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Mannerist elements in the songs and sonnets of John Donne Holmes, Richard Arthur 1972

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MANNERIST ELEMENTS IN THE SONGS AND SONNETS OF JOHN DONNE by Richard A r t h u r Holmes B. Ed., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 •A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF •Master of A r t s i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the req u i r e d standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1972 In present ing th is thesis in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ive rs i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extensive copying o f th is t h e s i s for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is representa t ives . It is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f th is t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion . Department .of The Un ive rs i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT For a lon g time Mannerism has been a? c r i t i c a l term p e c u l i a r to the Fine A r t s . I n the l a s t twenty years i t has a t t r a c t e d the a t t e n t i o n of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s who have sought to c l a r i f y i t s r e l a t i o n to l i t e r a t u r e i n both theory and p r a c t i c e . This t h e s i s draws on the conclusions of such w r i t e r s and a p p l i e s them t o the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne i n an attempt to understand him w i t h i n the Mannerist c o n t e x t — t h a t i s , as a poet expressing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s t y l e , s e n s i b i l i t y and c u l t u r e that are o r i g i n a l l y t y p i f i e d by a grouppof six t e e n t h - c e n t u r y I t a l i a n a r t i s t s . The mode of c r i t i c i s m proceeds on the b a s i s that i t i s p o s s i b l e to a b s t r a c t d i s t i n c t i v e f eatures from a given s t y l e i n one a r t form and apply them, by analogy, to another: thus, discontinuous l i n e s i n p a i n t i n g may be seen as analogous to broken sentences i n language, or the e f f e c t of d i s t o r t e d p e r s p e c t i v e may be l i k e n e d to the e f f e c t of s t r u c t u r a l i r r e g u l a r i t y i n a poem. The process may be f u r t h e r supported by reference to c u l t u r a l , personal or t h e o r e t i c a l circumstances that are common t o the a r t i s t / p p e t s concerned. In t h i s t h e s i s , the views of c e r t a i n s c h o l a r s as to the nature of Mannerism have been a p p l i e d to Donne. Thus h i s w i t , h i s dramatic techniques, h i s use of convention and h i s i i a m b i g uity have a l l been examined i n the l i g h t o f M a n n e r i s t p r i n c i p l e s , and have been f u r t h e r e x e m p l i f i e d by r e f e r e n c e ' to the f i n e and p l a s t i c a r t s . The conclus i o n s - reached are t h a t 4 f i r s t , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o approach Donne from a Man n e r i s t v i e w p o i n t , t h a t i n so d o i n g i n s i g h t s i n t o the nature and o r g a n i s a t i o n o f the p o e t r y f o l l o w , and t h a t by;'setting Donne i n a European a r t i s t i c c o n t e x t , something of. the i n s u l a r i t y and a r b i t r a r i n e s s o f ' m e t a p h y s i c a l ' may y i e l d t o the broader frame o f r e f e r e n c e t h a t Mannerism p r o v i d e s . TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page ONE THE MASK OF WIT 1 TWO THE DRAMATIC ROLE SO THREE RESPONSES TO CONVENTION 47 FOUR FINAL DOUBT: THE NECESSITY OF AMBIGUITY. . 82 FIVE CONCLUSION . 107 FOOTNOTES. 110 A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 122 CHAPTER ONE The problem of grouping the Songs and Sonnets has been a ! p e r e n n i a l one f o r Donne s c h o l a r s . For G r i e r s o n , the more o r l e s s random order of the 1633 e d i t i o n was p r e f e r r e d i n the case where no other a u t h o r i t a t i v e o r g a n i s a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e was to be found i n the v a r i o u s manuscripts and e a r l i e r e d i t i o n s ; * f o r Leishman, the f i f t y - f o u r poems r e s o l v e i n t o a "rough c l a s s i f i c a t i o n " of seven s e c t i o n s t y p i f i e d by such heads as ten " d e l i b e r a t e l y outrageous" poems, f i v e ""merely w i t t y " poems, f o u r songs, and e i g h t poems ''almost c e r t a i n l y w r i t t e n d u r i n g Donne's middle years;*' 2 while Redpath sees t h a t ''one way of c l a s s i f y i n g them . . . i s according to the predominating a t t i t u d e s expressed" i n them, and he then goes on to speak of negative and p o s i t i v e groups. 3 I n her 1965 e d i t i o n of The E l e g i e s and the Songs and Sonnets of John Donne, Helen Gardner^ presents a f r e s h look at the problem and concludes th a t not only should they be d i v i d e d i n t o two s e c t i o n s , pre-1600 and post-1602, but that they are of three broad types: Ovidian, Petrarchan, and Neo-platonic. In the f i r s t of these--those that belong to "the world of L a t i n l o v e - p o e t r y " 5 — the s t y l e i s sardonic, c y n i c a l , w i t t y and b r i l l i a n t and they are w r i t t e n from the point of view of a man more i n t e r e s t e d i n himself and h i s own r e a c t i o n s than i n the o b j e c t s of h i s though t . 2 In the years p r i o r to 1598, when Donne jo i n e d Egerton"s s e r v i c e (the period of L i n c o l n ' s Inn and m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e ) , , h i s l i t e r a r y masters were the Roman poets, Horace, Ovid; and M a r t i a l , 6 under whose i n f l u e n c e he composed h i s e a r l y poems—the " f i r s t group." For Donne i t was a time of t u r m o i l , f o r while being temperamentally a t t r a c t e d t o the s c e p t i c i s m of the c l a s s i c a l el.egis.ts whose detachment and s a t i r e he admired, he was at the same time i n the process of making a scrupulous change from Roman C a t h o l i c i s m t o what was to become h i s A n g l i c a n p o s i t i o n . I t was at t h i s point that Walton speaks of him as given t o "no R e l i g i o n that might give him any other denomination than a C h r i s t i a n , " 7 and which a n t i c i p a t e s the Preface to the Pseudo-Martyr (1609) where he r e s i s t s a s e c t a r i a n choice t i l l , he says, ^1 hadj to the measure of my poore wit and judgement, suruayed and digested the whole body of D i v i n i t y , controverted betweene ours and the Romane Church.* 8 Some pa r t of Donne's unresolved state must be seen i n r e l a t i o n t o the broader p i c t u r e of Renaissance changes which provide an explanatory context f o r what e l s e appears personal and i d i o s y n c r a t i c . The Gopernican cosmology attacked the ant h r o p o c e n t r i c model on which Mediaeval thought was based and i n d i s p l a c i n g man from h i s c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n , i t l e f t him to face a p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e l a t i v i t y analogous to Bruno^s astronomical r e l a t i v i t y — " t h e moon belongs to the earth's sky, j u s t as the earth belongs to the moon's" 9—or Donne's moral r e l a t i v i t y : 3 Ther*s nothing simply good, nor i l l alone, Of every q u a l i t y comparison * ' The onely measure i s , and judge o p i n i o n . 1 0 Bruno indeed was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c r y s t a l l i s i n g much o f the c u l t u r a l a n x i e t y as he was, f o r in s t a n c e , '•the f i r s t to t h i n k of [the Universe} as i n f i n i t e . A t about the same time (1580*), Montaigne's s c e p t i c a l essays systematised doubt and challenged the b a s i s of absolute sets of v a l u e s . As a r e s u l t the t r a d i t i o n a l concepts of s e l f , f o r example, are a s s a i l e d , for not only does the nature of e x t e r n a l , o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y change accord i n g to the s u b j e c t i v e view p o i n t , not only i s ev e r y t h i n g we perceive ' a l t e r e d and f a l s i f i e d by our senses ,* but a l s o the s e l f changes so g r e a t l y from case to Case that there i s no p i n n i n g down i t s true nature. The f a c t that there i s no escape from the s u b j e c t i v i t y of the observer* s impressions and experiences does not i n i t s e l f a f f e c t the r e l i a b i l i t y of the observing s e l f . What does a f f e c t i t i s the c o n t i n u a l l y changing aspects of s e l f towards the same o b j e c t , by which doubt i s cast on the" very nature and permanence of the s e l f . T h i s was a sha11er i n g blow a t f a i t h i n the i d e n t i t y of the s e l f from which the c u l t u r e of the Renaissance was never to recover; without i t there can be no ex p l a n a t i o n of mannerism, e i t h e r as v i s i o n o f l i f e or a r t i s t i c s t y l e . The d i s t o r t i o n i n the v i s u a l a r t s , the s t r a i n e d and r e s t l e s s use of metaphor i n l i t e r a t u r e , the frequency w i t h which characters i n drama masquerade as others and question t h e i r own i d e n t i t y , are only ways of expressing the f a c t t h a t , while the o b j e c t i v e world had grown u n i n t e l l i g i b l e , the i d e n t i t y of the ' s e l f had been shattered; had grown vague and f l u i d . Nothing was what i t seemed, and e v e r y t h i n g was d i f f e r e n t from what i t purported to be. Life.was d i s g u i s e and d i s s i m u l a t i o n , and a r t i t s e l f helped to d i s g u i s e l i f e as w e l l as to penetrate the masks. 12 I have quoted Hauser a t some leng t h here because i n p i n p o i n t i n g **the f l u i d s e l f as a h i s t o r i c phenomenon, he provides a s e t t i n g f o r i n d i v i d u a l expressions of subjective c r i s i s . We see i t i n Pontcrmo, of whom i t has been s a i d that "the expression ... . 4 of h i s ideas and p e r s o n a l i t y , i s measurable only by i n s a t i a b l e s u b j e c t i v e c r i t e r i a , " ^ 3 as though h i s a r t i s an attempt to shape and hold t a n t a l i s i n g l y f l e e t i n g v i s i o n s . In Parmigianino we see the " f l u i d s e l f " d i s t o r t e d on a convex board, p u l l e d i n t o an image of b l u r r e d o u t l i n e that suggests a t e n t a t i v e and s h i f t i n g view of h i m s e l f . Michelangelo reacted extremely, but was borne along on the c r e s t of a sublime s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e that r e s i s t e d dbubt u n t i l h i s o l d age. He was "the f i r s t modern, l o n e l y a r t i s t d r i v e n by h i s inner daemon, not only because of h i s obsession w i t h h i s a r t . . . but because with him i n d i v i d u a l i s m a t t a i n e d i t s r e a l l y modern, problematic form.^^ 4 I t i s the •problematic" that i s i n t e r e s t i n g here f o r , w i t h a l l Michelangelo*s God-like a s s e r t i o n o f w i l l , the S i s t i n e a l t a r w a l l and the Sonnets show an agonised s o u l : yet even h i s imagination, p a i n t i n g and sculpture are f i n a l l y repudiated i n favour of a w i l l yet stronger: Onde l ' a f f e t t u o s a f a n t a s i a Che; 1'arte ml fece i d o l 'e monarca Conosco or ben, com 'era d'error carca E quel ch'a mal siio grado ogn' nom d e s i c i Ne pinger ne s c o l p i r f i e p i u che q u i e t i L'anima, v o l t a a q u e l l ' amor d i v i n o , Ch' aperse, a prender hoi", 'n croce l e braccia.15 And so wi t h Donne, the breakdown of s c h o l a s t i c i s m , , the post-Lutheran c r i s i s i n r e l i g i o n , the "sea-discoverers to new worlds" gone, a l l contributed to a sense of profound change. As to the e f f e c t i t had on him, we may quote G r i e r s o n who w r i t e s that *^the ordered system which Dante had set f o r t h was 5 breaking i n pieces . . ; under the c r i t i c i s m of Copernicus, G a l i l e o , and others, and no poet was so conscious as Donne of the e f f e c t on the imagination of that d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . " I 6 Thus, i n t e n s e l y aware of change too r a p i d to organise, of the c o l l a p s e of a whole epoch, yet al s o of the excitement of new p o s s i b l i t i e s , Donne strove to gain an i d e n t i t y that could r e t a i n what was of value i n the o l d philosophy and accommodate the challenges of the new. Doubtful, however, o f the usual props, he was thrown i n on him s e l f and had to r e l y on h i s own a b i l i t i e s to s i f t , evaluate and c r e a t e , to the extent that he came to f i n d h i s own "awareness of s e l f as the supremely important and i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t of l i f e ."^ -7 To emphasise the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s r e l a t i o n between Donne and h i s highest i d e a l s i n t h i s way i s immediately to assume a fragmentation of being such as Hamljet so c l e a r l y d e m o n s t r a t e s — t h a t . i s , where " s e l f i s conceptualised and given the independence to hold apart from a c t i o n and thought: and where Hamlet, unable to a c t , i s paralysed by s c r u p l e s , Donne i s galvanised i n t o only v e r b a l a c t i o n and t r i e s , sometimes f r a n t i c a l l y , to adjust the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of M s age and to come to terms with h i m s e l f . What t h i s means i n more p r a c t i c a l terms i s that i n the e a r l y years, to 1598, when Donne's a v i d reading h a b i t s l e d him to the Roman e l e g i s t s , Ovid, P r o p e r t i u s , and T u l l i u s , he found i n them a detachment and v i g o u r analogous to h i s own: but instead of s l a v i s h l y adopting them as exemplary models he saw i n them the means to p r o j e c t and thence to understand the nature of h i s own thought. 6 I t i s as though the young Donne who was, a f t e r a l l , a "great frequenter of p l a y e s , " 1 8 took over the r o l e of the Ovidian cynic i n order to see how i t f e l t . Or a l t e r n a t i v e l y , we may say that he donned v a r i o u s masks to t e s t h i s r e a c t i o n s , f o r i n the d r a m a t i s a t i o n he could separate out the twi s t e d strands, the " s u b t i l e knot," that made up h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , could stand away from a p a r t of himself to b e t t e r assess i t . In the E l e g i e s , f o r example, G r i e r s o n suggests the c u l t i v a t i o n of a r o l e as a key to t h e i r meaning, when he w r i t e s that the reader w i l l begin to suspect that the E n g l i s h poet i s i m i t a t i n g the Roman, and that the dep r a v i t y i s i n part a r e f l e c t e d d e p r a v i t y . In r e v o l t from one convention the young poet i s c u l t i v a t i n g another, a cynicism and s e n s u a l i t y which i s j u s t as l i t t l e to betaken au pied de l a l e t t r e as the i d e a l i s i n g worship . . . of the sonneteers. 19 While of the S a t i r e s , M i l g a t e w r i t e s that perhaps the "earnest-ness i s indeed a pose . . . and that the persona, the v o i c e speaking i n the poems, i s w e l l c o n t r o l l e d to persuade us of a genuine moral f e r v o u r i n the s p e a k e r . " 2 0 In f a c t , M i l g a t e t h i n k s the persona technique i s designed to appeal to the court c i r c l e s , which i s not to my purpose, but s t i l l , the f a c t that he considers Donne to be speaking i n r o l e i s h e l p f u l i n e s t a b l i s h i n g . h i s d i v i d e d s e l f . In t h i s regard i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that " i n the High Renaissance the i n d i v i d u a l had been so l i t t l e concerned w i t h h i s inner problems that independent s e l f - p o r t r a i t s were r a r e . But i n the f i r s t phase of Mannerism 21 they appear i n f l o o d s . . .** and one p a i n t e r (Bronzino) i n p a r t i c u l a r i n v i t e s comparison w i t h Donne i n that h i s p o r t r a i t s are 7 s t r i k i n g l y reminiscent of what i n England was the E l i z a b e t h a n age: of r e c k l e s s outward splendour and inner doubt, vul n e r a b l e heart's masked by the hard crust, of s t i f f costume, a personal device, jewel o r s t a t u e t t e . . . . And under a l l the tremendous apparatus of surface r e a l i t y . . . there remains that ambiguity, an u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t . w h a t — I f a n y t h i n g - - c o n s t i t u t e s the essence of r e a l i t y . " 22 In f a c t , one p i c t u r e ( R i t r a t t a d i Glovane Uomb) has a remarkable s i m i l a r i t y to the Lo t h i a n p o r t r a i t - - e v e n to the •melancholy' hat. But what i s more s i g n i f i c a n t i s that Bronzino does not probe beyond the surface: he sees i t d e l i b e r a t e l y as the •face'* the s i t t e r i s wearing and "with him the face i s o b v i o u s l y not the m i r r o r of the s o u l , but i t s mask, and the p o r t r a i t i s an a r t form t h a t conceals as w e l l as r e v e a l s . " 2 3 Now with Donne something of the same process i s at work. He s t r i k e s the pose of the w i t t y j r a f f i s h , i n t e l l e c t u a l not to m i r r o r h i s soul> but, l i k e a mask or p o r t r a i t , to present an aspect of him s e l f to him s e l f as a means of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . I n t h i s f i r s t group of Songs and Sonnets, we see him as cynic ("Goe, and catche a f a l l i n g s t s r r e " ) , rake ("Communitie"), misogynist ('•Gurse"), and w i t ("Flea") but above a l l , and subsuming these minor r o l e s , we see him as the manipulative mind arranging and c o n t r a s t i n g thoughts and f e e l i n g s as a form of c r e a t i v e s e l f - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . This idea may be a m p l i f i e d by r e f e r r i n g I t to the Mannerist concept of disegno intern o whereby the a r t i s t was a s c r i b e d almost d i v i n e r i g h t s n t o cr e a t e , invent and manipulate even w i l f u l l y 1 ' the m a t e r i a l s of h i s a r t . 2 4 Michelangelo, f o r example, 8 ' t a l k s of the inward image which the beauty of the v i s i b l e world arouses i n h i s mind.* The idea of beauty ^comments Blunf} set up i n t h i s way i s su p e r i o r t o m a t e r i a l beauty, f o r the mind r e f i n e s the images which i t r e c e i v e s , and makes them approach more n e a r l y the Ideas which e x i s t i n i t by d i r e c t t r a n s f u s i o n from God. 25 In other words, the a r t i s t ' s w i l l i s the u l t i m a t e force i n the c r e a t i v e process and h i s idea i s ' t r u e r * than what he sees, Reference, t h e r e f o r e , t o the n a t u r a l or a r t i f i c i a l worlds, i s governed by the s o r t of use the a r t i s t can make of them a t any given moment. I n Donne's case, we have the self-aware a r t i s t mastering h i s medium and imposing on i t the shape o f h i s 'id e a , ' and as we have a l r e a d y argued that the c o n t r o l l i n g idea f o r Ponne was h i s concept of s e l f , we may now see how i n g i v i n g shape to the Songs and Sonnets, he was a c t i v e l y d e f i n i n g h i m s e l f . Montaigne had s a i d the same t h i n g e a r l i e r : "Je n'ai plus f a i c t mon l i v r e que mon l i v r e m'a f a i c t ' . " 2 6 In the poems themselves we n o t i c e the techniques he used to t h i s end, such as those through which he p l a y s out the i n t e l l e c t u a l ' s r o l e . Welshman has w r i t t e n t h a t "many of the Songs and Sonets are not r e a l l y love poems a t a l l , but simply ingenious or outrageous paradoxes, d i s q u i s i t i o n s o r what Donne hims e l f calted'evaporations' on the subject of l o v e . * * 2 7 ••Loves D e i t i e , " f o r example, w i t h i t s chiming combinations of 'love' i n the l a s t l i n e i n each stanza, and '•The Computation'' wi t h i t s mathematical p r e c i s i o n are l i t t l e more than •'word-9 and-idea games, l i g h t l y intended, a form of c l e v e r d i v e r s i o n designed simply to make the reader jump w i t h s u r p r i s e . * 2 8 A much more complex example, however, i s s u p p l i e d by "The F l e a " wherein we get a b r i l l i a n t demonstration of what E l i o t described as Donne's habit of not pursuing the meaning of an i d e a , but of a r r e s t i n g i t "to p l a y c a t l i k e w i t h i t , to develop i t d i a l e c t i c a l l y . " 2 9 The i n i t i a l i d e a o f the f l e a j o i n i n g t h e i r two bloods i s immediately examined f o r i t s r h e t o r i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s as the innocent b i t e i s made the b a s i s of a moral l i e n on h i s m i s t r e s s . Then from that forced analogy, the poet r e g r e t s that h i s m i s t r e s s i s not persuaded by h i s l o g i c . The d i a l e c t i c has begun. But what i s happening i s that Donne cannot take anything that s e r i o u s l y - - n o t even the d i a l e c t i c : even the r u l e s of the 'game' are being reworked as l o g i c a l progression i s t w i s t e d by the n e c e s s i t i e s of persuasive success. Thus to argue that because a f l e a b i t e "cannot be said/a sinne, or shame, o r losse of maidenhead,*' (11. 5-6) . - i t h e r e f o r e i t would not be a s i n f o r them to 'enjoy* before they 'woo' i s a l o g i c a l l i c e n s e t h a t , to judge by Donne's "alas* 1 was'noticed by h i s hard-headed m i s t r e s s . In the second stanza the matter i s approached from a d i f f e r e n t a n g l e — a n appeal to the s a n c t i t y of l i f e , couched i n an a f o r t i o r i argument: i f one l i f e i s taken, how much worse I f t h r e e . But the pl©y f a l l s and the f l e a i s k i l l e d . T a c t i c a l l y , however, the death i s u s e f u l f o r i t a l l o w s the seducer to g a i n the upper hand wi t h a l l the weight of righteous i n d i g n a t i o n behind him: 10 C r u e l l arid sodaine, hast thou s i n c e Purpled thy n a i l e , i n blood o f innocence? (11. 20-21) Yet a t t h i s peak of a u t h o r i t y he has such supreme confidence t h a t he can explode a l l h i s p r e t e n s i o n s to moral s u p e r i o r i t y by r e t u r n i n g with dramatic suddenness t o the d r i v i n g l o g i c of •Tis t r u e , then learne how f a l s e , feares bee; J u s t so much honor, when thou yeeld'st to mee, W i l l wast* as t h i s f l e a ' s death tooke l i f e from thee: (11. 25-27) a mode he had e a r l i e r abandoned f o r the r h e t o r i c a l . The movement of the poem i s a t once progressive and d i s j u n c t f o r wh i l e the l i n e of persuasion i s never l o s t , the h a n d l i n g of the argument i s contorted, A l a c k o f cohesion may be expected but because Donne's "main preoccupation i s w i t h the whole e f f e c t , " the d i s l o c a t i o n s do not appear as d e f e c t s f o r the uni t i s not the l i n e , as i n many sonneteers, and not even the stanza, but the e n t i r e poem i n i t s serpentine swerving from one excitement t o another. Donne's technique stands i n the same r e l a t i o n to the average technique of Renaissance poetry, as that of Mannerist to t h a t of Renaissance p a i n t i n g . 30 The mention o f •'serpentine swerving' suggests the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Mannerist technique of the f l g u r a s e r p e n t i n a t a which Shearman has spoken of as posing "the p u r e l y a e s t h e t i c problem of i n c o r p o r a t i n g the maximum of t o r s i o n and v a r i e t y i n the human f i g u r e w i t h i n a l i m i t e d s p a c e . " 3 1 To adapt the id e a , we can see that i n "The Flea'* the d i s c i p l i n e of three n i n e - l i n e stanzas has contained the c o m p l e x i t i e s of the argument and how, i n f a c t , the i n t e n s i t y of the adjustments r e q u i r e s a r i g i d framework t o work a g a i n s t . Perhaps the 11 concept can be best explained w i t h reference t o the p l a s t i c a r t s and Giovanni Bologna*s Rape of the Sabine Women f o r which, B o r g h i n l t e l l s us, Bologna had no thought of any d i d a c t i c or moral purpose; put on h i s mettle by a j i b e he 'decided t o show the world that he knew how to make not j u s t o r d i n a r y marble s t a t u e s , but a l s o m u l t i p l e ones of the most d i f f i c u l t kind p o s s i b l e i n which one would see the whole a r t of making nude f i g u r e s (exemplifying wasted o l d age, robust youth and feminine d e l i c a c y ) ; and thus he made, s o l e l y to show h i s excellence In a r t , and without having any subject i n mind, a b o l d youth who snatches a most b e a u t i f u l g i r l from an o l d man.' 32 I n other words, the statue i s a t e c h n i c a l t o u r de f o r c e i n which d l f f i c u l t a i s overcome by v i r t u , and a t which the s p e c t a t o r marvels at the i n t r i c a c y of form, made more i n c r e d i b l e f o r i t s being f i g u r a t i v e . Not only i s the f i g u r a serpentinata expressed i n the o l d man, but each f i g u r e s p i r a l s around i t s own a x i s c r e a t i n g f l g u r a serpentInata In t r i p l i c a t e , w hile the whole statue i s i t s e l f contained w i t h i n a s p i r a l l i n g f l a m e - l i k e movement that suggests a s p i r a t i o n without ever h i n t i n g a t what the goal may be. What i s more, the s p i r a l e f f e c t i s maintained from any angle so t h a t the " r e v o l v i n g view" i s encouraged and the spectator i s l e f t w i t h no sense of a p r e f e r r e d f o c u s . Indeed, despite i t s masterly f a c i l i t y the s t a t u e i s s l i g h t l y d i s c o m f o r t i n g . As we are l e d round by the sweeping rhythms i t i s as though we are being l e d to a c l i m a c t i c view, a c l i n c h i n g focus to which the whole s i g n i f i c a n c e of the work tends, but t h i s expectancy i s momently f r u s t r a t e d , as c u r v i n g t h i g h of 12 one leads into t h i g h of another, through t o r s o t o head o f the t h i r d and thence i s l e f t to sweep o f f i n t o i n f i n i t y . Each l i n e s e t s up such a n t i c i p a t i o n s which f a i l to m a t e r i a l i s e and we are brought back to where we began with nothing but a sense o f marvel a t the ing e n u i t y of the work. There i s an uneasy r e s t l e s s n e s s about i t which i n d i c a t e s a r e l u c t a n c e to be committed to a f i x e d p o i n t of view, a sustained e q u i v o c a t i o n t h a t f i n d s an o u t l e t i n constant yet a i m l e s s movement held together simply by an overwhelming f a s c i n a t i o n f o r i t s own sinuous p o s s i b i l i t i e s . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Bologna gave the piece no t i t l e and the one we use today, the Rape of the Sabine Women was a r b i t r a r i l y assigned by B o r g h i n i . 3 3 S i m i l a r l y i n "The F l e a , " we no t i c e a coolness that d i s s o c i a t e s i t from any serious attempt a t seduction. Though he i s a d d r e s s i n g h i s m i s t r e s s , the d i a l e c t i c a l tone i s not perhaps the best mode to induce a l o v i n g response and the mis t r e s s i s more l i k e l y to be impressed by h i s cleverness than persuaded by h i s argument. I t i s e a s i e r to t h i n k of the mis t r e s s as a figment--the imagined butt of a r h e t o r i c a l game i n which the aim i s s o l e l y to demonstrate h i s i n g e n u i t y . In t h i s l i g h t , the v o l t e face at the end (11. 25-27) appears both as the f i n a l t w i s t t h a t rounds o f f the s p i r a l l i n g argument, but a l s o as the e x h i b i t i o n i s t f l o u r i s h of the v i r t u o s o i n executing a d i f f i c u l t t u r n p e r f e c t l y . The matter o f the t w i s t ending i s not an i s o l a t e d f e a t u r e : Clay Hunt has w r i t t e n that 13 one o f Donne's f a v o u r i t e s t r a t e g i c maneuvers i n many of these poems . . . i s t o reverse h i s course suddenly i n the middle or at the end of a poem, so t h a t just" as soon as the reader i s sure t h a t he knows what Donne i s saying, or what the tone o f a poem i s , and has begun t o s e t t l e comfortably i n t o understanding where t h i s poem i s headed, Donne j e r k s him around and heads o f f i n the opposite d i r e c t i o n , 34 ^ We see i t i n ''Goe, and catche a f a l l i n g s t a r r e " where the r a r i t y o f a "woman t r u e , and f a i r e " i s developed by l i k e n i n g her existence to p r o b a b i l i t i e s as remote as i m p o s s i b i l i t i e s . But, he argues, " i f thou f i n d s t one, l e t mee know, [for] such a Pilgrimage were sweet." (11. 19-20) Then w i t h a sudden cynicism more d e s t r u c t i v e of the i d e a of a v i r t u o u s woman than any "strange wonders" he brands a l l women promiscuous. The movement i s abrupt and f i n a l . A f t e r the modulated "such a Pilgrimage were sweet," the q u a l i f y i n g "yet" which i n troddees the next l i n e , c u r t w i t h monosyllables, and leads to the emphatic Yet she W i l l be F a l s e , ere I come, t o two, or three, (11. 25-27) i s t y p i c a l of the d e l iberalely c o n t r o l l e d adjustments he makes. And i t i s not as though there i s i n t e r n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r - t h e s h i f t — i t i s an imposed t h i n g , almost f o r m u l a i c — w h e r e i n "Donne swings from one moral o r emotional pole t o another, not modulating h i s a t t i t u d e s but swerving, as i t were, i r r e s p o n s i b l y , from one excitement to another. . . . His r e v e r s a l s occur . . . c a p r i c i o u s l y , c a s u a l l y , without l o g i c or n e c e s s i t y . " 3 5 One exp l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s " i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " i s to t h i n k of Donne 14 as a s o r t of i n t e l l e c t u a l impresario, nmore i n t e r e s t e d i n ideas themselves as objects, than i n the t r u t h of i d e a s . " 3 6 C e r t a i n l y there i s nothing i n "IThe Indifferent*'' t o make one suspect otherwise. The whole poem i s conceived of as an ingenious d i v e r s i o n on a stock theme. In the Amores 3 7 Ovid says how h i s love i s u n s a t i s f i e d by any one type, how i n f a c t a l l women have something t o o f f e r and that he w i l l t h erefore pursue them a l l . H i s tone i s f l i p p a n t and l i c e n t i o u s , h i s s t y l e n a r r a t i v e . From t h i s s t a r t i n g p o i n t , Donne spins a Jen d ' e s p r i t whose success r e l i e s almost e n t i r e l y on it's d e v i s i n g , f o r as C.S. Lewis s a i d , Donne*s complexity i s a l l on the s u r f a c e — a n i n t e l l e c t u a l and f u l l y conscious complexity that we soon come to an end of. Beneath t h i s we f i n d n o t h i n g but a l i m i t e d s e r i e s of ' p a s s i o n s * - - e x p l i c i t , mutually e x c l u s i v e passions which can be i n s t a n t l y l a b e l l e d as such. 38 So here, above the * passion' of g e n e r a l i s e d s e n s u a l i t y , Donne has created a f o r m a l l y d e l i g h t f u l p i e c e . The accumulation o f a n t i t h e s e s i s mock s c h o l a s t i c as though evidence i s being compiled f o r a solemn conclusion;. The argument proceeds by o p p o s i t i o n , t i l l a c o n c l u s i o n i s reached: " I can love any" which, w i t h i t s sensual overtones i s amusing enough when set against the austere methodology, but the joke i s to be r e f i n e d i n the r i d e r where, i n "so she be not true,*' Donne c o l l a p s e s the whole progression by h i s arch r e v e r s a l of the usual v i r t u o u s p l a t i t u d e about v i r t u e being above beauty. The argumentative s c a f f o l d i n g i s broken by a t w i s t and the t r i c k i s done. Then, to show h i s v e r s a t i l i t y there i s a quick scene change between 15 stanzas and the poet assumes the r o l e of s u p e r i o r male condescending to c o r r e c t the misguided, as l o g i c i a n y i e l d s to r h e t o r i c i a n . The r h e t o r i c a l questions, though, are amusing l e s s on account of t h e i r browbeating tone than because of the use to which they are being put, f o r the t r a d i t i o n of r h e t o r i c never l o s t s i g h t of the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of Gicero and Q u i n t i l l i a n . For the former the p e r f e c t o r a t o r was the p e r f e c t man', f o r the l a t t e r "the e n t i r e mental and moral development of the student" was c e n t r a l t o the a r t . ? 9 To catch these overtones and subvert them by reference t o c o n v e n t i o n a l l y immoral ends i s to produce the k i n d of i n t e l l e c t u a l f r i s s o n t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Mannerism. "When a Mannerist a r t i s t breaks r u l e s he does so on the b a s i s of knowledge and not of ignorance" w r i t e s Shearman 1* 0 and i n bending, breaking or transforming the r u l e s he created the p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f s a t i s f a c t i o n t h a t goes with the a b i l i t y t o hold d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of s i g n i f i c a n c e simultaneously i n mind. To compare small t h i n g s w i t h g r e a t , the techniques used i n t h i s s l i g h t poem are analogous to those i n one of Michelangelo's greatest w o r k s — t h e Laurentiana. Michelangelo designed the b u i l d i n g w i t h a complete understanding o f the Renaissance a r c h i t e c t u r a l canon which stood then as a powerful o r d e r i n g f o r c e , w i t h a t r a d i t i o n r e a ching back i n t o a n t i q u i t y . Yet the r e s u l t , while acknowledging t h i s i n f l u e n c e , indeed while d e r i v i n g energy from departing from i t , creates a new s t y l e which a Renaissance vocabulary i s unable t o a p p r e c i a t e . For example, the t a b e r n a c l e s appear both t o accept and r e j e c t precedence. At f i r s t s i g h t a simple pediment, r e s t i n g on p i l l a r s , 16 together house a p l i n t h to support some xelie or d e c o r a t i o n . However, the p i l l a r s v i s u a l l y (and p h y s i c a l l y ? ) underplay t h e i r supporting r o l e by t a p e r i n g towards the base and then by l e a d i n g i n t o slender mouldings, mouldings which almost parody the a r c h i t e c t u r a l l y sound bases and c a p i t a l s of the Renaissance. Furthermore, the p l i n t h i s set i n sue h i a narrow recess that i t s presence i s r e a l l y a f o r m a l i t y , while the brackets under the s h a f t s are "unmistakably reminiscent o f t r i g l y p h s t h a t belong to the top of an order. w 4 ^ We see, t h e r e f o r e , how Michelangelo stands i n a p e c u l i a r r e l a t i o n t o r e c e i v e d p r a c t i c e . Accepting i t s forms, he changes the idiom, and impressed by i t s a u t h o r i t y , he p r e f e r s h i s own. In other words, there i s a constant i n t e r -play between hallowed norms and p r i v a t e a b s t r a c t i o n s which never allows i t s e l f the luxury of commitment. Thus, we can say that both Donne and Michelangelo s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y manipulate s t y l e s to t h e i r own ends and " s e l f - c o n s c i o u s s t y l i s a t l o n S h e a r m a n t e l l s us, '•is the common denominator of a l l Mannerist works of a r t . 1 , 4 2 !n the poems just considered we get a s t r o n g impression of the c o n j u r o r s e l e c t i n g items from h i s r e p e r t o i r e f o r the d e l i g h t and amazement of a l l . '•The F l e a " i s the tour de f o r c e and the way i n which Donne moves from the Idea of f l e a as f l e a , to the i d e a of f l e a s a n c t i f i e d as temple and- as symbol of u n i t y , (11. 10-14) Is remarkably ingenious and c a l l s t o mind a comment 17 by Shearman that "Mannerist works of a r t are conceived i n the s p i r i t of v i r t u o s o - p e r f o r m a n c e s . " 4 3 But not a l l i n g e n u i t y i s Mannerist. The tortuous v e r b a l c o m p l e x i t i e s o f the l a t e E l i z a b e t h a n sonneteers, f o r example, whose dense punning and s t r u c t u r a l m o d i f i c a t i o n s are so i n v o l v e d , cannot be c a l l e d Mannerist because they l a c k what C a s t i g l i o n e c a l l e d s p r e z z a t u r a , or "the e f f o r t l e s s r e s o l u t i o n of a l l d i f f i c u l t i e s . " 4 4 . D i f f i c u l t y was a hypnotic concept i n Renaissance theory and as the Renaissance y i e l d e d to Mannerism, f e a t s o f t e c h n i c a l b r i l l i a n c e tended to be executed f o r t h e i r own sake and what d i s t i n g u i s h e d the good from the bad was the degree of f a c i l i t a w i t h which they were done. V a s a r i i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h i s s t y l e and f o r him"painting had ceased to be the i n t e n s e l y s e r i o u s i n t e l l e c t u a l p u r s u i t that i t had been f o r the a r t i s t s of the High Renaissance. I t had become a game o f s k i l l , appealing to a love o f i n g e n u i t y and l e a v i n g the r a t i o n a l f a c u l t i e s undisturbed.*? In h i s autobiography, he boasted that he worked "with i n c r e d i b l e f a c i l i t y and without e f f o r t . " 4 6 Now there i s i n "The F l e a " the same so r t of legerdemain t h a t performs the impossible as though i t were the e n t i r e l y probable by concealing i t s techniques under p l a u s i b l e g l o s s e s . In the example we are c o n s i d e r i n g , the gloss i s the semblance of l o g i c : the technique i s the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of l e v e l s of meaning. Thus i n the l i n e , "where wee almost, nay more than maryed a r e , " (1. 11) 'almost'' r e l a t e s to the sphere of human r e l a t i o n s h i p s and b e t r o t h a l and 'more than maryed* r e l a t e s to the j o i n i n g of b l o o d s — o n e f l e s h — 18 i n the f l e a . These two l e v e l s do not meet, they are f o r c i b l y abutted, and to complicate matters f u r t h e r , given the choice of e i t h e r as the s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r h i s next development, the poet chooses the more conceited l e v e l because of i t s p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r g r e a t e r outrage. As J.e. Ransom has s a i d , a c o n c e i t i s a 47 metaphor taken l i t e r a l l y , and i n assuming the phrase "more than maryed are" t o be l i t e r a l l y t r u e , Donne i s a b l e to move q u i t e 'reasonably* to the.place of consummation— the marriage bed (1. 13). Marriage i s sacred, t h e r e f o r e so i s the place where i t i s consummated. And where was i t consummated? In the sacred f l e a , of course. The success of t h i s s y l l o g i s t i c puzzle i s explained by Donne's s k i l l i n j u g g l i n g the l i t e r a l and f i g u r a t i v e l e v e l s of language, and i s judged by h i s s p r e z z a t u r a , h i s marvellous a b i l i t y t o devise an a r t to conceal h i s a r t . Thus when Una N e l l y asks, "what prevents h i s poems from becoming mere pyro-technic d i s p l a y s of w i t , or v e r b a l b a t t l e s 48 i n pseudo-logic?" we may say t h a t t h i s i s e x a c t l y what some e a r l y poems are, but without f e e l i n g the need to deplore t h e i r l a c k of depth, ' s i n c e r i t y ' or 'meaning.' That the s o r t of a e s t h e t i c e x i s t e d which supported such v i r t u o s i t y i s r a t h e r remarkably shown by V a s a r i ' s admiration f o r Michelangelo's Last Judgement. To subsequent eras, the p a i n t i n g has been seen as an immensely powerful, disturbed and emotional p i e c e , expressive of Michelangelo's s p i r i t u a l agonies and symptomatic of the Renaissance c r i s i s . V a s a r i , however, Michelangelo's contemporary, though he r e f e r s t o the p a i n t i n g as ""that so much 19 but never s u f f i c i e n t l y e x t o l l e d Judgment," f i n d s i t s c h i e f excellence as an "exemplar i n f o r e s h o r t e n i n g s and a l l the other 4.9 d i f f i c u l t i e s of a r t . " - I n other words, "an academic e x e r c i s e i n t r i c k drawing . . . while i t s emotional s i g n i f i c a n c e i s not spoken of a t a l l . - * * The a d m i r a t i o n , then, given to the spect-a c u l a r and marvellous l a r g e l y accounts f o r the p o p u l a r i t y of * s e t - p i e c e s * i n the a p p l i e d a r t s , with t h e i r e l a b o r a t e l y decorated f i r e p l a c e s and door-ways; of s t a i r c a s e s that took on an a r t i s t i c l i f e Independent of t h e i r f u n c t i o n ; of gardens that achieve "the impossible, the c o n t r i v e d or the unexpected;**^ 5 1 and even of the 'wetting s p o r t s ' t h a t drenched Emperor Charles V. I t was the Intermezzi, f o r example, that "showed the q u a l i t i e s of s u r p r i s e , v a r i e t y , o s t e n t a t i o u s ingenuity and e x p e r t i s e emblematic of Mannerism, and, at the r e c e i v i n g end, t h a t i n s a t i a b l e a p p e t i t e f o r the s p e c t a c u l a r which made Mannerism 52 p o s s i b l e . " Perhaps the work th a t comes c l o s e s t to Donne's e a r l y style i s Rosso's Mars and Venus of which i t has been s a i d t h a t what i t s t i m u l a t e s p o s i t i v e l y i s not b e l i e f i n a n a r r a t i v e , not the evocation of something r e a l outside i t s e l f , but f a s c i n a t i o n i n i t s e l f , i n i t s c o m p l e x i t i e s , i t s v i s u a l jokes, i t s 'tours de f o r c e ' of manipulation and technique, and i t s accumulated demonstration of a r t i s t i c capacity.\ 53 What more p r e c i s e summary could be given of "The Plea"? CHAPTER TWO E a r l i e r I spoke of the persona element i n Donne's work. I would now l i k e to take t h i s idea a stage f u r t h e r and see how i t underpins the f r e q u e n t l y noted dramatic tone and how, above a l l , i t r e v e a l s c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Mannerism. I t i s g e n e r a l l y thought t h a t when Gosse 1 looked f o r b i o g r a p h i c a l information i n the Songs and Sonnets he was on very shaky ground, f o r modern c r i t i c s tend t o regard the s t r u c t u r i n g of c e r t a i n poems as a clue to t h e i r e s s e n t i a l l y dramatic nature and conclude that the " c h a r a c t e r s w involved represent p r o j e c t i o n s of a p a r t of Donne's charac t e r . L o u i s Martz, f o r example, speaks of Donne's l i f e l o n g p r a c t i c e of "adopting dramatic postures, i n many d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s , "fas b e i n g j f h i s way of c o n s t a n t l y c r e a t i n g f i c t i o n a l r o l e s out of aspects of h i s p e r s o n a l i t y . " Sypher remarks that "however p r i v a t e h i s f e e l i n g s may be i n q u a l i t y , Donne e x p l o i t s them to gain a dramatic e f f e c t , ! * 3 w h i l e Legouis w r i t e s of "Donne's a b i l i t y to express the f e e l i n g s of others, and a l l o w us to surmise that even when the speaker i s a man he need not be the 4 poet's own s e l f . " I f , then, we can accept that "the complex p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t we c a l l 'Donne* i s created by means of a c o n t i n u a l l y s h i f t i n g s e r i e s of dramatic moments,"*5 where are these ^moments" found and how are they expressed? 21 There i s much t r u t h i n C.S. Lewis* remark that the p e c u l i a r character of "most of the Songs and Sonets i s that they are dramatic i n the sense of being addressed to an imaginary a. hearer i n the heat of an imagined conversation."° The f o u r v a l e d i c t i o n s , f o r example, are a l l addressed to a loved woman. The f a c t t h a t the women do hot r e p l y i s not important. There i s , indeed, no a c t u a l dialogue i n Donne, but the sense of a person spoken to i s caught i n the c o l l o q u i a l p h r a s i n g o f , " I ' l l t e l l thee now (deare Love) what thou s h a l t doe/to anger d e s t i n y , as she doth us," or "Let me powre forth/my teares before thy fa c e , w h i l ' s t I stay here.** I f i n t h i s l a s t poem the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l soon y i e l d s to the r a t i o c i n a t i v e , i t i s not to the e x c l u s i o n of dramatic power. I n f a c t , i t increases i t . A Shakespeare sonnet, such as " S h a l l I compare thee to a summer's day . . . ?" has a s i m i l a r addressive opening and then proceeds to b u i l d a statement of ad o r a t i o n by favourably comparing h i s m i s t r e s s w i t h things most beaut i f ul--**a summer's day," "the d a r l i n g buds of May," "the eye of heaven** and so on. The e f f e c t i s accumulative, the tone c o n s i s t e n t . Donne i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . He begins with a tender expression of g r i e f which has the tones of a verbatim conversation i n the bedroom. The mood i s t r u s t i n g and intimate and the e x p e c t a t i o n i s , by analogy w i t h the Shakespearian p a t t e r n , f o r the g r i e f of p a r t i n g to be elaborated so as b e t t e r to come to terms w i t h i t . What happens, though, i s that the overt emotionalism i s r a p i d l y changed i n t o a d i f f e r e n t mode as the mind breaks i n and 22 begins to be e x c i t e d by the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of complexity. The " t e a r e s " (1. 2) become l e s s a symbol of g r i e f than an image f o r examination. The poet i s no longer standing c r y i n g before h i s m i s t r e s s but i s , on the i n s t a n t , a b s t r a c t e d and curious about the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of v e r b a l extension i n the t e a r emblem: and there f o l l o w s an i n t r i c a t e development of ideas based on f i g u r a t i v e and l i t e r a l l e v e l s i n the language. Suddenly bored w i t h the obvious, that g r i e f causes t e a r s , Donne searches f o r an i n t e r e s t i n g f i g u r e and f i n d s the idea of coinage s u f f i c i e n t l y remote to tease and s u f f i c i e n t l y accurate to s a t i s f y the mind, f o r * 'to c o i n ' suggests the steady production of t e a r s and a l s o , rof course, t h e i r v a l u e . I f , then, they are coined, so may they a l s o be stamped, and though the l i t e r a l sense of a stamped te a r i s r i d i c u l o u s , the emotional sense of each t e a r r e f l e c t i n g h i s m i s t r e s s ' image i s of close intimacy. But the v e r b a l play works hard on the surface a t t h i s point and the l e v e l of overt f e e l i n g evoked by the f i r s t f o u r l i n e s i s suppressed by choice of "mintage" with i t s mechanical a s s o c i a t i o n s and i t s valences with coins and stamps, which i n d i c a t e that i t was chosen p r i m a r i l y f o r i t s appropriateness i n the developing c o n c e i t . Then, suddenly again, the tone s h i f t s d r a m a t i c a l l y , the i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r a i n i s dropped and i n two quiet l i n e s we r e v e r t to the i n i t i a l mood: "For thus they be/pregnant of thee" (11. 5, 6 ) . The tone i s l e s s than c o n v e r s a t i o n a l as "pregnant" 23 i s being used f i g u r a t i v e l y , but i t s a s s o c i a t i o n s are p o i g n a n t l y appropriate to the s i t u a t i o n , f o r as each t e a r , swollen w i t h her image, drops, i t s h a t t e r s the bond between them and i n a remote way forebodes h i s d e p a r t u r e — " f r u i t s of much g r i e f e they a r e , emblemes of more." The stanza ends sombrely as the new image of a " d i v e r s shore" i s introduced to extend the s e p a r a t i o n that the f a l l i n g t e ars had s t a r t e d and to draw out the g r i e f t o d e s p a i r : "so thou and I are nothing then." I s a i d e a r l i e r t h a t the drama increases a t the l i n e of d i s j u n c t i o n but the processes I have de s c r i b e d , by i n t e r r u p t i n g the progressive climax, may seem to c o n t r a d i c t t h a t . Something of what I mean, however, i s caught i n Yeats" comment on Donne when he remarks that there i s no l i n g e r i n g between s p i r i t and sense "but only a change upon the i n s t a n t , and i t i s by the p e r c e p t i o n of a change . . . t h a t passion creates i t s most v i o l e n t sensation."? In other words, the momentary s t r a i n i n g to make and appreciate the connection between, i n our case, the ingenuous emotional tones of the f i r s t two l i n e s and the s e l f -conscious i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t r o l of the next two, induces an i n t e n s i t y that heightens the o v e r a l l response to the poem. The technique i s s i m i l a r to the Jacobean dramatists" j u x t a p o s i t i o n of i r r e c o n c i l a b l e moral p o s i t i o n s f o r p u r e l y t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t . The Duke's hideous death, f o r example, i n the Revenger's Tragedy i s t h e a t r i c a l l y h o r r i f i c and t h e r e f o r e e f f e c t i v e w i t h i n that convention. But to have h i s face eaten away by poison, h i s tongue pinned to the t a b l e and h i s heart 24 stabbed w h i l e he i s watching h i s wife i n c e s t u o u s l y i n v o l v e d w i t h h i s bastard son i s m o r a l l y incommensurate with h i s own crime of k i l l i n g V i n d i c e ' s m i s t r e s s . Here too, i n the reader, there i s a s t r a i n i n g towards a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of i n c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s , but i t i s a mark of Jacobean drama that the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s remain unresolved o r , as Sypher says, "The Jacobean pla y w r i g h t s have a p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s - c o n t i n u i t y more intense than the e a r l i e r anatomy of passion fpf E l i z a b e t h a n drama andj accept two or three d i f f e r e n t s c a l es of value a t the same t i m e . " 8 Such d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s are not i s o l a t e d , nor are they i m p e r f e c t i o n s — they are a part of a recognizable s t y l e f o r i n Mannerist p a i n t i n g , drama and poetry c o n f l i c t i n g or unrelated modes of f e e l i n g and conduct are brought together side by side and l e f t u n r e c o n c i l e d , as i f one phase of a c t i v i t y had n o t i n g to do whatever w i t h another phase of a c t i v i t y i n which the same persons take p a r t . Thus the Mannerist composition employs a kind of ''para-psychology," an adjustment by d i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . 9 We see i t v i v i d l y i n E l Greco's B u r i a l of Count Orgaz where not only i s there a p h y s i c a l l i n e of faces d i v i d i n g the p i c t u r e i n two and s e p a r a t i n g the s p i r i t u a l from the temporal w i t h unusual emphasis, but i n the d e t a i l s the p i c t u r e does not cohere as would a Renaissance p a i n t i n g . The grandees do not form a group of mourners unless they mourn a p r i v a t e g r i e f , f o r each i s s e l f - w r a p t and o b l i v i o u s to h i s surroundings. The dead Count does not touch them} they cannot penetrate the s p i r i t u a l dimension ( i t i s l i t e r a l l y a t another l e v e l ) , and they do not even recognise each other: they are d i s c r e t e and 25 p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y i n s c r u t a b l e . S i m i l a r l y , the pose of the monk a t l e f t i s so mechanical t h a t he could be taken out of the p i c t u r e and put i n a new context without being more incongruous; and what of the s w i r l i n g v i s i o n of heaven? What i s the attenuated f i g u r e u r g i n g before C h r i s t w i t h an eloquence t h a t f i n d s no motive i n the p i c t u r e ? Surely not f o r the soul of the Count that r i s e s unnoticed by anyone* And what of the V i r g i n ' s pose--slouched and melancholic before C h r i s t ' s b r i l l i a n c e ? C e r t a i n l y the p i c t u r e i s fragmented i f viewed from a ' c l a s s i c a l ' standpoint and r e l i e s f o r i t s power, t h e r e f o r e , on i t s a b i l i t y to e x c i t e a s t a t e of mind a p p r e c i a t i v e of unresolved t e n s i o n . The reason why t h i s i s not absurd i s t h a t d i s j u n c t i o n provides a s a t i s f y i n g c o r r e l a t i v e to the Mannerist s e n s i b i l i t y wherein profound d i s o r i e n t a t i o n had undermined confidence i n harmonious orders, and as a r e s u l t "the strangeness and power of Mannerist a r t are i n i t s i n t e r v a l s and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s — n o t i n i t s c o - o r d i n a t i o n s . " ^ Thus to r e t u r n to "A V a l e d i c t i o n : Of Weeping? we can see what Johnson saw,but i n a new l i g h t . He s a i d of the Metaphysicals that they were "wholly employed on something unexpected and s u r p r i s i n g / they had no regard to . . . u n i f o r m i t y of s e n t i m e n t . " ^ For example, the conceit of the second stanza which develops an image of a "workeman" c o n s t r u c t i n g a globe and t h e r e f o r e g i v i n g meaning to what before was "nothing," i s a non s e q u l t u r i n terms of the expectations aroused i n the f i r s t stanza: i t i s as though, as Simon says, "Donne p r e f e r r e d 26 the b i z a r r e and unusual d e l i b e r a t e l y to puzzle or shock h i s readers." I t i s a l s o l i k e l y that Johnson was so puzzled and shocked that he refused to go the next step and discover that there i s an u n d e r l y i n g u n i f o r m i t y ; j u s t as i n E l Greco the d i s c r e t e p a r t s are held together by h i s v i s i o n a r y energy, i n T o u r n e u r the moral o p p o s i t i o n s are fused by dramatic expediency, so i n Donne the successive blocks to our expectations are f i n a l l y j u s t i f i e d by the freshness w i t h which we are able to grasp h i s meaning. Thus i n the remaining l i n e s of the stanza, Donne pla y s w i t h a p a r a l l e l c o n s t r u c t i o n as i f aware of the l e v e l s a t which he i s o p e r a t i n g . He develops equivalences between the "round b a l l " of the cartographer and the " t e a r e " of the l o v e r such that as the "round b a l l " i s l a i d w i t h "an Europe, A f r i q u e , and an A s i a , " so the ••teare'* i s imprinted w i t h h i s m i s t r e s s ' image* and as the mapping makes ''that which was nothing, a l l , " so her p i c t u r e becomes the a l l s i g n i f i c a n t emblem of g r i e f — so powerful indeed that w i t h dramatic i n t e n s i t y , i t expands the sense of ''this world" from a reference to h i s t e a r s to include the world of the conceit and thus, i n a f l a s h , l i n k s the i n t e l l e c t u a l to the emotional: the c o n t r o l l e d separation of them to t h i s p o i n t , of course, c o n t r i b u t i n g g r e a t l y to the impact of t h i s moment, f o r now g r i e f i s u n i v e r s a l i s e d and hope discouraged—'•my heaven d i s s o l v e d so.1* The f i n a l stanza s i m i l a r l y employs a new image extravagantly conceived-^of moon and t i d e s - -but i t , too, i s turned to account as i t p i c k s up the e a r l i e r 87 foreboding of death by drowning, and therefore f i n e l y i n t e n s i f i e s the v a l e d i c t i o n . "The A p p a r i t i o n " i s o f t e n c i t e d as a dramatic poem but i n so f a r as i t presents a tableau v i v a n t w i t h no development of a c t i o n and no r e a l sense of dialogue i t i s not r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Donne's s k i l l i n t h i s mode a t i t s best. A much b e t t e r example i s "The Canonisation" which, despite i t s s i n g l e e x p l i c i t v o i c e and dense argument, i s i n t e n s e l y t h e a t r i c a l . I t opens w i t h a c o l l o q u i a l e x p l e t i v e that appears to be addressed to a male f r i e n d who has j u s t mentioned something to the e f f e c t that 'love i s a l l very w e l l but i t ' s not going to get you any-where i n the world, you know.* Impatient of small-mindedness the l o v e r erupts i n a t i r a d e , i n v i t i n g c r i t i c i s m of h i s w o r l d l y d e f i c i e n c i e s , and suggesting h i s f r i e n d look to improving h i s ; anything but a n ything t"so you w i l l l e t me love.** The scene i s d e l i g h t f u l — c r i s p , energetic and convincing and l a c k s n o t h i n g but a mise en scene. At t h i s p o i n t we would expect the f r i e n d to counter, and indeed he does,by a s k i n g the unrecorded question *You*re not doing y o u r s e l f any good* but, and t h i s i s the p o i n t , not only i s the a c t u a l question suppressed but the i d e n t i t y of the speaker i s too, f o r a t no time i s he made more than a v o i c e o f f stage and i f o f f stage, then where? I t becomes apparent r a t h e r suddenly that i t i s i n f a c t we as audience that are being addressed, we who are i n t r u d i n g and being so p e t t y and m a t e r i a l i s t i c , and the e f f e c t of t h i s 28 r e a l i z a t i o n i s to s h a t t e r the comfortable dramatic i l l u s i o n whereby we are i n s u l a t e d against l i f e ' s problems by seeing them removed from us, c o n v e n t i o n a l i s e d by drama and enacted f o r our entertainment, and we are instantaneously j o l t e d i n t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the speaker which i n v o l v e s us wholly. But because our r o l e i s not made e x p l i c i t we can never be sure so we are made uncomfortable. The construct of a e s t h e t i c distance that a l l o w s us, f o r example, to see K i n g Lear without going mad, here f l u c t u a t e s maddeningly u n t i l the very b a s i s of our stance, the nature of our r e a l i t y i s c a l l e d i n question. Thus, the e f f e c t i s to make us inv o l v e ourselves i n the e s s e n t i a l l y s e r i o u s d i s c u s s i o n of love that the poem presents, both by reading the poem as statement and by being i n the poem as cha r a c t e r . In the same way we f i n d the p e c u l i a r l y Mannerist c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Sprecher inducing the same s t a t e of response i n c e r t a i n p a i n t i n g s . Hauser said that Mannerism permits--and of t e n a c t u a l l y c a l l s f o r — o c c a s i o n a l ' i n t e r r u p t i o n s of the i l l u s i o n of a r t and r e t u r n to i t at plea s u r e . P l a y w i t h d i f f e r e n t aspects and a t t i t u d e s , w i t h f i c t i t i o u s f e e l i n g s and ' d e l i b e r a t e s e l f - d e c e p t i o n ' i s i n Mannerism, so c l e a r l y a s s ociated w i t h a r t i s t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n as to seem to be t o t a l l y i r r e c o n c i l a b l e w i t h the conceptions of c l a s s i c a l a e s t h e t i c s . 13 Many such " i n t e r r u p t i o n s of the i l l u s i o n of a r t " can be c i t e d : the unnerving s t a r e of the middle woman i n Pontormo's V i s i t a t i o n . - that ignores the g r e e t i n g between Mary and El i z a b e t h , upstaging them by h o l d i n g our eye; the r e a l i s a t i o n i n 29 Velasquez' Maids of Honour that we are i n the same place as the Icing and queen, th a t i t i s us being painted or a t l e a s t a t whom Velasquez i s l o o k i n g ; i n T i n t o r e t t o ' s P r e s e n t a t i o n of  the V i r g i n , where the man i n the lower l e f t corner runs at us, h i s hand outstretched to p u l l us along, yet simultaneously t w i s t s h i s head back to see the V i r g i n . The e f f e c t i s f o r our a t t e n t i o n to be f i x e d on h i s impetus out of the p i c t u r e , yet to be d i r e c t e d a l s o to the f o c a l p o i n t w i t h i n the p i c t u r e ; "The planes of r e a l i t y , - " to use Sypher's phrase, s h i f t and we are l e f t i n somewhat u n c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n to the p a i n t i n g . Perhaps the c l e a r e s t example i s to be found i n E l Greco's B u r i a l of Count Orgaz again. Here the d o l e f u l page i s unique i n h i s a b s o r p t i o n , f o r a l l the other characters, e q u a l l y s e l f -possessed, remain impenetrable; h i s thoughts, though, are on us as he catches our eye and p o i n t s to the Count as i f to reduce our p s y c h o l o g i c a l distance and evoke our immediate sympathy. This s u r e l y i s c l o s e l y analogous to what Donne i s doing i n "The Canonisation" where, to r e t u r n to our a n a l y s i s , we f i n d that the technique of the anonymous i n t e r r o g a t o r e f f e c t i v e l y , i f t e n t a t i v e l y , draws us i n t o the a c t i o n o f the poem. At the end of the second stanza, f o r example, a f t e r a barrage of questions, the pause of the " i n t e r - s t a n z a * ^ 4 i s f i l l e d by a derogatory remark and i t i s we that make, i t , The f a c t that the l o v e r does not r i s e to i t is- beside the p o i n t — " c a l l us what you w i l l " he says, and continues to 3G describe h i s l o v e * What i s to the p o i n t i s tha t we are d i s o r i e n t e d by being both i n s i d e and outside the poem, our r e l a t i o n to o b j e c t i v e m a t e r i a l becomes u n c e r t a i n , f l u i d , we might say, i n a way that r e f l e c t s the much broader d i s l o c a t i o n s that Hauser de s c r i b e s when he says of Bruno that he extends the p r i n c i p l e of r e l a t i v i t y to space, time, and g r a v i t y . . . a c c o r d i n g to which e v e r y t h i n g depends on the observer's standpoint . . . . J u s t as the h o r i z o n moves w i t h the observer, and every other point i n space i s r e l a t i v e to the observer's p o s i t i o n , so does the universe look d i f f e r e n t , depending on whether i t i s observed from the e a r t h , the moon, or any other heavenly body . . . . Once more he i s expressing the.fundamental Mannerist f e e l i n g that there i s no f i r m ground anywhere under one's f e e t . 15 Such u n c e r t a i n t y leads us i n t o another sphere of Mannerist consciousness, t y p i f i e d by Sypher as being a k i n to the J e s u i t p r a c t i c e of c a s u i s t r y whereby "the u n c e r t a i n t i e s and f l e x i b i l i t i e s i n the Mannerist world, which r e q u i r e d a p l i a b l e and p r o v i s i o n a l law of pro and co n t r a , l i k e the a g i l e l o g i c i n Donne," 1 6 are submitted to an i n d i v i d u a l conscience o p e r a t i n g i n the l i g h t of the p a r t i c u l a r , not general, circumstances: "the Mannerist conscience accept(s] a p r i n c i p l e of ind e t e r m i n a t i o n , 17 f o r a l l r a t i o s and proportions become p r o v i s i o n a l , " the expedient j u s t i f i e s the motive* the means the end. This i s to say that where absolute concepts have l o s t t h e i r a u t h o r i t y , a mode of thought emerges th a t c o n s t r u c t s an order by reference to c o n t i n g e n c i e s ; that r e s i s t s chaos by i t s a g i l i t y i n pre s e n t i n g p l a u s i b l e p a t t e r n s ; that s a l v e s conscience by opportunism. That t h i s has an a r t i s t i c counterpart can be seen very c l e a r l y 31 i n Shakespeare's Measure f o r Measure which E.K. Chambers saw 1 ft as an expression of "the poet's s h i f t i n g outlook upon humanity." A O And i n the s h i f t i n g , the balances that c o n t a i n As You L i k e I t , f o r example, are upset. The i d e a l of absolute j u s t i c e i s parodied by the a c t i o n . Though Angelo may s a y , " I t i s the law, not I , condemns your brother,** 1 9 we know the law i s i n c o n s i s t e n t by reference to the Duke's l a x regime, we know i t i s p l i a b l e by reference to Angelo*s own double standards that can excuse h i m s e l f and c o n v i c t Claudio f o r comparable behaviour; so we know* t h e r e f o r e , that h i s speech i s nothing more than a v e r b a l a d j u s t -ment to evade a moral issue and uphold a facade of l e g a l i t y . The facade i s necessary too, f o r Angelo has no other standards of j u s t i c e — h e i s m o r a l l y a d r i f t — s o he c l u t c h e s a t the appearance of j u s t i c e to s a t i s f y the demands of the moment. What m i t i g a t e s h i s c a l l o u s n e s s , though, i s that h i s a c t i o n s are of a piece w i t h the moral ethos of the p l a y . The •good* Duke i s no l e s s i n c o n s i s t e n t and even more cowardly, f o r h i s s h u t t l i n g d i s g u i s e s , h i s evasion of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and h i s almost i n c r e d i b l e remission of Angelo*s sentence to s a t i s f y a whim, r e f l e c t a personal v i s i o n of j u s t i c e t h a t has l i t t l e to do w i t h a systematic m o r a l i t y — i t has to do w i t h c a p r i c e , f a c e - s a v i n g , hypocrisy and c o n c i l i a t i o n . The character o f I s a b e l l a , more than any other, p e r s o n i f i e s the Mannerist a r t of accommodation f o r she i s so devious as to convince h e r s e l f that she i s v i r t u o u s . For though she says she would l i k e M a more s t r i c t r e s t r a i n t / u p o n the s i s t e r s ' * 32 of S t . C l a r e ( I : 4, 4-5), what she does i s to marry the Duke whose, "so b r i n g us to our palace?' (V: 1, 535) at the end opens out the prospect of a w o r l d l y e x i s t e n c e f o r h i s Duchess, a prospect she accepts without q u e s t i o n . In f a c t , her r e l i g i o u s v o c a t i o n i s s i l e n t l y dropped from thought as she busies h e r s e l f i n the world. Her m i s s i o n i s indeed n o b l e — to intercede f o r her brother's l i f e — b u t what of her commission? On her f i r s t i n t e r v i e w w i t h Angelo she makes su b t l e d i s t i n c t i o n s between the s i n and the s i n n e r ( I I : 2, 34-36) which having been p r o p e r l y r e j e c t e d , she prepares to leave and forsake her brother's cause. Her seemingly ingenuous f a i t h i n J u s t i c e a t t h i s p o i n t i s nothing l e s s than l a c k of r e s o l v e , f o r , urged by L u c i o , she soon shows a grasp of a l t e r n a t i v e arguments ( I I : 2, 48-50). We begin to f e e l that her c h i e f i n t e r e s t i s i n p r e s e r v i n g appearances—of c h a r i t y , and l a t e r of c h a s t i t y ^ -to the e x c l u s i o n of o v e r a l l c onsistency and f o r her own p r o t e c t i o n . Thus when she appeals to Angelo that i n upholding a p r i n c i p l e of law he i s "too c o l d " ( I I : 2, 56), that he should apply mercy ( I I : 2, 63) and p i t y ( I I : 2, 100), she i s speaking according to the p r i n c i p l e s of C h r i s t i a n c h a r i t y . Yet when her own c h a s t i t y i s threatened she i s able to a d j u s t these values so competently that when she says she would r a t h e r die than y i e l d to Angelo ( I I : 4, 99-103), we are tempted to b e l i e v e her. I t i s not u n t i l we r e a l i s e that the very v i r t u e s she had pleaded so e l o q u e n t l y f o r are the f i r s t to be 33 discarded (when i t i s she who i s i n jeopardy) that we see her as a shrewd p r i g i n thus c a s t i n g o f f Glaudio: Then, I s a b e l l i v e chaste, and brother, d i e ; More than our brother i s our c h a s t i t y . ( I I : 4, 183-184) I f we add to t h i s her l i e s i n the name of revenge ( V : l , 104), and her ingenious argument that e f f e c t i v e l y promotes Angelo's innocence, we are unable to b e l i e v e that I s a b e l l a i s the true s a i n t , the upholder of C h r i s t i a n v a l u e s 2 ? n a decadent world. She i s expedient and cunning and so w e l l adapted to a universe where values c o n t r a d i c t without r e s o l u t i o n that she i s able to accommodate them a l l and turn them to her advantage. And so to Donne. "The Canonisation" was probably w r i t t e n d u r i n g the period between Donne's marriage (1601), and 1605 when he moved to Mitcham and began to work f o r M o r t o n . 2 1 I t was a time of s e c l u s i o n , Helen Gardner surmises, and a time of i n t e n s i v e reading when he i s c e r t a i n to have thought long about the nature of l o v e , a love that i n p r a c t i c a l terms had so r e c e n t l y ruined h i s chances of w o r l d l y success and i n i n t e l l e c t u a l terms had been s t i m u l a t e d by h i s readings i n the N e o - p l a t o n i s t s . 2 2 U n d e r l y i n g a l l h i s t h i n k i n g , of course, was C h r i s t i a n teaching on love with i t s complex patterns of transcendence, a s c e t i c i s m , s a c r i f i c e and worship against which h i s L a t i n readings i n Ovid and P r o p e r t i u s sorted oddly. The matter was overwhelmingly complicated; yet, to the extent t h a t he had to come to terms w i t h i t i n 34 order to make major d e c i s i o n s about the course and d i r e c t i o n of h i s l i f e , i t was p r e s s i n g l y urgent that he should t r y to re s o l v e the c o n f l i c t s that presented themselves. The fundamental c o n f l i c t appeared as the t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n between m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l , temporal and e t e r n a l , e a r t h l y and d i v i n e c l a i m s , f o r Donne could not a l l o w the evidence of h i s senses to be annulled by the schoolmen's mysbgyny, nor e x e r c i s e s of h i s so u l to be explained away by s e n s u a l i t y -d i f f e r e n t t r u t h s e x i s t e d , they o f t e n appeared c o n t r a d i c t o r y : h i s c r e a t i v e r o l e was to attempt a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . I t i s ag a i n s t t h i s background that I think ''The Canonisation " must be set i f i t i s to be understood,for i t i s , despite i t s w i t t y s l l c k n e s s , i t s c o l l o q u i a l i s m s and i n i t i a l b l u s t e r , an ; i n t e n s e l y s e r i o u s poem that attempts to face and u n i t e d i f f e r e n t concepts of l o v e . The l a t e r poems r e q u i r e that we go beyond Mario Praz* comment that Donne uses imagery p u r e l y as a " ' b a r r i s t e r * s s p e c i a l pleading, [for] . . . p r a c t i c a l r a t h e r than s p e c u l a t i v e reasons, such reasons as d i s p l a y i n g an e x e r c i s e of wit . . . at usi n g and showing h i s d i a l e c t i c a l s k i l l . 1 " 2 3 T h i s remains true of nihe F l e a " but i n "The Canonisation" other concerns become apparent, I f , then, we take the p o l a r i t y of m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l v alues to define the poem's extremesj how does Donne accommodate them w i t h i n f o r t y - f i v e l i n e s ? The poem, as we have seen, begins b o i s t e r o u s l y with<a demand f o r p r i v a c y so tha t the speaker can l o v e without 35 i n t e r f e r e n c e . We judge the love to be romantic and p h y s i c a l by the passionate v i g o u r of the e x p o s t u l a t i o n which runs through the verse without pause u n t i l the semi-colon a f t e r "contemplate," and then i t i s as though he only stops to draw breath f o r a f i n a l exasperated diamissal--"what you w i l l , approve,/so you w i l l l e t me love.* 1 The verse gives an immediate sense of. spontaneity as though the pressure of thought created a form most s u i t a b l e to i t s demands: the dramatic outburst i n the f i r s t l i n e whose three rhythmic s t r e s s e s on "Go'dsake," "tongue,* and " l o v e " dominate the l i n e and make t r a d i t i o n a l scansion seem pedantic; the short s a r c a s t i c phrases that f o l l o w w i t h t h e i r random mention of p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t i e s give a sense of quick i n v e n t i o n , and the short sentences-r "take you a course,/get you a p l a c e * — a r e s y n t a c t i c a l l y underplayed by being run on w i t h only a comma between them to give the e f f e c t of snorts of d e r i s i o n , r a t h e r than grammatically c o r r e c t and cooUy issued advice. Thus, thought and form are one i n r e b u f f i n g the w o r l d l y i n t e r e s t that t r i e s to counsel i l l i c i t love i n t o more acceptable channels,and i n so strenuously defending h i s p o s i t i o n , the l o v e r makes i t q u i t e c l e a r how s u p e r i o r he considers h i s love to the crass values suggested by "a course,1 "a p l a c e , " court attendance and s u b j e c t i o n to those two r u l e r s , King and c o i n ( l . 17). Indeed, the mood of "The Sunne Rising'* i s caught i n h i s complete r e j e c t i o n of a l l things e x t e r n a l to h i s l o v e : 36 ••She i s a l l S t a t e s , and a l l P r i n c e s , I,/Nothing e l s e i s . * * And not only does he repudiate the world hut shows h i s independence of r e l i g i o u s values i n the i n i t i a l blasphemy and i n h i s sardonic use "contemplate** (1. 8) to describe the c o u r t i e r ' s progress, when i n the seventeenth century i t had 24 such c l e a r r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s . • I t i s part of Donne's a r t to have foreshadowed the r e l i g i o u s element of the l a t t e r h a l f of the poem i n such an a n t i t h e t i c a l way, f o r there we are encouraged to value the r e l i g i o u s imagery, here to devalue i t , so that the sense of extreme p o s i t i o n s i s c o n s t a n t l y s t i m u l a t e d . The second stanza f u r t h e r intrenches h i s i s o l a t i o n i s m , r e i n f o r c i n g h i s defense of perhaps the same bedroom where even the sun was a busy i n t r u d e r (*!The Sunne Bising**) and the room "an everywhere* (""The Good-Morrow**). H i s a t t i t u d e to the Petrarchan c l i c h e s i s e s s e n t i a l l y c y n i c a l and by mocking t h e i r extravagance he strengthens the r e a l i t y of h i s own l o v e , "What merchant ships have my sighs drown'd?" And put l i k e that i t i s impossible not to agree wi t h him that h i s love i s harmless enough. Thus we see tha t the f i r s t two stanzas e s t a b l i s h f i r m l y the sense of a man vehemently defending h i s r i g h t to love a woman and, though I t i s not e x p l i c i t , the busybody i n t e r l o c u t o r and the "heats" and " c o l d s " suggest that the love i s a l s o i l l i c i t , i n which case he i s a l s o defending h i s r i g h t to break s o c i a l conventions when love lis h i s guide. G e n e r a l l y , the tone i s c o n s i s t e n t , the 37 love p h y s i c a l , the s t y l e v i g o r o u s . So f a r there i s no more than the s l i g h t e s t adumbration of l a t e r changes, and we are prepared to accept the poem as a eulogy of earth-bound l o v e , i n the same way as we accept "The Sunne R i s i n g . n I t i s i n the t h i r d stanza, though, that a process of transformation begins which manoeuvres the poem around t i l l the c e l e b r a t i o n of the t e r r e s t r i a l (and immoral) i s s a n c t i f i e d by reference to the c e l e s t i a l — t i l l , t h a t i s , Donne has brought together the two extremes and by the most ingenious adjustments has apparently r e c o n c i l e d them. Thus, the speaker, a f t e r shrugging o f f the i n t e r l o c u t o r - (1. 19), presents a run of images to express the nature of h i s l o v e . The f i r s t , t hat of the " f l y e " was "to the Renaissance mind the . . . standard example of both ephemerality and u n b r i d l e d s e x u a l i t y , " 2 5 and to t h a t extent i t c o i n c i d e s w i t h the tone of the f i r s t two stanzas. The second image, too, pursues that l i n e , f o r the taper consumes i t s e l f i n i t s own f i r e as the l o v e r s " d i e " by p a s s i o n . The e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the image r e q u i r e s the pun on " d i e " which i n seventeenth-century usage meant sexual orgasm, each instance of which shortened l i f e by a day. Thus the l o v e r s consummate t h e i r love a t t h e i r own "cost r*--a word used w i t h nice i r o n y as i t borrows the language of the m a t e r i a l i s t i c enquirer but i s turned to the speaker's own emotional uses. However, despite the c l e a r r e l a t i o n of t h i s l i n e (1. 21) to what has gone before, i n small ways i t shows signs of the t r a n s i t i o n : the taper t h a t i s consumed i n i t s 38 own f i r e a n t i c i p a t e s the phoenix image which f o l l o w s and the d i f f e r e n c e between the two i s i n s t r u c t i v e , f o r the r e s u r r e e t i v e powers of the phoenix sets o f f the purely d e s t r u c t i v e f u n c t i o n of the taper so t h a t w h i l e an image of v i g o u r , i t i s made by i m p l i c a t i o n , a l s o an image of incompletlon. P h y s i c a l love i s not e v e r y t h i n g : the l o v e r has been saying i t i s . The s h i f t has begun. F u r t h e r m o r e , these seeds of u n c e r t a i n t y throw a new emphasis on " d i e " (1. 21) and we see i t f o r a moment i n i t s s t a r k and simple sense. The l o v e r s approach death; what then? I s t h e i r e a r t h l y b l i s s s u f f i c i e n t to give them confidence i n the face of death? By p l a c i n g the word, as i f humorously, i n t h i s l i n e he i s , i n f a c t , beginning a s e r i o u s a n a l y s i s of death i n r e l a t i o n to l i f e and l o v e . Thus, i n summing up the Phoenix image he w r i t e s , "wee dye and r i s e the same, and prove/mysterious by t h i s l o v e . " Here again "dye and r i s e " can be taken s e x u a l l y but i t i s a f o r c e d pun f o r s e x u a l i t y has been e f f e c t i v e l y n e u t r a l i s e d i n the preceding l i n e (-tone n e u t r a l thing'*) and the conventional seriousness of the Phoenix emblem makes i t an u n l i k e l y reading. I t was " f o r the Middle Ages and the Renaissance . . . an emblem of C h r i s t and of the d o c t r i n e of the R e s u r r e c t i o n , " and so the phrase r e l i e s most h e a v i l y on t h i s sense, e s p e c i a l l y as the love that the Phoenix embodies i s "mysterious," l i k e the mystery of the R e s u r r e c t i o n . What i s more, a s h i f t i n tone i s i n d i c a t e d by h i s handling o f the images. 39 The second stanza plays with the Petrarchan metaphors as though they are worn-out tags suitable only to express his scorn. The images of "eagle" and "dove*?, though, are set in an uncomplicated clause that merely states a fact. The straightforwardness and the complementary balance provided by strength (eagle) and tenderness (dove) give the impression of a deliberative mind at work as opposed to the rhodomontade of the earlier verses. Similarly, in the Phoenix image, when the two lovers become ••one" (1. 24) and "so, to one neutrall thing both sexes f i t * (1. 25), the associations include the world of Neo-platonic philosophy wherein souls combine in an ecstasy of intimacy. It is sufficient only to make that allusion to realise that the frame of reference of the poem is subtly broadening and deepening away from the original worldly setting, and we are entering an area of thought where religion and philosophy set the tone. Thus, when the fourth stanza begins "wee can dye by i t , i f not liv e by love? (I. 28), the contrast with " l i v e * clearly indicates cessation of l i f e as the primary reading, a sense which "tombes,* •hearse," "urne,*• and "ashes" reinforce by establishing a gravity of subject and tone. Despite the fact that building "sonnets" in ^pretty roomes* puns on the Italian for room (stanza), a pun is no disqualification of seriousness in Donne—*when thou has done, thou has not done,/for I have more" he writes in the "Hymne to God the 40 Father,** one of h i s l a s t d e v o t i o n a l p i e c e s . Rather, the somewhat f a r - f e t c h e d nature of the "roomes" pun e f f e c t i v e l y attunes the mind to the i n t e l l e c t u a l a t t e n t i o n that the stanza r e q u i r e s ©f i t , f o r c o m p l e x i t i e s of the transformation process are here c o n s i d e r a b l e . The l o v e r , to paraphrase, says t h a t i f the h i s t o r y of t h e i r love a f f a i r i s u n f i t f o r an epitaph i t w i l l a t l e a s t make the subject o f a sonnet. However, he speaks very f a s t i d i o u s l y , f o r he makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between types of h i s t o r i e s , such as the "legend*' ora? s a i n t ' s l i f e , and the " c h r o n i c l e , " or record of h i s t o r i c a l events. To t h i s p o i n t , despite the gradual deepening of ref e r e n c e s , there has been no suggestion that the l o v e r s are anything but e a r t h l y l o v e r s who, i n t h e i r highest moments experience a kind of ecstasy (Phoenix image). Now, though, by p o i n t i n g out t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , and a l s o by j u x t a p o s i n g the pompous " h a l f - a c r e tombes* (with a l l t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n s of w o r l d l y v a n i t y ) , a g a i n s t the " w e l l wroughte urne" (with i t s suggestions of the engraved v e s s e l f o r a s a i n t ' s r e l i c s ) , Donne i s a l l o w i n g the reader the appearance of choice. I t i s as though the l o v e r s ' h i s t o r y may be recorded i n e i t h e r sacred or s e c u l a r verse, and the reader i s f r e e to think i n terms of e i t h e r , as h i s response to the f i r s t three stanzas w i l l guide him. In t h i s way the p o l a r tension i s maintained and the reader i s made to f e e l as though he i s i n a p o s i t i o n to judge f r e e l y . But t h i s disarming manoeuvre i s immensely 41 s k i l f u l f o r i t permits the poet, i n t h a t moment of good f a i t h , t o manipulate a p a t t e r n of words th a t f o r c e the i s s u e . Thus, beneath the neat p a r a l l e l i s m of " l e g e r i i / c h r o n i c l e , " "urne/tombe," we see another metamorphosis emerging as Averse" (Iv 30) i s re-phrased as "sonnets? (1. 32). Now, sonnets i n Donne*s time f r e e l y meant songs, and songs a n t i c i p a t e the "hymnes" of l i n e 35. P o s s i b l y even the f a c t that hymns are o f t e n sung i n canon d i s t a n t l y anticipates, a t a p u r e l y v e r b a l l e v e l , the Imminent c a n o n i s a t i o n , but c e r t a i n l y the s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n of the hymn i s f e l t . What i s more, by reading the "urne" as synonymous w i t h the "sonnets,** we n o t i c e a f u r t h e r reinforcement of the t r a n s i t i o n process i n that the "ashes" confer s a n c t i t y upon the "urne" ( i . e . sonnet hymns) by being both s a i n t l y r e l i c s and by r e f e r r i n g us back to the Phoenix. Thus t o move from the s i n g i n g of hymns that p r a i s e the dead l o v e r s , t o an acceptance of t h e i r c a n o n i c a l s t a t u s comes as no great shock as hymns and s a i n t s are of a k i n d . Quite c l e a r l y we had no option but to come to t h i s c o n c l u s i o n although we would have thought i t impossible from the f i r s t two stanzas. The success of the manoeuvre r e l i e s on p a r t i a l l y concealed correspondences between d i f f e r e n t senses of words which accumulate s u f f i c i e n t i n f l u e n c e to support what would e l s e be extravagant. The mode of persuasion i s not l o g i c a l ; i t i s a s s o c i a t i v e and we are convinced of a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of opposites l a r g e l y by our i n a b i l i t y to r e f u t e the . :"' f u s i o n . But there i s , however, a r e s i d u a l 42 uneasiness about the process that has to dp w i t h i t s s l i c k n e s s , i t s v e r b a l legerdemain. I t i s the same r e s e r v a t i o n we hold when the conjuror's stooge i s cut i n h a l f w i t h such r e a l i t y . We h e s i t a t e to d i s c r e d i t our eyes but we know we must, f o r we know that appearances are being manipulated f o r e f f e c t . And j u s t as i n Measure f o r Measure we saw how I s a b e l l a saved appearances and sought momentary r a t h e r than permanent r e s o l u t i o n s to her dilemmas, so here Donne i s i n the process of doing the impossible by de f t adjustments of language, which f o r the moment b r i n g together the e a r t h l y and d i v i n e poles of l o v e . I t i s , however, part of Donne's technique not to a l l o w us time to prepare o b j e c t i o n s , f o r having s u c c e s s f u l l y introduced the idea of r e l i g i o u s love he hastens to e x p l o i t i t . Thus a f t e r the period c l o s e s the f o u r t h stanza, he begins the f i f t h w i t h the c o - o r d i n a t i n g conjunction "and'* as though "thus invoke US'* were a main clause b a l a n c i n g the • • a l l s h a l l approve . . .'* clau s e . There i s s t r u c t u r a l enjambement, t h e r e f o r e , that o v e r r i d e s the end-stopped punctuation and e f f e c t i v e l y sweeps the argument through to the i n v o c a t i o n , which proceeds as though the matter of r e l i g i o u s love has never been i n qu e s t i o n . I n other words, the speaker c l e v e r l y accepts h i s own p l a u s i b l e conclusions i n order to co n s o l i d a t e h i s success i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a r e l i g i o u s r e f e r e n c e . He continues then, w i t h complete confidence 43 t h a t our c r e d i b i l i t y i s unshaken, to broaden the base of r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n . The l o v e r s are now dead and we a l l u d e back to l i n e 28 (•'Wee can dye by i t , i f not l i v e by l o v e " ) , to r e a l i s e t h a t i n the l i g h t of the i n t e r v e n i n g l i n e s t h i s death has taken on the g l o r i e s of martyrdom, as volun t a r y death f o r love i s the m a r t y r 1 s hope. Thus, martyrs and s a i n t s , the l o v e r s are invoked i n prayer. At t h i s point the d e l i c a t e t r a n s i t i o n a l work has been done and the prayer p a r a l l e l s the f i r s t two stanzas i n being unambiguous i n tone: i t assumes P l a t o n i c love i n i t s s t r i c t e s t sense whereby they love each other, not f o r themselves alone but f o r God i n them...(!> 37, 38), and sets t h e i r b l i s s f u l union a g a i n s t the rage and decay of earth-bound love (1. 39). I t then commends t h e i r i n s i g h t which saw i n epitome the q u i n t e s s e n t i a l nature of the world (1. 40-44), and ends by i m p l o r i n g the l o v e r s to beg of God that He r e v e a l to men as a paradigm to emulate,that i d e a l p a t t e r n incarnated by the l o v e r s . This prose statement shows how u n i f i e d i s the v o i c e and how c o n s i s t e n t the reference i n the l a s t stanza: we are i n a r e l i g i o u s s e t t i n g ('•reverent? "hermitage,** the prayer) and Neo-platonism appears as the t h e o l o g i c a l / p h i l o s o p h i c a l base. 2 8 Our d i s c u s s i o n so f a r has given every i n d i c a t i o n that the accommodation process i s s u c c e s s f u l l y completed, but there are signs that i t i s not so-—that the balance of the poem set up by two verses e a r t h l y , and two verses t r a n s i t i o n a l , demands two verses D i v i n e . The attempt to make up by compression 44 what i s l o s t by length leads t o o b s c u r i t y , e s p e c i a l l y as the form h i s •'spontaneous" outburst (verse one) p r e s c r i b e d i s very demanding. Not only does **love" begin and end each verse,, but I t rhymes w i t h i n each verse as w e l l . Thus, where love i s A, we have A b b A c c c A A. Once e s t a b l i s h e d , the t r i p l e rhyming c's and the changing o c t o s y l l a b i c and d e c a s y l l a b i c l i n e s form a ,» r i g i d p a t t e r n to maintain and w h i l e f u l f i l l e d s c h e m a t i c a l l y , the f i n a l verse shows signs of considerable compression. The f i r s t f o u r l i n e s proceed f l u e n t l y , but the c o n c e i t of the "worlds s o u l e " d r i v e n i n t o the l o v e r s ' eyes slowly founders. The energy r e l e a s e d i n "drove" i s checked by "so" which means here, "which i n t h i s way" were "made such m i r r o r s , and such s p i e s " (1. 42). I n the same l i n e (42), the strong caesura a f t e r " m i r r o r s " again a r r e s t s the f l o w which should have the confident movement of a dramatic monologue sweeping to a convincing c o n c l u s i o n , but i t seems to f a l t e r . The f o l l o w i n g l i n e , **that they d i d a l l to you epitomize," i n p r e s e n t i n g a run of monosyllables, does not e a s i l y r e s o l v e into a rhythmic p a t t e r n , e s p e c i a l l y as the p l a c i n g of both the d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t o b j e c t s before the verb i s momentarily d i s t r a c t i n g . Though i t may be argued that the d i s p l a c i n g " a l l * ' draws a t t e n t i o n to i t and therefore emphasises i t s sense of the A l l , the U n i v e r s e , 2 9 (which i s important i n f u l f i l l i n g the epitome image), i t does leave the grammatical f u n c t i o n of " C o u n t r i e s , Townes, Courts" i n temporary doubt as, being nouns i n o p p o s i t i o n , 45 they are separated from t h e i r reference,which i s awkward. As i f aware of h i s crabbed s t y l e a t t h i s stage Donne a b r u p t l y stops the image, without, I t h i n k , making h i s p o i n t as c l e a r l y as he wished and without having the space to expand. What he i s saying i s that the l o v e r s , i n being s a n c t i f i e d , hallow a l l they look upon. Thus as the world appears i n epitome, or i n microcosm as an image i n t h e i r e y e b a l l s , so t h a t world as macrocosm i s blessed. Furthermore, as the e y e b a l l i s i t s e l f a globe i t s r e c e p t i o n of the "worlds soule" confers an e s s e n t i a l s p i r i t u a l value to that other g l o b e — t h e world at l a r g e . Even a prose enlargement i s densely packed and the r e d u c t i o n s t i l l f u r t h e r i n t o Donne's four l i n e s i s almost r e d u c t i o n to the absurd. That Donne f e l t the c o n s t r i c t i o n i s shown i n the gasp f o r a i r one. has to take a t the colon a f t e r "Courts," and i n the way i n which "Beg from above/a patterne of your l o v e " f o l l o w s i n a rush a f t e r the explosive "B" (of Beg) and exhausts i t s e l f q u i c k l y i n an exclamation p o i n t . However, de s p i t e the a r t i s t i c inadequacy of these l i n e s i t i s q u i t e c l e a r what Donne was attempting to do i n the l a s t stanza--to c o n s o l i d a t e the s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n to which the l o v e r s had a t t a i n e d and thereby to forge a l i n k between love temporal and love e t e r n a l - - t o bridge a gap between the i r r e c o n c i l a b l e . I f we r e f e r back to what I s a i d e a r l i e r about the b i o g r a p h i c a l circumstances of t h i s poem (as f a r as they can be known) and t h e i r i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t i t should be read 46 as a serio u s attempt to r e s o l v e these o p p o s i t i o n s , then we can see that by c a s t i n g the poem i n t o a dramatic mold, and by u s i n g us as a p a r t i c i p a t i n g audience, he i s able to t e s t the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of h i s persuasion. I f we are unconvinced the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s d e f e c t i v e . Thus the l o v e r (a Donne persona) must compel by h i s suasive argument,for he has invested every s u b t l e t y i n t o f u s i n g the two p o l e s . As we have seen though, that whilfe appearances are saved, an examination and a r e c o g n i t i o n of h i s manipulative s k i l l go to show tha t the problem i s not f i n a l l y r e s o l v e d * There remains a p o l a r t e n s i o n and a l l we can say (to paraphrase Sypher) i s that the s t r a i n w i t h i n the mannerist conscience and i n Donne's s e n s i b i l i t y i s reduced by h i s w i t , h i s j u g g l i n g w i t h c o n t r a r i e s , h i s " t a k i n g advantage of the doubt i n the e l l i p t i c a l , s h u t t l i n g system of t h i n g s " and h i s accommodations; 3 0 but he i s unable to a f f i r m a splendid marriage of heaven and e a r t h . CHAPTER THREE In r e a d i n g E l i z a b e t h a n songs and sonnets, we may note t h e i r d i v e r s i t y ; how Wyatt's " p l a i n s t y l e " 1 d i f f e r s from the aureate manner of Spenser's Amorettiff how the i n s i s t e n t a l l i t e r a t i o n s and rambling p o u l t e r ' s measures i n A Gorgeous G a l l e r y of  G a l l a n t Inventions (1575) contrast w i t h the f i n e l y c o n t r o l l e d v e r b a l music of Sidney's A s t r o p h i l and S t e l l a ; and how the convention of the i d e a l i s e d woman can e l i c i t from Spenser, sonnet LXIY and from Shakespeare, sonnet CXXX; but on the whole we are more impressed by a sameness i n the l y r i c v o i c e as the melody changes but the harmony stays the same. I do not wish to labour the metaphor but i n so f a r as i t i m p l i e s a u n i f y i n g element that holds the v a r i o u s v o i c e s together, i t s . sense i s important, f o r E l i z a b e t h a n verse, a t l e a s t u n t i l the 1590* s-,is c h a r a c t e r i s e d by fundamentally s i m i l a r assumptions, some account of which should be g i v e n . I t was, as G.S. Lewis puts i t , the "Golden Age" 2 of the E n g l i s h Renaissance wherein the i d e a l o f an ordered universe was p o w e r f u l l y upheld f o r the l a s t time before the eighteenth century. "One can say d o g m a t i c a l l y , " says E.M.W, T i l l y a r d , " that i t was s t i l l s o l i d l y t h e o c e n t r i c , " 3 and though l e s s d o 0 u a t i c a l l y , one can say geoicentric too. The great models 48 of the Middle Ages—p-the Chain of Being, the Correspondence of Planes, and the Dance of the U n i v e r s e — s t i l l held powerful emotional i n f l u e n c e s on the way people thought: above a l l , order stood as the key concept i n t h e i r world view. Without order there would be chaos which t& the E l i z a b e t h a n mind meant "the cosmic anarchy before c r e a t i o n and . . • wholesale d i s s o l u t i o n . " 4 Thus we f i n d i n the l i t e r a t u r e a d i d a c t i c and s t y l i s t i c i n s i s t e n c e on degree, harmony and balance. We see i t given f u l l e x p r e s s i o n i n Shakespeare's T r o i l u s and C r e s s l d a where Ulysses speaks o f The heavens themselves, the p l a n e t s , and t h i s centre Observe degree p r i o r i t y and place I n s i s t i i r e course p r o p o r t i o n season form O f f i c e and custom, i n a l l l i n e of order; And therefore i s the g l o r i o u s planet S o l I n noble eminence enthron'd and spher'd Amidst the other, whose medtelnable eye C o r r e c t s the i l l aspects of planets e v i l And posts l i k e the commandment of a K i n g , Sans check, to good and bad. But when the p l a n e t s I n e v i l mixture to d i s o r d e r wander, What plagues and what p o r t e n t s , what mutiny, What raging of the sea, shaking of e a r t h , Commotion i n the winds, f r i g h t s changes h o r r o r s , D i v e r t and c r a c k , rend and deracinate The u n i t y and married calm of s t a t e s Quite from t h e i r f i x u r e . . . Take but degree away, untune that s t r i n g , And hark, what d i s c o r d f o l l o w s . Each t h i n g meets In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters Should l i f t t h e i r bosoms higher than the shores And make a sop of t h i s s o l i d globe. Strength should be l o r d to i m b e c i l i t y , And the rude son should s t r i k e the f a t h e r dead. This chaos, when degree i s s u f f o c a t e , Follows the choking. ( I : 3, 85-126) Spenser's Hymn of Love described c r e a t i o n when God took the warring elements and 49 . . . tempering goodly w e l l T h e i r contrary d i s l i k e s w i t h loved means, Did place them a l l i n order to compel To keep themselves w i t h i n t h e i r sundry r e i g n s Together l i n k t w i t h adamantine chains; Yet so as that i n every l i v i n g wight They mix themselves and show t h e i r k i n d l y might. (11. 85-And, as S a l i n g e r p o i n t s o u t , 5 Hooker's d e f i n i t i o n of law i s the l a s t statement to base human law on n a t u r a l law: Now, i f nature should i n t e r m i t her course, and leave a l t o g e t h e r though i t were but f o r a w h i l e the observation of her own laws . . . what would become of man h i m s e l f , whom these things now do a l l serve? See we not p l a i n l y that obedience of creatures unto the law of nature i s the stay of the whole world? Such a view of cosmic o r d e r l i n e s s (with i t s s p e c i a l a p p l i c a t i o n to man as the universe i n microcosm) provides something of the Z e i t g e i s t i n which Sidney and Spenser were working. While Spenser develops the moral i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s c o n d i t i o n most f u l l y i n the F a e r i e Queen, i t i s S i r P h i l i p Sidney, that "best E n g l i s h example of the Renaissance i d e a l , " 6 who most completely f u l f i l l e d the v i r t u e s of a C h r i s t i a n humanist, f o r both i n h i s l i f e and w r i t i n g s he upheld the e x e m p l a r y — h i s l i f e was courteous: h i s w r i t i n g : decorous. I f we consider A s t r o p h i l and S t e l l a we are struck by a pervasive sense of symmetry and balance, even though Sidney was s t i l l experimenting with the sonnet form. The mere choice of the sonnet to record h i s passions suggests a need to submit h i s f e e l i n g s to a f i r m d i s c i p l i n e and the meticulous craftsmanship of the sequence i s evidence of h i s ''rage f o r o r d e r s — i n f a c t , of the one hundred and e i g h t sonnets, f i f t y -5 0 nine have an abba abba cdcd pattern.' And then again, although the series has no obvious framework such as the monthly progression i n Spenser's Shepheardes Calendar, i t i s u n i f i e d . I f we overlook, as C.S.Lewis urges us to do, 8 the biographical narrative that e a r l i e r scholars stressed, we s t i l l are l e f t with an outline which Nashe c u r t l y summarised as "the argument cruel c h a s t i t i e s the Prologue hope, the Epilogue d i s p a i r e . " 9 Ringler has expressed i t s pattern more f u l l y when he writes that t i n general there i s an orderly progression of mood, the focus of attention remains fixed upon As t r o p h i l as the lover of S t e l l a , no irrelevances are allowed to intrude, and the courtship i s presented as having a beginning, a middle, and an end." 1 0 That i s , the sonnets, in representing a sustained analysis of what i t i s l i k e to be in love, are arranged "to provide a narrative and psychological progression, and so £produceJa sequence that i s more dramatic and highly ordered than any other in the Renaissance." 1 1 How they are ordered may be seen in the following analysis of both sequence and poems. The poet begins by examining his art and precedents (Sonnets 1, 3) and by se t t i n g out the terms by which h i s love i s to be understood: i t i s in terms of "yertue" and "love," where "vertue " represents the highest moral aspirations and "Love," together with "Gupid," personifies Desire. The state of being i n love i s then explored for i t s moral and emotional p o s s i b i l i t i e s , as a slow but shapely narrative allows each incident to be developed. Thus, a f t e r A s t r o p h i l 51 d e c l a r e s h i s love and i s met w i t h " d i s d a i n " (Sonnet 12), S t e l l a begins to show signs that the a t t r a c t i o n i s mutual and looks favourably on h i s tournament (Sonnet 41) ; she gi v e s her h e a r t , though c o n d i t i o n a l l y (Sonnet 69); he s t e a l s a k i s s (Song 2) and a l l promises w e l l i n a "new-found P a r a d i s e * (Sonnet 81). But then she suddenly leaves and he has to come to terms w i t h h i s l o s s , i n c l u d i n g the f a c t that other women can; a t t r a c t him. (Sonnet 85). However, he r i s e s above temptation to sublimate h i s love i n the n a t u r a l world (Sonnets 99, 100, 102): t h i s p o i n t marks the f i n a l ascendancy o f " v e r t u e " over " d e s i r e " as, through the process of self-examin-a t i o n , he has emerged w i t h strength and d i g n i t y (Sonnet 107), though without a t t a i n i n g the s p i r i t u a l assurance that the l a t e r sonnet "Leave me o love . . . " records. There i s , then, an unhurried " p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s i o n " which,in t r a c i n g "vertue's*! growing power to r e s i s t Desire's cry "Give me some food" (Sonnet 71), binds and orders the poems to produce a simulacrum of the mora l l y s t r u c t u r e d world. However, i t i s not u n t i l we consider the p a r t i c u l a r poems th a t Sidney's o r g a n i s a t i o n a l d i s c i p l i n e i s most apparent. For example, the s t r u c t u r e of Sonnet 52 has a l l the symmetry of debate. The competition between "vertue" and " l o v e " f o r S t e l l a i s a t f i r s t presented ( I I . 1-2). Love then claims h i s t i t l e to ''her eyes, her l i p s , her a l l " (1. 3) only to be answered by "vertue's" c l a i m to S t e l l a ' s "soule, sure 52 h e i r e of heav'nly b l i s s e " (1. 7). The c o n f l i c t i s then elabo r a t e d . At t h i s p o i n t , the poet mediates a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y i n the language of cool reason. "And t h e r e f o r e , " he says, l e t t v e r t u e " have her share ( i . e . S t e l l a ' s " s e l f e " ) and l e t "love** have h i s / h e r beauty and her grace") and a l l w i l l be w e l l . In f a c t , despite the a l t e r n a t i n g argument, the w i t t y e f f e c t caused by the poet s i d i n g w i t h " l o v e " i n the l a s t l i n e , " . . . but that body grant t o us," introduces a b i a s that f i n a l l y d i s t u r b s the balance. This i s not t r u e , however, of the Sonnet " C h a r i t a " which Theodore Spencer has praised f o r " i t s monosyllabic s i m p l i c i t y of d i c t i o n . . . and the f l a w l e s s movement of r h e t o r i c . The poem [he says] i s a p e r f e c t l y drawn c i r c l e , ending most i f * contentedly where i t began." We can see something of t h i s by n o t i n g i t s decorum, how s t y l e impeccably s u i t s the matter, f o r i n r e c o r d i n g the s t a b i l i t y of a love where a f f e c t i o n s are exchanged, the poem i t s e l f remains i n a state of eq u i p o i s e . Such balance can be demonstrated, f o r not only does the whole poem move w i t h a steady iambic pulse and conform to a f l a w l e s s abab cdcd e f e f gg rhyme scheme but i n verse one, f o r example, the three strong caesuras (11. 1-3) a c t as f u l c r a about which the l i n e s t u r n . r'My true love hath my h a r t , and I have his"- present two simple main clauses on e i t h e r side of the caesura which correspond s t y l i s t i c a l l y w i t h the idea of the l i n e — t h e equal exchange of l o v e . 53 The p i v o t a l e f f e c t i s sustained through the t h i r d l i n e where again the change from " I hold h i s deare" turns on the caesura before •?and myne he cannot misse." The f o u r t h l i n e , i n being a simple sentence without pause, s t a b i l i s e s the movement and c l i n c h e s the stanza: "There never was a b e t t e r bargain driv'ne.? Furthermore, the o p p o s i t i o n set up between " h i s " and "mine," ••me" and ••him" continues through the poem and we see how the l i n e s , H i s h a r t h i s wound receaved from my s i g h t My h a r t was wounded, wi t h h i s wounded h a r t , (11. 9-10) i n echoing, H i s h a r t i n me, keepes me and him i n one My hart i n him, h i s thoughtes and sense guides, (11. 5-6) f o r m a l l y r e i n f o r c e s the counter-balanced nature of the argument. Even the r h e t o r i c a l f i g u r e s , so o f t e n e l a b o r a t e l y s e l f - c o n s c i o u s ( v i z . Euphues) u n o b t r u s i v e l y support the harmonious e f f e c t . The r e p e t i t i o n mentioned above ('anaphora*) i s a case i n p o i n t , while the a m p l i f i c a t i o n i n l i n e s 11 and 12 of l i n e s 9 and 10 ('prolepsis*) creates a p l e a s i n g p a r a l l e l i s m . The word "wound" i n l i n e s 9 and 10, i n occ u r i n g only i n the f o u r t h and eigth s t r e s s p o i n t s , has a r e g u l a r b e l l - l i k e q u a l i t y i n i t s r e - i t e r a t i o n ('ploee') that modulates the movement of the l i n e s . And then f i n a l l y , of course,,to end the c e l e b r a t i o n of " b l i s s e " i t i s f i t t i n g to perpetuate the s t a t e and by r e p e a t i n g the f i r s t l i n e , the poem comes f u l l c i r c l e . There i s no more to be s a i d : u n l i k e the f i g u r e s on Keats? '•Grecian Urn" who are 54 caught i n uneasy m o t i o n — What men what gods are these? What maidens l o a t h ? What made p u r s u i t ? What s t r u g g l e s to escape? What pipes and t i m b r e l s ? What w i l d e c s t a s y ? — Sidney's l o v e r s have achieved s t a s i s and the poem i t s e l f becomes the symbol of t h e i r p e r f e c t harmony. At t h i s p o i n t , I would l i k e to c l a r i f y my i n t e n t i o n s somewhat. By using Sidney as a paradigm^. I am t r y i n g to set down c e r t a i n general p r i n c i p l e s of the E n g l i s h l i t e r a r y Renaissance as they a f f e c t the l y r i c t r a d i t i o n . So f a r , I have argued that the e a r l y E l i z a b e t h a n cosmology i n h e r i t e d «rioug>»- of the Mediaeval world-view to make the thought of i r r e g u l a r i t y abhorrent and that t h i s passion f o r order i s manifested i n the poetry. What I would l i k e to do now i s t o harrow the t o p i c a l i t t l e and di s c u s s one aspect of an ordered world--? convent i o n , and s p e c i f i c a l l y Renaissance Petrarchanism, f o r i t i s ag a i n s t 13 the t i d e of the Petrarchan t r a d i t i o n that Donne d e f i n e d h i s own v o i c e . To t h i s end we may begin w i t h a comment by Theodore Spencer on S i r P h i l i p Sidney where he w r i t e s that to f i n d h i s own v o i c e j to d i s c o v e r h i s own p o e t i c idiom and h i s own rhythm, i s the main business of a poet . . . . But there i s one constant f a c t which i s true of a l l poets a t a l l times; the d i s c o v e r y of oneself depends on an a c t of submission. For the poet, as f o r the human being, to lose one's l i f e i s t o f i n d i t . . . . In the s i x t e e n t h century, t h i s saving l o s s of p e r s o n a l i t y , t h i s d i s c o v e r y of s e l f through submission to an 'other', could be accomplished to a considerable extent through convention. Convention i s to the poet i n an age of b e l i e f what the persona i s to the poet i n an age of bewilderment. By submission to e i t h e r the poet a c q u i r e s a u t h o r i t y . . . i n both cases he has taken the f i r s t step toward u n i v e r s a l i t y . 14 55 The p o i n t to draw from t h i s i s that f o r the s i x t e e n t h century, l i t e r a r y values were s t r o n g l y t r a d i t i o n a l and i t was considered a mark of e x c e l l e n c e to emulate previous manners. Thus "from P e t r a r c h through the Quattrocento w r i t e r s and o the poets of the P l e i a d e s to Ronsard and Tasso and the E l i z a b e t h a n s , the:stream of s e l f ^ -expression broadened down from precedent to p r e c e d e n t , " 1 5 and each w r i t e r absorbed the t r a d i t i o n i n order to be able to speak w i t h a u t h o r i t y . There was no sense then of "profuse s t r a i n s of unpremeditated a r t " because f o r each poet of the Renaissancej the power to be himself had been delegated: each one i m i t a t e d to be o r i g i n a l . " I t was [says L e v e r ] . . . i n the t r a d i t i o n a l p a t t e r n s of thought and f e e l i n g that the d i s t i n c t i v e p e r s o n a l i t y of the poet became i n t e g r a t e d w i t h s o c i e t y ' s estimate of the i n d i v i d u a l , " 1 6 As a r e s u l t the three hundred and e i g h t canzonie're of P e t r a r c h became the touchstone of l y r i c e x c e l l e n c e f o r the next two hundred years. Many of Wyatt's poems were l i t t l e more than P e t r a r c h E n g l i s h e d , 1 7 while f o r Surrey, P e t r a r c h "must have seemed i n many ways the modern V i r g i l , a master o f sweet, sonorous and strong s p e e c h * 1 8 to be s t u d i e d and copied. I t i s i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n t h a t Sidney i s to be s e t , f o r i t was A s t r o p h i l and S t e l l a that "earned him the t i t l e of ! E n g l i s h P e t r a r c h . ' " 1 9 Of course, Sidney was i n n o v a t i v e . He does not i d e a l i z e S t e l l a so that she becomes the demi-god that Laura i s . She i s indeed i r r e s i s t i b l e but i s not above a blush (Sonnet 66), sickness (Sonnet 101), 56 and i s even r i d d l i n g l y brought down to e a r t h by being i d e n t i f i e d as Lady R i c h (Sonnet 37). In f a c t , we may say that one of the great d i f f e r e n c e s between the two sequences i s t h a t Sidney never l e t s h i s i d e a l i s m b e l i e h i s experience-* there i s always the sense of a c t u a l i t y behind the poems which prevents the lady's remoteness from becoming a b s t r a c t . For P e t r a r c h , '•feeling centers i n the conception of love as a type of r e l i g i o u s worship, and a t t h i s p o i n t i t j o i n s P l a t o n i c philosophy [which sees love asj a cosmic f o r c e drawing the amorist to contemplate u n i v e r s a l ideas of goodness 20 and beauty." But f o r Sidney the absolutes of love are always q u a l i f i e d by reference to h i s own f e e l i n g s . 2 1 And then again, there i s a new note i n Sidney which i s to appear l a t e r i n Donne and Shakespeare as parody and s a t i r e . In the Sidney sequence though, i t i s shown by the sort o f i r o n y which can w r i t e , "whence hast thou I v o r i e , Rubies, pearle and gold,/to shew her s k i n , l i p s , teeth and head so w e l l ? " (Sonnet 32) w i t h complete conventional decorum, but can a l s o i n Sonnet 18 appear b i t t e r about S t e l l a ' s demands or i n Sonnet 69 undercut a concession t h a t she has o f f e r e d w i t h a w o r l d l y a f t e r t h o u g h t — " N o kings be crowned, but they some covenants make" (1. 14). I t i s the q u a l i t y described by Montgomery as the "apparently haphazard lumping together of Petrarchan c l i c h e s and a r r e s t i n g i r o n i e s , " 2 2 that i n d i c a t e s that Sidney i s working a t the end of a t r a d i t i o n and that h i s innovations e v e n t u a l l y work the downfall of the convention. 57 I f then Sidney c o n t r i b u t e s something novel to the Petrarchan sonnet sequence i t must be s t r e s s e d how indebted he was to i t s t r a d i t i o n s , He mentions P e t r a r c h s p e c i f i c a l l y as a source of information (Sonnet 15) and i n the e a r l y sonnets when he i s preparing the ground* as i t were, to s i n g S t e l l a ' s p r a i s e s he t e l l s how he studied '•inventions f i n e * . , . o f t t u r n i n g others' l e a v e s " (Sonnet 17) to f i n d the means to express h i s l o v e . O s t e n s i b l y disappointed i n t h i s he turns elsewhere and i s guided by h i s Muse who says "looke i n thy heart and w r i t e " (Sonnet 1 ) . Love then becomes i t s own t u t o r and, " i n s p i r e d w i t h S t e l l a ' s k i s s e " (Sonnet 74), h i s thoughts flow "with so smooth an ease" (Sonnet 74) and the words "flow i n verse'' (74). I t was not u n t i l Sidney Lee i n 1904 that c r i t i c s began to r e a l i s e that "hardly any of [Sidney 1 sj p o e t i c ideas, and few of h i s " s w e l l i n g phrases" 25 are p r i m a r i l y of h i s own i n v e n t i o n , " - and that even, as Mario Praz has put i t more r e c e n t l y , "notwithstanding h i s p r o t e s t s o f independent i n s p i r a t i o n , jjsidnejji] was r e h e a r s i n g most of the hackneyed tropes of the C o n t i n e n t a l sonneteers," nay a t the very moment he claimed to be no pickpurse of a n o t h e r 1 s b r a i n , he was d e r i v i n g from Du B e l l a y 1 s ode ••Contre l e P e t r a r q u i s t e s . • " 2 4 Thus* even Sidney's '"•sincerity" i s put along w i t h a l l the paraphernalia of Cupids, Oxymorons, "sugred sentences," P e r s o n i f i c a t i o n , and p r o s t r a t i o n that i s i n d i r e c t lineage from P e t r a r c h . 58 The extent of Sidney's borrowing has been explored by Janet S c o t t , who f i n d s numerous s i m i l a r i t i e s between h i s work and t h a t of C h a r i t e o , Seraphin, Pontano, Sceve Ronsard and the P l e i a d e s , but she admits that as d i r e c t sources go, the case i s " t r e s i n d e c i s e s . n & There i s no doubt, however, * • w ' 26 that "sa p l u s grande dette en a coup sur envers Petrarque" and she goes on to document s p e c i f i c instances such as the comparison of S t e l l a ' s head to a b u i l d i n g . The example occurs i n ''Canzone** 25: Muri eran d'alabastro e t e l l o d'oro D'avorio u s c l o , e f e n e t r e d i z a f f i r o * Sidney w r i t e s : Hath h i s f r o n t b u i l t of A l a b a s t e r pure, Gold i s the c o v e r i n g of the s t a t e l y p l a c e . And then again Sonnet 71 opens: Who w i l l i n f a i r e s t book of Nature know, How Vertue may best lodg'd i n beautie be. Let him but learne of Love to reade i n thee. T h i s , she says, d e r i v e s from Petrarch's Sonnet 210: Chi v u o l veder quantumque pub natura e * l c i e l t r a n o i , vehga a m i r a r c o s t e i . . Vedra, s ' a r r i v a a tempo, ogni v e r t u t e , ogni b e l l e z z a , ogni r e a l costume g u i n t i i n un corpo con m i r a b i l tempre. 27 To sum up we may say that Sidney belonged to and i d e n t i f i e d w i t h a powerful l i t e r a r y convention through which he was able to f i n d h i s own v o i c e . He accepted that h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y was most f u l f i l l e d by submitting i t to a body of experience that s t r e t c h e d back t o . P e t r a r c h and was, by a c c r e t i o n , more a u t h o r i t a t i v e than h i s own. This was 59 f i t t i n g , f o r i t was Petrarch h i m s e l f who s a i d that "a poet's business i s to be l i k e a bee, accumulating and o r d e r i n g e x c e l l e n c e s from every conceivable l i t e r a r y source to t u r n i n t o h i s own honey."" 0 I have thought i t necessary i n g i v i n g some account of the p e r i o d immediately previous to Donne to s t r e s s the sense of order and convention that p r e v a i l e d , so as to provide a b a s i s f o r the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , f o r i t Is Walter Friedlaender who, i n Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism i n I t a l i a n P a i n t i n g , i n s i s t s that the Mannerist s t y l e i s not to be understood except i n r e l a t i o n to what he terms a " c l a s s i c " s t y l e : that i s a s t y l e i n I t a l i a n p a i n t i n g that has ''definite r u l e s and nprms" and g e n e r a l l y incorporates the p r i n c i p l e s of harmony and order we have been speaking o f . Thus, he says, there arose an ' i d e a l a r t ' which, however, . . . l a i d claims on nature, indeed i n a s t r i k i n g l y c anonical sense. Only what t h i s a r t i s t i c a t t i t u d e set up as r i g h t and proper i n proportions and the l i k e counted as b e a u t i f u l and, even more than t h a t , as the only t h i n g t r u l y n a t u r a l . On the b a s i s of t h i s i d e a l i z e d and normative o b j e c t i v i z a t i o n , the i n d i v i d u a l object of the c l a s s i c s t y l e . . . was removed f o r m a l l y , i n i t s o r g a n i z a t i o n , and p s y c h i c a l l y , i n i t s gestures and e x p r e s s i o n , from any s u b j e c t i v e , p u r e l y o p t i c a l , impression. I t was no longer exposed to the more s u b j e c t i v e whim of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t , but was heightened and i d e a l i z e d to something o b j e c t i v e and r e g u l a r . 29 This e s s e n t i a l l y i s the a e s t h e t i c of S i r P h i l i p Sidney. Now Friedlaender continues: "Sharply opposed i n many and b a s i c elements to t h i s h i g h , i d e a l i s t i c , normative a t t i t u d e . . . stands the a t t i t u d e of the a n t i - c l a s s i c a l s t y l e , normally 60 c a l l e d Mannerism," I t remains, then, to c h a r a c t e r i z e the nature of the •opposition;* to i d e n t i f y the c r i t e r i a by which Donne i s to be assessed. In the f i r s t p l a c e , says Fried]aender, "what i s d e c i s i v e i s the changed r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h i s new a r t i s t i c outlook to the a r t i s t i c a l l y observed o b j e c t . " 3 1 That i s , instead of a conformist a t t i t u d e on the p a r t of the a r t i s t , he now r e l i e s upon a " f a n t a s t i c a idea non appogiata a l l ' i m i t a z i o n e — a n imaginative idea unsupported by i m i t a t i o n " 3 2 and t h i s we can see w i l l have f a r r e a c h i n g e f f e c t s on form. For instead o f working w i t h i n , t h e Renaissance canon the a r t i s t came to r e j e c t "the normative and the n a t u r a l through an almost e x c l u s i v e employment of rhythmic f e e l i n g . " As one r e s u l t , symmetry become "dislodged or more or l e s s 34 broken up," and even " i n extreme cases . . . t h r u s t and dissonance are h a z a r d e d . " 3 5 The key poi n t i s t h a t the whole bent of a n t i - c l a s s i c a r t i s b a s i c a l l y  s u b j e c t i v e , since i t would construct and i n d i v i d u a l l y  r e c o n s t r u c t from the i n s i d e out, from the s u b j e c t i v e  outward, f r e e l y , according to the rhythmic f e e l i n g  present i n the a r t i s t , w h i l e c l a s s i c a r t , s o c i a l l y o r i e n t e d , seeks to c r y s t a l l i z e the object f o r e t e r n i t y by working out from the r e g u l a r , from what i s v a l i d f o r everyone. 36 To exemplify t h i s we may look at "th a t overwhelming paradigm of Mannerism,** . Michelangelo-*s Last Judgement. S i r Anthony Blunt s a i d of i t , that "the most fundamental p r i n c i p l e of the High Renaissance seems here to have been neglected, f o r there i s l i t t l e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the r e a l world, no r e a l space, no p e r s p e c t i v e , no t y p i c a l p r o p o r t i o n s . 61 The a r t i s t i s i n t e n t only on conveying h i s p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of i d e a . " 3 8 We n o t i c e how, f o r example, the p a i n t i n g i s disposed i n t o pockets of a c t i o n that have a l i f e of t h e i r own almost independent of the t o t a l a c t i o n . C e r t a i n l y , i f the trumpeters of the apocalypse were seen i n i s o l a t i o n they would appear complete and d i s c r e t e , u n l i k e , say, the trumpeters i n Fra Bartolommeo , ;s L a s t Judgement where t h e i r p o s i t i o n and the angles of t h e i r trumpets a s they t r i a n g u l a t e up to the C h r i s t they are h e r a l d i n g , have an inseparable f u n c t i o n i n the p a i n t i n g . And then again, i n the absence of any dominant focus, i t i s impossible to e x p l a i n Michelangelo's handling of s i z e by perspective alone and we must assume an a r t i s t i c autonomy whose c r i t e r i a aire s u b j e c t i v e - — i t i s , as Shearman puts i t , as though Michelangelo was "imposing an 3 9 a l l - p o w e r f u l a r t i s t i c w i l l on forms of c l a s s i c a l d e r i v a t i o n . " We can see 1his q u i t e c l e a r l y i f we adopt C h r i s t as a f o c a l p o i n t , and n o t i c e the c i r c l e of f i g u r e s t h a t surrounds him. The condensed and foreshortened f i g u r e s above C h r i s t are w i l f u l l y executed because the e f f e c t i s i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l * i f not c o n t r a d i c t o r y . They have nowhere to recede to and i n any case they s t r a i n a gainst the movement of bodies that e n c i r c l e C h r i s t on a f l a t plane. And then why i s the f i g u r e of Peter so much l a r g e r than t h a t of Jacob, as they are both on the same perimeter? I f i t i s r e p l i e d that Peter has symbolic magnitude why i s he l a r g e r than C h r i s t ? The answer has to do w i t h the Mannerist v i s i o n which i s guided 62 l e s s by p r e s c r i p t i v e r u l e s than by a f e e l i n g f o r , as Friedlaander says, Vthe rhythm of an idea.** I f we look at Peter we see that h i s t w i s t i n g , unbalanced stance, a t h l e t i c b u i l d and aggressive jaw f u l f i l an i d i o s y n c r a t i c idea of the church so e f f e c t i v e l y t h a t h i s s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n w i t h C h r i s t becomes of l e s s importance than h i s independent e x i s t e n c e . Thus Michelangelo*s v i s i o n of him, h i s s u b j e c t i v e view, challenges . - - • - . . . . . . . . the t r a d i t i o n a l decorum wi t h which Peter should be t r e a t e d . Perhaps t h i s p o i n t may a l s o be a m p l i f i e d by Michelangelo's i d i o s y n c r a t i c treatment of Church dogma: i t i s s u r e l y a r e -f l e c t i o n of h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y that the dead: should be r i s i n g w i t h such re l u c t a n c e and t h a t the V i r g i n * Paragon of compassion, should be e i t h e r coy or unmoved beside C h r i s t ' s anfery hand when n e i t h e r i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e . Michelangelo^ then, i s r e - i n t e r p r e t i n g the received opinions of h i s time, submitting them to h i s own c r e a t i v e i n t e l l i g e n c e and i n the process i s c r e a t i n g a d i s t i n c t i v e s t y l e (or a t l e a s t c o n t r i b u t e s to i t s emergence). In the remainder of t h i s chapter I hope to draw a t t e n t i o n t o the f a c t t h a t Donne, l i k e Michelangelo, responds to an o l d order by t a k i n g i t s component parts and by re-working them i n t o a new s t y l e ; t hat he, too, works "from the i n s i d e out," and thereby declares h i m s e l f Mannerist. I t i s a commonplace of c r i t i c i s m that #onne i s s t a r t l i n g l y d i f f e r e n t and that a f t e r T o t t e l , Spenser or Sidney, to p i c k up the Songs and Sonnets and meet w i t h "For Godsake hold your 63 tongue and l e t me l o v e " or " I wonder by my t r o t h . . . " i s to enter i n t o a new world. C e r t a i n l y , precedents can be found f o r the declamatory opening, Sidney's " F l i e , f l y * my f r i e n d s , I have my death wound; f l y ? (Sonnet 20), f o r instance, but s c a t t e r e d examples cannot compare w i t h the unique e f f e c t of the Songs and Sonnets as a c o l l e c t i o n . Thus* from Carew's comment on Donne,that The Muses garden w i t h Pendantique weedes. O'erspred, was purg'd by thee; The l a z i e seeds Of s e r v i l e i m i t a t i o n throwne away; And f r e s h i n v e n t i o n planted . . . ; 40 to Gourthope's remark that ? t h i s f i n e P l a t o n i c e d i f i c e [of c o u r t l y / P e t r a r c h a n love] i s r u t h l e s s l y demolished i n the poetry o f Donne,? 4 1 to Montgomery's "Donne . . . f e l t the n e c e s s i t y of an e x p l i c i t r e a c t i o n against the Petrarchan 4? manner," we have what amounts to a stock c r i t i c a l r e s p o n s e — that Donne has r a d i c a l l y broken w i t h the o l d s t y l e . Such a view has r e c e n t l y been modified by Donald Guss who makes the p o i n t that there are i n f a c t two modes of Petrarchanism. One, which he c a l l s humanistic, ?aims a t u n i v e r s a l t r u t h s , e x t e r n a l emotions, and n e o - c l a s s i c a l decorousness: i t i s elegant, i d y l l i c and s e n t i m e n t a l . . . . Donne, however, w r i t e s i n the other Petrarchan mode—that c h a r a c t e r i s e d by fantastic arguments, emotional extravagance and p e r e g r i n comparisons." 4 3 But even he goes on to say that "Donne's o r i g i n a l i t y . . . i s p r i m a r i l y a conscious n o v e l t y i n conceit 64 and manner." Indeed, the extravagant Petrarchanism he speaks of i s a c o n t i n e n t a l v a r i e t y which i s arguably Mannerist anyway, and by i n t r o d u c i n g i t to England the same e f f e c t of a s t a r t l i n g innovation i s s t i l l produced. But, by emphasising Donne's o r i g i n a l i t y , i t i s easy to underestimate h i s r e l i a n c e on t r a d i t i o n f o r even though he may have been *!cocking snooks a t the Petrarchan adoration and P l a t o n i c i d e a l i s m of Spenser and the sonneteers and f l o u t i n g conventions which he and many of h i s contemporaries f e l t to have l a s t e d too long," he was at l e a s t u s i n g those conventions, a l b e i t i n h i s s i n g u l a r way, and i t i s a c o r r e c t i v e to note that C.S. Lewis s t r e s s e s a developmental l i n e when he w r i t e s that i n s t y l e Donne's Songs and Sonnets are " p r i m a r i l y a development of one of two s t y l e s which we f i n d i n the world of Donne's immediate predecessors. One of these i s the m e l l i f l u o u s , l u x u r i o u s , 'builded rhyme,' as i n Spenser's A m o r e t t l : the other i s the abrupt, f a m i l i a r , and c o n s c i o u s l y 'manly' 46 s t y l e i n which n e a r l y a l l Wyatt's l y r i c s are w r i t t e n . " So w i t h Guss' European antecedents and Lewis' E n g l i s h ones, Donne i s given an h i s t o r i c a l context that makes him l e s s of a lusus naturae but does not e x p l a i n away h i s p e c u l i a r c o n t r i b u t i o n . What t h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n i s may be seen by l o o k i n g a t the fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between Donne and S i r P h i l i p Sidney, a d i f f e r e n c e which l i e s i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e towards t h e i r a r t . Sidney's i m i t a t i v e debt we have already discussed, but i n Donne we f i n d something d i f f e r e n t . His 65 v o i c e i s i d i o s y n c r a t i c and does not look to convention f o r i t s a u t h o r i t y ; r a t h e r i t r e l i e s on "a f i n e l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d f i d e l i t y t o n a t u r a l experience. What he pi n s down . . • l^saya Smith] i s not a moral i n s i g h t o r a f i n a l t r u t h , or anything d i r e c t l y to do w i t h the transcendental a s p i r a t i o n of the s p i r i t a t a l l ; but something w i t h the recognizable ATI f e e l of common a c t u a l i t y . * * Then, without l o s i n g the immediacy of the experience he ransacks the storehouse of l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n to f i n d the means to express i t . However, i t i s the experience t h a t i s of f i r s t importance, and the conventions are t r e a t e d with as much respect as i s due to t h e i r usefulness--they are not otherwise venerated. As a r e s u l t , we f i n d t h a t i n drawing on the Petrarchan convention, Donne has se l e c t e d elements that f u r t h e r h i s expressive needs and has given them a novel s i g n i f i c a n c e . Something o f t h i s may be seen i n the Jeat Ring Sente, f o r example, where the token, instead of denoting a mark of a f f e c t i o n as i n the token exchange of hearts i n Sidney's poem, here becomes the v e h i c l e f o r a b i t t e r gibe at h i s m i s t r e s s ' f a i t h l e s s n e s s . In S e r a f i n o (Sonnet 52), a s i m i l a r black r i n g i s used and i s a l s o sent by a m i s t r e s s to her l o v e r . But i n that case, the r i n g i s an i n t e g r a l part of the Petrarchan mode wherein, f o r example, the poet laments t h a t the r i n g i s removed from such a heaven (the lady) and decl a r e s how i t was the flames of love that blackened i t . In Donne, however, the r i n g serves a d i f f e r e n t f u n c t i o n as i t supports a tone of w i t t y pragmatism. We see i n the f i r s t verse how, by a s s o c i a t i n g the r i n g ' s q u a l i t i e s w i t h the predicaments of Renaissance 66 4-8 l o g i c , Donne o v e r t l y r e f e r s the reader to a mode of thought th a t i n i t s r a t i o c i n a t i v e emphasis i s a n t i p a t h e t i c to abj e c t d e v o t i o n — b y g i v i n g the l o v e r a mind ( v i s a v i s heart) the i d e a l i s e d woman i s reduced to a meie " b r i t t l e " heart whose q u a l i t i e s are f u r t h e r impugned when the l o v e r asks why, i f t h e i r love was va l u a b l e * d i d she only send a j e t ring*. "Marriage r i n g s are not of t h i s s t u f f e " so, "Why should ought lease p r e c i o u s , or l e s s tough/figure our l o v e s ? " Then, punning on 'jeter* to throw, he po i n t s out t h a t even i t s name pronounces * I am cheap and nought but f a s h i o n , f l i n g me away." The e f f e c t i s to reduce the whole moral and emotional fo r c e t h a t the i d e a l i s e d woman symbolised and to s u b s t i t u t e f o r i t the w o r l d l y v o i c e of a man who accepts th a t women are f a i t h l e s s but who yet s t i l l f i n d s the experience h u r t f u l . Thus, the d i s c u s s i o n appears t o lead to the urbane con c l u s i o n that " i f she i s not to be t r u s t e d then I w i l l look a f t e r you (the r i n g ] , * but the smoothness of the progression i s broken by an involurtary exclamation, the "Oh" of the l a s t l i n e , which i s p a r t i c u l a r l y poignant when set w i t h i n such a t i g h t l y k n i t context. I t i s as though a formal e x e r c i s e i s suddenly i n t e r r u p t e d by a p r i v a t e memory which r i s e s unbidden. So what we have i n t h i s poem i s an instance of Donne borrowing a stock image and g i v i n g i t a d i s t i n c t i v e t u rn by making i t h i s own. But t h i s i n i t s e l f i s not Man n e r i s t i c f o r what poet does not f e e l that he; i s c o n t r i b u t i n g something to a convention? I t does, however, 67 p o i n t up Donne's i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c b i a s which, as we have seen i n Michelangelo, i s an important part of the Mannerist psychology. To explore how t h i s i n d i v i d u a l i s m expresses i t s e l f two love poems may be compared. One i s Spenser's ifcmoretti XV, the other i s Donne's "The Sunne R i s i n g f The Spenser poem i s t y p i c a l l y Petrarchan. I t begins by e l a b o r a t i n g an image of the " t r a d e f u l merchants'' who scout "both the I n d i e s " i n t h e i r search f o r t r e a s u r e . To the E l i z a b e t h a n s , euch a venture was grandly h e r o i c so t h e i r f a i l u r e i n t h i s instance i s c e r t a i n s i g n of impossible odds. Spenser c a p i t a l i s e s on the imaginative evocativeness of the image and uses i t as a f o i l f o r the f o l l o w i n g hyperbole which i s , of course, to define those odds i n the form of h i s lady who i s so v a l u a b l e as to " c o n t a i n e / a l l t h i s worlds r i c h e s . " Her value i s increased by b a f f l i n g the adventurers. Once t h i s metaphor has e s t a b l i s h e d her as being a l l "precious t h i n g s , " she i s then understood by simple enumeration. For example, " i f s a p h i r e s , loe her e i e s be Saphires p l a n e / i f r u b i e s , loe her l i p s be r u b i e s sound" and so on through p e a r l s , i v o r y , gold and s i l v e r . This i s the device of 'accumulatio' whereby the p i l i n g up of sensuous imagery increases the sensuousness of the impression, simply by p r o l o n g i n g the experience. Rosamund Tuve has warned us, however, not to think of the f i g u r e s as decorations i n the sense of a garment put over the sense. They are the sense, she says, and i f they appear r e p e t i t i v e i t i s not the images 68 tha t t i r e us but " i t i s the purport of these e n t i r e l y r e l e v a n t and f u n c t i o n a l images w i t h which we are d i s s a t i s f i e d ; we do not care to hear j u s t how Spenser's lady i s b e a u t i f u l . " 4 9 However we may now respond to such a nose-gay of compliments, i t i s c l e a r that Spenser's i n t e n t i o n was to g l o r i f y the p h y s i c a l beauty of h i s lady, and given the terms of h i s s t a t e m e n t — t h a t whatever has v a l u e t h a t value d e r i v e s from h e r — t h e i n t e n t i o n i s e n t i r e l y f u l f i l l e d . However, i n the best N e o f p l a t o n i c t r a d i t i o n , Spenser i s l o t h to leave her at the m a t e r i a l l e v e l and pays her the u l t i m a t e compliment of p r a i s i n g her v i r t u e : But that which f a i r e s t i s , but few behold, Her mind adorn'd w i t h vertues m a n i f o l d . (11. 13-14) Thus, b e a u t i f u l and v i r t u o u s , she remains art a s p i r a t i o n , an i d e a l i s e d embodiment of e x c e l l e n c e . The form i t s e l f c o n t r i b u t e s to the idea of p e r f e c t i o n as the i n t e r - l o c k i n g p a t t e r n of ABAB BCBC CDGD EE i s e f f o r t l e s s l y f u l f i l l e d , and apart from the l i n e " I f yuore, her forhead yuory weene" which f o r c e s two d i f f e r e n t rhythmic values on ' i v o r y , ' the metre runs i n impeccable iambics. We may a l s o n o t i c e how l i t t l e the poem r e l i e s on argumentative techniques but proceeds by a s s e r t i v e statement, although there i s the semblance of a l o g i c a l p a t t e r n . The p a t t e r n i s b r i e f l y this:'My love contains a l l r i c h e s (11. 5-6), therefore a l l r i c h e s are part of my love (11. 7-12). Riches 69 are b e a u t i f u l but her mind i s more b e a u t i f u l (11. 13-14). Put l i k e t h i s , we see the * i f s * and 'buts,* the equations and conclusions are meiely the p r o p e r t i e s of a l o g i c a l vocabulary and do not support a c o n s i s t e n t argument. There i s a f a l l a c y i n assuming that r i c h e s are b e a u t i f u l , and the c o n c l u s i o n that her mind i s ' f a i r e s t * because her body i s f a i r i s a non s e q u l t u r ^ u n l e s s , of course, the m i s s i n g l i n k s can be s u p p l i e d from elsewhere. One way t h i s i s done i s by b r i d g i n g the gaps i n ether ways. The manner i n which the treasures are d e s c r i b e d , f o r example, emphasises t h e i r aesthetic,and sensuous q u a l i t i e s so i n s i s t e n t l y w i t h such e p i t h e t s as 'sound,* 'pure,* 'round,* * f a i r e * * • f i n e s t , * and 'sheene,* that there i s an a s s o c i a t i v e l i n k made between value and beauty t h a t provides an emotional counterpart to a p u r e l y l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s i o n . The climax, however* i s not prepared f o r i n the poem i t s e l f and must be understood by reference to a s c a l e of values outside the poem. Spenser shows such complete confidence i n these values and i n the f a c t that h i s audience w i l l share h i s assumptions that he a l l o w s statement to take the place of argument. There i s no need to argue the s e l f - e v i d e n t , i s the thought. We can, t h e r e f o r e , deduce c e r t a i n t h i n g s about the s t a t e of mind th a t produces a poem l i k e t h i s : i t i s o r d e r l y and t h i s order c o n f i d e n t l y a s s e r t s a greater u n i v e r s a l order wherein values are s t a b l e and d i s c o v e r a b l e . I t chooses to express i t s e l f i n a w e l l -e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n as the t r a d i t i o n i s i t s e l f 70 an i m i t a t i o n of permanence; and when i n lo v e , i t a s p i r e s to move through c u p i d i t e e to c a r i t a s ^ Q Now i f we turn to the Donne poem we n o t i c e c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s . Donne, too, i s c e l e b r a t i n g h i s l o v e , he too, uses a c e n t r a l image to set o f f h i s m i s t r e s s (the * sun* as opposed to the 'merchants*), he c o i n c i d e n t a l l y (?) uses an i d e n t i c a l phrase ("both the Indias") and he makes generous use of the hyperbole; but a f t e r that i t becomes e a s i e r to t a l k of t h e i r d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s , as "the Sunne Rising** i s c l e a r l y going about a s i m i l a r task very d i f f e r e n t l y . The f i r s t t h i n g to n o t i c e i s what may be c a l l e d the »focus* of the poem. The Amoretti XV c o n s t r u c t s a r e g u l a r frame-work i n which a l l the elements combine to p r a i s e the l a d y . To use a p i c t o r i a l metaphor, we may say that w i t h i n the r i g i d frame of the poem the lady dominates the c e n t r a l focus, and t h a t the background of merchant ships and the foreground of r i c h d e s c r i p t i v e d e t a i l s are u n i f i e d by t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n to the p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h i s f i g u r e - - t h e i d e a l woman. The poin t of view i s analogous to Raphael's The Ma donna d i F o l 1 gno where every f e a t u r e f u l f i l l s the idea of the Madonna and C h i l d . The d i s t a n t v i l l a g e becomes Nazareth by v i r t u e of the h a l o - l i k e rainbow above i t , w h ile the d i m i n u t i v e sheep f o r e t e l l C h r i s t * s p a s t o r a l work. In the foreground the f i g u r e s of John the B a p t i s t , S t . F r a n c i s , Moses and the donor a l l d i r e c t our a t t e n t i o n to the V i r g i n 71 enthroned on clouds of angels. Eyes and gestures lead the gaze i r r e s i s t i b l y up to where she s i t s surrounded by a c i r c l e and a t the apex of a f i r m t r i a n g l e whose base i s the f o u r s u p p l i c a n t s , whose s i d e s , the l i n e s of t h e i r d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n . "The Sunne Rising*', on the other hand, does not d e c l a r e i t s focus so e x p l i c i t l y . The focus i s not, f o r example, i n h i s m i s t r e s s , f o r although Donne would not take h i s eyes o f f her f o r a second (11. 13-14), she has a d e c i d e d l y i n f e r i o r p o s i t i o n to him, f o r , i f she i s a l l S t a t e s , he i s a l l P r i n c e s (1. 21). I f , then, the m i s t r e s s i s not a t the centre of the poem, and i t i s not the sun as we s h a l l see, then i t must be Donne h i m s e l f . The way, f o r example, he has t r e a t e d the sun image i s an i n d i c a t i o n of h i s impatience with anything e l s e that can compete w i t h h i s intense s u b j e c t i v i t y , or which can symbolise an a l t e r n a t i v e focus of a t t e n t i o n . We see how i n the opening l i n e s the sun i s reduced by the contemptuous outburst—**Busie o l d f o o l e , unruly Sunne**—which i s given added impact by the p l o s i v e *b* and emphatic trochee that begin the l i n e . The sun i s cast as a s e n i l e voyeur and the i n s u l t i s given s p e c i a l f o r c e i n the choice of the e p i t h e t 'unruly* which w i t h i t s senses of unregulated and e r r a t i c , would have considerable force to an age j u s t a d j u s t i n g to Gopernican changes. The tone of scorn i s c a r r i e d through the f i r s t verse and culminates i n the couplet: 72 Love, a l l a l i k e , no season knowes, nor clyme, Nor houres, dayes, months, which are the rags of time. (11. 9-10) The e f f e c t here i s of a s s e r t i v e s u p e r i o r i t y which proclaims love to be above time and mocks that instrument of time, the sun, as a mere "sawcy pedantic wretch." But because of the e x c i t e d declamatory s t y l e and the nervous broken rhythms, we f e e l r a t h e r t h a t i t i s Donne who i s the saucy wretch and the sun that becomes h i s scapegoat. He i s s p o t l i t and f e e l s uncomfortable. However, he p e r s i s t s i n r e g a r d i n g himself as the centre of the universe f o r i n the l a s t verse we see how the conceit of c o n t r a c t i o n makes the two l o v e r s one w o r l d . 5 1 The sun i s then i n v i t e d t o do i t s duty (1. 37) and to shine c o n s t a n t l y on them. To do t h i s i t s motion and therefore time must stop and we are l e f t w i t h an image of Donne and m i s t r e s s on a bed f l o o d l i t by the sun's r a y s , enjoying perpetual happiness: Donne i s at the centre not j u s t i n time* but f o r e t e r n i t y . The f u l l e f f e c t of the c o n c e i t i s r e a l i s e d i n the l a s t couplet where the sun's sole f u n c t i o n i s to shine on the bed, i t s only i n f l u e n c e to 52 warm and i l l u m i n a t e the room: i t has been r e l e g a t e d to a p e r i p h e r a l p o s i t i o n l e a v i n g centre-stage to be f i l l e d by the poet under the g l a r e of cosmic f l o o d l i g h t s . Having taken up t h i s p o s i t i o n how does Donne express h i m s e l f ? One of the f i r s t t h i n g s we n o t i c e i s h i s r e j e c t i o n of any conventional verse form. An anonymous Times L i t e r a r y Supplement 73 reviewer has noted that Donne "used f o r t y - s i x forms of stanza i n h i s l y r i c s ... . of which forty-two are of h i s own Invention.*• **The Sunne Rising* 1 i s one of the l a t t e r and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the f i r s t stanza g i v e s the impression of an impromptu ou t b u r s t . While r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t the c a r e f u l rhyme p a t t e r n (ABBA. CDCD EE) d i s q u a l i f i e s a c t u a l spontaneity, a s y l l a b l e count does r e v e a l an 8/4 10 10 8 8 10 10 10 10 sequence which does not conform to any standard s t a n z a i c p a t t e r n . The inference i s that the formative Impulse behind these l i n e s was not s t r i c t obedience to a r u l e but an i n t e r n a l requirement t h a t helped create i t s own shape. The length of l i n e i s p r i m a r i l y governed, t h e r e f o r e , by p s y c h o l o g i c a l determinants. We have spoken of Donne*s dramatic i n t e n s i t y , and of h i s s u b j e c t i v e c e n t r a l i t y : i f we combine the two we would expect to f i n d that the p o e t i c l i n e - - h e r e i n t e n s e l y dramatic—corresponded c l o s e l y w i t h the mental s t a t e . C r i t i c s have n o t i c e d that t h i s i s so and have spoken of I t v a r i o u s l y as tthe exact curve of h i s f e e l i n g , * ' or "the rhythm of thought i t s e l f . " - The p o i n t to be made, then, i s that the shape of the poem i s determined by two f o r c e s : the n e c e s s i t y f o r p a t t e r n and the d e s i r e to record the very f l u c t u a t i o n s of experience: the one r i g i d , the other evanescent. U n l i k e Spenser who d i s c i p l i n e s thought t i l l i t conforms to the p a t t e r n , Donne r e l i e s much more on h i s immediate impulse. We can i n t e r p r e t t h i s i n two waysv E i t h e r i t shows a l a c k 74 of confidence i n the a b s o l u t i s t world which Spenser's poem upholds, or i t argues a growing confidence i n the r e a l i t y of experience. E i t h e r way i t means that Donne i s able to impose h i s own w i l l on h i s poem so t h a t by Renaissance standards the r e s u l t s seem a r b i t r a r y and unpolished* To t h i n k back to Michelangelo's w i l f u l n e s s i n the S i s t i n e A l t a r p a i n t i n g i s to l i n k Donne's s e n s i b i l i t y w i t h h i s . For Michelangelo i t was the inner v i s i o n , f o r Donne i t i s the inner v o i c e t h a t i s of paramount importance. And so, to r e t u r n to the f i r s t v e r s e , we f i n d the rhythm of i n d i g n a t i o n and scorn caught i n the three abrupt phrases that begin the poem, as though the words were l i t t l e more than grunts and s n o r t s . The querulous question "must to thy motions l o v e r s seasons run?" has the impetuosity of n a t u r a l speech, while "sawcy pedantic wretch" though m e t r i c a l l y awry, nonetheless s u c c e s s f u l l y i m i t a t e s the emphatic tone of address and a p t l y s t r e s s e s "wretch** These* I t h i n k , are l e g i t i m a t e i n f e r e n c e s to draw from the poem, but i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e to argue that i t i s the mark of Donne's consummate a r t i s t r y that he i s able to give the impression of spontaneity by consc i e n t i o u s a t t e n t i o n to h i s c r a f t - - .a type of sprezzatura i n which the a r t i s to conceal the a r t . Instead of S i r P h i l i p Sidney d i s c l a i m i n g h i s sonnets as mere " t r i f l e s " 5 6 we have Donne pr e s e n t i n g h i s a r t as mere " e j a c u l a t i o n s . * The sense of spontaneity i s a form of the a r t i f i c e of s e l f - d e p r e c a t i o n , as though the poems were a c t u a l t r a n s c r i p t i o n s of an emotional 75 o u t b u r s t . Such a view i s appropriate ( i t was the c o u r t l y manner), but i t i s not the whole p i c t u r e when i t comes to Donne. Perhaps f o r C a s t i g l i o n e ' s c o u r t i e r , sprezzatura i s the p r e c i s e word,but i>onne was " r e b e l and a t h e i s t too," and i n c r e a t i n g a p r i v a t e v i s i o n and i n r e a c t i n g against t r a d i t i o n a l pressures, a great d e a l of psychic energy was r e l e a s e d which expresses i t s e l f through the poetry. Some i n d i c a t i o n of t h i s can be seen by assuming, f o r the sake of argument, that the f i r s t verse of "The Sunne Rising*', i s the product of a tension between inner pressure and a r t i s t i c requirement: the r e s u l t i s a c e r t a i n s t a n z a i c form that becomes the paradigm f o r the r e s t of the poem. From t h i s p o i n t , two observations may be made. The f i r s t i s t h a t having begun wi t h the unusual combination of a tetre—metre and dimetre and an i n i t i a l i n v e r s i o n i n the f i r s t l i n e (which we have al r e a d y decided i s w e l l designed to c a r r y the i n f l e x i o n s of contempt), he Is then hard pressed to repeat the sequence i n the second verse where, as a r e s u l t , an ugly i n v e r s i o n occurs and where the experience of u g l i n e s s does not c o n t r i b u t e to h i s meaning. To have d i s l o c a t e d the s t r u c t u r e of 'why shouldst thou thinke thy beames fare} so reverend and strong?' by p l a c i n g object f i r s t , a d j e c t i v a l phrase second and s u b j e c t i v e clause l a s t as he does i n , Thy beames, so reverend and s t r o n g Why shouldst thou thinke? (11. 11-12) argues an attempt to salvage the formal requirement a f t e r i t had been s u b j e c t i v e l y fashioned i n the f i r s t v erse. The second 76 o b s e r v a t i o n i s that having set up the rhythmic norm, v a r i a t i o n s from i t become h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t . Now i n the l i n e "Nothing e l s e iss," Donne i s a s s e r t i n g an e x t r a o r d i n a r y i d e a . I t i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y , f o r i n three words he has wholly i n v e r t e d c e n t u r i e s of thought. The l i n e reads w i t h three heavy s t r e s s e s : "Nothing e l s e i s , " and each emphasis u n d e r l i n e s the momentous idea that apart from the two l o v e r s there i s no e x i s t e n c e , no Being. While acknowledging the c l i c h e d sense of these l i n e s r — t h a t the l o v e r s were b l i n d to the outside w o r l d - - i t i s impossible to overlook the p h i l o s o p h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s i n view of the time when i t was w r i t t e n . Thus, the l i n e a l s o i s to be read as a s t a r t l i n g r e f u t a t i o n of the Neo-platonic cosmology that stems from the Tlmaeus wherein the world of Being i s the permanent r e a l i t y , the world of Becoming a changing 57 r e p l i c a of the same, In P l a t o n i c terms the u l t i m a t e b l i s s of l o v e r s i s the l o v e , f o r example, of Dante f o r B e a t r i c e i n the V i t a Nuova—the amor r a t i o n a l e . Donne, though, has reversed these v a l u e s . The world of e t e r n a l absolutes i s a n n i h i l a t e d i n favour of the absolutes of experience. Donne has committed himself to the sublunary world and the w o r l d l i n e s s of h i s imagery ( S t a t e s , Kings, P r i n c e s ) r e i n f o r c e s h i s earth-!-bound i n t e r e s t . Instead of an o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , he has found a s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y and the i n t e n s i t y of t h i s d i s c o v e r y informs the very modulation of the l i n e . I t i s because h i s i n s i g h t h i s t o r i c a l l y c o i n c i d e s w i t h a general d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the P l a t o n i c e d i f i c e that we must remember the i c o n o c l a s t i c 7 7 f e r v o u r that went w i t h t h i s breakdown, and because he a l s o saw the beginnings of a new v i s i o n , we must remember the excitement of d i s c o v e r y . The l i n e i s , t h e r e f o r e , e m o t i o n a l l y determined and, by opposing / x / / a g i n s t the norm x / x /, i t creates a type of counterpoint that we may read as an index of s u b j e c t i v i t y . Another way to express t h i s i s to speak of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l pressure working a g a i n s t the form which i s how P r o f e s s o r D a n i e l l s c h a r a c t e r i s e s one aspect of Mannerism i n M i l t o n , Mannerism and Baroque. In d i s c u s s i n g Lycidas he speaks of the way M i l t o n ' s " i n n e r experience" s t r a i n s a g a i n s t conventional forms to produce e f f e c t s that are I n i m i t a b l e . The v e r s i f i c a t i o n of the poem, f o r example, has never been s u c c e s s f u l l y emulated because i t expresses the e l u s i v e pulse of M i l t o n ' s own rhythm working aga i n s t the n o r m — i t shows "the t h r u s t and check of the verse [which] suggest immensely powerful f o r c e s working w i t h i n severe r e s t r i c t i o n s . 1 * 5 8 Then, a f t e r developing the idea, P r o f e s s o r D a n i e l l s summarises h i s argument by saying t h a t i n both Gomus and Lycidas " t h e strongest p s y c h o l o g i c a l impulses meet insuperable pressure and r e s i s t a n c e - - t h e y are denied space i n which to expand,*- and that ' t h e i r powerful expansiveness p o i n t s toward l i b e r a t i o n o n l y i n the transcendental and d i v i n e space y * We may see these t e c h n i c a l q u a l i t i e s [that he has been discussing] . . . as d i r e c t counterparts of t h e i r author's inner e x p e r i e n c e , " 5 9 I f we except the idea 78 of a "transcendental" release, the quotation i s equally applicable to the features we have noticed i n Donne. Wylie Sypher* too, i s repeatedly emphasising the fa c t that i n Mannerism the psychology does not appear to harmonise with the iconography (p. I l l ) , l o g i c (p. 127) or structure (p. 145), and gives Parmigianino as an example, saying that his figures suggest an incomplete control of a s e n s i b i l i t y with an 'excessive' or ' s h u t t l i n g 1 q u a l i t y ; there are signs of unexplained over-response to unknown s t i m u l i . And above a l l , the emotional implications are incongruous with the l o g i c of the composition; that i s , the iconography does not correspond to the psychology. 60 Gr again, "the mannerist churches have a repressed elegance, an ascetic r e f u s a l to achieve baroque splendor; i n t h i s architecture there i s a sign of struggle, but no f u l f i l l m e n t , no conquest—except f o r a 'tendency to excess within r i g i d boundaries.'" 6 1 There i s something of the "unexplained over-response to unknown s t i m u l i " that gives to "The Sunne Rising " that ''tendency to excess" i n i t s declamatory voice, a s t r a i n i n g of emotion against the formal pattern which cause one to hesitate in making t h i s poem a sort of manifesto of romantic love. Such a concept i s , of course, anachronistic and I think the h i s t o r i c a l corrective i s to see i t as a poem that,with vigorous browbeating i n t e n s i t y t s e t s up and asserts an a l t e r n a t i v e v i s i o n to the Platonic/Petrarchan world view. It i s legitimate to think of i t in these terms because Donne*s was a conscious attempt to f i n d a new voice and by e x p l i c i t l y countering the current mode he drew energy from the reaction. 79 But we have a l s o seen signs of h e s i t a t i o n which i n d i c a t e a r e l u c t a n c e to break c l e a n l y w i t h the past, and we should t h e r e f o r e set the poems somewhere between the poles of o l d and new and expect the ambiguity t h a t comes from s t r a d d l i n g two worlds. That such a context i s p e c u l i a r l y favourable to Mannerisim i s Hauser's main contention and i t helps e x p l a i n , f o r i n s t a n c e , not only why "the Mannerist composition [has} a p s y c h o l o g i c a l focus, . . . r a t h e r than any s t a t e d s t r u c t u r a l f o c u s , " 6 3 but a l s o why there can be no "adequate r e s o l u t i o n of f o r c e s nor adequate r e l e a s e o f e n e r g y . " 6 4 There i s , furthermore* the i m p l i c a t i o n here that any one poem Is an Incomplete statement and that i t r e q u i r e s the whole group of Songs and Sonnets to give i t a broader d e f i n i t i o n . The idea may be developed as f o l l o w s . U n l i k e the A s t r o p h l l and S t e l l a sequence which i n toto upholds a number of concepts, the Songs and Sonnets explore a number of a t t i t u d e s ; Sidney knows h i s l i m i t s : Donne i s l o o k i n g f o r h i s and the c o l l e c t i o n of Songs and Sonnets represents an attempt to define h i s a t t i t u d e s as they r e l a t e to love by working out a l l manner of p o s s i b l e approaches. Lou i s Martz expresses the idea w e l l when he w r i t e s : Donne's love poems take f o r t h e i r theme the problem of the place of human love i n a p h y s i c a l world dominate! by, change and death. The problem i s broached i n dozens of d i f f e r e n t ways, sometimes i m p l i c i t l y , sometimes e x p l i c i t l y , sometimes by a s s e r t i n g the i m m o r t a l i t y of l o v e , sometimes by d e c l a r i n g the f u t i l i t y of l o v e . Thus the Songs" and Sonets hold w i t h i n themselves every conceivable a t t i t u d e towards love threatened by change. 66 80 The e f f e c t , then, i s s i m i l a r to the a r t i s t w alking around h i s model, t a k i n g d i f f e r e n t angles and v a r y i n g h i s distance i n an attempt t o record the complete p i c t u r e . The analogy i s u s e f u l .because, f o r one t h i n g , i t r e f e r s us back to the Idea of the '•revolving view" that was discussed i n r e l a t i o n to Bologna, and secondly, i t i m p l i e s that f o r the a r t i s t the task i s impossible, f o r the s o r t of u n i t y that he can achieve i s bound to be fragmentary. J u s t so w i t h Donne. He hopes to def i n e love by h i s v a r y i n g views and whi l e encompassing "every conceivable a t t i t u d e " there i s no f u s i o n of the p a r t s — r t h e y remain fragmented v i s i o n s . That i s to say that any one poem of Donne's i m p l i e s others and that any poem, however d i s c r e t e i t may appear* i s i n f a c t enriched by seeing i t as a fragment. Another way of exp r e s s i n g t h i s i s to use Cleanth Brooks' concept of paradox which sees i t as the f o r c e of What the poet i s not sa y i n g working a g a i n s t what he i s say i n g . The sense of awe which i s one of the most remarkable q u a l i t i e s of Wordsworth's On  Westminster Bridge i s , Brooks claims, created most of a l l by the unspoken f a c t that i t i s remarkable t h a t a c i t y should be b e a u t i f u l a t a l l . The t a c i t f u l f i l s the e x p l i c i t . 6 7 S i m i l a r l y * the f u l l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the "Indifferent" are not r e a l i s e d u n t i l " A i r e and Angels" i s read, of "Twicknam Garden* u n t i l the •'Canonization'' and so on. Th i s i s not to suggest a one to one p a i r i n g , but i t i s to say that i f the poems are 81 seen d e s c r i b i n g the giddy c i r c l e of Donne's g y r a t i o n s i n l o v e , then the poems are i n e v i t a b l y opposed yet complementary i . e . the o r d e r i n g of the Songs and Sonnets i s p a r a d o x i c a l . T h i s , I suggest, i s one reason why they have proved so d i f f i c u l t to group. Quite apart from the n e g l i g i b l e i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e i r d a t i n g , attempts to organize them by themes, s t y l e , or chronology have always i n v o l v e d c o n t r a -d i c t i o n s and boundary disputes because the poems were not conceived of as a l i n e a r sequence. The cast of mind that wrote the Songs and Sonnets was, t o use t h i s example a g a i n , c l o s e r to Bologna's than to Sidney's, and when M u r i e l Bradbrook i n the New Statesman r e s i s t e d Helen Gardner's rearrangement ^on instinct,*!6® i t may w e l l be because she sensed the i n t e n t i o n a l l y s h i f t i n g o u t l i n e of t h i s group of poems. CHAPTER FOUR I n w r i t i n g about Mannerism there is always the d i f f i c u l t y of expressing e x a c t l y what one means by the term, f o r s c h o l a r l y o p i n i o n , by emphasising c e r t a i n inherent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , y i s capable of producing d e f i n i t i o n s as v a r i o u s as c o n t r a r i o u s . For example, Walter Friedlaender' s 1 e a r l y essay saw a n t i -c l a s s i c i s m as the Mannerist marque; to Dvorak, 2 i t was s p i r i t u a l i t y ; an approach developed and r e f i n e d by Hauser 3 as e x i s t e n t i a l i s t t e n s i o n . Recent w r i t i n g has taken the l a t e r a r t i s t s more i n t o account and has, l i k e John Shearman^ 4 made a p o i n t of the formal e l a b o r a t i o n , grace and elegance of the Mannerists. At many p o i n t s i n t h i s essay i t w i l l have been noticed that my comments have brought out a c e r t a i n ambiguity i n Donne's w o r k — o f tone, of convention, of u n c e r t a i n t y i n how to read h i s "accommodations'* or h i s sudden changes of d i r e c t i o n , This i s not e n t i r e l y f o r t u i t o u s , I f e e l , because i t c o i n c i d e s w i t h a number of observations on Mannerism that s t r e s s i t s ambiguous nature, i t s e l u s i v e n e s s and r e s i s t a n c e to d e f i n i t i v e judgements. The Mannerist work of a r t always i n v i t e s f u r t h e r comment. Reasons f o r t h i s have been o f f e r e d by Hauser who sees the great changes of the s i x t e e n t h century c r e a t i n g profound e p l s t e m o l o g l c a l u n c e r t a i n t i e s : 83 The age had l o s t confidence i n the unambiguity of f a c t s , had l o s t the sense of a c t u a l i t y a l t o g e t h e r . The boundaries between being and appearance, experience and i l l u s i o n , o b j e c t i v e statement and s u b j e c t i v e fantasy, had grown b l u r r e d , and i t began to be suspected that even the most o b j e c t i v e p i c t u r e of r e a l i t y was a product of the mind, and the r e f o r e p a r t l y f i c t i o n and i l l u s i o n , not separated by an abyss from the world of fantasy and dream, masquerading and a c t i n g . 5 The Mannerist a r t i s t s were not only immersed i n t h i s f l u x , "not only aware of the i n s o l u b l e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of l i f e but they - a c t u a l l y emphesised and i n t e n s i f i e d them; they p r e f e r r e d r e i t e r a t i n g and drawing a t t e n t i o n to them to screening or concea l i n g them. The f a s c i n a t i o n that the pa r a d o x i c a l nature and ambiguity of e v e r y t h i n g e x e r c i s e s o v e r t h e i r mind was so strong that they s i n g l e d out the c o n t r a -d i c t o r y q u a l i t i e s of t h i n g s , c u l t i v a t e d i t as a r t i s t s , and t r i e d to perpetuate i t and make i t the basic formula of their a r t . * Thus, we are not s u r p r i s e d when we read that i n d i s c u s s i n g Michelangelo's R i c e t t o and the Palazzo d e l Te "bothGembrich and Wifctkower came to the c o n c l u s i o n that i t was not intended f o r the beholder's questions to f i n d a c l e a r -cut answer, t h a t , on the co n t r a r y , the a r t i s t s were s t r i v i n g f o r ambiguity of form, and consequently a l s o f o r the beholder's p e r p l e x i t y . * * 7 Ambiguity, then, i s more than an i n c i d e n t a l f eature of Mannerism; i t i s a sine qua non of the whole a e s t h e t i c wherever c r i t i c s choose to l o c a t e i t — i n terms of c u l t u r a l causes (Hauser), a r t i s t s i n t e n t i o n s (Lotz) or 84 responses to absolutism. This l a s t point i s e s s e n t i a l l y one, that has been developed by Roy D a n i e l l s . F o l l o w i n g F r e d e r i c k H a r t t ' s essay on the e f f e c t of I t a l i a n despotism on s i x t e e n t h -Q century a r t i s t s . P r o f e s s o r D a n i e l l s sees i n Bacon's New  A t l a n t i s "a study of v a r i e t i e s of a b s o l u t i s m " — i n t h i s case the p o l i t i c a l absolutism of k i n g s h i p s e t a g a i n s t the 9 " i n e v i t a b l y subversive a c t i v i t y of s c i e n t i f i c enquiry." Now, as the New A t l a n t i s d e f i n e s i t s ambiguity by c o n f r o n t i n g ''two incommensurable kinds of power,"^ the Songs and Sonnets, concerned w i t h the absolute nature of l o v e , are found ambiguous i n t h e i r response to the p o s s i b l e ways i n which love can be conceived. But before examining Donne's poetry i n t h i s l i g h t , i t w i l l be h e l p f u l to t e s t the idea a g a i n s t the work of an a r t i s t who i s unquestionably Mannerist, r a t h e r i n the same way t h a t a s c i e n t i s t would run a ' c o n t r o l ' experiment. I n Parmigianino's Madonna w i t h the Rose we see a V i r g i n and C h i l d composition-^one i n a long t r a d i t i o n of d e v o t i o n a l p a i n t i n g s wherein the mother's love f o r her son, the shepherds* a d o r a t i o n , or C h r i s t ' s love f o r man i s v a r i o u s l y represented. A reference to Giotto's Madonna and C h i l d Enthroned, f o r example, shows how adorable the c h i l d Jesus i s f e l t to be, while Leonardo's cartoon f o r Madonna and C h i l d w i t h S t . Anne r e f l e c t s the warmth and humanity with which the subject i s imbued. And s i m i l a r confident expressions abound i n F r a F i l i p p o L i p p i , V e r r o c h i o , R o s s e l l i and so on back through the t r a d i t i o n . But when one looks back at Parmigianino one 85 i s momentarily s t a r t l e d , f o r expectations schooled i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n of C h r i s t i a n p i e t y are f r u s t r a t e d . As K e i t h Andrews has s a i d , Parmigianino*s "conception of a r e l i g i o u s theme, which so g r e a t l y deviates from the usual d e v o t i o n a l p i c t u r e , " 1 1 f o r c e s one to look a g a i n . And what one f i n d s , as one commentator has pointed out, i s that Parmigianino appears to borrow "the Madonna's pose from the Cnidian Venus or the Venus d e l M e d i c i , and that when we l o o k , we are t i t i l l a t e d by the thought of the Rageur marble which i s b a r e l y concealed by the diaphanous drapery.'* 1 2 He i s r e f e r r i n g to the suggestive and sensual d i s c o v e r y of the V i r g i n ' s breasts as she s i t s t h ere, wrapt i n an a i r of s t u d i e d ingenuousness. •'Never," says Hauser, "has she been more s e n s u a l l y , more s e d u c t i v e l y rendered.** 1 3 And n e i t h e r i s i t m i t i g a t i o n t o argue, as have Hauser and Andrews, that the p i c t u r e was o r i g i n a l l y of Venus and Cupid, although t h i s reference does open up the whole question of the tensionfebetween the c l a s s i c a l and C h r i s t i a n worlds. Whatever the p i c t u r e ' s f i r s t i n t e n t i o n , one must assume Parmigianino*s f i n a l i n t e n t i o n s were made e x p l i c i t i n the a d a p t a t i o n . In that case, why i s i t that so much of the s p i r i t of pagan mythology remains i n the Madonna: that Hauser c a l l e d C h r i s t a " s l y Cupid:" that C h r i s t bears such a s t r i k i n g resemblance to the Cupid of the Amor, and that an "unashamed s e n s u a l i t y " (Andrews) pervades the p i c t u r e ? To answer t h i s s a t i s f a c t o r i l y i s to r e f e r to the long d i s c u s s i o n i n the Middle Ages between c a r i t a s and c u p i d l t a s — - a d i s c u s s i o n t h a t 86 was to be aggravated through the Renaissance by the d e l i g h t i n the human body found i n c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . Panofsky has noted a temporary r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i n the e a r l i e r poets of the Dolce s t i l Nuovo, but come Parmigianino*s time, *there was i n the a i r . . . a c u l t u r a l malaise caused by the r e a l i s a t i o n of the i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y of Mediaeval C h r i s t i a n i t y 14 and Classicism.** I t was j u s t such a r e a l i s a t i o n that prompted the N e o - p l a t o n i s t s to t r y to harmonise the two worlds,,to e s t a b l i s h a " c i r c u i t o u s s p i r i t u a l i s * * wherein a l l t h ings i n c l i n e d towards an absolute of Beauty (or God), and where Man, i n P i c o ' s phrase, was the "connecting l i n k between God and the w o r l d . " 1 5 These, then, were the background f o r c e s against which the Parmigianino p a i n t i n g i s to be seen, but while suggestive they are too broad to shed much l i g h t on the p i c t u r e , to which we now r e t u r n . The V i r g i n ' s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s s e n s u a l i t y has a l r e a d y been n o t i c e d . Perhaps more should be made of t h i s o b s e r v a tion i n respect of Hauser's remark t h a t sex i s subjected to r i t u a l to make i t the more s u b t l y enjoyable, and a v e i l i s drawn over i t , n o t to conceal but to emphasise i t . A l l concealment emphasises what i s concealed, and a l l prudishness i s a s i g h o f bad conscience, but i n Mannerism the r e a l purpose of the concealment i s to r e v e a l , and prudishness i s merely a form of repressed l a s c i v i o u s n e s s . 16 In terms of the V i r g i n , the idea i s s h o c k i n g - - i t has the e f f e c t of exploding reverence i n such a way as to suggest Stephen's profa n a t i o n s i n the P o r t r a i t of an A r t i s t as a Young Man or , t o be more contemporary, t o change the theologians' nuditas v l r t u a l i s i n t o nuditas c r i m i n a l i s . And i f i t does t h i s , 87 what i s one to make of the effeminate C h r i s t c h i l d whose g e n i t a l s dominate the lower focus of the p i c t u r e and whose r e c l i n i n g pose seems more appropriate to a Venus f i g u r e . Quite c l e a r l y , whatever the o s t e n s i b l e subject of the p i c t u r e , i t i s impossible to deny a powerful expression of sensual i n t e r e s t which c o i n c i d e s more c l o s e l y w i t h the pagan than w i t h the C h r i s t i a n s t r a i n . **It took," wrote Panofsky, "the Proto-Renaissance s p i r i t to i n t e r p r e t the n u d i t y of Cupid as a symbol of love's ' s p i r i t u a l n a t u r e . ' " 1 7 Here the Cupid has become C h r i s t but the s p i r i t u a l i t y i s yet to come. To say t h i s i s t o p l a y the d e v i l ' s advocate, f o r the p i c t u r e i s not t o be too e a s i l y c ategorised as e r o t i c devotionalism--as p a i n t i n g i n the worst p o s s i b l e taste, I t has what P r o f e s s o r D a n i e l l s c a l l s an "adhesive q u a l i t y " 1 8 which deters quick judgement: i t has what K e i t h Andrews describes as "no glimmer of i n s i n c e r i t y , t h e a t r i c a l i t y 19 or empty v i r t u o s i t y , ' ' and above a l l , i t has grace, charm and a " v o l a t i l e m e l l i f l u o u s n e s s . " I t i s these q u a l i t i e s that one must set a g a i n s t the s e n s u a l i t y i n order to gauge the p a i n t i n g ' s e s s e n t i a l import, f o r i f the p i c t u r e p e r s i s t e n t l y hangs i n the mind, i f Parmigianino was i n f a c t "sincere* and i f the grace s i g n i f i c a n t l y q u a l i f i e s the s e n s u a l i t y , then one i s faced with a much more complex work of a r t than cheap r e l i g i o s i t y can e x p l a i n . 20 I t was V a s a r i who recorded the rumour that Parmigianino was Raphael's r e i n c a r n a t i o n , and c e r t a i n l y the l a t t e r ' s e x q u i s i t e sense of form i s r e a d i l y n o t i c e d i n Parmigianino's 88 p a i n t i n g s ; but whereas Raphael i d e a l i s e d j u s t p r o p o r t i o n , Parmigianino attenuates form u n t i l the i n t e r n a l conception, the disegno i n t e r n o , assumes g r e a t e r importance than any • e x t e r n a l * canon. While the Madonna of the Rose shows t h i s c l e a r l y enough i n the g r a c e f u l l y elongated f i n g e r s of the V i r g i n ' s hand and i n the sinuous l i n e moving through the drapery, i t i s the Madonna wi t h the Long Neck that provides i t s c l e a r e s t statement. Here, both observation and p r o p o r t i o n are subservient to an overwhelming idea of gracefulness-9-the s o r t which values q u i e t understated c o l o u r s , urbane gestures, elegant mannerisms, r e s t r a i n t and p o l i s h ; The V i r g i n ' s r i g h t hand r e f l e c t s a suave modesty ap p r o p r i a t e to the world of G a s t i g l i o n e ' s C o u r t i e r . The marble p i l l a r s and r a f f i n e , c o o l and d e l i g h t f u l l y i r r e l e v a n t . The urn (possibly a symbol of the womb) i s e x p l o i t e d more f o r i t s shape, f o r the echoes i t r a i s e s i n t h i g h and c a l f , than f o r i t s iconographic import. I t i s , i n b r i e f , an almost e t h e r e a l world, e x c l u s i v e and magical i n t o which only the r e f i n e d may pass. C r u d i t y would s h a t t e r the s p e l l . Yet we have al r e a d y spoken of a l e v e l not f a r removed from c r u d i t y . And t h i s i s j u s t the p o i n t . The s e n s u a l i t y i s t r a n s f u s e d by beauty i n t o ''something r i c h and strange." I t r e t a i n s a l l i t s o r i g i n a l p r o p e r t i e s but they are seen i n a muchwider context than mere coarseness. I t i s t h i s p e c u l i a r combination of q u a l i t i e s , so Jrequently kept a p a r t , that imparts to Parmigianino the e s s e n t i a l ambiguity of h i s work. 89 I t seems to me that c r i t i c s , uneasy about the s e n s u a l i t y , have concentrated on e x p l a i n i n g i t away i n a e s t h e t i c or s p i r i t u a l terms. Thus, Hauser speaks of the "autonomous realm of 2 1 beauty,* Andrews a s s e r t s that " i n a l l h i s works, p h y s i c a l grace equals and e x p l a i n s inner s p i r i t u a l i t y , " 2 2 w h i l e P r o f e s s o r D a n i e l l s i n an idea he admittedly c a l l s " p r e c a r i o u s , " suggests that *human gracefulness i s an outcome of d i v i n e g r a c e " 2 3 T - a view t h a t the C a t h o l i c Encyclopoedia r e i n f o r c e s when i t speaks of an element of " a c t u a l grace* as being "charm [and] gracefulness . . . because charm c a l l s f o r t h benevolent l o v e . * 2 4 However, i n view of the f a c t that Parma was only three days! r i d e from F l o r e n c e , that the F l o r e n t i n e Academy was w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n the f i f t e e n t h century, and that B o t t i c e l l i , Raphael and Michelangelo were a l l i n f l u e n c e d by Neo-platonism, i t i s reasonable to argue that a Neo-platonic I n t e r p r e t a t i o n may help account f o r the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of s p i r i t and f l e s h i n t h i s p i c t u r e . According to t h i s school of thought * a l l n a t u r a l d e s i r e s are r e l a t e d to God, both w i t h respect to o r i g i n ^ . , and to end." Love i s defined as "a d e s i r e f o r the f r u i t i o n of 2 5 beauty" ( d e s l d e r l o d i b e l l e z z a ) , while beauty i s seen as pa r t of a t o t a l r e l i g i o u s concept, such that beauty, the d i r e c t r e s u l t of grace, d i r e c t s man to the love of God. So what we have here i s a p r o g r e s s i o n : d e s i r e , the a p p e t l t u s  n a t u r a l i s , i n c l i n e s to God. God i s l o v e . Love i s f u l f i l l e d i n beauty. Beauty p o i n t s to God. In other words, a c i r c u l a r philosophy t h a t u n i f i e s the elements i n man (otherwise separated by the C l a s s i c a l - C h r i s t i a n p o l a r i t y ) w i t h i n a religiou3 90 I n a p p l y i n g such a p a t t e r n to Parmigianino, we f i n d the tensions and a n t i t h e s e s n o t i c e d e a r l i e r b l u r and the c e n t r a l ambiguity no longer seems so c r i t i c a l , f o r here we see beauty and grace, both d i v i n e l y d e r i v e d , transmuting the fundamental human d e l i g h t i n the things of the senses i n t o an a c t of l o v e and worship towards God. This i s an a t t r a c t i v e reading i n that i t appears to u n i f y o p p o s i t i o n s but i t i s incomplete because i t does not account f o r the overwhelming impression given by the p i c t u r e that i t i s not God that i s being celebrated by t h i s beauty. I t i s p r e c i s e l y because the p i c t u r e f a l l s to present an unequivocal document of p r a i s e to a higher beauty that i t remains f i n a l l y ambiguous. The i n g r e d i e n t s f o r a C h r i s t i a n / P l a t o n i s t paean are there: V i r g i n a and C h i l d , angels ( ? ) , grace and beauty but they never cohere without a q u a l i f i c a t i o n . Why i s the p r o p h e t i c f i g u r e w i t h the s c r o l l so q u i r k i s h and angular? Why the p o w e r f u l l y H e l l e n i c m o t i f s ? Why the Ephebe/Angel s t a r i n g a t the viewer? Why the enigmatic Madonna? The u n d e r l y i n g reason why the p i c t u r e does not stand alone as a r e l i g i o u s p a i n t i n g i s that i t never separates i t s e l f from i t s c r e a t o r or i t s viewer. The meaning of the p i c t u r e r e q u i r e s us to understand i t i n terms of Parmigianino's p s y c h o l o g y — t h e v i s i b l e s i g n of the i n v i s i b l e disegno--for that i s where the ambiguity o r i g i n a t e s . The hypnotic eyes of the attendant youth are an i n v i t a t i o n to the viewer to engage w i t h the p i c t u r e and to check with his own responses i n order 91 to understand. Thus, i n a sense, a Mannerist p i c t u r e i s one w i t h no frame, f o r by i m p l y i n g that the nature o f p e r c e p t i o n i s s u b j e c t i v e , the a r t work d i r e c t s our responses inwards so that we are obliged to adopt an a f f e c t i v e c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n because the work demands i t — t h a t i s part of the way i n which i t means. To t u r n now to Donne's ambiguity towards love i s to face a complex matter f o r , i n e f f e c t , h i s whole l i f e and h i s works record the attempt of one t r y i n g to e s t a b l i s h p r i o r i t i e s between c o n f l i c t i n g appeals. The waning Middle Ages s t i l l e x e r c i s e d a powerful hold over him, i n terms of s c h o l a s t i c method, cosmology and Z e i t g e i s t , w h i l e , a t the same time, he was a c u t e l y aware of the s p i r i t of change that d e r i v e d from the Renaissance and Reformation, w h i l e yet again aware of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the new s c i e n c e : "The new philosophy c a l l s a l l i n doubt," he w r i t e s i n the Anatomy  of the World. For example, the h i e r a r c h i c Chain of Love (Being)* so m e t i c u l o u s l y wrought by the s c h o l a s t i c s , had y i e l d e d much to humanist pressures that urged man's d i g n i t y by appeals, f o r example, to the body as opposed to the e a r l i e r contemptu mundi. The problem, then, of ^ r e c o n c i l i n g Garbonek and Camelot," 2 6 of human and d i v i n e l o v e , became one of great urgency and one to which there were no simple answers f o r ^onne. Although, f o r i n s t a n c e , he could w r i t e the "Hymne to G o d the Father," w i t h i t s f i n a l r e s i g n a t i o n and f a i t h i n God's l o v e , we a l s o have to reckon w i t h "Elegy XIX" 92 which enjoys quite a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of l o v e . Although the "Holy Sonnets" are addressed to God, God becomes the r a v i s h e r and h i s Ghurch a p r o s t i t u t e , and i t i s q u i t e arguable t h a t the Spngs and Sonets, i n a n a l y s i n g human l o v e , a r e , a f t e r a l l , Donne's greatest poems. What I am saying i s that Donne has no systematic philosophy of l o v e ; he i s not working i n a c l e a r t r a d i t i o n , such as Petrarchanism, f o r example, and t h a t , as a r e s u l t he i s d i f f i c u l t to r e a d — i s ambiguous. In t h i s connection, N.J.C. Andreasen has traced Donne's use of the l i t e r a r y love conventions and f i n d s t h a t , f a r from i d e n t i f y i n g with them he consciously manipulates the ©vidian s t r a i n , parodies the Petrarchan, or employs the P l a t o n i c to s u i t the requirements of the moment. The "Extasie,** indeed, combines a l l three f o r i t "seems to use Ovidian i r o n y to p o r t r a y an i d o l a t r o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p [Petrarch] which masquerades as P l a t o n i c i d e a l i s m . " 2 7 Thus, the u n c e r t a i n t y of never q u i t e knowing i n what way we are to read Donne's use of conventional f i g u r e s adds another l e v e l of general ambiguity. To be s p e c i f i c , however, I want now to look at the ^ E x t a s i e " i n some d e t a i l . I t i s a poem tha t a t t r a c t s considerable disagreement and t h e r e f o r e presents a prima f a c i e case f o r i t s i n h e r e n t l y problematic nature. Something of t h i s i s seen i n the way s c h o l a r s have reacted to i t s e s s e n t i a l meaning. Herbert G r i e r s o n , f o r example, sees the poem as concerning *the interconnexion and mutual dependence of body and s o u l , " 2 8 93 while f o r E.M.W. T i l l y a r d , Donne's " r e a l i n t e r e s t i s . . . man's place i n the order of c r e a t i o n . " 2 9 But with regard to the tone there i s s t i l l greater v a r i e t y , ^ome, l i k e J.B. Leishman, see a play of w i t as the c r i t i c a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t , while George P o t t e r p r e f e r s to read Donne as a poet s e r i o u s l y p r e s e n t i n g h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p i n i o n s . C e r t a i n l y , P o t t e r deplores Legouis* reading which makes the ' n a r r a t o r ' a " s c h o l a s t i c Don Juan." Others see s a t i r e , 3 2 rV> ^ 4 or drama, while game-playing i s suggested by A n d r e a s e n ^ — a view supported by Grierson who i m p l i e s that Donne adopted 35 o c c a s i o n a l masks. C l e a r l y i t i s time to examine what a l l the contention i s about, and s i n c e , as Mario Praz has pointed out, the u n i t of a Donne poem Is "not the l i n e , as i n many sonneteers, and not even the stanza, but the e n t i r e poem i n i t s serpentine swerving from once excitement to another," i t i s probably best to approach the poem by t r a c i n g the progress of thought as i t develops through the "dialogue of one." The speaker, i s day-dreaming and musingly addresses 0' h i s l o v e r , r e c a l l i n g with pleasure a recent intimate occasion when, "one anothers best," they r e s t e d on a v i o l e t - c o v e r e d bank, h o l d i n g hands and gazing i n t o each other's eyes. The p i c t u r e i s s u f f i c i e n t l y innocent and r e s t r a i n e d to f i t e a s i l y i n t o some p a s t o r a l i d y l l where shepherd p l i g h t s t r o t h to h i s maiden, but a r c a d i a , though, i s i l l - d e s i g n e d to accommodalB t h i s l o v e r ' s cast of mind f o r , impatient of timeless wooing, 94 he seems i n no doubt about h i s i n t e n t i o n s . For him the bank i s "pregnant" and reminds him of a " p i l l o w : " the heat of passion b r i n g a sweat to t h e i r palms, while " l o o k i n g babies" at each other suggests conception ("get," as i n "get w i t h c h i l d a mandrake r o o t " ) , reproduction ("propagation") and a l l t hat goes w i t h i t . I n b r i e f * i t appears that the wooing i s i n a l a t e stage and that i t s consummation i s '•devoutly to be wished." Indeed, they begin by s i t t i n g (1. 4) but a f t e r the b r i e f i n t e r r u p t i o n f o r a quasi-epic s i m i l e , they are rediscovered l y i n g side by side„(l. 18). Without doubt, then, the poem begins on a sensual note--the p a s t o r a l s e t t i n g shot through w i t h Gvidian s p i r i t , and our expectation to l i n e 12 i s tha t the s i t u a t i o n posed w i l l be w i t t i l y r e s o lved to the s a t i s f a c t i o n , perhaps, of the readers' l e a s t d i s c r i m i n a t i n g i n t e r e s t s . However, t h i s thread i s a b r u p t l y broken as we switch conventions and move i n t o the P l a t o n i c mode f o r a pe r i o d of some t h i r t y - s i x l i n e s (13-48) i n which the l o v e r s are l e f t i n a state of p e t r i f a c t i o n ( " l i k e s e p u l c h r a l statues'*.) f o r the d u r a t i o n of the f o l l o w i n g d i s c o u r s e . The g i s t of the argument i n t h i s s e c t i o n i s the standard P l a t o n i c one that "••the l o v e r gives up h i s soul to l i v e i n another,** and that such an a c t i s o f t e n "described i n terms of r e l i g i o u s e c s t a s y , " 3 8 J u s t so here: a q u a l i f i e d observer (1. 23) i s i n v i t e d to sample the "new concoction" of t h e i r fused s o u l s and i s promised to be the b e t t e r f o r i t when he leaves, while the l o v e r s themselves, speaking w i t h the p r i v i l e g e d i n s i g h t of ecstasy, recognise and confess that a f t e r a l l " i t 95 was not sexe" t h a t r e a l l y a t t r a c t e d them, but ' t r u e 1 love which " i n t e r i n a n i m a t e s two soules,** (1. 42) which creates an " a b l e r s o u l e " (by f u s i o n ) , which "defects of l o n e l i n e s s c o n t r o u l e s " (1. 44) and which makes f o r i m m o r t a l i t y (1. 48). Certainly, the argument i s impressive and one i s tempted to demean the sweaty palms i n the l i g h t of such elevated philosophy. Impressive i t may be but whether persuasive i s d o u b t f u l , and one i s reminded of C.S. Lewis's s t r i c t u r e t hat love "does not prove i t s e l f pure by t a l k i n g about p u r i t y . " The tone set by the f i r s t l i n e s , ••As •t w i x t two e q u a l l Armies . ." i s formal and d i s t a n t , the argument t i g h t and uncompromising, the only image that c a r r i e s any warmth--"a s i n g l e v i o l e t " - -c o i n c i d e n t a l l y (?) r e f e r s one back to the f i r s t twelve l i n e s and t h e i r very d i f f e r e n t connotations, while h i s use of "Atomies" (1. 47) i s incongruous when d e s c r i b i n g something so immaterial as the s o u l , f o r as A u s t i n W a r r e n 3 9 has n o t i c e d , i n Donne 1s time the word had, from L u c r e t i u s , a s t r i c t l y m a t e r i a l connotation. Thus, although the e c s t a s i e s of s p i r i t u a l love are lauded f a r above the p h y s i c a l , one cannot help but f e e l t h a t the speaker i s no more convinced than we a r e . Such a view i s given f i n e emphasis i n l i n e s 49-50 which begin the t h i r d and l a s t s e c t i o n of the poem. At t h i s p o i n t , a f t e r having 'established 1 the primacy of the s p i r i t u a l worid, the speaker begins an argument that attempts t o r e c o n c i l e body and s o u l . Perhaps he need have gone no f u r t h e r than these opening l i n e s : 96 But 0 a l a s , so long, so f a r r e Our bodies why doe wee forbeare? (11. 49-50) i f he really wanted to l o c a t e h i s l o y a l t i e s , f o r a f t e r the a r i d r a t i o c i n a t i o n of the previous s e c t i o n , the i n t e n s i t y w i t h which he r e t u r n s to h i s p h y s i c a l f r u s t r a t i o n s speaks more deeply than a l l h i s l o g i c a l manoeuvring. However, he continues the debate, arguing w i t h s c h o l a s t i c n i c e t y t h a t although "we are/the i n t e l l i g e n c e s " ( i . e . are s o u l f u l b e i n g s ) , we need our bodies ("the sphere") because they are the "booke* by which love i s read (1. 72). Indeed, while "loves mysteries" f i n a l l y r e s i d e i n the s o u l (1. 71), "pure l o v e r s soules must d e s c e n d / t ' a f f a c t i o n s , and to f a c u l t i e s , / w h i c h sense may reach and apprehend,/else a great P r i n c e i n p r i s o n l i e s " (11. 65*68). This may be scrupulous argument but i t i s sheer s o p h i s t r y and q u i t e unorthodox i n the context of the methods he i s u s i n g , f o r t r a d i t i o n a l s c h o l a s t i c i s m / P l a t o n i s m saw no great need to emphasisethe body. Godhead was pure Soul or Being and man a s p i r e d to God-head to the extent that he s p i r i t u a l i s e d h i s existence away from the v e g e t a t i v e , the animal, the human orders and approximated to the a n g e l i c and d i v i n e — i n other words ascended the Chain of Being. What the speaker has done i s to manipulate the t r a d i t i o n a l concepts to serve a purpose c l o s e r to h i s requirements than t h e i r s . In e f f e c t , he has q u i e t l y j u s t i f i e d the body while o s t e n s i b l y e x t o l l i n g the s p i r i t . I t comes, t h e r e f o r e , as l e s s of a s u r p r i s e than i t might when he d e c l a r e s : r'To our bodies turne wee then" (1. 6 9 ) — e s p e c i a l l y 97 as throughout the leng t h of the d i s c o u r s e , we have been wondering about the two l o v e r s of the opening l i n e s whose mutual a t t e n t i o n s were so untimely i n t e r r u p t e d . The extreme s u b t l e t y of the speaker's undercutting technique i s w e l l shown i n the l i n e s immediately f o l l o w i n g "to our bodies .. . . ." which read: " . . . that/weake men on love r e v e a l ' d may looke" (1.68). There i s here i n "weake men" and "love r e v e a l ' d " a c l e a r a l l u s i o n to C h r i s t ' s i n c a r n a t i o n f o r the guidance of e r r i n g man and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n i n the argument i s that the very essence of lov e , Christ,echose to adopt man's body to do h i s work. Thus the body i s sacred. The point i s secure and w e l l taken. However, at an i r o n i c l e v e l , the two l o v e r s themselves are part of a parodic e x p l o i t a t i o n of the i n c a r n a t i o n image, f o r they too are soon to go to t h e i r bodies, they w i l l be "love r e v e a l ' d " as they expect to be watched by a t h i r d p a r t y , and they too have t h e i r message f o r "weake men"—that sexual love i s l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t ("small change") from s p i r i t u a l l o v e . And thus the poem ends on t h i s uneasy note. The l o v e r s are about to break t h e i r trance and take over where they l e f t o f f i n the face of c l e a r statements that the highest love i s the e c s t a t i c f u s i o n of souls above and beyond the l i m i t a t i o n s of the f l e s h . I f one adds to t h i s , the e l u s i v e t o n a l q u a l i t y of the poem and a l s o our u n c e r t a i n t y concerning the use of t r a d i t i o n a l conventions, we must conclude that "the whole problem of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the soul and body i n love i s brought to a c r i s e s of ambiguity i n . . .'The E c s t a s i e ' . " 4 0 98 Mention has been made i n t h i s chapter of Neo-platonism and i t would seem that something of Donne's a t t i t u d e s to love could be discovered i f h i s response to t h i s i n f l u e n t i a l school of thought could be gauged. In view o f the s c a r c i t y of published m a t e r i a l on the question, i t i s necessary f i r s t , however, to review the extent to which Donne was aware of Neo-platonism because much of the evidence i s c i r c u m s t a n t i a l . Beginning w i t h Grierson's cautious comment that "Donne had probably read F i c i n o ' s t r a n s l a t i o n of P l o t i n u s , " 4 1 and Andreasen's " s a f e s t s p e c u l a t i o n " that "he read the C h r i s t i a n P l a t o n i s t s df the FlorentineAcademy,,'* 4 2 we may move to Helen Gardner's a s s e r t i o n that "Leone Ebreo's D l a l o g h l d'Amore {was} a book which I am convinced Donne knew w e l l . * 4 3 Frank Doggett concludes that as w e l l as C h r i s t i a n Platonism from Augustine, Donne knew F i c i n o and G a s t i g l i o n e , 4 4 w h i l e there i s no question but that "Paracelsus, Cusanus, P i c o d e l l a Mirandola, not to f o r g e t ''our s i n g u l a r Origen* are repeatedly c i t e d i n the w r i t i n g s of Donne." 4 5 On evidence such as t h i s and even perhaps on remarks l i k e Walton's, *that t h i s age had brought f o r t h another Pic u s M i r a n d u l a " 4 6 ( i . e . Donne), or more s t r o n g l y on Donne's s p e c i a l p r a i s e f o r P i c o and F r a n c i s c u s Georgius i n h i s 47 Catalogos Llbrorum, Helen Gardner concludes that Donne must have "read widely . . . Q.n) the I t a l i a n C a b b a l i s t s AO and N e o - p l a t o n i s t s . " • Indeed, she even speculates that i t was during the p e r i o d between 1602 and 1605 when Donne moved 99 to P y r f o r d , with no job and bleak prospects, that he wrote the sonnets that she has grouped as s e c t i o n I I of her e d i t i o n . i n h i s enforced retirement he continued h i s remote reading and, having l o s t the world f o r l o v e , was a t t r a c t e d in- authors whose sp e c u l a t i o n s had already f a s c i n a t e d him by a theory of love r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the n a t u r a l i s t i c view that had been the b a s i s of much of h i s e a r l i e r love poetry and from the Petrarchan i d e a l i z a t i o n of f r u s t r a t i o n . 49 Though c r i t i c s have objected to the r i g i d i t y of Helen Gardner's en c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , w none has questioned her b a s i c o r g a n i z a t i o n , so we can say that these poems i n her second s e c t i o n were, wit h the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a few exceptions, w r i t t e n while immersed i n Neo-platonic thought. On these grounds, we would expect to f i n d such a poem as " A i r e and Angels" working out these important ideas ( r a t h e r as Bruno d i d i n the E r o l c i F u r o r i ) 5 1 w i t h a view to e s t a b l i s h i n g a poetic counterpart to the prose t r e a t i s e s ; e s p e c i a l l y as "the r o l e s whicifcmatter and s p i r i t . . . play i n human l o v e " are among the c e n t r a l 52 concerns of the poem. Indeed, the f i r s t two l i n e s only make sense i f we understand "thee'' (1. 1) as the idea of you i . e . the P l a t o n i c i d e a l of you as an i n s u b s t a n t i a l and p e r f e c t form, and from t h i s p o i n t the f i r s t stanza i s , as N e i l l says, "reminiscent of the t h e o r i e s of love of G u i n z e l l i and the Platonism of Bembo . . . and draws the p a r a l l e l which i s the theme of the poem: the opera t i o n of a s p i r i t u a l f o r c e through a p h y s i c a l medium." 5 3 For example, i n the C o u r t i e r , Bembo e x p l a i n s how "love i s nothing e l s e but 100 a c e r t a i n c o v e t i n g to enjoy beauty," 0* and that beauty must express i t s e l f through the p h y s i c a l world, notably through man. But speaking of the beauty that we mean, which i s onely i t , that appeareth i n bodies, and e s p e c i a l l y i n the face of man, and moveth t h i s f e r v e n t coveting which we c a l l l o v e , we w i l l terme i t an Influence of the heayenly b o u n t i f u l n e s s e , when i t f i n d e t h out a face w e l l proportioned, and framed w i t h a c e r t a i n e l i v e l y agreement of s e v e r a l c o l o u r s , and set f o r t h w i t h l i g h t s and"shadowes, and w i t h an o r d e r l y d i s t a n c e and l i m i t s of l i n e s , t h e r e i n t o i t d i s t e l l e t h i t s e l f e and appeareth most wel favoured. 55 Bembo h i n t s here that Beauty i s derived from God (a p o i n t he makes most e x p l l c t elsewhere) 5 6! and i s t h e r e f o r e to be r e l i g i o u s l y sought. The f a c t t h a t beauty i s only manifest i n the m a t e r i a l world leads to the i n e v i t a b l e c o n c l u s i o n that p h y s i c a l love i s admirable. A k i s s , f o r instance, becomes "a k n i t t i n g together both of bodie and soule** wherein a man hath a d e l i t e to joyne h i s mouth . . . w i t h a k i s s e : not to s t i r r e him to any dishonest d e s i r e , but because hee f e e l e t h that that bonde i s the opening of an e n t r i e of the soules, which . . . poure them selves by turne the one i n t o the others body, and bee so mingled together, that each of them hath two s o u l e s . " / Even •the devine l o v e r , " P l a t o , s a i d "that i n k i s s i n g h i s soule came as f a r r e as h i s l i p p e s to depart out of the body (p. 607). However, i t must be understood i n t h i s : ; case that the l o v e r i s loved f o r h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n higher t h i n g s ; "reason" a s p i r e s to "understanding'* r a t h e r than descends to "sense* (p. 593). Bembo i s quite c l e a r about the nature of love which i s pursued s o l e l y to s a t i s f y t t h e l o n g i n g of sense" 101 I t leads to v i c e , "unhonest l u s t s , " and "other greater m i s e r i e s " (p. 594), and though i t may be excused i n the young (p. 596), i t must be soon l e f t behind or the s o u l w i l l be permanently "drowned i n the e a r t h l y p r i s o n * (p. 595)--a phrase t h a t might have c o n t r i b u t e d to Donne* s, ^ S l s e a great P r i n c e i n p r i s o n l i e s " ("The Extasie** 1. 68). However, the l o v e r that contemplates the b e a u t i f u l w i l l take h i s "love f o r a stayre (as i t were) to climbe up to another f a r r e higher than i t " (p. 610), and by ascending w i l l move through the s e n s i b l e world to "beholde the beautie that i s seene w i t h the eyes of the minde" (p. 611), and thence to an awareness of God h i m s e l f (p. 613). In t h i s journey the soul i s p r o g r e s s i v e l y p u r i f i e d of gross matter and assumes more and more the nature of A n g e l i c substance: having "no more neede of the discourse of reason" (p. 612), i t a t t a i n s to "understanding," u n t i l f i n a l l y , "the soule k i n d l e d i n the most holy f i r e of t r u e heavenly l o v e , f l e e t h to couple her s e l f e w i t h the nature of Angels . . . f o r being changed i n t o an A n g e l l , t s i c j she understandeth a l l th i n g s t h a t may be understood" (p. 612). T h i s , then, i s b a s i c a l l y the philosophy of love t h a t Donne would have absorbed from C a s t i g l i o n e and which we can see t r e a t e d i n " A i r e and Angels". The poem begins w i t h the poet recounting the h i s t o r y of h i s l o v e , ( o s t e n s i b l y to h i s m i s t r e s s though she i s d r a m a t i c a l l y so unimportant that her presence i s never f e l t ) , and e x p l a i n i n g how a t f i r s t he was i n love w i t h love (11. 1-2), but already hadfi i n t i m a t i o n s of 102 how love could be expressed p h y s i c a l l y by analogy with the way angels communicate through the sensible world (11. 3-4). However, whenever he t r i e d to r e a l i s e the ideal pattern, i t was c e r t a i n l y seen as something most beautiful but was never anything more than a v i s i o n . In terms of the palpable, i t was a "nothing",(11. 5-6). D i s s a t i s f i e d , he r e a l i s e s that just as the soul takes on a body so must i t s c h i l d , love, or else love would be more ethereal than the soul (11. 7-10). Therefore,the bids love f i n d a body, and he allows i t to l i v e there i n " l i p , eye,- and brow." i n specifying ' l i p ' he can, of course* be repeating a hackneyed phrase^but.lip also r e c a l l s the passage on k i s s i n g in Castiglione i n which case he i s implying that once love has found i t s 'form,' physical love w i l l necessarily follow because i t leads back to higher things (11. 11-14). Donne's use of "assume" here, i n c i d e n t a l l y , reinforces the movement of ideal to material as i t s theological sense was the taking on of f l e s h by the Son--57 the sense of love incarnate. So f a r , then, Donne has restated the Bemboist p o s i t i o n — i d e a l love i s beautiful but i t must be translated into sense, into the human form, i f i t i s to be f u l l y known. The second stanza, too, seems to p a r a l l e l the philosopher's discourse,for i t begins with a condemnation of sensuality i . e . loss of the s p i r i t u a l u l t e r i o r motive. The thought runs as follows: while I thought that by bringing love down to earth I would have gained a more balanced and a steadier. 103 conception of i t , i t seems that I have gone too f a r , f o r I see no more than your p h y s i c a l beauty and f i n d myself i n the impossible position of v a l u i n g your every h a i r . There must be another way ( 1 1 . 1 5 - 2 0 ) . The impact of t h i s statement i s fereatly enhanced by the n a u t i c a l image which c a r r i e s i t , i n that a "pinnace," being a reconnaissance c r a f t , 5 8 a p t l y captures the s p i r i t of the e x p l o r a t o r y tone that c h a r a c t e r i s e s the poem and i t s being over b a l l a s t e d to the p o i n t of s i n k i n g expresses the sense of p h y s i c a l s a t i e t y t h a t weighs Donne's s p i r i t down. I t i s p o s s i b l e a l s o that Donne had i n mind a double entendre f o r **pinnace" which* as Murray Prosky has noted was commonly used to describe a p r o s t i t u t e . I f t h i s i s the case, i t i s f i t t i n g that h i s l o v e , t h a t goes no f u r t h e r than the body, should be seenas a p r o s t i t u t e . Prosky gives the sense of these l i n e s as f o l l o w s : " I r e a l i s e d or materialised, the i d e a l o b j e c t of my love to such&an extent that she looked l i k e a bawd making a v u l g a r d i s p l a y of her wares. Consequently, the admiration s i n k s from the i d e a l object to an object of s e n s u a l i t y and l u s t . ' * 5 9 We see then how the two poles of love a b s t r a c t and sensual, have been f i x e d and found wanting: " f o r nor i n nothing, nor i n things/extreme, and s c a t t , r i n S b r i g h t , can love inhere'* ( H i 2 1 - 2 2 ) . The necessary compromise was found i n * * l i p , eye* and brow" which i f p r o p e r l y addressed l e d , Bembo would say, to " u n i v e r s a l ! b e a u t i e . " At t h i s point, t h e r e f o r e , one would expect 104 Donne to conclude h i s poem w i t h a p o s i t i v e a f f i r m a t i o n of love's s p i r i t u a l i n f l u e n c e r a t h e r l i k e Bembo's l o v e - k i n d l e d soul t h a t ii Wfleeth to couple her s e l f e with the nature of Angels (p. 612) and which i n s p i r e s him to almost r e l i g i o u s e x h o r t a t i o n : Let us t h e r e f o r e bind a l l our force and thoughtes of soule to t h i s most holy l i g h t , that sheweth us the way which leadeth to heaven: and a f t e r i t , p u t t i n g o f f the a f f e c t i o n s we were c l a d a t our coming down, l e t us climbe up the s t a i r e s , which a t the lowermost steppe have the shadow of s e n s u a l l beaut i e , to the high mansion place where the heavenly, amiable and r i g h t beautie d w e l l e t h , which l y e t h hidden i n the innermost secretes of God. (p. 613) Indeed, Donne does appeal t o the Angels but i s unable to s u s t a i n an upward f l i g h t . I t i s as though he baulks a t a commitment to suchaan absolute and magnificent concept of love i n which the s o u l can ascend to the very presence of God. Bembo mounts inexorably to d i v i n e h e i g h t s : Donne weighs, t r i e s and f a l t e r s . The opportunity to gain a n g e l i c i n s i g h t i s not taken, and Donne turns back to work out a r a t h e r ungenerous love b a r t e r that r e q u i r e s her>to l o v e - i n order that he can love her. Thus i n the s i m i l e "as an A n g e l l , f a c e , and wings/ of a i r e , not pure as i t , yet pure doth weare? (11. 23-24), he reverses the upward movement by speaking of an angel's assumption of matter ("aire") as a compromise of i t s e t h e r e a l p u r i t y , w h i l e at the same time s e t t i n g up a d i s t i n c t i o n between degrees of p u r i t y which he uses to p o i n t the commonplace b e l i e f that the male p r i n c i p l e was s u p e r i o r to the female (11. 26-28). Or i s i t that he wishes to create i n the l a s t few l i n e s a 105 *• s u r p r i s i n g r e v e r s a l . . . {that]makes f o r i r o n y , (where],one a t t i t u d e i s apparently prepared f o r , and then i t s opposite given" as Unger would have us b e l i e v e ? ; 6 0 Or i s Una N e l l y r i g h t i n r e j e c t i n g Unger and saying " f a r from being a sudden r e v e r s a l or a mocking taunt, these l i n e s . . . r e f e r . . . to the metaphysical d i s p a r i t y between the s p i r i t u a l and m a t e r i a l elements 61 present i n a l l human love."? Or perhaps, as Huntley suggests, the d i s t i n c t i o n i s only there to show how clo s e men and women are, how a l i k e angels and a i r r e a l l y a r e ? 6 2 To a r b i t r a t e such c o n f l i c t i n g views i s not the p o i n t ; the p o i n t i s to n o t i c e that at the very moment when Donne i s unable to push through h i s Neo-platonic d i s c u s s i o n to I t s elevated c o n c l u s i o n s , he l o s e s h i s momentum and the poem closes i n endless a m b i g u i t i e s — t h e r e i s no r e a l r e s o l u t i o n . He has turned aside from the v i s i o n a r y path, from c e l e b r a t i o n of an absolute and u n i v e r s a l love to f i x h i s love i n the i n f e r i o r love that a woman can o f f e r . Thus, i n *so thyylove may be my loves spheare** (1. 25), he i s saying, i n e f f e c t , that h i s nerve has f a i l e d ; he has abandoned the i d e a l because i t i s **more than h i s love can manage to a t t a c h i t s e l f t o " and he s e t t l e s to have h i s love circumscribed by her "spheare" of grosser l o v e . Even i f "spheare 1* i s read as 'element' he s t i l l l i m i t s h i m s e l f to a woman's c a p a c i t y f o r l o v i n g him. To the twe n t i e t h -century mind, Donne's values seem amazingly 'enlightened,' but i n the f i r s t years of the seventeenth century when the 106 intelligentsia were a l l au f a i t with Neo-platonist love theories and when hierarchic absolutism s t i l l provided the bedrock structure of thought, Donne's failure to reinforce these patterns argues the sort of hesitation before the absolute that we have found in Parmigianino and which, therefore, we may conclude is characteristically Mannerist. CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION In the course of t h i s t h e s i s we have looked at the Songs and Sonnets from a Mannerist p o i n t of view: t h a t i s to say, we have attempted to set Donne w i t h i n the framework of a broad c u l t u r a l and a r t i s t i c phenomenon that expressed i t s e l f across s i x t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Europe. The work of sch o l a r s has been f r e e l y drawn upon to provide c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s and i n s i g h t s on which to base an examination of Donne's poems, an examination i n which we have found that there i s considerable evidence to support the c l a i m that Donne can be p r o f i t a b l y approached i n t h i s way. F o r example, Chapter I n o t i c e s how Donne's s u b j e c t i v i s m c o i n c i d e s with the general sense of u n c e r t a i n t y towards the o b j e c t i v e world that Mannerist p a i n t e r s r e v e a l , and i t develops the concept of the 'persona' to d e s c r i b e Donne's means of coping w i t h the problem. One remarkable expression of t h i s , i s Donne's pose of the w i t t y i n t e l l e c t u a l which i s c l o s e l y analogous to a Mannerist d e l i g h t i n formal e x h i b i t i o n i s m , v i r t u , and f a c i l i t y , such features as appear i n Bologna's Rape of the  Sabine Women, f o r example, Chapter I I extends the theme of the 'persona' and examines Donne's treatment of dramatic techniques only to f i n d them s i m i l a r i n kind to the techniques of accommodation, and the Sprecher which c r i t i c s see as basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Mannerism. Chapter I I I works out the i m p l i c a t i o n s of F r i e d l a n d e r ' s t h e s i s that the Mannerist a r t i s t can best be recognized 108 by n o t i c i n g what he does to the normative t r a d i t i o n that precedes him. By p o l a r i s i n g Donne and Sidney, we n o t i c e d the same s o r t of e f f e c t s i n Donne's work th a t Friedlaender noted i n Michelangelo's treatment of the Renaissance canon. And then f i n a l l y i n Chapter IV, we examined the nature of Donne's ambiguity and found t h a t , i n common w i t h Parmigianino, i t shows an i n a b i l i t y to commit i t s e l f f i n a l l y to any absolute p o s i t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y as i t shows i t s e l f i n r e l a t i o n to the claims t h a t , r e s p e c t i v e l y , body and soul l a y on Man. Thus, i n many important respects Donne emerges as a Mannerist poet. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s are that we can now r e l e a s e him from the p e c u l i a r i n s u l a r i t y that the term 'metaphysical* imposes on him, and see him as an E n g l i s h expression of a C o n t i n e n t a l s t y l e . T h i s i s not to say that 'metaphysical' i s replaced by Mannerism (although'metaphysieal' never was a happy term) but i t does mean that perhaps metaphysical' can be reserved more f o r what i t means-!—"speculations of n i c e philosophy" as Dryden put i t — s o that i t i s not over-burdened as an i n c l u s i v e l a b e l f o r a l l Donne's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and those of h i s f o l l o w e r s . Mannerism, on the other hand, i s beginning to be seen as a systematic and i n c l u s i v e frame of reference--a complete a e s t h e t i c deduclble from a wide range of a r t forms over a period of some s i x t y years. I t has yet to be d e f i n i t i v e l y underwritten as a major theory o f s t y l e but i t has that p o t e n t i a l , whereas 'metaphysical' has not. 109 Another i m p l i c a t i o n of Donne's Mannerism i s that i t w i l l now be p o s s i b l e to develop f r e s h comparisons between, say, Donne and Marvel 1'; f o r any c r i t i c a l approach, i f sound, w i l l y i e l d new understandings of the p o e t r y — i t s methods and meaning—so that new r e l a t i o n s may emerge. F i n a l l y , t h i s t h e s i s i s not set up e i t h e r as an apology f o r the Mannerist approach, or as a thorough-going and systematic statement of a theory of Mannerism. I t i s , r a t h e r , e x p l o r a t o r y . I t has borrowed ideas f r e e l y and e c l e c t i c a l l y from s c h o l a r s of w i d e l y d i f f e r i n g views and has attempted to work them out with s p e c i f i c reference to Donne and h i s Songs and ^onnets. To the extent that these ideas are c e n t r a l to the Mannerist p o s i t i o n , and to the extent that t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n has been s u c c e s s f u l , then I t h i n k we lean conclude that there are very s t r o n g grounds f o r reading the Songs and Sonnets as a masterpiece of E n g l i s h Mannerist poetry. FOOTNOTES Chapter One ^Herbert J.G. G r i e r s o n , ed., The Poems of John Donne (Oxford: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1 9 1 2 ) , I I , c x x i . o J.B. Leishman, The Monarch of Wit (London: Hutchinson, 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 1 7 8 - 1 7 9 . 3Theodore Redpath, The Songs and Sonets o f John Donne (London: Methuen, 1 9 5 6 ) , p. x x i i i . 4 H e l e n Gardner, ed., John Donne: The E l e g i e s and the  Songs and Sonnets (Oxford! Clarendon, 1965)7 T h i s e d i t i o n provides my 'working' t e x t f o r Donne's poetry and i s subsequently r e f e r r e d to as Gardner. 5Gardaer, p. I i . 6Gardner, p. l v i i . 7R.C. Bald, John Donne, a L i f e (Oxford: Clarendon, 1 9 7 0 ) , p. 6 8 . John Donne, Pseudo-Martyr i n John Donnei Selected Prose, chosen by Evelyn Simpson, ed. Helen Gardner and Timothy Healy (Oxford: Clarendon, 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 5 0 . 9 Arnold Hauser, Mannerism; the C r i s i s of the Renaissance and the o r i g i n of Modern A r t , t r a n s . E r i c Mosbacher (London: Routledge and P a u l , 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 4 5 . 1 0 G r i e r s o n , I I , 3 1 6 . "^Hauser, p. 5 1 . Something of the agoraphobic e f f e c t t h i s had may be seen i n Rosso's Deposition where the sky i s a backdrop without b a c k i n g — a n endless dark r e c e s s i o n behind the c r o s s . ^ H a u s e r , p. 5 0 . 13 I.L. Zupnik, "The ' A e s t h e t i c s ' of the E a r l y Mannerists,? A r t B u l l e t i n , 35 (Dec. 1 9 5 3 ) , 3 0 4 i 1 4 H a u s e r , p. 3 5 . 1 5Anthony B l u n t , A r t i s t i c Theory i n I t a l y . 1450-1600 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1 9 4 0 ) , p. 8 0 . : I l l 1 6 G r i e r s o n , I I , 2, •"•Charles M. C o f f i n , John Donne and the New Philosophy (New York: Humanities Press, 1958), p. 216. 18 S i r Richard Baker, Ch r o n i c l e of the Kings of England, quoted by Bald, p. 72. 19 Helen Gardner ed., John Donne: a C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l  Essays (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1965), p. 28. 20 W. M i l g a t e , ed. John Donne: The S a t i r e s , Epigrams and  Verse L e t t e r s (Oxford: Clarendon, 1967), p. x x i . 2 1 M i c h a e l Levey, "Prince of Court P a i n t e r s , " A p o l l o , 76 (May, 1962), 170. 22 "Bronzino," Masters S e r i e s , No. 82, p. 6. 2 3 H a u s e r , p. 199 24 John Shearman, Mannerism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), p. 48. 2 5 B l u n t , p. 63. Oft Hauser, p. 50. ?7 & Leishman, p. 145. & N.J.C. Andreasen, John Donne: Conservative Revolutionary ( P r i n c e t o n , N.J.: Pr i n c e t o n Univ. Press, 1967), p. 7. 29 T.S. E l i o t i n A Garland f o r John Donne, ed. Theodore Spencer (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1931), p. 12. 30 Mario Praz i n John Donne: a C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l  Essays, ed. Helen Gardner, p. 64. o x J o h n Shearman, "Maniera as a A e s t h e t i c I d e a l , " A cts of the Twentieth I n t e r n a t i o n a l Congress of the H i s t o r y of  A r t (19617T 2 (1963), 220* 221. 32 "'Shearman, Mannerism, p. 162. My u n d e r l i n i n g . 33 Shearman, Mannerism, p. 162. 34 Clay Hunt, Donne's Poetry; Essays i n L i t e r a r y A n a l y s i s (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1954), p. 14. 35 Wylie Sypher, Four Stages of Renaissance S t y l e (New York: Doubleday AnchorT 1955), p. 151. 112 3 6T.S'. E l i o t i n A Garland f o r John Donne, p. 11. 3 7 0 v i d , Ovid's Amores, t r a n s . Guy Lee (New York: V i k i n g P r e s s , 1968), pp. 67-69. 3 8C.S. Lewis, i n John Donne: a C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l  Essays, p. 96. 1911. •J.Q S i r Richard C. Jebb, " R h e t o r i c , " Encyclopaedia B r l t a n i c a , 40 Q l i Shearman, P. 26. 41 Shearman, P. 75 42 Shearman, P. 35. 4 3Shearman, P. 81. 4 4Shearman, Acts of p. 212. 4 C B l u n t , p. 91. 46 Bl u n t , p. 95. 47 John C. Ransom, The World's Body (New York: S c r i b n e r , 1938), p. 135. 48 Una N e l l y , The Poet Donne: a Study i n h i s D i a l e c t i c Method (Cork: Cork Univ. Press, 1969), p. 3. 49 G i o r g i o V a s a r i , V a s a r i ' s L i v e s of the A r t i s t s ; Biographies  of the most Eminent - A r c h i t e c t s , P a i n t e r s , and S c u l p t o r s of I t a l y (Mew York: Simon and Schuster, 1946), IX, 130. 5 0 B l u n t , p. 92. 5 1Shearman, p. 1£5 52 Shearman, p. 121 5 3Shearman, p. 68. Chapter Two I S i r Edmund W. Gosse, The L i f e and L e t t e r s of John Donne, Dean of S t . Paul's (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1899). 2 L o u i s L. Martz, The Wit of Love -(Notre Dame: The Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1969), p. 26. 113 3 Sypher, p. 115. 4 P i e r r e Legouis, Donne the Craftsman (New York:. R u s s e l l and R u s s e l l , 1962), p. 51. 5 M a r t z , Wit of Love, p. 26. g C.S. Lewis i n Seventeenth-Century Studies Presented to S i r Herbert G r i e r s o n , ed. J . Dover Wilson (Oxford: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1938), p. 68. 7W.B, Yeats i n Disc u s s i o n s of John Donne ed. Frank Kermode (Boston: Heath, 1962), p. 41. ' Q Sypher, p. 146. 9 Sypher, p. .146. 1 0 S y p h e r , p. 175. ^Samuel Johnson* L i v e s of the Poets [Cowley to P r i o r ] (New York: Doubleday, n.d.), p. 23. 1 2 I r e n e Simon, Some Problems of Donne C r i t i c i s m ( B r u x e l l e s : M. D i d i e r , 1952), p. 3. 1 3 H a u s e r , p. 25. 14 Legouis, p. 58. 15 Hauser, p. 52. 1 6 S y p h e r , p. 137. 1 7 S y p h e r , p. 134. 1 8Quoted by David L. Stevenson, The Achievement of  Shakespeare's Measure f o r Measure (New York: C o r n e l l Univ. P r e s s , 1966), p. 65. 19 W i l l i a m Shakespeare, Measure f o r Measure. Arden Shakespeare, ed. J.W. Lever (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Pr e s s , 1965), Act I I : Sc. 2, 1. 80. This e d i t i o n used as t e x t . 2 0 C . f . Dowden who speaks of her " v i r g i n a l s t r e n g t h " and her " a c t i v e p u r s u i t of h o l i n e s s through e x e r c i s e and d i s c i p l i n e . " Quoted by M.R. R i d l e y ed. Measure f o r Measure (London: Dent, 1935), p. xx. 2 1 H e l e n Gardner, p. l v i i i . 114 22 Helen Gardner, p. l i x . 23 Quoted by Legouis, p. 71. 2 4 S e e Louis Martz, The Poetry of M e d i t a t i o n (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press* 1954), p. 16. Contemplation was commonly a mode of mysticism accompanied by a ^ s i n g l e viewe of the e t e r n a l v e r i t y e , without v a r i e t y of d i s c o u r s e s , p e n e t r a t i n g i t w i t h the l i g h t of heaven, w i t h great a f f e c t i o n s of a d m i r a t i o n , and l o v e ; unto the which no man arrivethfj: but by much e x e r c i s e of m e d i t a t i o n , and d i s c o u r s e . " 2 5 H u n t , p. 76. 2 6 H u n t , p. 78. 2 7 See Cleanth Brooks, The Well Wrought Urn (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1947), p. 17. 2 8 # P a t t e r n " or "form" was t e c h n i c a l l y the Idea i n the mind o f God according to t h i s s c h o o l . Hunt, p. 84. 29 See a l s o The Second Anniversary 1. 5 f o r t h i s sense of the word. 3 0 S y p h e r , p. 138. Chapter Three ^A d i s t i n c t i o n developed by Douglas Peterson who opposes i t to the "eloquent s t y l e " i n The E n g l i s h L y r i c from Wyatt  to Donne ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1967), pp. 51-87. 2C.S. Lewis, E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e i n the S i x t e e n t h Century; e x c l u d i n g Drama (Oxford: Clarendon, 1954), I I I , 318. 3E.M.W. T i l l y a r d . The E l i z a b e t h a n World P i c t u r e (New York: Vintage, n.d.), p. 4. 4 T i l l y a r d , p. 16. 5 L.G. S a l i n g a r , The Age of Shakespeare (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955), p. 19. Kenneth Muir. S i r P h i l i p Sidney (London: Longmans, Green, 1960), p. 5. J.W. Lever, The E l i z a b e t h a n Love Sonnet (London: Methuen, 1956), p. 89. 115 8O.H.EjjjL., I l l , 327. 9R.L. Montgomery J r . , Symmetry and Sense: the Poetry of  S i r P h i l i p Sidney ( A u s t i n : Univ. of Texas Pr e s s , 1961), p. 101. 1 0 W i H i a m A. R i n g l e r J r . , ed., The Poems of S i r P h i l i p  Sidney (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), p. x l i x . i : L R i n g l e r , p. l i x . 1 2Quoted by R i n g l e r , p. x l . •^See Montgomery's remark that "the verse most g e n e r a l l y t y p i c a l of the Renaissance deals with love . . , and the most prominent guise of love was Petrarchan." p. 48. 1 4Theodore Spencer, "The Poetry of S i r P h i l i p Sidney," ELH, 12 (Dec. 1945), 226-227. 1 5 L e v e r , p. 56. 1 6 Lever, p. 56. 17 For example, "Bicause I have the s t i l l kept f r o l y e s and blame," and Petrarch's Sonetto i n V i t a XLI. Lever, p. 20. 1 8Emrys Jones, ed., Henry Howard: E a r l of Surrey: Poems (Oxford: Clarendon, 1964), p. x x i . 1 9 M u i r , p. 26. ^Montgomery, p. 50. 2 1 L e v e r , p. 71. 22 Montgomery, p. 77. 23 S i r Sidney L. Lee, E l i z a b e t h a n Sonnets (Westminster: Constable, 1904), I , x l i v . 24 Mario Praz i n John Donne: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, p. 71. 2 5 J a n e t G. S c o t t , Les Sonnets E l i s a b e t h a i n s ( P a r i s : H. Champion, 1929), p. 37. 2 6 S c o t t , p. 38. 2 7 S c o t t , p. 39. 116 2 8 A . J . Smith, John Donne: The Songs and Sonets (London: Edward A r n o l d , 1964), p. 10. 2 9 W a l t e r F. F r i e d l a e n d e r , Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism  i n I t a l i a n P a i n t i n g (New YorkI Columbia Univ. Pr e s s , 1957), p. 5, rtQ F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 5. 3 1 F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 6. 3 2 F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 6.." My u n d e r l i n i n g . F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 7. F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 7. 3 5 F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 7. Fr i e d l a a i d e r , p. 10. My u n d e r l i n i n g . 3 7 F r i e d l a e n d e r , p. 12. 3 8 B l u n t , p. 66. 39 Shearman, Mannerism, p. 75. 4 0 A n E l e g i e upon the Death of the Deane of S t . Pauls, Dr. John Donne, 11. 25-28. : 41 W.J. Courthope, A H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h Poetry (New York: R u s s e l l and R u s s e l l , 1962), I I I , 54. 4 2Montgomery, p. 49. 4 3 D o n a l d L. Guss, John Donne P e t r a r c h l s t : I t a l i a n t e  Conceits and Love Theory i n the Songs and Sonnets (n.p.: Wayne St a t e Univ. Press, 1966), p. 18. " 44 Guss, p. 46. 45 Leishman, p. 148. 46 J . Dover Wilson, ed., Seventeenth-Century Studies  Presented to S i r Herbert G r i e r s o n (Oxford: Oxford Univ. pre s s , 1938), p. 64. 4 7 S m i t h , p. 53. 48 Rosamund Tuve, E l i z a b e t h a n and Metaphysical Imagery; Renaissance P o e t i c and Twentieth-Century C r i t i c s (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1.1947J ), p. 290. 117 4 9 T u v e , p. 64. 50 v T h i s d e r i v e s from the Canzoniere which " i s b u i l t upon the o p p o s i t i o n between two kinds of l o v e , c u p l d l t a s and c a r l t a s , the former urged by passion and the l a t t e r by reason (Andreasen, p. 66). Spenser's p r a i s e fir h i s m i s t r e s s ' v i r t u e at the end i s wholly 'reasonable.' 51' We have already seen how the lady i s not i n h e r s e l f important--she i s important as a cause of f e e i i n g . 5 2 The f a c t that the room i s at the same time the universe merely increases the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Donne's c e n t r a l i t y . ^Times L i t e r a r y Supplement. ( A p r i l 6, 1967), 279. 5 4 m Tuve, p. 152. 55 Smith, p. 17. 5 6 R i n g l e r , p. I x . 57 P l a t o , Timaeus (London: Dent, 1965), pp. 30-31. 58 Roy D a n i e l l s , M i l t o n , Mannerism and Baroque (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Pr e s s , 1963), p. 43. 5 9 D a n i e l l s , p. 47. 6 0 S y p h e r , p. 111. 6 1 S y p h e r , p. 127. CO See e s p e c i a l l y pp. 3-11 and Chapter I I I . 6 3 S y p h e r , p. 145. 6 4 D a n i e l l s , p. 44. 65 0 Guss, p. 10. 66 Martz, Wit of Love, p. 35. 6 7 B r o o k s , The Well Wrought Urn, p. 6. 68 M u r i e l C. Bradbrook, "Review," New Statesman, 70 ( J u l y , 1965), 87. 118 Chapter Four ^Walter F r i e d l a e n d e r , MannerIsmaand Anti-Mannerism i n  I t a l i a n P a i n t i n g : Two Essays (New York: Columbia Univ. Pre s s , 1957). 2 Max DvBrakj " E l Greco and Mannerism," Magazine of A r t , 46 (Jan, 1953), 14-23. Trans J . Coolidge f r . Kunstgeschichte  a l s G e i s t e s g e s c h i c h t e , 1928. Arnold Hauser, Mannerism; The C r i s i s of the Renaissance and the o r i g i n of Modern A r t , t r a n s . E r i c Mosbacher (London: Routledge and P a u l , 1965). 4 John Shearman, Mannerism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967). ^Hauser, p. 29. Hauser, p. 15. Wolfgang L o t z , "Mannerism i n A r c h i t e c t u r e : Changing Aspects," Acts of the Twentieth I n t e r n a t i o n a l Congress  of the H i s t o r y of A r t ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1963), No. 20: 2 (1963), 239. Q F r e d e r i c k H a r t t , "Power and the I n d i v i d u a l i n Mannerist A r t , " A c t s of the Twentieth I n t e r n a t i o n a l Congress of  the H i s t o r y of A r t ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1963), No. 20: 2 (1963), 222-238. g Roy D a n i e l l s , "The Mannerist Element i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , " UTQ,, 36 (Oct.), 5. 1 0 S e e footnote 9. ^ K e l t h Andrews, Parmigianino (London: Knowledge P u b l i c a t i o n s 196?), p. 5. Masters S e r i e s . 12 A Edward Lucy-Smith, reviewing the C l a s s i c a l T r a d i t i o n  i n Western A r t by Benjamin Rowland, J r . 1 3 Hauser, p. 205, 14 Erwin Panofsky, Studies i n Iconology (New York: Harper, 1939), p. 177, 1 5Pamofsky, p. 137, 1 6 H a u s e r , p. 201. 119 17 Panofsky, p. 156. 1 8 U n p u b l i s h e d Notes, l 9 Andrews, p. 5. 2 0 G i o r g i o V a s a r i , L i v e s of the Most Eminent P a i n t e r s , S c u l p t o r s and A r c h i t e c t s , t r a n s . Gasten due de Vere (London: P h i l i p Warner, 1912-1914), V, 247. 2 1 H a u s e r , p. 206. 22 Andrews, p. 4. 2 3 U n p u b l i s h e d Notes. 2 4 J . Pohle, "Grace," C a t h o l i c Encyclopaedia, 1907. 2 5 P a n q f s k y , p. 141. 26 C.S. Lewis i n John Donne: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays ed. Helen Gardner, p. 90, P7 ft Andreasen, p. 76. 2 8 G r i e r s o n , I I , 41. 29 E.M.W. T l l l y a r d , "A note on Donne's ' E x t a s i e , ' " Review of E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , 19 (1943), 67. 3 0Leishman, The Monarch of Wit, p. 148 31 George P o t t e r , "Donne's ' E x t a s i e , ' Contra Legouis," P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . 15 (1936), 247. 3 2Andreasen, p. 178. 3 3 M e r r i t t Y. Hughes, "The Lineage of the ' E x t a s i e , ' " Modern Language Review, 27 (1932), 2. 34 Andreasen, p. 7. 35 u I n o elen Gardner, John Donne: A C o l l e c t i o n of  C r i t i c a l Essays, p. 28, 3 6 I b i d . , p. 64. The sex of the speaker i s not c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e d i n the poem but 1. 16 suggests that i t l i s probably male. 38 Andreasen, p. 72. 120 3 9 A u s t i n Warren, "Donne's ' E x t a s i e , ' " Studies i n  P h i l o l o g y , 55 (1958), 477. 4 0 L o u i s Martz, The Wit of Love (Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1969), p. 48. 4 1 G r i e r s o n , I I , 42. 4 ? Andreasen, p. 69. 4 3 H e l e n Gardner, The Business of C r i t i c i s m (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959), p. 73. 4 4 F r a n k Doggett, ''Donne's Platonism," Sewanee Review, 42 (1934), 275. Edgar Wind, Pagan M y s t e r i e s i n the Renaissance (New York: Norton, 1969), p. 216. 4 6 G r i e r s o n , I I , 2. 4 7 G a r d n e r , p. H x . 4 8 G a r d n e r , p. l i x . 49 Gardner, p. l x i . 50 O.B. Hardison, "Review," Modern P h i l o l o g y , 65 (Aug. 1967), 69. 51 Giordano Bruno, The Heroic F r e n z i e s , t r a n s , and ed. Paul E. Memmo, J r . (Ghapel H i l l : Univ. of North C a r o l i n a , 1964). 5 2Una N e l l y , The Poet Donne: A Study i n h i s D i a l e c t i c  Method (Cork: Cork Univ. P r e s s , 1969), p. 117. 5 3 K . N e i l l , E x p l l c a t o r . 6 (Nov. 1947), item 8. ^ 4 B a l d a s s a r e C a s t i g l i o n e , Three Renaissance C l a s s i c : M a c h i a v e l l i , 'The P r i n c e ' ; More, 'Utopia'; C a s t i g l i o n e , •The C o u r t i e r , ' t r a n s . S i r Thomas Hohy (New York: S c r i b n e r , 1953), p. 592. 55 C a s t i g l i o n e , p* 593. 5 6 C a s t i g l i o n e , p. 599. Helen Gardner, Business of C r i t i c i s m , p. 67. Theodore Redpath, The Songs and Sonets of John Donne (London: Methuen, 1956), p. 32. 121 o y M u r r a y Prosky, E x p l i c a t o r , 27 (1968), item 27. 6 0 L e o n a r d Uijger, Donne's Poetry and Modern C r i t i c i s m (Chicago: Regnery, 195G), p. 45. 6 1 N e l l y , p. 119. 6 2 F . L . 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Three Renaissance C l a s s i c s : M a c h i a v e l l l , 'The P r i n c e ' ; More, 'Utopia'; C a s t l g l i o n e , 'The Courtier.-', Trans. S i r Thomas Hobv. New York: S c r i b n e r , 1953. ~" C a t h o l i c Encyclopaedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1907. C o f f i n , Charles Monroe. John Donne and the New Philosophy. New York: Humanities Press, 1958, Courthope, W.J. A H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h Poetor. 6 v o l s . New York: R u s s e l l and R u s s e l l , 1962. D a n i e l l s , Roy. M i l t o n , Mannerism and Baroque. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto P r e s s , 1963. "The Mannerist Element i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e . " U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Q u a r t e r l y . 36 (1966), l r l l " . Doggett, Frank A. "Donne's Platonism." Sewanee Review, 42 (1934), 274-292. p 123 Donne, John. John Donne: Selected Prose. Chosen by Evelyn Simpson. Ed. Helen Gardner and Timothy Healy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967. John Donne: The ' E l e g i e s ' and 'The Songs and Sonnets.* Ed. Helen Gardner. Oxford: O.U.P., 1965. r The Poems of John Donne. 2 v o l s . Ed. H.J.C. G r i e r s o n . Oxford: O.U.P., 1912. _____ John Donne: The 'Satires,? 'Epigrams' and 'Verse L e t t e r s . ' Ed. W. M i l g a t e . Oxford: Clarendon, 1967. Dvorak, Max. " E l Greco and Mannerism." Magazine of A r t . Trans. J . Coolidge, 46 (1953), 14-23. Encyclopaedia B r i t a n A c a . 11th e d i t i o n . 1911. •fr i e d l a e n d e r , Walter F. Mannerism and Ant1-Mannerism i n I t a l i a n P a i n t i n g : Two Essays". New York: Columbia Univ. P r e s s , 1957. Gardner, Helen ed. John Donne: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l  Essays. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e h t i c e - H a l l , 1965. The Business of C r i t i c i s m . Oxford: Clarendon, 1959. Gosse, S i r Edmund W i l l i a m . The L i f e and L e t t e r s of John Donne. Dean of S t . P a u l ' s . New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1899. Guss, Donald L. John Donne P e t r a r c h i s t : I t a l i a n a t e Conceits  and Love Theory In the 'Songs and Sonnets,*n.p:Wayne State Univ. P r e s s , 1966. ~ Hardison, O.B. "Review,'' Modern P h i l o l o g y , 65 (Aug. 1967), 67-70. ' H a r t t , F r e d e r i c k . "Power a n d _ t ^ Acts of the Tweh11 et h ^ I n t e r n a t i o n a 1 ^"Congress"'of"the  H i s t o r y ^ of A r t . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. Press, 1963. No. 20:' 2, 222-238. Hauser, A r n o l d . Mannerism; the C r i s i s of the Renaissance  and the Origing. of Modern A r t . Trans. E r i c Mosbacher. London: Routledge and P a u l , 1965. Hughes, M e r r i t t Y. '•The Lineage of the ' E x t a s i e . ' " Modern Language Review. 27 (1932), 2. Hunt, Cl a y . Donne's Poetry; Essays In L i t e r a r y A n a l y s i s . New Haven: Yale Univ. P r e s s , 1954. 124 Huntley, F.L. E x p l i c a t o r , 6 (June, 1948), item 53. Johnson, Samuel. The L i v e s o f the Poets. 2 v o l s . New York: Doubleday, n.d. 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Pagan Mys t e r i e s i n the Renaissance. New York: Norton, 1969. Zupnik, I.L. "The ' A e s t h e t i c s ' of the E a r l y Mannerists." A r t B u l l e t i n . 35 (Dec. 1953), 302-306. 

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