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gives the title, but does not mention the occurrence of any copy. It is probable that he transcribed it from Ritson's Bibliogr. Poetica, who mentions its existence, but it has not been previously described, that we are aware of, by any of our bibliographical writers. Of George Marshall, the author, we are unable to furnish any particulars, or whether he was the composer of any other work than the present. No other copy of this work is known.
Half bound in Green Morocco.
Marston, (John.) — The Scourge of Villanie. Three Bookes of
Marston has, till very lately, been usually styled the second English Satirist, Bishop Hall being considered the first; he is mentioned by Charles Fitzgeffrey as contesting the palm of priority and merit in satire with Hall, in his Affanie, or three books of epigrams in Latin, published at Oxford in 1601,
Satirarum proxima primæ,
Primaque, fas primas numerare duas. and he is alluded to as such by Warton and other more modern writers. But it has been satisfactorily shewn by Mr. Payne Collier that there were others who had anticipated Marston in this species of poetry, and that his claim to precedency does not rank higher than the eighth or ninth English satirist. Meres, who published his “Palladis Tamia, the second part of Wits Commonwealth," the first edition of which was in 1598, in speaking, at p. 627, of the chief persons famed for satire, along with the author of “ Pigmalion's Image and certaine satyres," i.e., Marston, mentions “Pierce Plowman, Lodge, Hall of Imanuall Colledge in Cambridge, and the author of Skialetheia,” whose work was published in the same year, 1598. He had previously, also at p. 613, included Rankins together with Hall and Marston, whose “seven satyres," &c., were printed, according to Ritson, in 1596. And in addition to the four writers above named, Mr. Collier has also noticed four others, Sir Thos. Wyat, Gascoigne, Hake, and Donne, as having all preceded Marston as a satirist.
The volume commences with a Dedication to detraction in four six-line stanzas, entitled “ To Detraction I present my Poesie.” Then follow six pages of verse addressed “In Lectores prorsus indignos,” in which, after saying that “his poesie craved no greater lionour than to be railed at by base and lewd censurers," he breaks forth into an animated apostrophe at the close, thus :
1. But yee diuiner wits, celestiall soules
Whose free-borne mindes no kennel thought controules
In whom all graces linke in marriage
Heauens best beauties, wisdoms treasurers,
How shold I giue true honor to your merits,
O rare !
To these verses succeed a prose address “To those that seeme iudiciall perusers," signed W. Kinsayder. This was a nom de guerre adopted by Marston to conceal himself from those whom he might offend by the bitterness of his satire, and necessary for his own protection, the state of the times rendering him liable to the punishment of the pillory, or imprisonment, for his bold and severe attacks on the follies and vices of the age in both high and low. He used it, as we have already scen, in his “Pigmalions Image,” and even alludes to it himself in his own play of “What you Will," printed in 1607.
Away Idolater, why you Don Kinsayder
In the dramatic satire of “The Returne from Parnassus," 4to, 1606, he is recognized as “ Monsieur Kinsayder," and his bold, free, licentious style is well characterized in the verses that follow.
I have already mentioned the dispute between Marston and Hall in the notice of Pigmalion's Image, and of his accusation against Hall for being obscure. In this
prose address he seems to allude to this subject again, and to his coinage of new words: “Yet when by some scuruie chaunce it shal come into the late perfumed fist of iudiciall Torquatus, (that like some rotten stick in a troubled water, hath gotte a great deale of barmy froth to stick to his sides) I know he will vouchsafe it, some of his new-minted Epithets, (as Reall, Intrinsecate, Delphicke) when in my conscience hee vnderstands not the least part of it." He also speaks of the change which had taken place in the English language since the days of Chaucer, which rendered him hard to be understood even then, and which has been alluded to by Mr. Hallam in his Literary History.
Each of the three books of satires is preceded by a short Proemium, of which the one to the first book, commencing with the well known lines
I beare the scourge of iust Rhamnusia
Lashing the lewdnes of Britannia, has been so often quoted, that we prefer giving the one before the third book :
In serious iest, and iesting seriousnes
Would God I could turn Alpheus riuer in
purge this Angean ox-staule from foule sin.
And view the vaile drawne from thy villanie.
I cannot hold, I cannot I indure
So turnes our ayerie conscience, to and fro. Of the fourth satire entitled “ Cras,” the following character of a confirmed swearer may be taken as an example of Marston's style:
I ask'd lewd Gallus when he'le cease to sweare,
He thinkes to salue his damned perjurie. After the Proemium to the second book of satires there is an invocation to rhyme “Ad Rithmum,"containing some rather pleasing lines, which have been quoted in part by Warton, vol. iv, p. 389, 8vo edition. In the sixth satire, Marston makes an apology for having written “The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image,” 1598, which is supposed to have been intended in ridicule of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis, which first appeared in 1593, and other poems of a similar kind which were injurious to morals. The lines are these :
Hence thou misiudging Censor, know I wrot
That want of Art, should make such wit a scorne. The seventh satire, entitled “A Cynicke Satyre," commencing with a parody on a well-known line in Shakespeare's tragedy of Richard III., “A Man, a Man, a kingdome for a man," is exceedingly entertaining, and contains some good descriptions of swaggering beaux and fine ladies
puppets, painted Images,
That soile our soules, and dampe our reasons light. But we have room for only one more quotation, which shall be taken from the beginning of the tenth satire, entitled “ Humours":
Sleep grim Reproofe, my iocond Muse dooth sing
Roome for a capering mouth, whose lips nere stur