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Had she been fair, and not so virtuous,
Alv. But she was fair in virtue, virtuous fair. Oh, me!
Eleazar describes the manner in which he quelled an insurrection of the people.
"I rush'd amongst the thickest of their crowds,
Like the imperious sun, dispers'd their clouds;
This wolf I held by th' ears, and made him tame,
and, having persuaded the Cardinal Mendoza to desert from Prince Philip, by offering to resign the crown in his favour, that he may marry the Queen, for whom he has a passion, he is revolving in his mind how to turn this scheme to the best advantage, when the Queen interrupts him.
"Eleaz. Well, so; you turn my brains; you mar the face
"Tis therefore wit to try all fashions,
The Moor now offers to resign the crown.
"Eleaz. Princes of Spain, if in this royal court
So fast on such a jewel, and dare wear it
Yet uncompell'd (as freely as poor pilgrims
And who'd not (as the sun) in brightness shine?
Who, among millions, would not be the mightiest?
It is said, of the Princess Isabella, who grieves for the imprisonment of her brother Philip,
"In the sandy heap
That wait upon an hour, there are not found
And tears which she hath every minute spent,
To the genius of Marlowe, the English Drama is considerably indebted. Even amidst the outrageous extravagance of his earliest productions there is an exuberance and fervour of imagination which gives an earnest of better things. But considered as wholes, his plays are very simple and inartificial in their construction-their excellence consists rather in detached scenes than in general effect. There is a want of coherence in them-they are rather a collection of separate parts which have little dependancy upon each other, than a series of actions which bear a near relation to and assist in the developement of the main event. We do not observe in them that skilful intertexture of parts and that integrity of purpose which is necessary to produce a powerful effect. The most dramatic of his plays, considered as a whole, notwithstanding its occasional extravagance, is Lust's Dominion. It possesses a greater variety of character, a more skilful subordination of parts-is more complete in its conduct, and more entire in its effect. It abounds with poetical images, and is written with "a sweet and curious harmony" of versification which is perfectly delicious. It has not, however, any single scene at all equal in grandeur to the concluding one in Doctor Faustus, or in pathetic effect to that in Edward the Second. Our extracts have swelled this article to such an unexpected length, that we must forbear enlarging further upon the merits of Marlowe, at least for the present. Before we conclude, however, it will be proper to mention, that besides the plays we have already noticed, he assisted Nash in the tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Day in the comedy of The Maiden's Holiday, which was never printed. He was also the author of the first and second, and part of the third sestiads of the poem of Hero and Leander, written with great freedom, spirit, and poetry. Speaking of this poem, Ben Jonson said it was fitter for admiration than parallel. It was afterwards completed by Chapman. Marlowe also translated the first Lucan's Pharsalia into English blank verse, and the Elegies of Ovid, the licentiousness of which he rendered with such fidelity, that his book was condemned and burnt at Stationers' Hall in 1599, by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Maurice, Printer, Fenchurch Street.
VOL. IV. PART II.
ART. I.-Epistola Ho-Eliana: Familiar Letters, domestic and foreign, divided into four Books, partly Historical, Political, Philosophical, upon emergent occasions. By James Howell, 1688.
There is no mode more pleasant, and, perhaps, none more profitable, of acquiring historical knowledge, than by carefully gleaning those loose notices of the passing transactions of the day, which lie scattered over the letters of contemporary correspondents. These indirect bye-paths to the Temple of History may be somewhat more circuitous, but they often furnish us incidentally with a succession of picturesque peeps, that are infinitely more interesting than the bald naked view of the same objects, which is usually presented to the eye of the traveller who journies along the plain straight road of narrative. When shall we find so entertaining and so instructive an account of the most important period of the Roman history as in the Familiar Epistles of Cicero? The historian of the times may exhibit the actors upon the stage, but the letters of the parties themselves admit us, as it were, behind the scenes, and shew us the individuals as they really were, stripped of all their tinsel disguises of parade and pretension. In the pages of the one we see the mere spectacle of the puppet-shew; in the other we discover the secret strings which regulate the movements of the personages of the scene. In the one we behold nothing but the dial plate; in the other we are initiated into
VOL. IV. PART II.