Slike strani

cellaneous writer, Payne Collier 1608), and his Parliament of Bees. was of opinion that he wtute for rather a masque than a play (earliest the stage before 1592-it was in extant edition, 1641), represent the 1592 that, as Greene's literary exe- best of his work. The Parliament cutor, he apologised to Shakespeare of Bees has chiefly, inspired Mr. for the attack made on him in Świnburne's beautiful poem to Day Greene's Groatsworth of Wit (see in the Sonnets to the Elizabethan above, Ch. VI.) of his thirteen Dramatists. known plays only one, The Tragedy NATHANIEL FIELD (1587-1633) of Hoffman, was published (1631). was an actor-playwright, and took a He collaborated a great deal with leading part in the presentation of Dekker, and, with him and Haugh- several of the best Elizabethan plays ton, produced Patient Grissilin 1603. -notably Jonson's. His own original We read in Henslowe's Diary that work consists of two amusing comethe partners received, “in earnest dies, A Woman is a Weathercock of" this play, " the summe of 3li of and Amends for Ladies, both acted good and lawfull money.'

before 1610. The second, as the SIR ASTON COKAYNE (1608-1684). | titles show, is a recantation of the a Derbyshire knight, was merely a first. Field wrote part of Massinger's littérateur, who lived in the society Fatal Dowry. of authors, and wrote comedies in HENRY ĠLAPTHORNE wrote five distant imitation of Fletcher, the extant plays, which are something a best of which was an adaptation from little less than mediocre. He belongs the Italian play called Trappolin to the Massinger and Shirley period Creduto Principe. It was afterwards of the drama, and, in addition to known by the English name of A some comedies which clearly show Duke and No Duke.

the prevailing influence of the age, JOHN Cooke, an actor, produced published a tragedy dealing with a play called Greene's Tu Quoque, or contemporary history and called the City Gallant, in 1614. He was Albertus Wallenstein (1639). also the author of fifty epigrams SIR FULKE GREVILLE, LORD (1604).

BROOKE (1554-1628), was at ShrewsSIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT (1606- bury School with Sidney, and after. 1668) wrote a great number of wards at Jesus College, Cambridge. plays, mostly in the tragic vein, of in discussing the sonneteers, which Albovine (1629) and The have already mentioned his Cælica. Cruel Brother (1630) are the most He was also the author of the Life famous. We shall speak of D'Avenant of Sidney (1652). His two Senecan again further on; he is one of those dramas, Mustapha (1609) and Aladramatists who stand on the brink ham (1633), from which Lamb seof the Restoration period; and no lected in his Specimens, are obviously one so actively promoted the revival unfit for the stage, but stand well as of the drama after Puritan days. examples of rhetorical tragedy. He


ROBERT DAVENPORT wrote among was Chancellor of the Exchequer other works, a Fletcherian comedy of in 1614, and was, in his old age, the usual type called The City Night. stabbed by a servant whom he had cap (1624); and, in King John and neglected in his will. Matilda," combined history with WILLIAM HAUGHTON, author

of A Woman will have her Will JOHN DAY, who appears to have (1598), was a member of the Dekker. been a member of Caius College, Chettle confederacy, which supplied Cambridge, worked much on old Henslowe of the Rose and Fortune plays and at the joint business of fur- Theatres with plays (see ante). nishing new ones with the indefati. SHACKERLEY MARMION (d. 1639) gable Dekker and Chettle. He wrote, was of the Tribe of Ben and followed however, some charming pieces of the comedy of intrigue. We have his own, showing a great deal of wit only three plays of his, and a short and light fancy. His Humour Out poem, called Cupid and Psyche of Breath (licensed and published ! (1637!,


ANTHONY MUNDAY (1553-1633) | 1638) and The Jealous Lovers (pubwas said by Meres in his Palladis lished 1632); and in all his work he Tamia (1598) to be the “ best drew freely from Plautus, Terence, plotter" among the comic poets ; and Aristophanes. He died of smallwhich might easily have been true at pox at the early age of twentythat early date. Fourteen plays were nine. written either partly or wholly by SAMUEL ROWLEY, the probable him. The first of importance was author of The Noble Spanish Soldier Valentine and Orson, published in (1631), deserves mention, but chiefly 1598, but acted much earlier. He in order to distinguish him from was assisted by Drayton, Hathway, William ROWLEY (1585 2-1642?), and Robert Wilson, it is said, in Sir the very powerful and unequal John Oldcastle, which was published dramatist whose hand is to be seen in 1600, and ascribed by the printer in Middleton's Changeling and A to Shakespeare (see ante, Ch. VII. Fair Quarrel. Rowley's tragedy, Note C). In 1601 Munday pub- All's Lost by Lust, points to a very lished Robert Earl of Huntingdon's distinct tragic power, and gives Downfall, and, assisted by Chettle, considerable reason for the favourRobert Earl of Huntingdon's Death. able attitude which recent criti. His writings extended over the cism, in revising, its opinion of period 1580-1621. Perhaps his chief Middleton, has taken towards him claim to consideration rests on his as well. However, he did much painstaking translations of chival. strong, coarse work in farcical rous romances, c.g. Palmerin d'Oliva comedy, and the very unhumor(1588) and Amadis de Gaul (1595). ous comic scenes in Shakespeare's He died August 10, 1633. and is Pericles, that work of several authors, styled on his monument in St. are supposed by some critics to be Stephen's, Coleman Street, "citizen his. Samuel Rowley certainly wrote and draper of London."


you see me, you know me, or Thomas NABBES was one of the the History of Henry VIII (pubmembers of the Tribe of Ben, and lished 1605). wrote a few fluent but insignificant SIR JOHN SUCKLING (1609-1642), masques and comedies — Covent of whom more in the next chapter, Garden (1633). Tottenham Court wrote three rather dull tragedies (1633), Microcosmus (1637), and The called Aglaura, Brennoralt, and the Bride (1638). The first two names unfinished Sad One, and a comedy remind us of Shirley's Hyde Park, called The Goblins (1638). Suck. and give us the key to the spirit of ling's writing is frigid, and its tone the pieces. He wrote also a con- is post-Restoration rather than Elizatinuation (1638) of Knolles' History bethan. His plays form part of of the Turks. Little is known of him his posthumous fragmenta Aurea save that he was secretary to some (1646); but The Sad One did not nobleman near Worcester.

appear in print till 1658. HENRY PORTER is known, from Robert TAYLOR, an early dramaHenslowe's Diary, to have worked tist, wrote a play called The Hog in partnership with Chettle and hath lost his Pearl, which is familiar Jonson at a play called Hot Anger to most readers from the admirable soon Cold (1598), and to have written specimen cited by Charles Lamb. the charming comedy of The Two JOHN WILSON (1627 ? - 1696) Angry Women of Abington (1599). brought out, in post-Restoration

THOMAS RANDOLPH (1605-1635). times, two noteworthy comedies, of the Tribe of Ben, was

The Cheats (1664) and The ProjecDaventry and educated at West. tors (1665), and two other plays, in minster, and became a fellow of avowed imitation of Ben Jonson. Trinity College, Cambridge. He | His work, late as it is in date, is very was a poet, a scholar, and a gentle excellent of its kind, and one is man, and his pieces still bear witness tempted to regret that the Elizato his learning. His chief plays are bethan spirit-of which a gleam The Muses (published is seen in Nathaniel Lee-rlid not


revive more successfully, instead of spirit than Ben Jonson's Roman succumbing to French dramatic plays, with a certain degree, at the fashions.

same time, of rhetorical stateliness. In addition to these writers should Nero has been edited once or twice be mentioned the anonymous author of recent years (by Mr. A. H. Bullen, of Nero, published in 1624 and 1633, and in the “Mermaid" series by one of the best of the classical trage- Mr. H. P. Horne), but the author's dies of the era, after Shakespeare's, name has never been satisfactorily and possessing more liveliness and conjectured.



§ 1. The so-called metaphysical poetry ; its characteristics. § 2. GEORGE


$ 1. THE seventeenth century is one of the most momentous epochs in English history. A large portion of it is occupied by an immense political and religious fermentation, out of which came many of those institutions to which Poetry of the the country owes its present grandeur and happiness. century. In its literary aspect ihis agitated epoch, although not marked by that marvellous outburst of creative power which dazzled us in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, has nevertheless left obvious traces on the turn of thought and expression of the English people ; and in poetry alone, excluding the solitary example of Milton as a poet of the first order, we may say that this period produced a class of admirable writers in whom intellect and fancy were more powerful than sentiment or passion. In these poets, whom Johnson called the metaphysical class, ingenuity predominates over feeling, and, while Milton owed much to many of them, they had nevertheless far more to do in generating the so-called correct and artificial manner of the age of William III, Anne, and George I. We propose to pass in rapid review, and generally according to chronological order, the most distinguished names among these poets from 1640 to 1700.

$ 2. GEORGE WITHER and FRANCIS QUARLES are a pair of poets, typical, in some ways, of the best and worst work of this era. Wither was born at Bentworth, near Alresford, and was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. George His family were not very well off, and, after leaving (1588-1667). college, he had to take up farming. Subsequently, he entered at Lincoln's Inn; and, during the Civil War, changed sides from Royalist to Roundhead. At the Restoration, he had to undergo severe persecution and a long imprisonment, which seem to have been no more than he deserved. His most important works are the collection of semi-pastoral poems called The Shepherd's Hunting (1615), and the fanciful narrative of The Mistress of Philarete (1622); but, in addition to these, he wrote a great deal of religious poetry-in 1623, the fine Hymns and Songs of the Church, and, in 1641, a collection called Hallelujah-while almost his earliest work was a satire, Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613). His rural descriptions show an exquisite sense of beauty, and his moral tone is sweet and pure without being brought obtrusively into notice. His vice, in

common with most of his contemporaries, was a Defects of passion for ingenious turns of phrase and unexpected Wither's poetry.

conceits, which bear the same relation to really

beautiful thoughts that plays upon words bear to wit. He was also often singularly deficient in taste : his lyric utterance fails, and he deforms graceful images by placing them side by side with what is merely quaint and sometimes even ignoble. Many of his detached lyrics are extremely beautiful, and his verse is generally flowing and melodious ; but, in reading his best passages, we always feel a nervous apprehension that we shall come, at any moment, upon something that will jar upon our sympathy. Among other works, he wrote a series of Emblems, in which his puritanical enthusiasm revels in a system of moral and theological analogies as far-fetched as poetical.

Quarles, a Royalist as ardent as Wither was a devoted Republican, exhibits many points of intellectual resemblance

to Wither, but was far his inferior in poetical senti

ment. He was born at Romford and educated at QUARLES (1592-1644).

Christ's College, Cambridge, and, having filled the

offices of cup-bearer to Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Queen of Hearts," of secretary to Archbishop Ussher, and of Chronologer to the City of London, died in 1644, leaving his fortune much impaired by his fidelity to the King's cause. He wrote an immense amount ; but his best-known work, which has enjoyed a considerable degree of popularity, is the collection of Divine Emblems (1635). In these verses he inculcated moral and religious principles in a style quaint and conceited beyond endurance. He illustrated them also with engravings which show the tendency to pictorial allegory run mad. For example, the text, “ Who will deliver me from

the body of this death?” is accompanied by a Superfluous, cut representing a diminutive human figure, typical quaintress of of the human soul, peeping through the ribs of a

skeleton as from behind the bars of a dungeon. This taste for extravagant, yet prosaic, allegory, was borrowed from the laborious ingenuity of the Dutch and Flemish moralists and divines. Quarles, indeed, borrowed the last three books of the EinblemỊs, with their illustrations, froin the Pint


his verse.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »