To Sir William Davenant: Upon the Unspeakable Loss of the Most Conspicuous and Chief Ornament of His Frontispiece

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To Sir William Davenant: Upon the Unspeakable Loss of the Most Conspicuous and Chief Ornament of His Frontispiece

Poem #60

Original Source

Hester Pulter, Poems breathed forth by the nobel Hadassas, University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

Versions

  • Facsimile of manuscript: Photographs provided by University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection

  • Transcription of manuscript: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.
  • Elemental edition: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

  • Created by Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
  • Encoded by Katherine Poland, Matthew Taylor, Elizabeth Chou, and Emily Andrey, Northwestern University
  • Website designed by Sergei Kalugin, Northwestern University
  • IT project consultation by Josh Honn, Northwestern University
  • Project sponsored by Northwestern University, Brock University, and University of Leeds
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X (Close panel)Notes: Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 4

 Physical note

“r” written over another letter
Line number 5

 Physical note

in H2; “and noe” directly above cancelled “Gnoman,” struck-through twice
Line number 38

 Physical note

“c” appears added later, in darker ink
Line number 52

 Physical note

“K” appears to correct earlier “R”
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Transcription
Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
To S:r W:m D: Upon the unſpeakable Loſs of the most conspicious and chief Ornament of his ffrontispiece
Gloss Note
William Davenant (1606-1668) was a famous English playwright who served as poet laureate and was knighted by Charles I. In 1630, he contracted syphilis and took mercury as a cure, which disfigured his nose. An “ornament” is an accessory; a “frontispiece” is a face but also the front of a building, the engraved panel over an entrance, or the first page or title page of a book.
To Sir William Davenant: Upon the Unspeakable Loss of the Most Conspicuous and Chief Ornament of His Frontispiece
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Sir William Davenant, who was about Pulter’s age, famously suffered from a sexually-transmitted disease as well as its cure: the medicinal application of mercury, which we now know to be terribly poisonous. The consequent disfigurement of his nose is the somewhat unusual (for Pulter) subject matter of this poem, which is equally unusual in its direct address of Davenant. While overtly sympathizing with his loss, the speaker’s imagery and imagination ranges boldly from the witty to the caustic and grotesque.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
S:r
Sir,
2
3
Extreamly I deplore your loſs
Extremely I
Gloss Note
lament
deplore
your loss:
4
You’r like Cheapſide without a
Physical Note
“r” written over another letter
Croſs
You’re like
Gloss Note
Cheapside was a location in London which had a stone carved cross erected on it to memorialize the funeral procession of King Edward I’s wife; the cross was destroyed in 1643 by an act of Parliament targeting “monuments of superstition and idolatry.”
Cheapside without a cross
,
5
Or like A Diall
Physical Note
in H2; “and noe” directly above cancelled “Gnoman,” struck-through twice
Gnoman and noe
Gnoman
Or like a dial and no
Gloss Note
A pin or rod that indicates the time of day by casting its shadow upon the surface of a sundial: a dial without the rod is useless.
gnomon
;
6
In pitty (trust mee) I think noe man
In pity (trust me) I think no man
7
But would his Leg or Arm expoſe
But would his leg or arm expose
8
To cut you out another Noſe
To cut you out another nose;
9
Nor of the ffemale Sex thers none
Nor of the female sex there’s none
10
But’ld bee one ffleſh though not one Bone
Gloss Note
But would
But’ld
be
Critical Note
would marry him even if not agreeing to offer up their bones. On marriage as becoming “one flesh,” see Genesis 2:23-24: “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
one flesh, though not one bone
.
11
I though unknown would Sleight the pain
I, though unknown, would
Gloss Note
disregard
slight
the pain
12
That you might haue Soe great a gain
That you might have so great a gain.
13
Nay Any ffool did hee know itt
Nay, any fool, did he know it,
14
Would give his Noſe to have yo:r Wit
Would give his nose to have your wit,
15
And I my Self would doe the Same
And I myself would do the same,
16
Did I not fear t’wold Blur my ffame
Did I not fear ’twould
Gloss Note
The loss of a nose could be a sign of syphilis or criminal punishment, thus hurting one’s reputation.
blur my fame
.
17
I as once Said a Gallant Dame
I, as once said a
Gloss Note
refined, noble
gallant
dame,
18
My Noſe would venture not my ffame
My nose would
Gloss Note
risk
venture
, not my fame;
19
ffor who but that Bright eye above
For who but that
Gloss Note
the sun, symbol of God
bright eye
above
20
Would know twere Charity not Love
Would know ’twere charity, not love.
21
Then S:r your Pardon I must Beg
Then, sir, your pardon I must beg;
22
Excuſe my Noſe accept my Leg
Excuse my nose,
Gloss Note
The speaker will allow a skin graft from her leg, or she is offering to curtsy as she asks for pardon.
accept my leg
.

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
23
But yet beſure bot night and Day
But yet, be sure both night and day
24
ffor mee as for your Self you pray
For me, as for yourself, you pray;
25
ffor if I ffirst should chance to goe
For if I first should chance to go
26
To viſit thoſe Sad Shades below
To visit those
Gloss Note
the netherworld or people in it
sad shades
below,
27
As my ffrail ffleſh there putrifies
As my frail flesh there putrefies,
28
Your Noſe noe doubt will Sympathize
Your nose, no doubt, will sympathize.
29
But this I fear least that blind Boy
But this I fear: lest that
Gloss Note
Cupid
blind boy
30
Which ffate deſcend (Yet such a Toy
Which fate
Gloss Note
sends down
descends
(yet such a
Gloss Note
trivial thing
toy
31
May take the Chit) Should Shoot again
May take the
Gloss Note
bratty child
chit
) should shoot again,
32
Then the Next loſs would bee yo:r Brain
Gloss Note
perhaps suggesting that Cupid (the “chit”) might not be able to resist Davenant, particularly his brain (the “toy”), and will strike again, making him figuratively lose his head as well as his nose.
Then the next loss would be your brain.
33
Some Coy Young Laſs you Might Adore
Some coy young lass you might adore,
34
Which would prefer Some baſe Medore
Which would prefer some base
Gloss Note
Medoro is a non-noble Moor (or Muslim) in Ludovico Ariosto’s 1532 poem, Orlando Furioso, with whom Angelica (a Chinese princess at the court of Charlemagne) falls in love (thus rejecting the title character Orlando).
Medore
,
35
And all your Witt and Titles Sleight
And all your wit and titles slight:
36
Imbrace a Page before a Knight
Embrace a page before a knight.
37
Then Should Some Nobleminded ffreind
Then should some noble-minded friend,
38
Astolpho like to Heaven
Physical Note
“c” appears added later, in darker ink
aſcend
Gloss Note
Astolpho is a character in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso who flies in a flaming chariot to the moon where all things that have been lost on Earth are stored in jars. Here he recovers the wits that the title character Orlando had lost when rejected by his beloved. Astolfo makes Orlando snort his wits back up his nose.
Astolfo-like
, to heaven ascend,
39
And having Search’d neare and ffarr
And having searchéd near and far
40
And found your most capacious Jarr
And found your most capacious jar,
41
Then beeing with Joy Returnd again
Then being, with joy, returned again
42
You could not then Snuf up your Brain
You could not then snuff up your brain:
43
Though all your Strenght you Should expoſe
Though all your strength you should expose
44
You want the Organe cal’d a Noſe
You want the organ called a nose.

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
45
Prodigious the Knight Remains
Gloss Note
wondrous
Prodigious
, the knight remains
46
Withous or Noſe, or ffame or Brains,
Without
Gloss Note
either
or
nose, or fame, or brains.
47
Then I bold ordinance Strook the Title of
Then a
Critical Note
Eardley speculates that this alludes to “An Ordinance Concerning the Peers of Parliament, and other Honors and Titles” (1646), which prevented peers created since 1642 from sitting in Parliament and voided their titles. Charles I had made Davenant a knight in 1643.
bold ordinance
struck the title off;
48
Thus the proud Parces Sit and at us Scofe
Thus the proud
Gloss Note
the three female Fates
Parcae
sit, and at us scoff.
49
What now remains the Man at Least
What now remains? The man at least?
50
Noe Surely nothing left but Beast
No, surely nothing left but beast.
51
Then Royall ffavour glu’d it on again
Then royal favor glued it on again,
52
And now the
Physical Note
“K” appears to correct earlier “R”
K:t
is Bow-di’de and in grain
And now the knight is
Gloss Note
“bow-dyed” is dyed scarlet (named for the Bow Bridge in proximity to the workplace of dyers); the state of being “ingrain,” or “ingrained,” is to have caused a dye to sink into the texture of a fabric and thus be indelible. These lines refer to King Charles’s knighting of Davenant in 1643, which restores the honor he lost when his nose was disfigured.
bow-dyed and ingrain
.
53
Then Trample not that Hono:r in ye Dust
Then trample not that honor in the dust
54
In beeing a Slave to thoſe are Slaves to Lust
Gloss Note
“those” is ambiguous, but generally signifies temptations.
In being a slave to those are slaves to lust.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition
Title note

 Gloss note

William Davenant (1606-1668) was a famous English playwright who served as poet laureate and was knighted by Charles I. In 1630, he contracted syphilis and took mercury as a cure, which disfigured his nose. An “ornament” is an accessory; a “frontispiece” is a face but also the front of a building, the engraved panel over an entrance, or the first page or title page of a book.

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

 Headnote

Sir William Davenant, who was about Pulter’s age, famously suffered from a sexually-transmitted disease as well as its cure: the medicinal application of mercury, which we now know to be terribly poisonous. The consequent disfigurement of his nose is the somewhat unusual (for Pulter) subject matter of this poem, which is equally unusual in its direct address of Davenant. While overtly sympathizing with his loss, the speaker’s imagery and imagination ranges boldly from the witty to the caustic and grotesque.
Line number 3

 Gloss note

lament
Line number 4

 Gloss note

Cheapside was a location in London which had a stone carved cross erected on it to memorialize the funeral procession of King Edward I’s wife; the cross was destroyed in 1643 by an act of Parliament targeting “monuments of superstition and idolatry.”
Line number 5

 Gloss note

A pin or rod that indicates the time of day by casting its shadow upon the surface of a sundial: a dial without the rod is useless.
Line number 10

 Gloss note

But would
Line number 10

 Critical note

would marry him even if not agreeing to offer up their bones. On marriage as becoming “one flesh,” see Genesis 2:23-24: “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Line number 11

 Gloss note

disregard
Line number 16

 Gloss note

The loss of a nose could be a sign of syphilis or criminal punishment, thus hurting one’s reputation.
Line number 17

 Gloss note

refined, noble
Line number 18

 Gloss note

risk
Line number 19

 Gloss note

the sun, symbol of God
Line number 22

 Gloss note

The speaker will allow a skin graft from her leg, or she is offering to curtsy as she asks for pardon.
Line number 26

 Gloss note

the netherworld or people in it
Line number 29

 Gloss note

Cupid
Line number 30

 Gloss note

sends down
Line number 30

 Gloss note

trivial thing
Line number 31

 Gloss note

bratty child
Line number 32

 Gloss note

perhaps suggesting that Cupid (the “chit”) might not be able to resist Davenant, particularly his brain (the “toy”), and will strike again, making him figuratively lose his head as well as his nose.
Line number 34

 Gloss note

Medoro is a non-noble Moor (or Muslim) in Ludovico Ariosto’s 1532 poem, Orlando Furioso, with whom Angelica (a Chinese princess at the court of Charlemagne) falls in love (thus rejecting the title character Orlando).
Line number 38

 Gloss note

Astolpho is a character in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso who flies in a flaming chariot to the moon where all things that have been lost on Earth are stored in jars. Here he recovers the wits that the title character Orlando had lost when rejected by his beloved. Astolfo makes Orlando snort his wits back up his nose.
Line number 45

 Gloss note

wondrous
Line number 46

 Gloss note

either
Line number 47

 Critical note

Eardley speculates that this alludes to “An Ordinance Concerning the Peers of Parliament, and other Honors and Titles” (1646), which prevented peers created since 1642 from sitting in Parliament and voided their titles. Charles I had made Davenant a knight in 1643.
Line number 48

 Gloss note

the three female Fates
Line number 52

 Gloss note

“bow-dyed” is dyed scarlet (named for the Bow Bridge in proximity to the workplace of dyers); the state of being “ingrain,” or “ingrained,” is to have caused a dye to sink into the texture of a fabric and thus be indelible. These lines refer to King Charles’s knighting of Davenant in 1643, which restores the honor he lost when his nose was disfigured.
Line number 54

 Gloss note

“those” is ambiguous, but generally signifies temptations.
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
To S:r W:m D: Upon the unſpeakable Loſs of the most conspicious and chief Ornament of his ffrontispiece
Gloss Note
William Davenant (1606-1668) was a famous English playwright who served as poet laureate and was knighted by Charles I. In 1630, he contracted syphilis and took mercury as a cure, which disfigured his nose. An “ornament” is an accessory; a “frontispiece” is a face but also the front of a building, the engraved panel over an entrance, or the first page or title page of a book.
To Sir William Davenant: Upon the Unspeakable Loss of the Most Conspicuous and Chief Ornament of His Frontispiece
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Sir William Davenant, who was about Pulter’s age, famously suffered from a sexually-transmitted disease as well as its cure: the medicinal application of mercury, which we now know to be terribly poisonous. The consequent disfigurement of his nose is the somewhat unusual (for Pulter) subject matter of this poem, which is equally unusual in its direct address of Davenant. While overtly sympathizing with his loss, the speaker’s imagery and imagination ranges boldly from the witty to the caustic and grotesque.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
S:r
Sir,
2
3
Extreamly I deplore your loſs
Extremely I
Gloss Note
lament
deplore
your loss:
4
You’r like Cheapſide without a
Physical Note
“r” written over another letter
Croſs
You’re like
Gloss Note
Cheapside was a location in London which had a stone carved cross erected on it to memorialize the funeral procession of King Edward I’s wife; the cross was destroyed in 1643 by an act of Parliament targeting “monuments of superstition and idolatry.”
Cheapside without a cross
,
5
Or like A Diall
Physical Note
in H2; “and noe” directly above cancelled “Gnoman,” struck-through twice
Gnoman and noe
Gnoman
Or like a dial and no
Gloss Note
A pin or rod that indicates the time of day by casting its shadow upon the surface of a sundial: a dial without the rod is useless.
gnomon
;
6
In pitty (trust mee) I think noe man
In pity (trust me) I think no man
7
But would his Leg or Arm expoſe
But would his leg or arm expose
8
To cut you out another Noſe
To cut you out another nose;
9
Nor of the ffemale Sex thers none
Nor of the female sex there’s none
10
But’ld bee one ffleſh though not one Bone
Gloss Note
But would
But’ld
be
Critical Note
would marry him even if not agreeing to offer up their bones. On marriage as becoming “one flesh,” see Genesis 2:23-24: “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
one flesh, though not one bone
.
11
I though unknown would Sleight the pain
I, though unknown, would
Gloss Note
disregard
slight
the pain
12
That you might haue Soe great a gain
That you might have so great a gain.
13
Nay Any ffool did hee know itt
Nay, any fool, did he know it,
14
Would give his Noſe to have yo:r Wit
Would give his nose to have your wit,
15
And I my Self would doe the Same
And I myself would do the same,
16
Did I not fear t’wold Blur my ffame
Did I not fear ’twould
Gloss Note
The loss of a nose could be a sign of syphilis or criminal punishment, thus hurting one’s reputation.
blur my fame
.
17
I as once Said a Gallant Dame
I, as once said a
Gloss Note
refined, noble
gallant
dame,
18
My Noſe would venture not my ffame
My nose would
Gloss Note
risk
venture
, not my fame;
19
ffor who but that Bright eye above
For who but that
Gloss Note
the sun, symbol of God
bright eye
above
20
Would know twere Charity not Love
Would know ’twere charity, not love.
21
Then S:r your Pardon I must Beg
Then, sir, your pardon I must beg;
22
Excuſe my Noſe accept my Leg
Excuse my nose,
Gloss Note
The speaker will allow a skin graft from her leg, or she is offering to curtsy as she asks for pardon.
accept my leg
.

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
23
But yet beſure bot night and Day
But yet, be sure both night and day
24
ffor mee as for your Self you pray
For me, as for yourself, you pray;
25
ffor if I ffirst should chance to goe
For if I first should chance to go
26
To viſit thoſe Sad Shades below
To visit those
Gloss Note
the netherworld or people in it
sad shades
below,
27
As my ffrail ffleſh there putrifies
As my frail flesh there putrefies,
28
Your Noſe noe doubt will Sympathize
Your nose, no doubt, will sympathize.
29
But this I fear least that blind Boy
But this I fear: lest that
Gloss Note
Cupid
blind boy
30
Which ffate deſcend (Yet such a Toy
Which fate
Gloss Note
sends down
descends
(yet such a
Gloss Note
trivial thing
toy
31
May take the Chit) Should Shoot again
May take the
Gloss Note
bratty child
chit
) should shoot again,
32
Then the Next loſs would bee yo:r Brain
Gloss Note
perhaps suggesting that Cupid (the “chit”) might not be able to resist Davenant, particularly his brain (the “toy”), and will strike again, making him figuratively lose his head as well as his nose.
Then the next loss would be your brain.
33
Some Coy Young Laſs you Might Adore
Some coy young lass you might adore,
34
Which would prefer Some baſe Medore
Which would prefer some base
Gloss Note
Medoro is a non-noble Moor (or Muslim) in Ludovico Ariosto’s 1532 poem, Orlando Furioso, with whom Angelica (a Chinese princess at the court of Charlemagne) falls in love (thus rejecting the title character Orlando).
Medore
,
35
And all your Witt and Titles Sleight
And all your wit and titles slight:
36
Imbrace a Page before a Knight
Embrace a page before a knight.
37
Then Should Some Nobleminded ffreind
Then should some noble-minded friend,
38
Astolpho like to Heaven
Physical Note
“c” appears added later, in darker ink
aſcend
Gloss Note
Astolpho is a character in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso who flies in a flaming chariot to the moon where all things that have been lost on Earth are stored in jars. Here he recovers the wits that the title character Orlando had lost when rejected by his beloved. Astolfo makes Orlando snort his wits back up his nose.
Astolfo-like
, to heaven ascend,
39
And having Search’d neare and ffarr
And having searchéd near and far
40
And found your most capacious Jarr
And found your most capacious jar,
41
Then beeing with Joy Returnd again
Then being, with joy, returned again
42
You could not then Snuf up your Brain
You could not then snuff up your brain:
43
Though all your Strenght you Should expoſe
Though all your strength you should expose
44
You want the Organe cal’d a Noſe
You want the organ called a nose.

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
45
Prodigious the Knight Remains
Gloss Note
wondrous
Prodigious
, the knight remains
46
Withous or Noſe, or ffame or Brains,
Without
Gloss Note
either
or
nose, or fame, or brains.
47
Then I bold ordinance Strook the Title of
Then a
Critical Note
Eardley speculates that this alludes to “An Ordinance Concerning the Peers of Parliament, and other Honors and Titles” (1646), which prevented peers created since 1642 from sitting in Parliament and voided their titles. Charles I had made Davenant a knight in 1643.
bold ordinance
struck the title off;
48
Thus the proud Parces Sit and at us Scofe
Thus the proud
Gloss Note
the three female Fates
Parcae
sit, and at us scoff.
49
What now remains the Man at Least
What now remains? The man at least?
50
Noe Surely nothing left but Beast
No, surely nothing left but beast.
51
Then Royall ffavour glu’d it on again
Then royal favor glued it on again,
52
And now the
Physical Note
“K” appears to correct earlier “R”
K:t
is Bow-di’de and in grain
And now the knight is
Gloss Note
“bow-dyed” is dyed scarlet (named for the Bow Bridge in proximity to the workplace of dyers); the state of being “ingrain,” or “ingrained,” is to have caused a dye to sink into the texture of a fabric and thus be indelible. These lines refer to King Charles’s knighting of Davenant in 1643, which restores the honor he lost when his nose was disfigured.
bow-dyed and ingrain
.
53
Then Trample not that Hono:r in ye Dust
Then trample not that honor in the dust
54
In beeing a Slave to thoſe are Slaves to Lust
Gloss Note
“those” is ambiguous, but generally signifies temptations.
In being a slave to those are slaves to lust.
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Elemental Edition
Title note

 Gloss note

William Davenant (1606-1668) was a famous English playwright who served as poet laureate and was knighted by Charles I. In 1630, he contracted syphilis and took mercury as a cure, which disfigured his nose. An “ornament” is an accessory; a “frontispiece” is a face but also the front of a building, the engraved panel over an entrance, or the first page or title page of a book.
Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.
Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

Sir William Davenant, who was about Pulter’s age, famously suffered from a sexually-transmitted disease as well as its cure: the medicinal application of mercury, which we now know to be terribly poisonous. The consequent disfigurement of his nose is the somewhat unusual (for Pulter) subject matter of this poem, which is equally unusual in its direct address of Davenant. While overtly sympathizing with his loss, the speaker’s imagery and imagination ranges boldly from the witty to the caustic and grotesque.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Elemental Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

lament
Transcription
Line number 4

 Physical note

“r” written over another letter
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

Cheapside was a location in London which had a stone carved cross erected on it to memorialize the funeral procession of King Edward I’s wife; the cross was destroyed in 1643 by an act of Parliament targeting “monuments of superstition and idolatry.”
Transcription
Line number 5

 Physical note

in H2; “and noe” directly above cancelled “Gnoman,” struck-through twice
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

A pin or rod that indicates the time of day by casting its shadow upon the surface of a sundial: a dial without the rod is useless.
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

But would
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Critical note

would marry him even if not agreeing to offer up their bones. On marriage as becoming “one flesh,” see Genesis 2:23-24: “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

disregard
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

The loss of a nose could be a sign of syphilis or criminal punishment, thus hurting one’s reputation.
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Gloss note

refined, noble
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

risk
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

the sun, symbol of God
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

The speaker will allow a skin graft from her leg, or she is offering to curtsy as she asks for pardon.
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

the netherworld or people in it
Elemental Edition
Line number 29

 Gloss note

Cupid
Elemental Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

sends down
Elemental Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

trivial thing
Elemental Edition
Line number 31

 Gloss note

bratty child
Elemental Edition
Line number 32

 Gloss note

perhaps suggesting that Cupid (the “chit”) might not be able to resist Davenant, particularly his brain (the “toy”), and will strike again, making him figuratively lose his head as well as his nose.
Elemental Edition
Line number 34

 Gloss note

Medoro is a non-noble Moor (or Muslim) in Ludovico Ariosto’s 1532 poem, Orlando Furioso, with whom Angelica (a Chinese princess at the court of Charlemagne) falls in love (thus rejecting the title character Orlando).
Transcription
Line number 38

 Physical note

“c” appears added later, in darker ink
Elemental Edition
Line number 38

 Gloss note

Astolpho is a character in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso who flies in a flaming chariot to the moon where all things that have been lost on Earth are stored in jars. Here he recovers the wits that the title character Orlando had lost when rejected by his beloved. Astolfo makes Orlando snort his wits back up his nose.
Elemental Edition
Line number 45

 Gloss note

wondrous
Elemental Edition
Line number 46

 Gloss note

either
Elemental Edition
Line number 47

 Critical note

Eardley speculates that this alludes to “An Ordinance Concerning the Peers of Parliament, and other Honors and Titles” (1646), which prevented peers created since 1642 from sitting in Parliament and voided their titles. Charles I had made Davenant a knight in 1643.
Elemental Edition
Line number 48

 Gloss note

the three female Fates
Transcription
Line number 52

 Physical note

“K” appears to correct earlier “R”
Elemental Edition
Line number 52

 Gloss note

“bow-dyed” is dyed scarlet (named for the Bow Bridge in proximity to the workplace of dyers); the state of being “ingrain,” or “ingrained,” is to have caused a dye to sink into the texture of a fabric and thus be indelible. These lines refer to King Charles’s knighting of Davenant in 1643, which restores the honor he lost when his nose was disfigured.
Elemental Edition
Line number 54

 Gloss note

“those” is ambiguous, but generally signifies temptations.
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