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too forward in affection, which, although inwardly I could not mislike, yet openly I seemed to disallow. They increased in their loving humors; I ceased not to chastise them for their loose demeanors. At last it came to my ears that my son that was out with Memphio was a fool, that my daughter with Stellio was also unwise, and yet, being brother and sister, there was a match in hammering betwixt

them. Mem. What monstrous tale is this? Stel. And I am sure incredible. Sper. Let her end her discourse. Ac. I'll never believe it. Mem. Hold thy peace! Vic. My very bowels yearned within me

that I should be author of such vile incest, an hindrance to lawful love. I went to the good old woman, Mother Bombie, to know the event of this practice; who told me this day I might prevent the danger, and upon submission escape the punishment. Hither am I come to claim my children, though both fools, and to deliver yours, both lov

ing Mem. Is this possible? How shall we be

lieve it? Stel. It cannot sink into my head. Vic. This trial cannot fail. Your son,

Memphio, had a mole under his ear; I framed one under my child's ear by art; you shall see it taken away with the juice of mandrage. 87 Behold now for your son's! No herb can undo that nature hath done. Your daughter, Stellio, hath on her wrist a mole, which I counterfeited on my daughter's arm, and that shall you see taken away as the other. Thus you see I do not dissemble, hoping you will pardon me, as I have pitied

them. Mem. This is my son! O fortunate Mem

phio! Stel. This is my daughter! More than

thrice happy Stellio! Mæst. How happy is Mæstius, how

blessed Serena, that being neither children to poor parents, nor brother and sister by nature, may enjoy their love by

consent of parents and nature. Ac. Soft! I'll not swap my father for

all this. Sil. What, do you think I'll be cozened

of my father? Methinks I should not. Mother Bombie told me my father knew me not, my mother bore me not, falsely bred, truly begot. A bots on Mother Bombie!

Dro. Mother Bombie told us we should be

found cozeners, and in the end be cozened by cozeners; well fare Mother Bom

bie! Ris. I heard Mother Bombie say that thou

shalt die a beggar; beware of Mother

Bombie! Pris. Why, have you all been with Mother

Bombie? Luc. All, and as far as I can see, she fore

told all. Mem. Indeed she is cunning and wise,

never doing harm, but still practising good. Seeing these things fall out thus, are you content, Stellio, the match go

forward? Stel. Aye, with double joy, having found

for a fool a wise maid, and finding be

tween them both exceeding love. Pris. Then to end all jars, our children's matches shall stand with our good liking.

Livia, enjoy Candius. Sper. Candius, enjoy Livia. Can. How shall we recompense fortune,

that to our loves hath added our parents'

good wills? Mest. How shall we requite fortune, that

to our loves hath added lawfulness, and to our poor estate competent living? Mem. Vicinia, thy fact 68 is pardoned,

though the law would see it punished. We be content to keep Silena in the

house with the new married couple. Stel. And I do maintain Accius in our

house. Vic. Come, my children, though fortune

hath not provided you lands, yet you see you are not destitute of friends. I shall be eased of a charge both in purse and conscience in conscience, having revealed my lewd practice; in purse, har

ing you kept of alms. Ac. Come, if you be my sister it's the

better for you. Sil. Come, brother, methinks it's better

than it was; I should have been but a bald bride. I'll eat as much pie as if

I had been married. Mem. Let's also forgive the knavery of

our boys, since all turns to our good

haps. Stel. Agreed; all are pleased now the boys are unpunished. Enter Hackneyman, Sergeant, and

Scrivener. Hack. Nay, soft, take us with you, and

seek redress for our wrongs, or we'll

complain to the mayor. Pris. What's the matter?

67 mandragora.

68 crime.

Hack. I arrested Memphio's boy for an ten. Now all are content but the poor

horse. After much mocking, at the re- fiddlers; they shall be sent for to the marquest of his fellow wags I was content riage, and have double fees. to take a bond jointly of them all; they Dro. You need no more send for a fiddler had me into a tavern; there they made to a feast than a beggar to a fair. me, the scrivener, and the sergeant drunk, Stel. This day we will feast at my house. pawned his mace for the wine, and sealed Diem. Tomorrow at mine. me an obligation nothing to the purpose. Pris. The next day at mine. I pray you, read it.

Sper. Then at mine the last day, and even Mem. What wags be these! Why, by this so spend this week in good cheer.

bond you can demand nothing, and Dro. Then we were best be going whilst things done in drink may be repented in every one is pleased. And yet these cousoberness, but not remedied.

ples are not fully pleased till the priest Dro. Sir, I have his acquittance; let him have done his worst. sue his bond.

Ris. Come, Sergeant, we'll toss it ?i this Hack. I'll cry quittance with thee!

week, and make thy mace arrest a boiled Serg. And I, or it shall cost me the laying capon. on freely of my mace.

Serg. No more words at the wedding; if Scriv. And I'll give thee such a dash with the mayor should know it, I were in dan

a pen as shall cost thee many a pound, ger of mine office. with such a Noverint 69 as Cheapside Ris. Then take heed how, on such as we can show none such.

are, you show a cast 72 of your office. Half. Do your worst; our knaveries will Half. If you mace us, we'll pepper you.

revenge it upon your children's children. Ac. Come, sister, the best is, we shall have Mem. Thou boy! (To Hack.) We will good cheer these four days. pay the hire of the horse, be not angry.

Luc. And be fools for ever. The boys have been in a merry cozening


That's none of our upseekings. vein, for they have served their masters

Ereunt. of the same sort; but all must be forgot69 the first word of gan: "Know all 70 the ecclesiastical

Canterbury side. the phrase with

of appeal

71 toss cups, drink, which deeds be- presents.

for the province Church, Cheap 72 specimen.




was held in Bow




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EDWARD II Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was the function must not be overlooked. Forerunson of a shoemaker of Canterbury, and went ners of the type may be found in such a to the old King's School of that town. play as Bale's kyng Johan (1538) and a few Thence in 1579 he went up to Cambridge on Senecan tragedies like Gorboduc (1562), but a scholarship which he held all during his it was not till 1586-7 in The Famous Vic residence at the university, where he took tories of Henry V that we get our first exa bachelor's degree in 1584, a master's in ample. To raise the chronicle-history play 1587. Between 1587, when Tamburlaine was to the plane of artistic drama was the work acted, and 1593 he produced at least six of two men, Marlowe and Shakespeare. plays, as well as the untinished narrative Edward 11 is generally accepted as being poem, Hero and Leander. All that is cer- the latest of Marlowe's plays, written probtainly known of his death is that he was ably about 1592. Not so rich in poetry as killed by one Francis Archer; the rumors Vamburlaine or Dr. Faustus, nor so theatriof dissipation and atheism attaching to his cally effective as the melodramatic Jew of name are undeserving of credence.

Malta, in technique it is Marlowe's best work

The material is taken from the source that The feeling of national unity which had supplied Shakespeare with his knowledge of been growing in England under the Tudor English history, Holinshed's Chronicles of sovereigns, especially during the reign of the England, Scotland, and Ireland, with occagreat Maiden Queen, received a tremendous sional borrowings from the older chronicles impulse from the defeat of the Armada in of Fabyan (e.g., the song on Bannockburn, 1588. The mistrust of Spain, shown in the II. ii) and Stow. The play is, however, so popular discontent with Mary Tudor's mar- much more than a mere transference to the riage to Philip, accentuated by the resent- stage of Holinshed's narrative that a comment of Spanish oppression of the Nether- parison of the play with the historical aclands, and fanned into a white heat of hatred count reveals, as can nothing else, Marlowe's by Philip's ambitious project of regaining methods as a playmaker. England for the Pope, probably did more to The action covers a period of twenty years, make England a united nation than any from 1307, when Gaveston was recalled, to other one cause. The fears of a Catholic up- the death of Edward in 1327. Marlowe's rising were dissipated by the staunch loyalty treatment of the story shows a selection of the English Catholics, and the jubilation and transposing of events in order to over a great crisis safely passed found one bring out the one essential fact of the means of expression in the glorious flood of King's utter incompetence and subjection to Elizabethan literature. To this national in- unworthy favorites. Gaveston was executed spiration the drama, just finding itself in the in 1312, and the troubles in Ireland (II. ii) decade from 1580 to 1590, responded with and in Scotland (II. ii) occurred after his extraordinary vigor. The twenty years fol- death, but Marlowe shifts both forward in lowing the Armada saw the rise and full point of time in order to connect them with development of a new and quite native form Gaveston's baleful influence. Warwick died of drama, taking its subject-matter from the in his bed in 1315, seven years before the history, authentic or legendary, of Britain, battle of Boroughbridge, but Marlowe keeps the chronicle-history play. It has been es- him alive to have him captured and ordered timated that such plays during the period of to execution in retaliation for his killing of their popularity constituted more than a Gaveston. At the time the play opens the fifth of the contemporary drama. Of the Earl of Kent was six years old, but Marthirty-seven plays in the Shakespeare canon lowe, needing a counsellor and supporter of ten (counting parts of plays individually) the King, used Kent for the purpose. In are of this type, while Cymbeline, Lear, and the play young Spencer immediately succeeds Alacbeth are drawn from the same sources. Gaveston as the King's favorite; really the It was natural that during a period of strong younger Hugh le Despenser, who had been national feeling Englishmen should take in- an enemy of Gaveston, remained an opponent terest in the history of their country. What of Edward's for some six years after Gaves. numerous historical works in prose and ton's death. Historically the Mortimers beverse did for readers, the chronicle plays did long with the Spencers, i.e., to the later part for spectators, and their actual educative of the reign, but in order to motivate the

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affair between the Queen and young Morti- Events are set down in chronological order, mer Marlowe transfers them to the beginning and the writer is more concerned with the of the play and makes them leaders in the effect of the immediate situation than with barons' councils.

the coherent development of a logical story. What does all this rearrangement mean? Characters are presented in a purely superIt means that Marlowe was working with a ficial way, and the unity of the play is sedefinite dramatic end in view, with all his cured only by the presence in the chief faculties alert to make the play a single, scenes of the same leading figures. The proglogical portrayal of the King's fatal weak- ress of the play is, therefore, clumsy and ness and its consequences to him and to the jerky. Is the chief interest in Edward II in realm. In the first place he had to show in event or in character ? Clearly what interests action the evil influence of Gaveston over Marlowe most is the character of Edward Edward. This he does by showing the King's himself; by centering attention on the petuunkingly infatuation with an arrogant favor- lant king, powerless to command even his ite who holds his position only by flattering own desires, and by careful analysis of Edthe royal vanity, an infatuation so complete ward's weakness, Marlowe shifts the emthat it leads to the insulting and final aliena- phasis from event to character, and in so tion of a faithful and loving Queen. The doing almost writes tragedy) The method practical effects of Gaveston's pandering to Hof securing dramatic unity by focusing atthe King's love of pleasure are seen in the tention on a central character, Marlowe had hostility of the great barons and the affronts employed in his previous plays; but there is to English honor in Scotland and Ireland. this fundamental difference between Edward With Gaveston out of the way (111. ii), II and its predecessors, that where in TamMarlowe is faced by the difficulty of avoiding burlaine, Faustus, and The Jew all the other in the Spencer story a mere repetition of characters are completely subordinated to that of Gaveston. He had already, by intro- the one commanding figure, are satellites ducing young Spencer in II. i as a depend- shining only by light reflected from their ent of Gaveston's, and thus preparing for sun, in Edward II Marlowe develops four Spencer's promotion to Gaveston's shoes, pre- characters with distinct personalities of their vented his play from breaking in two on - Edward, Gaveston, Mortimer, and the Gaveston's disappearance. Now he solves his Queen. Of these Isabella is the least satisfresh problem by shifting the interest from factory, probably because, although her abanthe affairs of the kingdom to the more famil- donment of the King for Mortimer is well iar situation of the eternal triangle — hus- enough motivated, Marlowe does not give us band, offended wife, lover. From the first a chance to see the development of her pas. Mortimer has been the main reliance of the sion. One genuine love-scene between her Queen in her effort to maintain her posi- and Mortimer would have helped us to a tion with the King; when the King himself sympathetic understanding of the Queen, and impugns her honor by Alinging Mortimer's done away with the apparent abruptness of name in her face we are fully prepared for her change of heart. Marlowe's was an esher soliloquy at the end of the scene (II. iv), sentially masculine intellect, and his inabiland the understanding between her and ity to portray women with success is as strikJsortimer in. IV. iv and v. The development ing as Byron's. Gaveston, in his combinaof their love affair, merely hinted at in tion of arrogance and sycophancy, stands out Holinshed, is rather left for the actors to as a clear study of the royal favorite. Mortibring out than explained in the text, but mer's most prominent trait is a headstrong Marlowe makes the situation clear. Morti- resolve to rule or be ruined, to be all or mer's relations with the Queen place him nothing; his last words have the true Mardefinitely at the head of the revolting barons, lowering of towering ambition and and he is thus ready to play his part as chief daunted defiance in the face of defeat. actor in Edward's deposition and murder, Upon Edward, Marlowe lavishes all his and as virtual ruler of the realm until the power. Edward has the fatal flaw in charyoung King asserts himself at the end of the acter which brings tragedy upon its possesplay.

sor, a flaw which at the same time unites Detailed analysis of this sort is useful not him with Marlowe's other heroes in their only for showing how Marlowe met the prob- Amour de l'impossible, to use Symonds's lem of making a play out of unpromising often-quoted phrase. The lust for power seen material, but also how, in the process of in varying manifestations in Tainburlaine, making the story truly dramatic, his method Faustus, and Barabas the Jew, in Edward is tends to break away from the chronicle- replaced by an inordinate desire for alfection, history form and approaches tragedy. In to love and to be loved by the one object of early erude example: 'of the type — plays like his affection. Since this is not a

case of The Famous Victories of Henry V, Jack one of those deathless passions between man Straw, Peele's Edvart , Henry VI -- the and woman which make the world seem well emphasis is frankly on circumstance, what lost for love, Marlowe has the difficult task happened during the reign of a certain king. of gaining sympathy for an unsympathetic


figure without palliating its weakness. That he has done so must be the verdict of the reader upon finishing the long and pathetic presentation of Edward's humiliation and death. As Schelling puts it: “ Contemptible in his unkingliness up to the moment of the turning of the tide against him, the royal sorrows and the unregal inflictions put upon him arouse our sympathies until, when the pitiful catastrophe which overtakes him is reached, contempt is transmuted into sympathetic grief that any king could so fall.”

More than any other of Marlowe's plays Edward II exhibits a restraint, a conscious attempt to place dramatic truth before poetic imagination. As a result the verse is inferior as poetry to that of the others.

We catch echoes of " Marlowe's mighty line” in passages like Gaveston's soliloquies in the first scene, in Edward's speeches in the depo. sition scene where he gives up “the sweet fruition of an earthly crown," in the scene where he is murdered, in Mortimer's last speech. It may be questioned, indeed, whether the glorious sweep and daring of

Tamburlaine and Dr. Faustus might not have been out of place in this study of Eng lish history. And this may certainly be said, that where in the preceding plays we feel Marlowe's failure to make his finest lyrical passages dramatically appropriate, Eduard 11 shows him on his way to accomplishment. Me had already settled one thing: that blank verse was to be the medium of Elizabethan drama.

It is a truism that on the serious side Shakespeare felt no influence like Marlowe's. Marlowe was Shakespeare's master in chron. icle-history: the two may have worked together on Henry VI, Richard III is the application to chronicle-history of Marlowe's centralizing method, and Richard II shows at every turn the influence of Edward II. Had Marlowe been permitted to live and work his way to true tragedy as did Shakes. peare, Edward II might have proved the transitional stage that Richard II was for Shakespeare. But “cut was the branch that might have grown full straight," and Marlowe's Lear and Hamlet were never written





SPENCER, the younger, his Son.
PRINCE EDWARD, his son, afterwards King BALDOCK.
Eduard the Third.

EARL OF KENT, Brother to King Eduard the TRUSSEL.







Abbot, Monks, Herald, Lords, Poor Men, PEMBROKE.

JAMES, Mower, Champion, Vessengers, ARUNDEL.

Soldiers, and Attendants. LEICESTER.

QUEEN ISABELLA, Wife to King Edward the " BERKELEY.

Second. MORTIMER, the elder.

Niece to King Edward the Second, Daughter MORTIMER, the younger, his Nephew.

to the Duke of Gloucester. SPENCER, the elder.


And share the kingdom with thy dearest

friend." SCENE 1. A street in London.

Ah! words that make me surf. Find

light! Enter Gaveston, reading on a letter that

What greater bliss can hap to Gavestons was brought him from the King.

Than live and be the favorite of a king! Gaveston. "My father is deceas'd! Come, Sweet prince, I come; these, these thy Gaveston,

amorous lines


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