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Greene's Mourning Garment; Greene's Fare- meets with the kings of Scotland and England, well to Folly, The Repentance of Robert Greene, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, &c. and who, after &c. A third class of his performances disclosed various tricks, receives the pardon of King the writer's peculiar knowledge of all town vices Edward : and villainies--as A Notable Discovery of Cozenage, Coney-catching, The Black Book's Messenger,
George-a-Green, give me thy hand : there is &c. The plays of Greene are-Orlando Furioso,
None in England that shall do thee wrong.
Even from my court I came to see thyself, a tragedy ; Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay; Alphonsus, King of Arragon; James IV.;
And now I see that fame speaks nought but truth. George-a-Green, the Pinner of Wakefield; and a The following is a specimen of the simple humour 'mystery play,' written in conjunction with Lodge, and practical jokes in the play ; it is in a scene called Å Looking-glass for London and England. between George and his servant : Amidst a good deal of bombast and extravagance, there is genuine poetry in these plays. Some
Fenkin. This fellow comes to me, of the verses scattered through the tales are also
And takes me by the bosom : 'You slave,' remarkable for sweetness of expression and ornate
Said he, 'hold my horse, and look
He takes no cold in his feet.' diction. In his Pandosto, from which Shakspeare took the plot of his Winter's Tale, are the follow
'No, marry, shall he, sir,' quoth I;
'I'll lay my cloak underneath him.' ing lines :
I took my cloak, spread it all along,
And set his horse on the midst of it. Ah, were she pitiful as she is fair,
George. Thou clown, didst thou set his horse upon Or but as mild as she is seeming so,
thy cloak? Then were my hopes greater than my despair
Jenkin. Ay, but mark how I served him. Then all the world were heaven, nothing woe.
Madge and he were no sooner gone down into the ditch, Ah, were her heart relenting as her hand,
But I plucked out my knife, cut four holes in my cloak, That seems to melt e'en with the mildest touch,
And made his horse stand on the bare ground.
Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay is Greene's best So as she shews, she seems the budding rose,
comedy. His friars are conjurers, and the piece Yet sweeter far than is an earthly flower ;
concludes with one of their pupils being carried Sovereign of beauty, like the spray she grows,
off to hell on the back of one of Friar Bacon's Compassed she is with thorns and cankered flower ;
devils. Mr Collier thinks this was one of the Yet, were she willing to be plucked and worn,
latest instances of the devil being brought upon She would be gathered though she grew on thorn.
the stage in propria persona. The play was acted The blank verse of Greene approaches next to in 1591, but may have been produced a year or that of Marlowe, though less energetic. His two earlier. imagination was lively and discursive, fond of In some hour of repentance, when death was legendary lore, and filled with classical images nigh at hand, Greene wrote a tract, called A and illustrations. In his Orlando, he thus apos- Groats Worth of Wit, bought with a Million of trophises the evening star :
Repentance, in which he deplores his fate more
feelingly than Nash, and also gives ghostly advice Fair queen of love, thou mistress of delight,
to his acquaintances that spend their wit in Thou gladsome lamp that wait'st on Phæbe's train, making plays.' The first he styles 'thou famous Spreading thy kindness through the jarring orbs, gracer of tragedians, and he accuses him of That in their union praise thy lasting powers ; atheism : 'why should thy excellent wit, His gift, Thou that hast stayed the fiery Phlegon's course, be so blinded, that thou shouldst give no glory And mad'st the coachman of the glorious wain
to the giver?' The allusion here is clearly to To droop in view of Daphne's excellence;
Marlowe, whom all his contemporaries charge Fair pride of morn, sweet beauty of the even,
with atheism. The second dramatist is addressed Look on Orlando languishing in love. Sweet solitary groves, whereas the nymphs
as 'Young Juvenal, that biting satirist that lastly With pleasance laugh to see the satyrs play,
with me together writ a comedy! sweet boy, Witness Orlando's faith unto his love.
might I advise thee, be advised, and get not Tread she these lawns ?—kind Flora, boast thy pride: many enemies by bitter words ; inveigh against Seek she for shades ?--spread, cedars, for her sake. vain men, for thou canst do it-no man better, Fair Flora, make her couch amidst thy flowers. no man so well.' Lodge is supposed to be the Sweet crystal springs,
party here addressed. Finally, Greene counsels Wash ye with roses when she longs to drink.
another dramatist, 'no less deserving than the Ah thought, my heaven ! Ah heaven, that knows my other two,' and who was like himself driven to thought !
extreme shifts, not to depend on so mean a stay Smile, joy in her that my content hath wrought.
as the stage. Peele is evidently this third party. Passages like this prove that Greene succeeds is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers,
Greene then glances at Shakspeare : ‘For there well, as Hallam remarks, 'in that florid and gay style, a little redundant in images, which shak- that, with his tiger's heart wrapt in a player's speare
frequently gives to his princes and courtiers, hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out and which renders some unimpassioned scenes in a blank verse as the best of you; and being an the historic plays effective and brilliant. Pro- absolute Johannes Fac-totum, is, in his own confessor Tieck gives him the high praise of pos- ceit, the only. Shake-scene in a country. The sessing a happy talent, a clear spirit, and a lively punning allusion to Shakspeare is palpable : the imagination. His comedies have a good deal expressions, tiger's heart, &c. are a parody on of boisterous merriment and farcical humour. the line in Henry VI. part' thirdGeorge-a-Green is a shrewd Yorkshireman, who O tiger's heart, wrapt in a woman's hide !
The mean, that 'grees with country music best,
The Winter's Tale is believed to be one of Shakspeare's late dramas, not written till long after Greene's death; consequently, if this be correct, the unhappy man could not allude to the plagiarism of the plot from his tale of Pandosto. Some forgotten play of Greene and his friend may have been alluded to; perhaps the old dramas on which Shakspeare constructed his Henry VI. for in one of these the line o tiger's heart, &c. also occurs. These old plays, however, seem above the pitch of Greene in tragedy. Shakspeare was certainly indebted to Marlowe, one of the dramatists thus addressed by Greene. The Groat's Worth of Wit was published after Greene's death by a brotherdramatist, Henry Chettle, who, in the preface to a subsequent work, apologised indirectly for the allusion to Shakspeare. 'I am as sorry,' he says, ‘as if the original fault had been my fault, because myself have seen his demeanour no less civil than he excellent in the quality he professes. Besides, divers of worship have reported his uprightness of dealing, which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writing, that approves his art.' This is a valuable statement: full justice is done to Shakspeare's moral worth and civil deportment, and to his respectability as an actor and author. Chettle's apology or explanation was made in 1593
The conclusion of Greene's Groat's Worth of Wit contains more pathos than all his plays; it is a harrowing picture of genius debased by vice, and sorrowing in repentance :
But now return I again to you three [Marlowe, Lodge, and Peele), knowing my misery is to you no news: and let me heartily entreat you to be warned by my harms. Delight not, as I have done, in irreligious caths, despise drunkenness, fly lust, abhor those epicures whose loose life hath made religion loathsome to your ears; and when they soothe you with terms of mastership, remember Robert Greene--whom they have often flattered-perishes for want of comfort. Remember, gentlemen, your lives are like so many light-tapers that are with care delivered to all of you to maintain ; these, with wind-puffed wrath, may be extinguished, with drunkenness put out, with negligence let fall. The fire of my light is now at the last snuff. My hand is tired, and I forced to leave where I would begin ; desirous that you should live, though himself be dying, -ROBERT GREENE.
Sephestia's Song to her Child, after escaping from
Last his sorrow, first his joy.
The wanton smiled, father wept,
Father's sorrow, father's joy.
The Shepherd and his wife.
Like the roses on the tree; 1 Alder, of all; alderleefest, or alderlevest, dearest of all.
His death was wretched in the extreme. Having, at a supper where Nash was a guest, indulged to excess in pickled herrings and Rhenish wine, he contracted a mortal illness, under which he continued for a month, supported by a poor charitable cordwainer; and he was buried the day after his death in the New Churchyard near Bedlam, the cost of his funeral being 6s. 4d. Harvey says Greene's corpse was decked by the cordwainer's wife with 'a garland of bays, pursuant to his last request !'
Content.--A Sonnet. Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content : The quiet mind is richer than a crown: Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent : The poor estate scorns Fortune's angry frown. Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss, Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss. The homely house that harbours quiet rest, The cottage that affords no pride nor care,
Buxom, blithe, and
THOMAS LODGE is usually classed among the
precursors of Shakspeare; he was a poor dramaLove did lie within her eyes,
tist. He wrote one tragedy, The Wounds of Civil In ambush for some wanton prize ;
War, lively set forth in the True Tragedies of A leefer lass than this had been,
Marius and Sylla, 1594. This is in blank verse, Corydon had never seen.
but without modulation, and the play is heavy Nor was Phillis, that fair May,
and uninteresting. The mystery-play,' A LookHalf so gaudy or so gay.
ing-glass for London and England, written by She wore a chaplet on her head;
Lodge and Greene, is directed to the defence of Her cassock was of scarlet red,
It applies the scriptural story of Long and large, as straight as bent ;
Nineveh to the city of London, and amidst Her middle was both small and gent.
drunken buffoonery and clownish mirth, contains A neck as white as whales' bone,
some powerful satirical writing.
The greatest of Shakspeare's precursors in the
drama was CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE-a fiery Philador, seeing this couple sitting thus lovingly, noted the concord of country amity, and began to conjecture with himself, imaginative spirit, who first imparted consistent what a sweet kind of life those men use, who were by their birth character and energy to the stage, in connection too low for dignity, and by their fortunes too simple for envy; with a high-sounding and varied blank verse. well, he thought to fall in prattle with them,
had not the shepherd
. Marlowe was born at Canterbury, and baptised taken his pipe in hand, and begun to play, and his wife to sing out, this roundelay.
on the 26th of February 1563-4. He was the
son of a shoemaker, but through the aid of some Ah! what is love? It is a pretty thing,
local patron-supposed to be Sir Roger Manwood, As sweet unto a shepherd as a king,
chief baron of the Exchequer, on whom he wrote And sweeter too : For kings have cares that wait upon a crown,
a Latin epitaph—he was admitted into the King's
School of Canterbury, founded for the education And cares can make the sweetest cares to frown: Ah then, ah then,
of fifty scholars, who received each a stipend of If country loves such sweet desires gain,
£4 per annum, and retained their scholarships for What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?
five years. From this institution, Marlowe was
enabled to proceed, in 1581, to Bennet College, His flocks are folded; he comes home at night
Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.A. As merry as a king in his delight,
in 1583, and that of M.A. in 1587. Previous to And merrier too :
this, he is supposed to have written his tragedy For kings bethink them what the state require,
of Tamburlaine the Great, which was successfully Where shepherds, careless, carol by the fire : brought out on the stage, and long continued a Ah then, ah then,
favourite. Shakspeare makes ancient Pistol quote, If country loves such sweet desires gain,
in ridicule, part of this play: What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?
Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia, &c.
But, amidst the rant and fustian of Tamburlaine,
there are passages of great beauty and wild granFor kings have often fears when they sup,
deur, and the versification justifies the compliment Where shepherds dread no poison in their cup :
afterwards paid by Ben Jonson, in the words, Ah then, ah then,
Marlowe's mighty line.' His lofty blank verse If country loves such sweet desires gain,
is one of his most characteristic features. His What lady would not love a shepherd swain ? second play, the Life and Death of Dr Faustus,
exhibits a far wider range of dramatic power than Upon his couch of straw he sleeps as sound his first tragedy. The hero studies necromancy, As doth the king upon his beds of down,
and makes a solemn disposal of his soul to Lucifer, More sounder too :
on condition of having a familiar spirit at his comFor cares cause kings full oft their sleep to spill, mand, and unlimited enjoyment for twenty-four Where weary shepherds lie and snort their fill :
years; during which period Faustus visits different Ah then, ah then, If country loves such sweet desires gain,
countries, calls up spirits from the vasty deep,'
and revels in luxury and splendour. At length What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?
the time expires, the bond becomes due, and a Thus with his wife he spends the year as blithe
party of evil spirits enter, amidst thunder and As doth the king at every tide or syth,?
lightning, to claim his forfeited life and person. And blither too :
Such a plot afforded scope for deep passion and For kings have wars and broils to take in hand, variety of adventure, and Marlowe has constructed When shepherds laugh, and love upon the land : from it a powerful though irregular play. Scenes Ah then, ah then,
and passages of terrific grandeur and the most If country loves such sweet desires gain,
thrilling agony, are intermixed with low humour What lady would not love a shepherd swain ? and preternatural machinery, often ludicrous and
grotesque. The ambition of Faustus is a sensual, 1 Syth, or sithe, Sax. time.
not a lofty ambition. A feeling of curiosity and
wonder is excited by his necromancy and his and now it is too late. Gentlemen, away, lest you perish strange compact with Lucifer ; but we do not with me. fairly sympathise with him till all his disguises Sec. Sch. Oh, what may we do to save Faustus! are stripped off, and his meretricious splendour
Faust. Talk not of me, but save yourselves, and depart.
Third Sch. God will strengthen me; I will stay with is succeeded by horror and despair. Then, when
Faustus. he stands on the brink of everlasting ruin, waiting for the fatal moment, imploring, yet distrusting into the next room and pray for him.
First Sch. Tempt not God, sweet friend, but let us repentance, a scene of enchaining interest, fervid
Faust. Ay, pray for me, pray for me ; and what noise passion, and overwhelming pathos, carries captive soever you hear, come not unto me, for nothing can the sternest heart, and proclaims the full triumph rescue me. of the tragic poet.
Sec. Sch. Pray thou, and we will pray, that God may
have mercy upon thee. Scenes from Marlowe's Faustus.
Faust. Gentlemen, farewell; if I-live till morning, I'll
visit you : if not, Faustus is gone to hell.
Scholars. Faustus, farewell.
Faustus alone. --The Clock strikes Eleven.
Faust. O Faustus, As in all humble duty I do yield
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, My life and lasting service for your love. [Exit. And then thou must be damned perpetually. Three Scholars enter.
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, Faust. Gramercy, Wagner.
That time may cease and midnight never come.
Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make
Perpetual day! or let this hour be but looks are changed.
That Faustus may repent and save his soul. Faust. O gentlemen.
O lente lente currite, noctis equi. Second Scholar, What ails Faustus? Faust. Ah, my sweet chamber-fellow, had I lived with The devil will come, and Faustus must be damned.
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, thee, then had I lived still, but now must die eternally. Oh, I will leap to heaven : who pulls me down? Look, sirs, comes he not? comes he not? First Sch. O my dear Faustus, what imports this One drop of blood will save me : Oh, my Christ,
See where Christ's blood streams in the firmament : fear?
Rend not my heart for naming of my Christ.
Yet will I call on him : O spare me, Lucifer.
Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of Heaven.
Gape, earth! O no, it will not harbour me. member mercy is infinite.
Whose influence have allotted death and hell, Faust. But Faustus's offence can ne'er be pardoned. Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist The serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud; Faustus. O gentlemen, hear me with patience, and That when you vomit forth into the air, tremble not at my speeches. Though my heart pant and My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths, quiver to remember that I have been a student here But let my soul mount and ascend to heaven. these thirty years, oh, would I had ne'er seen Wirtemberg, never read book ! and what wonders have I done,
The Watch strikes. all Germany can witness, yea, all the world : for which Oh, half the hour is past : 'twill all be past anon. Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world ; yea, Oh, if my soul must suffer for my sin, heaven itself-heaven the seat of God, the throne of the Impose some end to my incessant pain. blessed, the kingdom of joy-and must remain in hell for Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
Hell, o hell, for ever. Sweet friends, what shall A hundred thousand, and at the last be saved : become of Faustus being in hell for ever?
No end is limited to damned souls. Sec. Sch. Yet, Faustus, call on God.
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul ? Faust. On God, whom Faustus hath abjured ? on Or why is this immortal that thou hast ? God, whom Faustus hath blasphemed ? O my God, I Oh, Pythagoras' metempsychosis, were that true, would weep, but the devil draws in my tears. Gush | This soul should fly from me, and I be changed forth blood instead of tears, yea, life and soul! Oh, he Into some brutish beast. stays my tongue : I would lift up my hands, but see, All beasts are happy, for when they die, they hold 'em, they hold 'em !
Their souls are soon dissolved in elements; Scholars. Who, Faustus ?
But mine must live still to be plagued in hell. Faust. Why, Lucifer and Mephistophilis. O gentle- Cursed be the parents that engendered me ! men, I gave them my soul for my cunning.
No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer, Scholars. O God forbid!
That hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven. Faust. God forbid it indeed, but Faustus hath done it : for the vain pleasure of four-and-twenty years hath
The Clock strikes Twelve. Faustus lost eternal joy and felicity. I writ them a bill | It strikes, it strikes ; now, body, turn to air, with mine own blood; the date is expired: this is the Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell. time, and he will fetch me. First Sch. Why did not Faustus tell of this before,
Thunder, and enter the Devils. that divines might have prayed for thee?
O soul, be changed into small water-drops, Faust. Oft have I thought to have done so; but the And fall into the ocean : ne'er be found. devil threatened to tear me in pieces if I named God; to O mercy, Heaven, look not so fierce on me. fetch me body and soul if I once gave ear to divinity; Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while :
Ugly hell, gape not; come not, Lucifer :
Inflict upon them, thou great Primus Motor!
I ban their souls to everlasting pains
And extreme tortures of the fiery deep,
That thus have dealt with me in my distress.
So deeply have his misfortunes imbittered his life, that he would
have it appear he is tired of it: Such fearful shrieks and cries were never heard; Pray Heaven the Doctor have escaped the danger.
And henceforth wish for an eternal night, Sec. Sch. O help us, heavens ! see, here are Faustus'
That clouds of darkness may inclose my flesh, limbs,
And hide these extreme sorrows from mine eyes. All torn asunder by the hand of death.
But when his comforters are gone, he throws off the mask of Third Sch. The devil whom Faustus served hath torn
sorrow to shew his real feelings, which suggest to him schemes of him thus :
the subtlest vengeance.
With the fulfilment of these, the rest of For 'twixt the hours of twelve and one, methought
the play is occupied, and when, having taken terrible vengeance I heard him shriek and call aloud for help ;
on his enemies, he is overmatched himself, he thus confesses his
crimes, and closes his career. At which same time the house seemed all on fire With dreadful horror of these damned fiends.
Then, Barabas, breathe forth thy latest fate, Sec. Sch. Well, gentlemen, though Faustus' end be And in the fury of thy torments, strive such
To end thy life with resolution : As every Christian heart laments to think on;
Know, governor, 'tis I that slew thy son ; Yet, for he was a scholar once admired
I framed the challenge that did make them meet. For wondrous knowledge in our German schools,
Know, Calymath, I aimed thy overthrow; We'll give his mangled limbs due burial :
And had I but escaped this stratagem, And all the scholars, clothed in mourning black,
I would have brought confusion on you all, Shall wait upon his heavy funeral.
(Exeunt. Damned Christian dogs, and Turkish infidels. Chorus. Cut is the branch that might have grown full But now begins the extremity of heat straight,
To pinch me with intolerable pangs. And burned'is Apollo's laurel bough
Die, life; fly, soul; tongue, curse thy fill, and die. That sometime grew within this learned man:
[Dies. Faustus is gone! Regard his hellish fall, Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
Edward II. is greatly superior to the two plays Only to wonder at unlawful things;
mentioned in connection with it: it is a noble Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits
drama, with ably drawn characters and splendid To practise more than heavenly power permits.
Another tragedy, Lust's Dominion, was The classical taste of Marlowe is evinced in the published long after Marlowe's death, with his fine apostrophe to Helen of Greece, whom the has shewn that this play, as it was then printed,
name, as author, on the title-page. Mr Collier spirit Mephistophilis conjures up 'between two
was a much later production, and was probably Cupids,' to gratify the sensual gaze of Faustus :
written by Dekker and others. It contains passWas this the face that launched a thousand ships ages and characters, however, characteristic of And burned the topless towers of Ilium?
Marlowe's style, and he may have written the Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss ! original outline. The old play of Taming of a Her lips suck forth my soul-see where it flies. Shrew, printed in 1994, contains numerous lines Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again : to be found also in Marlowe's acknowledged Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips, works, and hence it has been conjectured that he And all is dross that is not Helena.
was its author. Great uncertainty hangs over I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
many of the old dramas, from the common Instead of Troy shall Wittenberg be sacked;
practice of managers of theatres employing difAnd I will combat with weak Menelaus, And wear thy colours on my plumed crest :
ferent authors, at subsequent periods, to furnish Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
additional matter for established plays. Even And then return to Helen for a kiss.
Faustus was dressed up in this manner : In Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air,
1597—four years after Marlowe's death-Dekker Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars !
was paid 20s. for making additions to this tragedy; Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
and in other five years, Birde and Rowley were When he appeared to hapless Semele ;
paid £4 for further additions to it. Another More lovely than the monarch of the sky
source of uncertainty as to the paternity of old In wanton Arethusa's azure arms;
plays, was the unscrupulous manner in which And none but thou shalt be my paramour.
booksellers appropriated any popular name of the
day, and affixed it to their publications. In addiBefore 1593, Marlowe produced three other tion to the above dramatic productions, Marlowe dramas—the Few of Malta, the Massacre at joined with Nash in writing the tragedy of Dido, Paris, and a historical play, Edward II. The Queen of Carthage, and translated part of Heró more malignant passions of the human breast and Leander-afterwards completed by Chapman have rarely been represented with such force as —and the Elegies of Ovid. The latter was so they are in the Jew.
licentious as to be burned by order of the Arch
bishop of Canterbury, yet they were often rePassages from the Jew of Malta.'
printed, in defiance of the ecclesiastical interdict. In one of the carly scenes, Barabas the Jew is deprived of his Poor Marlowe lived, as he wrote, wildly: he wealth by the governor of Malta. While being comforted in his was accused of entertaining atheistical opinions, distress by two Jewish friends, he thus denounces his oppressors: a charge brought against him equally by his asso
The plagues of Egypt, and the curse of heaven, ciates and by rigid moral censors. He evidently Earth’s barrenness, and all men's hatred
felt what he makes his own Tamburlaine express :