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47 41, 42
There are thus in this anthology no less than eighty-one extracts ascribed to Chapman, besides two of which one is known and the other suspected to be the work of his hand ; these are wrongly assigned to Spenser. At the time of this publication Chapman was in his forty-second year ; he had published but two plays and three volumes of verse, the third being his continuation of Marlowe's Hero and Leander. Of the eighty-three passages numbered above, thirty-two are taken from this poem, twenty-five from Ovid's Banquet of Sense, ten from The Shadow of Night, eight from The Contention of Phillis and Flora, a quaint and sometimes a graceful version into the Elizabethan dialect of a Latin or more probably a quasiLatin poem ascribed by Ritson to one of the most famous among mediæval masters ; one is taken from the first scene of his first play, one is spurious, and six (including the passage wrongly referred in a former list to Ovid's Banquet of Sense), whether spurious or genuine, have yet to be traced to their true source. In his critical memoir of Marlowe (Works, vol. i. p. lvii. ed. 1850), Mr. Dyce observes that the editor of England's Parnassus appears never to have resorted to manuscript sources ;' and if, as is of course most probable, the supposition of that great scholar and careful critic be well founded, we must conclude that these passages, as well as the more precious and exquisite fragment of a greater poet which called forth this remark from his editor, were extracted by Allot from some printed book or books long lost to human sight. One small but noticeable extract of two lines and a half descriptive of midnight is evidently I think from a lost play. The taste of the worthy person who compiled this first English anthology was remarkable apparently for its equal relish of good verse and bad ; but we may be grateful that it was by no means confined to the more popular and dominant authors of his age, such as Spenser and Sidney ; since his faculty of miscellaneous admiration has been the means of preserving many curious fragments of fine or quaint verse, and occasionally a jewel of such price as the fragment of Marlowe which alike for tone of verse and tune of thought so vividly recalls Shelley's poem, The Question, written in the same metre and spirit, that one is tempted to dream that some particles of the 'predestined plot of dust and soul which had once gone to make up the elder must have been used again in the composition of the younger poet, who in fiery freedom of thought and speech was like no other of our greatest men but Marlowe, and in that as in his choice of tragic motive was so singularly like this one
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
VERSES PREFIXED TO OVID'S BANQUET OF SENSE, 1595.
RICHARD STAPLETON TO THE If nearer your unhallow'd eyes will pierce AUTHOR.
Then with the satyr kiss this sacred fire
To scorch your lips, that dearly taught PH@BUS hath given thee both his bow and thereby, muse ;
Your only soul's fit objects may aspire. With one thou slay'st the artisans of thunder,
But you high spirits in this cloud of gold And to thy verse dost such a sound Enjoy like jove this bright Saturnian infuse,
muse, That gather'd storms therewith are blown
Your eyes can well the dazzling beams in sunder.
behold The other decks her with her golden
This Pythian lightener freshly doth
effuse; wings, -Spread beyond measure in thy ample To daunt the baseness of that bastard
train, verse ; Where she, as in her bowers of laurel, Whose twice-born judgments formless still
remain. sings Sweet philosophic strains that fiends might pierce.
ANOTHER. The soul of brightness in thy darkness UNGRATEFUL Farmers of the Muses' land, shines,
That wanting thrift and judgment to Most new and dear, unstain'd with employ it, foreign graces ;
Let it manureless and unfenced And when aspiring spirits shall reach thy stand, lines,
Till barbarous cattle enter and destroy it. They will not hear our treble-toned basses.
Now the true heir is happily found out With boldness then thy able Poems use ; Who framing it to enrich posterities, Phoebus hath given thee both his bow and Walls it with sprite-fill'd darkness
Grass plants and sows, and makes it THO: WILLIAMS OF THE INNER
To which without the Parcæ's golden bow ISSUE of Semele that will embrace
None can aspire but stick in error's hell; With fleshly arms the three-wing'd wife A garland to engird a monarch's brow; of thunder,
Then take some pains to joy so rich a Let her sad ruin such proud thoughts jewel. abase,
Most prize is grasp'd in labour's hardest And view aloof this verse in silent hand, wonder.
And idle souls can nothing rich command.
I. D. OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE.
And in that rank I put thee in the front
Especially of poets of account, ONLY that eye which for true love doth Who art the treasurer of that company; weep,
But in thy hand too little coin doth lie; Only that heart which tender love doth For, of all arts that now in London are pierce,
Poets get least in uttering of their ware. May read and understand this sacred But thou hast in thy head, and heart, and verse,
hand, For other wits too mystical and deep.
Treasures of art that treasure can com
mand. Between these hallow'd leaves Cupid doth Ah would they could ! then should thy keep
wealth and wit The golden lesson of his second artist, For love till now hath still a master But George, thou wert accursed, and so
Be equal, and a lofty fortune fit. miss'd
was I Since Ovid's eyes were closed with iron To be of that most blessed company : sleep.
For if they most are blest that most are But now his waking soul in Chapman lives, crost, Which shows so well the passions of his Then poets, I am sure, are blessed most. soul,
Yet we with rhyme and reason trim the And yet this muse more cause of wonder times, gives,
Though they give little reason for our And doth more prophet-like love's art rhymes. enrol.
The reason is, else error blinds my wits, For Ovid's soul now grown more old and They reason want to do whať honour wise,
fits, Pours forth itself in deeper mysteries. But let them do as please them, we must do
What Phoebus, Sire of Art, moves Nature ANOTHER.
to. SINCE Ovid, Love's first gentle master,
Jo : DAVIES, of Hereford.* died,
TO GEORGE CHAPMAN. He hath a most notorious truant been, And hath not once in thrice five ages Thou pick'st not flowers from another's
GEORGE, it is thy genius innated, That same sweet muse that was his first
field, sweet guide;
Stolen similes or sentences translated, But since Apollo, who was gratified
Nor seekest, but what thine' own soil doth Once with a kiss, hunting on Cynthus'
yield : green,
Let barren wits go borrow what to write, By Love's fair mother, tender beauty's 'Tis bred and born with thee what thou
inditest, queen, This favour unto her hath not envied,
And our comedians thou out-strippest That into whom she will she may infuse,
quite, For the instruction of her tender son,
And all the hearers more than all deThe gentle Ovid's easy supple muse,
lightest, Which unto thee, sweet Chapman, she With unaffected style and sweetest strain, hath done :
Thy inambitious pen keeps on her pace, She makes in thee the spirit of Ovid move,
And cometh near'st the ancient comic And calls thee second master of her love.
Thou hast beguiled us all of that sweet Futurum invisible.
grace : TO MY HIGHLY VALUED MR. No Chapman but thyself were to be
And were Thalia to be sold and bought, GEORGE CHAPMAN, FATHER
sought. OF OUR ENGLISH POETS.
THOMAS FREEMAN, Gent. I KNOW thee not, good George, but by
* The Scourge of Folly (Lond. 1611). thy pen,
+ Rvbbe 'and A great Cast Epigrams: For which I rank thee with the rarest men. Lond. 1614.
PREFIXED TO CHAPMAN'S HESIOD, 1618.
TO MY WORTHY FRIEND MR. In thy free labours, friend, then rest
GEORGE CHAPMAN AND HIS content;
Fear not Detraction, neither fawn on
Praise ; CHAPMAN, we find by thy past-prized When idle Censure all her force hath fraught
spent, What wealth thou dost upon this land Knowledge can crown herself with her own confer;
bays. Th' old Grecian prophets hither that hast Their lines that have so many lives outbrought
worn, Of their full words the true interpreter; Clearly expounded, shall base Envy scorn. And by thy travel strongly hast exprest
MICHAEL DRAYTON. The large dimensions of the English tongue,
TO MY WORTHY AND HONOURED Delivering them so well, the first and
FRIEND, MR. GEORGE CHAPbest
MAN, ON HIS TRANSLATION That to the world in numbers ever sung.
OF HESIOD'S WORKS AND Thou hast unlock'd the treasury wherein All art and knowledge have so long been
Whose work could this be, Chapman, to Which till the graceful Muses did begin
refine Here to inhabit, was to us forbidden.
Old Hesiod's ore, and give it us, but In blest Elysium, in a place most fit,
thine, Under that tree due to the Delphian god,
Who hadst before wrought in rich Homer's Musæus and that Iliad singer sit
mine? And near to them that noble Hesiod, Smoothing their rugged foreheads; and do What treasure hast thou brought us !' and smile,
what store After so many hundred years to see Still, still, dost thou arrive with at our Their Poems read in this far western isle, shore, Translated from their ancient Greek by To make thy honour and our wealth the
more ! Each his good Genius whispering in his If all the vulgar tongues that speak this ear,
day That with so lucky and auspicious fate Did still 'attend them whilst they living Were ask'd of thy discoveries, they must
To the Greek coast thine only knew the And gave their verses such a lasting date. Where, slightly passing by the Thespian
Such passage hast thou found, such returns Many long after did but only sup;
made, Nature, then fruitful, forth these men did As, now of all men, it is call'd thy trade; bring,
And who make thither else rob or inTo fetch deep rouses from Jove's plenteous vade, cup.
BEN : JONSON.