The Lion and the Fox (Emblem 38)

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The Lion and the Fox (Emblem 38)

Poem #103

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.
  • Amplified edition: By Victoria E. Burke.

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 20

 Physical note

line incomplete
Line number 23

 Physical note

above and to right of “f,” five disconnected “f”s, the first possibly “ſ”
Line number 25

 Physical note

imperfectly erased “f” above end of this word
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
[Emblem 38]
The Lion and the Fox
(Emblem 38)
Emblem 38
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
This is a semi-diplomatic transcription in which original spelling and punctuation are retained, abbreviations (such as tildes) are expanded with added letters in italics (with the exception of “ye” which is rendered as “the”), superscriptions are lowered, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, and “ff” is modernized to “F.” The retention of original spelling and punctuation has the potential to get us closer to the choices made by the poet and scribe, but some scribal details (such as abbreviations) do not seem substantive or meaning-bearing and run the risk of alienating a modern reader.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In a beast fable critiquing obsequious quacks and self-indulgent, blood-sucking tyrants, Pulter’s vibrant sense of humor and talent for a good yarn are on display. The charlatan Dr. Fox is happy to tell his patient what he wants to hear, as long as he gets paid; the craven lion—not noble, here, but despotic—is easily manipulated into devouring his own subjects (derided as apes). Pulter draws a biting moral: “To an old tyrant … / No music pleaseth but the dying groan / Of innocents.” The pause after that last half-line only emphasizes the terrifying speed of what follows, logically and chronologically—“Then straight the apes were killed”—while the next (similarly bisected) line shows the upshot of such a reign of terror: the lion’s eased, the doctor paid. So—what is the moral here? Bad and worse rewarded, innocents eaten: in the end, all Pulter can hope is to evade such examples of the worst of our kind. Perhaps one consolation of her confinement to a country estate (which she elsewhere laments) was her reduced likelihood of her encountering and being killed by such corruption; and perhaps her very distance from centers of power, during and after England’s civil wars, provided a safe space from which to critique such tyranny and sycophancy as she represents here and which she reviled in the fallen politics of her day.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This emblem depicts an ill lion being cured by a fox who feeds him slaughtered apes. Pulter’s lion is a tyrannical king, and her repeated use of political language in the emblem (subjects, tyrant, highness, court, sovereign, royal) connotes the context of human rulers. She may be alluding to Machiavelli’s controversial advice tract The Prince, as well as to the medieval beast fable tradition of the very crafty Reynard the Fox. As with all of Pulter’s emblems no actual picture is supplied, but the vivid depictions of animals and their behaviour clearly fit the genre’s traditional function of teaching a moral lesson (in this case, that of avoiding corrupt rulers and doctors).

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
38 The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
The lion—that of late so domineered,
The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
2
And, of his Subjects was not lov’d but fear’d
And of his subjects was not loved but feared—
And, of his Subjects was
Critical Note
While the lion is proverbially the king of the beasts, there may be an additional context of some of the language and imagery from Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513, first printed in Italian in 1532, and first printed in English in 1640). Chapter 17 of Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince … Translated out of Italian into English; by E.D… (1640) is headed “Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov’d, or feard” (p. 128). The issue is resolved as follows: “I answer, a man would wish hee might bee the one and the other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be lov’d” (p. 130; see “Curations”). In line two of this emblem, Pulter notes that this lion was “not lov’d but fear’d.” A second way in which Pulter may be alluding to Machiavelli’s treatise is in her juxtaposition of a lion and a fox. In Chapter 18 of Machiavelli’s treatise (“In what manner Princes ought to keep their words,” p. 135) is the famous advice that a ruler should be both a lion and a fox, in that he should be both powerful and crafty (see “Curations”). Though Pulter is not making this precise point in her emblem, the brutality of her lion and the cunning of her fox may recall these archetypes. Machiavelli’s translator, Edward Dacres, acknowledges in his epistle to the reader that some people may disapprove of his decision to translate The Prince into English, “For his maximes and tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane Societies” (sig. A4r). Pulter likely shared this common view of Machiavelli’s political theory, as is demonstrated by her firm condemnation of the lion king and his vulpine advisor.
not lov’d but fear’d
3
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
Being cloyed with luxury, is sick at last;
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
4
Then Doctor ffox is Sent for all in hast
Then
Critical Note
In medieval and Renaissance European beast fables, a fox was often a trickster figure; in the twelfth-century beast epic Roman de Renart, the fox is summoned to address a lion king’s complaints. Most of these tales satirized the upper classes and clergy.
Doctor Fox
is sent for all in haste.
Then
Critical Note
Pulter is tapping into the medieval beast fable tradition of Reynard the Fox. Chaucer in “The Nun’s Priests’s Tale” of The Canterbury Tales tells the story of Chaunticleer, the proud rooster who is fooled once but not twice by a fox, and William Caxton printed his translation of the history of Reynard the Fox from the Dutch in 1481 (The History of Reynard the Fox Translated and Printed by William Caxton in 1481, edited by Donald B. Sands, Harvard University Press, 1960). One of Reynard’s trickster identities in the tradition is that of a false physician (for some images from a medieval manuscript, see “Curations”). Ben Jonson’s play Volpone or The Fox (1607) depicts the main character (whose name translates in Latin and Italian as “fox”) disguising himself as a mountebank in act 2, scenes 2 and 3, to sell fraudulent medicines in the courtyard beneath the beautiful Celia’s window.
Doctor Fox
is Sent for all in hast
5
Hee Shakes the Glaſs and’s head, then feels his Puls’
He
Gloss Note
The doctor engages in showy (but ineffective) urinalysis.
shakes the glass
,
Gloss Note
and his
and’s
head, then feels his pulse,
Hee Shakes
Gloss Note
The flask or bottle into which the patient has provided a urine sample.
the Glass
and’s head, then feels his Puls’
6
And straight preſcribes a Medicine Revulſ
And straight prescribes a
Gloss Note
a remedy designed to draw fluids, such as blood or bile, out of the body.
medicine revulse
.
And straight prescribes a Medicine
Gloss Note
The OED lists “revulse” as a verb but Pulter is using it as a noun (in the sense of “medicinal revulse”) or an adjective (modifying “Medicine” in inverted syntax) to mean a medicine which will “withdraw (humours, blood, etc.) from a part of the body by revulsion.”
Revuls
7
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
The lion trembles! Every vein did beat;
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
8
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
The doctor, sighing, said, “The danger’s great.”
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
9
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
The lion pants—could hardly draw his breath;
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
10
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
None like a tyrant is so ’fraid of death!
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
11
The Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
The doctor, that did
Gloss Note
care for
mind
Gloss Note
nothing
nought
but his gain,
The
Critical Note
In the opening soliloquy of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604), Faustus lists all of the subjects he claims to have mastered. After summoning Galen, the ancient authority on medicine, Faustus muses, “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (scene 1, line 14; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt et al., 9th ed., Vol. B, Norton, 2012, p. 1129). It is interesting that before he discusses the goal of medicine (“our body’s health,” line 17), he celebrates it as a means to generate wealth (just as Pulter’s Dr. Fox cares most about his fee).
Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
12
Said S:r (I pray Sr) wherabout’s yor pain
Said, “Sir, I pray, sir: whereabout’s your pain?”
Said Sir (I pray Sir) wherabout’s your pain
13
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
His Highness said, “Sometimes I’m very chill;
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
14
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my fface diſtill
Then burn; then sweat doth down my face
Gloss Note
trickle, drip
distill
.”
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my Face distill
15
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
“The symptom’s good,” the doctor, smiling, said:
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
16
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
“Your Highness shall do well; be not afraid!
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
17
There is A Sort of people ’ bout your Court
There is a sort of people ’bout your court—
There is A Sort of people ’bout your Court
18
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
They call them apes—that oft have
Gloss Note
mocked you
made you sport
.
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
19
Their blood is Soveraign for your diſeas
Their blood is
Gloss Note
of remedies: superlatively efficacious or potent; of persons, superior or supreme in rank or power; holding the position of a ruler or monarch
sovereign
for your disease
Critical Note
The medicinal use of apes as a cure for lions is discussed by Edward Topsell in The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607) and in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s The Historie of the World (1601, 1634, and 1635). In his chapter “Of the Ape,” Topsell writes, “A Lyon ruleth the beasts of the earth, and a Dolphin the beasts of the sea, when the Dolphin is in age and sickness, she recouereth by eating a sea-ape: and so the Lyon by eating an ape of the earth, and therefore the Egiptians paint a Lyon eating an ape, to signifie, a sicke man curing himselfe” (p. 5). In his chapter “Of the Lyon,” Topsell notes that “They eate also Apes, but more for Phisicke then for nourishment” (p. 464), and “if hee can meete with an Ape, he deuoureth and eateth his flesh, and this is the principall remedy and medicine, which hee receiueth against all his diseases, both in youth and age, and when he groweth old, being no more able to hunt Harts, Boares, and such beasts, he exerciseth his whole strength in the hunting, and taking of Apes, whereupon he liueth totally” (p. 482). Pulter may have consulted the version of this lore from Pliny (a source she quoted elsewhere, such as in The Marmottane [Emblem 24] [Poem 89]), since Pliny provides two details that she uses. These are that the apes mock the lion, and that the apes’ blood cures him: “The Lion is neuer sicke but of the peeuishnesse of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him is to ty vnto him certaine shee Apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes [i.e., grimacing derisively] at him, may moue his patience, and driue him for the very indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then so soone as he hath tasted their bloud he is perfectly wel again: and this is the only help” (p. 202; book 8, chapter 16). Pulter has changed the mocking female apes into courtiers (“people ’bout your Court,” line 17), whose powerlessness is stressed by the pun on “Soveraign” (their sovereign, or ruler—the lion—sees their blood as sovereign, or the best cure for his illness, which he accesses by killing them). For fuller extracts from Topsell and Pliny, see “Curations.”
Their blood is Soveraign for your diseas
20
And will
Physical Note
line incomplete
the
And will
Physical Note
This line is incomplete in the manuscript.
the
And will
Critical Note
A space is left in the manuscript, suggesting that the poet or the scribe planned to return to complete the line.
the
21
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
You know the royal eagle finds it good;
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
22
In his ould Age hee lives by Sucking blood
In his old age, he
Critical Note
“[T]he eagle when her beak overgroweth, sucketh blood.” The Bible and Holy Scriptures (London, 1561), 228.
lives by sucking blood
.
In his ould Age hee
Critical Note
In his chapter “Of Ægles,” Pliny claims there are six types of eagles (book 10, chapter 3). The royal eagle is the fifth and is “descended from the gentle and right airie of Ægles. This Ægle roial, is of a middle bignesse and of a reddish colour, a rare bird to be seene” (p. 272). He claims that all eagles “die not for age, nor vpon any sicknesse, but of very famine, by reason that the vpper beake of their bil is so far ouergrown and turns inward so much, that they are not able to open it to feed themselues” (p. 273). He doesn’t specifically mention that eagles suck blood to survive in their old age.
lives by Sucking blood
Nay

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23
Nay
Physical Note
above and to right of “f,” five disconnected “f”s, the first possibly “ſ”
if
you’r loth, great Kings have don ye Same
Nay, if you’re
Gloss Note
reluctant
loath
, great kings have done the same,
Nay if you’r loth, great Kings have don the Same
24
ffor which they live Still in the book of ffame
For which they live still in the book of fame:
For which they live Still in the book of Fame
25
Physical Note
imperfectly erased “f” above end of this word
ffor
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
For fatting of their nobles up in cages,
For
Critical Note
Though the image of a tyrant fattening up his own nobles in cages continues the gruesome consumption imagery of the second half of the poem, the mention of cages may also recall the ruthless tyrant Tamburlaine, who keeps the captured Bajazeth, Emperor of Turkey, in a cage in acts 4 and 5 of Marlowe’s play (The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise, edited by David Fuller and Edward J. Esche, Oxford University Press, 1998, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online).
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
26
Eating their Mumie w:thye blood of Pages
Eating their
Gloss Note
medicinal substance prepared from embalmed (usually human) flesh, or (dead) flesh generally; in Paracelsian alchemy, a vital principle or sovereign remedy
mummy
with the blood of
Gloss Note
young servants
pages
.”
Eating their
Gloss Note
Mummy or mummia is powder from an embalmed corpse, thought to have medicinal effects.
Mummie
with the blood of Pages
27
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
To an old tyrant
Gloss Note
gloomy, dejected, depressed
melancholy
grown,
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
28
Noe Muſick pleaſeth but ye dying groan
No music pleaseth but the dying groan
Critical Note
This may recall Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, or all the children of Bethlehem under the age of two, after the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Herod who was angry that “he was mocked of the wise men,” the lion has been mocked by the apes at his court, according to the fox.
Noe Musick pleaseth but the dying groan
29
Of Innocents, then Straight ye Apes were Kil’d
Of innocents. Then straight the apes were killed;
Of Innocents, then Straight
Critical Note
In one of the earliest versions of the fox-physician and lion-patient story (from Phaedrus in the first century CE), the fox proposes wrapping the lion in the warm skin of a freshly killed wolf as a cure (Kenneth Varty, Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England: the Iconographic Evidence …, Amsterdam University Press, 1999, p. 181).
the Apes were Kil’d
30
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purſe was ffil’d
The lion eased; the doctor’s purse was filled.
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purse was Fil’d
31
ffrom Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
From such a tyrant, Heaven deliver me!
Critical Note
Though Pulter was a royalist she was likely aware of the debates about royal tyranny during the 1640s, such as the French Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos partially translated and published by William Prynne in 1643 (David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 93). Pulter is evidently condemning the tyrant lion king in this poem, but that does not equate with pro-Parliamentarian or pro-Cromwellian sentiment in her case, reminding us of the complexity of these political issues in the mid-seventeenth century.
From Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
32
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
And such a doctor, let me never see.
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
X (Close panel)Notes: 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.

 Headnote

In a beast fable critiquing obsequious quacks and self-indulgent, blood-sucking tyrants, Pulter’s vibrant sense of humor and talent for a good yarn are on display. The charlatan Dr. Fox is happy to tell his patient what he wants to hear, as long as he gets paid; the craven lion—not noble, here, but despotic—is easily manipulated into devouring his own subjects (derided as apes). Pulter draws a biting moral: “To an old tyrant … / No music pleaseth but the dying groan / Of innocents.” The pause after that last half-line only emphasizes the terrifying speed of what follows, logically and chronologically—“Then straight the apes were killed”—while the next (similarly bisected) line shows the upshot of such a reign of terror: the lion’s eased, the doctor paid. So—what is the moral here? Bad and worse rewarded, innocents eaten: in the end, all Pulter can hope is to evade such examples of the worst of our kind. Perhaps one consolation of her confinement to a country estate (which she elsewhere laments) was her reduced likelihood of her encountering and being killed by such corruption; and perhaps her very distance from centers of power, during and after England’s civil wars, provided a safe space from which to critique such tyranny and sycophancy as she represents here and which she reviled in the fallen politics of her day.
Line number 4

 Critical note

In medieval and Renaissance European beast fables, a fox was often a trickster figure; in the twelfth-century beast epic Roman de Renart, the fox is summoned to address a lion king’s complaints. Most of these tales satirized the upper classes and clergy.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The doctor engages in showy (but ineffective) urinalysis.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

and his
Line number 6

 Gloss note

a remedy designed to draw fluids, such as blood or bile, out of the body.
Line number 11

 Gloss note

care for
Line number 11

 Gloss note

nothing
Line number 14

 Gloss note

trickle, drip
Line number 18

 Gloss note

mocked you
Line number 19

 Gloss note

of remedies: superlatively efficacious or potent; of persons, superior or supreme in rank or power; holding the position of a ruler or monarch
Line number 20

 Physical note

This line is incomplete in the manuscript.
Line number 22

 Critical note

“[T]he eagle when her beak overgroweth, sucketh blood.” The Bible and Holy Scriptures (London, 1561), 228.
Line number 23

 Gloss note

reluctant
Line number 26

 Gloss note

medicinal substance prepared from embalmed (usually human) flesh, or (dead) flesh generally; in Paracelsian alchemy, a vital principle or sovereign remedy
Line number 26

 Gloss note

young servants
Line number 27

 Gloss note

gloomy, dejected, depressed
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
[Emblem 38]
The Lion and the Fox
(Emblem 38)
Emblem 38
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
This is a semi-diplomatic transcription in which original spelling and punctuation are retained, abbreviations (such as tildes) are expanded with added letters in italics (with the exception of “ye” which is rendered as “the”), superscriptions are lowered, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, and “ff” is modernized to “F.” The retention of original spelling and punctuation has the potential to get us closer to the choices made by the poet and scribe, but some scribal details (such as abbreviations) do not seem substantive or meaning-bearing and run the risk of alienating a modern reader.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In a beast fable critiquing obsequious quacks and self-indulgent, blood-sucking tyrants, Pulter’s vibrant sense of humor and talent for a good yarn are on display. The charlatan Dr. Fox is happy to tell his patient what he wants to hear, as long as he gets paid; the craven lion—not noble, here, but despotic—is easily manipulated into devouring his own subjects (derided as apes). Pulter draws a biting moral: “To an old tyrant … / No music pleaseth but the dying groan / Of innocents.” The pause after that last half-line only emphasizes the terrifying speed of what follows, logically and chronologically—“Then straight the apes were killed”—while the next (similarly bisected) line shows the upshot of such a reign of terror: the lion’s eased, the doctor paid. So—what is the moral here? Bad and worse rewarded, innocents eaten: in the end, all Pulter can hope is to evade such examples of the worst of our kind. Perhaps one consolation of her confinement to a country estate (which she elsewhere laments) was her reduced likelihood of her encountering and being killed by such corruption; and perhaps her very distance from centers of power, during and after England’s civil wars, provided a safe space from which to critique such tyranny and sycophancy as she represents here and which she reviled in the fallen politics of her day.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This emblem depicts an ill lion being cured by a fox who feeds him slaughtered apes. Pulter’s lion is a tyrannical king, and her repeated use of political language in the emblem (subjects, tyrant, highness, court, sovereign, royal) connotes the context of human rulers. She may be alluding to Machiavelli’s controversial advice tract The Prince, as well as to the medieval beast fable tradition of the very crafty Reynard the Fox. As with all of Pulter’s emblems no actual picture is supplied, but the vivid depictions of animals and their behaviour clearly fit the genre’s traditional function of teaching a moral lesson (in this case, that of avoiding corrupt rulers and doctors).

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
38 The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
The lion—that of late so domineered,
The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
2
And, of his Subjects was not lov’d but fear’d
And of his subjects was not loved but feared—
And, of his Subjects was
Critical Note
While the lion is proverbially the king of the beasts, there may be an additional context of some of the language and imagery from Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513, first printed in Italian in 1532, and first printed in English in 1640). Chapter 17 of Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince … Translated out of Italian into English; by E.D… (1640) is headed “Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov’d, or feard” (p. 128). The issue is resolved as follows: “I answer, a man would wish hee might bee the one and the other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be lov’d” (p. 130; see “Curations”). In line two of this emblem, Pulter notes that this lion was “not lov’d but fear’d.” A second way in which Pulter may be alluding to Machiavelli’s treatise is in her juxtaposition of a lion and a fox. In Chapter 18 of Machiavelli’s treatise (“In what manner Princes ought to keep their words,” p. 135) is the famous advice that a ruler should be both a lion and a fox, in that he should be both powerful and crafty (see “Curations”). Though Pulter is not making this precise point in her emblem, the brutality of her lion and the cunning of her fox may recall these archetypes. Machiavelli’s translator, Edward Dacres, acknowledges in his epistle to the reader that some people may disapprove of his decision to translate The Prince into English, “For his maximes and tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane Societies” (sig. A4r). Pulter likely shared this common view of Machiavelli’s political theory, as is demonstrated by her firm condemnation of the lion king and his vulpine advisor.
not lov’d but fear’d
3
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
Being cloyed with luxury, is sick at last;
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
4
Then Doctor ffox is Sent for all in hast
Then
Critical Note
In medieval and Renaissance European beast fables, a fox was often a trickster figure; in the twelfth-century beast epic Roman de Renart, the fox is summoned to address a lion king’s complaints. Most of these tales satirized the upper classes and clergy.
Doctor Fox
is sent for all in haste.
Then
Critical Note
Pulter is tapping into the medieval beast fable tradition of Reynard the Fox. Chaucer in “The Nun’s Priests’s Tale” of The Canterbury Tales tells the story of Chaunticleer, the proud rooster who is fooled once but not twice by a fox, and William Caxton printed his translation of the history of Reynard the Fox from the Dutch in 1481 (The History of Reynard the Fox Translated and Printed by William Caxton in 1481, edited by Donald B. Sands, Harvard University Press, 1960). One of Reynard’s trickster identities in the tradition is that of a false physician (for some images from a medieval manuscript, see “Curations”). Ben Jonson’s play Volpone or The Fox (1607) depicts the main character (whose name translates in Latin and Italian as “fox”) disguising himself as a mountebank in act 2, scenes 2 and 3, to sell fraudulent medicines in the courtyard beneath the beautiful Celia’s window.
Doctor Fox
is Sent for all in hast
5
Hee Shakes the Glaſs and’s head, then feels his Puls’
He
Gloss Note
The doctor engages in showy (but ineffective) urinalysis.
shakes the glass
,
Gloss Note
and his
and’s
head, then feels his pulse,
Hee Shakes
Gloss Note
The flask or bottle into which the patient has provided a urine sample.
the Glass
and’s head, then feels his Puls’
6
And straight preſcribes a Medicine Revulſ
And straight prescribes a
Gloss Note
a remedy designed to draw fluids, such as blood or bile, out of the body.
medicine revulse
.
And straight prescribes a Medicine
Gloss Note
The OED lists “revulse” as a verb but Pulter is using it as a noun (in the sense of “medicinal revulse”) or an adjective (modifying “Medicine” in inverted syntax) to mean a medicine which will “withdraw (humours, blood, etc.) from a part of the body by revulsion.”
Revuls
7
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
The lion trembles! Every vein did beat;
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
8
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
The doctor, sighing, said, “The danger’s great.”
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
9
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
The lion pants—could hardly draw his breath;
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
10
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
None like a tyrant is so ’fraid of death!
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
11
The Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
The doctor, that did
Gloss Note
care for
mind
Gloss Note
nothing
nought
but his gain,
The
Critical Note
In the opening soliloquy of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604), Faustus lists all of the subjects he claims to have mastered. After summoning Galen, the ancient authority on medicine, Faustus muses, “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (scene 1, line 14; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt et al., 9th ed., Vol. B, Norton, 2012, p. 1129). It is interesting that before he discusses the goal of medicine (“our body’s health,” line 17), he celebrates it as a means to generate wealth (just as Pulter’s Dr. Fox cares most about his fee).
Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
12
Said S:r (I pray Sr) wherabout’s yor pain
Said, “Sir, I pray, sir: whereabout’s your pain?”
Said Sir (I pray Sir) wherabout’s your pain
13
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
His Highness said, “Sometimes I’m very chill;
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
14
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my fface diſtill
Then burn; then sweat doth down my face
Gloss Note
trickle, drip
distill
.”
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my Face distill
15
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
“The symptom’s good,” the doctor, smiling, said:
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
16
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
“Your Highness shall do well; be not afraid!
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
17
There is A Sort of people ’ bout your Court
There is a sort of people ’bout your court—
There is A Sort of people ’bout your Court
18
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
They call them apes—that oft have
Gloss Note
mocked you
made you sport
.
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
19
Their blood is Soveraign for your diſeas
Their blood is
Gloss Note
of remedies: superlatively efficacious or potent; of persons, superior or supreme in rank or power; holding the position of a ruler or monarch
sovereign
for your disease
Critical Note
The medicinal use of apes as a cure for lions is discussed by Edward Topsell in The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607) and in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s The Historie of the World (1601, 1634, and 1635). In his chapter “Of the Ape,” Topsell writes, “A Lyon ruleth the beasts of the earth, and a Dolphin the beasts of the sea, when the Dolphin is in age and sickness, she recouereth by eating a sea-ape: and so the Lyon by eating an ape of the earth, and therefore the Egiptians paint a Lyon eating an ape, to signifie, a sicke man curing himselfe” (p. 5). In his chapter “Of the Lyon,” Topsell notes that “They eate also Apes, but more for Phisicke then for nourishment” (p. 464), and “if hee can meete with an Ape, he deuoureth and eateth his flesh, and this is the principall remedy and medicine, which hee receiueth against all his diseases, both in youth and age, and when he groweth old, being no more able to hunt Harts, Boares, and such beasts, he exerciseth his whole strength in the hunting, and taking of Apes, whereupon he liueth totally” (p. 482). Pulter may have consulted the version of this lore from Pliny (a source she quoted elsewhere, such as in The Marmottane [Emblem 24] [Poem 89]), since Pliny provides two details that she uses. These are that the apes mock the lion, and that the apes’ blood cures him: “The Lion is neuer sicke but of the peeuishnesse of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him is to ty vnto him certaine shee Apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes [i.e., grimacing derisively] at him, may moue his patience, and driue him for the very indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then so soone as he hath tasted their bloud he is perfectly wel again: and this is the only help” (p. 202; book 8, chapter 16). Pulter has changed the mocking female apes into courtiers (“people ’bout your Court,” line 17), whose powerlessness is stressed by the pun on “Soveraign” (their sovereign, or ruler—the lion—sees their blood as sovereign, or the best cure for his illness, which he accesses by killing them). For fuller extracts from Topsell and Pliny, see “Curations.”
Their blood is Soveraign for your diseas
20
And will
Physical Note
line incomplete
the
And will
Physical Note
This line is incomplete in the manuscript.
the
And will
Critical Note
A space is left in the manuscript, suggesting that the poet or the scribe planned to return to complete the line.
the
21
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
You know the royal eagle finds it good;
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
22
In his ould Age hee lives by Sucking blood
In his old age, he
Critical Note
“[T]he eagle when her beak overgroweth, sucketh blood.” The Bible and Holy Scriptures (London, 1561), 228.
lives by sucking blood
.
In his ould Age hee
Critical Note
In his chapter “Of Ægles,” Pliny claims there are six types of eagles (book 10, chapter 3). The royal eagle is the fifth and is “descended from the gentle and right airie of Ægles. This Ægle roial, is of a middle bignesse and of a reddish colour, a rare bird to be seene” (p. 272). He claims that all eagles “die not for age, nor vpon any sicknesse, but of very famine, by reason that the vpper beake of their bil is so far ouergrown and turns inward so much, that they are not able to open it to feed themselues” (p. 273). He doesn’t specifically mention that eagles suck blood to survive in their old age.
lives by Sucking blood
Nay

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23
Nay
Physical Note
above and to right of “f,” five disconnected “f”s, the first possibly “ſ”
if
you’r loth, great Kings have don ye Same
Nay, if you’re
Gloss Note
reluctant
loath
, great kings have done the same,
Nay if you’r loth, great Kings have don the Same
24
ffor which they live Still in the book of ffame
For which they live still in the book of fame:
For which they live Still in the book of Fame
25
Physical Note
imperfectly erased “f” above end of this word
ffor
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
For fatting of their nobles up in cages,
For
Critical Note
Though the image of a tyrant fattening up his own nobles in cages continues the gruesome consumption imagery of the second half of the poem, the mention of cages may also recall the ruthless tyrant Tamburlaine, who keeps the captured Bajazeth, Emperor of Turkey, in a cage in acts 4 and 5 of Marlowe’s play (The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise, edited by David Fuller and Edward J. Esche, Oxford University Press, 1998, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online).
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
26
Eating their Mumie w:thye blood of Pages
Eating their
Gloss Note
medicinal substance prepared from embalmed (usually human) flesh, or (dead) flesh generally; in Paracelsian alchemy, a vital principle or sovereign remedy
mummy
with the blood of
Gloss Note
young servants
pages
.”
Eating their
Gloss Note
Mummy or mummia is powder from an embalmed corpse, thought to have medicinal effects.
Mummie
with the blood of Pages
27
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
To an old tyrant
Gloss Note
gloomy, dejected, depressed
melancholy
grown,
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
28
Noe Muſick pleaſeth but ye dying groan
No music pleaseth but the dying groan
Critical Note
This may recall Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, or all the children of Bethlehem under the age of two, after the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Herod who was angry that “he was mocked of the wise men,” the lion has been mocked by the apes at his court, according to the fox.
Noe Musick pleaseth but the dying groan
29
Of Innocents, then Straight ye Apes were Kil’d
Of innocents. Then straight the apes were killed;
Of Innocents, then Straight
Critical Note
In one of the earliest versions of the fox-physician and lion-patient story (from Phaedrus in the first century CE), the fox proposes wrapping the lion in the warm skin of a freshly killed wolf as a cure (Kenneth Varty, Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England: the Iconographic Evidence …, Amsterdam University Press, 1999, p. 181).
the Apes were Kil’d
30
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purſe was ffil’d
The lion eased; the doctor’s purse was filled.
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purse was Fil’d
31
ffrom Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
From such a tyrant, Heaven deliver me!
Critical Note
Though Pulter was a royalist she was likely aware of the debates about royal tyranny during the 1640s, such as the French Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos partially translated and published by William Prynne in 1643 (David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 93). Pulter is evidently condemning the tyrant lion king in this poem, but that does not equate with pro-Parliamentarian or pro-Cromwellian sentiment in her case, reminding us of the complexity of these political issues in the mid-seventeenth century.
From Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
32
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
And such a doctor, let me never see.
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

This is a semi-diplomatic transcription in which original spelling and punctuation are retained, abbreviations (such as tildes) are expanded with added letters in italics (with the exception of “ye” which is rendered as “the”), superscriptions are lowered, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, and “ff” is modernized to “F.” The retention of original spelling and punctuation has the potential to get us closer to the choices made by the poet and scribe, but some scribal details (such as abbreviations) do not seem substantive or meaning-bearing and run the risk of alienating a modern reader.

 Headnote

This emblem depicts an ill lion being cured by a fox who feeds him slaughtered apes. Pulter’s lion is a tyrannical king, and her repeated use of political language in the emblem (subjects, tyrant, highness, court, sovereign, royal) connotes the context of human rulers. She may be alluding to Machiavelli’s controversial advice tract The Prince, as well as to the medieval beast fable tradition of the very crafty Reynard the Fox. As with all of Pulter’s emblems no actual picture is supplied, but the vivid depictions of animals and their behaviour clearly fit the genre’s traditional function of teaching a moral lesson (in this case, that of avoiding corrupt rulers and doctors).
Line number 2

 Critical note

While the lion is proverbially the king of the beasts, there may be an additional context of some of the language and imagery from Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513, first printed in Italian in 1532, and first printed in English in 1640). Chapter 17 of Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince … Translated out of Italian into English; by E.D… (1640) is headed “Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov’d, or feard” (p. 128). The issue is resolved as follows: “I answer, a man would wish hee might bee the one and the other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be lov’d” (p. 130; see “Curations”). In line two of this emblem, Pulter notes that this lion was “not lov’d but fear’d.” A second way in which Pulter may be alluding to Machiavelli’s treatise is in her juxtaposition of a lion and a fox. In Chapter 18 of Machiavelli’s treatise (“In what manner Princes ought to keep their words,” p. 135) is the famous advice that a ruler should be both a lion and a fox, in that he should be both powerful and crafty (see “Curations”). Though Pulter is not making this precise point in her emblem, the brutality of her lion and the cunning of her fox may recall these archetypes. Machiavelli’s translator, Edward Dacres, acknowledges in his epistle to the reader that some people may disapprove of his decision to translate The Prince into English, “For his maximes and tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane Societies” (sig. A4r). Pulter likely shared this common view of Machiavelli’s political theory, as is demonstrated by her firm condemnation of the lion king and his vulpine advisor.
Line number 4

 Critical note

Pulter is tapping into the medieval beast fable tradition of Reynard the Fox. Chaucer in “The Nun’s Priests’s Tale” of The Canterbury Tales tells the story of Chaunticleer, the proud rooster who is fooled once but not twice by a fox, and William Caxton printed his translation of the history of Reynard the Fox from the Dutch in 1481 (The History of Reynard the Fox Translated and Printed by William Caxton in 1481, edited by Donald B. Sands, Harvard University Press, 1960). One of Reynard’s trickster identities in the tradition is that of a false physician (for some images from a medieval manuscript, see “Curations”). Ben Jonson’s play Volpone or The Fox (1607) depicts the main character (whose name translates in Latin and Italian as “fox”) disguising himself as a mountebank in act 2, scenes 2 and 3, to sell fraudulent medicines in the courtyard beneath the beautiful Celia’s window.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The flask or bottle into which the patient has provided a urine sample.
Line number 6

 Gloss note

The OED lists “revulse” as a verb but Pulter is using it as a noun (in the sense of “medicinal revulse”) or an adjective (modifying “Medicine” in inverted syntax) to mean a medicine which will “withdraw (humours, blood, etc.) from a part of the body by revulsion.”
Line number 11

 Critical note

In the opening soliloquy of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604), Faustus lists all of the subjects he claims to have mastered. After summoning Galen, the ancient authority on medicine, Faustus muses, “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (scene 1, line 14; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt et al., 9th ed., Vol. B, Norton, 2012, p. 1129). It is interesting that before he discusses the goal of medicine (“our body’s health,” line 17), he celebrates it as a means to generate wealth (just as Pulter’s Dr. Fox cares most about his fee).
Line number 19

 Critical note

The medicinal use of apes as a cure for lions is discussed by Edward Topsell in The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607) and in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s The Historie of the World (1601, 1634, and 1635). In his chapter “Of the Ape,” Topsell writes, “A Lyon ruleth the beasts of the earth, and a Dolphin the beasts of the sea, when the Dolphin is in age and sickness, she recouereth by eating a sea-ape: and so the Lyon by eating an ape of the earth, and therefore the Egiptians paint a Lyon eating an ape, to signifie, a sicke man curing himselfe” (p. 5). In his chapter “Of the Lyon,” Topsell notes that “They eate also Apes, but more for Phisicke then for nourishment” (p. 464), and “if hee can meete with an Ape, he deuoureth and eateth his flesh, and this is the principall remedy and medicine, which hee receiueth against all his diseases, both in youth and age, and when he groweth old, being no more able to hunt Harts, Boares, and such beasts, he exerciseth his whole strength in the hunting, and taking of Apes, whereupon he liueth totally” (p. 482). Pulter may have consulted the version of this lore from Pliny (a source she quoted elsewhere, such as in The Marmottane [Emblem 24] [Poem 89]), since Pliny provides two details that she uses. These are that the apes mock the lion, and that the apes’ blood cures him: “The Lion is neuer sicke but of the peeuishnesse of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him is to ty vnto him certaine shee Apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes [i.e., grimacing derisively] at him, may moue his patience, and driue him for the very indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then so soone as he hath tasted their bloud he is perfectly wel again: and this is the only help” (p. 202; book 8, chapter 16). Pulter has changed the mocking female apes into courtiers (“people ’bout your Court,” line 17), whose powerlessness is stressed by the pun on “Soveraign” (their sovereign, or ruler—the lion—sees their blood as sovereign, or the best cure for his illness, which he accesses by killing them). For fuller extracts from Topsell and Pliny, see “Curations.”
Line number 20

 Critical note

A space is left in the manuscript, suggesting that the poet or the scribe planned to return to complete the line.
Line number 22

 Critical note

In his chapter “Of Ægles,” Pliny claims there are six types of eagles (book 10, chapter 3). The royal eagle is the fifth and is “descended from the gentle and right airie of Ægles. This Ægle roial, is of a middle bignesse and of a reddish colour, a rare bird to be seene” (p. 272). He claims that all eagles “die not for age, nor vpon any sicknesse, but of very famine, by reason that the vpper beake of their bil is so far ouergrown and turns inward so much, that they are not able to open it to feed themselues” (p. 273). He doesn’t specifically mention that eagles suck blood to survive in their old age.
Line number 25

 Critical note

Though the image of a tyrant fattening up his own nobles in cages continues the gruesome consumption imagery of the second half of the poem, the mention of cages may also recall the ruthless tyrant Tamburlaine, who keeps the captured Bajazeth, Emperor of Turkey, in a cage in acts 4 and 5 of Marlowe’s play (The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise, edited by David Fuller and Edward J. Esche, Oxford University Press, 1998, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online).
Line number 26

 Gloss note

Mummy or mummia is powder from an embalmed corpse, thought to have medicinal effects.
Line number 28

 Critical note

This may recall Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, or all the children of Bethlehem under the age of two, after the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Herod who was angry that “he was mocked of the wise men,” the lion has been mocked by the apes at his court, according to the fox.
Line number 29

 Critical note

In one of the earliest versions of the fox-physician and lion-patient story (from Phaedrus in the first century CE), the fox proposes wrapping the lion in the warm skin of a freshly killed wolf as a cure (Kenneth Varty, Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England: the Iconographic Evidence …, Amsterdam University Press, 1999, p. 181).
Line number 31

 Critical note

Though Pulter was a royalist she was likely aware of the debates about royal tyranny during the 1640s, such as the French Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos partially translated and published by William Prynne in 1643 (David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 93). Pulter is evidently condemning the tyrant lion king in this poem, but that does not equate with pro-Parliamentarian or pro-Cromwellian sentiment in her case, reminding us of the complexity of these political issues in the mid-seventeenth century.
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X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

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[Emblem 38]
The Lion and the Fox
(Emblem 38)
Emblem 38
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.

— Victoria E. Burke
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.

— Victoria E. Burke
This is a semi-diplomatic transcription in which original spelling and punctuation are retained, abbreviations (such as tildes) are expanded with added letters in italics (with the exception of “ye” which is rendered as “the”), superscriptions are lowered, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, and “ff” is modernized to “F.” The retention of original spelling and punctuation has the potential to get us closer to the choices made by the poet and scribe, but some scribal details (such as abbreviations) do not seem substantive or meaning-bearing and run the risk of alienating a modern reader.

— Victoria E. Burke
In a beast fable critiquing obsequious quacks and self-indulgent, blood-sucking tyrants, Pulter’s vibrant sense of humor and talent for a good yarn are on display. The charlatan Dr. Fox is happy to tell his patient what he wants to hear, as long as he gets paid; the craven lion—not noble, here, but despotic—is easily manipulated into devouring his own subjects (derided as apes). Pulter draws a biting moral: “To an old tyrant … / No music pleaseth but the dying groan / Of innocents.” The pause after that last half-line only emphasizes the terrifying speed of what follows, logically and chronologically—“Then straight the apes were killed”—while the next (similarly bisected) line shows the upshot of such a reign of terror: the lion’s eased, the doctor paid. So—what is the moral here? Bad and worse rewarded, innocents eaten: in the end, all Pulter can hope is to evade such examples of the worst of our kind. Perhaps one consolation of her confinement to a country estate (which she elsewhere laments) was her reduced likelihood of her encountering and being killed by such corruption; and perhaps her very distance from centers of power, during and after England’s civil wars, provided a safe space from which to critique such tyranny and sycophancy as she represents here and which she reviled in the fallen politics of her day.

— Victoria E. Burke
This emblem depicts an ill lion being cured by a fox who feeds him slaughtered apes. Pulter’s lion is a tyrannical king, and her repeated use of political language in the emblem (subjects, tyrant, highness, court, sovereign, royal) connotes the context of human rulers. She may be alluding to Machiavelli’s controversial advice tract The Prince, as well as to the medieval beast fable tradition of the very crafty Reynard the Fox. As with all of Pulter’s emblems no actual picture is supplied, but the vivid depictions of animals and their behaviour clearly fit the genre’s traditional function of teaching a moral lesson (in this case, that of avoiding corrupt rulers and doctors).

— Victoria E. Burke
1
38 The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
The lion—that of late so domineered,
The Lyon that of late Soe Domineer’d
2
And, of his Subjects was not lov’d but fear’d
And of his subjects was not loved but feared—
And, of his Subjects was
Critical Note
While the lion is proverbially the king of the beasts, there may be an additional context of some of the language and imagery from Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513, first printed in Italian in 1532, and first printed in English in 1640). Chapter 17 of Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince … Translated out of Italian into English; by E.D… (1640) is headed “Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov’d, or feard” (p. 128). The issue is resolved as follows: “I answer, a man would wish hee might bee the one and the other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be lov’d” (p. 130; see “Curations”). In line two of this emblem, Pulter notes that this lion was “not lov’d but fear’d.” A second way in which Pulter may be alluding to Machiavelli’s treatise is in her juxtaposition of a lion and a fox. In Chapter 18 of Machiavelli’s treatise (“In what manner Princes ought to keep their words,” p. 135) is the famous advice that a ruler should be both a lion and a fox, in that he should be both powerful and crafty (see “Curations”). Though Pulter is not making this precise point in her emblem, the brutality of her lion and the cunning of her fox may recall these archetypes. Machiavelli’s translator, Edward Dacres, acknowledges in his epistle to the reader that some people may disapprove of his decision to translate The Prince into English, “For his maximes and tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane Societies” (sig. A4r). Pulter likely shared this common view of Machiavelli’s political theory, as is demonstrated by her firm condemnation of the lion king and his vulpine advisor.
not lov’d but fear’d
3
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
Being cloyed with luxury, is sick at last;
Being Cloyd with Luxurie is Sick at last
4
Then Doctor ffox is Sent for all in hast
Then
Critical Note
In medieval and Renaissance European beast fables, a fox was often a trickster figure; in the twelfth-century beast epic Roman de Renart, the fox is summoned to address a lion king’s complaints. Most of these tales satirized the upper classes and clergy.
Doctor Fox
is sent for all in haste.
Then
Critical Note
Pulter is tapping into the medieval beast fable tradition of Reynard the Fox. Chaucer in “The Nun’s Priests’s Tale” of The Canterbury Tales tells the story of Chaunticleer, the proud rooster who is fooled once but not twice by a fox, and William Caxton printed his translation of the history of Reynard the Fox from the Dutch in 1481 (The History of Reynard the Fox Translated and Printed by William Caxton in 1481, edited by Donald B. Sands, Harvard University Press, 1960). One of Reynard’s trickster identities in the tradition is that of a false physician (for some images from a medieval manuscript, see “Curations”). Ben Jonson’s play Volpone or The Fox (1607) depicts the main character (whose name translates in Latin and Italian as “fox”) disguising himself as a mountebank in act 2, scenes 2 and 3, to sell fraudulent medicines in the courtyard beneath the beautiful Celia’s window.
Doctor Fox
is Sent for all in hast
5
Hee Shakes the Glaſs and’s head, then feels his Puls’
He
Gloss Note
The doctor engages in showy (but ineffective) urinalysis.
shakes the glass
,
Gloss Note
and his
and’s
head, then feels his pulse,
Hee Shakes
Gloss Note
The flask or bottle into which the patient has provided a urine sample.
the Glass
and’s head, then feels his Puls’
6
And straight preſcribes a Medicine Revulſ
And straight prescribes a
Gloss Note
a remedy designed to draw fluids, such as blood or bile, out of the body.
medicine revulse
.
And straight prescribes a Medicine
Gloss Note
The OED lists “revulse” as a verb but Pulter is using it as a noun (in the sense of “medicinal revulse”) or an adjective (modifying “Medicine” in inverted syntax) to mean a medicine which will “withdraw (humours, blood, etc.) from a part of the body by revulsion.”
Revuls
7
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
The lion trembles! Every vein did beat;
The Lyon trembles every vein did beat
8
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
The doctor, sighing, said, “The danger’s great.”
The Doctor Sighing Said the danger’s great
9
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
The lion pants—could hardly draw his breath;
The Lyon Pants, could hardly draw his breath
10
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
None like a tyrant is so ’fraid of death!
None like A Tyrant is Soe fraid of Death
11
The Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
The doctor, that did
Gloss Note
care for
mind
Gloss Note
nothing
nought
but his gain,
The
Critical Note
In the opening soliloquy of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604), Faustus lists all of the subjects he claims to have mastered. After summoning Galen, the ancient authority on medicine, Faustus muses, “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (scene 1, line 14; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt et al., 9th ed., Vol. B, Norton, 2012, p. 1129). It is interesting that before he discusses the goal of medicine (“our body’s health,” line 17), he celebrates it as a means to generate wealth (just as Pulter’s Dr. Fox cares most about his fee).
Doctor that did mind nought but his gain
12
Said S:r (I pray Sr) wherabout’s yor pain
Said, “Sir, I pray, sir: whereabout’s your pain?”
Said Sir (I pray Sir) wherabout’s your pain
13
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
His Highness said, “Sometimes I’m very chill;
His Highnes Said, Some time I’m very chill
14
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my fface diſtill
Then burn; then sweat doth down my face
Gloss Note
trickle, drip
distill
.”
Then burn, then Swet, doth down my Face distill
15
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
“The symptom’s good,” the doctor, smiling, said:
The Symptome’s good the Doctor Smileing Said
16
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
“Your Highness shall do well; be not afraid!
Your Highnes Shall doe well bee not afraid
17
There is A Sort of people ’ bout your Court
There is a sort of people ’bout your court—
There is A Sort of people ’bout your Court
18
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
They call them apes—that oft have
Gloss Note
mocked you
made you sport
.
They call them Apes, that oft have made you Sport
19
Their blood is Soveraign for your diſeas
Their blood is
Gloss Note
of remedies: superlatively efficacious or potent; of persons, superior or supreme in rank or power; holding the position of a ruler or monarch
sovereign
for your disease
Critical Note
The medicinal use of apes as a cure for lions is discussed by Edward Topsell in The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607) and in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s The Historie of the World (1601, 1634, and 1635). In his chapter “Of the Ape,” Topsell writes, “A Lyon ruleth the beasts of the earth, and a Dolphin the beasts of the sea, when the Dolphin is in age and sickness, she recouereth by eating a sea-ape: and so the Lyon by eating an ape of the earth, and therefore the Egiptians paint a Lyon eating an ape, to signifie, a sicke man curing himselfe” (p. 5). In his chapter “Of the Lyon,” Topsell notes that “They eate also Apes, but more for Phisicke then for nourishment” (p. 464), and “if hee can meete with an Ape, he deuoureth and eateth his flesh, and this is the principall remedy and medicine, which hee receiueth against all his diseases, both in youth and age, and when he groweth old, being no more able to hunt Harts, Boares, and such beasts, he exerciseth his whole strength in the hunting, and taking of Apes, whereupon he liueth totally” (p. 482). Pulter may have consulted the version of this lore from Pliny (a source she quoted elsewhere, such as in The Marmottane [Emblem 24] [Poem 89]), since Pliny provides two details that she uses. These are that the apes mock the lion, and that the apes’ blood cures him: “The Lion is neuer sicke but of the peeuishnesse of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him is to ty vnto him certaine shee Apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes [i.e., grimacing derisively] at him, may moue his patience, and driue him for the very indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then so soone as he hath tasted their bloud he is perfectly wel again: and this is the only help” (p. 202; book 8, chapter 16). Pulter has changed the mocking female apes into courtiers (“people ’bout your Court,” line 17), whose powerlessness is stressed by the pun on “Soveraign” (their sovereign, or ruler—the lion—sees their blood as sovereign, or the best cure for his illness, which he accesses by killing them). For fuller extracts from Topsell and Pliny, see “Curations.”
Their blood is Soveraign for your diseas
20
And will
Physical Note
line incomplete
the
And will
Physical Note
This line is incomplete in the manuscript.
the
And will
Critical Note
A space is left in the manuscript, suggesting that the poet or the scribe planned to return to complete the line.
the
21
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
You know the royal eagle finds it good;
You know the Royall Eagle finds it good
22
In his ould Age hee lives by Sucking blood
In his old age, he
Critical Note
“[T]he eagle when her beak overgroweth, sucketh blood.” The Bible and Holy Scriptures (London, 1561), 228.
lives by sucking blood
.
In his ould Age hee
Critical Note
In his chapter “Of Ægles,” Pliny claims there are six types of eagles (book 10, chapter 3). The royal eagle is the fifth and is “descended from the gentle and right airie of Ægles. This Ægle roial, is of a middle bignesse and of a reddish colour, a rare bird to be seene” (p. 272). He claims that all eagles “die not for age, nor vpon any sicknesse, but of very famine, by reason that the vpper beake of their bil is so far ouergrown and turns inward so much, that they are not able to open it to feed themselues” (p. 273). He doesn’t specifically mention that eagles suck blood to survive in their old age.
lives by Sucking blood
Nay

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23
Nay
Physical Note
above and to right of “f,” five disconnected “f”s, the first possibly “ſ”
if
you’r loth, great Kings have don ye Same
Nay, if you’re
Gloss Note
reluctant
loath
, great kings have done the same,
Nay if you’r loth, great Kings have don the Same
24
ffor which they live Still in the book of ffame
For which they live still in the book of fame:
For which they live Still in the book of Fame
25
Physical Note
imperfectly erased “f” above end of this word
ffor
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
For fatting of their nobles up in cages,
For
Critical Note
Though the image of a tyrant fattening up his own nobles in cages continues the gruesome consumption imagery of the second half of the poem, the mention of cages may also recall the ruthless tyrant Tamburlaine, who keeps the captured Bajazeth, Emperor of Turkey, in a cage in acts 4 and 5 of Marlowe’s play (The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise, edited by David Fuller and Edward J. Esche, Oxford University Press, 1998, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online).
fatting of their Nobles up in Cages
26
Eating their Mumie w:thye blood of Pages
Eating their
Gloss Note
medicinal substance prepared from embalmed (usually human) flesh, or (dead) flesh generally; in Paracelsian alchemy, a vital principle or sovereign remedy
mummy
with the blood of
Gloss Note
young servants
pages
.”
Eating their
Gloss Note
Mummy or mummia is powder from an embalmed corpse, thought to have medicinal effects.
Mummie
with the blood of Pages
27
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
To an old tyrant
Gloss Note
gloomy, dejected, depressed
melancholy
grown,
To an old Tyrant Melancholly grown
28
Noe Muſick pleaſeth but ye dying groan
No music pleaseth but the dying groan
Critical Note
This may recall Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, or all the children of Bethlehem under the age of two, after the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Herod who was angry that “he was mocked of the wise men,” the lion has been mocked by the apes at his court, according to the fox.
Noe Musick pleaseth but the dying groan
29
Of Innocents, then Straight ye Apes were Kil’d
Of innocents. Then straight the apes were killed;
Of Innocents, then Straight
Critical Note
In one of the earliest versions of the fox-physician and lion-patient story (from Phaedrus in the first century CE), the fox proposes wrapping the lion in the warm skin of a freshly killed wolf as a cure (Kenneth Varty, Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England: the Iconographic Evidence …, Amsterdam University Press, 1999, p. 181).
the Apes were Kil’d
30
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purſe was ffil’d
The lion eased; the doctor’s purse was filled.
The Lyon Easd, The Doctors purse was Fil’d
31
ffrom Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
From such a tyrant, Heaven deliver me!
Critical Note
Though Pulter was a royalist she was likely aware of the debates about royal tyranny during the 1640s, such as the French Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos partially translated and published by William Prynne in 1643 (David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 93). Pulter is evidently condemning the tyrant lion king in this poem, but that does not equate with pro-Parliamentarian or pro-Cromwellian sentiment in her case, reminding us of the complexity of these political issues in the mid-seventeenth century.
From Such A Tyrant Heaven deliver mee
32
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
And such a doctor, let me never see.
And Such A Doctor let mee never See.
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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

This is a semi-diplomatic transcription in which original spelling and punctuation are retained, abbreviations (such as tildes) are expanded with added letters in italics (with the exception of “ye” which is rendered as “the”), superscriptions are lowered, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, and “ff” is modernized to “F.” The retention of original spelling and punctuation has the potential to get us closer to the choices made by the poet and scribe, but some scribal details (such as abbreviations) do not seem substantive or meaning-bearing and run the risk of alienating a modern reader.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

In a beast fable critiquing obsequious quacks and self-indulgent, blood-sucking tyrants, Pulter’s vibrant sense of humor and talent for a good yarn are on display. The charlatan Dr. Fox is happy to tell his patient what he wants to hear, as long as he gets paid; the craven lion—not noble, here, but despotic—is easily manipulated into devouring his own subjects (derided as apes). Pulter draws a biting moral: “To an old tyrant … / No music pleaseth but the dying groan / Of innocents.” The pause after that last half-line only emphasizes the terrifying speed of what follows, logically and chronologically—“Then straight the apes were killed”—while the next (similarly bisected) line shows the upshot of such a reign of terror: the lion’s eased, the doctor paid. So—what is the moral here? Bad and worse rewarded, innocents eaten: in the end, all Pulter can hope is to evade such examples of the worst of our kind. Perhaps one consolation of her confinement to a country estate (which she elsewhere laments) was her reduced likelihood of her encountering and being killed by such corruption; and perhaps her very distance from centers of power, during and after England’s civil wars, provided a safe space from which to critique such tyranny and sycophancy as she represents here and which she reviled in the fallen politics of her day.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

This emblem depicts an ill lion being cured by a fox who feeds him slaughtered apes. Pulter’s lion is a tyrannical king, and her repeated use of political language in the emblem (subjects, tyrant, highness, court, sovereign, royal) connotes the context of human rulers. She may be alluding to Machiavelli’s controversial advice tract The Prince, as well as to the medieval beast fable tradition of the very crafty Reynard the Fox. As with all of Pulter’s emblems no actual picture is supplied, but the vivid depictions of animals and their behaviour clearly fit the genre’s traditional function of teaching a moral lesson (in this case, that of avoiding corrupt rulers and doctors).
Amplified Edition
Line number 2

 Critical note

While the lion is proverbially the king of the beasts, there may be an additional context of some of the language and imagery from Niccolò Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince (1513, first printed in Italian in 1532, and first printed in English in 1640). Chapter 17 of Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince … Translated out of Italian into English; by E.D… (1640) is headed “Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov’d, or feard” (p. 128). The issue is resolved as follows: “I answer, a man would wish hee might bee the one and the other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than be lov’d” (p. 130; see “Curations”). In line two of this emblem, Pulter notes that this lion was “not lov’d but fear’d.” A second way in which Pulter may be alluding to Machiavelli’s treatise is in her juxtaposition of a lion and a fox. In Chapter 18 of Machiavelli’s treatise (“In what manner Princes ought to keep their words,” p. 135) is the famous advice that a ruler should be both a lion and a fox, in that he should be both powerful and crafty (see “Curations”). Though Pulter is not making this precise point in her emblem, the brutality of her lion and the cunning of her fox may recall these archetypes. Machiavelli’s translator, Edward Dacres, acknowledges in his epistle to the reader that some people may disapprove of his decision to translate The Prince into English, “For his maximes and tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane Societies” (sig. A4r). Pulter likely shared this common view of Machiavelli’s political theory, as is demonstrated by her firm condemnation of the lion king and his vulpine advisor.
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Critical note

In medieval and Renaissance European beast fables, a fox was often a trickster figure; in the twelfth-century beast epic Roman de Renart, the fox is summoned to address a lion king’s complaints. Most of these tales satirized the upper classes and clergy.
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Critical note

Pulter is tapping into the medieval beast fable tradition of Reynard the Fox. Chaucer in “The Nun’s Priests’s Tale” of The Canterbury Tales tells the story of Chaunticleer, the proud rooster who is fooled once but not twice by a fox, and William Caxton printed his translation of the history of Reynard the Fox from the Dutch in 1481 (The History of Reynard the Fox Translated and Printed by William Caxton in 1481, edited by Donald B. Sands, Harvard University Press, 1960). One of Reynard’s trickster identities in the tradition is that of a false physician (for some images from a medieval manuscript, see “Curations”). Ben Jonson’s play Volpone or The Fox (1607) depicts the main character (whose name translates in Latin and Italian as “fox”) disguising himself as a mountebank in act 2, scenes 2 and 3, to sell fraudulent medicines in the courtyard beneath the beautiful Celia’s window.
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The doctor engages in showy (but ineffective) urinalysis.
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

and his
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The flask or bottle into which the patient has provided a urine sample.
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

a remedy designed to draw fluids, such as blood or bile, out of the body.
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

The OED lists “revulse” as a verb but Pulter is using it as a noun (in the sense of “medicinal revulse”) or an adjective (modifying “Medicine” in inverted syntax) to mean a medicine which will “withdraw (humours, blood, etc.) from a part of the body by revulsion.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

care for
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

nothing
Amplified Edition
Line number 11

 Critical note

In the opening soliloquy of Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604), Faustus lists all of the subjects he claims to have mastered. After summoning Galen, the ancient authority on medicine, Faustus muses, “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (scene 1, line 14; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt et al., 9th ed., Vol. B, Norton, 2012, p. 1129). It is interesting that before he discusses the goal of medicine (“our body’s health,” line 17), he celebrates it as a means to generate wealth (just as Pulter’s Dr. Fox cares most about his fee).
Elemental Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

trickle, drip
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

mocked you
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

of remedies: superlatively efficacious or potent; of persons, superior or supreme in rank or power; holding the position of a ruler or monarch
Amplified Edition
Line number 19

 Critical note

The medicinal use of apes as a cure for lions is discussed by Edward Topsell in The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607) and in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s The Historie of the World (1601, 1634, and 1635). In his chapter “Of the Ape,” Topsell writes, “A Lyon ruleth the beasts of the earth, and a Dolphin the beasts of the sea, when the Dolphin is in age and sickness, she recouereth by eating a sea-ape: and so the Lyon by eating an ape of the earth, and therefore the Egiptians paint a Lyon eating an ape, to signifie, a sicke man curing himselfe” (p. 5). In his chapter “Of the Lyon,” Topsell notes that “They eate also Apes, but more for Phisicke then for nourishment” (p. 464), and “if hee can meete with an Ape, he deuoureth and eateth his flesh, and this is the principall remedy and medicine, which hee receiueth against all his diseases, both in youth and age, and when he groweth old, being no more able to hunt Harts, Boares, and such beasts, he exerciseth his whole strength in the hunting, and taking of Apes, whereupon he liueth totally” (p. 482). Pulter may have consulted the version of this lore from Pliny (a source she quoted elsewhere, such as in The Marmottane [Emblem 24] [Poem 89]), since Pliny provides two details that she uses. These are that the apes mock the lion, and that the apes’ blood cures him: “The Lion is neuer sicke but of the peeuishnesse of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him is to ty vnto him certaine shee Apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes [i.e., grimacing derisively] at him, may moue his patience, and driue him for the very indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then so soone as he hath tasted their bloud he is perfectly wel again: and this is the only help” (p. 202; book 8, chapter 16). Pulter has changed the mocking female apes into courtiers (“people ’bout your Court,” line 17), whose powerlessness is stressed by the pun on “Soveraign” (their sovereign, or ruler—the lion—sees their blood as sovereign, or the best cure for his illness, which he accesses by killing them). For fuller extracts from Topsell and Pliny, see “Curations.”
Transcription
Line number 20

 Physical note

line incomplete
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Physical note

This line is incomplete in the manuscript.
Amplified Edition
Line number 20

 Critical note

A space is left in the manuscript, suggesting that the poet or the scribe planned to return to complete the line.
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Critical note

“[T]he eagle when her beak overgroweth, sucketh blood.” The Bible and Holy Scriptures (London, 1561), 228.
Amplified Edition
Line number 22

 Critical note

In his chapter “Of Ægles,” Pliny claims there are six types of eagles (book 10, chapter 3). The royal eagle is the fifth and is “descended from the gentle and right airie of Ægles. This Ægle roial, is of a middle bignesse and of a reddish colour, a rare bird to be seene” (p. 272). He claims that all eagles “die not for age, nor vpon any sicknesse, but of very famine, by reason that the vpper beake of their bil is so far ouergrown and turns inward so much, that they are not able to open it to feed themselues” (p. 273). He doesn’t specifically mention that eagles suck blood to survive in their old age.
Transcription
Line number 23

 Physical note

above and to right of “f,” five disconnected “f”s, the first possibly “ſ”
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

reluctant
Transcription
Line number 25

 Physical note

imperfectly erased “f” above end of this word
Amplified Edition
Line number 25

 Critical note

Though the image of a tyrant fattening up his own nobles in cages continues the gruesome consumption imagery of the second half of the poem, the mention of cages may also recall the ruthless tyrant Tamburlaine, who keeps the captured Bajazeth, Emperor of Turkey, in a cage in acts 4 and 5 of Marlowe’s play (The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 5: Tamburlaine the Great, Parts 1 and 2, and The Massacre at Paris with the Death of the Duke of Guise, edited by David Fuller and Edward J. Esche, Oxford University Press, 1998, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online).
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

medicinal substance prepared from embalmed (usually human) flesh, or (dead) flesh generally; in Paracelsian alchemy, a vital principle or sovereign remedy
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

young servants
Amplified Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

Mummy or mummia is powder from an embalmed corpse, thought to have medicinal effects.
Elemental Edition
Line number 27

 Gloss note

gloomy, dejected, depressed
Amplified Edition
Line number 28

 Critical note

This may recall Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, or all the children of Bethlehem under the age of two, after the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:16-18). Like Herod who was angry that “he was mocked of the wise men,” the lion has been mocked by the apes at his court, according to the fox.
Amplified Edition
Line number 29

 Critical note

In one of the earliest versions of the fox-physician and lion-patient story (from Phaedrus in the first century CE), the fox proposes wrapping the lion in the warm skin of a freshly killed wolf as a cure (Kenneth Varty, Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England: the Iconographic Evidence …, Amsterdam University Press, 1999, p. 181).
Amplified Edition
Line number 31

 Critical note

Though Pulter was a royalist she was likely aware of the debates about royal tyranny during the 1640s, such as the French Huguenot tract Vindiciae contra tyrannos partially translated and published by William Prynne in 1643 (David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 93). Pulter is evidently condemning the tyrant lion king in this poem, but that does not equate with pro-Parliamentarian or pro-Cromwellian sentiment in her case, reminding us of the complexity of these political issues in the mid-seventeenth century.
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