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Mrs. Frankford in this drama has been advantageously compared with that of Mrs. Haller, in The Stranger. The Englishman of the seventeenth century is a better moralist than the German of the nineteenth. Lamb's extracts from four of Heywood's plays will give the reader a good idea of his manner and his powers. The most celebrated passage in his works is the shipwreck by drink, related in The English Traveller, in his peculiar frank, light-footed style.

Shipwreck by Drink.

- This gentleman and I
Passt but just now by your next neighbour's house,
Where, as they say, dwells one young Lionel,
An unthrift youth : his father now at sea.

- There this night
Was a great feast.
In the height of their carousing, all their brains
Warm'd with the heat of wine, discourse was offer'd
Of ships and storms at sea : when suddenly,
Out of his giddy wildness, one conceives
The room wherein they quaff 'd to be a pinnace,
Moving and floating, and the confus'd noise
To be the murmuring winds, gusts, mariners;
That their unsteadfast footing did proceed
From rocking of the vessel : this conceiv'd,
Each one begins to apprehend the danger,
And to look out for safety. Fly, saith one,
Up to the main top, and discover. He
Climbs up the bed-post to the tester there,
Reports a turbulent sea and tempest towards ;
And wills them, if they 'll save their ship and lives,
To cast their lading over-board. At this
All fall to work, and hoist into the street,
As to the sea, what next came to their hand,
Stools, tables, tressels, trenchers, bedsteads, cups,
Pots, plate, and glasses. Here a fellow whistles ;
They take him for the boatswain: one lies struggling
Upon the floor, as if he swam for life :
A third takes the base-viol for the cock-boat,
Sits in the belly on't, labors, and rows;
His oar, the stick with which the fiddler played :
A fourth bestrides his fellow, thinking to scape
(As did Arion) on the dolphin's back,
Still fumbling on a gittern. The rude multitude,

Watching without, and guping for the spoil
Cast from the windows, went by th' ears about it ;
The Constable is call'd to atone the broil;
Which done, and hearing such a noise within
Of eminent ship-wreck, enters th' house, and finds them
In this confusion: they adore bis Staff,
And think it Neptune's Trident; and that he
Comes with his Tritons (so they callid his watch)
To calm the tempest and appease the waves :
And at this point we left them.”

Lamb, Vol. 1., pp. 111, 112. George Chapman, the translator of Homer, was the author of several tragedies and comedies. Lamb places him next to Shakspeare in didactic and descriptive passages, but “ he could not go out of himself, as Shakspeare could shift at pleasure, to inform and animate other existences.” His genius was reflective rather than dramatic. His plays are full of striking imaginations, and stern, deep comments on life, with here and there starts of tragic passion. Hazlitt says that he “ aims at the highest things in poetry, but tries in vain, wanting imagination and passion, to fill up the epic moulds of tragedy with sense and reason alone, so that he often runs into bombast and turgidity, — is extravagant and pedantic at one and the same time.” This does not do justice to what Webster called “the full and heightened style of Master Chapman.” Though not a man of harmoniously developed genius, there are few writers of the period, whose personal character, as stamped on their serious poetry, makes a graver and deeper impression than that of Chapman. He is the impersonation of a lofty, daring, self-centred soul, feeling within itself a right to achieve the mightiest objects of human pursuit, and reposing with a proud confidence on the sense of its own power and dignity. His feeling is Titanic, but his capacity is not up to his feeling. He resolutely plants himself on the soul, and subordinates all things to it, like some of our modern Transcendentalists; but he holds a braver, fiercer, and more defying attitude towards external things than they. In some respects he reminds us of Marlowe, but slower, more weighty, more intensely reflective and selfsustained. Perhaps he may be called the Fuseli of our old dramatists. We can imagine him, as he sat patiently and painfully fashioning, in “ the quick forge and working-house

of thought,” his colossal and irregular shapes of power,
making some such remark as Fuseli made to the pleasant
gentleman who asked him if he believed in the existence of
the soul :-" I don't know, Sir, as you have any soul ; but
by — I know I have.” There is about Chapman a
rough grandeur, firmly based, and as sufficient for itself as an
old knotty and gnarled tree, rooted in rocks, and lifting itself
up in defiance of tempests, — not without fine foliage, but prin-
cipally attractive from its hard vitality, its capacity of resist-
ance, and the sullen content with which it exposes to the eye
its tough, ragged, and impenetrable nodosities. He has no
need of bluster or bombast to confirm his good opinion of
himself, as is often the case with Marlowe and Byron ; but
his mind is calm, fixed, and invincible in its self-esteem. The
citadel of self cannot be conquered, can hardly be attacked,
though the universe marshals all its pomp and circumstance to
shame him from his complacency.
"I am a nobler substance than the stars :

And shall the baser overrule the better?
Or are they better since they are the bigger?
I have a will, and faculties of choice,
To do or not to do ; and reason why
I do or not do this: the stars have none.
They know not why they shine, more than this taper,
Nor how they work, nor what. I'll change my course :
I'll piece-meal pull the frame of all my thoughts :
And where are all your Caput Algols then ?
Your planets all being underneath the earth
At my nativity : what can they do ?

Lamb, Vol. 1., p. 89. And again, hear the brave old heathen discourse of the invulnerability of a true master spirit, who has trust in himself :

The Master Spirit.
" Give me a spirit that on life's rough sea

Loves to have his sails fill'd with a lusty wind,
Even till his sail-yards tremble, his masts crack,
And his rapt ship run on her side so low,
That she drinks water, and her keel ploughs air.
There is no danger to a man that knows
What life and death is : there's not any law
Exceeds his knowledge ; neither is it lawful

That he should stoop to any other law :
He goes before them and commands them all,
That to himself is a law rational."

Lamb, Vol. 1., p. 90. The lines in Italics furnished Shelley a fit motto for his Revolt of Islam.

Chapman is supposed by Dr. Drake to be the author of those lines On Worthy Master Shakspeare and his Poems, signed J. M. S., and commencing, —

“A mind reflecting ages past,” — the noblest and justest of the poetical tributes to Shakspeare's supreme genius. We think the conjecture a shrewd one, and borne out by the internal testimony which the lines themselves offer. They are in Chapman's labored and " enormous” manner, – the images huge and intellectual, and shown through the dusky light of his peculiar imagination. Here is a specimen :

“ To outrun hasty time, retrieve the fates,

Roll back the heavens, blow ope the iron gates
Of death and Lethe, where confused lie

Great heaps of ruinous mortality.The reputation of Thomas Middleton, with modern readers, is chiefly based on his Witch, several often quoted scenes of which have been supposed to have suggested to Shakspeare the supernatural machinery of Macbeth. If this be true, it only proves Coleridge's remark, that a great genius pays usurious interest on what he borrows. The play itself is tedious, and not particularly poetical, and the witches are introduced to effect an object very far from sublime. Lamb, after extracting copiously from the play, adds the following eloquent and discriminative remarks:

“ Though some resemblance may be traced between the charms in Macbeth, and the incantations in this play, which is supposed to have preceded it, this coincidence will not detract much from the originality of Shakspeare. His witches are distinguished from the witches of Middleton by essential differences. These are creatures to whom man or woman plotting some dire mischief might resort for occasional consultation. Those origi. nate deeds of blood, and begin bad impulses to men. From the moment that their eyes first meet with Macbeth's, he is spellbound. That meeting sways his destiny. He can never break the fascination. These witches can hurt the body : those have power over the soul. - Hecate in Middleton has a son, a low buffoon: the hags of Shakspeare have neither child of their own, nor seem to be descended from any parent. They are foul Anomalies, of whom we know not whence they are sprung, nor whether they have beginning or ending. As they are without human passions, so they seem to be without human relations. They come with thunder and lightning, and vanish to airy music. This is all we know of them. - Except Hecate, they have no names; which heightens their mysteriousness. Their names, and some of the properties which Middleton has given to his hags, excite smiles. The weird sisters are serious things. Their presence cannot coexist with mirth. But, in a lesser degree, the witches of Middleton are fine creations. Their power, too, is, in some measure, over the mind. They raise jars, jealousies, strifes, like a thick scurf o'er life.” — Lamb, Vol. 1., p. 163


The plays of Middleton are not, in general, up to the level of the time. He rambles loosely through his work, and taxes the patience of his readers without adequately rewarding it. Numerous passages in his dramas, however, show that he had that sway over the passions, and that fertility of fancy, which seemed native to all the dramatists of the period. Hazlitt concedes to his Women beware Women "a rich, marrowy vein of internal sentiment, with fine, occasional insight into human nature, and cool, cutting irony of expression.” In this play occurs the noted rhapsody on marriage, spoken by one who was returning, as he supposed, to a faithful wife, but who finds her a vixen and adulteress. It reminds us of an early chapter in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister. “ The treasures of the deep are not so precious,

As are the concealed comforts of a man
Lock'd up in woman's love. I scent the air
Of blessings when I come but near the house :
What a delicious breath marriage sends forth!
The violet bed 's not sweeter. Honest wedlock
Is like a banqueting-house built in a garden,
On which the spring's chaste flowers take delight, un
To cast their modest odors.

Now for a welcome Able to draw men's envies upon man:

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