It boots me not that for my wrath I should disturb the same.
Note 1. Dr. Notts remark on this piece, That it is valuable from the circumstance of its preserving an account of a quarrel between Surrey and the fair Geraldine, which, as we hear nothing of any reconciliation afterwards, was the occasion probably of his renouncing his ill fated passion, is an amusing instance of first imagining a fact, and then making every circumstance support it. The learned editor, as in most other instances, assumes that Geraldine was the subject of the poem, without a shadow of evidence; and gratuitously gives it this titleSurrey renounces all affection for the fair Geraldine, whereas, in all the printed editions, it bears the title assigned to it in the text. There is no doubt that Surrey personated himself by the White Lion, which was one of the badges (and not the arms, as Dr. Nott asserts) of the house of Howard, derived from their descent from the Mowbrays, Dukes of Norfolk. The word pranceth in line 7, alluded to the position rampant of the animal, and perhaps a playful reference was intended to Surreys invitation to the lady to dance. But there is not any reason to presume by the Wolf the fair Geraldine was intended, though it is almost certain that the family of the lady adverted to bore that animal on their standards, or in their arms. Dr. Nott has cited a MS. in the Museum to prove that the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Kildare, used a Wolf as their crest, but this is unsupported by any other authority, and Drayton, with more probability, says, that the lady meant by the Wolf, was Ann, the daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope, who became the wife of the Protector Somerset. The Stanhope family once used a Wolf as their crest, in consequence of their descent from Maulovel, and a Wolf is still one of the supporters of the Earls of Chesterfield, Stanhope, and Harrington. See Collins Peerage, Ed. 1779, iii. 301, 302. It is proper to add, that the family of Arundell of Lanhearne, in Cornwall, bore a white wolf as a badge. [back]
Note 2. Apparently an allusion to the defeat and death of James the Fourth at Flodden Field, by Thomas, then Earl of Surrey, the Poets grandfather. [back]
Note 3. Query, is it to be understood by this line that Surrey was related to the lady, or did he only mean that his lion was of the same hue as her wolf? [back]
Note 4. Dr. Nott observes: This means Thomas Howard, second son of Thomas second Duke of Norfolk, by Agnes his second wife, and consequently half uncle to Surrey. He was attainted of high treason, and committed to the Tower, in June, 1536, for having, without the knowledge or approbation of King Henry VIII., affianced himself to the Lady Margaret Douglas, daughter of Margaret Queen of Scotland, the Kings sister. Lord Thomas Howard remained in confinement till his decease on Allhallows Eve, 1538. Upon his death the Lady Margaret, who had been confined likewise, was set at liberty. It is probable that this unfortunate affiance was the effect on the part of Lord Thomas Howard, as well as on the part of the Lady Margaret, of real attachment, and not of ambition. Had he relinquished all claim to her hand, he probably would have been released from his confinement. It is likely therefore that his love, as Surrey intimates, really cost him his life. [back]
Note 5. A piece of meat used to allure falcons back to their master. [back]