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Had she been fair, and not so virtuous,
This deed had not been half so impious.

Alv. But she was fair in virtue, virtuous fair. Oh, me!

King. Oh, me! she was true honour's heir.
Hence, beldams, from my presence! all fly hence;
You are all murderers. Come, poor innocent,
Clasp thy cold hand in mine ; for here I'll lie,
And since I liv'd for her, for her I'll die.”

Eleazar describes the manner in which he quelled an insurrection of the people.

“I rush'd amongst the thickest of their crowds,
And with a countenance majestical,
Like the imperious sun, dispers'd their clouds;
I have perfum'd the rankness of their breath,,
And by the magic of true eloquence
Transform'd this many-headed Cerberus,
This py'd Camelion, this beast multitude,
Whose power consists in number, pride in threats,
Yet melts like snow when majesty shines forth,
This heap of fools, who, crowding in huge swarms,
Stood at our court gates like a heap of dung,
Reeking and shouting out contagious breath,
Of power to poison all the elements;
This wolf I held by th' ears, and made him tame,
And made him tremble at the Moor's great name:”

and, having persuaded the Cardinal Mendoza to desert from Prince Philip, by offering to resign the crown in his favour, that he may marry the Queen, for whom he has a passion, he is revolving in his mind how to turn this scheme to the best advantage, when the Queen interrupts him.

Eleaz. Well, so; you turn my brains; you mar the face
Of my attempts i’ the making; for this chaos,
This lump of projects, ere it be lick'd over,
'Tis like a bear's conception; stratagems
Being but begot, and not got out, are like
Charg'd cannons not discharg'd, they do no harm,
Nor good; true policy breeding in the brain,
Is like a bar of iron, whose ribs being broken
And soften’d in the fire, you then may forge it
Into a sword to kill, or to a helmet to defend life:

"Tis therefore wit to try all fashions,
Ere you apparel villany."

The Moor now offers to resign the crown.

Eleaz. Princes of Spain, if in this royal court
There sit a man, that having laid his hold
So fast on such a jewel, and dare wear it
In the contempt of envy, as I dare,
Yet uncompelld (as freely as poor pilgrims
Bestow their prayers) would give such wealth away ;
Let such a man step forth;—what, do none rise ?
No, no, for kings indeed are deities;
And who'd not (as the sun) in brightness shine ?
To be the greatest is to be divine.
Who, among millions, would not be the mightiest?
To sit in godlike state ; to have all eyes
Dazzled with admiration, and all tongues
Shouting loud prayers; to rob every heart
Of love; to have the strength of every arm:
A sovereign's name, why 'tis a sovereign charm.
This glory round about me hath thrown beams :
I have stood upon the top of fortune's wheel,
And backward turn’d the iron screw of fate;
The destinies have spun a silken thread
About my life; yet, noble Spaniards, see
Hoc tantum tanti, thus I cast aside
The shape of majesty, and on my knee,
To this imperial state lowly resign
This usurpation; wiping off your fears
Which stuck so hard upon me; let a hand,
A right and royal hand, take up this wreath
And guard it: right is of itself most strong;
No kingdom got by cunning can stand long."

It is said, of the Princess Isabella, who grieves for the imprisonment of her brother Philip,

“ In the sandy heap
That wait upon an hour, there are not found
So many little bodies, as those sighs
And tears which she hath every minute spent,
Since her lov'd brother felt imprisonment."

To the genius of Marlowe, the English Drama is considerably indebted. Even amidst the outrageous extravagance of his earliest productions there is an exuberance and fervour of imagination which gives an earnest of better things. But considered as wholes, his plays are very simple and inartificial in their construction—their excellence consists rather in detached scenes than in general effect. There is a want of coherence in them they are rather a collection of separate parts which have little dependancy upon each other, than a series of actions which bear a near relation to and assist in the developement of the main event. We do not observe in them that skilful intertexture of parts and that integrity of purpose which is necessary to produce a powerful effect. The most dramatic of his plays, considered as a whole, notwith standing its occasional extravagance, is Lust's Dominion. It possesses a greater variety of character, a more skilful subordination of parts—is more complete in its conduct, and more entire in its effect. It abounds with poetical images, and is written with “a sweet and curious harmony" of versification which is perfectly delicious. It has not, however, any single scene at all equal in grandeur to the concluding one in Doctor Faustus, or in pathetic effect to that in Edward the Second. Our extracts have swelled this article to such an unexpected length, that we must forbear enlarging further upon the merits of Marlowe, at least for the present. Before we conclude, however, it will be proper to mention, that besides the plays we have already noticed, he assisted Nash in the tragedy

of Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Day in the comedy of The Maiden's Holiday, which was never printed. He was also the author of the first and second, and part of the third sestiads of the poem of Hero and Leander, written with great freedom, spirit, and poetry. Speaking of this poem, Ben Jonson said it was fitter for admiration than parallel. It was afterwards completed by Chapman. Marlow

Marlowe also translated the first Lucan's Pharsalia into English blank verse, and the Elegies of Ovid, the licentiousness of which he rendered with such fidelity, that his book was condemned and burnt at Stationers' Hall in 1599, by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Maurice, Printer, Fenchurch Street.

THE

Retrospective Review.

Vol. IV. Part II.

Art. I.—Epistola Ho-Elianæ : Familiar Letters, domestic and foreign, divided into four Books, partly Historical, Political, Philosophical, upon emergent occasions. By James Howell, 1688.

There is no mode more pleasant, and, perhaps, none more profitable, of acquiring historical knowledge, than by carefully gleaning those loose notices of the passing transactions of the day, which lie scattered over the letters of contemporary correspondents. These indirect bye-paths to the Temple of History may be somewhat more circuitous, but they often furnish us incidentally with a succession of picturesque peeps, that are infinitely more interesting than the bald naked view of the same objects, which is usually presented to the eye of the traveller who journies along the plain straight road of narrative. When shall we find so entertaining and so instructive an account of the most important period of the Roman history as in the Familiar Epistles of Cicero? The historian of the times may exhibit the actors upon the stage, but the letters of the parties themselves admit us, as it were, behind the scenes, and shew us the individuals as they really were, stripped of all their tinsel disguises of parade and pretension. In the pages of the one we see the mere spectacle of the puppet-shew; in the other we discover the secret strings which regulate the movements of the personages of the scene. In the one we behold nothing but the dial plate; in the other we are initiated into

VOL. IV. PART II.

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