Haec . . . serenam: ‘Let Babylon read these things and learn to rear its earth-bound head as far as heaven: here is the sure path to life, which the noble example of van der Noot gives to men to read. Scorning his homeland, certain victories, and official rewards, aware that virtue has no foundation in blood, he has raised his mind to greater things and, by this work, lets the world know of his uncommon suffering and of his life's sad labors.
‘Let Babylon read these things; let it read and fill its ears with this work. And if anyone's mind is shrouded in dark mists and, forgetful of the right path, wanders across trackless rocks, here, the mists removed, he may find out the Supreme Good. The teachings of the ‘Wise’ disperse the truth and jumble it with empty falsehood. O senseless minds of men! Not that Church of the Gods but the alerted mind, lashing these Learned ones with a harsh rope, will lead the corrupted soul to better things.
‘O that the idols lay overthrown! May His honor, which moves all things, be restored. Yet sometimes a kinder fortune will drop from the stars and the piteous rulers of most high Olympus will behold our struggles, behold how the tyrants of all lands rage with furious mind. But whoever is inflamed to discover the star that points out the true path, read here these learned, late-night labors which learned van der Noot has wrought for you. Like the Ploughman who watches the clouds chased away by the sun and the fields renew their smiling, so will you see a tranquil light shine out, through the dense smoke, for you.’
Typhæus sister: Although Hesiod distinguishes Typhœus and Typhaon, making Typhœus the latter’s father, they were frequently conflated in antiquity -- as Typhoeus, Typhos, Typhaon, or Typhon: all are monstrous and belligerent. Hesiod’s Typhœus is one of the Giants who revolted against the Olympians (Theog 820-38). Neither Typhaon nor Typhœus had a famous sister, but the poem and the woodcut seem to identify the sister as a personification of Rome as both imperial conqueror (ll. 9-10) and warlike foe of heaven (l. 6).
In a confusion possibly related to the conflation of Typhœus and Typhaon the commentary on this poem refers to the central figure as ‘Typheus daughter’. For Spenser, the figure of Typhœus will continue to invite bizarre genealogical imaginings: in FQ III.vii he will describe how Typhœus raped his own mother Earth and so sired Argante and Ollyphant, twins whose incestuous relations begin in utero: The belligerent and lecherous Argante is both Typhœus’ sister and his daughter.
Like most of the criticism in this passage, the attack on the multitude of Catholic holidays might have come from any of the Reformers, but Calvinists like van der Noot were especially fervent in their sabbatarianism and in their strict abridgement in the number of holidays celebrated: many mid-century Calvinist churches celebrated only the Sabbath, Christmas, Easter, and Whitsunday, and there was a brief period in Geneva when even the celebration of Christmas was proscribed.
The item marks a departure from Bale, who refers at this juncture to ‘halowynge of churches’ instead of to the proliferation of holidays (Image, 110-1; Bilde, K1v). Bale’s Image continues to inspire the next few sentences, but van der Noot improvises by providing more piquantly specific enormities than Bale offers.
The toggles above every page allow you to determine both the degree and the kind of editorial intervention present in the text as you read it. They control, as well, the display of secondary materials—collational notes, glosses, and links to commentary.
The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.
Toggling Expansions on will undo certain early modern abbreviations.Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)
Toggling Modern Characters on will convert u, v, i, y, and vv to v, u, j, i, and w. (N.B. the editors have silently replaced ſ with s, expanded most ligatures, and adjusted spacing according contemporary norms.)Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore
Toggling Lexical Modernizations on will conform certain words to contemporary orthographic standards.Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.
Toggling Emendations on will correct obvious errors in the edition on which we base our text and modernize its most unfamiliar features.Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590
(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)
Toggling Collation Notes on will highlight words that differ among printings.And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 1596, 1609
(The text of 1590 reads thee, while the texts of 1596 and 1609 read you.)
Toggling Commentary Links on will show links to the editors’ commentary.
Toggling Line Numbers on will show the number of the line within each stanza.
Toggling Stanza Numbers on will show the number of the stanza within each canto.
Toggling Glosses on will show the definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases.To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period