stopped the eares of all his company, to the intente they shoulde not heare the songes of Sirenes, and caused him selfe to be bounde to the mast of a shippe, and so escaped.
stopped the eares of all his coumpaignie with waxe, and caused hymselfe to bee fast bound to the mast of the shippe, and so escaped from the Sirenes, as Homerus writeth.
In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair Busy puts Win-wife on guard against the hucksters: "The Heathen man could stop his eares with wax, against the harlot o' the sea: Doe you the like, with your fingers, against the bells of the Beast" (3.
George Turberville, in "Disprayse of Women that allure and loue not," monishes men to ignore all lovely temptresses: "Wherefore let be our care / Vlysses trade to trie: / And stop our eares against the sounde / of Syrens wi they crie" (61r; reprint, 151).
16] Such wisdom comes too late for Thomas Watson, now that his mistress's singing has maddened him with love: "Through musicks helpe loue hath increast his might, / I stoppe mine eares as wise Vlisses bad, / But all too late, now loue hath made me mad" (B2v; reprint, 26).
41] When Thomas Twyne translated this sentence into English in 1579, he sensibly replaced the medieval "pitch" with the more classical "wax": "this pleasure of the eyes is requited with great weerysomnesse of the eares, agaynst the horriblenesse of whose most hellysh noyse, it were needeful for men to run away, or to stoppe theyr eares with Vlisses waxe" (85r).
62] Sixteenth-century English readers knew this passage in Thomas Paynell's translation of 1533: "Homer reherseth, that Vlixes, the whiche representeth the person of a perfecte wyse manne, with great study and diligence coude scarsly scape the swete honygalle songe of these Syrens, and yet he stopped his eares with waxe, and bounde hym selfe to the shyppe maste.
Henry's words come almost verbatim from Jean de Serres, Inventaire general de l'histoire de France, as translated in Grimeston: "As they had found him an Achilles in battayle, so they found him an Vlysses to their words, stopping his eares at their enchantments"; see Grimesron, 1100 (originally published in 1607).
365, Heywood again speaks of Ulysses as "stopping his owne eares and the eares of his saylers, with waxe (by the counsel of Mercurie) and causing them all to bee tyde to the Masts of the ship.