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found scantily dispersed over the wearisome expanse of Ferrer and Porret, but Marlow was the first to discover their beauty and utility, and therefore to insert them frequently. The second passage we shall quote, in proof of Marlow's excellence as a writer of blank-verse, is chiefly from one of the beautiful and affecting speeches given to the unhappy Edward, after he has been deposed by his Queen and Mortimer.
‘Zeicester—Be patient, good my lord: cease to lament.
Adward.—Leicester, if gentle words might comfort me,
The last line of this fine quotation is an instance of a verse deficient of a syllable, but not therefore defective in time or measure: the important word “mounts' is to be dwelt upon with peculiar force and emphasis for the length of two inferior syllables, and the harmony of the rhythm is thus preserved. Had not this peculiarity been intentional, how easy it would have been for the poet to write “it mounts up to the air', or ‘mounts into the air’.
It has been asserted by Chalmers, without qualification, and as certainly without proof, that Marlow was the author of 7%e True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York." He had a copy of
* Ste///ementa/ Apology, p. 292.
this old play in his possession, dated in I 595, two years after the death of Marlow," but it nowhere appears that he wrote it, though it is possible he might be concerned in it. There is, however, as much reason for assigning also to him the history of Henry the Sixth, and the first part of The whole Contention between the two famous Houses, Lancaster and Yorke: they were all three in being before Shakespeare began to write for the stage; and after he commenced his theatrical career, he re-dressed the first part of The w/ole Contention, etc., and The True Tragedy of Aichard Duke of York, which now are known by the titles of the second and third parts of Henry VI. It is
* The story of Marlow's death has been differently related, but it seems now ascertained that he was killed by his rival in love: Marlow found his rival with the lady to whom he was attached, and rushed upon him; but his antagonist, being the stronger, thrust the point of Marlow’s own dagger into his head. This event occurred at Deptford, where, according to the register of St. Nicholas Church, Marlow was buried on June 1st, 1593, and it is also there recorded that he was ‘slain by Francis Archer'. The following relation of this circumstance, which seems to be mistaken in the locality, has never yet been quoted. It is from The Thunderbolt of God’s Wrash against hard-hearted and stiffe-mecăted sinners, etc., by Edm. Rudiere, 1618. 4to.
“We read of one Marlow a Cambridge scholler, who was a poet and a filthy play-maker: this wretche accounted that meeke servant of God, Moses, to be but a conjurer, and our sweete Saviour but a seducer and deceiver of the people. But harken, ye brain-sicke and prophane poets and players, that bewitch idle eares with foolish vanities, what fell upon this prophane wretch —having a quarrell against one whom he met in a streete in London, and would have stab'd him; but the partie perceiving his villany prevented him with catching his hand and turning his owne dagger into his braines, and so blaspheming and cursing he yeelded up his stinking breath. Marke this, ye players, that live by making fooles laugh at sinne and wickednesse.’—The substance of this narrative is taken from Beard's Theatre of God’s judgments, 1598, but Beard was mistaken in his assertion that the tragical incident occurred in London: Marlow was unquestionably killed in Deptford, and in the chamber of his mistress. He was buried in Deptford.
plausibly conjectured that Shakespeare never touched the first part of Henry VI, as it stands in his works, and that it is merely the old play on the early events of that reign, which was most likely written about I 589. As there is nothing to fix any of these as the property of Marlow, it is needless here to enter into an examination of them, as regards their structure or versification. What Shakespeare contributed to the second and third parts of Henry V/ may be seen by a comparison of them with the two old quartos reprinted by Steevens, in 1766. Greene may possibly have had a hand in the authorship of The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, and there is a striking coincidence between a passage in that play, and another in Greene's A/p/onsus (not printed until 1599, although written before I 592), which in this view deserves notice.— Gloster, in The True Tragedy, etc., while stabbing Henry VI the Second time, exclaims—
“If any spark of life remain in thee, -
In Greene's A/p/tonsus, the following lines, delivered on a somewhat similar occasion, are met with. “Go pack thou hence unto the Stygian lake; . . . And if he ask thee who did send thee down, Alphonsus say, who now must wear thy crown.” For reasons already assigned, Lust's Dominion is excluded
from the list of Marlow's plays. It was, in fact, the work of Dekker, Haughton, and Day.
ROBERT GREENE AND HIS WORKS.
ROBERT GREENE, who died in September 1592,” is perhaps entitled to be considered the poet who immediately followed Marlow, in his successful experiment to bring blank-verse into use on the public stage. At least it is certain that Greene attempted dramatic composition in blank-verse prior to 1588, because he so asserts, though somewhat ambiguously, in the prefatory epistle to his Perimides the Blacksmith, which was
printed in that year. He was a poet who obtained an extraordinary reputation at
" His fatal illness was occasioned by eating and drinking immoderately of red-herrings and Rhenish wine. In 1594 appeared a very rare collection of fourteen ‘Sonnets' (as the author terms them), under the title of Greene's Funeralls, of which Ritson mentions only an edition in 1604, and which Mr. Park confounds with Greene's Memorial, at the end of Gabriel Harvey’s Four Letters, etc., 1592. The initials ‘R. B., Gent.’, are on the title-page, which Ritson supposes to mean Richard Barnefield; but Greene's Funeralls is certainly unworthy of Barnefield’s pen. R. B. was a most devoted admirer of Greene, as the following lines will show:—
‘For Judgement Jove, for learning deepe he still Apollo seemde; For floent tongue, for eloquence, men Mercury him deemde; For curtesie suppose him Guy, or Guyons somewhat lesse. His life and manners, though I would, I cannot halfe expresse: Nor mouth, nor mind, nor Muse can halfe declare, His life, his love, his laude, so excellent they were.” It seems strange that R. B. should touch upon Greene’s ‘life and manners', if he deserved the character for vice and profligacy which his enemy, Gabriel Harvey, gave of him, after Greene was dead and could not reply. The only known copy of Greene's Funeral/s, I 594, is among Bishop Tanner's books at Oxford.
a comparatively easy rate." He was of Clare-hall, Cambridge, from whence he dates the dedication of his Mamillia,” and he probably entered the Church : in 1584 we find a person of the name of Robert Greene in possession of the Vicarage of Tollesbury in Essex, and in that year he printed an enlargement and moralisation upon the story of Susanna and the Elders, under the title of The Mirror of Modesty.” In 1585,
* Professor Tieck, in the Preface to his Shakespeare's Vorschule, says that Greene had ‘a happy talent, a clear spirit, and a lively imagination’, which, he adds, “characterise all his writings'. We can by no means concur in this praise to its full extent, for although some of Greene's productions do display what we should rather term a lively fancy than ‘a lively imagination', there are others that possess no recommendation of any kind, and were put forth into the world to relieve temporary necessities. By these he certainly ought not to be judged, though they ought to be taken into the account with reference to the facility with which he wrote his best pieces, and the total needlessness of study and effort, which Tieck also attributes to him.
* The earliest edition of it bears date in 1583; and by some verses signed G. B., “in praise of the author and his book’, which are prefixed, it is clear that it was written, if not published, before Greene left college.
“Greene is the plant, Mamillia is the flowre,
The Rev. A. Dyce, in his edition of Greene's Works, in 2 vols. 8vo, also gives the date of 1583 to the publication of the first part of Greene's Mamillia.-See vol. i, cviii. The second part of Mamillia was undoubtedly first printed in 1593; and we apprehend that there may be a mistake of a figure on the title of the first part. Greene would hardly write the second part of the same story nearly ten years after the appearance of the first part. * The following work, in Andrew Maunsell’s Catalogue, 1595, is also, probably, to be attributed to Greene:—‘Exhortation andfruitful Admonition to vertuous Parentes, and modest Matrones, to the bringing up of their Children in godly education and household discipline. By R. G. Printed for Nich. Linge, 1584, in 8vo.’ It has never been hitherto mentioned in any list of Greene's productions.