lie,
- In that strange Mirror of the Deitie.
736 ff. These extravagant lines recall Dryden's 'Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings' (ll. 55–66), especially
- So many Spots, like næves, our Venus soil?
- One Jewel set off with so many a foil? …
- Or were these Gems sent to adorn his Skin,
- The Cab'net of a richer Soul within?
- No Comet need foretel his Change drew on,
- Whose Corps might seem a Constellation.
758 f. Cf. 'Upon a Woman', ll. 34 f. and n.
766–84. Cf. 'Homer', ll. 132–72 and the passage there cited from Cowley. With ll. 769, 778–81, cf. the opening of Cowley's 'Ode I. On the praise of Poetry', Essays, p. 59.
771–4. Propertius couples the Mausoleum and the Pyramid in similar terms in Elegies, III.ii.19, 21–2. See 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 193 ff. and nn.
To the Memory of … Mr Harman Atwood
Harman Atwood, lord of the manor of Sanderstead and patron of the living, d. 16 Feb. 1676/7, aged about 69, and was buried on the 22nd. He improved the family estate, acquiring Chesham Court in 1668, and in 1676 building a manorhouse at Sanderstead, which was about 3 miles from Croydon and a little further from Beddington. Like John Spencer, and the three uncles of Sir Nicholas Carew, he was of the Inner Temple. His niece, Joan Atwood, m. John Shepheard, the Whitgift schoolmaster, 23 Sept. 1675; their son, Atwood Shepheard, was b. 16 Nov. 1678; she d. 25 Nov. 1679. (Her d. is misdated 1769 in Manning and Bray, II.573.) See further Parish Registers of Sanderstead, ed. W. Bruce Banner man (1908); John Aubrey, Surrey, ii.62, monumental inscriptions; Surrey Archaeological Collections, xiv.26–9; Calendar of the Inner Temple Records, ed. F.A. Inderwick (1896), iii.117; Joseph Foster, Al. Oxon. Even before Shepheard became schoolmaster, Harman took a benevolent interest in the Hospital: under Christmas, 1674, the account book records his sending 'this qter 20s to the Box, a bounteous Benefactor Dei Gratias'. For his numerous major pious charities, and good standing in his profession, see below, ll. 21 ff. and 71–124, 150–204 nn. 'His reputation can never die', affirms Aubrey (op. cit., ii.60) 'while any respect is due to so singular Virtue, or while the celebrated Oldham bears any Vogue in the World.'
4 ff. Cf. Cowley, 'Upon the Death of the Earl of Balcarres' (Poems, p. 414):
- Few persons upon Earth
- Did more then he, deserve to have
- A life exempt from fortune and the grave….
11 f. The mate of Atwood's soul is his dead body.
13–18. Suggested by Cowley, 'The Extasie' (Poems, p. 205):
- The mighty ' Elijah mounted so on high,
- That second Man, who leapt the Ditch where all
- pg 521The rest of Mankind fall,
- And went not downwards to the skie.
Elijah is called the second, because Enoch was the first; they are Oldham's Prophet and Patriarch.
19. Cf. 'St. Ambrose', ll. 23 f. and n.
21 ff. For Atwood as Inner Templar, Councillor at law, and, apparently, Principal of Clifford's Inn, see F.A. Inderwick, loc. cit., headnote. A notable series of diatribes against the legal profession, culled from Plato, Livy, and later authors, will be found in Burton's Anatomy, pp. 49 f. Apart from abuses, advocacy itself was suspect: to say the most that might be said on one side of a question today, and on theother in a similar cause tomorrow, seemed dishonest to those who did not grasp the adversative method embodied in the judicial process.
25 f. Adapted in 'Juvenal XIII', ll. 81 f.
40–8. Alluding to Joseph of Arimathea. As a member of the Sanhedrin he was no doubt learned in the Jewish law.
51. Cf. 'A Dithyrambique', l. 105. 'Thinking Fools' is Rochester's phrase in 'A Satyr against … Mankind', which Oldham had transcribed.
57 f. Cf. Cowley, 'On the Death of Mr. William Hervey' (Poems, p. 35):
- … As large a Soul as ere
- Submitted to inform a Body here.
L. 58 is identical with 'St. Ambrose', l. 91.
60–2. Cf. 'Homer', ll. 123 ff. and n.
71–124, 150–204. Despite the hyperbole, not mere conventional panegyric. 'He was', says Aubrey with ample evidence (Surrey, ii.60, iii.6), 'a singular Benefactor to the Church and Clergy as well as to the poor.' Besides benefactions at Sanderstead, at Warlingham (13 Nov. 1675) he ensured to the vicar and his curate the proceeds of the great tithes of Warlingham and Chesham. He rebuilt the vicarage (1674); and building almshouses for the aged widows or widowers, included accommodation for the curate, who was charged with teaching the poor children of the parish, and reading prayers, specified as those of the established Church.
71 ff. With sts. IV and V cf. the ode on Morwent, sts. IX–XIII.
102–4. Cf. Cowley, 'All-over, Love' (Poems, p. 91): 'Twas all in all, and all in every Part.' The diffusion of the soul was a question canvassed by St. Augustine; and cf. Burton, Anatomy, p. 20: 'Others make a doubt, whether it be all in all, and all in every part'. Cf. also 'A Dithyrambique', ll. 14 ff. and n.
108 ff. Cf. the ode on Morwent, l. 176 f.
128 ff. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon occasion of a Copy of Verses of my Lord Broghills' (Poems, p. 409):
- Tis said Apelles, when he Venus drew,
- Did naked Women for his pattern view,
- And with his powerful fancy did refine
- Their humane shapes into a form Divine….
Cleveland alludes to the story (from Pliny's Natural History) in 'To P. Rupert', l. 77.
142. Cf. 'To Cosmelia', ll. 21 f. and n.
143–8. Cf. Donne, 'A Funerall Elegie', ll. 97 f., 103 f.:
- if after her
- Any shall live, which dare true good prefer,
- Every such person is her deligate …
- For future vertuous deeds are Legacies,
- Which from the gift of her example rise….
149. Cf. Donne, 'The Second Anniversary', ll. 308–10:
- … the vertuous Actions they expresse,
- Are but a new, and worse edition
- Of her some one thought, or one action …
and 'An Anatomie of the World', ll. 227 f.:
- Shee that was best, and first originall
- Of all faire copies….
150–204. See l. 71 n., above.
151 f. Cf. Browne, Religio Medici, I.i: 'Not that I meerly owe this Title [of Christian] to the Font, my Education, or the clime wherein I was born, as being bred up either to confirm those Principles my Parents instilled unto my unwary Understanding, or by a general consent proceed in the Religion of my Country.' Earle's sceptic (Microcosmography, XXXV) 'is troubled at this naturalness of religion to countries, that protestantism should be born so in England and popery abroad …'.
161. In the unmetrical printed line 'Exalted far above the vain small Attacks of Wit', 'vain' was evidently Oldham's revision in the margin of his MS. The compositor inserted it, instead of substituting it for 'small', which was to be removed because it was virtually repeated in 'little' in l. 163.
161–8. See 'Aude aliquid. Ode', headnote, and the ode on Morwent, ll. 450 ff.
172 f. A variant of 'Promising a Visit', ll. 25 f.; cf. Otway, Don Carlos (1678), III.i, p. 19: 'Ile … stand / Brandishing all my Thunder in my hand'.
176–81. Cf. Waller, 'To my Lord of Falkland' (Poems, i.76):
- In a late dream, the Genius of this land,
- Amazed, I saw, like the fair Hebrew stand,
- When first she felt the twins begin to jar,
- And found her womb the seat of civil war …
and Religio Stoici. With a friendly Addresse To the Phanaticks Of all Seats and Sorts (1665), A.4r: 'It grieves me sore to see my Mother the Church tortur'd like Rebecca, by carrying strugling twins in her pained bowels.'
188–92. Cf. Cowley, 'Ode. Upon His Majesties Restoration and Return' (Poems, p. 422):
- Will Peace her Halcyon Nest venture to build …
- And trust that Sea, where she can hardly say
- Sh'has known these twenty years one calmy day,
- Ah! mild and gaulless Dove …
- Cans't thou in Albion still delight?
The belief in the gall-less dove is refuted by Browne, Pseud. Ep., III.§3. Like the halcyon, it was a commonplace of allusion: cf. the ode on Morwent, ll. 252, 350 ff. and n.; 'Bion', ll. 79 ff.; 'Upon the Marriage', l. 100; and Cowley, Poems, p. 286, Essays, p. 44.
193–5, 199–201. Cf. Donne, 'Elegie upon the Death of Mistress Boulstred', ll. 45 f.:
- Her heart was that strange bush, where, sacred fire,
- Religion, did not consume, but'inspire.
207–10. Adapted from ll. 5–8 of 'Katharine Kingscote'.
213–19. Cf. the ode on Morwent, ll. 715 ff.
221. Identical with 'St. Ambrose', l. 60.
224. tracas: trouble, turmoil; from French tracasserie. OED's latest example is of 1673.
UNCOLLECTED POEMS AND FRAGMENTS
These consist in the first place of gleanings from the autograph MS: a complete lyric; the translation, complete so far as it goes, of Boileau, Le Lutrin, Canto I; and fragments belonging to identifiable projects—no drafts towards poems extant in finished form. There follow two obscene poems Oldham would never have published: 'The Author of Sodom', given here from the complete professional transcript in Yale MS b. 105, compared with the extensive autograph drafts; and 'Sardanapalus', from the best scribal copy, Harvard MS Eng. 585, collated with eleven others (see Introduction, pp. xcii, xcvi, and nn. 216–18). Finally, the Latin elegy on John Freind is from the transcript by John's father, MS Top. Oxon. f. 31, pp. 287 f.; and the epitaph on Abia Qui, not certainly but probably authentic, from J.M. Moffatt's report of the memorial inscription (see Introduction, pp. xxv, xxvii, and nn. 4, 11).
A Rant to his Mistress
Oldham's autograph fair copy is on R228, 230. It is certainly his: the borrowings from Cowley are characteristic, and one of them is repeated from the verses on Katharine Kingscote not published in Oldham's lifetime.
The 'Rant' is to be grouped with the four poems which Oldham addressed to 'Cosmelia' a few months later, and with 'The Dream', of which she is the heroine: on her identity, see headnote to that poem, and Introduction, p. xxix, and nn. 19, 20.
3–7. Cf. Dryden, Tyrannick Love (1670), II.iii, p. 19:
- … there's not a God inhabits there,
- But for this Christian would all Heaven forswear.
- Even Jove would try more shapes her Love to win….
13–16. Imitated from Cowley; see 'Katharine Kingscote', l. 3 and n.
23–31. Cf. Cowley, 'My Fate' (Poems, p. 126):
- But mark her Face …
- For only there is writ my Destiny.
- Or if Stars shew it, gaze not on the Skies;
- But study the Astrol'ogy of her Eyes.
- If thou find there kind and propitious rays,
- What Mars or Saturn threaten I'll not fear …
and his 'Impossibilities' (p. 130):
- As stars (not powerful else) when they conjoin
- Change, as they please, the Worlds estate;
- So thy Heart in Conjunction with mine,
- Shall our own fortunes regulate;
- And to our Stars themselves prescribe a Fate.
pg 524The Desk: First Canto
From the autograph fair copy on R124–35, translated from Boileau, Le Lutrin. Page 136 is headed 'Second Canto' and 15 blank pages follow; but there is no evidence that canto II was ever begun, though a translation of canto IV, ll. 65 f., marked 'Lutr. p. 183', occurs in the margin of R66. With this exception, the rough drafts in the MS are all for passages of canto I. There are drafts for ll. 1–52 on R70–2; ll. 87–158 on R72, R74, R76; ll. 163–76 on R69; ll. 177–85 on R77c, R79; ll. 188–210 on R79; ll. 212–49 on R80, R77a; and ll. 258–301 on R66, R68; besides others for ll. 153, 155 f.; 180, 194 f., 214 f.; and 228 f., on R76, R69, R77c, and R77b.
The first four cantos of Boileau's Lutrin were published in the 1674 edn. of his works (he added V and VI in 1683). Oldham's is the earliest English translation of canto I. The first to be printed was Le Lutrin: An Heroic Poem, Written Originally in French, by Monsieur Boileau (1682), by N.O. Clark reprinted Oldham's 'The Desk. First Canto' in his Appendix E.
3. Pourges. The quarrel caricatured in Le Lutrin occurred at the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris; but Boileau did not admit this until 1683. In 1674, he began by laying the scene at Bourges; then, after printing but before publication, he changed this to the fictitious 'Pourges' by having the lower loop of the Bs erased.
48. Cf. 'Jesuits III', l. 27.
163 f. Adapted as 'Jesuits III', l. 20 f.
170. Pontack. It is Oldham who specifies the wine, which was at least as famous in England as in France, since 'Monsieur Pontaque', the 'owner of that excellent Vignoble of Pontaque & Obrien, whence the choicest of our Burdeaux-Wines come' kept a celebrated ordinary in London (Evelyn, 13 July 1683; see de Beer's n.).
In Praise of Poetry
Rather than reprint overlapping drafts, and several others without relating them to the rest, the editor has taken some liberties in assembling and arranging them. A rough draft on R100 has the title, followed by three fragments with spaces left between them: at the foot of the facing page, R99, is what appears to be a fourth of the series. The first of these fragments is expanded by a draft on R96: this gives us ll. 1–10 of the text. The second is overlapped and continued by another draft on R87; this gives ll. 16–32. The third and fourth furnish ll. 33–6 and 37–48. On R85, R98 and R88 are three other drafts which belong, apparently, to the same piece. I have placed them where they seem most naturally to fall, one between the first and second of the original fragments (ll. 11–15), and the others after the fourth (ll. 49 f. and 51). See the Textual Apparatus.
The position of the fragments in MS R dates them as not before summer 1678. Those on R87, R88 and R96 are evidently later than the drafts on the same pages for 'A Letter'; and that on R99 is almost as certainly later than the draft opening of the 'Satyr Upon a Woman'. The 'Satyr' was written at Whitsuntide 1678; the 'Letter' cannot have been begun before Mar. 1677/8 and in its final form was written in June.
1–10, 37–42. These lines counterbalance the 'Ode on Jonson', ll. 54 ff., and 'Art of Poetry', ll. 466 ff. Favourable to furor poeticus ('a diviner Fury'), pg 525they reflect, as Oldham's note 'Longin' (R96: see Appendix III) testifies, his response, like Dryden's (Essays, i.179–80), to Longinus, On the Sublime, brought into new prominence by Boileau's translation in 1674.
15. Cf. Lee, Rival Queens (1677), Prologue, by Sir Carr Scroope:
- Now each Fanatick Fool presumes t'explain
- The Text, and does the sacred Writ profane….
20 f. Opposite these lines, R87m has 'Plin. Ep. i.14. Euphorm. p. 69. Actually it is in No. 13, Book I of the Epistles (at least in edns. I have seen) that Pliny describes how recitals of poetry were received in his day, and the greater encouragement it formerly met with. In Euphormionis Lusinini sive Ioannis Barclaii Satyriaon, pp. 69–71 of the 1655 Elzevir edn., Barclay declares poetry a dangerous study for young scholars: they mistake their enthusiasm for inspiration, earn contempt by their ill success, and cannot combine with poetizing the profitable study of law. Great poetry, rarely achieved, brings fame, but is accompanied as a rule by poverty. Were it not that poetry unbends the mind, and, when great, kindles the spirit, it would be better banished from the Schools. Cf. central topics of 'A Letter' and 'Spencer's Ghost'.
26. A Renaissance commonplace; but here reminiscent of Longinus IX.3. Cf. J. Pulteney's trans. (assisted by Dryden; from the French version), A Treatise of the Loftiness or Elegancy of Speech … by Longin (1680), p. 28: 'for is it possible that a man, whose thoughts are employed about base and servile matters, should ever be Author of any thing worthy to be committed to Posterity?'
32. The Seraphim were the highest of the nine angelic orders. Below them ranked Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
34. his Roman Heir: Horace, whose Odes, IV.ii, was in praise of Pindar, in fact considered himself the heir of Sappho and Alcaeus, and not of Pindar.
47. Once sacred thought. Cf. Lee, The Rival Queens (1677), Carr Scroope's Prologue: 'Wit, like Religion, once Divine was thought'.
Satyr on Wit
This project survives only as a title and opening line on R284, which echoes the first line of Cowley's 'Ode. Of Wit' (Poems, p. 16): 'Tell me, O tell, what kind of thing is Wit'. These are followed by drafts for the conclusion of 'Jesuits II' (c.June 1679) and a couplet of 'Jesuits I' (a. Dec. 1678). The project was perhaps inspired by Spencer's discussion of wit in the verse letter of 18 Mar. 1677/8 (see Appendix I). Spencer borrows from Cowley's 'Ode'; once where he postulates that 'Witt shou'd be durable', and again in ll. 229 f.:
- Most know what wit is not, none what it is;
- This it has of divine, that it receives
- No true portraiture but by negatives.
The Vision: A Satyr
Fragment [a] is from R270–3. This is the longest and most consecutive, and almost certainly the latest, of the extant drafts. A rougher one on R266 has two passages which carry the description a stage further, and a marginal note which indicates that an ironical monologue on the Jesuits was to have followed. pg 526(See Introduction, pp. xxx, xlvii.) These are here printed as fragments [b] and [c].
The other two drafts are on R66 and R268. The former is dated, like that on R270, '9r 78'. The satire was thus conceived soon after the finding of Godfrey's body (17 Oct.); no doubt it was abandoned when Oldham hit on the idea of 'Garnet's Ghost' (c.Dec).
Dream-visions and visions of hell were forms that Reformation and 17th-century polemicists inherited from medieval times. Oldham's fragment belongs to the same tradition as Sir David Lyndsay's The Dreme (1528), Thomas Dekker's Newes from Hell (1606), and such pieces as Archy's Dream, sometimes Iester to his Maiestie (1641), Hugh Peter's Dreame (1659), News from Hell; Or the Relation of a Vision (1660), and Saint Bernard's Vision (?1670–1690). The tradition already included a famous attack upon the Jesuits: Donne's elaborate satire in Latin prose, translated as Ignatius His Conclave, Or His Inthronisation In A Late Election In Hell (1611).
Oldham's immediate inspiration was evidently Phineas Fletcher's Locustae and The Locusts, 1627 (see Introduction, pp. xxx, xlvii, and nn. 22, 83). Already he designed to have his villains condemned, as Fletcher's repeatedly are, by their own utterances or those of their patrons. Fletcher has a night-scene leading to an infernal council, where Æquivocus, devil-General of the Jesuits, brings hope, by his oration, to the loftily-enthroned Lucifer. As Oldham's Lucifer is to entitle Loyola 'Great Pillar of our Realm', so in a Papal council, when Æquivocus, 'Loiol's eldest son', has expounded his Gunpowder Plot, Paul III hails him 'Salve praesidium fidei columenque Latinae'; his upholding the 'Realm' is further emphasized when he is called 'Patronum Romae', and said to bring to moenia Romae a new lease of life (Cf. Locustae, p. 117; Locusts, I.v, xxi, II.v ff.; for other debts, see below, ll. 2, 7 f., 34, [b] 1 f. and nn.). Fletcher is linked, moreover, with Oldham's two other main sources. In the night-piece, Fletcher's 'deadly sleep' (I.vii.2) forms a verbal association with Cowley's 'Dead in this sleep' (Saul's Hell-inspired dream, 'Davideis', Poems, p. 248) and both are picked up in Oldham's 'dead and buried' noise. He has Lucifer's throne-room adorned, 'instead of Tapestry' by narrative basreliefs. Saul's palace-hall, in Cowley (pp. 290–2) is hung with narrative tapestries; in Fletcher's papal hall (III.xxxii ff.) images, wrought by 'the workman with his Dedal hand', depict evil Popes and their evil doings. Oldham's artificer is the fiend Vulcan; that same Mulciber who in Paradise Lost (I.710 ff.), architect of Pandaemonium, embellished it 'with bossy Sculptures'.
The indebtedness of 'The Vision' to heroic models—The Indian Emperour and Mithridates, as well as the Locust poems, 'Davideis', and above all Paradise Lost—is significant: see Introduction, p. xlvii. It must be one of the earliest pieces in which so strong a Miltonic influence appears.
1 ff. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 247), Envy's appearance to Saul:
- It was the time when silent night began
- T'enchain with sleep the busie spirits of Man….
Oldham's opening lines may be compared with those of The Vision (?1682; repr. State-Poems Continued, 1697, p. 119): since neither can have influenced the other, the similarity bears witness to the common tradition behind them.
2–5. Cf. Dryden, The Indian Emperour (1667), III.ii, p. 29:
- All things are hush'd, as Natures self lay dead …
- Ev'n Lust and Envy Sleep,
from the lines taken by Rymer (preface to Rapin, 1674: Spingarn, ii.174–81) to surpass all the descriptions of night by poets who had vied in the topos: he compares Apollonius, Virgil, Ariosto, Tasso, Marino, Chapelain, and Le Moyne.
2, 7 f. Cf. headnote, and Fletcher, Locusts, I.vii.5 f.: 'And now … Onely sad Guilt … and care, no rest can tast.'
pg 52714–23. Cf. the protagonist's dream (influenced by Clarence's, Richard III, I.iv.9 ff.) in Lee, Mithridates, IV.i, p. 48:
- Streight, like a Feather, I was borne by Winds,
- To a steep Promontory's top, from whence
- I saw the very Mouth of opning Hell;
- Shooting so fast through the void Caves of Night,
- I had not time to ponder of my passage …
- Then was I thrown down the Infernal Courts
- Infinite fathom….
18 ff. Oldham adumbrates Hell's topography and history as represented in Milton: Chaos, Limbo, the imprisoning roof, the palace designed by Vulcan, the war in Heaven, and the temptation of Eve. The realm of 'Chaos and ancient Night' is described in Paradise Lost, II.890 ff.
20 f. Cf. Cowley, 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 244):
- Here no dear glimpse of the Suns lovely face
- Strikes through the Solid darkness of the place;
- No dawning Morn does her kind reds display;
- One slight weak beam would here be thought the Day.
22 f. The draft on R266 has:
- Sure this, thought I, must be ye Place call'd Hell
- Of which Divines so much in Pulpits tell;
- The Place ye Men of Wit so railly here
- The Atheists Mockery & ye Atheists Fear….
28. Limbos. Cf. Paradise Lost, III.444–97.
30. Cf. Paradise Lost, II.434 ff., where the 'ninefold' 'convex of Fire' immuring the fallen angels is barred over them by 'gates of burning Adamant'.
32 f. Cf. 'David's Lamentation', l. 116; 'Promising a Visit', ll. 31 f., and n.
34 ff. On the indebtedness to Fletcher and Cowley, see headnote.
35 f. Cf. Paradise Lost, I.731–51 on Mulciber or Vulcan as the architect of Pandæmonium, where 'Cornice' and 'Freeze' were 'with bossy Sculptures grav'n' (I.716).
42. Squadrons of Seraphims. Cf. Paradise Lost, VI.246 ff., where among the 'fighting Seraphim' Michael felled 'Squadrons at once'; 'tenfold Adamant' (cf. l. 30) occurs just below. Satan's army is 'the rebel Host' at VI.647; and both the infernal and the heavenly troops perform regular military evolutions; cf. VI.558, and the whole passage.
45. R266 adds:
- A Faux was plac'd at entrance of ye Cell
- And shew'd in looks he durst even blow up Hell.
Cf. 'Jesuits I', ll. 64 ff. and n., and 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 237 f.
46–8. Cf. Paradise Lost, IX.643 ff., where 'the Tree' is 'root of all our woe'. Eve is 'Mother of Mankind' (V.388 and elsewhere), and 'unwarie' (IX. 614). Milton makes the Serpent pretend to have climbed the tree (IX.589); describes his 'foulds' (IX.498 ff.; 'scaly fould' occurs in the portrayal of Sin, II.651); and repeatedly emphasizes his 'suttlety'.
50 ff., 58 ff. Cain … Corah. Envy boasts of their exploits in similar fashion in 'Davideis' (Poems, p. 247).
55. Aretine: see 'Jesuits III', l. 423 and n.
[b] 1 f. Cf. Fletcher, The Locusts, IV.xxxv.9: Æquivocus announces he will 'fire the shaking towne, and quench't with royall blood'; cf. 'Aude aliquid. Ode', ll. 216 f. and n.
pg 528Advice to a Painter
From R289. The space left between the second and third fragments was subsequently filled with drafts for 'Jesuits II' (c.June 1679). For other indications of date, see the notes on ll. 2–4 below. On R269 is a single line, 'Dear Sovereign! much our Care but Heaven's more', which seems designed as the first of an envoy, perhaps to the projected 'Advice'. The only other draft on the page is of a phrase for 'The Vision' (Nov. 1678). The 'Advice' was no doubt conceived as a satire on the Jesuits and the Plot, but soon abandoned; and therefore may be assigned to Oct. or Nov. 1678.
1. Marvell's 'Further Advice to a Painter' (like two 'Advices' later than Oldham's) begins: 'Painter, once more thy Pencil re-assume'; it circulated in MS, 1670/1.
2. long layn still. The series which Waller provoked seems to have temporarily halted by 1674. Osborne records thirteen 'advices' from 1666 to 1673, and only three minor ones from 1673 until the end of 1678, when The Second Advice to a Painter ('Now Painter try if thy skil'd hand can draw') appears to have begun the new series on the Popish Plot. It is evidently subsequent to Coleman's execution, 3 Dec. 1678; Oldham is presumably writing before its appearance.
Oldham seems to have had a MS copy of the pseudo-Denham's Third Advice, and the envoy to the Second (R105, not recognizably in Oldham's hand), and he was possibly familiar with Marvell's 'Further Advice' (see previous note).
3. Dash with bold strokes. Cf. Lee's Rival Queens (1677), III.i, p. 27:
- Touch not, but dash, with stroaks so bravely bold,
- Till you have form'd a face of so much horrour,
- That gaping Furies may run frighted back.
It is to 'R.Q. p. 27' that Oldham refers on R293, opposite a draft for 'Jesuits I' (Dec. 1678) to which the projected 'Advice' may thus be close in date.
3 f. our fears … their Crimes: the Popish Terror, and the Popish Plot with the murder of Godfrey.
5. Referring, no doubt, to Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, though Cleveland and Mazarine were both compared to Messalina (see the pseudo-Rochesterian 'Satyr which the King took out of his pocket', probably by Lacy, Yale POAS, i.425, and 'Rochester's Farewell', possibly by Dorset, text in Rochester, Poems (Pinto), pp. 149 ff.; cf. Rochester, Poems (Vieth), pp. 231, 234). Cf. the complaint in Marvell's 'Britannia and Rawleigh', l. 122: 'Resigns his Crown to Angell Carwells trust.'
Satyr on the times [a], and A Satyr upon the Town and Times [b]
From R222 f.; the leaf is congruent with that containing the draft of 'Horace IV.13'. In the margin of [a] there are the following notes: opposite l. 1, To sell an Evidence to W—-; 3, H or H; 10–12, faith To try my patience punish; 13–14, Scotch Boots; 15–18, record my Martyrdom Maccabees Bonner. Since [b] incorporates the references to Warcup and to Halifax or Hyde, it must be the later of the two drafts.
The fragment belongs to the summer of 1682; see [a] ll. 7 f., [b] l. 5 and notes. It strongly recalls the opening of Donne's fourth satire:
- Well; I may now receive, and die; My sinne
- Indeed is great, but I have beene in
- A Purgatorie …
- I had no suit there, nor new suite to shew,
- Yet went to Court; …
- … So'it pleas'd my destinie
- (Guilty of my sin of going) … etc.
6. Quo Warranto: the writ impugning London's charter, issued Jan. 1682; judgement was pronounced 12 June 1683. See 'Boileau VIII', ll. 194 f. and n.
7 f. On the night of 5/6 May the Gloucester frigate, taking James to Scotland, was wrecked on the Lemmon and Ore sand 16 leagues from the Humber, with about 130 lives lost. Sir Charles Scarborough, the famous physician, had a narrow escape; Pepys 'was numbered among the dead by all the City almost'. There were sinister rumours that the heavy death-roll was due to the 'cruel neglect' of the duke, 'who took care of his dogs, and of some unknown persons who were taken from that earnest care of his to be his priests'. Hence, probably, Oldham's gibe. (Burnet, ii.326 f. and nn.; Luttrell, i.184 f.; J.R. Tanner, Mr. Pepys (1925), pp. 251 f.). There is a satirical reference to the disaster in Tho. Thompson's Midsummer Moon: Or, The Livery-Man's Complaint (1682).
On the other side were A Pindarique Ode, On Their Royal Highnesses Happy Return From Scotland After His Escape at Sea (1682), and An Anniversary Poem On The Sixth of May (1683) (BL, Luttrell, I.166: dated '11 June'), both printed for Hindmarsh. Cf. 'Juvenal III', l. 81 and n.
15. Fox: The martyrologist: see 'Jesuits IV', ll. 313 f., n.
5. Halifax, or Hide. Lawrence Hyde (1641–1711), created Earl of Rochester 29 Nov. 1681; First Lord of the Treasury, 1679–84: and George Savile (1633– 95), successively Viscount, Earl, and (17 Aug. 1682) Marquis of Halifax, Lord Privy Seal 1682–85. From June 1681 'an uneasy equilibrium of the Hyde and Halifax forces lasted till the end of the reign…. The elimination of Seymour in 1682 left the two great rivals supreme.' (Feiling, p. 188).
6. Abhorrence, or Adress. After the refusal of the grand jury to find a true bill against Shaftesbury 24 Nov. 1681, 'a new run of addresses went round the kingdom', in which the Tories 'expressed their abhorrence of that association found in lord Shaftesbury's cabinet, and complained that justice was denied the king: which was set off with all the fulsome rhetoric that the penners could varnish them with'. They continued throughout the spring and summer of 1682 (Burnet, ii.301 and n. 4; Luttrell, i.164–219, passim).
7 f. For the Irish witnesses, see 'Boileau VIII', l. 257 n. 'Eustace Cominus the Irish Evidence, his Farewell to England' (in Thompson) refers to their pensions: 'Then I was put in pay … / Had five, six Groat a day'. Edmund Warcup (1627–1712), of Northmoor, Oxon, JP for Middlesex, acted as intermediary between the ministry and the witnesses. 'Between the 18th & 31st of Jan. 80' (i.e. 1680/1), he writes in his journal (EHR, xl (1925), 249, ed. K. Feiling and F.R.D. Needham), 'I examined 18 Irish witnesses; delivered their examinations to counsel' (cf. Luttrell, i.66). On 6 Feb. he told Hyde of 'provision made for the 4 [?] Irish witnesses'. In the early summer of 1682, Shaftesbury brought 'a scandalum magnatum against Mr. justice Warcup, pg 530Mr. Ivy, and others of the Irish evidence', but desisted when their objection to being tried in Middlesex was upheld (Luttrell, i.190).
12. Pursuivant here means a royal or state officer with the power to execute warrants; for Messenger see 'Upon a Bookseller', l. 28 and n.
Horace B[ook] 4. Ode 13. imitated
From R218 f.
5. Cf. Rochester, 'Timon', ll. 53 f.:
- Though nothing else, she in despite of time
- Preserved the affectation of her prime.
8. In the margin, 'captive hearts', an alternative requiring (say) 'once' for 'heretofore'.
10: almost identical with the Morwent ode, l. 554, and 'To Cosmelia', l. 35.
Juvenal's 10 Satyr imitated
From R278. Had Oldham pursued his design, he would have furnished a precedent for Johnson's The Vanity of Human Wishes, as he did elsewhere for London.
[On the death of Charles I]
From R80. Followed by a draft for 'The Desk', clearly written later, the ll. must be prior to Oct. 1678. Were they intended to form part of an occasional poem upon the 30th of Jan., the annual fast on the anniversary of Charles I's execution? The 'execrable cause' which deprived the nation of her king (ll. 1 f.) is the Great Rebellion itself; it is Cromwell in whom (ll. 5 f.) later usurpers might find a model; and the 'Act of Amnesty' (ll. 7 f.) is the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, passed by Charles II in 1660 (cf. the ode on Morwent, l. 237 and n.). L. 12 alludes to the Great Plague of 1665.
4. A harsh line, meaning 'What crimes forced him (Charles I) to heaven, and forced those who forced him hence (the regicides) to hell'.
[Cadmus and the Dragon's Teeth]
From R242: a copy without corrections. A space is left above, as for the addition of a preceding passage. There is no heading; the lines are, however, an expanded rendering of Ovid's Metamorphoses, III.106–15. Oldham translated the Byblis episode from Bk. IX.
Upon the Author of the Play called Sodom.
7. Inch oth' Candle. See 'Jesuits IV', l. 151 n.
10. Without Press-money: without the inducement of earnest-money, paid to soldier or sailor on enlistment (cf. 'the King's shilling'); properly, 'prest-money' (so Pepys, 27 Feb. 1666/7), from O. Fr. 'prester' (prêter), being 'loaned' or 'advanced' in respect of subsequent service. Men recruited by impressment received it; hence, no doubt, the erroneous 'press-money'.
39. Moorfields: notorious for its brothels.
44. Cf. Rochester, 'A Satyr on Charles II', ll. 29–31.
The text, the probable relationship to Rochester's circle and its libertine cult, and the topical but not central satire on Charles II, are discussed in the Introduction, pp. xxviii f., xliv, lxxiii–v, xcii and nn.
1 f. The echo of Virgil's oft-quoted apostrophe, Georgics, II.458, establishes the mock-heroic key. Oldham would recollect also Cowley's translation (Essays, p. 409): 'Oh happy (if his happiness he knows) …'.
2 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: See Strabo Ca: 14 & Clemens Alex: Stromat. l. 2. Strabo (Geography, XIV.v.9) describes Sardanapalus' tomb; the inscription referred to his gesture, in effigy, snapping his fingers: 'Eat, drink, be merry: everything else is not worth that'. Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, Bk. II, ch. 20) quotes an epigram: his 'many objects of happiness', 'what I enjoyed wantonly / And the pleasures I felt in love', along with him are dust.
5 f. Cf. 'Boileau VIII', 124 f., 137–9.
18. motion. The H1, V reading, 'Master', is one of two (cf. l. 39 n.) in this pair of MSS which seem to be authentic but discarded. Though more pregnant than 'motion', it cannot be accepted from two inferior MSS, closely related, against the remainder, including Hv (the best authority).
22 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: See Augustin. de Civitat. Dei l. [sc. lib.] 3 c.20: referring to Bk. XVIII, ch. 2 of Augustine's De Civitate Dei, where he records Ninus as ruling all Asia, except India, on which his widow Semiramis made war.
25. Legendary founders, Nimrod of Babylon, Ninus and Semiramis of the Assyrian empire: Nimrod, 'a mighty hunter' (Gen. x.9) of beasts—and men; Semiramis, quiver-bearing (Juvenal, II.108: in Stapylton's n. a 'manly-spirited' warrior-queen—Juvenal's Sixteen Satyrs, 1647, p. 28). According to Ovid, Met. IV.58, she fortified Babylon with walls of brick.
35. A variant of 'Dithyrambique', l. 50: see n., and Introduction, p. lxxxvii.
39. Maids lye. H1, V's 'Fair ones' is probably an authentic but discarded reading: see above, l. 18 n.
44. Cabals. See 'Jesuits I', 0.3 n.
45 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: See Justin c 1 (properly 1. [sc. lib.] 1). The Historiae Philippicae of Marcus Junianus Justinus, Bk. 1, ch. 3, tells how one of Sardanapalus' satraps, Arbaces, governor of Media, arriving thence, obtained admission to him only after much solicitation, and found him playing the woman. On this Oldham has founded his depiction of emissaries from abroad awaiting audience, evidently while the monarch is in sexual council with his eunuchs.
57. unprohibited Commodities. Cf. 'prohibited goods', 'Juvenal III', l. 126 and n.
58. profess the Trade. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', l. 215.
71 f. In the tradition studied by Maren-Sofie Røstvig, The Happy Man, 2 vols., 2nd edn. (1962, 1971). Cf. 'To a Friend', ll. 115–22, n.
72–4. Cf. l[ib] 5 above, and Rochester, 'A Satyr on Charles II' (shortly before 20 Jan. 1673–4), ll. 5 f.:
- Him no ambition moves to get renown
- Like the French fool …,
Louis XIV, whose activity hazards his crown.
75–8. A sidenote in the MS reads See Orosius L 1. 1, C 19. With relevance to the 'Complaints' and 'Mutinies' of ll. 75, 77, one reads in Orosius' Historiarum Adversus Paganos how Arbatus (Justinus' Arbaces) having seen Sardanapalus in drag among his harlots, cursed him, and how shortly the Medes, under him, rose in revolt.
79 f. No doubt glancing at Charles II: see headnote.
86. Conceivably one of the parallels with Charles II; the subject of treasonous astrological prediction of the King's death engaged the government's attention before Gadbury (see 'Juvenal III', ll. 60–2 n.) was accused of it; cf. Coventry's search for David Walker, June 1677 (Kenyon, p. 53).
86 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: See Suidas in voce Sardanap. In his Lexicon, 'Suidas'' article on Sardanapalus does not seem to bear on ll. 86 f. Drawn from several sources, it adds nothing to the material for which Oldham cites others. Being comprehensive, it does, however, move from the monarch's complacent self-indulgence to his downfall, and at this point (though in a different tone regarding them) Oldham is preparing to do the same.
93–7. Prerogative … Laws and Liberties. Among Oldham's topicalities: watchwords of royalists exalting the rights of the crown, and of their opponents exalting those of the subject.
99 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: See Diodorus Siculus l[ib]. 2.: who gives, in his Βιβλιοϑήϰη ἱστοριϰή, II.xxv.1–8, an account of Sardanapalus' three victories over the rebels led by Arbaces and Belesys the Babylonian.
101, 103 ff. The injustice of Fate, stars, and Gods is reminiscent of Lucan's 'Victrix causa deis placuit, sed victa Catoni' (Pharsalia, i.128).
111, 114 f. Rochester, 'A Satyr on Charles II', ll. 11, 14, 15, 18 f., characterized Charles's 'prick' as sovereign:
- His scepter and his prick are of a length …
- Poor prince! thy prick … / Will govern thee …
- Though safety, law, religion, life lay on't,
- 'Twould break through all to make its way to cunt.
123 f. A sidenote in the MS reads: see Atheneus C. 12 c 7 at large. Athenaeus (Deipnosophistae, Bk. XII, ch. 529) relates Sardanapalus' defeat by Arbaces, and self-immolation, in a chamber specially constructed within the palace, roofed with great beams, and on a huge pyre, accompanied by his queen, with the concubines on other couches.
126. Lust's Mosaic. Hv, the best MS, has 'Lusts Mosaic' but it is all but impossible that so harsh an inversion as this would be of 'mosaic Lusts' can have been intended.
127. Chapiters: capitals (OED 3.).
143. In Picture by. Cf. 'Jesuits IV', ll. 31, 41: 'These Pictures … Those Tables by'.
147. Aretine. See 'Jesuits III', l. 423 and n.
149. Priapus. See 'Jesuits IV', ll. 16 ff., n.
Banner hung. Oldham's reading, probably from the start, and clearly retained. 'Triumphs shown', peculiar to H3, may be his also, tried in the ancestor of that goodish MS, or it may be unauthorized. It attempts to pg 533improve on the characteristic imperfect rhyme: the new imperfection may have been thought less obtrusive.
169. Hecatombs. The superior correctness of 'hecatomb' (read only by the related MSS H1, V) does not justify deserting Hv, with which all the rest concur. A hecatomb is 'a sacrifice of many victims'; but the plural, which should mean many such sacrifices, is frequent in the sense of the singular.
170. Cf. 'Jesuits III', ll. 635, 672 f.
180. Thrust. Only three MSS recognize the enjambement; even Hv brings the phrase to a premature pause.
In Obitum … Johan̄is Frend
John Freind, b. 12 Apr. 1656, matriculated 26 Mar. 1672 at St. Edmund Hall, d. there of 'our Oxford Feaver', 20 Mar. 1672/3, and was buried on the 21st in St. Peter's in the East. His father, Nathaniel Freind of Westerleigh near Bristol, collected in a memoir every detail he could of the lad's Oxford life, and describes the funeral: verses, which the scholars of the Hall composed that morning, were tacked to the hearse-cloth. Oldham's are the earliest of his we have. Besides transcribing them (for his source, see Introduction, p. lxxvii and n. 184), Nathaniel, for the benefit of John's sisters, who would never learn Latin, translated them:
- Apollo's servant here now scales ye skie
- The nearer to enjoy the Deitie
- Slighting the Muses springs & such as these,
- None but ye heavenly water could thee please.
- Cheare Blessed Soule! Heaven gives thee thy degree,
- 'Mongst Quires of Angells now thou art to bee.
- Noe Lamblike downe [sc. of the BA hood] thee cloth'd yet Nevertheless
- The Lamb of God doth wth his Righteousness.
- A Feaver's good, ye Pile to imitate
- Living his funeral fires t'anticipate
- Fire purgeth (Papists say) in's Feaver sure
- Hee purged was, t'ascend to heaven more pure.
See Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. f. 31, pp. 222 f., 225–7, 287 f.
Epitaph on Dr. Abia Qui
Direct evidence that these lines are Oldham's is lacking: for reasons why the tradition which ascribed them to him may well be correct, and for J.M. Moffatt's report of it, in 1805, see Introduction, pp. xxvii, lxxvii, and nn. ll, 185, 186. Dr Qui's son Christopher (bapt. 17 June 1669) came to be closely associated with the Oldham family neighbourhood: he was married at Shipton Moyne in 1695, when Oldham's father was still alive there, and is of Tetbury in his Will (1742: Gloucester Probate Registry).
Abia Qui, 'a man of great eminence' as a physician, d. 1675; the quatrain is given by Moffatt from his tomb in Malmesbury Abbey churchyard.