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The Famous Tragedy of The Rich Iew of Malta. As it was playd before the King and Queene, in His Majesties Theatre at White-Hall, by her Majesties Servants at the Cock-pit. Written by Christopher Marlo. London; Printed by I.B. for Nicholas Vavasour, and are to be sold at his Shop in the Inner-Temple, neere the Church. 1633. 4to.
TO MY WORTHY FRIEND, MASTER THOMAS HAMMON,
OF GRAY'S INN, ETC.
THIS play, composed by so worthy an author as Master Marlowe, and the part of the Jew presented by so unimitable an actor as Master Alleyn, being in this later age commended to the stage; as I ushered it unto the court, and presented it to the Cock-pit, with these Prologues and Epilogues here inserted, so now being newly brought to the press, I was loath it should be published without the ornament of an Epistle; making choice of you unto whom to devote it; than whom (of all those gentlemen and acquaintance within the compass of my long knowledge) there is none more able to tax ignorance, or attribute right to merit. Sir, you have been pleased to grace some of mine own works* with your courteous patronage: I hope this will not be the worse accepted, because commended by me; over whom none can claim more power or privilege than yourself. I had no better a new-year's gift to present you with; receive it therefore as a continuance of that inviolable obligement, by which he rests still engaged, who, as he ever hath, shall always remain,
* Heywood dedicates the First Part of The Iron Age (printed 1632) “To my Worthy and much Respected Friend, Mr. Thomas Hammon, of Grayes Inne, Esquire."
Tho. Heywood] The well-known dramatist.
THE PROLOGUE SPOKEN AT COURT.
GRACIOUS and great, that we so boldly dare
Who liv'd in Malta: you shall find him still,
And that's his character. He that hath past
To have your princely ears: grace you him; then
EPILOGUE SPOKEN AT COURT.
It is our fear, dread sovereign, we have bin +
THE PROLOGUE TO THE STAGE,
AT THE COCK-PIT.
We know not how our play may pass this stage,
The Malta-Jew had being and was made;
censures] i.e. judgments. tbin] i.e. been.
best of poets] "Marlo."
Marg. note in old ed.
§ best of actors] "Allin." Marg. note in old. ed.-Any account of the celebrated actor, Edward Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College, would be superfluous here.
|| In Hero and Leander, &c.] The meaning is-The one (Marlowe) gained a lasting memory by being the author of Hero and Leander; while the other (Alleyn) wan the attribute of peerless by playing the parts of Tamburlaine, the Jew of Malta, &c.-The passage happens to be mispointed in the old ed. thus,
"In Hero and Leander, one did gaine
A lasting memorie: in Tamberlaine,
This Jew, with others many: th' other wan," &c. and hence Mr. Collier, in his Hist. of Eng. Dram. Poet. iii. 114, understood the words, "in Tamburlaine, This Jew, with others many,"
as applying to Marlowe: he afterwards, however, in his Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 9, suspected that the punctuation of the old ed. might be wrong,-which it doubtless is.