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LAViyiA AKD TiTre. 

Larinta. *' Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears 

I render for my brethren's obsequies : 
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy, 
Shed on the earth for thy return to Rome. 
O, bless me here with thy victorious hand, 
Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud I" 

Titus Andronicus, Act i.. sc. I* 


^^ l^ fc^ 


I III. , . 
'\ 'it I" 















LOCRINE . i91 










FAIR EM 301 

MUCEDORUS . . . 30r. 





EDITIONS OF 1C23 AND 16?.2 327 




INDEX . . 43r y 




TITLE-PAGE TO VOLUME.— From a Design by W. HAnvEY. 













. 3 

. fi 

ACT in. 



HE.AD.— SCENE I. . . . 
TAIL. — SCENE lU. . . . 















TAIL.— TYRE . . 





ACT in. 


















































BIRTH OP MEELI.N- .... ... 








MUTON . . 
ROWE . . 
POPE . . . 


. 340 

, 341 

, 343 

. 354 

, 360 

. 3G1 

. 363 

, 3GC 

, 507 I 

















Sii'. Vol. 



! Pontine Maiabea, Eome.] 


Besebvino the consideration of the external and internal evidence of the authorship of this tragedy.. 
•xs here supply the facts connected with its publication, and the supposed period of its original 

The earliest edition, of which any copy is at present known, of Titus Andronicus, appeared in 
quarto, in 1600, under the following title : — ' The most lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus 
Andronicus. As it hath sundry times been playde by the Right Honourable the Earle of Pembroke, 
the Earle of Darbie, the Earle of Sussex, and the Lorde Chamberlaiue, theyr Servants. At London, 
printed by J. R. for Edward A^Tiite, 1600.' 

The next edition appeared in 1611, under the following title: — 'The most lamentable Tragedie 
of Titus Andronicus. As it hath sundry times beene plaide by the Kings Maiesties Servants. 
London, printed for Edward White, 1611.' 

In the folio collection of 1623 it appears under the title of 'The lamentable Tragedy of Titus 
Andronicus.' It follows Coriolanus ; and precedes Romeo and Juli:t. 

The copy of the quarto edition of 1600, belonging to Lord Francis Egartou, was collated by 
Ml'. Todd, previous to the publication of the variorum edition of 1S03; and the diU'erences 
between the first and se<;ond quartos are inserted by Steevens in that edition. They are very 
trifling. The variations, on the other liand, between both the quartos, and the folio of 1623, are 
more important. The second scene of the third act, containing about eighty lines, is only found 
in the folio and there are one or two other changes v.'liich are evidently the work of an author. 


And not of au editor or printer. We have, of com-se, noticed them in our foot-notes. In ths 
quartos, also, we have no division into acts, aa m the folio. The stage directions, in each copy, 
are nearly alike; and these we have copied with scarcely any variation. But, with these excep- 
tions, we may say that the folio of 1623 is printed from the quarto of 1611, as that was probably 
printed from the quarto of 1600. The accuracy of all the copies is very remarkable. 

But Gerard Langbaine, in his 'Account of the English Dramatick Poets,' 1691, says of Titua 
Andronicus, " This play was arst printed 4to, Load. 1 594, and acted by the Earls of Derby, Pem- 
broke, and Essex, their Servants.*' This circumstantiality would show that Langbaine had seen 
such an edition ; and his account is confirmed by an entry in the Stationers' Registers, imder date 
of Feb. 6, 1593: "John Danter. A booke entitled a noble Roman Historye of Tytus Androni- 
cus." This entry is accompanied by the following : " Entered also unto him, by warrant from 
Mr. Woodcock, the ballad thereof." The ballad here entered was most probably that printed by 
Percy, in his ' Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,' and which we here insei-t :— 

" You noble minds, and famous martiall wights, 
That in defence of native country fights, 
Give eare to me, that ten yeeres fought for Rome, 
Yet reapt disgrace at my returning home. 

In Rome I lived in fame fulle threescore yeeres, 
My name beloved was of all my peeres ; 
Full five and twenty valiant sonnes I had, 
Whose forwarde vertues made their fatlier glad. 

For when Rome'3 foes their warlike forces hent, 
Against them stille my sonnes and I were sent ; 
Against the Goths full ten yeeres weary warre 
We spent, receiving many a hloudy searre. 

Just two and twenty of my sonnes were slaine 
Before we did return to Rome againe; 
Of five and twenty sonnes I brought but three 
Alive, the stately towers of Rome to see. 

When wars were done, I conquest home did bring, 
And did present my prisoners to the king, 
The queene of Goths, her sons, and eke a Moore, 
Which did such murders, like was nere before. 

The emperour did make this queene his wife. 
Which bred in Rome debate and deadlie strife; 
The Moore, with her two sonnes, did growe soe proud 
Xhat none like them in Rome might bee allowd. 

The Moore so pleas'd this new-made empress' eie, 
That she consented to him secretlye 
For to abuse her husband's marriage-bed, 
And soe in time a blackamore she bred. 

Then she, whose thoughts to murder were inclinde, 
Consented with tlie Moor of bloody minde 
Against myselfe, my kin, and all my friendes. 
In cruell sort to bring them to their endes. 

Soe when in age I thought to live in peace. 
Both care and griefe began then to increase: 
Amongst my sonnes I had one daughter bright 
Which joy'd and pleased best my aged sight ; 

Ify deare Lavinia was betrothed then 
To Csesar's sonne, a young and noble man : 
Who in a hunting, by the emperour's wife 
And her two sonnes, bereaved was of life. 

He, being slain, was cast in cruel wise 
Into a darksome den from light of skies : 
The cruel Moore did come that way as then 
With my three sonnes, who fell into the den. 

The Moore then fetcht the emperour with speed 
For to accuse them of the murderous deed; 
And when my sonnes within the den were found, 
In wrongful! prison they were cost and bound 

But nowe, behold ! what wounded most my mind, 
The empresse's two sonnes of savage kind 
My daughter ravished without remorse, 
And took away her honour, quite perforce. 

When they had tasted of soe sweet a flowre. 
Fearing this sweete should shortly turn to sowre, 
They cutt her tongue, whereby she could not tell 
How that dishonoure unto her befell. 

Then both her hands they basely cutt off quite, 
■Whereby their wickednesse she could not write, 
Nor with her needle on her sampler sowe 
The bloudye workers of her direfull woe. 

My brother Marcus found her in the wood. 
Staining the grassie ground with purple bloud, 
That trickled from her stumpes and bloudlesse armes ; 
Noe tongue at all she had to tell her harmes. 

But when I sawe her in that woeful! case, 
With teares of bloud I wet mine aged face: 
For my Lavinia I lamented more 
Then for my two and twenty sonnes before. 

When as I sawe she could not write nor speake, 
With grief mine aged heart began to breake; 
We spred an heape of sand upon the ground, 
Whereby those hloudy tyrants out we found. 

For with a staffe, without the helpe of hand, 
She writt these wordes upon the plat of sand:— 
'The lustful! sonnes of the proud emperesse 
Are doers of tliis hateful wickednesse.' 

I tore the milk-white hairs from olF-mine head, 
1 curst tlic houre wherein I first was bred ; 
I wisht this hand, that fought for countrie's fame. 
In cradle rockt had first been stroken lame. 

The Moore, delighting still in villainy, 
Did say, to sett ray sonnes from prison free, 
I should unto the king my right hand give. 
And then my three imprisoned sonnes shoiild live. 

The Moore I caus'd to strike it off with speede, 
Whereat I grieved not to see it bleed, 
But for my sonnes would willingly impart. 
And for their ransome send my bleeding heart. 

But as my life did linger thus in paine. 
They sent to me my bootless hand againe. 
And therewithal the heades of my three sonnes, 
\Vhich filled my dying heart mth fresher moancR 

Then past reliefe I upp and downe did goe, 
And with my tears writ in the dust my woe: 
I shot my arrowes towards heaven hie, 
And for revenge to hell did often crye. 


The empresse then, thinking that I Tvas mad, 
Like furies she and both her sonnes were clad, 
(She nam'd Revenge, and Rape and Murder they,) 
To undennine and lieare what I would say. 

I fed their foolish veincsa a certaine space, 
Untill my friendes did find a secret place, 
Where both her sonnes unto a post were bound, 
And just revenge in cruell sort was found. 

I cut their throates, my daughter held the pan 
Betwixt her stumpes, wherein the bloud it ran; 
And then I ground their bones to powder small, 
And made a paste for pyes straight therewithal!. 

Then with their fleshe I made two mighty pyes, 
And at a banquet, served in stately wise. 
Before the empresse set this loathsome meat; 
So of her sonnes own flesh she well did eat. 

Myselfe bereav'd my daughter then of life, 
The empresse then I slewe with bloudy knife, 
And stabb'd the emperour immediatelie, 
And then myself : even see did Titus die. 

Then this revenge against the Moore was found, 
Alive they sett him halfe into the ground, 
Whereas he stood untill such time he starv'd. 
And soe God send all murderers may be serv'd." 

Percy has pointed out the variatious between this ballad and the tragedy ; and inclines to tbe 
opinion that the ballad preceded the tragedy, for the reason that it " differs from the play in several 
particulars; which a simple ballad-writer would be less likely to alter than an inventive tragedian." 
The terms of the entry of the ballad in the Stationers' Registers— if the ballad printed by Percy be 
one and the same— would appear to show that the ballad bad been in existence longer than the 
tragedy, for it is assigned by a previous publisher to John Danter, who enters the " booke," or 
play. We have unquestionable authority, however, that the tragedy was popular as an acted play 
before 1593, as the ballad may also have had an earlier popularity. Ben Jonson, in the Induc- 
tion to 'Bartholomew Fair,' first produced in 1614, has a passage which carries the date of Titus 
Andronicus further back than twenty years from that period: — "He that will swear, Jeronimo, or 
Andronicus, are the best plays yetf shall pass unescepted at here, a& a man whose judfjmcnt sho2VS 
it is constant, and hath stood still these five-and-twenty or thirty years." We know that Kyd's 
'Jeronimo' belongs to the earUest period of our regular drama. It was acted by "the Lord 
Strange's men" in 1591. Twenty-five years earlier than 1614 would give us the date of 1589 for 
both plays; — the medium of twenty-five or thirty years would give ua the date of 1536-7. 

a Vcines — humours. 


SAtuRNixus, son to the late Emperor of Roma. 
Bassianus, brother to Saturninus. 
Titus Andbonicus, a noble Roman. 
Marcus Andronicus, brother to Titus. 
Lucius, -n 

QUINTUS, / ^ ^. 

Martius, r°"' '° ^'^"^ Andronicus. 


Young Lucius, a boy, son to Lucius. 

PuBLius, son to Marcus, the tribune. 

i^MiLius, a noble Roniari. 

Alarbus, "j 

Chirok, ^sons to Tamora. 

Demetrius, J 

Aaron, a Moor, 

A Captain, Tribune, Messenger, and Clown 

Goths and Romans. 


SCENE I— Rome. 

Flourish. Enter the Tiibunes and Senators, 
aloft: and then enter SATUHNrfins and his 
Followers at one door, and Bassianus and his 
Followers at the other, with drum and colours. 

Sat. Noble patricians, patrons of my right. 
Defend the justice of my cause with arms ; 
And, countrymen, my loving followers. 
Plead my successive title with your swords : 
I am his' first-born son, that was the last 
That wore'' the imperial diadem of Rome: 
Then let my father's honours live in me, 
Nor wrong mine age= with this indignity. 
Bass. Romans, friends, followers, favom-ers of 
my right. 
If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son. 
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome, 
Keep then this passage to the Capitol ; 
And suffer not dishonour to approach 
Th' imperial scat ; to vii-tue consecrate. 
To justice, continence, and nobility : 

& Am his. The folio, was the. 
b IVore. The quarto, ware. 
c Age — seniority. 

But let desert in pui-e election shine ; 

And, Romans, fight for freedom in youi' choice. 

Enter Marcus Aiideonicds, aloft, with the 


Marc. Princes, that strive by factions and by 

Ambitiously for rule and empery. 
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we 

A special party, have by common voice, 
In election for the Roman empeiy. 
Chosen Aucbonicus, suniamed Pius, 
For many good and great deserts to Rome ; 
A nobler man, a braver wanior. 
Lives not this day within the city walls. 
He by the senate is accited home. 
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths, 
That with bis sons, a teiTor to our foes. 
Hath yok'd a nation strong, train'd up in arms. 
Ten years are spent, since fli'st he undertook 
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms 
Our enemies' pride : five times he hath return'd 
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons 
In coffins from the field ; 

Act I.] 


f Scene U. 

And now at last, laden with honoiir's spoils, 
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome, 
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms. 
Let us entreat, — by honour of his name. 
Whom worthily you would have now succeed. 
And in the Capitol and senate's right, 
Whom you pretend to honour and adore, — 
That you withdraw you, and abate your strength; 
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors shoidd, 
Plead your deserts in peace and hiunbleness. 

Sat. How fair the tribune speaks to calm my 
thoughts ! 

Bass. Marcus Andronicus, so I do afiy 
In thy uprightness and integrity, 
And so I love and honour thee and thine, 
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons. 
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all. 
Gracious Laviuia, Rome's rich ornament. 
That I will here dismiss my loving friends ; 
And to my fortunes and the people's favour 
Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd. 

\Exeimi Followers of Bassiands. 

Sat. Friends, that have been thus forward in 
my right, 
I thank you all, and here dismiss you all ; 
And to the love and favour of my country 
Commit myself, my person, and the cause, 

[Exeunt Followers of Satueninus. 
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me, 
As I am confident and kind to thee. 
Open the gates and let me in. 

Bass. Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor. 
[Flourish. They go up into tlie Senate-house. 

SCENE IL.—The same. 
Snter a Captain, and others. 

Cap. Romans, make way: the good Andronicus, 
Patron of vii-tue, Rome's best champion. 
Successful in the battles that he fights. 
With honour and with fortune is retum'd. 
From where he cu'cumscribed with his sword. 
And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome. 

[Sound drums and trumpets, amd then enter two 
of Titus' Sons. After tliem two Men liearing 
a coffin covered with black: then two other 
Sons. After them Tuns Anbeonioits ; and 
then Tamoka, the queen of Goths, and her 
two Sons, Chikon and Demetkius, with 
Aahon the Moor, and others, as many as can 
be. They set down the coffin, and Tittjs 

Tit. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning 

Lo, as the bark that hath diseharg'd her fraught, 
Returns with precious lading to the bay 
From whence at first she weigli'd her anchorage, 
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs, 
To re-salute his countiy with liis tears. 
Tears of ti-ue joy for his return to Rome. 
Thou great defender of this Capitol, 
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend ! 
Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons, 
Half of the number that king Priam had, 
Behold the poor remains, alive, and dead ! 
These that survive let Rome reward with love : 
These that I brmg rmto their latest home, 
With bmial amongst their ancestors. 
Here Goths have given me leave to sheath my 

Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own. 
Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet, 
To hover on the cbeadful shore of Styx ? 
Make way to lay them by their brethren. 

[They open the tomb. 
There greet in silence, as the dead are wont. 
And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars : 
O sacred receptacle of my joys. 
Sweet ccU of virtue and nobihty. 
How many sons of mine hast thou in store, 
That thou wilt never render to me more ! 

Luc. Give us the proudest prisoner of the 
That we may hew his Hmbs, and on a pile. 
Ad manes fratrutn, sacrifice his flesh. 
Before this earthy* prison of their bones; 
That so the shadows be not unappeas'd. 
Nor we disturb 'd with prodigies on earth. 

Tit. I give him you, the noblest that survives. 
The eldest son of this"" distressed queen. 

Tain. Stay, Roman brethren, gracious con- 
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed, 
A mother's tears in passion for her son : 
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee, 
O think my son to be as dear to me. 
Sufficeth not, that we are brought to Rome 
To beautify thy triumphs, and return 
Captive to thee, and to thy Roman yoke ; 
But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets, 
For valiant doings in their country's cause P 
0, if to fight for long and commonweal 
Were piety in thine, it is in these. 
Andi-onicus, stam not thy tomb with blood. 
Wilt thou di-aw near the nature of the gods ? 
Draw near them then in being merciful : 

° Earthy, in both quartos. The folio, earthly. 
^ This, in the folio. The. quarto, his. 

4CT 11 


[SrssE H. 

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge. 
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-bom son. 
Tit. Patient" yourself, madam, and pardon 
These are the'' brethren, whom you Goths beheld 
Alive and dead, and for then- brethren slain 
ReUgiously they ask a sacrifice : 
To this youi- son is mark'd, and die he must, 
T' appease their groaning shadows that are gone. 
Liic. Away with him, and make a fire 
straight ; 
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood. 
Let 's hew his limbs till they be clean consum'd. 
[Exeunt Titus' Sons irith At.arbus. 
Tarn. cruel, irreligious piety ! 
Chi. Was ever Scythia half so barbarous ? 
Demet. Oppose not' Scythia to ambitious 
Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive 
To tremble under Titus' threat'ning look. 
Then, madam, stand resolv'd ; but hope withal, 
The self-same gods that arm'd the queen of 

With opportunity of sharp revenge 
Upon the Thi-acian tyrant in his tent, 
May favour Tamora, the queen of Goths, 
(When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was 

To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes. 

Enter the Sons of Ajtdkonictjs again. 

Luc. See, lord and father, how we Lave per- 

Our Roman rites : Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd. 
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire, 
Whose smoke, Uke iiioense, doth perfume the 

Remaineth nought, but to inter our brethren. 
And with loud 'lanuns welcome them to Rome. 

Tit. Let it be so, and let Andi-onicus 
Make this his latest farewell to their souls. 

[Flourish. Sound trumpets, and they lay 

the coffin in the tomb. 
In peace and honom- rest you here, my sons ; 
Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in 

Secure from worldly chances and mishaps : 
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells, 
Here grow no damned gmdges ; here are no 

No noise, but silence and eternal sleep. 
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons. 

a Patient — as a-verb. 

b TAe, in the folio. The quarto, iJi-eir. 

" Not. So the quarto. The folio, me. 

Enter Lavinia. 

Lav. In peace and honour live lord TItua 
My noble lord and father, live in fame ! 
Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears 
I render for my brethi'en's obsequies : 
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy 
Shed on the earth for thy return to Rome. 
bless me here with thy victorious hand. 
Whose fortunes' Rome's best citizens applaud. 

Tit. Kind Rome, thou hast thus lovingly re- 
The cordial of muie age to glad my heart ! 
Lavinia, live ; outKve thy father's days. 
And fame's eternal date, for virtue's pradse. 

Enter Mabcus Andronictjs, Satubnintis, 
Bassiantjs, and others. 

Marc. Long live lord Titus, my beloved 
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome ! 

Tit. Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother 

Marc. And welcome, nephews, from successful 
You that survive, and you that sleep in fame : 
Fair lords, yom- fortunes are alike in all,'' 
That in your countiys service di'ew your swords. 
But safer triumph is this funeral pomp. 
That hath aspu-ed to Solon's happiness, 
And triumphs over chance in honour's bed. 
Titus Andi'onious, the people of Rome, 
Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been. 
Send thee by me, their tribune and theu- trust, 
This paUiament' of white and spotless hue, 
And name thee in election for the empire. 
With these our late deceased emperor's sons : 
Be candidatus then, and put it on. 
And help to set a head on headless Rome. 

Tit. A better head her glorious body fits. 
Than his that shakes for age and feebleness. 
What ! should I don this robe, and trouble you ? 
Be chosen with proclamations to-day, 
To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life, 
And set abroad new business for you all ? 
Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years. 
And led my country's strength successfully, 
And buried one-and-twenty valiant sons. 
Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms. 
In right and service of their noble country ; 
Give me a staff of honour for mine age, 

a Fortunes, in the quarto. The folio, /or/unc. 
i> The folio has, "all alike in all." 
c Palliament—rohe. 


ArT 1.1 


iScr.iiE 11. 

But not a sceptre to control the world ! 
Upright he held it, lords, that held it last. 

Marc. Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the 

Sat. Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou 

Tit. Patience, prince Satm'ninus. 

Sal. llomaus, do me right. 

Patricians, draw your swords, and sheath them 

Till Saturninus be Rome's, emperor : 
Andronicus, would thou wert shipp'd to hell, 
Rather than rob me of the people's hearts. 

Luc. Proud SatiuTiine, interrupter of the good 
That noble-minded Titus means to thee ! 

Tit. Content thee, piiuce, I wiU restore to thee 
The people's hearts, and wean them from them- 

Bass. Andi-onicus, I do not flatter thee, 
But honour thee, aud wiU do tiU I die : 
My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends, 
I will most thankfij be, and thanks to men 
Of noble minds is honourable meed. 

Tit. People of Rome, and people's' tribimes 
I ask your voices and your suffrages ; 
WUl you bestow them friendly on Andronicus ? 

Tribunes. To gratify the good Andi'onicus, 
And gratulate his safe return to Rome, 
The people wiU accept whom he admits. 

Tit. Tribimes, I thank you: and this suit I 
That you create your emperor's eldest son. 
Lord Satm'nine, whose virtues will, I hope. 
Reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth. 
And ripen justice iu this commonweal : 
Then, if you wiU elect by my advice. 
Crown liim, and say, ' Long live oiu- emperor ! ' 

Marc. With voices and applause of every sort. 
Patricians, and plebeians, we create 
Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor; 
And say, ' Long live our emperor, Satmnine ! ' 

\_A loiifj floitrish, till they come down. 

Sat. Titus Andi'onious, for thy favours done 
To us in our election this day, 
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts, 
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness : 
And for an onset, Titus, to advance 
Thy name, and honourable family, 
Lavinia will I make my empress, 
Rome's royal mistress, misti-ess of my heart. 
And in the sacred Pantheon' her espouse : 

a People's^ in the quarto. The folio, nohie. 
b Pantheon, in the second lolio. All the earlier copies 


Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please 
thee ? 

Tit. It doth, my worthy lord ; and in this 
I hold me highly honoured of your grace. 
And here, in sight of Rome, to Satm-nine, 
King and commander of our common-weal, 
The wide world's emperor, do I consecrate 
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners, — 
Presents wcU worthy Rome's imperial lord : 
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe, 
Miue honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet. 

Sat. Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life ! 
How proud I am of thee, and of thy gifts, 
Rome shall record ; and when I do forget 
The least of these unspeakable deserts, 
Romans, forget your fealty to me. 

'fit. Now, madam, ai-e you prisoner to an 
emperor ; [To Tamor.v, 

To him tliat, for your honour and your state, 
WUl use you nobly, and your followers. 

Sat. A goodly lady, tnist me, of the hue 
That I would choose, were I to choose anew : 
Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy coimtenaucc : 
Though chance of war hath wi'ought tliis change 

of cheer. 
Thou com'st not to be made a scorn in Rome : 
Princely shall be thy usage every way. 
Rest on my word, and lot not discontent 
Daunt all yoiu- hopes : madam, he comforts you, 
Can make you greater than the queen of Goths ; 
Lavinia, you are not displeas'd with this ? 

Lav. Not I, my lord, sith true nobility 
Wai'rants these words in princely com'tesy. 

Sat. Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go: 
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free. 
Proclaim our honom's, lords, with trump and 

Bass. Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is 
mine. [Seizin// Lavinia. 

Tit. How, sir? are you in earnest then, my 

Bass. Ay, noble Titus, and resolv'd withal 
To do myself this reason and this right. 

Marc. Siiiim ciiiqiie is our Roman justice : 
This prince in justice scizcth but his own. 

Luc. And that he wiU and shall, if Lucius Uve. 

Tit. Traitors, avaimt ! where is the emperor'a 
Treason, my lord ! Lavinia is surpris'd. 

Sat. Surpris'd ? by whom ? 

Bass. By him that justly may 

Bear his betroth'd from aU tlie world away. 

[Exeunt Maiicus and Bassianus, with 


[Scene II 

Mill. Brothers, help to convey lier henee 

And \Tith my sword I '11 keep this door safe. 

[Exeunt Lucius, Quintus, ciiid Maktius. 
Tit. Follow, ray lord, and I 'il soon bring her 

'Milt. My lord, you pass not hex'C. 
Tit. What ! viUam boy, baiT'st me my way in 

Rome ? 
itut. Help, Liueius, help ! [Titus hills Jiim. 

Re-enter Lucius. 

Ltic. My lord, yon are unjust, and more than 
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son. 

Til. Nor thou, nor he, are any sous of mine : 
My sons would never so dishonour me. 
Traitor, restore Laviuia to the emperor. 

Lite. Dead, if you ^vill, but not to be his wife. 
That is another's lawful promis'd love. [ISxit. 

Enter aloft the Empekob, tcith Tamoka and her 
two Sons, and Aabon the Moor. 

Sat. No, Titus, uo : the emperor needs her not. 
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock : 
I '11 trust, by leisure, hun that mocks me once ; 
Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons, 
Confederates all, thus to dishonoiu- me. 
Was none in Rome to make a stale but Satui'- 

Full well, Andronieus, 

Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine, 
That saidst, I bcgg'd the empire at thy hands. 
Tit. monstrous ! what reproachful words 

are these ? 
Sat. But go thy ways ; go, give that changing 
To him that flomish'd for her mth his sword : 
A vaUant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy ; 
One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons. 
To rufile in the commonwealth of Rome. 

Tit. These words are razors to my wounded 

Sat. And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of 
That, like the stately Phrebe 'mongst her nymphs, 
Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome, 
If thou be pleas'd \vith this my sudden choice, 
Beliold I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride, 
And will create thee empress of Rome. 
Speak, queen of Goths ; dost thou applaud my 
choice ? 

^ The second folio lias— 
" Was there none else in Home, to make a stale, 
But Saturnine ? " 

And here I swear by all the Roman gods, — 
Sith priest and holy water are so near, 
And tapers bum so bright, and everything 
In readinsss for Hymeneus stand, — 
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome, 
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place 
I lead espous'd my bride along with me. 

Tarn. And here, m sight of heaven, to Rome 

I swear, 
If SatiuTiine advance the queen of Goths, 
She will a handmaid be to his desires, 
A loving nui'se, a mother to his youth. 
Sat. Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon: Lords, 

Yom- noble emperor and Ids lovely bride. 
Sent by the heavens for prince Saturnine, 
Whose wisdom hath hor fortune conquered : 
There shall we consiunraate oiu' spoiisal rites. 
[E.reunt Sat. and his Followers ; Tamora, 

and her Sons ; Aakon, and Goths. 
Tit. I am not bid to wait upon this bride ; — 
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone, 
Dishonoiu-'d thus, and challenged of wrongs ? 

Re-enter Mabcus, Lucius, Quintus, and 

Marc. Titus, see! O see what thou hast 
done ! 
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son. 

Tit. No, foolish tribune, no : no son of 
mine, — 
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed 
That hath dishonom-'d all our family ; 
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sous ! 

Luc. But let us give him burial as becomes : 
Give Mutius biuial with our brethren. 

Tit. Traitors, away ! he rests not in this tomb ; 
This monument five huncbed years hath stood, 
Which I have sumptuously re-edified : 
Here none but soldiers, and Rome's semtors, 
Repose in fame, none basely slain in brawls : 
Bmy him where you can ; he comes not here. 

Marc. My lord, this is impiety in you : 
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him : 
He must be bulled with his brethren. 

Quint., Mart. And shall, or liim we will ac- 
Tit. And shall! What villain was it spidie 

that word ? 
Quint. He that would vouch it in any place 

but here. 
Tit. What! woidd you biu-y him iu my 

despite ? 
Marc. No, noble Titus ; but entreat of thee 
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him. 



Act I.] 

Tit. Mai'cus, eveu thou hast struck upou my 
And with these boys mme honoui' thou hast 

wounded : 
My foes I do repute you every one. 
So trouble me no more, but get you gone. 
Mart. He is not with himself ; ° let us mth- 

Cluint. Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried. 

[The Brother and the Sons kneel. 
Marc. Brother, for in that name doth nature 

Quint. Father, and in that name doth natui-e 

Tit. Speak thou no more, if all the rest will 

Marc. Renowned Titus, more than half my 

luc. Dear father! soul and substance of us 

Marc. Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter 
His noble nephew here ia mtue's nest. 
That died in honour and Lavuiia's cause. 
Thou art a Roman, be not barbarous : 
The Greeks, upon advice, did bury Ajax, 
That slew himself : and wise Laertes' son 
Did graciously plead for his funerals : 
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy, 
Be barr'd his entrance here. 

Tit. Rise, Marcus, rise ! 

The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw. 
To be clishonoui-'d by njy sons in Rome : 
Well, bm-y him, and bui-y me the next. 

[Thei/ put Muiius in the tomb. 
Luc. There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with 
thy friends. 
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb. 

[Thei/ all kneel and sai/, 
No mau shed tears for noble Mutius ; 
He lives in fame that died in vu-tue's cause. 

\_Exeunt all but Mabcus and TiTUS. 
Marc. My lord,— to step out of these sudden"' 
dumps, — 
How comes it that the subtle queen of Goths 
Is of a suddeu thus advanc'd in Rome ? 

Tit. I loiow not, Marcus : but I know it is ; 
Wliether by device, or no, the heavens can tell ; 
Is she not thcu beholding to the man 
That brought her for this high good turn so 

Yes ; and will nobly him remunerate.' 

» With himself . in the quarto. The fol.o onuts wM. 

b Sudden, in the folio. The quarto, dreanj. 

» This line, found in the folio, is wanting in the quarto. 
It was, probably, not intended to be spoken by litus, and 
aome recent editors nive it to Jlarcus. 

[Scene II, 

Enter the Emperoe, Tamora and her two Sons, 
with the Moor, at one side ; enter at the oilier 
side, Bassiantjs and Lavinia, with others. 

Sat. So, Bassianus, you have pky'd youi- prize! 
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride ! , 
JSass. And you of yours, my lord. I say no 
Nor wish no less ; and so I take my leave. 
Sat. Ti-aitor, if Rome have law, or we have 
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape. 
Eass. Rape call you it, my lord, to seize my 
My true betrothed love, and now my wife ? 
But let the laws of Rome determine all ; 
Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine. 
Sat. 'Tis good, su-; you are very short with 
But, if we live, we '11 be as sharp with you. 
Bass. My lord, what I have done, as best I 
Answer I must, and shall do with my life. 
Only thus much I give yoiu- grace to know : 
By all the duties that I owe to Rome, 
This noble gentleman, lord Titus here. 
Is in opinion aud iu honour \vrong'd. 
That, in the rescue of Lavinia, 
With his own hand did slay his youngest son. 
In zeal to you, and highly mov'd to wrath 
To be controll'd in that he frankly gave. 
Receive him, then, to favoiu-, Satimiinc, 
That hath express'd hunsolf, in all his deeds, 
A father and a friend to thee and Rome. 

Tit. Prmce Bassianus, leave to plead my 
deeds : 
'Tis thou, and those, that have dishonour'd me. 
Rome, ;md the righteous heavens, be my judge. 
How I have lov'd and hououi-'d Satui-uine. 

I'am. My worthy lord, if ever Tamora 
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine, 
Then hear me speak, iniiifferently for all : 
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past. 

Sat. Wliat, madam ! be dishonoui-'d openly. 
And basely put it up without revenge? 

Tarn. Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome 
I should be author to dishonour you. 
But on mine honour, dai-e I undertake 
For good lord Titus' innocence in aU ; 
Whose fm-y not dissembled speaks his griefs ; 
Then, at my suit, look graciously on bun : 
Lose not so noble a friend on vain sujipose ; 
Nor ^^^th sour looks afEict his gentle heart. 
My lord, be rul'd by me, be won at last ; 

Act I.] 


[Scene II 

Dissemble all your griefs aud discontents : 
You are but newly planted in your throne ; 
Lest then the people, and patricians too, 
Upon a just STU'vey take Titus' part, 
And so supplant us for ingratitude, "• 
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous siu, 
Yield at entreats, and then let me alone : 
I 'U find a day to massacre them all ; 
And raze their faction and their family. 
The cruel father, and his traitorous sons. 
To whom I sued for my dear son's life ; 
And make them know, what 't is to let a queen 
Kneel in the streets, and beg for grace in vain. 
[The preceding fourteen lines are spoken 
Come, come, sweet emperor ; come, Andi'onicus ; 
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart 
That dies in tempest of thy angry fro^vn. 

Eiiii/. Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath 

Tit. I thank your majesty, and her, my lord. 
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me. 

Tam. Titus, I am incorporate in Rome, 
A Roman now adopted happily. 
And must advise the emperor for his good. 
This day all quarrels die, Andi'onicus ; 
And let it be mine honour, good my lord. 
That I have reconeil'd your friends and you. 
For you, prince Bassianus, I have pass'd 
My word and promise to the emperor. 
That you will be more mild and tractable : 
And fear not, lords : aud you, Lavinia, 

a Vs. So the folio. Recent editors print you; 
Taniora in her own royal condition associ.ntes herself w.iu 
the lortunes of the Emperor. Her proposed revenges, as 
»e immedi.itely see, are those of '■ a queen." 



By my advice, aU humbled on your knees, 
You shall ask pardon of liis majesty. 

Lue. We do ; and vow to heaven, and to his 
That what we did was mildly, as we might, 
Tend'ring our sister's honour and oiu- own. 
Marc. That on muie honom- here I do pro- 
Sat. Away, and talk not ; trouble us no 

more. — 
Tam. Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all 
be friends : 
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace ; 
I win not be denied. Sweet heart, look back. 
Sat. Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother's 
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats, 
I do remit these young men's heinous faidts. 
Stand up. Lavinia, though you left me like a 

I found a friend : and sure as death I sware,» 
I would not part a bachelor from the priest. 
Come, if the emperor's coiu-t can feast two brides, 
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends : 
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora. 

Tit. To-morrow, an it please your majesty 
To hunt the panther and the hai't with me. 
With horn and hound, we'U give your grace 
Sat. Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too. 


Swarc, Ul the folio. The quarto, suorc. 


SCENE I.— Rome. Before the Palace. 

Enter Aakon. 

Aaron. Now cUmbetli Tamora Olympus' top, 
Safe out of Fortune's shot ; aud sits aloft, 
Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash, 
Advanc'd above pale envy's threat'ning reach : 
As vfhen the golden sun salutes the mom. 
And, having gilt the ocean vrith his beams, 
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coacli, 
And overlooks the highest peering hills ; 
So Tamora. 

Upon her wit doth earthly honoui- wait, 
And vu-tue stoops and trembles at her frown. 
Then, Aaron, arm tliy heart, and fit thy 

To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress. 
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph 

Hast prisoner held, fetter'd ia amorous ohaias. 
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes 
Th'm is Prometheus tied to Caucasus. 

Away with slavish weeds and servile* thoughts! 
I will be bright, and shiue in pearl and gold, 
To wait upon this new-made empress. 
To wait, said I ? to wanton with this queen, 
Tliis goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,"' 
This syren, that vrill charm Rome's Saturnine, 
And see liis shipwrack, and his commonweal's. 
HoUo 1 what storm is this ? 

Enter Cuiron and Demeteius, braving. 

Demet. Cluron, thy years want wit, thy wit 
wants edge, 
And manners, to intrude where I am grac'd ; 
Aiul may, for aught thou know'st, affected be. 

Chi. Demetrius, thou dost overween in all; 
And so ni this, to bear me down with braves. 
'T is not the difference of a year or two 
Makes me less gracious, or thee more fortunate • 

a Servile, in the quarto of 1600; the folio, idte, and so the 
quarto of ICll. 

ii Nymph, in the quarto of 1600; the folio and the quarto 
of 1611, queen. 




I am as able, and as fit, as ihou, 
To serve, and to deserve my mistress's grace ; 
And that my sword upon thee shall approve, 
And plead my passions for Laviiiia's love. 

Aaron. Clubs, clubs ! these lovers will not 
keep the peace. 

Demet. AVhy, boy, although our mother, un- 
Gave you a dancing rapier by your- side, 
Ai'e you so desperate grown to threat yoiu' 

friends ? 
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath, 
Till you know better how to handle it.- 

Clii. Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I 
Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare. 

Demet. Ay, boy, grow ye so brave ? 

\Theii draiv. 

A(iro,i. Why, how now, lords ? 

So near the emperor's palace dare you di'aw. 
And maintain such a quarrel openly ? 
Full well I wot the ground of aU this grudge ; 
I would not for a million of gold 
The cause were known to them it most concerns. 
Nor would your noble mother, for much more, 
Be so dishouour'd in the court of Rome. 
For shame, put up. 

Demet. Not I, till I have sheath'd 

My rapier in his bosom, and, withal. 
Thrust those reproachful speeches down his 

That he hath breath'd in my dishonour here. 

Clii. For that I am prepar'd, and full resolv'd, 
Foul-spoken coward, that thund'rcst with thy 

And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform. 

Aaron. Away, I say ! 
Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore, 
Tliis petty brabble wUl imdo us all ! 
Wiy, lords, — and think you not how dan- 
It is to jet upon a prince's right ? 
What, is Lavinia then become so loose. 
Or Bassianus so degenerate. 
That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd, 
Without coutrolment, justice, or revenge ? 
Young lords, beware; and shoidd the empress 

This discord's ground, the music would not 

Chi. I care not, I, knew she, and all the world, 
1 love Lavinia more than all the world. 

Demi't. Yoimgliug, learn thou to make some 
meaner choice : 
Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope. 

Sup. Vol. C 

Aaron. Why, are ye mad ? or know ye iioi 
in Rome, 
How fm'ious and impatient they be, 
And cannot brook competitors in love ? 
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths 
By this device. 

Chi. Aaron, a thousand deaths woidd I pro- 
To achieve her whom I love. 

Aaron. To achieve her, how r 

Demet. Wliy mak'st thou it so strange ? 
She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd ; 
She is a woman, therefore may be won ; 
She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd. 
What, man ! more water glideth by the mill 
Than wots the miller of ; and easy it is 
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know : 
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother, 
Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge. 

Aaron. Ay, and as good as Satui-niuus may. 

Demet. Then why should he despair that 
knows to court it 
With words, fair looks, and liberality ? 
What, hast not thou fuU ofteu struck a doe. 
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose ? 

Aaron. Why, then, it seems, some ccrtair 
snatch or so 
Would serve yoiu- turns. 

Chi. Ay, so the tui-n were serv'd 

Demet. Aaron, thou hast hit it. 

Aaron. Would you had hit it too, 

Then sbordd not we be tir'd with tliis ado. 
Why, hark ye, hark ye, and are you such fools 
To square for this ? would it oifend you then 
That both should speed ?■* 

Chi. Faith, not me. 

Demet. Nor me, so I were one. 

Aaron. For shame, be friends, and join foi 
that you jar. 
'T is policy and stratagem must do 
That you affect, and so must you resolve 
That what you cannot as you woidd achieve 
You must perforce accomplish as you may : 
Take this of me, Lucrece was not more chaste 
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love. 
A speedier com-se than'' ling'ring laugiushment 
Must we pursue, and I have fomid the path. 
My lords, a solemn huntiug is in baud ; 
There wUl the lovely Roman ladies troop : 
The forest walks are wide and spacious. 
And many unfrequented plots there arc, 
Pitted by kind for rape and villainy : 

» This line is omitted in the folio : the sense is incomi>lcle 
without it. 
b Than — in the original copies, 1hi». 


Act II.) 


[Scenes II., III. 

Single you thither then this dainty doe, 
And strike her home by force, if not liy words : 
TMs way, or not at all, stand you in hope. 
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred* wit, 
To viUaiay and vengeance consecrate. 
Will we acquaint with all that we intend ; 
And she shall file our engines with advice, 
That will not suffer you to square yourselves, 
But to your wishes' height advance you both. 
The emperor's coiu't is like the house of fame, 
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, of ears : 
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull : 
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take 

your turns. 
There serve your lust, shadow'd from lipavcn'.s 

And i-evel in Lavini,a's trcasm-y. 

Chi. Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice. 

Demet. Sit Jus ant ticfas, till I ilnd the stream 
To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits. 
Per S/;/f/(', per manes relior. [ 

SCENE II.— J Fores/. 

Enter Titus Andronicus, his three Sons, and 
Mahcus, makittg a noise V'ith hounds and 

Tit. The hunt is up, the morn is bright and 
The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green ; 
Uncouple here, and let us make a bay. 
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride, 
And rouse the prince, and ring a hunter's peal. 
That all the couj-t may echo with the noise. 
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours, 
To attend the emperor's person carefully : 
I have been troubled in my sleep this uiglit. 
But dawning day new comfort hath inspir'd. 

Here a cri/ of hounds, and wind horns in a peal ; 
then enter Sattjbninus, Tamora, Bassiantjs, 
Lavinia, Chiron, Demetrius, and their at- 

Tit. Many good morrows to yoiu' majesty ; 
Madam, to you as many and as good. 
I promised your grace a hunter's peal. 

Sat. And you have rung it lustily, my lords ; 
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies. 

Ba.'is. Lavini.a, how say you ? 

Lac. I say no : 

I have been broad awake two houi's and more. 

Sat. Come on, then ; horse and chariots let us 

■ Sacred — in the Latin sense, accvrseti. 

And to our sport : madam, now shall ye see 
Our Roman hunting. 

Marc. I have dogs, my lord, 

Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase, 
And cKmb the highest promontory top. 

Tit. And I have horse will follow where the 
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain. 
Demet. Chiron, we himt not, we, with horse 
nor hovmd ; 
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground. 


SCENE \\\.~The Forest. 

Enter Aaron. 

Aaron. He that had wit would think that I 
had none. 
To bm-y so much gold under a tree, 
Kx\A. never after to iuherit it. 
Let hiiu that thinks of me so abjectly 
Know that this gold must coin a stratagem, 
TVTiich, cuimingly cfTeeted, wiU beget 
A very exeellent piece of villainy : 
And so repose, sweet gold, for their uurest, 
That have their alms out of the empress' chest. 

Enter Tamora. 

Tarn. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st 

thou sad. 
When everything doth make a gleeful boast ? 
The birds chant melody on every bush ; 
The snake lies rolled iu the cheerful sun ; 
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind. 
And make a checkcr'd shadow on the ground : 
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit. 
And, whilst the liabbliug echo mocks the hounds, 
Replying sluilly to the wcll-tun'd horns. 
As if a double hunt were heard at once. 
Let us sit down and mark then- yelping" noise : 
And, after conflict such as was suppos'd 
The Avand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd, 
Wlien with a happy storm they were sm-pris'd, 
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave. 
We may, each wi'cathed in the other's arms, 
Oiu- pastimes done, possess a golden slumber, 
Wliile hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious 

Be tmto us as is a nurse's song 
Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep. 

Aaron. Madam, though Venus govern your 

Satui-n is dominator over mine : 

« Yelping. So the folio— commonly, i/fllinr/. 

Act II.] 



What signifies my deadly staudiug eye, 

My silence, and my cloudy melancholy. 

My fleece of woolly hair, that now uncurls 

Even as an adder when she doth um-oU 

To do some fatal execution ? 

No, madam, these are no venereal signs ; 

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand. 

Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. 

Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul, 

Which never hopes move heaven than rests in 

This is the day of doom for Bassianus ; 
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day ; 
Tliy sons make pillage of licr chastity, 
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood. 
Seest thou this letter ? take it up, I pray thee, 
.\nd give the king this fatal-plotted scroll. 
Now question me no more ; we are espied ; 
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty, 
Wliich dreads not yet their lives' destrnction. 

Enter Bassianus and Lavinia. 
Tarn. Ab, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than 

Aaron. No more, great empress, Bassianus 
Be cross with him ; and I '11 go fetch tliy 

To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be. 

Bass. Who have we here ? Rome's royal 
Unfumish'd of her well-beseeming troop ? 
Or is it Dian, habited like her, 
Wlio hath abandoned her holy gi-oves. 
To see the general hunting in this forest ? 

Tarn. Saucy controller of our private steps. 
Had I the power that some say Dian had. 
Thy temples shoidd be planted presently 
With horns as was Aetffion's, and the hounds 
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs, 
Unmannerly intrader as thou art ! 

Lav. Under yom- patience, gentle empress, 
'T is thought you have a goodly gift in homing, 
And to be doubted that yom- Moor and you 
Aje singled forth to try experiments ; 
Jove sliield your husband from b;s hounds to- 
'T is pity they should take him for a stag. 
Bass. Believe me, queen, yom- swarth Cim- 
Doth make your bonom- of his body's hue. 
Spotted, detested, and abominable. 
Why are you sequestered from all your train ? 
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed. 
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot, 
C 2 

Accompanied but* with a barbarous Moor, 
If foul desire had not conducted you ? 

Lae. And, being intercepted in yoiu' sport, 
Great reason that my noble lord be rated 
For sauciness : I pray you, let us hence. 
And let her 'Joy her raven-colour'd love ; 
This valley fits the piu-pose passing well. 

Bliss. The king, my brother, shall have note* 
of this. 

Lav. Ay, for these slips have made him uofeil 
Good king, to be so mightily abused ! 

Tarn. Why have I' patience to endure all this r 

Enter CiiiiioN and Demetrius. 

Demet. How now, dear sovereign, and our 
gracious mother. 
Why doth your highness look so pale and wan ? 

Tarn. Have I not reason, think you, to look 
These two have 'tic'd me hither to this place, 
A barren detested vale, you see it is; 
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, 
O'ercome with moss and balefid misseltoe. 
Here never shines the sun ; here nothing breeds. 
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven : 
And when they show'd me tliis abhorred )iit. 
They told me here, at dead time of the night, 
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes. 
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many ui-chins, 
Would make such fearful and confused cries. 
As any mortal body, hearing it. 
Should straight fall mad, or else die sudderdy. 
No sooner had they told this hellish tale. 
But straight they told me they woidd bind nio 

Unto the body of a dismal yew, 
And leave me to this miserable death. 
And then they caU'd me foul adulteress. 
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms 
That ever ear did hear to such effect. 
And had you not by wondrous fortune come, 
Tliis vengeance on me had they executed : 
Revenge it, as you love yom- mother's life, 
Or be ye not henceforth caU'd my children. 

Deriiet. This is a witness that I am thy son. 

[Statjs liiiii. 

Chi. And this forme, struck home to show my 
strength. \_Stabs him likewise. 

Lnii. Ay, come, Scmiramis, — nay, barbarous 
Tamora ! 
For no name fits thy nature but thy own. 

Hui. The editinn of ICOO lias this word. 
Note. In t)le lolio and quartos, nolices 
Hair I. The original copies, 1 fttive. 

\er !£.] 


Ta/ii. Give me thy poulard ; you shall know, 
my boys, 
Yoiir mother's haud shall right your mother's 
Denet. Stay, madam; here is more belongs to 
First thresh the corn, then after burn the straw : 
This miuiou stood upon her chastity. 
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty. 
And with that painted hope braves your mighti- 
ness ; 
And shall she carry this unto her grave ? 

Chi. An if she do, I would I were an eunuch. 
Drag hence her husbaud to some secret hole. 
And make his dead trunk pillow to oiu- lust. 

Tarn. But when ye have the honey ye desire, 
Let not this wasp outlive us both to sting. 
Chi. I warrant you, madam, we will make 
that sure. 
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy 
That nice preserved honesty of yom-s. 
. Lav. Oh, Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's 
face — 
Turn, I ■will not hear her speak; away willi 

her ! 
Lav. Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a 

Demet. Listen, fair madam; let it be your 
To see her tears, but be yom- heart to them 
As um-eleuting fhnt to drops of rain. 

Lav. VVlien did the tiger's yoimg ones teach 
the dam ? 
0, do not learn her wrath ; she taught it thee. 
The nulk thou suek'st "from her did turn to 

marble ; 
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny. 
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike ; 
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity. 

[To Chiron. 
Chi. What ! woiddst thou have me jn-ove my- 
self a bastard ? 
Lav. 'T is true ; the raven doth not hatch a 
lark : 
Yet have T heard, — oh enidd I find it now !^ 
The lion, mov'd with pity, did endure 
To have his princely paws par'd all away. 
Some say that ravens foster forloru chilcbcn. 
The whilst then- own bu-ds famish in then- nests: 
Oh, bo to me, though thy hard heart say uo. 
Nothing so kind, but sometliing pitifid ! 

Tarn. I know not what it means; away with 

Lav. O let me teach thee ! For my father's 

That gave thee life when weU he wight have 

slain thee, 
Be not obdm-ate, open thy deaf ears. 

Tarn. Iladst thou in person ne'er offended 
Even for his sake am I pitUess. 
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth teai's in vain. 
To save your brother from the sacrifice ; 
But fierce Andronious wordd not relent : 
Therefore, away with her, and use her as vou 

The worse to her, the better lov'd of me. 

Lav. Oh Tamora, be caU'd a gentle queen. 
And with thiue own hands kill me m tliis place : 
For 't is not life that I have begg'd so long ; 
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died. 

Tarn. What begg'st thou then ? foud woman, 

let me go. 
Lav. 'T is present death I bog ; and oue thing 
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell : 
Oh, keep me from tiieir worse than killing lust. 
And tumble me into some loathsome pit, 
Where never man's eye may behold my body ; — 
Do this, and be a charitable murderer. 

Tarn. So shoiJd I rob my sweet sons of their 
No, let them satisfy then- lust on thee. 

Demet. Away, for thou hast stay'd us here too 

Lav. No grace ! no womanhood ! Ah, beastly 
The blot and enemy to oiu' general name ! 
Confusion fall — 

Chi. Nay, then I '11 stop your mouth ; bring 
thou her husband : 

{Bragging o/L.wixia. 
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him. 
Tarn. FarowcU, my sons; see that you make 
her swo : 
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed, 
Till all the Audronici be made away. 
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor, 
And let my spleenfid sons this trull deflour. 


SCENE IV.— 7"//* Forest. 

Enter Aakon, ivith Quintus and Maktius. 

Aaron. Come on, my lords, the better foot 
before : 
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit, 
Where I espied the panther fast asleep. 

Quint. My sight is very duU, whate'er it 


Mart, iind miue, I promise you; wcre't uot 
for shame, 
VVell could I leave cm- sport to sleep awhile. 

[Martius/z/Zs into the pil. 
Quint. What, art thou faUeu? 'What sul3tle 
hole is this, 
Whose mouth is covcr'd with rude growiug 

Upon whose leaves are di-ops of new-shed blood. 
As fresh as morning's dew distiU'd on ilowcrs ? 
A very fatal plaee it seems to me : 
Speak, brother, hast thou hiu-t thee with the 
Mart. O brother, with the dismall'st object 
That ever eye with sight made heart lament. 
Aaron. lAside.'] Now will I fetch the king to 
find them here. 
That he thereby may have a Ukely guess, 
How these were they that made away his brother. 

Mart. Why dost not comfort me and help me 
From this unliaUoVd and blood-stamed hole ? 

Quint. I am surprised with an uncouth fear; 
A chilling sweat o'ernms my trembling joints ; 
My lieart suspects more than miue eye can see. 
Mart. To prove thou hast a true-divining 
Aaron and thou look down into this den. 
And see a fearful sight of blood and death. 
Quint. Aaron is gone, and my compassionate 
WUl not permit mine eyes once to behold 
The thing whereat it trembles by sui-mise : 
Oil, tell me how it is, for ne'er till now 
Was I a child, to fear I know uot what. 

Mart. Lord Bassianus Ues embrued here, 
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb. 
In this detested, dark, blood-di-iuking pit. 
Quint. If it be dark, how dost thou know 't is 

Mart. Upon his bloody finger he dotli wear 
A precious rmg, that Ughtcns all the hole : 
Which, like a taper in some momunent, 
Doth shine upon the dead man's ewlhy clieeL.-i, 
And shows the ragged entrails of this pit : 
So pale did sliine the moon on Pyramus, 
When he by night lay bath'd in maiden blood. 
0, brother, help me with thy fainting baud,— 
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it liath,— 
Out of this fell devouring receptacle, 
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth. 

» Hurl. In the quarto of ItiOO only. 


(Sc2Kr. IV 

Quint. Reach me thy hand, that I may help 
thee out ; 
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good, 
I may he pluck'd into the swallowiug womb 
Of tliis deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave. 
I have no strength to pluck thee to the bruik. 
Mart. Nor I no strength to climb without thy 

Quint. Thy hand once more ; I will not loose 
Till thou art here aloft, or I below : 
Thou canst not come to me ; I come to thee. 

[Falls in. 

Enter Satubnintjs and Aaeon. 

Sat. Along with me -.—I '11 see what hole is 
And what he is that now is Icap'd into it. 
Say, who art thou that lately didst descend 
Into. this gaping hollow of the earth? 

Mart. The unhappy son of old Andronicus, 
Brought hither in a most unlucky hoiu". 
To find thy brother Bassianus dead. 

Sat. My brother dead ? I know thou dost but 
He and his lady both are at the lodge, 
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase ; 
'T is not an horn- smce I left hun there. 

Mart. We know not where you left liim all 
But out, alas ! here have we found him dead. 

Enter Tamora, Andeonicus, and Lucius. 

Tarn. Wliere is my lord the king? 

Sat. Here, Tamora, though griev'd with killing 

Tarn. Where is thy brother Bassianus ? 
Sat. Now to the bottom dost thou search uiy 
wound ; 
Poor Bassianus here lies murthered. 

Tarn. Then all too late I brmg this fatal writ, 
The complot of this timeless tragedy ; 
And wonder greatly that man's face can fold 
lu pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny. 

[S/ie gives Satuknise a letter. 

Saturnixus reads the letter. 

" An if we miss to meet him handsomely,— 
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 't is we mean,— 
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him ; 
Thou know'st our meaning : Look for thy reward 
Among the nettles at the ekler-tree, 
Which overshades the mouth of that same i>it. 
Where we decreed to hury Bassianus. 
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends." 

Sc(t Oh Tamora, was ever heard the like ? 


ACT 11.) 



'I'liis is the pit, aud this the elder-tree : 
Look, sirs, if you cau find the huntsman out, 
That should h'avc miu-ther'd Baspianus here. 
Aaron. My graeious lord, here is the bag of 

Hut. Two of thy whelps, \lo Titds] fell curs 
of bloody kmd. 
Have here bereft my brother of liis life : 
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison ; 
There let them bide until we have devis'd 
Some never-hcard-of torturing ])ain for them. 
Tarn. What, arc tliey in this pit? oh wondi'ous 
How easily muiiher is discovered ! 

Tit. High emperor, upon my feeble knee, 
1 beg tliis boon, with tears not lightly shed, 
That this fell fault of my accursed sons. 
Accursed, if tlic fault be prov'd in them — 

Sal. If it be prov'd ! you see it is apparent. 
Who found this letter, Tamora ; was it you ? 
Turn. Andronicus himself did take it up. 
Tit. I did, my lord ; yet let me be their 
For by my father's reverent tomb I vow 
They shall be ready at your highness' wUl, 
To answer their suspicion with their Kves. 
S(tt. Thon shalt not bail them ; see thou follow 
Some bring the mui'ther'd body, some the mur- 

therers : 
Let them not speak a word, the guilt is plain ; 
For, by my soul, were there worse end than 

That end upon them should be executed. 

Tarn. Andronicus, I wiD entreat the king : 
Fear not thy sons ; they shall do well enough. 
Tit. Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk 
with them. . [E.veimt. 

SCENE Y.—The Forest. 

Enter Demetrius and Chiron, with Lavinia, 
her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out. 

Demet. So now go tell, an if thy tongue can 
Who 't was that cut thy tongue and ravish d 
Chi. Write down thy mind, bewray thy mean- 
ing so. 
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe. 
Demet. See, how with signs and tokens she 

cau scrowl. 
Chi. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy 

Demet. She hath no tongue to call, nor hands 

to wash ; 
And so, let 's leave her to her silent walks. 
Chi. An 't were my cause," I shodd go hang 

Demet. If thou hadst hands to help thee knit 

the cord. \Bxeunt Demet. and Cm. 

Enter MASCUS./rom hunting. 

Marc. Who is this ? my niece, that flies away 

so fast ? 
Cousin, a word ; where is your husband ? 
K I do dream, would all my wealth would wake 

If I do wake, some planet strike me down. 
That I may slumber in eternal sleep ! 
Speak, gentle niece ; what stern ungentle hands 
Have lopp'd, and hew'd, and made thy body 

Of her two branches, those sweet omamenis 
Wliose cirehng shadows kings have sought to 

sleep in, 
Aud might not gain so great a happiness 
As have '' tiiy love ? why dost not speak to me ? 
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood, 
Like to a bubbling foimtam stin-'d with wind, 
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips. 
Coming and going with thy honey breath. 
But sure some Tereus hath defloured thee. 
And, lest thou shoiddst detect him, cut thy 

Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame ! 
And, notmthstanding all this loss of blood. 
As from a conduit with their issuing spouts. 
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face. 
Blushing to be encounter'd with a cloud. 
Shall I speak for thee ? shall I say, 't is so ? 
Oh that I kucw thy heart, and knew the 

That I might rail at him to ease my mind ! 
Sorrow concealed, like an oven stcpp'd, 
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is. 
Fan- Philomela, she but lost her tongue, 
Aud in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind. 
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee ; 
A craftier Tereus hast thou met withal,' 
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off. 
That coiJd have better sew'd than Philomel 
Oh ! had the monster seen those hly hands 
Tremble like aspen-leaves upon a lute, 
And make the silken strings deHght to kiss 


tt Cause. So the old editions. In modern copiel, cau. 
b Have. The old copies Aa//. Mr. Dyce adopts AatH, 
after Theobald, 
o So the folio. The quarto of 1600, 

"A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou nut." 


[Scene V. 

He would not, then have toucli'd ihcm for his 

Or liad he heard tlie heavenly hai-mony 
Which that sweet tongue hatli made, 
He would have dropped his knife, and fell asleep, 
As. Cerberus at the Thraciau poet's feet. 
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind ; 

For such a sight will blind a father's C3e : 

One hoiu-'s storm will ckowu the fragrant meads; 

Wliat will whole months of tears thy father's 

eyes ? 
Do not draw back, for we will moui-n with thee ; 
Oh, could our moiu-nhig ease thy misery ! 

I Exeunt. 


Sc. II. p. IS.— 

There are few who will make a study of tlds rtisagreahle play; but it is curious to see how it has been tampered with by 
tlic (.'orrector of Mr. Collier's folio, in the transformations from blank verse to couplets. Mr. Collier thinks tlie passages, 
as corrected, belong to the time when the play wa^ lirst written. We think they belong to tlie period after the Restoration, 
when rhyming tragedies were in fashion. One parallel example will be sufficient: — 


The hunt is up, the morn is bright and yrey^ 
The fields are fragrant, and the woods are green ; 
Uncouple here and let us make a bay. 
And wake tlie emperor and bis lovely bride, 
And Tonse the prince, and ring a hunter's ;j^a/. 
That all the court may echo wirli tlie noise. 
Sons, let it he your cliarge, as it is ours. 
To attend the emperor's person carefully; 
I have been troubled in my sleep this night, 
But dawning day new comfort Lalh inspir'J. 


The hunt is up. the morn is bright and gay^ 
The fields are fragrant, and the woods are wide: 
Uncouple here, and let us make a bay, 
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride, 
And rouse the prince, and sing a hunters'rouHrf 
That all the court may echo with the sound. 
Sons, let it be your charge, and so will I, 
To attend the emperor's person carefully ; 
I have been troubled in my sleep this nipht, 
But dawning day brought comfort ind delight 



[riccne I.] 


SCENE 1.— Rome. A Stmt. 

Enter the Judges and Senators, with Mahtius 
and QuiNTUS hound, passing on the stage to 
the place of execution ; and Titus going be/ore, 

Tit. Hear me, grave fathers ! noble tribunes, 
stay ! 
For pity of mine age, wliose youth was spent 
In dangerous wars, wliilst you securely slept ; 
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed ; 
For aU the frosty nights that I have watch'd ; 
And for these bitter tears, which now you see 
Filling the aged wrinkles in ray cheeks ; 
Be pitiful to my condemned sons. 
Whose souls are not corrupted, as 't is thought. 
For two-and-twcnty sons I never wept. 
Because they died in honour's lofty bed. 

[Andro'icus lies down, and the Judges 

pass hi/ him, 

For these, tribunes,' in the dust I write 

My heart's deep languor, and my soul's sad 

tears ; 
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite ; 
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and 

[Exeunt Senators, Tribunes, and Prisoners. 
O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain, 
That shall distil from these two ancient uru','' 
Than youthfiJ April shall with all his showers 
lu summer's drought 1 '11 drop upon thee still ; 
In winter, with warm tears I'll melt the snow, 
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face. 
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood. 

Enter Lucius, with his toeapon. drawn. 

Oil, reverend tribunes ! oh, gentle, aged men ! 
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death ; 

p- Malonc reads, '-good tribunes. ' 

b Urns — in llie old editions ruins. Hanmer's corrrctioD 



[ScEH£ r. 

\i\d let me say, that never wept before, 
My tears are now prevailing orators ! 

Lt/c. Oil, noble father, you lament in vain ; 
Tlie tribunes hear you not, no man is h\, 
Xad you recount your sorrows to a stone. 
Til. Ah, Lucius, for tliy brothers let me 
plead ; 
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you ! 
Luc. My gracious lord, no triliune hears you 

Til. Why, 't is no matter, nuui ; if they did 
They would not mark me : oh, if they did hear. 
They would not pity me : ■' 
Therefore I tell my soitows bootless'' to the 

Who, though they cannot answer my distress. 
Yet in some sort they 're better than the tribunes. 
For that they will not intercept my tale : 
When I do weep, they, humbly at my feet, 
Keceive my tears, and seem to weep with me ; 
And, were they but attired in grave weeds, 
Rome cordd afford no tribune like to these. 
A stone is as soft wax,' tribunes more hard than 

stones ; 
A stone is sileut, and offendeth not ; 
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to 

But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weajion 
di'awn ? 
Luc. To rescue my two brothers fi'ora their 
death : 
For which attempt, the judges have pronouuc'd 
My everlasting doom of baiushraent. 

Tit. Oh, happy man, tliey have befriended 
thee : 
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive 
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers ? 
Tigers must prey ; and Rome affords no prey 
But me and mine : how happy art thou, then. 
From these devoui'ers to be banished ! 
But who comes with our brother Marcus here ? 

Enler Marcus a/id Lavinia. 

Marc. Titus, prepare thy noble'' eyes to 
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break : 
I bring consummg sorrow to thine age. 

a So the folio of 1623. The quarto of IGOO— 

*' Or, if tliey ilid mark, 
They would not pity me ; yet plead I must, 
All bootless unto them." 
The quarto of IGll omits " Yet plead I must," hut retaius 
*' All bootless unto them." 
b Bootli'ss is omitted in modern editions. 
« As soft wax. So the folio : the quartos, "soft as wa.x." 
■I Noble The common reading is aged. 

Tit. Will it consume me ? Let me see it, thea 
Marc. This was thy daughter. 
Tif. Why, Marcus, so she is. 

Luc. Ah me ! this object kills me. 
Tif. Faint-hearted boy, arise and look upon 
Speak, Lavinia, what accru'sed hand 
Hath made thee haudlcss in thy father's sight ? 
What fool hath added water to the sea ? 
Or brought a fagotto bright-burning Troy? 
My grief was at the height before thou cam'st, 
And now, hke Nilus, it disdaincth bounds : 
Give me a sword, I '11 chop off my hands too ; 
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain ; 
And they have nm-s'd this woe, in feeding Ufe ; 
In bootless prayer have they been held up. 
And they have serv'd mo to effectless use. 
Now all the service I require of them 
Is that the one will help to cut the other. 
'T is well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands ; 
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain. 
Lkc. Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd 

Marc. Oh, that deUghtfid cngiue of her 
That blabb'd them with such pleasing elo- 
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage. 
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung 
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear. 
Lkc. Oh, say thou for her, who hath done 

this deed ? 
Marc. Oh, thus I found her, straying in the 
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer 
That hath receiv'd some unrecm-mg wound. 

Til. It was ray deer ; and he that wounded her 
Hath hurt me more than had he kUl'd me dead : 
For now I stand as one upon a rock, 
Euviron'd with a wilderness of sea, 
Wlio marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave. 
Expecting ever when some envious surge 
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him. 
This way to death my wretched sons are gone ; 
Here stands my other son, a banish'd man ; 
And here my brother, weeping at my woes : 
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn 
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my sold. 
Had I but seen thy picture in this phgbt 
It woidd have madded me : what shall I do 
Now I behold thy lively body so ? 
Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy tears, 
Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyr'd thee : 
Thy husband he is dead, and for his death 
Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this. 


AcTiiio TITUS ANDRONICUS. [scene i. 

Look, Mai'cus ! ah, sou Lucius, look ou her ! 

Or any one of you, chop off your hand. 

Wheu I did name her brotliers, tlien fresli tears 

And seud it to the king : he, for the same. 

Stood on her cheeks, as doth the houey-dcw 

Will send thee liither both thy sons aUve, 

Upon a gather'd Idy ahnost wither'd. 

And that shall be the rausom for then- fault. 

3Iurc: Perchauoe, she weeps Ijecause they 

Tit. Oh, gracious emperor ! oh, gentle Aaron ! 

kUl'd her husband : 

Did ever raven sing so like a lark, 

Perchance, because she knows them inuoceut. 

That gives sweet tidings of the smi's uprise ? 

m. If tliey did kill thy husband, then be 

AVith all my heart, I '11 send the emperor my 



Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them. 

Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off? 

No, no, they woiJd not do so foul a deed ; 

Luc. Stay, father; for that noble hand of 

Witness the sorrow that their sister makes. 


Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips, 

That hath thrown down so many enemies. 

Or make some sign how I may do thee ease : 

Shall not be sent : my hand will serve the tm-n : 

Shall thy good uucle, and thy brother Lucius, 

My youth can better spare my blood than you. 

And thou, and 1, sit romid about some fomitaiii, 

And therefore mine shall save my brothers' lives. 

Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks 

Mure. Which of your hands hath not de- 

How they are stain'd Kkc meadows yet not dry 

fended Home, 

With miry slime left on them by a flood ? 

And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe. 

And in the fountain shall we gaze so long 

Writing destruction on the enemy's castle ? ' 

Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness, 

Oh, none of both but are of high desert : 

And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears ? 

ily baud hath been but idle : let it serve 

Or shall wo cut away our hands, like thiue ? 

To ransom my two nephews from their death, 

Or shall \vc bite om- tongues, aud in dumb shows 

Then have I kept it to a worthy end. 

Pass the remainder of our hatefid days ? 

Aaron. Nay, come, agree whose hand shall 

What shall we do ? let us that have our tongues 

go along, 

Plot some device of fm-ther misery 

Por fear they die before their pardon come. 

To make us wonder'd at in time to come. 

Mare. My hand shall go. 

L/ic. Sweet father, cease your tears ; for at 

Lv.c. By heaven, it shall not go ! 

yoiu- grief 

Tit. Sii-s, strive no more ; such wither'd herbs 

See how my wretched sister sobs aud weeps. 

as these 

Mare. Patience, dear niece; good Titus, tb-y 

Are meet for plucking up, aud therefore mine. 

thine eyes. 

Luc. Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy 

Til. Ah, Marcus, Marcus ! brother, well I 



Let me redce.n my brothers both from death. 

Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine. 

Marc. And for om- father's sake, aud mother's 

For thou, poor man, hast di-own'd it with thine 



Now let me show a Ijrother's love to thee. 

L/ic. Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks. 

Tit. Agree betweeu you; I will spare my 

2'if. Mark, Marcus, mark ! I understand her 



hue. Then I '11 go fetch an axe. 

Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say 

Marc. But I will use the axe. 

That to her brother wliich I said to thee. 

[Ere/oit Lucius and Marcus. 

His napkin, with his true tears all bewet. 

Tit. Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them 

Can do no service ou her sorrowful cheeks. 

both : 

Oh, what a sympathy of woe is this ; 

Lend me thy hand, aud I will give thee miuc. 

As far from help as limbo is from bUss ! 

Aaron. If that be called deceit, I wiU be 


Enle/- Aaron. 

Aud never, wlulst I live, deceive men so : 

Aaron. Titus Andronicus, my lord the em- 

But I '11 deceive you in another sort. 


And that you'll say, ere half an horn- pass. [Aside. 

Sends thee this word, that if thou love thy sons, 

[He ents off Titus'* hand. 

Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus, 

a Ca-ftle. Theobald changed this to casque. It is pro. 

* hike. The old copies have in. Rowe made the change. 

balrV/ vut for stronghold, power. 

Act III.) 


[Scene 1 

Eniei Lucius and Mabcus. 

Tit. Now, slay yom- strife ; what shall be is 
despatch'd : 
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand ; 
Tell liim, it was a hand that warded him 
From thousand dangers : bid him bury it : 
More hath it merited, that let it have. 
As for my sons, say I account of them 
As jewels pm'chas'd at an easy price; 
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own. 

Aaron. I go, Andi-onicus ; and, for thy hand, 
Look by-and-by to have thy sons with thee. 
Their heads I mean : oh, how this vUlaiuy 

Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it ! 
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace, 
Aaron will have his soid black like his face. 


Til. Oh, here I lift this one hand up to 
And how this feeble ruin to the earth : 
If any power pities wretched tears. 
To that I call : What, wilf thou kneel with 
me ? [To Lavinia. 

Do, tnen, dear heart, for heaven shall hear our 

Or with our sighs we 'U breathe the welkin dim, 
And staiu the sun with fog, as sometime clouds. 
When they do hug him in theii- melting bosoms. 

Marc. Oh, brother, speak with possibilities '' 
And do not break into these deep extremes. 

Til. Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom ? 
Then be my passions bottomless with them. 

Marc. But yet let reason govern thy lament. 

Tit. If there were reason for these miseries, 
Then into limits could I bind my woes : 
When heaven doth weep, doth not the Citrth 

o'erflow ? 
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, 
Threat'ning the welkin with his big-swoU'n face? 
And wilt thou have a reason for this cod ? 
I am the sea. Hark how her sighs do blow ; '^ 
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth : 
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs ; 
Then must my earth with her continual tears 
Become a deluge, overflow'd and dl•o^vn'd : 
For why, my bowcis cannot hide her woes, 
But like a drunkard must I vomit them. 
Then give me leave, for losers will have leave 
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues. 

* Wilt, in the folio ; tlie quartos, ti'ould 
^ Possibililies, in the folio, and quarto of 10 II. That of 
IGOO, possibility. 
' Blow, in the second folio. The earlier copies, /oic. 

Enter a Messenger icilA two heads and a hand. 

Messen. Worthy Audi'onicus, ill art thou re- 
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor : 
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons. 
And here 's tliy hand in scorn to thee sent back : 
Thy griefs their sports : thy resolution moek'd : 
That woe is me to thmk upon thy woes. 
More than remembrance of my father's death. 

Marc. Now let hot iEtna cool in Sicily, 
And be my heart an ever-bm-niug hell : 
These miseries are more than may be borne. 
To weep with them that weep doth ease some 

deal ; 
But sorrow flouted at is double death. 

Luc. Ah, that this sight should make so deep 
a wound. 
And yet detested life not shrink thereat ! 
That ever death should let life bear his name, 
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe ! 
[Lavinia kisses Titus. 
Marc. Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfort- 
As frozen water to a starved snake. 

Til. Wlien will this fearful slumber have an 

Marc. Now farewell flattery ; Die, Androni- 
Thou dost not slumber : sec thy two sons' heads, 
Thy warlike hand ; thy mangled daughter here ; 
Thy other banish'd son with this dear sight 
Struck pale and bloodless ; and thy brother, I, 
Even like a stony image, cold and nvunb. 
Ah, now no more will I control my" griefs : 
Rend off thy sUver hair, thy other hand 
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal 

The closing up of oui- most wTetched eyes : 
Now is a time to storm ; why art thou still ? 
Tit. Ha, ha, ha! 
Marc. Why dost thou laugh ? it fits not witli 

this hour. 
Tit. Why, I have not another tear to shed : 
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy, 
And would usurp upon my watery eyes. 
And make them blind with tributary tears. 
Then, which way shall I find revenge's cave ? 
For these two heads do seem to speak to me. 
And tlu'cat me, 1 shall never come to bliss. 
Till all these mischiefs be rctum'd again. 
Even in their throats that have committed them. 

a Mij, in all the early copies. Theobald changed it to thy. 
We see no necessity for the change. 


Act hi.) 


SCtNE 71, 

Corae, lei me see what task I have ta do. 

You heavy people, circle me about, 

That I may turn me to each one of you, 

Ajid swear unto my soid to right your w.'-ougs. 

Tlic vow is made. Come, brother, take a head. 

And in this hand the other will I bear. 

And, Lavinia, thou shalt be employ'd in these 

Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy 

teeth : 
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight ; 
Thou ai't an exile, and thou must not stay : 
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there ; 
And if you love me, as I think you do. 
Let 's kiss and part, for we have much to do. 

\_Exeiiiit Titus, Makcus, and Lavinia. 
Luc. Parewell, Anckonicus, my noble father ; 
The wofull'st man that ever liv'd in Rome : 
Farewell, proud Rome, till Lucius come again : 
lie leaves'' his pledges, dearer than his life. 
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister ; 
O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been ! 
But now, nor Lucius, nor Lavinia, lives 
But m oblivion and hateful griefs : 
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs, 
And make proud Saturnine and his empress 
Beg at the gates like Tarquin and his queen. 
Now will I to the Gotlis, and raise a power. 
To be reveng'il on Rome and Saturnine. 

\_E.eit Lucius, 

SCENE 11.—./ Room in Titus's House. A 
Banquet set out." 

Elder Tiius, Marcus, Lavinia, and Yoimg 
Lucius, a boi/. 

Tit. So, so; now sit: and look you cat no 

Than will preserve just so much strength in us 
As wiU revenge these bitter woes of oiu-s. 
Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathcn knot ; 
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands. 
And camiot passionate our tenfold grief 
With folded arms. Tliis poor right hand of 

Is left to tyrannize upon my breast ; 
And'' when my heart, all mad with misery. 
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh. 
Then thus I thump it down. — 

a Things in tlie folio. Tlie qu.irtos, arms. 

b Lenres. Tlie old copies liave lores. Ruwe made llie 
clianpe, which appears judicious. 

c This soene is only found in the folio of 102.3. Johnson 
says it " Joes not contribute anything to tlie action." The 
poet no doubt felt that after such tumultuous action repose 
was wanting. 

<1 And. The original has ulio. 

Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs ! 

[To Lavinia. 
Wlien thy poor heart beats with outrageous 

Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still. 
Wound it with sighing, girl, kiU it with groans ; 
Or got some little knife between thy teeth. 
And just against tliy heart make thou a hole; 
That all the tears tliat thy poor eyes let fall 
May run into that sink, and, soaking in, 
Di'own the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears. 
Mair. Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus 

to lay 
Such violent hands upon her tender life. 

Tit. How now ! has sorrow made thee dote 

already ? 
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I. 
Wliat violent hands can she lay on her life ? 
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of 

hands ; — 
To bid Jilueas tell the tale twice o'er. 
How Troy was burnt, and he made miserable ? 
0, handle not the theme, to talk of hands ; 
Lest we remember stdl that we have none. — ■ 
Fie, fie, how franticly J square my talk! 
As if we should forget we had no hands. 
If Marcus did not name the word of hands ! — • 
Come let's fall to ; and, gentle girl, eat this : — 
Here is no di-ink ! Hark, Marcus, what she 

says ; 
I can interpret all her niartyr'd signs ;— 
She says, she drinks no other drink but tears, 
Brew'd with her sorrows, mesh'd upon her 

cheeks : — 
Speechless eomplainer, I will learn thy thought ; 
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect 
As begging hermits in their holy prayers : 
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to 

Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign. 
But 1, of these, will wrest an alphabet. 
And, by still practice, Icani to know thy mean- 
Bw/. Good grandsu'c, leave these bitter deeji 

laments : 
Make my aunt merry with some pleasmg tale. 

Mare. Alas, tlie tender boy, in passion mov'd, 
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness. 
Tit. Peace, tender sapling ; thou art made of 

And tears will quickly melt thy life away. — 

[Maiicus strikes the dish with a knife. 

What dost thou strike at, Marcus, witli thy knife? 

Marc. At that that I have kill'd, my lord ; a 



[BCEKZ li 

Tit. Oat ou theo, murtherer I thou kill'st my 
heart ; 
Mme eyes are' cloy'd with view of tyraimy : 
A. deed of death, done on the iimooeut, 
Becomes not Titus' brother : Get thee gone ; 
I see thou art not for my company. 
Marc. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly. 
I'it. But how, if that fly had a father and 
mother ? 
How would he haug his slender gilded wings. 
And buzz lamenting douigs in the au- ! 
Poor harmless fly ! 

That, with his pretty buzzing melody. 
Came here to make us merry ; and thou hast 
kill'd huu. 
Mare. Pardon nie, sir; 'twas a black, iU- 
favour'd fly. 
Like to the empress' 

Moor; therefore I kill'd 

Ate is omitted i:i tlie original. 

Tit. O, 0, 0, 
Then pardon me for rcprolicndiug thee. 
For thou hast done a cliaritable deed. 
Give mc thy knife, 1 will insult on him ; 
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor, 
Come hither purposely to poison me. — 
There 's for thyself, and that 's for Tamora. — 
Ah, siiTah ! 

Yet, I tliink we are not brought so low, 
But that, between us, we can kiU a fly, 
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor. 

Marc. Alas, poor man ! grief has so wi'ought 
on him. 
He takes false shadows for true substances. 

Tit. Come, take away.^Lavinia, go with me : 
I '11 to thy closet ; and go read with thee 
Sad stories, chanced m the times of old. — 
Come, boy, and go \rith me ; thy sight is young, 
And thou shalt read, when mine begins to dazzle. 



SCENE I.— Before Titus's House. 

Enter Titus and Marcus ; then Young Lucros, 
and Lavinia running after him, the Ijoij fli/ing 
from her tcith his booh under his arm. 

Boij. Help, grandsire, help ! my aunt Lavinia 
follows me everywhere, I know not why. 
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes ! 
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean. 
Marc. Stand by me, Lucius ; do not fear thy 

Tit. She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee 

Boy. Ay, v,-hen my father was in Rome she did. 
Marc. Wliat means my niece La\'inia by these 

signs ? 
Tit. Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth 
she mean. 
See, Lucius, see, how much she makes of thee : 
Somewhither would she have thee go with her. 
Ay, boy, Cornelia never with more eare 
Read to her son than she hath read to thee, 

Sweet poetry, and TuUy's Orator : 

Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee 

thus ? 
Boy. My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess. 
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her : 
For I have heard my graudsire say fidl oft. 
Extremity of griefs would make men mad ; 
And I have read that Heotiba of Troy 
Ran mad tlu-ough sorrow: That made me to 

fear ; 
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt 
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did, 
And would not, but in fmy, fright my youth : 
Wiich made me down to throw my books, and 

Causeless, perhaps : but pardon me, sweet aunt . 
And, madam, if my uuele Marcus go, 
I will most willingly attend your ladyship. 
Marc. Lucius, I wiU. [Lavinia turns orer 
the books which Lucius has let fall. 
Tit. How now, Lavinia ? Marcus, what mean.s 

Act IV. ] 


[SCEKE 1. 

Some book there is that she desires to see : 
Which is it, gii-1, of these ? open them, hoy. 
But thou art deeper read, aud better skiU'd : 
Come, and take choiee of all my library ; 
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens 
Revgal the damu'd contriver of this deed. 
Why Ufts she up her arms in sequence thus ? 

Miirc. I think she means that there was more 
than one 
Confederate in the fact; — ay, more there was : 
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge. 

Til. Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so ? 

Boi/. Grandsire, 't is Ovid's Metamorphoses ; 
My mother gave it rae. 

Marc. For love of her that 's gone. 
Perhaps, she cuU'd it from among the rest. 

Tit. Soft ! How'' busily she tm-ns the leaves ! 
Help her : what would she find ? Lavinia, shall 

I read ? 
This is the tragic tale of Philomel, 
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape ; 
And rape, I fear, was root of thine amioy. 

Marc. See, brother, see; note how she quotes'^ 
the leaves. 

Til. Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris'd, sweet 
Ravish'd and wrong'd as Philomela was, 
Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods ? 
See, see ! Ay, sueh a place there is where we 

did hmit, 
(0 had we never, never himted there !) 
Pattem'd by that the poet here describes, 
By nat\u:e made for mm-thers and for rapes. 

3Iarc. 0, why should nature build so foul a 
Unless the gods delight in tragedies ? 

Til. Give signs, sweet girl, — for here are none 
but friends, — 
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed ? 
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst. 
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed ? 

Marc. Sit down, sweet niece; brother, sit 
down by me. 
ApoUo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, 
Inspire me that I may this treason find. 
My lord, look here; look here, Lav'-"in 

[He tvriles his name with his staff, and 
guides it with feet and mouth. 
This sandy plot is plain ; guide, if thou canst, 

a This hemistidi is found only in the folio, and is omitted 
in some modern editions. 

>• How. The early copies read so. The modern reading 
is, See how. The pause after .Sojt is a metrical beauty. 

•: Quotes— ohSGTves, searches through. 

This, after me. I have writ my name," 
Without the help of any hand at all. 
Curs'd be that heart that forc'd us to this shift ! 
Write thou, good niece, and here display at last. 
What God will have diseover'd for revenge. 
Heaven gtdde thy pen to print thy sorrows 

That we may know the traitors and the truth ! 

\_She tahcs the staff in her mouth, and 
f/uides it with her stumps, and trritcs. 

Tit. Oh, do ye read, my lord, what she hath 
' Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius.' 

Marc. What, what ! the lustful sons of Ta- 
Performers of this heinous, bloody deed ? 

Tit. Magni Dominntor poll, 
Tam tentus audis seelera ? lam lentus rides ? 

3Iai-e. Oh, calm thee, gentle loid ; although 
I know 
There is enough wTitten upon this earth 
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts, 
Aud arm the mmds of infants to exclaims. 
My lord, kneel down with me ; Lavinia, kneel ; 
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope; 
And swear -nath me, — as with the woful fere,*" 
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame. 
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape, — 
That we will prosecute, by good advice, 
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths, 
And see their blood, or die with this reproach. 

Til. 'T is sure enough, an yon knew how ; 
But if you hunt these bear- whelps, then beware : 
The dam wUl wake, and if she wind you once, 
She 's with the Kon deeply still in league. 
And lidls him whilst she playeth on her back. 
And when he sleeps will she do what she list. 
You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let it 

alone ; 
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass. 
And with a gad of steel will write these words. 
And lay it by : the angry northern wind 
Will blow these sands like Sibyls' leaves abroad. 
And where 's your lesson then ? Boy, what say 

Boy. I say, my lord, that if I were a man. 
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe. 
For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome. 

3Iarc. Ay, that's my boy; thy father hath 
full oft 
For his rmgratefid country done the like. 

fi Some modern editors read — 

" This after me, tcfwrt I have writ my name." 

The Cambridge editors print as above, inserting a stag j 

Ij ii'efe— a companion, and here a husband. (See Illustra- 
tions of Henry IV., Part I., Act t.) 


Act IV.] 

Boj/. And, uncle, so will I, an it' 1 live. 
Tit. Come, gu with me into mine armoury ; 
Lucius, I '11 fit thee ; and withal, my boy 
Shall oaiTy from me to the empress' sons 
Presents that I intend to send them both : 
Come, come, thou. 'It do thy message, wilt thou 
Buij. Ay, with my dagger in then- bosoms, 

Tit. No, boy, not so; I '11 teach thee another 
Lavinia, come ; Marcus, look to my house ; 
Lucius and I '11 go brave it at the court : 
Ay, marry will we, sn ; and we 'U be waited on. 
{Exeunt Titus, Lavinia, and Boy. 
Marc. heavens ! can you hear a good man 
And not relent, or not compassion him '■ 
Marcus, attend him in his extasy, 
That hath more soars of sorrow in bis heart, 
Thau foemcu's marks upon his batter'd shield ; 
But yet so just, that he will not revenge : 
Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronieus. \_E.i'it. 

SCENE 11.— A Uoom ill the PaUi<-e. 

Enter Aabon, Chiron, ami Demetrius at one 
door ; at another door Young Lucius and 
Attendant, with a bundle of weapons, and 
verses icritten itpon them. 

Chi. Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius ; 
He hath some message to deliver us. 

Aaron. Ay, some mad message from liis mad 

Boy. My lords, with all the humbleness I 
I greet your honoui'S from Andi'onicus ; 
And pray the Roman gods confound you both. 

Demet. Gramercy, lovely Lucius, \\liat 's the 

news ? 
Boy. That you are both decipher' d, that 's 
the news,a 
For villaias mark'd with rape \_Aside']. May 

it please you. 
My grandsire, well advis'd, hath sent by me 
The goodliest weapons of his armoury. 
To gratify your honoiu'able youth, 
The hope of Rome ; for so be bad me say : 
And so I do, and with his gifts present 
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need, 

B This line is omitted in the folio ; a typographical error, 
WTlich has arisen through the preceding line ending with the 
same word. 




l.ScEMe II 

You may be armed and appointed well. 
And so I leave you both : {Aside'] like bloody 
villains. {Exeunt Boy and Attendant. 
Demet. What 's here ? a scroll ; and written 
round about ? 
Let 's see : 

' Integer vita, scelerisqi/e purus, 
Non eget Mauri jaculis, nee arcu' 

Chi. O 't is a verse in Horace; I know it well: 
I read it in the grammar long ago. 

Aaron. Ay, just a verse in Horace;" right, 
you have it. 
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass ! 
Here 's no sound jest ! the old man hath found 

their giult, 
Aud sends the weapons wrapp'd about with lines. 
That wound, beyond their feebng, to the quick : 
But were om' witty empress well a-foot. 
She would applaud Andronieus' conceit. 
But let her rest in her uiu'est awhile. {The 

preceding secen lines are spoken aside. 
Aud now, young lords, was 't not a happy star 
Led us to Rome, strangers, and more than so. 
Captives, to be advanced to this height ? 
It did me good, before the palace gate, 
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearinc. 
Demet. But me more good, to see so great a 
Basely insinuate, and send us gifts. 

Aaron. Had he not reason, lord Demetrius ? 
Did you not use his daughter very friendly ? 
Demet. I would we had a thousand Roman 
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust. 
Chi. A charitable wish, and full of love. 
Aaron. Here lacks but for your mother for to 

say Amen. 
Chi. And that would she for twenty thousana 

Demet. Come, let us go, and pray to all the 
For our beloved mother iu her palus. 
Aaron. Pray to the devils ; the gods have 
given us over. 

{Aside. Trumpets sound. 
Demet. Why do the emperor's trumpets flou- 
rish thus ? 
Chi. Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son. 
Demet. Soft ; who comes here ? 

Enter Nurse, with a blackamoor child. 

Nurse. Good morrow, lords ; 
0, tell me, did you see Aaron, the Moor ? 

» Ai/,jusf a verse in Horace — merely a verse in Horacp 
The common punctuation is, " Ay, just ! A verse," S:c. 




more, or less, or uc'cr a wliit 

[srtxt u. 

at all, 
Here Aarou is ; aiul what with Aaron now ? 

Ntiise. O gentle Aarou, -we are all imdoue ! 
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore ! 
Jaron. Why, what a caterwauling dost thou 
What dost tliou wrap and fumble in thine arms ? 
^ui-se. 0, that which I would hide from 
heaven's eye, — 
Our empress' shame, and stately Home's dis- 
grace ; 
She is deliver' d, lords, she is dcliver'd. 
Aaron. To whom ? 

Nurse. I mean she is brought a-bed. 

Aaron. Well, God give her good rest ! What 

hath he sent her ? A devil. 
Aaron. Why, then she is the devil's dam ; a 

joyful issue. 
Nurse. A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrow- 
fid issue : 
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad. 
Amongst the fairest breeders of our cluue. 
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal. 
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's 
Aaron. Oat, you" whore ! is black so base a 
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom sur'e. 
Demet. VillaLn, what hast thou done ? 
Aaron. That which thou canst not undo. 
Chi. Thou hast undone our- mother. 
Aaron. Villain, I have done thy mother. 
Demet. And therein, hellish dog, thou hast 
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed 

choice ! 
Accurs'd the olTspring of so foul a fiend. 
Chi. It shall not live. 
Aaron. It shall not die. 

Nurse. Aaron, it must ; the mother wills it so. 
Aaron. What ! must it, nurse ? Then let no 
man but I 
Do execution on my flesh and blood. 

Demet. I 'U broach the tadpole on my rapier's 
point : 
Nurse, give it me ; my sword shall soon despatch 
Aaron. Sooner this sword sludl plough thy 
bowels uj). 

[Takes the Child y;-0;/i the Nurse. 

Stay, murtherous villains, wUl you kill your bro- 
Now, by the bm-niug tapers of the sky. 
That shone so brightly when this boy was got, 
He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point 
That touches this my fii-st-born son and heir. 
I tell you, younglings, not Euceladus, 
With all his threat'uing band of Typhon's brood, 
Nor great Alcidcs, nor the god of war, 
Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands. 
What, what! ye sanguine, shallow -iiearlcd 

boys ! 
Ye white-Hm'd walls ! ye ale-house paiulcd 

signs ! 
Coal-black is better than another hue, 
In that it scorns to bear another hue : 
For all the water in the ocean 
Can never tm'n the swan's black legs to while, 
Although she lave them hom-ly in the flood ; 
Tell the empress from me, I am of age 
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can 

Dei.iel. WUt thou betray thy noble mistress 
thus ? 

Aaron. J\ly mistress is my mistress ; this, my 
self ; 
The vigour, and the pictm-e of my youth : 
This before all tlie world do I prefer ; 
Tins, maugre all the world, will I keep safe. 
Or some of yon shall smoke for it in Home. 

Demet. By tliis our mother is for ever sham'd. 

Chi. Rome will despise her for this foul escape. 

Nurse. The emperor, in his rage, will doom 
her death. 

Chi. I blush to think upon this ignominy." 

Aaron. Why, there 's 
beauty bears : 
Fie, treacherous hue, that 

The close enacts and counsels of the heai't : 
Here 's a yoimg lad fram'd of another leer.'' 
Look, how the black slave smiles upon tiie 

As who should say, ' Old lad, I am thine own.' 
He is yom- brother, lords, sensibly fed 
Of that self blood that first gave life to yon; 
And from that womb, where you iuiprison'd were. 
He is enfranchised and come to light : 
Nay, he is yonr brother by the surer side. 
Although my seal bo stamped in liis face. 

Nurse. Aaron, what shall I say unto the cm- 

the privilege 
will betray 



press : 
Deuiet. Advise 

thee, Aaron, what is to lii' 

ft Out, 'JQU is 

'counds, >je. 

Sur. Vol. 

Ilie leading of tlie folio. Tlie quartos, 

Uiaomin;. in tliu folio; the (luartos. iijnoniij. 
/fcr — complexion, Iur'. 




Aud we will aU subscribe to tliy advice : 
Save thou the cliild, so we may all be safe. 

Aaron. Then sit we dowu, aud let us all con- 
My sou and I will have the wind of you : 
Keep there ; now talk at pleasure of your safety. 

Demet. How many women saw this ohUd of his ? 

Aaro)i. TVliy, so brave lords: When we'' join 
in league 
I am a lamb ; but if you brave the Moor, 
The chafed'' boar, the mountain lioness. 
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms ; 
But say again, how many saw the child ? 

Nurse. Cornelia the midwife, and myself. 
And no one else but the deliver'd empress. 

Aaron. The empress, the midwife, and your- 
Two may keep counsel when the third's away: 
Go to the empress, tell her this I said : 

[lie A-il/s her. 
Weke, weke — so cries a pig prcpar'd to the spit. 

Demct. What mcan'st thou, Aaron? where- 
fore didst thou this ? 

Aaron. Oh, lord, sir, 't is a deed of policy ; 
Shall she live to betray tins guilt of ours ? 
A long-tongued babbUug gossip ! No, lords, no : 
And now be it knowm to you my fidl intent. 
Not far, one Muliteus lives,' my countryman ; 
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed ; 
His child is like to her, fair as you arc : 
Go pack '' with him, and give the mother gold. 
And tell thciu both the circamstance of all, 
;Vnd liow by tliis their child shall be advauc'd, 
Aud be received for the emperor's heir. 
And substituted in the place of mine. 
To calm this tempest whirling in the court ; 
And let the emperor dandle him for his own. 
Hark ye, lords ; ye see I have given her physic, 
[Pointing to tlie Nui'sc. 
And you must needs bestow her fuueral ; 
The fields are near, aud you are gallant grooms ; 
This done, see that you take no longer days, 
J5ut send the midwife presently to me. 
The midwife and tlic nurse well made away, 
Tlien let tlio ladies tattle what they please. 

Chi. Aaron, I see thou wUt not trust tlic air 
with secrets. 

Demet. For this care of Tamora, 
Herself and hers arc higldy bound to thee. 

[Sreniil Demeteius aud CniRox, learnig 
off the Nurse. 

a Tlie ordinary re.nd'.n;; was, " n// J-tiii.' 
I' Chafed, in the old lopi-es; the variorum reading, chased. 
^ Lives, which is not in tlie old cujiies, was inserted by 
u Pack — contrive, arr-^nge. 


Aaron. Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow 

There to dispose this treasure in mine arms, 
And secretly to greet the empress' friends : 
Come on, you tliiek-lipp'd slave, I'll bear you 

hence ; 
For it is you that puts us to our shifts : 
I '11 make you feed on berries, and on roofs, 
And feed on curds and whey, aud suck the gnat, 
iVud cabin in a cave, and bring you up 
To be a warrior, and command a camp. \_E.rit. 

SCENE III.— A publie Place in Home. 

Enter Titus, Marcus, Young Lucius, and other 
Gentlemen, with Lows, and TiTUS bears the 
arrows with letters on thcni. 

Tit. Come, Marcus ; come, kiusmon ; this is 

the way : 
Sir boy," let me see your archery ; 
Look ye draw home enough, and 't is (here 

Terras Astr<ea reliqiiil, be you rcmembcr'il, 

She 's goue, she 's fled. Siis, take you to your 

tools ; 
You, cousins, shall go souud the ocean, 
And cast your nets. Happily, you may find'' 

her in the sea ; 
Yet there 's as little justice as at land :' 
No ; Publius and Senipronius, you musi do it ; 
'T is you must dig mth mattock and with spade. 
Aud pierce the inmost centre of the earth ; 
Then, wlien you come to Pluto's region, 
I pray you, deliver him this petition; 
Tell him it is for justice and for aid, 
Aud that it comes from old ,\udionicus, 
Shaken with soitows in ungratofid Rome. 
Ah, Home ! well, well, I made thee miserable 
What time I threw the people's suffrages 
On liini that tlras doth tyrannize o'er me. 
Go, get you gone, and pray be careful all, 
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch'd : 
This wicked emperor may have shipp'd licr 

hence ; 
/Vnd, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice. 

Marc. 0, Publius, is not this a heavy case. 
To sec thy noble uncle thus distract ? 

Pah. Therefore, my lords, it higldy us con- 
By day and night t' attend him carefully ; 

" Tlie reading of the second folio is. Sir bin/, iww. 
^ Find. So the folio, and quarto of 1611 ; that of I60C 



l-CESE ill. 

And feed liis luuuour kiiidly as we may, 
Till time beget some careful remedy. 

Miii-c. Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy. 
Joiu «itli the Goths, and witli revengeful war 
T.ike wreak ou Kome for his ingratitude, 
And vengeance on tlie traitor Saturnine. 

2'it. Publius, how now ? how now, my mas- 
ters ? 
Wliat, liave you met with her ? 
Pub. No, my good lord ; but Pluto sends you 
If you will have revenge from hcU you shall : 
Marry, for Justice she is so euiploy'd. 
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere 

So that perforce you must needs slay a time. 
Tit, He doth me wrong to feed me with 
1 '11 dive into the burning lake below. 
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels. 
Marcus, we are but shnibs ; no cedars we. 
No big-bon'd men, fram'd of the Cyclops' size ; 
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back, 
Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs 

can bear : 
And sith there is no justice in earth nor hell. 
We win solicit heaven, and move the gods, 
To send do^vll justice for to wreak our \vi-ong5. 
Come to this gear ; you are a good archer, Mar- 
cus. \_IIe rjices them the amies. 
Ad Jooem, that 's for you ; here, ad ApoUinem : 
Ad Miirlem, that 's for myself; 
Here, boy, to Pallas ; here, to Mercury : 
To Saturn, Caius, not to Satm-uine," 
You were as good to shoot against the wind. 
To it, boy : Marcus, loose when I bid : 
Of my word, I have written to effect. 
There's not a god left unsolicited. 
Marc. Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the 
court : 
We will afflict the emperor in his pride. 

'lit. Now, masters, draw. Oh, well said, 
Lucius! {Thei/ shoot. 

Good boy, in "Vii-go's lap; give it Pallas. 
Marc. My lord, I ainr a mile beyoud the 
moon ; 
Youi- letter is with Jupiter by this. 

Tit. Ha, ha I Publius, Publius, what hast thou 
done ? 
See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' homs. 
Mare. This was the sport, my lord: when 
Publius shot, 

^ Tlie old copies read — 

" To .'saturnine, to Caius, not to Saturnim-." 
Ko.\e corrected the passage. 


The Bull, being gall'd, gave Aries sucn a knock, 
That down fell both the Eani's horns in the court. 
And who .should dud them but the empress' 

villain : 
She lauglid, and told the Moor he shoidd uot 

But give them to his master for a present. 
Tit. Why, there it goes : God give your lord- 
ship joy." 

&it(ir Clown, t':i/h a liasket, and tico jiir/eons 
in it. 

Tit. News, news from heaven ! Marcus, the 
post is come. 
Sirrah, what tidings ? have you any letters ? 
Shall I have justice ? what says Jupiter ? 

Clown. Ho I the gibbet-maker ? he says that 
he hath taken them down again, for the nuui 
must not be hanged till the next week. 

Tit. But what says Jupiter, I ask thee ? 

Clown. Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter : 
I never drank with him in all my life. 

Tit. AVhy, villain, art not thou the carrier? 

Glown. Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nofliing else. 

Tit. Why, didst thou uot come from heaven? 

Clown. From heaven ? alas, sir, I never can.e 
there. God forbid I should be so bold to press 
to heaven in my yoiuig days ! Why, I am going 
with my pigeons to tlie tribunal Plebs, to take 
up a matter of brawl betwixt my uncle and one 
of the imperial's men. 

Marc. Why, sii-, that is as fit as can be to 
serve for your oration; and let him deliver the 
pigeons to the empevor from you. 

Tit. Tell me, can you deliver an oration to 
the emperor with a grace ? 

Clown. Nay, truly, sir; I could never say 
grace in all my life. 

Tit. Sirrah, come hither; make no more ado. 
But give your pigeons to the emperor : 
By me thou shait have justice at his hands. 
Hold, hold; meanwhile, here's money for thy 

Give me pen and ink. 

Sin-ah, can you with a grace deliver a supplica- 

Clown. Ay, sir. 

Tit. Then here is a supplication for you. And 
wheu you come to him, at the first approach 
you must Iviieel ; then kiss his foot ; then deliver 
up your pigeons ; and then look for your reward. 
I '11 be at hand, su- ; see you do it bravely. 

» The (lU.iito ollSCI. "/iij lordship." Thai of IGII omit 
the line, which we print as in the folio. 


Act IV.] 


Clown. I wiUTant j-oii, su-, let me alone. 

Tit. Sirrah, hast thou a knife ? Come, let mo 
see it. 
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration, 
For thou hast made it Kke an humble supplianl. 
A.ud when thou hast given it the emperor, 
Kuoek at my door, and tell mo what he says. 

Clown. God be with you, sii' ; I will. {lixll. 

Tit. Come, Mareus, let us go ; Piiblius, follow 
me. [Exeunt. 

SCENE lY.—Befoi-e the I'uluee. 

Enter Saturninus, Tamora, Chiron, Deme- 
trius, Lords, and others. The Emperor 
Ijrinrjs the arrows in his hand that Thus shot 
at him. 

Sat. Why, lords, what wrongs are these ? was 

ever seen 
An emperor in Homo thus overborne, 
Troubled, confronted thus ; and, for the extent 
Of cgal justice, used in such contempt? 
My lords, you know, as do'' the mightful gods, 
Uowever these distiu'bcrs of our peace 
Buzz in the people's ears, there nought bath 

But even with law, against the wilful sons 
Of old Audrouieus. And what an if 
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd Iiis wits ; 
Shall we be thus afflicted in lus wreaks. 
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness? 
And now, he WTites to heaven for his redress ; 
See, here's to Jove, and this to Mercury, 
This to Apollo, this to the god of war : 
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of jlome ! 
What's this, but libelling against the senate, 
And blazoning oiu' unjust ice everywhere? 
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords ? 
As who would say, in Rome no justice were : 
IJut if I live, his feigned ecstasies 
Shall be no shelter to these outrages ; 
))ut he and his shall know that Justice lives 
In Satwninus' health, whom, if he'' sleep. 
He 'II so awake, as he in fury shall 
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives. 

Tarn. My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine, 
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts, 
Calm thee, and bear the faidts of Titus' age, 
Th' effects of sorrow for his valiant sons, 
AV'hose loss hath picre'd him deep, and scarr'd 

his heart ; 

And rather comfort ins distressed plight, 

" .1* ilo. These nnrds were inserted by Uow.\ 

^ J!e. So the original roijies. The antecedent heinp co:.' 

sidered Justice, the modern reading is slw. The Canibridt;t' 

iilitors liavc retained the original Ac. 


Thau prosecute the meanest or the best 

For these eoutempts : Why, thus it shall become 

Iligh-witted Tamora to glose with all : 

But, Titus, I have touch'd thee to the quick. 

Thy Ufe-blood out : if Aaron now be wise. 

Then is all safe, the anelior 's in the port. 


Enter Clown. 

How now, gooil fcUow, wouklst thou speak with 
us ? 

Clown. Yea, forsooth, an your mistersliip be 

Tarn. Empress I am, but yonder sits the 

Clown. 'T is he. God and saint Stejilien 
give you good den ; I have brought you a letter 
and a couple of pigeons here. 

[S.ITURXIXUS reads the letter. 

Sat. Go, take him away, and hang him pre- 

Clown. How much money must I have ? 

Tarn. Come, sirrah, you must be hang'd. 

Clown. Hang'd ! by'r lady, then I have brought 
up a neck to a fair end. [E.rit, rjiiarded. 

Sat. Despiteful and intolerable wrongs ! 
Shall I endure this monstrous villainy ? 
I know from whence this same device proceeds : 
May this be borne, as if his traitorous sons. 
That died by law for miu-ther of our brother. 
Have by my means been butcher'd wrongfidly ? 
Go, drag the villain liither by the hau- ; 
Nor age, nor honour, shall shape privilege : 
For this proud mock I 'U be thy shinghter-man ; 
Sly frantic wretch, that holpst to make me great, 
In hope thyself shoidd govern Rome and me. 

Enter iEiilLius. 

Sal. What news with thee, ,^milius ? 

y&«7. Arm, my lord ; Rome never had more 
cause ! 
The Goths have gather'd head, and with a 

Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil. 
They hither march amain, luidcr conduct 
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus ; 
Who threats in coiu'se of this revenge to do 
As much as ever Coriolanus did. 

Sat. Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths ? 
These tidings nip me ; and I hang the head 
As flowers with frost, or grass beat down with 

storms : 
.\y, now begin our sorrows to approach : 
'T is he the common people love so much! 

ArT l\.] 



Myself hath often heard them sav, 
(When I liavc walked like a private man,) 
That Lucius' banishment was wrougfuliy, 
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their 

Tnm. Why should you fear ? is not your city 
strong ? 

SiiL Ay, but tlie citizens favour Lueivis, 
And will revolt from me, to succour him. 

7(/m. King, be thy thoughts imperious, Like 
thy name. 
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it ? 
The eagle suffers little birds to sing, 

And is not carefnl what they mean thereby, 
Knowing that with the shadow of his wing" 

He can at pleasure stint their melody. 
Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Home ! 
Then cheer thy spirit: for know, thou emperor, 
I will enchant the old Andronicus, 
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous 
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep ; 
'When as the one is wounded with the bait. 
The other rotted with delicious feed. 

a }riiiri. The originals 
•c Tliyiiif alternate")'. 

But the lines are meant 

Sa/. But lie will not entreat his son for us. 

Ti/a. If Tamora entreat him, then he will ; 
For I can smooth and fill his aged ear 
Witli golden promises, that, were his heart 
Almost impregnable, his old cars deaf, 
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue. 
Go thou before to be our embassador; 

Say that the emperor requests a parley 
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting. 
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus." 

Sat. jEmilius, do this message honourably : 
And if he stand on hostage for liis safety, 
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best. 

y7i'/«(7. Your bidding shall I do effectually. 

[Eril JEiULlvs. 

I'm//. Now will I to (hat old Andronicus ; 
And temper him, with all the art I have. 
To pluck prcrad Lucius from the warlike Goths. 
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again. 
And bury all thy fear in my devices. 

S(//. Then go successantly, and plead to liim. 

f^ This line is not in the folio, but ii; the earlier quartos. 


SCENE \.—P!(iuis near Home. 

Flourish. Enter LLXlfS, wUli an armi/ of Gotlis, 
willi (Iriini. 

Liir. A]i|)rovccl warriors, and my faithful 

I have received letters from great Rome, 

Wliich sigiiify what hate they hear their em- 

And how desirous of om- sight they are. 

Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness, 

Imperious and impatient of your \n-ongs ; 

And wherein Rome hath done you any scathe, 

Let him make treble satisfaetion. 

ao//i. Brave shp, sprung from the great An- 

Whose name Mas once o\ir terror, now our com- 
fort . 

Whose hi^li exjiloils, and honourable deeds, 

Ingratef'd Rome requites with foul contempi. 
Be l)old in us ; we '11 follow where thou lead'sl. 
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day. 
Led by their master to the tlower'd fields, 
And be avcng'd on cursed Tamora : 
And, as he saith, so say we all wiHi him. 

L/ic. I humhlv thank him, and I thank yov. 
Bat who comes here, led by a lusty Goth? 

liti/er a Goth, leiidin// Aahox tciZ/i hit chilil in 
his arms. 

Gvlh. Renowned luieius, from our Iroojis 1 
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery. 
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye 
U])on the wasted building, suddenly 
I licard a child cry underneath a wall : 
I made unto the noise, when soon I hcai'd 

Act v.] 


I<:CENK 1. 

The crying bubc oontTOU'cl wiUi this discourse: 
'I'eace, tawny slave, half nic, and half thy dam ! 
Did not thy hue l)ewray whose brat thou art, 
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look. 
Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor. 
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white, 
They never do beget a coal-black calf : 
Peace, villain, peace ! ' — even thus he rates the 

babe, — 
Tor I must bear thee to a tr.isty Goth, 
Wlio, when he knows thou art the empress' babe, 
Will liold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.' 
With tliis, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him, 
Surpris'd him suddenly, and broujjht him liither 
To use as you think needful of flie man. 

Z/ic. Oh worthy Goth, tliis is the iucarnato 
That robb'd Audronieus of his good hand : 
This is the pearl that pleas'd your empress' eye ; 
And here 's the base fruit of his burning lust. 
Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst tliou 

This growing image of thy fleudlikc face ? 
Wliy dost not speak? what, deaf?" not a word? 
A halter, soldiers ; hang him on this tree. 
And by his side liis fruit of bastardy. 

Aiiron. Touch not the boy, he is of royal 

Liic. Too like the sire for ever being good. 
First hang the child that he may see it .sprawl, 
A sight to vex the father's soul \vitlial. 

Aaron. Get me a ladder!' Lucius, save the 
And bear it from me to tlie empress : 
If thou do this, I '11 show thee woud'rous things, 
That liighly may advantage thee to hear ; 
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall, 
I '11 speak no more, but vengeance rot you all. 

Luc. Say on, and if it please me wliich thou 
Thy cluld shall live, and I will see it nomish'd. 

Aaron. An if it plense tncc ? why, assure 
thee, Lucius, 
'T will vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak : 
Tor I must talk of mvirthers, rapes, aud mas- 
Acts of black night, abominable deeds, 
Complots of mischief, treason, villainies 
liutliful to hear, yet pitcously perform'd ; 
And this shall all be bui'ied by my death. 
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live. 

^ The serond folio here inserts nc. 

^ Gt mc a laihlcr. These words belong to the Moor in :vll 
the editions He may mean, Execute mc, but save the 
child ! In modern coiiies, Lucius is made to call for the 

f./ir. Tell on (hy mind; I say thy cliihl siiall 

Aaro». Swear that ho shall, aud I lien I will 

I./ir. Who should I swear by ? thou believ'st 
no God ; 
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath ? 

Aaron. What if I do not, as indeed I do not : 
Yet, for I know thou art religious. 
And hast a tiling within thee called conscience, 
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies, 
Wliich I have seen thee earefid to observe. 
Therefore I urge thy oath ; for that I know 
An idiot holds this bauble for a God, 
Aud keeps the oath which by that God he 

swears ; 
To that I '11 urge him : therefore thou shalt vow 
By that same God, what God soe'er it be. 
That thou ador'st, and hast in reverence. 
To save my boy, to nourish, and bring him up ; 
Or else I will discover nought to thee. 

Luc. Even by my God I swear to thee I will. 
Aaron. First know thou, I begot him on the 

Liic. Oh most insatiate, luxurious woman ! 
Aaron. Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed o! 
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon. 
'T was her two sons that murther'd Bassianus ; 
They cut thy sister's tongue, and ravish'd her, 
xVud cut her hands off, and trimnrd her as thou 
Luc. Oh, detestable villain ! caU'st thou that 

trimmiug ? 
Aaron. Wliy, she was wash'd, and cut, and 
.Vnd 't was trim sport for them that had the 
doing of it. 
Luc. Oh, barbarous, beastly villains, like thy- 
Aaron. Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct 
them : 
That codding spirit had they from their mother, 
As sure a card as ever won the set ; 
That bloody mind I think tlicy Icarn'd of mc, 
As true a dog as ever fought at head : 
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worfli. 
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole. 
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay : 
I wrote the letter that tliy father fouiul, 
Aud hid the gold within, the letter mention'il ; 
Confederate with the queen aud her two sons. 
And what not done, that tliou hast cause to nie, 
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it ? 
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand; 


Act v.] 


[Scene II 

Anrl, ■when I had it, drew myself apart, 

And almost broke ray heart with extreme 

I pry'd me through the ercvioe of a wall, 
When, for his hand, lie had his two sous' heads ; 
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartUy, 
That both miue eyes were raiuy like to liis : 
And when 1 told the empress of this sport. 
She swoimded almost at my pleasing tale. 
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses. 
6ot/i. What, canst thou sav all tliis, and never 

Aaron. Ay, like a black dog, as tlic saying is. 
f./ic. Art thou not sorry for these lieinous 

deeds ? 
Aaron. Ay, that I liad not done a tliowsand 

Even now I curse the day, — and yet I think 
Few come witliin the compass of my curse, — 
Wherein I did not some notorious Ul : 
As kill a man, or else devise his death ; 
Ravish a maid, or plot the way f o do it ; 
Accuse some innocent, and forswear mvself; 
Set deadly enmity between two friends; 
Make poor men's cattle break their necks ; 
Set fire on barns and haystacks in the night. 
And bid the owners quench them with their 

tears : 
Oft have I digg'd up dead meu from tlieir graves. 
And set them upright at their dear friends' 

Even when their sorrows almost were forgot ; 
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees. 
Have with my krufe carved iu lloman letters, 
' Let not your sorrow die, tliough I am dead.' 
Tnt, I have done a thousand dreadful things 
As willingly as one would kill a lly ; 
And nothing grieves me heart'ly indeed, 
But that I cannot do ten thousand more. 

L'^c. Bring down the devil for lie must not 

So sweet a death as hanging presently. 
Aaron. If there be devils, would I were a 

To live and burn in everlasting fire. 
So I miglit have your company iu hell, 
But to torment you with my bitter tongue ! 
Luc. Sirs, stop his iiioutli, and let him speak 

no more. 

Enter a Goth. 

Goih. My loixl, there is a messenger from 
Desires to be admitted to your presence. 
Luc. Let him come near. 

Enter M'O.UAVi. 

Welcome, JUmilius: WTiat's the news from 
Rome ? 
JEuiil. Lord Lucius, and yoiu- princes of the 
The Roraau emperor greets you all by mc ; 
And, for he miderstauds you are in arms, 
He craves a parley at your father's house, 
W^dliug you to deiu.and your hostages. 
And they shall be immediately delivcr'd. 
Gotli. What says our general ? 
Lite. yEmUius, let the emperor give his pledges 
Unto my father, and my uncle Marcus, 
And we \\i\\ come : march away. 

\_Flonrisli. E.tCKnt. 

SCENE \\.—Bifure Titus's Ilonse. 

Enter Tamora, Ciiikon, and Demetrius, 

Tarn. Thus in this strange and sad habiliment 
I will encounter with Andronicus, 
And say I am Revenge, sent from below. 
To join with him and right his lieinous wrongs. 
Knock at his study, where they say he keeps. 
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge : 
Tell him Revenge is come to join with him. 
And work confusion on his enemies. 

\They knock, and Titus opens Ids Study door. 

Tit. Who doth molest my eontemplafion? 
Is it your trick to make mc ope the door, 
Tliat so my sad decrees may iiy away, 
And all my study l)e to no effect ? 
You are deeeiv'd, for what I mean to do 
See here in bloody lines 1 have set dowu; 
And what is written shall be executed. 

Tarn. Titus, I am conic to talk with thee. 

Tit. No, not a word : linw can I grace my 
Wanting a hand to give it action ?" 
Thou hast the odds of me ; therefore no more. 

Tarn. If thou didst know me, thou wouldsl 
talk with me. 

Tit. I am uot mad ; I know thee well enough. 
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crim- 
son lines. 
Witness these trenches made by grief and care. 
Witness the tiring day and heavy lu'glit. 
Witness all sorrow, tliat I know thee well 
Eor our proud empress, mighty Tamora: 
Is not tiiy coming for my other hand ? 

Turn. Know thou, sad man I am uot Ta- 
a It aclioTi. So tile folio. Tile quartos, t'lal accord. 

Act v.] 


[Scene 11 

She is thy enemy, and I thy friend. 
I am Revenge, sont from the infernal kingdom, 
To ease the gnawuig vnlturc of tliy mind, 
l!y working wreakfid vengeance on thy foes : 
Come doviH, and \velconie me to this world's 

Cimffr with me of murtlier and of death. 
There 's not a hollow eavc or lurkiiig-jilace, 
No vast obscurity or misty vale, 
Where bloody Murther, or detested Rape, 
Can coucu for fear, but I will find tliem out ; 
And iu their ears tell tliem my dreadful name — 
Revenge — which makes tlie foid offenders quake. 

Til. Art thou Revenge ? and art thou sent to 
To be a torment to mine enemies ? 

Tdiu. I am; therefore come down, and wel- 
come me. 

Til. Do me some service, ere I come to thee. 
Lo, by thy side where Rape, and Murther, stands ! 
Now give some 'siu-anee that thou art Revenge ; 
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels; 
Aud then I '11 come and be thy waggoner. 
And whirl along with thee about the globes. 
Provide thee two proper palfreys, as black as 

To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away. 
And find out mm-therers'' in their guilty eaves. 
And when thy ear is loaden with their heads, 
I will dismount, and by the waggon-wlieel 
Trot like a servile footman all day long, 
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east 
Until his very downfall in the sea. 
yVnd, day l)y day, I'll do tliis heavy task, 
So tlion destroy Rapine and Jlnrther there. 

TititK These are my ministers, and eorae with 

Tit. Are they tliy miuislcrs? what arc they 

Tarn. Rape and ilurther; therefore called so, 
'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men. 

Til. Good lord, how like the empress' sons 
they are. 
And you the empress ! but worldly men 
Have miseral3le, mad, mistaking eyes. 
Oh, sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee, 
.'Vnd, if one arm's embraccment will content thee, 
I will embrace thee in it by-and-by. 

[TiTUS dosK's his door. 

Tiim. This closing with hiju fits his lunacy. 
Wliate'cr I forge to feed his brain-sick fits, 
Do you uphold, and maintain in yom- spceehcs ; 

a Some editors write the line, 

" Provide tliee proper palfreys, black a^ jet." 
li Muilhi'rt IS. The early copies, jH»r//iCT'. 

For now he firmly takes mc for Revenge, 
Ami, being crediJous in tliis mad thought, 
I '11 make him send for LuCiits, his sou ; 
And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure, 
I '11 find some cunuiiig practice out of hand 
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths, 
Or, at the least, nuike them his enemies : 
See, here he comes, aud I must ply my theme. 


Enter Titus. 
liave I been forloni, and a 

U for 


T\'e]eome, di-ead fury, to my wofid house; 
Rapine, and Murther, you are welcome too. 
How like the empress and her sons you are ! 
AYell you are fitted, had you but a Moor ! 
Could not all hell aftord you such a de\il ? 
For well I wot the empress never wags 
But in her company there is a Moor ; 
And, woidd you represent our queen aright. 
It were convenient you had such a devil: 
r>iit welcome as you are : What shall we do ? 
Tiiiii. What wouldst thou have us do, Andro- 

nicus ? 
Demel. Show me a murtherer : I 'U deal with 

Chi. Show me a viUian that hath done a rape. 
And I am sent to be reveng'd on him. 

Tarn. Show me a thousand, that have done 

thee wrong, 
And I will be revenged on them all. 

Ti/. Look rouiul about the wicked streets of 

And when thou find'st a man that 's like thyself. 
Good Murther, stab him; he's a murtherer. 
Go thou with him ; and when it is thy litip 
To find another that is like to thee. 
Good Rapine, stab him ; he is a ravisher. 
Go thou with them ; and in the emperor's court 
Tliere is a queen attended by a Moor; 
AVcU raayst thou know her by thy own propor- 
For up and down she doth reseiid)lc thee. 
I pray thee do on them some violent death : 
They have been violent to me and mine. 

Tnm. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this sliall 

we do. 
But would it please thee, good Andronieus, 
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son. 
Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike 

And bid him come and banquet at tliy house : 
When he is here, even at thy solemn feast, 
I will bring in the empress and her sons, 
The emperor himself, and all thy foes ; 


»ci V ] 


;SrENE U- 

And at thy mci-cy sli:ill they stoop and kueel; 
And on them shalt thou case thy angi-y heart. 
Wliat says Aiidi-oiiicus to tliis device? 

Enter Majicds. 

Tit. Marcus, my brother, 't is sad Titus calls. 
Go, geutle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius : 
Thou shalt iuquirc him out among the Goths. 
Bid him repair to me, and bring with hiui 
Some of the chiefcst princes of the Goths ; 
Bid hiui encamp his soldiers where they arc. 
TcU him the emperor, and the empress too, 
Peast at my house, and he shall feast with them. 
This do thou for my love; and so let hini. 
As lie regards his aged father's life. 

Mure. This will I do, and soon return again. 

Tuiii. Now will I hence about my business. 
And take my ministers along with me. 

Tit. Nay, nay ; let Bape and Murthcr stay 
with me. 
Or else I '11 call my brother back agam. 
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius. 

Tarn. AVhat say you, boys ? will you bide 
with him, 
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor, 
How I have go\Trn'd our deteruiin'd jest ? 
Yield to Ins huiuour, smooth and speak him fair. 
And tarry with him till I turn again. \jliide. 
Tit. I know them all, though they suppose 
me mad. 
And will o'erreach them in their o^mi devices : 
A pair of cursed hell-hounds, and their dam. 

Bei.irl. Madam, depart at pleasure : leave us 

Tani. Farewell, Andronicus; Revenge now 
To lay a eomplot to betray thy foes. \E.i-it T.\m. 
Tit. I know thou dost ; and, sweet Revenge, 

Chi. Tell us, old man, how shall we be em- 
ploy "d ? 
Tit. Tut ! I have work enough fm- you to do. 
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine. 

EiitiT Publius and ollicrs. 

Pub. Wliat is your will ? 

Tit. Know you these two ? 

Pub. The empress' sons, I take theui, Chiron, 

Tit. Fie, Publius, fie ; thou art too much dc- 
eeiv'd : 
The one is !Murthcr, Rape is the other's name ; 
And therefore bind them, gentle Publi-us : 

j Caius, and Valentine, lay hands on them. 
Oft have you heard me wish for such an no\n, 
xVud now I find it ; therefore bind them sure, 
.Ind stop their mouths if they begin to cry." 

\_E.rit Titus. Publius, ,yc., lai/ hold on 
CiiiiujN and Dkmetkius. 
Clii. Villains, forbear! we arc the empress" 

Pub. And therefore do we what we are com- 
Stop close tlieir mouths ; let them not s]icak a 

word ; 
Is he siu'c bound? look that you bind theui fast.'' 

Ei/tfr Titus Axdeonicus with a hiii/e, ami 
Lavinia tcilh a basin. 

Tit. Couie, come, Laviuia ; look, thy foes are 

boiuid : 
Sirs, stop theii- mouths; let them not speak to me, 
But let them hear what fearful words I utter. 
Oh, villains, Chiron and Demetrius ! 
Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd 

with nnid; 
Tliis goodly s\unmer with your winter mix'd. 
You kill'd her husljand ; and for that vild faidi 
Tv.'o of her brothers were condcmn'd to death, 
Jly hand cut off, and made a merry jest ; 
Both her sweet hands, !ier tongue, and that 

more dear 
Than hands or tongue, her spotless cbastity, 
Ldmman traitors, yon constram'd and fore'd. 
What woidd you say if I sliould let you speak ? 
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace. 
Hark, wretches, how I mean to martyr you. 
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats, 
\Vlidst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold 
The basin that receives yonr guilty blood. 
You know your mother means to feast with me ; 
And calls liersclf Revenge, and thinks me mad. 
Hark, villains ! I wUl grind yonr bones to dust, 
And with your blood aud it I '11 make a paste, 
And of the paste a cofSu' I will rear, 
And make two pasties of your shameful heads. 
And bid that strumpet, your uuhallovr'd dam. 
Like to the eartii, swallow her own'' increase. 
This is the feast that I have bid her to, 
Aud this the banquet she shall surfeit on : 
For worse than Philomel you used my daughter; 
Aud worse than I'rogne I will be revcng'd. 
And now prepare your throats : Lavinia, couie. 

n This line is on.Itted in the folio. 

1» There is a st-i^e-direction liere— /i.rrH///. Tliey jicrliiil'S 
go witliintlie curtain of the secondan'stage: sothat the blood j 
scene n iy be veiled. 

c Cnjftn — the crust of a raised pie. 

J The folio omits own. 

A.CT v.] 

Receive the blond ; and when that tlicy are dead, 
Let me go grind their bones (o powder smaU, 
A.nd with this liatcful liquor temper it, 
And in that paste let their vild heads be bak'd. 
Come, come, be every one officious 
To make this banquet, which I wish may prove 
More stern and bloody tliau the centaur's feast. 
[7/e cuts their throats. 
So ; now bring thom in, for I '11 play the cook. 
And see them ready against their mother comes. 


SCENE III— Titus's House. A Factlioii. 

Enter Lucius, iL^acus, aiul the Goths, n-ilh 

Liie. Uncle Marcus, since 't is my fatlier's 
That I repair to Rome, I am content. 

Goth. And ours, with thine ; befall what 

fortune will. 
Luc. Good uncle, take you in this barbarov.s 
This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil ; 
Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him. 
Till he be brought unto the empress'" face. 
For testimony of her foul proceedings : 
And see the ambush of our friends be strong : 
I fear the emperor means no good to us. 

Aaron. Some devil wldsper curses in mine eai'. 
And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth 
The venomous malice of my swelling heart I 

T.HC. Away, inhuman dog, unludlow'd slave ! 
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in. 
The trumpets show the emperor is at hand. 


Sound triir.ipets. Enter S.vturninus and 
T.lMOR.v, irilh Tribunes and others. 

Sat. What, hath the firmament more suns 

than one ? 
Liic. What boots it thee to call thyself a sun ? 
Mare. Home's emperor, and nephew, break 
the parlo ! '' 
These quarrels must be quietly debated. 
. The feast is ready, which the carefid Titus 
Hath ordained to an honourable end ; 
For peace, for love, for league, and good to 

Rome : 
Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and taKe your 
Sat. Marcus, we will. \_Haiitbop. 


[ScENF. r.i 

^ Empress\ in Hip quaito of IGCO. 
the fulio, arpcni/s. 
b Be^^in the parley. 

Thequaltjof ICll.and 

Enter TiTUS, lihe a cook, placing the meat on 
the tahte ; L.YVINIA, with a veil over her fare ; 
Young Lucius, and others. 

Tit. Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, 
dread queen ; 
Welcome, ye warlike Goths ; welcome, Lucius ; 
And welcome, all ; although the cheer be poor, 
'T will flll your stomachs ; please you eat of it. 
S,il. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus ? 
Tit. Because I would be sure to have all wed. 
To entertain your highness and your empress. 
Tani. We arc beholding to you, good Andrc- 

Tit. An if your highness knew my heart, yoii 
were : 
.My lord the emperor, resolve me this : 
Was it well done of rash Virginius, 
To slay his datighter with his own right baud. 
Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and de- 
Sat. It was, Andronicus. 
Tit. Your reason, mighty lord ! 
Sat. Because the girl should not survive her 
And by her presence still renew his sorrows. 

Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual ; 
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant. 
For me, most wretched, to perform the like. 
Die, die, Laviuia, and thy shame with thee. 
And with thy shauic thy father's sorrow die. 

[//(,■ hills I,,:: 
What liast thou done, unnatural and 

unkind ? 
Kill'd her, for whom my tears have 
made me blind. 
I am as woful as Virginius was, 
And have a thousand limes more cause than he 
To do this outrage ; and it is now done." 

Sat. What, was she ravish'd ? tell, who did 

the deed ? 
Tit. Will't please you eat, will 't please your 

highness feed ? 
Tarn. Why hast thou .slain thine only daugh- 
Tit. Not I ; 't was Chiron and Demetrius. 
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue. 
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this 
Sat. Go fetch them hither tc us presently. 
Tit. \(\\x, there they are both, baked in that 
Whereof their mother daintdy hath fed, 
Ealing the flesh tliat she herself hath bred. 



I This line is omitted in the fell 


Arr V,] 

"r is tiuf, '1 is true, witness my kiiife's sliai-p 
point. [He stabs Tamoilv. 

i^dt. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed 
deed ! \_IIe lalls Tnus. 

Luc. Can the son's eye Behold his father 

hleed ? 

There 's meed for meed ; death for a deadly 

deed. \_IIc LilU Saturxinus. TIw 

people disperse hi (eeeur. 

Mdiw You sail-fac'd men, peoph^ and sont 

of Rome, 
By uproars sever' d, like a flight of fowl 
Sealter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts, 
Oh, let me teach you how to knit again 
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf. 
These broken limbs again into one body; 
Lest " Rome herself be bane unto herself ; 
And she whom mighty kingdoms enrtsy to, 
liike a forlorn and desperate castaway, 
Do shameful execution on herself. 
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age, 
Grave witnesses of true cxpericuoe, 
Cannot induce you to attend my words, 
Speak, Rome's dear friend, [To Luciu.s] as erst 

our ancestor, 
When with his solenni tongue he did discourse 
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear, 
The story of that baleful burning night. 
When subtle Greeks surpris'd king Priam's Troy. 
Tell us \ihat Sinon hath bewitch'd our cars. 
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in 
Tliat gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil 

My heart is not compact of flint nor steel, 
Nor can I utter all our Ijitter grief; 
But floods of tears wiU drown my oratory. 
And break my very utterance, even in the time 
'VVTieu it should move you to attend me most. 
Lending your kind eomraiseration. 
Here is a captain ; let him tell the tale ; 
Your hearts will thrnb and weep to hear him 

Lite. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you, 
That ciu'sed Chiron and Demetrius 
Were they that murthercd our cm])eror's brother, 
And they it was tliat ravished our sister; 
For their fell faults our brothers were belieaded; 
Our father's tears despis'd, and basely cozcn'd 
Of that true Iiand tliat fought Rome's quarrel out, 
And sent her enemies unto the grave : 
Lastly, myself, unkindly banished ; 
The gates shut on me, and tuni'd weeping out, 
To beg relief amongst Rome's enemies. 



Lpst. The originals, /c/. 


Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears. 
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend; 
And I am the turn'd forth, be it kno\ni to yon, 
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood, 
And from her bosom took the enemy's point, 
Slieathing the steel in my advent'rous body. 
Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I ; 
My sears can witness, dumb although they are. 
That my report is just and fidl of truth. 
But soft, mcfhinks I do digress too much. 
Citing my worthless praise. Oh, pardon me. 
For, when no friends are by, men praise them- 

Marc. Now is mv turn to speak: behold this 
Of this was Tainora deli\ered, 
Tiie issue of an irreligious ]Moor, 
Chief architect and plotter of these woes. 
The villain is alive in Titus' house, 
Danm'd" as he is, to witness this is true. 
Now judge what cause'' had Titus to revenge 
These wrongs, unspeakable past patience. 
Or more than any living man coidd bear. 
Now you have heard the trutli, what say you, 

Romans ? 
Have we done aught amiss ? show us wherein. 
And, from the place \\iiere you behold us now, 
Tlie poor remainder of Andronici 
Will hand in hand all headlong cast us down. 
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains. 
And make a mutual closure of our house ; 
Speak, Romans, speak ; and if you say we ^luill, 
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall. 

jEiiiil. Come, come, thou reverend man cf 
And bring our emperor gently in tliy hand, — 
Lucius, oiu' emperor ; for well I know, 
The common voice do cry it shall be so. 

Muiv. Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal em- 
peror ! ' 
Go, go, into old Titus' sorrowful house. 
And hither hale that misbelieving !Moor, 
To be adjudg'd some direful slaughtering death. 
As i)unishinent for his most wicked life. 

\To Attendants. 
Lucius, all hail to Rome's gracious governor ! 

Liic. Thanks, genth; Romans! May I goveni 
To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe : 

■"* Damn'tl. Tlie old copies, And. 

Ij Cause. 'Ihe earliest copies, course. The fourth folio 
gave the correction. 

c This line, .^nd the concluding line of Marcus' speech, are 
given to the people — "Romans " — by all the modern editors, 
against theautliority of all ihe original copies. Marcus is the 
tribune of the people, and speaks a\ithoritatively what " the 
common voice" has required. 

Act v.] 

But, gentle people, give me aim awhile. 
For nature puts mo to a heavy task ! 
Stand all aloof ; but, uncle, draw you near. 
To shed obscriuious tears upon this trunk. 
Oh, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips, 

[Kisxes TiTl's. 
Those sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face, 
Tlie last true duties of thy noble son. 

Mtii-c. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss, 
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy li)is. 
Oil, were the sum of these that I sho'.ld pay 
Countless and iufiuite, yet would I pay them. 

Liic. Come hither, boy; come, come, and 
learn of lis 
To uielt in showers. Thy grandslrc lov'd thee well; 
Many a time he dauo'd thee on his knee. 
Sung thee asleep, Ins loving breast thy pillow ; 
Many a matter hath he told to thee, 
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy ; 
In that respect, then, like a loving child. 
Shed yet some small drops from tiiy teiuler 

Because kind nature doth require it so : 
Friends should associate friciuls in grief aiul woe. 
Bid him farewell, commit him to the grave. 
Do him that kindness and take leave of him. 

Boj/. 0, grandsire, grandsire, even with all 
my heart 
Would I were dead, so you did live again ! 
0, Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping ; 
My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth. 

Ei/ki- Attendants wi/A A.iro.v. 
koman. You sad Androuici, have done with 
woes ! 


dcENB U£. 

Give sentence on this execrable wretch. 
That hath been breeder of these dire events. 
Lkc. Set him breast deep in earth, and fauiish 

him : 
There let him staud, and rave, and ery for food : 
If any one relieves or pities him. 
For the offence he dies ; this is om- dooui. 
Some stay to see him fasten'd in tlw eai'th. 
Aaron. Ah ! why should wrath be mute, and 

fury dumb ? 
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers 
I should repent the evils I have done : 
Ten thousand worse than ever yel I did 
Would I perform, if I might have my will : 
If one good deed in aU my life I did, 
I do repent it from my very sold. 

Luf. Some loving friends convey the emperor 

And give him bnrial in his father's grave. 
My father and Laviuia shall forthwith 
Bo closed in our household's monument : 
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora, 
No fun'ral rite, nor mau iu mournful weeds. 
No mournful bell shall ring her burial ; 
But throw her forth to beasts and birds of" 

prey : 
ller life was beastly'' and devoid of pity. 
And, being so, shall have like want of pity. 
Sec justice done on' Aaron, that damn'd Moor, 
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning : 
Then, afterwards, to order well the state, 
That like events may ne'er it ruinate. \Jixeu>it 

•T Of, in the folio. The quartos, lo. 

b Bcasl-like, in the folio. The quartos, bcailly 

•■■ On, in the quartos. The folio, lo. 



The external evidence that boars upon the authorship of Titus Adronicus is of two 
kinds : — 

1. The testimony whicli assigns the play to Shakspere,. wholly, or in part. 

2. The testimony which fixes tlie period of its original production. 

Tlie direct testimony of the first kind is unimpeachable : Francis Meres, a coutemporary, 
and probably a friend of Shakspere — a man intimately acquainted with the literary histoi y 
of his day — not writing even in the later pjriod of Shakspere's life, but as early as 1598, — 
compares, for tragedy, the excellence of Shakspere among the English, with Seueca among 
the Latins, and says, witness, "for tragedy, his Richard II., Richard III, Henry IV., 
King John, Titus Andronicus, and his Romeo and Juliet," 

The indirect testimony is nearly as important. The play is printed in the first folio 
edition of the poet's collected works— an edition published within seven years after his death 
by liis intimate friends and " fello^vs ;" and that edition contains an entire scene not found 
in either of the previous quarto editions which have come down to us. Tiial edition does 
not contain a single other play upon which a doubt of tlie authorsliip has been raised ; 
for even those who deny the entire a'lthorship of Henry VI. to Sliakspere, have uo doubt 
as to the partial authorship. 


Against this testimony of the editors of the first folio, that Shakspere was the author of 
Titus Audronicus, tlicre is only one foct to bo opposed — that his name is not on the title- 
page of either of the quarto editions, although those editions show us that it was acted hj' 
the company to which Shakspere belonged. But neither was the name of Shakspere affixed 
to the first editions of Richard II., Eichard III., and Henry IV., Part I. ; nor to the 
three editions of Romeo and Juliet ; nor to Henry V. These similar facts, therefore, leave 
the testimony of Hemings and Condoll iinimpeached. 

But the evidence of Meres that Shakspere was the author of Titus Andronieus, in tlio 
same sense in which he assigns him the authorship of Romeo and Juliet — that of being the 
sole author — is supposed to be shaken by the testimony of a writer who came nearly a 
centurv after Meres. Malone says — '-On what principle the editors of the first complete 
edition of our poet's plaj's admitted this into their volume cannot now be ascertained. The 
most probable reason that can be assigned is, that he wrote a few lines in it, or gave some 
assi-stauce to the author in revising it, or in some other way aided him in bringing it fur- 
ward on the stage. The tradition mentioned by Ravcnscroft in the time of King James II. 
warrants us in making one or other of these suppositions. ' I have been told ' (says he in 
his prefiice to an alteration of this play published in 1 087), ' by some anciently conversant 
with the stage, that it was not originally his [Shakspere's], but brought by a private author 
to be acted, and he only gave some master-touches to one or two of the principal charac- 
ters.'" A few lines further on Maloue quotes Langbaine, who refers to this tradition ; and 
he therefore ought to have told us what Langbaine says with regard to Ravcnscroft 's asser- 
tion. We will supply the deficiency. Langbaine first notices an early edition of Titus 
.Uidronicus, now lost, printed in 1594 ; he adds — "'Twas about the time of the Popish 
Plot revived and altered by Mr. Ravcnscroft." Ravenscroft was a living author wlen 
Langbaine published his 'Account of the English Diamatic Poets,' in 1691 ; and the 
writer of that account says, with a freedom that is seldom now adopted except in anonymous 
criticism -" Though he would be thought to imitate the silk-worm, that spins its web from 
its own bowels : yet I shall make him appear like the leech, that lives upon the blood of 
men." This is introductory to an account of those plays which Ravenscroft claimed as his 
own. But, under the head of Shakspere, Langbaine says that Ravenscroft boasts, in his 
preface to Titus^ " That he thinks it a greater theft to rob the dead of their praise than the 
living of their money ;" and Langbaine goes on to show that Ravenscroft's practice "agrees 
not with his protestation," by quoting some remarks of Shadwcll upon plagiaries, who 
insinuates that Ravenscroft got up the story that Shaksiiere only gave some master-touches 
to Titus Andronieus, to exalt his own merit in having altered it. The play was revived 
"about the time of the Popish Plot,"— 1678. It was first printed in 1087, with this 
Preface. But Ravenscroft then suppresses the original Prologue ; and Langbaine, with 
a quiet sarcasm, says— '"I will here furnish him with part of his Trohxjue, which he has 
lost ; and, if he desire it, send him the whole : — 

' To-rlay the po3t does not fear your nige, 
i^hakespcar, by him reviv'd, now treads the stuge : 
Under his sacml taurcis he sits down, 
Safe from the blast of any critic's frown. 
Like other poets, he '11 not proudly scorn 
To own that he but winnow'd Shakcspear's corn ; 
So far he was fiom robbing him of 's treasure. 
That he did add his own to make full measure.' " 

Malone, wo think, was bound to have given us all this— if the subject, of which he ufi'ects 
to make li'dit, was worth the production of any evidence. We believe tliat, with this 


commentary, the tradition of Edward Ravenscroft will not outweigh the living tcatirr.cry 
of Francis Meres. 

We now come to the second point— the testimony which fixes the date of the original 
production of Titus Andronious. There are two modes of -viewing this portion of the 
evidence ; and we first present it with the interpretation which deduces from it that the 
tragedy was not written by Sliakspere. 

We have mentioned in our Introductory Notice to this play — but it is necessary to repeat 
it — that Ben Jouson, in the Induction to his 'Bartholomew Fair,' first acted in 1614, 
says — " He that will swear Jeronimo, or Andronious, are the best plays yet, shall pass 
unexceptcd at hero, as a man whose judgment shows it is constant, and hath stood still these 
five-aud-twenty or thirty years. Though it be an ignorance, it is a virtuous and staid 
ignorance ; and, next to truth, a confirmed error does well." Percy offers the followiug 
comment upon this passage, in his 'Eeliques of Ancient Poetry :' — "There is reason to 
conclude that this play was rather improved by Shakespeare with a few fine touches of his 
pen, than originally written by him ; for, not to mention that the style is less figurative 
than liis others generally are, this tragedy is mentioned with discredit in the Induction to 
Ben Jonson's ' Bartholomew Fair,' in 1614, as one that had been then exliibited ' five-aud- 
twenty or thirty years ;' which, if w-e take the lowest number, throws it back to the year 
1-58!), at which time Shakespeare was but 2-5 : an earlier date than cau be found for any 
otlicr of his pieces." It is scarcely necessaiy to point out, -that with the views we have 
uniformly entertained as to the commencement of Shakspere's career as a dramatic author, 
the proof against his authorship of Titus Andronious thus brought forward by Percy is to 
us amongst the most convincing reasons for not hastily adopting the opinion that he was 
not its author. The external evidence of the authorship, and the external evidence of the 
dp.te of the authorship, entirely coincide : each supports the otlier. The continuation of the 
argument derived from the early date of the play naturally runs into the internal evidence 
of its authenticity. The fact of its early date is indisputable ; and liere, for the present, 
we leave it. 

We can scarcely subscribe to Mr. llallam's strong opinion, given with reference to this 
question of the authorship of Titus Andronious, that, " iu criticism of all kind.s, we nnist 
acquire a dogged habit of resisting testimony, when res ipsa j^er se vociferatur to the con- 
trary."* The res ipsa may be looked upon through very difterent media by different 
miuds : testimoni/, when it is clear, and free from the suspicion of an interested bias, 
although it appear to militate against conclusions that, however strong, are not inflillible, 
because they depend upon very nice analysis and comparison, must be received, more or 
less, and cannot be doggedly resisted. Mr. Hallam says, " Titus Andronious is now, by 
common consent, denied to be, in ani/ sense, a production of Shakspeare." Who are the 
interpreters of the "common consent T' Theobald, Jonson, Farmer, Steevens, Malone, 
M. Mason. These critics are wholly of one school ; and we admit that they represent the 
'• common consent" of their own school of English literature upon this point — till within 
a few years the only school. But there is another school of criticism, which maintains that 
Titus Andronicus is, in cveri/ seuae, a production of Sliakspere. The German critics, from 
W. Schlegel to Ulrici, agree to reject the " common consent " of the English critics. 
The subject, therefore, cannot be hastily dismissed ; the external testimony cannot be dog- 
gedly resisted. But, in entering upon the examination of this question with the best care wo 
can bestow, we consider that it possesses an importance much higher than belongs to the proof, 
or disproof, from the internal evidence, that this painful tragedy was written by Sliakspere. 

' Literature of Eurojie, vol. ii p. 3S5 



The question is not an isolated one. It requires to be treated with a constant reference 
to the state of the early English drama, — the probable tendencies of tlie poet's own mind 
at the period of his first dramatic productions, — the circumstances amidst which he was 
placed with reference to his audiences, — the struggle which he must have undergone to 
reconcile the contending principles of the practical and the ideal, the popular and the 
true, — the tentative process by which he must have advanced to his immeasurable supe- 
riority over every contemporary. It is easy to place Titus Andronicus by the side of 
Hamlet, and to say, — the one is a low work of art, the other a work of the highest art. 
It is easy to say that the versification of Titus Andronicus is not the versification of A 
Midsummer Night's Dream. It is easy to say that Titus raves and denounces without 
moving terror or pity ; but that Lear tears up the whole heart, and lays bare all the 
hidden springs of thought and passion that elevate madness into sublimity. But this, 
we venture to think, is not just criticism. We may be tempted, perhaps, to refine too 
much in rejecting all such sweeping comparisons ; but what we have first to trace is 
relation, and not likeness ; — if we find likeness in a single " trick and line," we may 
indeed add it to the evidence of relation. But relation may be established even out of 
dissimilarity. No one who has deeply contemplated the progress of the great intellects 
of the world, and has traced the doubts, and fears, and throes, and desperate plunges of 
genius, can hesitate to believe that excellence in art is to be attained by the same process 
through which we may hope to reach excellence in morals, — by contest, and purification, — 
until habitual confidence and repose succeed to convulsive exertions and distracting aims. 
He that would rank amongst the heroes must have fought the good fight. Energy of all 
kinds has to work out its own subjection to principles, without which it can never become 
power. In the course of this struggle what it produces may be essentially unlike to the 
fruits of its after-peacefulness :— for the good has to be reached through the evil — the true 
through the false — the universal through the partial. The passage we subjoin is from 
Franz Horn : and we think that it demands a respectful consideration : — 

" A mediocre, poor, and tame nature finds itself easily. It soon arrives, when it 
endeavours earnesfy, at a knowledge of what it can accomplish, and what it cannot. Its 
poetical tones are .^ ngle and gentle spring-breathings ; with which we are well pleased, 
but which pass over us almost trackless. A very different combat has the higher and 
richer nature to maintain with itself; and the more splendid the peace, and the brighter 
the clearness, which it reaches through this combat, the more monstrous the fight whicli 
must have been incessantly maintained. 

" Let us consider the richest and most powerful poetic nature that the world has ever 
yet seen ; let us consider Shakspere, as hoy and youth, in his circumscribed external 
situation, — without one discriminating friend, without a patron, without a teacher, — with- 
out the possession of ancient or modern languages, — in his loneliness at Stratford, following 
aji uncongenial employment ; and then, in the strange whirl of the so-called great world 
of London, contending for long years with unfavourable circumstances, — in wearisome 
intercourse with this great world, which is, however, often found to be little ; — but also 
with nature, with himself, and with God ; — What materials for the deepest contemplation ! 
This rich nature, thus circumstanced, desires to explain the enigma of the human being 
and the surrounding world. But it is not yet disclosed to himself Ought he to wait for 
this ripe time before he ventures to dramatise ? Let us not demand anything super- 
human : for, through the expression of error in song, will he find what accelerates the 
truth ; and well for him that he has no other sins to answer for than poetical ones, which 
later in life he has atoned for by the most glorious excellences ! 

" The elegiac tone of his juvenile poems allows us to imagine very deep passions in the 

Sep. Vol. K *9 


youthful Shakspere. But this single tone was not long sufficient foi- him. He soon 
desired, from that stage ' which signifies the world ' (an expression that Schiller might pro- 
perly have in-vented for Shakspere), to speak aloud what the world seemed to him,— to 
him, the youth who was not yet able thorougldy to penetrate this seeming. Can there be 
here a want of colossal errors 1 Not merely single errors. No : we should have a whole 
drama which is diseased at its very root,— which rests upon one single monstrous error. 
Such a drama is this Titus. The poet had here nothing less in his mind than to give us 
a "rand Doomsday-drama. But what, as a man, was possible to him in Lear, the youth 
could not accomplish. He gives us a torn-to-pieces world, about which Fate wanders like 
a bloodthirsty lion,— or as a more refined and more cruel tiger, tearing mankind, good 
and evil alike, and blindly treading down every flower of joy. Nevertheless a better 
feeling reminds him that some repose must be given ; but he is not sufficiently confident 
of this, and wliat he does in this regard is of little power. The personages of the piece 
are not merely heathens, but most of them embittered and blind in their heathenism ; and 
only some single aspirations of something better can arise from a few of the best among 
them ;— aspirations which are breathed so gently as scarcely to be heard amidst the cries 
of desperation from the bloody waves that roar almost deafeningly." 

The eloquent critic adds, in a note,—" Is it not as if tliere sounded tlirough the whole 
piece a comfortless complaint of the incomprehensible and hard lot of all earthly 1 Is it 
not as if we heard the poet speaking with Faust—' All the miseries of mankind seize 
upon me?' Or. with his own Hamlet, — 

' How weary, stale, fl;it, and unprofitable 

Seem to me all the uses of this workl ! 

Fie on 't ! 0, fie ! 't is an unweeded garden 

That grows to seed ; things rank and gross in nature 

Possess it merely.' 
And now, let us bethink ourselves, in opposition to this terrible feeling, of the sweet 
blessed peacefulness which speaks from out all the poet's more matured dramas ; for 
instance, from the inexhaustibly joyful-minded ' As You Like It.' Such a contest 
followed by such a victory ! ' 

It is scarcely necessary to point out that this argument of the German critic is founded 
upon the simple and intelligible belief that Shakspere is, in every sense of the word, the 
author of Titus Andronicus. Here is no attempt to compromise the question, by the 
common English babble that " Sliakspeare may have written a few lines in this play, or 
given some assistance to the author in revising it." This is Malone's opinion, founded 
upon Ravenscroft's idle tradition ; and in his posthumous edition, by Boswell, " those 
passages in which he supposed the hand of Shakspeare may be traced are marked with 
inverted commas." This was the system which Malone pursued with Henry VI. ; and, as 
we there endeavoured to show, it was founded upon a most egregious flillacy. The drama 
belongs to the province of the very highest poetical art, because a play which fully realizes 
the objects of a scenic exhibition requires a nicer combination of excellences, and involves 
hio-hor difficulties, than belong to any other species of poetry. Taking the qualities of 
invention, power of language, versification, to be equal in two men, one devoting himself 
to dramatic poetry, and the other to narrative poetry, the dramatic poet has chances of 
failure which the narrative poet may entirely avoid. The dialogue, and especially the 
imaoery, of the dramatic poet are secondary to the invention of the plot, the management 
of the action, and tlie conception of the characters. Language is but the drapery of the 
beings that the dramatic poet's imagination has created. They must be placed by the 
poet's power of combination in the various relations which they must maintain through a 
long and sometimes complicated action : he must see the whole of that action vividly, 


with reference to its capacity of mauifestiug itself distinctly to an audience, so that even 
the deaf should partially comprehend : the pantomime must be acted over and over a"ain 
in his mind, before the wand of the magician gives the agents voice. When all this is 
done, all contradictions reconciled, all obscurities made clear, the interest prolouned and 
heightened, and the catastrophe naturally evolved and matured, the poet, to use the terms 
of a sister-art, has completed that design which colom- and expression are to make manifest 
to others, with something like the distinctness with which he himself has seen it. We 
have no hesitation in believing that one of the main causes of Shakspere's immeasurable 
superiority to other dramatists is that aU-peuetrating power of combination by which the 
action of his dramas is constantly sustained ; whilst in the best pieces of his contemporaries, 
with rare exceptions, it flags or breaks down into description, — or is carried off by 
imagery, — or the force of conception in one character overpowers the management of the 
other instruments — cases equally evidencing that the poet has not attained the most 
difficult art of controlling his own conceptions. And thus it is that we so often hear 
Christopher Marlowe, or Philip Massinger, — to name the very best of them, — speaking 
themselves out of the mouths of their puppets, whilst the characterization is lost, and the 
action is forgotten. But when do we ever hear the individual voice of the man William 
Shakspere ? When does he come forward to bow to the audience, as it were, between the 
scenes 1 Never is there any pause with him, that we may see the complacent author 
whispering to his auditory— This is not exactly what I meant ; my inspiration carried me 
away ; but is it not fine 1 The great dramatic poet sits out of mortal ken. He rolls away 
the clouds and exhibits his world. There is calm and storm, and light aud darkness ; 
and the material scene becomes alive ; and we see a higher life than that of our ordinary 
nature ; and the whole soul is elevated ; and man and his actions are presented under 
aspects more real than reality, and our control over tears or laughter is taken away from 
us j and, if the poet be a philosopher, — aud without philosophy he cannot be a poet, — 
deep truths, before dimly seen, enter into our minds and abide there. Why do we state 
all this? Utterly to reject the belief that Shakspere was a line-maker ; — that, like Gray, 
for example, he was a manufacturer of mosaic poetry ; — that he made verses to order; — 
and that his verses could be produced by some other process than an entire conception of 
aud power over, the design of a drama. It is this mistake which lies at the bottom of all 
that has been written and believed about the two Parts of ' The Contention of the Houses 
of York and Lancaster ' being polished by Shakspere into the Second and Third Parts of 
Hem-y VI. The elder plays — which the English antiquarian critics persist in ascribing 
to Marlowe, or Greene, or Peele, or all of them — contain all the action, even to the 
exact succession of the scenes, all the characterization, a very gi-eat deal of the dialogue, 
including the most vigorous thoughts : and then Shakspere was to take the matter in 
hand, and add a thousand lines or two up and down, correct an epithet here and there, 
and do all this without the slightest exercise of invention, either in movement or charac- 
terization ; producing fine lines without passing through that process of inspiration by 
which lines having dramatic beauty and propriety can alone be produced. We say this, 
after much deliberation, not only with reference to the Henry VI. and to the play before 
us, but with regard to the general belief that Shakspere, in the outset of his career, was 
a mender of the plays of other men ; or that, in any part of his career, he was associated 
with other men in writing plays. We know that this is a hazardous assertion, which 
militates against many received notions, some of which have been very ably set forth ; 
but we, nevertheless, make it upon conviction. Timon, according to our belief, is the 
only exception ; and we regard that not as an exception to the principle, because there 
the characterization of Timon himself is the Shaksperian creation ; and that depends 


extremely little upon the general action, which, to a large extent, is episodicnl. We say, 
then, that we hold Malone's principle of marking with inverted commas those passages 
in which lie snpposed the hand of Shakspere may be traced in this play of Titns Andro- 
nicus to be based upon a vital error. It is not with lis a question whether the passages 
which Malone has marked exhibit, or not, the critic's poetical taste : we say that the 
passages could not have been written except by the man, whoever he be, who conceived 
the action and the characterization. Take the single example of the character of Tamora. 
.She is the presiding genius of the piece ; and in her we see, as we believe, the outbreak 
of that wonderful conception of the union of powerful intellect and moral depravity 
which Shakspere was afterwards to make manifest with such consimimate wisdom. 
Strong passions, ready wit, perfect self-possession, and a sort of oriental imagination, take 
Tamora out of the class of ordinary women. It is in her mouth that we find, for the 
most part, what readers of Malone's school would call the poetical language of the play. 
We will select a few specimens (Act ii.. Scene iii.) : — 

" The birds chant melody on every bush ; 

The Bnabe lies rolled in the cheerful sun; 

The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, 

And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground : 

Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit, 

And — whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds, 

Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns, 

As if a double hunt were heard at once, — 

Let us sit down." 

Ag.ain, in the same scene : — 

" A barren detested vale, you see, it is : 
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, 
O'eroome with moss and baleful misseltoe. 
Here never shines the sun ; here nothing breeds, 
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven. 
And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit, 
They told me, here, at dead time of the night, 
A thousaud fiends, a thousand hissing suakt-s. 
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins. 
Would malie such fearful and confused cries, 
As any mortnl body, hearing it. 
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly." 

In Act IV., Scene iv. : — 

" King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy n:une. 
Is the sun dimm'd, that gn.its do fly in it ? 
The eagle suffers little birds to slug, 

And is not careful what they mean thereby ; 
Knowing that, with the shadow of his wing. 
He can .at pleasure stint their melody." 

And, lastl3', where the lines are associated with the high imaginative conception of tlie 
speaker, that she was to personate Revenge :— 

■' Know thou, sad man, I am not Tamora ; 
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend : 
I am Revenge; sent from the infernal kingdom. 
To case the gnawing vulture of thy mind. 
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes. 
Come down, and welcome me to this world's light." 
The first two of these passages are marked by Malone as the additions of Shakspere to the 
work of an inferior poet. If we had adopted Malone's theory we .should have marked the 


two other pa.-is;iges ; and have gone even further in our selectiou of the poetical lines spoken 
by Tamora. But we hold that the lines could not have been produced, according to 
Malone's theory, oven by Shakspere. Poetry, and especially dramatic poetry, is not to 
be regarded as a bit of joiner's work,— or, if you please, as an affair of jewelling and ena- 
melling. The lines which we have quoted may not bo amongst Shakspere's highest things ; 
but they could not have been produced except under the excitement of the full swing of his 
dramatic power — bright touches dashed in at the very hour when the whole design was 
growing into shape upon the canvass, and the form of Tamora was becoming alive with 
colour and expression. To imagine that the great passages of a drama are produced like 
" a copy of verses," under any other influence than the large and general inspiration which 
creates the whole drama, is, we believe, utterly to mistake the essential nature of dramatic 
poetry. It would be equally just to say that the nice but well-defined traits of character, 
which stand out from the physical horrors of this play, when it is carefully studied, were 
superadded by Shakspere to the coarser delineations of some other man. Aaron, the Moor, 
in his general conception is an unmitigated villain— something alien from humanity — a 
fiend, and therefore only to be detested. But Shakspere, by that insight which, however 
imperfectly developed, must have distingiiished his earliest efforts, brings Aaron into the 
circle of humanity ; and then he is a thing which moves us, and his punishment is poetical 
justice. One touch does this — his aflfeotion for liis child : — 

" Ooiue ou, you thick -lipp'd slave, I '11 beai- you iieuce ; 
For it is you tliat puts ua to our shifts : 
1 '11 make you feed ou berries, and on roots. 
And feed ou curds and whey, and suck the goat, 
And cabin in a cave ; and bring you up 
To be a warrioi", and command a camp." 

Did Shakspere put in these lines, and the previous ones which evolve the same feeling, 
under the system of a cool editorial mending of a second man's work 1 The system may 
do for an article ; but a play is another thing. Did Shakspere put these lines into the 
mouth of Lucius, when he calls to his sou to weep over the body of Titus ? — 

" Come hither, boy ; come, come, and learu of us 
To melt in showers : Thy grandsire lov'd thee well : 
Many a time he dano'd thee on his knee, 
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow ; 
Many a matter hath he told to thee. 
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy ; 
In that respect then, like a loving child, 
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring. 
Because kind nature doth requu-e it so." 

Malone has not marked these ; they are too simple to be included in his poetical gems. 
But are they not full to overflowing of those deep thoughts of human love which the great 
poet of the affections has sent into so many welcoming hearts 1 Malone marks with his 
commas the address to the tribunes at the beginning of the third act. The lines are lofty 
and rhetorical ; and a poet who had undertaken to make set speeches to another man's 
characters might perhaps have added these. Dryden and Tate did this service for Shakspere 
himself. But Malone does not mark 07ie line which has no rhetoric in it, and does not looJc 
like poetry. The old man has given his hand to the treacherous Aaron, that he may save 
the lives of his sons : but the messenger brings him the heads of those sons. It is for 
Marcus and Lucius to burst into passion. The father, for some space, speaks not ; and 
then he speaks but one line : — 

" W/ien will (hin fcarftd sliauber hair a<i Gndi '' 


Did Shakspere make this Hue to order 1 Tlie poet who wrote the line conceived the 
whole situation, and he could not have conceived the situation unless the whole dramatic 
movement had equally been his conception. Such things must be wrought out of the 
red-heat of the whole material — not filled Tip out of cold fragments. 

Accepting Titus as a play produced somewhere about the middle of the ninth decade of 
the sixteenth century, it possesses other peculiarities than such as we have noticed, which, 
upon the system of Malone's inverted commas, would take away a very considerable number 
from the supposed original fabricator of the drama, and bestow them upon the reviser. 
We must extract a passage from Maloue before we proreed to point out these other pecu- 
liarities : — " To enter into a long disquisition to prove this piece not to have been written 
by Shakspeare woidd be an idle waste of time. To those who are not conversant with his 
writings, if particular passages were examined, more words would be necessary than the 
subject is worth ; those who are well acquainted with his works cannot entertain a doubt 
on the question. I will, however, mention one mode by which it may be easily ascer- 
tained. Let the reader only peruse a few lines of ' Appius and Virginia,' 'Taucred 
and Gismund,' 'The Battle of Alcazar,' 'Oeronimo,' 'Selimus, Emperor of the Turks,' 
' The Wounds of Civil War,' ' The Wars of Cyrus,' ' Locrine,' ' Arden of Fevershaf..,' 
' King Edward I.,' ' The Spanish Tragedy,' ' Solyinan and Perseda,' ' King Leir,' the 
old ' King John,' or any other of the pieces that were exhibited before the time of Shak- 
speare, and he will at once perceive that Titus Androuicus was coined in the same mint." 
What Maloue requests to be perused is limited to "a few lines" of these old plays; if 
he could have bestowed many words upon tlie subject he would have examined " parti- 
cular passages." Such an examination has of course reference only to the versification. 
It is scarcely necessary to say that we do not agree with the assumption that the pieces 
Maloue has mentioned were exhibited " before the time of Shakspeare." It is difficult, if 
not impossible, to settle the exact time of many of these ; but we do know that one of the 
plays here mentioned belongs to the same epoch as Titus Audronious. " He that will 
swear Jeronimo, or Andronicus, are the best plays yet, shall pass unexcepted at here, 
as a man whose judgment shows it is constant, and hath stood still these five-and- 
twenty or thirty years." We shall coufiue, therefore, any comparison of the versification 
of Titus Andronicus entirely to that of ' Jeronimo.' 

Titus Andronicus contains very few couplets, a remarkable thing in so early a play. 
Of 'Jeronimo' oue half is rhyme. Of the blank verse of ' Jerouiuio ' we will quote a 
passage which is, perhaps, the least monotonous of that tragedy, and which j\Ir. Collier 
has quoted in his ' History of Dramatic Poetry,' pointing out that " Here we see trochees 
used at the ends of the lines, and the pauses are even artfully managed ; while redundant 
syllableii are inserted, and lines left defective, still forther to add to the variety." — 

" Come, valiant spirits ; * you peers of Portugal, 
That owe your lives, your faith.s, and services, 
To set you free from base captivity : 
O let our fathers' scandal ne'er be seen 
As a base blush upon our free-ljorn cheeks : 
Let all the tribute that proud Spain receiv'd, 
Of those all captive Portugales deceas'd, 
Turn into chafe, and choke their insolence. 
Methinks no moiety, not one little thought 
Of them whose servile acts live in their graves, 
But should raise spleens big as a cannon-bullet 
Withiu your bosoms : for honour, 
Your country's reputation, your lives' freedom, 

• Oriliuarily ]ironounced in early dramatic poetry as a monosyllable. 


InJeecl yom- all that ma) be terra'd reveugo, 
Now let your bloods be liberal as the sea ; 
And all those womidB that you receive of Spahi, 
Let theirs be equal to quit yours agaiu. 
Speak, Portugales : are you resolv'd as I, 
To lire like captives, or as free-boru die ? " 

We liave uo liesitation in saying (in opposition to M.alouo's opinion) that the freedom of 
versification which is discovered in Titus Andronious is carried a great deal further than 
even this specimen of ' Jeronimo ; ' and we cannot have a better proof of our assertion 
tlian this — that SteeVens anxiously desired, and indeed succeeded, in reducing several of 
the lines to the exact dimensions of his ten-syllable measuring-tape. We will give a few 
parallel examples of the original, and of what Steevens did, and what he wished to do : — 

Quartos and Folio. 
" Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest. 
" A barren detested vale, you see, it is." 

" Rome's readiest champions, repose you here." 
" A hare detested vale, you see, it is." 

( " As the versification of this play is by no meaus 
inharmonious, I am willing to suppose the author 
wrote, A bare, &c."— Steevens.) 
" Therefore away, and use her as you will." 
[Untouched, by marvellous forbearance.] 
[Also untouched.] 

" For these, good tribuues, in the dust I write." 
" Soft ! See how busily she tiu-ns the leaves ! " 
" ^Vhy dost not speak ? What, deaf ? No : not a 

word ? " 
" Titus, I 'm come to talk with thee awhile." 
" Witness this wretched stump, these crimson lines." 

"Therefore away with her, and use her as you will." 
" Aaron is gone, and my compassionate heart." 
"And make the silken strings delight to kis.s them.'' 
" For these, tribunes, iu the dust I write." 
" Soft ! How busily she turns the leaves ! " 
" Why dost not speak? '\\'liat, deaf? Not a word? '" 

" Titus, I am come to talk with thee.'' 
" Witness this wretched stump, witness these 
crimson lines." 

We think that we have done enough, even iu these instances, to establish that the Shak- 
sperian versification is sufficiently marked iu Titus, even to the point of offending the 
critic who did not understand it. But the truth of the matter is, that the comparison of 
the versification of Titus witli the old plays mentioned by !Maloue is altogether a fallacy. 
Like the Henry VI. it wants, for tlie most part, the 

" Linked sweetness long drawn out " 

of the later plays, and so do The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Comedy of 
Errors. But to compare the play, as a whole, even with ' Jeronimo ' — and Kyd, in free- 
dom and variety of rhytlmi, whatever he may want in majesty, is superior to Marlowe — 
argues, we think, an incompetent knowledge of the things compared. To compare it with 
tlie old ' King Lear,' and the greater number of the plays in Malone's list, is to compare 
the movement of the Inmter with that of the horse in the mill. The truth is, that, after 
the first scene of Andronicus, in wliich the author sets out with the stately pace of his 
time, we are very soon carried away, by the power of the language, the variety of tlie 
pause, and the especial freedom with which trochees are used at the ends of lines, to forget 
that the versification is not altogether upon the best Sliaksperian model. There is the 
same instrument, but tlio performer has yet not thoroughly learnt its scope and its power. 
Horn has a very just remark on the language of Titus Andronicus : — " Foremost we may 
recognise with praise the almost never-wearying power of the language, wherein no shifl 
is ever used. We know too well how often, in many French and German tragedies, the 
princes and pi-incesses satisfy themselves to silence with a necessaiy Helas ! Oh Ciel ! 
Schicksal ! (0 Fate !) and similar cheap outcries ; but Shakspere is quite another man, 



who, for every degree of pain, knew how to give the right tone aud the right colour. In 
the bloody sea of this drama, in which men can scarely keep themselves afloat, this, without 
doubt, must liave been peculiarly difficult." We regard this decided language, this 
absence of stage conventionalities, as one of the results of the power which tlie poet possessed 
of distinctly conceiving his situations with reference to his characters. The Ohs ! and 
Ahs I and Heavens I of the English stage, as well as the Oiel ! of the French, are a 
consequence of feebleness, exhibiting itself in commonplaces. The greater number of the 
old English dramatists, to do them justice, had the same power as the author of Titus 
Andronicus of grappling with words which they thought fitting to the situations. But 
their besetting sin was in the constant use of that " huffing, braggart, puft " language, 
■which Sbakspere never employs in the dramas which all agree to call his, and of which 
there is a very sparing portion even in Titus Andronicus. The temptation to employ 
it must have been great indeed ; for when, in every scene, the fearful energies of the 

'• On horror's head horrors accumulate," 

it must have required no common forbearance, aud therefore no common power, to 
prescribe that the words of the actors should not 

" Outface the brow of bragging horror." 
The son of Tamora is to be killed ; as he is led away she exclaims — 

" Oh ! cruel, irreligious piety ! " 
Titus kills Mutius : the young man's brother earnestly says — 

" My lord, you are unjust." 
When Tamoi-a prescribes their terrible wickedness to her sons, Lavinia remonstrates — 

'• ! Tamora, thou bear'st a woman's face." 

When Marcus encounters his mutilated niece there is much poetry, but no raving. When 
woe upon woe is heaped upon Titus we have no impi'ecations : — 

" For now I stand as one upon a rock, 
Euvirou'd with a wilderness of sea ; 
AVho mark.5 tlie waxing tide grow wave by wave, 
Expecting ever when some envious surge 
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him." 

In one situation after Titus has lost his hand, Marcus says — 

" Oh ! brother, speak with possibilities, 
Aud do not break into these deep extremes." 

What arc the deep extremes? The unhappy man has scarcely risen into metaphor, much 
less into braggardism ; — 

" 0, here I lift this one hand up to lieaveu. 
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth : 
If any power pities wretched tears, 

To that I call : — What, wilt thou kneel with me ? [To Lavinia . 

Do then, dear heart ; for heaven shall hear our prayers : 
Or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin dim. 
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds. 
When they do hug him iu their melting bosoms." 

And in his very crowning agony we hear only — 

" Why, I have not another tear to aliot." 


It has been said, " There is not a shade of difference between the two Moors, Eleaziir 
and Aaron."* Eleazar is a character in 'Lust's Dommion,' incorrectly attributed to 
Marlowe. Trace the cool, determined, sarcastic, remorseless ■villain, Aaron, through 
these blood-spilling scenes, and see if he speaks in " King Cambyses' vein," as Eluazur 
speaks in the following lines : — 

" Now, Tragedy, thou miuiou of the uiglit, 
ELamnusia's pew-fel)ow, to theo I'll sing 
Upou au harp made of dead Spanish bones — 
The proudest instrument the world aifords ; 
When thou iu crimson jollity shall bathe 
Thy limbs, as black as mine, iu springs of blood 
Still gushing from the conduit-head of Spain. 
To thee that never blushest, though thy cheeks 
Are full of blood, Saint Revenge, to thee 
I consecrate my murders, all my stabs. 
My bloody labours, tortures, stratagems. 
The volume of all wounds that wound from me, — 
Mine is the Stage, thine the Tragedy." 

But enough of this. It appears to us manifest that, although the author of Titus Androni- 
cus did choose — in common with the best and the. most popular of those who wrote for 
the early stage, but contrary to his after-practice — a subject which should present to his 
comparatively rude audiences the excitement of a succession of physical hoiTors, he was 
so far under the control of his higher judgment, that, avoiding their practice, he steadily 
abstained from making his " verses jet on the stages iu tragical buskins ; every word 
filling the mouth like the faburden of Bow bell, daring God out of heaven with that 
atheist Tamburlaine, or blaspheming with the mad priest of the sun."t 

It is easy to understand how Shakspere, at the period when he first entered upou those 
labours which were to build up a glorious fa()ric out of materials that had been previously 
used for the basest purposes,— without models, — at first, perhaps, not voluntarily choosing 
his task, but taking the business that lay before him so as to command popular success, — 
ignorant, to a great degi'ee, of the height and depth of his own intellectual resources, — 
not seeing, or dimly seeing, how poetry and philosophy were to elevate and purify the 
common staple of the coarse drama about him, — it is easy to conceive how a story of 
fearful bloodshed should force itself upon him as a thing that he could work into something 
better than the dumb show and fiery words of his predecessors and contemporaries. It 
was in after-years that he had to create the tragedy of passion. Lamb has beautifully 
described Webster, as almost alone having the power " to move a horror skilfully, to 
touch a soul to the quick, to lay upou fear as much as it can bear, to wean and weary 
a life till it is ready to drop, and then step in with mortal instruments to take its last 
forfeit." Lamb adds, " writers of inferior genius mistake quantity for quality." The remark 
is quite true ; when examples of the higher tragedy are accessible, and when the people 
have leamt better than to require the grosser stimulant. Before Webster had written 
'The Duchess of Malfi' and 'Vittoria Coromboua,' Shakspere had produced Lear and 
Othello. But there were writers, not of inferior genius, who had committed the same 
mistake as the author of Titus Androuicus— who use blood as they would " the paint of 
the property man in the theatre." Need we mention other names than Marlowe and 
Kyd 1 The " old Jeronimo," as Ben Jonson calls it, — perhaps the most popular play of 
the early stage, and in many respects, a work of great power, — thus concludes, with a 
sort of Chorus spoken by a ghost :— 

" C. A. Brown's ' Autobiogi-aphical Poems of Shakspere.' t Urecue, 1688. 



'' Ay, now my hopes have end in their effects, 
When blood and sorrow finish my desires. 
Horatio murder'd iu his father's bower ; 
Vile Serberine by Pedringano slain ; 
False Pedringano hang'd by quaint device ; 
Fair Isabella by herself misdone ; 
Prince Balthazar by Belimperia stabb'd ; 
The duke of Castille, and his wicked son, 
Both cloue to death by old Hieronimo, 
By Belimperia fallen, as Dido fell ; 
And good Hieronimo slain by himself : 
Ay, these were spectacles to please my soul." 

Here is murder enougli to match even Andronicus. This slaughtering work was accom- 
panied with another peculiarity of the unformed drama — the dumb show. Words were 
sometimes scarcely necessary for the exposition of the story ; and when they were, no great 
care was taken that they should be very appropriate or beautiful in themselves. Thomas 
Heywood, himself a prodigious manufacturer of plays in a more advanced period, writing 
as late as 1612, seems to look upon these semi-pageants, full of what the actors call 
" bustle," as the wonderful things of the modern stage: — "To see, as I have seen, 
Hercules, in his own shape, hunting the boar, knocking down the bull, taming the hart, 
fighting with Hydra, murdering Geryon, sla.ughtering Diomed, wounding the Stympha- 
lides, killing tlie Centaurs, pashiug the lion, squeezing the dragon, dragging Cerberus in 
chains, and, lastly, on his high pyramidos writing Nil 'dltra — Oh, these were sights to 
make an Alexander.'' * With a stage that presented attractions like these to the multi- 
tude, is it wonderful that the boy Sliakspere should have written a Tragedy of Horrors ? 
But Shakspere, it is maintained, has given us no other tragedy constructed upon the 
principle of Titus Andronicus. Are we quite sure ? Do wo know wliat tlie first Hamlet 
was? AVe have one sketch, which may be most instructively compared with the finished 
performance ; but it has been conjectured, and we think with perfect propriety, 
that the Hamlet which was on the stage in 1589, and then sneered at by Nash, 
"has perished, and that the quarto of 1603 gives us the work in an intermediate 
state between the rude youthful sketch and the perfected Hamlet, which was pub- 
lished in 1604." t When we compare the quarto of 1603 with the perfected play, we 
have the rare opportunity, as we have formerly stated, "of studying the growth not only 
of our great poet's command over language — not only of his dramatical skill — but of the 
higher qualities of his intellect, his profound philosophy, his wonderful penetration into 
what is mo-it hidden and obscure in men's characters and motives." % All the action of the 
perfect Hamlet is to be found in the sketch published in 1603 ; but the profundity of the 
character is not all there,- — very far from it. We have little of the thoughtful philosophy, 
of the morbid feelings, of Hamlet. But let us imagine an earlier sketch, where that 
wonderful creation of Hamlet's character may have been still more imformed ; where the 
poet may have simply proposed to exhibit iu the j'oung man a desire for revenge, combined 
with irresolution — perhaps even actual madness. Make Hamlet a common dramatic 
character, instead of one of the subtilest of metaphysical problems, and v.hat is the tragedy? 
A tragedy of blood. It ofiends us not now, softened as it is, and almost hidden, iu the 
atmosphere of poetry and philosophy which surrounds it. But look at it merely with 
reference to the action ; and of what materials is it made ? A ghost described ; a ghost 
appearing ; tlie play within a jslay, and that a play of mui-dor ; Polonius killed ; the ghost 

' ' An Apology for Actors.' t ' Edinburgh Review,' vol. Ixxi. p. 475. 

J Introductory Notice to Ilamlet. 


again ; Ophelia mad a-iid self-destroyed ; the struggle at the grave between Hamlet and 
Laertes ; the queen poisoned ; Laertes killed with a jDoisoued rapier ; the king killed by 
Hamlet ; and, last of all, Hamlet's death. No wonder Fortiubras exclaims — 

" This quarry cries ou havoc." 

Again, take another early tragedy, of which we may well believe that there was an 
earlier sketch than that published in 1597 — Romeo and Juliet. AVe may say of the deli- 
cious poetry, as Romeo says of Juliet's beauty, that it makes the charnel-house " a feast- 
ing presence full of light." But imagine a Romeo and Juliet conceived in the immaturity 
of the young Shakspere's power — a tale of love, but surrounded with horror. There is 
enough for the excitement of an nninstructed audience : the contest between the houses ; 
Mercutio. killed ; Tybalt killed ; the apparent death of Juliet ; Paris killed in the church- 
yard ; Romeo swallowing poison ; Juliet stabbing herself. The marvel is, that the sur- 
passing power of the poet should make us forget that Romeo and Juliet can present such 
an aspect. All the changes which we know Shakspere made in Hamlet, and Romeo and 
Juliet, were to work out the peculiar theory of his mature judgment — that the terrible 
should be held, as it were, iu solution by the beautiful, so as to produce a tragic con- 
sistent with pleasurable emotion. Herein ho goes far beyond AVebster. His art is a 
higher art. 


The first edition of Pericles appeared in 1609, under tlie followiug title ; — ' The late ami mucli 
Mlmired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. With the true relation of the whole historic, adven- 
tures, and fortunes of the said prince : As also the no lesse strange and worthy accidents, in the 
birth and life of his daughter Mariana. A,s it hath been divers and sundry times acted [by] his 
Maiesties Seruants at the Globe on the Bank-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted at 
London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the sign of the Sunne in Paternoster-row, &c. 
1609.' In the British Museum there are two copies bearing this date ; and we mention this to 
state that there are minute differences in these copies, such as present themselves to a printer's eye 
and show that the types were what is technically called kept standing, to meet a con.stant demand. 
Other quarto editions appeared in 1611, in 1619, in 1030, and in 1635. The variations in these 
from the text of 1609 are very slight. In 1664 Pericles first appeared in the folio collection of 
Shakspere's works, being introduced into the third edition, whose title-page states — " Unto this 
impression is added seven plays never before printed in folio." This folio edition varies very 
slightly indeed from the quarto of 1635 ; and that varies, aa we have said, very slightly from the 
original quarto. It is probable that the first edition was printed, without authority, from a very 
imperfect copy. It was produced, as we see upon the title-page, at Shakspere's theatre, and it 
bore his name ; but his fellow-shareholders in that theatre did not re-publish it after his death. 
Had it been re-published in the folio of 1623, we should, most probably, have had a copy very dif- 
ferent from that upon which the text must now be founded. All the copies have been carefully 
collated for the purposes of our own edition; but we have been able to add little to what Malone's 
careful editorship effected in 1778. The text manufactured by Steeveus is the received text of 
modern editions. He went upon his ordinary principle of adjusting the versification to a syllabic 
regularity, and especially the lines spoken by Gower. These he has reduced to octo-syllabic verse, 
by the most merciless excision of '■ superfluous " words ; and, whilst we lament the perverseuess of 
the man, we cannot but admire the ingenuity with which he has cut his cloth to the exact dimen- 
sions, and sewn it together again with surprising neatness. The mauipulation of Steeveus has been 
carried so far in this play, that it would have been waste of time to have called attention to it in our 

The Illustrations to each act contain very full extracts from Gower's ' Confessio Amautis,' upon 
which the author of ' Pericles ' founded his legendary drama. The chronology of the play belongs 
to the question of its authenticity. 








Antiochus, King oJ Antioch. 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 
Helicanus, 1 

ESCANES, t """ ^'"■■'' "! Ty«=- 

SiMONiDES, King of Pentapolis, 

Cleon, Governor of Tharsus. 

Lysimachus, Governor of MUylenu. 

Cerimon, a Lord of Ephesus. 

Thaliard, strvant to Antiochus. 

Leonine, servant to Dionyza. 


A pander and his icife. 

BouLT, their servant. 

GowER, as.chorus. 

The daughter of Antiochus, 

Dionyza, wife to Cleon. 

Thaisa, daughter to Simonides. 

Marina, daughter to Pericles and Thaisa. 

Lychorida. tn Marina. 


Lords, Knights, Sailors, Pirates, Fishernieu, 
and Messengers. 

SCKtiVL. — dispersedly in fnriuiis (•oiinlrirs. 



Enler Gower. 

Befure the Palace o/'Autioch. 

To siug a soug of" old was suug, 

From ashes ancient Gower is come ; 

Assuming man's infirmities, 

To glad your ear, and please your eyes. 

It hath been sung, at festivals, 

On ember-eves, and holy-ales ;'' 

And lords and ladies, in ' their lives, 

Have read it for restoratives. 

The purchase '' is to make men glorious ; 

ft Of. The early editions, that. 

Ij The early copies, holijdaijs. Farmer suggested holy-ales. 

c In their lives, in all the copies. During their lives. 

"1 Purchase, — So the original. The primary meaning of 
purchase is to obtain: a purcltase is a thing obtained. 
Steevens altered the word to purpose. This alteration was 
unnecesary, for, however obscure the sense, we may accept 
the word as it is used by Chaucer : — 

" To wind and weather Almighty God gives purchase ; " 

Sup, Vol, F 

Ei hoiium, quo mitiquius, eo melius. 

If you, born in these latter times, 

When wit 's more ripe, accept my rhymt-S, 

And that to hear an old man sing 

May to your wishes pleasure bring, 

I life would wish, and that I might 

Waste it for you, like taper-light. 

This Antioch then, Antiochus the Great 

Built up, this eity, for his chiefest seat ; 

Tiie fairest in all Syria ; 

(I tell you what mine authors say :) 

The king unto him took a plieere," 

Who died and left a female heir. 

So buxom, blythe, and full of face, 

As Heaven had lent her all his grace : 

that is, Almighty God provides; what is provided by tin- 
poet is to " make men glorious." 

^ Pheere. In the originals, peer. Phccrc, or fere, \s z 
mate. Sec Titus Andronicus, Act iv. ac. i. 


Act I.] 


[Scene I 

Witli whom the fiither Uking took, 

And her to incest did provoke ; 

Bad cliild, worse father ! to eutice his own 

To evil, should be done by uouc. 

By" custom, what they did begin 

Was with long use account no siu 

The beauty of tliis sinfid dame 

Made many princes thitlier frame. 

To seek her as a bedfellow, 

lu marriage-pleasures playfellow : 

Which to prevent, he made a law, 

(To keep her still, and men iu awe,) 

That whoso ask'd her for his wife. 

His riddle told not, lost his life : 

So for her many a wight did die, 

As yqu grim looks do testify. 

What ensues, to the judgment of your eye 

I give, my cause who best can justify. [A'.ivV. 

SCENE I.— The Z^<//«ce «/Antioch. 

Enter Antiocuus, Pericles, and Attendants. 

Ant. Young prmcc of Tyre, you have at largo 
The danger of the task you mulerlakc. 

Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soid 
Embolden'd with tlie glory of her praise. 
Think dcatli no hazard, iu this cuterwrisc. 

Ant. Bring in oui' daughter, clothed like a 
For the embraeemenis, even of Jove himself; 
At whose conception (till Lucina reign'd; 
Natui-e this dowry gave, to glad her presence ; 
The senate-hoiise of planets all did sit, 
To knit iu her their best perfections. 

Enter the Daughter 0/ Antiocuus. 

Per. See where she comes, apparel'd like the 
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king 
Of every virtue gives renown to men ! 
Her face the book of praises, where is read 
Nothing but cui-ious pleasures, as from theuce 
Sorrow were ever 'ras'd,' and testy wrath 
Co\dd never be her mild companion. 

a By. The orisinals, hut. 
I' The old copies read, 
" Musick, bring in our daughter clotlied like a hride." 
Mttsick was evidently a marginal direction. 

' 'Rai'd. The first quarto reads racte—the s ibsciucnt 
copies, racld. The verb razf, or eraie, was formerly written 
race, and ractc was the past participle. 

Ye gods tliat made me man, and sway in love, 
That have inflain'd desii'C in my breast 
To taste the fruit of you celestial tree, 
Or die iu the adventure, be my helps. 
As I am son and servant to your will. 
To compass such a boundless happiness ! 

Ant. Prince Pericles 

Per. That woidd be son to great Antiochus, 
Ant. Before thee stands this fail- Hcsperides, 
With golden fnut, but dangerous to be toueh'd ; 
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard : 
Her face, Uke heav'n, euticeth thee to view 
Her countless glory, which desert must gain : 
And wliich, \rithont desert, because thine eye 
Presmnes to reach, aU thy whole heap must 

Yon sometune famous princes, like thyself. 
Drawn by report, adventurous by desire, 
TeU thee with speechless tongues, and semblance 

That, without covering save yon field of stars. 
Here they stand martyrs, slain iu Cupid's 

wars ; 
And with dead checks advise thee to desist 
For going on Death's net, wdiom none resist. 

Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, \\ ho hast taught 
ily frail mortality to know itself. 
And by those fearful objects to prepare 
Tliis body, like to them, to what I must : 
For death rcmember'd should be like a mii'ror, 
Who tells us, life 's but breath, to trust it error. 
I 'U make my wiU then ; and, as sick men do 
Who know the world, see heav'n, but feehng 

Gripe not at earthly joys, as erst they did ; 
So I bccpie.ath a happy peace to you 
And all good men, as every prince should do ; 
My riches to the earth from whence they came ; 
But my unspotted fire of love to you. 

[To the Daughter o/'Antiocuu.s. 
Thus ready for the way of life or death, 
I wait the shai-pest blow. 
Ant. Scorning advice ; read the conclusion 

AVIueh read and not expounded, 't is decreed. 
As these before, so thou thyself shalt bleed. 
Danffh. Of all 'say'd yet, mayst thou jirovc 

prosperous ! 
Of all 'say'd yet, I wish thee happmcss ? '' 

3 The early editions give these lines confusedly ;— 
" I wait the sharpest blow, (Antiochus.) 
Scorning advice; read the conclusion then." 
The name of the character was evidently mistaken for a part 
of the dialogue. 

l> 0/ all saytt tief is tiie ancient reading, which Percy sug- 
gested meant — of all who have essay'd yet. 

Act 1.] 



Per. Like :i bold champion I assume tlie 
Not ask advice of any other thought, 
But faithfulness, aud courage. 

" 1 am no viper, yet I feed 
On motliei's flesh which did me breed ; 
I sought a husband, in -v^hicli labour, 
I found that kindness in a father. 
He 's father, son, and liusband mild, 
I mother, wife, and yet his cliild. 
How they may he, and yet in two. 
As you will live, resolve it you." 

Sharp physio is the last : but 0, ye powers ! 
That give heav'u countless eyes to view men's 

A\niy cloud they not their sights perpetually. 
If this he true, wliich makes me pale to read it ? 
Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, aud could stUl, 

[Takes hold of the liaml of the Princess. 
Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ill : 
But I uuist tell you, — now, my thoughts revolt ; 
For he 's no man on whom perfections wait, 
Tliat, knowing sin within, will touch the gate. 
You're a fan viol, and yom- sense the strings; 
Wlio, liuger'd to make man his lawful music, 
AVould di'aw heav'n down, and all the gods to 

hearken ; 
But hciug play'd upon before your tin:'e, 
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime : 
Good sooth, I eare not for you. 

Aiit. Prince Pericles, touch not, upou thy ILfe, 
For that 's an article within our law, 
As dangerous as the rest. Your time 's cx- 

Either expound now, or receive your sentence. 

Per. Great king. 
Few love to hear the sins they love to act ; 
'Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to 

tell it. 
Wlio hath a book of all that monarchs do, 
He 's more secure to keep it shut, tiian 

shown : 
For vice repeated is like the wand'ring wind, 
Blows dust in others' eyes, to spread itself : 
Aud yet the end of all is bought thus dear. 
The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see 

To stop the air would hurt them. The bliud 

mole easts 
Copp'd hills toward heaven, to tell, the earth is 

throng' d^ 
By man's oppression; aud the poor worm dot!i 

die for 't. 

* Steevens reads icroi's'U. 

F 2 

Kiugs are earth's gods : in vice their law 's their 

Aud if Jove stray, who dares say Jove doth ill ? 
It is enough you know ; and it is fit. 
What being more known grows worse, to smo- 
ther it. — 
All love the womb that their fii-st being bred. 
Then give my tongue like leave to love my head. 
Jilt. Heaven that I had thy head! he has 
found the meaning ! 
But I win gloze with him. [_Jsi(/e.'] Young 

prince of Tyre, 
Tiiough by the tenor of our strict edict, 
Y'our exposition misiuterpreliug. 
We might proceed to cancel of yom- days;" 
Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree 
As your fair self, doth tune us otherwise : 
Forty days longer we do respite you, 
If by which time our secret be undone. 
This mercy shows wc '11 joy in such a son : 
And, until then, your entertain shall be. 
As doth befit oiu- honour, and your worth. 

[Exeunt Akt., his Daughter, and Atteudant.s. 
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin ! 
When what is done is like an hypocrite, 
The wliich is good in notluug but in siglit. 
If it he true that I interpret false, 
Then were it certain, you were not so bad 
As with foul incest to abuse yoiu' soul ; 
"Where now you 're both a father and a son. 
By your untimely claspings with your eluld 
(Which pleasure fits a husbaud, not a father); 
And she an eater of her mother's flesh. 
By the defUing of her parent's bed ; 
And both like serpents are, who though they feed 
On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed. 
Autioeh, farewell ! for \risdoin sees, those men 
Blush not in actions blacker than the night, 
WiU shun'' no com-se to keep them from the 

One sin, I know, another doth provoke ; 
Mm-der 's as near to lust, as flame to smoke. 
Poison and treason are the hands of sin. 
Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame : 
Then, lest my life be eropp'd to keep you clear, 
By flight I '11 shun the danger which I fear. 


Re-enter Aktiocuus. 

Jut. He hath found the meanuig, for the 
which we mean 
To have his head ; 

* The (luartos, cofiHsel o/j \\\e ioWo i^U'Si^, cancel off 
b Sliuit. The original copies, */iofr. 



Alt 1.] 

He must not live to trumpet forta my infamy, 

Nor tell the world, Autioclius ioth sin 

111 such a loathed mamier : 

And therefore instantly this prince must die ; 

For by his fall my honour must keep high. 

■\Vlio attends us there ? 

Hater TiiM,ii.VD. 

Thai. Doth your highness call ? 

Ant. Thaliard, you're of oui- chamber, and 
oiu' mind 
Partakes her private actions to your secrecy ; 
And for your faitlifulness we will advance you. 
Thaliard, behold here 's poison, and here 's gold ; 
We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill 

It Cts thee not to ask the reason why. 
Because wc bid it. Say, is it done ? 
Thai. My lord, 't is done. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Ant. Enough. 

Let your breath cool yom-self, telling youi' haste. 

Mes. My lord, prince Pericles is fled. 

Ant. As thuu 

Wdt live, fly after ; and like an arrow, shot 
From a well expericnc'd archer, hits the mark 
His eye dolh level at, so do thou ne'er return, 
Unless thou say'st, prince Pericles is dead. 

Thai. My lord, if I can get him within my 
pistol's length, I '11 make hun sure enough : so 
farewell to your highness. \ 

Ant. Thaliard, adieu ! till Pericles be dead. 
My heart can lend no suecoui- to my head. \E.vit. 

SCENE II.— Tyre. 

Enter Pericles, Helicanus, and other Lords. 

Fer. Let none disturb us : why should this 
charge of thoughts, — 
The sad companion, dull-cy'd Melancholy, 
By me so us'd a guest, as not an hour, 
In the day's glorious walk or peaceful night, 
(The tomb where grief ahoidd sleep), can breed 
me quiet ? • 

[Scum. 11. 

Here pleasm-es court mine eyes, and mines eyes 

shun them. 
And danger which I feared, is at Autioch, 
Whose arm seems fai- too short to hit mo here ; 
Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits. 
Nor yet the other's distance comfort me : 
Then it is thus ; the passions of the mmd, 
T'hat have then first conception by mis-dread. 
Have after-nourishment and Ufe by care ; 
And what was first but fear what might be 

Grows elder now, and eares it be not done. 
And so with me ; — the great Autiochus 
('Gainst whom I am too little to contend. 
Since he 's so great, can make his will his act) 
Will think me speakmg, though I swear to 

silence ; 
Nor boots it me to say I honour him," 
If he suspect I may dishonour him ; 
Aud what may make him blush in buing 

He'll stop the course by which it might be 

known ; 
With hostile forces he '11 o'erspread the land. 
And with the stmt of war will look so huge,'' 
Amazement shall drive courage from the state ; 
Our men be vanquish' d, ere they do resist, 
Aud subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought 

ofi'ence : 
Wliich care of them, not pity of myself, 
(Who am' no more but as the tops of trees. 
Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend 

Makes both my body pme, and soul to languish, 
And punish that before that he would punish. 

1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred 

breast ! 

2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return 

to us. 
Peaceful and comfortable ! 

Hel. Peace, peace, and give experience 
tongue : 
They do abuse the kiug that flatter him. 
For flattery is the bellows blows up sin ; 
The thing the which is flatter' d, but a spaik, 

a In the first line of this speech in the ori{,'inal the word 
now printetl charge is chaije. Douce thinks the readii:g of 
c/inH(/e may be supported :—" Let none disturb us; wliy 
should this change of tlioughts [disturb us] ? " Clwrgc ap- 
pears to be the lilieliest word, in the sense of burthen. But 
we do not make tlie sentence end at churqe of thoughts, as 
is usually done. The sad companion is that cliarge. Tht* 
passaj^re lias been printed thus: — 

" Let none disturb us : AVhy this charge of tlioui.'hts ? 
The sad companion, duU-ey'd melanclloly, 
By nic sc us'd a guest 15, not an hour," &c. 
M alone reads — 

" By me 's so us'd a guest, as not an hour." 
In following the original we must understand the verb be: — 
"Why should, &c. 
By me [be] so us'd a guest as not an hour." 
1 Him was added by Rowe. 

'I Stint, " which is the reading of all the copies, has here 
no meaning," according to Malone. Oslent is therefore 
adopted. But %Yhat has been said just before?— 

" He'll stop the course by which it might be known ; " 
He will slop it, by the stint of war. Stint is synonymouj 
with stoji, in the old writers, 
c Am. The original has one. Farmer suggested irt. 

Act I.J 



To which that hl;Lst'' gives iieat and stronger 

glowing ; 
Wliereas reproof, obedient, and in order. 
Fits kings as they are men, for tliey may err. 
AVhea signior Sooth here doth proclaim a peace. 
He flatters you, makes war upon your life : 
Prince, pardon me, or strike me if you please, 
I cannot be much lower than my knees. 

I'er. All leave us else ; but let your cares 
Wliat shipping, and what lading's in our haven. 
And then return to us. Helicanus, thou 
Hast moved us : what seest thou in our looks ? 
Hel. An angry brow, dread lord. 
Per. If there bo such a dart in princes' frowns. 
How durst thy tongue move anger to oiu' 
He!. How dai-e the plants look \m \o heaven, 
from whence 
They have their nourishment ? 

P('i: Tliou know'st I have power to take thy 

life from thee. 
IT(l. I have ground the axe myself; do but 

you strike the blow. 
Per. Rise, prithee rise ; sit down, thou art no 
flatterer ; 
I thank thee for it ; and heaven forbid, 
Tliat kings should let their cars hear their faults 

Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince. 
Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant, 
\Vhat woiddst thou have me do ? 

Hel. To bear with patience 

Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon your- 
Per. Thou speak'st like a physician, Heli- 
canus ; 
That minister'st a potion unto me, 
Tiiat tliou wouldst tremble to receive thyself. 
Attend me then; I went to Antiocli, 
Wiiereas," thou know'st, against the face of 

I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty. 
From whence an issue I might propagate ; 
Are arms'' to princes, and bring joys to subjects. 
Her face was to mine eye lieyoixl aU wonder ; 
The rest (hark in thine ear) as black as incest ; 
Which by my knowledge f(mnd, the sinful father, 
Seem'd not to strike, but smooth : " but thou 

know'st this, 
'T is time to fear, when tyrants seem to kiss. 

'^ Blast — in the original ^pnrh. 

^ Chid. The originals liave fiict. Mr. Djce snggeslcU 
tlie correction, explaining thai [ft means liititU'r. 
«-■ /rAcrfds, in the sense oiit'/terc. 
tl Wliicli are arvjs, &c., is here understood. 
^ To sinodlh signilies \oJiatler. 

Which fear so grew in me, I hithci Hcd, 

Under the covering of a carefid night. 

Who seem'd my good protector : and, being 

Bethought me w'hat was past, what might suc- 
I knew him tyrannous, and tyrants' fears 
Decrease not, but grow faster than the years : 
And shoidd he doubt it, (as no doubt he doth,) 
That I should open to the listening air. 
How many worthy princes' bloods were shed. 
To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope, — 
To lop that doubt, he '11 fill this land with 

And make pretence of wrong that I have done 

him ; 
When aU, for mine, if I may call 't bfifence, 
JIust feel war's blow, who spares not inno- 
cence : 
Which love to all (of which thyself art one, 

Wlio now reprov'st me for it) 

Hel. Alas, sir ! 

Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from 
my cheeks. 
Musings into my mind, with thousand doubts 
How I might stop this tempest ere it came ; 
And finding Httle comfort to relieve them , 
I thought it princely charity to grieve them. 
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me 
leave to speak. 
Freely will I speak. Autiochus you fear. 
And justly too, I think ; you fear the tyrant, 
AVho either by pubhc war, or private treason, 
Will take away youi- Kfe. 
Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while. 
Till that his rage and anger be forgot ; 
Or till the Destinies do cut his thread of life : 
Yom- rule direct to any ; if to mc. 
Day sei-ves not light more faithfid than I '11 bo. 

Per. I do not doubt thy faith ; 
But shoidd he wrong my liberties in my ab- 
sence — • 
Hel. We '11 mingle our bloods together in the 
From whence we had our bemg and our birth. 
Per. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and to 
Intend my travel, where I '11 hear from thee ; 
And by whose letters I 'U dispose myself. 
The care I had and have of subjects' good. 
On thee I lay, wliose wisdom's strength can 

bear it. 
I '11 take thy word for faith, not ask thine osth : 
Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack 
both : 


Act I.] 


[SCEKSElII., 17 

But in oui' orbs we '11 live so round and safe, 
That time of both this truth shall ne'er con- 
Thou sliow'dst a subject's shine, I a tnie prince. 



Enter Thaliaed. 

Thai. So, this is Tyre, and this the court. 
Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do it 
not, I am sure to be hanged at liomo: 'tis dan- 
gerous. — Well, I perceive, lie was a wise fellow, 
and had good discretion, that, being bid to ask 
what he would of the king, desired he might 
know none of his secrets. Nov/ do I see he had 
some reason 'for it : for if a king bid a man be a 
villain, lie is bound by the indenture of his oatli 
to be one. 
Hush, here ooine the lords of Tyre. 

Enter Hklicands, Escanes, aiid other Lords of 

llct. You shall not need, my fellow-peers of 
Furtlier to q\iestion me of your king's departure. 
His seal'd commission, left in trust with me. 
Doth speak s\ifficiently he's gone to travel. 

Thid. How ! the king 


llel. If further yet you will be satisfied, 
Wiy, as it were unlicens'd of your loves 
He would depart, I'll give some light unto you. 
Being at Antioeh 

'Hull. What from Antioeh ? [Aside. 

Hel. Royal Antiooiius (on what cause I know 
Took some displeasure at him, at least he judg'd 

And doubting lest lie had err'd or sinu'd. 
To show his sorrow, he'd correct himself; 
So puts himself unto the shipman's toil, 
AVitli whom each minute threatens life or 

Thill. Well, I perceive 
I shall not be hang'd now, although I would ;. 
But since he 's gone, the king sure must plcis-e'' 
He 'scap'd the land, to perish at the sea. — 
I 'II present myself. Peace to the lords of 

'^ Conrhicp. in the sense of overcome. 
^ The original copies luive — 

" But since he's gone, the king's seas must please." 
We adopt the principle of Steevens's alteration, who reads- 
" But since he's gone, the king it sure must please." 

Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is wel- 
Thdl. From him I come 
With message unto princely Pericles; 
But since my landing I have understood 
Your lord hath betook himself to unknown 

travels ; 
My message must return from whence it came. 

//(■/. We have no reason to desire it. 
Commended to our master, not to us : 
Yet ere you shall depart, this we desire. 
As friends to Antioeh, we may feast in Tyre. 


SCENE IV.— Tharsus. 

Enter Cleojj, Dionyza, ciiid others. 

Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here. 
And, by relating tales of others' griefs. 
See if 't wUl teach us to forget our own ? 

Dio. That were to blow at lire in hope ti 
quench it ; 
For who digs hills, because they do aspire, 
Tlirows down one mountain to cast up a higher. 

my distressed lord, ev'n such om- griefs are ; 
Here they're but felt, and seen" with mischief's 

But like to groves, being topp'd, they liigher 

Cle. Dionyza, 
Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants il. 
Or can conceal his hunger till he famish? 
Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep our 

Into the air; our eyes do weep, till tongues'' 
Fetch breath that may proclaim them louder, 

If heaven slumber, while their crcatiu'cs want, 
Tliey may awake their helpers" to comfort 


1 'U then discourse our woes felt several years. 
And, wanting breath to speak, help me with 

DIo. I '11 do my best, sir. 
Cle. This Tharsus, over wliich I have the 


n .4ml se.ii. Tims in the original copiCL-. Malonc lirn- 
posed itmccn ; but Dionyza means to say that here their 
griefs are but felt and se'en with mischief's eyes— eyes of 
discontent and sutrering; but if topp'd with other tales — 
that is, cut down by the comparison— like groves they will 
rise higher, be more unbearable. 

ii Tonji/M, in all the early editions. Steevens changed the 
word to tuuifs. 

(■ Hilprrs. in the original. The modern reading is lietps 




A city, on whom Plenty held full hand, 

For riches strew'd herself even in the streets ; 

Whose towers bore heads so high they kiss'd 

the clouds. 
And strangers ne'er beheld but wonder'd at ; 
Whose men and dames so jetted and adoni'd. 
Like one another's glass to trim them by : 
Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight, 
And not so much to feed on, as delight ; 
All poverty was seoru'd, and pride so great. 
The name of help grew odious to repeat. 
Dio. Oil, 't IS too tnie. 
Cle. But see what heaven can do ! By this 

our change. 
These mouths, whom but of late, earth, sea, and 

Were all too little to content and please. 
Although they gave their creatures in al-iun- 

As houses arc dcfll'd for want of use. 
They are now starv'd for want of exercise ; 
Those palates, who, not us'd to lumger's sa- 
ilust have inventions to delight the taste, 
Woidd now be glad of bread, and beg for it ; 
Those mothers who, to nouzle up their babes. 
Thought nought too curious, are ready now 
To eat those little darlings whom they lov'd ; 
So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and 

Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life : 
Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping ; 
Here many sink, vet those whicli see thoiu 

ILave scarce strength left to give them bwial. 
Is not this true ? 
Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness 

Cle. O let those cities that of Plenty's cup 
And her prosperities so largely taste. 
With their superfluous riots, hear these tears ! 
The misery of Tharsus may be theu's. 

Enter a Lord. 

Lord. Where 's the lord governor ? 
Cle. Here. 
Speak out thy sorrows, which thou bring' st in 

For comfort is too far for us to expect. 

Lord. We have descried, upon our neighboui-- 
ing shore, 
A portly sail of ships make hitherward. 

• This is Malone's reading. All the early copies have— 
"Those pallats, who, not yet too savers younger." 

Cle. I thought as much. 

One sorrow never comes but brings an heir. 

That may succeed as his inheritor ; 

And so in ours : some neighbouring nation. 

Taking advantage of om- misery. 

Hath' stuif'd these hollow vessels with their 

To beat us down, the which are down already ; 

And make a conquest of unhappy me. 

Whereas no glory 's got to overcome. 

Lord. That 's the least fear ; for, by the sem- 

Of then- white flags display'd, they bring Ub 

And come to us as favourers, not as foes. 

Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutor'd to 

Who makes the fairest show, means most de- 

But bring they what they will, and what thry 

Wiiat need we fear ? 

The ground's the lowest, and we are half way 
there : 

Go tell their general, we attend him here. 

To know for what he comes, and wlieiiee lie 

And what he craves. 
Lord. I go, my lord. 

Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace con- 

If wars, we arc unable to resist. 

Enter Peeicles with Attendants. 

Per. Lord governor, for so we hear ynii 
Let not our ships, and number of our men. 
Be, like a beacon flr'd, to amaze your eyes. 
We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre, 
And seen the desolation of your streets ; 
Nor come we to add son'ow to your tears. 
But to reheve them of their heavy load ; 
Aud these our ships (you happily may think 
Are, like the Trojan horse, war-stuff'd'' williin, 
With bloody views expecting overthrow) 
Are stor'd with corn to make your needy bread. 
And give them life, whom hunger starv'd liaK 

Omnes. The gods of Greece protect you ! 
.^.ud we will pray for you. 

Ter. Arise, I pray you, rise ; 

* Uulh. The original copies, that. 
t» Co;is;.vi— sland-s on. 

c War-stufd. This isSteevens*singeniou3emen(htion of 
uae stuird. 


Apt I.] 


We do not look for reverence, but for love, 
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men. 

Cle. The whicli when any sh;iLl not gratify, 
Or pay you with unthankfu'mess in thouglit. 
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves, 
The curse of heaven and men succeed fhcir 
evils ! 

[Scene IV. 
shall ne'er be 

Till when (the whicli, I hope, 

Your grace is welcome to our town and us. 
Per. Which welcome we 'U accept ; feast here 
a while, 
Until our stars, that frown, lend us a smile. 



To enable the reader to jiulge how closely the 
author of Pericles has followed the courae of the 
Qarrativeiii Gower's 'Coufessio Amantis,' we shall 
make some considerable extracts fi'Oiii that poem; 
following the exact order of the poem, so as to 
include thu events of each Act. It will be un- 
necessary for us to trace the association by reference 
to particular scenes and passages. We have modern- 
ized tlie orthography, so that the comparison may 
be pursued with more facility ; and we give an 
interpretation of some obsolete words : — 

" The father, ■when he understood 

That tliey his daughter thus besouglit, 

With all his wit he cast and sought 

How that he might find a let ; 

And thus a statute then he set, 

And in this wise his law he taxeth— 

That what man that his daughter axeth, 

But if he couth a lus question 

Assoil.iJ upon suggestion 

Of certain things tliat befell, 

The which he would unto him tell, 

lie sliould in certain lose his head. 
And -thus there were many dead, 

Their lieads standing on the gate, 

Till at last, long and late, 

For lack of answer in the wise,^; 

The remnant, that weren wise, 

Eschewden to make essay." 

* » « • » 

" Tlie king dectareth him the case 

With stern look, and sturdy cheer, 

To him, and said in this manner. 

With felony I am up bore, 

I eat, and have it nought forbore, 

My mother's flesh, whose husband 

My father for to seek I fonde.d 

Which is the son of my wife. 

Hereof I am Inquisitive, 

And who that can my tale save, 

Alt quite e he shall my daughter liave 

Of his answer; and if he fail 

He shall be dead without fail. 

For thee, ray son, quoth the king 

Ite well advised of this thing 

Wliich hath thy life in jeopardy." 
» ♦ # • • 

" This young prince fortli he went. 

And understood well what he meant, 

Within his heart, as he was lered ; f 

That for to make liim afferede 

The king his time hath so delayed. 

Whereof he dvaddc.h and was araayed i 

a Couth — was able. 

c In the wise — in the manner. 

e Ou'/(?— free. 

f .</"r(?rf— afraid. 

^ ^«5o//— answer, 
d Foiide — try. 
f J[,ere(/^t aught, 
h Dradde — dreaded, 
i Amaijed — dismayed. 

Of treason that he die should, 
For he the king his sotha told : 
And suddenly the niglit's tide, 
That more would he not abide, 
All privily his barge he hentb 
And home again to Tyre he went. 
And in his own wit he said, 
For dread if he the king bewray'd," 
He knew so well the king's heart, 
That death ne should he not asterte.d 
The king him would so pursue. 
But he that would his death eschew, 
And knew all this to fore the hand 
Forsake he thought his own land, 
That there would be not abide ; 
For well he knew that on some side 
This tyrant, of his felonj", 
By some manner of treachery 
To grieve his body would not leave." 
* * * # • 

" Antiochus, the great sire, 
Which full of rancour and of ire 
His heart beareth so, as ye heard, 
Of that this prince of TjTe answer'd. 

He had a fellow-bachelor, 
Which was the privy councillor, 
And Taliart by name he hight, 
The king a strong poison diglit 
Within a box, and gold thereto, 
In all haste, and bad him go 
Straight unto Tyre, and for no cost 
Ne spare, till he had lost 
The prince, which he would spill. 
And when the king hath said his will, 
This Taliart in a galley 
With all haste he took his way. 
The wind was good, and saileth blive.e 
Till he took land upon the rive f 
Of Tyre, and forthwith ail anon 
Into the burgh he 'gan to gon, 
And took his inn, and bode a throw, s; 
But for he would not be know. 
Disguised then he goeth him out, 
He saw the weeping all about, 
And axeth what the cause was. 

And they him tolden all the case, 
How suddenly the prince is go. 
And when be saw that it was so, 
And that his labour was in vain, 
Anon he turneth home again : 
And to tlie king when he came nigli, 
He told of that he heard and sihe,'' 
How that the prince of Tyre is fled. 
So was he come again unsped. 

a Solh -truth. 

c Bcwrny'd — discovered. 

e S/ire— quick. 

e r/irow-time. 

Ij Jfen/— took to. 
rf Astertc — escape 
f ^i/e— coast. 
li 5iA<;— Saw, 



The king was sorry for a while, 
Hut when he saw, that with no wile 
He might achieve liis cruelty, 
He stint his wrath, and let him ho." 

'■ liut over this now for to tell 
Of adventures, that befell 
Unto this prince of whom ytoUl : 
He hath his right course forth hold 
By stern and needle, a till he came 
To Tharse, and there his land he name. 
A burgess rich of gold and fee 
Was tliilke time in that city, 
Which cleped was Stranguilio; 
llis wife was Dionise also. 
This young prince, as saith the book, 
With him lii^ herbergagei" took ; 
And it befell that city so, 
By fore time and then also, 

'^ Stern and needle — stars and cnnipasj. 
b Ilerbergage — lodging. 

Thurha strong famine, wliich then\ lad,-i 

Was none that any wheat had. 

AppoUinus, when that he heard 

The mischief how the city ferde,c 

All freely of his own gift, 

His wheat among them for to shift. 

The which by ship he had brought, 

He gave, and took of them right nought. 

But sithen first the world began 

Was never yet to such a man 

More joy made, than they him made; 

For they were all of him so glad. 

That they for ever in remembrance 

Made a figure in resemblance 

Of him, and in common place 

They set it up ; so that his face 

Might every manner man behold. 

So that the city was behold. 

It was of laton<l over-gilt; 

Thus hath he not his gift spilt." 

r/i^rA— through. 
Ferde — tenified. 

' Xrtf/— lead. 
Laton — mWed metal 


Elite,- GowEn. 

Gow. IIi^vc have you seen a iniglity king 
llis child, I wis, to incest briug ; 
A better prince and benign lord. 
That will prove awful both in deed and word. 
Be quiet then, as men shoidd be. 
Till he hath past necessity. 
I '11 show you those in trouble's reign, 
Losing a mite, a mouutam gain. 
The good, in conversation 
(To whom I give my benizon) 
Is still at Tharsus, where each man 
Thinks all is wi-it he spoken can -^ 

a The meaning of this obscure line probably is— thinks all 
he can speak is as holy writ. 

And, to remember what he docs, 

Build his statue " to make him glorious : 

But tiilings to the contrary 

Ai'e brought to youv eyes ; what need sjicak I \ 

Dumb show. 
Enter at one door Pekicles talking xcith Cleox ; 

!» Build his stattie. All the old copies read huiM; but the 
word has by some been changed to tfiUl, because in the 
•Confessio Amantis ' we find, with regard to this statue — 

" It was of laton over-ffill." 
But before the stat\ie was rjilt it was erected, according to Die 
same authority : — 

" For they were all of him so 
That tUpjj for ever in remciithrattcc 
Maili! ajiijure in resemblance 
Of him, and in a common place 
They set it up." 
Why not tlien build as well as gild? 

Act II. ] 


[Scene I. 

(ill Ihe Train wilh them. Enter at anuihcr 
door a Gentleman, with a letter to Pericles ; 
Pericles shows ihe letter to Cleon ; Pericles 
ffiocs the Messenger a reward, and l-ii'ujhts 

[Evit Pericles rit one door, and Cleon 
at another.'^ 
Good Helioane liath'' stay'd at home, 
Not to eat lioney, like a drone. 
From others' labours ; for though lie strive 
To kUlcn bad, keeps good alive ; 
And, to fulfd his prince' deshe. 
Sends word ' of all that haps in Tyre : 
How Thaliard came fuU bent with sin, 
And had intent to murder him ; 
And that in Tharsus 't was not best 
Longer for him to make his rest : 
He, knowing so,'' put forth to seas, 
\niere when men bin, there 's seldom ease ; 
For now the wind begins to blow ; 
TJninder above, and deeps below, 
Make such unquiet, that the ship 
Slicmld house him safe, is wrack'd and split ; 
And he, good prince, having all lost, 
r>y waves from coast to coast is toss'd : 
,Ul perishen of man, of pelf, 
Ne aught escapcn but himself; 
Till fortune, tir'd with doing bad, 
Tlircw liim ashore to give iiim glad : 
And here he comes ; wdiat shall be next. 
Pardon old Gower; this 'longs tlie text.'' 


SCENE I.— Pcutapolis. 
Enter Pericles, tret. 

Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of 

heaven ! 
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly 

Is but a substance, that mtist yi(dd to yon ; 
And \, as fits my nature, do obey you, 
Alas, the sea hath cast me on the rocks, 
^'\'ash■d me from shore to shore, and left luc 

Nulhuig to think on, but ensuing death : 
Ijot it suffice the greatness of your powers, 
To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes ; 

^ We pive this diiinb show literally, as in the oripiiial. 

^ Hatli. In the old copies, t/iat. 

I" .'icmh word. In the old copies, siv'd one. 

•^ In the (pld copies, he doing so. 

p Douce explains this clearly:—" 'This 'longs the text 'is. 
in Oower's elliptical construction, ihis bdovtis to the hut : I 
need not comment upon itj you will see it." 

And liaving thrown him from your wat'ry 

Here to have death in peace, is all he '11 crave. 

Enter three Fishermen. 

1 Fish. Wliat, ho, Pilche!" 

2 Fish. Ha, come, and bring away the nets. 
1 Fish. What, Pateh-breeeh, I say ! 

3 Fish. AVliat say you, master ? 

1 Fish. Look how thou stii'rest now : come 
away, or I '11 fetch thee with a wannion. 

3 Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinkmg of the 
poor men that were cast away before us even 

1 Fish. Alas, poor souls ! it griev'd my heart 
to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to 
help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce 
help om'selves. 

3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as muehi 
when I saw the porpus how he bounced and 
tumbled? they say, they are half fish, haK flesh; 
a plague on them ! they ne'er come but I look to 
be wash'd. Master, I marvel how the fishes live 
in the sea. 

1 Fish. Why, as men do aland ; the great 
ones eat up the little ones : I can compare our 
rich misers to nothmg so fitly as to a whale ; 'a 
plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before 
him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful. 
Such whales have I heard on o' the land, who 
never leave gaping, till they've swallow'd the 
whole parish, cluu-ch, steeple, bells and all. 

Per. A pretty moral. 

3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, 
I would have been that day in the belfry. 

2 Fish. Why, man ? 

3 Fish. Because he should have swallow'd me 
too : and when I had been in his belly, I would 
liave kept such a jangling of the bells, that he 
should never have left, till he cast bells, steeple, 
ehureh, and parish, up again. But if the good 
king Simonides were of my mind 

Per. Simonides ? 

3 Fish. We woidd pm-ge the land of these 
drones, that rob the bee of her honey. 

Per. How from the fiimy subject "* of the sea 
These fishers tell the infirmities of men ; 
And from their- watery empire recollect 
All that may men approve, or men detect ! 
Peace be at yoiu' labour, honest fishermen. 

« Pitche is most probably a name ; as we have aft-Twardi 
Patch-breech. The old copies have " What to pelch .' " 

b Finny subject. The original has /t'nH(/. Subject iv.n^\\.< 
taken as a plural noun. 

Act III 


[Sclve: t. 

2 Fish. Honest, good follow, what, 's that ? If 
it be a day fits yon, seaicli out of the calendar, 
and nobody look after it." 

Per. You may see, the sea hath cast me on 
yonr coast.'' 

2 Fisli. What a drunken knave was the sea, 
to cast thee in our way ! 

Per. A man whom both the waters and the 
In that vast tennis-coui-t, hath made the ball 
For them to play upon, entreats you pity 

him ; 
He asks of you, that never ns'd to beg. 

1 Fisli. No, friend, caimot you beg ? here 's 
them in oui' country of Greece gets more with 
begging, than xe can do with workiug. 

3 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then ? 
Per. I never practis'd it. 

3 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure ; for 
here's nothing to be got now-a-days, unless 
thou canst fish for 't. 

Per. AVhat I have been, I have forgot to 
know ; 
But what I am, want teaches nie to think on; 
A man throug'd up with cold; my veins ai'C 

Aud have no more of life than may suffice 
To give my tongue that heat to ask your help : 
\Miich if you shall refuse, when I am dead, 
Tor that I am a man, pray see me biu-ied. 

1 Fish. Die, quoth-a ? Now gods forbid ! I 
have a gown here ; come, put it on, keep thee 
warm. Now, afore me, a handsome fellow ! 
Come, thou shalt go home, and we 'U have flesh 
for holidays,' fish for fasting days, and moreo'er 
puddings aud flap-jacks ; and thou shalt be 

Per. I thank you, sir. 

3 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you 
could not beg. 

Per. I did but crave. 

2 Fish. But crave ? then I '11 turn craA cr too, 
and so I shall 'scape whipping. 

Per. Why, are all your beggars whJpp'd then ? 
2 Fish. 0, not all, my friend, not all ; for if I 

^ This is the reading of the original, and has occasioned 
some discussion. Docs it not mean that the fisherman, 
laughing at the rarity of being honest, remarlts. If it be a 
day [i.e. a saint's or red-letter day) fits you, search out of 
(not in) the calendar, and nobody look after it (there, as it 
would he useless)? Steevens supposes that tjie dialogue 
originally ran thus : — 

" Per. Peace be at your labour, honest fishemien ; 
Tltn flny is r'tngh and titwfirls your occupalion. 

2 Fish. Honest I good fellow, what 's that f If it be not n 
6?.y Ills you, scratch it out of the calendar, and nobody wilt 
loolc after it." 

i" This is the reading of the folio. 

^ The old copies have all dij. 

all youi- beggars were whipped, I would wish no 
better ofiicc than to be a beadle. But, master, 
I '11 go draw up the net. 

\_E.reiiiit tico of the Pishenucn. 

Per. How well this honest mirth becomes 
their labour ! 

1 Fish. Hark you, sk, do you know where 
you are ? 

Pei: Not well. 

1 Fish. Why, I'll tell you; this is called 
Tentapolis, and our king, the good Simonides. 

Per. The good king Simonides, do you call 
him ? 

1 Fish. Ay, sir, and he deserves so to be 
called, for his peaceable reign, and good govern- 

Per. He is a happy king, suiee he gains from 
Ids subjects the name of good by his govern- 
ment. How far is his court distant from this 
shore ? 

1 Fish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey ; aud 
I '11 tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to- 
morrow is her bii-thday ; and there are prmoes 
and knights come-from all parts of the world to 
just and tom-ney for her love. 

Per. Were my fortunes equal to my desires, 
I could wish to make one there. 

1 Fish. 0, sir, things must be as they may ; 
and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully 
deal for — his wife's soul.« 

Re-oiler the ttco Fishermen, drawing vp a net. 

2 Fish. Help, master, help ; here 's a fish 
hangs in the net, like a poor man's right in the 
law; 'twill hardly come out. Ha! bots on 't, 
't is come at last, and 't is ttu'n'd to a rusty 
armour ! 

Per. An armoui', friends ! I pray yon, let me 

see it. 
Thanks, Fortune, yet, that after all my crosses. 
Thou giv'st me somewhat to repair myself; 
And, though it was mine own, part of mine 

Which my dead father did bequeath to mc. 
With this strict charge (even as he left his life), 
' Keep it, my Pericles, it hath been a shield 
'Twixt me and death (and pointed (o this brace) ; 
For that it sav'd me, keep it ; in like necessity, 
The which the gods protect thee from ! 't may 

defend thee.'" 

a We cannot attempt to explain this. There arc more 
riddles in this play than that of Antiochus. 
i» The old copies read — 
" The which the gods protect the;, Same may defena 

Act II.] 


:Scei;e 11. 

It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov'd it ; 
Till tlio rough seas, that spare not any uiau. 
Took it iu rage, though calni'd they've given it 

I f hank thee for it ; my shipwraek now 's no ill, 
Sinec I have here my father's gift in his will. 
1 Fish. What mean you, sir ? 
Per. To beg of you, kind friends, tliis coat of 

For it was some time target to a king ; 
I know it by this mark ; he lov'd me dearly, 
And for his sake, I wish the having of it ; 
/Vnd that you 'd guide me to youi- sovereign's 

Where with it I may appear a gentleman ; 
iVnd if that ever my low fortune 's better, 
[ '11 pay your bounties ; till then, rest your 

1 Fish. Why, wilt thoutoumey for the lady? 
Per. I'll show the virtue I have home in 


1 Fish. Why, d' ye take it, and the gods give 
thee good on't. 

2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend ; 't was 
we that made up tills garment through the rough 
seams of the water : there are certain condolc- 
ments, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, 
you 'U remember from whence you had it. 

Per. Believe it, I will ; 
By your furtherance I am eloth'd in steel ; 
And spite of all the rupture of the sea. 
This jewel holds his biding" on my arm ; 
Unto thy value I wiU mount myself 
Upon a courser, whose dcliglitful steps 
Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread. — 
Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided 
Of a pail' of bases."* 

2 Fish. We '11 sure provide : thou shalt have 
ray best gown to make thee a pair ; and I '11 
bring thee to the court myself. 

Per. Then honour be but a goal to my will. 
This day I "U rise, or else add ill to ill. [Exetoit. 

SCENE 11.—./ public lfa>/ or Platform, lead- 
ing to the Lists. A Piwilion hy the side of it, 
for the reception of the King and Princess." 

filter SlJlONlDES, Thaisa, Lords, and Attend- 

Sim. Ai'e the knights ready to begin the 
triumph ? 

ft Bidintj. The old copies, huyldlng. 

b Covering for the legs. 

c Tills description of the scene is modern. 


1 Lord. They are, my Uege : 
And stay yom- coming, to present themselves. 
Sifii. Return thciii, we ai'e ready; and our 
In honour- of whose bu-th these triumphs are. 
Sits here, like beauty's child, whom Natui-e 

For men to see, and seeing wonder at. 

\Fxit a Lord. 
'Ihui. It pleaseth you, my royal father, to 
j\ly commendations great, whose merit 's less. 

Sim. 'T is fit it should be so ; for princes are 
A model which heaven makes like to itself: 
As jewels lose their glory, if neglected. 
So priuees their renown, if not respected. 
'T is now your honour, daughter, to explain' 
The labour of each knight, in his device 

Thai. Which, to preseiTe mine honour, I '11 
[Enter a Knight ; he pusses over the staje, 
and his Squire presents his shield to the 
Si/,i. Who is the first that doth prefer him- 
Thai. A knight of Sparta, my renowned 
father ; 
And the device ho beai's upon liis shield 
Is a black .iilthiop reaching at the snn ; 
The word, Lux tiia vita mihi. 

Sim. He loves you well, that holds his life of 
you. [The second Knight passes 

Who is the second that presents himself? 

Thai. A prince of Maeedon, my royal father ; 
And the device he boars upon his shield 
Is an arm'd knight, that 's conquer'd by a lady : 
The motto thus, in Spanish, Pin per dutcura que 
per fuerga^' [The third leim^\\t pusses. 
Sim. And what 's the third ? 
Thai. The third of Antioch ; and his device, 
A wreath of cliivaby: the word, Me pompre 
provexit ape.v. 

[The fourth Knight passes. 
Sim. What is the foui-th ? 
Thai. A burning torch that 's turned upside 
down ; 
The word, Quod me alii, me extinguit. 

Sim. Which shows that beauty hath his power 
and will, 
Wliich can as well inflame, as it can kill. 

[fThe fifth Knight passes. 
Thai. Tlie fifth, an hand environed with 

■1 Esplfiin. The old copies re.-d nnteitiiin. 
b We do not alter the original, in M'hicli Spanish an'I 
Italian are mingled. 





ZVa.-.f7. " But you, my knight and guest; 

To wlinni this wrealli uf victory I irire, 

And crown you king of this day'i Imppincss." 

J'eric'cs. Act ii.» sc. 3. 


Act 11.1 



Holding out gold, that 's bj tlie touchstone 

tried : 
The motto thus, Sic spcdanda fides. 

[Tlie sixth Knight /J/'msc^. 
Sia. Ajid what 's the sixth aud last, the which 
the kuight himself 
With such a graceful courtesy deliver'd ? 

Ttuii. He seems to be a stranger; but his 
Is a wither'd branch, that 's only green at top : 
The motto. In hue spe vico. 

Sim. A pretty moral; 
From the dejected state wherein he is. 
He hopes l)y youius fortunes yet may Hourish. 

1 Lord. He had need mean belter than his 

outward show 
Can any way speak in his just commend : 
For, by his rusty outside, he appears 
To ha^e praotis'd more the whipstock tlian the 


2 Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he 

To an lionour'd triumph, strangely furnish'd. 

3 Lord. Aud on set purpose let his armour 

Until this day, to seour it in the dust. 

Sim. Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan 
The outward habit by the inward mrai. 
But stay, the knights are coming ; wc '11 with- 

Into the gallery. [Ereuii/. 

[Great shouts, uiid all crj/, The mean Knight ! 

SCENE III.—-/ Hall of Stale. A Banquet 

Elder Simonides, Tjiaisa, Lords, Attendants, 
and the Knights from tiltiuff. 

Sim. Knights, 
To say you are welcome, were superfluous. 
To place upon the volume of your deeds. 
As in a titlc-])age, your worth in arms, 
Were more than you expect, or more than 's fit, 
Since every w'orth in show commends itself. 
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast : 
You are princes, and my guests. 

Thai. But you, my knight and guest ; 
To whom this wreath of victory I give. 
And crown you king of this day's happiuess. 

Per. 'T is more by fortune, lady, than by 

Sim. Call it by what you will, the day is 
youi-s ; 
Aiul here, I hope, is none that envies it. 

In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed, 
To make some good, but others to exceed ; 
And you 're her labour'd scholar. Come, queen 

o' the feast, 
(For, daughter, so you are,) here take your 

place : 
]\Iarshal the rest, as they deserve their grace. 
ICnifjhis. We are honour'd much by good 

Sim. Your presence glads our days ; lionour 
wc love, 
For who hates honour, hates the gods above. 
Marshal. Sir, yonder is your place. 
Per. Some other is more fit. 

1 Knight. Contend not, sir ; for we are gen- 
Tiiat ncitiier in our hearts, nor outward eyes, 
En\'y the great, nor do the low despise. 
Per. You are right courteous knights. 
Sim. Sit, sir, sit. 

By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts. 
These catcs resist me, he not thought upon.* 
Thai. By Juno, that is queen of mari'iage. 
All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury, 
Wishing liim my meat : sure he 's a gallant gen 
tic man. 
Sim. He 's but a country gentleman ; has done 
no more 
Than other knights have done ; has broken a 

Or so ; so let it pass. 

Thai. To me he seems like diamond to glass. 
Per. Yon king 's to me, like to my father's 
Which tells me, in that glory once he was ; 
Had princes sit like stars about his throne, 
And he the sun, for them to reverence. 
None that beheld him, but, Uke lesser lights. 
Did vail their crowns to his supremacy ; 
Whore'' now his son 's like a glow-worm in the 

The wliich hath fire in darkness, none m light ; 

« This si>coch is usually assigned to Pericles : and in tlie 
second line under this arrangement, we read, "she not 
thought upon." But throughout the remainder of the scene 
Pericles gives no intimation of a sudden attachment to the 
Princess. The King, on the contrary, is e\idently moved 
to treat him with marked attention, aiul to hestow his 
thoughts upon him almost as exclusively as his daughter 
If we leave the old reading, and tire old indication of the 
speaker, Simonides wonders that he cannot eat— "these 
cates resist me"— although he (Pericles) is "not thought 
upon." This is an attempt to disguise tlie cause of his soli- 
citude even to himself. It must be observed that the suc- 
ceeding of Simonides. Tliaisa, and Pericles, arc all 
to be received as solilo(iuies. In the second sp»ech Simon- 
ides continues the idea of "he not thought upon," by at- 
tempting to de(ireciate Pericles—" He's but a country gen. 

li ir/jfrc— whereas. 


Act l;.] 



Whereby I see that Time 's the kiiig of men, 
For he 's their parent, and he is their grave, 
And gives them what he will, not what tlicy 
Sii,i. What, are you merry, knights ? 
1 Knight. Wlio can be other in tliis royal pre- 
sence ? 
Sim. Here, with a cup that's stor'd" mito the 
(As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,) 
We drink this health to you. 

Knii/hts. We thank yom- grace. 

Sim. Yet pause a while ; you knight doth sit 
too melancholy. 
As if the entertainment in our coui't 
Had not a show miglit countervail his worth. 
Note it not you, Thaisa ? 

Thai. What is 't to me, my father ? 
Sim. 0, attend, my daughter ; 
Princes, in this, should live like gods above. 
Who freely give to every one that comes 
To honour them : 

And princes, not doing so, are hke to gnats. 
Which make a sound, but kill'd are wonder'd 

Therefore to make his entrance more sweet, 
Here say, we di-ink this standing bowl of wine 
to him. 
Thai. Alas, my father, it befits not me 
Unto a stranger knight to be so bold ; 
He may my proffer take for an offence, 
Since men take women's gifts for impudence. 
Sim. How ! do as I bid you, or you '11 move 

me else. 
Thai. Now, by the gods, he could not please 
me better. \_Aside. 

Sim. And further tell him, we desii-e to know 
of him. 
Of whence he is, his name and parentage. 
Thi/i. The king my father, sir, hath drunk to 

Fer. I thank lum. 
Thai. Wishmg it so much blood unto youi- 

Per. I thank both him and you, and pledge 

liim freely. 
Thai. And further he desii-cs to know of 
Of whence you are, youi' name and parentage. 
Per. A gentleman of Tyi-e — (my name Peri- 
My education has been in arts and arms ;) 

* ^I'lr'd. The first quartohass^Mrrf; the subsequent copies 
i/rrrV— each the same word. 

Who, looking for adventm'cs in the world. 
Was by the rough seas reft of sliips and men. 
And, after shipwrack, driven upon this shore. 
Thai. He thanks your grace; names himself 

A gentleman of Tyi'c, who only by 
Misfortune of the sea has been bereft 
Of ships and men, and cast upon this shore." 
Sim. Now, by the gods., I pity his misfor- 
And will awake him from liis melancholy. 
Gome, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles, 
And waste the time, which looks for other 

Even in j'our armotirs, as you are addrcss'd. 
Will very well become a soldier's dance :'' 
I will not have excuse, with saying, this 
Loud music is too harsh for ladies' heads ; 
Since they love men in arms, as well as beds. 

\_The Knights dance. 
So, this was well ask'd ; 't was so well per- 

Come, su'; here is a lady that wants breathing 

And I have often heard, you knights of Tyre 
Are excellent in making ladies trip ; 
Ajid that their measures are as excellent. 
Per. In those that practise them, they are, 

my lord. 
Sim. Oh, that's as much as you would be 


[The Knights and Ladies dance. 
Of your fan' courtesy. — Unclasp, unclasp ; 
Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done 

But you the best [7'o Pericles.] Pages and 

Kghts, to conduct 
These knights unto their several lodgings : 

Yotrrs, sir. 
We have given order to be next oiu- own. 
Per. I am at your grace's pleasure. 
Sirii. Princes, it is too late to talk of lo\e, 
For that 's the mark I know you level at : 
Therefore each one betake him to his rest ; 
To-morrow, all for speeding do their best. 


R In the old etliliuns there is a wint c.fcnherence in some 
parts ot til is speech, ilr. Wliite thinks a line has l«een omitted. 
We pive the passage as it stands in the variorum editions. 

i» Maione says, "Tiie d.ince here introduced is thus ne- 
scribed in an ancient 'Dialogue against the Abuse of Dane 
ing ' (black letter, no date) : — 

" There is a dance call'd Choria, 
Wliich joy doth testify; 
Another called Pyrricke, 
Which warlike feats dotli try. 
For men in armour gestures made, 
And leap'd, that so they might, 
When need requires, be more prompt 
In public weal to fight." 

/.(.T m 



SCENE IV.— Tyro. 

Enter Heucanus and Es canes. 

Hel. No, Escanes, know this of me, 
Autiochus from incest liv'd not free ; 
For which, the most liigh gods not minding 

To withhold the vengeance that tliey had in 

Due to this heinous capital oft'cuce ; 
Even in the heiglit and pride of all his glory, 
When he was seated in a chariot of 
An inestimable value, and his daughter 
With him, a foe from heaven came and slu'ivcU'd 

Those bodies, even to loathing; for they so 

That all those eyes ador'd them" ere theii' faU, 
Scorn now then- hand shoidd give them burial. 
Esca. 'T was very strange. 
Hel. And yet but justice ; for though 

This king were great, his greatness was no 

To bar heav'u's shaft, but sin had his reward. 
Esea. 'T is very true. 

Enter three Lords. 

1 Lord. See, not a man in private confer- 

Or council, hath respect with him but he. 

2 Lord. It shall no longer grieve without re- 


3 Lord. And curs'd be he that wiU not second 

1 Lord. Follow me then : lord Hclicane, a 

Hel. With me ? and welcome : happy day, 

my lords. 
1 Lord. Know that our griefs are risen to the 
And now at length they overflow their banks. 
Hel. Your griefs, for what ? wrong not your 

prince you love. 
1 Ljord. Wrong not yourself then, noble Hcli- 
cane ; 
But if the prince do live, let us salute him. 
Or know wliat ground's made happy by Ids 

If in the world he live, we '11 sock him out ; 
If in his grave he rest, we '11 find him there ; 

■■> An elliptical construction— aU those eyes ivhich adorM 

Snp. Vol. G 

And be resolv'd, he lives to govern us. 
Or dead, gives cause to mourn his funeral. 
And leaves us to our free election. 

2 Lord. Wliose death's, indeed, the strongest 
in our censure :" 
And knowing this kingdom is without a head, 
(Lilce goodly buildmgs left without a roof 
Soon fall to ruin,) your noble self, 
Tliat best know'st how to rule, and how to reign, 
We thus submit unto, — our sovereign. 

nines. Live, noble Helicaue. 

Hel. Por honour's cause, ■* forbear your suf- 
frages : 
If that you love prmoe Pericles, forbear. 
Take I your wish, I leap into the seas," 
Where 's liourly trouble, for a minute's ease. 
A twelvemonth longer, let mc entreat you 
To forbeai the absence of your king ; 
If in which time expir'd, he not return, 
I shall with aged patience bear your yoke. 
But if I cannot win you to tliis love. 
Go search like nobles, like noble subjects, 
And in your search spend yoM adventmous 

worth ; 
Whom if you find, and win unto return. 
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown. 

1 Lord. To wisdom he 's a fool that vi'ill not 
yield ; 
And since lord Hclicane enjoineth us, 
We \Tith our travels will endeavour it.'' 

Hel. Then you love us, we you, and we '11 
clasp hands ; 
When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands. 


SCENE v.— Pentapohs. 

Enter Simonides reading a Letter ; the Knights 
meet him. 

I Kniyht. Good morrow to the good Simon- 
Sim. Knights, from my daughter this I let 
you know, 
Tliat for this twelvemonth she will not under. 

A married life : 

Her reason to herself is only known, 
Which from herself by no means can I get. 

ft Ccnsttre—o\i'mVm. Wc believe, says the speaker, that 
the probability of the death of IVvicIes is the strongest 
He then proceeds to assume that tlie kingdom is without a 
head. So the ancient reaiiings, which we folh,w. 

li For— the original has try. Mr. Dyce proposed this de- 
cided amendment, they are exhorted to forbear for "honour's 
c.inse." c Seas. Malone proposed to read seat. 

<l It has been added to the old reading. 


Act II.] 


[Sjene V. 

2 Kniglit. May wc not get access to licr, my 

Sim. 'Faith, by no means ; she hath so strictly 

tied her 
To her chamber, that it is impossible. 
One twelve moons more slie '11 wear Diana's 

This by the eye of Cyuthia hath she vow'd, 
And on her virgin hononr will not break. 

3 Kidfflil. Loth to bid farewell, we take ovu' 

leaves. [Exeunt. 

Sim. So, 
They 're well despatch'd ; now to my daughter's 

letter : 
She teUs me here, she '11 wed the stranger 

Or never more to view nor day nor light. 
'T is well, mistress, your choice agrees with 

mine ; 
I like that well : — nay, how absolute she 's in 't, 
Not minding whether I dislike or no ! 
Well, I do commend her choice. 
And will no longer have it be delay'd ; 
Soft, liorc he comes; — I must dissemble it. 

Enter Pericles. 

Pfi\ All fortune to the good Simouides ! 
Sim. To you as much ! Sir, I am beholden to 
For your sweet music this last night : I do 
Protest, my ears were never better fed 
With such dclightfid pleasing harmony. 

Per. It is your grace's ploasm-e to com- 
mend ; 
Not my desert. 

Sim. Sir, you arc music's master. 

Per. The worst of all her scholars, my good 

Sim. Let me ask yon one tiling. Wliat do you 
Of my daughter, sir ? 

Per. A most virtuous princess. 

Sim. And she is fair too, is she not ? 

Per. As a fiur day in summer ; wond'rous 

Sim. My daughter, sir, tliinks very ^^•cll of 
Ay, so well, that you must be her master, 
And she will be your shcolar: therefore look 
to it. 
Per. I am unworthy for her schoolmaster. 
Sim. She tliinks not so ; peruse this writing 

Per. What 's here ? 

A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre ? 

'T is the king's subtilty to have my life. [Ar.ide. 

Oh, seek not to entrap nic, gracious lord, 

A stranger and distressed gentleman. 

That never aim'd so liigli to Jove your dauglitcr, 

But beut all offices to honour her. 

Sim. Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and 
thou art 
A villain. 

Per. By the gods I have not ; 
Never did thought of mine levy offence ; 
Nor never did my actions yet commcuco 
A deed might gain her love, or yom- displeasui'C. 

Sim. Traitor, thou best. 

Per. Traitor ! 

Sim. Ay, traitor. 

Per. Even in his throat (unless it be a king). 
That calls me traitor, I return the lie. 

Sim. Now, by the gods, I do applaud his 
courage. [Aside. 

Per. My actions are as noble as my thoughts. 
That never rclish'd of a base descent. 
I came unto your court for honour's cause. 
And not to be a rebel to lier state ; 
And he that otherwise accounts of me. 
This sword shall prove, he 's honour's enemy. 

&•«. No!— 
Here comes my daugliter, she can witness it. 

Enter Tiiaisa. 

Per. Then, as you are as virtuous as fail', 
Resolve your augry father, if my tongue 
Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe 
To any syllabic that made love to you ? 

Tlidi. Wliy, sir, say if you had, who takes 
At that would make me glad ? 

Sim. Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory ? 
I am glad of it with all my heart. [Aside, 

I 'U tame you ; I 'U bring you in subjection. 
Will you, not having my consent, bestow 
Your love, and your affections upon a stranger ? 
(Wlio, for aught I know, 
May be, nor can I think the contrary, 
As great ui blood as I myself.) [Aside. 

Therefore, hear you, mistress ; either frame 
Your will to mine — and you, sir, hear yon, 
Eitiicr be rid'd by me, or 1 will make you — 
Man and mfe ; 
Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it 

And, being join'd, I'U thusyom' liopes destroy; — 
And for a further grief, — God give you joy ! — i 
What, are you both pleas'd ? 

Act 11. j 


Thai. Yes, if you love me, sir. 

Per. Eveu as my life, or" blood that fosters it. 

a Or, ill the olil copies. Malone reaiis— 

" liven as my life my blood," &c. 
Even as my life loves my blood. The original answer is enough-I love you, even as my life, or as my blood 
that fosters mv life. 

(Scene V. 

Sim. What, are you both agreed ? 
lioth. Yes, if it please your majesty. 
Sim. It pleascth me so well, that 1 '11 sec you 
wed : 
Then, witli \i hat liastc you can, get you to bed. 




Extracts from Gower's 'Co 

iifessio Amautis/ continued. 

" When hini thought all grace away, 

To setten him in such degree 

There came a fisher in the way, 

That he upon him might see. 

And saw a man there naked stond. 

The king was soon set and servM, 

And when that he hath understond 

. And he which hath his prize deserv'd. 

The cause, he hath of him great ruth, ' 

After the king's own word, 

And only of his poor truth, 

Was made begin a middle board. 

Of such clothes as he had 

That both king and queen him sihe.* 

With great pity this lord he clad. 

He sat, and cast about his eye, 

And he him thanketh, as he should. 

And saw the lords in estate, 

And saith him that it shall he gold, 

And with himself wax in debate, 

'If ever he get his state again ; 

Thinking what he had lore ; b 

And pray'd that he would him seyni> 

And such a sorrow he took therefore, 

If nigh were any town for liim? 

That he sat ever still, and thought. 

He said, Yea, Pentapolim, 

As he which of no meat rought." c 

Where hoth king and queen dwellen. 

« * • * * * 

When he this tale heard tcllen 

" The king belield his heaviness, 

He gladdeth him, and gan beseech 

And of his great gentleness 

That he the way him would teach ; 

His daughter, which was fair and good. 

And he him taught, and forth he went. 

And at the board before him stood, 

And prayed God with good intent 

As it was thilkeii time usage, 

To send him joy after his sorrow. 

He bade to go on his message. 

It was not yet passed mid-morrow." 

And fondee for to make him glad, 

« * * • » 

And she did as her father bade. 

" Then thitherward his way he name,'' 

And goeth to him the soft pace. 

Where soon upon the noon he came. 

And axeth whence and what he was ? 

He eat such as he might get, 

And prayeth he should his thoughts leave. 

And forth anon, when he had eat, 

« « * * * 

He goeth to see the town about ; 

" When he hath harped all his fill 

And came there as he found a rout 

The king's best to fulfil, 

Of young lusty men withal; 

Away goeth dish, away goeth cup, 

And as it should then befall. 

Down goeth the board, the cloth was up. 

That day was set of such ass:se, 

They risen, and gone out of hall. 

That they should in the land's guise. 

The king his chamberlain let call. 

As he heard of the people say, 

And bade that he by all way 

The common game then play : 

A chamber for this man purvey, 

And cried was, that they should come 

Which nigh his own chamber be. 

Unto the game, all and some 

It shall be do, my lord, quoth he." 

Of them that beni delivere and wight. f 


To do such mastery as they might." 

" And when that he to chamber is come. 

« « * « # 

He hath into his council nome f 

" And fell among them into game, 

This man of Tyre, and let him see 

And there he won him such a name, 

This letter, and all tlie privity 

So as the king himself accounteth 

The which his daughter to him sent. 

That he all other men surmounteth. 

And he his knee to ground bent, 

And bare the prize above them all. 

And thanketh him and her also; 

The king bade that into his hall, 

And ere they went then a two.g 

At supper-time, he shall be brought ; 

With good heart, and xvith good courage, 

And he came there, and left it nought 

Of full love and full marriage 

Without company alone. 

The king and he ben whole accorded. 

Was none so seemly of person, 

And after, when it was recorded 

Of visage, and of limbs both, 

Unto the daughter how it stood, 

If that he had what to clothe. 

The gift of all the world's good 

At supper-time, nathless, 

Ne should have made her half so blithe." 

The king amid all the press 

Let clap him up among them all. 

And bade his marshal of his hall 

n SHie — saw. "" Zore— lost. *= Jtoughl 

— car?d 

« /i«//f— pity. i> Scifiisay. « Name— takes. 

d T'Ai/Ae— that same. «■ Fonde—Uy. f Nome— 


i /Jrx— are. e Deliver— nimhle. f Wight—Active. 

e A /«'0— apart. 



Enter Gower. 

Oow. Now sleep yslaked hath the rout ; 
No din but snores, the house about," 
Made louder by the o'er-fed breast 
Of this most pompous marriage feast. 
The cat, with eyne of burning coal, 
Now couches from'" the mouse's hole ; 
And crickets sing at the oven's mouth. 
Are' the blither for then- drouth. 
Hymeu hath brought the bride to bed, 
Wliere, by the loss of maidenhead, 
A babe is moulded ; — Be attent, 
And time that is so briefly spent, 

■■' The house about. In the original, "about the house." 

1> From — before — a sliort distance off. 

<" Are. So tlie original. Mr. Dj ce reads Aye. 

With your flue fancies quaintly ecbe;" 
WTiat 's dumb iu show, I 'H plain with speech. 

Dumb show. 

Enter Pemcles and Simonides, at one door, 
with Attendants ; a Messenger meets thei,i, 
kneels, iiiid rjioes Pekicles a letter. Pericles 
shows it to Simonides ; the Lords kneel to 
him.^ Iheii enter Thaisa mth child, and 
Lychorida, a nurse. Simonides shows \_his 
daughter'^ the letter ; she rejoices : she and 
Peeicles take leave of her father., and depart. 

•' Kehe — eke out. 

^ Malone says, "The lords kneel to Pericles, because tlioy 
are now, for the first time, informed by this letter that he is 
king of Tyre." 




[Scene I. 

Gow. By many a denic" and painful percli, 
Of Pericles the careful search 
By the fom- opposing coignes,'' 
Wliich the world together joins. 
Is made, Trith all duo diligence. 
That horse and sail and liigli expense 
Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre 
(Fame ansAveriug the most strange inquire) 
To the conrt of king Simonidcs 
Arc letters brought ; the tenor these : 
Antioohus and his daughter dead ; 
The men of Tyrus on the head 
Of Helicauus would set on 
The crown of Tyre, but he will none : 
The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress ; 
Says to them, if king Pericles 
Come not home in twice sis moons, 
He, obedient to their dooms, 
"Will take the crown. The sum of this, 
Brought hither to Pentapolis, 
Yravislied the regions round, 
And every ouc with claps can sound, 
" Our heir apparent is a king ; 
Who dream' d, who thought of such a thing? " 
Brief he must hence depart to Tyre ; 
His queen with child, makes her desire 
(Which who shall cross ?) along to go ; 
(Omit we all their dole and woe :) 
Lychorida her nurse she takes, 
And so to sea. Their vessel shakes 
Ou Neptune's billow ; half the flood 
Hath their keel cut; but fortune mov'd,'- 
Varies again: the grizzled nortli 
Disgorges such a tempest forth, 
TJiat, as a duck for Ufc that di\-es. 
So up and down the poor ship drives. 
The lady shrieks, and well-a-near 
Doth fall in travail with her fear : 
And what ensues in this feU storm. 
Shall for itself, itself perform ; 
I niU relate ; action may 
Couveniently the rest convey : 
Which might not what by me is told. — 
In yoni' imagination hold 
Tliis stage, the ship, upon whose deck 
The sea-toss'd Pericles appears to speak, [li.rit. 

Eiifcr Pericles on u ship at sea. 
Per. Thou God of this gi'cat vast, rebuke 
these surges, 

i> Dnrje- solitary. 

^ C'lujncs. Tlie old copii;? have crignes. 

« Forlanc movil. So til! iild copies. Steevcns rcajs, 

tt.rlune's mood " 


Which wash both heaven and hell ; and thou 

that hast 
Upon the winds command, biud thein in brass, 
Having call'd them from the deep ! still 
Thy deaf'nmg, dreadfid thunders; gently quench 
Thy nimble, sulphiu-ous flashes ! — O how, Ly- 
How does my queen? — Thou stonn, venom- 
Wilt thou spit all thyself ? — The seaman's whistle 
Is as a whisper in the ear of death. 
Unheard. — Lychorida ! — Lucina, O 
Diviuest patroness, and midwife," gentle 
To those that cry by night, convey thy deity 
Aboard our dancing boat ; make swift the 

Of my queen's travails ! — Now, Lychorida— 

^ter Lychorida. 

Li/c. Here is a thing too young for such a 
Wlio, if it had conceit, would die, as I 
Am like to do ; take in your arms this piece 
Of your dead queen. 

Per. How ! how, Lychorida ! 

Li/c. Patience, good sir, do not assist the 
Here 's all that is left living of your queen, 
A little daughter ; for the sake of it, 
Be manly, and take comfort. 

Per. Oh ye gods ! 

Wliy do you make us love yoiu- goodly gifts, 
And snatch them straight away? We, here 

Recall not what we give, and therein may 
Use honour with you. 

Jji/e. Patience, good sii-, 

Even for this charge. 

Per. Now, mild may be thy life ! 

For a more blust'rous birth had never babe : 
Quiet and gentle thy conditions ! 
For thou art the rudeUcst weloom'd to this 

That e'er was prince's child. Happy what fol- 
lows ! 
Thou hast as chiding a nativity. 
As tire, air, water, earth, and heaven can 

To herald thee from the womb : 
Even at the first, thy loss is more than can 
Thy portage quit, with all thou canst find here.— 
Now the good gods throw their best eyes upon it ! 

" Mului/e. The old copies, mt/ wife. 

ActI'I I 



Enter two Sailors. 

1 Sail. Wliat ! courage, sir ! God save you. 

Per. Corn-age euougli : I do not fear the flaw ; 
It hath done to me the woi-st. Yet for the 

Of this poor iufaut, tliis fresh-iiew seafarer, 
I would it would be quiet. 

1 Sail. Slack the bolins there ; thou wilt not, 
wilt thou ? Blow and spht thyself. 

2 Sail. But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy 
billow kiss the moon, I care not. 

1 Sail. Sir, yom- queen must overboard ; the 
sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not 
lie iUl the ship be clear'd of the dead. 

Fer. That 's your superstition. 

1 SuU. Pardon us, sir ; with us at sea it hath 
been stUl observed; and we are strong in, astern." 
Therefore briefly yield her; for she must over- 
board straight. 

Fer. Be it as you think meet. — Most \vTetclicd 
queeu ! 

Lye. Here she lies, sii'. 

Per. A terrible childbed hast thou had, my 
dear ; 
No light, no fire : the uufricui.lly elements 
Forgot thee utterly : nor have I time 
To give thee hallow'd to thy grave, but straight 
Must cast thee, scarcely coflin'd, iu the ooze;'' 
WJierc, for a monument upon thy bones. 
And aye-remaining" lamps, the belching whale 
And humming water musto'erwhehn thy corpse, 
liVing -with simple shcDs. 0, Lychorida, 
Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper. 
My casket and my jewels ; and bid Nicandcr 
Bring mc the satin coffin : '' lay the Ijabe 
Upon the pillow ; hie thee, w-hiles I say 
A priestly farewell to her : suddenly, woman. 

* Slrong in, astern. The oiifiinal copies luive, " we arc 
stiong in cisU'rne." Steeveiis lirst proposed to read, " \vc 
are strong in credence; " and snbsequently, " we are stronj; 
in earnest." Boswell wonld read, " wearestrongin c;(s/o;»." 
It appears to us that the sailor, at such a moment, was not 
very likely to enter into an explanation of his superstition. 
He believes in it ; and he pointsout the danger. Thus Malonc 
receives " we arc strong in eastern " as, " there is a strong 
easterly wind.'* ^Vill not the slightest change give a nau- 
tical sense, with the conciseness of nautical language? All 
that one of the sailors wants is "sea-room." The ship, as we 
learn immediately, is off the coast of Tharsus. The sailor 
dreads the coast, and the ship is driving upon it, unmanage- 
able—answering not the helm : — We are stronij in [driving 
strongly in shore] astern.-' 

i> Oiyze. The originals have oarc. Steevens made the in- 
genious correction. 

c Andaije-renmiiiing. The originals have " T/ie ai/ere- 
maining." Malone made the alteration, which gives a clear 
meaning, mop.uments being surrounded with constantly- 
burning lamps. 

J Co/ffn, and ro/cr, are words of the same original meaning. 
Subsequently, Cerimon says to Thaisa— 

*• Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels, 
Lay with you in your coffer." 

2 Sail. Sir, we have a chest beneath the 
hatches, caulk'd and bitmned ready. 

Per. I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast 
is this ? 

2 Sail. We are near Tharsus. 
Per. Thitlier, gentle mariner ; 

Alter thy course for Tyre.' When canst (hou 
reach it ? 

3 Sail. By break of day, if the wind cease. 
Per. make for Tharsus. 

There will I visit Cleon, for the babe 
Caimot hold out to Tynis ; there I '11 leave it 
At carefid nursing. Go tliy ways, good ma- 
riner ; 
I '11 bring the body presently. [E.rei/it/. 

SCENE II. — Ephesus. A room in Cerimon'* 

Enter Cerimon, a Servant, and some persons 
loho have been shipwrecked. 

Cer. Philemon, ho ! 

Enter Puilemon. 

P/iil. Doth my lord caU ? 
Cer. Get fire and meat for these poor men ; 
It hath been a turbulent and stormy night. 
Ser. I have been in many; but such a iiiglit 
as this. 
Till now, I ne'er endiu'd. 

('('/■. Your master will be dead ere you re- 
turn ; 
There 's nothing can be minister'd to nature, 
Tiiat can recover liim. Give this to the 'pothe- 

.\iid tell me how it works. [To Philemon 

Enter tioo Gentlemen. 

1 Gent. Good morrow. 

2 Gent. Good morrow to your lordship. 
Cer. Gentlemen, why do you stir so eai-ly ? 

1 Gent. Sir, oiu' lodgings, standing bleak upon 

the sea, 
Shook as the earth did quake ; 
The very principals'' did seem to rend, 
And all to topple : piue surprise and fear 
Made me to leave the house. 

2 Gent. That is the cause we trouble you so 

'T is not our husbandry. 

^ Pursue not the coui-se for Tyre. 

'' Principals. The strongest timhcis of a hnUiling 

Aci in.] 


[SctBE 11. 

Cer. you saj well. 

1 Gent. But I mueli marvel that youi- lord- 
sliip, having 
Rich tire about you, should at these early 

Shake off the golden slumber of repose : 
It is most strange, 

Nature should be so conversant with pain. 
Being thereto not compell'd. 

Cer. I held it ever. 

Virtue and cunning' were endowments greater 
Than nobleness and riches : careless heirs 
May the two latter darken and expend ; 
But immortality attends the former. 
Making a man a god. 'T is known, I ever 
Have studied physic, through which secret 

By turning o'er authorities, I have 
(Together with my practice) made familiar 
To me and to my aid, the bless'd infusions 
That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones ; 
And I can speak of the disturbances 
That nature works, and of her cures ; whicli 

gives me 
A more content in course of true delight 
Than to be thirsty after tottering honour. 
Or tie my pleasure up in silken bags. 
To please the fool and death. ^ 

2 Gent. Your honour hath through Ephesus 
pour'd forth 
Your charity, and hundr-eds call themselves 
Yom- creatures, who by you have been restor'd : 
And not yom- knowledge, yom- personal paiu, 

but even 
Yom- purse, still open, hath bmlt lord Ccrimon 
Such strong renown as never shall decay. 

Eiili'i- two Servants with a Chest. 

Ser. So; lift there. 

Cer. Wliat 's that ? 

Ser. Sir, 
Even now did the sea toss upon our shore 
This chest ; 't is of some wrack. 

Cer. Set it down, let 's look upon it. 

2 Gent. 'T is like a coffin, sir. 

Cer. "VVliate 'er it be, 

'T is wondrous heavy. ■\Vreueh it open straight; 
If the sea's stomach be o'erchai-g'd with gold. 
It is a good constraint of Fortune it belches upon 

Chhwiw*/— knowledge. 
' So, in Measure for Measure — 

" Merely tllou art death's fiiitl. 
For him thou labour'st by thy I'lipht to shun, 
And yet runn'st toward him still." 


2 Gent. It is so, my lord, 

Cer. How close 't is caulk'd and bitum'd ! 
Did the sea cast it up ? 

Ser. I never saw so huge a billow, sn, 
As toss'd it upon shore. 

Cer. Wrench it open ; 
Soft — it smells most sAveetly in my sense. 

2 Gent. A deUcale odom. 

Cer. As ever hit my nostril ; so, — up with it. 
Oh you most potent gods ! what's here? a corse! 

1 Gent. Jlost strauge ! 

Cer. Shrouded in cloth of state ! 

Balm'd and entreasm'd with full bags of spices ! 
A passport too ! Apollo, perfect me 
In tlie characters ! [//e rea(h oat of a scroti. 

" Here I give to understand 
(If e'er this cofiin drive a-land), 
I, king Pericles, have lost 
This queen, worth all our mundane cost. 
Who finds her, give her burj'ing, 
Slie was the daughter of a king : 
Besides this treasure for a fee, 
The gods requite his charity ! " 

If thou liv'st, Pericles, thou hast a heart 
That even cracks for woe ! This chanc'd to- 

2 Gent. Most likely, sii-. 
Cer. Nay, certainly to-night ; 

Eor look how fresh she looks ! — They were too 

That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within ; 
Fetch liitlier all my boxes in my closet. 
Death may usm-p on natme many hours, 
And yet the fire of Ufe kindle again 
The o'erpress'd spu-its. I have heard of an 

That had nine hours lien dead, 
Who was by good apphance recovered. 

Enter a Servant icith niiplcins and fire. 

Well said, well said ; the fire and cloths.— 
The rough and woeful music that we have. 
Cause it to sound, 'beseech you. 
The viol" once more; — How thou stu-r'st, thou 

block !— 
The music there. — I pray you, give her air; — 
Gentlemen, this queen ^vill live : 
Nature awakes ; a warmth breathes out of her ; 
She hath not been entrane'd above five hours. 
See how she 'gius to blow into Ufe's flower again! 
1 Gent. The heavens, through you, increase 
om wonder. 
And set up yom- fame for ever. 

a The viot. So the first quarto. The second f^nd subse 
quent editions, ihcvtat. 

Act i; 10 



Cer. blie is alive ; behold. 
Her eyelids, oases to those heavculy jewels 
Which Pericles hath lost, 
Begin to part their fringes of bright gold ; 
The diamonds of a most praised water 
Do appear, to make the world twice rich. 

Aiid make us weep to hear- your fate, fair crea- 
Rare as you seem to .be ! [She moves. 

Thai. O dear Diana, 

Wliece am I ? Where 's my lord ? What world 
is this ? 
3 Getif. Is not this strange ? 
1 Gent. Most rare. 

Cer. Hush, my gentle neighbours ; 

Lend me your hands : to the next chamber bear 

Get linen ; now this matter must be look'd to. 
For" her relapse is mortal. Come, come, 
And Esciilapius guide us ! 

[Exeunt, rarn/iiig her awni/. 

SCENE IIL— Tharsus. A Boom id Cleon's 


and Mamna. 

Per. Most honom-'d Cleou, I must needs be 

My twelve mouths are espii-'d, aud Tyrus stands 
In a litigious peace. You and your lady 
Take from my heart all thankfuhiess ! The gods 
Make up the rest upon you ! 

Cle. Your shafts of fortune, though they hui-t 

you mortally, 
Yet glance full wond'ringly on us." 

Dioti. your sweet queen ! 

That the strict fates had pleas'd you had brought 

her hither. 
To have bless'd mine eyes with her ! 

Pc,._ We cannot bat obey 

The powers above us. Could I rage and roar 
As doth the sea she lies in, yet the end 
Must be as 't is. My gentle babe, Marina, 
(Whom, for she was born at sea, I have nam'd 

Here I charge your charity withal. 
Leaving her the rnfant of your care, beseeching 


» This is Steevens's reading. Tlie originals have shakes 
(not shafts), and Aoul (not hurt). The vise of fiance decides 
the value of the correction. Some would read tcand'ringhj. 

To give her prmcely training, thai she may 1 e 
Manner'd as she is born. 

Cte. Fear not, my lord ; but think, 

Your grace, that fed my country with your 

(For which the people's prayers still fall upon 

Must in your child be thought on. If neglection 
Should therein make me vile, the common body, 
By you reliev'd, would force me to my duty : 
But if to that my natiire need a spur. 
The gods revenge it upon me and mine. 
To the end of generation ! 

Per. I believe you ; 

Your honour and your goodness teach me to it. 
Without your vows. Till she be married, madam. 
By bright Diana, whom we honour all, 
Unscissar'd shall this ban- of mme remain. 
Though I show will in 't." So I take my leave . 
Good madam, make me blessed in your care 
In bringing up my child. 

Dion. I have one myself. 

Who shall not be more dear- to my respect. 
Than yours, my lord. 

Per. Madam, my thanks and prayers. 

Cte. We '11 bring your grace even "to the edge 
o' the shore ; 
Then give you up to the niask'd Neptune, and 
The gentlest winds of heaven. 

P(.;._ I will embrace 

Yom- offer. Come, dearest madam.— O, no tears, 
Lychorida, no tears : 

Look to your little mistress, on whose grace 
You may depend hereafter.— Come, my lord. 


SCENE IV.— Ephesus. A Room in Cerimon'o 
Enter Ceuimon anil Thaisa. 

Cer. Madam, this letter, and some certain 
Lay with you in yom- coffer ; which are now 
At yom- command Know you the character ? 
'Ihdi. It is my lord's. That I was shipp'd at 
I well remember, even on my yeaniing time ; 
But whether there delivered or no, 

1 The original has " unslslci-'d shall this heir." He will 
ni.t marry; she shall be uitsislcr'U. But when Pericles in 
the fifth act-discovers his daughter, he will " clip to form " 
wliat makes him " look so dismal; " and beautify what lor 
" fourteen years no razor touched." Steevens hr.o the merit 
of this construction of the jiassage. Malone exjilains to sh:iii> 
will is to show wilfulness ; Mr. Dyce reads to show ill in il, 
— that he looks uncomely in it. 




By the holy goJs, I cannot rightly say ; 
But since king Pericles, my wedded lord, 
I ne'er shall see again, a vestal liveiy 
Will I take me to, and never more have joy. 
Cer. Madam, if this you pui'pose as 
Diana's tem'ile is not distant far, 


Where you may 'bide until your date expire:" 
Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine 
Shall there attend you. 

Thai. My recompense is thanks, that 's all ; 
Yet my good will is great, though the gift small. 

!» Until yoii die. 


Extracts from Qower's * Confessio Amantis,' continued. 

'* They axen when the ship is come.' 

That it be firm with lead and pitch. 

From Tyro, anon answered some. 

Anon was made a coffer such 

And over this they saiden more, 

All ready brought unto his hand ; 

The cause why they come for 

And when he saw, and ready found 

Was for to seek, and for to find, 

This coffer made, and well endowed, 

AppolUnus, which is of kind 

The dead body was besowed 

Their liege lord ; and he appeareth, 

In cloth of gold, and laid therein." 

And of the tale which he heareth 

* » * « « 

He was right glad ; for they him told 

'*I, king of Tyre, AppolUnus, 

Tliat for vengeance, as God it would, 

Do all manner men to wit, 

Antiochus, as men may wete.a 

That hear and see this letter writ. 

With thunder and lightning is sore smete.'' 

That, helpless without rede.a 

His daughter hath the same chance. 

Here lieth a king's daughter dead ; 

So be they both in oc balance." 

And who that happeth her to find, 

•» ♦ • * * 

For charity take in his mind, 

" Lychorida for her office 

And do so that she he begrave.b 

Was take, whicli was a nourrice, 

With this treasure which he shall have." 

To wend with this young wife, 


To whom was shape a woeful life. 

" Right as the corpse was thrown on hzxd, 

Within a time, as it betid, 

There came walking upon the strand 

When they were in the sea amid, 

A worthy clerk, a surgeon, 

Out of tlie north they saw a cloud: 

And eke a great physician, 

The storm arose, the winds loud 

Of all that land the wisest one. 

They blewen many a dreadful blast, 

Which bight master Cerymon : 

The welkin was all overcast. 

There were of his disciples some. 

The dark night the sun hath under, 

This master to the coffer is come. 

There was a great tempest of thunder. 

And peysethc there was somewhat in. 

The moon, and eke the stars both, 

And bade them bear it to his inn, 

In black clouds they them clothe, 

And goeth himself forth withal. 

Whereof their bright look they hid. 

All that shall fall, fall shall." 

This young lady wept and cried, 


To whom no comfort might avail- 

" They laid her on a couch soft, 

Of child she began travail. 

And with a sheet warmed oft. 

Where slie lay in a cabin close. 

Her cold breast began to heat. 

Her woeful lord from her arose. 

Her heart also to flack ii and beat. 

And that was long ere any morrow, 

This master hath her every joint 

So that in anguish and in sorrow 

With certain oil and balm anoint, 

She was dcliver'd all by night, 

And put a liquor in her mouth, 

And dead in every man's sight. 

Which is to few clerks couth, « 

But nathless for all this woe 

So that she 'covereth at the last. 

A maid child was bore tho.J " 

And first her eyen up she cast ; 

« « * « « 

And when she more of strength caught, 

" The master shipman came and pray*d. 

Her arms both forth she straught.f 

With other such as be therein, 

Held up her hand, and piteously 

And said that he may nothing win 

She spake, and said, Ah ! where am I? 

Again the death, but they him rede.p 

Where is my lord ? What world is this i 

He be well ware, and take heed 

As she that wot nought how it is." 

The sea by way of his nature 

* ♦ * « * 

Receive may no creature. 

" My daughter Thayse, by your leave, 

Within himself as for to hold 

I think sliall with you bileave^' 

The which is dead ; for this they w.»uld. 

As for a time ; and thus I pray 

As they councillen all about, 

That she be kept by all way: 

The dead body casten out : 

And when she haih of age more, 

For better it is, they saiden all, 

That she be set to books' lore. 

That it of her so befal, 

And this avow to God I make, 

Than if they shoulden all spill." 

That I shall never for her sake 

« * * » * 

My beard for no liking shave, 

" I am, quoth he, but one alone ; 

Till it befall that I have, 

So would I not for my person 

In convenable time of age, 

There fell such adversity. 

Beset her unto marriage." 

But when it may no better be, 

Do then thus upon my word : 

Let make a coffer strong of board, 

a Rede— counsel ; perhaps here medical aid. 

b Begrav— hurled. c pei/se/k—considercih. 

a Wele— know. b 5me/(?— smitten. 

U FZflcA— flutter. e Cok/A— known. 

c 0— one. (I TAo— then. c liede— advise. 

f 5/rou(7ft/— stretched. e Bilcarc— leave behind. 



Enter GowEE." 

OoiP. Imagine Pericles arriv'd at Tyre, 
Welcom'd aud settled to liis o\ni desire. 
Ills woofid queen we leave at Ephesus, 
Unto Diana there a votaress. 
Now to Marina bend yoiu- mind, 
Wliora oui- fast-growing seene must find 
At Tharsus, and by Cleon train'd 
In music, letters ; who hath gain'd 
Of education all the grace, 
Wliich makes her both the lieart and place 

a In the early quartos there is no division into acts .md 
scenes, wiiich first occurs in tlie folio of 1004. In that edi- 
tion this chorus, nnd the l^.'o following scenes, belong to 
Act III. 


Of general wonder." But, alack ! 
That monster Envy, oft the \vrack 
Of earned praise, Marina's life 
Seeks to take off by treason's knife. 
And in this kind hath our Cleon 
One daughter, aud a wench fidl grown,'' 
Even right for marriage rite ; this maid 
Eight Philoten : and it is said 
For certain in our story, she 
Would ever with Marina be. 

a The old copies have — 

"■\Vliich makes high both the arl and place." 
^ The old copies read, 

" And in this kind our Cleon hath 
One daughter and a full-grown wench." 
btccvens transposed the words to produce the rhyme. 

Act IV. I 



P)e 't when she'' wcav'd the sleidcd silk 

With fiugers long, small, wliitc as milk ; 

Or when she would with sharp uceld wound 

The cambric, which she made more sound 

By hurting it ; or when to the lulc 

She sung, and made the night-bird mule 

That still records'' with moan; or when 

She would with rich and constant pen 

Vail to her mistress Dian ; still 

This Philoten contoiuls in skill 

Will absolute Jlavina : so 

The dove of Paphos might with the crow 

Vie feathers white. Marina gets 

All praises, which are paid as debts. 

And not as given. Tliis eg darks 

[n Philoten aU graceful marks. 

That Cleon's wife, with envy rare, 

A present murderer docs prepare 

For good Marina, that her daughter 

Might stand peerless by tliis slaughter. 

Tlic sooner her vile tlioughts to stead, 

Lychorida, our nurse, is dead. 

And cui'sed Dionyza hath 

The pregnant instrument of ^Tl•ath 

Prest^ for this blow. The unborn event 

I do commend to your content : 

Only I carry winged time 

Post on the lame feet of my rhyme ; 

Which never could I so convey, 

Unless your thoughts went on my way. 

Dionyza doth appear. 

With Leonine, a murderer. ' [^E.iii. 

SCENE I — Thavsus. J/i open place near the 

TMer Dionyza and Leonike. 

Dion. Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn 
to do it. 
'T is but a blow, which never shall be known. 
Thou canst not do a tiling in the world so soon. 
To yield thee so much profit. Let. not con- 
Which is but cold, uiflaming love i' tny bosom. 
Inflame too nicely ; '' nor let pity, which 
Even women have cast off, melt thee, but be 
A soldier to thy purpose. 

a She. The old copies, they. 

b Records — makes music— sings. 

c Prc^f -ready. 

•1 Mucli of tliis scene, thoiigli evidently intended to be 
metrical, is printed as prose in the old copies. This pas- 
sage runs thus : " Let not conscience, which is but cold, in 
flaming thy love bosom, inflame too nicely,'' The passage 
was usually printed " inflame love in thy bosom." We gain 
a better construction by departing less from the original. 

Leon. I '11 do 't ; but yet she is a goodly crca- 

Dion. The fitter then tlie gods above should 
have her. 
Here she comes weepnig for her only mistress' 

Thou art resolv'd ? 

Leon. I am resolv'd. 

Elder Marina, toilh a basket of flowers. 

Mar. No : I will rob Tellus of her weed, 
To strew thy green'' with flowers : the yellows, 

The purple violets, and mai-igolds. 
Shall as a carpet'^ hang upon thy grave, 
WliUe summer days do last. Ah me ! poor 

Born in a tempest, when my mother died, 
This world to me is like a lastmg storm. 
Whirring mc from my friends. 

Bion, How now, Jlarina! why do you keep 

alone ? 
How chance my daughter is not with you ? Do 

Consume your blood with sorrowing ; you have 
A nurse of me. Lord ! how your favour 's 

With this unprofitable woe ! 
Come, give me your flowers, e'er the sea mar 

Walk with Leonuie; the air's quick tliere. 
And it pierces and sharpens the stomach. Come, 
Leonine, take her by the arm, walk with her. 

Mar. No, I pray you ; 
I 'U not bereave you of your servant. 

Dion. Come, come ; 
I love the king your father, and youi'sclf, 
With more tlian foreign heart. We every day 
Expect him here : when he shall come, and find 
Oiu' paragon to all reports thus blasted, 

» Malone prints this, 

" Here she comes weeping for her only mistress. 
Death — thou art resolv'd." 
Percy suggested that the passage should be altered to 
"weeping for her o/rf nM/se's death." We follow the ori- 
ginal; though probably vtisircsse is a misprint for nourice. 

b Green, in tire quartos. I'he folio of 1664, grave. See the 
next note. 

c Carpel. So the old copies. The modern reading was 
chaplcl. But it is evident that the poet was thinking of the 
fjreen mound that marks the last resting-place of the humble, 
and not of the sculptured tomb to be adorned with wreaths. 
Upon the grassy grave Marina will hang a earpet of flowers 
— she will strew flowers, she has before said. T\\^ carpet ol 
Shakspere's time was a piece of tapestry, or embroider}', 
spread upon tables; and the real flowers with which Mariuii 
will cover the grave of her friend might have been, in her 
imagination, so intertwined as to resemble a carpet, usually 
bright with the flowers of the needle. 

J Them. The early copies read it; and Malone has, 
" Give me your wreath of flowers, ere the sea mar it." 
The change of it to them is less violent. 


Act IV.] 


[Scenes II., III. 

He will repent the breadth of his great voyage ; 
Blame both my lord mid me, that we have ta'cn 
No earc to your best courses. Go, I pray you. 
Walk, aud'be chccrfid ouce again; reserve" 
That excellent complexion which did steal 
The eyes of yoiuig and old. Care not for me ; 
I can go home alone. 

Mar. Well, I will go ; 

But yet I have no desire to it. 

DioK. Come, come, I know 't is good for you. 
Walk half an hour, Leonine, at the least ; 
Remember what I have said. 

Zeo/i. I warrant you, madam. 

Dion. I 'U leave you, my sweet lady, for a 
while ; 
Pray walk softly, do not heat yom- blood : 
What ! I must have a care of you. 

I[{o: My thaiik.s, sweet madam. 

[Kvil DlONYZA. 

Is this wind westerly that blows ? 

Leo/I. South-west. 

Mar. When I was born the wind was north. 

Leon. Was 't so ? 

Mar. My falhcr, as nurse said, did never 
But cried, 'Good seamen,' to flic sadors, galling 
His kingly hands with hauling of the ropes ; 
And, clasping to the n\ast, endur'd a sea 
Tiiat almost burst the deck. 

Lcoit. When was tlus ? 

3far. When I was born. 
Never was waves nor wind more violent ; 
And from the ladder-tackle washes off' 
A canvas-climber : ' Ila ! ' says one, ' wilt out ? ' 
And with a dropping industry they skip 
From stem to stern ; the boatswain whistles, and 
Tlie nuister calls, and trebles their confusion. 

Leon. Come, say your prayers. 

Mar. What mean you ? 

Leo//. If you require a little space for prayer, 
I grant it : pray ; but be not tedious, 
For tlie gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn 
To do my work with haste. 

Mar. Why will yon kiU me ? 

Leou. To satisfy my lady. 

Mar. Why woidd she have me kdl'd ? 
Now, as I can remember, by my troth, 
I never did her hurt in all my life ; 
I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn. 
To any living creature : believe mc, la, 
I never kdl'd a mouse, nor hurt a fly : 
I trod upon a worm against my will. 
But I wept for it. How have I offended. 

» Reserve — preserve. 


Wherein my death might yield her any profit, 
Or my life imply her any danger ? 

Leoii. My commission 
Is not to reason of the deed, but do it. 

3far. You will not do 't for all the world, I 
You arc wcU-favoiu''d, and your looks forcsliow 
You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately, 
When you caught hurt in parting two that 

fought : 
Good sooth, it show'd well in you ; do so now : 
Yoiu' lady seeks my life; — come you between. 
And save poor mc, the weaker. 

Leon. I am sworn. 

And will despatch. 

E/iler Pii'ates tohilst she is struijtjling. 

1 Pirate. Hold, villain ! [Leon, runs awai/. 

2 Pirate. A prize ! a prize ! 

3 Pirate. Half-part, mates, half-part. Come, 
let's have her aboard suddenly. 

[E.vmiiit Pirates n-ifli Maiuna. 

SCENE XL— :Z'//6' same. 

Re-enter Leonine. 
Leon. These roguing thieves serve the great 
pirate Valdes ; 
And they have seiz'd Marina. Let her go ; 
There 's no hope she 'D return. I '11 s\\ear she 's 

. dead. 
And thrown into the sea. — But I'U sec further; 
Perhaps they will but please themselves upon 

Not carry her aboard. If slie remain, 
Whom they have ravish'd must by me be slain. 


SCENE III.— Mitylene. A Room in a Brothel. 

Enter Pander, Bawd, and Boult. 

Pand. Boult. 

Boult. Sir. 

Pand. Search the market narrowly; Mitylene 
is full of gallants. We lost too nnrch money this 
mart by being too wcnehlcss. 

Bawd. We were never so much out of crea- 
tui'cs. Wc liave but poor three, and they can 
do no more than they can do ; and they with 
continual action are even as good as rotten. 

Pand. Tlierefore let's have fresh ones, what- 
e'er w-e pay for them. If there be not a con- 
science to be used in every trade, wc shab never 

Bawd. Thou say'st true : 't is not our bringing 

Act IV.] 


[Scene III. 

up of ]ioor bastai-ds, as I think I have brought 
up some eleven 

Boult. Ay, to eleven, and brought them dowu 
again. But shall I search the market ? 

Bawd. What else, man ? The stuff we have, 
a strong wmd will blow it to pieces, they are so 
pitifiJly sodden. 

raid. Thou say'st true; they're too unwhole- 
some o' conscience. The poor Trausylvanian is 
dead that lay with the Kttle baggage. 

Boulf. Ay, she quickly poop'd him ; she made 
him roast-meat for worms : — Wt I '11 go search 
the market. [Exit Boult. 

Paiid. Three or four- thousand chequins were 
as pretty a proportion to live quietly, and so give 

Bawd. Why, to give over, I pray you ? Is it 
a shame to get when we are old ? 

Band. O, our credit comes not in like the 
commodity ; nor the commodity wages not \rA\i 
the danger : therefore, if iu ovu- youths we could 
pick up some pretty estate, 't were not amiss to 
keep oui- door hatched. Besides, tlie sore terms 
wc stand upon with the gods will be strong 
with us for giving over. 

Bated. Come, other sorts offend as well as we. 

Pmul. As well as we ! ay, and better too ; we 
offend worse. Neither is oui- profession any 
trade ; it's no callmg ; but here comes Boult. 

Elder the Pirates, and BoxiLT dragging in 

Boult. Come yom- ways. \To Mamna.] My 
masters, you say she 's a vu'giu ? 

I Pirate. O su", we doubt it not. 

Boult. Master, I have gone thorough for tliis 
piece, you see : if you like her, so ; if not, I 
have lost my earnest. 

Bawd. Boidt, has she any qualities ? 

BuhH. She has a good face, speaks well, and 
hath excellent good clothes ; there 's no farther 
necessity of qualities can make her be refused. 

Bawd. AVhat 's her price, Boult P 

Boult. I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand 

Band. Well, follow me, my masters; you 
shall have your money presently. Wife, take 
her in; instnict her what she has to do, that 
she may not be raw iu her entertamment. 

[E.reimt Pander and Pirates. 

Bawd. Boult, take you the marks of her; the 
coloiu- of her hair, complexion, height, her age, 
with wan-ant of her virgmity; and cry, 'He 
that will give most, shall have her first.' Such 
a maidenhead were no cheap tiling, if men were 

as they have been. Get this done as I com- 
mand you. 

Boult. Performance shall follow. [E.nt Boult. 

il/tfr. Alack, that Leonine was so slack, so 
slow ! 
(He should have struck, not spoke ; ) or that 

these pirates. 
Not enough barbarous, had but overboai-d 
Tlu-own me, for to seek my mother ! 

Bawd. Why lament you, pretty one ? 

liar. That I am pretty. 

Bawd. Come, the gods have done their part 
in you. 

Mar. I accuse them not. 

Bawd. You are Ht into my hands, where you 
are like to Kve. 

Mar. The more my fault, to 'scape his hands, 
where I 
Was like to die. 

Bawd. Ay, and you shall live m pleasure. 

Mar. No. 

Bawd. Yes, indeed shall you, and taste gentle- 
men of all fashions. You shall fare well ; you 
shall have the difference of all complexions. 
What ! do you stop your ears ? 

3Iar. Ai-c you a woman ? 

Bawd. What would you have me be, an I 1)6 
not a woman ? 

Mar. An honest woman, or not a woman. 

Bawd. Marry, whip thee, gosUug : I think 1 
shall have something to do with you. Conic, 
you are a young foohsh sapling, and must be 
bowed as I would have you. 

Mar. The gods defend me ! 

Bawd. If it please the gods to defend you by 
men, tlicu men must comfort you, men must 
feed you, men must stir you up. — Boidt's rc- 

Enter Boult. 

Now, sir, hast thou cried her tlu-ough the mar- 
ket ? 

Boult. I have cried her almost to the number 
of her hairs ; I have di-awn her picture with my 

Bawd. And I prithee tell me, how dost thou 
Ibd the inclination of the people, especially of 
the younger sort P 

Boult. ''Ea.Mi they hstened to mc, as they 
would have hearkened to their father's testa- 
ment. There was a Spaniard's mouth so watered, 
that he weut to bed to her very description. 

Bawd. We shall have him here to-morrow, 
with his best ruff on. 

Bonlt. To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do 

Act IV ) 



you know tlie French knight that cowers i' the 
Bawi. Who ? monsieur Veroles. 
Boult. Ay ; he offered to cut a caper at the 
proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and 
swore he would see her to-morrow. 

Bawd. "Well, well; as for him, he brought 
his disease hither : here he doth but repair it. 
I know he will come iu our shadow, to scatter 
his crowns in the sun. 

BouU. "Well, if we had of every nation a tra- 
veller, we should lodge them with this sign. 

Bawd. Pray you, come hither a while. You 
have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me; 
you must seem to do that fearfully which you 
commit willingly; to despise profit where you 
have most gain. To weep that you Uve as you 
do makes pity in your lovers : Seldom but that 
pity begets you a good opinion, and (hat opinion 
a mere' profit. 
Mar. I imderstand you not. 
Boxdt. O take her home, mistress, take her 
home : these blushes of hers must be quenched 
with some present practice. 

Bawi. Thou say'st tme i' faith, so they must; 
for your bride goes to that with shame, which is 
her way to go with warrant. 

BouU. 'Faith some do, and some do not. 
But, mistress, if I have bargaiu'd for the 
joint, — 

Bawd. Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit. 
Boidt. I may so. 

Baxod. "Who should deny it? Come, young 
oue, I like the manner of youi- ganucnts well. 

Bonlt. Ay, by my faith, they shall not be 
changed yet. 

Bawd. Boult, spend thou that in the towni : 
report what a sojom-ner we have ; you '11 lose 
nothuig by custom. "When Nature framed this 
piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore 
say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the 
harvest out of thine orni report. 

BouU. I warrant you, mistress, thimder shall 
not so awake the beds of eels, as my giving out 
of her beauty stir up the lewdly-inchned. I 'U 
bring home some to-mght. 

Bated. Come your ways ; follow mc. 
Mar. If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters 
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep. 
Diana, aid my pm^pose ! 

Bawd. "What have we to do with Diana ? 
Pray you, will you go with us ? \!iihI. 

Merc — absolute — eel tain. 

SCENE IV.— ^ Room hi Cleon's House ai 

Enter Cleon and Dionyza. 

Dion. Why, are you foolish ? Can it be un- 
done ? 
Cle. Dionyza, such a piece of slaughter 
The Sim and moon ne'er look'd upon ! 
Dion. I think you'll tm'u a child again. 
C/c. Were I cliief lord of all tliis spacious 
I 'd give it to undo the deed. lady. 
Much less in blood than vu'tue, yet a princess 
To equal any single crown o' the earth, 
I' the justice of compare ! O villain Leonine, 
"RQiom thou hast poison'd too ! 
If thou hadst drunk to him, it had been a kind- 
Becoming well thy face : what canst thou say. 
When noble Pericles shall demand his child ? 
Dion. That she is dead. Nurses are not the 
To foster it, nor ever to preserve. 
She died at night ; I 'U sav so. "Who can cross 

Unless you play the pious innoceut. 
And for an honest attribute, cry out, 
' She died by ford play.' 

Cle. O, go to. WeU, weU, 

Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gou. 
Do like this worst. 

Dion. Be one of those that think 

The pi'ctty wrens of Tharsus will fly hence, 
And open this to Pericles. I do shame 
To think of what a noble straui you arc, 
And of how coward a spiiit. 

Cle. To such proceeding 

"Who ever but his approbation added. 
Though not his pre-consent," he did not flow 
From honoirrablc courses. 

Dion. Be it so then : 
Yet none doth know, but you, how she came 

Nor none can know, Leonine being gone. 
She did disdain my child, and stood between'' 
Her and her fortimes : none would look on her. 
But cast their gazes on ^Marina's face ; 
AVhilst oui-s was blurted at, and held a malkin 
Not worth the time of day. It pierc'd me 

thorough ; 
And though you call my coui'se umiatm-al. 
You not your chUd well loving, yet I find, 

ft Pre-consent The first quarto has prijice consent; the 
second quarto, ti'/io/e consent, Steevens made the judicious 

b Disdfiiti. Mr. Dyce would read ilistaiii. 




tSCEl K 7. 

It greets nic as an enterprise of kindness, 
Perfonn'd to yom- sole daugliter. 

Ck. Heavens forgive it ! 

Dion. And as for Pericles, 
Wliat slioiild lie say ? We wept after her hearse. 
And even yet wo mourn : her monument 
Is almost finish' d, and her epitaphs 
In glittering golden characters express 
A general praise to her, and care in us 
At wliose expense 't is done. 

Cle. Thou art like tlie harpy, 

Wliich, to betray, dost, with thine angel's face. 
Seize with thine eagle's talons. 

Dion. You are like one that supersfitiously 
Doth swear to the gods (liat winter kills flic 

But yet I know you '11 do as I advise. 


Enter GowEii, before the Monument of Maeina 
at Tharsus. 

Gow. Thus time we waste, and longest 

leagues make short. 
Sail seas in cockles, have, and wish but for 't ; 
Making (to take yom- ijnagination) 
From bourn to bom'n, region to region. 
By you being pardon'd, we commit no crime 
To use one language, in each several clime 
Where our scenes seem to live. I do beseech 

To leam of me, who stand i' the gaps to teach 

The stages of our story. Pericles 
Is now again tliwarttng the wayward seas, 
(Attended on by many a lord and knight,) 
To see his daughter, all his life's delight. 
Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late 
Advanc'd in time to great and lu'gh estate. 
Is left to govern. Bear you it in mind. 
Old Helicanus goes along behind." 
Well-saUing sliips and bounteous winds liave 

This king to Tharsus (think his pilot thought ; 
So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow 

To fetch his daughter home, wlio first is 

Like motes and shadows see them move a 

while ; 
Your ears unto your eyes I 'U reeoueile. 

« In t)ie old copies these lines are thus misiilacetl ; — 
" Old Helicanus goes alonp behind 
Is left to poverne it : you beare in mind 
Old Escenes whom Helicanus late 
Advancde in time to great and hie estate." 
Sup. Vol. H 

Di/m6 sho7c. 

Eater Pericles at one door, with all his train ; 
Cleon and Dionyza at the olhrr. Cieon 
shows Pericles ilie tomb [of Marina]; 
whereat Pericles makes lamentation, puts 
on sankciolh, and in a mighty passion departs. 

Gow. See liow l)clief may suffer by foul 

This borrow'd passion stands for true ohl 

And Pericles, in sorrow all devour'd, 
With sighs shot thi'ough, and biggest tears 

Leaves Tharsus, and again embarks. He 

Never to wash his face, nor cut his hairs ; 
He puts on sackcloth, and to sea. He bears 
A tempest, wliich his moi-tal vessel tears. 
And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit ' 
The epitaph is for Marina writ 
By wicked Dionyza. 

[Reads the inscription on Marin a'.s 

" The fairest, sweetest, best, lies here. 
Who wither'd in her spring of year. 
She was of Tyrus, the king's daughter, 
On whom foul death hath made this slaughter ; 
Marina was she call'd ; and at her birth, 
Thetis, being proud, swallow'd some part o' the earth ; 
Therefore the earth, fearing to be o 'erflow'd. 
Hath Thetis' birth-chiM on the heavens bestow'd : 
Wherefore she does, and swears she'll never stint, 
Make raging battery upon shores of flint." 

No vizor does become black villauiy, 

So well as soft and tender flattery. 

Let Pericles believe his daugliter 's dead. 

And bear his eoui'ses to be ordered 

By lady Fortune; wliile our scene'' must play 

His daughter's woe and heavy well-a-day, 

In her unholy service. Patience then. 

And think you now are aU in Mitylene. [Exit. 

SCENE v.— Mitylene. A Street before the 

Enter, from the Brothel, two Gentlemen. 

1 Gent. Did you ever hear the like ? 

2 Gent. No, nor never shall do in such a pktec 
as tlds, she being once gone. 

1 Gent. But to have divinity preach'd tlicrc ! 
did ycu ever ch'cain of such a tiling ? 

2 Gent. No, no. Come, I am for no more 
bawdy-honscs : shall we go hear the vestals singp 

* Please you wit — be pleased to know, 
b Scent. In the old copies, steitrc. 


AlT IV.l 



1 Gent. I '11 do anything now that is Tuiuous, 
but I am out of the road of rutting, for ever. 


SCENE VI.— The same. A Room in Hie 

Enter Pander, Bawd, and Boult. 

Panel. Well, I had rather than tmce the worth 
of her, she had ne'er come here. 

Bawd. Fie, fie upon her ; she is able to freeze 
the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation. 
Wo must either get her ravish' d, or be rid of her. 
When she should do for clients her fitment, and 
do me the kindness of our profession, she has 
me her quirks, her reasons, her master-reasons, 
her prayers, her knees ; that she would make a 
puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss 
of her. 

Boult. 'Faith I must ravish her, or she '11 dis- 
iurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make all our 
swearers pines ts. 

Band. Now, the pox upon her green-sickness 
for me ! 

Bawd. 'Faith, there 's no way to be rid on 't, 
but by the way to the pox. Here comes the 
lord Lysimaohus, disguised. 

Boult. We should have both lord and lown, if 
the peevish baggage would but give way to cus- 

Enter Lysimaciius. 

Li/s. How now ? How a dozen of viiginities ? 

Bawd. Now, the gods to-bless your honour ! 

Boult. I am glad to see your honour ui good 

Li/s. You may so ; 't is the better for you that 
your resorters stand upon soiuid legs. How 
now, wholesome iniquity ? Have you that a man 
may deal withal and defy the surgeon ? 

Bawd. We have here one, sir, if she would — 
but there never came her like in Jlityleue. 

Lijs. If she 'd do the deed of darkness, thou 
wouldst say. 

Bawd. Your honom- knows what 't is to say, 

11 enough. 

iys. Weil ; call forth, call forth. 

Boult. For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, 
you shall see a rose ; and she were a rose indeed, 
if she had but, 

Lj/s. Wliat, pril nee ? 

Boult. O, sir, I can be modest. 

Li/s. That dignifies the renown of a bawd, no 
less than it gives a good report to a number to 
be chaste. 

Enter Majiina. 

Bawd. Here comes that which grows to the 
stalk ; — never plucked yet, I can assure you. Is 
she not a fair creature ? 

Li/s. 'Faith she woiJd sei-ve after a long voy- 
age at sea. Well, there 's for you ; leave us 

Bawd. I beseech your honour-, give me leave •. 
a word, and I '11 have done presently. 

La/s. I beseech you, do. 

Bawd. First, I would have you note, this is 
an honoui-able man. 

[To Marina, whom she takes aside. 

Mai: I desii-e to find him so, that I may 
worthily note lum. 

Bawd. Next, he's the governor of this coun- 
try, and a man whom I am hound to. 

Mar. If he governs the country, youai'c bound 
to him indeed ; but how honourable he is in that, 
I know not. 

Bawd. Pray you, without any more virginal 
fencing, will you use him kindly ? He will line 
your apron with gold. 

Mar. Wliat he will do graciously I will thank- 
fidly receive. 

Lys. Have you done ? 

Bawd. My lord, she 's not pae'd yet ; you 
must take some pains to work her to your ma- 
nage. Come, we will leave his honour and her 
together. [Exeunt Bawd, Pander, and Boult. 

L^s. Go thy ways. — Now, pretty one, how 
long have you been at this trade ? 

Mar. What trade, sir ? 

Li/s. What I cannot name but I shall offend. 

Mar. I cannot be offended ■mi\i my trade. 
Please you to name it. 

L^/s. How long have you been of this j)rofes- 

Mar. Ever since I can remember. 

Zys. Did you go to it so young ? Were you a 
gamester at five, or at seven ? 

Mar. Earlier too, sir, if now I 1)0 one. 

lys. Why, the house you dwell in proclaims 
you to be a creature of sale. 

Mar. Do you know this house to be a place of 
such resort, and will come into it ? I hear say, 
you are of honourable parts, and are the governor 
of this place. 

Lj1/s. Wliy, hath your principal made known 
unto you who I am ? 

Mar. Who is my principal ? ■ 

L/i/s. Why youi- herb-woman ; she that sets 
seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. 0, you 
have heard something of my power, and so stand 
aloof for more serious wooing. But I protest to 

AfT IV.] 


rscEk-.; ^■r. 

thee, pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, 
or else, look friendly upon thee. Come, bring 
me to some private place. Come, come. 

]\[ar. If you were born to lionoui', show it now; 
If put upon you, make tlie judgment good 
That thought you worthy of it. 

L)/.s. How 's this ? how 's this ? — Some more ; 
— be sage. 

ilar. For mc, that am a maid, tliough most 
Fortune have plac'd me in this loathsome sty, 
Where since I came, diseases have been sold 
Dearer than physic, — that the gods 
Would set mc free from this unliallow'd place, 
Though they did change mo to the meanest 

That flies i' the purer air I 

Lys. I did not think 

Thou coiddst have spoke so well ; ne'er dreani'd 

thou eouldst. 
Had I brought jiither a corrupted mind, 
Thy speech had alter'd it. Hold, here 's gold 

for thee : 
Perserver still in that clear way thou goest. 
And the gods strengthen thee ! 

Mill: The gods preserve you ! 

Lys. For me, be you thoughten 

That I came with no ill intent ; for to me 
The very doors and windows savour vilely. 
Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, 
And I doubt not but tliy training hath boen 

Hold ; here 's more gold for thee. 
A curse upon him, die he like a thief. 
That robs thee of thy goodness ! If thou hcar'st 

from me 
It shall be for thy good. 

[As LYSiM.iCHUS is putting up his purse, 
BouLT enters. 

BouU. I beseech your honour, one piece for 

Lj/s. Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper ! 
Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it, 
Would sink and overwhelm you. Away. [Exit. 

BouU. How 's this ? We must take another 
course with you. If your peevish cliastity, 
which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest 
country under the cope, shall undo a whole 
household, let me be gelded bke a spaniel. 
Come your ways. 

Mar. Wliither would you have me ? 

BouU. I must have your maidenhead taken 
off, or the common hangman shall execute it. 
Come your way. We '11 have no more gentle- 
men driven away. Come your ways, I say. 
H 2 

Re-enter Bawd. 

Bawd. How now ! what's the mattei ? 

BouU. Worse and worse, mistress ; she has 
here spoken holy words to the lord Lysimachus. 

Buivd. O abominable ! 

BouU. She makes oirr profession as it were to 
stink afore the face of the gods. 

Bawd. Marry, hang her up for ever ! 

BouU. The nobleman would have dealt wilh 
her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as 
cold as a snow-ball ; saying liis prayers too. 

Bawd. Boult, take her away ; use her at thy 
pleasm-e . crack the glass of her vii'guiity, and 
make the rest malleable. 

BouU. An if she were a thornier jneee oi 
ground tlian she is, she shall be ])loughed. 

Mar. Hark, hark, ye gods ! 

Bawd. She conjures : away wit!; her. Woidd 
she had never come within ray doors ! Marry 
hang you ! She 's bom to undo us. Will you 
not go the way of womeukiiid? Marry come 
up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays ! 

\_ExU Bawd. 

BouU. Come, nn'stress; come youi- way with 

Mar. Whither would you have me ? 

Boult. To take ft'om you the jewel you liold 
so dear. 

Mar. Prithee, tell me one thing first. 

BouU. Come now, your one thing ? 

Mar. What canst thou wish tliine enemy to 

BouU. Why, I could wish him to be my mas- 
ter, or rather, my mistress. 

Mar. Neither of these arc yet so bad as thou 
Since they do better thee in their command. 
Thou hold'st a place, for which the paincd'st 

Of hell would not in reputation change ; 
Thou art the damn'd door-keeper to every 

That comes inquiring for his tib ; 
To the choleric fisting of every rogue thy ear 
Is liable ; thy food is such 
As hath been belcli'd on by infected hmgs. 

BouU. What would you have me do ? go to 
ihe wars, woidd you? where a man may serve 
seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not 
money enough in the end to buy liim a wooden 

Mar. Do anything but this thou doest. Emply 
Old reeeptaoles, or common sewers of filth ; 
Serve by indentui-c to the common hangm;m ; 


Ait IV.] 


[Scene \t 

Any of these ways ave better yet tlian this : 
For what thou prol'cssest, a bahoon, could he 

Would owu a name toe dear. That the gods 

would safely 
Deliver me from this place ! Hero, here 's gold 

for thee. 
If that thy master would gain aught by me, 
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance, 
With other virtues, which I '11 keep from boast; 
And I will undertake all these to teaeh. 
I doubt not but tins populous city will 
Yield many scholars. 

Boulf. But can you teach all this you speak 

Mar. Prove that I cannxt, lake me home 
And prostitute me to the basest groom 
That doth frequent your house. 

Boiilt. Well, I will see what I can do for 
thee : if I can place thee, I ^vill. 

Mar. But amongst houcst women ? 

Bonlt. 'Faith, my acquaintance lies little 
amongst them. But since my master and mis- 
tress have bought you, there 's no going but by 
their consent: therefore I will make them ac- 
quainted with your purpose, and I doubt not 
but I shall find them tractable enough. Come, 
I '11 do for thee what I can ; come your ways. 



Extracts from Gowor's ' Coufessio Amautis,' continued. 

" And for to speak how that it stood 
Of Thayse his daughter, ^vhere she dwclletli 
In Tharse, as the chronique telleth. 
She was well kept, she was well looked, 
Shs was well tauglit, she was well booked ; 
So well she sped in her youth 
That she of every wisdom couth, 
That for to seek in every land 
So wise another no man found, 
Ne so well taught at man's eye ; 
But woe-worth, ever falls envy." 
* * t * * 

'• The treason and the time is shape, 
ao fell it that this churlish knape 
Ilath led this maiden .where he would 
Upon the strand, and what she should 
She was a drad : and he out braid ^ 
A rusty sword, and to her said, 
Thou Shalt be dead: alas, quoth she, 
Wliy shall I so? So thus, quoth he, 
My lady Dionise hath bade 
Thou shalt be murder'd in this stede. 

This maid then for fear shrihte.ti 
And for the love of God all-might 
She pray'th, that for a little stound^ 
She might kneel upon the ground 
Toward the heaven, for to crave 
Her woeful soul that she may save. 
And with this noise and with this cry 
Out of a barge fast by, 
Which hid was there on scomerfare, 
Men start out, and weren ware 
Of this felon : and he to go, 
And she began to cry tho/i 

11 5i-ffjf/— started, drew. 
'■ S/puH(/— moment. 

h S/irihtc—shtkkd. 
a TAo— then. 

Ha, niercy, he' p. for God's sake ! 

Into the barge thf y her take. 

As thieves should, and forth they went.' 


"If so be that thy master would 
Tliat I his gold increase should, 
It may not fall by this way; 
But sulTer me to go my way 
Out of tliis house, where I am in, 
And I shall make liim for to win 
In some place else of the town, 
Be so it be of religion, 
Where that honest women dwell. 
And thus thou might thy master tell, 
That when I have a chamber there. 
Let him do cry ay wide-wherea 
What lord tliat hath his daughter dear. 
And is in will that she shall lereh 
Of such a school as is true ; 
I shall her teach of things new, 
Which that none other woman can 
In all this land." 


'* Her epitaph of good assise c 
Was writ about, and in this wise 
It spake : O ye that this behold, 
Lo, here lieth she, the which was hold 
The fairest, and the flower of all, 
Whose name Taysis men call. 
The king of Tyre, Appollinus, 
Her father was : now lietli she thus. 
Fourteen year she was of age 
When death her took to his viage. J " 

. Ji'ide-ivhere — far and near. 
^jii/iY'— situation. 

it'j'e— learn. 
Vitif/e — journey 

ft -^ 

•?^4'ft.,MHIIilHPM^5!J , 



Enter Gowek. 

OoK. Marina thus the brothel scapes, and 

Into an house, our story says, 
bhe sings like one immortal, and she dances 
As goddess-like to her admired lays : 
Deep clerks she dumbs; and with her nccld 

Nature's own shape, of bud, bird, branch, or 

berry ; 
That even her art sisters the natural roses ; 
Her iukle, silk, twin with the rubied cherry : 
That p\ipil3 lacks she none of noble race. 
Who pour their bounty on her ; and her gain 
She gives the cursed bawd. Here we her place, 
.\nd to her father turn o>ir thoughts again, 

Where we left hiiu on the sea. We there bin: 

lost : 
Whence driven before the winds he is arriv'd 
Hero where his daughter dwells; and on this 

Suppose him now at anchor. The city striv'd 
God Neptune's annual feast to keep: from 

Lysimaohus our Tyrian siiip espies. 
His banners sable, trimm'd with rich ex- 
pense ; 
And to him in his barge with fervour hies. 
In your supposing once more put your sight. 
Of heavy Pericles think this his bark : 
Wiere, what is done in action, more, if might, 
Shall be discovcr'd ; please vou sit and hark. 


Act v.] 



SCENE I. — On board Pericles' ship off Mity- ' 
lene. --/ close Pavilion on deck, with a cur- 
tain before it ; Pericles within if, reclined on 
a couch. A barge lying beside the Tyiian 

Enter two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian 
vessel, the other to the barge ; to them Heli- 


Tgr. Sail. Where is the lord llelicanus ? He 
can resolve you. [Tb the Sailor of Mitylene.] 
O, here he is. Sir, there is a barge put off 
from Mitylene, and in it is Lysimachus the 
govenior, who craves to come aboard. What is 
your will ? 

Ilel. That he have his. Call up some gentle- 

Tgr. Sail. Ho, gentlemen ! my lord calls. 

Enter two Gentlemen. 

1 Gent. Doth your lordship call ? 

Hel. Gentlemen, there is some of worth would 
come aboard ; I pray, greet them fairly. 

[The Gentlemen and the two Sailors descend, 
mid go on board the barge. 

Enter from thence Ltsimachus, attended; the 
Tyrian Gentlemen, and the two Sailors. 

Ti/r. Sail. Sii-, this is the uiau that can, in 
aught you would, resolve you. 

I^s. Had, reverend sir ! The gods preserve 

Hel. And you, sir, to outlive the age I am, 
And die as I would do. 

Lgs. You wish me well. 
Being on shore, hououi'ing of Neptune's tri- 
Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us, 
I made to it, to know of whence you ai'e. 

Hel. First, what is your place ? 

Lgs. I am the governor of this place you lie 

Hel. Sir, our vessel is of Tyre, in it the king; 
A man, who for this three months hath not 

To any one, nor taken sustenance, 
But to prorogue his grief 

Li/s. Upon what ground is his distempera'.ure? 

Hel. Sir, it would be too tedious to repeat ; 
But the main gi-ief springs from the Ins a 
Of a beloved daughter and a wife. 

Lgs. May we not sec him ? 

Hel. You may, 
But bootless is your sight ; he wUl not speak lo 

I^s. Yet let me obtain my wish. 

Hel. Behold him, sir. [Pericles discovered.'] 
This was a goodly person, 
Till the disaster that, one mortal night," 
Drove him to this. 

Li/s. Sir, king, all had ! the gods preserve 
you! Had, 
Royal sir ! 

Hel. It is in vain ; he will not speak to you. 

Lord. Sir, we have a maid in Mitylene. 1 
dui-st wager, 
Would win some words of him. 

Li/s. 'T is well bethouglit. 

She, questionless, with her sweet harmony. 
And other chosen attractions, would allure, 
And make a battery through Ids dcafen'd parts, 
Which now are midway stopp'd : 
She is all happy as the faii'cst of all. 
And, with her fellow-maids, is now upon 
The leafy slieltcr that abuts against 
The island's side. 

[jrhispers one of the attendant JjOvils. Exit 
Lord in the barge of Lysimachus. 

Hel. Sui-e all 's effectless ; yet nothing wo '11 
That bears recovery's name. But, since your 

We have stretch'd thus far, let us beseech you. 
That for our gold we may provision have, 
Whereui we are not destitute for want. 
But weary for the staleness. 

Lys. O, sir, a coui-tesy. 

Which if we should deny, the most just gods 
For every graff would send a caterpillar. 
And so inflict our province. — Yet once more 
Let me entreat to know at largo the cause 
Of your kiug's sorrow. 

Hel. Sit, sir, I will recount it to you. 
But see, I am prevented. 

Enter from the barge. Lord, Marina, and a 
young Lady. 

Lys. here 's the lady that I seut for. Wel- 
come, fair one ! 
Is 't not a goodly presence ? 
Hel. She 's a gallant lady. 
Lys. She's such a one, that were I well 
Came of a gentle kmd, and noble stock, 
I 'd wish no better choice, and think me rarely 

Fair one, all goodness that consists iu bounty '' 

"> Niyftt. The old copies, n-ujht. 
b Bounty. Tlie old copies have beautij. 
the correction. 

Stecvena made 


Act v.] 


[Scene I. 

Exj)cct even here, where is a kingly patient : 
If that thy prosperous and ai-tificial feat" 
Can draw him but to answer thee in aught, 
Tliy sacred physio shall receive such pay 
As thy desires can wish. 

jilar. Sii', I will use 

My utmost skill in his recovery, 
Provided none but I and my companion 
Be sufTcr'd to come near hun. 
L!/s. Come, let us leave Ler, 
And the gods make her prosperous ! 

[Marina siiiys. 
Li/s. Mark'd he your music ? 
Mar. No, nor look'd on us. 

Li/s. See, she will speak to him. 
Mnr. Hail, sir ! my lord. 
Lend ear. 

Per. Hum, ha! 
Mar. I am a maid, 
Jly lord, that ne'er before invited eyes. 
But have been gaz'd on like a comet : she 

My lord, that, may be, hath endur'd a grief 
Might equal yours, if both were justly weigh'd. 
Though wayward fortune did malign my state, 
My derivation was from ancestors 
Who stood equivalent with mighty kings : 
Bat time hath rooted out my parentage. 
And to the world and awkward casualties 
Bound mc in servitude. — I will desist ; 
But there is something glows upon my cheek. 
And whispers in mine ear, 'Go not till he 
speak.' [Aside. 

Per. My fortunes — parentage — good parent- 
To equal mine ! — was it not thus? what say you? 
Mar. I said, my lord, if yon did know my 
You would not do mc violence. 

Per. I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes 
upou me. 
You arc like something, that — What country- 
woman ? 
Here of these shores ?'' 

Mar. No, nor of any shores : 

Yet I was mortally brouglit forth, and am 
No other than I appear. 
Per. I am great with woe, and sha'l deliver 
My dearest wife was like this maid, and such a 

My daughter might have been : my queen's 
square brows ; 

^ Feat. The old copies, /fl/e. Percy suggested /ea/. 
b S/ioicJC. The old copies, shewes. 


Her statm-c to an inch ; as wand-Uke straight ; 
As silver-voic'd ; her eyes as jewel-like, 
And cas'd as richly : in pace another Juno ; 
Who starves the cars she feeds, and makes them 

Tiie more she gives them speech. Where do 
you live ? 
Mar. Where I am but a stranger : from the 
You may discern the place. 

Per. Where were you bred ? 

jbid how achiev'd you these endowments, which 
You make more rich to owe ? » 

Mar. If I should teU my history, it would 
Like lies disdain'd in the reporting. 

Per. Prithee speak ; 

Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou look'st 
Modest as Justice, and thou seem'st a palace 
For the crown'd Trulh to dwell in : I '11 believe 

And make my senses credit thy relation. 
To points that seem impossible ; for thou look'st 
Ijikc one I lov'd indeed. What were thy friends? 
Didst thou not say, when I did push thee back, 
(Which was when I perceiv'd thee,) that thou 

Prom good descendiug ? 

ihr. So indeed I did. 

Per. Report thy parentage. I think thou 
Tiiou hadst been toss'd from wrong to iujm-y. 
And that thou thought'st thy griefs might equal 

If both were open'd. 

Mar. Some such tiling I said, and said no 
]5ut what my thoughts did warrant me was likely. 

Per. Tell' thy story; 
If thine, consider' d, prove the thousandth part 
Of my eiidurauec, thou art a man, and I 
Have suffer'd like a girl : yet thou dost look 
Like Patience, gazing ou kings' graves, and 

Extremity out of act. 'What were thy friends ? 
How lost thou them ? ^ Thy name, my most 

kind virgin ? 
Recount, I do beseech thee ; come, sit by mc. 
Mar. My name is Marina. 
Per. O, I am moek'd. 

And thou by some incensed god scut hither 
To make the world to laugh at rae. 

Mar. Patience, good sir, or here I'll cease. 

.T Owe — own. 

b Them is not found in the old copies. 

Act v.] 


[SrENt 1 

Per. Nay, I '11 be patient ; 
Thou little kuoxrest how thou dost startle luc, 
'J'o eall thyself Marina. 

Mar. The name was given nie 

By one that had some jiosver; my father and a 

Per. How ! a king's daughter, and rall'd 
Marina ? 

Mar. You said you would believe me ; 
But, not to be a troubler of your peace, 
I wid end here. 

Per. But are you Hesh and blood ? 

Have you a working pulse? and are no faii-y- 

motion ? 
Well ; speak ou. Where were you born ? " 
And wherefore call'd Marina ? 

Mar. CaU'd Marina, 

For I was born at sea. 

Per. At sea ? who was thy mother ? 

Mar. My mother \yas the daughter of a king ; 
Who died the very minute I was born. 
As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft 
DeUver'd weeping. 

Per. 0, stop there a little ! 
Tliis is the rarest di-eara that e'er dull sleep 
Did moek sad fools withal : this cannot be 
My daughter bui-ied. \_Aside^ Well; — where 

were you bred ? 
I '11 hear you more, to the bottom of your story, 
And never iute rupt you. 

Mar. You'll scarce'' believe me; 'twere best 
I did give o're. 

Per. I wiU beli>7e you by the syllable 
Of whit you shall dehver. Yet give me leave — 
How came you in these paits ? where were you 

Mar. The king, my father, did in Tharsus 
leave me ; 
Till cruel Clcon, with his wicked wife, 
Did seek to nim-ther me : and having woo'd 
A villain to attempt it, who having drawn to do 't, 
A crew of pmites came and rescued me ; 
Brought me to Mitylene. But, good sir, whither 
WUl you have me ? Why do you weep ? It may 

You thmk me an unpostor ; no, good faith ; 
I am the daughter to king Pericles, 
If good king Pericles be. 

a Malone reads, 
" Have you a working pulse ? and are no fairy f 

Motion i—WeU ; speak on. Where were you torn ( " 
Tliis reading was probably adopted from the desire to .-ivold 
an alexandrine. A "fairy motion" appears to us in the 
poet's best manner. 

t You'll scarce. The old copies have f/ow scorn. Malone 
made the change. 

Per. Ho, Hclicanus ! 

Hel. Calls my lord? 

Per. Thou art a grave and noble counsellor, 
Most wise in general ; teU me, if thou canst, 
What this maid is, or what is like to be. 
That thus hath made me weep ? 

Hel. I know not ; but 

Here is the regent, sir, of Mitylene 
Speaks nobly of her. 

Li/s. She never woidd tell her parentage ; 
Being demanded that, she woidd sit stid and 

Per. Hclicanus, strike me, honour'd sir; 
Give me a gash, put me to present pain ; 
Lest tliis great sea of joys rushing upon me, 
O'erbear the shores of my mortality. 
And drown me with then: sweetness. come 

Thou that bcgctt'st him that did thoe beget ; 
Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tharsus, 
And found at sea again ! — O Hclicanus, 
Dowi on thy knees, thank the holy gods as loud 
As thunder threatens us : This is Marina.^ 
What was thy mother's name ? tell me but that, 
For truth can never be conflrm'd enough. 
Though doubts did ever sleep. 

Mar. First, su-, I pray, what is your title ? 

Per. I am Pericles of Tyre ; but tell me now 
Jly drown'd queen's name : as in the rest you 

Thou hast been god-He perfect, the heu- oi 

jUid another like to Pericles thy father. 

Mar. Is it no more to be yoiu- daughter, than 
To say my mother's name was Thaisa ? 
Thaisa was my mother, who did end 
The minute I began. 

Per. Now, blessing ou thee, rise; thou art 
my child. 
Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Hclicanus, 

she is ; " 
Not dead at Tharsus, as she should have been, 
By savage Cleou : she shall tell thee all ; 
When thou shall kneel, and justify in knowledge, 
She is thy very princess. — Who is this ? 

Hel. Sir, 't is the governor of Mitylene, 
Who, hearing of your melancholy state. 
Did come to see you. 

Per. I embrace you. 
Give me my robes ; I am wild in ray beholding, 

a Malone prints the passage thus :— 

*' Mine o\\ti Hclicanus, 
She is not dead," &c. 
Steevens omits she is. 


iCT v.] 


[Scents II., tli 

lieaveiis bless my girl ! But hark, what mu- 

sic 's this ? 
Tell Hehoamis, my Marina, tell him 
O'er, point by point, for yet he seems to doubt. 
How siu-e you are my daughter. — But what 
music ? 

Hel. My lord, I hear none. 

Per. None? 
The music of the spheres : list, my Marina. 

Lys. It is not good to cross him; give him 

Per. Rarest sounds do ye not hear ? 

h/s. Music r " My lord, I hear — 

Per. Most heaveidy music : 

It nips mo unto list'ning, and thick slumber 
Hangs on mine eyes ; let me rest. \_He steeps. 

L^s. A pillow for his head. 
So leave him all. Well, my companiou-fviends. 
If this but answer to my just belief, 

1 'U weU remember you.'' 

[^towm^Lysimachus, Helicanus, Mauina, 
and attendant Lady. 

rht/i to 

SCENE II. -The same. 

Pericles ok deck asleej) ; Diana appeuriny 
him as in a vision. 

Diu. My temple stands in Ephesus ; hie thee 
And do upon mine altar sacrifice. 
There, when my maiden priests are met together. 
Before the people all 

Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife : 
To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter's, call, 
And give them repetition to the Kke. 
Perforin my bidding, or thou Kv'st in woe : 
Do 't, and be happy : by my silver bow 
Awake, and tell thy di'cam. [Diaka disappears. 

Per. Celestial Dian, goddess argentine, 
I will obey thcc ! — Hehcauus ! 

Enter Lysimacuus, Helicanus, and Marina. 

My purpose was for Tharsus, there to strike 
Th' inhospitable Cleon ; but I am 
For other service first : toward Ephesus 
Turn our blown sails; eftsoons I'll tell thee 
why. [To Helicanus. 

ShaU we refresh us, sir, upon your shore. 
And give you gold for such provision 
As our intents will need ? 

Lys. Sir, 

^ Mr. Dyce malies tliis a stage-direction; but surely tlic 
music Tvas in the imagination of Pericles, and not to bu 
heard by those on tlie stage or l>y the audience. 

b Malone thinks this sentence should be spoken by Marina 
to her female companions. 

With all my heart ; and when you come ashore, 
I have another suit.' 

Per. You shall prevail. 
Were it to woo my daughter ; for it seems 
You have been noble towards her. 

Li/s. Sir, lend mo your arm. 

Par. Come, my Marma. [ 

Enter Go'iYEE, Ije/ore the Temple of DiaKA at 

Gow. Now our sands are annost ruu ; 
More a little, and then dumb. 
This, my last boon, give me, 
(Por such kiudness must relieve me,) 
That you aptly will suppose 
What pageantry, what feats, what shows. 
What minstrelsy, what pretty diu, 
The regent made in Mitylin, 
To greet the kiug. So he has thriv'd. 
That he is promis'd to be wiv'd 
To fair Marina ; but in no wise, 
Till he had done his sacrifice. 
As Dian bade : whereto being bound, 
The interim, pray you, aU confound. 
In feather'd briefness sails are fill'd, 
Aud wishes faU out as they 're will'd. 
At Ephesus, the temple see, 
Our king, and all Ids company. 
That he cau hither come so soon. 
Is by your fancy's thankful doom. \Exit. 

SCENE III —The Temple of Diana at Ephe- 
sus ; Tiiaisa standing near the altar, as high 
priestess; a number of Virgins on each side; 
Cerimon and other Inhabitants of Ephesus 

Enter Pericles with his Train; Lysimachus, 
Helicanus, Marina, and a Lady. 

Per. Hail, Dian! to perform thy just com- 
I iiere confess myself the king of Tyre ; 
Who, frighted from my country, did wed 
At Peutapolis the fair Thaisa. 
At sea iu childbed died she, but brought forth 
A maid-child eall'd Mariua ; who, O goddess. 
Wears yet thy silver Kvery. She, at Tharsus 
Was nurs'd with Cleon ; whom at foui'tecn years 
He sought to murther : but her better stars 
Brought her to Mitylene ; against whose shore 
Riding, licr fortunes brought the maid aboard us^ 

a Suit. The old copies have sleight. 

Act v.] 


[Scexf: III 

'Where, by her owa most clear remembrance, slic 
Made known herself my daughter. 

Thai. Voice and favour ! — 

You arc, you are — O royal Pericles ! — 

\_She faints. 

Per. Wliat means the woman? she dies! help, 
gentlemen ! 

Co: Noble sir. 
If you have told Diana's altar trae. 
This is yom- wife. 

Per. Reverend appeai'er, no ; 

I threw her o'crboard with these very arms. 

Cer. Upon this coast, I warrant you. 

Per. 'T is most certain. 

Cer. Look to the lady ; — 0, she 's but o'er- 

Early in blust'ring morn this lady was 
Thrown upon this shore. I op'd the coffin ; 
Found there rich jewels ; reeover'd her, and 

plae'd her 
Here in Diana's temple. 

Per. May we see them ? 

Cer. Great sii-, they shall be brought you to 
my house, 
Whither I invite you. Look, Thaisa is 

Thai. 0, let me look ! 
If he be none of mine, my sanctity 
Will to my sense bend no licentious car, 
But curb it, spite of seeing. O, my lord. 
Are you not Pericles ? Like him you speak, 
Like him you are: Did you not name a tempest, 
A birth, and death ? 

Per. The voice of dead Thaisa ! 

Thai. That Thaisa am I, supposed des.d 
And drown'd. 

Per. Immortal Dian ! 

Thai. Now I know you better. — 

Wlien we with tears parted PentapoKs, 
The king, my father, gave you such a ring. 

\Shoies a ring. 

Per. This, this; no more, you gods! yoiir pre- 
sent kindness 
Makes my past miseries sports : You shall do 

That on the toueliing of her lips I may 
Melt, and no more be seen. O come, bo buried 
A second time within these arms. 

Mar. My heart 

Leaps to be gone into my mother's bosom. 

\Kneeh to Thaisa. 

Per. Look, who kucels here ! Flesh of thy 
flesh, Thaisa; 
Tliy burthen at the sea, and call'd Marina, 
For she was yielded there. 

Thai. Bless'd, and mine own I 

Hel. Hail, madam, and my queen ! 

Thai. I know you not. 

Per. You have heard me say, when 1 did fly 
from Tyre, 
I left behind an ancient substitute. 
Can you remember what I call'd the man ? 
I have nam'd lum oft. 

Thai. 'T was Helicanus then. 

Per. Still confirmation : 
Embrace liim, dear Thaisa ; this is he. 
Now do I long to hear how you were found ; 
How possibly preserv'd ; and whom to thank, 
Besides the gods, for this great miracle. 

Thai. Lord Cerimon, my lord; this man, 
through whom 
The gods have shown their power ; that can 

from first 
To last resolve you. 

Per. Reverend sir, the gods 

Can have no mortal officer more like 
A god than you. Will you deliver how 
This dead queen re-lives ? 

Cer. I wUl, my lord. 

Beseech yon, first go with me to my house, 
Wliere shall be shown you all was found with 

How she came placed here within the temple ; 
No needful thing omitted. 

Per. Puie Diana ! 

I bless thee for thy vision, and will offer 
Night-oblations to thee. Thaisa, 
This prince, the fair-betrothed of your daughter, 
Shall marry her at Pentapolis. And now, 
Tills ornament that makes me look so dismal, 
Will I, my lov'd Marina, clip to form : 
And what this fourteen years no razor touch' d. 
To grace thy marriage-day, I 'U beautify." 

Thai. Lord Cerimon hath letters of good 
Sir, that my father 's dead. 

Per. Heavens make a star of him I Yet there, 
my queen. 
We '11 celebrate their nuptials, and oui'selves 
Will in that kingdom spend oiir following days; 
Our sou and daughter shall in Tyrus reign. 
Lord Cerimon, we do our longing stay, 
To hear the rest untold. — Sir, lead the way. 

[Exeunt omnes. 
Enter Gower. 

Gow. In Aiitioehus and his daughter, you 
have heard 
Of monstrous lust the due and just reward; 

^ We foUow some alterations by Malone, of tbe nid text, 
which, without these, is hopelessly obsr.uve. 


Act v.] 



Ill Pericles, his queen and daiigliler, seen 
(Although assail'd with fortiuio fierce and keen) 
Vii-tuo preserv'd from fell destruction's blast, 
Led on by heaven, and cro\\ai'd with joy at last. 
In Ilelicanus may you well descry 
A figure of truth, of faith, of loyalty : 
In reverend Cerimon there well appears, 
The worth that learned charity aye wears. 
For wicked Cleon and his wife, when fame 
Had spread tlieii' cursed deed, and honour'd 

Of Pericles, to rage the city tui'n ; 

That hiiu and his they in his palace burn. 

I'iio gods for mui-ther seemed so content 

To punish them;'" although not done, but 

So, on your patience ever more attending. 
New joy wait on you! Here our play hath 


[Ei-ii GowEii, 

a Thvm is omitted in the old coliica. 



Extracts from Gower's * Confeasio Amantis,' concluded. 

■' A MESSENGER for licr is gone, 
And she came with her harp on hand; 
And she said them, that slie would fonde^ 
IJy all the ways that she can 
To glad with this sorry man. 
But what lie was she wist nought. 
But all the ship lier hath besought, 
That she lier wits on him despend,!* 
In aunterc if he might amend, 
And say it shall he well acquit. 

When she liath understonden it 
She goeth lier down, there as he lay, 
Where that she harpeth many a lay. 
And like an angel sang withal. 
But he no more than the wall 
Took heed of anything he heard. 

And when she saw that he so ferde ii 
She falleth with him into words, 
And telleth him of sundry bordes.o 
And asketh him demands strange, 
Whereof she made his heart change; 
And to her speech his ear he laid, 
And hath marvel of that she said. 
For in provcrh and in problem 
She spake, and bade he should deme r 
In many a subtile question ; 
But he for no suggestion 
Wliicli toward him she could stere.s 
He would not o'l word answer, 
But as a madman at the last. 
His head weeping away he cast, 
And half in wrath he bade her go: 
But yet she ^-ould nought do so ; 
And in the dark forth she goeth 
Till she him toucheth, and he wrotlie,' 
And after her with his hand 
He smote : and thus when she him found 
Diseased, courteously she said, — 
Avoy, ^ my lord, I am a maid ; 
And if ye wist what I am. 
And out of what lineage I came, 
Ye would not be so salvage. 
Willi that he sober'th his courage. 
And put away his heavy cheer. 
But of them two a man may lere 
What is to be so sibbe l of blood 
None wist of other how it stood, 

a Fondc— try. 

c ^-iwM/er— adventure. 

e Bordes — countries. 

h O— one. 

k Avoy — avoid. 

b Despend — would expend. 

<1 Ferdc — fared. 

f Deme — ^judge. g Stere — stir. 

i Wrothe — was angry. 

1 5ii6e— related. 

And yet the father at last 

His heart upon this maid cast. 

That he her loveth kindly j 

And yet he wist never why, 

But all Tvas known ere that they went; 

For God, which wot their whole intent, 

Their hearts both he diseloseth. 

This king unto this maid opposeth. 

And asketh first, what is her name. 

And where she learned all this game, 

And of wliat kin that she was come ' 

And she, that hath his words nome, ° 

Answereth, and saith, My name is Thatasj 

That was some time well at ease. 

In Tliarse I was forth draw and fed, 

There learned I till I was sped, 

Of that I can ; my father eke, 

I not where that I should him seek : 

He was a king men told me. 

My mother drown'd was in the sea. 

From point to point all she him told 

That she hath long in heart hold, 

And never durst make her moan 

But only to this lord alone, 

To whom her heart cannot hele,'' 

Turn it to woe, turn it to weal, 

Turn it to good, turn it to harm. 

And he then took her in his arm ; 
But such a joy as he then made 
Was never seen : thus be they glad 
That sorry hadden be to forn.'^ 
From this day forth fortune hatli sworn 
To set them upward on the wheel : 
So goeth the world, now woe, now weal.*' 
* « * * « 

" With worthy knights environed. 
The king himself hath abandoned 
Into the temple in good intent. 
The door is up, and in he went, 
Where as, with great devotion 
Of holy contemplation 
Within his heart, he made his shriit, 
And after that a rich gift 
He offreth with great reverence ; 
And there in open audience 
Of them that stooden all about 
He told them, and deelareth out 
His hap, such as him is befall : 
There was no thing forget of all. 

a ^ome— taken, 
b Hele—hMc. 

c To /orn^beforc. 


His wife, ds it v as Gort*s grace, 
'^^'lnch was piofessed in the place 
As she that was abbess there, 
Unto his tale hath laid her ear. 
She knew the voice, and the visage : 
For pure joy, as in a rage, 
She stretch'd unto liim all at once, 
And fell a swoon upon the stones 
AVhereof tlie temple-floor was paved. 
She was anon with water laved, 
Till she came to herself again, 
Am", then she began to seyn — 

Ah, blessed be the high soonde,^ 
Thiit I may see mine husband, 
Vhich whilom he and I were one." 

a 5oo73(le -gifr. 

" Attaint they weren by the law. 
And doomed for to hang, and draw, 
And brent, and with the wind to blow, 
That all the world it might know. 
And upon this condition 
The doom in execution 
Was put anon without fail. 
And every man hath great marvel 
Which heard tellen of this chance. 
And thanketh God's purveyance, 
AVhich doth mercy forth with justice. 
Slain is the murd'rer, and murd'ress, 
Through very trutli of righteousness; 
And tlirough mercy safe is siniplcssea 
Of her, whom mercy prestrveth. 
Thus hath he well, that well dcscrvttb.' 

a Simplessc — simplicity 

(Gower's Monunier.t. ] 



The external testimony that Shakspere was the author of Pericles would appear to rest 
upon stronger evidence, as far as regards the fact of publication, tlian that which assigns 
to him the authorship of Titus Andronicus. Tliat play was not published as his work till 
after hUs death : Pericles was published with Shakspore's name as the author during his 
lifetime. But this evidence is not decisive. In 1600 was printed ' The first part of the 
true and honourable history of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle, &c. Written by William 
Sliakespeare ;' and we should bo entitled to receive that representation of the writer of 
' Sir John Oldcastle ' as good evidence of the authorship, were we not in possession of a 
fact which entirely outweighs the bookseller's insertion of a popular name iu his title- 
page. In the manuscript diary of Philip Henslowe, preserved at Dulwich College, is the 
following entry:— "The 16th of October, 99. Kcceivod by mo Thomas Downton of 
Philip Henslowe, to pay Mr. Monday, Mr. Drayton, Mr. Wilson, and Hathaway, for The 
fu-st part of the Lyfe of Sir Jhon Ouldcastell, and iu earnest of the Second Pte, for thp 



use of the company, ten pound, I say received 10 lb."* The title-page of Pericles, ij 
1G09, might have been as fraudulent as that of ' Sir John Oldcastle' in IGOO. 

The play of Pericles, as we learn by the original title-page, was " sundry times acted 
by his Majesty's servants at the Globe." Tlie proprietary interest in the play for the 
purposes of the stage (whoever wrote it) no doubt remained in 1623 with the proprietors 
of the Globe Tlioatro — Shakspevc's fellow-shareholders. Of the popularity of Pericles 
there can be no doubt. It was printed three times separately before the publication of 
the folio of 1 623 ; and it would have been to the interest of the proprietors of that edition 
to have included it amongst Shakspere's works. Did they reject it because they could 
not conscientiously affirm it to be written by him, or were they unable to make terms 
with those who had the right of publication 1 Tliere was an entry at Stationers' Hall on 
the 20tli of May, 1608, by Edward Blount, of " The book of Pericles Prynoeof Tyre;" 
and Blount at the same time enters "A book called Anthony and Cleopatra." But 
Pericles was first published by Henry Gosson. Blount was one of the proprietoi's of the 
folio of 1623. He seems to have possessed the right of printing Pericles in 1608 ; and 
he probably assigned it to Gosson, who (upon a similar probability) subsequently assigned 
it to S. S. (Simon Staiford?), who printed it in 1611, and who again assigned it to 
Thomas Pavicr, who printed it in 1619. A question then naturally arises, whether 
Blount, the proprietor of the folio, was unable to recover back what he had assigned as 
a separate publication ; and whether the non-admission, therefore, of Pericles in the folio 
of 1623 was not wholly a commercial matter, depending upon the claim to copyright. 
It is obvious that tliis is a question which is not likely to be decided. 

It is a most important circumstance, with reference to the authenticity of Titus Andro- 
nicus, that Mercs, in 1599, ascribed that play to Shakspore. We have no such testimony 
in the case of Pericles ; but the tradition which assigns it to Shakspere is pretty constant. 
Malone has quoted a passage from " The Times displayed, in Six Sestiads," a poem 
pubhshed in 164G, and dedicated by S. Shephard to Piiilip Earl of Pembroke : — 

" See liim, whose tragic scenes Euripides 
Doth equal, and with Sophocles we may 
Compare great Shakspeare : Aristopliauos 
Never like him his fancy could display : 
Witness The Prince of Tyre, his Pericles : 
His sweet and his to be admired lay 
He wrote of lustful Tarquin's rape, shows ho 
Did understand the depth of poesie." 

Si.\ years later, another writer, J. Tatham, in verses prefixed to Richard Bi-ome's ' Jovial 
Crow,' 1652, speaks slightingly of Shakspere, and of this particular drama : — • 

" But Shakespeare, the iilebeian driller, was 
Foundcr'd in his Pericles, and must not pass." 

Drydcn, in his prologue to Charles Davenant's ' Circe,' in 1675, has tliese lines : — 

" Your Ben and Fletcher, in their first young flight. 
Did no Volpone, nor no Arbaces, write ; 
But hopp'd about, and short excursions made 
From bough to bough, as if they were afraii 
And each was guilty of some slighted maid. 

* Boswell's ' Malone,' vol. iii. p. 3i9. 


Shakspcai-es own Muse his Pericles first bore; 
The Prince of Tyre was elder than the Moor. 
'T is miracle to see a first good play : 
All hawthorns do not bloom on Christmas-day.'' 

The mention of Shakspere as the author of Pericles ia the poems printed in 1G4G and 
16-52 may in some respect be called traditionary; for the play was not printed after 
1G3.5 till it appeared in the folio of IGO-t. Dryden, most probably, read the play in that 
folio edition. In 1691 Langbaine receives the play without any doubt of the authorship ; 
but he also accepts, as written by Shal<.spere, the sis other (doubtful plays which appeared 
in the folio of 1661. On the other hand, Gildon, in 1709, in liis remarks subjoined to 
Rowe's edition, treats Pericles as a genuine play by Shakspere ; but of the six other 
ascribed plays he says, they " are none of Shakespeare's, nor have anything in them to 
give the least gro\ind to think them his." Rowe himself speaks more cautiously : " It is 
owned that some part of Pericles certainly was written by him, particularly the last act." 
Before we proceed to the internal evidence of the authenticity of Pericles, it will be 
necessary to ascertain the date of its production. Tlie title-page of the first edition calls 
it " The late and much admired play." In modern phraseology " the late " would be 
the new or the recent. That edition was printed in 1609. The play was entered at 
Stationers' Hall in 1608. There are other circumstances leading to the belief that, 
about the period of its publication, Pericles was a new play, in some sense of the word. 
Malone has extracted six lines from a metrical pamphlet entitled ' Pimlyco,' which he 
originally thought was printed in 1596, but subsequently found bore tlie date of 1609. 
They are as follow : — 

'• Amazed I stood, to see a crowd 
Of civil throats sti-etch'd out so loud : 
As at a new play, all the rooms 
Did swarm with gentles mis'd with grooms ; 
So that I truly thought all these 
Came to see Shore or Pericles." 

Malone quotes these lines, not to fix the date of tlie play, but to sliow that it is mentioned 
"asa very popular performance." Mr. Collier holds that this passage from ' Pimlyco ' 
is decisive as to the date : " In this year (1609) it is actually spoken of by the anonymous 
author of Pimlyco, or Runne Red-cap, as a new play."* Receiving, as Mr. Collici 
does, the metrical tract of ' Pimlyco' as first published in 1609 (althongh Malone says 
" it might have been a republication "), there is a very obvious question suggested by 
the last of these six lines, which Mr. Collier has not adverted to in the elaborate parti- 
culars which he has so industriously collected on the subject of Pericles. Tliat question 
is tins — Was Shore as well as Pericles a new plat/ in 1609 1 Mr. Collier shall himself 
answer that question in his extracts from, and observations upon, Henslowe's Diar}', 
preserved at Dulwich College, which Malone had previously noticed : — " The ' Jam 
Shore,' assigned to Chettle and Day in January, 1601-2, was only a, revival of an older 
play, as Henslowe then gave forty shillings to those poets, in order that ' the booke of 
Slioare ' might be 'now newly written for the Earl of Worcester's players.' "t In 
Malone the entry stands under date March, 1602-3 : "Jane Shore, by Henry Chettle 
and John Day." Here we have the unquestionable fact that in 1602, or in 1603, 
Shore' was brought out by Henry Chettle and John Day ; and yet in 1609, if the date 
of ' Pimlyco ' is to be relied upon, it was a new play. What, then, is the argument 
worth, that the lines in ' Pimlyco' show that Pericles was first produced in or about 

* 'Farther Particulars,' &c., p. 31. t ' History of Dramatic Poetry,' p. 91. 

Si'P. Vol. I 113 


1G09? "Tlie anonymous autlior of Pimli/co, or Runne Red-cap;' lias proved too 
rnucli. Is the entry iit Stationers' Hall in 1 G08 more decisive 1 We think not ; for the 
first entry of Romeo and Juliet, printed in 1507, is made in 1606, at which time the 
entry was also made of Love's Labour 's Lost, printed in 1598. Is the expression upon 
the title-page of 1609. "The late and mucli admired play," more decisive? We tliiuk 
not. For in the edition of 1610 it is still " The late and much admired playj" in 1630 
still the same • in 1635 still the same. If the evidence of 'Pimlyco' had not broken 
down, the collateral evidence of the entry at Stationers' Hall, and of the title-page of 
1609, might have strengthened that direct tostimon)-. Of themselves they prove little. 
Tlie first known edition of Titus Andronicus bears the date of 1600 ; and of that edition 
only one copy is supposed to be in existence. But Laugbainc, a hundred and fifty years 
ago, mentions a copy bearing the date of 1594. The date of 1600, therefore, is no 
evidence as to the date of the play's production. So it may be with the Pericles of 1609 ; 
for " the late " upon that title-page might have been copied from some previous edition 
now lost ; as the title-page of that of 1619 was a copy of that of 1609. B>it Mr. Collier 
lias one other witness to produce : " I think the piece of evidence I am now about to 
introduce must be considered decisive. It is a prose novel, founded upon Shakespeare's 

Pericles, iu consequence, in all lilccliliood, of the great run it was experiencing 

It must have been hastily put together, and published while Pericles was enjoying 
extraordinary popularity, iu order to forestal the appearance of the printed play, because 
Nat. Butter, the bookseller, hoped to derive a profit from the desire of people to read a 
story which on the stage was so remarkably attractive. Had the play not then been a nex'.< 
production, ax\di had it not been 'fortunate' by being performed in ' oft-crammed theatres,' 
Butter would have had no inducement to enter into the speculation." Mr. C'olher then 
subjoins the title-page, which we copy : ' The Painfull Aduentures of Pericles Prince of 
Tyre. Being the true History of the Play of Pericles, as it was lately presented by the 
worthy and ancient poet John Gower. At London. Printed by T. P. for Nat : Butter. 
1608.' Although we admit that there cannot be a doubt tliat this remarkable tract is, 
as it professes to be, "A true history of the Play of Pericles" — that is, a reduction of 
the play into a story-book — we ai-e sceptical enough not to receive the other words of 
that title-page, " as it was lately presented," as an absolute proof tliat the play was then 
a new production. The play was popular as an acting drama a hundred years after this. 
Pericles was one of Betterton's flxvoiarite parts. In 1629, when Jouson wrote liis flimous 
ode, " Come, leave the loathed stage," he adverts to Pericles as a play so popular thnt it 
keiit the stnci-o tn the exclusion of what he considered better performances : — 

" No dovibt some mouldy tale, 

Like Pericles, and stale 
A.s tlie sbiieve's crusts, and nasty as his fisli,— 
Scraps oiit of every dish. 

Thrown forth, and rali'd into the conunon tub,— 
May keep up the Play-club. 

There, sweeping.s do as well 

As the best-order'd meal ; 
For who the relish of these guests will fit, 
Needs set them but the alms-basket of wit." 

In Owen Feltham's Answer to Jonson's Ode, Pericles is again mentioned, with an 
iufereuce that its plot is offensive to a critical judgment ; — 

" Your jests so nominal 
Are things so far beneath an able brain, 
As they do throw a stain 


Through all th' unlikely plot, aud do displease 
As deep as Pericles." 

Wo hold, therefore, that if Butter's story-book had borne the same date ai Pavier's thinl 
edition of Pericles, name!}', 1G19, in the same way that the continued popularity of 
Pericles demanded that third edition, and allowed it to be called " the late aud much- 
admired play," so the story-book might even then have said, ' The true History of the 
Play of Pericles, as it 7vas lately presented.' By parity of reasoning, the story-book of 
1G09 might have reference to a play which was a new play in 1G02, according to the 
testimony of that honest witness, ' Pimlyco,' who tells us that he was in a crowd where 
gentlemen were mixed with grooms, as though they came to see a new play, ' Shore,' or 
' Pericles.' That other unexceptionable witness, !Mi-. Henslowe, Ave have called to prove 
that 'Shore' was a new play in 1602. We therefore cannot receive the indirect testimony 
that Pericles was a new play in 1609, anymore than we .should receive the same testimony 
that ' Shore ' was a new play in 1609. 

But what, in the natural construction of the language of the writer of ' Pimlyco,' was 
a new p/ai/ I ■ Shore ' and ' Pericles,' according to him, are new play.s. But Hen.sIowe 
has left it upon record that in 1602 he gave the large sum of forty shillings to two poets, 
that "the book of Shoare might be now newly written." There was an old book of 
' Shoi'c,' then, which was to be modernized, — in which the action, probably, was to be 
kept, but the dialogue was to be rendered acceptable to a more critical aiidieuce than had 
been Aimiliar with it in its original state. In this sense of the word was ' Shore ' a new 
play. It is in this sense of the word that Pericles, whether produced when ' Shore ' was 
produced, or some seven years later, was a new play. In our original Introductory 
Notice to The Two Gentlemen of Verona we incidentally mentioned our belief that 
Pericles was a very early play of Shakspere's, saying, " We have Drj-den's evidence that 

' Shakspeare's own muse his Pericles first bore.' " 

Mr. Collier has been kind enough to notice this opinion; although, of course, he diflers 
from us : '■ Malone was mistaken in supposing that there was an older edition of 'Pimlyco'' 
than tliat of 1G09. It was then first published, and not in 1596. If Pericles had been 
produced- before 1590, as the Editor of the ' Pictorial ShaJcspere ' conjectures, it would 
not have been mentioned as a new play even in 1596, much less in 1609." * But 'Shore' 
was " mentioned as a new play ; " and we know that it was not a new play, in the strict 
sense of the term. The parts that were " now newly written " of Pericles might have 
entitled it to be called a new play; just as the parts "now newly written" of 'Shore' 
might have entitled that to be called a new play. We hold it to be impossible that 
Shakspere could have written Pericles, for the first time, in the seventeenth century , 
although he then might have written parts of it for the first time. This opinion is not 
manifestly inconsistent with our former and our continued belief in what Mr. Collier 
calls '■ Dryden's obiter dictum" that 

'■ Shakspeare's own muse his Pericles first bore." 

Mr. Collier says, "I do not at all rely upon Dryden's evidence forther than to establish 
the belief as to the authorship entertained by persons engaged in theatrical affairs after 
the Itestoration." But is such evidence wholly to be despised ? and must the belief be 
necessarily dated "after the Restoration?" Dryden was himself forty -four years of age 
when he wrote the line in question. He Lad been a writer for the stage twelve years. 
He was the friend of Davenant, who wrote for the stage in 1626. Of the 

' 'Farther Particulars,' Note, p. 31, 
I -2 U5 


actors in Sliakspere's plays Dryden himself might have known, when he was a young 
uiaii, — Julm Lowiu, who kept the Three Pigeons inn at Brentford, and died very old, a 
little before the Restoration ; oud Joseph Taylor, who died in 1G53, although, according 
to the tradition of the stage, he was old enough to have played Hamlet imder Sliakspere's 
immediate instruction : and Richard Robinson, who served in the army of Charles I., and 
has an historical importance through having been shot to death by Harrison, after he 
had laid down his arms, with tliis esclamation from the stern republican, " Cursed is ho 
that dotli the work of the Lord negligently." It is impossilsle to doubt, then, that Dryden 
was a competent reporter of the traditions of the stage, and not necessarily of the tradi- 
tions that survived after the Restoration. We can picture the young poet, naturally 
anxious to approach as closely to Shakspere as possible, taking a cheerful cup with poor 
Lowin in his humble inn, and listening to the old man's recital of the recollections of his 
youth amidst those scenes from which he was banished by the violence of civil war and 
the fury of puritanical intolerance. We accept, then, Dryden's assertion with little 
doubt ; and we approach to the examination of the internal evidence of the authenticity 
of Pericles with the conviction that, if it be the work of Shakspere, the foundations of it 
were laid when his art was imperfect, and he laboui-ed somewhat in subjection to the 
influence of those ruder models for which he eventually substituted his own splendid 
examples of dramatic excellence. 

Tliere is a very striking passage in Sidney's ' Defence of Poesy,' which may be taken 
pretty accurately to describe the infancy of the dramatic art in Englau'l, being written 
some four or five years befoi'e we can trace any connexion of Shakspere with the stage. 
The passage is long, but it is deserving of attentive consideration : — 

" But they will say, how then shall we set forth a story which contains both many 
places and many times 1 And do they not know that a tragedy is tied to the laws of 
Poesy, and not of History, not bound to follow the story, but having liberty either to 
feign a quite new mattei', or to frame the history to the most tragical convenience ? 
Again, man}' things may be told which cannot be showed : if they know the difference 
betwixt reporting and representing. As for example, I may speak, though I am here, of 
Peru, and in speech digress from that to the description of Calecut : but in action I 
cannot represent it without Pacolet's horse. And so was the manner the ancients took 
by some JVuntiiis, to recount things done in former time, or other place. 

" Lastly, if they will represent an History, they must not (as Horace saith) begin 
above, but they must come to the principal point of that one action wliieh they will 
represent. By example this will be best expressed. I have a story of young Polydorus, 
delivered, for safety's sake, with great riches, by his father Priamus, to Polymnestor 
king of Thrace, in the Trojan war time. He, after some years, hearing of the overthrow 
of Priamus, for to make the treasure his own, murthereth the cliild ; the body of tlie 
child is taken up ; Hecuba, she, the same day, findeth a sleight to be revenged most 
cruelly of the tyrant. Where, now, would one of our tragedy-writers begin, but with 
the delivery of the child ? Then should he sail over into Thrace, and to spend I know 
not how many years, and travel numbers of places. But wliere doth Euripides 1 Even 
with the finding of the body, leaving the rest to be told by the spirit of Polydorus. This 
needs no farther to be enlarged ; the dullest wit may conceive it." 

Between this notion which Sidney had formed of the propriety of a tragedy which should 

understand "the difference betwixt reporting and representing," there was a long space to 

be travelled over, before we should arrive at a tragedy which should make the whole 

action manifest, and keep the interest alive from the first line to the last, without any 



"reporting" at all. When Hamlet and Othello aud Lear were perfected, this culminating 
point of the dramatic art had been reached. But it is evident that Sidney described a 
state of things in which even the very inartificial expedient of uniting description with 
representation had not been thoroughly understood, or at least had not been generally 
practised. The " tragedy- writers " begin with the delivery of the young Polydorus, aud 
travel on with him from place to place, till his final murder. At this point Euripides 
begins the story, leaving something to be told by the spirit of Polydorus. It is not diffi- 
cult to conceive a young dramatic poet looking to something beyond the "tragedy-writers" 
of his own day, and, upon taking up a popular story, inventing a machinery for "report- 
ing," which should emulate the ingenious device of Euripides in making the ghost of 
Polydorus briefly tell the histoiy which a ruder stage would have exhibited in detail. 
There was a book no doubt familiar to that young poet; it was the 'Confessio Amantis, 
the Confessyon of the Louer,' of John Gower, printed by Caxton in 1493, and by Berthelet 
in 1532 and 1554. That the book was popular, the fact of the publication of three 
editions in little more than half a century will sufficiently manifest. That it was a book 
to be devoured by a youth of poetical aspirations, who can doubt ? That a Chaucer and 
a Gower were accessible to a young man educated at the grammar-school at Stratford we 
may readily believe. That was not a day of rare copies; the bountiful press of the early 
English printers was for the people, and the people eagerly devoured the intellectual food 
which that press bestowed upon them. ' Appollinus, The Prince of Tyr,' is one of the 
most sustained, and, perhaps, altogether one of the most interesting, of the old narratives 
which Gower introduced into the poetical form. What did it matter to the young and 
enthusiastic reader that there were Latin manuscripts of this story as early as the tenth 
century; that there is an Anglo-Saxon version of it; that it forms one of the most elabo- 
rate stories of the ' Gesta Eomanorum 1 ' What does all this matter even to us, with 
regard to the play before us ? Mr. Collier says, " The immediate source to which Shake- 
speare resorted was probably Laurence Twine's version of the novel of ' AppoUonius King 
of Tyre,' which first came out in 157 G, and was afterwards several times reprinted. I 
have before me an edition without date, ' Imprinted at London by Valentine Simmes for 
the Widow Newman,' which very likely was that used by our great dramatist." * Mr. 
Collier has reprinted this story of Laurence Twine with the title — 'AppoUonius, Prince 
of Tyre ; upon which Shakespeare founded Pericles.' We cannot understand this. We 
have looked in vain throughout this story to find a single incident in Pericles, suggested 
by Twine's relation, which might not have been equally suggested by Gower's poem. 
We will not weary our readers, therefore, with any extracts from this narrative. That 
the author of Pericles had Gower in his thoughts, and, what is more important, that he 
felt that his audience were familiar with Gower, is, we think, sufficiently apparent. Upon 
what other principle can Gower perpetually take up the dropped threads of the action ? 
Upon what other principle are the verses spoken by Gower, amounting to several hundred 
lines, formed upon a careful imitation of his stjde ; so as to present to an audience at the 
latter end of the sixteenth centui'y some notion of a poet about two centuries older 1 It 
is perfectly evident to us that Gower, and Gower only, was in the thoughts of the author 
of Pericles. 

We call the play before us by the name of Pericles, because it was so called in the 
first rudely printed copies, and because the contemporaries of the writer, following the 
printed copies, so called it in their printed books. But Malone has given us an epigram 
of Richard Flecknoe, 1670, ' On the Play of the Life of Pyrocles.' There can be littb 

♦ ' Farther Particulars,' p. 3(3. 


doubt, we thiuk, as Steeveus has very justly argued, that Pyrocles was the uauie of the 
hero of this jjlay. For who was Pyrocles 1 The hero of Sidney's ' Arcadia.' Steeveus 
says, " It is remarkable that mauy of our aucient writers were ambitious to exhibit Sidney's 
wurtliies on tlie stage ; and wlieu his subordinate agents were advanced to sucli lionour, 
liow happened it that Pyrocles, their leader, should be overlooked ? " To a young poet, 
wiio, probably, had access to the ' Arcadia,' in manuscript, before its j)ublicatiou in 1590, 
the name of Pyrocles would naturally present itself as worthy to succeed the somewhat 
unmanageable Appollinus of Gower ; and that name would recommend itself to an 
audience who, if they were of the privileged circles, suoli as the actors of the Blackfriars 
often addressed, were fiimiliar with tlie 'Arcadia' before its publication. After 1590 tlie 
'Ai'cadia' was the most popular work of the age. 

It will be seen, then, that we advocate the belief that ' Pyrocles,' or ' Pericles,' was a 
very early work of Shakspere, in some form, however, difterent from that which we possess. 
Tliat it was an early work we are constrained to believe ; not from the evidence of ])arti- 
cular i^assages, wliich may be deficient in power or devoid of refinement, but from tlie 
entire construction of the dramatic action. The play is essentially one of movement, 
wliioh is a great requisite for dramatic success ; but that movement is not held in sub- 
jection to an unity of idea. The writer, in constructing the plot, had not arrived to a 
perfect conception of the principle " That a tragedy is tied to the laws of Poesy, and not 
of History, not bound to follow the story, but having liberty either to feign a quite new 
matter, or to frame the historj' to the most tragical convenience." But with this essential 
disadvantage we cannot doubt that, even with very imperfect dialogue, the action pre- 
sented a succession of scenes of very absorbing interest. The introduction of Gower, 
however inartificial it may seem, was tlie result of very profound skill. The presence of 
Cower supjilied the luiity of idea wdiieh the desultory nature of the story wanted ; and 
tluis it is tliat; in "the true history" formed upon the play which Mr. Collier has analysed, 
the unity of idea is kept in the expression of the title-page, '• as it was lately presented 
by tlie worthy and ancient poet, John Gower." Nevertheless, such a story we believe 
could uot have been chosen by Shakspere in the seventeenth century, when his art was 
fully developed in all its wondrous powers and combinations. With his perfect mastery 
of the faculty of representing, instead of recording, the treatment of a story which would 
have required perpetual explanation and connexion would have been painful to him, if 
not impossible. 

Dr. Drake has bestowed very considerable attention upon tlie endeavour to prove that 
Pericles ought to be received as the indisputable work of Shakspere. Yet his arguments, 
after all, amount only to the establishment of the following theory : " No play, in iaot, 
more openly discloses the hand of Shakspeare than Pericles, and fortunately his share in 
its composition appears to have been very considerable ; he maj'be distinctly, though not 
frequently, traced, in the first and second acts ; after which, feeling the incompttenoj of 
his fellow-labourer, he seems to have assumed almost the entire management of the re- 
mainder, nearly the whole of the third, fourth, and fifth acts bearing indisputable testi- 
mony to the genius and execution of the great master." * This theory of companionship 
in the production of tlie play is merely a repetition of the theory of Stccvens : '• The 
purpurei panni are Shakspeare's, and the rest the productions of some inglorious and for- 
gotten playwright." We have no faith whatever in this very easy mode of disposing of 
the authorship of a doubtful play — of leaving entirely out of view the most important 
part of every drama, its action, its characterization, looking at the whole merely as a coi- 


■ Sliakspeare and his Times,' vol. ii. p. 268. 


k'l-tiou of passages, of which the worst aru to be assigued to some dme damiiee, and the 
best trhimphautly claimed for Shakspere. There are some, liowever, who judge of sucli 
matters upon broader principles. Mr. Hallam says, " Pericles is generally reckoned to 
be in part, and only iu part, the work of Shakspeare. From the poverty and bad mana"-c- 
meut of the fable, the want of any effective or distinguishable character, for Marina is ncj 
more than the common form of female virtue, sucli as all the dramatists of that age could 
draw, and a general feebleness of the tragedy as a whole, I should not believe the structure 
to have been Shakspeare's. But many passages are far more in his manner than in that 
of any contemporary writer with whoia T am acquainted." * Here "the poverty and bad 
management of the fable " — " the want of any effective or distinguishable character," are 
assigned for the belief that the structure could not have been Shakspere's. Bat let us 
accept Dryden"s opinion that 

" yhakspeare's owu luuse hid Pericles fiist bore," 

with reference to the original structure of the play, and the difficulty \auishes. It was 
impossible that the character of the early drama shoidd not have been impressed npou 
Siiakspere's earliest efforts. Sidney has given us a most di.stiuct description of that drama; 
and we can thus understand how the author of Pericles improved upon what ho found. 
Do we therefore think that the drama, as it lu\s come down to us, is presented iu the form 
iu which it was first written ? By no means. We agree with Mr. Hallam that in parts 
the language seems rather that of Shakspere's '-.second or third manner than of his first." 
But this belief is not inconsistent with the opinion that the original structure was Siiak- 
spere's. No other poet that existed at the beginning of the seventeenth century — perhap.s 
no poet that came after that period, whether Massinger, or Fletcher, or Webster — could 
have written the greater part of tiic fifth act. Coarse as the comic scenes are, tliere are 
touches in them unlike any other writer but Sliakspere. Horn, with the eye of a real 
critic, pointed out the deep poetical profundity of one apparently slight passage in 
these unpleasant scenes : — 

•' Mai: Are you a woman ? 
Baxcd. What would you have me be, au I be uot a woman? 
Mar. An honest u-uinon, or not a woman." 

Touches such as these are uot put into tlie work of other men. Who but Shakspere 
could have written 

'■ The bliud mole easts 
Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is throug'd 
By man's oppression ; and the poor worm doth die for 't." 

And yet this passage comes naturally enough in a speech of no very high excellence. 
The purjmrei panni must be fitted to a bod}-, as well for use as for adornment. We think 
that Shakspere would uot have taken the trouble to produce these costly robes for the 
decoration of what another had essentially created. We are willing to believe that, even 
in the very height of his fame, he would have bestowed any amount of labour for the 
improvement of an early production of his o\vn, if the taste of his audieuces had from 
time to time demanded its continuance upon the stage. It is for this reason that we 
think that the Pericles of the beginning of the seventeeuth century was the revival of a 
play written by Shakspere some twenty years earlier. 

" ' Hi.-itory of Literature,' vol. iii. p. 5(39. 




This play was first priuted iu 1034, with the fullowing title : — 'The Two Noble Kiusmeu : [ire- 
seated at the Elaekfiiers by the King'rf Hajesties servants, with great applause ; written by tlie 
memorable Worthies cf their Time, Mr. John Fletcher, and Mr. William Shakspeare, Gent. 
Printed at London, by The. Cotes, for John ■VVaterson, and are to be sold at the signe of the 
Crowne, in Paul's Church-Yard, 1634.' In the first folio edition of the works of Beaumont and 
Fletcher, iu 1647, this play did not appear. In the second folio it is reprinted, with very slight 
alterations from the quarto. That second folio contains the following notice:— "In this edition 
you have the addition of no fewer than seventeen plays more than were in the former, which we 
have taken the pains and care to collect, and print out of 4to. iu this volume, which for distinction 
sake are marked with a star in the catalogue of them facing the first page of the book." — {Prefucc) 
The Two Noble Kinsmen is so marked. 

^Vithout prejudging the question as to Shakspere's participation iu the authorship of The T\\\j 
Noble Kinsmen, we have thought it the most satisfactory course to print the play entire. The 
reader will be better prepared for entering upon the examination of the authorship, after its 
perusal ; and we think that in itself it will abundantly repay him. "We hardly need an apology 
for this course, when Coleridge has said, " I can scarcely retain a doubt as to the first act's bavmg 
been written by Shakspeare ; " and when Charles Lamb says, " That Fletcher should have copied 
Shikspeare's manner in so many entii'e scenes (which is the theory of Steevens) is nut very 
probable; that he cuidd liave d^iuc it v ith such facility is, to me, not certain." 



IiiEsEL^s, Diilic of Alliens. 

Palamon, \ TheTwo Noble Kinsmen, ih .3i« 

Arcite, I ivilh Emilia. 

Perithuus, an ycncral. 

\'Ar,ERius, a Tlieban nobleman. 

AuTEsiirs, ffii Athenian Capliiiu. 

Six vali'iiil Kuiijhts. 



Wooer lo ihc Gaulcr'ft DaiylUei'. 

Doc lor. 

vllicr, 1 , , „ , 

<o Ihf Gaoler. 


Fr lands, 

(JERROLD, a school nuistcr. 

IIirroLYTA, Lritie to Thcseiis, 

Emilia, her sislcr. 

Three Queens. 

Gaoler's Danl/tcr, in lore uiih Palan;un. 

Scrvanl lo Em lin. 

-■* Taborcr, Cnunlnjmen, Soniiers, N^m^Ke, 


SCENE,— Athens; <in,l in hort ..] the 

Fiisl .li-r, Triinis. 



EiUer Hymen, wUh a torch burning ; a Boy, hi 
a white role, before^ siytr/ivg and drewing 
flowers ; after Hymen, a Nymph, encom- 
pansetl in her tresses, bearing a whcaten gar- 
land ; then Theseus, between two other 
Nymplis, with wheaten chaplets on their 
heads; then Hippolyta, the bride, led hg 
Perithous, and another holding a garland 
over her head, her tresses likewise hanging ; 
after her, Emilia, holding 7fp her trains 

Hoses, tlieir sharp spines being gone, 
Not royal in their smells aloiif, 

But in their hue ; 
Maidei-pinks of odour faint, 
Daisies smell-less, yet most (luaint, 

And sweet thyme true. 

^ This is the original stage-direction; with the exception 
tliat Hippolytfi, by a manifest error in the oUl copies, is led 
b; Theseus. 

Primrose, first-born child of Vc, 
Merry spring-time's liarbinger, 

With lier bells dim ; 
Oxlips in their cradles growing, 
Marigolds on death-beds blowing, 

Larks'-heels trim. 

All, dear Nature's children sweet, 
I-ie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet, 

Blessing their sense ! [Slrcw Jlowe:-s. 

Not an angel of the air, a 
Bird melodious, or bird fair, 

Beb absent hence. 

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor 
The boding raven, nor chough hoar.e 

Nor chatt'ring pie, 
iMay on our bridehouse perch or sing, 
Or with them any discord bring, 

But from it llyl 

n Jn^eMs used for bird. Dekker calls the Roman M^r* 
' the Boman anycL'^—Gifford's Massinger, vol. i. ]). .'16. 

^ Be. The early copies, is. 

^ Clnttgh he is the reading of the old editions. 


Act I.] 



Enter three Queens, m black, with reils stained, 
with imperial crowns. The first Queen fulls 
down at the foot of Thesetjs ; the second falls 
down at the foot of Hippolyta ; the third 
before Emilia. 

1 Queen. For pity's sake, and true geutilitj's, 
Heai', and respect me! 

2 Queen. For your mother's sake, 

And as you wish your \iomb may thrive with 

fair ones, 
Hear, and respect me ! 

3 Queen. Now for tlie love of him whom .love 

hath mark'd 
The honour of your bed, and for the sake 
Of clear virginity, be advocate 
For us, and our distresses I This good deed 
Shall raze you out o' the book of trespasses 
All you are set down there. 

Thes. Sad lady, rise ! 

Hip. Stand up ! 

ISini. No knees to me ! 
Wiat woman I may stead that is disiress'd. 
Does bind me to her. 

Thcs- What 's your request ? Deliver you for 

1 Queen. We are three queens, whose sove- 
reigns fell before 
The \n-ath of cruel Creon ; who endure 
The beaks of ravens, talons of the kites. 
And pecks of crows, in the foul fields of Thebes. 
He will not sutler us to burn their bones. 
To urn their ashes, nor to take th' offence 
Of mortal loaihsomeucss from the blcss'd eye 
Of holy riiGcbus, but infects the winds 
With stench of our slain lords. Oh, pity, dvikc ! 
Tliou purgcr of the earth, ckaw thy fcar'd sword, 
That docs good turns to the world; give us the 

Of our dead kings, that we may chapel them; 
And, of thy boundless goodness, take some note 
That for ovu' cro\vned heads we have no roof 
Save this, which is the lion's and the bear's. 
And va\dt to everylhiug ! 

Thes. Pray you kneel not : 
I was transported with your speech, and snfi'er'd 
I'onr knees to \\rong themselves. I have heard 

the fortunes 
Of your dead lords, which gives mo such la 

As wakes my vengeance and revenge for them. 
King Capanciis was your lord: the day 
That he should marry you, at such a season 
As now it is with me, I met your groom 
By Mars's altar ; you were that time fi'ir, 

Not Juno's mantle faii'cr than yoiu' tresses. 
Nor in more bounty spread her ; your wheal rn 

Was then nor thresh'd nor blasted ; Fortune at 

Dimpled her cheek with sniUcs ; Hercules or.r 

(Then weaker than your eyes) laid by his clul). 
He tumbled down upon his Nemean hide, 
And swore his sinews thaw'd: oli, grief and 

Fearfid consumers, you will all devour ! 

1 Queen. Oh, I hope some god. 
Some god hath put his mercy in your manhood. 
Whereto he'U infuse power, and press you forth 
Our undertaker! 

Thes. Oh, no knees, none, widow ! 

Unto the helmctcd Bellona use them. 
And pray for me, your soldier. — Troubled I am. 

[Turns aicnj/. 
3 Queen. Honour'd Hippolyta, 
Most dreaded Amazonian, that hast slain 
The seythe-tusk'd boar; that, with thy arm as 

As it is white, wast near to make the male 
To thy sex captive; but that this thy lord 
(Born to upuold creation in that honour 
Fu"st natiu'c styl'd it in) shrmik thee into 
The bound thou wast o'erflowing, at once sub- 
Thy force and thy affection ; soldiercss. 
That equally canst poise sternness with pity. 
Who now, I know, hast much more power en 

Than ever ho had on thee ; who ow'st his 

And liis love too, who is a servant for 
The tenor of thy speech ; dear glass of ladies. 
Bid him that we, whom flaming war dofh scorch, 
"Under the shadow of his sword may cool ns ! 
Bequire him he advance it o'er our heads ; 
Speak 't in a woman's key, like such a woman 
As any of us three ; weep ere you fail ; 
Lend us a knee ; 

But touch the ground for us no longer time 
Tliau a dove's motion, when the head 's phick'tl 

Tell him, if he iu the blood-siz'd field lay 

Showhig the sun his tccfb, grinning at the moon. 
What you woiJd do ! 

Hip. Poor lady, say no more ! 

I had as lief trace this good action with you 
As that wlicreto I 'm going, and never yet 
Went I so willing way. !My lord is taken 

A:t :.i 



Hc;irt-dccp with jouv distress: let liiin consider; 
I '11 speak anon. 

3 Queen. Oh, my petition was 

\_Kueeh to Emilia. 
Set down in ice, which by hot grief uuoandied 
Melts into droi)S ; so sorrow wantmg form 
Is press'd with deeper matter. 

Ei,n. Pi'iiy stand np ; 

Your grief is written in your cheek. 

3 Queen. Oh, woe ! 

You cannot read it there; there tlu-o\igh my 

Like wi'inkled pebbles in a glassy stream, 
You may behold them 1 Lady, lady, alack. 
He that will all the treasiu'e know o' the earth. 
Must knov/ the centre too ; he that will fish 
For my least minnow, let him lead his line 
To catch one at my heart. Oh, pardon me ! 
Extremity, that sharpens suudry wits. 
Makes nie a fool. 

Fiiii. Pray you, say nothing ; pray you! 

Who cannot feel nor see the rain, being in 't, 
Knows npithor wet nor dry. If that you 

The ground-piece of some painter, I would buy 

To instruct me 'gainst a capital grief indeed ; 
(Such heart-picrc'd demonstration !) but, alas. 
Being a natural sister of our sex, 
Yom' sorrow beats so ardently upon mc. 
That it sluiU make a counter-reflect 'gainst 
Jly brother's lieart, and warm it to some pity 
Though it were made of stone : pray have good 
comfort ! 

] lies. Forward to the temple ! leave not out 
a jot 
Of the sacred ceremony. 

1 Queen. Oh, this celebration 

Will longer last, and be more costly, than 
I'our suppliants' war! Eemember that your 

Knolls in the ear o' tlie world : what you do 

Is uot done rashly ; your first thought is more 
Than others' labour'd meditance; your preme- 
More than then' actions ; but (oh, Jove !) your 

Soon as they move, as ospreys do the fish. 
Subdue before they touch : think, dear duke, 

What Ijcds our slain kings have ! 

3 Queen. What griefs oui- beds, 

That om- dear lords have none 1 

3 Queen, None fit for the dead ! 

Those that with cords', knives', drams' preeipi- 

Weary of this world's light, have to themselves 
Been death's most horrid agents, human grace 
Affords them dust and shadow. 

I Queen. But our lords 

Lie blistering 'fore the visitating sun. 
And were good kings when Ii\iug. 

'I/ies. It is true : and I ^^•ill give you comfort. 
To give your dead lords graves : 
The which to do must make some work with 

1 Queen. And that work now presents i'self 

to the doing : 
Now 't will take form ; tlic heats are gone to- 
morrow ; 
Then bootless toil must recompense itself 
With its own sweat ; now he is secure. 
Not dreams we stand before your puissance, 
Emsing our holy begging in our eyes. 
To make petition clear. 

2 Queen. Now you may take liini, 
Drunlc with his victory. 

3 Queen. And his army full 
Of bread and sloth. 

Tlies. Ai'tesius, that best kuow'st 

How to di-aw out, fit to this enterprise 
The prim'st for this proceeding, and the nmnljcr 
To carry such a business ; forth and levy 
Our worthiest instruments ; whilst we despnteli 
This grand act of our life, this daring deed 
Of fate in wedlock ! 

1 Queen. Dowagers, take hands ! 
Let us be widows to our woes I Delay 
Commends us to a famishing hope. 

All. Farewell ! 

2 Queen. We come unseasonably; but Avhon 

could grief 
GUI forth, as unpang'd judgment can, fitt'st lime 
For best soKcitation ? 

Tlies. Why, good ladies. 

This is a service, whereto I am going. 
Greater than any war;'' it more imports me 
Than all the actions that I have foregone. 
Or futui'ely can cope. 

1 Queen. The more proclaiming 

Our suit shall be neglected : when her arms. 
Able to lock Jove from a synod, shall 
By warranting moonlight corslet thee, oh, when 
Her twiimhig cherries shall their sweetness fall' 

^ This is usuaUy printed^ 

"Those that with corils, knives, drams, precipitance." 
We receive "cords," &c., as genitive cases to "precipi- 

b War. The early copies, was, 

'^ Fall — an active verb, 


..CI I.] 


[SCESE 11. 

Upon thy tasteful lips, what wilt thou thiuk 
Of rotten kings or blubber'd queens ? what care 
For what thou feel'st not, wliat thou feel'st being 

To make Mars spurn his drum ? Oh, if thou 

But one night with her, every hour in 't will 
Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and 
Thou shalt remember nothing more than what 
That banquet bids thee to. 

Hip. Though much unUke 

You should be so transported, as much sorry 
I should be such a suitor ; yet I think 
Did I not, by the abstaining of my joy, 
Wliioli breeds a deeper longing, cure their sur- 
That craves a present medicine, I should pluck 
All ladies' scandal on me : therefore, sir. 
As I shall here make trial of my prayers. 
Either presuming them to have some force. 
Or sentencing for aye their vigour dumb. 
Prorogue this business we are going about, and 

Your shield afore your heart, about that neck 
Which is my fee, and which I freely lend 
To do these poor queens service ! 

All Queens. Oh, help now ! 

Our cause cries for your knee. [To Emilia. 

End. If you grant not 

My sister her petition, in that force. 
With that celerity and natiu'e, which 
She makes it in, from hencefortli I '11 not dare 
To ask you anything, nor be so hardy 
Ever to take a husband. 

r/«s. Pray stand up ! 

I am entreating of myself to do 
That whicli you kneel to have me. Perithous, 
Lead on the bride. Get you and pray the gods 
For success and return ; omit not anything 
In the pretended celebration. Queens, 
Follow your soldier, as before ; hence you. 
And at the banks of Aulis meet us with 
The forces you can raise, where we shall find 
The moiety of a nmnber, for a business 
More bigger look'd. — Since that our theme is 

I stamp this kiss ujion thy currant lip ; 
Sweet, keep it as my token. Set you forward ; 
For I will see you gone. 

iKxit Artesits. 
Farewell, my beauteous sister ! I'crithous, 
Keep the feast fidl ; bate not an hour on 't ! 

Per. Sir, 

I 'U follow you at heels : the feast's solemnity 
Sliall want till your return. 

T/ies. Cousin, I charge you 

Budge not from Athens ; we shall be returning 
Ere you can end tliis feast, of which, I pray you, 
Make no abatement. Once more, farewell all ! 

1 Qiicfti. Thus dost thou still make good the 

tongue o' the world. 

2 Queen. Aud earn'st a deity equal with Mars. 

3 Queen. If not above liim ; for. 

Thou, being but mortal, mak'st aifeetions bend 
To godlike honours ; they themselves, some say. 
Groan uuder such a mastery. 

Tlies. As we are men. 

Thus should we do ; being sensually subdued. 
We lose our human title. Good cheer, ladies ! 

Now turn we towards yom' comforts. [Exeunt. 


Enter Palamon and Abcite. 

Are. Dear Palamon, dearer in love than blood. 
And our prime cousin, yet uuhai'den'd in 
The crimes of nature ; let us leave the city, 
Thebes, and the temptiugs in 't, before we further 
Sully our gloss of youth ; 
And here to keep in abstinence w'c shame 
As in incontinence : for not to swim 
In the aid of the current, were almost to sink, 
At least to frustrate striving ; and to follow 
The common stream, 't would bring us to an 

Where we should tiu'u or cbown; if labour 

Our gain but life and weakness. 

Pal. Yom advice 

Is cried up with example : what strange ruins. 
Since first we went to school, may we perceive 
Walking in Thebes I Scars, and bare weeds. 
The gain o' the martialist, who did propound 
To his bold cuds, honour aud golden ingots. 
Which, though he won, he had not ; and now 

By peace, for whom he fought ! Who then shall 

To Mars's so-scorn'd altar ? I do bleed 
When such 1 meet, and wish great Juno woidd 
Resume her ancient fit of jealousy. 
To get the soldier work, that peace might puige 
For her repletion, and retain anew 
Her charitable heart, now hard, and harsher 
Than strife or war coidd be. 

Arc. Ai'e you not out ? 

Meet you no rum but the soldier in 
The cranks and turns of Thebes ? You did begin 
.\s if you met decays of many kinds : 


Perceive you none that do arouse your pity, 
But til' uncoiisider'd soldier ? 

i'"l- Yes ; I pity 

Deeays where'er I find them"; but such most, 
That, sweating in an honom-able toil, 
Are paid witn ice to cool 'em. 

-^'■'■- 'Tisnottliis 

I did begin to speak of; this is virtue 
Of no respect iu Thebes : I spake of Thebes, 
How dangerous, if we will keep our honom-s, 
it is for our residing ; where every evil 
Hath a good colour ; where every seeming good 's 
A certain evil ; where not to be even jump" 
As they are, here were to be strangers, and 
Such things to be mere monsters. 

-f^*'- It is in our power 

(Unless we fear that apes can tutor 's) to 
Be masters of our manners : what need I 
Affect another's gait, which is not catchiug 
Where there is faith ? or to be fond upon 
Another's way of speech, when by mine own 
I may be reasonably conceiv'd ; sav'd too. 
Speaking it truly ? Why am I bound 
By any generous bond to follow him 
Follows his tailor, haply so long until 
The follow'd make pursuit ? Or let me know, 
Wliy mine cvm barber is unbless'd, with him 
My poor chin too, for 't is not soissar'd just 
To such a favourite's glass? What canon is 

That does command my rapier from my hip, 
To dangle 't in my hand, or to go tiptoe 
Before the street be foul ? Either I am 
The fore-horse in the team, or I am none 
That draw i' the sequent trace ! These poor 

slight sores 
Need not a plantain; tliat which rips my bosom 
Almost to the heart's — 
^''^- Our uncle Creon. 

P.//. He, 

A most unbounded tyrant, wliose success 
Makes Heaven unfear'd, and villainy assur'd. 
Beyond its power there 's nothing : almost puts '' 
Faith iu a fever, and deifies alone 
Voluble chance— who only attributes 
The faculties of other instniments 
To his own nerves and act; commands men's 

1 Jump— jxist— exactly. 
'^ Tills passage is ordinarily printed — 
" A most unbounded tyrant, wliose successes 
Make Heaven unfear'd, and villainy assur'd, 
Beyond its power ; there's nothing almost puts," &n. 
Seward suggested tlie punctuation wliicli we have adopted 
in the third line; but by leaving the plural nominative 
successes, he left the remainder of the sentence unintelligible 
—at least to modem readers, wlio require striet grammatical 

Sop. Vol. K 

.'.SCE.Mt II, 

And what they win iu 't, boot and glory too ; 
That fears not to do harm ; good dtires not : let 
The blood of mine that 's sib" to him be suck'd 
From me with leeches : let them break and fall 
Off me with tliat corruption ! 

■^''<:- Clear-spii-ited consul. 

Let's leave his com-t, that we may notliiii" 

Of this loud infamy ; for oui- milk 
Will relish of the pasture, and wc must 
Be vile or disobedient ; not his kinsmen 
In blood, luiless in quality. 

Pal. Nothing truer 

I think the echoes of his shames have deaf'd 
The ears of heav'nly justice : widows' cries 
Descend again into their throats, and have not 
Due audience of the gods. — Valerius ! 

R//er Vaieeius. 

/■"eiL The king calls for you; yet be leaden- 
'Till his great rage be off him. Phoebus, when 
He broke his whipstock, and cxciaiiii'd against 
The horses of the sim, but whisper' d, to 
The loudness of his fm-y. 

Pal. Small winds shake him : 

But what 's the matter ? 

Fal. Theseus (who where lie threats appals) 
hath sent 
Deadly defiance to him, and pronounces 
Ruin to Thebes ; who is at hand to seal 
The promise of his wratli. 

■^'■'^- Let him approach : 

But that we fear the gods in liuu, he brings not 
A jot of terror to us : yet what man 
Thu'ds his own worth (the case is each of oui-s). 
When that his action's di-egg'd with mind assur'd 
'T is bad he goes about ? 

Pel. Leave that um-eason'd ! 

Oiu- services stand now for Thebes, not Creon. 
Yet, to be neutral to him, were dishonour, 
IlebelHous to oppose ; therefore we must 
With hmi stand to the mercy of our fate. 
Who hath bounded our last minute. 

■^''<'- So we must. 

Is 't said this war 's afoot ? or it shall he. 
On fail of some condition ? 

f^al. 'T is in motion ; 

The inteUigcnce of state came in the instant 
With the defier. 

Fal. Let 's to the king ; who, were he 

A quarter carrier of that honom- which 
His enemy comes in, the blood we venture 

■1 5?A— kill. 



Should bo as for our licaltli; which were not 

Rather kid out for pureliase : but, alas. 
Our hands advano'd before cm- hearts, what will 
The ftill o' the stroke do damage ? 

jrc. Let th' event, 

That uever-erring arbitrator, tell us 
■VVlien we know all ourselves ; and let us follow 
The becking of oiu- chanee ! \_E.reiiiit.. 


Enter PERiTnous, Hippolyta, and Emilta. 

Per. No further ! 

Hip. Sir, farewell : Repeat my wishes 

To our great lord, of whose success I dare not 
Make any timorous question; yet 1 wish him 
Excess and overflow of power, an 't might be. 
To dure" ill-dealing fortune. Speed to him ! 
Store never hurts good governors. 

Fei: Though I know 
His ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they 
Must yield their tribute there. My precious 

Those best affections that the Heav'ns infuse 
In their best-temper'd pieces, keep enthron'd 
In your dear heart ! 

jjj^l Thanks, sir. Remember me 

To our all-royal brother ; for whose speed 
The great Bellona I '11 solicit : and 
Since, in om- terrene state, petitions are not 
Witliout gifts understood, I'U offer to her 
What I shall be advis'd she likes. Our hearts 
Are in his army, in his tent. 

jjlp_ In 's bosom. 

We have been soldiers, and we cannot weep 
Wlien our friends don their hehns, or put to sea, 
Or tell of babes broach'd on the lance, or women 
That liave sod their infants in (and after eat 

The brine they wept at killing 'em; then if 
You stay to see of us such spinsters, we 
Should hold vou here for ever. 

p^;._ peace be to you, 

As I pui'sue this war ! wliich shall be thou 
Beyond fm-ther requiring. [Exit. 

Emi. How his longing 

Follows his friend ! Since his depart, his sports, 
Though craving scriou-sness and skill, past 

His careless execution, where nor gain 
Jladc him regard, or loss consider ; but 
Playing oue" business in his hand, another 

» Dure. So Ihe original, for endure. Some read cure; 
others, dare. ^ . - , t 

b One :s suggested by M. Mason. Tl\e original has ere. 




Dircctmg in his head, his mind unrse equal 
To these so diff'riug twins. Have you observ'd 

Since our great lord departed ? 

Hip. With much labour. 

And I did love him for 't. They two have 

In many as dangerous, as poor a corner, 
Peril and want contending; they have skiff'd 
Torrents, whose roaring tyranny and power 
r th' least of these was dreadfiJ : aud they have 
Fought out together, where death's self was 

Yet fate hath brought them off. Their knot of 

Tied, weav'd, entangled, with so true, so long, 
And vrith a finger of so deep a cunning. 
May be outworn, never undone. I tlnnk 
Theseus cannot be iimpire to himself. 
Cleaving his conscience into twain, and doing 
Bach side like justice, which he loves best. 

Emi. Doubtless 

There is a best, and Reason has no maimers 
To say it is not you. I was acquainted 
Once mth a time, when I enjoy'd a playfellow ; 
You were at wars when she the grave enrich' d, 
Who made too proud the bed, took leave o' th' 

(Which then look'd pale at parting) when our 

Was each eleven. 

Hip. 'T was Flavina. 

Ems. Yes. 

You talk of Perithous' and Theseus' love : 
Theirs has more ground, is more maturely 

More buckled with strong judgment, and then- 
The one of th' other may be said to water 
Their hitertangled roots of love ; but I 
And she (I sigh and spoke of) were things inno- 
Lov'd for we did, and hke the elements 
That know not what, nor why, yet do effect 
Rare issues by theii- operancc ; our soids 
Did so to one another : what she hk'd. 
Was then of me approv'd ; what not, eondemn'd. 
No more arraignment ; the flower that I woidd 

And put between my breasts (oh, then but be- 
To swell about the blossom), she would long 
'Till slie had such another, and commit it 
To the like innocent cradle, where phcenix-like 
They died in perfume : on my head no toy 

VT T,l 


[Scene IV' 

But was her pattern ; her affections " (pretty, 
Though happily her careless wear) I follow'd 
For my most serious decking ; had mine ear 
Stol'n some new air, or at adventui'e hunim'd 

From musical coinage, why, it was a note 
Wliereon her spirits would sojourn (rather dwell 

And sing it in her slumbers : tliis rehearsal. 
Which, every innocent wots well, comes in 
Like old importment's bastard, has this end, 
That the true love 'tween maid and maid may 

More than in sex di^•idual. 

Hip. You 're out of breath ; 

And this high-speeded pace is but to say, 
That you shall never, like the maid Flavina, 
Love any that's calFd man. 

Emi. I am sure I shall not. 

Hip. Now, alack, weak sister, 
I must no more believe thee in this point 
(Though in 't I know thou dost believe thyself) 
Than I will trust a sickly appetite. 
That loaths even as it longs. But sure, my 

If I were ripe for your persuation, you 
Have said enough to shake me from the arm 
Of the all-noble Theseus ; for whose fortunes 
I will now in and kneel, with great assui'ance, 
That we, more than his Pcrithous, possess 
The high throne in his heart. 

Emi. I am not against your faith ; yet I con- 
tinue mine. [Exeunt. 


A Battle struck loithin; then a Retreat ; Flourish. 
Then enter Tueseus, victor ; the three Queens 
meet him, and full on their faces before him. 

1 Queen. To thee no star be dark ! 

2 Queen. Both Heav'n and earth 
Friend thee for ever ! 

3 Queen. All the good that may 
Be wish'd upon thy head, I cry ' amen ' to 't ! 

Thes. Th' impartial gods, who from tlie 
mounted heav'ns 
View us their mortal herd, behold who err, 
And in their time chastise. Go, and find out 
The bones of your dead lords, and honour them 
With treble ceremony ; rather than a gap 
Should be in their dear rites, we would supply 't. 
But those we will depute which shall invest 
You in your dignities, and even'' each thing 

^ Affections — wliat she affected— liked, 
b Even — make even. 


Our haste does leave imperfect : so adieu. 

And Ileav'n's good eyes look on you! — AVliat 

are those ? [Eveunt Queens. 

Heralil. Men of great quality, as may be 


By their appointment; some of Thebes have 

told us 
They are sisters' children, ucphews to the king. 
Thes. By th' helm of Mars, I saw them in the 
Like to a pan- of lions, smear'd with prey, 
^lake lanes in troops aghast : I fix'd my note 
Constantly on them ; for they were a mark 
Worth a god's view. What was 't that prisoner 

told me,''' 
When I inquir'd their names ? 

Herald. With leave, they 're call'd 

Arcite and Palamon. 

Thh. 'T is right ; those, those. 

They are not dead ? 

Herald. Nor in a state of hfe : had they been 
When their last hurts were given, 't was pos- 
They might have been recover'd ; yet they 

And have the name of men. 

Thes. Then like men use 'em. 

The very lees of such, millions of rates 
Exceed the wine of others ; all our surgeons 
Convent in their behoof; our richest babns. 
Rather than niggard, waste ! their lives concern 

Much more than Thebes is worth. Rather than 

have them 
Freed of this phght, and in their morning state, 
Sound and at liberty, I would them dead ; 
But, forty thousand fold, we had ratlicr ha\-c 

Prisoners to us than death. Bear 'em spccdUy 
From our kind air (to tlicm uuland), and 

What man to man may do ; for our sake more : 
Since I have known fight's fury, friends' behests, ■ 
Love's provocations, zeal in a mistress' task, 
Desire of liberty, a fever, madness, 
'T hath set a mark which Nature could not 

reach to 
Without some imposition, sickucss in will 
Or wrestling strength in reasou. For our love 
And great Apollo's mercy, all our best 
Their best skill tender I "> — Lead into the city ; 

^ Tliis is Mr. Djce's judicious readiiiff. 

1' Since we ])riiited this play entire in our first edition of 
the Pictorial Sliakspere, Mr. Dyce, in his edition of Beai;- 
mont and Fletclier, has hrouylit a hit'lier critical skill 


t.. T I.] 



Where having bound things scatter'd, we will 

To Athens 'fore our army. [^E.reuiil. 


Enter the Queens loith the Hearses of their 
Husbands, in afuneral sulemnity, ^e. 

Urns and odours bring away, 

Vapours, sighs, darken the day ! 
Our dole more deadly looks than dying ! 

Balms, and gums, and heavy cheers. 

Sacred vials liU'd with tears. 
And clamours, through the wild air flying : 

towards clearing up som«i difficulties of tlie text, tlinn was 
shown by tlie previous editors, Seward and Weber. \\\ tlie 
eiglit lines, beginning "Since r have known," and ending' 
at " tendpr," we have adopted Mr. Dyce's text. 

Come, all sad and solemn shows. 
That are quick-ey'd Pleasure's foe.'; I 
We convent nought else but woes 
We convent, &c. 

3 Queen. This funeral path brings to your 
household's grave : " 
Joy seize on you again I Peace sleep with him ! 

2 Queen. And this to yours ! 

1 Queen. Yours this way ! Heavens lend 

A thousand differing ways to one sure end ! 

3 Queen. This world 's a city, full of straying 

streets ; 
And death 's the market-place, where each one 
meets. [li.reunt sererally. 

^ llousehiiUVs grave. So the quarto. The ordinary reading 
is fioiticliotil ijraves. Each kintt had one grave. 


,m>t„vfi,ii I 


E.Uer Gaoler ami Wooek. 

Gaoler. I may depart with" little, wliile 1 live; 
soraetliiug I may cast to you, not much. Alas, 
the prison I keep, though it be for great ones, 
yet they seldom come : before one salmon, you 
shall take a number o' minnows. I am given 
out to be better lined than it can appear to me 
report is a true speaker : I would I were really 
that I am delivered to be ! Marry, what I 
have (be't what it will) I wiU assure upon my 
daughter at the day o' my death. 

Wooer. Sir, I demand no more than your own 
offer ; and I '11 estate yom- daughter, iu what I 
liave promised. 

Gaolf. Well, we'U talk more of this when 
tie solemnity is past. But have you a full 

a Depart UJiV/i— part with. 

promise uf her ? When that shall be seen, I 
tender my consent. 

Wooer. I have, sii-. Here she comes. 

Enter Daughter. 

Oaoler. Yoiu' friend and I have chanced to 
name you here, on the old business : but no 
more o' that now. So soon as the coui-t-hurry 
is o'er, we '11 have an end of 't , in the mean 
time, look tenderly to the two prisoners ; I can 
tell you they 're princes. 

Daiif/h. These strewings are for their cham- 
ber. It is pity they are in prison, and 't were 
pity they should be out. I do think they have 
patience to make any adversity ashamed : the 
prison itseK is proud of them : and they have 
all the world in their chamber. 

Gaoler. They 're famed to be a paii' of abso- 
lute men. 


Act 111 


[ScEKZ I] 

Ditufjh. By my troth, I tliink fame but stam- 
mers 'cm ; they stand a grice" above the reach of 

Gaoler. I heard them reported, iu the battle 
to be the only doers. 

Dangh. Nay, most likely; for they are uoble 
sufferers. I marvel how they 'd have looked, 
had they been victors, that with sneh a constant 
nobility enforce a freedom out of bondage, mak- 
ing misery their mirth, and affliction a toy to 
jest at. 

Gaoler. Do they so ? 

Havgh. It seems to mc, they 've no more sense 
of their captivity, than I of ruling Athens : they 
cat well, look merrily, discoiu'se of many tilings, 
but nothing of their own restraint and disasters. 
Yet, sometime, a divided sigli, martyred as 
'twere in the deliverance, will break from one 
of them ; when th' other presently gives it so 
sweet a rebuke, that I could wish myself a sigli 
to l)e so chid, or at least a sighcr to be com- 

Wooer. I ne'er saw them. 

Gaoler. The dnke liimself came privately in 
the night, and so did they. What the reason of 
it is, I know not. 

Enter Palamok and Akcite above. 

Look, yonder they are ! that is Aroite looks out. 

Daucjh. No, sir, no ; that 's Palamon : Arcite 's 
the lower of the twain : you may perceive a part 
of liim. 

Gaoler. Go to, leave yoiu- pointing ! They 'd 
not make us their object : out of their sight ! 

Daiii/h. It is a holiday to look on them ! 
Lord, the difference of men ! \Excunl. 

Enter Palamon »?«(/ Arcite, in Prison.'' 

Pal. How do you, noble cousin ? 

Arc. How do you, sir ? 

Pal. Why, strong enough to laugh at misery, 
Aud bear the chance of war yet. We are 

I fear for ever, cousin. 

Jrc. I believe it ; 

Aud to that destiny have patiently 
Laid up my houi' to come. 

Pal. Oh, cousin Arcite, 

ft The folio of \G7i)hnSffnef; the qu;u-to hasgrtisc. Grice 
ii a stcu. 

"^ The position of Palamon and Arcite in the prison, with 
the power of observing ^Yhat passes in the garden when 
Emilia enters, implies a double action which requires the 
eiuyluymen; of the secondary stage. See Othello, Act v. 


Where is Thebes now? where is om- nobiC 

country ? 
Where are our friends, and kindi-eds ? Never 

Must w^e behold those comforts ; never see 
The hardy youths strive tor the games of honour, 
Hniig with the painted favours of their ladies. 
Like tall ships under sail; then start amongst 

And, as an cast wind, leave 'em all behind us 
Like lazy clouds, whilst Palamon and Arcite, 
Even in the wagging of a wanton leg, 
Out-stripp'd the people's praises, won the gar- 
Ere they have time to wish 'em oui's. Oh, ni ver 
Shall we two exercise, Uko twins of honour-, 
Oiu- arms agairl, and feci our fiery horses. 
Like proud seas under us ! Our good SM'ords now, 
(Better the rod-ey'd god of war ne'er warej 
Ravish'd our sides, like ago, must run to rust, 
And deck the temples of those gods that hate us; 
These hands sliaU never draw them out like 

To blast whole armies more ! 

ylrc. No, Palamon, 

Those hopes are prisoners with us : here Ave are, 
Aud here the graces of our youths must wither, 
Like a too-timely spriug ; here age must find us. 
And, which is hea\aest, Palamon, unmarried ; 
The sweet embraces of a loving wife, 
Loaden with kisses, arm'd with thousand Cupids, 
Shall never clasp our necks; no issue know us; 
No figui'cs of om-selves shall we e'er see. 
To glad our age, and like young eagles teach 

Boldly to gaze against bright arms, and say. 
Remember what your fathers were, and con- 
quer ! 
The fair-ey'd maids shall weep our banish- 
And in their songs cm-sc ever-blinded Fortune, 
Tin she for shame see what a wrong she has 

To youth and natm-e : this is all our world ; 
We shall know nothing here but one another ; 
Hear nothing but the clock that tells om- woes ; 
The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it ; 
Summer shall come, and with her all deliglits, 
But dead, cold ^vinter must inliabit here still ! 
Pol. 'T is too trac, Arcite. To our Thcbar 
That shook the aged forest with their echoes. 
No more now must wo halloo ; no more shake 
Om- pointed javelins, whilst the angry swine 
Flics like a Partluan quiver from our rages. 

Act II.) 



Stuck with our well-steel'd davts. All viiliaut 

(The food and uomishmcut of noble miuds) 
In us two here shall perish ; we shall die, 
(Which is the eurse of honoui- !) lastly, 
Childi-cn of grief and ignorance. 

Arc. Yet, cousin. 

Even from the bottom of these miseries, 
From all that fortune can inflict upon us, 
I see two comforts rising, two mere" blessings. 
If the gods please to hold here, — a brave 

And the enjoying of oui- griefs together. 
■Whdst Palamon is with me, let me perish 
If I think this our prison ! 

Pal. Certainly, 

'T is a main goodness, cousin, that our fortimes 
"Were twiu'd together : 't is most true, two souls 
Put in two noble bodies, let them suffer 
The gall of hazard, so they grow together, 
Will never siidi ; they must not ; say they could, 
A wiUiug man dies sleeping, and all 's done. 

Jrc. Shall we make worthy uses of this place. 
That all men hate so much ? 

Pal. How, gentle cousin ? 

Arc. Let 's think this prison holy sanctuary, 
To keep us from corruption of worse men. 
We are young, and yet desire the ways of 

honom' ; 
That liberty and common conversatiou. 
The poison of pm-e spirits, might, Uke women. 
Woo us to wander from. What worthy blessing 
Can Ije, but our imagiuafions 
May Make it ours? and here being thus together. 
We are an endless mine to one another; 
We are one another's wife, ever begetting 
New births of love ; we are father, friends ac- 
quaintance ; 
We are, in one another, famihes ; 
I am your heir, and you are mine ; this place 
Is our uilieritance ; no hard oppressor 
Dare take tins from us: here, witli a little 

We shall live long, and loving ; no sui-feits seek 

The hand of war hui'ts none here, nor the seas 
Swallow their youth ; were we at liberty, 
A wife might part us lawfidly, or business ; 
Quarrels consume us ; envy of iU men 
Grave'' cur acquaintance; I might sicken, cousin, 

^ Mere— a\)io\ute. 

b Crave is the word of the early copies. M. Mason pro- 
poses to read cleave— that is, separate — the acquaintance of 
two friends. Mr. Dyce's reading of Orafe,-the simple sub 
stitution of a G for a C — gives a clear and improved mean- 
ing, which we gladly adopt. 

WTiere you should never know it, and so perish 
Without your noble hand to close mine eyes. 
Or prayers to the gods : a thousand chances. 
Were we from hence, would sever us. 

Pal. You have made mc 

(I thank you, cousin Arcite) almost wanton 
With my captivity : what a misery 
It is to live abroad, and everywhere ! 
'T is like a beast, methiiiks. I fiud the court 

1 'm sure a more content ; and all those plea- 

That woo the wUls of men to vanity, 
I sec through now ; and am suilicient 
To tell the world, 't is but a gaudy shadow, 
That old Time, as he passes by, takes witli 

What had we been, old in the court of Creoii, 
Where sin is justice, lust and ignorance 
The virtues of the great ones ! Cousm Arcite, 
Had not the loving gods found this place for v.s, 
We had died as they do, ill old men unwept. 
And had their epitaphs, the people's em-ses. 
Shall I say more ? 

An: I would hear you stUl. 

Pal. You shall. 

Is there record of any two that lov'd 
Better than we do, Arcite ? 

Arc. Sm-e there cannot. 

Pal. I do not think it possible our friendship 
Should ever leave us. 

Arc. Till our deaths it cannot ; 

Enler Emj.iA ciiid her Servant. 

And after death our spirits shall be led 

To those that love eternally. Speak on, su- ! 

Emi. This garden has a world of pleasm-es in 't. 
What flower is this ? 

Sere. 'T is call'd Narcissus, madam. 

Emi. That was a fair boy certain, but a fool 
To love himself : were there not maids enough ? 

Arc. Pray, forward. 

Pal. Yes. 

Emi. Or were they all hard-hearted ? 

Sero. They coidd not be to one so fair. 

]<;,ni. Thou wouldst not ? 

Sere. I think I should not, madam. 

Emi. That's a good weiicli ! 

But take heed to yoiu- kindness though ! 

Sere. Why, luadnm ? 

Emi. Men are mad tilings. 

Arc. Will you go forward, cousin P 

Emi. Canst not thou work such flowers in 
silk, wench ? 

Sere. Yes. 


Act II.] 


[SctKi: It. 

Ehii. I '11 have a gowii fiill of tlieui ; aud of 
these ; 
This is a pretty colom- : will 't not do 
Rarely upou a skii-t, wench ? 

Sen: Daiuty, madam. 

Arc. Cousin ! Cousiu ! How do you, sii' ? 
Why, Palamou ! 

Pal. Never till now I was in prison, Arcite. 

Arc. Why, what 's the matter, man ? 

Pal. Behold, and wonder ! 

By Heav'n, she is a goddess ! 

Arc. Ha ! 

Pal. Do reverence. 

She is a goddess, Areite ! 

Emi. Of all flowers, 

Methiuks a rose is best. 

Sere. Why, gentle madam ? 

Emi. It is the very emblem of a maid : 
Eor when the west wind eourts her gently, 
How modestly she blows, aud paints the sun 
With her chaste blushes ! when the uorth comes 

near her. 
Rude and impatient, then, like chastity, 
She locks her beauties in her bud again, 
And leaves him to base briers. 

Serv. Yet, good madam. 

Sometimes her modesty will blow so far 
She falls for it : a maid. 
If she have any honour, would be loth 
To take example by her. 

End. Thou art wanton. 

Arc. She 's wontb-ous fair ! 

Pal. She 's all the beauty extant ! 

Emi. The sun grows high; let's walk in. 
Keep these flowers ; 
We'll see how near art can come near theii- 

I 'm wondi-ous merry -hearted ; I could laugh 

Sero. I could lie down, I 'm sui-e. 

Emi. And take one with you ? 

Serv. That's as we bargain, madam. 

Emi. Well, agree then. [E.ut with Serv. 

Pal. What think you of this beauty ? 

Arc. 'T is a rare one. 

Pal. Is 't but a rare one ? 

Arc. Yes, a matchless beauty 

Pal. Might not a man well lose himself, and 
love her ? 

Arc. I cannot tell what you have done; I 
Beshrew mine eyes for 't ! Nov/ I feel my 

Pal. You love her ilien ? 

Arc. Who would not ? 


Pal. Aud desir-e her 

Arc. Before my liberty. 

Pal. I saw her first. 

Arc. That 's nothmg. 

Pal. But it shall be. 

Arc. I saw her too. 

Pal. Yes ; but you must uot love he". 

Arc. I wiU uot, as you do ; to worship her. 
As she is heavenly, and a blessed goddess : 
I love her as a woman, to enjoy her ; 
So both may love. 

Pal. You shall uot love at all. 

Arc. Not love at all ! who shall deny me ? 

Pal. I that first saw her; I that took possession 
First with mine sye of all those beauties in her 
Reveal'd to maidiind. If thou lovest her. 
Or entertam'st a hope to blast my wishes. 
Thou art a traitor, Arcite, and a fellow 
False as thy title to her : friendship, blood, 
And all the ties between us, I disclaim. 
If thou once think upon her ! 

Arc. Y'es, I love her ; 

And if the lives of all my luime lay on it, 
I must do so ; I love her with my soxd. 
If that will lose you, farewell, Palamon ! 
I say again, I love ; and, in loving her, niaiutaiu 
I am as worthy, and as free a lo\ er. 
And have as just a title to her beauty, 
As any Palamon, or any living. 
That is a man's son. 

Pal. Have I eall'd thee friend f 

Arc. Yes, aud have found mo so. Why ai-e 
you mov'd thus ? 
Lot me deal coldly w'ith you; am not I 
Part of yom' blood, part of your soul? you ha, e 

told me 
That I was Palamon, and you were Arcite. 

Pal. Yes. 

Arc. Am not I liable to those affections. 
Those joys, griefs, angers, fears, my friend shall 
suffer ? 

Pal. iou may be. 

Arc. AVhy then would you deal so cunningly, 
So strangely, so unlike a Noble Kinsman, 
To love alone ? Speak truly ; do you think me 
Unworthy of her sight ? 

Pal. No; but imjust 

If thou pursue that sight. 

Arc. Because another 

First sees the enemy, shall I stand still, 
Aud let mine honour down, and never charge ? 

Pal. Yes, if he be but one. 

Arc. But say that one 

Had rather combat me ? 

Pul. Let that one say _o, 

Act II, ) 


[isCENK II. 

And use thy freedom ! else, if thou jiursuest her, 
Be as that cursed man tliat hates lus country, 
A branded villain ! 

^:^A-. You are mad. 

Pal. I must be. 

Till thou art worthy : Arcite, it concerns me ; 
And, in this madness, if I hazard thee 
And take thy life, I deal but traly. 

Arc. Fie, sii' ! 

You play the child extremely : I \yill love her, 
I must, I ouglit to do so, and I dare ; 
And all this justly. 

Pul. O, that now, that now. 

Thy false self, and thy friend, had but this for- 
To be one hoiu' at liberty, and grasj) 
Our good swords in our hands, I 'd quickly teach 

What 't were to filch affect iou from another ! 
Thou 'rt baser in it than a cutpui-se. 
Put but thy head out of this \vindow more. 
And, as I have a soul, I '11 nail thy life to 't ! 

Arc. Thou dar'st uot, fool; thou canst not; 
thou art feeble. 
Put my head out ! I 'U throw my body out. 
And leap the garden, when I see her nest, 

Unter Gaoler. 

And pitch between her arms, to anger thee. 
Pal. No more ; the keeper 's coming : I shall 
To knock thy brains out with my shackles. 
Arc. Do. 

Gaoler. By your leave, gentlemen. 
Pal. Now, honest keeper ? 

Gaoler. Lord Arcite, you must presently to 
the duke : 
The eause I know not yet. 

Arc. I am ready, keeper. 

Gaoler. Prince Palamon, I must awhile be- 
reave you 
Of your fak cousui's company. 

SJi.cil with Arcite. 
Pul. And me too. 

Even when you please, of life. — Why is he sent 

It may be, he shall marry her : he 's goodly ; 
And Like enough the duke hath taken notice 
Both of his blood and body. But his falsehood! 
"Wliy should a friend bo treacherous ? If that 
Get him a wife so noble, and so fair. 
Let honest men ne'er love again. Once more 
I would but see this fair one. Blessed garden. 
And fruit, and flowers more blessed, that still 

As her bright eyes shiiic on ye! 'Would I were, 

For all the fortune of my life hereafter, 

Yon little tree, yon blooming apricock ! 

IIow I would spread, and fling my wanton arms 

111 at her window ! I would bring her fruit 

Fit for the gods to feed on ; youth and pleasure 

Still as she tasted should be doubled on her ; 

And, if she be not heav'nly, I woidd make her 

So near the gods in nature, they should fear her ; 

And then I 'm sure she 'd love me. 

Enter Gaoler. 

How now, keeper ! 
Where 's Arcite ? 

Gaoler. Banished. Prince Perithous 

Obtaiu'd his liberty ; but never more. 
Upon his oath and life, must he set foot 
Upon this kingdom. 

Pal. He 's a blessed man ! 

He shall see Thebes again, and call to arms 
The bold young men, that, when he bids tlicir. 

Fall on like fire : Arcite shidJ have a fortune," 
If he dare make himself a worthy lover. 
Yet in the field to strike a battle for her ; 
And if he lose her then, he 's a cold coward : 
How bravely may he bear liimself to win her. 
If he be noble Arcite, thousand ways ! 
Were I at liberty, I would do things 
Of such a virtuous greatness, that this lady, 
This blushing vu-gin, should take manhood to liei', 
And seek to ravish me. 

Gaoler. My lord, for you 

I have this charge too. 

Pal. To discharge my life ? 

Gaoler. No ; but from this place to remove 
youi' lordship ; 
The windows are too open. 

Pal. Devils take them. 

That are so envious to me ! Prithee kill me ! 

Gaoler. And hang for't afterward ? 

Pal. By this good light. 

Had I a sword, I 'd kill thee. 

Gaoler. Why, my lord ? 

Pal. Thou bring'st such pelting scurvy news 
Thou art not worthy life. I will not go. 

Gaoler. Indeed you must, my lord. 

Pal. May I see the garden ? 

Gaoler. No. 

Pal. Then I 'm resolv'd I will not go. 

Gaoler. I must 

Constrain you then ; and, for you 're dangerous, 
I 'U clap more irons on you. 

■1 Forlunn—a chance. 


Aol II ] 



Pal. Do, good keeper. 

I '11 shake 'em so, you shall not sleep ; 
I '11 make you a new moms. Must I go ? 

Gaoler. There is uo remedy. 

Pal. Farewell, kind window ! 

May rude wind never hm-t thee ! Oh, my lady, 
If ever thou hast felt what sorrow was. 
Dream how I suffer ! Come, now bury me. 



Elder Akcite. 

Arc. Banish'd the kingdom ? 'T is a benefit, 
A mercy, I must thank them for; but banish'd 
The free enjoying of that face I die for. 
Oh, 't was a studied punishment, a death 
Beyond imaguiation ! Such a vengeance. 
That, were I old and wicked, all my sins 
Could never pluck upon mc. Palamon, 
Thou hast the start now ; thou shalt stay and sec 
Her bright eyes break each morning 'gainst thy 

And let in life mto thee ; thou shalt feed 
Upon the sweetness of a noble beauty. 
That nature ne'er exceeded, nor ne'er shall ; 
Good gods, what happiness has Palamon ! 
Twenty to one he '11 come to speak to her ; 
And, if she be as gentle as she 's fair, 
I know she's his; he has a tongue will tame 
Tempests, and make the wild rocks wanton. 

Come what can come. 
The worst is death ; I will not leave the king- 
dom : 
I know my own is but a heap of ruius. 
And no redi-css there : if I go, he has her. 
I am rcsolv'd : another shape shall m;ike mc, 
Or end my fortunes ; either way, I 'm happy : 
I '11 sec her, and be near her, or no more. 

Eiilcrfoiir Coimtry People ; one wilh a Gurlund 
before them. 

1 Conn. My masters, I '11 bo there, that 's 


2 Coun. And I 'U be there. 

3 Coun. And I. 

4 Coun. Why then, have with ye, boys ! 't is 

but a chiduig ; 
Let the plough play to-day ! I 'U tickle 't out 
Of the jades' tails to-morrow 

1 Coun. I am sure 

To have my wife as jealous as a turkey : 
But that 's all one ; I '11 go through, let her 



3 Coiiii. Do we all hold against the maying .'' ' 

4 Comi. Hold ! what shoidd ail us ? 

3 Coun. Areas wiE be there. 

2 Coun. And Sermois, 

And Rycas ; and three better lads ne'er dauc'd 
Under green tree ; and ye know what wenches. 

But will the dainty clomine, the schoolmaster. 
Keep touch, do you think ? for he does all, ye 


3 Coitii. He '11 cat a hornbook, ere he fail: 

The matter is too far driven between 
Him and the tanner's daughter, to let slip now ; 
And she must see the duke, and she must dance 


4 Coun. Shall we be lusty ? 

2 Coun. All the boys in Athens 
Blow wind i' th' breech on us ; and here I '11 be. 
And there I 'U be, for our town; and here again. 
And there again. Ha, boys, heigh for the 
weavers ! 

1 Coun. This nuist be done i' th' woods. 

4 Coun. Oh, pardon me ! 

2 Coun. By any means; our thing of learn- 

ing says so ; 
Where lie hunself will edify the duke 
Most parlously in our behalfs : he 's excellent 

i' th' woods ; 
Bring him to th' plains, his learuiug makes no 


3 Coun. Wo '11 see the sports ; then every 

man to 's tackle ! 
And, sweet compaaiious, let 's rehearse by any 

Before the ladies see us, and do sweetly. 
And God knows what may come on 't ! 

4 Coun. Content : the sports 
Once ended, we 'U perform. Away, boys, and 

Arc. By your leaves, honest friends ! Pray 

you, whither go you ? 
4 Coun. Whither! why, what a question 's 

that ! 
Arc. Yes, 't is a question to me that know 

3 Coun. To the games, my friend. 
2 Coun. Wliere were you bred, you know it 


^ When we open Beaumont and Fletcher's works we en- 
counter grossncsses entirely of a dilferent nature from those 
which occur in Sliakspere. They are the result of impure 
thoughts, not tlie accidental reflection of loose manners. 
They are meant to he cDrrupliiig. We lia\e fonr lines after 
WHwi/e conceived in this spirit; and we omit iheni without 
hesit;ition. No one lias thoiu'ht that thc^e comic scenes 
were written by Shakspne. 

Act II.] 



Jrc. Not far, sii'. tliere such games to-day ? 

1 Couii. Yes, marry are there ; 
Aiid such as you ne'er saw : the duke himself 
Will be in person there. 

Arc. Wliat pastimes are they ? 

2 Coun. Wrestling and running. 'T is a 

pretty fellow. 

3 Coim. Thou wilt not go along ? 
Arc. Not yet, sir. 

4 Coim. Well, sir, 
Take yoM own time. Come, boys ! 

1 Coun. My mind misgives me 
This fellow has a vcngeauce trick o' th' hip ; 
Mark, how his body 's made for 't ! 

2 Coun. I 'U be hang'd though 
If he dare venture ; liaug him, plum-porridge ! 
He wi-estlc ? He roast eggs. Come, let 's bo 

gone, lads ! [Exeunt Countrymen. 

Arc. This is an offer'd opportunity 
I diu'st not wish for. Well I could have wrestled. 
The best men oall'd it excellent ; and run 
Swifter than wind upon a field of coni 
(Curling the wealthy cars) e'er flew!" I'll ven- 
And m some poor disguise be there : who knows 
Whether my brows may not be girt with garlands, 
And happiness prefer me to a place 
Where I may ever dweU in sight of her ? \_Erit. 

Enter Gaoler's Daughieu. 

Daugh. Why should I love this gentleman? 

'T is odds 
He never will afl'ect me : I am base, 
Jly father the mean keeper of his prison, 
And he a prince : to marry him is hopeless. 
To be his whore is witless. Out upon 't ! 
What pushes are we wenches driven to. 
When fifteen once has found us ! First, I saw 

I, seeing, thought he was a goodly man ; 
He has as much to please a woman in him, 
(If he please to bestow it so) as ever 
These eyes yet look'd on ; next, I pitied him ; 
And so would any young wench, o' my con- 

That ever di'eam'd, or vow'd her maidenhead 
To a young handsome man : then, I lov'd him, 

ft The ordinary reading w.ts, 

*' And run, 

Swifter the wind upon a field of corn 

(Curling the wealthy ears) ne'er flew." 

The original has than, which has been altered to the. By 

changing ne'er to e'er we obtai.i a better construction. 

Extremely lov'd him, infinitely lov'd him ! 

And yet he had a cousin, fail' as he too ; 

But in my heart was Palamon, and there, 

Lord, what a coil he keeps ! To hear him 

Sing in an evening, what a heaven it is ! 

And yet his songs are sad ones. Fairer spoken 

AYas never gentleman : when I come in 

To bring him water in a morning, first 

He bows his noble body, then salutes me thus : 

' Fair gentle maid, good morrow ; may thy 

Get thee a happy husband ! ' Once he kiss'd me ; 
I lov'd my lips the better ten days after : 
'Would he would do so ev'ry day ! He grieves 

And me as much to see his misery : 
What shoidd I do to make him know I love 

him ? 
For I would fain enjoy him ; say I vcntm- 'd 
To set liim free? what says the law tlien? 
Thus much for law or kindred ! I will do it. 
And tliis night, or to-morrow, he shall love 

me. [E.vit. 

SCENE V. — A short flourish of cornejs, and 
shouts within. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Peeithous, E.milia, 
and Akcite toith a Garland, 8,-c. 

Thes.XwL have done worthily; I have not 
Since Hercules, a man of tougher siacws : 
Whate'er you ai'e, you run the best and wrestle, 
That these times can allow. 

Arc. I am proud to please you. 

Thcs. What country bred you ? 

Arc. This ; but far off, prince. 

Thes. Are you a gcntlemau ? 

Arc. My father said so ; 

And to those gentle uses gave mc life. 

Thcs. Are you his heir ? 

Arc. His youngest, su-. 

Thes. Your father 

Sure is a happy sh'e then. "Wbat proves you ? 

Arc. A bttle of all noble qualities : 
I coidd have kept a hawk, and well have hol- 

To a deep cry of dogs ; I dare not praise 
My feat in horsemanship, yet they that knew 

Would say it was my best piece; last, and 

I would be thought a soldier. 

Thes. You are perfect. 

Per. Upon my soul, a proper man ! 


ACT 11.) 



Emi. He is so. 

Per. How Jo you like iiiiu, lady ? 
Hip. I acbiui'e him : 

I liave not seeu so youug a man so uoblc 
(If lie say true) of his sort. 

Emi. Believe, 

His mother was a wondrous handsome woman ; 
His face, metliinks, goes that way. 

Hip. But Lis body 

And fiery mind illustrate a brave father. 

Per. Mark liow his virtue, like a hidden sun, 
Breaks through his baser garments. 
Hip. He 's well got, siu-e. 

Thes. What made you seek this place, sir ? 
Arc. Noble Theseus, 

To pui'chase name, aud do ray ablest service 
To such a well-found wonder as thy worth ; 
For only in thy court, of all the world, 
Dwells fair-ey'd Honoui'. 

Per. All his words are worthy. 

Thes. Su, we are much indebted to your 
Nor shall you lose your wish. Perithous, 
Dispose of this fair gentleman. 

Per. Thanks, Theseus! — 

Whate'er you are, you 're mine ; and I shall give 

To a most noble service, to this lady, 
Tliis bright young virgin: pray observe her 

You've honour'd her fair bii'thday with your 

And, as yom- due, you 're hers ; kiss fan- 
hand, sir. 
Arc. Su-, you're a noble giver. — Dearest 
Thus let me seal my vow'd faith : when youi- 

(Your most unworthy creature) but offends you. 
Command him die, he shall. 

Emi. That were too cruel. 

If you deserve well, sk, I shall soon see 't : 
You 're mine ; and somewhat better than your 
rank I 'U use you. 
Per. I 'U see you furnish'd : and because 
you say 
You are a horseman, I must needs entreat 

This afternoon to ride ; but 't is a rough one. 
Arc. I like him better, prince; I shall not 
Freeze in my saddle. 

Thes. Sweet, you must be ready ; 

And you, Emilia ; and you, friend ; and all ; 
To-morrow, by the sun, to do observance 

To flow'ry May, m Dian's wood. Wait well, 


Upon your mistress. EmUy, I hope 
He shall not go afoot. 

Emi. That were a shame, sir. 

While I have horses. Take your choice; aud 

You want at any time, let me but know it : 
If you serve faithfully, I dare assure ycu 
You '11 find a loving mistress. 

Arc. If I do not. 

Let me find that my father ever hated. 
Disgrace and blows. 

Thes. Go, lead the way ; you 've won it ; 

It shall bo so : you shall receive all dues 
Fit for the lionoiu' you have won ; 't were wrong 

Sister, beshrew my heart, you have a servant. 
That, if I were a woman, would be master ; 
But you are wise. [Flourish. 

Emi. I hope too wise for that, sir. [Exeunt. 

Enter Gaoler's Daugutee. 

Dau(jh. Let all the dukes and all the devils 

He is at liberty. I 've ventur'd for him ; 
And out I 've brought him to a little wood 
A mUe hence. I have sent him, where a cedar. 
Higher than all the rest, spreads like a plane 
Fast by a brook ; and there he shall keep close, 
Till I provide lum files and food ; for yet 
His iron bracelets are not off. Oh, Love, 
What a stout-hearted child thou art ! My father 
Dirrst better have endur'd cold ii-ou than done it. 
I love him beyond love, and beyond reason. 
Or wit, or safety. I have made him know it ; 
I care not ; I am desperate. If the law 
Find me, and then condemn me for 't, some 

Some honest-hearted maids, will sing my dirge. 
And tell to memory my death was noble. 
Dying almost a martyi'. That way he takes, 
I pm'posc, is my way too ; sure he cannot 
Be so unmanly as to leave me here. 
If he do, maids wiU not so easily 
Trust men again : and yet he has not thank'd me 
For what I have done ; no, not so much as kiss'd 

Aud that, methinks, is not so well ; nor scarcely 
Could I persuade him to become a freeman. 
He made such scruples of the wrong he did 
To me and to my father. Yet I hope. 
When he considers more, this love of mine 


;.n II ) 



Will take more root witliiu him : let hira do 
Wiat lie will with me, so Le use me kindly. 
For use me so he shall, or I 'U proclaim him. 
And to his face, no man. I 'U presently 
Provide him necessaries, and pack my clothes up, 
And where there is a path of ground I '11 ven- 
So he he with mr, hv li:m, like n shadow. 

1 '11 ever dwell. Within this hour the hubbuh 

Will be all o'er the prison : I am then 

Kissing the man they look for. Farewell, 

father ! 
Get nimy more such prisoners, and such 

And shortly you may keep yourself. Now to 

him ! 1 Erit. 


SCENE I. — Cornels in mndry places, Noixe 
and halloohtri, as nf Peoitle a-mai/hirj. 

Elder Akcite. 

Arc. The duke has lost Hippolyta ; eacli took 
A several land. This is a solemn rite 
They owe bloom'd May, and the Athenians pay 

To the heart of ceremony. Oh, queen Emilia, 
Freslicr than May, sweeter 
Thau her gold buttons on the boughs, or aU 
Th' enamell'd knacks o' the mead or garden! 

We challenge too the bank of any nymph, 
That makes the stream seem flowers; Ihon, oh, 

Of the wood, of the world, hast likewise bless'd 

a place 

With thy sole presence ! In thy rumination 
That I, poor man, might eftsoons come between 
And chop on some cold thought ! — Thrice blessed 

To di'op on such a mistress, expectation 
Most giiUtless of 't ! Tell me, oh, lady Fortune, 
(Next after Emily my sovereign,) how far 
I may be proud. She takes strong note of me. 
Hath made me near her, and this beauteous 

(Tlie prim'st of all the year) presents mo with 
A brace of horses ; two such steeds might well 
Be by a pair of kings back'd, in a field 
That theii' crowns' titles tried. Alas, alas. 
Poor cousin Palamou, poor prisoner ! thou 
So httle dream'st upon my fortune, that 
Tliou think'st thyself the happier thing, to be 
So near Emilia ; me thou deem'st at Thebes, 

All III.] 


[Scene 1 

And therein \TretcliC(l, altliongh free : but if 
Thou knew'st my mistress breath'd ou me, and 

I ear'd her language, liv'd in her eye, oh, coz, 
What passion woidd enclose thee ! 

Btiter Palamon, as out of a Bush, u-Uh his 
Shackles ; bends hisjist at Akcite 

Pal. Traitor kinsman ! 

Thou shouldst perceive my passion, if these 

Of prisonment -were off me, and this hand 
But owner of a sword. By all oaths in one, 
I, and the justice of my love, would make thee 
A confess'd traitor ! Oh, thou most perfidious 
That ever gently look'd ! the void'st of honour 
That e 'er bore gcutle token ! falsest cousin 
That ever blood made kin ! caU'st thou her 

thiue ? 
I 'II prove it in my shackles, with these hands 
Void of appointment," that thou Hest, and art 
A veiy thief in love, a chaffy lord. 
Nor worth the name of villain ! Had I a sword, 
And these house-clogs away — 

Arc. Dear cousin Palamon — 

Pal. Cozener Ai-cite, give me language such 
As thou hast show'd me feat ! 

Arc. Not finding iu 

The cu'cuit of my breast, auy gross stuff 
To form me like your blazon, holds me to 
This gentleness of answer : 't is yoiu' passion 
That thus mistakes ; the which to you being 

Cannot to me be kind. Honour and honesty 
I cherish, and depend on, howsoe'er 
You skip them in mc, and with them, fair coz, 
I '11 maintain my proceedings. Pray be pleas'd 
To show in generous terms your griefs, since 

Your question 's with your equal, who professes 
To clear his own way with the mind and sword 
Of a true gentleman. 

Pal. That thou durst, Aroite ! 

Arc. My coz, ray coz, you have been well 
How much I dare : you 'vc seen me use my 

Against th' advice of fear. Sure, of another 
You would not hear me doubted, but your 

Should break out, though i' the sanctuary. 

Pal. Sir, 

I 've seen you move in such a place, which well 

a Without preparation of armour or weapon. 

Might justify your manhood; you were call'd 
A good knight and a bold : but the whole week 's 

not fair. 
If any day it rain. Their vaKant temper 
Men lose, when they incline to treachery ; 
And then they figlit like compcll'd bears, would 

Were they not tied. 

Arc. Kinsman, you might as well 

Speak this, and aet it in your glass, as to 
His ear, which now disdains you. 

Pal. Come up to me : 

Quit me of these cold gyves, give me a sword 
(Though it bo rusty), and the charity 
Of one meal lend me ; come before me then, 
A good sword in thy hand, and do but say 
That Emily is thine, I will forgive 
The trespass thou liast done me, yea, my life, 
If then thou carry 't; and brave souls in shades, 
That have died manly, which will seek of me 
Some news from earth, they shall get none but 

That thou art brave and noble. 

Arc. Be content ; 

Again betake you to your hawthorn-house. 
With ooimsel of the night, I will be here 
With wholesome viands ; these impediments 
Will I file off ; you shall have garments, and 
Perfumes to kill the smell o' the prison ; after. 
When you shall stretch yourself, and say but, 

' Aroite, 
I am in plight ! ' there shall be at your choice 
Both sword and armour. 

Pal. Oh, you heav'ns, dare any 

So noble bear a guilty business ? None 
But only Ai'cite ; therefore none but Ai-cite 
In tliis kind is so bold. 

Arc. Sweet Palamon — ■ 

Pal. I do embrace you and yoiu' offer : for 
Your offer do 't I only, sir ; your person, 
Without hypocrisy, I may not \vish 
More than my sword's edge on 't. 

[ Wind horns of cornets. 

Arc. You hear the horns : 

Euter yoiu' musit," lest this match between us 
Be cross'd ere met. Give me yoiu- hand ; fare- 
I '11 bring you every needful thing : I pray you, 
Take comfort, and be strong 

Pal. Pray hold yoiir promise. 

And do the deed with a bent brow; most 

a Tlie original lias, "enter your music." Seward reads 
^'m/tse /juicf:," explaining muse to be "the muse of a hare." 
Weber adopts muse, but omits quick. We substitute musit, 
which has tlie same meaning. See noteon Venus and Adonis. 


A.CT ,il.] 



Yi)u love me not : be rough with me, and pour 
'I'his oil out of your language : by this air, 
I could for each word give a cuff ; my stomach 
Not reeoncil'd by reason. 

Arc. Plainly spoken. 

Yet pardon me hard language : when I spur 
My horse, I chide him not ; content and anger 

\Win(l horns. 
In me have but one face. Haik, sii- ! they call 
The scatter'd to the banquet : you must guess 
I have an office there. 

Pal. Sir, your attendance 

Cannot please Heaven ; and I know your ollice 
Unjustly is achiev'd. 

Arc. 1 've a good title, 

I am persuaded : this question, sick between us, 
By bleeding must be cur'd. I am a suitor 
That to your sword you will bequeath this plea, 
And talk of it no more. 

Pal. But this one word : 

You are going now to gaze upon my mistress ; 
For, note you, mine she is — 

Arc. Nay, then — 

Pal. Nay, pray you ! — 

Ycu talk of feeding me to breed me strength ; 
You are going now to look upon a sun 
That strengthens what it looks on ; there you 

A vantage o'er me ; but enjoy it till 
I may enforce my remedy. Farewell. 



Enter Gaoler's Daughter. 

Daii//Ii. He has mistook the brake" I meant ; is 

After his fancy. 'T is now well-nigh morning ; 
No matter ! 'woidd it were perpetual night. 
And darkness lord o' the world ! — Hark ! 't is a 

wolf : 
In me hath grief slain fear, and, but for one 

I care for nothing, and that 's Palamon : 
I reek not if the wolves would jaw me, so 
He had this file. Wliat if I halloo'd for him ° 
I cannot halloo : if I whoop' d, what then ? 
If he not answer'd, I should caU a wolf, 
And do him but that service. I have heard 
Strange howls this live-long night ; why may 't 

not be 
They have made prey of him ? Ho has no 

weapons ; 

a TI e original has henle. M. Mason suggested brake. 


He cannot run ; the jingling of his gyves 
Might call fell things to listen, who have m 

A sense to know a man unarm'd, and can 
Smell where resistance is. I '11 set it down 
He 's torn to pieces ; they howl'd many toge- 
And then they fed on him : so much for that ! 
Be bold to ring the beU ; how stand I then ? 
All's chared" when he is gone. No, no, I lie ; 
My father 's to be hang'd for his escape ; 
Myself to beg, if I priz'd life so much 
As to deny my act ; but that I would not, 
ShoiUd I ti-y death by dozens.- — I am moji'd ; 
Food took I none these two days ; 
Sipp'd some water ; I have not clos'd mine eyes, 
Save when my lids scower'd off their brine. 

Dissolve, my life ! let not my sense unsettle, 
Lest I should drown, or stab, or hang myself ! 
Oh, state of nature, fail together in me. 
Since thy best props are warp'd I — So. which 

way now ? 
The best way is the next way to a grave : 
Each errant step beside is torment. Lo, 
Tlie moon is down, the crickets chii-p, I he 

Calls in the dawn ! all offices are done. 
Save what I fail in : but the point is this, 
An end, and that is all. [E.Tii. 


Enter Arcite, with Meat, Tl'iiie, and Files. 

.■ti-e. I should be near the place. Ho, cousin 
Palamon ! 

Enter Pai.amon. 
Pal. Arcite ? 

Arc. The same : I 've brought you food and 
Come forth, and fear not ; here 's no Theseus. 
Pal. Nor none so honest, Arcite. 
Arc. That 's no matter ; 

We'U argue that hereafter. Come, take cou- 
rage ; 
You shall not die thus beastly ; here, sir, drink I 
I know you're faint; then I'll talk further 
with you. 
Pal. Arcite, fhou mightst now poison me. 
Arc, I might ; 

a .4U 's chared. Weber says that th-s means " my tabk 
is done,"— chare being used in the sense of a task. Chare is 
a turn — a job of woric. Mr. Dycc (note in 'Love's Cure," 
Aft HI. Sc. II.), slioAS that early writers used chared in the 
^ense of dispatched. 

Ari III.) 



But I must fear you fii-st. Sit tlowTi ; auJ, good 

No more of tlicsc vain parleys ! Let us not, 
Having our ancient reputation with us, 
Malic talk for fools and cowards. To youi- 
health ! 
Pul. Do. 
Arc. Pray sit down then ; and let me entreat 

By all the honesty and honour in you, 

No mention of this woman ! 't wiU distuib us; 

Wc shall have time enough. 

Pal. Well, sir, I '11 pledge you. 

A,-c. Driuk a good hearty di'aught ; it breeds 
good blood, man. 
Do not you feel it thaw you? 

l>al. Stay ; I '11 tell you after a draught or 
two more. 

Arc. Spare it not ; the duke has more, coz. 
Eat now ! 

Pal. Yes. 

Arc. I am glad you have so good a stomach. 

Pal. I am gladder I have so good meat to 't. 

Arc. Is 't not mad lodging here iu the wild 
woods, cousin ? 

Pill. Yes, for them that have wild consciences. 

Arc. How tastes your victuals ? Your hunger 
needs no sauee, I see. 

Pal. Not much : 
But if it did, yours is too tart, sweet cousin. 
\Vhat is this ? 

Arc. Venison. 

Pal. 'T is a lusty meat. 

Give me more wine ; here, Arclte, to the wenches 
We have known in oui- days ! The lord-steward's 

daughter ; 
Do you remember her ? 

Arc. After you, ooz. 

Pal. She lov'd a black-hair'd man. 

Arc. She did so : well, siv ? 

Pal. And I have heard some call liim Arcite ; 
and — 

Arc. Out with it, faith ! 

Pal. She met him in an arbour : 

What did she there, coz ? Play o' the virginals ? 

Arc. Something she did, sir. 

Pul. Made her groan a mouth for 't ; 

Or two, or three, or ten. 

Arc. The marshal's sister 

Had her share too, as I remember, cousin. 
Else there be tales abroad : you '11 pledge her ? 

Pal. Yes. 

Arc. A pretty brown wench 't is ! There was 
a time 
■\Vhen young men went a-hunting, and a wood. 
Sup. Vol, L 

i\jid a broad beech ; and thereby hangs a tale. — 
Hcigh-ho ! 

Pal. For Emily, upon my life ! Fool, 
Away with this strain'd niii-th ! I say again. 
That sigh was breath'd for Emily : base cousin, 
Dar'st thou break first ? 
Arc. You 're wide. 

Pal. By Heav'n and earth, there 's nothing in 

thee honest ! 
Arc. Tlieu I '11 leave you : you are a beast 

Pal. As thou mak'st me, traitor. 
Arc. There 's all things nccdfiii ; fdcs, and 
shirts, and perfumes : 
I '11 come again so:iie two hours hence, and 

That that shall quiet all. 

Pal. A sword and armour ? 

Arc. Fear mo not. You are now too foul : 
farewell ! 
Get off your trinkets; you shall want nouglit. 
Pal. Sirrah— 

Arc. I 'U hear no more ! \Ji.rit. 

Pul. If he keep touch, he dies for 't ! {lirit. 

Elder Gaoler's Daughter. 

Bauijk. I'm very cold; and all the stars are 

out too. 
The Uttle stars, and all that look like aglets; 
The sun has seen my folly. Palamon ! 
Alas, no ; he 's in heav'n ! — Where am I now ?— 
Yonder 's the sea, and there 's a ship ; how 'I 

tumbles ! 
And there 's a rock lies watching under water; 
Now, now, it beats upon it ! now, now, now ! 
There 's a leak sprung, a sound one ; how they 

Spoom her before the wind," you 'U lose all else ! 
Up with a course or two, and tack about, boys ! 
Good night, good night ; you 're gone ! — I 'm 

very hungry : 
'Would I could find a fme frog ! he would tell 

News from all parts o' the world ; then would I 

A carrack of a cockle-shcU, and sail 
By east and north-east to the king of pigmies. 
For ho tells fortunes rarely. Now my father. 
Twenty to one, is truss'd up in a trice 
To-morrow morning ; 1 '11 say never a word. 

« Sfoom. The original lias vpim. Tliere liave beeti 
siMTiil attempts to render this proper nautical language. 
Weber reads, -spoom her before the wind," whicli Mr. Djce 


Act III] 




For I '11 cut my green a fuot above my knee : 
And I '11 clip my yellow locks an inch below mine eye. 

Hey, nonny, nonny, nonny. 
He 's buy me a white cut, forth for to ride, 
And I '11 go seek him through the world that is so wide. 

Hey, nonny, nonny, nonny. 

Oh, for a prick now, like a niglitingale, 
To put my breast against ! I shall sleep like a 
top else. [Efif. 


E/iler Gerrold, four Countrymen {(iiid Ike ]5a- 
viau"), two or three Wenclies, icith a Taborcr. 

Ger. Fie, fie ! 
What tcdiosity and disensanity 
Is here among ye ! Have my rudiments 
Been labour'd so long with ye, mUk'd unto ye. 
And, by a flgiu-e, ev'n the very plum-broth 
And marrow of my uuderstanding laid upon ye, 
And do ye still cry 'where,' and 'how,' and 

' wherefore?' 
Yc most coarse frieze capacities, ye jape ''judg- 
Have I said ' thus let be,' and ' there let be,' 
And 'then let be,' and no man understand me? 
Fro Deum, medius ficUus ; ye are all dunces! 
For -why, here stand I ; here the duke comes ; 

there arc you, 
Close in the thicket; the duke appears; I moot 

And unto him I utter learned things, 
And many figures ; he hears, and nods, and 

And then cries ' rare ! ' and I go forward ; at 

I fling my cap up ; mark there ! then do you, 
As once did Meleager and the boar. 
Break comely out before him, like true lovers, 
Cast yourselves in a body decently. 
And sweetly, by a figure, trace and turn, boys ! 

1 Cotm. And sweetly wo will do it, master 


2 Coun. Draw up the company. Where 's the 

taborcr ? 

3 Coun. Why, Timothy ! 

Tab. Here, my mad boys ; have at ye ! 

Oer. But I say where 's their women ? 

4 Conn. Here 's Friz and Maudlin. 
8 Coun. And little Luce with the white legs, 

and bouncing Barbary. 

^ Fletclierusesthistennforacharacterin themorris-dancp 

^ Jfrpe. Tlie original has ^'ar^. Seward reads a^earc. As 

Tio one can explain jart?, — and sleave, the sleave of silk, is 

almost meaningless.— we substitute ^"app, — belonging to a 

bulToon, :Ljnpcr. Mr. Dyce would read June, tlis stufl called 


1 Coun. And freckled Nell, that never fail'd 

her master. 
Ger. Where be your ribands, maids ? Swim 
with your bodies, 
And caiTy it sweetly, and deliverly ; 
And now and then a favour and a frisk. 
NeU. Let us alone, sir. 
Ger. Where 's the rest o' th' music ? 

3 Coun. Dispcrs'd as you commanded. 
Ger. Couple then. 

And see what 's wanting. Where 's the Ba- 

My friend, carry your tail without offence 
Or scandal to the ladies ; and be sure 
You tumble with audacity and manhood ; 
And wheu you bark, do it with judgment. 
Bao. Yes, sir. 

Ger. Quo usque ton Jem? Here 's a woman 

■t Coun. We may go whistle; all the fat 's 

i' th' fire ! 
Ger. We have. 
As leai'ned authors utter, wash'd a tile ; 
We have he£U ft/ tuu.i, and labom''d vainly. 

2 Coun. This is that scomfid piece, that 

scurvy hikliug. 
That cave her promise faithfidly she would be 

Cicely, the sempster's daughter. 
The next gloves that I give her sliall be dug's 

Nay, an she fail me once — You can tell, Ai'cas, 
She swore by wine and bread, she would not 

Ger. An eel and woman, 
A learned poet says, imless liy the tail 
And with thy teeth thou hold, will either fail. 
In manners this was false position. 

1 Coun. A fu-e ill take her ! does she flinch 

now ? 

3 Coun. Wliat 
Shall we determine, sir ? 

Ger. Nothing ; 

Om- business is become a nullity. 
Yea, and a woful, and a piteous nuUily. 

4 Coun. Now, when the credit of our town 

lay on it, 
Now to be frampal ! 
Go thy ways : I '11 remember thee, I '11 fit 


Enter Gaoler's D.vuonTEK. 

Daucjlu The George alow came from the south, 

From the coast of Barbary-a. 
And there he met with brave gallants of war, 
By one, by two, by three-a. 

Act hi.] 


[Scene V. 

Well hail'd, well hail'd, you jolly gallants! 

And whither now are you bound-a ? 
Oh, let mc have your company 

Till I a come to the Sound-a ! 

There was three fools, fell out about an howlet : 

The one said 't was an owl, 

The other he said nay, 
The third he said it was a hawk. 

And her bells wcte cut away. 

3 Coun. Tliere is a dainty mad woman, 
Conies i' th' uick ; as mad as a March hare ! 
If we can get her dance, we 're made again : 
I warrant lier, she '!I do the rarest gambols ! 

1 Coun. A. mad woman ? We are made, boys ! 
Ger. And are you mad, good woman ? 
Baugh. I would be sorry else ; 

Give me your hand. 

Ger. Wliy ? 

Luufjk. I can teU youi- fortimc ; 

You are a fool. Tell ten: I 've pos'd him. 

Buz ! 
Friend, you must cat no white bread ; if you do. 
Your teeth will bleed extremely. Shall wc 

dance, ho? 
I know yon ; you 're a tinker : su-rali tinker. 
Stop no more holes, but what you should. 

Ger. Dii hoiii ! A tinker, damsel ? 

Baugh. Or a conjurer : 

Raise mo a devil now, and let him play 
Qid passa o' th' bells and bones 1 

Ger. Go, take her, 

And fluently persuade her to a peace. 
Atque opus exegi, quod nee Jovis ira, nee 

ignis — 
Strike up, and lead her in. 

2 Coun. Come, lass, let 's trip it. 
Baugh. I '11 lead. [Wind horns. 

3 Coun. Do, do. 

Ger. Persuasively, and cunningly; away, 
boys ! {Exeunt all hut Gekrold. 

I hear the horns : give me some meditation, 
And mark your cue. Pallas inspire me ! 

Enter TrrESEUS, Perituous, IIippolyta, Emilia, 
AnciTE, and Train. 

Thes. This way the stag took. 
Ger. Stay, and edify ! 

Tlies. What have we here ? 
Vcr. Some country sport, upon my life, sir. 
Thes. Well, sir, go forward : we will edify. 
Ladies, sit down; we'U stay it. 

Ger. Tl'.ou doughty duke, all Iiail ! all hail, 
sweet ladies ! 

^ 1\% omitted in the original. Weber reads n-c. 

Thes. This is a cold beginning. 

Ger. If you but favoiu', our country past'me 

made is. 
We are a few of those collected here, 
Tliat ruder tongues distinguish villager ; 
And to say verity, and not to fable, 
We are a merry rout, or else a rabble, 
Or company, or by a figure, chorus, 
Tliat 'fore thy dignity will dance a morris. 
And I that am the rectifier of all. 
By title, Pedagogus, that let fall 
The birch upon the breeches of the small ones. 
And humble with a ferula the tall ones, 
Do here present this machine, or this frame : 
And, dainty duke, whose doughty dismal fame 
From Dis to Dedalus, from post to pillar. 
Is blown abroad : help me, thy poor wcll-willer. 
And with thy twinldiug eyes, look right and 

Upon this mighty morr — of miekle weight ; 
Is — now comes in, which being glew'd togetlicr 
Makes morris, and the cause that wc came 

The body of our sport of no small study. 
I first appear, though rude, and raw, and muddy, 
To speak before thy noble grace, this tenor : 
At whose great feet I offer up my pcnncr." 
The next, the lord of May, and lady bright. 
The chambermaid, and servmgman, by nig'at 
That seek out silent hanging : then mine host. 
And his fat spouse, that welcome to their cost 
The galled traveller, and with a beek'niug 
Inform the tapster to inflame tlie reck'ning ; 
Then the beast-eating clown, and next tlie 

The Bavian, with long tad, and eke long tool ; 
Cum multis aliis, that make a dance ; 
Say ' ay,' and all shall presently advance. 
Thes. Ay, ay, by any means, dear domuic ! 
Per. Produce. 
Ger. Lifratejilii .' Come forth, and foot it. 

Enter Countrymen, cjr. They dance. 

Ladies, if we have been merry. 

And have pleas'd ye with a dcrry, 

And a derry, and a down, 

Say the schoolmaster 's no clown. 

Duke, if we have pleas'd tlicc too. 

And have done as good boys should do. 

Give us but a tree or twain 

For a Maypole, and again, 

Ere another year ruu out. 

We '11 make thee laagii, and all tliis rout. 

a /'(?n;;cr— case for holding pens. 


Act III] 


[Sri NE VI. 

Thes. Take twenty, donuuc. — How does my 

sweetheart 'i 
Hip. Never so pleas'd, sir. 
Emi. 'T was an excellent dance ; 

And, for a preface, I never heard a better. 
Thes. Schoolmaster, I tliauk you. One sec 

them all rewarded ! 
Per. And here 's sometliiug to paint your 

pole withal. 
Thes. Now to om- sports again ! 
Ger. May the stag thou hunt'st stand long. 
And thy dogs be swift and strong ! 
May they kill him without letts. 
And the ladies cat 's dowsets ! 
Come, we are all made ! \Wiml horns. 

l)ii Deerque omnes ! ye have danc'd rarely, 
wenches. \_E.reiiiit. 


Enter Palamon//-o« the Bush. 

Pid. About this liour my cousin gave his faith 
To visit me again, and with liim bring 
Two swords and two good armours ; if he fail 
He 's neither man, nor soldier. When he left me, 
I did not think a week could have restor'd 
My lost strength to me, I was grown so low 
And erest-faU'n with my wants : I thank thee, 

Thou 'rt yet a fair foe ; and I feel myself. 
With this refreshing, aide once again 
To out-diu-e danger. To delay it longer 
Would make the world think, when it comes to 

That I lay fatting, like a swine, to fight, 
And not a soldier : therefore tliis blcss'd morn- 
Sliall be the last ; and that sword lie refuses. 
If it but hold, I kill him with : 't is justice : 
So, Love and Fortune for me ! Oh, good mor- 
row ! 

Enter AnciTE, tcUh armours unit swords. 

Arc. Good morrow, noble kinsman ! 

Put. I have put you 

To too much pains, sir. 

Arc. That too much, fair cousin. 

Is but a debt to honour, and my duty. 

Pat. 'Would you were so in all, sir ! I could 
wish you 
As kind a kinsman, as you force me fiud 
A beneficial foe, that my embraces 
Might thauk you, not my blows. 

Arc. I shall think cither, 

Well done, a noble roeompensc. 

Pat. Then I shall quit you. 

Arc. Defy me ui these fair tenns, and you 
More than a mistress to me : no more anger. 
As you love anything that 's honourable ! 
We were not bred to talk, man ; when we 'i.c 

And both upon our guards, then let our fury, 
Like meetuig of two tides, fly strougly from us ; 
And then to whom the birthright of this beauty 
Truly pertains (without upbraidings, scorns, 
Despisings of our persons, and such poutiugs. 
Fitter for girls and schoolboys) will be seen. 
And quickly, yours, or muie. Will 't please you 

arm, sir ? 
Or, if you feel yourself not fitting yet. 
And furinsh'd with your old strength, I '11 stay, 

And every day discourse you into health. 
As I am spar'd : your person I am friends with. 
And I could wish I had not said 1 lov'd her, 
Though I had died ; but loving such a lady. 
And justifying my love, I must not fly from 't. 

Pat. Arcite, thou art so brave an enemy. 
That no man but thy cousin 's fit to kill thee: 
I 'm well and lusty ; choose your arms ! 

Arc. Choose you, su- . 

Pat. WUt thou exceed in all, or dost thou 
do it 
To nuike me spare thee ? 

Arc. If you think so, cousin, 

You are deeeiv'd ; for, as I am a soldier, 
I '11 not spare you ! 

Pat. That 's well said ! 

Arc. You will find it. 

Pat. Then, as I am an honest man, and love 
"With all the justice of affection, 
I '11 pay thee soundly ! Tliis I '11 take. 

Arc. That 's mine then ; 

I '11 arm you first. 

Pal, Do. Pray thee tell me, consul, 

Where gott'st thou this good armour? 

Arc. 'T is the duke's 

And, to say trae, I stole it. Do I pinch you ? 

Pat. No. 

Arc. Is 't not too heavy ? 

Pal. I have worn a 1: -hter ; 

But I shall make it serve. 

Arc. I '11 buckle 't close. 

Pat. By any means. 

Arc. You care not for a grand-guard?' 

Pal. No, no ; we '11 use no horses : I per- 
You would fain be at that fight. 

a Cra.vrf-f/ucrrf— armour for equestrians. 

Ad III.] 



Arc. I 'm indifferent. 

Pal. Faitli, so am I. Good oousiu, tlirust 
the buclile 
Tlirougli far enough ! 

Arc. I warrant you. 

Pill. My casque now ! 

.ire. W^ill you fight bare-arm'd ? 

Pal. We shall be the nimbler. 

Arc. But use your gauntlets though : those 
are o' the least ; 
Prithee take mine, good cousin. 

Pal. Thank you, Arcite. 

How do I look ? am I fall'n much away ? 

Arc. Faith, very little; Love has us'd you 

Pal. I 'U warrant thee I '11 strike home. 

Arc. Do, and spare not ! 

I 'U give you cause, sweet cousin. 

Pul. Now to you, sir ! 

Metliinks this armour 's very like that, Arcite, 
Thou wor'st that day the tlu'ce kings fell, but 

Arc. Tliat was a very good one ; and that day, 
I well remember, you outdid me, cousin ; 
I never saw such valour : wlien you eharg'd 
Upon the left wing of the enemy, 
I spurr'd hard to come up, and under nie 
I liad a right good horse. 

Pal. You had indeed ; 

A bright-bay, I remember. 

Arc. Yes. But all 

Was vauily labour'd in me ; you outwent me, 
Nor could my wishes reach you : yet a little 
I tlid !)y imitation. 

Pul. More by virtue ; 

You 're modest, cousm. 

Arc. Wlien I saw you charge first, 

Methought I heard a dreadful clap of thunder 
Break from the troop. 

Pal. But still before that flew 

The lightning of your valour. Stay a little ! 
Is not this piece too strait ? 

Arc. No, no ; 't is well. 

Pal. I would have notlung hurt thee but my 
sword ; 
A bruise would be dishonour. 

Arc. Now I 'm perfect. 

Pal. Stand off then! 

Arc. Take my sword ; I hold it better. 

Pal. I tliank you, no ; keep it ; yom- life lies 

on it: 

Here 's one, if it b\it hold, I ask no more 

Tor all my hopes. My cause and honour 

guard me ! \_Tla.i/ bow several 

icdi/s ; then advance and stand. 

Arc. And me, my love ! Is there aught else 
to say ? 

Pal. This only, and no more : thou art mine 
aunt's son, 
And that blood we desire to shed is mutual ; 
In me, thine, and in thee, mine : my sword 
Is in my hand, and if thou killest me 
The gods and I forgive thee ! If there be 
A place prepar'd for those that sleep in honour, 
I wish his weary soul that falls may win it. 
Fight bravely, cousin ; give me thy noble hand. 

Arc. Here, Palamon. This hand shall never 
Come near thee with such friendship. 

Pal. I commend thee. 

Are. If I fall, curse me, and say I was a 
coward ; 
For none but such dare die in these just trials. 
Once more, farewell, my cousin ! 

Pal. Farewell, Arcite ! {Fight. 

[Ilorns witliui ; they stand. 

Are. Lo, cousiu, lo ! our foUy lias undone us I 

Pal. Why? 

Arc. This is the didce, a-hunting as I told 
If we be found, we 're wretched; Oh, rctii-e, 
For honour's sake and safety, presently 
Into your bush again, sir ! We shall find 
Too many hom-s to die in. Gentle cousin, 
If you be seen you perish uistantly. 
For breaking prison ; and I, if you reveal me. 
For my contempt : then all the world will scorn 

And say we had a noble difference, 
But base disposers of it. 

Pal. No, no, cousin ; 

I wUl no more be hidden, nor put off 
This great adventure to a second trial. 
I know your cunning, and I know your cause. 
He that faints now shame take him ! Put thy- 
Upon thy present guard — 

Arc. You are not mad ? 

Pal. Or I wUl make th' advantage of this 
Mine owii ; and what to come shall threaten me, 
I fear less than my fortune. Know, weaiv 

I love Emilia; and in that I 'U bury 
Thee, and all crosses else. 

Arc. Then come what can come, 

Thou shalt know, Palamon, I dare as well 
Die, as discoui'se, or sleep : only tliis fears mc, 
The law will have the honour of our ends. 
Have at thv life ! 


Act III. 1 



Fal. Look to thiiie own well, Arcite ! 

\Fight again. Horns. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Emilia, Peri- 
THOUS, and Train. 

Thea. Wliat ignorant and mad malicious trai- 
Are you, that, 'gainst the tenor of my laws, 
Ai'e making battle, thus like knights appointed. 
Without my leave, and olBoers of arms ? 
By Castor, both shall die ! 

Pal. Hold thy word, Theseus. 

We 're eertainly both traitors, both dcspisers 
Of thee and of thy goodness : I am Palaraon, 
That cannot love thee, he that broke thy prison ; 
Think well what that deserves ! and tliis is 

Arcite ; 
A bolder traitor never trod thy ground, 
A falser ne'er seem'd friend : this is the mau 
Was begg'd and banish'd ; this is he contemns 

And what thou dar'st do ; and iu this disguise, 
Agamst thy own edict, follows thy sister, 
That fortunate bright star, the fau- Emiha, 
(Whose servant, if there be a right in seeing, 
And first bequeathing of the soul to, justly 
I am ;) and, which is more, dares think her 

Tliis treachery, like a most trusty lover, 
I call'd liim now to answer : if tliou beest. 
As thou art spoken, great and virtuous, 
Tlie true decider of all injuries. 
Say, 'Fight again!' and thou shalt see me, 

Do such a justice, thou thyself wilt envy ; 
Then take my life; I '11 woo thee to 't. 

Per. Oh, Heaven, 

What more than mau is tliis ! 

Thes. I 've sworn. 

Arc. We seek iiot 

Thy breath of mercy, Theseus. 'T is to me 
A thing as soon to die, as thee to say it. 
And no more mov'd. TOiere this man calls nic 

Let mo say thus much : if in love be treason, 
In service of so excellent a beauty. 
As I love most, and m that faith will perish ; 
As I have brought my Ufe here to confirm it ; 
As I have serv'd her truest, worthiest; 
As I dare kiU this cousin, that denies it ; 
So let me be most traitor, and you ])lease me. 
For scorning thy edict, duke, ask that lady 
Why she is fair, and why her eyes command me 
Stay here to love her ; and if she say traitor, 
I am a vdlain fit to lie unburied. 

Pal. TLou shalt have pity of us both, oh, 
If unto neither thou show mercy ; stop. 
As thou art just, thy noble car against us; 
As thou art valiant, for thy cousin's soul. 
Whose twelve strong labours crown his memory. 
Let 's die together at one instant, duke ! 
Oidy a little let him fall before me. 
That I may tell my soul he shall not have her. 
T/tes. I grant your wish; for, to say true, 
your cousin 
Has ten times more offended, for I gave him 
More mercy than you found, sir, your offences 
Being no more than his. None here speak for 

them ! 
For, ere the sun set, both shall sleep for ever. 

Hip. Alas, the pity ! now or never, sister, 
Speak, not to be denied : that face of yours 
Will bear the cui'scs else of after-ages. 
For these lost cousLus. 

Emi. Iu my face, dear sister, 

I find no auger to them, nor no ruin ; 
The misadventure of their own eyes kills them : 
Yet that I will be woman, and have pity. 
My knees shall grow to the ground but I '11 get 

Help me, dear sister ! in a deed so virtuous, 
The powers of all women will be with ns. 
Most royal brother — 
///};. Sir, by our tie of marriage — 

End. By your own spotless honour' — 
Hip. By that faith, 

That fair hand, and that honest heart you gave 
me — 
End. By that you would have pity iu another. 
By yoiu' own virtues infinite — 

Hip. By valour-, 

By all the chaste nights I have ever plcas'd 
Thes. Tiiese are strange conjurings ! 
Per. Nay, then I '11 in too : 

By all our friendship, sir, by all our dangers. 
By all you love most, wars, aud this sweet lady — • 
Emi. By that you woidd have trembled to 
A blushing maid — 

Hip. By your own eyes, by strcu" tli. 

In which you swore I went beyond all women. 
Almost all men, and yet I yielded, Theseus — 
Per. To crown all this, by your- most noble 
Which cannot want due mercy ! I beg first. 
Hip. Next hear my prayers ! 
Emi. Last, let me entreat, sir ! 

Per. For mercy ! 

Act III.] 


[S;i:n.i VJ. 

Hip. Mercy ! 

Emi. Mercy on these princes ! 

Thes. You make my faith reel : say I felt 
Compassion to them both, how would you place 

Emi. Upon their lives ; but with their banish- 

Thes. You 're a right woman, sister ; you have 


But want the understanding where to use it. 

If you desne their lives, invent a way 

Safer than banishment : can these two live. 

And have the agony of love about them, 

And not kill one another ? Every day 

They 'd fight about you; hourly bring your 

In pubHo question with their swords : be wise 

And here forget them ! it ooueems yom- credit, 
And my oath equally : I have said, they die. 
Better they fall by tlie law than one another. 
Bow not my honour. 

Emi. Oh, my noble brother, 

That oath was rashly made, and in your anger ; 
Your reason will not hold it : if such vows 
Stand for express will, all the world must perish. 
Beside, I have another oath 'gainst yours. 
Of more authority, I 'm sure more love ; 
Not made in passion neither, but good heed. 
Thes. What is it, sister ? 
Per. Urge it home, brave lady ! 

Emi. That you would ne'er deny me anything 
Fit for my modest suit, and yom- free granting : 
I tie you to your word now ; if you fail in 't. 
Think how you maim your honour ; 
(For now I 'ra set a-begging, sir, I 'm deaf 
To all but your compassion ;) how their lives 
Might breed the ruin of my name's opinion !' 
Shall anytliing that loves me perish for me ? 
That were a cruel wisdom ! do men prune 
The straight young boughs that blush with thou- 
sand blossoms. 
Because they may be rotten? Oh, duke The- 
The joodly mothers that have groan'd for these. 
And ;dl the longing maids that ever lov'd, 
If your vow stand, shall cui'se me and my beauty. 
And, in theii' funeral songs for these two cousins. 
Despise ray cruelty, and cry woe-worth me, 
Till I am nothing but the scorn of women : 
For Heaven's sake save thck lives, and banish 
them ! 

» We adopt a suggestion of M. Mason. The original has, 
"name, opinion." Opinion is used in tlie sense of reputa- 

Thes. Ou what conditions? 

Emi. Swear them never more 

To make me their contention, or to knov/ n;c, 
To tread upon thy dukedom, and to be. 
Wherever they shall travel, ever strangers 
To one another. 

Pal. I '11 be cut apieces 

Before I take this oath ! Forget I love licr ? 
Oh, all ye gods, despise me then ! Thy baiush- 

I not mislike, so we may fairly carry 
Our swoi'ds and cause along ; else never trifle. 
But take our lives, duke. I umst love, and wiU ; 
And for that love, must and dai-e kill this cousin. 
On any piece the earth has. 

Thes. WUl you, Arcite, 

Take these conditions ? 

Pal. He 's a villain then ! 

Per. These are men ! 

Are. No, never, duke ; 'tis worse to me than 


To take my life so basely. Though I think 
I never shall enjoy her, yet I '11 preserve 
The honour of affection, and die for her, 
Make death a devU. 

Thes. What may be done ? for now I feel 

Per. Let it not fall again, su-. 

Thes. Say, Emilia, 

If one of them were dead, as one nmst, arc you 
Content to take the other to your husband ? 
They cannot both enjoy you ; they are princes 
As goodly as your own eyes, and as noble 
As ever Fame yet spoke of; look upon them, 
And if you can love, end this differenee 
I give consent ; are you content, too, princes ? 

Both. With all our souls. 

Thes. lie tliat she refuses 

Must die then. 

Both. Any death thou canst invent, duke. 

Pa!. If I fall from that mouth, I fall with 
And lovers yet unborn shall bless my ashes. 

Arc. If she refuse me, yet my grave wiU v.ed 
And soldiei-s sing my epitaph. 

Thes. Make choice tlien. 

Emi. I cannot, sir; they 're both too cxeellent: 
For me, a hair shall never fall of these men. 

Iliji. What will become of them ? 

Thes. Thus I ordain it : 

And, by mine honour, once again it stands. 
Or both shall die '.—You shall both to yoiu 

country : 
And each within this mouth, accompanied 


Act III.] 


[Scene VI 

With three fair knights, appear again in tliis 

In which I '11 plant a pyramid : and whether, 
]5eforc us that are liere, can force his cousin 
By fair and knightly strength to touch the pillar, 
He shall enjoy her; the other lose his head. 
And all his friends : nor shall ho grudge to 

Nor think he dies with interest in this lady : 
Will this content ye ? 

I'ld. Yes. Here, cousin Arcite, 

I 'm friends again till that houi' 

J IT. I embrace yoiL 

Thes. Are you content, sister ? 

Umi. Yes : I must, si,' ; 

Else both miscarry. 

Tlies. Conic, sliakc hands again then ! 

And take heed, as you're gentlemen, this quarrel 
Sleep till the hour prefix'd, and liold your course. 

Pal. We dare not fail thee, Theseus. 

Then. Come, I '11 give ye 

Now usage like to princes and to friends. 
When ye return, who wins, I 'H settle here ; 
Who loses, yet I '11 wcop upon his bier. {Exeunt. 

'iV. '„'-.. t, ^. 


Enter Gaoler a?id a Friend. 

Cooler. Hear you no more? Was nothing 
said of me 
Couceniiug the escape of Palamou ? 
Good sir, remember ! 

1 Friend. Nothing that I heard ; 

For I came home before the bixsiness 
Was fully ended : yet I might perceive, 
Ere I departed, a great likelihood 
Of both their pardons ; for Hippolyta, 
And fair-sy'd Emily, upon their knees 
Begg'd with such handsome pity, that the duke 
Methouglit stood staggering whether he should 

His rash oath, or the sweet compassion 

Of tliose two ladies ; and to second them. 
That truly noble prince Perithous, 
Half his own heart set in too, that I ho]ie 
All shall be well : neither beard I one question 
Of your name, or his 'scape. 

Elder Second Friend. 

Gaoler. ~ Pray Heav'n, it hold so ! 

2 Friend. Be of good comfort, man ! I bring 

you news, 
Good news. 

Gaoler. They 're welcome. 

3 Friend. Palamou has clcar'd you, 
And got your pardon, and discover'd how 

And by whose means he 'scap'd, which was 

your daughter's, 
Wbose pardon is procur'd too; and the prisorer 


Act IV.] 



(Not to bo held ungrateful to her goodness) 
Has given a sum of money to her marriage, 
A large one, I 'U assure you. 

Oaoler. You 're a good mau, 

And ever bring good news 

1 Friend. How was it ended ? 

2 Friend. Wiiy, as it should be ; they that 

never begg'd 
But they prevail'd, had their suits fairly grautLd. 
The prisoners have their lives. 

1 Friend. I knew 't v/onld bo so. 

2 Friend. But there be new conditions, which 

you '11 iiear of 
At better timo. 

Gaoler. I hope they 're good. 

2 Friend. They 're honoiu'able ; 

How good they '11 prove, I know not. 

Fnter Wooer. 

1 Friend. 'T wUl be known. 
Wuocr. Alas, sir, wliere's your daughter? 
Gaoler. Why do you ask ? 
Wooer, Oh, sir, when did you see her ? 

2 Friend. How he looks ! 
Gaoler. This morning. 

,11, sir: 

Wooer. Was she well? was she in healil 
When did she sleep ? 

1 Fi lend. Tliese are strange questions. 

Gaoler. I do not think she was very well ; 
for, now 
i'ou make me muid her, but this very day 
I ask'd her questions, and she answcr'd 
So far from what she was, so chUdishly, 
So sillily, as if she were a fool. 
An innocent ! and I was very angry. 
But what of her, sir ? 

IFooer. Nothing but my pity ; 

But you nmst know it, and as good by me 
Aa by another that less loves her. 

Gaoler. Well, sir ? 

1 Friend. Not right? 

2 Friend. Not well ? 

Wooer. No, sir ; not well : 

'T is too true, she is mad. 

1 Friend. It cannot be. 

Wooer. Believe, you '11 find it so. 

Gaoler. I half suspected 

What you have to.d me ; the gods comfort her ! 
Either this was her love to I'alamon, 
Or fear of my miscarrying on his 'scape, 
0,- Ijotii. 

Wooer. 'T is likely. 

Gaoler. But why all this haste, sir ? 

Wooer. I '11 tell you qviickly. As I late was 

In the great lake that lies behind the palace. 
From the far shore, thick set with reeds av.d 

As patiently I was attending sport, 
I heard a voice, a slirill one ; and attentive 
I gave my ear ; when I might well perceive 
'T was one that sung, and, by the smallncss of it, 
A boy or woman. I then left my angle 
To his own skiU, came near, but yet ocrcciv'd not 
AVho made the sound, the nishes and the reeds 
Had so eneompass'd it : I laid me down 
jVnd listen'd to the words she sung ; for then, 
I'hroiigh a small glade cut by the fishermen, 
I saw it was yoic daughter. 

Gaohr. Pray go on, sir ! 

Wooer. She sung much, but no sense; only 
I heard her 
Repeat this often : ' Palamon is gone, 
Is gone to the wood to gather mulborries ; 
I '11 find him out to-morrow.' 

1 Friend. Pretty soul ! 

Wooer. ' His sliackles will betray him, ho '11 

be taken ; 
And what shall I do then? I '11 bring a licvy, 
A humbed black-cy'd maids that love as I do. 
With ehaplets on their heads, of daffadilUes, 
With cherry lips, and cheeks of damask roses. 
And aU we 'U dance an antic 'fore the duke. 
And beg his pardon.' Then she talk'd of you, 

That you must lose your head to-morrow morn- 
And she must gather flowers to bury you. 
And see the house made handsome : then she 

Notliing but ' WiUow, willow, willow ; ' and be- 
Ever was, ' Pidamon, fair Pidamon ! ' 
jVnd ' Palamon was a tall yoimg man ! ' Tlie 

Was knee-deep where she sat; her careless 

A wreath of buli-nsh roimded; about her stuck 
Thousand fresh water-flowers of several colours; 
That methought siie appcar'd like the fair 

That feeds the lake with waters, or as Iris 
Newly dropp'd down from hcav'u ! Rings she 

Of rushes that grew by, and to 'em spoke 
The prettiest posies; ' Thus our true love 's tied;' 
' This you may loose, not nie ; ' and many a one : 
And then she wept, and sung again, and sigli'd 
And with the same breath smU'd, and kiss'd 

her hand. 

Act IV.] 


[SCESE fl. 

2 Friend. Alas, what pity 't is ! 

Wooer. I made in to Ler ; 

SLc saw me, and straight sought the flood ; I 

sav'd her, 
And set her safe to land ; when presently 
She slipp'd away, and to the city made. 
With suoli a cry, and swiftness, that, believe nie, 
She left me far behind her : three, or fom-, 
I saw from far off cross her, one of thcin 
I knew to be your brother ; where she stay'd. 
And fell, scarce to be got away ; I left tliem 
with her, 

Enter BliOTilER, Daugutee, and olliers. 

And hither came to tell you. Here they arc ! 

'May you never more enjoy the light,' ^-c. 

Is not this a fine song ? 

Broth. Oh, a very fine one ! 

Daugli. I can suig twenty more. 

Broth. I tliiuk you can. 

Baiiffh. Yes, truly can I; I can sing the 
And Bomiy Robin. Are not you a tailor ? 

Broth. Yes. 

Bauf/h. Where 's my wedding-gown ? 

Broth. I 'U brmg it to-morrow. 

Baugh. Do, very rearly;" I must be abroad 
To call the maids, and pay the minstrels ; 
For I must lose my maidenhead by cock-light ; 
'T wiU never thrive else. {Sings. 

' Oh, fair, oh, sweet,' &c. 

Broth. You must e 'en take it patiently. 
Gaoler. 'T is true. 

Daugh. Good e 'en, good men ! Pray did jou 
ever hear 
Of one young Palamon ? 

Gaoler. Yes, wench, we know him. 

Baugh. Is 't not a fine young gentleman ? 
Gaoler. 'T is love ! 

Broth. By no means cross her; she is then 
Far worse than now she shows. 

1 Friend. Yes, he 's a flue man. 

Baugh. Oh, is he so ? You have a sister ? 
1 Friend. Yes. 

Baugh. But she shall never have him, tell 
her so. 
For a trick that I know : you had best look to 

For if she see him once, she 's gone; she 's done, 

a Rearly — early. Gay, in Iiis ' Shepherd's Week,' uses 
rear as a provincial word, in this sense. The original has 

And undone in an hour. All the young maids 
Of our town are iu love with him ; but 1 laugh 

at 'em, 
An'd let 'em all alone ; is 't not a wise coiu'sc ? 

1 Friend. Yes." 

Baugh. They come from all parts of the diUvC- 
doni to him 
I '11 wari'ant you. 

Gaoler. She 's lost, past all cure ! 

Broth. Heav'n forbid, man ! 

Baugh. Come hither ; you 're a wise man. 

1 Friend. Does she know him? 

2 Friend. No ; 'would she did ! 
Baugh. You 're master of a ship ? 
Gaoler. Yes. 
Bauglt. Where 's your compass ? 
Gaoler. Here. 

Baugh. Set it to the north ; 

And now direct your course to the '.vood, where 

Lies longing for me ; for the tackling 
Let me alone ; come, weigli, my hearts, cheerly ! 

All. Owgh, owgh, owgh ! 't is uji, the wind 
is fair. 
Top the bowling ; out with the mainsail ! 
Where is your whistle, master ? 

Broth. Let 's get her in. 

Gaoler. Up to the top, boy. 

Broth. Where 's the pilot ? 

1 Friend. Hero. 
Baugh. WTiat kenn'st thou ? 

2 Friend. A fair wood. 
Baugh. Bear for it, master ; tack about ! 

' When Cynthia with her bonow'd light,' &c. 


Enter Emilia, with tiro i^ictures. 

Emi. Y'et I may bind those wounds up, that 

must open 
And bleed to death for my sake else : I '11 

And end their strife ; two such young handsome 

Shall never fall for me : their weeping mothers. 
Following the dead-cold ashes of their sons, 
Shall never curse my cruelty. Good Heav'n, 
What a sweet face has Aicite ! If wise Natui'C, 

•1 We omit some lines here, for the same reason as we 
hcive previously stated. The tendency of Fleteher is to 
destroy liis own high merits by a wanton indulgr>nce in 
pruriency. He loses nothing by occasional omissions; not, 
however, regulated by over-I'astidiousness. 


Act IV.] 



Witli all her best endowments, all tlioso l)cautics 
Slie sows into the births of noble boilies, 
Were here a mortal woman, and had in licr 
The coy denials of young maids, yet doubtless 
She would rim mad for this man : what an 

Of what a fiery sparkle, and quick sweetness. 
Has this young prince ! here Love himscK sits 

smiling ; 
.lust such another wanton Ganymede 
Set Jove afire, and cnforc'd the god 
Snatch up the goodly boy, and set him by him 
A shining constellation ! what a brow, 
Of what a spacious majesty, he carries, 
Aroh'd like the great-ey'd Jimo's, but far 

Smoother than Pelops' shoulder ! Tame and 

Methuiks, from hence, as ft-om a promontory 
Pointed in heav'n, should clap their wings, and 

To all the imder-world, the loves and lights 
Of gods and such men near 'em. Palamon 
Is but lus foil ; to hiin, a mere dull sliadow ; 
He 's swarth and meagre, of an eye as heavy 
As if he 'd lost his mother : a still temper, 
No stirring in him, no alacrity ; 
Of all this sprightly sharpness, not a smile. 
Yet these tliat wo count errors may become 

him : 
Narcissus was a sad boy, but a heavenly. 
Oil, who can find the bent of woman's fancy ? 
I am a fool, my reason is lost in me ; 
I have no choice, and I have lied so lewdly. 
That women ought to beat me. On my 

I ask thy pardon, Palamon ! Thoa art alone. 
And only beautiful ; and these thy eyes, 
Tliese the bright lamps of beauty, that com- 
And threaten love, and what young maid dare 

cross 'em ? 
Wliat a bold gravity, and yet inviting. 
Has this brown manly face! Oh, Love, this 

From this hour is complexion ; lie there, Arcite ! 
Thou art a changeling to him, a mere gipsy. 
And this the noble body — I am sotted. 
Utterly lost ! my virgin's faith has fled mc. 
For if my brother but e'en now had ask'd mc 
Wliether I lov'd, I had i-un mad for Arcite ; 
Now if iny sister, more for Palamon — 
Stand both togetiier ! Now, come, ask me, 

Alas, I know not! ask nie now, sweet sister; 

I may go look ! AVTiat a mere child is fancy, 
That, having two fair gawds of equal sweet- 
Cannot distinguish, but must cry for both ! 

E/i/er a Gentleman. 

How now, sir ? 

Geiii, From the noble duke, your brotlier. 
Madam, I bring you news : the knights are 
come ! 

R,ii. To end the quarrel? 

Geai. Yes. 

Emi. 'Would I might cud first ! 

What sins have I committed, chaste Diana, 
That my unspotted youth must now be soil'd 
With blood of princes ? and my chastity 
Be made the altar, where the lives of lovers 
(Two greater and two better never yet 
Made mothers joy) must be the sacrifice 
To my unhappy beauty ? 

E/tter Theseus, HirroLYTA, Peuitiious, and 

T/ifs. Bring them in 

Quickly by any means. I long to see them. — 
Your two contending lovers are return' d. 
And with them their fair knights ; now, my fail' 

You must love oue of thcin. 

E//ii. I had rather both. 

So neither for my sake shoidd faU untimely. 

Ei/ler Messenger. 

T/ies. Who saw them ? 

I'er. I a while. 

Getif. And I. 

7//t;s. From whence come you, sir ? 

Mess. From the knights. 

T/ies. Pray speak. 

You that have seen them, what they are. 

jlJess. I will, sir. 

And truly what I think : six braver spirits 
Than these they've brought, (if we judge by 

the outside,) 
I never saw, nor read of. He that stands 
In the first jdaee witli Arcite, by his seeming 
Should be a stout man, by his face a prince 
(His very looks so say liim) ; his coiniilexion 
Nearer a brown than black; stern, and ye'. 

Which shows him hardy, fearless, proud of 
dangers ; 


[ScEHi: 11. 

'I lie circles of bis eyes show fire " within him, 
Aud as a heated lion, so he looks ; 




■h a 

Ills hair hangs loni 

Like ravens' wings; his shoulders broad 

strong ; 
Ariu'd long aud round : and on his thi;^ 

Ilmig by a curious baldriek, when he frowns 
To seal his will with ; better, o' my conscience, 
^\^as never soldier's friend. 

Thes. Thou hast well desorib'd him. 
Per. Yet a great deal short, 

Jlethiuks, of him that 's first with Palamon. 
Thes. Pray speak him, friend. 
Por. I guess he is a prince too, 

;\.ud, if it may be, greater ; for his show 
lias all the ornaiiieut of honour in 't. 
He's somewhat bigger than the knight he spoke 

Iiut of a face far sweeter ; his complexion 
Is (as a ripe grape) ruddy ; he has felt, 
\\'ilhout doubt, what he fights for, and so apter 
To make this cause his own ; in 's face appears 
All the fair hopes of what hs undertakes ; 
And when he 's angry, then a settled valour 
(Not tainted with extremes) runs through his 

And guides liis arm to brave things; fear he 

He shows no such soft temper ; his head 's 

Hard-hair'd, aud cmTd, thick twin' 

Not to undo with thunder ; hi his face 
The livery of the warlike maid appears, 
Piu-e red and white, for yet no beard has blcss'd 

And in his rolling eyes sits Victory, 
As if she ever meant to crown his valour ; 
His nose stands high, a character of honour. 
His red lips, after fights, are fit for ladies. 
Him. Must these men die too? 
Vcr. When he speaks, his tongue 

Sounds like a trumpet ; all his lineaments 
Are as a man would wish them, strong aud 

clean ; 
He wears a well-steel'd axe, the staff of gold ; 
His age some fivc-and-twenty. 

Mess. There 's another, 

A. little man, but of a tough soul, seemmg 

a Fjre—fair in the original. A modern reading is fur, 
in plying deep-seated eyes. Fair miglit be received in the 
sense of clear ; but the expression "A\i hin him" implies 
something more Mr. Dyce suggests the une.\ceptionable 
reading nfjire. 

like ivy 

As great as any ; fairer promises 
In such a body yet I never look'd on. 
Fez: Oh, he that 's freckle-fac'd ? 
Mess. The same, my lord : 

Are they not sweet oacs ? 

Per. Yes, they 're well. 

Mess. McthinLc, 

Being so few, and w'cll dispos'd, they show 
Great, and fine art in Nature. He 's white- 

Not wanton-white, but such a manly colour 
Next to an auburn ; tough, and nimble set. 
Which shows an active soul; his arms are 

Lin'd with strong sinews ; to the shoidder-piccc 
Gently they swell, like women new-eonceiv'd, 
Which s^eak3 him prone to labour, never faint- 
Under the weight of arms ; stout-hearted, still, 
But, wdien he stirs, a tiger ; he 's grey-ey'd. 
Which yields compassion where he conquers; 

To spy advantages, and w here he finds 'em. 
He 's swift to make 'em his ; he does no wrongs, 
Nor takes none ; he 's round-fac'd, and when he 

He shows a lover, when he frowns, a sokUer ; 
About his head he wears the winner's oak, 
Aud in it stuck the favour of his lady ; 
His age, some six-and-thirty. In his hand 
He bears a charging-staff, cniboss'd with silver. 
T/ies. Ai'C they all thus ? 
Per. They 're all the sons of honour. 

T/ies. Now, as I have a soul, I long to sec 
them ! 
Lady, you shall see men fight now. 

Jlip. I wish it. 

But not the cause, my lord : they would show 
Bravely about the titles of two kingdoms ; 
'T is pity love should be so tyrannous. 
Oh, my soft-hearted sister, what think you ? 
Weep not, tiU they weep blood, wench ! it must 
T/ies You've steel'd 'em with yom- beauty. 
Honour'd friend. 
To you I give the field ; pray order it 
Fittmg the persons that must use it ! 

Per. Yes, sii. 

T/ies. Come, I '11 go visit them : I cannot stay 
(Their fame has fii-'d me so) till they appear ! 
Good friend, be royal I 
Per. There shall want no bravery. 

Enii. Poor wench, go weep ; for whosoever 
Loses a noble cousin for thy sins. \_E.ceiint. 


All IV.] 



Enter Gaolek, Wooer, and Doctor. 

Doctor. Her distraction is more at some time 
of the moon tlian at other some, is it not ? 

Gaoler. She is continually in a harmless dis- 
temper; sleeps little, altogether without appe- 
tite, save often drinking; ckeamiiig of anotlier 
world, and a better ; and what broken piece of 
matter soe'er she 's about, the name Palamou 
lards it ; tliat she fai'ces every business withal, 
fits it to every question. 

Enter Daughter. 

Look, where she comes ! you shall perceive her 

Bauc/h. I have forgot it quite; the burden 
on 't was ' do\vn-a dowu-a ; ' and pcnued by no 
worse man than Giraldo, Emilia's sehoohnaster : 
he 's as fantastical too, as ever he may go upon 's 
legs ; for in the next world will Dido see Pala- 
mou, and then will she be out of love with 

Doctor. What stuff 's here ? poor soul ! 

Gaoler. Even thus all day long. 

Davfjh. Now for this charm tliat I told you 
of ; you must bring a piece of silver on the tip 
of your tongue, or no ferry : then if it be your 
chance to come where the blessed spirits (as 
there 's a sight now), we maids that have our 
livers perished, cracked to pieces with love, we 
shall come there, and do nothing aU day long 
!)ut pick flowers with Proserjiiue; then will I 
make Palamon a uosegay; then let liim — mark 
me — then ! 

Doctor. How prettily she's amiss! note her 
a Uttle further! 

Dauffk. Faith, I "11 tell you ; sometime we go 
to barleybrcak, we of the blessed : alas, 't is a 
sore life they have i' tb' other place ! If oue 
be mad, or hang, or di-own themselves, thither 
they go ; Jupiter bless us ! 

Doctor. How she continues this fancy ! 'T is 
not an engrafted madness, but a most tlnck and 
[irofound melancholy. 

Dangh. To hear there a proud lady and a 
proud city-wife howl together ! I were a beast, 
an I 'd call it good sport ! * \Siiigs. 

' I will be true, my stars, my fate,* &c. 

[Ecii Datjgiiter. 

.-I We have again been compelled to employ the pnininp- 
knife. Our edition is for general readers, as weU as for 

Gaoler. What think you of her, sir ? 

Doctor. I think she has a perturbed mind, 
which I cannot minister to. 

Gaoler. Alas, what then ? 

Doctor. Understand you she ever affected 
any man ere she beheld Palamon ? 

Gaoler. I was once, sir, in great hope she 
had fixed her liking on this gentleman, my 

Wooer. I did think so too ; and would aceouut 
I had a gi'cat pennyworth on 't, to give half my 
state, that both she and I at this present stood 
unfeiguedly on the same terms. 

Doctor. That intemperate sm-feit of her eye 
hath distempered the otlier senses; they may 
return, and settle again to execute their pre- 
ordained faculties; but they are now in a most 
extravagant vagary. This you must do : con- 
tine her to a place where the light may rather 
seem to steal in, than be permitted. Take upon 
you (young sir, her friend) the name of Pala- 
mou ; say you come to eat with her, and to com- 
mtme of love; this wUl catch her attention, for 
this her miud beats upon ; other objects, tliat 
are inserted 'tween her mind and eye, become 
the pranks and friskings of her madness; sing to 
her such green songs of love, as she says Pala- 
mon hath sung in prison ; come to her, stuck in 
as sweet flowers as the season is mistress of, and 
thereto make an addition of some other com- 
pounded odours, which are gratefxd to the sense: 
aU tliis shall become Palamon, for Palamon can 
siug, and P;damon is sweet, and every good 
thing; desire to cat with ber, carve her, drink 
to her, and still among intermingle your peti- 
tion of grace and acceptance into her favour; 
learn what maids have been her companions 
and play-plieers ;» aud let them repair to her 
with Palamou in their mouths, aud appear vriih 
tokens, as if they suggested for him : it is a 

critical students. The essential difference between Shak- 
spere and Fletcher makes it necessary to adopt a different 
course with reference to the two writers. It is not a false 
reverence for Stiakspere that calls upon an editor to leave 
liis text unchanged ; but a just discrimination between the 
quality of what is offensive in him and in other writers of 
his age. Coleridge lias defined this difference with his usual 
pliilosophical judgment: — " Even Shakspeare's grossness — 
that wiiich is really so, independently of the increase in 
modern times of vicious associations with things indifferent 
— (for there is a state of manners conceivable so pure, that 
the language of Hamlet at Ophelia's feet might tie a harm- 
less rallying, or playful teazing, of a shame that would 
exist in Paradise) — at the worst, how diverse iu kind is it 
from Beaumont and Fletcher's ! In Shakspeare it is the 
mere generalities of sex, mere words for the most part, 
seldom or never distinct images, all head-work, and fincy- 
drolleries; there is no sensation supposed in the speaker. 
I need not proceed to contrast this with Beaumont and 
a /*/(ii/-/jAccrj— playfellows. 

Ait IV.] 


[Scene HI. 

Hilsriiootl slic is in, wliich is -svith falsehoods to 
be combated. Tliis may bring her to cat, to 
sleep, and reduce what are now out of square in 
her, into their former law and regiment : I have 
seen it approved, how many times I know not ; 

but to make tlie number more, 1 have great liopo 
iu this. I W'ill, between the passages of this 
project, come in with my appliance. Let us put 
it iir execution ; and hasten the success, which, 
doubt not, will bring forth comfort. \ Exeunt. 




'Eiiter Theseus, Perittious, IIirroLYTA, and 

Thes. Now let them enter, and before the gods 
Tender their holy prayers ! Let tlie temples 
Burn bright with sacred fires, and tlie altars 
In hallow'd clouds commend their swelling in- 
To those above us ! Let no due be wanting ! 

[Floiiri-ih of cornets. 
Tlicy have a noble work in hand, wUl honour 
The very powers that love them. 

Enter Palamox, Arcite, aii-l their Knights. 

Per. Sii', they enter. 


Tlies. You valiant and strong-heai'ted cue 
You royal germane foes, that this day come 
To blow that nearness out that flames between ye. 
Lay by your auger for an hour, and dove-hke 
Before the holy altars of your helpers 
(The aU-fear'd gods) bow down yoiu- stubborn 

bodies ! 
Y"our ire is more than mortal ; so your help be ! 
And as the gods regard ye, fight with justice ! 
I '11 leave you to your prayers, and betwixt ye 
I part my wishes. 
Per. Honour crown the woi-thicst 1 

[E.reimi Thes. a/id Train. 
Fi//. The glass' is running now that cannot 

Act v.] 


[Sceh:e i 

Till one of us expii'8 : tkiuk you but thus; 
Tliat were thei-e nuglit in nie which stroye to 

Miue enemy iu this business, were 't one eye 
Against another, arm oppress'd by arm, 
I would destroy th' offender ; ooz, I woidd. 
Though parcel of myself; then from this gather 
How I should tender you. 

Arc. I am iu labour 

To pusli your name, yoiu: ancient love, our 

Out of my memory ; and i' the self-same place 
To seat something I woidd confoimd : so hoist 

The sails that nnist these vessels port ev'n where 
The heavenly Limiter pleases. 

Pal. You speak well : 

Before I tm-n, let me embrace thee, cousin. 
Tills I shall never do again. 
Arc. One farewell ! 

Pul. Wiiy, id it be so ; farewell, coz ! 
Air. Farewell, sir- ! 

[E.i-eiint Pal. ami his Knights. 
Knights, kinsmen, lovers, yea, my saciiflecs. 
True worshippers of Mars, whose spuit iu you 
Expels the seeds of fear, and th' apprehensinii, 
AViiicli still is further off it, go with mc 
Before the god of om- profession. There 
Require of him the hearts of lions, and 
The breath of tigers, yea, the iiereeness too, 
Yea, the speed also,— to go on, I mean. 
Else wish we to be snails : you know my prize 
;Must be dragg'd out of blood; force and great 

Must ])ut my garland on, where she sticks 
The queen of flowers ; our intercession then 
Must be to him that makes the camp a oestron 
Brinnn'd witli the blood of meu ; give me your 

And beud yom' spii-its towards him : — 

[Thej/ kneel. 
Thou mighty one, that with thy power hast 

Green Neptune into purple; [whose approach]" 
Comets prewarn ; whose havoc in vast field 
Unearthed skidls proclaun ; whose breath blows 

The teeming Ceres' foison ; who dost pluck 
With hand armipotent from forth blue clouds 
The mason'd tureets; that both mak'st and 

The stony girths of cities; me, (liy pupil, 

a The worils in brackets are not in the original copies, but 
were added by Seward. As something is evidently wanting, 
the addition isjudicious. 
Sup. Vol. ISf 

Youngest follower of thy drum, insti-uct this day 

W'itli military skill, that to thy land 

I may advance my streamer, and by thee 

Be styl'd the lord o' the day ! Give me, great 

Some token of thy pleasure ! 

[//(?/■« tliey full on their faces as formcrli), 
and there is heard clanging of armour, 
with a short th under, as the burst of a 
battle, whereupon they all rise, and bow 
to the Altar. 
Oh, great corrector of enormous times. 
Shaker of o'er-rank states, thou grand decider 
Of dusty and old titles, that heal'st with blood 
The earth when it is sick, and eur'st the world 
Of the phu'isy ' of people ; I do take 
Thy sig-us auspiciously, and in thy name 
To my design march boldly. Let us go ! \E.vcunt. 

Enter Palamon and his Knights, tcith the 
former observance. 

Pal. Our stars must glister with new fire, 
or be 
To-day extinct : our argmnent is love. 
Which if the goddess of it grant, she gives 
Victory too : then blend your spu-its with mine. 
You, whose free nobleness do make my cause 
Yom- personal hazard. To the goddess Venus 
Commend we om- proceeding, and implore 
Her power unto our party ! [Here theg kn-eel. 
Hail, sovereign queen of secrets ! who hasl 

To call the fiercest tyrant from his rage. 
To weep unto a girl ; that hast the miglit 
Ev'u with an eye-glance to choke Mars's drum. 
And turn th' alarm to whispers; that canst 

A cripple flourish with his crutch, and cure him 
Before Apollo ; that may'st force the king 
To be his subjects' vassal, and induce 
Stale gravity to dance ; the polled bachelor 
(Whose youth, like wanton boys througli bon- 
Have skipp'd thy flame) at seventy thou canst 

And make liim, to the scorn of his hoarse throat, 
Abuse young lays of love. What godlike power 
Ilast thou not power upon ? To Phcebus tiioii 
Add'st flames, hotter than his ; the heavenly fires 
Did scorch his mortal son, tliine him; tup 

All moist and cold, some say, began to throw 
Her bow away, and sigh ; take to thy grace 

» PI iiri- II— used by the old Iiools for fulness. 

Act v.] 


[Scene I, 

Me thy vow'il soldier ! who do bear thy yoke 
As 't were a wreath of roses, yet is heavier 
Than lead itself, stings more than nettles : 
I 've never been foid-mouth'd against thy law ; 
Ne'er reveal'd secret, for I knew none, would not 
Had I kenn'd aU that were ; I never practis'd 
Upon man's wife, nor woidd the libels read 
Of liberal wits ; I never at great feasts 
Sought to betray a beauty, but have Ijlush'd 
At shnpcring sirs that did ; I have been harsh 
To large eoul'essors, and have hotly ask'd them 
If they had mothers ? — I had one, a woman, 
And women 't were they wi'ong'd. I knew a 

Of eighty \vinters (this I told them), who 
A lass of fourteen brided ; 't was thy power 
To put life into dust ; the aged cramp 
Had screw'd his square foot round, 
The gout had knit liis fingers into knots. 
Torturing convulsions from his globy eyes 
Had almost di'awn their spheres, that what was 

In him seem'd torture; this anatomy 
Had by liis yoirng fair pheer a boy, and I 
Believ'd it was his, for she swore it was. 
And who would not beUeve her ? Brief, I am 
To those that prate, and have done, no compa- 
To those that boast, and have not, a detier ; 
To those that would, and cannot, a rejoicer : 
Yea, him I do not love that tells close offices 
Tke foulest way, nor names conceahnents in 
The boldest language : such a one I am, 
Aud vow that lover never yet made sigh 
Truer than I. Oh, then, most soft sweet god- 
Give me the victory of tiiis cpiestion, which 
Is true love's merit, and bless me with a sign 
Of thy great pleasure ! 

[Jlere music, is IieanJ, doves are seen to 
flutter ; tlietj fall again vpon their 
faces, then on their knees. 
Oil, thou that from eleven to ninety reign'st 
In mortal bosoms, whose ohaee is this world, 
Aud we in herds thy game, I give thee thanks 
For tins fair token ! which being laid unto 
Mine innocent true; heart, arms in assurance 

[_Thei/ l/oic. 
My body to this business. Let us rise 
Aud bow before the goddess ! Time comes on. 

\Slill music nf reeorch. 

Kilter Ejiilia in trhite, her hair aljoiit her shoul- 
ders, a tfheaten tercalh ; one in white holdinj 

up her train, her hair stuck with Jiowers ; one 
before her curri/inri a siher hind, in which is 
convei/ed incense and sweet odours, which be- 
inff set upon the Altar, her Maids standing 
aloof, she sets fire to it ; then thei/ curtsij and 

Eiui. Oh, sacred, shadowy, eold, aud constant 
Abandoncr of revels, mute, contemplative. 
Sweet, solitary, wliitc as chaste, and pure 
As wiud-fanu'd snow, who to thy female knights 
Allow'st no more blood than will make a blush, 
Which is their order's robe ; I here, thy priest. 
Am humbled 'fore thine altar. Oh, vouchsafe. 
With that tliy rare green eye, which never yet 
Beheld thing maeidate, look on thy vii'gin ! 
Aud, sacred silver mistress, lend thine ear 
(Wliich ne'er heai'd scurril term, into whose port 
Ne'er entcr'd wanton sound) to my petition, 
Season'd with holy fear ! Tliis is my last 
Of vestal olEce ; I am bride-habited. 
But maiden-hearted ; a husband I liave ap- 
But do not know him ; out of two I shoidd 
Choose one, aud pray for his success, but I 
Am guiltless of election of mine eyes ; 
AVere I to lose one (they are equal precious), 
I could doom neither; that which perisli'd 

Go to 't unsentenc'd : therefore, most modest 

He, of the tw-o pretenders, that best loves \m\ 
And has the truest title in 't, let hini 
Take off my wheaten garland, or else grant. 
The file and quality I hold, I may 
Continue in thy band ! 

\_Here the hind vanishes under the Altar, 
and in the place ascends a rose-tree, 
haring one rose vpon it. 
See what om' general of ebbs and flows 
Out from the bowels of her holy altar 
With sacred act advances ! But one rose ? 
If well inspir'd, this battle shall confound 
Both these brave knights, and I a virgin flower 
Must grow alone unpluck'd. 

[Here is heard a sudden twang of instru- 
ments, and the rose falls from the tree. 
The flower is fall'n, the tree descends ! Oh, 

Thou here dischargcst mc ; I shall be gather'd, 
I think so ; but I know not thine own will : 
Unclasp thy mystery ! I liope she 's pleas'd ; 
Her signs were gracious. 

[Thei/ curls;/, and exeunt 

Aci v.] 




Enter Doctok, Gaoisb, and Wooer {In habit 
of Palamon). 

Doctor. Has this advice I fold you done any 

good upou her ? 
ll'oocr. Oh, very ranch : the maids that kept 
lier company 
Have lialf persuaded iier that I am Pah\mon ; 
^Vithin this half-hour she came smiling to mc. 
And ask'd me ■what I 'd eat, and when I 'd kiss her : 
I told her presently, and kiss'd her tmce. 
Doctor. 'T was well done ! twenty times had 
been far better ; 
For there the cure lies mainly. 

IFooer. Then she told me 

Slie would watch with me to-night, for well she 

AViiat hour my (it woukl take me. 
Doctor. Let her do so. 

JFoocr. S!ie woiJd have me sing. 
Doctor. You did so ? 

IFooer. No. 

Doctor. 'T was very ill done, then : 
You shoidd observe her ev'ry way. 

IFooer. Alas ! 

I have no voice, su-, to confiim her that way. 

Doctor. That 's all one, if yon make a noise : 
Pray bring her in, and let 's see how she is. 
Gaoler. I will, and tell her her Palamon 
stays for her. [E.t-it. 

Doctor. How old is she ? 
IFooer. She 's eighteen. 

Doctor. She may be ; 

But that's all one, 't is nothing to our purpose. 

Enter Gaoler, Daughter, and Maid. 

Gaoler. Come ; your love Palamon stays for 
you, child ; 
And has done this long hour, to visit you. 

Datiffli. I thanlc him for his gentle patience ; 
He's a kind gentleman, and I'm much bound 

to him. 
Did you ne 'er see the horse he gave mc ? 

Gaoler. Yes. 

DaiKjIi. How do you like hun ? 

Gaoler. He's a very fau- one. 

Datigh. You never saw him dance ? 

Gaoler. No. 

Daiir/h. I have often : 

He dances very finely, very comely ; 
And, for a jig, come cut and long luil to him ! 
He tiu'us you like a (op. 

Gaoler. That 's fine indeed. 

Jt 2 ' 

Daiigli. He '11 dance the morris twenty mile 
an hour. 
And that will founder the best hobby-horse 
(If I have any skill) in all the parish : 
And gallops to the tune of ' Light o' love : ' 
What think you of this horse ? 

Gaolsi: Having these virtues, 

I think he might be brought to play at tennis. 
Da/iffh. Alas, that 's nothing. 
Gaoler. Can he write and read too ? 

Danffli. A very fair hand; and casts himself 
th' accounts 
Of all his hay and provender : that ostler 
Must rise betinie that cozens him. Y'ou know 
The chestnut mare the duke has ? 

Gaoler. Very well. 

Davgh. She 's horribly in love with him, poor 
beast ; 
But he is like his master, coy and scornful. 
Gaoler. What dowry has she ? 
Daugh. Some two hundred bottles 

And twenty strike of oats : but he'll ne'er have 

He lisps in 's neighing, able to entice 
A miller's mare ; he 'U be the death of her. 
Doctor. What stuff she utters ! 
Gaoler. Make curtsy ; here your love comes ! 
Wooer. Pretty soul, 

How do you ? Tliat 's a fine maid ! there 's a 
■ cm-tsy ! 
Daugh. Y'oui-3 to command, i' the way of 
How far is 't now to the end o' the world, my 
masters ? 
Doctor. Why, a day's journey, wench. 
Daugh. Will you go with me ? 

IFooer. What shall we do there, wench ? 
Daugh. Why, play at stool-ball. 

Wliat is there else to do ? 

IFooer. I am content. 

If we shall keep oiu' wedding there. 

Daugh. 'T is true ; 

Por there I wiU assure you we shall find 
Some blind priest for the purpose, that will 

To marry us, for here they 're nice and foolisli ; 
Besides, my father must be hang'd to-morrow, 
iVnd that would be a blot i' the l)usiness. 
Are not you Palamon ? 

Wooer. Do you not kuow mc ? 

Daugh. Yes ; but you care not for mc: I liavc 
But tliis poor petticoat, and two coarse smocks 
Wooer. That 's all one ; I will have you. 
Daugh. Will you sui'cly ;- 


Act V . 


[Scene TII. 

Ifooer. Why do juii nib my kiss off ? 

Daiiffh. 'T is a sweet oue. 

And \rill perfume lue finely 'gainst the wedding. 
Is not this your cousin Ai-cite ? 

Doctor. Yes, sweetheart; 

And I am glad my cousin Palamon 
Has made so fair a choice. 

Daiigh. Do you think he '11 have nic ? 

Doctor. Yes, without doubt. 

Duugli. Do you think so too ? 

Oaoler. Yes. 

Bangh. We shall have many children. — Lord, 
how you're grown ! 
My Palamon I hope will grow, too, finely. 
Now he 's at liberty ; alas, poor chicken, 
He was kept down with hard meat, and ill 

But I will kiss him up again. 

Unter a Messenger. 

Mess. What do you here ? 

You'll lose the noblest sight that e 'cv was seen. 

Giioler. Are tliey i' the field ? 

Mess. They arc : 

You bear a charge there too. 

Gaoler. I '11 away straight, 

I must ev'n leave you here. 

Doctor. Nay, we'll go with you : 

I NviU not lose the fight. 

Oaoler. How did you like her ? 

Doctor. I'll warrant yon within these three 
or four days 
I '11 make her right again. You must not from 

But still preserve her in this way. 

Wooer. I will. 

Doctor. Let 's get her in. 

Wooer. Come, sweet, Me '11 go to dinner ; 

And then we'll play at cards." [^ETetint. 


Enter Theseus, Hippoltta, Emilia, Peki- 
Tnous, and Attendants. 

Emi. I '11 no step further. 

Per. WiU you lose this sight ? 

Emi. I had rather see a wren hawk at a fly. 
Than this decision : every blow that falls 
Tlireats a brave life ; each stroke laments 
llic place whereon it falls, and sounds more like 
A bell, than blade : I \vill stay here : 

a This scene, as if stands in the original, contains im- 
purities of tlioupht lai" more corrupting than any inrielic.a- 
eiea of language alone. We have pursued tlic same course 
iis in two previous instances. 

It is enough my hearing shall be punish'd 
With what shall happen ('gainst the whici: 

there is 
No deafing), but to hear, not taint mine eye 
With dread sights it may shim. 

Per. Sir, my good lord. 

Your sister will no fiu'ther. 

Thcs. Oh, she must : 

She shall see deeds of honoiu: in their kind. 
Which sometime show wcU-penciU'd : Natiu'e 

Shall make and act the story, the belief 
Both seal'd with eye and ear. Y'on must be 

present ; 
You arc the victor's meed, the price and garland 
To crown the question's title. 

Emi. Piirdon me ; 

If I were there, I 'd w'lak. 

Tlies. You must be there; 

This trial is as 't were i' the night, and you 
The only star to shine. 

Emi. I am extinct ; 

There is but envy in that light, which shows 
The one the other. Darkness, which ever was 
The dam of Horror, who does stand accurs'd 
Of many mortal millions, may ev'n now. 
By casting her black mantle over both, 
That neither coidd find other, get herself 
Some part of a good name, and many a niurdrr 
Set off whereto she 's guilty. 

Hip. You must go. 

Emi. In faith, I will not. 

Thes. Wiy, the knights must kindle 

Their valour at your eye : know, of this war 
You are the treasure, and must needs be by 
To give the service pay. 

Emi. Sir, pardon me ; 

The title of a kingdom may be tried 
Out of itself. 

Thes. Well, well, then, at your pleasure ! 

Those that remain with you could wish their 

To any of their enemies. 

Hip. EarcwcU, sister ! 

I 'm like to know your husband 'fore yourself. 
By some small start of time : he whom the gods 
Do of the two know best, I pray them he 
Be made yoiu- lot ! 

[Exeunt Tueseus, Hippolvta, Peki- 

THOUS, ^-c. 
Emi. Areite is gently visag'd : yet his eye 
Is Uke mi engine bent, or a sharp weapon 
In a soft sheath ; mercy and manly courage 
Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon 
Has a most menacing aspect ; his brow 


[Scene III. 

Is grav'il, and seems to bury what it frowns on ; 
Yet sometimes 't is not so, but alters to 
The quality of his thoughts ; long time his eye 
Will dwell upon his object; melanclioly 
Becomes him nobly ; so does Arcite's niii'th ; 
But Palamou's sadness is a kind of mirth, 
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad, 
And sadness, merry ; those darker humours 

Stick misbecomingly ou others, on him 
Live in fair dwelling. 

'iCoriiels. Triimpcis sound as to a Charge. 
Hai-k, how yon spui's to spirit do incite 
The princes to their proof! Aroite may win ire ; 
And yet may Palamou wound Ai'cite, to 
The spoiling of his figiu'e. Oh, what pity 
Enough for such a chance ! If I were by, 
I might do hurt; for they would glance their 

Toward my seat, and in that motion might 
Omit a ward, or forfeit an offence. 
Which crav'd that very time ; it is muoli better 
[Cornets. Cry within, A Palamon ! 
I am not there ; oh, better never born 
Than minister to such harm ! — Wliat is the 

chance ? 

Elder a Servant. 

Serv. The cry 's a Palamon. 
Eini. Then lie has won. 'T was ever likely : 
He look'd all grace and success, and he is 
Doubtless the primest of men. I prithee nui. 
And tell me how it goes. 

[Shout, and cornels ; crj, A Palamon ! 
Htro. Still Palamou. 

Emi. Run and iuquire. Poor servant, thou 
hast lost ! 
Upon my right side still I wore thy picture, 
Palamon 's ou the left ; why so, I know not ; 
I had no end in 't else; chance would have it 
[Another cry and shout within, and Cornets. 
Ou the sinister side the heart lies : Palamon 
Had the best-boduig chance. This burst of 

Is sure the cud o' the combat. 

Enter Servant. 

Sen-. They said that Palaiiion had Arcite's 
Within an inch o' the pyramid, that tlic cry 
Was general a Palamon ; but auou, 
Th' assistants made a brave redemption, and 
The two bold filters at this instant are 
Hand to hand at it. 

End. Were liicy metamoi-phos'd 

Both into one— Oh, w hy ? there were no woman 
Woi-th so compos'd a man ! Their single shave, 
Theii' nobleness peoidiar to them, gives 
Tlie prejudice of disparity, value's sliortness, 

[Cornets. Cry tcithin, Arcitc, Arcite ! 
To any lady breathing. — More exidting ! 
Palamou still ! 

Sere. Nay, now the soimd is Arcite. 

Emi. I prithee lay attention to the cry ; 

[Cornets. A great shout and cry, Arcite, 
victory ! 
Set both thine ears to the business. 

Serv. The cry is 

Arcite, and victory ! Hark ! Ai'citc, victory ! 
The combat's consummation is proclaim'd 
By the wind-instruments. 

Emi. Half-sights saw 

That Ai'oite was no babe : God's 'Ud, his richness 
And costliness of spuit look'd thi'ongh him ! it 

No more be hid in him than fire in flax, 
Thau humble banks can go to law with waters, 
That drift winds force to raging. I did think 
Good Palamon would miscarry ; yet I knew not 
Why I did tlunlc so : our reasons are not pro- 
When oft oiu- fancies are. They 're coming off : 
Alas, poor Palamon ! [Cor.icis. 

Eder Theseus, HirroLVTA, Pebithous, Ar- 
cite as Victor, Attendants, &c. 

Thes. Lo, where oui' sister is in expectation, 
Yet quaking and unsettled. Fairest Emilia, 
The gods, by their divine arbitrement, 
Have given you this kuight : he is a good one 
As ever struck at head. Give mc your hands ! 
Receive you her, you liim; be pUglited wilh 
A love that grows as you decay ! 

Arc. EmUia, 

To buy you 1 have lost what 's dearest to me, 
Save what is bought ; and yet I purchase cheaply, 
As I do rate yom- value. 

Thes. Oh, lov'd sister. 

He speaks now of as brave a knight as e'er 
Did spur a noble steed ; smcly the gods 
Would have him die a bachelor, lest his race 
Sliould sliow i' the world too godlike ! His 

So charni'd me, that methought Alcides was 
To him a sow of lead : if I could praise 
Each part of hun to th' all I 've spoke, your 

Did not lose by 't; for he that was thus good, 


Arr v.] 


[Scene IV. 

Encounter'd yet his better. I have heard 
Two emidous Pliilomcls beat the ear o' the night 
With their contcutious throats, now one the 

Anon the other, then again the first, 
.\nd by and by out-breasted, that the sense 
Coidd not be judge between them : so it far'd 
Good space between these kinsmen; till hcav'ns 

Make hardly one the winucr. Wear the gar- 
With joy that you have won ! Tor the subdued. 
Give them our present justice, since I know 
Their Uves but pinch them ; let it here be done. 
The scene 's not for cm seeing : go wo hence, 
Jliglit joyfid, with some sorrow. Arm youi' prize :" 
I know you will not lose her. Hippolyta, 
I sec one eye of yours conceives a tear. 
The which it will deliver. [Fluiti-ish. 

E„ii. Is this \vinning ? 

Oh, aU you hcav'nly powers, where is your 

mercy ? 
But that yom- wUls have said it must be so, 
And charge me live to comfort, thus unfriended. 
This miserable prince, that cuts away 
A life more worthy from him than all women, 
I shoidd and would die too. 

Jlij). Li finite pity. 

That four such eyes should be so fix'd on one. 
That two must needs be blind for 't ! 

T/ii's. So it is. {lUxeimf. 


7:>/('/' Palamon and his Knights jiiiiiuiicrl, 
Gaolee, Executioner, and Guard. 

I'lil. There 's many a man alive that hath 

The love o' the people; yea, i' the self-same 

Stands many a father with his child : some 

We have by so considering ; we expire. 
And not without men's pity ; to live still. 
Have their good wishes ; we prevent 
The loathsome misery of age, beguile 
The gout and rheum, that in lag hours attend 
For grey approaehers ; we come tow'rds the gods 
Young, and unwappen'd,'' not halting under 


II .4 i-mf/o(/r;)rx;:c— offer your arm tothel.idy you li.iveworr. 
l> Uiiwaiipeii'd. The originals liave univnjtper'd. Without 
knowint,' exactly the meaning of the \Yord wiqiitrn'd, wc would 
receive the epithet here as the opposite to tint in Timon^ 

"That makes the wappen'd widow wed af;ain." 
Mr. Dyce retains tniwnppvr'd in the sense of unworn, not 


Many and stide ; that sure shall please the gods 
Sooner than such, to give us nectar with them. 
For wo are more clear sphits. My dear kins- 
Whose lives (for this poor comfort) are laid 

You 've sold them too, too cheap. 

1 Knirjlit. What ending coidd be 
Of more content ? O'er us the victors have 
Fortune, whose title is as momentary 

As to us death is certain ; a grain of honour 
They not o'erweigh ns. 

2 Kii'iijht. Let us bid farewell ; 
And with om- patience anger tott'ring fortune. 
Who at her certain'st reels ! 

3 Kniyht. Come ; who begins ? 
Pal. Ev'n he that led you to this banquet 

Taste to you all. Ah-ha, my friend, my friend ! 
Yom' gentle daughter gave me freedom once ; 
You '11 see 't done now for ever. Pray, how does 

she ? 
I heard she was not well ; her kind of iU 
Gave me some sorrow. 

Gaoler. Sir, she 's well rcstor'd, 

And to be married shortly. 

Pal. By my short lil'c. 

I am most glad on 't ! "t is the latest thing 
I shall be glad of ; prithee tell her so ; 
Commend mo to Iter, and to piece her portion 
Tender her this. 

1 Kuiyht. Nay, let's be offerers all ! 

2 Knight. Is it a maid ? 

Pal. Verily, I tliiuk so ; 

A right good creature, more to me deserving 
That I can cpiite or speak of! 

All Kiiiijhts. Commend us to her. 

\_Qivc their jmrses. 

Gaoler. The gods requite you all. 

And make her thankfid ! 

Pal. Adieu ! and let my Kfe be now as short 
As my leave-taking. [Lies on- the block. 

1 KiiifjhI. Load, courageous cousin ! 

2 Kiih/hf. AVe '11 follow cheerftdly. 

[A (jreat noise tcitliiii, eri/iinj, Kun, save, 
hold ! 

Pnler in. haste a Messenger. 
.V<w. Hold, hold ! oh, hold, hold, hold ! 

Enter Pekituous in haste. 

Per. Hold, hoa! it is a ciu-scd haste you 
If you have done so quickly. — Noble PtJamoii, 

AiT v.] 


[Sri.NE 1/ 

The gods will show tlicir j,''"0' ''' ^ ^'^ 
That thou art yet to lead. 

Pal. Can that be, 

Wlien Veuus I 've said is false ? How do things 

fare ? 
I'ei: Arise, great sir, and give the tidiugs ear 
That a.-e most dearly sweet and bitter ! 

Pal. Wiiiit 

ITath w ak'd us from our dream ? 

Per. List then ! Your cousiu, 

Mounted upon a steed that Emily 
Did first bestow on him, a black o\u; owing 
Not a hair-worth of -white, which some will say 
Weakens his price, and many will not buy 
His goodness with this note ; wliich superstition 
Hero finds allowance : on this horse is Ai'cite, 
Trotting the stones of Athens, which the calkins'' 
Did rather tell than trample; for the horse 
Woidd make his length a mile, if 't pleased his 

To put pride ui him : as he thus went counting 
The flinty pavement, dancing as 't were to the 

His o\ni hoofs made (for, as they say, from iron 
Came music's origin), what envious flint, 
Cold as old Satui'n, and like him possess'd 
With fire malevolent, darted a spark. 
Or what fierce sulphur else, to this end made, 
I conuncut not ; the hot horse, hot as fire. 
Took toy at this, and fell to what disorder 
His power coiUd give his wiU, bounds, comes on 

Forgets school-doing, being therein train' d, 
And of kind manage ; pig-like he wlihics 
At the sharp rowel, which he frets at rather 
Than any jot obeys ; seeks all foul means 
Of boisterous and rough jadery, to dis-seat 
His lord that kept it bravely : When nought 

AVlien neither curb would crack, girth break, n(jr 

dilY'riug plunges 
Dis-root his I'idcr whence he grew, but that 
He ke|)t him 'tween his legs, on his hind hoofs 
On end he stands, 

That Arcite's legs being liigher than his head, 
Seeni'd with strange aii to hang : his victor's 

Even then fell off his head ; and presently 
Backward the jade comes o'er, and his fidl poise 
Becomes the rider's load. Yet is he living ; 
But sucli a vessel 't is, that floats but for 
The sui-go that next approaches : he much de- 
To have some sjjccch with you. Lo, he appears ! 

» Calkins— ihc hinder parts of a horse's shor. which rirs 
luriied up. 

L'/i/er Theseus, Hippouta, Ejiili.\, Arcite 
in a Chaii: 

Pal. Oh, miserable end of our alliance ! 
The gods are mighty ! Arcite, if thy heart. 
Thy worthy manly heart, be yet unbroken. 
Give mc thy last words ! I am Palamon, 
One that yet loves thee dying. 

Arc. Take Emilia, 

And with her all the world's joy. Reach i\\j 

hand ; 
Farewell ! I 've told my last hour. I wa;^ false. 
Yet never treacherous : forgive me, cousin ! 
One kiss from fair Emilia ! 'T is done : 
Take her. Idle! [.Uirs. 

Pal. Thy brave soul seek Elysium ! 

Eidi. I'll close thme eyes, prince; blessed 

souls be with thee ! 
Thou art a right good man ; aud while I live 
Tiiis day I give to tears. 

Pal. And I to honour. 

Thes. In this place first you fought; even 

very here 
I siuider'd you: acknowledge to the gods 
Our thanks that you are living. 
His part is play'd, and, though it were too short, 
He did it well : your day is leugthen'd, aud 
The blissful dew of heaven does arrose you ; 
The powerful Venus weU hath grac'd her altar, 
And given you your love ; our master Mars 
Has vouch'd his oracle, and to jb'cite gave 
The grace of the contention : so the deities 
Have show'd due justice. Bear this hence ! 

Pal. Oh, cousin. 

That we should thiugs desire, which do cost us 
The loss of om- deske ! that nought could buy 
Dear love, but loss of dear love ! 

Thes. Never Fortune 

Did play a subtler game: the couqucr'd tri- 

The victor has the loss ; yet m the passage 
The gods have been most equal. Palamon, 
Your kinsman hath confess'd the right o' the lady 
Did lie in you ; for you first saw her, and 
Even then proclaim'd your fancy; he rcstor"d 

As your stol'n jewel, and desii-'d your spu-it 
To send him hence forgiven: the gods my 

Take from my hand, and they themselves be- 
The executioners. Lead yom- lady oil' ; 
And call your lovers" from the stage of death, 
Whom I adept my friends. A day or two 

XofLTj— companions, friends. 


ACT v.] 


[ScKNt IV. 

Let us look sadlv, and give grace \uito 
The funeral of Arcife; in wlio,«e end 
The visages of bridegrooms we '11 put on, 
And smilo with Palamon ; for whom an lionr, 
But one hour since, I was as dearly sorrv, 
As glad of Arcite ; and am now as glad, 
As for hin\ sorry. Oh, vou iieav'nlv charmcrt 

What things you make of us ! I'or what we lack 
We laugh, for what we have are sorry ; still 
Are children in some kind. Let us bo thank- 
Eor that which is, and with you leave dispute 
That are above our question ! Let 's go off, 
And bear us like the time ! [F/o/iris/i. E.rerri 



The title-page of the original edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen sets foith, as \vc have 
seen, that it was " written by the memorable worthies of their time, Mr. John Fletcher 
and Mr. William Shakspeare." This was printed in 1634, nine years after the death of 
Fletcher, and eighteen years after the death of Shakspere. The play was not printed in 
the first collected edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's works, in 1G47, for the reason 
assigned in the ' Stationer's Address.' " Some plays, you know, written by these authors 
were heretofore printed ; I thought not convenient to mix them with this volume, which 
of itself is entirely new." The title-page of the quarto of 1634 is, therefore, the only 
dii'ect external evidence we possess as to Shakspere's participation in this play ; and that 
evidence in itself would certainly uot warrant us iu reprinting it, for the first time, in a 
collection of Shakspere's works. Nor have we to offer any contemporary notice of The 
Two Noble Kinsmen which refers to this question of the co-authorship. The very pro- 
logue and epilogue of the play itself are silent upon this point. We have uot printed 
these, because they are, except in a passage or two, unimportant in themselves, have no 
poetical merit, and present some of those loose allusions which, as we approach those days 
when principles of morality came into violent conflict, rendered the stage so justly 
obnoxious to tlio Puritans. The epilogue, speaking of the play, says — • 

" It bas a noble breeder, and a pure, 
A learned, and a poet never went 
More faraous yet 'twist Po and silver Trent : 
Chaucer (of all admired) the story gives ; 
There constant to eternity it lives !" 

And it then adds — 

" If we let fall the nobleness of this, 

And the first sound this child hear be a hiss. 

How will it shake the bones of that good man, 

And make him cry from under-ground, ' Oh, fan 

From me the witless chaff of such a write)- 
That blasts my bays, and my fam'd works makes lighter 
Thau Robin Hood ! ' " 

The expression '•such a writer" is almost evidence against the double autliorship. It 
implies, too, that, if Fletcher were the author, the play was presented before his death ; 
for if the players had produced the drama after his death, they would have probably 
spoken of him (he being its sole author) in the terms of eulogy with which they accom- 
panied the performance of ' The Loyal Subject j' — 



" \Ve need not, noble gentlemen, to invite 
Attention, pre-instruct you who did write 
This worthy story, being confident 
The mirth join'd with grave matter and intent 
To yield the hearers in-ofit with delight, 
Will speak the maker ; And to do him right 
Would ask a genius like to his ; the age 
Mourning his loss, and our now-widow'd staye 
In vain lamenting." 

Tlic inferences, tlierefure, to be deduced from the prologue to Tlic Two Noble Kius- 
raeu (supposing Fletcher to be coucerned in this drama), — that it was acted during his life- 
time, aud that he either claimed the sole authorship, or suppressed all mention of the joint 
authorship, — are to be weighed against tlie assertion of tlie title-page, that it was '• written 
by the two memorable worthies of their time." We are thrown upon the examination of 
the internal evidence, then, without any material bias from the publication of the play or 
its stage representation. But if the evidence of the title-page is not valid for the assign- 
ment of any portion of the play to Shakspere, neither is it valid as a proof of the co- 
operation of Fletcher in the work. The first editors of tlie collected edition of Beaumont 
and Fletcher do not print The Two Noble Kinsmen, as well as seventeen other plays, 
because it had been printed before in a separate shape. The publisliers of the second 
edition, of 1G70, do print it, that the collection may be '-'perfect and complete," and con- 
tain ''all, both tragedies and comedies, that were ever writ by our authors ;" and in this 
way they reprint ' The Coronation,' first published in 1-640, with the name of Fletcher, 
although, in 1652, Shirley distinctly claimed it in a list of his works. If we reject, then, 
upon the external evidence, Shakspere's claim to a portion of the authorship of The Two 
Noble Kinsmen, we must reject Fletcher's claim, as supported by the same evidence ; and 
•for a satisflictory solution of both questions we must rely upon the internal evidence. 

Before the first builders-up of that wondrous edifice the English drama, lay the whole 
world of classical and romantic fable, " where to choose." One of the earliest, and conse- 
quently least skilful, of those workmen, Richard Edward:^, went to the ancient stores for 
his ' Damon and Pythias,' and to Chaucer for his ' Palamon and Arcyt.e.' We learn from 
Wood's MSS. that when Elizabeth visited Oxford, in 1566, "at night the Queen heard the 
first part of an English i^lay, named ' Paloemon, or Palamon Arcyte,' made by Mr. Richard 
Edwards, a gentleman of her chapel, acted with very great applause in Christ Church 
Hall." An accident happened at the beginning of the play by the tailing of a stiige. 
through which three persons wore killed— a scholar of St. !Mary"s Hail, aud two who were 
probably more missed — a college brewer and a cook. The mirth, however, went on, and 
" afterwards the actors performed their parts so well, that the Queen laughed heartily 
thereat, and gave the author of the play great thanks for his pains." * It is clear that the 
fable of Chaucer must have been treated in a different manner by Edwards than we find it 
treated in The Two Noble Kinsmen. We have another record of a play on a similar subject. 
In Heuslowe's ' Diary ' we have an entry, under the date of September, 1594, of ' Palamon 
and Arsett' being acted four times. It is impossible to imagine that The Two Noble 
Kinsmen is the same play. Here then was a sulijcct adapted to a writer who worked in 
the spirit in which Shakspere almost uniformly worked. It was familiar to the people in 
their popular poetry ; it was familiar to the stage. To arrive at a right judgment regarding 
the authorship of T!ie Two Noble Kinsmen, we must examine the play line by line in its 
relation to ' The Knight's Tale ' of Chaucer. The examination cannot be ill bestowed if 
it liriug any of our readers into more direct acquaintance with the great master of English 

• Nichols's 'Progresses of Queen Elizabeth,' vol. i. pp. 210, 211. 


verse, whose poem of ' Palamon and Arcite,' although it was acknowledged by its author 
to be " knoweu lite " in his own days, when abridged into his ' Knight's Tale ' furnished 
to Dryden in his translation (he himself calls his poem a translation) a subject for " the 
most animated and most harmonious piece of versification in the English language ; " * and, 
in a revived taste for our old poetry, will itself always be admired for its force, its simplicity, 
its majesty, and its just proportion. 

' The Knight's Tale ' of Chaucer opens with the return to Athens of the " duko that 
highte Theseus," after he had 

" couquer'd all the regue of Feminie, 
That whilom was ycleped Scythia, 
Aud wedded the freshe queeu Hypolita, 
Aud brought her home with him to his countrey 
With miichel glory and great solempnitie, 
And eke her yoiiuge sister Eiuelie." 

Tlie Two Noble Kinsmen opens witli Theseus at Athens, in the company of Hippolyta 
and her sister, proceeding to the celebration of his marriage with the " dreaded Ama- 
zonian." Their bridal procession is interrupted by the 

"three queens, whose sovereigns fell before 
The wrath of cruel Creon." 

In Chaucer the suppliants are a more numerous company. As Theseus was approaching 


" He was 'ware, as he cast his eye aside, 
Where that there kneeled in the higho way 
A company of ladies tway and tway, 
Each after other, clad in elothds black ; 
But such a cry and such a woe they make, 
That in this world n'is creature living 
That ever heard such another waimentiug." 

Briefly they tell their tale of woe, and as rapidly does the chivalrous duke resolve to avenge 

their wrongs : — . , . , , , 

" And right anon, withouten more abode, 

His bauuer he display'd, and forth he rede 

To Thebes ward, aud all his host beside." 

The Queen and her sister remained at Atlious. Out of this rapid narration, which oc- 
cupies little more than a hundred lines in Chaucer, has the first scene of The Two Noble 
Kinsmen been constructed. Assuredly, the reader who opens that scene for the first time 
will feel that he has lighted upon a work of no ordinary power. The mere interruption of 
the bridal procession by the widowed queens— the contrast of their black garments and 
their stained veils with tlie white robes and wheatea chaplets and hymeneal songs with 
which the play opens— is a noble dramatic conception ; but the poet, whoever he be, pos- 
sesses that command of appropriate language which realizes all that the imagination can 
paint of a dramatic situation and movement ; there is nothing shadowy or indistinct, no 
vague explanations, no trivial epithets. When the First Queen says— 

" Oh, pity, duke ! 
Tlioupurger of the earth, draw thy fear'd sword, 
That does good turns to the world; give us the bones 
Of our dead kings, that we may ehapd them : " 

we kuow tliat the thoughts wliich bcloug to her condition are embodied m words of no 

* Warton. 



common significancy. Whcu the Second Queen, addressing Hippolyta, '• the soldiercss.'' 

" Speak't ill a woman's key, like sucli a wonm'.i 

As any of lis thi-ee; weep ere you fail ; 

Leud us a knee ; 

But touch the ground for us no longer time 

TJian a dove's motion, when the head's plucUd off/ " 

we feel tliat the poet not only wields his harmonious language with the decision of a prac- 
tised artist, but exhibits the nicer touches which attest his knowledge of natural feelings, 
and employs images which, however strange and unfamiliar, are so true that we wonde'; 
they never occurred to us before, but at the same time so original that they appear to defy 
copying or imitation. The whole scene is full of the same remarkable word-painting. 
There is another quality which it exhibits, whicli is also peculiar to the highest order of 
minds — the ability to set us thinking — to excite that just and appropriate reflection which 
might arise of itself out of the exhibition of deep passions and painful struggles and reso- 
lute self-denials, but which the true poet breathes into us without an effort, so as to give 
the key to our thoughts, but utterly avoiding those sententious moralizings which ars 
sometimes deemed to be the province of tragedy. When the Queens commend the sur- 
render wliioh Theseus makes of his affections to a sense of duty, the poet gives us thj 
philosophy of buch heroism in a dozen words spoken by Theseus : — 

" Js ICC are men. 
Thus should we do ; being sensual/i/ suldued. 
We lose our human illlc." 

The first appearance, in Chaucer, of Palamou and Arcite is when they lie wounded on 
the battle-field of Tliebes. In The Two Noble Kinsmen the necessary conduct of the 
story, as a drama, requires that the principal personages should be exhibited to us before 
they become absorbed in the main action. It is on such occasions as these that a drama- 
tist of the highest order makes his characters reveal themselves, uaturall}' and without an 
effort ; and yet so distinctly, that their individual identity is impressed upon the mind, so 
as to combine with the subsequent movement of the plot. The second scene of The Twc 
Noble Kinsmen appears to us somewhat deficient in this power. It is written with greaf 
energy ; but the two friends are energetic alike ; we do not precisely see which is tlie moro 
excitable, the more daring, the more resolved, the more {i;enerous. We could change the 
names of the speakei's without any material injury to the projiriety of what they speak. 
Take, as an opposite example, Hermia and Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 
where the differences of character scarcely requii-ed to be so nicely defined. And yet 
in description the author of The Two Noble Kinsmen makes Palamou and Arcite essen- 
tially difierent : — ,< . -^ • i, . . , ^ , ■ 

■' " Arcite 13 geutly visag d : yet his eye 

Is like au engine bent, or a sharp weapon 
In a soft sheath ; mercy and manly courago 
Are bedfellows in his visage. Palamon 
Has a most menacing aspect ; his brow 
Is grav'd, and seems to bury what it frowns on ; 
Yet sometimes 't is not so, but alters to 
The quality of his thoughts; long time his eye 
Will dwell upon his oliject; melancholy 
Becomes him nobly ; so does Arcite's mirth ; 
But Palauion's sadness is a kind of mirth, 
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad, 
And sadness, merry ; those darker humours that 
Stick misbecomingly on others, on him 
Live in fair dwelling." 


Tills is uoble writing; and it is quite sufficient to enable the stage ropresentntion of the 
two chai'acters to be well defined. Omit it, and omit the recollections of it in the read- 
ing, and we doubt greatly whether the characters themselves realize this description : thuy 
are not self-evolved and manifested. The third scene, also, is a dramatic addition to the 
tale of Chaucer. It keeps the interest concentrated upon Hippolyta, and especially 
Emilia ; it is not essential to the action, but it is a graceful addition to it. It has the 
merit, too, of developing the character of Emilia, and so to reconcile us to the apparent 
coldness with which she is subsequently content to receive the triumphant rival, which- 
ever he be, as her husband. The Queen and her sister talk of the friendship of Tlieseus 
and Perithous. Emilia tells the story of her own friendship, to prove 

" That the true love 'tween maid and maid may be 
More than iu sex dividual." 

This, in some sort, modifies the subsequent position of Emilia, " bride-habited, but 
maiden-hearted." Her description of her early friendship has been compared to the 
celebrated passage in A Midsummer Night's Dream : — 

" I3 all the counsel that we two have shaf'd," &c. 

Seward, the editor of Beaumont and Fletcher, makes this comparison, and prefers the 
description iu The Two Noble Kinsmen. Weber assents to this preference. We have 
no hesitation in believing the passage in the play before us to be an imitation of the 
passage in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and therefore inferior in quality ; we do not 
think that Shakspere would thus have repeated himself. 

In Chaucer, Theseus makes swift work with Oreon and with Tiiebes : — 

'■ With Creon, which that was of Thebes king, 
He fought, and slew him mauly as a knight 
In plain batiille, and put his folk to flight ; 
jVnd by assault he won the city after. 
And rent adown botli wall, and spai-, and rafter ; 
And to the ladies he restor'd again 
The bodies of their husbands that were slain. 
To do th' obsequies, as was then the guise." 

It is in the liattle-field that Palamou and Aroite are discovered wounded : — 

" Not fully quick ne fully dead they were. 
But by their oote-armure aud by their gear 
The heralds knew them well in special." 

The incident is literally followed in the play, where the herald says, in answer to 
tlie question of Theseus, " They are uot dead?" — - 

" Nor in a state of life : Had they been taken 
AVhen their last hurts were given, 't was possible 
They might have been recover'd ; yet they breathe, 
And have the name of men." 

In r'haucor, Theseus is to the heroic friends a merciless conqueror : — 

" He full soon them sent 
To Athenes, for to dwelleu iu prison 
Perpetual, he u'oldd no ransom." 

Bnt in The Two Noble Kinsmen he would appear to exhibit himself as a generous foe, 
who, having accomplished the purposes of his expedition, has no enmity with the hones', 
defenders of their country : — 



" The reiy leea of such, millions of rates 
Exceed the wine of others ; all our surgeons 
Convent, in their behoof; our richest balms, 
ftvther than niggard, waste ! their lives concern us 
Much more than Thebes is worth." 

The fifth scene of The Two Noble Kinsmen is a scenic expansion of a short passage in 

Chaucer : — ■ 

" But it were all too long for to devise 
The greate clamour and the waimenting 
Which that the ladies made at the brenning 
Of the bodies." 

The epigrammatic ending of the scene is perhaps famihar to many : — 

" This world's a city, full of strayiug streets ; 
And death's the market-place, where each one meets." 

Pursuing the plan with which we set out, of following the course of Chaucer's storj- — 
and our reasons for adopting this plan we shall hereafter have to explain — we pass over all 
those scenes and part.s of scenes which may be called the underplot. Such in the second 
act is the beginning of Scene I. In Chaucer we learn that — 

" In a tow'r, in anguish and in woe, 
Dwelleu this Palamou and eke Arcite 
For evermore, there may no gold them quite." 

The old romantic poet reserves his dialogue for the real business of the story, when the 
two fi-iends, each seeing Emilia from the prison-window, become upon the instant defying 
rivals for her love. This incident is not managed with more preparation by the drama- 
tist ; but the prelude to it exhibits the two young men consoling each other under their 
adverse fortune, and making resolutions of eternal friendship. It is in an attentive perusnl 
of tliis dialogue that we begin to discover that portions even of the great incidents of the 
drama have been wi-itten by different persons ; or that, if wi-itteu by one and the same 
person, they have been composed upon different principles of art. We liave had occasion 
previously to mention a little work of great ability, printed in 18-33, entitled 'A Letter on 
Shakspeare's Authorship of The Two Noble Kinsmen.' The writer of that letter is now 
commonly understood to be the accomplished Professor of Rhetoric in the University cf 
Edinburgh, William Spalding, Esq. ; and although we have reason to believe that his 
opinions on this particular question have luidergoue some change or modification, it would 
be unjust, not only to the author, but to our readers, not to notice with more than common 
respect the opinions of a writer who, although then a' very young man, displayed a power 
of analysis and discrimination which marked him as belonging to a high school of criti- 
cism. Mr. Spalding assumes that a considerable portion of this drama was unquestion- 
ably the production of Shakspere ; that the underplot was entirely by a difl'erent hand ; but 
that the same hand, which was th;it of Fletcher, was also engaged in producing some of the 
higher scenes of the main action. The whole of the first act, according to the traditional 
opinion, he holds to have been written by Shakspere. The dialogue before us, iu tiie fir.-t 
acene of the second act, and the subsequent contest for the love of Emilin, he assin-ns to 
Fletcher. We quote his words with reference to the first part of this scene :— " The dia- 
logue is in many respects admirable. It possesses much eloquence of description, and the 
character of the language is smooth and flowing j the vereification is good and accurate, 
frequent in double endings, and usually finishing the sense with the line ; and one or two 
allusions occur, which, being fiivouritcs of Fletcher's, may be in themselves a strong pre- 
sumption of his authorshin ; the images too have iu some instances a want of 


in applieatiun, or a vagueness of outline, wliich coild be easily paralleled from Fletcher's 
acknowledged writings. The style is fuller of allusions than his usually is, but the images 
are more correct aud better kept from confusion than Shakspeare's ; some of them indeed 
are exquisite, but rather in the romantic aud exclusively poetical tone of Fletcher than in 
the natural aud universal mode of feeling which animates Shakspeare. The dialogue too 
proceeds less cnei'getically than Shakspeare's, falling occasionally into a style of long-drawn 
disquisition which Fletcher often substitutes for the quick and dramatic conversations of 
the great poet. On the whole, however, this scene, if it be Fletcher's (of which I have no 
doubt), is among the very finest he ever wrote ; and there are many passages in which, 
while he preserves his own distinctive marks, he has gathered no small portion of the 
flame and inspiration of his immortal friend and assistant." He adds, — '• In this scene 
there is one train of metaphors which is perhaps as characteristic of Fletcher as anything 
that could bo produced. It is marked by a slowness of association which he often shows. 
Several allusions are successively introduced ; but by each, as it appears, we are prepared 
for, and can anticipate, the next : we see the connection of ideas in the poet's mind through 
which the one has sprung out of the other, and that all are but branches, of which one 
original thought is the root. All this is the work of a less fertile fancy and a more tardy 
understanding than Shakspeare's : he would have leaped over many of the intervening 
steps, and, reaching at once the most remote particular of the series, would have imme- 
diately turned away to weave some new chain of thought." We shall presently advert to 
the differences of style thus clearly pointed out. 

We are now arrived at a part of the tale where the poetry of Chaucer assumes the 
dramatic form. The description of Emilia walking in the garden, the first sight of her by 
Palamou, and his imaginative love, the subsequent prostration of his heart before the same 
vision by Arcite, — are all told with wonderful spirit by the old poet. The entire passage 
is too long for extract, but we give some lines which will show that the energy of Chaucer 
imposed no common task of rivalry upon him who undertook to dramatize this scene of 

" ■ " This Palamon 'gan knit his browns tway. 

' It were,' quod he, ' to thee no great houour 
For to be false, ne for to be traytour 
To me, that am thy cousin and thy brother 
Ysworn full deep, and each of us to other. 
That never for to dieu in the pain, 
Till that the death departen shall us twain, 
Neither of us in love to hinder other, 
Ne in none other case, my lev^ brother ; 
But that thou shouldest truly further me 
In every case as I should further thee. 
This was thine oath, and mine also, certain ; 
I wot it w'ell, thou dar'st it not withsaiu : 
Thus art thou of my counsel out of doubt, 
And now thou wouldest falsely been about 
To love my lady, whom I love and serve, 
And ever shall till that mine heart*? sterve. 

" ' Now cert^s, false Arcite, thou shalt not so : 
I lov'd her first, and toldd thee my woe 
As to my counsel, and my brotlier sworn 
To further me as I have toM beforn, 
For which thou art ybounden as a knight 
To helpen me, if it lie in thy might, 
Or ell($s art thou false I dare well aay'n.' 
This Arcita full proudly spake again. 



'■ ' Thou shalt,' quod be, 'be rather false than I, 
And thou art false, I tell thee utterly ; 
Yov par amour I lov'd her first ere thou.' " 

It is a remarkable circumstance tliat one of tlie conditions of tlie friendship of the young 
men — the chivalric bond, 

" Neither of us in love to hinder other," — 

SO capable of dramatic expansion, has been passed over by the writer of this scene in The 
Two Noble Kinsmen. The story is followed in Arcite being freed ; but in Chaucer he 
returns to Tiiebes, and after a long absence comes to the court of Theseus in disguise. The 
unity of time is preserved in the drama, by making him a victor in athletic sports, and 
thus introduced to the fixvour of Theseus and the service of Emilia. In Chaucer, Palamon, 
after seven years' durance, 

" By helping of a friend Ijrake his prison.' 

The gaoler's daughter is a parasitical growth around the old vigorous tree. 

Palamon is fled to the woods. Arcite has ridden to tlie fields to make his May-garland ; 
and his unhappy friend, fearful of pursuit, hears liim, unknown, sing — 

" May^, with all thy flowrds and thy green, 
Right welcome be thou fair^ fresh^ May, 
I hope that I some green here getten may." 

Tlie old poet continues, with his inimitable humour : - 

" When that Arcite had roamed all his fill, 
And Bungeu all the roundel lustily, 
Juto a st\idy he fell suddenly, 
As do these lovers in their quaint^ gears, 
Now in the crop, and now down in the breres. 
Now up, now down, as bucket in a well." 

Tlie lover gives utterance to Lis lamentations; his rival hears him, and starts out of tlie 
bushes with, " False Arcite, false traitor !" Arcite proposes that they should determine 
their contention by mortal combat on the following day : — 

'■ Here I will be foundeu as a knight, 
And bringen harness right enough for thee, 
And choose the best, and leave the worst for me : 
And meat and drink(5 this night will I bring." 

The corresponding scene in The Two Noble Kinsmen is finely written. There is a quiet 
strength about it which exhibits very high art. The structure of the verse, too, is some- 
wliat different from that of the prison scene between the friends. But still we have no 
difficulty in believing that it might be written by the author of that previous scene. The 
third scene, where Arcite comes to Palamon •' with meat, wine, and files," is merely the 
carrying out of the action promised in the pre\'ioas interview. It is unnecessary for the 
dramatic movemeut. We quite agree with Mr. Spalding in his estimate of this scene — 
that it is not very characteristic of either Shakspere or Fletcher, but that it " leans to- 
wards Fletcher ; and one argument for him might be drawn from an interchange of 
sarcasms between the kinsmen, in which they retort on each other former amorous 
adventures : such a dialogue is quite like Fletcher's men of gaiety." The combat itself 
takes place in the sixth scene. The passage in Chaucer upon which this scene is founded 
possesses all his characteristic energy. The hard outline which it presents is in some degree 
a natural consequence of its force and clearness : — 


" And iu the grove, at time aucl place yset, 
Thi3 Arcite and this Palamon been met. 
Tho changen 'gan the colour in their face ; 
Right as the hunter in the regne of Thraoe 
That standeth at a gappiS with a speai-, 
When hunted is the lion or the bear, 
And heareth him come rushing iu the greves, 
And breaking both the boughea and the leave3, 
And think'th, 'Here com'th my mortal enemy, 
Withouten fail he must be dead or I ; 
For either I must slay him at the gap, 
Or he must slay me, if that me mishap.' 
So fareden they iu changing of their hue, 
As far as either of them other knew. 
There n'as uo good day, ue no saluing. 
But straight withouten wordds rehearsing, 
Everich of them help to armen other 
As friendly as he were his owen brother ; 
And after that with sharpd speares strong 
They foindeu each at other wonder long." 

It, is upon the "evericli of them help to amien other" that the dramatist has founded 
tlie interchange of courtesies between the two kinsmen. The conception and execution of 
this scene are certainly very gi-aceful ; but the grace is carried somewhat too far to be 
natural. The dramatic situation is finely imagined ; but in the hands of a writer of the 
highest power it might, we think, have been carried beyond the point of elegance or even of 
beauty ; it might liave been rendered deeply pathetic, upon the principle that at tho 
moment of mortal conflict the deep-seated affection of the two young men would have 
grappled with tlie chimerical passion which each had taken to his heart, and would have 
displayed itself in something more eminently tragic than the constrained courtesy of tho 
scene before ns. It is this power of dealing with high passions which appears to us to be 
most wanting in the scenes where passion is required. It is answered, that those scenes are 
written by Fletcher, and not by Shakspere. Of this presently. The interruption to the 
combat by Theseus and his train; the condemnation of the rivals by the duke; the inter- 
cession of Hippolyta and Emilia; and the final determination that the knights shoulddepavt 
and within a month return accompanied by other knights to contend in bodily strength for 
the fair prize — these incidents are founded pretty closely upon Chaucer, with tho esoei^tion 
that the elder poet doeti not make Theseus decree that the vanquished shall die upon the 
block. The scene has no marked deviation in style from that which precedes it. 

The supposed interval of time during the absence of the knights is filled up by Chaucer 
with some of the finest descriptions which can be found amongst the numberless vivid 
pictures which his writings exhibit. In the Two Noble Kinsmen the whole of the fourth 
act is occupied with the progress of the underplot ; with the exception of the second scene, 
which commences with the long and not very dramatic soliloquy of Emilia upon the pic- 
tures of her two lovers, and is followed by an equally undramatic description by a mes- 
senger of the arrival of the princes and of the qualities of their companions. This description 
is founded upon Chaucer. We pass on to the fifth act. 

Chaucer has wonderfully described the temples of Venus, of Mars, and of Diana. The 
dramatist has followed him in making Arcite address himself to Mar.-i, Palamon to Venus, 
and Emilia to Diana. Parts of these scenes are without all doubt the finest passages of 
the play, siu-passed by very few things indeed within their own poetical range. The ad- 
dresses of Arcite to Mars, and of Emilia to Diana, possess a condensation of thought, a 
strength of imagery, and a majesty of language, almost unequalled by the very higlieat 

.Sup. Vol. x 177 


masters of the art ; but tliey as properly belong to the epic as to the dramatic division of 
poetrj'. The invocation of Palamon to Venus, although less sustained and less pleasing, 
is to our minds more dramatic : it belongs more to romantic poetry. The nobler invo. 
cations are cast in a classical mould. The combat scene is not presented on the stage. 
The absence of it is certainly managed with very great skill. Emilia refuses to be 
present ; she is alone ; the tumult is around her; rumour upon rumour is brouo-ht to her : 
she attempts to analyse her own feelings ; and we must say that she appears to be thinkiuf 
more of herself than is consistent with a very high conception of female excellence. 
Arcite is eventually the victor. Palamon and his friends appear on the scaffold, prepared 
for death. Then comes the catastrophe of Arcite's sudden calamity in the hour of 
triumijh ; and this again is description. The death of Arcite is told by Cliaucer witli 
great pathos; and the address of the dying man to Emilia is marked liy truth and sim- 
plicity infinitely touching : — 

" What is this world ? what askeii men to have ? 
JSTow with his love, now iu his colde grave — 
Alone — withouten any company. 
Farewell, my sweet, — Farewell, mine Emily ! 
And soft^ take me in your armds tway 
For love of God, and hearkeueth what I s.ny. 

I have here with my cousin Palamon 
Had strife and rancour many a day agone 
For love of you, and for my jealousy ; 
And Jupiter to wis my soul^ gie, 
To speaken of a servant properly, 
With alld circumstances tru(51y, 
That is to say, truth, honour, and knighthead, 
Wisdom, humbless, estate, and high kindred. 
Freedom, and all that 'longeth to that art, 
So Jupiter have of my soulu part. 
As in this world right now ne know I none 
So worthy to he lov'd as Palamon, 
That serveth you, and will do all his life ; 
And if that ever ye shall be a n-ife, 
Forget not Palamon, the gentle man." 

Tlie dramatic poet falls short of this :— 

" Take Emilia, 
And with her all the world's joy. Keach thy hand ; 
Farewell ! I have told my last horn'. I was false, 
Yet never treacheroua : Forgive me, cousin ! 
One kiss from fair Emilia ! 'T is done : 
Take her. I die ! " 

Iu this imperfect analysis of The Two Noble Kinsmen, as compared with the ' Palamon 
and Arcite' of Chaucer, we have necessarily laid aside those scenes which belong to 
tiie underplot, namely, the love of the gaoler's daughter for Palamon, her agency in his 
escape from prison, her subsequent madness, and her unnatural and revolting union with 
one who is her lover under these circumstances. The question which we have here to 
examine is, whether Shakspere had any concern with the authorship of this play ; and it 
is perfectly evident that this underplot was of a nature not to be conceived by him, and 
further not to be tolerated in any work with which he was concerned. Had he made " the 
friend" who delivered Chaucei-'s Palamon from prison to appear on the stage as a woman, 
she would have been a timid, confiding, self-denying, spirit-bound woman, which character 
he of all men could represent best ; and not a creature of mere sexual affection. Assuming 


that lie wrote any part of the play, we may safely lay aside tliispart as having liis partici- 
pation or concurrence. Our inquiry is then reduced to narrower limits. We have to ask 
wliat portion of the original poem of Chaucer Shalcspere is supposed to have dramatized, 
and what portion was the work of a coadjutor. The stage tradition was, that he wrote 
the first act. The searching analysis of !Mr. Spalding leads to the conclusion that he 
wrote all that relates to the main story in the first and fifth acts, and a scene of the third 
act • amounting to little short of half the play. To Fletcher is assigned the remainder. 
Mr. Spalding says that au attentive study of this drama from beginning to end " would con- 
vince the most sceptical mind that two authors were concerned in the worlc ; it would be 
perceived that certain scenes arc distinguished by certain prominent cliaracters, while 
others present different and dissimilar features." These differences, Mi-. Spalding has 
justly shown in the case of Fletcher as compared with Shakspere, are so striking, that " we 
are not compelled to reason from difference in decree, because we are sensible of a striking 
dissimilarity in kind. We observe ease and elegance of expression opposed to energy and 
quaintness ; brevity is met by dilation ; and the obscurity which results from hurry of con- 
ception has to be compared with the vagueness proceeding from indistinctness of ideas ; 
lowness, jiarrowness, and poverty of thought are contrasted with elevation, richness, and 
comprehension : on the one hand is an intellect barely active enough to seek the true ele- 
ments of the poetical, and on the other a mind which, seeing those finer relations at a glance, 
darts off in the wantonness of its luxuriant strength to discover qualities with which poetry 
is but ill fitted to deal." This is strikingly and truly put. Yet, be it observed, it has 
reference only to the drapery of the dramatic action and characterization — the condensa- 
tion or expansion of the thought — the tameness or luxuriance of the imagery — the equable 
flow or the involved harmony of the versification. The real body of a drama is its action 
and characterization. It is the constant subordination of all the ordinary poetical excel- 
lences to the main design, to be carried on through the agency of different passions, tem- 
peraments, and humours, that constitutes the dramatic art. To judge of a question of 
authorship, and especially of such a question with reference to Shakspere, we must not 
only take into consideration the resemblances in what we call style (we use this for the want 
of a more comprehensive word), but in the management of the action and the development 
of the characters. Such inquiries as these are not without their instruction, if they lead us 
by analysis and comparison to a better appreciation of what constitutes the highest qualities 
of art. The best copy of a picture is necessarily inferior to the original ; but we may 
better learn the value of the original by a close examination of the copy ; — and this is the 
position which we are about to take up in the question of the authorship of The Two Noble 
Kinsmen. We hold that in parts it bears a most remarkable resemblance to Shakspere in 
the qiialities of detached thought, of expression, of versification ; and not so with reference 
to Shakspere's early and unformed style, but to the peculiarities of his later period. But 
we hold, at the same time, that the management of the subject is equally unlike 
Shakspere ; that the poetical form of what is attributed to him is for the most part 
epic, and not dramatic ; that the action does not disclose itself, nor the chai-acters exhibit 
their own qualities. 

The fliot that amongst the extraordinary multitude of plays produced in the palmy half- 
century of the stage, a very great many were composed upon the principle of a division of 
labour between two, and sometimes three and even four writers, is too satisfactorily esta- 
Ijlislied for us to consider that the difficulties attending upon such a partnership would pro- 
duce imperfect and fragmentary performances where there was not the closest friendship. 
It is probable, however, that the intimate social life of the poets of that day, many of whom 
were also actors, led to such a joint invention of plot and character as would enable two or 



more readily to work upon a defined plan, each bringing to the whole a coutribution from 
his own peculiar stores. The ordinary mixture too of the serious and comic portions 
of a drama facilitated such an arrangement; and the general introduction of an under- 
plot, sometimes very shghtly hung upon the main action, would still further render the 
iniion even of more than two wi-iters not a very difficult thing to manage. It nmst be 
considered too that the dramatists of that ago were all, or very nearly all, thoroughly 
familiar with stage business. As we have said, many of them were actors ; and the lite- 
rary employment of those who were not so was, if we may use the terra, so professional, 
that it was as necessary for them to be as familiar with the practice of the theatre as for a 
lawyer to know by daily habit the rules of court. All these circumstances made such 
dramatic partnerships comparatively easy to manage. But we must not cease to bear in 
mind that these arrangements must always iiave had especial reference to the particular 
capacities and excellences of the persons so united, as known by experience, or suggested 
by their own promptings of what they were most fitted to accomplish. Let us apply these 
considerations to the case before us. 

Shakspere and Fletcher, we will assume, agree to write a play on the subject of Cliau- 
cer's tale of ' Palamou and Arcitc.' It is a subject which Shakspere in some respects 
would have rejoiced in. It was familiar to many of his audience in the writings of Eng- 
land's finest old poet. It was known to the early stage. It was surrounded with those 
romantic attributes of the old legendary tale which appear to have seized upon his imagi- 
nation at a particular period of his life, and that not an early one. But, above all, it was 
a subject fidl of deep feeling, — where overwhelming passions were to be brought into con- 
tact with habitual affections ; a subject, too, not the less interesting because it required to 
be treated with great nicety of handling. It may be presumed, that if such a partnership 
had been proposed by Fletcher to Shakspere (the belief that Shakspere would have solicited 
Fletcher's assistance is not very probable), the younger poet would have oflered to the 
great master of dramatic action, to the profound anatomist of character, to him who knew 
best how to give to the deepest and most complicated emotions their full and appropriate 
language — his own proper task of exhibiting the deep friendship, the impassioned rivalry, 
the terrible hatred, and the final reconciliation of the two heroes of the tale. The less 
practised poet might have contented himself with the accessory scenes, those of the intro- 
duction and of the underplot. Now, according to the just belief which has been raised 
upon the dissimilarities of style, Fletcher has not only taken the underplot, but all, cr 
nearl}' all, the scenes that demanded the greatest amount of dramatic power, the exhi- 
bition of profound emotion in connexion with nice distinction of character. It was not 
the poetical foculty alone that was here wanting — that power which Fletcher possessed of 
expressing somewhat ordinary thoughts in equable and well-rounded verse, producing 
agreeable sensations, but rarely rising into the sublime or the pathetic, and never laying 
bare those hidden things in the nature of man which lie too deep for every-day philosophy, 
but when revealed become truths that require no demonstration. Shakspere, on the con- 
trary, according to the same just belief as to the internal evidence of style, takes those 
parts which require the least dramatic power, — the descriptive and didactic parts ; those 
which, to a great extent, are of an epic character, containing, like a poem properly epic, set 
and solemn speeches, elaborate narration, majestic invocations to the presiding deities. 
There can be no doubt as to the high excellence of these portions of the work. But is such 
a division of labour the natural one between Shakspere and Fletcher ? If it bo said that 
Shakspere left portions of a posthumous play which Fletcher finished, we have the same 
objection differently applied. The internal evidence of style would lead us to assign the 
first and last acts to Shakspere. The course of the action would of necessity adhere pretty 


cIliscI}' to the tale of Cliaucoi- ; and thus the beginning and the end might have been written 
witliout any very strict reference to what was to come between, provided tlie subject were 
in the hands of an author who would look at the completeness of the narrative as the main 
thing to be worked out. Shakspere might have made the preliminary scenes as full as wo 
fiud them in The Two Noble Kinsmen ; but when we look at the conciseness with which 
Cliaucer gives the same scenes, and hurries on to the more dramatic parts of the subject, 
we do not very readily believe that Shakspere would have taken the opposite course. Skil- 
ful as he is in the iiiti'oduction of his subjects, in the preparation with which he brings 
the mind into the proper state for comprehending and feeling the higlier interests which are 
to be developed, lie comes in almost every case, with that decision which is a quality of the 
highest genius, to grapple with the passions and characters of the agents who are to work 
out the events ; and when he has done this, and has oiir imaginations completely subdued 
to his power, he delays or precipitates the catastrophe, — sometimes lingering in some 
scene of gentleness or repose to restore the balance of feeling, and to keep the tragic within 
the limits of pleasurable emotion, — and sometimes clearing away by a sudden movement 
all the involutions of the plot, shedding his sunlight on all the darkness of character, 
and yet making this unexpected denouement the only one compatible with truth and 
nature. It was out of Shakspere's own power, we believe, because incompatible with those 
principles of art which were to him as an unerring instinct, to produce the last scenes of 
a play before he had worked out the characterization which would essentially determine 
tlie details of the event. The theory that Shakspere left a portion of The Two Noble 
Kinsmen, which, after his death, was completed by Fletcher, is one which, upon a mature 
consideration of tlie subject, we are constrained to reject ; although it has often presented 
itself to us as the most plausible of the theories which would necessarily associate them- 
selves with the belief that Shakspere had written a considerable portion of this play. 

In liis specimens of ' English Dramatic Poets,' Charles Lamb selects from The Two 
Noble Kinsmen nearly .all the first scene of the first act, part of tlie scene between Emilia 
and Hippolyta in the same act, and the dialogue between Palamon and Arcite, before 
Emilia comes into the garden, in Act II. The latter scene, he says, "bears indubitable 
marks of Fletcher : the two which precede it give strong countenance to the tradition 
that Shakspere had a hand in this play." These and other passages, he adds, " have a 
luxuriance in them which strongly resembles Shakspere's manner in those paiii of his 
plnys ti'here, the pro(jress of the interest heing subordinate, the poet was at leisure for de- 
scription." Upon a principle, then, of arranged co-operation with Fletcher, Shakspere 
had produced only those parts of The Two Noble Kinsmen in which the interest is sub- 
ordinate, and which should resemble his manner when he was at leisure for description. 
This is the main point which, with every deference for the opinion founded upon a compa- 
rison of style, that Shakspere was associated in this play with Fletcher, we ventiu'e to urge 
as evidence that ought to be impartially taken in support of the opinion that Shakspere 
was not concerned in it at all. Our own judgment, as far as the question of style is con- 
cerned, very nearly coincides with that of the author of the ingenious 'Letter' to which 
we have several times referred ; but, on a careful examination of the whole question, we 
are inclined to a belief that Shakspere did not participate in the authorship. We do not, 
ou the other hand, go along wit ii Tieck, who, with of an excess of that boldness 
with which his countiymen pronounce opinions upon the niceties of style in a foreign lan- 
guage, says of this play, " I have never been able to convince myself that a single verse 
has been written by Shakspere. The manner, the language, the versification is as 
thoroughly Fletcher as any other of his pieces. If Shakspere had the capability of alter- 
ing his language so variously as we here see, yet he nowhere presents exaggerations of 



(liuught and feeling in soft and flowing speeches, wliich is the characteristic; of Fletcher."* 
This is to mistake the question at issue. Nobody has ever supposed that Shakspere wrote 
ttie parts that are commonly assigned to Fletcher ; and therefore nobody accused him of 
putting exaggerated thoughts in soft and flowing speeches. If Tieck, however, considers 
the scenes of the first act, to which ho distinctly alludes, to be in Fletcher's natural and 
habitual manner, he maintains a theory which in our opinion is more untenable than any 
which has been proposed upon this question. Steevens holds that the play is for the most 
part a studied imitation of Shakspere by Fletcher. But if he has imitated style, he has 
also imitated character ; and that most weakly. The Gaoler's daughter is a most diluted 
copy of Ophelia; the Schoolmaster, of Holofernes ; the clowns, with their mummery, of 
the '-rude mechanicals" of A Midsummer Night's Dream. This very circumstance, 
by the way, is evidence that there was no distinct concert between Shakspere and Fletcher 
as to the mode in which the subject should be treated. AVe agree with Lamb, that 
Fletcher, with all his facility, could not have so readily gone out of his habitual manner 
to produce an imitation of Shakspere's condensed and involved style. He frequently 
copies Sliakspere in slight resemblances of thought ; but the manner is always essentially 
different. These scenes in The Two Noble Kinsmen are not in Fletcher's mauuer; it 
was not very probable, even if he had the power, that he would write them in imitation of 
Shakspere. We believe that Shakspere did not write them himself We are bound, 
therefore, to produce a theory which may attempt, however imperfectly, to reconcile 
these difficulties ; and we do so with a due sense of the doubts which must always sur- 
round such questions, and which in this case are not likely to be obviated by any suggestion 
of our own, which can pretend to little beyond the character of a mere conjecture, not 
hurriedly adopted, but certainly propounded without any great confidence in its validity. 

We hold, then, that Fletcher, for the most part, wrote the scenes which the best critical 
opinions concur in attributing to him: we hold, also, that he had a coadjutor who pro- 
duced for the most part the scenes attributed by the same authorities to Shakspere : but 
we hold, further, that this coadjutor was not Sliakspere himself 

Coleridge has thrown out a suggestion that parts of The Two Nuljle Kinsmen might 
have been written by Jonsou. He was probably led into this opinion by the classical tone 
which occasionally prevails, especially in the first scene, and in the invocations of the fifth 
act. The address to Diana, — 

" Oh, sacred, sliadowy, cold, nud constant queen, 
Abandoner of revels, mnte, contemplative, 
Sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure 
As wind-fann'd snow," — 

at once reminds us of 

" Queen and huntres.?, chaste and fair;" 

more perhaps from the associations of the subject than from Jonson's manner of treating 
it. But Coleridge goes on to state that the main presumption for Shakspere's share in 
this play rests upon the construction of the blank verse. He holds that construction to 
be evideuce either of an intentional imitation of Shakspere, or of his own proper hand. 
He then argues, from the assumption that Fletcher was the imitator, that there was an 
improbability that he would have been conscious of the inferiority of his own versification, 
which Coleridge calls "too poematic minus-dramatic." The improbability, then, that 
Fletcher imitated Shakspere in portions of the play, writing other portions in his own 
proper language and versification, throws the critic back upon the other conjecture, that 


Alt-Euglisches Theater, oder Suppleiner.te zuni Shakspere. 


Sliaksperc's own Laud is to bo found in it. But then again he says, - Tlie harshness of 
many of these very passages, a harshness unrelieved by any lyrical inter-breathings, and 
still more the want of profundity in the thoughts, keep me from an absolute decision." 
We state these opinions of Coleridge with reference to what we must briefly call the style 
of the different pavts, to show that any decision of the question founded m'.iinly upon style 
is not to be considered certain even within its own proper limits. We have rested our 
doubts principally upon another foundation; but, taken together, the two niodes of view- 
ing the question, whether as to style or dramatic structure, require that we should look 
out for another partner than Shakspere iu producing this work in alliance with Fletcher. 
Coleridge appears to have thought the same when he threw out the name of Jonson ; but 
we caunot conceive that, if he had pursued this inquiry analytically, he would have abided 
by this conjecture. Jonson's proper versification is more different from Shakspere's than 
perhaps that of any other of his contemporaries ; and we doubt if his mind was plastic 
enough, or his temper humble enough, to allow him to become the imitator of any man. 
We request our readers to compare the following invocation by Jonson, from ' Cynthia's 
Revels,' with the invocation to Mars in the fifth act of The Two Noble Kinsmen ; and 
we think they will agree that the versification of Jonson. in a form in whicii both the 
specimens are undramatic, is essentially different : — 

" Plicebus Apollo, if with auuieut rites, 
And due devotions, I have ever hung 
Elaborate pEeans on thy golden shrine. 
Or sung thy triumphs in a lofty strain, 
Fit for a theatre of gods to hear ; 
And thou, the other sou of mighty Jom;, 
Cyllenian Slercury, sweet Maia's joy, 
If in the trasy tumults of the mind 
My path thou ever hast iUuniined, 
For which thine altars I have oft perfum'u. 
And deck'd thy statues with discolour'd flowers : 
Now thrive invention in this glorious court, 
That not of bounty only, but of right, 
Cynthia may grace, and give it life by sight." 

Here is no variety of pause ; the couplet with which the speech concludes is not different 
from the pairs of blank-verse which have gone before, except iu the rhyming of the tenth 
syllables. But there is another writer of that period who might have been associated with 
Fletcher iu the production of a drama, and did participate iu such stage partnerships ; 
who, from some limited resemblances to Shakspere that we shall presently notice, might 
without any improbability be supposed to have written those portions of The Two Noble 
Kinsmen which are decidedly and esseiitiaUi/ different from the style of Fletcher. AVe 
select, though probably not the best selection we could make, a passage of the same 
general character as the invocations so often mentioned, and which may be compared also 
with Joii'^on's address to Apollo. It is an invocation to Behemoth ; — 

" Terror of darkness ! oh thou king of flame.^ ! 
That with thy music-footed horse dost strike 
The clear light out of crystal, on dark earth, 
And hurl'st instructive fire about the world, 
"Wake, wake, the drowsy and enchanted night, 
That sleeps with dead eyes in this heavy riddle : 
Oil, thou great prince of shades, where never sun 
Sticks his far-darted beams, whose eyes are made 
To shine iu darkness, and see ever best 



\A*here men ni-e bliudest ! opeu now the heart 
Of thy abashed oracle, that for fear 
Of some ill it includes would faiu lie hid. 
And rise thou with it in thy greater light." 

The writer of this invocation, whicli we select from the tragedy of ' D'Ambois,' is 
George Chapman. 

Webster, in his dedication to ' Vittoria Corombona,' speaks of " tliat full and heightened 
style of Master Chapman," in the same sentence with "the laboured and understanding 
works of Master Jonson." It is iu the "full and heightened style" that we shall seek 
resemblances to parts of The Two Noble Kinsmen, rather than in the "laboured and 
understanding works." We are supported in this inquiry by the opinion of one of the most 
subtle and j-et most sensible of modern critics. Charles Lamb : — " Of all the English play- 
writers, Chapman perhaps approaches nearest to Shakspeare in tlie descriptive and didactic, 
in passages which are less purely dramatic. Dramatic imitation was not his talent. He 
could not go out of himself, as Shakspere could shift at pleasure, to inform and animate 
other existences, but in himself he had an eye to perceive and a soul to embrace all foims. 
He would have made a great epic poet, if, indeed, he has not abundantly shown himself to 
be one ; for his ' Homer ' is not so pi'operly a translation as the stories of Achilles and 
Ulysses re-written." Our theory is, that the passages which have been ascribed to Shak- 
spere as a partner in the work of The Two Noble Kinsmen are essentially " descriptive 
and didactic;" that to write these passages it was not necessary that the poet should be 
able to " go out of himself ;" that they, for the most part, might enter into the composition 
of a great epic poem ; that the writer of these passages was master, to a considerable extent, 
of Shakspere's style, especially in its conciseness and its solemnity, although he was ill fitted 
to grapple with its more dramatic qualities of rapidity or abruptness ; that also, unlike 
most of the writers of his da}', who sought only to please, he indulged in the same dis- 
position as Shakspere, to yield to the prevailing reflection which the circumstances of the 
scene were calculated to elicit ; and, lastly, that his intimate acquaintance with the Greek 
poets fitted him to deal more especially with those parts of the tale of ' Palamon and Arcito ' 
in which Chaucer, in common with all the middle-age poets, built a tale of chivalrj' upon 
a classical foundation. We can understand such a division of labour between Fletcher 
and Chapman, as that Fletcher should take the romantic parts of the story, as the knight- 
errantry, the love, the rivalry, the decision by bodily prowess, — and that Chapman should 
deal with Theseus and the Amazons, the lament of the three Queens (which subject was 
familiar to him in 'The Seven against Thebes' of the Greek drama), and the mythology 
which Chaucer had so elaborately sketched as the machinery of his great story. 

Lord Byron somewhere says, speaking of his owu play of ' Sardanapalus,' " I look 
upon Shakspere to be the worst of models, though the most extraordinary of writers." 
We think, if Shakspere be the worst of models, it is because he is the most extraordinary 
cf writers. His prodigious depth of thought, his unbounded range of imagery, his in- 
tense truth of characterization, are not to be imitated. The other qualities, which miglit 
remain as a model, lie beneath the surfoce. Imitate, if it be possible, the structure of his 
verse ; the thought and tlie imagery are wanting, and the mere versification is a lifeless 
mass. Dryden says, iu his preface to ' All for Love,' " In my stjde I have professed to 
imitate the divine Shakspeare." Open the play at any part, and see if the imitation has 
produced a i-esomblance. Rowe tells us that 'Jane Shore' is an imitation of Shakspere. 
It is a painted daub of the print-shops imitating the colouring of Titian. Otway pieced 
Romeo and Juliet into his ' Cains Marius,' where the necessity for imitation was actually 
forced upon him, in making a cento of Shakspere's lines and his own; -and yet the last 


speech of the Romeo of Otway's tragedy substitutes these three Ihics i,i the place of 
" Tims with a kiss I die :" — 

" This world's gross air grows burtlieusome already, 
I am all a god ; such heavenly joys transport nie, 
That mortal sense grows sick, and faints with lasting." 

We mention these things to show that men of very high talent have not been able to 
grapple with Shakspere's style in the way of imitation. A poet, and especially a contem- 
porary poet, might have formed his own style, in some degree, upon Shakspere ; not only 
by the constant contemplation of his peculiar excellences, but through the general cha- 
racter that a man of the vjry highest genius impresses imconsciously upon the aggregate 
poetry of his age. This we believe to have been the case with Chapman. He was not an 
imitator of Shakspere in the ordinary sense of the word ; he could not imitate him in his 
scenes of passion, because he could not " shift at pleasure, to inform and animate other 
existences." But, in a limited range, he approached Shakspere, because he had the same 
earnestness, the same command of striking combinations of language, a rhythm in which 
harmony is blended with strength, a power of painting scenes by a vivid description, a 
tendency to reflect and philosophize. All this Shakspere had, but he had a great deal 
more. Is that more displayed in the scenes of The Two Noble Kinsmen which have 
been attributed to him? or, not being present, had Chapman the power of producing 
these scenes out of his own resources ? This is a question which we certainly cannot 
pretend to answer satisfactorily : all that we can do is to compare a few peculiarities in the 
first and last acts of The Two Noble Kinsmen with passages that offer themselves in those 
of Chapman's works with which we have an acquaintance. 

We will begin with a quality which is remarkable enough in passages of The Two 
Noble Kinsmen to distinguish them from those written by Fletcher — we mean the pre- 
sence of general truths and reflections, propounded always with energy, sometimes with 
solemnity ; not dragged in as a moral at the end of a fable, but arising spontaneously out 
of the habit of the author's mind. Coleridge doubts the profunditp of these thoughts — 
and we think he is right. We will place in one column a few of such passages from The 
Two Noble Kinsmen ; and, in the other, passages of a similar nature, selected somewhat 
hastily from three or four of Chapman's plays :— 

Two Noble Kinsmen. 

" We come unseasonably ; but when could Grief 
Cull forth, as unpang'd Judgment can, fitt'.st time 
For best solicitation ? " 

" Oh, you heavenly charmers, 
What things you make of us ! For what we hick 
We laugh, for what we have are sorry ; still 
Are children in some kind." 

'' Let th* event, 
That uever-erring arbiti-ator, tell us 
When we know all ourselves ; and let us follow 
The becking of our chance !" 


" Sin is a coward, madam, and insults 
But on our weakness, in his truest valour ; 
And so our ignorance tames us, that we let 
His shadows fright lis." £ussy D'A mhois. 

" the good God of Gods, 
How blind is pride ! what eagles we are still 
In matters that belong to other men ! 
What beetles in our own ! " All Fools. 

"0 ! the strange difference 'twixt ua and the stars ! 
They work with inclinations strong and fatal 
And nothing know : and we know all their working. 
And nought can do or nothing can prevent." 

Byron's Tragohj. 

It would be easy to multiply examples of this kind ; and it would not be necessary for our 
purpose to select passages that are very closely parallel. We only desire to show that 
Chapman is a reflective poet; and that in this respect the tone of thought that may be 



found in tlie first and last acts of The Two Noble Kinsmen is nut incompatible witli bin 
habits of composition. 

We have already selected an invocation by Chapman, with the intent of showing that 
bis style in this detached and complete form of poetry approaches much more closely to 
the invocations in The Two Noble Kinsmen than the style of Jonson. Chapman appears 
to us to delight in this species of oratorical verse, requiring great condensation and majesty 
of expression, and demanding the nicest adjustment of a calm and stately rhythm. He 
derived, perhaps, this love of invocation, as well as the power of introducing such passages 
successfully in his dramas, from his familiarity with Homer ; and thus for the same 
reason his plays have more of the stately form of the epic dialogue than the passionate 
rajjidity of the true drama. We will select one invocation from Chapman's translation of 
the ' Iliad,' that of Agamemnon's prayer in the third book, to show the sources at least 
which were open to the writer of the invocations in the fifth act of The Two Noble Kins- 
men, for examples of condensation of thouglit. majesty of diction, and felicity of : — 

" Jove, tliat Ida doth protect, aud hast the titles won, 
Most glorious, most iuviucible ; and thou, all-seeiug sun ; 
AU-heariug, all re-comforting; floods, earth, and powers beneath ! 
Tliat all the perjuries of men chastise even after death ; 
]!e witnesses, and see perforin' d, the hearty vows we make." 

These invocations in his 'Homer' have the necessary condensation of the origiual. In 
his own inventions in the same kind he is naturally more diffuse ; but diffuseness is 
not the diffuseness of Fletcher. Take one example : — 

"Now all ye peaceful regents of the night. 
Silently-gliding exhalations, 

Languishing winds, and murmuring falls of waters, 
.Sadness of heart, and ominous secureness, ' 
Enchantments, dead sleeps, all the friends of rest, 
That ever wi-ought upon the life of man, 
Extend your utmost strengths ; and this charm'd hour 
Fix like the centre : make the violent -wheels 
Of Time and Fortune stand ; and great existence, 
The maker's treasury, now not seem to be." 

The time is past when it may be necessary to prove that Chapman was a real poet. There 
are passages in his plays which show that he was capable not only of giving interest to 
forced situations and extravagant characters by bis all-informing energy, but of pouring 
out the sweetest spirit of beauty in the most unexpected places. Take the following four 
lines as an example : — 

" Here 's nought but whispering with us : like a calm 
Before a tempest, when the silent air 
Lays her soft car close to the earth to hearTccn 
For that she fears steals on to ravish her." 

Was ever personification more exquisitely beautiful 1 The writer of these lines, with his 
wondrous facility, was equal to anything that did not demand the very highest qualities for 
the drama; aud those qualities we do not think are manifest in the first and last acts of 
The Two Noble Kinsmen, rich as these are in excellences within the range of such a 
writer as Chapman, especially when his exuberant genius was under the necessary restraint 
of co-operation with another writer. 

The classical nature of that portion of The Two Noble Kinsmen that we think might 
liave been assigned to Chapman miglit have been treated by a writer not very deeply 


imbued with tlic spirit of Greek poetry without tlie use of any peculiar phrases or epithets 
which a poet derives from a particular course of reading, as we constantly find in Milton. 
We will select a very few parallel examples of such from The Two Noble Kinsmen, and 
from Chapman s plays and the translation of the 'Iliad :' — 

Two Noble Kinsmen. C'hapmak. 

Thy music-footed horse. 

His blubber'd cheeks. 

Gold-spirited peers. 

The heavenly lighteuer. 

Thou mighty shaker of the earth. 

Golden -throned queen. 

The eternal dwellers. 

The Bcythe-tuskM boar. 

Blubber'd queens. 

Clear-spirited cousin. 

The heavenly limitei*. 

Shaker of o'er rank state.s. I 

Sacred silver mistress. 

Oh, you heavenly charmers. 

It would be tedious as -veil as unnecessary to pursue these details farther. Whoever 
was the writer of those passages iu The Two Noble Kinsmen which, on some grounds, 
have with great probability been attributed to Shakspere, it is clear to us that there were 
two bauds concerned in the production of the play, as dissimilar in their styles as Chapman, 
as a translator of Homer, is dissimilar to Pope. There is some analogy, however remote 
it may appear, between the poetical characters of Fletcher and Pope, as compared with 
■n-riters of greater energy and simplicity ; and the differences iu kind of this poetical qua- 
lity may serve as an illustration of the imperfect argument which we tluis conclude : — 


" They sat delightfully, 
And spent all night in open field; fires round about 

them shin'd ; 
As when about the silver moon, when air is free from 

And stars shine clear ; to whose sweet beams, high 

prospects, and the brows 
Of all steep hills and pinnacles thru.=t up themselves 

for shows ; 
And even the lowly valley.s joy to glitter in their 

When the unmeasurM firmaviieut bursts to disclose 

her light. 
And all the signs in heaven are seen that glad the 

shepherd's heart ; 
So many fires disclos'd their beams, made by the 

Trojan part. 
Before the face of Iliou ; and her bright turrets 

show'd ; 
A thousand courts of guard kept fires : and every 

guard allow'd 
Fifty stout men, by whom their horse eat oats and 

hard white corn. 


'• The troops exulting sat iu order round. 
And beaming fires illumin'd all the ground ; 
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night. 
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light. 
■When not a breath disturbs the deep serene. 
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene. 
Around her throne the vivid planets roll, 
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole ; 
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed. 
And tip with silver every mountain's head ; 
Then shine the vales, the rocks iu prospect rise, 
A flood of glory bur.sts from all the skies : 
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, 
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light : 
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze, 
And lighten glimmering Xauthus with their rays ; 
The long reSeotions of the distant fires 
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires ; 
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild. 
And shed a shady lustre o'er the field. 
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend. 
Whose umber'd arms, by fits, thick flashes send ; 
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn ; 
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn." 

And all did wilfully expect the silver-thi'oned morn." 

Wo have only one word to add. Chapman died in the very year that the first edition 
of The Two Noble Kinsmen was published, with the name of Shakspere in the title-page. 
If the title-page were a bookseller's invention, the name of Shakspere would be of higher 
price tl'.au that of Cliapmau. 


L C E I N E. 

The subject of this tragedy was a favuurite with the early poets. We find it in ' The 
Mirror of Magistrates,' in Spenser, and in Drayton ; occupying seven stanzas of ' The 
Faery Queen' (Book II., Canto 10), and fifty lines of the ' Poly-Olbion.' The legend 
of Brutus is circumstantially related in Milton's ' History of England,' where the story 
of Locriue is told with the power of a poet : — 

"After this, Bratu."!, in .1 chosen place, buiUls Troja Nov.i, ch.mged in time to Trinov.intum, now 
London, and began to enact laws, Heli being then high-priest in Juda?a ; and having governed the whole 
isle twenty-four years, died, and was buried in his new Troy. Hia three sons, Locriue, Albanact, and 
Camber, divide the land by consent. Locrine has the middle part, Lccgria ; Camber possessed Cambria, 
or Wales; Albanact, Albania, now Scotland. But he in the end, by Humber, king of the Ilunns, who 
with a fleet inv.aded that laml, was slain in fight, and his jjenple drove back into Lcegria. Locrine and his 
brother go out against Humber; who, now marching onwards, was by them defeated, and in a river 
drowned, which to this day retains his name. Among the spoils of his camp and navy were foimd 
cort.ain young maids, and Estrildis above the rest, passing fair, the daughter ofakingin Germany; from 
Srp. Vol. O 193 


whence Humber, as lie went wasting the sea-co:>st, haJ led her captive ; whom Locriue, thouyh before 
contracted to the daughter of Corineus, resolves to marry. But being forced aud threatened by Coriueus, 
whose authority and power he feared, Guendolen the daughter he yields to marry, but in secret loves 
the other : aud ofttimes retiring, as to some private sacrifice, through vaults and passages made under 
ground, and seven years thus enjoying her, had by her a daughter equally fair, whose name was Sabra. 
But when once his fear was off, by the death of Corineus, not content with secret enjoyment, divorcing 
Guendolen, he made Estrildis now his queen. Guendolen, all in rage, departs into Cornwall, where 
Madan, the sou she had by Locrine, was hitherto brought up by Corineus, his grandfather. And 
gathering an army of her father's friends and subjects, gives battle to her husband by the river Sture ; 
wherein Locrine, shot with an arrow, ends his life. But not so ends the fury of Guendolen ; for 
Ustrildis, aud her daughter Sabra, she throws into a river ; and, to leave a monument of revenge, 
proclaims that the stream be theueeforth called after the damsel's name, which, by length of time, is 
changed now to Sabrina, or Severn." 

In ' Coimis' Miltim lingei-s with clolight about the same story : — 

■' There is a gentle nymph not far from hence. 
That with curb sways the smooth Severn stream, 
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure ; 
Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine, 
That had the sceptre from hia father Brute. 
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit 
01 her enraged stepdame, Guendolen, 
Commended her fair innocence to the flood, 
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course." 

The tivagedy of ' Locriue' was originally printed in quarto, under the following title : — 
' Tlie lamentable Tragedie of Locrine, the eldest sonne of King Brutus, discoursing the 
warres of the Britaiiies and Hunnes, with their Discomfiture : The Britaines victorio, 
with their Accidents, and the death, of Albanact. No less pleasant than profitable. 
Newly set foorth, ouerseeue and corrected, by W. S. London, printed by Thomas Creede. 
1.595.' It was entered in the books of the Stationers' Company on the 20tli of July, 
IMi. The play concludes with some homespun Hues, which, to a certain extent, fix the 

' " ■ " Lo ! here the end of lawless treachery, 

Of usurpation, and ambitious pride. 
And they that for their private amours dare 
Turmoil our land, and set their broils abroach. 
Let them be warned by these premises. 
And as a woman was the only cause 
That civil discord was then stirred up, 
So let us pray for that renowned maid 
That eight-aud-thirty years the sceptre sw.ay'd, 
In quiet peace aud sweet felicity ; 
And every wight that seeks her grace's smart. 
Would that this sword were pierced in his heart !" 

Tiie thirty-ci"'hth year of Queen Elizabeth's reign began on the 17th of November, 
1.")9j • and it would therefore appear that these lines were written after the entry at 
Stationers' Hall ; and that the piece, if acted at all, was presented in the latter part of the 
year of which the first edition bears the date. The question then arises, whether the 
expression in the title-page of that edition, " Newly set foorth, ouerseene and con-ected, 
by W. S." implies that 'W. S. had corrected and published a play of an elder date ; and 
that involves the further question whether W. S. was the original author, or one who 
undertook to repair a work that had fallen into liis hands. Steevens says, — " Supposing 
for a moment that W. S. here stood for our great poet's name (which is extremely im- 
iirobablc), these words prove that Shakspere was not the turiter of this performance. If 
it was only set forth, overseen, and corrected, it was not composed, by him." This is not 


a very logical inference from the words of the titio-pagc ; nor is this an isolated case ot 
prominently sotting fortii the correction of a play. The following title-page is, we 
think, an exact parallel to that of ' Locrine :' — 'A pleasant Conceited Comedie called 
Love's Labonrs Lost. As it was presented before her Highness this last Christmas. 
>7ewly corrected and augmented by W. Shakespeare.' Here the corrector and aug- 
tuenter is the nndonbted author ; and so the appearance of W. S. in the title-page of 
' Locrine ' as its overseer and corrector, does not prove that '■ it was not composed " by 
AV. S. We have uo earlier trace that W. S. was held to be William Shakspere than the 
publication of ' Locrine' in the folio of 1664. If the publishers of that edition of Shak- 
spere's works were misled bj^ the initials W. S., they are not the only persons who have 
tiiought that these initials could only belong to the greatest of writers. Sliakspere lias 
been made a political economist upon the strength of them. He was indeed a much 
bettor political economist than many of the statesmen of his time ; but ho did not in 
1581 write 'A compendious or briefe examination of certayue ordinary complaints, &c., 
by W. S.,' which in the last century was printed with his name. The author of that 
very able pamphlet was William Stafford. The theory of Steevons with regard to 
' Locrine ' is that it was written by ILarlowe, who died in 1593 ; that it was entered on the 
Stationers' books as Marlowe left it ; that some revision was necessary ; and that it was 
publislied witli tlie initials of the reviser, William Smith, in 1595. In 159G William 
Smith printed a collection of fifty sonnets, entitled, ' Chloris, or the Complaint of tjio 
passionate despised Shepheard.' In 'England's Helicon,' printed in 1600, there is a 
little poem entitled ' Corin's Dream of his fair Chloris,' bearing the initials AV. S., 
which is no doubt by the same William Smith. Wc c.^:traot the first eight lines of this 

poem : — 

" What time bright Titiiu iu the zenith sat, 
Aud eqiually the fixed polea did heat : 
Wheu to my floek my daily woes I chat, 
And underneath a broad beech took my seat. 
The dreaming god, which Morpheus poets call 
Augmenting fuel to my ^Etna's fire, 
With sleep possessing my weak senses all, 
In apparitions makes my hopes aspire." 

Ill tlie ' Censura Literaria' (vol. v., p. 113) an account is given of a work printed in 
1577, entitled 'The Golden Aphroditis : a pleasant discourse penned by John Grange, 
gentleman,' in which a poem is also found by W. S., which is thus described : — 
" Eighteen commendatory lines succeed, by W. S. This probably was Wni. Smith, 
the writer of other poesies. Shakspeare it could not be ; both on account of the date, 
and because he thus useth the commonplace process of compliment employed in that 
age, in which mythology and personification are made to halt for it." We extract four 
lines from these commendatory verses : — 

" Here virtue seems to check at Vice, and Wisdom Folly taunts : 
Here Venus she is set at nought, and dame Diane she vaunts. 
Here Pallas Cupid doth detest, and all his carpet-knights ; 
Here doth she show that youthful imps in folly most delights." •• 

Here then was a W. S. appearing as a poet in 1577, aud again in 1596. Locrine, iu 
1595, is newly set forth, &c., by W. S. The same anonymous person might have written 
a play in the very early days of the English stage, contemporary with the first perform- 
ances of Peele, Greene, Marlowe, and Kyd ; ho might have revised it and published it iu 
1 595. Very little is known of this author ; nothing of his personal history. A copy or 
two is iu existence of bis fifty sonnets ; and, if that be fame, his little book has been sold 



for thirty pounds in our own daj*. Seventy jxars after the first publication of ' Locrine,' 
it is reprinted in a collection of Shakspere's works ; but we have not a particle of evi- 
dence that it was traditionally ascribed to Shakspere. The principle which appears to 
liave determined the publishers of our poet's works in 1664 to add to their " impression" 
a collection of " seven plays never before printed in folio" appears to have been a very 
simple one. They took all which they found bearing the initials W. S., or the name 
William Shakspiere, as may be seen from the following table : — 

Title of Play. 

Initials, or Ntime, on Tille. 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre . . 
Tragedie of Locrine . . . . 
First Part of the Life of Sir) 

John Olclcaatle ... J 
Chronicle Historic of Thomas \ 

Lord Cromwell . . . | 
The London Prodig.all . . . 

The Pnritaiue 

A Yorkshire Tragedie . . . 

William Shakespeare . 

1. No name or initial . 

2. William Shakespeare 

1. No name or initial . 

2. W. S 

William Shakespeare . 

W. S 

W. Shakespeare . . 


The name of Shakspere affixed to the title of any of tliese plays cannot, as we have 
before observed in our notice of Pericles, be received as evidence of the authorship. 
'Sir John Oldcastle,' of which two editions were published in 1600 by the same book- 
seller, the one with Shakspere's name, the other without (the one without a name being the 
most correct), was unquestionably not written by Shakspere, because we have record 
of a payment to the actual writers. This circumstance compelled us to inquire into the 
authorship of Pericles, almost wholly with reference to the internal evidence. And 
upon the same principle we must examine 'The London Prodigal' and 'The Yorkshire 
Tragedy.' It is manifest that the initials W. S. upon the title-pages of the early copies 
cannot be received as evidence at all of the authorship, liowever convenient it might have 
been for a publisher to accept them as evidence fifty years after Shakspere's death. W. S. 
might, without any attempt to convey the notion that ' Locrine ' was written by Shak- 
spere, have fairly stood for William Smith ; and in the same way the W. S. of ' Thomas 
Lord Cromwell,' and the W. S. of ' The Puritan ' might have represented Wentworth 
Smith, a well-known dramatic author at the date of the publication of those plays, who 
wrote many pieces in conjunction with the best poets of that prolific period of the stage. 
We proceed to an analysis of ' Locrine,' not, as we would repeat, to attempt any display 
of ingenuity in finding parallels or contrasts, but, inquiring into the broad principles of 
Shakspere's art, to apply something like a test of the genuineness of those productions 
which have been assigned to him at various periods since they were written, some very 
loosely and hastily, as we think, and others upon grounds that demand a patient and 
careful examination. 

According to Tieck, ' Locrine ' is the earliest of Shakspere's dramas. He lias a 
theory that it has altogether a political tendency : " It seems to have reference to the 
times when England was suffering through the parties formed in favour of Mar}' Stuart, 
and to iiave been written before her execution, while attacks were feared at home, and 
invasions from abroad." It was corrected by the author, and printed, he further says, 
in 1595, when another Spanish invasion was feared. We confess ourselves utterly at a 
loss to recognise in ' Locrine ' the mode in which Shakspere usually awakens the love 
of country. The management in this particular is essentiallj' ditforeut from that ol 
King John and Henry V. ' Locrine ' is one of the works which Tieck has translated, 


iuul his trauslatiou is uo doubt a proof of the sincerity of liis opinions; yet lie says, franlily 
enough, " It bears the marks of a young poet unacquainted with the stage, who endea- 
vours to sustain himself constantly in a posture of elevation, who purposely neglects tlie 
necessary rising and sinking of tone and effect, and who with wonderful energy endea- 
vours from beginning to end to make his personages speak in the same highly-wrought 
and poetical language, while at the same time he shakes out all his school-learning on 
every possible occasion." To reduce this very just account of the play to elementary 
criticism, Tieck says, first, that the action of the play is not conducted upon dramatic 
principles; second, that the langiiage is not varied with the character and situation; 
third, that the poetry is essentially conventional, being the reflection of the author's 
school-learning. It must be evident to all our readers that these characteristics are the 
very reverse of Shakspere. Schlegel saj-s of ' Locrine,' ■' The proofs of the genuineness 
of this piece are not altogether unambiguous; the grounds for doubt, on the other hand, 
are entitled to attention. However, this question is immediately connected with that 
respecting Titus Androuicus, and must be at the same time resolved in the affirmative or 
negative." We dissent entirely from this opinion. It appears to us that the differences 
are as strikingly marked between 'Locrine' aud Titus Androuicus as between Titus 
Audronious and Othello. Those productions were separated by at least twenty years. 
The youth might have produced Aaron; the perfect master of his art, lago. There is 
the broad mark of originality in the characterization and language of Titus Androuicus. 
The terrible passions which are there developed by the action find their vent in the 
appropriate language of passion, the bold and sometimes rude outpourings of nature. 
The characters of ' Locrine' are moved to passion, but first and last they speak out of 
books. In Shakspere, high poetry is the most natural language of passion. It belongs 
to the state of excitement in which the character is placed; it harmonizes with the ex- 
cited state of the reader or of the audience. But the whole imagery of ' Locrine ' is 
mythological. In a speech of twenty lines we have Rhadamanthus, Hercules, Eurydice, 
Erebus, Pluto, Mors, Tantalus, Pelops, Tithonus, Minos, Jupiter, Mars, and Tisiphone. 
The mythological pedantry is carried to such an extent, that the play, though unques- 
tionably written in sober sadness, is a perfect travesty of this peculiarity of the early 
dramatists. Conventional as Greene and Marlowe are in their imagery, a single act of 
' Locrine ' contains more of this tinsel than all their plays put together, prone as they 
are to this species of decoration. In the author of 'Locrine' it becomes so entirely 
ridiculous, that this quality alone would decide us to say that Marlowe had nothing to 
do with it, or Greene either. There is another peculiarity also in ' Locrine' which dis- 
tinguishes it as much from Titus Audronious as it does from the accredited works of the 
best dramatists of the early period. AVe allude to the incessant repetitions of a phrase, 
in the endeavour to be forcible aud rhetorical. Sparingly used, all poets know the power 
of an echo which intensifies the original sound; but we will select a few such passages 
from ' Locrine' which are the mere platitudes of weakness and inexperience: — 

" These arm.?, my lords, these ueverdaunte 1 arms." 
" This heart, my lords, this ne'er-appalled heart." 
" Accursed stars, damn'd and accursed stars." 
" Brutus, that was a glory to us all, 

Brutus, that was a terror to his foes." 
" For at this time, yea at this present time." 
" Casts such a heat, yea such a scorching heat " 
" Since mighty kings are subject to mishap 
(Ay, mighty kings are subject to mishap)." 
'■ But this foul day, this foul accursed day." 



No doubt we may find this rhetorical form amongst the founders of our drama, and 
often in an excess wliich approaches to the ridiculous ; take a passage from Greene s 
' Oj-laudo Furioso ' for example : — 

"Although my country's love, clearer thau pearl, 
Or mines of gold, might well have kept me back ; 
The sweet conversing with my king and friends. 
Left all for love, might well have kept me back ; 
The seas by Neptune hoisod to the heavens, 
Whose dangerous flaws might well have kept uie back ; 
The savage Moors and Anthropophagi, 
Whose lands I pass'd, niight well have kept me back : 
The doubt of entertainment in the event 
When I arriv'd, might well have kept me back ; 
But so the fame of fair Angelica 
Stamp'd in my thoughts the figure of her love, 
As neither country, king, or seas, or cannibals. 
Could by despairing keep Oilando back." 

Wc Ixave the same sort of elaborate repetition in ' Locrine:' — 

" If Fortune favour me in mine attempts. 
Thou shalt be queen of lovely Albion. 
Fortune shall favour me in mine attempts. 
And make thee queen of lovely Albion." 

The latter passage, as well as that of Greene, is evidently part of the system of rhetoric 
upon which both writers proceeded, although in Greene the management is more spirited. 
We know of uotlung like examples of this system in Sliakspere, except in one i)ht} ful 
piece of comedy, where the principle is applied with tlie greatest nicety of art : — 

" £ass. Sweet Portia, 

If you did know to whom I gave the ring. 
If you did know for whom I gave the ring, 
And would conceive for what I gave the ring. 
And how unwillingly I left the ring. 
When nought would be accepted but the ring, 
You would abate the strength of your di.^pleasure. 

Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring. 
Or h.alf her w-orthiness that gave the ring. 
Or your own honour to contain the ring, 
You would not then have parted with the ring." 

(Merchant of Venice, Act \.) 

Let us, however, proceed to a rapid examination of ' Locrine,' in its action and charac- 

The dumb-show, as it is called, of ' Locrine' is tolerably- decisive as to the date of tiie 
performance. It belongs essentially to that period wlien the respective powers of action 
.and of words were imperfectly understood; when what was exhibited to the eye required 
to be explained, and what was conveyed to the imagination of the audience by speech 
was to be made more intelligible by a sigu-painting pantomime. Nothing could be more 
characteristic of a very rude state of art, almost the rudest, than the dumb-shows which 
introduce each act of ' Locrine.' Act i. is thus heralded : 

'• Tlumdcr and lightning. Enter Ate in black, with a burning torch in one hand, and a Ij'.oody sword in 
the other. Presently let there come forth a lion running after a bear; then come forth an archer, who 
must Idll the lion in a dumb show, and then depart. Ate remain.s." 


Ate then tells us, in good set verse, that a mighty lion was killed by a di'cadful archer; 
and the seventeen lines in which we are told this arc filled with a very choice descriji- 
tion of the lion before he was shot, and after he was shot. And what has this to do 
with the subject of the play? It is an acted simile: — 

" So valiant Brute, the terror of the world. 
Whose only looks did scare his enemies. 
The archer Death brought to hig latest end. 
0, what may long abide above this ground, 
In state of bliss and healthful happiness ! " 

In the second act we have a dumb-show of Pei-seus and Andromeda; in the thiixl "a 
crocodile sitting on a river's bank, and a little suake stinging it;" in the fourth Oniphale 
and Hercules ; in the fifth Jason, Medea, and Creou's daughter. Ate, who is the great 
show-woman of these scenes, introduces her puppets on each occasion with a line or two 
of Latin, and always concludes her address with "So" — " So valiant Brute "— " So fares 
it with young Locrine" — "So Humber" — "So martial Locrine " — " So Guendolen." 
A writer in the ' Edinburgh Review' most justly calls Locrine "a characteristic work of 
its time." If we were to regard these dumb-shows as the most decisive marks of its 
chronoloLiy, we should carry the play back to the age when the form of the moralities 
was in some degree indispensab'e fo a dramatic performance; when the action could not 
move and develop itself without the assistance of something approaching to the character 
of a chorus. Thus in ' Tancred and Gismunda,' originally acted before Queen Elizabeth 
in 1568, previous to the first act " Cupid cometh out of the heavens in a cradle of 
flowers, drawing forth upon the stage, in a blue twist of silk, from his left hand. Vain 
Hope, Brittle Joy ; and with a carnation twist of silk from his right hand. Fair Resem- 
blance, Late Repentance." We have their choruses at the conclusion of other acts; 
and, previous to the fourth act, not only " Megsera risetli out of hell, with the other 
furies," but she subsequently mixes in the main action, and throws her snake upon 
Tancred. AVhatever period, therefore, we may assign to ' Locrine,' varying between the 
date of ' Tancred and Gismunda' and its original publication in L^)94, we may be sure 
that the author, whoever he was, had not power enough to break through the ti'ammels 
of the early stage. He had not that confidence in the force of natural action and just 
characterization which would allow a drama to be wholly dramatic. He wanted that 
high gift of imagination which conceives and produces these qualities of a drama; and 
he therefore dealt as with an unimaginative audience. The same want of the dramatic 
power renders his plaj' a succession of harangues, in which the last thing thought of is 
the appropriateness of language to situation. The first English dramatists, and those wdio 
worked upon their model, appear to have gone upon the principle that they produced 
the most perfect work of art when they took their art entirely out of the province of 
nature. The highest art is a representation of nature in her very highest forms; some- 
thing which is above common reality, but at the same time real. The lowest art 
embodies a principle opposite to nature; something purely conventional, and conse- 
quently always uninteresting, often grotesque and ridicidous. ' Locrine ' furnishes 
abundant examples of the characteristics of a school of art which may be considered as 
the antithesis of the school of Shakspere. 

The first scene introduces us to " Brutus carried in a chair." With him are his three 
sons, Locrine; Camber, and Albauact; Corineus and Asaracus, his brothers; Guendolen, 
the daughter of Corineus; with other personages. Brutus informs tiie assembly of his 
approaching death; and his brothers tell him of his great renown; wliich speeches 
encourage Brutus to take a very self-satisfying view of the whole course of his life, from 



the period of liis flight from Italy to liis quelling of the giants of Albion. However, the 
dying man at hist proceeds to business; divides the kingdom among-st his sons, and 
directs that Locrine should marry Guendolen. Having effected all this at an expense of 
words which would be somewhat weakening to a person in health, he very opportunely 
diej, and liis son and brother break out into the following rhapsodies: — 

" Loc. Accursed stars, damuM and accursed stars, 
To abbreviate my noble father's life ! 
Hard-hearted gods, and too envious fates, 
Thus to cut off my father's fatal thi'cad ! 
Brutus, that was a glory to us all, 
I-irutus, that was a terror to his foes, 
Alas ! too soon by Demogorgon's kuife 
The martial Brutus is bereft of life : 
No sad complaints may move just iEacus. 

Cur. No dreadful threats can fear j udgc Khadauiautli. 
Wert thou as strong as mighty Hercules, 
That tam'd the hugy monsters of the world, 
Play'dst thou as sweet on the sweet-sounding lute 
As did the sjiouse of fair Euiydice, 
That did enchant the waters with his noise. 
And made stones, birds, and beasts, to lead a dance, 
Constrain'd the hilly trees to follow him, 
Thou could'st not move the judge of Erebus, 
Nor move compassion in grim Pluto's heart ; 
For fatal Mors expecteth all the world. 
And every man must tread the way of death. 
Brave Tantalus, the valiant Pelops' sire, 
Guest to the gods, suffer'd untimely death ; 
And old Tithonus, husband to the morn, 
And eke grim Minos, whom just Jupiter 
Deign'd to admit unto his sacrifice. 
The thund'riug trumpets of bloodthirsty Mars, 
The fearful rage of fell Tisiphone, 
The boisterous waves of humid ocean, 
Are instruments and tools of dismal death. 
Then, noble cousin, cease to mourn his chance, 
Whose age and years were signs that he should die. 
It resteth now that we inter his bones, 
That was a terror to his enemies. 
Take up the corse, and, princes, hold him dead, 
Who while he liv'd upheld the Trojan state. 
Sound drums and trumpets; march to Troyuovant, 
There to provide our chieftain's funeral." 

At the end of the first act Locrine and Guendolen are married; but a comic scene is 
interposed, in which Strumbo, a cobbler, talks of Cuprit and Dina, and in the same 
breath of the fourth book of Lactantius. It is evident that the author of this play could 
not produce the lowest buffoonery without making a parade of his book-knowledge. 

The second act opens with the arrival of Humber, the king of the Scythians, with 
Estrild his wife, and Hubba his son. The lady is rapturous in her admiration of 
Albion: — , . 

" The plains, my lord, garnish d with Flora's wealth, 
And overspread with particolour'd flowers. 
Do yield sweet contentation to my mind. 
The airy hills enclos'd with shady groves, 
The groves replenish'd with sweet chirping birds, 
The birds resounding heavenly melody, 


Are equal to the gruves of Thessaly ; 

Where Pho:bus, With the learuod ladiea niue, 

Delight themselves with music's harmony. 

Ami from the moisture of the mouutaiu-tops 

The silent springs dance down with murmuring streams, 

And water all the ground with crystal waves. 

The gentle blasts of Eurus' modost wind, 

Moving the pittering leaves of Silvau's woods, 

Do equal it with Tempe's paradise ; 

And thus consorted all to one effect, 

Do make nie think these are the happy isles. 

Most fortunate, if Humber may them win.'' 

After strutting about, and talking of Fortune, and Boreas, and Semiramis, and Lucifer, 
and Penthesilea, these Scjtliian scholars move forward, and the cobbler appears again 
upon the scene, and refuses the "press-money" which a captain offers him. Subse- 
quently the Scytliians burn the cobbler's house with Iiis wife in it ; but he goes to the 
wars with Albanact, and has the honour of fighting with the king of the Scythians. 
Humber is routed; and talks, as is very natural with people when they are in very great 
distress, about Briareus, Olympus, and Minerva. However, the tide of battle turns 
again, and Albanact is routed ; and kills himself, after a denunciation of Fortune, which 
furnishes the most satisfactory evidence of the greatness of his ambition who was 
resolved to do so many wonderful things after he had cut his own throat : — 

" Curs'd be her charms, damn'd be her cursed charms, 
That do delude the wayward hearts of men, 
Of men that trust unto her fickle wheel, 
Which never leaveth turning upside-down ! 

gods, heavens, allot me but the place 
Where I may find her hateful mansion. 
I'll pass the Alps to wat'ry Meroe, 
Where fiery Phoebus in his chariot, 

The wheeli whereof are deck'd with emeralds. 

Casts such a heat, yea such a scorching heat. 

And spoileth Flora of her checker'd grass; 

I'll oveiturn the mountain Caucasus, 

Where fell Chimrcra, in her triple shape, 

RoUeth hot flames from out her monstrous paunch. 

Scaring the beasts with issue of her gorge ; 

1 11 pass the frozen zone, where icy flakes, 
Stopping the passage of the fleeting ships. 
Do lie, like mountains, in the congeal'd sea: 
Where if I find that hateful house of hers, 

I 11 pull the fickle wheel from out her hands. 
And tie herself in everlasting bands." 

He very appropriately concludes with six Latin hexameters before he kills himself. It 
is difficult to say which is the most ludicrous— the solemn ravings of the hero, or the 
burlesque of the cobbler and his man. 

In the third act Locrine comes against Humber, and finally defeats him, after a great 
many words uttered in the same " Ercles' vein." We hopelessly look for any close 
parallel of the fustian of this play in the accredited works of Greene, or Marlowe, or 
Kyd, who redeemed their pedantry and their extravagance by occasional grandeur and 
sweetness. The dialogue of 'Locrine' from first to last is inflated beyond all com- 
pari.sou with any contemporary performance witli which we are acquainted. Must 
readers are familiar with a gentleman who, when he is entreated to go down, says. 

2 0] 


" To Pluto's damned lake, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also." 
The valiant Pistol had, no doubt, diligently studied 'Locrine;' but he was a fuiut 
copyist of such sublime as the following : — 

" You ugly spirits that iu Cocytus mourn, 
And gnasli your teeth with dolorous laments ; 
You fearful dogs, that iu black Lethe howl, 
And scare the ghosts with your wide-open throats ; 
You ugly ghosts, that flying from these dogs 
Do plunge yourselves in Pnryflegethon ; 
Come all of you, and with your shrieking notes 
Accompany the Britons' conquering host. 
Come, fierce Erinnys, horrible with snakes; 
Come, xigly furies, armed with your whips ; 
Y^ou threefold judges of black Tartarus, 
And all the army of your hellish fiends. 
With new-found torments rack proud Locrine's bones !" 

■\Ve do not get rid of Humber, wlio of all the characters excels in this line, until the 
end of the fourth act ; previous to which happy event of his death Locrine has fallen in 
love with Estrild, his prisoner ; and the lady, after a very brief wooing, requites his love, 
under the assurance that Queen Guendoleu .shall do her no harm. The following lines, 
in which Locrine describes the arrangements that he has made for the indulgence of his 
passion, furnisli almost the only example of a passage in the play approaching to some- 
thing like natural and appropriate language : — 

" Nigh Durolitum, by the pleasant Ley, 
Where brackish Thamis slides with silver streams, 
Making a breach into the gi'as-sy downs, 
A curious arch of costly marble fraught 
Hath Locriue framed underneath the ground ; 
The walls whereof, garnish'd with diamonds, 
With opals, rubies, glistering emeralds, 
And interlac'd with sun-bright carbuncles, 
Lighten the room with artificial day : 
And from the Ley with water-flowing pipes 
The moisture is deriv'd into this arch, 
Where I have plac'd fair Kstrild secretly. 
Thither eftsoous, accompanied with my page, 
I visit covertly my heart's desire. 
Without suspicion of the meanest eye. 
For love aboundeth still with policy. 
And thither still means Locrine to repair. 
Till Atropos cut off mine uncle's life." 

In the fifth act we hear of the death of Corineus ; upon which Locrine commands 
that Estrild shall be queen in the room of Gucndolen. The rightful wife, upon hearing 
of her misfortune, calls upon the winds and the clouds and the sun, and other such allies 
of tragic personages, to assist her in her distress, and she does not call in vain : — 

- " Behold the heavens do wail for Guendolen ; 
The shining sun doth blush for Guendolen ; 
The liquid air doth weep for Guendolen ; 
The very ground doth groan for Guendolen. 
Ay, they are milder than the Britain king, 
For he rejecteth luckless Guendolen." 


Ilcr son arrives, and cliaiiges lier tempei- iu a moment from sorrow to revenge : — 

"Then henceforth farewell womanish complaints ! 
All childish pity henceforth then forcwellj 
But cursed Locrine, look unto thyself; 
For Nemesis, the mistress of revenge, 
Sits arm'd at all points ou our dismal blades : 
And cursed Estrlld, that inflam'd his heart, 
Shall, if I live, die a reproachful death." 

A battle ensues in wliioli Locrine is defeated ; but previously the ghost of Corineiis 
appears, and his speech is no unfavourable specimen of the power of the writer : — 

" Behold, the cu'cuit of the azure sky 
Throws forth sad throbs, and grievous suspii'es, 
Prejudicating Locrine's overthrow. 
The fire casteth forth sharp darts of flames ; 
The great foundation of the triple world 
Trembleth and qunketh with a mighty noise. 
Presaging bloody mas.sacres at hand. 
The wandering birds that flutter in the dark 
(AVhen hellLsh night, in cloudy chariot sealed, 
Casteth her mists on shady Tellus' face, 
With sable mantles covering all the earth) 
Now flies abroad amid the cheerful day, 
Foretelling some nnwonted misery. 
The snarling curs of darken'd Tartarus, 
Sent from Avernus' ponds by Rhadamanth, 
With howling ditties pester every wood. 
The wat'ry ladies, and the lightfoot fawns, 
And all the rabble of the woody nymphs, 
All trembling hide themselves in shady groves. 
And shroud themselves iu hideous hollow pits. 
The boisterous Boreas thund'reth forth revenge : 
The stony rocks cry out ou sharji revenge : 
The th rny bnsh pronounceth dire revenge. 
Now, Coriueus, stay and see revenge." 

Tlic last four lines furnisli another example of that species of repetition which we have 
previously noticed. We have four lines very similar in Lodge's ' Wounds of Civil 
War : '— 

" Thy colour'd wings, steeped iu purple blood. 

Thy blinding wreath, distaiu'd in purple blood, 

Thy royal robes, wash'd iu my purple blood, 

Shall witness to the world thy thirat of blood." 

Locrine and Estrild each kill themselves; and Sabren, previous to lie.r completion of 
the tragedy, speaks some lines which, with a few other scattered passages here and there, 
afford evidence that, if the author possessed little or nothing of what may be properly 
called dramatic power, he might, could he have shaken off the false learning and extrava- 
gance of his school, have produced something which with proper culture miglit have 
lipened into poetiy :— 

'■ You uiouutaiu nymphs which in these deserts reign. 

Cease 08' your hasty chase of savage beasts ! 

Prepare to see a heart oppress'd with care ; 

Address your ears to hear a mournful style ! 

No human strength, no work can work my weal, 

Care iu my heart so tyrant-like doth deal. 



You Dryades, and lightfoot Satyri, 
You gracious fairies, which at eveu-tide 
Your closets leave, with heavenly beauty stor'il, 
And on your shoulders siwead your golden locks ; 
You savage bears, in caves and darken'd dens, 
Come wail with nie the martial Locriue's death ; 
Come mourn with me for beauteous Estrild's death I 
Ah ! loving parents, little do you know 
What sorrow Sabren suffers for your thrall." 

Can \vc then believe that ' Locrine' was the earliest work of Sliakspcre, as Tieck wonld 
believe 1 or are wo to think with Schlegel that it belongs to the same class, and the same 
hand, as Titns Audronious 1 We doubt much whether it is the work of a very young 
man at all. It is wrought up to the author's conception of a dramatic jiocni ; it has no 
inequalities ; its gross defects were intended to be beauties. It was written unquestion- 
ably by one who had received a scholastic training, and who saw the whole world of 
poetry in the remembrance of what he had read; he looked not upon the heart of men; 
lie looked not even upon the commonest features of external nature. Did Shakspere 
work thus in the poems that wo know he produced wdien a young man ? Assuredly not. 
If his training had been scholastic, his good sense would have taught him to see some- 
thing in poetry besides the echo of his scholarship. Nor can 'Locrine' be compared with 
Titus Andronicus. The faults of that play are produced by the uncontrolled energy 
which, straining for effect in action and passion, destroys even its own strength tlu'ough 
the absence of calmness and repose. Even Shakspere could not at first perceive the 
universal truth which is contained in his own particular direction to the players : — " In 
the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire 
and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness." 

We have already apprised our readers that the opinions we entertain with regard to 
the authorship of ' Locrine ' are directly opposed to those of Tieck, who has ti'anslatcd 
the play. The passages we have selected are, we think, fair examples of the average 
character of the poetry ; but Tieck has pointed out one passage which he considers 
demonstrative of the hand of Shakspere. He supposes that ' Locrine ' was enlarged and 
improved by our poet previous to the edition of 1595 ; and he says — '■ In this new edi- 
tion are doubtless added many verses adapted to the circumstances of the time; but par- 
ticularly the beautiful rhymed stanzas in the fourth act, which so distinctly remind us 
of his Sonnets and the Venus and Adonis, that these alone -would prove the genuineness 
of the di-ania." We subjoin the stanzas : — 

" Enter Soldiers, Jcadiny in EsTiULD. 

Esl. What prince soe'er, adorn'd with golden crown, 
Doth sway the regal sceptre in his hand, 
And thftxks no ch;\nce can ever throw him down, 
Or that his state shall everlasting stand. 
Let him behold poor Estrild in this plight. 
The perfect platform of a troubled wight 

Once was I guarded with JIavortial Lands, 
Compass'd with princes of the noble blood ; 
Now am I fallen into my foemen's hands, 
And with my death must pacify their mood. 
O life, the harbour of calamities ! 

death, the haven of all miseries ! 

1 could compare my sorrows to thy woe. 
Thou wretched queen of wretched Tergamus, 



But that thou view'dst thy eueraifs' overthrow. 
Nigh to the rock of high Caphareus 
Thou saw'st their death, and then departedst : 
1 must abide the victors' insolence. 

The gods, that pitied thy continual grief, 
Trimsform'd thy coi'pse, and with thy corpse thy earn * 
Poor Estrild live?, despairing of relief, 
For friends in trouble are but few and rare, 
"What said I, few ? ay, few, or none at all, 
For cruel Death made havoc of them all. 

Thrice happy they whose fortune was so good 

To end their lives, and with their lives their woes ! 

Thrice hapless I, whom Fortune so withstood. 

That cruelly she gave me to my foes ! 

O soldiers, is there any misery 

To be compar'd to Fortune's treachery V 


r A RT ]. 





TfiE modo in which some of the German critics have spoken of this play is a rebulio to 
dogmatic assertions and criticism. Sohlegel says — putting ' Sir Joliu Oldcastle,' ' Tliomas 
Lord Cromwell,' and ' The Yorkshire Tragedy,' iu the same class — '• The three last pieces 
are not only unquestionably Shakspere's, but in my opinion they deserve to be classed 
among his best and maturest works. . . . ' Thomas Lord Cromwell ' and ' Sir 
John Oldcastle ' are biographical dramas, and models in this species ; the first is 
linked, from its subject, to Heury VIIL, and the second to Henry V." Tieck is 
equally confident in assigning the authorship of this play to Shakspere. Ulrici, on the 
contrary, takes a more sober view of the matter. He says — '• The whole betrays a poet 
who endeavoured to form himself on Shakspere's model, nay, even to imitate him, but 
who stood flu- below him in mind and talent." Our own critics, relying upon the internal 
evidence, agreed in rejecting it. Malone could "not perceive the least trace of our great 
poet in any part of this play." He observes that it was originally entered on the Sta- 
tioners' registers without the name of Shakspere; but he does not mention the fact that 
of two editions printed in IGOO one bears the name of Shakspere, the other not. The 
one which has the name says— "As it iiath bene lately acted by the Right honorable the 
Sup. Vol P 20.') 


Earle of Notiughatu, Lord Higli Admirall of EugUiuJ, his Seruauts." In 1594 a play 
of Shakspere's might have been acted, as, we believe, Hamlet was, at Henslowe's theatre, 
which was that of the Lord High Admiral his servants; but in IGOO a play of Sliak- 
speres would Lave unquestionably been acted by the Lord Chamberlain his servants. 
However, this conjectural evidence is quite unnecessary. Henslowe, the head of the 
Lord Admiral's company, as we learn by his diary, on the ICtli of October, 1599, paid 
" for The first part of the Lyfo of Sir Jlion Ouldcastell, and in earnest of tlie Second 
Pte, for the use of the company, ten pound;" and the money was received by "Thomas 
Downton" "to pay Mr. Monday, Mr. Drayton, Mr. Wilson, and Hathaway." We 
might here dismiss the question of tlie authorship of tliis play, did it not furnish a very 
curious example of the imperfect manner in which it was attempted to imitate the excel- 
lence and to rival the popularity of Shakspere's best historical plays at the time of their 
original production. It is not the least curious also of the circumstances connected with 
' The First Part of Sir John Oldoastle,' that, whilst the bookseller affixed the name of 
Shakspere to the performance, it has been supposed that the Falstaff of his Henry IV. 
was pointed at in the following prologue : — 

" The doubtful title, gentlemen, prefix'd 
Upon the argument we have in hand, 
May breed suspense, and wrongfully disturb 
The peaceful quiet of your settled thoughts. 
To stop which scruple, let this brief suffice : 
// )s no pamper' d r/luUon tee present, 
Nor aged counsellor to youthful sin, 
But one, whose virtue shone above the re=t, 
A valiant martyr, and a virtuous peer ; 
In whose true faith and loyalty, espress'd 
Unto his sovereign and his counti'y's weal, 
We strive to pay that tribute of our love 
Your favours merit. Let fair truth be yrac'd, 
Since forg'd invention former time dcfac'd." 

In the Introductory Notice to Henry IV. we have adverted to the opinion that the Sir 
John FalstafF of Shakspere's Henry IV. was originally called Sir Jolm Oldcastle; and 
the question is again touched upon in the Introductory Notice to the Merry Wives of 
Windsor. The line in the prologue which we have just quoted — 

" Since forg'd invention former time defac'd " — 

might appear to point to an earlier period of tlie stage than that in which Shakspere's 
Henry IV. was produced. Indeed the old play of 'Tlie Famous Victories' contains the 
character of Sir John Oldcastle. He is a low ruffianly sort of fellow, who may be 
called "an aged counsellor to youthful sin;" but he is not represented as "a pampered 
glutton." In the Notice to Henry IV. we said — "In our opinion, there was either 
another pJay besides 'The Famous Victories' in which the name of Oldcastle was 
introduced, or the remarks of contemporary writers applied to Shakspere's FalstafF, who 
had originally borne the name of Oldcastle. The following jiassage is from Fuller's 
'Church History:' — ^"Stage-poets have themselves been very bold with, and others very 
merry at, the memory of Sir John Oldoastle, whom they have fancied a boon comjjanion, 
a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. The best is, Sir John FalstafF hath relieved the 
memory of Sir John Oldcastle, and of late is substituted buffoon in his place." This 
description of Fuller cannot apply to the Sir John Oldoastle of 'The Famous Victories.' 
The dull dog of that play is neither a jovial companion nor a coward to boot." We added, — 
" Whether or not Shakspere's FalstafF was originally called Oldcastle, Shakspere wa«, 


after the cliaractor was fairly established as Falstaff, anxious to viudicate himself from the 
charge tiiat he had attcniiited to represent the Oldcastle of history. In the epilogue to 
The Second Part of Henry IV. we find this passage : — ' For anything I know, FalstafF 
shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions ; for Oldcastle 
died a martyr, and this is not the man.'" The Second Part of Henry IV., the epilogue 
of which contains this passage, was entered in the Stationers' registers in 1600, and was 
jjublislied in that year. When 'The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle' was published in 
the same year, Falstaff is distinctly recognised as the companion of Prince Henry. In 
that play Henry V. is represented as robbed by the parson of Wrotham, a very queer 
hedge-priest indeed, bearing the name of Sir John, as if in rivalry of another Sir John ; 
and the following dialogue takes place : — 

" Sir John. Sirrah, uo mere ado ; come, come, give me the money you have. Despatch ; I cannot 
stand all day. 

K. Henry. Well, if thou wilt ueeds have it, here it is. Just the proverb, cue thief rohs another. 
Where the devil are all my old thieves ? Falstaff, that villain, is so fat, he cannot get on his horse; but 
methinks Poins and Peto should be stirring hereabouts. 

Sir John. How much is there on't, o' thy word?" 

Falstaff is again mentioned in the same scene by the priest, who asserts that the king was 
once a thief; and in answer to the question " How canst thou tell 1 " replies, — 

" How ? because he once robbed me before 1 fell to the trade myself, when that foul villainous guts, 
that led him to all that roguery, was in his company there, that Falstaff." 

We have here tolerable evidence that Falstaff was "not the man" Oldcastle in I GOO. 
And yet the following very remarkable letter, or dedication, is written some years 
after : — 

" To my noble friend Sir Henry Bourohier ; 
" S:r Harry Eourchier, you are descended of noble ancestry, and in the duty of a good man love tu 
hoar and see fair reputation preserved from slander and oblivion. Wherefore to you I dedicate this 
edition of Ocleve, where Sir John Oldcastle appears to have been a man of valour and virtue, and only 
lost in his own times because he would not bow under the foul superstition of Papistiy, from whence, 
in so great a light of Gospel and learning, that there is not yet a more universal departure, is to me the 
greatest scorn of men. But of this more in another place, and in preface will you please to hear me 
that which follows ? A young gentle lady of your acquaintance, having read the works of Shakespeare, 
made me this question : How Sir John Falstaffe, or Fastolf as it is written in the statute-book of Maudlin 
College, in Oxford, where every day that society were bound to make memory of his soul, could be dead 
in Harry the Fifth's time and again live in the time of Harry the Sixth to be banished for cowardice ? 
Whereto I made answer that this was one of those humours and mistakes for which Plato banished all 
poets out of his commonwealth ; that Sir John Falstaff was in those times a valiant soldier, as appears 
by a book in the Herald's office, dedicated unto him by a herald who had been with him, if I well re- 
member, for the space of 25 years in the French wars ; that he seems also to have been a man of 
learning, because in a library of Oxford I find a book of dedicating churches sent from him for a present 
unto Bishop Waiufleet, and inscribed with his own name. That in Shakespeare's first show of Harry the 
Fifth, the person with which he undertook to play a buffoon was not Falstaff, but Sir John Oldcastle ; 
and that, offence being worthily taken by personages descended from his title, as peradventure by mai.y 
others also who ought to have him in honourable memory, the poet was put to make an ignorant shift 
of abusing Sir John Fidstophe, a man not inferior of virtue, though not so famous in piety aa the other 
who gave witness unto the trust of our reformation with a constant and resolute martyrdom, unto which 
he was pursued by the priests, bishops, monks, and friars, of those days. Noble sir, this is all my pre- 
face. God keep you, and me, and all Christian people, from the bloody designs of that cruel religion- 

" Yours in all observance, 

" Rich. James." 
This letter is contained in a manuscript preserved in the Bodleian Library, written by Dr. 
Richard James, who died in 1G38. The manuscript to which it is prefixed is entitled 
The Legend and Defence of the Noble Knight and Martyr, Sir John Oklcastel,' and 
P 2 " 211 


lias boeii published by Mr. Halliwell, having been pointed out to him by the Kcv. 
Dr. Bliss.* 

The " young gentle lady " who, according to this letter, was so well employed in 
studying Shakspere's historical plays, read them as many other persons read, without any 
very accurate perception of what essentially belongs to the province of imagination, and 
of what is literally true. AVhatever similarity there may be in the names of Sir John 
Falstaff and Sir John Fastolf, the young lady might have perceived that the poet had 
not the slightest intention of proposing the Fastolf of Henry VI. as the Falstaff of Henry 
IV. Assuredly the Falstaff that we last see in the closing scene of The Second Part of 
Henry IV. — a jester, surfeit-swelled, old, profane, as the king denounces him — is not the 
Fastolf that makes his appearance at the battle of Patay, in the First Pai't of Heury VI., 
and is subsequently degraded from being a knight of the garter for his conduct on that 
occasion. In these scenes of Henry VI. Shakspere drew an historical character, and 
represented an historical fact. The degradation of Fastolf was in all probability an 
unjust sentence, as unjust as that pronounced by the worthy writer of the letter in the 
Bodleian Library, that the wittiest of all Shakspere's creations was a "buffoon," and that 
he might be confounded with the very commonplace knight whose only distinction was 
the garter on his leg. Fastolf was a respectable personage no doubt in his day, but 
not "sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff^ valiant Jack Falstaff, 
and therefore more valiant, being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff." It appeal's to us, therefore, 
that, in the same manner as the " young gentle lady " and Dr. Richard James, somewhat 
ignorantly, as we think, confounded Fastolf and Falstaff, so they erred in a similar way 
by believing that "in Shakespeare's first show of Harry the Fifth, the person with which 
he undertook to play a buffoon was not Falstaff, but Sir John Oldcastle." Fuller, in his 
' Worthies,' sjjeaking of Sir John Falstaff, has the same complaint, as we have seen, 
against "stage-pioets." Now, admitting what appears possible, that Shakspere in his 
Henry IV. originally had the name of Oldcastle where we now find that of Falstaff, is it 
likely that he could have meant the champion of the Reformation of AVickliff, who was 
cruelly put to death for heresy iu the fourth year of Henry V., to have been the boon 
companion of the youthful prince; and who, before the king went to the French wars, 
died quietly in his bed, " e'en at the turning of the tide ? " And yet there is little 
doubt that, when Shaksjjere adopted a name familiar to the stage, he naturally raised up 
this species of absurd misconception, which had the remarkable fate of being succeeded 
by a mistake still more absurd, that Falstaff and Fastolf were one and the same. It is, 
however, extremely probable that there were other plays in which the character of Sir 
John Oldcastle was presented historically, and falsely presented ; that from this circum- 
stance Shakspere saw the necessity of substituting another name for Oldcastle, and of 
making the declaration " Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man j " and that 
the authors of the play before us, 'The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle,' adopted a 
subject with which the public mind was at that time familiar, and presented Sir John 
Oldcastle upon the stage, iu a manner that would be agreeable to "personages descended 
from his title," and to the great body of the people " who ought to have him in honour- 
able memory." Whether the reputation of Oldcastle derived much benefit fi-om their 
labours remains to be seen. 

The play opens with a quarrel in the street of Hereford between Lord Herbert, Lord 
Powis, and their followers ; which is put down by the judges, who are holding the 
assize in the town. The commencement of the conflict, in which blood was shed, is thus 
described : — 


* On the Character of Sir John FaUtaft', 1841. 


** Lord Powia detracted from the power of Rome, 
AfErming AVickliff's doctrine to be true, 
And Rome's erroneous : hot reply was made 
By the lord Herbert ; they were traitors all 
That would maintain it. Powis answered, 
They were as true, as noble, and as wise, 
As he ; they would defend it with their lives ; 
He naiu'd, for instance, sir John Oldcastle, 
The loi'd Cobliam : Herbert replied again. 
He, thou, and all, are traitors that so hold. 
The lie was given, the .several factions drawn, 
And so enrag'd that we coiUd not appease it." 

The second scene introduces us to tlie Bishop of Rochester, denouncing Lord Cobhnm 
(Oldcastle), as an lieretic, to the Duke of Suffolk. The bishop is supported by Sir John 
of Wrotham, whose zeal is so boisterous as to receive the following rebuke from the 
Duke :— 

" Oh, but you must not swear ; it ill becomes 
One of your coat to rap out bloody oaths." 

The king appears to hear the complaint of the churchman ; and he promises to send for 
Oldcastle "and school him privately."' In the third scene we have Lord Cobham and 
an aged servant, and Lord Powis arrives in disguise, and is concealed by Cobham. In 
the second act we have a comic scene, amusing enough, but anything but original ; a 
sumuer arrives to cite Lord Cobham before the Ecclesiastical Court, and the old servant 
of the noble reformer makes the officer eat the citation. Nashe tells ris in his ' Pierce 
Penuylesse ' that he once saw Robert Greene " make an apparitor eat his citation, wa.x 
and all, very handsomely served 'twist two dishes." We have something like the same 
incident in the play of the ' Pinuer of Wakefield.' The scene changes to London, 
where we have an assembly of rebels who give out that Oldcastle will be their general. 
In the next scene, which is probably the best sustained of the play, we have Henry and 
Lord Cobham in conference : — 

" K. Henry. 'T is not enough, lord Cobham, to submit; 
You must forsake your gross opinion. 
The bishops find themselves much injured; 
And though, for some good service you have done, 
We for our part are pleas'd to pardon you. 
Yet they will not so soon be satisfied. 

Coh. My gi'acious lord, unto your majesty, 
Next unto my God, I do owe my life ; 
And what is mine, either by nature's gift. 
Or fortune's bounty, all is at your service. 
But for obedience to the pope of Rome, 
I owe him none ; nor shall his shaveling priests, 
That are in England, alter my belief. _ 
If out of Holy Scripture they can j^rove 
That I am in an error, I will yield. 
And gladly take instruction at their hands : 
But otherwise, I do beseech your grace 
My conscience may not be encroach'd upon. 

K. Henry. We would be loth to press our subjects' bodies. 
Much less their souls, the dear redeemed part 
Of Him that is4he ruler of us all : 
Yet let mo counsel you, that might command. 
Do not presume to tempt them with ill words, 
Nor suffer any meetings to be had 



Witliiu your liouse ; but to the uttermost 
Disperse the flocks of this new gathering sect. 

Cob. My liege, if any breathe, that dares come fortli. 
And say, my life in any of these points 
Deserves the attainder of ignoble thoughts. 
Here stand I, craving no remorse at all, 
But even the utmost rigour may be shown." 

Tlie Bishop of Rochester appears and denounces Cobham for the contempt shown to hie 
citation ; the king reproves the bishop and dismisses Oldcastle in safety. It is evident 
that tlie dramatic capabilities of such a scene furnish an occasion for the display of high 
poetical power. The interview between Henry and his faithful friend and adherent; the 
anxiety of the reformer to vindicate himself from disloyalty, whilst he honestly sup- 
ported his own opinions ; the natural desire of the king to resist innovation, whilst ho 
respected the virtues of the innovator, — points like these would have been handled by 
Shakspere, or one imbued with his spirit, in a manner that would have lived and abided 
in our memories. The lines that we have quoted, which are the best iu the scene, 
furnish a sufficient proof that the subject was in feeble hands. 

The third act opens to us the conspiracy of Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey. Tlie con- 
spirators nneet Lord Cobham. The mode in which they introduce their purpose is 
spirited and dramatic. Cobham has invited them to his house, and promises them 
hunters' fare and a hunt. Cambridge thus replies, before he presents tlie paper wliicii 

discloses the plot : — 

" Cam. Nay, but the stag which we desire to strilie 
Lives not in Cowling : if you will consent, 
And go with us, we'll bring you to a forest 
Where runs a lusty herd ; among the which 
There is a stag superior to the rest, 
A stately beast, that, when his fellows run, 
He leads the race, and beats the sullen earth, 
As though he scom'd it, with his trampling hoof^^ ; 
Aloft he bears his head, and with his breast, 
Like a huge bulwark, counterchecks the wind : 
And, when he standeth still, he stretcheth forth 
His proud ambitious neck, as if he meant 
To wound the firmament with forked horns. 

Cob. 'T is pity such a goodly beast should die. 

Cam. Not so, sir John ; for he is tyrannous. 
And gores the other deer, and will not keep 
Within the limits are appointed him. 
Of late he's broke into a several, 
Which doth belong to me, and there he spoils 
Both corn and pasture. Two of his wild race, 
Alike for stealth and covetous encroaching. 
Already are remov'd ; if he were dead, 
I should not only be secure from hurt. 
But wnth his body make a royal feast." 

Cobhar.i thou dissembles, and asks — 

"Is not this a train laid to entrap my life ? " 

Tliey offer to swear fidelity; but he requires them only to subscribe tlie writin^r. The 
time and place of meeting are appointed, and they part. Cobham puts the paper iu his 
pocket, and goes off to betray them to tlie king. The state-mor.ality of the age of 
Elizabeth might perhaps have made this incident more palatable to an audience of that 


day than to ourselves; but we doubt whether Shakspere would have put this burthen 
upon the soul of one whom he wished to represent as a hero and a martyr. We have 
more scenes of the rebels ; followed by the scene which wo have already noticed of the 
parson robbing the king. The same worthy divine is afterwards fonnd in the king's 
camp, dicing with his majesty ; and then the robbery is discovered, and the robber 
pardoned. The rebels who were in the field, headed by Sir Roger Acton, are routed. 
The Bishop of Rochester affirms that they were incited by Cobham, who arrives at the 
moment of the accusation to prove his loyalty by denouncing Scroop, Grey, and Cam- 
bridge. The king is satisfied ; but subsequently the Bishop of Rochester seizes Cobliam 
and confines him in the Tower, from which he very soon escapes. With the excei)tion 
of a scone in which Cambridge and the other conspirators are seized by the king, the 
whole of the fifth act is occupied by the wanderings of Cobham and his wife, their 
disguises, and their escapes. The following scene is happily imagined and gracefully 
expressed : — 

" Cob. Come, madam, happily e.scap'd. Here let iis sit ; 
This pl.ace is far remote from any path ; 
And here awhile our weary limbs may rest 
To take refre.shing, free from the pursuit 
Of envious Rochester. 

L. Cob. But where, my lord, 

Shall we find rest for our disquiet minds ? 
There dwell untamed thoughts,. that hardly stoop 
To sueh abasement of disdained rags : 
We were not wont to travel thus by night, 
Especially on foot. 

Cob. No matter, love, 

E.\tremities admit no better choice ; 
And, were it not for thee, say fro ward time 
Irapos'd a greater task, I would esteem it 
As lightly as the wind that blows upon us : 
But in thy suiferance I am doubly task'd ; 
Thou wast not wont to have the earth thy stool, 
Nor the moist dewy grass thy pillow, nor 
Thy chamber to be the wide horizon. 

L. Cob. How can it seem a ti'ouble, having you 
A partner with me in the worst I feel ? 
No, gentle lord, your presence would give ease 
To death itself, should he now seize xipon me. 

[She ^^yoduccs some bread and cheese, and a botth. 
Behold, what my foresight hath imderta'en. 
For fear we faint ; they are but homely cates ; 
Yet, sauc'd with hunger, they may seem as sweet 
As gre.ater dainties we were wont to taste. 

Cob. Praise be to Him whose plenty sends both this 
And all things else our mortal bodies need ! 
Nor scorn we this poor feeding, nor the state 
We now are in ; for what is it on earth, 
#Nay, under heaven, continues at a stay ? 
Ebbs not the sea, when it hath overflow'd ? 
Follows not darkness, when the day is gone ? 
And see we not sometimes the eye of heaven 
Dimm'd with o'er-flying clouds ? There's not that worlt 
Of careful nature, or of cunning art. 
How strong, how beauteous, or how rich it be, 
But falls in time to ruin. Here, gentle madam, 
In this one draught I wash ray sorrow down. [/ifhiks. 



The persecuted pair fall asleep ; and a murdered body being found near them, they arc 
apprehended as the murderers and conducted to trial. They are discharged through the 
discovery of the real murderer ; and fly with Lord Powis into Wales. 

It will be evident from this analysis that ' The First Part of Sir John Oldcastle ' is 
entirely deficient in dramatic imity. Shaksperc, in representing a series of historical 
events, did not of course attempt to sustain tliat unity of idea which we see so strikingly 
in his best tragedies and comedies. We have not oug great action, but a succession of 
actions ; and yet, through his wonderful power of characterization, and his skill in grouping 
a series of events round one leading event, we have a principle upon which the mind 
can determinately rest, and rightly compreliend the whole dramatic movement. In the 
play before us there is no distinct relation between one scene and another. AVe forget 
the connection between Oldcastle and the events in which he is implicated ; and, when he 
himself appears on the scene, the developmeut of character, in which a real poet would 
have luxuriated, is made subordinate to the hurry of the perplexed though monotonous 
movement of the story. Thoroughly to imderstand the surpassing power of Shakspere 
in the management of the historical drama, it might be desirable to compare John, or 
Richard II., or Richard III., or Henry VIII., with this play ; but, after all, the things do 
not admit, of comp.arison. 





The first cditiou of this play was published in 1G02, imdcr the title of 'The Chronicle 
History of 'J'liomas Lord Cromwell.' No name or initials of any author appear in the 
title-page. In 1613 appeared 'The true Chronicle Historie of the whole life and death 
of Thomas Lord Cromwell. As it hath beene sundry times publikely Acted by the 
Kings ]\Iajesties Seriiants. Written by W. S.' In 1G02 the registers of the Stationers' 
Company had the entry of " A Booke called the Lyfe and Deathe of the Lord Crom- 
well, as yt was lately acted by the Lord Chamberleyu his servants." It appears, 
therefore, that the play was originally performed, and continued to be performed, by the 
company in which Shakspere was a chief proprietor. In the Introductory Notice to 
Ilonry VIII. we liave attempted to show that Shakspere produced that play as a new 
play in 1613. It is easy to understand why in 1613 it might recommend the sale of 
'Thomas Lord Cromwell' to put W. S. on the title-page, whether those initials repre- 
sented the real writer, or were meant to imply that the writer was William Shakspere. 
Beyond those initials there is no external evidence whatever to attriliute the play to the 
great dramatizor of English history. 

Sohlegel, as we have seen, calls ' Sir John Oldcastle and ' Tliomas Lord Ci'omwell ' 
" biographical dramas, and models in this species." We have no hesitation in affirming 



that a biographical drama, especially such a drama as ' Tlionias Lord Cromwell,' is 
essentially undramatio. 'Oldoastle' takes a portion only of the life of its hero; but 
' Cromwell ' gives ns the story of the man from his boyhood to his execution. The 
resemblance whicli it bears to any play of Shakspere's is solely in the structure of the 
title; and that parallel liolds good only with regard to one play, Lear, according to its 
original title, the ' True Chronicle Historie of the life and death of King Lear and his 
three Daughters.' In the folio collection of 1 623 we have indeed ' The Life and Death 
of King John,' ' The Life and Death of Richard II.,' ' The Life of King Henry V.,' 
' The Life and Death of Richard III.,' and ' The Life of King Henry VIIL' So iu the 
same edition we have ' The Life and Death of Julius Cresar.' But our readers are 
perfectly aware that iu all these dramas a very small portion of the life of the hero of 
each is included in the action. Shakspere knew his art too well to attempt to teach 
hi.story dramatically by connecting a series of isolated events solely by their relation to 
a principal agent, without any other dependence. Nothing, for example, can be more 
complete in itself than the action of Richard II., or that of Henry V., of Richard III., 
and of Henry VIIL We have in these pieces nearly all the condensation which pure 
tragedy requires. But in ' Thomas Lord Cromwell,' on the contrary, what Shakspere 
would have told in a few words, reserving himself for an exhibition of cliaracter iu the 
more striking situations, is actually presented to us in a succession of scenes that Lave 
no relation to any action of deepening interest — chapter upon chapter of which might 
have been very well spared, if one chapter, that of the elevation and fall of Cromwell, 
had occupied a space proportioned to its importance. 

Wc begin the drama in the shop of old Cromwell, the blacksmith, at Putney, where 
young Cromwell, with a want of sense that ill accords with his future advancement, insists 
that his father's men shall leave off work because their noise disturbs his study. His 
father comes, and like a sensible and honest man reproves his son for his vagaries; and 
then the ambitious youth, who proclaims the purpose of his presaging soul, that he will 
build a palace 

" A.S fiue as is king Henry's house at Sheen," 
thus Soliloquizes : — 

"Crom. Why should my bh-th keep dowu my inoiinting spirit ? 
Are not all creatures subject unto time, 
To time, who doth abuse the cheated world, 
_ Aud fills it full of hoclge-podge bastardy ? 

There's legions now of beggars on the earth 
That their original did spring from kings; 
And many mon.Trohs now, whose fathers were 
The riff-raff of their age : for time and fortune 
Wears out a noble train to beggary ; 
And from the dunghiU miUiouB do advance 
To state and mark in this admiring world. 
This is but course, which in the name of fate 
Is seen as often as it whirls about. 
The river Thames, that by our door doth pass, 
His first beginning is but small and shallow ; 
Yet, keeping on his course, grows to a sea. 
And likewise Wolsey, the wonder of our age. 
His birth as mean as mine, a butcher's son ; 
Now who within this land a greater man ? 
Then, Cromwell, cheer thee up, aud tell thy soul. 
That thou may'st live to flourish and control." 

The youug man, who despises work, immediately gets employment without seeking it, — 


to be secretary to the English merchants at Antwerp. Then commences the secondary 
action of the drama, which consists of the adventures of one Banister, au English mer- 
chant, -who is persecuted by Bagot, a usurer, and relieved by a foreign merchant. It is 
by no means clear what this has to do with Thomas Lord Cromwell ; but it may be satis- 
foctory to know that eventually the usurer is hanged, and the merchant is restored to 

It would have been difficult, with all the author's contempt for luiity of action, to liave 
contrived to have told tho whole story of Cromwell dramatically; and so he occasionally 
gives us a chorus. The second act thus ojsens : — 

'* Now, geutlemeD, imagiue that youug Cromwell 's 
lu Antwerp, leiger for the merchants ; 
And Banister, to shnn this Bagot's hate, 
Hearing that he hath got some of his debts, 
Is fled to Antwerp, with his wife and children ; 
Which Bagot hearing, is gone after them. 
And thither sends his bills of debt before. 
To be reveng'd on wretched Banister. 
What doth fall out, with patience sit and see, 
A jiist requital of false treachery." 

Cromwell has nothing to do with this "just requital of false treachery " — which requital 
consists in the usurer being arrested for purchasing the king's stolen jewels. Cromwell 
gets as tired of keeisiiig accounts as he previously was of the din of his father's smithy ; 
so all in a moment he throws up his commission and sets off ujpou his travels to Italy, 
having very opportunely met in Antwerp with Hodge, his father's man. And so we get 
through the second act. 

In the third act the capricious lad and his servant are standing penniless upon the 
bridge at Florence, and their immediate necessities are relieved by the generous Italian 
merchant who was succouring the distress of the Englishman in the first act. Cromwell 
is always moving ; and lie sets off for Bononia, where he rescues, by a stratagem, Russell 
the Earl of Bedford from the agents of the French king. We have the chorus again in 
the middle of the act : — 

*' Thus far you see how Crouuvell's fortune passM. 
The earl of Bedford, being safe in Mantua, 
Desires Cromwell's company into France, 
To make requital for his courtesy; 
But Cromwell doth deny the earl his suit. 
And tells him that those parts he meant to sec, 
He had not yet set footing on the land ; 
And so directly takes his way to Spain ; 
The earl to France ; and so they both do part. 
Now let your thoughts, as swift as is the wind. 
Skip some few years that Cromwell spent in travel ; 
And now imagine him to be in England, 
Servant unto the master of the rolls ; 
Where in short time he there began to flourish : 
An hour shall show you what few years did cherisTi." 

Tlie scene shifts to London, where Sir Christopher Hales is giving an entertainment to 
Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More, with Cromwell waiting on the guests. The 
sudden preferment of Cromwell to the highest confidence of '^^'olsey is accomplished with 
a celerity which was perfectly necessary when the poet had so many events to tell us : — ■ 

" Wol. Sir Christopher, is that your man ? 
Sales. An 't like 



Your grace, he U a scholar, aud a linguist ; 
One that hath travelled through mauy parts 
Of Christemlom, my lord. 

Wul. My friend, come nearer : have you been a traveller '; 

Crom. My lord, 
I have added to my knowledge the Low Countries, 
With France, Spain, Germany, and Italy ; 
And though small gain of profit I did find, 
Yet it did please my eye, content my mind. 

Wol. What do you think then of the several states 
And princes' courts as you have ti-avelled ? 

C'-on. My lord, no court with England may cumparo, 
Neither for state, nor civil government. 
Lust dwells in France, in Italy, and Spain, 
From the poor peasant to the prince's train. 
In Germany and Holland, riot serves ; 
And he that most can drink, most he deserves. 
England I praise not for I here was born, 
But that she laughs the others unto scorn. 

Wol. My lord, there dwells within that spirit more 
Than can be discern'd by the outward eye : — 
Sir Christopher, will you part with your man ? 

llalcs. I have sought to proffer him unto your lordship ; 
And now I see he hath preferr'd himself. 

Wol. What is thy name ? 

CroM. Cromwell, my lord. 

Wul. Then, Cromwell, here we make thee solicitor 
Of cur causes, and nearest, next ourself : 
Gardiner, give you kind welcome to the man." 

The foufth .let opens again with a cliorus : — 

" Now, Cromwell's highest fortunes do begin. 
Wolsey, that lov'd him ag he did his life, 
Committed all his treasure to his hands, 
Wolsey is dead ; and Gardiner, his man, 
Is now created bishop of Winchester. 
Pardon if we omit all Wolsey's life. 
Because our play depends on Cromwell's death. 
Now sit, and see his highest state of all. 
His height of rising, and his sudden fall. 
Pardon the errors are already past, 
And live in hope the best doth come at last. 
My hope upon your favour doth depend. 
And looks to have your liking ere t'ae end." 

It was ccrtiiinly needless fur the author to apologize for omitting "all Wolsey's life;" 
but the apology is curious as exhibiting his rude notions of what was properly within the 
province of tho drama. We have now Cromwell, after the death of Wolsey, become Sir 
Thomas Cromwell ; and Gardiner makes a sudden resolution that he will have his head. 
The Florence merchant comes to London in want ; and we presently find him at the 
hospitable board of Cromwell, with money-bags showered upon him, and his debts paid. 
We have in this act a scene between Gardiner and Cromwell which, feeble as it is, is 
amongst the best passages of the play : — 

" Crom. Good morrow to my lord of Winchester : 1 know 
You bear me hard about the abbey lands. 

Gard. Have I not reason, when religion 's wroug'd ? 
Y'ou had no colour for what you have done. 


Croni. Yes, the abolishing of autichriat, 
And of his popish order from our realm. 
I am uo enemy to religion ; 
But what is done, it is for England's good. 
What did they serve for, hut to feed a sort 
Of lazy abbots and of full-fed friars ? 
They neither plough nor bow, and yet they reap 
The fat of all the land, and suck the poor. 
Look, what was theirs is in king Henry's hands ; 
His wealth befoi-e lay in the abbey lands. 

Gard. Indeed these things you have alleg'd, my lord ; 
When, God doth know, the infant yet unborn 
Will curse the time the abbeys were puU'd down 
I in-ay now where is hospitality ? 
Where now may poor distressed people go, 
For to relieve their need, or rest their bone;, 
When weary travel doth oppress their limbs ? 
And where religious men should take them in, 
Shall now be kept back with a mastiff dog ; 
And thousand thousand " 

Gardiner suborus witnesses to impute treasonable words to Cromwell, and absolves tliem 
J d crucifi.\ and holy water. 

The real action of tlio play commences at the fourth act ; all which precedes might 
liave been told by a skilful poet in a dozen lines. The fifth act presents us the arrest of 
Crom well ; and after a soliloquy in the Tower, and a very feeble scene between the unhappy 
man, Gardiner, and the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk, his son is introduced, of whom 
we have before lieard nothing : — 

" Lieu. Here is your son, sir, come to take his leave. 

Crom. To take his leave ? Come hither, Harry Cromwell. 
Mark, boy, the last words that I spe;ik to thee : 
Flatter not fortune, neither fawn upon her ; 
Gape not for state, yet lose uo spark of honour ; 
Ambition, like the plague, see thou eschew it : 
I die for treason, boy, and never knew it. 
Yet let thy fjiith as spotless be as mine, 
And Cromwell's virtues in thy face shall shine : 
Come, go along, and see me leave my breath. 
And I'll leave thee upon the floor of death." 

Cromwell leaves ilie stage for his execution with this speecli : — 

"Exec. I am your deathsman ; pray, my lord, forgive me. 

Crom. Even with my soul. Why, man, thou art my doctor. 
And bring'st me precious physio for my soul. 
My lord of Bedford, I desire of you 
Before my death a corporal embrace. 
Farewell, great lord ; my love I do commend. 
My heart to you ; my soul to heaven I send. 
This is my joy, that ere my body fleet. 
Your honour'd arms are my true windiag-shect. 
Farewell, dear Bedford ; my peace is made in heaven. 
Thus falls great Cromwell, a poor ell in length. 
To rise to unmeasur'd height, wiug'd with new streu^'th. 
The laud of worms, which dying men discover : 
My soul is shrin'd with heaven's celestial cover." 

It would be a waste of time to attempt to show that ' Tliomas Lord Cromwell ' could 
not have been written by Shakspere. Its entire management is most unskiKul ; there is 



no art whatever iu the dramatic conception of plot or character; from first to last there is 
scarcely a passage that can be called poetry; there is nothing in it that gives us a notion 
of a writer capable of better things; it has none of the faults of the founders of the stage, 
— false taste, extravagance, riches needlessly paraded. We are acquainted with no 
dramatic writer of mark or likelihood, who was a contemporary of Shaksperc, to whom it 
may be assigned. If W. S. were Weutworth Smith, it must have been unlucky for him 
in his own time that his initials might excite a comparison with the great master of the 
stage ; however fortunate he may have been in having descended to after-times in the 
same volume with ten historical plays that probably first stimulated his weak ambition. 


Strp. Vol. (^ 



This comedy was first published in 1605, witli the following title:— 'The London Tro- 
digall. As it was plaide by tlie Kings Maiesties seruants. By William Shakespeare, 
London. Printed by T. C. for Nathaniel Butter.' It was probably written after th« 
death of Elizabeth; for in the second act wo have, " I am a commander, sir, under the 
king." Tliere is no entry of the play in the Stationers' registers. Schlegel says, "If 
wc are not mistaken, Lessing pronounced this piece to be Shakspere's, and wished to 
bring it on the German .stage." Tieck also assigns this comedy to Shakspere. Hazlitt 
says, " ' Locrine ' and ' The London Prodigal,' if they were Shakspeare's at all, must 
have been amongst the sins of his youth " This is at best a hasty opinion; for there can 
be no doubt whatever that these two plays belong to different periods, and that each is 
characteristic of its period. They must have been separated by at least twenty years. If 
in ' Locrine ' we could find any natural power, any of that instinctive knowledge of art, 
that constitutes genius, we might inquire whether it was possible that the youthful Shak- 
spere could have produced the work. We find in it, not the faults of a very young man, 
but the habits which belong to a vicious system, in which tiie writer has a complete 
Q 2 227 


Lrainiug. We therefore reject it. Putting the date of its publication out of the question, 
we are satisfied from the general tone of ' The London Prodigal ' that it represents the 
manners of the last years of Elizabeth, or the first of James. If Shakspere wrote it, 
therefore, he must have written it after his comic powers were fully matured ; after he 
had produced Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Merry 
Wives of Windsor. The belief is almost too extravagant to be gravely controverted. 

The comedy opens with the arrival from Venice of the merchant Flowerdale senior, 
who had left his son Matthew under the guardianship of his brother, Flowerdale junior, 
a London merchant. The uncle tells the father of the reckless course of the young man. 
The father takes this view of the matter : " Believe me, brother, they that die most 
virtuous have in their youth lived most vicious; and none knows the danger of the fire 
more than he that falls iuto it." This, we undertake to say, is not the morality of Shak- 
spere : it is a tolerance beyond his tolerance. But it is the morality which prevails iu 
' The London Prodigal.' The uncle goes on to say that the son is a continual swearer, a 
breaker of his oaths, a mighty brawler, a great drinker, one that will borrow of any man. 
The youth knocks at the door ; and the father disguised is to be represented as dead. A 
will is produced by -which the son is disinherited; and it is justice to him to say that he 
displays the same indifference about the loss of fortune as about the death of his father. 
Old Flowerdale lends him twenty pounds in his assumed character, and agrees to engage 
with him as a servant. A wooing now commences after a strange fashion. Sir Lancelot 
Spurcock has three daughters, of whom Luce, the most attractive, has three suitors — Sir 
Arthur Greenshield, whom she prefers; Oliver, a Devonshire clothier, whom the father 
patronizes; and young Flowerdale, who is rejected both by father and daughter. A more 
heartless scoundrel certainly never presented himself in worshipful society. His father 
being named, ho thus speaks of him : 

" Ay, God be praised, he is far enough ; 
He is gone a pilgrimage to Paradise, 
And left me to cut a caper against care. 
Luce, look on me that am as light as air." 

His father, who in his assumed character of a servant is called Kester, is desirous to marry 
his son to the lady; and he thus devises a plan for overcoming the prudential scruples of 

Sir Lancelot : 

" Presently we '11 go and draw a will, 
Where we '11 set down land that we never saw ; 
And we will hare it of so large a sum, 
Sir Lancelot shall entreat you take his daughter. 
This being form'd, give it master Weathercock, 
And make Sir Lancelot's daughter heir of all ; 
And make him swear never to .show the will 
To any one, until th.xt you be dead. 
This done, the foolish changing Weathercock 
Will straight discourse unto Sir Lancelot 
The form and tenor of your testament. 
Ne'er stand to pause of it ; be rul'd by me ; 
What will ensue, that shall you quickly see." 

The device succeeds. Tlie covetous knight rejects the honest clothier, and Luce is married 
against her will to the heartless profligate, who thus discloses the nature of his love iu con- 
fidence to Kester : — 

"And thou shalt see, when once I have my dower, 
In mirth we '11 spend full many a merry hour . 
As for this wench, I not regard a pin, 
It is her gold must bring my pleasures in." 


The flithei- aud uncle concert to arrest the in-odigal on his return from church, that they 
may try the temper of his wife. The libertine braves it out when this resolve is carried 
into effect; but the unhappy woman clings to him, now he is her husband, with a tender- 
ness that in the hands of a real poet might have been worked up into subsequent situations 
of uncommon beauty : — 

"Sir Lane. I am cozen'd, aud my hopefullest child undoue. 

M. Flow. You are uot cozeu'd, nor is she undone. 
They sLinder me ; by this light, they slauder me. 
Look you, my uncle here's an usurer, 
And would undo me; but I'll stand in law; 
Do you but bail me, you shall do no more : 
You, brother Civet, and master Weathercock, do but bail me. 
And let me have my marriage-money paid me. 
And we'll ride down, and your own eyes shall see 
How my poor tenants there will welcome me. 
You shall but bail me, you shall do no more : — 
And you, you greedy gnat, their bail will serve ! 

Flow. Jun. Ay, sir, I'll ask no better bail. 

Sir Lane. No, sir, you shall not take my bail, nor his, 
Nor my son Civet's : I'll not be cheated, I. 
Shrieve, take your prisoner ; I '11 not deal with him. 
Let his uncle make false dice with his false bones ; 
I will not have to do with him : mook'd, guH'd, and wrong'd 1 
Come, girl, though it be late, it falls out well ; 
Thou shalt not live with him in beggar's hell. 

Luce. He is my husband, and high heaven doth know 
With what unwillingness I went to church ; 
But you enforc'd me, you compell'd me to it. 
The holy churchman pronounc'd these words but now, 
' I must not leave my husband in distress ; ' 
Now I must comfort him, not go with you. 

Sir Lane. Comfort a cozener ! on my curse forsake him. 

Luce. This day you caus'd rae on your cm-se to take him. 
Do uot, I pray, my grieved soul oppress : 
God knows my heart doth bleed at his distress." 

The wife refuses to go home with her father; and she is left with her husband and hiii 
uncle : — 

" Luce. go not yet, good master Flowerdale : 
Take my word for the debt, my word, my bond. 

M. Flow. Ay, by , uncle, aud my bond too. 

Luce. Alas, I ne'er ought nothing but I paid it ; 
And I can work : alas, he can do nothing. 
I have some friends perhaps will pity me : 
His chiefest friends do seek his misery. 
All that I can or beg, get, or receive. 
Shall be for you. do not turn away : 
Methinks, within a face so reverend, 
So well esperienc'd in this tottering world, 
Should live some feeling of a maiden's grief : 
For my sake, his father's and your brother's sake. 
Ay, for your soul's sake, that doth hope for joy, 
Pity my state ; do not two souls destroy. 

Flow. Jun. Fair maid, stand up : not in regard of him, 
But in pity of thy hapless choice, 
I do release him. Master sheriff, I thank you ; 
Aud, officers, there is for you to drink. 



Here, maid, take this money ; there is a liundred angeU : 

Aud, for I will be sure he shall not have it, 

Here, Kester, take it you, and use it sparingly ; 

But let not her have any want at all. 

Dry your eyes, niece ; do not too much lament 

For him whose life hath been in riot spent : 

If well he useth thee, he gets him friends ; 

If ill, a shameful end on him depends. [E.clt Floweudale Jtui 

M. Flow. A plague go with you for an old fornicator ! 
Come, Kit, the money ; come, honest Kit. 

Flow. Sen. Nay, by my faith, sir, you shall pardon me. 
Jl/. Flow. And why, sir, pardon you ? Give me the money, 
you old rascal, or I will make you. 

Luce. Pray hold your hands ; give it him, honest friend. 

Flow. Sen. If you be so content, with all my heart. [Gives the moHcu. 

M. Flow. Content, sir ? 'sblood ! she shall be content 

whether she will or no. A rattle-baby come to follow me ! 

Go, get you gone to the greasy chuff your father ; bring 

me your dowry, or never look on me. 

Flow. Sen. Sir, she hath forsook her father and all her 
fiiends for you. 

M. Flow. Hang thee, her friends and father, all together ! 
Flow. Sen. Yet part with something to provide her lodging. 
M. Flow. Yes, I mean to part with her and you; but if I 
part with one angel, hang me at a post. I'll rather throw 
them at a cast of dice, as I have done a thousand of their 
The unmitigated villain deserts his wife after this brutality. She is, necessarily, protected 
by his father; and, disguised as "a Dutch frow," entera into the service of her own mar- 
ried sister. Matthew Flowerdale loses his hundred angels at the gaming-table; robs 
Spurcock's unmarried daughter upon the higliwfiy ; is reduced to starvation and beggary ; 
receives alms from his own wife in her Dutch mask; and thus shows how the medicine 
misfortune has operated upon his soul : — " By this hand, this Dutch wench is in love with 
inc. Were it not admirable to make her steal all Civet's plate, and run away?" Of course 
the fellow has his deserts. He is about to be taken to prison on a charge of robbery, and 
on suspicion of having murdered his wife. The Dutch frow, who sees his arrest, throws 
off her dress, and the following scene quickly leads to a happy conclusion : — 

" Luce. I am no trull, neither entlandish fiow : 
Nor he nor I shall to the prison go. 
Know you me now ? nay, never stand amaz'd. 
Father, I know I have offended you ; 
Aud though that duty wills me bend my knees 
To you in duty and obedience. 
Yet this way do I turn, aud to him yield 
My love, my duty, and my humbleness. 

Sir Lane. Bastard in nature ! kneel to such a slave 1 

Luce. master Flowerdale, if too much grief 
Have not stopp'd up the organs of your voice. 
Then speak to her that is thy faithful wife ; 
Or doth contempt of me thus tie thy tongue ? 
Turn not away ; I am no ^thiop. 
No wanton Cressid, nor a changing Helen ; 
But rather one made wretched by thy loss. 
What ! turn'st thou still from me ? then 
I guess thee wofull'st among hapless men. 

^f. Flow. I am indeed, wife, wonder among wives • 


Thy chastity and virtue hath infus'd 

Another soul in me, red with defame, 

For in my blushing cheeks is seen my shame." 

Old Flowerdalo also throws off his disguise, and the sou rejoices in a kind wife and a 
foi'giving father : — 

" M. How. My father ' 0, I shame to look on him. 
Pai'don, dear father, the follies that are past. 

Flow. Sen. Son, son, I do ; and joy at this thy change, 
And applaud thy fortune in this virtuous maid. 
Whom Heaven hath sent to thee to save thy soul. 

Luce. This addeth joy to joy ; high Heaven be prais'd. 

Weaih. Master Flowerdale, welcome from death, good 
master Flowerdale. 'T was said so here, 't was said so here, 
good faith. 

Flow. Sen. I caus'd that rumour to be spread myself. 
Because I'd see the humours of my son. 
Which to relate the circumstance is needless. 
And, sirrah, see 

You run no moi*e into that same disease : 
For he that's once cur'd of that malady, 
Of riot, swearing, drunkenness, and pride. 
And falls again into the like distress, 
That fever's deadly, cloth till death endure : 
Such men die mad, as of a calenture. 

M. Flow. Heaven helping me, I'll hate the course as hell. 

Flow. Jim. Say it, and do it, cousin, all is well. 

Sir Lane. Well, being in hope you'll prove an honest man, 
I take you to my favour." 

If Shakspere had chosen such a plot, in which the sudden repentance of the offender 
was to compensate for the miseries he had inflicted, he would have made the prodigal 
retain some sense of honour, some remorse amidst his recklessness — something that would 
have given the assurance that his contrition was not hypocrisy. We have little doubt that 
the low moral tone of the writer's own mind produced the low morality of the plot and 
its catastrophe. We see in this play that confusion of principles of which the stage was 
too long the faithful mirror. In Shakspere the partition which separates levity and guilt 
is never broken down ; thoughtlessness and dishonour are not treated with equal indul- 
gence. This is quite argument enough to prove that Shakspere could not have written 
this comedy, nor rendered the least assistance in its composition. If it exliibited any 
traces of his wit or his poetry, wo should still reiect it upon this sole ground. 




The first edition of tliis comedy was published in 1607, under the following title : ' The 
Puritaine or the Widdow of Watling-streete. Acted by the Children of Paulas. Written 
by W. S.' The entry of the play appears in the Stationers' registers of the same year. 
It was printed, as we have seen, in the third edition of Shakspere's works ; and was ascribed 
to Shakspere by Gildon in 1702. Gildon probably relied upon its publication as Shak- 
spere's in the third collected edition of his plays. Our own critics of recent times ha^e 
uniformly rejected it. Schlegel inclines to the opinion that Shakspere wrote it; and he 
produces this curious theory: — "One of my literary friends, intimately acquainted with 
Shakspere, was of opinion that the poet must have wished to write a play for once in the 
style of Ben Jonsou, and that in this way we must account for the difference between the 
present piece and his usual manner. To follow out this idea, however, would lead to a 
very nice critical investigation." Such an investigation would, we believe, bring us to the 
conclusion that 'The Puritan' is as unlike Ben Jonson as it is unlike Shakspere. If it 
possesses little of the wit, the buoyancy, the genial good liumour, the sparkling poetry, 
the deep philosophy, and the universal characterization of Shakspere, it wants in the same 
degree the nice discrimination of shades of character, the sound judgment, the careful 
management of the plot, the lofty and indignant satire, the firm and gorgeous rhetoric, of 
Jonsou. As a comedy of manners, 'The Puritan' is at once feeble and extravagant. 



The author cauuot paint classes in painting individuals. ' The Puritan ' is a misnomer. 
We have no representation of the formal manners of that class. Tlie family of the Widow 
of Watling Street is meant to be puritanical, but it is difficult to discover wherein they 
differ from the rest of the world, except in the coarse exhibition of the loose morality of 
one of their servants, who professes to lie though he swears not, and is willing to steal 
if the crime is called by some gentler name. Yet the comedy is not without spirit and 
interest. The events are improbable, and some of the intrigues are superfluous; but the 
action seldom lingers ; and if the characters seem unnatural, they are sufficiently defined 
to enable us to believe that such characters did exist, and might have been copied from the 
life by the author. It is this individual painting that constitutes the essential difference 
between the comedy of almost every writer as compared with Shakspere. Old Aubrey 
said, with a truth which might have been imitated by critics of higher pretension, — " His 
comedies will remain wit as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles 
mo7-es hominum; now our present writers reflect so much upon particular persons and 
coxcombities that twenty years hence they will not be understood." 

The first scene introduces us to the widow, ostentatiously weeping for the deatli of her 
husband. She is surrounded by a silly son, a brother not over wise, and two daughters 
of "no characters at all," except that one vows she will never marry, and the other 
declares herself entirely of an opposite inclination. The whelp of a son refuses to weep 
for his father, and the mother thus chides him : — 

" Will. thou past-grace, thou ! Out of niy sight, thou graceless imp ! thou 
grievest me more than the death of thy father. thou stubborn only son ! Had.-t 
thou such au honest man to thy father — that would deceive all the world to get 
riches for thee, and canst thou not afford a little salt water ? He that so wisely 
did quite overthrow the right heir of those lands, which now you respect not : 
up every morning betwixt four and five; so duly at "Westminster-hall every teim- 
time, with all his cards and writings, for thee, thou wicked Absalon : dear 
husband ! " 

Tlie widow vows on her knees au awful vow : — 

" may I be the by-word of the world. 
The common talk at table in the mouth 
Of every gi-oom and waiter, if e'er more 
I entertain the carnal suit of man ! " 

The second scene introduces us to the chief actor in the piece, Pyeboard, a profligate 
scholar, who unites the professions of a poet and a swindler. Mr. Dyce, in his valuable 
edition of George Peele's works, says that George Pyeboard is the same as George Peek, 
" Peel signifying a board with a long handle with which bakers put things in and out of 
the oven." It is somewhat hard upon the memory of Peele to assume, as some have 
assumed, that Pyeboard was meant as a portrait of him. The exact date of Peele's death 
has not been ascertained; but an allusion to his death is made by ]\Ieres in 1598. He 
was no doubt a man of profligate habits ; as were too many of the unhappy race of authors 
in those days, when uncertain occupation and dependence upon the great made them more 
than usually ready to snatch at passing gratifications. The ' Merrie conceited Jests of 
George Peelo, Gentleman, sometime a Student in Oxford,' was published in 1 627, and in 
that tract there are two stories told of Peele which are very nearly similar to two of the 
tricks of Pyeboard in ' The Puritan : ' both may have been mere inventions or exag- 
gerations. In the following passage of ' The Pui-itan ' there is probably a melancholy 
truth as to the condition of men of letters in that age. Pyeboard is addressing Iiimself 
to an old soldier. Skirmish : — 


" As touching my profession ; the multiplicity of scholars, hatched and nou- 
rished in the idle calms of peace, makes them, like fishes, one devour another ; 
and the community of learning has so played npon affections, that thereby al- 
most religion is come about to phantasy, and discredited by being too much 
spoken of, in so many and mean mouths. I myself, being a scholar and a 
graduate, have no other comfort by my learning, but the affection of my word.?, 
to know how, scholar-like, to name what I want ; and can call myself a beggar 
both in Greek and Latin. And therefore, not to cog with peace, I'll not be 
afraid to say, 't is a great breeder, but a barren nourisher ; a great getter of 
children, which must either be thieves or rich men, knaves or beggars. 

Skir. Well, would I had been born a kuave then, when I was born a beggar ! 
for if the truth was known, I think I was begot when my father had never a 
penny in his purse. 

Pye. Pub! faint not, old Skirmish; let this warrant thee — facilis descen- 
sus Averni — 'tis an easy journey to a knave; thou may'st be a knave when 
thou wilt : and Peace is a good madam to all other professions, and an errant 
dr.ab to us. Let us handle her accordingly, and by our wits thrive in despite of 
her : For since the law lives 'oy quarrels, the courtier by smooth good-morrows, 
and every profession makes itself greater by imperfections, why not we then by 
.shifts, wiles, and forgeries ? And seeing our brains are our only patrimonies, 
let 's spend with judgment ; not like a desperate son and heir, but like a sober 
and discreet Templar : one that will never march beyond the bounds of his 


Pyeboard resolve.s to be a fortuue-teller, aud proposes to Skirmish to be a conjuror, and 
they are to deceive the widow aud her family. We are presently introduced in the Mar-- 
shalsea Prison to Captain Idle, who has committed what he calls a common offence — a 
highway robbery. Captain Idle is to be released by a stratagem of Pyeboard. The gold 
chain of Sir Godfrey Plus, the widow's brother, is to be stolen by his puritanical servant, 
and to be discovered by the instrumentality of the military highwayman. As the action 
advances the plot thickens. The widow and one of her daughters refuse honest suitors ; 
and when Idle is redeemed from prison (which the knight effects in a moment with the 
hope of finding his chain) the worthy confederates propose to marry the ladies. The 
fortune-telling and conjuration scenes are amusing enough, but they will scarcely furnish 
any extracts. In the end, howevei", the stratagems of the scholar and the captain are dis- 
covered ; and the widow and her daughter are rescued from their hands on their way to 
church to be married. The affections of the ladies are very quickly transferred to other 
suitors ; and so the play ends. The following scene, which occurs in the third act, is 
one of the incidents which is told, with some variation, of the hero of the ' Merrie 
conceited Jests.' Pyeboard is under arrest for debtj and he persuades the bailiffs to 
go with him to a house " to receive five pound of a gentleman for the device of a mask 
here drawn in this paper." The following scene ensues : — • 

" A Gallery in a Gentleman's House. 
Enter a Servant. 
Ser. Who knocks ? Who's at door? We had need of a porter. 

[Opens the door. 
Pye. [Within.] A few friends here. Pray is the gentleman, your master, 
within ? 
Ser. Yes ; is your business to him ? [Servant opens the door. 

Enter Pyeboard, Pottock, Ravenshaw, and Dogson. 

Pye. Ay, he knows it, when he sees me : I pray you, have you forgot me ? 

Ser. Ay, by my troth, sir ; pray come near ; 1 '11 in and tell him of you. 

Please you to walk here in the gallery till he comes. [Exit Servant. 

Pye. We will attend his worship. Worship, I think ; for so much the posts 

at his door should signify, and the fair comiug-in, and the wicket; else I neither 


knew him nor his worship : but 't is happiness he is within doors, whatsoe'er he 
be. If he be not too much a formal citizen he may do me good. [A side.] — 
Serjeant and yeoman, how do you like this house ? Is't not moat wholesomely 
plotted ? 

Rav. 'Troth, prisoner, an exceeding fiue house. 

Pi/e. Yet I wonder how he should forget me, — for he never knew me. [Aside.] 
No matter; what is forgot in you will be remembered in your master. Apretty 
comfortable room this, methinks : you have no such rooms in prison now ? 

Put. 0, dog-holes to 't. 

Pi/e. Dog-holes, indeed ! I can tell you, I have gi-eat hope to have my cham- 
ber here shortly, nay, aud diet too ; for he is the most free-lieartedest gentle- 
man, where he takes ; you would little tliiuk it. And what a fine gallery were 
here for me to walk and study and make verses ! 

Put. 0, it stauds very pleasantly for a scholar. 
Enter Gentleman. 

Pijc. Look what maps, and pictures, and devices, aud things, neatly, deli- 
cately — Mass, here he comes ; he should be r. gentleman ; I like his beard well. 
— All happiness to your worship. 

Gent. You are kindly welcome, sir. 

Put. A simple salutation. 

Rav. Mass, it seems the gentleman makes great account of him. 

Ptje. I have the thing here for you, sir. — [Talces the Gentleman cqmrt.'] I be- 
seech you, conceal me, sir ; I'm undone else. [Aside.] I have the mask here for 
you, sir; look yon, sir. I beseech your worship, first pardon my rudeness, for 
my extremes make me bolder than I would be. I am a poor gentleman, and a 
scholar, and now most unfortunately fallen into the fangs of unmerciful officers : 
arrested for debt, which, though small, I am not able to compass, by reason I 
am destitute of lands, money, and friends ; so that if I fall into the hungi-y 
swallow of the prison, I am like utterly to perish, and with fees and extortions 
be pinched clean to the bone. Now, if ever pity had interest in the blood of 
a gentleman, I beseech you vouchsafe but to favour that means of my escape 
which I have ah'eady thought upon. 

Gent. Go forward. 

Put. I warrant he likes it rarely. 

Pye. In the plunge of my extremities, being giddy, and doubtful what to do, 
at last it was put into my labouring thoughts to make a happy use of this paper; 
and to blear their unlettered eyes, I told them there was a device for a mask 
drawn in 't, and that (but for their interception) I was going to a gentleman to 
receive my reward for 't. They, greedy at this word, and hoping to make pur- 
chase of me, offered their attendance to go along with me. My hap was to 
make bold with your door, sir, which my thoughts showed me the most fairest 
and comfortablest entrance ; and I hope I have happened right upon under- 
standing and pity. May it please yom' good worship, then, but to uphold my 
device, which is to let one of your men put me out at a backdoor, and I shall be 
bound to your worship for ever. 

Gent. By my troth, an excellent device. 

Put. An excellent device, he says ; ho likes it wonderfully. 

Gent. 0' my faith, I never heard a better. 

Rav. Hark, he swears he never heard a better, Serjeant. 

Put. 0, there 's no talk on 't ; he's an excellent scholar, and especially for a 

Gent. Give me yom- paper, your device ; I was never better pleased in all my 
life : good wit, brave wit, finely wrought ! Come in, sir, and receive your 
money, sir." 
The prisoner, of course, escapes. 

Tliero is-no doubt considerable truth in this picture : but it is not such trutli as we find 
in Shakspere ; it belongs to the temporary and the personal, not the permanent and the 
tiuiversal. Such is the characteristic merit of the whole comedy, whatever merit it ha& 



'A Yorkshire Tbagedie. Not so new, as lamentable and true. Written by AV. Shalte- 
speare.' This was the title of the original edition of the play printed in 160S. Upon a 
snbsequent title we have ' All's One, or, One of the four Plaies in one, called a Yorkshire 
Trao-edy.' AVe rnay receive 'All's One' as the general title of four short plays repre- 
sented ill the same day and standing in the place of a regular tragedy or comedy. Of 
the four plays thus presented it is remarkable that ' The Yorkshire Tragedy' is the only 
one which appears to have been published; that was entered, on the 2nd of May, 1608, 
on the Stationers' registers, as ' A booke The Yorkshire Tragedy, written by Wylliam 
Shakcspere.' The publisher of the play, Thomas Pavj'er, in 1605 entered 'A ballad of 
lamentable !Murther done in Yorkshire, by a Gent, upon two of his owne Children, 
sore wounding his Wyfe and Nurse.' The fact upon which the ballad and the tragedy are 
founded is thus related in Stow's 'Chronicle,' under the year 1604 :— " \Valter Calverly, 
of Calverly, in Yorkshire, Esquire, murdered two of his young children, stabbed his wife 
into the body with full purpose to have murdered her, and instantly went from his house to 
have slain his youngest child at nurse, but was prevented. For which fact at his trial in 
York he stood mute, and was judged to be pressed to death, according to which judgment 
ho was executed at the castle of York the 5tli of August." 


Srp. Vol, R 



Master, of a College. 

A Knight (ii Maglslralc). 

Sef^eral Gentlemen. ^ 

Oliver, \ 

Ralph, \ Scrva?i{s. 

Sai.iuel, J 

Other Servants and Officers. 

A Utile Boy, fyc. 


SCENE, — CALVEniiY, in YonKsnian. 


SCENE l.—A Room in Calverly Hall. 

Eii/iv Oliver (aid Ralph. 

Oliv. Sirrah Ralph, my yoimg mistress is in 
such a pitiful passionate humour for the loug 
absence of her love^ 

Ralph. Why, can you blame her ? Wliy, 
apples hanging longer on the tree than when 
they are ripe, makes so many faUings ; viz. mad 
wenches, because they are not gathered in time, 
are fain to drop of themselves, and then 't Ls 
common you know for every man to take them 

Oliv. Mass, thou say'st true, 'tis common 
indeed! But, sirrah, is neither our yomig 
master returned, nor our fellow Sam come 
from London ? 

Ralph. Neither of either, as the puritan 
bawd says. 'Slid, I hear Sam. Sam's come; 
here he is ; tarry ; — come i' faith : now my 
nose itches for news. 

Oliv. And so does mine elbow. 

Sam. \icit/u!i.'] Wliere are you there ? Boy, 
look you walk my horse with discretion. I have 
rid him simply : I warrant his skin sticks to his 
back \vith very heat. If he should catch cold 
and get the cough of the lungs, I were weD 
served, were I not ? 

Enter Sam. 

What, Ralph and OUver ! 

Bolh. Honest fellow Sam, welcome i' faith. 
What tricks hast thou brought from London ? 

Sam. You see I am hanged after the truest 
fashion : three hats, and two glasses bobbing 
upon them ; two rebate wires upon my breast, a 
cap-case Ijy my side, a brush at my back, an 
almanack in my pocket, and tlu'ce ballads in my 
codpiece. Nay, I am the true picture of a com- 
mon servingman. 

Olio. I 'U swear thou art ; thou mayst set up 
when thou wilt: there's many a one begins 



with less, I can tell tliee, that proves a rich 
man ere he dies. But what's the news from 
London, Sam ? 

Ualph. Ay, that's well said; what's the 
news from London, sirrah ? My young mistress 
keeps such a puling for her love. 

Sam. Why, the more fool she ; ay, the 
more ninnyhammer she. 

Oliv. Why, Sam, why? 

Sam. Why, he is married to another long 

Both, r faith? You jest. 

Sam. Wliy, did you not know that till now ? 
Why, he 's married, beats his wife, and has 
two or thi'ee chUdreu by her. Por you must 
note, that any woman bears the more when 
she is beaten. 

Ralph. Ay, that's true, for she bears the blows. 

Oliv. Su-raJi, Sam, I woidd not for two years' 
wages my young mistress knew so much ; she'd 
run upon the left hand of her ■n'it, and ne'er be 
her own woman again. 

Sam. And I think she was blessed in her cradle, 
that he never came iu her bed. Wliy, he has 
consumed all, pawned his lands, and made his 
university brother stand in wax for him : -there's 
a fine phrase for a scrivener, Pnh ! he owes 
more than his skin is worth. 

0!ii\ Is 't possible ? 

Sam. Nay, I'll teU you moreover, he calls 
his -wife whore, as famiharly as one would call 
JIoU and DoU ; and his cluldren bastards, as 
natui'aUy as can be. — But what have we hero ? 
I thought 't was something pull'd down my 
breeches ; I quite forgot my two poldng-sticks : 
these came from London. Now anytliiny- is 
good here that comes from London. 

Oliv. Ay, far fetched, you know, Sam. — But 
speak in your conscience i' faith ; have not we 
as good poking-sticks i' the country, as need to 
be put in the fii'c ? 

Sam. The mind of a thing is aU ; the mind of 
a thing is all; and as thou said'st even now, far- 
fetched are the best things for ladies. 

Oliv. Ay, and for waiting-gentlewomen too. 

Sam. But, Ralph, what, is our beer sour this 
thunder ? 

Ralph. No, no, it holds coimtenanoe yet. 

Sum. Why, then follow me; I'U tcacll yoi. 
the finest humour to he drunk in ; I learned 
it at London last week. 

Both, r faith ? Let 's hear it, let 's hear it. 

Sam. The bravest hiunour ! 't woidd do a man 
good to be drunk in it : they call it knighting 
in London, when they drink upon their knees. 

Both. 'Paith, that's excellent. 
Sam. Come, follow me ; I'll give you all 
the degrees of it in order. \_E.reuiit. 

SCENE II. — Another Apartment in the same. 
Enter Wife. 

Wife. What wiU become of us ? All will 

away : 
My husband never ceases in expense, 
Both to consume his credit and his house ; 
And 't is set down by heaven's just decree, 
That riot's cliUd must needs be beggary. 
Are these the virtues that his youth did promise ? 
Dice and voluptuous meetings, midnight revels, 
Taking his bed with surfeits ; ill beseeming 
The ancient honour of his house and name ? 
And this not all, but that which kiUs me most, 
AVhen he recounts liis losses and false fortunes. 
The weakness of his state so much dejected. 
Not as a man repentant, but half mad, 
His fortunes cannot answer his expense, 
He sits, and sullenly locks up his arms, 
Porgetting heaven, looks downward; which 

makes him 
Appear so dreadful that he frights my heart : 
Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth ; 
Not penitent for those liis sins ai-e past, 
But vcx'd his money cannot make them last. 
A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow. 
O, yonder he comes ; now in despite of ills 
I'll speak to him, and I will hear him speak. 
And do my best to drive it from his heart. 

Bnler Husb.UvD. 

lilts. Pox o' the last throw ! It made fi\ e 
hundred angels 
Vanish from my sight. I am damud, I'm 

damn'd ; 
The angels have forsook me. Nay, it is 
Certainly true ; for he that has no com 
Is damn'd in this w-orld ; he is gone, he's gom. 
Wife. Dear husband. 
Bus. O ! most punishment of all, I have a 

Wife. I do entreat you, as you love your soid. 
Tell me the cause of this your discontent. 
llvs. A vengeance strip thee naked ! thou 
art cause. 
Effect, quality, property; thou, thou, thou! \B.vit. 
Wife. Bad tuiTi'd to worse ; both beggary of 
the soul 
And of the body ; — and so much unlike 
Himself at first, as if some vexed si)irit 
Had got his form upon him. He comes again. 


lie-eiUer Husband. 
He sajs I am the cause : I never yet 
Spoke less tliau words of duty and of love. 

Hits, K marriage be honourable, then cuck- 
olds are honourable, for they cannot be made 
without marriage. Fool! what meant I to 
many to get beggars? Now must my eldest 
son be a knave or nothing ; he cannot live upon 
the fool, for he will have no laud to maintain 
liim. That mortgage sits like a snaffle upon 
mine inheritance, and makes me chew upon 
iron. My second son must be a promoter," and 
my third a thief, or an under-putter ; a slave 
pander. Oh, beggary, beggary, to what base 
uses dost thou put a man ! I think the devil 
scorns to be a bawd; he bears himself more 
proudly, has more care of his credit. — Base, 
slarish, abject, filthy poverty ! 

Wife. Good sir, by all our vows I do beseech 
Show me the true cause of your discontent. 

Hus. Money, money, money ; and thou must 
supply me. 

Wife. Alas, I am the least cause of your dis- 
content ; 
Yet what is mine, either in rings or jewels. 
Use to your own desire ; but I beseech you. 
As you are a gentleman by many bloods, 
Though I myself be out of your respect, 
Tiiiuk on the state of these three lovely boys 
You have been father to. 

Hus. Pnh! bastards, bastards, bastards; be- 
got in tricks, begot in tricks. 

Wife. Heaven knows how those words wrong 
me : but I may 
Endiu-e these griefs among a thousand more. 
call to mind your lands already mortgag'd. 
Yourself wound iuto debts, yoiu' hopeful brother 
At the university in bonds for you. 
Like to be seiz'd upon ; and 

Hus. Have done, thou harlot, 
AVhom, though for fashion-sake I married, 
t never could abide. Tlmik'st thou, thy words 
Shall kill my pleasm-es ? Fall off to thy friends; 
Thou and thy bastards beg; I will not bate 
A whit in humour. ^Midnight, still I love you. 
And i-evel iu your company ! Cuib'd in. 
Shall it be said in aU societies. 
That I broke custom ? that I flagg'd iu money ? 
No, those thy jewels I will play as ffccly 
As when my state was fullest. 

Wife. Be it so. 

Promoter — informer. 

Hus. Nay, I protest (and take that for an 
earnest), [Spurns her. 

I will for ever hold thee in contempt. 
And never touch the sheets that cover thee. 
But be divore'd in bed, till thou consent 
Thy dowry shall be sold, to give new life 
Unto those pleasm'cs which I most affect. 

Wife. Sir, do but turn a gentle eye on me. 
And what the law shall give me leave to do. 
You shall command. 

Hus. Look it be done. Shall I want dust. 
And like a slave wear nothing iu my pockets 

[Holds his hands in his pockets. 
But my bare hands, to fill them up with nails ? 

much against my blood ! Let it be done. 

1 was never made to be a looker-on, 

A bawd to dice ; I'U shake the drabs myself. 
And make them yield : I say, look it be done. 
Wife. I take my leave : it shall. [E.nt. 

Hus. Speedily, speedily. 

I hate the very hour I chose a wife : 
A trouble, trouble ! Three childi-eu, like three 

Hang on me. Fie, fie, fie ! Strrmipet and bas- 
tards ! 

Enter three Gentlemen. 
Strumpet and bastards ! 

1 Gent. Still do these loathsome thoughts jar 
on your tongue? 
Youi-self to stain the honour of your wife, 
Nobly descended ? Those whom men call mad, 
Endanger others ; but he's more than mad 
That wounds himself; whose own words do 

Scandals unjust, to soil his better name. 
It is not fit ; I pray, forsake it. 

3 Gent. Good sir, let modesty reprove you. 
3 Gent. Let honest kindness sway so mucli 

with you. 
Hus. Good den; I thank you, sir; how do 
you ? Adieu ! 
I am glad to see you. Farewell instructions, 
acbnouitions ! [Exeunt Gentlemen. 

Enter a Servant. 
How now, su'rah ? AVhat would you ? 

Ser. Ordy to certify you, sir, that my mistrcs 3 
was met by the way, by them who were sent 
for her up to London by her honourable imcle, 
your worship's late guardian. 

//«!. So, sir, then she is gone; and so may 

you be; 

But let her look the thing be done she wots of, 

Or hoU wiU staud more pleasant than her house 

At home. [Exit Servant. 



Elder a Gcullcraan. 

Qent. Well or iU met, I care not. 

Uus. No, nor I. 

Gent. I am come with coiiJideuco to chide you. 

Hus. Who? me? 
Chide me? Do't finely then; let it not move me: 
For if thou chid'st me angry, I shall strike. 

Gent. Strike thine own folhcs, for 'tis tlicy 
To be well beaten. We are now in private ; 
There's none but thou and I. Thou art fond 

and peevish ; 
An unclean rioter ; thy lands and credit 
Lie now both sick of a consumption : 
I am sorry for thee. That man spends with 

That with his riches doth consume his name ; 
And such art thou. 

Hus. Peace ! 

Gent. No, thou shalt hear me fui'thcr. 

Thy father's and forefathers' -worthy honour's. 
Which were our country monuments, our grace. 
Follies in thee begin now to deface. 
The spring-time of thy youth did fairly promise 
Such a most fruitfid summer to thy friends. 
It scarce can enter into men's beUefs 
Such dearth shoidd hang upon thee. We that 

see it 
Are sorry to believe it. In thy change. 
Tills voice into all places wiU be hmi'd — 
Thou and the devil have deceiv'd the world. 

Hus. I'U not endure thee. 

Gent. But of all the worst. 

Thy virtuous wife, right honom-ably allied, 
Thou hast proclaim'd a strumpet. 

Has. Nay, then I know thee ; 

Thou art her champion, thou; her private friend; 
The party you wot on. 

Gent. O ignoble thought ! 

I am past my patient blood. Shall I stand iiUe, 
And see my reputation touoh'd to death ? 

Hus. It has gall'd you, this ; has it ? 

Gent. No, monster ; I will prove 

My thoughts did ordy tend to vuluous lo\e. 

Hus. Love of her vktues ? there it goes. 

Gent. Base spirit. 

To lay thy hate upon the fruitful honoiu- 
Of thine ov\'n bed ! 

[Thei/ff/ht, and the Husband is hurt. 

Hus. Oh ! 

Gent. Wilt thou yield it yet ? 

Hus. Sir, sir, I have not done with you. 

Gent. I hope, nor ne'er shall do. 

\Tliej fight ar/ain. 

Uus. Have you got tricks? Are you jji am 

ning with me ? 
Gent. No, plain and right : 
He needs no cuimiug that for iruth doth fight. 
[Ht;sBAND/«//s doicn. 
Hus. Hard fortune ! am I levell'd with th" 

ground ? 
Gent. Now, sir, you lie at mercy. 
Hus. Ay, you slave. 

Gent. Alas, that hate should bring us to oui 
grave ! 
You see, my sword's not thirsty for your life : 
I am sorrier for youi- wound than you yourself 
You're of a vu-tuous house; shov/ virtuous 

deeds ; 
'Tb not your honour, 'tis your folly bleeds. 
]\Iuoh good has been expected in your life ; 
Cancel not all men's hopes ; you have a wife, 
Kurd and obedient ; heap not wrongful shame 
On her and your posterity ; let only sin be sore, 
And by tliis fall, rise never to fall more. 
Aud so I leave you. [&•;/. 

Hus. Has the dog left me then, 

After his tooth has left me ? 0, my heai-t 
Would fain leap after him. Revenge, I say; 
I'm mad to be reveug'd. My strimipet wife. 
It is thy quarrel that rips thus my flesh, 
And makes my breast spit blood; — but thou 

shalt bleed. 
Vanqnish'd? got down? unable even to speak? 
Sm-ely 'tis want of money makes men weak : 
Ay, 'twas that o'erthrew me: I'd ne'er been 
down ebe. [Exit. 

SCENE III. — Another Room in the same. 
Enter Wife, in a riding-suit, and a Servant. 

Ser. 'Faith, mistress, if it might not be pre- 

In me to tell you so, for his excuse 
You had small reason, knowing his abuse. 

Wife. I grant I had ; but, alas, 
AVliy should oui' faiJts at home be spread 

abroad ? 
'T is grief enough wilhin doors. At first sight 
Mine uncle eoidd run o'er his prodigal Life 
As perfectly as if his serious eye 
Had nmnher'd aU his follies : 
Knew of his mortgag'd lands, his friends in 

Himself withcr'd with debts ; and in that nunute 
Had I added his usage and unkindness, 
'T would have confounded every thought o( 



Where now, fathering his riots on liis youth, 
Which time and tame experience will shake off- 
Guessing his kindness to me (as I sraooth'd him 
With all the skill I had, though his deserts 
Are in form uglier than an unshap'd bear), 
He's ready to prefer him to some office 
And place at eom-t ; a good and sure relief 
To all liis stooping fortiuies. 'Twill be a means, 

I hope, 
To make new league between us, and redeem 
His vii-tnes with his lands. 

Ser. I should think so, mistress. If be should 
not now be kind to you, and Ioyc you, and che- 
rish you up, I should think the deyil himself 
kept open house in him. 

Wife. I doubt not but he will. Now prithee 
leave me ; I think I hear him coming. 

Ser. I am gone. [&;7. 

ll'ife. By this good means I shall preserve 
my lands, 
And free my husband out of usm-ers' hands. 
Now there's no need of sale; my uncle's 

I hope, if aught, this will content his mind. 
Here comes my busl)and. 

Enter Husband. 

Hits. Now, ai-e you come ? Where's the mo- 
ney? Let's see the money. Is the rubbish 
sold? those wise-acres, your lands? "Wby, when? 
The money? "Where is it? Pour it down; down 
with it, kovm with it: I say, pour't on the 
ground; let's see it, let's see it. 

Wife. Good sir, keep but in patience, and I 
hope my words shall like you well. I bring you 
better comfort than the sale of my dowry. 

Hits. Ha ! what's that ? 

Wife. Pray do not fright me, sii', but vouch- 
safe me hearing. My imcle, glad of your kind- 
ness to me and mild usage (for so I made it to 
him), hath, in pity of yom- declining fortunes, 
provided a place for you at eoui-t, of woi-th and 
credit ; which so much overjoyed me — 

Hiis. Out on thee, filth! over and overjoyed, 
when I'm in torment? [Spurns her.'] Thou 
politic whore, subtUer than nine devils, was this 
thy journey to nunck? to set down the bistoi-y 
of me, of my state and fortunes ? Shall I, that 
dedicated myself to pleasure, be now coniined in 
service ? to crouch and stand like an old man i' 
the hams, my hat off? I that could never abide 
to uncover my head i' the church ? Base- slut ! 
this fruit bear thy complaints. 

Wife. 0, heaven knows 

That my complaints were praises, and best 

Of you and your estate. Only, my friends 
Knew of your raortgag'd lands, and were pos- 

Of every accident before I came. 
If you suspect it but a plot in me. 
To keep my dowry, or for mine own good, 
Or my poor childi'en's, (though it sidts a mother 
To show a natui-al care in their reliefs,) 
Yet I'll forgot myself to calm your blood : 
Consume it, as yoiu' pleasui'e coimsels yon. 
And aU 1 wish even clemency affords ; 
Give me but pleasant looks, 'and modest words. 

Hks. Money, whore, money, or I'U 

[Draws a dagger. 

Enter a Servant huslihj. 

What the devil ! How now ! thy hasty news ? 

Ser. May it please you, sir 

Hus. What ! may I not look upon my dag- 
ger P Speak, villain, or I wiU execute the point 
on thee : Qmck, short. 

Ser. AVhy, sir, a gentleman from the univer- 
sity stays below to speak with you. [E.eit. 

Hus. Prom the university? so; university; — 
that long word runs through me. \E.vil. 

IFife. Was ever wife so wretchedly beset ? 
Had not this news stepp'd in between, the point 
Had offer'd violence unto my breast. 
That which" some women call great misery 
Would show but little here; woxdd scarce be seen 
Among my miseries. I may compare. 
For wretched fortunes, with all wives that are 
Nothing will please him, until aU be nothing. 
He calls it slavery to be prefen-'d ; 
A place of credit, a base servitude. 
Wliat sbaU become of me, and my poor chikken. 
Two here, and one at nui'se? my pretty beggars! 
I sec how ruin with a palsy hand 
Begius to shako the ancient scat to dust : 
The heavy weight of sorrow draws my lids 
Over my dankish eyes : I scarce can see ; 
Thus grief will last ; — it wakes and sleeps -n-it li 
me. [E.vit. 

SCENE Vf.— Another Aimrlment in the same. 

Enter Husband and the Master of a College. 
Hus. Please you draw near, sii-; you're ex- 
ceeding welcome. 

Mast. That's my doubt ! I fear I come not to 
be welcome. 
Hus. Yes, howsoever. 

Mast. 'Tis not my fashion, sir, to dwell m 



long cii'curastauce, but to be plain aud effectual ; 
lliercfore to the pwjsose. The cause of my set- 
ting forth was piteous aud lameutable. That 
hopeful young geutlemau, yoiu' brother, whose 
virtues we all love dearly, thi-ough youi- default 
and imuatural uegligeuce lies in bond exe- 
cuted for your debt, — a prisoner ; all his studies 
amazed, his hope struck dead, and the pride of 
his youth muffled in these dark clouds of op- 

Hus. Umph, umpli, umph ! 

Masl. O you have killed the towardest hope 
of all our university : wherefore, without repent- 
ance aud amends, expect ponderous aud sudden 
judgments to fall grievously upon you. Your 
bi'other, a man who proCtcd m his divine em- 
ployments, aud might have made ten thousand 
souls fit for heaven, is now by youi- careless 
courses cast ihto prison, which you must answer 
for; and assm-e your spuit it will come home 
at length. 

Has. OGod! oh! 

Musi. Wise men thhik ill of you; others speak 
ill of you; no man loves you: nay, even those 
whom honesty condemns, condcinn you: And 
take this from the vntuous affection I bear your 
brother; never look for prosperous hour, good 
thoughts, qidet sleep, contented walks, nor any- 
thing that makes man perfect, tiU you redeem 
him. What is youi- answer ? How will you be- 
stow him ? Upon desperate misery, or better 
hopes ? — I suffer till I hear your answer. 

Hus. Sir, you have much wi'ought with me; 
I feel yon in my soul: you ai-e your ai-t's master. 
I never had sense till now ; yoiu' syllables have 
cleft mc. Both for your words and pains I 
thank you. I carmot but acknowledge grievous 
wrongs done to my brother; mighty, mighty, 
mighty, mighty wrongs. Within, there ! 

Enter a Servant. 

IIks. Pill me a bowl of \vine. \ Servant.] 
Alas, poor brother, bruis'd with an execution 
for my sake ! 
Mast. A bruise indeed makes many a mortal 
Till the grave cure them. 

He-enter SeiTant icilli irine. 

Hus. Su', I begin to you; you've chid your 
Munt. I could have wish'd it better for your 
I pledge you, su- ; — To the kind man in prison. 

Hus. Let it be so. Now, su-, if you please to 
spend but a few uiiuutes in a walk about my 
grounds below, my man here shall attend you. 
I doubt not but by that (iuie to be furnished 
of a sufEcieut answer, and therein my brother 
fully satisfied. 

Must. Good su-, in that the angels would be 
And the world's mm-mm-s ealm'd ; and I should say, 
I set forth then upon a lucky day. 

[Exeunt JIasiee. and Servant. 

Hus. thou confused man! Thy pleasant 
shis have undone thee ; thy damnation has beg- 
gared thee. That heaven should say we must 
not sin, and yet made women ; give oiu- senses 
way to find pleasure, which, being found, con- 
foimds us ! Why should we know those things 
so much misuse \is ? O, woiJd virtue had been 
forbidden! We should then have proved all 
virtuous; for 'tis om- blood to love what we are 
forbidden. Had not di-unkenness been forbidden, 
what man w-ould have been fool to a beast, and 
zany to a swine, — to show tricks in the mire ? 
What is there in three dice," to make a man 
di-aw thrice three thousand acres into the com- 
pass of a little round table, and with a gentle- 
man's palsy in the baud shake out his posterity 
thieves or beggars ? 'Tisdone; I have dune 't, 
i' faith : terrible, horrible misery ! — How well 
was I left! Very well, very well. My lands 
showed hko a full moon about me ; but now the 
moon's in the last quarter, — waning, waning; 
and I am mad to think that moon was mine; 
mine, and my father's, and my forefathers'-; 
generations, generations. — DoAvn goes the house 
of us ; down, down it sinks. Now is the name 
a beggar ; begs in me. That name which huu- 
di-eds of years has made tliis shire famous, in uic 
and my posterity runs out. In my seed five arc 
made miserable besides myself: my riot is now 
my brother's gaoler, my wife's sighing, my three 
boys' penury, and mine own confusion. 
Why sit my hairs upon my cursed head ? 

[Tears his hair. 
Win not this poison scatter them ? 0, my bro- 
Jn execution among devils that 
Stretch him aud make him give ; aud 1 in want. 
Not able for to live, nor to redeem him ! 
Divines and dying men may talk of lull. 
But in my heart her several torments dwell ; 
Slavery aud misery. Who, in this case. 
Would not take up money upon his soid ? 

* The g.imc calletl passage, or pass dice, played "itb 
three dice. 


Pawn his s;ilvatiou, live at interest ? 
I, that did ever ia abundance dwell, 
For me to want, exceeds the throes of hell. 

Enter a Utile Boy icilh a Top and Scourge. 
Son. What ail you, father? Are you not 
weU ? I cannot scourge my top as long as you 
stand so. You take up all the room with your 
wide legs? Puh! you cannot make me afraid 
with this ; I fear no visards, nor bugbears. 
\_Ile takes up the Child iy the skirts of his lonrj 
coal with one hand, and draws his dacjcjer 
with the other. 
Hus. Up, su', for here thou hast no inherit- 
^mee left. 

Son. 0, what will you do, father? I am yom- 
white boy. 

Hus. Thou shalt be my red boy ; take that. 

\Strikes Mm. 
Son. 0, you hui-t me, father.- 
Uus. My eldest beggar. 
Thou shalt not live to ask an usurer bread; 
To cry at a great man's gate ; or follow, 
' Good youi' honom-,' by a coach ; no, nor your 

brother : 
'Tis charity to brain you. 
Son. How shall I learn, now my head's broke? 
Uus. Bleed, bleed, \Stahs him. 

Rather than beg. Be not thy name's disgrace ; 
Spurn thou thy fortimes fii-st ; if they be base. 
Come view thy second brother's. Fates ! My 

childreu's blood 
Shall spin into yoiu- faces ; you shall see. 
How confidently we scorn beggary ! 

\Exit with his Son. 


A Maid discovered with a Child in her arms; 
the Mother on a couch hi/ her, asleep. 

Maid. Sleep, sweet babe ; sorrow makes thy 

mother sleep : 
It bodes small good when heaviness falls so 

Hush, pretty boy ; thy hopes might have been 

'Tis lost at dice, what ancient honour won : 
Hard, when the father plays away the son ! 
Nothing but Misery serves in this house ; 
Rviin and Desolation. Oh ! 

Enter HusB.tND, with his Sou bleediiifj. 

Hus. Whore, give me that boy. 

[Strircs with her for the Child. 

Maid. help, help! Out, alas! murther, 

mui'thcr ! 
Hus. Are you gossiping, you prating, sturdy 
quean ? 
I'll break yoiu- clamour with yoiu- neck. Dou n 

stairs ; 
Tumble, tumble, headlong. So : — 

\_He throws her down, and stabs the Child. 
The surest way to charm a woman's tongue. 
Is — break her neek : a politician did it. 
Son. Mother, mother ; I am kill'd, mother ! 

[Wipe aioalces. 
Wife. Ha, who's that cried? me! my 
Both, both, bloody, bloody ! 

[Catches up the youngest Child. 
Hus. Strumpet, let go the boy; let go the 

Wife. O, my sweet husband ! 
Uus. FUth, harlot ! 

Wife. O, what will you do, dear husband ? 
Hus. Give me the bastard ! 
Wife. Youi' own sweet boy — 
Uus. There are too many beggars. 
Wife. Good my husband — 
Uus. Dost thou prevent me stiU ? 
Wife. O God ! 
Hus. Have at his heart. 

\_Stabs at the Child in her arms. 
Wife. 0, my dear boy ! 
Hus. Brat, thou shalt not live to shame thy 

house — 
Wife. Oh, heaven ! 

[She is hurl, and sinks down. 
Uus. And perish ! — Now be gone : 
There's whores enough, and want would make 
thee one. 

Enter a Servant. 
Ser. sir, what deeds are these ? 
Hus. Base slave, my va.ssal 1 
Com'st thou between my fm-y to question me ? 
Ser. Were you the devU, I would hold yon, 

Hus. Hold me?— Presumption! I'll undo thee 

for it. 
Ser. 'Sblood, you have undone us all, sir. 
Hus. Tug at thy master ? 
Ser. Tug at a monster. 
Uus. Have I no power? Shall my slave fetter 

Ser. Nay, then the de'il wrestles: I am, 

Uus. vill;iin! now I'll tug thee, now I'll 

tear thee ; 



Set qiiiok spurs to my vassal; bruise him, 

trample him. 
So ; I tiiiuk thou wilt not foUow me in haste. 
My horse stands ready saddled. Away, away ; 
Now to my brat at nurse, my sucking beggar : 
Fates, I'll not leave you one to trample on ! 


SCENE YJ.— Court before the House. 

Elder IIusband ; to him the Master of the 

Mast. How is it with you, sir ? 
Methiuks you look of a distracted colour. 

IIus. Who, I, sir ? 'Tis but your fancy. 
Please you walk in, sir, and I'll soon resolve 

I want one small part to make up the sum. 
And then my brother shall rest satisfied. 

Must. I shall be glad to see it : Sir, I'U 
attend you. [E.veunt. 

SCENE VII.— .-/ Room in the House. 
The Wife, Servant, and Childi-c.n, discovered. 

Ser. Oh, I am scarce able to lieave up my- 

lie has so bnus'd me with liis devilish weight, 

And torn ray flesh with his blood-hasty spm- : 

A man before of easy constitution. 

Till now hell power supplied, to his soid's 
wi'ong : 

how damnation can make weak men strong ! 

Enter the Master of the College and two 

Ser. the most piteous deed, sir, since you 

Mast. A deadly greetmg! Hath he summ'd 
up these 
To satisfy his brother ? Here's another ; 
And by the bleeding infants, the dead mother. 
mfe- Oh! oh! 

Mast. Surgeons ! sui'geons ! she recovers 
One of his men all faint and bloodied ! 
1 Ser. FoUow ; our raiu'thcrous master has 
took horse 
To kill his child at nui'se. 0, follow quickly. 

Mast. I am the readiest; it shall be my charge 
To raise the town upon him. 
1 Ser. Good su', do follow him. 

[Ereunt Master and two SeiTants. 
ll^ife- O my children. 

1 Ser. How is it witli my most afflicted mis- 
tress ? 

IFife. Wliy do I now recover ? Why half live. 
To sec ray children bleed before mine eyes ? 
A sight able to kiU a mother's breast, without 
An executioner. — ^What, ai-t thou mangled too ? 

1 Ser. I, thiidiing to prevent what his quick 
Has so soon acted, carae and rush'd upon him. 
AVe straggled ; but a foider strength than his 
O'erthrew me with his arms : then cUd he bruise 

And rent my flesli, and robb'd me of my hair ; 
Like a man mad in execution. 
Made me unfit to rise and follow hiin._ 

Wife. What is it has beguil'd liim of all grace, 
And stole away humanity from his breast ? 
To slay his ohddren, purpose to kill liis wife. 
And spoil his servants — 

Enter a Servant. 


Please you to leave this most accm-scd 
place : 
A sui'geon waits within. 

If'ife. WiUing to leave it ? 
'Tis guilty of sweet blood, innocent blood : 
Murthcr has took this chamber Mith full hands. 
And will ne'er out as long as the house stands. 


SCENE VIII.— J //////; Road. 

Enter Husband. lie fills. 
Hus. O stumbling jade ! The spavin over- 
take thee ! 
The fifty diseases stop thee ! 
Oh, I am sorely bruised ! Plague founder thee! 
Thou runn'st at ease and pleasiu'c. Heart of 

chance ! 
To throw me now, within a flight o' the town, 
lu such plain even ground too ! 'Sfoot, a man 
May dice upon it, and throw away the meadows. 
Filthy beast ! 

[Cry within'] Follow, follow, follow. 
Hus. Ha! I hear sounds of men, like hue 
and cry. 
Up, up, and struggle to thy horse ; make on ; 
Despatch that little beggar, and all's done. 
[C/-y icithin'] Here, here; tliis way, tliis 

Hus. At my back ? Oh, 
Wliat fate have 1 1 my hmbs deny me go. 
My win is 'bated ; beggary claims a part. 
could I here reach to the infant's heart ! 


Enter the Master of the College, three Gentle- 
meu, and Attendants with Halberds. 

All. Here, here ; yonder, yonder. 

Must. Unnatui'al, flinty, more than barbarous ! 
The Scythians, even the marble-hearted Fates, 
Could not have acted more remorseless deeds. 
In their relentless natm-es, than these of thine. 
Was this the answer I long waited on ? 
The satisfaction for thy prisou'd brother ? 

Jhis. Why, he can have no more of \is than 
our skins, 
.\.nd some of them want but flaylag 

1 Gent. Great sins have made him impudent. 
^[(ist. He has shed so much blood, that he 

carmot blush. 

2 Gent. Away with him ; bear him to the 

A gentleman of worship dwells at hand : 
There shall his deeds be blaz'd. 

IIiis. Wliy, all the better. 

My glory 'tis to have my action kno\vu; 
I grieve for nothing, but I niiss'd of one. 

Mast. There's little of a father in that grief: 
Bear him away. [_E.reiiiit. 

SCENE IX.— ^ Room in the House of a 

Enter a Knight, and three Gentlemen. 

Knight. Endanger'd so Ids wife? mui'ther'd 
his childi-en? 

1 Gent. So the ery goes. 

Knight. 1 am sorry I e'er knew him ; 

That ever he took life and natural being 
From such an honour'd stock, and fair descent, 
Tin this black minute without stain or blemish. 

1 Gent. Here come the men. 

Enter Master of the College, §-c., with the 

Knight. The serpent of his house! I am sorry, 
For this time, that I am in place of justice. 

Must. Please you, sir 

Knight. Do not repeat it twice ; I know too 
much : 
Woidd it had ne'er been thought on ! Sir, I 
bleed for you. 

1 Gent. Your father's sorrows are alive in me. 
What made you show sucli monstrous cruelty ? 

Has. lu a word, su', I have consumed all, 
played away long-acre; and I thought it the 
rliaiitablcst deed I could do, to cozen beggai'y, 
;i;id knock my house o' the head. 

Knight. 0, in a cooler blood you will repent it. 
Hus. I repent now that one is left luikill'd ; 
My brat at nurse. I wovdd fuU fain have 
wean'd him. 
Knight. Well, I do not think, but in to-mor- 
row's judgment. 
The terror will sit closer to yom- soul. 
When the dread thought of death remembers 

To further which, take this sad voice from me, 
Never was act play'd more unnaturally. 
Hus. I thank you, sir. 

Knight. Go, lead him to the gaol : 

"Wliere justice claims all, there must pity fail. 
Hus. Come, come ; away with me. 

[E.venni Husband, ijv. 
Mast. Sir, you deserve the w-orship of your 
place : 
Would all did so ! In you the law is grace. 
Knight. It is my wish it should be so. — 
Ruinous man ! 
The desolation of his house, the blot 
Upon his predecessors' honour'd name ! 
That man is nearest shame, that is past shame. 


SCENE X.— Before Calverly HaU. 

Enter Husbaud guarded, Master of the 
College, Gentlemen, and Attendants. 

H/is. I am right against my house,— scat ol 
my ancestors : 
I hear my wife's aUve, but much endanger'd. 
Let me entreat to speak with her, before 
The prison gripe me. 

His Wipe is brought in. 

Gent. See, here she comes of herself. 
Wife. my sweet husband, my dear dis- 
trcss'd husband. 
Now in the hands of unrelenting laws, 
My greatest sorrow, my extremest bleeding ; 
Now my soul bleeds. 

Hus. How now? Kind to me? Did I not 
wound thee ? 
Left thee for dead ? 

Wife. Tut, far, far greater wounds did my 
breast feel; 
Unkindness strikes a deeper wound than steel. 
You have been still unkind to mc. 

Hus. 'Faith, and so I think I have ; 
I did my murthers roughly out of hand. 
Desperate and sudden ; but thou hast dcvis'd 
A fine way now to kill me : thou hast given 
mine eyes 



Seven woiuids apiece. Now glides the devil 

from me, 
Depai'ts at every joint ; heaves up my nails. 
catch him, torments that were ue'er invented! 
Bind him one thousand more, you blessed angels, 
In that pit bottomless ! Let him not rise 
To make men act unnatural tragedies ; 
To spread into a father, and in fiuy 
Make him his children's executioner ; 
Murther his wife, his seiTauts, and who not ! — 
For that man's dai'k, where heaven is qiute 

Wife. my repentant husband ! 

Tins. my dear soul, whom I too much have 
wi'ong'd ; 
For death I die, and for this have I long'd. 

in/i: Thou shoiddst not, be assiu-'d, for 
these faults die 
If the law could forgive as soon as I. 

\_ne two Children laid out. 

Hus. What sight is yonder ? 

Wife. 0, our two bleeding boys. 

Laid forth upon the threshold. 

Uus. Here's weight enough to make a heart- 
string crack. 
0, v\cre it lawful that your pretty souls 
Might look from heaven into your father's eyes. 
Then should you see the penitent glasses melt. 
And both your murthers shoot upon my checks ! 
But you are playing in the angels' laps. 
And wUl not look on me, who, void of grace, 
KLU'd you iu beggary. 

that I might my wishes now attain, 

1 should then wish you living were again, 
Tiiough I did beg with you, wluch thing I 

fear'd : 
0, 'tvv'as the enemy my eyes so'd ! 

0, would you could pray iieaven me to forgive, 
That wiU unto my end repentant live ! 

Wife. It makes me even forget all othci 
And live apart with this. 

Offi. Come, wUl you gu ? 

Hus. rU kiss the blood I spilt, and then 
I'll go : 
My soul is bloodied, well may my lips be so. 
Farewell, dear wife; now thou and I must 

I of thy wrongs repent me with my heart. 

Wife. stay ; thou shalt not go. 

Hus. That's but in vain; you see it nmst 
be so. 
Farewell, ye bloody ashes of my boys ! 
My punishments are their eternal joys. 
Let every father look into my deeds, 
And then their heirs may prosper, whle nimc 
bleeds. [ExeuiU IIus. and Officers. 

Wife. More wretched am I now in this distress, 
Than former sorrows made me. 

Mast. O kind wife. 

Be comforted ; one joy is yet unmurthcr'd ; 
You have a boy at nurse ; your joy's in him. 

Wife. Dearer than all is my poor husband's life. 
Heaven give my body strength, which is yet faint 
With much expense of blood, and I will kneel. 
Sue for his life, number up all my friends 
To plead for pardon for my dear husband's life. 

Mast. Was it in man to wound so kind a 
creature ? 
I'U ever praise a woman for thy sake. 
I must retiu-n with grief; my answer's set; 
I shall bring news weighs heavier than the debt . 
Two brothers, one ia bond Kes overthrown, 
This on a deadlier execution. [Exeunt o.tiiies 



TuE event uisou -whicli this little drama is founded happened in 1 G04 ; the play was 
published in 1608. If it were written by Shakspere then, as his name on the title-page 
would lead us to believe, it must have been written when he was at the height of his 
power and of his fame. The question therefore as to his authorship of this play lies 
witliin very narrow limits. On the one hand we have the assertion of tho publisher, in 
his entry upon tho Stationers' registers, and in the title-page of the book, that Shakspere 
was the author : on the other hand, we have to consider the manifest improbability that 
one who essentially viewed human events and passions through the highest medium of 
poetry should have taken up a subject of temporary interest to dramatize upon a prosaic 
principle. The English stage is famihar with works of extensive and permanent popu- 
larity which present to the senses tho literal movement of some domestic tragedy, in 
which, from the necessary absence of the poetical spirit, the feelings of the audience are 
harassed and tortured without any compensation from that highest power of art which 
subdues the painful in and through the beautiful. 'George Barnwell' and 'The 
Gamester' are ready examples of tragedies of this class; and without going into any 
minute comparisons, it is easy to understand that the principle upon which such works 
are composed is essentially different from that which presides over Hamlet and Lear and 
Othello. There was a most voluminous dramatic writer in Shakspere's time, Thomas 
Heywood, whose pen was ready to seize upon a subject of passing interest, such as the 
frantic violence of the unhappy Mr. Calverly. Charles Lamb, after quoting two very 
pathetic scenes from a tragedy of this writer, ' A Woman Killed with Kindness,' says, 
" Heywood is a sort of prose Shakspeare. His scenes arc to the full as natural and affect- 
ing. But we miss the poet, that which in Shakspeare always appears out and above the 
sur&ce of the nature. Heywood's characters, his country gentlemen, &c., are exactly 
what we see (but of the best kind of what we see) in life. Sliakspeare makes us believe, 
while we are among his lovely creations, that they are nothing but what we are familiar 
with, as in dreams new things seem old ; but we awake, and sigh for the difference.' 
We have no doubt that Hey wood OT«ZcZ have written 'The Yorkshire Tragedy;' we greatly 
question whether Shakspere ivould have written it. The play, however, is one of sterling 
merit in its limited range ; and as it is also a remarkable specimen of a species of drama of 
which we have very few other examples of the Shakspcrian age, we liave printed it entire.' 
It is scarcely necessary for us to enter upon any minute criticism in this place, especially 
as we shall have to revert to the general principle of the suitableness of such a subject to 
Shakspere's powers, when we give an account of ' Arden of Feversham,' a tragedy of an 
earlier date, which has also been imputed to our great poet. A writer in the ' Retro- 



dpcctivc Review,' analyzing the ' Yorksliire Tragedy,' says, " Tliere is no reason why Shak- 
speare should not have Written it, any more than why he should." The reason whj' Shak- 
spere should not have written it is, we tliink, to be deduced from the circumstance that he, 
wlio had never even written a comedy in which the scene is jjlaced in his own countrj 
in his own times, would very unwillingly have gone out of his way to dramatize a real 
incident of horror, occurring in Yorkshire in 1G04, which of necessity could only have 
been presented to the senses of an audience as a fact admitting of very little elevation 
by a poetical treatment which might seize upon their imaginations. There is, no doubt, in 
this little drama the evidence of a sound judgment, relying upon the truth of the repre- 
sentation for its effect ; and the patience and gentleness of the wife, as contrasted with 
the selfish ferocity of the hiisbaud, add to the intensity of the pain which the representation 
produces. The Retrospective reviewer further says — " If he (Shakspere) had written 
it, on the principle of merely dramatizing the known fact, he would not have done it much 
better than it is here done ; and there were many of his contemporaries who could have done 
it quite as well." We agree with this assertion. If 'The Yorkshire Tragedy ' had been 
done better than it is — that is, if the power of the poet had more prevailed in it — it would 
not have answered the purpose for which it was intended ; it would in truth have been a 
mistake in art. Shakspere would not have committed this mistake. But then we doubt 
whether he would have consented at all to have had a circle drawn around him by the anti- 
poetical, within which his mastery over the spirits of the earth and of the air was unavail- 
ing. There were other men amongst his contemporaries to whom these limits would not 
liave been imprisonment ; who might say with Hamlet, " I could be bounded in a nut- 
shell, and count myself a king of infinite space." Thomas Heywood was one of the 
number. We extract from that writer the concluding scene of ' A Woman Killed with 
Kindness,' in which a faithless but repentant wife receives when dying the forgiveness of 
her husband. We request our readers to compare this with the last scene of ' The York- 
shire Tragedy,' in which the murderer of her children, when about to be led to esecution, 
is in the same spirit forgiven by his outraged wife : — 

" Franlcford. How do you, woman ? 

Mrs. Anne. Well, Mr. Fraukford, well; but shall be better 
I hope within thia hour. Will you vouchsafe 
(Out of your grace and your humanitrl 
To take a spotted .strumpet by the hand ? 

Frankfonl. This baud once held my heart in faster bonds 
Than now 't is grip'd by me. God pardon them 
That made us first break hold. 

il/j'fi. A nne. Amen, amen. 

Out of my zeal to heaven, whither I 'm now bound, 
I was so impudent to wish you here ; 
And once more beg your pardon. Oh ! good man, 
And father to my children, pardon me. 
Pardon, pardon me : my fault so heinous is, 
That if you in this world forgive it not, 
Heaven will not clear it in the world to come. 
Faintness hath so usm-p'd upon my knees, 
That kneel I cannot, but on my heart's kneea, 
My prostrate soul lies thrown down at your feet 
To beg your gracious pardon. Pardon, pardon me. 

Franlcford. As freely from the low depth of my soul 
As my Redeemer hath forgiven his death, 
I pardon thee. I will shed tears for thee ; 
Pray with thee ; and, in mere pity of thy weak estate 
I '11 wish to die with thee. 


All. So do we all. 

Xicholas. So will not I ; 
I '11 sigh and sob, but, by my faith, not die. 

&> Francis. 0, Sir. Frankford, all the near alliauce 
I lose by her, shall be supplied in thee : 
You are my brother by the nearest way ; 
Her kindred has fall'n off, but yours doth stay. 

Franl-furd. Even as I hope for pardon at that day, 
When the great Judge of heaven in scarlet sits. 
So be thou pardon'd. Though thy I'ash offeuoi; 
Divorc'd our bodies, thy repentant tears 
Unite our souls. 

Sir Charles. Then comfort, Mistress Fr.ankford, 
You see your husband hath forgiven your fall ; 
Then rouse your spirit.s, and cheer your fainting soul. 

Susan. How is it with you ? 

Sir Francis. How d' ye feel yourself ? 

Mrs. Anne. Not of this world. 

Franhford. I see you are not, and I weep to see it, 
Jly wife, the mother to my pretty babes ! 
Both those lost names I do restore thee back, 
And with this kiss I wed thee onee again : 
Though thou art wounded in thy honour'd name. 
And with that grief upon thy deathbed liest. 
Honest in, upon my soul, thou diest. 

Mrs. Anne. Pardou'd on earth, soul, thou in heaven art fre'j. 
Once more : thy wife dies thus embracing thee. [Ziitsy 



Sui-. Vol.. S 




In 1592 was fii^st published ' Tlie lamentable and true Tragedie of M. Ardeu of Fever- 
Bham in Kent.' Subsequent editions of this tragedy appeared in 1599 and 1G33. Lillo, 
the author of 'George Barnwell,' who died in 1739, left an unfinished tragedy upon the 
same subject, in which he has used the play of the 16th century very freely, but with 
considerable judgment. In 1770 the 'Arden of Feversham' originally published in 
1592 was for the first time ascribed to Shaksperc. It was then reprinted by Edward 
Jacob, a resident of Feversham (who also published a history of that town and port), 
with a preface, in which he endeavours to prove that the tragedy was written by Shak- 
spere, upon the fallacious principle that it contains certain expressions which are to be 
found in his acknowledged works. Tliis is at once the easiest and the most unsatisfactory 
species of evidence. Resemblances such as this may consist of mere conventional 
phrases, the common property of all the writers of a particular period. If the phrases 
are so striking that they must have been first created by an individual process of thoughl, 
the repetition of them is no proof that they have been twice used by the same person, 
S2 259 


Another may have adopted the phrase, perhaps unconsoiouslj'. General resemblances of 
style lead us into a wider range of inquiry; but even liere we have a narrow enclosed 
ground compared with the entire field of criticism, which includes not only style but 
the whole system of the poet's art. It has been recently said of this play, "Arden of 
Feversham, a domestic tragedy, would, in point of absolute merit, have done no discredit 
to the early manhood of Shakspere himself; but, both in conception and execution, it is 
quito unlike even his earliest manner; while, on the other hand, its date cannot possibly 
be removed so far back as the time before which his own style had demonstrably been 
formed."* Tieck has translated the tragedy into German, and he assigns it with little 
hesitation to Shakspere. Ulrici also subscribes to this opinion; but he makes a lower 
estimate of its merit than his brother critic. The versification he holds to be tedious and 
monotonous, and the dialogue, he says, is conducted with much exaggeration of expres- 
sion. The play appears to us deserving of a somewhat full consideration. It was printed 
as early as 1592, and was most probably performed several years earlier; the event which 
forms its subject took place in 1551. What is very remarkable too for a play of this 
period (and in this opinion we differ from Ulrici), there is very little extravagance of 
language; and the criminal passion in all its stages is conducted with singular delicacy. 
There are many passages too which aim to be poetical, and are in fact poetical ; but for 
the most part they want that vivifying dramatic power which makes the poetry doubly 
effective from its natural and inseparable union with the situation which calls it forth, 
and the character which gives it utterance. The tragedy is founded upon a real event, 
which had been popularly told with great minuteness of detail ; and the dramatist has 
evidently thought it necessary to present all the points of the storj', and in so doing has 
of course sometimes divided and weakened the interest. Of invention, properly sc 
called, there is necessarily very little; but there is still some invention, and that of a 
nature to show that the author had an imaginative conception of incident and character. 
Upon the whole, we should be inclined to regard it as the work of a young man ; and the 
question then arises whether that young man was Shakspere. If ' Arden of Feversham,' 
like the ' Yorkshire Tragedy,' had been founded upon an event which happened in Shak- 
spere's mature years, that circumstance would have been decisive against his being in 
any sense of the word the author. But whilst we agree with the writer in the ' Edin- 
burgh Review ' that " both in conception and execution it is quite unlike even his 
earliest manner," we are not so confident that " its date cannot possibly be removed 
so fixr back as the time before which his own style had demonstrably been formed." 
Whether it be due to the absorbing nature of the subject, or to the mode in which tlie 
story is dramatically treated, we think that 'Arden of Feversham' cannot be read for the 
first time without exciting a very considerable interest ; and this interest is certainly not 
produced by any violent exhibitions of passion, any sudden transitions of situation, or any 
exciting display of rhetoric or poetry ; but by a quiet and natural succession of incidents, 
by a tolerably consistent, if not highly forcible, delineation of character, and by equable 
and unambitious dialogue, in which there is certainly less extravagance of expression 
than we should readily find in any of the writers for the stage between 1585 and 1592. 
Do \ve then think that 'Arden of Feversham' belongs to the early manhood of Shak- 
spere? We do not think so with any confidence; but we do think that, considering its 
date, it is a very remarkable play, and we should be at a loss to assign it to any writer 
whose name is associated with that early period of the drama, except to Shakspere. In 
questions of this nature there may be a conviction resulting from an examination of the 
whole evidence, the reasons for which cannot be satisfiictovily communicated to others. 

* Edinburgh Review, vol. Ixxi, p. 471. 


But we are less anxious to make our readers think with us tliau to enable them to think 
for themselves; and wo shall endeavour to effect this object in the analj-sis to which we 
now proceed. 

Tlie murder of Arden of Feversham must have produced au extraordinary and even 
permanent sensation in an age when deeds of violence were by no means unfrequeut. 
Holinshed's 'Chronicle' was first published in 1577; the event happened twenty-six 
years before, but the writer of the ' Chronicle ' says, " The which murder, for the 
horribleness thereof, although otherwise it may seem to be but a private matter, and 
therefore as it were impertinent to this history, I have thought good to set it forth 
somewhat at largo, having the instructiona delivered to me by them that have used 
some diligence to gather the true understanding of the circumstances." Tlie narrative 
in Holinshed occupies seven closely printed columns, and all the details are brouglit out 
with a remarkable grapliic power. AVe have no doubt that this narrative strongly 
seized upon the imagination of the writer of the play. To judge correctly of the 
poetical art of that wi'iter we must follow the narrative step hy step. The relative 
position of the several parties is thus described . — 

" This Arden was a man of a tall and comely personage, and matched in marriage with a gentlewoman, 
yonug, tall, and well favoured of shape and countenance, who chancing to fall in familiarity with one 
Moshie, a tailor by occupation, a black swart man, servant to the Lord North, it happened this Mosbie 
upon some mistaking to fall out with her ; but she being desirous to be in favour with him again, sent 
him a pair of silver dice by one Adam Foule, dwelling at the Flower-de-luce, in Feversham. After which 
he resorted to her again, and oftentimes lay in Ardeu's house ; and although (as it was said) Arden per- 
ceived right well their mutual familiarity to be much greater than their honesty, yet because he would not 
offend her, and so lose the benefit he hoped to gain at some of her friends' bauds in bearing with her 
lewdness, which he might have lost if he should have fallen out with her, he was contented to wink at 
her filthy disorder, and both permitted and also invited Mosbie very often to lodge in his house. And 
thiis it continued a good sj^ace before any practice was begun by them against Master Arden. She at 
length, inflamed in love with Mosbie, and loathing her husband, wished, and after practised, the means 
how to hasten his end." 

The first evidence of a sound judgment in the dramatist is the rejection of the impu- 
tation of the chroniclei- that Arden connived at the conduct of his wife from mercenary 
motives. In the opening scene he puts Arden in a thoroughly different position. The 
play opens with a dialogue between Master Arden and his friend Master Franklin, in 
which Franklin exhorts him to chfier up his spirits because the king has granted him 
letters-patent of the lands of the abbey of Feversham. This is the answer of Arden : — ■ 

" Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life ; j 

And but for thee, how odious were this life. 
That shows me nothing, but torments my soul ; 
And those foul objects that offend mine eyes, 
Which male mc wish that, for* this veil of heaven. 
TJic earth hung over my head and cover' d me I 
Love-letters post 'twixt Mosbie and my wife, 
And they have privy meetings in the town : 
Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring 
Which, at our marriage, the priest put on : 
Can any grief be half so great as this ? " 

Presently Arden breaks out into a burst of passion, and Franklin thus counsels him : — 

" Be patient, gentle friend, aud learn of me 
To ease thy grief and save her chastity : 
Entreat her fair ; sweet words are fittest engines 
To raze the flint walls of a woman's breast : 

" /■'or— instead of. 



In any case be not too jealous, 

Nor make no question of her love to thee, 

But, as securely, presently take horse. 

And lie with me at Loudon all this term ; 

For women, when they may, will not. 

But, being kept back, straij;ht grow outrageous." 

Alice, tho wife of Arden, enters; and he accuses her, but mildly, of having called on 
Mosbie in her sleep; tlie woman dissembles, and they part in peace. Wo have then the 
incident of the silver dice sent to the paramour by Adam of the Flower-de-luce. The chro- 
nicler has represented Alice as the principal agent in procuring the murder of her hus- 
band; and the dramatist lias, it appears to tis with considerable skill, shown the woman 
from the first under the influence of a headlong passion, which cannot stop to conceal its 
purposes, which has no doubts, no suspicions, no fears. The earnestness with which she 
proceeds in her terrible design is thoroughly tragic; and her ardour is strikingly con- 
trasted with the more cautious guilt of her chief accomplice. She avows lier passion for 
Mosbie to the landlord of the Flower-de-luce; she openly prompts Arden's own servant 
Michael to murder his master, tempting him with a promise to promote his suit to 
Mosbie's sister. The first scene between Mosbie and Alice is a striking one: — 

*' Mosbie. AVhere is your husband ? 

Alice. 'T is now high water, and he is at the quay. 

Moshie. There let him : henceforward, know me not. 

Alice. Is this the end of all thy solemn oaths ? 
Is this the fruit thy reconcilement buds ? 
Have I for this given thee so many favours, 
Incurr'd my husband's hate, and out, alas ! 
Made shipwreck of mine honour for thy sal:e ? 
And dost thou say, henceforward know me not ■ 
Remember when I lock'd thee in my closet. 
What were thy words and mine ? Did we not both 
Decree to murder Ardcn in the night ? 
The heavens can witness, and the world can tell, 
Before I saw that falsehood look of thine, 
'Fore I was tangled with thy 'ticing speech, 
Arden to me was dearer than my soul, — 
And shall he still. Base peasant, get thee gone, 
And boast not of thy conquest over me. 
Gotten by witchcraft and mere sorcery. 
For what hast thou to countenance my love. 
Being descended of a noble house. 
And match'd alieady with a gentleman. 
Whose servant thou may'st be ?— and so, farewell. 

Moshie. Ungentle and unkind Alice, now I see 
That which I ever fear'd, and find too true ; 
A v:omans love is as the lightning fame, 
T[7iich even in hunting forth consumes itself. 
To try thy constancy have I been strange 
Would I had never tried, but liv'd in hojies ! 

Alice. What needs thou try me, whom thou never found fake? 

Moshie. Yet, pardon me, for love is jealous. 

Alice. So lists the sailor to the mermaid's song ; 
So looks the tiniveller to the basilisk. 
I am content for to be reconcil'd. 
And that I know will be mine overthrow. 

Moshie. Thine overthrow ? First let the world dissolve. 

Alice. N.iy, Mosbie, let me still enjoy thy love, 
-And, happen what will, I am resolute." 


It is impossible to doubt, wlioover was the writer of tliis pl.\v, that we liave before iia 
liie work of a man. of uo ordinary power. The transitions of passion in this scene are 
ti'ue to nature ; and, instead of the extravagant ravings of the writers of this early period 
of our drama, the appropriateness of the language to the passion is most remarkable. 
There is poetry too, in the ordinary sense of the word, but the situation is not encumbered 
with the ornament. We would remark also, what is very striking througliout the play, 
that the versification p)ossesses that freedom which we find in uo other writer of the time 
but Shakspero. Ulrici holds a contrary opinion, but we cannot consent to surrender our 
judgment to a foreign ear. There is too in this scene the condensation of Shakspero, 
that wonderful quality by which he makes a single word convey a complex idea: — 

"Is this the fruit thy reconcilement hiuUf 

is an example of this quality. The whole scene is condensed. A writer of less genius, 
whoever he was, would have made it thrice as long. The guilty pair being reconciled, 
Mosbie says that he has found a painter who can so cunuiugly produce a picture that 
the person looking on it shall die. Alice is for more direct measures — for a poison to 
be given in her husband's food. Here again the 'Chronicle' is followed: — 

" There was a painter dwelling in Feversham, who had skill of poisons, as was reported ; she therefore 
demanded of him whether it were true that he had such skill in feat or not ? And he denied not but that 
he had indeed. Yea, said she, but I would have such a one made as should have most vehement and speedy 
operation to despatch the eater thereof. That can I do, quoth he; and forthwith made her such a one." 

The painter enters, and his reward, it appears, is to be Susan Mosbie. The painter is a 
dangerous and wicked person, but he speaks of his art and of its inspiration with a high 
enthusiasm : — 

" For, as sharp-witted poets, whose sweet rerse 

MaTce heavenly gods ircak off their nectar-drawjhta, 

And lay their ears down to the lowly earth, 

Use humble promise to their sacred muse ; 

So we, that are the poets' favourites, 

Must have a love. Ay, love is the painter's muse, 

That makes him frame a speaking countenance, 

A weeping eye that wituesseth heart's grief." 

The conference is interrupted by the entrance of Arden, of whom Mosbie readily asks 
a question about the abbey-lands. Tlie following scene ensues, and it is an example of 
the judgment with which the dramatist has adopted the passage from the ' Chronicle,' 
that Arden " both permitted and also invited Mosbie very often to lodge in his house," 
without at the same time compromising his own honour: — 

"Arden. Mosbie, that question ;ve'n decide anon. 
-Mice, make ready my breakfast, I must hence. {Exit Alice. 

As for the lands, Mosbie, they are mine 
By letters-patent of his majesty. 
But I must have a mandat for my wife ; 
They say you seek to rob me of her love : 
Villain, what mak'at thou in her company ? 
She 's no companion for so base a groom. 

Mosbie. Arden, I thought not on her, I came to thee ; 
But rather than I '11 put up this wrong 

Franklin. A^Tiat will you do, sir ? 

Mosbie. Revenge it on the proudest of you both. 

Then AiiDEN draws forth Mosbie'3 mori, 

Arden. So, sirrah, you may not wear a sword. 
The statute made against artificers forbids it. 



I Ti-arraut that I do.* Kow use your bodkin, 
Your Spanish needle, and your pressiug-iron ; 
For this shall go with me : And mark my words, — 
You, goodman botcher, 't is to you I speak, — 
The next time that I take thee near my house, 
Instead of legs, I'll make thee crawl on stumps. 

Moshic. Ah, master Arden, you have injur'd me, 
I do appeal to God and to the world. 

FranlcUn. Why, canst thou deny thou wert a botcher once ? 
Moshk. Measure me what I am, not what I once was. 
Arden. Why, what art thou now but a velvet drudgo, 
A cheating steward, and base-minded peasant ? 

Mosbie. Arden, now hast thou belch'd and vomited 
The rancorous venom of thy mis-swoln heart. 
Hear me but speak : As 1 intend to live 
With God, and his elected saints in heaven, 
I never meant more to solicit her, 
And that she knows ; and all the workl shall see : 
I lov'd her once, sweet Arden ; pardon me : 
I could not choose; her beauty fir'd my heart; 
But time hath quenched these once-raging coals ; 
And, Arden, though I frequent thine house, 
'Tis for my sister's sake, her waiting-maid, 
And not for hers. Mayst thou enjoy her long ! 
Hell fire and wrathful vengeance light on mo 
If I dishonour her, or injure thee ! 

Arden. With these thy protestations, 
The deadly hatred of my heart 's appeas'd. 
And thou and I '11 be friends if this prove true. 
As for the base terms that I gave thee late. 
Forget them, Mosbie ; I had cause to speak. 
When all the knights and gentlemen of Kent 
Make common table-talk of her and thee. 

Mosbie. Who lives that is not touched with slanderous tonguea? 
Franklin. Then, Mosbie, to eschew the speech of men, 
Upon whose general bruit all honour hangs. 
Forbear his house. 

A-rden. Forbear it ! nay, rather frequent it more : 
The world shall see that I distrust her not. 
To warn him on the sudden from my house 
Were to confirm the rumour is grown." 

Tlie first direct attcmjjt of Alice upon her husband's life is thus told by the chroui- 
cler : — 

" Now, Master Arden purposing that day to ride to Canterbury, his wife brought him his breakfast, 
which was wont to be milk and butter. He, having received a spoonful or two of the milk, misliked the 
taste and colour thereof, and said to his wife. Mistress Alice, what milk have you given me here ? AVhere- 
withal she tilted it over with her hand, saying, I ween nothing can please you. Then he took hjisc and 
rode towards Canterbury, and by the way fell into extreme sickness, and so escaped for that time." 

In the tragedy the incident is exactly followed. Upon parting with her husband the dis- 
sembling of Alice is heart sickening, but the scene is still managed naturally and con- 

There is no division of this play into acts and scenes, but it is probable that the first 
act ends with the departure of Arden for London. Another agent appears upon the 
scene, whose motives and position are thus described in the 'Chronicle:' — 

I juslify that vhich I do. 




" After this hia wife fell in acqunintnnce with one Greene, of Feversham, servant to Sir Anthony 
Ager, from which Greene Mastt r Arden had wrested a piece of ground on the back side of the Abbey of 
Feversham, and there had great blows and great threats passed betwixt them about that matter. There- 
fore she, knowing that Greene hated her husband, began to practise with him how to make him away ; 
and concluded that, if he could get any that would kill him, he sliou Id have ten pounds for a reward." 

The raauner in which the guilty wife practises with this revengeful man is skilfully wrought 
out in the tragedy. She sympathises with his supposed wrongs, she tells a tale of her own 
injuries, and then she proceeds to the open avowal of her purpose. Greene is to procure 
agents to murder her husband, and his reward, besides money, is to be the restoration of 
his lands. She communicates her proceedings to Mosbie, but he reproaches her for her 
imprudence in tampering with so many agents. 

The course of the ' Chronicle ' continues to be followed with much exactness. The 
scene changes to the road for London, and the following description is then dramatized. It 
is so curious a picture of manners, as indeed the whole narrative is, that we need scarcely 
apologize for its length : — • 

" This Greene, having doings for his master Sir Anthony Ager, had occasion to go up to London, where 
his master then lay, and, having some charge up with him, desired one Bradshavv, a goldsmith of Fever- 
sham, that was his neighbour, to accompany him to Gravesend, and he would content him for his pains. 
This Bradshaw, being a very honest man, was content, and rode with him. And when they came to 
Kajuhamdown they chanced to see three or four scrvingmen that were coming from Leeds ; and therewith 
Bradshaw espied, coming up the hill from Rochester, one Black Will, a terrible cruel ruffian, with a sword 
and a buckler, and another with a great staff on his neck. Then said Bradshaw to Greene, We are happy 
that there cometh some company from Leeds, for here cometh up against us as murdering a knave as 
any is in England ; if it were not for them we might chance hardly escape without loss of our money and 
lives. Yea, thought Greeue (as he after confessed), such a one is for my purpose; and therefore asked. 
Which is he ? Yonder is he, quoth Br.adshaw, the same that hath the sword and buckler ; his name is 
Black Will. How know you that ? said Greene. Bradshaw answered, I knew him at Boulogne, where we 
both served; he was a soldier, and I was Sir Richard Cavendish's man; and there he committed many 
robberies and heinous murders on such as travelled betwi.\t Boulogne and France. By this time the other 
company of servingmen came to them, and they, going altogether, met with Black Will and his fellow. 
The servingmen knew Black Will, and, saluting him, demanded of him whither he went ? He answered. By 
his blood (for his use was to swear almost .at every word), I know not, nor care not ; but set up my stafl", 
and even as it falleth I go. If thou, quoth they, will go back again to Gravesend, we will give thee thy 
supper. By his blood, said he, I care not; I am content; have with you; and so he returned again with 
them. Then Black Will took acquaintance of, saying. Fellow Bradshaw, how dost thou? 
Bradshaw, unwilling to renew acquaintance, or to have aught to do with so shameless a ruffian, said. 
Why, do ye know me ? Yea, that I do, quoth he ; did not we serve in Boulogne together ? But ye must 
pardon me, quoth Bradshaw, for I have forgotten you. Then Greene talked with Black Will, and said. 
When ye have supped, come to mine host's house at such a sign, and I will give you the sack and sugar. 
By his blood, said he, I thank you ; I will come and take it, I warrant you. According to his promise 
he came, and there they made good cheer. Then Black Will and Greene went and talked apart from 
Bradshaw, and there concluded together, that if he would kill Master Arden he should have ten pounds 
for his labour. Then he answered. By his wounds, that I will if I may know him. Marry, to-morrov" 
in Paul's I will show him thee, said Greene. Then they left their talk, and Greene bad him go home to 
his host's house. Then Greene wrote a letter to Mistress Arden, and among other things put in these 
word.?, — We have got a man for our purpose ; we may thank my brother Bradshaw. Now Bradshaw, not 
knowing anything of this, took the letter of him, and in the morning departed home again, and delivered 
the letter to Mistress Arden, and Greeue and Black Will went up to London at the tide." 

The scene in the play seizes upon the principal points of this description, but the varia- 
tions are those of a master. Bradshaw, it seems, is a goldsmith, and he is involved in a 
charge of buying some stolen plate. Ho thus describes the man who sold it hitn, and we 
cau scarcely avoid thinking that here is the same power, though in an inferior degree, which 

produced the description of the apothocarv in Romeo and Juliet : — 



" Will. AVhat manner of man was he ? 

Brad. A leau-faced writhen knave, 
Hawk-nos'd and very hollow-eyed ; 
With mighty furrows in s'ormy brows ; 
Long hair down to his shoulders curl'd ; 
His chin was bare, but on his upper lip 
A mutchado, which he wound about his ear. 

Will. What apparel had he ? 

Brad. A watchet satin doublet all to-torn, 
The inner side did bear the greater show : 
A pair of threadbare velvet hose seam-rent ; 
A worsted stocking rent above the shoe ; 
A livery cloak, but all the lace was off; 
'Twas bad, but yet it serv'd to hide the plate." 

One of the sources of the enchaiiung interest of this drama is to be found iu the repeated 
escapes of Arden from the maohinatious of his euemies. We have seen tlie poison fail, and 
now the ruffian, wliom no ordinary circumstances deterred from tlie commission of his 
purpose, is to be defeated by an unforeseen casualty. Tlie 'Chronicle' says, — 

" At the time appointed Greene showed Black Will Master ArJun wiikmg in Paul's. Then said Black 
Will, What is he that goeth after him ? Marry, said Greene, one of his men. By his blood, said Black 
Will, I will kill them both. Nay, said Greene, do not so, for he is of counsel with us in this matter. 
By his blood, said he, I care not for that ; I will kill them both. Nay, said Greene, in any wise do not 
BO. Then Black Will thought to have killed Master Arden in Paul's churchyard, but there were so many 
gentlemen that accompanied him to dinner, that h6 missed of his purpose." 

Tlie dramatist presents the scene much more strikingly to the senses, in a manner wliicli 
tells us something of the inconveniences of old London. The ruffians are standing before 
a shop ; an apprentice enters saying — 

" 'T is very late, I were best shut up my stall, for here will be old " filching when the press comes 
forth of Paul's." 

The stage-direction wh:-.h follows is:— "Then lets he down his window, and it breaks 
Black Will's head." The accident disturbs the immediate purpose of the ruffians. The 
character of Black Will is drawn with great force, but there is probably something of a 
youthful judgment iu making the murderer speak iu high poetry : — 

'• I tell thee, Greene, the forlorn traveller, 
Whose lips are glued with summer-scorching heat. 
Ne'er long'd so much to see a running brook 
As I to finish Arden's tragedy." 

The other ruffian is Shakebag, and in the same way he speaks in the language which a 
youthful poet scarcely knows how to avoid summoning from the depths of his own imagi- 
nation : — 

" I cannot paint my valour out with words : 

But give me place and opportunity, 

Such mercy as the starven lioness. 

When she is dry suck'd of her eager young, 

Shows to the prey that next encounters her, 

On Arden so much pity would I take." 

The propriety of puttiug poetical images in the mouths of the low agents of crime cannot 
exactly be judged by looking at stich passages apart from that by whicli they are sur- 

OM— excessive 



rounded. Tliei'c is uo comedy in ' Arden of Feversbain.' The cliaracfer and events, 
are lifted out of ordinary life of purpose by the poet. The ambition of a young writer 
may have carried this too far, but the principle upon which he worked was a right one. 
Ho aimed to produce something higher than a literal copy of everyday life, and this con- 
.stitutes the essential distiiictiou between ' Arden of Fevershara,' and the ' Yorkshn-e 
Tragedy,' as between Shakspere and Hey wood, and Shakspere and Lillo. In the maturity 
of liis genius Shakspere did not vulgarize even his murderers. At the instant before the 
assault upon Bauquo, one of the guilty instruments of Macbeth says, in the very spirit of 


" The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day : 
Now spurs the lated traveller apace, 
To gain the timely inn." 

Early in the drama, as we have seen, Alice proposes to her husband's servant to make 
a\s-ay with his master. The circumstance has come to tlie knowledge of Greene, who, 
after the defeat of the plan through the apprentice's shutter, has to devise with his ruffians 
another mode of accomplishing Arden's death. The 'Chronicle' thus tells the story — 

" Greene showed all this talk to Master Arden's man, whose name was Michael, which ever after stood 
iu doubt of Elack Will, lest he should kill him. The cause that this Michael conspired with the rest 
against his master was, for that it was detei-mined that he should marry a kinswoman of Mosbie's. 
After this, Master Arden lay at a certain parsonage which he held in London, and therefore his man 
Michael and Greene agreed that Black Will should come iu the night to the parsonage, where he should 
find the doors left open that he might come in and murder Master Arden." 

The scene iu which Michael consents to this proposal, with great reluctance, is founded 
upon the above text. We have a scene of Arden and Franklin, before they go to bed, in 
which Arden is torn with apprehension of the dishonour of his wife. There is great 
power here ; but there is something of a higiier order in the conflicting terrors of Michael 
when he is left alone, expecting the arrival of the pitiless murderer : 

"Conflicting thoughts, encamped in my brccot, 
Awake me with the echo of their strokes j 
And I, a judge to censure either side. 
Can give to neither wished victory. 
My master's kindness pleads to me for life, 
With just demand, and I must grant it him 
My mistress she hath forc'd me with an oatn, 
For Susan's sake, the which I may not break, 
For that is nearer than a master's love : 
That grim-fao'd fellow, pitiless Black Will, 
And Shakebag stern, in bloody stratagem 
(Two rougher ruffians never liv'd in Kent) 
Have sworn my death if I infringe my vow — 
A dreadful thing to be consider'd of. 
Methinks I see them with their bolster'd hair, 
Staring and grinning in Ihy gentle face. 
And, in their ruthless hands their daggers di-awo. 
Insulting o'er thee with a peck of oaths, 
Whilst thou, submissive, pleadiug for relief 
Art mangled by their ireful instruments ! 
Methinks I hear them ask where Michael is, 
And pitiless Black Will cries, ' Stab the slave , 
The peasant will detect the tragedy.' 
The wrinkles of his foul death-threatening face 
Gape open wide like graves to sv/allow men : 
My death to him is but a merriment ; 



Aud he will murder me to make him sport.— 
He comes ! he comes ! Master Franklin, help ; 
Call up the neighbours, or we are but dead." 

This in a young poet would not only be promise of future greatness, but it would be the 
greatness itself. The conception of this scene is wholly original. The guilty coward, 
driven by the force of his imagination into an agony of terror so as to call for help, and thus 
defeat the plot in which he had been an accomplice, is a creation of real genius. The 
transition of his fears, from the picture of the murder of his master to that of himself, has a 
profundity in it which we seldom find except in the conceptions of one dramatist. The 
narrative upon which the scene is founded offers us a mere glimpse of this most effective 
portion of the story : — 

" I'his Michael, having his master to bed, left open the doors according to the appointment. His 
master, then being in bed, asked him if he had .shut fast the doors, and he said Tea ; but yet afterwards, 
fearing lest Black Will would kill him as well as his mastei-, after he was in bed himself he rose ag.iin, 
and shut the doors, bolting them fast." 

In the drama the ruffians arrive, and are of course disappointed of tlioir purpose by the 
closing of the doors. Tliey swear revenge against Michael, but he subsequently makes 
his peace by informing them that his master is departing from London, and that their 
purpose may be accomplished on Rainhamdown. 

The scene now changes, witli a skilful dramatic management, to exhibit to us the guilty 
pair at Fevcrsham. Mosbie is alone, and he shows us the depth of his deivavity in tlie 
following soliloquy : — 

"Mosbie. Disturbed thoughts drive me from company. 

And dry my marrow with their watchfulness : 

Continual trouble of my moody brain 

Feebles my body by excess of drink. 

And nips me as the bitter north-east wind 

Doth check the tender blossoms in the spring. 

Well fares the man, howe'er his cates do taste, 

That tables not with foul suspicion ; 

And he but pines among his delicates 

Whose troubled mind is stuff'd with discontent. 

My golden time was when I had no gold ; 

Though then I wanted, yet I slept secure ; 

My daily toil begat me night's repose. 

My night's repose made daylight fresh to me : 

But since I climb'd the top-bough of the tree, 

Aud sought to build my nest among the clouds, 

Each gentle stary * g.ale doth shake my bed, 

And makes me dread my downfall to the earth. 

But whither doth contemplation carry me ? 

The way I seek to find where pleasure dwells 

Is hedg'd behind me, that I cannot back. 

But needs must on, although to danger's gate. 

Then, Arden, perish thou by that decree ; 

For Greene doth heir the land, and weed tliee up 

Tc make my harvest nothing but pure corn ; 

And for his pains I'll heave him up a while. 

And after smother him to have his wax ; 

Such bees as Greene must never live to stiug. 

Then is there Michael, and the painter too. 

Chief actors to Arden's overthrow. 

• 5/ar(/— stirring. 

Our word slar is supposed to b; derived from the Anslo-fci-son, Ktir-an, lo move. 


Who, when they see me sit ia Arden'a seat, 

They will insult upon me for my meed, 

Oi- fright me by detecting of hia end : 

I '11 none of that, for I can cast a bone 

To make these curs jiluck out each other's throat, 

And then am I solo ruler of mine own : 

Yet mistress Arden lives, but she 's myself, 

And holy chiirch-ritos make us two but one. 

But what for that ? I may not trust you, Alice ! 

You have supplanted Arden for my sake, 

And will extirpeu me to plant another : 

'T ia fearful sleeping in a serpent's bed ; 

And I will cleanly rid my hands of her. 

But here she comes ; and I must flatter her. 

[Sere eiiteri Alice.' 

Tlic unhappy woman has ah-eady begun to pay the penalty of her sin ; she has momenta 
of agonizing remorse, not enduring, however, but to be swept away again by that tempest 
of passion which first hurried her into guilt. Tlio following scene is, we think, unmatched 
by any other writer than Shakspere in a play published as early as 1592, perhaps written 
several years earlier. It might have been written by Webster or Ford, but they belong 
to a considerably later period. It possesses in a most remarkable degree tliat quiet 
strength which is the best evidence of real power. Except in Shakspere, it is a strength 
for wliich we shall vainly seek iu the accredited writings of any dramatic poet who, as far 
as we know, had written for the stage some ten years before the close of the sixteenth 
century : — 

" Mosbie. Ungentle Alice, thy sorrow is my sore ; 
Thou know'st it well, and 't is thy policy 
To forge distressful looks to wound a breast 
Where lies a heart that dies when thou art sad ; 
It ia not love that loves to anger love. 

Alice. It is not love that loves to murder love. 

Mosbie. How mean you that ? 

Alice. Thou know'st how dearly Arden loved me. 

Mosbie. And then 

Alice. And then conceal the rest, for 'tis too bad, 
Lest that ray words be carried with the wind, 
And publish'd iu the world to both our shames ! 
I pray thee, Mosbie, let our apring-time wither; 
Our harvest ;ls3 will yield but loathsome weeds : 
Forget, I pr.ay thee, what has pass'd betwixt us. 
For now I bius'u and tremble at the thoughts. 

Mosbie. What, are you chang'd ? 

Alice. Ay ! to my former happy life again ; 
From title of an odious strumpet's name. 
To honest Arden's wife, not Arden'a honest wife. 
Ah, Mosbie I 'tis thou hast rifled me of that, 
And made me slanderous to all my kin : 
Even in my forehead is thy name engraven— 
A mean artificer ; — that iow-'jorn name ! 
I waa bewitch' J — wo-worth the hapless hour 
And all the causea that enchanted me ! 

Mosbie. Nay, if thou ban, let me breathe curses forth : 
And if you stand so nicely at your fame. 
Let me repent the credit I have lost. 
I have neglected niattera of import 
That would have stated me above thy state ; 




Foi'slow'd advantages, and spum'd at time ; 

Ay, Fortune's right hand Mosbie hath forsoolc. 

To take a wanton giglot bj' the left, 

I left the marriage of an honest maid. 

Whose dowry would have woigh'd down all thy wealth, 

Whose beauty and demeanour far exceeded thee : 

This certain good I lost for changing bad, 

And wrapp'd my credit in thy company. 

I was bewitch'd— that is no theme of thine, 

And thou, uuhallow'd, hast enchanted me. 

B\!t I will break thy spells and exoreiiims, 

And put another sight upon these eyes. 

That show'd my heart a raven for a dove. 

Thou art not fair ; I view'd thee not till now . 

Tliou art not kind ; till now I knew thee not : 

And now the rain hath beaten off thy gilt. 

Thy worthless copper shows thee counterfeit. 

It grieves me not to see how foul thou art, 

But mads me that ever I thought thee fair. 

Go, get thee gone, a copesmate for thy hinds ; 

I am too good to be thy favoui'ite. 

Alice. Ay, now I see, and too soon find it true. 
Which often hath been told me by my friend.-?. 
That Mosbie loves me not but for my wealth, 
^Vllich, too incredulous, I ne'er believ'd. 
Nay, hear me speak, Mosbie, a word or two : 
I '11 bite my tongue if it speak bitterly. 
Look ou me, Mosbie, or else I'll kill myself; 
Nothing shall hide me from thy stormy look. 
If thou cry war, there is no peace for me, 
I will do penance fLr offending thee. 
And burn this prayer-book, where I here use 
The holy word that hath converted me. 
See, Mosbie, I will tear away the leaves. 
And all the leaves, and in this golden cover 
Shall thy sweet phrases and thy letters dwell, 
And thereon will I chiefly meditate, 
And hold no other sect but such devotion. 
Wilt thou not look ? Is all thy love o'erwhelm'd ? 
Wilt thou ut)t hear ? What malice stops thine ears ? 
Why speak' st thou not ? What silence ties thy tonguo f 
Thou hast been sighted as the eagle is. 
And heard as quickly as the fearful hai-e. 
And spoke as smoothly as an orator. 
When I have bid thee hear, or see, or speak. 
And art thou sensible in none of these ? 
Weigh all my good turns with this little fault, 
And I deserve not Mosbie's muddy looks ; 
A fence of trouble is not thicken'd still ; 
Be clear again ; I '11 no more trouble thee. 

Mosbie. fie, no ; I am a base artificer; 
My wings are feather'd for a lowly flight : 
Mosbie, fie ! no, not for a thousand pound — 
Make love to you — why 't is unpardonable — 
We beggars must not breathe where gentles are .' 

Alice. Sweet Mosbie is as gentle as a king. 
And I too bliud to judge him ; 
Flowers sometimes spring in fallow lauds, 
Weeds in gardens ; roses grow on thorns ; 



L>o, whatsoe'er my Mosbio'a father was, 
Himself is vahied geutle by his worth. 

MosHe. Ah ! how you women can insinuate 
And clear a trespass with your sweetest tongue ! 
I will forget this quarrel, gentle Alice, 
Provided I'll be tempted so no more." 

The man who wrote that scene was no ortlhiavy judge of the waywai'dness and wicked- 
ness of the human heart. It would be difficult to say that Shakspere at any time could 
have more naturally painted the fearful contest of a lingering virtue with an overwhelming 

We have seen the conspiracy to murder Ardon on Rainhamdown. The devoted 
man again escapes by accident, and the ' Ciironicle ' thus briefly records the circum- 
stance : — 

" When Master Arden came to Rochester, his man, still fearing that Black Will would kill him with 
his master, pricked his horse of purpose and made him to halt, to the end he might protract the time and 
tarry behind. His master asked liiiii why his horse halted. He said, 1 know not. Well, quoth his master, 
when ye come at the smith here before (between Rochester and the hill-foot over agaiust Chatham) re- 
move his shoe, and search him, and then come after me. So Master Arden rode on ; and ere he came at 
the place where Black Will lay in wait for him, there overtook him divers gentlemen of his acquaintance, 
who kept him company ; so that lilack Will missed here also of his purpose." 

The dramatist shows us Greene and the two ruffians waiting for their prey, and the 
excuse of Michael to desert his master. Arden and Franklin are now upon tlio stage ; and 
the dialogue which passes between tliem is a very remarkable example of the dramatic 
skill with which the principal characters are made to sustain an indifferent conversation, 
but which is still in harmony with the tone of thouglit that pervades the wliole drama. 
Arden is unhappy in his domestic circumstances, and he eagerly listens to the tale of 
another's unhappiness. The perfect ease with' which this conversation is managed 
appears to us a singular excellence, when we regard the early date of this tragedy : — 

" Fmnk. Do you remember where my ta!e did ce.ase ? 

A rden. Ay, where the gentleman did check his wife. 

Franh. She being reprehended for the fact, 
Witness produo'd that took her with the deed. 
Her glove brought in which there she left behind, 
And many other assured arguments. 
Her husband ask'd her whether it were not so. 

Arden, Her answer then ? I wonder how she look' J, 
Having forsworn it wiiii such vehement oaths. 
And at the instance so approv'd upon her. 

Frank. First did she cast her eyes down to the earth. 
Watching the drops that fell amain from thence; 
Then softly draws she forth her handkercher, 
And modestly she wipes her tear stain'd face ; 
Then hemm'd she out, to clear her voice should seem, 
And with a majesty address'd herself 
To encounter all their accusations : — 
Pardon me, master Arden, I can no more ; 
This fighting at mj' heart makes short my wind. 

Arden. Come, we are almost now at R;unhamdown : 
Your pretty tale beguiles the weary way; 
I would you were in case to tell it out." 

Tliis "fighting at the heart," of which Franklin complains, is an augury of ill. 
Black Will and Shakebag are lurking around them; but the "divers gentlemen" of 



Ardeu's aoqiiaiiitanco arrive. Lord Choinie aud bis men interrupt tlie murderers' 
purpose. Ardeu aud his frieud agree to dine with the noblemau the next day. They 
reach Feversham in safety. The occurrences of the next day are thus told iu (he 
' Chronicle : ' — 

" After tliat Master Arden was come home, lie sent (as be usually did) bis man to Sbeppy, to Sir Tbomas 
Cbeiuie's, tben lord warden of the Cinque Ports, about certain business, and at bia coming away be had a 
letter delivered, sent by Sir Tbomas Cbeinio to bis master. Wbeu be came home, bis mistress took the 
letter and kept it, willing ber man to tell bis master tbat be bad a letter delivered bim by Sir Tbomas 
Cbeinie, and tbat be bad lost it ; add iug tbat be tbougbt it best tbat bis master should go the next morning 
to Sir Tbomas, because be knew not tbe matter : be said bo woisld, aud tberefore be willed bis man to be 
stirring betimes. In tbis mean while. Black Will, and one George Sbakebag, bis companion, were kept 
iu a storebouse of Sir Anthony Ager's, at Preston, by Greene's appointment; and tbitber came Mistress 
Ardeu to see him, bringing and sending bim meat aud drink many times. He, therefore, lurkiug there, 
and watching some opportunity for his purpose, was willed iu any wise to be up early in tbe morning, to 
,1e in wait for Master Arden iu a certain broom-close betwixt Feversham and tbe ferry (which close be 
must needs pass), there to do bis feat. Now Black Will stirred in tbe morning betimes, but missed 
tbe way, and tarried in a wrong place. 

"M.aster Arden and bis man coming on their way early in tbe morning towards Sboruelau, wbere Sir 
Tbomas Cheiuie lay, as tbey were almost come to tbe broom-close, his man, always fearing that Black Will 
would kill bim with bis master, feigned tbat be bad lost bis purse. Wby, said bis master, thou foolish 
knave, couldst thou not look to thy purse but lose it ? AVbat in it ? Tbree pounds, said be. Wby, tben, 
go thy ways back again, like a kn.ave (said bis master), and seek it, for being so early as it is there is no man 
stiniu'', and tberefore thou mayst be sure to find it; aud tben come and overtake me at tbe ferry. But 
nevertheless, by reason tbat Black Will lost bis way. Master Ardeu escaped yet once again. At that time 
Black Will yet.thought be .should have been sure to have mot him homewards; but whether that some 
of the lord warden's men accompanied him back to Feversham, or that beiug in doubt, for tbat it was late, 
to go through the broora-close, aud tberefore took another way, Black Will was disappointed then also." 

The incident of the visit to Lord Cheiuie is, as we liave seen, differently managed by the 
dramatist. The escape of Ardeu on this occasion is very ingeniously contrived. A 
sudden mist renders it impossible for the ruffians to find their way. Black Will thus 
describes his misadventure : — 

"Moshie. Black Will and Sbakebag, what make you here? 
What ! is tbe deed done ? is Arden dead ? 

Will. What could a blinded man perform in arms ? 
Saw you not how till now the sky was dark, 
Tbat neither horse nor man could bo discern'd ? 
Yet did we hear their horses as they pass'd." 

As Arden and Franklin return they are intercepted by Read, a sailor, who accuses 
Ardeu of a gross injustice, in depriving him of a piece of land. This incident is founded 
upon a statement of the chronicler, in accordance with the superstition of the times, 
that where the murdsred body of Arden was first laid the grass did not grow for two 
years, and that of this very field be had wrongfully possessed himself : — 

"Many strangers came in tbat mean time, beside the townsmen, to see tbe print of his body there on the 
ground in tbat field ; which field be had, as some have reported, most cruelly taken from a woman that bad 
been a widow to one Cooke, aud after married to one Richard Read, a mariner, to the great hindrance ot 
ber and ber husband, tbe said Read ; for they bad long enjoyed it by a lease, which they bad of it for many 
years, not then expired ; nevertheless he got it from them. For the which tbe said Read's wife not only 
exclaimed against liim in shedding many a salt tear, but also cm-sed bim most bitterly even to bis face, 
wishing many a vengeance to light upon bim, and that all the world might wonder on him." 

Tiiore is surely great power in the following passage ; and tlie denunciation of the sailor 
comes with a terrible solemnity after tlie' manifold escapes to which we have been 
witness : — 


"Read. What ! wilt thou do me wrong and threaten mctoo ? 
Nay, then, I'll tempt thee, Arden ; do thy worst. 
God I I beseech thee show some miracle 
On thee or thine, in plaguing thee for this ; 
That plot of ground which thou detaiuest from me, — 
I bpeai it in an agony of spirit,^ 
Be ruiuous and fatal imto thee ! 
Either there be butcher'd by thy dearest friends, 
Or else be brought for men to wonder at, 
Or thou or thine miscarry iu that place. 
Or there rim mad and eud thy cursed -days. 

Frank. Fie, bitter knave ! bridle thine envious tongue • 
For curses are like ai'rows shot upright, 
Which falling down light on the shooter's head . 

Read. Light where they will, were I upoi. the aea. 
As oft I have in many a bitter storm. 
And saw a dreadful southern flaw at hand. 
The pilot quaking at the doubtful storm. 
And all the sailors praying on their knees. 
Even iu that fearful time would I fall down, 
And ask of God, whate'er betide of me. 
Vengeance on Ai'deu, or some misevent. 
To show the world what wrong the carle hath done. 
This charge I'll leave with my distressful wife ; 
My children shall be taught such prayers as these ; 
And thus I go, but leave my curse with thee." 

We have next a scene iu which, by the device of Ahce, Mosbie and Black Will fasten 
a pretended quarrel upon Ardeu and his friend; but Mosbie is wounded, and Black 
Will runs away. A reconcilement takes place through the subtilty of the wife. Arden 
invites Mosbie with other friends to supper, and the conspirators agree that their deed 
of wickedness shall be done that night. The Chronicler briefly tells the story: — 

"They conveyed Black Will into Master Arden's house, putting him into a closet at the end of his par- 
lour. Before this they had sent out of the house all the servants, those excepted which were privy to 
the devised murder. Then went Mosbie to the door, and there stood in a nightgown of silk girded 
about him, and this was betwixt six and seven of the clock at night. Master Arden, having been at ? 
neighbour's house of his, named Dumpkin, and having cleared certain reckonings betwixt them, came 
home, .and, finding Mcsbie standing at the door, asked him if it were supper-time ? I think not (quoth 
Mosbie), it is not yet ready. Then let us go and play a game at the tables iu the mean season, said 
Master Arden. And so they went straight into the parlour : and ag they came by through the hall, his 
wife was walking there, and Master Arden said. How now. Mistress Alice? But she made small answer 
to him. In the mean time one chained the wicket-door of the entry. When they came into the parlour, 
Mosbie sat down on the bench, having his face toward the place where Black Will stood. Then Michael, 
Master Arden's man, stood at his master's back, holding a candle in his hand, to shadow Black Will, 
that Arden might by no means perceive him coming forth. In their play, Mosbie said thus (which 
seemed to be the watchword for Black Will's coming forth). Now may I take you, sir, if I will. Take 
me ? quoth Master Arden ; which way ? With that Black Will stepped forth, and cast a towel about 
his neck, so to stop his breath and strangle him. Then Mosbie, having at bis girdle a pressing iron of 
fourteen pounds weight, struck him on the head with the same, so that he fell down, and gave a great 
groan, insomuch that they thought he had been killed." 

The tragedy follows, with very slight variation, the circumstances here detailed. The 
guests arrive ; but Alice betrays the greatest inquietude : she gets rid of them one by 
one, imploring them to seek her husband, and in the mean while the body is removed. 
The dramatist appears here to have depended upon the terrible interest of the circum- 
stances more than upon any force of expression in the characters. The discovery of the 
murder follows pretty closely the narrative of the Chronioler : — 

Sup. Vot.. T 273 


" Here enter the Maj-or a.nd the Watcb. 

AlUe. How now, master Mayor ? have you brought my 
husband home ? 

Mayor. I saw him come into your house an hour ago. 

Alice. You are deceiv'd ; it was a Londoner. 

Mayor. Mistress Arden, know you not one that is call'J 
Black Will ? 

Alice. I know none such ; what mean these questions ? 

Mayor. I have the council's warrant to apprehend him. 

Alice. I am glad it is no worse. yAside. 

Why, master Mayor, think you I harbour any such ? 

Mayor. We are informed that here he is ; 
And therefore pardon us, for we must search. 

Alice. Ay, search and spare you not, through every rooia 
Were my hu.^baud at home you would not offer this. 

Here enter Franklin. 

Master Franklin, what mean you come so sad ? 

Frank. Arden, thy husband, and my friend, is slain. 

Alice. Ah ! by whom ? master Franklin, can you tell ! 

Franh. I know not, but behind the abbey 
There he lies murder' d, in most piteous case. 

Mayor. But, master Franklin, are you sure 't is he ? 

Franh I am too sure ; would God I were deceiv'd ! 

Alice. Find out the murderers ; let them be known. 

Frank. Ay, so they shall; come you along with lis. 

Alice. Wherefore 1 

Franh. Know you this hand-towel and this knife ? 

Susan. Ah, Michael ! through this thy negligence, 
Thou hast betrayed and undone us all. [Aside 

Mich. I was so afraid, I knew not what I did ; 
I thought I had thrown them both into the vrell. [Aside' 

A lice. It is the pig's blood we had to supper. 
But wherefore stay you ? find out the murderers. 

Mayor. I fear me you'll prove one of them yourself. 

Alice. I one of them ? what mean such questions i 

Frank. I fear me he was murder'd in this house, 
And carried to the fields ; for from that place. 
Backwards and forwards, may you see 
The print of mauy feet within the snow ; 
And look about this chamber where we are. 
And you shall find part of his guiltless blood, 
For in his slip-shoe did I find some rushes. 
Which argue he was murder'd in this room. 

Mayor. Look in the place where he was wont to sit ; 
See, see his blood ; it is too manifest. 

A lice. It is a cup of wiue that Michael shed. 

Mich. Ay, truly. 

Frank. It is his blood which, strumpet, thou hast shod ;. 
But, if I live, thou and thy complices, 
Which have conspu'ed and wrought his death, 
Shall rue it." 
In a subsequent sceue the unhappy woman makes confession ; — 

"Mat/or. See, Mistress Arden, where your husband lits 
Coafess this foul fault, and be penitent. 

Alice. Arden, sweet husband, what shall I say? 
The more I sound his name the more he bleeds. 
This blood condemns me, and in gushing forth 


Speaks as it falls, and asks me why I did it. 

Forgive me, Ai'den ! I repent me now ; 

And would my death save thine thou shouldst not die. 

Rise up, sweet Arden, and enjoy thy love. 

And frown not on me when we meet in heaven ; 

In heaven I love thee, though on earth I did not." 

The coucluding scene shows us the principal culpi'its condemned to die : — 

'^ Mayor. Leave to accuse each other now. 
And listen to the sentence I shall give : 
Bear Mosbie and his sister to London straight. 
Where they in Smithfield must be executed : 
Bear Mistress Arden unto Canterbury, 
Where her sentence is she must be burnt : 
Michael and Bradshaw in Fevershum 
Must suffer death. 

Alice. Let my death make amends for all my sin. 

iloshie. Fie upon women, this shall be my song." 

After the play Franklin, in a sort of epilogue, somewhat inartificially tells us that Shake- 
h.ig was murdered in South wark, and Black Will burnt at Flushing; that Greene was 
lianged at Osbridge, and the painter fled. Bradshaw, according to the 'Chronicle' and 
the dramatic representation, was an innocent person. The drama concludes with the 
following apologetical lines : — 

" Gentlemen, we hope you '11 pardon this naked tragedy, 
Wherein no filed points are foisted in 
To make it gracious to the ear or eye ; 
For simple truth is gracious enough, 
And needs no other points of glozlng stuff." 

Tliese lines appear to us as an indication that the author of ' Arden of Fevershara,' who- 
ever he might be, was aware that such a story did not call for the highest efforts of 
dramatic art. It was a " naked tragedy," — " simple truth," — requiring " no filed 
points" or "glozing stuff." It appeal's to us, however, to stand upon very different 
grounds from the ' Yorkshire Tragedy.' It is a liigher attempt in art than that little 
play. It involves more conflicting passion. It is not such a mere endeavour to present 
a series of exciting facts to the senses of an audience. It was in all probability written 
twenty years before the ' Yorkshire Tragedy;' and this is a most important circumstance 
in considering whether Shakspere was at all concerned in it. To a very young man, 
whose principles of art were not formed, and who had scarcely any models before him, 
this tragic story might have appeared not only easy to be dramatized, but a worthy sub- 
ject for his first efforts. We have to consider, too, how familiar the fearful narrative 
must have been to the young Shakspere. The name of his own mother was Arden ; 
perhaps the Kentish Arden had some slight relationship with her family; but it is evi- 
dent that the play originally bore the name of Arden of Feversham, as if it were to 
mark the distinction between that family and the Ardens of Wilmecote. The tale, too, 
was narrated at uncommon length in the ' Chronicle ' with which Shakspere was very 
early familiar. There is considerable inequality in the style of this play, but that 
inequality is not sufficient to lead us to believe that more than one hand was engaged in 
it. The dramatic management is always skilful; the interest never flags; the action 
steadily goes forward; there are no secondary plots; and the little comedy that we find 
is not thrust iu to produce a laugh from a few barren spectators. The writer, we think, 
was familiar with London, which is not at all inconsistent with the belief that it belong", 



the youth of Shakspere. Still, the utter absence of external evidence must have left 
the matter exceedingly doubtful even if the tragedy had possessed higher excellences 
than belong to it. It was never attributed to Shalvspere by any of his contemponu'ies ; 
and j'ct it must have been a popular play, for it was reprinted forty years after its 
publication. Without doubt there may have been some writer, of whose name and 
works we know nothing, to whom this play may have been assigned; but if it be 
improbable that Shakspere had written it, it is equally improbable that any of the 
known di-amatists who had attained a celebrity in 1592 should have written it. It has 
none of the characteristics of any one of them — their extravagance of language; their 
forced passion; their overloading of classical allusions; their monotonous versification. 
Its power mainly lies in its simplicity. The unhappy woman is the chief character in 
tlie drama; and it appears to us that the author especially exhibits in " Mistress Arden" 
tliat knowledge of the hidden springs of human guilt and weakness which is not to be 
found in the generalities of any of the early contemporaries of Shakspere. Still we 
must be understood as not attempting to pronounce any decided opinion upon the 
question of authorship. We neither hold with the German critics, whose belier 
approaches to credulity in this and other cases, nor with the English, who appear to 
consider, in most things, that scepticism and sound judgment are identical. 




' Tub Raigne of King Edward the tliird : As it hath bin sundrie times plaied about the 
Citie of London,' was first published in 1596. It was entered on the registers of the 
Stationers' Company, December 1, 1595. The play was reprinted in 1599, and, judging 
from other entries in the Stationers' registers, also in 1G09, 1617, and 1625. From 
that time the work was known only to the collectors of single plays, till, in 1760, Capell 
reprinted it in a volume entitled ' Prolusions, or Select Pieces of Ancient Poetry,' as 
" A play thought to be writ by Shakespeare." The editor of that volume thus speaks of 
the play, in his preface : — " But what shall be said of the poem that constitutes the 
second part 1 or how shall the curiosity bo satisfied which it is probable may have been 
raised by the great name inserted in the title-page? That it was indeed written by 
Sliakespeare, it cannot be said with candour that there is any external evidence at all : 
something of proof arises from resemblance between the style of his earlier perform- 
"ances and the work in question ; and a more conclusive one yet from consideration 
of the time it appeared in, in which there was no known writer equal to such a play : 
the fable of it too is taken from the same books wliicli tlint author is known to havo 


followed iu some other plays, to wit, Holiushed's ' Chronicle,' aud a book of novels called 
' The Palace of Pleasure.' But, after all, it must bo confessed that its being his work 
is conjecture only, and matter of opinion ; and the reader must form one of his own, 
guided by what is now before him, aud by what he shall meet with in perusal of the 
piece itself" Capell was not a person to offer any critical reasons for bis own belief ; 
but the opinions of several able critics iu our own time would show that he was not to 
be laughed at, as Steevens was inclined to laugh at him, for rescuing tliis play from the 
hands of the mere antiquarians.* The anonymous critic whom we have often quoted 
says, " Capell was the first who directed attention to this play, as perhaps Shakspeare's ; 
and it is in every respect one of the best dramas of its time. It is very unequal, and its 
plot is unskilfully divided into two parts ; but through most scenes there reign a pointed 
strength of thought and expression, a clear richness of imagery, and an apt though 
rough delineation of character, which entitle it to rank higher than any historical play of 
the sixteenth century, excepting Shakspeare's admitted works of this class, and Marlowe's 
'Edward II.' "f The opinion of Ulrici is very full and decided upou the author- 
ship of ' Edward III.,' and wo may as well present it at once to the reader in its general 

^ "Tlie play of 'Edward III. and the Black Prince,' &c., is entered not less than four 
times in the register of the Stationers' Company ; first, on Dec. 1, 1595 ; and lastly, on 
Feb. 23, 1625. It was firet printed in 1596, and reprinted in 1699, both editions being 
without the name of the author. Of any later edition I have no knowledge. Both 
these early editions, being anonymous, can, however, prove nothing. But even if the 
later editions were equally without the announcement of the author, this certainly rather 
striking fiict may be satisfactorily explained by the nature of the piece itself. In the 
first two acts we find many bitter attacks upon the Scots, inspired by English patriotism : 
these were thorouglily in place during Elizabeth's lifetime, who, it is well known, loved 
her successor not much better than she did his mother, and ever stood in a guarded atti- 
tude against Scotland. To James I., on the contrary, these passages must have given 
offence. But Shakspere was indebted to James for many kindnesses ; and he has praised 
and celebrated him in several of his plays. Thus, in order to avoid wounding his sense 
of gratitude, he may either have expressly denied the paternity of Edward III., or have 
refused to recognise it, and abandoned to its fate a piece that perhaps did not satisfy him 
upou other grounds. And in this way it may be also explained how a poem, which bears 
Shakspere's stamp so evidently, should have been overlooked or intentionally omitted by 
his friends Heminge and Condell, the editors of the first folio. That the piece probably 
belongs to Shakspere's earlier labours (without doubt two years at least before the 
date of its first being printed), is evident from the language and versification, from the 
many rhymed passages, but more particularly from the composition, which, if we consider 
the piece as one whole, is incontestably faulty. For the fii'st two acts clearly stand alone 
much too independently ; internally only partially united, and not at all externally, with 
the following three acts. In the first part the point of the action turns upou the love of 
the king for the beautiful Countess of Salisbury, whom he has released from the besieging 
Scottish army. The whole of this connection is no farther mentioned iu the followin" 
part ; it comes to a total conclusion at the end of the second act where the kino-, con° 
quered, and at the same time strengthened, by the virtuous greatness of the countess, 

» Steeveus, in a note upon the eutiy iu the St.itioners' register, says- " This is ascribed to Shak- 
speare by the compilers of ancient catalogues." This was one of the modes in which Steevens thought 
it clever to insult Capell by a contemptuous neglect. 

t Edinburgh Review, vol. Ixxi., p. 471 


renounces his passion, and becomes again the master of himself. The countess then 
disappears wholly from the scene, which is changed to the victorious campaign of 
Edward III. and his heroic son the Black Prince. The play thus foils into two diflerent 
Parts. But the fault which this involves wliolly vanishes immediately that we take the 
two halves for two different pieces, united into a whole, in the same manner as the two 
Parts of Henry IV. Everything then rounds itself into a complete and beautiful 
historical composition, which is throughout worthy of the great poet." 

Of the value of this opinion of the very able German critic before us we shall endea- 
vour to lead our readers to form their own judgment. If they come to the conclusion 
that the play is not Shakspei'e's, they will at least acquire a familiarity with some 
striking scenes and passages which are little known to English readers. The early 
editions are very rare; and Capell's volume is by no means a common book. 

The view which Ulrici has taken that ' The Reign of Edward III.' must bo considered 
as a play in two parts is perfectly just. But it must also be boi-ne in mind that Shak- 
spere has himself furnished us no example of such a complete division of the action in 
any one historical play which he has left us. The two Parts of Henry IV. comprised 
two distinct plays, each complete in itself, each performed on a separate day, but each 
connected with the otlier by a chorus which fills up the gap of time. So the three Parts 
of Henry VI. and Richard III. are perfectly separate, although essentially connected. 
The plan pursued in the ' Edward III.' is, to say the least, exceedingly inartificial. If the 
writer of this play had possessed more dramatic skill, he might have made the severance 
of the action less abrupt. As it is, the link is snapped short. In the first two acts we 
have the Edward of romance, — a puling lover, a heartless seducer, a despot, and then 
a penitent. In tlie three last acts we have the Edward of history, — the ambitious hero, 
the stern conqueror, the afiectionate husband, the confiding father. The one portion of 
the drama pretty closely follows the apocryphal and inconsistent story in ' The Palace 
of Pleasure,' how " A King of England loved a daughter of one of his noblemen, which 
was Countess of Salisbury." And here the author has certainly produced some powerful 
scenes, and considerably improved upon the fable which he in great part followed. In the 
latter portion of the play he has Froissart before him ; and, dealing with those incidents 
which were calculated to call forth the highest poetical efforts, such as the battle of 
Poitiers and the siege of Calais, the dramatist is strikingly inferior to the fine old 
chronicler. When Shakspere dealt with heroic subjects, as in his Henry V., he kept 
pretty closely to the original narratives; but he breathed a life into the commonest 
occurrences, wiiioh leaves us to wonder how the exact could be so intimately blended with 
the poetical, and how that which is the most natural should, through the force of a few 
magical touches, become the most sublime. We do not trace this wonderful power in 
tlie play before us: talent there certainly is, but the great creative spirit is not visible. 

The play opens with Robert of Artois explaining to Edward III. the claims which he 
lias to tlie crown of Franco through his motlier Isabelle. This finished, the Duke of 
Lorraine arrives to summon Edward to do homage to the King of France for the duke- 
dom of Guienne. The scene altogether reminds us of the second scene of the first act 
of Henry V., where the Archbishop of Canterbury expounds the Salic law, and the 
ambassadors of France arrive with an insolent message to Henry from tlie Daupliin. The 
parallel scenes in both plays have some resemblance to the first scene of King John, 
where Chatillou arrives with a message from France. It is probable that tlie Henry V. 
of Shakspere was not written till after this play of 'Edward III.;' and the King John, 
as we now have it, might probably be even a later play: but the original King John, in 
two Parts, belongs, without doubt, to an earlier period than the 'Edward III.,' and the 



same resemblance in this scene holds good with that play. Upon the departure of 
Lorraine, the rapture of the league with the Scots is announced to Edward, with the 
further news that the Countess of Salisbury is besieged in the castle of Roxburgh. The 
second scene shows us the countess upon the walls of the castle, and then King David of 
Scotland enters, and thus addresses himself to Lorraine : — ■ 

" Bav. My lord of Lorraine, to our brother of France 

Commend us, as the man in Christendom 

Whom we most reverence and entu'ely love. 

Touching your embassage, retui-n, and say, 

That we with England will not enter parley, 

Nor never make fair weather, or take trucu ; 

But burn their neighbour towns, and so persist 

With eager roads beyond their city York. 

And never shall our bonny riders rest ; 

Nor rusting canker have the time to eat 

Their light-borne snaffles, nor their nimble spurs ; 

Nor lay aside their jacks of gymold mail ; 

Nor hang their staves of grained Scottish ash 

In peaceful wise upon their city walls ; 

Nor from their button'd tawny leathern belts 

Dismiss their biting whinyards, — till your king 

Cry out ' Enough ; spare England now for pity.' 

Farewell : and tell him, that you leave us here 

Before this castle ; say, you came from us 

Even when we had that yielded to our hands." 

If tliis speech be not Shakspore's, it is certainly a closer imitation of the freedom of his 
versification, and the truth and force of his imagery, than can be found in any of tlic 
historical plays of that period. We do not except even the ' Edward II.' of Marlowe, in 
which it would be difficult to find a passage in wliich the poetry is so little conventional as 
the lines which we have just quoted. And this brings us to the important consideration of 
the date of ' Edward III.' Ulrici holds that it was written at least two years before it was 
published. We cannot see the reason for this opinion. It was entered on the Stationers' 
registers on the 1st of Decembei', 1595, and we have pretty good evidence in many 
cases that such entry was concurrent with the time of the original performance. If the 
'Edward III.,' then, was first produced in 1595, there can be no doubt that several of 
Shakspere's historical plays were already before the public — the Henry VI., and Richard 
III., — in all probability the Richard II. Bearing this circumstance in mind, we can 
easily understand how a new school of writers should, in 1595, have been formed, 
possessing, perhaps, less original genius than some of the earlier founders of the drama, 
but having an immense advantage over tTiem in the models which the greatest of those 
founders had produced. Still this consideration does not wholly warrant us in hastily 
pronouncing the play before us not to be Shakspere's. As in the case of ' Arden of 
Feversham,' we have to look, and we look in vain, for some known writer of the period 
whose works exhibit a similar combination of excellences. 

The Countess of Salisbury is speedily relieved from her besiegers by the an-ival of 
Edward with his army. The king and the countess meet, and Edward becomes her 
guest. His position is a dangerous one, and he rushes into the danger. There is a very 
long and somewhat ambitious scene, in which the king instructs his secretary to describe 
his passion in verse. It is certainly not conceived in a real dramatic spirit. The action 
altogether flags, and the passion is very imperfectly developed in such an outpouring 
of words. The nest scene, in which Edward avows his passion for the countess, is 
conceived and executed with far more success : — 


" Con. Sorry I am to see my liege so sad : 
What may thy subject do, to drive from thea 
This gloomy consort, sullen melancholy ? 

Edw. Ah, lady, I am blunt, and cannot straw 
The flowers of solace in a ground of shame : — 
Since I came hither, countess, I am wrong' d. 

Con. Kow, God fotbid, that any in my house 
Should think my sovereign wrong ! Thrice 7outle king. 
Acquaint me with your cause of discontent. 

Edw. How near then shall I be to remedy \ 

Cou. As near, my liege, as all my woman's power 
Can pawn itself to buy thy remedy. 

Edw. If thou speak'st true, then have I my redress : 
Engage thy power to redeem my joys, 
And I am joyful, countess ; else, I die. 

Cou. I will, my liege. 

Edw. Sweai', countess, that thou wi'.t. 

Coil. By heaven, I will. 

Edw. Then take thyself a little way aside ; 
And tell thyself a king doth dote on thee : 
Say, that within thy power it doth lie 
To make him happy ; and that thou hast sworn 
To give me all the joy within thy power : 
Do this, and tell me when I shall be happy. 

Cou. All this is done, my thrice dread sovereign : 
That power of love, that I have power to give, 
Thou hast with all devout obedience ; 
Employ me how thou wilt in proof thereof. 

Edw. Thou hear'st me say that I do dote on thoe. 

Cou. If on my beauty, take it if thou canst ; 
Though little, I do prize it ten times less : 
If on my virtue, take it if thou canst ; 
For virtue's store by giving doth augment : 
Be it on what it will, that I can give. 
And thou canst take away, inherit it. 

Edw. It is thy beauty that I would enjoy. 

Colt. 0, were it paiuted, I would wipe it off. 
And dispossess myself, to give it thee : 
But, sovereign, it is solder'd to ray life : 
Take one, and both ; for, like an humble shadow. 
It haunts the sunshine of my summer's life ; 

EdiD. But thou mayst lend it me, to sport 

Cou. As easy may my intellectual soul 
Be lent away, and yet my body live, 
As lend my body, p,alace to my soul. 
Away from her, and yet retain my soul. 
My body is her bower, her court, her abbey. 
And she an angel, pure, divine, unspotted ; 
If I should lend her house, my lord, to thee, 
I kill my poor soul, and my poor soul me." 

The Earl of Warwick, father to the Countess of Salisbury, is required by Edward, upon 
his oath of duty, to go to his daughter, and command her to agree with his dishonour- 
able proposals. This very unnatural and improbable incident is found in the story of 
'The Palace of Pleasure;' but it gives occasion to a scene of very high merit — a little 
wordy, perhaps, but still upon the whole natural and effective. The skill with which 
the father is made to deliver the message of the king, and to appear to recommend a 



compliance with his demauds, but so at the same time as to make the guilty piirrose 
doubly abhorrent, indicates no common power :^ 

'* War. How shall I euter in thi-s graceless errand ? 
I must not call her child ; for where 'b the father 
That will, in such a suit, seduce his child? 
Then, Wife of Salisbury, — shall I oo begin ? 
No, he 's my friend ; and where is found the friend 
That will do friendship such endamagement ? 
Neither my daughter, nor my dear friend's wife. 
I am not Warwick, as thou think'st I am, 
But an attorney from the court of hell ; 
That thus have hous'd my spirit in his form, 
To do a message to thee from the king. 
The mighty king of England dotes on thee : 
He, that hath power to take .away thy life. 
Hath power to take thine honour ; then consent 
'i'o pawn thine honour, rather than thy life ; 
Honour is often lost, and got again ; 
But life, once gone, hath no recovery. 
The sun, that withers hay, doth nourish grass ; 
The king, that would distain thee, will advance tho«i. 
The poets write that great Achilles' spear 
Could heal the wound it made : the moral is 
What mighty men misdo, they can amend. 
The lion doth become his bloody jaws, 
And grace his foragement, by being mild 
When vassal fjar lies trembling at hh feet. 
The king will in hi? glory hide thy shame ; 
And those, that gaze on him to find out thee. 
Will lose their eyesight, looking in the sun. 
What can one drop of poison harm the sea, 
Whose hugy vastures can digest the ill, 
And make it lose his operation ? 
The king's great name will temper thy misdeeds, 
And give the bitter potion of reproach 
A Eugar'd sweet and most delicious taste : 
Besides, it is no harm to do the thing 
Which without shame could not be left undone. 
Thus have I, in his majesty's behalf, 
Apparel'd sin in virtuous sentences. 
And dwell upon thy answer in his suit. 

Con. besiege ! Woe me, unhappy. 
To have escap'd the danger of my foea, 
And to be ten times worse invir'd by friends ! 
Hath he no means to stain my honest blood, 
But to corrupt the author of my blood, 
To be his scandalous and vile solicitor? 
No marvel, though the branches be infected, 
When poison hath encompassed the root : 
No marvel, though the leprous infant die, 
When the stern dam envenometh the dug. 
Why, then, give sin a passport to offend, 
And youth the dangerous rein of liberty : 
Blot out the strict foi'bidding of the law ; 
And cancel every canon that prescribes 
A shame for shame, or penance for offence. 
No, let me die, if his too boist'rous will 


Will have it so, before I will consent 
To be an actor iu his graceless lust. 

War. Why, now thou speak'sfc as I would have thee speili : 
And mark how I unsay my words again. 
An honourable grave is more esteem'd 
Than the polluted closet of a king : 
The greater man, the greater is the thing. 
Be it good, or bad, that he shall undertake : 
An uureputed mote, Syiug in the sun. 
Presents a greater substance than it is : 
The freshest summer's day doth soonest taint 
The loathed carrion that it seems to kiss : 
Deep are the blows made with a mighty ase : 
That sin doth ten times aggravate itself 
That is committed in a holy place : 
An evil deed, done by authority, 

Is sin and subornation : Deck an ape , ' 

In tissue, and the beauty of the robe 
Adds but the greater scorn unto the beast. 
A spacious field of reasons could I urge, 
Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame : 
That poison shows worst in a golden cup ; 
Dark night seems darker by the lightning flauh ; 
Lilies, that fester, smell far worse than weeds ; 
And every glory that inclines to sin, 
The shame is treble by the opposite. 
So leave I, with my blessing in thy bosom ; 
Which then convert to a most heavy curse, 
When thou convert' st from honour's golden name 
To the black faction of bed-blotting shame ! [Exit. 

Cou. I'll follow thee : And, when my mind turns so, 
My body sink my soul in endless woe ! [Exit." 

There is a line in the latter part of this scene which is to be found also in one of Shak- 
spere's Sonnets — the ninety-fourth ; — 

" Lilies, that fester, smell far worse than weeds." 
Iu our Illustrations of the Sonnets we express a decided opinion that the line was 
original in the sonnet, and transplanted thence into this play. The point was material 
in considering the date of the sonnet, but it throws no light either upon the date of this 
play or upon its authorship.* 

During the tempest of Edward's passion, the Prince of Wales ai-rives at tlie Castle 
of Roxburgh, and the conflict in the mind of the king is welJ imagined : — 

" Edw. I see the boy. 0, how his mother's face, 
Moulded iu his, corrects my stray'd desire. 
And rates my heart, and chides my thievish eyi ; 
Who, being rich enough in seeing her, 
Yet seeks elsewhere : and basest theft is that ' 
Which cannot check itself on poverty. — 
Now, boy, what news? 

Pri. I have assembled, my dear lord and father. 
The choicest buds of all our English blood, 
For our affairs in France ; and here we come, 
To take direction from your majesty. 

Edw. Still do I see in him delineate 
His mother's visage; those his eyes are hers, 

* See Poems. 



Who, looking wistly ou me, made me blush ; 

For faults against themselves give evidence : 

Lust is a fire ; and meu, like lauthorns, show 

Light lust within themselves, even through themselves. 

Away, loose silks of wavering vanity ! 

Shall the large limit of fair Brittany 

By me be overthrown ? and shall I not 

Master this little mansion of myself ? 

Giva me an armour of eternal steel ; 

I go to conquer kings : and shall I then 

Subdue myself, and be my enemy's friend ? 

It must not be. — Come, boy, forward, advance ! 

Let's with our colours sweep the air of France. 

Lod. My liege, the countess, with a smiling cheei- 
Desires access unto your majesty. {Advancmrj from the door and wliispcniKj him. 

Edw. Why, there it goes ! that very smile of hers 
Hath ransom'd captive France ; and set the king, 
The dauphin, and the peers, at liberty. — 
Go, leave me, Ned, and revel with thy friends. [E^rit Prince." 

TliG couutess enters, and with the followhig scene suddenly termiuates tlie ill-starred 
|)assion of the king : — ■ 

"Edw. Now, my soul's playfellow ! art thou come, 
To speak the more than heavenly word of yen, 
To my objection in thy beauteous love ? 

Coil. My father on his blessing hath commanded— 

Edw. . That thou shalt yield to me. 
. Cou. Ay, dear my liege, your due. 

Edw. And that, my dearest love, can be no less 
Than right for right, and tender love for love. 

Cou. Than wrong for wrong, and endless hate for hate.— 
But, — sith I see your majesty so bent, 
That my unwillingness, ray husband's love, 
Your high estate, nor no respect respected 
Can be my help, but that your mightiness 
■> Will overbear and awe these dear regards,— 

I bind my discontent to my content, 
* And, what I would not, I'll compel I will ; 
Trovided that yourself remove those lets 
That stand between your highness' love and mine. 

Edw. Name them, fair countess, and, by heaven, I will. 

Cou. It is their lives, that stand between our love, 
That I would have chok'd up, my sovereign. 

Edw. Whose lives, my lady ? 

Cou. My thrice loving liege, 

Your queen, and Salisbury my wedded husband ; 
Who living have that title in our love, 
That we cannot bestow but by their death. 

Edio. Thy opposition is beyond our law. 

Cou. So is your desire : If the law 
Can hinder you to execute the one, 
Let it forbid you to attempt the other : 
I cannot think you love me as you say. 
Unless you do make good what you have sworn. 

Edio. No more ; thy husband and the queen shall dio. 
Fairer thou art )>y far than Hero was ; 
Beardless Lcander not so st; ong as I ; 
He sworn an easy current for his love : 


But I will, through a helly spout of blood, 
Arrive that Sestos where my Hero lies. 

Cou. Nay, you'll do more ; you'll make the river too. 
With their heart-bloods that keep our love asunder, 
Of which, my husband, and your wife, are twain. 

Edw. Thy beauty makes them guilty of their death, 
And gives in evidence, that they shall die ; 
Upon which verdict, I, their judge, condemn them. 

Cou. perjur'd beauty ! more corrupted judge ! 
When, to the great star-chamber o'er our heads, 
The universal sessions calls to count 
This packing evil, we both shall tremble for it. 

Eiho. What says my fair love ? is she resolute ? 

Cou. Resolute to be dissolv'd ; and, therefore, this,- 
Keep but thy word, great king, and I am thine. 
Stand where thou dost, I'll part a little from thee. 
And see how I will yield me to thy hands. 

[Tiiyninfi suddenly vjion him, and showuuj two dar/ycrs. 

Here by my side do hang my wedding knives : 

Take thou the one, aud with it kill thy queen. 

And learn by me to find her where she lies ; 

Aud with the other I'll despatch my love, 

AVhich now lies fast asleep within my heart : 

When they are gone, then I'll consent to love. 

Stir not, lascivious king, to hinder me ; 

My resolution is more nimbler far, 

Thau thy prevention can be in my rescue. 

And, if thou stir, I strike ; therefore stand still. 

And hear the choice that I will put thee to : 

Either swear to leave thy most unholy suit. 

And never henceforth to solicit me ; 

Or else, by heaven [kneeling], this sharp-pointed knife 

Shall stain thy earth with that which thou wouldst stain. 

My poor chaste blood. Swear, Edward, swear, 

Or I will strike, and die, before thee here. 

Edw. Even by that Power I swear, that gives me now 
The power to be ashamed of myself, 
I never mean to part my lips again 
In any word that tends to such a suit. 
Arise, true English lady ; whom our isle 
May better boast of, than e'er Roman might 
Of her, whose ransack 'd treasury hath task 'd 
The vain endeavour of so many pens : 
Arise ; aud be my fault thy honour's fame, 
Which after ages shall enrich thee with. 
I am awaked from this idle dream." 

The remarks of Ulrici upon this portion of the play are conceived upon his usual 
principle of connecting the action and characterization of Shakspere's dramas with the 
development of a high moral, or rather Christian, principle. Ho is sometimes carried 
too far by his theory, but there is something far more satisfying in the criticism of his 
school than m the husks of antiquarianisra with which we have been too long familiar :— 
'• We see, in the first two acts, how the powerful king (who in his rude greatness, in his 
reckless iron energy, reminds us of the delineations of ohai-acter in the elder King John, 
Henry VI., and Kichard III.) sinks down into the slough of common life before the 
virtue and faithfulness of a powerless woman ; how he, suddenly enchained by an un- 
worthy passion, abandons his great plans in order to write verses aud spin intrigues. 



All Immau greatness, power, and splendour, fall of themselves, if not planted upon the 
soil of genuine morality ; the highest energies of mankind are not proof against the 
attacks of siu, when they are directed against the weak unguarded side -this is the sub- 
stance of the view of life here taken, and it forms the basis of the first Part. But true 
energy is enabled again to elevate itself ; it strengthens itself from the virtues of others, 
which by God's appointment are placed in opposition to it. With this faith, and wit,h 
the highest, most masterly, deeply-penetrating, and even sublime picture of the far greater 
energy of a woman, who, in order to save her own honour and that of her royal master, is 
ready to commit self-murder, the second act closes. This forms the transition to the follow- 
ing second Part, which shows us the true heroic greatness, acquired through self-conquest, 
not only in the king, but also in his justly celebrated son. For even the prince has also 
gone through the same school : he proves this, towards the end of the second act, by his 
quick silent obedience to the order of his father, although directly opposed to his wishes." 
In the third act we are at once in the heart of war ; we have the French camp, where 
John with his court hears of the arrival of Edward's fleet, and the discomfiture of his 
own. The descriptions of these events are, as we think, tedious and overstrained ; at any 
rate they are undramatic. The writer is endeavouring to put out his power, where the 
highest power would be wasted. There is less ambition, but much more force, in the 
following speech of a poor Frenchman who is flying before the invaders : — 

" Fly, countrymen, and citizens of France ! 
Sweet-flow'ring peace, the root of happy life. 
Is quite abandon'd and expuls'd the laud : 
Instead of whom, ransack-constrainiug war 
Sits like to ravens on your houses' tops ; 
Slaughter and mischief walk within your streets, 
And, unrestraiu'd, make havoc as they pass : 
The form whereof even now myself beheld, 
Now, upon this fair mountain, whence I came. 
For so far as I did direct mine eyes, 
I might perceive five cities all on fire. 
Corn-fields, and vineyards, burning like an oven ; 
And, as the leaking vapour in the wind 
Turned aside, I likewise might discern 
The poor inhabitants, escap'd the flame, 
Fall numberless upon the soldiers' pikes : 
Three ways these dreadful ministers of wratii 
Do ti-ead the measures of their tragic march ; 
Upon the right hand comes the conquering king, 
Upon the left his hot unbridled son. 
And in the midst our nation's glittering host ; 
All which, though distant, yet conspire in one 
To leave a desolation where they come." 

Before the battle of Cressy we have an interview between the rival kings. The debate 
is not managed with any very great dignity on either side. Upon the retiring of John 
and his followers, the Prince of Wales is solemnly armed upon the field : — 

" Anil, Ned, because this battle is the first 
That ever yet thou fought'st in pitched field. 
As ancient custom is of martialists. 
To dub thee with the type of chivalry. 
In solemn manner we ;vill give thee arms." 

The fliraous incident of the battle of Cressy, that of the king refusing to send succour to 
his gallant son, is thus told by Froissart : — 


" They with the prince sent a messenger to the king, who was on a little windmill hill ; then the 
knight said to the king, ' Sir, the Earl of Warwick, and the Earl of Oxford, Sir Eeynold CobhaiJ, and 
other, such as be about the prince your son, are fiercely fought withal, and are Bore handled, wherefore 
they desire you, that you and your battle will come and aid them, for if the Frenchmen increase, as 
they doubt they will, your son and they shall have much ado.' Then the king said, ' la my son dead or 
hurt, or on the earth felled ?* ' No, sir,' quoth the knight, ' but he is hardly matched, wherefore he hath 
need of your aid.' * Well,' said the king, 'return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to 
them, that they send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alive ; and also 
say to them, that they suffer him this day to win his spurs, for, if God bo pleased, I will this journey 
be his, and the honour thereof, and to them that be about him.' Then the knight returned again to them, 
and showed the king's words, the which greatly encouraged them, and repined in that they had sent to 
the king as they did." 

The dramatist has worked out this circumstance with remarkable spirit ; it is, we think, 
tlie best business scene in tlie play — not overwrought, but simple, and therefore most 
efTbctlvO : — « Dnuus. Enter King Edward and Audley. 

Edio. Lord Audley, whiles our son is in the chase, 
Withdraw your powers unto this little hill, 
And here a season let us breathe ourselves. 

And. I will, my lord. [Exit Audlet. Rdrcal. 

Edw. Just-dooming heaven, whose secret providence 
To our gross judgment is unscrutable. 
How are we bound to praise thy wondrous works. 
That hast this day giv'n way unto the right, 
And made the wicked stumble at themselves ! 

Enter Aetois, hastily. 

A rt. Rescue, king Edward ! rescue for thy son ! 

Edio. Rescue, Artois ? what, is he prisoner? 
Or, by violence, fell beside his horse ? 

Art. Neither, my lord ; but narrowly beset 
With turning Frenchmen, whom he did pursue. 
As 't is impossible that he should 'scape. 
Except your highness presently descend. 

Edw. Tut ! let him fight ; we gave him arms today, 
And he is labouring for a knighthood, man. 
Enter Derby hastily. 

Der. The prince, my lord I the prince ! 0, succour him ; 
He 's close encom oass'd with a world of odds ! ;, 

Edw. Then will he win a world of honour too, 
If he by valour can redeem him thence : > 

If not, what remedy ? We have more sous 
Than one, to comfoit our declining age. 

Re-enter Audley hastily. 

And. Renowned Edward, give me leave, I pray, 
To lead my soldiers where I may relieve 
Your grace's son, in danger to be slain. 
The snares of French, like emmets on a bank, 
Muster about him ; whilst he, lion-like, ' 

Entangled in the net of their assaults, 
Franticly rends, and bites the w oven toil : 
But all in vain, he cannot free himself. 

Edw. Audley, content ; I will not have a mau. 
On pain of death, sent forth to succour him ; 
This is the day ordain'd by destiny 
To season his green corn-age with those thoughts 
That, if he break'th out Nestor's years on earth 
Will make him savour still of this exploit. 
Sdp. Vol. U 2^^ 


Der. Ah ! but he shall not live to see those days. 

Edw. AVhy, then his epitaph is lasting praise. 

And. Yet, good my lord, 'tis too much wilfulness 
To let his blood be spilt, that may be sav'd. 

Edw. Exclaim no more ; for none of you can tell 
Whether a borrow'd aid will serve, or no ; 
Perhaps he is already slain, or ta'eu : 
And dare a falcon when she 's in her flight, 
And ever after she '11 be haggard-like : 
Let Edward bo deliver'd by om' hands, 
And still, in danger, he'll expect the like ; 
But if himself himself redeem from thence. 
He will have vauquish'd, cheerful, death and fear, 
And ever after dread their force no more 
Than if they were but babes, or captive slaves. 

And. O, cruel father ! — Farewell, Edward, then ! 

Der. Farewell, sweet prince, the hope of chivah'y ! 

A rt. 0, would my life might ransom him from death 1 

Edii}. But, soft ; methiuks I hear \Ikt)xat sounded. 

The dismal charge of trumpets' loud retreat : 
All are not slain, I hope, that went with him ; 
Some wiU return wit'n tidings, good, or bad. 

Flomisk. Enter Prince Edwakd in triumph, hcarinrj in 
his hand his shivered lance; his sword and battered ar- 
mour borne before him, and the body of the King of 
Bohemia, wrapped in the eolours : Lords run and 
embrace him. 

And. joyful sight ! victorious Edward lives ! 

Der. Welcome, brave prince ! 

Edio. Welcome, Plantageuet ! " 

There is a fine scene where the Prince of Wales is smrounded by the French army 
before the battle of Poitiers : but it is something too prolonged and rhetorical ; it has not 
the Shaksperiau rush which belongs to siich a situation. One specimen will suffice, 
where the prince exhorts his companion-in-arms, old Audloy, to fly from danger : — 

"Now, Audley, sound those silver wings of thine, 
And let those milk-white messengers of time 
Show thy time's learning in this dangerous time : 
Thyself art bruis'd and bent with many broils. 
And stratagems forepast with iron pens 
Are texed in thine honourable face ; 
Thou art a married man in this distress, 
But danger wooa me as a blushing maid ; 
Teach me an answer to this perilous time. 
And. To die is all as common as to live. 
The one in choice, the other holds in chase ; 
For, from the instant we begin to live. 
We do pm'sue and hunt the time to die : 
First bud we, then we blow, and after seed ; 
Then presently we fall ; and, as a shade 
Follows the body, so we follow death. 
If then we hunt for death, why do we fear it ? 
Or, if we fear it, why do we follow it ? 
If we do fear, with fear we do but aid 
The thing we fear to seize on us the sooner ; 
If we fear not, then no resolved proffer 
Can overthrow the limit of our fate : 


For, wliethei' ripe, or rotten, drop we shall. 
As we do draw the lottery of our doom. 

Pri. Ah, good old man, a thousand thousand armours 
These words of thine have buckled on my back : 
Ah, what an idiot hast thou made of life. 
To seek the thing it fears ! and how disgrac'd 
The imperial victoiy of murdering death ! 
Since all the lives his conquering arrows strike 
Seek him, and he not them, to shame hia glory. 
I will not give a penny for a life. 
Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death ; 
Since for to Uve is but to seek to die. 
And dying but beginning of new life : 
Let come the hour when He that rules it will ! 
To live, or die, I hold indifferent." 

The vicloiy of Poitiers ensues ; but previpus to tlie knowledge of this triumph, ti\e 
celebrated scene of the surrender of Calais is thus dramatized : — 

"Enter from the town, six Citizens in their shirts, and 
bare-footed, with halters about their nccJcs. 

Cit. Mercy, king Edward ! mercy, gracious lord ! 

Edio. Contemptuous villains ! call ye now for truce ? 
Mine ears are stopp'd against your bootless cries : — 
Sound drums ; [alarum] draw, threat'ning swords ! 

1 C Ah, noble prince, 
Take pity on this town, and hear us, mighty king ! 

We claim the promise that your highness made ; 
The two days' respite is not yet expir'd. 
And we are come, with willingness, to bear 
What torturing death, or punishment, you please. 
So that the trembling multitude be sav'd. 

Edw. My promise ? well, I do confess as much : 
But I require the chiefest citizens. 
And men of most account, that should submit ; 
You, peradventure, are but servile grooms. 
Or some felonious robbers on the sea. 
Whom, apprehended, law would execute. 
Albeit severity lay dead in us : 
No, no, ye cannot overreach us thus. 

2 C. The sun, dread lord, that in the western fall 
Beholds us now low brought through misery. 

Did in the orient purple of the morn 

Salute our coming forth, when we were known ; 

Or may our portion be with damned fiends. 

Edit'. If it be so, then let our covenant stand ; 
We take possession of the town in peace : 
But, for yourselves, look you for no remorse ; 
But, as imperial justice hath decreed. 

Your bodies shall be dragg'd about these walls, ^ 

And after feel the stroke of quartering steel : 
This is your doom : — Go, soldiers, see it done. 

Que, Ah, be more mild imto these yielding mea 1 
It is a glorious thing to 'stablish peace ; 
And kings approach the nearest unto God, 
By giving life and safety unto men : 
As thou iutendest to bo king of France 
So let her people live to call thee king 
U 'J. 291 


For what the sword cuts down, or fire hath spoU'd, 
la held in reputation none of ours. 

Edw. Although experience teach us this is true, 
That peaceful quietness brings most delight 
\Vlien roost of all abuses are controU'd, 
Yet, insomuch it shall be known, that we 
A.S well can master our affections, 
As conquer other by the dint of sword, 
Philippe, prevail ; we yield to thy request ; 
TheBe men shall live to boast of clemency, — 
And, tyranny, strike terror to thyself." 

This assuredly we tliiuk is not what Shakspere would have made of such a situation. 
How altogether inferior i.? it in the higher requisites of poetry to the exquisite narrative 
of Froissart ! — 

" Then the barriers were opened, the burgesses went towards the king, and the captain entered again 
into the town. When Sir Walter px-esented these burgesses to the king, they kneeled down, and held up 
theh' hands and said, ' Gentle king, behold here we six, who were burgesses of Calais and great 
merchants; we have brought the keys of the town and of the castle, and we submit ourselves clearly 
into your will and pleasure, to save the residue of the people of Calais, who have suffered great pain. 
Sir, we beseech your grace to have mercy and pity on us through your high noblesse.' Then all the earls 
and barons and other that were there wept for pity. The king looked felly on them, for greatly he hated 
the people of Calais for the great damage and displeasures they had done him on the sea before. Then 
he commanded their heads to be stricken off. Then every man required the king for mercy, but he 
would hear no man in that behalf. Then Sir Walter of Manny said, ' Ah, noble king, for God's sake 
refrain your courage; ye have the name of sovereign noblesse; therefore, now do not a thing that should 
blemish your renown, nor to give cause to some to speak of you villainously ; every man will s^y it is 
a great cruelty to put to death such honest persons, who by their own wills put themselves into your 
grace to save their company.' Then the king wryed away from him and commanded to send for the 
hangman, and said, ' They of Calais had caused many of my men to be slain, wherefore these shall die 
in like wise.' Then the queen, being great with child, kneeled down, and, sore weeping, said, 'Ah, gentle 
Bir, sith I passed the sea in great peril I have desired nothing of you; therefore, now I humbly require 
you, in the honour of the son of the Virgin Mai-y, and for the love of me, that ye will take mercy of 
these six burgesses.' The kiug beheld the queen, and stood still in a study a space, and then said, ' Ah, 
dame, I would ye had been as now in some other place; ye make such request to me that I cannot deny 
you, wherefore I give them to you to do your pleasure with them.' Then the queen caused them to 
be brought into her chamber, and made the halters to be taken from their necks, and caused them to 
be new clothed, and gave them their dinner at their leisure, and then she gave each of them six nobles, 
and made them to be brought out of the host in safeguard, and set at their liberty." 

The concluding scene, in which the Prince of Wales offers up to the Most High a 
prayer and thanksgiving, is imbued with a patriotic spirit, but it has not the depth and 
discrimination of Shakspere's patriotism : — 

" Now, father, this petition Edwai'd makes : 
To Thee, [hicds] whose grace hath been hia strongest shield, 
That, as thy pleasure chose me for the man 
To be the instrument to show thy power. 
So thou wilt grant, that many princes more. 
Bred and brought up within that little isle, 
May still be famous for like victories ! — 
And, for my part, the bloody scars I bear, 
The weary nights that I have watch'd in field. 
The dangerous conflicts I have often had. 
The fearful menaces were proffer'd me. 
The heat, and cold, and what else might displease, 
I wish were now redoubled twenty-fold ; 
So that hereafter ages, when they read 


The painful traffic of my tender youth, 

Might thereby be iuflam'd with such resolve, 

As not the territories of France alone, 

But likewise Spain, Turkey, and what countries else 

That justly would provoke fair England's ire, 

Might, at their presence, tremble, and retire ! " 

We have thus presented to our readers some of the most striking passages of tliis play. 
It does not, in our opinion, bear the marks of being a very youtliful performance of any 
man. Its great fault is tameness ; the author does not rise with the elevation of his 
subject. To judge of its inferiority to the matured power of Shakspere, dealing with a 
somewhat similar tlieme, it should be compared with the Henry V. The question theu 
should be asked, Will the possible difference of age account for tliis difference of power ? 
Wo say possible, for we liave no evidence that the •' Edward III.' was produced earlier than 
1595, nor have we evidence that the Henry V., in some shape, was produced later. Ulrici 
considers that this play forms an essential introduction to that series of plays commencing 
with Richard II. If Shakspere wrote that wonderful series upon a plan which necessarily 
included Henry V., we think ho would advisedly have omitted Edward III. ; for the 
main subject of the conquest of France would be included in each play. The concluding 
observation of Ulrici is — " Truly, if this piece, as the English critics assert, is not Shak- 
spere's own, it is a shame for them that they have done nothing to recover from forget- 
fulness the name of this second Shakspere, this twin-brother of their great poet." Rest- 
ing this oj)inion upon one play only, the expression " twin-brother " has somewhat an 
unnecessary strength. Admitting, which we do not, that the best scenes of this play dis- 
play the same poetical power, though somewhat immature, which is found in Shakspere's 
historical plays, there is one thing wanting to make the writer a " twin-brother," which 
is found in all those productions. Where is the comedy of ' Edward III.'? The heroic of 
Shakspere's histories might be capable of imitation ; but the genius which created Falcon- 
bridge, and Cade, and Pistol, and Fluellen (FalstafT is out of the question), could not be 






• A Pleasant coneeyted Comedie of George-a-Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield,' bears 
upon the title-page that it was acted by the servants of the Earl of Sussex. The earliest 
edition known is that of 1599. In Henslowe's Diary we have an entry of ' George-a- 
Greene' being: played by the Earl of Sussex his men on the 28th of December, 1593. 
This play was formerly ascribed (amongst others by Winstanley) to John Heywood, the 
friend of Sir Thomas More. Such an opinion argues the most complete ignorance of the 
state of our language, and of dramatic poetry especially, at the time when John Heywood 
wrote. No English critic, we believe, ever thought of assigning the play to Shakspere ; 
but the Germans, finding it reprinted in Dodsley's collection as the work of an un- 
known author, seize upon it as another production of the great English dramatist, 
rescued by them from the wallet of Time. Tieck translates it. He remarks—" It is 
traditionally said that the 'Pinner of Wakefield' is a play of Shakspere's. I must 



acknowledge for myself that any tradition would have more weight than the narrow- 
minded criticisms of the English editors, which, proceeding wholly on false premises 
naturally take little notice of such productions. If it is by Shakspere it must be an 
early work." We know not where the tradition is to be found, and indeed the play is 
now pretty confidently assigned to Robert Greene. It is included in Mr. Dyce's edition 
of his works, for a reason thus given : — 

" It has been thought right to include in the present collection ' George-a-Greene, the Pinner of 
Wftkefield,' 1599, |in consequence of the following MS, notes h.^ving been found on the title-poge of 
a copy of that piece, which was formerly in the library of JIi'. Rhodes : 

' Written by a minister who acted the pinera pt in it himself. Teste, W. Shatespeare. 

' Ed. Juby * eaith it was made by Ro. Greene.' 

These two memoranda are by different persons, and in handwriting of about the time when the play 
was printed. The probability of Greene's having been ' a minister ' we have noticed before." 

This evidence is not absolutely decisive as to the authorship of the play, but, conjoined 
with the internal evidence, we have no doubt that Mr. Dyce exercised a sound discretion 
in printing it in his collection of Greene's dramatic works. 

Tieck, having translated the play in his " Alt Euglisches Theater, oder Supplemente 
zum Shakspere,' as one of " those dramas which Shakspere produced in his youth, 
and which Englishmen, through a misjudging criticism and a tenderness for his fome 
(as tlicy thought), have refused to recognise," is of course decided in his opinion as to 
the merits of this performance. He says, " It seems to me a model of a popular 
comedy (Volks-comddie — ^people's comedy); the cheerful joy ousness, that never overflows 
but keeps within the bounds of moderation, and does us good; the merry clown; the 
agreeable character of the principal person, whose official zeal and heroic courage are so 
nicely softened down with a few milder features; and the genius which plays through 
the whole; — everything is such that Shakspere himself would have no cause to be 
ashamed of this, though we cannot show any other piece of his worked out in a similar 
style." The criticism of Horn is more temperate. George-a-Greene, the hero of the 
play, " equals, iu his invincibility, waggery, and love of jesting, our Siegfried in the 
' Niebelungen.'" He acknowledges, however, that there is not a trace of humom- in the 
performance, and that there is a great want of dramatic art in the construction. To say 
nothing of the feebleness of the blank verse, we believe that the entire absence of wit or 
humour in the comic parts, and the inartificial management of the incidents, decide at 
once that the jilay could not belong to Shaksj)ere at any period of his life. There is a rude 
activity in the working out of the plot, but no real creative power. That any high 
poetical power was not in the writer does not require, we think, a very laboured proof. 
One example of this deficiency of the higher quality may suffice. There is an incident 
in the play founded on the fine old ballad of ' The Jolly Finder of Wakefield,' which 
undoubtedly was in existence before 1593, and, compared with that ballad, the tameness 
of the dramatic version of it appears to us very striking. We will give a passage from 
each : — 

" Geo. Back again, you foolish travellers. 
For you are wrong, and may not wend this way. 
Rob. That were great shame. Now, by my soul 
proud sir, 
We bo three tall yeomen, and thou art but one 
Come, we will'd despite of him. 


"In Wakefield there lives a jolly pindcr. 
In Wakefield all on a green. 
In Wakefield all on a green : 
There is neither knight nor squire, said the pindor, 
Nor baron that is so bold. 
Nor baron that is so bold, 


* An actor who wrote a play in conjunction with Rowley. 


Dare make a trespass to the town of Wakefield, 
But his pledge goes to the pinfold, &o. 

All this beheard three witty young men, 
'Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John; 

With that they espied the jolly pinder, 
As he sat under a thorn. 

Now turn again, turn again, said the pinder, 

For a wrong way you have gone ; 
For you have forsaken the king's highway, 

And made a path over the corn. 

that were a shame, said jolly Robin, 

We being three, and thou but one ; 
The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 

'T was thirty good foot and one. 

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn, 

And his foot against a stone, 
And there he fought a long summer's day, 

A summer's day so long, 
Till that their swords on their broad bucklers 

Were broke fast into their hands. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said bold Robin 

And my merry men, every one ; 
For this is one of the best pindera 

That ever I tried with sword. 

And wilt thou forsake thy pinder's craft, 
And live in the green-wood with me ! 

* At Michaelmas next my eov'nant comes out, 
When every man gathers his fee.' " 

Geo. Leap the ditch, or I will make you skip. 
■\Vhat, cannot the liighway serve your turn. 
But must you make a path over the corn ? 

Roh. Why, art thou mad? dar'st thou encounter 
three ? 
We are no babes, man, look upon our limbs. 

Geo. Sirrah, 
The biggest limbs have not the stoutest hearts. 
Were ye as good as Robin Hood, and his three 

merry men, 
I '11 drive you back the same way that ye came. 
Be ye men, ye scorn to encounter me all at once • 
But be ye cowards, set iipon me all three, 
And try the pinner what he dares perform. 

Scar. Were thou as high in deeds 
As thou art haughty in words, 
Thou well mightst be a champion for a king : 
But empty vessels have the loudest sounds. 
And cowards prattle more than men of worth. 
Geo. Sirrah, darest thou try me ? 
Scar. Ay, sirrah, that I dare. 

[They frjht, and Geokge-a-Green heats him. 
Much. How now ? what, art thou down ? 
Come, sir, I am next. 

[They frjht, and Geokge-a-Green heats hhn, 
Roh. Come, sirrah, now to me ; spare me not, 
For I'll not spare thee. 

Geo. Make no doubt, I will be as liberal to thee. 
[They fight ; Robin HcoD stays. 
Roh. Stay, George, for here I do protest. 
Thou art the stoutest champion that ever I 
Laid hands upon. 

Geo. Soft you, sir ; by your leave, you lie. 
You never yet laid hands on me. 

Rob. George, wUt thou forsake Wakefield, 
And go with me ? 

Two liveries will I give thee every year, 
And forty crowns shall be thy fee." 
Tlie principal action of ' George-a-Greene ' is founded upon an old romance which 
describes an insurrection of nobles in the time of Richard I., -which was resisted and 
finally put down by the Pinder of Wakefield j that is, tlic keeper of the pinfolds. The 
best scene in the play is where Sir Nicholas Manueriug comes before the justices of 
Wakefield to demand provisions for the rebels. George-a-Groene undertakes to speak 
for his townsmen; and, on being asked " Who art thou?" thus replies: — 

" Why, I am George-a-Greene, 

True liegeman to my king. 

Who scorns that men of such esteem as these 

Should brook the braves of any traitorous squire. 

You of the bench, and you, my fellow-friends, 

Neighbours, we subjects all unto the king ; 

We are English born, and therefore Edward's friends, 

Vow'd unto him even in our mother's womb. 

Our minds to God, our hearts unto our king ; 

Our wealth, our homage, and our carcases 

Be all king Edward's. Then, sirrah, we have 

Nothing left for traitors but our swords. 

Whetted to bathe them in your bloods, and die 

Against you, before we send you any victuals." 



Tlie Richard of the romance has become, it is thus seen, the Edward of tlie play. The 
writer has puzzled Mr. Grose, the antiquarian, with this change, the good man wisely 
arguing that Robin Hood and Edward IV., whom he supposes to be king of the piece, 
did not live at the same time. He concludes, therefore, that the drama has slight founda- 
tion in history. We quite agree with him. In the scene before the justices George- 
a-Greene makes Mannering eat his commission, seals and all. This is an incident of 
the old romance, which was transferred, as our readers will recollect, to the play of ' Sir 
John Oldcastle;' and was a practical joke which Robert Greene himself played off upon 
an apparitor. After this feat the Finder of Wakefield goes forward with his club 
chivalry. As the crowning work of some stratagems he kills one t.f the rebel lords, and 
takes the other two prisoners; he fights, as we have seen, with Robin Hood, Scarlet, and 
John; and he soundly beats the shoemakers of Bradford, in the presence of King 
Edward and the King of Scots, who are come in disguise to see the rustic hero. George- 
a-Greeno of course arrives at riches and honoiu-; and, as during the jalay we have occa- 
sional glimpses of his being in love, the king rewards him also with his mistress: — 

" Edw. George-a-Greene, give me thy hand; 
There is none in England that shall do thee wi-onj. 
Even from my court I came to see thyself ; 
And now I see that fame speaks nought but truth. 

Geo. I humbly thank your royal majesty. 
That which I did against the earl of Kendal, 
It was but a subject's duty to his sovereign, 
And therefore little merits such good words. 

Edio. But ere I go, I '11 grace thee with good deeds. 
Say what king Edward may perform, 
And thou shalt have it, being in England's bounds. 

Geo. I have a lovely leman, 
As bright of blee as is the silver moon, 
And old Grime, her father, will not let her match 
With me, because I am a pinner, 
Although I love her, and she me, dearly. 

Edv). Where is .she ? 

Geo. At home at my poor house, 
And vows never to marry unless her father 
Give consent, which is my great grief, my lord. 

Edw. If this be all, I will despatch it straight; 
I'll send for Grime, and force him give his gr.aut ! 
He will not deny king Edward such a suit." 

Wo have no doubt that this little play was amusing enough to an uncritical audience; 
but to seek for the hand of Shakspere amongst these coarse and feeble scenes is aa 
fruitless as to look for Claudes and Correggios amongst the alehouse signs. 



In the 'Tlieatmm Poetai-iun' of Edward Phillips we have the followhig notice of the 
authorship of this play : — " Robert Green, one of the Pastoral Sonnet-makers of Qu. 
Elizabeth's tune, contemporary with Dr. Lodge, with whom he was associated in the 
writing of several comedies, namely, ' The Laws of Nature,' ' Lady Alimony,' ' Libe- 
rality and Prodigality,' and a masque called ' Luminalia;' besides which he wrote alone 
the comedies of ' Friar Bacon' and ' Fair Erame.'" Langbaine contradicts this state- 
ment, as far as regards Greene's association with Lodge ; but he admits the assertion 
regarding ' Friar Bacon,' and says nothing of ' Fair Em.' Mr. Dyce thinks that it is 
po.isible that Greene might have wi'itten ' Fair Em.' ' A Pleasante Comedie of Faire 
Em, the Miller's Daughter of Manchester, with the Love of William the Con- 
queror. As it was sundry times publiquoly acted in the Honourable Citio of London, 
by the right Honourable the Lord Strange his seruants,' was published in 163L Possibly 
this may not have been the first edition, and the play may be as early as the time of 
Greene ; but of this we are greatly inclined to doubt. The versification does not often 



exhibit that antiquated structui-e which ive occasionally meet with in Greene and his 
contemporaries. The dramatic movement is more lively and skilful than we find in the 
conduct of Greene's pieces. The plot, which is a double one, has much of the com- 
plexity of Beaumont and Fletcher. We have little doubt that the play belongs to a 
period subsequent to the death of Shakspere. Upon what principle the German critics 
have assigned it to Shakspere we are at a loss to say. Tieck, who has translated the 
' Fair Em,' calls it a youthful production of our poet, and Horn agrees with him. Ulrici 
dissents from this opinion^ The play is lively enough, with a good deal of talent. 
Although a legend of love-stories, it has the remarkable merit, for that period, of being 
conducted without offence to propriety. What comedy there is in it is altogether vapid 
and ridiculous. Let us hastily run through the plot, giving a few extracts. 

The story carries us back to the days of William the Conqueror. There is a tilting- 
match, in whicn the king is victor ; but he has on a sudden " cast away his staff," and 
left the field. Lubeck, a Danish knight, has borne upon his shield the picture of a 
beautiful woman ; and the king has fallen in love with the picture, which is a portrait of 
Blanche, a daughter of the King of Denmai'k. The amorous monarch immediately 
delegates his authority to certain lords, and sets out for the Danish court to behold and 
obtain the object of his passion. The miller and his daughter, fiiir Em, now present 
themselves. He is no real miller, but Sir Thomas Goddard. Weighty circumstances 
compelled him to this course of life ; and his daughter submits to her change of fortune 
with a becoming resignation. The fiither thus counsels the maiden : — 

"Miller. Thauks?, my dear daughter; these, thy pleasant words, 
Transfer my soul into a second heaven : 
And iu thy settled mind, my joya consist, 
My state reviv'd, and I in former plight. 
Although our outward pomp be thus abas'd, 
And thrall'd to drudging, stayless of the world, 
Let us retain those honourable minds 
That lately goyem'd our superior state. 
Wherein true gentry is the only mean 
That makes us differ from true millers born : 
Though we expect no knightly delicates. 
Nor thirst in soul for former sovereignty, 
Yet may our minds as highly scorn to stoop 
To base desires of vulgar's worldliness. 
As if we were in our precedent way. 
And, lovely daughter, since thy youthful years 
Must needs admit as young affections, 
And that sweet love uupartial perceives 
Her dainty subjects through every part. 
In chief receive these lessons from my lips. 
The true discoverers of a virgin's due ; 
Now requisite, now that I know thy mind 
Something inclin'd to favour Manvile'a suit, 
A gentleman, thy lover iu protest : 
And that thou mayst not be by love deceiv'd. 
But try his meaning, fit for thy desert, 
In pursuit of all amorous desires, 
Regard thine honour. Let not vehement sighs. 
Nor earnest vows importing fervent love. 
Render thee subject to the wrath of lust ; 
For that, transform'd to former sweet delight. 
Will bring thy body and thy soul to shame. 
Chaste thoughts and modest conversations, 


Of proof to keep out all enchantiug vows, 
Yarn sighs, forced tears, and pitiful aspects, 
Are they that make deformed ladies fair ; 
Poor wretch ! and such enticing men 
That seek of all but only present grace, 
Shall, in perseverance of a virgin's due, 
Prefer the most refusers to the choice 
Of such a soul as yielded what they thought." 

Our readers will scarcely think that the commonplaces of this very long speech savour 
of Shaksjsere. The miller's man now presents himself as a suitor to fiiir Em ; and 
having learn the necessity for concealment, she rather evades than repulses his advances. 
But she is not long destined to equivocate with the clown. Mauvile, Valingford, and 
Mountney, all lords of William's court, come separately, disguised, to woo the maiden. 
Manvile's suit, as we have learnt by her father's speech, was somewhat favoured. He 
overhears the two other lords communicating their love for the same object, and agreeing 
to unite their efforts to obtain her, leaving the rest to chance. Mauvile, of course, becomes 
jealous j and he thus reproaches his mistress : — 

" Two gentlemen attending on duke William, 
Mountney and Valingford as I heard them nam'd, 
Ofttimes resort to see and to be seen. 
Walking the street fast by thy father's door. 
Whose glancing eyes up to windows cast 
Give testes of their masters' amorous heart. 
This, Em, is noted, and too much talk'd on ; 
Some see it without mistrust of ill. 
Others there are that, scorning, grin thereat, 
* And saith, there goes the miller's daughter's wooers. 

Ah me ! whom chiefly and most of all it doth concern, 
To spend my time in grief, and vex my soul, 
To think my love should be rewarded thus, 
And for thy sake abhor all womankind." 

The lover departs in a rage, and Mountney comes to prefer his suit. The fair Em 
resolves to vindicate her constancy ; and to this admirer, therefore, slie feigns deafness. 
In a subsequent scene Valingford approaches her ; and to him, upon the same principle 
of stratagem, she affects to be blind, "by mishap on a sudden." Mountney and Valing- 
ford meet and quarrel ; but their mutual accusations bring about the conviction that the 
lady has deceived them both. The action advances, by Manvile complaining to the 
miller of his daughter's conduct ; and Mountney and Valingford appear ou the scene 
to demand of the miller how it is that Em has become blind and deaf. The miller 
replies, — 

"Marry, God forbid ! I have sent for her. Indeed, 

she hath kept her chamber this three days. It were no 

little grief to me if it should be so. 

Man. This ia God's judgment for her treachery." 

Em is led on by the miller's man, whom she has persuaded to assist her in maintaining 
the pretences she has assumed. Her stratagem is successfully supported, to the grief of 
her father, aud the conviction of the rest. Manvile exclaims — 

" Both blind and deaf ! then she is no wife for me ; 
And glad I am so good occasion is happen'd." 

Mountney also gives her up with considerable indifference ; but Valingford resolves to 
stay and prosecute his love, still suspecting there may bo a "feigned invention." 
Manvile seeks another love — Elner, the daughter of a wealthy merchant; but Valingford 



declares that no misfortune cau alter the constancy of his affection ; and Em, learning the 
faithlessness of her former lover, discloses the conduct she has Dursuod. 

During the progress of this, the main portion of the plot, we have a succession of 
scenes alternating with those in which the miller's daughter is concerned, exhibiting 
the history of the love adventures of the disguised king at the Danish court. William 
is disappointed in the reality of the lady, with whose picture he became enamoured. 
But ho as readily falls in love with Mariana, a Swedish captive, the chosen fair of tiio 
Marquis of Lubeck. Blanche, however, the Danish king's daughter, foils in love with 
William ; and we have then a pretty succession of jealousies and quarrels, which ter- 
minate in William carrying off the princess to England, masked, and disguised as Mariana. 
Upon their arrival in England, the king and his fair companion fall into the hands of 
some barons who are in arms. Tiie mistakes are of course cleared up ; and the King of 
Denmark offers his daughter to the King of England, who has resumed his state. Ho 
has to decide upon the claims of the fair Em, and of Elner, to the hand of Manvile. 
Tlie scene on tliis occasion is perhaps the best passage in the play : — 

" Em. I luv'd this Mauvile so much, tU:\t still metliongbt, 
Wlieu he was absent, did present to mo 
The form and featui'e of that countenance 
Which I did shrine an idol in ray heart ; 
And never couU I see a, methought, 
That eriii.aird Manvile in my partial eye. 
Nor was tliere any love between us lost, 
But that I hekl the same in high regard, 
Until repair of some unto our house, 
Of whom my Mauvile grew thus jealous, 
j\s if he took exception I vouchsaf 'd 
To hear them speak, or saw them when they came ; 
Ou which I straight took order with myself, 
To avoid the scruple of his conscience, 
By counterfeiting that I neither saw nor heard : 
Any ways to rid my hands of them. 
All this I did to keep my Manvile's love, 
Which he unkindly seeks for to reward. 

Man. And did my Em, to keep her faith with mo, 
Dissemble that she neither heard nor saw ? 
P.ardon me, sweet Em, for I am only thine. 

En. Lay off thy hands, disloyal as thou art ! 
Nor shalt thou liave possession of my love, 
That canst so finely shift thy matters off. 
Put case I had been blind, and could uot see. 
As oftentimes such visitation falls, 
That pleaseth God, which all things doth dispose ; 
Shouldst thou forsake me in regard of that ? 
I tell thee, Manvile, hadst thou been blind, 
Or deaf, or dumb, or else what impediments 
Might to man, Em would have lov'd, and kept. 
And honour'd thee; yea, begg'd, if wealth had fail'd. 
For thy relief. 

Man. Forgive me, sweet Em. 

Em. I do forgive thee with my heart, 
And will forget thee too, if ease I can ; 
But never speak to me, nor seem to know me. 

Man. Then farewell frost : 
Well fare a wench that will : 
Now, Elner, I am thy own, my girl. 


Etna: Mine, Mauvile ? thou never elialt be mine ; 
I so detest tliy villainy, 
That whilst I live I will abhor thy company." 

This issue of the contest j^roduces a singular effect upon the King of England. He 
determines that '• women are not general evils ;" and so he accepts the hand of Blanche. 
Valingford is united to the fair Em, and Sir Thomas Goddard is restored to his rank 
and fortune. 

It is exceedingly difficult for us to understand how a man of great ability, like Tieck, 
perfectly conversant with the dramatic art and style of Shakspere — sometimes going far 
beyond Shakspere's own countrymen in sound as well as elevated criticism — should fancy 
that a play like this could have been written by our gi-eat poet. Whatever merit it pos- 
sesses, and it is certainly in some respects a lively and spirited performance, arises out of 
the circumstance that the author had good models before him. But we look in vain for 
all that sets Shakspere so high above his contemporaries ; his wit, his humour, his poetry, 
his philosophy, his intimate knowledge of man, his exquisite method. Scenes such as 
these pass before our eyes like the tricks of the fantoccini. There is nothing of vitality 
in them ; — they 

" Come like shadows, 30 depart." 

Sup. Vol. X 306 


M U C E D O E U S. 

TiiEiirst known edition of this " comedy" is that of 1598 : — ' A most ple;isant Comedy 
of Mucedorus, the Kings Sonne of Valentia, and Amadine the Kings Daughter of 
Arragon. With tlie merry Conceits of Mouse.' There are repeated reprints of this play 
up to 1639, denoting an extraordinary popularity; and, what is more remarkable, the 
piece is revived after the Restoration, and the edition before us of 1668 is " Amplifjed 
with new Additions, as it was Acted before the King's Majcstie at White-hall on Shrove- 
sunday night." A more rude, inartificial, unpoetical, and altogether effete performance 
the English drama cannot, wo think, exhibit. Popularity, however, is not obtained by 
mere accident. Mediocrity and positive stupidity will often comman(^ it, — but in the 
case of ' Mucedorus ' it appears to us that the piece was expressly adapted for a very com- 
mon audience. Whilst the highest and the best educated of the land were captivated by 
Shakspere and Jonsou, there must necessarily have been rude farces and melodramas for 


rlieati'es lower than the Globe and Blackfriars. There were strolling companies, too, 
who in many cases were nnable to procure copies of the best plays, and who would justly 
think that other wares than poetry and philosophy would be demanded in the barn of tlic 
alehouse or in the hall of the squire. We have a curious example of the long-during 
popularity of 'Mucedorus.' After the suppression of the theatres in 1647, clandestine 
porf(«-mances in London were put down by provost-marshals and troopers. But in the 
country the wandering players sometimes dared to lift their heads ; and as late as 1653 
a company went about playing ' Mucedorus.' They had act-ed in several villages in the 
neighbourhood of Oxford, but, upon the occasion of its performance at Witney, an acci- 
dent occurred, by which several persons lost their lives, and others were wounded. A 
pamphlet immediately appeared from the pen of an Oxford divine, showing that this 
calamity was au example of the Divine vengeance against stage performances. But 
'Mucedorus,' as we have seen, had a higher popularity in reserve. It was revived for the 
entertainment of the King's Majesty, the tastes of whose court were pretty much upon a 
level with those of the Witney peasants and blanket-makers ; and, what is not the least 
wonderful part in the history of this comedy, " very delectable and full of conceited 
mirth," some one rises up and says it is written by Shakspere. The tradition is handed 
down in old catalogues; and the Germans apply themselves seriously to discuss the point, 
whether a play which is too silly to be ascribed to any known writer of the time, might 
not bo a youthful performance of the great poet himself. 

To attempt any detailed analysis of the story of ' Mucedorus' would be a waste of time. 
Mucedorus, the Prince of Valentia, has heard of the beauty of Amadine, the Princess of 
Aracou, and he resolves to go in disguise to her father's court. The shepherd-prince, upon 
his arrival in Aragon, immediately saves the princess from the attack of a bear, who has 
rushed upon her, when in company with Segasto, a sort of lover, who takes to his heels in 
a very ungallant style. The lady, of course, falls iu love with the shepherd, and the 
shepherd is very soon turned out of the court for his own presumptuous love. But the 
princess resolves to run away with him, and they appoint to meet and live in the forest, 
unscared by hunger or by bears. A wild man of the woods, however, seizes upon the lady ; 
but Mucedorus, disguised as a hermit, very opportunely kills the wild man. The King of 
Valentia comes to look after his sou. The lovers return to court. The gentleman who 
ran away from the bear withdraws his claims to the princess, and the whole terminates 
with great felicity. We can easily understand how such a story would be popular, and 
how any surplusage of wit or poetry would have lessened its popularity. The serious ad- 
ventures are relieved by the constant presence of a clown, who, to do him justice, is never 
guilty of the slightest cleverness, but produces a laugh by his exquisite stupidity. One 
specimen of the poetry will suffice. Mucedorus, clothed as a hermit, meets Bremo, the 
wild man of the woods, who has got Amadine safe in his grasp ; and, justly considering 
that a wild man of the woods must be an excellent judge of rhetoric, and liable to be 
moved to pity by the force of fine words, thus addresses him : 

" In time of yore, when men like brutish beasts 
Did lead their lives in loathsome cells and woods, 
And wholly gave themselves to witless will, 
A rude unruly root, then man to man became 
A present prey ; then might prevail'd, 
The weakest men went to walls ; 
Eight was unknown, for wrong was all iu all 
As men thus liv'd in their great cour.ige, 
Behold, one Orpheua came (as poets tell), 
And them from rudeness unto reason brought, 



Who, led by reason, boou forsook the woods ; 

Instead of caves, they built them castles strong, 

Cities and towns Were founded by thera then : 

Glad were they they found such ease ; 

And in the end they grew to perfect amity. 

Weighing their former wickedness. 

They tei-m'd the time wherein they lived then 

A golden age, a good golden age. 

Now, Bremo (for so I heard thee call'd), 

If men which liv'd tofore, as thou dost now. 

Wild in woods, addicted all to spoil, 

Returned were by woHhy Orpheus' means. 

Let me (like Orpheus) cause thee to return 

From murther, bloodshed, and such-like cruelties : 

What, should we fight before we have a cause ? 

No, let's live, and love together faithfully : 

I '11 fight for thee." 

There are one or two passages in ' Muoedorus' which indicate some poetical power, but 
they are inappropriate to tlie situation and character. Whenever we compare Shakspere 
with other writers, the difference wliich, perhaps, upon tlie whole makes tlie most abiding 
impression is the marvellous superiority of his judgment 



The first known edition of this play was published in 1662, under the following title : — 
' The Birth of Merlin : or, The Childe hath found his Father : as it hath been several 
times Acted with great Applause. Written by William Shakespear and William Rowlej'.' 
Of this very doubtful external evidence two of the modern German critics liave applied 
themselves to prove the correctness. Horn has written a criticism of fourteen pages upon 
' The Birth of Merlin,' which he decides to be chiefly Sliakspere's, possessing a high 
degree of poetical merit with much deep-tlioughted characterization. Tieok has no 
doubt of the extent of the assistance that Shakspere gave in producing this play : — '■ This 
piece is a new proof of the extraordinary riches of the period, in which such a work was 
unnoticed among the mass of intellectual and characteristic dramas. The modern 
English, whose weak side is poetical criticism, have left it almost to accident what shall 
be again revived; and we seldom see, since Dodsley, who proceeded somewhat more 



carefully, auy reason why one piece is selected and others rejected." He adds, 
" None of Rowley's other works are equal to this. Wliat part has Shakspere in it? — has 
ho taken a part? — what induced him to do so? — can only be imperfectly answered, and 
by supposition. Why should not Shakspere for once have written for another theatre 
than his own? Why should he not, when the custom was so common, have written in 
companionsliip with another though less powerful poet?" Ulrici takes a different, and, 
as we think, a much juster view. The play, he holds, must have been produced late in 
Shakspere's life. If he had written in it at all he would have put out his matured 
strength. All the essentials, — pilan, composition, and character, — belong to Rowley. 
Peculiarities of style and remarkable turns of thought are not sufficient to furnish 
evidence of authorsliip, for they are common to other contemporary poets. It is not 
very easy to trace the exact progress of AVilliam Rowley. He w'as an actor in tlio 
company of which Shakspere was a proprietor. We find his name in a document of 
1G16, and again in 1625. The same bookseller that published 'The Birth of Merlin' 
associated his name with other writers of eminence besides Shakspere. He is spoken of 
by Langbaine as "an author tliat flourished in the reign of King Charles I. ;" but there 
is no doubt that he may be considered as a successful writer in the middle period of 
James I. It is impossible to think that he could have been associated with Shakspere 
in writing a play until after Shakspere had quitted the stage; and we miist, therefore, 
bear in mind that Rowley's supposed associate was at tliat period tlie author of Othello 
and Lear, of Twelfth Night and As You Like It. 

A few years after the accession of James I. the fondness of the court for theatrical 
entertainments, and the sumptuousness of the masks that were got up for its especial 
delight, appear to have produced a natural influence upon the public stage, in rendering 
some of the pieces performed more dependent upon scenery and dresses and processions 
than in the later years of Elizabeth. ' The Birth of Merlin ' belongs to the class of 
show-plays; and tlie elaboration of that portion which is addressed merely to the eye 
has imparted a character to those scenes in which the imagination is addressed through 
the dialogue. There is an essential want of refinement as well as of intellectual force, 
partly arising from this false principle of art, which addresses itself mainl}- to the 
senses. We have a succession of incidents without any unity of action. The human 
interest and the supernatural are jumbled together, so as to render each equally unreal. 
Extravagance is taken for force, and what is merely hideous is offered to us as sublime. 
The story, of course, belongs to the fabulous history of Britain. Its movements are so 
complicated that we should despair of tracing it through its scenes of war and love, and 
devilry and witchcraft. The Britons are invaded by the Saxons, but the British army is 
miraculously preserved by the power of Anselm, a hermit. The Saxons sue for peace 
to Aurelius, the King of Britain, but the monarch suddenly' falls in love with Artesia, 
the daughter of the Saxon general, and marries her, the wishes of all his court. 
Uter Pendragon, the brother of Aurelius, has been unaccountably missing, and he, it 
seems, had fallen in love with the same lady during his rambles. Upon the return of 
Prince Uter to his brotiier's court, the queen endeavours to obtain from him a declara- 
tion of unlawful attachment. Her object is to sow disunion amongst the Britons, to 
promote the ascendancy of the Saxons. She is successful, and the weak Aurelius joins 
his invaders. During the progress of these events we have love episodes with the 
daughters of Donobert, a British nobleman. The character of Modestia, one of the 
daughters, who is resolved to dedicate herself to a religious life, is drawn with consider- 
able skill, and she expresses herself with a quiet strength which contrasts advantageously 
with the tui-moil around her : — 


'* Noble aud virtuous ! could I dream of marriage, 

I should affect tliee, Edwin. Oh, my soul. 

Here 's something tells me that these best of creature-i, 

These models of the world, weak mau aud woman, 

Should have their souls, their making, life, and being. 

To some more excellent use : if what the sense 

Calls pleasure were our ends, we might justly blame 

Great Nature's wisdom, who rear'd a building 

Of so much art and beauty, to entertain 

A guest so far incertain, so imperfect : 

If only speech distinguish us from beasts, 

AVho know no inequality of birth aud place. 

But still to fly from goodness ; oh ! how base 

AVere life at such a rate. No, no ! that Power 

That gave to man his being, speech, aud wisdom. 

Gave it for thankfulness. To Him alone 

That made me thus, may I thence truly know, 

I'll pay to Him, not man, the love I owe." 
Tlie supernatuval part of this play is altogether overdone, exhibiting uo higher skill 
in the maiiagemeut than a modern fairy spectacle for the Easter holidays. Before 
Merlin appears we have a Saxon magician produced who can raise the dead, and he 
makes Hector and Achilles come into the Saxon court veiy ranch after the fashion of 
the apparition of Marshal Saxe in the great gallery at Dresden (see Wraxall's 
' Memoire'). The stage direction for this extraordinary exhibition is as follows : — 

" Enter Proximhs, bringing in HectoI!, attired and armed 
after the Trojan manner, with target, sword, and hattle-axe ; 
a trumpet before him, and a Spirit in flame-colours with a 
toreh : at the other door, Achilles, with Ais sj^ear and fal- 
chion, a trumpet, and a Spirit in black before him ; tmm' 
pets sound alarm, and they manac/c their weapons to begin the 
fight, and after some charges the Hermit steps between them, 
at which, seeming amazed, the Spirits tremble." 

Tliat the poet who produced the cauldron of the weird sisters sliould be supposed to 
have a hand in this child's play is little less than miraculous itself. But we soon cease 
to take an interest in mere Britons and Saxons, for a clown and his sister arrive at court, 
seeking a father for a child whicli the lady is about to present to tlie world. After some 
mummery which is meant for comedy, we have the following stage-direction : — " Enter 
the Devil in man's habit richly attired, his feet and his head horrid;" and the young lady 
from the country immediately recognises the treacherous father. After another episode 
with Modestia and Edwin, thunder and lightning announce something terrible ; the birth 
of Merlin has taken place, and his fither tlie Devil properly introduces him reading a 
book and foretelling his own future celebrity. We have now prophecy upon prophecy 
and fight upon fight, blazing stars, dragons, and Merlin expounding all amidst the din. 
We learn that Artesia has poisoned her husband, and that Utcr has become King Pen- 
dragon. The Saxons are defeated by the new king, by whom Artesia, as a murderess, 
is buried alive. In the mean time the Devil has agaiu been making some proposals to 
Merlin's mother, which end greatly to his discomfiture, for his powerful son shuts him 
up in a rock. Merlin then, addressing his mother, proposes to her to retire to a' solitude 
he has prepared for her, "to weep away the flesh you have offended with;" 'and when 
you die," he proceeds, 

"I will erect a monument 

Upon the verdant plains of Salisbury, — 

No king shall have so high a sepulchre, — 

With pendulous stones, that I will hang by art 



Where neither lime nor mortar shall be usei.1, — 

A dark enigma to the memory, 

For none shall have the power to number them ; 

A place that I will hallow for your rest ; 

Where no uight-hag shall walk, nor were-wolf tread. 

Where Merlin's mother shall be sepulchred." 

As this is a satisfactory account of tlie origin of Stouehenge, we might here conclude; 
but there is a little more to tell of this marvellous play. Uter, the triuniphaut king. 

dohires Merlin to 

"show the full event. 
That shall both end our reign and chronicle." 

Merlin thus consents : — 

" What Heaven decrees, fate hath no power to alter : 
The Saxons, sir, will keep the ground they have, 
And by supplying numbers still increase, 
Till Britain be no more : So please your grace, 
I will, in visible apparitions, 
Present you prophecies, which shall concern 
Succeeding princes, which my art shall raise. 
Till men shall call these times the latter days. [Mlulin s:rik(s. 

Hauthoys. Bitter a King in armour, his shield quarlcrcd 
with thirteen croxons. At the other end enter divers Vriuces, 
who present their crowns to him at his feet, and do him 
homage; then enters T)ea,th, and strihcs him; he, growing 
sicl; crowns Constantine." 

This Merlin explains to represent liter's sou, Arthur, and his successor; at which the 
prince, much gratified, asserts, 

" All future times shall still record this story. 
Of Merlin's learned worth, and Arthur's glory." 


We close our imperfect record of the plays ascribed to Shakspere with the performance 
of a true poet, whoever he may be. 

' The Merry Deuill of Edmonton : As it hath been sundry times acted by his Maiesties 
Servants, at the Globe on the Banke-side,' was originally published in 1608. On the 
22d October, 1607, there is an entry of the title of the play on the Stationers' registers; 
but on the 5th April, 1608, we have a more precise entry of "A book called the Lyfe 
and Deathe of the Merry Devill of Edmonton, with the pleasant pranks of Smugge the 
Smyth, Sir John, and mine Hoste of the George, about their stealing of venison. By 
T. B." This was, in all probability, a second Part. Steevens says, "The initial letters 
at the end of this entry sufficiently free Shakspeare from the charge of having been its 
author." It has been supposed that these initials represent Tony, or Antony, Brewer, — 
a dramatic writer of the time of James I., high lauded by some of his contemporaries. 
Kirkman, a bookseller, first athxed Shakspere's name to it in his catalogue. In ' The 



Companion to the Playliouse,' published in 1764, it is stated, upon the authority of a labo- 
rious antiquaiy, Thomas Coxeter, who died in 1747, to have been written by Michael 
Drayton ; and in some posthumous papers of another diligent inquirer into literary history, 
Oldys, the same assertion is advanced. Charles Lamb, who speaks of this play with a 
warmth of admiration which is probably carried a little too for — and which, indeed, may in 
some degree be attributed to his familiarity with the quiet rural scenery of Enfield, Walt- 
ham, Cheshuut, and Edmonton, in which places the story is laid — says, " I wish it could 
be ascertained that Michael Drayton was the author of this piece : it would add a worthy 
appendage to the renown of that panegyrist of my native eartli ; who has gone over her 
soil (in his Polyolbion) with the fidelity of a herald, and the painful love of a son ; who 
has not left a rivulet (so narrow that it may be stepped over) without honourable mention ; 
and has animated hills and streams with life and passion above the dreams of old mytho- 
logy."* 'The Merry Devil' was undoubtedly a play of great popularity. We find 
from the account-books of the Revels at Court, that it was acted before the King in tlie 
same year, IGIS, with Twelfth Night and A Winter's Tale. In 1616, Ben Jonson, in 
his Prologue to ' The Devil is an Ass,' thus addresses his audience : — 

" If you '11 come 
To see new plays, pray you afford us room, 
And show this but the same face you have done 
Your dear deliylit, The Devil of Edmonton." 

Its popularicy seems to have lasted much longer; for it is mentioned by Edmund 
Gayton, in 1654, in his ' Notes on Don Quixote.' t The belief that the play was Sliak- 
spere's has never taken any root in England. Some of the German critics, liowever, 
adopt it as his without any hesitation. Tieck has translated it ; and he says that it 
undoubtedly is by Shakspere, and must have been written about 1600. It has much of 
the tone, he thinks, of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and " mine host of the George " 
and " mine host of the Garter " are alike. It is surprising that Tieck does not see that the 
one character is, in a great degree, an imitation of the other. Shakspere, in the abund- 
ance of his riches, is not a poet who repeats himself. Horn declares that Shakspere's 
authorship of ' Tlie Merry Devil' is incontestable. Ulrici admits tlie bare possibility uf 
its being a very youthful work of Shakspere's. The great merit, on the contrary, of the 
best scenes of this play consists in their perfect finish. There is nothing careless about 
tliem ; nothing tliat betrays the very young adventurer ; the writer is a master of his 
art to the extent of his powei'. But that is not Shaksjjere's power. 

Fuller, in his ' Worthies,' thus records the merits of Peter Fabel, the hero of this play : 
" I shall probably offend the gravity of some to insert, and certainly curiosity of others 
to omit, him. Some make him a friar, othei's a lay gentleman, all a conceited person, who, 
with his merry devices, deceived tlie Devil, who by grace may be resisted, not deceived 
by wit. If a grave bishop in his .sermon, speaking of Brute's coming into this land, 
said it was but a bruit, I hope I may say without offence that this Fabel was but a, fable, 
supposed to live in the reign of King Henry the Sixth." His fame is more confidingly 
recorded in the Prologue to 'The Merry Devil :'— 

" 'T la Peter Fabel, a renowned scholar, 
Whoise fame hath still been hitherto forgot 
By all the writers of this latter age. 
In Middlesex his birth and hia abode, 


* Specimens of English Drimatio Poets, 
t Collier's 'Annals of the Stage,' vol. iii. p. 417. 


Not full seven miles from this great famous city ; 

That, for his fame in sleights and magic won, 

Was call'd the Jlerry Fiend of Edmonton. 

If any here make doubt of such a name, 

In Edmonton, yet fresh unto this day, 

Fix'd in the wall of that old ancient church, 

His monument remaineth to be seen : 

His memory yet in the mouths of men, 

That whilst he liv'd he could deceive the devil." 

The Prolo"ue goes on to suppose him at Cambridge at the hour wheu the term of 
his compact with the fieud is run out. We are uot here to look for the terrible 
solemnity of the similar Bcene in Marlowe's 'Faustus;' but, nevertheless, that before us 
is written with great poetical power. Coreb, the spirit, thus addresses the magician : — 
" Coreh. Why, scholar, this is the hour my date expires ; 

I must depart, and come to claim my due. 
Fahcl. Hah ! what is thy due ? 
Coreh. Fabel, thyself 
Fahd. let uot darkness hear thee speak that word 

Lest that with force it hurry hence amaiu, 

.\nd leave the world to look upon my ■vi~j\. : 

Yet overwhelm me with this globe of earth, 

And let a little sparrow with her bill 

Take but so much as she can bear away. 

That, every day thus losing of my load, 

I may again, in time, yet hope to rise." 
While the fiend sits down in the necromantic chair Fabel thus soliloquizes ;— 
" Fabel. that this soul, that cost so dear a price 

As the dear precious blood of her Redeemer, 

Inspir'd with knowledge, should by that alone, 

Which makes a man so mean unto the powers, / 

Ev'n lead him down into the depth of hell ; 

When men iu their own praise strive to know more 

Than man should know ! 

For this alone God cast the angels down. 

The infinity of arts is like a sea. 

Into which when man will take in hand to sail 

Farther than reason (which should be his pilot) 

Hath skill to guide him, losing once his compass. 

He falleth to such deep and dangerous whirlpools, 

As he doth lose the very sight of heaven : 

The more he strives to come to quiet harbour. 

The farther still he fiuds himself from land. 

Man, striving still to find the depth of evil, 

Seeking to be a God, becomes a devU." 

But the magician has tricked the fiend ; the chair holds him fast, and tlic condition of 

release is a respite for seven years. The supernatural part of the play may be said hero 

to end ; for although throughout the latter scenes there are some odd mistakes produced by 

the devices of Fabel, they are such as might have been accomplished by human agency, 

and in fact appear to have been so accomplished, Tieck, observes, '■ It is quite in Shak- 

spere's manner that the magical part becomes nearly superfluous." This, as it appears 

to us, is not in Shakspere's manner. In Hamlet, in Macbeth, in the ]\Iidsummer- 

Night's Dream, in The Tempest, the magical or supernatural part is so intimately allied 

with the whole action that it impels the entire movement of the piece. Shakspere knew 

too well the soundness of the Horatian maxim, — 

" Nee Deus iuter.sit nLsi dignus vindice nodus," — 



to produce a ghost, a witch, or a fairy, witliout necessity. However, the magical part 
here finishes ; and we are introduced to the society of no equivocal mortal, the host uf 
the George, at Waltham. Sir Arthur Clare, his wife Dorcas, his daughter Millisent, and 
his son Harry, arrive at the inn, where the host says, " Knights and lords have been 
drunk in my house, I thank the destinies." Tliis company have arrived at the Geoi-ge to 
meet Sir Richard Mounohensey, and his son Raymond, to whom Milliseut is betrothed ; 
but old Clare informs his wife that he is resolved to break off the match, to send his 
daughter for a year to a nunnery, and then to bestow her upon the son of Sir Halpii 
Jerningham. Old Mounohensey, it seems, has fallen upon evil days :^ 
" Clare. For look you, wife, the riotous old knight 

Hath overrun his annual revenue, 

In keeping jolly Christmas all the year : 

The nostrils of his chimneys are still stufT'd 

With smoke more chargeable than cane-tobacco ; 

His hawks devour his fattest liogg, whilst simple, 

His leanest curs eat his hounds' carrion. 

Besides, I he.ud of late his younger brother, 

A Turkey-merchant, hath sure suck'd the knight, 

By means of some great losses on the sea ; 

That (you conceive me) before God, all's nought, 

His seat is weak ; thus, each thing rightly scanuM, 

You'll see a flight, wife, shortly of his land." 

Fabel, the kind magician, who has been the tutor to Raymond, arrives at the same time 
with the Mounohensey party. He knows the plots against his young friend, and he is 
determined to circumvent them : — 

" Raymond Mounohensey, boy, have thou an.l I 

Thus long at Cambridge read the liberal arts, 

The metaphysics, magic, and those parts 

Of the most secret deep philosophy ? 

Have I so many melancholy nights 

Watch'd on the top of Peter-house highest tower. 

And come we back unto our native homo, 

For want of skill to lose the wench thou lov'st ? 

We'll first hang Envil* in such rings of mist 

As never rose from any dampish fen ; 

I'll make the brined sea to rise at Ware, 

And drown the marshes unto Stratford-bridge : 

I'll drive the deer from Waltham in their walks, 

And scatter them, like sheep, in every field. 

We may perhaps be cross'd ; but if we be, 

He .shall cross the devil that but crosses me." 

Harry Clare, Ralph Jerningham, and Raymond Mounchensey, are sti-ict friends ; and 
there is something exceedingly delightful in the manner in which Raymond throws 
away all suspicion, and the others resolve to stand by their friend whatever be the 
intrigues of their parents : — 

" Jem. Raymond Mounchensey, now I touch thy grief 
With the true feeling of a zealous friend. 
And as for fair and beauteous Millisent, 
With my vain breath I will not seek to slubber 
Her angel-like perfections : but thou know'st 
That Essex hath the saint that I adore ; 
Where'er did'st meet me, that we two were jovi;il, 
But like a wag thou hast not laugh'd at me. 

• Envil— Enfield. 



Aud with regardless jesting mock'd my love ? 
How many a sad and weary summer's night 
lly sighs have drunk the dew from off the eartli, 
And I have taught the nightingale to wake, 
And from the meadows sprung the early lark 
An hour before she should have list to sing : 
I have loaded the poor minutes with my moans, 
That I have made the heavy slow-pac'd hours 
To haug like heavy clogs upon the day. 
But, dear Mouuchensey, had not my affection 
Seiz'd on the beauty of another dame, 
Before I'd wrong the chase, aud leave the love 
Of one so worthy, and so true a friend, 
I will abjure both beauty and her sight, 
And will in love become a counterfeit. 

Moun. Dear Jeruiugham, thou h.a3t begot my lifn, 
And from the mouth of hell, where now I sate, 
I feel my spirit rebound against the stars ; 
Thou hast conquer'd me, dear friend, in my free soul. 
There time, nor death, can by their power coutrol. 

Fabd. Frank Jerniugham, thou art a gallant boy ; ■ 
And were he not my pupil, I would say, 
He were as fine a metall'd gentleman, 
Of as free spirit, and of as fine a temper. 
As is in England ; and he is a man 
That very richly may deserve thy love. 
But, noble Clare, this while of our discourse. 
What may Mouuchensey's honour to thyself 
Exact upon the measure of thy grace ? 

Yomirj Clare. Raymond Mouuchensey, I would have fhce know> 
lie does not breathe this air, whose love I cherish, . 

And whose soul I love, more than Mouuchensey's : 
Nor ever in my life did see the man 
Whom, for his wit and many virtuous parts, 
I think more worthy of my sister's love. 
But since the matter grows unto this pass. 
I must not seem to cross my father's will ; 
But when thou list to visit her by night, 
Jly horse is saddled, and the stable door 
.Stands ready for thee ; use them at thy pleasure. 
In honest marriage wed her frankly, boy. 
And if thou gett'st her, lad, God give thee joy. 

Moxm. Then, care away ! let fate my fall pretend, 
Back'd with the favours of so true a frienil." 

Charles Lamb, who gives the whole of this scene in his ' Specimens,' speaks of it 
rapturously : — " This scene has much of Shakspeare's manner in the sweetness and 
good-natiu'eduess of it. It seems wi'itten to make the reader happy. Few of our 
dramatists or novelists have attended enough to this. They torture and wound us 
abundantly. They are economists only in delight. Nothing can be finer, more 
gentlemanlike, and noble, than the conversation and compliments of these young men. 
How delicious is Raymond Mouuchensey's forgetting, in his fears, that Jerningham lias 
a 'saint in Essex;' and how sweetly his friend reminds him!" 

The ancient plotters, Clare and Jerningham, are drawn as very politic but not over- 
wise fathers. There is, however, very little that is harsh or revolting in their natures. 
They put out their feelera of worldly cunning timidly, and they draw them in with con- 
siderable apprehension when they see danger and difficulty before them. All this is ia 


The ouly persou who is 


harmony with the thorough good-humour of the whole drama, 
augry is old Mouuchensey: — 

" Clare. I do not hold thy offer competeut ; 
Nor do I like the assurance of thy laud, 
The title is so brangled with thy debts. 

Old Moun. Too good for thee : and, knight, thou know'st it well, 
I fawn'd not on thee for thy goods, not I, 
'T was thine own motion ; that thy wife doth know. 

Lady Clare. Husband, it was so ; he lies not in that. 

Clare. Hold thy chat, quean. 

Old Moun. To which I harken'd willingly, and the rather. 
Because I was persuaded it proceeded 
From love thou bor'st to me and to my boy ; 
And gav'et him free access unto thy house. 
Where he hath not behav'd him to thy child 
But as befits a gentleman to do ; 
Nor is my poor distressed state so low 
That I '11 shut up my doors, I warrant thee. 

Clare. Let it suffice, Mouuchensey, I mi.slike it ; 
Nor think thy sou a match fit for my child. 

Old Moun. I tell thee, Clare, his blood is good and clear 
As the best drop that pauteth in thy veins ; 
But for this maid, thy fair and virtuous child, 
She is no more disparag'd by thy baseness, 
Thau the most orieut and the precious jewel, 
Which still retains his lustre and his beauty. 
Although a slave were owner of the same." 

For his "frantic and untamed passion" Fabel reproves him. The comic scenes wliich 
now occur are exceedingly lively. If the wit is not of the highest order, there is real fun 
and very little coarseness. We are thrown into the midst of a jolly sot, stealers of venison 
in Enfield Chase, of whom the leader is Sir John, the priest of Enfield. His humour 
consists of applying a somewhat pious sentence upon every occasion — " Hem, grass and 
hay — we are all mortal — let's live till we die, and be merry, and there's an end." Mine 
host of the George is an associate of this goodly fraternity. The comedy is not over- 
loaded, and is very judiciously brought in to the relief of the main action. We have 
next the introduction of Millisent to the Prioress of Cheston (Cheshuut) : — 

" Ladij Clare. Madam, 
The love unto this holy sisterhood. 
And our confirmed opinion of your zeal. 
Hath truly won us to bestow our child 
• llather on this than any neighbouring cell . 

Prioress. Jesus' daughter ! Mary's child ! 
Holy matron I woman mild ! 
For thee a mass shall still be said. 
Every sister drop a bead ; 
And those again succeeding theui 
For you shall sing a requiem. 

Sir Arthur. Madam, for a twelvemonth's approbation. 
We mean to make this trial of our child. 
Your care, and our dear blessing, in mean time, 
We pray may prosper this intended work. 

Prioress. May your happy soul be blitlie, 
That BO truly pay your tithe : 
He that many children gave, 
'T is fit that he one child should have. 


Then, fair virgiu, bear my spell, 
Fur I must your duty tell. 

MiUiscnt. Good men and true, stand togetlier, 
And hear your charge. 

Prioi'ees. First, a mornings take your booh, 
The glass wherein yourself must look ; 
Your young thoughts, so proud and jolly, be turn'd to motions holy ; 
For your busk attire.s, and toys. 
Have your thoughts on heavenly joys : 
And for all your follies past. 
You must do penance, pmy, and fast. 
You must read the morning mass, 
You must creep unto the cross, 
Put cold ashes on your head. 
Have a hair-cloth for your bed. 
Kind your beads, and tell your needs, 
Your holy aves, and your creeds : 
Holy maid, this must be done. 
If you mean to live a nun." 

Tlie sweetness of some of these lines argues the practised poet. Indeed the whole play 
is remarkable for its elegance rather than its force ; and it appears to us exactly such a 
performance as was within the range of Drayton's powers. The device of Fabel pro- 
ceeds, in tlie appearance of Raymond Mouncliensey disguised as a friar. Sir Arthur Clare 
lias disclosed to him all his projects. The -'holy young novice" proceeds to the priory as 
a visitor sent from Waltham House to ascertain whether Millisent is about to take the veil 
"from conscience and devotion." The device succeeds, and the lovers are left togetlier: — ■ 

" Moun. Life of my soul ! bright angel ! 

Millisent. What means the friar ? 

Moun. Millisent ! 't is I. 

Millisent. My heart misgives me ; I should know that voice. 
You ? who are you? the holy Virgin bless me ! 
Tell ma your name ; you shall ere you confess me. 

Moun. Mouuohensey, thy true friend. 

Millisent My llaymond ! my dear heart ! 
Sweet life, give leave to my distracted soul 
To wake a little from this swoon of joy. 
By what means cam'st thou to assume this sliape ' 

Momi. By means of Peter Fabel, my kind tutor, 
Whcf, in the habit of friar Hildersham, 
Frank Jeruingham's old friend and confessor, 
Plotted by Frank, by Fabel, and myself, 
And so deliver'd to Sir Arthur Clare, 
Who brought me here unto the abbey-gate, 
To be his uuu-made daughter's visitor. 

Millisent, You are all sweet traitors to my poor old father. 
my dear life, I was a dream'd to-night. 
That, as I was praying in my psalter. 
There came a spirit unto me, as I kneel'd, 
And by his strong persuasions tempted me 
To leave this nunnery : and methought 
He came in the most glorious angel shape 
That mortal eye did ever look upon. 
Ha ! thou art sure that spirit, for there's no form 
Is in mine eye bo glorious as thine own. 

Moun. thou idolatress, that dost this worship 
To him whose likeness is but praise of thee ! 
SiiR Vol. V ''^^ 


Thou briglit unsettin^; st;xr, which, through this veil, 
For very euvy niak'st the sun look pale. 

Milliscnt. Well, visitor, lest that perhaps my mother 
Should think the friar too strict iu his decrees, 
I this confess to :uy sweet ghostly father ; 
If chaste pure love be sin, I must confess, 
I have offended three years now with thee. 

Moun. But do you yet repeut you of the same ? 

Milliscnt. V faith I cannot. 

Moun. Nor will I absolve thoo 

Of that sweet sin, though it be venial : 
Yet have the penance of a thousand kisses ; 
And I enjoin you to this pilgrimage ; — 
That in the evening you bestow yourself 
Here iu the walk near to the willow-ground, 
Where I'll be ready both with men aud horse 
To wait your coming, and convey you henco 
Unto a lodge I have in Enfield Chase : 
No more rejily if that you yield consent : 
I see more eyes upon our stay are bent. 

Millisent. Sweet life, farewell ! 't is done, let that suffice ; 
What my tongue fails, I send thee by mine eyes." 

The votaress is carried off by lier brotlior aud Jcruingham ; but in the darkness of the 
night they lose their way, aud eucouuter the deer-stealers aud the keepers. A friendly 
forester, however, assists them, and they reach Enfield iu safety. Not so fortunate are 
Sir Arthur and Sir Ralph, who are in pursuit of the unwilling nun. Tliey are rouglily 
treated by the keepers, aud, after a night of toil, find a resting-place at Waltham. Tlie 
priest aud his companions are terrified by their encounters in the Chase : the lady in 
white, who has been hiding from them, is taken for a spirit; and the sexton has seen a 
vision in the church-porch. The morning however arrives, and we see " Sir Artlnu- Clare 
and Sir Ralph Jerningham trussing their points, as uewly up." They had made good their 
retreat, as they fancied, to the inn of mine host of the George, but the merry devil of 
Edmonton had sot the host and the smith to change the sign of the house with that 
of another inn ; and at the real George the lovers were being liappily married by the 
venison-stealing priest, in the company of their faithful friends. Sir Arthur aud Sir 
Ralph are, of course, very angry when the truth is made known; but reconcilement and 
peace arc soon accomplislied : — 

" Fabel. To end this difference, know, at first I knew 
What you intended, ere your love took flight 
From old Mounchensey : you, sir Arthur Clare, 
Were minded to h.ave married this sweet beauty 
To young Frauk Jerningham. To cross this match 
I us'd some pretty sleights, but, I protest, 
Such as but sat upon the skirts of art ; 
No conjur.ations, uor such weighty spells 
As tie the soul to their performaucy ; 
These, for his love who once was my dear pupil. 
Have I effected. Now, methinks, 't is strange 
That you, being old in wisdom, should thus knit 
Your forehead on this match ; since reason fails. 
No law can curb the lover's rash attempt ; 
Ye.ars, in resisting this, are sadly spent : 
Smile then upon your daughter aud kiud sou, 
And let our toil to future ages prove. 
The Devil of Edmonton did good in love. 


Sir Arthm: Well, 't is in vain to cross the providence ; 
Dear son, I take thee up into my heart ; 
Rise, daughtei", this is a kind father's part. 
^ 'Host. Why, sir Geoi'ge, send for Spindle's noise presently : 

Ila ! ei-e 't be night I '11 serve tlie good duke of Norfolk. 

<S7c John. Grass and hay, mine host ; let's live till we die, 
and be merry, and there's an end." 

Wc lament with Tieck tliat the continuation of the career of ' the meny devil ' is 
possibly lost. We imagine that we should have seen him expiating his fliult by doing as 
much good to his fellow mortals as he could accomplish without the aid of necromancy. 
Old Weever, in his 'Funeral Monuments,' has no great faith in his art magic: " Here 
(at Edmonton) lieth interred under a seemelie Tome, withcut Inscription, the Body of 
Peter FabfiU (as the report goes) upon whom this Fable was fothered, that he by his 
wittie devises beguiled the devill : belike he was some ingenious conceited gentleman, 
who did use some sleighty triokes for his owne disports. He lived and died in the raigne 
of Henry the Seventh, saith the booke of his merry pranks." 











To the Most Noble and incomparable pair of Bre- 
tliren, William Earl of Pembroke, &;c., Lord 
Chamberlain to the King's most excellent Ma- 
jesty, and PliiliiJ Earl of JNIontgomery, &c.. 
Gentlemen of his Slajesty's Bedchamber ; 
both Knights of the most noble Order of the 
Garter, and our singidar good Lords. 

Right HoNouRiBLE, 

Whilst we study to be tliankftd m oiu' par- 
ticular for the many favoiu's we have received from 
yom- LL., we are fallen upon the ill fortune to 
niuigle two the most diverse things that can be — 
fear, and rashness, — rashness in the enterorise, and 
fear of the success. For when we value tlie places 
your HH. sustain, we cannot but know then- dig- 
nity greater than to descend to the reading of these 
trifles : and wliile we name them trifles we have 
tlcprived om-selves of the defence of our Dedica- 
tion. But, since your LL. have been pleased to 
think these trifles something heretofore, and have 
prosecuted both them and their author living with 
so much favour, we liope that (they outliving him, 
and he not having the fate, common with some, to 
he executor to his own wTitings) you will use the 
like indulgence toward them you have done unto 
their parent. There is a great difference whether 
any book choose Ins patrons or find them ; this hath 
done both. For so much were your LL. Ukings of 
tlie several parts when they were acted, as before 
they were published the volume asked to be yours. 
We have but coUeeted them, and done an ofiiico to 
the dead to procure his orphans guardians, — with- 
out ambition either of self-profit or fame, — only to 
keep the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow 
alive as was our Shakespeare, by humble offer of 
his plays to your most noble patronage. W;erein, 
as we have justly obseiwed no man to come near 
your LL. but with a kind of religious address, it 
natli been the height of our care, who are the pre- 
senters, to make the present worthy of your HH. 
by the perfection. But, there, we must also crave 
our abilities to be considered, my Lords. We can- 
not go beyond our own powers. Country hands 
reach forth milk, cream, fnuts, or 'what they have ; 
and many nation (we h?.ve heard) that had not 
gums and incense, obtained their requests with a 
leavened cake. It was no fault to approach their 
gods by what means they could; and the most, 

though meanest, of tilings are made more precious 
when they are dedicated to temples. In that 
name, therefore, we most humljly consecrate to 
your HH. these remains of your servant Shake- 
speare ; that what delight is in tlieni may be ever 
your LL., the reputation his, and the faults ours, 
if any be committed by a pair so careful to show 
their gi-atitude both to the hvuig and the dead, as is 
Yoiu' Lordships' most bounden, 

John Heminge, 
He.xry Cosdell. 



From the most able to iura that can but spell ; 
there yon are numbered. We had rather you were 
weighed. Especially when the iaie of all books 
depends upon your capacities,— and not of your 
heads alone, but of your purses. Well! it is now 
public, and you will stand for your privileges we 
know — to read and cen.sure. Do so, but buy it 
first. That doth best commend a book, the sta- 
tioner says. Then, how odd soever your brains be, 
or your wisdoms, make your licence the same, and 
spare not. Judge your six-pen'orth, yom' sliillmg's 
worth, your five shillings' worth at a time, or 
higher, so you rise to the just rates, and welcome. 
But, whatever you do, buy. Censure will not drive 
a trade, or make the jack go. And though you lie 
^ a magistrate of wit, and sit on the stage at Black- 
friars or the Cockpit to plays daily, know 
these plays have had their trial already, and stood 
out all appeals, and do now come forth quitted 
rather by a decree of court than any purchased 
letters of commendation. 

It had been a thing, we confess, worthy to ha\e 
been wished, that the author himself had lived to 
have set forth and overseen his own writings. But 
since it had been ordained otherwise, and he by 
death departed from tliat right, we pray you do not 
envy his friends the oflicc of their care and pain to 
have collected and pulilished them ; and so to have 
published them as where (before) you were abused 
with divers stolenand suiTeptitious copies, maimed 
and deformed by the frauds and stealtlis of injurious 
impostors that exposed them : even those arc no^v 
oflered to yoiu' view cured, and perfect of their 
limbs ; and all the rest absolute in their numbers, 



as lie conceived tliein. Who, as he was a happy 
imitator of nature, was a in&st gentle expresser of 
it. His rainil and hand went together ; and what 
he thought, he ntto'ed witli that easiness that we 
have scarce received from him a hlot in his papers. 
But it is not oirr province, who only gather his 
works, and give them you, to iiraise him. It is 
yours, that read him. And there we hope, to yuur 
divers capacities, you will find enougli both to 
di'aw and hold you : for his wit can no more lie 
hid than it could lie lost. Read him, therefore ; 
and agam, and again: And it then you do not 
like him, surely you are in some manifest danger 
not to miderstand Mm. And so we leave you to 
other of liis friends, whom if you need can be 
your guides ; if you need them not, you can lead 
youi-selves and others. And such readers we wish 

John Heminge, 
Henry Condell. 





To draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name, 
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame : 
While I confess thy writuigs to be such 
As neither man nor muse can praise too nuich. 
'Tis tme, and all men's suffrage. But these ways 
Were not the paths I meant imto thy ])raise : 
For sceliest ignorance on these may light, 
Whiih, when it sounds at best, but echoes right ; 
Or blind aftection, which doth ne'er advance 
The tmth, but gi'opos, and m-geth all by chance ; 
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise. 
And think to ruin where it seem'd to raise. 
These are, a,s some infamous bawd or whore 
Shouldpraise a matron ; what could hurt her more ? 
But thou art proof against them, and indeed 
Aliove th' ill fortune of them, or the need. 
I therefore will be^n. Sold of the age ! 
The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our stage ! 
My Shakespeare, rise ! I will not lodge thee hy 
Chaucer, or Spenser, — or bid Beaumont lie 
A little further to make thee a room : 
Tliou art a monument without a tomb. 
And art alive still while thy book doth live, 
And we have wits to read, and praise to give. 
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses, — 
I mean with gi'eat, but disproportion'd muses : 
For if I thought my judgment were of yeai-s, 
I should commit thee surely with thy peers, 
And tell how {at thou didst oiu' Lyly outshine. 
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line. 
And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek, 
From thence to honour thee I would not seek 
For names ; but call forth thund'ring .lEschylus, 
Euripides, and Sophocles to us, 
Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead. 
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread 
And shake a stage. Or, when thy socks were' on. 
Leave thee alone for the comparison 

Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome 

Sent forth, or since did from thek ashes come. 

'J'riumph, my Britain ! thou hast one to show 

To whom all scenes of Em'ope homage owe ! 

He was not of an age, but for all time ! 

And all the Muses stUl were in their prime, 

A\'hen, like Apollo, ho came forth to warm 

<-Uu' ears, — or like a Mcrcmy to charm ! 

Nature herself was pniud of his designs, 

Andjoy'd to wear the dressing of his lines ! — 

Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit, 

As since she will vouchsafe no other wit. 

The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes, 

Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please, 

But antiquated and deserted he. 

As they were not of Natm-e's family. 

Yet must I not give Nature all: thy art. 

My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part. 

For though the poet's matter nature be. 

His art doth give the fiisliion : and that he 

Who casts to write a living line must sweat 

(Such as thine are), and strike the second heat 

Upon the Muses' anvil : turn the same 

(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame ; 

Or, for the laurel he may gain a scorn, — 

For a good poet's made as well as bom : 

And such wert thou. Look how the fiither's face 

Lives in his issue ; even so the race 

Of Shakespeare's mind and manners lirightly shines 

In his well-tornod and tnie-fUcd lines : 

In each of Avhich he seems to shake a lance, 

As'd at the eyes of ignorance. 

Sweet Swan of Avon ! wdiat a sight it were 

To see thee in our waters yet appear, 

And make those flights upon the lianks of Thames 

That so did take Eliza and our James ! 

But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere 

Advanc'd, and made a constellation there ! 

Shine forth, thou star of poets, and with rage. 

Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage ; 

Which since thy flight from hence hath moum'd 

like night. 
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light. 

Ben Jonsox. 




Those hands, which you so clapp'd, go now and 

You Britons lira\e, for done are Shakespeare's 

days : 
Ilis days are done that made the dainty plays 
AVhich make the globe of heav'n and earth to ring. 
Dried is that vein, diied is the Thespian sjiring, 
Turu'd all to tears, and Phoehus clouds his rays : 
That corpse, that coffin now bestick those bays 
Which crowni'd him poet firet, then poets' king. 
If tragedies might any proiogiie have 
All those he made woidd scarce make one to this : 
Where fame, now that he gone is to the gi'ave 
(Death's public tiring-house), the Niuicius is ; 
For though his line of life went soon aliout. 
The life yet of his lines slull never out. 

Hugh Holland. 




Shakespeare, at Ic'iigth thy pious fellows give 

The world thy works : thy works, hy which outlive 

Thy tomb, thynarac must. When that stone is rent. 

Anil time dissolves thy Stratford monument. 

Here we alive shall view thee still. This book, 

When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look 

Fresli to all a£;cs ; when posterity 

Sliall loath what's new, think all is prodigy 

That is not Shakespeare's, every line, each verse, 

Here shall revive, redeem thee fl'om thy hearse. 

Nor fire, nor cankering age, as Naso said 

Of his, thy wit-fraught book shall once inv.ide. 

Nor shall I e'er believe or think thee dead 

(Though miss'd) until our liankrout stage be sped 

(Impossible) with some new strain to outdo 

Passions of Juliet and her Romeo ; 

Or till I hear a scene more nobly take 

Than when thy half-sword parleying Romans spake. 

Till tliese, till any of thy volumes rest. 

Shall with more foe, more feeling, be express'd, 

Be sure, our Shakespeare, thou canst never die. 

But, crown'd with laurel, live eternally. 



^^'E wonder'd (Shakespeare) that thou ivent'st so 

From the world's stage to the grave's tiring-room. 
We thought thee dead, but this, thy printed worth, 
■Tells thy spectators that thou went'st but forth 
To enter with applause. An actor's art 
Can die, and live to act a second part. 
Tliat's Ijut an exit of mortality ; 
This, a re-entrance to a plaudite. 

I. iM. 





Spectator, this life's shadow is, to see 
The truer image, and a livelier he. 
Tuni, reader. But, oliserve his comic vein, 
Laugh, and proceed next to a tragic strain. 
Then weep ; so wlien thou find'st two contraries, 
Two difl'erent passions fi'om thy rapt soul rise, 
Say (who alone effect such wonders could) 
Rare Shakespeare to the life thou dost behold. 


What need my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones 

The labour of an age in piled stones. 

Or that his hallow'd relics should be hid 

Under a star-yiiointing pyi-amid? 

Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, 

What need'st thou such dull witness of thy name ? 

Thou in om' wonder and astonishment 

Has built thyself a lasting monument : 

For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endeavouring art, 

Thy easy numbers flow, and that each part 

* Tills epitaph of Milton, and tlie succeeding poem, be- 
liin.^ to tlic second folio, of 1(1.^2. 

Hath from the leaves of thy umalued book 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took. 
Then tlwu, our fancy of herself bereaving. 
Dost make us marble with too nuich conceiving. 
And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie. 
That kings for such a tomlj would wish to die. 


A MIND reflecting ages past, whose clear 
And cfiual surface can make tilings appear 
Distant a thousand years, and represent 
Them in their lively colours' just extent : 
To outmn hasty time, retrieve the fates, 
Roll back the heavens, blow ope the iron gates 
Of death and Lethe, where, confused, lie 
Great heaps of ruinous mortality : 
In this deep dusky dungeon to discern 
A royal ghost fi'om churls ; by art to learn 
The iihysiognomy of shades, and give 
Them sudden birth, wond'ring how oft they li\e ; 
What story coUly tells, \vliat poets feign 
At second hand, and picture without brain 
Senseless and soulless shows : To give a stage 
(Ample and tnie with life) voice, action, age, 
As Plato's year and new scene of the world. 
Them unto us, or us to them had hm-l'd : 
To raise our ancient sovereigns from their hearse, 
Jlake kings his sulijects, by exchanging verse ; 
Enlive their pale trunks, tliat the present age 
Joys in their joy, and trembles at tiieir rage : 
Yet so to temper passion, that our ears 
Take pleasure in their pahi : and eyes in tears 
Both weep and smile ; fearful at plots so sad. 
Then laugliing at our fear ; abus'd, and glad 
To be abus'd, afiected with tliat tnitli 
Which we perceive is fiUsc ; pleas'd in that rutli 
At which we start ; and by elaliorate play 
Tortur'd and tickled ; by a cralolike way 
Time past made pastime, and in ugly sort 

Disgorgiiig up his ravine for our sport : 

'VVliile the Plebeian Imp, from lofty throne, 

Creates and rules a world, and works upon 
Mankind by secret engines ; now to move 
A chilling pity, then a rigorous love : 
To strike up and stroke doivn both joy and ire ; 
To steer th' aft'ections ; and by heavenly fire 

Mould us anew. Stolen from ourselves 

This and much more which cannot be express'd 
But by himself, his tongue, and his own breast. 
Was "Shakespeare's freehold, which Iris cunning 

Improv'd by favour of the ninefold train. 
The buskini'd Muse, the Comic Queen, the grand 
And louder tone of Clio ; nimble hand, 
And nimbler foot, of the melodious pair ; 
The silver-voiced Lady; tlie most fan- 
Calliope, whose speaking silence daunts. 
And she whose praise the heavenly body chants. 
These jointly woo'd him, envying one anotlier 
(Obey'ii by all as spouse, but'lov'd as brother). 
And WTOUght a curious robe of sable gi'ave, 
Fresh gi-een, and pleasant yellow, red most brave. 
And constant lilue, rich purple, guiltless white. 
The lowly russet, and the sc;irlet laight ; 
Branch'd and embroider'd like the iiaintcd spring, 
Tach leaf match'd with a flower, and each string 
Of golden wii'e, each line of silk ; there nm 
Italian •\\orks whose tluead the sisters spun ; 



And there did sing, or seem to sing, the choice 
Birds of a foreign note and various voice. 
Here hangs a mossy rock ; there plays a fair 
Rut chiding fountain purled : not the air. 
Nor clouds, nor thunder, but were living di-aivn. 
Nut out of common tiffany or lami. 
But fine materials, which the Muses know, 
And only know the countries where they {p:ow. 

Now wlien they could no longer liim enjoy, 
In mortal garments pent ; death may destroy, 
They say, his body, but his verse shall live. 
And more than nature takes, our hands shall give : 
In a less volume, but more strongly boimd, 
Shakespeare shall breathe and speak, with laurel 

Which never fades. Fed with Ambrosian meat 
In a well-lined vestOTe rich and neat. 
So with this robe they clothe him, bid him wear it. 
For time shall never stain, nor envy tear it. 

The friendly admirer of his endowments, 

I. M. S. 


William Shakespeare. 
Richard Birrbage. 
John Hemminge. 
Augustine Phillips 
William Kempt. 
Thomas Poope. 
George Bryan. 
Henry Condell. 
William Slye. 
Richard Cowly. 
John Lowine. 
Samuel Crosse. 
Alexander Cooke. 

Samuel Gilhurne. 
Robert Annin. 
WiUiam Ostler. 
Nathan Field. 
John Underwood. 
Nicholas Tooley. 
William Ecclestona 
Joseph Taylor. 
Robert .Penfield. 
Robert Gougiie. 
Richard Robinson. 
John Shanckc. 
John Rice. 



The rank as a wiiter wliich Shakspere took j 
amongst liis contemporaries is determined by a ' 
few decided notices of !iim. Tliese notices are as 
ample and as frequent as can be looked for in an 
age which had no critical records, and when 
writers, therefore, almost went out of their way to 
refer to their literaiy contemporaries, except for 
purposes of set compliment. We believe that, as 
early as 1591, Spenser called attention to Shak- 
spere, as 

" the man whom Nature self had made 
To mock herself, and Truth to imitate ;" 

describing him also as 

" that same yadlc sjiirit, from whose pen 
Large streams of honey and sweet nectar flow."* 

^\'e know that the envy of Greene, in 1592, 
pointed at him as " an absolute Johannes fac- 
totum, in his 01^^l conceit the only Shake-scene in 
a country;" and we receive tliis bitterness of the 
unfortunate dramatist against his more successful 
rival as a tribute to his power and liis popularity. 
We consider that the apology of Chettlc, wdio had 
edited the posthumous work of Greene containing 
this eftiision of spite, was an acknowledgment of 
the established opinion of Shakspere's excellence 
as an author : — " Divers of worship have reported 
his uprightness of deahng, which argues his ho- 
nesty, and his facetious grace in writing, that 
approves his art." This was printed in 1592, and 
yet the man who had won this reluctant testimony 
to his art, by " his facetious grace in writing," is 
held by modern authorities to have then been only 
a botcher of other men's works, as if " facetious 
grace " were an expression that did not most hap- 
pily mark the quality by which Shakspere was 
then most eminently distinguished above all his 

rontemporaries, — his comic power, — his ability 
above all others to produce 

" Fine Counterfesance, and unhurtful Sport, 
Delight, and Laughter, deck'd in seemly sort." 

But passages such as these, which it is morally im- 
possible to apply to any other man than Shakspere, 
are still only indirect evidence of the opinion 
which was formed of him when he was yet a veiy 
young wTiter. But a few years later we encounter 
the most direct testimony to his pre-eminence. He 
it was that in 1598 was assigned his rank, not by 
any vague and doubtful compliment, not with any 
ignorance of what had been achieved by other 
men ancient and modern, but by the learned dis- 
crimination of a scholar ; and 'that rank was with 
Homer, Hesiod, Euripides, jEschylus, Sophocles, 
Pindar, Phocylides, and Aristophanes amongst 
the Greeks ; Virgil, Ovid, Horace, SUius-Italicus, 
Lucan, Lucretius, Ausonius, and Claudian amongst 
the Latins ; and Sidney, Spenser, Daniel, Drayton, 
Warner, Marlowe, and Chapman amongst the 
Knglish. According to the same authority, it was 
" in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakspeare " 
that " the sweet witty soul of Ovid lives." This 
praise was applied to his Venus and Adonis, and 
other poems. But, for his dramas, he is raised 
above every native contemporary and predecessor : 
" As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best 
for Comedy and Tragedy among the Latins ; so 
Shakspeare among the English is Ihc most c.rccllent 
in both kinds for the stage." These are extracts 
with which many of our readers must bo familiar. 
They are from 'The Wits' Commonwealth' of 
Francis ]\Ieres, " Master of Arts of both Universi- 
ties;" a book largely cu-culated, and mentioned 
with applause by contemporary writers. The au- 
thor delivers not these sentences as his own pecu- 
liar opinion ; he speaks unhesitatingly, as of a fact 
admitting no doubt, that Shakspere, among the 



English, is tlic most excellent for Comedy and 
Tragedy. Does any one of the other " excellent" 
dramatic -(vritcrs of that day rise up to dispute the 
assertion, galhng perhaps to the self-love of some 
amongst them ? Not a voice is heard to tell Fran- 
cis Mercs that he has overstated the public opinion 
of the supremacy of Shakspere. Thomas Iley- 
wood, one of this illustrious band, speaks of Mercs 
as an approved good scholar ; and says that his ac- 
count of authors is learnedly done.* Heysvood 
himself, indeed, in lines written long after Shak- 
."^pere's death, mentions him in stronger terms of 
praise than he applies to any of his contempora- 
ries.t Lastly, j\Ieres, after other comparisons of 
Shakspere with tlie gi'cat writers of antiquity and 
of his o^vn time, has these words, which nothing 
but a complete rehance upon the received opinion 
of his day could have warranted him in applying 
to any living man : " As Epius Stolo said that the 
Muses would speak with Plautus' tongue, if they 
would sj)eak Latin ; so I say that the Muses would 
speak with Shake.speare's fine tiled phrase, if they 
would speak English." 

Of the popidarity of Shakspere in his own day 
the external evidence, such as it is, is more decisive 
tlian the testimony of any contemporary writer. Ho 
was at one and the same time the favomite of the 
people and of the Court. There is no record what- 
ever known to exist of the public performances of 
Shaksperc's plays at his own theatres. Had .such 
an account existed of the receipts at the Blackfriars 
and the Globe as Henslowe kept for his company, 
we should have known something precise of that 
popularity wliich was so extensive as to make the 
innkeeper of Bosworth, " full of ale and history," 
derive his knowledge from the stage of Shal;- 
sjiere : — 

" For when he would have said, King Richard 

And call'd, A horse, a horse! he Burbage cried." J 

But the facts connected with the original pu-blica- 
tion of Shakspere's plays sufficiently prove how 
eagerly they were for the most part received by the 
readers of the drama. From 1597 to IfiOO, ten of 
these plays were pubhshed from authentic copies, 
undoubtedly with the consent of the author. The 
system of publication did not commence before 
1597 ; and, with four exceptions, it was not con- 
tiiuied beyond 1600. Of these plays there were 
published, before the appearance of the collected 
edition of 1623, four editions of Richard II., six of 

* " Here I might take fit opportunity to reclion up .iU our 
English writers, .nnd compare them wit'li the Greek, French, 
Italian, and Latin poets, not only in their pastoral, histo- 
rieal, elcgiacal, and heroical poems, but in their tragical and 
comical subjects, but it was my chance to happen on the like, 
learnedly done by an approved good scholar, in a book called 
' Wits' Commonwealth,' to which treatise I wholly refer you, 
returning to our present subject." — Apology for Actors, 1012. 

t Ilierareliy of Blessed Angels. 1(>35. 

1 Itishop Corbet, who died iii 1G35. 

The First Ptirt of Henry IV., six of Richard II!., 
four of Romeo and .Juliet, six of Hamlet, besides 
repeated editions of the plays which were surrep- 
tiously published— the maimed and imjierfect co- 
pies described by the editors of the first folio. Of 
the tlurty-six plays contained in tlie folio of 1623, 
only one-half was publislied, whether genuine or 
piratical, in the autlior's lifetime; and it is by no 
means impruljalile tliat many of those which were 
originally publislied with his concurrence were not 
permitted to be reprinted, because such publication 
might be considered injurious to the great theatrical 
property with which he was connected. But the 
constant demand for some of the plays is an evi- 
dence of their popidarity which cannot be mis- 
taken ; and is decisive as to the people's admiration 
of Shakspere. As for that of the Court, the testi- 
mony, impeifect as it is, is entirely conclusive :— 

" Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a siglit it were 
To see thee Ln our waters yet appear, 
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames 
That so did take Eliza and our James," 

is no vague homage from Jonson to the memory of 
his "beloved friend," but the record of a fact. 
Tlie accounts of the revels at Court, between the 
years 1588 and 1G04, the most interesting period 
in the career of Shakspere, have not been disco- 
vered in the depositories for such papers. We 
have indeed memoranda of payments to her Ma- 
jesty's players during this period, but nothing 
definite as to the plays represented. We know 
not what " so did take Eliza ;" but we are left in 
no doubt as to the attractions for " our James." It 
appears fi-om the Revels Book that, fi-om Halloiv- 
mas-day 1604 to the following Shrove Tuesday, 
there were thirteen plays performed before tlie 
King, eight of which were Shakspere's, namely — 
Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, J^Ica.s'ure 
for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Love's La- 
bour's Lost, Henry V., and the ]\lercliant of Ve- 
nice twice, that being " again commanded by the 
King's jMajesty." Kot one of these, with the pos- 
sible exception of Measure fur Measure, was re- 
commended by its no\elty. The series of the same 
accounts is broken from 1605' to 1611 ; and then 
from Hallowmas-night to Shrove Tuesday, which 
appears to have been the theatrical season of the 
Court, six different companies of jilayers contribute 
to the amusements of Whitehall and Greenwich by 
the performance of twelve plays. Of five whicii 
are performed by the King's players two are by 
Shakspere— The Tempest, and The Winter's Talc. 
If the records were more perfect, this proof of tlie 
admiration of Sliakspere in the highest circle 
would no doulit be more conclusive. As it is, it 
is sufficient to support this general argimient.* 
During the life of Shakspere his surpa-ssing 

* * Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court,' 
by Peter Cunningham. 


popularity appears to have provoked no expression 
of envj fi-ora Iiis contemporaries, no attempt to 
show that his reputation was built upon an un- 
solid foundation. Some of the later commentators 
upon Shakspere, however, took infinite pains to 
prove that Jonson had ridiculed him during his 
life, and disparaged him after his death. Every 
one knows Fidler's delightfiU picture of the con- 
vivial exercises in mental strength between Jonson 
and Shakspere: — "Many were the wit-combats 
between Shakspeare and Bon Jonson. I behold 
them like a Spanish great galleon and an English 
man-of-war. Master Jonson, like the former, was 
built fiir higher in learning, solid but slow in his 
performances ; Shakspeare, like the latter, less in 
b\dk, but lighter in sailing, coidd turn with all 
tides, tack about, and take advantage of all winds 
by the quickness of his wit and invention." Few 
would imaghie that a passage such as this should 
have been produced to prove that there was a 
quarrel between Jonson and Shakspere ; that the 
wit-combats of these intellectual gladiators were 
the consequence of their habitual enmity. By the 
same perverse misintei'pretation have the commen- 
tators sought to prove that, when Jonson, in his 
prologues, put forth his own theoiy of dramatic 
art, he meant to satirize the principles upon which 
Shakspere worked. It is held that in the prologue 
to ' Every Man in his Humour,' acted in 1598 at 
Shakspere's own theatre, Jonson especially ridi- 
cules the historical plays of Henry VI. and Ri- 
chard HI. ; — 

" with three nisty swords, 
And help of some few foot and half-foot words, 
Fight over York and Lancaster's long jars. 
And in the thing-house bring wounds to scars." 

There is in another author a similar ridicule, and 
stronger, of the inadequacy of the stage to present 
a battle to the senses :— 

" We shall much disgrace — 
With four or five most vile and ragged foils. 
Right ill-disrrs'd in brawl ridiculous — 
Tlie name Oi Agincourt." 

But Shakspere himself was the author of this pas- 
sage ; and he was thus the satirist of himself, as 
much as Jonson was his sathist, when he com- 
pared in his prologiie the comedy of manners with 
the historical and romantic di'ama which had then 
such attractions for the people. Shakspere's Chonis 
to Henry V., fi'om which we have made the last 
extract, was wi-itten the year after the performance 
of Jonson's play. We recognise in it a candid ad- 
mission of the good sense of Jonson, which at once 
shows that Shakspere was the last to feel the criti- 
cism as a personal attack. Nothing, in truth, can 
be more absurd than the attempts to show, from 
supposed allusions in Jonson, that he was an 
habitual detractor of Shakspere. The reader will 

fmd these " proofs of Jonson's malignity' ' brought 
forward, and dismissed with the contempt that 
they deserve, in a paper appended to Gifi'ord's 
' Jlemou of Jonson.' The same acute critic had 
the merit of pointing out a passage in Jonson's 
' Poetaster,' which, he says, " is as undoubtedly 
tme of Shakspere as if it were pointedly written 
to describe him." He fin-ther says, " It is evi- 
dent that tlu'oughout the whole of this drama 
Jonson maintains a constant allusion to himself 
and his contemporaries," and that, consequently, 
the hues in question were intended for Shaks- 
pere : — 

" That which he hath writ 
Is with such judgment labour'd and distill'd 
Through all the needful uses of our lives. 
That, could a man remember but his lines, 
He should not touch at any serious point, 
But he might breathe liis spirit out of him. 

His learning savours not the school-like gloss 
That most consists in echoing words and terms, 
And soonest wins a man an empty name ; 
Nor any long or far-fetch'd circumstance 
\Vrapp'd in the curious general'ties of art ; 
But a direct and analytic sum 
Of all the worth and first cfl'ects of art. 
And for his poesy, 'tis so ramm'd with life, 
That it shall gather strength of life, with being, 
And live hereafter more admii-'d than now." * 

The private opinion of Jonson with regard to 
Shakspere would not be so much a reflection of the 
popular judgment as that of the critical few who 
would apply the tests of ancient art, not only to 
the art of Shakspere, but to the art of that gi-eat 
body of WTiters who had founded the English 
drama upon a broader foundation than the pre- 
cepts of Aristotle. The art of Jonson ivas opposed 
to the art of Shakspere. He satisfied the few, but 
the many rejected him. There is a poem on Jon- 
son's ' Sejanus,' which shows how his learned 
harangues — paraiihi'ases for the most part of the 
ancient? writers — were received by the English 
people : — 

" When in the Globe's fair ring, our world's 

I saw Sejanus, set with tliat rich foil, 
I look'd the autlior should have home the spoil 
Of conquest from the writers of the age : 
But when I view'd the people's beastly rage. 
Bent to confound thy gi-ave and learned toil. 
That cost thee so much sweat and so much oil, 
My indignation I could h.ardly assuage." 

It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that Jonson, 
in Ids free conversations with Drummond of Haw- 
thornden, in January, 1619, should say that " Shak- 
spere wanted art." When Jonson said this he 
was in no laudatory mood. Dnunmond heads his 
record of the conversation thus : " His censure of 

The Poetaster, Act v. 

Scene i. 


the English poets was this." Censm-e is here, of 
course, put for opinion ; altliough Jonson's opinions 
are by no means favoiu-able to any one of wliom 
he speaks. Spenser's stanzas pleased lum not, or 
Ills matter ; Sir Jolm Harrington's ' Ariosto,' under 
all translations, was the worst : Abraham France 
wa.s a fool ; Sidney did not keep a decoram in 
making every one speak as well as himself ; Sliak- 
spere wanted art. And so, diu'ing two centuries, 
a mob of critics have caught up the word, and with 
the most knowing winks, and the most profound 
courtesies to each other's sagacity, have they echoed 
— " Shakspere wanted art." But a cunning inter- 
polator, who knew the temper of the critics, tlie 
anonymous ecUtor of Gibber's ' Lives of the Poets,' 
took the " heads of a conversation" between Jon- 
son and Drunnuond, prefixed to Drummond's 
works in 1711, and bestowed a few fuusliing 
touches upon them, after his owm fa.shion. And 
thus, to the gi'eat joy of the denoimcers of anachi-ou- 
isms, and other Shaksperean absurdities, as they 
are pleased to call them, we have road as follows for 
a hundi'ed years : — " He said, Shakespear wanted 
Art, and somelimcs Sense; for, in one of his Jilays, he 
brought in a number of men, saying they had suf- 
fered shipwrack in Bohemia, where is no sea near 
by 100 miles." Jonson, indeed, makes the obser- 
vation upon the shipHTOck in Bohemia, but without 
any comment upon it. It is found in another part 
of Drummond's record, quite separate from " Shak- 
spere wanted art ;" a casual remark, side by side 
witli Jonson's gossip about Sidney's pimpled face 
and Raleigh's plagiaries. It was probably men- 
tioned by Jonson as an illustration of some prin- 
ciple upon which Shakspere worked ; and in the 
same way " Shakspere wanted art" was in all Uke- 
lihood explained by him, in producing instances 
of the mode in which Shakspere's art differed fi'om 
his (Jonson's) art. It is impossible to receive Jon- 
son's words as any support of the absurd opinion 
so long propagated tliat Shaksjjcre worked without 
labour and without method. Jonson's own testi- 
mony, delivered five years after the conversation 
with Drummond, offers the most direct evidence 
against such a construction of his expression : — 

" Yet must I not give Nature all : thy art. 
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part. 
For though the poet's matter Nature be. 
His art doth give the fashion : and that lie 
Who casts to write a living line must sweat 
(Such as thine are), and strike the second heat 
Upon tlie Muses' anvil : turn the same 
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame ; 
Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn, — 
For a good poet 's made as well as bom : 
And such wert thou." 

There can be no difficulty in understanding Jon- 
son's dispraise of Shakspere, small as it was, when 
we look at the difl'erent characters of the two men. 
In his ' Discoveries,' written in his last years. 

there is the following passage : — " I remembci 
the players have often mentioned it as an honour 
to Shakespeare, that in his wiiting, whatsoever he 
penned, he never blotted out a line. .My answer 
hath been. Would he had blotted a thousand. 
Which they thought a malevolent speech. I had 
not told posterity this, but for their ignorance, who 
chose that circumstance to commend their friend 
by wherein he most faulted ; and to justify mine 
OH^l candour ; for I loved the man, and do honour 
his memory, on this side idolatry, as much as any. 
He was, mdeed, honest, and of an open and free 
natirre ; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, 
and gentle expressions ; wherein he flowed witii 
that facility, that sometimes it w-as necessary he 
should be stopped : SufHaminandus erat, as Augus- 
tus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own 
power ; would tlio rule of it had been so too." 
The players had said, in their jireface to the 
folio — " His mind and hand went together ; and 
what he thouglit he uttered with that easiness that 
we have scarce received from him a blot in his 
papers." Jonson, no doubt, alludes to this asser- 
tion. But we are not, therefore, to understand 
that Sliak.spere took no pains in perfecting wliat, 
auording to the notion of his editors, he delivered 
with such easiness. The differences between the 
earlier and the later copies of some of his plays 
show, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the un- 
remitting care and the exquisite judgment with 
which he revised his productions. The expression 
"without a blot" might, nevertheless, be perfectly 
tnie ; and the iact, no doubt, impressed upon the 
minds of Hcmiuge and Condell what they were 
desirous to impress upon others, that Shakspere 
was a writer of unequaUed facihty — " as he was a 
happy imitator of nature, he was a most geiit'.c- 
cxin'esser of it." Jonson received this evidence of 
fiuility as a reproof to his own laborious mode of 
composition. He felt proud, and wisely so. of tlie 
commendations of liis admirers, that liis works cost 
him mucli sweat and much oil ; and wlieu tli,' 
players told him that Shakspere never blotted out 
a line, he had his self-satisfied retort, " AVould h3 
had blotted a thousand." But tliis carelessness, 
as it appeared to Jonson, — tliis exuberant facility, 
as the players thouglit, — was in itself no proof that 
Shakspere did not elaborate his works with tlio 
nicest care. The same thing was said of Fletcher 
as of him. Ilumiilu'ey JNIoseley, the pubhsher of 
Beaumont and Fletcher's works in 1G47, says — 
" Wliatever I have seen of Mr. Fletcher's own hand 
is fi'eo from interlining, and his friends affirm he 
never writ any one thing twice." But the stationer 
does not put this fortli as any proof of carelessness, 
for he most judiciously adds, " It seems he had 
that rare felicity to prepare and perfect all first in 
liis own brain, to shape and attire his notions, to 
add or lop oft' before he committed one word to 


ivriting:, and never touched iieii till all was to stand 
as firm and iiiiniutable as if engraven in brass or 
marble." This is the way, we believe, in which 
all works of grcnt originality are built up. If 
Shakspere lilottod not a line, it was because he 
wrote not till he had laid tlie foundations, and 
formed the plan, and conceived the ornaments, of 
liis wondrous edifices. The execution of the work 
was tlien an thing ; and the facility was the 
beautiful result of the previous labour. 

But if Jonson expressed himself a little petu- 
lantly, and perhaps inconsiderately, about the boast 
of the players, surely nothing can be nobler than 
the hearty tribute which he pays to the memory of 
Shakspere : — " I loved the man, and do honour his 
memoiy, on this side idolatry, as much as any." 
Unquestionably this is language which shows that 
tlie memory of Shakspere was cherished by others 
even to idolatry ; so that Jonson absolutely adopts 
an apologetical tone in ventvuing an observation 
which can scarcely be considered disparaging — "he 
flowed with that fiicility, that sometimes it was ne- 
cessary he should be stopped." It was the facility 
that excited Jonson's critical comparison of Shak- 
spere with himself ; and it was in the same way 
that, wdien he wTote his noble ' To the Me- 
mory of my Beloved Mr. William Shakespeare and 
what he hath left us,' he could not avoid drawing 
a comparison between his oivn profound scholarship 
and Shakspere's practical learning : — 

" If I thought my judgment were of years, 
I should commit thee surely with thy peers, 
And tell how for thou didst our Lyiy outshine. 
Or sporting Kyd, or JIarlowe's mighty line. 
And thougli thou hadst small Latin and less Greek, 
From tlience to honour thee I will not seek 
For names : but call forth thund'ring Eschylus, 
Kuripides, and Sophocles to us, 
I'acuvius, Accius, iiira of Cordova dead, 
To live again, to hear thy buskin tread. 
And shake a stage : or, when tliy socks wei'e on, 
],p.»\e thee alone for the comparison 
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome 
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come. 

Natru'e herself was proud of his designs, 
And joy'd to wear tne dressing of his lines ! 
Which were so ricMy spun, and woven so fit, 
As, since, she will vouclisafe no other wit. 
The meriy Greek, tart Aristophanes, 
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ; 
But antiquated and deserted lie. 
As they were not of Nature's family." 

The inteiiJretation of this passage is certainly not 
difficult. Its general sense is expressed by Gilford : 
— " Jonson not only sets Shakspeare above his 
contemporaries, but above the ancients whose works 
himself idolized, and of whose genuine merits he 
was perhaps a more competent judge than any 
scholar of his age." * The whole passage was un- 
questionably meant for praise, whatever opinion 

might be implied in it as to Shakspere's leaming. 
Looking to the whole constraction and tendency of 
the passage, it may even be doubted whether Jonson 
intended to express a direct opinion as to Shak- 
spere's pliilological attainments. If we paraphrase 
the passage according to the common notion, it 
reads thus : — And although you knew little Latin 
and less Greek, to honour thee out of Latin and 
Greek I will not seek for names. According to this 
construction, the poet ought to have written, be- 
cause " thou hadst small Latin," &c. But without 
any violence the passage may be read thus : — And 
aUhourjh thou hadst in thy writings few images 
derived from Latin, and fewer from Greek authors, 
I wdl not thence (on that account) seek for names 
to honour thee, but call forth thundering jEschy- 
lus, &o. It is perfectly clear that Jonson meant to 
say, and not disparagingly, that Shakspere was not 
an imitator. Immediately after the mention of 
Aristophanes, Terence, and Plautus, he adds, 

" Yet must I not give Nature all." 

The same tone of commendation was taken in 
Shakspere's time by other writers. Digges says 
that he neither borrows from the Greeks, imitates 
the Latins, nor translates from vulgar languages. 
Drayton has these lines : — 

" Shakespeare, thou hadst as smooth a comic vein, 
Fitting the sock, and in thy natural brain 
As strong concejition, and as clear a rage, 
As any one that traffick'd with the stage." t 

To argue from such passages that the WTiters meant 
to reproach Shakspere as an ignorant or even as an 
v.nlearned man, in the common sense of the word, 
was an absindity that was not fully propounded to 
the world till the discovery of Dr. Farmer, tliat, 
because translations existed from Latin, Italian, 
and French authors in the time of Shakspere, he 
was incapable of consulting the originals. This 
profound logician closes his judicial sentence with 
the followuig memorable words, which have be- 
come the true fiiith of the antiquarian critics up to 
this hour: — " He remembered perhaps enougli of 
his schoolboy leaming to put the Hig, hag, hog, 
mto the mouth of Sir Hugh Evans ; and might 
pick up in the writers of the time, or the course of 
Ms conversation, a familiar phrase or two of French 
or Italian." There is, however, a contemporary 
testimony to the acquirements of Shakspere which 
is of somewhat higher value than the assertions of 
any master " of all such reading as was never read" 
—of one, himself a true poet, who holds tliat all 
Shakspere's excellences were his freelijld, liut that 
his cunning brain improved his natural gifts :— • 

« Jonson's Works, vol. viii. p. 333. 

t Fanner has the proflig-icy not to quote these l.DCS, bul 
to S3V "Drayton, the countryman and acquan.tance of 
Sl..ikspeare, determines his e.xceUence to the natural bn.n 

"""■'■" 835 


" This aiul more which cannot he ex 
But by himself, his tongue and his own breast, 
AVas Sliakcspcnre's/i-ccAoW, which his CMH»i2»y ira/ra 
Inipriird hv favom' of the nmefold tram. 
The Imskin'd Muse, the Comic Queen, the grand 
And louder tone of Cho ; nianble hand 
And nimbler foot, of the melodious pair ; 
The silver-voiced Lady ; the most feir 
Calliope, whose speaking silence daunts, 
And she whose praise the heavenly body chants ;— 
These jomtly woo'd him, envying one another, 
(Obcy'd by all as spouse, but lov'd as brother,) 
And m'ought a curious robe of sable gi-ave, 
Fresh gi-een, and pleasant yellow, red most brave. 
And constant blue, rich purple, guiltless white, 
The lowly russet, and the scarlet l.n-ht ; 
Branch'd and emliroider'd like the painted spring. 
Each leaf match'd with a flower, and each string 
Of golden wue, each line of silk ; there run 
Itahan works whose thread the sisters spun ; 
And there did sing, or seem to sing, the choice 
Birds of a foreign note and various voice. _ ■ 
Here hangs a mossy rock ; there plays a fail- 
But chiding fountain purled ; not the air, 
Nor clouds, nor thunder, but were hving drawn, 
Not out of common tiffany or lawn. 
But fine materials, which the Muses know. 
And only know the countries where they gi'ow." '■' 

But if the passage which we have previously quoted 
from 'The Poetaster' be, as Gifford so jilausibly 
imagined, intended for Shakspere, it is decisive as 
to Jonson's omi opinion of his great friend's ac- 
quhements : it is the opinion of every man, now, 
who is not a slave to the authority of the smallest 
minds that ever undertook to measure the vast j 
poetical region of Shakspere with theh little tape, 
inch by inch : — 

" Ilis learning savours not the school-like gloss | 
That most consists m echoing words and terms, i 
And soonest wins a man an empty name." 


• Commendatory Verses, 
il-care and his Poems,' by I 

' On Worthy 
M. S. 

M.nster Shake- 

Tho verses of Jonson, prefixed to the fulin of 
l(i-23, conclude with these remarkalile lines: — 

" Shine forth, thou star of poets, and with rage, 
Or influence, chide, or cheer, the drooping stage , 
Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mouru'd 

like night, 
And despairs day, Lmt for thy volume's light." 

From ICIC, the year of Shakspere's death, to IGi'A, 
the date of the fu'st edition of his collected works, 
Jonson himself had written nothing for the stage. 
Beaumont had died the year before Shakspere ; 
but Fletcher alone was sustaining the high repu- 
tation which he had won with his accomplished 
associate. Massinger had been in London from 
IGOo, known certainly to have wiitten in conjunc- 
tion with other dramatists before the period of 
Shakspere's death, and, without doubt, assisting 
to fiU the void which he had left, for ' The Bond- 
man' appears in the list of the Master of the Re- 
vels in lG-23. The indefatigable Thomas Heywood 
was a ;viiter for the stage from the coniinencemcnt 
of the seventeenth century to the suppression of 
the theatres. Webster was a poet of Shakspere's 
own theatre, immediately after his death, and a 
leading character in ' The Duchess of Malfi ' was 
played by Burboge. Rowley produced some of 
his best works at the same period. Chapman had 
not ceased to write. Ford was known as a rising 
poet. Many others were there of genius and learn- 
ing who at this particular time were struggling for 
the honours of the drama, and some with great 
success. And yet Jonson does not hesitate to say 
that since the death of Shakspere the stage mourns 
like night. Leonard Digges, wTiting at the date (if 
the publication of the folio, says of Shakspere's 
dramas, — 

" Happy verse, thou slialt be sung and liearil. 
When hungiy quills shall be such honour liarr'd. 
Then vanish, upstart writers to each stage. 
You needy poetasters of this age ! " 

This man siicaks authoritatively, because he speaks 
the pulilic voice. But it is not with the poetasters ^ 
(inly that he compares the popidiu'ity of Sliakspcrc ; 
he tells us that the players of the Globe live by him 
dead ; and that prime judgments, rich veins, 

" have far'd 
The worst with this deceased man compar'd ; " 

and he then proceeds to exliibit the precise cha- 
racter of the popiUar admu-ation of Shakspere : — 

" So have I seen, when Ca;sar would appear, 
And on the stage at half sword parley were 
Bnitns and Cassius, 0, how the audience 
W'ere ravish'd ! with ^vllat wonder they went 

thence ! 
Wlicn, some new day, they would not brook a line 
Of tedious, though well-la'hour'd, Catiline ; 
Seianus too was kksome : they pviz'd more 


' Honest ' Iaffi, or the jealous Moor. 
Ami though the Fox and subtle Alchymist, 
Lonu' intcnnitteil, coukl not long he niissVl, 
Though these have sham'd all th' ancients, and 

might raise 
Their author's merit with a crown of hays, 
Yet these sometimes, even at a friend's desire 
Acted, have scarce defray'd the sea-coal fire 
And door-keepers : when, let but Falstaff come, 
Hal, Poins, the rest, — you scarce shall have a room, 
All is so pester'd : Let I )ut Beatrice 
And Benedict be seen, lo ! in a trice 
The cockpit, galleries, boxes, all are full. 
To hear Slalvolio, that cross-garter'd gull. 
Brief, tliere is nothing in liis wit-fraught book, 
Whose sound we would not hear, on whose worth 

look : 
Like old-coin'd gold, whose lines in every page 
Shall pass true cvurent to succeeding age." 

We have said enough, we think, tt s'now how in- 
considerate is the assertion that Shakspere's " pre- 
eminence was not acknowledged by his contempo- 
raries." Should this fact, however, be still tlioiight 
to be a matter of opinion, we will place the opinion 
of a real critic, not the less sound for being an en- 
thusiastic aduiirer, against this echo of the babble 
of the cold and arrogant school of criticism that 
still has its disciples and its imitators : " Clothed 
in radiant armour, and authorized by titles sure 
and manifold as a poet, Shakspeare came forward to 
demand the throne of fame, as tite dramatic poet 
of England. Wis cvcellcnccs compdlcd even liis 
contemjiorarics to seat him on that throne, altliowjh 
there were giants in those days contenclliig for the 
same honour." * 

* Coleridge's 'Literary Ueni.iins," vol. ii.. p 5.3. 


The belief was implicitly adcmted by Dfyden and 
Rowe, that the reputation of Shakspere as a comic 
poet was tUstinctly recognised by Spenser in 159L 
Shakspere's great contemiiorary, in a poem en- 
titled ' The Tears of the Muses,' originally pub- 
lished in that year, describes, in the ' Complaint ' 
of Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, the state of the 
drama at the time in which he is writing; — 

" Where bo the sweet delights of learning's treasure, 
That wont with comic stock to beautify 
The painted theatres, and fill with pleasure 
Tlie listeners' eyes, and eare with melody ; 
In which I late was wont to reign as queen. 
And mask in mirth with givaces well beseen ? 

! all is gone ; and all that goodly glee, 
Which wont to be the glory of gay wits, 
Is lay'd a-bed, and nowhere now to see ; 
Andin her room unseemly Son-ow sits, 
With hollow brows and gris.sly countenance, 
Marring my joyous gentle dalliance. 

And him beside sits ugly Barbarism, 
And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late 
Out of dread clarkness of the deep abysm. 
Where being bred, he light and heaven does hate ; 
They in the minds of men now tyi-annize. 
And tlie fair scene with nideness foul disguise. 

All places they with folly have po.ssess'd, 
And ivith vain toys tlie vulgar entertain ; 
But me have banished, with all the rest 
That whilom wont to wait upon my train,— 
Fine Counterfesance, and unhurtful Sport, 
Delight, and Laughter, deck'd in seemly sort." 
Sup. Vol. Z 


Spenser was in England in lo90-l, and it is pro- 
balile that ' The Tears of the Muses ' was wiittcn 
in 1590, and that the poet described the prevailing 
state of the drama in London during the time of 
his visit. We have tolerable evidence that the 
performances of the company at the Blackfriars 
Theatre, of which Shakspere was then a share- 
holder, were exceptions to the character of the ge- 
neral performances. But there were several other 
theatres in London. In some of these their licence 
to entertain the people was abused by the intro- 
duction of matters connected with religion anil 
politics ; so that in 1589 Lord Burghley not only 
directed the lord mayor to inquire what companies 
of players had offended, but a commission was ap- 
pointed for the same puiijose. How Shakspere's 
company proceeded during this inquiry has been 
made out most clearly by the valuable document 
discovered at Bridgewater House by Jlr. Collier, 
wherein they disclaim to have conducted them- 
selves amiss. 

In this petition, Shakspere, a sharer in the 
theatre, but with others below him in the list, sa)'s, 
and they all say, that " they have never brought 
into their plays matters of state and religion." 
The public mind in 1589-90 was furiously agitated 
by "matters of state and religion." A controversy 
was going on which is now knowi as that of Mar- 
tin Marprelate, in which the constitution and dis- 
cipline of the church were most furiously attacked 
in a succession of pamphlets ; and they were de- 
feniied with equal violence and scurrility. Izaak 
Walton says, — " There was not only one Martin 
Marprelate, but other venomous books daily printel 



and dispersed — books that were so absurd and scur- 
rilous, that the graver divines disdained them an 
answer." Walton adds, — " And yet these were 
gi'own into high esteem with the common people, 
till Tom Nashe appeared against them all, who was 
a man of a sharp wit, and "the master of a scoffing, 
satirical, nieiry pen." Connected with tliis con- 
troverey, there was subsecpiently a more personal 
one between Nashe and Gabriel Harvey ; but they 
were each engaged in the Marprelate dispute. 
Nashe was a writer for the theatre, ar.d so was John 
Lyiy, the author of one of the most remarkable 
pamphlets produced on this occasion, called ' Pap 
with a Hatchet.' Harvey, it must be observed, was 
the intimate friend of Spenser ; and in a pamphlet 
which ho dates from Trinity Hall, November 5, 
1589, he thus attacks the author of ' Pap with a 
Hatchet,' the more celebrated Euphuist, whom Sir 
Walter Scott's novel has made familiar to us : — 

" I am threatened with a balile, and Martm me- 
naced witli a comedy — a fit motion for a jester and 
a player to tiy what may be done by employment 
of his feculty. Babies and comedies ai-e parlous 
fellows to decipher and discourage men (that is the 
point) witli their witty flouts and learned jirks, 
enough to lash any man out of countenance. Nay, 
if you shake the painted scabbard at me, I havB 
done ; and all you that tender the preservation of 
your good names, were best to please Pa5)-Hatchet, 
and fee Euphues betimes, for fear lest he be moved, 
or some one of his apes hired, to make a play of 
you, and then is yoiu- credit cpiite undone for ever 
and ever. Such is the public reputation of their 
plays. He nnist needs be discouraged whom they 
acc'iplier. Better anger an hunih-ed other than two 
such that have the stage at commandment, and can 
funiish out vices and (levils at their pleasure." * 

We thus see that Han-ey, the friend of Spenser, 
is tlu-eatened by one of those who " have the stage 
at commandment " with having a play made of 
him. Such plays were made in 1.5S9, and Nashe 
thus boasts of them in one of his tracts printed in 
l.'5S9 : — " Methought Vctus Comadia began to prick 
him at London in the right vein, when he brought 
forth Divinity with a scratched iirce, holding of her 
heart as if she were sick, because JMartin would 
have forced her ; but missing of his purpose, he left 
the print of his nails u]ion her cliceks, and poisoned 
her with a vomit, which he ministered unto her to 
make her cast up her dignities." Lyly, taking the 
same side, Avrites, — " ^\'ould those comedies might 
be allowed to he played that are penned, and then 
I am sm-e he [Jlartin jNIarprelate | would be dcci- 
phcred, and so perhaps discom-itr/cd." Here are the 
very words whicli Harvey has repeated, — " He nmst 
needs be discoumrjcd whom they decipher." Har- 
vey, in a subsequent passage of the same tract, 
refers to this prostitution of the sta^e to party 
purposes in very striking words: — "The stately 
tragedy scorneth the trifling comedy, anrf rfic (j-(y;;n<7 
coincdii fluutctlL the new ruffianism." These circum- 
stances appear to us very remarkable, with refer- 
ence to the state of the drama about 1590 ; and 
we hope that we do not attach any undue import- 
ance to them from the consideration that wo were 
the first to point out their intimate relation with 
Spenser's ' Teaxi of the Muses,' and the light which, . 

* Pierce's ' Supererogation.' Reprinted in ' Arcliaica,' 
p. 13?. 


as it appeals to us, that poem thus i-ieucd tlu'ows 
upon the dramatic career of Shakspere.* 

The four stanzas which we have quoted from 
Spenser are descriptive, as we think, of a period of 
the drama, when it had emerged from the semi- 
barbarism by wliich it was characterised, " from 
the connnencement of Shakspere's boyhood, till 
aboiit the earliest date at which his removal to 
London can be possibly fixed."f This description 
has nothing in common with those accounts of the 
drama which have reference to this " semi-barba- 
rism." Nor does the writer of it belong to the 
school which considered a violation of the unities of 
time and place as the gi'cat defect of the English 
theatre. Nor does he assert his preference of the 
classic school over the romantic, by objecting, as ' 
Su- Philip Sidney objects, that " plays be neithe: 
right tragedies nor right comedies, mingling kings 
and clowns." There had been, according to Spenser, 
a state of the cU-ama that would 

" Fill with pleasure 
The Usteners' eyes, and ears with melody." 

Can any comedy be named, if we assume that Shak- 
spere had, in 1590, not written any, which could 
lie celeljrated — and by the exqiiisite versifier of 
' Tlie Fairy Queen' — for its " melody" 'i Could 
any also be praised for 

" That goodly glee 
Which wont to be the glory of gay wits " '! 

Could the plays before Shakspere be descril icd 1 ly 
the most competent of judges — the most poetical 
.mind of that age next to Shakspere — as abound- 
ing in 

" Fine Coimterfesance, and unhnrtfid Sport, 
Delight, and Laugliter, dcck'd in seemly sort" ? 

We have not seen such a comedy, except some 
three or four of Shakspere's, winch could have 
existed before 1590 ; we do not believe there is 
such a comedy from any other pen. What, ac- 
cording to the ' Complaint ' of Thalia, has bani.shed 
such comedy? " Unseemly Sorrow," it appears, has 
been fashionable ; — not the proprieties of tragedy, 
but a SoiTOw 

" With hollow brows and grissly countenance ; " — 

the violent scenes of blood -n-hich were ofi'ered for 
the excitement of the multitude, before the tragedy 
of real art was devised. But tliis state of the 
drama is shortly passed over. There is something 
more defined. By the side of this false trade sit 
" ugly Barbarism and brutish Ignorance." These 
arenot the barbarism and ignorance of the old 
stage ;— they are 

" Ycrept of late 
Out of dread darkness of the deep abysm." 

They "mow tyramiize;" they now "disguise" the 
fair scene "with rudeness." This description was 
published in 1591 ; it was probably wi'itten in 
1590. The Muse of Tragedy, JMelpomene, had 
previously described the "rueful spectacles" of 
" the stage." It was a stage which had no " true 
tragedy." But it had possessed 

" Delight, and Laughter, deck'd in seendy sort." 

* Life of SlKilispere in ' Store of Knowledge.' 
t Edinburgh Ueview, vol. lx.\i., p. 4G9. 


Now " tlie trifling comedy llouteth the new ruffian- 
ism." Tlie words of Gahriel Harvey and Edmund 
Spenser agree in this. The bravos that " have the 
stage at eommandraent can furnish out vices and 
devils at their pleasure," says Harvey. This de- 
scribes the Vetus Commdla — the old comedy — of 
•which Nashe boasts. Oan there be any doulit that 
Spenser had this state of tilings in view when he 
denounced the 

" Ugly Barbarism, 
And bratish Ignorance, ycrept of late 
Out of dread darkness of the deep, abysm " >. 

He denounced it Ln common with his friend Har- 
vey, who, however he partook of the controversial 
violence of his time, was a man of learning and 
elonuence ; and to whom only three years before 
he had adih-essed a sonnet of which the highest 
mind in the country might have lieen proud. 

But we must return to the ' Thalia.' The four 
stanzas which we have quoted are immediately fol- 
lowed by these four others : — 

" All these, and all that else the comic stage 
With season'd wit and goodly pleasure gi'ac'd. 

By which man's life in his image 
Was limned forth, are wholly now defac'd ; 

And those sweet wits, which wont the Uke to frame, 

Are now despis'd, and made a laughing game. 

And he, the man whom Nature self had made 
To mock herself, and Trutli to imitate, 

'iVith kindly counter, under mimic shade. 
Our pleasant Willy, ah ! is dead of late : 

With whom all joy and jolly merriment 

Is also deaded, and in dolour cbent. 

Instead thereof scoffing Scurrility, 

And scornful Folly, with Contempt, is crept. 
Rolling in rhymes of shameless ribaldry, 

Without regard or due decorum kept ; 
Each idle wit at will presumes to make. 
And doth the Learned's task upon him take. 

But that same gentle spirit, from whose pen 
Large streams of honey and sweet nectar flow. 

Scorning the boldness of such base-bom men, 
Whicli dare their follies forth so rasUy thtow, 

Doth rather choose to sit in idle cell 

Than so himself to mockery to sell." 

Here there is something even stronger than what 
has preceded it, in the direct allusion to the state 
of the stage in 1590. Comedy had ceased to be an 
exhibition of " seasoned wit " and " goodly plea- 
sure :" it no longer showed " man's hfe in his likest 
image." Instead thereof there was " Scurrility" — 
"scornful Folly" — "shameless Ribaldry;" — and 
"each idle wit" 

" doth the Leanied's task upon him take." 

It was the task of " the Learned " to deal with the 
high subjects of religious controversy — the " mat- 
ters of state and religion," with which the stage 
had meddled. Harvey had previously said, in the 
tract quoted by us, it is " a godly motion, when 

intcrluders leave penning their pleasurable plays to 
become zealous ecclesiastical writei's." He calls 
Lyly more expressly, with reference to tliis med- 
dling, " the foolmaster of the theatre." In this 
state of things the acknowledged head of the comic 
stage was silent for a time : — 

" He, the man whom Nature self had made 
To mock herself, and Truth to imitate, 

With Icindly counter, under mimic shade. 
Our pleasant Willy, ah ! is dead of late." 

And the author of ' The Faiiy Queen ' adds, 

" But that same gentle spirit, from whose pen 
Large streams of honey and sweet nectar flow, 

Scorning the boldness of such base-born men, 
Wliich dare their follies forth so madly throw, 

Doth rather choose to sit in idle cell 

Than so himself to mockery to sell." 

The love of personal abuse had driven out real 
comedy ; and there was one who, for a brief season, 
had left the madness to take its course. We can- 
not doubt that 

" He, the man whom Nature self Iiad made 
To mock herself, and Truth to imitate," 

was William Shalspere. Mr. Collier, in his ' His- 
tory of Dramatic Poetry,' says of Spenser's ' Tha- 
lia,' — " Had it not been certai > that it was wiitteii 
at so early a date, and that Shakespeare could not 
then have exhibited liis talents and acquired repu- 
tation, we should say at once that it could be meant 
for no other poet. It reads like a prophetic anti- 
cipation, which could not have been fultUled liy 
Shakespeare until several years after it was pub- 
lished." Mr. Collier, when he wrote this, had not 
discovered the document which proves that Shak- 
spere was a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre at 
least a year before this poem was published. Spen- 
ser, we believe, described a real man, and real facts. 
He made no " prophetic anticipation ;" there had 
been genuine comedy in existence ; the ribaldry 
had driven it out for a season. The poem has re- 
ference to some temporary degi'adation of the stage ; 
and what this temporary degradation was is most 
exactly detincd liy the pulilic documents of the pe- 
riod, and tlie writings of HaiTey, Nashe, and Lyly. 
The dates of all these proofs correspond with mi- 
nute exactness. And who then is " our pleasant 
Willy," according to the opinion of those who 
would deny to Shakspere the title to the praise of 
the other gi-eat poet of the Elizabethan ago ? It is 
John Lyly, says Malone — the man wlium Spenser's 
bosom friend was, at the same moment, denouncing 
as " the foolmaster of the theatre." We say, ad- 
visedly, that there is absolutely no proof that 
Shakspere had not iviitten The Two Gentlemen of 
Verona, The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's 
Lost, The Taming oif the Shr-ew, and AU's Well 
that Ends Well, amongst his comedies, before 
1.590 : we believe that he alone merited the high 
praise of Spenser ; that it was meant for him. 

Z 2 




" Shakespear was not so much esteemed, even 
diu'ing his life, as wo commonly suppose ; and 
after his retirement from the stage he was all but 
forgotten." * So we read in an authority too mighty 
to enter upon evidence. The oblivion after his 
retirement and death is the tiiie pendant to the 
neglect during his life. When did the obli\'ion 
begin? It could scarcely have existed when, in 1623, 
an expensive folio volume of many hunrbed pages 
was published, without regard to the risk of such 
an undertaking— and it was a risk, indeed, if the 
author had been neglected and was forgotten. But 
the editors of the volume do not ask timidly for 
support of these neglected and forgotten works. 
They say to the reader, " Though you be a magis- 
trate of wit, and sit on the stage at Blackfriars or 
the Cockpit, to arraign plays daily, know these 
plays have had their trial already, and stood out all 
appeals." Did the oblivion continue when, in 1G3-2, 
a second edition of tliis large work was brought 
out 1 There was one man, certainly— a young and 
ardent scholar— who was not amongst the ob- 
livious. John MUton was twenty-four ye<irs of age 
when these verses were pubhshed :— 

" An EriTAPH on the admirable Dramatic 
Poet, W. Siiakespeake. 

"What need my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones 
The labour of an age in piled stones. 
Or that liis hallow' d relics should be lud 
Under a star-ypointing pyramid '? 
Dear son of memory, gi'eat hen- of fiime, 
What need'st thou such dull witness of thy name ? 
Thou in our wonder and astonishment 
Hast built thyself a lasting monument. 
For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavom-Uig art 
Thy easy numbere ftow, and that each heart 
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took, 
Then thou, our fancy of herself bereaving, 
Dost make us marble with too much conceivnig. 
And so .sepulchred in such pomp dost lie, ^^ 
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die. 

The author of these lines could not have kuoWii 
the works of the " admirable diamatic poet" while 
that poet was in life ; but sixteen years after hi.s 
death he was the dear son of memoiy, the great 
heir of fame ; his bones were honoured, his relics 
were- hallowed, his works were a lasting monument, 
his book was priceless, his lines were oracular, 
Delphic. Is this oblivion ? But it may be said 
that aiilton was a young enthusiast, one who saw 
farther than the million ; that tlie public opinion 
of a writer (and we are not talking of Ms pL.sitive 
excellence, apart from opinion) must be sought for 

• Life of Shakespear in ' Lardner's CyclopiEilu.' 

[MiUoil, when young.] 

in the voice of the people, or at any rate in that of 
the leaders of the people. How are we to arrive 
at the knowledge of this expression ? We can only 
know, incidentally, that an author was a favourite 
either of a king or of a cobbler, ^^'e know that 
Shakspere was the favourite of a king, in these 
times of his oblivion. A distinguished writer says, 
" The Prmce of Wales had learned to appreciate 
Shakspeare, not originally from reading him, hut 
from witnessing the court representations of his 
plays at Wliitehall. Afterwards we know that he 
made Shakspeare his closet companion, for he was 
reproached with doing so by MUton." * The con- 
cluding words are founded upon a mistake of the 
passage in Milton. Charles is not reproached with 
reading Shak.spere. The great republican does not 
condemn the king for having made the dramatic 
poet the closet companion of his solitudes ; but, 
speaking of the dramatic poet as a well-known 
author with whom the king was fiimiliar, he cites 
out of him a passage to show that pious words 
might be found in the mouth of a tyi-ant. The 
passage not only proves the famiharity of Charles 
with Shakspere, but it evidences also Milton's 
familiarity ; and, what is of more importance, the 
ferailiarity even of those stern and ascetic men to 
whom Jliiton was peculiarly addressmg his opinions. 
The passage of the ' Iconoclastes ' is as follows : 
'•■ Andronicus Coinnenus, the Byzantine emperor, 
though a most cruel tyi'ant, is reported by Nicetas 
to have been a constant reader of Saint Paul's 
epistles ; and by continual study had so incoi-po- 
rated the phrase and style of that transcendent 
apostle into all his familiar letters, that the imita- 

» Mr. De Quinccy's 'Life of Shakspcire ' in tlie ' Enry- 
cloiitctlia Britannica.' 


tion seemed to vie with the original. Yet this 
availed not to deceive the people of that empire, 
who, notwithstanding his sauit's vizard, tore him 
to pieces for his tyranny. From stories of tliis 
nature, both ancient and modern, which abound, 
the poets also, and some Kiiglish, have been in this 
point so mindful of deconnn as to put never more 
pious words in the mouth of any person than of a 
tyrant. I shall not instance an abstruse author, 
wherein the king might be less conversant, but one 
whom we well know was tlie closet companion of 
these his solitudes, William Shakespeare, who in- 
troduces the person of Richard the Third, speaking 
in as high a strain cf piety and mortification as is 
uttered in any passage of this book,* and sometimes 
to the same sense and pui'pose with some words in 
this place: 'I intended,' saith he, 'not only to 
oblige my fi-iends, but my enemies.' The like saith 
Richard, Act ii., Scene i. — 

' I do not know that Englishman alive 
With whom my soul is any jot at odds. 
More than the infant that is born to-night ; 
I thank my God for my humility.' 

Other stuff of this sort may be read throughout the 
whole tragedy, wherein the poet used not nuich 
licence in departing from the truth of history, which 
delivers him a deep dissembler, not of his affections 
only, but of relittion." It was a traditionaiy blun- 
der, whicli Warton received and transmitted to 
his successors, that Milton reproached Charles with 
reading Shakspere, and thus infeiTcd that Shak- 
spere was no proper closet companion. The passage 
has wholly the contrary tendency ; and he who 
thinks othenvise may just as well think that the 
phrase " other sliijf of this sort " is also used ilis- 

[Charles I.] 

A few years before — that is in 1645 — Milton 
had offered another testimony to Shakspere in his 
' L'AUegi'o,' then pubUslied : — 

* Milton here re'er? to tne first section ol the ' Eikon 

" Then to the well-trod stage anon. 
If Jonson's learned sock be on, 
Or sweetest Shakespear, Fancy's cliild. 
Warble his native wood-notes wild." 

IMilton wa.s not afraid to those iines, even 
after the suppression of the theatres by his own 
political party. That he went along with them in 
their extreme polemical opinions it is impossible to 
behove ; but he would nevertheless be careful not 
to mention, in connexion with the stage, names of 
any doubtful eminence. He was not ashamed to 
say that the learning of Jonson, the nature of 
Shakspere, had for him attractions, though the 
stage was proscribed. This contrast of the distin- 
guishmg qualities of the two men is held to be one 
amongst the many proofs of Shakspere's want of 
learning ; as if it was not absolutely essential to the 
whole spirit and conception of the passage that the 
learning of Jonson, thus pointed out as Ins leading 
quality, shoidd be contrasted with the higher quality 
of Shakspere — that quality wliich was assigned him 
as the gi-eatest praise by Ins immediate contem- 
poraries — Iiis nature. No one can doubt of Milton's 
affection for Shakspere, and of his courage m avow- 
ing that affection, living as he was in the heat of 
party opinion which was hostile to all such excel- 
lence. We have simply " Jonson's learned sock ;" 
but the "native wood-notes wild " of Shakspere are 
associated with the most endearing expressions. He 
is " sweetest Shakespear," he is " Fancy's child." 
In his later years, after a life of contention and 
heavy responsibility, Milton still clung to his early 
delights. The ' Theatrum Poetanun,' wliich bears 
tlie name of his nephew Edward Philhps, is held 
to have received many touches from Milton's pen." 
At any rate it is natural that it should represent 
Milton's opinions. It is not alone what is here said 
of Shakspere, but of Shakspere m comparison with 
the other great dramatic poets of his age, that is 
important. Take a few examples ; — 

"Benjamin Jonson, the most learned, judicious, 
and coiTect, generally so accounted, of our Eng- 
lish comedians, and the more to be admired for 
being so, for that neither the height of natural 
parts, for he was no Shakespear, nor the cost of 
extraordinary education, for he is reported but a 
bricklayer's son, but his owni proper mdustry and 
addiction to books, advanced him to this peifec- 
tion : in tlu-ee of his comedies, namely, ' The Fox,' 
' Alchymist,' and ' Silent Woman,' he may be com- 
pared, in the judgment of learned men, for de- 
corum, language, and well humouring of the parts, 
as well with the chief of the ancient Greek and 
Latin comedians as the prime of modern Itidians, 
who have been judged the best of Europe for a 
happy vein in comedies, nor is his ' Bartholomew 
Fair ' much short of them ; as for his other come- 

* The * Theatrum Poetaiura' was published in 1G75, the 
year after Milton's death. 



dies, ' Cynthia's Revels,' ' Poetaster,' and the rest, 
let the name of Ben Jonson protect them against 
whoever shall tliiuk fit to be severe in censure 
against thera : the truth is, liis tragedies ' Sejanus ' 
and ' Catiline ' seem to have in them more of 
an artificial and inflate than of a pathetieal and 
naturally tragic height." 

" CimiSTOPnEK Maklowe, a kind of second 
Shakespear (whose contemporary he was), not 
only because hke liim he rose from an actor to be 
a maker of plays, though inferior both in fame and 
merit; but also because, in his begun poem of 
' Hero and Leander,' he seems to have a resem- 
blance of that clean and unsophisticated wit which 
is natural to that incomparable poet." 

" Geokge Chapman, a poetical writer, flourish- 
ing in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and Kin.i^ 
James, in that repute both for his translations of 
' Homer ' and ' Hesiod,' and what he ivrote of his 
own proper genius, that he is thought not the 
meanest of Enghsh poets of that time, and parti- 
cularly for his dramatic ;\Titings." 

" John Fletcher, one of the happy triumvu-ate 
(the other two being Jonson and Shakespear) of 
the chief dramatic poets of our nation in the last 
foregoing age, among whom there might bo said 
to bo a symmetry of pei-fection, while each excelled 
in his peculiar way : Ben Jonson, in his elaborate 
pains and knowledge of authors; Shakespear in 
his pure vein of wit, and natiu-al poesy height ; 
Fletcher in a courtly elegance and genteel fami- 
liarity of style, and withal a wit and invention so 
overflowing, that the luxuriant branches thereof 
were frequently thought convenient to be lopped 
oft' by his almost incomparable companion Francis 

" William Shakespear, the glory of the Eng- 
lish stage ; whose nativity at Stratford-upon-Avon 
is the highest honour that town can boast of: fi-om 
an actor of tragedies and comedies, he became a 
maker ; and such a maker, that, though some others 
may perhaps pretend to a more exact decoram and 
economy, especially m tragedy, never any expressed 
a more lofty and tragic height, never any repre- 
sented nature more purely to the life ; and where 
tlie polishments of art are most wanting, as pro- 
balily his learning was not extraordmary, he 
lileaseth with a certain wild and native elegance ; 
and in all his writings hath an uuNoilgar style, 
as well in his Venus and Adonis, his Rape of 
Lucrece, and other various poems, as in his 

Half a century had elapsed, when these critical 
opinions were pnlilished, from tlio time when Ben 
Jonson had apostrophized Shakspere as " soul of 
the age." Whatever qualification we may here 
find in the praise of Shakspere, it is unquestion- 
able tliat the critic sets him above all his contem- 
poraries. Benjamin Jonson was "learned, judi- 

cious, and coiTect;" but " he was no Shakespear." 
Marlowe was " a kind of a second Shakespear;" 
and liis greatest praise is, that " he seems to have 
a resemblance of that clean and unsopliisticated 
wit which is natural to that incomparable poet." 
Chapman is " not the meanest " of his time. 
Fletcher is "one of the happy triumvirate, the 
otlier two being Jonson and Shakespear ;" but the 
peculiar e.xcellence of each is discriminated in a 
way which leaves no doubt as to which the critic 
meant to hold superior. But there are no mea- 
sured words applied to the character of Shakspere. 
He is " the glory of the English stage "— " never 
any exjtt-essed a more lofty and tragic height, never 
anj represented nature :nore inuely to the life." 
We can understand what a pupil of Jlilton, bred 
up in Iris school of severe study and imitation of 
the ancients, meant when he says, "Where the 
polishments of art are most wanting, as probably 
his learning was not extraordinaiy, he pleases with 
a certain wild and native elegance." Here is no 
accusation that the learning was wholly absent ; 
and that tins absence produced the connnon eft'ects 
of want of cultivation. Shakspere, "in all his 
writings, hath an unvithjar style." In the preface 
to this valuable Uttle book — which preface is a 
composition eloquent enough to have been writ- 
ten by Milton himself— there is a passage which 
is worthy of special observation in connection 
with what we have already quoted : " If it were 
once brought to a strict scrutiny, who are the 
right, genuine, and true-bom poets, I fear me our 
number would fall short, and there are many that 
have a fomc deservedly for wliat they have writ, 
even in poetiy itself, who, if they came to the test, 
I question how well they would endure to hold 
open their eagle eyes against the sun : wit, inge- 
nuity, and learning in, even elegancy itself, 
though that comes neai-est, are one thing, true 
native poetry is another ; in which there is a certain 
air and spirit, which perhaps the most learned and 
judicious in other arts do not perfectly apprehend, 
much less is it attainable by any study or industry ; 
nay, though all the laws of heroic poem, all tlie 
laws of ti'iigedy were exactly observed, yet still tliis 
tola- cntregcant, this poetic energy, if I may so call 
it, would be required to give life to all the lost, 
which sliines through the roughest, most unpolished 
and antiquated language, and may haply be want- 
ing in the most polite and reformed. Let us oli- 
scrve Spenser, with all his nisty obsolete words, 
with aU his rough-hewn clouterly verses ; yet take 
him throughout, and we shall find in him a gi-aceful 
and poetic majesty: in like manner, Shakespear, 
in sjiite of all his unfiled expressions, his rambling 
and indigested fancies the laughter of the critical, 
yet must be confessed a poet above many that go 
beyond him in hteratm'e some degi'ees." Taking 
the whole passage in connection, and looking also 


at the school of art in ivhJA the critic was lired, it 
is iiuiiossible to receive this opinion as regards 
Sha]<s]iere in any otlier light than as one of enthu- 
siastic admiration. It is important to note the 
period in which this admiration was publicly ex- 
pressed. It was tifteen ycare after the Restoration 
of Charles II., when we had a new school of poetry 
and criticism in England ; when the theatres were 
in a palmy state as far as regarded courtly and 
public encouragement. The natural association of 
these opinions with those of Milton's youth has 
led ns to leap over the interval which elapsed be- 
tween the close of the Shakspcreau drama and 
the rise of the French school. AYe desued to show 
the continuity of opinion in Milton, and m Mil- 
ton's disciples, that had prevailed for forty years ; 
din-iiig a large p