Изображения страниц

and the ideas which hallow them, Recall Schiller's Robbers, and how break forth impetuously. Marlowe, modern democracy has recognized for like Greene, like Kett,* is a skeptic, the first time its picture in the metadenies. God and Christ, blasphemes phors and cries of Charles Moor.* So the Trinity, declares Moses a jug- here the characters struggle and roar, gler,” Christ more worthy of death stamp on the earth, gnash their treth, than Barabbas, says that "yf he wer to shake their fists against heaven. The write a new religion, he wolde under- trumpets sound, the drums beat, coats take both a more excellent and more of mail file past, armies clash, men stab admirable metode,” and “almost in each other, or themselves; speeches every company he commeth, perswa. are full of gigantic threats and lyrical detk inen to Athiesme.” Such were figures ; † kings die, straining a bass the rages, the rashnesses, the excesses voice ; " now doth ghastly death with which liberty of thought gave rise to in greedy talons gripe my bleeding heart, these new minds, who for the first and like a harpy tires on my life.” time, after so many centuries, dared to the hero in Tamburlaine the Great t is walk unfettered. From his father's seated on a chariot drawn by chained shop, crowded with children, from the kings; he burns towns, drowns women straps and awls, he found himself and children, puts men to the sword, studying at Cambridge, probably and finally, seized with an inscru'able through the patronage ož a great man, sickness, raves in monstrous outcries and on his return to London, in want, against the gods, whose hands á Mici amid the license of the green-room, his soul, and whom he would faiu de the low houses and taverns, his head throne. There already is the pi ture was in a ferment, and his passions be- of senseless pride, of blind and nur. came excited. He turned actor ; but derous rage, which passing through having broken his leg in a scene of de- many devastations, at iast arms against bauchery, he remained lame, and could heaven itself. The overflowing of no longer appear on the boards. He savage and immoderate instinct proopenly avowed his infidelity, and a duces this mighty sounding verse, this prosecution was begun, which, if time prodigality of carnage, this display of had not failed, would probably have splendors and exaggerated colors, this brought him to the stake. He made railing of demoniacal passions, this love to a drab, and in trying to stab audacity of grand impiety. If in the his rival, his hand was turned, so that dramas which succeed it, The Massacre his own blade entered his eye and his at Paris, The Jew of Malta, the bombrain, and he died, cursing and blaspheming. He was only thirty years old.

* The chief character in Schiller's Robbers, Think what poetry could emanate

a virtuous brigand and redresser of wrongs.from a life so passionate, and occupied in such a manner! First, exaggerated

† For in a field, whose superficies

Is cover'd with a liquid purple veil, declamation, heaps of murder, atroci- And sprinkled with the brains of slaughter'd ties, a pompous and furious display of tragedy bespattered with blood, and

My royal chair of state shall be advanc'd;

And he that means to place himself therein, par sions raised to a pitch of madness.

Must armed wade up to the chin in blood. All the foundations of the English And I would strive to swim through pools in stage, Ferrex and Porrex, Cambyses,


Or make a bridge of murder'd carcasses, Hieronymo, even the Pericles of Shak

Whose arches should be fram'd with bona speare, reach the same height of ex- of Turks, travagance, magniloquence, and hor. Ere I would lose the title of a king. sr. It is the first outbreak of youth.



Tamburlaine, part ii. i. 3.

1 The editor of Marlowe's Works, Picke. Burnt in 1 1589.

ing, 1826, says in his Introduction : I have used Marlowe's Works, ed. Dyce, 3 matter and style of Tamburlains, however, vols., 1850. Append. i. vol. 3.-TR.

differ materially from Marlowe's our comSee especially Titus Andronicus, attrib- positions, and doubts have more than once uted to Shakspeare : there are parricides, been suggested as to whether the play was mothers whom they cause to eat their chil- properly assigned to him. We think bat Mar dren, a young girl who appears on the stage lowe did not write it.” Dyce is of i contrary violated, with her tongue and hands cut off. opinion.-TR.

Both the





[ocr errors]

bast decreases, the violence remains. When shall you see a Jew commit the like' Barabas the Jew maddened with hate,

Ithamore. Why, a Turk could ha' done na is thenceforth no longer human; he

Bar. To-morrow is the sessions ; you sbal has been treated by the Christians like to ita beast, and he hates them like a beast. Come Ithamore, let's help to take him henco. He advises his servant Ithamore in

Friar, Villains, I am a sacred person

touch me not. the following words.

Bar. The law shall touch you; we'll be

lead you, we : " Hast thou no trade? then listen to my

'Las, I could weep at your calamity !". words, And I will teach thee that shall stick by thee: We have also two other poisonings, First, be thou void of these affections, Compassion, love, vain hope, and hearth?ss an infernal machine to blow up the

Turkish garrison, a plot to cast the 3e cev'd at nothirz, see thou pity none, Turkish commander into a well. Bara. But 'o thy:elf smile when the Christians bas falls into it himself, and dies in the

I walk abroad a-nights, hot cauldron,t howling, hardened, reAnd kill sick people groaning under walls morseless, having but one regret, that Sometimes I go about and poison wells. he had not done evil enough. These Being young, I studied physic, and begau are the ferocities of the middle age , To practise first upon the Italian ; There I enrich'd the priests with burials,

we might find them to this day among And always kept the sexton's arms in ure the companions of Ali Pacha, among With digging graves and ringing dead men's the pirates of the Archipelago; we re

knells. . I filld the jails with bankrouts in a year,

tain pictures of them in the paintings And with young orphans planted hospitals ;

of the fifteenth century, which repre. And every moon made some or other mad, sent a king with his court, seated And now and then one hang himself for grief, calmly round a living man who is being Pinning upon his breast a long great scroll

How I with interest tormented him." * flayed; in the midst the flayer on his All these cruelties he boasts of and careful not to spoil the skin. I

knees is working conscientiously, verv chuckles over, like a demon who re

All this is pretty strong, you will joices in being a good executioner, and

say; these people kill too readily, and plunges his victims in the very ex. too quickly. It is on this very account tremity of anguish. His daughter has that the painting is a true one / For *wo Christian suitors; and by forged the specialty of the men of the time as etters he causes them to slay each of Marlowe's characters, is the abrupt other. In despair she takes the veil, commission of a deed, they are chiland to avenge himself he poisons his dren, robust children. As a horse kicks daughter and the whole convent. Two out instead of speaking, so they pull friars wish to denounce him, then to out their knives instead of asking an ex: convert him; he strangles the first, and planation. Nowadays we hardly know jokes with his slave Ithamore, a cut- what nature is ; instead of observing throat by profession, who loves his it we still retain the benevolent prej. trade, rubs his hands with joy, and u dices of the eighteenth century; we says:

oily see it humanized by two centuries “ Pul, amain,

of culture, and we take its acquired ris neatly done, sir ; here's no print at al.. calm for an innate moderation. The 50, let him lean ipon his staff ; excellent foundations of the natural man are

he stands as if he were begging of
bacon." |

irresistible impulses, passions, desires, O mistress, I have the bravest, gravest, se- greeds; all blind. He sees a woman,

cret, suotle, bottle-nosed knave, to my thinks her beautiful ; suddenly be master, that ever gentleman had." I

rushes towards her ; people try to reThe second friar comes up, and they strain him, he kills these people, glute accuse him of the murder :

his passion, then thinks no more of it * Barabas. Heaven bless me! what, a friar a

* Ibid. iv. p. 313. murderer!

† Up to this time, in England, poisoners were cast into a boiling cauldron.

1 In the Museum of Ghent. * Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, č. p. 275 et § See in the Jew of Malix the seduation d passim.

Ithamore, by Bellamira, a rough, but truly as . Ibid. iv. p. 311.

Ibid. iii. p. 291.

mirable picture.


[ocr errors]

171 save when at times a vague picture of | not even let a cog approach the princa a moving lake of blood crosses his and rob them of their rank. Lancaste: brain and makes him gloomy., Sudden says of Gaveston : and extreme resolves are confused in

He comes not back, his mind with desire; barely planned, Unless the sea cast up his shipwrack'd body the thing is done; the wide interval Warwick. And to behold so sweet a sight w which a Frenchman places between that, tie idea of an action and ne action it. There's none here but would run his hors: 19

death.” self is not to be found here.* Barabas conceived murders, and straightway They have seized Gaveston, and in murders were accomplished; there is no tend to hang him “at a bough ;” they deliberation, no pricks of conscience; refuse to let him speak a single minute that is how he commits a score of them with the king. In vain they are enhis daughter leaves him, he becomes treated; when they do at last consent, anjatural, and poisons her ; his con. they are sorry for it; it is a prey they fidential servant betrays him, he dis- want immediately, and Warwick, seiz. guises himself, and poisons him. Rage ing him by force, “ strake off his nead seizes these men like a fit, and then in a trench.” Those are the men of they are forced to kill. Benvenuto the middle age. They have the fierceCellini relates how, being offended, he ness, the tenacity, the pride of big, tried to restrain himself, but was nearly well-fed, thorough-bred bulldogs. It suffocated; and that in order to cure is this sternness and impetuosity of himself, he rushed with his dagger primitive passion which produced th upon his opponent. So, in Edward Wars of the Roses, and for thirty years II., the nobles immediately appeal to drove the nobles on each other's arms; all is excessive and unforeseen : swords and to the block. between two replies the heart is turned What is there beyond all these fren. upside down, transported to the ex-zies and gluttings of blood ? The idea tremes of hate or tenderness. Ed- of crushing necessity and inevitable ward, seeing his favorite Gaveston ruin in which everything sinks and again, pours out before him his treas- comes to an end. Mortimer, brough ure, casts his dignities at his feet, gives to the block, says with a smile : him his seal, himself, and, on a threat “ Base Fortune, now I see, that in thy wheel from the Bishop of Coventry, suddenly There is a point, to which when men aspire, cries :

They tumble headlong down : that point 1

touch'd, " Throw off his golden mitre, rend his stole,

And, seeing there was no place to mount up And in the channel christen him anew."


Why should I grieve at my declining fall ? Then, when the queen supplicates :

Farewell, fair queen; weep not for Mortimer,

That scorns the world, and, as a traveller, · Fawn not on me, French strumpet! get thee

Goes to discover countries yet unknown." + Speak not umo her: let her droop and pine.”+ Weigh well these grand words; they

are a cry from the heart, the profound Furies and hatreds clash together like confession of Marlowe, as also of By. horsemen in battle. The Earl of Lan ron, and of the old sea-kings. The caster draws his sword on Gaves on to northern paganism is fully expressed tlay him, before the king ; Mortimer in this heroic and mournful sigh: it is wounds Gaveston. These powerful thus they imagine the world so long as oud voices growl; the noblemen will they remain on the outside of Chris Nothing could be falser than the hesitation when men see in life, as they did, noth

tianity, or as soon as they quit it. Thus, l-id argumesis of Schiller's William Tell; for

contrast, so Goethe's Goetz von Berlich- ing but a battle of unchecked passions, ingen. In 1377, Wiclif pleaded in St. Paul's and in death but a gloomy sleep, per: belore the Bishop

of London, and that raised haps filled with mournful dreams, thero o equawel

. The Duke of Lancaster, Wiclif's is no other supreme good but a day protector, “ threatened to drag the bishop out vf the church by the hair ;” and next day the of enjoyment and victory. They glu furlous crowd sacked the duke's palace. | Marlowe, Eduard the Second, i. p. 173. * Ibid. p. 188. Ibid. p. 186.

| Edward the Second, last scene, p. 2&

gone. ...



themselves, shutting their eyes to the “Faustus. O this feeds my soul! issue, except that they may be swal

Lucifer. Tut, Faustus, in hell is all mab.

ner of delight. lowed up on the morrow. That is the

Faustus. Oh, might I see hell, and recura master-thought of Doctor Faustus, the again, greatest of Marlowe's dramas : to How happy were I then!"...* satisfy his soul, no matter at what price, He is conducted, being invisible, over or wih vhat results :

the whole world: lastly to Rome • A sould magician is a mighty god.

amongst the ceremonies of the Pope's How am I glutted with conceit of this! court. Like a schoolboy during a holi. I'll have them fly to India for gold,

day, he has insatiable eyes, he forgets Ransack the ocean for orient pearl. l'll have them read me strange philosophy,

every thing before a pageant, he amuses And tell the secrets of all foreign kings ; himself in playing tricks, in giving the l'l have them wall all Germany with brass, Pope a box on the ear, in beating the. And make swift Rhine circle' fair Werten- monks, in performing magic tricks be.

berg. . Like lions shall they guard us when we

fore princes, finally in drinking, feastplease ;

ing, filling his belly, deadening his Like Almain rutters with their horsemen's thoughts. In his transport he becomes staves,

an atheist, and says there is no hell, Or Lapland giants, trotting by our sides ;. Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids,

that those are “old wives' tales.” Then Shadowing more beauty in their airy brows suddenly the sad idea knocks at the Than have the white breasts of the queen of gates of his brain. love.'

“ I will renounce this magic, and rouent ... What brilliant dreams, what desires, My heart's so harden'd, I cannot repent. what vast or voluptuous wishes, worthy Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or hea. of a Roman Cæsar or an eastern poet,

But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears, eddy in this teeming brain ! To satiate

'Faustus, thou art damn'd!' then so rds, them, to obtain four-and-twenty years

and knives, of power, Faustus gives his soul, with- Poison, guns, halters, and envenom'd steel out fear, without need of temptation,

Are laid before me to despatch myself; at the first outset, voluntarily, so sharp

And long ere this I should have sone the

deed, .s the prick within :

Had not sweet pleasure congue, d deep

despair. “ Had I as many souls as there be stars,

Have not I made blind Homer sing to me I'd give them all for Mephistophilis.

Of Alexander's love and Enon's d ath? By him I'll be great emperor of the world, And hath not he, that built the walls of And make a bridge thorough the moving air..

Thebes Why shouldst thou not? Is not thy soul thine With ravishing sound of his melodious harta own?+

Made music with my Mephistophil.s?

Why should I die, then, or basely despair) And with that he gives himself full I am resolv'd ; Faustus shall ne'er repent.swing : he wants to know every thing,

Come Mephistophilis, let us dispute again, to have every thing: a book in which

And argue of divine astrology. he can behc'd all herbs and trees

Tell me, are there many heavens above the

moon ? which grow on the earth; another Are all celestial bodies but one globe, in which shall be drawn all the con- As is the substance of this centric earth 1. " stellations and planets; another which

“ One thing :

let me crave of thee

To glut the longing of my heart's desire. . . . shall bring him gold when he wills it,

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand and “the fairest courtezans : " another ships, which summons “men in armour And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? ready to execute his commands, and

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kise! which hold “whirlwinds, tempests,

Her lips suck forth my soul : see, where it

flies ! thunder and lightning” chained at his Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again disposa. He is like a child, he stretch- Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips

And all is dross that is not Helena. es out his hands for every thing shin

O thou art fairer than the evening air ing; then grieves to think of hell, tien Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars !” 1 lets himself be civerted by shows:

“Oh, my God, I would weep! but the * Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, i. p. 9, et pas vim. Ibid. pp. 22, 39.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1 'bid. p. 75.

Jbid. p. 43.

+ Ibid. p. 37


devil draws in my tears. Gush forth consistency; the characters cease to ulood, instead of tears ! yea, life and move all of a piece, the drama is nc soul! Oh, he stays my tongue ! I longer like a piece of statuary. The would lift up my hands; but see, they poet who a little while ago knew only hold them, they hold them : Lucifer how to strike or kill, introduces now a and Mephistophilis." ..

sequence of situation and a rationale in “Ah, Faustus,

intrigue. He begins to prepare the Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, way for sentiments, to forewarn is of And then thou must be damn'd perpetually! events, to combine effects, and we find Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, a theatre at last, the most complete That time may cease, and midnight never come.

the most life-like, and also the most The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strange that ever existed. strike,

We must follow its formation, and The devil will come, and Faustus must be regard the drama when it was formed,

damn'd. Oh, I'll leap up to my Godl-Who pulls me

that is, in the minds of its authors. down?

What was going on in these minds? See, see, where Christ's blood streams in the What sorts of ideas were born there,

firmament ! One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah, and how were they born? In the first my Christ,

place, they see the event, whatever it Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ, be, and they see it as it is; I mean Yet will I call on him.

that they have it within then selves, Ah, half the hour is past! 'twill all be past with its persons and details, beautiful Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,

and ugly, even dull and grotesque. If A hundred thousand, and at last be sav'd. it is a trial, the judge is there, in their It strikes, it strikes.

minds, in his place, with his physiog Oh soul, be chang'd into little water-drops, And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found!”

nomy and his warts; the plaintiff in

another place, with his spectacles and There is the living, struggling, natural, brief-bag; the accused is opposite, personal man, not the philosophic type stooping and remorseful; each with his which Goethe has created, but a prim- friends, cobblers, or lords ; then the itive and genuine man, hot-headed, fiery, buzzing crowd behind, all with their the slave of his passions, the sport of grinning faces, their bewildered or his dreams, wholly engrossed in the kindling eyes. It is a genuine trial present, moulded by his lusts, contra- which they imagine, a trial like those dictions, and follies, who amidst noise they have seen before the justice, and starts, cries of pleasure and anguish, where they screamed or shouted as rolls, knowing it and willing it, down witnesses or interested parties, with the slope and crags of his precipice. their quibbling terms, their pros and The whole English drama is here, as a cons, the scribblings, the sharp voices plant in its seed, and Marlowe is to of the counsel, the stamping of feet, Shakspeare what Perugino was to the crowding, the smell of their fel. Raphael.

low-men, and so forth. The endless

myriads of circumstances which acV.

company and influence every event,

crowd round that event in their heads, Gradually art is being formed; and and not merely the externals, that is, toward the close of the century it is the visible and picturesque traits, the complete. Shakspeare, Beaumont, details of color and costume, but also, Fle cher, Ben Jonson, Webster, Mas- and chiefly, the internals, that is, the singer, Ford, Middleton, Heywood, motions of anger and joy, the secret appear together, or close upon each tumult of the soul, the ebb and flow of other, a new and favored generation, ideas and passions which are expressed flourishing largely in the soil fertilized by the countenance, swell the veins, by the efforts of the generation which make a man to grind his teeth, to preceded them. Thenceforth the

clench his fists, which urge him on or are developed and

See the trial of Vittoria Corombona, Vir Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, p. 78. ginia in Webster, of Coriolanus ar v Juliu Ibid. p. 8o.

Cæsar in Shakspeare.

[ocr errors]



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »