« ПредишнаНапред »
a delightful play. Massinger is always entertaining; his plays have the interest of novels.
Alm. Were your bloods equal ?
An ill woman!
Pray you take me with you. Of what complexion was she ? ANT.
But that I dare not
But, like most of his contemporaries, except Shakspeare, Massinger often deals in exaggerated passion. Malefort senior, in the Unnatural Combat, however he may have had the moral will to be so wicked, could never have actually done all that he is represented as guilty of, without losing his senses. He would have been in fact mad. Regan and Goneril are the only pictures of the unnatural in Shakspeare; the pure unnatural — and you will observe that Shakspeare has left their hideousness unsoftened or diversified by a single line of goodness or common human frailty. Whereas in Ed
Commit so great a sacrilege 'gainst virtue,
(Aside.)" &c. – ED.
mund, for whom passion, the sense of shame as a bastard, and ambition, offer some plausible excuses, Shakspeare has placed many redeeming traits. Edmund is what, under certain circumstances, any man of powerful intellect might be, if some other qualities and feelings were cut off. Hamlet is, inclusively, an Edmund, but different from him as a whole, on account of the controlling agency of other principles which Edmund had not.
Remark the use which Shakspeare always makes of his bold villains as vehicles for expressing opinions and conjectures of a nature too hazardous for a wise man to put forth directly as his own, or from any sustained character.
The parts pointed out in Hieronimo as Ben Jonson's bear no traces of his style; but they are very like Shakspeare's; and it is very remarkable that every one of them re-appears in full form and developement,
and tempered with mature judgment, in some one or other of Shakspeare's great pieces.*
* By Hieronimo Mr. Coleridge meant The Spanish Tragedy, and not the previous play, which is usually called The First Part of Jeronimo. The Spanish Tragedy is, upon the authority of Heywood, attributed to Kyd. It is supposed that Ben Jonson originally performed the part of Hieronimo, and hence it has been surmised that certain passages and whole scenes connected with that character, and not found in some of the editions of the play, are, in fact, Ben Jonson's own writing. Some of these supposed interpolations are amongst the best things in the Spanish Tragedy; the style is singularly unlike Jonson's, whilst there are turns and particular images which do certainly seem to have been imitated by or from Shakspeare. Mr. Lamb at one time gave them to Webster. Take this passage, in the fourth act:“ HIERON. What make you with your torches in the
dark ? Pedro. You bid us light them, and attend you here. HIERON. No! you are deceived ; not I; you are
PEDRO. Then we burn daylight.
Hieron. Let it be burnt ; Night is a murd'rous slut, That would not have her treasons to be seen ;
April 7. 1833.
LOVE'S LABOUR LOST. — GIFFORD'S MAS
SINGER. – SHAKSPEARE. - THE OLD DRAMATISTS.
I THINK I could point out to a half line what is really Shakspeare's in Love's Labour Lost,
And yonder pale-faced Hecate there, the moon,
words. The heavens are gracious, and your miseries and
sorrow Make you speak you know not what.
HIERON. Villain ! thou liest, and thou dost nought But tell me I am mad: thou liest, I am not mad: I know thee to be Pedro, and he Jaques ; I’U prove it thee ; and were I mad, how could I? Where was she the same night, when my Horatio was