Rochester+poems - COMP LIT 195:201 SPRING 2011 LITERATURE...

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Unformatted text preview: COMP. LIT. 195:201, SPRING, 2011: LITERATURE ACROSS BORDERS: “SEX” Feb. 3: Four Poems by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester: “Love to a Woman,” “Satyr (“In the Isle of Brittain”),” “The Imperfect Enjoyment,” “A Ramble in St. James Park.” Rochester was an English aristocrat who lived and wrote toward the end of the seventeenth century, when ideas about society and what it means to be a writer were both undergoing rapid change. As a nobleman, Rochester’s social status was as elevated as it could be; and like some other aristocrats who hung around the court of King Charles II, he thought his privilege permitted What contemporaries called “libertine” (and we might call “liberated”) beliefs and behavior in religion, politics, and sexuality. In fact what seemed to be the Golden Age of social hierarchy turned out to be an age of crisis, since ideas of equality and meritocracy were on the rise. In the next century, the American War of Independence was followed not long after by the French Revolution. Rochester was as one of the most gifted poets of the age. His poetry was more various than this selection suggests; nonetheless these are among the poems for which he was best known. And despite their outrageousness, in some respects those at the pinnacle of social status spoke for their society’s cultural principles. What do these poems tell us about contemporary attitudes toward sex? The question is made even harder by the subtlety of Rochester’s tone, which seems both to invite and to challenge our assent. Is this poetry pornographic? Obscene? What’s the difference between the two? As you’ll see, there tend to be several versions of each of Rochester’s poems. Although printing had been in use for two centuries, it began seriously to compete with handwriting or “script” as the dominant mode of publication--of “making public”—-only around this period. The higher social orders especially often disdained the public market in printed books as reserved for vulgar common people, circulating their work in manuscript and only within a small circle of friends. Rochester’s poetry was collected in print only after he died, in 1680, and the editor of this volume most often finds one or another of the many manuscript versions to be the best text to reproduce (these are the ones I’ve photocopied for our use). He’s also careful to reproduce these poems exactly, without altering the spelling, capitalization, and contractions he finds in the original versions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s thereby reproducing Rochester’s choices, since scribes most often recopied manuscript writings for circulation, and even printed texts were subject to revisions made by the compositors who set the type in the process of printing. In short, English had not yet become standardized. Please read all four poems as closely as possible, using the attached explanatory notes. I’ll discuss the poems, but please be prepared to enter the discussion with comments and questions. Michael McKeon, Department of English , THE‘WORKSOF 702m ‘ZUilm'oz‘ 8m! of‘lioc/yesz‘er EDITED BY HAROLDLOVE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS éfififi ' POEMS'PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER ' naéty Nympb, be clean and ki a ‘ d all my joys restore; 'And ta ’ to cleanly sinn \. > None b fresh Lovers Prick: ca se, 'Source—textfor atcidmtals: Sopo, p. 72 Low to a Woman Love a Woman! Th’rt an Ass; Tis a'moét insipid passion 7 I To Chose out for thy Happiness The dulleét part of Gods creation. Let thePorter and the Groom, . Things design’d for slaves, Drudg in fair Aurelia: womb To gett supplies for Age and Graves. , Farewell Woman—I entend .v - Henceforth every Night to sitt With my lewd well natur’d Freind Drinking to engender Then give me health, wealth, Mirth, and wine, And if buizy Love intrenches v ' There’s a sweet soft Page of mine Can doe the Trick worth Forty wenches. Source—textfir accidentalr. SKrv69, p. 182 IO I5 IO I5 I ’11 pro 0 T ’tis made for a meet be]? for Man; s or, Curate is/Issii‘tant, Wbo trufts in t/yis left in Gener ion; Tbis has done more, t { Tunbr' V Tbougb 713% 50 éarren ~ '5 is 53 to be]? ’em. Then pulling out the Nine times he bath’d h' r Parting (quoth he) a peace e on ye all, Wben I am aésent an on Dildoe all; 145 tbqse in [70]); V urch, to Image [5 ,r , Wben wonde working Saint, is out 0 ‘ ’ way. Thus a 7 well pleas’d to C/Jurc/y away ey go, To s' ' g Te Deum, for their 'dear Dildo. . [In the Isle of Brittain] (Representative texts) Group—fl text: Satyr In the Isle of Brittain long since famous growne For breeding the best C—ts in Christendome, r40 ge, Bath, or Epsom, r45 , ' their piping hot’Tails. r50 Saurte—textfir arcia’entalsz In 0, pp. 3 5—40 Not long since Reign’d (oh may he long survive) The easiest King and best bred Man alive. Him no Ambition mov’d to get Renowne A5 Like a French Foole still wandring up and downe,} Starving his People, hazarding his Crowne. Peace was his Aime, his gentleness was such , And Love, he lov’d, For he lov’d Fucking much, Nor was his high desire above his Strength: His Scepter and his Prick were of a length, . A10 86 POEMS PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER And she may sway the one who plays with t’other Which makes him litle wiser then his Brother. For Princes Pricks like to Bufloones at Court — Doe governe Us, because they make Us Sport. ' A11 His was the saucie§t that did ever swive, The prowdeét peremptory Prick alive: Th6 Safety, Law, Religion, Life‘lay on’t Twou’d breake thro all to make it’s way to C—t. Re§tlesse he Rowles about from Whore to Whore Azi With Dogg and Bafiard, always goeing before, ' } A merry Monarch, scandalous and poore. Ah my deare Carwell, dearest of all Deares! Thou be§t Releife of my declineing yeares! O Howl mourne thy Fortune and My Fate A: To love so well and to be Lov’d too late. 7 Yet §till his Graceless BallOcks hang an Arse, But ill agreeing with his limber Tarse. This to evince wou’d be too long to tell yee The painefull Tricks of the laborious Nelly, A; Imploying Hands, Armes, Fingers, Mouth and Thighs To raise the Limb which shee each Night enjoyes. I hate all Monarchs and the Thrones that they sitt on From the Hector of France to th’ Cully of greate Brittaine. Copy-text. BLIJI5, ff. 83"—84,r Group—C text: A Satyr I’th’lsle great Britaine (long synce fam growne, For breedin he be§t Cunts of Chri dome) There not long ce liv’d (Oh! ay he live, and thrive) The easye§t King, an be§t— ed—Man alive; Him noe ambition m o gett renowne, Like the French F ders up, and downe,} Starving his is Crowne. Peace is ' 420 - EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGE 85 Baxter, . - u a zealous Person for a Common-wealth’. Henry Stubbe calle ‘renegado Pres v A ’ (wood, Atlzeme, ii, col. 662). , . r45. Tunbridge, B , I Epsom. All places where water from ' ral springs might be drunk as a cure for barre - sQieen Maria Beatrice ' i - - Bath for that purpose in 1687. Cf. TW, 11. 133—60. 151—2.:The doctrine described is a Protestants, including Anglicans.Th.is -' - Catholics or Catholic sympathi ‘— . 154. TeDeum. ‘We - . se] thee O God’.The opening -cent. hymn that was used lituri .. v in both Catholic and Anglican worship. Musi . ttings were frequent o mposed to celebrate victory in war. ' one that wasexplicitly rejected by . - 'n that the women attacked were ee n. onl. 116 r IN THE ISLE OF BRITTAIN. These outrageous lines on Charles II were written late in 1673 at a time when Rochester’s disgraced friend and political patron, Buckingham, had moved into open opposition to the king’s pro-French policies. It grew from a climate of political discontent described in David Ogg’s England in the reign of Charles II, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1956), 526: During the Third Anglo—Dutch War the prince [of Orange] had helped to dis~ credit Stuart policy by aiding the circulation of a pamphlet attacking the Anglo- French alliance; and the successful result ofthese activities was evidenced by the fact that in February 1674 the Venetian envoy noted the existence of a Dutch party, distinguished by hostility to the duke of York, andcomrnitted to the cause of a legitimateand Protestant succession. There were other groups, not uncon- nected; all of them supplying rallying points for a concerted opposition. Thus, lord Holles was an almost traditional nucleus for associations of Presbyterians and old Commonwealth's men, none of them very enduring; Buckingham also tried to create a following out of similar material, but without much success; Shaftesbury led the party which advocated, the king’s divorce and marriage with a Protestant; when this failed, he pressed for a dissolution of parliament, led the exclusionists and backed Monmouth. . . . From such shifting groups the Country party had begun to take shape in the autumn session of 1673 . . . During the Christmas celebrations at court, Rochester, short-sighted and probably drunk, accidentally handed a copy of the poem to the king. The event is recorded in a contemporary letter, reproduced in K. H. D. Haley, William of Orange and [be English opposition 1672‘4 (Oxford, 1953), pp. 60—1, as well as in the titles of five of the manuscript copies and the earliest printed text of the poem. Paul Hopkins, mAs it was not spoke by Mr. Haines”: an unpublished attack on Shadwell in an Epilogue by Rochester’, in Order and connexion: studies in bibliograp/yy and book fiistory, ed. R. C. Alston (Cambridge, 1997), p. 141 notes an additional reference in a letter of Sir Ralph Verneywritten on New Year’s Day1674: My Lord Rochester is out of Fauour againe about a coppy of Witty, spightfull verses, wd‘ touch too severely upon the King, who is the best natured man in the World, And therfore ought not to bee soe ill used by any body.’This at least establishes Rochester's authorship of the poem but not which (if any) of its many versions is the authorial one. In the present edition it is represented EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGES 85—90 ' 4.21 by five of these versions, each corrected only by reference to its specific group (see TH). A6. Frenrly Foole. Louis XIV. The reference is to his incessant military campaigns. ' _A13. bis Brot/Jer. The Duke of York, later James II. An. Dogg and Bastard. Charles’s daily walks in the park with his spaniels and sons were_remarked on by several contemporaries. A23. Carwell. Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth. A23. dearest of all Deares. On Charles’s deathbed in 1685, ‘the person for whom he had particular solicitude, according to every observer, was not Nell but Louise, his favourite companion’ (Hutton, ClyarlerII, p. 445). A28. limber. Supple or easily bent. A3o. Tricks. Other sources have the variants ‘List's’, ‘Lipps’, flife',"leaps’, ‘Chops’ and ‘hips’. Phrasal variants are ‘What pains it costs', ‘The severall tricks , the pains it Cost’, ‘The pains it costs’ and ‘The pain it costs’. A3o. Nelly. Nell Gwyn. Since Rochester was required, during his periods of waiting as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, to sleep there in a truckle bed, he may well have been an auditory witness to such episodes in the royal four-poster. A34. Hector. . . Gully. Ruffian . . .dupe. C26—7. Cf. ‘Restless we'd roll’d from Crowne to Mitre I Till Paunch had made our Purse the lighter' (Alexander Oldys, ‘Controversial letters between a supposed atheist and a minister', BL/irz, p. 31). C41. liberty, to swine. In allusion to Charles's Declaration of Indulgence in favour of liberty of conscience in matters of religion which was proclaimed on 15 March 1672. E28. Monmoutb. James Scot, Duke of Monmouth, the king’s illegitimate son by Lucy Walters, then much in the news for his military feats in the Second Dutch War. E29. tbefaire Cbarlott. Charlotte Fitzroy (1664—1718), Charles’s younger-daughter by the Duchess of Cleveland. On 16 May 1674, some months after the writing of the poem, she married Rochester’s nephew, Edward Lee, Earl of Lichfield , the marriage being consummated in 1677. Unlike her parents and her sister, the Countess of Sussex, she proved a model of marital virtue and was mother of 18 children (Wilson, Court satires, pp. 232—3). E39. Cleveland bisjoe. After their estrangement in 1669. However, there is no evidence they were ever on seriously bad terms, and Charles continued to support both her and her children by him. E39. Bucking/Jam bisfiiend. A situation ended by the dissolution of the Cabal ministry late in 1673. SONG (‘Qioth the Dutc/Jess o dialogue has been accepted as Rochest I I with only its prese ' 5, opo constituting an attri u to Counsellor . i ing ounds of manner and topic, llis ( .368) is LOVE ELEGIES Headlong I’m Hurl’d like Horsemen who in vai Th‘ fiiry—foaming Coursers wou’d Reétrain. As sh s,ju§t when the Habour they attaine, Are sna h’d by sudden blasts to sea again, So loves taétick storms reduce my Hear Half rescu’, and the God resumes his da . You’ll scarce discer w. your quiver, f m my heart. What wretch can e a livelong ights dull refi? Or think himself in ' Fool! is not Sleep the i There’s time for rest whe at has étop’d your breath. Me may my soft Deluding ‘9 ear deceive, I’m Happy in my hopes w .t I believe, Now let her flatter, then .,.‘ f0 chide, The Vassall world is then thy own. Saurce-textfaraccidentalsz LL12], ff. 43 44" T66 Imperfi‘fi‘ Enjoyment Naked she lay clasp’d in my longing Armes, I fill’d with Love and she all over Charmes, Both equally inspir’d with eager fire, Melting through kindness, flameing in desire. I3 35 40 4-5 50 55 60 I4 POEMS PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER With Armes, Leggs, Lipps, close clinging to embrase She clipps me to her Breast and sucks me to her face. Her nimble tongue (loves lesser lightning) plaied Within my Mouth; and to my thoughts conveyd Swift Orders, that I should prepare to throw The all dissolving Thunderbolt beloe. My fluttering soul, sprung with the pointed Kiss, Hangs hovering o’re her balmy brinks of bliss; But whilst her buisy hand would guide that part Which shou’d convey my soul up to her heart In liquid raptures I dissolve all o’re, Melt into sperm and spend at every pore. A touch from any part of her had don’t: Her hand, her foot, her very look’s a Cunt. Smileing she chides in a kind, murmring noise And from her body wipes the clamy Joyes, When with aThousand kisses wandring o’re My panting bossome, Is there then no more? She cries; All this to Love, and Raptures due-— Must we not pay a Debt to pleasure too? But I the most forlorn lost man alive To shew my wish’d obedience vainly §trive:} I sigh alas! and Kiss, but cannott swive. Eager desires Confound the first intent, Succeeding shame does more success prevent} And Rage at last Confirms me Impotent. Even her fair hand which might bid heat return To frozen Age; and make cold Hermitts burn, Apply’de to my Dead Cinder warms no more Then fire to ashes could past flames Restore. Trembling, Confus’d, Dispairing, limber, dry, A wishing, weak, unmoving lump I ly. This Dart of Love whose peircing point oft Try'de With Virgin blood Ten Thowsand Mayds have dy’de, Which Nature still Directed with such Art _ That it through every Cunt reach’t every heart, 10 15 20 25 3O 35 4o LOVE ELEGIES Woman, nor Man, nor ought its fury §tayd— Where ere it pierc’d a Cunt it found or made-— Now languid lies in this unhappy hour, Shrunk up and sappless like a wither’d flower. Thou Treacherous, base Deserter of my Flame, False to my passion, fatall to my Fame, Through what mistaken Magick doeé’t thou prove So true to Lewdness, so untrue to Love? What Oyster, Cynder, Beggar, Common whore Did’é’t thou ere fayle in all thy life before? When Vice, Disease, and scandall lead the way With what ofiicious hast doe§t thou obey! Like a rude Roareing Hector in the streets Who scuffles, Cuffs and Jué’tles all he meets But if his King or Countrey claime his Ayde The Rakehell villain shrinks and hides his head, Even so thy brutall vallour is display’d, Breaks every stew, does each smale whore invade, But when great Love the onsett does Command, Base Recreant to thy Prince, thou dur§t not stand. Worst part of me and henceforth hated most, Through all the Town a Common Fucking Post, On whom each Whore Relieves her tingling Cunt As Hoggs on Gates doe rubb themselves and grunt, Mayeét thou to Ravenous Shankers be a prey Or in Consumeing weepings wast away; May firangury and stone thy daies attend; } Stiffly Resolv’d t’would Carelesly invade } Mayeét thou nere piss who dids’t Refuse to spend When all my Joyes did on false Thee depend. And may Ten Thousand abler Pricks agree To doe the wrong’d Corinna Right for Thee. Sourre—lextfar arria’enra/s: SKvég, pp. 53—7 15 45 50 55 60 7O EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGES 13—15 353 THE XMPERFECT ENJOYMENT. Loosely inspired, with a few specific verbal echos, by Ovid,/Irnores, III. vii, which is concerned with temporary impotence, not premature ejaculation. Probably intended as a companion piece to ‘To Love’, by which it is followed in 80130. In He36 it is the first member of a thematically related group which continues with ‘An imperfect enjoyment, by M“S A Behn’ (‘One day the Amorous Lysander’) and Mulgrave’s ‘The enjoyment’ (‘Since now my Silvia is as kind as faire’). Etherege wrote a similar piece, also called ‘The imperfect enjoyment’ (‘After a pretty amorous discourse’) (Poems, pp. 7—8). For the wider tradition see Richard E. Qiaintance, ‘French sources of the Restoration “imperfect enjoyment” poem’, PQ 42 (1963), 190—9. There is no reason to doubt Rochester’s authorship. 6. cliffs. The historic present, used as in the following lines to mark points of particular intensity in a narrative otherwise conducted in the past. 11—12. The kiss may be seen as ‘pointed’ in a literal sense because ofthe projecting tongue or, metaphorically, because it performs the function ofa pointer dog, in indicating the position of the concealed bird prior to its being ‘sprung’ (startled into flight). 12. brinkt. Possibly by scribal error for ‘banks’ which would continue the wild- fowling metaphor; however, ‘brinks’ was sometimes used in this sense. 80])o’s ‘limbs’ is an obvious error. 13—14. Cf. Ovid, 11. 73—4. 17—18. As pointed out byTreglown, ‘Rochester and Davenant’, p. 555, this couplet is a parody of Dryden’s Tbe conquest qf Granada, Part I, 111. i. 70—1: Abdelm[e[ec/J]. . . . Dislodge betimes before you are beset. Abdaanj. Her tears, her smiles, her every look’s a Net. (Works, xi. 47) 22. I: there then no more? Cf. Dryden, Marriage a-[a—mode, v. i: ‘many a man and woman, that have lov’d as desperately as we, and yet when they came to possession, have sigh’d, and cri’d to themselves, Is this all?’ ( Work, xi. 305). Rochester had revised the text of the play before production. 31—2. Cf. ‘Song. A young lady to her antient lover’, ll. 15—20. 33. Dead Cinder. Cinders were partly burned coal which were gathered from the ashes for re-use. The ashes themselves could not be reignited. 35. limber. Flexible, easily bent; as at ‘In the isle of Brittain’, l. 28 (A text). Cf. ‘Seigneur Dildoe’, 1. 133 (A text, NLWP variant). 38. have a’y’de. Maids’ is the grammatical subject. The variant ‘has died’ with ‘dart’ the subject mistakes the intended image. 42. nor Man. The ‘Gyldenstolpe’ version, supported by BLIJIZ, has been adopted, despite its unusual placing of the caesura. This is also the heterosexual reading, as against Eag/ I, He36’s homophilic ‘or man’ and the ‘Hansen’ texts’ paedophilic ‘or Boy’. But the issue is textual not sexual. Ea’3/I, He36' s reading looks-at first sight like the intermediary between the other two; but the sub-ancestor of BLIJIZ, H36 is more likely to have had the lectio a’ififci/ior ‘nor Man’ with BLIJIZ than ‘or Man’ with H436. 354 EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGE 15 Edj/I is so fertile in change in all its versions that its agreements have little evidential value; besides, by reversing the order-of lines 42 and 43, it has changed ‘man’ from the object of ‘invade’ to the subject of‘Layd’ [‘stayd’]. The choice therefore lies between ‘nor Man’ and ‘or Boy’, with the former winning by a head—count, for what that is worth. 44—5. Cf. Ovid, 11. 65—6 where he describes his ‘membra’ as ‘besterna Ianguia’iora rosa’ (‘more drooping than yesterday’s rose’). 46—72. The invective against the penis arises from Ovid, ll. 69—72. Other poems of the period on this theme include ‘One writeing against his prick’ (Appendix Rtfinsis, pp. 264—5) and ‘Lord Rochester against his whore—pipe’ (‘Was ever mortal man like me’) in Poems on several occasions, by tbe Earl of Roscommon etc. . . Volume II (London, 1718), p. 218. 48. mistaken Magick. The suspicion that the lover’s failure is the result of magic is raised in Ovid, 11. 27—36 and 79~80. 50—3. Ovid also boasts of his prowess with other partners but it is with named lovers, not social outcasts. The lubricity of oyster wives is celebrated in the low-life ballad ‘As Oyster Nan stood by her Tub’ (Songs compleat, pleasant and a’iuertiue, fife. (London, 1719—20), v. 107). Cinder women were employed to separate Cinders from ash (cf. 1.33 n.). 55. The versions of this line with the internal rhyme ‘scques . . . ruffles’ can hardly be authorial. On the other hand ‘ruflie’ was used in this sense: it is the name given to a would—be Hector in Sontherne’s The wines’ excuse (1692). For ‘justle’ (the usual form for moa’. ‘jostle’ at this period), see Dryden and Lee, Oedipus (1678), W. i. 624—6: Through all the inmost Chambers of the Sky, May there not be a glimpse, one Starry spark, But Gods meet Gods, and justle in the darld (Works, xiii. 197) 56. i.e. if he is invited to fight for his country in war. 59. Breaks every stew. Break is used, as at ‘T0 the post boy’ 1. II, in OED sense 17: ‘to enter by force or violence’. A stew (more often ‘stews’ in singular as well as plural) was a brothel. 59. smale "whore. Cf. ‘Timon’, ll. 103—6. 65. Gates. Sopo and 85po, amusingly, have ‘goats’. 68. strangury and stone. Obstructive diseases that prevented urination in men and were usually fatal at this period. Cf. TW, 1. 56. ’ 72. Corinna. Ovid’s principal mistress in the Amores, though not in 111. vii, which is about an encounter with a new lover. In 11. 25—6 of the Latin he boasts of having once satisfied Corinna nine times in one night. BLbn, He36’s ‘Celia’ can hardly be authorial. l POEMS PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER FLYTINGS Ann INVECTIVES 77 By men W . Unto this All—sin-sheltring Grow, 25 These two were d des indeed could each Whores of the Bulk, and the Alcove, Live u t e the miracles Great Ladies, Chamber-Maids, and Drudges, BO 55 The Rag—picker, and Heiresse trudges: Copy-text: NP31, ff- 12‘613‘ " ' Carr-men, Divines, great Lords, and Taylors, Prentices, Poets, Pimps and Gaolers; 3o Foot—Men, fine Fops, do here arrive, And here promiscuously they swive. W Along these hallow’d Walks it was, ' That I beheld Corinna pass; Who ever had been by to see, 35 fl Ramhle in St. James’s Park The proud disdain she cast on me ' ~ _ Through charming Eyes, he wou’d have swore, Much VVine had past w1th grave discourse, She dropt from Heav’n that very hour, Of who Fucks who, and who does worse; Forsaking the Divine abode, Such as you usually do hear, In scorn of some despairing God. 40 From them thatidyet at the Bear, But mark what Creatures Women are, When I, who still take care to see, 5 How infinitely vile, and fair. Drunkenness reliev’d by Lethery, Three Knights, o’th’Elbow, and the slurr, Went out into St. james’s Park, With wrigling Tails, made up to her. To cool my Head, and fire my heart: The First was of your Whitehall Blades, 45 But though St. james has the honor on’t, Near Kin to th’ Mother of the Maids, ’Tis consecrate to Prick and Cunt. IO Grac’d by whose favour he was able, There by a most incestuous Birth; To bring a Friend to th’ Waiters Table; Strange Woods, Spring from the teeming Earth Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton For they relate how heretofore, Say how the King lov’d Bans‘led Mutton. 50 When Antient Pitt, began to Whore, Since when he’d ne’er be brought to eat, Deluded of his Assignation, 15 By’s good will any other Meat. (Jilting it seems was then in fashion) In this, as well as all the rest, Poor pensive Lover, in this place, He ventures to do like the best. Would Frigg upon his Mothers Face: But wanting common Sence, th’ingredient, 55 , Whence Rowes of Mandrahes tall did rise, In choosing well, not least expedient, Whose lewd Tops Fuck’d the very Skies. 20 Converts Abortive imitation, Each imitative Branch does twine, To Universal affeétation; In some lov’d fold of Aretine. So he not only eats, and talks, And Nightly now beneath their shade, But feels, and smells, sits down and walks; 60 Are Bugg rzes, Rapes, and Incest made. Nay looks, and lives, and loves by Rote, 7 . Had fill’d her Cant with wholsome Juice POEMS PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER In an old tawdrey Birrn—Day—C'oar. The Second was a Grays Inn Wit, A great Inhabiter of the Pil; , Where Criticé—liée, he- sits andsquints, Steals Pocket-Handkerchiefs, and hints, From’s Neigboor, and the Comedy, To Court, and Pay his Landlady. The Third a Ladies Eldef? Son, VVrthin few years of Twenty One; Who hopes from his propitious Fate, Against he comes to his Estate, By these Two Wort/Jies to be made A most accomplisht tearing Blade. One in a §train ’twixt Tune and Nonsense, Cries, Madam, I ba‘ve lov’dyou long since, Permit me yourfizir loand to kiss. When at her Moat/J her Cant says yes. In short, without much more ado,‘ Joyful, and pleas’d, aWay she flew; And with these Three confounded Asses, From Park, to Hackney—Goad), she passes. So a proud Bitcb does lead about, Of humble Carrs, the Amorous rout; Who most. obsequiously do hunt, The sav’ry scent of Salt—swolne Cant. Some Pow’r more patient now relate _ The sense of this surprizing Fate. Gods! that a thing admir’d by me, Shou’d tasteso much of Infamy. Had she pickt out to rub her Arse on, Some stiff—Prick’d Clown, or well hung Parson, Each job of whose Spermatick Sluce, I the proceeding shou’d have prais’d, In hope she had quencht a Fire I rais’d: Such nat’rall freedoms are but just, There’s something gen’rous in meer Lust. 7O 75 8o 90 95 FLYTINGS AND INVECTIVES But to turn damn’d abandon’d jade, When neither Head nor Tail perswade; To be a leore, in understanding, A Passive Pot for Fools to spend in. , The Devil plaid booty, sure with thee, To bring a blot on infamy. But why was I of all Mankind, To so severe a fate design’d? Ungrateful! why this Treachery To humble fond, believing me? Who gave you priviledge above, The nice allowances of Love? Did ever I refuse to bear, The meanest part your Lust cou’d spare? When your lew’d Cunt, came spewing home, Drencht with the Seed of half the Town, My Dram of Sperme, was supt up after, For the digestive Surfeit Water. Full gorng at another time, With a vast Meal of Nasty Slime; Which your devouring Cant had drawn From Porters Backs, and Fool—mans Brawn; I was content to serve you up, ' My Balloclz full, for your Grace Cap; Nor ever thought it an abuse, While you had pleasure for excusei You that cou’d make-my Heart away, For Noise and Colours, and betray, The Secrets of my tender hours, To such Knigbz‘ Erranz‘ Paramoars; When leaning on your Faithless Breast, Wrapt in security, and rest, Soft kindness all my pow’rs did move, And Reason lay dissolv’d in Love. May §tinking Vapours choak your Womb, Such as the Men you doat upon; May your deprav’d Appetite, 79 100 105 IIO 115 120 125 130 I35 80 POEMS PROBABLY BY ROCHESTER That cou’d in whiffling F0015 delight, Beget such Frenzies in your Mind, You may go mad for the Nort/J— Wind. And fixing all'your hopes upon’t, . To have him Bluster in your Cunt, Turn up your longing Arse to th’Air, And perish in a wild despair. But Coward: shall forget to Rant, ScbooI~Boys to Frigg, Old Wbores to Paint; The ] emits Fraternity, - Shall leave the use of Buggery; Crab—Lawyer, inspir’d with Grace Divine, From Earthly Cod, to Heav’n shall climb; Playsicians, shall believe in fesus, , And disobedience cease to please us E’re I desié’t with all merow’r, To plague this Vquan and undo her. But my revenge will best be tim’d, When she is Mamy’d that is lym’d; In that most lamentable State, I’ll make her feel my scorn, and hate; Pelt her with Scandals, Truth, or Lies, And her poor Curr with jealousies; Till I have tor‘n him from her Breed}, While she whines like a Dog—drawn Bitc/J, Loath’d, and despis’d, kickt out of Town, ' Into some dirty hole alone, ' To Chew the' Cud of Misery, And know'she owes it all to me. And may no Woman better tbri‘ve, T/Jat darespropbane t/Je Cunt I Swine. Source-textfir accidentalr. 80120, pp. 14—19 I40 I45 I50 I55 I60 165 4.10 EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGE W A RAMBLE IN STJAMES’S PARK. Reliably attributed to Rochester in the MS sources, and in a letter of 20 March 1673 from GodfreyThacker to Theophilus Hastings, 7th Earl of Huntingdon: ‘I send your Ld ship a copy of verses of my Ld Rochester’s making though inferiour to those of St James his Parke’ (Lucyle Hook,‘Something more about Rochester’, MLN 75 (1960), 480, citing Huntington MS HA 12525). 0.1. Ramble. Here with the sense given byjohnson for the Dutch cognate form: ‘to rave loosely in lust’. In Southerne’s TlJe wives’excuse,x. ii. 107—13, Mrs. Wittwoud asks Mrs. Sightly: ‘What say you to a ramble after the Musick? . . .A Hackney jaunt, from one end of'the Town to t’other? . . . I know two several Companies gone into the City, one to Pontacks, and t’other to the Rummer, to Supper: I want to disturb, strangely . . .’ (TlJe works oleJomas Southerne, ed. Robert Jordan and Harold Love (Oxford, 1988), i. 281).The satirical sub-genre of the ramble poem narrates an expedi— tion by a disreputable male into the city by night in search of drink and prostitutes. It is a development of the carnivalesque journey poem, as represented by Richard Brathwait’s ‘Barnabees journal’ and Charles 'Cotton’s ‘A voyage to Ireland in bur- lesque’. Some examples are Alexander Radcliffe’s ‘Captain Ramble’ in 8opo, pp. 146— 51 and TlJe ramble: an anti-[Jeroickpoem (London, 1682), pp. 85—110;‘The last night’s ramble’ (‘Warm’d with the pleasures,which Debauches yield’) in Restoration literature: critical approaclJes, ed. Harold Love (London, 1972), pp. 309—12 (ascribed in Pt2 to Aphra Behn); ‘The nights ramble’ ('Drunk as a beggar or a Lord’) in BLlJIz, pp. 83— 4, ‘A rambler’ (‘Rambling last night dear Jack half drunk’) in BLbr7, ff. 128‘—13o‘; ‘The Rose Tavern club’ (‘Much wine had passed with much discourse’) in Pt2, pp. 188—90; and/I mornings ramble: or, Islington Wells burlesqt (London, 1684). The sub- theme of an upper—class male’s infatuation with a whore was echoed in real life by Prince Rupert’s for Peg Hughes, Thomas, Lord Colepeper’s for Sue Willis, and (noted by Ellis) Edward Mountagu, Earl of Sandwich’s for Becky Becke. 1. Qyoted,with one word altered, as the first line of ‘The Rose Tavern club’ (see previous). ' 4. Me Bear. There were numerous taverns of this name in Restoration London. In this case one close to the Park seems intended. 9. St. James. The park and adjacent palace had been preceded on the site by a hospital for women lepers dedicated to StJames the Less.The pick—up area, in the south—west corner near Rosamond’s pond, became so well known that the theatres acquired stock flats depicting it for use in comedies. Cf. Southerne, Tbe wives’excuse, W. i. 219 and V. ii in Works, i. 321, 329—31, and Tbe maid’slastprayer,1v. iv in Works, i. 420—4. 11—24. The action of the Pict in generating mandrakes through masturbation is a prefiguration of Charles II’s planting of the park with new trees, as described in Waller’s ‘On the park at St Jamese’s’ ([1660]): EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGES 76-7 411 For future shade young Trees upon the bank Of the new stream appear in even rank; The voyce of Orpheus, or Amp/Jyon’s hand In better order could not make them stand. . May they increase as fast, and spread their bows, As the high fame of their great owner grows. ' May he live long enough to see them all Dark shadows cast, and as his Palace tall. (11. 13—20) 14. Pitt. So called by the Romans because they painted their bodies with woad. 19. Mandrakes. Parodying ‘On the park at St Jamese’s’, 11. 65—8: Next this my Muse (what most delights her) sees A living Gallery of aged Trees, Bold Sons of Earth, that thrust their arms so high As if once more they would invade the sky. The mandrake was supposed to grow from human blood or from semen, which was regarded as a distillation of blood. Walker cites Gerard, TlJe berball or generall l7istone of plantes (London, 1597), p. 281 which gives this reason for its growmg under gallows. Cf. also Buckingham, ‘A character of an ugly woman’: ‘As to her Descent, some Heralds derive her Pedigree from that of the Scott/.7 Barnacles, and say, that she dropt from some teeming Gallows, or sprung up like Mandrakes from the S<eed> of some gibbited Raggamufiian’ (Miscellaneous works (London, 1704), i. x25). Both passages accept a folk belief that hanging produced spontaneous ejaculation. 22. Aretine. Referring to a set of engravings by Marcantonio Raimondi of illustrations by Giulio Romano, first issued in 1524, depicting postures for intercourse, which were later supplied with descriptive sonnets by Pietro Axetino. Both are reproduced in I modi: the sixteen pleasures. An erotic album (ft/Je Italian Renaissance, ed. and trans. Lynne Lawner (Evanston,'Ill., 1988). Lawner singles out the "subtly interweaving limbs of posture 7’ (p. 37). Rochester is said to have had a set of paintings based on the set at the ranger’s lodge at Woodstock. They also decorate an antechamber in Sodom. The Huysmans portrait of Rochester with his pet monkey is an allusion to the introduction to the first part of Aretino’s Seigiornate (Ragionamenti) (see note on AtoC, l. 142). 23—4. Cf. Waller, ‘On the park at St Jamese’s’, ll. 21—2: Me thinks I hear the love that shall be made, The gallants dancing in the Amorous shade . . . 26. Bulk . . .Alcone. Bulks were box-like constructions outside shops. Used for serving goods during the day, they were locked up at night, when they might be used for sleeping rough or transitory encounters with streetwalkers. An alcove was the area ofa room ofstate in which the bed ofa monarch or grandee was placed. Cf Oldham, ‘A satyr. Address’d to a friend’, ll. 165-6: Each dayI try new Mistrisses and Loves, Nor entry Sovereign Dogs in tbeirAlcones. (Poems, p. 230) 412 EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGE 28. Rag-picker. A woman who searched through old clothes and rags such as those collected for paper—making in the hope of finding something valuable. 29. Carr—men. Drivers of horse—drawn carts. 34. Corinna. The name of Ovid’s mistress in theAmorer, also used for the partner in ‘The imperfect enjoyment’ and the revengeful whore in AtoC, ll. 189—251. Taken together these three poems could be considered as describing three stages in a single life. Here a prostitute is clearly intended, perhaps Sue Willis who is attacked in lAgainst the Charms our Ballox have’. The poem is too early to refer to Rochester’s liaison with Elizabeth Barry. 42. vile, and fair. The ‘Gyldenstolpe’scriptorium text’s ‘vile when fair’ has a claim for consideration as a lectio diflicilior. ‘ 43. Knights, o’tIJ’Elbow, and the slurr. Dishonest gamblers. They may be thought of as coming to the park from the court gambling rooms at the Groom Porter’s lodgings. Theophilus Lucas in Memoirs oft/3e lives . . . oft/3e most famous gamesters (I714) writes of Major Clancy that ‘he was very dexterous at Slurring, which is, throwing the dice so smoothly on a table, that they.turn not; for which, the smoothest part of the table must be chose; and some are so expert at this, that they’ll slur a die a yard in length without turning’ (Hartmann, Games andgamesters, p.' 137). 44. wrigling Tails. Like dogs approaching a bitch in heat. 45—62. The portrait is of a young man trying to establish a position at Whitehall by ‘waiting’voluntarily in the Presence Chamber. His entree has been gained through his relative, the Mother of the Maids (Lady Sanderson), not a person of great consequence. Immature and insecurely overdressed, he is a figure of fun to the estab— lished courtier, Rochester. The individual represented seems to be the future author, Charles Blount (i654—93),Who in 1672 had married Lady Sanderson’s niece, Eleanora Tyrrell. For his later connection with Rochester, see Gillian Manning, ‘Some quotations from Rochester in Blount’s Pbilostratus’, Néa’Q 231 (1986), 38—40 and - Harold Love, ‘Rochester in Blount’s Pbilostratus’, Nia’Q 233 (1988), 171—3. 46. Mot/ler of tbe Maids. The official title of the governess to the Queen’s maids of honour. See also previous note. 48. PVaiters Table. Dining at Whitehall was organized around named tables, each of which was entitled to a specified number of dishes. ‘Waiters’ here is intended in its more general sense of those prepared to stand in the Presence Chamber in order to increase the splendour of the court, rather than indicating those involved in the highly ritualized serving of the king’s food (described in the annual editions of Edward Chamberlayne’s Angliae notitia). a9. SirEdward Sutton. Sutton was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and would therefore have waited on the king, in both senses given above, when he received visitors or dined in that part of the palace. His assigned period of waiting was ‘Lady— day quarter’, commencing on 25 March. Dorset alludes to this couplet in 11. 5—6 of ‘Colin’: EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGES 413 Chance threw on him Sir Edward Sutton, A jolly knight that rhymes to mutton: (POASY, ii. 168) 50. Bansted Mutton. Mutton from Banstead Downs, Surrey, also a venue for horse ‘ races which were the ancestor of the present Derby. There is a possible pun on _ ‘mutton’ = prostitute.Thejokc then would be that the young man had not appreciated Sutton’s double meaning. - 62. BirtIJ—Day—Coat. An elaborate coat made to be worn at court at the celebration of a royal birthday but too grand for an everyday occaSion. . Perha s an moron, since Gray’s Inn was the most remote of gh‘i'JisnIiilsnoIfI/ddurt frorEWhicghall and the theatres. Yet, as the inn of Godfrey Thacker (see headnote), the poet Alexander Radcliffe, some of whose work passed as Rochester’s, and Aphra Behn’ s lover,‘]ohn Hoyle, it was also an important centre for the circulation of libertine verse: the scribal anthology underlying 801m and Y005 may well have had a Gray’s Inn provenance (Harold Love, ‘Scribal texts and literary communities: the Rochester circle and Osborn b. 105’, SB 42 (1989), 227—8).The 1731 and subsequent editions of the Works of tbe Earls szoc/Bester, Roscommon and Dorset series claim this as a portrait of Radcliffe, but Hoyle must be as likely. Radcliffe had a stint in the army at around this time. '64. t/Je Pit. At the two theatres. The pit was the area between the stage and the lowest box tier. 68. To Court, and Pay. The handkerchiefs, which would be embroidered and of some value, would be to pay her, the scraps of wit to court her. 69. Ladies Eldest Son. The eldest son of a widow. Aged perhaps I7 or 18, he would inherit his father’s estate at 21. Perhaps meant as a generic character rather than for a particular individual. 82. Hackney—Coach The word hackney, originally applied to a slow, ambling horse, became the generic term for public carriages, the ancestors of todays taXis. It was also applied to prostitutes such as Hogarth’s Kate Hackabout in The harlot s progress’. 92. well bung. Having large genitals. 98. meer. In its older sense of ‘absolute, utter, unqualified’. IOI. Wbore, in understanding. By copulating with men who lack it. 103—4. Echoing the idea ofAtoC, ll. 224. and 252—5 that the-infamy ofmen and women of wit has a positive quality which is lost when it is imitated by fools. 103. plaidbooty. Implying a conspiracy between Corinna and the devil to defraud the fools by bringing infamy into disrepute. n6. Surfeit Water. For the relief of overeating or overdrinking. Cf. Henry Savile to Rochester, 17 December 1677: ‘George Porter has been beer a fortnight and is allready three surfeits before you, one of spratts, one of tripes, and the third of Newarke ale’ (Rochester, Letters, pp. 172—3). 414 EXPLANATORY NOTES FOR PAGES 79—81 120. Porters had strong backs from carrying burdens on them, and footmen strong legs from running with messages.lBoth attributes signified sexual vigour. 122. Grace Cup. A last cup, drunk after grace has been said, terminating the meal. i 125. make. . . away. Vieth' suggests a legal usage, ‘to transfer to another’s possession’; but the normal meaning of the phrase,.‘kill’ or ‘destroy’, applies better. 129-32. With phrasal suggeStions of ‘Absent from thee I languish still’, 11. 9—16. 134. web a: tbe Men. The next- step from loving such vaporous, ‘Whifliing’ men is to fall in love with .the r36. wbzfiliag. Originally used of a wind that continually changed direction; here ‘trifling, paltry, insignificant’ (OED). I38. Nortb— Wind. As Spanish mares were believed to do by Pliny, Nat. birt. Iv. 35 and VIII. 67. Cf. also Iliad, xx. 221—5. 147. Crab-Lawn. A louse that attaches itself to genital hairs, especially those on the testicles. I50. disoaedience cease to please as. The parliament that met on 6 February 1673 immediately challenged Charles II on the religious issue, demanding the revocation of the Declaration of Indulgence and the establishment of a religious test for holders of office under the crown. Both these goals were achieved prior to the mention of the poem in the Thacker letter of 20 March. Np4'o’s spelling ‘And disobadience cease to place us’ suggests What would today be characterized as an Irish pronunciation but was then much more widespread. 154. A technical term for the impregnation of a bitch (OED 113). I60. Dag—draw}: Bittb. .In intercourse the bitch’s vagina contracts preventing the dog from withdrawing. In his attempts to do so he may drag her along with him. 161—4. Suggesting the fate of the Corinna ofAtoC as recorded in 11. 205—8. . 165—6. Ellis cites Rochester to Elizabeth Barryi ‘May no man share the blessings I enjoy without my curses.’ (Letters, p. 123) SATYR (‘Say a‘v’rz-aora Muse, for only thou canst tell’). This striki ment in mock‘h ’ - garter to Mulgrave dates the ' ‘3 .. during the summer is confirmed by a letter ofr8 July from Henry S s. ,. arl ofKent (BL MS 35838, f. 276”), reprinted in James Jacob, Henry Stuaa ’ z zealProtestantirm andtbe early Enligbten— ment (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 135—6. e wa' , attendance on the Duchess ofPorts- mouth, the pair provoking com 2* '- t by their " cs in the water. It is also clear from the letter that the duchess,d - ite dining every dayI = tate with ‘all people . . .admitted to see her, as were she ueen’, was not being ‘visite u other aristocratic women present In Bath, w a would have regarded any such ac ledgement as disloyalty to Qieen Ca - 1ne.The most likely occasion for the poem “ ~:. 7 n act ofrevenge on ...
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Rochester+poems - COMP LIT 195:201 SPRING 2011 LITERATURE...

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