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His goulden pen had clos'd her so about,
No bastard aeglet's quill, the world throughout,
Had been of force to marre what he had made;
For why they were not expert in that trade.
What mortall soule with Marlo might contend,
That could 'gainst reason force him stoope or bend ?
Whose siluer-charming tourg mou'd such delight,
That men would shun their sleepe in still darke night
. To meditate vpon his goulden lynes,
His rare conceyts, and sweet-according rimes.
But Marlo, still-admired Marlo's gon
To liue with beautie in Elyzium;
Immortal beautie, who desires to heare
His sacred poesies, sweete in euery eare:
Marlo must frame to Orpheus' melodie
Himnes all diuine to make heauen harmonie.
There euer liue the prince of poetrie,
Liue with the liuing in eternitiel”

In his preface “To the quick-sighted Reader,” Petowe says that his poem was “the first fruits of an unripe wit, done at certaine vacant howers.” The poem has little merit, but the young writer's admiration for Marlowe is genuine and striking. Other admirers of Marlowe were not silent. George Peele, in his “Prologue to the Honour of the Garter,” written immediately after the poet's death, has these

“Unhappy in thine end,
Marley, the Muses' darling for thy verse,
Fit to write passions for the souls below,
If any wretched souls in passion speak.”

“J. M." in a MS. poem written in 16oo (quoted by Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps in his Life of Shakespeare), speaks with tenderness of “kynde Kit Marloe.” In a famous

passage of the Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels, 1635,
Heywood writes:–
“Marlo, renown'd for his rare art and wit,
Could ne'er attain beyond the name of Kit,

Although his Hero and Leander did
Merit addition rather.”

In Michael Drayton's admirable “Epistle to Henry Reynolds of Poets and Poesy,” 1627, occur the fine lines which have been so frequently quoted:—

“Next Marlow, bathed in the Thespian springs,
Had in him those brave translunary things
That the first poets had ; his raptures were
All air and fire which made his verses clear;
For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet's brain."

Much has been written of Marlowe in glowing verse and eloquent prose by writers of our own time; but not even Mr. Swinburne's impassioned praise is finer than the pathetic Death of Marlowe, published nearly half a century ago by the poet who passed so recently, full of years, from the ingratitude of a forgetful generation.

Mr. J. A. Symonds has defined the leading motive of Marlowe's work as L'Amour de l'Impossible—“the love or lust of unattainable things.” Never was a poet fired with a more intense aspiration for ideal beauty and ideal power. As some adventurous Greek of old might have sailed away, with warning voices in his ears, past the pillars of Hercules in quest of fabled islands beyond the sun, so Marlowe started on his lonely course, careless of tradition and restraint, resolved to seek and find “some world far from ours” where the secret springs of Knowledge should be opened and he should touch the lips of Beauty. What Marlowe might have achieved if his life had not been so cruelly cut short it were vain to speculate. The enthusiasm which has led some of his admirers to hint that he might have seriously contested Shakespeare's claim to supremacy is uncritical and absurd. Chapman speaks of men “That have strange gifts in nature but no soul Diffused quite through to make them of a piece.” All the Elizabethan dramatists, in greater or less degree, possessed these “strange gifts in nature,” but in Shakespeare alone was the soul “diffused quite through.” Marlowe showed stupendous power in exciting terror and pity; but it is in single situations rather than in the clear-eyed development of the plot that his power is seen at its highest. Shakespeare's sympathy with humanity in all its phases was infinite; Marlowe was a lofty egoist, little moved by the oys and sorrows of ordinary mortals. The gift of radiant humour, which earned for Shakespeare the title of “gentle” among his contemporaries, was denied to Marlowe. There are passages of Marlowe that for majesty and splendour can never be forgotten ; but before the magical cadences of Antony and Cleopatra all the voices of the world fall dumb. Shakespeare began his career as a pupil of

1 Old ed. -- Neat.”

Marlowe; the lesser poet was self-taught. More than WOL. I. f

fifty years of life was granted to Shakespeare; Marlowe went to his grave before he had reached his thirtieth year.” It remains to discuss briefly certain plays in which critics have alleged that Marlowe was concerned. These are the Taming of a Shrew, 1594; Titus Andronicus; the old King John; and the 3 Parts of Henry VI. The wretched Larum for London,” and still more wretched Docrine may be at once dismissed as unworthy of the slightest notice. The Taming of a Shrew contains a number of passages that closely resemble, or are identical with, passages in Marlowe's undoubted plays—particularly Tamburlaine. This fact alone would make us suspect that Marlowe was not the author; for poets of Marlowe's class do not repeat themselves in this wholesale manner. But when we see how maladroitly, without the slightest regard to the context, these passages are introduced, then we may indeed wonder that any critic could have been so insensate as to attribute the authorship to Marlowe. Here is a fair sample of the writing:—

* Some critics have seen an allusion to Marlowe in Midsummer Night's Dream, v. 1:— “The thrice three Muses mourning for the death Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.” Others suppose that he was the rival to whom Shakespeare refers in the 85th and 86th Sonnets.-There is no evidence to support these theories. • Mr. Collier had a copy of this piece with the following doggerel rhymes written on the title-page:– “Our famous Marloe had in this a hand, As from his fellowes I doe vnderstand. The printed copie doth his Muse much wrong; But natheles manie lines ar good and strong; Of Paris Massaker such was the sate; A perfitt coppie came to hand to late.”

A very ridiculous piece of sorgeryl

“Father, I swear by Ibis' golden beak
More fair and radiant is my bonny Kate
Than silver Xanthus when he doth embrace
The ruddy Simois at Ida's feet.
And care not thou, sweet Kate, how I be clad ;
Thou shalt have garments wrought of Median silk
Enchased with precious jewels fetched from far
By Italian merchants that with Russian stems
Plough up huge surrows in the Terrene main.”

This passage is patched up from the First Part of -7amburlaine; cf. I. 2 ll. 95-6, 191–2. The reference to “Ibis' golden beak” (in imitation of 1 Zamb. iv. 3, l. 37) is delightfully ludicrous. In another passage we have a

mention of
“The massy robe that late adorned

The stately legate of the Persian king,”

where (as Dyce remarked) the allusion would be quite unintelligible unless we remembered the lines in 2 Zamb. iii. 2– “And I sat down clothed with a massy robe Which late adorned the Afric potentate.”

Occasionally lines are filched from Faustus :

“And should my love, as erst did Hercules,
Attempt to pass the burning vaults of Hell,
I would with piteous looks and pleasing words,
As once did Orpheus with his harmony
And ravishing found of his melodious harp,
Entreat grim Pluto,” &c.

The italicised words are from scene vi (l. 29) of Faustus.

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