"Pleasure reconciled to virtue": William Cavendish, Ben Jonson, and the decorative scheme of Bolsover Castle.
After many years of public and scholarly neglect, Bolsover Castle Bolsover Castle is a castle in Bolsover, Derbyshire, England (grid reference SK471707).
It was built by the Peverel family in the 12th century and became Crown property in 1155 when the third William Peverel fled into exile. is coming to be recognized as perhaps "the most beautiful house in England, and one of the treasures of western Europe Western Europe
The countries of western Europe, especially those that are allied with the United States and Canada in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (established 1949 and usually known as NATO). ."(1) This is as it should be, for Bolsover was designed to delight and intrigue its visitors. Planned and executed by the Smythson dynasty of architects for Sir Charles Cavendish Charles Cavendish may refer to:
European title of nobility, ranking in modern times immediately below a duke and above a count or earl. The wife of a marquess is a marchioness or marquise. The term originally denoted a count holding a march, or mark (frontier district). , and, later, duke of Newcastle Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne is a title which has been created three times in British history while the title of Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne has been created once. The title was created for the first time in the Peerage of England in 1664 when William Cavendish, 1st Marquess ), during the early years of the seventeenth century, the castle was not the family's principal residence - that was a few miles to the north east, at Welbeck - but was a place for pleasurable retirement, a retreat. It was Cavendish's favorite residence.(2) Thus much is implied by a contemporary poet, Richard Andrews For the former Australian politician, see .
Richard Andrews (? – October 28, 1835) is notable because he was the first rebel killed during the Texas Revolution. , in a verse account of the family properties:
Hardwicke for hugeness, Worsope for height, Welbecke for use, and Bolser for sight. . . . Bolser to feast, Welbecke to ride in Hardwicke to thrive, and Worsope to bide bide
v. bid·ed or bode , bid·ed, bid·ing, bides
1. To remain in a condition or state.
a. To wait; tarry.
b. in . . . . Worsope is wise, Welbecke is witty, Hardwicke is hard, Bolser is pretty. Hardwicke is rich, Welbecke is fine, Worsope is stately, Bolser divine.(3)
It was a house for gazing at, a house for feasting in: a divine house. But gazing, feasting and, for that matter, divinity, may take many forms.
Bolsover Castle rests on a promontory promontory /prom·on·to·ry/ (prom´on-tor?e) a projecting process or eminence.
A projecting part.
a projecting process or eminence. high above the Derbyshire plains, commanding extensive views over what were once Cavendish lands. It comprises three main blocks of buildings: the Little Castle, the Terrace Range, and the Riding School - buildings begun by 1608-1612 and completed by 1640.(4) The lavishly decorated Little Castle forms the focus of this investigation.
Our understanding of the Little Castle at Bolsover has been much enhanced of late, thanks to the energy and imagination of several scholars. Mark Girouard has defined it as an elegant diversion in the lodge tradition - a satellite of the main residence at Welbeck - and has untangled its diverse architectural strands, helping us to recognize it as a superb instance of that blend of romance, chivalry chivalry (shĭv`əlrē), system of ethical ideals that arose from feudalism and had its highest development in the 12th and 13th cent. , and pageant merged with classical myth and legend that informed the court masques and tournaments of the late Renaissance and found supreme literary expression in Spenser's Faerie Queene Faerie Queene
allegorical epic poem by Edmund Spenser. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
See : Epic
Faerie Queene (Gloriana)
gives a champion to people in trouble. [Br. Lit.: The Faerie Queene]
See : Salvation .(5) Timothy Mowl has advanced an intriguing suggestion about the function of the Venus fountain in the garden: it is, he argues, a Jacobean cold bath.(6) Cedric Brown Cedric Brown (born May 6, 1954 in Columbus, Ohio), is a former American professional football player who played in 9 NFL seasons from 1976-1984 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. has offered a detailed reconstruction of the royal entertainment of 1634.(7) And Nikolaus Pevsner Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner, CBE, (January 30, 1902 – August 18, 1983) was a German-born British historian of art and, especially, architecture. He is best known for his 46-volume series of county-by-county guides, The Buildings of England , Edward Croft-Murray, John P. Cutts, Patrick Faulkner, and the architectural historians at English Heritage English Heritage is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) with a broad remit of managing the historic environment of England. It was set up under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983. have identified the sources and iconographic significance of most of the wall paintings that adorn the various chambers of the Little Castle: paintings of the temperaments, the senses, and the virtues, of the labors of Hercules, of saints and patriarchs, of Heaven and of Elysium; paintings executed in the early 1620s, under the instructions of Sir William Cavendish William Cavendish may refer to the following people: Earls
And yet the Little Castle continues to baffle. The visitor moves from room to room with a growing sense of mystery, a sense that there is a puzzle here: a meaning hidden, not just in the emblematic paintings themselves, but in their disposition, in the overall pattern they form. We may better unravel this elusive pattern by attending to the iconographic language and organizational logic of the Little Castle.
It has long been assumed that the decorative scheme of the castle expresses the character and interests of its owner, William Cavendish. There is nothing remarkable in such an assumption. What I wish to argue for is a closer connection between building and owner, and a greater degree of internal coherence among its several decorated rooms than have hitherto been noticed. A comment by Inigo Jones, scribbled in the margins of his copy of Palladio, affords a point of entry into the contemporary understanding of decorated rooms: "Roomes dedicated to the vertues with Pictures and Inscriptions," Jones noted, "ar to lodg Strangers and frends in, thes Chambers of those virtues to which yow yow
Used to express alarm, pain, or surprise. ar most inclined."(9) In his note, Jones gestures towards an employment of decorated rooms in a manner approaching the theatrical, and he encourages us to conceive of Verb 1. conceive of - form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case; "Can you conceive of him as the president?"
envisage, ideate, imagine such schemes as dynamic devices, requiring the presence of particular figures to animate them. The central figure at Bolsover was its owner, and Douglas Grant offers a key to his character when, writing of Cavendish's verse, he observes that "sensuality and refinement, levity lev·i·ty
n. pl. lev·i·ties
1. Lightness of manner or speech, especially when inappropriate; frivolity.
2. Inconstancy; changeableness.
3. The state or quality of being light; buoyancy. and idealism, are curiously reconciled by the composing attraction of a religious loyalty to the crown."(10) It is just such a reconciliation of opposing forces Those forces used in an enemy role during NATO exercises. See also force(s). that the visitor to Bolsover will experience.
THE GROUND FLOOR
The visitor to the Little Castle is faced with a diminutive, castellated cas·tel·lat·ed
1. Furnished with turrets and battlements in the style of a castle.
2. Having a castle.
[Medieval Latin castell facade suggesting a structure from the romantic world of The Faerie Queene. But is it a house of virtue, like that of the chaste and modest Alma, or a house of vice, like that of the lascivious las·civ·i·ous
1. Given to or expressing lust; lecherous.
2. Exciting sexual desires; salacious.
[Middle English, from Late Latin lasc enchanter Busyrane? Our first clue is the figure of Hercules, who crouches, flanked by lions, above the main entrance: a corbel corbel
Block or brick partially embedded in a wall, with one end projecting out from the face. The weight of added masonry above counterbalances the cantilever and keeps the block from falling out of the wall. supporting a balcony beneath which sits a shield depicting the family arms.(11) This is the Hercules who, in the course of his final labor, deputized for Atlas in supporting the globe; only this Hercules upholds, quite literally, the house of Cavendish Cavendish is the surname of a British noble family, also known as the House of Cavendish, descended from Sir John Cavendish of Cavendish in the county of Suffolk (c. . The implications are broader still, for Hercules had, since antiquity, been widely employed as a figure of political authority, of government through virtue. His presence over the door suggests that the family, as leading northern magnates, were the upholders of royal authority in their domains: as William supports the family, so the family supports the state.
On entering the Little Castle, we are drawn into a small anteroom off to the left of the porch. It is an unusual arrangement, which thwarts our expectation of a screens passage leading directly into the Hall (fig. 1).(12) Here we are faced with our first puzzle: the Four Temperaments This article is about the modern psychological theory of temperament. For "four humors" in Greco-Roman medicine, see humorism.
Four Temperaments is a theory of psychology that stems from the ancient concept of four humors (humorism). , copied from a set of Flemish engravings by Maarten de Vos De Vos. For persons thus named, use Vos. .(13) Each depicts a man and woman, surrounded by the emblematic paraphernalia of their controlling humor: the dour Phlegmatics, for instance, are depicted as fishers, to express the cold and moist character of their temperament (fig. 2).(14) One of the temperaments, the sanguine, is missing. It ought to be on the wall facing the entrance, and would thus be the first painting one would see on entering the Anteroom, but there instead is an enigmatic landscape, a flame burning on an altar by the sea. The scene seems to represent the four elements, of which the earth and all that exists below the heavens are composed (fig. 3). This first image is the foundation of all that follows. It meshes with the rest of the room because the four elements and the four temperaments were analogous to one another: the balance of elements in one's body determined one's complexion or temperament.(15) The scheme in this room, at least, has a clear internal coherence.
But why is the sanguine missing? The answer, I think, is that it is not. In her celebrated Life of William Cavendish . . . Duke of Newcastle (1667), Margaret Carendish observed that her husband's complexion was sanguine.(16) This insight shaped her reading of his body, mind, and character; a reading in which she found him to exhibit such typically sanguine traits as a body of middle stature; a quick and witty mind; a disposition towards gentleness, bravery, and geniality; and an aptitude for poetry and music aptitudes amply implied in the missing design, which depicted a lute lute, musical instrument that has a half-pear-shaped body, a fretted neck, and a variable number of strings, which are plucked with the fingers. The long lute, with its neck much longer than its body, seems to have been older than the short lute, existing very early player serenading (and perhaps seducing?) a lady who holds open a songbook for him to follow (fig. 4).(17) So the sanguine temperament is embodied in the person of the host, whom we are to recognize as an integral part of the symbolic program of his castle. We might even go so far as to imagine Cavendish actually receiving his guests in the Anteroom, physically completing the scheme.(18)
While the sanguine temperament was regarded as the next best thing to an unattainably perfect humoral hu·mor·al
1. Relating to body fluids, especially serum.
2. Relating to or arising from any of the bodily humors.
Pertaining to or derived from a body fluid. balance, it had its dangers, the most serious of which were a tendency to overindulge o·ver·in·dulge
v. o·ver·in·dulged, o·ver·in·dulg·ing, o·ver·in·dulg·es
1. To indulge (a desire, craving, or habit) to excess: overindulging a fondness for chocolate. in food and drink, and an extreme susceptibility to erotic love Noun 1. erotic love - a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction; "their love left them indifferent to their surroundings"; "she was his first love"
sexual love, love
concupiscence, physical attraction, sexual desire, eros - a desire for sexual intimacy .(19) Cavendish's biographer was sensitive to the potential for criticism in these areas. In the Life, Margaret points to his spare and temperate diet (one glass of sack only, and a couple of glasses of small beer each day), and she offers a smart apology for his notorious philandering: "I know him not addicted to any manner of vice except that he has been a great lover and admirer of the female sex; which, whether it be so great a crime as to condemn him for it, I'll leave it to the judgment of young gallants and beautiful ladies."(20) Such tendencies are addressed head-on in the decoration of the Hall, a large, public chamber across the vestibule vestibule /ves·ti·bule/ (ves´ti-bul) a space or cavity at the entrance to a canal.vestib´ular
vestibule of aorta a small space at root of the aorta. from the Anteroom.
The decoration in the Hall is drawn from a series of Italian engravings by Antonio Tempesta Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630) was an Italian painter and engraver. He was born and trained in Florence and painted in a variety of styles, influenced to some degree by "Contra-Maniera" or counter-Mannerism. depicting the Labors of Hercules.(21) The labors are shown in a series of illusionistic panels that appear to continue the rib-vaulting of the Hall - a witty, tromp tromp
v. tromped, tromp·ing, tromps Informal
1. To walk heavily and noisily; tramp.
2. l'oeil effect, which appealed to Cavendish's interest in optics. They are supplemented by smaller panels on either side of the fireplace, depicting Hercules and Vulcan. Only four of the twelve labors are depicted: the Cretan Bull Cretan bull, in Greek mythology, giant bull that Hercules captured as his seventh labor. Some versions of the legend state that this bull was the same one that carried Europa to Crete; others claim that it was the beautiful white bull loved by Pasiphaë. , the Nemean Lion Nemean lion (nĭmē`ən), in Greek mythology, an enormous lion, said to be the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. It was invulnerable to all weapons until Hercules, in his first labor, strangled it with his bare hands. He then wore its pelt. , the Wild Boar of Erymanthus, and the Mares of Diomedes mares of Diomedes
lived on human flesh; their capture was Hercules’ eighth labor. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Hall, 149]
See : Savagery (fig. 5). Why these four? Faulkner notes that there is a focus on the beasts Hercules was called upon to subdue, and he is surely right to suggest that they "symbolize Man overcoming his animal passions" (25).(22) This was a conventional Renaissance reading, in which the strength of Hercules represented not just brute force (programming) brute force - A primitive programming style in which the programmer relies on the computer's processing power instead of using his own intelligence to simplify the problem, often ignoring problems of scale and applying naive methods suited to small problems directly , but fortitude of mind - moral strength, through which the virtuous man might subdue the lusts of his body and conquer the vices of the world.(23) What Faulkner does not point out is the congruence con·gru·ence
a. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.
b. An instance of this: "What an extraordinary congruence of genius and era" between this choice of large four-footed beasts and the Cavendish love of horsemanship horsemanship: see equestrianism.
Art of training, riding, and handling horses. Good horsemanship requires that a rider control the animal's direction, gait, and speed with maximum effectiveness and minimum effort. , that favorite Renaissance display of self-mastery and good governorship. This decor announces one of Cavendish's prime preoccupations: the government of the passions (it was Cavendish who encouraged Thomas Hobbes's early investigations in this field).(24) It also underlines the association of Cavendish with Hercules, for the sensual tendencies to which the sanguine Cavendish was prone parallel those excesses - drunkenness, gluttony Gluttony
See also Greed.
Belch, Sir Toby
gluttonous and lascivious fop. [Br. Lit.: Twelfth Night]
one of the best known “feeders” of eighteenth-century England. [Br. Hist. , and womanizing wom·an·ize
v. woman·ized, woman·iz·ing, woman·iz·es
To pursue women lecherously.
To give female characteristics to; feminize. - to which Hercules was so famously liable.(25) The decoration thus illustrates Cavendish's struggle with the problems of his temperament, and implies the manner of his conquest. An additional dimension to the figure of Hercules on the outside of the castle now becomes apparent. Hercules' substitution for Atlas took place during the last of his labors, the culmination of his endeavors. The scheme inside the castle provides an account of the moral journey that justifies the external expression of Cavendish's readiness to shoulder his public burdens.
The decoration in the Hall is not simply a static comment on Cavendish; it might also be employed to implicate im·pli·cate
tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.
2. the visitor in the struggle for virtue. The Hall is provided with stairs leading from both kitchen and wine cellar, indicating that it was, in fact, a servants' dining hall.(26) When we recall that Bolsover was designed for feasting and remember, in addition, the convention of offering immediate refreshment to arriving guests and their entourages, the significance of the frescoes illustrating Hercules' struggle to master his appetites becomes clear: Hercules is the monitor of the feast, providing both model and warning for the diners.
There is a hitherto unnoticed analogue for the decoration in the Hall: the Palazzo del Te Palazzo del Te or Palazzo Te is a palace in the suburbs of Mantua, Italy. It is a fine example of the mannerist style of architecture, the acknowledged masterpiece of Giulio Romano. at Mantua Mantua (măn`chə, –tə), Ital. Mantova, city (1991 pop. 53,065), capital of Mantova prov. .(27) The Palazzo del Te was a place of retirement for Mantua's ruling Gonzaga dynasty Gonzaga dynasty
Italian dynasty that ruled Mantua 1328–1707 and Montferrat and Casale 1536–1707. Its history began with Luigi I (or Lodovico; 1267–1360), who gained control of Mantua in 1328. . Located a short distance from the town, it was, like Bolsover, a pleasure house. Cavendish may have heard of it on his visit to the Savoy in 1612, when he served in the retinue of Sir Henry Wotton
Sir Henry Wotton (1568 - December, 1639) was an English author and diplomat. , a great aficionado A Spanish word that means fan, devotee, enthusiast, etc. There are loyal aficionados of every subject in the computer field. of Italian architecture Italian architecture, the several styles employed in Italy after the Roman period. The Romanesque
Italy's Romanesque architecture (12th cent.) reveals the first use of the groined vault with projecting ribs. .(28) In the early sixteenth-century, Federigo Il Gonzaga had commissioned from Giulio Romano Giulio Romano (j`lyō rōmä`nō), c.1492–1546, Italian painter, architect, and decorator, whose real name was Giulio Pippi. a series of murals to decorate its several rooms; these were widely admired. Like Cavendish, Gonzaga was a devoted horseman and womanizer wom·an·ize
v. woman·ized, woman·iz·ing, woman·iz·es
To pursue women lecherously.
To give female characteristics to; feminize. , and Romano's decorative scheme spoke eloquently of these passions. The tone of the decoration exhibits a tension between exhortations to virtuous action and a celebration of amoral a·mor·al
1. Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.
2. Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong. eroticism Eroticism
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit. . On the one hand there are uplifting illustrations of the cardinal virtues cardinal virtues
the most important moral qualities, traditionally justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude , and, on the other, there are rooms filled with salacious sa·la·cious
1. Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire; lascivious.
2. Lustful; bawdy.
[From Latin sal depictions of outrageous sexual activity - Ovidian rapes and metamorphoses, demonstrating the universal and irresistible force IRRESISTIBLE FORCE. This term is applied to such an interposition of human agency, as is, from its nature and power, absolutely uncontrollable; as the inroads of a hostile army. Story on Bailm. Sec. 25; Lois des Batim. pt. 2. c. 2, Sec. 1. It differs from inevitable accident; (q. v. of love. The Loggia loggia
Hall, gallery, or porch open to the air on one or more sides. It evolved in the Mediterranean region as an open sitting room with protection from the sun. It is often a roofed, arcaded open gallery on an upper story overlooking a court, though it can also be a di Davide promotes an indulgent attitude to Federigo's moral failings; for was not David, in addition to being a martial hero and political leader, an unfaithful husband? One of the central figures in the Palazzo is Hercules, the family's favored model: the Sala dei Cavalli features painted bronze reliefs illustrating six of his labors, and these are set against a background of illusionistically depicted horses. The labors include the Nemean Lion, Antaeus, and Cerberus. They do not, therefore, tally exactly with those at Bolsover; but, as at Bolsover, the fireplace is flanked by illustrations of Hercules and Vulcan, and there is an intriguing use of perspectival trickery Trickery
See also Cunning, Deceit, Humbuggery.
Bunsby, Captain Jack
trapped into marriage by landlady. [Br. Lit.: Dombey and Son]
cheated of bride after lavish wedding preparations. [Span. Lit. .(29)
Alongside the strenuous display of self-government in the Hall at Bolsover lies the more intimate space of the Pillar Chamber. Although the original black paint has been removed from its paneled walls, it remains a dark, languid, oppressively opulent room, illuminated by elaborate gold strapwork strap·work
Decorative work, popular in northern Europe in the 16th and early 17th centuries, consisting of interlacing straplike bands, often used in low relief on ceilings, screens, and panels. that glitters in the gloom. Here we are faced with a set of lunettes depicting the Five Senses, copied from engravings by Cornelis Cort Cornelis Cort (1536-1578), Dutch engraver, was born at Hoorn in Holland, and studied engraving under Hieronymus Cockx of Antwerp.
About 1565 he went to Venice, where Titian employed him to execute the well-known copperplates of St Jerome in the "Desert", the "Magdalen", after Franz Floris.(30) The senses are portrayed as ladies reclining with appropriate symbolic accouterments ac·cou·ter·ment or ac·cou·tre·ment
1. An accessory item of equipment or dress. Often used in the plural.
2. Military equipment other than uniforms and weapons. Often used in the plural.
3. . The lunettes are both analytical - depicting the process by which each sense operates - and monitive - illustrating the dangers of addiction to sensual pleasure. Taste, for instance, selects a succulent fruit from an overflowing cornucopia cornucopia (kôr'nykō`pēə), in Greek mythology, magnificent horn that filled itself with whatever meat or drink its owner requested. , while, at her feet, an ape munches greedily on an apple [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED]. We have moved away from the large-scale, public activities of the Hall, and back towards the intimacy and self-analysis of the Anteroom. Indeed, the two rooms are adjacent to one another, making up a floor-space equivalent to that of the Hall [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED], but sharing a surprisingly low ceiling in contrast to it.(31) Their decorative schemes speak the same stylistic language (Flemish moralism mor·al·ism
1. A conventional moral maxim or attitude.
2. The act or practice of moralizing.
3. Often undue concern for morality. ), and there are thematic and numeric parallels between them: the five senses were conventionally thought to parallel the five elements five elements,
n.pl fire, water, earth, wood, and metal; in Chinese medicine, each of these five components is used to organize phenomena for use in clinical applications. Each of the elements corresponds to a specific function (i.e. (as a perfect combination of the other four, which comprises the heavens, the fifth element has no part in the scheme of the ground floor, which is concerned with the constituent materials of the sublunary sub·lu·na·ry also sub·lu·nar
1. Situated beneath the moon.
2. Of this world; earthly.
[Late Latin subl world and the senses through which we perceive it).(32) The arrangement of the ground floor rooms indicates that the Pillar Chamber was a parlor used for private dining or banqueting: an eighteenth-century account of the castle indicates that around its central pillar was a large table, while a late seventeenth-century account notes the presence there of a table and twelve "Cloath of silver Chares."(33) While the servants ate in the Hall, the family and their guests would dine here in privacy, partaking either of a full meal or a "banquet": a light, sweet course, following a meal.(34) The decoration of banqueting rooms with images of the five senses was a north European convention European Convention Europe n → Europäische(r) Konvent m, EU-Konvent m , a consequence of the prevalence of the banquet of sense in Dutch art Dutch art, the art of the region that is now the Netherlands. As a distinct national style, this art dates from about the turn of the 17th cent., when the country emerged as a political entity and developed a clearly independent culture. .(35) The provision of an actual banquet (with music, perhaps, to complete the sensory assault), would thus have brought the decorative scheme of the chamber to life in just the way that the play on the host's temperament had done in the Anteroom.
The three painted rooms on the ground floor are schematically linked through the figure of Hercules. One of the most prominent aspects of the Hercules legend in the Renaissance was the story of his Choice - a story attributed by Xenophon to Prodicus. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Prodicus, the young hero once encountered two women at a fork in the road A Fork in the Road is an Australian travel television series airing on SBS and hosted by Pria Viswalingam.
Described by SBS as "the thinking-person’s travel show" the program takes the viewer off the beaten track and takes a look at the lives of the people : one of them, Pleasure (or Vice), accosted ac·cost
tr.v. ac·cost·ed, ac·cost·ing, ac·costs
1. To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with a demand or request.
2. To solicit for sex. him, tempting him to follow her on a leisurely meander meander
Extreme U-bend in a stream, usually occurring in a series, that is caused by flow characteristics of the water. Meanders form in stream-deposited sediments and may stack up upstream of an obstruction, resulting in a gooseneck or extremely bowed meander. through all imaginable sensory delights; Virtue, on the other hand, encouraged him to take the strenuous path of action and public service, for which the rewards, though slow in coming, are substantial and lasting.(36) It was a sign of Hercules' heroism that he correctly made the difficult choice to follow Virtue - on a path that was generally depicted as a steep hill Steep Hill is a popular tourist street in the historic city of Lincoln, UK.
At the top of the hill you will find the entrance to the Cathedral and at the bottom is Well Lane. The Hill consists of independent shops, tea rooms and pubs. . The Choice of Hercules not only implied a general potential for sensual indulgence; it was on occasion explicitly fused with the banquet of sense: in a late-sixteenth or early seventeenth-century etching of the scene, after a painting by Jan Saenredam, Pleasure tempts Hercules with an image of just such a banquet.(37) If we contemplate the three painted rooms in the context of the choice of Hercules, we may grasp the point implied by their disposition: the Cavendish family and their noble guests may legitimately partake of pleasure because of their inherent virtue and self-knowledge; there is, in such figures, no necessary opposition between pleasure and virtue.(38) This thesis should have a familiar ring: it is, of course, the very argument Ben Jonson had advanced through the figure of Hercules in his masque masque, courtly form of dramatic spectacle, popular in England in the first half of the 17th cent. The masque developed from the early 16th-century disguising, or mummery, in which disguised guests bearing presents would break into a festival and then join with their Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue is a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones. It was first performed on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1618, in the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace. (1618).(39) That Jonson's masque may have influenced the scheme of the castle is quite possible given his close association with Cavendish at the time of the execution of the decoration.(40)
An illustration of the way in which the decorative scheme of the castle might have been employed may be found in the royal visit of 30 July 1634, when Charles I Charles I, duke of Lower Lorraine
Charles I, 953–992?, duke of Lower Lorraine (977–91); younger son of King Louis IV of France. He claimed the French throne when his nephew, Louis V of France, died (987) without issue, but he was set aside in and Henrietta Maria Henrietta Maria (mərī`ə), 1609–69, queen consort of Charles I of England, daughter of Henry IV of France. She married Charles in 1625. were entertained at Bolsover. The royal visit was organized around an entertainment by Ben Jonson, Love's Welcome, which featured a series of banquets, songs, dances, and speeches in different parts of the castle. The entertainment fell into three parts: first, a banquet was served for the king and queen to the accompaniment of a song; afterwards, the royal couple "retired into a garden" - as Cavendish's manuscript copy of the entertainment specifies - and were entertained by the comic oration of Colonel Iniquo Vitruvius and his mechanicals; this dance was then followed by a second banquet for the king and queen, accompanied by a comic dialogue between Eros and Anteros.(41)
The precise locations of the several parts of this entertainment are a matter of debate. It was long assumed that the first of these banquets for the king and queen may have been held in the Pillar Chamber because it was introduced by a song that celebrated the correct ordering of the senses for the occasion, and alluded to a banquet of sense.(42) In the most substantial and persuasive account of such matters to date, Cedric Brown challenges this assumption on the grounds that the Pillar Chamber would have been too small for such a banquet. He suggests instead that as the new Terrace Range to the south of the Little Castle was equipped with large state rooms and was probably partially complete by this time, the first banquet may reasonably be presumed to have taken place there (159-60). But Brown's argument is not entirely persuasive. Because the decoration and function of the Pillar Chamber squared so aptly with the occasion and theme of Jonson's song, there must have been a compelling reason not to use it. Does its relatively small size necessarily provide such a reason? Nothing in the accompanying song suggests that a large party sat down to dine: it is, in fact, addressed exclusively to the king and queen; and the banquet itself may well have been a light dessert, rather than a full-blown meal. Nor is there firm evidence that the new range was fit to be used in the summer of 1634. Indeed, the humor of the entertainment, with its dance of carpenter, stonemason, plumber, and plasterer, depends upon the presence of visible signs of ongoing construction.(43) We can no more assert that the first banquet did not take place in the Pillar Chamber than we can claim that it did.
Wherever the first banquet was actually served, its accompanying song offers a sophisticated revision of the meaning of the banquet of sense, in line with that suggested by the iconography of the Little Castle. To understand this revision we must recall the fashion for Neoplatonism at the court of Henrietta Maria in the 1630s. The thinkers of the Florentine Academies had been much preoccupied with determining the manner by which the soul might ascend from delight in the body to an ecstatic contemplation of the divine intelligence. Marsilio Ficino Marsilio Ficino (Latin name: Marsilius Ficinus; Figline Valdarno, October 19 1433 - Careggi, October 1 1499) was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major had argued in his commentary on Plato's Symposium that the senses were arrayed in a hierarchy, leading upwards from the grossest - touch through taste, smell, and hearing, to the most rarefied rar·e·fied also rar·i·fied
1. Belonging to or reserved for a small select group; esoteric.
2. Elevated in character or style; lofty.
1. - sight. In the wake of Ficino, this ascent was widely conceived of as a heavenly banquet, a symposium, or a banquet of love, in contrast to the depraved de·praved
Morally corrupt; perverted.
de·praved·ly adv. banquet of sense.(44) The opening lines of Jonson's text depend upon an understanding of this opposition:
CHORUS. If Love be call'd a lifting of the Sense To knowledge of that pure intelligence, Wherein the Soule hath rest, and residence:
1. TEN. When were the Senses in such order plac'd? 2. TEN. The Sight, the Hearing, Smelling, Touching, Taste, All at one Banquet?
(7:807, lines 3-8)
This is a shocking introduction. The Neoplatonic expectations aroused by the first three lines are answered not by an ascent, but by a descent.(45) To the question, "when were the senses placed in this order, at a banquet?," the anticipated response is: "at a depraved banquet of sense." The inversion, with its switching of touch and taste so that the latter comes last is, as Cedric Brown points out, a witty invitation to dine (159). But it is also a fundamental revision of Neoplatonic doctrine in honor of the royal couple who, uniquely, may ascend to the level of pure intelligence by descending to their material appetites, This extraordinary claim is grounded upon the definition of their mutual love as an ever-turning circle, continually running out from and flowing back into itself:
1. Bachelor of Agricultural Science
2. Bachelor of Applied Science . Love is a Circle, both the first, and last Of all our Actions, and his knott's too fast. 1. A true-love Knot, will hardly be unti'd, And if it could, who would this Payre divide?
BAS. God made them such, and Love. 2. TEN. Who is a ring, The likest of the yeare of any thing, 2. And runs into it selfe.
(7:808, lines 14-20)
Herein lies the distinctive character of the banquet. Unlike the traditional banquet of sense, this involves not just a receipt of sensual pleasure, but an immediate and correspondent return of love: it is mutual and eternal, encompassing both king and queen, both human and divine. But unlike the traditional Neoplatonic symposium, the ascent to the divine is not predicated upon an attenuation Loss of signal power in a transmission.
The reduction in level of a transmitted quantity as a function of a parameter, usually distance. It is applied mainly to acoustic or electromagnetic waves and is expressed as the ratio of power densities. of sensual pleasure; the constant reciprocation reciprocation /re·cip·ro·ca·tion/ (re-sip?ro-ka´shun)
1. the act of giving and receiving in exchange; the complementary interaction of two distinct entities.
2. an alternating back-and-forth movement. of love drives an unceasing round of ascent and descent, a perpetually turning wheel. The uniqueness of the banquet is underlined by Jonson's revisionary definition of it as "a reall banquet to the Sense" (7:808, line 32). It is "real" in the sense of "royal" and therefore virtuous and legitimate, but also in the sense of "substantial," in contrast both to the fleeting and illusory character of other banquets of sense, and to the rarefied, abstract character of the Neoplatonic banquet. Exceptional virtue may co-exist peacefully with pleasure. But one must not linger too long in the realms of earthly pleasure. The stairs beckon beck·on
v. beck·oned, beck·on·ing, beck·ons
1. To signal or summon, as by nodding or waving.
2. : we must ascend.
THE FIRST FLOOR
Hercules' reward for the life of virtue was stellification: his soul ascended to the heavens and became a star - a process that represented the reunion of the virtuous soul with its maker (the pursuit of heroic virtue Heroic virtue is a phrase coined by Augustine of Hippo to describe the virtue of early Christian martyrs. The Greek pagan term hero described a person with possibly superhuman abilities and great goodness, and "it connotes a degree of bravery, fame, and distinction which places a being none other than a quest for the good that is God).(46) Such an ascent is expressed in the architectural arrangement of the Little Castle. On the ground floor, the level of the earth, is a perpetual round of elemental struggle, sensual temptation, and moral combat. Above it lies the serenity of the heavens. The blue, star-spangled ceiling of the Star Chamber demonstrates this point, and its placement completes the iconographic scheme of the ground floor by providing the fifth element missing from the Anteroom, directly below. The effect is enhanced by the unexpected height of the room - a consequence of the unusually low ceilings in the Anteroom and Pillar Chamber.(47)
In the Star Chamber the metier of the decoration shifts from classical to Biblical. The room displays a gallery of prophets, patriarchs, saints, and apostles copied from engravings by Marco da Ravenna after paintings by Marcantonio Raimondo: Aaron, Moses, David, and Solomon; St Mary Magdalene, St Cecilia, St Ursula, and St Katherine; Matthew, Peter, Paul, and John [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 7 OMITTED].(48) The visitor accustomed to the predominantly classical and ethical framework of the ground floor might feel at first a little uncomfortable in such company, but it is a curiously catholic collection, with Old and New Testament figures happily rubbing shoulders with one another, and with some entirely extraneous figures. Tucked away in one corner of the room there is (or was, until it was stolen in the 1970s) a panel depicting a boy playing with a cat. Faulkner suggests that the scheme in the Star Chamber represents "Man's road to redemption" (27), but it is less of a road than a gallery: a gallery that emphasizes the variety of goodness, the sheer range of paths that might lead one to heaven. Nor is the emphasis upon the arduousness of virtue; in contrast to the strenuously active Hercules in the Hall, few of the figures in this gallery are in motion. That this was the main public reception room in the Little Castle is a help to us, for here Cavendish would receive visitors and conduct such official business as might be necessary. On his chair of state he would be flanked by the life-size figures of David and Solomon (the two largest in the scheme). The two Old Testament patriarchs lend authority to Cavendish's political opinions and buttress his self-image. The presentation of the prophets and patriarchs, from Aaron and Moses through to David and Solomon, expresses Cavendish's commitment to the Stuart belief in the original unity of secular and ecclesiastical authority - a unity that descended directly from these early patriarchs to the Stuart monarchs. The need for such union in the figure of the monarch was to form the tenor of Cavendish's advice to Charles II on running the church.(49) The figures of David and Solomon, moreover, endorse the wisdom and political authority of one who had ambitions to be regarded as the leading baronial ba·ro·ni·al
1. Of or relating to a baron or barony.
2. Suited for or befitting a baron; stately and grand: a baronial mansion.
Adj. 1. magnate of the north, a prince in his own domain. But they speak still more precisely to the character of Cavendish, alluding to his poetic and musical skills, and implying, in addition, an indulgent attitude towards his amours - just as the Loggia di Davide had done at the Palazzo del Te. For were not David and Solomon notorious for precisely the same kinds of sexual waywardness as Cavendish? And were they not nonetheless figures of great authority and wisdom? The prominence of two such morally ambiguous figures in this heavenly gallery communicates a relaxed, libertine lib·er·tine
1. One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.
2. One who defies established religious precepts; a freethinker.
Morally unrestrained; dissolute. skepticism towards its moral and theological certainties: it is a broad church indeed that can incorporate the chaste St. Ursula alongside the polygamous polygamous
as a male or female, having more than one mate. Solomon. One wonders in this respect whether the painting depicting a boy and his cat, tucked away in the north-west corner of the chamber, was not an allusion to Montaigne's famous remark - one of the commonplaces of late-Renaissance skepticism, and a topos to·pos
n. pl. to·poi
A traditional theme or motif; a literary convention.
[Greek, short for (koinos) topos, (common)place.]
Noun 1. with which Cavendish was especially taken - that he was unsure whether it was he who played with his cat, or his cat with him.(50) A light question mark, perhaps, in the margins of the official statement?
As at the Palazzo del Te, the figure of David lies hard by an analytic depiction of the virtues. Off to the south side of the Star Chamber is the coolly elegant Marble Closet [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED], which contains paintings drawn from a set of Netherlandish engravings by Henrick Goltzius illustrating the Allied, or United, Virtues of Fortitude and Patience [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 8 OMITTED], Hope and Faith, Justice and Prudence, Peace and Concord.(51) It is an unusual grouping; although the idea that the virtues are mutually supporting is an ancient commonplace.(52) Goltzius's scheme fuses the classical virtues of Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice with the Christian ones of Faith and Hope, demonstrating the moral and theological foundations of the pantheon in the Star Chamber. Fortitude of the body is, as the motto attached to the original engraving makes explicit, strengthened by patience of mind.(53)
Yet not all the virtues are present in Goltzius's series. In the context of the Herculean progress suggested by the Little Castle, the absence of Temperance is especially telling. In his commentary on Plato's Laches A defense to an equitable action, that bars recovery by the plaintiff because of the plaintiff's undue delay in seeking relief.
Laches is a defense to a proceeding in which a plaintiff seeks equitable relief. , Ficino interpreted the ascension of Hercules as a confirmation of the superiority of Fortitude to Temperance, on the grounds that while Temperance may prevent us from descending to the level of beasts, only Fortitude can raise us to the level of the divine.(54) Fortitude consists not in sober moderation but in heroic excess: an excess that leaves the hero struggling with like enormities of sensual appetite. Our understanding of this leads us to a charitable interpretation of the moral lapses of such men, in whom we should not expect the chaste sobriety of those of weaker spirit, and to the recognition that a Hercules, a David, a Solomon, or a Cavendish may still take their rightful place under the celestial canopy of the Star Chamber.
There is another omission in the Marble Closet. The climax of Goltzius's sequence, Concord and Peace - the social consequence of the other allied virtues - is missing. In its place is a panel of putti put·ti
Plural of putto. heads adapted to fit around a window. The obvious implication of this arrangement, with the cherubs surmounting and in fact framing the window, a little like a proscenium arch, is that the window itself reveals the final pair, who are to be seen in the harmonious vista of the well-governed country below. It is a device entirely characteristic of the iconography and technique of the Stuart masque.
The effect may once have been more striking than it is today. Although the extant window is a little more than half length, it is framed on the exterior by pilasters suggesting a full-length door. From Smythson's drawings we can see that it was planned as a long French window, and early drawings of the castle seem to suggest that this is how it was originally constructed: it opens onto the balcony supported by Hercules.(55) Alterations were carried out in the mid-nineteenth century to make the Little Castle more comfortable and draft-free; it is reasonable to imagine the removal of a French window at such a time.(56) If, indeed, the window did originally open out onto the balcony, how aptly it might have been employed on the royal visit! The governing metaphor of Caroline rule, reiterated in innumerable poems, masques, and portraits, was that love, mutual love, was to thank for the peace and concord that England, alone among the states of Europe, enjoyed: the love of king and queen, of governor and governed, of humanity and nature. Such love was the controlling topic of Jonson's entertainment for the visit; in such a context it is tempting to imagine that the king and queen might have been invited to complete the scheme of the Marble Closet by standing on the balcony: royal masquers, set against backdrop of the ideal landscape below.(57)
THE PRIVATE SUITE
While the Marble Closet and the Star Chamber complete the public rooms in the Little Castle, two more decorated rooms remain. A private suite in the south-east corner of the first floor, accessible by a set of stairs leading from the Star Chamber and Marble Closet, contains a large chamber flanked by two painted inner rooms: Heaven and Elysium (fig. 1).(58) This suite is thought to have comprised the best bedchamber and two inner chambers: a late seventeenth-century inventory of the castle confirms the presence in several of these rooms of beds supplied with rich quilts, blankets, and bolsters.(59) As a place of rest at the end of the day's work it is only apt that a bedchamber should, in such a house, be adorned with images of the end of life - with images of the bliss to which the hero has ascended.
In the Heaven room we see Christ ascending, surrounded by cherubs, a band of angelic musicians, and symbols of the Passion (fig. 9).(60) It is the apotheosis apotheosis (əpŏth'ēō`sĭs), the act of raising a person who has died to the rank of a god. Historically, it was most important during the later Roman Empire. of the hero. The house enacts a typological ascent: the figure of Hercules is translated into that of David, and finally into that of Christ himself, rising from the half-truths of classical myth, through the promise of the Old Testament, to the full revelation of the New.(61) This is, however, a highly idiosyncratic id·i·o·syn·cra·sy
n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. heaven. Prominent on the ceiling is one of Cavendish's prime passions, music. The part books held by the cherubs, however, display not a psalm or an anthem, but a snatch of Thomas Ravenscroft's round, "Three country dances in one," the text of which alludes to Robin Hood and Little John, local figures of great interest to Cavendish.(62) The presence of this round has been explained by Lynn Hulse as an expression of Cavendish's belief in the value of popular culture and traditional customs for governors intent upon the preservation of an ordered society. Yet there is, as Hulse has noted, another game being played here. One of the parts, the text of which alludes to an affliction with the cramp, is replaced by a lighthearted drinking song. The erasure ERASURE, contracts, evidence. The obliteration of a writing; it will render it void or not under the same circumstances as an interlineation. (q.v.) Vide 5 Pet. S. C. R. 560; 11 Co. 88; 4 Cruise, Dig. 368; 13 Vin. Ab. 41; Fitzg. 207; 5 Bing. R. 183; 3 C. & P. 65; 2 Wend. R. 555; 11 Conn. of a reference to physical affliction from a depiction of heaven makes sense; but its replacement with a celebration of sensual indulgence is another witty substitution, hinting that Heaven may not, after all, be so different from Elysium.
If Heaven marks the conclusion of a successful quest for virtue, what are we to make of its juxtaposition with the pagan Elysium? English Heritage (the administrative body responsible for the castle) implies the importance of this question when it suggests, in its guide boards to these rooms, that the contrast between the pagan and Christian ideas of heaven is the key to the decorative scheme of the castle. But we have seen not so much an opposition as a fusion of classical and Christian themes. And the juxtaposition of the rooms seems to be consonant with the relaxed and skeptical attitude to the possibility of virtuous behavior displayed elsewhere in the castle. As Timothy Mowl notes, the disposition of the rooms permits a choice: "Sir William could chose between sacred and profane love
To understand the relationship between the two rooms we need to determine more clearly than we have done the significance of Elysium. The decorative scheme in this room is perhaps the most complex in the Little Castle. Its central feature, the ceiling painting of the gods and goddesses above Olympus [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 10 OMITTED], is indebted, as Faulkner notes to Primaticcio's design for the Galerie d'Ulysses at Fontainebleau (29).(63) Running around the top of the walls is a frieze frieze, in architecture, the member of an entablature between the architrave and the cornice or any horizontal band used for decorative purposes. In the first type the Doric frieze alternates the metope and the triglyph; that of the other orders is plain or depicting the deities in languid postures and various states of undress. Certain of these scenes may, as Pevsner suggests, be indebted to the paintings of the Palazzo del Te, with which they share an urbane, Ovidian tone. Ovidianism is, in fact, the key to Elysium, which presents not a dignified celestial pantheon, but scenes of illicit passion, rampant lust, sensual gratification, and sexual frustration in a tone of sophisticated amusement at the absurdities consequent upon the irresistible force of sexual desire. In the west corner of the room the wall frieze depicts a naked Venus and Mars reclining together in a state of post-coital bliss [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 11 OMITTED]. Venus looks down coyly, with an enigmatic and alluring smile, oblivious of the fact that on the ceiling above her, Vulcan prepares to drop his net, to the delight of an audience of grinning putti. To her right, in the north corner of the wall, a parallel scene is displayed: Omphale leans forward to entice a semi-naked Hercules who sits with his club idle at his side. In her right hand is the distaff with which Hercules will spin during his period of effeminate ef·fem·i·nate
1. Having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men. See Synonyms at female.
2. Characterized by weakness and excessive refinement. humiliation. While this panel suggests the triumph of sexual passion over active virtue, other scenes emphasize frustrated desire. In the east corner of the ceiling a group of satyrs squat despondently de·spon·dent
Feeling or expressing despondency; dejected.
de·spondent·ly adv. around a laurel tree, denoting Daphne's successful evasion of Apollo, while next to them, on the south-east section, a figure upholds a crescent moon, symbol of the chaste Diana [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 10 OMITTED]. The conflict between chastity and lust is not, however, firmly resolved: the laurel is balanced by the vine, from which a dramatically foreshortened Bacchus descends towards the viewer. Diana herself appears in the frieze on the south-west wall, turning away in defeat from another Bacchus, who raises his bowl in triumph. A more optimistic response to the possibility of amorous am·o·rous
1. Strongly attracted or disposed to love, especially sexual love.
2. Indicative of love or sexual desire: an amorous glance.
3. satisfaction is struck by the depiction of Eros and Anteros on the north-west side of the ceiling. Eros first descends from Olympus, bearing his palm and laurel wreath, which he then presents to Anteros [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 10 OMITTED]. The smiling embrace of the two brothers expresses the triumph of mutual affection and the reconciliation of spiritual and earthly love. This was, of course, precisely the way in which Jonson had used the legend in the 1634 entertainment.(64) But how fragile, how hopelessly idealistic it looks in such a context!
There is no unequivocal triumph of pleasure or virtue in Elysium. Its various scenes are held in dynamic tension, and no resolution is offered - just an amused and knowing shrug of the shoulders. In the center of the ceiling the gods peer down on the frantic activity depicted in the room, some with indifference, others with agitation.(65) On the soffit of the window are two philosophers, each contemplating a globe: Heraclitus does so with tears, Democritus with laughter [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 12 OMITTED]. The scheme of the room is glossed by a scroll suspended above the window: "All is but Vanite."
The disposition of Elysium invites its visitors to look out of its window and, with the two philosophers, to contemplate the world below. The window affords a vista of the walled garden, presided over by a Venus fountain and filled, until recently, with statues of grotesque and obscene satyrs.(66) It is clearly a garden of love: but love of what kind? The Venus of the fountain is the "Venus Pudica," modestly covering herself with a towel as she rises from the waters [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 13 OMITTED]. In contrast to the sensual temptress of Elysium, she is the chaste, Neoplatonic Venus who presided over the 1634 entertainment, in which the garden was imaged as "the divine Schoole of Love."(67) She is, however, threatened by the lustful lust·ful
Excited or driven by lust.
lust satyrs who surround her (she has a secret weapon: anyone who approaches too heatedly will be halted by the icy waters beneath her).(68) The composition emphasizes once more the struggle between Neoplatonic idealism and Ovidian reality. Standing at the window, we are caught like Comus between the two Venuses, and between the tears and the laughter of the philosophers above us.(69)
Our understanding of the Ovidian tone of Elysium allows us to locate it within the larger scheme of the castle. For the room not only balances its Christian counterpart, it also follows from the banquet of sense depicted in the Pillar Chamber. Let us recall for a moment the contemporary association of banqueting with sexual dalliance - an association enhanced by the sensually stimulating and often explicitly aphrodisiac aphrodisiac
Any of various forms of stimulation thought to arouse sexual excitement. They may be psychophysiological (arousing the senses of sight, touch, smell, or hearing) or internal (e.g., foods, alcoholic drinks, drugs, love potions, medicinal preparations). qualities of the dainties consumed in a banquet.(70) The association led to the frequent appearance of the banquet of sense as a topic in the neo-Ovidian erotic poetry that flourished in the early seventeenth century - poems typified by Thomas Carew's "A Rapture," in which the poet ravishes his mistress with sensual allurements, urging her to fly with him "to Loves Elizium":
There, shall the Queene of Love, and Innocence, Beautie and Nature, banish all offence From our close Ivy twines, there I'le behold Thy bared snow, and thy unbraded gold. There, my enfranchiz'd hand, on every side Shall o're thy naked polish'd Ivory slide
There, a bed Of Roses, and fresh Myrtles, shall be spread Under the cooler shade of Cypresse groves: Our pillowes, of the downe of Venus Doves, Whereon where·on
On which or what: "the ground whereon she trod" John Milton. our panting panting
rapid, shallow breathing, a characteristic heat-losing reaction in dogs; represents an increase in dead-space ventilation resulting in heat loss without necessarily increasing oxygen uptake or carbon dioxide loss. lims wee'le gently lay; In the faint respites of our active play; That so our slumbers, may in dreames have leisure, To tell the nimble fancie our past pleasure; And so our soules that cannot be embrac'd, Shall the embraces of our bodyes taste.
(49-50, lines 25-30, 35-44)
Carew's poem, like the murals in the Palazzo del Te and those in Bolsover's Elysium, found its ultimate source in the erotic poetry of Ovid; but it derived more immediately from the seduction poems of Donne (especially the Donne of "The Ecstasy" and the "Elegy elegy, in Greek and Roman poetry, a poem written in elegiac verse (i.e., couplets consisting of a hexameter line followed by a pentameter line). The form dates back to 7th cent. B.C. in Greece and poets such as Archilochus, Mimnermus, and Tytraeus. : To his Mistress Going to Bed"), and the erotic epyllia of the 1590s - poems that frequently featured banquets of sense as instigators of a delicious state of sensual ravishment Unlawful carnal knowledge of a female by a male by force, against her will and without her consent.
Ravishment is the same as rape, a criminal offense defined by most statutes as unlawful sexual intercourse with a female by a male with force and without her consent. (the most striking of these is Chapman's Ovids Banquet of Sence). In any assault on the senses, sight played a vital role: hence the prominence of erotic, Ovidian pictures in such contexts (we recall from Marlowe's Hero and Leander Hero and Leander
Lovers celebrated in Greek legend. Hero, a virgin priestess of Aphrodite, was seen by Leander of Abydos during a festival, and the two fell in love. He swam the Hellespont nightly to be with her, guided by a light from her tower. the images in Venus's glass depicting "the gods in sundry shapes, / Committing heady riots, incests, rapes," [lines 143-44] or the tapestries with which Busyrane entices his hapless visitors in book three of The Faerie Queene). The banquet of sense fed over into the drama of the period, where it was frequently accompanied by languid music.(71) Indeed, it may be that an immediate source for the scheme in Elysium is the "heavenly banquet" arranged by Ovid in Jonson's Poetaster po·et·as·ter
A writer of insignificant, meretricious, or shoddy poetry.
[New Latin po (1601), in which the poet and his associates dress up as gods and goddesses and hold "a feast of sense." All the divinities there impersonated are present in Elysium: Jupiter, Juno, and Ganymede; Mars, Venus, and Vulcan; Mercury, Minerva, and Apollo; Bacchus and Ceres.(72)
Cavendish was familiar with works in this tradition, and made several essays in the Ovidian seduction poem himself.(73) The most interesting of these for our purposes is "Love's Muster" - a poem written for his future wife in the mid-1640s - which enumerates the necessary prerequisites for a sensual rapture:
I'le Muster Up my senses with delight; My taste, my touch, my smell, Hearing, and sight, All att one tyme; height's pleasure shall obtayne, With gentle stroakes Upon my Ravisht Brayne.
Best Various Pictures wee will have; nay, more, The Roofe with story fill'd, and all gilt o'er. All Rareties heightninge Us when wee meete; The richest Pertian Carpetts for our feete;
With Antick Romayne Plate, that shall be bought Fill'd with Puer wines, more Various then is thought; Numberlesse meates so drest, and Banquetts flowinge, To please our Gustaes, shouringe Just like snowinge.
To Cossen tyme, and passe pas·sé
1. No longer current or in fashion; out-of-date.
2. Past the prime; faded or aged.
[French, past participle of passer, to pass, from Old French; see away the houers, Robb Nature of her Choysest, sweetest flowers, Strow'd on the Ground with Spainishe sents that's rare; Fanninge our selves with this perfumed Ayre.
With such amasinge Musick wee'l obtayne, Our Soles still ravish't in Each pleased Brayne; For all the Passions musick can Expresse Rules our Immortalls, att this none can gesse.
Spight of your Envious Kinde, though they thinke much, Silke, downe, and Beavor not like you for touch; You are so smooth, so soft, so Very fine, Beyond Expression, something that's divine.
Now all the Senses att one tyme wee'll measure, And fill them till they all runn o'er with pleasur; And danse the hay with Various sweet delight: Touch moves to hearing, hearinge moves to sight,
Sight turnes to smellinge, smelling then doth doth
A third person singular present tense of do1. haste To be converted to her Neyghbor Taste; And thus they chainge, and danse so quick a Strayne, And foot it all Upon the moving brayne.
Or Else t'wer nothinge. Nerves, they are the strings That to the senses all the Pleasure brings. When touch is satisfi'd, thus t'is related, Then all the rest of senses are abated: So all the rest wayts of her pleasure still; Likes or dislikes all following her will.(74)
It is surely no coincidence that Cavendish's fantasy of sensual indulgence, composed in exile in the 1640s, should enumerate To count or list one by one. For example, an enumerated data type defines a list of all possible values for a variable, and no other value can then be placed into it. See device enumeration and ENUM. so precisely the features he had assembled with such care at his beloved and much-missed Bolsover: the ceilings adorned with paintings; the soft furnishings; the rich perfumes (some of which haunt the castle to this day); the delicious meats and potent wines; the ravishing rav·ish·ing
Extremely attractive; entrancing.
ravish·ing·ly adv. music.(75) Nor can it be coincidental that the senses are here enumerated This term is often used in law as equivalent to mentioned specifically, designated, or expressly named or granted; as in speaking of enumerated governmental powers, items of property, or articles in a tariff schedule. in the very order employed by Jonson in Love's Welcome at Bolsover Love's Welcome at Bolsover (alternative archaic spelling, Balsover) is the final masque composed by Ben Jonson. It was performed on July 30, 1634, three years before the poet's death, and published in 1641. . Here again is an invitation to partake of a banquet of sense: a banquet that leads not, in Neoplatonic fashion, to an abstract, philosophical contemplation of divine truth, but to a state of physical intoxication intoxication, condition of body tissue affected by a poisonous substance. Poisonous materials, or toxins, are to be found in heavy metals such as lead and mercury, in drugs, in chemicals such as alcohol and carbon tetrachloride, in gases such as carbon monoxide, and and amoral bliss - to Love's Elysium.(76)
The Little Castle at Bolsover is of course a house, not a poem. We might therefore legitimately wonder about the point at which an aesthetic exercise shades into something more practical. There is ample evidence to suggest that Cavendish's amours involved more than mere literary posturing. The poem quoted above was sent to Margaret Lucas as part of a seduction campaign - an onslaught that culminated in their marriage. Other evidence abounds. Among his surviving holograph A will or deed written entirely by the testator or grantor with his or her own hand and not witnessed.
State laws vary widely in regard to the status of a holographic will. manuscripts is an essay on the relative efficacy of different aphrodisiacs Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodite’s girdle made by Hephaestus; magically induces passion. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 183]
induces passion. [Plant Symbolism: EB, IV: 549]
leguminous plant; arouses passion. : viper wine is "powerfull," cantharides cantharides: see blister beetle. (better known today as Spanish fly Spanish fly: see blister beetle.
preparation made of green blister beetles and used to incite cattle to mate. [Insect Symbolism: EB, IX: 399]
See : Aphrodisiacs ) "mighteleye provokes, butt is dangerous," and foods such as lamb's testicles Testicles
Also called testes or gonads, they are part of the male reproductive system, and are located beneath the penis in the scrotum.
Mentioned in: Testicular Cancer, Testicular Surgery, Vasectomy , sparrow's brains, "All younge meates," chestnuts, and melons are effective provokers of lust.(77) And then there are the scores of amorous songs, painstakingly written out in the trembling hand of an elderly roue rou·é
A lecherous dissipated man.
[French, from past participle of rouer, to break on a wheel (from the feeling that such a person deserves that punishment) , which seem to suggest that Cavendish was, right up until his death at the age of eighty-three, hotly in pursuit of a third wife.(78) In the light of such evidence, we should, I think, be willing to countenance the possibility that Bolsover was, in a very practical sense, a house designed for sensual indulgence.
Although its romantic exterior suggests that it might have been drawn straight from The Faerie Queene, it lacks the moral rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. of Spenserian allegory: Alma and Busyrane do not - could not - share the same roof. At Bolsover, however, we are faced with a structure that is at once a House of Virtue, celebrating the heroism of a Hercules, and a House of Busyrane, contrived for the corruption of an Amoret. Here Neoplatonism and Ovidianism, the sacred and the profane, the ideal and the actual engage in an urbane and sceptical dialogue. The ultimate effect of this juxtaposition is not incoherence incoherence Not understandable; disordered; without logical connection. See Schizophrenia. but a strange reconciliation, through the implied presence of the complex, potentially contradictory figure of Cavendish himself.
The recognition of the manner in which the Little Castle at Bolsover expresses the character of its owner prepares the ground for a clearer understanding of some of the numerous works produced within Cavendish's orbit. It is, for example, thought that Jonson's late play, The New Inn (1629), features a compliment to Cavendish. David Riggs and Nick Rowe suggest that the Neoplatonic idealist Lovel is supposed to represent him; but this is not the way in which the compliment works. The debate between Lovel and the Ovidian sensualist Beaufort enacts the defining tension of Cavendish's character:(79)
Bea. (I relish not these philosophicall feasts; Give me a banquet o' sense like that of Ovid: A forme forme (form) pl. formes [Fr.] form.
forme fruste (froost) pl. formes frustes an atypical, especially a mild or incomplete, form, as of a disease. , to take the eye; a voyce, mine eare; Pure aromatiques, to my sent; a soft, Smooth, deinty hand, to touch; and, for my taste, Ambrosiack kisses, to melt downe the palat.)
Lov. They are the earthly, lower forme of lovers, Are only taken with what strikes the senses! And love by that loose scale.
My end is lost in loving of a face, An eye, lip, nose, hand, foot, or other part, Whose all is but a statue, if the mind Move not, which only can make the returne. The end of love is, to have two made one In will, and in affection, that the mindes Be first inoculated, not the bodies.
Bea. Gi' me the body, if it be a good one.
It is in the representation of the debate, rather than that of its participants, that we find Jonson's compliment to his patron. Jonson offers a dramatic representation of the struggle depicted, with its own kind of drama, in the decorative scheme of the Little Castle at Bolsover - a scheme that wryly toys with the possibility that here in the north midlands, no less than at Whitehall, pleasure might indeed be reconciled to virtue.
This article was written at the Folger Shakespeare Library Folger Shakespeare Library (fōl`jər): see under Folger, Henry Clay. in Washington, D.C., while I was on sabbatical from Carleton College; I am grateful to both institutions for their support. I am indebted to Dr. Lynn Hulse for conversations about Carendish and Bolsover Castle and for her suggestions on a draft of this article. Professors Alison Kettering, Eva Posfay, Cathy Yandell, and the anonymous reader for Renaissance Quarterly also offered valuable advice. Thanks to Sarah Chapman of English Heritage for answering some queries about the castle, to the Northfield Renaissance Colloquium col·lo·qui·um
n. pl. col·lo·qui·ums or col·lo·qui·a
1. An informal meeting for the exchange of views.
2. An academic seminar on a broad field of study, usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting. for allowing me to try out some of these ideas on them, to Professor Mark Greengrass and his colleagues at the University of Sheffield The University of Sheffield is a research university, located in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. Reputation
Sheffield was the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2001 and has consistently appeared as their top 20 institutions. Centre for Early Modern Studies for inviting me to lecture on the subject, and to Paul Bryan, Head of English Heritage's Photogrammetric Unit, for supplying prints taken during the recent survey of Bolsover.
1 Mowl, 9. The efforts of the castle's custodians (English Heritage) on its behalf were acknowledged by their receipt of a National Heritage Award in 1996.
2 Fowler, 1994, 317.
3 Ibid., 150.
4 There is some dispute about the precise sequence of building. For the two main schemes, see Faulkner, 52-53.
5 Girouard, 1983, chaps. 6-7.
6 Mowl, 185.
7 Brown, 157-65.
8 The Little Castle, constructed by Sir Charles, was complete by 1620. The paintings appear to have been executed between 1620 and 1630, probably around 1621; Pevsner, 95-96; Croft-Murray, 1:33, 48, 210-11, and plates 52-57; Cutts; Faulkner, 24-29.
9 Jones, 2:30.
10 W. Cavendish, Phanseys, xxvi.
11 Faulkner, 22; Goulding, 19.
12 Pevsner, 95.
13 Faulkner, 24; de Hoop Scheffer, plates 1478-81.
14 Bamborough, 94-95.
15 Ibid., 83-84; Burton, 1:148. The reader may illustrate this point by comparing Vos's engravings of the Four Temperaments with his set illustrating the Four Elements: de Hoop Scheffer, plates 1353-56.
16 M. Cavendish, 110.
17 Ibid., 109-13; Bamborough, 92; Burton, 1:400; Draper, 18-24. Cavendish's musical interests are explored by Hulse.
18 The substitution of a physical tableau for the painting would not have been impossible, and its ingenious visual trickery would have appealed to Cavendish, who took a keen interest in optics; Jacquot, 17-20.
19 Bamborough, 69; Burton, 1:400; Draper, 24-27.
20 M. Cavendish, 111-12. For a hostile version of essentially the same view, see Clarendon, 3:381-83.
21 Faulkner, 25; Buffa Buf´fa
n. fem. 1. (Mus.) The comic actress in an opera.
a droll or comic air.
a comic opera. See Opera bouffe. , plates 789, 791,794-95.
22 The inclusion of the Augean stables would, of course, have been in rather dubious taste - although Jonson managed to play with the idea in one of his epigrams to Carendish; Jonson, 8:228.
23 Galinsky, chap. 4; Smith, 293-303; Waith, 39-59; Allen.
24 Hobbes, 19-20; Jacob and Raylor.
25 Galinsky, 84; Waith, 40-41.
26 Girouard, 1983, 237. The Hall was sometimes referred to as "the dining room" (Goulding, 21), and a late-seventeenth century inventory of the castle notes the presence in it of two tables and twelve chairs and stools; "particular," fol. 110; Goulding, 14.
27 Pevsner mentions the Palazzo del Te in reference to the painted Heaven and Elysium rooms on the first floor, 96.
28 Trease, 31-36.
30 Cutts; Faulkner, 25; Strauss, vol. 52, plates 231-35; Vinge, 117-24.
31 Pevsner, 96; Girouard, 1983, 236-37 and fig. 19.
32 Marino, 101 (canto vi, stanza 14).
33 Girouard, 1983, 237; Pegge, 19; "particular," fol. 110. The arrangement is similar to that at Hardwick Hall (another Cavendish property designed by the Smythsons), where a withdrawing room off a great chamber was designed to be used in this fashion; Girouard, 1989, 35.
34 Wilson; Stead.
35 Nordenfalk, 21, n. 103; Kermode, 87-88.
36 Xenophon, 2.1. [section]21-34.
37 Kermode, 89, 97-99 and n. 20; Panofsky, 1930, 119-20, and fig. 60; Vinge, 129-34.
38 The possibility that the ground floor involved an actual choice between pleasure and virtue is raised by the existence of a connecting door between the Anteroom and the Pillar Chamber - a door that would allow the visitor to move directly into the Pillar Chamber without entering the Hall. But this door (now sealed up) appears to have been a nineteenth-century addition; Faulkner, 46.
39 The masque alludes to the temptation of Hercules by a systematic assault on the senses; Jonson, 7:481, lines 64-66.
40 Jonson provided an epitaph epitaph, strictly, an inscription on a tomb; by extension, a statement, usually in verse, commemorating the dead. The earliest such inscriptions are those found on Egyptian sarcophagi. on Cavendish's father in 1619 (it is inscribed in·scribe
tr.v. in·scribed, in·scrib·ing, in·scribes
a. To write, print, carve, or engrave (words or letters) on or in a surface.
b. To mark or engrave (a surface) with words or letters. on his monument in Bolsover Parish Church), an entertainment for a christening christening: see baptism. in the household of the Chatsworth branch of the Cavendish family in 1620, and an epigram epigram, a short, polished, pithy saying, usually in verse, often with a satiric or paradoxical twist at the end. The term was originally applied by the Greeks to the inscriptions on stones. on Cavendish himself at some point during the period 1620-1628; Jonson, 8:387-88; 7:767-78; 8:228; 11:89. Copies of these works appear in a collection of verse by Jonson and others prepared for Cavendish (British Library, Harleian MS 4955): see Kelliher. The survival of a unique manuscript of Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue at Chatsworth might provide further evidence of Cavendish's knowledge of the masque; Jonson, 7:475-78; Beal, 2:292.
41 Jonson, 7:807-10. On the manuscript, see Kelliher; Brown, 161.
42 Goulding, 20-21; Faulkner, 25.
43 Faulkner, 52-53; Girouard, 1983, 266, 297-302.
44 Kermode, 86-87; Gordon, 171-72, and 172, n. 1; Ficino, Commentary, 5.2.
45 My interpretation is indebted to those of Gordon, 171-73, and Brown, 157-65, although it diverges from them.
46 Allen, 215.
47 Pevsner, 96; Girouard, 1983, 237 and fig. 19. The possibility that this quest for stellification might have been more than metaphorical should be considered in the light of Fowler, 1996.
48 Faulkner, 26-28.
49 W. Cavendish, 1984, 12-23.
50 Montaigne, 2.12; W. Cavendish, 1658, sigs. f1r-g2v.
51 Strauss, vol. 3, plates 114-17.
53 "Grandia robusto faciunt in corpore vires, Si Patiens aderit mens; graviora ferent"; Strauss, vol. 3, plate 114.
54 Ficino, Omnia Divini, 290; Waith, 42.
55 The early drawing is reproduced in Girouard, 1983, 207, fig. 130.
56 Faulkner, 46.
57 There would have been time for a tour of the first floor after the first banquet and before the second part of the entertainment, which appears to have taken place in the garden. The possible locations are reviewed by Brown, 162-64 and n. 31.
58 Faulkner, 27, 29.
59 Girouard, 1983, 236; "particular," fol. 110.
60 Faulkner, 29.
61 Waith, 39; Jung, chap. 5.
62 Faulkner, 29; Hulse, 231-32.
63 This is in turn indebted to the ceiling of the Sala dei Giganti in the Palazzo del Te. The link between these two sources is Primaticcio, who had been Giulio Romano's assistant at the Palazzo del Te. See Verheyen.
64 Gordon, 177-78 (appendix 2); Jonson, 7:811-12, lines 88-138.
65 Above them all, in the center of the scheme, a figure who looks rather more like Apollo than the Jupiter of the source engraving sits on a cloud and raises what looks rather more like a wand than a thunderbolt. The centrality of Apollo in the scheme would be appropriate, given his dominance over the realms of poetry and music: he would parallel the ascending Christ in Heaven. The source engraving is reproduced in Zerner, plate PM 5; see also Beguin, 129-31, and figs. 1-2.
66 I am grateful to Lynn Hulse for drawing the latter point to my attention.
67 Jonson, 7:813, lines 143-44; Panofsky, 1939, 142-44.
69 Wind, 47-48.
70 Stead, 120, 132-33.
71 Anderson; Vinge, chap. 4.
72 Jonson, 4:272-79 (4.5).
73 Cavendish's manuscript collection (see above n. 40) included Donne's "Ecstasy" and the "Elegy" (fols. 95-96r, 124-25). It also included works by Carew (fols. 214-15v), though not "A Rapture" (this did, however, enjoy wide manuscript circulation during the 1620s and 1630s): Beal, 1987-993, 1:83-85.
74 W. Cavendish, Phanseys, 56-57.
75 The apparent haunting of the castle by strange scents is noted by Mowl (9).
76 Shakespeare's Venus describes a similar banquet in her attempted seduction of Adonis (lines 433-50).
77 The list, entitled "Whatt are aproved remedies to helpe Venus as the Lerned Saye," enumerates some 78 items. In a letter of 10 August 1637 Robert Long (Prince Charles's secretary), promised to send Cavendish some melons.
78 Trease, 208-10. The poems are found in Hallward Library, University of Nottingham The University of Nottingham is a leading research and teaching university in the city of Nottingham, in the East Midlands of England. It is a member of the Russell Group, and of Universitas 21, an international network of research-led universities. , Portland MS Pw V 25, fols. 56-102.
79 Riggs, 302; Rowe, 201-6. On the debate itself, see Kermode, 90-93.
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