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MARLOWE'S translation of Book I of the Pharsalia is first mentioned in an entry in the Stationers' Register, dated September 28, 1593: John Wolf Entred for his Copye vnder the h]andes of Master MURGETROD and bothe the wardens a booke intituled LUCANS firste booke of the famous Civill warr betwixt POMPEY and CESAR Englished by CHRISTOPHER MARLOW.' The very next entry is that of a booke intituled HERO and LEANDER beinge an amorous poem devised by CHRISTOPHER MARLOW', likewise registered by John Wolf and on the same day.

There is a curious and unexplained connexion between these two poems in the circumstances of publication. The First Book of Lucan exists in a single old quarto issued in 1600 by Thomas Thorpe,1 who in the Epistle Dedicatory to his fellow stationer, Edward Blount, alludes to the latter's 'old right' in the work. This Edward Blount himself published in 1598 the earliest extant edition of Marlowe's portion of Hero and Leander. In 1600 another edition of the latter poem appeared with the puzzling title-page Hero and Leander: Begunne by Christopher Marloe Whereunto is added the first booke of Lucan translated line for line by the same Author: Printed for John Flasket.' In spite of this plain statement there is no trace that the Lucan ever formed a part of the book in question or was printed during the Elizabethan age in any other edition than that of Thorpe.

The most likely conjecture would seem to be that John Wolf, who registered Lucan and Hero and Leander on the same day perhaps with the intention of bringing them out together-transferred his right in both to Blount. The latter resigned his property in Hero and Leander, and pre

1 The famous publisher of Shakespeare's sonnets (1609). It is worthy of note that Thorpe also published in 1614 a complete translation of the Pharsalia, the work of Sir Arthur Gorges.

2 The third (?) edition, at least one other having been issued in

sumably in Lucan as well, to Paul Linley on March 2, 1597-8, and Linley certainly made over both works to John Flasket on June 26, 1600.1 Flasket's 1600 edition of Hero and Leander is undoubtedly the result of the transaction last referred to, but it is not easy to account for the misleading allusion to the Lucan translation on the title page or the failure to mention Chapman. Flasket's original design may have been to produce an edition of the Marlovian part of Hero and Leander, supplemented by the Lucan. Such an intention may have preceded the arrangement with Linley, and would naturally, in that case, have been altered when the possession of Chapman's long continuation of Hero and Leander rendered it unnecessary to eke out a thin volume by the insertion of the Lucan. The latter work, being then of no immediate consequence to Flasket, would seem to have been acquired and at once printed by Thomas Thorpe. The Stationers' Register contains no record, however, of the transfer of the piece from Flasket to Thorpe or to any one else, and the question of the precise origin of this single early edition of the poem is not easily soluble.

Marlowe's translation of Lucan is a work of some curious interest, as being one of the earliest English poems in blank verse. It displays greater maturity than the Elegies, both in expression and in metrical skill, but has the same general faults and must, like the other translation, be ascribed to an early period in the poet's career. In his later years Marlowe would hardly have submitted to the tyranny of a line-for-line translation. Erroneous renderings abound on every page, but it is seldom that the reader meets with what is so common in the Elegies-lines entirely destitute of sense or coherence. The work has, as a whole, a majestic rhythm, and the choice of words is always that of the born poet. In many of the finer passages we see the author practising, as it were, that peculiarly melodious blank verse of which he shows himself in Tamburlaine so complete a master. Such lines as the following have the distinct flavour of Marlowe's developed style:

Figulus more seene in heauenly mysteries,
Whose like Aegiptian Memphis neuer had
For skill in stars, and tune-full planeting.2

For a fuller discussion of these points see Introduction to Hero and Leander, pp. 485, 486.



Blount: I purpose to be blunt with you, & out of my dulnesse to encounter you with a Dedication in the memory of that pure Elementall wit Chr. Marlow; whose ghoast or Genius is to be seene walke the Churchyard in (at the least) three or foure sheets. Me thinks you should presently looke wilde now, and 5 growe humorously frantique vpon the tast of it. Well, least you should, let mee tell you. This spirit was sometime a familiar of your own, Lucans first booke translated; which (in regard of your old right in it) I haue rais'd in the circle of your Patronage. But stay now Edward (if I mistake not) 10 you are to accommodate your selfe with some fewe instructions, touching the property of a Patron, that you are not yet possest of; and to study them for your better grace as our Gallants do fashions. First you must be proud and thinke you haue merit inough in you, though you are ne're so emptie; then 15 when I bring you the booke take physicke, and keepe state, assigne me a time by your man to come againe, and afore the day be sure to haue chang'd your lodging; in the meane time sleepe little, and sweat with the inuention of some pittiful dry iest or two which you may happen to vtter, with some litle (or 20 not at al) marking of your friends when you haue found a place for them to come in at; or if by chance something has dropt from you worth the taking up weary all that come to you with the often repetition of it; Censure scornefully inough, and somewhat like a trauailer; commend nothing least you 25 discredit your (that which you would seeme to haue) iudgement. These things if you can mould your selfe to them Ned I make no question but they will not become you. One speciall vertue in our Patrons of these daies I haue promist my selfe you shall fit excellently, which is to giue nothing; Yes, thy loue I 30 will challenge as my peculiar Obiect both in this, and (I hope) manie more succeeding offices: Farewell, I affect not the world should measure my thoughts to thee by a scale of this Nature: Leaue to thinke good of me when I fall from thee.

Thine in all rites of perfect friendship, 35


Ep. Ded. 1 Blount] Blunt Dyce




Wars worse then ciuill on Thessalian playnes,
And outrage strangling law & people strong,

We sing, whose conquering swords their own breasts launcht,


Armies alied, the kingdoms league vprooted,
Th'affrighted worlds force bent on publique spoile,
Trumpets, and drums like deadly threatning other,
Eagles alike displaide, darts answering darts.
Romans, what madnes, what huge lust of warre
Hath made Barbarians drunke with Latin bloud?
Now Babilon, (proud through our spoile) should stoop, 10
While slaughtred Crassus ghost walks vnreueng'd,

Will ye wadge war, for which you shall not triumph?
Ay me, O what a world of land and sea

Might they haue won whom ciuil broiles haue slaine!
As far as Titan springs where night dims heauen,
I to the Torrid Zone where midday burnes,
And where stiffe winter whom no spring resolues,
Fetters the Euxin sea with chaines of yce:
Scythia and wilde Armenia had bin yoakt,
And they of Nilus mouth (if there liue any.)
Roome, if thou take delight in impious warre,
First conquer all the earth, then turne thy force
Against thy selfe as yet thou wants not foes.
That now the walles of houses halfe rear'd totter,
That rampiers fallen down, huge heapes of stone
Lye in our townes, that houses are abandon'd,
And few liue that behold their ancient seats;
Italy many yeares hath lyen vntil'd,

3 launcht] lanc'd Dyce




20 mouth] Qy. ' source or' fount'?

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