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richness of ornament, the same, pure, unstudied melody of phrase. If we read the two poems in succession, we shall best perceive how very closely Keats and Marlowe resemble each other in spirit and in gifts ; Greeks both of them by virtue of this their passionate worship of Beauty, of "the principle of Beauty in all things."
It would be interesting if, by comparison, we could stay to show Marlowe's singular facility for using the couplet, and to note how his blank verse seems to be the result of a gradual and triumphant effort to escape from the rhymed couplet, where sense and melody are rarely carried on beyond a pair of lines. Much of his early blank verse reads like unrhymed couplets ; the sense stops after two lines, and the music too. By this imperfect work he was training himself to write the magnificent passages, strong, rounded, and unbroken, where thought and metre sweep grandly to their climax, which we find in his “Edward II.," and even in “The Massacre of Paris.” But space will not let me do more than just hint at the pleasure to be drawn from such an examination of the poet's advance in
the technical difficulties of his art. For I must make an end.
The question, the final question to be asked and answered is, then, this—Why is Marlowe valuable to us; why should we read and study him ? I think we must answer, for the height and splendour of his poetry, for his “fine madness." It has been my aim here to insist upon this as his great characteristic—that he possessed a wealth of poetic åre such as no one in that age, save Shakespeare, possessed. The height and splendour of his poetry may, perhaps, be most fitly shown by selections, by choosing and collecting passages full of fire and light, rich in colour, and beautiful in sound. So this little book has been made. Those who would contemplate Marlowe as a painter of the passions should read him as a whole. We have lost our interest now in whatever philosophy he may have sought to expound ; his pictures of passion fail to touch us from their want of truth, from their wild exaggeration. Shakespeare has for ever effaced him in that field. What, then, can Marlowe give ussomething his own, something individual and rare ?
His poetry, his simple, sensuous, passionate bursts of high poetry. For this we must prize him ; in this we must find our satisfaction and refreshment.
Marlowe has not yet got the ear of Europe. In England even, few comparatively give him high regard ; abroad, he still counts as a barbarian. Germans may sympathise, perhaps, with one who first touched their great Faust-legend ; the French have never seen more in him than a wild pioneer and road-breaker for Shakespeare. A distinguished modern Italian poet and critic, in verses made by him while reading Marlowe, expressed the belief that his author seemed to have been inspired by the fumes of beer. Truly a fine criticism, a subtle inference this, to deem all Marlowe's "mighty lines” as but the outcome of beer! From such a singular judgment we may conclude that foreigners, with their curious slowness to appreciate any Anglo-Saxon poets but Byron and Shakespeare, have not yet got at the true Marlowe. In England, even, he is not known enough. I shall hope that this little set of extracts may recommend him ;
may prove to be “infinite riches in a little room ;" may really help to make his fame wider and more bright, of whom it was once written :
“ What mortall soule with Marlo might contend
That could 'gainst reason force him stoope or bend ?
P. E. P.
FIRST PART.-Act I., SCENE 2.
Ther. Where is this Scythian Tamburlaine ?