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i " Mens abit."

2 So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A "through."

' So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A " dying."

* The original has

" Et fuerint oculis probra videnda meis."
5 So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A "yeeld not."

* So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A "garland."
7 So Isham copy and eds. A, B, — Ed. C "that I."


2IO Ovid's Elegies.

Elegia XV.i

Ad Venerem, quod elegis finem imponat.

Tender Loves' mother ^ a new poet get,

This last end to my Elegies is set.^

Which I, Peligny's foster-child, have framed,

Nor am I by such wanton toys defamed.

Heir of an ancient house, if help that can,

Not only by war's rage * made gentleman.

In Virgil Mantua joys : in Catull Verone ;

Of me Peligny's nation boasts alone ;

Whom liberty to honest arms compelled,

When careful Rome in doubt their prowess held.^

And some guest viewing watery Sulmo's walls,

Where little ground to be enclosed befalls,

" How such a poet could you bring forth ? " says :

"How small soe'er, I'll you for greatest praise."

Both loves, to whom my heart long time did yield,^

Your golden ensigns pluck ^ out of my field.

Horned Bacchus graver fury doth distil,

A greater ground with great horse is to till.

Weak Elegies, delightful Muse, farewell ;

A work that, after my death, here shall dwell.

1 Not in Isham copy or ed. A. 2 ■■ Tenerorum mater amorum."

3 ''Marlowe's copy of Ovid had ' Traditur haec ek-gis ultima cliarta
meis.'" — Dyce. (The true reading is " Raditur hie . . . meta meis."')

* " Non modo militiae turbine factus eques."

■'' " Cum timuit socias anxia turba nianus."

*> "Marlowe's copy of Ovid had ' Culte puer, puerique parens mihi
tempore longo ' (instead of what we now read ' Amathusia culti.')" — Dyce.

7 Old eds. "pluckt."

EPIGRAMS BY J[ohn] D[avies].

EPIGRAMS BY J[ohn] D[avies].


Fly, merry Muse, unto that merry town,

Where thou mayst plays, revels, and triumphs see ;

The house of fame, and theatre of renown,

Where all good wits and spirits love to be.

Fall in between their hands that praise and love thee,^

And be to them a laughter and a jest :

But as for them which scorning shall reprove ^ thee,

Disdain their wits, and think thine own the best.

But if thou find any so gross and dull,

That thinks I do to private taxing * lean.

^ Dyce has carefully recorded the readings of a MS. copy {Nar/. MS.
1836) of the present epigrams. As in most cases the variations are un-
important, I have not thought it necessary to reproduce Dyce's elabo-
rate collation. Where the MS. readings are distinctly preferable I have
adopted them ; but in such cases I have been careful to record the
readings of the printed copies.

- So Dyce. — Old eds. " loue and praise thee : '" MS, " Seeme to love

2 So Isham copy and MS. Ed. A "approve."

* Censuring. Dyce compares the Induction to the Knight of the
Burning Pestle : —

' ' Fly far from hence
All priziife taxes. "

214 Epigrams by J. D-

Bid him go hang, for he is but a gull,
And knows not what an epigram doth ^ mean,
Which taxeth,^ under a particular name,
A general vice which merits public blame.

Oft in my laughing rhymes I name a gull ;
But this new term will many questions breed ;
Therefore at first I will express at full.
Who is a true and perfect gull indeed.
A gull is he who fears a velvet gown,
And, when a wench is brave, dares not speak to her ,
A gull is he which traverseth the town.
And is for marriage known a common wooer ;
A gull is he which, while he proudly wears
A silver-hilted rapier by his side, lo

Endures the lie ^ and knocks about the ears,
Whilst in his sheath his sleeping sword doth bide ;
A gull is he which wears good handsome clothes,
And stands in presence stroking up his hair.
And fills up his unperfect speech with oaths,
But speaks not one wise word throughout the year ;
But, to define a gull in terms precise, —
A gull is he which seems and is not wise.*

1 So MS.— Oldeds. "does."

2 MS. " Which carrieth under a peculiar name."
•■» So MS.— Old eds. " lies."

* " To this epigram there is an evident allusion in the following one
' To Candidus.
Friend Candidus, thou often doost demaund
What humours men by gulling understand.

Epigrams by J . D. 215


Rufus the courtier, at the theatre,

Leaving the best and most conspicuous place,

Doth either to the stage ^ himself transfer,

Or through a grate ^ doth show his double face,

Our English Martiall hath full pleasantly

In his close nips describde a gull to thee :

rie follow him, and set downe my conceit

What a gull is — oh, word of much receit !

He is a gull whose indiscretion

Cracks his purse-strings to be in fashion ;

He is a gull who is long in taking roote

In barraine soyle where can be but small fruite ;

He is a gull who runnes himselfe in debt

For twelue dayes' wonder, hoping so to get ;

He is a gull whose conscience is a block,

Not to take interest, but wastes his stock;

He is a gull who cannot haue a whore.

But brags how much he spends upon her score ;

He is a gull that for commoditie

Payes tenne times ten, and sell the same for three ;

He is a gull who, passing tinicall,

Peiseth each word to be rhetoricall ;

And, to conclude, who selfe-conceitedly

Thinks al men guls, ther's none more gull then he.'

Guilpin's Skialetheia, b'c. 1598, Epig. 20."
— Dyce.

1 It was a common practice for gallants to sit upon hired stools in the
stage, especially at the private theatres. From the Induction to Marston's
Malcontent it appears that the custom was not tolerated at some of the
public theatres. The ordinary charge for the use of a stool was sixpence.

2 Malone was no doubt right in supposing that there is here an
allusion to the " private boxes " placed at each side of the balcony at
the back of the stage. They must have been very dark and uncomfort-
able. In the Gw//'f Horn-book Dekker says that " much new Satin was
there dampned by being smothered to death in darkness."

2i6 Epigrams by J. D.

For that the clamorous fry of Inns of Court
Fill up the private rooms of greater price,
And such a place where all may have resort
He in his singularity doth despise.
Yet doth not his particular humour shun
The common stews and brothels of the town,
Though all the world in troops do thither run,"!
Clean and unclean, the gentle and the clown :
Then why should Rufus in his pride abhor
A common seat, that loves a common whore ?


Quintus the dancer useth evermore
His feet in measure and in rule to move :
Yet on a time he call'd his mistress whore,
And thought with that sweet word to win her love.
O, had his tongue like to his feet been taught,
It never would have utter'd such a thought !


Faustinus, Sextus, Cinna, Ponticus,
With Gella, Lesbia, Thais, Rhodope,

i MS. " In meritriculas Londinensis."

Epigrams by y . D. 21

Rode all to Staines/ for no cause serious,
But for their mirth and for their lechery.
Scarce were they settled in their lodging, when
Wenches with wenches, men with men fell out,
Men with their wenches, wenches with their men ;
Which straight dissolves - this ill-assembled rout.
But since the devil brought them thus together.
To my discoursing thoughts it is a wonder, i

Why presently as soon as they came thither,
The self-same devil did them part asunder.
Doubtless, it seems, it was a foolish devil.
That thus did part them ere they did some evil.


Titus, the brave and valorous young gallant.
Three years together in this town hath been ;
Yet my Lord Chancellor's ^ tomb he hath not seen.
Nor the new water-work,* nor the elephant.
I cannot tell the cause without a smile, —
He hath been in the Counter all this while.

1 MS. "Ware." 2 MS. "dissolv'd."

3 Sir Christopher Hatton's tomb. See Dugdale's History of St. Paul's
Cathedral, ed. 1658, p. 83.

* " The new water- work was at London Bridge. The elephant was
an object of great wonder and long remembered. A curious illustration
of this is found in the Metamorphosis of the Walnut Tree of Borestall,
written about 1645, when the poet [William Basse] brings trees of all
descriptions to the funeral, particularly a gigantic oak —

"The youth of these our times that did behold
This motion strange of this unwieldy plant

2 1 8 Epigrams by J. D.


Faustus, nor lord nor knight, nor wise nor old,
To every place about the town doth ride ;
He rides into the fields ^ plays to behold.
He rides to take boat at the water-side,
He rides to Paul's, he rides to th' ordinary.
He rides unto the house of bawdry too, —
Thither his horse so often doth him carry,
That shortly he will quite forget to go.


Kate, being pleas'd, wish'd that her pleasure could

Endure as long as a bufif-jerkin would.

Content thee, Kate ; although thy pleasure wasteth,

Thy pleasure's place like a buff-jerkin lasteth,
For no buff-jerkin hath been oftener worn.
Nor hath more scrapings or more dressings borne.

Now boldly brag with us that are men old,
That of our age they no advantage want,
Though in our youth we saw an elephant."

— Cunningham.

1 Seethe admirable account of " The Theatre and Curtain" in Mr.
Halliwell-Phillipps' Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare, ed. 3, pp. 385-
433. It is there shown that the access to the Theatre play-house was
through Finsbury Fields to the west of the western boundary-wall of the
grounds of the dissolved Holywell Priory.

2 Not in MS.

Epigrams by J . D. 219


Liber doth vaunt how chastely he hath liv'd
Since he hath been in town, seven years ^ and more,
For that he swears he hath four only swiv'd,
A maid, a wife, a widow, and a whore :

Then, Liber, thou hast swiv'd all womenkind,
For a fifth sort, I know, thou canst not find.


Great Captain Medon wears a chain of gold
Which at five hundred crowns is valued.
For that it was his grandsire's chain of old.
When great King Henry Boulogne conquered.
And wear it, Medon, for it may ensue,
That thou, by virtue of this massy chain,
A stronger town than Boulogne mayst subdue.
If wise men's saws be not reputed vain j
For what said Philip, king of Macedon ?
*' There is no castle so well fortified,
But if an ass laden with gold comes on,
The guard will stoop, and gates fly open wide."


Gella, if thou dost love thyself, take heed
Lest thou my rhymes unto thy lover read ;

^ MS. ' ' knowen this towne 7 yeares. "

2 20 Epigrams by J . D.

For straight thou grinn'st, and then thy lover seeth
Thy canker-eaten gums and rotten teeth.


Quintus his wit, infus'd into his brain,
MisUkes the place, and fled into his feet ;
And there it wanders up and down the street,'^
Dabbled in the dirt, and soaked in the rain.
Doubtless his wit intends not to aspire.
Which leaves his head, to travel in the mire.


The puritan Severus oft doth read
This text, that doth pronounce vain speech a sin,
"That thing defiles a man, that doth proceed
From out the mouth, not that which enters in."
Hence is it that we seldom hear him swear ;
And therefore like a Pharisee, he vaunts :
But he devours more capons in a year
Than would suffice a hundred protestants.
And, sooth, those sectaries are gluttons all,
As well the thread-bare cobbler as the knight ;

1 Not in MS.

2 Old eds. "streets.

Epigrams by J. D. 221

For those poor slaves which have not wherewithal,
Feed on the rich, till they devour them quite ;
And so, like Pharaoh's kine, they eat up clean
Those that be fat, yet still themselves be lean.


Leuca in presence once a fart did let :
Some laugh'd a little ; she forsook the place ;
And, mad with shame, did eke her glove forget,
Which she return 'd to fetch with bashful grace ;

And when she would have said " this is ^ my glove,"
*' My fart," quod she ; which did more laughter


Thou canst not speak yet, Macer ; for to speak,

Is to distinguish sounds significant :

Thou with harsh noise the air dost rudely break ;

But what thou utter'st common sense doth want,-
Half-English words, with fustian terms among,
Much like the burden of a northern sons.

I Not in MS.

^ So Isham copy. — Other eds. omit the words " this is.

222 Epigrams by J . D.


" That youth," said Faustus, " hath a lion seen,
Who from a dicing-house comes moneyless."
But when he lost his hair, where had he been ?
I doubt me, he ^ had seen a lioness.


Cosmus hath more discoursing in his head
Than Jove when Pallas issu'd from his brain ;
And still he strives to be delivered
Of all his thoughts at once ; but all in vain ;
For, as we see at all the playhouse-doors.
When ended is the play, the dance, and song,
A thousand townsmen, gentlemen, and whores,
Porters, and serving-men, together throng, —
So thoughts of drinking, thriving, wenching, war,
And borrowing money, ranging in his mind.
To issue all at once so forward are.
As none at all can perfect passage find.


The false knave Flaccus once a bribe I gave ;
The more fool I to bribe so false a knave :

1 So MS. and eds. B, C. Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

Epigrams by J. D. 22,

But he gave back my bribe ; the more fool he,
That for my folly did not cozen me.


ThoU; dogged Cineas, hated like a dog,
For still thou grumblest like a masty ^ dog,
Compar'st thyself to nothing but a dog ;
Thou say'st thou art as weary as a dog,
As angry, sick, and hungry as a dog.
As dull and melancholy as a dog.
As lazy, sleepy, idle ^ as a dog.
But why dost thou compare thee to a dog
In that for which all men despise a dog ?
I will compare thee better to a dog ;
Thou art as fair and comely as a dog,
Thou art as true and honest as a dog,
Thou art as kind and liberal as a dog,
Thou art as wise and valiant as a dog.
But, Cineas, I have often '^ heard thee tell.
Thou art as like thy father as may be :
'Tis like enough ; and, faith, I like it well ;
But I am glad thou art not like to me.

1 Mastiff.

2 So Isham copy and MS.— Eds. A, B, C "and as idle.''

3 So MS, — Isham copy and ed. A "oft."

2 24 Epigrams by y. D.


Geron, whose ^ mouldy memory corrects

Old Holinshed our famous chronicler

With moral rules, and policy collects

Out of all actions done these fourscore year ;

Accounts the time of every odd ^ event,

Not from Christ's birth, nor from the prince's reign,

But from some other famous accident.

Which in men's general notice doth remain, —

The siege of Boulogne,* and the plaguy sweat,^

The going to Saint Quintin's ^ and New-Haven,''

The rising^ in the north, the frost so great,

That cart-wheel prints on Thamis' face were graven,^

1 Not in MS.

2 So Isham copy.— Omitted in ed. A.

3 So Isham copy.— Eds. A, B, C "old."

* Boulogne was captured by Henry VIII. in 1544.

6 The reference probably is to the visitation of 1551.

® In 1557 an English corps under the Earl of Pembroke took part in
the war against France. ' ' The English did not share in the glory of the
battle, for they were not present ; but they arrived two days after to take
part in the storming of St. Quentin, and to share, to their shame, in the
sack and spoiling of the town."— Froude, VI. 52.

7 Havre. — The expedition was despatched in 1562.

8 Led by the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland in 1569.

9 The reference is to the frost of 1564. — " There was one great frost
in England in our memory, and that was in the 7th year of Queen
Elizabeth : which began upon the 21st of December and held in so ex-
tremely that, upon New Year's eve following, people in multitudes went
upon the Thames from London Bridge to Westminster ; some, as you
tell me, sir, they do now — playing at football, others shooting at pricks. "
— " The Great Frost," 1608 (Arber's " English Garner," Vol. I.)

Epigrams by J. D. 22 \

The fall of money,' and burning of Paul's steeple, -

The blazing star,^ and Spaniards' overthrow : ^

By these events, notorious to the people,

He measures times, and things forepast doth show :

But most of all, he chiefly reckons by

A private chance, — the death of his curst ^ wife ;

This is to him the dearest memory.

And th' happiest accident of all his life. 2


When Marcus comes from Mins',^ he still doth

By " come "' on seven," that all is lost and gone :

1 " This yeare [1560] in the end of September the copper monies which
had been coyned under King Henry the Eight and once before abased
by King Edward the Sixth, were again brought to a lower valuacion.'
— Hayward's An7ials of Queen Elizabeth, p. 73.

- On the 4th June 1561, the steeple of St. Paul's was struck by light-

3 "On the tenth of October (some say on the 7th) appeared a blazing
star in the north, bushing towards the east, which was nightly seen
diminishing of his brightness until the 21st of the same month. " — Stows
Annales, under the year 1580 (ed. 1615, p. 687).

* The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

5 Vixenish.

*• Dyce conjectures that this was the name of some person who kept
an ordinary where gaming was practised. (MS. "fornewes.")

7 So eds. B, C, — Isham copy and ed. A "a seaven,"
VOL. 111. P

2 26 Epigrams by y. D.

But that's not true ; for he hath lost his hair,
Only for that he came too much on ^ one.


The fine youth Cyprius is more terse and neat
Than the new garden of the Old Temple is ;
And still the newest fashion he doth get,
And with the time doth change from that to this ;
He wears a hat now of the flat-crown block,^
The treble rufi",^ long coat, and doublet French ;
He takes tobacco, and doth wear a lock,^
And wastes more time in dressing than a wench.
Yet this new-fangled youth, made for these times,
Doth, above all, praise old George ^ Gascoigne's
rhymes.^ i


When Cineas comes amongst his friends in morning,
He slyly looks '' who first his cap doth move :

1 So MS. with some eccentricities of spelling ("to much one one"). —
Oldeds. "at."

- Shape or fashion ; properly the wooden mould on which the crown
of a hat is shaped.

3 So MS.— Old eds. " ruffes."

^ Love-lock ; a lock of hair hanging down the shoulder in the left side.
It was usually plaited with ribands.

5 So MS. and eds. B, C. — Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

6 Gascoigne's " rhymes" have been edited in two thick volumes by
Mr. Carew Hazlitt. He died on 7th October 1577. In Gabriel Harvey's
letter Book (recently edited by Mr. Edward Scon for the Camden
Society) there are some elegies on him.

7 Solsham copy and ed. A. — Eds. B, C "spies." — MS. "notes."

Epigrams by J . D 227

Him he salutes, the rest so grimly scorning,

As if for ever they had lost his love.

I, knowing how it doth the humour fit

Of this fond gull to be saluted first,

Catch at my cap, but move it not a whit :

Which he perceiving,^ seems for spite to burst.

But, Cineas, why expect you more of me

Than I of you ? I am as good a man, 10

And better too by many a quality,

For vault, and dance, and fence, and rhyme I can :

You keep a whore at your own charge, men tell me ;

Indeed, friend Cineas, therein you excel me.-


Gallus hath been this summer-time in Friesland,
And now, return'd, he speaks such warlike words,
As, if I could their English understand,
I fear me they would cut my throat like swords ;

1 So the MS. — Isham copy and ed. A "Which perceiving he." — Eds.
B, C "Which to perceiving he."

2 The MS. adds—

"You keepe a whore att your [own] charge in towne ;
Indeede, frend Ceneas, there you put me downe. "

2 28 Epigrams by J . D.

He talks of counter-scarfs,^ and casamates,-
Of parapets, curtains, and palisadoes ; ^
Of flankers, ravelins, gabions he prates,
And of false-brays,* and sallies, and scaladoes.^
But, to requite such gulling terms as these.
With words to my profession I reply ;
I tell of fourching, vouchers, and counterpleas.
Of withernams, essoins, and champarty.
So, neither of us understanding either,
We part as wise as when we came together.


Audacious painters have Nine Worthies made ;
But poet Decius, more audacious far.

1 Counter-scarps.

2 Old eds. "Casomates."

s Old eds. "Of parapets, of curteneys, and pallizadois." — MS. "Of
parapelets, curtens and passadoes." — Cunningham prims, " Of curtains,
parapets, " &c.

■* "A term in fortification, exactly from the Frenchya«w^-^ra?>, which
means, say the dictionaries, a counter-breast- work, or, in fact, a mound
thrown up to mask some part of the works.

' And made those strange approaches by false-brays,
Reduits, half-moons, horn-works, and such close ways.'

D.Jons. Underwoods.'^ — Nares.
* Dyce points out that this passage is imitated in Htzgeoffrey s A'o/es
fiom Black-Fryers, Sig. E. 7, ed. 1620.

•• In this epigram, as Dyce showed, Davies is glancing at a sonnet of

Epigrams by J . D. 229

Making his mistress march with men of war,
With title of "Tenth Worthy" doth her lade.
Methinks that gull did use his terms as fit,
Which term'd his love "a giant for her wit."


If Gella's beauty be examined,
She hath a dull dead eye, a saddle nose,
An ill-shap'd face, with morphew overspread,
And rotten teeth, which she in laughing shows ;
Briefly, she is the filthiest wench in town,
Of all that do the art of whoring use :
But when she hath put on her satin gown,
Her cut^ lawn apron, and her velvet shoes,
Her green silk stockings, and her petticoat
Of tafteta, with golden fringe around.
And is withal perfum'd with civet hot.
Which doth her valiant stinking breath confound, -
Yet she with these additions is no more
Than a sweet, filthy, fine, ill-favour'd whore.

Drayton's " To the Celestiall Numbers " \\\ Idea. Jonson told Drum-
mond that "S. J. Davies played in ane Epigrameon Draton's, who in a
sonnet concluded his mistress might been the Ninth {sic] Worthy ; and
said he used a phrase like Dametas in Arcadia, who said, For wit his
Mistresse might bea Gyant." — Notes of Ben Jonson s Conversations with
Drummond, p. 15. (ed. Shakesp. Soc.)
1 So MS,— Old eds. "out."

230 Epigrams by J. D.


Sylla is often challeng'd to the field,
To answer, like a gentleman, his foes :
But then doth he this ^ only answer yield,
That he hath livings and fair lands to lose.
Sylla, if none but beggars valiant were,
The king of Spain would put us all in fear.


Who dares affirm that Sylla dare not fight ?
When I dare swear he dares adventure more
Than the most brave and most ^ all-daring wight
That ever arms with resolution bore ;
He that dare touch the most unwholesome whore
That ever was retir'd into the spittle,
And dares court wenches standing at a door
(The portion of his wit being passing little) ;
He that dares give his dearest friends offences,
Which other valiant fools do fear to do,
And, when a fever doth confound his senses,
Dare eat raw beef, and drink strong wine thereto ;

1 So Isham copy. — Ed. A " when doth he his."

2 So Isham copy. — Ed. A " most brave, most all daring." — Eds. B,
C '' most brave and all daring." — MS. " most valiant and all-daring."

Epigrams by J. D. 231

He that dares take tobacco on the stage/
Dares man a whore at noon-day through the street,
Dares dance in Paul's, and in this formal age
Dares say and do whatever is unmeet ;
Whom fear of shame could never yet affright.
Who dares affirm that Sylla dares not fight ?


Heywood,- that did in epigrams excel,

Is now put down since my light Muse arose ;^

As buckets are put down into a well,

Or as a schoolboy putteth down his hose.

1 There are frequent allusions to this practice. Cf. Induction to
Cynthia's Revels : — " I have my three sorts of tobacco in my pocket ; my
light by me."

- John Heywood, the well-known epigrammatist and interlude-writer.
His Proverbs were edited in 1874, witii a pleasantly-written Introduction
and useful notes, by Mr. Julian Sharman.

3 Dyce refers to a passage of Sir John Harington's Metamorphosn of
Ajax, 1596 :— " This Haywood for his proverbs and epigrams is not yet
put down by any of our country, though one [marginal note, M. Davies]
doth mdeed come near him, that graces him the more in saying he puts
him down." He quotes also from Bastard's Chrestoleros, 1598 (Lib. ii.
Ep. 15 ; Lib. iii. Ep. 3, and Freeman's Ruble and a Great Cast (Pt. ii. ,

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