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ADDITIONAL NOTES TO SONNETS 127 TO 154.
SONNET 127. FROM the original edition of Lord Herbert's poems printed in 1660, we learn that this nobleman, later in life, also formed a poetical friendship with Sir Benjamin Ruddyard, Knt., * in conjunction with whom the greater number of the poems were written, being answered by the latter by way of repartee.
There are also several distinct poems, written by them apart. The poems by Herbert are signed P, as a safeguard to authenticity. That this lord was worthy the name of a poet, and that the best poem imputed to him was really by him, we have the authority of William Brown, author of “ Britannia's Pastorals.”
Jonson, also in 1621, attests his ability to use his pen, in these lines from a masque presented at court
“ You know how to use your sword and your pen,
* Jonson addresses this knight in three of his Epigrams, and in these he extols his “holiest friendship,” and also his “ learned muse,” and questions which is his chief merit
Writing thyself, or judging others writ.” + Jonson also denotes that the King loved him for the chaste example he set the court.
Pembroke and Ruddyard have pleasant attacks upon "painted women.” Among them is one in which P is the man and R is the woman. P also writes "an ironical praise of his mistress.” One of the poems written by this lord is entitled “A Paradox : that beauty lies not in women's faces, but in lover's eyes,” and bears a strong resemblance to a remarkable passage in “ Troilus and Cressida,” a late play, and one which Shakespeare appears to have written for his patron friend, as the preface to the edition of 1609 intimates that it was written for some noble personage for private use. Some of the headings of Pembroke's Sonnets are as follows :
“ That lust is not his aim."
“I left you and now the gain of you is a double gain.” Pembroke and Ruddyard have also long serious dialogues upon “Love and Reason.” Pembroke is “Sir Love," Ruddyard, “Reason.” They thus conduct their argument: “R. “And now to you, Sir Love, your love I crave,
Of you no mastery I desire to have ;
Let us to reason, fellow servants be.'
Not grudging at her husband's active sway,
Which turns lust mercury, to friendship golul.'
I will not from that happy wedding tarry.”
“ Yet for all this we will not disagree,
Each lover thinks none ever lov'd but he !"
Pembroke has a poem “To his mistress, of his friend's opinion of her, and his answer to his friend's objection, with his constancy towards her.” This is the first stanza:
“One with admiration told me,
Every ale house lattice wears.
on painting, he has one to her in which he declares that the sole occasion of his love for her is on account of her false adornments.
Ruddyard and Pembroke were schoolfellows together at Oxford ; he married a relative of the Earl of Pembroke. This would account for the nearness of their friendship. In the
poems which they wrote in conjunction, the task is invariably assigned to Ruddyard of replying to his lordship’s romantic ideas—they both alike favoured poets and learned men. There is no clue to the date of their writing together, but it was prior to 1615.
We must not omit to observe that Clarendon in his History of the Rebellion” has drawn a noble portrait of Lord Pembroke, pourtraying him as a most liberal and accomplished courtier; yet while paying him the highest compliments, he admits his defects. He says he was a lover of women, but it was their wit rather than their beauty by which he was charmed ; but for his defects Clarendon offers sufficient plea. The difference between the comments of Shakespeare and Clarendon upon this lord is, that one reveals allegorically the sunrise of his early virtuous manhood, the other, the sunset of his
years, somewhat obscured by the cloud of blighted hope, yet of a dazzling radiance. Clarendon also bears testimony to his great zeal for friendship, which he marks as a distinguishing feature of his character.
It is worthy of observation that though Sidney wrote passages in the “ Arcadia" upon the folly of poets sonnetting their angry loves, yet he himself fell into the same folly ; but it was not so with Shakespeare, for he remained constant to his doctrine.
Lines 1 to 14.
" To FANTASIE.
That he and I sworn brothers should remain ;
This is evidently a parody upon such Sonnets as Drayton's 9th, headed “Loves Lunacy,” in which he avouches his own madness.
Lines 1 to 13.
As women in th' idea are.”
There's not a man will think you fair.”. -Cowley's Mistress “ Not Fair.”
Lines 1, 2.
A loathing of all loose unchastitie,
Lines 1 to 9.
Merry Wives of Windsor.
Lines 1 to 12.
And I in such a poverty of grace,
As You Like it.
Lines 1 to 8.
Wherewith, alas ! I have been long possest,
Drayton's 24th Idea.
Lines 13, 14.
Lines 4 to 7. “I have heard of your paintings too, well enough : God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”—Hamlet.