Source: A p. 85.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem must have been written prior to 1577, when Gager was admitted to the B. A.: for the flogging of undergraduates “for grave offences,” cf. Henry L. Thompson, Christ Church (London, 1900) 74f. (to understand this, it should be borne in mind that some matriculated students came up to Oxford as early as age twelve). XCII below humorously deals with the same subject.
Gager came up from Winchester to Oxford as a Queen’s Scholar. Robert Dorset, one of the eight Canons of Christ Church and Christ Church Treasurer, was a member of the selection committee, and became his early champion. His career is sketched at Wood, F. O. I.213. For his support of Gager at the time of his entry to Christ Church cf. Brooke, “Life and Times” 406.
We may probably assume that Gager, a prodigy at Latin versification, had received a thrashing for neglecting other responsibilities, and that he is appealing to a powerful figure in his College to rescue him.

1ff. For some mysterious reason, Augustus Caesar banished Ovid to the shores of the Black Sea, where the poet spent the rest of his life firing off piteous complaints about his exile. In line 2 he refers to Ovid’s authorship of the rather scandalous Ars Amatoria and Remedium Amoris, but in line 5 he denies that this was the cause of the poet’s difficulty.
3f. For Latin versification described in similar language, cf. Ovid, Amores II.20 - 3 (about the composition of elegiac couplets):

turpiter obliquo claudicet ille pede.
carminis hoc ipsum genus inpar; sed tamen apte
iungitur herous cum breviore modo.

And also Ovid, Tristia III.vii.10, aptaque in alternos cogere verba pedes.
5 The best testimony for Ovid’s exile is the poet’s own statements in Epistulae ex Ponto and Tristia (especially V.x).
6 Cf. Ovid, Heroides vii.86, minor culpa poena futura mea est. Perhaps also compare Tristia V.xi.10, mollior est culpam poena secuta meam.
19 Maecenas, to whom Dorset is compared, was the friend and patron of Horace and Vergil. Cf. Ovid, Met. XIII.70, aspiciunt oculis superi mortalia iustis.


Source: A pp. 85f.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Although Robert Wake is not to be found in University records, his name is included among the list of undergraduates in the Christ Church battels book for 1577 and 1578, and in the buttery book for 1579 (the battels book entry for that year is missing, perhaps due to the final illness of Robert Dorset, but Wake is included in the equivalent list in Bodl. ms. Wood c. 8, p. 95).

4 The comparison is suggested by Statius, Silvae

               quantum praecedit clara minores
luna faces.


Source: A p. 86.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

See the discussion of Gager’s evidently homosexual poetry in the General Introduction to his poetry.

11f. Cf. Meleager 1586, dolor iste levis est, iam furere par est magis.
14 Cf. mordere manes at XXIII.22.
18 For cuncta timemus amantes cf. Ovid, Met. VII.719.
30 For quo feror? aut ubi sum? cf. the note on LI.18. Cf. also XLI.4, pectora felle tument.


Source: A p. 87.   Date: Written for New Year’s Day 1577 or 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem is not far removed from LXVI, a poem quite likely written for New Year’s Day 1578. That might suggest that the present poem was written for New Year’s Day 1577, and that the intervening items represent Gager’s poetic output for 1577. But since LXVI was confessedly written tardily it is not impossible that the present effort too was written for New Year’s Day of 1578.
Gager was a gregarious man, who made a wide variety of friendships attested by his notebook poems. In the long run, none proved more important than that with Martin Heton (Gager invariably spells his name this way, as does Anthony à Wood. An eighteenth-century descendant who was a Canon of Ely Cathedral went by the name Heaton, and in the index at the end of A. Clark’s Register of the University of Oxford, Oxford 1885 - 1887, the reader is referred to Eaton. Together with another contemporary who was a good friend of Gager, Richard Eedes, Heton came up to Christ Church from Westminster in 1571. He was admitted to the B. A. in December 1574 and incepted for the M. A. in May 1578, both times on the same day as Eedes, in 1582 was made one of the eight Canons of Christ Church, soon being appointed Sub-Dean, and served as Vice Chancellor of the University in 1588. In the next year he became Dean of Winchester College, and was installed as Bishop of Ely in February, 1600. In 1601 he brought in Gager as surrogate to the Chancellor of his diocese, and Gager was promoted to the Chancellorship on the death of the incumbent. Both men worked together until Heton’s death in 1609. It is therefore fitting that Gager composed one of the epitaphs for Heton’s tomb (CXCVII). Cf. the biographical sketch at Wood, A. O. II.847. Heton also wrote occasional verse in Latin: cf. Bradner’s Musae Anglicanae 61 and 66.

8 A similar wish is often similarly expressed: cf. LXXXVIII.25, novus iste fluat tibi molliter annus, CXIII.26 (also to Heton), iste tibi molliter annus eat, and CXLIV.13, utque annus novus iste fluat tibi molliter optat, etc.


Source: A p. 87.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.


Source: A p. 87.   Meter:Dactylic hexameters.


Source: A p. 87.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

4 For dura noverca cf. Valerius Flaccus III.610 (and also Pyramis 214).


Source: A pp. 87f.   Date: 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Dorset cf. the note on LIX. The juxtaposition of this poem to LXXII in A strongly suggests that this poem was belatedly written for New Year’s Day 1578.

1 and 3 Cito dat qui bis dat is a Roman proverb sometimes attributed to Publilius Syrus.
7 For Dorset as Maecenas, cf. the note on LVIII.19. For nostri pignus amoris cf. also CXLIV.11 and CLXXVII.23.


Source: A p. 29.   Date: prior to December 1577   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

This dedicatory distich is appended to Gager’s hexameter Susanna. Since this work is followed by a colophon Susannam composui scholaris, it must have been composed prior to December 1577, when Gager was admitted to the B. A.
An advantage of being a Christ Church Canon was that one could marry; thus, for example, one Canon, Gager’s friend Richard Eedes, married the daughter of another, Harbert Westfaling.


Source: A p. 40.   Date: prior to December 1577.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

This dedicatory epigram is appended to Gager’s poetic translation of Isocrates’ Praecepta quaedam Isocratis. In a colophon Gager states that it too is a product of his undergraduate years.


Source: A p. 88, edited by C. F. Tucker Brooke, “William Gager to Queen Elizabeth,” Studies in Philology 29 (1932) 172f.   Date: 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Perhaps Gager had contrived to be present when his uncle Sir William Cordell entertained the Queen at his home in August 1578, and received some mark of royal favor. Another possibility is that he wrote this poem thanking her for the Queen’s Scholarship that had allowed him to attend Oxford, to be presented on this occasion.
Two poems that follow shortly thereafter in the manuscript (LXXVI and LXXVII) were written in honor of this same occasion.

1f. Cf. the note on XX.1ff.
3f. In a general way, this expression of gratitude is rather like that of Atalanta’s at Meleager 914f.:

 quod dabo munus tuo
aequale merito?

Cf. also, perhaps, Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.viii 35f.:

parva quidem fateor pro magnis munera reddi,
cum pro concessa verba salute damus.

 7 For poetry as a praise-sounding trumpet, cf. XLIX.6 and LI.5f.
Cf. Vergil, Eclogue v.76, dum iuga montis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit.


Source: A p. 88.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A pp. 88f.   Meter:Elegiac couplets.

Gager could handle the theme of chastity and marriage lightly as well as seriously. Some readers may think the final lines imply the speaker would rather forfeit his chastity than pay his friend the pound!
The occasion that prompted this series of poems is impossible to divine. Presumably Gager was aware of Martial’s ribald epigram Zona (XIV.cli):

longa satis nunc sum; dulci sed pondere venter
   si tumeat, fiam tunc tibi zona brevis.

6  Cf. Ovid, Fasti VI.128, hoc pretium positae virginitatis habe.


Source: A p. 89.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A p. 89.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.


Source: A p. 89.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In modified form this poem reappears both as the first lines of the Prologue to Meleager and as the last of Gager’s printed poems on the death of Sir Philip Sidney (XXXV).
For Dorset, cf. the note on LIX.

1 For Dorset as Maecenas, cf. the note on LIX.19.
5 Cf. Germanicus, Aratea 56, Zephyris spirantibus auras.
9 For pinguis = “dull, slow-witted, clumsy, coarse,” cf. CXXXVII.11 and CL.59 (Oxford Latin Dictionary 7b, citing, inter alia, Horace, Epodes II.i.267, but for pingue ingenium cf. especially Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.148). For vena = “literary talent,” cf. CXXXVIII.6 (O. L. D. def. 7, citing Horace, Ars Poetica 409, Odes II.xviii.10, Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.v.21, and with a possibly slight difference of meaning, Juvenal, Satire vii.53. Cf. also CXXXVII.11, ingenium fateor mihi pingue, CXLVII.3, nec venae divitis esse, and CL.49, horum (sc. carminum) vena tibi dives.


Source: A p. 89.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

Richard Eedes and Martin Heton were contemporaries at Christ Church, arriving three years before Gager, in 1571. Like Heton, Eedes went on to a distinguished career, serving as, among other things, Chaplain to the Queen and Dean of Worcester Cathedral. He was also the particular friend of Tobie Mathew, Dean of Christ Church (cf. the note on CXXXVIII.1f.); in later life he received various ecclesiastical preferments, including appointment as Chaplain to the Queen, eventually rising to the Deanship of Worcester. He died in 1605, having been selected as a translator for the K. J. V. but as yet unable to make any contribution. Like Gager, he was also a playwright and author of occasional verse in Latin. On the strength of his lost play Caesar Interfectus Francis Meres included him in his list of “our best for tragedy” in Palladis Tamia (1598); it was acted on the same occasion as the first performance of Meleager. Only the Epilogue of the play survives, which is regrettable, because it may have been of some interest for the development of the Elizabethan history play, and has even been suggested to have been a source for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Cf. Boas, pp. 163 - 5, and the biographical sketch in Wood, A. O. I.749f. He contributed prefatory epigrams for both printed volumes of Gager’s plays (see here and here), and his lengthy travel satire Iter Boreale is included in the Philological Museum.


Source: A p. 90.   Date: 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This and the next poem were written to commemorate the Queen’s visit to the home of Gager’s uncle at Long Melford, August 4 - 5, 1578 (for details about this visit cf. Tucker Brooke, “Life and Times” 402). According to Fairbairn’s Book of Crests of the Familes of Great Britain and Ireland (4th ed., London, 1905, repr. Baltimore, 1968) I.133 the crest of the Cordell familiy is a an cockatrice argent (for a representation of the family achievement of arms cf. J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of Suffolke, London, 1866, I.245). That of the Queen was of course a lion rampant. Brooke describes how Sir William liberally affixed his device to the drainpipes and andirons of Melford Halll, where they are still to be seen.
It may prove helpful to insert Webster’s definition of a cockatrice:

A mythical serpent with deadly glance, reputed to be hatched by a serpent from a cock’s egg, and commonly represented with the head, legs, and wings of a cock, and the body and tail of a serpent.

Gager may have been familiar with the description of this beast at Pliny, Natural History VIII. lxxxviii.1.

1 Although such seems contradicted by the next line, which describes a lion’s reaction to the sound of a cock, the idea that the lion cannot stand the sight of a cock is taken from Lucretius IV.14 - 7:

ni mirum quia sunt gallorum in corpore quaedam
semina, quae cum sunt oculis inmissa leonum,
pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem
praebent, ut nequeant contra durare feroces.

4 Cf. Germanicus, Aratea 108f.:

                  nec dedignata subire
tecta hominum.

9 I suppose this alludes to Aesop’s Fable 16 Perry, about the cock and the cat (or weasel).
11 Cf. Lucretius V.729, nec potis est cerni, quia cassum lumine fertur.
17 This line contains an untranslatable pun on gallus = “cock” and Gallus  = “Frenchman.”


Source: A pp. 90f.   Date: 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In contriving this transparantly fictitious etymology of the Cordell family name, there is no way of telling whether Gager had in mind the French Coeur de Lion or the Italian Cordeleone.


Source: A p. 91; edited by the Rev. Alexander Dyce, The Works of George Peele (London, 1861) 234f. and A. H. Bullen, The Works of George Peele (London, 1888) I.xviif.    Meter: Elegiac couplets.

George Peele, the future London playwright, must have translated one of Euripides’ two Iphigeneia tragedies into English, but we do not hear of this effort from any other source. According to David H. Horne, The Life and Minor Works of George Peele (New Haven, 1952) 42 n.48, the play in question perhaps was the Iphigenia at Aulis, reflected at Peele’s The Tale of Troy 231ff. The use of liber in line 12 can scarcely be taken as evidence that the translation was printed.
Peele matriculated from Christ Church in 1574, was admitted to the B. A. in 1577, and incepted for the M. A. in 1579.
For Peele’s assistance in the preparation (and possibly the writing) of Dido, cf the Introduction to that play. For Gager’s evident help in seeing his Latin epyllion Pareus through Joseph Barnes’ press at Oxford, cf. the General Introduction to Gager’s poetry. Peele had a reputation as a merry prankster, and it says something about the catholicity of the young Gager’s connections that he would strike up a friendship with this boon blade.

2 Cf. Ovid, Tristia IV.x.24f.:

    scribere temptabam verba soluta modis.
sponte sua carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos.

3 Cf. CXVII.37, nec me fateri pudeat.
5 Cf. Juvenal, Satire iv.102, miratur acumen. On the phrase subitum… acumen, David H. Horne wrote:

Coming as it does in association with Peele’s ability to jest, the word sounds as though Gager is implying that hitherto he had been more impressed with Peele’s sense of humor with his intelligence. Since the Iphigenia is the earliest known work, it is surely not fantastic to suppose that with it Peele found himself.

But these words might also be translated “your quick wit.”
6 Cf. CXXIV.79 et lepidis seria dicta iocis, line 10 of the Dido prologue, tulit omne punctum tristia admiscens iocis, and Praecepta Quaedam Isocratis 45.2, nec levibus misce seria dicta iocis. The inspiration for the Dido line, at any rate, is Horace, Ars Poetica 343 omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci. Perhaps these two Ovidian passages are comparable, Epistulae ex Ponto II.iv.9f.:

seria multa mihi tecum conlata recordor
    nec data iucundis tempora pauca iocis.

And ib. IV.iii.13f.:

ille ego qui primus tua seria nosse solebam
    et tibi iucundis primus adesse iocis.    

10 For nostra Thalia cf. Martial IV.viii.12, VIII.lxxiii.3, IX.xxvi.8, and XII.xciv.3. Cf. also CXXV.1, CXLI.22, CXLVI.6, and CXLVII.8.
13 Cf. the note on XLIX.15f.
14 For iudicio…meo cf. Ovid, Amores xvii.106, Epistulae ex Ponto II.iv.3, Fasti I. 332,Tristia IV.i.92, IV.x.40, V.3.54, and Propertius II.xxxii (xxxi + xxxii).62.


Source: A pp. 92f; edited by Dyce, op. cit. 325f.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Gager may well have had a serious purpose in writing this defence of translating the classics into English. After examining a number of translators’ introductions, Eleanor Rosenberg, Leicester the Patron (New York, 1952) 181f. wrote:

Yet [Elizabethan translators’] enemies are not primarily the Protesant divines who were the censors of the press…The translators as a group fear chiefly those unnamed critics, the followers of Zoilus and Momus, notorious patrons of ignorance. The anonymity of these carpers — men of small repute apparently, yet sufficiently influential to make their victims highly sensitive — does support the theory advanced by Conley that the enemies of translation were Roman Catholics who eyed with misgiving the whole educational effort of the Protestant rulers, designed as it was to foster an enlightened public opinion, a codified morality based on the Tudor myth and nourished by the humanities, which would be a bulwark against the agents of the Pope. “Zoilus’ sycophants” found their easiest targets in the translators, questioning the validity of their interpretations, the wholesomeness of their materials, the style of their handling of the new vernacular — this much we can guess from the defenses erected by their victims in anticipation of attack.

1 Cf. XXXIV.14 and the note ad loc.
2 For carmina…qualiacunque cf. LXI.6.
5f. Cf. the note on Panniculus 490ff. The present character is a kind of prototype of Gager’s Momus. But he in turn is based on Martial’s portrait of the captious critic Zoilus (XII.liv):

  crine ruber, niger ore, brevis pede, lumine laesus,
      rem magnam praestas, Zoile, si bonus es.

Cf. also the note on LXXXVIII.13f.
In view of this imitation of Martial, and also of Gager’s Momus, the fantastic suggestion of Horne (op. cit. 45f.) that this is a real or even burlesque physical description of Peele himself, of whom we lack a portrait, can in all probability be excluded.
Cf. Persius, Satire I.106, nec pluteum caedit nec demorsos sapit unguis.
31 Arthur Golding [d. 1605], the English translator of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Books I - IV, 1565, complete ed. 1567).
34 Cf. XXIV.38f. and the note ad loc.
36 Cf. Martial IX, proem. 11, ille ego sum nulli nugarum laude secundus.
40 Cf. Ovid, Amores III.ix.28, defugiunt avidos carmina sola rogos.


Source: A p. 93.   Date: Pertinent to a Comitia quaestio of July 14, 1578.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

John Browne matriculated from Christ Church in 1572, was admitted to the B.A. in 1574, and incepted for the M.A. in 1577. He supplicated for that degree in May, in time to debate in Comitia in that year, although the position of this poem in the manuscript might seem to indicate that he did not do so until the following year. Browne was elected a Proctor of the University in 1582. Cf. Clark, Register II.iii 39, Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses (Oxford, 1885 - 87) III.194 and 39, and Wood, F. O. I.220.

9 Mercury was the son of the nymph Cyllene.


Source: A pp. 93f.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In the General Introduction to Gager’s plays, I have already discussed the evident psychological significance of this poem, and how its arguments anticipate those of  Meleager and Philemon in Meleager and of the Naiad in Panniculus.


Source: A p. 94.   Date: Pertinent to a Comitia quaestio of July 14, 1578.    Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Gager’s marginal Magistri Richardi Edes, 1o anno dates this poem to 1578. In his biographical note on Eedes (cf. the note on LXXV) Anthony à Wood writes that he “proceeded in arts in 1578, being then junior in comitiis, or, in the act that year.” That is to say, Eedes incepted in May 1578 and participated in Comitia that summer; he also participated in Comitia in the following year (cf. LXXXV below).

2 Cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 394, vide ut atra nubes pulvere abscondat diem, and ib. 422, atra nube subtexens diem.


Source: A p. 94.   Date: Pertinent to a Vesperies quaestio of July 9, 1576.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

We know that one of the quaestiones for Vesperies in 1576 was An morbi animi sint graviores quam corporis? (Clark, Register). This therefore appears to be a case where a poem was not placed in proper chronological order so as to group it with others of the same kind (cf. CXVII for another such deviation). The alternative is to suppose that some quaestiones were used more than once. Clark provides no instance of this having happened. However, at Anatomy of Melancholy I.iv.i (I p. 434 of the Everyman edition), Robert Burton writes “some make a question, graviores morbi corporis an animi,” which might be taken to suggest that the present topic was something of a chestnut.
The present poem reflects the attitude of an educational system that placed so much emphasis on instruction by the lecture method, and on oral examinations.

3 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xx.139, dumque suo temptat salientem pollice venam.
4 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.390, intravit calor et labefacta per ossa cucurrit.
5 Cf. Ovid, Heroides v.149, amor non est medicabilis herbis.
6 Cf. Martial V.viii.6, et iactat tumido superbus ore.
8 Cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto I.iii.26, cura quoque interdum nulla medicabilis arte.


Source: A p. 95.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

3 Cf. the proverb quoted by Terence, Heauton Timorumenos 796 and Cicero, de Officiis I. 33, ius summum saepe summast malitia.
5 Cf. Ovid, Medicamina Faciei Feminae 71, utraque sex habeant aequo discrimine libras.


Source: A p. 95.   Date: Pertinent to a Comitia quaestio of July 13, 1579.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Cf. the note on LXXXII.

1 Cf. Propertius III.xviii.24(b) (II.xxviii.58), longius aut propius mors sua quemque manet.
4 For in sua fata ruit cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.50.


Source: A pp. 95f.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 Cf. XXXVI.2, non brevis ira furor, with the note ad loc.
2 Cf. Propertius II.xv.30, verus amor nullum novit habere modum.
5 Cf., perhaps, Vergil, Aeneid I.670, nunc Phoenissa tenet Dido blandisque moratur and Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.703, quid blanda voce moraris(?)


Source: A p.96.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

8 Cf., perhaps, Plautus, Bacchides 1105, socium aerumnae and Seneca, Agamemnon 662f., aerumnae…socium.


Source: A pp. 96f.   Date: Evidently written for New Year’s Day 1580   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In contemporary records the name is also given as Braunche (Wood, F. O.), Braunch (Clark, Register), Branche (Bodl. ms. c 8, p. 103 etc.), or Branch (Foster, Alumni, who tended to modernize spellings); although invariably Gager spells it Brainche, the pun in lines 21f. of the present poem would only be possible if he pronounced the name as “Branch.”
Brainche matriculated from Christ Church on November 20, 1581, at which time he deposed that he was nineteen years old, came from Berkshire, and was a commoner. But for the dating of this poem it is important to note that for various reasons Oxford students did not always matriculate immediately upon their entering the University. (Clark, Register II.iii 100, states that he had been at Oxford since 1577, but according to the Christ Church battels and buttery books he first appears in Christ Church records in 1578 (Foster only notes that he was a student by 1579).
Brainche was admitted to the B. A. in 1582 and incepted for the M. A. in 1585. In 1591 he was elected Proctor. In later life he was rector of Hinton Waldrish, Berks. (Foster, Alumni III.171). 23 nostrae spes altera gentis appears to show that he was some kind of relative of Gager’s. Possibly he was related to the London Cordells.
In the General Introduction to the poetry I have discussed Gager’s evident Platonic homosexual relationship with Brainche, whose name has subsequently been heavily crossed out in the title and throughout the poem. This is perhaps in connection with a temporary rift that occurred between them slightly later, later patched up (cf. CI and CVIII — the name is also expunged at XCII.6, and this suggests their relationship remained somewhat mercurial).
Since the previous datable poem (LXXXV) belongs to 1579, and the next (LXXXIX) was written prior to the summer of 1580, the most likely supposition is that the present effort was written for New Year’s Day 1580.

1f. Cf. Cicero, de Natura Deorum I.lxxix.7: deinde nobis, qui concedentibus philosophis antiquis adulescentulis delectamur, etiam vitia saepe iucunda sunt. naevos in articulo pueri delectat Alcaeum; at est corporis macula naevos.
7 Cf., perhaps, Plautus, Captivi 997, ornatus haud ex suis virtutibus, and Terence, Adelphoe 176, ornatus esses ex tuis virtutibus.
9 Cf. Juvenal, Satire x.27, gemmata et lato Setinum ardebit in auro. For a similar image of a gem mounted in a base setting cf. CLXXVIII.5, quis gemmam includi plumbo…non doleat(?)
13f. Thersites is the grotesque hunchback who challenges Odysseus and the other Achaeans in Book II of the Iliad. Since he too was a captious critic in his way, the use of ore niger for him as well as for the Zoilus-like critic Gager meets in LXXIX (cf. lines 5f.) is not inappropriate.
21 Cf. XCVI.5, qui cum sis ingens silvamque cacumine vincis.
22 Cf. XXXIV.44f.

coeloque nemus pecorique daturae

Both passages are based on Seneca, Tr. 543, umbrasque terris reddit et caelo nemus.
23 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.168, magnae spes altera Romae.
27 I am unaware of any surviving poetry by Brainche.
28 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.443, magni mihi muneris instar.


Source: A p. 97.   Date: Before June 1580.   Meter: hendecasyllables.

Tobie Mathew was Dean of Christ Church from 1576 to 1584. At that time he left Oxford for installation as Dean of Durham. Afterwards he became Bishop of Durham and eventually Archbishop of York. For a biographical skech cf. Wood, A. O. II.869 - 72.
The occasion for this expression of gratitude is unknown. It could only have been written prior to the summer of 1580, when Gager incepted for the M. A. (June 15) and could no longer describe himself as pessimus infimi cucilli. If normal chronological order is assumed to obtain, this poem belongs to 1580 (cf. the initial note to LXXXVIII, ad fin.).
Gager later converted this poem and its doublet, XCVIII, into one of his published efforts on the occasion of the death of Sir Philip Sidney (XXVIII). See the initial note on that poem.

1f. Cf. XXVIII.1 - 3 with the note on line 2.


Source: A p. 97.  Meter: Elegiac couplet.

Levis can mean “light” or “fickle.” For the idea, cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 189 - 91 (also imitated at CXVII.45f.):

iuvenilis ardor impetu primo furit,
languescit idem facile nec durat diu
in Venere turpi, ceu levis flammae vapor.


Source: A p. 98f.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

Cf. the General Introduction to Gager’s poetry for the conjecture that this poem is inspired by a quaestio set for disputation by inceptors in Theology; that supposition would explain its anti-Catholic bias.

1ff. The beginning imitates that of Juvenal’s eighth Satire:

  stemmata quid faciunt? quid prodest, Pontice, longo
  sanguine censeri, pictos ostendere vultus
  maiorum et stantis in curribus Aemilianos
  et Curios iam dimidios umeroque minorem
  Coruinum et Galbam auriculis nasoque carentem(?)

7f. St. Paul’s traditional iconographic attributes are a sword and a book.
9 Presumably the two greatest Popes of this name, Gregory I and VII.
10 Again, cf. Juvenal, Satire viii.5, Coruinum et Galbam auriculis nasoque carentem.
12 For tabula iactare capaci cf. ib. 6.
13ff. Cf. ib. 8 - 12:

fumosos equitum cum dictatore magistros.
si coram Lepidis male vivitur? effigies quo
tot bellatorum, si luditur alea pernox
 ante Numantinos, si dormire incipis ortu
luciferi, quo signa duces et castra movebant?

21 Cf. Statius, Silvae I.ii.192, imperii Latiale caput.
26f. Cf. Juvenal, Satire viii.41f.:

tumes alto Drusorum stemmate, tamquam
feceris ipse aliquid propter quod nobilis esses.

Cf. also  Martial IV.xi.1, dum nimium vano tumefactus nomine gaudes.
35f. Cf. Juvenal, Satire viii.18f.:

  tota licet veteres exornent undique cerae
  atria, nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus.

 Cf. also unica spes at CLX.2.


Source: A p. 99.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For the corporal punishment of undergraduates, cf. the initial note on LIX. This poem must have been written before the summer of 1582, when Brainche was admitted to the B. A.

4 Cf. Statius, Silvae II.i.187f.:

interius steriles ripas et adusta subibit


Source: A p. 99.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

For Richard Eedes cf. the initial note on LXXV. The effect of this pun of course depends on the untranslatable pun malum = “apple” and “evil.” If the conjectures that LXXXV was written for New Year’s Day 1579, and LXXXIX was written prior to June 1580, when Gager was admitted to the B. A. are correct, the New Year in question probably was that of 1580 or 1581.
Two of Martial’s epigrams were written to accompany a gift of apples, VII.xlix, and X.xciv. Compare also his poems having to do with the Roman custom of giving gifts during the Saturnalia in December, the closest Roman equivalent to the giving of New Year’s gifts, such as and lxxxiv, VII.liii and xci. Both this and the next poem may have been written with Ausonius, Epistle xvii in mind:

aurea mala, Theon, set plumbea carmina mittis;
   unius massae quis putet has species?
unum nomen utrisque, sed est discrimen utrisque;
   poma ut mala voces, carmina verte mala.


Source: A p. 99.   Meter:Elegiac couplet.

This couplet represents an inversion of its predecessor. Here the pun is on pomum, meaning “fruit,” but having a derogatory meaning when applied to a person. Cf. Oxford Latin Dictionary def. d, suggesting the translation “specimen,” citing Petronius, Satyricon 57.3.


Source: A p.99.   Date: 1581?   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

If this poem is placed at the proper chronological point, it is probably an expression of displeasure at the marriage contract between Elizabeth and François de Valois, Duc d’Anjou, entered into on May 15, 1581. The proposed union was highly unpopular among the English people. See the amusing story of the Cambridge student who got hauled on the carpet by Vice-Chancellor Perne for waxing too vociferous on this subject, adapting Cicero’s invective against Verres to the present occasion, at John Strype, Annals of the Reformation and Establishment and Other Various Occurrences in the Church of England During Queen Elizabeth’s Happy Reign (Oxford, 1824, repr. New York, n.d.) III.i.68 - 71. Gager had the good sense to be more discrete.

1 For geminos…soles cf. Seneca, Ag. 728 and Statius, Thebais VII.114.


Source: Epitaph inscribed on the tomb of Gager’s uncle, Sir William Cordell, in Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk. The first twelve lines were edited and translated by Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England (ed. P. Austin Nutall, London, 1840, repr. New York, 1969, III.188f., repeated from Fuller by John Nichols, The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth (London, 1788, repr. New York, n.d., II.116f.). The poem is inscribed on two panels and for some reason only the first was transcribed. The whole poem has been printed by J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of Suffolke (Lowestoft, 1866) I.264. I wish to record my gratitude to the Rev. C. J. Stansbury, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, for supplying me with a full transcript before I became aware of the latter publication.   Date: 1581.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

A contains a different and later epitaph on Sir William (CLV), a reworking of one by Robert Dow of All Souls College. This was probably written later because Dow’s effort only came to Gager’s attention then. Much closer to to the actual death is another item in A (p. 186), a prose epitaph composed at the request of Cordell’s executors:

D. Guilliemo Cordelo, primum reginae Mariae sollicitatori generali, eidemque a consiliis; deinde parliamenti prolocutori constituto, in eodem munere obeundo equite aurato creato; postea custodi archivorum principis facto, quem magistratum ad extremum vitae diem viginti quatuor annis continuis gessit; vicesimo septimo die Maii, cum iam sexagesimum primum aetatis suae annum ageret, Ao Do 1581 e vivis sublato; amantissimi fidelissimique eius executores hoc monumentum maesti posuerunt.

Perhaps the executors rejected this prose version as being insufficiently grand, and for failing to mention Sir William’s allegedly distinguished pedigree; Gager may then have substituted the present lines. If they are by him, their absence from his notebook might seem remarkable, but this consideration is not probative. By his own testimony, he failed to include in the notebook poetry written for his original Oxford patron, Robert Dorset (cf. CXIII.3ff.). The similarity of the first couplet of the present poem to that of CXLIV constitutes the strongest evidence for Gager’s authorship:

magne puer, claris natalibus orte, sed ipse
   clarior ingenii nobilitate tui.

11f. These lines allude to Sir William’s foundation of the Hospital of the Holy Trinity at Long Melford; in his will he made further provisions for its endowment.


Source: A p. 46.   Date: 1581 or later.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Apparently Standen had sent Gager a model or picture of a ship, and Gager responded by sending him a copy of his translation of Musaeus’ Hero and Leander accompanied by this epigram. Since Gager’s uncle Sir William Cordell refers to Standen’s father as his cousin in a letter, William Standen was evidently a second cousin to Gager. In a colophon Gager says he wrote this translation while a B. A., i. e., between December 1577 and June 1580, when he incepted for the M. A. But Standen only matriculated from Oxford in 1581, so the present poem was written some time after the piece it was intended to accompany.
Of this poem Tucker Brooke (“Life and Times” 411) wrote:

The dedicatory lines to Standen are too cryptic to explain much, except that Gager’s enemies are arrayed against him and he is defiant: but there is a temptation to wonder whether the author may be solacing himself for some of the slights which accompanied his uncle’s beneficence [by leaving Gager £10 per annum in his will as a subsidy for his further education — D. F. S.] in the allusion to Thraso, the “magnus nebulo,” whom Gager does not fear.

This suggestion commands little confidence. While Gager certainly had good cause for resenting the shabby treatment he and his family tended to receive at the hands of Sir William and the rest of the Cordells, the existence of any such feelings is not reflected in any of the notebook poems, and his attitude towards Uncle William seems to have been one of unalloyed hero worship. Besides, according to this assumption, instruxit turmas…manusque suas would be difficult to understand. There is no reason for thinking that Standen was a particularly close friend, to whom Gager would have confided any such feelings, if he did entertain them (we never hear of him again). Gager’s sense of humor sometimes runs to exaggeration, and the tone of this poem scarcely suggests anything serious was at stake. Indeed, two details suggest that we are in a comic environment. Thraso is the name of a soldier in Terence’s Eunuchus, and the word nebulo does scarcely suggests a formidable enemy. Gager’s opponent may be Richard Brainche, with whom he enjoyed a mercurial relationship. Brainche’s tall stature may have invited this derisory word (cf.  LXXXVIII.21 and CI.5).


Source: A p. 100.  Date: After June 15, 1580   Meter: Hendecasyllables.

For Martin Heton cf. the initial note on LXII. In 1582 he was selected as a Christ Church Canon. It is not improbable that the present poem was written to Heton as part of the same campaign to procure a patron to replace the dead Dorset that produced CXIII below.
Like XXVIII, this poem imitates LXXXIXI. All three are based on Catullus xlix, quoted in the note on XXVIII.
This poem cannot have been written before June 1580, when Gager incepted for the M. A.


Source: A p. 100.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Brainche, cf. the note on LXXXVIII.

3 Nothing in Brainche’s academic record suggests he that was reading Divinity (although, as we have seen, he did eventually become a vicar); evidently he is addressed as magne sacerdos because of his supposedly no less timid than the Trojan seer Laocoon when confronted with the Trojan Horse.
6 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.129, non equidem extimui Danaum.
9 Cf. CII.9 depone timorem.
10 Gager is of course quoting Laocoon’s famous line from the Aeneid (II.49), timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.


Source: A p. 100.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

No Roger Alford is listed in Clark, Register or Foster’s Alumni. It is possible that he was a relative of Francis Alford, who matriculated from Christ Church in 1551, and/or of Robert Alford, who matriculated from there in 1596 (for Francis, cf. Register I.104 and 253, for Robert, cf. ib. II.ii.213 and II.iii 200).

2 For a variant of this idea cf. CLXXIV.15 and CXCVII.9. At CXV.2 Gager parodies the same idea in speaking of a wine-flask.
3 For fama vagatur cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.17.


Source: A p. 101.    Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Brainche, cf. the note on LXXXVI. Presumably this and the next poem were inspired by the same quarrel that engendered that poem.

1 Dic age is a stock formula in Latin poetry, particularly in hexameters: in Ovid, for example, it is used at Amores III.v.31, Heroides vi.141 and xxi.55, and Epistulae ex Ponto IV.iii.21.
3 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.799, durior annosa quercu.
5 A deliberate echo of LXXXVIII.21, silvamque cacumine vince (now we see that Gager wrote this because Brainche was exceptionally tall), meant to underscore the bitterness of the present poem.


Source: A p. 101.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

The first two lines were written to Brainche by Gager’s anonymous rival. In his reaction to this distich Gager ignores the pun on the two meanings of secundus, “second” and “successful.”

5 Cf. Catullus vi.7, da mi basia mille, deinde centum.
6 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.388, cunctantem amplexu molli fovet.
7f. These lines would appear crucial for establishing the Platonic limits imposed on Gager’s homosexual eroticism.
9 Cf. XCIX.9, vanum depone timorem.


Source: A p. 102.   Meter: Iambic senarii.

XCXIII - CVII look like technical excercises intended to cultivate skill at writing iambic senarii, at a time Gager was beginning to develop an interest in the theater (some of them were recycled for use in his plays). The present poem was later adapted as Panniculus 186-96. Like that passage, this poem is suggested by Seneca, Hippolytus 195 - 7:

deum esse amorem turpis et vitio favens
finxit libido, quoque liberior foret
titulum furori numinis falsi addidit.

And even more by Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 557 - 65:

volucrem esse Amorem fingit immitem deum
mortalis error, armat et telis manus
arcuque sacras, instruit saeva face
genitumque credit Venere, Vulcano satum.
vis magna mentis blandus atque animi calor
Amor est; iuventa gignitur, luxu otio
nutritur inter laeta Fortunae bona.
quem si fouere atque alere desistas, cadit    
brevique vires perdit extinctus suas.

Cupid appears as a character in two of Gager’s plays, Dido and Panniculus.


Source: A p. 102.   Meter: Iambic senarii.


Source: A p.102.  Meter: Iambic senarii.

The simile is defective: in its first term, the aspect is altered because of the changed condition of the observed thing; in its second, the aspect is altered because of the changed condition of the observer.


Source: A pp. 102f.   Meter: Iambic senarii.

The speaker curses himself or herself in a fit of remorse. Althaea makes such a speech at Meleager 1623ff., concluding with the same notion that she is a plague upon the earth who ought to be eliminated (1645, hanc tibi luem elue).

1 Hades.
2 Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 296, quaere supplicia.
3ff. Gager closely follows the catalogue of sinners being punished in Hades given at Seneca, Hercules Furens 750 - 7 (as he does too at Meleager 1748ff., where the Senecan passage is quoted).   In lines 3f. line speaker alludes to Sisyphus, with his rock. Cf. Seneca, Hippolytus 1231, seni…Aetolio.
5 And to Tantalus, and his elusive food and drink. Cf. Thyestes 2, fugaces…cibos.
6f. And to Ixion, and his tortures. Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 946f.:

quaecumque regem Thessalum torques rota.
effodiat avidus hinc et hinc vultur fibras.

8 And to the Danaides, forced to carry water in leaking vessels.
11ff. Cf. Seneca, Thyestes 1006 - 9:

       sustines tantum nefas
gestare, tellus? non ad infernam Styga 
te nosque mergis rupta et ingenti via
ad chaos inane regna cum rege abripis?


Source: A pp. 103.  Meter: Iambic senarii.

This passage, in revised form, was employed as Meleager 1525 - 33. Cf. the note on XCVIII.


Source: A pp. 103f.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

It would seem that Brainche wrote some apologizing poetry that retrieved Gager from the snit that had engendered CI and CII; now Gager writes back to signal his forgiveness.

3 Cf. Terence, Adelphoe 643, erubuit: salva res est.
15 Cf. Propertius II.xxxiv.21, crimina tanta remitto.
16 For signa animi cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.412 and Tristia I.viii.28.


Source: A p. 104, edited by C. F. Tucker Brooke, “William Gager to Queen Elizabeth,” Studies in Philology 29 (1932)173.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

The date and occasion of this group of short elegies is not known. Evidently they were written to accompany one or more portraits of the Queen. They may be flights of fancy inspired by the acquisition of one of the three portraits owned by Christ Church, hung in the Hall, Chapter House, and Deanery, for which cf. Mrs. Reginald Lane Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the Possession of the University, Colleges, City, and Country of Oxford (Oxford, 1927) III.17f. nos. 39 - 41. But possibly they have been merely literary exercises, since the composition of epigrams ostensibly written to accompany dedications and works of art was a recognized literary convention in antiquity (there are a number of such exercises in Books VI and IX of the Greek Anthology).


Source: A p. 104, edited by Brooke, ib. 173.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A p. 105, edited by Brooke, ib. 174.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 The English are “Romans” since they are allegedly descended from Brutus: cf. the note on XXVIII.2.
4 In a note on this line, Brooke wrote “In a London writer one would suspect a pun on the members of Gray’s Inn; but probably the reference is to the Greek characters in several of Gager’s plays…” A more attractive alternative may be to think that Gager is saying, in effect, “under your glorious rule, we English produce men no less talented than the Greeks of old.”


Source: A p. 105, edited by Brooke, ib. 174.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1ff. “The hyperbolical flattery here is strangely parallel to that at the close of The Arraignment of Paris by Gager’s friend Peele, where similiarly Juno, Pallas, Diana, and Venus resign their prerogatives to the Queen”: Brooke.
For Juno’s scepter cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1409f.
5 It is a litttle less than self-evident why Cassandra is included in this mythological bevy. Gager means the Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10).


Source: A pp. 105.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Robert Dorset had died on May 29, 1580. Heton was elected a Canon of Christ Church in 1582 (Gager refers to his selection with the words prosperitate tua in line 4). Therefore this poem would appear to have been written for New Year’s Day 1583.
Cf. the General Introduction to the Poetry for Gager’s use of poems as means of self-promotion.

11 Cf. XLVIII.14, non ea mens animo est carminibusve meis. For signa doloris cf. XXXVIII.22f. and also CLX.155.
12 If Gager wrote any poems on the occasion of Dorset’s death, for some reason he did not preserve them. This is the only time Gager alludes to work by himself neither printed nor copied into the notebook (save for a lost narrative account of the Gunpowder Plot mentioned at Pyramis 168ff.).
13f. Cf. the note on XXXIV.116ff.
21 For dulce decus cf. Horace, Odes I.i.2, Martial, IX.i.7 and xxviii.1, and Statius, Silvae III.i.161.
23f. Cf. the note on IV. 1.
26 Cf. the note on LXII.8.


Source: A pp. 106f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Written against this poem in the margin is a note “nobody can explain this except an Oedipus, privy to the secret.” This otherwise arcane poem makes sense if read as the account of some Christ Church homosexual triangle in which a relationship has temporarily been disrupted by the intervention of some sinister third party, but which has subsequently been repaired. This bears a striking resemblance to the experience Gager himself had recently undergone with Richard Brainche and a nameless interloper, attested by CI and CII.
This poem of course is based on the story found at Livy I.lvii - lix, destined to be the subject of Shakespeare’s poem written in the following decade. Collatinus had bragged about the beauty of his wife Lucretia to Sextus Tarquinius. Tarquinius, inflamed, raped her, and she killed herself to preserve her honor.

1 For sorte tua = “by your good fortune” cf. Horace, Epistulae I.x.44 and Epodes xiv.15, and Martial VII.ii.5 and VII.viii.6.
9 For quid facis ah demens cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.iii.29 and Metamorphoses III.641.
11f. For the idea cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus  124, haud est nocens quicumque non sponte est nocens. Gager (by now a law student) may also be alluding to the legal doctrine of mens rea.
19 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.484, di capiti ipsius generique reservent!
21 Cf. Ovid, Met. IV.144, vultusque attolle iacentes, and Statius, Achilleis I.614, pronosque attollere vultus.
24 Cf. the note on LXII.8.


Source: A p.107.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Richard Thornton (perhaps the younger brother of Thomas Thornton, a Christ Church Canon) matriculated from Christ Church in 1577: for his academic career cf. Clark, Register, II.iii 100, and Foster, Alumni III.1481.
Since this poem comes in a series evidently written for New Year’s Day 1583, it would seem to be an acknowedgement of a New Year’s gift that year.

2 Cf. the note on C.2.


Source: A pp. 107f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Eedes, cf. the initial note on LXXV. The present poem suggests (although scarcely proves) that Gager may have had a relationship with him similar to that with Richard Brainche; but Eedes was known as the particular friend of the Dean of Christ Church, Tobie Mathew (cf. the initial note on CXXXIII).

1f. This same idea of the world’s rebirth on New Year’s is treated at greater length and more thoughtfully in CLXXVI and CLXXVII.
7 Since he faced both ways, Janus was the natural choice for Roman New Year’s god. For Iane bifrons cf. Vergil, Aeneid VII.180 and XII.198. This of course fits with Gager’s accusation that Eedes is being two-faced in his dealings.
20 Cf. Ovid, Tristia IV.x.56, notaque non tarde facta Thalia mea est. Cf. also the note on LXXVIII.10.
22 For ex usu tuo est cf. Terence, Eunuchus 1077f.
23 Cf. CXXXVII.4, stomachans Musa and also stomachans of Gager’s Muse at CXLVI.21.
This poem is followed by another, which has been crossed out (A p.108), consisting of seven lines, prefaced by a title in which the word OBITUM is legible. At least on microfilm, nothing more can be deciphered.


Source: A pp. 108 - 10.  Date: 1583.   Meter: Distichs consisting of alternating iambic trimeters and dimeters (a meter employed by Horace in the Epodes).

Thomas Smith entered Christ Church in 1570, was admitted to the B. A. in 1574, and incepted for the M. A. in 1578 Clark, Register II.iii 44, cf. Foster, Alumni III.1381, where it is stated that he was a Christ Church student only from 1574); he was elected one of the Proctors of the University in 1584. In later life he was Secretary to the Earl of Essex, and latterly Clerk to the High Court of Parliament and one of the Clerks of the Council. See the biographical sketch at Wood, A. O. II.53f.
Smith was elected University Orator on April 9, 1582. On the understanding that this and the next poem were written at the same time (cf. lines 13f. of that poem), both are to be dated subsequently to this appointment.

1 - 4 These four lines were evidently added as an afterthought: in A the first two are written below the bottom rule of p. 108, and the second two above the top rule of p. 109. The poem could perfectly well begin with line 5.
5ff. Achilles and Hector were of course the greatest champions of the Greeks and Trojans respectively. Cf. Horace, Sermones I.vii.12 - 14:

Hectora Priamiden, animosum atque inter Achillem
ira fuit capitalis, ut ultima divideret mors.

17ff. Gager resumes his imitation of ib. 14 - 18:

non aliam ob causam, nisi quod virtus in utroque
summa fuit: duo si Discordia vexet inertis
aut si disparibus bellum incidat, ut Diomedi
cum Lycio Glauco, discedat pigrior, ultro
muneribus missis.

Gager (and Horace) refer to an episode in Book Six of the Iliad (119 - 236) in which the Greek Diomedes, son of Tydeus, and the Trojan Glaucus meet on the battlefield. Comparing genealogical notes, they discover they are related, and so, rather than fighting, they swap armor. But Diomedes gets the better of the exchange, as his armor is much costlier.
37 Cf. LXXVIII.3, non me pudet usque fateri.
45f. Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 198 - 92 (also imitated in XC):

iuvenilis ardor impetu primo furit,
languescit idem facile nec durat diu
in Venere turpi, ceu levis flammae vapor:


Source: A pp. 110f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: As CXII.

9 Cf. Vergil, Georgics IV.176, si parva licet componere magnis, and Ovid, Met. V. 416f. (also imitated at CXXXIII.37f.):

                  quodsi conponere magnis
parva mihi fas est.


Source: A p. 112.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Edmund Grindall, Archbishop of Canterbury, died on July 6, 1583. He was a notable patron of letters and music, and a benefactor to both Universities. This rendered appropriate a poem which plays on the two meanings of pas\tor. As a lament for a dead shepherd and a kind of mini-eclogue, it anticipates Gager’s later eclogues on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, particularly XXXIV.

6 Tityrus appears as an interlocutor in Vergil’s first Eclogue.
7 For calamos inflare cf. XXXIV.46 and the note ad loc.
9 Cf. XXXIV.85f.:

ergo te posthac nunquamne audire canentem
Daphni, licet, solitaque frui dulcedine vocis? 

Cf. also CL.123, ergo te posthac nunquamne audire licebit?
12 Cf. also XXXIV.76f. (and, more generally, the comparison of Sidney to Orpheus at ib. 76 - 84):

Orphea cantantem iurares, Calliopesve
divina de stirpe Linum.

16 Cf. XXXIV.108, balatu testantur oves pro voce dolorem.


Source: A p. 113.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Iambic distichs consisting of alternating trimeters and dimeters.

This and the next two poems deal with an internal Christ Church scandal discussed in the General Introduction to Gager’s poetry.

7f. A sidenote makes it clear Gager means Magdalen College, founded by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, in 1458. Nothing in Thompson’s Christ Church or in any of the essays in James McConica (ed.), The Collegiate University (Vol. III of The History of the University of Oxford, Oxford, 1986) serves to explain why Gager calls Magdalen Christ Church’s defeated rival.
9 A sidenote mentions New College, founded by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, in 1379.
10 A sidenote mentions Corpus Christi College, founded by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, in 1516.
15 The meaning of this allusion to crime is explained below.
20ff. Christ Church, originally Cardinal College, was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1525: see the next poem. More technically, Cardinal College was closed down by Henry VIII, who then founded Christ Church. For the College’s traditional reluctance to acknowledge Henry as its founder: see the remarks by Thompson, Christ Church 11 (but note that Gager does exactly that in line 18 of the special Prologue to Rivales written for the queen.)


Source: A pp. 114f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Iambic senarii.

The iambic meter is appropriate for a poem that imitates a Senecan ghost-apparition: cf. the note on Meleager 76ff. for a detailed comparison of this passage with  similar apparitions and the appearance of Furies in Gager’s plays and with their Senecan models.

3 Cf. noctis aeternae chaos at Seneca, Hercules Furens 610 and Medea 9, and noctis aeternae plagam / -is at Medea 464 and Oedipus 393.
6f. Gager wrote these lines but then had second thoughts and deleted them, probably on the grounds that they were too strong. Some degree of piety, after all, had to be exhibited towards the founder of his college.
7 Cf. The words casuque inclytus refer to Wolsey’s melodramatic downfall in 1529.
9f. Cf. Horace, Odes II.xiii.1, ille et nefasto te posuit die.
11f. As Tucker Brooke put it (“Life and Times” 406f.):

Christ Church, when Gager entered, was the largest and richest of the Oxford colleges; but, though nearly half a century had passed since its first founding, it was still glaringly unfinished. The original design of Cardinal College, after four years of furious building, was halted by Wolsey’s fall in 1529; and the reconstruction that Henry VIII belatedly undertook in 1546 was quickly checked by the king’s death. The great quadrangle, which Bishop Fell and Sir Christopher Wren were to complete a century later, was in Gager’s time more suggestive to him of decay than achievement. [In Gager’s day, Christ Church must have been far different from the grand establishment one sees today. Thompson, Christ Church 41, quotes a Chapter order that “no student, scholar, chaplain nor servant or any belonging to the House shall lodge any dogg except the porter to dryve oute cattell and hogges out of the House” — D. F. S.] Gager imagined it haunted by Wolsey’s malignant ghost, and foreboded that as it had been begun with the fruits of spoliation, so it would perish by the machinations of the greedy aulici whom he saw grasping after its revenues. Gager accepts and develops in gloomy earnest the current prophecy that the enemies of Christ Church were quoting:

non stabit illa domus, allis fundata rapinis;
   aut ruet, aut alter raptor habebit eam.

In a footnote, Brooke quotes another version of the prophecy, taken from Anthony à Wood, The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford (ed. J. Gutch, Oxford, 1786, 421) which is closer to the spirit of Gager’s poem:

haec domus ex multis nuper conflata rapinis
   aut cadet, aut certe daemon habebit eam.

12 Vergil, Aeneid IV.86 - 91 (also imitated at Dido 550f.):

non coeptae adsurgunt turres, non arma iuventus
exercet portusve aut propugnacula bello
tuta parant. pendent opera interrupta minaeque
murorum ingentes aequataque machina caelo.

14 Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus  999, referas parentem.
15 For omen…loci cf. Seneca, Troades 488.
16f. Cf. Seneca, Thyestes 26f.:

              nec sit irarum modus
pudorve, mentes caecus instiget furor.

18f. Cf. Thy. 25f.:

certetur omni scelere et alterna vice
stringatur ensis.

For linguae asperae cf. CXX.2.
23 Cf. Juvenal, Satire ii.8, frontis nulla fides.
27f. Originally Gager wrote:

                              super haec omnia 
prohibete mitem sedibus Iamsum meis.
mulcebit animas ille, iustusque impias
componet iras.

Here too he must have thought that this was too strong stuff, and toned it down by crossing it out and substituting marginally:

                              nec quisquam miseras
componat iras.

But the new version is dissatisfactory, as it creates a cretic sixth foot in line 27.
Cf. the discussion of this Christ Church scandal in the General Introduction to Gager’s poetry for the purport of these lines, wisely deleted because of their incandescent nature.
30 For Stygias…faces cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 1014.
31 For discors Erinnys cf. Seneca, Thyestes 251.


Source: A pp. 115f.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Iambic strophes consisting of alternating trimeters and dimeters.

On the basis of 1 iam teritur annus alter, it would appear that this poem was written a year later, but grouped with the two preceding poems because of the similar subject matter and meter, and that Gager’s complaint is that a year has gone by but the abuses in question have not abated. By 1584 the situation within Christ Church had changed. Tobie Mathew had demitted the Deanship, and had been replaced in office by the very William James whom Gager had thought the proper man to mend the situation (cf. the note on CXVI.27f.). But Gager’s hopes must have been cheated, for we still find him complaining of the depredations of courtiers at XXXIV.98 - 104, in a poem written in 1587.

5ff. Cf. the note on CXX.7f.
6f. New College was called the College of St. Mary of Winchester by its founder, and in its corporate title, but is thus called to avoid confusion with St. Mary’s College (Oriel).
8 “The three-tongued College” is Corpus Christi College, where Latin, Greek, and Hebrew were studied.
9f. Dr. Richard Cox was the first Dean of Christ Church and Chancellor of the Uni-versity from 1547, selected in connection with its reconstitution in 1546 (when its name was changed from Cardinal College). Out of religious fanaticism, he burned all the books of the University Library: cf. N. R. Ker, “The Provision of Books,” in Collegiate University 465f.
15 Cf XXIV.103f.:

si (quod Elisa vetet) si lac subducere pergant
harpeiae, et nunquam saturata cruoris hirudo.

17f. In a note on Anatomy of Melancholy I.2.3.15 (I p. 316 of the Everyman edition) Robert Burton quotes a hexameter, de male quaesitis vix gaudet tertius haeres; I cannot identify the source.
19 For aeterna…nota cf. Ovid, Fasti VI.610.
25ff. Cf. Horace, Epodes xvi.17 - 20:

 nulla sit hac potior sententia: Phocaeorum
       velut profugit exsecrata civitas
agros atque lares patrios, habitandaque fana
        apris reliquit et rapacibus lupis.

29f. Cf. Oedipus 4ff. with the note ad loc.


Source: A p. 116.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

Cf. the discussion of the psychological significance of this short poem in the General Introduction to Gager’s plays.

1 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.846f.:

non bene conveniunt nec in una sede morantur
maiestas et amor.


Source: A pp. 117 - 23.   Date: September 26, 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Tucker Brooke, “Life and Times” 417, suggested that this poem was written to be read at a Michaelmas testimonial dinner (in 1583 Michaelmas fell on Sunday, September 29). For such dinners, cf. Thompson, Christ Church 138f.
This poem consists of an elegiac distich each on the Dean, Sub-Dean, and the other seven Canons of Christ Church, followed by those students who have incepted for the M. A., and thus were members of the Common Room and present at the dinner. These individuals are listed in order of seniority (by appointment as Canons, by date of inception as M. A.’s), just as they would be listed in the battels book or would have marched when they formed a crocodile.
It should be noted that an election of Christ Church officers was held on December 21, 1582, and the next such election was held on December 23, 1583 (Bodl. ms. Wood c 8, pp. 101 and 106); the office-holders in September 1583 would therefore have been essentially as established in the previous December.
3f. Tobie Mathew was currently the Dean (cf. the initial note on LXXXIX). He had a great reputation as a preacher (which only enlarged with his subsequent progress up the ecclesiastical ladder, until he attained the Archbishopric of York), hence the comparison with Cicero.
5f. Kenall was admitted to the B. A. in 1540, D. C. L. 1553. Cf. the biography at Wood, F. O. I.140. Subsequently Chancellor of Rochester and Archdeacon of Oxford.
7f. The stag was supposed to be a very long-lived animal: cf. Juvenal, Satire xiv.251, iam torquet iuvenem longa et cervina senectus with the Scholiast ad loc. Not knowing more about this individual, I am in no position to explain the allusion to his father. Presumably he is not the Thomas Bankes of Lincoln College who was admitted B. A. in 1571 and incepted M. A. in 1574 (Clark, Register II.iii.10, Foster, Alumni III.67, and doubtfully one of the two or perhaps more individuals of this name noted by Wood at F. O. I.196 and Bliss’ footnote ad loc.), as he was scarcely old enough to merit this comment if meant seriously, or young enough, if itis said in play.
9f. Westfaling (or Westphaling) was admitted to the B. A. in 1551, incepted M. A. in 1555, licensed D. D. in 1566 (Clark, Register I.217, Foster, Alumni III.1602). Currently Junior Treasurer of Christ Church, he had been Vice Chancellor of the University in 1576, and would be consecrated Bishop of Hereford in 1585. Biography at Wood, A. O. II.845f. Later we shall see how Gager enlisted his support when canvassing for the position of Rhetor.
Cf. the echo of line 9 at CXLI.1, a poem addressed to Westfaling later in 1583.
Cf. CXXX.2, cur arctant gemitus carmina bina meos?
11f. Wake was admitted B. A. in 1564, admitted B. D. in 1573 Clark, Register I.252, Foster, Alumni III.1553); Canon as of 1567. Perhaps he was a relative of the Robert Wake addressed in LX.
13f. Thornton was admitted to the B. A. in 1560, and to the B. D. in 1570 (Clark, Register I.243, Foster, Alumni III.1481). The Senior Treasurer of Christ Church, he was twice Vice Chancellor of the University, in 1583 and 1599. Cf. the biography at Wood, F. O. I.225. He later embroiled Dr. John Rainolds in his dispute with Gager about the propriety of acting.
15f. Bernard matriculated in 1561, was admitted to the B. A. in 1566 (Wood, F. O. 171, and licensed D. D. in 1585 Clark, Register II.iii 71, Foster, Alumni III.114). Cf. the biographical note at Wood, F. O. 232.
I do not know the source of this proverb, which presumably has its origin in the study of Medieval scholasticism.
17f. Pickover (the current Sub-Dean) matriculated in 1561: there is an obviously partial record of degrees conferred at Clark, Register II.iii 64, filled out at Foster, Alumni III. 1162, and a biography at Wood, F. O. I.255. He replaced Robert Dorset as the Canon of the fifth stall upon the latter’s death in 1580.
19f. For Heton cf. the initial note on LXII.
23f. For some reason, curiously, Gager got the name wrong. It is clear from the Christ Church battel book that the individual in question was William Chalfont, who matriculated in 1561, was admitted to the B. A. in 1566, and incepted for the M. A. in 1569 (Clark, Register II.iii 133, Foster, Alumni III.255).
Originally Christ Church had 100 students and its Dean. Thus Great Tom is rung 101 times daily.
25f. Wicker was admitted to the B. A. in 1566, and incepted for the M. A. on July 11, 1569 (Clark, Register I.263, Foster, Alumni III.1625). He was currently Christ Church Bursar.
27f. John Bentley matriculated in 1567, incepted for the M. A. in 1574, and was licensed to practice medicine in 1582; M. D. in 1589 (Clark, Register II.iii 46, Foster, Alumni III.110).
29f. Touldervey was admitted to the B. A. in 1571, and incepted for the M. A. in 1574 (Clark, Register I.281 and II.iii 46, Foster, Alumni III.1491, where the name is spelled Tolderbey).
We have seen that Gager was currently exercised by the depredations of certain greedy aulici who were trying to despoil Christ Church, perhaps with the connivance of some of the students (cf. particularly XXXIV.98 - 104 and CXX.5f., and the discussion of this scandal in the Introduction to this volume). Although the rest of this poem is amiable, in striking contrast to CXX - CXXII, one might wonder if Gager is hinting that Touldervey was in league with the courtiers in question; the second line perhaps invites reading as a sarcastic inversion of Horace, Epistles I.xvii.35, principibus placuisse viris non ultima laus est. But in fairness to Touldervey, it must be added that prior to the reforms of 1855 the property of Christ Church was owned jointly by the Chapter alone (i.e., by the Dean and Canons), and so it is difficult to see how he or any other oneman could have gained any authority to dispose of college leases.
31f. Morrey was admitted to the B. A. in 1571 and incepted for the M.A. in 1575; licensed to preach 1579 (Clark, Register II.iii 14, Foster, Alumni III.1027). His obituary poem by Gager (CLI) was written in 1584.
33f. Stone was admitted to the B. A. in 1572 and incepted M. A. in 1575 (Clark, Register II.iii 14, Foster, Alumni III.1428). He was elected a Proctor of the University for 1580.
35f. Weston was admitted to the B. A. in 1572 and incepted M. A. in 1575; D. C. L. 1591 (Clark, Register II.iii 14, Foster, Alumni III.1604). Biography at Wood, F. O. I. 252.
The distich alludes to the fact that Weston was the son of Robert Weston, one of the two original Regius Professors Civil Law, who held the position from 1546 to 1553.
37f. Hakluyt Major was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1577 (Clark, Register II.iii 39, Foster, Alumni III.627). Although he does not figure elsewhere in Gager’s writings, Hakluyt of course proved to be his most distinguished fellow student, author of The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589), and great fugleman of oceanic exploration. Possibly the words freta longa refer to the fabled Northwest Passage. Biography at Wood, A. O. II.186 - 8.
39f. Goodman was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1577 (Clark, Register II.iii 39, Foster, Alumni III.583).
41f. For Browne cf. the initial note on LXXX. He was elected a Proctor of the University for 1582. This distich alludes to the position he held within Christ Church (domi — he was currently Christ Church Catechist) and his Proctorship within the University at large (foris).
43f. Torporley was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1577 (Clark, Register II.iii 39, Foster, Alumni III.1497). Foster records the various rectorships he subsequently held.
45f. Wimshurst was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1578 (Clark, Register II.iii 44, Foster, Alumni III.1658).
These lines are substituted marginally for an original distich, heavily deleted.
46 This line of course echoes Matthew 5: 15 (cf. also Luke 11: 33): “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”
47f. Eedes was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1578 (Clark, Register II.iii 44, Foster, Alumni III.452). Cf. the initial note on LXXV.
He had been elected a University Proctor for 1583. The number of Christ Church men who held this office is a good index of that College’s power and prestige: in the decade between 1580 and 1589, for example, one of the two annual Proctors was supplied by Christ Church in eight out of ten years.
49f. Powndall (more correctly Pownall) was admitted to the B. A. in 1574 and incepted M. A. in 1578; license to preach granted in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 44, Foster, Alumni III.1196).
Possibly the idea of this preacher toiling in the vineyards contains a pun: was Pownall in charge of the College wine cellar?
51f. For Smith cf. the initial note on CXVII and that on CXVIII.13. He was elected a Proctor of the University for 1584, and was currently one of the two Christ Church Censors.
53f. Watkinson was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1578 (Clark, Register II.iii 44, Foster, Alumni III.1582). Elected a Proctor of the University in 1586.
54 Originally Gager had written a line Why do my couplets sing your praises? but he crossed it out as dissatisfactory.
55f. Simberbe (or Saintbarb) was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579; B. D. in 1587 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.1300).
56 Cf. Martial VII.xxv.3f:

nullaque mica salis nec amari fellis in illis
gutta sit.

For mica salis cf. also CXXXVII.8.
57f. Wickam (or Wickham) was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579; B. C. L. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.1626). He was currently one of the two Christ Church Censors.
59f. Copley was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.327).
60 Gager echoes Odyssey i.3, πολλῶν δ᾿ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω. Tucker Brooke, “Life and Times” 412, quotes a memorandum to the effect that Copley’s 1583 stipend was stopped quia pre maribus usque ad festum nativ. Christi. Gager is probably memorializing him in absentia. Two other individuals, Tobie Mathew and Richard Eedes were currently absent on a trip to Durham. In his Iter Boreale (409ff.), Eedes tells how there were there for a visit by Sir Francis Walisingham that lasted until the 26th.
61f. Reeve was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.1244).
63f. Maxey was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.992).
65f. Russell was admitted to the B. A. in 1576 and incepted M. A. in 1579; B. D. in 1600 (Clark, Register II.iii 56, Foster, Alumni III.1292).
67f. Hiliard (more properly Hilliard or Hillyard) was admitted to the B. A. in 1577 and incepted M. A. in 1580 (Clark, Register II.iii 67, Foster, Alumni III.715).
69f. The Wright brothers (probably twins) were admitted to the B. A. in 1577 and incepted M. A. in 1580 (Clark, Register II.iii 67, Foster, Alumni III.1686f.).
71f. Bennett was admitted to the B. A. in 1577 and incepted M. A. in 1580; incepted D. C. L. in 1589 (Clark, Register II.iii 67, Foster, Alumni III.106). He was currently Christ Church Rhetor (a post held by Gager in the next year, and was elected a Proctor of the University for 1585. In the next century he was expelled from the University “for divers exorbitant oppressions and bribery.”
73f. Hakluyt Minor, younger brother of Richard, was admitted to the B. A. in 1577 and incepted M. A. in 1580; license to practice medicine and M. B. in 1588 (Clark, Register II.iii 67, Foster, Alumni III.627).
Goodwin was admitted to the B. A. in 1577, and incepted M. A. in 1580 (Clark, Register II.iii 67, Foster, Alumni III.586). Biography at Wood, F. O. I.296f. Cf. the initial note on CXLII. Goodwin was currently Christ Church’s Greek Lector.
77f. Again, these lines are substituted marginally for an original distich too heavily deleted to be legible on the microfilm.
79f. Browne was admitted to the B. A. 1577, and incepted M. A. in 1580 (Clark, Register II.iii 68, Foster, Alumni III.193).
80 Cf. LXXVIII.6 with the note ad loc.
Snowe was admitted to the B. A. 1577, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 68, Foster, Alumni III.1387).
In his unpublished manuscript Tucker Brooke translated “While you, Snowe, keep the account books of our business.” But at the moment Thomas Thornton was Senior Treasurer, Harbart Westfaling Junior Treasurer, and Robert Wicker Bursar. The Latin would permit the understanding that Snowe was responsible for maintaining some sort of collegiate annals, but I know of no such document and no position of Christ Church Annalist is listed among the officiarii recorded in Bodl. ms. Wood c 8. Therefore we should probably conclude that the annales in question are the battels and/or buttery books.
83f. Laurence was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 79, Foster, Alumni III.887).
85f. Newbury was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 76, Foster, Alumni III.1059).
87f. Hutten was admitted to the B. A. 1578, and incepted M. A. in 1582; incepted D. D. in 1600 (Clark, Register II.iii 76, Foster, Alumni III.779). Cf. the biography at Wood, A. O. II.532 - 4. He was currently a Christ Church Reader in Dialectics. For Gager’s involvement in a revival of his comedy Bellum Grammaticale produced in connection with the royal visit of 1592, see the special Prologue and Epilogue he wrote for the occasion.
89f. Ravis was admitted to the B. A. 1578, and incepted M. A. in 1582; incepted D. D. in 1596 (Clark, Register II.iii 68, Foster, Alumni III.1253). In calling him the hope of the Christ Church flock, Gager displayed acute prescience, for Ravis succeeded James as Dean. He was subsequently the Bishop of Gloucester, also one of the translators of the King James Version. Cf. the biography at Wood, A. O. II.849.
Cf. Vergil, Eclogue i.15, spem gregis.
91f. Cunningham was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 78, Foster, Alumni III.362).
93f. Holland was admitted to the B. A. 1578, and incepted M. A. in 1582; incepted D. D. in 1602 (Clark, Register II.iii 78, Foster, Alumni III.731).
95f. Howson was admitted to the B. A. 1578, and incepted M. A. in 1582; incepted D. D. in 1602 (Clark, Register II.iii 78, Foster, Alumni III.757). In later life he was Bishop of Oxford, and latterly of Durham. Cf. the biography at Wood, A. O. II.517.
97f. Walronde was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 79, Foster, Alumni III.1563). Timothy was St. Paul’s “son in Christ” (2 Phil. 22) and so presumably a young man like Walronde. He was currently one of the Christ Church Lectors in Dialectics.
99f. Stoughton was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1582 (Clark, Register II.iii 80, Foster, Alumni III.1431).
101f. Denington was admitted to the B. A. 1579, and incepted M. A. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.iii 87).
In an Appendix “Books at Christ Church 1562 - 1602,” at Collegiate University 506, N. R. Ker lists a copy of R. Gualtuerus’ new In Isaiam (printed at Zurich, 1583) presented to the College with the inscription Magistri in artibus incipientes quorum nonima subscripta sunt hunc librum aedi Christi in gratiam studiosorum dono dederunt Anno dom. 1583 Julii 7o videlicet Thomas Denington, Johannes King, Thomas Craine, Thomas Ailwin, Thomas Bache. July 7 must have been the day of inception. Note that the names stand in the same order as here.
103f. Kinge was admitted to the B. A. 1580, and incepted M. A. in 1583; incepted D. D. in 1602 Clark, Register II.iii 87, Foster, Alumni III.852). He was currently one of the Christ Church Lectors in Dialectics. In later life he succeeded Thomas Ravis as Dean of Christ Church, then was consecrated Bishop of London. Cf. the biography at Wood, A. O. II.861.
I would imagine this altera Roma means “this second Roman stage of ours.” It would seem that Gager is alluding to his recent performance in Dido.
105f. Crane was admitted to the B. A. 1580, and incepted M. A. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.iii 87, Foster, Alumni III.345).
It is equally likely that Crane had performed in Rivales.
107f. Alwin was admitted to the B. A. in 1580 and incepted for the M.A. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.iii 87, Foster, Alumni III.48).
109f. Bache was admitted to the B. A. in 1580 and incepted for the M.A. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.iii 87, Foster, Alumni III.61).



Source: A p. 123.   Date: September 26, 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

These lines were composed to be recited as an epilogue to the preceding poem on the same occasion.

1 For nostrae…Thaliae cf. LXXVIII.10 and the note ad loc.


Source: A pp. 124f.   Date: 1583.  Meter: Iambic senarii.

The purpose of this straightforward translation of II Samuel 19 - 27 is not self-evident. Possibly Gager was attracted to this passage memorializes the friendship of David and Jonathan, a biblical precedent for the sort of platonic male relationships he admired. He later handled the story of Saul’s defeat and death in a printed poem, XXII. Cf. line 17 of that poem, is fata Saulis tristia flet pius.
I assume that all poems between CXXV and CXXXIV belong to 1583.
This is the full text of David’s lament (II Samuel 1.17 - 27):

17. And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
18. (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow:  behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
19. The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
20. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou was slain in thine high places.
26. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!


Source: A p. 124.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This cycle of elegies is seemingly no more than a literary exercise, since Gager’s father did not die until 1590.

7f. Cf. CXXXIII.60f.:

haec tibi, summe Deus, nostri monimenta doloris
carmina conscripsi, quae tu precor accipe mitis.


Source: A p. 124.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

3 For funereae taxi cf. XXXIV.12 with the note ad loc.


Source: A p. 124.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 Cf. Seneca, Hippolytus 1245, nunc iusta nato solve. Cf. also XXXIV.67, ante tamen tumulo exequias persolvite iustas.
3f. Cf. CLXIV.13f.:

non marmora, tanti
non capiant laudes carmina mille viri.


Source: A p. 124.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 Probably this line is inspired by Catullus, ci.7 - 9:

               prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu.

2 Cf. CXXIV.10, cur arctant tantum carmina bina virum?


Source: A p. 125.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 For the idiom cf. Terence, Adelphoe 881, qui sum natu maxumus.


Source: A p. 125.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Compare the description of an unmarried woman at Meleager 365 - 9:

ut vitis agro vidua quae nudo iacet,
haud semet unquam tollit, aut mitem educat
sylvestris uvam, at mole deflectens sua,
radice summam prona claviculam implicat.
nulli coloni, nullae eam curant manus.

As observed in the note ad loc., this passage was written under the influence of Catullus, lxii.51ff.


Source: A pp.126 - 8.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

The point of this seemingly strange poem is rendered comprehensible by subsequent items (cf. particularly CXLI - CXLIII). Gager was campaigning for appointment as the Christ Church Rhetor (not to be confused with the post of University Orator, held by Thomas Smith) for 1584. In so doing, he ran afoul of another candidate, William Goodwin (cf. CXXIV.75f. with the note ad loc.), who appears to have tried to defeat Gager by a slander campaign. Goodwin is treated here and in CXLII under the transparent name of Malwin, Latinized as Malvinus.
For some reason, Gager repeatedly employs II Samuel as a source (cf. also XXII and CXXVI). This time, the narrative is taken from 16:5 - 12:

5. And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.
6.And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 
7. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:
8. The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man
9. Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
10. And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11. And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
12. It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

5 Cf. XXXIV.104, nunquam saturata cruoris hirudo and the note ad loc.
12f. Cf. Ovid, Heroides vi.157, nec male parta diu teneat peiusque relinquat. Cf. also CXVII.17f. above with the note ad loc.
21 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.437, non tulit et tumida frendens Mavortius ira.
24 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid IX.496:

invisum hoc detrude caput sub Tartara telo.

25f. Cf. Ovid, Fasti IV.595, verum impune ferat, nos haec patiemur inultae.
37f. Cf. CXVIII.9, si comparare parva cum magnis licet, with the note ad loc.
49 We should take this extraordinary statement literally. There is good evidence for brawling, dueling, and even homicide within Elizabethan Colleges, often triggered by libel. Cf. James McConica, “The Collegiate Society,” at Collegiate University 661 - 5. Gager’s mention of arma may hint that he pulled a knife.
60f. Cf. CXXVII.7f.:

quod decet et fas est nostri monimenta doloris
   carmina cum lachrymis officiosa dedi.


Source: A p.128.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In 1583 Heton was granted a dispensation by Congregation to respond to the M. A. inceptors in Theology in Comitia (July 8), and to count this as exercises for the B. D. (Clark, Register II.i 195). The three quaestiones for that year were an sit liberum arbitrium?, an sola fides iustificat?, and an opera infidelium sint peccata? This and the next two poems therefore take their inspiration from this occasion.


Source: A pp. 128f.   Date: 1583   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 For itur ad astra cf. XXXVIII.79 and the note ad loc.


Source: A p. 129.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A pp. 129f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Oliver Hakluyt, the younger brother of the famous chronicler of English overseas exploration, Richard Hakluyt, was a Christ Church student (cf. CXXIV.73f. with the note ad loc.). Gager had unintentionally offended him with a joke and now playfully tries to make amends. See further the note on CXXXVIII.20.

4 Cf. CXVI.23, stomachatur Musa.
7 For felleus the Oxford Latin Dictionary cites Pliny, Natural History XXVI.xxiv.
8 For mica salis cf. CXXIV.56 with the note ad loc.
11 For pingue…ingenium cf. the note on LXXII.9. 
13f. Cf. Horace, Sermones I.iv.100 - 6 (which supplies the sense of the whole passage):

hic nigrae sucus loliginis, haec est
aerugo mera. quod vitum procul afore chartis,
atque animo prius, ut si quid promittere de me
possum aliud vere, promitto. liberius si
dixero quid, si forte iocosius, hoc mihi iuris
cum venia dabis.

15ff. Cf. Horace, ib. 34f.:

faenum habet in cornu, longe fuge; dummodo risum
excutiat sibi, non hic cuiquam parcet amico.

20f. Again, cf. Horace, ib. 101f., quoted above.
29 For aerugo cf. the Horace passage quoted in the note on 13f.
30 Hakluyt was a medical student, and Gager was studying law.
Cf. Horace, ib. 93, lividus et mordax videor tibi?
41 Cf. Horace, Ars Poetica  302, purgor bilem.


Source: A pp. 131 - 6.   Date: November 11, 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Tobie Mathew, Dean of Christ Church since 1575, cf. the note on LXXXIX. I have discussed the poems on his departure from Oxford in the General Introduction to the poetry. This poem’s precise dating suggests that it was been written to be read at some social occasion honoring Mathew.

1f. The allusion is clarified by Wood, A. O. II.749 (biographical sketch of Richard Eedes):

No two men were ever more intimate than [Eedes] and Tob. Mathews…for they in­tirely loved each other for virtue and ingenuity sake: and when Mathews was to re­move to the deanery of Durham in 1584, our author Edes intended to have him on his way thither for one day’s journey; but so betrayed were they by the sweetness of each others company, and their own friendship, that he not only brought him to Durham, but for a pleasant penance wrote their whole journey in Latin verse, entit. Iter boreale, several copies of which did afterwards fly abroad. Then also, and before in their youthful acquaintance, passed so many pretty apothegms between them, that if a collection had been made of them, they would have fill’d a manual.

Iter Boreale, which begins quid mihi cum Musis? quid cum borealibus oris? is preserved in several manuscripts including British Library ms. Add. 30352, which uniquely gives it the title Musae Boreales — not likely to be correct, but Gager may have known it under the title Musa Borealis. Gager interlards the present poem with echoes of Eedes’ Iter, which he obviously  expected his Christ Church audience to recognize and appreciate. Or were the two poems read on the same occasion, with Musa Australis meant as a sort of sequel? This is perhaps suggested by comparison of Gager’s initial lines with Eedes’ conclusion (654ff.):

Ut primum Oxoniae turres et moenia vidi,
Culta bonis studiis, doctis cultissima Musis,
Nescio quo pacto, citius quam posse putarem
Defecisse mihi vires in carmine sensi.
Rustica Musa silet, gelido quae nata sub Arcto,
Atque inter Musas metuens

Eedes’ mordant satire shows that Gager’s anxiety about Mathew’s welfare in Durham was not entirely without foundation. Mathew’s trip had not gone well. The Durhamites were not happy to see him, for the Deanship had lain vacant and they had been despoiling the Dean’s estate and diverting his rents, and were displeased to be called to account. Likewise, Mathew upstaged the Bishop in a meeting with Sir Francis Walsingham, newly returned from his embassy to James VI of Scotland, and the Council of the North. The Oxonians for their part regarded the Durham clergy with marked disdain. In a series of bitingly satirical sketches, Eedes portrays Richard Barnes, the Bishop, as a feckless oaf and others among the Cathedral clergy as ignorant and incompetent. Possible war with Scotland was also impending and Mathew got caught up in defensive planning. After such an inauspicious beginning, trepidation about Mathew’s future is understandable.
6 For dives vena cf. Horace, Ars Poetica. 409.
For instar veris cf.
Horace, Odes IV.v.6.
10ff. Mathew traveled up to Durham for his installation at the end of August, stayed a month for a meeting of the Council of the North with Walsingham, and then had returned to Oxford. As the title of this poem shows, as of November he was still Dean of Christ Church, and in his biography at A. O. II.870 Wood states that he did not demit that office until the beginning of 1584.
14 Cf. XXXVIII.180, longinquis…in oris.
17 The Brigantes were a people inhabiting northern England during the Roman period.
This line seems modelled after Ovid, Tristia IV.iv.86, si modo Nasoni barbara terra sua est.
20 Mathew was Bristol-born, and evidently was wont to joke that he had narrowly avoided being a Welshman. Gager wrote four lines alluding to this, but crossed them out, doubtless because he realized they would offend a Welsh reader (more specifically, that it would offend two contemporary Christ Church students of Welsh ancestry, the Haklyut brothers, especially Oliver, whom he was currently trying to mollify — cf. CXXXVII). He first tried substituting a tamer pair of lines, then abandoned the idea altogether.
But it is scarcely out of the question that, as elsewhere happens in the notebook, this and the preceding poems are not included in their correct chronological order, and that CXXXVII was written after this one. In that case, Gager may have first tried to soften this and a subsequent passage about Wales because Haklyut had taken offence, and then cut them out altogether and wrote the preceding poem as an emollient.
28 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xi.12, ingenio populi convenit ille sui.
30 This poem is tempered by a good deal of comedy. Anyone ignorant of the geography of the British Isles would get the idea that Mathew was headed for some subarctic (although tiger-infested — see the next poem) clime such as, say, the Orkneys, where the sun never shines.
32 St. Paul’s Cross, hard by St. Paul’s in London, was a traditional place for public preaching, and Mathew was celebrated for his elegant sermons.
43ff. Although the tone of this section may be jocular, Gager’s concern is scarcely fanciful: fifteen years previously the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland had taken over Durham in the name of Mary, Queen of Scots, and had commandeered the Cathedral for a Mass. The rebellion had been quickly put down, with attendant hangings, but Gager and his readers might still have thought of the North country as a wild and wooly place. See also the next note.
45 Again, this concern is not fantastic. Jock the Scot was some contemporary robber  who made himself troublesome in the area. In Iter Boreale Eedes recounts how, when Toby Mathew and his party were lingering at Durham, one of their companions, Dr. Anthony Blencowe, Provost of Oriel College, wished to visit Newcastle (319ff.):

saepe Novum Castrum voluit Blencowus adire,
saepe recusavi; dominus mihi Ioche timorem
fecerat, hunc referunt passim sine lege vagari,
in lectisque homines somno iugulare sepultos.

Ioche is glossed a Scottishe out­law. This felon can be identified. William K. Boyd, Calendar of the State Papers Relating to Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots (Edinburgh, 1910) VI.691 reproduces a document entitled “A note of certaine spoiles committed by the Scotts in the Middle Marches,” in which the depredations of the Elwood (or Elwet) family looms large. Two complaints filed on August 30, 1583, the day prior to Mathew’s installation as Dean, catch our eye.:

Michael Walles, of Stew ward Sherles in Ridsdall, complains upon Archibald Elwett, of the Hill, James Elwett his brother, young John Elswett of the Park, and “Hob” Elwet, of the Park, with their accomplices for 400 kine and oxen, six horses and mares, and household stuff, value 41£. and slaying Roger Wales and John Wales.

Percivall Hall and John Hall, of Haveacres, complain upon John Elwet and “Hob” Elwet, of the Park, Archibald of the Hill, “Jocke” Elwet, called “Scottes Hobbe,” Jock Eddeich [sic], with their accomplices for 100 kine and oxen, 100 horses and mares, household stuff value 60£., slaying five [men] and hurting divers others.

Anyone tempted to think Gager is drawing a long bow describing northern lawlessness is invited to read this entire collection of depositions.
47ff. This passage is probably inspired by some lines from Eedes’ Iter Borealis (508ff.):

vix credas qua cura, quoque labore
illius causam cum praesule, canonicisque
egerit, atque adeo totam susceperat in se,
ut solvant illi vacuo pro tempore fructus,
quos vi, nempe suo Boreali iure, tenebant.

In the light of the further echo at 101ff. (see the note ad loc.), it is probably fair to say that the idea of line 47 is inspired by Ovid, Tristia V.x.43, iniustum rigido ius dicitur ense.
49 The Scythians were a nomadic people of Eurasia during the Graeco-Roman period. In these lines (as anyone familiar with Iter Boreale would appreciate) Gager manages to lump the depredations of Jock the Scot together with those of Bishop Barnes and his Durhamite clergy.
55 Cf. XXXIV.18f.:

quid tibi, Daphni, fuit saevo cum Marte? quid illi
tecum, Daphni, fuit?

57ff. The insistence with which preaching is discussed in terms of classical oratory is interesting, as if a sermon were chiefly the occasion for a display of epideictic rhetoric rather than the saving of souls, and that eloquent preachers were rated as superstars, rather like rhetoric professors of the Second Sophistic.
In the Eloquentiae Encomium of 1585 Gager has a lot to say about the prestige of the orator: Quid porro tam gloriosum quam cum auditum sit hominem eloquentem esse dicturum, loca in subselliis occupari, compleri forum, gratiosum unumquemque esse in dando et cedendo loco, coronam multiplicem omnes erectos videre? Cum vero surgit is qui dicturus sit significari a corona silentium, deinde crebras assensiones, multas admirationes, risum cum velit, cum velit fletum esse? Hic enim unus est in quo homines exhorrescunt, quem stupefacti dicentem intuentur, in quo clamores illos non potest melius plaususque etiam tollant.
When Gager wrote the passage in this poem he probably had in mind Eedes’ comical description of a bumbling Durham preacher (337f.):

plumbeus hic asinus, vel si quid durius isto,
(namque favere nimis videar, cum sic loquar)

For line 57 cf . Ovid, Tristia III.xi.21, in causa facili cuivis licet esse disertum. Hence I have altered ms. diserto to match.
63f. For this saying cf. Plutarch’s Life of Caesar, chapter xi.
65f. Cf. Ovid, Tristia I.v.23f.:

si non Euryalus Rutulos cecidisset in hostes,
   Hyrtacidae Nisi gloria nulla foret.

67 Catulus, Hortensius, and the younger Cato were among the most prominent of Cicero’s oratorical rivals.
71 Cf. Pyramis 202, quantum superat viburna cupressus. Both lines reflect Vergil, Eclogue i.26, quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi. More immediately, in these lines Gager is closely imitating Eedes’ description of how Mathew surpassed all the local Durham preachers (379ff.):

inde vicem coepit Decanus habere secundam,
anseribus miscetur olor, apis Attica fucis
et de more suo tantum supereminet omnes,
quantum lenta solent inter virburna cupressus.
sed quid apis mel dulce valet? quid cantus oloris?

73f. Cf. Martial I.liii.7f.:

sic niger in ripis errat cum forte Caystri,
inter Ledaeos ridetur corvus olores.

75f. Gager mentions some of the other great Oxford preachers of his day. Until assuming the Deanship of Winchester in 1580, Laurence Humphrey had been President of Magdalen College (biography at Wood, A. O. I.557 - 61). Harbert Westfaling was one of the Canons of Christ Church (cf. the note on CXXIV.9f.). For Thomas Thornton, another Canon of Christ Church cf. the note on CXXIV.13f. For William James, currently the Master of University College, then Mathew’s successor at Christ Church, cf. Wood, A. O. II.203f.
78 For docta corona cf. Ovid, Fasti VI.792.
80f. Cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.ii.35f.:

excitat auditor studium laudataque virtus
crescit et inmensum gloria calcar habet.

Line 80 is probably inspired by Horace, Ars Poetica 304f. (quoted in the dedicatory epistle to Lord Buckhurst prefacing Ulysses Redux):

                   ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
reddere quae ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi.

81 Cf. Persius, Satire I.28, at pulchrum est digito monstrari et dicier “hic est.” More immediately, in Iter Boreale Richard Eedes wrote of another incompetent Durham preacher (496f.):

et tamen obtinuit (quo sensu dicere parco)
quod voluit, possit, nimirum dicier, hic est.

89f. When the armor of the dead Achilles was to be offered to the best of the Greeks, Ulysses and Ajax came forward as rivals for the award. Ovid tells the story in Book XIII of the Metamorphoses.
90 For Telamone satus cf. Ovid, Met. XIII.123.
94 For devia lustra cf. Met. III.146.
96 For rustica turba cf. Met. VI.348, Martial IV.lvi.10, and Seneca, Hippolytus 79.
101ff. The echo in the first line suggests that Gager is playfully comparing Mathew’s prospective situation with that of Ovid, stranded in exile (Tristia V.x.36 - 43, and cf. the note on 47 above):

barbarus hic ego sum, qui non intellegor ulli,
    et rident stolidi verba Latina Getae;
meque palam de me tuto male saepe loquuntur,
    forsitan obiciunt exiliumque mihi.
utque fit, insanum me aliquid dicentibus illis
    abnuerim quotiens adnuerimque, putant.

110f. When Dionysus invaded Thrace, Orpheus neglected his worship. The god set his maenads on the bard, and they tore him to pieces. The story is told at the beginning of Book XI of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Ciconum can be taken as an equivalent of “Thracian.”
Cf. Ovid, Tristia IV.i 17f.:

cum traheret silvas Orpheus et dura canendo

For nurus Ciconum cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.3.
113ff. The idea that climate affects health is an old one, that can be traced back as far as the Hippocratic Airs, Waters, and Places. It was still a standard item of contemporary medical theory. Cf., for example, Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy I.ii.ii.5.
115f. More lines deleted so as not to offend the Welsh reader.
117 For natus Athenis cf. Juvenal, Satire iii.80.
121 For gelido…axe cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.x.48 and IV.xiv.62.
123f. Cf. XXXIV.30f.:

nil praeter lachrymas vestesque relinquitur atras.

This sentiment is also repeated at CL.100f.
128 Cf. the note on line 31 above.
129 For i decus, i, nostrum cf. Vergil, Aeneid VI.546. Cf. also Ovid, Metamorphoses V.550, ignavus bubo, dirum mortalibus omen. For this catalogue of ill omens generally, cf. Horace, Odes III.xxvii.1 - 7:

inpios parrae recinentis omen
ducat et praegnans canis aut ab agro
rava decurrens lupa Lanuvino
        fetaque volpes;

rumpat et serpens iter institutum,
si per obliquom similis sagittae
terruit mannos.


Source: A p. 136.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

2 Cf. Horace, Odes III.ix.10, dulcis docta modos et citharae sciens.
5 Cf. CXXXVIII.109 with the note ad loc. Compare also, more generally, the description of the Orpheus - like Sir Philip Sidney at XXXIV.79ff.
9ff. For Orpheus’ end, cf. the note on CXXXVIII.110f. Amphion committed suicide when Artemis killed the children he had fathered on Niobe.


Source: A p. 137.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

2 Cf. Tibullus II.iv.18, versis Luna recurrit equis.
3 Perhaps cf. Ps. - Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus 158, frigidi Ponti plagis.
9 Cf. the note on CXXXVIII.17.
11 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.153, ille regit dictis animos et pectora mulcet. Cf. also Aen. I.57, sceptra tenens mollitque animos et temperat iras.
12 Cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.ix.48, emollit mores nec sinit esse feros.


Source: A pp. 137f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Gager was canvassing this Canon for appointment as Rhetor of Christ Church of 1584. Cf. the discussion of this election in the General Introduction to his poetry.

1 This line is calculated to echo the first line of the distich addressed to Westfaling in the catalogue of members of the Christ Church Commons Room, CXXIV.9: disticha, Westfalinge, precor dignere subire.
7 I.e., he could have submitted his application in prose. For verba soluta as a designation for prose cf. Ovid, Tristia IV.x.24.
8 Cf. CXLVI.4, strictos…pedes.
9 In other words, Gager is trading on the gratitude he has accumulated for his poetic services to Christ Church.
11 For Musa procax cf. Horace, Odes II.i.37.
21 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Heroides xvi.283, sed coram ut plura loquamur. But the phrase coram plura really belongs to epistolography.


Source: A p. 138.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

Cf. the introductory note to CXXXIII.

1 For non bene conveniunt cf. CXXIII.1 and the note ad loc.
5f. Possibly suggested by Statius, Silvae II.i.181f.:

sic et in anguiferae ludentem gramine Lernae
rescissum squamis avidus bibit anguis Ophelten.


Source: A pp. 139f.   Date: 1583.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Now Gager writes to Westfaling to counteract the effect of Goodwin’s slanders.

9 For nec possum dicere quare cf. Martial I.xxxii.1.
39 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.817, tu mihi magna voluptas, and Fasti II.593, quae mea magna voluptas.
41f. Cf. Meleager 921f.:

ubicunque vivam, nullus oblitam tui
meriti videbit, nullus ingratam dies.

And also Ulysses Redux 131f.:

nulla me oblitum tui
arguerit unquam, nulla non gratum dies.

And CL.68f.:

omnia profiteor, nec me lux ulla videbit


Source: A p. 141.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Sir Thomas Clinton was the grandson of Edward Fiennes de Clinton, Earl of Lincoln. He matriculated from Christ Church in 1582, at the age of 14, and was “created M. A.” in 1588 (Foster, Alumni III.292).The position of this poem indicates a dating to January 1, 1584.

1f. Compare the first two lines of the epitaph on the tomb of Sir William Cordell (*XCVI). Both couplets appear to take their inspiration from Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto I. ix.38f.:

si modo non census nec clarum nomen avorum,
   sed probitas magnos ingeniumque facit.

3 Cf. Statius, Silvae IV.ii.7f.:

    quas solvere grates

Cf. also CL.63, grates persolvere dignas.
5 For hunting as a recreation for Oxford students, cf. James McConica “The Collegiate Society,” at Collegiate University 651. Various items of academic literature contain passages calculated to appeal to devotees of this sport. Besides the description of the hunt in Meleager, for example, one may mention a protracted description of a deer hunt in Richard Eedes’ Iter Boreale (94ff.).
6 Cf. Martial XIV.lxxxix.2, aurea qui dederit dona, minora dabit.
10 Evidently this refers to the candle mentioned in the next poem.
11 For nostri pignus amoris cf. also LXVI.7.
13 Cf. the note on LXII.8.
15ff. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.855 - 8:

sic magnus cedit titulis Agamemnonis Atreus,
Aegea sic Theseus, sic Pelea vicit Achilles;
denique, ut exemplis ipsos aequantibus utar,
sic et Saturnus minor est Iove.

20 Cf. Ovid, Tristia V.ix.22,  non potuit votum plenius esse meum.


Source: A p. 141.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

4 The pun on the two meanings of candidus, “white” and “candid,” cannot be reproduced in translation.


Source: A pp. 142f.   Date: Written for New Year’s Day, 1585   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Written in the year Gager was Christ Church Rhetor (he held the position from December 23, 1584 until late December of the following year), this poem and also CLXVII are placed a bit early in the collection. As a Canon, we can gather, Heton had a voice in his selection.

1ff. Gager feigns that the job of writing the speech in question keeps him from his normal duty of sending Heton a New Year’s poem.
4 Cf. verba…stricta at CXLI.7f.
6 For nostra Thalia cf. the note on LXXVIII.10.
7f. The poet in question is Ennius: cf. Persius, Prologue 1ff. and the Scholiast ad loc.
Cf., perhaps, Horace, Sermones I.iii.27f., at tibi contra / evenit.
13ff. The idea of Polyhymnia (strictly speaking the Muse of history, but here the Muse of prose in general) being a loose and slovenly creature gives concrete expression to the contrast between verba stricta and verba soluta at CXLI.7f.
21 Cf. stomachatur Musa at CXVI.23 and stomachans Musa at CXXXVII.4.
26 Cf. XVII.8, tua pendet nostra salute salus.


Source: A p. 143.   Date: 1584 - 5.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem was also written in the year that Gager was Christ Church Rhetor.

3 For nec venae divitis esse cf. the note on LXXIV.9.
8 For nostra Thalia cf. the note on LXXVIII.10.


Source: A p. 143.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Edward Browne cf. the note on CXXIV.79f.

6 Cf. CLXXVII.19 tibi me totum, charissime, mitto.


Source: A pp. 143f.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

A spell of bad health helps explain why Mathew took so long in assuming his new Durham post, though inclement weather and bad roads must have been further considerations.

13 Possibly Gager was thinking of Vergil, Aeneid IV.137, haec summa est, hic nostri nuntius esto.
14 In a rare lapse, Gager employs gratum as if it were a noun.


Source: A pp. 144 - 50.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

College wealth consisted chiefly of land leased out for agricultural purposes (cf. G. E. Aylmer, “The Economics and Finances of the Colleges and University c. 1530 - 1640,” in Collegiate University 521 - 45; abuses of this system have been discussed in the General Introduction to the poetry). Faunus is an idealized equivalent of a farmer renting Christ Church land, and Mathew is therefore presented as a bountiful landlord as well as a distinguished poet (i. e., a great preacher). Unless the fulsome tones with which Faunus praises him in his first speech for restoring him to his land would have had some special meaning to Christ Church readers, I would suppose that this only a literary embroidery on Tityrus’ praise of Augustus for restoring his farm in Vergil’s first Eclogue.

3 Cf. Vergil, Eclogue ii.36f.:

est mihi disparibus septem compacta cicutis

And also Ovid, Met. II.682, dispar septenis fistula cannis, and VIII.191f.:

            sic rustica quondam
fistula disparibus paulatim surgit avenis.

4 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid VIII.287f., qui carmine laudes…ferunt.
6 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Heroides xvi.150 et visa es tanto digna rapina vir.
7f. The names of these two poets are also linked at Vergil, Eclogue iv.55f.:

non me carminibus vincet nec Thracius Orpheus
nec Linus.

8 Linus was son of Apollo and Psamathe, a descendant of the Argive river-king Inachus.
9 Cf. Tibullus II.liv.13, carminis auctor Apollo, and the Vergilian Culex 12, Phoebus erit nostri princeps et carminis auctor.
12 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.328, o dea certe.
13f. For praesentius…numen cf. Juvenal, Satire iii.18.
18 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.410, lapsus ab arbore ramus.
25 Cf. Ovid, Heroides ix.31, non honor est sed onus species laesura ferentis, and perhaps also Tristia V.xiv.16, ad te non parvi venit honoris onus. Cf. also CLXXI.32, grave tardat onus.
39 For infaelix o semper cf. Vergil, Eclogue iii.3.
40 Cf. Juvenal, Satire iii.152f. (but the satirist draws a very different conclusion):

nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
quam quod ridiculos homines facit.

48 For nihil hic nisi carmina desunt cf. Virgil, Eclogue viii.67.
49 For horum tibi vena dives cf. the note on LXXIV.9.
57 The poets in question are Homer, Vergil (Tityrus appears in Eclogue i and can at least be interpreted as representing Vergil himself), and, presumably, Sir Philip Sidney. Homer is called the divinus poeta at the Vergilian Catalepton xv.3 (the phrase also occurs at Vergil, Eclogue v.45 and x.17).
59 For Musa mihi pinguis cf. the note on LXXVI.9.
60ff. Cf. the initial note on XX.
61f. Cf. XX.17 - 19:

proluor. nam quae mihi mens canendi,
quis furor venit novus, unte tantus
ardor invasit?

63 Cf. CXLIV.3, quas tibi pro merito grates persolvere possim(?)
64 For non opis est nostrae cf. also CXXXVIII.9.
68f. Cf. the note on CXLIII.41f. This entire passage is closely imitated in the second eclogue on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, XXXIV.116 - 21. Cf. also Meleager 918 - 20:

 sive cum sylvas petam
memorabo sylvis, sive per montes eam
implebo montes, gratiae tantae memor.

For the list of adunata with which this passage commences, cf. the note on XXXIV.116ff.
87ff. These lines were reemployed at XXXIV.133 - 5.
90 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.76, incipit effari mediaque in voce resistit.
93 For pars maxima luctus cf. ib. XI.214.
100f. Cf. XXXIV.30f. (with the note ad loc.):

nil praeter lachrymas vestesque relinquitur atras.

104 Cf. Statius, Thebais VIII.149, nec commune malum est.
105 Cf. XXXIV.108, balatu testantur oves pro voce dolorem.
106ff. Again, Gager closely imitated this passage at XXXIV.76 - 86. Cf. the note on that passage.
119f. Cf. XXVI.23, deliciae rerum, nostrique superbia partus.
120 Cf. III.10, extincta lux est unica saeculi!
123 Cf. CXIX.9, heu cantus audire tuos nunquamne licebit? And also XXXIV.85f.:

ergo te posthac nunquamne audire canentem,
Daphni, licet, solitaque frui dulcedine vocis? 

124ff. These lines refer to Mathew’s position as University Orator (as of 1569). Although he was replaced by Thomas Smith of Christ Church, Gager perhaps cherished the ambition to perform a similar function as Oxford’s quasi-official laureate.
127ff. These lines were adapted as XXXIV.111 - 4 (cf. the notes ad loc.).
132 Cf. XXXIV.108, balatu testantur oves pro voce dolorem, and CXIX.16, balatum tristi reddat ovile sono.  
136 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid V.110, viridesque coronae.
137f. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses V.399, collecti fiores tunicis cecidere remissis.
138 Cf. ib. IV.134, (sc. ora) buxo pallidiora gerens.
142 For gemitumque dedere cavernae cf. Vergil, Aeneid II.53.
148f. Cf. XXIV.35f.:

   regina virgo, cui quid aetas
       nostra videt simile, aut videbit?

153 I nostrum Matthaee decus is designed to echo CXXXVIII.129 = 132 i decus, i nostrum.
155 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid I.610, quae me cumque vocant terrae. For signa doloris cf. CXIII.11 (cf. also XXXVIII.22f. ).


Source: A p. 150.   Date: 1584.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Morrey was one of the M.A. students of Christ Church (cf. CXXIV.31f. with the note ad loc.). His will was proved at Oxford on July 10, 1584.

5f. For the assumption of Elisha, cf. II Kings 2.


Source: A p. 150.   Date: Cicely Sandys died on February 10, 1584.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Cicely Sandys was the second wife of Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York. Gager probably wrote this epitaph because Sandys’ second son was currently an undergraduate at Corpus Christi College. Gager may have come to know him by the agency of Alberico Gentili, for Sandys and Gentili belonged to a circle advocating religious tolerance (Jennifer Loach, “Reformation Controversies,” at Collegiate University 391). Alternatively, Sandys had entertained Tobie Mathew and Richard Eedes on their trip to Durham in the previous year (Iter Boreale 83ff.), and Eedes may have made her friendship then, so Gager conceivably wrote this as a favor to him. Cicely Sandys is buried at Woodham Ferres, Sussex; Gager’s epitaph was not used.

5 She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford of Cranbrook, Kent.
6 Cf. Martial VIII.lxxvii.3, in aeterna vivere digne rosa.


Source: A p. 151.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Smith cf. the note on CXII above.

1 The idea of this poem expands on the idea of sending a poem of New Year’s wishes in lieu of a present already employed at CXIV.23f.:

vivite concordes, et (quod pro munere mitto)
   annus utrique novus suaviter iste fluat.


Source: A p. 151, edited by C. F. Tucker Brooke, “William Gager to Queen Elizabeth,” Studies in Philology 29 (1932) 170f.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

For Sir Walter Devereux cf. the note on XXXVIII.104f., and for Clinton the note on CXLIV. Clinton matriculated from Christ Church in 1582, Devereux in 1584 (Clark, Register II.ii 119 and Foster, Alumni III.292, and Clark II.ii 135, Foster 399 respectively).

1 Cf. Ovid, Fasti I.65, Iane biceps, anni tacite labentis origo.
3f. This catalogue of mythological precedents of male friendship is meant to impart legitimacy and glamor to such relationships, but their Platonic nature is stressed in line 8. For casta…face cf. Martial
9 Clinton and Devereux were, respectively, the grandson and the son of Earls.
11 Cf. Horace, Sermones II.iii.243, par nobile fratrum.


Source: A p. 152.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem is immediately followed in A by the only poem by someone else included in the notebook by Gager, by Robert Dow of All Souls College:

hoc lector Gulielmus ecce Cordel
tectus marmore mortuus quiescit.
qui clara genitus dono vetusta
quam fecit mala sors caliginosam
et stirpi et domui suum nitorem
dicam restituit? parum est, adauxit.
evexit Deus hunc, et alma virtus
et virtute sua suae paratus
reginae favor, et sublatus istinc
vir prudens, pius et benignus audit.
talis vita mihi, mihique talis
ut mors sit cupio. vale, viator.

Gager copied this poem because it was an epitaph of his celebrated uncle, and this is his own variant on the same epitaph. His uncle, Sir William Cordell, had died in May 1581, and Gager must have written this poem because he only became aware of Dow’s work now. We do not know what prompted Dow to write it or what his connection with Sir William might have been. (What known Oxford connections Sir William had were with St. John’s College, for which he was Visitor and for which he is reputed have drafted the original statutes at the request of its founder, Sir Thomas White.)

4 Cf. Juvenal, Satire ix.32, fata regunt homines.
5 The use of decorem as a substantive can be matched by Tibullus I.ix.13 and Ovid, Metamorphoses X.589f. and XIV.322. Cf. also CLXIII.12, stirpis luxque decusque tuae.
10 Cordell’s tomb epitaph (*XCVI) refers more explicitly to his foundation of an almshouse at Long Melford.


Source: A pp. 158f.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Alcaic stanzas.

This poem of consolation is addressed to Giles Tomson (or Thompson), a Fellow of All Souls College. In 1586 Tomson and William Watkinson of Christ Church were elected as the two University Proctors. Tomson must have stood for election in 1585 and been defeated, but given to understand that his election for the following year was assured, which would appear to say something about the manner in which these elections were conducted. (early the next century, at least) proctorial elections were notoriously rigged: cf. the poem “On the Proctors Plotts” dubiously ascribed to a later Christ Church Dean, Richard Corbett, with his editors’ commentary, J. A. W. Bennett and H. R. Trevor-Roper, The Poems of Richard Corbett (Oxford, 1955) 166.) Cf. the biographical sketch at Foster, Alumni III.1476.

5 For miretur aetas postera cf. XXIV.1.
7f. Gager was was forgetting his Plutarch. For statues of the two Catos cf. Cato Maior  xix.6, and Cato Minor lxxi.2 respectively.
14 Cf. XXIV.38f. and the note ad loc.:

          livor edax meis
absit Camoenis.

23f. Cf. the note on CXLIV.5.
25ff. For the story, cf. Plutarch, Life of Cato Minor l.
29ff. For this saying of Caesar cf. Plutarch, Life of Caesar vii. This same saying is the basis of Eteocles’ lines at Oedipus 115f.:

absiste, mater. vel hodie me principem
certum videbis vel neci certae datum.

33 Cf. pectora candidae at II.5 and candida pectore at XIX.10.
34 Cf. Horace, Epistulae I.ii.39, differs curandi tempus in annum, and ib. I.xi.23, neu dulcia differ in annum.


Source: A p. 159.   Date: 1585.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Robert Dudley, son of the Earl of Leicester, died on June 19, 1584. Unless Gager erred in their placement, their position in the manuscript indicates that this cycle of poems on his death was not written until the following year. Leicester was still nominally Chancellor of the University, although Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor of England, was acting in that capacity during his Netherlands campaign.

2 For deliciae rerum cf. XXVII.23.
5f. Gager reemployed this idea in his first eclogue on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, XXVII.56f.:

iamque ipsas pudet admissi, facinusque nefandum
horrent, et damnant occantem fila sororem.


Source: A p.159.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

2 For matris imago  cf. Lucretius II.609 and Ovid, Met. IX.264.
4 For Philomela cf. the note on XX.22.


Source: A p.1 60.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A p. 160.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

1 Robert, Earl of Leicester, and his brother Ambrose, Earl of Warwick. For this poem cf. Andromache’s lament for Astyanax at Seneca, Troades 451f.:  

o nate, magni certa progenies patris,
spes una Phrygibus, unica afflictae domus.


Source: A p. 160.   Date: 1585.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

4 Cf. CLVIII.2 matris imago.
6 The phrase gemma puer may have been inspired by the simile comparing Ascanius to a glittering gem at Vergil, Aeneid IV.134ff.


Source: A p. 160.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

Lettice is an Anglicized form lf Letitia. In Latin laetitia means “happiness,” and maestitia “sadness.”


Source: A p. 160.   Date: 1585

A leaf containing the conclusion of this poem is missing, and its title has been crossed out. It is likely that Gager destroyed the page in question in 1590, furious when he learned that he had been cut out of his uncle Edward’s will: cf. CLXXI below.


Source: A p. 161.   Date: 1585.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This epitaph was written on the death of Edward Fiennes, ninth Baron Clinton, created Earl of Lincoln in 1572, who died in January 1585. He was the grandfather of Gager’s Christ Church contemporary Sir Thomas Clinton (cf. CXLIV, CXLV, and CLIV).

2 Cf. the note on C.2.
9f. Among his military exploits, Lincoln had fought under Lord Lisle in the Scottish expedition of 1544, in which he as knighted, and then in the defense of Boulougne, and together with the Earl of Warwick he put down the northern insurrection of 1570. Created Lord High Admiral by Edward, he was a member of the Royal Council under Elizabeth.
11 Cf. Vergil, Aeneid XII.649, haud umquam indignus avorum.
12 Cf. CL.5, stirpisque domusque decorum.
13f. Cf. CXXIX.3f.:

non aes incisum non istos marmor in usus,
    non capiant luctus carmina mille meos. 


Source: A pp.161f. Edited by J. W. Binns, “William Gager on the Death of Sir Philip Sidney,” Humanistica Lovaniensia 21 (1970) 225.   Date: 1586.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

These lines were written on the occasion of the anniversary of Elizabeth’s accession, November 17, 1586; Sidney had died on October 17. For some reason Gager decided not to include this item in his printed anthology.

2 Cf. Terence, Andria 260, tot me inpediunt curae, quae meum animum divorsae trahunt.
3 Cf. Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 256, laetus et veniet dies.
4 Cf. LXXXII.2, ut sol cum nubes occupat atra diem.
8 Cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.ii.86, primum laetitiae non negat esse locum.
9 Cf. the note on LIII.7.


Source: A p. 162.   Meter: Sapphic stanzas.

For Gentili, cf. the note on I, and also the description of his role in the ongoing controversy about the propriety of academic dramatics in the Introduction to Gager’s letter to John Rainolds. The idea of this poem, and some of the details of its first stanza, are patterned after Horace, Odes I.viii.3, which begins:

Lydia, dic, per omnis
         te deos oro, Sybarin cur properes amando
perdere, cur apricum
          oderit campum patiens pulveris atque solis, 
cur neque militaris
           inter aequalis equitet, Gallica nec lupatis
temperet ora frenis?

1 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xvi.250f.:

                               nuda dedere meis
pectora vel puris nivibus vel lacte.

5 For tibi flagrat cf. Horace, Odes I.xxv.13.
6f. Cf. Tibullus III.x.17f.:

at nunc tota tua est, te solum candida secum

17f. Cf. Horace, Odes I.xxvii.19, quanta laborabas Charybdi.
22 For Venus as the goddess of Cos, cf. Propertius IV.v.57.
23f. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.354f.:

                               ut eburnea si quis
signa tegat claro vel candida lilia vitro.

Cf. also Seneca, Thyestes 457, nec fulget altis splendidum tectis ebur.


Source: A pp. 163f.   Date: 1588?   Meter: Dactylic hexameters.

The contents of this encomium of Drake suggest it was inspired by his Caribbean expedition of 1586, but if it is correctly placed in chronological sequence, it must have taken its inspiration from Drake’s prominent role in the defeat of the Armada two years later.

4ff. The idea, and some of the verbiage, is suggested by Horace, Odes IV.ix.28 - 33:

vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
multi; sed omnes inlacrimabiles
     urgentur ignotique longa
            nocte, carent quia vate sacro.

paulum sepultae distat inertiae
celata virtus.

10 Cf. XXXVIII.89, nostrique infamia saecli, and LII.3, infamia saecli. The present phrase comes from Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.97.


Source: A p. 164.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

The addressee of this poem was one of the two Wright brothers who were currently M. A.’s at Christ Church (CXXIV.68f.). The poem consists of a series of puns on the word dexter (“right”, “cleverly”) and sinister (“left”, “in a sinister way”).


Source: A pp. 164f., edited by  edited by C. F. Tucker Brooke, “William Gager to Queen Elizabeth,” Studies in Philology 29 (1932), 175.  


Source: A pp. 165f.   Date: 1590.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

In the General Introduction to the plays, and also in the General Introduction to the poetry, I have discussed the implications of Gager’s cheated hopes in the matter of this expected inheritance. The evident facts of the situation were that, doubtless after his first wife had died, his wealthy London uncle Edward Cordell, presumably childless, had promised Gager that he would make him his heir, or at least that such was our poet’s understanding. This, one gathers from the poem’s title, seems to have done in exchange for something from Gager, and the poet thought that this agreement had a binding contractual or at least moral force. But when Uncle Edward married Mistress Abigail Digby he wrote a new will leaving his goods to her. Gager only found this out after his death, and his high hopes were crushed.

2 For determining Gager’s attitudes, it of course makes a difference whether faemina is interpreted as “this woman” or “womankind.”
18 Cf. CLXVIII.7 pinguem…campum.
21f. Cf. the note on XXXIV.30f.
27ff. It is likely that Gager’s emotions momentarily got the better of his reason: how could Edward have squandered his brother’s property? William’s property was not Edward’s by inheritance, since he had made his sister Jane his principal heir.
31ff. Gager employed a similar image in the Epilogue to Panniculus (365 - 9):

huc usque vela dedimus, hoc terra procul   
tenemur alto. lingua si forsan mala
dederit procellam, quo, nisi in vestrae uspiam 
benignitatis, nostra stet portu ratis?

Cf. also LI.23 - 6:

languescunt flatu mihi vela remisso,
extinctaque interim cineres tepuere favilla.
tu, dea, certe afflare potes, sed nec mea tantos
cimba ferat fluctus, nec tantum lintea ventum.

38 Cf. Psalm cxviii.19:1, It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes, and Psalm cxlvi 3:1, Put not your trust in princes.
39 In the light of what we know of Gager’s life, it is not certain on what previous two occasions our poet, a man who seems to have been in the habit of having his own way, suffered from dashed expectations.


Source: A pp. 167 - 70.   Date: 1592.   Meter: Sapphic stanzas.

I have discussed this poem, written about the birth of Sir Horatio Palavicino’s son, Henry, in 1592, in the General Introduction to the poetry

39 In mythology Myrrha was the mother of Adonis: cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.312ff.
Cf. the description of the Muses as a turba canora at XLII.14. Cf. also CL.130f.:

cum cygnis te flere suis Thamesimque lacusque
et fontes audire potes.

67f. Cf. Vergil, Eclogue iv.60, incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem.
74ff. The Palacivino’s were a long-established family of Genoa’s mercantile aristocracy: cf. Lawrence Stone, An Elizabethan: Sir Horatio Palavicino (Oxford, 1956) 1f.
77 Cf. XXXVIII.61f.:

certe dignus eras cui vitam Parca noverca
   longaevam, natosque simul natura dedisset.


Source: A p. 170.   Date: 1591 or 1592.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Owen Ragsdall, a former chorister of Magdalen College, was admitted to the B. A. in 1560. “He was a benefactor to Rothwell free school, Northants., and founded a hospital there; died 1 Dec. 1591, buried in the chancel of Rothwell church”: Foster, Alumni 1229. I have no idea why Gager would have written these two epitaphs for this local philanthropist; possibly, once again, his motive was to gratify some mutual friend.

12 For thalami fax cf. Ovid, Heroides xxi.172.


Source: A pp. 170f.   Date: 1591 or 1592.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

8 For the idea, cf. Vergil, Aeneid V.561 pueri bis seni, and Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII. 243, bis puerum senis.
12 For turbaque…inops cf. Vergil, Aen. VI.325 and Ovid, Fasti VI.373.


Source: A p. 171.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.

1 Cf. Martial VI.lxxix.1, tristis es et felix. sciat hoc fortuna caveto.


Source: A pp. 171f.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem and the next one, with their shared interest in the theme of spiritual rejuvenation, were written at the same time (CLXXVII.17 is a clear reference to the previous poem). Since they (and also CLXXVIII) are preceded by poems datable to 1592 (CLXXII - CLXXIV), and since CLXXVII and CLXXVIII are dedicated to fellow Christ Church students, it is likely that they were written not long before Gager’s departure from the University, i.e. for New Year’s Day 1593. Gager’s dedicatory epistle for the Meleager volume was written for the same day, and it is probable that he remained at Oxford long enough to see that volume through the press.

1f. Cf. CXVI.1f.:

ecce velut veterem novus exuit annus amictum, 
   factum et est iuvenis qui fuit ante senex.

4 Perhaps suggested by Vergil, Aeneid XII.611, canitiem immundo perfusam pulvere turpans.
12ff. For Elisha curing Naaman of leprosy in the waters of the Jordan cf. II Kings 5.
21 I. e., of the Syrian Naaman.
32 Cf. CL.25, grave torquet onus.
36 For cana senecta cf. Catullus cviii.1, Tibullus I.viii.42, Ovid, Heroides xiv.109, and Seneca, Hercules Furens 198.


Source: A p. 173.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

John Wise matriculated from Christ Church in 1586 (Clark, Register II.ii 156, Foster, Alumni III.1663) at the advanced age of 33, describing himself as a gentleman; there is no record of any degrees conferred.

1ff. The source for this idea was Servius on Vergil, Aeneid V.85, annus enim secundum Aegyptios indicabatur ante inventas litteras picto dracone caudam suam mordente, quia in se recurrit.
7 Gager was presumably thinking of the Phoenix.
19 Cf. CXLVIII.6, me tibi mitto.
23 Cf. the note on LXVI.7.
24 Perhaps suggested by Ovid, Heroides iv.23f.:

sic male vixque subit primos rude pectus amores,
sarcinaque haec animo non sedet apta meo.

26 For regit astra cf. Vergil, Georgics I.232 and Ps. - Seneca, Octavia 768.


Source: A p. 174.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Thomas Cooper also matriculated from Christ Church in 1586 (Foster, Alumni III.325); cf. the biographical sketch at Wood, F. O. I.285.

3 Cf. Juvenal, Satire x.356, orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
5 For a similar image, cf. LXXXVIII.9, gemma nitet ferro, quanto magis ardet in auro!
11f. Cf. the note on LXII.8.


Source: A p. 174.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

I presume that all further poems written to or about Christ Church students are datable to 1593, and so the poems sandwiched between CLXXVIII and CLXXXIII also belong to that year.

1 For praeteritae…iuventae cf. Propertius III.xi.7.


Source: A p. 174.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: A p. 175.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Anne Alington of St. Botolph’s parish, Aldersgate, London was the second daughter of Richard Alington and Jane (Cordell) Alington. Her mother was a sister to Gager’s mother, the former Thomasina Cordell, and to his maternal uncles Edward and Sir William.


Source: A p. 175.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This poem was written to accompany the New Year’s gift of a small book on a religious subject, possibly a copy of the New Testament or The Book of Common Prayer. Evidently it too belongs to 1593 but was inserted slightly out of place in Gager’s notebook. For Wise, cf. CLXXVII.

3 Cf. the note on CXIV.23.


Source: A p. 175.   Date: 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Thomas Owen of Middlesex matriculated from Christ Church in 1590 and was admitted to the B. A. on June 19, 1593 (Clark, Register II.ii 181 and II.iii.177, Foster, Alumni III. 1102). He must have died soon thereafter, very likely as the result of the plague that visited Oxford in July and August. This is Gager’s last datable Oxford poem.

3f. Cf. XXXIV.135 - 8 and the note  on ib. 134f.:

nulla dies Daphnim eximeret pastoribus unquam,
dum brumae ver succedet, verique vicissim
aestas, aestati autumnus, dum gloria stabit
Anglorum, gentesque inter caput Anglia tollet.

5 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.269f.:

sic ubi mortales Tirynthius exuit artus,
parte sui meliore viget.

And ib. XV.875f.

parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennis
astra ferar.

And also Martial X.ii.8, et meliore tui parte superstes eris.


Source: A pp. 176f.   Date: 1600 or 1601.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Heton was appointed Bishop of Ely on December 28, 1599, and was consecrated at the beginning of the following February. This poem could be dated to January 1, 1600, according to the assumption that Gager learned of the appointment quickly. More probably, it belongs to the beginning of the following year. In the General Introduction to the poetry I cited Tucker Brooke’s suggestion that the purpose of this poem was to call attention to the poet’s need for employment. If so, the exercise was successful, for Gager was appointed a diocescan legal officer in 1601.

1 The pun on the noun par (“pair”), and the adjectives par (“equal, appropriate, fitting”) and impar (“unequal, unsuitable”) cannot be rendered in English.
The choice of the gift of a pair of gloves may not have been a casual one, if Gager imagined that his surname meant “glove-maker.” In that case the me…mittam of line 9 (for which cf. the note on CXLVIII.6) acquires extra meaning.
31f. Cf. the note on LXII.8.


Source: A p. 177.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Nobody of this name is registered in Clark’s Register or Foster’s Alumni; presumably he died before matriculating or taking any degree. He may have been related to Benjamin Gould, who matriculated from Christ Church in 1589 and was admitted to the B. A. in 1592 ( Foster, Alumni III.591).

1f. Cf. Herodotus V.iii.4, τὸν δ᾿ ἀπογενόμενον παίζοντές τε καὶ ἡδόμενοι γῇ κρύπτουσι, ἐπιλέγοντες ὅσων κακῶν ἐξαλλαχθεὶς ἐστί ἐν πάσῃ εὐδαιμονίῃ.
4 The example of Sardanapalus is adduced as an instance of a spectacularly ignominious end. According to the lost Greek historian Ctesias and various sources dependent on his tradition, this degenerate king is supposed to have shut himself and his wives in his palace and burned himself to death when Arbaces, the rebel satrap of Media, besieged Nineveh in the ninth century B. C. His death is mentioned at, e.g., Ovid, Ibis 311f.
5 The context requires a negative, and it is likely that the copyist wrote deflebit for non flebit.
9 Themis was the Greek goddess of Justice personified.


Source: A pp. 177f. 

Cf. Servius on Vergil, Aeneid VI.136: novimus Pythagoram Samium vitam humanam divisisse in modum y litterae, scilicet quod prima aetas incerta sit, quippe quae adhuc se nec vitiis nec virtutibus dedit: bivium autem y litterae a iuventute incipere, quo tempore homines aut vitia, id est partem sinistram, aut virtutes, id est dexteram partem sequuntur.


Source: A p. 178. 


Source: A p. 178.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

The only contemporary individual with this surname mentioned in University records was Gabriel Newcome (Nucom, Newcom), who matriculated from Broadgates Hall in 1581 and supplicated for the B. A. in 1583 (Clark, Register II.ii 104 and II.iii 116, Foster, Alumni III.1059). It is possible that this individual then migrated to Jesus College, but there is no record of his incepting for the M. A. Further clarification is impossible because the extant Jesus College buttery books only begin in 1637.

1 Cf. Martial, V.lviii.5, iam cras istud habet Priami vel Nestoris annos. For Nestoris annos cf. also Ulysses Redux 1980f.
7f. Cf. Martial I.xxxix.3, si quis Cecropiae madidus Latiaeque Minervae.
10 Cf. Martial IV.lxxiii.4, ut traherent parva stamina pulla mora.


Source: A pp. 179f.


Source: A p. 180.

This poem translates Martial I.xix:

si memini, fuerant tibi quattuor, Aelia, dentes:
   expulit una duos tussis et una duos.
iam secura potes totis tussire diebus:
    nil istic quod agat tertia tussis habet.


Source: A pp. 181-5.

1ff. Gager refers to the Vergilian Culex and the Ovidian Nux.
22 For Zoilus cf. the epigram addressed to this captious critic prefacing the printed Ulysses Redux and also the note on LXXIX.5f.


Source: A pp. 185f.   Date: Not later than October 1586.

Elizabeth Cordell, the first wife of Gager’s uncle Edward, was buried at Long Melford on October 30, 1586.


Source: A p.196.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.

This and the next item were perhaps written towards the end of the century, inspired by the contemporary vogue for short, pointed epigrams of the Martial style that produced Thomas Campion’s first volume of Latin epigrams (1595), subsequently imitated by John Owen, Charles Fitzgeoffrey, Sir John Stradling, and others.


Source: A p. 196.  Meter: Elegiac couplets.


Source: Written marginally on sig. A1v of the Dyce Collection copy of Meleager owned by the National Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London   Date: Not earlier than January, 1593.   Meter: Elegiac couplet.


Source: Heton’s tomb in Ely Cathedral, signed Scripsit Guilielmus Gagerus LL. D. Cancellarius huius Dioeceseos. Edited by James Bentham, History and Antiquity of the Cathedral Church of Ely (Cambridge, 1771) 197.   Date: 1609.   Meter: Elegiac couplets.

Heton died on July 14, 1609. For an account of his rather controversial career as Bishop of Ely, cf. James Bentham, History and Antiquity of the Cathedral Church of Ely (Cambridge, 1771) 195 - 7. If Gager had any involvement in his alleged peculations, we do not hear of it. Indeed, the fact that he temporarily governed the diocese of Ely after Heton’s death, and then continued to serve in office under the next bishop, Lancelot Andrewes, suggests his innocence.

3 For parte meliore cf. the note on CLXXXIII.3f.
9 Cf. C.2 and the note ad loc.
11 Bentham’s biographical sketch mentions two unnamed daughters.