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like passions, a gloomy humor, subsist such a history, raises before them, with under the regularity and propriety tragic severity, an idea of life : death of modern manners.* Their native is at hand, as well as wounds, the block, energy and harshness pierce through tortures. The fine cloaks of purple the perfection of culture and the which the Renaissances of the South habits of comfort. Rich young men, displayed joyfully in the sun, to wear on leaving Oxford, go to hunt bears like a holiday garment, are here stained
on the Rocky Mountains, the ele- with blood, and edged with black phant in South Africa, live under can- Throughout,* a stern discipline; and vas, box, jump hedges on horseback, the axe ready for every suspicion of sail their yachts on dangerous coasts, treason ; great men, bishops, a chandel ght in solitude and peril. The an- cellor, princes, the king's relatives, cient Saxon, the old rover of the Scan- queens, a protector, all kneeling in the dinavian seas, has not perished. Even straw, sprinkled the Tower with their at school the children roughly treat blood; one after the other they marchone another, withstand one another, ed past, stretched out their necks ; fight like men; and their character is the Duke of Buckingham, Queen Anne so indomitable, that they need the birch Boleyn, Queen Catherine Howard, the and blows to reduce them to the disci- Earl of Surrey, Admiral Seyn.our, the pline of law. Judge what they were Duke of Somerset, Lady Jane Grey in the sixteenth century; the English and her husband, the Duke of Northrace passed then for the most warlike umberland, Mary Stewart, the Earl of of Europe, the most redoubtable in Essex, all on the throne, or on the steps battle, the most impatient of any thing of the throne, in the highest rank of like slavery.t “English savages is honors, beauty, youth, and genius ; of what Cellini calls them; and the great the bright procession nothing is left shins of beef” with which they fill but senseless trunks, marred by the themselves, keep up the force and tender mercies of the executioner, ferocity of their instincts. To harden Shall I count the funeral pyres, the them thoroughly, institutions work in hangings, living wen cut down from the same groove with nature. The na- the gibbet, disembowelled, quartered, tion is armed, every man is brought up their limbs cast into the fire, their heads like a scldier, bound to have arms ac- exposed on the walls ? There is a cording to his condition, to exercise page in Holinshed which reads like a himself on Sundays or holidays; from death register : the yeoman to the lord, the old military constitution keeps them enrolled and
“ The five and twentith daie of Maie (1535),
was in saint Paules church at London examready for action. 1 In a state which ined nineteene men and six women born in resembles an army, it is necessary that Holland, whose opinions were (heretical). punishments, as in an army, shall in- Fourteene of them were condemned, a man spire terror; and to make them worse, field, the other twelve were sent to other
and a woman of them were burned in Smiththe hideous Wars of the Roses, which townes, there to be burnt. On the nineteenth on every flaw of the succession to the of June were three moonkes of the Charter throne are ready to break out again, house hanged, drawne, and quartered at are ever present in their recollection. Tiburne, and their heads and quarters set
up about London, for denieng the king to be Such instincts, such a constitution, supreme head of the church. Also the one and headed for the like crime, that is to wit, for whole of hs life; of he runs away a denieng the king to be supreme head." *
twentith of the same moneth, and for the same * Compare, to understand this character, the cause, doctor John Fisher, bishop of Roches parts assigned to James Harlowe by Richard- ter, was beheaded for denieng of the supremason, old Osborne by Thackeray, Sir Giles cie, and his head set upon London bridge, but Overreach by Massinger, and Manly by Wych- his bodie þuried within Barking churchyard. erley.
The pope had elected him a cardinall, and sent Hentzner's Travels; Benvenuto Cellini. his hat as far as Calais, but his head was oft See passim, the costumes printed in Venice before his hat was on: so that they met not. and Germany: Bellicosissimi. Froude, i. pp. On the sixt of Julie was Sr Thomas Moore be. 19, 52.
** This is not so true of the English now, if it was in the sixteenth century, as it is of conti- * Froude's Hist. of England, vols. i. ii. ji. nental nations. The French lycées are far 7 “When his heart was torn out he uttered more military in character than English schools. a deep groan."-Execution of Parry; Strypa -TR.
second time, he is put to death. SomeNone of these murders seem extraor- of thieves hung on the same gibbet.
times, says More, you might see a score dinary ; the chroniclers mention them In one year * forty persons were put without growing indignant; the condemned go quietly to the block, as if alone, and in each county there were
to death in the county of Somerset the thing were perfectly natural. Anne three or four hundred vagabonds who Boleyn said seriously, before giving up would sometimes gather together and her head to the executioner : “I praie rob in armed bands of sixty at a time God save the king, and send him long Follow the whole of the history close to reigns over you, for a gentler, nor ly, the fires of Mary, the pillories of a more mercifull prince was there Élizabeth, and it is plain that the moral never.” Society is, as it were, in a
tone of the land, like its physical constate of siege, so incited that beneath dition, is harsh' by comparison with the idea of order every one
entertained other countries. They have no relish the idea of the scaffold. They saw it, in their enjoyments, as in Italy; what is the terrible machine, planted on all the called Merry England is England given highways of human life; and the byways as well as the highways led to it. up to animal spirits; a coarse animation A sort of martial law, introduced by produced by abundant feeding, continu
ed prosperity, courage, and self-reliance; conquests into civil affairs, entered thence into ecclesiastical matters, and climate and this race. Mingled with .
voluptuousness does not exist in this social economy ended by being en- the beautiful popular beliefs, the lugu. slaved by it. As in a camp, & expen- brious dreams and the cruel nightmare diture, dress, the food of each class, of witchcraft make their appearance. are fixed and restricted ; no one might Bishop Jewell, preaching before the , stray out of his district, be idle, live after his own devices. Every stranger cerers within these few last years are
queen, tells her that witches and sorwas seized, interrogated; if he could marvellously increased. Some minisnot give a good account of himself, the parish-stocks bruised his limbs; as in time of war he would have passed for a
“ That they have had in their parish at one in. spy and an enemy, if caught amidst the stant, xvij or xviij witches ; meaning such as army: Any person, says the law, ll could worke miracles supernaturallie ; that they found living idly or loiteringly for the work spells by which men pine away even unto space of three days, shall be marked their speech is benumbed, their senses are be.
death, their colour fadeth, their flesh rotteth, with a hot iron on his breast, and ad- reft; that instructed by the devil, they make judged as a slave to the man who shall ointments of the bowels and members of chilinform against him. This one “shall dren, whereby they ride in the aire, and accom
plish all their desires, take the same slave, and give him baptized, or defended by the sign of the cross, bread, water, or small drink, and refuse then the witches catch them from their mothers meat, and cause him to work, by beat- sides in the night
buriall stéale them out of their graves, and ing, chaining, or otherwise, in such seeth them in a caldron, untill their flesh be work and labor as he shall put him to, made potable..
: . . It is an infallible rule, that be it never so vile.” He may sell him, everie fortnight, or at the least everie moneth, hequeath him, let him out for hire, or
each witch must kill one child at the least for
hir part.” rade upon him “after the like sort as hey may do of any other their moveable Here was something to make the goods or chattels," put a ring of iron teeth chatter with fright. Add to this reabout his neck or leg; if he runs away volting and absurd descriptions, wretchand absents himself for fourteen days, ed tomfooleries, details about the infer. ne is branded on the forehead with a nal cauldron, all the nastinesses which hot iron, and remains a slave for the could haunt the trite imagination of a
hideous, and drivelling old woman, and • Holinshed, Chronicles of England, iii. p. you have the spectacles, proviced by
| Ibid. p. 797
Middleton and Shakspeare, and wick Ynder Henry IV and Henry V. & Froude, i. 15. | In 1847
• In 1596.
When a child is not
kill them ... or after
suit the sentiments of the age and the which we are struggling and crying to
The of a hedge or a valley. They dream free and full development of pure na: terribly of death :
ture which, in Greece and Italy, ends “ To die and go we know not where ;
in the painting of beauty and happy
theatre unique in history, like the adOf those that lawless and incertain thought it sprang, the work and the picture of Imagine howling : 'tis too horrible !" .
this young world, as natural, as un-. The greatest speak with a sad resigna- shackled, and as tragic as itself. When tion of the infinite obscurity which an original and national drama springs embraces our poor, short, glimmering up, the poets who establish it, carry in life, our life, which is but à troubled themselves the sentiments which it rep. dream;† the sad state of humanity, resents. They display better than other which is passion, madness, and sor.
men the feelings of the public, because row; the human being who is himself, those feelings are stronger in them than perhaps, but a vain phantom, a grievous in other men. The passions which sursick man's dream. In their eyes we round them, break forth in their heart roll down a fatal slope, where chance with a harsher or a juster cry, and dashes us one against the other, and hence their voices become the voices of the inner destiny which urges us on- all. . Chivalric and Catholic Spain had ward, only shatters after it has blinded her interpreters in her enthusiasts and us. And at the end of all is “the her Don Quixotes : in Calderon, first silent grave, no conversation, no joyful a soldier, afterwards a priest; in Lope tread of friends, no voice of lovers, no
de Vega, a volunteer at fifteen, a pas. careful father's counsel; nothing's sionate lover, a wandering duellist, a heard, nor nothing is, but all oblivion, soldier of the Armada, finally, a priest dust, and endless darkness.” I
and familiar of the Holy Office; so full there were nothing. “To die, to sleep; of fervor that he fasts till he is exhaust to sleep, perchance to dream.X To ed, faints with motion while singing dream sadly, to fall into a nightmare mass, and in his iagellations stains the like the nightmare of life, like that in walls of his cell with blood. Calm and
noble Greece had in her principal tragic * Shakspeare; Measure for Measure, Act iii. poet one of the most accomplished and See also The Tempest, Hamlet, Macbeth. fortunate of her sons : * Sophocles, firs!
“ We are such stuff
in song and palæstra; who at fifteen 's rounded with a sleep."--Tempest, iv. 1.
Διεπονήθη δ' εν παισι και περί παλαίστραν 1 Beaumont and Fletcher, Thierry and) και μουσικήν, εξ ών αμφοτέρων εστεφανώθι Theodoret, Act iv. 1.
Φιλαθηναιότατος και θεοφιλής -Scholia
sang, unclad, the pæan before the tro-property of a theatre; but such success phy of Salamis, and who afterwards, as is rare, and the life which they lead, a ambassador, general, ever loving the life of actors and artists, improvident, gods and impassioned for his state, pre- full of excess, lost amid debauchery sented, in his life as in his works, the and acts of violence, amidst women of spectacle of the incomparable harmony evil fame, in contact with young prof which made the beauty of the ancient ligates,among the temptations of e-sery, world, and which the modern world imagination and license, generally leads will never more attain to. Eloquent them to exhaustion, poverty, and death. and worldly France, in the age which Men received enjoyment from theni, curried the art of good manners and but neglected and despised them. One conversation to its highest pitch, finds, actor, for a political allusion, was sent to write her oratorical tragedies and to to prison, and only just escaped losing paint her drawing-room passions, the his ears; great men, men in office, most able craftsman of words, Racine, a abused them like servants. Heywood, courtier, a man of the world ; the most who played almost every day, bound capable, by the delicacy of his tact and himself, in addition, to write a sheet the adaptation of his style, of making daily, for several years composes at men of the world and courtiers speak. haphazard in taverns, labors and sweats So in England the poets are in har- like a true literary hack, and dies mony with their works. Almost all are leaving two hundred and twenty pieces, Bohemians; they sprung from the peo- of which most are lost. Kyd, ple,* were educated, and usually studied the earliest in date, died in misery. at Oxford or Cambridge, but they were Shirley, one of the last, at the end of poor, so that their education contrasts his career, was obliged to become once with their condition. Ben Jonson is the more a schoolmaster. Massinger dies step-son of a bricklayer, and himself a unknown; and in the parish register bricklayer ; Marlowe is the son of a we find only this sad mention of him ; shoemaker; Shakspeare of a wool mer- Philip Massinger, a stranger.” A chant; Massinger of a servant of a no- few months after the death of Middleble family. They live as they can, get ton, his widow was obliged to ask alms into debt, write for their bread, go on of the city, because he had left nothing. the stage. Peele, Lodge, Marlowe, Ben Imagination, as Drummond said of Ben Jonson, Shakspeare, Heywood, are ac- Jonson, oppressed their reason; it is tors; most of the details which we the common failing of poets. They have of their lives are taken from the wish to enjoy, and give themselves journal of Henslowe, a retired pawn- wholly up to enjoyment; their mood, broker, later a money-lender and man- their heart governs them; in their life, ager of a theatre, who gives them as in their works, impulses are irresistiwork, advances money to them, re- ble; desire comes suddenly, like a ceives their manuscripts their wave, drowning reason, resistance wardrobes as security. For a play often even giving neither reason nor he gives seven or eight pounds; after resistance time to show themselves.* the year 1600 prices rise, and reach as Many are roysterers, sad roysterers of high as twenty or twenty-five pounds. the same sort, such as Musset anci It is clear that, even after this increase, Murger, who give themselves up to the trade of author scarcely brings in every passion, and “drown theia suru tread. In order to earn money, it was rows in the bowl;” capable of the zecessary, like Shakspeare, to become purest and most poetic dreams, of the a manager, to try to have a share in the
* See, amongst others, The Woman Killea
with Kindness, by Heywood. Mrs. Frank* Except Beaumont and Fletcher,
fort, so upright of heart, accepts Wenduil at Hartley Coleridge, in his Introduction to his first offer. Sir Francis Acton, at the sight the Dramatic Works of Massinger and Ford, of her whom he wishes to dishonour,, and says of Massinger's father:
whom he hates, falls “into an ecstasy,” and rified of the situation which he held in the dreams of nothing save marriage. Compare aoble household (Earl of Pembroke), but we the sudden transport of Ji liet, Romeo, Mac may be sure that it was neither menial nor beth, Miranda, etc. ; the cuansel of Prospero
Service in those days was not deroga- to Fernando, when he leaves him alone for a tory to gentle birth."-TR.
We are not cer
moment with Miranda.
most delicate and touching tenderness, | A little later he is seized with remorse and who yet can only undermine their marries, depicts in delicious verse the health and mar their fame. Such are regularity and calin of an upright life, Nash, Decker, and Greene ; Nash, a then returns to London, spends his fantastic satirist, who abused his talent, property and his wife's fortune with and conspired like a prodigal against a sorry ragged queane,” in the com good fortune; Decker, who passed three pany of ruffians, pimps, \ sharpers, years in the King's Bench prison; courtesans ; drinking, blaspheming, Sireene, above all, a pleasing wit, wearing himself out by sleepless nights pious, graceful, who took a delight and orgies; writing for bread, some tiestroying himself, publicly with times amid the brawling and effluvia 3. ars confessing his vices,* and the of his wretched lodging, lighting upon next moment plunging into them again. thoughts of adoration and love, worthy These are mere androgynes, true cour- of Rolla ;* very often disgusted with tesans, in manners, body, and heart. himself, seized with a fit of weeping Quitting Cambridge, “with good fel between two merry bouts, and writing lows as free-living as himself,” Greene little pieces to accuse himself, to rehad travelled over Spain, Italy, “in gret his wife, to convert his comrades, which places he sawe and practizde or to warn young people against the such villainie as is abhominable to de- tricks of prostitutes and swindlers. clare.” You see the poor man is can. He was soon worn out by this kind of did, not sparing himself; he is natural; life; six years were enough to exhaus“ passionate in every thing, repentance or him. An indigestion arising from otherwise; above all of ever-varying Rhenish wine and pickled herrings mood; made for self-contradiction; finished him. If it had not been for not self-correction. On his return he his landlady, who succored him, he became, in London, a supporter of “would have perished in the streets.” taverns, a haunter of evil places. In He lasted a little longer, and then his his Grotsworth of Wit bought with a light went but; now and then he Million of Repentance he says:
begged her “pittifully for a penny pott
of malmesie ;' he was covered with “ I was dround in pride, whoredom was my lice, he had but one shirt, and when daily exercise, and gluttony with drunkenness was my onely delight. After I had wholly his own was "a washing,” he was betaken me to the penning of plaies (which obliged to borrow her husband's was my continuall exercise) I was so far from “His doublet and hose and sword calling upon God that I sildome thought on God, but tooke such delight in swearing and
were sold for three shillinges,” and blaspheming the name of God that none could the poor folks paid the cost of his thinke otherwise of me than that I was the burial, four shillings for the windingchild of perdition. These vanities and other sheet, and six and fourpence for the trifling pamphlets ! penned of love and vaine
burial. fantasies was my chiefest stay of liv.ng; and for those my vaine discourses I was beloved of In such low places, on such dung the more vainer sort of people, who being my hills, amid such excesses and violence, continuall companions, came still to my lodg- dramatic genius forced its way, and ing, and there would continue quaffing, carowsing, and surfeting with me all the day long. amongst others, that of the first, of the
If I may hav: my disire while I live 1 most powerful, of the true founder of with satisfied ; let me shift after death as I may; the dramatic school, Christopher Mar
• Hell.'' quoth !; what talke you of et to me? I know it'] once come there I
lowe. rall have the company of better men than my
Marlowe was an ill-regulatec, disso se!fa; ! shall also meete with some madde lute, outrageously vehement and auda karves in that place, and so long as I shall not cious spirit, but grand and sombre, sit here alone, my care is the lesse. . . . If I feared the judges of the bench no more than i with the genuine poetic frenzy; pagap dread the judgmerts of God I would before i moreover, and rebellious in manners slept dive into one carles bagges or other, and and creed. In this universal return to make merrie with the shelles i found in them the senses, and in this impulse of nat. so long as they would last.'"
ural forces which brought on the
Renaissance, the corporeal instincts • Compare La Vie de Boheme and Les Nuits d'Hiver, by Murger ; Confession d'un * The hero of one of Alfred de Musset's Enfant du Sicle, by A. de Musset.