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the learned John Faust continued to maintain the character of a conjuror in the sixteenth century even by authority, appears from a "Ballad of the life and death of doctor Faustus the great congerer," which in 1588 was licensed to be printed by the learned Aylmer bishop of Londonb.
As Marlowe, being now considered as a translator, and otherwise being generally ranked only as a dramatic poet, will not occur again, I take this opportunity of remarking here, that the delicate sonnet called the PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE, falsely attributed to Shakspeare, and which occurs in the third act of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, followed by the Nymph's Reply, was written by Marlowe. Isaac Walton in his COMPLEAT ANGLER, a book perhaps composed about the year 1640, although not published till 1653, has inserted this sonnet, with the reply, under the character of " that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlowe, now at least fifty years ago; and—an Answer to it which was made by sir Walter Raleigh, in his younger days: old fashioned poetry, but choicely good." In ENGLAND'S HELICON, a miscellany of the year 1600, it is printed with Christopher Marlowe's name, and followed by the Reply, subscribed IGNOTO, Raleigh's constant signatured. A page or two afterwards, it is imitated by Raleigh. That Marlowe was admirably qualified for what Mr. Mason, with a happy and judicious propriety, calls PURE POETRY, will appear from the following passage of his forgotten tragedy of EDWARD THE SECOND, written in the year 1590, and first printed in 1598. The highest entertainments, then in fashion, are contrived for the gratification of the infatuated Edward, by his profligate minion Piers Gaveston*.
I must haue wanton poets, pleasant wits,
May drawe the plyant king which way I please.
Music and poetry are his delight;
Therefore I'll haue Italian masques by night,
Registr. Station. B. fol. 241 b. e See Steevens's Shaksp. vol. i. p. 297. edit. 1778.
Signat. P. 4. edit. 1614. [The publisher of "England's Helicon" never conceals the names of his writers where he knows them; where he does not, he subscribes the word Ignoto (Anonymous).— RITSON.]
[The Nymph's Reply to the passionate Shepherd, is in England's Helicon. Isaac Walton informs us, that this reply was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days. Mr. Warton observes, that this Reply is subscribed Ignoto, Raleigh's constant signature. Another very able critic (Ritson) contends that this signature was affixed by the publisher to express by it his ignorance of the author's name.
Warton, however, had perhaps good reasons for his opinion though he neglected to adduce them; and it is to be observed, that in Mr. Steevens's copy of the first edition of England's Helicon, the original signature was W. R. the second subscription of Ignoto (which has been followed in the subsequent editions) being rather awkwardly pasted over it. Caley's Life of Raleigh.-PARK.]
[It seems somewhat remarkable, that Marlowe, in describing the pleasures which Gaveston contrived to debauch the infatuated Edward, should exactly employ those which were exhibited before the sage Elizabeth. But to her they were only occasional and temporary relaxations. -ASHBY.]
And in the day, when he shall walke abroad,
Shall bathe him in a spring: and there hard by, One, lyke Acteon, peeping through the groue, Shall by the angry goddess be transform'd.Such thinges as these best please his maiestie. It must be allowed that these lines are in Marlowe's best manner. His chief fault in description is an indulgence of the florid style, and an accumulation of conceits, yet resulting from a warm and brilliant fancy. As in the following description of a river.
I walkt along a streame, for purenesse rare,
No molten chrystall, but a richer mine;
Vpon this brim, the eglantine, and rose,
Their leaues that differed both in shape and showe,
Prided, the running maine as it had beene, &c.!
That is, acting the part of Diana. f precious.
The description of the palace of the sun was a favorite passage in Golding's Ovid.
Shakspeare means a rich
bed-canopy in Second Part of Henr. IV. act iii. sc. 1.
Under the canopies of costly state.
iSee England's Parnassus, Lond. 1600. 12mo. fol. 465.
Philips, Milton's nephew, in a work which I think discovers many touches of Milton's hand, calls Marlowe, "A second Shakespeare, not only because he rose like him from an actor✶ to be a maker of plays, though inferiour both in fame and merit; but also, because in his begun poem of Hero and Leander, he seems to have a resemblance of that CLEAR UNSOPHISTICATED wit, which is natural to that incomparable poetk." Criticisms of this kind were not common, after the national taste had been just corrupted by the false and capricious refinements of the court of Charles the Second.
Ten books of Homer's ILIAD were translated from a metrical French version into English by A. H. or Arthur Hall esquire, of Grantham, and a member of parliament', and printed at London by Ralph Newberie, in 1581 m. This translation has no other merit than that of being the first appearance of a part of the Iliad in an English dress. I do not find that he used any known French version +. He sometimes consulted the Latin interpretation, where his French copy failed. It is done in the Alexandrine of Sternhold. In the Dedication to sir Thomas Cecil, he compliments the distinguished translators of his age, Phaier, Golding, Jasper Heywood, and Googe; together with the worthy workes of lord Buckhurst, "and the pretie pythie Conceits of M. George Gascoygne." He adds, that he began this work about 1563, under the advice and encouragement of "Mr. Robert Askame", a familiar acquaintance of Homer."
But a complete and regular version of Homer was reserved for George Chapman. He began with printing the Shield of Achilles, in 1596°. This was followed by seven books of the ILIAD the same year?. Fifteen books were printed in 1600. At length appeared without date, an entire translation of the ILIAD' under the following title: "The
[Mr. Malone does not believe that Marlowe ever was an actor, since he finds no higher authority for it than the Theatrum of Philips, which is inaccurate in many circumstances. Marlowe, he thinks, was born about 1566, as he took the degree of B.A. at Cambridge in 1583. See Note to Verses on Shakspeare.-PARK.] Theatr. Poetar. Mod. P. p. 24. edit.
1 See a process against Hall, in 1580, for writing a pamphlet printed by Binneman, related by Ames, p. 325.
[Hall was expelled by the Commons for this libel upon them. A copy of the judgment against him may be seen in Harl. Miscell. v. 265. In the Lansdowne MSS. vol. 31. are his complaint of the rigour of the lower house of parliament, and his submission before the lords. The dedication to Homer speaks of the vexations he experienced from his ungoverned youth. He appears to have been a domestic student with sir Thomas Cecil af
ILIADS OF HOMER Prince of Poets. Neuer before in any language truely translated. With a comment uppon some of his chief places: Done according to the Greeke by George Chapman. At London, printed for Nathaniell Butters." It is dedicated in English heroics to Prince Henry. This circumstance proves that the book was printed at least after the year 1603, in which James the First acceded to the throne. Then follows an anagram on the name of his gracious Mecenas prince Henry, and a sonnet to the sole empresse of beautie queen Anne. In a metrical address to the reader he remarks, but with little truth, that the English language, abounding in consonant monosyllables, is eminently adapted to rhythmical poetry. The doctrine that an allegorical sense was hid under the narratives of epic poetry had not yet ceased; and he here promises a poem on the mysteries he had newly discovered in Homer. In the Preface, he declares that the last twelve books were translated in fifteen weeks: yet with the advice of his learned and valued friends, Master Robert Hews", and Master Harriots. It is certain that the whole performance betrays the negligence of haste. He pays his acknowledgments to his "most ancient, learned, and right noble friend, Master Richard Stapilton, the first most desertfull mouer in the frame of our Homer." He endeavours to obviate a popular objection, perhaps not totally groundless, that he consulted the prose Latin version more than the Greek original. He says, sensibly enough, "it is the part of euery knowing and iudicious interpreter, not to follow the number and order of words, but the materiall things themselues, and sentences to weigh diligently; and to clothe and adorne them with words, and such a stile and forme of oration, as are most apt for the language into which they are conuerted." The danger lies, in too lavish an application of this sort of clothing, that it may not disguise what it should only adorn. I do not say that this is Chapman's fault: but he has by no means represented the dignity or the simplicity of Homer. He is sometimes paraphrastic and redundant, but more frequently retrenches or impoverishes what he could not feel and express. In the mean time, he labours with the inconvenience of an awkward, inharmonious, and unheroic measure, imposed by custom, but disgustful to modern ears. Yet he is not always without strength or spirit. He has enriched our language with many compound epithets, so much
lieved his version of the twelve last to be the best. Butter's edit. ut. infr. fol. 14. Meres, who wrote in 1598, mentions "Chapman's inchoate Homer." fol. 285. p. 2. Ubi supr.
It is an engraved title-page by William Hole, with figures of Achilles and Hector, &c. In folio.
I suppose, by an entry in the register of the Stationers, in 1611, April 8. Registr. C. fol. 207 a.
"This Robert Hues, or Husius, was a scholar, a good geographer and mathema
tician, and published a tract in Latin on the Globes, Lond. 1593. 8vo. with other pieces in that way. There was also a Robert Hughes who wrote a Dictionary of the English and Persic. See Wood, Ath. Oxon. i. 571. Hist. Antiquit. Univ. Oxon. lib. ii. p. 288 b.
Already mentioned as the publisher of a poetical miscellany in 1593. Supr. p. 325, note. "The spirituall poems or hymnes of R. S." are entered to J. Busbie, Oct. 17, 1595. Registr. Station. C. fol. 3 b.
in the manner of Homer, such as the silver-footed Thetis, the silverthroned Juno, the triple-feathered helme, the high-walled Thebes, the faire-haired boy, the silver-flowing floods, the hugely-peopled towns, the Grecians navy-bound, the strong-winged lance, and many more which might be collected. Dryden reports, that Waller never could read Chapman's Homer without a degree of transport. Pope is of opinion, that Chapman covers his defects "by a daring fiery spirit that animates his translation, which is something like what one might imagine Homer himself to have writ before he arrived to years of discretion." But his fire is too frequently darkened by that sort of fustian which now disfigured the diction of our tragedy.
He thus translates the comparison of Diomed to the autumnal star, at the beginning of the fifth book. The lines are in his best manner.
From his bright helme and shield did burne a most unwearied fire, Like rich Autumnus' golden lampe, whose brightnesse men admire Past all the other host of starres, when with his chearefull face Fresh-washt in loftie ocean waues, he doth the skie enchase*.
The sublime imagery of Neptune's procession to assist the Grecians is thus rendered.
The woods, and all the great hils neare, trembled beneath the weight
My copy once belonged to Pope; in which he has noted many of Chapman's absolute interpolations, extending sometimes to the length of a paragraph of twelve lines *. A diligent observer will easily discern, that Pope was no careless reader of his rude predecessor. Pope complains that Chapman took advantage of an unmeasurable length of line. But in reality Pope's lines are longer than Chapman's. If Chapman
* Fol. 63.
Y having wings on their feet. wrought, finished.
⚫ for horses.
b Fol. 169 seq.
[Chapman's own copy of his Transla
tion of Homer, corrected by him throughout for a future edition, was purchased for 5s. from the shop of Edwards by Mr. Steevens, and at the sale of his books in 1800, was transferred to the invaluable library of Mr. Heber.-PARK.]