The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne, Volume 3: The Satyres

The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne, Volume 3: The Satyres


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Based on an exhaustive study of the manuscripts and printed editions in which these poems have appeared, the fifth volume in the series of The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne presents newly edited critical texts of the five canonical satires and "Metempsychosis" and details the genealogical history of each accompanied by a thorough prose discussion. The analysis contained in the volume shows that Donne revised each of the poems and explains how readings from the competing versions were intermingled in the early editions and transmitted to subsequent generations. The volume also presents a comprehensive organized digest of the critical-scholarly commentary on these poems from Donne's time through 2001.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253012906
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 09/12/2016
Series: The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne
Pages: 1160
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 2.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gary A. Stringer is David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at East Carolina University. Donald Dickson is Professor of English at Texas A&M University. Ted-Larry Pebworth is William E. Stirton Professor in the Humanities and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Tracy McLawhorn is the technology editor and assistant textual editor for the John Donne Variorum Project at East Carolina University. Dennis Flynn is retired Professor of English at Bentley University. Ernest W. Sullivan, II, is Edward S. Diggs Professor of English at Virginia Tech. Paul A. Parrish is Professor of English at Texas A&M University. Jeffrey S. Johnson is Department Chair and Professor of English at East Carolina University. M. Thomas Hester is Named Professor of English at North Carolina State University. Brian Blackley is Teaching Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University. Anne James is Sessional Lecturer at the University of Regina. Julie W. Yen is Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento. Gregory Kneidel is Associate Professor English at the University of Connecticut.

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The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne Volume 3

By Gary A. Stringer

Indiana University Press

Copyright © 2016 Indiana University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01290-6


Texts and Apparatuses

The Satyres

    Satyre I.

    Away thou changeling motley humorist,
    Leaue me, and in this standing wodden chest
    Consorted with these few bookes, lett me ly
    In prison, and here be coffind, when I dy.
    Here are Gods conduits, graue Diuines: and here 5
    Natures Secretary, the Philosopher,
    And ioly Statesmen, which teach how to ty
    The Sinews of a Citties mistique body.
    Here gathering Chroniclers, and by them stand
    Giddy fantastique Poets of each Land. 10
    Shall I leaue all this constant companee
    And follow headlong, wild, vncertaine thee?
    First sweare by thy best loue in earnest
    (If thou which Lovst all, canst loue any best)
    Thou wilt not leaue me in the middle Street 15
    Though some more spruce companion thou do meet.
    Not though a Captane do come in thy way
    Bright parcelbguilt with forty dead mens pay.
    Nor though a briske perfum'd pert Courtier
    Deigne with a nod thy curtesy to answer. 20
    Nor come a veluet Iustice with a long
    Great traine of blew-cotes 12 or 14 strong,
    Shallt thou grin or fawne on him, or prepare
    A Speach to court his bewteous Sone and heire.
    For better or worse take me, or leaue mee, 25
    To take and leaue me, is adulteree.
    O Monster, superstitious Puritane
    Of refind manners, yet ceremonial man,
    That when thou meetst one, with inquyring eyes
    Dost search, and like a needy broker prize 30
    The silke and gould he weares, and to that rate
    So high or low dost vaile thy formall hatt.
    That wilt consort none, vntill thou haue knowen
    What Lands he hath in hope, or of his owne.
    As though all thy companions should make thee 35
    Ioyntures, and mary thy deare companee.
    Why shouldst thou, that dost not only approue
    But in ranke itchy Lust desyre and loue
    The nakednesse and barenesse to inioy
    Of thy plump muddy whore or prostitute boy, 40
    Hate vertu though she be naked and bare?
    At birthe, and death our bodyes naked are:
    And till our Soules be vnapparelled
    Of bodyes, they from blis are banished.
    Mans first blest State was naked, when by Sin 45
    He lost that, yet he was clothd but in beasts skin.
    And in this course attire which now I weare
    With God and with the Muses I confer.
    But since thou like a contrite penitent
    Charitably warnd of thy sins dost repent 50
    These vanities and giddinesses; Lo
    I shut my chamber dore and come let's go.
    But sooner may a cheape whore that hath beene
    Worne by as many seuerall men in Sin
    As are black feathers or musk-color hose 55
    Name her childs right trew father mongst all those;
    Sooner may one guesse who shall beare away
    Th'infant of London, he ire to an India;
    And sooner may a gulling Weather-Spy
    By drawing forth heauens Scheame, tell certainly 60
    What fashiond hatts, or ruffs, or Suites next yeare
    Our supple-witted antick Youths will weare
    Then thou when thou departst from hence canst show
    Whither, why, when, or with whome thou wouldst go.
    But how shall I be pardond my offence 65
    That thus haue sind against my conscience?
    Now we are in the street: he first of all
    Improuidently proud creepes to the wall
    And so imprisond and hemm'd in by mee
    Sells for a Litle state his Libertee. 70
    Yet though he cannot skip forth now to greet
    Euery fine silken painted foole we meet,
    He them to him with amorous smiles allures
    And grins, smacks, shruggs, and such an itch indures
    As Prentices or Schooleboyes which do know 75
    Of some gay sport abroade, yet dare not go.
    And as fidlers stop lowest at higest Sound
    So to the most braue stoopes he nighest ground.
    But to a graue man he doth move no more
    Then the wise politique horse would hertofore 80
    Or thou O Elephant or Ape wilt do
    When any names the king of Spayne to you.
    Now leapes he vpright, ioggs me, and cryes do you see
    Yonder well fauord Youth? Which? Yea, t'is hee 85
    That dances so diuinely. Oh sayd I
    Stand still, must you dance here for company?
    He droopt: We went: till one which did excell
    Th'Indians in drinking his Tabacco well
    Mett vs: they talkd: I whisperd let vs go:
    May be you smell him not; trewly I do. 90
    He heares not me: but on the other side
    A many colord peacock hauing spied
    Leaues him and me: I for my lost Sheepe stay.
    He followes, overtakes, goes in the way
    Saying, him, whom I last lefte, all repute 95
    For his deuise in handsomming a sute,
    To iudge of Lace, pink, panes, cutt, print, or pleight,
    Of all the Court to haue the best conceit.
    Our dull Comedians want him: let him go.
    But oh God strengthen thee, why stoopst thou so? 100
    Why: he hath trauayld. Long? No: but to mee
    Which vnderstand none he doth seeme to bee
    Perfect French and Italian: I replide
    So is the pox: he answered not but spide
    More men of Sort, of parts, and qualities. 105
    At last his Loue he in a window spies
    And like Light dew exhald, he flings from mee,
    Violently rauishd to his Lecheree.
    Many weare there: he could command no more:
    He quarreld, fought, bled, and turnd out of dore 110
    Directly came to me, hanging the hed
    And constantly awhile must keepe his bed.

Textual Introduction

Complete copies of "Satyre I" (Sati) can be found in 31 seventeenth-century manuscripts and in all 7 editions/issues of Donne's collected Poems printed in the seventeenth century (A–G). Short excerpts from the poem appear in Joseph Butler's eighteenth-century commonplace book (IU2) and in two issues of Samuel Sheppard's MERLIN VS ANONYMVS (1653; sigla 33a–b). As is shown on Figure 2, Sati sometimes appears in the company of 1, 2, or 3 other Satyres in the manuscripts, but it typically appears as the first of a 5-poem set, as it does in the seventeenth-century prints. Variant readings in lines 20, 45, and 55 divide the manuscripts into two distinct lines of descent, the first headed by a lost original holograph (LOH) reading "Courtesyes" (1. 20), "first best state" (1. 45), and "muske Collored hose" (1. 55) and the second from a lost revised holograph (LRH) containing the minor revisions "curtesy" (1. 20), "first blest State" (1. 45), and "musk-color hose" (1. 55). Descendents of the LOH include the three independently circulated "books" of Satyres (OQ1, P3, VA1) plus their cognate B13, the traditional Group-Ill manuscripts (B46, C9, H5, H6), and a few other manuscripts either Associated with Group III (H3, H7, HHi, O21, Y2, Y3) or unclassified (B33, B47, C5, H8, NP3). Descendents of the LRH include NY3 (the sole Group-IV manuscript, here used as copy-text); the traditional Group-I manuscripts (B32, C2, C8, O20, SP1), though two of them contain the Group-II text; part of the expanded Group II (B40, DT1, H4); and the unclassified F21. The stemma of Sati (Figure 6) on page 40 below illustrates the exact relationships among these artifacts.

The first scribal variation in the lineage descending from the LOH appears in the postulated missing artifact β1, which introduces the readings "departest hence" in line 63 (where the LOH reads "departst from hence") and "of parts, of qualit-yes" in line 105 (where the LOH reads "of parts, and qualities"). Stemming from β1 are, on the one hand, the parent-child pair NY1 and VA2, which evince such anomalies as "sweare to me" (for the normative "sweare") in line 13 and "and for worse" (for "or worse") in line 25, and, on the other, γ1, which trivializes the authorial "That wilt consort none untill thou haue knowne" in line 33 to "... till thou hast knowne." γ1, as shown on the stemma, then passes this scribally altered line down the genealogical tree to its descendants, the missing cognates δ1 and δ2.

Perpetuating the submetrical "That wilt consort none, till thou hast knowne" in line 33, δ1 also introduces and passes on to its descendants the sophistication "O Monstrous superstitious Puritan" (for the authorial "O Monster, superstitious Puritane") in line 27, a corruption other scribes repeat; the omission of "right" in the normative line-56 phrase "childs right true father" (yielding "Childs true father"); and "Infanta" (for the normative "Infant") in line 58, among other variants. As noted above, δ1 gives rise to B13 and to ε1, B13 incorporating into a larger poetical collection a cognate of the independently circulating "book" of Satyres (which also includes Storm and Calm) contained in OQ1, P3, and VA1. B13 follows δ1 in inscribing Sati in the second ordinal position among its Satyres (and labeling it "Satire the second"), but deviates from the other offspring of δ1 in recording "gyrne, [for the normative grine] or faune" in line 23 and the anomalous "whom I last mett" (for the normative "... last left") in line 95. In addition to misplacing the phrase "do you see" at the end of line 83 to the beginning of line 84 (an error P3 corrects independently), e reorders the poems into the standard 1–5 sequence, replaces the authorial "yonder" with "yon" in line 84, and contracts the normative "let us go" in line 89 to "letts go," reducing the line to 9 syllables. These variants pass on to OQ1 — which, e.g., adds to the growing body of error "neat [for the normative perte] Courtier" in line 19 and reverses the normative "he was clothd" in line 46 to "was he clothde" — and to ζ1, parent of the siblings P3 and VA1. Among the ζ1 anomalies transmitted to P3 and VA1 are the omission of "yet" from the normative line-46 phrase "yet hee was cloth'd" (yielding "he was clothd") and the change of the normative past'tense "talkt" in line 89 to "talke" (yielding "They talke. I whisperde..."). Such differences as those in line 32 (where VA1 erroneously reads "the formall hatt," while P3 gives the normative "thy ...") and 35 (where VA1 reads the normative "all thy Companions," while P3 omits "all") show that neither of these manuscripts can be the source of the other and mark them as siblings rather than parent and child.

A second branch of the β1-γ1 lineage is headed by δ]2, which repairs the meter of γ1s submetrical "That wilt consorte non, till thou hast knowne" in line 33 by inserting "with" (yielding "... consort with non ..."). δ]2 also simplifies the authorial subjunctive "thou do meet" in line 16 to the indicative "thou dost meete" and omits "yet" from the authorial "He lost that, yet he was clothd but in beasts skin" in line 46 (thus metrically regularizing the line), passing these changes on to its offspring ε2 and ε3. ε2 adds to the errors accumulated in the δ2 branch of γ1's offspring by reversing line 37's normative "dost not only approue" to "not onlie dost approue," changing the authorial "skip forth now" to "now step forth" in line 71, and rewriting the LOH's "goes in the way" to "goes on the way" in line 94, a change also evident in the descendants of the LRH. ε2's offspring are ζ2 and ζ3 the former the ancestor of the traditional Groupdll manuscripts B46, H5, and the C9-H6 pair and of B47, which records a Group-III text of the Satyres. Into the corrupted text descending from ε2, ζ2 introduces the distinguishing readings "Births and Deathes" (for "birthe, and death") in line 42, "nighest the ground" (for "nighest ground") in line 78, and "Dyee" (for "do you") in line 83, lections passed down to η1 and η2 and thence to their respective offspring, η1 corrupts the text further by, among other blunders, omitting "an" from the normative line-58 phrase "heire to an India" (yielding "Heyre to India") and pluralizing the normative "peacock" in line 92 to "Peacocks," errors transmitted to its offspring B46 and H5. Readings in such lines as 97 (where B46 reads the normative "Cut, Print" while H5 reads the anomalous "print, cutt") and 32 (where H5 reads the normative "vaile" while B46 reads the anomalous "raise") confirm the usual finding of this Variorum that B46 and H5 are siblings (or cousins) rather than parent and child.

From η2, ζ2's ('s second direct descendant, stem B47 and θ, the parent of C9 and H6. Perhaps deliberately, the scribe of η2 alters the normative "iollie statesmen" in line 7 to "wyly stats=men," and — among other changes — replaces the normative "Improuidently" in line 68 with "vnprouidently," passing these down to its offspring. B47 records further errors, including the mistranscription of the normative "Chroniclers" in line 9 as "Cronicles" and the omission of the first "me" in the line-25 phrase "take me, or leaue mee" (yielding "... take or leaue me"). And the scribe of θ, parent of C9 and H6, alters the normative text in numerous instances, including the reordering of "hattes, or ruffes, or suites" in line 61 as "suites or ruffes or hatts" and the insertion of "heere" into the line-13 phrase "sweare by thy best loue" (yielding "sweare heere by thy best loue"), the latter designed to impose metrical smoothness on the author's 9-syllable line (and followed in 1635 when B's editor imported "here" into the text from H6).

Stemming from ε2 in parallel descent to ζ2 is ζ3, which begets the siblings H8 and NP3. Among the blunders introduced in ζ3 and passed on to H8 and NP3 are the misreadings "Ioyntures, or [for the normative and] marry" in line 36 and "Thy [for the normative These] vanities" in line 51, the latter perhaps caused by eyeskip to or residual memory of the phrase "thy sinns" in the previous line. Divergences in lines 4 — where NP3 reads the corrupt "here be confinde" (as against H8's normative "here be coffin'd") — and 58 — where NP3 retains the authorial "heire" (while H8 omits the word) — show that H8 and NP3 are not copied one from the other, but descend independently from ζ3, although the sheer quantity of textual error in NP3 suggests that one or more corrupt copyings may stand between it and the parent artifact.

The second direct descendant of δ2, which gives rise to the final family of manuscripts in the LOH lineage, is ε3, parent of H3 and — through the intermediary artifact ζ4 — of O21 and Y3. ε3's most distinctive reading is the unique "Cerimonious [for the authorial ceremonial] man" in line 28, but it also misreads "Thirteene" for "14" in the line-22 phrase "12 or 14 strong," and "heau'ns Sceane" (for the normative "heauens Scheame") in line 60, a blunder shared by some descendents of the LRH. H3 evinces numerous anomalies, including the spurious "mystiede [for the correct mistique] bodie" in line 8, "poets of each band [for the authorial land]" in line 10, and "louest all loust anie" (for the normative "Lovst all, canst loue any") in line 14, to name but a sampling. From the extremely corrupt ζ4 its offspring O21 and Y3 obtain such uniquely idiosyncratic readings as "patt" (for "rate") in line 31, "knowe" (for "Name") in line 56, and "shirtes" (for "Suites") in line 61. That O21 gives the anomalous "must you daunce there for Company" in line 86, where Y3 reads the correct "... dance heere ..." e.g., shows that Y3 cannot be copied from O21, and 02i's reading the correct "godes conduits" as against Y3's solecism "gods conduts" in line 5 shows that it is not copied from Y3; the usual finding of this Variorum that O21 and Y3 are siblings rather than parent and child is thus confirmed in this instance.

The evidence does not permit filiation of any of the 5 manuscripts appearing at the upper left on the stemma (Figure 6) with other artifacts or groups, but their readings in lines 20 (where all except H7 give "Courtesyes [for curtesy]"), 45 (where all give "best for [blest] state," though HHI initially leaves a blank space for which a second scribe has marginally supplied the normative "best"), and 55 (where all give "muske Collored [for musk'color]") mark them as offspring of the LOH. Among these, the soundest are B33 and C5, which record 7 and 13 errors, respectively, while H7 records 20 corrupt readings, HH1 records 18, and the extremely corrupt Y2 records 55. It is unlikely that any of these descends immediately from the LOH, though the relative cleanness of B33 suggests that it stands fairly close to that artifact; the quantity of error in Y2, on the other hand, may represent the cumulative blunders of a successsion of maladroit copyists. Here as elsewhere (see, e.g., the Textual Introduction for Sat3 below), H7 appears to be contaminated, its recording of the LRH's "Curtesy" in line 20 perhaps being an instance of this and its recording of γ3's "fondlinge" in line 1 certainly being so.


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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments, XIV,
Short Forms of Reference for Donne's Works, XVII,
Abbreviations Used in the Commentary, XXV,
Sigla for Textual Sources, XXXII,
Manuscripts Listed by Traditional Classification, XLIV,
Symbols and Abbreviations Used in Textual Apparatus, XLV,
Figures, XLVI,
General Introduction, XLVII,
Introduction to Volume 3,
Texts and Apparatuses,
The Satyres,
The Satyres,
Works Cited, 993,
Index of Authors Cited in the Commentary, 1025,
Index of Writers and Historical Figures Cited in the Commentary, 1036,
Index of Other Poems and Works of Donne Cited in the Commentary, 1042,
Index of Titles, 1044,
Index of First Lines, 1046,
About the Editors, 1047,

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