Page images

"What's in 't? Some Man." No, nor yet woman kinde, But a celestiall angell, faire refinde. "The divell as soone. I cannot see her beautie's deitie. Now that is off, she is so vizarded,

Her maske so hinders me,

So steep'd in lemon-iuice, so surphuled*,
I cannot see her face. Under one hood
Two faces: but I neuer understood,
Or sawe one face under two hoods till nowe.
Away, away! Hence, coachman, go inshrine
Thy new glaz'd puppet in port Esquiline"."

The word is often used by Hall and Marston. Our author supposes, that the practice came with other corruptions from Venice. Cert. Sat. 2.

Didst thou to Venis goe aught els to haue But buy a lute, and vse a curtezan?And nowe from thence what hether dost thou bring, But SURPHULINGS, new paints and poysoning, Aretine's pictures, &c.

I find the word used for a meretricious styptic lotion. "The mother baud hauing at home, a well-paynted manerly harlot, as good a maid as Fletcher's mare, that bare three great foles, went in the morning to the apothecaries for halfe a pint of swete water, that commonly is called SURFULYNG water, or Clynckerdeuice," &c. From "A manifest DETECTION of the most vyle and detestable vse of DICE PLAY, &c. Imprinted at London in Paules churchyard, at the signe of the Lambe, by Abraham Vele." No date; but early in the reign of Elizabeth. Bl. lett. 12mo. "Apothecaries would have SURPHALING water, and potatoe rootes, lie dead on their hands.-The suburbes should have a great misse of vs, and Shoreditch would complaine to dame Anne a Clear," &c. Theeves falling out, True men come by their goods. By R. G. Lond. 1615. 4to. Signat. C. 3. Bl. lett. See Steevens's Shaksp. ix. 168.

y B. ii. 7. The classical reader recollects the meaning of this allusion to the Porta Esquilina at Rome. In passing, I will illustrate a few passages in Marston's satires.

Lib. iii. 11. He says, Praise but ORCHESTRA, and the skipping


This is an allusion to sir John Davies's Orchestra, a poetical dialogue between Penelope and one of her wooers, on the antiquity and excellency of Dancing,

printed with his Nosce Teipsum in 1599. This piece occasioned a humorous epigram from Harrington, Epigr. B. ii. 67.

A few lines afterwards Marston says, Roome for the spheres, the orbes celestiall

Will daunce KEMP'S IIGGE.


Of Kemp, the original performer of Dogberry, I have spoken before. I find, entered to T. Gosson, Dec. 28, 1591, The third and last part of "Kempe's ligge." Registr. Station. B. f. 282 b. And May 2, 1595, to W. Blackwell, A ballad of Mr. Kempe's Newe ligge of the kitchen stuffe woman." Ibid. f. 132 a. Again, Octob. 21, 1595, to T. Gosson, Kempe's Newe ligge betwixt a soldier and a miser. Ibid. f. 3 b. In Kemp's Nine Daies Wonder, printed in 1600, is the character of an innkeeper at Rockland, which could not be written by Kemp, and was most probably a contribution from his friend and fellow-player, Shakspeare. He may vie with our host of the Tabard. Signat. B. 3.

He was a man not ouer spare, In his eybals dwelt no care: Anon, Anon, and Coming, friend, Were the most words he vsde to spend : Saue, sometime he would sit and tell What wonders once in Bullayne fell; Closing each period of his tale With a full cup of nut-browne ale. Turwyn and Turney's siedge were hot, Yet all my hoast remembers not: Kets field, and Musseleborough fray, Were battles fought but yesterday. "O, 'twas a goodly matter then, To see your sword and buckler men! They would lay here, and here and there, But I would meet them every where," &c.

this some guest cryes, Ho, the house! A fresh friend hath a fresh carouse. Still will he drink, and still be dry, And quaffe with euerey company.

He thus nervously describes the strength of custom: For ingrain'd habits, died with often dips, Are not so soon discoloured. Young slips

Saint Martin send him merry mates
To enter at his hostry gates!
For a blither lad than he
Cannot an Innkeeper be.

In the same strain, is a description of a plump country lass, who officiates to Kemp in his morris-dance, as his Maid Marian. Signat. B. 3. Jonson alludes to Kemp's performance of this morrisdance, from London to Norwich in nine dayes. Epigr. cxxxiv.

or which

Did dance the famous morrisse vnto Norwich.

But to return to Marston.


In the Preface called In lectores prorsus indignos, is the word "Proface." do not recollect that the passage has been adduced by the late editors of Shakspeare. Vol. v. p. 595. edit. 1778.

Proface, read on, for your extreamst dislikes

Will add a pinion to my praises flights. In the Guls Horne Booke, 1609, p. 4. "Comus, thou clarke of Gluttonie's kitchen, doe thou also bid me PROFACE." In the same author's Belman of London, 1608, the second edition, Bl. lett. 4to. "The table being thus furnished, instead of Grace, everie one drewe out a knife, rapt out a round oath, and cried, PROFACE, you mad rogves," &c. Signat. C. See also Taylor's Sculler, Epigr. 43. These instances may be added, to those which Farmer, Steevens, and Malone have collected on the word. The meaning is obvious, "Fall on--Much good may it do you."

B. i. 3.

Candied potatoes are Athenians meate.
Our philosophers, our academics, indulge
themselves in food inciting to venery.
B. i. 4.

He'll cleanse himself to Shoreditch puritie.

I have before observed that Shoreditch was famous for brothels. He just before speaks of a "White friers queane. We have a Shoreditch baulke. B. i i. 11." In his Certain Satyres, he mentions the gallants trooping to "Brownes common." Sat. ii. In Goddard's Mastif, or Satires, no date, Sat. 27.

Or is he one that lets a Shoreditch wench The golden entrailes of his purse to drench.

In Dekker's Iests to make you merie, 1607. Jest 59. "Sixpenny signets that lay in the Spittle in Shoreditch." Ia Middleton's Inner Temple Masque, printed 1619,

'Tis in your charge to pull down bawdy houses.

Cause spoile Shoreditch, And deface Turnbull [street.]-

And in the Preface to "The Letting of Humours blood in the head vaine," or Satires, 1600, Signat. A. 2.

Some coward gull

That is but champion to a Shoreditch drab.

I know not whether it will illustrate the antiquity of the Ballad of George Barnwell to observe, that the house of the Harlot, the heroine of the story, is in Shoreditch. The Curtaine, one of our old theatres, was in Shoreditch.

B. ii. Proem. st. 3.

With tricksey tales of speaking Cornish dawes.

Tricksey, I think, is an epithet of Ariel in the Tempest. A tricksie strain occurs, B. iii. 9.

Ibid. st. 4. What though some John a stile will basely toile.

This is the first use I remember of John a Stiles. But we have below, B. ii. 7. Looke you, comes John a noke, and John a stile.

He means two lawyers.

B. ii. 7. Of a gallant,

Note his French herring-bones,

His band-strings. Wood says, that Dr. Owen, dean of Christ church, and Cromwell's vice-chancellor at Oxford, in 1652, used to go, in contempt of form, "like a young scholar, with powdred hair, snakebone bandstrings, or bandstrings with very large tassells, lawn band, a large set of ribbands, pointed, at his knees, and Spanish-leather boots with large lawn tops, and his hat mostly cocked." Athen. Oxon. ii. 738. Num. 572.

B. ii. 7. He is speaking of a Judge, in his furred damaske-coate.

He's nought but budge,

That is, fur. So Milton in Comus, v. 707. Those budge doctors of the stoick fur.

New set are easly mou'd, and pluck'd away;
But elder roots clip faster in the clay."

Of the influence of the drama, which now began to be the most polite and popular diversion, on conversation, we have the following in


Luscus, what's plaid to-day? Faith, now I know,
I set thy lips abroach, from whence doth flowe
Nought but pure JULIET AND ROMEO.
Say, who acts best, Drusus or Roscio?
Nowe I have him, that nere, if aught, did speake
But when of playes or players he did treate:

He alludes to the furred gown of a graduate. See Life of Sir T. Pope, p. 285. edit. 2.

B. iii. 9. He speaks of a critic abusing Mortimer's numbers. I believe he means Drayton's epistle of Mortimer to Queen Isabel. Drayton's Epistles appeared in 1597. Or perhaps Drayton's Mortimeriados, published in 1596.

B. iii. 11.

Lothsome brothell-rime,

That stinks like Aiax-froth, or muckpit slime.

He means sir John Harrington's Ajax, which gave great offence to queen Elizabeth. See Harrington's Epigrams, B. i. 51; and Jonson, Epigr. cxxxiv. My Muse has plough'd with his that sung A-jax. B. ii. 7.

He nowe is forc'd his paunch and guts to pack

In a faire tumbrell.

That is, to ride in a coach. [See supr. p. 430, note.]

B. ii. 7.

Her seate of sense is her rebato set. The set of her rebato is the stiffness of her ruff newly plaited, starched, and poked. To set a hat, is to cock a hat, in provincial language. The ruff was adjusted or trimmed by what they called a pokingstick, made of iron, which was gently heated. A pamphlet is entered to W. Wright, Jul. 4, 1590, called Blue starch and poking-stickes." Registr. Station. B. f. 260 a. Jonson says of a smoking coxcomb, "The other opened his nostrils with a poaking-sticke, to giue the smoake more free deliuerie." Euerie M. out of his H. act iii. sc. 3.


In Goddard's Dogges from the Antipedes, a lady says, whose ruff was discomposed, Sat. 29.

Lord! my ruffe! Sett it with thy finger, Iohn!


[blocks in formation]

2 G

Ioue is a child contented with a toy, A buske-point or some favour stills the boy.

But see Old Plays, v. 251.
Satyres, Sat. iv.

Ye Granta's white Nymphs, come !

White was anciently used as a term of fondling or endearment. In the Return from Parnassus, 1606, Amoretto's Page says, "When he returns, I'll tell twenty admirable lies of his hawk: and then I shall be his little rogue, his WHITE villain, for a whole week after." A. ii. s. 6. Doctor Busby used to call his favourite scholars, his White Boys. I could add a variety of other combinations.

2 B. i. 4.

Hath made a common-place book out of playes,
And speakes in print: at least whate'er he sayes,
Is warranted by curtaine-plaudities.

If e'er you heard him courting Lesbia's eyes,
Say, courteous sir, speakes he not movingly
From out some new pathetique tragedy?a

He appears to have been a violent enemy of the puritans. ... But thou, rank Puritan,

I'll make an ape as good a christian :

I'll force him chatter, turning vp his eye,
Look sad, go graue, Demure civilitie
Shall scorne to say, good brother, sister deare!
As for the rest, to snort in belly cheere,
To bite, to gnaw, and boldly intermell
With holy things, in which thou dost excell,
Vnforc'd he'll doe. O take compassion
Euen on your soules: make not Religion
A bawde to lewdnesse. Civil Socrates,

Clip not the youth of Alcibiades

With vnchast armes. Disguised Messaline,

I'll teare thy mask, and bare thee to the eyne, &c.b

It is not that I am afraid of being tedious, that I find myself obliged to refrain from producing any more citations. There are however a few more passages which may safely be quoted, but which I choose to reserve for future illustration.

There is a carelessness and laxity in Marston's versification, but there is a freedom and facility, which Hall has too frequently missed, by labouring to confine the sense to the couplet. Hall's measures are more musical, not because the music of verse consists in uniformity of pause and regularity of cadence. Hall had a correcter ear; and his lines have a tuneful strength, in proportion as his language is more polished, his phraseology more select, and his structure more studied. Hall's meaning, among other reasons, is not always so soon apprehended, on account of his compression both in sentiment and diction. Marston is more perspicuous, as he thinks less and writes hastily. Hall is superior in penetration, accurate conception of character, acuteness of reflection, and the accumulation of thoughts and images. Hall has more humour, Marston more acrimony. Hall often draws his materials from books and the diligent perusal of other satirists; Marston from real life. Yet Hall has a larger variety of characters. He possessed the talent of borrowing with address, and of giving originality to his copies. On the whole, Hall is more elegant, exact, and elaborate.

It is Marston's misfortune, that he can never keep clear of the im

b B. iii. 9.

a B. iii. 11.

purities of the brothel. His stream of poetry, if sometimes bright and unpolluted, almost always betrays a muddy bottom. The satirist who too freely indulges himself in the display of that licentiousness which he means to proscribe, absolutely defeats his own design. He inflames those passions which he professes to suppress, gratifies the depravations of a prurient curiosity, and seduces innocent minds to an acquaintance with ideas which they might never have known.

The satires of Hall and Marston were condemned to the same flame and by the same authority. But Hall certainly deserved a milder sentence. Hall exposes vice, not in the wantonness of description, but with the reserve of a cautious yet lively moralist. Perhaps every censurer of obscenity does some harm, by turning the attention to an immodest object. But this effect is to be counteracted by the force and propriety of his reproof, by showing the pernicious consequences of voluptuous excesses, by suggesting motives to an opposite conduct, and by making the picture disgustful by dashes of deformity. When Vice is led forth to be sacrificed at the shrine of Virtue, the victim should not be too richly dressed.


Epigrams and Satires. Skialetheia. A Scourge of Truth. Scourge of Truth by John Davies of Hereford. Chrestoloros by Thomas Bastard. Microcynicon by T. M. Gent. William Goddard's Mastiff Whelp. Pasquill's Mad-Cap, Message, Foole-Cap. Various collections of Epigrams. Rowland's Letting of Humours blood in the head vaine. Lodge, Greene and Decker's Pamphlets. Catalogue of Epigrammatic Miscellanies. Satires by G. Walter. Donne's


THE popularity of Hall's and Marston's Satires, notwithstanding their proscription or rather extermination by spiritual authority, produced an innumerable crop of SATIRISTS, and of a set of writers, differing but little more than in name, and now properly belonging to the same species, EPIGRAMMATISTS.

In 1598, printed at London, appeared "SKIALETHEIA, or a Shadowe of Truth in certaine Epigrams and Satyres." The same year, SEUEN SATIRES, applied to the week, including the world's ridiculous follies". This form was an imitation of the SEMAINES of Du Bartas, just translated into English by Delisle. The same year," A SHADOWE of TRUTH in certaine Epigrams and Satires." This year also, as I conjecture,

Entered to William Fyrebrand, May 3, 1598. Registr. Station. C. f. 34 b.

b Entered to N. Linge, Sept. 15, 1598. Ibid. f. 41 b.

« PreviousContinue »