Love Death and Reputation. A Fable, "Reputation, Love and Death". MS Folger, pp. 287-289. See Annotated Chronology No. 146. See also An Annotated Bibliography: Primary and Secondary Sources for all Finch's translations (paraphrases), imitations and adaptations. The story is traditional and I cite two contemporary renderings which seemed to me closer than any others I found.
From John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, III, ii, 120-35: close at times, similar use of words and emphasis on reputation as regards women's sexual behavior:
Ferdinand to the Duchess (warning her against remarrying or allowing herself to be wooed or loved by another man now that she is a widow):
Dost thou know what reputation is?
I'll tell thee, to small purpose, since th'instruction
Comes now too late:
Upon a time Reputation, Love and Death
Would travel o'er the world: and it was concluded
That they should part, and take three several ways.
Death told them they should find him in great battles:
Or cities plagu'd with plagues. Love gives them counsel
To inquire for him 'mongst unambitious shepherds,
Where dowries were not talk'd of: and sometimes
'Mongst quiet kindred, that had nothing left
By their dead parents. 'Stay,' quoth Reputation,
'Do not forsake me: for it is my nature
If once I part from any man I meet
I am never found again.'
The larger tradition to which this fable belongs, or, to put it another way, another version which some of the details of Anne's adaptation also recalls is in John Ogilby, The Fables of AESOP, Paraphras'd in Verse, 1668, to which a Second Part was added in 1673; Part One reprinted by Earl Miner for Augustan Reprint Society, University fo California at Los Angeles, William Clark Memorial Library, 1965. Ogilby's book is nowadays read as Tory so it would fit Anne's political predilections as a non-juror's wife.
Fable LXI, Of Cupid, Death, and Reputation, pp. 152-154.
Cupid, and Death, with Reputation met
At woful Hymens, where the cruel Fates
At once snatch'd two, fair, young, and noble Mates:
And th'unrequired Debt
Inforced them to pay,
Long time before the day
That was by Nature set:
Conjugal Rites are chang'd, a Funeral Torch
Conduct dead Lovers through a mournful Porch.
The fatal Archers having put up Darts
With which glad Offices, and sad were done
Their Fames enroll'd by Reputation,
And three Gods play'd their parts:
They in the woful House
Full Cups of Brine Carowse,
And from sad Parents hearts,
Kindred, and Friends, which in long Order stood,
Quaff'd, broach'd with sighs, warm spirits mix'd with blood.
They then began to vapour, and with vain
Boasting promote their Power; now mellow grown,
Desire t'each other to be better known,
And where to meet again,
Such Company to enjoy.
Cupid, although a Boy,
Yet eldest there, began:
All-Conquering Death, and Reputation, know,
Though Heaven's my Seat, I places haunt below:
But seek not me, where oft you hear my Name,
In Princes Courts, nor 'mong the City throngs;
They all are Atheists, only in their Tongues
My Deity proclaim:
Their Bosoms never felt
My kindly Shafts, nor melt
With true coequal Flame.
They Lust, and Wealthy adore, to me they bring
Poesies for Offerings, conjur'd in a Ring.
But I reside in th'unfrequented Plain,
Where silly Sheep the harmless Shepherd feeds,
Playing sweet Pastoral Notes, on Oaten Reeds;
There every Youthful Swain,
And blushing Virgin, well
Can tell you where I dwell,
Who in their Bosom reign;
In those chast Temples resident I am,
Till the last hour quench the long-lasting Flame.
Then Death began; My Habitations are
Not in this World, but at the Gates of Hell,
I with the Devil and his Angels dwell:
The cruel Furies there
On Iron Couches lye,
And bloody Fillets tye
Their Elf-lock'd viperous Hair.
By Love, nor Reputation to be found
Three thousand Mile and more beneath the Ground.
But you shall find me, where in mighty War,
Against this King, some Valiant General stands;
There you shall see me use ten thousand Hands.
Or when that burning Star
Joyns a pestiferous Ray
With the great Eye of Day,
And Towns infected are:
Then th'Angel Death you with a Syth shall meet,
Mowing down thousands daily in the Street.
Then Reputation spake; I have no Seat,
But wander up and down from Coast to Coast,
Hard to be found, and easie to be lost.
Therefore I would entreat,
Since now you have me, you
Would keep me; there are few
Having departed, meet
With me again: Though false or small the ground;
Lost Reputation hard is to be found.
From Honest Dealing Reputation springs;
But other Notes the Matchivellian sings.
They are most honor'd, who are most unjust,
And, Wrong or right, stand Faithful to their Trust.
Both originals are bitter. Anne may well have read the latter as a Jacobite poem. It proclaims that injustice is the very structure of reality.
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