W. Milgate (ed.), John Donne: The Satires, Epigrams and Verse Letters

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Satyre I

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Critical Apparatus
Satyre I. MSS.: C 57, L 74, and TCD; H 49 and W; O'F and Q.
Critical Apparatus
1 fondling] changeling H 49, W, O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 1. fondling: a 'fond' or foolish person. This is the reading of Donne's final version (and of S, a contaminated manuscript); the earlier reading, 'changeling' (one given to change, a fickle or inconstant person, O.E.D., sense 1), was presumably rejected because its meaning is already contained in 'humorist' and 'motley'.
motley: varying in character or mood, changeable.
humorist: a person subject to 'humours' or fancies, a fantastical or whimsical person, a faddist (O.E.D., sense 1); 'a fribble' (Chambers).
Editor’s Note
l. 2. this standing woodden chest. Between 1587 and 1613 the Benchers of Lincoln's Inn rebuilt the greater part of the chambers (see The Black Books, ii, 1898, xiv– xvi, 90). Each chamber was divided into two, and each half-chamber seems to have consisted of a bedroom and a study divided off by wainscot partitions; two members of the Society occupied each chamber (op. cit., p. 65). Donne was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 6 May 1592, and, according to Walton (Lives, p. 29), Christopher Brooke was his chamber-fellow. Donne seems to have been sensitive to the effects of closed spaces, and such a room might well appear to him like a chest 'standing' (i.e. on end).
chest: frequently spelt 'chist' (e.g. in Lut and O'F), and, as the word was then pronounced, a good rhyme here. 'Chest' often meant 'coffin'; hence 'coffin'd', l. 4.
Marvell found this passage suggestive; see Fleckno, ll. 9–14 (Poems and Letters, ed. H. M. Margoliouth, i. 83).
Critical Apparatus
5 conduits, … Divines; ] conduits; … Divines, 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 5. Gods conduits: channels conveying God's Word.
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6 Philosopher;] Philosopher. 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 6. Natures Secretary, the Philosopher: Aristotle, to the Schoolmen always 'the Philosopher'. John of Salisbury, in his Metalogicon, has a chapter (iv. 7) explaining why Aristotle pre-eminently deserves the title (Migne, P.L. cxcix. 920). Suidas first called him 'Secretary of Nature', i.e. one acquainted with the secrets of nature; see O.E.D., 'secretary', I. d. The rhythm seems to be:
Annoted text: Natures Secret'ry, the Philosopher.
Editor’s Note
l. 7. jolly Statesmen. 'Jolly' (O.E.D. II. 6) means overweeningly self-confident, full of presumptuous pride, defiantly bold, arrogant, overbearing; so Nashe: 'Is thys the jollie fellow that shooke kingdoms?' (Works, i. 116). The reading of 1635, Lut, O'F, S 962, 'wily', is an emendation, or a misreading of 'ioly'.
Editor’s Note
l. 8. The sinewes of a cities mistique bodie. The 'natural' body of a city is its physical existence as houses, streets, etc. Its 'mistique', or spiritual, body is its existence as a community of persons, the 'body politic'. The comparison of the 'body politic' to the human body is a commonplace, as is the metaphorical use of 'sinew' as 'the main strength, or chief support' of a society; cf. 'chivalrie is the fundation and sinewes of a commonweale' (Fleming's continuation of Holinshed, 1587, iii. 1343b), and 'Familiaritie and conference,/That were the sinewes of societies' (Nashe, Works, iii. 271).
The rhyme of 'tie' with 'bodie'—of a tenth accented syllable with an unaccented eleventh—is an example of what C. S. Lewis called 'Simpsonian' rhyme: see P. Simpson, 'The Rhyming of Stressed with Unstressed Syllables SATIRE I in Elizabethan Verse' (M.L.R. xxxviii, 1943). There is another example in 'The Storm', ll. 55–56.
Editor’s Note
l. 9. gathering Chroniclers: chroniclers who merely gather information, much of it 'triviall houshold trash'; cf. 'Satire IV', ll. 97–98.
Editor’s Note
l. 10. Giddie fantastique Poëts of each land. The poets come last. Cf. Bacon's division of learning, by which history is referred to memory, poetry to the imagination or fancy, and philosophy to reason. Bacon dismisses poetry with the words 'It is not good to stay too long in the theatre', as he passes to 'the judicial place or palace of the mind', reason (Advancement of Learning, 11. iv. 1–5).
Speculation as to which poets stood on Donne's shelves is fruitless. He was certainly well read in Latin and Italian poetry, and in a letter to Buckingham in 1623, when the latter was in Spain, he says of his library 'I can turn mine eye towards no shelf, in any profession from the mistress of my youth, Poetry, to the wife of mine age, Divinity, but that I meet more authors of that nation than of any other' (Gosse, ii. 176).
Editor’s Note
l. 12. headlong, wild. The punctuation of 1633 (with a comma after 'headlong') correctly, I think, indicates that 'headlong' is an adverb. It is not impossible to take 'headlong' as an adjective (O.E.D. B. 4), meaning 'madly impetuous', and describing the 'humorist' ('thee'); but this meaning seems already to be contained in 'wild uncertaine'.
Editor’s Note
l. 13. This line lacks a syllable, unless the 'r' in 'earnest' is syllabic, and the word a trisyllable. The most reliable manuscripts of all types agree with 1633. In JC (D 17), however, the line is 'mended' by writing 'sweare to mee by', and Lut, O'F sophisticate it to read 'sweare heare by' (changed in 1635 to 'sweare by thy best love, here');evidently some contemporary readers found the line metrically deficient.
Editor’s Note
l. 15. in the middle street. A Latinism, in media via.
Critical Apparatus
16 dost]do W,Q
Editor’s Note
l. 18. Bright parcell gilt, with forty dead mens pay. Some 'dead pays' (that is, pay for men whose names were kept on the muster roll, though dead) were allowed to a captain of a company as a recognized perquisite. Matthew Sutcliffe writes (in The Practice, Proceedings, and Laws of Arms, 1593, p. 320) of the abuse of forging muster rolls, and wonders 'that those that should reforme it, in some places doe suffer captaines to have certeine dead payes, which is a meanes to mainteine it, and cover it'. Forty 'dead pays' would, of course, be grossly excessive. Grierson cites a letter to Sir John Norreyes (Acts of the Privy Council, 1592, p. 279) stating that there are '15 deade paies allowed ordynarily in every bande, which is paide allwaies and taken by the captaines'. References are frequent, and the swindle was too profitable to be quickly stamped out; there is a space of almost a century between the first example s.v. 'dead pay' in the O.E.D. (1565) and the last (1663).
parcell gilt: 'partly gilded'. Dekker fills out the picture of this captain: 'Captayns, some in guilt armor (unbattred,) some in buffe Jerkins, plated o're with massy silver lace, (rayzd out of the ashes of dead pay,) …' (News from Hell, 1606, sig. E1v).
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19 Nor Σ: Not 1633, C 57, Q, Gr
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20 courtesie] Conrtsies O'F, Q
answer,] answer. 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 20. The spelling 'Courtsies' in O'F suggests that the line is properly syllabic:
Annoted text: Deigne with a nod, thy court'sie to answer.
Editor’s Note
l. 22. blew coats: servants. Blue coats were the livery of lower retainers; see O.E.D., 'blue', II. 5. c, and 'blue coat', 2. To appear in the streets with twelve or fourteen in one's retinue, probably in double file, would show extravagance and ostentation.
With the 'spruce' clothes of a possible companion (l. 16), the gilt armour and lace of the captain (l. 18), the velvet garb of the justice (l. 21), and the coats of servants, Donne is well embarked on the train of imagery from clothing which runs through the satire.
Critical Apparatus
23 Wilt] Shalt H 49, W, O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 23. Wilt. Since this reading occurs in all manuscripts containing the final version, and only there, it seems to be an alteration of Donne's own (from 'Shalt'), and matches 'wilt' in l. 15.
Critical Apparatus
24 court] Court 1633
heire.] heire? 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 24. The 'humorist', impressed by the judge's splendour, will think of cultivating his son and heir as a way into high society, or as a source of wealth (since the heir is possibly 'melting with luxurie', 'Satire II', l. 79), or as a potential ward: for any of these reasons, the heir would seem beauteous.
Critical Apparatus
25 or worse] and worse H 49, W
Editor’s Note
l. 26. The comma after 'take' in 1633 (and in several manuscripts) brings out the sense: 'to take me, and after that to leave me'.
Critical Apparatus
27 monstrous] monster H 49, W
Editor’s Note
l. 27. monstrous. The 'monster' of some manuscripts is the older form of the adjective (O.E.D. B, 1). It may have stood in at least one of Donne's own copies,
superstitious: punctilious, over-scrupulous (O.E.D. 3).
puritan: one who is, or affects to be, or is accounted extremely strict, precise, or scrupulous in religion or morals (O.E.D. 2).
Editor’s Note
l. 28. ceremoniall: addicted to ceremony or ritual, precise in observance of forms of politeness (O.E.D., adj. 2; the first example given is from Fulke, 1579: 'a ceremoniall and superstitious man').
The humorist is a 'monstrous' Puritan in his excessive scrupulosity over refined manners, and yet even more in being a 'ceremoniall man', since ceremonies were abhorrent to Puritans.
This line has eleven syllables; the light second syllable of 'manners', coming before a marked medial pause, is treated as if it were an extra light syllable at the end of a line:
Annoted text: Of refin'd manners, yet ceremoniall man.
For other examples cf. 'Satire II', l. 43; 'Satire IV', ll. 22, 65, 185, 210; 'Satire V', ll. 39, 40, 59; 'The Progress of the Soul', ll. 150, 371, 374; 'Mercurius Gallo-Belgicus', l. 5; 'To Mr T. W.' ('All haile sweet Poët'), ll. 1, 16; 'To Mr I. L.' (p. 67), l. 6; 'To Sir Henry Wotton' ('Sir, more then kisses'), l. 20; 'To the Countess of Bedford' ('T'have written then'), l. 59.
Critical Apparatus
29 eyes] eyes; 1633 uncorrected
Editor’s Note
ll. 29–34. Cf. Juvenal, Sat. iii. 140–2 (noted by Alden):
  •            De moribus ultima fiet
  • Quaestio: quot pascit servos? quot possidet agri
  • Jugera? quam multa, magnaque paropside coenat?
Editor’s Note
l. 30. broker: pawnbroker or second-hand clothes dealer.
prize: appraise.
Editor’s Note
l. 31. silke, and gold. These are an emblem, in the literature of the time, of extravagance and ostentation in dress. For at least two centuries the Crown had attempted to limit by statute the wearing of cloth of gold (one kind of which consisted of gold thread woven with silk), crimson cloth, velvet, etc. See Linthicum, p. 144.
Critical Apparatus
32 raise] vaile W, O'F, Q
hat] hate 1633 uncorrected
Editor’s Note
l. 32. raise. Although this word is easily confused with 'vaile' in secretary hand, and the reading of the intermediate version of the satire (W, D, H 49) is doubtful, 'raise' seems to have been Donne's final choice. The two words were equally current. See O.E.D., 'vail', l. 2; and cf. Skialetheia, Sat. I: 'Vayleth his cap to each one he doth meet'. The metaphor here is from 'vailing' or lowering the topsails in submission, or in courtesy, to another vessel. For the adjustment of this courtesy to the wealth or rank of the person greeted, compare Massinger's Emperor of the East (1632), 1. ii. 187–92, where the 'master of the habit and maners' says:
  •        I have in a table
  • With curious punctualitie set downe
  • To a haires breadth, how low a new stamp'd courtier
  • May vaile to a country Gentleman, and by
  • Gradation, to his marchant, mercer, draper,
  • His linnen man, and taylor.
formall: rigorously observant of forms, precise, ceremonious (O.E.D. A. 8). The epithet is transferred.
Editor’s Note
l. 33. consort: accompany (O.E.D. I, citing, e.g., Heywood, Four Prentices of London, 1615, sig. G3r: 'Wilt thou consort me, beare me company').
have. A subjunctive, changed in all Group III manuscripts to 'hast'; the scribes have mistaken the construction for a false concord.
Editor’s Note
l. 36. Jointures. A jointure, 'strictly speaking, signifies a joint estate, limited to both husband and wife' (O.E.D. 4), though often extended to mean the sole estate of a wife. Donne's usage is strict, as befitted a student of Lincoln's Inn.
Critical Apparatus
37–40 thou (that … boy) ] thou that … boy 1633
Editor’s Note
ll. 37–40. The brackets are not in 1633, which is too lightly punctuated; they have warrant in Q and other manuscripts with the same version, and are in the editions 1650–69.
Editor’s Note
l. 38. ranke: 'lustful, licentious' (O.E.D., sense 13; alo sense 14, gross, loathesome).
itchie: from 'itch', an uneasy or restless desire or hankering.
Critical Apparatus
39 barenesse H 49, W, O'F, Q: barrennesse 1633, C 57, L 74, TCD
Editor’s Note
l. 39. harenesse. The manuscripts containing the final version, and 1633, spell 'barrennes(s)(e)' (similarly O, P, S, S 96, S 962). The two words were not identical in sound, but 'bare' could be spelt 'barre', and the error was easy for a superficial reader to make. 'Nakednesse and barenesse' corresponds to 'naked, and bare' in l. 41.
Critical Apparatus
40 Of] of 1633 uncorrected
Editor’s Note
l. 40. muddy: morally impure, 'dirty' (O.E.D. 7); with some reference, perhaps, to her complexion.
Critical Apparatus
41 bare?] bare: 1633: bare, 1633 uncorrected
Editor’s Note
l. 42. 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither' (Job i. 21).
Editor’s Note
l. 43. unapparrelled: undressed, from the verb 'unapparrell', used in 'Obsequies to the Lord Harrington', l. 12.
For the metaphor, cf. 'to lay up the garments of your soules, your bodies, in the wardrobe the grave till you call for them, and put them on again, in the resurrection' (Sermons, vi. 87).
Critical Apparatus
45 blest] best O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 45. Mans first blest state was naked. See Gen. ii. 25. Nearly all the Group III manuscripts read 'best', which seems to be an error; 'blest' includes 'best', catches up 'blisse' from the preceding line, and properly suggests exactly what was 'lost' by sin.
Critical Apparatus
46 hee'was] hee was 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 46. 'Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them' (Gen. iii. 21). In the state of innocence man was naked. When he lost that he was still clothed only in the skins of beasts. Hence all we need, or are entitled to wear, is 'course attire'.
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47 I now] now I W, O'F, Q
weare,] wetre 1633
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50 warn'd] warm'd 1633 uncorrected
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52 'Come, lets goe.'] come, lets goe, 1633
Critical Apparatus
53 that Σ: who 1633, O'F, Gr
Editor’s Note
ll. 53–62. The passage suggested to Alden the similar incidental irony of the illustrations in Juvenal, Sat. x. 219 ff.:
  •       Quorum si nomina quaeras,
  • Promptius expediam quot amaverit Oppia moechos,
  • Quot Themison aegros autumno occiderit uno,
  • Quot Basilius socios, quot circumscripserit Hirrus
  • Pupillos …
Critical Apparatus
55 musk-colour] muske-colourd O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 55. black feathers. These appear to have been fashionable among gallants around 1593. Cf. Sir John Davies's Epigrams, 'Meditation of a Gull' (No. 47):
  • But he doth seriously bethinke him whether
  • Of the guld people he bee more esteem'd,
  • For his long cloake, or his great blacke feather,
  • By which each gull is now a gallant deem'd.
and 'Ad Musam' (No. 48):
  • Besides this muse of mine, and the blacke fether
  • Grew both together fresh in estimation,
  • And both growne stale were cast away togither:
  • What fame is this that scarse lasts out a fashion?
musk-colour. 'Musk', apparently a dark shade of brown, does not appear in Royal Wardrobe accounts until the Stuart period (Linthicum, p. 14).
Critical Apparatus
56 right true father, 'mongst] true father amongst O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 57. beare away: as a prize; 'win' as ward, or as wife.
Critical Apparatus
58 Th'] The 1633
Infant] infant 1633: Infanta O'F, Q, Gr
to'an] to an 1633
India:] India, 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 58. Th'Infant of London, Heire to'an India. The first version apparently read 'Infanta' (as in Q, D 16, A 25, Lut, O'F). The reference is not primarily to any particular person; the word means 'the wealthiest heiress (still a minor, and probably a ward) you can think of among the families of the merchant princes of the City'. Thus Chamberlain writes (7 July 1608) jocularly of Lord Norris's daughter as 'the Infanta Norreys' (Letters, i. 258).
'Infant' (or 'Infante') can mean either a princess or prince of Spain, and it is possible that Donne himself changed the specific feminine form of the first version ('Infanta') t make the satiric effect more general by including male heirs (cf. l. 24 above), who could be profitable as wards.
Grierson is probably right in seeing a secondary reference to the claim of the Infanta of Spain to the throne of England. A Bull of Sixtus V (1588) confirmed the deposition of Elizabeth and named Philip II of Spain King of England; in Roman Catholic circles the Infanta was recognized as the heir to the English crown.
For 'India' as signifying 'vast wealth' cf., for example, Middleton, Anything for a Quiet Life, IV. ii. 70–71 (Works, v. 312): 'Why, what ship has brought an India home to him, that he's so bountiful?'
Critical Apparatus
59 weather-Spie] weather Spie 1633 uncorrected
Editor’s Note
l. 59. gulling: cheating, deceptive.
weather-Spie: weather prophet.
Critical Apparatus
60 Scheame H 49, W, O'F, Q: Scheames L 74: Sceanes 1633, C 57, TCD
Editor’s Note
l. 60. heavens Scheame. A 'scheme' (O.E.D. 2) was a diagram showing the relative positions, either real or apparent, of the heavenly bodies. The astrologer divided the scheme of the heavens into twelve 'mansions', and from the relative positions of the heavenly bodies in each mansion, from the signs of the Zodiac and the 'aspects' of the planets, he arrived at his predictions. The spellings 'scheame' and (in L 74) 'Scheames' suggest the process by which the error 'Sceanes' (in 1633, C 57, Lec, TCD) was brought about. Cf. the Elegy, 'The Bracelet', ll. 59–61.
Critical Apparatus
61 fashion'd] fashioned 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 61. suits. A 'suit' was a matching ensemble of doublet, hose, coat, jerkin, mandilion or cloak (Linthicum, p. 212).
Critical Apparatus
62 subtile-witted H 49: subtile wittied 1633, C 57, L 74, TCD; supple-witted W, O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 62. subtile-witted antique youths. The reading 'supple-witted' (W and nearly all Group III manuscripts) may possibly have stood in Donne's first version, 'supple' meaning 'compliant'.
The 'antic youths' (that is 'fantastics', such as Lucio in Measure for Measure) are ironically credited with discriminating and penetrating intellects in their pursuit of fashions.
Critical Apparatus
63 depart'st from mee] departst from hence W: departest from hence H 49: departest hence O'F, Q
canst TCD, W, O'F, Q: can 1633, Σ
Editor’s Note
l. 63. depart'st from mee. The reading of 1633 and manuscripts containing the same version is superior to the readings of the two earlier versions of the line, because both satirist and 'humorist' are departing 'hence' or 'from hence'—i.e. from the poet's chamber into the street; 'from mee' is dramatically more appropriate, more exact, and less harsh.
canst. The reading of 1633, 'can', is smoother, but it is not grammatical. The possibility of error in transcribing 'canst show' is considerable, and the error is made independently in manuscripts of all groups,
Critical Apparatus
64 when] where Q
Critical Apparatus
65 my] mine O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
ll. 65–66. For the idea, cf. 'Satire IV', ll. 11–16,
Critical Apparatus
66 conscience?] conscience. 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 66. conscience. A trisyllable.
Editor’s Note
ll. 67–70. The 'humorist' furtively ('creepes') takes the place of honour, the wall side, given in politeness to one's superior. The Grolier editors quote Nashe's gibe at Gabriel Harvey, that he 'would make no bones to take the wall of Sir Philip Sidney and another honourable Knight (his companion) about Court yet attending' (Works, iii. 76). The outside position was the more hazardous, involving the risks of mire underfoot and of refuse thrown from the windows above. Care for his clothes as well as for his dignity ('state') prompted the humorist's sidling to the wall. But he acted 'improvidently' since his freedom of movement in catching the eye of courtiers, etc., was impeded.
Critical Apparatus
69 imprison'd] imprisoned 1633
Critical Apparatus
70 his MSS.: high 1633
libertie;] libertie, 1633
Critical Apparatus
73 them MSS.: then 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 74. smacks: sc. his lips, as a sign of relish or anticipation.
itcb: hankering.
Critical Apparatus
77 low'st] lowest 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 77. And as fidlers, etc. Cf. Gynecia's lines upon a lute in Arcadia, iit (Sidney's Poems, ed. W. A. Ringler, 1962, p. 81): 'And lowest stops doo yeeld the hyest sounde'.
Critical Apparatus
78 stoops H 49, W, O'F, Q: stoopt 1633, C 57, L 74, TCD
nigh'st the] nighest H 49, W, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 78. brave: finely dressed, resplendent.
stoops. Sequence of tenses requires the 'dramatic present'. Final's' and final 't' are easily confused, and 'stoopt' seems to be a primitive error in the text of the final version.
Editor’s Note
l. 80. the wise politique borse. The bay gelding 'Morocco', owned by the horsetrainer Banks. Nearly all the many allusions to Banks and his horse were collected by S. H. Atkins, N. and Q., 21 July 1934. The horse could indicate the number of coins in a purse, add up a throw of dice, dance, and so on; and 'By a sign given him, he would beck for the King of Scots and for Queen Elizabeth, and when ye spoke of the King of Spain, would both bite and strike at you…' (quoted by Atkins from Patrick Anderson's manuscript history of Scotland, 1596). The earliest clear reference to Morocco that can be dated occurs in Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller, published in 1594, but finished (according to a note at the end) on 27 June I593: 'Wiser was our Brother Bankes of these latter daies, who made his jugling horse a Cut' (Works, ii. 230; see also iii. 21). Banks's performances were no doubt affected by the periods of severe plague 1592–4; hence Nashe's phrase, 'of these latter daies', and Donne's 'heretofore'.
politique: sagacious, diplomatic.
Critical Apparatus
81–82 From MSS.: omit 1633
Editor’s Note
ll. 81–82. The wise politique editor of 1633 omitted these two lines, perhaps fearing that they would give offence, by recalling the King's journey to Spain in 1623 as a prospective suitor of the Infanta. The lines were added in 1635, probably from O'F (which similarly reads 'ô').
Editor’s Note
l. 81. Elephant or Ape. The performing elephant is mentioned in Davies's epigram 'In Dacum' (written in or before 1594; see introductory note above) and in Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, IV. vi. 60–61. Joseph Hall writes (Virgidemiarum, iv. ii. 93–95) of 'some tricke / Of strange Moroccoes dumbe Arithmeticke, / Or the young Elephant'. Basse says (in?1646, Poetical Works, ed. R. Warwick Bond, 1893, p. 336) that 'in our youths we saw the Elephant', and Sir Thomas Browne had seen an elephant 'not many years past', this being 'not the first that hath been seen in England' (Vulgar Errors, iii. 1). Donne is the only writer to refer to this response by the elephant to the name of the King of Spain.
The ape was also well known. In the Induction of Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (1614) we read of 'a Jugler with a wel-educated Ape to come over the chaine, for the King of England, and backe againe for the Prince, and sit still on his arse for the Pope, and the King of Spaine!' (Works, vi. 13). For an earlier reference, see Nashe, Works, iii. 37.
Critical Apparatus
83 joggs] Joggs 1633
me, and] me, and 1633
Do'you] Do you 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 83. joggs: nudges.
Critical Apparatus
84 favour'a] favoured 1633
youth?] yo'uth; 1633 uncorrected
Oh] yea W, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 88. in drinking his Tobacco. The manuscript JC is now in the George Arents Tobacco Collection (New York Public Library) on the strength of this passage—a latter-day tribute to Donne's quickness of social observation. While the tobacco plant was referred to (O.E.D.) as early as 1577, there are only two references definitely earlier than Donne's here to tobacco prepared for smoking (1588, 1589). 'Drink' is the usual word.
Critical Apparatus
89 Met us;] Met us, 1633
whisper'd, 'Let] whispered, let 1633
Critical Apparatus
90 'T may] May H 49, W, O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 90. 'T may. The change from 'May', though trivial, may be authentic, since only manuscripts with the final version (and Dob) agree with 1633.
Critical Apparatus
92 colour'd] coloured 1633
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94 on] in W, Q
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95 Him] him 1633
all Σ: s'all 1633, C 57, L 74
Editor’s Note
l. 95. all repute. The curious reading 's'all repute' is shared by 1633, C 57, Lec, and L 74. It is perhaps due to an early scribe's having mistaken 'all repute' for a parenthetical phrase, 'everybody says', and having added 'so' to make this clear.
repute: esteem, value.
Editor’s Note
l. 96. device: faculty of devising, inventiveness, ingenuity.
hansoming. From the verb to 'handsome' (O.E.D.), meaning to make handsome, or becoming, to beautify or adorn.
Critical Apparatus
97 print, cut, and plight] Cutt, Print, or Plight H 49, W, O'F, Q
Editor’s Note
l. 97. pinke. A 'pink' was a hole or eyelet punched or cut in a garment for decorative purposes. Cf. Jonson, Cynthia's Revels, v. iv. 298: 'Is this pinke of equall proportion to this cut?' See Linthicum, pp. 153–4.
panes. These were strips of cloth joined to make one cloth, sometimes with lace or other trimming material inserted in the seams; or strips of the same cloth distinguished by colour or separated by lines of trimming; or strips made by slashing a garment lengthwise to expose fine lining or an undergarment: used often in sleeves and breeches. See Linthicum, pp. 172, 205.
print. Applied to the exact crimping, goffering, or set of the 'plaits' or pleats of the neck-ruffs then worn; used also of other pleated garments. 'To maintain a "spruce ruff" or one "starched in print" the wearer must carry his head straight and avoid damp' (Linthicum, p. 160).
cut: either 'fashionable shape' (O.E.D. III. 16) or, more probably, 'slash, incision into the edge of a garment for ornament' (O.E.D. IV. 19), as in Muh Ado, 111. iv. 19: 'Cloth o' gold, and cuts, and lac'd with silver'.
plight: pleat, either of ruffs, or of other garments, such as French breeches, which were 'made in panes, i.e. strips, or in pleats which parted slightly, showing a rich lining' (Linthicum, p. 205).
Editor’s Note
l. 98. to have the best conceit: to have the best notion or judgement. Such an expert would have been invaluable in advising on 'suits' and styles in those days of various and swiftly changing fashions. Cf. Chapman, All Fools, V. ii (the opening speech):
  • A thing whose soul is specially employ'd
  • In knowing where best gloves, best stockings, waistcoats
  • Curiously wrought, are sold; sacks milliners' shops
  • For all new tires and fashions, and can tell ye
  • What new devices of all sorts there are …
  •   and for these womanly parts
  • He is esteem'd a witty gentleman.
Editor’s Note
l. 99. Our dull Comedians want him. The sartorial expert would be a godsend to actors. Cf. 'Satire IV', ll. 180–5, where courtiers sell their cast-off Court clothes to the Theatre.
Editor’s Note
l. 100. stoop'st. The humorist, as in l. 78, is bowing obsequiously, forgetting again the injunctions of the satirist (ll. 49–51); hence, 'God strengthen thee'.
Critical Apparatus
101 'Why? he hath travail'd.' 'Long?' 'No] Why, he hath travailed long? no 1633
Critical Apparatus
102 (Which … none,)] Which … none, 1633; see note
Editor’s Note
l. 102. (Which understand none,). I follow Grierson in bracketing these words, since they seem to have no point unless they are a sarcastic interpolation, sotto voce, by the satirist: 'To you, who understand neither French nor Italian (languages and fashions), he appears perfectly French and Italian—but to no-one who is really acquainted with these languages and fashions.' Every satirist and epigrammatist of the period inveighs against the aping of continental fashions by Englishmen, especially by returned travellers. Compare Portia on her English suitor, Merchant of Venice, 1. ii, 65–68: 'How oddly he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour everywhere.' The clothing of Donne's 'traveller' was probably the only evidence of his acquaintance—if any—with France and Italy. Cf. 'An Affected Traveller', in The Overburian Characters, ed. W. J.Paylor, 1936, p. 11: 'His attire speakes French or Italian, and his gate cryes Behold mee.'
Critical Apparatus
103 reply'd] replyed 1633
Critical Apparatus
104 answer'd] answered 1633
Critical Apparatus
105 and] of Q
Editor’s Note
l. 105. of sort, of parts: of rank and talents.
Editor’s Note
ll. 106–7. Guilpin imitates (Skialetheia, Sat. V, sig. D7V):
  • There in that window mistres minkes doth stand,
  • And to some copesimate beckneth her hand,
  • In is he gone, Saint Venus be his speede.
Editor’s Note
l. 107. flings: dashes, rushes away. He evaporates like dew drawn off swiftly by the bright sun (his mistress).
Editor’s Note
ll. 107–10. Compare the character, 'A Humorist', in H(enry) P(arrot)'s Cures for the Itch, 1626 (B3V): 'Hee's of that quaint society and behaviour, as not enduring to stay long in company, leaves you abruptly, without taking leave: he finds not halfe so soone the cause of quarrell, as thereto proves occasioned without a cause.'
Critical Apparatus
108 lechery. MSS.: liberty; 1633
Editor’s Note
l. 109. he could command no more. His mistress was entertaining other lovers, and he was no longer in 'sole command'.
Editor’s Note
l. 112. constantly a while. A parting shot: the 'humorist' or 'inconstant' is at last constant in something (if only for a while).
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