To see a commentary note click a blue square. To see the Latin text click a green square.  

1. THE THIRD BOOK OF AFFANIAE IS GIVEN AND DEDICATED TO MY THOMAS MICHELBORNE

Behold, this third book is dedicated to you, as you stand third among your Boeotian brothers, although my affection for you stands first. Firstborn Sais by her favorable augury granted you to me as first, though you be last. My third daughter seeks a brilliant marriage with your brain, she who was born by my brain’s liveliness. O how welcome for me, if from this marriage you conceive pleasure in your capacious heart! If for you my daughter shall have been the mother of a single smile, I shall be said to surpass grandfather Priam. Nor do I fear she may be sterile: let her be more feckless than ancient Afra, she will be a Niobe thanks to the fertility of your brain.

2. TO THOMAS MICHELBORNE

One out of the uncouth sheepfold of schoolmasters of the severer sort raised a trembling finger, squinched up his forehead, cocked a threatening eyebrow, and stared balefully at me, wretched and a-tremble, and the dire gentleman scheduled me for a hundred floggings because, o greater part of my heart, I had the temerity to call my feeble book the daughter of my brain, and not the son. Yet my schoolmaster denies he is aware that this daughter of my brain, which I have affianced to your brain, is one, and the last and least, of the offspring of my threefold Muse, which I have christened my Affaniae. Wherefore, o dear schoolmaster mine, you in turn must, I pray, rapidly slice this Gordian knot with the keen razor of your intellect, whether I may more properly call my sons Affaniae, or my books my daughters. Or, if this seems excessive, industriously ransack your Scaevolas’ Pandects, or the melodies of your Priscan, the pronouncements, rules, and canons of all the ancient grammarians, and diligently ascertain whether it is safer and better, whether, according to Latinity’s proper law and good, with the permission of ancient fathers Romulus and Remus, I might better say sordem grammaticos pediculosam, or sordes grammaticum pediculosas.

3. TO JANUS

I dedicate the portico and threshold of this new volume to you, Janus, pray guard the trust confided in you. If someone brings an friendly mind, pray be a cheerful Patulcius; if he brings a frown, be Father Clusius.

4. TO CYNTHIA

Depart the sky, Cynthia, in the night Elizabeth will rule the stars, more bright, more chaste. Or rather do not depart the sky, let you govern the stars by night, and she the English by night and by day.

5. TO THAT MOST ILLUSTRIOUS LADY MARY, COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE

True sister of Sidney, of heaven’s race, but daughter of Phoebus, and mother of the Phoebus-born! O what shall I call you? Venus? Yet you are chaster than she, and she (no matter who serves as judge) less fair than you. Calliope? Yet she is only one of the Muses, but all the nine Muses are in you, divine lady. Eurphrosyne? But she was only a single Grace, while a thousand Graces play in your eyes. Pallas? But if she were not born of Jove’s brain, she ought to have been born of yours. So who are you? You are Mary, by whose name Pallas and Euphrosyne, Calliope and Venus, delight to be called.

6. TO THAT MOST INVINCIBLE HERO CHARLES BLOUNT, LORD MONTJOY

Greatest of the Blounts, for whom battalions made proud by their general Tyrone’s luck yet destined to perish, reserve themselves, you who alone are demanded as an Alcides for this plaguey Irish Hydra, a scion not to be disowned by Jove, lo, to you this nation entrusts its hopes and its resources — who better to substitute his shoulders for Atlas? — and the souls of heroes, as many as have fallen, cut down, call you and your hand as avengers: fight for your altars and hearths, for you the altar burns warm, the hearth smokes with incense.

7. TO THE REVEREND FATHER JOHN WHITGIFT, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

He who denies you are God’s white gift, Whitgift, does not know what God’s white gifts are. The stars have given us nought whiter or better (as much as can be for mankind), nor has our good God. Nor, I think, will they, though the reborn white centuries of silver bring back shining days. But I pray, let not the gods change their gifts, unless, perhaps, they give us a young Whitgift in place of an elderly one.

8. ABOUT THE SAME

To Cranmer

We do not call you a Phoenix, Cranmer, because you were alone and without a peer, nor because you were a rara avis, previously unseen to the word; nor because you were a worshipper and champion of the Light; but because, sated with this life, you turned yourself into ash, so that this man might fetch back a new Phoenix from your ashes.

9. TO THE REVEREND FATHER TOBIE MATHEW, BISHOP OF DURHAM

The gentle gleam of your brow, and the golden beauty of your visage, and the pleasant grace of your Periclean countenance, and your tongue, to which all heaven is indebted for its nectar, which out which, I think, Jove’s cups would run dry, and your mouth, which the citizens of Hymettus might envy, that has set dripping honeycombs on its lips — how a Muse all but buried has returned to life, revived by the gods in the times of your popularity! Nor is this a new thing: that which your Thalia now supplies my Muse, the goddess of truth did in the past.

10. TO THE REVEREND FATHER THOMAS BILSON, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER

Why do I, an owl, dare expose my chicks to Phoebus? Why do I, being purblind, provoke his great brilliance? Let only that breed withstand the sun which can withstand the Thunderer’s armaments, let the light-sunning race fear his bright missiles. My purblindness recoils from gazing at you, Bilson, a sun, my Muse has ruined her eyesight by bearing the beauty of her needlework. For, were she able to tolerate your rays with impunity, then she could tolerate Jove’s flashes and armaments. Yet is permitted the mind to worship that which it is not permitted to gaze upon; nobody is so blind as not to know brilliance exists.

11. TO THE REVEREND FATHER HENRY COTTON, BISHOP OF SALISBURY

The sad Church bewailed her jewel, snatched away by the Fates, and city’s one complaint was this: although new centuries might return the ancient Golden Age, golden centuries could scarce return her jewel. But when the reverence of the cathedral, their holy hearts, the honor of the city, and the world’s love saw you, Cotton, celestial person and nature’s darling fallen from the stars, and saw its sacred things entrusted to your care, “Lo, another heaven-sent jewel has come for our consolation,” said the united voice of the people. Jove’s generous indulgence has sent and given us all his jewels combined in your single person. As he gave you, so may he preserve you. For if you are lost, where would Jove have a casket whence he might give jewels?

12. TO THE REVEREND FATHER DR. ROBINSON, BISHOP OF CARLISLE

Holy man, to be compared to no man, or to Rainolds (unless someone would prefer to compare you to yourself), to whose care the Church, long bereaved, has been entrusted, and discovers that she is the object of care to her bridegroom, I do not dare hope, reverend sir, that you desire to read these trifles; for me it suffices if you allow yourself to be read of in them.

13. TO THAT MOST LEARNED MAN JOHN RAINOLDS

O the indomitable nature, the unconquerable strength of your mind and hand, divine Rainolds! O fearful missile, o formidable thunderbolt — the single pen wielded by your fingers! Lo, God endows your quill with Herculean power, so that the Romish Hydra might perish by your strength. He moves your hand and your missile, and, relying on Him Alone, you hurl it at all His enemies. Let them swell pride in their wars, their armaments, their haughty threats, God is often wont to shatter large things by means of the smallest.

14. TO THAT DIVINE MAN MATTHEW SUTLIFFE

Only a single palm crowns other victors, and their triumph deserves to be celebrated only over one foe. Dorman feared and fled Nowell, our Nestor. What the goose is to the fox, such, Fox, was Osoris to you. Harding the Hector fell to Jewel the Achilles. Fulke was a Scipio to Hannibal — Campion. Then Rainolds broke the papists’ heart in Hart, and the white acres put down Stapleton. You alone, Sutliffe, refuse to rest on one palm: as many Hydras as there are, so many trophies you have.

15. TO WILLIAM TOOKER, DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY

If my Muse could dare aspire to such a triumph, Tooker, she would wish you as her reader, for you embody all the charms, all the beauties, whatever there is of the Graces, and of the Boeotian Muses. If only she could win you, so could my paper. For, Tooker, you are the right hand of all things.

16. TO THOMAS HYDE OF SALISBURY, DOCTOR OF MOST SACRED THEOLOGY, WHEN I PRESENTED HIM WITH MY DRAKE

If you can steal an hour from graver concerns while you conduct your busy duties, whether the Titan or Pluto’s consort lends it to you, and if, perchance, you are wont to have leisure for trifles, you can spend this hour on my little book, the investment is small, the cost of its purchase will be underwritten by its donor. For, I pray, if you are able (and I fear that somehow you are able), you will give your Periclean ears to this youthful nonsense. Let not the small size of this small book be a source of irritation: he who is hymned in it is the greatest. Nor is there any subject more suitable for you than Drake, you upright man: he is the greatest in a cloak, you in a gown.

17. ON THE SAME SUBJECT, TO THE REV. REGINALD BELLOT

Where, rude book, does the bold inspiring impulse of your proud heart snatch you, and drag you in its forwardness? Whose hand do you now crave to burden, whose eyes to punish? Is it Bellot? Why, o book, do you wax proud? Unwise! Do you imagine that in the carrying you will be the strength of his hand, the sun of his eyes? Bold to commit all things, you will carry Drake, of whom you sing, little book.
So go, little book, I will not hinder. For who would wish to delay him unwilling to delay, whom nobody would wish to be over-willing? So you must embellish your closer approach to Bellot, look at the man and greet him. He, mighty with a capacious intellect, is a spirit wise with a divine infusion of vigor, far beyond the breeze of the unschooled herd’s vain opinion, and that of little clowns who are quite uneducated. If this Prometheus breathes on you, if only from afar, lo, reborn you will be called a second Virbius, even if you have been dead for nigh two years. But for you death will be a source of profit and praise, if you are revivified by Bellot!

18. TO WILLIAM THORNE, PROFESSOR OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

Thorne, to whom the mysteries of the sacred tongue are known, and whom God allowed to penetrate into His very Sanctuary, lest anyone of the rabbinical tribe vainly imagine that this not the idiom of the supernal beings, you yourself give lectures in the tongue of the angelic chorus, or the Anglican chorus speaks in yours.

19. TO THE REV. RICHARD HARVEY, CORNISHMAN

I give you these ears of wheat, divine Ceres, these fine shoots to you, Bacchus, and to you a double flagon of milk, Pales, because, Ceres, you have given me a harvest, you have given vines, Bacchus, and you, Pales, have given me flocks and happy food for my flocks. But, o you who have shaped me from my earliest years, what manner or number of offerings should I make to you? The crop is not as indebted to Ceres, the grape to Lyaeus, nor the shepherds to Pales, as I rightfully am to you. You once gave me to my studies, Harvey, and now in grateful exchange I give myself wholly to you.

20. ON SALLIO

Sallio preached so well at St. Paul’s Cross, that nobody doubted he was worthy of the cross of St. Peter.

21. TO THE PARISH DONKEY

He carries every point, earns double honor, and is an initiate to be extolled with twofold praise, whose striving deeds correspond to his words, and whose tongue does not unharmoniously struggle against his life; he who advises and moves, bids one to go and leads the way himself. He teaches by doing, and does by teaching. We all deservedly acknowledge you are such, you donkey, this island stands in double debt to you: teaching the bad, you do worse, and your evil life follows your tongue, as the beam comes with the upright. blue

22. ABOUT THE DONKEY

He who speaks things fit for the season and for his hearers will be a prudent preacher of Salvation. My donkey excels at both, who should not admit it, at once speaking things fit for his congregation and for the season. Nothing is more chilly than this season, or sillier than this flock, and nobody preaches more frigid or silly sermons.

23. ON A DWARF, BUT A MOST LEARNED THEOLOGIAN

Can such great virtue exist in so small a body? Can such a small chest contain such great wealth? A man who cannot climb a flea’s back without a ladder, a man for whom a flying grasshopper could be Pegasus, embraces all the parts of the universe in his intellect: the positions of the stars and the currents of the seas. The God-filled force of his mind reveals mysteries, and lays bare all of heaven’s secret laws. So is it anything marvelous to inscribe the Iliad upon a nut? That nut of his can enclose the whole world.

24. TO THE DIVINE ELISA

While alone and brooding in my heart I recall the Brutus-born captains of martial heart, those whom you bless in life in death, to whom it befalls to live under you, and to die for you their sovereign, Elisa, your Sidneys, your Drakes, your Mars-born Grenvilles, and your Boroughs and Williamses, your Hawinses, Frobishers, Norrises (deadly names for the Spanish), Cavindeshes, and the others whose bright names Polyhymnia has written on the eternal heaven in stars, I pronounce their souls thrice-blessed, for whom the reward of their life, and the reward of their death, is Elisa: nobody can be born under a better sovereign, for no better sovereign can one die.

25. ON FRANCIS DRAKE

Report has it that if ever crankiness with its squinched-up face and bloody mind comes over a Spanish child, and no soft cradle, no beguiling rattle, no japeries of Mama and Papa can make an impression, the distressed nursemaid, trying everything in vain, mixing in dire threats with her sweet talk, pronounces the word “Drake” three times, and the baby’s tantrum is broken, as the name inspires innate dread. For from their tender cradles Spanish children learn to dread Drake along with their first milk. Their fear increases with age, and he who once frightened boys with his name terrifies men in the flesh.

26. TO FRANCIS POPHAM, KNIGHT

What craftsman set this gem in tawny gold? He has enhanced its worth and beauty. You, Francis, are a man of golden worth and beauty, nor is any yellow metal hanging from a breast more so. For if the world’s masses of gold were to fail, your character could supply the tawny ore. Why is breast-worn gold less splendid than this? Your gold reflects the character and intellect of its wearer.

27. TO REGINALD MOHUN, KNIGHT

Noble son of William, who first resembled your father in appearance, and now also in honor, insofar as my art permits I congratulate you for receiving a title worthy of your merits from our worthy sovereign. Your mild disposition has made you the equal of the least of her subjects, and so now the goddess rightfully makes you equal to the great. Thus virtue has its rewards: well done, all honor to you for your endowments, Mohun, having been endowed with new titles.

28. TO RICHARD HORSEY, KNIGHT

Horsey, flower of the men whose necks are surrounded by the golden badge, on whose fingers the tawny gem gleams, whose heart Pallas gave a better metal than that with which the goldsmith has encircled your breast, since you are ennobled by the golden decoration of this order, let this page be decorated by your name.

29. TO JONATHAN TRELAWNY, GILDED KNIGHT

O noble Trelawny, to be commemorate by me under many a name, Julian star of your nation, our sovereign has lately given you rewards not unfit for your virtue, as now does this Muse. The queen has enlarged you with new titles and honors; come, enlarge your titles with your character. The spur does not make a golden knight, nor the torque of gold, nor the finger a-gleam with its golden circlet: a golden heart, golden character in the heart, and golden virtue make a knight.

30. TO JOHN HARINGTON, GILDED KNIGHT AND RIGHT GOLDEN POET

As you wish father Phoebus to be present for you, and the Muses you invoke to breathe with favor upon your prayers, so must only be favorable to Jack the poet, and allow yourself to be sung of by my stammering mouth as a wit. And (unless Rumor has imparted this to me with false whispers) you do not take on a new character from these Muses, not enough to have tamed Orlando’s furies, or to have sung of Angelica with an angelic bugle. Rather, you should turn witty epigrams on your spinning lathe, in English or, if you please, in Latin. In these you can fare as the cow-shed poet’s companion, in them you can surpass the Heywoods and the Davises. Doubtless this is truly to come forth as a knight, and on this Pegasus-like courser to outrun the rest of the captains.

31. TO THAT MOST DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN THOMAS BODLEY, FOUNDER OF THE NEW LIBRARY AT OXFORD

Banished from their homes, with Helicon wholly abandoned, the refugee goddesses went a-wandering, a heavenly crew, like bees whose wicker homestead, a waxy structure, a fierce bear has knocked over with its huge efforts. With his hospitality Alfred received these exiles, deprived of all things, and, taking pity, gave aid to the piteous Muses. For he built them a comfortable hive at the city which Isis laves with its swan-bearing water. You undertake a work scarce easier, Bodley, or less useful for the Graces and the Boeotian Muses, as you industriously make lyrical gardens for the lyrical crew, and meadows everywhere fertile with nectary roses, for which the Latin race constantly pours perfumed waters, and the Greeks the flower of thyme, and plentiful honey. For library is such for our Muses, as Chloris’ garden is to the honey-gathering bee. This is a great work, to have erected a palace for the Boeotian goddesses, but it will be a greater one to supply them themselves with nectars.

32. TO THAT MOST DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN ANTHONY ROUSE

To describe you as a happy father for the large number of your offspring, polished down to the fingernail with generous endowments of nature and learning (whether one discusses and considers the flower of the body or the mind’s character) is not my desire, Rous, nor (if I know you well) your wish either. Yet what better thing can be found than Ambrose your firstborn? Or what can be found fairer than your Robert, or more amiable than my Richard, or wittier than Francis? What, moreover, is more polished than Arthur or Anthony Junior? Not to speak of your daughters — what daughters? Rather, they are so many Graces and Venuses. In truth, since you are hailed as a father by the mouths of all the good men of your nation, Anthony, studious friend of the law, this is why with justice I can describe you as a happy father.

33. TO THAT MOST DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN RICHARD CAREW

What god, so well invoked by you, most learned man out of three hundred thousand, and best man out of yet more, Carew (if one weighs your polymathy or, in which you shine the more, weighs the evidence of your polished manners, the golden crown of your virtue), what god, I say (o surely a god!) enriches you with so great spoils, and so many trophies, of foreign lands, as meanwhile you tarry at home forever, devoted to your books and your nation? Where did you acquire so many pounds of Greek and Latin gold? Or for what purpose do the Tuscans, French, Germans, and hostile Spanish so liberally enrich you with their wealth? O if a god would endow me with so many mouths and tongues that I could speak your praises, as the god granted you mouths an tongues in a single mouth, in a single tongue!

34. TO THAT MOST DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN ROBERT MOYLE

Lately, when as a vacationer I was reclining in Aonian shade, contemplating the Clarian glade, a leafy kingdom, your virtue lured me with its seductive bait, and with my wing I swiftly lunged at the holy meal. Ah, with what snares I was captured! What nets held fast my captive mind, and gripped it with their fetters! Hence Piety, and Mercy, the pious mind’s sister, hence Wisdom, and Grace, and Right, and Charm, hence your love for all learned men (of whom you are not the least) held fast my mind with a tighter bond. Never release me from your pious nets, Moyle, as long as such bright bait abounds for my mind. For me, such are these nets, such the bait, that I am doubtful whether the nets or the bait hold me the more.

35. TO ANNE MOYLE, WIFE OF ROBERT, MOST LEARNED AND MOST PIOUS

Anne [ . . . . . . . . . . . ] bearing a manly heart in a womanly bosom, whose breast Urania has thrice bathed in Greek wit, to whom divine Thalia has granted Latin lyricism. O what goddess of wisdom shall I say has admitted you into her sanctuary, or nourished you with her breasts? I think it was Pandora, or rather I think she was nourished at your breasts. Or, as Pandora was sole mother for a thousand gods, thus you are sole mother for a thousand Pandoras.

36. TO THAT MOST WELL-ENDOWED GENTLEMAN CHRISTOPHER MAINWAR

O you whom the Fates of the gods and our more better stars (to whom we were long a sport and a plaything), now pitying us piteous folk, and weary of oppressing the wary, desire to set as a prop to hold up our family, and to serve as new timber for your house, which was on the point of collapse, so that no traces of our ancient home will not survive, and that they may prepare a support for its remaining rubble! O new graft on a barren tree, and reborn hope for our foliage! Our elegant ancient home, which has survived through three centuries, put up and lived in by my ancestors, behold, has been criminally occupied by unknown, illegitimate settlers, long mastered by very dissimilar masters. It has lost the rest, but preserved its ancestral name, a shame and a disgrace to its new owners (as often as these titles and names cross their minds, let them see their crimes, and also their thefts). With you its champion and defender, it has revived, and, reborn by right of possession, it thrives. And, reborn, let it greet its inhabitants, and see its heirs and its realms. Aeneas championed his household gods, refugees from the enemy, and by this deed was able to earn a place in heaven. you, by your virtue, exclude refugee foeman from our household gods, and heaven scarce suffices for your merits.

37. TO RUMOR, ABOUT THE RETURN OF RICHARD AND FRANCIS ROUSE OUT OF BELGIUM

Why, Rumor, chatterbox goddess, do you sport with me about desired news? Why, vain one, do you allure my ears, itching enough for these whispers, with your pleasant words, telling me that my Francis and Richard his brother, that noble pair of blessed men, have now discharged their vows to the gods of the sea in the port of Plymouth, and next that they have visited the happy genius of their paternal home at Halton, their long-for hearth, and have made a thank-offering to their household gods these ten days past? Am I to trust you in this, honey-tongued goddess for whom I have long been a joke and a laugh, ever and ever gullible about your empty words? But if you tell me true things, approved by good faith’s reckoning, by this news I shall swiftly be made an immortal. And to you, honey-tongued goddess, most truth-telling of the celestial goddesses, I shall not be ungrateful, but I shall build you an altar in the cheeks of dear Francis and Richard, so that on it I may offer up with my lips a yearly hecatomb of kisses.

38.TO THE SAME BROTHERS, RETURNED

I have decided to believe you, since my Vere, than whom, I think, no man has better or more piously worshiped Veracity, whose words I would prize more highly than a hundred tripods and the like number of Sibyls, has blessed my avid ears with the news. Your rites await you: come hither, all the kisses I have remaining, discharge your father’s vow, the vow he made to the chatterbox goddess. But you, o my returned friends, my dear Francis and my Richard, make ready your cheeks, bosoms, eyes, necks, breasts, hands and arms, for I come flying, bringing with me a hundred kisses, the like number of embraces, and also of laughs and handshakes. And also make ready those clever tongues of yours, artists at converse. I crave a thousand chats, a thousand harvests of news: what the customs of men are, the sites of their places, the aspects of their cities and suburbs, their fountains, rivers, fields and avenues, their weather, food and drink; what monstrosity is this, and where was it born, from Cocytus or the Stygian swamp, this strong beer honeyed for the Germanic palate, and how much does it differ from the taste of our Blosfleming ale? Above all, I itch to learn how stand the Muses’ affairs, how fares that darling of modern foreign academics, that glory of Leiden. And what does the genius of Junius think, the Grace of Dousa, the Peitho of Scaliger, the Phoebus of Heurvius, the Minerva of Vulcanius?
So that you will drip these things into my wide-open ear, in words sauced with honey and sesame, I would wish to become all mouth and all hand, to clasp you with this, to kiss you with that.

39. TO WILLIAM AND THOMAS MOHUN, MY TRUE BROTHERS

You two whom I am bound not only by family ties and connection of blood, and by ancestral love, but also (no glue binds minds the tighter) by companionship from the cradle, by loyalty from the days of the schoolmaster’s rod, if my pages could lack you, o what a part of myself they could lack! The shape assumed by the tender shoot springing from trunk is preserved by the ancient shady tree. And us, whom Lucina conjoined, Mohuns, nobody but Libitina can separate.

40. TO WILLIAM †LUNERIUS†

Will you be added as an honor, William, and suffer yourself to be read of in my pages and my Affaniae? Where I shall start or take my beginning, what shall I say in the middle, what will be my ending? While I am attempting to write of your forebears, your innate virtue calls out to me. Am I remembering your public acts? Your domestic ones are greater. First you wear out my volition, then my verbiage, with your new virtues. Always, while I am singing, something I ought to sing of obtrudes. It is doubtful what I should do, if not fall silent. I am no Hercules with my pen, and your virtue is a Hydra.

41. TO RICHARD CAREW, SON OF RICHARD, COME BACK FROM FRANCE

Carew, bee-glue of youths, as many as the Cornishmen rear in their western climes, has Rumor insinuated herself into my [ . . . ] ear with truthful whisperings that you have endured all the nuisances of a lengthy journey, have measured out the tediums of the sea, and are returned to your parents, your like-minded father and, sound of limb, laden with treasures and spoils of all manner of learning, as much as the Muses put up for sale in the Paris market, or in the cultured academy at Orange? There it befell you to accompany Boeotian Neville’s person and Trelawney, beloved of Phoebus, and visit the court of the great king, a rival to the court of the Thunderer.
But, o court of the mighty wearer of the lilies, long life to you, because now, after a delay lengthy for the both of them, you have now given back dear Carew to his father and his fatherland, safe and sound.
But you, heir not only to your father’s pedigree and estate, but also to his praise and his innate art of learning, grow for your nation’s hope and the fears of its enemies, the delight of your father, the love of Elisa, until you are ancient in wisdom yet hale enough in face and youthful limbs; may you live as long as Nestor, and whiten Albion by your deeds, Carew, bee-glue of youths, as many as the Cornishmen rear in their western climes. 

42. TO JOHN BARCHAM

O most amiable of all polite men, o most polished of all amiable ones, Berkham, best of all men of either sort everywhere, you are so great a man in the eyes of the Graces and the Muses that both these ones and those ones esteem you more than their own breasts, esteem you more than your own eyes, but you are dearer yet both to these and those. Do you so esteem at such high value, and approve so greatly, these Charles-written ditties, snatches and catches, snippets and snappets of unadulterated fooleries? Go, go, you stinking unlovely race of stern critics, go, you dull pedagogical rabble of tiresome grammarians, go and savagely gnaw on these Charles-written ditties, carp, and make up words against them far meaner than snatches and catches, snippets and snappets of unadulterated fooleries. Should I be so reckless as to reckon you and your follies at the price of a fig? A hundred thousand of you? I disregard you and yours, you dunces. Let there be a single Plato for me, instead of many of thousands of you.

43. TO JOHN PYM

Darling of Phoebus, delight of a boy, apple of Vere’s eye, and of Charles’, may you have such faithful regard for your absent friend Charles as scarce anyone could have more faithful, as much as if he were your father or patron, or (I say something greater) as if he were Vere. Lo, I send you back with gratitude the things which you lent to gratify me. And with them I remit as many expressions of my gratefulness as there are in you beams of learning, as many as there are little stars of virtue that glitter, if anyone can speak so many gratitudes in the saying, or reckon them up in the thinking. I have, and always shall have, Vere, your heart, shared with you. And you have, and always will have me, your heart, shared with you. O if for long centuries each friend might preserve this shared thing — dear Pym that of his Charles, and Charles his!

44. TO MY VERE

And lo, what I have never feared, a second harvest has now lost its foliage by the sickle as my natal day sees me in a region, alas, not natal, far from the Muses and, Vere, also from you. This day that gave me to the world, and you, Bar-Ptolemaus, to the stars, is deservedly a happy one for you, but not for me. So I say no good words, nor indite any verses, I make no poems with ivy, incense, and roses, I will weave no garland for my head out of Phoebus’ leaves. Only a slight appetite for a trifle of wine affects me, after the manner of poets, until my affairs are put right in my kingdom, and my fortune is put on a sound footing. What then? Removed from the Muses and from yourself, my Vere, I shall always imagine the day of my birth is at hand. Certainly, when first I left the Muses and Vere, then my mind truly seemed to itself to be dying.

45. TO THE REV. THOMAS TRAVERS

Lately this edifice fell down, bringing a great collapse with its foundations and lintels cracked, its columns tottering, a structure which the error of a previous congregation once dedicated to I know not which saint, and gave it the name of Germans to bear. Soon the congregation rebuilt it at Attalid expense, and constructed a church consecrated to God. And you, pious minister of the holy Word, a man dedicated to God, Travers, you built this very congregation by your pious precepts and holy admonitions. There is this difference between the two, that what the congregation erected old age will pull down, but old age and the passage of years do not know how to destroy what you are building. For how will a house deserve a downfall, which is built on a most solid foundation, and for which Christ Himself is the cornerstone?

46. A LITTLE GIFT PRESENTED TO THE REV. JOHN RICE, ON JANUARY 1

Your Muse is so dear to my mind, your Muse is so beloved to my mind, that I would always have shown you my lyrics,
If blushing shame did not hinder my mind, and shameful blushes did not attend my Muse, and my Muse and mind did not forbid me to give you verses.
Blushing shame so obstructs my mind, and shameful blushes so attends my Muse, that I should never have shown you my timid lyrics,
Unless your Muse was so dear to my mind, unless your mind was so dear to my Muse, unless my Muse and my mind bade me give you my verses.

47. TO JOHN WILLOUGHBE OF BROADGATES

If in my verses there should be nothing inelegant or deficient in charm, if there is a half-ounce of my salt which with its pleasant sauce should spice the glutted ears, stimulate the reader’s appetite, and refresh his palate, I am not embarrassed, Willoughby, to have invited you as a guest for my slight meal and modest plate. Your presence, if anybody’s is welcome. Take your seat when you’re ready. If anything pleases you, you may taste it. If anything badly cooked remains, you will give it to Vulcan to devour and consume in his flames.

48. TO JOHN LEE

If there is anything in my wit, or in my art, by which your affection might be drawn to my person, I should seem less in your debt, Lee, since your praise and mine would be conjoined. For virtue attracts affection to itself with adamantine allure, nor is it right to spoil zeal by counting its price. But because with a ready heart you deign to deem me a friend, although devoid of merits and void of resources, for me this is a stronger cause and greater reason for loving you, and my praise has yielded only to my love of you.

49. TO ANTHONY JEFFREY

Jeffrey, my better part, who should only have of my heart as much as you possess of my name, if I could ever be unmindful of you, I could not remember the half of myself. And if you can ever be unmindful or me, you cannot remember the whole of yourself. Now, as long as I am ready by the mouths of men, by the mouths of men impart your legacy to my pages.

50. ON A LETTER SENT ME BY JOHN DEEBLE

Welcome letter, most welcome screed of my Deeble, trusty messenger of his mind, learned product of his hand, more welcome than that of any man I could name, approach, and receive a thousand kisses from my lips. I inspect your back, I see my name, I rejoice as my hand swiftly breaks the seal. I inspect your front, I read Deeble’s dear name, the chamber of my breast can scare contain my leaping heart. I read each thing from head to foot, each thing breathes affection, ten times read and reread they please. O precious paper, casket of undiluted nard, you will be my heart’s eternal guest: first you blessed my hand with your touch, then my eyes with your reading, and now, shut up within it, you hasten to bless my breast.

51. ON A GOLDEN TOY ENCLOSED IN THE SAME MAN’S LETTER

Let the idle world cease to marvel at this horrific birth, this child unexpected by its father. Which of our ancestors would have heard talk of such a thing, which of our descendents would think it true? Lo, a pregnant sheet of paper produces a womb! Do you believe this, Juno Lucina? Now the paper labors in childbirth, bear aid to this sufferer, kind goddess! Look, she gives birth! Hey, you gods! A tawny-faced boy has come forth, who shines with golden beauty in all his body. From the child I recognize the father, this deserves to be Deeble’s golden offspring, so that it should be the likeness of its father.

52. TO THE REV. MARMADUKE ANGRAM

When recently I sent you a letter, not very long or laborious, but such as time, news, and preoccupations wrenched from my flying pen, and for a name I only wrote down the name’s first three letters, Marmaduke, you, being the father of witticisms and jests, called me a man of three letters. But since you have made me no reply nor (which has irked me the more) have you come, teasing your comrades, your Charles and your Vere, into awaiting you with eager eyes, then you, who are not present, nor have sent any letter (which is a sin), although rest assured you are a man of all your letters (as we all admit), what reward you pay me if I demonstrated you are a man of no letters?

53. ON GLYCERE’S HAIR

Flavia is dead, yet not wholly, since her hair survives atop Glycere’s head.

54. ABOUT COLLINUS

If Collinus gives something to a friend (which he does but rarely, and with difficulty), a knife, or a horse, or a saddle or sword, a book, or (what is dearer to him) a puppy, he accompanies these gifts with a solemn bit of foolishness: “Don’t think I would give this to anyone but you.” His wanton wife Aelia, a girl well versed in naughtiness, hears this utterance and, making horns with her fingers out of her husband’s sight, says “Don’t think I would give these to anybody but yourself.”

55. ON BLATERANA

Your tooth and your tongue inflict great pain, Blaterana, because they are loose, the tooth for yourself, the tongue for your husband. They can both be cured by a single remedy — if someone would extract them.

56. ON MATHO

Matho serves his friends naught but appetizers. What kind, you ask? The best — hunger.

57. ON A LAWYER AND HIS SERVANT

In the time when the English were under Mary, she under the Spanish tyrant, and he in turn was under the Roman wolf, a lawyer was traveling to the city, accompanied by a servant, where England’s high court was sitting. It chanced that they encountered a friar belonging to that order which takes its name from Francis, and from a distance the servant spotted him, carrying a crucifix in his hands and a rope around his waist. “Hey,” he said, “make your escape while your are healthy and entrust yourself to a swift horse, master, if you have any care for your safety. Lo, I see a hangman, a cross and halter ready. It’s all over for your neck, if he sees you.”

58. TO SCAEVOLA THE SCHOOLMASTER

The man who said infidia in the singular, Scaevola, I would not trust this grammarian in anything at all.

59. ON GYLIPPUS

That Gylippus, whom you see to be copying the flying cranes with his oblong neck, and the red-footed, ruddy-beaked tribe of crows in his gait (with which he overwhelms my sight), how he approaches me on the street, takes the lead in doffing his cap, and claps his hand to his breast, after the new mode in dancing! And next he sinuously bows the stag-like column that supports his head and, lifting up his face somewhat, sweetly smiles at me with pursed lips as if I were an old close friend, though I’ve never before uttered to him the number of words with which Caesar is said to have closed his letters. And if captive Marius once prophetically discerned the omen of a better throw of the dice from an encounter with a donkey, which greeted him with nods and gestures as if he were its familiar master, scarce in vain I should promise myself happier times, for having such an elegant greeter.

60. ON SOME GALLOWS-BIRD’S BOOK ABOUT ADORING THE CROSS

Why, envious one, do you carp at these pompous works about the cross? The work is worthy of its author, its author is worthy of its work.

61. ON AROPS

Headstrong Arops, oppressed by usury and indebted to Lucro, spent a twelvemonth as a traveler, drinking from the Rhine. Soon he returned and, a boon companion among his old friends, chatters about nothing but the Tiber and the Danube. And now with his tongue he overflies the Pyrenees and the Alps. And now with his mouth he gobbles up the Apennine ridge, and recounts what the mighty Bourbon and clever Austrian think while lying alone in their very beds. Then he intones about Budapest, Prague, and puissant Rudolf, and chances to mention your name, Belgrade, Nor does Amathurus, mighty in his city of Constantinople, nor do the Shah and Persepolis escape his attention. Lucro’s usury has made him a modern Ulysses — if Arops had not fallen into debt, he would have learned nothing.

62. ON AN URCHIN

I asked a small urchin, an impudent boy, clever and born for witticisms, how his morose mother got along with his father. “Oh, very well,” he said, “they are Cypria’s turtledoves, they feel joy and sorrow as one. When my father is leaving the house they both rejoice, and when he comes home their mutual sorrow returns.” O the concord of this matched pair of turtledoves!

63. ON AVITUS

When a great painter would paint a single Venus, he inspected a hundred fair ladies and presses forward his work. For him by himself to paint a hundred Phoebuses and the like number of Dianas, Avitus, let him inspect your nose.

64. ON MORIANUS

Morianus rattles on about nothing but his wars, weapons, besieged cities, and naval encounters. And now he exposes his old scars and wounds, which he received while fighting drunkenly over whores. “This one,” he says, “I received in the head, fighting under Howard by Ulyssipolis’ stout walls. This one on my forehead I got while accompanying warlike Drake to your harbor, Santa Dominga, and while Revenge herself avenged death with death, my right hand was wounded fighting under Grenville. This wound on my left hand was administered by the defeated and sunken fleet, Spain’s eternal disgrace and shame, but that one at Rouen, and this one by the walls of Brest, when I was recruited by Devereux and Norris was my general. This lame leg was run through by a Spanish lance, when Cadiz surrendered itself to you, great Earl.” But France injured you in one part whilst you were at home, Morianus. Why not show off that wound as well? He is silent.

65. ON AN OATHBREAKING FAITH-BREAKER

Most treacherous of rascals, if some is demanded for punishment and grave retributions, an offering to the gallows-god, for his accursed faithlessness and artful deceits, by the crime-avenging gods, the crime-avenging gods, because of your accursed faithlessness and artful deceits, as an offering to the gallows-god, require you for punishment and grave retributions, most rascally of traitors.

66. ON ONELLUS

I shall testify you never dine abroad, Onellus, since you are always dining at my house.

67. ON PANTOPHLUS

As often as somebody from the simple folk asks Pantophlus to repay some small amount he owes, whether it be a carpenter requesting two sovereigns, or a tailor his half pound, or a cook seeking his five-crown fee, “Do you rudely shout at me about such a small sum,” he asks, “and do you dare dun me for trifles, you rascal?” Then he sends the man packing, properly loaded down with punches and kicks. And the money he does not owe he lavishly lends out at interest. But if a creditor, relying on a note of bond or a pledge, presses him about a renegotiated note, a fixed day for repayment, or double interest, he will hurl at these foiled gentlemen complaints mixed with all manner of threats. Then he claims that he has not yet sold his wheat, that his overseer is awaiting a payment, or that yesterday he paid off others. For these days this is noble payment — to give words to the rich, and welts to the poor.

68. ON BRYSON

Now at last antiquity can keep its silence about Mordred’s head (a source of amazement for the village), said to have a brow ridge of ten foot span, and Gawain’s skull, more capacious than an amphora, a cask, a whole bushel, and it can holds its peace about Gargantua’s jaws. Bryson’s head surpasses the monstrosities of earlier centuries and of ours, and beggars the belief of future ages: his right ear is separated from his left by a distance such as nobody could ride in two days. For this ear is nailed up on the wall of Troynovant, and that one in the butchers’ market at Exeter. O the ineffable journey of two ears!

69.

If a man who has gone into hiding has lived well, nobody has lived better in this city these last three years than Bryson: for he has kept well hidden at home these past three dozen months, as he is ashamed to go abroad sans ears.

70. ON BRUNIUS

Brunius heard a popular rumor, and thought it written on an oracular Sibylline leaf, that the more intelligent a man is, the more he flourishes and the sweeter his disposition, the less able he is to fight against invincible Bacchus, and the quicker he falls drunk. Hence when he has scarce sipped his second beaker, Brunius pretends to be in his cups, and with his feigned inebriation anticipates his companions, lest they arrive there before him. Thus he steals from others their reputation for intellect, and they steal his wine from him.

71. ON A CERTAIN MAN

That you derive your pedigree from ancient Roman stock, and boast of your descent from the Curii and the Scipios, this I believe: for the parents who bore you as a Verres were your father Brutus and your mother Portia.

72. ON SILO

Silo, you alone comprise in your body three of the four Ages, you are a veritable microcosm. The Golden Age shines in your Phoebus-like nose, you bear the Age of Bronze on your battered forehead, iron centuries now restrain your thievish ankles (and my Jupiter make these centuries long endure). One Age is missing, the Silver, as Bacchus and Venus have emptied this from your purse.

73. ON BITO

Bito craves death of his wife, she wishes it for her husband, both hope for a funeral-torch for their marriage. For whom their heir begs Jove with all his prayers, that both get their wish.

74. ON ACERRA

Tobacco is a plague and a pestilence for the intellect. No worries, Acerra, it won’t hurt you. Have a smoke.

75. MARILLA, HEARING NEWS (ALBEIT FALSE) OF HER HUSBAND’S DEATH, FELL IN A SWOON AND AT LENGTH SCARCELY RETURNED TO HERSELF

In order to try pious Marilla’s virtue, Rumor announced her husband had gone to the Many. Therefore the restless soul of this lover, following her love, flew to the homes of Elysium. Not pausing to admire the heavens or the feasts of the gods, she industriously sought her own god everywhere. But when she perceived she had been cheated, she left the stars and Jove, and dutifully returned to earth. For the sake of their loyal husbands, many women have sought heaven, but Marilla was the only one who was able to abandon it.

76. ON LYCUS

Ruined beer skunked with age, the dead dregs of a lamented cask, and whatever weeps out of a tube in miserable drops, and all the beverages your pigs might refuse — these, Lycus, are what your glassware serves me, though fetched from Venetian kilns. Yet I do not think the glasses are genuine: were they so, they would have been shattered by poison.

77. ON SALIUS

Salius buried his wife and, not delaying long, bade her handmaid take her place. Hymen smiled on this sweet husband beyond his hope and wishes: he thought he was marrying a servant, but he married a mistress.

78. ON ARDELIO

No augur knows birds, no soothsayer knows livers, no Druid knows the stars, or Gymnosophist the heavens, better than Ardelio knows playing cards, for these are his Bibles, his religion, and he worships their holy mysteries. According to his will they pop up and obey the snap of his fingers, kings with knaves, and with their consorts. Choose the card you will, cast the chosen one in the fire, and, come back to life, it leaps out of his pocket, and not just when you speak up and demand it in words — it will appear when you silently summon it in your mind. In Ardelio’s presence you can’t just watch what you say — you have to watch out for what you keep silent in your heart.

79. ON GALLA

When setting, Phoebus leaves you abed, and finds you abed when he rises, and, burning with effort in mid-course, sees you scarce getting out of your bed, it is hardly in vain, Galla, that he should call you eminently beddable.

80. ON A MIDGET WHO MARRIED A RATHER HUGE OLD LADY

You are attempting something great and beyond your powers, my bold little fellow, marrying this ancient Pasiphae. What if she killed you with her fingernail, like a little louse? A wrinkle in her forehead could serve for your tomb.

81. ON VERY ARTIFICIAL GOODS

The striving ingenuity of our age’s nature, what ways is it not finding to enhance our prosperity? Is there anything that great Mother Nature has dared to invent, which our artful hand has not dared to imitate? The bald man buys hair, the muddy-complexioned a comely face, and in the marketplace the lame seeks and finds feet. The hag chomps her offal with purchased teeth, the apothecary vends ears, eyes, noses, and hands. If you crave children, but lack the wherewithal to beget them, Ollo the peddler will give you this too, if you put down your money. Yet I know not where you may a tongue, for this manufacture alone eludes our grasp — unless, perhaps, you seek out the lawyers and the courtroom crew, for they say this tribe has tongues for sale.

82. ABOUT BITON

Any month you choose, Biton invites thirteen friends, no single table is able to accommodate his guests. You ask if he is lavish? Nay, nothing more stingy: you could grow fatter as a guest of Duke Humphrey. The only things that weigh down his barren table is expensive dinnerware, a solid gold goblet, from which one does not quench one’s thirst, chased goblets and silver cups, on whose bottoms stands a knight in armor. Hence you come away with glutted eyes, but an empty tummy: you are not given dinner, just expensive hunger.

83. ON CALVUS

No matter how big a thing you seem to the foolish common people, Calvus, I do not value you at a groat.

84. ON AN AMBITIOUS MAN

Why do you yearn for thrones and scepters, and long for titles, and grasp at insubstantial smoke, ambitious man? Kingdoms are at hand for you at home, don’t you see? Rule yourself in your own house, thus you will be a king, and emperor. To what purpose would be power over peoples, to what purpose would be great titles and kings, if each man would wish to be a king for himself?

85. ABOUT SCRAPTIA

Scraptia suffered from a fever, an ill burden on this weary earth, no hope of recovery remained. She loathed doctors and sneered at all the Machaons, whom nobody can induce to kill for a small fee. She only heeded the stammering mutters of a local witch, and she decided to send her son Gurgonides. She sent him; he departed in haste, seeking the witch. But folk told him she had died four days ago. Soon he got home, and said to his mother, eagerly awaiting the reply, “Be of good cheer, all is well.” To him said the mother, “As much as you can remember, tell me the hour the woman specified to you.” He said ten o’clock. Then Scraptia replied, “My God, it was right then that my seizures seemed to stop!”

86. ON GELLA

Your painted face is an embarrassment to you, Gella, since you are afraid to rub your brow.

87. ON SCAURUS AND BRUNIANUS

Trying to buy Brunianus’ sword, Scaurus said “What shall I pay for this sword in the very hour I shall marry a wife?” To him Brunianus made answer, “The purchaser will pay ten sovereigns on the morn of his wedding, or of his dying day.” Scaurus refused, denying this was his dying day. So here a disagreement broke out, and Afer (already married) interposed as broker and arbiter. “Come to an agreement,” said he. “In my opinion, the hour of one’s marriage and of his death are one and the same.”

88. TO A VERSIFIER

If your verses cannot stand or run, dunk them in water and see if they can swim.

89. TO TRUELLIUS

All your dreams are always truthful, Truellius, since for you only the gate of horn lies open.

90. ON MY PURSE

I believe that my purse contains a rooster — lions are always fleeing out of it and making their escape.

91. ON RUFFUS AND HIS MISTRESS

Ruffus the servant called his mistress a slut, but she said “I forgive you, you are speaking in your cups. Get away!” Gad, kindly done! Nor was she unaware of the saying in vino veritas.

92. ON AFFABILITY

What huge heaps of favor he purchases for trifles, who is generous with his cap, tongue, and knee

93. AGAINST AMBROSE STEVENS

You certainly sent me your letter opportunely, for I am preparing myself for an enema tomorrow.

94. AGAINST THE SAME

He who named you after ambrosia, Stevens, thought you were a boon for Jove of the Styx.

95. AGAINST STEVENS

You often cast in my teeth, Stephens, your diligent academic debating; but I rightly cast in your teeth your accubuam.

96. ON BECUS

Lest the bailiffs catch you, Becus, you can hide behind your nose.

97. TO CANDIDUS, ABOUT ALDUS

If, as is his custom, Candidus, Aldus borrows some of my books, he selects some for his own use, reckoning them his own, and with his pen writes in their fronts in fairhand THE GIFT OF HIS FRIEND CHARLES. And so when he asked me today for two sovereigns, I refused him. You wonder why, Candidus? Ha! I feared less he brand on them, as on his books, THE GIFT OF HIS FRIEND CHARLES.

98. ON ANTIUS

Antius calls his own the two boys he feeds and rears, and thinks them so to be. The common folk are doubtful whether they are spurious bastards. Sabellus gives his insidious opinion: “But I, observant and sagacious, know by what method, and by what clever signs, marks, and tokens he can prove to the people that they are his own, so that not even Sabellus can cast aspersions. For let Antius brand on his children what my Aldus writes in his books, THE GIFT OF HIS FRIEND CARANIUS.”

99. TO EDWARD MICHELBORNE

Your poet, discovering that he had forgotten to say farewell, and that his hand had set good faith’s seal, begs your pardon, Edward, for he who thus parting was unable to say his farewell will all the quicker give a greeting upon his return.

100. ON THE BRITANNIA OF THAT LEARNED MAN WILLIAM CAMDEN

Crazy antiquity, why foist off on me the remnants of the Greeks and the lofty walls of Troynovant? What Brutus, father of Albion, do you invent, Geoffrey, oh truly names sprung from your ways? By his intellect Camden returned to all the world the Britons, separated from all the world. Rather, he separated the Britons from all the world, whom he makes neighbors to the supernals, and to the heavens.

101. TO RICHARD CARPENTER

Carpenter, chief of my old friends and first concern among my new, grace and wit of a man, were it permitted by my fates, by spirits (alas) averse to me, to live and drink in all your witticisms with my ear, and then with our chatter to add delays to my busy days, by Hercules, then I would not wish to enjoy Mercury’s sportings and pranks, nor the Graces’ tunes or the words of the Loves, not all the diversions of an elegant heaven. This single good thing, I confess, I rightfully envy my Vere; indeed, you yourself excite my envy, because you are always allowed to enjoy your own company.

102. TO WINDS AND RIVERS, FOR THE ARRIVAL OF MY VERE

Aeolian princes, spirited offspring of Typhoes, and also you race born of father Astraeus, and you healers of the air, whose task it is to employ old age to restrain this god who would fill all things by his constant action, and you who dare make attacks on nearby fields, an army reinforced by rainy Veiovis’ reserves, hostile lakes and unfriendly rivers, why do you make dangerous the highway to my hopes? Why do you lay blockade to impassible roads, so Vere cannot find reinforcements for a mind besieged by a great phalanx of fears? Why is the separation of a pair of loving men dear to your mind? How small will be the triumph you will gain from our murder — but at least you may murder us in your prayers, those whom you can’t with your weaponry. Now set aside the hostile blasts of the conquered South wind. Let Vere, my amiability, rout the retreating squadrons of cares from my heart, and visit me. If perchance he is deprived of a horse or swift courser, Zephyrus, bring hither your Xanthus or your Balius. There will be no rider more fit for them, nor will any man live more welcome for me.

103. TO LYCUS THE SACRIFICER

Sacred is as sacred does. So why should you be called a sacrificer, Lycus, and not a scarifier?

104. TO BALDA

Because you are my senior and have ingloriously whiled away more years, you wish me to jump to my feet bareheaded. By this logic, Baldus, I ought also to rise for your horse, which thirty years’ worth of oats have foddered.

105. TO ALDUS

As you were born atop St. Michael’s Mount, Aldus, who would think you were lowborn?

106. TO ALDUS

Who said you were born of obscure and lowly station, Aldus, was mistaken: you were born on sunny mountain heights.

107. TO A CERTAIN PERSON

Red in the nose, wearing scarlet socks, grasping with your claws, you resemble my parrot.

108. TO THAT MOST LEARNED MAN THEODORE BEZA

Venerable hoariness, a reverend brow, yet pleasant, as I fancy Pericles’ to have been, celestial wrinkles (if I may call these wrinkles which the Grace has drawn on your countenance with her happy pumice), let me sew your gems on my pages, gems which Phoebus might better bear on his golden orb. Holy old man, I pray you may live for your city and the world, until the Fates grant you a successor who is your equal. If my prayers find God favorable, Beza, you will be the last man to die.

109. TO THAT MOST LEARNED MAN JOSEPH SCALIGER

Of demigods by race, and (which is higher than any race) born of Caesar, o Scaliger born for the gods, either in no way inferior to Caesar your father, or only in this, that did you did not give the world a Scaliger, as did he, since the gods, now exhausted by procreation, give you no son, as they can give you no peer. Lest the Scaliger clan fair utterly you adopt sons by which you may survive this age: you restore to life so many shades of the ancients, buried in darkness and night, great in your power, greater in these your adoptive sons than others in those born of their body! Does any crowd so numerous call anybody their father?

110. TO THAT MOST WELL-ENDOWED MAN HENRICUS RANZOVIUS

The air of virtue is errant and flighty, and abhors a vacuum in her bosom. What land, what sky does not know Ranzovius, unless it is ignorant of Phoebus and his sister gods? We too, though we be Britons cut off from all the world, are scarcely a crew cut off from your name. Rightly, the poetical world is wholly at your service, and without you, if some poetic vein should flow, it would flow without delight. No page comes to Phoebus, or is designed to please the Muses, which does not bear the Ranzovius name. O well preserved, whatever is entrusted to the Muses! And who gives them work not meant to endure will receive back imperishable work.

111. TO THAT MOST DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN JAN DOUSA

How much Phoebus now lives in your debt, and how much do the sacred names of his sister-goddess, let them frankly admit, and should they refuse, let the knowing throng of gods and men give their testimony. For your debt, Dousa, you have a pledge more enduring than all brass, and an undying glory. But only be easy, nor call in your debt and make demands on the delinquent choir. For if the Muses and Apollo repaid all they owe, the would not have enough remaining to support themselves.

112. TO ALBERICO AND SCIPIO GENTILI

Perhaps, Alberico, precious gem of holy Themis, you will illuminate this work with the light of your sun. Perhaps your hand, cultured Scipio, will hold my trifles also, as I can scarcely dare to hope. If either thing befall me, I shall rightly think myself a man; if both befall me, I shall think myself all but a god. But Jupiter has done well to place you on separate shores, for one sun is enough for a sky.

113. ON PAULUS MELISSUS, A RIGHT EXCELLENT POET

It was cold, and the chill had assaulted my shivering limbs; I shifted my frigid frame to the warm hearth. And my hand grasped your pages, best of bards, pages born of Apollo’s tripod or Jove’s s highest peak. Here the book suddenly slopped from my hand, and the fire took it: it stood in the midst of the pyre, unharmed. Phoebus said to me in my awe, “What can fire do to a book which the Muse has wholly soaked in Clarian water?

114. ON THE SAME MAN’S POETIC WORKS

I wished to seek gems (but more splendid ones) in my Melissus; I wished to suck sugar (but sweeter) from my Melissus’ honeycomb; I wished to cull flowers (but more graceful) from my Melissus’ garden, and charms (but more graceful) from my Melissus’ writings. But I was carefully looking here and there, looking I gathered, and gathering I combined into a single bundle the gems, the nectar, the blossoms, the graces, and a new Melissus was born for me, and I had two complete Melissuses, the one printed and the other written down. Now I see that my Melissus (how great, how great he is!) is for me wholly gems, nectar, blossoms, and graces.

115. ON THE CATULLAN SHADE OF JULIUS CAESAR SCALIGER

I marveled at the ghost and shade of the elegant poet, in whom rejoicing Verona triumphs as her bard. It was speaking more learnedly, and somehow more divinely, than the things he had written in his verse when alive. Now I understand: he wrote them as a mortal on earth, but sings them more divinely on the ridges of Elysium.

116. THE COLUMBAE POETICAE OF FRIEDERICH TAUBMANN

We doves, who until lately were Venus care, are now under the protection of Phoebus and Phoebus’ crew. But Venus remits none of her care; rather, as Phoebus’ rival she continues to cherish us. We owe this to you, glory of the French nation, bright poet who shares our snow-white hue. Yield to us, you crows, you long-lived Phoenix, and any other bird that boasts of centuries. As in whiteness before, so now we excel in years, since now we are an immortal choir. The gratitude should be equal on either side: we have him his title and his whiteness, he gave us Phoebus and long centuries to live.

117. TO CUPID, ABOUT THE OCELLI OF JANUS LERNUTIUS

Blind little son of a dim-eyed Dione, why does lack of sight trouble you, why does it pain you to lack these eyes? Lo, a salve is made ready for you. Lo, eyes are now made ready. Take for yourself Lernutius’ new Ocelli, take, I say, Lernutius’ most eye-like Ocelli, the Ocelli of Lernutius, of the Graces, and of yourself, so now you can challenge Phoebus, that splendor and eye of the world, blind little son of a dim-eyed Dione.

118. ON THE TWO MOST DISTINGUISHED POETS, THE SECUNDI, JANUS OF THE HAGUE AND PETRUS LOTICHIUS

All Greece did not give us two Homers, nor all Latium two Vergils, but Germany (ever lavish with her bards) gave the earth two Secundi at once; it gave at once two such Secundi that I scarce think that, if all Greece were to return, all Latium ancient and modern, unless the one were restore her Homer and the other her Vergil, could give the earth a third Secundus first before these two.

119. ON JACOB VULGGIUS, A BELGIAN POET, ON HIS SACRED HYMNS

On this sacred day, Jacob, I play in your honor, so that I may sing in a manner agreeable to the sacred things you sing. It is not allowed to play with sacred things, but I deemed that to handle sacred things playfully is to sanctifu these holidays. I think it acceptable to celebrate sacred things on this day, singing songs worthy of this sacred day, and of this man.

120. TO JACOB KRULL, A GERMAN

Your arms display your family crest, Krull: a snake and anchor surrounded by two roses. The anchor is enclosed in the snake’s winding coil, one of the roses is white, the other red. What is the anchor? Christ. What is the snake? Envy. But that red rose? Faith. What means the white? Salvation. Why fear the floods of this world? Christ is an anchor, yo8ur faith is fixed in it, from it comes sure salvation.

121. ON THE SNAKE BITING AN ANCHOR

When with his tooth the snake bites the anchor, his teeth are broken, the anchor stands firm. Thus when a man in a mad passion seeks to destroy others, livid, he is harmed by his own rage.

122. IN HIS SYMBOL, CHRIST MY ANCHOR

When the sails of the world are tossed by many a storm, You, Christ, will be my safety’s strong anchor. Good, Satan: send winds from the south and the sea’s furies, I have no care: here is my holy anchor, my safe ship.

123. ON THE GERMAN CLERGYMAN JOHANN MOLLER, WHO WAS SCURVILY ROBBED OF ALL HIS MONEY BY ROBBERS, BY MEANS OF A RUSE OF FEIGNED DRUNKENNESS

“Accursed hunger for gold, what do you not compel mortal hearts to do?” Divine Vergil said these words. “Accursed thirst for gold, what do you not compel mortal hearts to do?” Vergil could better have said. For tosspots stole your gold, Moller. Tell me, is this an accursed hunger, or a thirst? But, whether this was hunger or wither it was thirst, I pray it will drink of the hangman’s dire cup.

124.

He who stole your coins by feigning thirst, Moller, let him truly endure the thirst of Tantalus.

125.

You ask, o reader, why Moller’s name now has a long penultimate syllable, and now a short. Because Moller is common. And you ask why he should be common? Pay heed, I’ll tell you. Nature created him long, but behold, a thief shortened him. But who thus makes a short out of a long, I pray that he himself gets stretched, and thus produces a long.

126. TO JOHANNES MOLLER

When thieves stole your coins, why did they fail to steal your mind’s endowments, since gold is cheaper and more trifling than endowments of the mind?
For robbers do not esteem the goods of the mind: neither is divine virtue taken from a man by theft, nor by Fate’s wounding.
Therefore you who seek distant lands, pilgrim, carry these treasures with you, which neither theft, nor Fate itself, can take from you.

127. FOR THE SAME, A PROPEMPTICON

Ill done! With its distant expanses shall the far-flung earth disjoin men conjoined in mind? Shall I be torn away from you by so many parsangs, will so many rivers and fields divide me from myself? Shall I live as one man in multiple quarters, at once English and German? Ah, it will be! For Albion will have my heartless body, Teuton climes will have my heart, with Moller. Now, Moller, your bosom will bear my heart to the bosom of Germany, where it cannot go. Thief of my mind, Moller, clever filcher of my heart, come, tell me by what art do you steal myself from me? I am seeking my rights: caught red-handed, either give me back my heart, or, at thief, steal me as well as it.

128. ON POLLENS

Pollens made Pantavore his sole heir, thinking him a near kinsman. But he was ne’er-do-well.

129. ON AN ATHEIST

You never perjure yourself as you swear, atheist, but nobody chooses to credit you. For although you weary god and heaven with your swearing, you fancy you are not swearing at all.

130. ON MALLIUS

Mallius lately requested a knight’s estate from our divine sovereign, he who has always been accustomed to go afoot.

131. TO HIS OXFORD FRIENDS

O Vere, the choir-leader of my dear friends, and you brace of Rouses, fed on pious Thalia’s juice and milk, and you, More, father of wit and mirth, sweetest chorus of the Brass Nose, breasts more tender than swans’ down, o Vernon and dear Phillipps, dearer to me than the marrow of my breast, and you, o hearts as white as snow, o Rashley, Bohun, and Treffry, while sporting in the middle of Oxford you snatch at laughter and wantonness, your Fitzgeoffrey, not infrequently your most playful companion, with whom you have been wont to play, cheer, joke, laugh, drink and dine, is wasting with a wretched foul disease, wondering when the hastening Fate will cut the thread of his failing life. But, loyal comrades, he desires to leave a token of his affection amidst you whom he so adored, before he departs: lo, he shares out this heaven-seeking soul with each of you. But the expostulating fathers of the Lyceum deny that the soul is divisible into any parts, being solid and untouchable. Therefore, as it is distributed throughout the intact limbs while it wholly thrives in the body as a whole, thus let each of my comrades receive this whole soul, loyal and loving, you to whom it flies, incapable of delay, with heaven and its heavenly planets, and the blessed circuits of the pure aether being postponed. For me you are the heavenly planets, you are the circuits of the blessed aether.

132. TO THE REV. EUSTACE MORE

Eustace, my sincere love, you whom I bear as a welcome weight in my dear heart’s inmost recess, has tattling Rumor brought it to your ears that a merciless pestilence rages in my frame? If you have not heard, then come, consult my verses: how accurately my languishing Muse reflects her master! He consumes the marrow in his bones, and so does she; he is unsteady on his feet, and so is she. I believe the both of us would have gone under the shadows of the all-consuming Styx, if your affection had not recalled us to life.

133. TO EDWARD MICHELBORNE

While the blood ran hot in my healthy body, and when I was strong in my thriving heart, I abstained and feared to give you my poems, lest this hoopoe disturb your song, o nightingale. Now I dare submit these dying trifles to you, along with their master, while I am being transformed in the hold of Charon’s barque. Thus when the swan, who has silently lived on the waters of the Thames, summons the Fates, lo, he pours out his tunes in death. O many my tunes pour forth swanlike melodies, and let my learned Muse sing songs even when dying. It would be my pleasure to descend to the shades of Orcus more often, so that I might sing your praises more frequently.

134. TO JOHN SPRINT

Now Cynthia raises the crescent horns of her ninth orb while she traverses the clear sky with her pair of horses, since the time I sought Apollo’s countryside, the city abandoned, where lies the long estate of the Coronean duke. Do you wonder at my lengthy departure and tardy return, Sprint, you sons of the sons of Thespis, you genius of the place? A grave illness afflicts me with its protracted torment, a disease that mocks the help of Machaon’s art. But on behalf of your dear friend’s health, dear Sprint, you offer up to Phoebus a thousand jokes, a thousand songs.

135. TO A FRIEND

May thus the goddess you give you enduring salvation, that goddess who is the protectress of uncertain health. Thus may she long protect your limbs with thriving vigor,
So that you may piously groan over my illness, wholly dissolved in grief, and appease Phoebus with the gifts of prayer on behalf of my health,
So that you may remove some of the pangs of my agony, suffering with me, and, commingling your sighs, add to the laments of your friend.
Thus may the gods give you enduring salvation, thus may you never experience to your misery the great pains, which now ill vex me for the second month.

136. TO HIS CAMBRIDGE FRIENDS

Shall I, a goose, dare emit a raucous honk amidst the tuneful swans? Am I permitted to steal a trifling hour from them for the reading of my naughty trifles? Shall I dare rend your ears with a trivial, inept little poem, which smacks of the uncouth countryside in which it was wretchedly born as a diseased raged? May this perchance be allowed, and the hospitality of your bosom seeks to provide hospitality for a stranger in the Muse’s bosom, o dearest bevy of friends which this city enfolds in its gentle arms, this city never founded from the Spanish Cantaber, but rather from the shell of Apollo’s lyre, o Benton, Flamanche, o Durand, and Bridgeman, my loyal friend. How my Muse resembles her master! The juice in both our bodies is dried up, the blood in both our bodies is dried up, we are both reeling on our feet. Yet if you nurse us in your bosom, perhaps the goddess Health will look upon ups both. Thus the near-dead sparrow revived, when Lesbia nursed it in hers.

137. MAN’S LIFE AND DEATH

A year scarce suffices us for our birth, yet one short hour suffices for death.

138.

When ailing I said “I shall die,” and lo, I suddenly revived; and when healthy “I shall live,” and lo, I fall dead. O men’s minds, doubtful and blind to the future! O how much of dark night our breasts contain! As life is uncertain, as death is most certain, I certainly cannot say “I shall live” or “I shall die.”

139. ON THE PARCAE

The common folk wrongly that the Parcae pardon no man. They do pardon, yet have unfair hands: they give dullards Nestor’s old age and more, but scarce allow the foremost in wit to pass their early days.

140. LIFE’S DREAM

The ancients rightly called life a dream: a man on his deathbed dreams of life for himself.

141. TO GEORGE SOMMASTRE, MOST WORTHY MASTER OF BROADGATES HALL

George, most upstanding of presidents that this house of the nine goddesses, always a residence for Phoebus and his bards, to whom broad gates have given a name (though by antiphrasis), has ever seen or ever will see, and you, its sacred genius and sacred household gods, the tutelary glory of the place and its patrons, be present and favor my humble Muse. Lo, a part (of whatever its size may be) of your not uncultured fellowship, not worthy of rejection, or destined to disgrace you wholly, he, your Fitzgeoffrey, whom you are accustomed to esteem somewhat, desires to testify in an affidavit published to you and the entire world, and cheerfully admits (yet not without the aura of a grateful mind) that whatever or however little he may be (if he be anybody), or whatever the future years, perhaps granting better things, promise he will become, that, after God and his excellent parents, and after Harvey, a second father to him, with justice he acknowledges that he is wholly in your debt. You took me in, bereaved of my dear father and (who by surviving assuaged my longing for my father) Mohun my uncle (alas, a double wounding from a single weapon!), when I had first withdrawn my hand from the Harveian rod, scarce an adolescent, and added two years to a pair of lustra, and, cherishing me in your bosom, gave me seven years’ hospitality, welcome (by Jupiter!) and full of leisure. My education and my erudition, no matter how small it be, I credit to you, and I cheerfully confess I am indebted to you for the one and for the other. And for these good deeds and profits, as much as I have been able, as much as I may be able, I have always revered you, and shall always revere you, and thin upon you wth a grateful mind. No mater how departed in far-flung climes I may be, drinking from the Rhine, the Seine, or the Tiber, or wherever my fortune may soon carry me, I shall always bear you in my remembering heart. But, o you household gods, I imagine that you in turn will not be wholly forgetful of me, your poet and your alumnus, if your alumnus is not forgetful, your poet is not an ingrate. When you will reckon up the ornaments of this house in their long tradition, ornaments both of the Hall and of the city, names to be sung in every century, famous Jewel, learned, erudite Turner (though he was an ungrateful, undutiful son), and then Grenville, Moyle, and Carew, and Nelder, and your Trefus, perhaps Fitzgeoffrey will be accounted among these men, albeit his name be the last and lowest. Thus bay this best of halls thrive and flourish, as it has always thrived and flourished, thanks to your sacred influences, genius and household gods, and you, the head of the Hall, George, most upstanding of presidents.

142. TO HIS READERS

Rejoice and be of good cheer, all of you whom my tiny barque has borne over the water of a storm-tossed sea, past shoals shallows, and shifting sands, past Scyllas and greedy Charybdises, past all the things old lady Amphitrite, that monster, nurses in her huge paunch, rejoice and be of good cheer, my sailors, and let your coxwain’s command assault high heaven. Lo, I see the shore. Behold, we have endured the wandering expanse of the wise sea. How often, alas, our light skiff has grounded on the stormy shoals of uncouthness! How often, alas, we have come close to suffering a lamentable shipwreck of bad Latinity! And we daft race of sailors have rushed into all this and worse, so that we might fetch back a scurvy cargo of trifles, blitherings, and nonsense. Yet what else, pray tell, do they fetch us from both the Indies (those who seek the Ganges and the Platte), if not a monkey, a puppy, a parrot, an exotic rabbit, and an ape resembling themselves right down to the fingernails, games, entertainments, pastimes of a daft mistress or a fickle little boy? The greater part of cargo nowadays is for the delectation of such as these.

143. THOMAS MICHELBORNE

This book took its beginning from you, for you it shall make its ending. There is no reason for you to refuse to be last, you who were my first.

Cenotaphia