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he has both more gravity in his tragic style, and more levity in his comic vein. His Bussy D'AMBois, though not without interest or some fancy, is rather a collection of apophthegms or pointed sayings in the form of a dialogue, than a poem or a tragedy. In his verses the oracles rhave not ceased. Every other line is an axiom in morals-a libel on mankind, if truth is a libel. He is too stately for a wit, in his serious writings -too formal for a poet. Bussy d'Ambois is founded on a French plot and French manners. The character, from which it derives its name, is arrogant and ostentatious to an unheard-of degree, but full of nobleness and lofty spirit. His pride and unmeasured pretensions alone take away from his real merit; and by the quarrels and intrigues in which they involve him, bring about the catastrophe, which has considerable grandeur and imposing effect, in the manner of Seneca. Our author aims at the highest things in poetry, and 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. From the nature of the plot, which turns upon a love intrigue, much of the philosophy of this piece relates to the character of the sex.
of women's will is hard to hit."
But old Chapman professes to have found the clue to it, and winds his uncouth way through all the labyrinth of love. Its deepest recesses “ hide nothing from his view.” The close intrigues of court policy, the subtle workings of the human soul, move before him like a sea dark, deep, and glittering with wrinkles for the smile of beauty. Fulke Greville alone could go beyond him in gravity and mystery. The plays of the latter (Mustapha and Alaham) are abstruse as the mysteries of old, and his style inexplicable as the riddles of the Sphinx. As an instance of his love for the obscure, the marvellous, and impossible, he calls up “the ghost of one of the old kings of Ormus," as prologue to one of his tragedies ; a very reverend and inscrutable personage, who, we may be sure, blabs no living secrets. Chapman, in his other pieces, where he lays aside the gravity of the philosopher and poet, discovers an unexpected comic vein, distinguished by equal truth of nature and lively good humour. I cannot say that this character pervades
any one of his entire comedies; but the introductory sketch of Monsieur D'Olive is the undoubted prototype of that light, flippant, gay, and infinitely delightful class of character, of the professed men of wit and pleasure about town, which we have in such perfection in Wycherley and Congreve, such as Sparkish, Wit
woud and Petulant, &c. both in the sentiments and in the style of writing. For example, take the last scene of the first act.
« Enter D’Olive.
Rhoderique. What, Monsieur D'Olive, the only admirer of wit and good words.
D'Olive. Morrow, wits: morrow, good wits: my little parcels of wit, I have rods in pickle for you. How dost, Jack ; may I call thee, sir, Jack yet?
Mugeron. You may, sir; sir's as commendable an addition as Jack, for ought I know.
D'OL. I know it, Jack, and as common too.
Rhod. Go to, you may cover; we have taken notice of your embroidered beaver.
D’Ol. Look you: by heaven thou’rt one of the maddest bitter slaves in Europe: I do but wonder how I made shift to love thee all this while.
Rhod. Go to, what might such a parcel-gilt cover be worth?
Mug. Perhaps more than the whole piece beside.
D'0l. Good i'faith, but bitter. Oh, you mad slaves, I think you had Satyrs to your sires, yet I must love you, I must take pleasure in you, and i'faith tell me, how is't? live I see you do, but how? but how, wits ?
Rhod. Faith, as you see, like poor younger brothers.
D'ol. Good in sooth! but indeed to say truth, time was when the sons of the Muses had the privilege to live only by their wits, but times are altered, Monopolies are now called in, and wit's become a free trade for all sorts to live by: lawyers live by wit, and they live worshipfully: soldiers live by wit, and they live honourably: panders live by wit, and they live honestly : in a word, there are but few trades but live by wit, only bawds and midwives live by women's labours, as fools and fiddlers do by making mirth, pages and parasites by making legs, painters and players by making mouths and faces: ha, does't well, wits?
Rhod. Faith, thou followest a figure in thy jests, as country gentlemen follow fashions, wheu they be worn threadbare.
D'OL. Well, well, let's leave these wit skirmishes, and say when shall we meet?
Mug. How think you, are we not met now?
D'ol. Tush, man! I mean at my chamber, where we may take free use of ourselves; that is, drink sack, and talk satire, and let our wits run the wild-goose chase over court and country. I will have my chamber the rendezvous of all good wits, the shop of good words, the mint of good jests, an ordi. nary of fine discourse; critics, essayists, linguists, poets, and other professors of that faculty of wit, shall, at certain hours i'tli’day, resort thither; it sball be a second Sorbonne, where all doubts or differences of learning, honour, duellism, criticism, and poetry, shall be disputed: and how, wits, do ye follow the court still?
Rhod. Close at heels, sir; and I can tell you, you have much to answer to your stars, that you do not so too.
D'Ol. As why, wits? as why?
Rhod. Why, sir, the court's as 'twere the stage: and they that have a good suit of parts and qualities, ought to press thither to grace them, and receive their due merit.
D’Ol. Tush, let the court follow me: he that soars too near the sun, melts bis wings many times; as I am, I possess myself, I enjoy my liberty, my learning, my wit: as for wealth and honour, let 'em go; I'll not lose my learning to be a lord, nor my wit to be an alderman.
Mug. Admirable D'Olive!
D'ol. And what! you stand gazing at this comet here, and admire it, I dare say. Rhod. And do not you
? D'Ol. Not I, I admire nothing but wit.
Rhod. But I wonder how she entertains time in that soli. tary cell : does she not take tobacco, think you?
D'ol. She does, she does : others make it their physic, she makes it her food: her sister and she take it by turn, first one, then the other, and Vandome ininisters to them both.
Mug. How sayest thou by that Helen of Greece the Countess's sister ? there were a paragon, Monsieur D'Olive, to admire and marry too.
D'OI. Not for me.
D'Ol. Tush, tell me not of choice; if I stood affected that way, I would choose my wife as men do Valentines, blindfold, or draw cuts for them, for so I shall be sure not to be deceived in choosing; for take this of me, there's ten times more deceit in women than in horse-flesh; and I say still, that a pretty well-pac'd chamber-maid is the only fashion; if she grows full or fulsome, give her but sixpence to buy her a hand-basket, and send her the way of all flesh, there's no more but so.
Mug. Indeed that's the savingest way.
D'Ol. O me! what a hell 'tis for a man to be tied to the continual charge of a coach, with the appurtenances, horses, men, and so forth: and then to have a man's house pestered with a whole country of guests, grooms, panders, waitingmaids, &c. I careful to please my wife, she careless to displease me; shrewish if she be honest; intolerable if she be wise; imperious as an empress; all she does must be law, all she says gospel: oh, what a penance 'tis to endure her! I glad to forbear still, all to keep her loyal, and yet perhaps when all's done, my heir shall be like my horse