"The Canon of Sir John Suckling's Poems"

Critic: L. A. Beaurline
Source: Studies in Philology 57, no. 3 (July 1960): 492-518.
Criticism about: John Suckling (1609-1642), also known as: Sir John Suckling

Nationality: British; English

[(essay date 1960) In the following essay, Beaurline addresses authorship issues related to a number of poems ascribed to Suckling.]

No scholar has attempted a systematic study of the authorship of Sir John Suckling's poems, and this is not surprising for the problems are very great. Modern editors frequently admit the confusion and doubt that surround the canons of most seventeenth century lyric poets. Many poets did not publish their work. Borrowing and imitating were common. Early editors and printers were sometimes not qualified to judge the attributions in their books. As many as three or four men were rival claimants for a single poem. Above all, the evidence is quite slight and insubstantial. Compared with other collections in the century, Sir John Suckling's poems are probably in the worst condition. Herrick, Waller, Lovelace, Cowley, Milton and Jonson supervised the printing of most of their work; Donne, Carew, George Herbert, Marvell and Rochester were but newly buried when their writings came out. But poor Suckling had been dead four or five years before Fragmenta Aurea (1646) appeared. And it was thirteen years more before the dubious collection, The Last Remains of Sir John Suckling (1659) was printed. Only a third of the small corpus has so far been found preserved in manuscripts, and there is good reason to doubt the authenticity of many pieces in the collections. Consequently an editor has the nearly impossible task of making bricks out of the tiniest bits of straw. Nevertheless he cannot honestly avoid the job of sifting the available facts and making the best decisions he can. Here I shall make a preliminary examination of those facts--discuss the canon with a little fuller detail than would be possible in a textual introduction, keeping in mind the practical decisions of an editor. These decisions, of course, may be altered, as new evidence is uncovered; hence it must be understood that this is merely a preliminary study of the canon based on the new evidence that I have found.1

Different kinds and amounts of evidence will produce several degree of proof. We shall have to accept as authentic an unchallenged and carefully printed collection of poems when the manuscripts generally unite to support the claims of the book, as Grierson did with the 1633 edition of Donne. Stylistic similarity offers the next degree of proof, better than most manuscript attributions, in spite of the many dangers and abuses of parallel passages. Frequent use of similar thoughts in identical phrases and extensive parallels must be accepted as probable proof of authorship; and conversely, when some unknown copyist says that a poem is by a certain author although it has little in common with that author's other work, we take this as quite weak proof. When stylistic evidence corroborates a seventeenth-century attribution, whether in manuscript or printed text, we have rather strong grounds for inference. When a later seventeenth-century printed text offers new poems of mixed authority, the burden of proof lies on each poem to demonstrate its claims to enter the canon. In the absence of stylistic or other internal evidence, rival claims must create doubt of authority; although sometime the dispute can be settled in favour of the stronger claim, in favour of, for instance, a printed text by a known editor over an unknown manuscript attribution, in favour of an obscure writer over a magnetic name, in favour of a regular attribution at the end of a poem over a fanciful title like "Sir Walter Raleigh on his deathbed." But a later scholar's mere guesses based on an impression of mood or style are worthless.

In his lifetime, Suckling saw published only a handful of poems: commendatory verses to Lord Leppington's translation of Malvezzi's Tarquin and Romulus, second edition, 1638, and to Davenant's Madagascar and Other Poems, 1638; and the songs in Aglaura, 1638, and possibly in The Discontended Colonell [1642]. Not until five years after the author fled to the continent did Fragmenta Aurea, 1646,2 appear, "published by a Friend to perpetuate his memory. Printed by his owne Copies." This book stands as the must valuable source of his work, and all its contents are probably authentic.

An impressive number of facts point to the general authenticity of the poems in this book. Not one of the poems has ever been seriously challenged for its genuineness. On the other hand, many different sources confirm Humphrey Moseley, the publisher, in his assertion that the work is Suckling's: "Why so pale and wan,"3 "No, no, fair Heretick" also appear in Aglaura; "I tell thee Dick where I have been" attributed to Suckling in B. M. MS. Harl. 6917 f. 103v-5; commendatory verses to Lord Leppington and to Davenant attributed to him; "My whining Lover, what needs all" attributed to him in Bodl. MS. Rawl. Poet. 116 f. 55v; "A Session was held the other day," "Wonder not if I stay not here," "My whining Lover, what needs all," "I Prethee spare me, gentle Boy," and "Stay here fond youth and ask no more" are all found among the papers of Suckling's uncle, the first Earl of Middlesex, to whom the poet frequently wrote. (See discussion below.) There are also several extensive parallel passages between poems in Fragmenta and speeches in Aglaura, so extensive that it is highly unlikely that Suckling was borrowing from anyone but himself.

"Against Fruition" II

'Tis petty Jealousies, and little fears,

Hopes joyn'd with doubts, and joyes with April tears,

That crowns our Love with pleasures: these are gone

When once we come to full Fruition.

Like waking in a morning, when all night

Our fancy hath been fed with true delight.

etc. ...

Aglaura I. v. 1-7.

Thinke you it is not then

The little jealousies (my Lord) and feares,

Joy mixt with doubt, and doubt reviv'd with hope

That crownes all love with pleasure? these are lost

When once wee come to full fruition;

Like waking in the morning when all night

Our fancie has beene fed with rare delight.4

etc. ...

"My dearest Rival. ..."

Thou shalt be ravisht at her wit;

And I, that she so governs it:

And in good language them adore:

While I want words, and do it more.

Thus will we do till paler death

Come with a warrant for our breath,

And then whose fate shall be to die

etc. ...

Aglaura IV. iv. 77-83.

Thou shalt be praising of his wit while I

Admire he governes it so well:

And in good language him for these adore,

While I want words to doo't, yet doe it more.

Thus will wee doe, till death it selfe shall us

Divide, and then whose fate 'tshall be to die

etc. ...

Two or three other poems in Fragmenta have a phrase or two repeated in Aglaura, but we need not bother with the weaker evidence when the stronger is so obvious. Finally, it argues a single author that the poems in Fragmenta are remarkably uniform in style, tone, and ideas.

The only thing that makes us doubt the reliability of the bookseller, Humphrey Moseley, is that several of the poems may not have been printed from autograph papers, contrary to the advertisement on the title page. "A Sessions of the Poets" omits a stanza and makes numerous mistakes. A collation of this version with Bodl. MS. Malone 13, the MS. Sackville (Knole) (#46 in packet of Miscellaneous verses in the Dorset Papers), and Hunt. MS. 198 vol. II, pp. 199-201, reveals over fifteen corruptions or errors in the print.5 In "A Ballade. Upon a Wedding" stanzas 14, 15, and 16 are out of order and 16 has the first three and last three lines transposed. The Dialogue, "Upon my Lady Carliles walking in Hampton-Court garden," between T. C. and J. S. contains several passages that are inferior to readings in Bodl. MS. Rawl. Poet. 199 f. 95-6. For instance, the printed version has:

In spite of masks and hoods descry

The parts deni'd unto the eye;

I was undoing all she wore,

while the MS. reads for the first line,

In spite of silkes and lawn descry [.]

But worse yet the print lacks the final stanza, which might have been omitted for reasons of delicacy.


'Troth in her face I could descry

Noe danger, no divinity.

But since the pillars were soe good

On which the lovely fountaine stood,

Being once come soe neere, I thinke

I should have ventur'd hard to drinke.

What ever foole like me had beene

If I'd not done as well as seene?

There to be lost why should I doubt

Where fooles with ease goe in and out [.]

The initials at the end of MS. Rawl. Poet. 199 are "T: C:" and there is a real possibility that Carew had something to do with the poem. One image in the first stanza of the Rawlinson MS. sounds a good deal like Carew: "Such as Arabian gumtrees beare." Fragmenta substitutes for it a simile much more characteristic of Suckling: "Such as bean-blossoms newly out," (used again in Aglaura I. v. 40). A plausible hypothesis is that Suckling and Carew wrote their speeches successively, and then Suckling touched up Carew's part with the bean-blossom image. The effect is similar to the letters that the poets may have exchanged, which were printed in Fragmenta, p. 68. However, there is strong evidence that Suckling wrote the whole poem, since Carew's statements seem nicely calculated for Suckling's rejoinders, and since Suckling appears to have had the last word, according to the Rawlinson MS.

On the whole, the inferiority of the texts of some poems in Fragmenta is not enough in itself to cause us to question their authorship. The absence of rival claims, the numerous external confirmations of authenticity and several strikingly parallel passages must outweigh the inexactness of Moseley's claim to be using the author's copy for all the poems.

Just before the Restoration Moseley rushed into print with a much more suspicious batch of verses, miscellaneous letters, and a fragment of a play purporting to be

THE LAST / REMAINS / OF Sr JOHN SUCKING. / [rule] / Being a Full / COLLECTION / Of all his / POEMS and LETTERS / which have been so long expected, / and never till now Published. WITH / The Licence and Approbation of his / Noble and Dearest / FRIENDS. / [rule] / LONDON: / Printed for Humphrey Moseley at the Prince's / Arms in St. Pauls Churchyard. 1659.

Collation: A8 (Al + a4) B--G8 [G2 missigned F2, A3 unsigned].6

The Thomason copy has the MS note "June" by the date, which probably means that the book was issued separately. But in fact it is most often bound up with the third edition of Fragmenta, "with some New Additionals. 1658." And both volumes were the work of the same printer, Thomas Newcombe, as witnessed by the devices used in both parts of the book. So it looks as if Moseley had a third edition of Fragmenta done in 1658, but before he sold much of it, he decided to come out with some new material, dated 1659, although he actually didn't enter it in the Stationer's Register until June 29, 1660. He must have known that he was going to use new work in the volume when he had the general title page made, else what did he mean by "Additionals"?

The three causes of suspicion about the Remains are the publisher's remarks, the use of initials "J. S." at the end of each poem, and the numerous rival claims for authorship. When, in 1659, people hoped for the return of Charles II, Moseley appeared to be trying to capitalize on the new political interest in Suckling, who was viewed as a kind of martyr for the Stuart cause. In "The Stationer to the Reader" Moseley speaks of the great eagerness with which these new gleanings were looked for.

Among the highest and most refin'd Wits of the Nation, this Gentile and Princely Poet took his generous rise from the Court; where having flourish'd with splendor and reputation, he liv'd only long enough to see the Sun-set of that Majesty from whose auspicious beams he derived his lustre, and with whose declining state his own loyal Fortunes were obscured. But after the several changes of those times, being sequestred from the more serene Contentments of his native Country, He first took care to secure the dearest and choisest of his Papers in the several Cabinets of his Noble and faithful Friends; and among other Testimonies of his worth, these elegant and florid Peeces of his Fancie were preserved in the custody of his truly honorable and vertuous Sister, with whose free permission they were transcribed, and now published exactly according to the Originals.

This might be sufficient to make you acknowledge that these are the real and genuine Works of Sir John Suckling. But if you can yet doubt, let any Judicious soul seriously consider the Freedom of the Fancie, Richness of the Conceipt, proper Expression, with that air and spirit diffus'd through every part, and he will find such a perfect resemblance with what hath been formerly known, that he cannot with modestie doubt them to be his.

I could tell you further, (for I my self am the best witness of it) what a thirst and general enquiry hath been after what I here present you, by all that have either seen, or heard of them. And by that time you have read them, you will believe me, who have (now for many years) annually published the Productions of the best Wits of our own, and Forein Nations.

H. M.

The Dedication is to Lady Southcot, the "honorable and vertuous Sister" who allowed the poems to be transcribed.

... Your Ladiship best knows, that I now bring the Last Remains of your Incomparable Brother. ... And as here are all the World must ever hope for, so here are nothing else but his, not a line but what at first flow'd from him, and will soon approve it self to be too much his to be alter'd or supplied by any other hand; and sure he were a bold man had thoughts to attempt it. ...

Of course, Moseley was quite right in feeling proud of his list of publications, and we should be grateful to him for his services to literature.7 Nevertheless one feels that the publisher doth protest too much. The two prefaces were clearly designed to create confidence in the book; yet the impression that is conveyed, particularly by the first selection above, is less than authoritative. He seems to be saying that he got the papers from Lady Southcot, who said they were Suckling's and perhaps some came from the "Cabinets of his Noble and faithful Friends," but that the publisher himself had his doubts about their authenticity until he read them over. Then he was convinced, on the basis of internal evidence, that they were genuine.

Moseley's self-consciousness about the authorship of The Last Remains is further revealed by the strange use of initials "J. S." after almost every one of the poems. Only "Out Upon it," Sir Toby Matthews' reply, and "Never believe me" omit the initials and "Out Upon it" has "Sir J. S." as a title. The obvious inference is that Moseley copied these poems from some manuscript miscellanies, belonging to Lady Southcot and other noble friends, where the alleged Suckling poems were signed in the fashion usual for such miscellanies--with initials only. Hence they were not autograph papers. A bit of negative evidence on the general title page corroborates the theory of non-authorial papers. Unlike the claim for Fragmenta Aurea, "Printed by his owne Copies," Moseley here says "... Published. With The Licence and Approbation of his Noble and Dearest Friends." If, indeed, the publisher or his advisors had to depend on copies of poems in manuscript miscellanies signed "J. S.," then the whole collection in Last Remains stands in doubt. The fact that a poem is here attributed to Suckling is only a little better claim for him than for such seventeenth century figures as James Smith, James Shirley, John Sadler, John Shank, Jonathon Sidman, Joseph Simons, John Speed, or John Squire. In 1659 Suckling had been dead for about seventeen years, Moseley was working with private transcripts of poems, and he had to depend on initials and internal evidence in deciding what was an authentic work. These facts do not provide a strong basis for accepting Moseley's judgment in the matter.8

Doubt about the book grows apace when more and more poems are found attributed to other writers. Thus far I have examined almost all of the printed miscellanies up to 1700 and have seen all the relevant manuscripts in the British Museum and Bodleian Library, and I find that seven pieces are assigned to other men; and seven is a considerable number from a collection of forty-one.

1. "When, Dearest, I but think of thee" was printed among Owen Felltham's Lusoria 1661, with the note: "This ensuing Copy the late Printer hath been pleased to honour, by mistaking it among those of the most ingenious and too early lost, Sir John Suckling."9 It is found anonymously in B. M. MSS. Harl. 6918 f. 17 and Add. 25,707 f. 103v.

2. "I Prithee send me back my heart," one of the best poems in the book, appears in Henry Lawes' Ayres, and Dialogues ... Third Book, 1658, where it is said to have words by "Dr. Henry Hughes,"10 a poet from whom Lawes got most of the verses in the song-book. Norman Ault, who first discovered this, still believes that internal evidence makes the poem Suckling's. It appears anonymously in Playford's Select Musicall Ayres 1653, Wits Interpreter 1655, Musick's Delight 1666, Wit and Mirth Vol. III, 1707, and Songs Compleat, Vol. V, 1719. And, of course, it is also found in the Lawes autograph MS belonging to the Misses Church of Beaconsfield (B. M. Loan #35, f. 129), B. M. MSS. Harl. 3991 ff. 74v-75, Harl. 3511 f. 2v, and Harl. 3889 f. 27.

3. "If you refuse me once, and think again" was printed in a longer and better version with the Occasional Verses, 1665, of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and is in B. M. MS. Add. 37,157 f. 2v, corrected by Herbert's own hand.

4. "Oh that I were all Soul, that I might prove," is run together with the previous piece, in the Remains, and appears in B. M. MS. Add. 11,811 ff. 32-32v, with the note at the end, "Sr: R: E:." Sir Robert Aytoun is said to be the author in B. M. MS. Add. 10,308 ff. 6v-7.11 B. M. MS. Harl. 6917 ff. 42v-43 reproduces the poem anonymously.

5. "I know your heart cannot so guilty be," which stands right before the two garbled poems (number 3 and 4 above), is said to be by a certain "P. Apsley"12 in Bodl. MS. Malone 13 f. 101. Its title there is "To the Lady Desmond" and it contains several variants that are superior to the version in Remains. B. M. MS. Add. 11,811 f. 42v has a copy of the superior version, anonymous.

6. "I Will not love one minute more I swear" is an attractive bit near the beginning of the Remains. Unfortunately this is disputed by Bodl. MS. Rawl. Poet. 147 f. 158v, where the title reads, "Capt. Tyrell. Of Mrs Winchcombe," and there follows a reply by "Mr Womack."13 Without further evidence either way, this must remain a doubtful poem. B. M. MS. Add. 4968 f. 1 contains this poem anonymously.

7. "My first Love whom all beauties did adorn" has been printed with Carew's Poems, 1640, and appears in two manuscripts attributed to "Walter Poole," B. M. MS. Add. 33,998 f. 73v-74 and a MS once belonging to P. J. Dobell.14 B. M. MS. Egerton 2725 f. 62 assigns the poem to "T. C." in the title and to "W. P." at the end.

The Felltham and Lord Herbert claims appear to be prima facie genuine. I see no compelling internal evidence for authorship of the remaining disputed poems, except for "My first Love whom all beauties did adorn," which will be discussed below. On internal evidence, any one of ten poets could have written them. The conservative rule that ought to apply to all of these remaining disputes is that the less known person is the more likely author; just as in textual criticism, the more difficult reading is probably the correct one. Of course, it is possible for a person of no talents to appropriate the verses of a dead poet and send them to Lady Desmond or Mrs. Winchcombe, but it is more probable that the verses of the imitator will cluster around a more magnetic name. Even Lord Herbert and Felltham were less notorious than Suckling, the gambler, vaunter, wit, courtier, and martyr. A parallel case is the attribution of Sir John Roe's poems to Donne.

Thus the above evidence leads us to accept Suckling's authorship of poems in Fragmenta Aurea, 1646, but to doubt it in The Last Remains. The questionable tone of Moseley's prefaces, the unknown sources of his information and the seven rival claims cause the entire contents of the book to be in doubt. In these circumstances, each poem must present some positive evidence of genuineness before it can be admitted to the canon. The problem then becomes one of identifying the authentic pieces in the Remains largely by comparing their style and content with known works. This process is highly dangerous, especially for a period like Suckling's, for there were too many poets living who were capable of writing in various modes. Carew, Herrick, Randolph, Strode, Waller, Cartwright, and King--all could imitate metaphysical verse or could be sons of Ben, all could be platonic in love or libertine. They could write for or against any topic that was supplied them, as they were educated to do. The same applies to Suckling, who writes for fruition and against fruition, for absence and against absence, who makes his ladies in Aglaura, platonics and his men libertines; he can praise Davenant for imitating Donne, the great lord of wit, and yet censure Carew for a "hard bound" muse, for not being "easie and free," and censure Sidney Godolphin for writing "so strong." Nevertheless there are some characteristics common to most of the poems in Fragmenta Aurea. Suckling does generally eschew the metaphysical way, the strong lines, hyperbole, catachresis, the extended conceit and the technical vocabulary. Nor does he seem to show the mass of classical references, the craftmanship, the clarity, unity and symmetry of Jonson and Herrick. His best verse shows "Natural, easie Suckling"; it is a combination of colloquial language and metrical regularity; he is the polished gentleman of ease, a courtier, a virtuoso, a flamboyant lover, singer of songs and ballads. As Dryden said (An Essay of Dramatick Poesie) there is "nothing so courtly writ, or which expresses so much the Conversation of a Gentleman, as Sir John Suckling." But one concrete fact might provide more of a test of authorship than these generalizations: that Sucking had only a small stock of words, phrases, and images, which he used repeatedly. Comparisons of love and deer hunting or eating a feast or besieging a city are frequent; hope, fear, expectation and joy are the ideas with which he builds many love poems. We have already seen that when he wrote Aglaura, he ransacked his lyric verse for use in witty dialogue. Hence style and content can help us to identify authentic works, and parallel passages, if they are truly parallel, are valuable evidence.

What positive evidence do we have for admitting any poem in the Remains to the canon?

1. "Out Upon it" has a good claim on the strength of its title "Sir J. S." which is more explicit in the first printing of the piece in Wit and Drollery, 1656 (2nd ed. 1661; not in 3d ed. 1682), "A Song by Sir John Suckling" (superior version). In the same book the answer is, no doubt, erroneously said to be "by the same Author" instead of Sir Toby Matthews. Internal evidence offers slight confirmation of Suckling's authorship because of the echo of Orsames's remarks in Aglaura II, ii, 3-8.

this is the first she

I ever swore to heartily, and (by those eyes)

I thinke I had continued unperjur'd a whole moneth,

(And that's faire you'll say.) ...

Had she not run mad betwixt.

2. "Ye juster Powers of Love and Fate" was used extensively in Aglaura IV, v, 63-9, and must predate the play, for rime words are carried over into the blank verse. The closest lines are:


Ye juster Powers of Love and Fate ...

It is but just, and Love needs must

Confess it is his part,

When he doth spie

One wounded lie,

To pierce the others heart.

But yet if he so cruel be

To have one breast to hate,

If I must live

And thus survive,

How far more cruel's Fate?


Yee mightie Powers of Love and Fate, where is

Your Justice here? It is thy part (fond Boy)

When thou do'st finde one wounded heart, to make

The other so, but if thy Tyranny

Be such, that thou wilt leave one breast to hate,

If we must live, and this survive,

How much more cruell's Fate?

3. "Alas it is too late! I can no more" has a definite connection with Aglaura's speech to the King (IV, iv, 95-99), but which is the first cannot be surely said.


I am no Monster sure, I cannot show

Two hearts; one I already ow: ...

Oh no, 'tis equally impossible that I

Should love again, or you love Perjury.


I am no monster, never had two hearts;

One is by holy vowes another now, ...

For 'tis alike impossible for mee,

To love againe, as you love Perjurie.

4. "If thou bee'st Ice, I do admire," entitled "The Miracle," has a distant relation to some speeches in Aglaura IV, v, 25-34.


Or how thy fire could kindle me,

Thou being Ice, and not melt thee; ...

Wonder of Love, that canst fulfill,

Inverting nature thus, thy will;


Such fires as these still kindle ...

In such a cold, and frozen place, as is

Thy breast? how should they kindle to themselves Semanthe?

Thou art thy selfe the greatest miracle,

... thy crueltie (next to thy selfe,)

Above all things on earth takes up my wonder.

I see a parallel here of the very close relation in both contexts of the words fire, kindle, miracle, and wonder.

5. "Hast thou seen the Down in the air," appears twice in the Remains, in the poems and in the fragment The Sad One. They are slightly different versions, so Moseley must have found the poem attributed to Suckling in two different places.

6. "Never believe me if I love" has two parallels with pieces in Fragmenta.


When I am hungry I do eat,

And cut no fingers 'stead of meat;

Nor with much gazing on her face

Do ere rise hungry from the place:

And when tis nam'd anothers health,

I never make it hers by stealth:

"Honest Lover whosoever"

If when thy stomack calls to eat,

Thou cutt'st not fingers 'steed of meat,

And with much gazing on her face

Dost not rise hungry from the place, ...

"A Ballade. etc ..."

And when 'twas nam'd anothers health,

Perhaps he made it hers by stealth.

7. "What no more favors" is attributed to "Sr J: Suckling" Harl. MS. 6917 f. 39-39v.

There are five other poems in the Remains that have some slight evidence for their genuineness, but we cannot be sure of them. Most of the evidence is weak and circumstantial.

1. "And is the Water come?" may be Suckling's not only because of his close connection with the Earl of Middlesex, Lionel Cranfield, whose water-works the poem refers to; but also because it contains a proverbial line that is echoed in "To his Rival."

For Love will creep where well it cannot go.

Now we have taught our Love to know

That it must creep where't cannot go. ...15

2. "I Must confess, when I did part from you" also contains a proverb-like line that is repeated in Aglaura III, ii, 99.16

Poem: "... great griefs are always dumb"

Play: "For great grief's deafe as well as it is dumbe"

3. "Yeeld all, my Love; but be withall as coy" has a general similarity in idea to the two poems "Against Fruition" and to the arguments of the Platonic ladies in Aglaura--that the difficulties and rareness of love-making enhance its value. And the expression of the idea in the form of a siege metaphor is quite reminiscent of "Tis now since I sate down before" and Thersames' addresses to Aglaura (I, vi, 19-25).

4. "Wonder not much, if thus amaz'd I look" has two verbal parallels, neither of which is very convincing. The first two words recall the opening of "Wonder not if I stay not here," although Carew has a poem that begins with the same two words, "Wonder not though I am blind." Another parallel, "I have been Planet-strook" and "how now Planet strooke?" (Aglaura IV, iii, 58), is a less common expression.

5. "My first Love whom all beauties did adorn," which we saw above was attributed to both Carew and Walter Poole, has some possible connection with Suckling. It is either Suckling's work or a very close imitation of him.

a) "Each wanton eye can kindle my desire" is quite close to "Each wanton eye Enflam'd before" in "Farewell to Love."

b) This for her shape I love, that for her face,

This for her gesture, or some other grace:

"Upon Two Sisters"

This lip, this hand, this foot, this eye, this face,

The others body, gesture, or her grace:

c) The loss in love compared to a merchant's loss is repeated in Aglaura IV, iv, 59-64.

Thus we have positive arguments of some sort for at least twelve Suckling poems in the Remains, seven strong ones and five weaker ones, and good reason to reject six other poems, (the seventh, "My first Love" may be kept as a doubtful work on the strength of the positive evidence.) That leaves twenty-four items unaccounted for.17 In the absence of any argument, we must consider the remaining twenty-four as doubtful poems. Probably some of them are genuine and some are not. Some are, no doubt, early works. Few are of much literary value, so we need not be hasty in giving them to a dead poet who cannot defend himself.


Between 1659 and 1850 no generally known addition to the canon appeared. Recently A[lexander] D[yce?], W. C. Hazlitt, Norman Ault, and R. G. Howarth have set forth some new candidates. Their method has been to pick up anything in older books or manuscripts that has Suckling's name attached to it.

A[lexander] D[yce?] was the first scholar to add to the corpus of Sucking's works.18 He said he found a poem in a little quarto manuscript of the time of Charles I, headed Sir John Suckling's Verses. It was the well-known poem "I am confirm'd a woman can." W. C. Hazlitt reprinted it in 1874 and all editors since have accepted it without question. Mr. Howarth inadvertently added, "Printed in Henry Lawes' Musical Airs and Dialogues, 1653." In fact it was printed a number of times in the seventeenth century, but not in Lawes' volume. Perhaps Howarth was thinking of Playford's Select Musicall Ayres, and Dialogues, 1652, 1653, and 1659, and in Musick's Delight, 1666. The first printing of the poem was in The Academy of Complements, 1646 (1650, 1662 and 1670).19 Windsor Drollery, 1672, B. M. MS. Harl. 3991 f. 35, and B. M. MS. Harl. 6396 f. 14 supply substantially the same version. Another, better version is found in Playford's volumes and can be traced back to the autograph MS of Henry Lawes, B. M. MS. Loan 35.20 Something very close to Lawes' text reappears in Wits Interpreter 1655, 1662, and 1671. None of these old texts attributes the poem to Suckling and none is exactly the same as Dyce's text, but the poorer version is closer. Fortunately the Folger Library has the very MS that Dyce must have used, a small quarto, MS. 452.4 f. 23v. The wording is identical, except for line 5, Dyce has find for finds; line 6, Dyce has She's where the MS reads she; and line 9, Dyce has fairsome for faireone. The title is "Sr John Suckling verses" in a later style of handwriting than the body of the poem. Apparently some reader thought the piece sounded like Suckling. The lines explaining the lover's taste in women,

The black, the browne, the faire shall be

But Objects of varietye.21

do have an authoritative air about them, for similar sentiments appear in "There never yet was woman made" and "I Prethee spare me, gentle Boy." The difficulty is that the majority of Suckling's contemporaries had very similar ideas. Hence, "I am confirm'd a woman can" is not an unquestionable addition to the canon.

W. C. Hazlitt first printed the amateurish ballad "Cantilena Politica-jocunda facta post Principis discensum in Hispanian, 1623" ("I came from England into France") among Suckling's Poems and Plays 1874, with the footnote

Now printed from Harl. MS., 367, where it is anonymous, but in the handwriting of the late Sir Henry Ellis is attributed to Suckling. There is little doubt that it is his. If so, it was a very early production, even if (which is probable) it was not written quite so early as 1623. On the back is the endorsement: Cantilena de Gallico itinere, 1623.

In addition to seven errors in transcription, including the title, and the fact that there are better versions of the poem in B. M. MS. Add. 10,309 ff. 101-3 and Eg. 2725 ff. 35v-37v,22 Hazlitt made his great mistake in not asking where Sir Henry Ellis learned that this was Suckling's poem. The answer is that Ellis probably learned it form one of the printed miscellanies entitled Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1682, 1684, 1699, and 1707-9. In the 1682 and 1684 editions the poem is headed "Dr. Corbets Journy into France." The 1699 and 1707 printings entitled it, "John Dory, made upon his expedition into France," and the next page has "A Second part of John Dory, to the same Tune. Upon Sir John S------Expedition into Scotland, 1639." The second poem is the scurrilous "Sir John got him an ambling nag." It is very possible that Ellis saw the name of Suckling thus associated with "I came from England into France," and he then made the identification erroneously, when he saw the poem in MS. Harl. 367. Folly in Print (1667) also associates the name of Suckling with the old ballad in the title "Three Merry Boyes of Kent. To the Tune of an old song, beginning thus I rode from England into France. Or to the Tune of Sir John Sucklings Ballad."

The truth is that as early as 1876 J. W. Ebsworth in his reprint of Merry Drollery 1661 cited John Aubrey's statement that Thomas Goodwyn wrote the poem (although Ebsworth believed that it belonged to Richard Corbett). And Aubrey is very positive on the point, saying,

The Journey into France, crept into bishop Corbet's poems, was made by him, by the same token it made him to misse of the preferment of ... at court, Mary the queen-mother remembering how he had abused her brother, the king of France; which made him to accept of the place at Ludlowe, out of the view of the world. ... The Journey into France was made by Mr. Thomas Goodwyn of Ludlowe, ... ; certaine.23

Fortunately Mr. Howarth does not include this poem in his edition of Suckling, in Minor Poets of the Seventeenth Century, (1931, rev. 1953).

The same book, Wit and Mirth 1699, is probably responsible for another blunder in assigning the much recopied doggerel that begins, "Down came grave ancient Sir John Crooke" to Suckling. It is a tiresome production often entitled "On a Fart in the Parliament-House" that appears in twelve manuscript versions in the British Museum alone, and also in Wits Recreations 1640, Musarum Deliciae 1655, the various editions of Wit and Mirth, and A Cabinet of Choice Jewels, 1688. The old Sloan MSS Catalogue gives the poem to Suckling, apparently on the weight of the heading in that same 1699 edition of Wit and Mirth, (p. 346), "by Sir John Sucklin"; for in none of the other transcriptions of the work is an author given.

I cannot prove who did write "On a Fart in the Parliament-House," but I can easily show that Suckling could not possibly have done the deed. He was only one year old when it was completed, for almost all of the participants in the poem sat in Parliament in 1610. It may have been composed even before 1610, for by that date it was a notorious piece.24 In The Alchemist (1610) Sir Epicure Mammon, that pillar of sensibility, says that he will have as his poet

The same that writ so subtly of the fart,

Whom I will entertaine, still, for that subject.25

There is a distant possibility that Suckling's father, also named Sir John, was the author, for he coneributed a few lines to Coryats Crudities. But my guess is that he was just as innocent of it as his son.

"Sir John Sucklinges Answer" to "Upon John Sucklings hundred horse" is a more difficult problem. All editors since Hazlitt have included it among his works, without question. It appears in Bodl. MSS. Ash. 36, 37 f. 53v-54 (where Hazlitt found it), and f. 130, Tanner 465 f. 90, B. M. MSS. Harl. 6383 f. 70, Harl. 6917 f. 57-58, Harl. 3991 f. 55-6, Eg. 923 f. 74-5, and in Wit and Drollery 1656, and Le Prince d'Amour, or The Prince of Love 1660. Professor Ebsworth in 1876 was the first one who ever doubted the authorship, when he said that it "has a smack of Cleveland about it (it certainly is not Suckling's) ..."26 We wish that we could be as certain, but at least the probabilities are against Suckling's authorship. First, both the satire and the answer were obviously written before the engagement at Berwick, May 1639, because they look forward to the war, now known as the first Bishops' War. If they had been written after the rout of the English forces, they would have undoubtedly mentioned the particularly ignoble role that Suckling's horse played; they would have been more like "Sir John got him an ambling nag" (MS. Harl. 3991 f. 44-5, Musarum Deliciae 1655, The Second Book of the Pleasant Musical Companion 1686, and Wit and Mirth 1699, 1707-9). At a moment before the big march northward, we would expect the poet-soldier to be too busy to bother with some silly lampoon.27 But if we reject the poem from the canon, the rejection must be on a firmer basis; internal evidence is all that remains. It is enlightening to compare the versification of this piece with the use of the same stanza in "A Ballade. Upon a Wedding." The genuine Suckling poem is colloquial, flexible, full of interrupters, easy. Lines such as

Passion oh me! how I run on!

There's that that would be thought upon,

(I trow) besides the Bride.

are beyond the powers of the author of "I tell thee, Jack ..." The crudity of

But now I am John for the King

You say I am but a poor Suckling ...

is certainly more characteristic of Cleveland than Suckling. Therefore I believe that this poem belongs in the category of rejected poems.

The most recent addition to the canon are the twelve lines "On King Richard the third supposed to be buried under the bridge at Lycester," beginning "What means this watry Canopy." R. G. Howarth found them in B. M. MS. Harl. 6917 f. 50v and MS. Add. 11,811 ff. 2v-3; in the latter they are attributed to Suckling, by the same hand as the body of the poem. This poem hardly fits anything else we know about Suckling. He seldom uses periphrasis like "streaming vapours" for water and "scaly frye" for fish; none of the imagery reflects a thing in any other authentic work.

Norman Ault recently discovered a poem supposed to be by Suckling in The Grove 1721 (reissued 1732 with Theobald's name as editor), "To Celia, an Ode" beginning "Youth and beauty now are thine." It is a slight little thing that has some claim of authorship, for it might fit nicely into one of the plays by Suckling. Perhaps it is the lost song that Orsames sang in Suckling's most famous play, Aglaura.28 Of course, there is no character named Celia in the play. But the most important questions are where did Theobald get these poems? Do the other poems in The Grove rightfully belong to the older writers to whom they have been assigned? The Donne poem is said to have been found in an old manuscript of Sir John Cotton of Stratton in Huntingdonshire. It begins "Absence, hear my Protestation," and was printed five times in the seventeenth century, 1602, 1603, 1611, and 1621, in Francis Davison's A Poetical Rapsody, and in Wit Restored 1658. Grierson notes that it appears also in several manuscripts and is probably by John Hoskins. The Cowley poem, a Latin epitaph on himself, had previously been printed in the numerous editions of his Works 1668. The Dryden piece "Farewell, too, little, and too lately known" had, of course, been printed before in Remains of Mr. John Oldham 1684. Thus Theobald's claim that he is presenting these authentic works for the first time appears to be less than the truth. And in the absence of internal evidence, we cannot accept Theobald as a reliable witness.


The previous discussion has shown that all of the attributions to Suckling since the Last Remains are either erroneous or at least questionable. Only "I am confirm'd a woman can" has the apparent stylistic quality of the poet; only the Richard the Third poem can present evidence of a mid-seventeenth century identification of the author. None of the additional poems has an unshakable claim to be admitted to the canon. Yet the surprising fact is that some undoubtedly genuine, unpublished verses have been kept in a large and fairly wellknown collection of manuscripts, the Sackville (Knole) MSS. They are clearly juvenilia, with a few sparks of promise, on pious subjects. They are in a rather pretty professional hand-writing, largely Italian in character, with many flourishes, and are inscribed "J. Sucklyn Esq." Thus they must date from before 1630, when he was knighted; and they could not be his father's poems, for the elder Suckling was knighted in 1616 on January 22, and an allusion in the second poem is to "smooth fac'd Buckingham, ... Favourite heere." The earliest association of the name Buckingham with George Villiers was in 1617 when he became Earl of Buckingham. Buckingham died in 1628, so the pieces probably are earlier still. It is also quite easy to account for the presence of these poems among the Sackville MSS, for most of the documents of the early 17th century are those belonging to the first Earl of Middlesex, Suckling's uncle, and father of Frances Cranfield who married Richard Sackville, the fifth Earl of Dorset. Frances was the eventual heir of her father and thus the old Earl's papers came into the Sackville family's hands. Suckling was very close to Lionel Cranfield, the first Earl of Middlesex, and seems to have been in regular correspondence with him.29 Other known Suckling poems, published in Fragmenta Aurea, are extant in the Sackville MSS. Several of them came through Cranfield's hands too, for they have his writing on the back. Hence there would be little difficulty in juvenile pieces getting into Cranfield's hands too.

Below is a transcription of the two pieces, with abbreviations expanded, and long s, u, ff and v modernized.30

[f. 1] That Heaven should visitt Earth and come to see

Poore wreched Man, rich but in Miserie

That Hee whom all the Heavens could not contayne

Should in a Virgin-wombe soe long remayne,

Is such a wonder and soe great! that heere

Our Faith not Reason must us steere.

But that the God of life, should come to dy

And dye for us, O there's the howe, and why!

Each Man is Thomas heere, and faine would see

Something to helpe his Infidellitie,

But I beleive; Lord helpe my faithlesse mynd

And with sainct Thomas lett mee Pardon find.

"A Dreame."

[f. 2] Scarce had I slept my wonted rownd

But that meethoughts I heard the last Trompe sownd:

And in a Moment Earth's faire Frame did passe,

The Heav'ns did melt, and all confus'on was.

My thoughts straight gave mee, Earth's great daie was come,

And that I was nowe to receive my doome.

'Twixt Hope and Feare, whil'st I thus trembling stood

Feareing the Bad, and yet expecting Good:

Summon'd I was, to showe howe I had spent,

That span-long tyme which God on earth mee lent.

Cold Feares possest mee; for I knewe noe lyes

(Though guilded o're) could blynd th'Eternall's Eyes.

Besides my Bosome frend my Conscience mee accus'd,

That I too much this little Tyme abus'd,

And nowe noe summes of gould, noe bribes (alasse)

Could mee repreive, Sentence must straight waie passe.

Great Frends could nothing doe, noe lustful Peere

Noe smooth-fac'd Buckingham, was Favourite heere.

Theis helpes were vaine; what could I then saie more,

I had done ill, and death lay at the dore.

But yet meethoughts it was too much to dy

To die a while, much lesse eternally:

And therefore streight I did my Sinnes unmaske

And in Christ's name, a Pardon there did aske

Which God then granted; And god grant hee may

Make this my dreame proove true 'ith' latter day.

The first poem gives us an early glimpse of the skeptic who wrote An Account of Religion by Reason and ended with an appeal to faith in things that are beyond human understanding, the Suckling who makes a display of daring, but is really quite conventional. The second poem is a little more like the later Suckling in manner, with the usual trembling "'Twixt Hope and Feare" and in the more mannered couplets 11-12, and 17-18. Two of the lines are close parallels with lines in The Sad One, the undoubtedly authentic fragment of a play printed in the Remains, Act IV, sc. iii.

Those were the golden times of Innocence,

There were no Kings then, nor no lustful Peers,

No smooth-fac'd Favorites, nor no Cuckolds sure.

(italics mine)

The existence of these two early poems makes one wonder about other early work by Suckling. Are there any pieces in Fragmenta or the Remains that can be dated with any precision, so as to distinguish between juvenile and mature poems? The only poem in Fragmenta that can be proved to have been written before 1630 is "Love, Reason and Hate," which is found in a MS miscellany, B. M. Add. 29,492 f. 42v, between poems dated 1625 and 1626; and all the dated poems in the volume were copied in chronological order. No poem in the book bears a date later than 1630.31 Stylistically, the verses are less characteristic of Suckling as seen in Fragmenta, more like the abstract, hyperbolical, juvenile poems from the Sackville MSS.

In another way we can recognize several uncharacteristic poems in the Remains, for instance, the three parallel ones, "I Am a Barber, and I'de have you know," "I am a man of war and might," and "A Pedlar I am, that take great care." They are rather crude metrically and have none of the wit or phraseology found in Fragmenta. If they are Suckling's, they belong to an earlier period, along with "Love, Reason and Hate" because an allusion in "I Am a Barber" refers to

... great Swedens force,

Of Witel, and the Bourse, and what 'twill cost

To get that back which was this Summer lost.

In 1631 Suckling joined Sir Henry Vane's embassy to Gustavus Adolphus, as shown by some very interesting unpublished letters in the Sackville (Knole) MSS, and the great Swede died in 1632. In the same catagory would go the labored metaphysical piece "Upon Sir John Laurence's bringing Water over the hills to my L. Middlesex his House at Witten," which must have been written about September 2-10, 1630, when the Earl installed some water works.32

On the other hand, the known dates of the mature poems in Fragmenta all fall in 1637 or later. "A Ballade. Upon a Wedding" is found in B. M. MS. Harl. 6917 f. 103v-5, with the title "On the Marriage of the Lord Lovelace." John, 2nd Baron Lovelace, married Lady Anne Wentworth on 11 July, 1638, at St. Giles in the Fields.33 "A Sessions of the Poets," which P. H. Gray dates in the summer of 1637,34 is found in the Sackville (Knole) MSS, Dorset Papers, with an endorsement by Lionel Cranfield, Suckling's uncle, "Rymes / Of so&mmacr; (?) Poetts / Of so&mmacr; (?) Wittes / About London / Septembr 1637." The verses to Lord Leppington's Malvezzi and Davenant's Madagascar belong to 1638. The other known dates are the 1640 New Year poem to King Charles and the dialogue "Upon my Lord Brohalls Wedding," 1641. Other mature literary activity appears to fall in the years 1637-41, The Sad One c. 1637, Aglaura 1637, Brennoralt 1639-41, The Goblins 1637-41,35 "To Mr. Henry German, in the beginning of Parliament, 1640," and An Account of Religion by Reason written in 1637, as Davenant told Aubrey.36 Aside from letters, the only mature literary work that appears to belong to a year earlier than 1637 is "Why so pale and wan fond Lover?," for when Orsames finishes the song in Aglaura, he says that it was a little advice that he gave a friend "foure or five yeares agoe." This may be Suckling's way of apologizing for using an older piece of his verse.37

In general, the facts suggest that the less characteristic verse in Fragmenta and the Remains is earlier writing, if it is Suckling's work at all. The mature verse belongs to the later 1630's and early 40's.

A more interesting poem in the Sackville collection is one that would come from Suckling's mature period. It is in the same hand on the same sheets of paper as a group of poems in Fragmenta Aurea 1646, sewn together in a quarto size booklet; f. 1 and 1v have "My whineing lover! what needs all," f. 2 "I pray thee spare me gentle Boy," ff. 2v-3 "Stay here fond youth and aske no more," f. 3 "Pedlar in love, that with the common Art," f. 3v blank, f. 4 "Wonder not if I stay not here." The new poem in the booklet is the one on f. 3.38

Pedlar in love, that with the common Art

Of traffiquers dost fly from Mart to Mart

Thinking thy passions (false as their false ware)

Will, if not here, vent in another fare.

As if thy subtle threatning to remove

From hence would raise the price of thy poore love.

Thou know'st the deere being shot, the hunter may

Securely trust him, though he run away.

For fleeing with his Wound, the arrow more

Doth gal and vexe him then it did before.

Absence from her you love, that love being true,

Is but a thin cloud t'wixt the Sun and you,

Takes not the too-strong objict from your Eye

But makes you fit and abler to descry.

Then know (my loving smal Philosopher)

You vainely take the Paynes to fly from her

On whom in absence you doe ever thinke

For thats akind of seeing when you winke.

This piece was printed among The Works of Sir William Davenant 1673, "Consisting of Those which were formerly Printed, and Those which he design'd for the Press: Now Published out of the Authors Originall Copies." It is in the section of new poems. The dedication of the book is signed by "Mary D'Avenant." What makes one wonder if Davenant was the author is the fact that the printed version is inferior to the MS, particularly in lines 12-15, which read:

Is a thin Cloud between the Sun and you;

It does not take the object from your Eye

But rather makes you abler to descry

Then know my wandring weake Philosopher ...

The title in Davenant's volume is "To Mr, W[at] M.[ontague?] Against Absence." Another poem, "Wonder not if I stay not here," which follows in the Sackville MS has a parallel title in Fragmenta Aurea, "To Mr. Davenant for Absense." The imagery of "Pedlar in love" and "Wonder not" is parallel too: note the wounded deer and the eye beams images. Either Sucking wrote the two copies of verses as an exercise, or, more likely, Davenant wrote the first poem and Suckling replied with the second. What keeps one in doubt of Davenant's authorship is the total lack of other poems of the same type in Davenant's work.

Another hitherto unnoticed lyric might be considered as a doubtful poem of Suckling's. It is found in B. M. MS. Harl. 3991 f. 83, which contains a number of songs from plays, mostly Restoration plays or adaptations. The title says, "In Brennoralt," Suckling's tragedy published c. 1642, but there is no evidence of a lost song in the printed text. However on several occasions the gay cavaliers could easily have added another song to their list. Nevertheless I believe that the piece was probably written for a revival, as we know of several performances after 1660.39 I print the modest effort here hoping that someone will recognize the author.

Thy Love is Chast shee tells thee so

But how young Soldier shalt thou know

Doe by her

as by thy Sword

take no friends word

but try her

t'will raise her honor one step higher

Fame has her tryall at Love's bar

Deify'd Venus from a Star

shoots her lustre

she had never bin Goddess't

If Mars had bin modest

try and trust her.


In summary, this paper has discussed the major problems of authorship of Suckling's poems. Fragmenta Aurea is the unimpeached authority, while The Last Remains is deeply suspect in at least six cases. Several other pieces have been recognized as relatively early works, while seven poems in Remains are considered authentic. All other additions to the canon are either spurious or doubtful. Two juvenile efforts are here suggested. These results lead to several significant inferences: 1) Previous work on the canon has been very casual. 2) We need a scholarly edition of the poems. 3) Many of the poorer poems hitherto attributed to Suckling are spurious or doubtful. 4) Two good poems "When dearest, I but think on thee" and "I Prithee send me back my heart" probably must be dropped from the canon. 5) A great deal more work needs to be done before we can establish the canon of the poems.


1I am indebted to the generosity of Mr. T. S. Clayton of Yale for his suggestions and numerous corrections concerning this paper. But, of course, I accept all responsibility for any errors.

2Reprinted 1648, 1658. Having fled in the spring of 1641, he probably never authorized The Discontented Colonell.

3"Why so pale and wan" is also attributed to Suckling in B. M. MSS. Eg. 923 f. 85v and Add. 47,111 f. 37 (Sr J. S.), but both of these appear to have been copies from one of the printed versions.

4Line 7 is corrected by a reading from B. M. MS. Royal 18 C xxv.

5The Huntington Library MS was first reported on by P. H. Gray, Suckling's A Sessions of the Poets as a Ballad," SP, XXXVI (1939) 63. Mr. Clayton reports that it is textually similar to the Malone MS.

6Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, ed. W. A. Jackson (1940) and W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama vol. III (1957) and Mr. T. S. Clayton report a number of copies in which the "a4" gathering has been split up and inserted at appropriate places in the book.

7See J. C. Reed, "Humphrey Moseley, Publisher," Oxford Bibliographical Society, II (1928), 57-142.

8It might be objected that many of the undoubtedly authentic letters in Fragmenta and Remains are subscribed with only the initials J. S., and therefore the initials on the poems prove nothing at all and do not suggest a selection from miscellanies. I think that my argument holds because there is a great difference between signing at the end of a letter and at the end of a poem. Such initials are not regular in the printing of seventeenth century poets, except when there are several author's poems brought together in commendatory verses or in miscellanies. They are pointless in a volume presumably by only one writer; hence their presence requires an explanation. Manuscript collections by one writer do not normally have initials, but MS miscellanies frequently do.

9Discovered by Norman Ault, Seventeenth Century Lyrics (1927) note to p. 307.

10Henry Hughes, son of Andrew Hughes of Wilsborough, Kent, matriculated at St. John's College, Oxford, 14 February, [1618?] took a B. A. 1622-3. (J. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses). He became a medical doctor later and ran off to Holland in 1642. (W. M. Evans, Henry Lawes, 1941, p. 222). B. M. MS. Add. 29,386 f. 67v also attributes the song to Hughes, but it is a copy made from Lawes' "3d Book of Airs." Mr. Clayton informs me that Bodl. MS. Rawl. Poet. 16 p. 16 attributes this poem to "Lady Alice Egerton."

11Sir Robert Aytoun (Aiton, Ayton) was private secretary to Queen Henrietta Maria and wrote some verses that appear in Henry Lawes' Treasury of Music and in the Lawes MS. His poems have been edited by Charles Roger in 1844 (revised 1871), chiefly from MS. Add. 10,308, a collection made by a relative of the poet.

12Peter Apsley, brother of Sir Allen Apsley, falconer to Charles II, matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1621, aged 15, took a B. A. in 1622-3, (Foster). He was imprisoned for challenging the Earl of Northumberland then in attendance upon the King, in 1633; petitioned for release in 1634, and was a Captain in Lord Goring's regiment in 1639, (Cal. S. P. D. June 9, 1633, January 31, 1633-4, July 1634, May 9, 1639).

13A certain Captain Tyrrel (Tirrell) is mentioned as a leader of a troup of horse near Aylsbury and Abington on June 3, August 3, and December 31, 1644, (Cal. S. P. D.).

14See C. L. Powell, "New Material on Thomas Carew," MLR, XI (1916), 288.

15"Children (Knowledge, Love) must creep where they cannot go" is a common proverb, according to Morris Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England, 1950.

16Although this does not appear in the proverb collections.

17"A Pedlar of small wares" and "Love and Debt alike toublesome," ascribed to "J. S.", are listed in the Third Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, (1872) p. 296, among the MSS of Matthew Wilson Esq. Mr. Clayton reports that the MSS at Eshton were sold in 1916 to G. D. Smith of New York, but their present whereabouts is unknown. "It is quite possible, of course, that the poems were copied from the printed texts, since they have exactly the same titles. More improbably, they could have been 1659's source."

18Notes and Queries, ser. 1, I (1849), 72.

19Mr. Clayton reports that the poem is also in 1646 (Bodl.), 1662. I have seen 1650 and 1670.

20E. F. Hart, "Caroline Lyrics and Comtemporary Song-Books," Library, 5th ser., VIII (1953), 105, was the first to reprint this version.

21Transcribed from the Lawes MS.

22Other MSS where the poem appears are: B. M. MSS. Add. 30,892 ff. 152-3, Eg. 923 f. 77v (attributed to Goodwyn), Bodl. MSS. Ash. 36-7 ff. 44v-6, Rawl. D 398 f. 188v-9, Rawl. Poet. 62 ff. 29v-32, and Rawl. Poet. 26 f. 58-59v (attributed to R. Goodwin).

23Brief Lives, Clark, ed., (1898) I, 270.

24The same Parliament met 1604-1610.

25Ben Jonson, ed. Herford and Simpson (1925-53) vol II, The Alchemist II.ii.63-64. B. M. MS. Harl. 5191 f. 17 dates the poem 1607.

26Choice Drollery 1656, (1876) p. 393.

27It is important to observe that "Upon Sir John Sucklin's Hundred Horse" is written in the same stanza form as "A Ballade. Upon a Wedding" and begins with the same words, "I tell thee Jack ..." parodying "I tell thee Dick. ..." We know that "I tell thee Jack ..." was written before May 1639, hence "I tell thee Dick ..." must have been written even earlier than the spring of 1639.

28B. M. MS. Royal 18 C xxv, a scribal transcription of the play, has a stage direction "sings" next to Orsames speech at I.v.12, but no song is extant that would fit there.

29See Herbert Berry's unpublished "Life of Sir John Suckling," (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Nebraska, 1953). Mr. Berry also observed several of the above parallel passages which I found independently.

30Printed with the kind permission of Major-General Lord Sackville.

31At the end of the poem is the note, "dedit Francis Kneuett," which is presumed to mean that the copyist was given the poem by Knevett, not that Knevett was the author.

32Herbert Berry, "Life of Sir John Suckling."

33Of course, the title could have been given on the strength of the reference to "Dick" in the first line; thus this date is not entirely reliable.

34Op. cit., pp. 67-69.

35G. E. Bentley, The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, (1941-56) V, 1201-1214.

36Aubrey, II, 242-244.

37First pointed out by W. M. Evans, Henry Lawes, p. 146.

38Printed with the kind permission of Major-General Lord Sackville.

39The song also appears anonymously in The New Academy of Complements, 1671, along with the same Restoration songs, where it has no title and one word differs from the MS.

Source: L. A. Beaurline, "The Canon of Sir John Suckling's Poems." Studies in Philology 57, no. 3 (July 1960): 492-518.