Friday, May 29, 2009

Office marmalade

Here's a diablerie out of William Winstanley, Historical rarities and curious observations domestick & foreign (1684), a rather jolly tale of a demon lover, and of a miller who crosses him and ends up smeared with ‘office marmalade’ for his impudence. It’s supposed to be factual, but note the very vague ‘one of the Northern Islands’ as the location for the tale. The miller is a walk-on part from any fabliau.

The only puzzle here (for ‘office marmalade’ is easily solved) is to wonder when girls called Margharetta started consorting with devils? The girl in this story shares a name with Gretchen-Margarete in Goethe’s Faust (and from there, Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita).

Winstanley is writing about

‘Of Spirits or Devils, and that they have had carnal Knowledge of People’:

“We shall conclude this Discourse with a Story of a later date, how that in a small Village, in one of the Northern Islands, there dwelt an ancient Boor and his Wife, who had but one Child, and that a Daughter, whom they looked upon as the staff of their declining Age; she was just entered into her nineteenth Year, and gave great hopes of proving an excellent Woman, being very saving, industrious, and handsome; which good Qualities, had invited most of the young men of her Rank throughout the Country, to take particular notice of her, and list themselves her Servants. But she, like a discreet Maid, still checked her roving Fancy, and was deaf to all their flattering Courtship, resolving to entertain no Addresses which should not be authorized by her Parents Approbation; and well had it been she had never suffered her self to be divorced from that Resolution: for so it chanced, that within a while after, the Devil came in the Likeness of a man, and took up his Lodging within two or three doors of her Father’s House, pretending his Business was to look after some Debts he had owing him not far from thence: he was a Person of a proper Stature, meager Visage, large spar[k]ling Eyes, long Hair, but curling, and exceeding black; he generally went in Boots, (perhaps to conceal his cloven feet) and though his Habit was but ordinary, he appeared very full of Money, which made his Landlord very sweet upon him; and the more to oblige him, there happening a Wedding in that Town within few days after his Arrival, his Host would needs carry this his strange Guest with him to it; though it was observed he could by no means be got into the Church where the Nuptial Rites were solemnized; but as soon as they came home to Dinner, he was as busy and as merry as the joviallest of them.

And here it was that the fatal Acquaintance between him and Margaretta (for so was the Maiden called) unhappily first begun. That time allowing a greater Liberty of Discourse to the younger sort (amongst whom commonly one Wedding is the begetter of another) furnished our black Stranger with the larger opportunity to court this innocent Maid to her destruction. To repeat the particular Complements he used, we purposely omit, lest we should injure the Devil’s Eloquence by our Courser Rhetoric; suffice it to know, his devilish Courtship was so charming as to raise an unknown Passion in her Virgin Breast, who so far doted on his Company, as to be sorry when all the Companies breaking up obliged them to part; so that being come home, and after some time got into her Chamber, she makes her unready, but not without a thousand kind Thoughts on this Stranger she had left, whom at last (just as she was going into her Bed) she saw come into the Chamber; you may easily imagine her not a little surprised at so strange an Adventure, knowing all the Doors fast locked, and no body up but her self: but he soon superseded both her Fears and Wonder, by telling her in submissive Language, that he came out of pure love to have a little free discourse with her, and that he had an Art to open any Lock without Noise or Discovery.

Then beginning to talk amorously, and having wantonized a while, he told her at last in plain Terms, he was resolved to lie with her that Night; Merry Company before, and his Dalliances now, had raised such a spring-Tide in her Veins, that after a few faint formal Denials to gratify her Modesty, she consents: but, no sooner were they in Bed, but her Ears were courted with the most excellent Music in the World, which so captivated the Spirits of this ensnared Damsel, that she suffered him for many Nights together to enjoy his beastly Pleasures with her, without being taken notice of by any: but no Eye-sight so sharp and piercing as that of Jealousy; some of her former Sweethearts observing her kind Looks in the day-time to this Stranger, and finding themselves wholly out of Favour, conclude he was the man that supplanted them in their Affection, for which they vow Revenge; and four of them joined together, armed with trusty Back-Swords, way-lay him one Evening in the Fields, who no sooner comes up to them, but these valiant Heroes fell all four upon him at once with their dead-doing Bilboes; but they do but Duel a Shadow, though they see him plainly they cannot reach him, and their mighty Strokes are lost in insignificant cleaving down the empty Air; on the other side, though they behold him only single, yet they feel more than a hundred Flails, belabouring them so severely, till their Backs seem Brawn, and their Heads Jelly, which obliged them to cry out for Quarter, which he very generously (to show that he was a Devil of Honour) grants, but withal tells them, they must undergo a further small Penance for their Presumption; saying this, he ties their Hands behind them, and letting down their Breeches, whips them with Rods of Holly and Nettles intermixed, till the Crimson Gore in Streams flowed down their Posteriors; then having fast pinned the hinder lap of their Shirts to their Shoulders, with their Hands bound, and Breeches about their Heels, as aforesaid, he dismissed them; who rambling all Night they knew not whither, found themselves in the morning hard by the Village, where they met two Wenches going a milking, amazed and ready to run away seeing them in that ridiculous Posture these, with much Rhetoric, and some Tears, they entreat to loose them, which the hard-hearted Sluts, ready to be-piss themselves with laughing, refusing they are forced to march on into the middle of the Village, and there too they could not get unbound till they had made an ingenious Confession how they came thus pickled.

At another time, a Miller, living in that Village took some occasion to fall out with our Stranger upbraiding him as an idle Fellow, and one that having no Employment, was very fit to serve in the Wars: the Stranger replied little, but told him he should be even with him for his Sauciness before he slept; accordingly, the Miller and his Family were no sooner got to Bed, but he heard his Mill set going very furiously, whereupon, getting up to see what the matter was, he found a whole Cart-load of Office-Marmalade brought to be ground, and thrown into his Hopper and Bins. At this unexpected Sight poor Dusty-Pell began to swear, and wished a thousand Tun of Devils damn the Author of this Roguery; when lo! on a sudden, as a Punishment for his Profaneness, as he went to shut down the Mill, he is taken up, and ducked above forty times over head and Ears in the Stream, and then his Toll-dish, full of the before mentioned Frankincense, clapped so fast on his Head, that it could not be got off for above two days.

For these, and some other extravagant Pranks that he plaid, he was at last carried before a Justice, in whose Presence he was no sooner come, but there was heard all about the House a hideous Noise, as of hissing of Serpents, whilst he fell into such a loud excessive Laughter, that he made the whole House to shake; which fit of Mirth being over, the Magistrate demanded of him what Country-man he was? to which he replied, that he was an Inhabitant of another World, and only a Sojourner in this: as he spake which words, the Room seemed full for almost half an hour of fiery Flashes, accompanied with a most dreadful Clap of Thunder, in which he vanished away, and was never seen after.”

My image is taken from an illustration for Ulrich Tengler’s judicial handbook of 1512, and shows, quite graphically, a witch with her demon-lover. Winstanley tells his tale after all this nonsense had largely lost credibility: there’s no punishment, and no hell-fire.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Yeoman of the Guard: Thomas Montague

On an impulse, cycling past on an unaccustomed route back from work, I stopped at the church at Winkfield, a couple of miles south-west of Windsor, and was rewarded by seeing this brass plaque to Thomas Montague:

“Here lyeth the corps of Thomas Montague, borne in the parish where also he died March 31st 1630 when he had lived almost 92 yeares and had bene a good part therof a yeoman of the guard and a friend to the poore.”

I did my best to get a decent photograph: if you click on the image, you will get the best effect – there he is in the still-familiar uniform of one of the yeomen of the guard, Tudor rose emblazoned on his chest, with his partisan or halberd, and in the very act of giving alms to a couple of poor men. The faces are quite individualised by the engraver, but I rather doubt that it can be an actual portrait of Montague. It might be.

I haven’t found a better early depiction of a Yeoman of the Guard, close to the time when their uniform was not anachronistic.

Montague is depicted as a very much larger person than the objects of his charity. Obviously, it is a plaque for his grave, and they are just there an images of his charity. But it is possible that Montague was a very big man. The guard were selected for their size: the ODNB has a brief life of Anthony Payne, ‘the Cornish Giant’, who was 7 foot 2 inches, and who was depicted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in his uniform in 1680.

Those selected for their stature could enhance it by eating prodigiously: in Thomas D’Urfey’s Sir Barnaby Whigg (1681), a bit of comic banter says “a man may as well know a foolish Country-Knight by his down-right drinking, as a Yeoman of the Guard by his infallible eating”.

The enormous strength stemming from that bulk and all that good food is the keynote in Waller’s simile about how Fletcher’s plays overpower anyone else’s:

“Thus has thy Muse at once improv’d and marr'd
Our sport in Plays by rendering it too hard;
So when a sort of lusty Shepherds throw,
The Bar by turns, and none the rest out-go
So far, but that the best are measuring casts,
Their emulation, and their pastime lasts;
But if some brawny Yeoman of the Guard
Step in and toss the Axle-tree a yard
Or more beyond the furthest mark, the rest,
Despairing stand, their sport is at the best.

If the yeomen seemed to be aiming to live up to their most generous patron’s imposing figure,

(see )

John Stow preserves a charming ‘monarch in disguise’ anecdote about the young Henry VIII impersonating a yeoman of the guard, at what seems to have been a regular ‘night watch’:

(Stow is talking about Cheapside) “the kings of England, and other great estates, as well of foreign countries repairing to this realm, as inhabitants of the same, have usually repaired to this place, therein to behold the shows of this City, passing through West Cheap, namely the great watches accustomed in the night, on the even of S. John Baptist, and S. Peter at Midsummer, the examples whereof were over long to recite, wherefore let it suffice briefly to touch one. In the year 1510. the 2. of Henry the eight, on S. Johns even at night, the king came to this place, then called the kings head in Cheap, in the livery of a yeoman of the guard, with an halberd on his shoulder, (and there beholding the watch) departed privily, when the watch was done, and was not known to any but to whom it pleased him, but on S. Peters night next following, he and the Queen came royally riding to the said place, and there with their nobles beheld the watch of the City, and returned in the morning.”

It seems from entries in early dictionaries that Henry VIII might have referred to his yeomen as his ‘satellites’: I picked up the early history of that word from the OED:

Satellite – etymology: “a. F. satellite (14th c. in Littré), ad. L. satellit-em (nom. satelles) attendant or guard.”

Definitions and early examples in English usage:

1. An attendant upon a person of importance, forming part of his retinue and employed to execute his orders. Often with reproachful connotation, implying subserviency or unscrupulousness in the service. a1548 HALL Chron., Rich. III 52b, Environed with his satellytes and yomen of the crowne. 1656 BLOUNT Glossogr., Satellite, one retained to guard a mans person; a Yeoman of the Guard; a Serjeant, Catch-pole, one that attacheth.

2. a. A small or secondary planet which revolves round a larger one. [The L. satellites was first applied in 1611 by Kepler to the secondary planets revolving round Jupiter, recently discovered by Galileo, who had named them Sidera Medicæa.] 1665 Phil. Trans. I. 71 A Satellite of Jupiter. Ibid., The shadow of the Satellit between Jupiter and the Sun. 1692 BENTLEY Boyle Lect. viii. (1693) 14 Jupiter and Saturn..have many Satellites about them.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Arbor vitae

A page from the apothecary and gardener John Parkinson’s beautifully illustrated Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris, or A garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt to be noursed vp (1629).

This shows ‘The Tree of Life’, arbor vitae (figure item 2). Parkinson does not make any great fuss about the naming of this plant: “the French that first brought it, called it Arbor vitae, with what reason or upon what ground I know not: but ever since it hath continued under the title of the tree of Life”. It came, he says, from “that part of America which the French doe inhabit, about the river of Canada, which is at the back of Virginia Northward, and as it seemeth, first brought by them from thence into Europe, in the time of Francis the first French King, where it hath so plentifully encreased, and so largely been distributed, that now few gardens of respect, either in France, Germany, the Lowe-Countries, or England, are without it.”

Parkinson is in many places brusque or dismissive about the traditionally imputed medicinal virtues of a plant. Often, he simply insists on the aesthetic quality of the flower as its real virtue (“the chief or only use thereof is, to be an ornament for the gardens of the curious lovers of these delights”, he says of the fritillary). In this case, however, he thinks that the tree of life has potential: he says that the leaves can be chewed prior to breakfast to treat shortness of the breath, and might work as an expectorant, then says: “Other properties I have not heard that it hath; but doubtlesse, the hot resinous smell and taste it hath, both while it is fresh, and after it hath been long kept dry, doth evidently declare his tenuity of parts, a digesting and cleansing quality it is possessed with, which if any industrious would make trial, he should find the effects”

I thought I would pursue this ‘Tree of Life’ candidate, mainly because Milton’s God is so teasing about the biblical Tree of Life in Book XI of Paradise Lost. (It seems to have been regularly taken to be the case that God was speaking ironically about Adam eating the fruit of the Tree of Life and so living forever.)

Abraham Cowley in ‘The Garden: To J Evelyn, Esquire’ affects to believe that the arbor vitae really is a reduced derivative of the Tree of Life which grew in Paradise:

“The Tree of Life, when it in Eden stood,
Did its immortal Head to Heaven rear;
It lasted a tall Cedar till the Flood;
Now a small thorny Shrub it does appear;
Nor will it thrive too everywhere …”

(But of course, it thrives in John Evelyn’s garden.)

Henry Arthington in his Principal Points of holy profession (1607) ‘The First Point. In Creating all things for our use, and us for his glory’ seems to have regarded ‘The Tree of Life’ as the panacea God put in the Garden of Eden to keep Adam and Eve from dying:

“And, for mans meat, God did provide,
All fruitful trees (save only one)
With every Herb that beareth seed,
For man all times to feed upon.

…. And that man might live in this state,
And never die (unless he would)
The tree of life, thereon to eat,
God planted in that sacred mould …”

R. Fletcher, in the verses, ‘Degenerate Love and Choyce’ from his Ex otio Negotium (1656), explains that God, as well as all the stuff about having it guarded by cherubims with fiery swords, actually hid the Tree of Life after the fall:

“As though when he fell mortal, God had hid
The Tree of Life in earth, which he forbid.”

Robert Herrick, in his fulsome ‘TO THE KING, To cure the Evil’ refers to the notion of a quest to find once more the Tree of Life: but announces that he has discovered it in Charles I touching for the King’s Evil:

“To find that Tree of Life, whose Fruits did feed,
And Leaves did heal, all sick of human seed:
To find Bethesda , and an Angel there,
Stirring the waters, I am come; and here,
At last, I find, (after my much to doe)
The Tree, Bethesda, and the Angel too:
And all in Your Blest Hand …”

Cowley (again) compliments a botanist called ‘Dr Scarborough’ on his identification of all plants: ‘Death’ and ‘Disease’ fear that Scarborough will soon identify the Tree of Life itself, and oust them:

“From creeping Moss to soaring Cedar thou
Dost all the powers and several Portions know,
Which Father-Sun, Mother-Earth below
On their green Infants here bestow.
Can’st all those Magic Virtues from them draw,
That keep Disease, and Death in awe.
Who whilst thy wondrous skill in Plants they see,
Fear lest the Tree of Life should be found out by Thee.”

Unsurprisingly, Du Bartas had a lot to say about the trees of Eden (du Bartas had a lot to say about everything). Unlike the apparently naïve view taken by Arthington, Du Bartas seems to have regarded the Tree of Life not so much as a panacea to keep the un-fallen inhabitants of Eden in perfect health, but as a kind of political air-freshener, that would have prevented any dissent among the burgeoning population of a continued, un-fallen paradise:

“Now of the Trees wherewith th’immortal Power
Adorn’d the quarters of that blisful Bower,
All serv’d the mouth, save two sustain’d the mind:
All serv’d for food, save two for seals assign’d.

God gave the first, for honourable style,
The tree of Life : true name; (alas the while!)
Not for th’effect it had, but should have kept,
If Man from duty never had mis-stept.
For, as the air of those fresh dales and hills
Preserved him from Epidemic ills,
This fruit had ever-calm’d all insurrections,
All civil quarrels of the cross complexions;
Had barr’d the passage of twice-childish age,
And ever-more excluded all the rage
Of painful griefs, whose swift-slow posting-pace
At first or last our dying life doth chase.”

For writers with any kind of Catholic sympathy, the Tree of Life was inescapably connected with Christ and his mother. Notice in Ralph Knevet’s poem, ‘The Conception’, how the furor hortensis Marvell’s Mower inveighed against is here a positive, the miraculous act of grafting of the divine onto the human root stock:

“The glorious sun forgets his birth,
And couples with the humble earth,
Her womb impregnates with warm showers,
Producing fruits and flowers:

This an unequal match may seem:
Then what was that? when Jesse’s stem,
Was overshadow’d from above,
Courted by divine love:

Here Immortality vouchsaf’d
On mortal stock to bee ingraff’d,
And Jesse's root produc’d a rod,
Even Jesus, our great God.

Th’Egyptian Gods in Gardens grew,
False were their Gods: But ours is true,
From Heaven, transplanted to the bed,
Of a pure Maidenhead.

This is a plant which never dyes,
A med’cine for all maladies,
A Tree of life, whose fruit is bliss,
(Lord) let me taste of this.”

Or there is Robert Southwell writing about the B.V.M., ‘Her Spousals’:

Wife did she live, yet virgin did she die,
Untaught of man, yet mother of a son,
To save her self and child from fatal lie,
To end the web whereof the thread was spun
In marriage knots to Joseph she was tide
Unwonted works with wonted wiles to hide,

God lent his Paradise to Joseph’s care
Wherein he was to plant the tree of life,

His son of Joseph’s child the title bare …”

Unsurprisingly, this was too mariolatrous for most 17th century English verse writers, and Phineas Fletcher in The Locusts, or the Appolyonists, produces a variant in which ‘The Tree of Life’, indignantly referred to here by the devils, is the Gospels, flourishing in England, and (in a neat reversal of the importing of arbor vitae from America, the gospel ‘tree of life’ is now transported back to America, formerly securely part of Satan’s kingdom:

“That little swimming Isle above the rest,
Spight of our spight, and all our plots, remains
And grows in happiness …

… There God hath fram’d another Paradise,
Fat Olives dropping peace, victorious palm,
Nor in the midst, but every where doth rise
That hated tree of life, whose precious balms
Cure every sinful wound: give light to th’eyes,
Unlock the ear, recover fainting qualms.
There richly grows what makes a people blest;
A garden planted by himself and drest:
Where he himself doth walk, where he himself doth rest.

… Nor can th’old world content ambitious Light,
Virginia our soil, our seat, and throne,
(To which so long possession gives us right,
As long as hells) Virginia’s self is gone:
That stormy Ile which th’Ile of Devils hight,
Peopled with faith, truth, grace, religion.

“I planted knowledge and life’s tree in thee’, wrote Donne about sex in ‘Elegie VII’. Just how transgressive the idea was can be gathered from the existence of such works as Sebastian Franck’s The forbidden fruit· or A treatise of the tree of knowledge of good & evil of which Adam at first, & as yet all mankind doe eat deathLastly, here is shewed what is the tree of life, contrary to the wisdom, righteousness, and knowledge of all mankind (translated into English in 1640). (The two trees here are diabolic and divine knowledge, and we have to heed The Testimony of the Scripture, how we ought to evacuate the Seed of the Serpent his counsel & word, and so vomit up the Fruit of the forbidden Tree, and purge the same away as deadly poison by the Fruit of the Tree of Life.”)

Finally, I was pleased to find in THE Cure of Old Age, AND Preservation of Youth. By ROGER BACON …ALSO A Physical Account OF THE Tree of Life, BY EDW. MADEIRA ARRAIS. (1683) an account of an Indian who lived to be more than 335 by virtue of eating fruits floating down the Ganges from the lost earthly paradise, fruits infused with enough of the virtue of the tree of life as to give him extreme longevity:

For Corroboration whereof there comes very opportunely the History of that Indian, most famous among our Portuguese, who lived above three hundred and thirty five years, as do testify Patres Conimbricenses, our Iohannes de Barros, who may rather be styled the Lusitanian Livy, and our Didacus de Couto a famous Portugal Historian. Several of our Portuguese at their Return from the East-Indies assured me they saw him alive. Nunius à Cunna, when he govern’d India, found him there, and afterwards when Don John de Castro presided Viceroy Anno Domini 1547 he was then alive. And all the Kings of those Parts, before they were subject to the Kingdom of Portugal, and our Governors and Viceroys afterwards, appointed an Allowance for the Maintenance of this wonderful Man.

His Teeth fell several times, others e’re long coming in their room; His Beard, when it was grown all white, as his Age reflourished, grew black again. Some ascribe the Cause of this to certain Fruits, which he found in Ganges, and eat: For at certain Times after Inundations, rowing up and down Ganges in a Boat, he sought these Fruits, which, as they affirm, are brought with the Waters from Earthly Paradise, from whence this River (as is believed) derives its Original.”

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ere the spider make a thin curtain for your epitaphs

The stillborn daughter of Walter and Deborah Dunch, from the monument described in my prior post.

A Bunch of Dunches: Little Wittenham Church

Out on a walk, a chance visit to the Church at Little Wittenham, near Dorchester, and a discovery there of a beautiful array of early modern tombs and inscriptions. All seem to be connected to the Dunch family, who must have had an ancestor who was hard of hearing, or outright deaf. The man who makes the money was William Dunch, auditor to the mint for three Tudor monarchs:

"Here lyeth buryed William Dunche esquire Auditor of the myntes to our late soveraigne lordes king henrie the eight, and kinge edwarde the sixte and esquire sworne extraordinarie for the bodye of our sovereigne ladie Elizabeth, he married Marie Barnes they had yssue between them two sonnes Edmonde the Eldest, and Walter the younger, which William deceased the [ } daie of [ ] in the yeare of our Lorde God [ ]"

The Dunches all lived in a manor house just yards from the church; it is odd that no-one got round to adding the dates.

Mary Barnes gets commemorated in a long set of verses in that thumping early Tudor verse form, poulter’s measure on a separate plaque. Again, there’s no set of dates, and the brass plaque seems to have a later and less capable inscriber add her name as an afterthought in an extra piece of metal. Maybe this plaque was moved when the main alabasters for Walter Dunch and his wife were installed:

"The touch stone of our life, is death, as I decerne

For by the present passing hence, the former life we lerne

And so through worlds reaport, they live that lie full lowe

The grave can claime nomore of right, then flesh & blud ye know

The people steies the same behinde, for causes good

By which devise the honest name is knowne and understode

Then lo this widow here a farington by birth

Must have the praise that she hath donne, whilst she was on earth

Her sober maners milde, and upright dealing just

In minde of man shall shrined be, though barns be turned to dust

By marriage barns she hight, by life a matron calld

And so among the gravest sort in seat she shalbe stalld

Well likd of poore and rich, her works so virtuous were

That much good will & neighbours love therefore hence did she beare

Of right theis verses sure, she claimes, I say nomore

And you that reades them, after must, for she is goon before

The heavens doo holde her ghost, the earth accompt must make

Of everything it hath receavd, when god shall reconing take

when lo the wormes shall yelde her bodie whole againe,

and she with us and we with her, in endless joy remaine."

The full effigies of Walter Dunch and his wife form my main image here. He died in 1594 aged 42, there is no date given for Deborah Pilkington, his wife, but there they both are, looking like uncomfortable passengers in a wagon lit or cross-channel ferry. Walter is in full plate armour, and I was struck by how realistically the sculptor has rendered the movement away from the body of this most unyielding of forms of outerwear, as he lies down, unable to sleep. Deborah is in high Elizabethan fashion, with ruff, shaved-back hairline, ‘wirey coronet’ and hood. The obelisks are in viviparan (Purbeck) marble (what did they think about that intricate matrix of what just had to be snail shells?).

In front of the tomb, the usual line up of children. I was interested in the way that the earliest monument, the brass plaque to William Dunch the early modern auditor, his children are presented as smaller than him, but simultaneously as adults: his boys have moustaches and beards.

On the floor in front of the chest tomb, an early modern woman writer has her say in one of the few poetic forms then allowed to women:

"In memory of her lovinge husband William Winchcombe, sonne and heire to Francis Winchcombe esquire of Buckleberry who died the 38th yeare of his age on the 29th of July 1614, Mary the eldest daughter of Edmund Dunch bestowed this monument

I lovd thee living and lament thee dead

But what in measure cannot be exprest

Yet love and sorrowe both will needes be read

Even in this marble (Deare) they do theire best

And tis for others too I put this stone

To me thy tombe shalbe my heart alone

Twise eighteene yeares he viewed heavens day

Sixteen he spent in happy wedlocks bonds

The Graces, Muses, and the Fates did lay

Untimely on his webb theire hastening hands

Of heire his house, of all there hopes his friends

Of progenie his wife bereft he ends."

Maths was not her strongest subject, but she was excellent at English.