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Argalus and Parthenia, c. 1637 9

Argalus and Parthenia, c. 1637 9

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Kill our selves mutually; for who first does fall

Leads but the way to th’others funerall. Fight.

Enter Parthenia.

Parthenia. Eternall darknesse seaze me; O my Lord,

You are reported to be thrall to love;

For her sake you affect most, doe not make

A breach in ebbing nature; More! This bloud

Clothing the grasse in purple, does convert

My heart to Alablaster. O Argalus!


O Parthenia! Never till now unwelcome. Have I liv’d

To such an abject lownesse, that my life

Must (like a malefactors) be by prayers

Redeem’d from death. Let us renew the fight.

Ha! Me thinks I tread on slippery glasse, my

unsupporting feet

Dance measures on light waves, and I am sinking

Into the watery bosomes, there to rest for all eternity.

Amphialus. I have scene

So dying tapers, as it were, to light

Their own sad funerall; expiring, dart

(Being but stirr’d) their most illustrious beames,

And so extinguish.

Parthenia. Angels, if ye have charity, afford

Some surgery from heaven. Now I see the cause

Why my sad heart (fill’d with propheticke feare)

Sought to have stopt your journey: and why I

Compell’d by power of overruling Fate,

Follow’d you hither. Oh Argalus!


Parthenia, I doe feele

A marble sweat about my heart, which does

Congeale the remnant of my bloud to Ice;

My Lord, I doe forgive you, friend, farewell.

Parthenia, showre on my pale lips a kisse,

’Twill waft my soule to its eternall blisse.

Parthenia, O Parthenia.


Philarchus. So cracks the cordage of his heart, as Cables

That guide the heavie Anchors, cut by blasts

Of some big tempest. My Lord, your wounds are many,


And dangerous, ’tis fit you doe withdraw

And have’m cur’d.

Amphialus. I am carelesse growne, my life

Is now more odious to me than the light

Of day to Furies; Madam, I am past

The thought of griefe for this sad fact, and am



Griefes individuall substance: pray forgive me, heaven knowes

It was not malice that be tray’d

Your Lords lov’d life; but a necessitous force

To save my owne. Joy comfort you: thus Fate

Forces us act what we most truly hate.


Philarchus. Deare Madam, calme your passion, and resolve

To arme your soule with patience.


Patience, Sir?

Doubt not so much my temper, I am calme.

You see o’th sudden as untroubled seas.

I could stand silent here an age to view

This goodly ruine. Noblest Argalus,

If thou hadst died degenerate from thy selfe,

I should have flow’d with pity, till my teares

Had drown’d thy blasted memory; but since

Thou perish’d nobly, let thy soule expect

A joy, not sorrow from me: the greene oake

Lawrell, and lovely mirtle shall still flourish

About thy sepulchre, which shall be cut

Out of a mine of Diamonds; yet the brightnesse

Proceeding from thy ashes shall out-shine

The stones unvalew’d substance.

Philarchus. Sure she is growne insensible of her griefe

Or fallen into some wilde distraction.


You mistake;

Tis not a fury leads me to this strange

Demeanour; but conceit that I should sinne

Against my Argalus. Should I lament

His overthrow? No blest soule,

Augment th’ illustrious number of the starres,

Outshine the Ledan brothers; Ile not diminish

Thy glory by a teare, untill my brest

Does like the pious Pellican’s break forth

In purple fountains for thy losse, and then,

It shall diffuse for every drop thou shed’st

A Crimson river, then to thee Ile come:

To die for love’s a glorious martyrdome.



54. Richard Lovelace


Lovelace (1618–57/8), courtier and supporter of Charles I,

contributed to Clitophon and Leucippe with other Oxford friends

or connections of the translator. ‘Astrophil’ is also saluted in a

Chaucerian poem ‘To his Friend A.H.’ by Francis James (sig.

A7); the name ‘Clitophon’ must also have reminded readers

inescapably of the character in Arcadia.

For similar use of Arcadia and the combined virtues of the

princesses, see Nos 52, 62, 35.

From ‘To the Ladies’, in Achilles Tatius, The Loves of Clitophon

and Leucippe, [trans. Anthony Hodges,] Oxford, 1638, sig. A5v.

Faire ones, breathe: a while lay by

Blessed Sidney’s Arcady:

Here’s a Story that will make

You not repent Him to forsake.

Brave Pamela’s majestie,

And her sweet Sisters modestie,

Are fixt in each of you, you are

Alone, what these together were.

55. Anne Bradstreet


Bradstreet (c. 1612–72), born in England, settled in

Massachusetts in 1630. Often in her elegy, praise for the work

is held in tension with an awareness of possible scruples:

Arcadia is ‘penn’d in his youth’ (cf. Moffet, No. 21) and ‘was

thy shame’ (cf. Whetstone, No. 12, and Greville, No. 39), and



its amorous content or associations can, taken wrongly, make

‘modest Maids, and Wives, blush at thy story’ (see

Introduction, pp. 21–3). Sidney the hero and writer are

sometimes separate, sometimes distinct, and mingle uneasily

in the account of Stella.

For Several Poems (1678) Bradstreet abbreviated the

references to Stella, providing a four-line allusion to Spenser’s

Astrophel, in which ‘Stella the fair’ is evidently Sidney’s wife.

Sidney is no longer addressed, as occasionally in 1638, in the

second person, and the less extravagant ‘’mong the most

renowned of men’ replaces ‘the quintessence of men’ in the

last line (see Ann Stanford, ‘Anne Bradstreet’s Picture of Sir

Philip Sidney’, in Critical Essays on Anne Bradstreet, ed. Pattie

Cowell and Ann Stanford, Boston, Mass., 1983, p. 99). For

the reading of Arcadia by other New England settlers in the

seventeenth century, see S.E.Morrison, ‘The Reverend

Seaborn Cotton’s Commonplace Book’, Publications of the

Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. 32, 1937, p. 323, and Jessie

A.Coffee, ‘Arcadia to America: Sir Philip Sidney and John

Saffin’, American Literature, vol. 45, 1973, pp. 100–4.

‘An Elegie upon that Honourable and Renowned Knight, Sir Philip

Sidney, who was untimely slaine at the Seige of Zutphon, Anno

1586’, in The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet, ed. Joseph R.McElrath

Jr and Allan P.Robb, Boston, Mass., 1981, pp. 149–52.

When England did injoy her Halsion dayes,

Her noble Sidney wore the Crown of Bayes;

No lesse an Honour to our British Land,

Then she that sway’d the Scepter with her hand:

Mars and Minerva did in one agree,

Of Armes, and Arts, thou should’st a patterne be.

Calliope with Terpsechor did sing,

Of Poesie, and of Musick, thou wert king;

The Rhethorick it struck Polimnia dead,

Thine Eloquence made Mercury wax red:

Thy Logick from Euterpe won the Crown,

More worth was thine, then Clio could set down.

Thalia, and Melpomene, say th’ truth,



(Witnesse Arcadia, penn’d in his youth)

Are not his Tragick Comedies so acted,

As if your nine-fold wit had been compacted;

To shew the world, they never saw before,

That this one Volumne should exhaust your store.

I praise thee not for this, it is unfit,

This was thy shame, O miracle of wit:

Yet doth thy shame (with all) purchase renown,

What doe thy vertues then? Oh, honours crown!

In all records, thy Name I ever see,

Put with an Epithet of dignity;

Which shewes, thy worth was great, thine honour such,

The love thy Country ought thee, was as much.

Let then, none dis-allow of these my straines,

Which have the self-same blood yet in my veines:1

Who honours thee for what was honourable,

But leaves the rest, as most unprofitable:

Thy wiser dayes, condemn’d thy witty works,

Who knowes the Spels that in thy Rethorick lurks?

But some infatuate fooles soone caught therein,

Found Cupids Dame, had never such a Gin;

Which makes severer eyes2 but scorn thy Story,

And modest Maids, and Wives, blush at thy glory;

Yet, he’s a beetle head, that cann’t discry

A world of treasure, in that rubbish lye:

And doth thy selfe, thy worke, and honour wrong,

(O brave Refiner of our Brittish Tongue;)

That sees not learning, valour, and morality,

Justice, friendship, and kind hospitality;

Yea, and Divinity within thy Book,

Such were prejudicate, and did not look:

But to say truth, thy worth I shall but staine,

Thy fame, and praise, is farre beyond my straine:

Yet great Augustus was content (we know)

To be saluted by a silly Crow;3

Then let such Crowes as I, thy praises sing,

A Crow’s a Crow, and Cæsar is a King.

O brave Achilles, I wish some Homer would

Engrave on Marble, in characters of Gold,

What famous feats, thou didst, on Flanders coast,

Of which, this day, faire Belgia doth boast.

O Zutphon, Zutphon, that most fatall City,

Made famous by thy fall, much more’s the pitty;

Ah, in his blooming prime, death pluckt this Rose,



Ere he was ripe; his thred cut Atropos.

Thus man is borne to dye, and dead is he,

Brave Hector by the walls of Troy, we see:

Oh, who was neare thee, but did sore repine;

He rescued not with life, that life of thine,

But yet impartiall Death this Boone did give,

Though Sidney dy’d, his valiant name should live;

And live it doth, in spight of death, through fame,

Thus being over-come, he over-came.

Where is that envious tongue, but can afford,

Of this our noble Scipio some good word?

Noble Bartas, this to thy praise adds more,

In sad, sweete verse, thou didst his death deplore;4

Illustrious Stella, thou didst thine full well,

If thine aspect was milde to Astrophell;

I feare thou wert a Commet, did portend

Such prince as he, his race should shortly end:

If such Stars as these, sad presages be,

I wish no more such Blazers we may see;

But thou art gone, such Meteors never last,

And as thy beauty, so thy name would wast,

But that it is record by Philips hand,

That such an omen once was in our land,

O Princely Philip, rather Alexander,

Who wert of honours band, the chief Commander.

How could that Stella, so confine thy will?

To wait till she, her influence distill,

I rather judg’d thee of his mind that wept,

To be within the bounds of one world kept,

But Omphala, set Hercules to spin,

And Mars himself was ta’n by Venus gin;

Then wonder lesse, if warlike Philip yield,

When such a Hero shoots him out o’ th’ field,

Yet this preheminence thou hast above,

That thine was true, but theirs adult’rate love.

Fain would I shew, how thou fame’s past did tread,

But now into such Lab’rinths am I led

With endlesse turnes, the way I find not out,

For to persist, my muse is more in doubt:



Calls me ambitious fool, that durst aspire,

Enough for me to look, and so admire.

And makes me now with Sylvester confesse,5

But Sydney’s Muse, can sing his worthinesse.

Too late my errour see, that durst presume

To fix my flatring lines upon his tomb:

Which are in worth, so far short of his due,

As Vulcan is, of Venus native hue.

Goodwill, did make my head-long pen to run,

Like unwise Phaeton his ill guided sonne [=sun],6

Till taught to’s cost, for his too hasty hand,

He left that charge by Phoebus to be man’d:

So proudly foolish I, with Phaeton strive,

Fame’s flaming Chariot for to drive.

Till terrour-struck for my too weighty charge.

I leave’t in brief, Apollo do’t at large.

Apollo laught to patch up what’s begun,

He bad me drive, and he would hold the Sun;

Better my hap, then was his darlings fate,

For dear regard he had of Sydney’s state,

Who in his Deity, had so deep share,

That those that name his fame, he needs must spare,

He promis’d much, but th’ muses had no will,

To give to their detractor any quill.

With high disdain, they said they gave no more,

Since Sydney had exhausted all their store,

That this contempt it did the more perplex,

In being done by one of their own sex;

They took from me, the scribling pen I had,

I to be eas’d of such a task was glad.

For to revenge his wrong, themselves ingage,

And drave me from Parnassus in a rage,

Not because, sweet Sydney’s fame was not dear,

But I had blemish’d theirs, to make’t appear;

I pensive for my fault, sat down, and then,

Errata, through their leave threw me my pen,

For to conclude my poem two lines they daigne,

Which writ, she bad return’t to them again.

So Sydney’s fame, I leave to England’s Rolls,

His bones do lie interr’d in stately Pauls.



His Epitaph.

Here lies intomb’d in fame under this stone,

Philip and Alexander both in one.

Heire to the Muses, the son of Mars in truth,

Learning, valour, beauty, all in vertuous youth:

His praise is much, this shall suffice my pen,

That Sidney dy’d the quintessence of men.








Bradstreet’s father, Thomas Dudley, was related, according to

tradition, to Sidney’s maternal ancestors.

See Sidney’s preface to Arcadia (No. 2a).

See Macrobius, Saturnalia, II.iv.29; Kitty Chisholm and John Ferguson

(eds), Rome and the Augustan Age: A Source Book, Oxford, 1981, p. 75. In

Macrobius the bird is a raven.

Bartas His Devine Weekes and Workes, trans. Joshua Sylvester, London,

1605, p. 433.


For Phaeton’s attempt to ‘guide’ the sun, see Ovid, Metamorphoses,


56. James Shirley


Shirley was one of the most prolific and popular dramatists of the

Caroline period, and his Arcadia has often been regarded as the

most theatrically viable of dramatic adaptations of Arcadia. (For

Alfred Harbage’s doubts about Shirley’s authorship and some

counter-arguments, see Gerald Eades Bentley, The Jacobean and

Caroline Stage, 7 vols, Oxford, 1941–68, vol. 5, p. 1074). The basic

Arcadia story is retold with dramatic economy. (For evidence that

Shirley may have drawn on a manuscript of the Old Arcadia, see

Rota, pp. 123–4, 125.)



The action of the play is swift and often farcical. Pyrocles early

on admits to both Gynecia and Philoclea that he is a man

(prompting, in the latter case, the cry ‘A man, good heaven—’ (sig.

C4). Moralizing is not to the fore; the play ends rapidly, with

Basilius happy but still amazed—‘All is strange’—and Musidorus

proclaiming ‘Never was day so full of happy change’ (I4v). Dametas’

role is expanded at every possible opportunity: he leads the

‘gambolls, to please my Lady Salamandor’ (as he terms Zelmane,

sig. B4v)—inspired by his supervisory role at the beginning of

Sidney’s First Eclogues—responds comically and at some length to

his punitive appointment as hangman (sig. I3v), and, as the extract

below attests, is rarely at a loss for words. This is clearly a good

role for the clown of the company.

Shirley’s Arcadia has sometimes been dated 1632, chiefly on

the basis of a remark in Nabbes’s Covent Garden, performed by

the same company, Queen Henrietta’s Men: ‘Me thinks shee’s

very beautifull; what pinken-eyes; what a sharpe chin! Why her

features transcend Mopsa’s in the Arcadia’ (Covent Garden,

London, 1638, sig. C3v; see Bentley, op. cit., vol. 4, p. 933, and

vol. 5, p. 1075). But Mopsa was popular in other plays and

continuations of Arcadia, which itself, besides, was widely

familiar still in the 1630s. Shirley’s work was entered in the

Stationers’ Register on 29 November 1639. It was reprinted in

1754 on the grounds that it was ‘Founded on the Same Story,

with the New tragedy, call’d PHILOCLEA [see No. 74], Now

acting at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden’ (The Arcadia. A

Pastoral, London, 1754, title-page).

A Pastorall Called the Arcadia. Acted by Her Majesties Servants at the

Phænix in Drury Lane, London, 1640, Act IV, sigs G3v–H1.

Enter Dametas and a Shepheard.

Shep. Treason treason.

Dam. Doe set out your throate here, and let me alone to rore

treason in the eares of my Lord Philonax—I should ha’ beene

the towne cryer.

Shep. Make hast.

Dam. Oh yes treason.













When you have spent your voyces, let your eyes

Speake a more killing language.

Ha, the Queene, Madam Pamela, is gon.

No matter for Pamela, looke here, shepheards

Here lies the King.

No matter for Pamela? I am glad of that. Is his majestie a


Never to awake, hee’s deade poyson’d by this violl [=vial].

Oh base violl, why here is more treason then we look’d for,

this is admirable, did he dye against his will, or was he kill’d

a natural death.

Let us sit upon him.

For beare, I can direct you to the murderer.

Looke here, you shepheards, it was I that kill’d him.

You, your Majestie is very merry.

Will you not trust me?

Yes, for more then I am worth, but if you kill’d him your

selfe, your majesty must pardon me for that, I have nothing

to say to you but,

treason treason!



Yet flie Gynecia and save thy life!

Betray not thine owne, life; why doe I talke

Of safety, can there be in all the world

A confort, when my honour and Basilius

Have both forsaken me?

Enter Philonax and Dametas, with a guard.

Philon. Pamela gone, how does the King take it?

Dam. The king, would he could take it any way, good gentleman,

hee’s in a pittifull taking himselfe.

Philon. What saies the screech-oule?

Dam. The truth is, he is sent of an errand to Erebus, hee’s dead,

and for my Lady Philoclea, whom I suspect—

Philon. Ha!

Dam. And you make hast you may take her napping, there is a

thing in the likenes of a man with her, whom very valiantly

I dis-arm’d, and brought away his naked weapon.

Philon. What traytor? didst disarme him?

Dam. Did I? and there had been twentie of ’em I would not have

cared arush though they had been as valiant as Hector, had I

not treason a’my side so soone as I came in.

Philon. Thou dost amaze me. What said he?

Dam. Never a word, my friend quoth I to his sword.

Philon. Ideot didst speake to his sword?

Dam. Why he was fast a sleepe my Lord,

And never somuch as dreamt of me.



Philon. A sleepe, we loose time; go you along with Dametas, seize

upon that Traytor, oh I am rent with sorrow.

Dam. Come my Masters be not afraid. As long as I have a sword

you shall goe before, and follow my example. Ther’s the

King my Lord.

Exeunt Dametas and Guard.

Philon. Madam.


Oh Philonax!


Be comforted.

Gyn. You shannot neede to mocke me, when you know

By whom he dye’d thou wilt call in thy charity

And curse me, it was I that poysoned him.

Philon. Good Madam, speake that I may understand,

You poysoned him? He was Basilius,

Your husband and your King, it cannot be.

You are the Queene his wife.


His murderer.

The horror of my sinne dwells round about me.

I neede no more accusers then my Conscience.

Doe with me what you please, the wicked reasons

That mov’d me to it you shall know hereafter.

Philon. Blesse me eternitie, Ile not beleeve

That any woman after this can love

Her husband, oh my Lord, mercilesse woman

For heere all other titles lost, away

With her; see her lodg’d within the Castle.

Enter Dametas and a guard with Philoclea and Pyrocles at one doore, at the

other, Enter the Rebells [and their Captain] with Musidorus and Pamela.

Heere they are my Lord.

Where is the King?

New uprores!

My charge, ’tis Pamela, my Lord Philonax ’tis Pamela.

Pamela, and Philoclea!

Yes my lord we suspected they were running away together,

and therefore in hope of his majesties pardon—

Pyr. Musidorus and thy sister under guard?

Mus. Pyrocles and Philoclea prisoners too?

Philon. Looke heere, unnaturall children, for I cannot pronounce

you Innocent, this circumstance betrayes your guilt, see

where your king and father lyes a cold patterne for a tombe.

Pam. Dead?

Philocl. Oh we are miserable!


Basilius dead?








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