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I did it onely in dispight of thee.
Fondly hast thou incest (sic) the Guise's sowle
And when thou think'st I have forgotten this,
In Collier's Annals of the Stage, 1831 (iii. 133-5) the same passage is inserted with a slightly varying explanation of its origin. The spelling is absolutely different and many phrases are entirely changed. As the MS. has apparently been seen by no one else, and as the wording of the expanded passage is very suspicious, Collier's statement should be received with caution.
HERO AND LEANDER
Hero and Leander is probably the latest of Marlowe's writings. Left a fragment at the poet's death, it was licensed a few months later (September 28, 1593) by John Wolf, as a booke intituled HERO and LEANDER beinge an amorous poem devised by Christopher MARLOW'. There is no evidence that Wolf actually published an edition; the earliest known to exist was issued in 1598 by Edward Blount, to whom Wolf seems in the meantime to have transferred his right in both this poem and in the translation of Lucan.1
On March 2, 1597/8, Edward Blount assigned over to Paul Linley A booke in Englishe called HERO and LEANDER', and the latter published in 1598 at least one 2 complete version of the poem, including Chapman's continuation. Blount's right, derived from Wolf, seems to have extended only to Marlowe's portion of the poem; the rest Linley had probably secured from another source. The precise nature of the transaction between Blount and Linley is obscure. At the time that the former apparently gave up his interest in Hero and Leander-on what was by Elizabethan reckoning March 2, 1597-his own 1598 edition of the first two sestiads can obviously not have been published. It may have been in type, and there may have been an agreement with Linley, permitting its publication before Linley himself brought out the complete work, but the probability is that Blount did not entirely abandon his copyright in the poem. It is certain that he was later connected with the publication of the 1609 and 1613 editions.
In 1600 Paul Linley died (cf. McKerrow, Dict. of Printers, 177) and the Stationers' Register contains the following entry for June 26 of that year: 'John flasket Entred for his
1 Cf. Introduction to Lucan's First Book, p. 642. The Stationers' Register does not, however, record any such transfer.
Probably there were two 1598 editions which include the entire poem, besides Blount's edition of Marlowe's fragment.
copies by consent of our Maister and Master Man Warden these bookes and partes of Bookes folowynge whiche were Paule Lynlayes.' Then follow the titles of twenty-four works, one of which is HERO and LEANDER with the j. booke of LUCAN by MARLOWE'. Flasket published Hero and Leander in this same year (1600), and again in 1606. Strangely enough the title-page of the 1600 edition makes no mention of Chapman's continuation, which it contains, and advertises the presence of the Lucan translation, which, notwithstanding, does not appear in this book, but was published separately the same year by Thomas Thorpe with acknowledgements to Blount as former holder of the copyright.1 Flasket had his head quarters at Linley's old place of business, the sign of the Black Bear in Paul's Churchyard, and Blount advertises the sale of his 1609 and 1613 editions at the same place. Possibly the most reasonable explanation of the puzzle is to assume that some kind of loose partnership existed between Blount and Linley and later between Blount and Flasket in regard to Hero and Leander. In any case it would seem clear that Blount's 1598 edition, containing only Marlowe's portion of the poem without Chapman's Arguments and division into Sestiads, is the oldest chronologically and the most authoritative.2 My text follows this edition as far as it goes, the supplementary matter being given from the British Museum copy of Linley's 1598 edition.
The popularity of Hero and Leander with the Elizabethan public was enormous. The literature of the time abounds in allusions to the poem, and the list of early editions is a most impressive one. There were probably three separate editions in 1598, others in 1600, 1606, 1609, 1613, 1616, 1617, 1622, 1629, and 1637. Of these I have been unable so far to collate the third 1598 edition, the existence of which is not quite certainly established, or the unique copies of the 1616, 1617, and 1622 versions.
From lines 183-198 of the third sestiad it seems probable that Chapman's conclusion was undertaken by the authority of Marlowe himself, though such an interpretation may easily be a straining of the vague hints of the lines in
1 Cf. Introduction to Lucan's First Book, p. 643, and p. 647, 1. 9. 2 The relatively small value of the later editions is shown by the fact that none of them corrects the evidently incorrect succession of lines at the end of the second sestiad. Cf. note to ll. 279-300,
question. During the year 1598, which was otherwise so important for the poem, there appeared another attempt at completing the torso. This continuation, which is of no poetic value, was the work of a feeble young poet, Henry Petowe, and was licensed April 14, 1598, by Andrew Harris, the publisher of the only edition. A ballad of Hero and Leander was entered on the Stationers' Register by John White on July 2, 1614.
Though Hero and Leander has often been called, and partly purports to be, a translation of the short Greek poem of the pseudo-Musaeus', it is almost entirely original throughout, except as regards the bare outline of the story. Chapman's completion of the poem seems, as has been said, to have been more or less authorized, and his supplementary cantos have been printed in every edition except the first. There is, however, very little cohesion as regards the plot between Marlowe's fragment and Chapman's, while in tone there is no resemblance whatever. The continuation has all the rhetorical stateliness of Chapman's best verse, and in places-notably in the tale of Teras 1-it possesses real poetic feeling and grace, but in general Chapman's part of the poem is confused, obscure, and dull. The eight hundred lines written by Marlowe show a lucidity and an artistic mastery of detail, both in structure and in expression, which no other narrative poem in English literature perhaps can equal. We here see Marlowe's genius at its very best-certainly in its most complete and rounded development. It is doubtful whether the English heroic couplet through all its varied and honourable history from the time of Chaucer to that of John Keats, has ever been used with more perfect melody or more wonderful understanding of its peculiar capabilities than in the first two sestiads of Hero and Leander. The verses have all the polish of Pope, and they have in addition a richness in sound and sense which finds its closest parallel in a work of the poet otherwise perhaps most nearly akin to Marlowe, the Endymion of Keats.
1 Cf. pp. 534-42.