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dramas in our language. In " Faus- ty, -and some invested with a dark ius" there undoubtedly are many and gloomy magnificence. That drasplendid passages,--not a few distin- ma also exhibits a powerful dominion guished for grace, elegance, and beau- over the passions, and no limited in
pression. But Schlegel seems to have a sies. In his “ Censure of Poets," Draytop very slight acquaintance with Marlow's pays Marlow this fine compliment :writings, and is not aware of that energy and depth of passion to be found in his
“ Next Marlow, bathed in the Thespian Dramas. Mr Gifford, in his admirable
Springs, edition of Ben Jonson, alluding to this ex
Had on him those brave sublunary things pression, says,—" Marlow has many lines That your first poets had; his raptures were which have not hitherto been surpassed.
All air and fire, which made his verses clear. His two parts of Tamburlaine, though simple For that fine madness still he did retain, in plot, and naked in artifice, have yet some
Which rightly should possess a Poet's brain." rude attempts at consistency of character,
George Peele, in " The Honour of the and many passages of masculine vigour and Garter,” says, that he was lofty poetry.
Even the bombastic lines which Shakspeare puts into the mouth of
“ Fit to write passions for the souls below, Pistol are followed by others in the same
If any wretched souls in passion speak.” scene, and even in the same speech, which
Nash, speaking of Hero and Leander, the great Poet himself might have fathered says, “ Of whom divine Musæus sung, and without disgrace to his superior powers.”. a diviner muse than he, Kit Marlow." In —Heywood calls him * the best of this he alludes to Marlow's translation of Poets ;” and Meres, in his second part of Hero and Leander, which, with a transla“ Wits' Commonwealth," names him with tion of the first book of Lucan, was pubSidney, Spenser, Shakspeare, Daniel, and lished in quarto in 1600, though it must others, “'for haveing mightily enriched, also have been published before that year. and gorgeously invested, in rare ornaments For of all the panegyrists of Marlow, the and resplendent habiliments, the English most extravagant and hyperbolical is Henry tongue." Carew, the Cornish antiquary, in Petowe, who, in 1598, published the second his ** Excellencies of the English Tongue,"
part of Hero and Leander. also places him along with Shakspeare ;“ Would you read Catullus ? take Shak.
“ What mortal soul with Marlow might
contend ? speare's and Marlow's fragments." Here he probably alludes to Marlow's transla
Whose silver-charming tongue moved such tions of Ovid's Epistles, and to that most
delight, beautiful and romantic pastoral ballad,
That men would shun their sleep in stil! “ The passionate Shepherd to his Love,"
dark night which, with Sir Walter Raleigh's admir. To meditate upon his golden lines ! able reply, may be seen in " Walton's
But Marlow, still-admired Marlow's gone Complete Angler.” It is stated by Steevens, in the first volume of his Shakspeare, There ever live the Prince of Poetry," &c.
To dwell with beauty in Elysium ! (p. 94) that Marlow's translations from Ovid were commanded, by the Archbishop Poor Marlow's death was most unfortun. of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, ate, and such as gave his enemies an opporto be burned at Stationers' Hall. This fact tunity of abusing, and most probably of is also stated in the Censura Literaria of calumniating, his memory. The following Sir Egerton Brydges, who says, that the is Anthony Wood's curious account of the translations were strongly tainted with the dramatist's wretched end. “ This Marlow, licentious obscenity of the original ; but he giving too large a swing to his own wit, quotes a passage almost free from that and suffering his lust to have the full reins, charge. Indeed it may here be remarked, fell to that outrage and extremity (as Jothat Marlow's plays give less offence on that delle, a French tragic poet did), being an score than the works of any of his contem- Epicure and an Atheist, that he denied God poraries, or even of his great successors. He and his Son Christ; and not only in word seems at all times to have been hated by the blasphemed the Trinity, but also, as it was Clergy. Bishop Tanner, in his “ Bibliothe- credibly reported, wrote diverse discourses ca Britannico-Fiibernica," acknowledges his against it, affirming our Saviour to be a great poetical genius, calling him “ Poeta Deceiver, and Moses to be a Conjuror, paucis inferior;” but he adds, “ Atheista (honest Anthony himself was no conjuet Blasphemus horrendus." Tanner, how- ror, as Dr Berkenhout well remarks in his ever, borrows every thing from Wood, and Historia Literaria)-the Holy Bible also to Wood seems not only to have disliked Mar. contain only vain and idle stories, and all low, but is a most prejudiced person against religion but a device of policy. But see all the poetical tribe, ard is fond of repeat the end of this person, which was noted by ing a favourite opinion, that all poets are all, especially the Precisions. For, so it nien of licentious lives and dangerous bere. fell out, that he being deeply in love with a
sight into those glimmering regions rules of the dramatic art, and in which of the soul inhabited by phantoms. he often seems to have had pleasure But it is a composition in which the in violating the principles of ordinary Poet has dispensed with all the best language. The whole strain of the
sentiment, the feeling, and the pascertain woman, had for his rival a bawdy sion, though not absolutely out of naserving-man, one rather fit to be a pimp ture, is at all times on its very verge ; than an ingenious amoretto, as Marlow con
the tragical interest does not force itceived himself to be, Whereupon Marlow, self upon us, but requires almost to taking it to be a high affront, rushed in up- be won by a mental effort; and to on him to stab him with his dagger. But support our sympathies there must be the serving-man being very quick, so avoid.
a perpetual play of the Imagination. ed the stroke, that withal catching hold of The present drama, though it perhaps Marlow's wrist, he stabbed his own dagger contains less poetry, is written with into his own head, in such sort, that notwithstanding all the means of surgery that
more uniform propriety; and the could be brought, he shortly after died of mind is never startled by the sudden his wound, before the year 1593.” Dr introduction of vulgarity and meanBerkenhout is pleased to call this a ridicu. ness among the more stately and dig, lous story, by which, we presume, he means nified passions and personages of Trato discredit it
. But Marlow's tragical death gedy. The subject, too, is a fine one: is mentioned by many contemporary writers. the griefs and miseries of the great The author of the “ Return from Parnas
the dethronement and death of majes“ Marlow was happy in his buskind muse, ruinous decay of pride glorying in the
ty ;-sin in high places--swift and Alas! unhappy in his life and end.”
weakness of earthly pomp ;-vice, folAnd George Peele, already quoted (Hon. ly, guilt, and retribution. The tide our of the Garter), says,
of human affairs keeps constantly flowUnhappy in thy end ! Marlow ! the Muses' darling for thy verse."
ing on before us, till it carries down
into death and oblivion, the robes, Berkenhout disbelieves the story alto- and the diadem, and the person of gether, because, he says, that Anthony anointed royalty. A crowd of impasWood has borrowed it from a foolish book; sioned beings, all toiling for the things “ Beard's Theatre of God's Judgment.” But this is a mistake ; for Anthony only of this world, and all agitated and disquotes Beard as his authority for asserting turbed by passions that bear so fearful that Marlow wrote against the Trinity and a disproportion to the objects that athe Divinity of our Saviour. That miser- waken them, are kept constantly passable man, Robert Green, in his “ Groats. ing to and fro; and the catastrophe worth of Wit bought with a Million of Re- leaves the mind in that state of subpentance," seems to allude to Marlow when he says—“
“ Wonder not, for with thee will I first begin, thou fumous gracer of tragedi- be, was construed by the prejudiced and peeans, that Green, (who hath said, with thce, vish Puritans into absolute atheism.” Most like the fool in his heart, there is no God) assuredly the charge is vague and indefinite ; -why should thy excellent wit, His gift, and probably Mr Lamb has taken a right be so blinded, that thou shouldst give no view of this subject, when he says, that glory to the Giver ? Thy brother in this he loved to dally with interdicted subdiabolical atheism is dead, and in his life jects, and busied himself with speculations had never the felicity he aimed at; but, as which are the rottenest part of the fruit he begun in craft, lived in fear, and ended that fell from the Tree of Knowledge." in despair; and wilt thou, my friend, be his As to the morality or immorality of his disciple? Look unto me, by him persuad- character, we are almost entirely in the ed into that subtlety, and thou shalt find it dark. Doubtless he met with a tragical an infernal bondage.”—This language of death under suspicious circumstances. But Green must, however, be taken with great the nature of that quarrel is by no means allowance, for it is spoken almost on his certain; for in Vaughan's “ Golden Grove," death-bed, and with a sorely-troubled con- which preceded “ Beard's Theatre of God's science. And though all this may be true, Judgments,” Marlow's antagonist is called as it respects himself, it is not fair to con- Ingram ; and Aubry says that he was Ben vict Marlow on the evidence of a dying Jonson--a most flagrant falsehood. But all Sinner. It is known that Marlow was this shows, that little is known about the grievously offended at the publication of matter. At the worst, his fate by no means this passage, which is not likely to have proves him to have been a bad man, and it been the case had he been the open and is to his honour, that his sentiments are avowed atheist there represented. Warton pure, and his principles lofty, in all his drasays, “ that his scepticism, whatever it might matic writings.
lime acquiescence, with which, in real the regency of the kingdom and the life, we behold the visitations of Pro- person of the Queen. Indeed it is vidence.
impossible to read this play without The play opens with a soliloquy of feeling that Shakspeare was indebted Gaveston, newly returned from France, to Marlow for the original idea of Hotand elated with the favour of the King. spur. There ensues a short conversation be. Edward is now forced by his Nobles, tween him and three poor travellers, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which is very shortly and vividly who threatens him with the wrath of exhibited all the vile insolence of up- the See of Rome, to subscribe to the start pride and polluted worthlessness. exile of Gaveston; and that our pity We are thus, at the very commence- and contempt for him may be carried ment, and without any laborious de- to the utmost, Marlow describes the scription, made acquainted with the agony of mind endured at parting character of the Favourite. He then from his Minion, which, however, breaks out into the following exclama, finally vents itself in an imprecation tion, which has been often admired of some encrgy. for its poetical beauties, and which, “Why should a King be subject to a Priest? as Hurd observes in his Dialogues, Proud Rome! that holdest such imperial gives a fine picture of the entertain
grooms, ments of the times. It also shows the For these thy superstitious taper-lights accomplishments of the Man who was Wherewith thy Antichristian churches to be the ruin of his King.
I'll fire thy crazed buildings, and enforce “ I must have wanton poets, pleasant wits, Musicians, that with touching of a string,
Thy papal Towers to kiss the lowly ground !
With slaughter'd Priests may Tiber's chan. May draw the pliant King which way I
nel swell, please.
And banks rise higher with their sepul. Music and poetry are his delight;
chres!” Therefore lill have Italian plays by night, Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing The Queen is here introduced ; and shows :
we think that her character and conAnd in the day, when he shall walk abroad, duct are drawn with great skill and Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad ;
At first, she is truly and My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns, Shall, with their goat-feet, dance the antic overlooks his follies and extravagan
faithfully attached to her Husbandhay. Sometimes a lovely boy, in Dian's shape,
cies--pardons his neglect and his inWith hair that gilds the water as it glides,
sultsmand endeavours, by humble Crownets of pearl about his naked arms,
submission or gentle remonstrance, to And in his sportful hands an olive-tree, win him back to his former affection. Shall bathe him in a spring; and ther, Her grief is unmingled with indignahard by,
tion; and her feelings towards Morti. Cne like Acteon peeping through the grove, mer do not exceed those of dignified Shall by the angry goddess be transform’d,
gratitude. But at last, with the exAnd, running in the likeness of a hart,
tinction of her love, there ensues the By yelping hounds pull'd down, shall seem
loss of honour and humanity; and to die. Such things as these best please his Majesty.” having burst the bonds which united
her to her worthless Husband, she dtThe scenes that follow are of very livers herself up, wholly and without considerable merit, exhibiting the deplorable weakness, the infatuated fond- reserve, to the love of Mortimer, and ness, and the regal obstinacy, of Ed- becomes an associate in all his guilty ward,—the fawning servility, the ambition ; and finally, is privy to the greedy and aspiring insolence," of the murder of the miserable King. Her Favourite, and the high-spirited in- grief for the loss of Edward's affection
is thus beautifully expressed : dignation, the towering pride, and the unawed ferocity, of the Nobles. The “ O miserable and distressed Queen! character of young Mortimer is sketch- Would, when I left sweet France, and was
embarked, ed with great animation ; and his language and deportment are distin- Had changed my shape, or at the marriage
That charming Circe, walking on the waves,
. guished from those of the other Bar
day ons by a bolder contempt of the royal The cup of Hymen had been full of poison ; presence, arising from an ambition Or with those arms that twined about my that has a loftier aim-no less than
I had been stifled, and not lived to see I mean the Peers, whom thou shouldst dearThe King my lord thus to abandon me !"
ly love : Gaveston, who had been expelled Libels are cast against thee in the street ; the kingdom, is recalled—the nobles Ballads and rhymes made of thy overthrow.
Lan. The Northern Borderers, seeing their and the Queen intending to have him
houses burnt, cut off. Edward, with blind infatua- Their wives and children slain, run up and tion, pursues the same system of ruin-,
down, ous favouritism; and the nobles are Cursing the name of thee and Gaveston. on the eve of rebellion.
Mort. When wert thou in the field with timer thus speaks to his uncle :
banner spread ? “ Uncle ! his wanton humour grieves not me:
But once : and then thy soldiers march'd
like players, But this I scorn, that one so basely born Should by his Sovereign's favour grow so pert, With garish robes, not armour; and thyself, And riot with the treasure of the realm.
Bedaubed with gold, rode laughing at the rest, While Soldiers mutiny for want of pay,
Nodding and shaking of thy spangled crest, He wears a Lord's revenue on his back,
Where women's favours hung like labels
down. And Midas-like, he jets it in the court With base outlandish cullions at his heels,
Lan. And therefore came it, that the Whose proud fantastic liveries make such
fleering Scots, show,
To England's high disgrace, have made this As if that Proteus, God of Shapes,
appeared. Maids of England, sore may you mourn I have not seen a dapper-Jack so brisk ; He wears a short Italian-hooded cloak,
For your lemmons you have lost at BannockLoaded with pearl, and in his Tuscan cap
burn," &c. A jewel of more value than the Crown. At length Gaveston is beheaded by While others walk below, the King and He, the Earl of Warwick, and war declarFrom out a window, laugh at such as we,
ed between the King and the Nobles. And flout our train, and jest at our attire. Uncle, 'tis this that makes me impatient.
Edward, who has hitherto been an obThe same fiery spirit forces him- deems himself to a certain degree in
ject of pity and contempt alone, reself, with Lancaster, into the pre- this emergency, by the exhibition of a sence of the King, and this parley en
warlike spirit, and “ shews, that in sues :
his eyes is set some spark of the Plan“ Edw. Shall I be haunted thus ?
“ Edw. By Earth! the common Mother
of us all !
By Heaven! and all the moving Orbs thereof! Mort. The idle triumphs, masks, las. By this right hand ! and by my Father's civious shows,
And all the honours 'longing to my crown! And prodigal gifts bestowed on Gaveston,
I will have heads and lives for him, as many Have drawn thy treasury dry, and make thee weak;
As I have manors, castles, towns, and towers. The murmuring commons, overstretched, Treacherous Warwick! traiterous Mortimer! break
If I be England's King-in lakes of gore Lan. Look for rebellion! look to be de
Your headless trunks, your bodies will I trail, posed !
That you may drink your fill, and quaff in Thy garrisons are beaten out of France,
And And, lame and poor, lie groaning at the gates.
my Royal Standard with the
same, The wild Oneyle, with swarms of Irish
That so my bloody colours may suggest Kernes,
Remembrance of Revenge immortally." Live uncontrolled within the English Pale. The place of Gaveston has been supUnto the walls of York the Scots make road, plied by Spenser, who, along with his And unresisted draw away rich spoils. father, support the cause of the King. Mort. The haughty Dane commands the This Spenser had formerly drawn his
narrow seas, While in the harbour ride thy ships unrigg'd.
own character thus, in a conversation
with his friend Baldock.
“ Spen. Then, Baldock ! you must cast Mort. Who loves thee, but a sort of flat
the scholar off,
And learn to court it like a gentleman.
A velvet-cap'd cloak, faced before with serge,
Or saying a long grace at a table's end, That make a king seem glorious to the world; Or making low legs to a nobleman, Vor: II.
Or looking downward, with your eye-lids Bal. We were embarked for Ireland close,
wretched we! And saying, truly, an't may please your With awkward winds and by sore tempests honour,
driven, Can get you any favour with great men ; To fall on shore, and here to pine in fear You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute, Of Mortimer and his confederates. And now and then stab, as occasion serves. Edw. Mortimer! who talks of Mortimer?
Who wounds me with the name of Mortimer? The King's party are victorious--the rebel leaders, except Kent and young 'Lay I this head, laden with meikle care.
That bloody man!--good father! on thy lap Mortimer, who escape to France and
O might I never ope these eyes again! join the Queen there, are executed
Never again lift up this drooping head! and Edward relapses into his former Onever more ! lift up this dying heart ! mode of life. The Queen, Mortimer, Spen. Look up--my lord Baldock, and their party, return with increased this drowsiness power to England; and the King's Betides no good; even here we are betrayed !" army being overthrown, he himself be- The Earl of Leicester and Rice-apcomes a houseless fugitive. And now Howel enter, and the King is taken the tragical part of the Drama begins, prisoner. Our readers will pardon us and is sustained throughout with pro- for asking them to reflect a moment digious power. We have seen Edward on the exquisite beauty of this scene. in all the pomp and splendour of his All contempt and dislike of the wretchabused royalty, and now he is broughted King are gone from our hearts ;before us a miserable spectacle of de- we forget that his own vices and follies gradation and fear, not only shorn of have driven him to such misery, or if his regal beams, but driven down into we faintly remember it, the rememthe most abject helplessness of huma- brance gives a more melancholy, a nity.
more mournful shade to our compas“ Enter Abbot, Monks, Edward, Spenser, qualities of his human nature expand
sion ;-we see the purer and brighter and Baldock. Ab. Have you no doubt, my lord ; have ing themselves in the cold air of sorrow,
once blighted in the sunshine of joy; As silent and as careful we will be,
-it is affecting to hear him at last moTo keep your royal person safe with us, ralizing on the miseries of rule and Free from suspect and fell invasion empiry, who has so thoughtlessly renOf such as have your Majesty in chase, dered himself an example of them ;Yourself, and those your chosen company, we hope that he may at last be sufferAs danger of this stormy time requires. Edw. Father ! thy face should harbour delightful to his soul ;-we share in all
ed to enjoy that quiet so new and so no deceit. O hadst thou ever been a king, thy heart,
his cold trembling starts of fear and Pierced deeply with a sense of my distress,
terror, we gaze with a solemn and forCould not but take compassion on my state. giving pity on his hoary head, bowed Stately and proud in riches and in train down by agony and sleep on the knees Whilom I was ; powerful and full of pomp. of the holy man ;-we even sympathise But what is he, whom rule and empiry with the superstitious dread of his atHave not in life or death made miserable ?
tendants, who consider his sudden Come, Spenser—come, Baldock-sit down slumber as a forewarning of calamity,
by me Make trial now of that philosophy,
and we feel chilled, as if we ourselves That in our famous nurseries of arts
were struck by the hand of danger, Thou suck'st from Plato and from Aristotle.
when he awakes in the grasp of his Father ! this life contemplative is Heaven ! enemies and his murderers. O that I might this life in quiet lead ! Edward is now imprisoned in KilLut we, alas ! are chased: and you, my lingworth Castle, and the Bishop of friends,
Winchester enters to receive from him Your lives and my dishonour they pursue. his abdicated crown. What follows Yet, gentle Monks, for treason, gold, or fee, is worthy of Shakspeare. Do you betray us and our company ! Monk. Your Grace may sit secure, if none “ Leicester! if gentle words might com
but we wot of your abode. Spen. Not one alive--but shrewdly I sus- Thy speeches long ago had eased my sorrows; pect
For kind and loving hast thou always been. A gloomy tellow in a mead below.
The griefs of private men are soon allayed, He gave a long look after us, my Lord, But not of kings. The forest deer being And all the land i know is up in arms,
struck, Arms that pursue our lives with deadly hate. Runs to an herb that closeth up the wounds;
you no fear.