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Fears nothing mortal but to be unjust;
Who sits upon Jove's footstool, as I do,
[Born, 1557. Died, 1634.]
GEORGE CHAPMAN was born at Hitching-hill*, in the county of Hertford, and studied at Oxford. From thence he repaired to London, and became the friend of Shakspeare, Spenser, Daniel, Marlowe, and other contemporary men of genius. He was patronised by Prince Henry, and Carr Earl of Somerset. The death the one, and the disgrace of the other, must have injured his prospects; but he is supposed to have had some place at court, either under King James or his consort Anne. He lived to an advanced age; and, according to Wood, was a person of reverend aspect, religious, and temperate. Inigo Jones, with whom he lived on terms of intimate friendship, planned and erected a monument to his memory over his burial-place, on the south side of St. Giles's church in the fields; but it was unfortunately destroyed with the ancient church.
FROM THE COMEDY OF ALL FOOLS.
Speech of Valerio to Rynaldo, in answer to his bitter
Chapman seems to have been a favourite of his own times; and in a subsequent age, his version of Homer excited the raptures of Waller, and was diligently consulted by Pope. The latter speaks of its daring fire, though he owns that it is clouded by fustian. Webster, his fellow dramatist, praises his 'full and heightened style,' a character which he does not deserve in any favourable sense; for his diction is chiefly marked by barbarous ruggedness, false elevation, and extravagant metaphor. The drama owes him very little; his Bussy D'Ambois is a piece of frigid atrocity, and in the Widow's Tears, where his heroine Cynthia falls in love with a sentinel guarding the corpse of her husband, whom she was bitterly lamenting, he has dramatised one of the most puerile and disgusting legends ever fabricated for the disparagement of female constancy†.
Thou wouldst abhor thy tongue for blasphemy.
*William Browne, the pastoral poet, calls him "the learned Shepherd of fair Hitching-hill."
FROM THE SAME.
O, the good gods, How blind is pride! What eagles are we still In matters that belong to other men ! What beetles in our own!
A SON APPEASING HIS FATHER BY SUBMISSION,
Persons.-GOSTANZO, the father; VALERIO, the son; MARCANTONIO and RYNALDO, friends; and GRATIANA, the bride of VALERIO.
Ryn. COME on, say; Your father with submission will be calm'd!
["Chapman, who assisted Ben Jonson and some others in comedy, deserves no great praise for his Bussy D'Ambois. The style in this, and in all his tragedies, is extravagantly hyperbolical; he is not very dramatic, nor has any power of exciting emotion except in those who sympathise with a tumid pride and self-confidence. Yet he has more His tragithinking than many of the old dramatists. comedies All Fools and The Gentleman-Usher, are perhaps superior to his tragedies."-HALLAM, Lit. Hist., vol. iii. p. 621. "Chapman would have made a great Epic Poet, if indeed he has not abundantly shown himself to be one; for his Homer is not so properly a Translation as the stories of Achilles and Ulysses re-written"--LAMB.]
Come on, down on your knees.
Gost. Villain, durst thou
Presume to gull thy father? dost thou not
Val. Father, if that part I have in your blood,
Out of my inward eyes; and for a need
Can drown these outward (lend me thy handker-
And being indeed as many drops of blood,
Gost. Out upon thee, villain.
Marc. Ant. Nay, good Gostanzo, think you are a father.
Gost. I will not hear a word; out, out upon
Wed without my advice, my love, my knowledge,
Gost. Go to, no more of that! peace, good
It is a fault that only she and you know.
Ryn. Well, sir, go on, I pray.
Gost. Have I, fond wretch,
With utmost care and labour brought thee up,
The office of a kind and careful father,
To make thee wise and virtuous like thy father?
Of this sweet hand; my heart had been consumed
Ryn. You thought not so last day, when you
Gost. O puissant wag, what huge large thongs he cuts
A twelvemonth's board for one night's lodging Out of his friend Fortunio's stretching leather. with her.
Marc. Ant. He knows he does it but to blind
Val. Father, say not so.
Gost. Nay, she's thy own; here, rise fool, take
Live with her still, I know thou count'st thyself
Be happy still, here, take her hand, enjoy her.
Gost. Notable wag.
Val. I know I have committed
Take truce with passion, license your sad son,
Gost. What? what excuse?
orator in this case excuse him?
A great impiety, not to move you first
Think what you may be; for I do not think
Gost. O excellent! these men will put up any
Val. Had I not had her, I had lost my life :
Val. Yet do I here renounce
Love, life and all, rather than one hour longer
Grat. O, I can hold no longer, if thy words
That nought should sever us but death itself?
Will have his son forsworn, upon his soul
Marc. Ant. Be not so violent, I pray you, good For I will seek his favour though I die.
Thou wound'st my heart, but I know 'tis in jest.
Gost. No, I'll be sworn she has her liripoop too. Grat. Didst thou not swear to love me, spite of father and all the world?
Gost. No, no, live still my son, thou well shalt know
I have a father's heart: come, join your hands,
Val. And never to recall it?
[Born, 1605. Died, 1634.]
THOMAS RANDOLPH was the son of a steward to Lord Zouch. He was a king's scholar at Westminster, and obtained a fellowship at Cambridge. His wit and learning endeared him to Ben Jonson, who owned him, like Cartwright, as his adopted son in the Muses. Unhappily he followed the taste of Ben not only at the pen, but at the bottle; and he closed his life in poverty, at the age of twentynine, a date lamentably premature, when we consider the promises of his genius. His wit and humour are very conspicuous in the Puritan characters, whom he supposes the spectators of his scenes in the Muse's Looking-Glass. Throughout the rest of that drama (though it is on the whole his best performance) he unfortunately prescribed to himself too hard and confined a system of dramatic effect. Professing simply, "in single scenes to show, How comedy presents each single vice, Ridiculous"
he introduces the vices and contrasted humours of human nature in a tissue of unconnected per
Enter BIRD, a feather-man, and MRS. FLOWERDEW, wife to a haberdasher of small wares-the one having brought feathers to the playhouse, the other pins and looking-glasses-two of the sanctified fraternity of Black
INTRODUCTORY SCENE OF "THE MUSES LOOKING-GLASS."
For they are all grown so obscene of late,
Mrs. Flowerdew. SEE, brother, how the wicked throng and crowd
To works of vanity! not a nook or corner
Bird. Sister, were there not before innsYes, I will say inns (for my zeal bids me Say filthy inns), enough to harbour such As travell'd to destruction the broad way, But they build more and more-more shops of Satan?
Mrs. F. Iniquity aboundeth, though pure zeal Teach, preach, huff, puff, and snuff at it; yet still, Still it aboundeth! Had we seen a church, A new-built church, erected north and south, It had been something worth the wondering at. Bird. Good works are done.
sonifications, and even refines his representations of abstract character into conflicts of speculative opinion.
For his skill in this philosophical pageantry the poet speaks of being indebted to Aristotle, and probably thought of his play what Voltaire said of one of his own, "This would please you, if you were Greeks." The female critic's reply to Voltaire was very reasonable, "But we are not Greeks." Judging of Randolph however by the plan which he professed to follow, his execution is vigorous: his ideal characters are at once distinct and various, and compact with the expression which he purposes to give them. He was author of five other dramatic pieces, besides miscellaneous poems*.
Mrs. F. I say no works are good;
Good works are merely popish and apocryphal.
Bird. But the bad abound, surround, yea, and confound us.
No marvel now if playhouses increase,
He died at the house of his friend, W. Stafford, Esq. of Blatherwyke, in his native county, and was buried in the adjacent church, where an appropriate monument was erected to him by Sir Christopher, afterwards Lord Hatton.
Mrs. F. Flat fornication!
I wonder anybody takes delight To hear them prattle.
Bird. Nay, and I have heard, That in a tragedy, I think they call it, They make no more of killing one another, Than you sell pins.
Mrs. F. Or you sell feathers, brother; But are they not hang'd for it?
Bird. Law grows partial,
And finds it but chance-medley: and their comedies
We cannot put our monies to increase
Mrs. F. Is not this flat conjuring,
To make our ghosts to walk ere we be dead?
Bird. That's nothing, Mrs. Flowerdew! they will play
The knave, the fool, the devil and all, for money.
* 1. Aristippus, or the Jovial Philosopher.-2. The Conceited Pedlar.-3. The Jealous Lovers, a comedy.-4. Amyntas, or the Impossible Dowry, a pastoral. -5. Hey for Honesty, Down with Knavery, a comedy.
O! Now for an eternity of eating!
-I would have My senses feast together; Nature envied us In giving single pleasures. Let me have My ears, eyes, palate, nose, and touch, at once Enjoy their happiness. Lay me in a bed Made of a summer's cloud; to my embraces Give me a Venus hardly yet fifteen, Fresh, plump, and active-she that Mars enjoy'd Is grown too stale; and then at the same instant My touch is pleased, I would delight my sight With pictures of Diana and her nymphs Naked and bathing, drawn by some Apelles; By them some of our fairest virgins stand,
That the Globe, &c.-The Globe, the Phoenix, the Forthe Blackfriars, the Red Bull, and Bear Garden, were names of several playhouses then in being.
That I may see whether 'tis art or nature
Colax, the flatterer, between the dismal philosopher Anaisthetus and the epicure Acolastus, accommodating his opinions to both.
Acolastus. THEN let's go drink a while. Anaisthetus. "Tis too much labour. Happy TanThat never drinks! [talus,
Colax. Sir, I commend this temperance. Your Is able to contemn these petty baits, [arm'd soul These slight temptations, which we title pleasures, That are indeed but names. Heaven itself knows No such like thing. The stars nor eat, nor drink, Nor lie with one another, and you imitate Those glorious bodies; by which noble abstinence You gain the name of moderate, chaste, and sober, While this effeminate gets the infamous terms Of glutton, drunkard, and adulterer; Pleasures that are not man's, as man is man, But as his nature sympathies with beasts. You shall be the third Cato-this grave look And rigid eyebrow will become a censorBut I will fit you with an object, Sir, My noble Anaisthetus, that will please you ; It is a looking-glass, wherein at once You may see all the dismal groves and caves, The horrid vaults, dark cells, and barren deserts, With what in hell itself can dismal be!
Anaisth. This is, indeed, a prospect fit for me. [Exit. Acolas. He cannot see a stock or stone, but preHe wishes to be turn'd to one of those. [sently I have another humour-I cannot see A fat voluptuous sow with full delight Wallow in dirt, but I do wish myself Transform'd into that blessed epicure; Or when I view the hot salacious sparrow,
I wish myself that little bird of love.
Colax. It shows you a man of soft moving clay, Not made of flint. Nature has been bountiful
To provide pleasures, and shall we be niggards
COLAX TO PHILOTIMIA, OR THE PROUD LADY.
Colax. MADAM Superbia,
You're studying the lady's library,
The looking-glass: 'tis well, so great a beauty
THE PRAISE OF WOMAN. FROM HIS MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.
He is a parricide to his mother's name,
The milk they lent us! Better sex! command
At sword or pen; yours was the nobler birth,
Breathes spice, and nectar drops at every kiss.
THE anecdotes of this facetious bishop, quoted by Headley from the Aubrey MSS. would fill several pages of a jest-book. It is more to his honour to be told, that though entirely hostile in his principles to the Puritans, he frequently softened, with his humane and characteristic
[Born, 1582. Died, 1635.]
| pleasantry, the furious orders against them which Laud enjoined him to execute. On the whole he does credit to the literary patronage of James, who made him dean of Christ's Church, and successively bishop of Oxford and Norwich.