Page images
PDF
EPUB

1 Porteur. Dame, c'est que la porte est étroite. Vous avez voulu aussi que nous soyons entrés jusqu'ici.

Mascarille. Je le crois bien. Voudriez-vous, faquins, que j'exposasse l'embonpoint de mes plumes aux inclémences de la saison pluvieuse, et que j'allasse imprimer mes souliers en boue?-Les Precieuses Ridicules, sc. 7.

[Mascarille (to the sedan chairmen). Stop, stop! What the devil is all this? Am I to be beaten to pieces against the walls and

pavement?

Chairman. Why you see the passage is narrow. bring you right in.

Mascarille. Unquestionably. Would you have me expose the embonpoint of my feathers to the inclemency of the rainy season, and leave the impression of my pumps in the mud ?]

You told us to

Our gallery shall close with a piece of

ENCHANTED MUSIC.

Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
Of all that might delight a dainty ear,
Such as, at once, might not on living graund,
Save in this paradise be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear
To weet what manner music that might be,
For all that pleasing is to living ear
Was there consorted in one harmony;

Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree.

The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attemp'red sweet:
Th' angelical, soft, trembling voices made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet ;
The silver sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmur of the water's fall;

The water's fall, with difference discreet.

Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.39

39 “ The gentle warbling wind," &c.—This exquisite stanza is a specimen of perfect modulation, upon the principles noticed in the description of Archimago's Hermitage. The reader may, perhaps, try it upon them. "Compare it," says Upton, "with Tasso's Gierusalemme Liberata, canto 16, st. 12." Readers who understand Italian will gladly compare it, and see how far their countryman has surpassed the sweet poet of the south.

MARLOWE,

BORN, ACCORDING TO MALONE, ABOUT 1565,-
DIED, 1593.

If ever there was a born poet, Marlowe was one. He perceived things in their spiritual as well as material relations, and impressed them with a corresponding felicity. Rather, he struck them as with something sweet and glowing that rushes by-perfumes from a censer,-glances of love and beauty. And he could accumulate images into as deliberate and lofty a grandeur. Chapman said of him, that he stood

Up to the chin in the Pierian flood.

Drayton describes him as if inspired by the recollection :

:

Next Marlowe, bathed in the Thespian springs,
Had in him those brave translunary things,
That the first poets had; his raptures were
All air and fire, which made his verses clear:

[ocr errors]

For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet's brain.

But this happy genius appears to have had as unhappy a will, which obscured his judgment. It made him condescend to write fustian for the town, in order to rule over it; subjected him to the charge of impiety, probably for nothing but too scornfully treating irreverent notions of the Deity; and brought him, in the prime of his life, to a violent end in a tavern. His plays abound in wilful and self-worshipping speeches, and every one of them turns upon some kind of ascendency at the expense of other people. He was the head of a set of young men from the university, the Peeles, Greens, and others, all more or less possessed of a true poetical vein, who, bringing scholarship to the theatre, were intoxicated with the new graces they threw on the old bombast, carried to their height the vices as well as wit of the town, and were destined to see, with indignation and astonishment, their work taken out of their hands, and done better, by the uneducated interloper from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Marlowe enjoys the singular and (so far) unaccountable honour of being the only English writer to whom Shakspeare seems to have alluded with approbation. In As You Like It, Phoebe says,

Dead Shepherd! now I know thy saw of might,—
"Who ever lov'd that lov'd not at first sight?"

MARLOWE,

BORN, ACCORDING TO MALONE, ABOUT 1565,-
DIED, 1593.

If ever there was a born poet, Marlowe was one. He perceived things in their spiritual as well as material relations, and impressed them with a corresponding felicity. Rather, he struck them as with something sweet and glowing that rushes by;-perfumes from a censer,-glances of love and beauty. And he could accumulate images into as deliberate and lofty a grandeur. Chapman said of him, that he stood

Up to the chin in the Pierian flood.

Drayton describes him as if inspired by the recollection :

―――――――

Next Marlowe, bathed in the Thespian springs,
Had in him those brave translunary things,
That the first poets had; his raptures were
All air and fire, which made his verses clear:

4

« EelmineJätka »