Dedicatory Letter Katherine (or Catherine), daughter of Sir Robert and Barbara Sidney (née Gamage), married Sir Lewis Mansell of Margam in Glamorgan (see II.31) at a date (probably very early in the 1600s) which seems not to known. There were no children of the marriage. She died 8 May 1616 at Baynards Castle in London, and was buried at Penshurst on May 13.
Dedicatory Letter Cherillus (or Choerillus) of Iasus was a notoriously poor poet who travelled with Alexander the Great, and was paid to celebrate his achievements. George Puttenham declares that Alexander greatly admired the noble poemes of Homer and for his sake all other meaner Poets, in so much as Cherillus, one no very great good Poet, had for every verse well made a Phillips noble of gold, amounting in value to an angell English, and so for every hundreth verses (which a cleanely pen could speedely dispatch) he had a hundred angels (The Art of English Poesie, 1589, I.viii). Robert Greene writes of [t]he paltering Poet Cherillus, [who] dedicated his duncing Poems to that mightie Monarch Alexander, saying that he knew assuredly if Alexander would not accept them, in they were not pithie, yet he would not utterly reject them, in that they had a shew of Poetry (Dedication to Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Greenes Card of Fancie, 1587). See also III.5.
Apelles was a famous and accomplished artist, sometimes referred to as the Chian painter. John Lylys play Campaspe (acted 1584) is an entertaining Elizabethan account of Apelles relationship with Alexander the Great.
Ad Ingeniosum et modestum amicum, G. Gamage, de epigrammatis To his well-born and modest friend, W. Gamage, about his epigrams: As far as I am concerned, let our Owen be the alpha of epigrams. He deserves first place, or nobody does. How much are you worth, Gamage? On the showing of your name, you are gamma. But the Muse makes you the beta of epigrams.
1 John Owen [c.1564 - c.1628] gained a Europe-wide reputation on the strength of his books of Latin epigrams first published in 1607. Like Owen, Gamage was an Oxford-educated Welshman and probably felt a degree of affinity with the older (and far better) poet. See I.67.
Ad eundem de eisdem To the same, about the same: If any weaving has long been welcome to our people, it is linsey-woolsey. But, Gamage, the poems you weave are more useful than wool, more delightful than linen. Though you doubt they are welcome, they will give pleasure in winter and summer, in them man and woman can take delight. They only differ in this: weavings endure for the age of a single summer, but your weavings will endure for the ages. Farewell.
For linsey-woolsey, see the note on I.1.1.
More (or Moore) Fortune, from the county of Monmouth, matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford on May 22 1601, aged 15. He obtained his B. A. in 1604 and his M. A. in 1610. His friendship with William Gamage is recorded in III.23. In 1.92, Of Virginia he is described as heeretofore a Traveller. He presumably spent some years abroad, but in 1621 he took the degree of Bachelor of Divinity at Oxford and in the same year was vicar of Usk in Monmouthshire.
Hexasticon A Six-liner on the epigrams of his most faithful friend W. Gamage: Happy epigrams help by relieving gloomy minds. Yours are happy enough, yours are chaste enough. Dont fear the grudging mutters of mordant Momus: let Momus praise them or produce his own. These will be proofs of a good wit, monuments of posterity to come. Continue to write. Farewell.
For Momus, see the note on I.1.6.
Rowland Harries was an exact contemporary of William Gamage at Jesus College. Harris, also from Glamorgan, matriculated there one month before the poet (on April 20, 1604), aged 19 (making him a year younger than Gamage), took his B. A. in December 1607 (as did Gamage) and went on (unlike Gamage, it seems) to obtain his M. A. in 1610. By 1620 he was rector of the parish of Coytiff in Glamorgan.
Ad Cordatum amicum G. Gamage de epigrammatis To his dear friend W. Gamage, on his epigrams: Our age is fertile, it has produced many a poet, but, Gamage, it has not produced your peer.
Aliud ad Lectorem Another, to the Reader: Read this through, whoever you are. Read ten times they will please, or nothing can please you, whoever you are.
Henry Atho (of Pembrokeshire in West Wales) matriculated at Jesus College in July of 1603, aged 15. He took his B. A. in 1606 and his M. A. in February 1611. He later took holy orders.
Ad amicum amantissimum... To his dearest friend W.G., on his epigrams: Let a boy read these witty epigrams of yours, worthy of lofty praise, let an old man read them. Though you are a lad, yet your experience and good mind make you an old man. You sing holy things piously, you bawl out profane things profanely. It appears that with wonderful sweetness of tongue you have worshipped the Muses sacred choirs.
Most probably the author of these verses was the John Vaughan of Montgomeryshire who matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford, 18 May 1604, aged 16, proceeding to his B. A. in February 1608 and his M. A. in July 1612 before taking holy orders.
Idem ad Librum in Zoilum The same to the book. Against Zoilus: If some Zoilus wants to chew on you with rabid tooth, let him think on the age of your master.
For Zoilus / Zoylus, see the note on I.5.
In Epigrammata cognati... On the epigrams of his kinsman and proven friend William Gamage: Have you thus ridiculed the world with its dissimilar manners in your innumerable numbers, savage epigram? Farmer, city-man, what do you want? Warrior, lover, courtier with his elegant unguents? It has this too. Each mans thing is dear to himself, nor do we sport with a single will. Diverse things please these men. Why do you desire? You have this too.
In Zoylum On Zoilus: Does biting Zoilus want our countrymens pens to be driven off, well-chewed by his tooth? Let him take to his heels, he doesnt have this. Does he want to be included in our manners, in numbers? See here, let him have this thing. Let the rascal count them: he has this.
Numeris: i.e in numbers, in verse.
William Hughes of Glamorgan entered Jesus College in 1604, matriculating on the very same day as Gamage (18th May) and going on to obtain his B.A. in March 1606. He became rector of Michaelston alias Llanmihangel-juxta-Cowbridge in 1606 and vicar of Llancarfan in 1617.
Idem ad Librum The same, to the book: Come then, through friendly guardian spirits and through Momuses, through fires, through various dregs of things, through rocks, through shadows [...].
This poem (printed thus in both 1613 and 1621) appears to be some kind of literary parody, and may be incomplete.
Tetrastichon. Ad suum amicum... Four- Liner to his friend, Wm. Ga., on his epigrams: All men will praise the learned epigrams of bygone times, but, my friend, this polished work of yours surpasses them. May you commit them to writing, you have uttered things worthy of being preserved with cedar. The present age and an age to come will sing of you.
Tetrastichon... 3 cedro cedar: the oil obtained from cedar was used to preserve books (as well as having medicinal uses). See Oxford Latin Dictionary, cedrus, (sense 2) where examples are cited from Horace and Martial amongst others.
Hopkin Price, of Glamorgan, matriculated from Jesus College on June 16, 1610, aged 16. I.15 (where he is described as lately deceased) and 1.20 make it clear that he died before 1613.
Ad cognatum ... To his right beloved kinsman W.G., in praise of his book: This book is small, but not of small value. Small things have their own charm, therefore the charm of your book is great. Why hide in dark shadows, Philomusus? Let a favourable breeze blow on your endeavours.
The author of these verses was probably the John Powell of Glamorgan who matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford in June of 1610, aged 16, taking his B. A. in 1613. Obtaining his M. A. in July of 1618, he later became rector of Llansannor and Flemingston in Glamorgan. See I.25.
4 secunda: can mean favourable or, more literally, second. Perhaps Powell was punningly expressing that wish that Gamage would go onto produce a second volume?
To his friend, and familiar ... see the note on In Zoylum.
To my lo. friend W. Gamage The author of this and the next epigram is probably the Matthew Bennett who obtained his B. A. at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1599 and was rector of Oxwich from 1605, of Cheriton from 1610 and of Nicholaston from 1610 (all these parishes are on the Gower peninsula in Glamorgan).
I.1.1 The stuffe of Gamages work is the Linsey-woolsey of his books title, originally a material woven from a mixture of flax and wool; the term was later used to refer to dressmaking material of inferior, coarse wool. O. E. D. records it in these senses from the 1480s. From the 1590s it occurs in figurative usages denoting, according to the O. E. D., a strange medley in talk or action; confusion, nonsense.
I.1.6 Momus was the Greek god of mockery and fault-finding.
I.2.3 In the legendary history of Britain, Camber was the second son of Brutus, first King of Britain. When the kingdom was split up at the death of Brutus, Camber was granted rule over Wales, which took from him its ancient name of Cambria.
I.3 The famous Oxford library founded by Sir Thomas Bodley [1545 - 1613] was opened in 1602.
I.3.6 Vaticane: The word was sometimes used to refer to the artistic treasures or library of the Papal palace and, by extension, to any very substantial collection of artworks or books (see O. E. .D.).
I.5 Zoilus was a grammarian active in the time of Philip of Macedon. he was famous for the vehemence with which he criticised Homer, and his name became the proverbial designation of a malicious critic.
I.7 Traditionally the central aisle of St. Pauls cathedral provided an area of promenade for those with little to do, or in search of employment; such folk came to be known as Pauls walkers or Pauls men.
I.8 Henry Garnet [1555 - 1606]was an English Jesuit, superior of the English Mission from 1587. He was arrested and executed following the Gunpowder Plot.
I.8.1 Joseph of Arimathea was said to have brought to Glastonbury a vessel containing some of the blood which came from the wounds of Christ on the Cross, and also the spear of Longinus, with which Christs side had been pierced. Joseph stuck his staff into the ground at Glastonbury and from it grew a holy thorn which blossoms on Christmas Day of each year. according to legend, Joseph founded a church at Glastonbury in A. D. 63.
I.8.5.Darnel is a kind of ryegrass a common weed of cereals. After Garnets execution an ear of corn, stained with a drop of his blood, was said to bear a portrait of him, surrounded with rays of glory. Many people were, the Jesuits claimed, converted to catholicism after seeing this straw. See appendix D, Garnets Straw in Philip Caraman, Henry Garnet,1555 - 1606,and the Gunpowder Plot, London, 1964. Gamages use of the word darnel clearly conveys his scorn for the whole legend.
I.8.6 Tyburn: location of the gallows in London, the most famous place of public execution.
I.10 Bacchus was begotten by Zeus upon Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia. Tricked by Hera in disguise, she asked that Zeus should visit her in his full glory. He did so, attended by thunder and lightning. Semeles human nature could not sustain the presence of such majesty and power, and she was immediately destroyed by fire.
I.10.3 Pottize: the Oxford English Dictionary records the verb to pot, meaning to drink beer from a pot.
I.10.6 The ivy was dedicated to Bacchus, in part because of the belief that it prevents drunkenness. It often gave (and continues to give) its name to British pubs.
I.11 There were branches of the Cradock family in both Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire. I have been unable to identify the addressee of this epigram. A famous bearer of the name, Sir Mathew Cradock [1468? - 1531] was a powerful royal official in South Wales, he married twice; his first wife was Alice Mansel of Oxwich Castle near Swansea; his second was Katherine Gordon, widow of Perkin Warbeck.
I.I2 In Lanuginosos Buccinatores: On youthful trumpeters. The Oxford Latin Dictionary defines the adjective lanuginosus thus, covered with fine hairs, downy, pubescent.
I have been unable to identify the addressee of this epigram. Lloyd was (and is) a very common name in South Wales.
I.12.3 Gamaliel the elder was a famous teacher. He is often quoted in the Mishnah. See Acts 5:33-39. He has been identified as Pauls teacher in Acts 22:3.
I.13 Anthony Gwyn (or Gwine) who matriculated from Broadgates Hall, Oxford in October 1601, aged 18. He had married Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Awbrey of Llantrithyd in January 1599. He went on to serve as Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1625. The Gwyns lived at Llansannor Court, near Cowbridge. Many elements of the sixteenth and seventeenth century house survive in the more modern house on the site. see David J. Francis, Llansannor and the Gwyns, Glamorgan Historian, 10, 1974, 9-26 (which includes photographs of the house). A detailed account of the (fascinating) house is given on pp.167 - 174 of An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan, Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, Vol. IV, Cardiff, 1981.
I.13.1 Anacharsis was a Scythian philosopher (c. 600 B. C.) who studied in Athens.
I.14 The Carnes of Ewenny (in Glamorgan) were a politically significant family who accumulated large estates in the area. The specific reference is probably to the John Carne who matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford in June 1610, aged 18. He served as Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1620 and died in 1644.
I.15 Rowland Harries (see the note on Hexastichon) was an exact contemporary of Gamage at Jesus College. For Hopkin Price, see note on Tetrastichon. See also I.20.
Luca 10.42: Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-2).
I.17.4 cf. Qui jacet in terra non habet unde cadat: Alain de Lille, Book of Parables, c.2. Cited thus in William S. Walsh, International Encyclopaedia of Prose and Poetical Quotations, 1951, p.255.
I.19 Gamage probably has in mind the case of John Marston [1576? - 1634], who after some ten years as a dramatists and satirical poet, abandoned his literary career (c. 1608) and took holy orders.
I.20 See I.15.
I.21 The generous hospitality of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1391-1447) was famous. At his death it was widely reported that a monument in his honour was to be erected in St. Pauls, but he was actually buried at St. Albans. the tomb of Sir John Beauchamp on the south side of the nave of St. Pauls (pre-conflagration) was often erroneously thought to be that of Duke Humphrey. When the walkers in St. Pauls (see I.7) left to dine, those too poor to have a dinner to go to (and perhaps afraid to leave the cathedral for fear of being arrested for debt) were said to dine with Duke Humphrey.
I.25 See the note on Ad cognatum.
I.26 Quicquid in Buccam venerit: Whatever comes to the lips (roughly equivalent to the modern idion, whatever comes into your head). The phrase is discussed by Erasmus in the Adagia (I.v.72) and is used several times by Cicero (e.g. Atticus, I.12, XIV.7).
I.26.1 Sivie, i.e. sievy, an adjectival form (like a sieve, unable to retain) not recorded by O. E. D. before the eighteenth century. Under the noun seive, sense d., O. E. D. records its use of persons, esp. ones who cannot keep a secret.
I.26.3 gable: i.e. gabble.
I.27 Wadham College was founded in 1610. Its founder, Nicholas Wadham [1532 - 1609] died before a site had been obtained, and his plans were carried out by his widow, Dorothy Wadham.
I.29.2 Sir John was a familiar or contemptuous appellation for a priest (O. E. D.).
I.30.1 The royal arms of Scotland were traditionally supported by two unicorns; those of England by a lion and a red dragon (representing Wales). When James VI of Scotland became James I of England (in 1603) he replaced the dragon by a unicorn.
I.31 William Herbert [1580 - 1630] became Third Earl of Pembroke in January 1601; Philip Herbert [1584 - 1650] was created Earl of Montgomery in 1605.
I.32 The D here = Dominus (i. e., the addressee was the possessor of the B. A., as well as the M. A. indicated by the M) and the reference is to Joseph Hall, Meditations and Vowes, Divine and Morall was first published in 1605, with a Third Century added in 1606.
I.33 Brasenose College, in Oxford, gets its name from the bronze sanctuary knocker in the shape of a nose which was formerly affixed to the main gate of the then Brasenose Hall, and which is recorded in a document of 1279. The knocker now hangs in the hall of the College.
I.34 I have been unable to identify the addressee of this poem. He was perhaps one of the Price family of Gellihir on the Gower peninsula. Later in the century one of this family, John Price became a strong parliamentary supporter of Cromwell.
I.34.2 The Tables (or Sileni) of Alcibiades represented, outwardly, a beautiful goddess; inside they depicted a Silenus, or ugly flute-player. cf. Erasmus: The very Scriptures themselves have their own Sileni. If you remain on the surface, a thing may sometimes appear absurd; if you pierce through to the spiritual meaning, you will adore the divine wisdom (M. M. Phillips, The Adages of Erasmus (Cambridge, 1964, p. 275).
I.36 Presumably refers to the William Voyle (Vowell, Voel) who graduated from Jesus College in December 1585 and who is recorded as supplicating in July 1588 for a license to practise medicine.
I.37.1 Finally, as for those who bear the stigma of disgrace on account of some crime, they have gold ornaments hanging from their ears, gold rings encircling their fingers, gold chains thrown around their necks and, as a last touch, a gold Crown binding their temples. (Book II of Utopia, quoted from The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, Vol. 4, ed. E. Surtz and J. H. Hexter, New Haven, 1965, p.153.)
I.38 Bevan is a name commonly met in Wales. Unless the poem refers to an individual, it was presumably chosen here because of the punning connection with words such as beverage (from old French beivre) which referred both to the act of drinking and to that which was drunk.
I.39 The French original, Le Compost et Kalendrier des Bergiers was published in a Scots translation in 1503 and first appeared in English in 1506. many later editions followed, through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
I.40 William Perkins [1558 - 1602], theological writer and preacher, became noted for his outspoken resistance to all that savoured of Roman usage in the matter of ritual ... Against the distinctive tenets of the Roman church, Perkins bore uniformly emphatic testimony; and the publication of his Reformed Catholike in 1597 was an important event in relation to the whole controversy (D. N. B.).
I.41 Sir John Stradling [1563 - 1637] was both scholar and poet. Born in Bristol, he was adopted and brought up by his learned uncle Sir Edward Stradling (of whom Barbara Gamage was later to be made a ward). Educated at Oxford, John Stradling was Sherriff of Glamorganshire in 1607 and was knighted the following year, succeeding to the estate of St. Donats in 1609. He was created a Baronet in May of 1611. His learning was respected by so good a judge as Camden. For fuller biographical details see the edition of his Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor (1607) by Dana F. Sutton elsewhere in the Philological Museum. Stradlings other publications include a translation from the Latin of Lipsius (Two Bookes of Constancie, 1594) and two works of English poetry which deserve more attention than they have so far received, Beati Pacifici: a divine poem (1623) and Divine Poems (1625)
I.42 John Jewel was Bishop of Salisbury from 1559. His most substantial publication was his Apologia ecclesia anglicanae (1562), thoroughly anti-Roman in its sentiments and ideas.
I.42.2 For the famous gold of Ophir, see I Kings 9:26-28.
I.42.6 Thomas Harding [1516 - 72] engaged in a lengthy controversy with Jewel, between 1564 and 1571. A convert to Catholicism, he held positions of influence during the reign of Mary I, and at the accession of Elizabeth went into exile in Louvain.
I.43 John Rainolds [1549 - 1607] was president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Dean of Lincoln. A prolific author, he displayed some puritan tendencies. He played an important role in the preparation of the Authorised Version of the Bible. He died of consumption, his body severely withered and reduced.
I.44.2 Gemy is a possible variant of gemew, a twin or something (such as a door) of double construction (see O. E. D.); or perhaps it is a form of jemmy, a dandy (though this seems to be a post-Jacobean usage).
I.45 See the Introduction.
I.46 Gabriel Goodman [1529? - 1601] was born at Ruthin in North Wales. he was appointed Dean of Westminster in 1561. He supported Dr. William Morgans work on his Welsh translation of the Bible (1588). he was buried in St. Benedicts Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
I.47 Tam Baccho, quam Vulcano: As much for Bacchus, as for Vulcan. Gamage may have had in mind the motto of the poet George Gascoigne: Tam Marti quam Mercurio.
An Ale-Draper is an alehouse-keeper (O. E. D. cites no other example earlier than 1655).
I.48 William Sidney, eldest son of Robert and Barbara Sidney, was born 10 November 1590 at Flushing (in the province of Zeeland), and, because of his birth in the Low Countries, was later made a British citizen by parliamentary decree. he was a student at Grays Inn in 1605; he matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford in February 1607 (aged 16). He was knighted 8 January 1610. He died of smallpox late in 1612. In 1613 Joshua Sylvesters Lachrymae Lachrymarum (largely devoted to mourning the death of Henry, Prince of Wales) contained An Elegie-&-Epistle Consolatorie, against immoderate sorrow for thimmature Decease of Sr William Sidney Knight, Sonne and Heire apparant to The Right Honorable, ROBERT, LORD SIDNEY, L. Vi-Count Lisle.
I.49 Sir Philip Sidney was wounded at the battle of Zutphen (in the modern province of Gelderland), 22 September 1586. He died on October 7.
I.50 Elizabeths motto, Just as a sheep was often referred to by those writing in praise of her. cf. Diana Primrose, A Chain of Pearl (1630):
Now come we her rare Patience to display;
Which, as with purest Gold, did pave her way
To Englands Crown; for when her Sister ruled,
She was with many great Afflictions schooled:
Yet all the while Her Mot., was Tanquam Ovis,
Nor could her Enemies prove ought amiss
In Her, although they thirsted for her blood,
Reputing it once shed, their Sovereign good.
(The Ninth Pearl; text from http:academics.edu/english/ren/chain1.htm)
I.51 Du Bartass La Semaine, ou Création du Monde (of which the first part was published in 1578), is an epic in alexandrine couplets, which had some influence on Miltons Paradise Lost. The English translation by Joshua Sylvester (1583-1618) began to appear in 1591-2 and was first collected in the Divine Weeks and Works in 1605. Douglas Bush has well described it (English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1966, p.73) as a kind of Albert Memorial of encyclopaedic fundamentalism.
I.51.2 Duw is the Welsh for God.
I.51.6 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day (Joshua 10:13).
I.53 Wh., i.e. whore.
I.55 To pill is to pillage or rob; to poll is to plunder by excessive taxation.
I.56 Thomas Holland [d. 1612] was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford from 1589. He contributed to the preparation of the Authorised Version of the Bible.
I.57 Hebes (Latin) can mean stupid, dull or slow.
I.57.1 The Papists Unction (i.e. the extreme unction) is the sacrament whereby those in danger of death are anointed by a priest.
I.57.4 curst: i.e. curest.
I.58 Jenkin Mayos, from Glamorgan, matriculated from St. Edmund hall, Oxford in November 1597, aged 18. He was awarded his B. A. in 1601 and his M. A. in 1605 from Lincoln College, Oxford. In 1611 he was vicar of Penmark in Glamorgan.
I.58.1 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need (Acts 4:34-35).
I.58.5 For Ananias and his failure to give all the money that he and his wife obtained from the sale of a possession, see Acts 5.1-11.
I.59 I have been unable to identify Gamages friend Mr. Love.
I.60 Robert Sidney [1563 - 1626] was created Viscount LIsle, 4 May 1605.
I.61 Oliver St. John, Third Baron St. John of Bletso, was born c.1542 (or before) and succeeded to his title in 1596. He was amongst the peers who sat on the trial of the Earls of Essex and Southampton in 1601. He died in 1618. He was related to the Gamages, his aunt Margaret St. John having married Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity in Glamorgan.
I.63.4 The angel was a gold coin, first introduced in the reign of Edward VI (1461 - 83), which remained legal tender until early in the seventeenth century.
I.64 Gamages Thrasco presumably gets his name from Thraso, the braggart soldier in Terences Eunuchus, with the addition of a c to indicate that he is a kill Cow.
I.64.6 Pediculos: i.e lice.
I.65 The addressee was perhaps the Robert Thomas [born c. 1569] of Glamorgan who, after obtaining his B.A. from Jesus College, Oxford in 1587, and his M A. in 1603, took holy orders and seems to have been rector of Coychurch in Glamorgan from 1591.
I.65.1 Spiritus and Caro: Soul and body. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (Galatians 5:16-17).
I.66 The Royal Exchange, also known as Greshams Burse, was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham and built in 1566-68 as a focal point for London commerce.
I.67 John Owen [c. 1564 - 1628] , of Carnarvonshire, attended Winchester School and New College, Oxford, where he matriculated in March 1583. he obtained the degree of B. C. L. in May 1590. His Latin epigrams were much admired in Britain and abroad. Translations into English, French, German and Spanish were published during the seventeenth century. John Heath, from Somerset, entered Winchester School in 1600, when he was said to have been aged 13. He matriculated from New College, Oxford in October 1605, and is said then to be aged 20. He obtained his B. A. in May 1609 and his M. A. in January 1613. His Two Centuries of Epigrammes was published in 1610. Ben Jonson had a very low opinion of his work.
I.69 Fiscus (Latin) means a money basket, or money itself.
I.69.1 See M 1084: Money will do anything, in M. P. Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Ann Arbor, 1950, p.470 (where the earliets example cited is from 1611).
I.71.2 Given his evident fondness for the work, Gamage may have taken the name Mopsa from Sidneys Arcadia, where the sluttish shepherdess is the daughter of Damoetas.
I.72 Elizabeth I was born at Greenwich on 7 September 1533; the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is kept on 8 September. On some of the uses to which the coincidence was put, see Helen Hackett, Virgin Mother, Maiden Queen: Elizabeth I and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (London, 1995), p.213ff.
I.74 A puzzling epigram. Gamage is oddly contradictory in saying, in his title and in line 5, that his poem is about a paire...of Fiends of men, whereas in line 3 he talks of three men of Hels array.
I.74.2-3 William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester [1485? - 1572] escorted Elizabeth to the Tower of London when Mary ordered her arrest in March 1554. Sir Henry Bedingfield (his name sometime appears as Bengfield) [1509? - 1583] was a Catholic and supporter of Mary I. A Norfolk squire, he acted as keeper of Katharine of Arragon in the last years of her life at Kimbolton. He was appointed by Mary as custodian of her sister Elizabeth and transferred her from the Tower of London to Woodstock. He remained in charge of her until June 1555. Gamages phrasing seems to imply that Constable is a proper name rather than a designation of rank, but I have been unable to identify any plausible candidate.
I.75 Perhaps addressed to the Rice Meyrick of Glamorgan who matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford in 1605, aged 13. He was probably the grandson of the famous historian Rice Merrick (Rhys Meurug) whose Morganiæ Archaiographia or A Booke of Glamorganshires Amtiquities was written by 1578, but not published until the nineteenth century. See T. J. Hopkins, Rice Merrick (Rhys Meurug) of Cottrell, Morgannwg: Transactions of the Glamorgan Local History Society, 8, 1964, 5-13.
I.75.4 Cousner: i.e. a cozener, a deceiver, a cheat.
I.76 I have been unable to identify the addressee of this epigram.
I.77 The fleur-de-lis, or lys (French, lily-flower); the heraldic lily has long been part of the French royal coat of arms. Versions of it often appeared on the signs of British inns and pubs.
I.77.2 The harmes are presumably those associated with the French disease of II.37.
I.78 After the marriage of Barbara Gamage, Coity Castle — which had been in the possession of the Gamages since 1411 — passed to the Sidneys, and was left unoccupied. The mansion of Radyr, approximately one mile north-west of Llandaff Cathedral (in modern Cardiff) belonged to the Matthews family in the sixteenth century.
I.79.5 The roundings are the pieces shaved or clipped from a coin.
I.80 Robert Sidney (second son of Robert and Barbara Sidney) was created a Knight of the Bath in 1610.
I.81.3 A Princocke or princox is a coxcomb or over-saucy youth.
I.81.12 Edmund Plowden (Ployden) [1518 - 85] was a famously learned and honest jurist. His Commentaries were first published in 1571.
I.82 Aurelius Clemens Prudentius [348 - 410], after a distinguished career as a government official, devoted his energies to the composition of Christian poetry. His Latin verse includes allegories, hymns, didactic poems and a martyrology.
I.83 Francis Godwin [1562 - 1633], educated at Christ Church, Oxford was] consecrated Bishop of Llandaff on 22 November 1601. He was translated to Hereford in 1617. During his years at Llandaff he compiled the materials for a revised edition of his Catalogue of the Bishops of England (1601), published in 1615. His most famous work was The Man in the Moone: or, A Discourse of a Voyage Thither by Domingo Gonzales, the Speedy Messenger (1638).
I.85 Gnatho is a boastful and sycophantic parasite in Terences Eunuchus.
I.85.1 See Ovid, Metamporphoses, I.51-2.
I.85.4 See B. J. and H. W. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly before 1500 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), p. 183: F 198: To bear Fire in one hand and water in the other. The Whitings quote (amongst other instances) from Lydgates Troy, III. 710, and 4987 - 91: On swiche folke, platly, is no trist / That fire and water holden in her fist, / Beinge with bothe yliche indiferent, / Now hoot, now colde; - liche as there entent / Of newe changeth.
I.86 In his Memorials of Old Herefordshire (London, 1904, pp.16f.), the Rev. Compton Reade recounts how one Mr. Pralph, Rector of Tarrington was summarily shot, during the Civil War, by a troop of Roundheads after declaring his support for God and King. Reade says that at this unspecified date (in the 1640s obviously) Pralpth had served the parish for some fifty years. He was perhaps the Evan or John Praulfe who, according to Fosters Alumni, received his B.A. from Jesus college, Oxford in May 1597. The likelihood that the Mr. Pralph of Reades story was the J. Pralpth of Gamages poems is increased by the information contained in III.6.
I.86.2 For Simon Magus see Acts 8:9-25.
I.87 Though Gamage gives us little to go on, it is possible that the addressee of this epigram is the William Jones of Monmouthshire who matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, 22 May 1601, aged 15 and obtained his B.A. in June 1605 and his M.A. in April 1608. He was rector of Sudbrook from 1612 and of Llanvihangel-Istern and Llewerney from 1613 (both parishes being in Monmouthshire).
I.88 William Perkins [1558 - 1602] published The first part of the cases of conscience in 1604 and The Whole Treatise of the cases of conscience in 1606. The work was frequently reprinted.
I.89 Anthony Rudd [1549? - 1615] was consecrated Bishop of St. Davids in 1594. he is commemorated by an impressive tomb in the church of Llangathen in Carmarthenshire.
I.90 This epigram perhaps refers to the John Gamage who in December 1605 was listed amongst those members of Viscount Lisles Company (in Flushing) who received extraordinary pay (Historical Manuscript Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord De LIsle and Dudley Preserved at Penshurst Place, London, H. M. Stationery Office, 6 vols., 1926-66, III.463). Zeland (now Zeeland) is one of the provinces of the Low Countries.
I.90.1 See Genesis 49.28-33.
I.90.4 Gamages incomplete reference is perhaps to Revelation 13:8 or 17.8.
I.92 I have been unable to identify Gamages reference here (see also II.30).
I.93 It is impossible to identify the addressee with any certainty. Perhaps it was the Richard Jones of Salop (Shropshire) who matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford, 26 April 1605, aged 18 and who was awarded his B. A. in April 1608 and his M. A. in June 1616.
I.93.1-2 cf. Horace, Epistles XVIII.9: virtus est medium vitiorum et utrimque reductum [Virtue is a mean between vices, distinct from both extremes.]
I.93.3-5 The estuary of the River Loughor separates the Gower peninsula in Glamorgan (to the south of the estuary) from the coast of Dyfed / Carmarthenshire (to its north). Llanrhidian (raised above extensive marshes) is in Gower, Llanelli on the northern coast of the estuary. (I have been unable to trace the name Brodefoord on any map of the area). Gamages phrase these famous Townes is, I assume, heavily ironic.
I.94 Thomas Leyshon (Leyson) was born at Neath in Glamorganshire, c. 1549; he was a scholar of New College, Oxford from 1567 and after obtaining the degrees of B. A. and M. A. took his B. Med. in July of 1583. He later practised as a doctor at Bath. he died c. 1608, and is buried in the church of St. James in Bath. A friend of the Stradlings (Sir John Stradlings Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor contains several epigrams addressed to him: I.12, I.25, I.39, I.61, III.47 and III.59). Leyshon was also a Latin poet.
I.94.1 The natural hot springs of Bath (known as Aquae Sulis to the Romans) have been in use for some 2,000 years.
I.95 Their houses are very simply builded with Pibble Stone, without any chimneis, the fire being made in the middest thereof. The good man, wife, children, and other of their family eate and sleepe on the one side of the house, and the cattell on the other, very beastly and rudely, in respect of civilitie (Martin Frobisher, The Second Voyage (1579), quoted from Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation, Glasgow, 1904, VII, p.213). The Orchadians (i.e. the inhabitants of the Orkney Islands) were certainly not alone in sharing their accommodation with their animals and it seems unreasonable that Gamage should single them out in this way!
I.97 Perhaps Gamage uses the word lore in the sense of doctrine (O. E. D., 2b) or a form of doctrine, a creed, religion (O. E. D., 2c) and has in mind Jonsons conversion to Catholicism, of which he would certainly have disapproved. Surely he cannot have had the temerity to criticise Jonsons learning?
I.98.18 Mavors is one of the names of Mars.
I.99 Long Meg was a famous London virago in the reign of Henry VIII. Her acquaintances are said to have included John Skelton and Will Summers. There were several ballads about her, and she was the subject of a comedy acted in 1594 (now lost). The life and pranks of Long Meg of Westminster was published in 1620.
II.1 See the Dedicatory Letter and I.1.
II.2 In the terminology of printing, pie is a mass of type mingled indiscriminately, or in confusion (O. E. D.). Or perhaps Gamage uses pie in the sense of magpie, birds adept at the repetition of words which they do not understand.
II.2.6 The Latin proverb seems to go back at least as far as Pliny and was quoted as a proverb by Erasmus. It seems to have entered English proverb collections - Let not the shoemaker go beyond his shoe in Richard Taverners Proverbes or Adagies (1539).
II.3 Francis Sidney, of Kent, gent. matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, July 2, 1585 aged 18. He obtained his B. A. in December 1588 and his M. A. in June 1591. he was Rector of Chevening from 1610 and of Penshurst from 1617 - 1633.
II.3.1 Despite the capitalisation, Trill is presumably a verb, a form of thrill: to cause (a lance, dart, or the like) to pass; to dart, hurl (a piercing weapon) (O. E. D.).
II.4 The Bassets of Beaupré (or St. Hilary), near Cowbridge in Glamorgan, were an influential local family. They were of Norman origin, Basset being recorded amongst the names of knights who fought with William Conqueror at the battle of Hastings. One branch of the family, established at Portskewet in Monmouthshire, included an Edmund Bassett who may perhaps be the addressee of this poem.
II.4.2 Baslings: baselings are base creatures (O. E. D.).
II.5 Morgan Hopkins, from Glamorgan, matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford in 1601, aged 17. He obtained his B. A. in 1605 and his M. A. in 1608, before taking holy orders.
II.5.2 In this context a Levit is presumably a clergyman.
II.5.5 cf. The Merry Wives of Windsor, I.ii.117, where Bardolph addresses Slender as You Banbury Cheese! Cheeses produced in Banbury were proverbially thin.
II.6. Presumably this poem is addressed to the same William Hughes who contributed commendatory verses to the volume. See the note on In Zoylum.
II.6.6 I.e. by being a Protestant.
II.7 Possibly this refers to the John Roberts of Wrexham who matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1601, proceeding to his B. A. in 1605 and his M. A. in 1608, and who was ordained a deacon and priest in London on 1 March 1607.
II.7.1 See Genesis 12.
II.9.2 Cæsars crosses: i.e. coins.
II.9.3 i.e the Catholic custom of making the sign of the cross on the chest.
II.10 For Math. Bennett see the note to To my lo. friend W. Gamage. The relevant Biblical passages read as follows: How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow (Revelations 18.7) and And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning (Revelations 18:9). Babylon (or the Whore of Babylon) was a name given to the church of Rome by some of its protestant opponents.
II.10.2 The O. E. D. lists Quene as a variant of Quean — a bold, impudent or ill-behaved woman; a jade, hussy; and spec. a harlot, strumpet (especially in 16 - 17th C.).
II.12 For Hopkins see the note on II.5. The two puritan divines, John Dod and Richard Cleaver first published their work A Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the Ten Commandments in 1604. It was very popular, reaching a nineteenth edition by 1635.
II.13 In De tranquillitate animi, Seneca tells us (xviii.4) that Cato, when he was wearied by the cares of state, would relax his mind with wine and advises that At times we ought to reach the point even of intoxication, not drowning ourselves in drink, yet succumbing to it; for it washes away troubles, and stirs the mind from its very depths and heals its sorrow just as it does certain ills of the body (xviii.8). (Translations by J. W. Basore, Loeb edition).
II.14 Glanmor Williams dryly observes that of all the leading families of Glamorgan the Lewises of Y Fan yield to none in having the most successful record in acquiring land, for which they had a marvellous propensity in generation after generation (Glamorgan County History, ed. G. Williams, Vol. 4, Cardiff, 1974, 32). The Lewises were related to the Gamages by marriage. In 1603 father and son, both named Edward, were knighted. The younger Sir Edward, to whom Gamage addresses his poem, died in 1630, just two years after his father.
II.15 Worms Head is a one-mile-long promontory at the western end of the Gower peninsula (west of Swansea), accessible only at low tide. It was later to fascinate Dylan Thomas (see the short story Who Do You Wish Was With Us?).
T. Rog. is doubtless the Thomas Rogers who became rector of Rhossili (in which parish Worms Head lies) in 1607, having studied at Jesus College, Oxford (where he matriculated in 1597, aged 10, and proceeded to his B. A. in 1601).
II.16 cf. Thomas Campion, Epigrammatum Liber Primus, epig. 167.
II.16.2 Synthius (Cynthius) is one of the names of Apollo, derived from Mount Cynthus on the island of Delos, legendary birthplace of Apollo and Diana (Cynthia).
II.16.3 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (Matthew, 19:26).
II.17 I have been unable to identify the addressee of this poem. A questionist is a habitual or professed questioner, spec. in theological matters (O. E. D.); curious is probably used in the sense desirous of knowing what one has no right to know, or what does not concern one (O. E. D.).
II.18 William Awbrey, from the county of Brecon in South Wales, was educated at Oxford between 1587 and 1593 (when he obtained his B.A.); he was a related to John Aubrey the antiquarian, and in 1613 he became vicar of Pendoylan in Glamorgan.
II.19 I have been unable to identify Rees Griffith. Given his Welsh origins, Gamage was perhaps predisposed to take an interest in travellers accounts of the Penguin, since the belief was common that penguins had been discovered by the Welsh Prince Madoc and that their name derived from the Welsh. The O. E. D. quotes Ingrams Narrative (1589): The Countrey men call them Penguins (which seemeth to be a Welsh name) and Sir Thomas Herberts Travels (1638): Here...are also birds calld Pen-gwins (white-head in Welch) like Pigmies walking upright.
II.19.4 Disticke-wise: i.e in the ryming couplet of lines 5 and 6.
II.20 Arthur Mansel, third son of Sir Thomas Mansel, first Baronet of Margam, married Jane, daughter and co-heir of William Price of Briton Ferry in Glamorgan. see the life of Bussy Mansel in the D. N. B..
II.21 This Ilande he called Insula Crucis, whiche was also an Islande of the Cannibales, as afterward they proved in dede. For as they sayled about the Island, they founde certayne lowe cotages made of trees, lyke unto stagies. For they set trees upright in order round about, fastening postes in them crosse over, where unto the trees cleave faste, so that by this meanes they cannot fall. They frame the roofes of these cotages, with sharpe toppes after the maner of rownde tentes ... And when oure men came into theyr houses, they found in them certayne young men bound to postes, and kept to be made fatte (Of the newe India, as it is knowen and found in these our dayes. In the year of our Lorde. M.D.LIII. After the description of Sebastian Munster in his Booke of the universall Cosmographie. Libr. v. De Terris Asiæ Majoris. And translated into Englishe by Richard Eden (1553), quoted from E. Arber, The first Three English books on America, Birmingham, 1885, p. 30).
II.22 Though the name is common in the pastoral tradition, Gamage may have used Damætas with the illiterate shepherd of that name in Sidneys Arcadia particularly in mind.
A Howell Thomas of Glamorgan matriculated from Broadgates Hall, Oxford, 1 March 1605, aged 19.
II.23 The building of Jesus College began soon after the issue of letters patent in 1571. Buildings surviving from White Hall, which had previously occupied the site, were occupied; two stories of the east front were newly erected, along with two staircases on the southern side of the outer quadrangle. Work then ceased, and only recommenced during Griffith Powells years as Principal (1613 - 20).
II.23.1 The opening sentence of Aristotles Ethics reads as follows: It is thought that every activity, artistic or scientific, in fact every deliberate action or pursuit, has for its object the attainment of some good (translated by J. A. K. Thomson, Penguin Classics, 1953).
II.23.4 Priscious: i.e. L. Tarquinius Priscus (616 - 579 B. C.), fifth king of Rome (see the first book of Livy).
II.24 Mors, Sceptra ligonibus æquat: a common sentiment in the moral literature of the time. See, for example, the following from a book of emblems, The Heroicall Devises of M. Claudius Paradin Canon of Beauieu ... Translated out of Latin into English by P.S. (1591, p. 273): Princes, noble men, rich men, and finallie all men of what authoritie or condition so ever they be, ought diligently to looke into this picture of a Kings scepter, joyned with a poore mans mattocke with a deaths heade betwixt them both, with these wordes: Mors sceptra ligonibus æquans, Death maketh kings scepters equall to pore mens mattocks.
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), eldest son of James VI and Queen Anne, was popular and promising. Despite his youth, he was an important patron of the arts. He collected paintings, and poets such as Chapman and Drayton dedicated their work to him. He was also attracted to chivalric exercises such as tilting. Many hopes were invested in him, but he died suddenly, probably of typhoid, in 6 November 1612. Numerous elegies and lamentations were written and published. See J. W. Williamson, The Myth of the Conqueror. Prince Henry Stuart, a Study in Seventeenth-Century Personation, 1978, and Roy Strong, Henry Prince of Wales and Englands Lost Renaissance, 1986.
II.25 Lady Mary, daughter, and eldest child, of Sir Robert and Barbara Sidney, was born on October 19, 1586 or 1587. On 27 September 1604 she married Sir Robert Wroth, a landowner in Essex. The marriage seems not to have been a very happy one (in his Conversations with Drummond, Jonson described her as unworthily married on a Jealous husband. At court, she danced in The Masque of Blackness (1605) and the Masque of Beauty (1608). Jonsons play The Alchemist was dedicated to her. There are poems addressed to her by, inter alia, Chapman, Wither, Drummond, Jonson and John Davies of Hereford. Her husband died in 1614, leaving her with substantial debts. Her own writings, including her poems and the huge romance, The Countess of Montgomeries Urania, have rightly attracted increasing attention in recent years.
II.26.1-2 ... when he [Columbus] had passed the Ilandes called Gades, he diverted towarde the fortunate Ilandes called Insulæ Fortunatæ, which are now called Canariæ, because they are full of dogges. They were in time past called Fortunate, for the excellente temperateness of the ayre, and greate fruytefulnes (Of the newe India, as it is knowen and found in these our dayes. In the year of our Lorde. M.D.LIII. After the description of Sebastian Munster in his Booke of the universall Cosmographie. Libr. v. De Terris Asiæ Majoris. And translated into Englishe by Richard Eden (1553), quoted from E. Arber, The first Three English books on America, Birmingham, 1885, p. 28).
II.27.3 Polycrates was tyrant of Samos (c. 540 - c. 522 B. C.). See Herodotus, III. 39-47, 54-56, 120-125. William Smith, in his Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1858) describes him as one of the most fortunate, ambitious, and treacherous of the Greek Tyrants (III.459).
II.28.1-3 They have no foure foted beastes, except connies: they have serpentes of monstrous greatnes, but without hurte or venime (Of the maners of the inhabitantes of the Iland of Hispana and of suche thynges as are found there in Of the newe India, as it is knowen and found in these our dayes. In the year of our Lorde. M.D.LIII. After the description of Sebastian Munster in his Booke of the universall Cosmographie. Libr. v. De Terris Asiæ Majoris. And translated into Englishe by Richard Eden (1553), quoted from E. Arber, The first Three English books on America, Birmingham, 1885, p. 29). The island in question is what we call Hispaniola.
II.29 I have been unable to find any other reference to Terherne, who seems to have been a professional fool of some kind. See II.36.
II.30.4 I have been unable to identify the text to which Gamage here refers. See also I.92.
II.30.6 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife (I Corinthians7:3).
II.31 Sir Lewis Mansell, son of Sir Thomas Mansel, matriculated from Brasenose Collge, Oxford, 20 January 1601, aged 16; he was admitted a student of Lincolns Inn, 5 February 1603. He was knighted 23 July 1603. The exact date of his marriage to Katherine Katherine (or Catherine), daughter of Sir Robert and Barbara Sidney (née Gamage), seems to be unrecorded. It must have been early in the 1600s. He became second Baronet in 1631 and died in 1638. (He made regular donations towards the building costs of Jesus College, Oxford; see II.23). A portrait is reproduced in Volume II, Part i, of E. P. Statham, History of the Family of Maunsel, London, Kegan Paul &. Co., 1917-20). In the church at Margam is a monumental tomb to Sir Lewis and his third wife, Lady Elizabeth Montague. Gamages poem is heraldic in its imagery. Amongst the armorial bearings of the Mansels were a falcon rising or. and a griffins head erased per pale indented ar. and gu. with supporters — Dexter, a falcon wings expanded and belled or.; sinister, a griffin, wings expanded per pale indented ar. and gu. (Sir. B. Burke, The General Armory, 1884, pp.656f.). The crest of the Sidneys featured a porcupine (ib. 927).
II.32.2 Preciscian: one who is rigidly precise in the observance of rules, often used as a term for the puritans of Gamages day.
II.33 Gamages Antiquous Academician friend was perhaps the William Jenkins of Monmouthshire who matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford in April of 1605, aged 18.
II.33.1 The (false) belief that the swan sings a song of great beauty shortly before its death had the authority of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and many others.
II.34.2 A meacock is an effeminate man, or a coward.
II.34.3 castred, i.e. castrated; Pheere is a variant of fere, a companion or mate.
II.35.6 Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth; Machaon was a legendary physician, son of Æsculapius and brother of Podalirius, who served as physician to the Greek forces in the wars of Troy (as recorded in the Iliad). Here the two figures seem to stand as representatives of purity and health.
II.36 See II.29.
II.36.5 Brinted: I have been unable to trace this elsewhere. Perhaps it is a corruption of bruited (reported, rumoured noisily), as in Shakespeare I Henry VI, II.iii.68: I finde thou art no lesse than Fame hath bruited.
II.37 Coed Francke (Welsh) means French Wood. Now known as Coedffranc, the modern settlement is close to Neath, a few miles north-east of Swansea.
St. Denis (Denys) is one of the traditional patron saints of France. Gamages wording ironically recasts the title of one of the orders of English chivalry, the Knights of the Bath, first established by Henry IV in the fifteenth century (see I.80); whereas the Knights of the Bath take a ceremonial bath of purification as part of their inauguration, the knights of St Denis Bathe are presumed to be suffering from the pox, or French disease, and therefore in need of the baths of wine and herbs (or olive oil) or the steam baths which were resorted to as treatment.
II.37.2 Antique Brittains copious Tongue is, of course, Welsh.
II.37.3-4 The French-mans fate and the gallian griefe are other names for the pox of line 6. See J. Arrizabalaga, J. Henderson and R. French, The Great Pox: The French Disease in Renaissance Europe, New Haven and London, 1997. cf. News have I, that my Nell is dead i th spital of malady of France (Henry V, V.i.84f.).
II.38 The son of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, born at Fontainebleau in 1551, Henri III came to the throne in 1574. he was stabbed by a monk, Jacques Clement, while holding court at St. Cloud on 2 August, 1589. Henri IV, born in 1553, succeeded him. He was assassinated in Paris on 14 May 1610, by Francois Ravailloc, an unemployed school-teacher and Catholic fanatic. Sir John Stradling wrote two Latin epigrams on the same subject in his Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor (II.53 and II.54).
II.38.1 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations (Genesis 49:5).
II.39.1 See S 903 in M. P. Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Ann Arbor, 1950, where examples are cited from 1546 onwards. See the opening of Act II of Ben Jonsons The Magnetic Lady:
Nurse Keep: Sweet mistress, pray you be merry; you are sure
To have a husband now.
Placentia: Ay, if the store
Hurt not the choice.
Pleasance: Store is no sore, young mistress,
My mother is wont to say.
Nurse Keep: And shell say wisely
As any mouth in the parish.
II.42 Battus is a name commonly used in the pastoral tradition (e.g. Theocritus IV); it is also employed by other epigrammatists such as John Davies of Hereford. In the present context it may be relevant to observe that this name is derived from the Greek word for a stammerer, and so might pertain to Battus incompetence as a preacher.
II.43 For wagtail (A loose woman) see Eric Partridge, Shakespeares Bawdy, 1968, 214.
II.43.2 Gamage uses tail with the same bawdy sense (the female pudendum) that it often has in the writing of his time (see, for example, The Taming of the Shrew, II.i.210-16).
II.44 Lex Talionis, the law of retaliation.
II.45 A Cacademon (from Greek, kakos daimon) is an evil spirit.
II.46.3 Socrates wife Xanthippe (or Xantippe) displayed so ill a temper in her treatment of her husband that her name became proverbial for a scold.
II.47 The addressee was probably Edward Andrewes, from Glamorgan, who matriculated from St. Mary Hall, Oxford in 1603 and obtained his B.A. from Jesus College in May of 1607.
II.48 Anothomy and Anothamie are both recorded by the O. E. D. as sixteenth and seventeenth century forms of the word anatomy. The word appears to be used in the sense of an analysis or demonstration (see O. E. D. sense 10, perhaps with overtones of the withered lifeless form of anything (O. E. D. sense 5b).
II.49 Charles Howard [c. 1536 - 1624], Second Baron Howard of Effingham and First Earl of Nottingham , was appointed Lord High Admiral for life in 1585. He was in supreme command when the Armada was defeated. He was related to the poet, since his mother was the daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, Glamorgan.
II.50 In 1589 Robert Sidney was appointed Governor of Flushing, a post he held until 1610. The fortunes of the carious cosens of Gamage who chose to serve with him there can, to some extent, be traced in the pages of the Historical manuscript Commission Reports on the de LIsle manuscripts, (Historical Manuscript Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord De LIsle and Dudley Preserved at Penshurst Place, London, H. M. Stationery Office, 6 Vols., 1926 - 66).
II.50.2 To snee is to cut or thrust in fighting with a knife, from the Dutch snijen, snijden.
II.51 Omnium rerum vicissitudo est: All things suffer change. Derived from Terence, Eunuchus, 276: Omnium rerum, heus, vicissitudo est. The phrase is considered in the Adagia of Erasmus (I.vii.63).
II.52 Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur: A sure friend is discovered in a difficult matter. One of the favourite commonplaces of classical and Renaissance thought. In Laelius de Amicitia (64), Cicero quotes the words, citing Ennius as a source.
The Catholic, Sir John Gage [1479 - 1556] was Constable of the Tower of London, and as such, during the reign of Mary I, he received (18 March 1555) the young Elizabeth under his charge. He is traditionally said to have treated her severely; Gamages more favourable assessment may be explained by the fact that Sir John Stradlings wife (Mary Gage) was a descendant of Sir John Gage. Since the Gamages were also related by marriage to the Stradlings, the poets sympathetic tone comes as no surprise.
II.52.1 A gage is a pledge of future loyalty.
II.55 Sir Rawligh Bussie (Bussye, Bushey), from Glamorgan, matriculated from Brasenose College, 30 January 1601, aged 14, proceeding to his M. A. in March 1604. In 1603 he was a student at Lincolns Inn. He was knighted (as Rawlyn Raghley Bussey) 1 August, 1618. He died 10 October 1623. He contributed verses offering his censure of the Booke to Sir John Stradlings Beati Pacifici (1623). In the church at Margam (home of the Mansels) is a memorial tablet to Sir Rawleigh Bussye Knight and Dame Cicil his wife who dyed the X of october 1623 in the 37 yeere of his age.
II.56 Gamages humour here depends upon the puns on stone (as testicle) and prick (as both penis and any sharp or piercing object).
II.57 Vincit, qui patitur: He that can endure conquers. I have been unable to identify Rich. Gibons: he was perhaps one of the family of Gibbon of Trecastle in Glamorgan (see Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales, London, 1872, II, 583).
II.58.1 See M. P. Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Ann Arbor, 1950, p.61: B566 Better Bow than Break, citing examples from 1500 onwards.
II.59 Stephen Gardiner (c.1483-1555) was a vigorous persecutor of protestants during the first two years of the reign of Mary I.
II.59.3 Troynovant, the name given to London by many chroniclers and poets, in reference to the legend that the city was founded by Brutus, a refugee from the Trojan wars.
II.60 Sir Robert Wroth inherited large estates in January 1606 on the death of his father, including Durrants in the parish of Enfield.
II.61.5 Arius (Gk. Areios) [c. 250 - 336] was the founder of Arianism. After training in Antioch, he became a presbyter in Alexandria. He was deposed and excommunicated in 321 by a synod of Bishops meeting in Alexandria. Eusebius of Caesarea [c. 260 - 364] supported Arius during the long controversy over his theological ideas.
II.62 Mother B.: the name was commonly used of elderly bawds, as in the following lines from Edward Hakes Seventh Satire from News out of Powles Churchyarde (1579):
O, oh, how many brothell Bawdes
within the towne doe dwelle?
How many filthy scudding scowtes,
besturre their crooked stumpes?
For gaine, for gaine, olde mother B
how she still lymping lumps,
And proddes about with ackwarde pace
unto her beastly haunt?
II.64.5 ...Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (II Corinthians, 11:14).
II.65 The empirics were originally a sect of physicians who based their work purely on the lessons of experience; in the English renaissance the word was used to designate someone who practised medicine without scientific knowledge or training. Paracelsus was the name which the Swiss physician Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim [1493 - 1541] chose for himself.
II.65.5 See I.29. Sir John was a familiar or contemptuous appellation for a priest (O. E. D.).
II.66 Henry I died from eating poisoned lampreys. Stow reports that his bowels, braines and eyes, were buried at Roane, the rest of his body was powdred with salt, and wrapped in Bulles hides, because of the stincke, which poysoned them that stood about him. The Physition which being hyred with a great reward to cleave his head to take out the braine, with the stincke thereof died, so that he injoyed not the reward that was covenanted. thus among a great many that King Henry slew, this Physition was the last (Annales, or a Generall Chronicle of England. Begun by John Stowe..., London, 1631, p.142).
II.67 Sagittarie: an archer.
II.68 For Zantippa (i.e. Xanthippe) see II.46.3.
II.69 I have been unable to discover any further details about Master Edwards.
II.70.1 Gamages citation appears to be erroneous. He presumably had in mind the following verse: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach (I Timothy, 3:2).
II.71 The word ambodexter designates both an ambidextrous person and a double-dealer, such as a lawyer who accepts bribes from both parties to a case.
II.72 Stolidus: insensible, dull, brutish, blockish, stupid (O. E. .D.).
II.73 In Tom Tower in Christ Church, Oxford, hangs Great Tom. This bell, weighing 7.5 tonnes, is tolled 101 times every night. It originally served as a curfew bell, there originally being 101 scholars at Christ Church. Other Oxford poets who wrote of Great Tom included Richard Corbett (On Great Tom of Christ-Church) and Henry Aldrich (Oh the merry Christ-Church Bells).
II.74.1 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew, 22:32).
II.75.6 See The Jackdaw and the Birds, Aesop, Fable 162 (using the numbering of Ésope Fables, Texte Établi et Traduit par Émile Chambry, Collections des Universités de France, Paris 1927.
II.76 This epigram is perhaps addressed to the William Arney who obtained his B. A. from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 18 February 1609, followed by his M. A. in July 1611. He was vicar of Nash in Monmouthshire from 1617.
II.77 Quævis terra alit artem: Every land supports an art. See the Adagia of Erasmus (I.vii.53).
Petita: this I take to be Gamages name for a land preoccupied with litigation, founded on such Latin words as the neuter noun petitum (what one sues for, ones claim) and the feminine noun petitio (a demand for something in a court of law, suit, claim).
II.78 see Historical Manuscripts Commision, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord de LIsle and Dudley Preserved at Penshurst Place, London, H. M. Stationery Office, 1926 - 66, III.388, 449.
II.79 This Posie (or motto) would read Llai cymero (May he take less) in modern Welsh. The father and son referred to were Nicholas and William Herbert of Cogan Pill, near Cardiff, Nicholas being brother to the William Herbert of Swansea whose death in 1609 is commemorated in III.16. Nicholas Herbert served as High Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1577 and again in 1586. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for Cardiff in 1585. The William Herbert who sat as member for Cardiff in the parliament of 1640 was probably the man referred to in this poem. According to G. T. Clark, William Gamage married the illegitimate daughter of Nicholas Herbert. See Introduction.
II.80 John King [1559? - 1621] became Dean of Christ Church, Oxford in 1605. He was Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1607 - 1610. In 1611 he was created Bishop of London. Anthony à Wood writes that he had so excellent a volubility of speech, that Sir Edward Coke would often say of him that he was the best speaker in the Star-Chamber of his time (Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, II.295).
II.81 See I.11.
II.81.3 To whiff is to puff out tobacco-smoke from a pipe and to inhale (O. E. D.).
II.82 Most probably addressed to Thomas Prichard, a Glamorganshire gentleman who studied at Gloucester Hall in Oxford, graduating as a B. A. in May of 1599. In 1617 he was rector of Michaelston, alias Llanmihangel-juxta-Cowbridge in Glamorgan and went on to be Archdeacon of Llandaff (1626) and a canon of Hereford (1636). He died in 1646.
II.83 See the note on II.15.
II.85 Morus (Latin): foolish. Baulepate = bald-pate.
II.85.3-6 Loss of hair was soon identified one of the symptoms of the French disease, i.e. the pox, syphilis (or perhaps of the use of mercury in its treatment). Jerome Fracastor [478 - 1533], inventor of the word syphilis, wrote of sufferers that the hair of the head as well as that on other parts of the body falls out, so that men look ridiculous; some of them going about without beards or eyebrows, or showing bald heads to the world (from De Contagione, quoted thus in Fracastor: Syphilis or the French Disease, ed. H. Wynne-Finch and J. J. Abraham, London, 1935, p.215).
Venus lap: One of the O. E. D. definitions of lap is a fold of flesh or skin; occas. the female pudendum.
II.86 Several men named William Williams are possible addressees of this epigram. Perhaps the likeliest is the gentlemen from Glamorgan who matriculated from Lincoln College, Oxford on 18 May, 1604, aged 15.
II.87 Caecus (Latin): blind.
II.88 I have been unable to identify Gamages mathematically inclined friend, unless perhaps he is the John Spencer from Glamorgan who matriculated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, aged 18, in November 1597.
II.88.3 Mutilus (Latin): maimed, mutilated.
II.88.4 As in II.56, stone here has the punning sense of testicle.
II.89 This is perhaps addressed to the Ensign Watkins who, in November 1606 was made de facto Captain of one of the companies in the Flushing Garrison, which was nominally under the control of the young William Sidney. (See Hay, p.184; Historical Manuscript Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord De LIsle and Dudley Preserved at Penshurst Place, London, H. M. Stationery Office, 6 Vols., 1926-66, III.335).
II.90 The addressee was probably the Edward Robinson of Glamorgan who matriculated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 4 December 1601, aged 18. It was presumably the same man who graduated B. A. from New Inn Hall, Oxford, 28 November 1611 and became rector of Llansannor in 1613 and Vicar of Llanblethian in 1621 (both parishes are in Glamorgan).
II.90.1 Superbus: full of lofty self-esteem, proud, haughty, disdainful (O. E. D.).
II.92 William Herbert (Harbert) of Glamorgan, matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, 17 October 1600, aged 17. he became an attendant of Prince Henry, Prince of Wales, and may be the William Herbert who accompanied Sir Walter Raleighs 1618 expedition to Guiana, described as a very valiant and honest gentleman by Raleigh (who calls him his cousin.) His poem A Prophecie of Cadwallader, Last King of the Britaines was published in 1604. His poems were edited by A. B. Grosart in 1870.
II.94 Montanus is a large-bellied veteran of Neros drunken banquets in the fourth satire of Juvenal. John Heath also employs the name, with clear echoes of Juvenal (see epig. 21 in Two Centuries of Epigrammes (1610).
A William Thomas of Glamorgan matriculated ta Magdalen Hall, Oxford in June 1607, aged 18. Another William Thomas, also from Glamorgan, obtained his B.A. from the university of Oxford in 1589/90 and was probably the William Thomas who was vicar of Llangevcelach in Glamorgan from 1604. Either (or neither!) could be the addressee of this epigram.
II.94.1 Gamages whiggin (not recorded in the O. E. D,) is presumably a diminutive of whig, which the OED defines as sour milk or cream...whey... buttermilk...a beverage consisting of whey fermented and flavoured with herbs.
II.94.2 sowrehay, which I have been unable to trace elsewhere, I take to be a compound word from sour and whey.
II.95 Possibly the John Vaughan of Herefordshire who matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, 26 July 1605, aged 16, took no degree, and seems to have been a student at Grays Inn in March 1608/9.
II.96 The Edward Gamage of this poem is probably the one whose name appears in the following entry in the admissions register of Grays Inn (1639): Edmund Gamage second son of Edward G., of Newcastle, Co. Glamorgan (gent. deceased).
II.97 Tempus edax rerum: Time, the devourer of things (Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV.234). For the family of the Meyrickes see the note on I.75.
II.98 For Sir John Stradling, see the note on I.41.
Patere Aut Abstine Endure or keep off.
Disce aut Discede Learn or depart (Proverbial).
III.2 see Pliny, Natural History, XIV.22: It is in the exercise of their drinking powers that the Parthians look for their share of fame, and it was in this that Alcibiades among the Greeks earned his great repute. Among ourselves, too, Novellus Torquatus of Mediolanus, a man who held all the honours of the state from the prefecture to the pro-consulate, could drink off three congii at a single draught, a feat from which he obtained the surname of Tricongius: this he did before the eyes of Emperor Tiberius... (translated J. Bostock and H. T. Riley, London, 1855, II,.70). A congius was a Roman liquid measure of just less than six pints.
III.3 Cicero uses the adjective surdaster: somewhat deaf, hard of hearing. In Renaissance English the adjective surd was sometimes used, meaning unintelligent, insensate and presumably derived from Latin surdus, deaf, insensible.
III.5 For Cherillus see the note on the Dedicatory Letter.
III.5.1 Gamages first line is taken from Sidney. In The Second Eclogues in The Old Arcadia is a comic singing contest in which the singers are Nico, Pas and Dicus. One of Pass contributions reads as follows;
Who doubts but Pas fine pipe againe will bring
The auncient prayse to Arcad shepheards skill?
Pan is not dead, since Pas beginnes to sing.
(The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. W. A. Ringler, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962, p.53).
III.6 See the note on I.26. Sager (now Seager) Hill is in the parish of Tarrington, directly south of the village. It is a long ridge with a path running along it and, though not high (269 metres at its highest point) it offers attractive views of rich agricultural land. See also the note on III.22.
III.6.2 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord (Deuteronomy 34:1-5).
III.7 Nusquam tuta fides: Confidence is never safe (Vergil, Aeneid, IV.373). The Latin adjective firmus designates someone or something which is firm or constant.
III.8 The Malvern Hills, on the western edge of Worcestershire (near the border with Wales), extend for some nine miles north and south and have long been famous for the curative powers of the spa water which led, in the nineteenth century to the opening of an hydropathic establishment at Great Malvern.
III.9 I have been unable to identify either the man or the place (house?) alluded to in the title of this epigram.
III.10 Decimæ Minutæ: Gamage effectively translates the phrase in the small Tithes of his first line.
III.12 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus (Acts, 13:6).
III.13.1 For the tradition of the single flaw in Helens beauty, cf. the following (Against proud poore Phrina) from John Davies of Hereford:
Sith Venus had hir Mole: Helen hir Staine:
Cynthia, hir Spotts: the Swan, hath sable feet;
The clearest day some Cloude: the smoothest Plaine
Some Hole, or Hillcek: why should Phryna frett?
When she is saied to have a Ruby Nose,
Sith that is riche, and all her rarenesse showes.
(Epigram 18 in The Scourge of Folly, 1611).
III.14 William Galloway of Kingsale, co. Cork, was admitted as a student of Grays Inn, 1 August 1607. Gorwers land: i.e. the Gower peninsula.
III.14.4 Sillies Bay: i.e Rhossili, see II.15. There have, over the centuries, been many shipwrecks in the beautiful bay of Rhosili.
III.15.1 Dick Truncus: cf. In Truncum (Epigram 85 in Thomas Freemans Rubbe and A great Cast, 1614):
Swaggring Truncus sweares in evry towne,
He is for any for a broken crowne,
And fight, else damne him, heel with any one,
Marry with cudgels, edge-tooles, heele use none,
I like the Woodden-hearted slave that wanting mettle
He will be sure his weapon have as little.
III.16 Sir William Herbert of Swansea died in 1609; his younger brother Sir John, of Neath Abbey, was Secretary of State to both Elizabeth and James I, and died in 1617. Their tomb is to be seen in St. Johns church, Cardiff. The careers of both are discussed in Glanmor Williams, The Herberts of Swansea and Sir John Herbert, Glamorgan Historian 12 ( 1976), 47-58.
III.16.4 The ebon-dart of death is a motif frequently employed in Renaissance verse. A famous example is at line 948 of Shakespeares Venus and Adonis. As a reader of William Herberts Prophecie of Cadwallader, Last King of the Britaines (1604), Gamage would have met the phrase deaths Ebon dart at line 1301.
III.17 The Latin epigrams of Sir John Stradling (Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor II.74) contain praise of William Matthew as artis docto et ingeniosissimo viro and make it clear that he was dead by 1607. Gamages use of the word Brittish should perhaps be taken to imply that some, at least, of Matthews work was in Welsh. Dana Sutton points out that Two individuals of this name, both gentlemen from Glamorganshire, were associated with Brasenose College. The elder [b. 1566] took his B. A. in 1574, the younger [b. 1573] matriculated in 1584. But the William Matthew celebrated by Stradling and Gamage may not have been one of these Oxford students. A William Mathew of Radyr was High Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1568 and 1580. The Matthew family, with major branches at Llandaff, Radyr, Castell Menych and elsewhere in Glamorgan, was so extensive (G. T. Clarks Limbus patrum Morganiæ et Glamorganiæ (1886) devotes some 21 closely-printed pages to the family), and its use of the name William so frequent, that definite identification now appears to be impossible. See J. Barry Davies, The Mathew Family of Llandaff, Radyr and Castell-y-Mynach, Glamorgan Historian 11 ( 1975), 171-187.
III.18 Presumably the Hopkin Price who contributed Ad suum amicum to the commendatory verses of Gamages volume, and is himself the subject of two epigrams, I.15 and I.20.
III.18.5 Hellobore: i.e. hellebore, a name given by the ancients to certain plants having poisonous and medicinal properties, and esp. reputed as specifics for mental disease (O. E. D.)
III.20 The reference is presumably to David Jenkins [1582 - 1663], just two years older than than Gamage, so that they could easily have been schoolefellows; after graduating from Oxford in 1600, Jenkins seems to have entered Grays Inn in November 1602 (when he is described as son of Jenkin Richard, of the parish of Pendilion, co. Glamorgan, gent.) and was called to the bar in 1609. He amassed a considerable fortune and was later a supporter of the King in the years before the Civil War. In 1643 he was Judge of the Court of Great Sessions on the Carmarthen circuit and condemned several parliamentarians to death for activities deemed treasonable. Jenkins was himself arrested at Oxford in 1645, and kept under surveillance until the Restoration, when he was released to his estate at Hensol. He died aged 81, and is buried at Cowbridge in Glamorgan. See J. D. H. Thomas, Judge David Jenkins, 1582-1663), Morgannwg: Transactions of the Glamorgan Local History Society 8, 1964, 14-34.
III.21 Patience is a Vertue was a proverbial form of words from at least the fourteenth century.
Alismar: a very extensive search has failed to reveal any other instance of this word, and it is absent from all the dictionaries (both of English and of other languages that Gamage seems to have been familiar with) which I have been able to consult. Amongst the epigrams in Wits Bedlam (1617) by John Davies of Hereford is one (Epigram 376) addressed To my Noble, highly valued friend, Pupill, and Alyes Man, Sir Edward Herbert, of Montgomery, Knight of the Bath. It seems possible that Gamage Cosin as his alisman (i.e. alyes man), and that the word was corrupted in the printed texts.
III.22 In Herefordshire, south of Tarrington, between Seager Hill (see III.6) and Marcle Hill, is the site of a locally famous landslip in 1575. The spot is still marked on Ordnance Survey maps of the area.
III.22 Gamages footnote presumably refers to the lengthy discussion of motion and movement in Aristotles Physics.
III.23 More (or Moore) Fortune contributed commendatory verses to Gamages volume. See Ad Ingeniosum, & modestum amicum and Ad eundem de eisdem. He is the subject of one of Gamages epigrams, I. 92.
III.24 An Adonic metre is one consisting of a dactyl and a spondee. Thomas Bastard (Epigram 20 in his Chrestoleros, 1598) has a poem In Misum & Mopsam with which Gamage may have been familiar:
Misus and Mopsa hardly could agree,
Striving about superioritie.
The text which sayth that man and wife are one
Was the chief argument they stood upon.
She held they both one woman should become.
He held both should be man, and both but one.
So they contended dayly, but the strife
Could not be ended, till both were one wife.
III.25 Semel insanivimus omnes: We have all once been mad. Gamages Cosin J. P. is perhaps the J. Pralpth of I.86 and III.6.
III.26 Titubare (Latin) is to stagger or reel drunkenly; hence, presumably, Gamages Titubus.
III.27 John Whitgift [1530 - 1604] was Bishop of Worcester (from 1577) and Archbishop of Canterbury (from 1583). He was an opponent of both Puritan and Catholic extremes.