THE EARL OF SURREYfS CRITICAL REPUTATION AS
POET, TRANSLATOR, AND ELEGIST
his 1985 edition of a selection of Surreyfs poems, Dennis Keene outlined the
modern critical misfortune to have befallen Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: even
his modern editor, Emrys Jones (1964, p. xxiv), considered his gachievement
small in scale and flawedh, and the primary concern of the editor of his Aeneid,
Florence H. Ridley (1963), was to find borrowings from Douglasfs version, which
were italicised in the text (1985, pp. 7-18). Surrey,
like Wyatt, whom he admired and followed,
has been the victim of biographical speculation: the eGeraldinef myth was read
into his love-poetry. It is impossible, and undesirable, to
separate the poetry from the life; for instance, the reader of Surreyfs biblical paraphrases is moved, for he knows that
these are the poems of a man awaiting death. The problem lies in the fact that the
relation between his life and his poetry has often been conjectural, even
fanciful, rather than based on evidence.
A nineteenth century edition of his works – by Yeowell – contains a
lengthy biography but no editorial comment on the poetry, the editor simply
quoting earlier critics. His reputation was that of a noble lover
and an elegant versifier;
this may represent what we would consider a misreading of his poems, but at
least these poems were being read; misinterpretation is always preferable to
neglect. This reputation waned
during the 20th century as Wyattfs star rose in the ascendant,
because of ill-considered comparisons between the two poets. Their difference is now generally
recognised, as is the fact that comparison does not have to be competitive,
Surrey and Wyatt representing gtwo poles of human experienceh (Keene ed. 1985,
p. 16); after all, the earliest praise we have of Wyatt comes from Surrey himself (Sessions 1986, p. 43). Yet critics still feel the need to
protest at the tendency to place these two poets in opposition (Sessions 1994,
p. 168), and there is still little understanding of the poetry of Henry
Howard. For many, he is simply the
man who introduced the forms (English sonnet and blank verse) that Shakespeare
was to perfect. The poetry of Wyatt is more striking to
the modern mind, and to the modern ear, than that of Surrey; its rhythms, like
Donnefs, convey an impression of immediacy and complexity, and the reader/listener
quickly understands that his mind is engaged with a poet of relevance and depth
who will repay further reading. The
reader/listener has to adjust his ear to the pitch and modulation of Surreyfs poetry; and this adjustment is as mentally
demanding – in a different manner – as the survey of Wyattfs texts. Surrey
belongs to a different world, a world that speaks the language of humanist
rhetoric and of heraldry; the reader must enter.
Surrey as Translator
Renaissance habits of reading texts – or, to be more precise, the medieval
habits of digging through a text to find the occasional jewel, of concentrating
on passages, which survived through the sixteenth century – inform the practice
of its translators, whether Surrey, or Spenser, or Gorges. The way in which texts are translated,
and in which they are composed, depends on the way in which they are read; this
may seem self-evident, but it represents a fairly recent discovery. Intertextuality plays an important role
in Renaissance reading habits; therefore, when we make mention of Surreyfs use of his sources, we are referring to a
multiplicity of sources for individual poems. Previous criticism has generally
measured him against one standard, especially that of Petrarca – we find this
from Koeppel (1889) to Lever (1974, e.g. pp. 42-45)
– and consequently produced what we consider to be an unbalanced
assessment. As a translator, and an
imitator, he goes beyond his immediate source, giving echoes of Virgil in his
versions of Petrarca, and infusing his reshapings of Petrarca with the language
and imagery of medieval English tradition; the Italian poet serves as a means
of entry to the medieval and classical worlds. This issue of receptive affinity is of
crucial importance in Translation Studies.
The thorny question of translation evaluation (against what standard are
we to calibrate?) makes it extremely difficult for those who know the source
language to avoid comparison with the original text – and this avoidance would
not be desirable. In the past,
translations have suffered misprision not because of the act of comparison
itself, but because of the manner in which the comparison was conducted; and
this process was controlled by the underlying assumption that the original was
a perfect, hermetically sealed entity.
By opening the original text to its sources and influences, and by
finding the other influences that may explain some of the changes made by the
translator – in short, by creating a network of systems – it was possible to
posit the equivalence of source and target text and to regard both as points in
circles of separate traditions, relating to other points within their (and
perhaps within other) circles. The
key contribution of intertextual studies to the study of translation was this
redefinition of the original-translation relationship; the original was removed
from its pedestal without being in any way devalued, while more emphasis was
placed on what was original in the translation, thus disburdening it of its
neo-classical servility and demonstrating that it did not exist merely to prove
that the sun was shining by its shade.
To use a particularly felicitous metaphor, we may talk of
intertextuality euntwinningf the translation from the original. The old efather-sonf image, often
employed with reference to translation or imitation, suggests an unequal,
epigonic relationship, and is therefore unsatisfactory; etwins,f on the other
hand, implies equality and, at the same time, independent existence. It is seldom difficult to mark the
difference between even (so-called) identical twins. In fact, positing equality does not come
easily to the mind – perhaps because of the imbalance mentioned earlier. As a result, it is extremely difficult
to find analogies that imply absolute equality. To give one example: this thesis will
stress the metaphorical nature of translation as the identities of the poet and
the translator merge. Although this
fusion may include considerable divergence, as with Petrarca and Wyatt or Du
Bellay and Spenser, it is still distinctly different from the simile of
imitation. This merging of
identities, this metamorphosis, leads us up, and back, to the realm of myth;
metaphor – and by extension translation – encourages a deeper probing into
origins and causes. In this light,
the image of the compass could be lifted from the back of our minds, with the
fixed leg representing the tenor/original, and the free leg the
vehicle/translation. However, this
analogy requires qualification: to give a more accurate picture of the process,
the fixed leg must be loosened, for it is affected by the movement of its
partner as the two describe a circle in time.
Clerk, in the dedication of his Arnault et Lucinde (A certayn treatye
moste wyttely deuysed orygynally wrytten in the spaynysshe, lately traducted in
to frenche entytled, Lamant mal traicte de samye) to Surrey (1543), makes
reference to, gthe excedying great paynes and trauayles susteyned by your self
in traductions as well out of the Laten, Italien as the Spanyshe, and Frenche,
wherby your Lordshyp surmounteth many others, not onely in knowledge. but also
in laude and commendacyon.h (Aiv).
It is not known which Spanish translations he is referring to. This statement would seem to contradict
William Awenfs claim, in the preface to Aeneid Book IV (1554), that
Surrey wrote rapidly and with little time for revision (Sessions 1999, p. 269);
Sessions himself remarks that Clerkfs preface is evidence of Surreyfs concern
with gdetailed technical labourh (p. 267).
has been stated that Surreyfs poems must be
read together; and the correlation between his translations from Virgil, his
other translations and his original poems cannot be stressed too greatly. Epic
and lyric co-exist inseparably; in June 1557, two editions of Tottelfs
Miscellany appeared in between the publication of Aeneid Book II and
the edited Book IV. These
two books significantly portrayed Aeneas the exile, fleeing the flames of Troy; and Dido deserted;
they are also relevant stylistically as well as thematically, Book IV
providing, through its speeches, one of the clearest and fullest examples of
Virgilfs rhetorical training. Although Surrey
has been praised for his translation of Martial,
it is his versions of the Aeneid,
translated from Virgil with reference to Gawin Douglasfs Aeneis,
that are now generally regarded as his greatest achievement
and appreciated in their own right as literary texts.
Surrey remained silent about his method of translation; Douglas,
by contrast, had written at length in the Prologue to his First Book.  Surreyfs reserve is matched by his
relative anonymity in the process of narration; Douglas
is far more gregarious. However, Surrey may have written no theory, but his translation
practice implies a theory; the act of translation confronts a poet more
squarely with the decision-making process; and this process, thus emphasised,
leads to the establishment of theory.
To Surrey, translation was an act of
ebringing overf, but one that was conservative rather than revolutionary. Sessions considers Surrey
to be a typical Tudor humanist translator, engaging in the communal art of
poetry to refine the English language and to make the past relevant, and he
refers to the metaphor of Hippolytus used by Giamatta (1986, pp. 20, 25,
21). In order to demonstrate
Surreyfs method as a translator, he studies eWhen ragyng lovef (ibid,
pp. 27-39), which may seem to be a slightly strange selection; there is confusion here between imitation
and translation, although it is
probably a confusion that Surrey, like most
other humanists, would have unconsciously experienced.
explanations for Surreyfs choice are possible.
This may have represented another aspect of his examination of the decasyllabic
line – Douglas did provide an admirable model
– and perhaps the attempt to establish this line as the unit of English
poetry. It may have constituted an
attempt at concision; comparing his translations to Douglas
reminds us how rhyme may expand a text. This expansion is explained in part by
the language and the author translated from – even though Surreyfs version is
more concise than those of his Italian contemporaries, it is still around a
third longer than Virgilfs text – but it is exaggerated by Douglasfs
may not have been verbally indebted to the Italian intermediaries, any more
than he was verbally indebted to Petrarca in the sonnets he translated or
imitated; this does not, however, mean that he was not imitating their method
of translation. There is no
justification in the claim that he may have considered rhyme to be a medieval
barbarism; not only does he employ
it in all of his other poems with the exception of the translation of Psalm 55,
but he uses it at certain significant moments in the Aeneid
translations. Rhyme – especially
medial rhyme – is employed to depict heightened emotion. In brief: whereas Douglas had held to
the matter, Surrey aims at the delivery
of Virgil. Yet the influence of Douglas can also be
seen in this manner of delivery; Sessions (1999, pp. 281-84) believes Surreyfs
blank verse to be read with native stress-patterns, like the lines of Douglas;
this rhythm was posthumously smoothed in the publication of Book IV in 1557, as
it was in the poems in Tottelfs Miscellany published around the same
Surrey used a
natural diction; just as Wyattfs letters speak in the same language as his
so does a letter by Surrey come extremely
close in phraseology to his poems. Archaisms, such as geyenh (9:9), rare in
the 16th century, are also rare in his corpus of work. He generally explores the word through
syntactical relationships; whereas poets such as Googe and Turberville would
employ inversion simply to wrench the line into iambic shape,
Surrey used this device from a deep concern
with the locational relationship of words to their grammatical agents. Of course, such carefully chiastic
organisation as that in eSo crewell prison,f with adjectives placed before or
following the nouns they qualify,
represents attention to the line; and Surreyfs use of antithesis functions
within separate lines or separate sub-sections of lines. There is not – yet – any Miltonic
overflowing of the line to create sense-paragraphs, although he comes perilously close in eIf the rude agef, a greatly
underrated sonnet on the death of Wyatt in which grief and rage continually
threaten to burst the fourteen banks of the sonnet.
Surrey used the sonnet form also as a vehicle for elegy and
for satire, following Petrarca. However, he also employed other forms
for these two modes. In 1537, and then in 1542, he composed
elegiac poems on closely related topics in two different forms: a sonnet (No.
26: All numbered poems refer to Jones ed. 1964) and 13 quatrains with a
concluding couplet (No. 27) on his imprisonment in Windsor; and then nine
quatrains followed by a couplet (No. 28)
and two sonnets (Nos. 29 and 30) on Wyattfs death. No. 35, the epitaph on Clere, is a
sonnet. Although it may be used as
a celebratory medium (in divine and liminary sonnets), this genre is in general
better suited to elegiac meditations – to nympholeptic expression or the
attempt to come to terms with loss – than the ode.
Surrey is often admired for his elegies; the implication is
that this mode, which voices nostalgia and alienation, is particularly suited
to an aristocrat, a member of the old order, surrounded by the new men of Henry
VIII. Furthermore, the elegy
requires those very qualities – concision, restraint, ellipsis – that were best
suited to Surreyfs abilities. The subdued and controlled expression of
grief, apparent in his poems and in Wyattfs elegy on Cromwell, stands in marked
contrast to the rhetorical excess of Skeltonfs early elegies;
and it is characterised by the absence of the possessive pronoun.
16th century funeral elegy, following conventions written down most
notably in Thomas Wilsonfs Arte of Rhetorique (1553) consisted of praise
of the life the deceased led, in order to make his fame endure, followed by
consolation; there was little lament.
There were two major approaches, both employed by Surrey: the
biographical one (No. 35, eNorfolk
holds theef), detailing the ages, ancestry, realm, shire, education and
inclination of the dead; and a discussion of the virtues of the deceased (No.
28, eWyatt resteth heref). These two poems have several features in
common: both begin with a translation of another manfs epitaph;
both contain numerical symbolism, eWyatt resteth heref comprising 38 lines, the
number of years of Wyattfs life,
while in eNorfolk bred theef Clerefs gfour times seavenh summers finds
reflection in the enumeration of four personal names and seven place names. In addition, Surrey
employs exactly half the number of lines of Clerefs life, suggesting that he
was cut off in his prime: Earth had, indeed, gso timely lost.h
is, however, the relation between the form of these elegiac sonnets and that of
the other elegies that is of interest here; they are linked by the heroic
quatrain. The closeness of the two
forms is especially evident in No. 27, eSo crewell prison,f the final fourteen
lines of which could be removed to form a sonnet. One modern critic believes that Surrey invented the heroic quatrain through the sonnet
form. There is a noticeable
shift in density from the 38-line elegy on Wyatt to the two sonnets on his
death; in these poems, Surrey is trying to
accomplish as much as possible within the confines of a short poem. To this end, he makes use of such
devices as paradigma, the figure of oblique allusion. Brevity was also necessary for eNorfolk bred theef, as it
was to serve as an inscription on Clerefs tomb. This latter sonnet provides an ironic
link with the eGeraldinef sonnet (No. 9); it gcaptures the epitaphfs unique use
of place in all its symbolism and possibilityh,
having previously celebrated the lineage of his elady lovef. This furnishes further proof of Surreyfs originality: he strains convention at the very
beginning by setting the place of birth and the place of entombment in the same
line. He also transcends rhetorical tradition
in his infusion of satire
into elegy, introduced at the end of No. 28 and developed in the two sonnets
Nos. 29 and 30.
former of these sonnets has been alluded to and now requires discussion. Examination will afford an example of Surreyfs skill in propositio; it is important to
stress the integral role of the first line in many of his sonnets.
Dyvers thy death doo dyverslye bemone.
Some, that in presence of that livelye hedd
Lurked, whose brestes envye with hate had sowne,
Yeld Cesars teres vppon Pompeius hedd.
Some, that watched with the murdrers knyfe,
With egre thurst to drynke thy guyltles blood,
Whose practyse brake by happye end of lyfe,
Weape envyous teares to here thy fame so good.
But I that knewe what harbourd in that hedd,
What vertues rare were temperd in that brest,
Honour the place that such a iewell bredd,
And kysse the ground, where as thy coorse doth rest,
With vaporde eyes; from whence suche streames avayle
As Pyramus did on Thisbes brest bewayle.
This sonnet, like No. 30 (eIn the rude agef) reads
like a funerary oration, and combines praise and dispraise, also like eIn the
rude agef; the reader is able to visualise himself listening to Surrey in the
act of speaking. The most striking
feature of the rhymes is the two repetitions of ghedd.h The repetition of this word emphasises
the nature of the loss: it is Wyattfs wisdom that is to be mourned. In addition, the very act of repetition
– and in so prominent a position as the end of the line – is designed to
display the speakerfs emotion: he cannot quite control his speech into a
regularly alternating rhyme-scheme, nor come to terms with the loss of such a
mind. In eW. resteth heref the
enumeration of his bodily began with, gA hed, where wisdom misteries did frameh
(l.5); this sonnet therefore serves as a continuation or a reprise.
In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the propositio,
it is necessary to first consider the use of polyptoton in the first line. This forms another link with No. 28,
which begins gWyatt resteth here, that quick could never resth
(my italics). What makes it
particularly effective in this sonnet is the word chosen to take this figure:
eDyvers.f There were several
previous examples of this in the Canterbury Tales ;
however, Chaucerfs usage invariably begins gDiverse folkh or gDiverse
men.h The impersonal plural
gDyversh was then employed by Wyatt in eDyvers dothe vse,h and the basic
structure of this poem is mirrored in Surreyfs
elegy. Surrey follows the latter usage, thus
opening his oration on a note of vagueness, which finds continuance in gSomeh
at the beginnings of lines 2 and 5, and which is strongly contrasted to the
specification of gBut Ih at the major turn (l.9). He is making an allusive accusation: the
names of these enemies may remain hidden, but their identity is obvious to all
concerned. The omission of gfolkh and gmenh implies
both inhumanity on the part of those accused and contempt for them on the part
of the accuser.
What exactly is the relationship between gDyversh
and gdyverselyh? Are we to read
this as a commonplace and assign a different reaction to each different person,
or at least classify groups of behaviour?
Or does gdyverselyh, instead of concluding gDyvers,h imply a further
stage, a complicated sub-division of branching variations among different
people? The uncertainty of this
relationship mirrors the deceitful behaviour of Wyattfs enemies. Furthermore, the alliteration is
functional; apart from creating a pattern that is broken by the rhyme-word,
thus emphasising the end of the line, it associates the accused with Wyattfs
death; the nature of this association is then developed in the following
lines. The first quatrain
culminates in the allusion to Caesarfs tears; this serves as a link with the
final line of the second quatrain, in which the would-be murderers gWeape envious
teares.h This link is strengthened
by the allusions in each line: to Wyattfs translation of Petrarca in l.4, and
to Surreyfs elegy on Wyatt (No. 28) in
l.8. This image of hypocrisy
suggests that the slanderers have the outcome they desired; also implicit is a
suggestion of responsibility for Wyattfs death. The second group of enemies is more
actively virulent, but disappointed in their hopes by Wyattfs ghappye end of
lyfe.h Bearing in mind the
accusation in the first quatrain, carrying the implication that the traducers
had hastened Wyattfs end, it is difficult to read this phrase at face value; it
now appears as if his death was ghappyeh only in that it prevented a worse and
more shameful fate. This
responsibility is further implied by the striking image of pouring tears gupon
Pompeius heddh; in Petrarca CII, and in Wyattfs translation of this sonnet,
Caesar had merely wept. With Surrey,
the tears actually fall on the head; and the reader can visualise Caesar with
the head in his hands. There is
also a note of disbelieving indignation in the quick repetition of gheddh; this
ends the first quatrain, abruptly concluding a three-line sense-unit. It is as if the speaker is moved by
emotion to pause for a while before he can continue.
has been said to demonstrate Surreyfs skill at poetic
construction. One feels that an
Elizabethan sonneteer would have begun the poem with gSomeh to create parallel
beginnings for three quatrains. Surrey, on the other hand, postpones this division by a
line, thus creating careful variations on its symmetry; he makes this opening
line his theme, and he expounds upon that theme with thought-provoking
artistry. This he is able to do
because of the words in which he expresses that theme; and these words have
been adapted from a predecessor, thus testifying to his wise choice and
considered treatment of material.
As so often with Surrey, the change of
wording from his models is slight, but subtle, and extremely effective.
He knows what is worth preserving, and how it may be kept both alive and
- Elizabeth HEALE, Wyatt, Surrey,
and Early Tudor Poetry (London/New York: Longman, 1998)
- J. William HEBEL and Hoyt H. HUDSON (eds), Poetry
of the English Renaissance 1509-1600 (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts
Inc., 1929; repr. 1957),
C.W. JENTOFT, eSurreyfs Five Elegies: Rhetoric, Structure, and the
Poetry of Praise,f PMLA 91 (1976), 23-32
- Emrys JONES (ed.), Henry Howard,
Earl of Surrey. Poems (Oxford: Clarendon
- Dennis KEENE (ed.), Henry Howard,
Earl of Surrey. Selected Poems
(Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1985)
- Kenneth MUIR, Life
and Letters of Sir Thomas Wyatt (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press,
- Hyder E.
ROLLINS (ed.), Tottelfs Miscellany. 2 Vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1928;
Rev. Ed., 1965)
SESSIONS, Henry Howard, The Poet Earl of Surrey: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
- John THOMPSON,
The Founding of English Metre
(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961)
 Muir (1963), p. 215. Muir, however, states the old opinion of
religious differences between the two, assuming that Surrey
was as Catholic as his family.
 For example, Douglas L. Peterson, in The English Lyric,
could not take the final line of No. 9 seriously because he believed it
to be addressed to a 9-year old girl (p. 60). The history of this myth is outlined by
Rollins (1965), Vol. II. 70-5; his claim that no one now believes it (p. 74)
was to prove somewhat premature.
Sessions (1999) discusses eGeraldinef (pp. 187-92) and then portrays Surrey as her protector and matchmaker (pp. 192-99): the
famous sonnet is actually an advertisement of her gifts to prospective
ed. (1985), p. 99.
 The Poems of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, ed. James Howell (London, 1831). The critics quoted are Puttenham,
Warton, Dr. Henry and Nott (pp. lxx-lxxviii).
 This was the model image he provided for Sir Philip Sidney: one of
chivalric idealism and Renaissance eloquence. -Heale (1998), p. 194, taken from
W.A. Sessions, eSurreyfs Wyatt: Autumn 1542 and
the new poetf in P.C. Herman (ed.) Rethinking the Henrician Era: Essays on
Early Tudor Texts and Contexts (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois
 Argued cogently by William O. Harris in egLove that Doth Raineh: Surreyfs Creative Imitationf in MP 66:4, 1968-9,
pp. 298-305: gComparative readings need not be competitive readingsh (305).
 In the most in-depth recent survey of the sonnet in English
literature (up to Milton), Michael Spillerfs The Development of the Sonnet:
An Introduction, Chapter 6 is entitled, eWyatt, Surrey and Their Legacyf;
however, there is extremely little mention of Surrey, and not one of his
sonnets comes under discussion.
 My article, egThe Soote Seasonh: Surrey and the Amatory
Elegyf (English Studies, late 2006), attempts to demonstrate Surreyfs skill as a poet through close reading of one
of his finest poems.
 Perhaps the best
critical treatment of this point is Ruth Morsefs Truth and Convention in the
Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
 Emil Koeppel, eStudien zur Geschichte des
englischen Petrarchismus im 16. Jahrhundert,f Romanische Forschungen 5:1
(1889), 65-97 (78-86). Koeppel saw Surrey as consciously
wrestling with a greater, overpowering genius and striving to equal him, which
made the English poet reminiscent – together with his early, violent death – of
Körner in the shadow of Schiller (p.86).
His mention of the deaths makes explicit what we suspect from his
association of the two poets: his post-Romantic straining for analogy of
 This metaphor is taken from, and much of this argument is based on,
Leon Burnett, eLanguages (un)twinned: The Dynamic of Differentiation in Mandelstam
and Radnóti,f Translation &
Literature 12:2 (2003), pp. 205-30, especially pp.
 Heale (1998), p. 29.
 T.E. Page (ed), The Aeneid of Virgil. Books I-VI (1894;
Reprinted London: Macmillan & Co., 1926), pp. v-vi.
Such poems highlight the qualities
of eThe soote season.f Edwards is
simply and representatively too imitative; his texts contain instantly
recognisable Petrarchan motifs – gThus shall I freeze, and yet I frye in
payne,h gSweete is the death, that faithfull love doth makeh (eBeing in loue he
complainethf) – in all-too-familiar situations.
 Hebel and Hudson (1957) remark that this translation has perhaps
never been surpassed; Edwin Casady (Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1938, p. 243) believed it to be Surreyfs
only notable poem. The common
consensus is that Surreyfs translation from
Horace Odes ii, 10 (no. 39), the first attempt at Sapphics in English
poetry (Sessions 1999, p. 220), is less successful and too convoluted. It is interesting that, in the year of Surreyfs death, Jacques Peletier du Mans published his Œuvres
Poétiques, which included a translation of Horace Odes ii, 16 in a
rhythm analogous to the sapphic.
 Book IV was published by John Day
in 1554: eThe Fourth Boke of Virgill, intreating of the love betwene Aeneas and
Dido, and drawne into a strange metre by Henrye, late Earle of Surrey, worthy
to be embraced.f Books II and IV
were printed together by Richard Tottel in 1557: eCertain Bokes of Virgiles
Aeneis turned into English meter, by Henry Earle of Surrey.f
 Completed on 22
July 1513, first printed in 1553. The extent of Surreyfs borrowings from Douglas has been much debated. Florence H. Ridley, in eSurreyfs Debt to
Gavin Douglasf (PMLA 76, 1961, pp. 25-33) finds a heavy reliance on
Douglas for content and on Italian versi sciolti writers for form: she
counts 811 lines (465 in Book II; 346 in Book IV: 40% of the total) in which
the phrasing is taken from Douglas (p. 29). Jones (1964) stresses the rhetorical and
syntactical influence of Virgil.
A.H. Elliot, in a review of Ridleyfs The Aeneid of Henry Howard, Earl
of Surrey (University of California Publications, 1963) in RES (New
Series) 16 (1965), combined these two opinions to suggest a debt to Douglasfs vocabulary and Virgilfs cadence (Fishman, 1971,
p. 189). Priscilla Bawcutt
(eDouglas and Surrey: Translators of Virgilf
in Essays and Studies 27 , pp. 52-67) ascribes some of both
authorsf departures from the original to a defective Latin manuscript (pp.
54-5). She later suggests (Gavin
Douglas: A Critical Study. Edinburgh University Press, 1976, p. 198) that
Surrey used Douglasfs Scots to help him
understand Virgilfs Latin. We may
note in passing that the reverse situation – the application to Latin to help
to translate Scots – also occurred: William Harrison (1535-1593), who
translated John Bellendenfs (fl.1533-87) Scots translation of Hector Boetiusfs
(?1465-1530) Scotorum Historiae (1527) for Book V of Holinshedfs Chronicles
(1577) made his choice of source text to save time, but required assistance
from the Latin. –Quoted on pp.21-22 of Manfred Görlach, Introduction to
Early Modern English (Cambridge University Press, 1991; appeared as Einführung
ins Frühneuenglische. Heidelberg:
Quelle & Meyer, 1978).
 In the past, they have been criticised by, among others, Maurice
Evans (1967), p. 78, as gstiff and end-stoppedh; Mason (1966), p. 251; and T.R.
Barnes, English Verse. Voice and Movement from Wyatt to Yeats
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967) as gdull and clumsyh but of
historical importance (p. 25).
Modern studies are almost uniformly favourable; this change in
perception could be credited to Jones (1964). Keene
(1985, p. 83) believes these two translations to be uneven but to rise to
 Charles Tomlinson, in eThe Presence of Translation: A View of
English Poetryf in Rosanna Warren (ed.), The Art of Translation. voices from
the field (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1989), 258-276, observes
that, during his time at Cambridge, gSurreyfs partial translation of the Aeneid was evaluated
less for its actual quality than for its having brought blank verse into
Englishh (261). One wonders how
significant gpartialh is in this context.
 They were, of course, writing for different audiences. We may add, however, that this lack of formal
criticism was typical of English humanism; it had little more than Sir Thomas
Elyotfs The Boke named the Governour (1531) to show. –O.B. Hardison
(ed.), English Literary Criticism. The Renaissance (London: Peter Owen,
1967), p. 6. This stands in marked
contrast to the plethora of poetiche in Italy at this time.
 On Surreyfs translation theory:
Sessions 1999 (pp. 266-68) and 1986 (pp. 20-39).
 Douglas was fully aware of this:
he states in his prefatory remarks on translation that he attempts gTo hald hys
[Virgilfs] verss and go nane other way,/ Less sum history, subtell word or the
ryme/ Causith me mak digressioun sum tyme.h (LION database, ll. 304-306).
 Bawcutt (1974), p. 57.
 Ants Oras, eSurreyfs Techniques of
Phonetic Echoes: A Method and Its Backgroundf in JEGP 50 (1951), pp.
289-308 (293-95), referring to Aeneid II.
 Alan Hager, eBritish Virgil: Four Renaissance Disguises of the Laocoön Passage
of Book 2 of gThe Aeneidhf, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900,
22:1 (1982), pp. 21-38 (30). eDeliveryf is a more appropriate word than estylef or emanner.f
 The concluding couplet gSure I am, Brian, this wounde shall heale
agayne,/ But yet, alas, the scarre shall styll remayneh is echoed in the
eDefencef he wrote for his trial in 1541: gFor tho he hele the wounde yet the
scharre shall remayneh (Muir, 1963, p. 185; p. 193). Surrey
ends his poem 34 with: gYet Salomon sayd, the wronged shall recure;/ But
Wiat said true, the skarre doth aye endure.h (Jones, 1964, p. 32).
 In particular Nos. 34 and 36,
where phrases in the letter he wrote in the Tower and addressed to the Lords of
Council (printed in Horace Walpolefs A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble
Authors of England, Scotland and Ireland [1758; enlarged and
continued by Thomas Park, 1806. London:
John Scott], Vol. I, pp. 300ff) reappear.
Surrey asks them to gimpute this error
to the furie of rechelesse youtheh and describes himself as a man grashelye
aventuryd in the revenge of his owne quarrel c governed by furie.h (34:1,
gMy Ratclif, when thy rechlesse youth offendesh; 36:1-2, gWhen recheles
youthe in an unquiet brest,/Set on by wrath, revenge and crueltyech).
 Charles Barber, Early Modern English (Edinburgh University
Press, 1976; new edition 1997), p. 145.
 Thompson (1961), pp. 64-65.
 For example, l.5, l.9, l.10, l.30. –Noted by A.C. Spearing (1985),
 Petrarcafs elegies: XCII on Cino da Pistoia; and CCLXIX on Colonna,
a sonnet positioned between two canzoni to heighten its significance.
His satirical sonnets: CXIV, CXXXVI,
CXXXVII, and CXXXVIII.
 The satirical No. 33 is composed of octosyllabic terza
 This was Surreyfs only poem to be
published in his lifetime; it appeared in the eight-page booklet, An excellent
Epitaffe of syr Thomas Wyat, With two other compendious ditties, wherin are
touchyd, and set forth the state of mannes lyfe, which was probably printed
soon after Wyattfs death (Jones , 1964, p.123).
 Patricia Thomson, eWyatt and Surreyf
in Christopher Ricks (ed), History of Literature in the English Language,
vol. 2: English poetry and prose 1540-1674 (London: Barrie and Jenkins,
1970), pp. 19-40.
 Jentoft (1976), pp. 23-24.
 The former translated an epitaph on the tomb of the Italian soldier
Jacopo Trivulzio (d.1518) in Milan:
gHIC MORTVVS REQVIESCIT SEMEL,/ QVI VIVVS REQVIEVIT NVNQVAM.h –Jones (1964) p.
123. The latter is an adaptation of
the epitaph that the people of Surreyfs age believed Virgil to have composed
for himself: gMantua
me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc/ Parthenope; cecini pascua rura duces.h
–Jones (1964), p. 129.
 Alastair Fowler (Triumphal Forms. Structural patterns in Elizabethan
poetry. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970, who makes this
point, mentions other examples of this practice: 64-line elegies on Ben Jonson
(1573-1637) by Diggs and Daniel. –p. 102, and n.3.
 Elegies making use of pyramidal numbers such as 28 and 120 were
frequent. -Fowler (1970), p. 102 n.3 and p. 188 n.5.
 As the poem stands, line 41 – gAnd with this thought the blood
forsakes my faceh – presents a rather conventional image. If this line were moved to begin a
sonnet, however, it would become more interesting, by turning the readerfs
attention away from the hackneyed motif in the second half of the line towards
consideration of what this thought could be. We have a sonnet that seems to belong in
a sequence, and yet stands in suggestive isolation.
 W.A. Sessions (1999).
 In No. 29 l.4: gCesars teres uppon
Pompeius hedd.h –Jentoft (1976), p. 29.
 Puttenham (1589; probably written earlier) observes a growing
fashion for lengthy elegies hung up in church, which take so long to read that
one may find oneself locked in by the Sexton! (Book I, XXVIII; pp. 56-7).
 S.P. Zitner, eTruth and Mourning in a Sonnet by Surreyf
in ELH 50 (1983), pp. 509-529 (525).
 Jentoft (1976), p. 25.
 As Ruth Hughey observes in The Arundel Harington MS of Tudor
Poetry (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1960), critics have
often overlooked the satiric, arrogant strain in Surreyfs
poetry (Vol. II, pp.
 Jentoft (1976), p. 27.
 A. 3857, gDiverse folk diversely they seydeh; E. 1469, gDiverse men
diversely him toldeh; F. 202, gDiverse folk diversely they demedh; and B. 211,
gDiverse men diverse thinges seyden.h
 No. CCXVII. Lines 1, 5
and 9 begin as follows: gDyvers dothe vsech, gAnd some therbech and gBut as for
me.h Furthermore, the first
quatrain represents lamentation (passive), while the second quatrain is more
active, changing from mere mention of change and the appeasement of grief to
hate, falsity, and supplication.
 In particular Edmund Bonner and Simon Heynes, who were responsible
for Wyattfs imprisonment in 1541.
This avoidance of naming – also apparent in the antonomasia in 14:1-2,
31:1 and 32:1 – is an obvious manifestation of a writer composing
for a specific audience and appealing to a shared fund of knowledge.
 When he was presented with Pompeyfs head, gPianse per gli occhi