Posts tagged ‘1613’

Monday, 26 August 2019

Actus Secundus. Scæna 4: Chorus from “The Tragedie of Mariam” by Elizabeth Tanfield Cary

To heare a tale with eares prejudicate,
It spoiles the judgement, and corrupts the sence:
That humane error given to every state,
Is greater enemie to innocence.
It makes us foolish, heddy, rash, unjust,
It makes us never try before we trust.

It will confound the meaning, change the words,
For it our sence of hearing much deceives:
Besides no time to Judgement it affords,
To way the circumstance our eare receives.
The ground of accidents it never tries,
But makes us take for truth ten thousand lies.

Our eares and hearts are apt to hold for good,
That we our selves doe most desire to bee:
And then we drowne objections in the flood
Of partialitie, tis that we see
That makes false rumours long with credit past,
Though they like rumours must conclude at last.

The greatest part of us prejudicate,
With wishing Herods death do hold it true:
The being once deluded doth not bate,
The credit to a better likelihood due.
Those few that wish it not the multitude,
Doe carrie headlong, so they doubts conclude.

They not object the weake uncertaine ground,
Whereon they built this tale of Herods end:
Whereof the Author scarcely can be found,
And all because their wishes that way bend.
They thinke not of the perill that ensu’th,
If this should prove the contrary to truth.

On this same doubt, on this so light a breath,
They pawne their lives, and fortunes. For they all
Behave them as the newes of Herods death,
They did of most undoubted credit call:
But if their actions now doe rightly hit,
Let them commend their fortune, not their wit.

From: Cary, Elizabeth, The Tragedie of Mariam 1613, 1914, The Malone Society Reprints: Oxford, pp. 51-52.

Date: 1613

By: Elizabeth Tanfield Cary (1585-1639)

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Qualities of an Angler by John Dennys

But ere I further goe, it shall behove
To shew what gifts and qualities of minde
Belongs to him that doth this pastime love;
And what the vertues are of every kinde
Without the which it were in vaine to prove,
Or to expect the pleasure he should finde,
No more than he that having store of meate
Hath lost all lust and appetite to eate.

For what avails to Brooke or Lake to goe,
With handsome Rods and Hookes of divers sort,
Well twisted Lines, and many trinkets moe,
To finde the Fish within their watry fort,
If that the minde be not contented so,
But wants great gifts that should the rest support.,
And make his pleasure to his thoughts agree,
With these therefore he must endued be.

The first is Faith, not wavering and unstable,
But such as had that holy Patriarch old,
That to the highest was so acceptable
As his increase and of-spring manifolde
Exceeded far the starres innumerable,
So must he still a firme perswasion holde.
That where as waters, brookes, and lakes are found,
There store of Fish without all doubt abound.

For nature that hath made no emptie thing,
But all her workes doth well and wisely frame,
Hath fild each Brooke, each River, Lake and Spring
With creatures, apt to live amidst the same;
Even as the earth, the ayre, and seas doe bring
Forth Beasts, and Birds of sundry sort and name,
And given them shape, ability, and sence,
To live and dwell therein without offence.

The second gift and qualitie is Hope,
The anchor-holde of every hard desire;
That having at the day so large a scope,
He shall in time to wished hap aspire,
And ere the Sunne hath left the heav’nly cope,
Obtaine the sport and game he doth desire,
And that the Fish though sometime slow to bite,
Will recompence delay with more delight.

The third is Love, and liking to the game,
And to his friend and neighbour dwelling by;
For greedy pleasure not to spoile the same,
Nor of his Fish some portion to deny
To any that are sicklie, weake, or lame,
But rather with his Line and Angle try
In Pond or Brooke, to doe what in him lyes.
To take such store for them as may suffice.

Then followeth Patience, that the furious flame
Of Choller cooles, and Passion puts to flight,
As doth a skilfull rider breake and tame,
The Courser wilde, and. teach him tread aright:
So patience doth the minde dispose and frame,
To take mishaps in worth, and count them light,
As losse of Fish, Line, Hooke, or Lead, or all,
Or other chance that often may befall.

The fift good guift is low Humilitie,
As when a lyon coucheth for his pray
So must he stoope or kneele upon his knee,
To save his line or put the weedes away,
Or lye along sometime if neede there be,
For any let or chance that happen may,
And not to scorne to take a little paine,
To serve his turne his pleasure to obtaine.

The sixt is painefull strength and courage good,
The greatest to incounter in the Brooke,
If that he happen in his angry mood,
To snatch your bayte, and beare away your Hooke.
With wary skill to rule him in the Flood
Untill more quiet, tame, and milde he looke,
And all adventures constantly to beare,
That may betide without mistrust or feare.

Next unto this is Liberalitie,
Feeding them oft with full and plenteous hand,
Of all the rest a needfull qualitie,
To draw them neere the place where you will stand,
Like to the ancient hospitalitie,
That sometime dwelt in Albions fertile land,
But now is sent away into exile,
Beyond the bounds of Issabellas Ile.

The eight is knowledge how to finde the way
To make them bite when they are dull and slow,
And what doth let the same and breedes delay,
And every like impediment to. know,
That keepes them from their foode and wanted pray,
Within the streame, or standing waters low,
And with experience skilfully to prove,
All other faults to mend or to remove.

The ninth is placabilitie of minde,
Contented with a reasonable dish,
Yea though sometimes no sport at all he finde,
Or that the weather prove not to his wish.
The tenth is thankes to that God, of each kinde,
To net and bayt doth send both foule and Fish,
And still reserve inough in secret store,
To please the rich, and to relieve the poore.

Th’ eleaventh good guift and hardest to indure,
Is fasting long from all superfluous fare,
Unto the which he must himselfe inure,
By exercise and use of dyet spare,
And with the liquor of the waters pure,
Acquaint himselfe if he cannot forbeare,
And never on his greedy belly thinke,
From rising sunne untill a low he sincke.

The twelth and last of all is memory,
Remembring well before he setteth out,
Each needfull thing that he must occupy,
And not to stand of any want in doubt,
Or leave something behinde forgetfully:
When he hath walkt the fields and brokes about,
It were a griefe backe to retvrne againe,
For things forgot that should his sport maintaine.

Here then you see what kind of qualities,
An Angler should indued be with all,
Besides his skill and other properties,
To serve his turne, as to his lot doth fall:
But now what season for this exercise,
The fittest is and which doth serve but small,
My Muse vouchsafe some little ayd to lend,
To bring this also to the wished end.

From: Dennys, John, The Secrets of Angling, 1613: A Reprint, with Introduction, by Thomas Westwood, 1883, W. Satchell & Co: London, pp. 52-55.

Date: 1613 (published)

By: John Dennys (15??-1609)

Note: This is taken from The Secrets of Angling, the first known English poetical treatise on fishing. It is quoted in Izaak Walton’s more famous The Compleat Angler (1653).

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The World by Richard Zouch(e)

To our small Isle of Man, some well compare
The WORLD, that greater Continents huge frame
Nor much unlike eythers Perfections are
Their Matter, and their Mixture both the same:
Whence Mens Affection it so much allures,
Sith greatest Likenesse greatest Love procures.

But if their outward Formes we looke upon,
Wee shall their Figures divers plainely see:
For mans erected tall Proportion
To his heav’n-hoping Soule doth best agree:
Whereas the World each way being framed round,
The aptest forme for turning Change hath found.

Like Natures rarest workemanship, the Eye,
The well contrived instrument of seeing,
Which by exact and apt Rotunditie,
Performes his duty, and preserves his beeing,
Of many curious circling Spheares composed,
And Orbs, within the Orbs without enclosed.

From: Zouch(e), Richard, The Dove: or Passages of Cosmography, 2003, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1613

By: Richard Zouch(e) (c1590-1661)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Wife by Thomas Overbury

Each woman is a briefe of womankind,
And doth in little even as much containe,
As, in one day and night, all life we finde,
Of either, more is but the same againe:
God fram’d her so, that to her husband she,
As Eve, should all the world of woman be.

So fram’d he both, that neither power he gave
Use of themselves, but by exchange to make:
Whence in their face, the faire no pleasure have,
But by reflex of what thence other take.
Our lips in their own kisse no pleasure find:
Toward their proper face, our eies are blinde.

So God in Eve did perfect man, begun;
Till then, in vaine much of himselfe he had:
In Adam, God created only one,
Eve, and the world to come, in Eve he made.
We are two halfes: whiles each from other straies
Both barren are; joindboth their like can raise

At first, both sexes were in man combinde,
Man a she-man did in his body breed;
Adam was EvesEve mother of mankinde,
Eve from live-flesh, man did from dust proceed.
One, thus made twomariage doth re-unite,
And makes them both but one hermaphrodite.

Man did but the well-being of this life
From woman take; her being she from man;
And therefore Eve created was a wife,
And at the end of all her sex, began:
Mariage their object is; their being then,
And now perfection, they receive from men.

Mariage; to all those joyes two parties be,
And doubled are by being parted so,
Wherein the very act of chastity,
Whereby two soules into one body go.
Which makes twoone; while here they living be,
And after death in their posterity.

God to each man a private woman gave,
That in that center his desires might stint,
That he a comfort like himselfe might have,
And that on her his like he might imprint.
Double is womans use, part of their end
Doth in this age, part on the next depend.

We fill but part of time, and cannot dye,
Till we the world a fresh supply have lent.
Children are bodies sole eternity;
Nature is Godsart is mans instrument.
Now all mans art but only dead things makes,
But herein man in things of life partakes.

For wandring lust; I know ’tis infinite,
It still begins, and addes not more to more:
The guilt is everlasting, the delight,
This instant doth not feele, of that before.
The taste of it is only in the sense,
The operation in the conscience.

Woman is not lusts bounds, but woman-kinde;
One is loves number: who from that doth fall,
Hath lost his hold, and no new rest shall find;
Vice hath no meane, but not to be at all.
wife is that enoughlust cannot find:
For lust is till with want, or too muchpin’d.

Bate lust the sin, my share is ev’n with his,
For, not to lust, and to enjoy, is one:
And more or lesse past, equall nothing is;
I still have one, lust one at once, alone:
And though the women often changed be,
Yet he’s the same without variety.

Mariage our lust (as ’twere with fuell fire)
Doth, with a medicine of the same, allay,
And not forbid, but rectifie desire.
My selfe I cannot chuse, my wife I may:
And in the choise of her, it much doth lye,
To mend my selfe in my posterity.

Or rather let me love, then be in love;
So let me chuse, as wife and friend to find,
Let me forget her sex, when I approve:
Beasts likenesse lies in shape, but ours in mind:
Our soules no sexes have, their love is cleane,
No sex, both in the better part are men.

But physicke for our lust their bodies be,
But matter fit to shew our love upon:
But onely shells for our posterity,
Their soules were giv’n lest men should be alone:
For, but the soules interpreters, words be,
Without which, bodies are no company.

That goodly frame we see of flesh and blood,
Their fashion is, not weight; it is I say
But their lay-part; but well digested food;
Tis but ’twixt dust, and dust, lifes middle way:
The worth of it is nothing that is seen,
But only that holds a soule within.

And all the carnall beauty of my wife,
Is but skin-deep, but to two senses known;
Short even of pictures, shorter liv’d then life,
And yet the love survives, that’s built thereon:
For our imagination is too high,
For bodies when they meet, to satisfie.

All shapes, all colours, are alike in night,
Nor doth our touch distinguish foule or faire;
But mans imagination, and his sight,
And those, but the first weeke; by custome are
Both made alike, which differed at first view,
Nor can that difference absence much renew.

Nor can that beauty, lying in the face,
But meerely by imagination be
Enjoy’d by us, in an inferiour place.
Nor can that beauty by enjoying we
Make ours becomeso our desire growes tame,
We changed are, but it remaines the same.

Birth, lesse then beauty, shall my reason blinde,
Her birth goes to my children, not to me:
Rather had I that active gentry finde,
Vertue, then passive from her ancestry;
Rather in her alive one vertue see,
Then all the rest dead in her pedigree.

In the degrees, high rather, be she plac’t
Of nature, then of art, and policy:
Gentry is but a relique of time past:
And love doth only but the present see;
Things were first made, then words: she were the same
, or withoutthat title or that name.

As for (the oddes of sexes) portion,
Nor will I shun it, nor my aime it make;
Birth, beauty, wealth, are nothing worth alone,
All these I would for good additions take,
Not for good parts, those two are ill combin’d
Whom, any third thing from themselves hath join’d.

Rather then these the object of my love,
Let it be good; when these with vertue go,
They (in themselves indifferent) vertues prove,
For good (like fire) turnes all things to be so.
Gods image in her soule, O let me place
My love upon! not Adams in her face.

Good, is a fairer attribute then white,
’Tis the minds beauty keeps the other sweete;
That’s not still one, nor mortall with the light,
Nor glasse, nor painting can it counterfeit;
Nor doth it raise desires, which ever tend
At once, to their perfection and their end.

By good I would have holy understood,
So God she cannot love, but also me,
The law requires our words and deeds be good,
Religion even the thoughts doth sanctifie:
As she is more a maid that ravisht is,
Then she which only doth but wish amisse.

Lust onely by religion is withstood,
Lusts object is alive, his strength within;
Morality resists but in cold blood;
Respect of credit feareth shame, not sin.
But no place darke enough for such offence
She findes, that’s watch’t, by her own conscience.

Then may I trust her body with her mind,
And, thereupon secure, need never know
The pangs of jealousie: and love doth find
More paine to doubt her false, then know her so:
For patience is, of evils that are knowne,
The certaine remedie; but doubt hath none.

And be that thought once stirr’d, ’twill never die:
Nor will grief more mild by custome prove,
Nor yet amendment can it satisfie,
The anguish more or lesse, is as our love;
This misery doth jealousie ensue,
That we may prove her false, but cannot true.

Suspicious may the will of lust restraine,
But good prevents from having such a will;
wife that’s good, doth chaste and more containe,
For chaste is but an abstinence from ill:
And in a wife that’s bad, although the best
Of qualities; yet in a good, the least.

To barre the meanes is care, not jealousie:
Some lawfull things to be avoyded are,
When they occasion of unlawfull be:
Lust ere it hurts, is be descry’d afarre:
Lust is a sinne of two; he that is sure
Of either part, may be of both secure.

Give me next good, an understanding wife,
By nature wise, not learned by much art,
Some knowledge on her side, will all my life
More scope of conversation impart:
Besides, her inborne vertue fortifie.
They are most firmly good, that best know why.

passive understanding to conceive,
And judgement to discerne, I wish to finde:
Beyond that, all as hazardous I leave;
Learning and pregnant wit in woman-kinde,
What it findes malleable, makes fraile,
And doth not adde more ballast, but more saile.

Domesticke charge doth best that sex befit,
Contiguous businesse; so to fixe the mind,
That leisure space for fancies not admit:
Their leysure ’tis corrupteth woman-kind:
Else, being plac’d from many vices free,
They had to heav’n a shorter cut than we.

Bookes are a part of mans prerogative,
In formall inke they thoughts and voyces hold,
That we to them our solitude may give,
And make time-present travell that of old.
Our life, fame peeceth longer at the end,
And bookes it farther backward doe extend.

As good, and knowing, let her be discreete,
That, to the others weight, doth fashion bring;
Discretion doth consider what is fit,
Goodnesse but what is lawfull; but the thing,
Not circumstanceslearning is and wit,
In men, but curious folly without it.

To keepe their name, when ’tis in others hands,
Discretion askes; their credit is by farre
More fraile than they: on likelihoods it stands,
And hard to be disprov’d, lusts slanders are.
Their carriage, not their chastity alone,
Must keepe their name chaste from suspition.

Womans behaviour is a surer barre
Then is their nothat fairely doth deny
Without denyingthereby kept they are
Safe ev’n from hope; in part to blame is she
Which hath without consent bin only tride;
He comes too neere, that comes to be denide.

Now since a woman we to marry are,
soule and body, not a soule alone,
When one is good, then be the other faire;
Beauty is health and beauty, both in one;
Be she so faire, as change can yeeld no gaine;
So faire, as she most woman else containe.

So faire at least let me imagine her;
That thought to me, is truthopinion
Cannot in matter of opinion erre;
With no eyes shall I see her but mine owne.
And as my fancy her conceives to be,
Even such my senses both, doe feele and see.

The face we may the seat of beauty call,
In it the relish of the rest doth lye,
Nay ev’n a figure of the mind withall:
And of the face, the life moves in the eye;
No things else, being two, so like we see,
So like, that they, two but in number, be.

Beauty in decent shape, and colours lies.
Colours the matter are, and shape the soule;
The soule, which from no single part doth rise,
But from the just proportion of the whole.
And is a meere spirituall harmony,
Of every part united in the eye.

Love is a kind of superstition,
Which feares the idoll which it self hath fram’d:
Lust a desire, which rather from his owne
, then from the object is inflam’d:
Beauty is loves objectwoman lust’s to gaine
Love, love desires; lust onely to obtaine.

No circumstance doth beauty beautifie,
Like gracefull fashion, native comelinesse.
Nay ev’n gets pardon for deformity;
Art cannot ought beget, but may increase;
When nature had fixt beauty, perfect made,
Something she left for motion to adde.

But let the fashion more to modesty
Tend, then assurancemodesty doth set
The face in her just place, from passions free,
’Tis both the mindes, and bodies beauty met;
But modesty no vertue can we see;
That is the faces onely chastity.

Where goodnesse failes, ’twixt ill and ill that stands:
Whence ’tis, that women though they weaker be,
And their desire more strong, yet on their hands
The chastity of men doth often lye:
Lust would more common be then any one,
Could it, as other sins, be done alone.

All these good parts a perfect woman make:
Adde love to me, they make a perfect wife:
Without her love, her beauty should I take,
As that of pictures; dead; that gives it life:
Till then her beauty like the sun doth shine
Alike to all; that makes it, only mine.

And of that love, let reason father be,
And passion mother; let it from the one
His being take, the other his degree;
Selfe-love (which second loves are built upon)
Will make me (if not her) her love respect;
No man but favours his owne worths effect.

As good and wise; so be she fit for me,
That is, to will, and not to will, the same:
My wife is my adopted selfe, and she
As me, so what I love, to love must frame:
For when by mariage both in one concurre,
Woman converts to man, not man to her.


Date: 1613

By: Thomas Overbury (1581-1613)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Concerning the Honour of Books by John Florio

Since honour from the honourer proceeds,
How well do they deserve, that memorize,
And leave in Books for all posterities
The names of worthies and their virtuous deeds;
When all their glory else, like water-weeds,
Without their element, presently dies,
And all their greatness quite forgotten lies,
And when and how they flourished no man heeds
How poor remembrances are statues, tombs,
And other monuments that men erect
To princes, which remain in closèd rooms
Where but a few behold them, in respect
Of Books, that to the universal eye
Show how they lived; the other where they lie!

From: Nicoll, Henry J., C Sonnets by C Authors, 1883, Anson D. F. Randolph and Co: New York, p. V.

Date: 1613

By: John Florio (1553-1625)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Like to a Silkworm of One Year by William Browne of Tavistock

Like to a silkworm of one year,
Or like a wronged lover’s tear,
Or on the waves a rudder’s dint,
Or like the sparkles of a flint,
Or like to little cakes perfum’d,
Or fireworks made to be consum’d;
Even such is man, and all that trust
In weak and animated dust.
The silkworm droops; the tear’s soon shed;
The ship’s way lost; the sparkle dead;
The cake is burnt; the firework done;
And Man as these as quickly gone.

From: Browne, William, Original Poems, Never Before Published, with A Preface and Notes, by Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart. K.J., 1815, Johnson & Warwick: Lee Priory, p. 128.

Date: 1613

By: William Browne of Tavistock (c1590-c1645)