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A whittle with a silver chape; Cloak was russet, and the cape Served for a bonnet oft,
To shroud him from the wet aloft:
With drops of blood, to make the white
She wore a chaplet on her head;
For kings have often fears when they sup,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
For cares cause kings full oft their sleep to spill,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
For kings have wars and broils to take in hand, When shepherds laugh, and love upon the land: Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain, What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?
THOMAS LODGE was an actor in London in 1584. He had previously been a servitor of Trinity college, Oxford (1573), and had accompanied Captain Clarke in his voyage to the Canary Islands. He first studied law at Lincoln's Inn, but afterwards practised medicine. He took the degree of M.D. at Avignon. In 1590, he published a novel called Rosalind, Euphues' Golden Legacy, in which he recommends the fantastic style of Lyly. From part of this work (the story of Rosalind) Shakspeare constructed his As You Like It. If we suppose that Shakspeare wrote first sketches of the Winter's Tale' and A's You Like It,' before 1592 (as he did of 'Romeo and Juliet,' Hamlet,' &c.), we may account for Greene's charge of plagiarism, by assuming that the words beautified with our feathers,' referred to the tales of Pandosto' and Rosalind.' In 1594, Lodge wrote a historical play, the Wounds of Civil War, Lively set forth in the True Tragedies of Marius and Sylla; this play is heavy and uninteresting, but Lodge had the good taste to follow Marlow's Tamburlaine, in the adoption of blank verse. For example
Ay, but the milder passions show the man; For, as the leaf doth beautify the tree, The pleasant flowers bedeck the painted spring, Even so in men of greatest reach and power, A mild and piteous thought augments renown. The play, A Looking-Glass for London and England, written by Lodge and Greene, is directed to the defence of the stage. It applies the scriptural story of Nineveh to the city of London, and amidst drunken buffoonery, and clownish mirth, contains some powerful satirical writing. Lodge also wrote a volume of satires and other poems, translated Josephus, and penned a serious prose defence of the drama. He was living in 1600, as is proved by his obtaining that year a pass from the privy council, permitting himself and his friend, Henry Savell, gent.,' to travel into the archduke's country, taking with them two servants, for the purpose of recovering some debts due them there. The actor and dramatist had now merged in the prosperous and wealthy physician: Lodge had profited by Greene's example and warning. According to Wood, Lodge died of the plague in September 1625.
It is impossible to separate the labours of Greene and Lodge in their joint play, but the former was certainly the most dramatic in his talents. In Lodge's 'Rosalind,' there is a delightful spirit of romantic fancy
and a love of nature that marks the true poet. We subjoin some of his minor pieces :
Like to the clear in highest sphere, Where all imperial glory shines, Of self-same colour is her hair,
Whether unfolded or in twines: Her eyes are sapphires set in snow, Refining heaven by every wink; The gods do fear, when as they glow, And I do tremble when I think.
Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud,
That beautifies Aurora's face; Or like the silver crimson shroud, That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace. Her lips are like two budded roses,
Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh; Within which bounds she balm encloses, Apt to entice a deity.
Her neck like to a stately tower,
Where Love himself imprison'd lies, To watch for glances, every hour,
From her divine and sacred eyes. With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue, Her body everywhere is fed,
Yet soft in touch, and sweet in view. Nature herself her shape admires,
The gods are wounded in her sight; And Love forsakes his heavenly fires, And at her eyes his brand doth light.
Love in my boscm, like a bee, Doth suck his sweet;
Now with his wings he plays with me, Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
And if I sleep, then percheth he
And makes his pillow of my knee,
Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence,
I'll shut mine eyes to keep you in,
What if I beat the wanton boy
Then sit thou safely on my knee,
Spare not, but play thee.
Turn I my looks unto the skies,
The greatest of Shakspeare's precursors in the drama was CHRISTOPHER MARLOW-a fiery imaginative spirit, who first imparted consistent character and energy to the stage, in connexion with a finely modulated and varied blank verse. Marlow is supposed to have been born about the year 1562, and is said to have been the son of a shoemaker at Canterbury. He had a learned education, and took the degree of M.A. at Bennet college, Cambridge, in 1587. Previous to this, he had written his tragedy of Tamburlaine the Great, which was successfully brought out on the stage, and long continued a favourite. Shakspeare makes ancient Pistol quote, in ridicule, part of this play
Holla, ye pamper'd jades of Asia, &c.
But, amidst the rant and fustian of Tamburlaine,' there are passages of great beauty and wild grandeur, and the versification justifies the compliment afterwards paid by Ben Jonson, in the words, Marlow's mighty line.' His high-sounding blank verse is one of his most characteristic features. Marlow now commenced the profession of an actor; but if we are to credit a contemporary ballad, he was soon incapacitated for the stage by breaking his leg in one lewd scene.' His second play, the Life and Death of Dr Faustus, exhibits a far wider range of dramatic power than his first tragedy. The hero studies necromancy, and makes a solemn disposal of his soul to Lucifer, on condition of having a familiar spirit at his command, and unlimited enjoyment for twentyfour years; during which period Faustus visits different countries, calls up spirits from the vasty deep,' and revels in luxury and splendour. At length the time expires, the bond becomes due, and a party of evil spirits enter, amidst thunder and lightning, to claim his forfeited life and person. Such a plot afforded scope for deep passion and variety of adventure, and Marlow has constructed from it a
powerful though irregular play. Scenes and passages of terrific grandeur, and the most thrilling agony, are intermixed with low humour and preternatural machinery, often ludicrous and grotesque. The ambition of Faustus is a sensual, not a lofty ambition. A feeling of curiosity and wonder is excited by his necromancy and his strange compact with Lucifer; but we do not fairly sympathise with him till all his disguises are stripped off, and his meretricious splendour is succeeded by horror and despair. Then, when he stands on the brink of everlasting ruin, waiting for the fatal moment, imploring, yet distrusting repentance, a scene of enchaining interest, fervid passion, and overwhelming pathos, carries captive the sternest heart, and proclaims the full triumph of the tragic poet.
Wag. Sir, so wondrous well,
As in all humble duty I do yield
My life and lasting service for your love.
Three Scholars enter.
Faust. Oh, gentlemen.
Sec. Sch. What ails Faustus?
Faust. Oh, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
Faust. Gramercy, Wagner.
First Sch. Now, worthy Faustus, methinks your Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make looks are changed.
Perpetual day or let this hour be but
Faust. Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with thee, then had I lived still, but now must die eternally. Look, sirs, comes he not? comes he not? First Sch. Oh, my dear Faustus, what imports this fear?
Sec. Sch. Is all our pleasure turned to melancholy? Third Sch. He is not well with being over solitary. Sec. Sch. If it be so, we will have physicians, and Faustus shall be cured.
First Sch. Tis but a surfeit, sir; fear nothing. Faust. A surfeit of a deadly sin, that hath damn'd both body and soul.
Sec. Sch. Yet, Faustus, look up to heaven, and remember mercy is infinite.
Faust. But Faustus's offence can ne'er be pardoned. The serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Faustus. Oh, gentlemen, hear me with patience, and tremble not at my speeches. Though my heart pant and quiver to remember that I have been a student here these thirty years, Oh, would I had ne'er seen Wirtemberg, never read book! and what wonders have I done, all Germany can witness, yea, all the world: for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world; yea, heaven itself, heaven the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy, and must remain in hell for ever. Hell, Oh hell, for ever. Sweet friends, what shall become of Faustus being in hell for ever?
Sec. Sch. Yet, Faustus, call on God.
Faust. On God, whom Faustus hath abjured? on God, whom Faustus hath blasphemed? Oh, my God, I would weep, but the devil draws in my tears. forth blood instead of tears, yea, life and soul. Oh, he Gush stays my tongue: I would lift up my hands, but see, they hold'em, they hold'em !
Faust. God forbid it indeed, but Faustus hath done it for the vain pleasure of four-and-twenty years hath Faustus lost eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill with mine own blood; the date is expired: this is the time, and he will fetch me. First Sch. Why did not Faustus tell us of this before, that divines might have prayed for thee?
Faust. Oft have I thought to have done so ; but the devil threatened to tear me in pieces if I named God; to fetch me body and soul if I once gave ear to divinity; and now it is too late. Gentlemen, away, lest you perish with me.
Sec. Sch. Oh, what may we do to save Faustus? Faust. Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart. Third Sch. God will strengthen me, I will stay with Faustus.
Sec. Sch. Pray thou, and we will pray, that God may
Faust. Gentlemen, farewell; if I live till morning,
First Sch. Tempt not God, sweet friend, but let us into the next room and pray for him.
Faust. Ay, pray for me, pray for me; and what noise soever you hear, come not unto me, for nothing
can rescue me.
FAUSTUS alone.-The Clock strikes Eleven.
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
Scholars. Who, Faustus?
All beasts are happy, for when they die,
Faust. Why, Lucifer and Mephostophilis. Oh, gen- But mine must live still to be plagued in hell.
Scholars. Oh, God forbid.
The Watch strikes.
Oh, half the hour is past: 'twill all be past anon.
The Clock strikes Twelve.
It strikes, it strikes; now, body, turn to air,
Thunder, and enter the Devils.
Oh mercy, heaven, look not so fierce on me.
First Sch. Come, gentlemen, let us go visit Faustus,
Sec. Sch. O help us heavens! see here are Faustus' vengeance on his enemies, he is overmatched himself, he thus limbs confesses his crimes, and closes his career :-]
For wondrous knowledge in our German schools,
Chorus. Cut is the branch that might have grown
And burned is Apollo's laurel bough
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships
[Passages from the Jew of Malta.]
[In one of the early scenes, Barabas the Jew is deprived of his wealth by the governor of Malta. While being comforted in his distress by two Jewish friends, he thus denounces his oppressors :-)
The plagues of Egypt, and the curse of heaven,
'Edward the Second' is considered as superior to the two plays mentioned in connexion with it: it is a noble drama, with ably-drawn characters and splendid scenes. Another tragedy, Lust's Dominion, was published long after Marlow's death, with his name as author on the title page. Mr Collier has shown that this play, as it was then printed, was a much later production, and was probably written by Dekker and others. It contains passages and characters, however, which have the impress of Marlow's genius, and we think he must have written the oriMe-ginal outline. Great uncertainty hangs over many of the old dramas, from the common practice of managers of theatres employing different authors, at subsequent periods, to furnish additional matter for established plays. Even Faustus was dressed up in this manner: in 1597 (four years after Marlow's death), Dekker was paid 20s. for making additions to this tragedy; and in other five years, Birde and Rowley were paid £4 for further additions to it. Another source of uncertainty as to the paternity of old plays, was the unscrupulous manner in which booksellers appropriated any popular name of the day, and affixed it to their publications. In addition to the above dramatic productions, Marlow assisted Nash in the tragedy of Dido, Queen of Curthage, and translated part of Hero and Leander (afterwards completed by Chapman), and the Elegies of Ovid; the latter was so licentious as to be burned by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury, yet they interdict. Poor Marlow lived, as he wrote, wildly: were often reprinted in defiance of the ecclesiastical he was accused of entertaining atheistical opinions, but there is no trace of this in his plays. He came to an early and singularly unhappy end. He was attached to a lady, who favoured another lover; Marlow found them in company one day, and in a frenzy of rage attempted to stab the man with his dagger. His antagonist seized him by the wrist, and turned the dagger, so that it entered Marlow's own head, in such sort,' says Anthony Wood, 'that, notwithstanding all the means of surgery that could be brought, he shortly after died of his wound.' Some of the accounts represent the poet's rival as a mere 'serving man,' the female a courtesan, and the scene of the fatal struggle a house of ill-fame. The old ballad to which we have alluded thus describes the affair:
[So deeply have his misfortunes embittered his life, that he would have it appear he is tired of it :-]
And henceforth wish for an eternal night,
Then Barabas, breathe forth thy latest fate,
[But when his comforters are gone, he throws off the mask of sorrow to show his real feelings, which suggest to him schemes of the subtlest vengeance. With the fulfilment of these, the rest of the play is occupied, and when, having taken terrible
Know, Governor, 'tis I that slew thy son;
I would have brought confusion on you all,
Die life, fly soul, tongue curse thy fill, and die.
His lust was lawless as his life,
He groan'd, and word spoke never moe,
First published in 1834 by Mr Collier, in his New Particulars regarding the Works of Shakspeare.'
Thus, condemned by the serious and puritanical, and stained with follies, while his genius was rapidly maturing and developing its magnificent resources, Marlow fell a victim to an obscure and disgraceful brawl. The last words of Greene's address to him a year or two before are somewhat ominous :-Refuse not (with me) till this last point of extremity; for little knowest thou how in the end thou shalt be visited.' The warning was—
Like the sad presaging raven, that tolls
Marlow's fatal conflict is supposed to have taken place at Deptford, as he was buried there on the 1st of June 1593. The finest compliment paid to the genius of this unfortunate poet was by his contemporary and fellow-dramatist, Michael Drayton:
Next Marlow, bathed in the Thespian springs,
We subjoin part of the death scene of Edward II. in his historical drama, a scene which Charles Lamb says, 'moves pity and terror beyond any scene, ancient or modern.' It may challenge comparison with Shakspeare's death of Richard II.; but Marlow could not interest us in his hero as the great dramatist does in the gentle Richard:
[Scene from Marlow's Edward II.]
Scene, Berkley Castle. The KING is left alone with LIGHTBORN,
Edw. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore com'st thou ?
Light. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news. Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks. Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me.
Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord! Far is it from my heart to do you harm. The queen sent me to see how you were us'd, For she relents at this your misery: And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears, To see a king in this most piteous state.
Edw. Weep'st thou already? list a while to me, And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's1 is, Or as Matrevis', hewn from the Caucasus, Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale. This dungeon where they keep me is a sink Wherein the filth of all the castle falls.
Light. O villains!
Edw. And there, in mire and puddle have I stood This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep, One plays continually upon a drum. They give me bread and water, being a king; So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, My mind's distemper'd, and my body's numb'd, And whether I have limbs or no, I know not. O would my blood drop out from every vein, As doth this water from my tattered robes ! Tell Isabel the queen, I look'd not thus, When for her sake I ran at tilt in France, And there unhors'd the Duke of Cleremont.
Edw. These looks of thine can harbour nought but death:
I see my tragedy written in thy brows.
Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus? Light. These hands were never stain'd with innocent blood,
Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's.
Edw. Forgive my thought, for having such a thought. One jewel have I left, receive thou this. Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause, Oh, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart, But every joint shakes as I give it thee. Let the gift change thy mind, and save thy soul. Know that I am a king: Oh, at that name I feel a hell of grief. Where is my crown? Gone, gone; and do I still remain alive?
Light. You're overwatch'd my lord; lie down and rest. Edw. But that grief keeps me waking, I should sleep; For not these ten days have these eyelids closed. Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here?
Light. If you mistrust me, I'll be gone, my lord. Edw. No, no; for if thou mean'st to murder me, Thou wilt return again; and therefore stay. Light. He sleeps.
Edw. O let me not die; yet stay, O stay a while.
Edw. Something still buzzeth in mine ears,
The taste of the public for the romantic drama, in preference to the classical, seems now to have been confirmed. An attempt was made towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, to revive the forms of the classic stage, by DANIEL the poet, who wrote two plays, Cleopatra and Philotas, which are smoothly versified, but undramatic in their character. LADY PEMBROKE Co-operated in a tragedy called Antony, written in 1590; and SAMUEL BRANDON produced. in 1598, a tame and feeble Roman play, Virtuous Octavia.
ANTHONY MUNDAY-HENRY CHETTLE.
In the throng of dramatic authors, the names of ANTHONY MUNDAY and HENRY CHETTLE frequently occur. Munday was an author as early as 1579, and he was concerned in fourteen plays. Francis Meres, in 1598, calls him the best plotter' among the writers for the stage. One of his dramas, Sir John Oldcastle, was written in conjunction with Michael Drayton and others, and was printed in 1600, with the name of Shakspeare on the titlepage! The Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington, printed in 1601, was a popular play by Munday, assisted by Chettle. The pranks of Robin Hood and Maid Marian in merry Sherwood are thus gaily set forth:
Light. O speak no more, my lord! this breaks my Wind once more, jolly huntsmen, all your horns,
Lie on this bed, and rest yourself a while.
Whose shrill sound, with the echoing woods' assist,
1 His keepers.