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racter have changed as it proceeded; that the science cannot advance a step, and, from being at first merely a spe- or contain any portion of truth, till cies of Physiognomy, it has become a they believe it, or measure its proscience capable of the most useful and gress by their knowledge of its prin. interesting applications.
ciples. Another great mistake is generally Instead, therefore, of the mode folcommitted in supposing that little has lowed by Drs Gall and Spurzheim, in been done to perfect the system. No propounding the doctrines, being a doubt it is still far from perfection, proof of empiricism, it is the most inbut the leading facts are established contestible proof of their bona fides. with a degree of precision of which If their discoveries had from the beno one can form an adequate concep- ginning assumed the aspect of a regution who does not appeal to nature on lar and polished science, and been the subject. The first discovery was hammered into accordance with the made by Dr Gall in the year 1788, prevailing doctrines of the times, this and the prosecution of it has since would have been a clear proof that been the business of his life. It is they were theorizing ; for a beautiful now twenty years since he was joined system of philosophy could not arise in his labours by Dr Spurzheim, and at once, and in a mass, out of observaduring this period the latter gentle- tion of facts. Look at Chemistry, man has been incessant in his obser- Geology, Physiology, or any of the vations. Nor do they stand alone as Physical Sciences, and it will be seen the improvers of the science. There how isolated, how inconsistent, nay, are now many individuals in all the how empirical and worthless, numer southern countries of Europe who rous facts appear for a time, until fuhave attended to the subject, and ei- ture discoveries link them into the ther published their own observations chain of causation, and exhibit them directly, or communicated them to in all the beauty and importance of the founders of the system, who have essential parts in a system of truth. profited by them in their studies. The The fact, therefore, that order and degree of truth in the system, there consistency, and beauty, have arisen fore, and its advancement as a science, out of the mass of incoherence which must be estimated by the time and the discoveries at first presented, afa talent devoted to its culture, and the fords a strong presumption that the opportunities of improving it enjoyed, doctrines are not the delusions of a and not by the numbers of those who bewildered imagination. That indibelieve or who do not belieye it. It vidual would have been less than a does not advance one step in intrinsic man who would have founded a systruth by the number of its votaries: tem of speculative philosophy in the it only becomes the more credible as way this system was founded; and he a matter of faith. Those, therefore, would have been more than a man who intend to decide upon its merits who, from such a foundation, could on testimony alone must, no doubt, have raised such a superstructure as suspend their judgment for a time, this system presents, Time will prove although even on this ground its cre- these observations to be just. dibility is already considerable. The Dr Spurzheim observed, that the evidence of one candid and intelligent most deadly blast of calumny against mind, founded on examination, out- him had proceeded from our city; weighs the scorn of a thousand who but, from what he saw, when here, of think it too contemptible for inquiry; the intelligence, and candour, and and, in point of fact, every advocate philosophical spirit of her people, he founds his belief on examination, and was conyinced, that from Edinburgh every opponent on preconceived pre- also would proceed the first vindicajudices, for no individual of common tion of his opinions, and that here honesty and attainments has ever in. Phrenology would first triumph over quired into the subject and continued the errors of the old philosophy. to scoff, and I am certain that none From the liberal and candid spirit diswill ever do so. The sooner, there- played by your correspondent, and by fore, that those who take an interest the public in general, on the subject, in human nature resort to observation, it is clear that this prediction will ere so much the better for their own long be fulfilled. . ça kes; but they must not suppose.
Res non verba quæso.
ON THE ENGLISH DRAMATIC WRIT. ing, some highly poetical passages, ERS WHO PRECEDED SHAKESPEARE. and a scene or two of more pathos No. VIII.
than was to be expected from the na
ture of the plot, and the general style UNDER all the difficulties surround of the composition. Before I enter ing the question, and for the reasons briefly upon the second part of the assigned in my last article, I am dis- same play, I wish to quote a portion posed to think, that if the foundation of a scene, the conclusion at least of of “ the school of Shakespeare" is to which seems very much in the spirit be attributed to any one dramatic of Shakespeare, and could not have poet in particular, Marlow has a fairer been produced but by a bold masterclaim to the distinction than his con- poet, -by one (according to the extemporaries. It is not likely, how pressions of a master-poet) “'whose ever, that it was brought to perfection raptures were all air and fire.” The at once-indeed, we have already scene lies before Damascus, and the seen that long previous to the date troops of Tamburlaine, his pavilions, when Shakespeare began to write for and ensigns, are all black, which, acthe stage, all the dramatic unities had cording to history, denoted that the been disregarded ; and if he, in his conqueror was about to storm the turn, introduced some improvements, place with remorseless fury, sparing they had been preceded by the gra- neither age nor infancy. A train of dual advances of others towards the virgins issues from one of the gates of 'completion of that system upon which the city, and they sue to Tamburlaine his plays are constructed. But whe- for mercy in the following terms: ther any and what praise is due to oth
O then for these and such as we ourselues, Marlow upon this score, above Greene, Peele, Lodge, or Nash, it seems clear
For vs, for infants, and for all our bloods,
That neuer nourisht thought against thy from the prologue to the first part of
rule, his “ Tamburlaine," and from the Pitie, O pitie (sacred emperour) testimony of Greene in his “ Peri- The prostrate seruice of this wretched medes the Blacksmith," that Marlow towne ! was the first, or one of the first, to And take in signe thereof this gilded wreath, bring blank-verse into common use Whereto each man of rule hath given his upon the stage in preference to rhime, hand, and that he also was the occasion of
asion of And wisht as worthy subiects happy meanes another important alteration, in chang
To be inuesters of thy royall browes, ing very much the nature of the sub
* Euen with the true Égyptian diadem.
Tum. Virgins, in vaine you labour to jects that had previously engaged the attention of audiences.
Supposing, That which mine honor sweares shal be therefore, that he had less to do than
perform'd: I have imagined with the invention Behold my sword, what see you at the and establishment of the romantic point ? drama, his productions of this kind Virg. Nothing but feare and fatall deserve, on other accounts, indepen- steele, my Lord. dent even of their poetry, a close ex- Tam. Your fearful minds are thick and amination. To say the least of them,
misty then, they are all plays of great curiosity to For there șits death, there sits imperious the literary antiquary, in as much as v
death, Marlow died about the time when
Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge.
Act V. SC. 2. Shakespeare, as far as we can ascertain, began to write for the theatre. The inhabitants are, accordingly.
In my last article on this subject, I butchered by the sword. One of the examined in some detail the first part latest incidents in this first part of of the historical play of “ Tambur. “ Tamburlaine the Great” is the laine the Great," and I endeavoured preservation of the life of the Sul. to account, perhaps successfully, for tan at the instance of his daughter the heightened, and, in some respects, Zenocrate, mistress to the hero. bombastic strain in which it is penned, The title of the second part, also and which drew upon it the ridicule printed as early as 1692, is as fol. of Shakespeare, and Beaumont and lows : “ The Second Part of the Fletcher. I also shewed that there bloody Conquests of mightie Tambura was in it a good deal ot powerful writa ļaine. With his impassionate fury for the Death of his Ladie and Love, Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy comfaire Zenocrate: his forme of exhor mand. tation and discipline to his three sons, A thousand gallies, mann'd with Christian and the manner of his owne death. slaues, From the opening of the prologue, we
e freely giue thee, which shall cut the learn that it was written by the au
And bring Armados to the coasts of Spaine, thor in consequence of the great suc- Fraughted with golde of rich America : cess of the first part ; at what inter- The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee, val it would be idle to inquire, be- Skilfull in musicke and in amorous laies, cause we could arrive at no satisfac- As faire as was Pigmalion's iuory gyrle, tory conclusion, nor, if ascertained, Or louely Io metamorphosed. would the fact be worth the pains of With naked negroes shall thy coach be obtaining it.
drawen, The generall welcomes Tamburlaine re. And, as thou rid'st in triumph through the
streetes, ceiued, When he arriued last vpon our stage,
The pauement vnderneath thy chariot
wheeles Hath made our Poet pen his second part, Where death cuts off the progres of his
With Turky carpets shall be couered,
And cloath of Arras hung about the walles, pompe.
Fit obiects for thy princely eie to pierce, The experiment, to which allusion A hundred Bassoes, cloath'd in crimson has before been made, was, therefore, silke, completely successful, though the se- Shal ride before thee on Barbarian steeds, cond part is not written in quite the And, when thou goest, a golden canapie, same extravagant strain as the first; Enchac'd with precious stones, which shine and we shall see by and by, that Mar
as bright low, having weaned the frequenters
As that faire vaile that couers all the world, of the theatre in a great degree from
When Phæbus, leaping from his hemi.
spheare, the “ jigging veins of rhyming mother wits," * and from " such con
Discendeth downward to the antipodes. ceits as clownage keeps in pay," be'fore the end of his career reduced the
Against a quotation like this, redrama very much to that more re
collecting the object of the speaker,
and the vulgar notion then existing strained and sober condition in which
as to the wealth and splendour of the Shakespeare found it. Yet there are scenes in the second part of Tambur
country described, nothing can be realaine sufficiently highly wrought and
sonably urged ; on the contrary, congorgeous, and of this character is the
siderable applause may be given to
the poet for the luxuriant manner in following passage, where Callapine, son of Bajazet, endeavours to prevail
which he has worked up the picture.
It is not my intention to go at all at, upon Almeda (one of Tamburlaine's
length into the story or the conduct generals, who had him under his
of the second part of " Tamburlaine ;' charge) to allow him to escape.
but in Act IV. there is a striking By Cario runs to Alexandria bay
scene, which deserves somie notice. Darotes streamies, wherein at anchor lies
Tamburlaine sets down before BalA Turkish gally of my royal fleet,
sora, which is valiantly defended by Waiting my comming to the riuer's side, Hoping by some meanes I shall be releast,
a captain, afterwards slain. His wife Which, when I come aboord, wil hoist vp
Olympia kills her son, and is about to saile,
destroy herself, to avoid falling into And soone put forth into the Terrene sea, the hands of the enemy, when she is Where, twixt the isles of Cyprus and of prevented by Theridamas, one of the Creete,
hero's minor monarchs, who subseWe quickly may in Turkish seas arriue; quently endeavours to make her yielel Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and to the gratification of his passions.
more, V pon their knees, al bid me welcome home. Then 'Nore
Ther. Nay, lady, then if nothing wil Amongst so many crownes of burnisht
Ile vse some other meanes to make you
yeeld: * By “ jigging veins” the poet means Such is the sodaine fury of my loue, the ballad style ; for many examples could I must and will be pleasde, and you shall be produced to show that a jig formerly did yeeld. not mean a dance, but a song.
Come to the tent againe !
Olym. Stay now, my Lord, and will you quainted with the Italian poets, or at saue my honor,
least with Ariosto, for the same cirlle giue your grace a present of such price, cumstances are related in Orlando Fue As all the world cannot afford the like.
rioso, c. 29, as occurring between Roe Ther. What is it ?
domont and Isabella.
Bagnosi, come disse, e lieta porse
Quell'uom bestial le prestò fede; e scorse
Fè tronco rimanere il petto e il tergo ! · With which if you but noint your tender
There is, however, a considerable Nor pistol, sword, nor lance, can pierce difference between the composition of your flesh.
the two ointments employed, MarTher. Why, madam, think ye to mock low's being calculated, like the whole me thus palpably ?
of his play, to confound and astonish. Olym. To proue it, I will noint my na- How “ the essential form of marble ked throat,
stone” could exist in a liquid state, Which, when you stab, looke on your wea.
would puzzle some of the firmest bea pon's point,
lievers in alchymy, even of that creAnd you shal se't rebated with the blow. .
The finest part of this Ther. Why gaue you not your husband
dulous day. some of it, if
play is unquestionably what is introYou loued him, and it so precious ?
ductory to the death of its hero, who, Olum. My purpose was, (my Lord,) to in Act V. Sc. 6, is represented as afflictspend it so,
ed with a mortal malady, the force of But was preuented by his sodaine end; which he struggles at times to overAnd for a present easie proofe thereof, come, and, at others, is compelled by: That I desemble not, try it on me. exhaustion to submit to it. Techel, Ther. I will, Olympia, and I will keepe les, one of his attendants, thus ad.
it for The richest present of this Easterne world.
dresses Tamburlaine: . She nointes her throat.
Sit still, my gracious Lord, this grief will Olym. Now, stab, my Lord, and mark
cease your weapon's point,
And cannot last, it is so violent. That will be blunted if the blow be great. Tam. Not last, Techelles, no, for I shall Ther. Here, then, Olympia.-
die ; What, haue 1 slaine her i Villaine, stab See where my slaue, the vglie monster thy selfe:
death, Cut off this arme that murthered my loue, Shaking and quiuering, pale and wan forIn whom the learned Rabies of this age Might find as many wondrous myracles, Stands aiming at me with his murthering As in the Theoria of the world.
Who flies away at every glance I give, This incident would have a very And when I looke away comes stealing on :: good stage effect, and it is very well Villaine, away, and hie thee to the field ! managed by the poet, coming upon I and mine army come to lode thy barke the audience unexpectedly, yet natu- With soules of thousand mangled čarkasses, rally. * It shews that Marlow was ac- Looke where he goes--but see, he comes
Because I stay; Techelles, let ys march, * There is a similar incident in Miss And wearie death with bearing soules to Baillie's play of Constantine Paleologus,
hell. but it is almost the only scene of that fine
This is both well imagined and well. drama which we had but little satisfaction in witnessing on the stage. It is, no doubt,
expressed : this is real poetry, “all much less rapidly executed than Mar- it and are: deaths by the effects of low's; we see what is to happen long before the blow is struck, and a trick of this main, that we might conceive the audience sort, seen through, has a ludicrous air, and to be petrified before they were aware, yet only makes us wonder at the stupidity of we almost think that the stratagem would the persons who are gulled by it. In Mar- be discovered during the time that the lady low, indeed, it is so much of a coup de is 6 nointing her throat.” ED.
internal maladies, excepting in suchi Marlow be upon the title-page, I feel . cases as King John and Cardinal Beau- satisfied that it is merely the imposi. fort, must commonly be untheatrical, tion of the bookseller, availing himand it is only when the imagination self of the popularity of so esteemed a of the writer, as in the case before us, poet. adds new and dreadful characters to On the other hand, “ The Tragical the scene, that a lasting impression is Historie of Dr Faustus,” « The Rich produced. The presence of death to Jew of Malta," “ Lusts Dominion,” the eyes of Tamburlaine, “ shaking and the English historical play of and quivering," flying before his re- “ Edward II.” all possess, in a greatsolute glance, and then“ stealing on" er or less degree, strong claims to our as the monarch's agonies increase, per- admiration. The first of these † has haps is finer than any thing of the had justice done to it in Mr Lamb's same kind in our memory.
Specimens, where several characterisThe other dramatic productions in tic extracts are inserted. It is well which Marlow was alone concerned known that the greatest living poet of are five in number, and as we have Germany has constructed a tragedy before alluded to the gradual change upon the same story. There is one he occasioned from rhyme to blank circumstance, in Marlow's play of verse, from low comedy to stately .Faustus” deserving remark, and tragedy, and subsequently from in- that is the repetition of the incident flated bombast to a more refined and in his “ Tamburlaine," where the chastened style, it is comparatively hero mounts his throne on the back easy to trace the course and progress of the prostrate Bajazet: in “ Fausof his muse. His plays were all print- tus,” the Pope is made to employ the ed at very different dates, between same kind of footstool in ascending 1590 to 1657 ; but the order in which his chair, using the back of the “ Saxthey were written may be arrived at on Bruno," who had put in claims to without much difficulty or uncertain- the See of Rome. Of “ The Rich ty. His first effort was, doubtless, Jew of Malta" I shall say nothing, that the examination of which we because it has recently been introhave just completed, and his last, his duced upon the public stage, where Edward II. which, as a historical play, Kean represented Barabas. " Lusts has more to recommend it than the Dominion, or the Lascivious Queen," “ True Tragedy of Richard Duke of contains some beautiful poetry and York,” with many of the materials of harmonious versification, though here which Shakespeare constructed his and there we find traces of that bomHenry VI. Part 3. All Marlow's bastic style Marlow at first employed other pieces are in various gradations to gratify his audiences : Thus, in of improvement, with the exception, one place, Eleazar, the Moor, tells his perhaps, of “ The Massacre of Paris," king, which was obviously a work of great mo
My liege, the tongue of true obedience haste, and got up for the purpose of Must not gainesay his soueraign's inipose : gratifying the vulgar feeling at that By heauen, I will not kiss the cheek of date against popery: indeed, it has hardly any thing to recommend it, and Till have fetched those traitors to the I for bear to quote from it, because couttt. though its excessive rarity may render
This puffed-up stuff may well be it curious, it would throw but a faint contrasted with such delightful paslight on this undertaking. I may say, however, that the plot, as far as it
+ The superstitious zealot W. Prynne deserves the name, is most irregularly,
by has a curious allusion to the representation conducted, and is little better than of Marlow's 6 Faustus ” at the Belsavage mere bustle and confusion, and incori Theatre, in his Histriomastix : he states, gruity from beginning to end. Scarce that, in Queen Elizabeth's days, while the ly a single poetical passage is to be actors were playing the tragedy, the devil found in it; and though the name of himself made his visible appearance on the
stage, and distracted many of the specta.
tors; “ the truth of which,” he sagacious. • A copy of it was not many months ly adds, “ I have heard from many now since sold by Mr Evans of Pall-Mall for alive who well remember it.”_Prynne's about ten guineas.
Histriomastix, fol. 556.