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me if I changed my thought, and concluded him some desperate cutler. But why his scornful Muse could never abide with tragick shoes her ancles for to hide, the pace of the verse told me, that her mawkin knuckles were never shapen to that royal buskin. And turning by chance to the sixth [seventh] Satyr of his second Book, I was confirmed: where having begun loftily in heaven's universal alphabet, he falls down to that wretched poorness and frigidity as to talk of Bridgestreet in heaven, and the ostler of heaven; and there wanting other matter to catch him a heat, (for certain he was on the frozen zone miserably benummed,) with thoughts lower than any beadle's, betakes him to whip the sign-posts of Cambridge alehouses, the ordinary subject of freshmens tales, and in a strain as pitiful. Which, for him who would be counted the FIRST ENGLISH SATYRIST, to abase himselfe to, who might have learned better among the Latin and Italian Satyrists, and in our own tongue from the VISION AND CREEDE OF PIErce PLOWMAN, besides others before him, manifested a presumptuous undertaking with weak and unexamined shoulders. For a Satyr is as it were born out of a Tragedy, so ought to resemble his parentage, to strike high, and adventure dangerously at the most eminent vices among the greatest persons, and not to creep into every blind taphouse that fears a constable more than a satyr. But that such a poem should be TOOTHLESS, I still affirm it to be a bull, taking away the essence of that which it calls itself. For if it bite neither the persons nor the vices, how is it a satyr? And if it bite either, how is it toothless? So that TOOTHLESS SATYRS, are as much as if he had said TOOTHLESS TEETH," &c.
With Hall's SATIRES should be ranked his MUNDUS ALTER ET IDEM, an ingenious satirical fiction in prose, where under a pretended description of the TERRA AUSTRALIS, he forms a pleasant invective against the characteristic vices of various nations, and is remarkably severe on the church of Rome. This piece was written about the year
1600, before he had quitted the classics for the fathers, and published some years afterwards, against his consent. Under the same class should also be mentioned his CHARACTERISMES OF VERTUES, a set of sensible and lively moral essays, which contain traces of the satiresd.
I take the opportunity of observing here, that among Hall's proseworks are some metaphrastic versions in metre of a few of David's Psalms, and three anthems or hymns written for the use of his cathedral. Hall, in his satires, had condemned this sort of poetry.
An able inquirer into the literature of this period has affirmed, that Hall's Epistles, written before the year 1613, are the first example. of epistolary composition which England had seen. "Bishop Hall, he says, was not only our first satirist, but was the first who brought epistolary writing to the view of the public; which was common in that age to other parts of Europe, but not practised in England till he published his own Epistles." And Hall himself in the Dedication of his Epistles to Prince Henry observes, "Your grace shall herein perceiue a new fashion of discourse by EPISTLES, new to our language, vsuall to others and, as nouelty is neuer without plea of vse, more free, more familiarh."
The first of our countrymen, however, who published a set of his own Letters, though not in English, was Roger Ascham, who flourished about the time of the Reformation; and when that mode of writing had been cultivated by the best scholars in various parts of Europe, was celebrated for the terseness of his epistolary style. I believe the second published correspondence of this kind, and in our own language, at
d Works ut supr. p. 171. Under the Character ofthe Hypocrite, he says, "When a rimer reads his poeme to him, he begs a copie, and perswades the presse," &c. p. 187. Of the Vaine-glorious : "He sweares bigge at an Ordinary, and talkes of the Court with a sharp voice.--He calls for pheasants at a common inne.-If he haue bestowed but a little summe in the glazing, pauing, parieting, of gods house, you shall find it in the church window." [See Sat. B. iv. 3.] "His talke is, how many mourners he has furnished with gownes at his father's funerals, what exploits he did at Cales and Newport," &c. p. 194, 195. Of the Busie Bodie: "If he see but two men talke and reade a letter in the streete, he runnes to them and askes if he may not be partner of that secret relation; and if they deny it, he offers to tell, since he cannot heare, wonders; and then falls vpon the report of the Scottish Mine, or of the great fish taken vp at Linne, or of the freezing of the Thames," &c. p. 188. Of the Superstitious: "He never goes without an Erra Pater in his pocket.-Every lanterne is a ghost, and every noise is of chaines," &c.
p. 189. These pieces were written after the Gunpowder-plot, for it is mentioned, p. 196.
e Works, ut supr. p. 151. In the Dedication he says, "Indeed my Poetry was long sithence out of date, and yelded her place to grauer studies," &c. In his Epistles, he speaks of this unfinished undertaking. "Many great wits haue vndertaken this task.-Among the rest, were those two rare spirits of the Sidnyes; to whom poesie was as natvrall as it is affected of others: and our worthy friend Mr. Sylvester hath shewed me how hap pily he hath sometimes turned from his Bartas to the sweet singer of Israel.
There is none of all my labours so open
h Works, ut supr. p. 172. The reader of Hall's Satires is referred to Dec. vi. Epist. vi. p. 394.
least of any importance after Hall, will be found to be EPISTOLÆ HỌELIANE, or the Letters of James Howell, a great traveller, an intimate friend of Jonson, and the first who bore the office of the royal historiographer, which discover a variety of literature, and abound with much entertaining and useful information.
Marston's Satires. Hall and Marston compared.
IN the same year, 1598, soon after the appearance of Hall's Satires, John Marston, probably educated at Cambridge, a dramatic writer who rose above mediocrity, and the friend and coadjutor of Jonson, published "The metamorphosis of Pigmalion's image. And Certaine Satyres. By John Marston. At London, printed for Edmond Matts, and are to be sold at the signe of the hand and plough in Fleetstreete, 1598b." I have nothing to do with PIGMALION'S IMAGE, one of Ovid's transformations heightened with much paraphrastic obscenity. The Satires here specified are only four in number. In Charles Fitzgeoffry's AFFANIÆ, a set of Latin epigrams, printed at Oxford in 1601, he is not inelegantly complimented as the second English Satirist, or rather
i 64 Epistolæ Hoeliance, Familiar Letters, Domestic and Foreign, divided into sundry sections partly historical, political, and philosophical." Lond. 1645, 4to. They had five editions from 1645 to 1673, inclusive. A third and fourth volume was added to the last impression.
I must not dismiss our satirist without observing, that Fuller has preserved a witty encomiastic English epigram by Hall, written at Cambridge, on Greenham's Book of the Sabbath, before the year 1592. Church-History, B.ix. Cent. xvi. §. vii. p. 220. edit. 1655. fol. I find it also prefixed to Greenham's Works, in folio, 1601.
a The Colophon at the end of the book, is "At London printed by James Roberts, 1598."
b In duodecimo. With vignettes. Pages 82. They are entered to Matts, May 27, 1598. Registr. Station. C. f. 36 b. Hall's Satires are entered only the thirtieth day of March preceding.
Of this piece I shall say little more, than that it is thought by some, notwithstanding the title-page just produced, not to be Marston's. But in his Scourge of
Villanie he cites it as his own. B. ii. 6. Again, B. iii. 10. And in England's Parnassus, published in 1600, part of the dedication to Opinion quoted, with the name J. Marston, p. 221. He seems to have written it in ridicule of Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis. He offers this apology, B. i. 6. (ut supr.)
Know, I wrot
Those idle rimes, to note the odious spot
Of Moderne Poesie's habiliments.
Such straines of well-conceited poesie,
That want of art should make such wit a scorne!
The author of the Satires appears in stanzas x. xiv. xix. I have thought that this poem suggested to Shakspeare what Lucio says in Measure for Measure, a. iii. s. 2. vol. ii. p. 92. [See supr. p. 337. note.]
as dividing the palm of priority and excellence in English satire with Hall.
Ad JOHANNEM MARSTONIUM.
Gloria Marstoni satyrarum proxima primæ,
Nec te pœniteat stationis, Jane: secundus,
Cum duo sunt tantum, est neuter, et ambo pares.d
In general it is not easy to give a specimen of Marston's satires, as his strongest lines are either openly vitiated with gross expression, or pervaded with a hidden vein of impure sentiment. The following humorous portrait of a sick inamorato is in his best, at least in his chastest, manner of drawing a character.
For when my eares receau'd a fearfull sound
His windows strow'd with sonnets, and the glasse
With some sweet-smelling pink-epitheton.
In these lines there is great elegance of allusion, and vigour of expression. He addresses the objects of his satire, as the sons of the giants,
Is Minos dead, is Rhadamanth asleepe,
That thus ye dare vnto Ioue's palace creepe?
d Lib. ii. Sig. F. 4. In Davies's Scourge of Folly, there is an Epigram to "The acute Mr. John Marston," on his comedy of the Malecontent. p. 105.
[In a curious MS. described by Mr. Todd in his edition of Milton, the follow
ing couplet occurs, which may be surmised
The midwife's phrase.
Yet know, Apollo's quiuer is not spent,
In the same satire he calls himself
A beadle to the world's impuritie!
Marston seems to have been the poetic rival of Hall at Cambridge, whom he repeatedly censures or ridicules. In the fourth satire, he supposes Hall's criticisms on Du Bartas, the versions of David's Psalms by Sternhold and king James, Southwell's MARY and SAINT PETER'S TEARS, the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES, and other pieces of equal reputation, to be the production of pedantry or malignity. And the remainder of this satire is no unpleasant parody of Hall's prefatory stanzas against envyk.
A Thrasonical captain, fresh from the siege of Cadiz, is delineated in this lively colouring.
Great Tubrio's feather gallantly doth waue,
"Hot seruice, by the lord," cries Tubrio.
Why dost thou halt? "Why, six times through each thigh
Push'd with the pike of the hot enemie.
Hot service, Hot!-The Spaniard is a man.——
say no more— -And as a gentleman
I serued in his face. Farwell, Adew!"
Welcome from Netherland-from steaming stew.'
Marston's allusions often want truth and accuracy. In describing the ruff of a beau, he says,
1 Sat. 5.
It appears from the Scourge of Villanie, that Hall had caused a severe Epigram to be pasted on the last page of every copy of Marston's Pigmalion's Image, that was sent from London to the booksellers of Cambridge. B. iii. 10. The Epigram is there cited. This tenth satire of the third Book was added in the second edition, in 1599. It is addressed" to his very friend maister E. G." One Edward Gilpin is cited in England's Parnassus, 1600.
It appears from this Satire, that the devices on shields and banners, at tournaments, were now taken from the classics.
He who upon his glorious scutcheon,
Peacham says, that of Emblems and Impresses, "the best I have seen have been the devices of tilting, whereof many were till of late reserved in the private gallery at White-Hall, of sir Philip Sydney, the earl of Cumberland, sir Henry Leigh, the earl of Essex, with many others; most of which I once collected with intent to publish them, but the charge dissuaded me." Compl. Gent. Ch. xviii. p. 277. edit. 3d. 1661. 4to.
I Sat. i.