The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe (Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture)

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The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe (Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture)

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The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

1. Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth-Century Theatre P.A. Skantze

8. Fictions of Old Age in Early Modern Literature and Culture Nina Taunton

2. The Popular Culture of Shakespeare, Spenser and Jonson Mary Ellen Lamb

9. Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage Ayanna Thompson

3. Forgetting in Early Modern English Literature and Culture Lethe’s Legacies Edited by Christopher Ivic and Grant Williams

10. Women, Murder, and Equity in Early Modern England Randall Martin

4. Luce Irigaray and Premodern Culture Thresholds of History Edited by Theresa Krier and Elizabeth D. Harvey 5. Writing, Geometry and Space in Seventeenth-Century England and America Circles in the Sand Jess Edwards 6. Dramatists and their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton and Heywood Authorship, Authority and the Playhouse Grace Ioppolo 7. Reading the Early Modern Dream The Terrors of the Night Edited by Katharine Hodgkin, Michelle O’ Callaghan, and S. J. Wiseman

11. Staging Early Modern Romance Prose Fiction, Dramatic Romance, and Shakespeare Edited by Mary Ellen Lamb and Valerie Wayne 12. The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe Edited by Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth

The Uses of the Future in Early Modern Europe

Edited by Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth with a Foreword by Peter Burke

New York


First published 2010 by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2009. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to © 2010 Taylor & Francis All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data The uses of the future in early modern Europe / edited by Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth. p. cm.—(Routledge studies in Renaissance literature and culture ; 12) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. English literature—Early modern, 1500–1700—History and criticism. 2. French literature—16th century—History and criticism. 3. Future in literature. 4. Literature and society—Europe—History. 5. Renaissance. I. Brady, Andrea, 1974– II. Butterworth, Emily. PR421.U84 2010 820.9'003—dc22 ISBN 0-203-86415-8 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN10: 0-415-99540-X (hbk) ISBN10: 0-203-86415-8 (ebk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-99540-5 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-86415-9 (ebk)


List of Figures Foreword: The History of the Future, 1350–2000

vii ix






In Pursuit of the Millennia: Robert Crowley’s Changing Concept of Apocalypticism




Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country




‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’: Futurity and the Language of Obligation in Sidney’s Old Arcadia




Turkish Futures: Prophecy and the Other




‘Provide for the Future, and Times Succeeding’: Walter Ralegh and the Progress of Time




France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale: Sixteenthand Early Seventeenth-Century French Representations of a Colonial Future in Brazil




Planning Ahead: A Future for Old Age in Dialogue of Comfort, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and All’s Well That Ends Well NINA TAUNTON


vi Contents 8

The Future Now: Chance, Time and Natural Divination in the Thought of Francis Bacon




Prophetic Architecture: Agrippa d’Aubigné in Paris



10 Astrology, Ritual and Revolution in the Works of Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639)



11 Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications



12 ‘Meteorologies and Extravagant Speculations’: The Future Legends of Early Modern English Natural Philosophy



Contributors Index

235 239



L’Orme’s capital on Ionic column.



L’Orme’s diagram of Ionic column.



L’Orme’s French columns made of stackable drums.



Decorative bandeau.



Allegory of the good architect.


Foreword The History of the Future, 1350–2000 Peter Burke

I should like to offer here a general survey of post–medieval European visions of the future, or attitudes to the future, or imagined histories of the future—stories which people tell others or tell themselves—from the Portuguese Jesuit António Vieira’s História do futuro, written in the mid-seventeenth century and published in 1718, to contemporary science fiction. I shall focus on a comparison and contrast between attitudes to the future in two periods of European history, 1500–1800 and 1800–2000.1

THE KOSELLECK-HÖLSCHER THESIS To some readers the concern with early modern Europe in this context may seem odd, because some scholars claim that before the late eighteenth century, a sense of the future was lacking. The thesis is argued most systematically in a study by Lucian Hölscher, a professor at Bochum, which appeared in 1999, just in time for the millennium, and is entitled—in homage to the book by H. G. Wells, published in 1902— Die Entdeckung der Zukunft (The Discovery of the Future). Discussing the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hölscher employs concepts such as the Zukunftsroman (the novel set in the future) and the Zukunftstaat (the state that plans for change and is therefore organized around calculations of the future). He dates the discovery of the future to the period 1770–1830, followed by three more periods: ‘Outbreak’, 1830–1890; ‘High Point’, 1890–1950; and fi nally ‘Decline’, from 1950 onwards. What Hölscher has argued in the form of an inevitably simple general survey is much like what his master, the late Reinhart Koselleck, suggested—with considerably more subtlety—in a series of essays published from 1960s onwards, collected in 1979 in a book with the intriguing title of Vergangene Zukunft (Past Futures). In these essays, as elsewhere in his work, Koselleck emphasizes parallel changes in attitudes to the future and to the past in the years around 1800, which he saw as a watershed or, to employ his own metaphor, a Sattelzeit.


Peter Burke

According to Koselleck, there was an ‘inversion in the horizon of expectations’ in the late eighteenth century (the echo of the language of Martin Heidegger is no accident: Koselleck was a follower of his). After the French Revolution, the examples of the past and the Ciceronian idea of historia magistra vitae no longer seemed relevant. The end of the world appeared to recede, to be replaced by a sense of living in a new age, indeed the new age, ‘modernity’ (Neuzeit). Prophecies of the inevitable were replaced by prognoses of the possible. The future now appeared unstable, open to every possibility, subject to human manipulation or, as Koselleck describes it, ‘constructible’ (verfügbar). There was a shift from a passive acceptance of change, for better or worse, to a will to make changes, from determinism to voluntarism. These profound changes of attitude were registered by significant shifts in the meaning of a number of concepts, discussed in detail in the historical encyclopaedia of concepts compiled by Koselleck and his colleagues, the seven massive volumes (not counting the index) of the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe (1972–1992) exemplifying a new approach to the history of ideas known as ‘conceptual history’ (Begriffsgeschichte). 2 ‘Revolution’, for example, a term which had originally implied an analogy between the world of history and the world of nature (with events moving in cycles like the stars and perhaps under their influence), came to be associated with the sense of an unknown future as well as with the plans of ‘revolutionaries’. Again, the traditional German term for history (Historie) was replaced at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the new word Geschichte, the plural form helping to indicate what Koselleck called the convergence between ‘the process of events and their apprehension in consciousness’ (Futures Past 27).

CRITIQUE If Koselleck and Hölscher were right, there would be little for historians of early modern Europe to say on this subject. This chapter is intended as a challenge. All the same, it will not argue that these two scholars are completely mistaken. The idea of a late eighteenth-century discovery of the future embodies important insights into politics and literature. The French Revolution was indeed associated with new attitudes to the future, with the sense that there could be no going back to the old regime, with the sense of a new beginning expressed in the revolutionary calendar, the year 1792 being redefi ned as Year One. In literature, utopia was transplanted from a remote place (or ‘nowhere’) to a new age, as in the famous case of the novel by the French journalist Louis-Sébastien Mercier, a novel set in the reign of Louis XXXIV, L’An 2440 (1771), which had been reprinted twenty-four times by 1789. It has



also been argued, notably by the Italian critic Franco Moretti in his Il Romanzo di formazione, that the rise of the Bildungsroman in the late eighteenth century—Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, for example—was another reaction, at the level of the individual this time, to the new sense of the future as unstable and of human power to shape it. Despite its value, however, the Koselleck-Hölscher thesis is open to criticism on various counts. I am sure that I am not the only reader to fi nd Hölscher’s idea of a ‘decline’ of interest in the future around the year 1950 to be an extremely odd one, given the rise of concern with the future of the global environment and the increasingly popularity of books and films set in the future. Again, Koselleck and Hölscher appear to ignore the persistence of traditional attitudes, such as millenarianism, into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Eugene Weber’s study Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs through the Ages—another book that was published just in time for the millennium—offers many such examples. Marxism is a secular version of the idea of an inevitable future. If it did not dissuade its adherents from working to realize their vision of the future, the same point might be made about early modern Calvinists, or even some Catholics. In the context of this collection, however, two other criticisms of the thesis are particularly relevant. In the fi rst place, it presents early modern Europe almost entirely in terms of deficit, emphasizing the lack of any view of the future (if we take Hölscher literally), or at least the lack of any view of the future as constructible. It is worth remembering that Michel de Montaigne actually thought that people were too much concerned with the future in his time and condemned what he called ‘la forçenée curiosité de nostre nature, s’amusant à preoccuper les choses futures’ (‘Des pronostications’, Les Essais 1.1.41) (‘the mad curiosity of our nature which wastes time trying to seize hold of the future’ [Complete Essays 42]). There is a paradox here of which Koselleck is aware but one that plays little part in his discussion. The paradox is that his eighteenth-century ‘moderns’ (Diderot, for example) themselves dated the beginning of modernity to the years around 1500, to the Renaissance, the invention of printing and the Reformation. That is why we speak of an ‘early modern’ period today, comparing the fi rst modernity with the second one ushered in by the French and Industrial Revolutions. In the second place, Hölscher and Koselleck appear to ignore what is often called the social history of ideas, including not only the social diffusion of new ideas but also the social function of ideas at the everyday level, in particular assumptions about the future that were linked to social practices. These assumptions or ‘horizons of expectation’ focussed on the near future, whereas Hölscher and Koselleck are more concerned with the distant future. All the same, views of these different futures interacted and so deserve to be discussed together.

xii Peter Burke In what follows I shall develop these points, concentrating on the period 1350–1770. An examination of the pragmatic senses of the future in the Middle Ages would also be illuminating, but the early modern evidence is richer, and the institutional supports for future-oriented practices were considerably stronger in the early modern period than in the centuries preceding it.3

THE LANGUAGE OF FUTURES IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE This examination of attitudes might begin, like Koselleck, with the vocabulary employed in this period to discuss the future. The medieval language of prophecy (as in the case of Vieira’s already mentioned História do futuro) remained important in this period, at different cultural levels, both elite and popular, even if it was gradually declining over the long term, from the middle of the seventeenth century if not before.4 Like prophecy, astrology was taken seriously at different cultural and social levels, elite and popular, and although it was increasingly criticized after the middle of the seventeenth century, this intellectual system does not seem to have lost its hold on the almanac-reading public until the late eighteenth century at the earliest.5 However, discussions of the future were not limited to ‘destiny’ or ‘prophecy’ but extended to more secular and pragmatic forms of ‘prediction’, ‘prognostication’ or ‘forecast’. Take the case of the term ‘decline’, for instance.6 It is true that the discussions of the old age or the decay of the world may not be incompatible with the Koselleck thesis, because this decay was considered to be inevitable. On the other hand, some of the discussions of the decline of states, such as René de Lucinge’s Naissance, durée et chute des états (The Beginning, Continuance and Decay of Estates [1588]) and Claude Duret’s Discours de la vérité des causes et effets des decadences, conversions et ruines des monarchies, empires, royaumes et républiques (Discourse on the True Causes and Effects of the Decadence, Mutation and Ruin of Monarchies, Empires, Kingdoms and Republics [1595]), seem to imply a view of the future as malleable or ‘constructible’. In the early modern period, the word ‘decline’ often carried astrological overtones. This did not mean that decline was necessarily considered to be inevitable, because it was often claimed that the stars ‘inclined’ but did not ‘compel’. In any case, more worldly explanations were offered in the literature on the ‘decline’ (declinación) of Spain in particular. This literature begins to proliferate from around 1600 onwards. It was the work of the socalled arbitristas, a word that might be translated as ‘projectors’—a term fi rst recorded in English in 1596. The emergence of these words and the groups to which they refer in both Spanish and English tells us something about changing attitudes to the future. Projectors are concerned not only with future trends but also with the ways in which these trends may be avoided or remedied, the implication



being that the future may be influenced by human action. In similar fashion, the early modern utopias written by Thomas More, Tommaso Campanella, Francis Bacon and others, even if they were not set in the future, were intended to stimulate critical reflections on the present that would lead to changes.7 Discussions of ‘renaissance’ and ‘reform’ had similar implications concerning the malleability of the future. The Renaissance idea of itself was that of a ‘rebirth’ of the literature, philosophy and art of classical antiquity, and so the movement was backward-looking. However, it was also forward-looking in the sense of rejecting what humanists called the ‘Gothic’ barbarism of the ‘Dark’ or ‘Middle’ Ages and expecting a glorious future that would differ from the present. In similar fashion, the reform of the church was already under discussion as early as the age of the church fathers and also in the later Middle Ages (as in the case of Dietrich von Niem’s De modis uniendi et reformandi ecclesiam [1410]), before Martin Luther turned reform into Reformation. To be more exact, Luther himself used the term ‘Reformation’ only occasionally, and in the general sense of ‘reform’, but the idea of the Reformation as a major event was established by 1617, when Lutheran Germany celebrated the centenary of Luther’s protest. Following Luther, the Calvinists called themselves followers of the ‘reformed’ religion. In all these cases, ‘reform’ meant re-form, going back to the past, but this also meant working for a future that would be unlike the present (Ladner, Wolgast). Political reform was also under discussion in the early modern period. The Italian Cola di Rienzo (c. 1313–1354) wrote of 1347 as ‘Year 1’ of the restored Roman Republic, a remarkable anticipation of the French Revolutionary calendar: it is thanks to Cola that the early modern period discussed in this chapter begins c. 1350 (see Piur). In the fi fteenth century, the reform of the Holy Roman Empire was advocated in a document called the Reformatio Sigismundi—Sigismund had been emperor from 1433 to 1437 (see Dohna). Again, the English Civil War was among other things a confl ict over the possible reform of the political system. There were also movements for what participants called the reform of the law, or natural philosophy. The work of Francis Bacon in particular has been studied from this point of view, despite Bacon’s ambivalence about innovation. In the domain of law, Bacon wanted ‘amendment’, to ‘correct’, ‘purge out’, ‘recall’ or ‘repeal’ bad laws. He supported the ‘new’ philosophy (what we call ‘science’), arguing for the ‘purging’ of the old in this domain too.8 There was even a movement, in some European circles around 1600, for the ‘reform of the world’ or ‘general’ or ‘universal’ reformation ‘of both divine and human things’, put forward in documents such as the Fama Fraternitatis (1614), which claimed to be the mouthpiece of the Rosicrucian Order.9 It is surely significant that one man associated with the Rosicrucian group at this time (whether an ‘order’ or not), the Lutheran pastor Johann Valentinus Andreae (1586–1654), was the author of a utopia,

xiv Peter Burke Christianopolis (1619). Even if they are not explicitly set in the future, utopias both express and encourage a sense of possible alternatives to the present. Hence Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), Tommaso Campanella’s City of the Sun (1602) and Bacon’s New Atlantis (1622) might all be cited as examples of a future seen as ‘constructible’ (Minois 417–55). Turning to literature, we fi nd that Mercier’s famous 2440 was not the fi rst story set in the future. It had been preceded by Jacques Guttin’s Epigone, histoire du siècle futur (Epigone, or History of the Future Century [1659]), by Samuel Madden’s Memoirs of the Twentieth Century (1733) and by the anonymous Reign of George VI (1763), predicting the time of George’s reign, with tolerable accuracy, as lasting from 1900 to 1925, and presenting him as a hero-king who conquers France and defeats the Russians, both in England and at the gates of Vienna. In other words, the Zukunftroman followed on the heels of what a recent critic has termed ‘futuristic fiction’ in the sense of ‘prose narratives explicitly set in future time’ (Alkon 3).10

DOMAINS OF A PRAGMATIC FUTUROLOGY This brief discussion of vocabulary has already evoked social and cultural practices, but I should now like to go further in this direction. As the American political scientist Harold Lasswell once remarked, ‘When we act [ . . . ] we are influenced by our expectation of what the world has in store for us’ (Lasswell and Blumenstock iii). In this sense it is impossible not to have a sense of the future, whether it is viewed with confidence or with anxiety, whether it is seen as more or less the same as the present or as different (perhaps worse, perhaps better). What most deserves emphasis here is the rise in the early modern period of a number of pragmatic approaches to the future, reinforcing the idea of a secularization of thought in this period. ‘Secularization’, be it said, not in the strong sense of the replacement of religious by secular ideas but in the weaker sense of the coexistence of religious attitudes with an increasing variety of secular ones. Early modern Europeans certainly took an interest in posterity. This concern with the future is obvious enough at the family level in wills and in memoirs, often written for the benefit of children and grandchildren. In some parts of Europe, from Venice to Geneva, among the upper classes at least, attempts at family planning can be identified, whether by means of coitus interruptus or by using the leather sheath whose invention was attributed to Dr. Gabriele Falloppio of Padua (1523–1562), primarily as a defence against venereal disease. At a national level the concern with future generations is visible in histories: the famous history of the English Civil War by Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon, begins with the phrase, ‘That posterity may not be deceived, by the prosperous wickedness of those times’ (1). In the reign of Louis XIV, coins



and newspapers were buried in the foundations of buildings so that posterity would be able to learn about the glorious achievements of the king. Koselleck and Hölscher might well have accepted these general points, but they appear to underestimate the confidence in the constructibility of the future underlying early modern projects. Individuals and families pursued marriage strategies in order to maintain themselves or to rise socially. Some of these strategies, notably the entail or mayorazgo, a legal device which was spreading in the early modern period, were attempts by heads of families to control the actions of their descendants hundreds of years later, making it impossible for them to break up the family estate. Some projects could only come to fruition after generations had passed—from planting trees to founding hospitals or colleges. It is true that these examples imply a future more or less like the present—for example, the founder of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Sir Walter Mildmay, might well be shocked if he could return to earth and observe the changes which had taken place in his foundation, intended as a seminary for Protestant clergymen. In similar fashion, the stocking of grain in public granaries was an attempt to mitigate the effects of future poor harvests of a kind that had been experienced in the past. However, other early modern practices implied a future which was different from the present in important respects. Some mariners, for example, expected to discover new lands.11 Natural philosophers expected to make other kinds of discovery in the near future. Missionaries expected to make converts, to turn Jews, Muslims and pagans into Christians, by their own efforts as well as by the grace of God. Gamblers expected to win fortunes. To reinforce these generalizations, it may be illuminating to examine three practical domains of activity in a little more detail: demography, politics and commerce. It was in the later seventeenth century that the fi rst serious attempts were made, in England and France, to calculate the size of the population in the future. The London merchant John Graunt (1620–1674) discussed the present and future population of the city in his Observations on the Bills of Mortality (1662). The merchant-physician William Petty (1623–1687) presented a plan to repopulate (‘repeople’ or ‘replant’) Ireland, advised the British government to follow a ‘method of forecasting and computing’ and imagined what the population of the world might be in two thousand years. The herald Gregory King (1648–1712) calculated the population of England not only as it was in 1696 but also as it would be in the year 2000 (eight million, so he thought) and even in 3500 (twenty-two million). In France, Marshal Vauban (1633–1707) argued that Canada, then a French colony, would have more than fifty million inhabitants by the year 2000 (Hecht 325–66). In the associated domains of warfare and politics, early modern ‘strategy’ (a term recorded only in 1810) and ‘tactics’ (already in use by 1626) implied


Peter Burke

a sense of a constructible future. Early modern generals, from Gonzalo de Córdoba to the Duke of Marlborough, were successful precisely because they were able to anticipate the future moves of their opponents. Turning to the continuation of warfare by other means, Machiavelli was constantly calculating the consequences of the actions of the prince. The reports and dispatches of early modern ambassadors from Venice and elsewhere regularly discuss the possible future actions of rulers such as Charles V or Louis XIV, their attempts to achieve ‘universal monarchy’, for example, as possibilities that might be countered by appropriate action. On the home front, new statutes and reforms of the law expressed a sense of the future as controllable, whereas some governments, from the later seventeenth century onwards, were increasingly concerned with facts and figures (which we call ‘statistics’ precisely because they were collected by the state), as a basis for future policies in the domains of taxation, military service, food supplies and so on. Some governments, notably the pope’s, operated with something like what we call a ‘budget’, attempting to forecast both income and expenditure.12 By the early seventeenth century, the general of the Jesuits, Claudio Acquaviva, was requesting information from the different provinces of the order specifically in order to orient future decisions (Friedrich 127). For these reasons the concept of a government ‘policy’, which may be anachronistic if used about the Middle Ages—although even then kings faced the choice between peace and war—helps us understand the actions of the state in Renaissance Florence or Venice or in late seventeenth-century France or England. Colbert and other statesmen pursued what we would call an ‘economic policy’, the one that the Swedish historian Eli Heckscher described as ‘mercantilism’, trying to expand the trade of their own nation at the expense of others. They sometimes tried to follow foreign models (that of the Dutch, for example), thinking that if they did so their nation would become as prosperous as the Dutch at some point in the future. Governments were not alone in attempting to predict the political future at this time. Ordinary people did this as well, at least in major cities such as Paris or Venice where the ‘public sphere’ already included artisans and shopkeepers. Their interest in what would happen next was fuelled by the rising number of newspapers, gazettes and avvisi in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Some of the writers of news-sheets engaged in what the sceptics called ‘political astrology’, whether in the literal or the metaphorical sense of that term (Barbierato 159). A second domain that needs to be discussed here is that of early modern commerce. Calculations of risk and of future profit must be as old as trade itself. The medieval scholastic theologians who discussed the problem of usury defended compensation to lenders on three grounds, all of them concerned with future outcomes: the danger of loss, the possibility that the money lent would be needed in order to meet an emergency and the giving up of opportunities for profit: periculum sortis, damnum emergens and lucrum cessans (Wood 192–205).



In the early modern period, the development of institutional supports for commerce implied views of the future as to some extent subject to human control. Take the case of insurance, for example. Maritime insurance was already practiced in Italian ports such as Genoa and Venice in the late Middle Ages. Life insurance developed in the seventeenth century in Amsterdam, thanks to developments in the mathematics of probability which reduced the element of risk, thanks to the work of a group that included Johannes Hudde, burgomaster of Amsterdam, and Johan de Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland.13 The rise of stock markets in the seventeenth century and the buying and selling of company shares in the anticipation of rising or falling prices involved what we now call the language of ‘futures’. The delightfully named late seventeenth-century text by Josef Penso de la Vega, the Confusion of Confusions, discusses bulls and bears on the Amsterdam Exchange and the deliberate spreading of rumours (of the arrival or loss of cargoes, for example), in order to force prices up or down.14 The final example offered here also comes from the Dutch Republic. By the end of the seventeenth century, thanks to one of its directors, Johannes Hudde, whose role in the development of life insurance has already been mentioned, the Dutch East India Company, the Vereenigte Ost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC, which had long been collecting information, including statistics, about its various establishments in the East, was already analysing sales figures for pepper and other imports in order to determine the company’s future strategy (Smith 1001–3). This would make no sense without the assumption that the near future at least is predictable and to an extent constructible. I have no intention of claiming that everyone in early modern Europe thought of the future in this way. Certain regions (notably North Italy and the Dutch Republic), and certain social groups (merchants, diplomats, bureaucrats) were more involved in these ways of thinking than others. In any case, a pragmatic sense of a near future in a certain domain should not be confused with a general vision of a more distant future, the question which most concerned Koselleck and Hölscher. So, to sum up, how should the Koselleck thesis be restated? What was the importance of the years around 1770 for the history of the future, or for our histories of that history of the future? The crucial changes, in my view, may best be described in terms of widening. ‘Widening’ in the geographical and social senses of the term; more people in more places were coming to see the relatively distant as well as the near future as constructible. The future was perceived as more open than before (it is probably more illuminating to think in terms of degrees of openness than to oppose ‘closed’ and ‘open’ visions of the future). No less important, there was also a widening in the range of the individual and collective futures which it was possible to envisage (or envision), or to change the metaphor, a sharper sense than before of what we have come to call ‘alternative scenarios’. Significant changes, certainly, but not the same thing as ‘discovery’.


Peter Burke

NOTES 1. This chapter began life as a paper to the millennial conference of the Social History Society in Cambridge in 2000; my thanks to Vic Gatrell for inviting me to speak. 2. On this approach, see Richter. 3. On medieval approaches to the future, see Burrow and Wei. 4. Reeves; Niccoli; and Minois 271–307. For politically inflected millenarianism, see A. Wade Razzi’s chapter in this collection. 5. Compare Thomas 347–56 with Capp, and especially Curry; Minois 308–81 and 396–8; and Perkins 46–88. See also Hugh Robert’s chapter in this collection. 6. More detail in Burke. 7. On Campanella and Bacon, see contributions to this collection by Peter Forshaw, A. P. Langman and Rob Iliffe. 8. See Tovey; Rabb; and Martin, especially 106–7, 116–7 and 148. On the reform of the law, see also Hill 269–76. 9. See Yates 42, 44, 238 and 249. 10. On Guttin and Madden, see Alkon, 17–44, and 92–111, respectively; on George VI, see Clarke, Voices 4–6 and Clarke, Pattern 16–22. 11. See Michael Harrigan’s chapter in this collection. 12. Contrast Bosher on the lack of budgeting with Partner. 13. See Tenenti; Barbour; and Hacking 92–118. 14. See Israel 159–65.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Alkon, Paul K. Origins of Futuristic Fiction. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 1987. Barbierato, Federico. Politici e ateisti: Percorsi della miscredenza a Venezia fra Sei e Settecento. Milan: Unicopli, 2006. Barbour, Violet. ‘Marine Risks and Insurance in the Seventeenth Century.’ Journal of Economic and Business History 1 (1928–1929): 561–96. Bosher, J. F. French Finances 1770–1795: From Business to Bureaucracy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1970. Brunner, Otto, Werner Conze and Reinhart Koselleck, eds. Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland. Stuttgart: Klett, 1972–1992. Burke, Peter. ‘Tradition and Experience: The Idea of Decline from Bruni to Gibbon.’ Daedalus (1976): 137–52. Burrow, John A., and Ian P. Wei, eds. Medieval Futures: Attitudes to the Future in the Middle Ages. Rochester, NY: Boydell, 2000. Capp, Bernard. Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs 1500–1800. London: Faber and Faber, 1979. Clarke, Ignatius F. The Pattern of Expectation, 1644–2001. London: Jonathan Cape, 1979. . Voices Prophesying War, 1763–1984. London: Oxford UP, 1966. Curry, Patrick. Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Polity, 1989. Dohna, Lothar. Reformatio Sigismundi: Beiträge zum Verständnis einer Reformschrift des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1960. Friedrich, Markus. ‘Der Konfl ikt zwischen Claudio Acquaviva und den memorialistas um die Rolle von Information im Jesuitenorden.’ Information in der



Frühen Neuzeit: Status, Bestände, Strategien. Ed. Arndt Brendecke, Markus Friedrich and Susanne Friedrich. Berlin: Lit, 2008. 109–35. Hacking, Ian. The Emergence of Probability. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975. Hecht, Jacqueline. ‘Les Origines de la prévision démographique.’ Statistik und Staatsbeschreibung in der Neuzeit. Ed. Mohammed Rassem and Justin Stagl. Paderborn: Schöningh, 1980. 325–66. Heckscher, Eli. Mercantilism. London: Allen and Unwin, 1935. Hill, Christopher. The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas during the English Revolution. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975. Hölscher, Lucian. Die Entdeckung der Zukunft. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1999. Hyde, Edward. History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England. Ed W. D. Macray. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon, 1888. Israel, Jonathan. ‘Een merkwaardig literair werk en de Amsterdamse effectenmarkt in 1688.’ De 17de eeuw 6 (1990): 159–65. Koselleck, Reinhart. Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten. Frankfurt: Suhrkampf, 1979. . Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. Trans. Keith Tribe. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1985. Ladner, Gerhard. The Idea of Reform: Its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1959. Lasswell, Harold, and Dorothy Blumenstock. World Revolutionary Propaganda: A Chicago Study. New York: Knopf, 1939. Martin, Julian. Francis Bacon, the State, and the Reform of Natural Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992. Minois, Georges. Histoire de l’avenir: Des prophètes à la prospective. Paris: Fayard, 1996. Montaigne, Michel de. The Complete Essays. Trans. M. A. Screech. London: Penguin, 1991. . Les Essais. Ed. Pierre Villey and V.-L. Saulnier. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2004. Moretti, Franco. Il Romanzo di formazione. Milan: Garzanti, 1986. Niccoli, Ottavia. Prophecy and People in Renaissance Italy. Trans. Lydia G. Cochrane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990. Partner, Peter. ‘Papal Financial Policy in the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation.’ Past and Present 88 (1980): 17–62. Penso de la Vega, Josef. Confusion de confusiones. Madrid: Sociedad de Estudios y Publicaciones, 1958. Perkins, Maureen. Visions of the Future: Almanacs, Time and Cultural Change, 1775–1870. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. Piur, Paul. Cola di Rienzo, Darstellung seines Lebens und seines Geistes. Vienna: L. W. Seidel & Sohn, 1931. Rabb, Theodore K. ‘Francis Bacon and the Reform of Society’. Action and Conviction in Early Modern Europe. Ed. Theodore K. Rab and Jerrold Siegel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1969. 169–93. Reeves, Marjorie. The Infl uence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages. Oxford: Clarendon, 1969. Richter, Mel. The History of Political and Social Concepts: A Critical Introduction. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. Smith, W. D. ‘Amsterdam as an Information Exchange in the Seventeenth Century.’ Journal of Economic History 44 (1984): 985–1005. Tenenti, Alberto. Naufrages: Corsaires et assurances maritimes à Venise, 1592– 1609. Paris: SEVPEN, 1959. Thomas, Keith. Religion and the Decline of Magic. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971.


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Tovey, George V. ‘Toward a New Understanding of Francis Bacon’s Reform of Philosophy.’ The Philosophical Review 61 (1952): 568–74. Weber, Eugen. Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs through the Ages. London: Hutchinson, 1999. Wolgast, Erik. ‘Reform, Reformation.’ Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe 5 (1984): 313–60. Wood, Diana. Medieval Economic Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. Yates, Frances. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. London: Routledge, 1972.

Introduction Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth

The doubt of future foes Exiles my present joy And wit me warns to shun such snares As threatens mine annoy.

[ . . . ] My rusty sword through rest Shall first his edge employ To pull [poll] their tops who seek such change Or gape for future joy. (Elizabeth I 133–4)

In a poem probably written in the late 1560s, Elizabeth I complains that the anticipation of future evils undermines present happiness. Looking to a future when ambitious eyes would be ‘unsealed by worthy wights / Whose foresight falsehood fi nds’, Elizabeth uses anxieties about the seditious influence of Mary Queen of Scots to justify her own plans to secure her reign. The two female monarchs are poised to impose their different political wills on the future of the British kingdoms. By exercising political foresight, Elizabeth can also prevent treacherous intent from developing into civil war. The queen’s ‘rusty sword’, now in abeyance, will soon swing into action against the ‘seditious sects’ and ‘daughter of debate’ to preserve her subjects’ faith as well as the ‘future joy’ of her own rule. The performative function of the monarch’s promises makes this poetic meditation on the future into a declaration of policy. Elizabeth’s power gives her intuitions about the future a nearly prophetic status. Early modern historians and politicians concurred that to shape the country’s destiny, the sovereign must possess a knowledge of history, constant vigilance and the means to exercise preventative justice. Government required an orientation towards past, present and future. In Measure for Measure, Angelo declares that ‘[t]he law hath not been dead, though it hath slept’. Now that it is awake, it


Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass that shows what future evils, Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv’d, And so in progress to be hatch’d and born, Are now to have no successive degrees, But ere they live, to end. (2.2.93–9)

The state, anticipating the consequences of the new, eliminates evils before they can reproduce themselves: it must be cognizant of multiple futures in order to secure its desired one. But the organic metaphor, in which the future is the progeny of the present, is also significant in conditioning the view of history which such a politics of intervention and anticipation presupposes. The commonplace which represents fortune as a fickle woman on whom the bold man should father his destiny gave polemical support to the case for this political audacity. In Chapter 25 of The Prince, Machiavelli urges those who wish to impose their character on the future to act vigorously: ‘[I]t is better to be impetuous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to control her, it is necessary to treat her roughly. And it is clear that she is more inclined to yield to men who are impetuous than to those who are calculating’—and especially the young (87). Machiavelli assumes that the future can be manipulated, if not consistently controlled. At the same time, theological perspectives required a different kind of deference towards the future, as a province ruled by God alone. Whether the concepts of predestination and providence produced quietism and tolerance of any possible destiny, or an increased activity to transform the conditions of the present, has been the subject of debate at least since Weber’s The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism; but these alternatives also preoccupied early modern theologians, politicians, historians, lovers, farmers and scientists, and were central to thinking about the relationship between individual agency and the social and natural world. In 1579, the French Catholic lawyer Pierre Massé published a treatise on divination in which he maintained that the desire to pry into the future was the Original Sin: ‘Car ce vice fut permierement semé, ou enté, c’est à dire insinué, & persuadé par le diable à Adam, Eue & les premiers hommes [ . . . ] c’est la transgression qu’il y iecta’ (1r) (‘For this vice was fi rst sown, or grafted, that is to say insinuated and persuaded by the devil to Adam, Eve and the fi rst men it is the transgression that he cast in there’). Whereas Massé emphasizes the transgressive nature of divination, his insistent horticultural metaphors suggest a naturalization of the desire to know the future—in Montaigne’s terms, perhaps, a kind of ‘maladie naturelle’ (Les Essais 1068) (‘natural sickness’ Complete Essays [1211]).1 For Massé, the yearning for knowledge of the future leads to both idolatry and blasphemy. And yet, this position does not entirely rule out attempts to predict the future. The ennobling characteristic of humanity, that which sets them



apart from other animals—their reason—offers the tools precisely to construct a picture of what is to come; moreover, the care of the future is ‘a useful, salutary, even absolutely and originally necessary thing’ (Massé 197v). The key term in Massé’s discussion of legitimate futurology is prudence.1 ‘For it is up to the wise and prudent man diligently to consider and predict things before they happen’ (203v), he admonishes; and commenting on Psalm 49.10, ‘l’imprudent & le fol periront ensemble’ (the King James version has ‘the fool and the brutish person perish’), he asks, ‘Qui est l’imprudent? celuy qui ne pourueoit point pour le temps à venir’ (180 [=200]v) (‘Who is the imprudent man? He who does not provide for the time to come’). Prudence is thus conjugated with action in and knowledge of the future, an idea reminiscent of Cicero’s De Officiis (1.43.153), where the prudent man (and the orator) are concerned with probability (Kahn 35). Whereas the future-orientated science of probability was fi rst sketched out a century later by Pascal and Fermat, Massé seems nevertheless interested in one of probability’s cognates: conjecture. It is through conjecture, and not divination, that the prudent man will endeavour to read the future. Elaborating on an adage drawn from Cicero, ‘Que celuy est bon devin qui bien coniecture’ (‘Expert diviners are those who can conjecture’; see Of Divination 1.18.34), Massé writes, C’est Adage enseigne (dist Erasme) que la prescience des choses à aduenir ne doit estre requise des sortz ny deuinations, mais de prudence : car celuy qui est garny de ceste vertu, peut par coniecture des choses passees & des presentes facilement deuiner ce qui est a aduenir. (208r-v) This Adage teaches (so Erasmus says) that the foreknowledge of things to come should not be demanded from lots or divination, but from prudence: for he who is fi lled with this virtue can through conjecture of things past and present easily divine what is to come. Legitimizing divination, for Massé, is a case of naturalizing it: a human virtue, rather than a supernatural power, allows the prudent man to plan for the future. Nina Taunton’s chapter explores some of the complexities and confl icts attendant on such an enterprise—particularly in a period where ‘arrangements for the care of the elderly had to adapt to the needs of a society in which economic conditions and class structures required many different, individually-tailored solutions to the problem’. In Taunton’s analysis, conduct books for old age insisted that projections into the future by the elderly and their families reached beyond this life and into the next. And so that future seems rather fi xed and determined: ultimately, in Massé’s terms, it is the ‘but ou il nous faut aller’ (197v) (‘goal towards which we must go’). By 1686, Leibniz asserted in his Discourse on Metaphysics that


Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth to act conformably to the love of God it is not sufficient to force oneself to be patient, we must be really satisfied with all that comes to us according to his will. I mean this acquiescence in regard to the past; for as regards the future one should not be a quietist with the arms folded, open to ridicule, awaiting that which God will do [ . . . ]. It is necessary to act conformably to the presumptive will of God as far as we are able to judge of it, trying with all our might to contribute to the general welfare and particularly to the ornamentation and the perfection of that which touches us, or of that which is nigh and so to speak at our hand. For if the future shall perhaps show that God has not wished our good intention to have its way, it does not follow that he has not wished us to act as we have; on the contrary, since he is the best of all masters, he ever demands only the right intentions, and it is for him to know the hour and the proper place to let good designs succeed. (§IV, pp 7–8)

Leibniz advocates an active, and some might argue modern, attitude towards the future, advising the individual to act deliberately and vigorously. Whereas success or failure will reveal God’s verdict on his efforts, he can assume that if he acts with the best intentions God will forgive him his misjudgments. How could human beings attempt to shape their futures without intruding on the divine prerogative? God knew the future with certainty because he stood outside of time; in Milton’s Paradise Lost, God watches Satan from ‘his prospect high, / Wherin past, present future he beholds’ (3.78). But individual sinners, anxious about their prospects for redemption or damnation, were charged with the responsibility for their own salvation. The religious lyric, diaries and sermons of the early modern period overflow with anxious anticipation of the future. Moreover, such anticipations were often cited as proof for the very existence of the soul. As Henry Montagu, the Earl of Manchester, declared, They are only creatures of inferior nature, that are pleased with the present. Man is a future creature, the eye of his soul looks beyond this life [ . . . ]: He pries after something beyond the world: future and past things both delight him; the former by their expectation, the other by remembrance. (37) Montaigne’s ‘maladie naturelle’ is here transposed to a more positive key: a dissatisfaction with the present becomes care of the soul, that is always anticipating a future life. Materialist philosophies were judged dangerous because, in denying the existence of an immortal soul, they would liberate human beings from fear of future judgment—and consequently from present restraint. Dryden rejected Lucretius’ argument for the mortality of the soul in the preface to his volume of translations entitled Sylvae, arguing,



I think a future state demonstrable even by natural arguments; at least to take away rewards and punishments is only a pleasing prospect to a man who resolves beforehand not to live morally. But on the other side, the thought of being nothing after death is a burden insupportable to a virtuous man, even though a heathen. We naturally aim at happiness, and cannot bear to have it confi ned to the shortness of our present being, especially when we consider that virtue is generally unhappy in this world, and vice fortunate. So that ’tis hope of futurity alone that makes this life tolerable, in expectation of a better. (252–3) The life to come took on a communal form in the visions of the eschaton which, Reinhart Koselleck argued, enabled the ‘self-constitution [of the Church] as world and as institution’ (13). The future was present to the early modern faithful both in the longing of their individual soul towards its reunion with God, and in the form and ritual practices of their church.

DEFINING MODERNITY: BACK TO THE FUTURE Prophecy, utopia and the millennium were three of the most obvious means by which early modern writers constructed an imaginative relation to their future. Debates about the ability of individuals or states to affect the future in this period have received a great deal of scholarly attention; so has the importance of eschatology for early modern religion and politics. 2 What has not been scrutinized as fully is the implication of these different views on the practical activities of early modern people. The essays collected here explore how their daily lives, enterprises, economic and intellectual labour presume or produce particular theories of the future. As Peter Burke points out in the Foreword, ‘assumptions about the future were linked to social practices’: individuals regularly made wills in attempts to influence the future, planned for old age, for the next year or the next harvest, made provisions for their children and gambled on the price of salt. As new and more refi ned mathematical models were developed to facilitate the fi rst banks, the future became a subject of economic speculation. Predicting the future was essential for economic security: accurate forecasts of the weather, the tides, price fluctuations or public demands could be translated into profit. It was also essential to the fulfi lment and enforcement of contracts, as J. K. Barret describes in her chapter on Sidney. The essays collected here interpret some of these many kinds of practical engagements with the future, from colonial visions to plans for old age, from architecture to almanacs and from scientific experiment to the political use of the apocalypse. They focus largely on France and Britain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with some excursions into early modern Italy, Asia and the Americas; Burke’s peripatetic Foreword is especially useful in indicating the broader context of future-oriented activity. Despite


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the obvious sacrifice of a larger European (or indeed global) perspective which this geographical restraint entails, it allows us to compare the many and diverse modes of future-oriented thinking and practice which shaped particular communities. One thing which emerges from this comparison is the relationship between the future and the exercise of power: claims to knowledge of the future confer political, social or economic power in the present. But the claims of present scholars to know the future of the past is also a form of intellectual power: the power to shape the past according to our own interests. Walter Benjamin’s gnostic contention that ‘the past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption’ challenges historians to recognize the relation between the rescue of the past and the liberation of the future. But as J. K. Barret also argues in her chapter on Sidney’s Arcadia, ‘promissory structures expect a future moment of looking back’. The critical priorities of each generation often reveal as much about the needs of the present as about the facts of the past, and the appeal to posterity which was so central to the self-fashioning of early modern authors offers future readers the choice between reading with or against the claims of the past. In their attention to the wide range of social and political practices in which the idea of the future was manifested, the authors of these essays reveal how early modern scholarship has changed, to attend to popular culture, religious and cultural alterity, and questions of method. But the contextualized readings of such canonical figures as Ralegh, Montaigne, Sidney and Bacon also show the continuing significance of those who set out self-consciously to shape the destinies of their communities. As Richard Scholar points out in his chapter, even using the term ‘early modern’ makes historical developments seem ‘caught in a diachronic movement towards the modern world that is their future’. The denomination of the period extending roughly between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Enlightenment as ‘early modern’ rather than ‘Renaissance’ signals an orientation towards modernity and the future, rather than to a past rediscovered and surpassed through the efforts of art and humanist scholarship.3 Scholar draws on Terence Cave to propose a historiography which ‘suspends the hindsight that turns signs of a future story into the origins of the future that is our present, and encounters them instead in the present tense of their making’. The historian should maintain a sense of the openness towards multiple possible futures which both liberated and destabilized early modern societies’ experience of their present. Yet theorists and historiographers are constantly revising the relation of modernity to the past in their search for the incipient present. This disciplinary tendency—the delight in discovering signs of the future in the past— has come to characterize many defi nitions of modernity itself, as a period obsessed with progress and the future. Writing that ‘the secular concept of modernity expresses the conviction that the future has already begun: it is the epoch that lives for the future, that opens itself up to the novelty of the



future’, Jurgen Habermas argued that writers shifted the starting point for modernity to ‘the epochal threshold around 1500’ in the eighteenth and nineteenth century (5). In 1948, Wallace Ferguson argued that this obsession originates with rationalist philosophers of the Enlightenment such as Voltaire, who believed that ‘in contrast to the medieval darkness, the age of the Renaissance was illuminated by the fi rst evidences of modern progress toward rational enlightenment and political and social well-being’ (90). Ferguson argues that this faith in the idea of progress, which led scholars throughout the nineteenth century to celebrate the early modern period as a harbinger of the best aspects of their own epoch, went into decline in the twentieth century. As interest turned to ‘irrationalism’, mysticism, unconscious motives, Marxist utopias and ‘the creative activity of the national folk soul’, early modern scholars in this period became interested in the irrational elements in Renaissance culture, by which Ferguson means its ‘medieval elements’ (294–5). As a product of its own historical context, Ferguson’s argument reveals the persistent belief that modernity is associated with progress, rationality and secularism, whereas the premodern surrendered to such irrational notions as prophecy and providence. According to Ferguson, Robert Nisbet and others, modernity begins with an optimistic reorientation towards the future and enters a new phase of postmodernity when that confidence dries up. Writing in the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan made print the herald of modernity’s progressive relation to technology: ‘With Gutenberg Europe enters the technological phase of progress, when change itself becomes the archetypal norm of social life’ (155). Many writers have also shared McLuhan’s assessment of modernity’s dependence on and fetishization of technology as originating in the early modern period. Philip Brey, for example, argues that ‘technology made modernity possible [ . . . ]. The renaissance was made possible by major fourteenth- and fi fteenth-century inventions like the mechanical clock, the full-rigged ship, fi xed-viewpoint perspective, global maps, and the printing press’ (33). Rob Iliffe and A. P. Langman’s chapters test this thesis by examining the relation between scientific innovations and the achievement of a desired future.

CONTINUITY, CONTINGENCY AND CHANCE: FUTURE STATES Of course, modernity has been defi ned in many different ways: it is also a period in which nations, bureaucracies and institutions emerge to exercise disciplinary force over individuals. Whereas such Foucauldian paradigms reveal how institutional power determines the ability of the subject to achieve or even imagine his or her own future, other perspectives show that the state itself is defi ned by its perceived relation to temporality. J. G. A. Pocock has distinguished two forms of political society, one of continuity and the other of contingency. Continuity describes a society which


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perceives itself as ‘perpetuating its usages and practices, transmitting its different forms of authority and, in these and other ways, maintaining its legitimacy’. But contingency is characterized by ‘the unpredictable contingencies and emergencies which challenge the human capacity to apprehend and to act’. For Pocock, in conditions of continuity the society is successful in ‘creating its own time’: not merely in producing a future to its own liking, but rather ‘ensuring that no future ever comes into existence’. The contingent society is forced only to adapt to circumstances and attempt to absorb them into itself, in the hopes of becoming continuous or self-propagating. Pocock argues that from the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries, European society seemed to leave behind ‘contingent time’, suggesting that modernity begins with the relinquishment of an idea of history as providentially ordained (Virtue 92–3). Capitalist society began to develop an ‘image of a secular and historical future’, which subjects individuals to all the contingencies of fortune and chance. Consequently, political and fi nancial institutions emerged to provide the continuity which allows economic activity and the planning for the future on which that activity depends. But one mode did not simply supplant the other. As Michael Harrigan’s essay suggests, millenarian hopes and fears could sit very comfortably with the pragmatic economic and political functions of colonial enterprise. Pocock’s analysis of how secular contingency replaces providential determinism recalls Antony Giddens’s characterization of modernity as painfully susceptible to chance: ‘To live in the universe of high modernity is to live in an environment of chance and risk, the inevitable concomitants of a system geared to the domination of nature and the reflexive making of history’ (109). Although such a universe may seem threatening, it is also full of opportunity for ‘human intervention’, Giddens argues; the rejection of fatalism invites a new, ‘controlling orientation’ towards the future and to the natural world. Francis Bacon casts a long shadow over Giddens’s portrait of modernity, and Langman’s chapter in this collection confi rms that for Bacon, the work of scientific discovery could proceed once Calvinist determinism was rejected and ‘the role of chance in humanity’s discoveries and inventions’ was recognized along with human free will. By contrast, Peter Forshaw tells us, in Tommaso Campanella’s City of the Sun nothing was left to chance: astrology governed everything ‘from changes of clothes, the ceremonial calendar, education and choice of profession, to animal husbandry’ and human reproduction. But Forshaw’s study of Campanella also challenges the idea that astrology was fatalistic or indeed anti-modern: it was instead ‘a means of analysing the rise and fall of civilizations’ and an ‘instrument of social engineering’, which revealed the control of the heavenly bodies over corporeal ones but not over human minds. Perceptions of the future—and in particular of its susceptibility to human control—are crucial to many defi nitions of modernity and of the



nonmodern. Whereas modernity has been characterized as representing the future as novel, unknown and dependent on human activity, and the past as a reflection of itself, the premodern is said to regard the future as repetitive, predictable and providentially ordained, and the past as repository of revelation, learning and cultural authority. In this sense, the early modern appears as a privileged turning point in attitudes towards the future. This is Jean-Claude Schmitt’s description of the medieval futura, a predictable future fi xed within the cyclical time of ritual and agrarian life, which he contrasts with the modern avenir, the unforeseeable, irreversible time of a secularized and urban culture defi ned by progress and the desire for profit. Schmitt describes the division between these two forms of the future as the site where ‘the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from religious thought to modern rationality, is played out’ (6). But as this brief discussion has suggested, the transitions between the premodern, the early modern and the modern are extremely difficult to identify: in part because multiple and various attitudes towards the future coexisted peacefully within the same societies (and sometimes in the books of the same author), and in part because our perception of the past’s vision of its future is conditioned by the present’s view of the past.

THE END TIMES: NO FUTURE One of the most obvious ways the early modern period represented a continuation rather than a break from the ‘medieval’ paradigm is its fascination with apocalypse. The future was fi nite, and the end of time was imminent: in Thomas Becon’s words, ‘We are not certain of the day and hour; yet we may plainly perceive that it is not far off’.4 When Montaigne, commenting on the 1582 Gregorian reform of the calendar at the beginning of ‘Des boyteux’ (Of the Lame), insists on time as a purely human construct, he may be reacting to this kind of millenarian certainty. As A. Wade Razzi makes clear in his essay on Robert Crowley (and as Montaigne may well have agreed), individual instances of millenarian thought were refracted through a particular political context—in Crowley’s case by the uncertainties of succession. Far from representing an outmoded premodern strain, apocalyptic readings of contemporary history were widespread, and particularly prevalent during the turmoil of the French religious wars at the end of the sixteenth century and the British Civil Wars in the mid-seventeenth century. 5 Some political movements such as the Fifth Monarchists translated these readings into direct action. But it was not only the radical fringe that perceived the Last Days as imminent. In a letter written on 30 April 1646, Sir Cheney Culpeper equated the struggle for temporal power with the restoration of Christ’s rule on earth (274). What is notable is that Culpeper


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was writing to the intellectual Samuel Hartlib, whose schemes included an attempt to establish a version of Bacon’s Saloman’s House. Culpeper clearly did not expect Hartlib to deride his apocalyptic visions; and as Iliffe’s chapter shows, the Royal Society (which emerged in part from the Hartlib circle) incorporated many fantastic visions for the future into the experimental practice of the new science. In France, the prolonged and tenacious religious wars of the late sixteenth century prompted many to recognize signs of the end times—a view that Montaigne rejected as short-sighted, even euro-centric, because the recent discovery of the New World suggested rather a cyclical view of history in which regeneration and decay alternated: ‘Si nous concluons bien de nostre fi n, et ce poëte de la jeunesse de son siecle, cet autre monde ne faira qu’entrer en lumiere quand le nostre en sortira’ (Les Essaics 908–9) (‘If we are right to conclude that our end is nigh, and that poet [Lucretius] is right that his world is young, then that other world will only be emerging into light when ours is leaving it’ [Complete Essays 1029]). As Hiscock’s essay on Ralegh suggests, this discovery ‘constituted a re-acquaintance with earlier European selves and a guarantee of future prosperity’. The incursions against their spatial frontiers also allowed Europeans to believe they were expanding their temporal horizons, Michael Harrigan argues, as ‘an eventual, terrestrial era of Christian splendour pushes the spectre of the Last Judgment into the distance’. Even the built environment itself could reflect millenarian hopes and fears. In his chapter on Protestant interpretations of architecture, Philip Usher argues that for French Huguenots, the real meaning of what they saw was deferred to a future point at which God would interrupt history with divine vengeance. But to anticipate that future reading, Usher suggests, d’Aubigné must fi rst describe the present in terms amenable to typological readings, thus constructing his own prophetic text. Calvinist readers were able to see through the corruption inscribed on such buildings as the Palais de Justice to a future in which the present would be overturned. Millenarianism was only one manifestation of widespread belief in the power of prophecy. Scriptural prophecy was complemented by the revelations of saints and monarchs as well as common people moved by the Holy Spirit to testify in the public square. Prophetic visions offered a dose of moral correction to the decadent present and could help to constitute or undermine constituted authorities. As in Elizabeth’s poem, the sacred authority invested in God’s vicegerents could express itself in the power of interpreting the future. But the charismatic visions of ordinary people of a future without kings or property could also threaten that authority. The collective investment in prophecy made it ripe for manipulation by both radicals and conservatives alike, as Hugh Roberts argues in his chapter on mock prognostications. Roberts’s examples reveal the declining respectability of postbiblical prophecy, which the sophisticated



reader schooled by Cicero’s essay ‘Of Divination’ knew to treat with some suspicion. However, even the sceptics could be persuaded if the prophecy fulfi lled a powerful cultural or personal wish. Brinda Charry’s discussion of the prophecy of ‘Turkish doom’ promulgated by Bartholomaeus Georgiewicz and the martyrologist John Foxe reveals the attempt by early modern Christians to erase the Muslim other from the future. Although Foxe in particular articulates the widespread reservations about the validity of prognostication, the prophecy allows him to portray a future free of Ottoman empire-building. As Roberts shows, although unlimited credulity in the truth of prophecy and astrology was frequently projected onto the poorest classes, the belief in prognostication pervaded all ranks of society. The popularity of astrology challenges the Burckhardtian image of the Renaissance man as a modern individual of learning and rationality. Burckhardt lamented astrology as a ‘miserable feature in the life of that time. What a figure do all these highly gifted, many-sided original characters play when the blind passion for knowing and determining the future dethrones their powerful will and resolution!’ (325). But astrology was a highly specialized and complex science, whose adherents included scholars such as Campanella and even Pope Urban VIII.

HISTORIA MAGISTRA VITAE: THE PAST AS FUTURE Forshaw argues that astrologers like Campanella believed that through careful study they could comprehend past historical changes, ‘project them into the future and perhaps even exert an influence at nodal points in astrological time’. This belief translated into the occult sciences the commonplace that history was the teacher of life. Secular history could aid politicians in making vital policy decisions, and sacred history could help moralists to prepare for the Last Days. And just as modern scholarship imposes itself as the ineluctable future on the past, early modern historiography was also affected by perceptions of the shape of history and the nature of the future. Acsah Guibbory has discussed in detail the three forms which early modern historians believed historical development had taken: decadent, progressive and cyclical. Some believed that, like other organisms, human society was degrading in time. The secular fantasy of Ovid’s golden age and the sacred history of the Garden of Eden presented a receding image of perfection. As the quotation from Measure for Measure suggested, the future was the progeny of the present: judging by the immorality of the present, the future offered nothing but further decrepitude.6 By contrast, Augustine’s City of God (especially Book 22) provided a precedent for viewing history as the expression of human perfectibility


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(Preus 5). Robert Nisbet argues that Augustine’s vision of progress was alien to Renaissance humanists, who instead saw their contemporaries as making a defi nite break with the past; rather, it inspired such postReformation historians as Jean Bodin, whose ‘utter rejection of any of the doctrines of degeneration which had been cardinal elements of the Renaissance [ . . . ] suggest[s] a mind very much attuned to the future’ (124). Nisbet follows E. L. Tuveson in characterizing seventeenth century Puritan millenarians as ‘modern’, in that their anticipation of the millennium accommodated a notion of human progress (Tuveson 75). Puritan apocalypticism was indebted to the long prophetic tradition articulated in the Middle Ages by such writers as Joachim of Flora, who asserted that a renovatio mundi might be achieved through the working of the Holy Spirit. In the secular contexts of natural philosophy, literature and the arts, observers who regarded the moderns as superior to the ancients could fi nd reasons to hope that the future would be even better than the present. Between these two opposite perspectives was the argument, influentially endorsed by Machiavelli, for recurrent patterns in history, a view which supported the search for parallels in the past which would facilitate predictions and present policy. Hiscock’s chapter in particular explores the ways in which Ralegh’s history fuses elements of the circuitus temporum of the Stoics with the linear Hebraic time which drove inexorably towards the Last Judgment. Ralegh’s inconsistency, Hiscock argues, ‘positions him at the heart of an intellectual community in England at the turn of the seventeenth century being asked to negotiate competing claims regarding the progress and stewardship of times to come’. As in the French colonial endeavours examined by Harrigan, optimism inspired by the New World seemed to combine with pessimism about the decay of the Old. Modulating between the eternal and the human as temporalities of judgment, Ralegh was also able to transcend his personal difficulties by appealing to future readers in whose hindsight he would be vindicated. Montaigne also, as Scholar demonstrates, involves his future readers in complex manoeuvres around his own memory and remembrance. On a personal and local level, Taunton argues, the family and children in particular represented a secular posterity in much consolatory writing on old age. Posterity is a consolatory construct which allows writers to bypass the present and appeal to the sympathy of the future. The literary appeal to posterity was canonized by Petrarch, whose ‘Letter to Posterity’ allows modestly for the possibility that he will be forgotten: ‘You may, perhaps, have heard tell of me, though even this is doubtful, since a poor and insignificant name like mine will hardly have travelled far in space or time. If, however, you have heard of me, you may wish to know the kind of man I was or about the fruit of my labours [ . . . ]’ (1). Elizabeth L. Eisenstein argues that the ‘drive for fame’ represented by Petrarch’s letter ‘itself may have been affected by print-made immortality’ (94).



The new technologies of print offered vast possibilities of recording and remembrance, and magnified the possibility that the individual author’s work would endure. Even Campanella believed that print foreshadowed ‘a great new monarchy, reformation of laws and of arts, new prophets, and a general renewal of the world’, Forshaw reveals. In addition to its seismic impact on literature and historiography, print also transformed the sciences by propagating discoveries. It allowed a wide readership to recognize innovations and record and store sophisticated techniques. By conveying ‘permanence’ to discoveries, Eisenstein claims, print ‘introduced a new form of progressive change’ (our italics). Although she is keen to stress that the ‘preservation of the old [ . . . ] was a prerequisite for a tradition of the new’, and that the press did not lead to the rejection of ancient learning in favour of modern inventions, Eisenstein also identifies progress as a feature of the emergence of modern print culture (96–7). One of the most popular genres of printed books was the almanac. As Hugh Roberts’s chapter suggests, the almanac offered the lay person with opportunities to interpret the future and to apply general observations of the natural world to their own particular circumstances.7 The language of prophecy, with its reliance on obscurity, nonsense and truisms, engaged readers in a parallel act of textual interpretation. Mock prognostications undermined the many ways in which astrologers, scientists, religious and political leaders claimed that they could foreknow (and control) the future. By suggesting that the future was in fact unknowable, they portrayed the world as ‘more random and threatening’ than many might like to believe; but in their affi rmation of the status quo, they also offered the rather empty consolation that the future would resemble the past.

PROGNOSTICATION AND NATURAL LAW: THE FUTURE AND SCIENCE Whether they perceived history as improving, decaying or simply repeating itself, historians, composers of almanacs, scientists and astrologers all assumed that the future would unfold according to rules and principles which could be perceived in the present. Burke offers as examples the mariners, natural philosophers, missionaries and gamblers who anticipated a different future augmented by new lands, scientific discoveries, converts and riches as people who thought the future could be different from the present. In its particulars, perhaps; but in its categories—lands, discoveries, converts and wealth—the future will resemble the present. The future is foreseeable insofar as it follows divine, natural or human laws. As both Langman and Iliffe point out, this resemblance of the future to the present was the basis for claims by the new sciences that knowledge of causes might allow the prediction of future effects.


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In addition, scientists offered the hope that the lost golden age or paradise of the past might be recaptured in future through mechanical innovations as well as moral means (Sawday 9–11). Francis Bacon believed that the advancement of learning would lead to the restitution of Adamic knowledge of nature and that, as Iliffe argues, ‘a newly practical natural philosophy promised to usher in a world fitted for regenerated mankind’. Scientific and moral progress went hand in hand. Responding to the destructive cycle of history and the portents of human decay in the scriptures, Bacon advocated the new science as a way to transcend the past. But if the new scientists sought to slough off old, ‘superstitious’ models of revelation and prophecy, this did not make them immune from very similar accusations of credulity, as Iliffe argues. The sciences also introduced their own temporalities. For Bacon, as A. P. Langman’s chapter notes, ‘Accelerating of the Time, is next to the Creating of the Matter’. This temporal acceleration has been cited by authors including Koselleck, Habermas and Bruno Latour (10), as characteristic of modernity. Forshaw argues that it was a short step from the desire to predict the future through astrology, to the desire to control it. Likewise, Bacon’s desire for creative power over nature contrasted with ‘the programme of probabilistic experimental philosophy [which] demanded a steady programme of research with indeterminate ends’ and proceeded slowly, ‘beginning with observations and proceeding by experiments to more general axioms and laws’, according to Rob Iliffe. Just as scientists were promising to bring the future forward faster by providing technical and theoretical means for expediting discoveries, they also had to admit that the Baconian scientific method could seem to protract the advancement of human learning. Some contemporary historians have argued that the emergence of modern experimental science is itself a temporal turn, away from the past and towards the future. In The Mechanization of the World Picture, Eduard Dijksterhuis blames early modern backsliding in the sciences on humanists’ reverence for classical learning: ‘Untenable and long refuted theories were revived time after time, to be refuted and rejected once again; in general this tended to foster a mental attitude which looked to the past rather than to the future [ . . . ] They did not realize that science is always a thing of the future’ (167). But then as now, science was driven by fantasy and imagination and powered by experimental observation. The anticipation of future discoveries was fundamental to scientists like Henry Power, who fantasized in 1664 about what the art of ‘dioptrics’ might reveal about the loadstone’s ‘Magnetical Effluviums’, atoms, and the ‘infi nite, insensible Corpuscles’: And though these hopes be vastly hyperbolical, yet who can tel how far Mechanical Industry may prevail; for the process of Art is indefi nite, and who can set a non-ultra to her endevours? I am sure, if we look



backwards at what the Dioptriks hath already perform’d, we cannot but conclude such Prognosticks to be within the circle of possibilities, and perhaps not out of the reach of futurity to exhibit: however this I am sure of, That without some such Mechanical assistance, our best Philosophers will but prove empty Conjecturalists, and their profoundest Speculations herein, but gloss’d outside Fallacies; like our Stagescenes, or Perspectives, that shew things inwards, when they are but superficial paintings. (sigs C2v–C3r) For Power, philosophy’s profoundest speculations would only be achieved with the assistance of mechanical innovations. The essays in this collection reveal that in the attempt to anticipate and control the future, early modern people made use of theories and practices, intellectual and material culture. Many of their fantasies of the future failed to materialize, or to transform themselves from trompe-l’oeil perspective into tangible reality; but as the essays in this collection prove, it is precisely in their anticipation, or ‘empty conjectur[e]’, that they reveal something about their present.

NOTES 1. On prudence as a Renaissance key term, see Kahn; and Pocock, Machiavellian. 2. It would not be possible to provide a full bibliography for these topics here. Briefly, we could point to books on millenarianism, including Goldish and Popkin, eds.; Hotson; and Jue. On the concept of the future in France in the 1540s, see the introduction to Rothstein. On prophecy, see Barnes; Minois; and Niccoli. For surveys of the utopian idea, see Mumford; Tuveson; Manuel; Mannheim; Bloch; Rubin; Appelbaum; Kendrick; and Jameson. 3. On the troublesome history of the word ‘Renaissance’, see Huizinga 243– 87. 4. Prayers and Other Pieces, ed. John Ayre (Cambridge, 1844) 624; qtd. in Shaw 505. 5. According to Melvin Lasky, 70% of the pamphlets in the Thomason collection published between 1640 and 1643 expressed millenarian beliefs. On millenarianism in the French religious wars, see Crouzet. 6. On the theory of historical decay, see Harris. On early modern historiography, see Huppert; Dubois; and Kelley and Sacks. 7. On the almanac, see Rhodes.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Appelbaum, Robert. Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. Barnes, Robin Brice. Prophecy and Gnosis: Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1988.


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Bloch, Ernst. The Principle of Hope. Trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice and Paul Knight. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1986 (1995). Brey, Philip. ‘Theorizing Modernity and Technology.’ Modernity and Technology. Ed. Thomas J. Misa, Philip Brey and Andrew Feenberg. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT, 2003. 33–71. Burckhardt, Jacob. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Trans. S. G. C. Middlemore. London and New York: Penguin, 1990. Crouzet, Denis. Les Guerriers de Dieu: La Violence au temps des troubles de religion (vers 1525–vers 1610). 2 vols. Seyssel: Champ Vallon, 1990. Culpeper, Sir Cheney. ‘The Letters of Sir Cheney Culpeper, 1641–1657.’ Ed. M. J. Braddick and Mark Greengrass. Seventeenth-Century Political and Financial Papers. Camden Miscellany 33. 5th ser. Vol. 7. Cambridge: Cambridge UP for the Royal Historical Society, 1996. Dijksterhuis, Eduard Jan. The Mechanization of the World Picture. Trans. C. Dikshoorn. Oxford: Clarendon, 1961. Dollerup, Cay. ‘The Earliest Space Voyages in the Renaissance.’ Just the Other Day: Essays on the Suture of the Future. Ed. Luk de Vos. Antwerp: Restant, 1985. 103–14. Dryden, John. Preface to Sylvae. The Major Works. Ed. Keith Walker. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. Dubois, Claude-Gilbert. La Conception de l’histoire en France au XVIe siècle (1560–1610). Paris: Nizet, 1977. Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983 (2005). Elizabeth I. Collected Works. Ed. Leah S. Marcus, Janet Mueller and Mary Beth Rose. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 2000. Ferguson, Wallace K. The Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five Centuries of Interpretation. Boston and New York: Houghton Miffl in, 1948. Giddens, Anthony. Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1991. Goldish, Matt D., Richard H. Popkin, John Christian Laursen, J. E. Force, and Karl A. Kottman, eds. Millenarianism and Messianism in Early Modern European Culture. 4 vols. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001. Guibbory, Acsah. The Map of Time: Seventeenth-Century English Literature and Ideas of Pattern in History. Urbana, IL and Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 1986. Habermas, Jurgen. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. Trans. Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge: Polity, 1987. Harris, Victor. All Coherence Gone: A Study of Seventeenth Century Controversy over Disorder and Decay in the Universe. London: Frank Cass, 1949 (1966). Hotson, Howard. Paradise Postponed: Johann Heinrich Alsted and the Birth of Calvinist Millenarianism. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001. Huizinga, Johan. ‘The Problem of the Renaissance.’ Men and Ideas: History, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance. Trans. James S. Holmes and Hans van Marle. New York, Evanston, IL and London: Harper Torchbooks, 1959. 243–87. Huppert, George. The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Renaissance France. Urbana, IL and London: U of Illinois P, 1970. Jameson, Frederick. Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. New York: Verso, 2005. Jue, Jeffrey K. Heaven upon Earth: Joseph Meade (1586–1638) and the Legacy of Millenarianism. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006. Kahn, Victoria. Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1985. Kelley, Donald R., and David Harris Sacks, eds. The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain: History, Rhetoric, and Fiction, 1500–1800. Cambridge: Woodrow Wilson Center P and Cambridge UP, 1997.



Kendrick, Christopher. Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2004 Koselleck, Reinhart. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. Trans. Keith Tribe. New York: Columbia UP, 2004. Lasky, Melvin J. Utopia and Revolution: On the Origins of a Metaphor. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1976. Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Trans. Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993. Leibniz, G. W. Discourse on Metaphysics, Correspondence with Arnauld, Monadology. Trans. George Montgomery. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1902. Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. Ed. Quentin Skinner and Russell Price. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Mannheim, Karl. Ideology and Utopia. Trans. Louis Wirth and Edward Shils. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1985 (1936). Manuel, Frank E., Ed. Utopias and Utopian Thought. Boston: Houghton Miffl in, 1965. Massé, Pierre. De L’Impostvre et tromperie des Diables, Devins, Enchantevrs, Sorciers, Novevrs d’esguillettes, Cheuilleurs, Necromanciens, Chiromanciens, & autres qui par telle inuocation Diabolique, ars Magiques & Superstitions abusent le peuple. Paris: Iean Poupy, 1579. McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962. Minois, Georges. Histoire de l’avenir: des prophètes à la prospective. Paris: Fayard, 1996. Montagu, Henry Earl of Manchester. Manchester al Mondo: Comtemplatio mortis, et Immortalitatis. 2nd ed. London: Evan Tyler for Richard Thrale, 1661. Montaigne, Michel de. The Complete Essays. Trans. M. A. Screech. London: Penguin, 1991. . Les Essais. Ed. Pierre Villey and V.-L. Saulnier. Paris: Presses universitaires de Paris, 2004. Mumford, Lewis. The Story of Utopias, Ideal Commonwealths and Social Myths. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922. Niccoli, Ottavia. Prophecy and People in Renaissance Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990. Nisbet, Robert. History of the Idea of Progress. London: Heinemann, 1980. Norbrook, David. Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627–1660. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. Petrarch. Selections from the Canzoniere and Other Works. Trans. Mark Musa. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 1985. Pocock, J. G. A. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2003. . Virtue, Commerce and History: Essays on Political Thought and History, Chiefly in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. Power, Henry. Experimental Philosophy, in Three Books Containing New Experiments Microscopical, Mercurial, Magnetical. London: T. Roycroft for John Martin and James Allestry, 1664. Preus, James S. ‘Theological Legitimation for Innovation in the Middle Ages.’ Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 3 (1972): 1–26. Rhodes, Neil. ‘Articulate Networks: The Self, the Book and the World.’ The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print. Ed. Neil Rhodes and Jonathan Sawday. London: Routledge, 2000. 184–96. Rothstein, Marian, ed. Charting Change in France around 1540. Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna UP, 2006. Rubin, David Lee. Utopia 1: 16th and 17th Centuries. Charlottesville, NC: Rookwood, 1998.

18 Andrea Brady and Emily Butterworth Sawday, Jonathan. Engines of the Imagination: Renaissance Culture and the Rise of the Machines. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2007. Schmitt, Jean-Claude. ‘Appropriating the Future.’ Trans. Peregrine Rand. Medieval Futures: Attitudes to the Future in the Middle Ages. Ed. J. A. Burrow and Ian P. Wei. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2000. Shakespeare, William. ‘Measure for Measure.’ The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans, J. J. M. Tobin, Herschel Baker, Anne Barton, Frank Kermode, Harry Levin, Hallett Smith and Marie Edel. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffl in, 1997. Shaw, Barry. ‘Thomas Norton’s “Devices” for a Godly Realm: An Elizabethan Vision for the Future.’ Sixteenth-Century Journal 22.3 (Fall 1991): 495–509. Tuveson, Ernest Lee. Millennium and Utopia: A Study in the Background of the Idea of Progress. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1949.


In Pursuit of the Millennia Robert Crowley’s Changing Concept of Apocalypticism A. Wade Razzi

On the eve of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, John Bromyard, the chancellor of Cambridge University, delivered a sermon in which he warned the wealthy that the Day of Judgment would be a day of retribution for the poor. According to Norman Cohn in The Pursuit of the Millennium, a groundbreaking study of the development of millenarianism in medieval Western Europe, Bromyard was an anti-Wycliffite, and his goal in delivering the sermon was far from revolutionary, but his topic was ripe for use by those who wanted wholesale societal change. Cohn’s analysis of the speech is useful in understanding the nexus of millenarianism and reform in later periods: ‘All that was required in order to turn such a prophecy into revolutionary propaganda of the most explosive kind was to bring the day of judgment nearer—to show it not as happening in some remote indefi nite future but as already at hand’ (202). ‘The day of judgment’, ‘the apocalypse’ and ‘the thousand-year reign of Christ and the saints’, as well as the coming of all manner of minor ‘saints’, were concepts frequently deployed throughout the late Middle Ages and early Reformation as the impetus for a number of reform and utopian movements. This rhetoric was ready-made for use by reformers and willingly accepted by large sections of the population, especially the poorest members of society. The apocalypse, as the telos of Christian belief, represents an everpresent form of futurity in this period. However, what is most fascinating about this particular branch of medieval and early modern futurity is that whereas there are certain similarities between the various millenarian movements, they took many forms, were used to advocate all sorts of ideas from utopian communism to free love, and were often the product of immediate and local concerns. The writings of Robert Crowley, the sixteenth-century English poet and reformer, provide a useful example of this interplay between reform, millenarianism and contemporary political concerns. The fi rst phase of Crowley’s career as a writer occurred during the short but tempestuous reign of Edward VI. Between 1547 and 1551 Crowley published a large number of poems and pamphlets advocating religious and political reform, in some cases coming very close to proposing an egalitarian redistribution of

20 A. Wade Razzi wealth, a common feature of many millenarian movements. These works were produced in close succession: ten major works appeared in six years, as well as the fi rst metrical translation of the Psalter (1549) and the fi rst printed edition of William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1550), a work often associated with the millenarian movement that was part of the Peasant’s Revolt. Because of the short span of time in which they were published, they are often interpreted as representing a uniform body of ideas. But these works actually demonstrate an evolution in Crowley’s thinking, especially with regard to his attitude towards millenarianism. The early works from the fi rst part of Edward’s reign suggest that the millennium will begin only after significant religious and social reform has occurred, essentially as a prerequisite for Christ’s return. After the rebellions of 1549, and most especially after the fall of the Duke of Somerset, the apocalyptic elements of Crowley’s writing are more pronounced, and he sees the coming of the millennium as a time of punishment for the wicked and as a means for the godly to escape the iniquity of the world. The last works from this phase of Crowley’s career are those written after the accession to power of John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, who replaced the Duke of Somerset as the head of the Privy Council and as the de facto ruler of England. Dudley stopped the implementation of Somerset’s policies, and Crowley’s writings in this period indicate that he has all but abandoned hope for religious and social reform, and now sees the coming of the millennium only in terms of punishment for those who have opposed reform and continued to abuse the poor of England.

PROPHECY, MILLENARIANISM AND REFORM Millenarianism represents one variant of the Christian belief in the ‘last times’ or the end of the world. In its most basic form, it is a belief that the Second Coming of Christ would lead to the establishment of his thousandyear reign over a kingdom of Christian martyrs that would precede the fi nal resurrection of the dead. For Christians, the idea of the millennium is rooted in the authority of the Book of Revelation (20.4–6), but it is built on an earlier Jewish tradition dating back to the eighth century BCE that foretold of the founding of a new Eden. There are several different strains of this apocalyptic belief, but two common features are the reestablishment of an ideally ordered world, paradise regained and the arrival of a spiritual leader who ushers in the new Eden. For Jews this leader is the messiah; for later Christians it is Christ returned. Whereas the basic idea of a superhuman leader ushering in a paradisiacal age is common, over the centuries there have been myriad variations on other details. Even in Christian belief the messianic leader was not always Christ; in some cases the prophecy foretells the return of a particular secular leader, Charlemagne or the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, for example. Different periods and social

In Pursuit of the Millennia


classes have envisioned the new Eden in different ways. The poor often saw the advent of Christ’s return as a means of escaping poverty, a vision which in Cohn’s words frequently ‘became transfused with phantasies of a world reborn into innocence through a fi nal, apocalyptic massacre’ (16). Beginning in the eleventh century, millenarianism became fused with large-scale social reform among the poor, especially in areas of overpopulation or rapid social change (Cohn 53). For the poor, any substantive social or political change could very easily translate into starvation or death. In these situations the poor, with little else to hope for, readily accepted false messiahs. Sometimes charismatic friars or monks emerged as saviours, and the poor were willing to go along with them; sometimes the acceptance of messianic leaders may simply have been a kind of wish fulfilment: nothing less than a messiah would be able to alter circumstances for the poor. The basic teachings of Christianity could very easily be interpreted to encourage these beliefs; the meek would after all inherit the earth, and whereas Christian teaching did warn against false messiahs, it was difficult for the uneducated to discern the difference between a ‘genuine’ messiah and false one. The Crusades and the social and political upheaval that followed them produced a number of false messiahs embraced by the poor of Europe, including at least two men claiming to be reincarnations of Frederick II in the 1280s alone (Cohn 113–26). The massive changes that came after the Black Death also led to the emergence of several messianic movements, and by the 1380s Europeans began to envision the reestablishment of a lost communal and egalitarian golden age as a part of the formation of the millennial kingdom. The idea of an egalitarian community with all property held in common appears in both pagan tradition, as evidenced by Ovid’s myth of the Golden Age, and in Christian belief as described in the Acts of the Apostles (2.44–5 and 4.32–7), which details the collectivism of the early Christians. But after the arrival of the Black Death, people ceased to see this egalitarianism as simply a regrettably lost past and began to see it as part of the coming kingdom of Christ. The plague was interpreted as a form of divine punishment for the wickedness of society, and the poor began to look favourably upon the ascetics and flagellants that emerged in its wake. Anger and resentment were turned towards the wealthy and especially the wealthy clergy, and as a result the egalitarian strain within millenarianism became more pronounced. The relationship between these ideas and the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, specifically to what extent those taking part actually believed in egalitarianism, is complicated, but certainly some participants at least saw the revolt as a chance to establish laws more sympathetic to the poor. The oftenquoted rhyme, ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?’ is frequently associated with the followers of John Wycliffe. John Ball preached a sermon on the eve of the revolt about the egalitarian nature of Eden, and William Langland’s Piers Plowman claimed that preachers were sermonizing that all goods should be held in common (Cohn 201). But


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Wycliffe added another aspect to the eschatological discourse in England, one that became especially important to the fi rst generation of Protestants: the belief that the pope was an Antichrist (Firth 7). These ideas also surfaced during periods of upheaval in Bohemia, with the followers of John Hus (himself a follower of Wycliffe’s teachings) and in parts of the Holy Roman Empire in the late fourteenth and early fi fteenth centuries. The turmoil caused by the Reformation led to a resurfacing of millenarian and apocalyptic ideas in Germany and later in England. Thomas Muntzer preached a form of egalitarian millenarianism in Germany in the 1520s, and by 1530 Martin Luther, although he did not agree with Muntzer, had come to accept Wycliffe’s view of the pope as Antichrist and began to see the Reformation as the fi nal period before Christ’s return (Cohn 240–41, Firth 12). The introduction of many of these ideas into England was aided by two English exiles, William Tyndale and John Bale. Tyndale accepted the Wycliffite belief that the pope was an Antichrist in The Parable of Wicked Mammon (1528), but he did not ‘expect the climax of history in the near future’ (Firth 25). John Bale also saw the Catholic Church and the pope as Antichrist, and one of his most famous works, The Image of Both Churches (published in three parts between 1541 and 1547), was an extensive discussion of the Book of Revelation and the increasing influence of Antichrist in the Roman Church. In addition to Wycliffe’s views, Bale was significantly influenced by the writings of Joachim of Fiore, the twelfth-century Italian mystic who saw history as divided into three periods, the last of which would end with the Last Judgment. Bale combined Joachim’s periodization and the seven seals discussed in the Book of Revelation 5–8 in a theory of history as divided into seven periods, the sixth of which was the Reformation. Although he believed human history had entered its penultimate phase, Bale, like Tyndale, did not see the return of Christ as imminent and was reluctant to make any predictions regarding the Second Coming (Firth 41–6). There were, then, several competing and intertwined apocalyptic traditions. Some saw in the Roman Church the Beast of Revelation; some believed the Reformation had made the break with the Beast, and thus foretold the Second Coming (whether imminent or further off); and some hoped that the break with Rome was the beginning of a series of events that would usher in an egalitarian state that would itself be the precursor or the result of Christ’s return. This range of interpretation was predictable, given the variety of beliefs in the early Protestant community, but in addition to confessional differences, local and national concerns had an impact. The violence associated with Muntzer helped to taint his beliefs in both Germany and England, where ‘Anabaptism’ (a name given to Muntzer’s beliefs due to his rejection of infant baptism) became shorthand for radicalism for decades. English Protestants also had to contend with Henry VIII’s unique views on religion, his so-called ‘via media’ which led to both Catholics and forward Protestants being executed for heresy. Both Tyndale and Bale were

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living in exile in the 1540s, having fled Henrician England. Anyone in England wanting to advance the cause of the new religion would be reluctant to preach social upheaval and would do better to argue that the Roman Church was the Antichrist. However, millenarianism was not static, and often the views of individuals were influenced by political and social as well as religious issues. For example, Luther, along with Calvin and Zwingli, had doubts about the validity of the Book of Revelation. But by 1530 Luther had reversed his stance and accepted its scriptural authority. This was at least partly to provide a coherent theological programme to keep the interest of German princes whose attentions were veering toward a looming war with Turkey. In Luther’s interpretation, Gog and Magog became the twin threats to the empire, the Turk and the pope (Firth 9–11).

ROBERT CROWLEY’S EARLY MILLENARIANISM: REFORM AS PRECURSOR TO THE MILLENNIUM The writings of Tudor poet, printer and reformer Robert Crowley also show the influence of political and social events on the evolution of his millenarian beliefs. Crowley was born in Tetbury in Gloucestershire in 1517, but there are few details of his early life until 1534, when he entered Magdalen College, Oxford. Shortly after his arrival he was made a demy, a half-fellow of the college, and sometime in the late 1530s he converted to Protestantism. Whereas Oxford has traditionally been seen as the more religiously conservative of the two ancient universities, Magdalen College seems to have been something of a hotbed of interest in reformed religion at the time of Crowley’s conversion, primarily among the students. Also at Magdalen at the same time was the future martyrologist John Foxe with whom Crowley formed a lifelong friendship. Crowley was made a probationer-fellow of Magdalen in 1542, but left in 1544, around the same time as Foxe and potentially, like Foxe, over a disagreement with the more conservative fellows over the issue of clerical celibacy. He served shortly as a tutor for the Poytnz family in Gloucestershire, but by 1546 had settled in London and began writing. In addition to his own writings, which included poetry, pamphlets and dialogues, Crowley was responsible for the printing of tracts that clearly attempted to link Wycliffite beliefs with Protestant ideas, including a prologue to the Bible written by Wycliffe, whom Crowley saw as an important figure of the pre-Protestant tradition. In Crowley’s prologue to his fi rst edition of William Langland’s Piers Plowman he describes the period of the poem’s composition as the period when [i]t pleased God to open the eyes of many to se hys truth, geving them boldenes of herte, to open their mouthes and crye oute agaynste the worckes of darkenes, as did John Wicklefe, who also in those dayes


A. Wade Razzi translated the Holye Bible into the Englishe tonge, and this writer [Langland] who in reportynge certaine visions and dreames, that he fayned himselfe to have dreamed, doeth most Christianlye enstruct the weake, and sharply rebuke the obstinate blynde. There is no maner of vice that reigneth in anye estate of men, whiche this wryter hath not godly, learnedlye and wittilye rebuked. (Langland sig. *2r)

The association of Wycliffe with Langland was a common one for sixteenthcentury reformers, who saw Langland as ‘a co-worker with Wycliffe in the work of Reform’ (White 24). In addition to his interest in Langland and Wycliffe, Crowley was almost certainly in contact with Bale (King 97–8). Given his interest in Wycliffe and his friendship with Bale, it is no surprise that both men influenced Crowley’s eschatological beliefs. But Crowley’s beliefs would also adjust as the political circumstances of the late 1540s and early 1550s changed. Crowley’s fi rst work, The Opening of the Wordes of the Prophet Joell, composed in 1546, uses apocalyptic imagery to advance ideas on social reform, essentially calling for the end to greedy practices like enclosure and engrossment and the redistribution of wealth in order to aid the suffering poor.1 The poem serves as an apocalyptic warning against the residual abuses of the Henrician church and as an outline of Crowley’s basic beliefs as to the kind of social reform England needed to become a godly commonwealth. It introduces two fundamental ideas of Crowley’s works: that avarice is at the centre of all of England’s social and political problems, and that the commonwealth would be better served if the wealthy and powerful viewed themselves as stewards for the poor. To make these points, Crowley assumes the poetic persona of a biblical prophet and frequently uses apocalyptic imagery. The title page announces Crowley’s intention of comparing the religious and political abuses of the period to the ‘signs and tokens’ of the last days, as outlined not only in the Book of Joel, but also the ‘Little Apocalypse’ of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. It opens by warning: Repent, repent, I say repent Your misse & it amende: Christes prophecie, Doth shew plainely, This world shall shortly end Dark is the sonne Bloud is the moone From heaven are fallen the stars: Earthquakes are seene Pestilence, famine Rumors tel nought but wars. (Joell sig. A2r)

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After this apocalyptic beginning, Crowley divides the poem into sections each providing his unique interpretations of these biblical warnings. For example, he describes the wars of the prophecy not as physical wars, but as the conflicts caused by spiritual and class divisions. Similarly, pestilence in Crowley’s reading refers to the corruption of the clergy and famine is the spiritual famine caused by lack of charity. Crowley’s discussions of each of the signs tend to meander, but nearly every section contains a denunciation of greed and a call for more charity. These discussions allow Crowley to interpret the ‘signs’ in a way that advances his ideas on reform. In the aforementioned section on war, for example, Crowley discusses the class divisions that plague England, addressing those that focus on the importance of worldly riches: Yea they do thinke, That the pore men stinke Before the face of God: Because they see That povertie, Is counted the Lordes rod [...] This is their trade, They will perswade Men that worldly wealth is, The rewarde, that Christ fayleth not, To give them that are his. (sig. A3v)

But for Crowley, the wealthy are at the root of the problem. Throughout the poem there is a pattern of denouncing wealth and embracing poverty: Iames writeth this, With God there is, To riches no respecte; His worde would he, Knowen for to be, To all his true electe. Further he saith, Most riche in faith Are some of the base sort: Whome to repell From the Gospell Gods Worde would not support [...] He knoweth riche men


A. Wade Razzi Reade now and then For pleasure and repast; But to redresse Their wickednesse Few of them do make haste For if they would No pore men should Among them starve for food: Into prison None should be done, For det or worldy good. (sigs A7v–A8r)

Crowley focuses on the social implications of failing to fulfil one’s religious obligations. Whereas Crowley concentrates on advocating reform, all of his ideas are framed in the form of signs of the apocalypse. The emphasis on the apocalypse is often lost in the individual sections, only to be reiterated at the beginning of the next section. In one section he recalls the passage in the Gospels in which Christ tells the rich young man that he must sell all his property and give the proceeds to the poor. Crowley laments that his contemporaries, like the young man of the Gospels, would do no such thing: How many now, Would disallow This yong mans sapience? Aske them that bee, Of high degree, And have great store of pence Some will you tell, That the Gospell Commaundeth no such thing That they should feede, Such as have neede, And then go on begging. (sig. A8v)

Concomitant with his attitudes towards prosperity and poverty is Crowley’s belief that the ownership of wealth and property entail a duty of stewardship. Whereas he stops short of the egalitarian model of Thomas Muntzer and some of Wycliffe’s followers, in some ways these passages hark back to a feudal ideal and are based on Christian beliefs enshrined not only in the Gospels, but also in St. Augustine’s City of God (4.4) and the Acts of the Apostles (2.44–5 and 4.32–7). In Joell, Crowley warns those to whom much has been given that they must use their prosperity wisely. In his view property is always only loaned, and for the sake of its possessors as well as society it must be used to benefit the poor:

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Loke what is more, Left in thy store, Than wil suffice to this: He that hath none, Must live theron, It is not thine, but his, This to withholde, If thou be bolde, Or to spend it in waste: Think not but hee, That lent it to thee. Will call for it in haste. (sig. B1v)

In Crowley’s idealized Christian society, it is every man’s duty to use his abundance to feed the less fortunate; rich men should be stewards of the poor: This worlde cal I, Gods familie, Wherein riche men bee: Like stewareds stoute, To rule the route, And succour povertie. (sig. B1v)

For Crowley, the duty of stewardship is predicated on the stewardship of the earth entrusted to humanity in the Book of Genesis and reasserted by Christ’s purchase of salvation for all, regardless of degree: And they that thinke, Their meate and drinke, Should passe other so farre: Ought well to know, That high and low, Are made of one matter. King Salomon, Saith all is one, A poore man and a king: Are first gotten, And then borne, And differ yet nothing. Then are they fed, With milk and bread, Both like, both wail and weepe, A like both crie, A like both lie, A like both wake and sleepe.

28 A. Wade Razzi The mighty King, Is found nothing, Better than the begger: For by hys birth, He is but erth, The best is no better, [...] The noble blood, Doth them no good, When they rot in the ground: Nor when they come, To the last home, Where beggers shal be crounde. (sigs E6r–E7r)

In these stanzas, Crowley comes close to endorsing the egalitarian ideal expressed in the peasant refrain, ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?’ Like his predecessors, Crowley’s treatment of this biblical material is linked with apocalypticism by his claims that judgment day is at hand, and that the wealthy, even of the highest degree, will be punished for failing to live up to these ideals: Some king shall stand, At the left hand, And say, when did we see: The Lord lacke ought, And we have nought Holpe thy neccesitee But once and for all, To them Christ shall, Say, get you hence from me, Downe into hel, Where you must dwell, For your iniquitie. When ye denied, To them that cried, Asking helpe in my name: Even then was I, In misery, The Scripture sayeth the same. So harde in iudgement, Toward them is bent, That have all thing plentie: How hard they fare, Taking no care, That are in povertie. (sig. E7r)

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For Crowley, lack of care for others is the single greatest obstacle to the religious reformation of England. This poem deploys apocalyptic elements in the name of social transformation; at one point Crowley argues that God will not allow religious reformers to succeed until social reform occurs: But when we will, Gods worde fulfill, We shall have better store. But whiles we are, So ful of care, For worldly venities: God will us send, Few to amend, Our great enormities. Yea unlesse. Our vice do cease, And we for mercy call: Shortly to preach, And Gods worde teach, We shall hath none at all. (sigs. B3v)

In this earliest work, Crowley attests to his beliefs in reform and the need for the stewardship of wealth. His social egalitarianism is predicated on equal sharing in the spiritual body of Christ. Crowley’s ideas are similar to those expressed by participants in the Peasants’ Revolt as well as to the followers of Thomas Muntzer, who viewed the establishment of an egalitarian society as the result of the advent of the millennium. However, Crowley’s belief that social reform is a precursor to religious reform was unique. In this view, the temporal powers of England must take the initiative to rid the people of vice and address problems of income inequality or God will not further England’s religious reformation. The emphasis is not on punishment, or even on the establishment of classless society, but on social transformation as necessary for religious reform.

CROWLEY, EGALITARIANISM AND REFORM The idea that social and religious reform are prerequisites for the Second Coming is echoed in Crowley’s 1548 work, An Information and Peticion Agaynst the Oppressours of the Pore Commons of the Realme. This pamphlet represents a reworking of the ideas already presented in the Joell poem, but there is a shift in Crowley’s emphasis: he now focuses more explicitly on the coming of millennium and the punishment of the


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wicked. In Joell, the apocalyptic elements come mostly from the structure of the poem, and in particular its division into sections each of which addresses one of the calamities predicted in the Book of Joel and/or in the ‘Little Apocalypse’; but in this work, Crowley makes those ideas much more central to his arguments. Of course this is a function of the genre, because this is a pamphlet addressed to Parliament, rather than a poem. But in addition to the difference in form, Crowley’s language is much more forceful in this work. The use of apocalyptic ideas begins on the title page with a quotation from Isaiah 58.9, ‘When you suffre none oppression to bee amongest you, and leave youre idle talkes, then shal you cal upon the Lorde and he shal hear you, you shal crie and he shal say, Behold I am at hand.’ Crowley echoes this idea in the text several times. After listing the abuses of the wealthy against the poor, he warns the wealthy that ‘[t]hey shal not at the laste daye enherite wyth them the kyngdom of Christe’ and will ‘at the daye of theyr accompt, be bound hand and fote and cast into utter darkness, wher shal be wepying, wealyng and gnashyng of teeth, that is, dolour and payne, the greatnes wherof canne not be expressed wyth tonge nor thought wyth herte’ (An Informacion and Peticion sigs A5v–A6r). He also warns, assuming the voice of God, that ‘[u]nless ye purge your selves of this bloude: & stop up the mouthes of the pore that the voyce of theyr complayne come not unto myne eares: I wyl not prospere your counsayles in the reformacions of those abhominacions which I shewed unto you, but I wyll leave you to the spirite of errour’ (sig. A6r). The lack of social justice is precisely the reason that reformation has not already occurred. Crowley explains that the reason that the previous Parliament did not carry out full reformation was because ‘Christe was not delivered frome oppression’ so ‘he woulde not be amonge them’ (sig. B3v). The work also shows evidence of the egalitarian impulses of the Joell poem. At one point Crowley bases his call for economic reform on an ideal of stewardship rooted in the shared ancestry of Adam: ‘Stand not to much in your own conceyte, gloryinge in the worthynesse of your bloud, for we are all one mans children, and have by nature lyke ryght to the richesse and treasure of thys wordle whereof our natural father Adam was made Lorde and Kinge’ (sig. A7v). He asserts this ideal of equality through common membership in both the body politic and the mystical body of Christ: ‘Remembre, (most Christian counsaylours) that you are not onely naturally members of one bodi with the pore creatures of this realme: but also by religion you are members of the same misticall body of Christ, who is the head of us all’ (sig. B3r). Whereas his arguments in this tract at fi rst seem identical to those in the Joell poem, there is a much greater emphasis on impending punishment. In Joell, Crowley pointed out the signs, made recommendations and expected them to be carried out. In the year between Joell and the Peticion, not enough has been reformed to satisfy Crowley, and he offers the

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startling reminder to members of Parliament that they will be held personally accountable by God at the time of judgment: That you are Lordes and governours therefore commeth not by nature but by the ordinaunce & appointment of God. Knowe then that he hath not cauled you to the welthe and glorie of this worlde: but hath charged you wyth the greate and rede multitude. And if any of them perishe thorowe your defaute, knowe then for certentye, that the bloude of them shalbe required at your handes. If the impotent creatures perish for lacke of necessaties: you are the murderers, for you have theyr enheritaunce and do not minister unto them. (sig. A8r)

CROWLEY, PUNISHMENT, AND THE MILLENNIUM This emphasis on punishment is extended in Crowley’s next work, The Voyce of the Laste Trumpet (1549). The work announces its apocalypticism in both its title and its two epigraphs from the Bible. The title refers to the seventh of seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation, brought forth by angels upon the opening of the seventh seal from the scroll in St. John’s vision. The trumpets release punishments upon humanity, and the blowing of the final trumpet ushers in the angels of the seven bowls, which contain the final chastisements for humanity before Christ’s return. The epigraphs are equally suggestive of the apocalypse. The fi rst comes from Luke 3.4, ‘The voyce of one crying in the wilderness’, presumably comparing to Cowley’s text to the prophecies of John the Baptist. The second comes from Isaiah 40.4 (echoed in Luke 3.5), ‘Make ready the Lordes way. Make hys pathes strayte. Every valey shal be fylled, and every mountayne and little hyll made lowe. And thyngs that be croked shal be made straight and harde passages shal be turned into playne wayes, and al fleshe shal se the health of God.’ In spite of the apocalyptic and levelling impulses of the title page, the emphasis of The Voyce is on order. It begins with a summary in two stanzas: Who so would that all thinges were well, And would himselfe be wythout blame: Let him give eare, for I will tell, The way how to performe the same Fyrste walke in thy vocation, And do not seke thy lotte to chaunge: For through wicked ambition, Mani mens fortune hath bene straunge. (sig. A2r)

The poem is essentially an estates satire divided into twelve sections, each addressing a different degree of society, starting with beggars and ascending


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to magistrates, with a fi nal section aimed at women of all degrees. In contrast to the egalitarian impulses of his earlier work, the message of virtually every section of The Voyce is that people should remain in their station. This poem is very clearly Crowley’s response to the social upheaval of the summer of 1549. The uprisings connected with Kett’s Rebellion had led to the removal of Protector Somerset on 13 October 1549 and to his subsequent imprisonment in the Tower. The Voyce was issued about six weeks later on 29 November 1549. Crowley, who had been a strong opponent of enclosure in the previous year, uses this work to distance himself from the rebellion, while still focusing attention on the need for reform. Amidst his admonitions to stay within one’s degree there are specific warnings. To rack-renting landlords Crowley cautions, For God who ruleth ech man’s herte Shal turne thy Landlordes herte I say And shall al his whole life convert so that he shall be thy greate stay. Or els if he be not worthy, To be called to repentaunce No doubte thy Lorde wyll him destroy, Or take him from hys heritaunce. (sig. A7v)

Crowley also tells gentlemen that they will be judged more harshly: But thou shalt fynde that thou art bound And shalt answer much more straightly Then the pore men that tyll the ground If thou regard not thy duty. (sig. C7r)

In the ‘Magistrates Lesson’, Crowley reminds magistrates, a group that includes the king, of the ways in which God has punished those that fail to do their duties as rulers. God ‘wyll not aye suffer his flocke / Of wolfes to be so devoured’ (sig. D2v). He points to biblical stories of kings who had been punished for wicked behaviour and argues that God’s ‘arme is a stronge as it was / When he plagued Kynge Pharao’ and that God ‘spent not all his power upon’ King Nebuchadnezzar (sigs D2v–D3r). Crowley’s attitude towards the millennium is different in this work than in the Informacion and Peticion. Whereas there is still a focus on the punishment of those who abuse the poor, he is much less emphatic about the immediacy of the coming of Christ. In this particular work, Crowley is speaking generally about the millennium. The title and prefatory material suggests that the Second Coming is imminent, but the text of the poem backs away from any such assertions. This is likely the result of the unstable political situation at the time The Voyce was written. Crowley was careful

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not to support overtly the ideas of the failed and condemned rebels of the 1549 summer rebellions. Also at this point the future of Protector Somerset was unknown, and Crowley, a Somerset supporter, would not have wanted to advocate anything that would have further upset the political situation. 2 Somerset had been under attack from other members of the Privy Council for encouraging the rebels, but there was still hope among his supporters that Somerset might be returned to power and that reform could continue. To embrace radical millenarianism would have only exacerbated the situation and endangered future reform. In 1550, Crowley published One and Thyrtye Epigrammes, and again his attitude towards millenarianism has changed. He is advocating many of the same reformist ideas—more care needs to be taken of the poor, the rich should act as stewards and the powerful need to stop abuses by the rich—but his attitude towards the apocalypse has changed. The work is a collection of poems, mostly about situations or problems that Crowley observed in London. In the fi rst poem, ‘Of Abbayes’, Crowley laments the fact that the wealth of the dissolved abbeys and the proceeds from the sale of their land were not used to feed the poor and to maintain ‘godly prechers’ (One and Thyrtye Epigrammes sig. A5r). Because of this, the people ‘wyll not see / but delyte to be blynde’ (sig. A5v). He ends this section with an appeal to God, ‘Than sayde I (O Lorde God) / Make this tyme shorte / For theyr sake only Lorde / that be thy chosen sorte’ (sig. A5v). He glosses this passage with a marginal note to Matthew 24.22, ‘Ye and except those dayes shuld be shortened, there shulde no fleshe be saved; but for the chosens sake those dayes shalbe shortened.’3 In another section, ‘Of Almshouses’, Crowley argues that because of a lack of charity, which he compares to the cruelty of the Turks, ‘[t]he vengeaunce of god / must fall no remedye / Upon these wicked men / and that verye shortlye’ (sig. B1r). In these passages Crowley is rooting for the advent of the millennium. This is certainly very different from the more careful language evident in the work of the previous year. The reason for this change is twofold: Crowley saw the situation for the poor as deteriorating and the political situation as dramatically altered from the previous year. Protector Somerset had been released from prison and restored to the Privy Council, but at this point it was clear that John Dudley, the future Earl of Warwick, had seized power. By late 1550 it was a common public perception that Dudley ruled ‘absolutely’ and that he was using his position to enrich himself and his supporters (Brigden 504). Hope for economic reform and an end to enclosures of common land was all but gone at this point, because it was clear that Dudley was not going to support Somerset’s previous measure on those issues. To make matters worse, inflation caused by debasement of coins led to higher prices and a generally worsening situation for the poor. With Somerset out of danger— at least for the moment—and Dudley unpopular with the people and the other members of the Privy Council, Crowley had more freedom, and a


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new target in Dudley, whom he regarded as abusing his position as head of the Privy Council. The focus on punishment is even more pronounced in Crowley’s Pleasure and Payne, Heaven and Hell: Remembre These Foure, and All Shal Be Well, dated to 1551.4 The title page has two epigraphs from Matthew 25: again Crowley turns to the ‘Little Apocalypse’ for inspiration. The fi rst comes from Matthew 25.34, ‘O ye that be my fathers blessed ones come and posses the kyngdome that was prepared for you befor the beginning of the worlde.’ The second is from Matthew 25.41, ‘Goe ye curssed sorte into the everlastyng fyre that was prepared for the Devill and his Angelles.’ These contrasting texts help to reinforce the ‘pleasure’ and ‘payne’ of the title. In the dedicatory epistle to Lady Elizabeth Fane, Crowley explains that the entire poem is a reflection on ideas contained in the Gospel of Matthew, which Crowley says needs to be ‘beaten into the heades of all men at thys daye, to dryve them (if it be possible) from the greedy gathering together of the treasures of this vayne world’ (sig. A2r). Crowley notes that because it is unlikely that men left to their own devices will reform, it is [i]n dede necessarie that God should styr up some to plage such emonge his people as had offended even as he dyd often tymes styr up the Heathen to plage hys people of Israell but yet it is not necessarye that the same should continue in oppresyng the offenders and Innocent togither. For so shal they also deserve the lordis Wrath & in the ende be plaged by some other that God shall styr up to revenge the injurye done to the innocent sort. (sigs A2r-v) Crowley hopes that his writing will serve as a fi nal warning so that England may avoid ‘gods Ire, which (no doubt) wyl fal upon this realme very shortly, if oppression and greedy covetise cease not’ (sig. A2v). He reiterates this point a few lines later by once again mentioning ‘the terrible Judgment of god (which no doubt of it is at hande)’ (sig. A2v). He ends by praying that ‘[t]he lorde work in the hertis of the rych that this vengeaunce fall not on thys realme in oure dayes, for doubtless it wyl be grete when it cometh. And if oppression cease not, the vengeance can not tarrye longe. For the lorde hath promised to revenge his people in haste’ (sigs A2v–A3r). The epistle, and indeed a good portion of the text of the poem, is an extended discussion of God’s impending punishment. Whereas there is a great deal of similarity between the issues addressed in Pleasure and Payne and Crowley’s previous works, none focuses on punishment as vehemently as this text. Crowley insists that God’s justice is just around the corner. Crowley’s apocalyptic message begins with the fi rst lines of the poem, which affi rm that [w]hen Christ shall come to judge us all

In Pursuit of the Millennia


and geve eche one as he hath wrought Hys fathers frendis then wyll he call To enioye that whych they have sought By beleveng that they were bought Wyth his bloude shedde upon a tree As by theyre workis all men maye see. (sig. A4r)

A few lines later, the ‘voice’ of the poem changes to that of Christ who warns the wealthy that because they ‘toke no thought for povertie’ they have in effect committed murder: No Hell can be a worthy payne For your offence it is so greate For you have robbed me and slayne My flocke for lacke of nedefull meate The woule, the lambe the malt and wheate You dyd by force cary awaye And no man durst once saye you naye. (sig. B4r)

At the end of this ventriloquizing of Christ, Crowley describes in detail what will happen to those that do not repent: Then shall the wycked fall in haste Downe into the pyt bottomelesse Moste bytter paynes there shall they taste And lyue euer in greate distresse None shall confort theyr heauinesse In deadly paynes


A. Wade Razzi there shall they lye And then they would but shall not dye. (sig. C6r–v)

Crowley ends the poem with advice on how to avoid being one of the unlucky few cast into the bottomless pit: eschew covetousness, pull down enclosures, stop rack-renting and act as stewards of wealth for the benefit of the poor. These are the same ideas he had been advocating since the Joell poem. The difference here is again due to a change in political circumstances. Upon his release from the Tower in early 1550, Somerset was readmitted to the Privy Council, and it seemed as though he and Dudley might be able to put aside their differences. Somerset’s most enthusiastic supporters still held out hope that he would be restored to power as Protector. But by 1551 the relationship between Dudley and Somerset had deteriorated. There were rumours of plots and counterplots, and eventually Somerset was arrested in October 1551 for treason, tried and convicted of bringing men together for the purpose of starting a riot and executed in February of 1552 (Loach 101–2). While Crowley was probably writing Pleasure and Payne in the first half of 1551, before Somerset was arrested, the Duke’s position was already worsening. Very quickly, hope that he would be restored to power disappeared and Dudley emerged as the undisputed leader of the Privy Council. He and his supporters continued to use their newfound power to enrich themselves. While Protestant religious reform continued, the possibility of social and economic reform had effectively ceased. Crowley’s strident apocalyptic tone in this poem reveals his frustration that Dudley’s government was not going to continue ‘the Good Duke’ Somerset’s programme of economic reform. Crowley also seems to be reassuring Somerset’s supporters that Dudley and his circle would be punished upon Christ’s return, which Crowley promises was imminent. In September of 1551, Crowley was ordained a deacon by the bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley. He did not produce any other works until the reign of Elizabeth. Why he fell silent is uncertain. Perhaps he saw publication as a hindrance to his career as a clergyman, because there is no record of him being beneficed after his ordination; or he might simply have been too busy to write, assuming he had clerical duties to perform. Crowley’s fi nal work from Edward’s reign is a poem entitled Philargyrie of Greate Britayne (1551). Probably written just a few months before his ordination, it tells the story of a gold-eating giant. The work is an allegory of the English Reformation, arguing that a greedy few hijacked reform for their own personal benefit. It ends with a previously unmentioned dormant king arising and setting matters right. It is possible to interpret this as a fi nal apocalyptic fantasy, or as a desperate hope that upon reaching maturity Edward VI would expel the greedy self-serving Dudley from power. The death of Edward VI ended Cowley’s hope of social reform as the accession of Mary put England fully into the hands of the Roman Church. With England in the hands of a papist queen, Crowley eventually fled to Frankfurt along

In Pursuit of the Millennia


with Foxe and Bale. During Elizabeth’s reign Crowley returned to England and wrote a number of theological tracts, but these Elizabethan works lack any reference to millenarianism and scarcely mention social and economic reform. It is unclear why the reestablishment of a Protestant church in England, especially because that reestablishment was a triumph over the Antichrist Marian Catholic Church, did not reignite Crowley’s interest in the millennium. By 1560 Crowley had been beneficed, and he would later be involved in the Vestiarian controversy, an early manifestation of the Puritan movement, in which several London clergy resisted Elizabeth’s orders on clerical dress. In 1566 Crowley was briefly suspended for refusing to allow a group of men taking part in a funeral to enter St. Giles-without-Cripplegate because they were wearing surplices. In 1567, Joell was reissued, but Crowley’s Elizabethan output lacks his previous apocalypticism, and he did not write any new poetic works. Perhaps this is a classic case of an ardent youthful reformer ‘settling down’ as he got older. Perhaps the religious and social situation under Elizabeth suited Crowley better, or perhaps he simply became preoccupied with a wife and a benefice. But between 1547 and 1551, Crowley used the idea of the millennium repeatedly to try to call both the people and the leaders of England to godly reform, changing his approach as the political situation dictated. To modern readers this evolution of thought may seem contrived or even manipulative, in that Crowley kept deploying the spectre of the millennium to frighten people into accepting his political beliefs. But the works discussed here seem to manifest a vehement belief that God would not allow his loyal followers to suffer and would return to punish the wicked and reward the just. It seems that, for Crowley at least, the English Reformation’s millennial moment passed with the death of Edward VI. In fact, the governments headed by Dudley and later Mary and Elizabeth wanted apocalyptic ideas to disappear. The Forty-Two Articles of Faith written in 1553 contained an injunction against millenarianism; Article 41 stated that ‘[t]hey that go about to renew the fable of heretics called Millenarii be repugnant to Holy Scripture’.5 Both the Forty-Two Articles written under Edward VI (1553) and the revised Thirty-Nine Articles adopted under Elizabeth (1571) denounced the idea that goods should be held in common.6 But these ideas could not be extinguished by legislation; similar tenets were adopted by the Levellers, Diggers and Fifth Monarchy Men of the 1640s and 1650s. The link between reform, social justice and the millennium remained in the popular imagination, resurfacing a hundred years after Cowley during the great upheavals of the English Civil War. NOTES 1. The only complete extant copy is of the 1567 reprint, but explicit references to Henry VIII which are retained in the 1567 edition suggest it was little altered from the original. A fragmentary and disorganized copy of the 1547

38 A. Wade Razzi


3. 4.

5. 6.

edition is in the Lambeth Palace Library. An examination of the extant portion suggests that only minor spelling changes were made in printing the 1567 edition, but significant portions of the text were missing from the earlier edition. Crowley’s exact relationship to Somerset is unknown. In Pleasure and Payne Crowley refers to Lady Elizabeth Fane as his patroness. Lady Fane was the wife of Ralph Fane, a supporter of Somerset who was eventually executed along with Somerset in 1552. Whether Crowley’s description of Lady Fane was an acknowledgement of patronage or a plea for it is unknown. If she was a patron of his, whether that patronage or support extended to her husband or to Somerset is unclear. Crowley supported nearly every one of Somerset’s reforms. In my study of Crowley, I have noted only one major criticism of Somerset’s policy by Crowley, and that dealt with the war with Scotland, which Crowley saw as wasteful. The quotation is taken from the Thomas Matthew translation of the Bible (London, 1537). All subsequent references to scripture come from this translation. The work probably comes from the early part of 1551 because it does not mention the outbreak of the ‘Great Sweat’ in the summer of 1551. The Sweat, which killed large numbers of people in England, especially at court and the universities, was tailor-made for reformers who later argued that the Sweat was God’s justice on an unreformed England. ‘The Forty-Two Articles’ in Bray 285–311 (Article 41, 309–10). See Article 37 of the Forty-Two Articles (Article 38 of the Thirty-Nine Articles) in Bray 308.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Bray, Gerald, ed. Documents of the English Reformation. Cambridge: James Clark, 2004. Brigden, Susan. London and the Reformation. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989. Cohn, Norman. The Pursuit of the Millenium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages. New York: Oxford UP, 1970. Crowley, Robert. An Informacion and Peticion Agaynst the Oppressours of the Pore Commons. London: John Day, 1548. . One and Thyrtye Epigrammes. London: Richard Grafton for Robert Crowley, 1550. . The Opening of the Wordes of the Prophet Joell. London: Henry Bynneman for John Charlewood, 1567. . Pleasure and Payne, Heaven and Hell: Remembre These Foure, and All Shall Be Well. London: Richard Grafton for Robert Crowley, 1551. . The Voyce of the Laste Trumpet. London: Richard Grafton for Robert Crowley, 1549. Firth, Catherine R. The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, 1530–1645. Oxford: Clarendon, 1979. King, John N. English Reformation Literature: The Tudor Origins of the Protestant Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1982. Langland, William. The Vision of Pierce Plowman. London: Robert Crowley, 1550. Loach, Jennifer. Edward VI. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1999. White, Helen C. Social Criticism in Popular Religious Literature of the Sixteenth Century. New York: Octagon, 1973.


Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country Richard Scholar

My title is borrowed from Hamlet, who speaks of death as ‘the undiscovered country from whose bourn / No traveller returns’ (3.1.81–2), but I use it of the future, and of Michel de Montaigne’s future, in particular.1 Perhaps, as I hope will become clear, I should say ‘futures’. The futures of the past offer a tantalizing insight into what it was to be alive in that past and to look forward in time. It is my aim in what follows to point out that they almost inevitably raise, as a result of their temporal orientation, questions about their possible survival in and pertinence to later ages. We belated investigators need to be wary, in such cases, of projecting our sense of what the future holds for the past back on to that past and, in so doing, misrepresenting its ways of looking forwards. The title of this volume invites case studies of a whole series of phenomena, from apocalypse to utopia and beyond, all revealing of the various ways in which the Renaissance and early modern worlds thought about and imagined the future. Contributors to the volume were also invited to address questions of critical and historical method and in particular to reflect on the futures which current scholarly practice might entail. This chapter accepts both invitations by exploring the place of the future in Montaigne’s thinking and writing while offering some methodological reflections on how that future might best be approached and understood. It issues, in turn, an invitation—no more and no less—of its own: to see the case of Montaigne, here, as illustrative of the period that he has so often, in various ways, seemed to exemplify. Montaigne did not claim to be able to read what the future held, and he distrusted those of his contemporaries who did, as he makes clear in the early chapter ‘Des Pronostications’ (Of Prognostications, Essais 1.11).2 Yet he looks to the future at certain moments in his three books of Essais (1580–1595), thinks and writes about it in distinctive ways, and even, it might be said, weaves a future for the text into its fabric. One such moment occurs in ‘De la vanité’ (Of Vanity, Essais 3.9), the late meander of a chapter in which Montaigne presents his love of travelling and his writing as examples of a ‘vanity’ which, in the fi nal instance, he acknowledges as his. He starts the passage in question by stressing the transitory nature of his text and of the language in which it is written, which he predicts will be

40 Richard Scholar unrecognizable fi fty years hence. Yet he soon concedes that, whereas he writes for the here and now, he has seen the thoughts and deeds of others become the subject of controversy after their deaths (he has in mind here his friend Etienne de La Boétie, whose loss he mourns and whose posterity he struggled to protect). Montaigne looks to his book as a means of avoiding the same fate. He claims that it reveals everything about him, by direct or indirect means, and he goes on in the same passage to issue readers of the future with a threat: ‘Je reviendrais volontiers de l’autre monde pour démentir celui qui me formerait autre que je n’étais, fût-ce pour m’honorer’ (3.9.305–6) (‘I would willingly come back from the other world to give the lie to any man who portrayed me other than I was, even if it were to honour me’ [Complete Works 914]). The threat of a visitation from the misrepresented author has haunted many of Montaigne’s readers, as was surely intended, and I offer it here as an emblem of his forays into a future that is still with us. How are we to read Montaigne without raising his ghost? Terence Cave, the most recent of those haunted readers to have written about the passage, analyzes it at close quarters in his book Montaigne (2007) as a key example of Montaigne’s ‘writing for the future’. That book belongs to a series of publications in which Cave has elaborated and used new methods for studying the work of Montaigne and his contemporaries.3 What I want to suggest here is that Cave’s work may help to defi ne fruitful approaches to Renaissance futures more widely as well as to the futures of Montaigne. This chapter will come, accordingly, in two halves. The fi rst defi nes and reviews, with particular reference to the work of Cave, the methodological context in which I think the study of Renaissance futures should be approached. The second explores the example of Montaigne’s forays into the future of his text after his death. Linking the two halves of the chapter is an argument which starts from the position that the objects under examination—Montaigne’s futures—need to be granted their potential difference from the futures that we moderns project back on to his text. That is an indispensable step to take if one wishes to avoid raising Montaigne’s ghost. Yet—and here the argument turns—it is only one of several steps that need to be taken, in Montaigne’s case at least, and it must not be allowed to impose too fi rm or lasting a distinction between the futures that he tries to imagine for his text and the futures that its readers have given it. Those two kinds of future turn out to resemble one another in various important ways: enough to make one suspect that they might, in fact, be connected.

FUTURES OF THE PAST What do we mean by the ‘futures’ of the past? Are we referring solely to the futures that were looked to and imagined in that past? What about the futures that the period came to acquire after the event? How useful are

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period markers like ‘Renaissance’ and ‘early modern’ in helping to distinguish between these different futures? I begin with the choice of period marker to characterize the futures under examination in this volume. Two obvious possibilities present themselves: the long-standing term ‘Renaissance’ and its dominant rival in current Anglophone historiography, ‘early modern’. The two terms are by no means synonymous. The term ‘early modern’ is generally taken to refer to the period that stretches from the late fi fteenth to the late eighteenth centuries, and the work done in its name has tended to reduce the central importance of literary and artistic materials to an understanding of that period, thereby subsuming the more limited category of the ‘Renaissance’ within a broader historical moment and an anti-élitist cultural perspective. There are all kinds of reasons for choosing one over the other. I do not propose to comment on these directly but simply to observe that the term ‘early modern’ appears, at this moment in its history, more fraught with implications for the present project. That term has always possessed an inbuilt telos in the sense that the existence of something called the ‘early modern’ presupposes and points to the later development of the ‘modern’. The ‘early modern’ has thereby come to characterize a series of developments in the early period that are considered to be caught in a diachronic movement towards the modern world that is their future. Yet, as Terence Cave has pointed out on several occasions, ‘whatever early modern people may have thought or felt, they could not have thought that they were early modern’ (‘MasterMind Lecture’ 185).4 The phrase ‘early modern’ might appear, as a result of its teleological impulse, more likely to foreclose rather than open up the question of whether the futures of the past survive in later developments. Cave’s prehistories are a useful point of reference here in that they offer, among other things, a response to the teleological temptation that haunts all investigations of the past and, in particular, those that take place under the sign of the ‘early modern’. His work reveals, in the process, the shifting fortunes of that term and its ‘Renaissance’ rival. The book in which he fi rst elaborated the prehistorical method suspends the term ‘Renaissance’ in its fi rst footnote (Pré-histoires I 11, n. 1). That book, Pré-histoires I, was the fi rst volume in a new series, edited by Michel Jeanneret and Max Engammare at Droz, which took as its title (‘Les seuils de la modernité’) Jeanneret’s French translation of the phrase ‘the early modern’. In his introduction to Pré-histoires II, Cave explains his understanding of that phrase, stressing among other things its plurality (especially when, in its French manifestation, the early modern is made up of many ‘thresholds’) and its heuristic value when it is made the object of a prehistory (Pré-histoires II 12–15). Prehistory acknowledges hindsight as an ineluctable condition of its existence in order to limit and control, as much as possible, the teleological and evolutionary inferences that hindsight entails. Prehistory offers, as a result, one approach to the question of ‘how we read without distortion the signs of a future story’ (‘Master-Mind Lecture’ 186). The precise formulation I


Richard Scholar

have quoted here postdates the two volumes of Pré-histoires—a fact which merely confi rms, in passing, the role of hindsight in the writing of history— but the question is the one that both seek, in different ways, to address. Cave takes various ‘signs of a future story’—the emergence of sceptical ways of thinking, the notion of suspense, and the ‘self’ in Pré-histoires I; the rise of vernacular languages and economic inflation in Pré-histoires II—and uses the prehistorical method in his attempt to read them without distortion. By unsettling and even (in some cases) moving against the flow of history, Cave suspends the hindsight that turns signs of a future story into the origins of the future that is our present, and encounters them instead in the present tense of their making. The place of sceptical thought in Montaigne’s work offers one example of what I mean. His ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’ (Apology for Raymond Sebond, Essais 2.12) presents, in a successful and widely diffused vernacular text, the Essais, a set of Pyrrhonist arguments and phrases that had, up until that point, been the preserve of the learned. This has led many of his readers to see the ‘Apologie’ as Montaigne’s philosophical manifesto and to place him in the pantheon of early modern thinkers as the father of modern scepticism. Many studies continue to talk of ‘Montaigne’s scepticism’ as if this were a position, in some cases the position, to which he adhered. The most influential of these studies remains Richard Popkin’s groundbreaking history of scepticism, which was published fi rst in 1960, then revised and expanded in 1979 and again in 2003. Popkin describes Montaigne as animated by a single intention in the ‘Apologie’, namely, to unify the sceptical tendencies already present in sixteenth-century theology, philosophy and science in order to bring all knowledge to what Popkin calls a total ‘Pyrrhonist crisis’. He claims that the ‘Apologie’ brought the premodern intellectual world to an end, in a seismic epistemological shift, and proved to be ‘the womb of modern thought, in that it led to the attempt either to refute the new Pyrrhonism, or to find a way of living with it’ (55–6). Popkin distorts the eclectic variety of Montaigne’s thinking by decisively reducing it to a single philosophical adherence, and he does so in his search for the origin of a later development, namely, ‘modern thought’. This evolutionary approach is common to much early modern historiography. Cave takes a prehistorical approach, by contrast, to Montaigne’s scepticism in Pré-histoires I. He places it in the context of other sixteenth-century uses of Pyrrhonist paradoxes in texts with an apologetic framework and examines the troubled and troubling shifts of perspective and tone with which Montaigne presents those paradoxes in his writing. The result, in relation to scepticism and to the other examples he takes, is a different kind of early modern history. The two volumes of Pré-histoires mark Cave’s most sustained attempt to work with the ‘early modern’, to reshape the notion in response to his chosen objects of study and authors, to harness its energies while resisting its teleological and evolutionary temptations.5 Of those temptations, the one to produce yet another genealogy of modernity is perhaps easier to resist than

Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country


an altogether more submerged one, whereby the inbuilt perspective of the ‘early modern’ predetermines the objects of study and authors chosen. There are other stories to tell of the period than that it contains the signs of future stories, in short, and the ‘early modern’ may (silently, even unwittingly) prevent those other stories from being told. This may explain why, in an echo of his earlier and more definitive move against the term ‘Renaissance’ in Préhistoires I, Cave starts his 2006 article ‘Locating the Early Modern’ by suspending temporarily the term ‘early modern’. His decision ‘to avoid focusing here on the very stories that are contaminated by their futures’ allows him to examine ‘quieter’ stories and traces of life in sixteenth-century France (18–19). He looks to Montaigne’s Essais for his examples, a choice which reflects back on Pré-histoires I, where Montaigne was presented as a figure exemplifying the ‘early modern’ and the liberties and constraints that this category implies for the prehistorian.6 In the 2006 article, Montaigne’s text is primarily characterized as the unique product of a particular culture at a particular moment in its history, a product endowed with a remarkable ability to remain itself while adapting to new situations. Shakespeare’s plays, which belong to the same historical moment, display the same ability: they and Montaigne’s Essais are ‘texts to think with’. It is in that sense that both texts may be called ‘early modern’—‘not because they obediently anticipate aspects of our world, submitting meekly to our judgments and prejudices, but because, reflecting otherwise on analagous questions, they help us to imagine ways ahead for ourselves’ (‘Locating the Early Modern’ 24). The early modern might, by means of a prehistory, take us back to a future that lies beyond the modern and postmodern. The point here is not to intervene in a debate about the relative merits of period markers but to suggest that the questions raised by Cave’s prehistorical method are relevant to the study of all past futures, whether these are called ‘early modern’, ‘Renaissance’ or anything else. The method identifies the teleological and evolutionary impulses of the ‘early modern’, as we have seen, in order to limit their influence. It might serve equally well to identify the potential of the term ‘Renaissance’ to confuse futures past and present. A prehistory, in its attempt to reconstruct the signs of a future story without distortion, needs to keep renewing its sense that the cultural context of the investigator (which is home to the future story) and the cultural context which is under investigation (and home to the signs) are distinct. A Renaissance future, on the other hand, is committed to making no such distinction: it may contain the futures that the Renaissance imagined or discovered for itself, but it may equally contain those that we have imagined or discovered for the Renaissance, or indeed a combination of the two. And the ambiguity is only perpetuated by the term ‘Renaissance’, because it is easy to fi nd claims in the period as well as in its historiography that this is an age of ‘rebirth’, most obviously of classical civilization. The spectre of preselection, seen in the case of the ‘early modern’, returns to haunt us here with the thought that our choices as to which futures we


Richard Scholar

study in the Renaissance may prove to have been preconditioned by the futures we lend to the same period. One reaction to this observation might be to say that the spectre of preselection haunts all kinds of scholarship and that one needs simply to soldier on with as keen a regard for the empirical evidence and its resistance to one’s hypotheses as can be achieved. This is where a methodological consciousness proves beneficial, in my view, for it challenges one to do more than soldier on: to stand back from one’s practice, pause for thought, and spell out the limits and the implications of the approach adopted. The prehistorical method not only brings to the surface of consciousness a problem likely to haunt the study of futures in the Renaissance— the danger of confusing these with the futures that the Renaissance came retrospectively to acquire—but also suggests a solution to that problem: a solution that involves neither denying it (as if the past were totally accessible) nor exaggerating it (as if the past were inaccessible except as our construction), but rather acknowledging the problem and then devising ways of coming to terms with it. It offers a language and a set of conceptual instruments designed not only to acknowledge the belated position of the investigator but also to distinguish sharply between two forms of investigation: one (of the evolutionary kind undertaken by Popkin among many others) discovers a source for the origins of a history where the other (of the prehistorical kind undertaken by Cave) defi nes a threshold from which the scattered signs of a prehistory become visible; the former seeks in the past its movement towards the present where the latter seeks in the past its variety and elusiveness. The terms and instruments of prehistory might help define, in short, an approach to the study of Renaissance futures. That approach would preserve the potential for the futures of the Renaissance to look and feel—and, indeed, to be—different according to the position in which they are observed. And it would acknowledge the constitutive, limiting, belatedness of futures acquired in retrospect. The ongoing methodological debate about ‘afterlives’ may prove useful as a means of distinguishing between the different kinds of futures. Cave prompted this debate by publishing articles (in 2003 and 2005) which both use the term ‘afterlife’ to describe the extraordinary transformations that Mignon, the foundling in Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, 1795–1796), underwent in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European literature and music.7 His recent writings on Montaigne contain passages that, without using the term ‘afterlife’, sketch out ways of understanding the dynamic relation between Montaigne’s text and its later reception.8 We should certainly not expect some unified theory to emerge from these different pieces of work or from the ongoing debate they have prompted.9 The interest of the fledgling afterlives method lies, once again, in the light it casts on the study of Renaissance futures. That method sets out to examine the ‘downstream contexts’, as Cave calls them, in which a particular cultural phenomenon is received and transformed

Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country


(‘Locating the Early Modern’ 21). The phenomenon in question, whether a text (such as Montaigne’s Essais) or a particular feature of texts (for example, a narrative paradigm such as Mignon, a word or idea, a discursive or an aesthetic mode)—and ‘text’ here needs to be understood as referring in the widest sense to all manner of cultural productions—is distinguished above all by the fact of its passage through the flow of time into later contexts. It lives on, from its point of view, in some version of the future. Afterlives examine that future, that downstream context, for what it may say both about that context and about the text itself. Thus the rewritings undergone, for example, by Goethe’s Mignon in the novels of Balzac and George Eliot, and by Montaigne at the hands of Descartes and Pascal, reveal something of the wider cultural moment to which those rewritings each belong and the various preoccupations that prompt them. Those rewritings may also, as it were, reflect light back on the earlier text that survives in them: Cave accepts that downstream context may prove ‘informative about what [that] text means or is capable of meaning’ (‘Locating the Early Modern’ 21). He immediately qualifies this point by suggesting that some downstream contexts are more informative than others: the surviving reactions of near contemporaries to Montaigne’s Essais, for example, are more likely to offer ‘a legitimate (although not of course absolute) guide’ to what and how the work meant. In this respect, Cave distinguishes his approach from reception history in general, to which he ascribes the theoretical position that no limit can be placed on the power of downstream context to determine the potential meanings of a text (‘Locating the Early Modern’, especially 26 n. 20). I am not sure that afterlives can be quite so sharply distinguished from reception history in this and other respects, but I would readily concede that there are differences of emphasis, and it is Cave’s emphasis on the historically variable hermeneutic potential of downstream contexts that matters here.10 Afterlives cluster in different shapes according to the particular nature of the text and of the contexts that receive it downstream, but they are never points of equal value fi xed on a continuous line stretching from the past into the present, nor do they ever exhaust the potential meaning of the text. Cave stresses the key role that a text’s sense of the future may play in explaining the inexhaustibility of its meaning. He advances the axiom that ‘a text always exceeds its context, a fortiori when it is not a purely functional text’ (Locating the Early Modern’ 23). He offers two reasons for that excess in a text like Montaigne’s Essais. The fi rst is the text’s ability to make connections across different areas of the culture to which it belongs. The second is what might be called its forward velocity or, put more simply, ‘the future itself’. Written into texts like the Essais and Shakespeare’s plays, he says, is a ‘groping forward towards something of which the shape is not yet apparent’ (23). These texts remain embedded in a context while exceeding that context: this is what makes them ‘texts to think with’ (24). And what carries them through their various afterlives


Richard Scholar

is, in part at least, the success with which the sentences reflect the ‘mind’s ability to reach out, hesitantly and gropingly, towards possible futures’ (‘Master-Mind Lecture’ 203). Whereas futures may equally become the object of prehistory, then, it appears that they have a distinct role to play alongside afterlives in studies of reception. What, then, is the difference between ‘futures’ and ‘afterlives’? Futures are what the Renaissance imagined for itself as it looked forwards into time’s undiscovered country; afterlives, the ways of looking forwards that it has acquired in the course of its reception history. Futures, then, begin upstream: they may take the form of direct statements addressed to posterity, at one end of the spectrum, and, at the other end, the form of gaps, puzzles and half-glimpsed possibilities awaiting future development. They can be found anywhere in the text, but they cluster in its paratexts, which often constitute a kind of textual threshold from which the text looks forward to its own reception. Afterlives begin downstream: they offer varying responses to the text, ranging in thematic terms from convergence to divergence, and in formal terms from passive reproduction to active and even aggressive transformation. They in turn are often embedded in texts, but not exclusively, since extratextual evidence—of material transmission and reception, the practices of cultural and educational institutions and so on—may offer unique traces of a text’s afterlives. Viewed from an upstream vantage point, some or all of a text’s afterlives may appear unrecognizable, as if some kind of shift or ‘mutation’ had taken the text over a threshold.11 Other afterlives may appear to play their part in a recognition scene in which the text encounters downstream readers capable of seeing it for what it was and responding to it on its terms. Viewed, conversely, from a downstream vantage point, some or all of a text’s futures may appear dormant or even stillborn in retrospect, as if a threshold now separated the future from the text’s afterlife. The accent in the term ‘afterlife’ here falls fi rmly on the fi rst two syllables. Yet other futures may appear active, vital to the text’s continuing currency, putting the accent on the ‘life’ of the text in its downstream encounters and on its ability to shape those encounters. What I have set out in the foregoing pages is a means of distinguishing between two kinds of futures or, as I am suggesting we now call them, between the futures the Renaissance imagined for itself and the afterlives it acquired in retrospect. I would like to offer, in what follows, one example of a study of reception that makes just such a distinction in order to compare and contrast the evidence provided by a text’s futures and its afterlives. Because such a study could fill many volumes, this can only be a sketch, a rehearsal of how one might set about the task if space and time allowed. My chosen example, Montaigne’s Essais, represents an extreme case in the history of reception—and takes the argument of this chapter a step further—in that the afterlives the text has known actually seem in large part to correspond to the futures it contains. How are we to understand this unnerving degree of resemblance? I approach that question here,

Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country


once again, in the company of Terence Cave. In Montaigne, Cave suggests that one way of reading Montaigne’s reception history is to say that he ‘wrote downstream’ (114). I shall attempt to build on that suggestion, in what follows, by setting out various ways in which Montaigne may be said to have coaxed his various futures into being downstream.

FUTURES AND AFTERLIVES A note of caution needs to be sounded at the outset. A comparative study of Montaigne’s futures with his afterlives does indeed reveal connections, but if we were to focus on those alone in our hermeneutic excitement, then we would be raising in our own way the spectre of preselection that I warned against earlier. The futures examined would turn out to have been selected merely because, from a vantage point downstream, they appeared to play a vital role in the afterlives of the text. Reading Montaigne’s Essais with an eye for the futures that he speaks of or reaches towards takes you to parts of the text that other topics do not reach. These include his hope that the pistol, which he views as an ineffectual weapon, will one day disappear from use; his claim that it would be more reasonable, given the ‘faiblesse ordinaire’ (ordinary weakness) of the female sex, for a man to leave the management of his estate to his grown-up sons rather than his wife; and the suggestion he voices along with the Aztecs that the destruction of their civilization by the Europeans may be a sign that the world is about to end.12 When viewed from the downstream perspective of a world in which the destructive power of fi rearms cannot be denied, in which equal rights for women have been widely recognized and enshrined in property law as elsewhere and in which apocalypse remains an unrealized fear, these imagined futures look remote, to say the least. They need to be understood on their own terms as interventions into broader sixteenth-century debates about the relative merits of the ancient and the modern, about questions of succession and inheritance and about the European conquest of the New World.13 They deserve their place in a comparative study of Montaigne’s futures and his afterlives because they show that the potential difference between the two is in some cases actual and pronounced. Those of Montaigne’s futures that appear active downstream—and these are greater in number and of more significance than their dormant counterparts—need to be handled with equal caution. Montaigne’s suggestion in ‘Considération sur Cicéron’ (A Consideration Upon Cicero, Essais 1.40) that he has left room for ingenious minds of the future to produce from the subject matter of his book ‘infinis essais’ (numberless essays); his claim in ‘De l’affection des pères aux enfants’ (Of the Affection of Fathers for Their Children, Essais 2.8) that his exercise in first-person introspection has produced the only book of its kind in the world; his description of himself in the ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’ as an ‘accidental philosopher’ who presents

48 Richard Scholar his thoughts in the company of the texts he has read; the sense he gives in the same chapter that the arguments of Pyrrhonist scepticism have the disturbing power, in debates about religion, to destroy the person who deployed them along with that person’s adversaries; his search in ‘De la vanité’ for a reader who will prove a friend—all of these passages have played a vital role in the text’s afterlives downstream, and it is tempting to list them as such, extracted from their internal context in the Essais.14 Tempting, but misleading, for Montaigne’s treatments of the future need to be read with a sense of the chapter or sequence of chapters within which they belong. The suggestion in ‘Considération sur Cicéron’ mentioned previously, for example, needs to be seen in the light of the preceding chapter, ‘De la solitude’ (Of Solitude, Essais 1.39), in which Montaigne issues a sharp critique of those like Cicero who vaingloriously seek future renown from the eloquence of their writings. ‘Considération sur Cicéron’, presented in its first sentence as a continuation of the preceding chapter’s comparison between Cicero and Pliny the Younger, on the one hand, and Epicurus and Seneca, on the other, also extends that chapter’s reflection on the search for renown. The look to the future in ‘Considération sur Cicéron’ mentioned previously appears, in this context, as an anticipated reply to those readers who might choose to reflect Montaigne’s critique of Cicero’s desire for literary renown back on to his own reasons for writing: those who praise his eloquent use of language, he insists, are undervaluing the richness of his book’s subject matter.15 This internal context does not exhaust the sense of Montaigne’s look to the future, but it cannot be ignored, and the same point could be made of the other passages listed previously. Those passages read like messages sent to the future, and they have received responses. One need only cite examples of afterlives that resemble the futures listed previously: the development, starting with Bacon, of the essay as a literary genre after Montaigne’s death; the explosion of interest in autobiography and other forms of fi rst-person narrative in Rousseau and his contemporaries whose effects continue to this day; the appearance of a ‘new philosopher’, in Descartes, whose method requires him to clear away all the texts he has read (including, no doubt, the Essais); the characterization of Montaigne in the age of Pascal as an out-and-out Pyrrhonist and a religious freethinker who is indifferent to his salvation; and the suggestion of Marie de Gournay, the fi rst editor of the Essais after Montaigne’s death, that she was the friend and the reader that he sought.16 Those afterlives, like the futures they resemble, need to be understood in context as revealing both of the cultural moment to which they belong and of the various preoccupations that prompt them. They may also be seen as responses elicited by the text. In each instance, the response varies in substance and in tone, and the degree to which it may or may not be deemed recognizable from an upstream perspective—and, from a downstream perspective, the degree to which it may or may not mark a threshold—can only be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The case of Pascal is particularly difficult to judge since,

Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country


as Cave points out, Montaigne would have been well able to understand what Pascal made of the Essais, but ‘he could not possibly have foreseen it, since it presupposes the rise of libertinage (religious free-thinking) in seventeenth-century France’ (‘Locating the Early Modern’ 22). Pascal’s response to Montaigne is a misreading, then, but one that brilliantly illuminates the text by contrast. Cave sees this case as representative of the wider reception of the Essais: The reception of the Essais is not, like most reception histories, simply a discrete series of reinterpretations in alien contexts; it in some sense completes the meaning of the book, over and over again, without ever exhausting it. If all the future readings of the Essais are misreadings in the sense that they cannot rethink what Montaigne thought in the context in which he thought it, they do seem to an extraordinary degree to use him as a springboard for new ventures, as he used the writings of Plutarch and others. (Montaigne 114) What remains to be seen is why Montaigne’s text is the springboard chosen or, put another way, how Montaigne succeeds in making of the Essais a springboard for future thoughts. Cave looks to a mutation in the late Renaissance practice of literary imitation and to the principle of the essai. He quotes a key sentence in ‘De l’institution des enfants’ (Of the Education of Children, Essais 1.26), a chapter that is concerned with the future in important ways since it sets out Montaigne’s advice to his friend Diane de Foix about how her as yet unborn son ought to brought up, emphasizing the virtues of a liberal education in which the boy will learn from the authors he reads how to think and speak for himself. Montaigne uses himself as an example to put the point thus: ‘Ce n’est non plus selon Platon que selon moi, puisque lui et moi le voyons et l’entendons de même’ (Essais 1.26.263) (‘It is no more according to Plato than according to me, since he and I understand and see it in the same way’ [Complete Works 135]). As Cave points out, this is a ‘hidden remake’ of a sentence in Seneca, and one that Pascal picks up in turn from Montaigne and recasts in his own way: ‘Ce n’est pas dans Montaigne mais dans moi que je trouve tout ce que j’y vois’ (‘It is not in Montaigne but in me that I find everything I see there’).17 Cave comments, ‘That, in its briefest form, is how to use Montaigne’s book according to a rule it insistently formulates but with an outcome it never predicted’ (Montaigne 115). Creative, even aggressive, imitation provides here both the form and the substance of the springboard. And it works according to the principle of the essai, whereby Montaigne uses the subject matter of his book as the means to conduct a thought experiment, while leaving his readers ‘plenty of room to participate in the exercise’ (115). This is exactly right, it seems to me, and indispensable to an understanding of the Essais as a springboard for downstream adventures. A strength

50 Richard Scholar of Cave’s method in Montaigne and elsewhere is that it leaves room for a shift of focus, another point of view, an additional context for understanding the processes of writing and thinking: it bears more than a passing resemblance, in that respect, to its privileged object of study. One such context, as I shall try to show elsewhere, is the practice of ‘freethinking’: not the seventeenth-century version of religious freethinking or libertinage of which Pascal accuses Montaigne, but the rather different Renaissance version to be found in its prehistory, the cast of mind expressed in formulations such as ‘Plato is my friend but a greater friend is truth’. It appears, as it happens, in the sentence that precedes the one, quoted by Cave from ‘De l’institution des enfants’, in which Montaigne claims equal share in a thought already expressed by Plato: ‘La vérité et la raison sont communes à un chacun, et ne sont non plus à qui les a dites premièrement, qu’à qui les dit après’ (1.26.263) (‘Truth and reason are common to everyone, and no more belong to the man who fi rst spoke them than to the man who says them later’ [Complete Works 135]). The second half of that sentence, with its interest in the ownership of particular sayings, indisputably moves the discussion on to the terrain of imitatio.18 Yet the fi rst half of the sentence, with its emphasis on the priority of truth and reason, is an expression of antiauthoritarian freethinking. Montaigne goes on in the next sentence, quoted previously, to picture a conversation between Plato and himself, undertaken in the pursuit of a truth that neither monopolizes, in which the two participants, ‘he’ and ‘I’, are given equal importance by the balancing syntactic structures in the sentences. Montaigne’s decision to imagine himself sharing an idea with Plato recalls the freethinking phrase ‘Plato is my friend but a greater friend is truth’. What is most striking, if this is the case, is the difference between the freethinking phrase and Montaigne’s sentence. The phrase implicitly sees Plato as an obstacle to the freethinker’s pursuit of the truth as well as a friend. But Montaigne, having said earlier that Diane de Foix’s son will on occasions need to reject the ideas of past thinkers, now imagines a less confrontational situation in which he and I see things the same way. Both situations arise, as far as Montaigne is concerned, when one’s judgment is truly independent. Whether the effect is a divergence or a convergence of views, it is always as a result of thinking with a privileged interlocutor—not a master but a friend—that one learns to think for oneself, and this kind of thinking requires one to appropriate ideas from the friend that match one’s own sense of where the truth lies. Freethinking as Montaigne conceives it is inflected here, in other words, by the process of imitation that it requires; but imitation as Montaigne conceives of it in this passage is itself already inflected by the freethinking aim it serves. This aim is clearly restated at the end of the penultimate sentence in which Montaigne draws on the commonplace metaphor of bees visiting flowers, used by Erasmus to argue that literary imitation should be eclectic, and appropriates it to his own argument about the need to cultivate

Montaigne’s Forays into the Undiscovered Country


freedom of thought.19 The topics of imitation and freethinking are, as Montaigne shows in this passage, intimately connected if one believes, as he does, that language is the substance of which thinking is made. Freethinking is an activity that Montaigne not only talks about in the Essais but undertakes, too, and he invites his readers to do the same. One consequence of the freedom that he offers his readers is that they may end up disagreeing with him in their search for the truth. (He reads correctly, in this respect at least, what the future—or at least various moments of it—held for him.) Montaigne seems to accept this possibility on condition that they read him, without prejudice, like a friend: like the kind of friend he is to Plato. If they choose to do otherwise, of course, they risk a visit from his ghost. NOTES 1. This chapter was written during my tenure of a Research Fellowship funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I should like to express my gratitude to the Trust for its support and to my colleagues in Modern Languages at Oriel College for theirs. My title is inspired by Wes Williams’s use of it in the subtitle to his 1998 study. 2. Montaigne, Essais, ed. André Tournon, 3 vols. (Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1998). All subsequent references are to this edition. English translations come from Montaigne, The Complete Works, trans. D. M. Frame (London: Everyman’s Library, 2003). 3. Of particular relevance here, as well as Montaigne, are: Pré-histoires: Textes troublés au seuil de la modernité, henceforth Pré-histoires I; Pré-histoires II: Langues étrangères et troubles économiques au XVIe siècle; ‘Master-Mind Lecture: Montaigne’; and ‘Locating the Early Modern’. 4. See also ‘Locating the Early Modern’ 13. 5. Other contributions to the collection Theory and the Early Modern, in which Cave’s article ‘Locating the Early Modern’ appears, are relevant here. See in particular those of Michael Moriarty, John O’Brien and Wes Williams. 6. Pré-histoires I 18 and 184. If Montaigne is the figure at the centre of Préhistoires I and its preoccupations, it is Rabelais in Pré-histoires II, which Cave describes as a meditation on Rabelais and his relationship with history (12). 7. The articles in question are ‘Mignon’s Afterlife in the Fiction of George Eliot’ and ‘Modeste and Mignon: Balzac rewrites Goethe’. The second article begins by recalling the title of the fi rst: ‘Mignon [ . . . ] had a European afterlife of extraordinary range and complexity’ (311). 8. I am thinking of ‘Master-Mind Lecture’ 197–202, ‘Locating the Early Modern’ 20–2 and the chapter entitled ‘Writing for the Future’ in Montaigne 106–16. 9. Cave spoke about Mignon and her afterlives at a session of the interdisciplinary seminar entitled ‘Connections’ which he organized and chaired at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The debate continued in a symposium for Cave, entitled ‘Pre-Histories and Afterlives’, which took place in Oxford in 2006. The resulting volume of essays—PreHistories and Afterlives: Studies in Critical Method—reflects and prolongs

52 Richard Scholar


11. 12.

13. 14.


16. 17. 18. 19.

that debate: all of its contributions (by Terence Cave, Marian Hobson, Anna Holland, Neil Kenny, Mary McKinley, Ben Morgan, John O’Brien, Kate Tunstall and Wes Williams) have something to say about prehistories or afterlives and all have been a help to me in preparing this chapter. Cave’s work on Mignon, meanwhile, continues. The example that Cave offers here, Stanley Fish’s study Is There a Text in This Class? (1980), does indeed represent, as Cave puts it, reception history ‘in its most extreme and paradoxical form’ (‘Locating the Early Modern’ 26, n. 20). Other examples are much closer in methodological terms to Cave’s own work. Hans Robert Jauss, to take one example, also accords particular hermeneutic importance to the fi rst reception of a work (Jauss 20). Cave talks in this context of ‘thresholds of mutation’ (‘Locating the Early Modern’ 22). ‘Des destriers’ (Of War Horses, Essais 1.48.459 [Complete Works 257]); ‘De l’affection des pères aux enfants’ (Of the Affection of Fathers for their Children, Essais 2.8.108 [Complete Works 350]); and ‘Des coches’ (Of Coaches, Essais 3.6.205 [Complete Works 847]). Cave discusses the fi rst of these examples at greater length in ‘Locating the Early Modern’ 18–19. Montaigne’s dislike of modern fi rearms is shared by Ludovico Ariosto: see his Orlando furioso, XI, 21–8. The difference between them is that Ariosto does not doubt of their effectiveness and accepts that they are here to stay. ‘Considération sur Cicéron’ (Essais 1.40.406 [Complete Works 224]); ‘De l’affection des pères aux enfants’ (Essais 2.8.89 [Complete Works 338]); ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’ (Essais 2.12.343 [Complete Works 497] and 361–2 [Complete Works 508]); ‘De la vanité’ (Essais 3.9.302 [Complete Works 911–12]). Essais 1.40.406 (Complete Works 224). This sequence is further complicated by the suggestion of the following chapter, ‘De ne communiquer sa gloire’ (Of Not Communicating One’s Glory, Essais 1.41), that the desire for renown is so powerful in us all that Montaigne wonders if anyone has been entirely exempt from it. For Cave’s various discussions of these afterlives, see the references in note 8. On the essay, see de Obaldia; and, for Marie de Gournay’s suggestion, see her preface to the 1595 edition of the Essais (Montaigne, Les Essais 23). Pensées, ed. Sellier, fragment 568; Honor Levi’s translation, qtd. in Cave, Montaigne 114–15. In my contribution to the collection Theory and the Early Modern, I did not make this clear (Scholar 48–9). I am glad to have the opportunity to correct the point here. On Erasmian imitation see Moss, especially 105.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Cave, Terence. ‘Locating the Early Modern.’ Theory and the Early Modern. Ed. Michael Moriarty and John O’Brien. Paragraph 29 (2006): 12–26. . ‘Master-Mind Lecture: Montaigne.’ Proceedings of the British Academy 131 (2005): 183–203. . ‘Mignon’s Afterlife in the Fiction of George Eliot.’ Rivista di letterature moderne e comparate 56 (2003): 165–82. . ‘Modeste and Mignon: Balzac rewrites Goethe.’ French Studies 59 (2005): 311–25. . Montaigne. London: Granta, 2007.

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. Pré-histoires: Textes troublés au seuil de la modernité. Geneva: Droz, 1999. . Pré-histoires II: Langues étrangères et troubles économiques au XVIe siècle. Geneva: Droz, 2001. Fish, Stanley. Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard UP, 1980. Holland, Anna, and Richard Scholar, eds. Pre-Histories and Afterlives: Studies in Critical Method. London: Legenda, 2008. Iser, Wolfgang. Prospecting: From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989. Jauss, Hans Robert. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Trans. Timothy Balti. Brighton: Harvester, 1982. Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso, ed. by Lanfranco Caretti (Turin: Einaudi, 1992). Montaigne, Michel de. The Complete Works. Trans. D. M. Frame. London: Everyman’s Library, 2003. . Essais. 3 vols. Ed. A. Tournon. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1998. . Les Essais. Ed. J. Balsamo, M. Magnien and C. Magnien-Simonin. Paris: Gallimard, 2007. Moss, Ann. Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. de Obaldia, Claire. The Essayistic Spirit: Literature, Modern Criticism, and the Essay. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995. Pascal, Blaise. Pensées. Ed. P. Sellier. Paris: Bordas, 1991. Popkin, Richard. The History of Scepticism from Savonarola to Bayle. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. Scholar, Richard. ‘Two Cheers for Free-Thinking.’ Theory and the Early Modern. Ed. M. Moriarty and J. O’Brien. Paragraph 29 (2006): 40–52. Williams, Wes. Pilgrimage and Narrative in the French Renaissance: ‘The Undiscovered Country.’ Oxford: Clarendon, 1998.


‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’ Futurity and the Language of Obligation in Sidney’s Old Arcadia J. K. Barret

A criminal trial consumes the last two books of Sir Philip Sidney’s prose romance, the Old Arcadia. Although an eleventh-hour resurrection countermands the trial’s several grim death sentences, the concluding pages of the narrative, like its legal proceedings, focus on the act of looking back. What stands out in Sidney’s fiction is that the Old Arcadia ends by looking back to a moment that looked forward. The text opens with an oracle, yet Sidney does not set prophecy and judicial review in simple opposition; rather, he scrambles them, commingling the language of law and judgment, promise and contract, to join the attempt to control the future with the prospect of eventual retrospection. Scholars traditionally privilege Renaissance England’s artistic engagement with the past, but the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also emphasized, to borrow a phrase from Lady Macbeth, a desire to ‘feel the future in the instant’. The contemplation of antiquity afforded the perspective to imagine how the Renaissance present eventually would become a past. In Sidney’s romance, such novel recursiveness reveals an interest not solely in a past that was, but also in a present moment imagined in terms of future retrospection, that is, imagined as a past still to come. In the opening pages of the romance, Basilius, the Duke of Arcadia, ‘desirous to know the certainty of things to come’, receives a troubling prophecy from the oracle at Delphos: Thy elder care shall from thy careful face By princely mean be stolen and yet not lost; Thy younger shall with nature’s bliss embrace An uncouth love, which nature hateth most. Thou with thy wife adult’ry shalt commit, And in thy throne a foreign state shall sit. All this on thee this fatal year shall hit. (5)1

The gnomic verses convince Basilius both that he is in danger of losing his throne and that his daughters are in danger of being seduced, so he moves his family to the relative safety of the Arcadian countryside. In the

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


grand tradition of tragedy and oracular literary prophecy, Basilius seeks the future as a ‘certainty’ only to attempt to alter the fated course once he has heard it foretold. In so doing, he sets the wheels of the plot in motion even as it anticipates retrospection: an accurate explanation of the mysterious prophecy will require the privilege of hindsight at the plot’s conclusion. Sidney maintains his emphasis on a projected future by exploring the possibility of using language ‘to make certain future actions predictable, so that [people] might be able to depend on them’ (Muldrew 5). 2 In poetry inset within his prose romance, he employs an explicitly future-oriented structure—the promise. If a promise attempts to control and secure a particular, predictable future, Sidney also reveals the promise’s capacity as both a poetic device and a temporal instrument. His representation of promises made and broken resonates in a broader cultural context: in the sixteenth century, disputes over debt, exchange and contractual responsibility garnered particular attention in the English common law courts. Sidney pairs the difficulty of poetic representation with the burden of eventual performance inherent in the vow and promise. When imagined in terms of the future and future obligation, the Old Arcadia’s framework of law and adjudication illuminates an interest in the permanence of identity. In this text, the expression of interiority and the articulation of the self depend upon temporal negotiations.

SUSPICIOUS TIMING When two itinerant foreign princes, Pyrocles and Musidorus, arrive at Basilius’s court, they fi nd it ominously empty. Pyrocles instantly falls in love with a painting that depicts Basilius’s younger daughter, Philoclea: [S]he drawn as well as it was possible art should counterfeit so perfect a workmanship of nature. For therein, besides the show of her beauties, a man might judge even the nature of her countenance, full of bashfulness, love, and reverence—and all by the cast of her eye—mixed with a sweet grief to fi nd her virtue suspected. This moved Pyrocles to fall into questions of her. (11) The painting piques Pyrocles’ interest in terms that participate in the familiar contest between art and nature; in the case of the portrait, nature is perfection, art mere imitation (‘drawn as well as it was possible’). The description of the painting, however, never treats Philoclea’s ‘beauties’. Rather, the ekphrasis probes beyond external ‘show’, allowing a glimpse of an interior realm—her ‘bashfulness, love, and reverence’. Philoclea’s exalted ‘nature’, however, only stays pure for a few words before it is ‘mixed’ with ‘grief’. Indeed, the ‘excellent artificer’ has rendered not only ‘sweet grief’, but also its cause: she ‘fi nd[s] her virtue suspected’.


J. K. Barret

This small revelation—the burden of suspicion, presumably inspired by the prophecy—should give us pause because all of the remarkably communicated inner qualities of this painted subject are shrouded in the language of adjudication: A man might ‘judge’ Philoclea. When paired with ‘virtue suspected’, the word ‘judge’ takes on a more legalistic cast, intimating that both Philoclea and her image are on trial.3 But of what is Philoclea suspected? And by whom? The narrative’s prophetic framework—‘Thy younger shall with nature’s bliss embrace / An uncouth love, which nature hateth most’—suggests that the voluntary exile of Basilius and his family was necessitated, in part, by Philoclea’s assailable virtue. The hint of a young woman on trial is only reinforced by Pyrocles’ juridical recourse to ‘fall into questions of her’. As falling in love and falling into questions become mutually entailed, both states inspire Pyrocles’ plans for future action. He has fallen in love at fi rst (painted) sight and intends to go in search of his new love because he is ‘desirous to see herself, to be judge, forsooth, of the painter’s cunning’ (11). Although a romantic trajectory inspired by wondrous art might logically result in an assessment of simulacrum, the announcement of that evaluation intrudes on Pyrocles’ amorous objective: Pyrocles will seek Philoclea because he has fallen in love, but the narrator suggests that this future encounter will immediately occasion a look back. Sidney’s diction echoes the climate of adjudication that clouded the portrait itself: the painting may lead the prince to Philoclea, but fi nding her will allow him to ‘judge’ the painting. As a result, the euphemism works to cast this hotly anticipated future moment principally as an opportunity to recall and evaluate the past. The painting is never mentioned again. Pyrocles infi ltrates the Arcadian camp disguised as an Amazon and armed with a fool-proof pseudonym: Cleophila. His charms have their desired effect, but Philoclea’s purity leaves her troubled by the fi rst pangs of love. She sneaks out into the night to revisit the ‘fair white marble stone’ on which she had written a set of verses: [W]ell did she remember the place, for there had she often defended her face from the sun’s rage, there had she enjoyed herself often while she mistress of herself and had no other thoughts but such as might arise out of quiet senses. But the principal cause that made her remember it was a fair white marble stone that should seem had been dedicated in ancient time to the sylvan gods; which she fi nding there a few days before Cleophila’s coming, had written these words upon it as a testimony of her mind against the suspicion she thought she lived in. The writing was this: [ . . . ] (96) This marks the fi rst mention of Philoclea’s verses, and the narrator brings their occasion and purpose into view before reproducing the actual lines.

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


Sidney withholds information from his reader in order to take full advantage of the scene’s temporal complexity. He ensures that the verses enjoy full contemplation before he reveals that, because of the interference of natural conditions, the marble stone is a palimpsest, and Philoclea’s verses have been destroyed. Sidney’s repetition of ‘remember’ couches the visit to the inscription as a visit to the past. These verses were crafted before she fell in love, intended to provide a ‘testimony of her mind against the suspicion she thought she lived in’. Her words aim to provide a defence and antidote to unjust judgment by articulating the contents of her mind, suggesting that poetry can do what her portrait did—provide an outward show of interiority, and one that will provide written evidence or proof. ‘[T]estimony’ and ‘suspicion’ usher in a vocabulary more appropriate to a courtroom than to sylvan poesis, suggesting a poetics of advocacy, protest and selfdefence. Curiously, the ‘suspicion she thought she lived in’ and Philoclea’s counteracting ‘testimony’ seem temporally out of sync with one another. Testimony is the province of the present moment—a way of accounting for a present or past misjudgment. In this context, however, suspicion is decidedly future-oriented—the scrutiny that Philoclea protests does not betray misgivings about some undiscovered past transgression, but rather assumes that her character will lead her to future sin. As a result, the prose description that introduces the poem asks not how to defend poetry, a familiar Sidneian construct, but rather if poetry can provide a defence: Ye living powers enclosed in stately shrine Of growing trees, ye rural gods that wield Your scepters here, if to your ears divine A voice may come which troubled soul doth yield, This vow receive, this vow O gods maintain: My virgin life no spotted thought shall stain. Thou purest stone, whose pureness doth present My purest mind; whose temper hard doth show My tempered heart; by thee my promise sent Unto myself let after-livers know. No fancy mine, nor others’ wrong suspect Make me, O virtuous Shame, thy laws neglect. O Chastity, the chief of heav’nly lights, Which makes us most immortal shape to wear, Hold thou my heart, establish thou my sprites; To only thee my constant course I bear. Till spotless soul unto thy bosom fly, Such life to lead, such death I vow to die. (96)


J. K. Barret

In the poem, structured in three apostrophic stanzas—to the gods, to the marble stone and to chastity respectively—what Philoclea offers looks not so much like testimony as it does a promise. In the course of eighteen lines, the word ‘vow’ appears three times, and the word ‘promise’ once, whereby Philoclea’s poem brings her in line with the future-oriented nature of the ‘suspicion’ she hopes to address. If the romance’s initial prophecy sets up an expectation that Philoclea will act badly, will ‘embrace an / Uncouth love’, then her ‘testimony’ works not to establish her virtuous record, but rather to rewrite the future that the prophecy has predicted. Through a poetic promise, she vows not to transgress; she will ignore ‘fancy’ and suspicion in order to uphold shame’s ‘laws’. Sidney emphasizes the structures of futurity at work in the narrative, and the promise provides a particular grammatical construct for establishing ‘the certainty of things to come’.4 A promise relies on the belief that present words can mandate future action; it constructs a reciprocal relationship between present and future as it negotiates the present’s ability to control the future, and the future’s obligation to take seriously the intentions and commitments of the present. In a letter written in 1595, Gabriel Harvey employs a proverb well known in Sidney’s time—‘Promise is debt: and I hadd rather perfourme, then promise any thinge’ (14)—highlighting the obligation built into an assumed epistemic modality. The proverb— ‘promise is debt’—encapsulates the accountability that the speech act both demands and offers (Tilley). 5 In addition to introducing a legal framework by alluding to external judgment, Philoclea’s poem communicates the proverbial seriousness of promising. Philoclea’s poetry suggests that the written word—inscribed on the stone’s ‘hard temper’—leaves an enduring mark by which her actions can later be judged. The second stanza, addressed to the stone itself, works to collapse the distance between inner and outer, moral and physical, poetic content and its display. Yet the thought conveyed—‘Thou purest stone, whose pureness does present / My purest mind’—simultaneously draws two metaphors, both of which hinge on the verb ‘present’. Despite the insistence on purity, the registers of the metaphor seem criss-crossed. On the one hand, the physical stone ‘presents’ or displays her poem, yet the phrasing necessitates the collapse of her poem and her ‘purest mind’. The poem, she implies, is synecdochal, a part that seamlessly stands for its creator. On the other hand, the elision of mind, thoughts and poetry is extended because of a concomitant elision between presenting and representing. The stone is not relied on merely to display written words; that pure white surface is also already a physical representation of her ‘purest mind’ even without any words. Philoclea draws a parallel between the unadulterated marble and her own inner purity only to write a poem on that marble that she claims is the unadulterated outpouring of her thoughts. The word ‘temper’ stutters in the near sonic doubling between ‘temper hard’ and ‘tempered heart’. Philoclea presumably means that the hard, resilient easel—the stone—displays

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


her poem, a conflation of her inner life (represented this time by an internal organ) and her artistic production.6 The repetition also stutters, however, in the ambiguity created by ‘temper’, which suggests pacification and mollification as well as the solidity and resiliency of the physical stone.7 Ironically, the complexities of these two metaphors of exchange between surface and substance introduce the part of the stanza that should be absolutely unambiguous—Philoclea’s promise to uphold shame’s laws. The convoluted collapse of physical and emotional substance, and the purity of ideas they ought to communicate, jars with the straightforward mechanism of promising. Philoclea’s verses, forged in the ambiguous language of metaphor, call into question the effectiveness of poetic obligation: can poetry be promissory? And if it can, can it be so only by taking up the implication of Philoclea’s repetition, that is, through the hardening of her heart? In the fi rst stanza, she begs the gods to ‘receive’ and ‘maintain’ her vow that her ‘virgin life no spotted thought shall stain’. The emphasis is on the maintenance of her current state, one that makes the present and future uninterrupted: her ‘virgin life’ is intact and will remain that way. Although the poem’s promissory language affords it a future orientation befitting the timing of suspicion, Philoclea’s is a poetics of maintenance and stasis—she makes a promise not because she wants a hold on the future per se, but rather because she wants the constancy of a perpetual present moment. The second stanza similarly emphasizes the continuity of present and future: her promise emphasizes the equivalence of present and future, and works to ensure that the future will look exactly like the present. In the third stanza, Chastity is a guiding star that will hold her ‘constant course’ even as she moves forward temporally. Even when ostensibly discussing life and death (‘such life to lead such death I vow to die’), she emphasizes the status quo. That is, her vow does not suggest consequences—she will not die if she breaks her promise; rather, she vows to live as is until her clock runs out. Philoclea’s ambiguous verses undo the precision of the legal analogy they invoke. Likewise, the promissory structures that signal a grammatical interest in controlling the future do so in the hopes of maintaining a present moment, of entering into a kind of timelessness. The most jarring aspect of this poem is not its content or form, but its context. These lines appear in the narrative when Philoclea visits them because she has broken her promise, because the poetic present inscribed on the marble has encountered a radically different future. The narrative doubles this breached promise: although the verses are reproduced and offset in the prose narrative in our copy of the Old Arcadia, once we have read them, we learn that they have been physically compromised within the narrative itself. Philoclea’s intended collapse of present and future in poetry fails at this point in the fiction. She revisits the verse knowing that her vows have already been broken, knowing that she is a very different kind of ‘after-liver’ than the one she poetically imagined.


J. K. Barret

THE TIMING OF COMMITMENT On the one hand, Philoclea’s poem toys with an ambiguity that complicates its supposedly straightforward content. On the other hand, against the backdrop of a legalistic vocabulary of ‘testimony’ and ‘laws’, Philoclea’s employment of the words ‘promise’ and ‘vow’ lends her poem a contractual charge—her verses invoke a rhetoric of exchange. On her account, chastity will hold her heart, and the gods will ‘receive and maintain’ her vow. The ‘purest stone’ functions as both addressee and poetic receptacle, the physical manifestation of her inner feelings. Philoclea’s wording—‘by thee my promise sent / Unto myself’—initiates a curious boomerang: she invokes the traditional components of contract—offer and acceptance—by specifying two parties to her transaction, yet she simultaneously collapses the categories by having one person play both roles. That is, she enters into a contract with herself. Harold J. Berman has pointed out that the ‘bilateral’ nature of contract in the ‘modern sense’ was not operative until well into the seventeenth century, and lawsuits before that time that alleged broken contracts were ‘action[s] for breach of (unilateral) promise’ (115). Philoclea’s words invoke a construct of contract, and in sending her promise to herself, she presages a self predicated on division or potential difference: no matter how forcefully she articulates her vow, its contractual charge necessarily admits the possibility of an alternative future outcome. Nonetheless, in promising, she aligns her verses with the temporal requirements of ‘others’ wrong suspect’. She employs the future-oriented language of obligation and relies on the stone to both communicate her commitment and bolster it with physical permanence. The poem’s promissory language furnishes a formalism that mimics a contractual act. The combination of proleptic language and a readership in perpetuity rolls the ‘after-livers’ familiar to the topos of poetic immortality into the construct of legal language. Philoclea’s engagement with the constructs of promise and contract invites comparison with the legal activity that surrounded the act of promising in Sidney’s lifetime. Whereas ‘promise is debt’ may have been a popular proverb, in the years leading up to and following the composition of the Old Arcadia, the common law courts in England were sorting out precisely the reverse proposition: did debt necessarily signal an implied promise? In a climate of increased market activity, routine sales and exchanges could not reasonably function through formalized, written contracts because the acquisition of a sealed bond was both time consuming and expensive. Instead, contracts could be made more informally through oral, or ‘parol’, agreements, which, whereas simpler and more immediate, left more open questions in matters of dispute. It was, for example, potentially difficult to prove that any bargain had occurred at all. Nonetheless, in the sixteenth century, some creditors were not choosing to pursue actions of debt, but rather seeking damages for breach of contract.8 These latter suits, actions of assumpsit, allowed a plaintiff to seek ‘the recovery of damages for the

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


non-performance of a parol or simple contract’.9 However, because the law prohibited substituting an alternative legal remedy where one action already lay, plaintiffs needed to establish particular grounds for bringing an action of assumpsit rather than debt.10 The two central courts that heard such cases at Westminster, King’s Bench and Common Pleas, both agreed that if a debtor had promised to pay his debt subsequent to making the bargain in question, then the courts could justify an action of assumpsit because a contract had been broken.11 However, from the 1560s, Common Pleas required proof of a subsequent promise, whereas King’s Bench maintained that because the debt arose from a transaction, the promise was implied.12 An action of debt presupposed that a bargain was executed as soon as it was made. In other words, making a bargain enacted an exchange, leaving only the logistical matter of delivering goods or monies to their new, rightful owner. To level a charge under assumpsit, on the other hand, implied that the bargain was executory—a promise that still needed to be performed— whereby a debt was the evidence that a promise had been breached.13 Luke Wilson has provocatively described the difference in terms of timing: ‘[I]f you have a promise you have an interval [between promise and performance]; if you have an interval it becomes relevant to ask if there has been a promise.’14 Put another way, the difference between suing for debt and breach of contract was a difference between present and future.15 The response to actions of assumpsit remained unsettled in the common law courts for some sixty years until Slade’s Case (1595–1602) eventually saw the resolution of judicial questions and tensions over the adjudication of debt and the conditions of contract. John Slade sued Humfrey Morley over the sale of corn in 1595: Morley had agreed to pay Slade for his crop by a particular date. When Morley did not produce the money, Slade sued him not for the debt itself, but rather for damages, claiming, under assumpsit, that a promise had been breached (Sacks 31). Sir Edward Coke argued for the plaintiff, Sir Francis Bacon for the defence; the decision, in favour of Slade and the suit of assumpsit, ended disputes that had been brewing for over half a century, brought Common Pleas and King’s Bench into practical alignment and is often cited as the foundation of modern contract law. The climate, however, over this course of decades indicates that the timing, articulation and force of a promise had long been a source of lively debate.16 The preceding years of dispute over both subsequent and express promises as well as matters of tense and timing help to illuminate the link between poetry and accountability that Sidney draws when he introduces and reproduces Philoclea’s poem only to reveal that her contract has been broken. In the sixteenth century, justifications for promise breaking abounded even if such breaches were routinely said to endanger one’s very soul. Casuistic discourse, to name but one poignant example, stressed the ‘quality of intention’ of a promise as ‘something visible to God alone’ (Maus). Although a performative speech act, the promise could not guarantee delivery of its terms and, even more disconcerting, could not even reliably guarantee

62 J. K. Barret intention. In other words, a promise did not necessarily indicate anything about interiority. Christopher St. German, author of one of the most influential source texts for the early modern common law, writes that no accyon can lye [ . . . ] vpon such promyses for yt is secrete in hys owne consceynce whether he entended for to be bound or naye. And of the entent inwarde in the herte: mannes law can not Juge and that ys one of the causes why the lawe of god ys necessary (that ys to saye) to Juge inwarde thynges. (230) Of course, such distinctions do not precisely influence the matter of law. After all, laws governing contract grew out of the basic premise that breaking a promise was a sin; it was the canonists who developed the principle ‘that a morally binding promise should also be legally binding if it is part of an agreement (a pactum, or consensual obligation) that is itself morally justified’ (Berman 110).17 Yet, the inability to make conscience manifest indirectly informed the debates over the adjudication of debt and contract.18 If, according to law, an agreement is executed in all but deed at the moment that the bargain is struck, then a plaintiff needed only an action of debt to return or deliver a thing to its rightful owner. If, however, it is executory, then the law acknowledges that the contract governs an intention to act, a commitment, implied or express, to futurity.19 English legal history suggests that the philosophical ground between the unreachable interiority of promissory intention and conscience and an action that accused a defendant of deceit informed the development of the doctrine of consideration. 20 David Harris Sacks has argued that consideration functioned to negotiate between the private interiority of intention and conscience, and the public act of contracting: ‘[Consideration] mediated between the will to do a thing and the actions by which that will was accomplished, moving parol agreements from the inner world of the parties’ intentions, where conscience alone bound them, to the outward world of enforceable obligations’ (41).21 Thus whereas a promise uttered did not guarantee its speaker’s motives, consideration attempted to codify the obligation to fulfi l a contract. It functioned as an establishment of quid pro quo and, in so doing, distinguished a contract as a two-party exchange, rather than a one-sided ‘nude contract’, or legally unenforceable promise (Muldrew 207). I do not suggest that Sidney directly engages disputes over debt in his fiction, but rather that such legal tensions provide a broader context for structures of future-oriented obligation current at the time of the Old Arcadia’s composition. The promise proves a particularly apt emblem for the challenges of poetic representation. The ‘uncertain paces’ (96) that power Philoclea’s moonlit journey may have been prompted by the memory of her verses or the knowledge of a broken contract, but the emphasis that the verses themselves and the language surrounding their revisitation puts

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


on the difficulty of certain expression invokes a culture of insecurity and suspicion. As a result, both the promissory and the poetic undermine the proverbial simplicity of the moral imperative to keep one’s word.

FACING THE FUTURE At the end of Philoclea’s poem, which the narrator introduced without qualification (‘the writing was this: [ . . . ]’), we learn that our heroine actually has not yet arrived at the stone, the fi rst in a series of narratorial dissimulations in the episode. The single sentence that intervenes between the narrator’s reproduction of the verses and Philoclea’s arrival at them warrants particular attention: ‘But now that her memory served as an accuser of her change, and that her own hand-writing was there to bear testimony of her fall, she went in among the few trees’ (96–7). Sidney employs a legal language that emphasizes the disjunction between the inscribed poetic promise, now broken, and Philoclea’s current state of mind. That Philoclea’s memory can play prosecutor (‘accuser of her change’) renders her journey to the marble stone to reread the verses redundant: she already knows she has breached her poetic contract. The sympathetic reader might forgive Philoclea’s ‘change’, but the heroine’s reaction to her verses posits an interpretation that allows no room for ambiguity: the ‘constant course’ her verses pledged specified that her ‘virgin life no spotted thought shall stain’. Even daydreams occasion indictment. The initial notion that poetry might provide a defence—the ‘testimony of her mind against the suspicion she thought she lived in’—has given way, as reflected in the new tenor of the word ‘testimony’. As I argued earlier, the poem itself effected a collapse between interiority and its seamless poetic display, enacted through the parallel that Philoclea drew between her mind and heart and the substance of her poetic tablet. These pressure points remain active as the narrator suggests that the force of the indictment stems from her written words, precipitating a judgment of increased severity— memory merely accuses ‘change’ whereas the inscribed, physical words ‘bear testimony’ of a ‘fall’. Philoclea’s poem pairs the difficulty of poetic representation with the burden of eventual performance inherent in the vow and promise. Yet her verses, filled as they were with utterances of proleptic force, unexpectedly communicated a desire for stasis, for a future moment that would be indistinguishable from the present. It is precisely the destruction of this fantasy of timelessness—the rupture that has occurred between present and future—that occasions Philoclea’s return. In this reckoning, contrary to the vision of temporality imagined in her poetry, Philoclea revisits her verses as the representative of an unexpected future. Although only a few days have passed, she is now one of the ‘after-livers’ that her verses anticipated. This future, actually the present moment from the reader’s perspective, is

64 J. K. Barret characterized by review and judgment, and despite her poetic employment of vows and promises, her verse turns out to have been devoid of predictive or contracting force. The lines ‘by thee my promise sent / Unto myself’ cast Philoclea as both promisor and promisee, as party to both sides of an exchange. Her revisitation, however, raises a crucial question: did she send that promise to a present self, to a future self, or to both? According to the logic of her poetic rhetoric of stasis and timelessness, the distinction ought to be irrelevant. However, despite her intentions, she breaks the contract as the result of ‘change’. Despite her promissory language, rigid legal framework and gesture to ‘after-livers’, her verses fail to anticipate the consequences that promising has for a future self precisely because she does not acknowledge that a future self might be predicated on difference. Even given her atemporal fantasy, the act of promising aims to control that future self. The distinction compromises the promissory force of the bargain even as it is being made. For all that Philoclea’s poem tries to nail down the relationship between thought and its outward, testimonial expression, Philoclea’s assumption that these are equal, despite the poem’s hiccups, mirrors the temporal distinction between an exchange executed and executory. The things that she took for granted in her poem return to work against her when she faces the reckoning of time. The passage of time obviates an alienation between her current thoughts and her own handwriting. Sidney works out a change of heart—the difference between temporal registers—through Philoclea’s confrontation with promissory poetry. In so doing, he sets side by side two competing versions of permanence. The familiar problem of poetic representation—inner and outer—combines with the implicit temporal rigidity of promises to highlight a distinction between thought and its manifestation in words. The trouble arises when the permanence of words, as enduring emblems of self-incrimination, jars with the impermanent feelings they represent. If poetry struggles to make interiority manifest, what does it mean if that interiority is subject to change? Philoclea journeys to the woods to face the written expression of a promise that she knows, in her heart, has been broken. Yet, she fi nally reaches the stone only to fi nd that neither the light was enough to read the words, and the ink was already foreworn and in many places blotted; which as she perceived, ‘Alas,’ said she, ‘fair marble which never receivedst spot but by my writing, well do these blots become a blotted writer; but pardon her which did not dissemble then, although she have changed since.’ (97) After all this anticipation, and an unqualified recreation of the poem, the narrator introduces a set of verses only to take them away. Sidney wants to have it both ways—the general category of permanence is heightened

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


because the poem has disappeared. 22 The verses, and the destructive future they ultimately encounter, reenact in miniature an image that frequently found its way into the Renaissance imagination: Horace’s claim that his poetry was a ‘monument more lasting than bronze’ articulates a fantasy of a transmission that transcends materiality.23 The ancient poet’s sentiments reverberated in Renaissance fictions that celebrated the constancy of poetry and the poetic voice against the ravages of time. 24 Sidney complicates this fantasy. First, he destroys the poem as a physical object within his narrative, but not his text. More importantly, in Sidney’s hands, words become subject to time in a manner more personal than Horace supposed: the permanence of verse shifts from the realm of poetic immortality to the realm of identity and selfhood over time. Philoclea’s initial vision of the future was predicated on the hope that the present and the future would be indistinguishable, and her promissory language sought to ensure that. With the promise broken, Philoclea holds herself accountable but also asks for leniency, hoping the stone will ‘pardon her which did not dissemble then, although she have changed since’. Sidney carefully insists that the confl ict stems not from faulty original intentions, but rather from a future that has turned out differently than supposed. If Philoclea’s own signature can ‘bear testimony’ against her, then words, even promissory ones, do little to ensure fi xity. Sidney reveals that the physical verses have been damaged only after he has insisted that they record an undisputed intent that has since changed. The uncertainty about interiority and conscience in promising gives way to an examination of temporality, revision and change. At the same time, the physical trouble seems to stem from natural intervention: it is too dark to read the verses; they are ‘foreworn’ and ‘blotted’. The natural world seems to exonerate Philoclea, removing the physical remains of a promise no longer appropriate to its circumstances. Yet, even in the absence of physical evidence, Philoclea does not interpret the compromised verses as a release from her contract. Rather, she ascribes to the palimpsest a communicative force equal to the poem itself: she maintains her stance that the stone provides a physical reflection of her inner state— ‘these blots become a blotted writer’—and claims that writing both reflects her soul and sullies the stone. Philoclea’s forward-looking poetry arrives at a future occupied by accounting for and reconciling the effects of possibility and change. The future is characterized by revision and review, and she requires ‘pardon’ precisely because the human world in time functions differently than her linguistic constructs, undergirded although they may be with a diction that holds out a false hope of permanence. Philoclea questions whether or not she remains accountable to her initial feelings even though her circumstances have changed. The narrative makes possible the notion that the verses disappear because she has broken her promise, a kind of sympathetic magic that upholds her intended action. However, Philoclea treats physical

66 J. K. Barret erasure as both an impediment and an opportunity to demonstrate the steadfastness of her inner conscience. The idea that a marble stone might ‘constantly bear’ legible marks of character seems even more naïve and unlikely by the dim light in which the future is reached, reassessed and experienced as a present moment. *



Despite the crisis of the illegibility and ephemerality of writing, Philoclea’s distressed instinct is to compose more verses: ‘[H]iding her eyes awhile in her soft hands, there came into her head certain verses which, if the light had suffered, she would fain presently have adjoined as a retractation to the other’ (97). In keeping with her previous choice of medium, Philoclea’s crisis produces poetry: The verses were to this effect: My words, in hope to blaze my steadfast mind, This marble chose, as of like temper known: But lo, my words defaced, my fancies blind, Blots to the stone, shame to myself I find; And witness am, how ill agree in one, A woman’s hand with constant marble stone. My words full weak, the marble full of might; My words in store, the marble all alone; My words black ink, the marble kindly white; My words unseen, the marble still in sight, May witness bear, how ill agree in one, A woman’s hand with constant marble stone. (97)

Philoclea’s desire to add these new lines to the original set suggests that poetry has a unique communicative capacity, a belief that Sidney soon undermines. The narrator introduces these twelve lines slightly more honestly than he did the fi rst set. His initial, unqualified phrase, ‘the writing was this’, floundered upon the revelation that the verse he faithfully recorded has not survived in the world of the fiction. Now, however, he overcorrects: in writing that ‘[t]he verses were to this effect’, he emphasizes that these words will not be recorded even as he subverts the accuracy of his own report. The new verses mimic the uncertainties of their introduction; despite the repetition of ‘words’, the poem’s words are difficult to pin down: do they refer to the original poem or to the current act of poesis? The fi rst stanza may accurately report the situation at hand, but the second vacillates: ‘words in store’ and ‘words unseen’ indicate her imagined verse, yet the ‘words black ink’ invokes the original poem. Similarly, in dubbing her

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


words ‘weak’, does Philoclea lean on their ephemerality or the darkness that bars her from inscribing them? Or are they weak because they do not guarantee anything no matter what they say? Her refrain repeats the word ‘witness’, the retraction’s synonym for ‘testimony’; these new lines attempt the same collapse between self and writing that the fi rst poem effected. For although ‘witness’ can replace ‘testimony’, it can also refer to the person supplying the statement. Philoclea’s retraction adds agency that connects herself (‘and witness am’) to her words (‘may witness bear’). But the poem resists this move by means of Philoclea’s repeated lament that ‘ill agree in one, / A woman’s hand with constant marble stone’. In the fantasy of written verse, the retraction ironically records its own intellectual destruction—how can she portray a woman’s hand as unerringly inconstant only to rely on that same hand to record that inconstancy? Sidney mocks the notion of testimony and the idea of permanence even as his own codex supplies Philoclea’s missing words. He playfully highlights her irrational selfpunishment by preventing her from inscribing a retraction that undercuts its own meaning, and by asking his reader to wonder whether his report faithfully records her verses, or if they are merely ‘to this effect’.

CONCLUSION: OPEN ENDINGS For Philoclea, the return to poetry occasions a temporal reckoning that undercuts the notion that the present moment might control the future. Yet, even though her trip to the woods is fi lled with broken promises and palimpsest, the desire for a future characterized by stasis persists; in the aftermath of poetic confrontation, she renews the language of judgment: ‘O ye stars, judge rightly of me; and if I have willingly made myself a prey to fancy, or if by any idle lusts I framed my heart fit for such an impression, then let this plague directly increase in me till my name be made odious to womankind’ (98). Her formulation envisions a future indebted to a familiar literary past: on her account, ‘fancy’ or ‘idle lusts’ render her legible— becoming ‘odious to womankind’ conjures the negative exemplarity of a Helen of Troy. In other words, Philoclea wants a judgment that will trigger undeniable evaluation, a fi xed story that can admit no ambiguity; she wants to put an end to possibility. Not only does she echo the synthesis of present and future imagined in her poetry, but the parallels of her logic also deepen the legal analogy. She might set the terms of her own, enduring sentence, but she leaves the act of judgment to the stars. Although her poetic contract failed to guarantee the permanence of self and signature, she holds fast to her model of futurity; she prays to embody a wrong so unequivocally that her very name will be inseparable from her sin. The language of law and obligation that surrounds and comprises Philoclea’s poetry underscores a basic temporal fact: promissory structures expect a future moment of looking back. Sidney transfers Philoclea’s fantasy of


J. K. Barret

unequivocal exemplarity, predicated as it is on external judgment, to the lengthy trial. Whereas in the fi rst three books the Old Arcadia negotiates temporal relations by prospectively emphasizing judgment and review, the criminal trial in the fi nal two books trades on the instability of the past, focusing on the act of judging, the concept of justice and the force and purpose of law. Sidney initially explored a futurity characterized by a lack of change by filling poetry with legal language; in the trial, he investigates law and promise by taking up exemplarity as an emblem for justice. The swerving plot leads Basilius to drink a love potion, which, rather than quenching his thirst or igniting an amorous flame, kills him (or so the narrative purports). Basilius’s trusted counselor, Philanax, charges the Duke’s wife, Gynecia, with his murder and names Pyrocles and Musidorus as co-conspirators and adulterers. After enumerating the charges levelled against the princes, Philanax turns the floor over to Euarchus, Arcadia’s guest judge, who suggests that laws are most relevant for their ability to provide an ‘eternal example’ (346), that is, for their effect on futurity: ‘But herein we must consider that the laws look how to prevent by due examples that such things be not done, and not how to salve such things when they are done’ (352). If, as Euarchus suggests, law ought to have a guiding, if not predictive, force akin to the relationship between present and future established by a promise, then fi nding guilt and issuing a punitive sentence marks failure. Not only is judgment unable to ‘salve such things when they are done’, but the notion of exemplarity in law assumes that its power lies in controlling the future rather than reviewing and adjudicating the past. The Old Arcadia has struggled variously with the commitments guaranteed by future constructions like the promise, yet the trial occurs just as Sidney’s text fulfils the past-oriented emphases of the plot’s prophetic opening: we have reached the future, and its main activity is the review of the events of the past. 25 Sidney’s dalliance with a law that proclaims its own future reach coincides with testimonies that offer accounts of the past in direct confl ict with the original narrative. Impermanence is not a challenge faced solely by the future. The constant misrepresentation of preceding events reveal that in this text the engagement with the past is no surer than the attempts to guarantee future outcomes.26 Likewise, when Philoclea wrote her promissory poem, she envisioned a future indistinguishable from the present, a future that put an end to possibility. Yet, despite her promise, the text— both hers and Sidney’s—resists the impulse to fi x the future, aligning an unattainable stasis with the impermanence of the self over time. At the close of the Old Arcadia, Sidney hopes that his many narrative strands ‘may awake some other spirit to exercise his pen in that wherewith mine is already dulled’ (361). His proposition is complicated by our future vantage point, because we already know that Sidney himself picked up that same pen to rewrite and expand the narrative and that his early death resulted in a complicated editorial future for the unfi nished New Arcadia. This work, which belies the precision of the language of future structures,

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’


also grants to the future an unmitigated forward potential. In Sidney’s closing words, the future retains an open-endedness that replaces the fi xity and precision implied by grammatical and legal constructs. Once reached, the future can always provide an opportunity for the judgment and review of preceding events, but the ‘spirit to exercise [one’s] pen’, once awakened, suggests that the future enjoys a certain freedom that the present moment can neither control nor dull. The gesture to the artistic future at the end of the Old Arcadia replaces an ending with a sense of boundless possibility.

NOTES 1. All references, unless otherwise noted, are to Sir Philip Sidney, The Old Arcadia, ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999). 2. Muldrew’s study focuses on the early modern culture of credit, tracing the ‘currency of reputation’, and offers a useful framework for thinking about the connections between Sidney’s Old Arcadia and sixteenth-century culture more broadly. 3. Rather than an appraisal or formation of an opinion (OED ‘judge, v.9’), the word takes on its more primary meaning, ‘[t]o try, or pronounce sentence upon (a person) in a court of justice; to sit in judgment upon’ (OED ‘judge, v.1’). 4. For a discussion of the difference between a prediction and a promise as a declaration of volition, see Arnovick 91–92. For discussions of the promise as a performative utterance, see Austin; Searle; and Felman. 5. Kerrigan points out a set of proverbs that reveal suspicion over promises, such as ‘[a]ll is not paid that is promised’ (10). Still, the proverb Harvey uses also fi nds its way into a variety of Renaissance literature. The second part of George Whetstone’s drama Promos and Cassandra (1578) opens with Polina saying, ‘Promise is debt, and I my vowe have past, / Andrugio’s Tombe, to wash with daylie teares’ (1.i.1–2). George Gascoigne uses the phrase in the dedication to Eduardo Donati for Certain Notes of Instruction, the fi nal section of his Poesies of George Gascoigne (1575): ‘[S]ince promise is debt, and you (by the lawe of friendship) do burden me with a promise.’ Henry Petowe’s Philochasander and Elanira (1599) takes up the phrase as a license for love: ‘Promise is debt and debt shalbe repayde, / Receaue thy dewe to kisse be not affrayde’ (42.1.5–6). In Richard Brathwaite’s A Strappado for the Devil (1615), Thisbe tells Pyramus that ‘[t]o that same treasure thou hast promis’d me, / promise is debt, it must be kept by thee’ (‘Pyramus and Thysbe’ 1131–32). 6. The word play emphasizes the peculiarity of writing on rather than carving into marble, a relatively soft stone. 7. See OED ‘temper, v.6, 14a’. 8. Muldrew records that between 1550 and 1580 ‘disputes caused levels of litigation over unfulfi lled obligations to rise to hundreds of thousands of suits per annum’ (3). Despite these staggering numbers, the expense of litigation was a deterrent (202, 207). 9. From the Latin for ‘he undertook’. See Black 122. For the sake of simplicity, I refer here to lawsuits seeking damages for breach of contract as actions of assumpsit. For discussions of more exact terminology, including indebitatus assumpsit, trespass on the case, action on the case and the like, see Simpson A History.

70 J. K. Barret 10. See Simpson, ‘The Place of Slade’s Case’ 381–8 and Ibbetson 303. 11. Muldrew 207; Ibbetson 296; Wilson 76. 12. Ibbetson cites jury instructions as a chief difference between the two courts (299). In actions of debt, the common law courts allowed defendants to ‘wage their law’, which meant that the court automatically ruled for the defendant if he could produce eleven witnesses to swear on his behalf; the decision rested on the defendant’s general character. Legal historians have long attributed the rise in instances of suits of assumpsit over actions of debt to plaintiffs’ desire to avoid the wager of law. See Baker, ‘Part II’ 229; Ibbetson 300; and Kahn. For a history of the power struggles and worries about revenue that plagued both differences between the two courts, and the legal manoeuvring which enabled King’s Bench to hear cases of debt, see Baker, An Introduction 37–46. 13. As Bacon argued, ‘[A]ction on the case must be grounded on deceit or breach of promise, but in debt on a contract there is no deceit or breach of promise supposed. For a bargain is in any manner a thing executed and not executory as assumpsit is. For a bargain changes the property of each part, and therefore in action of debt it is alleged that the defendant detains the money or thing demanded as if it were his before; to wit, that the plaintiff had the property of it by the contract’ (as qtd. in Baker, ‘Part I’ 60). See also Ibbetson 297, 315; Wilson 81. 14. Wilson 80. See also Baker, ‘Part II’ 214, in which he describes it as a matter of ‘tense’. 15. In this regard, I differ from Wilson, who argues that ‘debt is fundamentally atemporal’ (78). I would suggest that it is fruitful to consider the distinction in temporal terms: the action of debt. The eyes of the law assumed that an exchange is enacted at the instant of bargain. Its instantaneity makes it a most fundamental articulation of the present tense, whereas the executory nature of assumpsit aligns it with futurity. 16. Wilson notes that ‘contract-related terms like assumpsit and consideration appear with striking frequency in the nontechnical literature of the period’ (71). The action of assumpsit in cases concerning debt signalled a larger shift that resulted in a situation whereby ‘promissory liability’ might be extended into areas previously outside the scope of common law. See Simpson, as qtd. in Wilson 71. Andrew Zurcher’s tally of selected legal terms in a handful of literary texts reveals that Sidney’s romance ‘provides the closest match for Spenser’s technical diction’, yet he contends that ‘Sidney does not demonstrate the same multi-level use of legal diction [ . . . ] as Spenser’ (79). Spenser might well have employed more technical terms, but my analysis proceeds contra Zurcher’s claim that this indicates a relative lack of interest ‘in legal process and theory’ on Sidney’s part (77–80). 17. See also Baker, ‘Part II’ 228. 18. Spinosa reads Slade’s Case as evidence of an emerging self-consciousness about intention. 19. Philoclea’s emphasis on contractual obligation in matters of chastity and virtue proves prescient—in the seventeenth century, disputes over contract often focused on betrothal and marriage arrangements. See Kahn 534, n. 17. 20. Simpson, A History 321. See OED ‘consideration, n. 6’. In his period handbook of legal terms, John Cowell describes consideration as ‘the materiall cause of a contract, without the which no contract bindeth. This consideration is either expressed, as if a man bargain to giue 20.shillings for a horse: or els implied, as when the law it selfe inforceth a consideration; as if a man come into a common Inne, and there staying sometime, taketh both meat and lodging, or either for himselfe and his horse: the lawe presumeth, that

‘My Promise Sent Unto Myself’

21. 22.

23. 24. 25. 26.


he intendeth to pay for both, though nothing be farder couenanted betweene him and his host: and therefore if he discharge not the house, the host may stay his horse’ (sig. S1). Barton argues that consideration arose from questions of deceit (373, 377). Holmes argues that the wax seal was a means of indisputable authentication in early modern real-estate transactions. Whereas medieval law held that ‘an instrument ceased to be operative as a sealed instrument if the seal fell off or was eaten by mice’, this was no longer the case by the late sixteenth century. He cites a 1588 case in which ‘debt on an obligation’ holds despite mischievous murine activity, suggesting a change in thought about commitment and its physical form (617, 629–30). ‘Exegi monumentum aere perennius’, Horace 216–17. For the tradition of this idea, see West. That notion inspired an enthusiastic impulse to make writing permanent by recording it on paper. See West for a persuasive account of the ironic conflation of poetic longevity with material, printed texts in seventeenth-century poetry. A situation that calls to mind Sidney’s own circumstances in writing the Old Arcadia, a text he would later attempt to revise. Astell suggests that it is precisely this emphasis on ‘remembering and reexamination’ that allows Sidney’s text to serve its didactic function (44). Dolven persuasively argues that Sidney’s fiction ‘satirize[s]’ the system of education that teaches aphoristic reading and interpretive practices. To be sure, Sidney uses such lessons to ask his readers to ‘think twice about what they learned and how they learned it’ (132–3).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Arnovick, Leslie K. The Development of Future Constructions in English: The Pragmatics of Modal and Temporal Will and Shall in Middle English. New York: Peter Lang, 1990. Astell, Ann W. ‘Sidney’s Didactic Method in The Old Arcadia.’ SEL 24.1 (1984): 39–51. Austin, J. L. How to Do Things with Words. Ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisà. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1975. Baker, J. H. An Introduction to English Legal History. 2nd ed. London: Butterworths, 1979. . ‘New Light on Slade’s Case, Part I: The Manuscript Reports.’ Cambridge Law Journal 29.1 (1971): 51–67. . ‘New Light on Slade’s Case: Part II.’ Cambridge Law Journal 29.2 (1971): 213–36. Barton, J. L. ‘The Early History of Consideration.’ The Law Quarterly Review 85 (1969): 372–91. Berman, Harold J. ‘The Religious Sources of General Contract Law: An Historical Perspective.’ Journal of Law and Religion 4.1 (1986): 103–24. Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary. 6th ed. St. Paul, MN: West, 1990. Brathwaite, Richard. A Strappado for the Devil. London: [John Beale] for Richard Redmer, 1615. Cowell, John. The Interpreter. Cambridge: John Legate, 1607. Dana, Margaret E. ‘The Providential Plot of the Old Arcadia.’ SEL 17.1 (1977): 39–57. Dolven, Jeff. Scenes of Instruction in Renaissance Romance. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2007.

72 J. K. Barret Felman, Shoshana. The Literary Speech Act: Don Johan with J. L. Austin, or, Seduction in Two Languages. Trans. Catherine Porter. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1983. Gascoigne, George. The Poesies of George Gascoigne Esquire. London: H. Bynneman for Richard Smith, 1575. Harvey, Gabriel. Four Letters and Certain Sonnets. London: John Wolfe, 1592. Holmes, Eric Mills. ‘Stature and Status of a Promise under Seal as a Legal Formality.’ Willamette Law Review 29 (1993): 617–68. Horace. Odes and Epodes. Trans. Niall Rudd. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004. Ibbetson, David. ‘Sixteenth Century Contract Law: Slade’s Case in Context.’ Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 4.3 (1984): 295–317. Kahn, Victoria. ‘Margaret Cavendish and the Romance of Contract.’ Renaissance Quarterly 50.2 (1997): 526–66. Kerrigan, William. Shakespeare’s Promises. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999. Maus, Katharine Eisaman. Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995. Muldrew, Craig. The Economy of Obligation: The Culture of Credit and Social Relations in Early Modern England. New York: St. Martin’s, 1998. Petowe, Henry. Philochasander and Elanira. London: Thomas Purfoot, 1599. Rees, Joan. ‘Justice, Mercy and a Shipwreck in Arcadia.’ Studies in Philology 87.1 (1990): 75–82. Sacks, David Harris. ‘The Promise and the Contract in Early Modern England: Slade’s Case in Perspective.’ Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern Europe. Ed. Victoria Kahn and Lorna Hutson. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2001. 28–53. St. German, Christopher. Doctor and Student. Ed. T. F. T. Plucknett and J. L. Barton. London: Selden Society 91 (1974). Searle, John R. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1969. Sidney, Sir Philip. The Old Arcadia. Ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. Simpson, A.W.B. A History of the Common Law of Contract: The Rise of the Action of Assumpsit. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975. . ‘The Place of Slade’s Case in the History of Contract.’ The Law Quarterly Review 74 (1958): 381–96. Spinosa, Charles. ‘The Transformation of Intentionality: Debt and Contract in The Merchant of Venice.’ English Literary Renaissance 24.2 (1994): 370–409. Tilley, Morris P. A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 1950. West, William N. ‘Less Well-Wrought Urns: Henry Vaughan and the Decay of the Poetic Monument.’ ELH 75 (2008): 197–217. Whetstone, George. Promos and Cassandra. London: R. Ihones, 1578. Wilson, Luke. Theaters of Intention: Drama and the Law in Early Modern England. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2000. Zurcher, Andrew. Spenser’s Legal Language: Law and Poetry in Early Modern England. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2007.


Turkish Futures Prophecy and the Other Brinda Charry

How it comes about I know not, but it is clear both from ancient and modern cases that no serious misfortune ever befalls a city or province that has not been predicted either by divination or revelation or by prodigies or by heavenly signs. (Machiavelli 249)

How is imagining the temporal connected to imagining of cultural and racial otherness? The period between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe has been perceived as the harbinger of the modern, and a crucial component of early modernity, it has been argued, is the growth of global trade and European colonialism. Europeans traversed, explored and conquered expanses of space. Notions of cultural alterity also tend to be expressed spatially: the other is ‘outside’ of the norm which ‘we’ constitute and defi ne; the ‘other’ is ‘marginal’, whereas we are ‘central’; ‘we’ are ‘here’, s/he is ‘there’. In this chapter I hope to substitute the traditional study of Renaissance spatial conquest and exploration of space with an examination of European engagements with the temporal dimension: where in time was the other located, and how were Renaissance hopes and fears of the future impacted by engagement with cultural difference? Prophecies and prognostications are examples of narratives that thematize time. Often authoritative in tone yet always ambiguous, professing claims to divine or semi-divine powers yet produced by the profoundly human need to know what lies ahead, belonging to a historical moment even as they claim to transcend the limitations imposed by that belonging, prophecies blurred the distinction between sacred and secular time. If Renaissance historiography, as Fred Levy and Phyllis Rackin have argued, is marked by the transition from a providential paradigm to an interest in ‘material, human causes of secular historical change’ or so-called ‘Machiavellian second causes’ (Rackin 6), the transition was an awkward one, as testified by the quotation from Machiavelli that serves as epigraph to this chapter, which appears reluctantly to admit the validity of prognostications of all kinds. One category of prophecy which circulated in Europe during the fi fteenth and sixteenth centuries foretold, with a great deal of authority and

74 Brinda Charry enthusiasm, the imminent downfall of the Ottoman Empire. These popular Renaissance narratives of the future sought means to represent or to ‘make present’ the absent and yet-to-be. Edward Said famously argued that ‘the orient is all absence’ (208). ‘Orientalist’ narratives recreate and represent the other, but because the representation is so often a creation or making of absolute difference, the other continues to be absent from dominant discourse. Similarly, even as prophecies of ‘Turkish doom’ attempted to (re)present the (‘oriental’) other and to make the future knowable by bringing it into the domain of the present, they rendered the other absent from that very future they attempted to foresee. Like the numerous travelogues, histories, diplomatic correspondence and theatrical scripts concerning the Islamic east, Renaissance prophecies of Turkish doom are instances of popular discourses of cultural difference. From the late fourteenth century onwards Europeans identified Islam with the rich and powerful Ottoman Empire whose power and influence was spreading rapidly. After their conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottomans spread westwards: they vanquished Athens in 1459, Otranto in 1480, Rhodes in 1522 and Budapest in 1526. They almost gained control over Vienna in 1529 and were successful in capturing Cyprus in 1571. However it was not simply Ottoman military exploits that made them known to Europeans. As recent scholarship has demonstrated, complex commercial, cultural and political exchanges and ties connected the Ottomans (and indeed much of the Muslim world in general) and Renaissance Europeans. As William Dalrymple writes, ‘At all levels the Ottoman world impinged directly on Renaissance life, and the intellectual awakening that the Renaissance represented owed as much to the interplay of East and West as it did to any process of self-regeneration drawing from Greek and Roman roots’ (xv). Consequently, European reactions to the Ottomans were various, complex and inconsistent. The political and military might of the Empire coupled with its alien religious and cultural affiliations filled Europeans with fear. As the English historian Richard Knolles put it in his Generall Historie of the Turkes (1603), the Ottomans were ‘the present terrour of the world’ (1). This fear and dread inspired Europeans to produce numerous narratives that attempted to demonize the Ottomans and construct them as absolutely different and alien. However, Europeans also regarded the Ottomans with awe and admiration, and even as allies and partners in the complex world of post-Reformation politics. In the words of Jonathan Burton, ‘English representations of Islam were complex and nuanced, moved by a variable nexus of economic, political, and cultural forces. New pressures at home and abroad disrupted old stereotypes and forged new and sundry models to make sense of Islam and Muslim people.’ In fact, as Burton explains, notions of racial and religious difference in general ‘became increasingly fluid and inconsistent in the face of Europe’s increasing commercial and diplomatic traffic with Muslim peoples’ (11–2).

Turkish Futures


One of the consequences of increased interactions with Muslims and the variety of responses and reactions they evoked was the production of a large number of documents describing, discussing and analyzing them. Kenneth Setton traces the origins of prophecies concerning the Ottomans to the Middle Ages, when the prophet Mohammed was represented as one of the false prophets referred to in Matthew 24.11, or even as the Antichrist whose appearance, it was said, would bring about the end of the world in Revelation 13.18 (Setton 11). These prophecies did not diminish after the Crusades. Many European prophets claimed to have foretold the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, and afterwards many more continued to make dire prognostications regarding the Turkish advance upon Rome. The more optimistic of the prophets provided ‘precise timetable[s] for the expected Christian victory over the Turks’ (10). Such prophecies continued well into the sixteenth century. The best-known and most widely circulated of these was the famous prophecy transmitted by Bartholomaeus Georgievicz.1 His ‘prophecy of the infidels in the Turkish Language’ or De Turcarum moribus epitome, printed in Lyon in 1553 and popular in England, ‘was interpreted in Europe as foretelling the fi nal failure of the Turks, a Vaticinium Infi delium lingu [scriptum]’ (Setton 27). Georgievicz was a Hungarian Croat nobleman who was captured and enslaved by the Ottomans in 1526 as a young man. He spent a decade in captivity in Istanbul, Thracia and Asia Minor, but never converted from the religion of his birth, Roman Catholicism. After several attempts at escape he fi nally succeeded and went to Europe, where his anti-Turkish writings made him very popular until his death in 1566 (29–31). This publication reproduces a prophecy both in transliterated Turkish and in Latin translation. It foretells that the Ottoman sultan would ‘seize the Red Apple’ (which could be interpreted as Constantinople, Buda or even perhaps Rome) and rule for twelve years till ‘the sword of the Christians will appear, which will turn the Turk around and put him to fl ight’ (qtd. in Setton 31). 2 Georgievicz claims no special prophetic powers for himself; he merely transmits and makes known a well-known Turkish prophecy to a European audience. Given that the gift of prophecy was said to come from God, one would assume that Europeans would disregard this Turkish (and therefore ungodly) prophecy. However, as Setton argues, the destruction of the Ottomans was so desired by Europeans that a prophecy of this kind was certain to capture the popular imagination. In fact Europeans knew the Muslim world to be fertile in divination and, as Setton explains, ‘one of the most interesting aspects of Georgievicz’s work is that it shows the Christians believed themselves to have no monopoly of prophecies relating to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman empire’ (30). This, and the fact that the prophecy was embedded in the writings of a popular authority on ‘Turkish matters’, lent it authenticity and invited a more careful consideration than European readers might give to other Eastern legends and superstitions.

76 Brinda Charry Georgievicz’s prophecy was apparently taken quite seriously by his fellow Christians. It was reproduced in two important English texts: Hugh Gough’s narrative Ofspring of the House of Ottomanno (1562–1563), a close translation of Georgievicz’s Latin writings, and John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (1563–1583). As Ottavia Niccoli points out, sixteenthcentury prophecy was characterized by ‘exceptionally open circulation and exchange [ . . . ] through different social and cultural strata’ (xii). Georgievicz’s prophecy reached its English audience mediated by Foxe and Gough. By these means, it impacted English understandings of the Ottomans and of their place in the present and future story of humankind.

MEMORY AND THE FUTURE: THE CAPTIVE’S STORY The Ofspring of the House of Ottomanno, and Offi cers Pertaining to the Greate Turkes Court. Whereunto Is Added Bartholomeus Georgieuiz Epitome of the Customes, Rytes, Ceremonies, and Religion of the Turkes: With the Miserable Affl iction of Those Christians, Which Liue under Their Captiuitie and Bondage—this is the impressive title of Hugh Gough’s translation of a Latin treatise by Bartholomaeus Georgievicz, which includes his De Turcarum Moribus Epitome (1558). Georgievicz’s famous Turkish prophecy, although not quoted in full in the text, is referred to several times as proof that the destruction of the Turks is necessary and imminent. The Turks, it is asserted, would one day be destroyed by ‘the Christians sworde [ . . . ] of whom the turkishe prophet dothe speake’ (sig. J2r). Ofspring begins with a ‘brefe rehersall of al the Emperours of Turkeye’ (sig. B2v) and then goes on to give the reader an overview of Turkish ‘customes, rytes [and] ceremonies’. Like other Renaissance commentary on the Turks, it aims at reducing temporal and physical distance—Turkey is brought home to the English and the Turkish past is transported into the English present and made real and vivid. The so-called ‘barbarity’ of the Turks (along with their adherence to Islam) is also perceived as impacting the future: it is made clear that the Turks are, and will remain, essentially different from and hence hostile to European Christians. Georgievicz’s text represents reconciliation with the Ottomans as impossible: they are, quite simply, perpetual enemies of Christendom. The past, as both personal recollection and collective history, and the future are explicitly connected in Gough’s use of Georgievicz’s narrative. In order to deal with the Turks, both past and future have to brought into the realm of the comprehensible and the known. Gough’s dedicatory epistle makes this link between past and future clear. He begins by bemoaning Turkish expansion:

Turkish Futures


[I]n so muche as within these thre hundred yeares, to the great domage, and vtter decay almost of Christes infallible religion, the great Turkes power, and Empire hath spredde it selfe so farre, that at this instant, ar subjecte to his cruell tyrannye, aboue foure and thirtye moste famous nations whiche in times paste haue bene christened [ . . . ]. (sig. A4r) The past, which has witnessed Christian defeat and seemingly unstoppable Turkish triumph, is not only a source of Christian grief: it also does not bode well for the European future. ‘[W]ithin these fourescore yeares, as one Hiltenius by prophesyinge hathe foretolde vs, he shall haue dominion both in Italie and Germanie’ (sig. A4r). Gough’s vision of Turkish domination in the future is clearly based both on mystical prophecy, as well as on his observation of recent historical trends. It is this anxiety regarding the further expansion of Turkish power in the near future that provokes him to ‘make manifeste vnto my countrey men, the nature, disposition, customes, rites, and faithe of those circunsised Infidelles’ (sig. A4). In the translation of Georgievicz’s narrative which follows, temporal coordinates figure prominently, and as in the dedicatory letter the connection between past and future are insisted upon. However, the past that is given prominence in this narrative is that of Georgievicz and other Christian slaves like him. Personal experience is made public, communal and historical. Georgievicz says that he hopes this account of his own past will influence Christian actions in the future. The fi rst section of his narrative addresses the ‘godly and Christian reader’ and recounts the long years of slavery he suffered. He was ‘spoiled of all my goodes, bound with cheines, ledde to be solde as a beast, throughe townes, villages, stretes, and the moste daungerous and slippery places of Thrace and the lesser Asia’ (Ofspring sig. [A5v]). For thirteen long years he was ‘tossed with the fluddes of adversitie’ and continually ‘bene forced to suffer and susteine manye miseries, affl ictions, calamities, and persecutions’ (sig. [A6v]). Time itself was overwhelmingly burdensome; Georgievicz is painfully aware of the passage of months and years. However, paradoxically, the years of slavery were also a temporal chasm: he was removed from history and suspended from time, and when he fi nally escaped from the Turks it was, he writes, like being ‘raised by goddes prouidence as it were from the dead, taken out of the mouth and iawes of that rauenous and insatiable dragon, deliuered from his rackinges and tormentes’ (sig. [A7r]). The horror and emptiness of those years when he dropped out of history are expressed at one point by apophasis: ‘[N]ot able to expresse in any wordes, what calamity and grefe is in that kynde of life’ (sig. [G8r]). The only thing that transcends both suffering and the assaults of history is his religious faith. He was sustained, he claims, through the ordeals of the years of slavery only by ‘the loue that I bare vnto oure holye and catholyke faith’ (sig. [A6v]).


Brinda Charry

Georgievicz extends his narrative of the past to encompass the lot of other Christian captives. The most significant thing about their past is that they have no past. ‘Natal alienation’ or the loss of the ties of birth, as Orlando Patterson has pointed out, is a defi ning aspect of a slave’s experience (5). In Georgievicz’s narrative, when young Christians are abducted from their homes by Turks ‘all hope of returning to his country is cleane cutte of’ (Ofspring sig. [G7v–G8r]). Through their captivity, Georgievicz and a few other slaves continue to recall and yearn for a preslavery past. Georgievicz is horrified by personal or religious forgetfulness: he laments that many a young Christian child abducted by the Turks ‘will quicklye commit Christ to obliuion, soone after also his parentes and alyes’ (sig. J1r). If the Turk’s exploits continue, entire Christian nations might lose the memory of their Christian heritage: There are certaine yet remayninge aliue, whyche haue in remembrance the conqueringe of Constantinople and the kyngdomes of Gretia, Albania, Walachia, and Servia [ . . . ] they vereyle sticke most fi rmelye vnto Christe, but the younger sorte cannot remember it, and in that short space it will come to passe, that the obliuion of Christianitye shall replenishe all those countries. (sig. [H6v]) That ‘violente separation’ from the religion one was born into and from memory itself, for Georgievicz, exceeds the pain of losing one’s family (sig. J1v). It is precisely because he is haunted by both painful memories of the past and by the fear that aspects of the past will be forgotten that Georgievicz dreams of the future during his captivity. Whereas his narrative of the past has been (for the most part) personal, his vision of a collective Christian future is shaped by unified political and military action. Scores of Christian captives are sustained by the prophecy which foretells the destruction of the Turks, he argues. They ‘with feruent desire expect and longe for the Christians sworde (of whom the turkishe prophet dothe speake) [ . . . ] to reuenge and deliuer the Christians from their vnspeakable afflictions and painefull persecutions’ (Ofspring sig. J2r). The future is a way of righting the past; it is the ‘holy and longe desired expedition the christian sworde, in time to come’ (sig. [A7r]), which would ‘be the reuenger of our miseries, foreshewed so many yeres sence, as well by the propheticall mouthe of trewe beleuers as infidelles, and predestinated to destroye and vterly subuerte that kingedome of Sathan’ (sig. [A7r-v]). Yet the Turks seem to colonize the present. Georgievicz’s description of their ‘customes, rytes, ceremonies and religions’, despite its Christian bias and personal bitterness, gives a sense of a vibrant, sophisticated culture with complex traditions and institutions. Here one detects something of the inconsistency and fluidity that is discernable in European narratives of the Ottomans. As Linda McJannet points out, one of the purposes of Georgievicz’s treatise is practical. He ‘wishes to share what he has learned about Ottoman social and military customs’,3 and in his account of these customs and

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institutions he is compelled to admire Turkish discipline and unity, the fact that ‘[t]here neuer chaunceth amonge them, eyther diuisions, mutual slaughters, seditions, or treason’ (Ofspring sig. [B6v–B7r]). What is more, the Turks’ culture and religion have endowed them with such patience that they seem to have conquered time and physical limitations. They are ‘endurable and most patient, a long space of time they can susteine them selues with out bred or wine, with only water and rice’ (sig. [B7r]). Georgievicz’s tone as he records the Turks’ unwavering belief that God’s will determines the course of individual lives is tinged with admiration—because they believe ‘that by celestiall prouidence it is determined at what time, and after what sorte euerye mane shall ende his lyfe and dye [ . . . ] they thinke it no misfortune may chaunce vnto them before the prefixed houre’ (sig. [B7r]). This superstition makes for valiant fighters. Georgievicz attempts to counter this Muslim belief in ‘celestiall prouidence’ with his own belief in the superior ‘prouidence of God’ that works on behalf of the Christians (sig. [M3r]). The narrative closes with a plea to his co-religionists to make the prophecy of ‘Turkish doom’ come true by uniting in arms against ‘this common enemy, not only of our natiue countrye and liues, but also vnto our soules’ (sig. [M3r]). The prophecies that foretell the destruction of the Turks do invest Georgievicz’s vision of the future with vigour and confidence, yet for him the future is also dependent on political vigour and military action. Georgievicz is clear that the prophecy will not carry itself out. His past experiences and memories are indissolubly bound up with his future vision. They make his call to action all the more urgent and necessary. The narrative ends by seeking its own closure, and in the terms laid out by Georgievicz, this closure is based on a totalizing vision. The Turk is ‘this common enemy’ and a ‘mortall aduersarye’ (Ofspring sig. [M3r]), and Georgievicz’s narrative can end—and another happier narrative, of Christian triumph, can begin— only when the Turk is ultimately destroyed.

JOHN FOXE AND THE TURKS John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments is central to the canon of Elizabethan Protestant literature. The 1570, 1576 and 1583 editions of the text include, amidst Foxe’s famous accounts of the persecution and glory of Protestant martyrs, a fairly long narrative on the Ottomans. This narrative finds a place in that section of Foxe’s account which concerns the history of the church since the days of Wycliffe. These years have been both turbulent and hopeful, writes Foxe, for ‘in the compasse of the sayd last 300 yeres, are contained great troubles and perturbations of the Church, with the meruailous reformation of the same through the wonderous operation of the almighty’ (Foxe 6.58). It is in the context of the anxieties and wonders of the last few centuries that Foxe narrates the past history and future fate of the Ottoman Turks. Although he is reluctant ‘to ouerlay this our volume with heapes of forreigne historyes, which haue professed chiefly to entreat of Actes and

80 Brinda Charry Monuments here done at home’, he maintains that it is crucial for a Christian audience to know the Turks’ ‘order and doinges, and of theyr wicked procedings, theyr cruell tyranny, and bloudy victories’ (6.735). Foxe is aware of and overwhelmed by the vastness of the Ottoman Empire—’to what quantity and largenes the dominion of the Turks hath encreased’, he exclaims (6.762). Like Georgievicz, he is haunted by visions of a time when the Christian world is taken over by the Ottomans and fears that that future might not be too distant: ‘what place or prouince is there almost thorow the world, wher the turks either haue not perced, or are not like shortly to enter’, he wonders in dismay (757–8). These warnings are especially directed to his English audience who, he worries, might be too complacent because ‘the Turke semeth to be farre of’. This very complacency, Foxe warns darkly, ‘maye soone cause vs to feele his [the Turk’s] cruell hand and worse, if worse may be, to ouerrunne vs: to lay our land waste: to scatter vs amongest the Infidels, the enemies and blasphemers of the sonne of God’ (737). The Turk, in Foxe’s narrative as in other accounts of the time, is especially threatening because he is not only a political antagonist—he is ‘the Infidel’, representing irreconcilable cultural and religious difference. In spite of the unbridgeable gulf between Christian and infidel, and even as Foxe’s perception of the Turks is characterized by fear and religious prejudice, other categories and ideas that he evokes in his ‘Turkish history’ make his narrative a more complicated one than might first appear. Foxe’s resort to prophecy is not unusual. The reformers, including Calvin and Luther, insisted that unlocking biblical prophecy was crucial to comprehending the unfolding of the human story. The Books of Daniel and of Revelation were, according to Howard Dobin, subject anew to Protestant explication. All events—political, social and national assumed a prophetic significance as sects and nations sought to decipher the signs of God’s favour and the imminent millennium. Sacred history was made secular by reading God’s work into the specific national and political events of the day. Conversely, secular history was made sacred—imbued with redemptive and eschatological significance. (54) The struggle with the Turks in Foxe’s text takes place both in secular and divine time: the future of the confl ict is both preordained and dependent on human political action; accounts of cosmic battle occur alongside factual information. Prophecy is in conversation with history. The effect is confusing and contradictory, but telling, as far as Foxe’s vision of the future is concerned. Firstly, Foxe’s attitude to prophecy is far from simplistic. Whereas prophecies regarding the meaning and outcome of the rise of the Ottomans and the impact of this ascendancy on the Christian world are scattered through his narrative, he has reservations about them and urges his readers ‘to resist and auoide the daunger of false and diuelish prophecies’ (6.718). Curiosity regarding the future is a mark of dangerous restlessness and ingratitude to God, and Foxe reproves those who

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being not contented with things present, curiously occupy their wittes to search what is to come, and not geuing thanks to God for their life whiche they haue, will also know, what shall bechance them, how & when their end will come, how long Princes shal reigne, and who after shall succeede them, and for the same, get vnto the southsaiers, astrologers, sorcerers, coniurers, or familiars. (6.718) Interestingly, the danger of these prophecies does not lie in their falsehood but in the fact that they might be true (for Satan ‘can say truth for a mis-chieuous end’) and provoke men to commit acts of evil (717–8). Foxe struggles to justify his own references to prophecy. It is possible, he insists, to ‘to discerne the voice of God, from the voice of Sathan’ and quite justifi able to listen to God’s account of ‘what things be to come, or what shall happen’ (718). Foxe lays out elaborate (although not entirely coherent) criteria for differentiating between ‘devilish’ and ‘divine’ prophecy. The most important of these criteria concerns ‘the matter and the end’ of the prognostications. God will concern himself only with those prophecies that ‘tend to the spirituall instruction, admonition, or comfort of the publicke Church’ and not to ‘any glory or state of this present world’ (718–9). Georgievicz’s prophecy, already well known in Europe, apparently falls under the category of (somewhat) good prophecy. Foxe takes for granted that the destruction of the Turks will inevitably contribute to the ‘comfort of the publike church’. After providing a careful reading of various biblical prophecies (including those from Revelation and the letters of St. Paul) to prove that the Turk is Antichrist, and listing a few nonbiblical ones, Foxe comes to Georgievicz’s prophecy, which he describes as ‘a Turkish prophecy [ . . . ] of the raigne and ruine of the Turkes’. He quotes it in full in transliterated Turkish (which he calls ‘the Persian tongue’), in Latin and in English translation: Our Emperour shal come: he shal get the kingdome of the Gentiles prince. Also he shal take the red apple and shall bring it vnder his subiection: and if the sworde of the Christians shall not rise vnto the vij. yeare, hee shall haue dominion ouer them vnto the xij. yere. He shal build houses, plant vineyardes, shal hedge about his orchards, shall procreate children: and after the xij. yeare shal appeare the sworde of the Christians, whych shall putte the Turke to fl ight euery where. (771)4 Foxe interprets the ‘red apple’ as Constantinople (as many commentators on this prophecy do) and explains that the reference to the ‘Gentiles prince’ is to a Christian monarch. He is, however, not quite certain what to make of the reference to Constantinople being reconquered by Christians twelve years after it was captured. ‘It seemeth not true which is there spoke of [ . . . ] being now hundred years since the winning thereto’, he confesses,

82 Brinda Charry and proceeds to offer an elaborate alternative explanation whose ultimate purpose is still to emphasize the ultimate victory of the Christian faction (6.771). However, in spite of foretelling Christian triumph, the failure of the past to conform to expectations causes Foxe’s prognosis of the future struggle with the Turks to come across as uncertain. The fi rst reason for this is the uneasy coalition of biblical and nonbiblical prophecy such as Georgievicz’s in Foxe’s narrative. It is apparent that Foxe is uncomfortable about calling upon secular sources. Georgievicz’s prophecy is presented after the biblical prophecies and alongside other ones by lay prophets including the Sybil of Cuma, Hildegard of Bingen, and Methodius. Like his fellow reformers Foxe has little doubt regarding the efficacy of biblical prophecy: he declares that it is important to ‘consider and examine in the scriptures, with what prophesyes the holy spirit of the Lord hath premonished and forewarned us before, of these heavy persecutions to come upon his people by thys horrible Antichrist [the Turk]’ (762). However, he is doubtful about nonbiblical prophecy. Of the prophecies of Methodius he writes, ‘[H]ow much or how little is it to be esteemed I leave it indifferent unto the reader. For me it shal suffice simply to have recited his wordes as I fi nde them in his booke contained’ (770). He is also cautious about Georgievicz’s prophecy: ‘[B]ut howsoever this prophecy is to be take, it appeareth by their own Oracles’ (771). This statement is ambiguous at best. On the one hand, it seems to underscore the truth of the prophecy by reminding the reader that because ‘it appeareth by their own Oracles’ it ought to be true and convincing; the Turks anticipate their own downfall. On the other hand, Foxe has earlier indicted that all prophecies from extra-Scriptural sources, including oracles, astrologers and conjurers, emanated from the devil. The content of Georgievicz’s prophecy (which is, we should remember, a Turkish prophecy in the fi rst instance) might correspond with Foxe’s own interpretation of biblical prognostication, but Foxe seems to be aware that even by citing (and apparently taking quite seriously) the voice of the infidel he is aligning himself with what he condemns—that he is not entirely immune to the influence of the infidel other. When it comes to the tricky business of reading the future, the Protestant martyrologist uncomfortably resembles the superstitious pagan. Foxe’s relation of the prophecies on the Turkish question is also informed by his engagement with past history in ways that are left unresolved in the text. By invoking prophecy in his narrative, Foxe moves the confl ict with the Turk to the level of cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil, with the Turk presenting the face of Antichrist himself. This struggle is not historically contingent but universal and eternal: the Christians, for example, are also compared to Israelites suffering ‘tiranny of this turkish Pharao’ (752). However, describing historical events also situates the struggle with the Turk in the realm of the earthly and material. The struggle with the Turk is therefore both outside of and within time.

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By evoking secular history Foxe also makes explicit connections between the past, present and future. His narrative of the history of Turks is not entirely factual, and certainly not free of religious and cultural prejudice, although it does concern itself with the social and political history of the Ottomans. Foxe begins with the birth of the Prophet Mohammed who is dismissed as false and deceitful, as are the ‘prodigious vanityes, lyes, and blasphemies conteyned in his lawe called Alchoran’ (736). He continues to give a painstakingly detailed narrative of the Turkish emperors and their conquest, and other political exploits starting with the early rise of the Ottoman dynasty and continuing up to Foxe’s own time. He dwells on the woeful loss of Constantinople and the Ottoman conquest of Rhodes, Greece and other European lands, conquests which force Foxe to concede that the Turks, nonbelievers although they might be, have been repeatedly triumphant over Christians. This provokes a number of troubling questions. How does one explain Turkish victories? If the future is a natural outgrowth of the past, how can one, given the daunting Turkish track record, forecast Christian victory in the future with any degree of confidence? Foxe attempts to provide both secular and religious explanations for the impressive record of the Turks. The Turks are successful because of ‘the dissention and discorde, falsehoode, idlenese, vnconstancy, greedy auarice, lacke of trueth and fidelity among Christian men of al states and degrees, both high and low. For by the wilfull defection and backesliding of the Christians, the Turkish power did exceedingly encrease’ (737). The rise of the Turks is an earthly political event, caused by Christian depravity rather than Islamic superiority. However, the Turks are also agents and products of more abstract, cosmic forces. Their rise and progress could be a manifestation of the relentless ‘course of the devil’. Foxe describes how just as Satan worked through the Roman emperors in the primitive church: ‘So in this latter age of the world Satan being let lose agayne, rageth by the Turkes, thinking to make no ende of murdering and killing, till he have brought (as he entendeth) the whole church of Christ, with all the professors therof, under foote’ (758). On the other hand, the Turks’ triumph is also a sign of the power of the divine, of God’s will displayed in history. Providentialism, as Alexandra Walsham explains, was ‘an ingrained parochial response to chaos and crisis, a practical source of consolation in a hazardous and inhospitable environment, an idea which exercised practical, emotional, and imaginative influence upon those who subscribed to it’ (3). That influence was particularly powerful in Reformation England. As Norskov Olsen argues, ‘The Acts and Monuments should be placed in the context of Protestant historiography of the sixteenth century’ which presented ‘history as a great controversy between Christ and Antichrist represented respectively by the Church of the elect and the papacy’ (John Foxe and the Elizabethan Church 20–1). In this scheme divine and secular time are one and the same; God is at the hub of the wheel of history. Foxe attempts to explain the rise of the Turks by referring to the providential dispensation of history:


Brinda Charry For as the gouernment and constitution of times and states of monarchies & pollicies fall not to us by blind chaunce, but be administred and alotted vnto vs from aboue: so it is not to be supposed, that such a great alteration and mutation of kingdomes, such a terrible & generall persecution of Gods people, almost through all Christendome, and such a terrour of the whole earth, as is now moued and gendred by these Turkes, commeth without the knowledge, sufferaunce and determination of the Lord before, for such endes and purposes, as his deuine wisedome doth best know [ . . . ]. (762–3)

God’s ‘ends and purposes’ in letting the Turks repeatedly triumph over Christians is comprehensible to Foxe in the context of the Reformation. The Turk is a manifestation of divine wrath, ‘the scourge of God for our sinnes, and corrupte doctrine’ (735). How does the double mode (secular and providential) of narrating past history and present events impact Foxe’s vision of the future? By moving to prophecies including Georgievicz’s directly after his narration of Ottoman history, Foxe attempts to unify secular with sacred time. Consequently the fi nal Christian victory which will happen is part of God’s plan; God fights for ‘us’. In spite of the ambiguity and seeming errors of the prophecy, and the obstacles and drawbacks Christians face in their battles with Turk, there is also a faith in destiny rather than mere chance, in a divine order that is ultimately predictable. This makes every earthly action seem like it is ‘fulfi lling a divine purpose [which] links the fleeting moment to a transcendent purpose outside time’ (Reeves 40). However, the problem is that the eventual triumph of Christianity over Islam requires human agency: All which be good begynninges of greater goodnes to be hoped for hereafter, thorough the grace of Christ our Lord, especially if our Christian rulers and potentates, fi rst the churchmen & prelates for theyr partes: then the ciuile powers & princes for their partes, with holding theyr affections a little, will turne their brawles & variance, into brotherly concord and agrement, which the Lord of peace put in theyr mindes to doe. (Foxe 6.756) The Christian unity required to topple the Turks can only be achieved within the terms set by Foxe and his fellow reformers. Whereas his antiTurkish narrative repeatedly evokes ‘the church of Christ’ and ‘Christian people’ (even when he refers to the Serbs, Croats, Hungarians and other nonreformed victims of the Turk), it is clear that Protestants are the truly Christian people. Christian unity cannot include unreformed Catholics. In fact, the ancient ‘heathen Emperours’, Turk and the pope ‘are and have bene from the begynnyng, the three principall and capital enemyes of the Church of Christ, signified in the Aplocalips by the beaste, the false Lambe,

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and the false Prophet’ (757). Foxe is hard pressed to decide who better represents the face of the devil, the Catholic or the Turk: Now in comparing the Turke with the pope, if a question be asked whether of them is the truer or greater Antichrist, it were easy to see and judge, that the Turke is the more open and manfiest enemye agaynst Christe and hys Church. But if it be asked, whether of them two hath bene the more bloudy and pernitious aduersary to Christe and his members: or whether of them hath consumed and spilt more Christian bloud, he with sword, or this with fi re and sword together, neither is it a light matter to discerne, neither is it my part here to discusse, which do onely write the history, and the Actes of them both. (773) When read in the context of Foxe’s specifically Protestant history, prophecies of the downfall of the Turks become a means of furthering Foxe’s own religious and political concerns. To ensure that downfall, divine will as well as human action are both necessary, for the latter is pointless without the grace of God. Even when the Catholics have mustered all their forces, even when ‘there hath lacked no care or diligence in the B[ishop] of Rome, to stirre men vp to that business [of destroying the Turks]: so on the [Catholic] Princes behalfe there hath lacked no courage nor strength of men, no contribution of expenses, no supportation of charges, no furniture or abilement of warre’, nonetheless Catholic efforts have been futile because ‘the blessyng of God semeth to haue lacked’ (773). God ultimately blesses only the repentant and reformed. Whereas Georgievicz’s hopes for the future of the region are based on a single overruling dualism of Christians versus Turks, for Foxe the defeat of the Turks is dependent not just on Christian political unity but also on Catholics succumbing to reform. Without that the pope ‘shal be compelled at last to giue place & roume to the Turke, whether he will or not’ (773). Protestant, Catholic and Turk are locked in a triangular contest. Consequently, Foxe’s vision of the future remains equivocal. On the one hand, he insists that the one true church will someday prevail ‘notwythstanding, when both the Turk & the Pope shal do against it what they can’ (773). This vision was characteristic of Protestant historiography: for Protestants the Reformation itself was a step in the course of history from the creation to the Second Coming (Olsen 21). On the other hand, Foxe remains unsure of the absolute and fi nal defeat of the Turks. That defeat also depends on the triumph of the Reformed Church, which is endangered by Roman Catholics’ unwillingness to reform and by the cosmic forces of evil. Tom Betteridge argues that the editions of Foxe’s work published in his lifetime were marked by increasing pessimism and loss of faith in humanity. Betteridge characterizes the 1563 text as ‘prophetic’, ‘based on a relatively


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optimistic understanding of the ability of humans to respond to God’s message’ (213). Significantly, Foxe’s narrative of the Turks does not appear in the ‘prophetic’ and optimistic fi rst edition, but is present in the ‘apocalyptic’ 1570, 1576 and 1583 editions, each of which was marked by a conviction of the coming end yet pessimistic about the role of human beings in bringing about that end. In fact, the famous conclusion of Acts and Monuments is more despairing than optimistic about the future: ‘But so it is I cannot tel how, the elder the world waxeth, the longer it continueth, the nerer it hasteneth to his end, the more Sathan rageth: geuing still new matter of writing bookes and volumes’ (Bk. 12, 2153). Other questions regarding the future of the Turks remain unanswered. Whereas he does envision a reformed Christendom, and even dares dream of the conversion of the Jews which is integral to the Reformation process, Foxe allows no place for the Turks in either his earthly or spiritual versions of paradise (Achinstein 99–105). They are not reformed but vanquished (by military might it would appear, rather than by any attempt to convert them), expelled from divine and human time. For the Muslim infidel, the future simply does not exist.

CONCLUSION Prophecy was obviously not the only Renaissance mode which forecast the Turkish future. Other European narratives produced by travellers to the region or by self-styled experts of Ottoman history and culture also included such forecasts. However, unlike Georgievicz and Foxe, these texts do not directly invoke providential time. Whereas they are certainly not ‘secular’ in the modern sense, they are characterized by a change that, Rackin argues, marks early modern historiography: ‘[T]he movement from a vision centred on the timeless providence of God to the humanistic consciousness that assigned new importance to the transitory material life of this world’ (8–9). The emphasis in these commentaries is on the place of the Turks in the story of human civilization and culture. They generally see Turkish culture and religion as agents of the decay of culture and ‘civilized’ human society. For instance, Samuel Purchas in his section on Turkey in Purchas His Pilgrimage (1613) bemoans that Constantinople, ‘seated in the throne of the world [ . . . ], honoured with a double diadem of Christianity and sovereignitie [ . . . ], compendium of the world, eye of cities, heart of the habitable world, academie of learning’ is at present notable ‘onely in miserie and mischief’ because subject to ‘ridiculous and blasphemous Mahometisme’. The mournful European visitor to the oncegreat city can consequently only ‘ring thy knell to future ages’ (3.3, 315). Similarly, English traveller George Sandys mourns ‘the most renowned countries and kingdoms’ of the Levant which have become subject to Ottoman rule:

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[T]he starne and barbarous Tyrant possessing the thrones of ancient and just dominion, who aiming only at the height of greatness and sensualitie, hath in tract of time reduced so great and goodlie a part to that lamentable distresses and servitude under which [ . . . ] it now faints and groaneth. (sigs A2r–B1v) Sandys also points out that the Egyptians ‘had fi rst invented Arithmetick, Musick and Geometry’, but the ‘Mahometans [ . . . ] subverted all excellence with their barbarousness’. When Islam ‘is planted’, he writes, it ‘roots out all virtue, all wisedome and science [ . . . ] laying the earth to waste, dispeopled and uninhabited’ (72). Francis Bacon reiterates Sandys’s point in his tract Advertisement Touching an Holy War (written 1622–1623, fi rst published 1629) when he describes the Turks as ‘without letters, arts, or sciences [ . . . ] this nation hath made the garden of the world a wilderness’ (29). These narratives often express the belief that even if the Turks are both the agents and the victims of decay, the destiny of Europe is not destruction or dissolution at their hands. For Purchas it is England which is the new cultural centre of the world, the new Athens. In a conventional invocation of the translatio studii, Purchas describes the old Athens as ‘long since dead. The true Athens and helicon are come unto our Westerne parts. [ . . . ] Even here now behold a British Athens’ (3.14, 316). For Bacon, the British Athens is founded on Christianity, which provides the bedrock of its political and cultural permanence. ‘The true religion’, writes Bacon, ‘is built upon a rock, the rest are tossed upon the waves of time’ (Bacon, ‘The Vicissitude’ 175). In these early modern narratives, the growth and advancement that mark the European present and will determine its future also serve to identify and reinforce the difference between the self and the other. Both Foxe’s and Georgievicz’s texts are marked by a tension between belief in and mistrust of human agency and its efficacy in bringing about a promised future. However, in all of these narratives the relationship between Christians and Turks in the Renaissance not only happened in time, but it also happened over time—that is, time is an object of contention in a very real sense. But prophecies are by nature ambiguous. Their ambiguity, and the contradictions of the historical moment in which they were produced, make them complicated narratives of the future. Georgevicz’s text, produced out of a painful personal history, is perhaps more straightforward in its treatment of the Turks and less troubled by the politics of post-Reformation Europe than Foxe’s narrative that emerges from the tremendously complex sociopolitical context that the author was all too aware of and involved in. However, both narratives are at once hopeful and anxious. Both see the future as emerging from the past and the present, but also as a radical break from it. And both represent the alien, the stranger and the outsider as figures to be erased from the future and as experiencing and sharing space and time (albeit a brief moment in the vast flow of divinely ordered history) with the European self.


Brinda Charry

NOTES 1. Known as Bartholomaeus Georgievicz to European readers, his name is variously spelled as Bartolomej Ðurđević, or Georgijevic or Ğorğević. 2. Setton agrees that it is almost impossible to determine whether the ‘Red Apple’ stood for Constantinople or Rome or Buda, or even how it was read by the Renaissance public. Whatever the case, possession of the Red Apple ‘symbolized world domination’ (34). 3. Linda McJannet, ‘The Translator as Emissary: Continental Works about the Ottomans in England’, Early Modern Emissaries 1500–1700, ed. Brinda Charry and Gitanjali Shahani (Burlington: Ashgate, forthcoming). 4. Foxe’s version of this prophecy is a close translation of the prophecy as it appears in Georgievicz, De Turcarum moribus epitome, 109–10.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Achinstein, Sharon. ‘John Foxe and the Jews.’ Renaissance Quarterly 54.1 (2001): 86–120. Bacon, Francis. ‘Advertisement Touching an Holy War.’ The Works of Francis Bacon. Vol. 2. Ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon Heath. Cambridge, MA: Riverside, 1863. . ‘The Vicissitude of Things.’ The Essays of Francis Bacon. Ed. Clark S. Northup. Cambridge, MA: Riverside, 1908. 172–8. Betteridge, Tom. ‘From Prophetic to Apocalyptic: John Foxe and the Writing of History.’ John Foxe and the English Reformation. Ed. David Loades. Aldershot: Scolar, 1997. 210–232. Burton, Jonathan. ‘Introduction: Before Orientalism, After Orientalism.’ Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama 1579–1624. Newark, DE: U of Delaware P, 2005. Dalrymple, William. Foreword. Re-Orienting the Renaissance: Cultural Exchanges with the East. Ed. Gerard MacLean. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Dobin, Howard. Merlin’s Disciples: Prophecy, Poetry and Power in Renaissance England. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1990. De Turcarum moribus epitome, Bartholomaeo Georgievicz peregrino auctore. Lyon: Johannes Tornaesius, 1553. Escabado, Andrew. Nationalism and Historical Loss in Early Modern England: Foxe, Dee, Spenser, Milton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2004. Foxe, John. Acts and Monuments. London: John Daye, 1583. hriOnline. 12 April 2008 . Georgievicz, Bartholomew. De Turcarum moribus epitome, Bartholomaeo Georgievicz peregrino auctore. Lyon: Johannes Tornaesius, 1553. . Ofspring of the House of Ottomanno. Trans. Hugh Gough. London: Thomas Marsh, 1569. . The Rarities of Turkey, Gathered by One That Was Sold Seven Times a Slave in the Turkish Empire. London: Printed for the author, 1661. Knolles, Richard. The Generall Historie of the Turkes. London: Adam Islip, 1603. Levy, Fred Jacob. Tudor Historical Thought. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1967. Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Discourses. Trans. Leslie J. Walker. Ed. Bernard Crick. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.

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McJannet, Linda. ‘The Translator as Emissary: Continental Works about the Ottomans in England.’ Early Modern Emissaries 1500–1700. Ed. Brinda Charry and Gitanjali Shahani. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, forthcoming. Niccoli, Ottavia. Prophecy and People in Renaissance Italy. Trans. Lydia G. Cochrane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990. Olsen, Norskov. The Concept of the Church in the Writings of John Foxe. Diss., U of London, 1966. . John Foxe and the Elizabethan Church. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 1973. Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1982. Purchas, Samuel. Purchas his Pilgrimage. 2nd ed. London: W. Stansby for H. Featherstone, 1614. Rackin, Phyllis. Stages of History: Shakespeare’s English Chronicles. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. Reeves, Marjorie. ‘The Development of Apocalyptic Thought: Medieval Attitudes.’ The Apocalypse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature: Patterns, Antecedents and Repercussions. Ed. C. A Patrides and Joseph Wittreich. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1984. 40–74. Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage, 1979. Sandys, George. A Relation of a Journey Begun An. Dom 1610. London: R. Allot, 1627. Setton, Kenneth. Western Hostility to Islam and Prophecies of Turkish Doom. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1992. Taisnier, Jean. A Very Necessarie and Profitable Booke Concerning Navigation. Trans. Richard Eden. London: R. Jugge, 1579. Vitkus, Daniel J. Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570–1630. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Walsham, Alexandra. Providence in Early Modern England. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.


‘Provide for the Future, and Times Succeeding’ Walter Ralegh and the Progress of Time Andrew Hiscock

Now Providence (which the Greekes call Pronoia) is an intellectuall knowledge, both fore-seeing, caring for, and ordering all things, and doth not onely behold all past, all present, and all to come, but is the cause of their so being [ . . . ] and therefore Providence by the Philosophers (saith S. Augustine) is divided into Memory, Knowledge, and Care: Memory of the past, Knowledge of the present, and Care of the future: and wee our selves account such a man for provident, as, remembering things past, and observing things present, can by judgment, and comparing the one with the other, provide for the future, and times succeeding. (Ralegh, History

This intervention constitutes but one in a whole host of similar narratorial contributions to Ralegh’s History of the World (1614) in which a sobering meditation upon the nature of time is placed squarely before the reader. Here, Ralegh’s concern to ‘provide for the future’ through writing itself is underpinned by the humanist investment in the notion of the circuitus temporum which had been inherited from classical writing and was most particularly associated with the Stoics. Exposure to this thinking might be gained from a reading of Cicero’s De Re Publica, De Divinatione and the letters to Atticus, for example; from Virgil’s fourth eclogue, Ovid’s Fasti or Seneca’s De Brevitate Vitae. 2 Amongst Ralegh’s contemporaries, it is clear that Francis Bacon pondered ‘these turning wheels of vicissitude’, and later in the Religio Medici Sir Thomas Browne argued that ‘commonweals and the whole world, run not upon an helix that still enlargeth, but on a circle’. 3 From this perspective, the future, like the past, was repetitive and predictable; and, in ‘times succeeding’, conditions of existence would re-present themselves and demand strategic human intervention as they had in antiquity. Thus, the writing of history by the erudite and judicious scholar was seen to generate a dynamic and endlessly didactic resource for humanity locked into a future which reenacted the past.

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Such a worldview shapes many discussions of the secular history of antique peoples in Books 3–5 of the History, but can also surface at regular intervals in the earlier books. In the expository discussions of Book 1, Ralegh’s narrator underlines that ‘there are none in the World so wickedly inclined, but that a religious instruction and bringing up may fashion anew and reforme them; nor any so well disposed, whom (the reines being let loose) the continuall fellowship and familiarity, and the examples of dissolute men may not corrupt and deforme’ ( And in a relatively brief digression a little later in the same book entitled ‘Of our base and fraile bodies’, he draws his meditations to a close with a translation of a verse from Marius Victor, affi rming that ‘Diseases, famine, enemies, in us no change have wrought, / What erst we were, we are; still in the same snare caught’ ( Nonetheless, it has been insuffi ciently stressed in Ralegh scholarship to date that the author’s ‘discovery’ of the future in the History as a whole remains radically unstable: in Books 1 and 2 (devoted principally to Old Testament narrative) his textual voices are found more generally to practise a providentialist hermeneutic (in which human agency cannot affect the divine will), and this interpretative mode is linked energetically to an account of linear Hebraic time driving relentlessly towards the Last Judgment. In such a vision, the stunted mind of humanity prevents it in any substantial way from providing for ‘times succeeding’: ‘[N]either of Examples the most liuely instructions, nor the words of the wisest men, nor the terror of future torments, that hath yet so wrought in our blind and stupifi ed mindes; as to make vs remember, That the infi nite eye, and wisdome of GOD doth pierce through all our pretences’ (Preface, sig. A2 r). The unfi nished History closes at the point of the Second Macedonian War (146 BCE) and at no point betrays a sustained interest in the advent of Christ. It remains unclear how Ralegh would have dealt with the latter subject, but in the surviving, very ample body of the History which extends to nearly fifteen hundred folio pages, he ultimately communicates a consuming interest not in the prospect of redemption or in the intricate paths of divine predestination, but in the unceasing travails of a painfully flawed humanity and the terrifying prospect of wrath from the louring Godhead— ‘the Author of all our tragedies’ (Preface, sig. B5r). The narrative terminus or eschatology of Ralegh’s hermeneutic is thus left to vexed speculation for the modern reader, and it should be noted that even with the benefit of the distance of millennia from some of the events he describes, Ralegh is often at pains not to invest too deeply in the explication of the ways of God to man: ‘I confesse it, That to enquire further, as of the essence of God, of his power, of his Art, and by what meane He created the world: Or of his secret iudgement, and the causes; is not an effect of Reason: Sed cum ratione insaniunt, but they grow mad with reason, that inquire after it’ (Preface, sig. E3r).


Andrew Hiscock

MULTIPLYING FUTURES Given his humanist training and his thorough acquaintance with classical historiography, it might be expected that Ralegh found himself more at ease in the history of second causes which had most notably been taken up in the previous century by scholars such as Machiavelli and Guicciardini: ‘[I]t being the end and scope of all History, to teach by example of times past, such wisedome as may guide our desires and actions’ ( However, on more than one occasion the fallen courtier can also give way to bemusement in this area, confiding to this reader that ‘the heart of man is unsearchable [ . . . ]. Yea, many times the affections themselues lie dead, and buried in obliuion, when the preparations which they begate, are conuerted to another use’ ( As a consequence, Ralegh’s most fractured lens upon the question of futurity in the History (which charts the vicissitudes of the tribes of Israel and insights into classical mythology in addition to the rise and fall of the Persian, Greek and Roman empires) offers as a wide-ranging, but inevitably conflicted, perspective on ‘times succeeding’—but, for all that, the History does not appear to have presented particular discomfort to his contemporaries.4 In his epistemological eclecticism Anna Beer fi nds Ralegh ‘utterly representative of his time’ (Sir Walter Ralegh 46); and indeed, Degory Wheare, Camden Professor of History at Oxford, wrote authoritatively for contemporaries in his De Ratione et Methodus Legendi Historias (1623) in fulsome praise of ‘Gulaterus Raulaeus noster’: Is universalem historiam ab initio mundi usque ad Macedonici imperii, sive tertiae monarchiae occasum, ex probatissimis auctoribus coagmentavit; nostrae quidem gentis idiomate vernaculo, sed accurato admodum judicio, methodo perspicua, stylo elegante ac virili. He compiled the universal history from the very beginning of the world to the fall of the empire of the Macedonians, that is the third Monarchy, drawn from highly esteemed authorities; written fluently in the common idiom of our race, but with very accurate judgment, an insightful method and an elegant and vigorous [masculine] style.5 If, for later generations of readers, Ralegh remains frustratingly inconsistent in his thinking upon the role of celestial determination in the shaping of the human condition, there is every reason to believe that this very inconsistency positions him at the heart of an intellectual community in England at the turn of the seventeenth century being asked to negotiate competing claims regarding the progress and stewardship of times to come.6 Interestingly, in the extract from The History of the World which began this discussion, Ralegh’s narrator ponders the human experience of time just as St. Augustine had counselled in the Confessions, in terms of a dynamic

‘Provide for the Future, and Times Succeeding’


coexistence: the hitherto reassuring cognitive individuation of past, present and future is now seen to collapse, and in its stead we are asked to attend to the transcendent plane of eternity within which the Prime Mover resides. Whereas for the deluded bulk of humanity these familiar chronological axes of past, present and future constantly compete for attention, from the exalted vantage point which Ralegh envisages, true wisdom is the recognition that these are merely futile attempts to unpick a divinely ordained continuum of spiritual experience. Indeed, in the broader context of this discussion, it may be useful to underline that from Augustine’s position in the Confessions neither the past nor the future have any substance, there is only our strategic re-membering of them: ‘When a true narrative of the past is related, the memory produces not the actual events which have passed away but words conceived from images of them, which they fixed in the mind like imprints as they passed through the senses’ (bk 11, chapt 18, para. 23, p. 234).

RALEGH AND TIME MANAGEMENT Augustine’s epistemological enquiries remained an enormously powerful shaping force upon the spiritual and political reflections of intellectuals (including Foxe, Hooker, Donne and Ralegh) in the early modern period. Ralegh’s Augustinian interest in retrospection has long been recognized by readers of his verse, his correspondence and his strategy publications on war, for example. In terms of historiography, this recognition began perhaps with Donne’s speculations that in writing history the celebrated prisoner in the Tower sought to ‘re-enjoye those times by the meditation of them’ (Paradoxes and Problems 24); whereas for Joseph Hall Ralegh’s ‘noble history of the World’ enabled the author to attain intellectual maturity and moral wisdom: ‘[T]he Tower reformed the Court in him, and produced those worthy monuments of art and industry, which we should have in vain expected from his freedom and jollity’ (217). More recently, John Racin has contended that Ralegh expressed his intellectual ambition (‘Ralegh attempted to order all events of all civilizations within a single chronological framework’, 92), whereas for Beer, Ralegh invested so deeply in history because it represented for him the ‘preserver of memory and identity’ (Sir Walter Ralegh 13).7 However, Ralegh’s anxiety-ridden preoccupation with futurity has passed relatively unremarked, even though the narratorial voices of the History regularly invite readers to reflect upon how often we fail to meet (what should be) the dual challenges of any consideration of human experience: ‘[W]e neither looke behinde vs what hath beene, nor before vs what shall be’ (Preface, sig. B2v). Whether it was in the recollection of his travels to the New World, his remorselessly melancholic poetic outpourings to Cynthia, his letters to family and members of the court, the quick-witted performances at his own trial in 1603 or his great folio of the History

94 Andrew Hiscock (begun around 1608), we discover Ralegh profoundly exercised by the ways in which individual fortunes and collective identities may be constructed, promoted and/or demonized for future consumption—and despite circumspect protestations to the contrary, he pursues this enquiry in a variety of ways for the purposes of strategic political analysis, spiritual counsel and, indeed, the affi rmation of historical ‘truth’. One of the notable consequences of the impressive textual achievements of humanist scholars since the fourteenth century had been that the meditation of the past (as an exploitable resource for present dilemmas and future conduct) was addressed with renewed vigour across the whole of Europe. About a century before the fi rst publication of The History of the World, Machiavelli had argued confidently in the Discourses that ‘[i]f the present be compared with the remote past, it is easily seen that in all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same passions as there always were. So that, if one examines with diligence the past, it is easy to foresee the future of any commonwealth, and to apply those remedies which were used of old’ (1.39.207–8). And, in Ralegh’s own time, this investigation into the ways in which the past helps us not only to manage the present but also to predict the future, would be taken up by Robert Johnson, for example: [C]omparing thinges passed, presupposeth out of the same causes, the same effects: Now in this obscure and incertaine deliberation vpon the future, a man experienced is like him, who hauing tried a daungerous passage in his own person, & noted the by turnings which might diuert him into an error, can in the darkest night with a secure & forwarde alacritie, go the same way. (sig. C8r) Interestingly, in his undertakings both as an adventurer and as colonial publicist, Ralegh continued to promote England’s future in imperial terms. His most famous 1596 publication The Discoverie of the Large, Rich, and Bewtiful Empyre of Guiana did not, of course, herald the ‘discovery’ of a newfound land, but it did unveil both a newly minted textual appropriation of it and the prospect of an heroic colonial future for his nation: I will nowe referre the reader to the following discourse with the hope that the perilous and chargeable labors and indeuours of such as thereby seeke the profit and honor of her Majesty, and the English nation, shall by men of qualitie and vertue recieue such construction, and good acceptance, as them selues would looke to be rewarded withall in the like (‘To the Reader’, Sir Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie 16). In the event there was no great scramble at Elizabeth’s court to support his risky Atlantic ventures, and, more generally, it might be noted that the ambitions of those who sought to govern the future with their words

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and actions were not infrequently met with derision across early modern Europe by voices such as that of Michel de Montaigne: ‘Whatsoever it be that falleth into our knowledge and jovissance, we fi nde, it doth not satisfie vs, and we still follow and gape after future, vncertaine, and vnknowne things, because the present and vnknowne please vs not, and doe not satisfie vs’ (1.53.168). However, Ralegh was far from being a lone voice in Jacobean intellectual society in expressing concern with the shape of the future and the judgment of posterity. If in the Temporis Partus Masculus (1603–1613) Francis Bacon refrained from linking such discussions to the figure of the historian or the adventurer (as Ralegh was proposing), he did turn to figures of mythic narrative in the belief that they might hold vestigial truths with which to illuminate the darkness of his own age: ‘[I]t is important to understand how the present is like a seer with two faces, one looking towards the future, the other towards the past’ (Farrington 68). And, striking a more personal note in July 1603, the very year of Ralegh’s trial, he described himself more generally to his cousin, Lord Cecil, as one who hoped to ‘be able to maintain memory and merit of the times succeeding’ (The Works 10.80). In 1618 Bacon acted as one of the commissioners sitting in judgment upon Ralegh’s offences and in October of that year the celebrated prisoner was executed. It is clear that both advocate and monarch were eager to escape condemnation for the roles they had played in the downfall of this popular hero. At the close of this year as versions of Ralegh’s scaffold speech continued to circulate and to proliferate across the realm, Bacon published A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, underlining that the Stuart monarch was ‘carefull to satisfie all his good people with his Intentions and courses, giuing as well to future times as to the present, true and vndisguised Declarations of them which concerneth Sir Walter Raleigh late executed for Treason’ (sig. A1r). When we turn to those engaging with matters spiritual in the period, it becomes immediately apparent that throughout his career as a poet and a prose writer, John Donne revealed himself to be haunted by the painful possibility of human and divine amnesia. Most famously in his Anniversaries, poetic narratives prompted by the death of Elizabeth Drury, Donne investigates the nature of human transience and temporal decline. The desire to ‘fi x’ or ‘hold’ in verse the life and legacy of those warranting singular praise is also strikingly in evidence in his shorter lyrics such as ‘To the Countess of Bedford at New Year’s Tide’, where the speaker argues powerfully, I would show future times What you were, and teach them to urge towards such, Verse embalms virtue; and tombs, or thrones of rhymes, Preserve frail transitory fame, as much As spice doth bodies from corrupt air’s touch. (The Complete English Poems 221, ll. 11–15)

96 Andrew Hiscock This topos, represented widely in both erotic and elegiac verse of the period, affi rms the textual power of endurance above that of any human endeavour, and in this lyric, in particular, we are presented with Donne’s determination to deploy panegyric in apotropaic terms, as a means of keeping death at bay. Here, the future is not characterized by death, but by endless renewal. As shall become apparent later in this discussion, such enquiries do not only engage with questions of human expectation in Ralegh’s History. In his publications devoted to colonization and the business of warfare (themselves frequently triggered by thwarted political desire), there is often the textual invitation to reverse the nation’s experience of displacement in European affairs through the contemplation of a lucrative imperial future across the Atlantic. In ‘A Discourse of the invention of Ships, Anchors, Compasse [ . . . ]’, for example, the reader is reminded that ‘whosoever commands the Sea, Commands the Trade: whosoever Commands the Trade of the world: Commands the Riches of the world and consequently the world it selfe’ (Judicious and Select Essayes 20).

RALEGH AND THE EARLY MODERN READER Rather than attending to the possibilities of redemption for single individuals, Ralegh’s History concentrates upon the fates of whole populations and ponders again and again how those fates may be digested by posterity. If Ralegh’s reader searches in vain for a telos of redemptive time, this did not prevent the narrative lines of his chronicle from moving back and forth across alternative human chronologies. As witnessed previously, the ‘times succeeding’ are often viewed in the History in broadly apocalyptic terms, but the captive scholar also endeavours at certain junctures to link the travails of ancient races to the Jacobean present, and he does this principally through a careful process of strategic allusion. Ralegh’s technique relies heavily upon the unexpected adduction of familiar cultural details for his seventeenth-century readers. As the (mostly anguished) destinies of remote civilizations are laid bare, Ralegh’s narrators create identifiable spaces for their early modern readers to occupy. Whilst the hermeneutics of typology had excited the imaginations of readers of scripture for centuries, this mode of analysis was practised with renewed vigour in biblical commentaries of all religious confessions from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The reformist John Foxe had drawn explicit parallels in his Acts and Monuments between the travails of the early church and the sufferings of the Marian martyrs, whereas marginal glosses to the Book of Revelation in the Catholic Rheims-Douai Bible (1582) moved from a consideration of the time of the Antichrist to the experience of ‘the Church Catholic now in England in this time of persecution’ (qtd. in King 34). For the most part, Ralegh refrains from such explicit interpretative strategies,

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but he does employ a range of tactics to help the contemporary reader to engage with the broad sweep of his grand narrative. In the midst of the seemingly unremitting accounts of flawed leaders and fallen humanity, there are occasions when Ralegh’s narrators reflect upon the ways in which the obligations of the past impact upon the fortunes of the unborn. In his discussion of Amilcar’s binding of his son Hannibal to an oath of hatred against the Romans, the disgruntled narrator submits that it is inhumane, to bequeath hatred in this sort, as it were by Legacy, it cannot be denied. Yet for mine owne part, I doe not much doubt, but that some of those Kings, with whom we are now in peace, have received the like charge from their Predecessors, that as soone as their coffers shall be full, they shall declare themselves enemies to the people of England. (History And it is at such moments that the chronicler strikes a note familiar from the New World writings in which he regularly urges his readers to remain vigilant to the ongoing threats posed by hostile continental powers. Indeed, as the multifarious narratives of the History unfold, it becomes evident that Ralegh is thoroughly preoccupied not only with the accuracy of the sources for his cultural history of antiquity, but also directly with how this chronicle may offer moral, political and spiritual paradigms for future conduct. However, the question of government censorship is crucial here to the discussion of Ralegh’s interests in textual authority and analogy. Both Elizabeth and James harboured deep suspicions about the doings of historians and antiquarians. It is well known that some history plays from the 1590s destined for the public playhouse, such as Richard II and Sir Thomas More, attracted the wrath of the censors, but, equally interestingly, Samuel Daniel’s closet drama Philotas also fell foul of the authorities, being considered to be a thinly veiled commentary upon the Earl of Essex’s rebellious activities.9 Particular scrutiny was reserved for historical narratives by successive administrations which understandably feared the wider circulation in the vernacular of tales of usurpation, regicide and revolution. Under Elizabeth, Holinshed’s Chronicles, for example, quickly attracted the attention of the Privy Council and were heavily censured for daring to deal with events within living memory. Sir John Hayward fared no better with his Life and Reign of Henry IV (1599): his parlous position as a chronicler of the deposition of Richard II was compounded further by the tome’s dedication to the Earl of Essex. Hayward found himself thrown in the Tower until after the Earl’s execution in 1601. After 1599 English histories required the assent of a Privy Councillor before they might be published. Upon his accession to the English throne, James turned his attentions amongst other things to the Society of Antiquaries (which had been meeting since at least the 1570s); their activities were


Andrew Hiscock

brought to a halt brusquely in 1607. Naturally, given the delicate nature of his own situation, Ralegh’s drawing of analogies necessarily remained for the most part oblique: I know that it will be said by many, That I might have been more pleasing to the Reader, if I had written the Story of mine owne times, having been permitted to draw water as neare the Well-head as another. To this I answer, that whosoever in writing a moderne History, shall follow truth too neare the heeles, it may haply strike out his teeth [ . . . ]. It is enough for me (being in that state I am) to write of the eldest times: wherein also why may it not be said, that in speaking of the past, I point at the present, and taxe the vices of those that are yet living, in their persons that are long since dead; and have it laid to my charge? But this I cannot helpe, though innocent. And certainly if there be any, that fi nding themselves spotted like the Tigers of old time, shal fi nd fault with mee for painting them over anew, they shall therein accuse themselves justly, and me falsly. (Preface, History sig. C4v) Amidst these anxiety-ridden and rather disingenuous contentions, Ralegh’s unveiling of possible futures should also give us pause. Indeed, this was an undertaking which appears to have exercised a number of his fellow chroniclers. Holinshed’s Second Volume of Chronicles: Conteining the Description, Conquest, Inhabitation, and Troblesome Estate of Ireland (1587), for example, included a dedicatory epistle to the ‘Right Worthie and Honorable Gentleman Sir Walter Raleigh Knight’ penned by John Hooker. The latter takes some pains to establish what he considers to be the true historian’s status and functions: [E]uerie king for the course of sundrie hundreds of yeares, was woont to reteine and keepe some wise, learned, and faithfull scribes, who should collect and record the things doone in euerie their seuerall times, and all which as time and course of yeares did serue, were published; and what great good benefits haue growne thereby to this present age, and like to serue to the future time, all the world maie easilie see and iudge. (Holinshed sig. A2v) Beer characterizes Ralegh’s career is as ‘a move from service to opposition’, but it is nevertheless apparent in the latter part of Ralegh’s career that the History not only serves as a vehicle for political dissidence, the dissection of inadequate rulers and flawed government.10 It also acknowledges at a number of points the humanist preoccupation with the scholar’s duties of royal service and counsel. Ralegh underlines that the wise historian may prove a valuable royal servant in mapping the prince’s legacy to future generations and in instructing his subjects how to appreciate good governance:

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It is not my purpose to wrong the worth of any [kings], by denying the praise where it is due, or by preferring a lesse excellent. But he that can fi nde a King religious, and zealous in Gods cause, without enforcement, either of adversitie, or of some regard of state; a procurer of the generall peace and quiet; who not only useth his authority, but addes the travell of his eloquence, in admonishing his Judges to doe justice; by the vigorous influence of whose Government, civilitie is infused, even into those places, that have been the dens of savage Robbers and Cutthroats [ . . . ] he, I say, that can fi nd such a King, fi ndeth an example, worthy to adde unto vertue an honourable title, if it were formerly wanting. (History In such passages it quickly becomes apparent that Ralegh is unable to forsake his wonted scepticism in any consideration of monarchical virtue.

RALEGH AND ADMONITION William E. Engel has drawn attention to a pervasive discourse of monitory memory at work in early modern writing: ‘Memory was understood to include judgment of the future as well as recollection of the past’ (66). This discourse of monitory memory comes to constitute a central commitment of the History which has at its heart an ongoing consideration of the terrifying figure of Jehovah to whom Ralegh refers in his prefatory discussion as ‘the Author of all our tragedies, [who] hath written out for us, & appointed us all the parts we are to play’ (sig. B5r). The strategic warnings that the future, like the past, will be shaped and encompassed by universal laws (from which no one may seek reprieve) punctuates a great many of the History’s narrative trajectories: There is not therefore the smallest accident, which may seeme unto me as falling out by chance, and of no consequence, but that the same is caused by God to effect somewhat else by: yea, and oftentimes to effect things of the greatest worldly importance, either presently, or in many yeares after, when the occasions are either not considered, or forgotten. ( In addition, the reader is left in no doubt whatsoever that the Mover Unmoved cannot be counted upon to renew his blessings even upon the fortunate in years to come: ‘But the judgments of GOD are for ever unchangeable; neyther is hee wearied by the long processe of time, and wont to give his blessing in one age, to that which he hath cursed in another’ (Preface, sig. A2v). Beer stresses that ‘God’s judgments, which negate human attempts to influence events, do not lie easily with Ralegh’s assertions of the educational role of history’ (Sir Walter Ralegh 46); to this, it might be


Andrew Hiscock

added that the remorseless emphasis upon Jehovah’s wrath in the chronicle is indeed difficult to reconcile more generally with the mysterious providential purpose orchestrated by the heavens.11 At such points, Ralegh’s reader is left to navigate uncertainly between competing constructions of human ontology. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Ralegh’s multiple lines of investigation concerning futurity in the History are intimately linked to enquiries undertaken throughout his oeuvre. In this context, we might consider the speculative erotics of ‘The Ocean’s Love to Scinthia’, or the inevitable obsession with posterity in the multiple versions of his scaffold speech which survive.12 Equally arresting is the voice of the political visionary which surfaces in his accounts of the New World. Ralegh’s most substantial and most critically analyzed intervention in the latter subgenre is The Discoverie of the Large, Rich, and Bewtiful Empyre of Guiana (1596). This sustained evocation of the boundless natural and human resources of an area located within what is now modern Venezuela must clearly be seen to be shaped by the political insecurities, imperial aspirations and the seemingly irrepressible economic appetites which dominated day-to-day existence at Elizabeth’s court. Like many accounts of exploration published by his contemporaries, Ralegh’s Discoverie exhibits an abiding concern with questions of profitable investment, military intervention and the spawning of allies across the Atlantic to counterbalance the ever-present hostility of England’s European neighbours. In addition, his anxious desire to unveil a benign, yielding Guiana (‘a Countrey that hath yet her Maydenhead, neuer sackt, turned, nor wrought’) has, of course, much more to do with the need to secure a reassuringly heroic and successful mission impériale for his native land in the future than it has with the reality of the cultural ambitions and responses of the Guianians at the close of the sixteenth century: ‘All the most of the kings of the borders are already become her Maiesties vassals: & seeme to desire nothing more then her Maiesties protection, and the returne of the English nation’ (sig. A4r). In this way, not only does Ralegh claim the eminent distinction of the ‘discoverie’ (in person and in writing) of this key arena for England’s destiny, but he is also eager to occlude the childless posterity of the virgin queen with the fecund prospect of issue being generated by a responsive mistress across the Atlantic as identified by valuable political servants (or ravishers) such as himself.13 It should be underlined that the unfailing utopianism in this period of exploration narratives such as Ralegh’s was a deliberate response on the part of the authors to accommodate the more workaday appetites of their Old World readers for extravagant wealth and ease. Indeed, such accounts appear to betray an English nation, like Shakespeare’s Lear, desperately in search of a familiar, but long-lost ‘kind nursery’—a return to an earlier, Edenic existence of unending fruitfulness and solace. In the sumptuous 1590 edition of Thomas Hariot’s A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, Theodore de Bry’s dedicatory

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letter to Ralegh underlined that the North American colony ‘hath ben descouuerd by yours meanes [ . . . ]. And that your Collonye hath been theer established to your great honnor and prayse, and noe lesser proffit vnto the commonwelth’ (sigs A2r-v). At the end of Hariot’s volume, there are some of de Bry’s engravings ‘cott in copper’ which are designed to represent ‘the Pictes which in the Olde tyme dyd habite one parte of the great Bretainne’ and ‘to showe how that the Inhabitants of the great Bretainnie haue bin in times past as sauvage as those of Virginia’ (sig E1r). Such images become a potent medium through which to communicate the belief (advocated in so much New World pamphlet literature) that exposure to this land beyond the seas constituted a reacquaintance with earlier European selves and a guarantee of future prosperity. Richard Hakluyt went as far as to contest that Virginia presented the all too tempting prospect of a successful imperial future for Elizabeth’s realm: [T]hat fairest of nymphs—though to many insufficiently well known,— whom our most generous sovereign has given you [Ralegh] to be your bride [ . . . ]. If you persevere only a little longer in your constancy, your bride will shortly bring forth new and most abundant offspring, such as will delight you and yours, and cover with disgrace and shame those who have so often dared rashly and impudently to charge her with barrenness. For who has the just title to attach such a stigma to your Elizabeth’s Virginia, when no one has yet probed the depths of her hidden resources and wealth, or her beauty hitherto concealed from our sight?14 When Ralegh addresses the pressing question of translatio imperii in the Discoverie, he is eager to legitimize the Elizabethans’ claims to colonies overseas by calling to mind their dealings with this Atlantic world in the past, including the expedition by John Cabot in 1497, and that of Cabot’s son Sebastian in 1509. However, Henry VIII had little appetite for further expeditions of this type, seeing the future of this realm fi rmly in terms of military campaigns and politicking in Old Europe. For the next decades, if English sailors crossed the Atlantic it was mostly with the ambition of cod fishing. Nevertheless, by Elizabeth’s reign, the passage of the Gold fleets back and forth across the ocean was deeply dispiriting for the London court which was now locked into hostilities with a Spain bankrolled by the bounty drawn across the seas. In his prefatory discussion to the Discouerie, Ralegh not only exploits this widespread cultural anxiety amongst his fellow countrymen, but he also drives home the point that England might be the future inheritor of this empire: Nowe although these reportes may seeme straunge, yet if wee consider the many millions which are daily brought out of Peru into Spaine,


Andrew Hiscock wee may easely beleeue the same, for wee fi nde that by the abundant treasure of that countrey, the Spanish King vexeth all the Princes of Europe, and is become in a fewe yeares from a poore king of Castile the greatest monarke of this part of the worlde, and likelie euery day to increase, if other Princes forsloe the good occasions offered. (Sir Walter Raleigh’s Discoverie 41)

If the high seas came to constitute an additional theatre in which European political tensions might be played out, Ralegh shows himself keenly aware in the Discoverie both that particular appetites will control the fortunes of European nations—and that these appetites are neither Christian zeal for converts, nor the desire to recover Eden: ‘It is his Indian Golde that indaungereth and disturbeth all the nations of Europe’ (The Discouerie fol. 3v). As much recent scholarship has underlined, the Elizabethans’ investment in appropriating a world politically and humanly estranged from their own with a view to future gain was governed in many ways by a colonial project closer to home: the Plantation of Ireland. Ralegh had himself served in Ireland in the years 1580 and 1581 and, under Lord Grey’s command, his forces had amongst other activities slaughtered the disarmed foreign troops which had been holding the besieged Smerwick in County Kerry. Clearly, violent coercion and butchery were all too commonplace in both the Elizabethan experience of both Ireland and the New World. Indeed, in a dedicatory letter of 1587 to Ralegh, Richard Hakluyt stressed that ‘it is not to bee denied, but that one hundred men will doe more nowe among the naked and vnarmed people in Virginea, then one thousande were able then to doe in Irelande against that armed and warrelike nation’ (Laudonnière, n.s.) The perceived commonality of experience between the two environments meant that similar expectations and ambitions were often applied to both. For Ralegh and many of the writers associated with his ventures, both Ireland and Virginia in their different ways represented an engagement with the past (whether in terms of barbarism or Edenic purity), and strategies of colonial appropriation in the present not only enabled the nation to fulfil its political destiny, but generated opportunities for the more technologically advanced English to reenact the empire-building of the antique races.

NEW WORLDS—PRESENT AND FUTURE Despite the immense energy and expenses being devoted to both initiatives in colonization, it is evident that by the last decade of Elizabeth’s reign Ralegh himself was considerably less sanguine about the prospect of empire-building closer to home. He wrote with his usual candour to Robert Cecil on 10 May 1595 that

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Her Majesty hath good cause to remember that a million hath been spent in Irland not many yeares since. A better kingdome would have bynn purchased att a less prize and that same defended with as many pence if good order had bynn taken, but the question now may be whether for so great expence the estrate be not less asured than ever. (Letters 93–4) The English endeavours to found an American colony in the late 1580s collapsed owing to a dearth of necessary political support, provisions and medical supplies. Later attempts during the reign of James I to establish plantations in Virginia remained uncertain because of poor management, poor relations with many native communities and the dissatisfaction of investors at home looking for a quick return on their money. In 1607, Ralegh petitioned James I’s consort, Anna of Denmark, from the Tower to be allowed to join the Jamestown settlement. In the event, only his nephew, Ralph Gilbert, was permitted to represent the family on the voyage to America. Since his trial in 1603 Ralegh had been pronounced legally dead. The new Jacobean regime had been all too aware of his popularity and was unwilling to contribute to the heroic status of the fallen courtier further by executing him. Thus robbed of his own ‘future’ for thirteen years (1603–1616) in the Tower, Ralegh was eventually permitted to serve his irascible king with a last voyage to Guiana in 1617 in search of gold—however, the Stuart monarch had already forewarned the Spanish of his itinerary and the venture was thus doomed to fail. During this fi nal expedition, Ralegh’s eldest son Wat was slain in a confl ict with Spanish forces in the area around the settlement of San Thomé, and the grief-stricken father who wrote to Sir Ralph Winwood on 21 March 1618 knew that there was now little prospect for him of ‘times succeeding’: What shall become of me now I know not. [ . . . ] For to a broken mind, to a weak body, and weak eyes, it is a torment to write many letters. I have found many things of importance for discovering the estate and weakness of the Indies, which if I live I shall hereafter impart unto your honour, to whom I shall ever remain a faithful servant. (Edwards 221–2) Clearly, even in this desperate situation in the fi nal months of his life, Ralegh never managed to suppress his irrepressible conviction that there were new lands across the Atlantic for the taking if only the English were ready to rise to the challenge. Yet his obsessive interest in the political and economic capital to be gained from the forging of empires clearly met with considerable opposition at court during both the reigns of Elizabeth and James and more than once it appears to have rendered him a figure of ridicule.


Andrew Hiscock

RALEGH’S LEGACIES This discussion began with a consideration of how Ralegh shared many anxieties in common with his contemporaries concerning the question of futurity. The publication entitled (by the printer?) Sir Walter Raleighs Instructions to His Sonne and to Posterity (probably composed around 1609, and fi rst published in 1632) was so popular that it ran through five editions between 1632 and 1635 alone. The constant refrain of the text’s speaker is for his child to act prudently and morally in both public and private affairs: For the younger times are unfit, eyther to chuse or to governe a Wife and family; so if thou stay long, thou shalt hardly see the education of thy Children, which being left to strangers, are in effect lost, and better were it to bee unborne then ill bred, for thereby thy posterity shall eyther perish or remayne a shame to thy name, and family. (28–30) It is clear that Montaigne, for example, reserved particular scorn for those ‘men for ever gaping after future things, and go about to teach vs, to take hold of present fortunes’ (1.3.5), and these plangent themes of enquiry into ‘times succeeding’ in many ways reach their climax in Book 3 of the Essais in which he submits, ‘I am not tied with that strong bond, which some say, bindes men to future times, by the children bearing their names, and succeeding them in honors’ (3.9.564). Interestingly, Francis Bacon was to invest in an alternative self-drama and acknowledged unequivocally the textual claims that he wished to make upon the future. The very beginning, or ‘Proœmium’, to The Great Instauration opens in the following manner: ‘Francis of Verulam reasoned thus with himself, and judged it to be for the interest of the present and future generations that they should be made acquainted with his thoughts’ (Works 4.7). In 1645 the royalist James Howell hailed Ralegh as ‘[t]hat rare and renowned knight, whose fame shall contend in longevity with the island itself’ (qtd. in Thompson iii), and John Milton felt compelled to prepare what he thought was Ralegh’s The Cabinet-Council for publication in 1658 because it would prove ‘a kinde of injury to withhold longer the work of so eminent an Author from the Publick’.15 However, in the 1950s the eminent Ralegh critic Agnes Latham pointed out how precarious Ralegh’s textual legacy was to later centuries: ‘Although he distinguished himself in so many ways of life, everything he did seems to have been tainted by a curious impermanence; to have had something sketchy and amateurish about it. Not one of his Virginian expeditions succeeded, and his schemes for Guiana came to nothing. His history was never fi nished

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and his poetry is lost’ (Ralegh, The Poems xiv). These doleful conclusions have certainly been borne out in the seemingly endless labours of Ralegh critics down the centuries to establish a secure canon, for it is clear, as Anna Beer has persuasively shown, that the seventeenth century frequently saw the appropriation of Ralegh’s authorship as a signifi cant and lucrative form of branding for any number of new publications. In the prefatory matter to the Judicious and Select Essayes (1650) we are reminded that ‘Raleighs very Name is Proclamation enough for the Stationers advantage’ (sig. A4r). Indeed, rather than attending (like Bacon) to the integrity of the textual legacies which he might bequeath to future generations, Ralegh directed attention in the fi nal months of his life to the course of his political fortunes and to the cultural lessons which might be drawn from his plight as thwarted political visionary and maligned public servant. By 1618, having been pronounced legally dead for fi fteen years and having led a doomed fi nal expedition to Guiana, Ralegh could do little else but acknowledge the imminence of his own passing—and he did so most famously from the scaffold for a London audience which had remained greedy for any news of his tribulations. However, throughout his career Ralegh had been temperamentally much more suited to the counsel of despair than the promise of transcendence and, even in a dedicatory address to Robert Cecil in the 1596 Discoverie, the Elizabethan courtier gravitated effortlessly to a melancholia which was to characterize so many of his textual enquiries into the future: But if both the times past, the present, and what may be in the future, doe all by one graine of gall continue in an eternall distast, I doe not then knowe whether I should bewaile my selfe either for my too much trauel and expence, or condemne my selfe for doing lesse then that, which can deserue nothing. (sigs A3r-v)

NOTES 1. All references are in the following format: Book.Chapter.Section.Page. 2. See Cicero, De Re Publica 71 and 155 and De Divinatione 377; and Cicero, Letters to Atticus 1.161 and 1.199. See also Virgil, Eclogues 26–7. Ovid’s long poetic narrative poem the Fasti is devoted to experiencing the Roman calendar year in terms of a reenactment of ritual and pieties for the past. See also Seneca 75–6. As has been mentioned previously, this line of enquiry was especially associated with Stoical thinking. However, in the writings of Plato and Aristotle the emphasis is more characteristically upon catastrophes which envelop human cultures and cause the birth of newly minted societies, rather than upon duplicating patterns of experience. In this context, see Plato’s Timaeus 23a (1230); Plato’s Statesman 269c and 269d; and Aristotle’s Metaphysics 2.1698.


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3. See, respectively, Francis Bacon, ‘Of the Vicissitude of Things’, Major Works 454; and Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici 19 §17. In the Discourses (which Ralegh knew), Machiavelli also draws famously upon Cicero’s ideas in De Re Publica, stressing ‘the cycle through which all commonwealths pass, whether they govern themselves or are governed’ (1.2.109). 4. This methodology is in evidence elsewhere in Ralegh’s writing. In ‘A Discourse of the Invention of Ships, Anchors, Compasse [ . . . ]’ (published in Judicious and Select Essayes, composed c. 1608–10), he begins his discussion by foregrounding the contention that ‘Others give the fi rst Dominion upon the Waters to Neptune’ (3). Interestingly, in his 1622 ‘Sermon Preached to the Honourable Company of the Virginian Plantation’ Donne refers to this distant past, in this case Noah, to prosecute his point that God gave man the gift of shipbuilding so that he might go forth and proclaim the Word to the world (Sermons 4.265). 5. My sincere thanks to Dr. Judith Owen and Dr. Christian Leitmeir for their invaluable advice in working on the translation of Latin source material for this chapter. See Wheare, Relectiones hyemales §VII, p. 45. Wheare’s De Ratione & Methodus Legendi Historias was fi rst published in 1623. 6. John Racin has underlined that ‘[a]lthough it was generally agreed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that the historian’s proper subject matter was truth, the nature of that truth was the source of much controversy’ (45). For further discussion here, see, for example, Greenblatt 139ff; Racin 62, 134ff; Ferguson 69–70; Levine 101ff; and Beer, Sir Walter Ralegh 45–6. 7. In this context, see also Hiscock. 8. For further contexts for these sentiments, see Kemys sig. F1r. 9. Ralegh himself treated the fall of Philotas at some length in his own History (book 4, § 2), and Pierre Lefranc points out that the narrative of the fall of a trusted royal servant owing to grossly unfair judicial proceedings may not have been random as a theme for his Jacobean readers (326). 10. Beer herself acknowledges that this thesis is ‘not, of course, always straightforward’ (Sir Walter Ralegh 2–3). 11. Earlier, Beer argues persuasively that ‘although the History is riddled with contradiction and confusion, it is also ruthlessly organized, erudite, inclusive, encyclopaedic and, on occasions, platitudinous’ (42). In this context, Joseph M. Levine’s assertion is also of interest: ‘Somehow Ralegh was able to reconcile a genuine reverence for antiquity with an Elizabethan confidence in the present [ . . . ]. Yet Ralegh’s history had been assembled from the bits and patches of an impressive erudition and much of its value lay in its compendiousness’ (101). 12. See Beer, ‘Textual Politics’ and Hiscock, ‘Walter Ralegh and the Arts of Memory’. 13. Interestingly in this context, in his ‘Sermon Preached to the Honourable Company of the Virginian Plantation, 13th November 1622 [ . . . ]’, Donne stresses most particularly both the religious obligations and heroic vocation of the ‘adventurers’. He takes as his text Acts 1.8 (‘But yee shall receive Power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and yee shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth’): ‘So God taught us to make Ships, not to transport our selves, but to transport him [ . . . ]’ (Donne, Sermons 4.266). 14. 1587 dedication to Peter Martyr’s Decades, 367–8, qtd. in Miller 134. 15. John Milton, ‘To the Reader’, in Ralegh, The Cabinet-Council sig. A2r.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Aristotle. The Complete Works. Ed. Jonathan Barnes. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1995. Augustine. Confessions. Trans. Henry Chadwick. Oxford: World’s Classics, 1988. Bacon, Francis. A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage of Sir Walter Ralegh, Knight, as Well in Voyage, as in, and Sithence His Returne and of the True Motiues and Inducements Which Occasioned His Maiestie to Proceed in Doing Iustice vpon Him, as Hath Bene Done. London: Bonham Norton and John Bill, 1618. . The Major Works. Ed. Brian Vickers. Oxford: World’s Classics, 2002. . The Works of Francis Bacon. Ed. J. Spedding, R. L. Ellis and D. D. Heath. Vols. 1–14. London: Longman, 1857–1874. Beer, Anna. Sir Walter Ralegh and His Readers in the Seventeenth Century. London: MacMillan, 1997. . ‘Textual Politics: The Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.’ Modern Philology 94.1 (Aug. 1996): 19–38. Browne, Sir Thomas. Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia and The Garden of Cyrus. Ed. R. H. A. Robbins. Oxford: Clarendon, 1982. Campbell, Mary B. The Witness and the Other World. Exotic European Travel Writing, 400–1600. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1988. Cicero. De Re Publica, De Legibus. Trans. Clinton Walker Keyes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1961. . De Senectute, De Amicita, De Divinatione. Trans. William Armistead Falconer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1946. . Letters to Atticus. Vol. 1. Ed. and trans. D. R. Shackleton Bailey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1999. Donne, John. The Complete English Poems. Ed. A. J. Smith. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977. . Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions. Ed. Anthony Raspa. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1975. . Paradoxes and Problems. Ed. Helen Peters. Oxford: Clarendon, 1980. . The Sermons of John Donne in Ten Volumes. Ed. George R. Potter and Evelyn M. Simpson. Berkeley: U of California P, 1959. Edwards, Philip. Last Voyages: Cavendish, Hudson, Ralegh. The Original Narratives. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988. Engel, William E. Mapping Mortality: The Persistence of Memory and Melancholy in Early Modern England. Amherst, MA: Massachusetts UP, 1995. Farrington, Benjamin. The Philosophy of Francis Bacon. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1964. Ferguson, Arthur B. Clio Unbound: Perception of the Social and Cultural Past in Renaissance England. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1979. Greenblatt, Stephen J. Sir Walter Raleigh: The Renaissance Man and his Works. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1973. Hakluyt, Richard. The Principal Nauigations, Traffi ques and Discoueries of the English nation [ . . . ]. London: George Bishop, Ralph Newberie and Robert Barker, 1598–1600. Holinshed, Raphael. The first and second volumes of Chronicles, comprising 1 The description and historie of England, 2 The description and historie of Ireland, 3 The description and historie of Scotland: first collected and published by Raphaell Holinshed, William Harrison, and others: now newlie augmented and continued (with manifold matters of singular note and worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586. by Iohn Hooker aliàs Vowell Gent. and others. Vol. 2. [London]:


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Iohn Harison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham, and Thomas VVoodcocke for [Henry Denham], [1587]. Laudonnière, René Goulaine de. A Notable Historie Containing Foure Voyages Made by Certayne French Captaynes vnto Florida. London: Thomas Dawson, 1587. Hall, Joseph. The Balm of Gilead, or, Comforts for the Distressed, Both Morall and Divine Most Fit for These Woful Times. London: Thomas Newcomb, 1650. Hariot, Thomas. A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia of the Commodities and of the Nature and Manners of the Naturall Inhabitants. Frankfurt: Johannes Wecheli, 1590. Hiscock, Andrew. ‘Walter Ralegh and the Arts of Memory.’ Literature Compass 4.4 (2007): 1030–58. Johnson, Robert. Essaies, or Rather Imperfect Offers. London: J. Windet for J. Barnes, 1601. Kemys, Lawrence. A Relation of the Second Voyage to Guiana. London: T. Dawson, 1596. King, John. Voices of the English Reformation: A Sourcebook. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2004. Lefranc, Pierre. Sir Walter Ralegh Écrivain. Paris: Armand Colin, 1968. Levine, Joseph M. ‘Sir Walter Ralegh and the Ancient Wisdom.’ Court, Country and Culture: Essays on Early Modern British History in Honor of Perez Zagorin. Ed. Bonnelyn Young Kunze and Dwight D. Brautigam. New York: U of Rochester P, 1992. 89–108. Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Discourses. Ed. Bernard Crick. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978. Miller, Shannon. Invested with Meaning: The Raleigh Circle in the New World. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1998. Montaigne, Michel de. Essays Written in French by Michael Lord of Montaigne [ . . . ] Done into English, According to the Last French Edition, by Iohn Florio Reader of the Italian Tongue [ . . . ]. London: M. Bradwood for Edward Blount and William Barret, 1613. Plato. The Complete Works. Ed. John M. Cooper. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1997. Racin, John. Sir Walter Ralegh as Historian: An Analysis of ‘The History of the World.’ Salzburg: Universität Salzburg, 1974. Ralegh, Sir Walter. The Cabinet-Council Containing the Cheif [sic] Arts of Empire and Mysteries of State: Discabineted in Political and Polemical Aphorisms Grounded on Authority, and Experience [ . . . ] By the Ever-renowned Knight, Sir Walter Raleigh; Published by John Milton, Esq. London: Thomas Newcomb for Thomas Johnson, 1658. . The Discouerie of the Large, Rich, and Bewtiful Empire of Guiana [ . . . ]. London: R. Robinson, 1596. . The History of the World. London: Walter Burre, 1634. . Judicious and Select Essayes and Observations by That Renowned Knight Sir Walter Raleigh [ . . . ]. London: W[arren] for Humphrey Moseley, 1650. . The Letters of Sir Walter Ralegh. Ed. Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings. Exeter: U of Exeter P, 1999. . The Poems of Sir Walter Ralegh. Ed. Agnes M. C. Latham. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951. . The Poems of Sir Walter Ralegh: A Historical Edition. Ed. Michael Rudick. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies / Renaissance English Text Society, 1999.

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. Sir Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie of Guiana. Ed. Joyce Lorimer. London: Ashgate / Hakluyt Society, 2006. . Sir Walter Raleighs Instructions to His Sonne and to Posterity. London: For B. Fisher, 1632. Seneca. Dialogues and Letters. Ed. and trans. C. D. N. Costa. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997. Thompson, Edward. Sir Walter Ralegh: The Last of the Elizabethans. London: MacMillan, 1935. Virgil. Virgil’s Eclogues. Trans. Guy Lee. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1980. Wheare, Degory. De ratione et methodo legendi historias dissertatio, habita Oxoniæ in schola historica, 12. Iul. 1623. à D.W. primo historiarum prælectore publico, ex institutione clariss. viri, Gvlielmi Camdeni, clarentii. London: J. H[aviland], 1623. . Relectiones hyemales, de ratione & methodo legendi utrasq[ue] historias, civiles et ecclesiasticas. Oxford: L. Lichfield for H. Curteyne, 1637.


France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale Sixteenth- and Early SeventeenthCentury French Representations of a Colonial Future in Brazil Michael Harrigan

French descriptions of actual and projected colonial expeditions during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries frequently lamented France’s inadequate position in comparison with the colonial empires being constructed by its European neighbours, at a period in which national hostilities might have crystallized along the lines of religious differences. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the country was torn apart by a series of bloody religious wars, and tension between Protestants and Catholics would continue to ferment long after the 1598 Edict of Nantes. This chapter examines visions of future French colonization in the period of, or immediately subsequent to, the Wars of Religion, at a time when consciousness of the movement of human populations in a largely unexplored world seemed to promise vast further possibilities for those willing to embark on colonial expeditions. Direct references to the future of colonies in French primary sources are scarce at this time, although two failed settlements in Brazil—the Huguenot France Antarctique in the mid-1550s, and the Catholic colony in the island of Maranhão (Maragnan) in the second decade of the 1600s—gave rise to a body of texts revelatory of perspectives on the colonial future. This study analyzes these products of polemic or propaganda after an initial discussion of the relationship between perceptions of human mobility and the colonial future.

THE PURGATION OF THE KINGDOM Whereas European exploration of the Americas and the Orient inspired a contemporary consciousness of the importance of the new ‘discoveries’ which had continued since the late fi fteenth century, settlement of colonies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was also considered as further movement of peoples in a world subject to motion and change. As Frank Lestringant writes, the colonization of the New World might be considered a natural extension of the constant ‘flux’ of humanity in motion, as shown by the numerous historical examples furnished by the late sixteenthcentury Protestant Philippe Du Plessis-Mornay (Du Plessis-Mornay 117).1 Migrations might, for another Protestant—the soldier turned homme de lettres le Sieur de La Popelinière—be determined by climate, or even by

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 111 divine order: ‘Attendu que Dieu commanda sans distinction de lieux à noz premiers parens Adam & Eve de croistre, multiplier, & remplir le monde’ (Les Trois Mondes 84) (‘Given that God commanded, without determining place, our original ancestors Adam and Eve to increase, multiply and fill the world’). 2 Nonetheless, although late sixteenth-century authors were aware of historical and scriptural precedents, recent geographical discoveries had overturned existing knowledge; whereas Europeans were perceived to have made substantial discoveries, the future promised to reveal even more unexplored lands: Il n’y a que cent ans que nous ne cognoissions rien en plus de la moitié du monde. Nous n’estions qu’à l’entrée de la terre, & pensions estre à la perfection de la Geographie, nous pensions avoir cognu les bouts du Monde, & n’avions encor passé le cercle Meridionel qui mypartit le Monde. [ . . . ] Encor aujourd’huy ne cognoissions nous rien de la terre ferme du Midy, & bien peu mesme de la Septentrionale. (Du Plessis-Mornay 113–4) Only a hundred years ago we knew nothing of more than half the world. We were but at the entrance of the Earth, and thought that we had perfect knowledge of Geography, we thought that we knew the ends of the earth, and had not yet passed the Southern circle which divides the World in two. Even today we know nothing of the land of the South, and very little of that of the North. Yet, whereas mapping had not yet made this world known to European readers, cosmographies and travel narratives fuelled the belief that the regions which Europeans were continuing to ‘discover’ or settle were, and would be, to all intents and purposes, largely uninhabited. Situating the colonization of the New World alongside historical ‘migrations & desbordemens des peuples’ (‘migrations and outpourings of peoples’), La Popelinière implied that the ‘flux’ of migration was spilling over into essentially empty regions (Les Trois Mondes 84).3 The apparent vastness of the Indes, both east and west, extended to its great exploitable resources. Even the vaguest of hints of the existence of the Terra australis contained the promise of expanses of fertile colonizable land, as in the 1567 letter from Raymond de Fourquevaulx to Catherine de Medici depicting it as a ‘nouvelle terre tres riche et de tres grande estendüe’ (qtd. in Hamy, Nouveaux Documents 7) (‘a certain new land of very great richness and size’). These hopes led to the formulation of a remonstrance to the French court in 1566, in which the d’Albaigne brothers proposed an expedition to the unseen continent, portraying it as a ‘grand estendue de terres et royaulmes abondans et riches en or, argent, pierreries, drogueries et espiceries’ (Francisque et André d’ Albaigne 24) (‘a great area of lands and kingdoms abundant and rich in gold, precious stones, drugs and spices’). Such expressions of confidence about the resources of a land the existence of which was at best only suggested, demonstrate a shared optimism that the future would bestow lands,


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riches and spices on those willing to undertake exploratory expeditions. Two decades later, La Popelinière shared that same spirit when his Amiral de France urged the recipient to embark on new sea expeditions for future benefits to both the individual and to France: Si l’honneur ne vous chatouille de si prés: que le désir vous eguillonne d’enrichir ce pays: ou l’acomoder de tant de choses singulieres qui se trouveront en ces provinces estranges. Ou du moins de le soulager, par tant de levées des plus volontaires Francois que vous menerez ou envoyerez soubs l’espoir de vostre bon heur: peupler tant de pays, qui ne sont encore cognuz ny mesme descouvers que de prime veuë & trop generale descouverte. (91v) If your honour is not excited, may you be stimulated by the desire to enrich this land, or to bedeck it with so many singular things that shall be found in these strange provinces, or at least to relieve it, by the levy of many willing Frenchmen whom you will lead or send in the hope of your good fortune: to populate so many countries, which have not been explored or even discovered except through fi rst sighting and superficial reconnaissance. The promise of the spatial and economic ‘uncovering’ of these ‘provinces estranges’ (‘foreign provinces’) is evident: the summary in La Popelinière’s margin reads Terres infinies belles & riches sont encor a descouvrir (‘Infinite lands, rich and beautiful, remain to be discovered’). For La Popelinière, the peopling of the world could and would continue, in these vaguely glimpsed lands, as they had since the birth of humanity. Nonetheless, whereas the view that the future would reveal considerable new discoveries was pervasive, expressions of pessimism about the future of the Old World exist in other texts. As Montaigne writes, Europe might even degenerate as the New World was itself ‘illuminated’: Si nous concluons bien de nostre fi n, [ . . . ] cet autre monde ne faira qu’entrer en lumiere quand le nostre en sortira. L’univers tombera en paralisie; l’un membre sera perclus, l’autre en vigueur. (‘Des Coches’ Les Essais 3.6.908–9) If wee conclude aright of our end, [ . . . ] this late-world shall but come to light when ours shall fall into darknesse. The whole Universe shall fall into a palsey or convulsion of sinnowes: one member shall be maimed or shrunken, another nimble and in good plight. (Essayes 463)4 The Catholic lawyer Marc Lescarbot adopts a millenarian tone to urge the overcoming of domestic conflict, promoting a new alliance between old and new France:

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 113 Il faut reprendre l’ancien exercise de la marine, & faire une alliance du Levant avec le Ponant, de la France Orientale avec l’Occidentale, & convertir tant de milliers d’hommes à Dieu avant que la consommation du monde vienne, laquelle s’avance fort, si les conjectures de quelques anciens Chrétiens sont veritables. (17) The ancient exercise of seafaring must be recommenced, and an alliance of the East with the West, or the Eastern with the Western France made, and so many thousands of men must be converted to God before the end of the world, which is fast advancing, if the conjectures of several ancient Christians are true. However, the Jesuit Pierre Du Jarric, in 1614, while addressing contemporary fears of the end of the world, came to the conclusion that the discoveries that were being made were evidence that Armageddon was still a long way off: Car je sçay bien qu’il y a encore beaucoup de terres à descouvrir, tant en la partie septentrionale du monde: mesmement vers Canada, & plus outre, qu’en l’Australe; où est une region de tres-grande estenduë [ . . . ]. Si cete terre ferme se continuë jusques au pole Antarctique, elle faict la quatriesme partie de toute la terre: & peust comprendre le double des Royaumes, & Provinces, que le Roy d’Espagne possede [ . . . ]. Puis donc qu’il y a encor tant de terres, & Isles à descouvrir, & ont esté jusqu’à present [ . . . ] qui osera sans temerité asseurer, que le jour du grand, & fi nal jugement soit si proche, comme quelques uns veulent faire acroire? (3.494–5) For well I know that there are still many more lands which remain to be discovered, in the northern part of the world, as much towards Canada, and further, than in the southern, where there is a region of very great extent. If this land continues to the Antarctic pole, it must constitute a quarter of the earth’s surface, and may constitute the double of the kingdoms and provinces, that the king of Spain possesses. Since then there are so many lands and islands to discover, and have been so up to the present, who can reasonably dare to assure that the day of the great and fi nal judgment is as near as some people wish us to believe? For Du Jarric, who had significantly different views on Iberian colonization to his Protestant near contemporaries, European ‘discoveries’ had been divinely ordained to allow those languishing in the darkness of paganism to see ‘une grande clarté, & joüiront de la splendeur de la foy Chrestienne, & Catholique’ (3.495) (‘a great light, and they will rejoice in the splendour of the Christian and Catholic faith’). He explicitly associates the frontiers of the spatial plane with those of the temporal; before the potential for

114 Michael Harrigan even more discoveries, an eventual, terrestrial era of Christian splendour pushes the spectre of the Last Judgment into the distance. Significant optimism for the implantation of religion or ‘civilization’ (if one can cautiously equate Montaigne’s lumière with the latter term) and of a glorious terrestrial future appears to have coexisted with the fears of the end of the world expressed in other quarters. However, French authors were also unanimous that unlike France, other European powers, untroubled by civil strife, were occupying or exploiting great territories east and west (La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 69). Numerous texts of this era assimilate France’s civil confl ict to a humoral imbalance in the body politic and propose purgation as a remedy.5 One means to restore vigour and form was to follow the example of Spain and Portugal, by diverting the misdirected energies of the kingdom towards the honourable conquest of new lands, as proposed by La Popelinière: Et [ . . . ] inciter la jeunesse dormante & peu soigneuse, d’effectuer les vrayement beaux exploits d’honorablement mesnager en telles conquestes, les grands moyens qu’elle prodigalise en choses qui ne luy apportent qu’un vent & fumee, non le vray corps de solide honneur [ . . . ] (Les Trois Mondes 79)6 And to incite careless and slumbering youth to carry out truly great exploits, honourably employing in such conquests the great means that they waste on things that only bring them momentary satisfaction instead of true, solid, honour. Colonization would divert the ‘passions’ and seditious behaviour of subjects and purge the corrupted body of the state: Les Princes de ce temps devroient faire monstre de l’inutile puissance de leurs subjets, soit pour illustrer, estendre, ou enrichir leur estat: soit pour divertir les passions des plus mutins, pour le continuel exercise des armes que tous grands princes ont tousjours jugé necessaire au plus seur entretien d’un estat: ressemblans au bon medecin qui purge par sueurs, evacuation de sang corrompu, ou autrement le corps cacochime & plein de mauvaises humeurs, pour obvier à la maladie qui le saiseroit aussi tost. (Les Trois Mondes 78)7 The princes of these times should turn the useless power of their subjects into military strength, either to glorify, extend or enrich their state, or to divert the most mutinous passions, for the continual exercise of arms that all great princes have always judged necessary to the surest maintenance of a states: resembling a good doctor who purges a feeble body filled with bad humours through sweating, evacuation of corrupted blood, or otherwise, so as to obviate sickness before it takes hold.

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 115 Montaigne himself writes of the perception of the immediate necessity of purging such humours before the country is completely ruined by civil conflict: Il y en a plusieurs en ce temps qui discourent de pareille façon, souhaitans que cette emotion chaleureuse qui est parmy nous, se peut deriver à quelque guerre voisine, de peur que ces humeurs peccantes qui dominent pour cette heure nostre corps, si on ne les escoulle ailleurs, maintiennent nostre fiebvre tousjours en force, et apportent en fi n nostre entiere ruine. (‘Des mauvais moyens employez à bonne fi n’, Essais 2.23.683) There are divers now adaies, which will speake thus, wishing this violent and burning emotion we see and feele amongst us might be derived to some neighbor warre, fearing lest those offending humours, which at this instant are predominant in our bodie, if they be not diverted elsewhere, will still maintaine our fever in force, and in the end cause our utter destruction. (Essayes 349) While Montaigne had considered Roman colonization as a model for this strategy (Essais 683), his contemporary La Popelinière was apparently influenced by the colonial adventures depicted by André d’Albaigne, who had also proposed to relieve the problems of the kingdom by ‘diversion’.8 This would consist in the large-scale transfer of potential sources of internal confl ict, such as the poor or the criminal, to the Terra australis: [D]escharger ce royaulme de beaucoup de gens qui ou par pauvreté ou inquietude d’esprit n’y servent que de charge et trouble, donnant moyen de vivre aux uns et aux autres honneste et vertueuse occupation, et mesmes de gratifier et remunerer tant de seigneurs et gentilzhommes et autres de toutes qualitez qui ont faict et sont pour faire service a ceste couronne leur faisant telle part en ces dictes conquestes qu’elle jugera convenir a leurs merittes. (qtd. in Hamy, Francisque et André d’Albaigne 24) Relieving this kingdom of many people who through poverty or unruly spirit are only a troublesome burden, giving a living to some and to others honest and virtuous occupation, and even to gratify and remunerate so many lords and gentlemen of all ranks who have been and are ready to be of service to this crown, giving them such a share in the aforementioned conquests that will be judged suitable to their merits. However, aside from mentioning that such a project would enable those removed from the kingdom to be gainfully employed, d’Albaigne’s short text remains discreet on the future vision of this colony, and elaboration on the economic structure, or the impact on whatever human beings might be encountered in this land, is absent. Nonetheless, one contemporary source


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of civil unrest, the radical polarization of French subjects into religious communities, was to inspire further projects that were to influence hopes for a French colonial future.

THE AMERICAS: A DIVERSITY OF VISIONS Several large colonial expeditions were undertaken by French settlers to the Americas within this period. A Huguenot colony was established in Florida from 1562–1565, but was brought to a premature end by a Spanish massacre, while the fate of the fledgling France Antarctique in Brazil demonstrates how confessional differences exacerbated tensions as much among colonists as among colonial powers.9 Ultimately implantation was to be successful in Canada alone. Long before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Protestant writers considered the Americas as a possible haven from the troubles of contemporary France. For the pastor, Jean de Léry, la France Antarctique would be constituted by members of the reformed cult fleeing persecution in France, under the viceroy, Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon: Villegagnon [ . . . ] fit entendre [ . . . ] que dés long temps il avoit non seulement une extrême envie de se retirer en quelque pays lointain, où il peust librement et purement servir à Dieu selon la reformation de l’Evangile: mais qu’aussi il desiroit d’y preparer lieu à tous ceux qui s’y voudroient retirer pour eviter les persecutions. (106) Villegagnon gave it to be understood that he had had a great desire, for a long time, to withdraw to some faraway land, where he could freely and purely serve God according to the reformation of the Gospel, but that he also wished to prepare a place for all those who wished to come so as to avoid the persecutions. As Anne-Marie Beaulieu writes, La Popelinière frequently draws on Léry’s version, adding that Villegagnon was ‘fasché des persecutions lutheriennes’ (‘troubled by the persecution of Lutherans’).10 For both authors, the colony was envisaged as a religious refuge. If the pastor Pierre Richer is to be believed, many of his contemporaries were willing to contribute considerable economic resources to the project: Et se fussent trouvez beaucoup d’hommes de grave autorité, & riches, mesmes plusieurs personnages de grand sçavoir & erudition, qui en vendant leurs terriennes possessions, eussent entreprins ceste navigation en la Terre Amerique, pour repousser le joug & servitude de l’Antechrist, si soudainement la mauvaise conception de Durand [Villegagnon], & pleine de fard, ne leur eut esté patente & descouverte. (Richer sig. 15v)

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 117 And many men, rich and of grave authority, even many of great knowledge and learning, would have undertaken the voyage to the American land, by selling their earthly possessions, to free themselves from the yoke and servitude of the Antichrist, if suddenly Durand’s wicked and carefully disguised plan, had not become obvious to them. If the level of economic commitment to such an expedition can be taken as a measure of its perceived viability, then the Protestants Richer refers to would appear to have initially considered the colonial project as an immediately viable, durable response to religious persecution. Yet the priest Claude Haton furnishes a considerably different account of this expedition to Brazil, according to which Villegagnon intended to sow the Catholic faith in the colony and had such difficulty persuading his compatriots to participate that he was forced to accept prisoners as crew (Haton 1.71).11 One of the main difficulties, in contradiction to Richer, seems precisely to have been that actual settlement in Brazil was envisaged by all those whom Villegagnon approached as a deterrent to undertaking the voyage.12 Nonetheless, representatives of the colonial project assumed that these new lands containing unrivalled natural resources were awaiting the arrival of European means of production. Both the literate elite and popular traditions understood Brazil to be an immensely fertile land. Léry reveals that ‘Villegagnon [ . . . ] qu’ayant ouy parler, et faire tant de bons récits à quelques-uns de la beauté et fertilité de la partie en l’Amérique, appelée terre du Brésil’ (107) (‘Villegagnon having heard so much talk and tales told to various people of the beauty and fertility of the part of America, called the land of Brazil’). La Popelinière considers it ‘une des plus fertiles parties de l’Amerique’ (Les Trois Mondes 359–60) (‘one of the most fertile parts of America’). Yet, as the preceding texts will have hinted, polemic could also shape negative representations of the colony, precisely because of the same ignorance of the Americas which allowed others to project colonial futures in these lands. While a cosmographer such as the Catholic André Thevet could depict a substantial and clearly imaginary Ville-henri in the colony, the wonders of Villegagnon’s ‘kingdom’, as Lestringant points out, could easily evaporate before the barrage of Protestant religious polemic detracting from the importance of the Brazilian settlement.13 Ridicule of the colonial project moved beyond criticism of Villegagnon’s hypocrisy, and it could be depicted as neither a potential refuge nor a source of riches, but simply the stuff of illusions.14 In other words, the colonial future in Brazil, which was supposed in some quarters to have interested respectable men, could be considered by contemporaries as so unfeasible as to be ridiculous. In turn, the negative outcome of this project meant that the authors who describe France Antarctique afterwards have themselves voluntary recourse to illusions, and their projections are no longer for a future, but rather for


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what the colony could have resembled. Léry writes in 1580, ‘[Q]ue plus de dix mille personnes de la nation Françoise y seroyent maintenant en aussi pleine et secure possession pour nostre Roy, que les Espagnols et Portugais y sont au nom des leurs’ (48) (‘More than ten thousand people of the French nation would now be in as sure and full possession of it for our king, as the Spanish and Portuguese are in the name of their own’). Lescarbot similarly imagines the real fi nancial and territorial gains that the same nation would have obtained had the Brazilian project been a success: Sans cette division sept ou huit cens personnes avoient deliberé d’y passer cette méme année dans des grandes fourques de Flandre, pour commencer à peupler l’environ du port de Ganabara, & n’eussent manqué les nouvelles peuplades es années ensuivantes, léquelles à-present seroient accreuës infiniment, & auroient là planté le nom François souz l’obeïssance du Roy, si bien qu’aujourd’huy nôtre nation y auroit un facile accez, & y feroient les voyages journaliers; pour la commodité & retraitte de plusieurs pauvres gens dont la France n’abonde que trop. (197) Without this division seven or eight hundred people had planned to go there this same year in great Flemish boats, to begin to people the area surrounding the port of Ganabara, and new establishments would surely not have been lacking the next year, which by now would have infi nitely multiplied, and would have planted there the name of the French under the governance of the king, so that today our nation would have easy access, and would make daily voyages, for the ease and refuge of many poor people in which France is only too abundant. Both extracts, while they differ greatly in their origin and their function, express unrealized and unrealizable visions of the colony, now considered unfeasible on the site of Villegagnon’s settlement. However, for Lescarbot, an economic spur like that d’Albaigne had observed in the preceding century continued to act as a motor for French colonization. In the early seventeenth century, projections for a different colonial future, in Brazil, would instead focus on the coastal island of Maranhão.

MARANHÃO: HARANGUES DES SAUVAGES The fi nal attempt at French implantation in Brazil, on the island of Maranhão, was intended to be a resolutely commercial project supported by a compagnie. However, fi nancial difficulties remained a constant concern during its short existence, in the second decade of the seventeenth century, whereas another concern was the tense situation caused by implantation on Portuguese territory. This was exacerbated by the marriage of Louis XIII to Anne of Austria, the Infanta of Spain and Portugal. A Portuguese attack

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 119 in 1615 caused the abandonment of the colony, and in the delicate political context in which the enterprise was effectively abandoned by the regent, Marie de Medici, calls to reoccupy it went unheeded.15 Nonetheless, commercial concerns were accompanied by high hopes of implanting religion through the Capuchin mission to the island. Accounts written by the Pères Yves d’Evreux (this former text was suppressed for diplomatic reasons and remained unpublished until 1864) and Claude d’Abbeville, with early letters from the colony published in France, testify to the significance of religion among the colonists’ political and economic concerns.16 As in the preceding century, colonization was considered as a natural, necessary step for France, although now it followed the apparent resolution of domestic conflict. One letter published in pamphlet form in 1613 depicts the implantation of faith and of law as the beginning of a new era for the apparently united ‘Grand Royaume, & Peuple François’ (‘the great French kingdom and people’) to which it is addressed: Que te reste-il donc maintenant apres tes vieux combats, sinon de t’esjouir plantant la foy, la loy, parmi une gent farouche en ses mœurs, inhumaine en ses faits: mais facile pourtant à subir le doux joug de ton humain abord, chose que n’a peu faire le superbe ou rustique Portugais avec ses rigides entrées [ . . . ]? (Discours et Congratulation 3 and 7) What remains for you now after your former combats, except to rejoice in planting faith and law among a people wild in manners, inhuman in its ways, but yet easy to subject to the easy yoke of your humane approach, which the proud or rustic Portuguese was unable to do with his harsh commencement? Yet despite the apparent union of the peuple François, a potentially subversive presence is relegated to a paratext. That presence is also excluded from the colony due to unchristian envy and pride: ‘Le Huguenot si ce n’est luy qui paroit il deprise tout ce qui se faict par l’Eglise c’est la son esprit de gloire qui luy ronge le cœur sans fi nir’ (Discours 9, marginal note) (‘If the Huguenot does not appear, he belittles all that is done by the Church, for his pride endlessly eats away at him’). This exclusion reinforces the religious homogeneity intended for the colony, while minimizing the danger that a Protestant presence might pose by attributing it to sinful character traits. The pamphlet is also unambiguous in celebrating the unique role that the Catholic Church would play in the dissemination of the divine word: Et cet Evangile du Royaume sera presché en tout le rond universel de la terre, en tesmoignage à tous les Gentils, & alors viendra la consommation du monde, assavoir. Ainsi nous autres Catholiques devons nous avoir une grande joye de voir la parole de Dieu s’accomplir fidelement


Michael Harrigan de jour à autre, & non par autre congregation & assemblée, que par la Sainte Eglise Romaine. (11–12) And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached all around the Earth, in testimony to all the pagans, and then the end of the world will follow. Thus we Catholics should be filled with joy to see the word of God faithfully fulfilled from day to day, and by no other congregation or assembly, but the Holy Roman Church.

Nonetheless, despite the millenarian tone of this extract, Armageddon appears strikingly remote in most of the other accounts or correspondence bequeathed to us from the time of this settlement. This new era inspired by the Catholic Church leaves ample room for a terrestrial future to be enjoyed in the colony itself. The hope for a secular benefit from the colony is also manifest in a letter written by missionaries in the same volume: a good tobacco crop, the discovery of minerals and even a goldmine would also contribute to the colony’s commercial ambitions.17 For both D’Evreux and D’Abbeville, the creation of the new colony is intended to induce substantial changes in both the land occupied and France itself. Unlike their Huguenot predecessors in Brazil or Florida, rather than hoping to create a refuge for a religious minority, the two missionaries write from the secure perspective of the Catholic religious majority. They unequivocally aim to join religious with economic change and explicitly relate their reforms to the circumstances in France. D’Evreux imagines a new economy producing articles for European markets and including the indigenous people as producers (Voyage au nord du Bresil 192). The potential gain from the planting of the fertile land parallels that to be obtained from the ‘planting’ of Christianity among its people, necessitating fi nancial aid to create seminaries where the colonists could send ‘les enfants des Sauvages, unique espérance de l’établissement ferme de la religion en ces payslà’ (27) (‘the Savages’ children, the only hope of fi rmly establishing religion in these countries’). However, the Capuchin texts also contend that colonization could solve the civil and religious unrest which France continued to suffer. In vaunting the colonial project, D’Evreux addresses a particular public far removed from the prisoners who had, over fifty years before, been pressed into a previous Brazilian expedition: J’aurais bien envie de dire à une infinité de jeunes gentilshommes qui n’ont rien que l’épée et le poignard pour toute fortune, mais sont riches de courage, voire trop, car c’est souvent la cause qu’ils s’entrecoupent la gorge et vont de compagnie prendre possession d’un pays bien fâcheux dont aucun vaisseau ne revient pour en dire des nouvelles. Je voudrais, dis-je, leur demander: que faites-vous en France, sinon épouser les querelles de vos frères aînés? Que ne tentez-vous fortune, et au moins

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 121 que n’enrichissez-vous votre esprit de la vue des choses nouvelles? (Voyage 192) I would like to say to an infi nite number of young gentlemen who possess nothing but the sword and the dagger, but who are rich in courage, perhaps too much so, because it is often the cause of them cutting each other’s throats and banding together to take possession of difficult lands from which no vessel returns with news of them, I would like, I say, to ask them, what are you doing in France, if not taking up the quarrels of your elder brothers? Why do you not try your luck, or why do you not, at least, enrich yourself with the sight of new things? Clearly, the possession of other lands was still considered a means to divert the nefarious influences within France, and from this to bring profit to the kingdom. For D’Abbeville, profit is generated through the ‘birth’ of new Christians in a new, displaced France, compensating the ‘losses’ induced by the Reformation: [A l’Eglise: ] Que si tu avois suject d’affl iction de la perte d’aucuns de tes enfans de cette Ancienne France, causée par l’heresie, quel suject de consolation as-tu maintenant de l’heureuse nouvelle de la conversion de ces nouveaux enfans qui luy sont engendrez en la nouvelle France Equinoctiale? (sig. 379r)18 [To the Church: ] If the loss of some of your children from this Old France through heresy was a cause of woe to you, do you not have a source of consolation in the happy news of the conversion of these new children who have been born to her in the new Equinoctial France? Speeches supposedly made by the indigenous people, translated by truchements and transcribed, reinforce the project for a colonial future. D’Evreux’s Voyage furnishes harangues typically made to welcome French settlers, and D’Abbeville the welcoming discours of the chief ‘Iapy Ouassou’ (one of which was later reprinted with slight variants in the Mercure François).19 In these, the natives justify the religious project, either through explicit acceptance of Christian instruction (D’Abbeville, sigs 104r-v) or the implicit reduction of Tupinamba religion to resemble a rudimentary Christianity, and enthuse about the future colonial economy: ‘Voilà les navires de France qui viennent, je ferai un bon compère: il me donnera des haches, des serpes, des couteaux, des épées et des vêtements; je lui donnerai ma fille’ (D’Evreux, Voyage 197) (‘The French ships are coming, and I will fi nd a good associate: he will give me axes, billhooks, knives, swords and clothes, and I will give him my daughter’). The supposed indigenous approval of the colonists’ sexual relations with Tupinamba women, and the implication that a new mixed population might arise from these, are reinforced

122 Michael Harrigan by D’Abbeville’s text, in which the chief ‘Iapy Ouassou’ reproaches the Père Yves for preventing these unions: ‘Mais encore que vous les empeschez maintenant [les Français] de server de nos fi lles: ce que nous estimions à grand honneur & un grand heur, pouvans en avoir des enfans?’ (sig. 74r) (‘But you prevent them [Frenchmen] now from using our daughters: which we considered to be a great honour and a source of great joy, being able to have children from this’). In preventing the unmarried unions between indigenous women and settlers, the missionary appears to contradict the wishes of the male tribal elders who apparently not only tolerate but encourage such unions. D’Abbeville also depicts the chief as inviting more French settlers, promising obedience and future conquests and projecting a process of acculturation commencing with Christianity: ‘Un brave peuple qui t’obeira & te fera conquerir toutes les autres nations voisines’ (sig. 69r) (‘A brave people who will obey you and who will help you conquer those countries bordering yours’). D’Abbeville’s chief goes on: Puis nos enfans apprendrons la loy de Dieu, vos arts & sciences, & se rendront avec le temps semblables à vous autres; alors l’on fera des alliances d’une part & d’autre, si bien que doresnavant l’on ne nous prendra plus que pour François. (sig. 69r)20 Then our children will learn the law of God, your arts and sciences, and will become with time similar to you; then we will make unions with one another, so that in the future we will be taken for French. The chief clearly becomes the mouthpiece for hopes of a colonial future which is imposed through the text upon the indigenous people; not only is the desire expressed to change their religion, laws and, potentially, systems of knowledge, but they are also made, through their representative, to themselves wish for this change. Nonetheless, while French settlement might appear to imply a level of reciprocity (in alliances), it would actually entail the change of identity for the colonized alone, the education of indigenous children eventually causing them to resemble their colonizers (‘l’on ne nous prendra plus que pour François’, sig. 69r). The change hoped for in a colonial future was thus conceived of as restricted to, at best, the mimicry of French traits. The chief’s discours is followed in the same edition of the Mercure by a transcription of a harangue made at the Louvre by a Tupinamba directly to the king himself, in which the colonized themselves supposedly request their religious conversion, promising loyalty to the monarch and friendship to all French people: Et la supplier de leur continuer son secours, en leur envoyant des Prophetes pour les faire enfans de Dieu, & de vaillans soldats pour

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 123 leur conservation: Protestans qu’à jamais ils demeureroient subjects & serviteurs fidelles du Roy, & amys de tous les François. (Mercure 174) Requesting [his majesty] to continue his assistance, sending them prophets to make them the children of God, and valiant soldiers for their conservation, protesting that they would forever remain the subjects and faithful servants of the king, and friends to all French people. This, along with other speeches made by Tupinamba chiefs in the settlement, reveals how the supposed words of the indigenous people, transformed by truchements and transcribed in texts promoting settlement and the missionary effort, could potentially be deformed. Not to mention the great potential for lost or attributed cultural connotations in terms such as prophète, sujet or fidélité in early seventeenth-century France, this lone translated voice is made, in the context of an audience with the king, into that of the ambassador of a people. As with D’Abbeville’s previously cited extract, its relationship to native cosmography is at best problematic and at worst the imposition of French desires onto the textual representation of indigenous speech and the colonization of the vision that the Tupinamba had of their own future. The consciousness of change and increase in knowledge which promised new futures outside France was contemporaneous with the existence of a state of tension between religious communities, or of an economically disadvantaged population, which seemed to demand release so as to avoid further conflict, or even the ruin of the kingdom. The preceding polemical texts clearly demonstrate that the implicit or explicit representations which they contain of a colonial future are inseparable from their place as products of either religious and/or economic propaganda. The texts relating to France Antarctique furnish accounts of how contemporaries considered a future there, which are somewhat contradictory in their depiction of the enthusiasm the project generated, and which testify to a sense of aspiration continuing in representations of an unrealized, virtual colony. The Maranhão corpus includes visions of a new economic future and evidence of how the ‘union’ of colonizer and colonized was envisaged, but which are attributed to the ventriloquized Amerindian. In the circumstances of the creation, the interaction or even the suppression of these texts, one can glimpse not only the complexities of confl icting early colonial aspirations, but also the roots of their ultimate failure.

NOTES 1. The present chapter is indebted to Frank Lestringant’s extensive study of sixteenth-century French colonization, Le Huguenot et le Sauvage, especially 123–5. 2. Unless otherwise stated, all translations are my own.

124 Michael Harrigan 3. See Beaulieu, introduction to La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 47. 4. Montaigne also remarks on the original habitants of the Royaume de Mexico upon witnessing the Conquista: ‘Aussi jugeoient-ils, ainsi que nous, que l’univers fut proche de sa fi n’ (Essais 3.6.913) (‘And as wee doe, so judged they, that this universe was neare his end’, Essayes 466). On Montaigne, the New World and colonization, see Lestringant 144, 153, 256–8. 5. Nicolas Pasquier, Remonstrance très-humble au Roy, in Etienne Pasquier, Œuvres Complètes 2.1122, Livre 2, Lettre 19. 6. See Beaulieu, introduction to La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 54–7. 7. See Beaulieu, introduction to La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 460, n. 582; and Lestringant 228, 233–4. 8. On influences on La Popelinière, see Beaulieu, introduction to La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 9–64. 9. See Lestringant, 32 and his André Thevet, Cosmographe des derniers Valois (Geneva: Droz, 1991) 212, qtd. by Beaulieu in La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 421–2. 10. La Popelinière, Les Trois Mondes 359; see also 420, ns. 3 and 7. La Popelinière writes, however, that Villegagnon wished to fi nd a place where he could live in freedom of conscience (‘il peust vivre en liberté de sa conscience’) rather than ‘selon la reformation’, as Léry has it. 11. See Lestringant in Léry 69. 12. ‘[P]eu s’en trouva, parce qu’on se doubtoit de son intention, qui estoit de laisser là audit pays ceux qu’il auroit menez’ (Haton 1.71) (‘Few were found, [to undertake the voyage], because his intention, which was to leave in the said country those he would bring there, was suspected’). 13. See the extensive commentary on this ‘“utopie” cartographique’ and engravings in Lestringant 95–100. The royaume of Villegagnon, where the colony’s ‘villes, chasteaux, forteresses’ (‘towns, castles and fortresses’) are nothing more than ‘poullaliers, [ . . . ] cahuetes & halliers’ (‘henhouses, huts and thickets’) is ridiculed in Conrad Badius (37 and 41). 14. ‘Songes’; ‘mensonges’: Badius 41–2. 15. For an account from the commercial perspective, see the letter by François de Rasilly printed in Leite de Faria (204–9). 16. Yves D’Evreux, Suite des choses plus mémorables advenues en l’île de Maragnan es années 1613 et 1614, repr. as Voyage au Nord du Bresil fait en 1613 et 1614; Claude D’Abbeville, Histoire de la Mission des Peres Capucins en l’Isle de Maragnan et terres circonvoisines. 17. ‘Lettre que les Peres Capucins ont ecrit à Monsieur Fermanet’ (Letter which the Capuchin Fathers have written to Mr. Fermanet), Discours et Congratulation 30. 18. D’Abbeville’s Jesuit near-contemporary Pierre Du Jarric, while agreeing on the cause of this, is more pessimistic: ‘Ce sont les fruits du nouvel Evangile de Luther, Calvin, & autres heretiques de ce temps: lesquels au lieu d’aller planter la foy parmy les nations barbares, sont cause qu’elle y soit quasi du tout esteinte’ (1.698) (‘It is the fruits of the new Gospel of Luther, Calvin, and other heretics of this time: who instead of going to plant the faith among the barbarous nations, are the cause of it being nearly completely extinguished among them’). 19. D’Abbeville sigs 67v–73r, and sigs 103v–105r; Troisième Tome du Mercure François 170–3. 20. Compare with Mercure 171.

BIBLIOGRAPHY [Badius, Conrad] (‘Thrasibule Phénice’). Comédie du Pape malade. Geneva, 1561; repr. Geneva: Fick, 1859.

France Antarctique and France Equinoctiale 125 D’Abbeville, Claude. Histoire de la Mission des Peres Capucins en l’Isle de Maragnan et terres circonvoisins. Paris: François Huby, 1614; repr. in facsimile, Graz: Akademische Druck, 1963. D’Evreux, Yves. Voyage au Nord du Bresil fait en 1613 et 1614. Ed. Hélène Clastres. Paris: Payot, 1985. Discours et Congratulation à la France sur l’arrivée des peres Capucins en l’Inde nouvelle de l’Americque Meridionale en la terre du Brasil Paris: Denis Langloys, 1613. Du Jarric, Pierre. Histoires des Choses plus Memorables advenues tant des Indes orientales, que autres païs de la descouverte des Portugais. 3 vols. Bordeaux: S. Millanges, 1608–1614. Hamy, E.-T., ed. Francisque et André d’Albaigne, Cosmographes Lucquois au service de la France. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1895. , ed. Nouveaux Documents sur les frères d’Albaigne et sur le projet de voyage de découvertes présenté en 1566 à la cour de France. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1900. Harangue d’un Cacique Indien, envoyée aux François, pour se garder de la Tyrannie de l’Espagnol, Traduite par P.A. n.p.:, 1596. Haton, Claude. Mémoires de Claude Haton. Ed. Laurent Bourquin. 4 vols. Paris: Editions du Comité des Travaux historiques et scientifiques, 2001. La Popelinière, Henri Lancelot Voisin, Sieur de. L’Amiral de France, et par occasion, de celuy des autres nations, tant vieiles que nouvelles [ . . . ]. Paris: Thomas Perier, 1584. . Les Trois Mondes. Paris: Pierre L’Huillier. 1582. Repr. ed. Anne-Marie Beaulieu, Geneva: Droz, 1997. Leite de Faria, Francisco. ‘Os primeiros missionários do Maranhão. Achegas para a História dos Capuchinhos Franceses que aí estiveram de 1612 a 1615.’ O Centro de Estudos Históricos Ultramarinos e as Comemorações Henriquinas. Lisbon: Tip. Silvas, 1961. 83–216. Léry, Jean de. Histoire d’un voyage en la terre du Bresil. Geneva: Jean Chuppin, 1580. Repr. ed. Frank Lestringant. Paris: Librairie Générale Française, 1994. Lescarbot, Marc. Histoire de la Nouvelle France. Paris: Adrian Perier, 1617. Lestringant, Frank. Le Huguenot et le Sauvage. Paris: Aux Amateurs des Livre, 1990. Montaigne, Michel de. The Essayes of Michael Lord of Montaigne, translated by John Florio. London and New York: G. Routledge, 1891. . Les Essais. Ed. Pierre Villey and V.-L. Saulnier. Paris: PUF, 2004. Mornay, Philippe de, Sieur du Plessis-Marly. De la Verité de la Religion Chrestienne, contre les Athees, Epicuriens, Paiens, Juifs, & autres infi deles. Paris: Claude Micard, 1585. Pasquier, Etienne. Œuvres Complètes. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Compagnie des Libraires Associez, 1723; repr. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1971. Richer, Pierre. La Refutation des folles resveries, execrables blasphemes, erreurs & mensonges de Nicolas Durand, qui se nomme Villegaignon: divisee en deux livres. n.p.:, 1561. Thevet, André. Le Brésil d’André Thevet: Les Singularités de la France Antarctique (1557). Ed. Frank Lestringant. Paris: Chandeigne, 1997. Troisième Tome du Mercure François. 2nd ed. Paris: Estienne Richer, 1617.


Planning Ahead A Future for Old Age in Dialogue of Comfort, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and All’s Well That Ends Well Nina Taunton

Old age in the Renaissance was the only stage of life in the Ages of Man schema that was subdivided into three distinct phases (green, white and decrepit), and it alone was regarded as a disease which contained its own distinctive regression.1 In order to counteract accelerating bodily degeneration Renaissance writers, like their medieval counterparts, conceived of life from cradle to grave as a preparation for death’s release of the soul from its ruined prison the body into the liberty of heaven.2 The proximity of death intensified the urge to get one’s spiritual self into shape for life thereafter. Ideally, this preparation should begin in youth, with the inculcation of enduring habits of moderation in diet and emphasis on intellectual and spiritual enrichment. Efforts to ensure life everlasting took a variety of forms, the most compelling of which was the impulse to write up the value of old age and its unique role in educating the young into the spirituality, wisdom, temperance, prudence, virtue and good dietary habits that would enable them to cope with the tribulations of age and show them the pathway to God. The early modern period inherited from the Middle Ages strategies in grafting onto biblical example models of old age taken from the writers of antiquity, and continued to treat aging as a topic ripe for moral, political, religious and physiological projections into temporal and otherworldly futures. The inspiration for compensatory benefits of elderliness was Cicero’s De Senectute, and its precepts on care of the body, the mind and the soul were continuously recycled in all the health and old-age manuals from the time in which it was written to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and beyond. It was forerunner to a mixed genre of writing combining personal experience with prescription, religious precept and practical diet and exercise regimes for the old. The fi rst part of this chapter examines the distinctive nature of these ideals in two exemplary works representing two different types of writing—a generically mixed ‘dialogue’, Thomas More’s Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, and a conduct book, Simon Goulart’s The Wise Vieillard—as they interact.3 Meanwhile, on the Shakespearean stage there is a troupe of far-from idealized elderly personages whose projections into the future do not extend beyond this world, yet whose worldly needs and appetites also

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draw upon the instruction literature. I go on to argue that the two Henry IV plays provide an instance of this confl ict between the real and the ideal, and are problematic not only in terms of genre (critics agree that they are hybrid) but also in the manner in which they concern a future for old age in its bequest to the young. These problems are transcended in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, where, unusually, the old subscribe to manual precepts as models of wisdom and moderation for the young. Although generically diverse, each one of these sample texts highlights the importance of family relationships which rely upon surrogate parenting. I suggest that the lengths to which they go in forging (sometimes problematic) kinship bonds govern representations of a role and future for old age.

PROJECTIONS INTO THE FUTURE (1): THE LIFE TO COME Separated by almost a century from each other, and belonging to different genres, More’s Dialogue (a Catholic hybrid—part dialogue, part comfort literature, part polemic, part ‘mery tale’) and The Wise Vieillard (a Protestant apology and solace for old age) nevertheless share similar preoccupations with what lies beyond the immediate sufferings of the old and the drive to transcend bodily decrepitude by preparing for the soul’s journey to God. Written while he was imprisoned in the Tower, More’s lightly fictionalized mouthpiece, Anthony, shares his experiences and reflections with his nephew Vincent on preparing for the afterlife, so that old age, imminent death, the importance of family and the search for God become the organizing principles of this essentially autobiographical account. The grooming of youth to inherit the mantle of wisdom, virtue and temperance lies also at the heart of The Wise Vieillard. Simon Goulart, Cicero’s most fervent apologist, was a French Protestant divine who wrote his treatise in his own twilight years as a devout consolation for fellow sufferers. It was translated out of the French by ‘an obscure Englishman, a friend and fauourer of all Wise Old-Men’. Dated 1621, and initialled ‘T.W’, it was presumed to be Thomas Williamson, another old man, whose woodcut image appears on the title page. As in More’s Dialogue, the stimulus to personalize the translation—to fashion it to those growing old in England, to instruct English readers on the art of growing old gracefully, on how to avoid the pitfalls of age and on how to fi nd comfort in the winter of their lives—derives from the genre of comfort literature just as much as it does from antique apologies for age. Following Cicero, both Goulart/‘TW’ and More play down the miseries of senescence and concentrate instead on its felicities. The commonplace territory of the superior wisdom of the old and the duty, care and respect the young owe them allows each work to take as its reference point the advanced age of its author.4 The Dialogue and The Wise Vieillard both rely on commonplaces and Ciceronian idealizations of the old—their frailty, their enhanced wisdom,


Nina Taunton

their delicate stomachs, their superior piety (each writer is well into his fi nal journey) and above all the need for a close relationship to the young to ensure for future generations the lasting value of their experience and example. As a fundamental part of this legacy, each writer details the last sufferings of the old as a rite of passage into the life beyond. More’s Dialogue hinges upon the fact that Anthony is a sick old man preparing to die in captivity far from home.5 This channels his thoughts on the different kinds of comfort available to him in his straitened circumstances and, increasingly, on what happens to the soul after death. He ponders the need for a man of clear conscience who has fallen into the hands of the Turks to remain true to his faith despite torture, so that ‘all his hole payne shall tourne all into glorye’ (32), and he rejects as false the ‘unchristian’ kind of comfort that encourages the false hope that he may get better and live. Old age necessarily involves suffering, but a man must transcend the burden of his years (restricted movement, frequent pain and discomfort, fear) and endure with patience.6 This is why each writer delivers an ecstatic peroration upon a man’s last days on earth and rejoices that he is on the threshold of God’s perfected universe. And this is also why Goulart and the treatises urge youth from its earliest days to start guarding against spiritual, mental and moral decay that can all too easily accompany bodily degeneration (Goulart 30–8). Each assumes the importance of the old in the shaping and morals of the character of the young as a preparation for life, old age and the life hereafter by affi rming the continuing authority of a father figure and by bringing the young to a deeper understanding of God’s purpose. Above all, each strenuously promotes Cicero’s active principle that all old people should father the young, irrespective of direct paternity; hence Anthony’s devotional care and guidance of his nephew Vincent and Goulart’s advice to the young to avoid dissoluteness, pride, avarice and vanity so that ‘your countrey may receiue honourable seruice from you’ (98).7 These projections into the future, inventively serving More’s narrative purposes and signposting the spiritual journey Anthony embarks upon with his nephew, are formalized into persuasion in the treatise. Old men may attain the idealized status of seniority by acquiring wisdom, temperance, spirituality and endurance, but they do so by recourse to strategies unproblematically—that is, with little concession to the complexities of aging—handed down in an unbroken line from Cicero to their own times, although each reinvents the handed-down aperçus of age into their own brand of forward planning. Because there is no infi rmity that cannot be endured with courage and patience, suicide is not an option (Goulart 98–9). The scriptures provide all the comfort that the wise old need; they go willingly to death whereas the wicked depart against their will (103).8 Despite the fact that Goulart converts More’s subtle and oblique interrogation of suicide into the stuff of a sermon, both writers consider it at length. Anthony introduces the subject into the conversation by way of four diversionary tales until it becomes, over the course of thirty-five pages, a temptation that must be resisted at all

Planning Ahead


costs (More, Dialogue 123–58).9 However much the wise vieillard might anticipate death as the end of ‘some Comedie or Interlude’, to kill oneself in order to ‘make a hazardous proofe of some kind of greatnesse of courage’ is, as Augustine says, madness and totally lacking in magnanimity (Goulart 162).10 Old age is a voyage of self-discovery; inability to tolerate adversity by ‘casting themselues so into the gulfe and iawes of death’ lays bare old men’s impotence and pusillanimity instead of revealing reserves of strength, for ‘hee is truely magnanimous, who chooseth rather to beare the burthen of a miserable life, then rashly to rid himselfe, and flye from it, instead of standing and abiding in the place allotted and appointed vnto him’ (169). Goulart, in his desire to discourage thoughts of self- slaughter, enthusiastically embraces two contradictory positions. On the one hand, ‘hee that vnfainedly loveth the Lord shall be satisfied with long life’, but on the other, death gives us ‘rest and ease’ (3)—although here, Goulart might merely be recognizing the temptation to hurry the process along. Even though the Dialogue and The Wise Vieillard approach age from different standpoints, they reach similar conclusions on the matter of how to prepare oneself to die well. As exemplary discourses on age, they each start from the assumption that an old man must battle for control of his spiritual self by reference to St. Anthony in the desert, thereby forging links in a chain of New Testament association. But although each narrative approaches the circumstantial experience of imprisonment as part of a much wider discourse on old age, there the similarity ends. In the Dialogue, Anthony and Vincent work together to reach an apprehension of the true meaning of the end of life (in both senses). A major agent in this transformation, literalized in Anthony/More’s imprisonment, is the spiritual battle against constriction of the soul. Mankind must forego its addiction to reason in favour of a spiritual source of comfort found only in belief in God’s grace (a subject to which I shall return). Man must accept the physical constraints of age and embrace the notion of God as ‘the chiefe gaylour [jailer] of this brode prison the world’—an image borrowed from St. Paul’s Epistles and later notoriously exploited by Donne in the Holy Sonets (More, Dialogue 4). More’s deeper consideration of Cicero’s dictum that the world, although a prison, is one the old particularly are loath to give up, for ‘no man for all so old but that he hopeth yet he may live one year more, and of a frail folly delighteth to think thereon’ does not have a counterpart in prescriptive literature, although the epigram itself is endlessly recycled (Cicero 33). And although manual givens thrive on paradox, they do not encourage paradoxical observations akin to More’s, that although life and the flesh are as a prison, God is ‘neyther cruell nor covetouse’ because he lets his prisoners ‘walk about, [ . . . ] & do therein what we will’ (272). However, Anthony’s meditation on the effects of imprisonment on the body and soul fi nd a parallel in the plight of the old who suffer bodily constriction yet convert it into a rich storehouse for age and youth to draw upon.11 By so doing, More personalizes the commonplace of God the jailer and the prison

130 Nina Taunton of the world and the flesh and gives it an idiosyncratically forward-looking direction—one which later writers built into elaborate analogies.12

PROJECTIONS INTO THE FUTURE (2): THIS LIFE Early modern people believed in preparing for their last years in the peace and comfort of family life. Thomas Newton’s dedicatory epistle to William Paulet, Elizabeth’s Lord Treasurer of England who held office to the age of ninety-three, pays tribute to him as a family man (sig. 3v). The old are assured of their importance in the bosom of the family (Sheafe 42–3, 164), for although youth is irrecoverable, there is comfort in ‘those of their house to visit them with reuerent and courteous salutations’, to have children and grand-children ‘leaping about them’ (Goulart 25), and above all in memory, ‘a thing celestiall and diuine’ (La Marche 23). If God wants to punish a family, ‘[h]e declares there should be no Old Man in it’ (Shower 19). So if youth is to receive the care that will benefit future ages, prevent misery in later life and secure its place in heaven when the time comes, it must seek the company of the old, be conversant with old men and avoid the fault most common in youth of scorning old age (Sheafe 203). To this end More’s Dialogue casts Anthony, Vincent’s uncle, into the role of a surrogate parent, mentor and spiritual guide. For an old person to ‘take vpon him the wardship and tuition of some young man, and to haue him well brought vp’, Goulart says, ‘doth commit him to a wise old man’ (97). Furthermore, good instruction in youth prevents infection of the mind as well as the body in age. That youth is the incubator of the ills of old age as surely as ‘[t]he Sunne that riseth in the morning doth set at night’, so ‘there is not any thing that doth increase and flourish, but it doth decrease, wither, and waxe old’ all the sooner if bad habits are not scotched in youth, is a commonplace in all the didactic writings of the period.13 Prescription urges young men to be sober and virtuous, to serve their country commendably and honourably and never to seem reluctant to do what they are employed to do. Above all they should ‘respect ancient men, bearing with the lumpishnesse and sowernesse of those, who haue done them many good turnes and seruices, and who are still able to helpe and further them much’ (Goulart 198).14 But this advice is rendered problematic in Part 1 of Henry IV and further complicated in Part 2 by the presence of not one elderly father figure but two, neither of whom lives up to the demands of parenting, yet each of whom needs to exert his influence upon the young prince as a means of safeguarding his own future. In these two plays neither the real father nor the proxy have done the prince any ‘good turnes and seruices’, nor do they measure up to treatise standards of aged wisdom and spirituality. Both bear out George Strode’s gloomy prognostications, ‘Hast thou children? Then thou shalt haue sorrow. Hast thou none: Then is thy life vnpleeasant’ (20). The king and Falstaff variously

Planning Ahead


inhabit these two positions. The king subscribes to both simultaneously; he has a son who is the trial of his old age, although his estrangement from him is a major cause for sorrow, whereas Falstaff’s life is ultimately ‘made unpleasant’ by his misplaced confidence in Hal’s favour once the throne is his. Neither get any better than they deserve because they do not possess the attributes of a wise vieillard in a number of ways. Falstaff simply thinks of himself as a giddy youth still (more of this later), and the king because his conscience is uneasy and his relationship with his son is distant and strained. He is fi lled with anger (a harmful, life-shortening emotion)15 at the manner in which his Harry and Percy’s Harry can severally ‘bristle up / The crest of youth’ against his own dignity as father and king, yet he is envious of young Percy’s triumphs on the battlefield and regretful that his own son, flouting paternal authority, chooses the disreputable company of the tavern in preference to the company of his own kind, status and degree (I Henry IV 1.1.97–8). Because he has failed to train up youth in wisdom and piety, the king must make his peace with his maker in other ways, so it is all the more irksome to him that he must defer his ‘holy purpose to Jerusalem’ (1.1.101) without which his soul’s journey from earth to heaven is far from secure. In the king’s case, More’s observation to Vincent, ‘let no man sinne in hope of grace’, seems to have come too late (92).16 In an echo of the fragile physical condition of Antony, but with none of his spiritual reserves, the king’s opening lines, ‘So shaken as we are, so wan with care’ (1 Henry IV 1.1.1), herald the preoccupation with parenting and surrogacy. Beset from the start by hostile conspirators, by a guilty conscience and by remorse, the king seeks to satisfy the need to plan ahead spiritually and temporally with a pilgrimage. He is shaken and wan with care not so much from old age and ill health (although he is old and in Part 2 manifestly sick) but because of his part in fomenting civil strife and because he is threatened by wars on multiple fronts (he mentions only the Welsh, but according to Holinshed [3.18–9], the historical Henry IV suffered by an attempt on his life, diabolism and an invasion by Scots forces).17 But above all he is tormented by estrangement from his son. The fi rst scene explains the reasons for this, at the same time as it introduces the surrogacy motif, in Henry’s confession to Westmoreland that Hotspur’s conquest of the Scots makes him sad, and mak’st me sin In envy that my Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son; A son who is the theme of honour’s tongue, [...] Whilst I by looking on the praise of him See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. (1.1.77–85)


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So divisive is his own son’s behaviour, and so opposed to the valour and honour of his enemy’s son, that he doubts whether the young prince really is his child. Hotspur seems a much more likely offspring for a king, and he almost persuades himself that the two have been switched in their cradles by supernatural agency: ‘Then would I have his Harry, and he mine’ (1.1.85–9). But even though investment in a child’s future as a means of guaranteeing your own in the next life was an urgent requirement for the old, the rift between the king and his son remains unhealed even at the end of their ‘private conference’ (3.2.2). The king believes him capable of being ‘his nearest and dearest enemy [ . . . ] like enough [ . . . ] to fight against me under Percy’s pay [ . . . ] To show how much thou art degenerate’ (3.2.123–9). But even though the prince is stung into protest that he ‘will redeem’ himself ‘on Percy’s head’ so that he can tell his father ‘I am your son’ (3.2.134), his promise that in God’s name he will ‘salve / the longgrown wounds of my intemperance’ (3.2.155–6) dissipates, so that at the start of the second part he has lapsed into his bad old ways, preferring as always Falstaff’s brand of fathering to the king’s. Even at his father’s deathbed Hal forgets that he must revere, honour and obey his natural parent as prescription bids children so to do and continues to be the kind of son who is ‘so farre out of order, that vice ruled virtue, & folishnes ruled wisdom, lightnesse ruled grauitye, and youth ruled age’.18 In a literal sense (and one entirely unintended by prescription), the prince takes from his father what he ‘is already possessed of’ but that which a young man ‘expects and hopes for’ (Goulart 99). The manuals promote the symbiotic relationship between young and old: youth should not scorn old age but must be conversant with old men and seek their company for instruction and guidance; therefore it behoves the old in their turn to be practised role models.19 The instruction literature harps on the transmission of spiritual qualities that render an old age blessed, but what Hal expects, hopes for and appropriates is the symbol of worldly dominion, the crown. Seemingly untrained in filial duty and obedience, badly brought up according to manual precept by poor example, Hal replicates the actions of his father when he snatches the crown and places it upon his own head (2 Henry IV 4.5.43). But Falstaff, although he exudes largesse and emotional warmth, fares no better as a model for youth even though he elevates his fatherly interest in the prince into an alternative philosophy: ‘skill in a weapon is nothing without sack’, he reasons, so [h]ereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father he hath like lean, sterile, and bare land manured, husbanded, and tilled, with excellent endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherries [ . . . ]. (4. 3.115–20) and his flagrant disregard for manual advice on how to grow old gracefully confi rms this. His gluttony is just one outward manifestation of his refusal

Planning Ahead


to bow to the strictures of age. The old are instructed on how to extend their lifespan: they must eat good quality foodstuffs but sparingly, drink only water, or at least only certain kinds of wine, and chew their meat well. 20 Old men deliver up their ‘rotten and crazed bodies, into the hands of a miserable old age’ if they continue their shameful excesses till the gout in their knees ‘doth torment them’, and if they commit ‘fearful abuse of God’s patience’ in riot and surfeit (Goulart 35). If the aged want to earn their place in heaven by exemplary mentoring of the young, they must themselves practise restraint in all things, including diet. Falstaff, whose advanced years have taught him nothing by way of moderation, and whose projections into the future have the exclusively temporal goal of his own advancement when Hal is king, is a man ‘blasted with antiquity’ (2 Henry IV 12.183) who should more sensibly be working to salvage his soul. Instead, his fantasy is that his proxy fatherhood will enable him to exploit the advantages of power whilst giving up none of his bad habits—he and the prince will continue to carouse by night and still be ‘men of good government’ (1 Henry IV 1.2.27) by day. His surfeiting flags up the kind of moral turpitude that prescription warns against for those about to embark on the fi nal stages of life; he is clearly no fit example for impressionable youth. Yet he longs to supplant the sterility of the old king and to put himself forward as an alternative in fatherhood even though his excesses, lies and lawlessness automatically disqualify him for such a role. But the truth is that Falstaff’s eating and drinking habits, no less than his disregard for the law and his cowardice, place him beyond the pale as a surrogate parent just as the king’s coldness, aloofness and meanness compromise the ideal of fatherhood promoted by the manuals. Neither is a model for the prince, yet history requires that the prince reject the one and range himself alongside the other. But it is also a matter of preference: he has an appetite for kingship. Having spent his carefree days inciting excess in others, Hal has acquired a thirst for power from his father, so he opts for the ‘bare and withered trunk’ of office (4.5.229). The message here seems to be that Falstaff’s excesses have blunted his sense of time’s inevitable destruction of the body just as the king’s fasting, aggravated by conscience and cares of state, furnishes an equally poor example: the only thing selfstarving has accomplished is the extinction of his own will to live. Neither real nor surrogate father has understood the ideal that the only bequest of lasting value from age to youth, and the only means for the old to live on in this world and the next, is a rich storehouse of knowledge, attainment, religious devotion and control of appetite.

THE INHERITANCE OF GRACE. ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL In addition to its generic requirement as a history play to confi rm the legitimacy of the Tudors, Henry IV Part 2 stages the last-minute reconciliation


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between the prince and the dying king to reassert the potency of blood ties and fi nally allow the troubled king a route to God. In A Dialogue of Comfort, too, the power to iron out family tensions and restore harmonious relations rests with the dying Anthony, More’s fictional self. All’s Well That Ends Well continues the theme. In Henry IV Part 2, the prince rejects Falstaff on the grounds of age, food, surfeit and profanity and tells him to ‘[m]ake less thy body hence, and more thy grace’ (5.5.52). All’s Well converts this into a future for old age which expresses itself in the concept of grace through surrogate parenting. 21 It is possible to amplify the workings of grace in the play as a means of illuminating the rapport between young and old, regardless of blood ties or denominational bias. It assembles doctrines of grace to enable the older characters to maintain control of their lives and continue to supervise the management of both family and state affairs. Grace, in its sense of good will, generosity, bounty, kindness and courteousness, unfolds as the play progresses to effect a ‘dynamic and transforming function, [ . . . ] as power exercised by human beings’ (Young 169). This power resides with the old, who merit the title ‘old’ because of their virtues and their proximity to the Almighty. The manuals make it clear that these graces are God’s gift specifically to the aged. 22 God rewards best those who serve him longest, and it is the nature of grace to increase the more time it has; the old have a greater measure of grace quite simply because they have lived longer (Sheafe 168). Francis Bacon, writing on the ‘noble’ theme of prolongation of life, provides ‘admonitions, and directions, and precepts’ upon the supreme gift of ‘divine grace’ in a person’s journey through the wilderness of life (‘De Dignitate’ 489). Richard Steele devotes an entire chapter, ‘The Graces of Old Age’ (meaning both attributes of old age and the proximity of the old to the grace of God) to the state of an old person’s soul. Regrettably, according to Steele, too few possess all of them, ‘and too many are strangers to them all’. Nevertheless, ‘they are actually possessed by some’ and may ‘certainly [be] obtained by all’ (79). Foremost among the graces of old age is, of course, knowledge. Whereas knowledge can exist without charity or grace, there cannot be a spark of grace without knowledge (81). Knowledge can be ‘[i]nfused’ or acquired by study, reading and conversation, and here the old have the advantage simply by virtue of longevity (80). But the ultimate object of knowledge is knowledge of God, so it behoves those ‘ripe in years’ to be ‘ripe in Judgement’ and ‘to be well-grounded in the Knowledge of God and Godliness’ (82). Grace acquired by accumulation of knowledge through meditation and prayer and leading to salvation (84) is, in More’s Dialogue, Antony’s legacy as substitute parent to Vincent just as the journey towards salvation is achieved by the King’s and Countess’s adoptive parenting in All’s Well. The law of nature gives man the power of propagation and spiritual growth. The King, past the age of propagation, has reached the stage in his life where time may be regarded the privilege (not the enemy) of antiquity

Planning Ahead


(Sheafe 177). Having conquered the twin blights of old age—ill health and despair—he begins the journey towards grace by placing his trust in the healing powers of a young woman and rewarding her by ‘build[ing] up’ her social standing (All’s Well 2.1.202; 2.3.109–10). God’s special love and respect goes to an old servant and shows God’s bounty by rewarding him above all others, so Lafew reaps the rewards of age by continuing to occupy the position of wise counsellor to King and Countess, thereby affecting their plans for the young. 23 At the same time as it stages intergenerational conflict (in Bertram’s opposition to the King and the Countess, similar in tone and content to Hal’s spiky relationship with his father) and contempt for age (in Lafew’s exchanges with Parolles, which resemble Hal’s rejection of Falstaff—‘I know thee not, old man’), the play explores such close, mutually sustaining relationships as arise between young and old when the young seek out the old and the old nurture the minds and experiences of the young. Such mutuality begins with the influence of Helena’s father. She might have forgotten what he was like, but his skills live on in her (1.1.66), and to ensure her safety he has ‘bequeathed’ (1.1.29) her to the Countess, whose motherly care extends to approving a socially advantageous marriage. Lafew adds his support by encouraging her to try her inherited skills on the King, and the widow is moved to help her engineer the bed trick which will win over her husband. The opening scene sketches in this network of relationships and forges protective links between the generations. Lafew and the Countess discuss family bereavement specifically in the context of the supportive role of the King in the education of the heir to the Rossillion estate. This scene attempts to keep the dead alive by grafting the memories of the older characters onto the young. The Countess’s benediction on her son Bertram is expressed as a desire to see his father alive in him not only in physical resemblance but also in the way he conducts himself at court, where he should be the bearer of his dead father’s virtues in order to merit the King’s paternal protection. Mention of the King’s disease, which has resulted in him ‘losing [ . . . ] hope by time’ (1.1.12), makes Helena a part of this connective tissue, for it leads to an exchange of recollections between the Countess and Lafew upon the skill and honesty of her recently deceased father, Gerard de Narbon, a physician whose knowledge, ironically, ‘could be set up against mortality’ (1.1.23) had he but lived long enough. Memories of the recent dead bring the young into the orbit of the elders’ protection and guidance (1.1.1–60). Surrogacy provides a practical solution to the moral imperative binding the generations (including the dead) together. For the Countess, Lafew, the King and, later on, the Widow, this means exercising discernment in their self-appointed parental roles. 24 The King is rewarded by the twin blessing of health and the assurance of the continuation of the royal line and is as a consequence the recipient of God’s grace twice over. Above all, the Countess demonstrates her godliness, thereby promoting God’s image, in her capacity as a major figure of grace in the play. She is replete with virtue and good will yet commands such authority


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that she becomes a figure of ‘irresistible grace’, a Calvinist concept meaning that she is able to wield a God-given authority which overcomes any wilful resistance in men.25 For early modern people, then, good parenting was the best way to lay the foundations for a comfortable old age in this world and provided the nearest pathway to righteousness and God’s grace. In particular, surrogate parenting—that is, the care of the young by the old regardless of consanguinity—reveals connections in these generically and chronologically diverse texts that would in other respects seem far-fetched. In Dialogue and All’s Well it is the means whereby the older characters are able to shape the present and influence the future for the young people in their charge—and for themselves. Idealized in the Dialogue by heightened spiritual awareness of the value of life beyond the grave and subsequently all but hardened into dogma in instruction literature, the superior wisdom, piety, knowledge and benevolent authority of the elderly, once accepted and emulated by the young, is the only true path to salvation. In the two Henry IV plays, salvation eludes the two elderly father figures directly as a result of moral impoverishment—Henry Bolingbroke’s overweening ambition to be king and, once he is king, guilt and envy of another man’s child, keep spiritual ease at bay until his very last breath. In Falstaff’s case, the additional impediment of ingrained habits of incontinence have led to an inability to appreciate the consequences of his excessive lifestyle or to grasp the realities of the world he inhabits. His planning ahead has always been exclusively for when Hal is king, and he clings to this fantasy to the last, with disastrously but, from the point of view of manual prescription, predictably terminal, consequences. On a wider plain, these fictional texts positively reflect early modern social and cultural realities in the first instance by the economy of households. Thomas More took the ideal of parental care to heart in the close bond between himself and his real and adopted daughters, and this parallels echoes in the Dialogue of the letters that passed between him and his eldest daughter Margaret Roper. His pride, too, in his adopted daughter Margaret Clement’s skill in Galenic medicine is reflected in the digression on tertian fevers (89–90). Yet his stubborn insistence on matters of conscience casts a shadow over family futures in that it radically threatened the material existence of his family. More’s entire estate was forfeited during his incarceration, and his eldest daughter had to plead for subsistence money.26 Similarly, although Lorenzo, the dying father in I Libri della famiglia, treated his two illegitimate sons as Albertis, Leon Battista’s account is darkened by an underlying sense of grievance at the way his cousins treated him after his father’s death. This was the inevitable outcome of Lorenzo’s failure to specify the provision he intended for these two sons. Leon Battista’s cousins withheld from him funds for his stay at university yet claimed, as part of a tax swindle, to have spent large sums on his education (5). Here then are just two fictional works that respond to family tensions generated by the old.

Planning Ahead


Historical records testify to the complexities of future provision for the family. Uncertainties about imminent provision for aged parents and settlement in the near future for adult children could, if unresolved, give rise to bitter conflict and schism between the generations. To cite but two examples, Sir William Wentworth, writing in 1604, advised his son and heir to take good care whom he married and to make sure that his future wife’s jointure was separate from the land his future children might inherit (Wentworth Papers 29).27 Sir John Guise’s memoirs recount how in 1642 his parents were obliged to move in with an irascible old man in order to safeguard the family interest (Raymond 123). Broadly speaking, the changing structure of family life in the fi fteenth and sixteenth centuries from extended to nuclear continued to endorse prescription and biblical structures to honour parents and support them materially. But within this framework, arrangements for the care of the elderly had to adapt to the needs of a society in which economic conditions and class structures required many different, individually tailored solutions to the problem. Thus we can interpret accounts such as More’s Dialogue, Alberti’s della famiglia, the Henry IV dramas and manual exemplarity and its staging in All’s Well That Ends Well, as variously reflecting youth’s impatience to come into patrimonies as well as inadequate provision for the young and the consequent burdens imposed on them.

NOTES 1. The broad splitting of human life into three categories by Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen was subsequently fi ne-tuned into Ages of Man topoi varying from three to twelve, each with its own specific projections into the future. The Renaissance inherited medieval representations in print, painting and woodcut which showed how time’s circular motion brought the old back to the helplessness of a newborn babe. See Smith; Dove; Thane; and Beam for just a few examples of how, following ‘ages’ divisions, the old could anticipate what was coming and plan ahead. 2. Prescriptive literature on old age includes extended sections on dietary advice and how to care for the aged body which assumes that good habits of moderation start in youth. But care of the body was as nothing in comparison to care of the mind, soul and spirit, for immortality resided in these alone. See for example Bacon, Historie; Brookes; Cuffe; Goulart; Horman; Laurentius; Newton; Primaudaye; Sheafe; Shower; Smith; Steele; Strode; and Vaughan. 3. More’s work shares stereotypical features with Leon Battista Alberti’s account of the last day of his father’s life. See Taunton 11–33 for an enquiry into the role of commonplace and stereotype in these two texts in relation to The Wise Vieillard and Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. 4. On these commonplaces, see Goulart 8, 14, 70, 82, 87 and passim; More, Dialogue 81, 90, 186–7. See also Alberti 40–1; Primaudaye 538–40; La Marche 22–4; Sheafe 13–9, 30, 38–44; Brookes 56–63; Steele 120–5; and Shower 6–8, 19–21. On author’s old age, see More, Dialogue 3–4; see also Alberti 33–5. 5. As such the Dialogue, written in the last few years of More’s life, belongs to a tradition of prison literature that includes Plato’s Crito, Paul’s Epistles and


6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11.


13. 14. 15.


17. 18.

Nina Taunton Boethius’ Consolations of Philosophy—works whose authors detach themselves from the depressing effects of confi nement by strengthening the mind’s rational and contemplative powers. Marius 473; More, Dialogue 62, 124–5; Goulart 53–4; see also Alberti 35. Dialogue esp. Book 1; see also Alberti 39. See also Cicero 95. As a consequence of the need for those in confi nement to spend time in devout reflection, the prison literatures deal with the problem of suicide only obliquely. Boethius, for example, does so by reference to Seneca and Papinian, both forced to commit suicide as an act of despair—the one by Nero, the other by Caracalla: ‘Each of them was willing to give up his power. Seneca even tried to give his money to Nero and go into retirement. But like men who lose their footing and are pulled down by their own weight, neither was able to achieve what he wanted’ (3.5.93). Providence furnishes an instinctive and overriding desire for self-preservation, thereby rendering obsolete impulses towards suicide (3.11.112). In City of God, St. Augustine discusses whether Cato was justified in killing himself for fear of falling into Caesar’s hands (1.22.27–8). Sheafe explains this process in an elaborate correspondence trope. As winter is the season when all the profits arising from the husbandman’s duties and labours, when his barns are full with corn, his hives of honey and wax, and his storehouses with fleece ready for warm winter clothing, so the thriving paterfamilias stores up everything necessary for the provision, comfort and smooth running of the household, ‘as then the Ants heape is growne great for succour and food’. By the time a man reaches the winter of his life, his store of wisdom, experience and spiritual wealth is replete, ready to ‘crowne this age with all manner of blessings’ (165–6). John Smith’s, for example, is three-pronged. His Pourtract of Old Age is particularly interesting in that it constitutes an early example of intertextuality as a tool for interpretation. He interprets the Ecclesiastes verses (12.1–6) as an extended trope of old age which gives hope to the irrevocably decrepit at the same time as he uncovers the biological basis of the verses and proves his point by providing a medical gloss. Goulart 30; see also Cuffe 4, 86; Sheafe 198, passim. See also Sheafe 203. Anger, the outward manifestation of a choleric disposition, is most commonly experienced by the old ‘by reason that they still feele sharp goades in their minds and grieuous woundes in their bodies’ (Elyot 76). Most damaging of all is ‘black choler’ in age (13). The complex manifestations and causes of Lear’s anger is examined in Taunton 71. His choler is increased by prolonged lack of sleep (see Burton 216), as is Henry IV’s. In Thenot’s story of the oak and the briar, the briar is destroyed by anger, not bitter winds (Spenser, February Eclogue, ‘The Shepheardes Calender’). The old can take preventive measures by cutting down on drink and rich food and by avoiding ‘the company of scoffers, quarrel-some, mutinous, and mad-braine-sicke persons’ (Goulart 77)—something the old king, by virtue of his position, cannot do. See also Boaistuau 213; Barrough 22; Coeffeteau 620; Goulart 76; and Bacon, Historie 174. Vincent means that it is not viable to sin in the hope of getting forgiveness and grace later on, as Henry IV has sinned by usurping the throne, yet hopes for redemption by going on a pilgrimage. This pilgrimage is deferred until the king’s illness makes it no longer an option. See also Appendix 3 to 1 Henry IV 167–8. Goulart 46, 88: ‘It is a rare sight to see wisedome and youth married together’. See also Bayne 1–4 and Christoferson sig. Tvii.

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19. See Guazzo 2.32v–33r; Goulart 50, 97; Sheafe 203–4; and Steele 267. 20. Elyot 48; Newton sig. 49 v; Laurentius 184–7; Vaughan 55; and Cuffe 78–9. 21. Critics have noticed the workings of grace in this play from a Catholic and a Protestant point of view, but have not remarked upon the nurturing skills of the elderly or their uniquely placed roles as facilitators of divine mercy. For a Catholic reading, see for example Beauregard; for a reading based on Protestant concepts of salvation, see Hunt; and for a non-denominational examination of the workings of grace, see Young. 22. See, for example, Sheafe 168–78; Steele 78–125. 23. Sheafe 178. 24. See Taunton 160–8 for an evaluation of this play as an example of early modern pro-age sympathies. 25. See Henry Leslie, A Sermon preached before His Majesty at Windsore (1625), cited in Young 196n. See also Tyacke 169. 26. Marius 481; More, Correspondence 540, 543. 27. See also Virgoe; Plumpton cxxiv–v. 28. Wentworth Papers; Raymond 123.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Alberti, Leon Battista. I Libri della famiglia. Trans. R. N. Watkins as The Family in Renaissance Florence. Columbia, SC: U of South Carolina P, 1969. Augustine. The City of God (de Civitate Dei) [ . . . ] a Translation into English by John Healey, First Published in 1610. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1909. Bacon, Francis. ‘De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientarium.’ Works of Francis Bacon. Ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Devan Heath. 14 vols. London: Longmans, 1857–1874. Vol 4. 284–498. . The Historie of Life and Death. With Observations Naturall and Experimentall for the Prolonging of Life. London: I. Okes for Humphrey Mosley, 1638. Barrough, Philip. Method of Phisick. London: Richard Field, 1601. Bayne, Paul. An Entire Commentary upon the Whole Epistle [ . . . ] to the Ephesians. London: M. Flesher for I.B. [John Bartlet], 1647. Beam, Aki. ‘“Should I as Yet Call You Old?” Testing the Boundaries of Female Old Age in Early Modern England.’ Growing Old in Early Modern Europe: Cultural Representations. Ed. E. Campbell. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. 95–116. Beauregard, David N. ‘“Inspired Merit”: Shakespeare’s Theology of Grace in All’s Well That Ends Well.’ Renascence 51.4 (Summer 1999): 219–39. Boaistuau, Peter. Theatrum Mundi. London: Henry Bynneman for Thomas Hacket, 1574. Boethius. Consolations of Philosophy. Trans. V. E. Watts. London: Folio Society, 1998. Brookes, Thomas. Apples of Gold for Young Men and Women and A Crown of Glory for Old Men and Women. London: R.T. for John Hancock, 1659. Burton, Robert. Anatomy of Melancholy. Ed F. Dell and Paul Jordan-Smith. New York: Tudor, 1955. Christoferson, John. An Exhortation to All Menne to Take Hede and Beware Rebellion. London: John Cawood, 1554. Cicero. De Senectute. Trans. W. A. Falconer. Vol. 20. 1923. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Coeffeteau, F. N. A Table of Humane Passions With Their Causes and Effects. Trans. E. Grimeston. London: Nicholas Okes, 1621.


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Cuffe, Henry. The Different Ages of Man’s Life. London: Arnold Hatfield for Martin Clearke, 1607. Dove, Mary. The Perfect Age of Man’s Life. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986. Elyot, Thomas. The Castel of Helth. Londini: Inaedibus T. Bertheleti, 1541. Goulart, Simon. The Wise Vieillard, or Old Man, Translated Out of French into English by an Obscure Englishman, a Friend and Fauourer of All Wise OldMen. London: Nicholas Bourne, 1621. Guazzo, Steven. The Civil Conversation. Trans. George Pettie. London: Richard Watkins, 1581. Holinshed, Raphael. Chronicles of England Scotland and Ireland. 6 vols. London: n. pub., 1807–1808. Horman, William. Vulgaria. Londini: R. Pynson, 1519. Hunt, Maurice. ‘Helena and the Reformation Problem of Merit in All’s Well that Ends Well.’ Shakespeare and the Culture of Christianity in Early Modern England. Ed. Dennis Taylor and David N. Beauregard. New York: Fordham UP, 2003. 335–67. La Marche, O. de The Resolved Gentleman. Trans. Lewes Lewkenor. London: Richard Watkins, 1594. Laurentius, Andreas. A Discourse [ . . . ] of Old Age. Trans. Richard Surphlet. London: Felix Kingston for Ralph Jacson, 1599. Marius, Richard. Thomas More. London: Fount, 1986. More, Thomas. The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More. Ed. E. Rogers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1947. . A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation. The Complete Works of St. Thomas More. Vol.12. Ed. L. Martz and F. Manley. New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1976. Newton, Thomas. The Worthye Booke of Old Age. Trans. of Cicero’s De Senectute. London: Thomas Marshe, 1569. Plumpton, Sir R. Plumpton Correspondence. Ed. T. Stapleton. London: Camden Society, 1839. Primaudaye, Pierre de la. The French Academie, Wherein Is Discoursed the Institution of Maners. Trans. Thomas Bowes. Londini: Georg. Bishop, 1589. Raymond, Thomas. Autobiography of Thomas Raymond and Memoirs of the Family of Guise of Elmore, Gloucestershire. Ed. G. Davies. 3rd ser. Vol. 28. London: Camden Society, 1917. Shakespeare, William. All’s Well That Ends Well. Ed. Russell Fraser. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003. . Henry IV. Parts 1 and 2. Ed. A. R. Humphreys. London: Routledge, 1989. Sheafe, Thomas. Vindiciae Senectutis, or, a plea for Old-Age. London: George Miller, 1639. Shower, John. Of Long Life and Old Age, a Funeral Sermon [ . . . ] Occasioned by the Death of [ . . . ] Mrs. Jane Papillon. London: J. Fawkner, 1698. Smith, John. The Pourtract of Old Age. London: J. Macock for Walter Kettilby, 1666. Smith, S. R. ‘Growing Old in Early Stuart England.’ Albion 8.2 (1976): 125–41. Spenser, Edmund. ‘The Shepheardes Calender.’ 1579. Poetical Works. Ed. J. C. Smith and E. de Selincourt. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985. Steele, Richard. Discourse Concerning Old-Age. London: J. Astwood for Thomas Parkhurst, 1688. Strode, George. The Anatomie of Mortalitie. London:, 1618. Taunton, Nina. Fictions of Old Age in Early Modern Literature and Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 2007.

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Thane, Pat. Old Age in English History: Past Experiences, Present Issues. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Tyacke, Nicholas. Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism c. 1590– 1640. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1987. Vaughan, William. Naturall and Artificial Directions for Health. London: R. Bradocke, 1600. Virgoe, R. ‘The Earlier Knyvetts: The Rise of a Norfolk Gentry Family, Part II.’ Norfolk Archaeology 41.3 (1992): 249–78. Wentworth Papers (1597–1628). Ed. J. P. Cooper. 4th ser. Vol.12. London: Camden Society, 1973. Young, Bruce W. ‘Ritual as an Instrument of Grace: Parental Blessings in Richard III, All’s Well that Ends Well, and The Winter’s Tale.’ True Rites and Maimed Rites: Ritual and Anti-Ritual in Shakespeare and His Age. Ed. Linda Woodbridge and Edward Berry. Urbana and Chicago, IL: U of Illinois P, 1992. 169–200.


The Future Now Chance, Time and Natural Divination in the Thought of Francis Bacon A. P. Langman

Scientia potestas est (‘knowledge is power’). Perhaps one of Francis Bacon’s most famous utterances. It seems inevitable that a man whose life is read as being dedicated to the domination of nature should include such words in one of his works of natural philosophy, and he almost did in his magnum opus, Novum Organum: ‘And so those twin objectives, human Knowledge and Power, do in fact come together, and lack of success with works stems mainly from ignorance of causes’ (OFB 11.45).1 Bacon’s entire project was predicated on the discovery of causes, as with these causes humanity could hope to positively affect nature and ameliorate its condition on earth. Bacon’s urge for the advancement of learning was, perhaps paradoxically, backwards-looking, as he explained in the unpublished Valerius Terminus (1603): [Knowledge] is not the pleasure of curiosity [ . . . ] but it is a restitution and reinvesting (in great part) of man to the sovereignty and power (for whensoever he shall be able to call the creatures by their true names he shall again command them) which he had in his fi rst state of creation. (SEH 3.222)2 Bacon not only wished humanity to return to this prior state of knowledge, but also found it necessary to look backwards in order to diagnose the ills of philosophy and create a method, although he utterly rejected the word, to allow the sciences to progress, and this process necessitated a personal rejection of previously held views. This chapter explores Bacon’s belief in a futurity changeable through human agency, in which humanity’s actions could materially affect their conditions on earth, by investigating his rejection of Calvinistic determinism and his acceptance of the role of chance in humanity’s discoveries and inventions. Bacon believed that eliminating chance as a method of discovery would bring the future closer as it accelerated the rate of discovery of the laws of nature and new technologies, and he expanded on this idea in New Atlantis, where an order of experimental philosophers had done just that, advancing their own rate of discovery far beyond that of the ‘Old

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World’ and mere chance by using his methods. It is in New Atlantis that Bacon explicitly presents his theory of a mutable future, as he shows the brothers of Salomon’s House using a form of natural divination, shorn of the superstitious elements derided by both Bacon and contemporaries such as William Perkins, which allowed them to both predict and, in certain cases, actively control the future.

BACON, CALVIN AND THE REJECTION OF DETERMINISM The words scientia potestas est, although misapprehended in his philosophy, can be found in one of Bacon’s very few explicitly theological works, the Meditationes sacrae, published with the fi rst edition of his Essays in 1597. Here, the words were a comment not on how humanity could control nature through ‘science’, but on the equivalency of divine foreknowledge and divine ordination. The Bacon who wrote the Meditationes sacrae was, it seems, a determinist of the Calvinist variety—one for whom human actions, along with every other occurrence in the universe, were personally directed by God through ‘special providence’, the doctrine which holds that God foresees the future because he has decreed it to the minutest detail, even (following the Gospel of Matthew 10.29) ‘to a sparrow’. 3 This suggests that Bacon would probably have agreed with Calvin’s view that ‘what we call Chance is nothing else than the reason and cause of which is secret’ (Institutes 1.16.8). That is, chance is no more than our imperfect comprehension of the unfolding of God’s perfect plan for history. A few years earlier however, in a speech entitled The Praise of Knowledge, part of the larger piece Of Tribute, or, Giving That Which Is Due, Bacon noted that the three great inventions of recent years—printing, artillery and the compass—were ‘stumbled upon and lighted on by chance’ (Major Works 36).4 Within ten years, in Valerius Terminus, he had expanded his ambition to include the replacing of chance as humanity’s primary method of discovery with what can usefully, if anachronistically, be described as ‘scientific method’, declaring that ‘chance discovereth new inventions by one and one, but science by knots and clusters’ (SEH 3.247). In suggesting that science makes more discoveries than chance alone, Bacon implies not merely that inventions, like the laws of nature, are simply waiting to be discovered, but that by directed action we can speed up the rate of discovery. This idea is plainly at odds with a deterministic view of the universe, which suggests that history is not being written so much as unfolding in a controlled and preordained manner: a determinist conception of history has no room for chance, no room for accident, no room for human agency in its unfolding. It is not hard to believe that Bacon was Calvinist at some point in his life—one does not grow up with a mother like Anne Cooke Bacon, champion of fiery divine Walter Travers and translator of the sermons of Bernard

144 A. P. Langman Ochino, without at least some of it rubbing off. Bacon even wrote a letter, presumably on theological matters, to Theodore Beza, Calvin’s ‘successor’, when his brother Anthony was lodging with him in Geneva in the 1580s, although the letter does not survive. Calvin’s brand of determinism, the brand seemingly supported by Bacon in the Meditationes, precludes human free will: Those do not err quite so grossly who attribute government to God, but still, as I have observed, a confused and promiscuous government which consists in giving an impulse and general movement to the machine of the globe and each of its parts, but does not specifically direct the action of every creature. It is impossible, however, to tolerate this error. For, according to its abettors, there is nothing in this providence, which they call universal, to prevent all the creatures from being moved contingently, or to prevent man from turning himself in this direction or in that, according to the mere freedom of his own will. In this way, they make man a partner with God,—God, by his energy, impressing man with the movement by which he can act, agreeably to the nature conferred upon him, while man voluntarily regulates his own actions. In short, their doctrine is, that the world, the affairs of men, and men themselves, are governed by the power, but not by the decree of God. (Institutes 1.16.4)5 In the Meditationes Sacrae Bacon seems to follow this Calvinist viewpoint quite carefully, not least when discussing heresies: The third degree is of those who limit and restrain the former opinion to human actions only, which partake of sin: which actions they suppose to depend substantively and without any chain of causes upon the inward will and choice of man; and who give a wider range to the knowledge of God than to his power; or rather to that part of God’s power (for knowledge itself is power) whereby he knows, than to that whereby he works and acts; suffering him to foreknow things as an unconcerned looker on, which he does not predestine and preordain. (SEH 7.252)6 For Bacon, one of the desires of heresy is to ‘discharge the will of God from all imputation of evil’, a problem which Calvin skirts and which Bacon later seems guilty of when he writes ‘and yet for all that it is very truly said that God is not the author of evil; not because he is not author,—but because not of evil’.7 Bacon seems here to be one of those who, for Calvin, ‘do not err so grossly’. Perhaps Bacon does have an issue with the theological interpretation of scientia potestas est after all. In his next work of theology, the Confession of Faith, written sometime before 1603 but not published until 1648,

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he moves a little further from the Calvinist orthodoxy. The Confession, a series of simple and commonplace statements concerning Bacon’s own beliefs, might pass us by unconsidered were it not for Steven Matthews’ observation that it effectively reveals Bacon as a man who places the blame for the Fall entirely at the feet of Adam (47). Bacon previously argued that sin is not the result of simple human free will, following Calvin in suggesting that whereas humans may have the evil intent God is the power which impels the evil action. In The Confession a different possibility emerges: [H]e made all things in their fi rst estate good, and removed from himself the beginning of all evil and vanity into the liberty of the creature; but reserved in himself the beginning of all restitution to the liberty of his grace; using nevertheless and turning the falling and defection of the creature, (which to his prescience was eternally known) to make way to his eternal counsel touching a Mediator, and the work he proposed to accomplish in him. (SEH 7.220)8 Bacon here moves from the Supralapsarian position of Calvin, Beza and others, which holds that God ordained the Fall, to the Infralapsarian position which allows Adam free will and, more importantly, allows God to know but not ordain the Fall, thus solving the problem of God’s punishment of Adam’s transgression appearing to be unfair (Muller 144). In moving to this position, Bacon problematizes his earlier conflation of God’s will and power. Bacon’s God still knows, but not because he has ordained. Bacon is slowly but surely moving towards a position which allows for free will, and with free will it seems comes chance, or at the very least accident. It is also in this work that Bacon, perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively, begins to explain his concept of nature being governed by laws which God does not violate: God hath rested and ceased from creating since the fi rst Sabbath, yet nevertheless he doth accomplish and fulfil his divine will in all things great and small, singular and general, as fully and exactly by providence, as he could by miracle and new creation, though his working be not immediate and direct, but by compass; not violating Nature, which is his own law upon the creature. (SEH 7.221)9 Calvin, in contrast, imagines nature as directly controlled by God, as whereas objects may be possessed of particular properties, ‘they are merely instruments, into which God constantly infuses what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure’ (Institutes 1.16.2). In the Advancement of Learning, Bacon wrote that ‘certaine it is, that God worketh nothing in Nature, but by second causes, and if they would haue it otherwise beleeued, it is meere imposture, as it were in fauour towardes God’ (OFB 4.8). Finally in Novum Organum he entirely removes


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God from the day-to-day running of the universe: ‘[N]othing really exists in nature besides individual bodies, carrying out pure, individual acts according to law’ (OFB 11.203). No longer is there the fully expressed direct dependence on God found in the Meditationes Sacrae, but a conception of the laws of nature as immutable and part of God’s original design as suggested in the Confession: He created heaven and earth, and all their armies and generations, and gave unto them constant and ever-lasting laws, which we call Nature, which is nothing but the laws of creation; which laws nevertheless have had three changes or times, and are to have a fourth and last. (SEH 7.220–1) Bacon thus equates creation with law, and he usefully notes different sets of laws, effectively equating to ages: the fi rst age was the creation of heaven and earth without form; the second was the six days’ work; the third was the privation which occurred after the Fall; and the fourth was to be the end of the world itself.10 Bacon’s universe now lacks the constant gardener that was Calvin’s God: the future may well be known, but it is not ordained. The Baconian universe is governed by a combination of the laws of nature (which includes, to a degree, natural human propensities) and human free will. This combination allows for, if not absolutely insisting upon, the chance which is associated with accident. A future controlled in such a way therefore offers many possible paths, and in Baconian terms these paths lead either to discoveries or around them. In the Meditationes, Bacon quotes the following lines while considering earthly hope: ‘The task can show no face that’s strange to me: / Each chance have I pondered, and in thought rehearsed’ (SEH 7.247).11 Bacon here seems once more to reject the determined Calvinist universe in favour of one with multiple possible futures or potentialities, something which reflects the thought of Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560–1609). Arminius argues that God knows all possibilia, whether they are in the capability (potentia) of God or of the creature; in active or passive capability; in the capability of operation, imagination, or enunciation: he knows all things that could have an existence, on any hypothesis; he knows things other than himself, whether necessary or contingent, good or bad, universal or particular, future, present or past; he knows things substantial and accidental of every kind.12 For both Bacon and Arminius, the actions of human beings—what Arminius terms the creature—can affect future events. The future is, therefore, at least partly contingent on our behaviour. God is not responsible for each actual outcome: God knows, but does not ordain. This is exactly what

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Bacon seems to have been getting at when he wrote that ‘chance discovereth new inventions by one and one, but science by knots and clusters’ (SEH 3.247).

BACON, CHANCE AND DISCOVERY Bacon notes that inventions and discoveries have yet to result from reasoned and disciplined investigation: They which discourse of the Inuentions and Originals of thinges, referre them rather to Chaunce, than to Art, and rather to Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Serpents, than to Men [ . . . ] so as it should seeme, that hetherto men are rather beholden to a wilde Goat for surgeries, or to a Nightingale for Musique or to the Ibis for some part of Phisicke. (OFB 4.108) Such an accusation he levels even at the Greeks, as if you read their stories, ‘you will rather beleeue that Prometheus fi rst stroake the flints, and maruailed at the sparke, than that when he fi rst stroke the fl ints, he expected the sparke’ (108–9).13 For Bacon it is a question of order, and chance and its analogies are the antitheses of the Baconian ‘method’: ‘[T]here remains mere experience which is called accident if it happens by itself, but experiment if it is deliberately sought out’ (OFB 11.131). In deliberately seeking out experience through experiment, Bacon hopes to uncover the causes of things in order to proceed on to effects: ‘For nature is not conquered save by obeying it; and that which in thought is equivalent to a cause, is in operation equivalent to a rule’ (65).14 Whereas Bacon divorced chance from its Calvinist identification as the secret part of God’s providence, he did not follow other scholars such as Christopher Heydon (1561–1623) in equating it with nature, for as we have seen, Bacon considered nature to be governed by a set of laws (Todd 697–711). In considering the role of chance in human affairs, specifically discovery, Bacon quickly moved onto the ways in which chance could be defeated or bypassed. The advantage of defeating chance was not the mere making of the discoveries, but the speed with which they could be made. Experiment effectively shortens the time between ignorance and enlightenment, as ‘chance sometimes discovereth inventions; but that worketh not in years, but ages’ (SEH 3.247). John Tinkler notes that ‘Bacon’s idea of experiment is a controlled way of speeding up time in order to force the kinds of occurrences that happen only rarely and accidentally in nature’, but does not realize just how radical this position might be (252). Bacon did, after all, suggest that ‘ACCELERATION of Time, in Works of Nature may well be esteemed Inter Magnalia Naturæ. And euen in Diuine Miracles, Accelerating of the Time, is


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next to the Creating of the Matter’ (Sylva Sylvarum sig. L4r [SEH 2.442]). By effectively speeding up time, therefore, Bacon is seeking to emulate, as far as is possible for humanity, God’s creation.15 In addition to this, by suggesting that what may be discovered by chance in time may be discovered by ‘science’ somewhat sooner, Bacon implies once again that whereas the future may be foreknown, it is not foreordained: if humanity continues to follow the path it has followed for centuries, one set of ‘discovery events’ will unfold; if humans set out on this new path illuminated by Bacon, we will experience another set.16 Both of these futures seem possible for Bacon but are dependent on human action. As he wrote to King James in the private letter which accompanied the Instauratio magna: And to tell your Ma. trewly what I think; I accownt your fauor may be to this woork, as much as an hundreth years tyme. for I am perswaded, the woork will gayne upon mens myndes in Ages; but your gracing it may make it take hold more swiftly.17

Whereas Bacon here replaces ‘science’ with James’s favour, the effect is the same, as he ‘predicts’ or more accurately guesses the temporal gain which will obtain from an action. For Bacon, James’s involvement will bring closer what is inevitable, in this case humanity’s adoption of Bacon’s methods. Bacon therefore rehearses the outcome of humanity’s adoption of his Instauratio, and by implication the bringing forward of discoveries which would have happened eventually by chance, and perhaps even the discovery of laws which would not otherwise have come to light.

BACON, NEW ATLANTIS AND NATURAL DIVINATION Bacon’s obsession with geographical discovery and its relationship to the increase of knowledge is well documented, as is his conflation of discovery events and God’s providence, with one of his favourite quotations being Daniel 12.4: Multi pertransibunt, & multiplex erit scientia (‘many will travel to and fro, and knowledge will increase’).18 This preoccupation perhaps accounts for the fact that the work in which Bacon most directly tackles the idea of multiple possible futures and the best manner to influence them is his ‘utopian fable’, New Atlantis. There, he presents a society untouched by the rise and fall of empires and possessed of all of the advantages of a long-established ‘research institute’, the College of the six days’ work, or Salomon’s House. Published posthumously and tucked into the back of the underrated and under-researched Sylva Sylvarum, New Atlantis follows the misfortunes of a ship which, having set sail from Peru across the South Seas, gets horribly lost and stumbles upon the mysterious and unknown

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island of Bensalem: a discovery the sailors put down to providential guidance of God, whereas their hosts describe it as a ‘rare Accident’.19 In the fi nal third of this work, the narrator meets with one of the fathers of Salomon’s House who describes its workings, a description which is to all intents and purposes an object lesson in the Baconian way of experimental natural philosophy and an example of the fruits which flow from it. This passage suggests that the society of Bensalem, predicated on the just laws of the long dead king Solamona and the institution of Salomon’s House, is a demonstration of a possible future for Europe, along with the explanation of how this future might be achieved. At the end of this passage, the father reveals to the narrator that one of the society’s tasks is the prediction of various types of disasters, be they meteorological, geological or bacteriological: And wee doe also declare Naturall Diuinations of Diseases, Plagues, Swarmes of Hurtfull Creatures, Scarcety, Tempests, Earthquakes, Great Inundations, Cometts, Temperature of the Yeare, and diuerse other Things; And wee giue Counsell thereupon, what the People shall doe, for the Preuention and Remedy of them. (New Atlantis, sigs g2r, f4v [SEH 3.165–6]) The combination of these ‘Naturall Diuinations’ and the knowledge of causes arrived at over centuries of experimentation allows the brothers of Salomon’s House both to predict and to change the future, even if only in a limited fashion. But how does natural divination figure in Bacon’s thoughts, and what light does his discussion of natural divination elsewhere cast on the use of it in Salomon’s House? Bacon is not particularly consistent in his use of the term natural divination. Just as he has adjusted his views on determinism, allowing for the free will and contingency which enable him to present his natural philosophical ‘method’ as a way of exploiting the universe’s mutability, and allowing for human agency to affect the material conditions of life, so he changes his views on the subject of natural divination to remove its usual reliance, both in theory and in practice, on the divine. 20 Bacon fi rst discusses divination in the Advancement of Learning in a passage which remains largely unchanged in the later ‘translation’, De Augmentis Scientiarum: Divination has been anciently and not unfitly divided into two parts; Artificial and Natural. Artificial makes prediction by argument, concluding upon signs and tokens; Natural forms a presage from an inward presentiment of the mind, without the help of signs. Artificial is of two sorts; one argues from causes; the other only from experiments, by a kind of blind authority. Which latter is for the most part superstitious; such as were the heathen observations upon the inspection of entrails,


A. P. Langman the fl ights of birds, and the like [ . . . ] but artificial divination of both kinds is dispersed among different knowledges. The astrologer has his predictions, from the position of the stars. The physician likewise has his predictions of approaching death, of recovery [ . . . ]. (SEH 4.399; OFB 4.104)

Bacon probably takes his terminology from Cicero’s De divinatione (1.6) and perhaps inherits Cicero’s scepticism on the matter as well. However, we would do well to remember that Bacon is not necessarily explaining what he believes, but merely explaining the state of knowledge as it stands, as he explained carefully in the Advancement of Learning: ‘Vnto this part of knowledge touching the soule, there be two appendices, which as they haue ben handled, haue rather vapoured foorth fables, than kindled truth; DIUINATION, and FASCINATION’ (OFB 4.104; SEH 4.399). He also differs in his interest in divination from other contemporary writers such as William Perkins in his lack of concern regarding whether it is in theological terms ‘lawful’ or not. 21 When Bacon allies the word ‘experimental’ with ‘superstitious’, the differences perhaps become more confusing considering Bacon’s emphasis on experiment; but Bacon is talking here of undisciplined experiment, what he has previously termed an ‘unbound broom’ (OFB 11.131). These beliefs, such as the divinations based on the fl ights of birds, are superstitious for Bacon simply because there they include no understanding of cause and effect, merely undigested observations. In De Augmentis, natural divination is a ‘faculty of the mind’, and as such it ‘springs from the inward power of the mind’ and is either ‘Primitive’ or ‘by Influxion’ (SEH 4.399). Primitive divination springs from the intrinsic power of the mind and manifests itself in ‘sleepe, in extasies, and near death’, whereas influxion is ‘grounded upon this other conceit; that the mind, as a mirror or glass, receives a kind of secondary illumination from the foreknowledge of God and spirits’; Bacon’s language, especially his use of mirror imagery, shows his scepticism, as ‘men’s minds are so marvellously beset that they altogether lack a clear and polished surface to focus the true rays of things’. 22 Bacon feels that knowledge can only be acquired by letting in the light of nature, not from a reliance on faulty human senses. Indeed, natural divination in the way that Bacon describes it here seems more akin to prophecy than experimental science, and Bacon is generally less than complimentary about prophecies not directly connected to the Bible, suggesting that ‘they ought all to be Despised; And ought to serve, but for Winter Talke, by the Fire side’ (OFB 15.114). The brothers of Salomon’s House, although often called ‘philosopher priests’, do not seem to be likely candidates for this kind of mystical prophetic divination. 23 As the father explicitly states, they have one aim: to discover ‘the Knowledge of Causes, and Secrett Motions of Things; And the Enlarging of the bounds of Humane Empire, to the Effecting of all Things possible’ (New Atlantis,

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sig. e2r [SEH 3.156]). Their divination, we must presume, results from this knowledge of the ‘Secrett Motions of Things’ and is thus closer to Bacon’s category of artificial divination which ‘argues from causes’ than any mystical, prophetic type of divination (SEH 4.399). Has Bacon changed his mind with regard to his types or categories of divination, or simply changed his mind with regard to their names? If the latter, this alteration mirrors several other examples of nominal reassignation, something which seems to have been part of Bacon’s epistemological offensive: when discussing ‘NATVRALL SCIENCE or THEORY’ in the Advancement of Learning, for example, Bacon states that he uses the term ‘METAPHISICKE, in a differing sense, from that, that is receyued: [ . . . ] in this and other particulars, wheresoeuer my Conception & Notion may differ from the Auncient, yet I am studious to keepe the Auncient Termes.’24 It’s a sort of linguistic colonialism, whereby you ‘occupy’ the old terms with new meanings and so appropriate their residual authority and ubiquity while simultaneously destroying the authority of those who originally coined them, or with whose theories they are most associated. In similar fashion, Bacon changes his own understanding, or at least his use, of the term divination and does so as part of his recommendation that humanity move away from reliance on the internal faculties of the mind and the bowing to received authority, towards the authority of nature. We can follow this movement from his earliest statement of intent, the letter he writes to his uncle Lord Burghley in around 1593 in which he declares ‘all knowledge’ to be his province, through the early rehearsals of the Instauratio such as Valerius Terminus and Redargutio Philosophiarum, to its fi nal incarnation in the Instauratio Magna.25 It seems wholly appropriate therefore that Bacon presents his reworked concept of natural divination in two works of natural history, Historia Ventorum (1622) and Sylva Sylvarum (1626/1627).

A NEW NATURAL DIVINATION In Historia Ventorum, Bacon establishes the general aim of his works of natural history, which is to allow the investigator to establish correspondences between occurrences with a view ultimately to discover causes: ‘Let the inquiry move on from the species of winds to factors contributing to winds (I do not want to use the term efficients for that is too strong; and for my purpose concomitants is too weak); and to those things which are thought to stimulate winds or damp them down’ (OFB 12.23).26 These investigations can allow us to make connections with other phenomena: ‘From the limits of winds the inquiry passes on to their successions, either among themselves, or in relation to rains and showers. For seeing that they perform dances, it would be delightful to know the steps’ (25). Bacon wants to develop methods of prediction based on the natural world and on


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knowledge of causes: ‘From the powers of winds the inquiry passes on to the prognostication of winds, not only for the usefulness of the forecasts but because they lead straight to causes. For forecasts show the preparations of things before they are put into effect, or their beginnings before they affect the sense’ (29). Later in the same work, Bacon explicitly redraws his conception of natural divination, placing it fi rmly in the natural world and removing all sense of the prophetic or providential: Natural divination is sometimes more certain, and sometimes more slippery according to the subject under consideration. But if that subject be of a constant and regular nature, it makes for certain prediction; but if it be variable and a mixture as it were of natural and accidental, the prediction may let you down. Nevertheless even in a variable subject, if it be carefully reduced to rules, a prediction will generally hold good, and if it does not hit on the right time, it will not wander off the point by much. (107) Bacon here shows that he considers nature and chance as separate but cooperative forces in the production of effects, especially in more variable subjects where more causes, or contributing factors as he terms them, are involved in producing the effect. If the chance element of these multiple factors can be eliminated or minimized, then a more accurate prediction can be made, and perhaps this also allows for the purposeful creation of effects, the expressed aim of Salomon’s House. What was artificial divination in De Augmentis—a predictive science based on observation, knowledge of causes and, although Bacon never makes this explicit, hypothesis—is now fi rmly couched as natural divination, divination through comprehension of nature and the uncovering of the laws of nature. Whereas this may seem as if Bacon is merely swopping the names around, it is significant, as I have suggested previously. In doing so, he delegitimizes the natural divination he so abhors and has criticized so completely, recasting it in a new, natural philosophical light: in giving the old name a new defi nition, he replaces a faulty idea with an acceptable one. With Bacon’s newly redefi ned natural divination, the ‘scientist’ as diviner moves from the discovery of causes to the production of effects, fulfi lling Bacon’s statement that to control nature you must obey it. Bacon has removed from natural divination its reliance on human nature, the idea of the mind as a mirror of the universe and its concomitant sense of access to the divine foreknowledge, suggesting that natural divination is the ultimate aim of disciplined experience, that is to say Baconian experiment. Unlike that of De Augmentis, the natural divination explained in Historia Ventorum is based on natural history, the observation and comprehension of the natural world and its laws as they were established by God at the moment of creation. 27 In a sense, Bacon is recommending a revisiting of the past in order to predict or even affect the future.

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Historia Ventorum was published in 1622, the year before De Augmentis, and it may be considered odd that Bacon expounded his ‘natural’ version of natural divination before apparently reiterating the earlier version from 1605’s Advancement of Learning, with its prophetic and mystical overtones. This seeming aberration is relatively easy to explain. In 1620, Bacon published his Instauratio Magna, which as well as including the masterwork Novum Organum, explained the six-part bibliographical plan for his entire project. De Augmentis, although published after Part 2 of Novum Organum and also after Historia Ventorum, which was one of the natural histories Bacon had promised would make up Part 3, was intended to stand as Part 1, and was a translation and expansion of the much earlier Advancement of Learning.28 As a survey of learning rather than an explanation of Bacon’s own methods and beliefs, it is therefore reasonable that it ought to include definitions Bacon manipulates or qualifies later in the bibliographical series. This movement from the theoretical to the practical is reflected in Bacon’s adjustment of terminology and reinforced in Sylva Sylvarum, a work which also falls (although perhaps not so straightforwardly) under the aegis of Part 3 of the Instauratio, natural history. In Sylva Sylvarum, Bacon considers ‘[e]xperiments in consort, touching Perception in bodies Insensible, tending to Natural Divination or Subtill Trials’ (Sylva Sylvarum, sig. 2E1r [SEH 2.602]). Here he expands upon the technique of natural divination, suggesting that in rejecting the reliance on human senses, it is enhanced or enabled by use of technologies which themselves rely upon the gradual comprehension of the laws of nature. Bacon does not recommend the use of simple perceptual aids, however, as ‘I set little store by the immediate and peculiar perception of the sense, but carry the matter to the point where the sense judges only the experiment whereas the experiment judges the thing’ (OFB 11.35). An example of the sort of aid he does approve of is the weatherglass which ‘will fi nde the least difference of the Weather, in Heat, or Cold, when Men fi nde it not’ (Sylva Sylvarum, sig. 2E1r [SEH 2.602]). Bacon calls the qualities on which this technology as a sort of applied experiment relies, ‘Subtill Perceptions’. The experiment depends on the nature of things rather than the nature of human beings or their senses, and these ‘subtill’ perceptions serve ‘as a Principall Meanes of Natural Divination; For that which in these Perceptions appeareth early, in the great Effects cometh long after’—or, in other words, the effect can be detected or divined through the perception of these bodies a substantial period of time before they actually occur (Sylva Sylvarum, sig. 2E1v [SEH 2.602]). 29 Again, Bacon accentuates the temporal aspect of natural divination, as through noting of causes later effects can be predicted: Wee shall therefore now handle only, those two Perceptions, which pertaine to Natural Divination, and Discovery: Leauing the Handling of Perception in other Things, to be disposed Elsewhere. Now it is

154 A. P. Langman true, that Divination is attained by other Meanes; As if you know the Causes, if you know the Concomitants; you may iudge of the Effect to follow: And the like may be said of Discovery; But wee tie our Selues here, to that Divination and Discovery chiefly, which is Caused by an Early, or Subtill Perception. (Sylva Sylvarum, sig. 2E1v [SEH 2.603]) Bacon’s conflation of discovery and divination here is perhaps instructive and brings us neatly back to New Atlantis and the reference by the father of Salomon’s House to the making of ‘Naturall Diuinations’. It seems that the reader is now expected to conjure up predictions of events made through Bacon’s brand of natural philosophy rather than the prophecies of mystics—the brothers of Salomon’s House rely not on ‘secondary illumination from the foreknowledge of God and spirits’ but on their knowledge of causes based on long-term observation and disciplined experiment (SEH 4.400). Through their knowledge of causes they are able to project into the future, at least with regards natural phenomena, without the assistance of the divine foreknowledge or reliance on superstitious signs and symbols. The brothers do not predict disasters and plagues through any kind of prophecy, but through a relentlessly practical divination whose avowed purpose is to ‘giue Counsell thereupon, what the People shall doe, for the Preuention and Remedy of them’ (New Atlantis, sig. g2r [SEH 3.166]). Furthermore, the father’s insistence that they make these divinations in order to advise how future disasters might be remedied or avoided further compromises the sort of prophetic work which relied not only on an omnipotent God, but one who actively turned all of nature to his own ends, such as Thomas Beard’s Theatre of God’s Judgment (1597). The natural divinations of the brothers of Salomon’s House collapse the deterministic Calvinist worldview. It is on the island of Bensalem—an island whose ‘discovery’ by the sailors is described by the governor of the House of Strangers as a ‘rare Accident’—where the sailors and the readers meet with men who have, perhaps as far as is possible, conquered chance. The island’s technological state—far in advance of the sailors’ home countries—is the result of thousands of years of patient observation, experiment and inductive investigation into the secrets of nature. The brothers of Salomon’s House have conquered chance by setting out on a sure path of discovery, designed so that all that is to be discovered shall be discovered. No stone is left unturned, no discovery ignorantly passed by. It is this dedication to what is plainly the way of Baconian natural philosophy which allows their order of priest-prophet-scientists both to predict future events and to change them. The Bensalemite world is not a world of absolutes but a world of potentialities. It also provides the sailors with an image of the state of Europe should they, too, adopt the Bensalemite or Baconian way to knowledge: a way which was adopted by the Bensalemites many centuries before. The Bensalemite approach to nature has allowed them to discover

The Future Now


things through experiment long before their discovery by chance in the Western world. In New Atlantis, Bacon demonstrates his views on cause and effect, as he shows the cause of Bensalem’s advanced state through an explication of its past. Bensalem shows what Europe can become if it puts into place Bacon’s recommendations. In a late, unpublished work, the Abecedarium Novum Naturae, Bacon was as clear-sighted about the future as he had been about the past in Valerius Terminus: As for me, I am pretty sure that, because I have little faith in the genius of our times, my own words (as far as the work of instauration is concerned) could be accused of lacking an age or era to match them. [ . . . ] That is why I am devoted to posterity and put forward nothing for the sake of my name or taste of others, but, knowing well enough the nature of the things that I impart, I deal out work for ages to come. (OFB 13.173) Bacon found the present lacking, if only because it failed to understand and adopt his ideas. In the island of Bensalem, however, Bacon created a society which not only adopted Baconian methods and practices, but had done so many centuries before, allowing for the continuous drip feed of discoveries which he had predicted in the 1590s. Bensalem’s current state serves as an advertisement for the future state of European knowledge. For Bacon, Bensalem is the future, now.

NOTES 1. Volumes of the Oxford Francis Bacon will be abbreviated throughout as OFB, followed by the volume number. 2. Volumes of the Works of Francis Bacon, ed. Spedding, Ellis and Heath, will be abbreviated throughout as SEH, followed by the volume number. 3. See Calvin, Institutes 1.16.1 and 3.23.6. This belief was common, with Godfrey Goodman, for example, writing that God’s providence ‘stoopes euen to the meanest and basest action of man, as the falling downe of his haire’ (sig. a5v). 4. See also Archer 120–39. 5. For a detailed exposition of both Calvin’s position and the evolution of Bacon’s ‘response’ to it, see Matthews 32–50. 6. See also Milner 147–8. 7. SEH 7.252; Institutes 1.18.1, 4; Calvin, The Bondage and Liberation of the Will 40. 8. See also Institutes 1.18.3 and 1.18.1. 9. Cf. Institutes 1.16.4. Bacon’s providence is more akin to occasional interference than the directed, continuous control of Calvin (see SEH 6.198–9, 305). 10. Bacon uses the term nature in terms of both nature as a whole system, and also the nature or natures of individual objects: ‘The work and aim of human

156 A. P. Langman

11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21.


23. 24. 25.

26. 27. 28. 29.

power is to generate and superinduce a new nature or new natures on a given body’ (OFB 11.201). See also Confession of Faith (SEH 7.221). I have been unable to ascertain the provenance of these lines. Disputationes publicae 4.31, qtd. in Muller 147. See also Farrington 95. Although Prometheus tends to stand for Providence in Bacon (see De Sapientia Veterum, SEH 6.745–3), there is no suggestion that accidental discoveries are guided by the hand of providence, even though Bacon admits that sometimes providence does gently guide humanity at this level (see OFB 4.21). Bacon cautions repeatedly against striving for works rather than light. See OFB 11.17, 39, 111. ‘Discoveries are also like new Creations repeated and imitations of God’s handiwork’ (OFB 11.193–7); see also OFB 11.17, 113, 181. It is difficult to ascertain whether Bacon feels that the two futures are different merely in the speed in which discoveries are made, or whether certain discoveries will never be made without the adoption of his methods. In Valerius Terminus, he writes that ‘there remaineth at this day a world of inventions and sciences unknown, having respect to those that are known’ (SEH 3.223), but is less than forthcoming regarding discoveries which bear no relationship to current knowledge. Francis Bacon to King James, National Library of Scotland: Advocates 33.1.7, Vol. 22, item 11, 1620, ll. 30–5. See OFB 11.150; OFB 4.71; SEH 3.584; Novum Organum Engraved Title Page (OFB 11, plate 1); Vickers, Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose 183– 201; Reiss 223–46. See New Atlantis, sigs a3r, c3r (SEH 3.129, 143–4). For Bacon on man’s agency, see Matthews 39. Perkins suggests divination is ‘a part of Witchcraft, whereby men reueale strange things, either past, present, or to come, by the assistance of the deuill’ and thus unlawful, but he also discusses ‘natural’ types of prediction, in a passage deriving from Agrippa, of the sort one might expect a natural philosopher like Bacon to also term ‘natural’ (A Discourse of the Damned Art sigs D4v E4r, G1r); compare Agrippa sig. H6v. SEH 4.399–400; OFB 11.35. See also Park 290–302. Divination by influxion also seems to involve the ‘diviner’ gaining access to the divine foreknowledge, an action which cannot allow the manipulation of future events of the sort the brothers of Salomon’s House perform. Bacon termed himself a ‘high priest of the sense’ in the Instauratio Magna (OFB 11.35). See also ‘Of Prophecies’ (OFB 15.112–14) and the Advancement of Learning (OFB 4.71–2). OFB 4.80–1; see Langman 198, n. 43. The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon 1.109. See the Doctrine of Idols, fi rst explained in Temporis Partus Masculus (Farrington 69, 72) and perfected in Novum Organum (OFB 11.79–109); and Redargutio Philosophiarum (see Farrington 103–33), where Bacon proposes the wholesale rejection of received authorities, a theme from which he never deviates. The important thing here is that Bacon wants to prognosticate through comprehension of causes, not mere correlation. It is for this reason that Salomon’s House is also called the ‘Colledge of the sixe Daies Workes’ (New Atlantis, sig. c4r [SEH 3.146]). See OFB 7.13–14. Bacon also calls the Advancement a work from which the fi rst part of the Instauratio Magna, the partitions of the sciences, can ‘to some extent be retrieved’ (OFB 11.49). See also OFB 11.87: ‘[T]he sense by nature is weak and wandering [ . . . ] truer interpretation of nature is accomplished by means of instances, and apt

The Future Now


and appropriate experiments, where the sense judges the experiment, and the experiment judges the thing itself’.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Trans. J. F. London: R. W. for Gregory Moule, 1651. Archer, John M. Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1993. Bacon, Francis. Francis Bacon: The Major Works. Ed. Brian Vickers. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996. . Letter to King James. National Library of Scotland. Advocates 33.1.7. Vol. 22. Item 11. . The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban and Lord Chancellor of England. Ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon Heath. 7 vols. London: Longmans, 1861–1874. . New Atlantis, as Found in Sylva Sylvarum, or, A Natural History in Ten Centuries. London: J. H. for William Lee, 1626/1627. . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 4, The Advancement of Learning. Ed. Michael Kiernan. Oxford: Clarendon, 2000. Abbreviated to OFB 4. . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 6, Philosophical Studies, 1611–1618. Ed. Graham Rees. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. Abbreviated to OFB 6 . . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 11, The Instauratio Magna: Part II. Novum organum and Associated Texts. Ed. Graham Rees. Oxford: Clarendon, 2000. Abbreviated to OFB 11. . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 12: The Instauratio Magna: Part III. Historia naturalis. Ed. Graham Rees. Oxford: Clarendon, 2007. Abbreviated to OFB 12. . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 13: The Instauratio Magna: Last Writings. Ed. Graham Rees. Oxford: Clarendon, 2000. Abbreviated to OFB 13. . The Oxford Francis Bacon. Vol. 15: The Essays or Counsels, Civill and Morall. Ed. Michael Kiernan. Oxford: Clarendon, 2000. Abbreviated to OFB 15. . Sylva Sylvarum, or, A Natural History in Ten Centuries. London: J. H. for William Lee, 1626/1627. . The Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban and Lord Chancellor of England. Ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon Heath. 7 vols. London: Longmans, 1857–1859. Abbreviated to SEH. Bagchi, David, and David C. Steinmetz, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. Calvin, John. An Admonicion against Astrology Iudiciall and Other Curiosities, that Raigne Now in the World: Written in the French Tonge by Ihon Caluine and Translated into English, by G.G. London: Roulande Hall, 1561. . The Bondage and Liberation of the Will. Trans G. I. Davies. Ed. A. N. S. Lane. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996. . Institutes of the Christian Religion. Trans. Henry Beveridge. 2 vols. London: James Clarke, 1953. Farrington, Benjamin. The Philosophy of Francis Bacon, an Essay on Its Development from 1603 to 1609, with New Translations of Fundamental Texts. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1964. Goodman, Godfrey. The Fall of Man, or, the Corruption of Nature, Proued by the Light of Our Naturall Reason. London: Felix Kyngston, 1616.

158 A. P. Langman Langman, A. P. ‘“Beyond, both the Old World, and the New”: Authority and Knowledge in the Works of Francis Bacon, with Special Reference to the New Atlantis.’ Diss., U of London, 2007. MacCulloch, Diarmaid. Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490–1700. London: Allen Lane, 2003. Matthews, Steven. Theology and Science in the Thought of Francis Bacon. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. Milner, Benjamin. ‘Francis Bacon: The Theological Foundations of Valerius Terminus.’ Journal of the History of Ideas 58 (1997): 245–64. Muller, Richard A. God, Creation and Providence in the Thought of Jacob Arminius. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1991. Park, Katharine. ‘Bacon’s “Enchanted Glass”.’ Isis 75 (1984): 290–302. Peltonen, Markku. Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Bacon. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. Perkins, William. A Golden Chaine, or, the Description of Theologie, Containing the Order of the Causes of Salvation and Damnation. Trans. R. H. Hereunto is Adioined the order which M. Theodore Beza used in Comforting Affl icted Consciences. 2nd ed. Cambridge: John Legate, 1597. . A Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft. Cambridge: Carmel Legge, 1610. Porta, Giovanni Baptista della. Natural Magick. London: for Thomas Young and Samuel Speed, 1658. Shapiro, Barbara. Probability and Certainty in Seventeenth Century England. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1983. Solomon, Julie Robin, and Catherine Gimelli Martin, eds. Francis Bacon and the Refiguring of Early Modern Thought. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. Todd, Margo. ‘Providence, Chance and the New Science in Early Stuart Cambridge.’ The Historical Journal 29 (1986): 697–711. Vickers, Brian. Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1968. , ed. Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1968.


Prophetic Architecture Agrippa d’Aubigné in Paris Phillip John Usher

BUILDING BELIEF Material culture, whether by design or in our appropriation of it, is inhabited by our beliefs, hopes and fears.1 The verticality and intense decoration of Gothic cathedrals, for example, through such features as pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, celebrated God’s glory and the orderly nature of the universe in such a way that theology became visible, the cathedral being at once a terrestrial sanctuary and an echo of the harmony and perfection awaiting the righteous in heaven. 2 It is not hard to imagine how such associations, as familiar (albeit historically situated) as they seem to us today, gained quite different significance for sixteenthcentury Calvinists, opposed to Catholicism’s idolatry. As for connections between belief in a new future and new forms of architecture, we should remember that France’s fi rst Protestants had to worship where they could, often taking over Catholic churches or other buildings belonging to the community at large.3 The right to construct temples was in fact not even granted to French Calvinists until 1577—and even then, various legal constraints remained. It is the Edict of Nantes in 1598 that marks the true beginning of temple construction—a short-lived story, of course, with the revocation of that edict being issued less than a hundred years later in 1685.4 Although in such circumstances architectural design and its ability to manifest theological conceptions of the future could only be a secondary concern for Calvinists, certain changes were regularly made to appropriated structures, and new structures generally shared certain elements, suggesting a nascent Calvinist aesthetics that sought to make material culture conform to and express theological design. At Montauban’s (formerly Catholic) Eglise Saint-Jacques, for example, not only were icons and images removed, but so was the church’s spire—thus eschewing the risk of human hubris from rivalry with divine creation. 5 The fi rst purposefully built temples were marked by prominent pulpits (reflecting the importance of the ‘word’), clear (as opposed to stained) glass windows and empty naves—an aesthetics marked by simplicity and the desire for a more direct and personal connection with God.6


Phillip John Usher

Calvinist aesthetics, however, was much more than this. In stark contrast to the restricted development of Calvinist sacred architecture, much of the Renaissance renewal of France’s civil architecture—in terms of both actual structures and theory—was the work of members of the Reformed faith. Jacques I Androuët du Cerceau (d. 1585), a Calvinist, was appointed architect to François I’s sister, Marguerite d’Angoulême. He supervised construction for Henri II’s royal entrance into Orléans (1551) and published various works including a Livre des Grotesques (1564) in which the religious troubles are clearly alluded to, and the Plus Excellents Bastiments de France (1576), a catalogue of France’s most important buildings.7 Salomon de Brosse (d. 1626), also a Calvinist, was responsible for the magnificent Luxembourg Palace (completed 1631). Other examples could be adduced.8 Although this context of restraint in sacred architecture and enterprise in civil architecture shape the present inquiry and should remain in mind, the focus here is squarely on how buildings in Paris, both new and old, could be textured by a Calvinist viewer to foretoken future events. My argument is not that buildings had such a prophetic function by design, but rather that they sometimes took on this function in the theological and aesthetic eye of Calvinists who looked upon them. More specifically, I should like to propose a reading of the Parisian architecture-scape constructed in Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques, an epic written in the late sixteenth century but published only in 1616, with the hope of pinpointing how recognizable buildings could be cast as signs of an eschatological and redemptive future.9

GOD IN PARIS Following David Quint’s distinction between two major traditions of Roman epic, one Virgilian (after the Aeneid), the other Lucanian (after the Pharsalia), we should read the Tragiques as belonging to the latter tradition of poems which ‘embrace the cause of the politically defeated’ (133). The Tragiques grew out of the French Wars of Religion and can be thought of as a kind of Calvinist apocalypse constructed through a series of vignettes, each a prophecy of future victory over present difficulties. It is precisely because of this status of defeat that the epic genre’s triumphal tone is deferred, superimposed as à-venir upon vast tableaux of blood and suffering in the present and recent past. The Tragiques, which reply almost directly to Ronsard’s Catholic Discours des miseres de ce temps (Discourses on Present Adversities, 1562), present the Wars of Religion from a Calvinist perspective—all the horror, all the carnage, are inscribed within an overarching telos that relates the fatal year of 1562 (the massacre of Vassy) to the timeline of divine judgment.10 In other words, future victory against Catholicism is written into an eschatological perspective of vengeance.11 Consequently, much of the fi nal book, ‘Jugements’, is written in the future

Prophetic Architecture 161 tense: ‘Vos pères sortiront des tombeaux effroyables’ (7.111) (‘Your fathers will rise from the hideous tombs’) and how they then ‘reprocheront le present de vos vies’ (116) (‘will upbraid you for your present lives’).12 It is indeed most suggestive that d’Aubigné at one point presents the Reformed Church as a pregnant woman, serving to emphasize humanity’s future: ‘elle fuyait enceinte / Aux lieux inhabités’ (‘she [the church] fled, pregnant, towards uninhabited places’), an image drawn from the Book of Revelation 12.13– 18 (6.150–1).13 Such an image of the future as judgment and revenge is not merely a literary fiction, but is theologically grounded in Calvinist readings of the Book of Revelation, such as we fi nd in Henri Bullinger’s Cent sermons sur l’Apocalypse (1558).14 In 1828, Sainte-Beuve said of d’Aubigné’s Tragiques, ‘On croirait qu’il prophétise’ (180) (‘It would seem he is prophesying’). A more recent critic usefully summarized that the Tragiques can be read as an ‘extended prophetic sermon’ (Crosby, ‘Prophetic History’ 77).15 How, then, is this emphasis on the future related to d’Aubigné’s architecture-scape of the French capital? In the third book of his epic, d’Aubigné juxtaposes the corruption of terrestrial judges—the French who persecute Calvinists and the judges of the Spanish Inquisition (3.513–60)—alongside a prophecy of fi nal judgment (3.676–80), resulting in a conclusion that adapts Psalm 58: ‘Est-ce iustice que vous faites?’ (‘Is this justice you are delivering?’)16 Called upon by a personified and much depraved Justice, God leaves his celestial abode to visit Paris. More specifically, as the third book’s title tells us, he will visit the ‘chambre dorée’ (golden room) of the Palais de Justice on Paris’s Ile de la Cité. To reveal divine order, d’Aubigné thus has God descend from heaven to observe human affairs in France’s capital. What he fi rst sees is described as follows: [U]n gros amas de tours qui élevé se montre Dedans l’air plus hautain. Cet orgueil tout nouveau De pavillons dorés faisait un beau château Plein de lustre et d’éclat, dont les cimes pointues, Braves, contre le ciel mi-partissaient les nues. Sur ce premier objet Dieu tint longuement l’œil, Pour de l’homme orgueilleux voir l’ouvrage et l’orgueil. Il voit les vents émus, postes du grand Eole, Faire en virant gronder la girouette folle. (3.166–74). A great pile of towers which, raised-up, stand High and arrogant in the air. This new hubris Of the goldened pavilions made for a fine castle Full of lustre and shine, whose pointed heights, Courageous, half-split open the sky’s clouds. On this first object, God’s eye lingered, To see the work and pride of vainglorious man.


Phillip John Usher God sees the moving winds, sent by great Aeolus, Make the crazy weathervane spin and groan.

These ecphrastic verses describe the Palais de Justice which housed (and still houses) the capital’s law courts. By having God arrive here, d’Aubigné makes a connection between, on the one hand, the divine and vertical perspective of God in heaven and, on the other, the panoptic point of view associated with this central point of Paris. As d’Aubigné was writing, the Palais de Justice was no longer a royal residence, but it still constituted the legal and juridical centre of Parisian life, situated amongst a highly frequented commercial district (Shennan 101). D’Aubigné’s emphasis on the small details of exterior decoration, especially on the building’s loftiness and on the shiny and glittering nature of its surfaces, establishes a link between such details and human hubris—a kind of new Tower of Babel.17 As well as an echo of Calvinist iconoclasm, within which human works should not seek to rival divine greatness, d’Aubigné’s description meshes with the negative associations which the Palais de Justice, as an institution, would have carried for Calvinists: it was here that, in 1523, the order was given to seize Calvin’s books and where, two years later, it was announced that all new French translations of the Bible were to be vetted before publication (Shennan 94–5). It was also here that, in 1559, Anne du Bourg defended his Protestant beliefs before Henri II, leading to his arrest and death by torture.18 A certain number of details in d’Aubigné’s description force the reader to focus on which buildings are being described. The ‘gros amas de tours’, the ‘cimes pointues’ and the ‘girouette folle’ suggest that the verses relate not merely to the Palais de Justice itself (the seat of temporal power), but also to the adjoining Gothic structure that is the SainteChapelle (the seat of divine power), built under Saint Louis between 1242 and 1248, probably by Pierre de Montreuil. The two structures are of a piece and their material connection is central to d’Aubigné’s depiction, as is made clear slightly further on: Dieu trouva l’étoffe et les durs fondements Et la pierre commune à ces fiers bâtiments D’os, de têtes de morts; au mortier exécrable Les cendres des brûlés avaient servi de sable, L’eau qui les détrempait était du sang versé; La chaux vive dont fut l’édifice enlacé, Qui blanchit ces tombeaux et les salles si belles, C’est le mélange de nos tristes moelles. (3.179–86). God found the canvas and the hard foundations And the stone shared by these proud buildings Made of bones and skulls; in the abject mortar The ashes of burned bodies had been used instead of sand,

Prophetic Architecture 163 The thinning water was spilt blood; The bright limestone which enlaced the building, Which whitewashes the tombs and the most fine rooms, Is made from a mixture of our sad bone marrow.

This passage is, in one sense, a nightmarish vision where nonreferential grotesque details aim to provoke an emotional reaction from the reader.19 The meaning of these verses surely does relate to the hypocrisy of the Parliament’s judges, whose seat of power is metamorphosed into a grotesque torture chamber, but the allusion to the ‘durs fondements’ and the ‘pierre commune’ which are made of ‘os’ and ‘têtes de morts’ held together with ‘sang versé’ is simultaneously a Calvinist reading of the Sainte-Chapelle. D’Aubigné’s grotesque mortar and water replace those listed in the Bible for the Tower of Babel, where we read that the inhabitants of the city ‘had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar’ (Genesis 11.3). The SainteChapelle, of course, was founded by Saint-Louis with the express purpose of housing relics recently acquired from the Boukoleon palace in Constantinople, specifically Christ’s Crown of Thorns (of which there was already one at Saint-Denis!) and a piece of the Holy Cross. 20 The bones and blood, then, relate not only to the Protestants judged and condemned in the Palais de Justice proper, but also to the relics, metonymies of Christ’s body, for (and upon) which the Sainte-Chapelle itself was built. The Sainte-Chapelle and the Palais de Justice are textualized by d’Aubigné as one structure, to evoke for the reader how God’s divine plan will interpret such structures at the end of time, how true justice will one day replace such vainglory and hypocrisy. It is only once these buildings visible to early modern readers have been described that d’Aubigné securely inscribes them within eschatological time as prophecies of future events. D’Aubigné informs the reader that the internal ceiling of the Palais de Justice’s chambre dorée contains a message visible only to the initiated—that is, Calvinist—viewer: Sachez que l’innocent ne perdra point sa peine: Vous en avez chez vous une marque certaine Dans votre grand Palais, où vous n’avez point lu, Oyant vous n’oyez point, voyant vous n’avez vu Ce qui pend sur vos chefs en sa voûte effacée, Par un prophète ancien une histoire tracée Dont les traits par-dessus d’autres traits déguisés Ne se découvrent plus qu’aux esprits avisés. (3.681–8). Know that the innocent will not suffer in vain: You have a certain mark with you In your great Palace, where you have not read, Hearing you have not heard, seeing you have not seen,

164 Phillip John Usher That which hangs above your heads faded within the vault, A story depicted by an ancient prophet Whose lines, disguised beneath other lines Now are only visible to well-advised minds.

Amidst the corruption and proliferation of idolatrous architectural detail is a prophetic message available only to members of the Reformed faith. The Sainte-Chapelle and the Palais de Justice may well be condemnable for the hubris their material presence suggests, and it may well be within the walls of this complex of buildings that Protestants face royal justice, but the Calvinist, says d’Aubigné, can also see here a sign of the future. Divine rule will one day replace human pretension and injustice, but, in the meantime, only an invisible sign of that future is available.

SATAN IN PARIS Two books further on into the epic, God returns to heaven, compared to a king having ‘fai[t] le tour de son royaume entier’ (5.7) (‘toured his entire kingdom’), as did Charles IX in 1564–1566, and now returning to ‘son Paris ordinaire’ (5.13) (‘his usual Paris’).21 A short dialogue ensues between God and Satan (5.52–183) during which Satan challenges God, suggesting that Protestant resolve would be weakened if they were less persecuted: ‘Je sais bien / Qu’à un vivre fâcheux la mort est moins que rien’ (5.111–2) (‘I know well / That to ghastly living death is less than nothing’), essentially stating that God, responsible for giving Protestants no present to speak of and only hope for the future, has made death a simple, even pleasing option. God accepts the challenge, and Satan descends to earth, arriving in Paris in a flash above the river Seine that places him near a specific architectural structure: Ce que premier il trouve à son avènement Fut le préparatif du brave bâtiment Que designait pour lors la peste florentine. De dix mille maisons il voua la ruine Pour étoffe au dessein. Le serpent captieux Entra dans cette Reine et, pour y entrer mieux, Fit un corps aéré de colonnes parfaites, De pavillons hautains, de folles girouettes, De dômes accomplis, d’escaliers sans noyaux, Fenestrages dorés, pilastres et portaux, De salles, cabinets, de chambres, galeries, Enfin d’un tel projet que sont les Tuileries. (5.193–204). What he first saw on his arrival Was the groundwork of that lofty building which

Prophetic Architecture 165 At that time the Pest of Florence was designing. Ten thousand houses were reduced to rubble To provide the canvas. The crafty snake Entered into this Queen and, the better to enter, He made a body airy with perfect columns, Haughty pavilions, mad weathervanes, Full domes, spindle-less staircases, Goldened windows, pilasters, galleries, In a word—that project known as the Tuileries.

The Pest of Florence, of course, is Catherine de Medici, and the lofty building she is ‘designing’ is the Tuileries palace, which stood close to the Louvre from the late sixteenth century until it was burned down during, and was completely razed following, the Paris Commune in 1871. 22 Catherine de Medici commissioned the Tuileries from architect Philibert de l’Orme following the death of her husband Henri II.23 Construction began in 1566, with a very young Charles IX on the throne. The Queen Mother would never actually live in the new palace: forewarned that her future death would be connected with St. Germain by her astrologer Cosimo Ruggieri, she commissioned Jean Bullant to construct her a different residence (the Tuileries were in the parish of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois), later known as the Hôtel de Soissons and situated near the Eglise Saint-Eustache but now destroyed. Although the Tuileries stood for Catherine de Medici as a monument to an aborted future, she would continue to be a regular presence there, organizing many festivals which were ‘an integral part of her political policy’ (Strong 99). D’Aubigné’s architectural description is once again concerned with a profusion of concrete details, serving both to help the reader identify the building (the mass of pilasters, the celebrated staircase, etc.) and to read it morally (the ‘haughty’ pavilions, the ‘crazy’ weathervane). 24 Just as the Palais de Justice’s structure is weakened in d’Aubigné’s text by the foundations built from blood and bone marrow, so here the Tuileries are weakened by being hollowed out (‘aéré’). Keith Cameron notes that Satan ‘enter[s] the body of Catherine de Medici’ (59). More than this, however, the devil enters into her building, figured as her second body. 25 If we turn to the Premier tome de l’Architecture (1567), an architectural treatise written by Philibert de l’Orme and which provides contemporary commentary on the construction of the Tuileries, it is easy to appreciate the concreteness of the association between Catherine de Medici and her building. The ‘perfect columns’ to which d’Aubigné alludes are in fact of a very precise kind, as Philibert de l’Orme explains—they are of the Ionic order, a choice predicated on the gender of his patron (Figures 9.1 and 9.2). I’ay voulu accomoder le present ordre à sondit Palays pour autant qu’il n’est gueres vsité, & que encores peu de personnes l’ont mis en

166 Phillip John Usher oeuure aux bestiments auec colonnes. [ . . . ] L’autre raison pourquoy i’ay voulu figurer & naturellement representer ledict ordre Ionique au Palais de la maiesté de la Royne, c’est pour autant qu’il est femenin, & a esté inuenté apres les proportions & ornements des dames & déesses [ . . . ]. (sig. 155v) I wanted to apply the present order to her aforementioned Palace because this order is only rarely used and because until now only a few people have incorporated it into buildings with columns. The other reason why I wanted to fashion and depict the said Ionic order on the Palace of her Majesty the Queen is because it is feminine and was invented according to the proportions and ornaments of ladies and goddesses. The Ionic order was thus chosen for two reasons: because of its apparent rarity and because it is the female order and thus appropriate for the palace of his female sponsor. The assertion that the Ionic is the female order is traditional. L’Orme himself explains how the name arose from the order’s proportions based on the female body (sig. 155r). He paraphrases Vitruvius: just as Jupiter’s temple on Mount Olympus was constructed with (male) Corinthian columns, so Ctesiphon built Diana’s temple at Ephesus using (female) Ionic columns (sig. 155v–156 r). ‘Qui en demandera les raisons, il les trouuera dedans ledict Vitruue’, he concludes (sig. 156r) (‘Whoever wishes to know the reasons for this will find them in Vitruvius’). Choosing the Ionic order, l’Orme renews the traditional association between this order and the proportions of the female body by specifically linking the choice to his sponsor. When d’Aubigné writes that Satan ‘[e]ntra dans cette Reine’, referring however to the Tuileries, there is a near perfect tessellation between the royal body and the architecture that she has sponsored. Not only do these ‘perfect columns’ directly reflect the patron’s identity, but they were also signifying units in another manner. Further on in l’Orme’s treatise (Book 7), Chapter 13 is titled, ‘Qu’il est permis à l’exemple des anciens, d’inuenter & faire nouuelles colomnes: ainsi que nous en auons faict quelques unes, appellées colomnes Françoises’ (sig. 218v) (‘On the fact that it is allowed, based on the example of the Ancients, to invent and produce new [types of] columns. Thus have we created new ones, called French columns’). This invention of a new column was indeed fi rst realized at the Tuileries and constituted a specifically French design. Whereas Italian architects had plenty of raw materials available locally for making columns from one piece of stone or marble, the rarity of such materials in France led Philibert de l’Orme to conceive of a column made of separate drums that could be piled on top of each other, the joints of which would be disguised by decorative hoops, either plain, vegetal or floral (Figure 9.3). The very geology of France, having set material conditions for construction, became in l’Orme’s hands an impetus for the defi nition of a national aesthetics. To any of d’Aubigné’s readers who had also read l’Orme’s treatise,

Prophetic Architecture 167 the Tuileries in all their materiality would have stood as a monument to both the resourcefulness of French architects when faced with material constraints and to Catherine de Medici and royal sponsorship of architecture. D’Aubigné’s architectural attack, then, sets its sights both on Catherine de Medici herself and on her control of French identity. As with the Sainte-Chapelle and the Palais de Justice, d’Aubigné is not content merely to diagnose. He again places the emphasis on future transformation. It is significant that, on Satan’s arrival, the Tuileries are said to be nothing but a ‘préparatif’ for a ‘brave bâtiment’: they are an architectural plan waiting to happen. Like the interior ceiling of the Palais de Justice, the Tuileries are awaiting further decoration. They immediately possess the capacity for poetic prophecy, relating the building currently

Figure 9.1 L’Orme’s capital on Ionic column (sig. 170v). With kind permission of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.


Phillip John Usher

Figure 9.2 L’Orme’s diagram of Ionic column (sig. 158r). With kind permission of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Prophetic Architecture 169

Figure 9.3 L’Orme’s French columns made of stackable drums (sig. 221r). With kind permission of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

170 Phillip John Usher under construction to a literary depiction of its future completion, creating a productive tension: according to the poem, Satan himself becomes the building’s architect by adding a welter of additional details (pilasters, portals and so on); in reality, however, it was Philibert de l’Orme (and, following the latter’s death, Jean Bullant and others) who would add such details. What d’Aubigné’s Satanic architect brings to the Tuileries—in addition to, but supposedly represented by, the pilasters, portals and staircases— is temptation and corruption. Infi ltrating the ‘imagination, / Du chef de Jesabel’ (5.505–6) (‘imagination / inside Jezebel’s head’)—yet another poke at Catherine de Medici—the devil proceeds on his mission, taking on a variety of disguises, to corrupt various members of court society, crossing from the Tuileries to the Louvre, at least implicitly via the grande galerie which connected them and which would have been in existence by the time of the book’s publication. 26 [ . . . ] cet œil ardent découvre Tant de gibier pour soi dans le palais du Louvre! Il s’acharne au pillage, et l’enchanteur rusé Tantôt en conseiller finement déguisé, En prêcheur pénitent et en homme d’Eglise, Il mutine aisément, il conjure, il attise Le sang, l’esprit, le cœur et l’oreille des grands. Rien ne lui est fermé, même il entre dedans Le conseil plus étroit. Pour mieux filer sa trame Quelquefois il se vêt d’un visage de femme, Et pour piper un cœur s’arme d’une beauté. (5.211–21) [ . . . ] this burning eye discovers So much pray for itself in the Louvre palace! He fiercely pillages and this crafty enchanter Now finely disguised as a royal advisor, As a penitent preacher or as a man of the cloth, He engages in easy mutiny, he conspires, he fires up The blood, minds, hearts and ears of important individuals. No path is closed to him, he even enters into The most private counsel assembly. The better to spin his plot He sometimes puts on a woman’s face, And to capture a heart arms himself with beauty.

The Tuileries and the Louvre to which they are attached, originally a ‘préparatif’, are taken further towards completion by Satan’s corruption. Moreover, Satan’s spreading of evil is even called a ‘projet’ (5.253) as if it were part of an architectural plan, thus emphasizing how the building will change over time. Yet, the lesson of the Palais de Justice is that a building whose details betoken present corruption can also stand for a future

Prophetic Architecture 171 reversal of that situation. After adding architectural details to the Tuileries and corrupting court society in the Louvre, d’Aubigné’s Satan sends his soldiers off around the world. The fi rst destination is the Vatican, where the spirits of evil ‘de subtils pinceaux / Ont mis [ . . . ] les excellents tableaux, / Où l’Antéchrist, saoulé de vengeance et de plaie, / Sur l’effet de ses mains en triomphant s’égaie’ (5.257–60) (‘with subtle paintbrushes / Have placed the excellent paintings, Where the Antichrist, drunk on vengeance and wounds, / Rejoices in triumph from what those hands accomplish’)— an allusion to paintings realized by Giorgio Vasari for the Vatican’s Sala Regia depicting with the triumphalism of a Catholic point of view the Wars of Religion in France, including the death of Coligny. The Tuileries were thus Satan’s fi rst point of entry into human architecture, but as a site that opens out onto other structures including the Vatican. The moment of prophecy fi nally arrives when Heaven is so moved by the architectural and pictorial celebration of corruption that the sacred choir of angels seek to replace such images with ‘contraires desseins’ (5.265) or ‘contrary designs’, referred to as ‘sacrés tableaux’ (5.274) or ‘sacred paintings’, and which they paint ‘au vif d’un compas mesuré / Dans le large parvis du haut ciel azuré’ (5.269–70) (‘sharply with a proportioned compass / In azure heaven’s wide forecourt’). 27 [ . . . ] Voilà les restes Des hauts secrets du ciel: là les bourgeois célestes Ne lisent qu’aux rayons de la face de Dieu; C’est de tout l’avenir le registre, le lieu Où la harpe royale était lors élevée Qu’elle en sonna ces mots: Pour jamais engravée Est dedans le haut ciel que tu créas jadis La vraie éternité de tout ce que tu dis. C’est le registre saint des actions secrètes, Fermé d’autant de seaux qu’il y a de planètes. Le prophète dompteur des lions indomptés Le nomme en ses écrits l’écrit des vérités. Tout y est bien marqué, nul humain ne l’explique; Ce livre n’est ouvert qu’à la troupe angélique, Puis aux élus de Dieu, quand en perfection L’âme et le corps goûteront la résurrection. (5.1245–60) Here are the remains Of heaven’s high secrets: there, the heaven-dwelling bourgeois Read only in the light that shines out from God’s face; It is of all the future the register, the place Where the royal harp was raised when It sounded out these words: Forever is engraved Inside the high heavens that you once created

172 Phillip John Usher The true eternity of all that you say. It is the sacred register of secret actions, Closed by as many seals as there are planets. The prophet who tames the untamable lions Names it in his writings the written truths. Everything is recorded there, no human can explain it; This book is only open to the Angelic troop, Then to God’s chosen ones, when in perfection The soul and body come to taste resurrection.

Knowledge of the future is available only to God, to his angels and to the Calvinists, elected by their faith. Whereas the future cannot be seen, d’Aubigné’s text carefully aligns the concrete details of Paris’ architecture-scape, whose excesses collude with Catholicism and royal patronage, with the invisible future of Calvinist revenge. Just as the ceiling of the grotesque Palais de Justice contained, hidden away from sight, a message about the future return of divine justice, so the celestial (and bloody) depictions of the Wars of Religion, as well as the palace of one of the war’s key protagonists, contain the register of future persecutions that will nevertheless lead to truth and, eventually, vengeance. Before concluding, it is worth asking why Satan, who is shown to add the corrupt architectural details to the Tuileries, was figured by d’Aubigné as a ‘serpent’ (3.197), a description significantly expanded earlier on during Satan’s conversation with God. There, Satan’s angelic disguise is replaced by his real appearance: ‘Le crespe blanchissant qui les cheveux lui cœuvre / Se change en mesme peau que porte la couleuvre’ (5.57–8) (‘The whitened hood which covers his hair / Morphs into the skin of a snake’); ‘La teste se descoëffe et se change en serpent’ (5.64) (‘His head loses its hair and turns into a snake’s’); similarly, the markings on the devil’s skin are said to make him look ‘[c]omme un ventre d’aspic’ (5.70) (‘like the belly of an asp’). The universal force of the snake image appears somewhat selfevident, immediately bringing to mind the snake of the Garden of Eden, ‘callidior cunctis animantibus terrae’ (Genesis 3.1) (‘more cunning than any beast of the field’), and clearly identified with Satan in the later writings of the Hebrew Prophets and in the New Testament. Literary echoes, too, abound: Frank Lestringant identifies this snake with epic precedents, such as the snake that Allecto throws at Amata in the Aeneid, a moment Ronsard imitates in the Franciade, his unfi nished nationalistic epic (Oeuvres complètes 3.1349–55). 28 There is also another possible explanation. If we again turn to Philibert de l’Orme’s Premier Tome de l’Architecture, we fi nd a similar association between architecture and snake in the decorative bandeau that crowns Philibert de l’Orme’s dedicatory letter to Catherine de Medici (Figure 9.4). Here, a snake wraps itself around the compass at both extremes of the cornice, above a highly charged set of metopes depicting a shaggy-haired Mercury (on the left) and an equally bedraggled Venus (on the right). In

Prophetic Architecture 173

Figure 9.4 Decorative bandeau (sig. aiir). With kind permission of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

the very centre is l’Orme’s emblem, notably featuring an elm tree (orme in French) that visually betokens the authorial presence. To its left stands a crescent moon, to its right a small architectural structure. Around the emblem are the words ‘Ne quid nimis’ (‘Nothing in excess’). 29 Below the decoration is l’Orme’s formal address to his patron. An explanation of the snake symbol is provided at the beginning of the third book, in a section that anticipates the fi nal allegory of the good architect in his concluding pages. The explanation is emblematized in an image (Figure 9.5). The architect, explains l’Orme, is dressed as a learned man who exits a dark cave, where he had been fully dedicated to the solitary study necessary to ‘paruenir à la uraye cognaissance & perfection de son art’ (sig. 50r) (‘arrive at true knowledge and perfection in his art’); with one hand, he pulls up his robe to show his diligence and care in all affairs, whereas with the other hand, he manipulates a compass around which a hissing serpent winds itself. The presence of the serpent, he continues, is to ‘signifier qu’il doit mesurer & compasser tous ses affaires & toutes ses œures & ouurages, avecques une prudence & meure deliberation’ (sig. 50r) (‘signify that he must assess and measure with a compass all his undertakings and all his labours and works, with prudence and mature deliberation’). The central importance of the snake is highlighted by textual gloss: ‘Prudence, dy-ie, telle que le serpent la figure, & est commandée & recommandée par Iesus Christ en son Euangile disant, Estote prudentes sicut serpentes, & simplices sicut columbæ’ (sig. 50v) (‘Prudence, say I, as represented by the


Phillip John Usher

Figure 9.5 Allegory of the good architect (sig. 51v). With kind permission of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

snake and such as it is ordered and recommended by Jesus Christ in his Testament saying, “Be as prudent as a snake and a simple as a dove”’). Viewed through this intertext, d’Aubigné’s architect-snake is at once Satanic and ingenious. Although we cannot know if d’Aubigné chose the snake because of l’Orme’s use of that same animal, it is very tempting, to this modern reader at least, to suggest that d’Aubigné’s snake, as a sign of the agency of human architecture and of Calvinist prophecy, echoes not only the Bible, but also the French Renaissance’s image of the architect. It is also tempting to see the architect, educated in prudence, as a builder not just of material culture but of the spaces offered to the inhabitants of Paris for interpretation of the future. By including the snake reference, d’Aubigné perhaps suggests to his readers that his prophetic writing is cosponsored by architects themselves.

Prophetic Architecture 175 ON THE NATURE OF PROPHECY C’est fait, Dieu vient régner, de toute prophétie Se voit la période à ce point accomplie. (d’Aubigné, Les Tragiques 7.663–4) It is done, God comes to reign, of all prophecy The period now sees itself accomplished.

D’Aubigné’s text sets out to show the operative power of the divine will— what will happen, how Protestants will be avenged. The fi nal apocalypse that it describes in the last book involves assorted forms of destruction, including destruction of the haughty architecture of Paris. The palaces, says d’Aubigné, will be reduced to rubble. Paris, a new Tower of Babel, will be destroyed (7.249–59). The divine plan for the Protestant future is thus externalized and materialized by the destruction of architecture previously presented as corrupt and grotesquely built. Before it falls, it stands as a monument to its forthcoming destruction—at least for d’Aubigné. In an ironic turn of events, the Palais de Justice, described by d’Aubigné as a site of everything he detested, would indeed partly burn down in 1618, just two years after the Tragiques were fi rst published. It would then be rebuilt by Salomon de Brosse, a Calvinist architect who returned from exile to Paris following the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes. In a sense, then, d’Aubigné’s imagined future came about: the Palais de l’Injustice really would be destroyed—and rebuilt by a Calvinist. The Tuileries, too, would be destroyed, but only much later. The point, of course, is not that d’Aubigné predicted this, but rather that his textualizing of the Parisian architecture-scape sets up the buildings of Paris as surfaces upon which a certain idea of the future was inscribed within his textual supplement—to be understood only by those who knew how to read. Prophecy, for Calvin, was indeed just that—not the gift of predicting the future as such, but rather, in his own words, a ‘peculiar gift of revelation, by which anyone skilfully and wisely performed the office of an interpreter in explaining the will of God’ (460). Prophecy, continues Calvin, is thus ‘hardly anything else than the right understanding of the Scripture, and the peculiar faculty of explaining it’. The future, based on God’s plan for redemption and punishment, was visible in architecture—but to be able to see it, one must already subscribe to that future, for it was only in the architectural details insofar as one’s theological choices situated it there. NOTES 1. Earlier versions of this chapter and related work were presented at the Renaissance Studies seminar at Harvard University’s Humanities Center (2007), at the MLA meeting in Chicago (2007) and as an invited lecture at Augustana

176 Phillip John Usher

2. 3. 4.


6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15.

16. 17.

18. 19. 20.

College (2008). I should like to express sincere thanks to my various hosts for their hospitality, to the enthusiastic audiences who offered advice, especially Tom Conley, Henri Zerner, Patrick Bray and Margaret C. Flinn, as well as to the editors of the present volume for their careful reading and commentary. I also thank Claudia Funke (Avery Library, Columbia University) for her assistance with obtaining the images included in this article. See Panofsky. Other useful studies include Araguas; Bony; and Henriet. See Benoist 2.544–5 and Benedict 41. See Spicer ‘Qui est de Dieu’ 180–3. As Anthony Garvan has noted, the consequence of such a situation was that ‘the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and consequent destruction of Huguenot temples made French Protestant architecture the peculiar property of religious historians’ (5). See Serr 145–6. Serr refers to Jacques-Auguste de Thou, Histoire de monsieur de Thou, des choses arrivées de son temps mise en français par P. Du Ryer (Paris: A. Courbé, 1659) 32.481. Further contemporary commentary on the events surrounding the Reformation’s impact in Montauban is provided by de Bèze 1.215, 828, 844 and 851. See Guicharnaud and Reymond. See Androuet Du Cerceau, Livre de grotesques and Le Premier Volume des plus excellents bastiments, available through the online anthology at the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance: . See also Boudon and Couzy, Part 1: 8–12 and Part 2: 103–114. The only full study to date of Calvinist architects in Renaissance France is Catharine Randall’s Building Codes. A wider perspective is provided by Finney. I borrow the term ‘architecture-scape’ from Nobuyuki Yoshida, motivated partly by Arjun Appadurai’s use of similar neologisms in his ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’. On d’Aubigné’s relationship to Ronsard in this context, see Duval 13–29. On the widespread importance of eschatological thought and religious violence in both Catholic and Protestant spheres, see Denis Crouzet’s now classic Les Guerriers de Dieu. See also Delumeau, esp. Ch. 6 on ‘l’attente de Dieu’ (‘waiting for God’). All references to the Tragiques will be given in the text and refer to book and verse of the edition by Frank Lestringant. In the original edition of the Tragiques in 1616, the author’s name was replaced by the initials ‘L. B. D. D.’, standing for ‘le bouc du désert’ (‘the billy-goat [or scapegoat] of the desert’). See Regosin 365–6. On the prophetic nature of d’Aubigné’s poetry, see also Crosby, ‘Prophetic Discourse’ 91–100, Soulié, ‘Prophétisme’ and Regosin, Poetry of Inspiration. The nature of prophecy and apocalypse in d’Aubigné has also been explored in a series of so far unpublished dissertations by Gette; Williams; and, more recently, Junod. Quoted here in the French translation of Marot (109). See Lestringant’s note to verse 3 (166). The Tower of Babel, of course, arose when the inhabitants of the famed city decided to ‘build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven’ (Genesis 11.4). God then descended from heaven to see ‘the city and the tower, which the children of men builded’ (Genesis 11.5). To correct human presumption and thwart such constructions, God confounded human languages to hinder communication. For a recent account of Anne du Bourg’s trial, see Shepardson Chs. 2 and 3. See Lestringant’s note to verse 3 (184–5). See also Pot 117. See de Belleforest 1.231 and Sède 18.

Prophetic Architecture 177 21. On Charles IX’s tour of France, see also Book 1, ‘Misères’, 563–80. Charles IX’s tour has attracted much critical interest, most importantly Graham and Johnson and Boutier et al. 22. The standard history of the construction of the Tuileries is recounted in Berty 2.15–37. An updated summary is provided by Pérouse de Montclos, Philibert de l’Orme 233–7. 23. Randall argues that Philibert de l’Orme was, if not a Calvinist, someone with a ‘strongly evangelical stance and perhaps Calvinist sympathies’ (80). Such Calvinist sympathies, according to Randall, are detectable in his ‘stylistic idiosyncrasies’ which compose ‘the architectural vocabulary of later Calvinist architects’ (83), his use (like Calvin) of the biblical text as a ‘textual template for his building activity in general’ (84) and in his creation of a Protestant architectural genealogy (84). No direct evidence exists, however, to support claims that l’Orme was anything but a Catholic—he was, after all, a priest (diocese of Lyon) and later canon: see Potié 23. As one reviewer of Randall’s book noted, ‘Much of [her] evidence would seem to be circumstantial, and there are problems in equating the terms “evangelical” with “crypto-” or “proto-” Calvinist’ (Spicer, ‘Building Codes’ 106). I do not propose to resolve this debate here, for my emphasis here is not on how l’Orme (probably did not) infuse his architecture with theology, but on how d’Aubigné appropriated those same structures. 24. Details of the celebrated coreless staircase have been collected and analyzed in Blunt, and Pérouse de Monclos, ‘La Vis de Saint-Gilles’ 83–91 (especially 90–1). See also Potié, 141–6. 25. Following Kantorowicz’s The King’s Two Bodies, we might see the Tuileries as Catherine de Medici’s symbolic body. See also Archambault. 26. Exterior construction of the grande galerie took place between 1595 and 1610. Four hundred and fi fty metres long, it was constructed by two architects: Jacques II Androuet du Cerceau for the western end and Louis Métezeau (1560–1615) for the eastern. 27. These celestial tableaux have received much critical attention. See especially Greenberg; Jeanneret; Ternaux; and Tournon. 28. ‘huic dea caeruleis unum de crinibus anguem / conicit. que sinum praecordia ad intima subdit, /quo furibunda domum monstro permisceat omnem’ (Virgil, Aeneid 7.346–8) (On her [Amata] the goddess [Allecto] fl ings a snake from her dusky tresses, and thrusts it into her bosom, to her inmost heart, that maddened by the pest she may embroil all the house). 29. See Potié 45.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Androuet du Cerceau, Jacques. Le Premier Volume des plus excellents bastiments de France. Paris: Pour ledit J. Androuet Du Cerceau, 1579. . Les Plus Excellents Bastiments de France. Ed. David Thomson. Paris: Sand & Conti, 1988. . Livre de grotesques. Paris:, 1566. Appadurai, Arjun. ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.’ Global Culture, Nationalism, Globalization and Modernity. Ed. Mike Featherstone. London: Sage, 1990. 295–311. Archambault, P. Paul. ‘The Analogy of the Body in Renaissance Political Literature.’ Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et de Renaissance 29 (1967): 21–58.

178 Phillip John Usher Araguas, Philippe. Architecture religieuse gothique: Diversités régionales, XIIe – XIVe siècles. Paris: Rempart, 2000. Belleforest, François de. La Cosmographie universelle de tout le monde. Paris: Michel Sonnius, 1575. Benedict, Philip. ‘The Dynamics of Protestant Militancy: France 1555–1563.’ Reformation, Revolt and Civil War in France and the Netherlands 1555– 1585. Ed. Philip Benedict, Guido Marnef, Henk van Nierop and Marc Venard. Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999. 35–50. Benoist, Elie. Histoire de l’Édit de Nantes. 5 vols. Delft: Beman, 1693–1695. Berty, Adolphe. Topographie historique du vieux Paris: Région du Louvre et des Tuileries. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1868. Bèze, Théodore de. Histoire ecclésiastique des églises réformées au royaume de France. 3 vols. Nieuwkoop: B. de Graaf, 1974. Blunt, Anthony. Philibert de l’Orme. London: A. Zwemmer, 1958. Bony, Jean. French Gothic Architecture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Berkeley: U of California P, 1983. Boudon, F., and H. Couzy. ‘Les Plus Excellents Bâtiments de France: Une Anthologie de châteaux à la fi n du XVIe siècle.’ L’Information d’histoire de l’art (1974) : Part 1: 8–12 and Part 2: 103–14. Boutier, Jean, Alain Dewerpe and Daniel Nordman. Un Tour de France royal: Le Voyage de Charles IX, 1564–1566. Paris: Aubier, 1984. Calvin, Jean. Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians. Trans. William Pringle. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948. Cameron, Keith. Agrippa d’Aubigné. Boston: Twayne, 1977. Clouzot, Henri. Philibert de l’Orme. Paris: Plon-Nourrit, 1910. Crosby, Virginia. ‘Prophetic Discourse in Ronsard and D’Aubigné.’ The French Review 26.3 (1971): 91–100. . ‘Prophetic History and Agrippa D’Aubigné’s Tragiques.’ The Bulletin of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association 26.3 (1972): 75–82. Crouzet, Denis. Les Guerriers de Dieu: La Violence au temps des troubles de religion, vers 1525–vers 1610. 2 vols. Seyssel: Champ Vallon, 1990. d’Aubigné, Agrippa. Les Tragiques. Ed. Frank Lestringant. Paris: Gallimard, 2003. Delumeau, Jean. La Peur en Occident, XIVe –XVIIIe siècles: Une Cité assiégée. Paris: Fayard, 1978. Duval, Edwin. ‘The Place of the Present: Ronsard, Aubigné, and the Misères de ce temps.’ Yale French Studies 80 (1991): 13–29. Finney, Paul Corby, ed. Seeing Beyond the Word: Visual Arts and the Calvinist Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999. Garvan, Anthony. ‘The Protestant Plain Style before 1630.’ The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 9.3 (October 1950): 5–13. Gette, L. W. Agrippa d’Aubigné: Prophetic and Apocalyptic in the Structure and Imagery of ‘Les Tragiques.’ Diss., U of Wisconsin, 1970. Graham, Victor Ernest, and W. McAllister Johnson. The Royal Tour of France by Charles IX and Catherine de Medici. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1979. Greenberg, Mitchell. ‘The Poetics of Trompe-l’œil: d’Aubigné’s Tableaux celestes.’ Neophilologus 63 (1979): 1–22. Guicharnaud, Hélène. ‘Approche de l’architecture des temples protestants construits en France avant la Révocation.’ Études théologiques et religieuses 75 (2000): 477–504. Henriet, Jacques. A l’Aube de l’architecture gothique. Besançon: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2005. Jeanneret, Michel. ‘Les Tableaux spirituels d’Agrippa d’Aubigné.’ Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 35 (1973): 233–45.

Prophetic Architecture 179 Junod, Samuel A. The Prophetic Ethos: The Creation of a Figure of the Enunciation in Agrippa d’Aubigne’s ‘Les Tragiques.’ Doctoral dissertation, Johns Hopkins U, 2000. Kantorowicz, Ernst H. The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1957. L’Orme, Philibert de. Le Premier Tome de l’Architecture. Paris: F. Morel, 1567. Marot, Clément. Les Pseaumes mis en rime francoise. Geneva: Jean Bonnefoy, 1563. Panofsky, Erwin. Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism. London: Meridian, 1985. Pérouse de Montclos, Jean-Marie. ‘La Vis de Saint-Gilles et l’escalier suspendu dans l’architecture française.’ L’Escalier dans l’architecture de la Renaissance: Actes du colloque tenu à Tours du 22 au 26 mai 1979. Paris: Picard, 1985. 83–91. . Philibert de l’Orme: Architecte du roi, 1514–1570. Paris: Mengès, 2000. Pot, Olivier. ‘Les Tableaux des Tragiques ou le paradoxe de l’image.’ Poétiques d’Aubigné: Actes du colloque de Genève mai 1996. Ed. Olivier Pot. Geneva: Droz, 1999. Potié, Philippe. Philibert de L’Orme: Figures de la pensée constructive. Marseille: Editions Parenthèses, 1996. Quint, David. Epic and Empire: Politics and Generic Form from Virgil to Milton. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993. Randall, Catherine. Building Codes: The Aesthetics of Calvinism in Early Modern Europe. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1999. Regosin, Richard L. ‘D’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques: A Protestant Apocalypse.’PMLA 81.5 (1966): 363–8. . The Poetry of Inspiration: Agrippa d’Aubigné’s ‘Les Tragiques.’ Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1970. Reymond, Bernard. L’Architecture religieuse des protestants. Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1996. Ronsard, Pierre de. Œuvres Complètes. Ed. Paul Laumonier. 20 vols. Paris: Didier/ Nizet, 1937–1983. Sainte-Beuve. Tableau historique et critique de la poésie française et du théâtre français du XVIe siècle. Paris: A. Sautelet, 1828. Sède, Sophie de. La Sainte-Chapelle et la politique de la fin des temps. Paris: Julliard, 1972. Serr, Gaston. Une Église protestante au XVIe siècle: Montauban. Aix-en-Provence: La Pensée universitaire, 1958. Shennan, J. H. The Parlement of Paris. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1968. Shepardson, Nikki. Burning Zeal: The Rhetoric of Martyrdom and the Protestant Community in Reformation France, 1520–1570. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh UP, 2007. Soulié, Marguerite. L’Inspiration biblique dans la poésie religieuse d’Agrippa d’Aubigné. Paris: Klincksieck, 1977. . ‘Prophétisme et visions d’Apocalypse dans Les Tragiques d’Agrippa d’Aubigné.’ Bulletin de l’Association d’étude sur l’Humanisme, la Réforme et la Renaissance 22 (1986): 5–10. Spicer, Andrew. ‘Building Codes: The Aesthetics of Calvinism in Early Modern Europe (review).’ Catholic Historical Review 89.1 (2003): 105–6. . ‘Qui est de Dieu oit la parole de Dieu: The Huguenots and their Temples.’ Society and Culture in the Huguenot World, 1559–1685. Ed. Raymond A. Mentzer and Andrew Spicer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. 175–92. Strong, Roy. Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals 1450–1650. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984. Ternaux, Jean-Claude. ‘La Parlante Peinture dans Les Tragiques d’Agrippa d’Aubigné (Livre V, Les Fers).’ Lettere et arti nel Rinascimento: Actes du Xe


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congrès international, Chianciano–Pienza, 20–23 juillet 1998. Ed. Luisa Secchi Tarugi. Florence: Franco Cesati, 2001. 709–23. Tournon, André. ‘Le Cinquième Sceau: Les Tableaux des Fers et la perspective apocalyptique dans Les Tragiques d’Agrippa d’Aubigné.’ Mélanges V.-L. Saulnier. Geneva: Droz, 1984. 273–83. Virgil. Aenied. Trans. H. Rushton Fairclough and G. P. Goold. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2000. Williams, J. H. Agrippa d’Aubigné’s ‘Les Tragiques’: Cosmic Travail and Redemption. Diss., U of Wisconsin, 1972. Yoshida, Nobuyuki. Japan Architect #66. Towards a New Architecture-Scape. Tokyo: Shinkenchiku-Sha, 2007.

10 Astrology, Ritual and Revolution in the Works of Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639) Peter J. Forshaw

qui praevidere scit quid divina providentia fore decreverit, concordat consilium suum cum ea. (Campanella, Articuli Prophetales 3)

He who knows how to foresee what divine providence has decreed in advance, concords his counsel with it.

The power to predict the future was an attractive prospect, with numerous divinatory methods being employed since antiquity. This chapter focuses on the most long-lived of these, the science of astrology. Well into the Renaissance, the existence of a relationship between the celestial and terrestrial realms, and the notion that planetary motions above exercised some influence on activities below, were accepted by many.1 Observation of extraordinary events in the heavens combined with traditional astrological lore to constellate either a passionate belief in a coming new era or intense anxieties about the approach of cataclysmic events. From vast political organisms to lone individuals, all were potentially influenced by the course of the stars. It was, perhaps, inevitable that some would not simply be content with predicting such futures, but would actively attempt to influence their outcome, be that to ward off the effects of the sudden appearance of a comet or an eclipse, or to promote a harmonious way of living according to the stars (Schmitt 4, 8–9). Four essential types of astrological practice took all of this into account, namely, revolutions, nativities, interrogations and elections (Rutkin, ‘Various Uses of Horoscopes’ 168). Revolutions, the domain of mundane astrology, were orientated towards general world events, concerned with large-scale natural and historical changes, from meteorological to political. The annual publications of almanacs were the most popular manifestation of this form of practice, with their predictions of freak acts of nature, like storms, floods or the outbreak of plague. Nativities, on the other hand, were the concern of genethliac astrology, the calculation and interpretation


Peter J. Forshaw

of horoscopes showing the particular configuration of the heavens at an individual’s birth. These could be of use for the propaedeutics of medicine, as an aid to the prognostications of physicians; iatromathematics or astrological medicine helped in identifying individual propensities towards certain ailments indicated in a chart and then in recommending an appropriate diet, preventative sanitary regimen and so forth, for the preservation of health (Chapman 279; French 454, 458–9). Taking this a stage further, judicial astrology attempted to predict future possibilities, probabilities or fatal certainties (depending on the outlook of the astrologer) in an individual’s life, although this practice provoked fierce debates about astral determinism and free will and was the form of astrology most commonly condemned (Chapman 275). Interrogations addressed any matter of concern, including medical, relationship or business-related issues, with horoscopes being cast for the moment at which a particular question was asked. Finally, elections determined the most propitious moment to begin an enterprise or perform an activity, such as a coronation, marriage, voyage or indeed the founding of a city. By the mid-thirteenth century, astrology had been integrated into the standard philosophical curriculum of Western universities, as part of the quadrivium alongside mathematics, music and geometry; and it was fi rmly allied with medicine by the fi fteenth century (Kusukawa 34). 2 Medical chairs for astrology existed, for example, in Bologna, Ferrara, Padua and Naples, and outside Italy in Paris and Krakau (Hübner, ‘Astrologie in der Renaissance’ 249). Nor was it simply physicians who valued astrology. In Rome, many of the popes were patrons of astrologers, including Pius II (1405–1464), Sixtus IV (1414–1484), Leo X (1475–1521) and above all Paul III (1468–1549). 3 Among the Reformers, Luther (1483–1546) criticized astrology as an illicit pagan art; indeed, a dangerous game with the devil, arguing that startling events or universal catastrophes should not be attributed to the stars but to the will of God (Brosseder 559; Zambelli 2). Calvin (1509–1564) warned against the superstitions of ‘bastardly’ judicial astrology, but he did condone ‘natural astrology’ related to medical prognosis (Kusukawa 42; Chapman 279). Melanchthon (1497–1560), though, was far more enthusiastic, considering astrology to be a science with hermeneutic potential in many spheres of life, of value for the study of nature as well as for the history and fate of mankind (Brosseder 574; Kusukawa 38).4

TOMMASO CAMPANELLA This chapter considers astrology in the writings of the southern Italian philosopher Tommaso Campanella (1568–1639), an early modern thinker possessed by a vision of the total restoration of society and morals, of the return of mankind to a state of innocence before Adam’s fall and of

Astrology, Ritual and Revolution


himself as the prophet destined to usher in this coming transformation (Eamon 386). Born 5 September 1568 in the Calabrian town of Stilo, the son of an impoverished and illiterate cobbler, Campanella entered the Dominican Order in 1582 at the age of fourteen. In 1589, dissatisfied with his circumstances, he left his isolated convent without seeking permission from his superiors and travelled to Naples, the political and cultural capital of the region. There he quickly made contact with the city’s most influential natural philosophers, in particular Giovanni Battista della Porta (1535–1615), founder of the Accademia dei Secreti and author of one of the Renaissance’s best-known works on natural magic, the Magia Naturalis, first published in 1558. Campanella arrived just in time for the publication of its new, expanded twenty-book edition in 1589, at the height of Della Porta’s fame (Eamon 373). Inspired by Della Porta and his circle, Campanella wrote his first magical work in 1590, De sensu rerum et magia libri quatuor (Four Books on the Sense of Things and on Magic; first published 1620). In the twentieth and final chapter of the fourth book, bearing the title ‘Astrology is necessary for the best Magician’, he bluntly states that ‘[n]o man is so stupid as to be unaware that the generation, corruption, alterations, times of the year, changes of the air, sea and land, germination of animals and plants, are affected by the increase and decrease of the two luminaries and the stars’.5 All this takes place by God’s will, which is why the Church Fathers are unanimous in praising the Magi who knew of Christ through the stars.6 Indeed, it is evident to him that astrology cannot be a human invention, for in a thousand centuries men would not have been able to designate so many images in heaven which by symbol and virtue correspond to terrestrial and marine things, and to distribute signs to the planets, according to their qualities, and to assign their triplicities, and terminations and exaltations in 360 degrees.7 Astrology, then, was a divine science, one promising profound insights into God’s creation and the potential for exerting power over micro- and macrocosm; Campanella was determined to be a significant practitioner. For the purposes of this chapter, four instances are adduced to illustrate the significance of various forms of astrological practice in Campanella’s activities as, respectively, social revolutionary, architect of an ideal city, ritual magician by papal command and herald of the future Sun King.

GREAT CONJUNCTIONS Whereas the casting of horoscopes of individuals went through periods of condemnation by the church on account of anxieties about the Christian


Peter J. Forshaw

principle of free will, influential medieval theologians like Aquinas, Bacon and Bonaventure held that the practice of ‘universal’ astrology was legitimate and that it was indeed easier and more accurate to predict events ‘in communi, in pluribus, in multitudine’ (Zambelli 21–2). Our fi rst instance relates to this ‘universal’ form of astrology in the chronosophical theory of the Great Conjunctions.8 This theory had reached the West through translations of the works of Arab philosophers, the most influential being the De magnis coniunctionibus (1489) of ninth-century astrologer Albumasar (Abū Ma’shar).9 This treatise presented the idea of a universal history couched in an astrological framework, where conjunctions of the two outermost planets in the medieval and renaissance cosmos, Saturn and Jupiter, defi ned world ages. In Arabic astrology, Saturn and Jupiter are jointly responsible for religion, prophecy, empires, kingdoms and dynasties (Tractatus III, Differentia I [sig. D8r]). As Saturn returns to the same point in its circuit around the heavens roughly every twenty-nine years and Jupiter every twelve years, their conjunctions occur approximately every twenty years, cyclically effecting changes in religious beliefs, the rise and fall of empires, victories and losses in war; combined with the other planets of the cosmos and varying benign or malign planetary alignments (aspects), they also give rise to natural calamities, such as epidemics, famines and floods. Different events take place depending on the sign of the Zodiac in which a particular conjunction occurs. The twelve zodiacal signs are subcategorized as belonging to one of the four elements (earth, water, air and fi re), three signs per element (for example, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are all fi re signs and as such constitute the fiery trigon). Additional significance is seen when there is a transfer of the conjunction from one elemental triplicity to another, an event which takes place roughly every 240 years (following the sequence fi re to earth, to air, to water; then back to fi re). After a period of 960 years the whole system of Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions returns to its starting point in the fi rst sign of the Zodiac, the fi re sign Aries. This ‘return’ was believed to bring about an epoch-making event, the onset of a new phase of religious or political history (Aston 162). These three periodic events are, respectively, the Small, Middle and Great Conjunctions (Pomian 36–7).10 One of the most influential Renaissance exponents of this universal astrology was the Bohemian Cyprian Leowitz (1524–1574), who, in his De coniunctionibus magnis insignioribus superiorum planetarum [ . . . ] expositione (1564), promoted a science of prediction or natural prophecy based on repeated celestial observations and the careful comparison of data and facts from historical records. Believing that through knowledge of past events he could make probable hypotheses about the future, he interpreted the preceding 1,600 years of history in the light of the great conjunctions, eclipses and comets occurring in the heavens, and then looked into the future, aligning his fi ndings with biblical prophesies of the fourth and last Monarchy in Daniel 2.11

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A FATAL YEAR During his period of contact with the circle of intellectuals at Della Porta’s Neapolitan academy, Campanella came to develop an understanding of how astrology could serve a ‘prophetic and revolutionary function’ (Grafton, Cardano’s Cosmos 55). With various astrologers, he discussed how celestial events could portend or precipitate dramatic political transformations or ‘mutations of the state’ (Eamon 387; Ernst, ‘Gli astri e la vita dell’uomo’ 161). Through assiduous research and observation, the seasoned astrologer might not only come to comprehend the laws of past historical change, but might then project them into the future and perhaps even exert an influence at nodal points in astrological time, by analyzing possible interpretations and attempting to tip the balance in favour of a particular outcome. Like Leowitz, Campanella consulted ‘old histories’ (‘istorie vecchie’), specifically relating to the kingdom of Naples, and became convinced that a revolution, or mutation, ‘ought to happen soon’ (‘m’entrò in pensiero che dovesse parire presto mutazione’).12 Like many of his contemporary millenarians, Campanella believed that the year 1600 signalled the beginning of a new age.13 Such a date was portentous by virtue of its numerological significance, composed as it was of a hundred times seven and nine, both of which were fatal numbers according to Pythagoras and Plato in antiquity and more recently Jean Bodin in Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem (Method for the Easy Understanding of Histories, 1566) and Les Six Livres de la République (1576).14 In a series of apocalyptic sermons preached from February to April 1599 Campanella publicly announced in the church of his home town, Stilo, the imminence of grave, worldly upheavals (Headley 36).15 Comparing himself to the prophet Amos, a poor shepherd from the Southern Kingdom of Judah sent by Jehovah to expose the moral and political corruption of the Israelites, he believed that he had been called to save his southern Italian homeland. That spring he became the spiritual leader of an abortive popular revolt to overthrow the tyrannical rule of the king of Spain and transform the province of Calabria into a theocratic commune with himself at its head. Betrayed by fellow conspirators, however, he was captured, accused of heresy and insurrection and, after a trial that dragged on for four years, only managed to avoid the death penalty by feigning madness. Campanella’s sentence was commuted to life-long imprisonment and he was to spend the next twenty-seven years incarcerated in various Neapolitan fortresses as a guest of the Inquisition (Eamon 370–1, 392 and 394).

PROPHETIC ARTICLES AND THE CITY OF THE SUN In the early years of his imprisonment, Campanella produced two works particularly germane to our discussion: the Articuli prophetales and the


Peter J. Forshaw

Civitas Solis.16 In the Prophetic Articles, he presents himself as the author of a ‘new and wonderful, heretofore unknown way of predicting through the stars’ (‘nova et mirabilis via hactenus ignota praedicendi per sidera’), and expresses his expectation of a wonderful renovatio, a new golden age in which every confl ict will be abolished through the unity of political and religious life and the shared ownership of all property (Ernst, ‘Aspetti dell’astrologia e della profezia’ 259). This assertion is supported by quotations from the prophets’ writings together with sophisticated astrological analyses and speculations about the typological connections between the six days of creation and the six millenniums of the world (Ernst, ‘From the Watery Trigon’ 266). The last chapter of the Articuli is specifically astrological and was written in prediction of the great conjunction of 1603. We know from two of Campanella’s sonnets annexed to this fi nal chapter (‘On the Great Conjunction that will take place on 24 December 1603’ and ‘The said conjunction will fall on the revolution of the birth of Christ’) that he was awaiting this momentous occasion with great anticipation of the total renewal of society and Christianity. 17 This excitement comes across, too, in a letter to Galileo, where he mentions the pronostico astrologico he had written foretelling, among other things, the rise of new celestial sciences (‘novas scientias caelestes’)—although Galileo at times evinces some scepticism towards the claims of astrologers in his works, sufficient manuscript evidence survives to show that he ‘knew the technicalities of astrology rather well’, and composed horoscopes not merely for paying clients, but also displays a far more personal interest in calculating his own nativity as well as those of his two daughters (Lettere 169).18 December 1603 was to witness a grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, being a shift from the Watery to the Fiery Trigon and as such a return to the same elemental trigon that had preceded the birth of Christ. Not only had the Christian faith had its origins and its main period of growth during such a fiery triplicity, but the fi rst great conjunction of the new triplicity would also coincide with the ‘revolution’ of the birth of Christ, for it was expected to take place on the very anniversary of Christ’s birth. The spectacular nova that followed this great conjunction only confi rmed Campanella’s conviction concerning the significance of this celestial event (Dooley 103). The other text composed during the early years of Campanella’s confi nement is undoubtedly his best-known work, that ‘testament to the eminent place of astrology’ in his philosophy and blueprint for an ideal city-state, the City of the Sun.19 The fi rst Latin edition of the Civitas Solis appears in a larger work, Realis Philosophiae Epilogisticae partes Quatuor (Four Epilogistical Parts of Real Philosophy, That Is, on the Nature of Things, the Mores of Men, Political and Economical, with Physiological annotations, 1623), where it is the appendix to the third part on Politics, presented in the form of a ‘poetical dialogue’ between a Genoese sea captain and a Grand Master of the Order of Knight Hospitallers. 20 Jean-Claude

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Schmitt, writing of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) in Medieval Futures, states that ‘the new form of the future in the sixteenth century is the utopia’, a work that ‘breaks with eschatology, with millenarianism and even with the myths of the inversion of the socio-religious order of the Middle Ages, such as that of the land of Cockaigne’ (16). Whereas this may be true of More’s work, Campanella’s does not conform to Schmitt’s criteria, for the City of the Sun is imbued with a combination of prophetic, astrological and magical themes, with the eschatological prospect of the recovery of a golden age (Eamon 398). 21 Campanella’s ideal state, as Frances Yates observed, is ‘saturated through and through with astrology; its whole way of life is directed towards achieving a beneficial relationship with the stars’, and it serves as a model for ‘a complete reflection of the world as governed by the laws of natural magic in dependence on the stars’. 22 Astrology, indeed, is an essential factor in the very founding of the city, involving a careful ‘election’ of the perfect moment to ensure that the City of the Sun maintains a correct relationship between nature and society.23 Campanella elaborates these ideas further and in far more detail in a later work, the Astrologicorum Libri VI (Six Books of Astrological Matters), where he advises, for instance, that the most favourable astral conditions for founding a town are when the sun is rising in Leo (its own sign), in a positive aspect to the beneficial planet Jupiter and when all the other planets are in the best possible locations for their natures (moon in Taurus, Mars in the fiery ninth house in its natural sign of Aries, and so forth). 24 Nothing is left to chance in Campanella’s City. The beneficial running of the ‘Solarian’ community is directly linked to the rhythms of nature and astrology, determining everything from changes of clothes, the ceremonial calendar, education and choice of profession, to animal husbandry. Following methods resembling those recommended by the Neoplatonist Ocellus Lucanus in De universi natura libellus (1559) and by Della Porta in Magia naturalis, the Solarians encourage cattle to mate under an auspicious astral configuration in Taurus, or horses in a suitable moment in the constellation of the centaur, Sagittarius (Headley 22, 302). 25 They apply a similar approach to the begetting of children, the act being treated ‘more religiously, ritualistically, and even magically’ than in Plato’s famous consideration of utopian eugenics in the Republic (Headley 303). 26 Partners are selected on the basis of astrological temperaments and physical looks. They abstain from intercourse until an astrologically suitable moment determined by the city astrologer and doctor, preferably when the fertile sign of Virgo is rising over the eastern horizon and when there is no risk of a malign influence from the malefic planets Saturn and Mars. This will ensure the conception of children with the purest natural constitution and the most beneficial horoscopic predispositions for society as a whole. In this, it should be stressed, Campanella is in accord with some of the leading medical advice of his day, for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Paris advocated


Peter J. Forshaw

recourse to astrology for such practical guidance for the procreation of future generations (Roger 67–8). 27 Anthony Grafton observes that Campanella attempts to fuse ‘traditional assumptions about the order and nature of the cosmos with new visions of physical force, astronomical law and the world of the elements’ and that this fusion is not altogether stable, with incongruities appearing at every point (‘Humanism, Magic and Science’ 108). On the one hand, Campanella states that astrological portents foretold how the recently invented compass, printing press and arquebus would make possible ‘a great new monarchy, reformation of laws and of arts, new prophets, and a general renewal of the world’, thereby displaying a Baconian optimism for technological progress that appears to locate him with the moderns—it is worth mentioning that Bacon himself displayed a strong interest in a reformed astrologia sana, in relation to natural knowledge and politics, in De augmentis scientiarum (1623). 28 On the other hand, the inhabitants of the City of the Sun believe that the sun is gradually approaching the earth, an indication of the imminent end of the world, a belief which smacks of the millenarianism that Schmitt classes as backwards-looking. 29 It could be argued, however, that for the devout late-Renaissance Christian, such a prophecy represents the ‘absolutely irreversible’ conception of time that Schmitt (and Krystof Pomian) consider intrinsic to the modern view of the future (Schmitt 16–17). Campanella’s City certainly generated some significant, and perhaps somewhat unexpected, attention from his contemporaries, most noteworthy being the enthusiasm for his utopian vision displayed by Tobias Adami, a relative of Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654), author of both the Rosicrucian Chemical Wedding of Christian Rozenkreutz (1616) and the utopian Christianopolis (1619).30 Evidently, Campanella’s extremely original and audacious combination of astrological, prophecy and utopianism successfully crossed the confessional divide, attracting progressive Lutheran thinkers similarly interested in universal reform. 31

A RITUAL FOR THE POPE Our third example of Campanella’s use of astrology follows his eventual release from the Castel Nuovo in Naples in 1626 and his arrival in Rome, where he was to become embroiled in a ‘politico-astrological affaire of international proportions’. 32 There he was again imprisoned for two years, but during his imprisonment he composed an astrological work, the De siderali fato vitando (How to Avoid Fate Dictated by the Star), possibly with an eye to attracting the attention of the current pope, whose passion for astrology was well known.33 D. P. Walker drily remarks that Urban VIII (1568–1644) was a fi rm believer in astrology, in the habit of commissioning horoscopes of cardinals resident in Rome and openly predicting the dates of their deaths (Walker

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205). Urban was growing increasingly anxious, however, about astrological predictions of his own imminent demise, published by Don Orazio Morandi, abbot of the monastery of Santa Prassede (Dooley 160, 178). The two most perilous periods centred around an eclipse of the moon in January 1628 and of the sun in December the same year, followed by a solar eclipse in June 1630 (Walker 206).34 Morandi’s prediction became part of a power struggle in Rome and was exploited by a pro-Spanish faction antagonistic to Urban’s favouritism for the French (Dooley 160). Here we move, then, from considerations of the great conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter and their impact on world events to conjunctions of the sun and moon and their influence on an individual’s horoscope, that of a major mover of terrestrial events, the head of the Roman Church, whose destiny had potentially more wide-reaching consequences than most. To counter these planetary (and political) dangers, Urban called in an expert, one, moreover, less likely to profess Spanish sympathies. True, in De monarchia hispanica (1599) Campanella had proposed a universal world monarchy, with the pope and the king of Spain respectively acting as spiritual and civil heads, assisted by a senate composed of all the princes of the world; evidently, however, his attitude towards Spain underwent a drastic change the very same year, resulting in the aforementioned abortive revolt (Eamon 386; Vanden Broecke 227). It is possible that Urban had such sympathies and antipathies in mind with his choice of astrological adviser. Whatever the case, during the summer of 1628 both the Florentine and Venetian ambassadors noted the frequent confidential meetings between the pope and ‘a certain Campanella, most able and unique in astrology as well as many other talents’ (Headley 108). In a special room in the Castel Gandolfo, Campanella performed astral-magical apotropaic rites for warding off the malign influences of the eclipses. What he practised closely resembles that most influential fi fteenth-century work on astral magic, the third book of the Neoplatonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino’s De vita libri tres (1489), the De vita coelitus comparanda (On Living Life According to the Stars). In De vita, Ficino provides practical advice on how to mitigate or at least assuage the less beneficial effects of the planets Saturn and Mars through such practices as the use of substances containing beneficial solar virtues and the singing of solar hymns. 35 Campanella leaves us in no doubt as to his familiarity with Ficino’s book, giving a detailed analysis of its astrological magic in his own monumental Universalis Philosophiae seu Metaphysicarum rerum [ . . . ] Libri 18 (Eighteen Books of Universal Philosophy or of Metaphysical Things, 1638), a work which contains many of his meditations on fate, necessity, foreknowledge and providence. 36 He and Urban sealed the doors and windows of their safe room against the outside air, festooned it with white silken cloths and purified the air within by sprinkling perfumes and scents and by burning the aromatic woods, laurel, myrtle, rosemary and cypress. They lit two lamps and five torches to represent the planets, together with other lights

190 Peter J. Forshaw for the constellations of the zodiac. Music evoking the benefic virtues of Jupiter and Venus was played; they were surrounded by stones, plants and colours sympathetic to these benign energies; and they even drank astrologically distilled liquors appropriate for the occasion.37 When the pope’s brother died in February 1630, Urban was, perhaps, relieved to imagine that the ill fortune predicted for him had instead fallen on his brother (Rutkin, ‘Various Uses of Horoscopes’ 177). The affair was not, however, over. In 1629 Campanella had published his Six Books of Astrological Matters, proudly promoting his new form of ‘astrology treated physiologically, purged of all superstition of the Arabs and Jews’. 38 Unfortunately for him, his activities with Urban had provoked powerful enemies, namely, the pro-Spanish general of the Dominican order, Niccolò Ridolfi , and the Master of the Sacred Palace, Niccolò Riccardi, who rushed through a new edition of the Astrologicorum Libri, published without his consent, including a seventh book, Campanella’s private record of the rituals he had performed with the pope (Dooley 164). 39 This was far too compromising for Urban, who risked being accused of superstitious practices. In an effort to avert any scandal, in April 1631, he hurriedly promulgated an extremely severe bull, Inscrutabilis, against all types of divination, judicial astrology in particular (Ernst, ‘Gli astri e la vita dell’uomo’ 176–7). Campanella was once again out of favour and departed Rome for safer climes.

ECLOGUE FOR THE DAUPHIN Our fourth and fi nal instance fi nds Campanella in France, well received by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, who offer him refuge from his Italian troubles. In Paris he spent his fi nal years editing his Opera Omnia, including the revised version of the City of the Sun (1637). Although, earlier in his life, before the catastrophic revolt, Campanella had pinned his hopes on Spain as the candidate for his universal monarchy, it is evident that in his waning years he saw the more hospitable French monarchy as the new hope for this renovatio. In his consideration, the Bourbon fortune was waxing; the Hispano-Habsburg power in decline (Ernst, ‘Tommaso Campanella’ 237). In his dedication of the Paris edition of On the Sense of Things and of Magic to Cardinal Richelieu in 1637, Campanella appealed to him to build the City of the Sun, as he had attempted so many years ago in Calabria (Yates, Giordano Bruno 390). The following year, on 4 September 1638, the day before Campanella’s seventieth birthday, a son was born to the French Monarch, and this infant Dauphin was saluted by Campanella in an Ecloga Christianissima Regi et Reginae in portentosam Delphini [ . . . ] Nativitatem (A Most Christian Eclogue to the King and Queen on the Portentous Nativity of the Dauphin, 1639), a fi nal eloquent testimony to the convergence of astrology, prophecy and utopia in Campanella’s thought.40 The Dauphin was heralded as the

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French Cockerel destined to rule with a reformed pope a united world in which all kings and peoples would assemble in a city built by this illustrious new hero, a city that would be called Héliaca, the City of the Sun (Yates, Giordano Bruno 390). The City’s author, however, was not to live to see the ascent of the ‘Sun King’, Louis XIV. Renegade friar, revolutionary, magus and heretic, Campanella died in his cell in the Dominican convent of the Rue St. Honoré on 21 May 1639.

CONCLUSION In a discussion of different kinds of prophecy (divine, natural, diabolic, angelic) in Universalis Philosophiae, the great summation of his life’s work, his ‘Bible of Philosophy’, Campanella categorizes astrology as a form of artificial prophecy, alongside the drawing of lots and politics (Ernst, ‘“Redeunt Saturnia Regna”’ 443; Campanella, Universalis Philosophiae 226–7). Confronting such issues as whether astrological divination concerns the understanding of celestial events as signs of terrestrial ones (the Augustinian perspective) or as causes (the Aristotelian view), he concludes that the stars act directly through common causes on all corporeal bodies, but only indirectly on minds.41 With this he maintains the capacity of astrological theory to serve as a means of analyzing the rise and fall of civilizations and act as an instrument of social engineering in his ideal city at the same time as avoiding a fatalistic stance that would deprive human existence of any meaning. In his earlier Astrologicarum libri, speaking from painful personal experience, Campanella asserts that if no amount of physical torture can defeat the human spirit, still less can the stars, which by no means impose themselves so violently, impinge on free will.42 From the four instances discussed in this article, it is clear that Campanella sustained a fi rm belief throughout his life in the authenticity of his new approach to astrological predictions and his ability to harness the powers of the stars, be that in the attempt to exploit a nodal-point in time at the moment of a great conjunction, the ameliorating of specific short-term celestial events with the eclipses, or the long-term breeding programme for future generations of ideal inhabitants in the City of the Sun. More than any other philosopher of his era, Campanella’s writings present a particularly heady blend of astrological tradition, millenarian prophecy and revolutionary reform. Notwithstanding all the vicissitudes of his tragic life, with his optimistic combination of natural and political philosophy, Campanella stands Janus-like on the threshold of modern thought, gazing at new horizons, a sentiment expressed in his fi nal work: Man lives in a double world: [ . . . ] according to the body he exists not, except in only so much space as is least required, held fast in prison and in chains to the extent that he is not able to be in or to go to the

192 Peter J. Forshaw place attained by his intellect and will, nor to occupy more space than defi ned by the shape of his body; while with the mind he occupies a thousand worlds.43 NOTES 1. For general introductions to astrology in the Renaissance, see Copenhaver; Rutkin, ‘Astrology’ 541–61; Thorndike Vol. 5, Chs. 10–8, and Vol. 6, Chs. 33–5; Faracovi, ‘Astrology IV’; Tester, particularly Ch. 6. 2. On astrology/astronomy and the Quadrivium, see Hübner, Die Begriffe ‘Astrologie’. 3. See Thorndike Vol. 5, Ch. 13. 4. See Müller-Jahncke 226–45. 5. Campanella, De Sensu Rerum et Magia. ‘Necessariam mago optimo Astrologiam esse, & de eius virtute, veritate, & usu’ (219). ‘Hominum nemo ita stupidus est, qui non animaduertat, generationem, corruptionem, alterationes, anni tempora, aeris mutationes & maris & terrae, & animalium & plantarum germinationes, augmenta, decrementaque a duobus effici luminaribus & stellis.’ 6. ‘Sancti patres vno ore laudant Magos, qui Christum in stellis cognouerunt’ (357). 7. ‘Non equidem credo Astrologiam ab hominibus inuentam esse. In mille enim seculis non potuissent homines tot imagines in coelo designare quae symbolo & virtute responderent rebus terrestribus & marinis, & signa Planetis distribuere, iuxta qualitates suas, & triangulos proprios adsignare, & terminos in gradibus 360 & exaltationes’ (358). 8. On chronosophy as ‘integration of the past, the present and the future of the object under study into one image or a description of its future in order to complete the history of its past and its present’, see Pomian 29. 9. Albumasar de magnis coniunctionibus: annorum revolutionibus: ac eorum profectionibus: octo continens tractatus (1489). 10. These and other calculations appear in Albumasar de magnis coniunctionibus, Tractatus I, Differentia I, sigs. A3r–A4r. 11. Ernst, ‘From the Watery Trigon’ 274–5; Brosseder 570. Leowitz begins with a conjunction in Scorpio in 47 BCE (sig Bv). 12. Campanella, Dichiarazione rilasciata a Castelvetere 144. There, Campanella refers to Leowitz’s ephemerides in relation to the great eclipses, presumably either Leowitz’s Eclipses luminarium [ . . . ] supputatae or Ephemeridum novum atque insigne opus ab anno domini 1556 usque in 1606 accuratissime supputatum. 13. On apocalypticism and millenarianism, see Barnes and Tuveson. 14. For Campanella on fatal numbers, see Realis Philosophiae Epilogisticae partes Quatuor 371. See also Yates, Giordano Bruno 364. For the reference to Bodin, see Campanella, Secunda delineatio Defensionum Fratris Thomae Campanellae 209. On the fatal numbers seven and nine, see Bodin, Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem: ‘[ . . . ] ita quoque Rerum publicarum conversiones, aut septenariis ac novenariis multiplicatis, aut eorum quadratis in se ductis, aut perfectis aut sphaericis numeris contingere’ (204); and Bodin, De Republica Libri Sex, Bk. 4, Ch. 2, An Rerumpublicarum conversiones prospici possint? ‘& ut septenarius ac novenarius hominibus initium nascendi tribuere solent, ita quoque numerus ex utriusque propagatione coalescens exitum afferre consuevit. Idem ego ad

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15. 16.



19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.


Respublicas transfero, ut numeri septenarii ac novenarii quique ex eorum quadratis & cubicis existunt, Rebuspublicis saepius occasum & interitum afferant’ (651–2). For more on Bodin’s Methodus, see Couzinet. On Bodin and the question of astral determinism, see Blair 130; Campion, ‘Astrological Historiography in the Renaissance’. See Campanella’s letter to Cardinal Odoardo Farnese in Tommaso Campanella, Lettere 21–3. The Articuli prophetales date from 1608–1609. The City of the Sun was initially written in Italian as La Città del Sole in 1602, existed in a Latin version, the Civitas Solis by 1615, which was eventually published in Frankfurt in 1623; then after further revisions again in Paris in 1637. See La Cité du Soleil xlix. ‘Sonnetto sopra la congiunzion magna, che sarà l’anno 1603 a’ 24 di Dicembre’ and ‘La detta congiunzione cade nella revoluzione della natività di Cristo.’ Tutte le opere di Tommaso Campanella 1.125–6; Campanella, Articuli 260–300. See Ernst, ‘Gli astri e la vita dell’uomo’ 162. On Galileo and astrology, see, for example Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems 110. Quotation from Ernst, ‘Astrology and Prophecy in Campanella and Galileo’ 30. See also Kollerstrom and Pizzamiglio, particularly 143–58. Firpo, ‘Campanella astrologo’, Ricerche Campanelliane 139. Campanella, La Cité du soleil trans. Crahay 61. In the original Italian version, the conversation is between a simple member of the order and a Genoese pilot who had accompanied Columbus on his voyage to America. See also the chapters ‘L’utopismo del Rinascimento e l’età nuova’ (241–61) and ‘Il mito solare del Campanella’ (307–29), Firpo, Lo stato ideale. Yates, Giordano Bruno 369. For more detail, see Ch. 20 of Yates’s book. See also Scrimieri 742–4. See Curry, who mentions that Gerrard Winstanley, leading Digger radical in the Interregnum, ‘advocated that astrology should be taught in his utopian society’ (27). Campanella, Astrologicorum Libri VI, Bk. 6, Ch. 4; Jean-Patrice Boudet, in a forthcoming article, ‘From Baghdad to Civitas Solis: Horoscopes of Foundations of Cities’, points out that Campanella changes some of this advice in the later edition of the City of the Sun. Lucanus is cited by Campanella in De sensu rerum et magia (305–6). See also Porta Bk. 2, Chs. 19–20 (51–4). See also Firpo, ‘La cité idéale de Campanella’ 329. Campanella returns to this theme of generation ‘sub felicibus astris’ in the Articuli Prophetales and in the Theologia. See the Articuli Prophetales 89; La prima e la seconda resurrezione 62, 70. Quotation from Eamon 400. See also Dooley 28; Rutkin, ‘Various Uses of Horoscopes’. Campanella could have found warrant for such belief in the works of St. Cyprian, who held that nature was declining through old age (458). See Tuveson 13–14. Formichetti 199–217; Edighoffer 155; Yates, Rosicrucian Enlightenment 137–8. According to Yates, Campanella also received visits from another friend of Andreae, Wilhelm Wense. The influence of the City of the Sun can also be seen in the Orbis sensualis pictus (1658) by the Czech pansophist and educational reformer Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670). See Firpo, ‘La cité idéale de Campanella’ 329; and Bolzoni 799. Ernst, ‘Gli astri e la vita dell’uomo’ 165; Ernst, ‘Scienza, astrologia e politica nella Roma barocca’.


Peter J. Forshaw

33. Walker 209; Formichetti 199; Rutkin, ‘Various Uses of Horoscopes’ 177. See also Campanella, Opuscoli Astrologici. 34. On the malign influence of eclipses, see Geneva 97–9 and 218–23. 35. See, for example, Ficino Ch. 11 on tastes and odours relating to specific planets; Ch. 14 on ‘Solar Things’; and Ch. 21 ‘On the Power of Words and Song’. 36. See, for instance, ‘Schema Necesitatis’ (271); and his ‘Schema Fati’ (275). 37. Walker 207; Yates, Giordano Bruno 375; Formichetti 211. 38. Campanella, Astrologicorum Libri VI, the extended title of which states in quibus Astrologia, omni superstitione Arabum, & Iudaeorum eliminata, physiologicè tractatur. For further instances of Campanella’s rejection of Arabic, Egyptian, Chaldaean and Indian astrological practices, see Campanella, Articuli Prophetales 8, 48. 39. For another interpretation of these events, which does not accept the argument that the seventh book was published by Campanella’s enemies, see Grillo. 40. For Louis XIV’s nativity, see Morin 554–5; for Campanella’s horoscope, see Faracovi, ‘Sull’oroscopo di Campanella’; and Ernst, Religione, Ragione e Natura 27, 157. See also Ernst, ‘“Redeunt Saturnia Regna”’ 448. 41. Campanella, Universalis Philosophiae 233, Ch. 16, Art. 5: Utrum divinatio Astrologica sit per signa à nobis posita, vel per causas, & signa naturalia. On the Augustinian and Aristotelian positions, see Pomian 32. 42. See Ernst, ‘From the Watery Trigon to the Fiery Trigon’ 269. 43. Campanella, Universalis philosophiae, qtd in Headley 5.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Albumasar de magnis coniunctionibus: annorum revolutionibus: ac eorum profectionibus: octo continens tractatus. Augsburt: Erhard Ratdolt, 1489. Aston, Margaret. ‘The Fiery Trigon Conjunction: An Elizabethan Astrological Prediction.’ Isis 61.2 (Summer 1970): 159–87. Autobiografi e di filosofi : Cardano, Bruno, Campanella. Ed. Luigi Firpo, Mariarosa Masoero and Giuseppe Zaccaria. Turin: G. Giappichelli, 1982. Barnes, Robin Bruce. Prophecy and Gnosis: Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1988. Blair, Ann. The Theater of Nature: Jean Bodin and Renaissance Science. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1997. Bodin, Jean. De Republica Libri Sex. Ursel: Ex officina C. Sutorij sumtibus J. Rhodij, 1601. . Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem. Paris: Martinus Juvenis, 1566; rpt. Geneva: J. Stoer, 1610. Bolzoni, Lina. ‘Mnemonics.’ Dictionary of Gnosis. Ed. Hanegraaff. 793–800. Boudet, Jean-Patrice. ‘From Baghdad to Civitas Solis: Horoscopes of Foundations of Cities.’ Forthcoming. Brosseder, Claudia. ‘The Writing in the Wittenberg Sky: Astrology in Sixteenth-Century Germany.’ Journal of the History of Ideas 66: 4 (October 2005): 557–76. Campanella, Tommaso. Articuli Prophetales. Ed. Germana Ernst. Florence: La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1977. . Astrologicorum Libri VI. quibus Astrologia, omni superstitione Arabum, & Iudaeorum eliminata, physiologicè tractatur, Secundum S. Scripturas, & doctrinam S. Thomae, & Alberti, & summorum Theologorum. Lyon: Sumptibus Iacobi, Andreæ, & Matthæi Prost, 1629. . Astrologicorum Libri VII. quibus Astrologia, omni superstitione Arabum, & Iudaeorum eliminata, physiologicè tractatur, Secundum S. Scripturas, &

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doctrinam S. Thomae, & Alberti, & summorum Theologorum. Frankfurt: Impensis G. Tampachii, 1630. . La Cité du Soleil. Ed. Luigi Firpo. Trans. Arnaud Tripet. Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1972. . La Cité du soleil. Trans. Roland Crahay. Gembloux: Académie Royale de Belgique, 1993. . De Sensu Rerum et Magia, Libri Quatuor [ . . . ]. Frankfurt: Impensis G. Tampachii, 1620. . Dichiarazione rilasciata a Castelvetere (1599). Autobiografi e di filosofi. . Lettere. Ed. Vincenzo Spampanato. Bari: Giuseppe Laterza & Figli, 1927. . Opuscoli Astrologici: Come evitare il fato astrale, apologetico, disputa sulle bolle. Trans. Germana Ernst. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, 2003. . La prima e la seconda resurrezione: theologicorum libri XXVII–XXVIII. Ed. Romano Amerio. Rome: Fratelli Bocca, 1955. . Realis Philosophiae Epilogisticae partes Quatuor, hoc est, De Rerum Natura, Hominum Moribus, Politicus, (cui Civitas Solis iuncta est) & Oeconomica, cum Adnotationibus Physiologicis. Frankfurt: Impensis G. Tampachii, 1623. . Secunda delineatio Defensionum Fratris Thomae Campanellae (1600). Autobiografi e di filosofi. . Universalis Philosophiae seu Metaphysicarum rerum [ . . . ] Partes tres, Libri 18. Paris: P. Burelly, 1638. Campion, Nicholas. ‘Astrological Historiography in the Renaissance.’ History and Astrology: Clio and Urania Confer. Ed. Annabella Kitson. London: Unwin, 1989. 89–136. Campion, Nicholas, and Nick Kollerstrom, eds. Galileo’s Astrology, Culture and Cosmos 7.1 (Spring/Summer 2003). Chapman, Allan. ‘Astrological Medicine.’ Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century. Ed. Charles Webster. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979. Copenhaver, Brian P. ‘Astrology and Magic.’ The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Ed. Charles B. Schmitt, Quentin Skinner, Eckhard Kessler, and Jill Kraye. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Reprint 1996. 264–300. Couzinet, Marie-Dominique. Histoire et méthode à la Renaissance: Une lecture de la ‘Methodus ad Facilem Historiarum Cognitionem’ de Jean Bodin. Paris: Vrin, 1996. Curry, Patrick. Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Polity, 1989. Cyprian. An Address to Demetrianus. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 5, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix. Ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. New York: Christian Literature, 1886. Dooley, Brendan. Morandi’s Last Prophecy and the End of Renaissance Politics. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton UP, 2002. Eamon, William. ‘Natural Magic and Utopia in the Cinquecento: Campanella, the Della Porta Circle and the Revolt of Calabria.’ Memorie Domenicane 26 (1995), ‘Disputa Teologica Devozione e Utopia (sec. XIV–XVI)’: 369–402. Edighoffer, Roland. ‘Francis Bacon.’ Dictionary of Gnosis. Ed. Hanegraaff. 154–6. Ernst, Germana. ‘Aspetti dell’astrologia e della profezia in Galileo e Campanella.’ Novità Celesti e Crisi del Sapere: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi Galileiani. Ed. Paolo Galluzzi. Florence: Giunti Barbèra, 1984. 255–66. . ‘Astrology and Prophecy in Campanella and Galileo.’ Galileo’s Astrology. Ed. Campion and Kollerstrom. 21–36. . ‘From the Watery Trigon to the Fiery Trigon: Celestial Signs, Prophecies and History.’ ‘Astrologi hallucinati.’ Ed. Zambelli. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1986. 265–80.


Peter J. Forshaw

. ‘Gli astri e la vita dell’uomo: gli opuscoli astrologici di Tommaso Campanella.’ Nella Luce degli Astri: L’Astrologia nella Cultura del Rinascimento. Ed. Ornella Pompeo Faracovi. Sarzana: Agorà, 2004. 157–86. . ‘“Redeunt Saturnia Regna”: Profezia e poesia in Tommaso Campanella.’ Bruniana & Campanelliana 11.2 (2005): 429–49. . Religione, Ragione e Natura: Ricerche su Tommaso Campanella e il tardo Rinascimento. Milan: Franco Angeli, 1991. . ‘Scienza, astrologia e politica nella Roma barocca. La biblioteca di don Orazio Morandi.’ Bibliothecae selectae, da Cusano a Leopardi. Ed. Eugenio Canone. Florence: Olschki, 1993. 217–32. . ‘Tommaso Campanella.’ Dictionary of Gnosis. Ed. Hanegraaff. 231–7. Faracovi, Ornella Pompeo. ‘Sull’oroscopo di Campanella.’ Bruniana & Campanelliana 3 (1997): 245–63. . ‘Astrology IV: 15th–19th Century.’ Dictionary of Gnosis. Ed. Hanegraaff. 128–36. Ficino, Marsilio. Three Books on Life. Ed. and trans. Carol V. Kaske and John R. Clark. Binghampton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1989. Firpo, Luigi. ‘La Cité idéale de Campanella et le culte du soleil.’ Le Soleil à la Renaissance. 325–40. . Lo stato ideale della Controriforma Ludovico Agostini. Bari: Laterza, 1957. . Ricerche Campanelliane. Florence: G. C. Sansoni, 1947. , ed. Tutte le opere di Tommaso Campanella, vol. 1. Scritti letterari. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1954. Formichetti, Gianfranco. ‘Il “De siderali fato vitando” di Tommaso Campanella.’ Il Mago, Il Cosmo, Il Teatro degli Astri: Saggi sulls Letteratura Esoterica del Rinascimento. Ed. Gianfranco Formichetti. Rome: Bulzoni, 1985. 199–217. French, Roger. ‘Foretelling the Future: Arabic Astrology and English Medicine in the Late Twelfth Century.’ Isis 87.3 (September 1996): 453–80. Galilei, Galileo. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Trans. Stillman Drake. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: U of California P, 1962. Geneva, Ann. Astrology and the Seventeenth-Century Mind: William Lilly and the Language of the Stars. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1995. Grafton, Anthony. Cardano’s Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1999. . ‘Humanism, Magic and Science.’ The Impact of Humanism on Western Europe. Ed. Anthony Goodman and Angus MacKay. London: Longman, 1990. 99–117. Grillo, Francesco. Questioni Campanelliane. La Stampa fraudolenta e clandestina degli “Astrologicorum Libri”. Cosenza:, 1961. Hanegraaff, Wouter J., ed. Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Leiden: Brill, 2006. Headley, John M. Tommaso Campanella and the Transformation of the World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1997. Hübner, Wolfgang. ‘Astrologie in der Renaissance.’ Zukunftsvorausssagen in der Renaissance. Ed. Klaus Bergdolt and Walther Ludwig. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005. 241–79. . Die Begriffe ‘Astrologie’ und ‘Astronomie’ in der Antike. Mainz & Stuttgart: Akademie der Wissenschaftten und der Literatur, 1989. Kollerstrom, Nick. Galileo as an Astrologer.’ Galileo’s Astrology. Ed. Campion and Kollerstrom. 37–48. Kusukawa, Sachiko. ‘Aspectio divinorum operum: Melanchthon and Astrology for Lutheran Medics.’ Medicine and the Reformation. Ed. Ole Peter Grell and Andrew Cunningham. London and New York: Routledge, 1993. 33–56.

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Leowitz, Cyprian. Eclipses luminarium [ . . . ] supputatae. Augsburg: Philipp Ulhard, 1555. . Ephemeridum novum atque insigne opus ab anno domini 1556 usque in 1606 accuratissime supputatum. Augsburg: Philipp Ulhard, 1557. . De coniunctionibus magnis insignioribus superiorum planetarum [ . . . ] expositione. Laugingae ad Danubium, 1564. Lucanus, Ocellus. De universi natura libellus. Venice: Joan Gryphius, 1559. Manuel, Frank E. Shapes of Philosophical History. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1965. Morin, Jean-Baptiste. Astrologia gallica principiis et rationibus propriis stabilita. The Hague:, 1661. Müller-Jahncke, Wolf-Dieter. Astrologisch-Magische Theorie und Praxis in der Heilkunde der Frühen Neuzeit. Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Beiheft 25. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1985. Pizzamiglio, Pierluigi. L’astrologia in Italia all’epoca di Galileo Galilei (1550– 1650): Rassegna storico-critica dei documenti librari custoditi nella Biblioteca “Carlo Viganò.” Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 2004. Pomian, Krzystof. ‘Astrology as a Naturalistic Theology of History.’ ‘Astrologi hallucinati.’ Ed. Zambelli. 29–43. Porta, John Baptista. Natural Magick in XX Bookes. London: Thomas Young and Samuel Speed, 1658. Roger, Jacques. Les Sciences de la vie dans le pensée française du XVIIIe siècle. La Génération des animaux de Descartes à L’Encyclopédie. Paris: Armand Colin, 1963. Rutkin, H. Darrel. ‘Astrology.’ The Cambridge History of Science. Vol. 3, Early Modern Science. Ed. Katharine Park and Lorraine Daston. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. 541–61. . ‘Various Uses of Horoscopes: Astrological Practices in Early Modern Europe.’ Horoscopes and Public Spheres: Essays on the History of Astrology. Ed. Günther Oestmann, H. Darrel Rutkin and Kocku von Stuckrad. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005. 167–82. Schmitt, Jean-Claude. ‘Appropriating the Future.’ Medieval Futures: Attitudes to the Future in the Middle Ages. Ed. J. A. Burrow and Ian P. Wei. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2000. Scrimieri, Giorgio. ‘Sulla magia in Tommaso Campanella.’ Studi in onore di Antonio Corsano. Bari: Lacaita, 1970. 709–46. Le Soleil à la Renaissance: Science et Mythes. Brussells: Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, 1965. Tester, S. J. A History of Western Astrology. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987; repr. 1999. Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Vols 5 and 6, The Sixteenth Century. New York: Columbia UP, 1941. Tuveson, Ernest Lee. Millennium and Utopia: A Study in the Background of the Idea of Progress. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: U of California P, 1949. Vanden Broecke, Steven. The Limits of Infl uence: Pico, Louvain, and the Crisis of Renaissance Astrology. Leiden: Brill, 2003. Walker, D. P. Spiritual and Demonic Magic: from Ficino to Campanella. London: Warburg Institute, 1958. Reprint Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2000. Yates, Frances. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Chicago, IL and London: U of Chicago P, 1964; repr. 1991. . The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972. Zambelli, Paola, ed. ‘Astrologi hallucinati’: Stars and the End of the World in Luther’s Time. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1986.

11 Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications Hugh Roberts

Attitudes to the future inevitably reveal concerns of the present. Renaissance almanacs and prognostications provide us with a range of insights because they tend, as a commonplace joke of the time puts it, confidently to predict the past, or their present. Running alongside these texts is a widespread tradition of parodic and satirical mock-prognostications. This chapter seeks to uncover what the latter in particular reveal not only of their present but also especially of attitudes to the business of prediction. That prognostications were ridiculed is paradoxically revealing of the fact that they were taken seriously, because necessarily parody cannot function in the absence of the thing parodied. In general terms, then, mock-prognostications show that people in the Renaissance thought about astrological prediction in many different ways—something that is still true today, of course. However, printed astrological predictions and almanacs of the Renaissance, as well as the texts that ridicule them, also reveal that astrological prediction was woven into everyday life in a way that is very different from the typical consumption of today’s horoscopes. Scepticism about astrology coincided with a considerable publishing industry for almanacs that performed numerous functions, including one similar to present-day calendars, especially in their lists of fairs and religious festivals. Simultaneously, astrological publications ranged beyond the everyday, especially in writing about wondrous signs and portents, including, for example, the comet that appeared in late 1618, which led to an outpouring of astrological publications predicting ills and catastrophes (Martin 1.256–7). Renaissance thinking about astrological predictions and portents is nothing if not a complicated and contested area on which mock-prognostications inevitably cast an idiosyncratic light. Mock-prognostications abound in neo-Latin as well as in all European vernaculars from the late fi fteenth century until the mid-seventeenth century.1 In his recent doctoral thesis, Franck Manuel counts some twentyseven mock-prognostications published in French between 1476 and 1619. Mock-prognostications can take many forms, but they typically parody almanacs for the year to come, which themselves typically address the following subjects, albeit not necessarily in this order: weather, crops, illnesses, wars, princes and other important people, towns, feast days, astronomic events as well as more detail on each month listed in turn (Manuel 1, 27).

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 199 It is of course only possible to look at a small proportion of the very large number of Renaissance mock-prognostications here. Focusing predominantly on early seventeenth-century French texts is the best way forward, not only because these are the least studied (Manuel’s study concentrates on texts published before 1611) but also because ‘serious’ prognostications were unusually controversial during this period in France, given the trial and condemnation to the galleys of the astrologer Noël-Léon Morgard in 1614. By comparing mock-prognostications with contemporary predictions that were sometimes taken with almost deadly seriousness, this chapter seeks to reveal a range of different past views of the future. Contrasting early seventeenth-century mock-prognostications and their predecessors brings into focus the changes the genre underwent over time. In the fi rst half of the sixteenth century, mock-prognostications, not least by Rabelais, use the genre to imagine a new religious order, and by extension a social and political one, however fearful they may be of the actual future of what they hope will be the case (a justified fear, given the Wars of Religion that were to follow). In contrast, early seventeenth-century mockprognostications tend to be reactionary, even if they use very similar jokes and themes to their forebears, including especially carnival. The genre is no longer used to imagine a future that is substantially different from, and better than, past and present, but one that delights in the restoration of the social, religious and political status quo. Mock-prognostications can therefore be said to represent a very small part of a much wider and complex trend of the rise of absolutism in seventeenth-century France. 2 In order to attempt to replace mock-prognostications in the socio-cultural context that gave them meaning, it is necessary fi rstly to ask what different traditions they participated in. If the same kinds of jokes keep reappearing with more or less monotonous predictability in mock-prognostications from different times and places, this raises the possibility of a shared set of attitudes to the future over an extended period of time. However, if it is also true that mock-prognostications took on a life of their own, then it presumably follows that they became increasingly removed from criticism of astrological predictions. Hence this chapter also seeks to uncover what different uses mock-prognostications were put to, ranging from the recycling of old jokes to social and political satire. A particularly important strand here, as far as literary history is concerned, is the writing of nonsense.3 How mock-prognostications contribute to nonsense and viceversa is one of the key questions of this chapter, alongside variants on the question of what we can learn about the past from its futures.

TRUISMS, NONSENSE AND ENIGMAS IN RENAISSANCE MOCK-PROGNOSTICATIONS Mock-prognostications are characterized above all by their use of truisms. The best-known French mock-prognostication, Rabelais’s Pantagrueline

200 Hugh Roberts Prognostication, fi rst published in 1533, contains some commonplace examples: ‘Ceste année les aveugles ne verront que bien peu, les sourdz oyront assez mal: les muetz ne parleront guieres’ (‘This year, the blind will see very little; the deaf will be hard of hearing; the dumb will hardly speak’).4 Use of truisms for comic purposes is of course not limited to mockprognostications; another example from Rabelais comes from the opening lines of the prologue to the Tiers Livre (1546): ‘Si l’avez veu, vous n’aviez perdu la veue’ (Œuvres complètes 345) (‘If you have seen him, you have not lost your sight’). However, their ubiquity in mock-prognostications is satirical or at least parodic because by predicting the blindingly obvious they imply that more portentous predictions are equally empty of meaning. Truisms in mock-prognostications tend therefore to be clear-cut. It is possible to distinguish between this straightforward kind of truism and a tautology which, although fairly simple, poses a logical puzzle to the reader. Rabelais’s quip from the prologue to the Tiers Livre is an example of the latter: it is constructed as an hypothesis that seems to suggest something meaningful, only for the impression of meaning to crumble after a moment’s reflection, which is why it can be referred to as ‘nonsense-as-sense’. Mock-prognostications usually avoid nonsense-as-sense, precisely so as to avoid even the vaguest suggestion of an informative prediction. By extension, writers of mock-prognostications also typically steer clear of the opposite of the truism, namely, the impossibility, or adynaton. An exception to this rule are the satirical Cobbes Prophecies (1614) that are made up almost entirely of adynata: ‘When the Fisherman drownes the Eele, / And the Hare bites the Huntsman by the heel’. However, the focus of this text is less on criticism of astrology than on a broad satire of contemporary morality, seen in impossibilities including ‘When the Usurer is weary of his gaine, / And the Farmer feedes the poor with his graine’ (Malcolm 234–5). Adynata are however the mainstay of a genre that is closely related to the mock-prognostication, the mock-prescription.5 If mock-prescriptions tend to use adynata, it is because they thereby suggest that ‘serious’ medical prescriptions, which are likely to be readily understandable, are in fact gobbledygook. In contrast, ‘serious’ predictions are likely to be couched at least in part in portentous terms that give an impression of profundity and mystery to the lay reader. The Predictions pour cinq annees (1616) by the astrologer Jean Petit are one example among many of this phenomenon. Despite restricting his predictions to fairly mundane topics like the weather, Jean Petit introduces them with typical ‘astrology-speak’: [L]a Lune estant logee au vingt-sixesme degré du signe de la Vierge estant pour ascendant le septiesme degré du Taureau celeste, lors Mars retrograde dedans le signe de Leo, nous promet l’Hyver estre venteux [ . . . ]. (sig. A iiir-v) As the moon resides in the twenty-sixth degree of the sign of Virgo, rising to the seventh degree of the celestial Taurus, while retrogade Mars in the sign of Leo promises us a windy winter.

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 201 The shift from the celestial to earth-bound realities of such topics as the weather is entirely typical of the genre and is again revealing of the multiple nature of Renaissance prediction, which ranges from the mysterious to the mundane. Such popular modes of prediction encourage authors of mockprognostications to rely predominantly on truisms that take a pin to this combination of portentousness and banality. Astrologers can sometimes go further down the route of incomprehensibility, again presumably to give an aura of mystery and depth to their writings. This is true of another one of the most prolific astrologers of early seventeenth-century France, Jean Belot, who includes in his predictions based on the comet of 1618 a paragraph written in Babylonian ‘celestial characters’ for which, as he states, he can give no interpretation to aid his reader’s understanding: ‘Cabala mosin abri masson busal sophas strabis Cassalit sta satax solamer alchida zefari eleazac stapha picuris’ (Instruction familiere 92–3). There are echoes of Latin, Hebrew, Greek and Arabic here, making this passage very similar to the gibberish produced in contemporary comic texts for different purposes.6 More importantly, this brief passage is indicative of the desire to interpret strange symbols on the part of both authors and readers of astrological prediction. Belot teases his readers by offering them his own mysterious ‘celestial characters’, thereby encouraging them to participate in the very process he seeks to perform, namely, the interpretation of mysterious signs from the heavens. Given that serious astrological publications already contain such deliberately opaque passages, it is not surprising that they were a privileged source for authors of comic nonsense writing, who delight in satirizing the wish to interpret impossibly mysterious symbols.7 Some ‘[p]redictions tirees du Latin Leouicius, qui n’en parle point’ (‘predictions taken from the Latin Leovitius, who does not speak of them’) were performed at court as part of a masque in 1607, a performance that will be discussed in more detail subsequently. They consist in nonsense, including the opening, Peuple, malheur sur vous, quand le sanglant Gerfaut Et le bleu Limaçon, mari de la Linote, Vers le Pole Antartiq iront droit comme il faut Luire comme un bonnet fait à la matelote. (Recueil des mascarades 16)8 Woe to you, people, when the bloody gerfalcon And the blue snail, husband of the slug, Will go directly as they must to the antarctic pole, Gleaming like a bonnet made sailor-fashion.

Predicting disaster is a commonplace of contemporary ‘serious’ predictions, including those of Belot, for whom the comet of 1618 foretells ‘evenemens epouvantables’ (71) (‘terrible events’). Another example from early seventeenthcentury France is the Almanach for 1618 by the astrologer Pierre de Larivey


Hugh Roberts

(not to be confused with the playwright of the same name), which almost invariably predicts unpleasant happenings on a monthly basis, including danger on the high seas, bad news, pain, suffering, cruelty and secret enemies.9 Hence even when writing what Noel Malcolm rightly calls high literary nonsense (75), the poet remains close to the practices he parodies, while including enough bathetic elements to create distance, so as to satirize both the processes of reading celestial signs and the writings that purport to decrypt them. A third way between nonsense and truism is the enigma, a genre which was particularly in vogue among ‘rhétoriqueur’ poets in late fi fteenth- and early sixteenth-century France. An enigma consists in a puzzle that, generally speaking, can take two forms: fi rstly, a description of a mundane thing in high-flown terms or, secondly, a text that may look like the former at fi rst sight but which on further examination reveals a deeper meaning. Again, the best-known example comes from Rabelais, namely the last chapter of Gargantua (1534), which features an ‘[e]nigme en prophetie’ (‘a prophetic enigma’), which is mostly taken from a poem by the court poet Mellin de Saint-Gellais that describes a game of tennis in eschatological terms. However, Gargantua’s own interpretation is different and much more troubling: he reads references to the ‘sort predestiné’ (‘predestined fate’) of those whose work has fi nished and who should be revered for their perseverance, as referring to the persecution of those, like Rabelais, who belonged to the movement of nonschismatic and moderate reform known as evangelism (Œuvres complètes 152–3).10 The reference to predestination fi rst occurs in the 1542 edition of Gargantua, which also expands Frère Jean’s dismissal of Gargantua’s reading in favour of the alternative interpretation that the poem refers to a tennis match (it is typical of Rabelais to leave his readership dangling between alternative interpretations, one innocent, the other troubling). In this way, the very process of revising the text reveals how Rabelais has revisited the future. Perhaps the confi rmation of the veiled prediction of persecution has contributed to a sense of inevitability. If one of the functions of mock-prognostications is to suggest that the dire predictions of their serious counterparts should be taken with a pinch of salt, then it is striking that Rabelais uses something very similar to a mock-prognostication here not to dispel anxieties about the future, but to draw attention to them in a way that allows him to discuss them in deliberately opaque terms and to make a deeply serious prediction of his own. Rabelais is not alone in using mock-prognostications to express such fears. A text which is probably contemporary to Gargantua, La Grande, et vraye pronostication generale [ . . . ] par le grand Haly Habenragel (The Great and True General Prognostication [ . . . ] by the Great Haly Habenragel), includes the following in a chapter devoted to people of the church: Je n’ose pas exposer à ma guise Le troublement, et grand adversité, Que j’appercois tous les jours en eglise,

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 203 De peur de ceulx qui craingnent verité.11 I don’t dare speak as I would wish Of the trouble and great adversity, That I see every day for the church, For fear of those who fear the truth.

Rabelais is clearly not alone in combining jokes about predictions with evangelical reform.12 It does however seem fair to say that he goes further than anyone in the combination of theology and nonsensical mockprognostications. In fact, it is often observed that Gargantua is framed by obscure passages that dabble in prophecy so that the ‘enigme en prophetie’ forms a pair with the second chapter of the book, the ‘Fanfreluches antidotées’. The latter chapter contains a parody of portentous predictions: Mais l’an viendra signé d’un arc turquoys De V. fuseaulx, et troys culz de marmite Onquel le dos d’un roy trop peu courtoys Poyvré sera soubz un habit d’hermite.13 But the year will come, marked by a Turkish bow, Five spindles and three cooking-pot bottoms, In which the back of a too uncourtly king Will be mistreated beneath the cloak of a hermit.14

Yet this nonsense is followed almost immediately by the following: ‘Cest an passé, cil qui est, regnera’ (‘This past year, he who is, shall rule’). Although chronological nonsense, this line clearly refers to God (‘cil qui est’) to whom normal chronology does not apply. Hence here as in the ‘enigme en prophetie’, apparent nonsense can point towards what is seen as higher sense. It is again typical of Rabelais to mix the comic and the serious in this way to make a serio-comic whole that destablizes straightforward readings. If he favours such genres as the mock-prognostication and, to a lesser extent, the enigma, it is precisely because they already invite such games of interpretation with the reader. By far the most extensive use of the enigma in mock-prognostications is by the ‘rhétoriqueur’ poet and nobleman Jean Molinet, who has the distinction of being the author of what is probably the fi rst mock-prognostication in French, the 1476 Autre Prenostication or Other Prognostication (Molinet 9). As Jelle Koopmans and Paul Verhuyck point out, Molinet, like Rabelais, uses deliberately ambiguous terms that allow for both an innocent and a more in-depth reading, in Molinet’s case to refer to heretics (30). However, as they also indicate, Molinet’s ambiguities are also often comic and sexual. Moreover, the use of the enigma for mock-prognostications was not to have a widespread literary following. Perhaps it was not distant enough


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from the practices it parodied—hence the domination of the truism (25–6, 30–1). Even so, the use of the enigma for mock-prognostications shows they share with their ‘serious’ counterparts the desire to represent linguistically the difficulty of interpreting mysterious and ambiguous signs.

THE READERSHIP OF ALMANACS AND MOCK-PROGNOSTICATIONS Especially given that the court witnessed the performance of nonsensical mock-prognostications, it is tempting to argue that they were directed towards a somewhat better-informed and more literate audience than the readership of almanacs, although it would be a mistake to assume that French Renaissance court culture was necessarily refi ned. Roger Chartier argues that almanacs were one of the staples of the French printing industry of cheap books based in Troyes, known as the ‘bibliothèque bleue’, of which Pierre de Larivey’s almanac of 1618 mentioned previously is but one example (598–602). Moreover, he maintains that almanacs were designed to allow for many different types of reading and use, both for the illiterate, who could look at the symbols, and for the literate, who could use almanacs for practical guidance as well as more high-flown concerns about the future. Hence almanacs probably had the widest possible readership of any type of seventeenth-century French publication, as is partly shown by the great number produced: for example, one Troyes printer alone published thirteen different almanacs in 1671, twelve in 1672 and eight in 1673. They were almost certainly hawked on the street by peddlers: there is an anonymous early seventeenth-century French painting in the Louvre of such a peddler, among whose wares is Larivey’s almanac for 1622.16 The multiple functions of the future explored in almanacs, from portents of doom to the dates of fairs, are woven into early modern popular culture. If almanacs were designed for the widest possible audience, then it seems fair to assume that their parodic cousins aimed for a rather more elevated readership, although of course this need not reach as high a social level as the court. Henri-Jean Martin argues convincingly that the early seventeenth-century comedian known as Bruscambille and the contemporary charlatan performer known as Tabarin, both of whom have mock-prognostications in their names, had a readership of students and practitioners of the law who worked close to the places in which the comedians performed and where their printers also had shops and stalls (2.963). Assuming that other contemporary mock-prognostications were read by similar social circles, their use of nonsense and, more generally, their ridiculing of astrological prediction come therefore with a dose of snobbish pleasure for the reader who realizes his superiority to the consumers of almanacs. This mockery obviously did little to stop the market

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 205 for prediction embedded in almanacs, however, showing that, in one sense at least, astrologers had the last laugh. At fi rst sight, it seems odd that such a popular genre as the almanac should so often contain portents of woe. Curiously, though, doom-laden interpretations of celestial signs such as the comet of 1618 may serve a consolatory function. The predictions were rarely specific enough to frighten or offend anyone in particular, and politically they tended to link those without power to those who did have power, because the signs foretold vaguely of major events at a national and international level. Moreover, psychologically a work that cheerfully predicted a succession of pleasant events might not be readily believed, whereas one that came with a heavy dose of cosmically charged pessimism at least appeared serious, and things may not turn out as bad as all that in the end. If this is the case, it follows that mock-prognostications challenge the paradoxically comforting cultural world of almanacs and astrological predictions. They suggest that the world is not so easily open to interpretation and that it is therefore more random and threatening (Rabelais’s ‘enigme en prophetie’ certainly performs this function). Nonsense and truism are hermeneutic dead ends that perform on a semantic level this idea of a world typically closed to interpretation.

ASTROLOGICAL CONTROVERSY IN EARLY SEVENTEENTHCENTURY FRANCE: NOËL-LÉON MORGARD To avoid the temptation of thinking that predictions had become a joke or a harmless entertainment by the early seventeenth century, it is instructive to look at the case of the astrologer Noël-Léon Morgard. In late 1613 he published a set of predictions widely interpreted as predicting the death of the young king Louis XIII. Predicting dire events was of course far from unusual, but the backlash against Morgard was especially fierce: he was imprisoned on 8 January 1614 and sentenced to the galleys shortly afterwards. The printer of his pamphlet was also punished (Hayden 56–7). This did not stop other publishers cashing in on the controversy, printing what appear to be bowdlerized versions of Morgard’s text anonymously.17 However, even the latter are plainly subversive. For example, the Prediction de Morgard (1614) contains the following, in which an astrological sign is interpreted as signifying: [H]aine, guerre & meurtre entre les Romains, & mesme mort de leur Roy ou autre: [elle] promet schismes ou divisions entre les Ecclesiastiques, & que le monde aura peu la crainte de Dieu, & ce à cause qu’elle se fait en la maison des Religions & Roys: & se faisant en la [sic] dixiesme signe d’air, promet cherté & pestilence, & que sa Saincteté fera bien de se conserver, & c. (5–6)

206 Hugh Roberts Hatred, war and murder among the Romans, and even the death of their king or another. It promises schisms and divisions among the clergy and that the world will not be very God-fearing, and all this because it takes place in the house of religions and kings and simultaneously in the tenth sign of air, hence it promises famine and pestilence and his Holiness will do well to survive, etc. The Centuries published both with the Prediction and also separately are similarly subversive, because they state, among other things, that there will be little honour in serving the state and that the Bastille will fall (Prediction de Morgard 6–7). Morgard’s predictions were almost certainly backed by the faction of Henri II de Bourbon, prince de Condé, who sought to destabilize the regency of Louis’s mother, Marie de Medici, in favour of his own claim to the throne.18 That Morgard was recruited by the opposition faction shows the political potential of astrological writing, namely, to influence a credulous readership. This explains, in turn, the particularly rapid and decisive way in which Morgard was dealt with. A population that believes readily in omens must believe in the right omens, hence there was a flurry of court-sponsored pamphlets addressed presumably to the same audience as the offensive predictions, all designed to discredit the astrologer. For instance, L’Anti-Morgard (1614) seeks to restore the normal order of things by arguing that ‘ceux-la cherchent leur infortune qui offencent leurs superieurs’ (‘those who offend their superiors seek out their misfortune’), which itself resembles the truisms of mock-prognostications (4). However, these responses themselves show the anxiety provoked by Morgard’s predictions. For example, even if L’Anti-Mauregard (1614) mocks the astrologer for his failure to predict his condemnation to the galleys, it starts with a recognition of how the ‘faux Prophete’ (‘false prophet’) disturbed France: Ravy d’un nompareil extase, France je veux monstrer qu’un Ase [sic] En bramant ses predictions Sur le bon-heur des Scorpions, Troubla le tien, troubla ton aise [ . . . ]. (3)19 Overtaken by an unprecedented trance, I want to show France that a donkey In braying his predictions On the happiness of Scorpios, Troubled your happiness, troubled your calm.

The opening here parodies a typical opening of an astrological prediction, in which the astrologer presents himself as being in some kind of trance.20 For authors of political pamphlets as well as for those of mock-prognostications, the familiarity of the genre clearly bred contempt.

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 207 Criticisms of Morgard also play a part in the widespread tradition of more or less serious anti-astrological writing. The court’s response to Morgard was twofold: the pamphlet campaign of specific and satirical works that was presumably intended for the same audience that bought Morgard’s predictions, and a general and learned book, La Réfutation de l’astrologie judicieuse (The Refutation of Judicial Astrology, 1614), by François de Colomby, which does not mention Morgard by name but is intended to discredit astrology for a more sophisticated audience. However, such discrediting was not limited to Colomby’s scholarly musings: for instance, Le Réveil de Maistre Guillaume (The Wake-Up Call of Master William, 1614) combines veiled criticism of Morgard with a prominent and commonplace critique of astrology that pretends to know that which only God knows as well as being written in terms entirely unclear to normal people. 21 As far as the latter point is concerned, it is the practice of writing rather than prediction that is the issue. Hence more or less serious anti-astrological writing and mock-prognostications share criticisms of the obscure practices of reading and writing encouraged by astrological publications. That Morgard and other early seventeenth-century astrologers enjoyed a fairly high profi le is shown by the satirical Rencontre et naufrage de trois astrologues judiciares, Mauregard, J. Petit et P. Larivey, nouvellement arrivez en l’autre monde (Meeting and Shipwreck of Three Judicial Astrologers, Mauregard, J. Petit and P. Larivey, Newly Arrived in the Underworld). Although not a mock-prognostication, the text contains tongue-in-cheek passages, including Morgard’s offer to help Charon row his boat, thereby benefiting from his experience in the galleys. 22 The impact of the Morgard controversy is plain from the fact that it was still being written about in 1634. One key point that emerges from the Morgard affair beyond the seriousness with which astrological prediction could be taken is the fact that he was not punished for predicting dire events, but for breaking an unwritten rule of his trade, namely, not to make any prediction too specific or clear, especially about those in power. Morgard admits as much in his Manifeste (1619), in which he confesses that he allowed ‘une trop grande liberté à ma plume’ (4) (‘too much freedom to my pen’). His guilt derives from his writing, not from his predicting. Unsurprisingly, Morgard is deeply apologetic in his dedicatory letter to Louis XIII, who was of course the very man whose death he predicted five years previously. By a happy coincidence, according to Morgard the comet of the previous year predicts terrible events for all countries except France; terrible things are in particular reserved for the Turks who will lose their hold on Hungary (Manifeste de Noel Loen Morgard 6–7). Astrologers writing in the wake of the Morgard affair are similarly circumspect: Jean Petit in his Predictions (1616) goes out of his way to point out that he does not want to offend but to predict good things both for the Catholic church and for ladies and princesses (sigs C iiv, C iiiv, E iir).


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SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH MOCK-PROGNOSTICATIONS While Morgard was causing a stir in the world of ‘serious’ prognostications, authors of mock-prognostications steered clear of the controversy. To my knowledge, the only mock-prognostication to refer to contemporary astrologers is L’Almanach prophetique du sieur Tabarin (The Prophetic Almanac of Sir Tabarin, 1622), which ends with the eponymous comedian and charlatan sidekick saying that he will publish Centuries to rival those of Jean Belot and Jean Petit.23 In other words, authors of mock-prognostications were either thoroughly unconcerned with contemporary astrological practice or they did not wish to meddle in controversies. By extension, criticism of astrology was not normally the main aim of authors of seventeenth-century mock-prognostications, even if it remained implicit. Instead, they routinely played on variations of old jokes and if there was social criticism, it tended to be fairly light and general, in a way not dissimilar to that seen in the contemporary Cobbes Prophecies from the other side of the Channel. For example, the text attributed to Tabarin contains a joke that is well over a hundred years old, namely, that there will be not be an eclipse of the sun this year, but of money (433), and the satire is of standard targets including misers and moneylenders. It would however be misleading to say that seventeenth-century mockprognostications are always at one remove from contemporary events. The Vraye pronostication de Me Gounin (True Prognostication of Master Gounin, 1615) contains a prediction that there will be peace and people will get rich from selling their weapons—this is a reference to the end of the skirmishes surrounding the attempt of the prince de Condé and his allies to unsettle the regency (Fournier, Variétés historiques et littéraires 5.213 and n. 1). Here a mock-prognostication is used to dispel fears and welcome the restoration of order. It is not therefore a surprise that among the follies the text comments on are those of Protestants, who, in a sinister aside, are said to have been ‘traictez comme il falloit’ (5.214) (‘treated as necessary’). Mock-prognostications, which had been used at the time of Rabelais to express much more controversial ideas, are here used to support the status quo. The writings ascribed to supposed fools like Maître Guillaume and Gounin, whose name is associated with comic performers as well as folly, tend towards political conservatism, so what is seen in mock-prognostications is doubtless part of a broader trend of the rise of absolutism in France. 24 It may also offer further explanation as to why these works steer clear of discussion of subversive writings like those of Morgard. Gounin even prefaces his comments on Protestants by saying that he does not want to talk about them. These kinds of works go out of their way to protect the normal order of things. Later in seventeenth century, in L’Astrologue burlesque (1649), one of numerous pamphlets or Mazarinades that were printed during the aristocratic uprising known as the Fronde, the figure of the astrologer is similarly used to predict a return to order, with the young king, Louis XIV, established in power. 25 It may seem surprising that such conservatism is put into the mouth of fools or

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 209 otherwise disreputable figures, but in fact this is a reactionary adaptation of an old technique most famously employed by Erasmus in the Praise of Folly (1511), in which the figure of folly is used to comment on the follies of the world. Indeed, the text in Gounin’s name opens with the commonplace that sometimes the wisest are the most foolish (Fournier, Variétés historiques et littéraires 5.209). There is not an inevitable link between use of the figure of the fool, or a ‘burlesque astrologer’ for that matter, and subversion. Even without much in the way of satirical bite, texts like those of Tabarin and his contemporaries can still provide a fairly entertaining testimony of the cultural world of the audience to whom they were addressed, precisely because their humour depends on a shared set of cultural references. This audience was made up of the lawyers and students who bought the books (according to Henri-Jean Martin) and populated the parterre of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, the fi rst public theatre in France, where Bruscambille performed. However, the balconies of the Hôtel de Bourgogne attracted a more aristocratic clientele and Tabarin and Bruscambille both performed for the court. 26 It is well known, at least since the work of Peter Burke on popular culture, that there was not always a clear demarcation between popular and elite culture and that the two exchanged materials. As far as mock-prognostications are concerned, the mobility between popular and court culture is seen above all in the court masque of 1607 already mentioned in the context of its use of nonsense writing. In the published report and text of this performance, the Recueil des mascarades et jeu de prix (1607), astrologers are put in the same bracket as performers on the Pont-Neuf or at the Foire Saint-Germain, with quack doctors prominent among them, as well as disreputable members of their audience, including pick-pockets in particular. The printed account of the masque relates how a giantess (herself a mysterious prodigy of a burlesque variety) gives birth to four astrologers on stage who proceed to dance before presenting the ladies of court with an almanac ‘qui predit tout, & d’avantage’ (‘which predicts everything and more’). Pickpockets and quack doctors are also born of this giantess before the text moves on to the astrologers’ almanac. This mock-prognostication opens with general predictions, starting with Henri IV, who is of course eulogized. The focus of the prognostication is however on love, but not of an especially high-flown variety. For example, in a section on comets, it is noted, Les Dames, en quelque saison Rendront la nature cognuë De la Commette cheveluë Qui couche sous leur Horison. (Recueil des mascarades 13)27 Ladies, in any season Will make known the nature

210 Hugh Roberts Of the shining comet That lies under their horizon.

This is an indication of the considerable licence allowed at court at this time, which reflects Henri IV’s own taste for the ribald. Doubtless court poets such as Sigogne and Motin worked on the text of this masque—their writings are marked by a use of obscenity that was to become much less mainstream as the seventeenth century progressed. Sex is naturally a well-worn resource for mock-prognostications, as it is for numerous other comic forms. One of the most extraordinary examples of this is the Pronostication des cons saulvaiges (Prognostication of the Wild Cunts) of 1527, which, as its title suggests, uses female genitalia for divinatory purposes (Koopmans, ‘La Pronostication’). No seventeenth-century text goes so far, but they nevertheless give an insight into the widespread misogyny of the humour involved. The Grandes et recreatives prognostications (Great and Amusing Prognostications, c. 1625) by Astrophile Le Roupieux (the Snotty-Nosed Astrophile) contains typical jokes: ‘Je ne parle point aussi [des mouvemens de la lune], des eclipses de ses quartiers, de ses influences, car vous la trouverrez toute entiere avec son attirail dans la teste des femmes’ (7) (‘Also, I do not speak of the moon’s movements, of eclipses of its quarters, of its influences, because you will fi nd all this with its retinue in women’s heads’). The Pronostication des pronostications (1612) is made up almost entirely of misogynistic discussion of female sexuality, often in moralistic terms: ‘Peres & Meres, ne laissez tastonner vos filles, aux jeunes hommes, & apprenez ceste Leçon, que comme les Huistres trop maniées souvent s’ouvrent d’elles-mesmes, Ainsi font les filles’ (4) (‘Fathers and mothers, do not let your daughters be touched by young men, and learn this lesson that as oysters that are handled too much open of their own accord, so do girls’). This text was taken up and printed towards the end of Les Fantaisies de Bruscambille (1612), illustrating both how such comic works often borrowed from one another and the market for mock-prognostications. Not all of these texts are without charm, however. For example, the Predictions grotesques et recreatives du docteur Bruscambille (Grotesque and Amusing Predictions of Dr. Bruscambille, 1618) has as its opening prediction about January commonplace jokes about sexuality, but not expressed in the didactic style of the Pronostication des pronostications: ‘[E]n la quatriesme maison je voy Venus qui faict les doux yeux à Mars, qui nous predict que les filles, à cause de la froidure, aymeront mieux coucher avec des garçons que des glaçons’ (Fournier, Chansons de Gaultier Garguille 133) (‘In the fourth house I see Venus giving the eye to Mars, which foretells that girls, because of the cold, will prefer to sleep with boys than with ice cubes’). Beyond the realm of the sexual, this text also contains more clear-cut satire of astrology than is typical of contemporary mock-prognostications. The letter to the reader attributed to another contemporary farce-player, Gaultier-Garguille, discusses the way in which astrologers have been able to make money out of their predictions and concludes by saying that if he is getting involved, it is

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 211 to get hold of the reader’s money (Fournier, Chansons de Gaultier Garguille 131). This tongue-in-cheek admission is implicitly applied to contemporary ‘serious’ almanacs. Similarly, Bruscambille concludes his predictions by saying that it is not for him to say any more but to leave predictions to more able men than him: ‘Les croira qui voudra; pour moy, je me mocque d’eux, et vous aussi’ (Fournier, Chansons de Gaultier Garguille 139) (‘Believe them who will; as for me, I don’t give a damn about them or you’). Such jokes serve to reinforce a community of readers that, by getting the joke, recognize that they are more sophisticated than the consumers of almanacs.

CONCLUSION: MOCK-PROGNOSTICATIONS AND THE WANING OF THE CARNIVALESQUE In his comments on Rabelais in the history of laughter, Mikhail Bakhtin sees the seventeenth century as a period of steady decline for what he calls ‘people’s festive laughter’ which, he claims, fi nds its fullest expression in Rabelais (107). It is striking that many of the early seventeenth-century texts analyzed here define themselves more or less explicitly in terms of carnival. The Pronostication des pronostications is attributed to Carême-Prenant (Shrovetide, which of course includes Mardi Gras), whereas the Grandes et recreatives prognostications contain countless references to carnival and to Rabelais himself. One of Rabelais’s most clear expressions of what has come to be known as the carnivalesque is found in the Pantagrueline Prognostication, in a section entitled ‘De l’estat d’aulcunes gens’: La plus grande folie du monde est penser qu’il y ayt des astres pour les Roys, Papes, et gros seigneurs, plustost que pour les pauvres, et souffreteux, comme si nouvelles estoilles avoient esté créez depuis le temps du déluge [ . . . ]. (Œuvres complètes 928) The greatest madness in the world is to think that there are stars and comets for kings, popes and great noblemen rather than for the poor and the needy, as though fresh ones had been created since the times of the Flood. (Gargantua and Pantagruel 178). For Thomas Greene, carnival is defined by this combination of poverty and wealth, hunger and plenty, and so forth: ‘Carnival requires its opposite in order to be carnival. Thus, the presence of abundance, freedom, uninterrupted laughter at the extraordinary moment out of time silently implies need, constraint, sorrow within ordinary time’ (184). If Bakhtin is right and there is a degeneration of laughter in the early seventeenth-century works looked at here, it is precisely because they do not embrace this dual vision. In other words, carnival has lost its other half, the recognition that the normal state of things is one of lack and suffering, and thereby becomes less of a temporary liberation from suffering and more gratuitous. Moreover, they do not

212 Hugh Roberts always seek an ‘extraordinary moment out of time’ but insist on the status quo. Paradoxically, when early seventeenth-century mock-prognostications are overtly conservative, they play out a reflex that was implicit in carnival rituals, if not in Bakhtin’s vision of them, which were only ever a temporary reversal of the normal order of things. In a sense, then, Rabelais’s mockprognostications predict their reactionary afterlife in the early seventeenth century. It is in the nature of mock-prognostications to bring this waning of the carnivalesque into relief. By virtue of expressing present anxieties, texts like Rabelais’s ‘enigme en prophetie’ and Haly Habenragel paradoxically show that they can imagine a better future, however unlikely this may prove to be. When later mock-prognostications emphasize the triumph of the status quo, they merely suggest that the future will be like the past, which in itself is precisely the kind of truism the genre delighted in throughout its history. NOTES 1. See Allen 210–43; Brown 36–41; Koopmans, ‘Rabelais et la tradition des pronostications’ 35–65; and Manuel. I am very grateful to Franck Manuel for sharing his doctoral work with me and for his help with the writing of this article. 2. Mock-prognostications are then a similar case to that of farce; see Beam. 3. For a statement of the role of mock-prognostications in the history of nonsense writing, see Malcolm 74 and 90–1. 4. Œuvres complètes 926. See Koopmans, ‘Rabelais et la tradition des pronostications’ 50. 5. See Malcolm 91–2 and my ‘Medicine and Nonsense in French Renaissance Mock-Prescriptions’, Sixteenth Century Journal (forthcoming). 6. See Malcolm 14–15, 105–7, 123. 7. See Malcolm 74, 87, 90–1 and the English examples of the genre he includes in his anthology, ‘Prophecies’ from Cobbes Prophecies (1614) and ‘Newes’ from Le Prince d’Amour (1660) 234–7. 8. Leovitius was a sixteenth-century astronomer and astrologer. The poem, under the title ‘Prophetie en cocq à l’asne’, was much altered and added to in the Recueil de vers satyriques (1617). It was also printed in the famous and infamous Cabinet satyrique of 1618, in which the verses are attributed to a French nobleman, Charles-Timoléon de Beauxoncles, seigneur de Sigogne (1560–1611), but they are probably by another, contemporary poet who moved in the same circles, Pierre Motin (c. 1566–1613/14): see Le Cabinet Satyrique 2.132–4. The poem is cited in Malcolm (75), from Le Cabinet Satyrique. I have adjusted his translation here to make it accord with the earlier French version. 9. See Mercier 1.371–2. 10. See Screech 199–206. 11. La Grande, et vraye pronostication (n.p., n.d.), reprinted in Recueil de poésies françoises des XVe et XVIe siècles 31. 12. Koopmans, ‘Rabelais et la tradition des pronostications’ 56. 13. Œuvres complètes 13; see also 649. 14. Cited and translated by Malcolm 90; I have adapted his translation slightly. 15. Œuvres complètes 13; see also 649. 16. Reproduced in Chartier and Martin 601. 17. Edition consulted: Prediction de Morgard, pour la presente année M.DCXIV. Avec les Centuries, pour la mesme année (n.p., 1614), British Library: 285.e.36 (1).

Mocking the Future in French Renaissance Mock-Prognostications 213 18. For the context of this crisis, see Sawyer and Hayden. 19. It is possible that this is a deliberate misspelling of Morgard’s name, to suggest that he had a ‘mal regard’ (‘bad look’) on things. 20. Hence, for example, Jean Belot describes his mind as being ‘tout abstrait d’un doux Entosiasme’ (‘entirely derived from a sweet fervour’) in his Centuries prophetiques (7). 21. Le Réveil de Maistre Guillaume 5, 7. Maître Guillaume’s criticism is cited in Mercier 1.113; see also 371–2. Numerous pamphlets are attributed to Maître Guillaume, who was the fool of Henri IV; see Lever 254–81. A counter to Maître Guillaume’s pamphlet attributed to another fool, La Remonstrance de Pierre du Puis sur le Resveil de Maistre Guillaume (Paris: Pierre Bardin, 1614), is not primarily concerned with the controversy about astrological prediction. 22. Rencontre et naufrage (Paris: Jean Mestais, 1634), in Fournier, Variétés historiques 2.216. 23. Œuvres complètes de Tabarin 2.435. On Tabarin, see Giraud. 24. On Maître Guillaume’s conservatism, see Lever; on Gounin as a name associated with fools and comic performers, see Fournier, Variétés historiques 5.209, n. 1. 25. On Mazarinades, see in particular Carrier. 26. On Tabarin performing at the French court, see Burke 26; on Bruscambille’s audience, see Lough 31–2. 27. Literally translated, ‘Commette cheveluë’ means ‘hairy comet’, a lewd metaphor for the female genitalia.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen, Don Cameron. The Star-Crossed Renaissance: The Quarrel about Astrology and Its Infl uence in England. London: Frank Cass, 1966. L’Anti-Mauregard, ou, Le Fantosme du bien public. n.p., 1614. L’Anti-Morgard. Sur ses Predictions de la presente annee mil six cens quatorze. Paris: Anthoine du Brueil, 1614. Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984. Beam, Sara. Laughing Matters: Farce and the Making of Absolutism in France. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell UP, 2007. Belot, Jean. Centuries prophetiques. Paris: Anthoine Champenois, 1621. . Instruction familiere et tres-facile pour apprendre les sciences de chiromance et phisiognomie [ . . . ] plus un discours astrologique [ . . . ] du Comette qui apparust sur nostre hemisphere, l’année derniere 1618 [ . . . ]. Paris: Nicolas Rousset and Nicolas Bourdin, 1619. Brown, Huntingdon. Rabelais in English Literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1933. Burke, Peter. Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe; repr. Cambridge: Scholar, 1994. Le Cabinet satyrique. Ed. Fernand Fleuret and Louis Perceau. 2 vols. Paris: Librairie du Bon Vieux Temps, 1924. Carrier, Hubert. Les Muses guerrières. Paris: Klincksieck, 1996. Chartier, Roger, and Henri-Jean Martin, eds. Histoire de l’édition française. Le Livre conquérant: Du Moyen Âge au milieu du XVIIe siècle. Paris: Promodis, 1982. Colomby, François de. Refutation de l’astrologie judiciaire. Divisée en trois traittez contre les astrologues de ce temps. Dedié à la Reyne Regente, par F. de Cavigny sieur de Colomby. Paris: Toussainct du Bray, 1614. Fournier, Edouard, ed. Chansons de Gaultier Garguille. Paris: Jannet, 1858.

214 Hugh Roberts , ed. Variétés historiques et littéraires: Recueil de pièces volantes rares et curieuses en prose et en vers. 10 vols. Paris: Jannet, 1855–1863. Giraud, Yves. ‘Tabarin et l’université de la place Dauphine.’ Cahiers de l’Association Internationale des Etudes Françaises 26 (1974): 77–100. Grandes et recreatives prognostications. Pour ceste presente annee 08145000470 [ . . . ]. Brussels: A. Mertens, 1863. Greene, Thomas M. ‘The Hair of the Dog that Bit You: Rabelais’s Thirst.’ Rabelais’s Incomparable Book: Essays on His Art. Ed. Raymond La Charité. Lexington: French Forum, 1986. 181–94. Hayden, J. Michael. France and the Estates General of 1614. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1974. Koopmans, Jelle. ‘La Pronostication des cons sauvages, monologue parodique de 1527.’ Le Moyen français 24–25 (1989): 107–29. . ‘Rabelais et la tradition des pronostications.’ Éditer et traduire Rabelais à travers les âges. Ed. Paul J. Smith. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997. 35–65. Larivey, Pierre de. Almanach pour l’an de grace, & de Bissexte Mil six cens Vingt & Huict [ . . . ]. Troyes: Jean Oudot, 1618. Lever, Maurice. Le Sceptre et la marotte: Histoire des fous de cour. Paris: Fayard, 1983. Lough, John. Paris Theatre Audiences in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1957. Malcolm, Noel. The Origins of English Nonsense. London: HarperCollins, 1997. Manuel, Franck. ‘L’Ane astrologue: Les Pronostications Joyeuses en Europe (1476– 1623).’ Diss., Université de Toulouse le Mirail, 2006. Martin, Henri-Jean. Livre, pouvoirs et société à Paris au XVIIe siècle. 2 vols. Geneva: Droz, 1999. Mercier, Alain. Le Tombeau de la mélancolie: littérature et facétie sous Louis XIII. 2 vols. Paris: Champion, 2005. Molinet, Jean, Les Pronositications joyeuses. Ed. Jelle Koopmans and Paul Verhuycks. Geneva: Droz, 1998. Morgard, Noël-Léon. Le Manifeste de Noel Loen Morgard speculateur és causes secondes. Contentant les affaires & divers accidens de la presente année 1619. Paris: Nicolas Alexandre, 1619. . Prediction de Morgard, pour la presente année M.DCXIV. Avec les Centuries, pour la mesme année. n.p., 1614. Petit, Jean. Predictions pour cinq annees des choses plus memorables [ . . . ] Par Maistre Jean Petit Parisien, speculateur és causes secondes, mouvements & proprietés des Astres. Paris: Pierre Ménier, 1616. Pronostication des pronostications, composee par Caresme prenant Docteur és deux Facultez de Bacchus & de Venus [ . . . ]. n.p., 1612. Rabelais, François. Gargantua and Pantagruel. Trans. M. A. Screech. London: Penguin, 2006. . Œuvres complètes. Ed. Mireille Huchon and François Moreau. Paris: Gallimard, 1994. Recueil de poésies françoises des XVe et XVIe siècles. Ed. Anatole de Montaiglon. Vol 6. Paris: Jannet, 1857. Recueil des mascarades et jeu de prix à la course du Sarazin [ . . . ]. Paris: Guillaume Marette, 1607. Réveil de Maistre Guillaume, aux bruits de ce temps. n.p., 1614. Sawyer, Jeffrey K. Printed Poison: Pamphlet Propaganda, Faction Politics, and the Public Sphere in Early Seventeenth-Century France. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 1990. Screech, Michael A. Rabelais. London: Duckworth, 1979. Tabarin. Œuvres complètes. Ed. Gustave Aventin. 2 vols. Paris: Jannet, 1858.

12 ‘Meteorologies and Extravagant Speculations’ The Future Legends of Early Modern English Natural Philosophy Rob Iliffe Defenders of a wide range of ‘new’ philosophies that appeared in the seventeenth century articulated a Janus-faced strategy for reforming natural philosophy. On the one hand, they demanded an end to the false and barren traditional styles of scientific enquiry and proof that had lasted for the best part of two millennia and chastised their antecedents for their slavish adherence to a philosophical tyranny. At the same time, in a culture that was profoundly hostile to novelties in a number of different social and intellectual spheres, natural philosophers devised a set of new tools, in the form of methods, institutions, forms of communication and scientific instruments. In a period that was structured by notions that the world was decaying, or that the return of Jesus Christ was imminent, the new aids to scientific enquiry appeared to herald an exhilarating, unbounded and secular future wholly fashioned by human beings. At the time, carving out the conditions of possibility of such a future based on techno-scientific progress was an immensely problematic and daring enterprise. However, the prevalence of science and technology in the modern world is testament to the apparent success of the project, and since the Enlightenment, technical and scientific growth has been held to defi ne the very essence of progress.1 The early modern designers of scientific progress saw their project as a religious undertaking that was licensed by a variety of prophetic passages in scripture. For many, scientific progress would ultimately return humanity to some pristine, prelapsarian condition, and a number of writers referred explicitly to the Fall, which had so damaged the sensory and cognitive capacities of human beings. Alongside calls for new methods and instruments, writers also urged that individuals needed to reform and cleanse their minds and bodies, minimizing the risks of personal error by exercising self-discipline or by working in concert with a larger community. Hence, the Augustinian assumption that individual humans on their own were utterly unable to acquire serious scientific truths played a central role in defences of the new philosophy. English experimentalists lauded the value of various artificial supports that would supplement the weakened powers of unaided human faculties, and they drew inspiration from a number of works composed by Francis Bacon, especially his Novum

216 Rob Iliffe Organum of 1620, his De Augmentis Scientiarum of 1623 and his New Atlantis of 1627. Applying Bacon’s recommendations, they believed they might restore the power and dominion over the natural world that had been promised to Adam. 2 Defenders of the new philosophy argued vigorously that the knowledge gained from the alliance of man, method and machine would be ‘useful’ to an extent that the scholastic approach could never match. Indeed, they were just as concerned to justify the utility of their collective projects as they were to show that the new philosophy had generated scientific truths. In the Baconian system, truth and utility were intimately intertwined and scientific evangelists strove mightily to show that the experimental method would create knowledge that would relieve central aspects of the human condition. As well as pointing to recent medical and scientific discoveries such as heliocentrism, the circulation of the blood and the satellites of Jupiter, Baconian natural philosophers emphasized the utilitarian possibilities inherent in technical advances. The ending of hunger through agricultural productivity was a favourite subject, as was the development of laboursaving devices, although such schemes ran up against widespread fears that the latter might bring unemployment rather than lessen the effects of backbreaking work. Healthcare, it was claimed, would be transformed by new medicines that could cure once fatal diseases, and an associated view, common in the alchemical tradition, held that mankind might be restored to the health and longevity of the patriarchs. A newly practical natural philosophy promised to usher in a world fitted for regenerated mankind.3 Although the Augustinian emphasis on human fallibility offered the hope of restoring mankind’s former powers through the development of new methods and instruments, other implications of Augustine’s writings were deeply problematic for scientific evangelists. In his commentary on Genesis, Augustine had argued that philosophical truth and knowledge gleaned by revelation were not inconsistent, but that the latter route to truth was superior. As he noted elsewhere, the pagan Greek progenitors of knowledge about the natural world disagreed among themselves and held incorrect beliefs about the history of the world. Christian wisdom relevant to salvation always trumped scientific knowledge, although this did not mean that knowledge about nature was inconsistent with or completely irrelevant to leading a Christian life. Augustine’s remarks on the relative significance of faith and reason remained influential in early modern natural philosophy, and they placed limits on the level of significance and authority that could be claimed for scientific knowledge.4 The primacy given to scriptural rather than scientific knowledge on account of the former’s utility for salvation was clearly visible in English puritan writings that prescribed limits to the role ‘humane learning’ should play in the godly life. All sorts of mundane learning might be useful in the preacher’s arsenal, such as the rhetorical use of logical arguments, but ultimately ‘reason’ was a tool for use in promoting faith against the lure of

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‘carnal’ knowledge. Similarly, there were many injunctions against being seduced by natural philosophy at the expense of biblical study. Such concerns about the futility and even disutility of the new philosophy underlay a wide variety of critiques of science in the early modern period. They link the attacks mounted by clerics against undue emphasis on human learning, the ubiquitous condemnations of ‘projectors’ that were prevalent in the early modern period and the criticisms by clerics, natural philosophers and wits of many of the research programmes and schemes proposed by seventeenth-century natural philosophers. Famously, Jonathan Swift’s attack on the Royal Society, mounted via his description of the projecting academy of Lagado in Gulliver’s Travels, brought together many strands that had been voiced independently in the previous century.5 In the seventeenth century, natural philosophers and apologists for the new philosophy articulated a radical account of how their methods and discoveries would bring future benefits for the wider community. Given the broad cultural distrust of such schemes, defenders of the new philosophy were keen to combat criticisms that their work was dangerously insignificant in comparison with the utility of Christianity. The Royal Society, based in London, was also sensitive to claims that it was severing the traditional links that had tied Christian learning to the Aristotelian philosophy in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Its members broadly agreed that a new defi nition of utility was one of, if not the, most important justifications for the new philosophy, and Robert Boyle, the doyen of experimentalists in the early Royal Society, wrote an entire work on the subject. Nevertheless, they did not all possess the same vision of how to go about reforming natural philosophy, nor how quickly this process should take place. On the one hand, the programme of probabilistic experimental philosophy exemplified by the work of Boyle demanded a steady and open-ended programme of research. An acceptance of humanity’s innate tendency to error required a painfully slow pace for the great project, beginning with observations and proceeding by experiments to more general axioms and laws. This vision, which drew from Bacon’s Novum Organum and De Augmentis Scientiarum, pointed to a communal effort that required cooperation on an international scale.6 A second strain, which drew inspiration from Bacon’s New Atlantis, was more concerned with the development of material enhancements to life and technical aids to scientific endeavour. In England, this stress on the utilitarian benefits of technological ingenuity was at its most intense in the work of Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke and John Wilkins at Wadham College, Oxford in the 1650s. This group, whose work owed a great deal to practical traditions such as natural magic, emphasized the phenomenal progress that could be achieved by the invention of new machines in arenas such as agriculture and navigation. As well as presenting a vision of a new social world made possible by ingenious machines and buildings, they attempted to build new aids to natural philosophy in the form of new

218 Rob Iliffe scientific instruments and artificial aids to scientific enquiry such as journals and universal languages. To some extent, like the artist-engineers of the Renaissance, the technical research projects undertaken by Wilkins and his circle mixed what was feasible and what was fantastic. However, in the two centuries since the Renaissance inventors had drawn up their magnificent machines, developments in astronomy and medicine had shown that what was fantastic in one generation could become a reality in the next. As we shall see, many of the manned flight projects developed by the Oxford group were ridiculed precisely because they made serious efforts to make real what was thought by most commentators to be fantastic and pointless. In the rest of this chapter, I contrast the more patient procedures demanded for experimental philosophy with the more radical and imminent future that was promised by technological advance. Although there was a great deal of overlap between these programmes, I suggest that many of the most ambitious research projects carried out by Wilkins and Hooke remained on the periphery of what was acceptable in the early Royal Society and, in particular, I look at the manned flight programmes that consumed their energies for nearly half a century. Unlike the more staid and coherent practice of English experimental philosophy, the schemes undertaken by natural philosopher-engineers existed at the boundaries of what was acceptable within natural philosophy and were bound up with contemporary developments in astronomy, proto–science fiction, the emerging genre of the techno-scientific utopia and theological narratives about the habitability of other worlds. I conclude by showing how powerful groups both within and outside the Royal Society saw such fantasies as absurdly impractical and occasionally dangerous projects.

REALIZING THE BACONIAN PROJECT In his prescriptions for a reformed natural philosophy, Bacon urged his contemporaries to cease their servile allegiance to Aristotle and others and to learn from the mechanical arts that future progress in natural philosophy was possible. In a new theology of works, he offered a radical and coherent view of how humanity might practically redeem itself after the Fall by harnessing truth to power. This demanded linking the knowledge of causes gained through a reformed natural science to the capacity to produce ‘effects’, which Bacon thought had best been accomplished by natural magic. This process was to be gradual, governed by a robust method that gave primacy to understanding gained by analysing (and reconstituting) nature. Drawing from humanist and Protestant sources, the project described in works such as Novum Organum and De Augmentis Scientiarum was an enterprise that combined humility regarding the task ahead with a confidence based on recent successes in inventing new objects and techniques.

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Bacon envisaged the task of reconstituting true learning as rebuilding Solomon’s Temple and used the scriptural account of Solomon himself as an exemplar for the glory of discovery. Bacon’s favourite scriptural passage, Daniel 12.4, in which the prophet foresaw that many would travel to and fro and knowledge would be increased, implied that the current age of geographical discovery was right for enlightenment in all areas of human experience. Like the discoverers of the New World, those engaged in the project would have to be prepared to encounter what was unfamiliar, discovering new terrains of knowledge and improving them for the benefit of humanity.7 As advertised on the tin, the Baconian system was uniquely capable of being turned into a practical research programme. In mid-seventeenth-century England, a number of projects that were supposed to transform learning were planned, including the reformation of agriculture and medicine, the development of a new and fruitful natural philosophy and the creation of a universal language. In the context of civil war and with the active support of the English Republic, many inventors and writers understood their own time to be uniquely propitious for promoting a series of educational, scientific and technological enterprises. As Charles Webster has shown, these projects were organized by puritans who sought to prepare conditions on earth that would usher in a kingdom of the saints. Inspired by the intelligencer Samuel Hartlib, the reformers sought revolution at a number of levels, in spiritual health, in university learning and in the material fabric of daily life. However, the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, which ended the radical hopes of most of those who had attempted to bring about religious and political reform, made references to an imminent transformation of the world—not excepting natural philosophy—extremely precarious.8 The new politico-religious order heightened the tension between those elements within the Baconian project that emphasized the need for a painstakingly slow programme of research and those that pointed to a more radical social future that would be shaped by the development of futuristic machines. Natural philosophers had to balance confidence in what their methods and practices might deliver with a healthy scepticism about mankind’s ability to understand the natural world. Restoration natural philosophers such as Robert Boyle warned against the mistakes that could be made by individual researchers and stressed the need for tediously meticulous progress that would be carried out by the international community. However, many lauded the great achievements made in natural philosophy and astronomy over the previous decades, and it was difficult not to draw the conclusion that the new philosophy would deliver a great and unprecedented future of invention and discovery. Writing about and actually doing the new philosophy thus required a judicious blending of disciplined caution and justified hope.9 Many pointed to the fatal overconfidence that had blighted the followers of Aristotle, and outlined the difficulties in attaining or recovering


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dominion over nature that followed from mankind’s fall from grace. Works such as Joseph Glanvill’s The Vanity of Dogmatising of 1661 combined attacks on Aristotle and all similarly premature systematizing with a hearty defence of the new learning. He used the Fall narrative to argue that Adam’s perfect cognitive and perceptual faculties prevented him from ever being deceived, and he claimed that Adam could directly perceive the circulation of the blood and the ‘Mysterious influence’ of the moon (5–6). Now, the proper use of the senses and of new instruments could artificially enhance human perception and allow true knowledge to be built up again from scratch. Although reverence for tradition was appropriate in some areas, it was irrelevant in natural philosophy. Glanvill argued that mathematics and the mechanical arts had not been held back by misplaced reverence for past glories, and progress in these areas implied that improvement was possible in natural philosophy (139). While emphasizing the tactical value of scepticism and the danger of fabricating undigested philosophical systems, he was nevertheless gung-ho in claiming that men might visit the unknown southern lands or even the moon, a journey to which might one day prove no stranger than one to America in the 1660s (181–2). Buying a pair of wings would become as easy as it now was to purchase a pair of boots for a standard journey, whereas human rejuvenation might one day be effected ‘without a miracle’ (182). Such things could not be ruled out a priori, for it was obvious that seventeenth-century accomplishments, such as sailing by means of the loadstone and the invention of the telescope, would have been as implausible to the ancients as such futuristic achievements were to his own contemporaries.10 Responding to criticisms that the society had done nothing and was attempting to create an institution to supplant the universities, Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society of 1667 recounted a history of the fall and rise of learning, beginning with the corruption of the sciences in Ancient Greece (5–9). After this came an era of great ignorance that ended with ‘the third great Age of the flourishing of Learning’ (22). His own ‘[p]rophetical imagination’, he continued, indicated that there was ‘something Greater, then any we have yet seen, reserv’d for the Glory of this Age’ (43). It was highly likely that ‘the absolute perfection of the True Philosophy’ was ‘not now far off, seeing this fi rst great and necessary preparation for its coming, is already taken off our hands’ (29). Like Glanvill, Sprat’s enthusiasm was qualified, for progress required the right method and painstaking organization; the preponderance of gentlemen in the society would provide checks and balances against the ‘marrying of Arts too soon; and putting them to generation, before they come to be of Age’ (67). Whereas slowness and ‘doubtfulness’ was often fatal in matters of state, it was central to natural philosophy: ‘[H]ere, many delays are required: here, he that can make a solid objection, or ask a seasonable question, will do more good, than he, who shall fi x on a hundred ill-grounded resolutions’ (104). By slowing down the process of investigating nature to a measured

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pace, and by resting knowledge on the productions of the senses, the Royal Society had ‘put it into a condition of standing out, against the Invasions of Time, or even Barbarisme it self’ (119).11 Although the society respected the values of the tortoise rather than those of the hare, Sprat confi rmed that there was no time for progress like the present age (46–9). Barren disputation was fast disappearing, and the belief in fairies, goblins and the like had diminished dramatically since the advent of the ‘Real Philosophy’. Now ‘there is scarce any whisper remaining of such horrors: Every man is unshaken at those Tales, at which his Ancestors trembled’ (340). Indeed, the entire world had been lit by ‘the help of an Universal light, which seems to overspread this Age’, and in handicrafts many feats of these non-Europeans ‘could scarce be imitated by the Europeans themselves’ (81). Having offered a history of recent successes, Sprat confidently proclaimed that future attainments would dwarf what had already been achieved. There would almost certainly be discoveries of new lands and new peoples (381), and the invention of a means of determining longitude had to be just around the corner, seing so many rewards are ready to be heap’d on the Inventors; and (I will also add) seing the Royal Society has taken it, into its peculiar care. This if it shal be once accomplish’d, will make well-nigh as much alteration in the World, as the invention of the Needle did before. And then our Posterity may outgo us, as much as we can travail farther than the Ancients [ . . . ]. (382) Sprat also provided an extraordinary sociology of technological innovation, arguing that improvement in the arts could only take place by the spread of civilization to barbarians. Newly civilized people, ‘in their fi rst vigour’, would devise new arts ‘not thought of before’ (390) and the capacity to devise new mechanical inventions would never end ‘as long as our old materials may be alter’d or improv’d, and as long as there remains any corner of the World without Civility’ (391). Finally, he reassured his readers that whereas the old philosophy was barren, the new one ‘shall impart to us the uses of all the Creatures, and shall inrich us with all the Benefits of Fruitfulness and Plenty’. Sprat’s text did not satisfy a number of members of the Royal Society, and Glanvill was called upon to compose a more vigorous defence of the body. As it happened, save for a redaction of the achievements of the Royal Society, he added little of substance in his Plus Ultra to what he had already stated in his Vanity of Dogmatizing and his Scepsis Scientifica of 1665. Glanvill noted that the constant and routine improvement of instrumentation might bring about the discoveries of the existence of life on other planets and the determination of longitude (Plus Ultra 55–6). In general, the current period was ideal for the promotion of natural philosophy, and three great ‘advantages’ now existed for the speedy communication of scientific


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information and the advancement of knowledge, namely, printing, the compass and the advent of the Royal Society (77–90). Abruptly changing tack, Glanvill nevertheless cautioned that too much was not to be expected too soon: such ‘mighty Projects’ could not ‘ripen in a moment’ (91). Everything had to proceed slowly ‘by degrees almost insensible’; one age could only expect to do little more than ‘remove the Rubbish, lay in Materials, and put things in order for the Building’ (91). Indeed, at the end of the work Glanvill offered little hope to those who demanded the Great Elixir, or perpetual motion, or immortality; these were individuals who merely indulged in ‘impertinent Taunts [and were] no more to be regarded, than the little chat of Ideots and Children’ (92).

FANCIES OF FLIGHT If the defence of the experimental philosophy required constant expressions of the need for prudent management, the more mechanically minded philosophers who worked in the natural magic and artist-engineering traditions offered very different speculations about future scientific developments. The bible for such practitioners was Bacon’s New Atlantis, which detailed ‘Salomon’s House’, the core of the techno-scientific utopia Bensalem. Celebrating the social and scientific potential of human ingenuity and technical excellence, Bacon described a vast array of machines and instruments, along with various laboratories and workshops, where research could be carried out into modelling and imitating the motions of birds and fish, as well as clockwork, submarines, aircraft, ordnance and ‘engines of all kinds’. The reference to aircraft presaged the research programme into the viability of manned flight that from the middle of the century would consume the energies of John Wilkins and a group of ingenious young philosophers he gathered round him at Wadham College Oxford in the early 1650s, chief among them Robert Hooke.12 The fl ight projects undertaken by the Oxford group were derived from the tradition of research pioneered by the artist-engineers of Renaissance Italy. In fi fteenth-century Siena, artist-engineers such as Mariano di Iacopo (Taccola) and Francesco di Giorgio presented patrons with exquisitely drawn and imagined machines that celebrated human ingenuity and the social utility of engineering prowess. Francesco made numerous copies of Taccola’s drawings, for example, in his Codicetto, and the contents of the Codicetto were in turn entered with changes into the manuscripts of an anonymous Sienese engineer, who added some extraordinary representations of a parachute and a man with rudimentary wings. Leonardo da Vinci was by no means unique when he depicted his technically sophisticated if often impractical flying machines at the end of the fifteenth century. Over many decades, Leonardo considered complex mechanisms for moving wings up and down, as well as devices for parachuting or gliding. Central to his

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outlook was the belief that man could imitate natural processes, a commitment that underlay his extended studies into the physiology and physics of bird flight that he conducted from 1505. Notoriously, it is unclear whether many of Leonardo’s exquisite drawings were of machines that he believed had a realistic chance of working, or whether they were fantasies that celebrated the practical reach of human ingenuity.13 By the seventeenth century, inspirations for extending manned fl ight to the moon came from within astronomy, literature and theology. There had long been debates in Christianity concerning the possibility that an omnipotent God had created life in other kosmoi, a doctrine more commonly known as pluralism, or that humans could exist both before Adam and after the present world had come to an end. The acceptance of the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, which meant that the Earth was only one of a number of planets in the solar system, had major implications for these concerns. Discussion of pluralism turned from the possibility of life in parallel universes to the idea that there might be other Earth-type systems around other stars. Galileo’s announcement in his Sidereus Nuncius (of 1610) of numerous stars in the Milky Way, of lunar mountains and valleys, and, apparently, of lunar seas and lands, provided new food for thought. Because of the standard difficulties raised by divines concerning the uniqueness of the Christian Incarnation and Redemption, Galileo himself expressed the view in his Letters on Sunspots (of 1613) that pluralism was false. However, in his Defence of Galileo of 1622—written in 1616 just as Galileo was being condemned for his adherence to Copernicanism—the Dominican Tommaso Campanella made the standard case for pluralism invoking God’s omnipotence and the fact that the absence of other worlds was not mentioned in scripture (112–3). Johannes Kepler was committed to heliocentrism and pluralism before he had heard of Galileo’s telescopic observations of the moon, but the extraordinary facts revealed by Galileo made him reconsider the evidence for lunar habitation. From about 1609 to his death in 1630, Kepler continued to revise a fantasy, the Somnium (published posthumously in 1634), which concerned a trip to the moon and a consequent encounter with its inhabitants. Amongst other things, this was a novel attempt to promote the heliocentric system by imagining what the Earth would look like from the perspective of the lunar inhabitants. Kepler’s work was a wholly original generic hybrid, which brilliantly mixed state of the art astronomical evidence with powerful philosophical and theological arguments—expressed through the theological safety of a dream narrative—in favour of lunar habitability. Habitability would remain an exceptionally popular topic, notably in Bernard de Fontenelle’s Cartesian Entretiens sur la Pluralité des Mondes of 1686 and Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros, which appeared posthumously in 1698.14 Long before Fontenelle and Huygens composed their works, the English cleric John Wilkins drew extensively on Galileo, Kepler and Campanella


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in his Discovery of a World in the Moone of 1638. He argued that it was ‘probable’ that the moon and other celestial bodies were inhabited, and as a divine, he investigated the topic through a theological lens. According to Wilkins, lunar habitability did not contradict scripture but was greatly conducive towards the notion of divine wisdom, ‘shewing a compendium of providence, that could make the same body a world, and a Moone; a world for habitation, and a Moone for the use of others, and the ornament of the whole frame of Nature’ (38). Closely following Kepler, he argued that the telescope had opened up new visions of the moon’s surface that made it likely that the dark spots and light areas were sea and land respectively, whereas it was also probable that the moon had an atmosphere (101–14, 137–44). Wilkins moved more cautiously around the problem of the uniqueness of human creation by agreeing with Nicholas of Cusa and Campanella that beings on other worlds would not be in need of redemption as they were not descended from Adam (188–9).15 Wilkins’s text was a best seller when it appeared in 1638, and on the back of its success, Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone was published five months later (although it was written a decade earlier). Whatever the sources for Wilkins’s interest in practical flight—and there were many works depicting Leonardo-type devices in the ‘Theatres of Machines’ genre—he soon developed a serious interest in achieving manned fl ight and, in particular, spaceflight. This built on his interest in the practical engineering strands of natural magic, which resulted in the publication of his Mathematical Magick in 1648. Before this, in the third edition of his Discovery, which appeared in 1640, he added a chapter on the possibilities of spaceflight. For Wilkins it was now more a question of how to reach lunar beings rather than whether they existed, or where they stood in the Great Chain of Being. He devoted a whole chapter to the notion that future voyagers could travel to the moon and referred to the opinion expressed by Kepler in his Conversation with the Starry Messenger, who had claimed that colonization of the moon and Jupiter would quickly follow the discovery of the art of flying.16 Against claims that lunar voyages were physically impossible, Wilkins appealed to the magnetic philosophy developed in William Gilbert’s De Magnete to suggest why and how spacefl ight could be a reality (Discourse 1.212). He noted that the magnetic attractive force of the earth diminished rapidly the further one moved away from the surface of the earth, so a body would lose weight as it ascended above the Earth. This view was related to his belief that, contra Aristotle, ‘heaviness’ was not an absolute quality of a body. Wilkins claimed that the magnetic power probably did not extend much beyond the terrestrial atmosphere, which was about twenty miles high, so men could easily reach the moon if they flew beyond that distance. Outside the magnetic sphere, a human body would be completely weightless, and without the need to labour so hard, it would not require such a hearty diet (209). The extreme coldness of outer space

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was not proven, he continued, and there might well be a life-supporting atmosphere beyond the magnetic sphere (233). Indeed, this ‘aetheriall aire’ might be of such a quality that, like plants, one could derive sustenance from it. At the end of the book Wilkins addressed the issue of how fl ight might be possible, conjecturing that men could develop their own wings or use the power of a species of rook that had been rumoured by Marco Polo to live in Madagascar (237–8). The last idea was partly indebted to Godwin’s reference to the giant swanlike birds who had conveyed his hero, Domingo Gonsales, to the moon. For Wilkins a flying chariot was a more serious possibility, and he suggested that it would be no difficult matter to design such a vessel large enough to carry a number of men laden with sufficient supplies (238–9). In the following decade Wilkins undertook a substantial research programme on the design of machines that might be used in lunar fl ight. The results of his work appeared in Mathematical Magick, which was divided into two ‘books’, the fi rst of which, entitled ‘Archimedes’, outlined the classical mechanics of wedges, screws, levers and pulleys, and the second of which, entitled ‘Daedalus’, concerned the construction of automata. The sixth chapter described what Wilkins termed ‘volant automata’, such as the famous wooden dove made by Archytas and a wooden eagle allegedly constructed by Regiomontanus (191–9). Wilkins argued that it was unreasonable to deny in principle the possibility of man-powered fl ight, when it was known that birds were heavier than air and when there were sources of power such as springs, whose strength ‘exceed[s] their heavinesse’. Wings could be constructed with springs that worked like those in watches, such that one spring would work on a wheel to lower both the wings simultaneously while two smaller springs would raise each wing.17 Wilkins lamented the fact that such schemes were condemned by ‘common opinion’ as ‘the dreams of a melancholy and distempered fancy’, and he proceeded in the following chapter to investigate the possible routes by which fl ight might be accomplished. Using the assistance of spirits or angels, as Kepler had described it, was impractical. As for affi xing wings to the body, which for centuries had resulted only in broken bones or fatalities, this might be done successfully but would require constant practice from a young age, perhaps learning in the same way that various birds did. If men could swim, and acrobats and dancers could do the amazing things that were seen on a daily basis, why, after a long process of practice and experimentation, could they not learn to fly? Whatever contrivance was invented, manned flight could more easily be accomplished by the feet and legs than by the arms. Wilkins’ writings effectively provided a blueprint for a technical research programme into powered fl ight, and in the 1650s and 1660s he worked on a wide range of such mechanisms with protégés such as Christopher Wren, William Petty and Robert Hooke. For Hooke it became the abiding obsession of his life.18


Rob Iliffe

ARTIFICIAL MUSCLES For almost half a century, Hooke devoted himself to inventing artificial tools or organs that would supplement the fragile abilities—the senses in particular—of human beings. Offering the vision of a world managed by a vast array of ingenious machinery, many of his research programmes constitute a very different sort of project from the experimental philosophy more generally promoted by the Society—of which he was in any case a brilliant exponent. His friend John Aubrey had it from Hooke himself that while at Westminster School he ‘was very mechanicall, and (among other things) he invented thirty severall wayes of Flying’. At some point Hooke was given a copy of Wilkins’s Mathematical Magick, and having entered Oxford in 1653, he worked intensively on the manned fl ight programme with Wilkins and Wren. Richard Waller, editor of Hooke’s posthumous works, found a note among his papers that mentioned a number of unsuccessful experiments performed with Wilkins at Wadham in 1655. However, in Micrographia of 1665, he was bullish about the prospects for the advancement of learning and of flying in particular. Although human muscles were insufficiently powerful to sustain flight, it would be possible to devise a system for flying by artificially increasing their strength. Hooke claimed that it would be easy to make twenty mechanisms ‘to perform the office of Wings’, and remarked that he had had successes in doing so. Spring-powered mechanisms would dominate much of Hooke’s work for the next decades, and as part of a committee for coach design set up under the aegis of the Royal Society in the mid-1660s, Hooke, Wilkins and Petty developed novel and potentially lucrative spring-based designs for chariots and carriages.19 Hooke’s investigations into muscle physiology, springs and even the use of gunpowder were particularly intense in the mid- and late 1670s. Waller found a number of sketches among Hooke’s papers of bat-like wings, along with a screw-type contraption that had angled horizontal blades. These would spin in a wind and turn the wings ‘to be manag’d by the person [and] by this means rais’d aloft’. Whether or not the sketches relate to the period covered by the diary, Hooke noted in it a number of techniques for generating power through the deployment of horizontal blades, and for flying in a ‘sayling chariott’ or in an ornithopter by means of wings, springs, gunpowder and a rudimentary engine. Indeed in October 1674 he discussed flying with Francis Lodwick and Christopher Wren, and recorded the day after noting an experiment with a ‘fi re engine’— ‘[a]t Councell at Arundell told Sir Robert Southwell that I could fly, not how’. Early the following year he was not so secretive, and at a meeting of the Society on 4 February 1675 he mentioned his observations of ‘round pipes’ in muscles. A week later he spoke at greater length of the special quality of avian muscles and of his experiments at Wadham. The use of gunpowder with kites, apparently tried by Wren, had been unsuccessful,

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but Hooke ‘declared’ that he ‘had a way of making an artificial muscule and to command the strength of 20 men’. 20 A fi nal flourish of the flight programme occurred in the spring of 1679, by which time Hooke was a secretary of the Royal Society and in charge of the short-lived publication Philosophical Collections, which appeared while the Philosophical Transactions was in abeyance. Hooke gave a critique of various methods for manned fl ight in the fi rst issue of the Collections, instigated by his learning of an apparently successful fl ight across the Channel by the French locksmith Jacob Besnier. In May 1679 he revived discussions with Lodwick, Wren and Denis Papin about flying machines, and at the same time he examined a number of different designs for manned flight at meetings of the Royal Society. This included testing the proposal made in the Prodromo all’arte maestra of 1670 by the Jesuit Francesco Lana Terzi to see whether flight could be achieved by means of attaching evacuated copper balls to a sailing vessel. Hooke found that the weight of the copper rendered the device impractical, but it was of sufficient interest that he gave lectures on the advantages and drawbacks of Lana Terzi’s idea to friends at the end of the year.21

ALL INVENTION: TECHNO-SCIENTIFIC UTOPIA AS FICTION The outlandish claims made by Wilkins, Hooke and others of a technologically dominated future gave fuel to critics of the new philosophy, many of whom were not antipathetic to natural philosophy per se but rather to ambitious claims made for the utility of the new philosophy. Clerics inveighed against its deleterious religious consequences, whereas others saw the mechanical future-mongerers as mere projectors or novelists. It was the mixture of unjustified boasting, the denigration of traditional learning and the fetish for pointless projects that infuriated the Warwick physician Henry Stubbe. In a broad variety of works, Stubbe argued that there was a sinister Jesuitical plot afoot to try to destroy the universities and the Anglican Church by setting up a rival institution. In The Plus Ultra Reduced to a Non Plus of 1670 he demolished every claim to originality made for moderns, especially those made for the Royal Society by Sprat and Glanvill, thus depriving them of their claim that a new dawn of human achievement—a Scientific Year Zero—had commenced in the modern age. 22 In the preface, Stubbe denounced a genteel ‘[p]rattle-box’ he had recently encountered, who had mouthed the usual Royal Society platitudes about the utility of their undertakings without knowing what he was talking about. On being recommended Glanvill’s discourse, and reading it along with Sprat’s History, Stubbe was of course outraged and proceeded to demolish the conceit and pride of the society and its defenders while portraying himself as a martyr who spoke truth to power. With great learning, Stubbe railed against Glanvill’s boastfulness in claiming on behalf of


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the society improvements in the telescope, the barometer, the microscope, the thermometer and the invention of the air pump. Many inventions were in fact Aristotle’s, or of non-English contemporaries, whereas what the Royal Society had improved was utterly insignificant. As for the moon, the ‘Comicall Wits’ disagreed over whether its dark spots were the seas or lands, whether it possessed an atmosphere and whether it was inhabited. Stubbe referred to a friend of his who had noted that the would-be lunar aviators had barely considered the thinness of the air, which would cause severe breathing problems as well as difficulties for the fl ight itself. Stubbe added that the young man was concerned that the astronauts should have meat and drink, as well as money for surviving the other end. In a passage that effectively encapsulated the animus Stubbe felt towards the futuremongers, he mentioned the writings of Marcus Aurelius, who had stated that it was a mark of savagery to desert studies that fitted him for a sociable life in favour of ‘Meteorologies and extravagant speculations’. 23 Stubbe particularly enjoyed sneering at the most extreme claims made by Glanvill. The latter had spoken in Plus Ultra of ‘rumours’ being transformed in time into ‘practical realities’, but Stubbe merely noted in the margin, ‘God forbid’. As for conferring ‘at the distance of the Indies by Sympathetick conveyances’, a theme of Wilkins’s Mercury, or, the Secret and Swift Messenger of 1641, and the promise of restoring ‘Gray hairs to Juvenility, and renewing the exhausted marrow’, Stubbe exclaimed sarcastically, ‘[A]ll ancient and modern fables shall be really achieved!’ To Glanvill’s claim that the ancients would have found current advances ‘ridiculous’ if they had considered them and would have gawped uncomprehendingly at recent successes, Stubbe replied that there was no evidence the ancients had contemplated the fl ights of fancy propounded by Glanvill and thus to criticize them for not doing so was absurd. Glanvill had commented in the Vanity (and in Scepsis Scientifica) on the ‘antique incredulity’ of the ancients, contrasting it with the moderns, who were ‘judiciously credulous’, and boasted that the ‘enlarged Souls’ in the Royal Society ‘will despair of nothing’. Stubbe reserved his last marginal salvo for these assertions, remarking that this philosophy was ‘all invention’ and that the new men would not despair even of the universal panacea, or the Philosopher’s Stone, or of ‘any thing in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Atlantis or Utopia’ (Syfret 44–5). Stubbe’s attacks were identical to those launched by contemporary satirists. In texts such as Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist, the Philosopher’s Stone had long stood for vain and foolish projects that might convince the gullible of future medical or fi nancial benefits. In the second half of the seventeenth century, the twin pursuits of fl ight and the moon came to stand metonymically for the pointless pursuits of a natural philosophy that had lost its way and purpose, and the new projects appeared to suffer from the same deluded and vaunting ambition as the alchemical programme. Thomas Shadwell’s Virtuoso and Samuel Butler’s The Elephant in the Moon, both composed in the mid-1670s, satirized those who took their eyes off what really mattered

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on earth. Using terminology from Kepler’s Somnium, Butler lampooned the pretensions of the society by imagining that everything seen through the telescope and assumed to be lunar activity was actually caused by insects and a mouse in the device itself. One of Shadwell’s characters criticized his nephew for spending two decades compiling a geography of the moon, whereas the antihero of the play, Sir Nicholas Gimcrack, recounted how he was so advanced in the art of flying that he could outpace a bustard, adding (drawing on Glanvill) that he did not doubt that in a short while ‘twill be as common to buy a pair of wings to fly to the world in the moon as to buy a pair of wax boots to ride into Sussex with’. Butler’s text only circulated in manuscript, whereas in the summer of 1676 Shadwell’s play was attended by Hooke himself, who recognized himself ridiculed in a number of scenes, of which this was one of the most blatant. 24 The satire directed against the new philosophy was at its most potent when aimed at the futuristic claims made by philosopher-engineers. The research programmes of Hooke and Wilkins could only barely be contained within the bounds of orthodox natural philosophy, and they pointed away from traditional sites and methods of learning to the worlds of patents and craft workshops, as well as to the emerging literature of science fiction and theological discussions of life on other worlds. The sort of work carried out by Wilkins and his circle could appear nonserious or bizarre even to contemporaries in the Royal Society. The attitude of the society’s secretary, Henry Oldenburg, is a case in point. When the French astronomer Adrien Auzout attempted in the summer of 1665 to start up a conversation with Robert Hooke about the possibility of fi nding evidence for life on the moon through the best telescopes, Oldenburg treated the matter as a joke and suggested that Hooke ‘tosse railleries’ with him. Hooke did not reply, presumably because at that very moment he was working with Petty and Wilkins on chariots. Five years later, when Oldenburg got to hear of Lana Terzi’s flying machine, he fi red off letters to some Italian correspondents, asking them ‘about the learning and judgment’ of the Jesuit. He complained to his Venetian agent John Dodington that he wished Lana Terzi would be sparing in the publication of such Arguments, as seem to be above the reach of human contrivance, as sayling through the Air, the perpetual motion, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the like: such undertakings being rather like to prove a disadvantage to his writings and credit, than otherwise. 25 English natural philosophy was attacked by critics for having a false sense of what is truly useful to human beings, for being indistinguishable from science fiction or utopia, or for being a variant of the worst sort of economic projecting. Critics lumped together excessive claims made for future advances in astronomy, medicine, experimental natural philosophy and technology. In the case of the manned flight programme, its lofty goals

230 Rob Iliffe were slated as futile, its ambitions were derided as absurd and its ultimate destination, the moon, stood testament to the folly of its conception. These criticisms point to the extraordinarily novel and hybrid nature of the programmes promoted by the Royal Society, especially the mechanical projects promoted by Hooke. It was incredible that the programmes put forward by these men should come to pass, but as it happened, virtually all the extravagant promises were met. Briefly, men walked on the moon, although they did not meet any lunarians. In later centuries, new political and economic systems broke down social relations that had existed for centuries, and people came to believe that the world forged by an alliance between science and technology made them superior to those that had gone before them. Wrenched from any religious contexts, and proclaiming itself to be morally neutral, the pursuit of scientific knowledge and technical power has successfully portrayed itself as a virtuous end in itself. Nevertheless, at the same time, science is also forced to emphasize the practical benefits it might bring in the future. Despite the fact that in many ways critics of the new philosophy were proved so badly wrong, in calling on philosophers to justify their novel brand of utility, they had a point. NOTES 1. The classic description of millenarian structure of scientific progress is Webster. For the various temporal frameworks underpinning seventeenth-century natural philosophy, see Iliffe. 2. For early modern views about how mankind’s corrupted sensory and cognitive abilities could be enhanced by new instruments and methods, see Harrison. 3. For the mid-century projects, see Webster, and for longevity, see Haycock. 4. For the dominance of Augustinian arguments in the dispute between Galileo and Robert Bellarmine in 1615–1616, see McMullin 291–9 and 302–10. 5. For the Puritan stress on faith rather than on learning or ‘reason’, see Morgan 47–61 and 98–120. For projects, see Novak. 6. For Boyle’s programme, see Shapin and Schaffer 22–79. 7. See, amongst others, Farrington 128; Ravetz; Weinberger; Faulkner; and Iliffe. Daniel 12.4 was famously cited in Bacon’s Novum Organum Bk. 1, Aph. 93. 8. For these projects, see Webster; Slaughter; and Lewis. 9. See in particular Webster 100–24. 10. Compare Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica 133–4. For very similar expressions of confidence about the potential of experimental philosophy in the work of Henry Power, see Iliffe 446–7. 11. See also 154–5 and 318–9. For relevant contexts for work in the early Royal Society, see Hunter, and Shapin and Schaffer. 12. For comments on the fact that utopian discourses and the new philosophy arrived at approximately the same time, see Davis, ‘Science and Utopia’. For religious and political utopias in the early modern period, see Davis, Utopia; Thomas; Boesky; and Holstun. 13. See Galluzzi 24–41 and 68–9. 14. See Dick 123–35 and Guthke 199–244.

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15. More generally, see Dick 70–90 and 97–112 and Guthke 45–198, esp. 144– 53. For Kepler on habitability, see his Somnium as well as his Conversation 39. 16. See Kepler, Conversation 39; Guthke 146–9, 153–5 and 186–8. 17. Wilkins, Mathematical Magick 193–6. 18. Wilkins, Mathematical Magick 197, 203–9. 19. Aubrey 165; Hooke, Posthumous Works iv; Hooke, Micrographia sigs A2r and D2r; Inwood 57–8, 79. 20. Hooke, Posthumous Works iv; Robinson and Adams 78, 123, 124, 125–7 (engine) and 145–6. As Lisa Jardine has pointed out (115), Hooke’s programme to develop artificial muscles was closely related to William Petty’s researches into the use of inflated bladders. 21. Robinson and Adams 407, 411, 413–4; Birch 3.481–9. See also Jardine 111–5 and Inwood 285. For roughly the same length of time as Hooke, Christiaan Huygens was undertaking intensive research into manned fl ight and was also fascinated by Lana Terzi’s scheme; see Ariotti 611, 613–4 and 616–20. 22. For attacks on the early society, see Syfret. 23. Syfret 4, 7, 31–8, 40–3. 24. Shadwell 31 and 45; for alchemical projects, see Newman. 25. Oldenburg, ms. notes on his translation of a letter from Auzout to Oldenburg, 12 August 1665 (Correspondence 3.470 and 3.474, n. 6); Oldenburg to Dodington, 20 December 1670 (Correspondence 7.334–5).

BIBLIOGRAPHY Ariotti, Piero. ‘Christiaan Huygens: Aviation Pioneer Extraordinary.’ Annals of Science 36 (1979): 611–24. Aubrey, John. Aubrey’s Brief Lives. Ed. Oliver Lawson Dick. Boston: David R. Godine, 1999. Bacon, Francis. The Advancement of Learning and New Atlantis. Ed. Arthur Johnston. Oxford: Clarendon, 1980. Birch, Thomas. The History of the Royal Society. 4 vols. London, 1756. Boesky, Amy. Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 1996. Campanella, Tommaso. A Defense of Galileo, the Mathematician from Florence. Trans. and ed. Richard J. Blackwell. Notre Dame, IN: U of Note Dame P, 1994. Davis, J. C. ‘Science and Utopia: The History of a Dilemma.’ Nineteen EightyFour. Science between Utopia and Dystopia. Ed. Everett Mendelsohn and Helga Nowotny. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1984. 21–48. . Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516– 1700. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1980. Dick, Stephen. The Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of Extraterrestrial Life from Democritus to Kant. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. Farrington, Benjamin. The Philosophy of Francis Bacon. An Essay on its Development from 1603 to 1609. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1964. Faulkner, Robert. Francis Bacon and the Project of Progress. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1993. Galluzzi, Paolo. Renaissance Engineers from Brunelleschi to Leonardo da Vinci. Florence: Giunti, 1996. Gaukroger, Stephen. Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002.

232 Rob Iliffe Glanvill, Joseph. Plus Ultra, or, the Progress and Advancement of Knowledge since the Days of Aristotle. In an Account of Some of the Most Remarkable Improvements of Practical, Useful Learning: To Encourage Philosophical Endeavours. London:, 1668. . Scepsis Scientifica, or, Confest Ignorance, the Way to Science [ . . . ]. London:, 1665. . The Vanity of Dogmatizing, or, Confi dence in Opinions Manifested in a Discourse on the Shortness and Uncertainty of Our Knowledge and Its Causes. London: E.C. for Henry Eversden, 1661. [Godwin, William]. The Man in the Moone, or, a Discourse of a Voyage Thither by D. Gonsales. London:, 1638. Guibbory, Achsah. ‘Francis Bacon’s View of History: The Cycles of Error and the Progress of Truth.’ Journal of English and Germanic Philology 74 (1975): 336– 50. Guthke, Karl S. The Last Frontier: Imagining Other Worlds from the Copernican Revolution to Modern Science Fiction. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell UP, 1990. Harrison, Peter. The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Haycock, David. Mortal Coil: A Short History of Living Longer. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2008. Holstun, James. Radical Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-Century England and America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987. Hooke, Robert. Micrographia, or, Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon. London: I. Martyn and J. Allestry, 1665. . The Posthumous Works of R. H. Ed. Richard Waller. London:, 1705. Hunter, Michael. Science and Society in Restoration England. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982. Inwood, Stephen. The Man Who Knew Too Much: The Strange and Inventive Life of Robert Hooke, 1635–1703. London: Macmillan, 2002. Iliffe, Rob. ‘The Masculine Birth of Time: Temporal Frameworks of Early Modern Natural Philosophy.’ British Journal for History of Science 33 (2000): 427–53. Jardine, Lisa. ‘Dr. Wilkins’s Boy Wonders.’ Notes and Records of the Royal Society 58 (2004): 107–29. Kepler, Johannes. Kepler’s Conversation with Galileo’s Sidereal Messenger. Ed. Edward Rosen. New York: Johnson, 1965. . Kepler’s ‘Somnium’: The Dream, or, Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy. Ed. Edward Rosen. New York: Dover, 1967. Lewis, Rhodri. Language, Mind and Nature: Artifi cial Languages in England from Bacon to Locke. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. McMullin, Ernan. ‘Galileo on Science and Scripture.’ The Cambridge Companion to Galileo. Ed. P. Machamer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. 271–347. Mendelsohn, Everett, and Helga Nowotny. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Science between Utopia and Dystopia. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1984. Morgan, John. Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes towards Reason, Learning and Education 1560–1640. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986. Newman, William. Promethean Ambitions: Alchemy and the Quest to Perfect Nature. Chicago, IL: U of Chicago P, 2004. Nicolson, Marjorie Hope. Science and the Imagination. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1956. . Voyages to the Moon. New York: Macmillan, 1960. Novak, Maximillian, ed. The Age of Projects. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2008.

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J. K. Barret is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled ‘So Written to Aftertimes’: Renaissance England’s Poetics of Futurity. Andrea Brady is Lecturer in early modern literature at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of English Funerary Elegy in the Seventeenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and has published on literature, ritual and emotions, the popular press and writing by early modern women. Her current research examines the influence of Neoplatonism on seventeenth-century writing, including dreams, ghosts and the interaction of poetry and the sciences. She is also a poet and has written extensively on contemporary innovative poetry. Peter Burke (born 1937) was educated at St. Ignatius’s College, Stamford Hill, London, and St. John’s College, Oxford. He joined the University of Sussex in 1962 and moved to Cambridge in 1979, where he became Professor of Cultural History. He retired from the Chair in 2004 but remains a Life Fellow of Emmanuel College. He has been a visiting teacher or researcher in Berlin, Brussels, Canberra, Groningen, Heidelberg, Los Angeles, Nijmegen, Paris, Princeton, São Paulo. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Member of the Academia Europea; PhD (honoris causa), University of Lund. He has published twenty-five books, and his work has so far been translated into thirty-one languages. His work on the Renaissance includes The Renaissance Sense of the Past (Edward Arnold, 1969), Culture and Society in Renaissance Italy (Batsford, 1972) and The European Renaissance: Centres and Peripheries (Blackwell, 1998). Emily Butterworth is Lecturer in sixteenth-century French literature and thought at King’s College, London. She is the author of Poisoned Words: Slander and Satire in Early Modern France (Legenda, 2006) and has also written on Montaigne, witchcraft, gossip and early modern authorship. She is currently working on forms of excessive speech in the French Renaissance.



Brinda Charry teaches Renaissance literature and postcolonial studies at Keene State College, New Hampshire, USA. Her research and teaching interests are in early modern globalism and cross-cultural encounters, with special emphasis on Anglo-Islamic engagement. An anthology of essays on early modern emissaries from 1500 to 1700, coedited with Gitanjali Shahani, is forthcoming from Ashgate. She is also the author of two published novels, The Hottest Day of the Year (Penguin, 2001) and Naked in the Wind (Penguin, 2007). Peter J. Forshaw’s research interests are in learned magic and its relation to philosophy, science and religion in early modern Europe. He is coeditor of The Word and the World: Biblical Exegesis and Early Modern Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Laus Platonici Philosophi: Marsilio Ficino and His Influence (Brill, 2009), and is preparing a book on the sixteenth-century occult theosopher, Heinrich Khunrath, for Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History. He is currently a research fellow at the Universities of Strathclyde and Cambridge, collaborating with Jonathan Sawday on the Art of Fire Alchemy Project and with Lauren Kassel on the Astrological Casebooks Project. He is webmaster for the Society for Renaissance Studies and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry and contributes to Renaissance-related cultural and intellectual history programmes in the media, in particular BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’. Michael Harrigan holds a maîtrise in lettres modernes from Université Paris IV-Sorbonne-Institut Catholique and a PhD in French from University College, Dublin. His doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Representations of Otherness in the 17th-century récit de voyage to the Orient’, analyzed travel narratives which offer fi rst-hand accounts of the creation of the Oriental. He has taught at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; University College, Dublin; Paris IV-Sorbonne; and the École Polytechnique. His published articles explore the links between curiosité in the cabinets and in travel narratives, French perceptions of conversions to Islam and the mid-seventeenth-century colonization of Madagascar, among others. Other research interests include the confl ict between acculturation and publication in missionary literature, and the question of the inherent transformation of cultural encounter through the transfer to text. Andrew Hiscock is Professor of English at Bangor University, Wales. He edited the MHRA’s 2008 double issue of the Yearbook of English Studies devoted to Tudor literature, and his most recent monograph is The Uses of This World: Thinking Space in Shakespeare, Marlowe, Cary and Jonson (University of Wales Press, 2004). He is series coeditor for Continuum Renaissance Drama and coeditor of the academic journal English published by Oxford University Press for the English Association.



He is currently working on a project linked to discourses of memory in sixteenth-century England. Rob Iliffe is Professor of Intellectual History and History of Science at the University of Sussex. He is Editorial Director of the online Newton Project and has written widely on the history of science and early modern history. He is author of a Very Short Introduction to Newton and editor of Early Biographies of Isaac Newton. A. P. Langman is performance coordinator on the Enlightening Science Project at the Centre for Intellectual History at Sussex University. Prior to this appointment—which sees him recreating eighteenth-century experimental lectures on Newtonian philosophy by John Theophilus Desaguliers, Wilhem ’s Gravesande and others—he could be found lecturing at Goldsmiths College, Sussex University, the Central School of Speech and Drama, and Queen Mary, University of London. He completed his PhD (‘“Beyond, Both the Old World, and the New”: Authority and Knowledge in the Works of Francis Bacon, with Special Reference to the New Atlantis’) in 2006 under the supervision of Graham Rees at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary. He is currently editing a collection of essays entitled Negotiating Jacobean Print Culture for Ashgate and is working on completing the monograph of his thesis. If he had any time left over from all this, he would be working on his next project, Speke, Parrot: Renaissance Birds and the Work of Knowing. A. Wade Razzi is a graduate student at Merton College, Oxford University. His dissertation examines the writings of Robert Crowley during the reign of Edward VI. Other research interests include Shakespeare, late medieval literature, Tudor religious and apocalyptic writing, politics and political writing in sixteenth century England, religion and the print trade in mid-Tudor England. Hugh Roberts is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Exeter. The author of Dogs’ Tales: Representations of Ancient Cynicism in French Renaissance Texts (Rodopi, 2006), he has also published on early seventeenth-century comic writing. He was joint winner of the first annual Malcolm Bowie Prize in 2008 for his article ‘La Tête de Bruscambille et les métaphores mentales au début du XVIIe siècle’ (Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France, 2007). From 2007 to 2009, he was principal investigator of a research network on the notion of obscenity in Renaissance France, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), and he is coeditor of the network’s two major forthcoming publications, namely, a special issue of EMF: Studies in Early Modern France and a coauthored book. He is currently working with Dr Annette Tomarken on a critical edition of the early seventeenth-century French comedian



known as Bruscambille, and has plans for a monograph on nonsense writing in the French Renaissance. Richard Scholar is University Lecturer in French and a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. His main research interests are in the field of early modern European literature and thought, particularly in French. He is the author of The Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi in Early Modern Europe: Encounters with a Certain Something (Oxford, 2005) and is currently completing a book on Montaigne and the art of freethinking. He is the coeditor of Thinking with Shakespeare: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Essays (Legenda, 2007) and Pre-Histories and Afterlives: Studies in Critical Method (Legenda, 2009). Nina Taunton is Senior Lecturer in English at Brunel University. She is coeditor with Darryll Grantley of The Body in Late Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture (Ashgate, 2000) and the author of two monographs: 1590s Drama and Militarism: Portrayals of War in Chapman, Marlowe and Shakespeare’s Henry V (Ashgate, 2001) and Fictions of Old Age in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2007). She has spoken at many international conferences and has published widely in the field of Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies. Her contribution to the Shakespeare Jahrbuch special issue on Eating Culture: Shakespeare’s Food, entitled ‘Food, Time and Age: Falstaff’s Dietaries and Tropes of Nourishment in The Comedy of Errors’, will appear in 2009. Phillip John Usher is Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College (Columbia University). He is the author of a translation of Ronsard’s Franciade (AMS Press) and is currently researching the connections between epic and architecture in the French Renaissance.


A afterlives 44–6, 64 Albaigne, Andre d’ 111, 115, 118 Albumasar 184 Anabaptism 22 Andouët du Cerceau, Jacques I 160 Andreae, Johann Valentinus Christianopolis xiii-xiv Anna of Denmark 103 Aquinas 184 architecture 159–75 Arminius, Jacob 146 astrology xii, 8, 14, 150, 181–92, 198–212 Augustine 129, 216 City of God 11–12, 26 Confessions 92–3

B Bacon, Francis xiii, 8, 14, 48, 61, 90, 104, 134, 142–55, 184, 188, 215–16, 217, 218–19, 222 Abecedarium Novum Naturae 155 Advancement of Learning 145, 150–1, 153 Advertisement Touching an Holy War 87 De Augmentis Scientiarum 149–50, 152–3, 188, 216, 217, 218 A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage of Sir Walter Raleigh 95 Confession of Faith 144–5 Historia Ventorum 151–3 Instauratio magna 148, 151, 153 Meditationes Sacrae 143–4, 146 New Atlantis xiv, 148–51, 154–5, 216, 217, 222 Novum Organum 142, 145–6, 153, 217, 218

Praise of Knowledge 143 Sylva Sylvarum 147–8, 151, 153–4 Temporis Partus Masculus 95 Valerius Terminus 142, 143, 155 Bale, John 22, 23, 37 Beard, Thomas 154 Becon, Thomas 9 Belot, Jean 201 Benjamin, Walter 6 Black Death 21 Bodin, Jean 12, 185 Boyle, Robert 217, 219 Bromyard, John 19 Browne, Sir Thomas Religio Medici 90 Bruscambille 204, 209, 210–11 Bry, Theodore de 100–1 Burckhardt, Jacob 11 Butler, Samuel The Elephant in the Moon 228–9

C Calvin, Jean 80, 143–6, 175, 182 Campanella, Tommaso 8, 13, 181–92, 223, 224 Articuli prophetales 185–6 City of the Sun xiv, 185–8, 190–1 carnival 199, 211–12 Catherine de Medici 165–7, 170 Cave, Terence 6, 40–51 Cecil, Robert Earl of Salisbury 102, 105 chance 8, 147–8, 152, 154–5 Cicero 90 De Officiis 3 De Senectute 126, 127–8, 129 Of Divination 3, 150 Coke, Sir Edward 61 Colomby, François de 207



Copernicus 223 Crowley, Robert 9, 19–37 An Information and Peticion Agaynst the Oppressours 29–31, 32 One and Thyrtye Epigrammes 33 The Opening of the Wordes of the Prophet Joell 24–29, 30, 36 Philargyrie of Greate Britayne36 Pleasure and Payne 34–36 The Voyce of the Laste Trumpet 31–32 Culpeper, Sir Cheney 9–10

D D’Abbeville, Claude 119, 120–2 D’Aubigné, Agrippa 159–75 Les Tragiques 160–72 D’Evreux, Yves 119, 120–2 Daniel, Samuel 97 de la Vega, Josef Penso the Confusion of Confusions xvii death 5, 96, 126–30 decline xii, 188, 215 Della Porta, Giovanni Battista 183 Descartes, René 48 determinism 8, 143–7, 182 Devereux, Robert Earl of Essex 97 Dijksterhuis, Eduard 14 divination 2–3, 75, 148–55, 190 Donne, John 93, 95–6 Anniversaries 95 Dryden, John 4–5 Du Jarric, Pierre 113 Du Plessis-Mornay, Philippe 110, 111 Dudley, John Duke of Northumberland 20, 33–34, 36 Dutch East India Company xvii

E Edward VI 19, 36, 37 Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. 12, 13 Elizabeth I 1, 37, 97, 100–2, 103 experimental philosophy 14–15, 147, 148–55, 215–33

F Fane, Lady Elizabeth 34 Ficino, Marsilio 189 Foxe, John 11, 23, 37, 76, 93 Acts and Monuments 79–87, 96 Frederick II 20, 21

G Galilei, Galileo 186, 223

Gaultier-Garguille 210–11 Georgievicz, Bartholomaeus 75–87 De Turcarum Moribus Epitome 75, 76 Ofspring of the House of Ottomanno 76–79 Giddens, Antony 8 Giorgio, Francesco di 222 Glanvill, Joseph 220–2, 227–9 Godwin, Francis 224 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre 44–5 Gough, Hugh 76–77 Goulart, Simon The Wise Vieillard 127–33 Gournay, Marie de 48 Graunt, John xv Guibbory, Acsah 11 Guicciardini, Francesco 92

H Habermas, Jurgen 7 Hakluyt, Richard 101, 102 Hall, Joseph 93 Hariot, Thomas A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia 100–1 Hartlib, Samuel 10, 219 Haton, Claude 117 Hayward, Sir John Life and Reign of Henry IV 97 Henry VIII 22 Historia magistra vitae x, 11–13 Holinshed, Raphael Chronicles 97, 98 Hölscher, Lucian xv Die Entedeckung der Zukunft ix-xi Hooke, Robert 217–18, 222, 225–7, 229–30 Hooker, John 93, 98 Horace 65 Howell, James 104 Hudde, Johannes xvii Huguenots 110–12, 116–20, 159–75, 208 Hus, John 22 Hyde, Edward Lord Clarendon History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England xiv

J James VI and I 97–8, 103 Joachim of Fiore 22 Johnson, Robert 94

Index Jonson, Ben The Alchemist 228

K Kepler, Johannes 223–4, 225, 229 Kett’s Rebellion 32 King, Gregory xv Knolles, Richard Generall Historie of the Turkes 74 Kosseleck, Reinhart xv, xvii, 5 Vergangene Zukunft ix-xi, xii

L De l’Architecture 165–70, 172–4 La Popelinière, Henri Lancelot Voisin, Sieur de 115, 116 Amiral de France 112 Les Trois Mondes 111, 114, 117 Langland, William 24 Piers Plowman 20, 21, 23 Lasswell, Harold xiv Leibniz, G. W. Discourse on Metaphysics 3–4 Leowitz, Cyprian 184 Léry, Jean de 116, 117–18 Lescarbot, Marc 112, 118 L’Orme, Philibert de 165 De l’Architecture 165–70, 172–4 Luther, Martin xiii, 22, 80

M Machiavelli, Niccolò xvi, 12, 92 The Prince 2 The Discourses 73, 94 Marie de Medici 119 Mary Queen of Scots 1 Massé, Pierre 2–3 Mazarinades 208 McLuhan, Marshall 7 Mercier, Louis-Sébastien x millenarianism 9, 12, 19–37, 85, 160–1, 185–8 Milton, John The Cabinet-Council 104 Paradise Lost 4 Molinet, Jean 203–4 Montagu, Henry Earl of Manchester 4 Montaigne, Michel de 2, 4, 10, 39–51, 95, 104 ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’ 42, 47 ‘Considération sur Cicéron’ 47, 48 ‘De l’affection des pères aux enfants’ 47 ‘De la solitude’ 48


‘De la vanité’ 39–40, 48 ‘De l’institution des enfants’ 49 ‘Des boyteux’ 9 ‘Des coches’ 112 ‘Des mauvais moyens employez à bonne fin’ 115 ‘Des pronostications’ xi, 39 More, Thomas Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation 126–34, 136, 137 Utopia xiv, 187 Morgard, Noël-Léon 205–8 Muntzer, Thomas 22, 29

N new world 10, 12, 47, 73, 93, 94, 96, 100–3, 110–23, 219

O old age 126–37 Oldenburg, Henry 229 Ottoman Empire 73–87 Ovid 11, 21 Fasti 90

P Pascal, Blaise 48, 49 Peasant’s Revolt 21, 29 Perkins, William 150 Petit, Jean 200, 207 Petrarch Letter to Posterity 12 Petty, William xv, 225, 226, 229 Pocock, J. G. A. 7–8 Popkin, Richard 42 posterity xiv, 12, 95, 96, 104–5 Power, Henry 14–15 print 7, 143, 188, 204, 222, xii, 10–11, 20–3, 54–5, 58, 73–87, 150, 159–75, 184–8, 190–2, 198–212 prophecy xii, 20–3, 54–5, 58, 150, 159–75, 184–8, 190–2, 198–212 Purchas, Samuel Purchas his Pilgrimage 86–7 Pyrrhonism 42, 48

Q Quint, David 160

R Rabelais, François 199, 202–3, 208, 211–12 Gargantua 202–3



Pantagrueline Prognostication 199–200, 211 Tiers livre 200 Ralegh, Sir Walter 10, 12 Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Bewtiful Empyre of Guiana 94, 100–2, 105 History of the World 90–100 Judicious and Select Essayes 105 Sir Walter Raleighs Instructions to His Sonne and to Posterity 104 reform, political xiii-xiv, xvi, 20–31, 91, 120, 188, 218–22 Richer, Pierre 116–17 Ronsard, Pierre de 172 Discours des miseres de ce temps 160 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 48 Royal Society 215–30

S Said, Edward 74 Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin 161 Sandys, George 86–7 scepticism 42, 48, 186, 198, 219, 220 Schmitt, Jean-Claude 9 Seneca 48, 49, 90 Seymour, Edward Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of England 20, 32–33, 36 Shadwell, Thomas The Virtuoso 228–9 Shakespeare, William 45 All’s Well that Ends Well 134–6 Hamlet 39 I Henry IV 130–3, 136 II Henry IV 132–4, 136 Macbeth 54 Measure for Measure 1–2

Richard II 97 Sidney, Phillip 6 New Arcadia 68 Old Arcadia 54–69 Slade’s Case 61 Sprat, Thomas 220–1, 227 Stubbe, Henry 227–8

T Tabarin 204, 208–9 Thevet, André 117 Tyndale, William 22, 23

U Urban VIII 188–90 utopias xiv, 7, 148, 154–5, 185–8, 190, 222–30

V Vauban, Marshal xv Vieira, Antonio História do future ix, xii Villegagnon, Nicolas Durand de 116, 117 Vinci, Leonardo da 222

W Wars of Religion 110, 160, 171–2, 199 Weber, Eugene xi Weber, Max The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 2 Wheare, Degory 92 Wilkins, John 217–18, 226, 227, 228, 229 Discovery of a World in the Moone 224–5 Mathematical Magick 225–6 Wren, Christopher 226–7 Wycliffe, John 21, 22, 23–24