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'A storm of lamentations writ': Lachrymae Musarum and royalist culture after the civil war.


This article examines in detail a printed collection of elegies, Lachrymae Musarum, published to mourn Henry Hastings, a young man who died just after the execution of King Charles I. Including elegies by Andrew Marvell, Robert Herrick, Mildmay Fane, and John Dryden, the volume represents a compelling insight into Royalist culture after defeat in the Civil War. The article argues that the volume taken as a whole represents both profound mourning for what has been lost and also an expression of hope for the future.

Lachrymae Musarum, a collection of elegies published to mourn the young aristocrat Henry Hastings, who died from smallpox on the eve of his wedding, was published soon after Hastings's death on 20 June 1649. The news of this death evidently provoked mourning beyond his family and their circle, because some (Marchamont Nedham, Andrew Marvell, and a group of Westminster schoolboys including the young John Dryden) sent in poems of condolence that were included in a postscript to the volume. Henry was the only son of Ferdinando, Earl of Huntingdon, and the main body of the volume contains elegies written by friends and associates of this powerful Midlands family. These included aristocrats such as Mildmay Fane (Earl of Westmorland), Lord Falkland, Sir Arthur Gorges, and Sir Aston Cokaine; (1) the writers John Hall, Richard Brome, and Alexander Brome; and several clergymen, and former clergymen, including Robert Herrick, three of the Pestel family, Francis Standish, John Cave, and John Joynes, a Hastings family chaplain. Just over a year after Hastings's death, Joynes would preach a joyous sermon on the baptizing of Theophilus Hastings, who continued the Hastings family line after the tragic death of the family's only son. (2) However, what Joynes referred to as the 'late inestimable loss' of Henry Hastings clearly became an occasion for considerable public mourning, and there is a pressing sense in Lachrymae Musarum that Hastings's death had implications beyond the family circle. As Francis Standish urged:
 Forbear, forbear, Great house of Huntingdon,
 T'engros this Grief, as if 'twere all your own:
 The Kingdom has a share; and every Eye
 Claims priviledge to weep his Elegie. (3)

Indeed, the public demand for the volume must have exceeded expectation, as a second edition was printed in 1650: this death, or more accurately, this occasion for public mourning, was one in which, it was perceived, the kingdom had a share. A broadside depicting Henry's tombstone was published (4) and Henry's grandmother, Lady Eleanor Douglas, herself a notable poet, did not contribute to Lachrymae Musarum, but instead published Sions Lamentation (1649) for Henry. (5) The reason for this considerable public grief for a young man who had not, in fact, made any remarkable personal achievements was, in part, the close proximity of his death to the regicide: Francis Standish makes this clear when he asks 'What though our loss be great; so great that none | In our Age has exceeded it, but One' (p. 27). Despite being cautious in his wording, Standish leaves the reader in no doubt that Charles I's execution is also in his thoughts and, in this way, Henry's death becomes bound up with lamenting the regicide. Indeed, such elegies as there were for Charles closely resemble elegies in Lachrymae Musarum, lending weight to the suggestion that Hastings was mourned, at least to some extent, as a surrogate for Charles. (6) More than this, however, Hastings's death came to stand, as John Joynes put it, as a 'Cypher for these many yeers'. (7) As a promising young aristocrat, one who was, according to his grandmother, 'inclining to the Royal party' (p. 8), Hastings's death came to represent the Royalist war dead and, more widely, was emblematic of a court culture that seemed to be on the verge of extinction. (8)

Some of the poems in Lachrymae Musarum might seem, as Andrew Marvell puts it in his poem, 'disconsolate', (9) seeing the death of Hastings as the final signal of the end of an already beleaguered Royalist culture. Some of the poets imply, in other words, that Hastings represented the last bastion of Royalist hope and values, and that his death therefore should engender a complete loss of any hope for the future. Some contributors, on the other hand, find cause for hope, particularly in Hastings as a figure on whom the young could model themselves. Charles Cotton suggests that 'Vertuous Emulation then might be | Our hopes of Good men, though not such as he' (p. 12) and thus he allows tactful argument for the unique and irreplaceable qualities of Hastings to become hope for the future. (10) For some of the collected poets, then, Lachrymae Musarum as a printed book, far from being a place in which to concede defeat, becomes a stage on which to mount a challenge to the current political rulers of the country. This divergence in the volume itself is reflected in recent critical judgements. James Loxley describes it as 'the funeral of active royalism' (11) and Nigel Smith suggests that the grief in Lachrymae Musarum represents 'mourning for the passing of an era and a civilisation', (12) both arguing that the volume is effectively an admittance of defeat. Other critics, however, have found political resistance in its pages, Michael Gearin-Tosh suggesting that the volume is covert propaganda for the Royalist cause, (13) and Lois Potter arguing that the poets in Lachrymae Musarum 'preferred to present themselves in the aggressive stance of his [Charles I's] avengers rather than in the passive one of his mourners'. (14)

The fact that both these critical standpoints can be based on good evidence in Lachrymae Musarum (and, for that matter, from historical and biographical evidence about what Royalists actually did after the Civil War and regicide) is itself suggestive of something rather more complex going on in this collection. This article explores a possibility suggested but not developed by Dennis Kay (who briefly mentions Lachrymae Musarum in his survey of early-modern elegy): that the book is 'in some respects a self-consciously defiant sequence' whilst at the same time being 'a manifestation of defeat'. (15) I argue, in other words, that Lachrymae Musarum is a publishing project shot through with precisely the conflict between defeatism and defiance that the critical debate outlined above suggests, and that the volume strains with the attempt to reconcile continuing active political defiance with the need to accept and to mourn for what has been lost. Lachrymae Musarum both laments and continues a culture. Not only do different contributors have different approaches to these urgent issues (some are more defeatist than others; the poets are more or less politically defiant) but within individual poems they are debated and questioned. Thus this collection of elegies provides a remarkable insight into a culture which was, on the surface at least, on the brink of collapse, but was at the same time taking on the character of a strong underground resistance movement. (16) First, I explore the connections between some of the key contributors to Lachrymae Musarum, and try to establish their personal losses and political allegiances. Next, I examine some clues as to the ways in which contributors conceived of the value of print in general and, specifically, how this particular volume might have been imagined in post-war England. Finally, I look at ways in which the volume engages with elegiac tradition, and how it manages to reconcile possible political functions and meanings with the need to be adequate to an individual death.

The 'Lachrymae Musarum' Contributors after the Civil War

Lachrymae Musarum, as states the title page, was 'collected and set forth' by 'R.B.', probably Richard Brome, the highly successful Caroline playwright. This identity is suggested by the fact that Richard Brome put his full name to a poem in Lachrymae Musarum entitled 'To the Memory of the Right Noble and most Hopeful, Henry Lord Hastings' which has the feeling of a valediction from an editor, and whose title echoes the title page of the volume, where Hastings is also described as 'most hopeful'. This was conceived as the last poem in Lachrymae Musarum by 'divers persons of Nobility andWorth', and sits in the volume just before the section containing those 'Papers [...] written or sent in' that were added to the book. In his poem, Brome urges, proprietorially, that 'Thou World, Read and Collect all, here, exprest', further suggesting that it was Brome himself who was the collector. (17) Moreover, Brome had acted as an editor before, editing John Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas in 1639, and dedicating it to Charles Cotton, the father of one of the contributors to Lachrymae Musarum. (18) The use of initials (or outright anonymity) was, of course, very common in the period, especially if the nature of a publication was politically sensitive, (19) and although Lachrymae Musarum ostensibly mourns the death of an individual young man, as we have seen, it contains many suggestions of the recent regicide and can be read as a piece of Royalist propaganda. Brome's reticence, then, might be understandable in a context in which the penalties for sedition were considerable.

Working on the assumption that 'R.B.' is indeed Richard Brome, then, the question arises why he was involved in this particular publication project.

A successful playwright in his own right (he was seen by many as the natural heir to Ben Jonson), (20) he does not appear to have had any direct connection with the Hastings family. One motivation might have been financial: Brome may have been paid for his efforts by the Hastings family, who spared no expense with Henry's funeral arrangements, (21) and after the closure of the theatres in 1642 Brome had lost his livelihood. Indeed, Brome's prefatory letter to Thomas Stanley in an edition of his own play A Joviall Crew: or, The Merry Beggars (1652) makes much of this recent penury:

I have long since studied in these anti-ingenious Times, to find out a Man, that might, at once, be both a Judge and Patron to this issue of my Old age [...]. All the arguments I can use to induce you to take notice of this thing of nothing, is, that it had the luck to tumble last of all in the Epidemical ruine of the Scene; and now limps hither with a wooden Leg, to beg an Alms at your hands [...] since the Times conspire to make us all Beggars, let us make ourselves merry. (22)

Brome's self-presentation here as an ageing cripple, desperately using his play to beg for money, is ostensibly wry and tragi-comic; Brome seems determined to laugh in the face of personal and national disaster. However, there is a darker edge to the humour in the diseased image of the 'Epidemical ruine of the Scene', which, as well as referring directly to the closing of the theatres, also chimes with Brome's spiky disgust with the current 'antiingenious Times'. (23) Like Brome's own poem in Lachrymae Musarum, which contrasts the present 'general Wo' with a lost age in which 'the thronged Theatres did appear | All Mirth and laughter' (p. 74), there is a sense that although the situation cannot be immediately changed, Brome is deeply unsatisfied with the present state of the country. This suggests, then, reasons for Brome's attraction to editing a volume that mourned a young man associated with Royalism: he perhaps suspected that the volume would become, in part, an elegy for a lost age. If this was indeed Brome's hope, then the poems he received for the collection would not have disappointed him. The contributors frequently make mention of the 'sinful, shameful state', (24) or, as John Joynes puts it, the 'sick lapsed desperate state' (p. 28) of the country in general, and there is much in the volume that chimes with Brome's disgust about what John Rosse calls 'Great Britain's shame' (p. 66).

Indeed, many of the contributors to Lachrymae Musarum, regardless of their political views, lost a huge amount during the war and its aftermath. Sir Aston Cokaine (a friend of another of the contributors, Thomas Bancroft) 'was staunch to his religion and to his King, and sustained heavy pecuniary losses in their cause'. (25) Mildmay Fane, Earl of Westmorland, despite the fact that he eventually made his peace with Parliament and recovered some of his losses, was sequestered and 'arrested as a delinquent and lodged in the Tower in 1642'. (26) Robert Herrick was sequestered before 25 March 1646 and so lost his living at Dean Prior. (27) The Pestel family, three of whom contributed to the volume, had an especially difficult time. Thomas Pestel (senior) was a Royal Chaplain and had a considerable reputation as a preacher, regularly printing his sermons. During the wars he fell on hard times, and was forced to give up his living at Packington to his son Thomas, complaining that he was 'five times robbed and plundered of his goods and cattle'. (28) Packington was, in the event, seized from Thomas junior soon after he had acquired it. Thomas senior's other son William fared little better, and was driven from his living at Cole Orton in 1652 for his loyalty to the king. (29)

The Hastings themselves came to be somewhat emblematic of aristocratic losses in the war as the death of their promising son Henry was the last in a series of disasters for the family. Ferdinando's estate was sequestered after he moved to a family home at Ashby which had become an important Royalist garrison in the Civil War. (30) After the Royalist defeat, however, Ashby itself was seized and partly destroyed; (31) indeed, the fall of this house was a matter of particular emotional and symbolic significance. John Joynes, for example, a Hastings family chaplain, devotes the end of his poem of condolence to a parallel between the fall of Ashby towers and the death of Hastings:
 Thy Tow'rs (O Ashby) did prognosticate,
 Which fell the dutious ushers to his fall:
 There was no further use of them at all,
 Since he must fall, for whose sake they had stood:
 Not be at all, as to no end's as good.
 This these Prophetick Buildings did perceive,
 And, bowing to the ground before, took leave. (32)

Although this linking of the two may seem fanciful on the part of Joynes, it is likely in fact that Henry's death had a direct effect on the near ruin of the Hastings family. Henry was due to be married to the daughter of Turquet de

Mayern, the highly successful physician, and it seems that the Hastings were relying on the dowry from this wealthy family to make good their financial position. One early biographer links Henry Hastings's death and the resulting loss of this dowry to a spell in the Fleet prison for debt for Ferdinando. (33)

However, as Dryden's somewhat strained yoking together of Hastings's smallpox pustules and the parliamentary 'rebels' suggests (p. 90), the Hastings family were associated with more than just aristocratic loss at the hands of Parliament. Despite the fact that early in the war there is evidence that Ferdinando was a supporter of Parliament, albeit a rather reluctant one, (34) by the end of the war he and his wife were disgusted with Parliament's actions, in particular the impending execution of Charles. (35) More importantly, Ferdinando's brother was the notorious Royalist activist Henry Hastings, later ennobled as Lord Loughborough by Charles I for his services during the wars. Loughborough was one of the 'grand delinquents' of the Royalist cause and he escaped possible execution only through an escape from prison and flight to the continent with the future Charles II. A letter from Ireton to Hastings's mother shows the extent to which Ferdinando Hastings and his wife, though officially refusing to take part in the war, were associated, through Loughborough, with extreme Royalism. (36) One broadside places the young Henry at Colchester with his uncle as one of the 'Colonels who had no command of Regiments, yet assisting at that Fight'. (37) Moreover, some of the contributors to Lachrymae Musarum were actively involved with Loughborough's military activities. Correspondence between Sir Arthur Gorges and Loughborough puts Gorges's involvement beyond doubt, and Falkland too may have been involved with Loughborough.38 The clergyman Francis Standish was accused of 'scoutinge in the night with the Kings forces' and of giving a horse to Loughborough at Ashby, and John Rosse, imprisoned for his part in Royalist actions, also spent time at Ashby acting as a Chaplain. (39) John Cave was probably involved in Royalist military activity, a charge which led to his own sequestration. (40) Thomas Pestel senior, and his son Thomas, for a time both lived at the Ashby garrison with Loughborough and the younger acted as chaplain to the family there during the Civil War. For some of the contributors to Lachrymae Musarum Hastings is a Cavalier hero, a young man who might have emulated and even surpassed his heroic uncle's deeds: one poem compares his death to that of Sir Philip Sidney, underlining this association with Cavalier action. (41) William Pestel makes the link with Loughborough more explicit when he thanks God that one 'Loyal Henry' (namely Loughborough) has survived in the Hastings family (p. 59). For this group of people, then, many of whom were more or less directly involved in Royalist military action, Henry Hastings is mourned as a Cavalier war hero.

Indeed, the elegies for Hastings closely echo elegies for more established Royalist fighters. For example, an elegy for Sir Charles Lucas, the executed Royalist commander of the same Colchester siege in which Hastings may have played a part, has a suggestive description of its subject having arrived in heaven:
 Where next Jehovah's Throne, he now doth sit,
 Beholds the Rebels Acts, and smiles at it;
 Knowing, at last they shall receive their Hire
 With Cataline, in never dying Fire. (42)

The image of the Cavalier hero in a serenely Royalist afterlife is one familiar to any reader of Lachrymae Musarum. Edward Standish, in conclusion to his poem urges 'Cease then to weep; for he and Angels sing | Hallelujah in Heav'n, with Charles our King' (p. 73), (43) while Andrew Marvell depicts a Cavalier scene of 'Carousels' and 'Turnaments' in heaven, where Hastings, viewing the Eternal book, 'rejoyces at his Mothers name' (p. 79). There is also, in the volume, an insistent linking of the Hastings family to the Royal family, starting with Brome's title-page, which describes Ferdinando as 'Heir-generall of the high born Prince George Duke of Clarence, Brother to King Edward the fourth', and this is closely paralleled in the title of Rob. Millward's poem (p. 8). Thomas Higgons, who wrote a panegyric to Charles II on his Restoration, states that Henry's blood 'Springs [...] from the Royal loyns of Englands Kings' (p. 11), Thomas Pestel describes this death as a 'Blood-Royal Fate!' (p. 21), and John Rosse mentions Henry's 'Royal Blood' and describes his family as a 'Royal, Loyal Stem' (p. 64).

Royalism and the Printed Word in and after the Civil War

Many Lachrymae Musarum contributors, then, seem committed to lamenting Hastings as a Royalist hero and beyond that as representative of the demise of Royalist culture. In this context, how did they view the publication of a volume of poetry to express these sentiments--as a site of political resistance, or as a rueful admission of defeat? This question needs to be set in the context of the large number of Royalists turning to print during the Civil War: the 1640s saw the publication of poems by, amongst others, Richard Lovelace, Robert Herrick, Mildmay Fane, Thomas Carew, James Shirley, Richard Corbett, and Sir John Suckling, some of which had previously been circulated in manuscript. However, although publication had gained considerable credibility, those who liked to see themselves as good Caroline courtiers still harboured a certain ambivalence towards the medium, preferring to depict good poetry as something passed around between friends in manuscript rather than something by which money and fame was gained. (44)

Why, then, did Royalist poets opt to publish late in the 1640s? One possible answer is that realities of civil war in some cases made the systems of manuscript transmission and scribal publication unworkable: Royalist culture had previously been centred on the court, but later continued, in much reduced form in Oxford before disappearing altogether when the king was defeated. Printing poetry was a way of making this culture portable; therefore despite its negative associations, it was perhaps viewed as necessary and useful. (45) Robert Herrick, another Lachrymae Musarum contributor for whom the Civil War entailed great personal upheaval, is one of the most determined advocates of print in the period and repeatedly, in his 1648 volume Hesperides, claims for print a timelessness that would be inconceivable in manuscript. His plea to Mildmay Fane, another who lost a great deal in the Civil War and who contributed to Lachrymae Musarum, is powerful:
 You are a Lord, an Earle, nay more, a Man,
 Who writes sweet Numbers well as any can:
 If so, why then are not These Verses hurled,
 Like Sybels Leaves, throughout the ample world? (46)

Indeed, this plea may have had some effect on Fane, as he published his own volume of poetry, Otia Sacra, in 1648. To fail to publish, Herrick feared, would be to allow work to perish, and this was something Herrick clearly feared rather than embraced. He is elsewhere (in suggestively titled poems such as 'Lyric for Legacies' and 'His Poetry His Pillar') eloquent on the positive value of print. Print is seen, therefore, as a way of shoring up an individual, and perhaps beyond that a culture, against temporal losses.

Another contributor to Lachrymae Musarum, Alexander Brome, is even more specific in insisting upon the value of the printed word when he elegizes Charles I himself:
 Now since you'r gone, great Prince, this care we'l have,
 Your books shall never find a death or grave;
 By whose diviner flame, the world must be
 Purged from its dross, and chang'd to purity [...]
 Whose leafs shall like the Cybels be ador'd,
 When time shall open each prophetick word:
 And shall like scripture be the rule of good
 To those that shall survive the flaming flood:
 Whose syllables are Libraries, and can
 Make a small volume turn a Vatican. (47)

Brome seems to see print not just as a forced necessity, but as something that can overcome adverse political circumstances. Brome's claim is, of course, bound up with a belief that those who have won the day are going against God's will, and that their cause will therefore soon perish. (48) But, for Brome, the book as a physical object is the crucial means by which this political-religious truth is carried. Herrick argues that poems will die without print, but Brome takes this a step further and sees a whole religious and political cause inextricably linked to the possibility of putting it into a bound, and reproducible volume.

To what extent do other Lachrymae Musarum contributors share Alexander Brome's powerful vision of the printed word? Richard Brome (no relation), judging by the title page, seems to share this almost mystical view of print. His choice of illustration, showing a young man, presumably representing Hastings, standing in an urn, shrouded, and surrounded by weeping Muses, seems to suggest that the tears of the muses (and, thus, Lachrymae Musarum itself) will be a way of keeping Hastings's memory, and all that is associated with it, alive. This is endorsed by the epigraph from Horace on the facing page, which translates as 'The Muses forbid the man worthy of praise to die', and the Latin poem by Edward Montague beneath the picture itself, which concludes that 'the Castalian water brought forth in tears' will 'moisten this British flower placed in earth'. (49)

William Pestel's poem in the body of the volume itself, however, presents an even more powerful vision of what a printed volume under these circumstances could achieve. His poem, which was presented at Henry's funeral, works powerfully as a piece to read out at a funeral gathering, but also as a model of how Lachrymae Musarum as a whole might function:
 How comes this press of People to this place,
 Oppress'd with inward Anguish? On each face
 Sorrow sits deeply printed; and each eye,
 Swoln big with Grief, drops down an Elegie. (50)

The funeral itself is imagined as something that will cause sorrow to be 'printed' on those who attend. Indeed, it is as if each elegy in the volume is figured as a tear that comes from the eyes of those attending Hastings's funeral. This conflation of the funeral and the book of elegies itself is not unique: Charles Cotton opens his elegy with an image of himself amongst 'the mourners that attend his Herse | With flowing eyes, and with each Tear a Verse' (p. 12), effectively turning the volume into a kind of funeral procession in print. Just as Pestel uses print as a metaphor for the sorrow occasioned by Hastings's funeral, Cotton uses a funeral as a metaphor for a printed volume. In this way, the ideas of physical, public gathering, and gathering in print become intertwined, arguing for Lachrymae Musarum a role as a powerful site for collective and public grief. As Pestel's poem continues, however, further implications are developed about the role of such a gathering:
 Who can be silent now, or so dull grown,
 Not to have sense? An universal Groan
 Befits a General Loss. Come, let us sigh
 Together; so conspiring far more high
 To raise his Fame and Monument.

Pestel's subtle shift, from literal 'sighing together' to its etymological derivative 'conspiring' subtly but powerfully links the act of grief with an act of political resistance. Given that 'conspiring' was precisely what Royalist activity became in the Interregnum (about which there was continuous Parliamentary nervousness and paranoia) then this seems to place the volume subtly but firmly in the realm of resistant political activity. Indeed, the mention of 'Monument' also chimes with many other Royalist publications of the period, exemplified by the aforementioned poems of Herrick, in which print is imagined as a powerful medium in the struggle for cultural continuity. The end of Pestel's poem strikes a familiar note for the volume as a whole, that of imagining Hastings as a model for others:
 Cease then, your Grief, and dry your eyes: though hence
 He's fled, yet still a great Intelligence
 He lives; and will for many ages stand,
 For life and Learning, Mirrour of the Land.

Here, Pestel concludes that Hastings's death can have a more than simply negative function, and that the mourners should, as soon as possible, abandon grief for more positive thoughts. These will include remembering Hastings, and modelling future lives on his. Given Hastings's suspected involvement at a very young age with Royalist military activity, and his association through this with his heroic uncle, then these lives will, by implication, be ones of an active Royalist nature. Pestel's poem seems to argue for Hastings's death as a catalyst for Royalist gathering and conspiracy, and as a focus for the beginning of a resistance to recent events. Indeed, in a large number of poems in Lachrymae Musarum, collective phrases are used, suggesting that very many of the contributors envisaged the volume as a point of coming together: as we have seen, the dividing line between sighing together and conspiring is a fine one. Even though some individuals within the volume express despair, and their poems themselves represent complex meditations on the Royalist cause and its possible continuation, the volume as a whole still might be read as an act of resistance; as a subtle yet powerful conspiracy against those currently in power.

'Lachrymae Musarum' and Writing Elegy

However, to equate Hastings's death too comfortably with a national cause is, perhaps, to ignore a more fundamental fact about Lachrymae Musarum; that it is a piece of genuine mourning for an individual death. One of the elegies was presented at Hastings's funeral, and many of these poems make a direct address to Hastings's parents. Even at a time of national crisis, there is still time for extreme grief for the death of a young and evidently much loved young man. Yet the writing of elegy always provides its own set of problems, as the ability of language to achieve any kind of adequacy to the occasion is severely tested. These difficulties can be witnessed throughout Lachrymae Musarum, as poets ranging from the brilliant to the mediocre struggle with the same fundamental fact that no words can ever be found that offer full or satisfactory recompense for death. All the poets struggle, in other words, to find 'one spring [...] To write my Heart'. (51)

Andrew Marvell's poem, 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings', provides an especially troubled commentary on this problem:
 Go intercept the Fountain in the Vain,
 Whose Virgin-source yet never steept the Plain.
 Hastings is dead, and we must finde a store
 Of tears untoucht, and never wept before.
 Go, stand betwixt the Morning and the Flowers;
 And, ere they fall, arrest the early Showers.
 Hastings is dead; and we, disconsolate,
 With early Tears, must mourn his early Fate. (p. 77)

By calling for tears, Marvell seems to insist that only those with personal sorrow for Hastings's death, such as to provoke tears, are able to mourn adequately. George Fairfax, similarly, states, 'All sorrow's streams flow not from Pens, but Eyes' (p. 23), buying into the implicit claim in the title of the volume that the poems are, quite literally, the tears of the Muses. However, for Marvell, these tears must be special; the fountain must be 'virgin', the showers 'early', and so on. It is as if, at the outset, the elegy sets itself a difficult standard for 'proper' grief. More than this, Marvell seems to make the issue of originality and the difficulty of finding the right words the subject of the whole opening section of his poem. Marvell argues that a poet must 'stand betwixt the Morning and the Flowers; | And, ere they fall, arrest the early Showers'. This functions to demand, again, that the elegist must not be second-hand or belated. Also, however, flowers have particular significance in mourning ritual; as Peter Sacks puts it: 'Flowers [...] serve not only as offerings or as gestures for respite but also as demarcations separating the living from the dead', and, as he goes on to point out, there are strong parallels between the function of flowers and the function of mourning poetry. (52) Flowers can represent death (the cutting of the flower) and yet also re-generation, as the flower will be replaced by a new growth next spring. (53) In this way, flowers come to represent an acceptance of death, and yet hint at the rebirth which is to come, both in terms of human life continuing to reproduce itself and, psychologically, for individual mourners who will come to terms with a particular death. In this way, an elegy is often imagined as a kind of mourning flower as it both reiterates the reality of the death, and yet provides the consolation of the continuity of life. Indeed, a printed elegy might be an especially effective consolation, given that it offers a potentially enduring monument to the mourned individual.

However, Marvell's poem does not allow us to imagine it as a flower that will comfortably, and comfortingly, do this work of mourning. It argues that the flower must be picked before it has opened; it must be a special and unsullied symbol of grief. Moreover, especially if we detect an aural pun in 'morning', it insists that the poet must stand between the mourning and the flowers, between the need for mourning ritual, and the use of flowers as the usual consolation for grief. The poem must not be like a standard flower of grief, it must be an original and special one. The final line of the section, by balancing 'early Tears' with 'early Fate', again asserts the unique tragedy of this occasion and thus underwrites the urgent need for original elegiac utterance to do justice to this particular, and early, death: an elegy for an early death might be a particularly apt site for such meditations, as it laments the end of a life not yet fully lived. Within this opening, then, the demand for original and fitting elegiac utterance is accompanied by an acceptance that this might not be possible.

In the richly suggestive final section of his poem, Marvell reconsiders some of the problems raised throughout the poem with renewed complexity and difficulty, in a piece of writing that offers a particularly penetrating commentary on Lachrymae Musarum as a whole:
 But what, could he, good man, although he bruis'd
 All herbs, and them a thousand ways infus'd?
 All he had try'd, but all in vain, he saw,
 And wept, as we, without Redres or Law.
 For Man (alas) is but the Heavens sport;
 And Art indeed is Long, but Life is short. (p. 80)

The final couplet, 'For Man (alas) is but the Heavens sport; | And Art indeed is Long, but Life is short', raises particular difficulty in relation to the elegiac issues the rest of the poem has explored. To read this couplet as a final assertion of consolation is possible, if we take the admission of man's slavery to the 'Heavens' as a rueful acceptance of God's will. But this reading is immediately problematic. The bracketed 'alas' seems to be a cry against the difficult fact of death, rather than easy acceptance. With this in mind, it would be easier to read the couplet as an angry refusal to accept death, one which will not take easy consolation.

The precise meaning of this couplet, however, hinges on the meaning of 'art'. In the mid-seventeenth century the word had not yet acquired its now primary meaning as describing painting and sculpture (and, perhaps, music and literature) very generally. In fact most of the meanings of the word until the eighteenth century referred to art in opposition to nature; honed skill as opposed to natural ability. OED, for example, defines art as 'skill in doing anything as a result of knowledge and practice' (OED, 1), and this dates back to the thirteenth century. With this meaning, the 'art' referred to is that of Mayern, the father of Hastings's bride-to-be and an eminent physician of the day. The 'art', in this context, is the long-learned art of the knowledgeable man (and the 'good man' of line 55), whose practised skill failed to help his prospective son-in-law. Indeed, this line is adapted from Hippocrates, whose first Aphorism is generally now translated as 'life is short, science is long', (54) and this echo underscores the reference to Mayern's medical 'art'. Marvell's insertion of the affirmation 'indeed' makes clear that this is, in part at least, a knowing reference to this well known phrase.

In the seventeenth century, however, the word art was also beginning to take on some of the associations we now give it. OED cites a 1620 usage of the word as follows: 'The application of skill to subjects of taste, as poetry, music, dancing, the dramas, oratory, [and] literary composition' (OED, 5). With this in mind, might not the 'art' of the final line be the poetic art of 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings' itself, and perhaps beyond this, the art of Lachrymae Musarum as a whole? (55) If so, what is the poem's attitude to itself and its context within a larger volume of elegies? The couplet on one level presents a final defence of poetic art and elegy, an assertion that despite the fact that life is short, art can give some recompense by its potential durability. As we have seen, this might find resonance in enthusiastic advocation of print elsewhere in Lachrymae Musarum and beyond. However, other meanings of art that were coming into usage in the period might alert us to other possibilities. OED (13) defines art as 'studied conduct or action, especially such as seeks to attain its ends by artificial, indirect, or covert means; [...] cunning artfulness' (first use 1600). OED (14) gives the word even more clearly pejorative connotations, defining art as 'An artifice, contrivance, stratagem, vile trick, or cunning device' (first use 1597). If the final line of 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings' has these connotations, then we might argue that Marvell's view of elegiac art is in fact a rather negative one. The description of art as 'long' might, in this context, suggest a lack of decorum in taking deceitful contrivance to such length, and the contrast to the brevity of life (especially that of Hastings) underlines the lack of tact and propriety in elegizing at such length.

In stating that 'art is long', especially given the possible negative connotations of the word art that were emerging in the period, Marvell may be launching a critique of elegiac art, with the statement 'life is short' serving to underline the inappropriateness of lengthy poetic utterance in the face of death. Moreover, in an elegy for a man who died at just nineteen, the commonplace 'life is short' becomes loaded with direct reference to this particular short life. In a sense, then, any poem attempting to come to terms with this death might be viewed as being too long. Significantly, the moment at which the poem argues that it has said too much is the moment at which it stops, acting on its own command to be tactfully silent in the face of early death. The poem, in other words, enacts the great gap between language and what it tries to represent: between poetic art and death. It prompts us to meditate (as Marvell's poetry so often does) on the possibilities and limitations of art itself. Nevertheless, of course, by writing 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings', Marvell did attempt to say something, however troubled that attempt might have been. To write an elegy at all, even if that writing is sharply self-critical, is in some sense to affirm the necessity of marking a death in words. Indeed, Marvell's own attitude to print is suggested by his apparent indifference to publication: 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings' is one of the very few poems he printed in this period. In this context his decision not just to write but to publish as well might be taken as an assertion of the need to write on this tragic occasion, despite his obvious searching self-questioning within the poem itself. For Marvell, then, elegy becomes both hugely inadequate, and yet wholly necessary.

Is it possible, however, to separate the personal from the political in this way, making separate generic and political considerations of Lachrymae Musarum? To some extent we must make this separation, because different contributors to the volume had differing levels of personal commitment to Henry Hastings himself, and differing political allegiances. For some, in other words, Lachrymae Musarum might simply have provided an apt (and safe) place in which to vent their general political grievances, whilst for others the volume represented a space in which to express their feelings of loss about this individual young man. Some contributors remained loyal to the Royalist cause throughout the Interregnum, and were rewarded for their loyalty at the Restoration, others became more or less committed supporters of the Cromwellian government.

However, in a brief comment in his seminal essay 'Mourning and Melancholia', Sigmund Freud provides a hint as to how political and personal grief might prove hard to disentangle:

Mourning is regularly the reaction to the loss of a loved person, or to the loss of some abstraction which has taken the place of one, such as one's country, liberty, an ideal, and so on. In some people the same influences produce melancholia instead of mourning. (56)

Freud suggests that grief for an individual and for an 'abstraction' might be equally troubled, and tinged with what he describes as 'melancholia', or an inability to enter into successful mourning. Therefore, whether the contributors to Lachrymae Musarum were personally mourning Hastings himself (a loved person) or mourning an ideal beyond him (an abstraction he represented, namely the Royalist cause) their grief might have been equally vexed, and subject to those elegiac difficulties so powerfully reflected upon by Andrew Marvell. Freud's analysis, then, might suggest why the volume seems to point in two directions at once, to the death of a young man, and to the death of a culture. It suggests that Hastings's death not only provided a parallel for the events that had dominated Royalists' lives for the past decade, it also provoked the same kind of ambivalent feelings as had been provoked by Civil War, mass sequestrations, and regicide. Marvell's searching questioning of elegy might, then, be not only an apt commentary on the difficulties faced by elegists of a man who died before his time, but also a penetrating insight into the ambivalence many Royalists felt towards the devastation of their culture during a bitter internecine war. Lachrymae Musarum shows Royalists on the brink of submission, sounding out the right words to express their sorrow at the loss of all that they had once valued and invested in: the king, their personal property, and, perhaps, the emergence of heroic young men such as Henry Hastings. Yet it also shows those same individuals resisting this hopeless conclusion, trying to force themselves to believe that this individual death can be overcome, that Hastings can live again, and that, beyond him, his cultural moment can be recaptured if only enough people conspire together in print. This is perhaps why a volume of elegies for a single young man became a site of such national mourning and melancholia, and also why it provides for us such a telling insight into the simultaneous collapse and re-birth of a culture.

(1) The phrase quoted in my title is taken from Sir Aston Cokaine, 'A Funeral-Elegie upon the death of Henry Lord Hastings, Son to the Right Honourable, Ferdinando Earl of Huntingdon, &c', in Lachrymae Musarum (London: Thomas Newcomb, 1649), p. 3.

(2) John Joynes, A Sermon Preached in the year of our Lord 1650. January 9. At the Baptizing of Theophilus, (Then Lord Hastings) Now Earl of Huntingdon (1668).

(3) Francis Standish, 'An Elegie Upon the death of Henry Lord Hastings, the onely Son and Heir of the Right Honourable Ferdinando Earl of Huntingdon; Deceasing Immediately before the day designed for his Marriage', Lachrymae Musarum, p. 26.

(4) The Thomason Tracts, 669.f15 (8).

(5) Sions Lamentation, His Funerals blessing, by his Grandmother, the Lady Eleanor (1649).

(6) See, for example, 'The Scotch Soldiers Lamentation Upon The Death of the Most Glorious and Illustrious Martyr, King Charles', Thomason E560 (15).

(7) John Joynes, 'On the Incomparable Lord Hastings: An Elegie', Lachrymae Musarum, p. 29.

(8) Kevin Sharpe and others have shown the great complexities and conflicts within Caroline court culture. However, for many Royalists during and after the Civil War, these subtleties were ironed out, and the period of 'court-culture' took on the character of a golden age. It is in this emblematic sense that I use the terms 'court culture' and 'royalist culture' throughout this article.

(9) Andrew Marvell, 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings', Lachrymae Musarum, p. 78.

(10) See also, amongst others, Dryden, who urges Hastings's bride-to-be to 'Transcribe th'Original in new Copies' (p. 92), and 'M.N.', who suggests that Hastings could 'plant the world with Loyal Proselytes' (p. 82).

(11) Royalism and Poetry in the English Civil Wars (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), p. 201. Although I disagree with Loxley about Lachrymae Musarum I am more generally indebted to his subtle notions of Royalist verse and culture around this period.

(12) Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 287.

(13) 'Marvell's "Upon the Death of Lord Hastings"', Essays and Studies, 34 (1981), 105-22 (p. 109). This article is the first serious attempt, via a close reading of Marvell's poem, to look into the background to Lachrymae Musarum, and is therefore invaluable for any work on the volume. Nicholas Guild also concurs with Smith and Loxley, stating that Hastings's death is associated with 'the decline of the aristocratic order in general', in 'The Contexts of Marvell's Early "Royalist" Poems', Studies in English Literature, 20 (1980), 125-36 (p. 133).

(14) Secret Rites and Secret Writing: Royalist Literature 1649-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 192.

(15) Melodious Tears: The English Funeral Elegy from Spenser to Milton (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 222. Raymond Anselment, taking issue with Christopher Hill's notion of necessarily defeatist Royalists, also interestingly discusses 'the political and artistic struggles of a tragic generation' (my italics), in Loyalist Resolve: Patient Fortitude in the English Civil War (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1988), p. 127.

(16) For the details of this see David Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy in England 1649-1660 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). This book undermines any notion that all Royalists had admitted defeat after the regicide. Also Charles Carlton's Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British CivilWars (London: Routledge, 1992) challenges the usual early end-date (1649) of the conflict.

(17) Also, in the 1649 edition of Lachrymae Musarum, Brome's name sits below and in the middle of the two columns of contributors' names.

(18) See Clarence Edward Andrews, Richard Brome: A Study of His Life and Works (Connecticut: Archon, 1972), p. 45.

(19) The printer of Lachrymae Musarum (Thomas Newcombe) is also identified only by initials, 'T.N.' in the 1650 edition. Much Royalist material, particularly elegies for Charles himself, to be found in the Thomason collection was published anonymously or semi-anonymously.

(20) See Catherine M. Shaw, Richard Brome (Boston: Twayne, 1980) for a reassessment of the importance of Brome in his own time in relation to his current neglect.

(21) See Gearin-Tosh, p. 110.

(22) The play was first performed in 1641. Alexander Brome and John Hall, both contributors to Lachrymae Musarum, were among those who wrote dedicatory verses to the 1652 publication of this play.

(23) 'Ruin' is used twice to describe England in the Interregnum in a poem on the Restoration of Charles II by another of Hastings's elegists, Thomas Higgons, 'A Panegyrick to the King. By His Majesties most humble, most Loyal, and most Obedient Subject and Servant, Thomas Higgons' (Thomason E1080 (4), p. 5), and also by John Joynes in Lachrymae Musarum, p. 29.

(24) Thomas Pestel, Lachrymae Musarum, p. 21.

(25) DNB, Sir Aston Cokaine.

(26) DNB, Mildmay Fane.

(27) Walker Revised (Being a Revision of John Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy during the Grand Rebellion 1643-60), ed. by A. G. Matthews (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 114-15.

(28) DNB, Thomas Pestel.

(29) Walker Revised, p. 242.

(30) See Calendar of The Proceedings of the Committee for Compounding, &c., 1643-1660, ed. by Mary Anne Everett (London: HMSO, 1892), p. 1043, and also Historical Manuscripts Commission Report on the Manuscripts of the Late Reginald Rawdon Hastings, ed. by Francis Bickley, 4 vols (London: HMSO, 1930), iv, 351, for separate but consistent accounts of this. Hereafter HMC Hastings.

(31) See HMC Hastings, IV, 351 for an account of this from the Hastings biographer, William Dugdale, and ii, 139 for a letter relating to this seizure.

(32) 'On the Incomparable Lord Hastings: An Elegie', Lachrymae Musarum, p. 31.

(33) HMC Hastings, IV, 351. Moreover, Gearin-Tosh has shown that the family went to great expense to give Hastings a large-scale funeral (p. 110).

(34) See the letter from Ferdinando to the Earl of Essex expressing his support for Parliament but unwillingness to take up arms, HMC Hastings, 11, 87.

(35) See HMC Hastings, 11, 139, for a letter from Lucy in London to Ferdinando, hoping that the king would not be executed, with a moving postscript recording the erection of the scaffold on which the king was to be beheaded, concluding 'The Lord look graciously on our distressed King'.

(36) HMC Hastings, 11, 83.

(37) Thomason 669 f.13 (6). Gearin-Tosh was the first to find this document placing Henry Hastings at the siege.

(38) See HMC Hastings, 11, 120-22 for correspondence between Gorges and Loughborough and p. 90 for a letter suggesting Falkland's involvement.

(39) Walker Revised, pp. 245, 244.

(40) HMC Hastings, 11, 90 for a letter from Falkland to Colonel Hastings (later Lord Loughborough), and 11, 120, 121, and 134, for several letters between Gorges and Hastings. Gorges was the son of Sir Arther Gorges (1557-1625), the courtier and poet. There is also evidence that John Cave collaborated with Loughborough (seeWalker Revised, p. 233).

(41) 'O Sydneian! O Blood-Royal Fate!', Thomas Pestel, Lachrymae Musarum, p. 21.

(42) Thomason 669 f.13 (15).

(43) In both 1649 and 1650 editions of Lachrymae Musarum, pages 73 and 74 are mis-numbered as 70 and 71, so I use corrected numbering here to avoid confusion.

(44) See J. W. Saunders, 'The Stigma of Print: A Note on the Social Bases of Tudor Poetry', Essays in Criticism, 1 (1951), 139-64 for an account of the stigma of print in a slightly earlier period. I would argue that all the evidence Saunders cites for the period he considers could be matched in the 1640s. For example, Saunders quotes Francis Davison describing his brother's poems as 'Toyes', a claim that is echoed by Lovelace and others in the 1640s; Saunders also states that 'haste in rushing into print was the crucial sin' (p. 144) and this is a fault Herrick berates in Hesperides ('Let others to the Printing Press run fast, | Since after death comes glory, Ile not haste'). He also claims that 'friends were legitimate scapegoats, as they always had much to do with the publication of poetry' (p. 145) and we see evidence of this when Herrick urged Mildmay Fane to publish, and succeeded when Fane published his Otia Sacra in 1648.

(45) See Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print and the English Renaissance Lyric (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995), p. 258.

(46) 'To the Right Honourable Mildmay, Earle of Westmorland', lines 1-4, quoted from The Poetical Works of Robert Herrick, ed. by F. W. Moorman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921), p. 171.

(47) Alexander Brome, 'On the Death of King Charles', quoted from Alexander Brome: Poems, ed. by Roman Dubinski (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982).

(48) This was itself a very common argument in both Lachrymae Musarum and in Royalist writing in the period generally.

(49) I am grateful to Myra Stokes, Elizabeth Archibald, and Ad Putter for their translations of the Latin poetry in Lachrymae Musarum.

(50) 'An Elegie On the Death of the Right Honourable Henry Lord Hastings; Presented at his Funeral', Lachrymae Musarum, pp. 57-58.

(51) John Rosse, 'Upon the much-lamented Departure of the right Hopeful, and truly Noble, Henry Lord Hastings, Son and Heir to the Right Honorable, Ferdinando Earl of Huntingdon', Lachrymae Musarum, p. 62.

(52) Peter Sacks, The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), p. 19. Again, evidence abounds for the comparison of flowers and elegies, for example Edward Standish's poem in Lachrymae Musarum, p. 15.

(53) John Hall makes this idea clear in his poem 'To the Earl of Huntingdon, On the Death of his Son', when he states that 'A perisht Flower can from the Central fire | That lurks within its seed, next Spring aspire | Unto its former life and beauty', Lachrymae Musarum, pp. 43-44.

(54) G. E. R. Lloyd, Hippocratic Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978), p. 206. Previous translations had given the line as 'life is short, and the Art long', for example Francis Adams, The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, 2 vols (London: Sydenham Society, 1849), 11, 697.

(55) This is perhaps also suggested by an early-seventeenth-century use of the phrase adapted as 'Life is short and learning long', cited by M. P. Tilley in A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950).

(56) Sigmund Freud, 'Mourning and Melancholia', in On Metapsychology: The Theory of Psychoanalysis (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), pp. 251-52.
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