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Rachel E. Hile

call to mind the Essex marriage scandal. When we read with all three stories in mind, Elizabeth becomes the brothel-keeper, the “foggie threechinnd dame, / That us’d to take yong wenches for to tame” (lines 29–30), and the brothel in the city where the valentine Frances takes refuge becomes the court. This view of Elizabeth aligns her firmly with Venus, not Diana, as Tomalin indicates by invoking the aid of Venus (“venus be 10 Moulton (Before Pornography, 181–82) provides a more detailed discussion of the con­­ nection between humours theory and Frances’s heat to

in Spenserian satire
Rachel E. Hile

the ant’s tales, to the use of the medieval forms of beast fable and estates satire, to the references to Edmund Spenser’s satirical work.12 Middleton uses this nostalgia to imply—circuitously, of course— that England under James was in decline from an idealized time represented by Elizabeth. Some references to James seem laudatory, such as “there’s a manly lion now can roar, / Thunder more dreaded than the lioness; / Of him let simple beasts his aid implore, / For he conceives more than they can express” (lines 222–25). In the same section, however, he implies that

in Spenserian satire