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the tide of London life in the busiest of her Quake, guzzle-dogs, that live on spotted lime, thoroughfares.
Scud from the lashes of my yerking rhyme.”* The Cleopatra’ of SAMUEL DANIEL places His first performance, "The Metamorphoses him amongst the dramatic poets of this
of Pygmalion's Image,' has been thought by period; but his vocation was not to the
Warton to have been written in ridicule of drama. He was induced, by the persuasion Shakspere’s Venus and Adonis. The author of the Countess of Pembroke,
says, “ To sing of state, and'tragic notes to frame.”
“Know, I wrot
These idle rhymes, to note the odious spot After Shakspere had arisen he adhered to
And blemish, that deforms the lineaments the model of the Greek theatre. According
Of modern poesy's habiliments.” to Jonson, “Samuel Daniel was no poet." Jonson thought Daniel“ envied him," as he | In his parody, if parody it be, he has conwrote to the Countess of Rutland. He tells trived to produce a poem, of which the Drummond that “Daniel was at jealousies licentiousness is the only quality. Thus we with him." Yet for all this even with Jon- look upon a sleeping Venus of Titian, and son he was a good man.” Spenser formed see but the wonderful art of the painter; a the same estimate of Daniel's genius as the dauber copies it, and then beauty becomes Countess of Pembroke did :
deformity. He is angry that his object is “ Then rouse thy feathers quickly, Daniel,
misunderstood, as well it might be:And to what course thou please thyself ad
“O these same buzzing gnats
That sting my sleeping brows, these Nilus But most, meseems, thy accent will excel
rats, In tragic plaints, and passionate mischance.".
Half dung, that have their life from putrid Daniel did wisely when he confined his
These that do praise my loose lascivious tragic plaints” to narrative poetry. He
rhyme, went over the same ground as Shakspere in
For these same shades I seriously protest, his Civil Wars.;' and there are passages of
I slubbered up that chaos indigest, resemblance between the dramatist and the
To fish for fools, that stalk in goodly shape : descriptive poet which are closer than mere
What though in velvet cloak, yet still an accident could have produced. The imitation, on whatever side it was, was indicative of respect.
He had the ordinary fate of satirists—to live John MARSTON, a man of original talent, in a state of perpetual warfare, and to have took his Bachelor's degree at Oxford in 1592. offences imputed to him of which he was There is very little known with any precision blameless. The “ galled jade” not only about his life ; but a pretty accurate opinion winces, but kicks. The comedy of The of his character may be collected from the Malecontent,' written in 1600, appears to notices of his contemporaries, and from his have been Marston's first play; it was own writings. He began in the most dan- printed in 1605. He says in the Preface, gerous path of literary ambition, that of “In despite of my endeavours, I understand satire, bitter and personal :
some have been most unadvisedly over“ Let others sing, as their good genius moves,
cunning in misinterpreting me, and with
subtilty (as deep as hell) have maliciously Of deep designs, or else of clipping loves. Fair fall them all that with wit's industry
spread ill rumours, which springing from Do clothe good subjects in true poesy;
themselves, might to themselves have heavily But as for me, my vexed thoughtful soul
returned.” Marston says in the Preface to Takes pleasure in displeasing sharp control.
one of his later plays, “ So powerfully have I been enticed with the delights of poetry,
* Colin Clout's come Home again.'
**Scourge of Villainy; Three Books of Satire:' 1598.
and (I must ingenuously confess), above better Ramp up, my genius, be not retrograde; desert, so fortunate in these stage-pleasings, But boldly nominate a spade a spade. that (let my resolutions be never so fixed, to What, shall thy lubrical and glibbery muse call mine eyes unto myself) I much fear that
Live, as she were defunct, like punk in stews ! most lamentable death of him
Alas! that were no modern consequence, 'Qui nimis notus omnibus,
To have cothurnal buskins frighted hence. Ignotus moritur sibi.'”-Seneca.
No, teach thy Incubus to poetize,
And throw abroad thy spurious snotteries, He adds, “the over-vehement pursuit of
Upon that puft-up lump of balmy froth, these delights hath been the sickness of my
Or clumsy chilblain'd judgment; that with youth.” He unquestionably writes as one
oath who is absorbed by his pursuit; over whom
Magnificates his merit; and bespawls it has the mastery. In his plays, as well as The conscious time with humorous foam, and in his satires, there is no languid task-work ; brawls, but, as may be expected, he cannot go out of
As if his organons of sense would crack himself. It is John Marston who is lashing The sinews of my patience. Break his back, vice and folly, whatever character may fill O poets all and some! for now we list the scene; and from first to last in his Of strenuous vengeance to clutch the fist.” reproof of licentiousness we not only see his familiarity with many gross things, but The following advice is subsequently given
to him : cannot feel quite assured that he looks upon them wholly with pure eyes. His temper “ You must not hunt for wild outlandish terms, was no doubt capricious. It is clear that To stuff out a peculiar dialect; Jonson had been attacked by him previous But let your matter run before your words. to the production of “The Poetaster.' He And if at any time you chance to meet endured the lash which was inflicted on him Some Gallo-Belgic phrase, you shall not in return, and became again, as he probably
straight was before, the friend of Jonson, to whom he Rack your poor verse to give it entertainment, dedicates The Malecontent' in 1605. Gifford
But let it pass; and do not think yourself has clearly made out that the Crispinus of
Much damnified if you do leave it out, "The Poetaster' was Marston. Tucca thus
When nor your understanding nor the sense
Could well receive it.” describes him, in addressing the player :
Go, and be acquainted with him then; he Marston, with all his faults, was a scholar is a gentleman, parcel poet, you slave; his and a man of high talent; and it is pleasant father was a man of worship, I tell thee. to know that he and Ben were friends after Go, he pens high, lofty, in a new stalking this wordy war. He appears to us to describe strain, bigger than half the rhymers in the himself in the following narrative of a town again : he was born to fill thy mouth, scholar in "What You Will:'Minotaurus, he was; he will teach thee to tear and rand. Rascal, to him, cherish his
“I was a scholar: seven useful springs
Did I deflour in quotations muse, go ; thou hast forty-forty shillings, I mean, stinkard ; give him in earnest, do, he
Of cross’d opinions 'bout the soul of man; shall write for thee, slave! If he pen for
The more I learnt the more I learnt to doubt,
Knowledge and wit, faith’s foes, turn faith thee once, thou shalt not need to travel with
about. thy pumps full of gravel any more, after a blind jade and a hamper, and stalk upon
Nay, mark, list ! Delight, Delight, my spaniel, boards and barrel heads to an old cracked
slept, whilst I bauz'd * leaves, trumpet.” Jonson, in the same play, has
Toss'd o'er the dunces, por'd on the old print parodied Marston's manner, and has introduced many of his expressions, 'in the fol * Mr. Dilke, in his valuable 'Selection from the Early lowing verses, which are produced as those of Dramatic Writers,' prints three of Marston's plays. He
says this word may be derived from baiser, to kiss; and that Crispinus :
basse has been used by Chaucer in this sense.
Of titled words, and still my spaniel slept. At length he wak’d, and yawn'd, and by yon Whilst I wasted lamp-oil, 'bated my flesh,
sky, Shrunk up my veins, and still my spaniel For aught I knew, he knew as much as I.
slept. And still I held converse with Zabarell, Aquinas, Scotus, and the musty saw
How 'twas created, how the soul exists : Of antic Donate, still my spaniel slept.
One talks of motes, the soul was made of Still on went I, first an sit anima,
motes; Then, an it were mortal; oh, hold, hold,
Another fire, t other light, a third a spark of At that they are at brain buffets, fell by the
star-like nature; ears,
Hippo, water; Anaximenes, air ; Amain, pell-mell together; still my spaniel Aristoxenus, music; Critias, I know not what; slept.
A company of odd Phrenetici Then whether 't were corporeal, local, fix'd, Did eat my youth ; and when I crept abroad, Extraduce; but whether 't had free will
Finding my numbness in this nimble age, Or no, O philosophers,
I fell a railing." Stood banding factions, all so strongly propp'd, I stagger'd, knew not which was firmer part; In the following Chapters of this Book we But thought, quoted, read, observed, and shall give a brief analysis of several of the pried,
plays belonging to this period, which have Stuff'd noting books, and still my spaniel been ascribed to Shakspere.
SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE. PART I.
The mode in which some of the German, but who stood far below him in mind and critics have spoken of this play is a rebuke talent.” Our own critics, relying upon the to dogmatic assertions and criticism. Schle- internal evidence, agreed in rejecting it. gel says-putting "Sir John Oldcastle, Malone could not perceive the least trace * Thomas Lord Cromwell,' and 'The York- of our great poet in any part of this play.” shire Tragedy' in the same class—“The He observes that it was originally entered last three pieces are not only unquestionably on the Stationers' registers without the name Shakspere's, but in my opinion they deserve of Shakspere ; but he does not mention the to be classed among his best and maturest fact, that of two editions printed in 1600 one works. ... Thomas Lord Cromwell' and bears the name of Shakspere, the other not.
Sir John Oldcastle' are biographical dra- The one which has the name says—“As it mas, and models in this species ; the first is hath bene lately acted by the Right honorlinked, from its subject, to “Henry VIII.,' able the Earle of Notingham, Lord High and the second to “Henry V.?” Tieck is Admirall of England, his Seruants.” In equally confident in assigning the authorship 1594 a play of Shakspere's might have been of this play to Shakspere. Ulrici, on the acted, as, we believe, ‘Hamlet’ was, at Hencontrary, takes a more sober view of the slowe's theatre, which was that of the Lord matter. He says—“ The whole betrays a High Admiral his servants, but in 1600 a poet who endeavoured to form himself on play of Shakspere's would have unquestionShakspere's model, nay, even to imitate him, | ably been acted by the Lord Chamberlain
his servants. However, this conjectural / glutton.” In our opinion, there was either evidence is quite unnecessary. Henslowe, another play besides "The Famous Victories' the head of the Lord Admiral's company, as
in which the name of Oldcastle was introwe learn by his diary, on the 16th of October, duced, or the remarks of contemporary 1599, paid " for The first part of the Lyfe of writers applied to Shakspere's Falstaff, who Sir Jhon Ouldcastell, and in earnest of the had originally borne the name of Oldcastle. Second Pte, for the use of the company, ten The following passage is from Fuller's pound;" and the money was received by Church History:'-—“Stage-poets have them“ Thomas Downton” “to pay Mr. Monday, selves been very bold with, and others very Mr. Drayton, Mr. Wilson, and Hathaway.” merry at, the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, We might here dismiss the question of the whom they have fancied a boon companion, authorship of this play, did it not furnish a a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. The very curious example of the imperfect man best is, Sir John Falstaff hath relieved the ner in which it was attempted to imitate the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, and of late is excellence and to rival the popularity of substituted buffoon in his place.” This deShakspere's best historical plays at the time scription of Fuller cannot apply to the Sir of their original production. It is not the John Oldcastle of “The Famous Victories.' least curious also of the circumstances con The dull dog of that play is neither a jovial nected with The First Part of Sir John companion nor a coward to boot. Whether Oldcastle,' that, whilst the bookseller affixed or not Falstaff was originally called Oldthe name of Shakspere to the performance, castle, Shakspere was, after the character it has been supposed that the Falstaff of his was fairly established as Falstaff, anxious to 'Henry IV' was pointed at in the following vindicate himself from the charge that he prologue :
had attempted to represent the Oldcastle of
history. In the epilogue to "The Second “ The doubtful title, gentlemen, prefix'd
Part of Henry IV.' we find this passage :Upon the argument we have in hand,
“For anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a May breed suspense, and wrongfully disturb
sweat, unless already he be killed with your The peaceful quiet of your settled thoughts.
hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, To stop which scruple, let this brief suffice :
and this is not the man." The Second Part It is no pamper'd glutton we present, Nor aged counsellor to youthful sin,
of Henry IV.,' the epilogue of which contains But one, whose virtue shone above the rest,
this passage, was entered in the Stationers' A valiant martyr, and a virtuous peer;
registers in 1600, and was published in that In whose true faith and loyalty, express'd
year. When The First Part of Sir John Unto his sovereign and his country's weal,
Oldcastle' was published in the same year, We strive to pay that tribute of our love Falstaff is distinctly recognised as the comYour favours merit. Let fair truth be gracid, panion of Prince Henry.
In that play Since forg'd invention former time defac'd.” Henry V. is represented as robbed by the
parson of Wrótham, a very queer hedgeThe line in the prologue which we have priest indeed, bearing the name of Sir John, just quoted
as if in rivalry of another Sir John; and the “Since forg’d invention former time defac'd,"
following dialogue takes place
“Sir John. Sirrah, no more ado; come, come, might appear to point to an earlier period of the stage than that in which Shakspere's
give me the money. you have. Despatch ; I
cannot stand all day. 'Henry IV.' was produced. Indeed, the old play of “The Famous Victories' contains the here it is. Just the proverb, one thief robs
K. Henry. Well, thou wilt needs have it, character of Sir John Oldcastle. He is a
another. Where the devil are all my old low, ruffianly sort of fellow, who may be thieves ? Falstaff, that villain, is so fat, he cancalled “an aged counsellor to youthful sin ;" not get on his horse; but methinks Poins and but he is not represented as a pampered | Peto should be stirring hereabouts.
Sir John. How much is there on 't, o'thy | the person with which he undertook to play a word ?"
buffoon was not Falstaff, but Sir John Oldcastle ; Falstaff is again mentioned in the same scene
and that, offence being worthily taken by perwith the priest, who asserts that the king sonages descended from his title, as peradvenwas once a thief; and in answer to the ques- him in honourable memory, the poet was put to
ture by many others also who ought to have tion“How canst thou tell ?” replies,
make an ignorant shift of abusing Sir John Fal“How? because he once robbed me before I stophe, a man not inferior of virtue, though not fell to the trade myself, when that foul villain so famous in piety as the other, who gave witous guts, that 'led him to all that roguery, was ness unto the trust of our reformation with a in his company there, that Falstaff.”
constant and resolute martyrdom, unto which We have here tolerable evidence that Fal- he was pursued by the priests, bishops, monks,
and friars of those days. Noble sir, this is all staff was “not the man” Oldcastle in 1600.
my preface. God keep you and me, and all And yet the following very remarkable
Christian people, from the bloody designs of letter, or dedication, is written some years that cruel religion. after :
“Yours in all observance, “ To my noble friend Sir Henry Bourchier:
“RICH. JAMES.” “Sir Harry Bourchier, you are descended of This letter is contained in a manuscript prenoble ancestry, and in the duty of a good man served in the Bodleian Library, written by love to hear and see fair reputation preserved | Dr. Richard James, who died in 1638. The from slander and oblivion. Wherefore to you I | manuscript to which it is prefixed is entitled dedicate this edition of Ocleve,' where Sir John
" The Legend and Defence of the Noble Oldcastle appears to have been a man of valour and virtue, and only lost in his own times be Knight and Martyr, Sir John Oldcastel,' and cause he would not bow under the foul super- been pointed out to him by the Rev. Dr.
has been published by Mr. Halliwell, having stition of Papistry, from whence, in so great a
Bliss *. light of Gospel and learning, that there is not yet a more universal departure, is to me the
The "young gentle lady” who, according greatest scorn of men. But of this more in
to this letter, was so well employed in studyanother place, and in preface will you please to ing Shakspere's historical plays, read them hear me that which follows ? A young gentle as many other persons read, without any lady of your acquaintance, having read the very accurate perception of what essentially works of Shakespeare, made me this question : 1 belongs to the province of imagination, and How Sir John Falstaffe, or Fastolf, as it is of what is literally true. Whatever similarity written in the statute-book of Maudlin Col- there may be in the names of Sir John Fallege in Oxford, where every day that society staff and Sir John Fastolf, the young lady were bound to make memory of his soul, could might have perceived that the poet had not be dead in Harry's the Fifth's time and again the slightest intention of proposing the Faslive in the time of Harry the Sixth to be tolf of Henry VI.' as the Falstaff of ' Henry banished for cowardice? Whereto I made an
IV.' Assuredly the Falstaff that we last see swer that this was one of those humours and in the closing scene of “The Second Part of mistakes for which Plato banished all poets out Henry IV.—a jester, surfeit-swelled, old, of his commonwealth ; that Sir John Falstaff was in those times a valiant soldier, as appears the Fastolf that makes his appearance at the
profane, as the king denounces him-is not by a book in the Heralds' office dedicated unto him by a herald who had been with him, if I
battle of Patay, in "The First Part of Henry well remember, for the space of 25 years in the VI.,' and is subsequently degraded from French wars; that he seems also to have been being a knight of the Garter for his conduct a man of learning, because in a library of Ox
on that occasion. In these scenes of Henry ford I find a book of dedicating churches sent VI.' Shakspere drew an historical character
The from him for a present unto Bishop Wainfleet, and represented an historical fact. and inscribed with his own name. That in degradation of Fastolf was in all probability Shakespeare's first show of 'Harry the Fifth,' * 'On the Character of Sir John Falstaff,' 1841.