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nicknames which many people mistake for argument, yet quotations of certain expressions in his plays. It must be if those who care to investigate these matters in a spirit of admitted that of all the poets immediately introductory candor and justice will look into those writings of mine, to the Elizabethan period, Marlowe exhibited the largest they will see my reasons for not imagining that such con promise, and developed the highest genius. In truth, to clusions can be drawn from such premises. To those who read his works and remember at the same time that the do not look into these matters with candor and with a de writer had “ shuffled off this mortal coil ” at the age of sire to know the truth, I have nothing whatever to say, ex twenty-nine, we are struck not only with the wondrous fulcept to warn them on their own behalf what they do ; for ness of his mind, but with the wealth of his intellectual and assuredly if, for preaching such doctrine as I have preached poetic gifts. To be the author, when a mere youth, of to you to-night, I am cited before the bar of public opinion, several plays which are worthy of being associated with I shall not stand there alone. On my one hand I shall those of the world's greatest dramatist may well entitle have, among theologians, St. Augustine, John Calvin, and him to reverential regard. But, in addition to the claim a man whose name should be well known to the Presbyte- | he has upon us as the principal link between a bygone and rians of Ulster, Jonathan Edwards — unless, indeed, it a coming age, there is another light in which Marlowe be the fashion to neglect the study of the great masters of may be viewed, and honor put upon his name. His divinity, as many other great studies are neglected nowa. “mighty line' has been referred to again and again by days. I should have upon my other hand, among the phi- | historians and critics since it first earned the praise of that losophers, Leibnitz; I should have Père Malebranche, who | learned brother of the dramatic craft already cited; but as saw all things in God; I should have David Hartley, the a well-ascertained matter it was the only “line" of blank theologian as well as philosopher ; I should have Charles verse warranting the name till his immediate successors Bonnet, the eminent naturalist, and one of the most zealous raised the art of dramatic poetry to its most exalted height. defenders Christianity has ever had. I think I should have, Halting and defective to the last degree as was the blank within easy reach at any rate, John Locke. Certainly the verse in vogue at the period when Marlowe first began to school of Descartes would be there, if not their master; write, he speedily showed it to be capable of a perfection and I am inclined to think, in due justice, a citation would which had never yet been dreamt of. His verse is frehave to be served upon Emmanuel Kant himself. In such quently noticeable for its dignity and impressiveness, and society it may be better to be a prisoner than a judge; but but very rarely for its weakness and gracelessness. OccaI would ask those who are likely to be influenced by the | sionally, as with most writers, he leaves the impression din and clamor which are raised about these questions that he has not fully grasped his subject before committing whether they are more likely to be right in assuming that himself to its treatment, and his work loses in proportion those great men I have mentioned – the fathers of the and symmetry; but, upon the wbole, his dramas are, to an church and the fathers of philosophy - knew what they exceedingly small degree only, open to the objection of were about, or that the pigmies who raise this din know crudity and meanness. He can tread the stage as a king, better than they did what they meant. It is not necessary when the monarch's step is required. for any man to occupy himself with problems of this kind A benignant face looks out upon us as we contemplate unless he so choose. Life is full enough, filled amply to the countenance of this early dramatist. He seems inthe brim, by the performance of its ordinary duties: but | vested with a calm which is in strange keeping with his let me warn you, let me beg you to believe that if a man brief and tragic career. Eyes which beam softly as those elect to give a judgment upon these great questions ; still of woman shine beneath a noble expanse of brow, and the more, if he assume to himself the responsibility of attaching whole face is full of conscious power and repose. Yet be praise or blame to his fellow-men for the judgments which spent his time, as we are informed, between inditing they may venture to express, I say that, unless he would dramas and fighting in pothouses — at least such are the commit a sin more grievous than most of the breaches of the two salient facts preserved for posterity in his meagre decalogue, let him avoid a lazy reliance upon the informa biography. But we cannot help thinking that great injustion that is gathered by prejudice and filtered through pas- tice is done to him from the fact that so few details of his sion. Let him go to these great sources that are open to life are known. While his sanguine temperament, quick him as to every one, and to no man more open than to an passions, and probable devotion to the bottle at sundry Englishman ; let him go back to the facts of nature, and to seasons, would be sufficient to account for the miserable the thoughts of those wise men who for generations past quarrel which led to his untimely death, there may, after have been the interpreters of nature.

all, have been a substratum of nobility of heart and life for which he has received no credit. It is impossible to believe, even without pinning our faith to a positive reading

of character by physiognomical signs, which we should reCHRISTOPHER MARLOWE.

fuse to do, after studying the man's work, generous im

pulses, and eloquent features, that he could have been the As one of the great forerunners of the most glorious era mere sensualist he has been sometimes described, a being in English literature, Christopher Marlowe would be de in whom the brute ever held the dominant sway. There serving of recognition and consideration if from that cir is no evidence whatever that he was irretrievably depraved, cumstance alone. When this scholar of Cambridge Uni but much indirect yet strong evidence to the contrary. versity first began to sing those numbers which were after Distinguished at a very early age for his learning, and the wards to make him justly distinguished, the rich full song author of so much ripe work at a period when most men of old Dan Chaucer had well-nigh died away, or at least only begin to take the pen in hand, it is a matter of sheer was almost exclusively cherished by those whose tastes and incompatibility that he could have served at the shrine of pursuits were of a purely literary character. Shakespeare, Bacchus and that of the drama with equal fervor. A temthough living, had as yet given no intimation of that ma porary aberration might now and then have seized him, jestic strength of wing which he afterwards attained. The which in fact is thus duly recorded, when the madness of speculation may, we believe, be accepted as indubitably intoxication filled the brain : a thing not very strange in a correct, that the fame of the work of Marlowe had reached time when the veins of literary men generally were too his ear before he attempted the writing of tragedy ; but often heated by the blood of the grape. Marlowe unquesthe death of the subject of this article occurred before the tionably has the reputation of having been both a free and production of most of those dramas - certainly the ripest an evil liver; but in dealing with these accusations, and of them — which are now associated with the name of the weighing them with candor, it must not be forgotten that sublime poet of Stratford. That the author of “Hamlet” by far the major part of them were preferred by his perwas more than acquainted with Marlowe's name is an as- sopal enemies. To support him in his theory as regards sured fact, not only because the ruling literary spirit of the peculiar manifestations of genius at the commencement that age, Ben Jonson, had passed upon him a high enco of the period of the Renaissance, M. Taine has adopted mium, but for the reason that Shakespeare himself made the worst of the charges made against the dramatist, and

in the most wholes ale manner. From these charges he plete as oblivion can make it. But it is interesting to note has ably instituted a comparison between the character of that when only just over seventeen years of age Marlowe the man and his works. "The comparison is very ingen matriculated as pensioner of his College ; that two years ious, and somewhat subtle ; but inasmuch as it is not nec- later he proceeded B. A.; and that in 1587 he commenced essarily, but only problematically, true, it must stand for M. A. Nash and Greene were the only two of his conlittle more than a mere curiosity of criticism. The ten temporaries at Cambridge who afterwards attained to literdency to discover the influence of personal idiosyncrasy ary laurels. It is suggested, and with a reasonable amount and psychological impressions left upon the works of Eng of plausibility, that Marlowe spent an interregnum of some lish authors, is one that is very strong in M. Taine, and it two or three years, of which we have no account, in travelis too frequently seen carried to excess. His criticism onling abroad, and that possibly he joined the forces of LeicesMarlowe, summed up into one sentence, if we may exer- ter and Sidney engaged in the wars of the Low Councise the hardihood of thus summarily dealing with it, — is tries. He has numerous references in his works which to the following effect: He was a wild, fiery spirit, utterly might support this theory. But whether travelling, fightincapable of self-government, or of being governed by any ing, or remaining at home, he must have cultivated his body else; and his work reflects the bombast, the reckless affection towards literature, and have been laying in at this ness, and the violence of his own nature. To a great ex time those stores of information which for a brief span only tent this may be true of Marlowe, but it must not be he was afterwards to illuminate by the sun of his genius. accepted as exhaustive of either side of the question. Just Collier, indeed, asserts that both parts of “ Tamburlaine as there is a great deal more in his writings than M. Taine | the Great" had been publicly performed in London in the has indicated, so also there may have been a great deal year 1587, which was the date at which, as we have seen, more in the man than those salient characteristics which, Marlowe commenced M. A. This fact alone will serve to when observed at all anywhere, are beheld in very glaring show the amazing strength of his intellectual nature. That prominence. He had a tolerable endowment of noisy vice, one who had barely attained his majority should write two but he may also have possessed a sufficient amount of quiet such tragedies - which, with all their faults, possess an actvirtue. That is the point we care to contend for at the uality of power and pathos truly surprising - seems almost present moment; and as something more must be said incredible. The fact might well excite doubt were it not touching Marlowe's character and religious views at a later corroborated by the still more extraordinary one that in six stage, we shall halt as regards the matter at this juncture. years (or little more) from this very time, the brain was

Born exactly two months before Shakespeare, Marlowe stilled forever which had conceived “Dr. Faustus" and first looked out upon the world at Canterbury on February revelled in the Elegies of Ovid. Some idea of the pleasant 26, 1564. In that most attractive of cathedral cities his amenities indulged in by literary men of the olden time father resided, pursuing, according to some assurances that may be gathered from the tirade of abuse which was indiwe have, the humble trade of a shoemaker. Other author rectly heaped upon the head of Marlowe by Nash in a ities, however, whose evidence is more worthy to be relied preface to a work by Greene, his bosom friend. The inupon, describe him as the clerk of St. Maries. Christopher | censed and probably jealous Nash refers to “ those idiot art was one of five children, the others being two sons and two masters who intrude themselves to our ears as the alchydaughters. It is just possible that the father's employment | mists of eloquence, who (mounted on the stage of arroin connection with the church was of some assistance to gance) think to outbrave better pens by the swelling bomhim in procuring education for his children, in addition to bast of braggart blank verse;" and the writer also chastises the other advantages which residence in a cathedral city " those who commit the digestion of their choleric incumaffords in this respect. Several centuries ago the latter brances to the spacious volubility of a drumming decasyllaconsideration was one of much importance, as a school bon." From all which it will be perceived that Nash was a necessary adjunct to the cathedral. Marlowe, too, exhibits a tavern-like ability and freedom in the use of may also have found friends amongst the clergy of Canter hard adjectives, but also that the invective in which they bury, who divined in him more than ordinary intelligence, are imbedded is not really much in advance of the eloquence and who determined to assist in its cultivation accordingly. of the tavern as regards real powers of satire. As no work But, be that as it may, he was not one to lose the natural | has yet been written which is absolutely perfect, so there advantages amidst wbich he was placed. He had within was just a little foundation afforded by the weaknesses of reach all the pleasures of the country life respecting which Marlowe's style for the onslaughts of those who, if they the poets sing so freely, and at the same time there were could never hope to rival him, had the refuge always made grand architectural beauties constantly in view which could use of by ignoble minds — that of vituperation and vilificanot fail to leave upon his soul impressions of awe and gran tion. There can be little question that Nash and others deur. There are certain points in connection with Mar must have been startled by the potency of the new writer, lowe's life at Canterbury which remain in a state of dubi and alarmed at the prospect that their own names must ousness even to this day, notwithstanding the efforts of suffer a speedy eclipse in the splendor of the more powerDyce, Cunningham, and others to elucidate them. The ful aspirant; and from their point of view it was all-imporfirst-named biographer quotes an extract fron the Treas tant that the new-comer should be pierced by their arrows urer's accounts of the King's School wbich proves that in every joint of his armor which could be discovered asMarlowe was a scholar from Michaelmas, 1578, to Michael sailable. Accordingly, it was hoped to damage Marlowe mas, 1579. To demonstrate the difficulties of constructing irretrievably, because his common characters were made history, or of tracing it, however, it is stated that the ac occasionally to talk the language of the gods; his bombast counts themselves for the greater part of this very year afforded excellent footing as a ladder wherewith to drag named, and for the preceding and subsequent years, are all him down from the height of fame to which he had already missing. It is somewhat cheering, nevertheless, amidst reached. He was so great, that he had been able to throw this Sabara of unascertained and unascertainable knowl- | away all the traditional notions of his art and to strike out edge, to come upon the basis of positive assurance that our upon an original path; he bad dared to be true to a new dramatist was entered at Benet (Corpus Christi) College, light which he felt that he possessed ; and whenever a man Cambridge, in the year 1580 ; that is, when he was sixteen thus resolves, of course he gains as many enemies as friends years of age. Because of what might be simply an imper - the former generally regarding him with the keener infect entry in the College books, as Colonel Cunningham terest of the two. But genius was never yet killed by ridpoints out (and it is to this compiler we are principally in icule; the man sometimes may be, but his work never. debted for our biographical facts), the conclusion has been The world teems with instances where what is now hailed hastily arrived at, that Marlowe missed gaining one of the as the great outcome of great minds, was once assailed with two scholarships which attached to the school at Canter a malignity which nothing could daunt, and a persistency bury in which he was educated. The world cares little for which seemed to forebode destruction ; but the work sursuch matters as this now; the fame of the scholar is de- vives, and the assailants, where are they? The very writcreed, and the silence of his detractors is as utter and com- | ings of Marlowe which were so ruthlessly attacked by his contemporaries, are now universally regarded with admira- | may be sure; and when it is remembered that those who tion as the first springings forth of that rill of dramatic lit- traduced him bated him most of all on religious grounds, erature which afterwards gathered strength and became a we should be doubly cautious in the reception of statements broad and mighty river.

which, if believed, would make him a Faust and a MephisHallam has left us an opinion of “Tamburlaine the topheles combined. Great," the tragedy which called forth the animadversions Perhaps the most striking quality observable in Marlowe of Nash, which may fitly be referred to here. Considering is his breadth. Whatever defects may be alleged against the calm balance of mind usually preserved by that careful | his execution, and however faulty may be his style, his conand discriminating writer, the praise accorded to Marlowe's ceptions are gigantic. He revels in his strength like a early work is indeed lofty, though, as we hope presently to giant. He reminds us in his wildness and grandeur of those see, not too lofty when the merits of the tragedy are fully heights of the Brocken, where Faust is supposed to have considered. He says: “ This play has more spirit and sealed his compact with the Evil One. Tempestuous to a poetry than any which, upon clear grounds, can be shown degree, he is, as compared with the other writers of his age, to have preceded it. We find also more action on the what the surging and ever restless ocean is to the still pool. stage, a shorter and more dramatic dialogue, a more figu- | Take up any of his works, and they will be found disrative style, with a far more varied and skilful versification. tinguished by a uniform greatness of conception. The If Marlowe did not reëstablish blank verse, which is diffi imagination from which they proceeded is lofty, strong, and cult to prove, he gave it at least a variety of cadence and impassioned. Excrescences cannot hide his greatness; the an easy adaptation of the rhythm to the sense, by which it mountain summit is not always obscured by black, absorbeasily became in his hands the finest instrument that the ing clouds. A free and daring spirit is stamped upon all tragic poet has ever employed for his purpose, less re that he has done : a spirit that knew no fear of man, and, stricted than that of the Italians, and falling occasionally it is to be assumed, felt little awe of God. His works are almost into prose ; lines of fourteen syllables being very the most unrestrained exhibition of power of which we common in all our old dramatists, but regular and harmo. have any knowledge. Other dramatists may have exhibnious at other times, as the most accurate ear could re ited the same recklessness, but then they have not pos. quire.” The “ Tragical History of Dr. Faustus,” which sessed the same strength. As regards Shakespeare, note was Marlowe's next play, avoided some of the faults ob. here one of those points in which he is king of the poets. servable in its predecessor, partly owing to the fact that There was the same power as in Marlowe, but be also pos. the author himself had doubtless become conscious that his sessed a quietude which gives us an idea of what we style must not be allowed to degenerate into rant, and should call the unexpended forces of his nature. To draw partly because the nature of the subject itself forbade the an analogy from the physical world around us, and apply use of so extravagant a diction. It is said - and there is it to Shakespeare, we should say he was equally at home no reason, judging from internal evidence, for thinking the in painting the flower as in wielding the earthquake. He supposition is incorrect — that a number of interpolations was, at pleasure, self-infused with the spirit of a child, or have been made in the text of "Faustus " for which Mar- the iron will of a Julius Cæsar. It is just this capacity of lowe is not responsible, and which are in no wise germane instituting a close relation between himself and any unit of to his genius. Of his other dramatic works more remains humanity whatsoever, that separates him from the rest of still to be said, as they are dealt with in their proper or | his kind. Marlowe was great and sublime, but not from der ; but a passing reference may be made to the effect | this all-enfolding point of view. His greatness was a plain produced upon the writers of his own day by the beautiful and palpable one, and not a suggestive greatness. He has poem on the old but never wearisome legend of the loves given us royal spirits, royally conceived; but we ask in of Hero and Leander.” So popular was this composition vain for his Falstaffs, his Bardolphs, bis Juliets, and his that the Water Poet and his brother scullers upon the Portias. What types he has drawn are as true and accu. Thames used to sweeten their toil by singing or reciting rate (not all, but most of them) as those of his great suc. favorite passages from it. And we have few richer treas cessor; and perhaps we are a little unjust in demanding ures of its kind to linger lovingly over now.

from him more, when we consider the brief span of bis exBut the thread of our biographical narrative is in danger istence. It is possible that had his life been prolonged we of being interrupted. What had become of the dramatist should have received from him work worthy of being comduring the construction of these plays which we have men pared with much of Shakespeare's own. There was in him tioned, and others which we must yet enumerate ? The the outline of a transcendent genius, but the opportunity only facts of a definite nature in his personal history to be failed him of filling up its wonderful proportions. relied upon are, first, that he tried his fortune upon the Another distinguishing peculiarity of this dramatist is stage, where he had no long run; and, secondly, that his his power over the passions. “Dr. Faustus” is sufficient reputation was of a most objectionable description : then, evidence of the gift he possessed in this respect. Mark finally, the violent end of a violent life, of which we have the alternations of feeling in the mind of the leading charspoken, must not be forgotten. Being in a tavern at Dept. acter, and see how boldly they are drawn; whilst at the ford, carousing with individuals of the lowest strata of soci. end the absorbing sentiment of the reader is one of admi. ety, he received an insult which his choleric temper could ration, not unmingled with sorrow, for Faustus, even in the ill brook. In endeavoring to avenge it, by some cbance his great climax of his fate. The same power is carried into own weapon was turned against himself in the scuffle, and several of the scenes in “Edward the Second," one espehe received a mortal wound. Whether the facts be exactly

ther the facts be exactly | cially being as pathetic a passage as can be discovered as stated or no, he undoubtedly perished in this same almost anywhere. And the passion is not the simulated brawl; but those who profess to apportion the blame, and passion of the writer of books, but of the reader of men. fix a stigma on Marlowe, only do so upon posthumous evi The counterfeit is not perceptible here. It is genuine pasdence said to have been based upon contemporary state sion genuinely depicted. The whole vocabulary of grief ments — which statements, nevertheless, were made, as seems to have been in Marlowe's possession. The bell of already seen, by persons inimical to the dramatist. So a miserable mind has been penetrated with deep and much for the tragedy of Marlowe's own life. Short as it

searching vision. Beneath the demoniacal fury which apwas, it seems to have been passed amidst a great deal of pears to utterly envelop many of his characters, is to be physical excitement, not unmingled with excess. But that seen a more complicated series of passions than would at the last few years of his life were a prolonged orgy, is an first sight strike the beholder. The demon has but one assertion which may be at once dismmissed as base and un element, but one feeling, but one plan of action ; but the founded. Periods of calm and leisure were essential to bis humanity which Marlowe has drawn has the real strife of genius; and these periods must have been obtained, since elements. He shows the secret workings of good against the monuments which were the result of them are still ex evil, and vice versâ; and he has chosen for treatment men isting. The eulogy passed upon Marlowe by his illustrious | in whom the volcano of passion is forever surging, and contemporary dramatist was not earned without effort, we l emitting its mixed products of stones and lava. Marcok

is a superb Byron. Upon the nineteenth century poet has

Tamburlaine! A Scythian shepherd so embellished been superadded, to the violence and the darkness of pro

With nature's pride and richest furniture ! found passion, its true dignity. Marlowe is greater, more

His looks do menace heaven, and dare the gods; splendid in his rage and his denunciation, probably from

His fiery eyes are fixed upon the earth, the fact that his soul, though more unbelieving, had yet a

As if he now devised some stratagem,

Or meant to pierce Avernus' darksome vaults, larger sincerity than Byron's. Manfred appears a fearful individuality; but if we come to look at him very closely,

To pull the triple-headed dog from hell. we shall find that he is a gentleman of whom we have very

Equally successful in love and war, the daring adventoften heard before the man who defies God and makes a

urer and warrior pursues his destiny. Resolution to obgreat deal of noise about it, but who has not the true ele tain possession with him means instant fruition ; and his ments of a mighty personal being within himself. Very hot and boundless ambition, which nothing mortal could different is the Faustus of Marlowe. Many a man could satisfy, is graphically traced by the plastic pen of the narbecome a Manfred; but Faustus is as rare a creation as

rator. The aspiring shepherd holds that a god is not half Iago, while of a totally different type. So great is Marlowe's

so glorious as a king ;- and in words which have been alconception of this character, that he has not been able

tered by Milton only to the extent of taking the nether to do justice to it. He has bad glimpses of the veritable

regions instead of paradise for his fine declaration, Tambeing himself, with all bis enormous thoughts and desires, burlaine proceeds to say, but has failed to reduce him altogether into shape. But,

I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven indistinct as he sometimes appears, the glimpses we do get

Cannot compare with kingly joys in earth. of him fully attest what a magnificent being he is. And

It is more than probable that these, and the immediately herein, we think, lies the difference between Marlowe's

succeeding lines in the drama, rang in the later bard's ears tragedy and Goethe's. The latter work is the history of a

when he wrote that it was soul and something more. We are attracted partly by the paraphernalia of the drama, and not overwhelmed by the

Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. individual creation. In Marlowe's tragedy we see little but The insatiable lust of power, and its gradual absorption Faustus; but he is enough. He covers the canvas with his of the entire being, were never better depicted than in great and sombre presence, awful in the vastness of his Marlowe's delineation of Tamburlaine. He is in every wishes and the daring of his imagination. And this is but sense a great warrior, whose conceptions of campaigns and one of the characters which the dramatist has left us. Little conquests are equalled by his prodigious executive ability. inferior in vividness of drawing is the Jew of Malta, the He declares that he has no room to entertain the thought predecessor of a still more notorious Jew, and therefore the | of defeat; if he is moved to obtain the Persian crown, he more original. In all his conceptions Marlowe was never attains his object with ease. What is in the grasp of man afraid of carrying the passions to their utmost height and to accomplish shall be achieved by him, for he is penefulness. It is the mark of the strong writer when he trated with the sense of his superiority over mankind, and reaches this perfection. Irresolution and weakness have of bis equality with the gods. His ideas, plans, swift no place in characters which they mean to be the embodi. and whirlwindlike movements, and indomitable courage ments of human feeling : they know their ends and pursue fully attest that he is no mere boaster, but one who will them. It may be objected to Marlowe that the range of ride the age as its master and its monarch. The play is his vision is somewhat limited, looking to the number of admirable for the manner in which this apotheosis is his individual creations; but it is apparent to any one, worked out, and Tamburlaine lifted out of the vulgar catenevertheless, that his capacity of representation of what he gory of ordinary humanity. His secret passions are dishas set himself to depict knows little if any limitation. | sected with that psychological insight for which the dramThat he has not left a larger gallery of portraits behind atist is remarkable, and the mind, as well as the deeds, him is not a reproach to his genius, but the result of the of the great scourge of Asia is laid bare to our gaze. With interference of the ill-fated band of Death; the painting all its inflation and bombast, the play is very forcible, and of such of those as he has drawn is more distinct than in certain parts very beautiful. This passage, put into the Vandyke's and bolder than Rembrandt's.

mouth of the warrior himself, is large in thought, daring, “ Tamburlaine the Great” is a drama in two parts, in and instinct with rugged and striking oratory : — which the writing is very unequal in strength. Charged

Now clear the triple region of the air, occasionally with all the commanding eloquence which the

And let the majesty of heaven behold dramatist well knew how to use, many of the scenes, taken

Their scourge and terror tread on emperors. in the bulk, are not worthy of his genius, but are disfigured

Smile, stars, that reigned at my nativity, by faults which we can only too clearly see it was but nat

And dim the brightness of your neighbor lamps ! ural should lay him open to censure. The first part is in

Disdain to borrow light of Cynthia ! troduced to the reader by a prologue in which Marlowe

For 1, the chiefest lamp of all the earth, displays his contempt for the "jigging veins of rhyming

First rising in the East with mild aspect,

But fixèd now in the meridian line, mother wits, and such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,"

Will send up fire to your turning spheres, and be goes on to promise a very different class of enter

And cause the sun to borrow light of you. tainment from that which these same poor wits generally

My sword struck fire from his coat of steel, provided. We are inclined to be somewhat doubtful

Even in Bithynia, when I took this Turk; whether the promise will be redeemed when we find the

As when a fiery exhalation, King of Persia — from whom we should certainly have ex

Wrapt in the bowels of a freezing cloud, pected more exalted language — addressing his brother in

Fighting for passage, makes the welkin crack, these exceedingly commonplace terms in the very first

And casts a flash of lightning to the earth : lines of the play :

But ere I march to wealthy Persia,

Or leave Damascus and the Egyptian fields,
Brother Cosroe, I find myself aggrieved,

As was the fame of Clymene's brain-sick son,
Yet insufficient to express the same.

That almost bent the axle-tree of heaven,
The drama soon moves on, fortunately, to more impor-

So shall our swords, our lances, and our shot tant matter, and in the second scene we are presented with

Fill all the air with fiery meteors : a very effective interview between Tamburlaine and his

Then when the sky shall wax as red as blood, beautiful captive Zenocrate, the daughter of the Soldan of

It shall be said I made it red myself, Egypt, in which the former unfolds his prophecies of the

To make me think of naught but blood and war. career which sball end by filling the earth with his dreaded This is befitting declamation, loud and trumpet-tongued, name. The Persian Theridamas, who was afterwards per- to assign to the man who, on another occasion, uttered the suaded to forsake his sovereign through the persuasiveness following vigorous description of himself : – of Tamburlaine, well describes the terror of the world in

The god of war resigns his room to me, these lines :

Meaning to make me general of the world :

Jove, viewing me in arms, looks pale and wan,

first really serious attempt to revolutionize contemporary Fearing my power should pull him from his throne. blank verse. The character foreshadowed in these lines is well sus Confessedly, however, “The Tragical History of Dr. tained; the gigantic figure is never dwarfed, nor do his

Faustus" must be regarded, in accordance with the general enormous passions ever exhibit the least inclination to | verdict, as the chef-d'æuvre of Marlowe. It has a strength satiety. He feasts his eyes upon the woes of Bajazet, who

and directness of purpose most distinctly traced in every is borne about with him in a cage, and who has the double

scene, whilst the individuality of the leading character (a misfortune of seeing his conqueror march forth to victory quality to which we bave previously made some reference) after victory, kings falling before him as the tall blades of

is most striking and complete. It is a drama in which the corn before the hurricane. The woes of the Emperor of most intense interest is evoked and sustained. The conthe Turks and his faithful empress are related with much

related with much | ception is so vivid, that the whole thing gives us the impathos, and their self-destruction completed in a scene of

pression that it might have been written at one sitting. strong and natural emotion. At the opening of the second l We know, of course, that this is impossible, but the illusion portion of the drama we find Tamburlaine in the zenith of | is only a so much stronger tribute to the powers of the his power and fame. The ever-victorious sovereign has

writer. Faustus, whose personality has already come bediscomfited the great Christian host under Sigismund, and fore us, may not appear altogether a desirable character, there is nothing more left for him to do, except to enjoy

in the matter of detailed drawing and elaboration, but we the fruits of his victories. Yet, in the very next scene to

should search well-nigh in vain to discover a worthy rival that in which his greatest triumph is celebrated, we be to him in the gigantic force of his ruling ideas, and for the hold Tamburlaine miserable and dejected. Disease has

admirable manner in which his unappeasable craving for seized upon the form of Zenocrate, his illustrious consort,

enjoyment has been delineated. In truth, he is almost and he who had boasted of his invincible might is power

appalling from his defiance of all the canons of humanity, less to arrest its progress. Graphically is the lesson in

and for those flights of an uncontrolled and unbridled imdicated of the rapid succession of joy and despair for all agination in which he indulges. Hazlitt well says of him, humanity. The conqueror is at last conquered. The cap

translating into excellent language what will be the tor of one hundred kings watches the gradual advance of thought of all readers of the tragedy,“Faustus, in his an insidious disease in helplessness and anguish. He sees impatience to fulfil at once and for a moment, for a few that form, which, had it lived before the siege of Troy,

short years, all the desires and conceptions of his soul, is “ Helen had not been named in Homer's Iliades," wither willing to give in exchange his soul and body to the great and expire, and from that moment his sun of prosperity enemy of mankind. Whatever he fancies becomes by this begins to set. He can, however, wreak his revenge for means present to his sense; whatever he commands is the loss of Zenocrate in one method, eminently suggestive done. He calls back time past, and anticipates the future; of his imperious and cruel spirit, and he accordingly con the visions of antiquity pass before him. Babylon in all sumes with fire the city in which she died. The play its glory, Paris, and (Enone; all the projects of philosomoves on with real dramatic interest and energy. The phers, or creations of the poet, pay tribute at his feet; all enraged monarch teaches his sons the art of war, in which the delights of fortune, of ambițion, of pleasure, and of he would see them become like masters with himself, and learning, are centred in his person; and from a short-lived because one of them, Calyphas by name, does not take dream of supreme felicity and drunken power, he sinks kindly to the occupation of blood, the furious father stabs into an abyss of darkness and perdition. This is the alhim to the heart. He makes his son's death the occasion

ternative to which he submits; the bond which he signs for an outburst of wrath, in which he threatens unheard-of with his blood! As the outline of the character is grand horrors for the world. Being remonstrated with by the and daring, the execution is abrupt and fearful. The kings of Jerusalem, Syria, and Trebizond, for his cruelty, | thoughts are vast and irregular, and the style halts and Tamburlaine replies in the following strain, which is one staggers under them. With uneasy steps, such footing of the most powerful pieces of rhetoric to be found in our found the sole of unblest feet.' There is a little fustian author :

and incongruity of metaphor now and then, which is not

very injurious to the subject.”
Villains ! these terrors and these tyrannies

It is' a curious fact with regard to this drama, that
I execute, enjoined me from above,
To scourge the pride of such as heaven abhors ;

though written several years before his death, no edition Nor am I made arch-monarch of the world,

of it was published during the lifetime of its author, while Crowned and invested by the hand of Jove,

many of the editions now current present Marlowe's text For deeds of.bounty and nobility :

very much mutilated. It may have been the fancied imBut since I exercise a greater name,

provements of other hands which resulted in the introducThe scourge of God and terror of the world,

tion of those passages that are open to the charge of bufI must apply myself to fit those terms,

foonery. It is pointed out that there are three editions of In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty,

the tragedy which were not known to Dyce, and Hazlitt And plague such peasants as resist in me

deemed it highly probable that there might have been an The power of heaven's eternal majesty.

earlier impression than any yet discovered. Under these

circumstances it would not be safe to assume that the I will, with engines never exercised,

drama as we have received it stands as Marlowe left it; Conquer, sack, and utterly consume

possessing as we do some knowledge of the quality of his Your cities and your golden palaces,

powers, we ought not to bind ourselves to more than adAnd, with the flames that beat against the clouds, Incense the heavens, and make the stars to melt,

miring as his work the grand and majestic conception in its As if they were the tears of Mahomet,

bold and simple outline, and those passages of the play For hot consumption of his country's pride ;

which bear upon them the impress of his perfervid and And, till by vision or by speech I hear

tremendous genius. The hammer of Vulcan has certainly Immortal Jove say, “ Cease, my Tanıburlaine," been employed to weld the joints of the armor in which I will persist a terror to the world,

Faustus is encased. The drama is no child's play, but one Making the meteors (that, like armed men

of terrible and engrossing import to all men. The lesson Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven)

of the whole is current in lurid flames upon the surface as Run tilting round about the firmament,

we proceed. The dramatist has drunk deep of ecstasies And break their burning lances in the air For honor of my wondrous victories.

and visions, and made his work living with emotion. He

rises to the character of Faustus more perfectly than does The fact that these speeches of Tamburlaine's are dis the modern artist. His passions and desires are more drafigured occasionally by outrageous exaggerations and matically if not more poetically treated. The introduction ranting eccentricities does not by any means destroy their of the Margaret of the later work into the earlier drama effect, whilst they enjoy that great distinction of being the would have completely spoilt it. Given the Faust of Goe

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