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Ah! noble prince, how oft have I beheld
Thee mounted on thy fierce and traumpling stede,
Shyning in armour bright before thy tylte,
And with thy mistresse' sleaue tied on thy helme,
And charge thy staffe, to please thy ladies eie,
That bowed the head peece of thy frendly foe?
Howe oft in armes on horse to bende the mace?1
How oft in arms on foote to breake the sworde?
Which neuer now these eyes may see againe!m

Marcella, the only lady in the play except the queen, is one of the maids of honour; and a modern writer of tragedy would have made her in love with the young prince who is murthered.

The queen laments the loss of her eldest and favorite son, whose defeat and death had just been announced, in the following soliloquy. The ideas are too general, although happily expressed: but there is some imagination in her wishing the old massy palace had long ago fallen, and crushed her to death.

Why should I lyue, and lynger forth my time.
In longer liefe, to double my distresse?
O me most wofull wight, whome no mishap
Long ere this daie could haue bereued hence!
Mought not these handes, by fortune or by fate,
Haue perst this brest, and life with iron reft?
Or in this pallaice here, where I so longe
Haue spent my daies, could not that happie houre
Ones, ones, haue hapt, in which these hugie frames
With death by fall might haue oppressed me?
Or should not this most hard and cruell soile,
So oft where I haue prest my wretched steps,
Somtyme had ruthe of myne accursed liefe,
To rend in twaine, and swallowe me therin?
So had my bones possessed nowe in peace
Their happie graue within the closed grounde,
And greadie wormes had gnawen this pyned hart
Without my feelynge paine! So should not nowe
This lyvynge brest remayne the ruthefull tombe
Wherein my hart, yelden to dethe, is graued, &c."

There is some animation in these imprecations of prince Ferrex upon his own head, when he protests that he never conceived any malicious design, or intended any injury, against his brother Porrex."

The wrekefull gods poure on my cursed head

Eternall plagues, and neuer dyinge woes!

the shaft of the lance. m Act iv. sc. 2.

n

Activ. sc. 1.
Act ii. sc. 1.

The hellish princeP adiudge my dampned ghoste
To Tantales thirste, or proude Ixions wheele,
Or cruel gripe, to gnaw my growing harte;

To durynge tormentes and vnquenched flames;
If euer I conceiued so foule a thought,

To wishe his ende of life, or yet of reigne.

It must be remembered, that the ancient Britons were supposed to be immediately descended from the Trojan Brutus, and that consequently they were acquainted with the pagan history and mythology. Gorboduc has a long allusion to the miseries of the siege of Troys.

In this strain of correct versification and language, Porrex explains to his father Gorboduc the treachery of his brother Ferrex.

When thus I sawe the knot of loue unknitte;
All honest league, and faithfull promise broke,
The lawe of kind and trothe thus rent in twaine,
His hart on mischiefe set, and in his brest
Blacke treason hid: then, then did I dispaier
That euer tyme coulde wynne him frende to me;
Then sawe I howe he smyled with slaying knife
Wrapped vnder cloke, then sawe I depe deceite
Lurke in his face, and death prepared for mee, &c."

As the notions of subordination, of the royal authority, and the divine institution of kings, predominated in the reign of queen Elizabeth, it is extraordinary, that eight lines, inculcating in plain terms the doctrine of passive and unresisting obedience to the prince, which appeared in the fifth act of the first edition of this tragedy, should have been expunged in the edition of 1571, published under the immediate inspection of the authors". It is well known, that the Calvinists carried their ideas of reformation and refinement into government as well as religion; and it seems probable, that these eight verses were suppressed by Thomas Norton, Sackville's supposed assistant in the play, who was not only an active and I believe a sensible puritan, but a licenser of the publication of books under the commission of the bishop of London*.

As to Norton's assistance in this play, it is said on better authority

P Pluto.

96 Tantalus,' edit. 1565.
The vulture of Prometheus.
Act iii. sc. 1.

t nature.

"Act iv. sc. 2.

See Signat. D. V. edit. 1571.

For instance, "Seven steppes to heaven, also The seven psalmes reduced into meter by W. Hunnys, The honny succles," &c. by Hunnys. Nov. 8, 1581,

to Denham. Registr. Station. B. fol. 185 a. Also, in the same year, "The picture of two pernicious varlettes called Prig Pickthank and Clem Clawbacke described by a peevishe painter." Ibid. fol. 184 a. All "under the hands of Mr. Thomas Norton." Et alibi passim. "The Stage of popishe Toyes, written by T. N." perhaps the same is licensed to Binneman, Feb. 22, 1580. Ibid. fol. 178 a.

than that of Antony Wood, who supposes GORBODUC to have been in old English rhyme, that the three first acts were written by Thomas Norton, and the two last by Sackville*. But the force of internal evidence often prevails over the authority of assertion, a testimony which is diminished by time, and may be rendered suspicious from a variety of other circumstances. Throughout the whole piece, there is an invariable uniformity of diction and versification. Sackville has two poems of considerable length in the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRates, which fortunately furnish us with the means of comparison: and every scene of GORBODUC is visibly marked with his characteristical mannert, which consists in a perspicuity of style, and a command of numbers, superior to the tone of his times'. Thomas Norton's poetry is of a very different and a subordinate cast: and if we may judge from his share in our metrical psalmody, he seems to have been much more properly qualified to shine in the miserable mediocrity of Sternhold's

[Could we suppose, that Norton wrote the first three acts of Gorboduc, it would infinitely diminish Sackville's merit, because the design and example must be given to the former. Norton might write dully, as we find most poets do, on sacred subjects; and with nore spirit when left to his own invention. Shakspeare himself wrote but dully, in his historic poem of Tarquin and Lucrece. Yet it is difficult to conceive how Sackville and Norton, whose general poetic talents were so widely different, could write distinct parts of a play, the whole of which should appear of uniform merit; like the famous statue made by two sculptors in different countries, which so greatly excited the wonder of Pliny.-ASHBY.]

[The reflections of Eubulus at the close of the drama on the miseries of civil war, are so patriotically interesting, that I am impelled to take the occasion of placing an extract from them in the margin.

And thou, O Brittaine! whilome in renowne,

Whilome in wealth and fame, shalt thus
be torne,
Dismembred thus, and thus be rent in
twaine,

Thus wasted and defaced, spoyled and
destroyed,
These be the fruites your civil warres
will bring.

Hereto it comes, when kinges will not

consent

To grave advise, but follow wilfull will.
This is the end, when in fonde princes

hartes

Flattery prevailes, and sage rede1 hath no place.

These are the plages, when murder is the

meane

To make new heires unto the royall

crowne.

Thus wreke the gods, when that the
mother's wrath

Nought but the bloud of her owne childe
may swage.
These mischiefes spring when rebells will
arise,

To worke revenge, and judge their prin-
ces fact.

This, this ensues, when noble men do faile

In loyall trouth, and subjectes will be kinges.

And this doth growe, when loe unto the prince,

Whom death or sodeine happe of life beraves,

No certaine heire remaines; such certaine heire

As

not all onely is the rightfull

heire,

But to the realme is so made knowen to be,

And trouth therby vested in subjectes hartes.-PARK.]

The same may be said of Sackville's Sonnet prefixed to Thomas Hoby's English version of Castiglio's Il Cortegiano, first printed in 1556. The third part, on the behaviour of Court-ladies, appears to have been translated in 1551, at the request of the marchioness of Northampton.

1 advice.

stanza, and to write spiritual rhymes for the solace of his illuminated brethren, than to reach the bold and impassioned elevations of tragedy.

SECTION LVII.

Classical drama revived and studied. The Phanissa of Euripides translated by Gascoigne. Seneca's Tragedies translated. Account of the translators, and of their respective versions. Queen Elizabeth translates a part of the Hercules Oetæus.

THIS appearance of a regular tragedy, with the division of acts and scenes, and the accompaniment of the ancient chorus, represented both at the Middle Temple and at Whitehall, and written by the most accomplished nobleman of the court of queen Elizabeth, seems to have directed the attention of our more learned poets to the study of the old classical drama, and in a short time to have produced vernacular versions of the JOCASTA of Euripides, as it is called, and of the ten Tragedies of Seneca. I do not find that it was speedily followed by any original compositions on the same legitimate model.

The JOCASTA of Euripides was translated by George Gascoigne and Francis Kinwelmersh, both students of Gray's-inn, and acted in the refectory of that society, in the year 1566. Gascoigne translated the second, third, and fifth acts, and Kinwelmersh the first and fourth. It was printed in Gascoigue's poems, of which more will be said hereafter, in 1577, under the following title, "JoCASTA, a Tragedie written in Greeke by Euripides. Translated and digested into Acte, by George Gascoigne and Francis Kinwelmershe of Graies inn, and there by them presented, An. 1566." The Epilogue was written in quatraines by Christopher Yelverton, then one of their brother students. So strongly were our audiences still attached to spectacle, that the authors did not venture to present their play, without introducing a DUMB SHEW at the beginning of every act. For this, however, they had the example and authority of GORBODUC. Some of the earliest specimens of Inigo Jones's Grecian architecture are marred by Gothic orna

ments.

It must, however, be observed, that this is by no means a just or exact translation of the JOCASTA, that is the PHŒNISSE, of Euripides. It is partly a paraphrase, and partly an abridgement, of the Greek tragedy. There are many omissions, retrenchments, and transpositions. The chorus, the characters, and the substance of the story,

* [This third act has no denotation of its translator, in edit. 1575.--PARK.]

are entirely retained, and the tenor of the dialogue is often preserved through whole scenes. Some of the beautiful odes of the Greek chorus are neglected, and others substituted in their places, newly written by the translators. In the favorite address to Mars, Gascoigne has totally deserted the rich imagery of Euripides, yet has found means to form an original ode, which is by no means destitute of pathos or imagination.

a

O fierce and furious Mars! whose harmefull hart
Reioiceth most to shed the giltlesse blood;
Whose headie will doth all the world subvart,
And doth enuie the pleasant merry mood
Of our estate, that erst in quiet stood:
Why dost thou thus our harmlesse towne annoy,
Whych mighty Bacchus gouerned in ioy?

Father of warre and death, that doost remoue,
With wrathfull wrecke, from wofull mothers brest
The trusty pledges of their tender loue!
So graunt the goddes, that for our finall rest

Dame Venus' pleasant lookes may please thee best:
Whereby, when thou shalt all amazed stand,
The sword may fall out of thy trembling hand":

And thou mayst proue some other way ful wel
The bloody prowess of thy mighty speare,
Wherewith thou raisest from the depth of hel
The wrathful sprites of all the Furies there;
Who, when they wake, do wander euery where,
And neuer rest to range about the costes,
T enrich that pit with spoyle of damned ghostes.

And when thou hast our fields forsaken thus,
Let cruel DISCORD beare thee company,
Engirt with snakes and serpents venemous;
Euen She, that can with red vermilion die
The gladsome greene that florisht pleasantly;
And make the greedy ground a drinking cvp,
To sup the blood of murdered bodies vp.

Yet thou returne, O Ioie, and pleasant Peace!
From whence thou didst against our willes depart:
Ne let thy worthie mind from trauel cease,
To chase disdayne out of the poysned heart,
That raysed warre to all our paynes and smart,

See Phœniss. p. 140. edit. Barnes.

Ω πολυμοχθος Αρης,
Τι ποθ ̓ αίματι

Και θανάτῳ κατέχη, &c.

So Tibullus, where he cautions Mars not to gaze on his mistress, lib. iv. ii. 3.

. . . At tu, violente, caveto, Ne tibi miranti turpiter arma cadant.

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