by Elizabeth Eva LEACH
The first song in John Dowland’s highly successful First Booke of Songes or Ayres, printed in London in 1597 by Peter Short, provides a fitting opening to the performance space of the whole book. The text of the first stanza is as follows:
Vnquiet thoughts your ciuill slaughter stint,
& wrap your wrongs within a pensiue hart:
And you my tongue that maks my mouth a minte.
& stamps my thoughts to coyne them words by arte:
Be still for if you euer doo the like,
Ile cut the string, that maks the hammer strike.
The text produces an “I” whose private mental state compels its performer, as if against their own will, to speak, to sing, to perform the very song which tells how they came to be singing it. This involuted highly textual gesture is familiar from troubadour lyric onwards: inchoate desire manifests itself as performed poetry, by noting its inadequacy to the task of representing that desire. Mediating this tradition for Elizabethan England was the Petrarchan tradition, from which ideas of sublimation and the role of ordering in song sequences also derived. The ‘passions of desire’ forcing the singer to ‘tell’ them, is an especially apt way of symbolizing the notated songbook as both a prompt to performance and a kind of performance space in itself.
The image used for the production of the song from the lyric I’s state of desire here is one of the most ancient forms of mechanical reproduction: stamping. While also hinting at the secondary hammer and string represented by the lutenist’s fingers striking the lutestrings, the image primarily represents the performer’s head as a kind of smithy—a highly creative and specifically lyric (that is, sung poetic) locus—in which the natural instrument of voice is a hammering tongue, striking the anvil of palate and teeth to coin words from the base metal of unquiet thoughts. The idea that the mouth is a mint, forge, or smithy, in which the tongue artfully stamps the image of thoughts to make them into coins, presents a model for the link between mental ideas and spoken language performed as sound. The thoughts of an individual are made current—turned into currency—by the imprinting of their image in the form of words. The image of a poet minting words is extremely common in Elizabethan and Jacobean England—John Donne and Edmund Spenser, for example, used it fairly often. Some scholars have drawn attention to the Donne-like metaphysicality of this opening poem in Dowland’s collection but it can be argued that the link with Spenser is stronger. This lyric and an episode in Book IV of The Faerie Queene share the use of the smithy image and exploit it as a negative type of the Pythagorean forge, which provided an image of musical, and by extension mental and social, concord. This paper explores the link between Dowland’s lyric and Spenser’s work, which is itself influenced by music theory, asking why, if this lyric is indeed particularly Spenserian, Dowland might have wanted to place it at the head of his first lute song collection.
A sonnet published in The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) and now thought to be by Richard Barnfield, links the names of Dowland and Spenser as joint favourites of the lyric I and the intimately addressed beloved:
If Musicke and sweet Poetrie agree,
As they must needs (the Sister and the brother)
Then must the loue be great twixt thee and me,
Because thou lou’st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is deere, whose heuenly tuch
Vpon the Lute, dooth rauish humane sense:
Spenser to me, whose deepe Conceit is such,
As passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lou’st to heare the sweet melodious sound,
That Phoebus Lute (the Queene of Musicke) makes;
And I in deepe Delight am chiefly drownd,
When as himselfe to singing he betakes.
One God is God of both (as Poets faine)
One Knight loves Both, and both in thee remaine.
The indeterminately gendered speaker here claims that the similarly indeterminately gendered beloved loves the sound of Phoebus’s lute (feminized as queen of music) as played by Dowland, whereas the speaker loves the singing of Spenser’s poetry by Phoebus accompanying himself on his lute. The poem sets up a series of antinomies: music/poetry, Phoebus’s lute/Phoebus, sister/brother, touch/voice, thee/me, sound/singing, and Dowland/Spenser. Phoebus is then both Dowland’s lute-playing and Spenser, united in the figure of the singing lutenist and “one God [Phoebus Apollo] is God of both” instrumental music and lyric (sung) poetry. If both of these dwell in both the beloved and the God Phoebus, the beloved is a singing lutenist—a music/poetry hybrid; a hermaphrodite linking touch and sense with the power of deep rational conceit. A radical reading might posit that this is a sonnet of homosocial friendship addressed to Dowland himself—the God Phoebus—perhaps by a lover of Spenser’s poetry. Certainly it provides circumstantial evidence for Spenser’s poems set to music composed (or at least played) by Dowland. No lute-song setting of a poem known to be Spenser’s survives, although Christian Kelnberger has noted the similarity between the Petrarchism of Spenser’s April Eclogue from Shepheardes Calender and the anonymous texts of the ayres in later books and Gibbons provides a madrigal setting of Spenser’s Fair ladies that to love captived are.
Dowland’s first book of songs is dedicated to Sir George Carey, second Baron Hunsdon, mentioning also the favours of his wife, Dowland’s ‘mistresse’, Elizabeth. Two aspects of this dedication are worth exploring: the first, to which I shall return in the last part of this paper, is that Hunsdon was active in the suppression of Catholicism; the second is that Hunsdon’s wife Elizabeth, née Spencer, was claimed as a relation by Edmund Spenser. Spenser dedicated Muiopotmos, or the Fate of the Butterflie (1590) and a sonnet prefixed to the first part of The Faerie Queene (1590) to Lady Carey, as she then was; he also mentions her and her two sisters in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (1595). Diana Poulton thinks it possible that Dowland, who wrote an instrumental allemande or ‘puffe’ for Elizabeth Spencer, which he played on his Italian travels in 1595, could have served in Hunsdon’s household or at least been given financial assistance by him in the period immediately before the publication of The First Booke (1597). Spenser was certainly in contact with this household, whose members he considered kin. Might these links have led to an opportunity for Dowland and Spenser—two great artists whose names seem not otherwise to feature prominently in each other’s biographies—to meet, perhaps in the late 1580s or early 1590s?
Of course it is not necessary to posit an actual meeting between Dowland and Spenser to argue that the former’s first song’s text is at least influenced by the latter’s poetry if not actually his work, but they certainly moved in similar circles and had friends in common. The most suggestive link between Spenser and Dowland’s song ‘Unquiet thoughts’ is the incipit. The music here stresses the first syllable (‘VNquiet thoughts’). This phrase is not unknown in the work of other authors, including Nicholas Breton, John Dickenson, Giles Fletcher, Nicholas Ling, Johannes Justus Lansperger, and Philip Sidney. The closest matches to Dowland’s use, however, are found in two places in Spenser’s poetry. First, Spenser uses ‘Vnquiet thought’ in incipit position in the second sonnet of Amoretti (1595), where it similarly serves to encapsulate the mental state that is about to generate poetry. This sonnet, like Dowland’s song, is concerned with the representation of private thoughts in public language. This poem’s b-rhyme is also ‘art’, and it has a similar—if opposite—imperative after its opening quatrain: ‘Breake forth’. The imagery is rather different, however, since it lacks the beating of hammers in a smithy; instead the unquiet thoughts breed poems out of the womb of the mind. Public poetry is not metaphorically represented by thoughts circulating as coin, but rather as a child birthed painfully out of the private parts of the poet’s body. Spenser’s second use, however, is significantly closer to Dowland’s in its replication of the image of the smithy: the phrase ‘unquiet thoughts’ occurs in Book IV, Canto v of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, which appeared in 1596, the year before Dowland’s First Booke was published. Book IV is often considered as forming a pair with Book III, several of whose ‘polyphonic narratives’ it resolves. In Canto v, the character Scudamour—a knight whose wife Amoret (the beloved of the Amoretti) has been stolen from him on their wedding night—passes a restless night in the house of Care, who is personified as a blacksmith.
|Song 1, stanza 1 from John Dowland, First Booke of Songes or Ayres (London: Peter Short, 1597):||From Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book IV, Canto v, stanza 35, l. 5–stanza 36|
|Vnquiet thoughts your ciuill slaughter stint,||His name was Care; a blacksmith by his trade,|
|& wrap your wrongs within a pensiue hart:||That neither day nor night from working spared,|
|And you my tongue that maks my mouth a minte.||But to small purpose yron wedges made;|
|& stamps my thoughts to coyne them words by arte:||Those be vnquiet thoughts, that carefull minds inuade.|
|Be still for if you euer doo the like,|
|Ile cut the string, that maks the hammer strike.||In which his worke he had sixe seruants prest,|
|About the Andvile standing euermore,|
|With huge great hammers, that did neuer rest|
|From heaping stroakes, which thereon soused sore:|
|All sixe strong groomes, but one then other more:|
|For by degrees they all were disagreed;|
|So likewise did the hammers which they bore,|
|Like belles in greatnesse orderly succeed,|
|That he which was the last, the first did farre exceede.|
This master craftsman, embodying care in its twin senses of anxious worry and skilful attention to a craft, oversees six grooms in the making of iron wedges, which are explained as ‘vnquiet thoughts, that carefull minds inuade’. Scudamour’s jealous wretchedness is represented sonically as he is kept awake all night by the din of the grooms’ great hammers. John M. Steadman has linked this image to contemporary Italian expressions of jealousy as ‘martello d’amore’ and also with the Latin adage ‘inter malleum et incudem’ to express the state of anxiety, but he also notes the role of the forge in stories of the discovery of music’s rational basis. Drawing on Peter Comestor’s Genesis commentary, later music theorists recounted that Jubal (named in [Genesis iv])http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+4&version=VULGATE): 21 as ‘the father of all those who play the harp and flute’) discovered the proportions of music in the smithy of his brother, Tubalcain (named in Genesis iv: 22 as ‘an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron’).
The harmonious or inharmonious smithy features regularly in literature as a symbol of concord or discord. Alan of Lille’s De planctu naturae has the grammar of the hammers and anvils in Nature’s forge disrupted by Venus. In Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale Gervays the smith provides a weapon of discord that brings about the relative concord—or at least the balanced ‘quiting’—of the end of the tale. Sometimes it is not even a metaphor: in a poem that forms part of GB-Lbl MS Arundel 292 the first-person speaker rains down curses on the din caused by smiths working late at night and preventing him sleeping. The pre-modern ‘music’ of the smithy was probably as common a form of noise pollution as the pounding recorded ‘music’ that spoils sleep in our present age.
The symbolism of the forge has its roots in a story of the invention of music pertaining to Pythagoras in a Neoplatonic tradition transmitted via Boethius and other music theorists. Writers sometimes feel obliged to weigh up the priority of the two discovery stories and regularly rule in favour of Biblical precedent over the authority of the pagan Greeks, allegorical equivalence between Jubal and Pythagoras (and, by extension, Vulcan and Nature), however, is readily achieved. The Faerie Queene’s forge represents the discord of Care’s production of ‘unquiet thoughts’ specifically through an inversion of the Pythagorean myth. This story was not part of specialist learning as music theory is today: musica was a central subject in the liberal arts, and Pythagoras’ discovery was a basic component of humanistic (as of scholastic) learning. Given Spenser’s humanist education, gained as part of the new reformed degree programme at Pembroke College, Cambridge, his familiarity with the tale is hardly surprising. One detail, however, suggests that Spenser knew it specifically through a more recent music theorist than Boethius.
Despite Spenser’s marked Neoplatonism, his forge and that of Pythagoras have one notable difference: Spenser’s smithy has six hammers; the forge passed by Pythagoras had five, one of which is discarded as dissonant. This departure from the customary version initially puzzled Steadman until he noted a likely source in Gaffurius’ Theorica Musice (Milan, 1492). Gaffurius’ influential treatise presented in print a virtuoso synthesis of a number of older music theorists, notably Boethius, whose works were at that time mainly available only in manuscript. The first book in particular presents an original tapestry of authorities in its discussion of opening topics of music’s definition, parts, and discovery. While the modern edition of this treatise traces a good many of Gaffurius’ sources, there is a noticeable gap in the known source material for Book 1, ch. 8. This final chapter of the first book recounts the story of Pythagoras’ discovery of the proportions of music and is mainly taken from Boethius, whose tale contains the usual five hammers, one discarded as discordant, giving the four numbers of music: 6:8:9:12. Gaffurius then adds a passage that has no precedent in Boethius. The turn of phrase (‘I am easily convinced’) certainly implies that what follows is Gaffurius’ own interpretation, which he has added to link the discovery of the four numbers whose ratios give the basic intervals within the octave (tone, fourth, fifth and octave), which he takes from Boethius, to the idea of six numbers whose ratios can express all the perfect consonances within the entire gamut, which he takes from Calcidius and Macrobius.
From Franchino Gaffurio, The Theory of Music, Bk.1, ch..8, trans. Walter Kurt Kreyszig (New Haven, 1993), 46–7. 16. Truly on account of the intense thought on such important and hidden matter, the long investigation had tired even Pythagoras, I am easily convinced that he has investigated not only these minglings of the four sounds but also those remaining through which the musical discipline is perfected and maintained. 17. There are six principal relations of pitches which are derived from the multiple and superparticular proportions. 18. Macrobius (in his commentary on the Dream of Scipio), Chalcidius (in the interpretation of Plato’s Timaeus), and all musicians venerate these proportions with the greatest ea-gerness. 19. They concede that these proportions are easily derived and must be drawn together one by one in succession: the diapason, the diapason-plus-diapente, and the bisdiapason; the diatesseron, the diapente, and the tone from the duple, triple, quadruple, epirtite, hemiolic, and epogdoic, respectively. 20. Therefore, we may suppose that Pythagoras himself entirely changed the inconsonant fifth hammer into another and added a sixth above this fifth, which has been established in the number 4, which would surpass all others in smallness of weight, and also a sixth hammer, which would exceed all the others, that is, in the number 16. 21. Thus the progression of these six hammers occurs in their proper weights in this order, namely, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 16.
For an incunabulum, Gaffurius’ treatise survives in a rather large number of copies, as Palisca has noted. It would be extremely surprising if Dowland did not know it, especially since it is the favourite source of Ornithoparchus, whose treatise Dowland translated in 1609. Ornithoparchus, however, like other later writers, silently unstitched Gaffurius’ neat sewing together of these two different musical discoveries. Spenser, it appears, may have known Gaffurius’ original text. His reference to the sixth hammer far exceeding the others in size and his comparison to bells would support this reading, since in Gaffurius’ passage immediately following that cited above Pythagoras repeats the experiment on bells; which feature prominently, labelled with their weights, alongside the hammers in the accompanying illustration that rounds off this book of Gaffurius’ treatise.
Whether by Dowland, Spenser, or someone else, the first song’s reference to Scudamore’s night in the house of Care perhaps invites us to read the entire opening of Dowland’s first songbook as a veiled publication of equally unquiet private thoughts. The Scudamour of The Faerie Queene is thought to be modelled on Sir James Scudamore (bap. 1568, d. 1619) who emerged in the mid–1590s as ‘one of the great courtier knights at Elizabethan tilts, bearing the motto ‘L’escu d’amour’ as a pun on his name’. He is associated with several of the poet-courtiers known to have been set by Dowland: he bore the pennon of arms at the funeral of Sir Philip Sidney (d. 1587) and was knighted following Essex’s attack on Cadiz in 1596, in which he took part; he then followed Essex on his Islands voyage in 1597. Dowland might well have wished semi-surreptitiously to associate himself with this particular cadet branch of the Herefordshire Scudamores of Holme Lacy, since in 1595 he had been in contact with a far less reputable member of the family, one John Scudamore (or Skidmore), a catholic priest and English refugee, whom he met in Florence. One might think that this John Scudamore would be from the main, Kentchurch branch of the family, whose fortunes during the reign of Elizabeth I ‘were at a low ebb owing to their recusancy’, and in the paper version of this article, I was persuaded that the priest might be either of the two catholic John’s listed in W. J. Tighe’s fn.14 on p.262. However, re-reading Tighe’s article against the relevant extract from Burke’s Landed Gentry (now accessible online), this seems to have been incorrect; it seems far more likely that the priest in question is the elder brother of the same Holme Lacy Sir James who is Spenser’s model. This John Scudamore, priest, was baptised on 3 August 1567, matriculated at Hart Hall (University of Oxford) on 28 November 1581, but was admitted to the English College at Rome, 10 January 1591, where he was ordained a priest on 7 May 1592. Accused of being party to a plot to assassinate the Queen in 1593, he was imprisoned but released after proving his innocence. It seems he turned away from Rome in 1606 and was still living at Oxford on 26 March 1624, ‘when he confirmed to his nephew Sir John Scudamore, Bt., Holme Lacy as well as all other lands and leaseholds which had belonged to his father’.)
In a famous and difficult-to-interpret letter to Robert Cecil, dated Nuremberg, 10 November 1595, Dowland explains that having had this English priest pointed out to him one evening in the ‘piazzo’ in Florence, he ‘stept to’ him with the purpose of getting ‘help for my saffty’ for travel to Rome where, as he explains he ‘intended to go … to study with a famous musicion named Luca Marenzio’. Dowland includes Skidmore’s letter of recommendation to Nicholas Fitzherbert, dated 7 July 1595, as an enclosure with his letter to Cecil. The letter seems to support Dowland’s self-defensive claim that all he required of this Catholic priest was an introduction for the purposes of furthering his musical career.
Whether Dowland’s letter to Cecil is designed to indemnify him against charges of sedition, to inform Cecil of the doings of English Catholics in Italy, a combination of these things, or something as yet unperceived, is unclear. What does seem striking, though, is that the Scudamore connection posited here, via Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, for Dowland’s first song of The First Booke, adds a second link between the contents of Dowland’s letter of 1595 and his publication of the songbook in 1597. The first link is the inclusion of a hand-kissing letter of amity from Marenzio, dated Rome, 13 July 1595, which follows the epistle to the reader which forms part of the songbook’s prefatory matter. A third link can be drawn by returning to the anti-Catholic stance of the songbook’s dedicatee, mentioned above.
It is possible to read the opening dedication, letter to the reader, and first song of Dowland’s book as a subtle but clear alignment of the author with a staunch Protestant family (the dedication to Lord and Lady Hunsdon), a ‘proof’ of his real reason for being in Italy (the letter from Marenzio), and a realignment, via reference to famous kin of Lady Hunsdon, to the politically correct member of the Scudamour family (Spenser’s The Faerie Queene via ‘Unquiet thoughts’). Moreover, there are further family connections among the wider referees here, through a pair of fathers and sons. Sir James Scudamore’s father, Sir John Scudamore, was close friends with Sir George Carey and, like Carey, a gentleman pensioner. And The Faerie Queene’s fourth book is prefaced by a sonnet praising Robert Cecil’s father, William, who had been offended by the first three books; this sonnet’s purpose, like that of both Dowland’s letter to Robert Cecil and, in the reading presented here, the opening matter of Dowland’s First Booke is designed to exculpate the writer from charges of political sedition. This latter link offers a parallel between Spenser and Dowland, both of whom were, despite the fame they enjoyed as artists, outsiders whose loyalties were suspected.
Dowland’s fears at committing ‘priuate labours to the publike view’ seem to be offset by private messages about his private views. Whether or not the opening lyric in Dowland’s First Booke is by Spenser, then, the Spenserian connection is important in forming the last piece of this reading since it connects Dowland’s opening lyric persona to the passionate, sometimes misled, but ultimately loyal knight of The Faerie Queene, whose living model is a royal favourite, thereby aligning him with the protestant favourite Scudamore rather than his catholic-priest brother. If these hidden messages were ever read, they were never acted upon: John Dowland had to await Elizabeth’s death before enjoying English royal favour.
I am grateful to J. P. E. Harper-Scott, Barbara Heldt, and G. S. Smith for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. This current online version is a July 2012 redaction, correction, and updating of the pre-print edition of Elizabeth Eva Leach, “The Unquiet Thoughts of Edmund Spenser’s Scudamour and John Dowland’s First Booke of Songes” in “Uno gentile et subtile ingenio”: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie Blackburn, edited by Gioia Filocamo and M. Jennifer Bloxam (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009), 513–20. ↩
See John Freccero, ‘The Fig Tree and the Laurel’, Diacritics 5 (1975), 34–40 and the Introduction (esp. pp. 7–11) of Petrarch’s Lyric Poems: The Rime sparse and Other Lyrics, trans. and ed. Robert M. Durling (Cambridge, Mass., 1976). ↩
The passions of desire are to be told after the end of the song; the imprecation ‘be still’ addressed to the singer’s own tongue in the first stanza become ‘speake then’ in the last. On this issue in troubadour lyric see Samuel N. Rosenberg and Hans Tischler, Chanter m’estuet: Songs of the Trouvères (London, 1981), Introduction. A similar topos features significantly at the head of one of the first authorially ordered collections of secular songs, that of Guillaume de Machaut in the fourteenth century; see Elizabeth Eva Leach, ‘Death of a Lover and the Birth of the Polyphonic Balade: Machaut’s Notated Balades 1–5’, Journal of Musicology 19 (2002), 466–76. Fischlin’s analysis of the inexpressibility topos in this song links it specifically to the conflict between private and public selves in the Greenblattian ‘self-fashioning’ of the Renaissance courtier; see Daniel Fischlin, In Small Proportions: A Poetics of the English Ayre 1596–1622 (Detroit, 1998), ch. 2. The venerability of the gesture should, however, be noted. ↩
Is the thought itself the ‘string’ that makes the hammer ‘finger’ strike? The image is inverted from the reality in which the string is struck in the act of performance rather than making something further strike; however, the effect of the string (music) is to make thoughts and heart ‘hammer’ in affective response. The mechanisms of striking and plucking were not differentiated in Renaissance theory, both being contained within the category of musica rhythmica ↩
See Irving D. Blum, ‘The Paradox of Money Imagery in English Renaissance Poetry’, Studies in the Renaissance, 8 (1961), 144–54. This idea is also present in Thomas Churchyard’s A Musicall Consort (1595), which ends with an extended apostrophe to his book and the reflection, ‘Yea what they say, of Poets fond or wise, / Of prose or verse, that ripe inuensho[n] shoes: / As tw[e]re a lawe, the fame thereof shall rise, / And through the world, like coin it currant goes’. The image of thought being coined as stamped words might be thought particularly apt in a printed book as representing the mechanism which allows circulation of the collection. However, the image as one of creativity significantly pre-dates the invention of printing; see Elizabeth Eva Leach, “Nature’s Forge and Mechanical Production: Writing, Reading, and Performing Song,” in Rhetoric beyond Words: Delight and Persuasion in the Arts of the Middle Ages, edited by Mary Carruthers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), , 72–95. ↩
The ascription to Barnfield is generally made; certainly the poem is not Shakespeare’s, as many of the other sonnets in the volume are. Barnfield begins his ‘A Remembrance of some English Poets’ with a similar accolade for Spenser: ‘Liue Spenser euer, in thy Fairy Queene: / Whose like (for deepe Conceit) was neuer seene. / Crownd mayst thou be, vnto thy more renowne, / (As King of Poets) with a Lawrell Crowne’ (italics mine). This verse is found on the last page of Lady Pecunia, or The praise of money Also a combat betwixt conscience and couetousnesse. Togither with, the complaint of poetry, for the death of liberality. Newly corrected and inlarged, by Richard Barnfield, graduate in Oxford. (London: William Jaggard, 1605). ↩
See Christian Kelnberger, Text und Musik bei John Dowland (Passau, 1999), 63. Spenser’s ababbcbcb text ‘Fair ladies that to love captived are, / And chaste desires do nourish in your mind, / Let not her fault your sweet affections mar, / Nor blot the bounty of all womankind, / Mongst thousands good, one wanton dame to find, / Amongst the roses grow some wicked weeds / For this was not to love but lust inclined / For love doth always bring forth bounteous deeds, / And in each gentle heart of honour breeds’ is set in numbers 10–11 in Gibbons’ First Set of Madrigals and Mottets of 5. Parts (1612); see Edward Doughtie, ed., Lyrics from English Ayres 1596–1622 (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), 609. ↩
See the entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for Elizabeth Carey, Lady Hunsdon (1552–1618) and George Carey, Second Baron Hunsdon (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/4649/4645?docPos=2). ↩
See Ernest A. Strathmann, ‘Lady Carey and Spenser’, English Language History, 2 (1932), 33–57. ↩
The musical setting also emphasizes the word ‘my’ in ‘my thoughts’. The phrase ‘Be still’ is also rhetorically emphasised and the music breaks up the enjambed text of lines 4–5 across its two sections so as to mirror the disrupted mental state of the speaker. ↩
Nicholas Breton, ‘Brittons vision of Cupids complaint against his fowle father Vulcan for begetting him’ (from Brittons bovvre of delights Contayning many, most delectable and fine deuices, of rare epitaphes, pleasant poems, pastorals and sonets (1591)) starts with the sestet ‘Within the thicke of most vnquiet thoughts, / Where Wit and Will had long each other lost: / With carefull sence of sweete desire I sought, / Which was the way that Fancie followed most: / And passing on the path that they did proue, / Plodding along I met with pitious Loue’. The prose introduction to John Dickenson, The Shepheardes Complaint (1596) opens with the narrator’s unquiet thoughts despite the beauty of the morning as Phoebus’ chariot mounts the heavens. Giles Fletcher, The Rising to the Crowne of Richard the Third, Written by him selfe (1593), has Richard comment that ‘Blood and revenge did hammer in my head, / Unquiet thoughts did gallop in my braine’, which prevents him sleeping. Other prose appearances before Dowland’s songbook are found in a translation of an epistle in the person of Christ to the faithful soul by Johannes Justus Lansperger (1595), in a melange of quotations about ‘Night or Darknes’ in Nicholas Ling’s Politeuphuia: Wits Common Wealth (‘Night which is the nurse of ease, is the mother of vnquiet thoughts’), and in Philip Sidney’s Arcadia (1590). None of these is set in a smithy. ↩
‘Vnquiet thought, whom at the first I bred, / Of th’inward bale of my loue pined hart: / and sithens haue with sighes and sorrowes fed, / till greater then my wombe thou woxen art. / Breake forth …’. See Carol Thomas Neely, ‘The Structure of English Renaissance Sonnet Sequence’, English Language History, 45 (1978), 365. ↩
See the summary of scholarship in Albert Charles Hamilton, ed., Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene, Annotated English Poets (London, 1977), 423. ↩
Similar jealousy at the opening of the Amoretti (sonnet 1) is offset by imagining the poetic text, when it is being handled when read by its dedicatee, as an extension of the author-lover’s body. See Wall 1989, 45. ↩
On iron wedges, see Denis Davison, ‘Marvell’s ‘The Definition of Love’’, The Review of English Studies, 6/22 (1955), 142. ↩
See Jan M. Ziolkowski, Alan of Lille’s Grammar of Sex: The Meaning of Grammar to a Twelfth-Century Intellectual, Speculum Anniversary Monographs, 10 (Cambridge, Mass., 1985). ↩
This anonymous lyric from GB-Lbl MS Arundel 292, ‘Vncomly in cloyster I coure ful of care’, again links care to the context of a smithy and immediately follows the lament of two monks on the difficulty of learning musica and cantus. ↩
See the summary in Jean-Marie Fritz, Paysages sonores du Moyen Âge: Le versant épistémologique (Paris, 2000), 128–37. The weight of hammers does not make much difference to the pitch of the struck anvil, as Vincenzo Galilei showed in the sixteenth century. The story continued to be told, however; it works with string lengths. See James W. McKinnon, ‘Jubal vel Pythagoras, quis sit inventor musicae?’ Musical Quarterly 64 (1978), 1–28. Franchino Gaffurio reports the priority of Jubal as an addendum to his telling of the Pythagoras tale in I.viii.36–9, whose source is Peter Comestor, Historia Scholastica (Petri Comestoris Scolastica historia. Liber Genesis, ed. Agneta Sylwan (Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Mediaevalis, 191; Turnhout, 2005), 53–5). ↩
John M. Steadman, ‘The “Inharmonious Blacksmith”: Spenser and the Pythagoras Legend’, Proceedings of the Modern Language Society of America, 79 (1964), 664–5. See Gaffurius, Theorica Musice (Milan, 1492; facs. repr., New York, 1967), Bk. 1, ch. 8; a rather large (slow-to-load) pdf of the 1492 print can be accessed online here. ↩
See Franchino Gaffurio, The Theory of Music, trans. Walter Kurt Kreyszig (New Haven, 1993), 46–7. ↩
See Series editor’s introduction to Kreyszig (n. 25). ↩
W. J. Tighe, ‘Courtiers and Politics in Elizabethan Herefordshire: Sir James Croft, His Friends and His Foes’, The Historical Journal, 32 (1989), 262 and n.14 (erroneaously fn.34 in the paper version of this article). ↩
See Warren Skidmore, Occasional Papers, No. 31, 14 (an extract mounted in 2008 from a text written for Burke’s Landed Gentry, 1973); the is the son with the ‘complicated and mysterious career’ according to Tighe, ‘Courtiers and Politics in Elizabethan Herefordshire’, 264 fn.20 ↩