The Turtle and his Paramour (Emblem 47)

X (Close panel) Sources

The Turtle and his Paramour (Emblem 47)

Poem #112

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
X (Close panel) Index

Index of Poems

(loading…)
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 2

 Physical note

vertical strike-through
Line number 16

 Physical note

multiple and diagonal strike-through
Line number 17

 Physical note

originally “But”; “t” struck-through multiple times on diagonal, then blotted; descender on “y” appears added later
Line number 18

 Physical note

apostrophe and “s” either imperfectly erased or in light ink
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 47]
The Turtle and his Paramour
(Emblem 47)
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
This poem was certainly not written for an era with heightened awareness of sexual harassment. With its moral based, as in so many of Pulter’s emblems, on a combination of zoological, mythological, and historical (or pseudo-historical) precedents, the speaker advises women seeking love to demonstrate “a virgin modesty”—which, in this case, involves playing hard to get, even in response to “desired embraces.” The female turtle at the heart of the poem is a surprisingly complex character: “as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,” she imagines (through the speaker’s focalization) accepting a mate as a matter of “sell[ing] her freedom,” and at once desires and fears the male’s embraces. The comparison of her to the mythological Daphne, who was not coyly seeking to increase Apollo’s desire but running from a would-be rapist, adds tension to the story of the turtle’s happy desire to get her man. While such complex motivations, especially in a turtle, are necessarily intriguing, there is also something more than slightly disconcerting in Pulter’s impassive likening of this successful courtship to a sword being stabbed through a vassal’s foot, and in her knowing invocation of a worn and wearing paradox: “love repulsed doth more increase desire.”

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
47Whenas that Geniall Univerſall ffire
Gloss Note
Seeing as; when
When as
that
Gloss Note
of or relating to marriage or procreation; natural
genial
universal fire
2
Had in the
Physical Note
vertical strike-through
Turtles
Reinflamd deſire
Had in the turtle reinflamed desire,
3
Hee having found a Beavtious Paramore
He, having found a beauteous
Gloss Note
object of love
paramour
,
4
Her Love, and pitty, both hee doth implore
Her love and pity both he doth implore.
5
But Shee as Wiſe, as ffaire, as Chast, as Coy
But she, as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,
6
Was Loth to Sell her ffreedome for A Toy
Was loath to sell her freedom for a
Gloss Note
amorous sport, dallying; amusement; trifling speech; idle fancy; thing of little value
toy
;
7
ffor Having Spie’d above the Waves his Head
For having spied, above the waves, his head,
8
Shee Chastly his deſir’d imbraces ffled
She chastely his desired embraces fled.
9
Love made him nimble ffear made her make haſt
Love made him
Gloss Note
light and quick in movement; versatile; clever
nimble
; fear made her make haste;
10
Soe Daphne from her lover fled as fast
So
Gloss Note
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Daphne is a nymph committed to virginity who runs from the lustful god Apollo, who seeks to rape her; she is turned into a laurel tree by the gods in order to help her escape.
Daphne from her lover fled
as fast.
11
At last his Breath did move her flowing Haire
At last,
Gloss Note
Apollo’s breath moves Daphne’s hair when he is near enough almost to overtake her.
his breath did move her flowing hair
;
12
En’e Soe the Turtle did or’e Catch his ffaire
E’en so the turtle did
Gloss Note
overtake
o’ercatch
his fair.
13
Thus Love then ffear did prove more Swift in Chaſe
Thus love than fear did prove more swift in chase,
14
Which forct her Yield Unto her Loves imbrace
Which forced her yield unto her love’s embrace.
15
Soe the grand Sygnior makes his vaſſels yield
So the
Gloss Note
the Ottoman Sultan
Grand Seignior
makes his
Gloss Note
subordinates; servants; subjects
vassals
yield
16
When through their foot his cruell
Physical Note
multiple and diagonal strike-through
Spheir
they feild
Gloss Note
“feild” was an early modern spelling for “feel.” The source for the claim that the Sultan threw spears at his subject’s feet is not known.
When through their foot his cruel spear they feild
.
17
Physical Note
originally “But”; “t” struck-through multiple times on diagonal, then blotted; descender on “y” appears added later
Byt
this the Weomen of this Age may See
By this the women of this age may see
18
Physical Note
apostrophe and “s” either imperfectly erased or in light ink
Nothing’s
gains love like a virgin Modestie
Nothing gains love like a virgin modesty;
19
ffor Love Repulst doth more increaſe deſire
For love repulsed doth more increase desire,
20
As Oyl Thrown on to quench augments the fire
As oil thrown on to quench augments the fire.
21
Then Ladyes leave your Impudence for Shame
Then, ladies, leave your
Gloss Note
immodesty, indelicacy
impudence
, for shame;
22
Let not the Turtle have a Chaſter fflame.
Let not the turtle have a chaster flame.
horizontal straight line
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

This poem was certainly not written for an era with heightened awareness of sexual harassment. With its moral based, as in so many of Pulter’s emblems, on a combination of zoological, mythological, and historical (or pseudo-historical) precedents, the speaker advises women seeking love to demonstrate “a virgin modesty”—which, in this case, involves playing hard to get, even in response to “desired embraces.” The female turtle at the heart of the poem is a surprisingly complex character: “as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,” she imagines (through the speaker’s focalization) accepting a mate as a matter of “sell[ing] her freedom,” and at once desires and fears the male’s embraces. The comparison of her to the mythological Daphne, who was not coyly seeking to increase Apollo’s desire but running from a would-be rapist, adds tension to the story of the turtle’s happy desire to get her man. While such complex motivations, especially in a turtle, are necessarily intriguing, there is also something more than slightly disconcerting in Pulter’s impassive likening of this successful courtship to a sword being stabbed through a vassal’s foot, and in her knowing invocation of a worn and wearing paradox: “love repulsed doth more increase desire.”
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Seeing as; when
Line number 1

 Gloss note

of or relating to marriage or procreation; natural
Line number 3

 Gloss note

object of love
Line number 6

 Gloss note

amorous sport, dallying; amusement; trifling speech; idle fancy; thing of little value
Line number 9

 Gloss note

light and quick in movement; versatile; clever
Line number 10

 Gloss note

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Daphne is a nymph committed to virginity who runs from the lustful god Apollo, who seeks to rape her; she is turned into a laurel tree by the gods in order to help her escape.
Line number 11

 Gloss note

Apollo’s breath moves Daphne’s hair when he is near enough almost to overtake her.
Line number 12

 Gloss note

overtake
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the Ottoman Sultan
Line number 15

 Gloss note

subordinates; servants; subjects
Line number 16

 Gloss note

“feild” was an early modern spelling for “feel.” The source for the claim that the Sultan threw spears at his subject’s feet is not known.
Line number 21

 Gloss note

immodesty, indelicacy
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 47]
The Turtle and his Paramour
(Emblem 47)
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
This poem was certainly not written for an era with heightened awareness of sexual harassment. With its moral based, as in so many of Pulter’s emblems, on a combination of zoological, mythological, and historical (or pseudo-historical) precedents, the speaker advises women seeking love to demonstrate “a virgin modesty”—which, in this case, involves playing hard to get, even in response to “desired embraces.” The female turtle at the heart of the poem is a surprisingly complex character: “as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,” she imagines (through the speaker’s focalization) accepting a mate as a matter of “sell[ing] her freedom,” and at once desires and fears the male’s embraces. The comparison of her to the mythological Daphne, who was not coyly seeking to increase Apollo’s desire but running from a would-be rapist, adds tension to the story of the turtle’s happy desire to get her man. While such complex motivations, especially in a turtle, are necessarily intriguing, there is also something more than slightly disconcerting in Pulter’s impassive likening of this successful courtship to a sword being stabbed through a vassal’s foot, and in her knowing invocation of a worn and wearing paradox: “love repulsed doth more increase desire.”

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
47Whenas that Geniall Univerſall ffire
Gloss Note
Seeing as; when
When as
that
Gloss Note
of or relating to marriage or procreation; natural
genial
universal fire
2
Had in the
Physical Note
vertical strike-through
Turtles
Reinflamd deſire
Had in the turtle reinflamed desire,
3
Hee having found a Beavtious Paramore
He, having found a beauteous
Gloss Note
object of love
paramour
,
4
Her Love, and pitty, both hee doth implore
Her love and pity both he doth implore.
5
But Shee as Wiſe, as ffaire, as Chast, as Coy
But she, as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,
6
Was Loth to Sell her ffreedome for A Toy
Was loath to sell her freedom for a
Gloss Note
amorous sport, dallying; amusement; trifling speech; idle fancy; thing of little value
toy
;
7
ffor Having Spie’d above the Waves his Head
For having spied, above the waves, his head,
8
Shee Chastly his deſir’d imbraces ffled
She chastely his desired embraces fled.
9
Love made him nimble ffear made her make haſt
Love made him
Gloss Note
light and quick in movement; versatile; clever
nimble
; fear made her make haste;
10
Soe Daphne from her lover fled as fast
So
Gloss Note
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Daphne is a nymph committed to virginity who runs from the lustful god Apollo, who seeks to rape her; she is turned into a laurel tree by the gods in order to help her escape.
Daphne from her lover fled
as fast.
11
At last his Breath did move her flowing Haire
At last,
Gloss Note
Apollo’s breath moves Daphne’s hair when he is near enough almost to overtake her.
his breath did move her flowing hair
;
12
En’e Soe the Turtle did or’e Catch his ffaire
E’en so the turtle did
Gloss Note
overtake
o’ercatch
his fair.
13
Thus Love then ffear did prove more Swift in Chaſe
Thus love than fear did prove more swift in chase,
14
Which forct her Yield Unto her Loves imbrace
Which forced her yield unto her love’s embrace.
15
Soe the grand Sygnior makes his vaſſels yield
So the
Gloss Note
the Ottoman Sultan
Grand Seignior
makes his
Gloss Note
subordinates; servants; subjects
vassals
yield
16
When through their foot his cruell
Physical Note
multiple and diagonal strike-through
Spheir
they feild
Gloss Note
“feild” was an early modern spelling for “feel.” The source for the claim that the Sultan threw spears at his subject’s feet is not known.
When through their foot his cruel spear they feild
.
17
Physical Note
originally “But”; “t” struck-through multiple times on diagonal, then blotted; descender on “y” appears added later
Byt
this the Weomen of this Age may See
By this the women of this age may see
18
Physical Note
apostrophe and “s” either imperfectly erased or in light ink
Nothing’s
gains love like a virgin Modestie
Nothing gains love like a virgin modesty;
19
ffor Love Repulst doth more increaſe deſire
For love repulsed doth more increase desire,
20
As Oyl Thrown on to quench augments the fire
As oil thrown on to quench augments the fire.
21
Then Ladyes leave your Impudence for Shame
Then, ladies, leave your
Gloss Note
immodesty, indelicacy
impudence
, for shame;
22
Let not the Turtle have a Chaſter fflame.
Let not the turtle have a chaster flame.
horizontal straight line
X (Close panel) All 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.
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

This poem was certainly not written for an era with heightened awareness of sexual harassment. With its moral based, as in so many of Pulter’s emblems, on a combination of zoological, mythological, and historical (or pseudo-historical) precedents, the speaker advises women seeking love to demonstrate “a virgin modesty”—which, in this case, involves playing hard to get, even in response to “desired embraces.” The female turtle at the heart of the poem is a surprisingly complex character: “as wise, as fair, as chaste, as coy,” she imagines (through the speaker’s focalization) accepting a mate as a matter of “sell[ing] her freedom,” and at once desires and fears the male’s embraces. The comparison of her to the mythological Daphne, who was not coyly seeking to increase Apollo’s desire but running from a would-be rapist, adds tension to the story of the turtle’s happy desire to get her man. While such complex motivations, especially in a turtle, are necessarily intriguing, there is also something more than slightly disconcerting in Pulter’s impassive likening of this successful courtship to a sword being stabbed through a vassal’s foot, and in her knowing invocation of a worn and wearing paradox: “love repulsed doth more increase desire.”
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Seeing as; when
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

of or relating to marriage or procreation; natural
Transcription
Line number 2

 Physical note

vertical strike-through
Elemental Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

object of love
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

amorous sport, dallying; amusement; trifling speech; idle fancy; thing of little value
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

light and quick in movement; versatile; clever
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Daphne is a nymph committed to virginity who runs from the lustful god Apollo, who seeks to rape her; she is turned into a laurel tree by the gods in order to help her escape.
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

Apollo’s breath moves Daphne’s hair when he is near enough almost to overtake her.
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

overtake
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the Ottoman Sultan
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

subordinates; servants; subjects
Transcription
Line number 16

 Physical note

multiple and diagonal strike-through
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

“feild” was an early modern spelling for “feel.” The source for the claim that the Sultan threw spears at his subject’s feet is not known.
Transcription
Line number 17

 Physical note

originally “But”; “t” struck-through multiple times on diagonal, then blotted; descender on “y” appears added later
Transcription
Line number 18

 Physical note

apostrophe and “s” either imperfectly erased or in light ink
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Gloss note

immodesty, indelicacy
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
ManuscriptX (Close panel)
image