“Non Nobis” and “Te Deum”

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.323  Tuesday, 14 July 2015

 

[1] From:        Hannibal Hamlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 9, 2015 at 1:35:17 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis

 

[2] From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 10, 2015 at 2:40:27 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis 

 

[3] From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 9, 2015 at 1:20:34 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hannibal Hamlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 9, 2015 at 1:35:17 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis

 

Re. Non nobis and Te Deum.

 

My only interest in this thread is in exploring the textual-cultural context for Shakespeare’s reference to Non nobis in Henry V (I’m interested in the Te Deum too, but the history of that hymn, common to both Catholics and Protestants, is well known). In that interest, let me offer the following.

 

I think John Briggs must be right that Shakespeare’s reference to the singing of “Non nobis” is to some extent a Protestant misreading of the historical record. Hall and Holinshed both tell the story of Henry calling for the singing of In exitu Israel de Egipto (Psalm 113/114), commanding everyone to kneel at the verse “Non nobis domine.” Shakespeare’s Henry calls, not quite accurately, for the singing of “Non nobis,” which error may be due to Psalm 115 (Non nobis) being a separate Psalm in the English Bibles. The story is more complicated, however. For one thing, Shakespeare was not alone in his alteration of Hall/Holinshed. Everard Digby, in writing of Godfrey of Bouillon (Everard Digby his disuasive, 1590), compares him to Henry V, “when with a fewe thousands of men hee had vanquished Charles the Dolphin of Fraunce strengthened with a royall army (wherein was most of his nobility) he with all his aramie kneled downe on the feeld, holding up his hands to heaven, singing & saying, Non nobis Domine non nobis: sed nomine tuo da gloriam, not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but give the glory to thy holy name.” In John Stow’s Chronicles of England (1580 ed.), Henry gives laud and praise, and when London hears the news of Agincourt a Te Deum is sung, but not “Non nobis.” Yet earlier in the Chronicle, in the episode where Hal (as Shakespeare calls him) makes up with his father Henry IV, Henry rejoices and offers his son advice, including, “in thy selfe eschew all vainglorie and elation of heart, following the holesome counsell of the Psalmist, (which sayeth) Non nobis Domine non nobis, sed nomine tuo da gloriam (which is to say) Not unto us Lord, not unto us, but to thy holy name be given laud and praise.” At the beginning of English printing, Caxton’s edition of the Golden Legend (Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda aurea, 1483) tells of Edward the Confessor healing a blind man, and then kneeling before the altar to “say this verse with grete drede and mekeness, Non nobis domine non nobis sed nomine tuo da gloriam, That is to say, Not unto us lord, not to us, but unto thy name be geven glorye." 

 

The reason these authors treat “Non nobis” as a separate text is not just the different numbering of the Psalms in the Catholic (from the Greek Septuagint) and Protestant (from the Hebrew) traditions. The “Non nobis” verse had been detached from its psalmic context for centuries, for the simple reason that it expresses a belief that was a common subject of prayer: to God the glory. At the end of the sixteenth century, for instance, Richard Crompton writes “Of diverse and sundry victories obtayned in former time by the English nation” (The mansion of magnanimitie, 1599). He includes the battle in the Netherlands where Philip Sidney died, as well as the Armada, and concludes that “we ought to yield our most humble thankes, and say with the Prophet David: A Domino factum est istud, & est mirabile: This is the Lord his doing, and is marvelous in our sight [Ps. 117:23]: and therefore. Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam: Not unto us Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be all glory and thankes.” Further evidence of this use is not hard to find. Apparently (see Malcolm Barber) the Knights Templar used “Non nobis” as a kind of motto and sang it going into battle. John Briggs may be right that “Non nobis” was not part of the major liturgical texts in the Catholic tradition, but the verse was actually used liturgically. Richard Rastall (Music in Early English Religious Drama) found it in the Beneventan Gradual, but it appears elsewhere too. My fairly non-systematic search found the verse in an 11th century Missal in the Walters Collection in Baltimore, in what seems an “Ordeal Prayer” among verses to be recited following the Kyrie eleison in the Litany. It was also included in a Breviary of St. Clare, and Stephen A. van Dijk states that the “Non nobis” was included among prayers for the Holy Land ordered by Innocent II at the Lateran Council in 1215 (“to be said at Mass after the kiss of peace”). In devotional books, the “Non nobis” was used among prayers “pro fratribus nostris absentibus” in a prayer book from St. Emmeran, Ratisbon (Munich S.B. Clm. 14248). It is to be read or said at the end of “A devoute prayer Jesu christ” in the 1533 Prymer of Salisbury use, as well as after “A prayer devout and thankfull for daily help and preservation,” in A pathway to penitence with sundry devout prayers by J.N. (1591).

 

It turns out I was mistaken about the so-called Byrd “Non nobis,” which I knew only as a singer. Philip Brett seems to have established that this famous canon was not, in fact by Byrd, and may date from the later seventeenth century. Nevertheless, the text was set by other composers. The most famous and influential was by Jean Mouton, composed in 1510 for the birth of a daughter to Louis XII and Anne of Brittany. Another sixteenth-century setting was composed by the Flemish composer Adamus de Ponta. A recording of medieval music from Notre Dame includes a “Non nobis” “derived from the 9th century Scolica enchiriadis,” though I’m not sure precisely what that means. W.H. Frere, in an article on “Edwardine Vernacular Services Before the First Prayer Book,” notes an anthem setting “Non nobis Domine” in a Royal Part Book (Royal Appendix, 74, 75, 76). Thomas Tomkins wrote anthem, “Lord, enter not into judgement,” that was provided with an alternative Latin text, “Non nobis domine.”

 

The text pops up in other places too. It is inscribed on the facade of the Palazza Vendramin Calrgi in Venice (built shortly after 1500), and in a late sixteenth-century Flemish engraving including the Pope, the Emperor, and various saints adoring the infant Jesus. It appears in an ornamental border on a portrait of Sebastiano Venier (c.1496-1578), and Anthony Blunt claimed the verse was regularly associated with the Name of Jesus. For instance, on the engraved titlepage of Imago primi saeculi societate Jesu (1640), the central allegorical figure (holding an open book, a quill, and a burning cross, with “IHS” on her chest) has a text ribbon issuing from her mouth with the Psalm verse “Non nobis.” The verse also appears on a cape of chainmail at the Metropolitan Museum that also has the motto of Emperor Charles V (“Plus Ultra”) on a lower border, suggesting perhaps it was brought to the Americas.

 

“Non nobis” seems to have been used regularly as an epigraph by both Catholic and Protestant authors and translators, including James Pilkington (A godlie exposition upon certeine chapters of Nehemiah, 1585), and the translators of Eusebius’s The auncient ecclesiasticall histories (1577), Gaspar Loarte’s The exercise of a christian life (1579), and the same author’s Instructions and advertisements, how to meditate the misteries of the rosarie (1597).

 

Much of this is of course of little relevance to Shakespeare, except insofar as it demonstrates that there is nothing unusual in his extracting “Non nobis” from the (Catholic Vulgate) Psalm 113, either from a traditional Catholic or Protestant perspective. One medium in which “Non nobis” appears may be of more interest to Shakespeareans, however. The N-Town Noah play closes with a chanting of two verses of Psalm 113, verse 3 (“Mare vidit et fugit Jordanis”) and verse 9 (“Non nobis domine”). And in the late-fifteenth-century morality play, Mankind, the character Nought, when asked to lend a penny, says,

 

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, by Saint Denny!

The devil may chance in my purse for any penny;

    It is as clean as a bird's arse.

 

This irreverent use of the Psalm verse is similar to that in the fourteenth-century French Roman de Fauvel. An expanded version of the Roman includes interpolated chants, the last of these combining “Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomine tuo da gloriam” with a verse from Horace, “quoniam res tua in agitur in hace parte” (“when your affair in this place is completed”). Susan Rankin interprets this as a satirical reference to the trial of the corrupt royal counselor Enguerran de Marigny (at whose trial a sermon was preached on “Non nobis Domine”). In any case, that such play could be made of the Psalm verse underscores how familiar it must have been. Along the same lines, the impresa of Sir Philip Sidney used at The Triumph of the Four Foster Children of Desire (1581) -- Sic nos non nobis (“Thus we [do/are] not for ourselves”] -- may be both an adaptation of Virgil (“Sic vos non vobis”) and of “Non nobis, Domine” (whatever its precise, veiled meaning, the deferral of glory to Elizabeth is presumably part of it).

 

Hannibal

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 10, 2015 at 2:40:27 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis

 

Dennis Taylor wrote:

 

An earlier listserv post found St. Crispin mentioned in the BCP, but this did not occur until 1662, I believe; I am happy to be corrected.

 

Anything to make you happy! As far as I can tell, “Crispin, martyr” -

but not his equally dubious brother (?) - was added to the calendar of the BCP in 1561. (With a few notable exceptions, those found in the 1662 BCP but not the 1552 BCP had been added then.)

 

John Briggs

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 9, 2015 at 1:20:34 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Non Nobis

 

Dennis Taylor wrote:

 

But what about the repeated references to St. Crispin (and Crispinian—S. may be combining the two), mentioned only briefly in the Chronicles?

 

Actually, 25 October was also the Translation Feast of St John of

Beverley - to whom Henry awarded the credit for his victory.

 

John Briggs

 

 

Advice

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.322  Tuesday, 14 July 2015

 

From:        Stephen Greenblatt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 10, 2015 at 8:54:17 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Advice

 

[Editor’s Note: I e-mailed Prof Greenblatt the suggestions from last week and received the reply below. –Hardy]

 

Many thanks for these excellent and interesting suggestions.    I will definitely keep them in mind when I do the juggling act of the TOC.

 

With gratitude,

 

Stephen

 

Book Announcement - The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.321  Tuesday, 14 July 2015

 

From:        Rebecca Mortimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 13, 2015 at 7:20:34 AM EDT

Subject:    Book Announcement - The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

 

Dear All,

 

I am writing with regards to a forthcoming publication which may be of interest to you, The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

 

Editors: Simon SmithJacqueline Watson and Amy Kenny 

Hardback

ISBN: 978-0-7190-9158-2 

Manchester University Press 

 

Considering a wide range of early modern texts, performances and artworks, the essays in this collection demonstrate how attention to the senses illuminates the literature, art and culture of early modern England. Examining canonical and less familiar literary works alongside early modern texts ranging from medical treatises to conduct manuals via puritan polemic and popular ballads, the collection offers a new view of the senses in early modern England.

The volume offers dedicated essays on each of the five senses, each relating works of art to their cultural moments, whilst elsewhere the volume considers the senses collectively in particular cultural contexts. It also pursues the sensory experiences that early modern subjects encountered through the very acts of engaging with texts, performances and artworks. This book will appeal to scholars of early modern literature and culture, to those working in sensory studies, and to anyone interested in the art and life of early modern England.

 

Kind regards,

Rebecca Mortimer

Sales and Marketing Executive 

History, Literature and Theatre

www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk

 

Addition to Festivals List

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.320  Tuesday, 14 July 2015

 

From:        Kristin Backert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 3, 2015 at 8:36:03 PM EDT

Subject:    Addition to Festivals List

 

Hello, SHAKSPEReans, 

 

I’ve been asked to add a new company to the festivals list:

 

Country: Czech Republic

Prague Shakespeare Company, Prague. 2015-16 season TBA. http://www.pragueshakespeare.com/

 

It has now been added to the list that can be found here:

 

http://shaksper.net/scholarly-resources/shakespeare-festivals-and-plays

 

 

Kristin 

 

Advice

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.319  Thursday, 9 July 2015

 

[1] From:        Tom Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 8, 2015 at 5:55:21 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Advice 

 

[2] From:        Duncan Salkeld <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 8, 2015 at 4:38:43 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Advice 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Tom Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 8, 2015 at 5:55:21 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Advice

 

I am writing to you, as a scholar and teacher of Renaissance English literature, to ask your advice. We are beginning the process of preparing a new edition  - the 10th — of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. In the particular section which I edit — the 16th century and early 17th century — I think I will be able, without serious cuts, to make one significant addition of a new text or a new “cluster” of shorter texts (such as the one we currently have on the sonnets).  I attach a PDF with the current table of contents.

 

So the question is, what should I choose?  What would make the most significant impact? What is most annoyingly or strikingly absent?  What would help an undergraduate course you have been teaching or could imagine teaching in this period?  

 

I am grateful to you for any suggestions. And, as I wear another hat, as the General Editor of the whole thing, I would be grateful for suggestions you might have for additions or changes to any of the period volumes.

 

With best wishes,

Stephen Greenblatt

 

Dear Professor Greenblatt,

 

I suppose it’s inevitable that a reader of a LISTSERV devoted to Shakespeare will note that sixteenth century drama, as currently represented in the Norton Anthology, seems to start quite suddenly at Christopher Marlowe. This has always been a stumbling block for those teaching drama from the Anthology, since even for Faustus they have to explain how the Good and Evil Angels would have been quite familiar to early audiences. So my own bid would be for a play from earlier in the century, there currently being none. It might be too upsetting to established period boundaries to include one of the later Mystery plays, though recent scholarship has emphasised how late the surviving redacted MSS from Coventry and Chester are, but one of the later moralities might pass muster (and would allow a link to Spenser’s way of proceeding in FQ 1 also). Redford’s Wit and Science would serve well but is, alas, missing its beginning. Even that old favourite Everyman would work, especially if one could argue that its translation witnesses to the international character of humanist culture.  

 

For smaller passages of significance, I've always felt the selections from Fox don't include his most powerful and influential sequences, such as the deaths of Latimer and Ridley or, even more famously, of Cranmer. 

 

Tom Bishop

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Duncan Salkeld <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 8, 2015 at 4:38:43 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Advice

 

I imagine everyone will have their hobbyhorse, but perhaps a section devoted to early modern London, which is where, after all most Renaissance writers lived at least for a while, and where they were published. Lawrence Manley’s edited collection entitled London in the Age of Shakespeare (Croom Helm, 1986) is a very worthwhile compendium of extracts and shorter texts, so would provide a useful starting point for thinking about selections.

 

Best wishes

Duncan Salkeld

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.