David F. Gladish (ed.), Sir William Davenant's Gondibert

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pg 106Canto the Sixth

The ARGUMENT

  • The Victor is (when with his wounds subdu'd)
  • By such deform'd and dismal Troopes persu'd,
  • That he thinks Death, then which they uglier seem,
  • No ill expedient to escape from them.
  • But ULFIN guides him to sage ASTRAGON,
  • By the last Raies of the descending Sun.

  • 11. Scarce on their Duke their fears kind fit was spent,
  • 2When strait a thick arm'd Squadron clouds their sight;
  • 3Which cast so dark a shade, as if it ment
  • 4Without the Sun's slow leave, to bring in night.
  • Editor’s Note12. This threatning Squadron did consist of Horse,
  • Critical Apparatus2And by old Ulfin they were bravely led,
  • 3Whose mind was sound, nor wants his Body force,
  • 4Though many Winters Snow had cool'd his Head.
  • 13. The sad remainder who with Hubert went,
  • 2Did misse his reach, when they to Brescia turn'd,
  • 3And now (as if his haste destruction ment)
  • 4He chac'd these who the Duke's spent valor mourn'd.
  • 14. Whose posture being loose, their number few,
  • 2His Scouts grow scornful as they forward come;
  • 3He makes his Squadron halt, and neer he drew;
  • 4Then asks aloud, what are you, and for whom?
  • 15. The noble Goltho (whose great deeds to day
  • 2Prevented Manhood in his early youth)
  • 3Believ'd him Oswald's Friend, yet scorn'd the way
  • 4To shelter life, behind abandon'd Truth.
  • 16. For he to Ulfin boldly thus reply'd;
  • 2This second Ambush findes us here in vain;
  • 3We have no treasure left that we would hide,
  • 4Since Gondibert is reckon'd with the slain.
  • pg 10717. Duke Gondibert we vouch to be our Lord,
  • 2To whose high vertue's Sov'raignty we bow;
  • 3Oswald sunk low, as death, beneath his Sword,
  • 4Though him superior Fate will vanquish now.
  • 18. Scarce empty Eagles stooping to their Prey,
  • 2Could be more swift then Ulfin to alight,
  • 3And come where Gondibert expiring lay;
  • 4Now pleasing those whom he did newly fright.
  • 19. For scarce that rev'rence which a Monarch draws,
  • 2Who seldome will be seen, though often sought;
  • 3Who spends his carefull age in making Laws,
  • 4To rule those lands for which in youth he fought:
  • 110. Nor that respect which People pay those Kings,
  • 2Whose peace makes rich, whom civil war made wise,
  • 3Can equall this which aged Ulfin brings
  • 4The gentle Duke, to whom he prostrate lies.
  • 111. His Eyes (not us'd to tears) bathe ev'ry wound;
  • 2Which he salutes as things he chiefly lov'd;
  • 3And when expence of spirits he had found,
  • 4To gain him air, his Mourners he remov'd.
  • 112. Make way, said he, and give Experience room;
  • 2The Confident of age, though Youth's scorn'd guide;
  • 3My wounds, though past, out-number yours to come,
  • 4You can but hope the knowledg I have try'd.
  • 113. His Hilts round Pommel he did then unskrew,
  • 2And thence (which he from ancient Precept wore)
  • 3In a small Christall he a Cordial drew,
  • 4That weary life could to her walks restore.
  • 114. This care (amazing all it does delight)
  • 2His ruines, which so reverend appear,
  • 3With wonder not so much surprise their sight,
  • 4As a strange object now his Troops draw near.
  • 115. In whom such death and want of limbs they finde,
  • 2As each were lately call'd out of his Tombe,
  • 3And left some members hastily behinde;
  • 4Or came when born abortive from the Wombe.
  • pg 108116. Yet this defect of Legs, or Arms, or Hands,
  • 2Did wondring valor not disturb, but please;
  • 3To see what divers weapons each commands
  • 4With arts hard shifts, till custome gave them ease.
  • 117. But the uncomely absence of an Eye,
  • 2And larger wants, which ev'ry visage mourn'd,
  • 3(Where black did over-vail, or ill supply)
  • 4Was that which wonder into horror turn'd.
  • 118. And Ulfin might be thought (when the rude wind
  • 2Lifting their Curtains, left their ruines bare)
  • 3A formal Antiquary, gravely kind
  • 4To Statues, which he now drew out to aire.
  • 119. The Duke (whose absent knowledg was call'd back
  • 2By Cordials pow'r) his wonder did increase
  • 3So much, that he agen did knowledg lack,
  • 4Till thus old Ulfin made his wonder cease.
  • 120. Auspicious Prince! recorded be this day,
  • 2And sung by Priests of each ensuing age;
  • 3On which thou mayst receive, and I may pay
  • 4Some debts of duty, as thy Grandsires Page.
  • 121. That mighty Chief I serv'd in youth's first strength,
  • 2Who our short Scepter meant to stretch so far,
  • 3Till Eastern Kings might grieve theirs wanted length
  • 4Whose Maps scarce teach where all their Subjects are.
  • 122. Full many stormy Winters we have seen,
  • Critical Apparatus2When mighty valor's heat was all our fire;
  • 3Else we in stupid Frosts had fetter'd been,
  • 4By which soft sinews are congeal'd to wire.
  • Editor’s Note123. And many scorching Summers we have felt,
  • 2Where Death relieves all whom the sword invades;
  • 3And kindly thence (where we should toyling melt)
  • 4Leads us to rest beneath eternal shades.
  • 124. For aid of action he obedience taught,
  • 2And silent patience for afflictions cure;
  • 3He prais'd my courage when I boldly fought,
  • 4But said they conquer most, that most endure.
  • pg 109125. The toyls of diligence as much approv'd
  • 2As Valor's self, or th'Arts her practise gaines;
  • 3The care of Men, more then of glory lov'd,
  • 4Success rewarded, and succesless paines.
  • 126. To joyful Victors quenching water sent,
  • 2Delightful wine to their lamenting slaves;
  • 3For Feasts have more brave lives then famine spent,
  • 4And temp'rance more then Trench or Armor saves.
  • 127. Valor his Mistris, Caution was his Friend;
  • 2Both to their diff'rent seasons he appli'd;
  • 3The first he lov'd, on th'other did depend;
  • 4The first made worth uneasie by her pride.
  • Editor’s Note128. He to submiss devotion more was given
  • 2After a batail gain'd, then ere 'twas fought;
  • 3As if it nobler were to thank high Heav'n
  • 4For favours past, then bow for bounty sought.
  • 129. And thus through smarting heat, and aking cold,
  • 2Till Heav'ns perpetual Travailer, had more
  • 3Then Thirty journies through the Zodiack told,
  • 4I serv'd thy Grandsire, whom I now adore.
  • Editor’s Note130. For Heav'n in his too ripe and weary age,
  • 2Call'd him where peacefully he rules a Star;
  • Critical Apparatus3Free'd from low Ele'ments continu'd rage,
  • 4Which last like Monarchs pow'r by needful war.
  • 131. Strait thy lamented Father did succeed
  • 2To his high place, by Aribert's consent,
  • 3Our Ensignes through remoter Lands to lead:
  • 4Him too I follow'd till he upward went.
  • 132. Till that black day on which the Hunns may boast
  • 2Their own defeate, and we our conquest hyde;
  • 3For though we gain'd, and they the batail lost,
  • 4Yet then thy brave victorious Father dyde.
  • 133. And I am stay'd unwillingly behind;
  • 2Not caught with wealth, Life's most intangling snare;
  • 3Though both my Masters were in giving kinde,
  • 4As joyful Victors after Batail are.
  • pg 110134. Whilst thus this aged Leader does express
  • Critical Apparatus2His and their Story whom this bounty feeds,
  • 3His Hands the Duke's worst order'd wounds undress
  • 4And gently binde; then strait he thus proceeds.
  • Editor’s Note135. West from those Hills till you Cremona reach,
  • Critical Apparatus2With an unmingled right I gather rent;
  • 3By their great Guift who did such precepts teach
  • 4In giving, as their wealth is ne'r misspent.
  • 136. For as their plenteous pity fills my thought,
  • 2So their example was not read in vain;
  • 3A Thousand, who for them in batail fought,
  • 4And now distress'd with Maimes, I intertain:
  • 137. Not giving like to those, whose gifts though scant
  • 2Pain them as if they gave with gowty hand;
  • 3Such vex themselves and ease not others want;
  • 4But we alike injoy, a like command.
  • 138. Most spaciously we dwell, where we possess
  • 2All sinless pleasures Nature did ordain;
  • 3And who that all may have, yet will have less,
  • 4Wiser then Nature, thinks her kindness vain.
  • 139. A sad resolve, which is a wise-mans vow,
  • 2From Cities noise, and Courts unpity'd care
  • 3Did so divorce me, it would scarce allow
  • 4I ere should take one League of distant ayre.
  • 140. But that Alarms from each adjacent part
  • 2Which borders my abode, disturb'd my rest,
  • 3With dreadful newes that gratious Gondibert
  • 4By Oswald's Faction was in fight opprest.
  • 141. Then it had given your wonder cause to last,
  • 2To see the vex'd mistakes this summons wrought
  • 3In all my Maim'd Domesticks, by their haste;
  • 4For some tie on the Limbs which others sought.
  • 142. Just such mistakes audatious Ethnicks say
  • 2Will happen where the Righteous busy are,
  • 3Through glad and earnest hast in the last day;
  • 4Whilst others slowly to their doom prepare.
  • pg 111Editor’s Note143. And this had Anger, anger noise had bred,
  • 2And Noise, the Enemy of useful Thought,
  • 3Had them to more mistakes then blindness led,
  • 4But that our awful Camps had silence taught.
  • 144. Silence did mem'ry, Mem'ry order make;
  • 2Order to each did his mist wood restore;
  • 3For some, who once were stedfast Foot, mistake,
  • 4And snatch those limbs which only Horsemen wore.
  • 145. Like swift Pursuers on Arabian Horse,
  • 2These with their needfull Instruments of hold
  • 3(Which give their strange adapted weapons force)
  • 4I mounted strait; Five Hundred fully told.
  • 146. These from the Lombards highly have deserv'd,
  • 2In Conquests where thy Father did command;
  • 3Whom they for Science and affection serv'd;
  • 4And lost their Limbs to gain our Scepter Land.
  • 147. Which yet are noble though unsightly signes,
  • 2That each in active courage much abounds;
  • 3And many a widow'd Mother now repines,
  • 4They cannot shew the Men who gave those wounds.
  • 148. For dearly did the Hunns for honor pay,
  • 2When they deform'd them in a fatall fight;
  • 3Since though they strongly struggled for the day,
  • 4Yet all they got, was everlasting Night.
  • 149. And Oswald's Friends, were they not timely gon
  • 2(Though all the Faction in one Army were)
  • 3Should mourn this act against their Gen'ral's son;
  • 4Who was to Soldiers more then Triumph dear.
  • 150. For these to Conquest us'd, Retreats dislike;
  • 2They beauty want, to others Beauty's cost;
  • 3With envious rage still at the Face they strike;
  • 4And punish Youth, for what in youth they lost.
  • 151. Thus, though the Duke's amazement be remov'd,
  • 2It now returns, gladly on him to gaze
  • 3Who feeds those Fighters whom his Father lov'd;
  • 4A gratitude would Vertue's self amaze.
  • pg 112152. Thou art, said he, (then melted whilst he spake)
  • Critical Apparatus2So ripe in what high Heav'n does dearly love,
  • 3That Heav'ns remorse for Earth we should mistake,
  • 4To think it will forbear thee long above.
  • 153. As if thy sent for Soule already were
  • 2Upon her Wings, so much I give thee gon;
  • 3And wish thee left in some Successor here,
  • 4That might receive the kindness thou hast shown.
  • 154. Old Ulfin now (but meltingly as he)
  • 2T'inrich him, gives the Jewell of his sight;
  • Critical Apparatus3For strait, with Fatherly authoritie,
  • 4He bids his sonn, young Ulfinor, alight!
  • Editor’s Note155. Take him (said he) whose duty I release;
  • 2In whom all Heav'ns rewards included are,
  • 3For all my Justice in corrupted peace,
  • 4And for my mercy in revengefull warre.
  • 156. The fruit Heav'n sent me by my loyall wife,
  • 2In age, the gloomy Eve of endless night;
  • 3Which eas'd in me the pain of latter life,
  • 4And frustrates death, by fresh succession's sight.
  • 157. The Duke with passion did this Youth embrace;
  • 2Then luckie Goltho he call'd forth in view;
  • 3Who was this day in Fortune's speciall grace,
  • 4For though no blood he lost, yet much he drew.
  • 158. Him he with Ulfinor does strait unite;
  • 2Bids neither strive the other to precede,
  • 3Unless when danger doth them both invite,
  • 4But be, even in nice Rivalship agreed.
  • 159. Bids both their Breasts be eithers open book,
  • 2Where nought is writ too hard for sodain Eies;
  • 3But thought's plain Text grows easie by a look:
  • 4Study breeds doubts, where reading should suffice.
  • 160. But these to joyn, Nature no Councel needs;
  • 2Whom Sympathy, her secret Priest, does wed;
  • 3Much fam'd will be their loves, and Martial Deeds;
  • 4Which fill all Books that are of Lombards read.
  • pg 113161. With gracious Eies, and Body lowly bent,
  • 2The Duke his Fathers rev'rend Troops salutes;
  • 3To Bergamo he holds his first intent;
  • 4Which to oppose, old Ulfin thus disputes.
  • 162. Thou seest (my Prince) the faint decays of Light;
  • 2How hastily the Sun's hot Steeds begin
  • 3To mend their pace, as if their longing sight
  • 4Had newly spy'd their usuall Western Inn.
  • 163. Too far is pleasant Bergamo from hence,
  • 2Since Day has reach'd so neer his journies end;
  • 3Dayes strength and yours are at their last expence;
  • 4Do not whilst both are wasting, both misspend.
  • 164. You and your wounded must with Nature strive,
  • 2Till all (whose few hours sway to day excels
  • 3Their elder Foes long raign in Camps) arrive
  • 4Where Astragon the wise and wealthy dwells.
  • 165. Rich is that Lord, and rich in learnings wealth;
  • 2Art flies his test, he all Art's test endures;
  • 3Our Cities send their sick to him for health,
  • 4Our Camps the wounded for their certain cures.
  • 166. Though cautious Nature, check'd by Destiny,
  • 2Has many secrets she would ne'r impart;
  • 3This fam'd Philosopher is Nature's Spie,
  • 4And hireless gives th'intelligence to Art.
  • Editor’s Note167. The Duke with vertue (antiquated now)
  • 2Did rev'rence Councel, and to Age did bend;
  • Critical Apparatus3His first Course altars, and does this allow;
  • 4Then Ulfin as their Guide they all attend.
  • 168. Soon they the Pallace reach'd of Astragon;
  • 2Which had its beauty hid by envious Night;
  • 3Whose Cypress Curtain drawn before the Sun,
  • 4Seem'd to performe the Obsequies of light.
  • 169. Yet lights last Rays were not intirely spent;
  • 2For they discern'd their passage through a Gate,
  • 3Whose height and space shew'd ancient ornament,
  • 4And Ancients there in careful Office sate.
  • pg 114170. Who by their Weights and Measures did record
  • 2Such num'rous Burthens as were thither brought
  • 3From distant Regions, to their learned Lord;
  • 4On which his Chymicks and Distillers wrought.
  • 171. But now their common bus'ness they refrain,
  • 2When they observe a quiet sullenness
  • 3And bloody marks in such a civil Train;
  • 4Which shew'd at once their worth and their distress.
  • 172. The voyce of Ulfin they with gladness knew,
  • 2Whom to this house long neighborhood indeer'd;
  • 3Approaching Torches perfected their view,
  • 4And taught the way till Astragon appear'd.
  • 173. Who soon did Ulfin cheerfully imbrace;
  • 2The visits cause by whispers he receiv'd;
  • 3Which first he hop'd was ment him as a grace,
  • Critical Apparatus4But being known with manly silence griev'd.
  • 174. And then with gestures full of grave respect,
  • 2The Duke he to his own Apartment led;
  • 3To each distinct retirements did direct,
  • 4And all the wounded he ordain'd to Bed.
  • 175. Then thin digestive food he did provide,
  • 2More to enable fleeting strength to stay;
  • 3To wounds well search'd he cleansing wines apply'd,
  • 4And so prepar'd his rip'ning Balsoms way.
  • Editor’s Note176. Balm of the Warriour's herbe, Hypericon!
  • 2To warriour's as in use, in form decree'd;
  • 3For through the leaves transparent wounds are shown;
  • 4And rudly touch'd, the Golden Flower does bleed.
  • Editor’s Note177. For sleep they juice of pale Nymphœa took,
  • 2Which grows (to shew that it for sleep is good)
  • 3Neer sleep's abode, in the soft murm'ring Brook:
  • 4This cools, the yellow Flower restraines the Blood:
  • 178. And now the weary world's great Med'cin, Sleep,
  • 2This learned Host dispenc'd to ev'ry Guest;
  • 3Which shuts those wounds where injur'd Lovers weep,
  • 4And flies Oppressors to relieve th'Opprest.
  • pg 115179. It loves the Cotage, and from Court abstaines,
  • 2It stills the Sea-man though the Storm be high;
  • Critical Apparatus3Frees the griev'd Captive in his clossest Chaines,
  • 4Stops wants lowd Mouth, and blinds the treach'rous Spie!
  • Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus180. Kinde Sleep, Night's welcome Officer, does cease
  • 2All whom this House containes till day return;
  • 3And me, Grief's Chronicler, does gently ease,
  • 4Who have behind so great a task to mourn.

The End of the First Book

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
i. vi. 2 Ulfin: Curiously, Ulfin, with his white hair and his good-natured sarcasm, is the most real character in the poem. It is he who guides us through Astragon's laboratories and temples (ii. v–vi) and who delivers one of Davenant's most important didactic pronouncements (iii. vi. 1–23). Yet he has a minor part in the plot, so far as the poem is completed.
Critical Apparatus
2: 2 bravely '73: gravely '51ab
Critical Apparatus
22: 2 mighty '73: kindled '51ab
Editor’s Note
23 And … invades: Cf. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet iii. i, where Mercutio dies quickly on a hot day, of a scratch.
Editor’s Note
28 Cf. ii. vi. 43 and 84–7 concerning praise and prayer.
Editor’s Note
30 Call'd … Star: Thomas Rymer (Biographia Britannica iii. 1607 [H]) cites this as an intrusion of the supernatural.
Critical Apparatus
30: 3 low Ele'ments continu'd '73: the lower Ele'ments ceaseless '51ab
Critical Apparatus
34: 2 this] his '51b Errata
Editor’s Note
35–9 See John Morrison Hobson, Some Early and Later Houses of Pity, London, 1926, pp. 168–70. Sir Thomas Sutton (c. 1532–1611) established a hospital and free school for eighty pensioners—gentlemen fallen into poverty and veterans of military service, all over fifty years old, though if wounded in action they could be admitted at forty. The school was 'for forty-four poor boys …'.
Critical Apparatus
35: 2 unmingled '51b, '73: unmingled, '51a
Editor’s Note
43–4 And this … led: Compare Hobbes's habit of putting things in terms of action and reaction (e.g. Answer, lines 151 ff.). Davenant seems here to borrow Hobbes's stylistic device.
Critical Apparatus
52: 2 high '73: nice '51ab
Critical Apparatus
54: 3 Fatherly '73: Father's grave '51ab
Editor’s Note
55 ff. Ulfinor and Goltho, as bosom friends, recall Virgil's Nisus and Euryalus (Aeneid ix. 176 ff.) and their many successors in romances.
Editor’s Note
67 vertue (antiquated now): See the Preface, lines 388–9 and notes.
Critical Apparatus
67: 3 altars] alters '51b
Critical Apparatus
73: 4 known] known, '51b
Editor’s Note
76 Hypericon: Cf. Pliny xxvi. viii (tr. Holland, ii. 255). Pliny says that 'it doth incrassat and thicken humors' and describes it as of a red colour.
Editor’s Note
77 Nymphaea: Cf. Pliny xxv. vii (tr. Holland, ii. 222). According to Pliny, Nymphaea is an anaphrodisiac, effective for twelve days. This may explain 'cools … the Blood'. Gondibert, however, though cured of his fever, soon falls in love with his nurse, Birtha.
Critical Apparatus
79: 3 clossest '51a MS; closet '51a closest '51b, '73
Critical Apparatus
80: 1 cease] seise '51b Errata
Editor’s Note
80 cease: Cease is a form of the verb seize (OED).
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