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T'he Atheist’s Tragedie.
This ballad is printed from a manuscript copy in the possession of Mr. J. P. Collier. The “Friend once gay and greene" is, of course, Robert Greene; Wormall is the anagram of Marlow.
ALL you that have got eares to heare,
Now listen unto mee ;
A true one it shall bee:
He now is gone to his account,
And gone before his time,
All precedent of crime.
From others' wofull fate,
Untill it was to late. He had a friend, once gay and greene,
Who died not long before, The wofull'st wretch was ever seene,
The worst ere woman bore.
A truer storie nere was told,
As some alive can showe; 'Tis of a man in crime grown olde,
Though age he did not know. This man did his owne God denie
And Christ his onlie son, And did all punishment defie,
So he his course might run. Both day and night would he blas
pheme, And day and night would sware, As if his life was but a dreame.
Not ending in dispaire. A poet was he of repute,
And wrote full many a playe, Now strutting in a silken sute,
Then begging by the way.
Upon the Curtaine-stage,
When in his early age.
That did God's laws reject,
And men of ill aspect.
Had ever at his backe,
To his eternall wracke.
Unlesse this WORMALL did exceede
Even him in wickednesse,
And terror's bitternesse.
Since nought could him dismay ; He knew not what thing was remorse
Unto his dying day.
The crimes he did commit,
For him, to dye unfitt.
On such want wisedome true,
leades to errors newe!
Well might learned Cambridge oft re
His lust was lawlesse as his life,
And brought about his death; For, in a deadlie mortall strife,
Striving to stop the breath
With his owne dagger slaine,
That was a foe to all,
And raging passion's thrall.
His father follow'd still,
Nor playde a part soe ill.
Take warning ye that playes doe make,
And ye that doe them act;
And thinke upon his fact.
And Faustus meete his ende;
To hell ye must discend.
That we should prize it soe?
The wise do say and know.
Or we shall suerly rue
Contayninge the Opinion of one Christofer Marlye, concernynge his damnable Opinions and Judgment of Relygion and Scorne
of God's Worde.
FROM MS. HARL. 6853, FOL. 320.
This paper was first printed by Ritson in his Observations on Warton's Hist. of E. P., p. 40.
In a volume, now in the Bodleian Library, Malone has written as follows:
“ This Richard Bame or Banes was hanged at Tyburn on the 6th of Dec. 1594. See the Stationers' Register, Book B, p. 316..
“It is obvious to remark upon this testimony, that it is not upon oath; that it contains some declarations which it is utterly incredible that Marlowe should have made (as that concerning his intention to coin, which he must have known to be penal); that Bane does not appear to have been confronted with the person accused, or cross-examined by him or any other person; and that the whole rests upon his single assertion. This paper, however, may derive some support from the verses quoted at the other side [of the page in Malone's book) from The Returne from Parnassus, which was written about 10 years after Marlowe's death."
That the Indians and many Authors of Antiquitei have assuredly written of aboue 16 thowsande years agone, wher Adam is proved to have leyved within 6 thowsande yeers.
He afirmeth That Moyses was but
a Juggler, and that one Heriots can do more than hee.
That Moyses made the Jewes to travell fortie yeers in the wildernes (which iorny might have ben don in lesse then one yeer) er they came to the promised
lande, to the intente that those whoe wer privei to most of his subtileteis might perish, and so an everlastinge supersticion remayne in the hartes of the people,
That the firste beginnynge of Religion was only to keep men in awe.
That it was an easye matter for Moyses, beinge brought vp in all the artes of the Egiptians, to abyse the Jewes, beinge a rvde and gross people.
the Queen of Englande, and that he was acquainted with one Poole, a prisoner in newgate, whoe hath great skill in mixture of mettalls, and, havinge learned some thinges of him, he ment, thorough help of a cunnynge stampemaker, to coyne french crownes, pistolettes, and englishe shillinges.
That, yf Christ had instituted the Sacramentes with more ceremonyall reverence, it wold have ben had in more admiracion, that it wolde have ben much better beinge administred in a Tobacco pype. .
That he (Christ) was the sonne of a carpenter, and that yf the Jewes amonge whome he was borne did crvcifye him, thei best knew him and whence he came.
That Christ deserved better to dye then Barabas, and that the Jewes made a good choyce, though Barrabas were both a thiefe and a murtherer.
That yf ther be any God or good Religion, then it is in the Papistes, becavse the service of God is performed with more ceremonyes, as elevacion of the masse, organs, singinge men, shaven crownes, &c. That all protestantes ar hipocriticall Asses.
That, yf he wer put to write a new religion, he wolde vndertake both a more excellent and inore admirable methode, and that all the new testament is filthely written.
That one Richard Cholmelei hath confessed that he was perswaded by Marloes reason to become an Athieste.
Theis thinges, with many other, shall by good and honest men be proved to be his opinions and common speeches, and that this Marloe doth not only holde them himself, but almost in every company he commeth, perswadeth men to Athiesme, willinge them not to be afrayed of bugbeares and hobgoblins, and utterly scornynge both God and his ministers, as I Richard Bome [sic] will justify both by my othe and the testimony of many honest men, and almost all men with whome he hath conversed any tyme will testefy the same : and, as I thincke, all men in christianitei ought to endevor that the mouth of so dangerous a member may be stopped.
He sayeth moreover that he hath coated [quoted] a number of contrarieties out of the scriptures, which he hath geeven to some great men, whoe in convenient tyme shal be named. When theis thinges shalbe called in question, the witnesses shall be produced.
RYCHARD BAME. (Endorsed) Copye of Marloes blasphemyes
as sent to her Highness]e.
That all the Appostels wer fishermen and base fellowes, nether of witt nor worth, that Pawle only had witt, that he was a timerous fellow in biddinge men to be subiect to magistrates against his conscience.
That he had as good right to coyne as
INDEX TO THE NOTES.
ABOVE for about), 200 b. 346
Aby thy conquest past, 281 b. 366
Cato whom fools reverence, 283 a: 367
149 a. 333
BANDY, ?20 a. 329
Barbarian steeds, 33 a. 315
CANONIZE, 61 a. 320
Carbonades, 21 6.314
DACUS (Samuel Daniel), 267 b. 365 290 m
French rout, 247 a. 360
Defend (prohibit), 155 a. 335
233 a. 356
GABIONS, 436. 317
Gallop amain, 198 a. 34
ECSTASY, 93 a. 324
Ecus (crowns), 147 a. 334
HADI wist,' 135 a. 331
Halycon, 88 6. 324
FACT, 2406. 358
Factious, 167 a. 337
IBERIAN City (Cadiz), 209 a, 34
Ida did sing with corn, 259 6. 363
JACOBS Staff, 436. 316
Jaded King of Pontus, 328 b. 369