Alexandra G. Bennett
Northern Illinois University
Bennett, Alexandra G."'Now let my language speake': The Authorship, Rewriting, and Audience(s) of Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley". Early Modern Literary Studies 11.2 (September, 2005) 3.1-13 <URL: http://purl.oclc.org/emls/11-2/benncav2.htm>.
Winner of the 2006 Literature Online Prize [Note added 8/6/06]
After the deuty of a Verse,
Giue leaue now to rehearse;
A Pastorall; then if but giue
Your smile, I sweare, I liue,
In happiness; ffor if this may
Your fauour haue, ‘twill ne’re decay
Now let my language speake, & say
If you be pleas’d, I haue my pay.
As nature ownes my creation from you, & my selfe my
Education; so deuty inuites mee to dedicate my workes
to you, as the onely Patterne of Judgement, that can
make mee happy, if these fancys may
onceowne sense, they wayte
upon your Lo:pp as the Center if witt, I humbly thanke yr
Lo:pp; & if a distinction of Judgement, God reward your Lop.
For in a word, what I haue of good, is wholly deriued
from you, as the soule of bounty and this booke desires
no other purchas, then a smyle from yo:ur Lopp or a--
word of like, wch will glorifie your creature; That
Your Lo:pps. most obliged
Cha: When once the presence of a freind is gone
Not knoweing when
they’lehee’le come, or stay how long
Then greife doth fill it selfe with a reward
That is when Pastion flowes without regard.
Inn: His absence makes a Chaos sure of mee
And when each one doth looking looke to see
They speakeing say, That I’m not I
Alas doe not name name mee, ffor I desire to dye.
Your lookes are Courage, mixt with such sweetenessAt this point, however, the original poem (struck through in the Yale MS) reads as follows:
Which makes all Creatures iustly to witness
Themselues your Vassalls & noe longer stay
Till you comand,
being resolu’ed to layThe corrected version, which appears in the Yale MS around the struck original and in the Oxford MS in a clean copy, reads:
Their loues & fortunes at your Sacred feete
Soe chearefully your Marters; World may see’t.
and then their Tributes payIt is notable here that the author’s efforts to make the poem more uncritical of the Queen (shifting the focus away from her role as martyr-maker for “all Creatures” and towards a more innocuous extolling of her rather vague “quinticence”) are so radical that they force her to mar the structure and rhyme scheme of the original. This particular shift suggests that Jane’s patience with the vagaries of the Royalist cause may not have been without its limits, at least before a second (cautionary) thought.
Unto your quinticence of natures day
Our honoured name then us obedience call
Soe other name what euer would be thrall.
Upon the right honourable the Lady Jane Caven=
=dish her booke of uerses
Madame at first I scarcely could beleiue
That you soe wittily could tyme deceiue
Or that in garrison your muse durst stay
When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play
Shee knew her modest and most innocent straine
Could with none better then your self remaine
The Issue of your braine I lyke soe well
That whether I shall your other soe yett cannot tell
If both proue lyke soe modest chast and witty
That you should want an equall match ‘twere pitty.
 Jane Cavendish, prefatory letter to A Pastorall, in Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p. 49.
 See Alfred Harbage, Cavalier Drama: An Historical and Critical Supplement to the Study of the Elixabethan and Restoration Stage (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1936), 228.
 For further analyses of the sisters’ generic adaptations, see Alexandra G. Bennett, “Defamiliarizing Nostalgia in the Cavendish Interregnum Pastorall,” In-Between: Essays and Studies in Literary Criticism 11 (2002), pp. 89-106, and Alison Findlay’s chapter “ ‘Upon the World’s Stage’: The Civil War and Interregnum,” in Alison Findlay, Stephanie Hodgson-Wright, and Gweno Williams, Women and Dramatic Production 1550-1700 (Harlow: Longman, 2000), particularly pp. 69-80.
 University of Nottingham Library MS, Portland Collection PwV 25, f.21.
 See Margaret Cavendish, The Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, to Which is Added the True Relation of My Birth, Breeding, and Life by Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, ed. Mark Antony Lower (London, 1872), p. 124. Little information is available about the life of Frances, other than the fact that she remained at Welbeck with her sisters during the war and eventually married Oliver, Earl of Bolingbroke. She does not appear to have been a participant in her elder sisters’ literary endeavours.
 Cavendish 1872, p. 116.
 See Margaret J.M. Ezell, “ ‘To Be Your Daughter In Your Pen’: The Social Functions of Literature in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Brackley and Lady Jane Cavendish,” Huntington Library Quarterly 51 (1988): pp. 281-296; Alison Findlay, “Playing the ‘Scene Self’: Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley’s The Concealed Fancies,” in Enacting Gender on the English Renaissance Stage, ed. Viviana Comensoli and Anne Russell (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1999), pp. 154-176; Alison Findlay, “ ‘She Gave You the Civility of the House’: Household performance in The Concealed Fancies,” in Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594-1998, ed. S.P. Cerasano and Marionn Wynne-Davies (London: Routledge, 1998), pp. 259-271.
 See Marion Wynne-Davies, “ ‘My Fine Delitive Tomb’: Liberating ‘Sisterly’ Voices during the Civil War,” in Female Communities 1600-1800: Literary Visions and Cultural Realities, ed. Rebecca D’Monté and Nicole Pohl (London: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 111-128. Findlay and Milling’s production of The Concealed Fancies was staged at Bretton Hall--see Gweno Williams, “ ‘Why May Not a Lady Write a Good Play?”: Plays by Early Modern women reassessed as performance texts,” in Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594-1998, ed. S.P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (London: Routledge, 1998), p.107 n. 35.
 Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16.
 Dale B.J. Randall, Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995), p. 322 n. 12.
 However, Coolahan omits several corrected words in the text that I provide below.
 The Yale manuscript is held under shelfmark Osborn MS b.233. To avoid confusion, throughout the paper I shall refer to the texts as the Yale and Oxford MSS respectively. I am most grateful to Una Belau and to the staff of the Beinecke Library for their help with, and interest in, my research there.
 Wynne-Davies, “ ‘My Fine Delitive Tomb’,” 2000, pp. 113, 127 n.8.
 Katie Whittaker, among others, has noticed this in the past--see Mad Madge: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Royalist, Writer, & Romantic (London: Vintage 2002), p.370 n.4. Moreover, one of the Oxford MS poems, “The angry curs,” is a specific recrimination of mysterious ill-intentioned people attempting to “haue away/ My Sister Brackley, who’s my true lifes day,” which suggests that Jane may have continued to write these poems herself in response to the people and events around her. See Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p. 25.
 For examples of her seal, see University of Nottingham Portland Collection MSS Pwl.86, 87, 88, 89, and 90; for the three harts’ heads as a Cavendish family symbol, see the hand-drawn family tree and family crests in Portland Collection MS PwV11 f.10. It is worth noting here that Jane’s stepmother, Margaret Cavendish, famously prefaced several of her published works with an engraving of herself crowned with a laurel wreath as a symbol of her own literary accomplishments (see, for instance, Natures Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life, London 1656).
 A.S. Turberville, A History of Welbeck Abbey And Its Owners Vol. I (London: Faber & Faber 1938), p. 91.
 The added poems in Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16 are “The angry Curs” (p. 25), a song beginning “A man and a wife when once they marry” (p. 26), “The discoursiue Ghost” (p. 26), “The speakeing Glass” (p. 42), “Loues Conflict” (p. 43), “On my Worthy Friend Mr. Richard Pypes” (p. 44), “On my Worthy Friend Mr. Haslewood” (p. 44), and “Hopes Still” (p. 45).
 Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, pp. 42, 45.
 Beinecke Library Osborn MS b.233, p. 14.
 The speech prefixes for most of the characters in A Pastorall are unfortunately truncated: these particular names are often guessed to be “Chastity” and “Innocence;” many other possibilities, however, exist for the male characters’ names (“Persistent”? “Persuasion”? “Constant”?) that appear below.
 Beinecke Library Osborn MS b. 233, p. 69.
 Turberville History, 1938, p. 67. It is, I think, important to note that the repeated wish for William to “land” in many of the shared poems does not necessarily refer to getting off of a ship; the verb “to land” also means “to bring into a specified place, e.g. as a stage in or termination of a journey” and “to arrive at a place, a stage in a journey, or the like; to come to a stage in a progression; to end in something” (OED 2, 8).
 Another point that supports the contention that The Concealed Fancies was written after the fall of Welbeck is the mention in “A Prologe to the Stage” prefacing the play that “I did tell the Poett plainely trueth/ It looks like 18. or 22. youth,” which accords with how old Elizabeth and Jane respectively would have been in August of 1644 given their dates of birth (Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p.87). This dating of the Yale and Oxford MSS also counters Whittaker’s assumption that A Pastorall was written around the same time as The Concealed Fancies, “after William arrived in Paris” (Mad Madge, 2002, p.85).
 Beinecke Library Osborn MS b. 233, p. 14.
 Beinecke Library Osborn MS b.233, p. 14.
 See the Gravell Watermarks Database (http://ada.cath.vt.edu:591/DBs/Gravell), record number 33206, for an example of the flag watermark on a letter (now held at the Folger Shakespeare Library) written by Sir Henry Vans to “a foreign prince” and dated January 3, 1639.
 The additional poems take up six pages in the Oxford MS, raising the total number of pages needed to seventy-nine.
 Interestingly, the words “and a Play” on the title page of the Oxford MS are clearly a later addition--in different hand and ink--to the rest of the titular announcement thereon, which raises the possibility that The Concealed Fancies was an unexpected addition to that particular text.
 The suggestion that Egerton might have written the poem was made by Marion Wynne-Davies and Alison Findlay at the Still Kissing the Rod? Conference in July of 2005; I am grateful to them for the idea. For samples of Egerton’s hand, see British Library Add. MS 33936 f.135 (signed as “John Egerton” in 1635) and Add. MS 40132 f.105 (signed as “J Bridgewater” in 1671). Samples of William Cavendish’s signature can be found in British Library Eg. MS 1048 ff. 21, 22, 23.
 The fact that the Oxford MS’s leather binding is stamped with the initials “W.N.,” however, suggests that this particular presentation copy was kept in William of Newcastle’s own library.
 I am most grateful to the anonymous reader of EMLS for noting this point in her or his comments on the original version of this paper.
 See Wynne-Davies, “’My Fine Delitive Tomb,’” 2000, p. 127 n.6.
 The portrait is currently held in a private collection; a colour photograph of it appears in Whittaker’s book.
 See Adam Littleton, A Sermon at the Funeral of the Right Honourable the Lady Jane Eldest Daughter to his Grace William, Duke of Newcastle, And Wife to the Honourable Charles Cheyne, Esq.; at Chelsey. Novem.1. Being All-Saints day. (London, 1669), especially pp. 40-49. Charles Cheyne has no separate monument of his own in Chelsea Old Church, seeming content to lie next to his wife and play a supportive role to her achievements in the carving on the tomb.
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© 2005-, Matthew Steggle (Editor, EMLS).