Ambitious Apes (Emblem 26)

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Ambitious Apes (Emblem 26)

Poem #91

Original Source

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

Versions

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

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

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 24

 Physical note

part of “m” appears added later (changing “in” to “im”); “u” appears written over an earlier letter
Line number 25

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
Line number 29

 Physical note

“d” partly blotted, as is letter that follows, possibly “o”; above latter is ascending slash
Line number 31

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
Line number 35

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe
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 26]
Ambitious Apes
(Emblem 26)
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
A dreadful fate awaits those who try to move above their station, this emblem warns. Demonstrating her familiarity with an array of historical, biblical, mythological, and sources, Pulter shows how this lesson applies across space and time: from overly ambitious Roman emperors to powerful Assyrian queens; from Old Testament Israelite rulers to apes who inappropriately dress in human clothes. To see how all overly zealous ascents to power will necessarily be crushed, one simply needs to look at imperial conquests (like Spain’s conquest of Muslim territories) that lead to defeat. Pulter also directs her vision of the cycling of authority and its vanquishing to contemporary politics, mourning the loss of the pre-war English government and condemning “one O” (implicitly, Oliver Cromwell) for wreaking death and destruction on England in the civil war. Written during the Protectorate, the poem seems to ask with bitter glee: what nemesis awaits the horrific political overreaching of our own day?

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
26Thoſe that imployed are the Apes to catch
Those
Gloss Note
who
that
employéd are the apes to catch,
2
The places where they Haunt they Uſe to watch
The places
Gloss Note
Ape-catchers routinely keep an eye on the apes’ usual habitation (“haunt”)
where they haunt they use to watch
;
3
Stockings, and Cloths, abo^ut the Ground they Scatter
Stockings and clothes about the ground they scatter.
4
Then inſtantly the Apes begin to chatter
Then instantly the apes begin to chatter;
5
And beeing Ambitious to bee in the ffaſhion
And being ambitious to be in the fashion
6
Just as wee imitate our neighbour Nation
(Just as we imitate
Gloss Note
France, commonly known as setting fashion trends at the time
our neighbor nation
),
7
They draw them on, the Huntsmen then they See
Gloss Note
The apes pull on the clothes
They draw them on
. The huntsmen then they see;
8
Then every Ape begins to take A tree
Then every ape begins to
Gloss Note
climb
take
a tree.
9
But up they could not get for all their pains
But up they could not get for all their
Gloss Note
efforts
pains
;
10
They Strait were caught and led away in Chains
They straight were caught and led away in chains.
11
Thus thoſe which took a Town once from the Moors
Thus those which took a town once from the Moors
12
Through their Ambition were inſlav’d to Boores
Through their ambition were enslaved to
Gloss Note
peasants, especially Dutch or German; sometimes used pejoratively. This couplet possibly alludes to the Dutch conquest of Gibraltar from Spain in 1607; the Spanish (“those which took a town” in the preceding line) had overthrown Moorish (North African Muslim) rule of Gilbraltar in 1492 (Eardley).
boors
.
13
Symirimus that was old Ninis Love
Gloss Note
In Assyrian mythology, Semiramis is a goddess and queen to Ninus, founder of Nineveh, after whose death she founded Babylon and led victorious armies until, opposed by her son, she took the form of a dove and flew away.
Semiramis, that was old Ninus’s love
,
14
T’was her Ambition turnd her to a Dove
’Twas her ambition turned her to a dove.
15
Crook’d backs Ambition made five Monarchs Yield
Gloss Note
Crook’d-Back, or crookback, was a nickname applied to Richard III, who overcame five monarchs in his rise to power.
Crook’d-Back’s ambition made five monarchs yield
,
16
Whose Score hee pay’d again in Boſworth ffield
Gloss Note
At the Battle of Bosworth (1485), Richard III was killed by Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII.
Whose score he paid again in Bosworth field
.
17
Ambition made one O his Soveraign Kill
Ambition made one
Gloss Note
What seems like an emotional exclamation can also signify Oliver Cromwell’s first initial; Cromwell led the Parliamentarians who killed King Charles I during the English Civil War.
O
his sovereign kill,
18
And to mak’t good much Inocent blood to Spill
And to
Gloss Note
make it
mak’t
good, much innocent blood to spill.
19
But ther’s a Nemuſes that will look Down
But there’s a
Gloss Note
In Greek mythology, personification of the gods’ disapproval, jealousy, and retribution.
Nemesis
that will look down
20
On all Uſurpers of their Maſters Crown
On all usurpers of their masters’
Gloss Note
crowns
crown
.
21
Soe Jezabell bid furious Jehew See
So
Gloss Note
Jezebel, as the widow of Israel’s King Ahab, was killed by Jehu, who became king; before her death, Jezebel says to Jehu, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” (2 Kings 9:31).
Jezebel bid furious Jehu
see
22
The Curſed end of Nimries Treacherie
The curséd end of
Gloss Note
In the Bible, Zimri is a captain who kills the king of Israel and makes himself king; he himself in turn is defeated and killed (2 Kings 9:30–31).
Zimri’s treachery
.
23
Photion the Royall ffamily Subdued
Gloss Note
One faction of the Athenian leadership accused Phocion (an Athenian general and statesman, 402-318 BCE) of enabling the death of Antipater (the Madedonian statesman); Phocion was put to death for treason. Pulter alters her likely source (Plutarch) by crediting Phocion’s guilt, when Phocion was generally remembered as a just and moral leader. See Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. Thomas North (London, 1579), pp. 797-814.
Phocion the royal family subdued
,
24
And in their Princely blood his hands
Physical Note
part of “m” appears added later (changing “in” to “im”); “u” appears written over an earlier letter
imBruwed
And in their princely blood his hands
Gloss Note
Phocion’s hands are stained or steeped in the royal family’s blood, or (in another sense) infected by it.
imbrued
,
25
Which horrid Action hee and ^his all
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
his
Rued
Which horrid action
Gloss Note
Phocion and his supporters/family
he and his
all rued.
26
Andronicus that made his Soveraign Bleed
Gloss Note
After defeating the Goths, the Roman general Titus Andronicus gave permission to sacrifice the eldest son of Tamora, queen of the Goths, to appease the souls of his dead sons, and thereby unleashed a series of horrific acts of revenge.
Andronicus
, that made his sovereign bleed,
27
Cryed out at Last don’t bruiſe A bruiſed Reed
Cried out at last, “Don’t bruise a bruiséd reed.”
28
Soe Diocles the fateall Boar puld down
So
Gloss Note
Diocletian (also known as Diocles) was Roman emperor from 284 to 305, a position he achieved in part by killing Aper (Latin for “boar”), thus fulfilling the prediction that he would become emperor only after he killed a boar. See, for example, Fletcher and Massinger, The Prophetess, in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Comedies and Tragedies [London, 1647]). Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to abdicate his position voluntarily. Thanks to Sam Nguyen for information in this note.
Diocles the fatal boar pulled down
29
And
Physical Note
“d” partly blotted, as is letter that follows, possibly “o”; above latter is ascending slash
triump’h’d[?]n
his Murther’d Maſters Crown
And triumphed in his murdered master’s crown,
till

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
30
Till finding it too heavie lay’d it by
Till, finding it too heavy, laid it by;
31
But
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
yet for
yet for all hee by the Sword did Die
But yet,
Gloss Note
even though he set aside the crown; or possibly, for his crimes
for all
, he by the sword did die.
32
Pompias ambition would noe Superiour have
Gloss Note
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey the Great, formed the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, but disagreement with Caesar resulted in civil war.
Pompey’s ambition
would no superior have;
33
Hee lost his hopes in Ægypt found A grave
Gloss Note
Pompey, defeated at the battle of Pharsalus, fled to Egypt, where he was murdered.
He lost his hopes, in Egypt found a grave
.
34
Cæſar noe Equall ever would abide
Gloss Note
Julius Caesar, Roman dictator, was murdered (as the next line indicates) in a conspiracy led by his senators.
Cæsar no equal ever would abide
;
35
Hee had his Aime Yet
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe
by
the Senate Died
He had his aim, yet by the senate died.
36
Ambition made the Trumviry end
Ambition made
Gloss Note
an association of three magistrates for joint administration; here, the First Triumvirate (see note above on “Pompey’s ambition”)
the trumviri
end
37
When each to other Sacrificed his ffreind
When each to other sacrificed his friend.
38
Ambition made the Ephory give or’e
Ambition made the
Gloss Note
In ancient Greek, “ephor” refers to a board of magistrates in some divisions of ancient Greece (Dorian states).
ephory
give o’er
39
And kick’d King, Lords, & Comons, out of doors
Gloss Note
After the civil war ended, Parliamentarians in England restructured the government and abolished the titles designating kingship and the representative bodies of the House of Lords and House of Commons.
And kicked king, lords, and commons, out of doors
.
40
Thus all Confuſion from Ambition Springs
Thus all confusion from ambition springs:
41
Apes would bee men, and all men, would bee Kings
Apes would be men, and all men would be kings.
42
Then by this Emblem it doth plain apear
Then, by this emblem it doth plain appear,
43
T’is best for every one to keep his Sphere.
’Tis best for every one to keep his
Gloss Note
social station, place, or position; domain in which one’s activities or faculties find scope
sphere
.
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

A dreadful fate awaits those who try to move above their station, this emblem warns. Demonstrating her familiarity with an array of historical, biblical, mythological, and sources, Pulter shows how this lesson applies across space and time: from overly ambitious Roman emperors to powerful Assyrian queens; from Old Testament Israelite rulers to apes who inappropriately dress in human clothes. To see how all overly zealous ascents to power will necessarily be crushed, one simply needs to look at imperial conquests (like Spain’s conquest of Muslim territories) that lead to defeat. Pulter also directs her vision of the cycling of authority and its vanquishing to contemporary politics, mourning the loss of the pre-war English government and condemning “one O” (implicitly, Oliver Cromwell) for wreaking death and destruction on England in the civil war. Written during the Protectorate, the poem seems to ask with bitter glee: what nemesis awaits the horrific political overreaching of our own day?
Line number 1

 Gloss note

who
Line number 2

 Gloss note

Ape-catchers routinely keep an eye on the apes’ usual habitation (“haunt”)
Line number 6

 Gloss note

France, commonly known as setting fashion trends at the time
Line number 7

 Gloss note

The apes pull on the clothes
Line number 8

 Gloss note

climb
Line number 9

 Gloss note

efforts
Line number 12

 Gloss note

peasants, especially Dutch or German; sometimes used pejoratively. This couplet possibly alludes to the Dutch conquest of Gibraltar from Spain in 1607; the Spanish (“those which took a town” in the preceding line) had overthrown Moorish (North African Muslim) rule of Gilbraltar in 1492 (Eardley).
Line number 13

 Gloss note

In Assyrian mythology, Semiramis is a goddess and queen to Ninus, founder of Nineveh, after whose death she founded Babylon and led victorious armies until, opposed by her son, she took the form of a dove and flew away.
Line number 15

 Gloss note

Crook’d-Back, or crookback, was a nickname applied to Richard III, who overcame five monarchs in his rise to power.
Line number 16

 Gloss note

At the Battle of Bosworth (1485), Richard III was killed by Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII.
Line number 17

 Gloss note

What seems like an emotional exclamation can also signify Oliver Cromwell’s first initial; Cromwell led the Parliamentarians who killed King Charles I during the English Civil War.
Line number 18

 Gloss note

make it
Line number 19

 Gloss note

In Greek mythology, personification of the gods’ disapproval, jealousy, and retribution.
Line number 20

 Gloss note

crowns
Line number 21

 Gloss note

Jezebel, as the widow of Israel’s King Ahab, was killed by Jehu, who became king; before her death, Jezebel says to Jehu, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” (2 Kings 9:31).
Line number 22

 Gloss note

In the Bible, Zimri is a captain who kills the king of Israel and makes himself king; he himself in turn is defeated and killed (2 Kings 9:30–31).
Line number 23

 Gloss note

One faction of the Athenian leadership accused Phocion (an Athenian general and statesman, 402-318 BCE) of enabling the death of Antipater (the Madedonian statesman); Phocion was put to death for treason. Pulter alters her likely source (Plutarch) by crediting Phocion’s guilt, when Phocion was generally remembered as a just and moral leader. See Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. Thomas North (London, 1579), pp. 797-814.
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Phocion’s hands are stained or steeped in the royal family’s blood, or (in another sense) infected by it.
Line number 25

 Gloss note

Phocion and his supporters/family
Line number 26

 Gloss note

After defeating the Goths, the Roman general Titus Andronicus gave permission to sacrifice the eldest son of Tamora, queen of the Goths, to appease the souls of his dead sons, and thereby unleashed a series of horrific acts of revenge.
Line number 28

 Gloss note

Diocletian (also known as Diocles) was Roman emperor from 284 to 305, a position he achieved in part by killing Aper (Latin for “boar”), thus fulfilling the prediction that he would become emperor only after he killed a boar. See, for example, Fletcher and Massinger, The Prophetess, in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Comedies and Tragedies [London, 1647]). Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to abdicate his position voluntarily. Thanks to Sam Nguyen for information in this note.
Line number 31

 Gloss note

even though he set aside the crown; or possibly, for his crimes
Line number 32

 Gloss note

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey the Great, formed the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, but disagreement with Caesar resulted in civil war.
Line number 33

 Gloss note

Pompey, defeated at the battle of Pharsalus, fled to Egypt, where he was murdered.
Line number 34

 Gloss note

Julius Caesar, Roman dictator, was murdered (as the next line indicates) in a conspiracy led by his senators.
Line number 36

 Gloss note

an association of three magistrates for joint administration; here, the First Triumvirate (see note above on “Pompey’s ambition”)
Line number 38

 Gloss note

In ancient Greek, “ephor” refers to a board of magistrates in some divisions of ancient Greece (Dorian states).
Line number 39

 Gloss note

After the civil war ended, Parliamentarians in England restructured the government and abolished the titles designating kingship and the representative bodies of the House of Lords and House of Commons.
Line number 43

 Gloss note

social station, place, or position; domain in which one’s activities or faculties find scope
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 26]
Ambitious Apes
(Emblem 26)
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
A dreadful fate awaits those who try to move above their station, this emblem warns. Demonstrating her familiarity with an array of historical, biblical, mythological, and sources, Pulter shows how this lesson applies across space and time: from overly ambitious Roman emperors to powerful Assyrian queens; from Old Testament Israelite rulers to apes who inappropriately dress in human clothes. To see how all overly zealous ascents to power will necessarily be crushed, one simply needs to look at imperial conquests (like Spain’s conquest of Muslim territories) that lead to defeat. Pulter also directs her vision of the cycling of authority and its vanquishing to contemporary politics, mourning the loss of the pre-war English government and condemning “one O” (implicitly, Oliver Cromwell) for wreaking death and destruction on England in the civil war. Written during the Protectorate, the poem seems to ask with bitter glee: what nemesis awaits the horrific political overreaching of our own day?

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
26Thoſe that imployed are the Apes to catch
Those
Gloss Note
who
that
employéd are the apes to catch,
2
The places where they Haunt they Uſe to watch
The places
Gloss Note
Ape-catchers routinely keep an eye on the apes’ usual habitation (“haunt”)
where they haunt they use to watch
;
3
Stockings, and Cloths, abo^ut the Ground they Scatter
Stockings and clothes about the ground they scatter.
4
Then inſtantly the Apes begin to chatter
Then instantly the apes begin to chatter;
5
And beeing Ambitious to bee in the ffaſhion
And being ambitious to be in the fashion
6
Just as wee imitate our neighbour Nation
(Just as we imitate
Gloss Note
France, commonly known as setting fashion trends at the time
our neighbor nation
),
7
They draw them on, the Huntsmen then they See
Gloss Note
The apes pull on the clothes
They draw them on
. The huntsmen then they see;
8
Then every Ape begins to take A tree
Then every ape begins to
Gloss Note
climb
take
a tree.
9
But up they could not get for all their pains
But up they could not get for all their
Gloss Note
efforts
pains
;
10
They Strait were caught and led away in Chains
They straight were caught and led away in chains.
11
Thus thoſe which took a Town once from the Moors
Thus those which took a town once from the Moors
12
Through their Ambition were inſlav’d to Boores
Through their ambition were enslaved to
Gloss Note
peasants, especially Dutch or German; sometimes used pejoratively. This couplet possibly alludes to the Dutch conquest of Gibraltar from Spain in 1607; the Spanish (“those which took a town” in the preceding line) had overthrown Moorish (North African Muslim) rule of Gilbraltar in 1492 (Eardley).
boors
.
13
Symirimus that was old Ninis Love
Gloss Note
In Assyrian mythology, Semiramis is a goddess and queen to Ninus, founder of Nineveh, after whose death she founded Babylon and led victorious armies until, opposed by her son, she took the form of a dove and flew away.
Semiramis, that was old Ninus’s love
,
14
T’was her Ambition turnd her to a Dove
’Twas her ambition turned her to a dove.
15
Crook’d backs Ambition made five Monarchs Yield
Gloss Note
Crook’d-Back, or crookback, was a nickname applied to Richard III, who overcame five monarchs in his rise to power.
Crook’d-Back’s ambition made five monarchs yield
,
16
Whose Score hee pay’d again in Boſworth ffield
Gloss Note
At the Battle of Bosworth (1485), Richard III was killed by Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII.
Whose score he paid again in Bosworth field
.
17
Ambition made one O his Soveraign Kill
Ambition made one
Gloss Note
What seems like an emotional exclamation can also signify Oliver Cromwell’s first initial; Cromwell led the Parliamentarians who killed King Charles I during the English Civil War.
O
his sovereign kill,
18
And to mak’t good much Inocent blood to Spill
And to
Gloss Note
make it
mak’t
good, much innocent blood to spill.
19
But ther’s a Nemuſes that will look Down
But there’s a
Gloss Note
In Greek mythology, personification of the gods’ disapproval, jealousy, and retribution.
Nemesis
that will look down
20
On all Uſurpers of their Maſters Crown
On all usurpers of their masters’
Gloss Note
crowns
crown
.
21
Soe Jezabell bid furious Jehew See
So
Gloss Note
Jezebel, as the widow of Israel’s King Ahab, was killed by Jehu, who became king; before her death, Jezebel says to Jehu, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” (2 Kings 9:31).
Jezebel bid furious Jehu
see
22
The Curſed end of Nimries Treacherie
The curséd end of
Gloss Note
In the Bible, Zimri is a captain who kills the king of Israel and makes himself king; he himself in turn is defeated and killed (2 Kings 9:30–31).
Zimri’s treachery
.
23
Photion the Royall ffamily Subdued
Gloss Note
One faction of the Athenian leadership accused Phocion (an Athenian general and statesman, 402-318 BCE) of enabling the death of Antipater (the Madedonian statesman); Phocion was put to death for treason. Pulter alters her likely source (Plutarch) by crediting Phocion’s guilt, when Phocion was generally remembered as a just and moral leader. See Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. Thomas North (London, 1579), pp. 797-814.
Phocion the royal family subdued
,
24
And in their Princely blood his hands
Physical Note
part of “m” appears added later (changing “in” to “im”); “u” appears written over an earlier letter
imBruwed
And in their princely blood his hands
Gloss Note
Phocion’s hands are stained or steeped in the royal family’s blood, or (in another sense) infected by it.
imbrued
,
25
Which horrid Action hee and ^his all
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
his
Rued
Which horrid action
Gloss Note
Phocion and his supporters/family
he and his
all rued.
26
Andronicus that made his Soveraign Bleed
Gloss Note
After defeating the Goths, the Roman general Titus Andronicus gave permission to sacrifice the eldest son of Tamora, queen of the Goths, to appease the souls of his dead sons, and thereby unleashed a series of horrific acts of revenge.
Andronicus
, that made his sovereign bleed,
27
Cryed out at Last don’t bruiſe A bruiſed Reed
Cried out at last, “Don’t bruise a bruiséd reed.”
28
Soe Diocles the fateall Boar puld down
So
Gloss Note
Diocletian (also known as Diocles) was Roman emperor from 284 to 305, a position he achieved in part by killing Aper (Latin for “boar”), thus fulfilling the prediction that he would become emperor only after he killed a boar. See, for example, Fletcher and Massinger, The Prophetess, in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Comedies and Tragedies [London, 1647]). Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to abdicate his position voluntarily. Thanks to Sam Nguyen for information in this note.
Diocles the fatal boar pulled down
29
And
Physical Note
“d” partly blotted, as is letter that follows, possibly “o”; above latter is ascending slash
triump’h’d[?]n
his Murther’d Maſters Crown
And triumphed in his murdered master’s crown,
till

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30
Till finding it too heavie lay’d it by
Till, finding it too heavy, laid it by;
31
But
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
yet for
yet for all hee by the Sword did Die
But yet,
Gloss Note
even though he set aside the crown; or possibly, for his crimes
for all
, he by the sword did die.
32
Pompias ambition would noe Superiour have
Gloss Note
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey the Great, formed the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, but disagreement with Caesar resulted in civil war.
Pompey’s ambition
would no superior have;
33
Hee lost his hopes in Ægypt found A grave
Gloss Note
Pompey, defeated at the battle of Pharsalus, fled to Egypt, where he was murdered.
He lost his hopes, in Egypt found a grave
.
34
Cæſar noe Equall ever would abide
Gloss Note
Julius Caesar, Roman dictator, was murdered (as the next line indicates) in a conspiracy led by his senators.
Cæsar no equal ever would abide
;
35
Hee had his Aime Yet
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe
by
the Senate Died
He had his aim, yet by the senate died.
36
Ambition made the Trumviry end
Ambition made
Gloss Note
an association of three magistrates for joint administration; here, the First Triumvirate (see note above on “Pompey’s ambition”)
the trumviri
end
37
When each to other Sacrificed his ffreind
When each to other sacrificed his friend.
38
Ambition made the Ephory give or’e
Ambition made the
Gloss Note
In ancient Greek, “ephor” refers to a board of magistrates in some divisions of ancient Greece (Dorian states).
ephory
give o’er
39
And kick’d King, Lords, & Comons, out of doors
Gloss Note
After the civil war ended, Parliamentarians in England restructured the government and abolished the titles designating kingship and the representative bodies of the House of Lords and House of Commons.
And kicked king, lords, and commons, out of doors
.
40
Thus all Confuſion from Ambition Springs
Thus all confusion from ambition springs:
41
Apes would bee men, and all men, would bee Kings
Apes would be men, and all men would be kings.
42
Then by this Emblem it doth plain apear
Then, by this emblem it doth plain appear,
43
T’is best for every one to keep his Sphere.
’Tis best for every one to keep his
Gloss Note
social station, place, or position; domain in which one’s activities or faculties find scope
sphere
.
horizontal straight line
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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

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

A dreadful fate awaits those who try to move above their station, this emblem warns. Demonstrating her familiarity with an array of historical, biblical, mythological, and sources, Pulter shows how this lesson applies across space and time: from overly ambitious Roman emperors to powerful Assyrian queens; from Old Testament Israelite rulers to apes who inappropriately dress in human clothes. To see how all overly zealous ascents to power will necessarily be crushed, one simply needs to look at imperial conquests (like Spain’s conquest of Muslim territories) that lead to defeat. Pulter also directs her vision of the cycling of authority and its vanquishing to contemporary politics, mourning the loss of the pre-war English government and condemning “one O” (implicitly, Oliver Cromwell) for wreaking death and destruction on England in the civil war. Written during the Protectorate, the poem seems to ask with bitter glee: what nemesis awaits the horrific political overreaching of our own day?
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

who
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

Ape-catchers routinely keep an eye on the apes’ usual habitation (“haunt”)
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

France, commonly known as setting fashion trends at the time
Elemental Edition
Line number 7

 Gloss note

The apes pull on the clothes
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Gloss note

climb
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

efforts
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

peasants, especially Dutch or German; sometimes used pejoratively. This couplet possibly alludes to the Dutch conquest of Gibraltar from Spain in 1607; the Spanish (“those which took a town” in the preceding line) had overthrown Moorish (North African Muslim) rule of Gilbraltar in 1492 (Eardley).
Elemental Edition
Line number 13

 Gloss note

In Assyrian mythology, Semiramis is a goddess and queen to Ninus, founder of Nineveh, after whose death she founded Babylon and led victorious armies until, opposed by her son, she took the form of a dove and flew away.
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

Crook’d-Back, or crookback, was a nickname applied to Richard III, who overcame five monarchs in his rise to power.
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

At the Battle of Bosworth (1485), Richard III was killed by Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII.
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Gloss note

What seems like an emotional exclamation can also signify Oliver Cromwell’s first initial; Cromwell led the Parliamentarians who killed King Charles I during the English Civil War.
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

make it
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

In Greek mythology, personification of the gods’ disapproval, jealousy, and retribution.
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

crowns
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Gloss note

Jezebel, as the widow of Israel’s King Ahab, was killed by Jehu, who became king; before her death, Jezebel says to Jehu, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” (2 Kings 9:31).
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

In the Bible, Zimri is a captain who kills the king of Israel and makes himself king; he himself in turn is defeated and killed (2 Kings 9:30–31).
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

One faction of the Athenian leadership accused Phocion (an Athenian general and statesman, 402-318 BCE) of enabling the death of Antipater (the Madedonian statesman); Phocion was put to death for treason. Pulter alters her likely source (Plutarch) by crediting Phocion’s guilt, when Phocion was generally remembered as a just and moral leader. See Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, trans. Thomas North (London, 1579), pp. 797-814.
Transcription
Line number 24

 Physical note

part of “m” appears added later (changing “in” to “im”); “u” appears written over an earlier letter
Elemental Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Phocion’s hands are stained or steeped in the royal family’s blood, or (in another sense) infected by it.
Transcription
Line number 25

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

Phocion and his supporters/family
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

After defeating the Goths, the Roman general Titus Andronicus gave permission to sacrifice the eldest son of Tamora, queen of the Goths, to appease the souls of his dead sons, and thereby unleashed a series of horrific acts of revenge.
Elemental Edition
Line number 28

 Gloss note

Diocletian (also known as Diocles) was Roman emperor from 284 to 305, a position he achieved in part by killing Aper (Latin for “boar”), thus fulfilling the prediction that he would become emperor only after he killed a boar. See, for example, Fletcher and Massinger, The Prophetess, in Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Comedies and Tragedies [London, 1647]). Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to abdicate his position voluntarily. Thanks to Sam Nguyen for information in this note.
Transcription
Line number 29

 Physical note

“d” partly blotted, as is letter that follows, possibly “o”; above latter is ascending slash
Transcription
Line number 31

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple horizontal lines
Elemental Edition
Line number 31

 Gloss note

even though he set aside the crown; or possibly, for his crimes
Elemental Edition
Line number 32

 Gloss note

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey the Great, formed the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, but disagreement with Caesar resulted in civil war.
Elemental Edition
Line number 33

 Gloss note

Pompey, defeated at the battle of Pharsalus, fled to Egypt, where he was murdered.
Elemental Edition
Line number 34

 Gloss note

Julius Caesar, Roman dictator, was murdered (as the next line indicates) in a conspiracy led by his senators.
Transcription
Line number 35

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe
Elemental Edition
Line number 36

 Gloss note

an association of three magistrates for joint administration; here, the First Triumvirate (see note above on “Pompey’s ambition”)
Elemental Edition
Line number 38

 Gloss note

In ancient Greek, “ephor” refers to a board of magistrates in some divisions of ancient Greece (Dorian states).
Elemental Edition
Line number 39

 Gloss note

After the civil war ended, Parliamentarians in England restructured the government and abolished the titles designating kingship and the representative bodies of the House of Lords and House of Commons.
Elemental Edition
Line number 43

 Gloss note

social station, place, or position; domain in which one’s activities or faculties find scope
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