The Marmottane (Emblem 24)

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The Marmottane (Emblem 24)

Poem 89

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 1

 Physical note

in left margin: “[?]or Rat of Pontus / Plinie his 8 book / chap 37”
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
The Marmottane
(Emblem 24)
Emblem 24
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 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, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, “ff” is modernized to “F,” and superscriptions are lowered. 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
Rodents are not the most obvious emblem of married love; one type of rat, however, did exhibit equity between the sexes, as Pulter learned when she read her Pliny, a classical natural historian whose account of the exotic Rat of Pontus she draws on here. The poem offers a heartfelt but still humorous challenge to the ne’er-do-well husbands targeted by its final line, since the gap invoked between rattish harmony and human discord must invite embarrassed laughter: if rats can manage, why can’t we? But the cozy harvest-home portrait of the animals’ den finds no parallel symbiosis in the human realm, where the choice made by “most” husbands is between roaming public houses of ill-repute (leaving a pleasureless, care-filled domesticity to their wives) and infesting private homes with their tyranny. As well as contrasting the human and non-human—not to our advantage—the poem quietly critiques the greater pleasures of the hard-working rural rats with “wealthy” couples who fail to appropriately enjoy their wealth, including each other.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This emblem contemplates the marmot as a symbol of marital harmony. Pulter begins her poem by referring to Pliny’s description of the marmot piling grass and herbs on its mate’s belly and then drawing it by the tail into their den. She contrasts that image of shared wealth with human husbands who either neglect or subjugate their wives.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
24
Physical Note
in left margin: “[?]or Rat of Pontus / Plinie his 8 book / chap 37”
The
sMarmottanes for Unitie’s Renownd
The
Critical Note
A marmot is a burrowing rodent. A marginal note identifies “Marmottane” with the “Rat of Pontus” in Pliny’s natural history. There, Pliny suggests that when either “male or female is laden with grass and herbs,” one animal “lieth upon the back with the said provision upon their bellies,” and the other takes “the tail with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth [den]: thus do they one by the other in turns.” Pliny, The History of the World, trans. Philemon Holland (London, 1601), p. 217.
marmottane’s
for unity’s renowned,
Critical Note
In the left margin is the note “or Rat of Pontus Plinie his 8 book chap 37.” Pontus is a region in what is now Turkey. Editions of Pliny the Elder’s The historie of the world: commonly called, The naturall historie of C. Plinius Secundus, translated by Philemon Holland, were printed in 1601, 1634, and 1635. Chapter 37 of the eighth book is headed, “Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alps: also of Vrchins and Hedge-hogs” (pp. 216-217 in each edition). The chapter begins, “The Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter:[…] Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brocks or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are prouided of victuals before hand which they gather together and carry into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and herbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth vpon the backe with the said prouision vpon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backes are bare and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotaines there be in Ægypt; and in the same manner thay sit ordinarily vpon their buttocks, and vpon their two hinder feet they goe, vsing their fore-feet in stead of hands.”
The
Gloss Note
Marmots are burrowing rodents from the squirrel family (OED 1a). The spelling chosen by Pulter is that which is used in Holland’s translation of Pliny.
Marmottanes
for Unitie’s Renownd
2
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
And for conjugal love they may be crowned.
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
3
That you may See noe Wiſdome they doe lack
That you may see no wisdom they do lack:
That you may See noe Wisdome they doe lack
4
They lye alternately upon their Back
They lie alternately upon their back;
They lye alternately upon their Back
5
T’other w:th Graſs and Herbs doth Load him well
Gloss Note
The other
T’other
with grass and herbs doth load him well;
T’other with Grass and Herbs doth Load him well
6
Then by the tayl Shee draws him to their Cell
Then by the tail she draws him to their cell.
Then by the tayl
Critical Note
Holland suggests that the male and female marmot take turns being loaded with food and being dragged by the other; Pulter also makes the point that they “lye alternately upon their Back” (l. 4) but here she dramatizes the female marmot taking the more active role.
Shee
draws him to their
Gloss Note
the den of a wild beast (OED 1c)
Cell
7
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
There, neat and warm, they join to build their nest,
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
8
In which all Winter they doe Sit and ffeast
In which, all winter, they do sit and feast
In which all Winter they doe Sit and Feast
9
With Corn and ffruits by them lay’d up in Store
With corn and fruits by them laid up in store,
With Corn and Fruits by them lay’d up in Store
10
ffor till next Sumer Comes they’l need noe more
For till next summer comes they’ll need no more.
For till next Summer Comes they’l need noe more
11
Surely they live by ffarr more happie lives
Surely they live, by far, more happy lives
Surely they live by Farr more happie lives
12
Then many Wealthy Huſbands and their Wives
Than many wealthy husbands and their wives!
Then many Wealthy Husbands and their Wives
13
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
Some noble minds there be, I know, will share
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
14
Their pleaſure with their Wives as well as Care
Their pleasure with their wives, as well as care;
Their pleasure with their Wives as well as Care
15
But most to Taverns or to Worſ will Rome
But most to taverns—or to worse—will roam,
But most to Taverns or to Wors will
Critical Note
Pulter’s disparagement of husbands who roam to taverns or worse (presumably brothels) echoes “This Poor Turtledove” (Emblem 20) in which she criticizes husbands who follow a dissolute path. She writes, “Then if your Husbands Rant it high and Game” (line 23), but in that poem she urges wives to avoid following their spouses’ bad example: “Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame” (line 24). In that poem, Pulter advises wives, rather than husbands, not to “Roame … to plays and Taverns” (lines 32-34). She suggests that wives should “Chastly live and Rather Spend your dayes / In Setting Forth Your great Creator’s praise” and even to write “harmles Rimes” as she does (lines 42-45; my transcriptions from the manuscript). Her interest in this emblem on the marmots is to focus on the couple and the domestic happiness they can enjoy. Interestingly, in his discussion of the marmot (which he calls the alpine mouse), Edward Topsell depicts little marital cooperation between the male and female (The historie of foure-footed beastes [1607], p. 525; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for this reference): “Now the female in this kind is crafty, and more apt to deuoure; the male on the other side more thirsty and sparing, wherefore he driueth his female out of the den in the winter time, and stopeth the mouth of his caue, to forbid hir entrance, but she getteth behind the same, and diggeth a secret hole, whilest the male lyeth at the mouth asleepe, she consumeth the whole store behind him, wherefore in the spring time she commeth forth very fat and comely, and he very leane. And therefore in my opinion, the makers of Emblems may very well discribe an vnthrifty wise [i.e., wife], that consumeth her husbands wealth, by the picture of this female.”
Rome
16
Or elce they’l alwais Tiranniſe at home
Or else they’ll always
Gloss Note
rule absolutely or oppressively
tyrannize
at home.
Or elce they’l alwais
Critical Note
The language of tyranny in the context of relations between husbands and wives is used by many women writers of the seventeenth century. While most writers acknowledge the authority of Adam over Eve, particularly post-Fall, they often object to an abuse of that power. Aemilia Lanyer, in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), lines 825-830, addresses contemporary men with the bold request, “Then let us have our Libertie againe, / And challendge to your selves no Sov’raigntie;[…] Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine / Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?” (The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, edited by Susanne Woods, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 87). The fault to which Lanyer is referring is that of Pilate ordering the crucifixion of Christ, which Lanyer argues has tainted all men by association, just as Eve eating the apple has tainted all women. In a tract of 1649 called A vision: wherein is manifested the disease and cure of the kingdome (which argues against King Charles’s execution), Elizabeth Poole uses metaphors comparing the king and his subjects to a tyrannical husband and his suffering wife. Poole writes, “For he is the Father and husband of your bodyes, as unto men, and therefore your right cannot be without him …. Onely consider, that as she [i.e., Abigail, the virtuous wife of cruel Nabal] lifted not her hand against her husband to take his life, no more doe yee against yours …. For know this, the Conquest was not without divine displeasure, whereby Kings came to reigne, though through lust they tyranized: which God excuseth not, but judgeth; and his judgements are fallen heavy, as you see, upon Charles your Lord” (pp. 4-5; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for the Poole reference). In a digression on the implications of Eve’s punishment that her desire shall be for her husband (Genesis 3:16), Lucy Hutchinson discusses the way that wives choose the shackles of marriage out of love for their husbands. In Order and Disorder (1679), canto 5, lines 139-143, she writes, “Now though they easier under wise rule prove, / And every burden is made light by love, / Yet golden fetters, soft-lined yokes, still be / Though gentler curbs, but curbs of liberty, / As well as the harsh tyrant’s iron yoke” (Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, edited by David Norbrook, Blackwell, 2001, p. 69).
Tirannise
at home
17
If you Should aſk mee which of theſe is worſs
If you should ask me which of these is worse,
If you Should ask mee which of these is worss
18
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curſs
Trust me, I know not: either is a curse.
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curss
19
If Such doe Read theſe lines to them I Say
If such do read these lines, to them I say:
If Such doe Read these lines to them I Say
20
The Rat of Pontuſ’s Lovinger then they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
lovinger
than they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
Lovinger
then they.
ascending straight line
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition 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

Rodents are not the most obvious emblem of married love; one type of rat, however, did exhibit equity between the sexes, as Pulter learned when she read her Pliny, a classical natural historian whose account of the exotic Rat of Pontus she draws on here. The poem offers a heartfelt but still humorous challenge to the ne’er-do-well husbands targeted by its final line, since the gap invoked between rattish harmony and human discord must invite embarrassed laughter: if rats can manage, why can’t we? But the cozy harvest-home portrait of the animals’ den finds no parallel symbiosis in the human realm, where the choice made by “most” husbands is between roaming public houses of ill-repute (leaving a pleasureless, care-filled domesticity to their wives) and infesting private homes with their tyranny. As well as contrasting the human and non-human—not to our advantage—the poem quietly critiques the greater pleasures of the hard-working rural rats with “wealthy” couples who fail to appropriately enjoy their wealth, including each other.
Line number 1

 Critical note

A marmot is a burrowing rodent. A marginal note identifies “Marmottane” with the “Rat of Pontus” in Pliny’s natural history. There, Pliny suggests that when either “male or female is laden with grass and herbs,” one animal “lieth upon the back with the said provision upon their bellies,” and the other takes “the tail with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth [den]: thus do they one by the other in turns.” Pliny, The History of the World, trans. Philemon Holland (London, 1601), p. 217.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The other
Line number 16

 Gloss note

rule absolutely or oppressively
Line number 20

 Gloss note

more loving
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
The Marmottane
(Emblem 24)
Emblem 24
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 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, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, “ff” is modernized to “F,” and superscriptions are lowered. 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
Rodents are not the most obvious emblem of married love; one type of rat, however, did exhibit equity between the sexes, as Pulter learned when she read her Pliny, a classical natural historian whose account of the exotic Rat of Pontus she draws on here. The poem offers a heartfelt but still humorous challenge to the ne’er-do-well husbands targeted by its final line, since the gap invoked between rattish harmony and human discord must invite embarrassed laughter: if rats can manage, why can’t we? But the cozy harvest-home portrait of the animals’ den finds no parallel symbiosis in the human realm, where the choice made by “most” husbands is between roaming public houses of ill-repute (leaving a pleasureless, care-filled domesticity to their wives) and infesting private homes with their tyranny. As well as contrasting the human and non-human—not to our advantage—the poem quietly critiques the greater pleasures of the hard-working rural rats with “wealthy” couples who fail to appropriately enjoy their wealth, including each other.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This emblem contemplates the marmot as a symbol of marital harmony. Pulter begins her poem by referring to Pliny’s description of the marmot piling grass and herbs on its mate’s belly and then drawing it by the tail into their den. She contrasts that image of shared wealth with human husbands who either neglect or subjugate their wives.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
24
Physical Note
in left margin: “[?]or Rat of Pontus / Plinie his 8 book / chap 37”
The
sMarmottanes for Unitie’s Renownd
The
Critical Note
A marmot is a burrowing rodent. A marginal note identifies “Marmottane” with the “Rat of Pontus” in Pliny’s natural history. There, Pliny suggests that when either “male or female is laden with grass and herbs,” one animal “lieth upon the back with the said provision upon their bellies,” and the other takes “the tail with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth [den]: thus do they one by the other in turns.” Pliny, The History of the World, trans. Philemon Holland (London, 1601), p. 217.
marmottane’s
for unity’s renowned,
Critical Note
In the left margin is the note “or Rat of Pontus Plinie his 8 book chap 37.” Pontus is a region in what is now Turkey. Editions of Pliny the Elder’s The historie of the world: commonly called, The naturall historie of C. Plinius Secundus, translated by Philemon Holland, were printed in 1601, 1634, and 1635. Chapter 37 of the eighth book is headed, “Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alps: also of Vrchins and Hedge-hogs” (pp. 216-217 in each edition). The chapter begins, “The Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter:[…] Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brocks or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are prouided of victuals before hand which they gather together and carry into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and herbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth vpon the backe with the said prouision vpon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backes are bare and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotaines there be in Ægypt; and in the same manner thay sit ordinarily vpon their buttocks, and vpon their two hinder feet they goe, vsing their fore-feet in stead of hands.”
The
Gloss Note
Marmots are burrowing rodents from the squirrel family (OED 1a). The spelling chosen by Pulter is that which is used in Holland’s translation of Pliny.
Marmottanes
for Unitie’s Renownd
2
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
And for conjugal love they may be crowned.
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
3
That you may See noe Wiſdome they doe lack
That you may see no wisdom they do lack:
That you may See noe Wisdome they doe lack
4
They lye alternately upon their Back
They lie alternately upon their back;
They lye alternately upon their Back
5
T’other w:th Graſs and Herbs doth Load him well
Gloss Note
The other
T’other
with grass and herbs doth load him well;
T’other with Grass and Herbs doth Load him well
6
Then by the tayl Shee draws him to their Cell
Then by the tail she draws him to their cell.
Then by the tayl
Critical Note
Holland suggests that the male and female marmot take turns being loaded with food and being dragged by the other; Pulter also makes the point that they “lye alternately upon their Back” (l. 4) but here she dramatizes the female marmot taking the more active role.
Shee
draws him to their
Gloss Note
the den of a wild beast (OED 1c)
Cell
7
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
There, neat and warm, they join to build their nest,
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
8
In which all Winter they doe Sit and ffeast
In which, all winter, they do sit and feast
In which all Winter they doe Sit and Feast
9
With Corn and ffruits by them lay’d up in Store
With corn and fruits by them laid up in store,
With Corn and Fruits by them lay’d up in Store
10
ffor till next Sumer Comes they’l need noe more
For till next summer comes they’ll need no more.
For till next Summer Comes they’l need noe more
11
Surely they live by ffarr more happie lives
Surely they live, by far, more happy lives
Surely they live by Farr more happie lives
12
Then many Wealthy Huſbands and their Wives
Than many wealthy husbands and their wives!
Then many Wealthy Husbands and their Wives
13
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
Some noble minds there be, I know, will share
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
14
Their pleaſure with their Wives as well as Care
Their pleasure with their wives, as well as care;
Their pleasure with their Wives as well as Care
15
But most to Taverns or to Worſ will Rome
But most to taverns—or to worse—will roam,
But most to Taverns or to Wors will
Critical Note
Pulter’s disparagement of husbands who roam to taverns or worse (presumably brothels) echoes “This Poor Turtledove” (Emblem 20) in which she criticizes husbands who follow a dissolute path. She writes, “Then if your Husbands Rant it high and Game” (line 23), but in that poem she urges wives to avoid following their spouses’ bad example: “Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame” (line 24). In that poem, Pulter advises wives, rather than husbands, not to “Roame … to plays and Taverns” (lines 32-34). She suggests that wives should “Chastly live and Rather Spend your dayes / In Setting Forth Your great Creator’s praise” and even to write “harmles Rimes” as she does (lines 42-45; my transcriptions from the manuscript). Her interest in this emblem on the marmots is to focus on the couple and the domestic happiness they can enjoy. Interestingly, in his discussion of the marmot (which he calls the alpine mouse), Edward Topsell depicts little marital cooperation between the male and female (The historie of foure-footed beastes [1607], p. 525; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for this reference): “Now the female in this kind is crafty, and more apt to deuoure; the male on the other side more thirsty and sparing, wherefore he driueth his female out of the den in the winter time, and stopeth the mouth of his caue, to forbid hir entrance, but she getteth behind the same, and diggeth a secret hole, whilest the male lyeth at the mouth asleepe, she consumeth the whole store behind him, wherefore in the spring time she commeth forth very fat and comely, and he very leane. And therefore in my opinion, the makers of Emblems may very well discribe an vnthrifty wise [i.e., wife], that consumeth her husbands wealth, by the picture of this female.”
Rome
16
Or elce they’l alwais Tiranniſe at home
Or else they’ll always
Gloss Note
rule absolutely or oppressively
tyrannize
at home.
Or elce they’l alwais
Critical Note
The language of tyranny in the context of relations between husbands and wives is used by many women writers of the seventeenth century. While most writers acknowledge the authority of Adam over Eve, particularly post-Fall, they often object to an abuse of that power. Aemilia Lanyer, in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), lines 825-830, addresses contemporary men with the bold request, “Then let us have our Libertie againe, / And challendge to your selves no Sov’raigntie;[…] Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine / Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?” (The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, edited by Susanne Woods, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 87). The fault to which Lanyer is referring is that of Pilate ordering the crucifixion of Christ, which Lanyer argues has tainted all men by association, just as Eve eating the apple has tainted all women. In a tract of 1649 called A vision: wherein is manifested the disease and cure of the kingdome (which argues against King Charles’s execution), Elizabeth Poole uses metaphors comparing the king and his subjects to a tyrannical husband and his suffering wife. Poole writes, “For he is the Father and husband of your bodyes, as unto men, and therefore your right cannot be without him …. Onely consider, that as she [i.e., Abigail, the virtuous wife of cruel Nabal] lifted not her hand against her husband to take his life, no more doe yee against yours …. For know this, the Conquest was not without divine displeasure, whereby Kings came to reigne, though through lust they tyranized: which God excuseth not, but judgeth; and his judgements are fallen heavy, as you see, upon Charles your Lord” (pp. 4-5; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for the Poole reference). In a digression on the implications of Eve’s punishment that her desire shall be for her husband (Genesis 3:16), Lucy Hutchinson discusses the way that wives choose the shackles of marriage out of love for their husbands. In Order and Disorder (1679), canto 5, lines 139-143, she writes, “Now though they easier under wise rule prove, / And every burden is made light by love, / Yet golden fetters, soft-lined yokes, still be / Though gentler curbs, but curbs of liberty, / As well as the harsh tyrant’s iron yoke” (Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, edited by David Norbrook, Blackwell, 2001, p. 69).
Tirannise
at home
17
If you Should aſk mee which of theſe is worſs
If you should ask me which of these is worse,
If you Should ask mee which of these is worss
18
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curſs
Trust me, I know not: either is a curse.
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curss
19
If Such doe Read theſe lines to them I Say
If such do read these lines, to them I say:
If Such doe Read these lines to them I Say
20
The Rat of Pontuſ’s Lovinger then they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
lovinger
than they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
Lovinger
then they.
ascending straight line
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, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, “ff” is modernized to “F,” and superscriptions are lowered. 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 contemplates the marmot as a symbol of marital harmony. Pulter begins her poem by referring to Pliny’s description of the marmot piling grass and herbs on its mate’s belly and then drawing it by the tail into their den. She contrasts that image of shared wealth with human husbands who either neglect or subjugate their wives.
Line number 1

 Critical note

In the left margin is the note “or Rat of Pontus Plinie his 8 book chap 37.” Pontus is a region in what is now Turkey. Editions of Pliny the Elder’s The historie of the world: commonly called, The naturall historie of C. Plinius Secundus, translated by Philemon Holland, were printed in 1601, 1634, and 1635. Chapter 37 of the eighth book is headed, “Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alps: also of Vrchins and Hedge-hogs” (pp. 216-217 in each edition). The chapter begins, “The Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter:[…] Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brocks or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are prouided of victuals before hand which they gather together and carry into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and herbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth vpon the backe with the said prouision vpon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backes are bare and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotaines there be in Ægypt; and in the same manner thay sit ordinarily vpon their buttocks, and vpon their two hinder feet they goe, vsing their fore-feet in stead of hands.”
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Marmots are burrowing rodents from the squirrel family (OED 1a). The spelling chosen by Pulter is that which is used in Holland’s translation of Pliny.
Line number 6

 Critical note

Holland suggests that the male and female marmot take turns being loaded with food and being dragged by the other; Pulter also makes the point that they “lye alternately upon their Back” (l. 4) but here she dramatizes the female marmot taking the more active role.
Line number 6

 Gloss note

the den of a wild beast (OED 1c)
Line number 15

 Critical note

Pulter’s disparagement of husbands who roam to taverns or worse (presumably brothels) echoes “This Poor Turtledove” (Emblem 20) in which she criticizes husbands who follow a dissolute path. She writes, “Then if your Husbands Rant it high and Game” (line 23), but in that poem she urges wives to avoid following their spouses’ bad example: “Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame” (line 24). In that poem, Pulter advises wives, rather than husbands, not to “Roame … to plays and Taverns” (lines 32-34). She suggests that wives should “Chastly live and Rather Spend your dayes / In Setting Forth Your great Creator’s praise” and even to write “harmles Rimes” as she does (lines 42-45; my transcriptions from the manuscript). Her interest in this emblem on the marmots is to focus on the couple and the domestic happiness they can enjoy. Interestingly, in his discussion of the marmot (which he calls the alpine mouse), Edward Topsell depicts little marital cooperation between the male and female (The historie of foure-footed beastes [1607], p. 525; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for this reference): “Now the female in this kind is crafty, and more apt to deuoure; the male on the other side more thirsty and sparing, wherefore he driueth his female out of the den in the winter time, and stopeth the mouth of his caue, to forbid hir entrance, but she getteth behind the same, and diggeth a secret hole, whilest the male lyeth at the mouth asleepe, she consumeth the whole store behind him, wherefore in the spring time she commeth forth very fat and comely, and he very leane. And therefore in my opinion, the makers of Emblems may very well discribe an vnthrifty wise [i.e., wife], that consumeth her husbands wealth, by the picture of this female.”
Line number 16

 Critical note

The language of tyranny in the context of relations between husbands and wives is used by many women writers of the seventeenth century. While most writers acknowledge the authority of Adam over Eve, particularly post-Fall, they often object to an abuse of that power. Aemilia Lanyer, in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), lines 825-830, addresses contemporary men with the bold request, “Then let us have our Libertie againe, / And challendge to your selves no Sov’raigntie;[…] Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine / Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?” (The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, edited by Susanne Woods, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 87). The fault to which Lanyer is referring is that of Pilate ordering the crucifixion of Christ, which Lanyer argues has tainted all men by association, just as Eve eating the apple has tainted all women. In a tract of 1649 called A vision: wherein is manifested the disease and cure of the kingdome (which argues against King Charles’s execution), Elizabeth Poole uses metaphors comparing the king and his subjects to a tyrannical husband and his suffering wife. Poole writes, “For he is the Father and husband of your bodyes, as unto men, and therefore your right cannot be without him …. Onely consider, that as she [i.e., Abigail, the virtuous wife of cruel Nabal] lifted not her hand against her husband to take his life, no more doe yee against yours …. For know this, the Conquest was not without divine displeasure, whereby Kings came to reigne, though through lust they tyranized: which God excuseth not, but judgeth; and his judgements are fallen heavy, as you see, upon Charles your Lord” (pp. 4-5; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for the Poole reference). In a digression on the implications of Eve’s punishment that her desire shall be for her husband (Genesis 3:16), Lucy Hutchinson discusses the way that wives choose the shackles of marriage out of love for their husbands. In Order and Disorder (1679), canto 5, lines 139-143, she writes, “Now though they easier under wise rule prove, / And every burden is made light by love, / Yet golden fetters, soft-lined yokes, still be / Though gentler curbs, but curbs of liberty, / As well as the harsh tyrant’s iron yoke” (Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, edited by David Norbrook, Blackwell, 2001, p. 69).
Line number 20

 Gloss note

more loving
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

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The Marmottane
(Emblem 24)
Emblem 24
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 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, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, “ff” is modernized to “F,” and superscriptions are lowered. 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
Rodents are not the most obvious emblem of married love; one type of rat, however, did exhibit equity between the sexes, as Pulter learned when she read her Pliny, a classical natural historian whose account of the exotic Rat of Pontus she draws on here. The poem offers a heartfelt but still humorous challenge to the ne’er-do-well husbands targeted by its final line, since the gap invoked between rattish harmony and human discord must invite embarrassed laughter: if rats can manage, why can’t we? But the cozy harvest-home portrait of the animals’ den finds no parallel symbiosis in the human realm, where the choice made by “most” husbands is between roaming public houses of ill-repute (leaving a pleasureless, care-filled domesticity to their wives) and infesting private homes with their tyranny. As well as contrasting the human and non-human—not to our advantage—the poem quietly critiques the greater pleasures of the hard-working rural rats with “wealthy” couples who fail to appropriately enjoy their wealth, including each other.

— Victoria E. Burke
This emblem contemplates the marmot as a symbol of marital harmony. Pulter begins her poem by referring to Pliny’s description of the marmot piling grass and herbs on its mate’s belly and then drawing it by the tail into their den. She contrasts that image of shared wealth with human husbands who either neglect or subjugate their wives.

— Victoria E. Burke
1
24
Physical Note
in left margin: “[?]or Rat of Pontus / Plinie his 8 book / chap 37”
The
sMarmottanes for Unitie’s Renownd
The
Critical Note
A marmot is a burrowing rodent. A marginal note identifies “Marmottane” with the “Rat of Pontus” in Pliny’s natural history. There, Pliny suggests that when either “male or female is laden with grass and herbs,” one animal “lieth upon the back with the said provision upon their bellies,” and the other takes “the tail with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth [den]: thus do they one by the other in turns.” Pliny, The History of the World, trans. Philemon Holland (London, 1601), p. 217.
marmottane’s
for unity’s renowned,
Critical Note
In the left margin is the note “or Rat of Pontus Plinie his 8 book chap 37.” Pontus is a region in what is now Turkey. Editions of Pliny the Elder’s The historie of the world: commonly called, The naturall historie of C. Plinius Secundus, translated by Philemon Holland, were printed in 1601, 1634, and 1635. Chapter 37 of the eighth book is headed, “Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alps: also of Vrchins and Hedge-hogs” (pp. 216-217 in each edition). The chapter begins, “The Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter:[…] Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brocks or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are prouided of victuals before hand which they gather together and carry into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and herbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth vpon the backe with the said prouision vpon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backes are bare and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotaines there be in Ægypt; and in the same manner thay sit ordinarily vpon their buttocks, and vpon their two hinder feet they goe, vsing their fore-feet in stead of hands.”
The
Gloss Note
Marmots are burrowing rodents from the squirrel family (OED 1a). The spelling chosen by Pulter is that which is used in Holland’s translation of Pliny.
Marmottanes
for Unitie’s Renownd
2
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
And for conjugal love they may be crowned.
And for Conjugall Love they may be Crownd
3
That you may See noe Wiſdome they doe lack
That you may see no wisdom they do lack:
That you may See noe Wisdome they doe lack
4
They lye alternately upon their Back
They lie alternately upon their back;
They lye alternately upon their Back
5
T’other w:th Graſs and Herbs doth Load him well
Gloss Note
The other
T’other
with grass and herbs doth load him well;
T’other with Grass and Herbs doth Load him well
6
Then by the tayl Shee draws him to their Cell
Then by the tail she draws him to their cell.
Then by the tayl
Critical Note
Holland suggests that the male and female marmot take turns being loaded with food and being dragged by the other; Pulter also makes the point that they “lye alternately upon their Back” (l. 4) but here she dramatizes the female marmot taking the more active role.
Shee
draws him to their
Gloss Note
the den of a wild beast (OED 1c)
Cell
7
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
There, neat and warm, they join to build their nest,
They’r neat and Warm they Joyn to build their Nest
8
In which all Winter they doe Sit and ffeast
In which, all winter, they do sit and feast
In which all Winter they doe Sit and Feast
9
With Corn and ffruits by them lay’d up in Store
With corn and fruits by them laid up in store,
With Corn and Fruits by them lay’d up in Store
10
ffor till next Sumer Comes they’l need noe more
For till next summer comes they’ll need no more.
For till next Summer Comes they’l need noe more
11
Surely they live by ffarr more happie lives
Surely they live, by far, more happy lives
Surely they live by Farr more happie lives
12
Then many Wealthy Huſbands and their Wives
Than many wealthy husbands and their wives!
Then many Wealthy Husbands and their Wives
13
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
Some noble minds there be, I know, will share
Some Noble minds there bee I know will Share
14
Their pleaſure with their Wives as well as Care
Their pleasure with their wives, as well as care;
Their pleasure with their Wives as well as Care
15
But most to Taverns or to Worſ will Rome
But most to taverns—or to worse—will roam,
But most to Taverns or to Wors will
Critical Note
Pulter’s disparagement of husbands who roam to taverns or worse (presumably brothels) echoes “This Poor Turtledove” (Emblem 20) in which she criticizes husbands who follow a dissolute path. She writes, “Then if your Husbands Rant it high and Game” (line 23), but in that poem she urges wives to avoid following their spouses’ bad example: “Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame” (line 24). In that poem, Pulter advises wives, rather than husbands, not to “Roame … to plays and Taverns” (lines 32-34). She suggests that wives should “Chastly live and Rather Spend your dayes / In Setting Forth Your great Creator’s praise” and even to write “harmles Rimes” as she does (lines 42-45; my transcriptions from the manuscript). Her interest in this emblem on the marmots is to focus on the couple and the domestic happiness they can enjoy. Interestingly, in his discussion of the marmot (which he calls the alpine mouse), Edward Topsell depicts little marital cooperation between the male and female (The historie of foure-footed beastes [1607], p. 525; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for this reference): “Now the female in this kind is crafty, and more apt to deuoure; the male on the other side more thirsty and sparing, wherefore he driueth his female out of the den in the winter time, and stopeth the mouth of his caue, to forbid hir entrance, but she getteth behind the same, and diggeth a secret hole, whilest the male lyeth at the mouth asleepe, she consumeth the whole store behind him, wherefore in the spring time she commeth forth very fat and comely, and he very leane. And therefore in my opinion, the makers of Emblems may very well discribe an vnthrifty wise [i.e., wife], that consumeth her husbands wealth, by the picture of this female.”
Rome
16
Or elce they’l alwais Tiranniſe at home
Or else they’ll always
Gloss Note
rule absolutely or oppressively
tyrannize
at home.
Or elce they’l alwais
Critical Note
The language of tyranny in the context of relations between husbands and wives is used by many women writers of the seventeenth century. While most writers acknowledge the authority of Adam over Eve, particularly post-Fall, they often object to an abuse of that power. Aemilia Lanyer, in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), lines 825-830, addresses contemporary men with the bold request, “Then let us have our Libertie againe, / And challendge to your selves no Sov’raigntie;[…] Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine / Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?” (The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, edited by Susanne Woods, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 87). The fault to which Lanyer is referring is that of Pilate ordering the crucifixion of Christ, which Lanyer argues has tainted all men by association, just as Eve eating the apple has tainted all women. In a tract of 1649 called A vision: wherein is manifested the disease and cure of the kingdome (which argues against King Charles’s execution), Elizabeth Poole uses metaphors comparing the king and his subjects to a tyrannical husband and his suffering wife. Poole writes, “For he is the Father and husband of your bodyes, as unto men, and therefore your right cannot be without him …. Onely consider, that as she [i.e., Abigail, the virtuous wife of cruel Nabal] lifted not her hand against her husband to take his life, no more doe yee against yours …. For know this, the Conquest was not without divine displeasure, whereby Kings came to reigne, though through lust they tyranized: which God excuseth not, but judgeth; and his judgements are fallen heavy, as you see, upon Charles your Lord” (pp. 4-5; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for the Poole reference). In a digression on the implications of Eve’s punishment that her desire shall be for her husband (Genesis 3:16), Lucy Hutchinson discusses the way that wives choose the shackles of marriage out of love for their husbands. In Order and Disorder (1679), canto 5, lines 139-143, she writes, “Now though they easier under wise rule prove, / And every burden is made light by love, / Yet golden fetters, soft-lined yokes, still be / Though gentler curbs, but curbs of liberty, / As well as the harsh tyrant’s iron yoke” (Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, edited by David Norbrook, Blackwell, 2001, p. 69).
Tirannise
at home
17
If you Should aſk mee which of theſe is worſs
If you should ask me which of these is worse,
If you Should ask mee which of these is worss
18
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curſs
Trust me, I know not: either is a curse.
Trust mee (I know not) either is A Curss
19
If Such doe Read theſe lines to them I Say
If such do read these lines, to them I say:
If Such doe Read these lines to them I Say
20
The Rat of Pontuſ’s Lovinger then they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
lovinger
than they.
The Rat of Pontus’s
Gloss Note
more loving
Lovinger
then they.
ascending 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 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, colons indicating abbreviations are removed, “ff” is modernized to “F,” and superscriptions are lowered. 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

Rodents are not the most obvious emblem of married love; one type of rat, however, did exhibit equity between the sexes, as Pulter learned when she read her Pliny, a classical natural historian whose account of the exotic Rat of Pontus she draws on here. The poem offers a heartfelt but still humorous challenge to the ne’er-do-well husbands targeted by its final line, since the gap invoked between rattish harmony and human discord must invite embarrassed laughter: if rats can manage, why can’t we? But the cozy harvest-home portrait of the animals’ den finds no parallel symbiosis in the human realm, where the choice made by “most” husbands is between roaming public houses of ill-repute (leaving a pleasureless, care-filled domesticity to their wives) and infesting private homes with their tyranny. As well as contrasting the human and non-human—not to our advantage—the poem quietly critiques the greater pleasures of the hard-working rural rats with “wealthy” couples who fail to appropriately enjoy their wealth, including each other.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

This emblem contemplates the marmot as a symbol of marital harmony. Pulter begins her poem by referring to Pliny’s description of the marmot piling grass and herbs on its mate’s belly and then drawing it by the tail into their den. She contrasts that image of shared wealth with human husbands who either neglect or subjugate their wives.
Transcription
Line number 1

 Physical note

in left margin: “[?]or Rat of Pontus / Plinie his 8 book / chap 37”
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Critical note

A marmot is a burrowing rodent. A marginal note identifies “Marmottane” with the “Rat of Pontus” in Pliny’s natural history. There, Pliny suggests that when either “male or female is laden with grass and herbs,” one animal “lieth upon the back with the said provision upon their bellies,” and the other takes “the tail with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth [den]: thus do they one by the other in turns.” Pliny, The History of the World, trans. Philemon Holland (London, 1601), p. 217.
Amplified Edition
Line number 1

 Critical note

In the left margin is the note “or Rat of Pontus Plinie his 8 book chap 37.” Pontus is a region in what is now Turkey. Editions of Pliny the Elder’s The historie of the world: commonly called, The naturall historie of C. Plinius Secundus, translated by Philemon Holland, were printed in 1601, 1634, and 1635. Chapter 37 of the eighth book is headed, “Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alps: also of Vrchins and Hedge-hogs” (pp. 216-217 in each edition). The chapter begins, “The Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter:[…] Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brocks or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are prouided of victuals before hand which they gather together and carry into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and herbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth vpon the backe with the said prouision vpon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backes are bare and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotaines there be in Ægypt; and in the same manner thay sit ordinarily vpon their buttocks, and vpon their two hinder feet they goe, vsing their fore-feet in stead of hands.”
Amplified Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Marmots are burrowing rodents from the squirrel family (OED 1a). The spelling chosen by Pulter is that which is used in Holland’s translation of Pliny.
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The other
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Critical note

Holland suggests that the male and female marmot take turns being loaded with food and being dragged by the other; Pulter also makes the point that they “lye alternately upon their Back” (l. 4) but here she dramatizes the female marmot taking the more active role.
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

the den of a wild beast (OED 1c)
Amplified Edition
Line number 15

 Critical note

Pulter’s disparagement of husbands who roam to taverns or worse (presumably brothels) echoes “This Poor Turtledove” (Emblem 20) in which she criticizes husbands who follow a dissolute path. She writes, “Then if your Husbands Rant it high and Game” (line 23), but in that poem she urges wives to avoid following their spouses’ bad example: “Besure you Double not their Guilt and shame” (line 24). In that poem, Pulter advises wives, rather than husbands, not to “Roame … to plays and Taverns” (lines 32-34). She suggests that wives should “Chastly live and Rather Spend your dayes / In Setting Forth Your great Creator’s praise” and even to write “harmles Rimes” as she does (lines 42-45; my transcriptions from the manuscript). Her interest in this emblem on the marmots is to focus on the couple and the domestic happiness they can enjoy. Interestingly, in his discussion of the marmot (which he calls the alpine mouse), Edward Topsell depicts little marital cooperation between the male and female (The historie of foure-footed beastes [1607], p. 525; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for this reference): “Now the female in this kind is crafty, and more apt to deuoure; the male on the other side more thirsty and sparing, wherefore he driueth his female out of the den in the winter time, and stopeth the mouth of his caue, to forbid hir entrance, but she getteth behind the same, and diggeth a secret hole, whilest the male lyeth at the mouth asleepe, she consumeth the whole store behind him, wherefore in the spring time she commeth forth very fat and comely, and he very leane. And therefore in my opinion, the makers of Emblems may very well discribe an vnthrifty wise [i.e., wife], that consumeth her husbands wealth, by the picture of this female.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

rule absolutely or oppressively
Amplified Edition
Line number 16

 Critical note

The language of tyranny in the context of relations between husbands and wives is used by many women writers of the seventeenth century. While most writers acknowledge the authority of Adam over Eve, particularly post-Fall, they often object to an abuse of that power. Aemilia Lanyer, in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), lines 825-830, addresses contemporary men with the bold request, “Then let us have our Libertie againe, / And challendge to your selves no Sov’raigntie;[…] Your fault beeing greater, why should you disdaine / Our beeing your equals, free from tyranny?” (The Poems of Aemilia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, edited by Susanne Woods, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 87). The fault to which Lanyer is referring is that of Pilate ordering the crucifixion of Christ, which Lanyer argues has tainted all men by association, just as Eve eating the apple has tainted all women. In a tract of 1649 called A vision: wherein is manifested the disease and cure of the kingdome (which argues against King Charles’s execution), Elizabeth Poole uses metaphors comparing the king and his subjects to a tyrannical husband and his suffering wife. Poole writes, “For he is the Father and husband of your bodyes, as unto men, and therefore your right cannot be without him …. Onely consider, that as she [i.e., Abigail, the virtuous wife of cruel Nabal] lifted not her hand against her husband to take his life, no more doe yee against yours …. For know this, the Conquest was not without divine displeasure, whereby Kings came to reigne, though through lust they tyranized: which God excuseth not, but judgeth; and his judgements are fallen heavy, as you see, upon Charles your Lord” (pp. 4-5; with thanks to one of this edition’s anonymous reviewers for the Poole reference). In a digression on the implications of Eve’s punishment that her desire shall be for her husband (Genesis 3:16), Lucy Hutchinson discusses the way that wives choose the shackles of marriage out of love for their husbands. In Order and Disorder (1679), canto 5, lines 139-143, she writes, “Now though they easier under wise rule prove, / And every burden is made light by love, / Yet golden fetters, soft-lined yokes, still be / Though gentler curbs, but curbs of liberty, / As well as the harsh tyrant’s iron yoke” (Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, edited by David Norbrook, Blackwell, 2001, p. 69).
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

more loving
Amplified Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

more loving
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