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of cosmetics, * he brings out a shopful | drawing up ideas in continuous rows, of them; we might make out of his according to the rules of rhetoric and plays a dictionary of the oaths and eloquence, by studied transitions, with costumes of courtiers; he seems to regular progress, without shock or have a specialty in all branches. A bounds. Jonson received from his ac still greater proof of his force is, that quaintance with the ancients the habit his learning in nowise mars his vigor ; of decomposing ideas, unfolding ther; heavy as is the mass with which he bit by bit in natural order, making him. loads himself, he carries it without self understood and believed. From stooping. This wonderful mass of the first thought to the final conclusion, reading and observation suddenly be- he conducts the reader by a continuous gins to move, and falls like a mountain and uniform ascent. The track nevei on the overwhelmed reader. We must fails with him as with Shakspeare. He hear Sir Epicure Mammon unfold the does not advance like the rest by abrupt vision of splendors and debauchery, in intuitions, but by consecutive deducwhich he means to plunge, when he has tions; we can walk with him without learned to make gold. The refined need of bounding, and we are conand unchecked impurities of the Roman tinually kept upon the straight path : decadence, the splendid obscenities of antithesis of words unfolds antithesis Heliogabalus, the gigantic fancies of of thoughts; symmetrical phrases guide luxury and lewdness, tables of gold the mind through difficult ideas; they spread with foreign dainties, draughts are like barriers set on either side of of dissolved pearls, nature devastated the road to prevent our falling into the to provide a single dish, the many ditch. We do not meet on our way crimes committed by sensuality against extraordinary, sudden, gorgeous imnature, reason, and justice, the delight ages, which might dazzle or delay us ; in defying and outraging law,—all these we travel on, enlightened by moderate images pass before the eyes with the and sustained metaphors. Jonson has dash of a torrent and the force of a all the methods of Latin art; even, great river.

Phrase follows phrase when he wishes it, especially on Latin without intermission, ideas and facts subjects, he has the last and most crowd into the dialogue to paint a situa- erudite, the brilliant conciseness of tion, to give clearness to a character, Seneca and Lucan, the squared, equi. produced from this deep memory, poised, filed off antithesis, the mos: directed by this solid logic, launched happy and studied artifices of oratori by this powerful reflection. It is a cal architecture.* Other

poets are pleasure to see him advance weighted nearly visionaries; Jonson is almost a with so many observations and recol. logician. lections, loaded with technical details Hence his talent, his successes, and and learned reminiscences, without de- his faults: if he has a better style and • viation or pause, a genuine literary better plots than the others, he is not, Leviathan, like the war elephants which like them, a creator of souls. He is toc used to bear towers, men, weapons, much of a theorist, too preoccupied by machines, on their backs, and ran as rules. His argumentative habits spoi. swiftly with their freight as a nimhule him when he seeks to shape and motion steed

complete and living men. No one is In the great dash of this heavy at- capable { fashioning these unless he tempt, he finds a path which suits him. possesses, like Shakspeare ne imagin. He has his style. Classical erudition ation of a seer. The human being is and education made him a classic, and so complex that the logician who per. he writes like his Greek models and ceives his different elements in suc. his Roman masters. The more we cession can hardly study thert all, ruch study the Latin races and literatures in less gather them all in one flash, so as contrast with the Teutonic, the more to produce the dramatic response or fully we become convinced that the action in which they are concentrated proper and distinctive gift of the first and which should manifest them. is the art of development, that is, of discover such actions ard responses, • The Devil is an Ass.

* Sejanus, Catilina, a ussim

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we need a kind of inspiration and fever. record exactly all the desires of speech Then the mind works as in a dream. all the necessities of silence, and to reThe characters move within the poet, cord nothing else. Now he picks out almost involuntarily: he waits for them a ridicule, an affectation, a species of to speak, he remains motionless, hear- folly, from the manners of the dandies ing their voices, wholly wrapt in con- and the courtiers; a mode of swearing, templation, in order that he may not an extravagant style, a habit of gesticu. disturb the inner drama which they are lating, or any other oddity contracted about to act in his soul. That is his by vanity or fashion. The hero whom artifice : to let them alone. He is he covers with these eccentricities, is g.ite astonished at their discourse; as overloaded by them. He disappears he observes them, he forgets that it is beneath his enormous trappings; he he who invents them. Their mood, drags them about with him everywhere character, education, disposition of he cannot get rid of them for an in mind, situation, attitude, and actions, stant. We no longer see the man form within him so well-connected a under the dress ; he is like a mannikin, whole, and so readily unite into pal- oppressed under a cloak, too heavy for pable and solid beings, that he dares him. Sometimes, doubtless, his habits not attribute to his reflection or reason of geometrical construction produce ing a creation so vast and speedy. personages almost life-like._Bobadil, Beings are organized in him as in na- the grave boaster; Captain Tucca, the ture, that is, of themselves, and by a begging bully, inventive buffoon, ridicforce which the combinations of his art ulous talker; Amorphus the traveller, could not replace.* Jonson has noth- a pedantic doctor of good manners, ing wherewith to replace it but these laden with eccentric phrases, create as combinations of art. He chooses a much illusion as we can wish; but it is general idea-cunning, folly, severity- | because they are fitting comicalities and makes a person out of it. This and low characters. It is not necessary person is called Crites, Asper, Sordido for a poet to study such creatures; it is Deliro, Pecunia, Subtil, and the trans- enough that he discovers in them three parent name indicates the logical pro- or four leading features; it is of little cess which produced it. The poet took consequence if they always present an abstract quality, and putting to themselves with the same attitudes, gether all the actions to which it may they produce laughter, like the Countgive rise, trots it out on the stage in a ess d'Escarbagnas or any of the Fächeux man's dress. His characters, like those in Molière ; we want nothing else of of la Bruyère and Theophrastus, were them. On the contrary, the others hammered out of solid deductions. weary and repel us. They are stage. Now it is a vice selected from the cata. masks, not living figures. Having aclogue of moral philosophy, sensuality quired a fixed expression, they persist thirsting for gold: this perverse double to the end of the piece in their unvary. inclination becomes a personage, Sir ing grimace or their eternal frown.« A Epicure Mammon; before the alche man is not an abstract passion. He mist, before the famulus, before his stamps the vices and virtues which he friend, before his mistress, in public or possesses with his individual mark. alone, all his words denote a greed of These vices and virtues receive, on pleasu 9 and of gold, and they express entering into him, a bent and form nothing more. Now it is a mania which they have not in others. No one gathered from the old sophists, a is unmixed sensuality. Take a thou. babbling with horror of noise; this sand sensualists, and you

will find a corm of mental pathology becomes a thousand different modes of sensuality; personage, Morose; the poet has the for there are a thousand paths, a thouair of a doctor who has undertaken to sand circumstances and degrees, in

• Alfred de Musset, preface to La Coupe et sensuality. If Jonson wanted to make les Lèvres. Plato: Ion.

Sir Epicure Mammon a real being, he 1 Compare Sir Epicure Mammon with Baron should have given him the kind of dis Hulot from Balzac's Cousine Bette. Balzac, who is learned like Jonson, creates real beings position, the species of education, the Gke Shakspeare.

manner of imagination, which produce



sensuality. When we wish to construct | feeling of shame, hypocriss, o: mallia a man, we must dig down to the founda- tion; and they exhibit it as they see it, tions of mankind ; that is, we must de- Jonson as boldly as the rest, occasion fine to ourselves the structure of his ally more boldly than the rest, strength. bodily machine, and the primitive gait ened as he is by the vigor and rugged. of his mind. Jonson has not dug ness of his athletic temperament, by the sufficiently deep, and his constructions extraordinary exactness and abundance are incomplete; he has built on the of his observations and his knowledge surface, and he has built but a single Add also his moral loftiness, his as story. He was not acquainted with the perity, his powerful chiding wrath, exas whole man, and he ignored man's perated and bitter against vice, his wil basis; he put on the stage and gave a strengthened by pride ' and by on te presentation of moral treatises, frag- science: ments of history, scraps of satire ; he

“ With an armed and resolyod hand, did not stamp new beings on the imag- I'll strip the ragged follies

of the time ination of mankind.

Naked as at their birth . . . and with a whir He possesses all other gifts, and in

of steel, particular the classical; first of all, the Print wounding lashes in their iron ribs.

I fear no mood stampt in a private brow, talent for composition. For the first When I am pleas'd t unmask a public vice. time we see a connected, well-contrived I fear no strumpet's drugs, nor ruffian's stab, plot, a complete intrigue, with its be- Should I detect their hateful luxuries ;' ginning, middle, and end; subordinate above all, a scorn of base compliance, actions well arranged, well combined ; an open disdain for an interest which grows and never flags; a leading truth which all the That run a broken pace for comnion hire,"—|

“ Those jaded wits events tend to demonstrate ; a ruling idea which all the characters unite to an enthusiasm, or deep love of illustrate ; in short, an art like that

" A happy muse, which Molière and Racine were about Borne on the wings of her immortal thought, to apply and teach. He does not, iike That kicks at earth with a disdainful heel, Shakspeare, take a novel from Greene, And beats at heaven gates with her bright

hoofs.” 1 a chronicle from Holinshed, a life froni Plutarch, such as they are, to cut them Such are the energies which he brought into scenes irrespective of likelihood, to the drama and to comedy; they indifferent as to order and unity, caring were great enough to ensure him a high only to set up men, at times wandering and separate position. into poetic reveries, at need finishing up the piece abruptly with a recognition

III. or a butchery. He governs himself and his characters; he wills and he For whatever Jonson undertakes, knows all that they do, and all that he whatever be his faults, haughtiness, does. But beyond his habits of Latin rough-handling, predilection for mo: regularity, he possesses the great fac- rality and the past, antiquarian and alty of his age and race,—the senti- censorious instincts, he is never little ment of nature and existence, the exact or dull. It signifies nothing that in his knowledge of precise detail, the power Latinized tragedies, Sejanus, Catiline, in frankly and boldly handling frank he is fettered by the

worship of the old passions. This gift is not wanting in worn models of the Roman decadence; airy writer of the time; they do not nothing that he plays the scholar, manu fear words that are true, shocking, and factures Ciceronian harangues, hauls ir striking details of the bedchamber or choruses imitated from Seneca, holds medical study; the prudery of moderr. forth in the style of Lucan and the England and the refinement of mon- rhetors of the empire; he more than archical France veil not the nudity of once attains a genuine accent; through their figures, or dim the coloring of his pedantry, heaviness, literary adora their pictures. They live freely, amply, tion of the ancients, nature forces its amidst living thing; ; they see the ins

* Every Man out of hi Tumour Prologue and outs of lust raging without any † Poetaster, i. 1.

+ Tbid.


way; he lights, at his first attempt, on Livia. Methinks 'tis here not white the crudities, horrors, gigantic lewd- E. Lend me your scarlet, lady. 'Tis the ness, shameless depravity of imperial Hath giv'n some little taint unto the ceruso, Rome; he takes in hand and sets in You should have us'd of the white oil I går notion the lusts and ferocities, the you. passions of courtesans and princesses,

Sejanus, for your love! His very naire

Commandeth above Cupid or his shafts. the daring of assassins and of great

(Paints her checks.) men, which produced Messalina, Agrip

“ 'Tis now well, lady, you shouid pina, Catiline, Tiberius.* In the Rome

Use of the dentifrice I prescrib'd you too, which he places before us we go boldly

To clear your teeth, and the prepar'd pots

tum, and straight to the end ; justice and To smooth the skin. A lady canriot be pity oppose no barriers. Amid these Too curious of her form, that still would hold customs of victors and slaves, human

The heart of such a person, made her cap

tive, na ure is upset; corruption and villany

As you have his: who, to endear him moro are held as proofs of insight and energy. In your clear eye, hath put away his wite . Obuerve how, in Sejanus, assassination Fair Apicata, and made spacious room is plotted and carried out with marvel

To your new pleasures.

Have not we return'd !ous coolness. Livia discusses with

That with our hate to Drusus, and discovery Sejanus the methods of poisoning her Of all his counsels?.. husband, in a clear style, without cir

E. When will you take some physic,

lady? cumlocution, as if the subject were how


Wher. to gain a lawsuit or to serve up a I shall, Eudemus : but let Drusus' drug dinner. There are no equivocations, Be first prepar'd. no hesitation, no remorse in the Rome E. Were Lygdus made, that's done. of Tiberius. Glory and virtue consist

I'll send you a perfume, first to resolve

And procure sweat, and then prepare a bath n power; scruples are for base minds;

To cleanse and clear the cutis ; against whe: :he mark of a lofty heart is to desire all I'll have an excellent new fucus made and to dare all. Macro says rightly:

Resistive 'gainst the sun, the rain or wind,

Which you shall lay on with a breath or oil, “ Men's fortune there is virtue ; reason their As you best like, and last sofae fourteer will;

hours. Their license, law; and their observance, This change came timely, lady, for your skill.

health. Occasion is their foil ; conscience, their

stain ; Profit, their lustre ; and what else is, vain." +

He ends by congratulating her on her

approaching change of husbands; DruSejanus addresses Livia thus :

sus was injuring her complexion ; Seja

nus is far preferable; a physiologica " Royal lady,

and practical conclusion. The Roman Yet, now I your wisdom, judgment, strength,

apothecary kept on the same shelf his Quickness, and will, to apprehend the means medicine-chest, his chest of cosmetics, To you own good and greatness, I protest


and his box of poisons.f Myself through rarified, and turn'd all flame

After this we find one after another In your a "ection." 1

all the scenes of Roman life unfolded These are the loves of the wolf and the bargain of murder, the comedy os bis mate; he praises her for being so justice, the shamelessness of flattery, rrady to kill.

And observe in one the anguish and vacillation of the sen. Horient the morals of a prostitute ate. When Sejanus wishes to buy a Hipear behind the

manners of the conscience, he questions, jokes, plays prisoner. Sejanus goes out, and im- round the offer he is abou. to make, icediately, like a courtesan, Livia turns throws it out as if in pleasantry, so as to her physician, saying :

to be able to withdraw it, if need be; How do I look to-day?

then, when the intelligent iook of the Eudemus. Excellent clear, believe it. rascal, whom he is trafficking with, This same fucus

shows that he is understood : Was well laid on.

Ibid. * See the second Act of Catiline.

† See Catiline, Act ii.; a very fine scene, ne | The Fall of Sejanus, iii. last Scene. less plain spoken and animated on the dissipe 1 Ibid. ii.

tion of the higher ranks in Rome.





Protest not,

" Propounds to this grave senate, the bestora shy looks are vows to me. ..

ing Thou art a man, made to make consuls. Go."'. Upon the man. he loves, honour'd Sejanu,

The tribunitial dignity and power:. Elsewhere, the senator Latiaris in his

Here are his letters, signed with his signet. own house storms before his friend What pleaseth now the Fathers to be Sabinus, against tyranny, openly, ex

Senators. Read, read them, opon, pube presses a desire for liberty, provoking

licly read them. him to speak. Then two spies who Cotta. Cæsar bath honour'd his own great were hid " between the roof and ceil- ness much ing,” cast themselves on Sabinus, cry

In thinking of this act.

Trio. ing, “Treason to Cæsar !” and drag

It was a thought

Happy, and worthy Cæsar, win, with his face covered, before the Latiaris.

And the lord tribunal, thence to' e thrown upon As worthy it, on whom it is directed ! the Gemonies." | So when the senate

Haterius. Most worthy! is assembled, Tiberius has chosen be

Sanquinius. Rome did never boast the forel and the accusers of Silius, and That could give envy bounds, but his : Se their parts distributed to them. They janusmumble in a corner, whilst aloud is

ist Sen. Honour'd and noble!

2d Sen. Good and great Sejanus ! heard, in the emperor's presence :

Præcones. Silence 1” *

“ Cæsar, Live long and happy, great and royal Cæsar;

Tiberius' letter is read. First, long The gods preserve thee and thy modesty,

obscure and vague phrases, mingled Thy wisdom and thy innocence.

with indirect protestations and accusa.

Guard His meekness, Jove, his piety, his care,

tions, foreboding something and revealHis bounty.” 1

ing nothing. Suddenly comes an inThen the herald cites the accused;

sinuation against Sejanus. The fathers Varro, the consul, pronounces the in: are alarmed, but the next line reassures

them. A word or two further on, the dictment; Afer hurls upon them his

same insinuation is repeated with bloodthirsty eloquence: the senators

“Some there be get excited; we see laid bare, as in that would interpret this his public

greater exactness. Tacitus and Juvenal, the depths of Roman servility, hypocrisy, insensi- severity to be particular ambition ; and bility, the venomous craft of Tiberius. that, under a pretext of service to us,

he doth but remove his own lets : alAt last, after so many others, the turn of Sejanus comes. The fathers anx: himself, by the prætorian soldiers, by

leging the strengths he hath made to ously assemble in the temple of Apollo; his faction in court and senate, by the for some days past Tiberius has seemed offices he holds himself, and confers to be trying to contradict himself ; one day he appoints the friends of his fa.

on others, his popularity and dependvorite to high places, and the next day

ents, his urging (and almost driving) jets his enemies in eminent positions.

us to this our unwilling retirement, and The senators mark the face of Sejanus, lastly, his aspiring to be our son-inind know not what to anticipate ; strange!" Their eager eyes are fixes

The fathers rise: “ This is Sejanus is troubled, then after a monent's cringing is more arrogant than on the letter, on Sejanus, who per

The plots are confused, the spires and grows pale; their thoughts rumors contradictory. Macro alone is are busy with conjectures, and the .o the confidence of Tiberius, and words of the letter fall one by one, soldiers are seen drawn up at the

amidst a sepulchral silence, caught up purch of the temple, ready to enter at

as they fall with all devouring and attentive eagerness.

The senators slightest commotion. The formula oi convocation is read, and the council anxiously weigh the value of these marks the names of those who do not shifty, expressions, fearing to respond to the summons; then Regu- promise themselves with the favorite jus addresses them, and announces

or with the prince, all feeling that they that Cæsar

must understand, if they value their

lives. * The Fall of Sejanus, 1. Ibid. iv. 1 Ibid. iii.




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