. 5
( 10)


with stoicism is particularly pointed, and indicates how Copley
pulled no punches when dealing with his fellow-Catholics; like other
persecuted groups, English Catholics derived comfort from the stoic
ideal of personal integrity preserved in the midst of trouble.82 The
fact that the character is a personi®cation of despair points to
Copley's belief that all attempts to restore Catholicism by defying
the monarchy are futile; using an argument akin to Donne's in
Pseudo-Martyr (1610), Copley is implying that a martyr who dies in
de®ance of the monarchy is nothing more than a suicide. The ghost's
patriotism is admitted, but vividly shown to be mistaken.
Yet for my Countrey is a part of me,
And it is all subjected to disgrace,
Loe, that's my serpentine obscuritie
For which I spight, and spit on Caesar's face . . . (p. 3)

Later in the poem, Catechrysius equates disloyalty and suicide by
referring to Cato's action as `Treason to God' (p. 29). Revenge, the
next evil spirit, is an outward-looking intensi®cation of similar traits,
and Copley's borrowings from anti-Jesuit rhetoric become corre-
spondingly clearer; Jesuits were frequently accused of being masters
of equivocation and disguise, and the protagonist is advised to
imitate the chameleon in `polliticke dissimulation / Of contrarie
language' (p. 16). But as if to compensate, Copley's vision of glory
includes a number of points characteristic of anti-Protestant
polemic. It emphasizes the spiritual power of the papacy ± the
temple of Sion is placed on a `Rock in shining glorie' (p. 21) ± and
Catechrysius is seized by a mystical rapture while praying before a
cruci®x, which he addresses as `the image of our Lord' and `The true
Character of his sufferance' (p. 50).
A Fig For Fortune was published in 1596, the same year as the
second edition of the ®rst three books of Spenser's Faerie Queene, and
136 Loyalism and exclusion
the ®rst edition of Books iv±vi. The central idea of the knightly
quest, and the knight's several detentions by representatives of
spiritual darkness, was a medieval allegorical topos which Spenser
had resurrected for Book i of his epic, and Copley's poem engages,
in turn, in a topical Catholic reworking of Spenser's last four cantos:
by speci®c allusion, and to a greater extent by narrative reminis-
cence. Just as the Red Cross Knight falls into the company of
Despair in Canto 9, Copley's protagonist encounters Cato's ghost
and the spirit of revenge. Moving to Spenser's Canto 10, Copley
adopts his original's progression from the topics of repentance and
contemplation to a description of the heavenly Jerusalem; but
though Copley's Mount Sion begs comparison with Spenser's Cleo-
polis, or London, it is ± as pointed out above ± clearly not situated in
England. Copley's use of Spenser's Cantos 11 and 12, which tell of
the ®ght with the beast and the victory celebrations, gives the best
clue to his anti-conformist polemical intentions. The beast's alle-
gorical name Doblessa points the reader towards Duessa, the
personi®cation of popish falsity in The Faerie Queene, and lifted from
earlier cantos in Book i. This begs the question of whom a Duessa-
®gure might represent in a Catholic poem. Described as having `no
Altar, nor no Sacrament / No Ceremonie, nor Oblation' (p. 70), she
is clearly Protestant; but, further, she is to be identi®ed with the
Church of England, whose fortune is in the ascendant as the
established religion in Elizium. This is especially clear in passages
like the following, where Copley satirises the Church of England's
partial and inane retention of vestments and ceremonial. During the
Zionites' Christmas worship, Doblessa comes bearing an olive-
Pretending mutuall honor of that feast:
And all her rabble-rout she did command
As much in outward fayning to protest,
But underneath their plausible attire
They all bare balles of venym and wild-®re. (p. 70)

Before the ®ght between the two sides, Catechrysius exclaims `Oh,
that Eliza were / A Sionite to day to see this geere' (p. 72);
immediately, Doblessa sees that `all her guile' is `Detected and
Alarum'd over all' (p. 73), and begins to scale the city walls, reviling
the name of Sion. Eliza, it seems, has believed herself to be a Sionite
all along, misled by Doblessa's deceptive use of ceremony. If Copley's
Catholic loyalism: I. Elizabethan writers 137
reworking of Spenser is mainly an appropriation of Spenser's loyalist
mythography to give allegorical ¯esh to disagreements with
members of his own church, it is also a riposte to Spenser's anti-
Catholic offensive.
Copley incurred the common fate of moderates, obloquy from
both sides. According to his own statement four years later in his
controversial pamphlet Another Letter of Mr A.C. to His Dis-Jesuited
Kinsman, A Fig For Fortune `was . . . called in by the Protestant for the
Catholicke matter thereof ',83 but was also disapproved of by Robert
Persons. The poem, Copley asserted, was written `in attestation to
the world of my Catholike soul to God and his Church, and of my
resolution against . . . Jesuitical obloquie . . . I give in that Poeme her
Majestie some praise and honour as for temporall state, which a
Jesuit cannot endure in the behalf of the house of Austrich. . . . Basto
non placuit Jesuitis nor Puritanes; which (me thinkes) were those
fathers not religious so much, as but reasonable good Catholikes it
might [please them] in regard of the matter though not of the
methode' (pp. 57±8).84
Despite his plaintive tone, Copley was not alone at this date in
allegorising optimistic Catholic projections of a future under Eliza-
beth. R.C.'s Palestina (1600),85 an allegorical romance printed surrep-
titiously in England and taking the reconversion of England as its
subject, is dedicated both to Elizabeth I and the Virgin Mary. As in
Constable's sonnets, the similarities between the two queens are
stressed. But while Constable is anxious to avoid con¯ation, the
reader of the dedication to Palestina is positively encouraged towards
it: not because the author accords Elizabeth semi-divine status, but
because he can thereby pay tribute to Mary while sincerely
exploiting the conventions of monarchical panegyric. Neither name
is actually mentioned. The dedicatee's dowry is `little England', `the
largest heavens her fayrest inheritance' (f.}3a), and the author
apostrophises her in terms that do for either Mary or Elizabeth, but
evade ®nal identi®cation: `so worthie of the highest renowne, as no
one is worthie to pronounce thy name'. The next sentence to this,
`By whom next unto God wee not onely live, but labour with joy',
exploits the ambiguity: `next unto God' could refer either to Mary's
position as Mother of God, or to Elizabeth's as God's vicegerent. But
the dedication continues in a more daring manner with the next few
sentences, as Mary moves into the referential foreground to a degree
that risks alienating the other dedicatee. The author describes his
138 Loyalism and exclusion
offering as `but a harsh discourse of a sometime happie countrey, yet
it is with a heartie wish it were not so greatly weaned from thee'.
The sentiment can also be read as applicable to Elizabeth, but,
either way, the Catholicism of the author becomes apparent at this
point; insofar as the Queen is being addressed, the country weaned
from her is not a geographical unit, but the aggregate of Englishmen
exiled for their faith.
Framed in an allegory of an evil Enchanter, a frail Lady and a
Prince who comes to rescue her, the plot is largely that of the Fall of
Man and the Gospels, but based around the polarisation of two
episodes: Eve's sin in Genesis, and Mary's encounter with her
kinswoman Elizabeth, when Elizabeth is pregnant with John the
Baptist. The theme is how, by God's intervention, even aged women
can bear children. Given the Queen's advanced age and unmarried
state, the forced parallel between the two Elizabeths absolutely
precludes a literal application of the passage, in favour of an
allegorical. A real heir is not intended, but instead, Elizabeth is
being urged towards incubation of the recovered Catholic faith. As
so often, a dif®culty arises. Everything about the text implies that it
was designed primarily for the eyes of Elizabeth, but there is no way
of ascertaining if it was sent to her, or whether it reached her. A
specially bound copy or presentation manuscript might indeed have
been dispatched to her, but as with more straightforward petitions, it
was most likely to have got no further than a government of®cial.
The multiplication of copies in print is important in this context: not
only as an additional way of giving the text publicity and bringing it
to the attention of its primary addressee, but to disseminate the
dream among sympathisers, and make of it an object of prayer. This
double-pronged use of an open letter was not especially novel, nor
restricted to Elizabeth's countrymen. Thirty-®ve years before Pales-
tina, Richard Shacklock had translated the Portuguese bishop Jer-
onimo Osorio da Fonseca's Epistola ad Elizabetham Angliae Reginam de
Religione (1st edn. 1562), and urged Catholics in his own preface to
pray for the queen, that her counsellors might persuade her `to come
oute of the cockring bote of scismaticall noysomnes, in to the stedfast
arcke of Noy, that is of holsome and catholyke unitie' (f.A3a).
R.C.'s concluding sentiment in the dedication sums up the
mission of the loyalist allegorist: `I cease & admire thee, with those
who never cease to admire thee, and wish unto thee what thou hast
not'. The reader is invited to ®ll in the lacuna ± Mary does not
Catholic loyalism: I. Elizabethan writers 139
possess England, nor Elizabeth the Catholic faith ± and it stands for
the ideological gap between Queen and author. However genuine
the loyal feelings of the writer, there would be no need for allegory
without theological difference. Though allegory is usually thought of
as the prime genre of concealment, and new historicism has tended
to concentrate on its usefulness for imaginative politicised subver-
sion, this is only half the story; the strong link at this period between
loyalist writers and allegorical narrative points to the need for a
more ¯exible model. The codes of allegory also demonstrate a
placatory quality, the courteous desire to please those of similar
opinions while not antagonising other readers. There is, too, an
impatience with the heavy veils of real deception, and a preference
for disguises which are sometimes as light as a changed name. This
romantic ®ctive nomenclature, barely sweetening the author's
advice, allowed real situations to be ®ctionally extended and
resolved. By means of the onomastics of decency, the future could be
postulated without offence; and for Catholic loyalists, who had
everything to gain from a change of state religion, allegories were
attractive as the genre of futurity. With transparent relevance to the
state of English Catholicism, Palestina ends by retelling how the Jews
became subjugated to the Romans and the high priest's ornaments
were annexed by Herod, then by the Romans themselves. The
beginning of Christ's ministry, and of the world's salvation, is left to
the last sentence and a sequel by another author,
which whosoever shall prosecute, and shew in what sort hee uncharmed
the Lady, which was enchaunted by eating of the fruite of a tree, by
choaking the inchaunter with no other thing, then what also a tree did
beare, shall both ®nde a most pleasant entrance, and when hee hath
entred, an endlesse entising paradise. (p. 200)

Maureen Quilligan has commented that traditional de®nitions of
allegory rely too heavily on metaphors of layered concealment,
failing to take into account the genre's horizontal narrative quest for
meaning.86 Like his model Spenser, Copley uses the plot-device of a
quest to reveal theological error through action, while the author of
Palestina utilises the fall and rise of Christian soteriology to explain
and predict the fortunes of English Catholicism. Most strikingly,
both extend their lessons past the ®nal page, leaving the onus on the
reader to bear the salvi®c process onward and complete the
narrative. Since Elizabeth was the primary addressee, her salvation
140 Loyalism and exclusion
would have been the most intended by this, if she ever saw either
text; but this type of open petition to the monarch is intended to be
read, absorbed and acted upon by all its readers, in case God's plan
is for indirect in¯uence. What may seem naµvete to the twentieth-
century reader is, in fact, a highly literal, strikingly activist concep-
tion of prayer.
chapter 4

Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers

The writers recorded in the previous chapter would have welcomed
as a long-postponed answer to prayer the reports that Elizabeth died
a Catholic;1 and this devoted optimism continues in Catholic
responses to James I, at the time of his accession and well beyond.
But this chapter, continuing directly from the last, and also encom-
passing loyalist writing from the reign of Charles I, the Civil Wars
and the Interregnum, demonstrates changed emphasis as well as
simple continuity. One such shift is especially noticeable. Catholic
writers under Elizabeth caught the habit of addressing her as
personally beloved, able to exact loyal behaviour from her subjects for
this reason; but Catholic loyalists under the ®rst two Stuart mon-
archs, in the great age of English absolutism, ®gure among those
inspired by a more public royal myth, the imaginative imperatives of
abstract obedience. By their nature, these ran downwards from the
monarch into every household in the kingdom, with wide personal
resonances which are perhaps most poignantly illustrated in the
work of women authors. As has already been commented, there was
no greater determinant of Catholic loyalist behaviour throughout
this period than the need to reconcile the double biblical duties of
obeying God and submitting to the ordinances of men; and for
married women, owing direct fealty to their husbands, Paul's injunc-
tion in 1 Peter 3.1, `Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own
husbands' seemed to bear a similar relation to Matthew 19.29: `And
every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father,
or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall
receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.' Dual
submission to religious and secular authority had many practical
complexities for both sexes, and some of these are explored in
pamphlet literature;2 yet it is no coincidence that so many of the
most powerful imaginative articulations of its dif®culties were con-
142 Loyalism and exclusion
ceived by married women, or ± which is not always the same thing ±
voiced in the persona of a married woman.

`great austin': james i and the loyalist imagination
Even while king of Scotland, James had allowed both English and
European Catholics to think that he was in favour of toleration, and
their jubilance at his accession was increased by one of the ®rst acts
of his reign, the release of the priest William Weston from prison.3
Even the outspoken poet Ralph Buckland included a prayer in Seaven
Sparkes, published just after James's accession in 1604 or 1605: `By the
hand of thy great servant james, shake off our yoake: that we may
®nde him an honourable comforter . . . Deserve he the resemblance
of thy owne Title: Prince of peace' (p. 12). Possibly for this reason, the
Gunpowder Plot of 1605, so destructive to the hopes of Catholic
loyalists, is more of a landmark in mainstream writing than in
Catholic: not only because of the part which popular literature had
to play in its mythi®cation, but because of the thematic bearing it
gave to more complex works. Critics have long been aware of the
jesuitical equivocation practised by the witches in Macbeth, and B. N.
de Luna has argued that Catiline was inspired by Jonson's need to
dissociate himself personally from the Plot, since he was known to
have consorted with some of the conspirators; at the very least, the
play capitalises on a topical preoccupation with treachery.4 Where
Catholic writers refer to the topic, on the other hand, it tends to be
with epideictic dissociation. `What good is it to conceal so many
particles of secret ¯ame?' exploded John Barclay in the Latin poem
appended to his pamphlet Series Patefacti Nuper Parricidii (1605): `Ah,
miserable ones, give over your threats. The thunderbolt knew its
gods, and does not know how to sin against the mighty Thunderer.'5
But long past the time when the Gunpowder Plot had given a new
focus to Protestant distrust of Catholics, and the Oath of Allegiance
had increased the dif®culties of Catholics themselves, Catholic
allegorists continued to nurse hopes of James's conversion.6
Nowhere are these hopes made more explicit than in John Abbot's
Jesus Prae®gured, published in Antwerp in 1623.7 Its theme is the true
church and Abbot's hopes for rebuilding it in England, and the
poem's governing conceit is architectural; Charles, for instance, is
urged to become a pillar alongside the Apostles (pp. 41±2). Another
historical parallel between present monarch and past saint is that of
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 143
James I with St Augustine of Hippo, where Abbot expresses the
delicate hope that James will appear among the doctors of the
If to thy Harpe weare added one more string,
Then thou, no Swan could more divinely sing.
But wee have hope all numbers now shall meet
To make thy Musique absolutely sweet . . .
Our Churches Pearle, bred in thy mothers eyes,
Againe begotten by a sea of cries.
Great austen, shall I with more wondring eye,
Behold thee when thy Muse doth mount on high,
Or love thee more when thou dost creepe so lowe,
As doe thy humble Retractations shew?
To thinke amisse is fraile-Mans common case,
To change for better, is a speciall grace. (p. 18)

Mary Stuart, who has appeared in a throng of martyrs earlier in
the poem (pp. 15±17), now evokes a comparison with St Monica,
Augustine's mother, who won over her heretic son by weeping and
prayer.8 Abbot's ostensible addressees are managed with remarkable
tact: the direct compliment to James modulates into an apostrophe
to Augustine, and a round generalisation in the concluding couplet.
James is presented with an acceptable model for conversion, and
reminded that Augustine's glory is actually enhanced by his former
heresy. The crowning ¯attery occurs in Abbot's disparagement of the
Spanish Netherlands, where heresy has begotten treason: `Ill-nur-
turde swaines, not taught what is a King, / A God on earth, a
Consecrated thing' (p. 39). Abbot exploits the contrast to portray
Catholicism as a doctrine highly favourable to absolutist principle:
an emphasis which will recur.
The publication date of 1623 suggests Abbot's awareness of the
trip which Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham took in that
year to pay court to the Infanta Maria of Spain, and the volume
does indeed have a double dedication to the Prince and the Infanta,
exhorting them to act as father and nurse to the new church in
England.9 This trip may account for the truncated form in which
Jesus Prae®gured was printed. Though originally intended as ®ve
books it comprises only two, and publishing it before completion
may have been an opportunistic attempt to press into service a half-
completed text: whether at Abbot's instigation, or from a manuscript
that he had supervised at some stage. The few explicit references to
144 Loyalism and exclusion
the match give the impression of being grafted on, as do the passages
where Abbot is writing for the eyes of a royal audience.10 This, and
the whole timing of the volume, suggests that its instigators believed
allegorical projections of England's future were being overtaken by
events. Abbot's obvious anxiety to intervene in the process can be
accounted for by recapitulating a suggestion made earlier in this
study: that in lending themselves so well to ®ctional extrapolation,
allegories could be both a form of prayer and a call to it. Another
Catholic poet poignantly expresses how, because a successful
outcome of the journey to Spain would be an answer to prayer, news
of the journey itself requires a sustained faith in divine providence:
understandably enough in an age where communications were
uncertain, and more particularly since the government had imposed
a news blackout on the affair.11
The Prince is gone for Spaigne: Ceasse heavens to frown
And w[i]th a blest event his wishes crowne . . .
But staye; heer's one affermes hee is not gone,
And that my wishes to the winds are throwne.
Not soe: wher e're hee is my prayers still
Shall all attend t'advance his princly will.
Yet most beleeve w[ith] me, & constant are
That longe e're this hee breathes the Spanish ayre.
And puritans, how s'ever they dissemble,
As their gran-masters doe, beleeve & tremble.12

Middleton's powerfully anti-Catholic A Game At Chess may be the
best-known and most popular piece of imaginative writing inspired
by the Spanish marriage, but it is more typical of retrospective
reaction to it than of what was written at the time when events were
unfolding. Catholics were not alone in welcoming the Spanish
initiative, and some conformists used the occasion to versify appeals
for ecumenical understanding;13 yet both groups became quieter
when Charles returned unmarried, and overt anti-Catholicism
began to dominate imaginative conception of the event. A Game At
Chess is an allegorical drama in which white and black chess-pieces
stand for good Protestants and evil Catholics, and it was performed
in August 1624, when the marriage negotiations were over but still
topical. In terms of this section, its existence illustrates one difference
that was bound to arise between Catholic and Protestant uses of
allegory, when each explored a political event that would have
bene®ted the cause of Catholicism. The Catholic allegories discussed
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 145
above aim to sway future events by a combination of ®ctive
persuasion and directed exhortation to prayer; but so far from being
a projection of futurity, Middleton's play celebrates God's completed
providence in delivering the land from popery.14
English Catholics could write allegories on recent history as well.
But John Barclay's Argenis, ®rst published abroad in 1621 and being
read in England soon afterwards, is as much about live political
issues as historical event; in ®ctionalizing European history of the
late sixteenth century as Heliodoran romance, it touched on topics
that were still controversial at the time of writing. One such was the
Catholic/Protestant divide in France; the name of the sage Iburranes
anagrammatises that of Pope Urban VIII, and a chapter of the book
is devoted to satirising his enemies, the Hyperephanians or Hugue-
nots, led by Usinulca or Calvinus. This display of hostility to
Protestants does not appear to have made the book any less
attractive to either James or Charles, and again, this may partly be
to do with the politeness of allegory; under romantic names ± even
where those names are explained in a key15 ± potentially offensive
characters are at least one remove from recognisability, and while
readers can object to them if they wish, they are relieved of the
necessity to do so. But another point is also relevant. Though
Huguenots professed Protestantism, they went against monarchical
dictates; the religious convictions of both Stuart monarchs may have
been a less signi®cant factor in their enjoyment of Barclay than a
shared belief in absolutism.16
In this context, the emphases of Barclay's anti-Huguenot passages
are signi®cant. The doctrine of predestination is ridiculed, in terms
that would not have amused some Jacobean churchmen: `So, from
the same puddle of wickednesse, shall some goe out cleane, others
polluted. As if you thrust a Goose or Swan into the water, you may
take them out perfectly drie; where other Birds, in the same waters,
and often with lesse stay there, hurt the order and use of their wings'
(p. 135). But just as in Barclay's earlier romance Euphormio, more
satirical attention is given to the subversiveness of religious groups
than to their actual religion. Euphormio includes abuse both of Jesuits
and Puritans for presuming to oppose their ideologies to the
monarch's; the puritan Catharinus is even seen smoking at the end
of a banquet, demonstrating his de®ance of all James I's literary
edicts. Similarly in Argenis, Barclay's main criticism is not of the
Huguenots' religion, but of their ungovernability. By a combination
146 Loyalism and exclusion
of disrespect, loose personal morality and beliefs tending towards
atheism, they have become `another Countrey, and another people',
and a natural magnet for the seditious:
In mindes so affected, what free command, thinke you, can Kings have
over them? They have possessed themselves of Cities, Souldiers, and almost
whole Provinces; out of which, with a prowd scorne, they debate, how farre
it is ®t the King should be aided, or neglected: To whom . . . if they promise
any aide, they brag of their ®delitie, . . . forgetting, that good subjects
should not exact such securitie; . . . So they make themselves Judges of the
gods, and of their Princes; and measure what dutie they owe to either, not
by Religion, but according to their owne dispositions. (p. 136)

absolutism, marital obedience and
stratagems of persuasion
Barclay's imaginative efforts must certainly have helped to prepare
the way for the growing friendliness towards Rome which has been
recognised as characterising the Stuart court in the 1630s;17 at any
rate, Argenis pleased the Stuart monarchy so much that it was
translated into English three times in eight years. James I commis-
sioned a translation of the Latin original from Ben Jonson in 1623,
and Charles I another from Robert Le Grys in 1628. Lois Potter
suggests that another translation of Barclay's Argenis by Kingsmill
Long, in 1625, was to celebrate Charles I's marriage to Henrietta
Maria, since at one point in the story a son of Hyanisbe (Queen
Elizabeth I) marries the daughter of the French king.18 If so, it was
an appropriate wedding-present for a queen whose imaginative
contribution to the cause of Catholic loyalism was, perhaps, greater
than any other individual's discussed in this study.
Critics have always recognised that Henrietta Maria's Catholicism
and her dramatic ingenuity were inseparable: and sometimes, like
William Prynne, they have commented on this with hostile intent.
Henrietta Maria astonished the English by performing as an actress,
commissioned literary texts for theatrical presentations from writers
like Walter Montague and Sir William Davenant, and exploited the
technical and iconographical skills of Inigo Jones. Though she and
her ladies sometimes performed in dramas which had not been
specially commissioned,19 it is her patronage of new material which
has attracted most attention. In this role, her most original contribu-
tions to the theatrical life of the Caroline court were a pastoral
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 147
drama, Walter Montague's The Shepherd's Paradise (1633), and a
number of masques.20 Masques have been the subject of much
illuminating recent criticism,21 and because of this, a detailed
assessment of all the dramatic productions undertaken by Henrietta
Maria is unnecessary here; this chapter aims to identify the imagin-
ative similarity which Catholic loyalism brought to genres super-
®cially very dissimilar, and masques need not only be discussed in
conjunction with other masques. The following account will concen-
trate on a single production, The Temple of Love, Henrietta Maria's
Shrovetide masque of 1635, and the way in which its commendations
of Catholicism are simultaneously de®nite, courteous, loyal and
In the fullest account to date of Henrietta Maria's masques, Erica
Veevers's Images of Love and Religion: Queen Henrietta Maria and Court
Entertainments (1989), The Temple of Love is treated as important
testimony of how the queen used plays and masques at court to
promote ecumenism and enhance the image of Catholicism.23 It was
the ®rst of®cial court function after the arrival in England of the
papal envoy Gregorio Panzani, who may be represented within the
action in the character of Orpheus.24 The Temple itself, at ®rst
glimpsed through mists but then revealed in its full splendour, is the
central image of the masque both literally and symbolically; as
Veevers points out, it would have evoked comparisons with the
Queen's chapel, also being built by Inigo Jones, and hence with the
Catholic church in England. It shares these visual allusions with a
later masque, Luminalia, and both masques have a heavily sacerdotal
cast-list: ¯amens and arch-¯amens in Luminalia, and in The Temple of
Love, Brahmani, Magi and priests of the Temple itself.25
The masque begins with a view of Parnassus, `the place where the
souls of the ancient poets are fained to reside', which is succeeded by
a vision who, like Aurora, appears from `a great cloud of a rosy
colour': `a beautiful woman; her garment was sky-colour set all with
stars of gold, veil hanging down behind, and her hair in arti®cial
curls graciously dressed, representing Divine Poesy, and by her a
milk-white swan'. To unpack the full implications of the ®gure of
Divine Poesy, one must refer back to du Bartas's use of the Muse of
Astronomy, Urania, and so to the arguments advanced in chapter
three of this study. The opposition postulated earlier between South-
well's virtual repudiation of muses and du Bartas-inspired Protestant
invocations of the divine muse would be inappropriate as a means of
148 Loyalism and exclusion
interpreting this particular recurrence of the iconography, over
thirty years on; but Divine Poesy represents a Catholic appropriation
of sacred verse very similar to Southwell's. Rounding up the spirits
of pagan poets, she extorts contrition from them: `Vex not our sad
remembrance with our shame! / We have been punished with ill-
gotten fame, /For each loose verse, tormented with a ¯ame'
(ll. 110±12). It is probably to Davenant the librettist, who was himself
to convert to Catholicism later, that one can ascribe this resurrection
of a former generation's Catholic poetics.26 But the re-feminisation
of Catholic divine poetry was very appropriate to the Queen's
agenda, and can be seen in the context of two earlier masques,
Chloridia and Tempe Restored, which present a feminised, highly
Marian iconography of virtue.27
Henrietta Maria is famous for having introduced a fashion for
neo-Platonism to the English court, and The Temple of Love exploits
it.28 Here again, the relationship between Catholic loyalism and
allegory manifests itself. Neo-platonism, which seeks to discern
eternal truths behind the veils of mortal perception, has an inbuilt
tendency towards allegory and can itself be a useful allegorical
device. Though there is no reason to suppose that Henrietta Maria
promoted neo-Platonism as a philosophical fashion merely for
ulterior motives, it forms a continuum with her religion; given that
neo-Platonism is often couched in religious language, it was easy to
con¯ate the two; and since ± even in the Caroline court ± there was
more reason to be publicly circumspect about Catholic sympathies
than neo-Platonist, a Catholic message may often lie veiled behind
professions of neo-Platonic ideals of love.29 As with any allegorical
identi®cation, this can easily be over-exploited, and Catholicism
need not always lie beneath neo-Platonism. Nevertheless, the
opening of Somerset House Chapel and Panzani's arrival to British
shores are good external reasons why The Temple of Love might
preserve a mood of topical excitement among Catholics, and it
seems fair to acknowledge that the initiate might have read a dual
meaning into such lines as `And now th'enchanted mists shall clear, /
And Love's true temple straight appear, / Long hid from men by
sacred power' (ll. 403±5).
Even within the text there are clues pointing towards a sectarian
interpretation, though all the overt religious reference in The Temple
of Love is satirical, and includes nothing that would not have pleased
Charles. Puritans have a prominent part to play, as modern devils. A
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 149
magician describes them as `®ne precise ®ends, that hear the devout
close / At every virtue but their own, that claim / Chambers and
tenements in heaven as they / Had purchased there, and all the
angels were /Their harbingers' (ll. 274±8).30 This sets the scene for
the marriage at the end of the masque between Sunesis, or
Understanding, `a man of a noble aspect' crowned with a ¯aming
garland, and Thelema, or Free Will, a young woman `in a robe of
changeable silk'.31 Figuring the theological implications of alter-
native both in her dress and her name, Thelema stands as a reproach
to predestinarians, as well as an iconographical realization of the
beauty of changing one's mind. Her marriage to Sunesis epitomises
how the understanding should ally itself to human free will ± in
effect, to a notion of the theology of grace which is interpretable in a
Laudian manner, but also in a Catholic. The ®ne-tuning of the
masque's controversial element is apparent in the fortuitous survival
of the costume-design for Thelema, the caption of which reveals that
the character was originally called Gnome, or Divine Will; and it gives
added edge to the sung dialogue between the two.
s u n e s i s Come melt thy soul in mine, that when unite,
We may become one virtuous appetite.
t h e l e m a First breathe thine into me, thine is the part
More heavenly, and doth more adorn the heart.
b o t h Thus mixed, our love will ever be discreet,
And all our thoughts and actions pure;
When perfect will and strengthened reason meet,
Then love's created to endure. (ll. 478±85)
Descending from heaven, Chaste Love showers down blessings
and points to how the newly married couple mirror the royal pair:
`And now you may in yonder throne / The pattern of your union
see' (ll. 501±2). Given this, it is worth looking more closely at the
dialogue above. Thelema counters Sunesis's request `Melt thy soul in
mine' with `First breathe thine into me', and, since they then sing a
duet of joyful union, one is led to assume that Sunesis has done just
that. But Thelema adds a crucial, very feminine quali®cation:
`Thine is the part / More heavenly, and doth more adorn the heart.'
Because masculine understanding is stronger than feminine affec-
tivity, the heart has a stronger need of the head than the head of the
heart. But, chivalrically, Understanding yields to the heart, literally
breathing his soul into a personi®cation of free will, a surrender
which invites a soteriological interpretation. The masque presents a
150 Loyalism and exclusion
possible model of how Charles might succumb to the wishes of his
wife, one which is entirely compatible with the harmonious ecu-
menism which informs the masques of both. With all Catholics,
loyalism accompanied a perpetual, hopeful commendation of their
own religious beliefs; and ecumenism can often be a polite evangel-
ism. Henrietta Maria's ecumenical programme co-existed with a
sturdy maintenance of the Catholic faith, and would not have
eschewed this type of light-handed encouragement towards Catholi-
cism. Like Henry Constable, Henrietta Maria would have seen
herself as a Catholic moderator; and like him ± though more
af®rmatively ± she employs poetic models of power and abjection to
this end.32
Ecumenism is unnecessary without prior difference. The enact-
ments of religious, political and marital harmony which take place in
the masques of Charles and Henrietta Maria were intended to
reassure, but could not entirely disguise the fact that the interests of
king and queen were not identical. Veevers has suggested that the
pro-Catholicism of The Temple of Love and Luminalia shows Henrietta
Maria responding to pressure from papal agents and French ambas-
sadors to promote Catholicism more actively; but because she was
an English queen as well as a French princess, Catholic proselytism
had to stay as an undercurrent to public statement. Without
enormous public tact, Henrietta Maria's duty of testifying to her
religion would have cut across the duty she owed to the English
crown; and the fact that her political interests were frequently
different from Charles's made a public show of solidarity all the
more important.33 But marriage to a husband of different confes-
sional sympathies had dif®culties which common wives shared. As
queen, she represented the country of her birth as well as that of her
adoption, and had incomparably more religious autonomy than a
private citizen; but as wife she was bound to defer to Charles, and
Charles's absolutist beliefs made him patriarchal in the extreme.34
Scholars have recently been careful to modify the comparison
between king and husband or father, commonplace at this date, by
commenting that some theorists argued for a direct relationship
between the two, and others only for an analogical one.35 But the
choice would have been no help to a Stuart queen. She could be
commanded by the authorities of her native country and her
religion; but, uniquely in every generation, she could know no
difference between husband and king.
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 151
Veevers's emphasis is on the political speci®cities surrounding and
informing each masque, and on how religious neo-Platonism and
Catholic veneration of Mary could be co-opted to af®rm female
power; but these masques also externalise Henrietta Maria's par-
ticular loyalist obligations, as stratagems of deference towards a
husband who was also the monarch. Within the canon of Stuart
masques, those commissioned by both Charles and Henrietta Maria
are distinctive in their glori®cation of married bliss. Laudatory
references to the ideal happiness of Charles and Henrietta Maria are
commonplace,36 and in their jointly mounted masque Salmacida
Spolia, they are praised as `tuning [their] thoughts to either's will'
(l. 470). Yet even in an ideal marriage ± perhaps especially in an
ideal marriage ± and even in a union of two royal individuals, the
exemplarity of traditional gender roles still prevailed. Henrietta
Maria's use of the language of beauty is ultimately deferential, an
acknowledgement that this was all the sovereignty women had. Yet,
by the chivalric consensus on which the masque depended, female
beauty had absolutist claims to rival any made by a Stuart monarch;
and the theme of The Temple of Love is, precisely, the guidance of the
masculine principle by the feminine in love. More generally, a
masque's visual amazements can represent a privileging of beauty,
and lend themselves to neoplatonic equations of beauty and truth: as
it says in Luminalia when the Queen appears: `Look there, correct
your judgements by your sight!' (l. 342). Both conventions can be co-
opted in attempts to reverse the structures of sovereignty by pleasing,
but, by the same token, both spring from the fact that those
structures exist. Like some texts discussed above, Henrietta Maria's
masques had a primary addressee in the monarch, even though their
presentation was a public affair,37 and the pro-Catholic messages
discussed above were directed above all at Charles. They are
couched in a way that positively draw attention to the obligations of
marital obedience; because of the exactions permitted of beauty,
these can be extracted as much from the husband as the wife at a
®ctive level.
This balance did not emerge easily, and Henrietta Maria's
progress from zealous bride to emollient consort was, to some
extent, the taming of a Catholic shrew. From the time of her
marriage and arrival in England, the queen had had to juggle
several different and con¯icting loyalties: to her husband, to France
and to Catholicism. Before her marriage she had written promises to
152 Loyalism and exclusion
Louis XIII, her brother, and to Pope Urban VIII, that she would
pursue the cause of the English Catholics. 38 By Urban VIII, in a
letter accompanying the papal dispensation for her marriage, she
was asked to be the `Esther of her oppressed people' and reminded
of Clotilde, the virtuous queen of France who converted her
husband to Christianity, and of Queen Aldiberga, whose marriage
brought religion to Britain.39 Pious Catholic queens could also be
found nearer home, and a manuscript history of Mary Stuart
preserved in the Beinecke Library indicates in its conclusion that it
was written in celebration of Charles I's marriage; it addresses
Charles himself, and its use of the Queen of Scots as an exemplar is
unabashed. Charles's blood-relationship to Mary is seen as the single
most important endorsement of his monarchy, and the situations of
Mary and Henrietta Maria are reconceived as type and antetype,
with the new queen able to repair the wrong that was done the old:
The Queen of Scotland your Grandmother was given to France, and
France hath rendered you a Princesse according to the heart of God and
yours; a Bloom of our Lillies, a Daughter of a King, a Sister of a King, a
Wife of a King . . . Great Majesties of Britain . . . as you make but one heart,
so make but one Religion . . . (pp. 178±9)

The two exhortations, one from the Supreme Pontiff and one
anonymous, are nevertheless very similar: a fact which testi®es both
to the widespread optimism with which the marriage of Charles and
Henrietta Maria had been greeted across Catholic Europe, but also
to the way in which those expectations were governed by acceptable
notions of feminine behaviour.
Henrietta Maria's early behaviour as queen took its bearings from
the orthodox piety of the female exemplars commended to her, but
she differed dangerously from them in being apologist, assertive and
unwelcome. The optimism at her marriage with Charles seemed to
be vindicated by the concessions that the English monarchy was
prepared to make, since the marriage treaty contained a secret
clause in which James I promised to permit Catholics to practise
their faith privately so long as they obeyed the laws of the realm;
James I gave public demonstrations of his good faith by ordering the
release of imprisoned recusants, a return of recent recusancy ®nes
and a full suspension of the penal code, while Henrietta Maria was
promised royal chapels with her own priests.40 Henrietta Maria
could, perhaps, have been forgiven for thinking that in¯exible
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 153
religious practice on her part would bring further results. From the
early years of the marriage, there survive numerous anecdotes of the
queen's intolerance of Protestant worship. In the summer of 1625, a
time when Charles had been pressured by Parliament into more
stringent controls on Catholic activity, she and a group of French
friends ± laughing, talking and accompanied by equally vocal small
dogs ± paraded several times through a hall in which a Protestant
service was being held.41 In June 1626 she visited Tyburn and prayed
for the souls of the Catholics who had perished there, a story which
soon became in¯ated into the rumour of a full-scale barefoot
pilgrimage to honour Catholic traitors: an indication of what the
court, and the country, was prepared to believe.
Henrietta Maria extended this in¯exibility even to her public
duties as queen. She refused to attend her own coronation in
February 1626, on the grounds that she would be being anointed by
a Protestant archbishop ± and the fact that she subsequently stayed
away from the opening of Parliament may have been an act of
dissociation from the proceedings of a Protestant nation, rather than
the ®t of adolescent pique as which it has usually been seen.
Commenting on this occasion, the Duke of Buckingham said to
Charles that a king who could not command his wife would make a
poor impression on Parliament, and Charles in turn made a habit of
complaining to Buckingham about the Queen's disobedience. 42
Anxious to justify his severity to the Queen's mother Marie de
Medici, Charles received considerable support from her, and she
wrote to her daughter that she should obey her husband in all things
except religion.43 A crisis came in the summer of 1626, when
Charles, in a ®t of domestic absolutism, sent away most of the
French members of the Queen's household: a move which angered
the French court and led to the dispatch of an Ambassador-
Extraordinary to England, the Marshal de Bassompierre, who spent
the next few months effecting a resolution and reminding Charles of
obligations in the marriage-treaty which the bad behaviour of the
French had given him an excuse to neglect. The treaty was never
strictly enforced, but English Catholics were to feel more at ease in
the succeeding years; and after Bassompierre's departure, no more is
heard of the Queen's disobedience.
Bassompierre's role as mediator had earlier been undertaken by
Sieur de Blainville, and the fact of ambassadors being sent to
intervene in the marital differences of the king and queen is
154 Loyalism and exclusion
suggestive, in itself, of the international implications of their marital
disharmony: implications which led to widespread anecdotalising
scrutiny of the royal couple's relationship at the time when it was
most under strain.44 One quarrel, precipitated when Henrietta
Maria refused to attend the opening of Parliament in February 1626,
ended in a well-known exchange between the two. Charles had
wished the queen to watch the ceremonies from the Countess of
Buckingham's house, but she refused to go across the courtyard,
saying that it was raining, even though Charles and Buckingham
believed it was not. Her behaviour may partly have been prompted
by a warning from Blainville that she should not associate with the
Countess. Buckingham asked the Queen to apologize and she
refused; in the end, Blainville himself persuaded her to go, which
Charles felt to be so presumptuous that he ordered Blainville out of
London. The quarrel lasted until Henrietta Maria gave in, saying
that if Charles believed that being mistaken about the weather was
an offence, she would too.45 Even more than most English queens,
Henrietta Maria has suffered from the Jean Plaidyesque school of
biography; this episode has usually been written up in a manner
which elicits from the reader one of the special pleasures of historical
voyeurism, the sense that the curtains of the state bed have been
twitched aside. But quite apart from anything else, this interpretation
depends on a notion of privacy which even the preservation of the
anecdote argues against.
The story itself has an almost parodic similarity to homelier
narratives of wife-taming. In Act 4 of The Taming of the Shrew, when
Petruchio and Katherine are about to set off for a journey, Petruchio
tests her by making her say that the moon is shining when the sun is
out, then that it is the sun after all. The wearily submissive
Katherine replies:
But sun it is not when you swear it is not,
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is,
And so it shall be still for Katherine. (scene 5, ll. 20±3)

If reported accurately, the above anecdote illustrates that Hen-
rietta Maria, at one point in her marriage, was appropriating the
predetermined echoes and silences of a tamed wife: a role which did
not prevent her lapsing into further quarrels with Charles, but which
need not, at the time, have been other than a genuine attempt to do
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 155
what was ®tting. But her duties as representative of her country and
her faith would have made it impossible to sustain a perfect
submissiveness of this kind, and it is in this light that one must view
manifestations of her intellectual independence from Charles. The
historian sensitive to conscience ought never to assume that any
individual in early modern Europe endorsed philosophical and
theological systems for entirely self-interested reasons, yet one
should not be blind to the incidental bene®ts of those systems in
individual cases. Henrietta Maria introduced a fashion for neopla-
tonism to the English court, and the elevated discourses of neopla-
tonism, with their high conception of marriage, had the very
practical effect of enhancing the position of a wife; she made a
prominent and distinctive contribution to the masque culture of the
Stuart court, and masques lent themselves to such quasi-diplomatic
techniques as tactful commendation in perfomance and concession
without disgrace for the primary addressee. As glori®ed realizations
of exemplary behaviour, they were an attempt to exact complemen-
tary obligations from Charles. Henrietta Maria's disobedience con-
tained within itself a performative externalisation of religious
dissent; the elaborate obeisances of her masques did the same, but
they were a means of sweetening necessary religious difference.
Martin Butler has said of masques: `The humanist tradition of
laudando praecipere licensed panegyric as an arena in which counsel
might be offered, in which discreet criticism could be advanced, or
in which analogy and oblique allusion could be employed to
insinuate a commentary on topical events. And yet the risks were
considerable and the advice was unlikely ever to be unconstrained
by the limits of tact.'46 As Veevers has shown, masques could be used
to commend Catholicism both visually and doctrinally. But ¯attery
within a masque is an articulation of distance, and an admission that
only indirect admonishment is permissible: a dialectic evolved to
express the hierarchy of monarch and subject, which could also
make masques an extremely suitable genre for a wife to write in. We
are not accustomed to think of masques, or any sort of drama, as a
form of chaste conversation coupled with fear;47 and previous
feminist criticism of Henrietta Maria's masques has tended to see
her acting and patronage more straightforwardly, as a means of
female empowerment.48 But a ubiquitous message of Henrietta
Maria's dramatic presentations, the all-conquering power of a
feminised religious love, is consistent with St Paul's injunction that
156 Loyalism and exclusion
wives professing the true faith and married to unbelieving husbands
should use indirect means to convert them. To call this feminist is
misleading; but, paradoxically, it counts among the incentives that
prompted early modern women towards ®nding a voice.
This is realized in at least one other text by a woman writer from
this period. The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry by Elizabeth
Cary, Lady Falkland, has a plot which turns on a question of female
loyalty. Mariam, the protagonist, is executed by her husband Herod
after she accuses him of assassinating her relatives in order to gain
the throne. Herod is portrayed as a tyrant, while Mariam's conscien-
tious crises are lengthily explored; and as most critics of the play
have pointed out, the play articulates the question of whether
marital disobedience can be justi®ed in extreme cases, while
supplying no obvious answer. Cary criticism ± as so often with the
imaginative creations of early modern women writers ± has also
tended to centre around the question of whether the dilemmas of the
protagonist can be seen as re¯ecting those in Cary's own life. Cary
professed a high doctrine of marital submission, yet the publicising
of her conversion to Catholicism in late 1626 led to her permanent
separation from her Protestant husband. Her daughter's biography
records that even after the separation, Cary would refrain from
`things most ordinarily done by all, and which she did much delight
in, for hearing from some other that he seemed to dislike it'.49 The
disobedience of both Mariam and Cary is cut down to an irreducible
minimum, but in both cases, it brings about marital rupture.
There are other similarities. Mariam's rebellion is prompted by
loyalty towards her family and its priestly line, and so, like Cary's, it
can be read as stemming from religious imperatives. The two
loyalties are linked by the wiping out of the rightful line of
succession, heavily stressed in the play's argument. As Mariam's
mother Alexandra says of Herod to her, `this his hate to thee may
justly prove, / That sure he hates Hircanus's family' (Act i, l. 126).
Mariam's grandfather Hircanus and brother Aristobolos have been
murdered by Herod to gain the throne, his best title to which is in
Mariam's name. As with Antigone, the honour of the family has
devolved on Mariam; and if Mariam dies, the last rightful heir to the
Jewish throne dies ± in the play, no other is nominated.50 Since this
is the Jewish monarchy, this means the simultaneous eradication of
the kingly and the priestly line; however perfect her subservience,
this is why Mariam is obliged to object. As a woman, she is unable to
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 157
be either priest or king herself, the `double honour, shining doubly
bright' (Act 1, l. 117); but her conscientious claims rest on the fact
that she is the repository of legitimacy.
In my view, it is mistaken both to read Mariam as straightforwardly
autobiographical, and to deny any connection between Mariam's
preoccupations and Cary's.51 The source for the play, Thomas
Lodge's edition of Josephus, has an introduction commending the
value of historical exemplars for interrogation of oneself and instruc-
tion of others; and I intend to argue elsewhere, at greater length,
that it is possible to read Mariam as an autodidactic play, if not an
autobiographical one.52 Plenty of writers discussed in this study
demonstrate how imaginative writing could be a form of experimen-
tation with Catholicism, and I believe that Cary can be classed with
these: indeed, that her religious quest was the cause of her auto-
didactic programme. It is a commonplace of criticism dealing with
early modern drama that historical selection, seemingly without
overt comment, can invite some very unidirectional conclusions
when put in context. The parallel between English Catholics and the
conquered Jews under Herod is hard to ignore in the light of Cary's
religious history; the Catholic text Palestina, discussed earlier, makes
considerable capital out of it.
Cary was dramatising a genuine contemporary ambiguity in
Mariam's dilemma, since Catholic women married to unsympathetic
Protestant husbands faced a clash between the two submissions
demanded of them.53 There was general agreement that mixed
marriages were undesirable ± a consensus which, in at least two
cases, was censored during marriage negotiations for Charles during
the 1620s54 ± and husbands were exhorted to use their authority to
convert heretical wives.55 But there was no clear agreement among
moralists as to the right course of behaviour for orthodox wives
married to unbelieving husbands56 ± though homilists writing from
outside the status quo, ®rst Protestants and then Catholics, tend to
be happier with the idea of marital separation in the case of religious
difference.57 As so often with gender-issues, it was an area where
moral discourse was full of half-articulated contradictions; and by
giving dramatic ¯esh to those contradictions, Cary passes the ®nal
responsibility over to the reader.
Just as Henrietta Maria's masques had a primary addressee in the
king, Cary's drama may principally have been intended for her
husband. In the biography it is said that Falkland read Cary's
158 Loyalism and exclusion
writings, and it would certainly have been very dif®cult for a piece to
achieve any sort of manuscript circulation without his seeing it. The
Herod-®gure, sometimes con¯ating enormities committed by more
than one historical Herod, was often used within drama as a means
to explore issues such as tyranny, monarchy, authority and the
subject's obedience to the king;58 but despite this, I believe that
Herod may have been a thickly veiled historical exemplar for
Falkland, intended to prompt change by dissociation. If this is the
case, the allegorical stratagems used by Henrietta Maria, and the
historical parallelism of Cary, may have been employed to very
similar ends. In their persuasions of a monarch towards a course of
action or away from it, masques can be masterpieces of tactfulness,
and the personal nature of their address makes them analogous to
closet-dramas written for a coterie audience. In Cary's biography,
written by her daughter, Lord Falkland is described as `very absolute'
(p. 194). Could the persuasive tactics of a masque also have been
used within the patriarchal rule of the home, tactics intended to
prompt not an association of a ruler with particular virtues, but a
husband's dissociation from a ®gure of notorious wickedness and
marital tyranny, and hence an acknowledgement of his wife's
conscientious rights?
If so, the parameters of the request are clearly de®ned. Like some
masques the play is full of critique, but is clearly also a celebration of
existing power-structures. This would explain the extravagant claims
of subservience the play contains, as a counterbalance to criticism.
To make the plot of Mariam work, we have to assume that Mariam
has performed breathtaking feats of marital submission up to Act 4
Scene 3, never complaining to Herod at her family being eradicated.
Herod's order to have her killed precipitates her outburst, but is not
referred to within it. Her upbraidings have nothing to do with the
fact that he planned for her to be put to death, only with his
murdering her relations:
Your offers to my heart no ease could grant,
Except they could my brother's life restore.
No, had you wish'd the wretched Mariam glad,
Or had your love to her been truly tied:
Nay, had you not desir'd to make her sad,
My brother nor my grandsire had not died. (ll. 111±16)

In its oddly timed motivation, derived straight from Josephus, the
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 159
whole scene reveals Mariam's scrupulous avoidance of even the most
legitimate self-interested claims. Neither Herod's tyranny towards
her two relations, nor even his death-threats towards herself, is
enough on its own; it is the cumulative effect of the two tyrannies
that prompts her to resistance. Renaissance overdetermination of
the female helps her to personify both functions: she is the monarchy
and she is the church. Where silence was part of female exemplarity,
to state `I am the church' was a paradox almost along the lines of the
Cretan who said that all Cretans were liars; and yet the seventeenth
century contains a further paradox, the small army of women for
whom the divinely inspired dictates of conscience were an impera-
tive to publish. Within the play there is enormous emphasis on
Mariam's princely and priestly blood; this is an externalisation of the
claims of conscience, the kind of externalisation which allowed a
female author to stress their overarching importance, while still
appearing personally disinterested.
One must return, then, to the idea of chaste conversation coupled
with fear: which is certainly a form of passive resistance. In
contemporary translations of the Bible the word `conversation'
means `behaviour', but even in early modern vocabulary it also had
the meaning of interpersonal discourse. Either way, it implies
suggestion rather than assertion, and the kind of problem-play that
Mariam is would have lent itself supremely well to this kind of indirect
admonition. In such a case, Cary would necessarily have had to
achieve the impartiality for which the play is so remarkable: only a
genuine balance would further her case, only a genuine question not
arouse suspicions that she was the instructor rather than the
suppliant. Contemporary moralists recommended similar strategies
as a means of allowing wives a way to query their husbands'
behaviour, while still respecting domestic order. In a sermon,
Thomas Gataker asked how far a wife might admonish her husband,
and answered his own question by saying that she should have `due
respect and regard of the husbands person and place'. She should
therefore `move the matter . . . by way of question, or as craving
advice, as Rebecka seemeth to move the matter a farre off unto
Isaack, submit her advice and opinion to his judgement and
discretion, as Ester to Assuerus his'.59
The Book of Esther in the Old Testament, like the story of
Herod and Mariam in Josephus, deals with a Jewish queen
married to a king both pagan and tyrannical. When the Persian
160 Loyalism and exclusion
king Ahasuerus's councillor Haman puts out a decree that all the
Jews should be massacred, his wife Esther visits the king to plea
for her people; her request is answered, and Haman is hanged.
What makes this particular story so conducive to a dual moral of
religious loyalty and marital obedience is the circumstances of her
plea. It is an unbreakable Persian law that if anyone visits the king
without being summoned, they will be executed unless the king
holds out his sceptre as a sign of mercy. Even though she is the
queen, this applies to Esther; and so she risks martyrdom when
she makes her request, until Ahasuerus is moved by her beauty
and pardons her. If Mariam leaves itself open to equations between
English Catholics and the conquered Jews, the Book of Esther in
the context of Caroline England was a story that positively invited
them. Its potential appropriateness to a Catholic queen married to
a Protestant monarch of absolutist opinions was recognised by
Urban VIII, even before Charles and Henrietta Maria were
married; his marriage-letter to the queen, cited above, includes an
injunction that she should be the Esther of her oppressed
Francis Lenton, who was given the title of Queen's Poet by
Henrietta Maria, may have known this when he wrote `Queen
Esters Haliluiahs and Hamans Madrigals', a manuscript poem dated
1637.61 But in the context of the Caroline court, it was a piece of
historical parallelism that was obvious enough. As with Mariam, one
should not expect a one-to-one correspondence between past and
present actors; described as a `greedy king' (f.27b), tyrannical and
avid for concubines, Ahasuerus is portrayed with a distinct lack of
sympathy, and a parallel at all points between him and Charles
would have been both mischievous and inept. As with the character-
isation of Herod in Mariam, it may actually have been intended to
encourage dissociation in Charles if he ®gured among the projected
readership. But the descriptions of the Persian law, so unbreakable
that one decree can be countermanded only by another decree, and
the fact that the monarch is responsible for that law, lend themselves
to parallels with Charles's personal rule during the 1630s. Henrietta
Maria's early disobedience in refusing to come to Parliament is
probably alluded to in the poem's account of Ahasuerus's ®rst wife,
Vashti, refusing to attend her husband's summons.62 The counsellor
Memucan gives his opinion on this, enlarging upon the radical effect
of marital disloyalty on the common weal.
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 161
He stronglie Argues by Induction,
That Vasthi had not to the king alone,
Done wrong by her miscarried Libertie,
But also unto all the Princes nie,
And all the people that shall heare of this,
Shall judg Queene Vasthi, to have done amisse:
And backs his Judgment with a Reason too,
what it may cause all other women doe,
For when the deed of this disloyall Queene,
shall spread abroad, and through the land be seene;
And knowne to other women, in their eyes
They shall their lawfull husbands then despise,
And, by this badd example, they shall stand
In open warr against their heades Command:
And shall defend it with this warranty,
Vasthi our Queene did so, and so will I. (ff.20b±21a)63

The Bible story with its neat reversal, Vashti's undesired
absence counterparted by Esther's unsummoned attendance, had
been appropriated before to provide good and bad exemplars for
the Catholic wife. Sir John Harington's epigram, `To his Wife
against women recusants', adjures his `deerest Mall' to `Ensew not
Vasties sample but detest her, / And rather follow her successor
In preparation for the mission to save her people, Esther adorns
herself `as once faire Judith did' (f.45b); Catholics were sometimes
suspected of using the Apocryphal story of Judith slaying Holo-
fernes as a justi®cation of tyrannicide,65 but here it seems intended
only to demonstrate that there are precedents for a virtuous
woman to dress herself seductively in order to promote her faith.
Lenton adds considerably to the vague Biblical descriptions of
Esther's attire, in which she is described only as being `in her
royal robes', and `gloriously adorned' (ch. 5.1, and Apocrypha, ch.
her golden locks so crisp'd, and aptly twin'de,
whose every haire a kingly soule might bind . . .
A Carbuncle on her Christall brow she pight,
whose lustrous beames expelld the shady night,
Upon her head a silver Tince66 she pin'd,
Loose waveings [sic] on her shoulders with the wind,
Gold on her golden haire, whose Ivory neck
the rubies rich, and saphiers blew, did deck:
And at her eares two pretious pearles, more rare,
162 Loyalism and exclusion
then the Shebean Queene did ever weare,
Throughe Indian Lawne, appear'd her snowy breasts,
Like Laeda's swans within their downy neasts . . .
The musk and Civett Amber, as she past,
Long after her, a sweet perfume did cast;
Adorn'd with Ceres guifts, and Ophir gold,
how glorious was this goddes to behold! (ff.45b±46a)

It is probably no coincidence that a number of these imagined
details, from the tinsel headdress to the barely-veiled bosom, sound
like those from a masque-costume.67 If this effect was intended by
Lenton, it gives further imaginative speci®city to Henrietta Maria's
project to commend her faith through masquing realizations of
That faith may have been shared by Lenton himself, or he may
have been responding to the Queen's in a manner that is pro-
Catholic, but nothing more. Much of Lenton's other work, especially
his printed collection of anagrams upon the names of the female
masquers in Luminalia, Great Britains Beauties, or the Female Glory (1638),
suggests a coterie poet attentive to the exemplars chosen by the
Queen, whose works would have found a keen audience in the
Queen's court even without his of®cial title.68 In the Huntington
Library copy, `Queene Esters Haliluiahs' is followed by a translation
of Psalm 83 `wherein David curseth the Enimyes of the True
Church', but ± perhaps deliberately ± it is not made plain who is to
be identi®ed as the true church, and who as the enemies. Great
Britains Beauties is a little more suggestive. Its subtitle echoes Anthony
Stafford's controversial work of a few years before, The Female Glory
(1635), which attempted a synthesis of Marian devotion with Angli-
canism; and the verses on the Queen insistently allude to Marian
imagery. Anagrammatising maria stvart to i am a tru star, Lenton
writes that Henrietta Maria is
A Morning Star, whose Rose at blush and smile,
Shewes the dayes solace, and the nights exile;
A radiant Star, whose lustre, more Divine,
By Charles (our Sun) doth gloriously shine:
No wandring Planet, that moves circular,
But a tru, constant, loyall, ®xed Star:
A Star whose in¯uence, and sacred light,
Doth beauti®e the day, and blesse the night;
Which shining brightly in the highest Sphaere,
Adornes those smaller Stars, which now appeare
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 163
Before her presence; by whose gracious sight,
Their numerous feet now pace with rich delight:
O happy they approach unto that Throne,
Where vertues are the constellation.
And let it be proclaimed nigh, and far,
That our Illustrious Queene, Is a tru Star. (p. 2)

Alluding to the Marian titles Rosa Mystica and Stella Matutina,69 the
verse emphasizes both Henrietta Maria's royalty and her subser-
vience; to be chief petitioner to the monarch is her utmost dignity.
Though her `tru, constant, loyall, ®xed' qualities are celebrated, the
language of astrology is co-opted to express the `in¯uence' that a star
may have: certainly on lesser stars, perhaps on the sun. The couplet
`O happy they approach unto that Throne, / Where vertues are the
constellation' can be taken both as continuing the litanic sequence,
casting Henrietta Maria as a recipient of her subjects' prayer, and as
referring, Esther-like, to the Queen's own role as petitioner. More
daringly, and perhaps giving a clue to Lenton's own beliefs, the
equation of Henrietta Maria with the Blessed Virgin silently en-
dorses the practice of petitioning the latter.
This Marian imagery has come a long way from Constable's.
When applied to Elizabeth, it emphasizes Mary's virginity to a
quasi-autonomous degree; when describing Henrietta Maria, it has
the effect of foregrounding Mary's roles as type of Christ's bride, the
Church, and chief petitioner of God. These are theological concepts
which are characteristically Catholic, and carry connotations of
subservience: for both these reasons, they were an imaginatively
potent means by which Catholics could ¯atter and exhort a Catholic
queen, while sustaining the imperative of marital obedience. Chris-
tianity's insistent feminisation of the Church, which tends at most
periods to be more af®rmatively exploited by Catholics than by
Protestants, had exceptional power throughout the seventeenth
century in England, when applied to the Stuart succession with its
repeated history of Protestant kings and Catholic consorts.70 It could
bring political and imaginative hope to recusants ± and, as Prynne
showed, it could scare puritans.
But to personify the Catholic church as an obedient wife could
also, later on, be a justi®cation of quietism. `A Lamentation by the
Church in England for her Present Misery', a Catholic ballad
preserved in a manuscript dating from the 1640s,71 has the refrain
164 Loyalism and exclusion
`At our house at home, at our house at home / I am good wife and
beares noe rule / till my good man comes home':
This house is Englands Ile
of late renown'd by fame
but now by errors guile
is fallen out of frame
and I the Church the goodwife am
w[hi]ch makes this wofull mone
and Jesus Christ is my goodman
w[hi]ch now is gone from home
But some parhaps will say
why is your goodman gone
then answer them I may
because true faith is ¯owne
And unitie In veritie
hath left her house alone
for error lewde hath truth exclude
w[hi]ch makes him be from home

The second part of the ballad is voiced by the `goodman', Christ,
from his lodgings in `portingale and france'. Even the distribution of
polemical commonplaces is governed by the assumption that the
natural ¯ow of instruction is from husband to wife: the wife
complains of the late dearth of hospitality and the growth of lust,
covetousness and avarice, and the husband, in impeccable Pauline
manner, teaches her that it is all due to the heresies of `frier Luther'.
Yet the ballad ends uncertainly. Part 1 concludes with the church
looking forward to the time when she `shall beare rule / When my
good man comes home', but Part 2 portrays the husband as sharing
Christ's human powerlessness and unable to sway events by any
means other than prayer.
Good god cut short their hornes
which rulest the harts of kings
and Evermore Doth scorne
the author of novell things
wherfore good wife be thow content
my presence though thou misse
for I partake thy sad lament
And wander for thy blisse
from our house at home, from our house at home,
I am good man, and heare complaints
from my good wife at home[.]
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 165

If this poem is contemporaneous with the manuscript, it may be an
imaginative response to the Civil War phenomenon of Catholic
neutralism. A greater tolerance of Catholics at court had not resulted
in a reduction of recusancy ®nes, and as Keith Lindley has pointed
out, `the Catholics had little cause to hope for toleration from the
regime of Charles I, Laud and Strafford';72 it was the ®rst instinct of
many to stay inconspicuous, and some never emerged. But despite
the importance of this as a factor in determining Catholic behaviour
during the Civil Wars, there were other ways in which the legacy of
Catholic loyalism had never been clearer. This is partly by contrast
with the other side; it is one of the enormous ironies of English
intellectual history that just as English Catholics had largely dis-
owned resistance theory, English Puritans appropriated it.73 But one
need not be taken in by Parliamentarian propaganda about Charles's
popish army, or even Christopher Hill's comment that Catholics
were `solidly royalist', to acknowledge the large contribution made
by Catholics to the King's cause.74 For many, it was the natural one
to join: not only because of Henrietta Maria, but because they would
have found it impossible to align themselves with the religious
sympathies of the Parliamentarians. An anonymous commentator
wrote in 1642 that `the Catholiques in this Kingdome give all lost, if
. . . this Parliament be not subdued'.75 Regional studies of allegiance
have suggested, especially for Lancashire, that there could be a
disproportionately strong Catholic presence among Royalist ®eld
Anti-popery has long been recognised as a signi®cant factor in
promoting distrust between court and Parliament; and given the
current historiographical emphasis on the Civil Wars as England's
`wars of religion', one looks forward to a full-scale reconsideration of
the Catholic role in them.77 But of a period where Catholics seem so
inconspicuous and so many other unof®cial religious groups thrived,
some counter-factual speculations are irresistible. The religious
ferment of the period might have thrown up a covert radical
Catholicism, eager to exploit what freedom of worship the period
had to offer, or a Jesuit-led revival which used the discontinuities of
state religion as an opportunity to promote appeals back to Rome;
and yet, neither appears to have happened. Historians have tradi-
tionally ± perhaps correctly ± seen the period as one dominated by
166 Loyalism and exclusion
the `Cabal' of Thomas White alias Blacklo, which aimed to establish
an episcopal regime under the direction of the chapter of secular
clergy which had taken over the administration of English Catholi-
cism when Richard Smith, their bishop, ¯ed overseas in 1631. In
both his administrative leadership and his writings, White privileged
secular authority over papal, and his treatise The Grounds of Obedience
and Government (1655) urged recognition of the de facto regime. His
attempt to persuade the Independents to extend principles of
toleration to Catholics, though dustily answered by its addressees
and held against him at the Restoration, was the most inventive
Catholic response to the peculiar opportunities of the period; and
even this was mesmerised by the principle of of®cial toleration in an
age where, to many other groups, this mattered less than ever
before.78 The omnipresence of loyalist protestations in imaginative
writing must certainly have helped to create a mid-century climate
in which toleration dominated Catholic concerns, perhaps even
stunting them; but the present writer knows of no imaginative
response, internecine or other, to Blackloist conceptions of loyalty. 79
Loyalists of the 1620s and 1630s often became the Royalists of the
1640s, and here it is possible to follow the careers of a few writers
mentioned earlier. John Abbot reappears with the poem The Sad
Condition of a Distracted Kingdome. Expressed, in a Fable of Philo the Jew
(1645), which retells a legend that God had asked the angels for their
opinions after creating the universe. The story's topical application
to the King and Parliament is obvious, and its contrast with Abbot's
other allegory, Jesus Prae®gured, could not be more striking: the one is
replete with courteous proselytism, the other fulsome with identity of
Who sayes who's faulty? He or they?80 The King
A God on Earth, a consecrated thing
Cannot transgresse, and being the only source
Whence Justice, and our Laws derive their force
Must needs be pure. (f.B4b)81

Abbot's case illustrates a more general rule. Plenty of imaginative
royalist writing survives from Catholic pens, and plenty is fervently
loyalist, but its content tends not to be identi®ably Catholic; the
need to support the king must have suppressed the articulation of
difference from him.82 One exception, also anticipating Paradise Lost
in dealing with the fall of the angels, occurs in a manuscript volume
Catholic loyalism: II. Stuart writers 167
in the National Library of Wales, attributed to Charles Arundell,
which chillingly argues that a Catholic state governed solely by the
monarch, but answerable to the Inquisition, is better than the ills of
Were I a prince all Courts and prisons too
should bee put downe, I would reserve but two
such choice of courts, such multidude [sic] of lawes
make us forgett, (if not forgoe) Gods cause.
wee ®nd the heathenish blasphemous event
of curst Com[m]ittees since this Parliament,
In any Christian state there's use of none
But Bedlam and the Inquisition. (p. 12)

The poem from which these lines come, `The Creation', illustrates
the author's preoccupation with parallels between Parliament's
insubordination and the entry of sin into the newly created world.
`The ®rst Parliament', another poem from this manuscript, explores
the parallel in most detail. God surveys everything and sees that it is
good, then calls his angels and declares his intention of making them
rulers of man and beast, the sea and the land: `and to avoid all
possible dispute / Thus signed what he had said Le Roy le veult'.
But, in a deliberate equation of the fall of the angels with the fall of
man, God's one proviso is made to be that they should not eat of the
tree of knowledge; the apple becomes an emblem of arcana imperii.
Give names, make Lawes dispose as yow thinke best
yours is the tree of Life and all the rest
Save onely one, Bee not inquisitive
to try that tree tis my prerogative
hee that presumes to touch or tast that tree
shall dy with all his curst posterity . . . (pp. 16±17)

The Parliament begins to overreach itself, and on a day when all
the Lords are sitting `a member of the Lower howse / and with a
countenance audatious' tells them that his fellows plan to rebel and
eat the fruit.
They say they will noe longer Subject bee
to Church or King they'le have a parity
they say there is in nature noe such thing
as pope or prelate, Emperor or King
they will not still be fooles, still bee soe stanch
downe with that favorite tree both roote and branch . . .
168 Loyalism and exclusion
Shortly my Lords bee wise and looke about yow
Let it bee donne or else they'le do't without yow . . . (pp. 17±18)
The weaker part of the House is convinced, while the wiser go
along with the rebels `for want of hart'. They realise their error as
soon as they have eaten, and as they descend into pandemonium,
the poem ends. The topical root-and-branch allusion, stemming
originally from the standard visualisation of hierarchy as a tree, is
here grafted on to the Tree of Life. A Catholic dendrology is given as
the ideal, with the pope at the top of the tree, and prelates having
precedence over emperors and kings; yet the hierarchies of church
and state join in one line, where an appositional structure re¯ects
how both may serve as a bulwark against the terrors of popular rule.
In wartime, the con¯ict between papal and Stuart claims could be
de-emphasized, and the theoretical similarities between the two
would have served to reassure. If the poet's yoking of Royalism and
Catholicism seems to anticipate Jacobite loyalties, this is no coinci-
dence. As the discussion of Thomas Howell in the next chapter will
demonstrate, Anglicans began to appropriate Catholic tropes during
the Civil Wars to express their loyalty to a church in absentia; but in
some future study, it may be possible to date the inner rings of the
Jacobite oak back to the Catholic loyalists of the Elizabethan
chapter 5

The subject of exile: I

The Civil Wars, which forced Anglicans into the subterfuge and
exile that Catholics had long known, prompted them to appropriate
Catholic lamentation and protestation, but also to dissociate them-
selves from Catholic writers. As a counterpart to the quotation with
which chapter three began, where Constable is implored to return
from exile, there follows a passage from Cowley's `Elegy on the
death of Mr. Crashaw', referring to how Crashaw became a canon
at the shrine of Loreto after his conversion and departure from
England, and just before his death.
How well (blest Swan) did fate contrive thy death,
And made thee render up thy tunefull breath
In thy great Mistresse Armes? Thow most divine
And richest Offering of Lorettoes Shrine! . . .
Angels (they say) brought the fame'd Chapell there;
And bore their sacred load in triumph through the aire.
Tis' surer much they brought thee there; and They,
And Thow (their charge) went singing all the way.
Pardon, my Mother Church, if I consent
That Angels lead him when from thee hee went.
For ev'en in Errour sure no danger is,
When joynd w[i]th soe much Piety as His.

Sincerely laudatory of Crashaw's poetic achievements, solicitous to
minimise the wrongness of theological error, and ending gracefully
`And I myselfe a Catholique will bee / Soe farre at least, great Saint,
to Pray to Thee', the passage nevertheless stresses the appropriateness
of Crashaw's foreign end. So far from lamenting England's loss, as
Constable's supporter does, Cowley celebrates Loreto as the most
seemly haven that Crashaw could possibly have found; and one must
look back to another passage quoted earlier in chapter two, Hall's
suggestion in Virgidemiarum that Southwell ought to be transported to
170 Loyalism and exclusion
Loreto, to appreciate the double-edgedness of this. Catholics have,
literally, to move their home as the Blessed Virgin was supposed to
have done. Though Hall's use of the trope is satiric and Cowley's
encomiastic, both defend the deracination of Catholic poets; and
since Cowley was living away from England at the probable time of
writing, within the exiled Stuart household at the Louvre, his elegy
betrays the necessity to distinguish himself politely from Catholic
exiles in an environment where Catholic and Anglican were on
unusually intimate terms.1
This tonal dissociation is all the more apparent when one
compares Cowley's elegy with a second counterpart to the poem on
Constable, another sonnet to an absent male friend. Sometimes ± as
with Nicholas Oldisworth, a conformist who wrote verses to and
about his Catholic friend George Bacon ± the sonnet can be used to
yoke homosocial protestations of friendship with articulations of
ideological and religious distance;2 but in a group of sonnets in a
manuscript of early seventeenth-century verse in the Huntington
Library, convincingly attributed by Anthony G. Petti to Toby
Mathew the younger, the sonnet, `Upon the Sight of Dover Cliffs
from Callis', equates the griefs of exile with those of separation.3


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