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with a holy violence against her nature, or his most passionate love-poems, we shall keeps closely covered, till the last duties of a find all frozen and made rigid with intellect. wife and a queen are fulfilled. Stories of The finest movements of the human heart, martyrdom are but of chains and the stake; the utmost grandeur of which the soul is a little bodily suffering. These torments capable, are essentially comprised in the
actions and speeches of Cælica and Camena. " On the purest spirits prer,
Shakspeare, who seems to have had a peculiar
tion, whom for his many sweet images of What a noble thing is the soul, in its female excellence all women are in an strengths and in its weaknesses! Who especial manner bound to love, has not raised would be less weak than Calantha ? Who the ideal of the female character higher than can be so strong? The expression of this Lord Brooke, in these two women, has done. transcendent scene almost bears us in imagi- But it requires a study equivalent to the nation to Calvary and the Cross; and we learning of a new language to understand seem to perceive some analogy between the their meaning when they speak. It is indeed scenical sufferings which we are here con- hard to hit: templating and the real agonies of that final
“ Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day completion to which we dare no more than
Or seven though one should musing sit." hint a reference. Ford was of the first order of poets. He sought for sublimity, not by It is as if a being of pure intellect should parcels, in metaphors or visible images, but take upon him to express the emotions of our directly where she has her full residence, in sensitive natures. There would be all knowthe heart of man; in the actions and suffer- ledge, but sympathetic expressions would be ings of the greatest minds. There is a gran- wanting. deur of the soul, above mountains, seas, and the elements. Even in the poor perverted reason of Giovanni and Annabella, in the The Case is Altered.—The passion for wealth play* which stands at the head of the modern has worn out much of its grossness in tract collection of the works of this author, we of time. Our ancestors certainly conceived discern traces of that fiery particle, which, of money as able to confer a distinct gratifiin the irregular starting from out the road of cation in itself, not considered simply as a beaten action, discovers something of a right symbol of wealth. The old poets, when they line even in obliquity, and shows hints of an introduce a miser, make him address his improvable greatness in the lowest descents gold as his mistress; as something to be seen, and degradations of our nature.
felt, and hugged; as capable of satisfying two of the senses at least. The substitution
of a thin, unsatisfying medium in the place FULKE GREVILLE, LORD BROOKE.
of the good old tangible metal, bas made Alaham, Mustapha.—The two tragedies of avarice quite a Platonic affection in compaLord Brooke, printed among his poems, rison with the seeing, touching, and handling might with more propriety have been termed pleasures of the old Chrysophilites. A bankpolitical treatises than plays. Their author note can no more satisfy the touch of a true has strangely contrived to make passion, sensualist in this passion, than Creusa could character, and interest, of the highest order, return her husband's embrace in the shades. subservient to the expression of state dog- See the Cave of Mammon in Spenser ; Bara- 1 mas and mysteries. He is nine parts bas's contemplation of his wealth, in the Rich Machiavel and Tacitus, for one part Sopho- Jew of Malta ; Luke's raptures in the City cles or Seneca. In this writer's estimate of Madam ; the idolatry and absolute goldthe powers of the mind, the understanding worship of the miser Jaques in this early must have held a most tyrannical pre- comic production of Ben Jonson's. Above eminence. Whether we look into his plays all, hear Guzman, in that excellent old trans
lation of the Spanish Rogue, expatiate on the * "Tis Pity she's a Whore.
“ ruddy cheeks of your golden rudducks,
your Spanish pistolets, your plump and full- one image which attains the height of the faced Portuguese, and your clear-skinned sublime, yet the confluence and assemblage pieces-of-eight of Castile,” which he and his of them all produces a result equal to the fellows the beggars kept secret to themselves, grandest poetry. The huge Xerxean army and did privately enjoy in a plentiful manner. countervails against single Achilles. Epicure “For to have them to pay them away is not to Mammon is the most determined offspring of enjoy them; to enjoy them is to have them its author. It has the whole “matter and lying by us; having no other need of them copy of the father-eye, nose, lip, the trick of than to use them for the clearing of the eye- his frown." It is just such a swaggerer as sight, and the comforting of our senses. contemporaries have described old. Ben to be. These we did carry about with us, sewing Meercraft, Bobadil, the Host of the New Inn, them in some patches of our doublets near have all his image and superscription. But unto the heart, and as close to the skin as we Mammon is arrogant pretension personified. could handsomely quilt them in, holding Sir Samson Legend, in Love for Love, is such them to be restorative."
another lying, overbearing character, but he Poetaster.—This Roman play seems written does not come up to Epicure Mammon. to confute those enemies of Ben in his own What a “towering bravery" there is in his days and ours, who have said that he made sensuality! he affects no pleasure under a a pedantical use of his learning. He has Sultan. It is as if “ Egypt with Assyria here revived the whole Court of Augustus, strove in luxury." by a learned spell. We are admitted to the society of the illustrious dead. Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Tibullus, converse in our own tongue more finely and poetically than they Bussy D'Ambois, Byron's Conspiracy, Byron's were used to express themselves in their Tragedy, &c. &c.—Webster has happily chanative Latin. Nothing can be imagined racterised the “full and heightened style” of more elegant, refined, and court-like, than Chapman, who, of all the English play-writers, the scenes between this Louis the Fourteenth perhaps approaches nearest to Shakspeare in of antiquity and his literati. The whole the descriptive and didactic, in passages essence and secret of that kind of inter- which are less purely dramatic. He could course is contained therein. The economical not go out of himself, as Shakspeare could liberality by which greatness, seeming to shift at pleasure, to inform and animate waive some part of its prerogative, takes other existences, but in himself he had an care to lose none of the essentials; the eye to perceive and a soul to embrace all prudential liber of an inferior, which forms and modes of being. He would have flatter by commanded boldness and soothe made a great epic poet, if indeed he has not with complimentary sincerity ;-these, and abundantly shown hiniself to be one; for his a thousand beautiful passages from his New Homer is not so properly a translation as the Inn, his Cynthia's Revels, and from those stories of Achilles and Ulysses rewritten. numerous court-masques and entertainments, The earnestness and passion which he has which he was in the daily habit of furnishing, put into every part of these poems would be might be aılduced to show the poetical fancy incredible to a reader of mere modern transand elegance of mind of the supposed rugged lations. His almost Greek zeal for the glory old bard.
of his heroes can only be paralleled by that Alchemist.—The judgment is perfectly over- fierce spirit of Hebrew bigotry, with which whelmed by the torrent of images, words, Milton, as if personating one of the zealots of and book-knowledge, with which Epicure the old law, clothed himself when he sat Mammon (Act ii., Scene 2) confounds and down to paint the acts of Samson against the stuns his incredulous hearer. They come uncircumcised. The great obstacle to Chippouring out like the successive falls of Nilus. man's translations being read, is their unThey “doubly redouble strokes upon the conquerable quaintness. He pours out in foe.” Description outstrides proof. We are the same breath the most just and natural, made to believe effects before we have and the most violent and crude expressions. testimony for their causes. If there is no He seems to grasp at whatever words come
FRANCIS BEAUMONT.JOHN FLETCHER.
first to hand while the enthusiasm is upon does not so absolutely predominate over her him, as if all other must be inadequate to the situation but she suffers some diminution, divine meaning. But passion (the all in all some abatement of the full lustre of the in poetry) is everywhere present, raising the female character, which Helena never does. low, dignifying the mean, and putting sense Her character has many degrees of sweetinto the absurd. He makes his readers ness, some of delicacy ; but it has weakness, glow, weep, tremble, take any affection which which, if we do not despise, we are sorry for. he pleases, be moved by words, or in spite After all, Beaumont and Fletcher were but of them, be disgusted, and overcome their an inferior sort of Shakspeares and Sidneys. disgust.
Philaster.—The character of Bellario must have been extremely popular in its day. For many years after the date of Philaster's
first exhibition on the stage, scarce a play Maid's Tragedy.—One characteristic of the can be found without one of these womenexcellent old poets is, their being able to pages in it, following in the train of some bestow grace upon subjects which naturally pre-engaged lover, calling on the gods to do not seem susceptible of any. I will bless her happy rival (his mistress), whom no mention two instances. Zelmane in the doubt she secretly curses in her heart, giving Arcadia of Sidney, and Helena in the All's rise to many pretty equivoques by the way on Well that Ends Well of Shakspeare. What the confusion of sex, and either made happy can be more unpromising, at first sight, than at last by some surprising turn of fate, ir the idea of a young man disguising himself dismissed with the joint pity of the lovers in woman's attire, and passing himself off for and the audience. Donne has a copy of a woman among women ; and that for a long verses to his mistress, dissuading her from a space of time? Yet Sir Philip has preserved resolution, which she seems to have taken up so matchless a decorum, that neither does from some of these scenical representations, Pyrocles' manhood suffer any stain for the of following him abroad as a page. It is so effeminacy of Zelmane, nor is the respect due earnest, so weighty, so rich in poetry, in to the princesses at all diminished when the sense, in wit, and pathos, that it deserves to deception comes to be known. In the be read as a solemn close in future to all sweetly-constituted mind of Sir Philip Sidney, such sickly fancies as he there deprecates, it seems as if no ugly thought or unhandsome meditation could find a harbour. He turned
JOHN FLETCHER. all that he touched into images of honour and virtue. Helena in Shakspeare is a young Thierry and Theodoret.—The scene where woman seeking a man in marriage. The Ordella offers her life a sacrifice, that the ordinary rules of courtship are reversed, the king of France may not be childless, I have habitual feelings are crossed. Yet with such always considered as the finest in all Fletcher, exquisite address this dangerous subject is and Ordella to be the most perfect notion of handled, that Helena's forwardness loses her the female heroic character, next to Calantha no honour ; delicacy dispenses with its laws in the Broken Heart. She is a piece of in her favour, and nature, in her single case, sainted nature. Yet, noble as the whole seems content to suffer a sweet violation. passage is, it must be confessed that the Aspatia, in the Maid's Tragedy, is a character manner of it, compared with Shakspeare's equally difficult with Helena, of being finest scenes, is faint and languid. Its managed with grace. She too is a slighted motion is circular, not progressive. Each woman, refused by the man who had once line revolves on itself in a sort of separate engaged to marry her. Yet it is artfully orbit. They do not join into one another contrived, that while we pity we respect her, like a running-hand. Fletcher's ideas moved and she descends without degradation. Such slow; his versification, though sweet, is wonders true poetry and passion can do, to tedious, it stops at every turn; he lays line confer dignity upon subjects which do not upon line, making up one after the other, seem capable of it. But Aspatia must not | adding image to image so deliberately, that be compared at all points with Helena ; she we see their junctures. Shakspeare mingles
everything, runs line into line, embarrasses sentences and metaphors; before one idea
PHILIP MASSINGER.-THOMAS DECKER. has burst its shell, another is hatched and clamorous for disclosure. Another striking The Virgin Martyr.—This play has some difference between Fletcher and Shakspeare beauties of so very high an order, that with is the fondness of the former for unnatural all my respect for Massinger, I do not think and violent situations. He seems to have he had poetical enthusiasm capable of rising thought that nothing great could be pro- up to them. His associate Decker, who duced in an ordinary way. The chief inci- wrote Old Fortunatus, had poetry enough dents in some of his most adniired tragedies for anything. The very impurities which show this.* Shakspeare had nothing of this obtrude themselves among the sweet pieties contortion in his mind, none of that craving of this play, like Satan among the Sons of after violent situations, and flights of strained Heaven, have a strength of contrast, a raciand improbable virtue, which I think always ness, and a glow, in them, which are beyond betrays an imperfect moral sensibility. The Massinger. They are to the religion of the wit of Fletcher is excellent,t like his serious rest what Caliban is to Miranda. scenes, but there is something strained and far-fetched in both. He is too mistrustful of
MIDDLETON. Nature, he always goes a little on one side of her.—Shakspeare chose her without a reserve: and had riches, power, understand
Old Law. There is an exquisiteness of ing, and length of days, with her for a dowry. moral sensibility, making one's eyes to gush
Faithful Shepherdess.-If all the parts of out tears of delight, and a poetical strangethis delightful pastoral had been in unison ness in the circumstances of this sweet tragiwith its many innocent scenes and sweet comedy, which are unlike anything in the lyric intermixtures, it had been a poem fit dramas which Massinger wrote alone. The to vie with Comus or the Arcadia, to have pathos is of a subtler edge. Middleton and been put into the hands of boys and virgins, Rowley, who assisted in it, had both of them to have made matter for young dreams, like finer geniuses than their associate. the loves of Hermia and Lysander. But a spot is on the face of this Diana. Nothing short of infatuation could have driven Fletcher upon mixing with this“ blessedness" Claims a place amongst the worthies of this such an ugly deformity as Chloe, the wanton period, not so much for any transcendent shepherdess! If Chloe was meant to set off talent in himself, as that he was the last Clorin by contrast, Fletcher should have of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly known that such weeds by juxtaposition do the same language, and had a set of not set off, but kill sweet flowers.
moral feelings and notions in common. A
new language, and quite a new turn of a Month, Cupid's Revenge, Double
tragic and comic interest, came in with the Marriage, &c. † Wit without Money, and his comedies generally.
* Wife for
SPECIMENS FROM THE WRITINGS OF FULLER,
THE CHURCH HISTORIAX.
The writings of Fuller are usually de- / way to have expressed himself out of them. signated by the title of quaint, and with But his wit is not always a lumen siccum, a sufficient reason ; for such was his natural dry faculty of surprising ; on the contrary, bias to conceits, that I doubt not upon most his conceits are oftentimes deeply steeped in occasions it would have been going out of his human feeling and passion. Above all, his
way of telling a story, for its eager liveliness, verum et bonum, the Fancy is free from all and the perpetual running commentary of engagements : it digs without spade, sails the narrator happily blended with the nar- without ship, flies without wings, builds ration, is perhaps unequalled.
without charges, fights without bloodshed: As his works are now scarcely perused in a moment striding from the centre to but by antiquaries, I thought it might not the circumference of the world ; by a kind be unacceptable to my readers to present of omnipotency creating and annihilating them with some specimens of his manner, in things in an instant; and things divoreed single thoughts and phrases; and in some in Nature are married in Fancy as in a lavfew passages of greater length, chiefly of a less place.” narrative description. I shall arrange them Infants.—“Some, admiring what motives as I casually find them in my book of to mirth infants meet with in their silent extracts, without being solicitous to specify and solitary smiles, have resolved, how truly the particular work from which they are I know not, that. then they converse with taken.
angels; as indeed such cannot among mortals Pyramids.— “The Pyramids themselves, find any fitter companions.” doting with age, have forgotten the names of Music.—“Such is the sociableness of music, their founders.”
it conforms itself to all companies both in Virtue in a short person.—“ His soul had mirth and mourning; complying to improve but a short diocese to visit, and therefore that passion with which it finds the auditors might the better attend the effectual in- most affected. In a word, it is an invention forming thereof."
which might have beseemed a son of Seth Intellect in a very tall one.—“Ofttimes such to have been the father thereof: though who are built four stories high, are observed better it was that Cain's great-grandchild to have little in their cock-loft."
should have the credit first to find it, than Naturals, “ Their heads sometimes so the world the unhappiness longer to have little, that there is no room for wit ; some- wanted it.” times so long, that there is no wit for so St. Monica.—“Drawing near her death, much room."
she sent most pious thoughts as harbingers Vegroes. — “The image of God cut in to heaven, and her soul saw a glimpse of ebony."
happiness through the chinks of her sicknessSchool-divinity.--"At the first it will be broken body." . as welcome to thee as a prison, and their Mortality.—“To smell to a turf of fresh very solutions will seem knots unto thee.” earth is wholesome for the body, no less are Nr. Perkins the Divine.--"He had
a thoughts of mortality cordial to the soul.” capacious head, with angles winding and Virgin.—“No lordling husband shall at roomy enough to lodge all controversial in- the same time command her presence and tricacies.”
distance; to be always near in constant The same.
-"He would pronounce the attendance, and always to stand aloof in word Damn with such an emphasis as left awful observance." a doleful echo in his auditors' ears a good Elder Brother.—“Is one who made haste while after.”
to come into the world to bring his parents Judges in capital cases.—“O let him the first news of male posterity, and is well take heed how he strikes that hath a dead rewarded for his tidings." hand."
Bishop Fletcher.—“His pride was rather Memory.—“Philosophers place it in the on him than in him, as only gait and gesture rear of the head, and it seems the mine of deep, not sinking to his heart, though causememory lies there, because there men lessly condemned for a proud man, as who naturally dig for it, scratching it when they was a good hypocrite, and far more humble are at a loss."
than he appeared.” Fancy. — “It is the most boundless and Masters of Colleges. — “A little allay of restless faculty of the soul ; for while the
" The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decayed, Understanding and the Will are kept, as it
Lets in new lights through chinks which time were, in libera custodia to their objects of
has made.”- WALLER.