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Better it were for me to have binn blinde
then with sadd eyes to gaze upon the shore
of my deare countrey, but now mine no more
w[hi]ch thrust[e]s me thus, both [out] of sight and minde,
Better for me to have in cradle pined
then live thus longe to choake upon the coare
of his sadd absence, whom I still adore
w[i]th present hart, for harts are not con┬®nd
Poore hart, that dost in so high tempest saile
against both winde and Tide, of thie friends will
what remedie remaines, that cann availe
but that thou doe w[i]th sighes, the sailes full┬®ll
untill they splitt, and if the body die
T'is well ymploy'd, the soule shall live thereby
One must beware of always identifying poet with poetic persona,
especially in the deceptively frank medium of the sonnet. But in view
of the overtly Catholic nature of the group of sonnets, combined with
numerous invitations to the reader to interpret the poems personally,
the topic of exile may be an autodidactic projection of a possible fate,
or, more soberly, it may be autobiographical fact. Mathew ┬± if the
The subject of exile: I 171
poems are indeed his ┬± converted to Catholicism in 1607 and was
exiled three times during his life, around 1608 and 1618, then
permanently in 1640.4 The sestet evokes emblem-literature with its
picture of a sailing heart to signify exile, but exploits verbal ambi-
guities that would be outside the reach of an emblem. These are the
most dif┬®cult feature of the poem, pivoting on the phrase `of thie
freinds will'. The heart may be sailing away against wind and tide as
a means of suggesting that the poet's friend does not want him to go,
or ┬± as the placement of the comma may help to suggest ┬± because it
is his friend's will that the poet should go. Not only ambiguous in
itself, it necessitates a re-reading and reassessment of the earlier half
of the poem. The reader's ┬®rst inclination is to understand the
second quatrain as reinforcing the ┬®rst, yet, depending on the
identi┬®cation of the friend, the one may qualify the other instead: the
poet's mortal friend is absent on the Continent, yet, if the poet stays
in England, his heavenly friend Christ is absent.
This sonnet, taken in conjunction with Mathew's life, displays the
double legacy of exile from England: continental travel might be
deeply undesired, yet it could have positive results. Mathew and his
friend George Gage, to whom the above sonnet is probably
addressed,5 acted as agents to acquire works of art for pre-Civil War
English collectors, some of whom ┬± like the Earl of Arundel ┬± had
crypto-Catholic sympathies themselves;6 other Catholic priests like
Richard Lassels, whose use of the term `Grand Tour' is the ┬®rst
recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary, were to become travel-
ling tutors, and were able to facilitate the progress of Royalist exiles
about the Continent during the Civil Wars and Interregnum. The
role of these priest-virtuosi within Catholic literary culture, and
more generally in English cultural history, has been the subject of an
important ┬± though still little-known ┬± study by Edward Chaney.7
Though their travel-writing and guidebooks cannot be addressed at
length here, these were as important as their collecting in formu-
lating the ideal of continental travel as an essential component of the
├‚
elite Englishman's education. As Chaney points out, a serious
awareness of the Catholic contribution to this chapter of English art-
history argues for the backdating of a cultural fashion which is
usually thought of as eighteenth-century, or Interregnum at the very
least. As so often, one must be wary of supposing that a movement
cannot have been important when it was primarily associated with
Catholics ┬± or later, Jacobites.8
172 Loyalism and exclusion
English Protestants were not necessarily more insular than English
Catholics. All scholarly debate was conducted in an European
arena; and though the Reformation discouraged foreign travel
among English Protestants wishing to avoid popery and political
unrest, such travel was never quite curtailed ┬± Milton and other
Protestants even stayed at the English College in Rome.9 But English
Catholics were necessarily more disposed than English Protestants to
look predominantly abroad for intellectual intercourse, and a forced
familiarity with the Continent could mean ┬± most strikingly,
perhaps, in the early seventeenth century ┬± that exiled Catholics
were more responsive than most Englishmen to the vanguard of
European taste. But as a class, virtuosi have been neglected by
Catholic historians ┬± perhaps out of a feeling that they cannot be
said to have suffered. Richard Lassels might have agreed, to judge
from an uneasy passing comment of his: `God . . . gave me both
leisure and meanes to studdy and live hansomely abroad, whiles
bettre men than I were forced to studdy how to live at home.'10 But
the tempestuous heart emblematised in Matthew's sonnet suggests
that even the cultured continental existence of a priest-virtuoso
might not have been without exilic sorrow.
Whatever the local and temporal variations in enforcing penal
laws, the great majority of English Catholics had every reason to feel
alienated from the country they lived in; and from the beginning of
Elizabeth's reign to beyond the period covered by this study, motiva-
tions to leave it would have been various. Children were sent abroad
for a Catholic education,11 young men would have made the
journey to train as a secular priest or Jesuit, and men and women to
embark upon the religious life in the other Orders. Scholars,
especially in the years immediately after the Elizabethan Settlement,
left to continue their study at foreign universities, and contribute to
the ¯ow of controversial prose from foreign presses; other scholars,
aristocrats or musicians found posts in ducal households or in
cardinals' entourages, or received pensions from the Spanish Crown;
the failure of the Northern Rising in 1569 sent many political
refugees overseas; and some laymen and laywomen would simply
have assented to the lines given to Thomas Hoghton in the
Á
prosopopoeic Catholic ballad `The Blessed Conscience', `Like
frighted bird, I left my nest, / To keep my conscience'.12 Some exiles
Á
found it hard to survive, and others, it seems, came over only to die:
an inscription in S. Gregorio, Rome, reads in English `Here lies
The subject of exile: I 173
Robert Peckham, English and Catholic, who, after England's break
with the Church, left England because he could not live in his
country without the Faith and, having come to Rome, died there
because he could not live apart from his country.'13
Forbidding travel abroad, and withholding permission to return,
could both be used as punitive measures. Some individuals were
exiled, others were refused government licences when they asked to
leave the country for the sake of their consciences. At the beginning
of Elizabeth's reign, several priests were arrested when they tried to
travel to the continent illegally; but the statute of 1585 `against
Jesuits, seminary priests and such other like disobedient persons'
declared that any priest who had been ordained by papal authority
was guilty of treason once he came to England. Permitted travel
abroad for Englishmen was circumscribed, almost less by popery
itself than by the foreign localities of English popery: travel-licences
issued by the Privy Council often stipulated that the traveller must
not visit the towns in which English Catholic exiles were concen-
trated, St Omer, Rheims, Douai and Rome.14 For the Protestant,
travel to Rome was tainted by the remembrance of pilgrimage, and
present fears of the Inquisition; as R. S. Pine-Cof┬®n has pointed out
in his bibliography of travel-literature, from the 1540s it seemed
almost impossible for any Protestant to compile a travel-guide
without re¯ecting on the sinfulness of the Roman clergy.15 Yet
Catholic emphasis on Protestant usurpation of England and the
spiritual ef┬®cacy of journeying can be seen as a double retaliation,
accusing the non-traveller of sin.
Some of the texts discussed in these two chapters, like `Wal-
singham', and `Jerusalem, my happy home', are well-known from
anthologies. Some, like the English Jesuit dramas, are frankly
obscure ┬± and so, a few introductory remarks on the latter may be
useful.16 The Jesuits pioneered theatre as an educational tool, and
the term `Jesuit drama' is generally used for the school and college
dramas of the English Catholics, but it is not unproblematic: a
college was not necessarily under Jesuit control at the time any one
play was put on, nor were all authors who wrote Catholic school
drama themselves Jesuits.17 The centres of this drama were the
English colleges at St Omer, Douai, Rome, Valladolid and Seville,
and the plays tended to be written by masters at the colleges and
performed by the schoolboys or seminarians on public occasions:
prize-days, or the visit of some ecclesiastical or secular dignitary.
174 Loyalism and exclusion
They could be performed in the refectory, or another great hall, or
even outdoors on occasion. Though they were usually in Latin, plot-
synopses known as argumenta or periochen were distributed to the
audience. These were long plays, and most characteristically trage-
dies, but the main action could be punctuated by interludes, which
sometimes commented on it and sometimes were simply intended as
a divertissement. The topics and historical periods which dominate
English Jesuit drama hardly ┬®gure, often for obvious reasons, in
English mainland drama: stories from the persecuted early Church,
from Byzantium during the period of the Iconoclast controversy and
from Christianity's embattled beginnings in pagan Britain. Many
foreground the martyr. But other genres than tragedy could be
appropriate vehicles for didactic and controversial messages, and
other historical periods were tackled. In particular, the dramatists'
location away from the English mainland meant they could be more
outspoken than any other Englishmen; and those who were unequi-
vocally opposed to Tudor or Stuart regimes took advantage of this,
resulting in some of the most powerfully subversive texts ever to
come from English pens.
Writing on exile in the Italian Renaissance, Randolph Starn has
recently said, `However the borderlands and otherwheres of exile
may be perceived or plotted on a map, it is clear that they occupy
cognitive as well as physical space. They . . . constitute moral and
political ground.'18 To this, one can add religious ┬± and further
comment that more than any other theme in English Catholic
discourse, exile prompted a self-conscious addressing of the authorial
role. One need not necessarily agree with the sentimental idea that
all major artists are inner exiles in their own culture to admit that
the link between exile and literary creation is hard to ignore; and the
classical precedent of Ovid, the Renaissance testimonies of Dante
and Petrarch, and the Judaic experience at all times, remind one that
English Catholics were not alone in de┬®ning the poetic consciousness
as exilic. A. Bartlett Giamatti has described Renaissance culture as
having to assert exile from secular antiquity, or scriptural paradise,
`in order to refashion, or revive, or give rebirth to, or regain, what
had once been purer, holier, or simply more whole . . . [E]xile is the
precondition to identity.' Petrarch believed that one should never
borrow or lift the words of predecessors, but ingest them and make
them one's own by digestive transformation; and it has recently been
argued that his theory may have been inspired by a need to
The subject of exile: I 175
transmute into literary form the crises of geographical exile and his
own temporal distance from classical antiquity.19 Certainly, both in
exile abroad and in yearning after the old religion at home, the
English Catholics undertook many textual refashionings, digestions
of history and transformations of genre to express the peculiarity of
their plight.


weeping england
Weeping for England is something that all early modern England was
urged to do, at the death of some great ┬®gure or in response to some
tragedy. Weeping England, more speci┬®cally, is the topos of the
mourning woman who mourns in some way for England or the
English nation. Sometimes the woman herself is England, mourning;
sometimes she mourns England as an other; sometimes she is the soul
of England's body. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries she was
ubiquitous: in lamentation, especially in the many translations and
paraphrases of the Book of Lamentations;20 in satire; in funeral
elegies for public ┬®gures; and in the royalist tracts of the Civil Wars.
The sorrows of English Catholics sometimes vented themselves in
elegy and its various sub-genres such as lamentation and complaint,
sometimes in texts of other kinds that modulate into the elegiac.
Weeping England ┬®gures prominently among their elegiac personnel,
and their use of her is distinctive: she is an exhortatory instrument,
giving voice to lament, and deliberately deferring the consolations of
elegy in order to stimulate the reader to action.21
One such text begins:
Descend from heaven, O muse Melpomene,
Thou mournful goddess with thy sisters all.
Pass in your plaints the woeful Niobe;
Turn music to moan with tears eternal.
Black be your habits, dim and funeral . . .
The tragic muse and the tearful Niobe are in a public role here; as
chief mourners for the nation, they represent weeping England. A
funeral elegy on Mary I, the poem belongs to a sizeable category of
texts ┬± with hindsight, also a sad one ┬± written during and just after
Mary's reign by Catholic writers, congratulating her on the fact that
the Reformation had now been quashed. George Cavendish, the
writer, was better known as the author of a Life of Wolsey which
176 Loyalism and exclusion
had an extensive circulation in manuscript, and the elegy comes
from a poetic sequence called `Metrical Visions', appended to the
Life in some manuscripts.22 The sequence combines funeral elegies,
on Henry VIII and Edward VI as well as on Mary, with complaints
voiced by those who have lived during these monarchs' reigns and
come to bad ends. An early Catholic loyalist, Cavendish praises
Mary for her orthodoxy but criticises neither Henry nor Edward for
their religion. The pope, cardinals and all Catholics are asked to
pray for her `Which late restored the right religion' (l. 71), and
Cavendish, praising Elizabeth, urges her to follow in Mary's foot-
steps.
Grief, then, is succeeded by consolation: so far, so decorous. But
the manuscript is curiously arranged. The elegy on Mary comes after
the author's farewell to the reader, which is dated 24 June 1558,
before Mary's death; and written as an afterthought, placed at the
bottom of the page after the author's farewell, is an epitaph of a very
different sort, an epigrammatic Latin rhyme: Novus Rex, nova lex. Nova
sola Regina, probet pene ruina (New king, new law. A new queen ruling on
her own may prove almost a disaster). In Cavendish's hand like the
rest of the manuscript, it seems likely to have been written after both
the main body of the work and the elegy on Mary, some time into
Elizabeth's reign when Cavendish had reason to revise his opinion of
her. As an envoi to the envoi, it completely devastates the comfortable
conclusion. If one reads the manuscript in the obvious order, the
rhyme stands as a warning before the elegy on Mary, qualifying the
whole by the voice of disillusion; yet Cavendish does not cancel his
praise of Elizabeth. The piece becomes forcibly multivocal, not
because it preserves two different political opinions, but because it
allows two temporally separate reactions to Elizabeth's government.
The poem illustrates a trend which one can discern even in
uni┬®ed elegiac compositions by Catholics at this date. These lament
in highly public, yet highly personal terms the passing of Catholic
orthodoxy and the advent of heresy, characteristically described in
funereal tropes. The tendency is nearly always towards personi┬®ca-
tion of this orthodoxy, in keeping with the emphasis Catholics placed
on the visible church ┬± a feminised church, just as personi┬®cations
are most commonly female ┬± and sometimes the speeches of these
personi┬®cations are called complaints. Critical discussions of the
female complaint are still often based on a restrictive conception of
complainants; not all have been beheaded or recently de¯owered,
The subject of exile: I 177
nor are they even necessarily an exemplar of Christian contrition.23
Most Catholic examples are lofty matrons, often mothers weeping
for their children.24 Their lament is dissociated from personal sin,
yet inspired by familial sin; it is a maternal rebuke of the kind which,
proverbially, one had to be an adamantine sinner to refuse. They
take their bearings from the prophetic threnes of Jeremiah and
Lamentations, but their utterance has more to do with the bearded
prophet than with the main female personi┬®cation in those texts,
erring Jerusalem.
This has implications for how elegy currently tends to be de┬®ned.
Lamentation was central to a number of Renaissance de┬®nitions of
the elegy, and Sidney asked rhetorically what moralists could ┬®nd to
complain of in `the lamenting Elegiac; which in a kind heart would
move rather pity than blame; who bewails with the great philosopher
Heraclitus, the weakness of mankind and the wretchedness of the
world'.25 But in current criticism, the link between elegy and
lamentation has been weakened: not because lamentation is a dead
form ┬± war-poetry proves the contrary ┬± but because commentators
have played up the sceptical elements in elegy, and vastly under-
estimated its didacticism. Abbie Potts has said, for instance, that
`elegy is the poetry of sceptical and revelatory vision for its own sake,
satisfying the hunger of man to see, to know, to understand';26 and in
an article published in 1994, W. David Shaw tells us that `the most
important aesthetic decision an elegist can make is to identify, not
with the conventional consolations available to the mourner, but
with the uncertainties of a puzzled and questioning reader looking
perhaps for the ┬®rst time into the eyes of death or grappling with
other limitations'.27 Though this barely concealed agnostic agenda
may ┬®nd wide acceptance now, it cannot be read back retrospec-
tively. In what may be a natural accompaniment to a genre's
perceived agnostic tendencies, recent critics have also tended to
privilege the poet's subjectivity, and this too has sidelined the
lamentation. Lamentations are exhortatory; they purport to be the
voice of objective woe interrogating the reader, subjectivity begin-
ning with that reader's response.
In Ars Poetica, Horace gave an account of the beginnings of elegy:
`Verses yoked unequally ┬®rst embraced lamentation, later also the
sentiment of granted prayer.'28 This was a massively authoritative
de┬®nition to the Renaissance, one which would have continued to
in¯uence generic thinking long after elegy moved into metres other
178 Loyalism and exclusion
than the elegiac; and two of its implications are particularly relevant
to Catholic poetry.29 First, though Horace is talking about the etiology
of elegy, his description of how the genre fuses a two-stage process,
lamentation and granted prayer, re¯ects the classic internal progress
of a funeral elegy. The two, however, could be separated: Barbara
Lewalski notes that Elizabethan and Jacobean critics distinguished
between mourning elegies and anniversaries, which omitted the
lamentation of funeral elegies,30 and conversely, lamentations have
various ways of implying consolation, yet subtracting it from their
overt subject-range. Secondly, the `sentiment of granted prayer',
which is the Loeb translation of Horace's voti sententia compos, is not the
only possible one: sententia is an ambiguous word. Horace was
probably referring to inscriptions associated with votive offerings,
which were commonly couched in elegiac couplets; but one can also
take the phrase as referring to something in the future, `the idea of
granted prayer', `the determination' or `the purpose of granted
prayer'. This suggests the trajectory, observable in many Catholic
poems, towards an idea of consolation in the future to be supplied by
the reader, rather than something contained in the present body of
the poem. Within these poems, the common elegiac pairing of
lamentation and consolation tends to be subverted or fended off,
sometimes quite elaborately. There can be no good side to heresy; and
among users of the weeping-England topos during the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Catholics are unusual in mainly using her to
signify lamentation for heresy. Heresy is a totalising explanation for
sin; identi┬®cation of it may incorporate satirical or moralistic rebuke,
but goes beyond both; and this suggests the necessity to look carefully
at the work of Catholics or suspected Catholics in moralising or
satirical vein, in case they hint at this explanation for wrongdoing.
Another opening stanza musters a crowd of female personi┬®ca-
tions, though this time England is the mourned rather than the
female mourner.
My mournfull Muse Melpomine drawe neere,
Thou saddest Ladie of the sisters three,
And let her plaints in paper now appeere:
Whose teares lyke Occean billowes seeme to bee:
And should I note the plaintiffes name to thee?
Men call her Truth, once had in great request,
But banisht now of late for crafts behest.31
This is the beginning to Thomas Lodge's `Truth's Complaint Over
The subject of exile: I 179
England', a poem appended to his tract An Alarum Against Usurers
(1584). Lodge was a Catholic convert,32 whose of┬®cial conversion
happened some time after 1584, but there is reasonable evidence for
his recusancy dating from 1580; his public repentance was probably
the culmination of a protracted conversion-experience, and his
poems from the early 1580s need to be read with this in mind.33
`Truth's Complaint', conventionally enough, uses the myth of the
Golden Age as a foil for present ills.34 The speaker, Truth, is thereby
cast as Astraea, the nymph who left the earth at the end of the
Golden Age; and though Astraea was one of Elizabeth's poetic titles,
Elizabeth is certainly not intended. The Catholic sympathies of the
poem are at their most overt at the end, albeit half-concealed by a
pun. Truth complains: `such colours now are made, / That those
would mend the misse, doo daunce in shade' (f.40a). The reader is
alerted by the slightly clumsy construction; `miss' clearly means
`what's missing', but also puns on the Latin `missa', or Mass. In a
neat double-entendre, those who claim to mend the Mass by
reformation dance in the shade of spiritual darkness, while those
Catholics who aim to mend the Mass by restoring it are forced to
perform their rituals in obscurity. At the end of the poem Truth
withdraws herself, forced away by the English. `You Ilanders adieu,
/ You banisht me, before I ¯ed from you' (f.40a). Complaining of
England's ills, she also laments England's spiritual death; in reminis-
cing about England's happier days, she has been commemorating
something which she is then obliged to put to sleep. There is closure
about Truth's decision: but with it, very little visible consolation. 35
Yet there is an implied one: truth lives on, though in exile. If one
takes Lodge's poem in a vacuum, it suggests no overt possibility of
return; truth is dead to England, England is spiritually dead, and
Truth is the agent of death, in that she accedes to the islanders'
suicidal banishment of her. But one also has to consider its effect on
the reader. Truth deliberately excepts some Englishmen from her
strictures, those who `beare a part and helpe to waile [her] mone',
but they `daunce in shade'. Because they are too small and margin-
alised a community, her continued residence is, literally, unviable.
But Lodge is addressing Englishmen: and speci┬®cally the Catholic
caucus in his circle of readers, who would have recognised the
signal. If what Truth says were meant to be taken as literally true,
there would be no audience, certainly no effective one. By assertion
of the ill, the poem exhorts. The Envoy, `Beleeve me Countrimen
180 Loyalism and exclusion
this thing is true' (f.40a) is not simply a reinforcement of what has
gone before: coming emphatically outside the rhyme-scheme, and
outside Truth's own speech, it demands ┬± implicitly, if not overtly ┬±
an active moral response from the audience. Death has been dealt,
and a funeral hymn sung, but the audience are being invited to
contradict the genre ┬± to resurrect England, and to prove Truth
wrong. Exile is a reversible death, because however real and
imminent spiritual dangers are, abstractions like Truth do not really
die like kings. But the fact of Truth being an abstraction hardly
absolves the audience from personal response.
Truth departs because England can boast only scattered Catho-
lics, not a coherent church. With overdetermined versatility, she
herself stands for that church: one reason why Catholic writers were
able to make a freer use of weeping England than those from other
religious persuasions. She was particularly appropriate to what they
wanted to express, as demonstrating the visibility of their Church. It
was an easy extension from that to the Blessed Virgin, and the many
faces of Mary which weeping England could also connote: mourner
at the Cross, especial patron of England, and mother-┬®gure person-
ally beloved of Catholics.36 Mary was the special patron of many
shrines in England, and shrines, regions and towns could all lament,
both on their own behalf and as a synecdoche of the nation. One of
the most famous post-Reformation Catholic poems begins:
In the wracks of Walsingham
Whom should I choose,
But the Queen of Walsingham
To be guide to my muse?
Then thou, Prince of Walsingham,
Grant me to frame
Bitter plaints to rue thy wrong,
Bitter woe for thy name. (ll. 1┬±8)37

Either Christ or Henry VIII could be meant by the title `Prince of
Walsingham', and the ambiguity is probably intentional. Syntacti-
cally speaking, the `wrong' could be a wrong done to the Prince, or
by him; and either way, it would result in `bitter woe' for him. If
Henry VIII is meant, the poet's `Grant me' is nothing more than a
sardonic courtesy; if the Virgin Mary, Queen of Walsingham, is
legitimising the poet's muse, Henry is hardly in a position to forbid
criticism of himself. This poem illustrates particularly well how the
The subject of exile: I 181
Virgin Mary, as queen of all female personi┬®cations, links the
transcendent and the topologically immanent: the abstraction of the
Church with the local speci┬®city of a church. The long-standing
association of Gothic ruins with elegiac musing in English poetry has
Reformation antecedents; outrage at the physical effects of the
dissolution of the monasteries was felt by many Protestants as well as
by Catholics, and from an early stage, lamentation comes from all
sides.38 Where a conformist is writing, partial consolation always
lurks in the background: the despoilations were terrible, and English
hospitality is impoverished for lack of monasteries, but at least
popish abuses have now been done away with. For Catholics, this
was not a possible reaction. Though the protracted af┬®rmative
reappraisal of Gothic in England was certainly interconnected with
softening attitudes towards Catholicism, the pleasure of ruins as a
later elegiac topos was despite a Catholic aesthetic, as well as
because of it.39
The place, or more speci┬®cally the medieval architectural
complex, is personi┬®ed ┬± `Such were the works of Walsingham /
While she did stand' (ll. 21┬±2). Despite the ease of con┬»ating female
personi┬®cations within a poem, one still has to be alert to the fact
that within the same poem they may be forcibly dissociated: which is
what happens in the two last verses. Mary has been not merely
banished, but supplanted; she departs, like Lodge's Truth, and leaves
the personi┬®ed shrine Walsingham to mourn.
Weep, weep, O Walsingham,
Whose days are nights,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deeds to despites.
Sin is where Our Lady sat,
Heaven turned is to hell.
Satan sits where Our Lord did sway:40
Walsingham, O, farewell. (l. 37┬±44)

Jesuit dramas could also hark back to a medieval golden age.
William Drury's Aluredus sive Alfredus is one example: a drama about
Alfred the Great performed at the English College, Douai, in 1619,
and translated during the Interregnum by Robert Knightley. 41 Like
many English Jesuit dramas, the play contains embedded lamenta-
tions, serving as prologue, chorus or, as in this case, the epilogue
spoken by St Cuthbert.
182 Loyalism and exclusion
O wretched England! Would thou still did'st know
that ancient happy state; thou wouldst not now
As from ye world thou seperated art,
So from ye worlds true faith be kept apart:
Thou wouldst not then be cald an Isle ingrate
ffrom Heav'n rebelliously degenerate;
Nor wouldst thou consecrated Temples spoile,
Nor them with sacrilegious Hands defyle;
Nor let unparent=like thy Children bee
Shipwrackt upon ye Rockes of Herisy.
But England's now a Stepmother, alas,
which once of Saints a fertile Parent was.
Implicit in the motherhood of weeping England is a generational
judgement, since Catholic laments present change and heresy as
something which has happened recently. Retelling the defection of
the younger generation and the orthodox lamentations of the older,
they oppose themselves to the Protestant vision of long-standing
corruption in the pre-Reformation Church. Knightley's translation,
quoted above, actually alters Drury's original by ending on this
melancholy note; Drury's text concludes with a loud appeal to the
Douai boys to ┬®ght and suffer for the reclamation of England, a
startling demand which, of necessity, was common in English Jesuit
drama. Consolation is denied within the text; but the text has the
task of stimulating the reader, or the audience, to provide extra-
textual hope and the possibility of consolation in time. In this
context, the potential affective value of weeping England was clearly
so great that the usual rule against female parts in Jesuit drama
could be relaxed to allow for personi┬®cation. A play by an author
who was neither Jesuit nor English, but which may very well have
been inspired by English Jesuit drama, makes analogous use of its
choruses. In Nicolas Vernulaeus's Henricus Octavus (1624), written for
Porc College in Louvain, a number of choirs ┬± vicious and virtuous
personi┬®cations, English virgins and English exiles ┬± lament the
schism.42 The song of the virgins has the refrain Crudelis Amor and
evokes weeping England, pre┬®xing the ┬®rst scene of Act ii in which
Catherine of Aragon laments her fate; the Virtues, in between Acts
iii and iv, interject dire predictions into the perverted epithalamium
chanted by the Vices; and immediately before the last act, the
English refugees hymn their own departure. The parallels between
Catherine's lot and theirs are quite intentional, stressing how exile
too is a divorce.
The subject of exile: I 183
Our churches lie gutted and burned to the ground,
Blessed ashes are whirled on high by the winds,
Ungodly ¯ames our altars destroy,
While Christ is driven from his sacred shrines.
Gold in the churches is greatly desired,
So shrines are plundered for the riches they yield.
The plunderer revels in riches around him . . .
Some will dwell on Belgian soil,
Some inhabit ┬®elds of Italy
And others will touch on western Spain.
Nameless, wretched exiles we will be,
Scattered in a trice all over the world.43 (ll. 1,690┬±6, 1,724┬±8)

Prologues, epilogues and choruses are usually the most directive
portions of Jesuit drama, but in Brevis Dialogismus (1599), one of the
earliest surviving plays from St Omer, exhortation forms the plot of
the play. Weeping Anglia ┬®gures prominently in that plot, her tears
and proprietorial, motherly role towards the schoolboys designed to
encourage ┬®lial and chivalric impulses as well as religious ones. The
text summarises the plot thus:
At the beginning, anglia presents herself with a tearful complaint, now
destitute, bereft even of her own protectors. A youth . . . cheers her with
soothing speech. Then astus, deceitful and crafty, and indignatio . . . mark
down every Christian for death by his English name, but the English battle-
lines, though scattered across the globe, are glowing in opposition, and the
followers of Thomas seek to emulate his deeds and for the praise of the
faith prepare to risk death. Sad Anglia adds further motivation with her
grief, and arouses their manly spirits to re-enact Thomas' virtue.44
This is an extreme example of the kind of exhortation with which
lamentations, and Catholic lamentations in particular, commonly
end; and in their deferrals of consolation and closure, Catholic
martyr-poems can be very similar. Like funeral sermons, Renais-
sance funeral elegies classically offset mourning with the epideictic
formulas of consolation: among these, Alastair Fowler lists the ages
of life, the gifts of the Spirit, regeneracy, sainthood and relation to
Christ. The dead person is a pattern, and their salvation is assured.
This is also the message of martyr-poems, but in these, the fact of
consolation is suborned to outrage. Some consolations are simply
not appropriate: executions upset the natural cycle of youth,
maturity, age and death. Others reproach by their very appropriate-
ness: if the dead man was so saintly, what does that say about the
regime that put him to death? These disruptions formally re¯ect the
184 Loyalism and exclusion
effects of the political oppression of Catholics, stretching to their
limit the antithetical relations which exist within any genre.45 The
famous poem written on the death of Edmund Campion in 1581
exempli┬®es these disruptions, its very opening undermining the
whole convention of literary commemoration.
Why do I use my paper, ink, and pen,
And call my wits to counsel what to say?
Such memories were made for mortal men.
I speak of saints whose names shall not decay. (ll. 1┬±4)46

So far is the poem from expressing resignation at Campion's death,
particularly towards the judicial mechanisms that enabled it to
happen, that the poet even appeals to the highest legal authority to
recognise injustice.
My sovereign liege, behold your subjects' end:
Your secret foes do misinform your grace;
Who for your cause their holy lives would spend,
As traitors die ┬± a rare and monstrous case.
The bloody wolf condemns the harmless sheep
Before the dog, the while the shepherds sleep. (ll. 67┬±72)

This is an unimpeachably loyalist protestation; to exonerate the
Queen herself, blame ┬± as usual ┬± is thrown on her advisers. But the
next verse is less correct.
England look up: thy soil is stained with blood.
Thou hast made martyrs many of thine own.
If thou have grace, their death will do thee good;
The seed will take that in such blood is sown . . . (ll. 73┬±6)

The association of the Queen with England is implicit, but ┬± if one
exploits the opportunity for iconic elision opened up by the text ┬±
only too easy to make; Elizabeth's femaleness made her identi┬®able
with her country in a sense that a male monarch was not. England is
the main personi┬®cation here, as she is not in Lodge: more actively
evil than in Lodge, she sacri┬®ces martyrs. She is much more
analogous to the wanton Jerusalem of Lamentations; as if by
Jeremiah, England ┬± and implicitly Elizabeth ┬± is being urged to
repentance and urged to weep. The above quotation alludes to the
saying `The blood of the martyrs is the Church's seed', and, indeed,
the end of the poem exhorts sympathetic auditors to imitate
Campion's calvary. Ordinary consolation is rendered qualitatively
different; the dead person's exemplarity becomes not merely pro-
The subject of exile: I 185
grammatic, but urgently so. Even more than Lodge, this demands an
extra-textual sequel: the listeners are to produce a ¯ourishing
church, watered by Campion's blood.
We cannot fear a mortal torment, we:
This martyr's blood hath moistened all our hearts;
Whose parted quarters when we chance to see
We learn to play the constant Christian's parts.
His head doth speak, and heavenly precepts give
How that we look, should frame ourselves to live. (ll. 157┬±62)
It would be wrong to give the impression that non-Catholic texts
cannot challenge the auditor in an analogous manner. Weeping
England, or weeping for England, can spur towards action in these,
albeit a different kind of action. Distinctively Protestant messages
were put across by a reassortment of personi┬®cations: a 1542
pamphlet, The Lamentation of a Christian Against the City of London, has a
Christian speaker, ungendered but probably male, railing against
London as the Whore of Babylon, rife with Mariolatry: it would
have been more dif┬®cult to use an identi┬®ably female speaker here.
A mainstream publication responding to a plague outbreak, Thomas
Brewer's lamentation The Weeping Lady: Or London Like Ninivie in Sack-
Cloth (1625), has striking structural similarities to the deferred
consolations already discussed. It is a compound of prose and verse,
a lamentation framed by an Epistle to the Reader and a Conclusion.
The Epistle looks forward to a time beyond the plague: `My intent in
erecting this poore Monument of Misery, was, to make this Ladies
Teares out-live Her Teares: That, when (by the in┬®nite Mercies of
God[)] they shall bee wip'd off . . . We may, in the view of this, and
other . . . Remembrances of Her, re-view them; in them, those in┬®nite
Mercies; and in both, be made mindfull of them, and eternally
thankfull for them' (f.A3a). In the body of the lamentation London
laments the loss of her sons and daughters, and concludes with an
exhortation to stave off the plague by fearing God and honouring
the king: `Levell your words, and Actions to the will / Of Him, has
power to pardon, or to spill, / And I shall soone be well' (f.c3b). The
title to the Conclusion suggests the optimistic ending: `The Authors
comfortable Conclusion[,] and thankfull Remembrance of Gods
great mercies, in the happy surcease of this dangerous Contagion'
(f.c4a). Consolation is voiced by the author in his authorial persona;
London is not made to dry her eyes and mitigate the effect of her
reproach. The conclusion provides an end to what the epistle has
186 Loyalism and exclusion
inaugurated, even though both were written and published at the
same time. The consolation is detached, not deferred; the plague
was over and could be used as a completed exemplum, whereas the
plight of Catholics had to remain in the present tense.
Though this link between the personi┬®cation of weeping England
and the separation of consolation from lament is characteristically
Catholic, texts like The Weeping Lady show that neither factor was
unique to Catholic texts. It was more natural for Catholics to make
the connection with Mary; individual conformists could hold Mary
in high regard, but nevertheless, veneration of her was one of the
doctrinal demarcations separating Catholic from Protestant, and
controversial impedimenta were inseparable from the way she was
invoked in a text. There was nothing particularly Catholic about the
formal demands of deferred consolation; but in practice, for most of
the period covered by this study, Catholics had more reason than
most to avail themselves of it. This, though, was to shift in the Civil
War and Interregnum;47 as so often, late sixteenth- and early
seventeenth-century English Catholic writing can seem proleptic of
Royalist lamentation. Among English Protestants, if they also hap-
pened to be Royalists, the Civil Wars were the ┬®rst sustained period
that one would have felt called to use weeping England as a
condemnation of heresy, rather than merely a reproach of moral
turpitude or an icon of misfortune: weeping England became
weeping Anglicanism. Jeremy Taylor wrote in The Great Exemplar
(1649) that `the voice of the Church is sad in those accents, which
expresse her own condition . . . her song is most of it Elegy' (Part 1,
p. 140).
Were Anglicans inspired by the use that Catholics had previously
made of the trope, or did they derive it independently from the
same biblical and literary sources? The former must have played
some part, especially given the use that Lodge, and other Catholics,
made of it for covert complaint within mainstream publication.
With some occurrences of the topos, it is hard to believe that the
author was not referring as well to a more overt Catholic usage.
James Howell's England's Teares, appended to his allegory Dendrologia
and published in 1644, is a speech of England's which uses some
highly Marian vocabulary.48 England laments `I that have been
alwayes accounted the Queene of Isles . . . I that have been stil'd by
the Character of the ┬®rst Daughter of the Church' (p. 158), and says
of the personi┬®cation Religion, `I heare that Reverend Lady (that
The subject of exile: I 187
Queene of soules, and key of Heaven) make her moane . . . that that
Seamelesse garment of Unity and Love, which our Saviour left her
for a legacie, should be torne and rent into so many Scissures and
Sects' (p. 165), and then, almost echoing the Salve Regina, `O consider
my case, most blisfull Queene, descend, descend againe in thy Ivory
Chariot; resume thy Throne' (p. 169). A few pages earlier, Howell
has taken pains to point out that he is not a papist: which is what
liberates him to write in this manner. But his inspiration is plain,
licensed by the requirement to assert the uni┬®ed body of Angli-
canism. As with Howell's Catholic analogues, the ending of the
piece is an appeal rather than a resolution. Like most prayers, it
interrogates futurity from a position of passive moral con┬®dence: the
ungodly triumph, but thy will be done. And like any public
supplication, it tries to shame the auditor into action. As with
Howell's Catholic analogues, this is not a consolatory text; and
because of its overriding anxiety to stimulate the reader into action,
it throws very little light on the personal sensibilities of the author.
But though these are not qualities which one associates with current
de┬®nitions of elegy, they extrapolate on the lamentation that has
been central to elegy from the start.

jesuit tragicomedy and the lessons of exile
Elegy was not the only genre that was consciously individualised to
express affection for England and the plight of the Catholic exile.
Some incursions of the elegiac mode into Jesuit drama have already
been quoted, and two allegorical tragicomedies, both dateable to the
early seventeenth century, demonstrate how even the overall struc-
ture of a play could be conceived in response to polemical and
exhortatory stresses. The genre is unusual, since most surviving
English Jesuit plays are historical tragedies, and most lost plays are
identi┬®able as such. Historical tragedy was in itself a conscious
attempt to make plays relevant to the performers, since ┬± as
described in the introduction to this chapter ┬± the selected narratives
tend to be those which invite parallels with contemporary religious
events; and since so many end with a martyr's triumph, they belong
to a christianised tradition of tragedy which evades rigorous Aristo-
telean de┬®nition. But in Captiva Religio and Psyche et Filii Eius, the two
plays discussed below, tragicomedy is used to model the Catholic
future in a very different manner from the elegiac. While lamenta-
188 Loyalism and exclusion
tion exhorts its hearers to dry England's tears, tragicomedy heartens
them by optimistic imaginative projection.
As Dante pointed out, exile is a ┬®gure for allegory;49 and the
allegorical component of these dramas is as crucial as the tragicomic.
Allegory and polemic are natural companions, and in the Jesuit
drama of the English, one can even argue that tendencies towards
allegory are strongest when polemic is at its most overt. This
happens not through any intent to disguise ┬± in preaching to the
converted there is no need for that ┬± but through an impulse towards
imaginative transmutation, universalising the plight of the English
by vesting that plight with abstractions. This may sometimes have
been the role of the allegorical interludes between acts, using music
and dance to lighten the tragic atmosphere, that played so large a
part in the total experience of Jesuit drama, but of which few well-
documented instances remain; certainly, the Jesuit educationalist
Joseph Jouvancy was later to argue that both tragedy and ballet
could be used to depict the victory of religion over idolatry.50 But
something of the possible didactic role of allegorical ┬®gures can be
seen in the dialogue between Comoedia and Tragoedia, in the
prologue of the allegorical tragicomedy Captiva Religio, performed at
the English College, Rome in 1614.51
c o m e d y Not with the ¯apping of wings.
t r a g e d y Nor with winged shoes on the feet.
c Not with the feathers of sails.
t Nor in the triumphs of war-chariots were they carried.
c You have brought them to London.
b o t h Most excellent men.
c Here the port is a sure anchorage for beaked prows.
t Here, the sweet Thames laps at pleasant banks.
c See, a glittering bridge of martyrs with sacred foliage [i.e. palms].
t Here prison oppresses the pupils of the Roman faith with hardships.
c Here religion is captive.
t It is weighed down by bitter ills.52

Water is often invoked to describe the English Jesuit condition: it
symbolises tears, the English channel which separates the exiles from
their mother-country, and rivers as a synecdoche of cities. The
generic personi┬®cations begin by setting the scene, and supernatu-
rally transporting the actors over the English Channel to London;
water is both a division between Rome and London, to be overcome
by travel, and a means of access to the heart of England's capital
The subject of exile: I 189
city. Then in a startling and apocalyptic vision, combining the
trajectory of the actors' travel with the probable outcome of their
mission, a bridge is thrown to the subject of the play, captive religion.
England's attractiveness is not diminished, but the audience is
warned that it is a country where Catholics may languish in jail
while the sweet Thames runs softly. The second part of the prologue
shows Comedy and Tragedy abandoning their scenic function and
acting in character, as they squabble about whether tragedy or
comedy is more appropriate to a play set in mourning England, and
come up with the English compromise of tragicomedy.
c o m e d y Now the rest is for your ears.
t r a g e d y And your eyes ┬± if you please ┬±
c To be taken in. We are leaving.
t We who have come to you as Prologue, in preparation.
c We have taken a unique indulgence, in respect to you.
t Tragi-
c Comedy advances on to the stage.
t I don't care for laughter, I prefer sighs.
c I prefer laughter, I don't care for sighs.
t Sad tears are appropriate for mourning England.
c It's appropriate to console mourning England by means of sport.
t Alas!
c Ha, ha!
t Alas for me!
c O festival day!
t Tears . . .
c Come, jokes.
t Weep.
c Laugh.
t It's resolved, English-style.
b o t h Audience, may you give up your time with well-disposed minds.53

The element of apology in the ┬®nal resolution of Comedy and
Tragedy is understandable, given the usual bias towards the tragic in
Jesuit drama; but there is also a recognition that tragicomedy is
uniquely appropriate for the plight of the English Jesuits. The
ambiguity of being English and Catholic, natives of England who
faced imprisonment and death whenever they returned from exile, is
translated into genre. What seems stranger in the twentieth century
is the proposition with which Comoedia begins, that it is possible to
become accustomed to the situation in England by giving it comic
treatment. But this is to be seen neither as hysteria nor entirely in
190 Loyalism and exclusion
terms of trench humour, though there is certainly an element of the
second: a transcendental importance is invited for comedy, in
recognition of the fact that though the present state of English
Catholics is pitiable, an ending of unspeakable happiness is reserved
for them.
Captiva Religio was performed three times in January and February
1614, and a contemporary account of the production survives. 54
Written by Federico Gotardi, a Venetian spy in Rome, it complains
that the play took ┬®ve hours to describe the wretched state of the
Catholic church in England. The scene was London; at the back of
the stage there were prisons and dungeons ┬®lled with Catholics, and
above the facade, in letters of gold on a red background, were the
words captiva. The plot ┬± punctuated by comic scenes ridiculing
Calvinist ministers and parish priests ┬± concerned one Finson, an
English gentleman who had come to Rome in the days when
England was still Catholic. On his return to England he ┬®nds that
those adhering to the true religion are being oppressed, and to help
them, he takes a position as jester to the Minister for Justice, or
Chancellor. While failing to gain their freedom, he prevents them
being further persecuted. He then tries to make his way back to
Rome, leaving a note revealing his true identity, but before leaving
the country he is apprehended by order of his master, who receives
him back with great celebrations. Gotardi reports that one of the
students acting the play had been a comedian for James I, and was
famous for the strength and beauty of his leaps. 55 Assuming that this
student played the jester, the plot was clearly designed to showcase
his physical talents; Gotardi thought the play foolish, but had to
concede that it was very well-acted. More than that, it projects a
possible collective future from this student's particular past. Richard
Helgerson has commented on the `enabling pose' of the court jester,
privileged to voice uncomfortable things to the monarch;56 while the
jocose quality of this play may certainly have been intended to
console mourning Englishmen, it also recognises the potential power
that jokes had to sway the decisions of authority. But the English
College in Rome staged a number of anti-Henrician dramas at
around this date,57 and in this context, one may also be intended to
remember a less eirenical Catholic jester: William Somers, court fool
to Henry VIII, who was said to have called Anne Boleyn a whore
and Elizabeth a bastard.58
Exile inspired at least one other Jesuit drama with a tragicomic
The subject of exile: I 191
plot, and the trope of water recurs. An anonymous, titleless Latin
play in the Bodleian, which has been given the title Psyche et Filii
Eius,59 claims in the chorus to Act III that the waters of the rivers
near Jesuit colleges have the power to extinguish heresy, while
stressing that since rivers run into the sea, they are a signi┬®er of
return as well as of separation.
As Hope escaped the hands of bloody Hate, so have those few escaped the
rage of heresy who now drink the waters of Baetis, Tiber or Pisuerga. May
heaven grant them an easy return to England. (f.81b, ll. 1523┬±6)60

The play is an allegory of England's troubles. The sons of Psyche,
who represents the English church, are led astray by an irresponsible
tutor, Thelima or Free Will. Psyche's response is to order in her sleep
a rose, representing Faith and Wisdom, to be gathered from
Paestum, the city of Lucania celebrated for its twice-blowing roses,61
here signifying a revival of the Catholic faith. Of her sons, Eros ┬± the
Catholics ┬± accepts the challenge. Mysus ┬± Heresy ┬± complains
bitterly that this task has been given to Eros, and stirs up some of his
brothers ┬± Orge, the populace, and Thrasus, audacity ┬± against
Eros; but he fails to in¯uence the others, among them Elpis,
representing the English exiles. Mysus sets a trap for Eros and his
companions, which Elpis betrays to Psyche. Psyche then hands over
her sons to the tutor Philosophus ┬± the pope, or church authority ┬±
who forms their minds to better ends. The theme of tutelage is
instantly recognisable as belonging to Jesuit drama; but despite that,
Psyche would be even more inscrutable than most allegories without
the prologue, epilogue and choruses. As the chorus to Act i reveals,
these contain the characters' identi┬®cations and transform the play
into polemic. The enigma of the ┬®rst act is both something to
decode, and something that proclaims the truth to a dangerous
extent only possible under expatriate conditions.
The riddle is solved, for we have applied this to our misfortune: it is not
lawful to speak of true matters unless under an enigma. England, under the
name of Psyche, longs for the rose, the ¯ower of ancestral faith, which once
in its wanderings poured its happy odours into kingdoms, with many a
shoot. Ah! it is shameful to tell what the stench is like now, where once the
fragrances were so sweet. England knows this, she mourns, she groans, she
laments . . . All Catholics lie hid under the form of Eros. Mysus oppresses
them, Mysus whom I call heresy, Heresy, more mutable than Proteus,
assuming all shapes, she does not think it disgraceful to speak from the jaws
192 Loyalism and exclusion
of a monster, provided that she can pronounce the sentence of death
against the Catholic. (f.80, ll. 1,452┬±9, 1,463┬±7.)62

Though the allegory ostensibly hides, it is more accurate to call it
revelatory. Catholics are understood by the schema of Eros, named
after the god of love whom Psyche loved and lost in the classical
legend, while the term ┬®gura, used as an alternative to schema in
describing the personi┬®cation of heresy, often describes ghosts and so
suggests the phantasmic quality of false faith. Signi┬®cantly, too, it is
given in the plural. The many throats of heresy are intended to
evoke the Lernaean Hydra which Hercules vanquished, a very
common ┬®gure used both by Catholics against Protestants and, in
England, by Anglicans against Dissenters: in both cases, it is a
nightmare vision of the excesses of individual judgement. Here it is
arrived at by combining Mysus with Orge, heresy with the populace,
as the chorus to Act ii makes more explicit: `Oh, if only some
Hercules would crush the sprouting heads of the hydra with the club
of faith, and liberate England' (f.81a, ll. 1,504┬±5).63
Imagery is allegory on a verbal level, expounded as soon as
created. On other levels ┬± the stage-property of the rose, and the
allegorical functions of the characters, probably enhanced by
costume ┬± it has the chance to sink in visually before being
explained. Both also serve as ornatus, a rhetorical and aesthetic
quality much valued by the Jesuits. Nigel Grif┬®n, distinguishing
between ornatus in word and in spectacle, says: `They were images,
moving images, themselves a signi┬®cant part of the whole imagery
that would run through the entertainment, re¯ected in costume,
decor, language and text.'64 In Psyche's case, this results in consider-
able iconographical complexity. First, she is a gracious, vulnerable
and grief-stricken woman:
You have seen the tears of Psyche! They have a mystery: a mystery that
may be better taught by means of tears than by tongue. Psyche (now you
know that she conveys the changing fortunes of England) is rocked on the
surge of a sea of cares, fearing shipwreck; nor is this an empty terror, since
heresy presides over the rudder. Oh, England, England . . . (Chorus to Act
ii: f.80b, ll. 1,476┬±81)65

The ┬®rst Bodleian cataloguer of this play de┬®ned it by Psyche's
attribute of tears, de lugentis Angliae facie. Called forth because her sons
are divided against each other, and her soul is alienated from the
body, her weeping makes a double affective point.66 It has all the
The subject of exile: I 193
moral reproach of Southwell's weepers, and, as with a Mary
Magdalen or a St Peter, the reader is intended to interpret the
weeping by supplying the narrative background. Here, the story of
the play represents an invented sequel to the classical legend of
Psyche. She is obviously more mature than when she wandered the
earth in search of another Eros, yet she still represents exile and
dispossession: the soul alienated from its heavenly abode and, on a
more temporal level, the Catholic faith driven out of its homeland
and embodied in the English colleges in mainland Europe.
chapter 6

The subject of exile: II




Plays like Psyche et Filii Eius demonstrate one of the main topics
discussed within this succeeding chapter: how, to quote Randolph
Starn again, `name-calling was one of the few obvious pleasures of
exile'.1 A list of some of the other subjects tackled within Jesuit drama
┬± the break with Rome, and the martyrdoms of Sts Thomas a Becket,
Thomas More and John Fisher ┬± give a stronger impression still of
how this exiled theatre was drawn towards material that was highly
problematic on the legitimate English stage, treating it with a
Catholic fury which would have been, quite simply, unstageable
there. But if the incidental advantages of exile affected subject-matter
within Jesuit drama and elsewhere, they did not themselves intrude as
a subject; in expressed opinion, they hardly weighed against its
de┬®ning sorrows. These were not simply a matter of being removed
from home, family and possessions. In his massive Anatomy of Exile,
Paul Tabori has distinguished between the destierro, the man deprived
of land, and the destiempo, the man unable to pass time within his own
country, and has described the exile as living in the present and the
past simultaneously.2 These chapters prove, if nothing else, the
imaginative potency of nostalgia to the English Catholics.
Yet one should be wary of letting that become a dismissive value-
judgement. As research on post-Reformation religious communities
abroad gathers pace, it will become clearer how medieval patterns of
life were sustained on the Continent by English, Scots, Irish and
Welsh men, women and children, long after the Reformation ┬± in
some cases to this day ┬± and how there was a constant interchange
of individuals between the mainland and these religious colonies: a
phenomenon which indicates great practical resilience within the
Catholic communities of the British Isles, rather than the reverse.
Nostalgia could itself be exploited for utilitarian reasons, as within
the seminaries that trained priests to return to England: the cult of
194
The subject of exile: II 195
the Madonna Vulnerata at the English College in Valladolid demon-
strates how yearning for England could be projected onto the Virgin
Mary, piously supposed to have England as her dowry. But within
England as well, Catholics perceived themselves as historical exiles
from the time when England belonged to the true faith, and ┬± in a
unique intensi┬®cation of the Christian commonplace ┬± as spiritual
exiles from heaven.


`at home in heaven': hymns and the soul's exile
As the last chapter demonstrated, the dispossession of Psyche et Filii
Eius ends optimistically; and this is echoed in another genre, the
Catholic hymn. If Rome equalled Babylon for the militant Prot-
estant, and Protestant nationhood de┬®ned itself by excluding Catho-
lics, the Catholic ideal of the heavenly city drew on the Book of
Revelation to imagine bejewelled forti┬®cations which Protestants
might besiege in vain. `Thy wales are made of precious stones; / thy
bulwarkes, diamondes square', sang the anonymous priest-author of
one of the most famous mainland Catholic texts of the period,
`Jerusalem, my happy home'; and Anthony Copley's A Fig for Fortune,
discussed in chapter three, visualises the Church of England scaling
the walls of Mount Sion, only to be beaten back by the orthodox.
Just as Jerusalem is both the despoiled city of Lamentations and the
heavenly destination of the soul, the present griefs of exile are
counterbalanced by the future consolations of heavenly citizenship,
in an intensi┬®cation of the Christian view that all mortality is exile;3
a lyric of Southwell's is entitled `At home in heaven'. It is in this light
that one must read `Jerusalem, my happy home'.4
Hierusalem, my happie home,
when shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrowes have an end?
thy joyes when shall I see? . . .
Wee that are heere in banishment
continuallie doe mourne;
We sighe and sobbe, we weepe and weale,
perpetually we groane.
Our sweete is mixt with bitter gaule,
our pleasure is but paine,
Our joyes scarce last the lookeing on,
our sorrowes still remaine;
196 Loyalism and exclusion
But there they live in such delight,
such pleasure, and such play,
As that to them a thousand yeares
doth seeme as yeaster-day. (st. 1 & 13┬±15)

After listing a number of saints singing hymns in heaven ┬± Mary and
other virgins, Ambrose, Augustine ┬± in the company of Simeon and
Zachary from the New Testament, the ballad culminates in `There
Magdalene hath left her mone, / and cheerefullie doth singe, / With
Á
blessed saintes whose harmonie / in everie streete doth ringe'
(st. 25): after which, there is only a reprise or variation of the ┬®rst
verse.5 The selection of Mary Magdalen is not an arbitrary end to
the catalogue; as the poets discussed in chapter two suggest, she
stands above all for the Catholic weeper, and her change from
sorrow to joy is to be read as the climax of the hymn's promises.6
One of the most important surviving Catholic manuscript-mis-
cellanies, BL Add.MS. 15,225, preserves a text of the hymn, and with
it, another ballad-evocation of the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a
translation of a text that was Englished at least twice by contempo-
rary Catholics, St Peter Damian's Ad Perennem Vitae Fontem, which
begins by expounding the linked contemptus mundi commonplaces that
lie behind all the conceptions of exile described above: banishment is
a prison, prison a banishment, and the soul is alienated from heaven
as long as it remains in the body.
My thirstie soule desyres her drought
at heavenlie fountains to refresh;
My prisoned mynd would faine be out
of chaines and fetters of the ¯esh.
She looketh up unto her state
from whence she downe by sinne did slyde,
She mournes the more the good she lost,
for present ill she doeth abyde.
She longes, from roughe and dangerous seas,
to harbour in the haven of blisse,
Where safelie ancoreth at her ease
and shore of sweete contentment is.
from bannishment she more and more
desyres to see her countrie deare;
She sittes and sendes her sighes before;
her joyes and treasures all be there. (st. 1┬±2)7

This does not render the whole of St Peter Damian's hymn: starting
off in a reasonably accurate manner, it speedily modulates into
The subject of exile: II 197
imitation alone. In the imaginative exercise of translation, texts
undergo revivi┬®cation when, for whatever reason, they can be read
as having topical relevance; and the same text translated by two
religiously similar individuals at similar dates can still throw up
striking differences in the imaginative emphases of different authors.
In particular, the two ┬®nal verses of the Latin are missing in
`Jerusalem, thy joys divine' which ends on an ecstatic vision of
heaven; but they are translated in another version, that appended to
The Meditations, Soliloquia, and Manuall of the Glorious Doctour S. Augustine
(1631);8 to a degree which may argue for clerical authorship, this
translation accentuates the relevance of the lines to those risking
their lives on the mission-┬®eld. But its didactic ef┬®cacy would have
been wider. Like a pilgrim, the soldier is a Christian exemplar partly
because of his lack of worldly ties, being dependent on what he can
carry. The conception of exile as dispossession would have had
particular relevance not only to clerics studying abroad, but to those
Catholics who, without being exiled from their country, suffered
civic privations and ┬®nancial penalties in the hopes of being
rewarded by a heavenly pension.
Christ, thou Crowne of Souldiers,
Grant me this possession,
When I shall have leave to quitt,
This dangerous profession;9
And vouchsave to lett me have,
Amongst thy Saints, my session.
Give me strenght [sic], who labour in
This battayle, yet depending,
That when I have fought my best,
Some peace may by attending.
And I may obteyne thy self,
As my reward not ending, Amen. (p. 98)10

Speratory verse,11 as this kind of text can be termed, stands in an
antigeneric relation to elegy. Both lament, but whereas elegy aims
only to console or exhort towards consolation, speratory verse
emphasizes the objects of hope. It is partly a question of the relative
space apportioned to the polarities of grief and joy, partly the relative
speci┬®city with which the latter is imagined. As the hymn `Amount,
my soul, from earth awhile' shows, the negative delights of heaven
are almost as potent as the positive ones; there are `noe rude nor
raillinge heretikes / that new religions make' (st. 46), `noe persecu-
198 Loyalism and exclusion
tinge potentate . . . workmaister or pursivant' (st. 47), and `There
tiburne nothinge hath to doe, / noe rope nor racke is knowne'
(st. 48). But all these texts have also in common a detailed, evocative
and sensuous description of heaven which takes its bearings from the
description of the new Jerusalem in the Book of Revelations:
`Amount, my soul' describes how `the gates with precious pearles are
framed, / there rubies do abound' (st. 10).12 But they also go well
beyond. The appeal to the senses of smell and taste in `Jerusalem,
my happy home' may be Ignatian in inspiration; it can be justi┬®ed
both in Ignatian terms and, more generally, because most Catholics
felt that the senses could legitimately be stimulated to aid devotion.
The difference between the ecstatic language of English Catholics
and English Protestants may not be great, and as the transmission
history of this text shows, Protestants could respond to almost all of
this Catholic vision of heaven.13 But one difference between the
churches was in the degree of their willingness to evoke a synaes-
thetic heaven as part of religious worship; and given the dif┬®culties
surrounding the celebration of High Mass with its customary
accompaniment of incense, passages such as the following might well
have had a particularly potent effect in stimulating Catholic longing
for heaven.
There is nector and Ambrosia made,
there is muske and Civette sweete;
There manie a faire and daintie drugge
are troden under feete.
There Cinomon, there sugar, gro[w]es;
there narde and balm abound.
What tounge can tell or hart conceive
the joyes that there are found? (st. 18┬±19)

There is nothing arbitrary about this list of delights. First ┬±
deliberately as a point of departure rather than a signi┬®er of ultimate
bliss ┬± it christianises pagan gods' fare, nectar and ambrosia; then,
with very similar effect, it refers to the courtly perfumes of musk and
civet; then herbs are scattered on the ground, a festival activity that
was particularly associated with saints' days in the medieval church.
The implied synasthaesia of the action ┬± herbs smell sweetly when
trampled, but are also a `drugge' when eaten ┬± is continued in the
pairing of cinnamon and sugar, two luxurious foodstuffs which are
fragrant when growing. Because they smell most powerfully when
The subject of exile: II 199
damaged, crushed herbs and spices were a martyrological common-
place: Southwell's Mary Stuart begins her prosopopoeic verses, `The
pounded spice both taste and sent doth please'. 14 The medicinal
references culminate in nard and balm, scenting the air and
providing ointment for the wounded soul; and it is because of this
reassurance that they come last in the catalogue, summarising and
distilling the bene┬®ts of the rest.
But despite this level of detail, the verses foreground the paradox
of all religious language: the impossibility of describing transcen-
dence.15 It is the burden, described as the `under-song' in one
manuscript, to `My thirstie soule desyres her drought':
Iherusalem, thy joyes devine ┬±
noe joyes may be compar'd to them;
Á
Noe people blessed soe as thine,
noe Cittie like hierusalem.
The phrase `under-song' had a double meaning in contemporary
usage: a subordinate song or strain, especially one acting as an
accompaniment or burden to another; and, ┬®guratively, an under-
lying meaning or undertone.16 Here, both literal and ┬®gurative
meanings have relevance to the ballad's structure. The beginning of
the ballad creates a gap between the sorrows of the verse and the
aspirations of the chorus, with sorrow predominating; but as it
progresses, the chorus gains in incremental effect, and the subject-
matter of the verse comes increasingly to match that of the chorus ┬±
perhaps the reason why the translation veers away so pronouncedly
from St Peter Damian's original.17 By the end, verse and burden are
a continuum: the last stanza shows how, as with the dialogue of
Tragedy and Comedy in Captiva Religio, generic conventions have
been used ┬®rst to divide grief from joy, then to unite them again.
`Jerusalem' is both the ┬®rst and last word in the chorus, and the same
word ends the last stanza, knitting up verse and burden and
conceptualizing hope as a city.
We can imagine but a shade, ┬±
it never entred into thought
What joy he is enjoyn'd that made
all joy, and them that joy, of nought.
My soule cannot the joyes contayne, ┬±
let her, lord, enter into them,
For ever with thee to remayne,
within thy towne hierusalem. (st. 27)
200 Loyalism and exclusion

mary in exile: the madonna vulnerata
Because heaven is an aspiration shared by any Christian, and all
Christians are obliged to think of themselves as exiles on earth, any
of these ballads were potentially able to seep into the mainstream
with very little alteration ┬± but not with none. Stanza twenty-three of
`Jerusalem, my happy home', describing how `Our ladie sings
magni┬®cat / with tune surpassinge sweete' was omitted in the
printed version, even though the other verses describing saints were
left in: a cursory piece of censorship, which nevertheless calls
attention to the peculiarly sensitive manner in which passages
describing Mary were observed or read by Protestants.18 As sug-
gested above, this argues a difference between Catholic and Prot-
estant modes of reading: though individual Catholics and individual
Protestants show wide differences in their devotion to Mary, Catho-
lics were, in general, free from the governing Protestant anxiety
about over-veneration. This stimulated an applicability of Mary to
all types of exemplary womanhood. As the stanza above illustrates,
the soul is commonly described as female; the interlocking comple-
mentarities of Christ and Mary, Christ and His Church, and Christ
and the soul could all be co-opted into amatory discourse, and
thence ┬± as very differently with Oldisworth and Mathew ┬± the
condition of English Catholicism could be used as an analogy to the
exilic gap between parted friends or lovers.
The equation of Mary with English Catholicism was, in any case,
appropriate for a number of reasons. Medieval England was thought
of as Mary's dowry, and because of the Salve Regina, all Catholic
Christendom perceived her as the help of exiles. `Hail, holy Queen,
mother of mercy . . . To thee do we cry, poor banished children of
Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this
valley of tears . . . After this our exile, reveal to us the blessed fruit of
thy womb, Jesus.'19 Another reason may be hinted at in Psyche et Filii
Eius. Though this play's primary purpose was probably not evangel-
istic, it externalises guilt and calls for repentance. The pivotal scene
comes in Act iv iv, where each of Psyche's sons comes in to beg
forgiveness. Elpis ┬± the English exiles ┬± comes ┬®rst, acting as a
conscience, and soon Mysus, Orge and even the tutor Thelima
repent. The playwright ┬± possibly another argument supporting a
Valladolid provenance ┬± may have been alluding to the expiation
which the English College at Valladolid regularly made on behalf of
The subject of exile: II 201
their countrymen to the last of Psyche's guises: the Madonna
Vulnerata.
The Madonna Vulnerata is a statue of the Virgin and Child. It
was removed from one of the city churches in Cadiz in 1596, when
English troops under the Earl of Essex destroyed the new Armada
that was assembling there, and sacked the city. In the market square
it was desecrated: the Child Jesus was cut away almost entirely, both
the Madonna's arms were cut off, and her face was slashed removing
part of her mouth and nose. The Count and Countess of Santa
Gadea rescued it to put in their private chapel in Madrid, and
eventually agreed to give it to the students and professors of
Valladolid so that they should make reparation for the insults offered
it by their countrymen. Untill very recently a mass and litanies of
reparation were regularly offered at the College, with the Sunday
within the octave of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception being
celebrated as the Feast of the Vulnerata, and it is traditional for
seminarians to kneel before the statue, like Psyche's sons before their
mother, and vow to return as priests to England. 20
The Madonna Vulnerata became to expatriate Catholics an
emblem of English Catholicism. Though the iconoclasts intended to
cancel the intention of the original sculptor to create a ┬®gure worthy
of veneration, Catholics reinterpreted the remains as a unique
combination of statue and relic.21 Iconoclasts characteristically
remove or dis┬®gure the face, arms and attributes of an image to
suggest mutilation and shame ┬± the Lady Chapel at Ely is a locus
classicus of this ┬± but to a Catholic seminarian viewing the image,
these marks of bitter experience would externalise the wounds
in¯icted by England's heresy and his own exile.22 It was a visual
reminder of the power of the heretics, increasing militancy and zeal.
And it is, perhaps, Valladolid's supreme example of the spirit of
Counter-Reformation Europe. Stephen Greenblatt has said that
`wounded artifacts may be compelling not only as witnesses to the
violence of history but as signs of use, marks of the human touch,
and hence links with the openness to touch that was the condition of
their creation'.23 This openness to touch is a sign of the Vulnerata's
violated condition, but at the same time it marks her receptivity to
the prayers of the scarred seminarians.
In a manuscript account of the solemnity at the installation of the
Madonna Vulnerata, the didactic importance of having the statue in
the College chapel is compared to `the example of that Romane
202 Loyalism and exclusion




The Madonna Vulnerata. By kind permission of the Collegio Inglese, Valladolid
The subject of exile: II 203
Empresse which kept the garments of her husband imbewed(?) with
his blood and mangled with the swordes of his enimies, and shewed
them everie day to his childeren, that with this ruefull spectakle, she
might refresh dayly the memorie of there fathers death' (f.54a).24
This installation was no less of a theatrical presentation than a Jesuit
drama, and had no less of a polemical point to make. Though Kevin
Sharpe has called for closer attention to be paid to religious practices
by historians of `accredited rituals and ceremonies',25 a common
evidential dif┬®culty is that individual orders of service ┬± as opposed
to royal occasions combining religious and secular elements, or
collective religious practices which achieved liturgical permanence ┬±
are rarely well-documented; but for the installation of the Madonna
Vulnerata, accounts survive which give a valuable summary of the
ecclesiological details.26 On the eve of the festival, 7 September
1600, the statue was borne veiled and in secret to the nearby
Carmelite church at dawn. Friars exposed it in veneration in the
principal chapel, which was adorned with tapestry. At vespers, it was
taken in a solemn procession to the cathedral accompanied by
twenty of the English students and Jesuit fathers bearing tapers, and
followed by the laity. At the entrance to the cathedral the procession
was re-formed and the Madonna borne to the English College, with
Philip III's consort Margaret meeting it at the College gates. The
bishop then placed the statue above the high altar of the College
chapel and conferred the title of Vulnerata upon it. There was an
all-night vigil and, after High Mass the next day, the Feast of the
Virgin's nativity, another procession of the confraternities, the
religious orders, the clergy and people took part. A large crowd
waited outside the College while the Queen became the ┬®rst to pay
veneration to it, and after hymns in Latin and English, the College
dined at the Queen's expense.
The account refers to the encounter in the chapel between the
Vulnerata and Queen Margaret as between the `only Queene of
heaven' and `the only Catholicke Queene of the earth' (f.56b). But
the ceremony was also designed with another queen in mind, since
much of it was performed not on the Virgin's nativity, but on Queen
Elizabeth's. As Helen Hackett has recently pointed out, the undeni-
able popularity of Marian vocabulary in Elizabethan panegyric
seldom indicates a simple equation of the two, even in the latter
years of Elizabeth's reign;27 but many Catholic commentators were
not inclined to be aware of nuances. Still more, they noticed and
204 Loyalism and exclusion
resented England's deletion of saints' days and introduction of royal
festivals in the Book of Common Prayer, which was read as an
impious substitution. As the account makes clear, the coincidence of
birthdays was noted, and used to make the festival a restitution for
English impiety. It was felt to be a suitable day
not only to repayre and recompence the injuries committed by those
faythlesse hereticks against this farest image in Cades, but also to blott out
the impietie of other there fellows in England who with notable follie and
¯atery (& no doubt w[i]thout consent or knowledge of her Ma[jes]tie) have
<razed out in> ther Kalenders the name (& obscured) and memorie of this
most happie feast, and in stead thereof ridiculously placed in redd letters
(her) nativitie <of Queene Elizabeth> canonizing her alive which the
Catholicke church doth not use nor permitt with any saincte how holy so
ever he be, preferringe in this manner, as it seemeth her byrthday
<wherewith have entred so many dolefull calamities to that unfortunate
realme of England>, before the byrth of the most blessed mother of God
. . . (f.53a)28
As the erasures and additions in the two different hands make
graphically clear, opinions of Elizabeth were mixed among the
expatriate Catholic community. As it stands, this document epito-
mises the topical Catholic con¯ict between loyalism and dissociation
from the English Crown,29 and it goes on to compare Elizabeth
unfavourably with the pious Queen Margaret; but both these queens
are further set against the focus of the whole solemnity, the Queen of
Heaven. Mary is adjured to soften the resolve of her earthly English
counterpart, and effect the reconversion of England.
I will not omitt to make mention in this place of the great hope conceived
by divers principall persons of much pietie and discretion, that the sacred
Queene of heaven mother of mercie may with this occasion and notable
example of the catholicke Queene of Spayne molle┬®e the hart of the
Queene of England, and open her eyes to looke to her salvation whilst shee
hath tyme: and nowe at least in her declining age to seeke for pardon at
Gods hands amending the errors of her life past which, as it were much to
be wished, so may it be hoped for, if that be true which I have hard credibly
reported, that not many yeares agoe shee was accoustomed and parhaps
still continueth, to recuere (i.e. recur?) in her ┬®tts of melancholy and
af¯iction to the glorious virgen . . . (f.61a)
Like some of the texts discussed in chapters three and four, this is
diplomacy by remote control: a manifestation of the politics of
prayer. Though accounts of the solemnity may well have reached
English ambassadors abroad, there seems to be no record of them
The subject of exile: II 205
being invited to it ┬± the continuance of the Spanish war with
England would have made it unlikely ┬± and the probability is strong
that Elizabeth never heard of the ceremonies conducted for her
conversion. As with some of the authors discussed in chapter three,
the strong and literal faith of the religious professionals who
organised the event would not have recognised a great need for
publicity, even while making of the solemnity an important civic
event which must have had a considerable ideological effect upon
the citizens of Valladolid.
There was a tradition at other Jesuit colleges, possibly inspired by
Valladolid, of conducting Marian veneration in a manner which
referred to the state of England. At the opening of the St Omer
church, the Abbot of St Bertains carried a statue of the Virgin in
procession, the Litany of Loreto was sung, and in the middle of the
College's central court a temporary chapel was erected to receive the
statue. It was placed on an altar decorated with gilt vessels, and the
thrones for the celebrants were given titles from the Litany that
could apply equally to the Virgin or to a seat, Sedes Sapientiae and
Thronus Solomonis; then poems and prayers were recited in honour of
the Virgin, imploring her help. The Annual Letters, from which the
account is taken, continue: `Then they placed our af¯icted and
prostrate England, so wickedly ruled, under the trust and patronage
of the Most Clement Mother. They reiterated in loud voices prayers
to the Holy Virgin for the conversion of England. I cannot easily
describe the religious fervour and emotions of soul produced on this
occasion.'30 In the longer history of devotion to Mary in Catholic
countries, this political speci┬®city can be paralleled many times; she
was thought to have a special potency in putting down heretics,31
and the radical words of the Magni┬®cat on power, its promises to put
down the mighty from their seat and exalt the humble and meek,
may also explain why Mary has been so often venerated by protest-
groups of various political af┬®liations.32
Catholics, then as now, believed Mary to be an uniquely powerful
intercessor with God; if she was not divine, like Christ, the Immacu-
late Conception and Assumption set her apart from other saints, and
she was accorded a veneration that in folk piety often approximated
to divine worship.33 For the English Jesuits, trained to obedience,

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